The Future Foretold: Are You Ready?

The growing threat to privacy worldwide!

By Kevin McDonald

       Many of us have heard the phrase that there are only two guarantees in life: death and taxes. A third one — the use of technology -- can be added to that list when one looks at the explosion of the Internet, the availability of wireless devices and the development of smart cards. The Internet has made it possible to access information and buy goods from the comfort of your home. The cell phone has made it easier to keep in contact with co-workers, friends and family. And smart cards are revolutionizing the way millions conduct financial transactions.

Advances in technology have definitely made our world a much smaller place. But where will it take us in the 21st century? The use of today’s high-tech wonders will play a major role in creating a world government that will give unprecedented power and control over every man, woman and child. The days of pledging allegiance to the American flag will one day give way to a New World Order in which every nation will be under a 10-region totalitarian regime controlled by a global dictator.

The phrase “Big Brother is watching you” will have new meaning once every type of surveillance equipment imaginable is used to fine-tune this oppressive regime. If that scenario seems impossible, look no further than Echelon, a network of supercomputers and satellites run by the U.S. National Security Agency  (NSA). This machine has the capabilities of eavesdropping on all electronic communications worldwide -- faxes, telephone calls, e-mails…you name it.  If you’ve ever seen the movie “Enemy of the State” with Will Smith and Gene Hackman, that is only the tip of the iceberg of what government can do.

This functioning world government will take place during the seven-year tribulation after the rapture of true believers in Christ Jesus. The rapture is when people literally vanish from the Earth as they are called up to the clouds to meet the Son of God in the air. Those left behind still have a chance for eternal salvation through Jesus, but many will endure horrible deaths once the judgments are released. The judgments, which are detailed later, are a result of this Godless world system.

It’s very difficult to envision a world in where all nations pay homage to a world ruler. But the Bible clearly states that such a government will form and rule the Earth before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

What the Bible Says

In the book of Daniel, chapter 7, verses 23-25, it states:

…The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise; and another shall rise after them, and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the most High and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws…

The book of Revelation in the New Testament also speaks about the future world government in Daniel. In chapter 17, verses 12 and 13, it states:

“And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.”

We Christians refer to this global dictator as the Antichrist, and he will be a smooth-talking, charismatic ruler who will seem to have all the answers for lasting peace. The 10 kings will receive his or her orders from the Antichrist, but three will rise against him and be defeated. 

The Role of the United Nations 

At this point in time no one knows whom the Antichrist or the 10 kings/presidents will be, but these people are probably alive today. Whether or not the United Nations will be used to usher in this regime is still up in the air. However, it’s interesting to note a comment from Kofi Annan in his address to Heads of state and Presidents at the 2000 UN Millennium Summit in New York. Annan is the UN Secretary-General.

We live in a world that is interconnected as never before - one in which groups and individuals interact more and more directly across State (national) frontiers, often without involving the State at all…The overarching challenge of our times is to make globalization (to) mean more than bigger markets. To make a success of this great upheaval, we must learn how to govern better, and - above all - how to govern better together. We need to make our States stronger and more effective at the national level. And we need to get them working together on global issues - all pulling their weight and all having their say…

No one can deny the impact technology is having on the globalization of business. The European Internet Economy is projected to be a $1.2 trillion market by 2004, according to a study from the Gartner Group. Meanwhile, business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce transactions in the United States are expected to grow from 138 billion in 1999 to more than $541 billion by 2003, according to the Yankee Group. Many of these exchanges are across national boundaries. As more businesses look beyond their country’s borders to meet profit expectations, it’s only a matter of time before the world’s economic and political entities are merged into one. 

The call for global governance has also been mentioned by some of the nation’s political leaders and media moguls. Remember Walter Cronkite, the former anchor of the CBS Nightly News for 19 years? Cronkite envisions the “United Nations as a first step toward a world government patterned after our own government with a legislature, executive and judiciary, and police to enforce its international laws and keep the peace.” That comment was from a speech given at a UN conference in 1999.

The United Nations was formed during World War II in 1945 to preserve peace and promote humanitarian efforts through international cooperation. The UN claims that it’s not a world government with any power to make laws. But the UN continues to sign and ratify treaties that are slowly eroding the sovereignty of the United States. As the saying goes, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…guess what?

In no way am I implying that Annan is the Antichrist. Whoever the Antichrist will be, he will have total control of the world’s political and economic systems. He will even issue a decree that will require every person to accept a mark in his or her right hand or forehead to buy or sell.

The Mark 

For those who don’t accept the mark as a commitment to the New World Order, they will be killed. In Revelation chapter 13, 16-18, it states:

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 (666).

Notice the wording: a mark is given in, not on, their right hand or forehead, which clearly alludes to something going into one’s flesh, although a visible mark is highly likely.  How close are we to a cashless global monetary system? The European Union officially launched its own currency in January 1999 called the Euro. Currently, all Euro transactions are electronic, but Euro notes and coins are expected to start circulating in the 15-nation union by January 2002. 

Robert Mundell, a 1999 Nobel Laureate and economics professor at Columbia University in New York, who helped establish the Euro, says the European currency came about from a political stimulus of German unification. For a one-world currency to take root, he says it would have to be an offshoot from a dictatorship or world empire and not democracy. Whether Mundell knows anything about Bible prophecy is a moot point, but his support for a global monetary system falls right in line with the prophetic scriptures of the Antichrist’s dominance of the world’s economy.

Unfortunately, the support for globalization is gathering steam faster than Marion Jones on the track field.  In our neck of the woods, more than four out of 10 Americans favor a currency similar to the Euro for the United States, Mexico and Canada, according to a survey from Coinstar, a coin counting and e-services company. The study went on to say that Americans are becoming more accepting of a global economy. 

Like the countless mergers that continue to make headlines, it’s not far-fetched for all currencies of the world to merge into one. Proponents of a worldwide single currency believe that it would make it easier to compare prices and reduce transaction costs from one country to the next. Eventually, this global government will have the means to track every purchase an individual makes by doing away with cash and coins.

A cashless society is not hard to fathom when you consider the millions of Americans who have direct deposit and use debit cards. It’s much easier to pay for goods and services with a plastic card than fumbling through your wallet or pocketbook for dollar bills and loose change. Thanks to smart cards, which look like a credit card but carry 100 times more information, financial transactions are becoming even easier. These cards are embedded with a microchip that will soon be able to tally your frequent flyer miles, let you on a subway and even unlock the doors to your house or hotel room. 

Doing away with cash has other benefits as well. A cashless society would eliminate billions of counterfeit dollars in circulation, 7-Eleven-type robberies and the black market. For the sake of security, safety and efficiency, this sounds very appealing on the surface, but it will lead to increased surveillance and ultimately the “Mark of the Beast” prophesized in Revelation. 

The technology for such a mark is here -- a microchip the size of a grain of rice – and it is already being used to track pets.  All it takes are slight modifications to make microchip implants a permanent smart card that cannot be lost or stolen. In fact, an article in Time magazine a few years ago hinted at the use of an implant that could be inserted underneath the skin to buy or sell. Whichever the method, one thing is certain -- acceptance of the mark will eternally doom one’s soul to Hell.

The Antichrist will claim to bring unimaginable peace, but he will be a wolf in sheep’s clothing on a mission to usurp God’s authority and destroy man. A world government from a biblical perspective spells unspeakable horror for those left behind after the rapture.

The Judgments in the Tribulation

After the rapture, a series of judgments will bombard the planet to punish hardened sinners and give them a final chance to repent and accept Jesus. These judgments will take place during the tribulation, and they will be unlike anything man has ever experienced since the beginning of time. They include:

· ¼ of the world’s population in the beginning of this period will die from war, disease, famine and wild animals. 
· Persecution and mass killings of those who accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
· Hail and fire mingled with blood will rain down on earth. 1/3 of the grass and trees will burn up.
· 1/3 of the ocean will become blood and 1/3 of freshwater poisonous. (During the Great Tribulation, which is the last 3 ½ years, all of the earth’s waters will become blood. The planet will be without drinking water.
·  Locusts from the pit of hell will ascend unto earth and torture men without the seal of God on their foreheads for five months. In those days men will want to die, but won’t. 
· A grievous sore will fall upon those who receive the “Mark of the Beast.”
· People will be scorched with great heat from the sun.

Check out these Bible verses about the rapture: I Thessalonians chapter 4, 14-17; I Corinthians chapter 15, 51-54 and Matthew 24, 38-44.  To read more about the tribulation period, read the entire book of Revelation. The first three chapters are Jesus’ instructions to the seven churches while the remainder of the book details the tribulation period, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, the Great White Throne of Judgment and a new heaven and new earth with streets of pure gold! 

Watch and Pray

No one knows when these events will take place, but one thing is certain: we are living in the last days. The signs are all around us. The globalization of business, the expansion of the European Union, the gathering of world leaders at the 2000 United Nations Millennium Summit, and increases in criminal activity and deviant behavior all point toward an apocalyptic ending to life as we know it.

No one would argue against the need to reduce crime, protect the environment, eliminate war and assure the equality of every individual – goals touted by The United Nations.  But the problem is that Jesus is nowhere in the equation when it comes to its efforts in promoting the common good for every man, woman and child. Man cannot bring about lasting peace on his own. That statement doesn’t go over well with adherents of other religious faiths who have rejected Jesus Christ as the Son of God, but it’s the truth. And sometimes the truth hurts. 

Since the beginning of time, Satan, the archenemy of God, has deceived millions of people through false religions, atheism and human secularism. Jesus warned his disciples of such deception in the Mount of Olives after they inquired about the signs of his coming (Matthew 24: 4-5, 24). 

Deception is Satan’s greatest weapon against God. Think about it: it was Satan’s deceptive speech that convinced Adam and Eve to eat of the fruit, which drove them from paradise, and it was Satan’s deceptive presence in Judas that caused him to betray Jesus before he was crucified. Today, many people are deceived into believing that the Bible is no longer relevant in our society, or that being a “good” person is all it takes to go to Heaven. Before our Lord and Savior’s return, Satan will deceive many into following a Godless world system. 

Wherever there’s deception, there is either a lack of knowledge or a rejection of it. And what you don’t know can kill you. In Hosea, chapter 4 verse 6, God says that “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee…”

A true discernment of events and issues in our society comes from knowing and studying God’s word. Despite the gloomy forecast of life as we know it, there is hope: Jesus Christ! If you don’t know him -- the Son of God, the Prince of Peace, King of Kings and Lord of Lords -- ask him to come into your life and forgive you of your sins. Believe in his name. He is the only way to eternal salvation. 

If you are a Christian, now is the time more than ever to spread the gospel to as many people as you can. Educate yourself and stay abreast on what’s really going on in the world. He is coming back soon for his people. The signs of the end are all around us. Are you ready?

Reference Web sites:

Bible Prophecy

God's Simple Plan