Financial Signs of the End-Times / Program 2
| January 25, 2014 |
|By: Dr. David Jeremiah; ©2011|
|In Revelation, we are told concerning the Antichrist and the False Prophet, “He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had that mark.” In this session, we’re going to talk about, “Is the technology available right now to fulfill this prophecy if the Antichrist and the False Prophet came on the scene?” Further, the escalating disparity of wealth continues to drive large numbers of people in our world into a state of dependence that both shows how many would submit themselves to a global leader who would promise food and peace, along with the centralization of wealth into the hands of a few as predicted in Scripture. In this program, we’ll look at some of these technologies and global issues relevant to this issue. As we do, you’ll see that what the Bible predicts could take place in our world today more easily than ever before in history.|
- Announcer: Nations across North Africa and the Middle East are erupting in bloodshed and revolution. Japan continues to confront its largest crisis since WWII. And America’s economy, along with the economies of the world, stand on the verge of crisis. Just a few months ago, President Obama’s bi-partisan Debt Commission warned in its report: America faces staggering deficits. This coming year, for every dollar the US Government plans to spend, it will have to borrow 40 cents to do so. Interest on the debt could rise to nearly $1trillion by 2020 – just 8 years from now. And by 2025, our total revenue will be able to finance only four things: the interest payments on our debt; Medicare; Medicaid; and Social Security. Every other Federal Government activity, from National Defense and Homeland Security to transportation and energy, will have to be paid for with borrowed money. Is the world stage being set for the end-time events the biblical prophets predicted? Are we beginning to see a world-wide, economic Armageddon? My guest today is Dr. David Jeremiah, Senior Pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, CA; and founder and speaker of the popular radio and television ministry, Turning Point. We invite you to join us for this special edition of the John Ankerberg Show.
- Ankerberg: Welcome to our program. We’ve got a great one for you today. We’re talking with Dr. David Jeremiah, the Senior Pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, CA. Most of you know him as the founder and speaker on Turning Point, the popular television and radio program that’s heard around the world. And we’re talking about the financial signs of the end-times. And today we’re going to talk about the Mark of the Beast. I’d like you to listen to what Scripture says as we introduce this topic. The Antichrist and especially the False Prophet in Revelation, it’s said about them, “He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or forehead, so that no one could buy or sell, unless he had that mark. Now, what we’re going to talk about today is: Is the technology available right now, that could fulfill this prophecy, if the Antichrist and the False Prophet came on the scene? David, your answer is yes. You have some mind-blowing information in your chapter on this. Talk about the new technology.
- Jeremiah: Well, John, I think everybody knows some of this and has experienced some of it. One of the interesting things is that October 7, 2010 was the 58th anniversary of the bar code – that rectangular set of black lines that you see on a white background that appears on everything you purchase; that you run under the scanner when you go to the grocery store these days. It’s officially known as the Universal Product Code and it was actually invented by a couple of guys not too far away from where I grew up in Troy, Ohio, going back to 1974. It’s just one of the illustrations of the way that products and people can be marked.
- In fact the RFID, which is the Radio Frequency Identification, is becoming even more widespread. It’s a tiny microchip that is used to keep track of products in shipment and the movement of people. These chips are everywhere, usually unseen because of their tiny size.
- Ankerberg: Yeah. Talk about how small they are and how actually it’s being used today.
- Jeremiah: Well, the size is really interesting because someone has said they’re as small as a grain of rice. And the technology is now available to use those to implant these chips under the human skin. Some of it is being used to track older people who may have Alzheimer’s and have a tendency to walk away; they’re using them in pets so that they can locate pets and keep control of them; it’s also used for emergency workers and soldiers and others to make identification possible as a last resort.
- Ankerberg: In fact, David, in 2004 the FDA actually approved the rice grain-sized RFID microchip for implanting under the skin of humans to provide personal information in emergency situations. Now this came up, actually, after 9/11.
- Jeremiah: Yeah, that’s right.
- Ankerberg: Talk about that.
- Jeremiah: What happened was, the terrible things that happened during 9/11; we remember: the New York policemen and firemen were making tremendous sacrifices. And when they would get caught in a situation where they couldn’t get out or their bodies were destroyed, they were trying to figure out a way so that identification could be made. And as a means of ensuring their own identification many of them wrote their badge numbers on their bodies. An enterprising American company came along and saw that and realized there was a need for some sort of positive identification, and they came up with this system.
- Ankerberg: And so it has been there so that if situations like that happen again you can identify people. But it’s even gone beyond that.
- Jeremiah: You know what, John? One of the things that’s interesting to me is I don’t think most of us realize how much information they can store on that little grain. I mean, they can store your entire financial history; you could walk through the checkout lane in a grocery store and if you put your hand under the censor, they could know whether you have any money in your account, whether you can pay for this, whether you’ve had any bad checks. It’s mind-boggling.
- Ankerberg: Let’s bring that back to the Bible. The Bible predicted over 1900 years ago where we’re at today; we’re coming into this whole time period where you can do this. We actually have the technology. What does that tell you?
- Jeremiah: Well I’ve got to tell you this: I’ve been preaching prophecy for almost 40 years, and when I first read this 40 years ago I would preach it out of obedience to God with the thought, “you know what? I hope nobody asks me about this because I have no idea how this could ever happen.” But now when I preach it and I’m reading the paper and I’m seeing all of this, I realize this is a word from God. And it is only attributable to God. In fact I love this passage of Scripture in Isaiah that says, “I am God and there is no other declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things that are not yet done; saying, Moreover, my counsel shall stand and I shall do my good pleasure.” The Bible tells us that only God could predict something that far in advance and now we’re living in a time we’re seeing some of that being fulfilled.
- Ankerberg: Let’s jump to the question that people say: “Well listen, if I’m a Christian and I’m going to be raptured before the Tribulation when all this stuff is really put into effect, why do I have to worry about this?”
- Jeremiah: I hear that question all the time, John. It’s almost like, “Hey, I’m out of here, so if it happens to everybody else, who cares?” Well the “everybody else” of course includes people that we care about, people that we love. None of them we want to go through this. Obviously the best thing we can do for them is to get them saved and take them to heaven with us. But what this means is I should be concerned about it because as we see these things approaching it means our time for ministry, our time for opportunity is getting smaller and smaller. And if that doesn’t light our fire in terms of the urgency of the Gospel, I don’t know what will.
- Ankerberg: Yeah, let’s back up. Some people might not even know why Christians are “out of here.” We’re talking about the Rapture. What is the Rapture and when is it supposed to happen?
- Jeremiah: The Bible tells us that there’s coming a day when the Lord Jesus Christ is going to come back to this Earth and take with him back to heaven – actually, He’s coming in the clouds. The Bible says “those of us who are alive and remain are going to be caught up together with Him and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” The Bible clearly teaches that the Lord Jesus Christ has provided a way to take us to heaven before the Tribulation on this Earth takes place. I know now everybody is not going to agree with my interpretation of this. I always tell them not to worry about it because they’ll get it right on the way up. But the truth is, He’s coming back to get His own and then tribulation is going to break out on this Earth. So as we see these signs of the Tribulation happening, they remind us that before the Tribulation can happen the Rapture will take place. So if we have brothers and sisters and loved ones who don’t know the Lord, we want them to go to heaven with us, we’d better seriously be about telling them the story of the Gospel and the message of Christ.
- Ankerberg: Yeah, it’s like after the Rapture, then the Tribulation is going to take place. What that means is what?
- Jeremiah: Well that means that The Mark of the Beast is going to be instituted about midway through the Tribulation, which means just before the middle period. It’s about three years. So if that’s true, and the Rapture takes place immediately before the Tribulation, and the Rapture is eminent (which means it could happen at any time), these events we’re talking about – the identification of individuals for the purpose of commerce – we could be within a four-year window of that actually taking place on Planet Earth.
- Ankerberg: I guess what we’re saying, David, is that these events are real and we’re seeing the technology in place that fulfills this prophecy, or that could make this prophecy actually come true. All we’re waiting for is that leader to come on the scene and it tells us the Rapture could happen at any moment. Let’s talk about what the Bible actually teaches us about who is going to do what in the Tribulation. Where is this originated? Who makes it work; puts it into operational form?
- Jeremiah: Well, John, the interesting thing about this is that as you study prophecy you see some similarities that are there. Satan is the great imitator, so God has a Trinity – Satan wants a trinity. We have the holy Trinity and the “unholy trinity.” The holy Trinity is the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit: The unholy trinity is Satan, the Antichrist and the False Prophet. Interestingly enough, in this whole issue of the Mark of the Beast, all 3 members of the unholy trinity are involved: Satan is the originator and the False Prophet manages it all in his behalf, and the second Beast comes along and participates in it, as well. So, as we look down the road at the future, what we see is Revelation 13:2 says: “The dragon (Satan) gave the beast his power and his throne and his great authority.” Satan energizes the Antichrist and the Antichrist, then using the False Prophet, sets up this monetary system and reigns over the earth. Satan’s longstanding desire is to be worshiped like the Most High. So he originates this program; ultimately his purpose in doing so is that he might ultimately be worshiped by all the inhabitants of the Earth. He is a counterfeiter; he’s a copycat; and just as God is worshiped, he wishes to be worshiped. Just as the Holy Sprit brings glory to Jesus Christ, the False Prophet is brought into position so that he can bring glory to Satan. The Mark of the Beast is simply a way to force people to worship someone out of fear.
- Ankerberg: Yeah. They’re going to have to worship the Antichrist. And one of the ways that he’s going to know about it is he’s got this control system…
- Jeremiah: Right.
- Ankerberg: If you worship the Antichrist then you get the mark.
- Jeremiah: Right.
- Ankerberg: If you don’t want to worship the Antichrist you’re not going to get the mark, but then you can’t buy anything.
- Jeremiah: I know we’ve got a break coming up, but after the break I want to talk about how the false prophet orchestrates all of this, because Satan’s the originator but the False Prophet is the orchestrator.
- Ankerberg: Alright, folks. Stick with us. We’ll be right back
- Ankerberg: Alright, we’re back. We’re talking with Dr. David Jeremiah and we’re talking about this fantastic prophecy that is in the Bible, in the book of Revelation, about the Mark of the Beast. You’ve heard it in movies; people have made fun about this; but now it’s getting a little scary because we’re actually seeing the technology come about to fulfill this verse: “He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or forehead so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark.” Summarize, David, where we have been coming from in terms of the technology and where we’re going here with what the Bible says.
- Jeremiah: John, what we’ve learned is, first of all, that Satan is the originator of this. And in the process of this we’re watching the technology of today is catching up with this prophecy. We now have the ability, literally, the ability to mark every individual on planet Earth with some sort of identification mark that would enable the False Prophet to implement this plan. Because while Satan is the originator, the False Prophet is the orchestrator – he’s the one that manages it. Interesting: the False Prophet is a religious character and he manages this economic crisis in behalf of the Antichrist.
- Ankerberg: David, this matches what the Bible says all the way through. Explain what the plan is; how it’s going to be orchestrated by Satan, the Antichrist and the False Prophet.
- Jeremiah: Well he’s going to demand that everyone take this mark in his forehead or in his hand; those who refuse to do it will not be allowed to buy or sell or transact any business whatsoever. It’s like if you have a family and you would go to the grocery store, and you’re going through the checkout place, if you don’t have that mark they won’t let you out – they won’t let you buy the food. So you will be hard-pressed to be able to care for your family. Many people believe that one of the ways this will play out is that hundreds of thousands of people will starve to death because they won’t take the mark. They’ll starve to death in their loyalty to Jesus Christ. And this evil person, the False Prophet, is going to do this. And the Bible talks about him, John, as a man who looks like a lamb and speaks like a dragon. He’s going to really be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He’s going to be a very deceitful person. At least at the beginning, like so many tyrants – like Hitler and others – he’s going to convince them that this is in their best interest, only after he has them, to turn it on them and use it to brutalize them as many tyrants have in the past.
- Ankerberg: Yeah. Let’s talk a little bit about the Antichrist here. People sometimes make fun of this term. And we’re really talking, in Biblical terms, about a political leader that’s got charisma, that can put groups together, gets power, has got key answers in terms of the economy. And you can see that our world is looking for that kind of a person. What else does the Bible say about the Antichrist?
- Jeremiah: He’s going to be an incredible orator – the best the world has ever seen. He’s going to have a charismatic personality – he will be able to persuade people to follow him. In the beginning people are going to say, “Oh, this is what we’ve been looking for. This man has…” He will have all of the answers immediately.
- Ankerberg: Alright, so you’ve got the description of the Antichrist, then the Bible gives us this description and talks about the deeds of the False Prophet. Why did he pick a religious leader? Why is this False Prophet a religious leader?
- Jeremiah: Well, he gives this False Prophet the power to work miracles, which appeals to that mentality. And the False Prophet then uses these miracles… and he has incredible power. I mean he’s given the power to do some things that are incredible – like calling down fire from heaven which aligns him with Elijah, of the Old Testament. I really believe that he’s given this power by Satan so that he might deceive the people into following him. And he literally does that; he is a great deceiver.
- Ankerberg: I was thinking about this fellow going on TV. And if he could say, “Folks, I’ll tell you what: While you’re watching I’m just going to count down from 3-2-1 and when I do I’m going to snap my fingers and all of you who are watching, you’re going to have a wonderful experience.” And the first day he did this and all of a sudden people are seeing colors and hearing music and you’re getting all kinds of these experiences. And he says, “I’ll tell you what. Thanks for being with me today, and tune in tomorrow. Talk about this to your friends.” The audience grows the next day and the next day. And you get a person that through demonic control can give experiences to people. This has happened in cult groups in our own country; where people come into the presence of a cult leader and they’re all of a sudden “tripping out” and having these wonderful experiences. I think you’ve got these kinds of miracles where people feel it. If people feel it, if people experience it, they’re going to say “Well, that’s real. That’s got to be true.” These are false miracles. They’re leading to false conclusions.
- Jeremiah: And here’s the thing we don’t want to lose sight of: the False Prophet doesn’t do this for his own benefit. Like the fact that the Holy Spirit was given to us as a way to glorify Christ, the False Prophet was ordained for the purpose of glorifying the Antichrist. So guess what? He uses this new-found power, wrought from his miracles, to deceive the people into building an image – a statue of some sort of an idol – for the Antichrist, which the people are going to worship.
- Ankerberg: Yeah, he makes it talk too.
- Jeremiah: He does. He’s able to make the image talk. I believe this is what the Bible refers to when it talks about the “abomination of desolation.” This image is set up in the holy place of the temple, desecrating the temple. That’s when that agreement that was made with Israel is broken and all hell breaks out on the Earth.
- Ankerberg: Talk about that agreement for just a moment. This is something that the Antichrist does and it starts the Tribulation. What is it?
- Jeremiah: He comes to Israel and he says, “You’ve been under such stress with all your neighbors. Let me take that off the table for you. I will protect you. If you will trust me you will never have to worry about that again.” I believe when that happens, Israel lays down their arms; they go back to building the wealth of their country. The Bible refers to that time as Israel with un-walled villages, which means they no longer are protected. They set themselves up in this vulnerability, believing that this man is going to care for them, and in three-and-a-half years after they’re situated in a passive state he breaks the covenant and he becomes a tyrannical, brutal leader, especially over the Jewish people.
- Ankerberg: David, I’m going to ask you the question that everybody wants to know about – this number, 6-6-6, the Mark of the Beast. What in the world is that?
- Jeremiah: Well, John, I’ll tell you what it is: it’s the number you don’t want in your address; it’s the number you don’t want in your license plate; you don’t want it in your phone number. And the reason for that is that it long has carried with it a sense of sober, awesome danger because the Bible uses that number to describe the Mark of the Beast. Now if you ask me do I know exactly what that means, the answer is no.
- But here’s what I do know. Six is the number of man; it’s a number of incompleteness. The Mark of the Beast represents everything that man can do that falls short of what God can do – God’s a seven; man’s a six. And this number is going to be used to intimidate the people of the world. And those who do not allow this number to be placed on their body will not be allowed to live. And John, here’s the thing I think we ought to remember. We’re talking to many Christians today. Maybe they’re wondering, do I have to worry about the mark? No. Remember, the mark happens in the middle of the Tribulation. But here’s the question I want to pose today: If you did have to make that decision – either to take a mark that preserves your physical well-being or not to take it and be loyal to Jesus Christ – what would you do? That’s the question.
- And you know there was a time in the past when some guys faced that kind of a question. We know them as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who refused to worship the king as they were required to do; they were drug before the king and they were reported and they got in a lot of trouble. They heard his words of fury and anger, and he promised them that they would be burned in the fiery furnace for their act of rebellion. And I want to read, in closing today, the speech these three men made and let it be an example for all of us. Here’s what they said: “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that be the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king.” Here’s the part I like: “But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the golden image which you have set up.” And I want to say, “Go boys! Amen!” And I pray to God that if I were ever put in that spot I would have the courage to do what they did.
- Ankerberg: We need to think about that, folks. Is that where we’re at right now? Are we standing true in just the little things, at the office and at school and with our neighbors? Are we true Christians in every way? We might not be facing what they faced or what some of the folks up ahead are going to face, but right now God wants us to be faithful in the situation that we’re in.
- Jeremiah: Amen.
- Ankerberg: Now, folks, next week David’s going to talk about something that you won’t want to miss. It’s this: What are the five financial signs of the end-times? When I read this I thought, “I’ve got to get him to do this.” You won’t want to miss it. Join us next week.