Near the end of the first century, an 80+ year old man was banished to a 13 square mile island in the Aegean Sea, 158 nautical miles from the Greek coast. He was guilty of preaching the Gospel. He was the apostle John.
Before banishment, the Romans often flogged or beat the accused. However, according to Tertullian, who lived only decades after John, he was initially plunged into boiling oil while in Rome, but after surviving this ordeal, he was subsequently banished for a period of one to three years.
“I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the Word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ… I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this” (1:9 & 4:1).
One thing John was shown about the future was a cashless, global system of commerce. He described it this way:
Rev 13:16 … both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, [will] receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads,
Rev 13:17 and… no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
Doesn’t that sound more than a little like Amazon One? It is a cashless payment system that utilizes your hand.
Governments are pushing a global, cashless economy. “FedNow is here!” That was the July announcement made by our federal government. What is it? One article said,
FedNow is the Federal Reserve’s new instant payment service that will enable customers at participating banks and credit unions to send and receive money within seconds, 24/7 and every day. You’d be able to complete payments or transfers on weekends, holidays and after banks’ business hours.
It is similar to PayPal, Venmo, Cash App, and Zelle. But it is already more flexible, with more options.
We are on the verge of a global, completely cashless economy that will be accessed by a personal biometric identifier.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. calls trend “the slippery slope to financial slavery and political tyranny.” That’s an extreme statement, but you can see how it is true. Once you must rely upon an all digital economy, the government will most assuredly gain access to your account to punish you, or to force behaviors they deem necessary.
I’m not commenting on the politics of a cashless global economy accessed by a ‘mark.’ I’m pointing out that two thousand years ago an aging disciple of Jesus was shown the future, and we are seeing the stage being set for it to unfold exactly as the Lord told John it would.
Jesus proclaimed that the kingdom promised Israel had come. When the nation’s leadership rejected Jesus as their King, Jesus went to Heaven. The physical kingdom on earth went on standby.
We live in the Church Age. It began on the day of Pentecost after Jesus Christ rose from the dead. It precedes the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, more commonly known as the seven-year Great Tribulation. You can read all about that terrible time in chapters six through nineteen of the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
The Tribulation will not begin until something fantastic happens. The Lord said he would return for us, the Church, raising the dead in Christ, then catching up, rapturing, believers who are alive when He comes. He promised His Church Age believers, “I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth” (Rev 3:10).
The resurrection and rapture of the church is always imminent. It could happen any moment; nothing needs to happen before it.
Are you ready for the rapture? If not, Get ready; Stay ready; Keep looking up.
Ready or not, Jesus is coming!