Revelation 042 – Coming Surveillance Society

Dr. Andy Woods | Jun 16, 2019 | Revelation 13:16-18 | Revelation

Andy Woods

The Coming Surveillance Society        6-16-19

Revelation 13:16-18    Lesson 42

A very happy Father’s Day to you.   Let’s take our Bibles this morning if we could and open them to the Book of Revelation, chapter 13, looking this morning at verses 16-18 which are probably the most famous (or infamous I should say) in the entire Book of Revelation.  In fact, most people who know almost nothing about the Bible or nothing about the Book of Revelation, for whatever reason, are very, very familiar with these verses that we’re looking at this morning, as we have entitled our message The Coming Surveillance Society.   Sorry I couldn’t come up with a more politically correct subject on Father’s Day but that’s the price you pay when you go through the Bible verse by verse.

Just to remind you where we are in the big picture of the book, the trumpet judgments have been sounded with trumpet number seven there is a legal transfer that is occurring as the kingdom of this world is becoming the kingdom of our God “and of His Christ.”  [Revelation 11;15, “Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.”]

Satan, of course, doesn’t like that.  He’s not going to take that lying down and so we come to chapters 12-14 which is sort of a stop in the chronology.  Basically it’s there to show us Satan’s counter move.  Satan has enjoyed running the world all of these centuries and he’s not allowed to [can’t understand word] what Christ established His kingdom on the earth so he moves into high gear in Revelation 12 to destroy the instrument, Israel, through which the kingdom will come.

From Revelation 12 we move into Revelation 13 where we run into the two human beings that Satan is using during this terrible time period, the two beasts.  The first beast is sort of a political ruler, as we have talked about.  And we have been studying this second beast, an equally diabolical religious leader.  And we’ve looked at many, many facets related to this second beast and this morning we are talking about one of the most interesting things the Bible predicts is the economic system headed up by this beastly system.

It’s sort of depressing in a way but in another way it’s sort of invigorating how realistic the Bible is in terms of showing us exactly what the holds for planet earth without God.  If you don’t want God then you get the consequences and the consequence is this diabolical cashless economic surveillance type of society.  And notice our three part outline, we have the Global economy in verse 16a; a global numbering system in verses 16b-17, and then when we get to verse 18 we get information about the Beast’s own number that he will  have to have to participate in the system.  And this is why people on planet earth living during this terrible time (and I don’t plan on being here, I don’t know about you) but they will know exactly who the beast is and I’ll show you that through a numbering system.

But notice first of all verse 16, the coming global economy.  Look, if you will, at the first part of verse 16, “And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, ]to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead.” Now notice this word all.  You say what does all mean… well, I think all means all!  All means every single human being on planet earth during this terrible time period and just to make it clear that all means all you have described there in verse 16 six classes of people.

Robert Mounce, in his Commentary on the Book of Revelation, says this concerning this verse.  “Such a coupling of opposites as a way of stressing the totality of human society.  John mentions here six classes of people from the cultural, social and economic categories.”  And  he gives the outer edges of each category.  “The outer edges of the social category, the outer edge of the cultural category, the outer edges of the economic category.  The Bible is very clear that this system that’s coming will cover every single human being.  No one will be exempt unless they go underground and receive great persecution.  This, of course, fits very well with other verses of the Bible which tell us that the antichrist in this terrible time period will have set up over the entire  planet a one-world government.”  Those verses, if you look them all up individually would reveal that to you. And you can’t have a one-world government unless you have a one-world economy.

And you can’t have a one-world government unless  you have a one-world religious system. The one-world religious system is going to be revealed in Revelation 17.  The one-world economy is revealed here in these verses, verses 16-18.  [Revelation 13:16-18, “And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, ]to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, [17]  and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. [18]  Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is [n]six hundred and sixty-six.”]

And I’m going to show you a few things today that perhaps you don’t want to see. I really don’t like talking about these things either, believe it or not, but they are very clear to me stage setting things, stage setting events, preparing our world for this system that I think is just on the horizon.  Jesus rebuked the religious leaders of His day and He said this:  “Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky,” Matthew 16:3, “but you cannot discern the signs of the time.”  [Matthew 16:3, “’And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times?”]

He rebuked them because they could understand weather patterns, “red sky in the morning, sailor take warning,” they understood that but they did not understand prophetically the season that they were in.  And I think that that rebuke could easily apply to the modern day Christian who under­stands all kinds  of information, they know how to pick socks, they know how to get their kids into the best schools, they know how to make money, they know how to buy low and sell high, and they know all kinds of information about sports and statics and baseball and basketball.  And you ask them what are some of the signs of the present age that are setting the stage for the end time and they will tell you absolutely nothing; they know very little about it.

I think there are more signs for the second coming of Christ than there are the first coming of Christ and consequently I think our accountability is even higher to understand the signs of the times.  We have an eschatological model that we follow here.  We believe there’s coming upon the earth a tribulation period of seven years.  The way it’s described the tribulation period can’t just come into existence in a nanosecond, the stage has to be set properly for it, and so we think this: if the stage is being set for the coming tribulation period, including this information about the one-world economy, then the tribulation period must be very close.  And if the rapture of the church precedes the tribulation period (and it does) then the rapture is coming even faster.  You see that?

You look at these signs that are happening and the clouds of darkness that are enveloping the earth and you say to yourself the tribulation is coming very fast.  But the world, as I like to say, is growing gloriously dark because as the darkness increases the hope of the rapture, which precedes these events, must be coming even faster.  It’s a lot like a chess board.  A chess game can’t just happen; the board has to be taken out of the box, the players have to take their respective seats, the pieces on the chess board  have to be assembled correctly, and when you see all these things happen you know that a chess game is about to begin.  That’s the way to understand these signs of the times.  We’re nearing an event or a series of events in world history.

And one of the things that’s very interesting that’s spoken of here is this one-world economy.  It says “And he causes all, the small and the great, the rich and the poor, the free and the slaves.” It’s an economic system that covers the entire earth.  And what you have to understand is such a system made very little sense, maybe fifty to a hundred  years ago.  Why is that?  Because the United States was sort of insulated from the rest of the world, isolated from the reset of the world, separated from by the two great oceans, the Atlantic and the Pacific.  And what happened in other parts of the world really didn’t matter to us so much here in the United States of America.

And isn’t it interesting today that the economies of the world have become intertwined; they’ve become united.  And so what happens?  An economic slowdown, an economic problem in another part of the world suddenly has a direct impact on our economy, our economic growth.  It has a direct impact on our retirement accounts and investments accounts and everything.  In other words, the day is sort of gone where you can sort of close your eyes to what is happening in other parts of the world because just as the Bible predicts the economies of the world have now moved into what we would call a global economy.

George Soros, the quintessential globalist puts it this way; he says, “”I think the dollar is now under question and I think the system will need to be reformed, so that the United States will be subject to the same discipline as is imposed on other countries….  In the long run, having an international accounting unit rather than the dollar may, in fact, be to our advantage…”  [Jennifer Ablan and Daniel Burns, “Soros Says U.S. Faces ‘Lasting Slowdown,'” online: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-soros-exclusive-idUSTRE53537D20090406 , April 6 2009, accessed 21 January 2016.]

And I hope when you read a statement like this from a godless man that knows probably nothing about Bible prophecy you’re seeing in the background Revelation 13:16 because he’s talking about the phasing out of the dollar, the phasing out of a national currency and replacing it with what he calls “an international accounting unit” that would govern not just a nation but all the nations of the earth.  Is this not what John saw back in the first century as he describes it in Revelation 13:16?

And so we move away from this global economy and we get some more information about a global numbering system.  And notice what it says there in the middle of verse 16 to the end of verse 17, those involved will “be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, [17] and he provides” that’s the antichrist and the second beast, “he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.” This is a global monitoring system.  And it’s difficult to understand why Satan would want this unless you understand the doctrine of angels, angelology, which is a Sunday School class we started this morning.  If you don’t understand who Satan is as a created being you cannot understand his ambition or his desire to have this one world system.

Ezekiel 28:12-17 is a description of Satan prior to his fall and his ultimate fall and if you look at the end there of verse 13, God says something very important concerning Satan.  He says, “On the day that you were created.”   And then down in verse 15 it says, “You were blameless in your ways From the day you were created….”  Satan is a created being.  A lot of people look at the battle between God and Satan as sort of like the battle between Rocky and Apollo Creed.  Too many people get their theology from the movies and they have sort of a view that God and Satan are sort of equals and they’re going into the ring and we really don’t know who’s going to win because Rocky is a very talented boxer, we give a slight edge of course to Apollo because he’s the heavyweight champ.  And so we’re sitting on the edge of our seats wondering who’s going to win this.  And that saga worked so well they made Rocky 2 and Rocky 3 and Rocky 4 and now it’s what?  I don’t know how many Rocky’s they’ve made, they’ve got their great grandkids down there fighting it out, but as long as it makes money I guess let’s just milk this for all it’s worth.

But  you’re in these movies and you’re wondering who’s actually going to win.  And that’s how people look at the battle between God and Satan.  The fact of the matter is you already know who’s going to win.  This is what we would call no contest because it repeats there in Ezekiel 28 the concept that Satan is created.  He is not the Creator; he is a created being!  And consequently there’s no doubt that God is going to win.  In fact, Satan only exists to fulfill God’s purposes and once those purposes have run their course Satan will be very quickly vanquished and defeated.  And because Satan is a created being he does not have the attributes of God.  What are the attributes of God?  The “Omni’s” omniscience, all knowing; omnipotence, all powerful; omnipresence, everywhere at once.  And because Satan is not everywhere at once how in the world as ruler of this world can he keep track of everybody?  He’s always consequently as a finite being had a desire to erect over planet earth a system which will allow him to monitor every single human being on planet earth, a system he needs just by virtue of the fact that he is not everywhere at once.

And so we see this ambition of Satan to have this numbering system.  Now of course when we talk about numbering people that’s nothing new.  Holocaust survivors of today or descendants of Holocaust survivors will tell you that this is exactly what Hitler did in the Holocaust.  He numbered people to keep track of them, to keep them under his realm, to keep them under his dominion.  And what we’re learning here from the Bible is the day will come, I don’t think it’s too far future, when this sort of numbering system will be manifested over the entire planet.  And humanity will be moved into what I would call a cashless economy.  As you look at verse 16 and you look at verse 17 you learn very fast that cash or the use of cash is a thing of the past as now the transactions of the world have become digitized and you ask yourself why is it so essential to eliminate cash and to digitize electronically everything in order for this system to occur.

Terry L. Cooke in his book, The Mark of the New World Order, explains it as follows:  “The New World Order economists are not ignorant of the importance of cash and its ability to inhibit their control of the world.  They’re aware that in order to completely control, track and monitor the global population they must first eliminate the use of cast.  With cash there is no way to know how people are using their finances, whether for or against the government and its agenda, because control of one’s finances in essence is control over one’s entire life .  Advocates of world government have for decades been promoting a move to a cashless transactions via a myriad of banking plans, ATM machines, credit cards, points of sale transactions, credit data, all funneled through massive computer systems.  Eventually the goal is control over all the computers by the economic leaders of the new world order.”  It’s interesting, he wrote those words in 1996 and it’s amazing how since 1996 how fast we’ve moved into this cashless system.

The problem with cash is there’s no way to determine how people are using their money but once things become digitized and electronic transactions become the norm there’s now what we might say a paper trail, a way to keep track of the buying habits of every single person.  There’s a way to monitor them.

It’s interesting, I’m sort of an fan of buying books, I buy books on Kindle, Kindle actually saved my marriage because my wife would always tell me I’ve got too many books, there’s no room for them and Kindle came along and I could get all my books and I could stick them right on here, nothing to fight about any more.  Amen!  [Laughter]  And it is interesting that when you purchase something electronically, like on Kindle, for Kindle or on Amazon it’s interesting to me that suddenly I get an e-mail into my inbox that says well you know, if you like this book you’ll probably like this one.  And if you like those two you’ll probably like this one.  And you know what?  They’re right.  And how can they figure that out so fast?  Well they figure it out so fast because the computer information now about my buying behavior is now running an instant profile on me.  If I was buying everything through cash the profile would be impossible.  But now with the digitalization of these transactions the computer runs an instant sort of background check on me if you will, and consequently it’s able to generate information that it couldn’t generate via cash oriented transactions.

And so what you discover in our world is cash is being phased out gradually.  Liz Moyer, writing in Forbes Magazine, says this: “Money is becoming more of a concept than a physical reality.  People are using debit and credit cards in more and more everyday situations from meals purchased at fast food restaurants and fuel purchased at gas stations to movies, groceries, sundries, highway tools, and clothing.  Even New York City  Taxi cabs are rigged with electronic readers increasing pay checks are electronically deposited and the money for bills they pay, mortgage, utilities, cable and phone are all paid electronically as well.  Banks offer incentives to consumers for using direct pay options which allow them to keep better tabs on their customers and their money.  Welfare and food stamps are issued on cards which can be downloaded at the register through an automated teller machine.”

The first time I heard this in flying, taking an airplane, I remember very clearly the announcement being made over the loudspeaker that here come the snacks, I always pay particular attention to that, but you can’t pay for the snacks with cash, and they began calling this a cashless cabin. And many times my wife will put in my wallet a hundred dollar bill so if you pickpocket me this afternoon  you can be a hundred dollars richer, and it’s interesting how long that hundred dollar bill stays there.  I go into place after place and pull out my hundred dollar bill and they say sorry, we can’t make change here because cash is becoming something that’s out of fashion, out of vogue.  And this is sort of the society that we’re drifting into.  Now I don’t say that to make everybody paranoid, I just want people to understand the season or the time period that we’re living in.  And it is very interesting to me that technology has advanced to the point where now a system like this which seemed so farfetched in prior generations we can now see how credible this scenario is.

Technology is moving at breakneck speeds; it’s hard to keep track of all of it.   You take, for example, microchip technology.  A recent news article says this:  “A Wisconsin company is about to become the first in the U.S. to offer microchip implants to its employees. Yes, you read that right. Microchip implants. ‘It’s the next thing that’s inevitably going to happen, and we want to be a part of it,’ Three Square Market Chief Executive Officer Todd Westby said.  The company designs software for break room markets that are commonly found in office complexes. Just as people are able to purchase items at the market using phones, Westby wants to do the same thing using a microchip implanted inside a person’s hand. ‘We’ll come up, scan the item,’ he explained, while showing how the process will work at an actual break room market kiosk. ‘We’ll hit pay with a credit card, and it’s asking to swipe my proximity payment now. I’ll hold my hand up, just like my cell phone, and it’ll pay for my product.’”    [Josh Rosenthal of 5 Eyewitness ABC News – July 24, 2017,  [http://kstp.com/news/wisconsin-company-to-implant-microchips-in-employees-three-square-market/4549459]

I found this headline concerning Sweden.  It’s entitled, “Swedish Commuters Can Use FuturisticMicrochip Hand Implant: The future is here – a Swedish rail company is trialing letting passengers use biometric chips as tickets Helen Coffey of The Independent – June 16, 2017.  The article says, “Gone are the days when an e-ticket was seen as cutting edge – one Swedish rail company is offering passengers the option of using a biometric chip implanted into their hand in lieu” didn’t we just read something about the right hand here, “implanted into their hand in lieu of a paper train ticket…     The tiny chip has the same technology as Oyster cards” I’ve used Oyster cards in Europe, they get you in and out of virtually any traveling but Oyster cards are out.  “…Oyster cards and contactless bank cards…to enable conductors to scan passengers’ hands…Around 2,000 Swedes have had the surgical implant to date, most of them employed in the tech industry.”  [http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/sj-rail-train-tickets-hand-implant-microchip-biometric-sweden-a7793641.html]

You look at the evangelical church today; how many people are actually talking about this in a public way?  They’re talking about any number of subjects and yet we’re living in the very season or the very time predicts would come upon planet earth.  And to be completely honest with you I don’t mean to be paranoid about technology, I enjoy technology as well.  In fact, we’re  using technology right now as I speak.  Technology can be a very good thing.  My concern though is what happens when all of this data falls into the wrong hands, and your Bible predicts that that day will come!

We enjoy these kinds of things for convenience.  I remember my wife when we first got a cell phone and every time I’d leave the house she’d goes “do you have your phone?”  “Do you have your phone?”  “Do you have your phone?”  And finally I asked her why is it so important to you that I carry my phone everywhere?  And she said it’s very simple, it’s an electronic leash.  [Laughter]  And that’s what these things are.  I mean they’re electronic leashes, when it’s time to come home for dinner or whatever I receive immediate notification from her.  [Laughter]  When she needs something done there comes my electronic leash.  And we, to a certain extent we enjoy these things, they provide for us a tremendous amount of convenience.  And you think of how these things would be enjoyed by people simply on the basis of convenience, keeping track of pets that run away, keeping track of runaway children, keeping track of elderly people.  My understanding is these are  used in many scenarios to keep track of inmates, to keep track of prisoners, to keep track of those that are on parole, to keep track of those that are convicted criminals and under house arrest.

And these things can be a tremendous blessing, a tremendous convenience is associated with these things.  But I’m always wondering at the end of the day one of these days everything is going to fall into the wrong person’s hands and the instruments for control, world-wide control already seem to be in place.

Now there’s been sort of a debate in prophecy circles concerning these microchips that go into people’s hands because the Biblical text says something very interesting.  It says in verse 16, “they are to be given a mark ON,” not “in”, “ON” the Greek proposition is epi “on their right hand” and then it repeats it, “or on their forehead” and we thought to ourselves for a long time, well doesn’t microchips go into the hand and are not placed on the hand.  And it’s very interesting to me that if you give things enough time technology eventually catches up to what the Bible predicts.

Here’s a news article, “A new candidate has arrived, and one that is garnering praise and attention worldwide as the next innovative breakthrough. More noticeably, hardly anyone is even talking about its potential as the mark of [the beast] Revelation 13.  These devices are known as electronic tattoos. Made out of flexible silicon and rubber, the tattoo is applied in a similar way as a temporary tattoo,” now isn’t that interesting, that would solve the in versus on problem, wouldn’t it?  “Made out of flexible silicon and rubber, the tattoo is applied in a similar way as a temporary tattoo and is completely non-invasive and pain free.  People around the world, Christians included, are so focused on its application as a biomedical savior that can handle everything from giving you a weather report, to monitoring and adjusting blood sugar levels, and just about any other practical function for a modern world  difference in these devices and the RFID microchip, is that these devices are highly visible on the surface of the skin, and virtually any design can be used to cloak its very electronic look. One can easily imagine a design that somehow equates to the number of the beast being the required mark that all of mankind must accept at the hand of their new world leader.”   [http://idontbuthedoes.com/mark-of-the-beast-that-n]

Technology comes along and pushes things further down the road and all of a sudden the in verses on problem is resolved as apparently these marks electronically are not now placed in people’s skin but on people’s skin.  That’s exactly what the Bible says.  Now you say to yourself, come on pastor, who are  you kidding; there would never arise a generation, would there, where they are known for putting marks on their skin?  I mean, that would never happen….  And I’m not here to criticize tattoos, to harrang about tattoos, to say tattoos are immoral.  I just think it’s very interesting that in my generation, in my day hardly anybody had a tattoo.

And you look at the current generation of millennials and younger and every single one of them are almost to a person has some kind of mark or insignia or tattoo on them.  In fact, have you been to the city of Austin lately?  There’s an open swimming area there that we’ve gone to and I was just kind of monitoring things, minding my own business and I looked at every single person that was walking by and all of them had tattoos.  There’s even Christians that had tattoos, John 3:16 and other things on their body.  I noticed this, they never put on their body Leviticus 21 which says don’t have a tattoo,  I never saw that on anybody but there’s marks and insignias on young people everywhere now.  Am I here to condemn people for having tattoos?  I’m not here to do that at all, that’s not my point.  My point is now there’s a whole generation of people conditioned to receive some sort of mark on their body.

And wouldn’t it be something if  you could go through the store line and you don’t have to fumble for your wallet anymore, you don’t have to fumble for cash any more, you don’t have to check if your credit card is up to date, it’s just some sort of insignia that electronically validates  your purchase.  Waiting in a line is over, fumbling for cash is over, and in fact, if you go onto You Tube you can see certain commercials that have been made, some of them I found this very week, where the person using cash is sort of…  you know, up front and he is sort of holding things up and he’s sort of looked at as the buffoon and cool young people in the back are the ones with these marks and insignias and how fast they move through the checkout counter, etc.

I’m just saying this, beloved, we’re living in very, very interesting times.  In fact, it was not long ago that I was in the car purchase market and we purchased an automobile and I said this to the fellow that was handling the transaction, I said let me ask you a question just hypothetically.  I think he was annoyed because he was getting us to sign all this stuff and I throw this weird question at him.  I said to him, he was sitting on the other side of the desk, what if I came in here with two suitcases of cash and I just popped them down on your desk and I pointed to that car over there and I said I want that one.  I said what would happen to me?  And he looked up from behind his desk, he looked at me directly in the eye and he says you wouldn’t even believe the trouble you’d be in.  I’d have to call the IRS, I’d have to call the DEA, there would be countless laws that you would be violating, in fact it would be assumed by the legal system that you were laundering money.  And isn’t it interesting that people that traffic in cash today are immediately put under a cloud of suspicion.  If they use cash and lots of it they must be doing something wrong.  Cash is being phased out.  These electronic transactions are becoming realities even those placed on the skin itself.  This is exactly what John saw back in Revelation chapter 13 when he wrote these words.

Notice again verses 16 and 17, notice what it says.  ““And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on  their right hand or on their forehead.  [17] and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.”

What is the goal of Satan?  What is the goal of every despot in world history?  You can sum it up in four words; To control the people.  That’s four, isn’t it: To control the people.  That’s what this whole thing is about.  I remember when Obama Care, remember that, a 3,000 page monstrosity was passed and at the time the sitting leader of the House of Representatives, the Speaker of the House was asked have you read the bill?  No but we have to pass the bill to see what’s in the bill.  Remember that?  What was that whole thing about?  Ever asked yourself that question?  Was it about compassion?  Was it about making sure that those that don’t have health care receive it?  Was that the end game?  No, the goal of that whole thing is in those four words, “to control the people.”  And if you’re attentive enough and discerning enough you could hear the architects of this saying that very thing.

John Dingle, Congressman, on Obama Care, an advocate unintentionally admitted as much during a live telephone interview concerning the imminent passage of universal health care and legislation.  Dingle made the following remark to Paul Smith on Smith’s Monday morning radio show in Detroit, March 22, 2010.  Dingle said, “The harsh fact of the matter is you’re going to pass legislation that will cover three hundred million American people in different ways.  It takes a long time to do the necessary administrative steps that have to be put together in the legislation to” here’s our four words, a direct quote from Dingle, “to control the people.”

I think they sort of backtracked on that but you can find his statement out there floating around on You Tube to control the people.   You mean the issue with Obama care wasn’t health care?  No it wasn’t; it was to control the people.  Let me let  you in on a little statement, you can find this in Saul Lenski and other Marxists. If you learn this statement you’ll see very clearly what’s happening in our present world.  I think it was Curtis Bowers, when he was here with us, teaching on Marxism or against Marxism and Communism made this statement as well concerning Marxism and here’s the statement:  “The issue is never the issue.  The issue is the revolution.

The issue is never the issue!  The issue is the revolution!  I mean, when Obama care was passed the whole name of the game was compassion, wasn’t it?  But you see, the issue with Obama care was never health care, it was control.  Think about this for a minute.  If the government through a single payer health care system, which Obama care is in a step towards, if the government gets control over  your health care do they not control you?  You need that money for a new surgery, heart valve or whatever.  Well, let’s look at your record, what kind of church do you go to?  What kind of things do you post online?  Who did you vote for in the last election?  Suddenly you put the government in the position of deciding and the government is in trillions of dollars of debt, and they’re always trying to save money aren’t they?  At least that’s what they tell us.  Well, what a great way to save money, we look at you and you’ve lived a full life and here’s some crutches and some aspirin have a nice life.

You see what happens when health care becomes federalized?  The issue was never health care; the issue was the revolution.  What’s the revolution?  To control the people.  Lax voter  ID is not about Lax voter I.D. It’s about control; it’s about signing up a whole bunch of people to keep a certain party in power.  Lax immigration is really not about lax immigration, it’s about control, it’s about bringing in a whole class of people, get them enrolled in all kinds of social programs and you’ll never lose an election.  The issue of the environment is not about the environment.  The environment is used as a pretext to get the government to grow, become larger, micromanage all of your decisions and every facet of your life.  That’s the agenda!  The agenda was never the environment.

The white washing of American history, the fact that your average  young person today doesn’t know anything about the Declaration of Independence, they don’t know anything about the Bill of Rights, they don’t know anything about the United States Constitution.  How is the changing of our textbooks approached?  We need to be tolerant towards all religions and races.  But the removal of American history was never really about tolerance; it’s about what Karl Marx said, a people that are unaware of their history are easily persuaded.  And when you begin to look at things happening in our world through that lens you’ll start to see what’s happening and why it’s happening.

The issue is not the issue; the issue is used as a pretext to advance the revolution.  What’s the revolution?  The Bible explains it… to control the people!  And it’s very interesting to me how technology has now advanced to the point where this is become a possibility.  Today is Father’s Day, isn’t it?  Many of you are going to go out to lunch, go out to dinner, go to restaurants, go to the mall, go to public places.  Do yourself a favor, look at what people are doing in any public place you go to this afternoon.  Any public place,  you know what they’re doing?  They’re looking at these things and they’re pressing buttons.  I would say that any public place  you go to this afternoon half of the people, at least, will not be involved in a conversation, they’ll be looking at these devices, pressing buttons, posting, tweeting, sending direct messages.

Have you ever asked yourself this question: where does all that information go?  I mean, does it just disappear?  Does it go into the clouds?  Actually what we learn is yes, it does go into THE cloud.  All of this messaging, tweeting, talking back and forth, private messaging, all of that information goes somewhere.  It’s stored somewhere.  Well, where is it being stored?  Apparently it’s being stored in  Utah.  Welcome to Utah, the NASA’s desert home for eavesdropping on America, by Rory Carroll.  Welcome to  Utah, the Utah Data center, a new home for the NASA’s exponentially expanding information trove.  The one point seven billion dollar facility two years in the making will soon host super computers to store gargantuan quantities of data from e-mails and phone calls, Google searches, and other sources.  Since January 2011 a reported 10,000 laborers have built four 25,000 square foot holes filled with servers and cables plus an additional 900 thousand square feet of space for technical support and administration.  James Bamford, author of The Shadow Factory, said.

[The Shadow Factory: The NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America]

He said, “The public had not yet grasped the significance of Utah’s data mining.  It’s basically a hard drive; it’s also a cloud, a warehouse, it’ll be storing not just text and audio but pictures and videos.  There’s a lackadaisical attitude to this, people pay no attention to it until it’s too late.”  See, what’s happening with all this stuff is vanity has ruled the day, because I can take little old me, my picture, and put it all over the world not understanding that the moment I clicked that button is the moment that data is stored.  And once the data is stored there is now a profile on me.  And here’s the thing with profile—you can use the data highly selectively to make anybody look like you want them to look.  If you want to turn them into a hero the data is available to do that through selection.  If  you want to turn them into a monster, if you want to turn them into a racist, if you want to turn them into a spousal batterer, they can selectively pick pieces of data and turn you into that as well.

A generation ago the technology simply wasn’t in place for this to happen and now exactly what the Bible says has caught up with the technology of the day.   If you want to see the future of this whole thing look directly at China and look at China’s social credit score system.  Another news article says this: “China’s chilling dictatorship is moving quickly to introduce social scorecards by which all citizens will be monitored twenty-four seven and ranked on their behavior.  The communist party plan is for every one of its four billion citizens to be at the rim of dystopian social credit system and it’s on track to be fully operational by the year 2020.  Over all scores can go up and down in real time, depending on the person’s behavior, but that can also be affected by the people you associate with.  If  your best friend or your dad says something negative about the government you’ll lose points.  If people keep their promises they can go anywhere in the world; if people break their promises they won’t be able to move an inch.  Under the system those deemed to be the top  citizens are rewarded bonus points.  The benefits of being ranked on a higher end of the scale include waved deposits on hotels and rental cars, VIP treatment at airports, discounted loans, priority job applications, fast tracking to the most prestigious universities.

On the other hand, jaywalking, late payments on bills or taxes, buying too much alcohol, speaking out against the government, each cost the citizen points.  Other [can’t understand word] punishable offences include spending too long on video games, (I may qualify on that one) wasting money on frivolous purchases and posting on social media.  Penalties can range from losing the right to travel by plane or train, social media accounts suspensions, and being barred from government gobs.

Chinese journalist Liu Hu is one of the millions who have already amassed a low credit rating.  He is now banned from traveling by plane or fast train; his social media accounts with millions of followers have been suspended, he struggles to find work.  Welcome to the brave new world.  You play ball the correct way things seem to work out for you.  You get into political incorrectness, not recycling the way you should, eating the wrong kinds of foods, speaking out against the government and suddenly  your world starts to shrink.  You can’t get the passport privileges  you once had; you can’t get the job application through that you once were able to do.  You can’t get your kids into college.  And your life shrinks and you become an electronic prisoner.  It’s almost like electronic concentration camp if you will.

What about India?  News article… India has collected biometric data on most of its 1.3 billion residents to be used in a nationwide identity system called Aadhaar meaning foundation, seeking to build an identification system of unprecedented scope India is scanning the fingerprints, eyes and faces of its 1.3 billion residents and connecting the data to everything from welfare payments or benefits to mobile cell phones.  So the Libertarians are horrified viewing the program as Orwell’s big brother brought to life.  Technology has given governments around the world new tools to monitor its citizens.  Critics fear that government will gain unprecedented insight into the lives of all Indians.

How about cameras?  Ever asked yourself this question?  How many times are you on camera every single day?  You stop at a stoplight you’re on a camera.  You go into a convenience store and you make a purchase and you’re on a camera again.  You get pulled over by a police officer, you’re on a camera.  How many times are law abiding citizens in the United States placed on cameras every single day.  I don’t know the answer to that question but I did find this article about what it’s like in the United Kingdom.  In fact, in the United Kingdom a person on average is caught on surveillance cameras three hundred times a day.  Now isn’t that a bit excessive?  I mean, why did the law abiding citizens need to be placed on a camera 300 times a day?  The answer is very simple if you understand the agenda to control the people.

In fact, British journalist Allen Franklin says this: “If you want to be a film star, come to Britain. We’re all on camera. All you have to do is walk through any town or drive down any road and you are watched, filmed, and monitored. When my wife, Pat, and I tour America, we feel neglected because the roadside cameras are no longer ever-present—not yet. As the world moves towards a ‘Big Brother’ society beyond the nightmares of author George Orwell, who predicted a world in which the state watched everyone in his 1948 classic novel, called 1984, it is like we are inmates of a high-tech prison. Big Brother really is watching us in Europe. The rest of the world is not far behind. . . .  [Alan Franklin, “Big Brother Is Watching,” in The Departure: God’s Next Catastrophic Intervention into Earth’s History, ed. Terry James (Crane, MO: Defender, 2010), 341.]

You say well,  you sound paranoid about technology.  No, we’ve got cameras in here, don’t we.  You say I knew it, I knew Andy Woods is part of this conspiracy.  [Laughter]  Well, as you know our cameras are in here for good purposes, we want to get our message  out to the masses; it’s not a scenario where the government is watching what we are doing.  But if I was a pastor of a China church the cameras would be here for a different reason; they would be watching everything that I say and monitoring our behavior every single moment of the service.

Another news article, “China’s Orwellian-like network of surveillance cameras now includes churches. Most churches…have government-mandated surveillance cameras that allow the communist government to monitor the congregation’s every move… The cameras are part of a massive network of cameras across China that allow the government to monitor citizens. There are an estimated 176 million surveillance cameras across China…  That number could reach 450 million by 2020.”  [China Installs Surveillance Cameras in Churches to Monitor Christians, By Michael Foust, ChristianHeadlines.com, Tuesday, June 11, 2019]

Did you know, I just discovered this this week, that the government in China spends more money monitoring its own citizens than it does protecting them from some sort of international threat.  Why is it that law abiding citizens have to be constantly watched and monitored?  If you understand the agenda and you understand Bible prophecy you know exactly what it’s about and where all these things are headed.  The world is headed towards the level of enslavement that it’s never known before.  That’s the future without God.

And how different the millennial reign of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Are you looking forward to that?

When he establishes His kingdom on the earth are we going to be monitored from cradle to grave? Not at all!  Isaiah 65:21-22 says, They shall build houses and inhabit them;  they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. [22] They shall not build and another inhabit;” in other words, the coming kingdom of Jesus is not going to be socialistic or communist.  It will be involving true economic justice where whatever you enjoy is what your hands have produced, limited government, not maximum government.  “…they shall not plant and another eat;  for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be, and my chosen shall long enjoy3 the work of their hands.”  And what a relief that will be when that kingdom is established humanity being given a lesson of enslavement in the world without God, the welcome relief of the millennial kingdom.

We’re moving very fast into the very time the Bible predicts, and let’s close here with verse 18 as we look at the beast’s number.  Notice what it says there in Revelation 13:18, “Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.”  Now if you look at the end of verse 17 and into verse 18 it uses these phrases: name of the beast, number of his name, number of the beast and the number of a man. Revelation 13:17, “and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.”]

And it also uses phrases like this, to figure it out is going to require wisdom, the Greek word sophia, and it says, “Let him who has understanding,” and then it even says “let him who has wisdom and understanding calculate the number of the beast.”  Now that verb “calculate” is only used one other time in the whole Greek New Testament and it’s used that way in Luke 14:28 which says, “For which one of you, when he wants to build the tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough resources (or money) to complete it?”  It’s talking about mathematical calculations.  You don’t build a tower unless you have the right calculations determining if you have enough money to finish the building.

I think what this is talking about is there’s a calculation that people have to do during this terrible time period to figure out exactly who the beast is.  And that takes use into a practice you may have no knowledge of because it’s an ancient practice called gematria.  Gematria is the idea that  you can take an ancient language, Hebrew or Greek, and if you assign the right number to the right letter you can spell out anybody’s name and anybody’s name will be summed up in a number.  So one night I woke up in a cold sweat and my wife woke up and she said what’s the matter, and I said well how do I know I’m not the antichrist?  [Laughter]  And she said go back to bed.  And I said no, this is really bothering me, so I went downstairs, I pulled out this table, I spelled out my name in Greek and I did not come out with six, six, six, so I was very relieved about that and I went right back to sleep.

But you see, there’s coming a man on planet earth, and this is how everybody will know exactly who he is, you’ll be able to spell out his name in Greek,  you’ll be able to, through the  use of gematria assign the right number to the right letter.  You’ll be able to add it up and his number will be what?  Six hundred and sixty-six.  That’s the number he himself must have in order to participate in the one world economic enslavement system.

Now let me spare you from writing me a lot of e-mails because when I talk like this I get all these e-mails from people and texts and they say you know at my job they’re making me carry this card around and they’re giving me a number and they won’t let me in a building unless I have the card and I’m really worried I might take the mark of the beast.  What we see today is the forerunner of the mark of the beast system but it’s not yet in total place.  The stage is being set but it’s not yet in complete place.  It will not be in complete place until the antichrist presides over the system and everybody on planet earth, through the use of gematria knows exactly who the antichrist is.   And when they take the number they are basically saying we are aligning ourselves consciously with the antichrist who we can identify and in the process they’re damning themselves to hell.  Today I don’t think that’s a possibility because the antichrist and his identification is not yet present and will not be present until subsequent to the rapture of the church.

Now  I’ve got six minutes left, let me give you this, because if you’re researching this you’re going  to hit this.  We have today a group of people called preterists.  Preterist means past and they believe that the prophecies in the Book of Revelation have already transpired.  They don’t believe the anti­christ is future, they believe he came already in the first century.  Major names on this list you might recognize would be the late R. C. Sproul, (believe that?) wrote a whole book about it.  Hank Hanegraaff is a believer to a large extent in that system.  And there are some other names there of people you may recognize or may not recognize.  Scott Hahn, of Roman Catholicism, one of the great apologists for the Roman Catholic Church, one of the great defenders for Roman Catholicism when you look at what he has written concerning the Book of Revelation, his view is largely what you call preterist.  And preterists believe that the name Caesar Nero adds up to 666 and they use this number to say nothing here to worry about folks, the antichrist is not in our future, he already came in the person of Nero.

You’ll notice that what they do here, they take the Hebrew… do you follow?  Did you hear what I just said?  Not the Greek Demetria, the Hebrew, added it up, Neuron, and then threw the title in, Kaiser, Neuron Kaiser, they assigned the right number to the right letter, added it all up and it comes out to 666.  And they use this to mitigate our belief of a future antichrist; they think the antichrist already came.  I think, folks, there’s some problems with that.  I did my Master’s thesis on this, I spent more time on this… I mean, you should be in prayer right now that I’ll tell you everything I know about this.  [Laughter]

But the first problem with it, very quickly, is why are they using Hebrew?  Why aren’t they using Greek Gematria since John was Greek speaking and wrote the Book of Revelation to the seven churches of Asia Minor who all spoke Greek.  So it’s kind of odd that they would use Hebrew here.  Beyond that, I would call it cherry picking to fit a preordained outcome, meaning to get it to work they’ve got to throw the title in of Nero.  It doesn’t work without the title Caesar.  Did you catch what Revelation 13 says?  It says, “the name of the beast,” not his title, the number of his name, the number of the beast, the number is that of a man.  Nothing here about the title but it doesn’t come out (Nero) to 666 unless the title is tossed in there.

Beyond that give me a single early church father that ever believed Nero was the antichrist.  There’s not a single one!  I’ve looked at every single one of them, NONE of them thought this.  And so what R. C. Sproul, Hank Hanegraaff and all these people have done is they’ve dipped into German higher criticism and rationalism and liberalism.  This stuff comes from higher criticism in Germany, and they’ve brought into modern day evangelicalism to try to dispel the belief that there’s going to be a future antichrist.

Beyond that these people are completely inconsistent in their use of numbers.  You listen to R. C. Sproul talk about the Book of Revelation and he goes on and on about how the numbers are not literal, the thousand year kingdom is not literal, and isn’t it interesting how literal he takes 666?  I mean why is that literal if no other number in the Book of Revelation is literal.  And beyond that we have a big problem because the Book of Revelation could not be a prophecy about Nero because the Book of Revelation was written 25 years after Nero was on the scene and this is why these folks need to take the Book of Revelation and they need to date it in the 60’s, the Neronian time period, to make it a prophecy about Nero when in reality the Book of Revelation was written in the 90’s.  You might remember when we started this series on the Book of Revelation, if you can remember back that far.  You might remember this quote I gave you from Irenaeus, I said Irenaeus is like E. F. Hutton, when Irenaeus speaks people listen.  Why?  Because Irenaeus is one generation removed from John, the author, John, the disciple Polycarp, the disciple Irenaeus;  Irenaeus is very clear in his book Against Heresies, that the Book of Revelation was written at the end of the reign of Domitian.  That’s the 90’s, not the 60’s.  This couldn’t be a prophecy about Nero that’s written 20-25 years after the fact.

The reality is the idea that the Book of Revelation was written as a prophecy about Nero, written in the 60’s, that date did not even show up in church history until 500 years after the fact.  If you look at the left column all of the early church fathers going right back to John took the book as written in the 90’s.  And if you want to see an absolute blood bath on this go to the pre-trib website, www.pre-trib.org and watch the public debate on this between Mark Hitchcock, one of my friends, he wrote his doctoral dissertation on the subject, and Hank Hanegraaff.  Hitchcock, and you can catch this whole thing online, it goes about two and a half to three hours, John Ankerberg took it and put it on his program and you’ll see very fast that Hank Hanegraaff has basically no argument whatsoever.  And in fact, when he came to do his opening statement he didn’t even do an opening statement, he gave the audience an awareness of his memory because he cited Revelation chapter 1 from memory.  Well, I’m impressed with your memory capacity Hank but that’s not an opening statement.

Mark Hitchcock will give you an opening statement and he’ll give you the facts and the information about how this nonsense that the Book of Revelation was written in the 60’s and a prophecy about Nero,  how it’s utter complete nonsense.  And it’s sad to me to watch intelligent people like Hank Hanegraaff, R. C. Sproul and others, grab this information and promote it as if it is gospel truth.

Now folks, the antichrist is not in our rear view mirror; he’s in our future.  Look at the information here about Revelation 13.  Did Nero usher in a persecution for forty-two months?  NO!  Did he control the entire planet?  NO!  Did he force people to receive a mark on their right hand or forehead in order to participate in the global economy?  He never did that.  Did he coerce the entire world to worship a singular image of him?  No he didn’t!  Did he rise from the dead?  No, he didn’t!  We’ve seen very carefully in our study of Revelation 13 about how antichrist is going to come back from the dead and in fact the image set up in the antichrist’s honor is the noun eikon, which is a singular noun.  I looked at this very carefully in my Master’s Thesis, there is no reference anywhere of a singular image ever being set up in honor of Nero.  Images (plural)  yes, multiple statues, yes, but not a singular image.

Beyond that did Nero ever associate with a miracle working false prophet.  No.  Did he ever receive global veneration?  No.  You say what’s the bottom line?  The bottom line is the Antichrist is  yet to come and the stage is being set for this coming antichrist, as we have surveyed his coming economic system, his global economy, his global numbering system and the actual number that he himself will have to have to participate in the system, allowing every person alive on the earth at the time to know exactly who he is.

The reality of the situation is the human race without God is destined to enslavement.  That’s the end game that Satan won’t tell you about.  And how interesting it is that Jesus says “Whom the Son makes free is” what? “free indeed.”  [John 8:36]  Jesus is about liberation, liberating us from our sin which sends us to hell, liberating us from that debt, giving us the Holy Spirit which allows us to live a life above and beyond the desires of the sin nature in the present.  And then if that weren’t enough hope of a glorious kingdom, where freedom will reign supreme.  The nanny state will be a thing of the past.

And how do you get those benefits?  You get those benefits simply by trusting in what we call the gospel.  The gospel means good news because Jesus did everything possible to bridge the gap between a fallen humanity and w holy God.  He died on a cross, He rose from the dead, His final words prior to His death were “It is finished!”  It’s all paid for, it’s all taken care of.  So how can you enter into this blessing and these many blessings?   You receive it the only way you can receive a gift from God which is by faith.  If you’re trying to earn it you can’t have it but you can receive it by faith simply by right there where you’re seated trusting in what Jesus did for you.  That’s what believing is, it means to trust, to rely on.

You don’t have to walk an aisle, join a church, give money, sign up for a program to receive this.  It’s just a matter of privacy between you and the Lord where the Spirit places you under conviction and you trust in what He has done for you!  It’s not good works that gets you in, it’s based on the good work He already did for you and you receive it as a gift.  And for people that have never done that our exhortation to you here at Sugar Land Bible Church is to do that.  You can do that right now, in the quietness of your own heart and mind and thoughts you trust in what Jesus has done.  You change your mind about Jesus.  You stop thinking it’s Jesus plus works that gets me in.  Jesus plus me being a good person is what gets me in.

It’s Jesus and Jesus ALONE, His works, no longer trusting in self, trusting in Him.  And you can do that now as I’m speaking.  If it’s something you need more explanation of I’m available after the service to talk. Shall we pray.

Father, we are grateful for these sobering passages which give us a very sober analysis of our world and where it’s headed.  Help us to be good stewards of these truths even though sometimes they are unpleasant to digest.  But thank  You for giving us this morning a dose of reality.  We’ll be careful to give you all the praise and the glory.  We ask these things in Jesus name, and God’s people said… Amen.