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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Are Credit Cards Associated with the Mark of the Beast?

In the book of Revelation, there is a discussion of an individual who will become a world dictator, ruler of a domain that looks very similar to the old Roman Empire. This individual is called the "living creature," or the "beast." The Bible tells us he has a number: 666 (see Revelation 13:11-18).

Six is the biblical number of humanity. It is one less than perfection. The man whose number is 666 will lead humanity's revolt against God. There are some who feel that Nero could have been that man whose number is 666, and various other names have also been put forward as that person. But Revelation says that, when he comes onto the scene, he will have such dominance that no one can buy or sell without taking his mark, either on the forehead--which indicates will--or on the hand--which indicates action.

So, how will that mark come to be accepted? There are a couple of possibilities. Today we have developed devices called smart cards. These are tiny credit cards that have a microchip implanted in them. They can be put through a card reader at a store that will reveal a person's entire credit history, including the amount of his bank account. The person's transaction in the store can be sent back to a central bank and one master account can then be kept in a computer.

Now there is also the SWIFT system, which means Society of World-wide Interfunds Transfers, headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. It ties together about seven hundred major banking systems around the world. Every day, hundreds of billions of dollars in bank transactions are processed by this vast world-wide computer network. Clearly, mankind now has the technology to link up virtually all the credit in the entire civilized world from the local retail outlet right through to the international banking center.

So, it would not be too difficult, technologically, to move from the smart card to a microchip implanted in the hand. This could be read by a laser-type device that would in turn be connected to a master computer. This could lead to a time when there would be no need for cash or checks: Everything would be done by computer. With these developments, it becomes easy to see how the world may be controlled.

Banks are moving in the direction of ever more efficiency with the advent of so-called "transaction cards." These are not charge cards, but they debit an account immediately. As a charge is made, they immediately subtract the money from the bank account. This entire electronic funds transfer system is gaining momentum in the drive toward a checkless, cashless society. This society will not necessarily occur, but it certainly is technologically possible, and could easily fulfill what Revelation says: That people could not buy or sell without the mark of the Beast.

Of course, with all our discussion of technology, we should never lose sight of the deeper implications of the "mark of the beast." The forehead signifies volition, while the hand signifies action. Together, they indicate a willing spiritual acceptance of a satanic being (or system) that has been put forward against God and in place of Jesus Christ. Nothing short of this would lead a just God to send these people to be "tormented with fire and brimstone" as we are warned by Revelation 14:9-11.

Excerpt taken from Answers to 200 of Life's Most Probing Questions, Copyright 1984 by Pat Robertson. 

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