Bible believers know this verse:
He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Rev 13:16-17
But perhaps what most regular Bible readers do not know is that this mark has already begun appearing in some places. Perhaps most of them thought, like I did until I read a certain news a short while ago, that this mark would be imposed suddenly, someday in the future, after the appearance of the Beast. The appearance of this mark is one of the surest signs that we are already living in the endtimes, and that the global reign of the Beast, and also the return of Christ, are very imminent. Nobody can set dates, but Jesus said that when we see the leaves begin to appear on the fig tree we know that summer is near – even at the doors!. So, we can expect the Beast to make his appearance soon, very soon. How soon? No one can say with absolute certainty, but I am much inclined to think it will occur in my lifetime, and I am 68 as I write this.
Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near – at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. Mt 24:32-35
Which ‘generation’ is Jesus talking of? Surely it can’t be the generation of his physical lifetime, simply because ‘all these things’ did not take place then. So, obviously, he is talking about the generation that sees the leaves beginning to appear – and that is, by all evidence, this present generation, our generation!
Here’s the news headline I saw a while ago:
“China to launch digital yuan next year to replace cash”
The news reported that the “People’s Bank of China has revealed plans to have its sovereign digital currency ready in time for the 2022 Winter Olympics…Limited trials are already underway in Shenzhen, Suzhou, Chengdu and the Xiongan New Area in the northern province of Hebei…If the government is satisfied with the results of this year’s tests, the currency will be issued next year. Otherwise, more tests will be conducted next year.” rt.com
This decision by the Chinese government came as the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated a shift away from paper money. The Corona virus has set the stage for several major paradigm shifts from the traditional functioning of global society. The shift to digital currency is among the greatest global transformations being brought about by the virus. Other major shifts occurring include working from home, online schooling, dramatic increase in online shopping, greater screening of people coming into a country, and, of course, far greater focus by governments on the health sector. One of the minor changes is the end of traditional and official greeting with a handshake or hug, and perhaps more widespread use of masks in places such as theatres, sports venues, malls, etc. One thing that will not continue after the end of the pandemic is social distancing, because physical closeness is an innate need of human society.
What are the implications of this shift to digital currency for China? It is that digital money gives the Chinese government total control and awareness of how every single citizen uses es money!
Listen to what two readers commented after reading that article:
“When all cash is purged from the system, we will be at the mercy of the banks and politicians. Negative interest rates and capital confiscation will be just a mere mouseclick away.”
“They are leading the world only to a deeper tyranny. Removing the ability to buy food, etc with cash, no matter whether rich or poor, is the biggest tyranny. Only the duped would agree to hand over total control of their buying power to banks/govs, and agree to being surveilled on every single purchase you make. But the important point is, if the only way to purchase is 100% digital, you would only need to go against official government regulation in any field to expect to have your ‘only’ means to purchase food, pay rent, etc, stopped.”
In November 2016, when I was in my native country for a few months, I woke up one morning to the startling news that two widely used banknotes – 500 and 1000 rupees – were not valid for transactions anymore. The government of Modi was using a new strategy called demonetization to ferret out the money hoarders and their black wealth. The only way people could use the invalidated banknotes was to go to a bank, fill in a declaration form, and get an equivalent amount in newly issued 2000 rupee banknotes. Such high-denomination banknotes were very difficult to use in ordinary transactions because banknotes in the lower denominations were in acute shortage. People seeking to exchange their banknotes had to stand in lengthy queues, and several deaths were linked to the rush to exchange cash. Over a billion people suffered for several weeks while they waited for small-denomination banknotes to be available again for their daily use. I too had to wait in long queues in front of the ATMs to get some cash during the one or two hours the banknotes were available each day before they ran out.
The demonetization strategy was a total failure. The intent of the government was to “curtail the shadow economy and reduce the use of illicit and counterfeit cash to fund illegal activity and terrorism”. According to a 2018 report from the Reserve Bank of India, approximately 99.3% of the banknotes that had been demonetized were deposited with the banking system, leading analysts to state that the effort had failed to remove black money from the economy. According to data from income tax probes, black money holders kept only 6% or less of their wealth as cash, with most of their wealth held in the form of properties, bullion, and jewelry.
The reason I mentioned the above incident is that black money and counterfeit cash cannot be eliminated as long as the government has no absolute monitoring system for each individual’s transactions. Only digital money can do that.
Dictatorial-minded governments, or governments aiming for total surveillance of their citizens, will heartily welcome China’s decision. I expect my own country to follow its neighbor’s example in less than five years, and the global currency system to turn entirely digital, and all paper money to be totally abolished, within five to ten years.
The next phase, after total conversion of the world’s monetary system into digital form, will be the total control of how people use their money. For example, if anyone uses es money for an illegal purchase or a criminal activity, that transaction will not pass through, and the would-be criminal prosecuted.
The third phase, after the total monitoring of how money is used, will be the total control of who uses the money. For example, citizens who attend religious services that are not officially approved by the government will be penalized. Churches will have to abide by government regulations that contravene several of their traditional policies, including conducting LGBT weddings, not prohibiting gays from joining the clergy, teaching theistic evolution, submitting to the edicts of a world church council headed by the pope, or even illegalizing the Bible as the sole scripture for use in church services. All such control will be possible through the technology on which digital money is used. And that technology is called ‘blockchain’. Currently available digital money such as bitcoin and Ethereum use the blockchain system.
When blockchain-based currencies are firmly in place globally, it will usher in the reign of the Beast, who will control the whole world using this technology.
Now let me introduce you to George Gilder, a man whose technological predictions every Bible believer should take seriously. George Gilder is one of the world’s most prominent technology futurists. And with good reason. He accurately tipped President Ronald Reagan off that the microchip would change the world. Gilder then went on to become Reagan’s most quoted living author, and he received the White House Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence in 1986 from Reagan himself. He predicted the iPhone 13 years before its release. He forecast the death of cable TV – and the rise of Netflix – more than a decade before it existed. According to Forbes, “Few men or women in modern times have been so consistently farsighted in fathoming the future of high technology as George Gilder has been”.
Listen to what George Gilder says about the blockchain technology in his book ‘Life After Google: The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of the Blockchain Economy’:
Disaggregated [become separated into smaller parts] will be Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft conglomerates…Even money itself is being disaggregated and reinvented. The clouds are dispersing into the skies – sky computing rendered on your laptop and smartphone, spread across blockchains.
Where will the use of blockchain technology ultimately lead to? Gilder concludes,
The final test is whether the new regime [blockchain system] serves the human mind and consciousness.
A world government is coming which will use the blockchain system, not to benefit the human mind, but to control and manipulate the people. Faithful Christians who will not submit to the evil regime of the Beast will not be able to buy or sell anything because their digital money is controlled by the mark – a microchip – implanted in the people’s forehead or right hand, which enables the authorities to monitor their every activity. God’s intervention to provide for his people miraculously during such a perilous time will be the only way Christians can survive until the return of their Savior.