Prophecy watchers keep an eye on world events - watching to see if these events are consistent with biblical prophecy. I can recall several years ago - discussing the various signs that point to the coming seven-year tribulation period as described in Revelation 6-18. One such sign involved the development of a global economy - something that has to be in place according to Revelation 13:16-17. Chapter 13 gives a detailed description of a figure known as the Antichrist - an individual who will rise up during this tribulation period and who will ultimately seize control of a "world-government" system, as described in Revelation 17.
This figure known as the Antichrist will ultimately control the world financial system, and he will do so by forcing all individuals to do two things:
1) Pledge full devotion to the Antichrist, and "prove" this devotion by,
2) Taking the "Mark of the Beast", which will be a visible mark on his/her right hand or forehead.
By doing this, the Antichrist will have the capability of controlling finance of every individual in this manner.
"He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name."
First of all - what is this mark? It must to be something which controls the ability of someone to buy or sell. Numerous articles and commentaries have been written about the "VeriChip", which is a tiny (about the size of a grain of rice), implantable microchip, which can contain an individuals medical and financial information. It could also be used as a way to manage financial transactions, eliminating the need for credit cards, checkbooks, and debit cards. It would also be more secure than our current system of handling money and all of our financial transactions. This technology sounds ominously similar to the "mark" described in Revelation 13.
To do so, however, must include a single currency for the entire world.
The recent economic crisis, which has cascaded from the U.S. to the rest of the world, has solidified the concept that we are indeed in a "global economy". Something that received little attention outside of economic circles, the term "global economy" is heard daily on the news and in commentaries. There is no doubt that we are indeed living in a global economy. But an interesting story is emerging as well - a call for an international, single currency. One can see a variety of proposals, even suggestions that the world could go back to the gold standard in efforts to create a single currency. The benefits of a single, world currency are now being discussed as a matter of fact, not speculation. Are you ready for a global currency? and similar articles are now mentioned as something real and tangible, not as speculation.
I can recall teaching on these possibilities, just a few short years ago, and the concepts such as a global economy and a global currency seemed impossible in our lifetimes. Yet, here we are, in just a few short weeks, such talk is common.
It is amazing how quickly our world can change. The world's economy has reached a crisis stage in a matter of weeks.
The stage is being set for a world economic system, accompanied by a unified world currency. It may be the only way for the world to resolve this current economic crisis.
These things must happen. We know because Bible prophecy gives us a clear understanding of the future; and in this instance, a future which includes one single economic system, and currency, which will ultimately be led by this figure known as the Antichrist.
Jesus warned us that these things would take place. He also told us, in Matthew 24 that such things must happen, but we are not to have a spirit of fear. He also told us why we should not fear:
"When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift your heads, because your redemption draws near." (Luke 21:28).
Thats a good plan. As we watch these world events - events which we believe are leading into the final stages of this age - we know that our redemption is close. We know that the return of Jesus, for His church, is close. Very close.