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The Mark of the Beast
by Irvin Baxter Jr.
January/February 1993

When President Ronald Reagan left office in 1989, he bought a new ranch in California. The address was 666 St. Cloud Road. He refused to move into his new home, however, until the address was changed. The address was officially changed to 668 St. Cloud Road, and the Reagans moved in.

The young cashier rang up my purchase at K-mart. The total was $6.66. I heard the young lady say under her breath, “Mark-of the-Beast.” I asked, "What did you say?" Embarrassed, she said "Oh nothing." I said, "I was sure I heard you say 'Mark of the Beast'." She grinned sheepishly and replied, "I did."

Most everyone has heard the number 666 and is familiar with the term "Mark of the Beast". Not very many people really know what it is all about.

There is a prophecy in the Bible which teaches that immediately before Jesus Christ establishes his 1,000 year kingdom upon earth, there will be a great world government.  One of the key features of this world government will be an economic system in which every person will have a number. Without this number an individual will not be able to buy or sell. The problem will be that, in order to obtain a number, one must pledge loyalty to the one world government and the one world religion which will by then be established.

This prophecy is found in Revelation 13:15-18, "And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six."

The Master Plan

Many people today believe that the answer to the problems of our world is one world government. Their theory says that there are three major causes of war upon the earth; political differences, economic differences and religious conflicts. The theory goes that, if we had one world government, one world economy, and a one world religious system, however loosely configured it might be, we would remove the major causes of conflict upon earth, and therefore, we could usher in a period of unprecedented peace and safety.

It is obvious that we are moving into this idealistic new world order right now. The United Nations, since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Iraq crisis, has more and more assumed the role of a bona fide world government. It seems the people of the world have accepted this with barely a whimper. One of the favorite tools of this United Nations world government is economic sanctions. When resolutions are passed by the UN against a nation and that nation refuses to comply, the first step to force this nation into obedience is to sanction it economically. Economic sanctions have already been employed by the UN many times. At this present time the purchase and sale of Iraqi oil is controlled by the United Nations.

Revelation chapter 13 not only refers to economic sanctions on nations, but also prophesies that, in the last day world government which we are entering right now, economic sanctions will even be used to control the individual. Such a program as was prophesied 2,000 years ago in the book of Revelation has never been possible until the present time. Not until the invention of the computer was the technology even available. With rapid spread of point-of sale terminals, progress toward the prophesied cashless society is right on schedule!

Forces Pushing Us Toward a Cashless Society

The writing of checks and the use of credit cards are very expensive. Paper transactions, on the average, cost banks approximately 75 cents per transaction. A check must be microfilmed on both sides by the recipients bank. It must then be sent to the bank on which it was drawn and again be microfilmed on both sides. Finally, it is mailed back to the writer of the check. A totally electronic transaction, on the other hand, costs on the average of 3 cents per transaction. Some banks conduct as many as one million transactions per day. If all of these were done electronically, an average of 70 cents per transaction could be saved. Seventy cents times 1 million transactions per day would be $700,000 per day that one bank could save. Can you imagine the huge financial savings if you took into account all the banks throughout the country and world?!

There are other severe problems with paper transactions. One-third of the men in Michigan City Prison in the state of Indiana are there for bad check charges. The problem of check verification and the bouncing of checks are continual headaches to the business community. The big corporations of America want to eliminate what we call "float", the time between receiving a customer's check and being able to draw on its deposit. One large corporation has $10 million in float at all times. If all transactions were done electronically, float would be totally eliminated, and this additional capital would immediately become available to those corporations. Credit cards also have their problems. They can be lost or stolen. And they still require the costly involvement of paper because of the needed signature.

Many proponents of a cashless society have pointed out that we could eliminate almost all thievery by moving our economy to a cashless basis. There would simply be no money to steal.

Cashless society would solve the drug problem

The biggest force of all driving us toward the cashless society is the horrible drug trade. The drug industry depends on the use of cash to avoid detection by the law. If there were no cash and all transactions had to done electronically, then immediately the trail of the huge amounts of money involved in the illegal drug trade would become traceable. This argument alone is enough for some people to advocate moving quickly into a cashless society.

Another powerful force in the favor of the cashless society is the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS would love for every single transaction to be done electronically. It has already been projected that soon US citizens will not even have to file tax returns. Once all transactions are done electronically, the government will have the ability to know which transactions are deductible and will be able to figure your taxes for you.

Counterfeiting is one more force driving the economic planners of our nation into considering the cashless society. There would simply be no counterfeiting if all transactions were done electronically. In the day of smart cards, when an amount of money can be entered upon a card for use with your personal identification number (PIN), many people say the days of cash are now numbered.

This all sounds pretty good. So what's the problem?! The Bible says that a person who submits to receiving this number can never be saved? Why is receiving this number so wrong? Simply because verse 15 of Revelation 13 tells us that the condition of receiving your number will that you must worship the world government and its one world dictator. If you do not pledge allegiance to this one world government, then you will not be given your number for buying and selling. You will be placed under personal economic sanction by the new world order. But to worship this image, and to pledge allegiance to this dictator will be an act of idolatry against God himself. Revelation 14:9-11 says "...If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name."

How close are we to the "Mark of the Beast"?

It took from George Washington to 1980, 200 years, to accrue $1 trillion dollars debt for the United States government. From 1980 to 1984 we gathered a second trillion. By 1987 our national debt had climbed to three trillion. By 1991 it was four trillion. So it took 200 years to accumulate $1 trillion dollars indebtedness for the US government, but only eleven short years to accumulate $3 trillion more. We are now moving toward a total debt of $5 trillion dollars! Presently it takes all the income tax revenue collected east of the Mississippi River to pay just the interest on the national debt. That line is moving westward at 300 miles per year. By 1998 every tax dollar in the entire country will be required just to pay the interest on the national debt. There will be no money to run the government. Obviously we will face national bankruptcy long before this occurs.

Why in the world are our political leaders plunging us down the path towards national bankruptcy?! The world planners specialize in creating crisises and then benevolently curing the very crisis which they created. They are planning one world economy as the solution to the financial crisis toward which America is being steadily lead. Do you really think it is an accident that we accrued in eleven years three times as much national indebtedness as it took us 200 years to accumulate before that time?! It is no accident! It is done by deliberate design! We are right now being prepared for the new world economy-a cashless society where every person will be controlled by the computerization of the citizens of the world!

One of the problems in moving toward a paperless, cashless society is the need for positive identification of the individual making the transaction. There has to be a signature unless another means of positive identification can be developed. Several ideas have been tried. One of them is fingerprinting of every individual for every purpose. However, this is costly, and the public does not like it. Another possible method that is in use in some areas is voice recognition. Machines can recognize a person's voice print and identify that person from every person in the world. The technology for this is quite expensive and doesn't seem to hold promise for the worldwide program such as is envisioned.

For some time now certain scientists have wondered if a number could be permanently placed upon the body at birth. This number would be used throughout a person's life. It would become his personal identification number. This is the answer that seems to offer the most promise. In the Successful Farming magazine December 1986 on page B8, there is an article—"Goodbye Texas Cowboy, Hello Computer Cowspotter". I quote, "The computers at a couple of ranches near San Antonio, Texas, don't ride horses, but they can identify each cow in the combined 1,200-head operation better than even the most experienced ranch hand. All cows at Guadeloupe Cattle Company and George McAlister Ranch near New Braunfels and Blanco, Texas, are implanted with micro chips. No larger than a grain of rice, the chips-which are read with a scanner-are inserted under the hide between the nook and pin bones. A few key strokes on a computer and a cow's history appears, including a six-generation pedigree, her calving records, weight ratios and calf performance, physical characteristics and health history. If she is bred, given shots, branded, or calves, the action is recorded using a computer program called Herd-Soft." The insertion of a computer chip under the skin is also being used for pets in many places in the country. If your pet is lost name, phone number, the pet's name and its entire medical history are immediately known with the mere wave of a laser beam.

An article entitled, "Food Stamp Benefits Go Electronic" appeared in the Richmond Palladium-Item, December 21, 1991. It said, "Card-carrying customers simply slide them through a machine at the cashier checkout and enter an identification number on a keypad. The cash register then tells the machine the size of the bill, and that amount is subtracted from the customer's monthly food subsidy. The store is credited for the purchase. Card holders can only spend what they're allocated. These are the new smart cards being used by the welfare system here in the United States.

In Good Housekeeping magazine, April 1989, an article explaining difficulties with bank cards and personal identification numbers said, "Bank cards and PIN's will soon be a thing of the past (maybe within two years), as new cash machines that identify you by your fingerprints or the blood vein pattern in your hands come into use!"

In The Wall Street Journal, August 27, 1992 the following note appeared, "Frequent Fliers, lend a hand, requests the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Next month, it will give out forms at John F. Kennedy and Newark international airports for foreign and U.S. travelers willing to join a test program for faster processing of arriving passengers. It will use infrared hand scans to help confirm the identity of travelers."

In Newsweek, July 31, 1989 we read this about the use of Smart cards for the welfare program, "The U.S. Department of Agriculture will soon launch a pilot program to issue food stamps as smart cards. Each recipient would receive a card programmed with a month's worth of benefit dollars, along with a personal identification number. The shopper would plug the card into a store's computer terminal, which would verify his identity and subtract the purchase from the card's memory chip. The smart cards would stamp out black-market and counterfeit food stamps, as well as eliminate cumbersome paperwork. Smart Cards are already on duty at the Marine Corps Parris Island training base in South Carolina. On payday recruits receive chip based cards rather than cash. When a marine makes a purchase on base, he plugs the card into a small terminal, and the sum is automatically deducted from his pay. The base is in fact a cashless economy; even the telephones take smart cards."

The most bone chilling article of all comes from Reader Digest, November 1976, "Coming Soon: Electronic Money" by Ronald Schiller. In this article he explains all the benefits of the cashless society. His closing paragraph is the most startling: "In this new totally electronic age, the enforcement of financial obligations will present few difficulties, since failure to pay up could be disastrous. The culprit might even be forced to undergo what Electronic Fund Transfer men call 'plastic surgery'—the cutting off of his bank cards. Economically speaking, this would make him a non-person. If there is no cash, and if an individual's right to trade is suspended by putting a hold on his account in a computer system, this article says that person would economically become a non-person. This sounds startlingly like Revelation chapter 13-without the number a person will not be able to buy or sell! And if an individual's ability to buy and sell could be suspended for not paying his bills, could it also be suspended for refusing to embrace the New World Order and its conflict resolving one world religion?!

It is absolutely amazing that a prophecy written 2,000 years ago could foresee the time that such a computerized program could be introduced. Never before in the history of the world has such an electronic cashless society been possible. We can credit these intricate prophetic fulfillments to coincidence it we so choose. But Jesus said in Luke 21:28, "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."