Fred R. Coulter—March 24, 2012

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Let's talk about a couple of things here that will lead into the sermon. Let's talk about some of the high-techs that we have. We were talking about the 'smart cards.' How many here have a 'smart card'? A 'dumb card' doesn't have the chip in it; 'smart card' does. That's designed for what they call 'wave' technology. Do you know what 'wave' technology is? It's in preparation for the coming world currency.

You might go online, check the Internet—Salt Lake City and 'wave' technology. They are setting up Salt Lake City to be a cashless city. Everybody has to have a 'smart card,' debit or credit or a smart phone. You go to the store, you don't have to fumble for your wallet.

Remember years ago how they had this ad. The man came into the grocery store, went around with a grocery cart, filled up the grocery cart, stuffed everything in his coat. Then he went to go out, because he was going to steal it and the clerk was right there saying, 'Thank you, Mr. Smith, here's your receipt.' It's coming to that right now.

'Wave' technology: if you want to get on the bus, instead of putting the coins in—remember how we used to do? I remember as a kid growing up in Seattle we used to get on the trolley cars and you have the trolley coin to go in there. Now you don't even have to do that. You just on and you wave it right in front of this reader and it deducts it right out of your account and right into the transit system's account.

It will be the same way with groceries. Remember the ad that they had, all of these 'hip' people come in with their swipe cards. Now they'll be 'wave' cards. Here comes an old curmudgeon like me, get out the wallet—cash. The music stops, everybody gathers around, because you have interrupted all the rhythm of how fast they were going. Here is this ancient dinosaur with cash holding up the works. Remember the ad where they had about the bank and they stapled barcodes on the forehead? They held him over the counter and swiped his head. After that he had to go see his chiropractor.

What are all of those things doing? They may be funny and humorous, but remember this: Satan always introduces sin with humor! If you don't believe that, watch the children's channels and cartoons. What does it do to people? It programs them! We've been programmed; this world is being programmed constantly. I get on American Airlines when I travel on that, and right when you walk through the door to get on the plane, there's a little sign that says 'One World.' Everybody getting on sees it. Programs the mind, one-world, global economy. Then you sit down in your seat and they tell you, and almost all airlines are this way, even Southwest Airlines has that now. American Airlines, when they sell the snacks to you, they no longer take cash. You have to have a card.

Now there's a new technology coming out with smart phones. We need to think ahead on how this is coming about. Smart phones have 'bump' technology. Have you heard of that? What is 'bump' technology? I suppose in a crowded room you could bump everyone and steal everything off their smart phones. What it is, you can set it up for bumping, that is tapping the corner or another smart phone and a whole file is immediately transferred into the other person's phone. The whole file! I don't know if any of you have the Bible on your smart phones, some of you do. I don't know how large the file would be. Instead of a business card, you can 'bump' another smart phone and download the information that would be on a business card.

They also have 'cloud' technology. That means, someone else controls everything that you have on your computer that is on the 'cloud.' It's in some server somewhere. That's why if you want your information, you might want to put it on an external hard drive at home, rather than rely on the 'cloud.'

Now think about this for a minute. Could the government shut down the 'cloud' at any time it desires? All your information is there. Here's the latest—just saw this. I want you to think about where this technology is going to lead. How many saw the DVD on the update of Toward the Mark of the Beast? If haven't seen the DVD, just call the office and we'll send it to you. On that DVD we have about a 3-minute video clip that we couldn't put on the audio.

It showed what they were doing in India, which is a 4-5-year project. They are taking bio-eye pictures and complete handprints of every one in India, giving them an identity. They are starting with the poorest, who they don't even know how many they have or where they are. It's going to take 5-years to do that. Please understand, no part of your body that God has created can be the mark of the beast. The eye technology and the hand technology and the voice technology will be the last step you can take. From there on it's going to be the mark of the beast.
If it's from your person, God created you. He gave you genes and chromosomes that make you a unique individual person. This is the first step. Don't you think they're also going to do that in China? The Chinese don't know all the people they have—1.9-billion, that's an estimate. What if they take a 5-year project and they do the same thing to all the Chinese and they end up with 2.4-billion? Who knows!

All of this is leading to the system which then the mark of the beast can be enforced!

No longer any cash. You hire someone to mow your lawn, no more $25-$30 to do the yard. If he doesn't have a card or a smart phone for 'bump' technology, he doesn't get paid. The nasty little secret is this: the government will get all of its taxes. It's on its way.

Let me tell you the latest thing for ringing your cell phone. It is a tattoo, a permanent tattoo. Instead of ringing the phone, you get a tingling in the arm. Now, think about the possibilities of that. I've said and I believe it's going to happen. Used to talk about the chip, the chip is out of date, but the government wants to have with Obamacare the chip in every one. They've already authorized that from Digital Angel.

Remember when Digital Angel first came out and I gave a couple of sermons, The Mark of the Beast is Here. A lot of people got all excited. I said, 'Whoa, wait. It's just preliminary.' The chip that they put in migrates; that creates a problem. It also causes cancer; that's a problem. So they have to have better technology. What they have done in experimenting with rats is that they can put an invisible tattoo on a rat's tail and can read it. Now think how convenient that will be for people. No one will see it, but it can be read.

If they can ring a cell phone on a tattoo, they can follow you wherever you go with the mark of the beast. If you have a cell phone, they can follow you wherever your cell phone is. So, have two of them. One to leave, so they'll think you're in one place and another one that is not registered in your name so you can go somewhere else.

I have a report from Sweden. Sweden is Moving Towards a Cashless Economy (www.cbsnews.com; March 18, 2012). That's what the Salt Lake City experiment is all about. I want you to think in big terms concerning the financial and monetary things in the world, because we're going to wake up one morning and BANG! all currencies are kaput; all banks have shut down; all credit and debit cards cannot be used because of the extreme financial circumstance in the world.

It's not going to be just Greece. It's not going to be just Portugal. It's not going to be a single country. When we read some of these reports, we need to think way down the road. Why is this coming and why do we have this technology today and what else are they working on? I'll tell you what else they're working on after I read from some of this report. Now this is rather ironic because

Sweden is Moving Towards a Cashless Economy (www.cbsnews.com; March 18, 2012).

Sweden was the first European country to introduce bank notes in 1661.

There's a group there called ABBA, which stands for Father. Interesting. The leader of it Bjoern Ulvaeus says:

"I can't see why we should be printing bank notes at all anymore."

It'll stop counterfeiting. Now that's a good thing—isn't it? But if you go to everything digital, the bankers will have a wonderful time—won't they? They make money on every transaction. Plus, if they need more money, the central banks can simply sit down to the master computer and enter in how much they need. They don't even have to print anything anymore. As an international authority, they don't have to ask any country's permission. All of this is going to lead to a world currency.

In Swedish cities, public buses don't accept cash...

How about here in Seattle, do they still get tokens and things like that?

...tickets are prepaid or purchased with a cell phone text message. A small but growing number of businesses only take cards, and some bank offices—which make money on electronic transactions—have stopped handling cash altogether.

Even in the churches. You know what they're installing in the churches? Card readers! Come in to the church and you swipe your card.

Bills and coins represent only 3 percent of Sweden's economy, compared to an average of 9 percent in the eurozone and 7 percent in the U.S., according to the Bank for International Settlements, an umbrella organization for the world's central banks.

How many here are totally cashless in your transactions? How many are 90% cashless? So, you see where it's going. On a 'smart card' someone said that in an airport with the technology that they have with smart phones that you can pass by someone who has a 'smart card' in his wallet and pick up all the information, steal his identity, eliminate his funds.
Here's the good news and then I'll read the bad news. Since they've started going cashless in Sweden—

The number of bank robberies in Sweden plunged from 110 in 2008 to 16 in 2011...

That's a good thing. What is the bad thing?

The flip side is the risk of cybercrimes. According to the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention the number of computerized fraud cases, including skimming, surged to nearly 20,000 in 2011 from 3,304 in 2000.

That's going to be happening. Let's see that there are things moving together toward the mark of the beast. The book of Revelation has been written only for the end-time. I imagine that when John first released the book of Revelation—and as a matter of fact, it did happen in some cases—some of the churches wouldn't accept it because they couldn't understand it. They could understand the first three chapters and part of four and part of five. But from six onward it was hopelessly unable to be understood.

Why? Because it's talking about the whole world! They would have no concept of what we're talking about here today—the whole world. They could not conceive of the whole world. That meant as much of the world as they knew. That was the whole world to them. There are two things that are happening simultaneously; one is a rise of the global world government

They have to do it this way: unity through diversity. Those are two contradictory terms, if you think about it. What that does to the mind is this: that is called cognitive dissidence, which means you hold in your mind two opposite views that are equal. How many remember the book back in the late 60s and early 70s, I'm Ok, You're Ok. That's the philosophy.

If you want to do an interesting thing, go online and find out how many organizations, government committees, NGOs, are working toward a world government. You will be absolutely astonished. As a matter of fact, I saw a special on alien invasions. Did you know that the countries of the world have a cooperative plan to fight invading aliens? I wonder who that would be. Christ is an alien to them, so is the Father, so are the Holy angels, so will all the resurrected saints.

This has been developing for a long time. United Nations is part of it. Did you know that the IMF (International Monetary Fund), the Federal Reserve Bank, the London bank, and the BIS (Bank of International Settlements) are all one big happy family? Did you know that the Federal Reserve Bank is an independent bank, foreign owned. It has nothing to do with the United States of America. That is only a front. How many here own stocks? Do you have the certificates? or Do you have a digital account? You probably have a digital account. Where are the original certificates? They are in the Depository Trust Company owned by the Federal Reserve.

Remember, any bank that has any asset can use those assets to loan money. You know how much they have in the Depository Trust Company, and this is why the stock market goes up just so far, it comes down so far, and goes up so far—because they are making money up and they're making money down. Very few ordinary citizens are in the stock market anymore, because they've been burned on the up and burned on the down.

The total cash asset reserve of all the original stocks and bonds that are issued to corporations, the Depository Trust Company holds it. It is estimated that there are $24-trillion worth of assets held by the Federal Reserve Bank in the Depository Trust Company. This means that if they lend out on a 10% reserve—12% is a high margin. Some of the banks when they were going through all the financial things on Wall Street got down to 3%. In other words for every dollar they loan or whatever, they only had three in reserve to cover the seven. The Federal Reserve, on its own to other countries, could lend $4.5-quadrillion dollars. That's a lot of money, more than would fit in your pocket.

  • they want to have a world government
  • they want to have a world economy
  • they want to have a world religion

They're going to get it! So, let's see how far along its come.

Revelation 13:1: "And I stood on the sand of the sea... [The sea is like all kinds of people. Sand—remember—numbers of people.] ...and I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy." We won't get into all the detailed interpretation of this.

Verse 2 tells us that it is going to be a world government. Also, we can tell you this, watch China. It is going to be colossal. It is going to be super strong. God is raising up China to fulfill the prophecies there in Rev. 9 of the armies of 200-million. The end-time events are going to be colossal, gigantic. If anyone says, 'The end is coming next year,' no it's not.

Verse 2: "And the beast that I saw was like a leopard, and his feet like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion; and the dragon gave him his power, and his throne and great authority." Even the pope is calling for a new world order, because he's going to get a world religion.

Did you know that every year at the feast of Duala in India for the Hindu religion that pope sends his greetings to them; wishes them a happy Duala. Nothing like a little ecumenism.!

Verse 3: "And I saw one of his heads as if it were slain to death..." How's that going to happen? I'll give you my educated guess. There will be a temple built in Jerusalem because Rev. 11 demands that it will be; so does Matt. 24 and Luke 13. Because you can't have the tribulation start until the 'abomination of desolation' stands in the Holy Place and the Holy Place has got to be the temple. The Jews are willing and able and getting much more ready to build the temple, but they can't build it until God makes the circumstances work out so they can. But when it's built, it'll be very quickly.

What do you think the Jews are going to do to the man of sin, the son of perdition, that we find of in 2-Thess., when he comes into the temple and stops the sacrifices and says he's God? They're going to get a special crew of assassins. You know they will. They are going to get this guy. Think of it this way: The Jews now finally have the temple after what, 2,000-years? They finally have the sacrifices going again and then a man dares to come in the temple and say that he is God and stop all the sacrifices? They're going to be out to get him, so they will.

"...but his deadly wound was healed... [I wonder if the false prophet is going to pray for him and he'll be revived.] ...and the whole earth was amazed and followed the beast" (v 3). When it says all the world, the whole earth, that means globally. That's why we are in the age and time that we are in with so many of these things taking place.

Verse 4: "And they worshiped the dragon..." How is that coming about?

  • by gradually getting rid of Christ
  • by having ecumenical movements
  • by having diversity services in churches and synagogues

We don't know what's going to happen to the Muslims, but there has to come a time that they will be at least tamed down enough so that they can be included in this world religion. But did you know that Muslims and Christians are having services together in Christian churches?

"And they worshiped the dragon..." (v 4). What did Jesus say in John 14:6? 'I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me!' So, there is an absolute barrier that no man can go through. You can't have part of Christ. You may have some Christian values. As Jesus told James and John when they said, 'Lord, we saw a man casting out demons, but he doesn't follow us and we forbad him.' Another occasion they said, 'You want us to call fire down from heaven on him?' Nice loving Christians—right? He said, 'No, leave them alone. Those who are not against us are for us.' But then He said in another place, 'Those who are not with us are against us.'

So all of these people out there who think they have Christ now, it's going to evaporate, because they reject so much of the Word of God they don't understand. That's how they are going to worship the dragon, worship Satan the devil. We are coming down to a time in the future, you either belong to God or you belong to Satan. There isn't going to be any middle ground.

Let's see what happened here: "...who gave his authority to the beast... [2-Thes. says he proclaims himself as God] ...saying, 'Who is like the beast? Who has the power to make war against him?'" (v 4). Stop and think about this for a minute. Even terrorist activities have to be financed—don't they? Yes!

What if you have a world banking system where everything is controlled? and You have agreements with all the armies and all the nations, you have a world government? Without money you can't make war—correct? Even if you're a terrorist you've got to have money to buy the things to blow things up with—don't you?

With the system that is coming and being controlled, no one's going to be able to buy those things because those will be listed in a central computer and as soon as the clerk puts in the code for making a purchase, they'll know immediately whether that is an authorized thing or not.

This is when it will come to a time where it says, 'when they say peace and prosperity, then sudden destruction comes upon them' (1-Thess 5). Doesn't say immediate. There's a difference between sudden and immediate. They can go along for a period of time, maybe three and a half years, peace, prosperity, security, no war. They finally stop everything in the wars around the world and they're going to say, 'Yes, this wonderful man is God manifested in the flesh. Look at all the things he's been able to do.' This is going to be something, brethren. It's not going to be a little thing done in a corner. The whole world's going to know.

Verse 5: "And a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies was given to him (2-Thes.) and authority was given to him to continue for forty-two months…. [after the deadly wound was healed and that is three and a half years] …And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven.... [aliens] ...And he was given power to make war against the saints, and to overcome them..." (vs 5-7).
People ask, 'Why would God require that? I thought God was a God of love, a God of healing, a God of good.' Did Jesus die for you? You want to accept the death of Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins? Don't you think that what God has offered in eternal life is worth more than physical life that you now have? Remember what Jesus said, 'He who seeks to save his life shall lose it, but he who loses his life in Me will find it.' So, that's going to be quite a thing when that happens and "…overcome them…" Will they be able to hunt down people anywhere on earth? Yes, indeed!

"...and he was given authority over every tribe and language and nation" (v 7). That is awesome, worldwide power. You go online, you do a Google search, all the organizations for one-world government, one-world cooperation, world currency.

Verse 8: "And all who dwell on the earth will worship him... [unity through diversity] ...whose names have not been written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If anyone has an ear, let him hear" (vs 8-9).

So, what God is telling us, these things are going to happen! They're going to come about in a way that people in the past could never understand. Almost any commentary you read on the book of Revelation is worthless, because they do not understand—some do. There are other people who understand some of these things as well that it's going to be a world system.

Verse 11: "And I saw another beast rising out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, but spoke like dragon; and he exercises all the authority of the first beast... [over all nations] ...and he causes the earth and those who dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed" (vs 11-12). By saying, 'Yes, this is the manifestation of God.'

Will they do that? I can imagine, it says here, 'make an idol for the beast.' They'll make idols, they'll have tee-shirts, they'll have hats, they'll have songs, rock concerts, church services, false healings. They'll be great miracles. Remember what it says in Matt. 24, that they'll be great miracles even to deceive the elect if possible. This is going to be an unprecedented time.

If you don't make an idol to the beast, you're going to be killed. That's how the saints are going to be martyred. Isn't it interesting, it gets down to: Do you love God and serve Him and worship Him alone?

Verse 16: "And he... [the first beast] ...causes all... [An interesting study, go through the book of Revelation and circle every one of the alls.] ...causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free and the bond, to receive a mark in their right hands, or in their foreheads." The Greek for in is the word 'epi'—to be placed upon, but in—a perfect description of an invisible tattoo.

Not only will you not be able to buy and sell, v 17: "So that no one may have the ability to buy and sell unless he has the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name." The Greek there for or has the force of and.

Everything that's taking place now with this cashless society that's coming along, with identifying all of the 1.5-billion or 6-billion in India, giving them identification, all of these things are leading to a world system that will be controlled by world computer. We have much the same system already in place—don't we? You can go to any country and take out your VISA and you can buy anything you want, you get approval right away—right? The systems are ready, are getting in place.

The big thing that they have to get rid of is everyone who professes the name of Christ. They have to get rid of them! Also it means if you do not have the mark of the beast you cannot work! Can't buy and sell! How are you going to get a job? They can't pay you in cash under the table even if you got a job. The best you could do is attach yourself to a household that needs a worker and they would provide food for you for a while. But sooner or later the word is going to go out, 'Are you harboring anyone who does not have the mark of the beast? If you are, you better give them up or you're going to die.'

Let's see something here very interesting. Here's another version of the same system. Revelation 17:1: "And one of the seven angels who had the seven vials came and spoke with me, saying to me, 'Come here; I will show you the judgment of the great whore who sits upon many waters; with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication...'" (vs 1-2).

Verse 18: "And the woman whom you saw is the great city that has royal power over the kings of the earth." That has to be the Roman Catholic Church. Can be none other, but it's soon going to be the world religious center.

Do all governments have to 'cow-tow' to the Catholics? Yes, indeed! They've taken over Britain. Britain is gone; the Church of England is gone. The Jesuits subverted it and have taken it down. So much so that even Queen Elizabeth made a pilgrimage to the Vatican dressed in black and a veil and sat down and talked with the pope. Can you imagine that 200 years ago? The churches in England are all empty. The land is filled with Muslims, witchcraft, Harry Potter-ism. Poor Brits are in terrible circumstances. The only place on earth where the Gospel's going out is the United States of America.

Verse 2: "'...committed fornication, and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.'.... [How is that done? Unity through diversity! You don't know right from wrong.] …Then he carried me away in the spirit to a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting upon a scarlet beast that had seven heads and ten horns, full of names of blasphemy. And the woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and was adorned with gold and pearls and precious stones; and she had a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominations and the filthiness of her fornication" (vs 2-4).

Stop and think about that. Like I've said on ChurchatHome.com, go examine. If there is anything really Christian about the Roman Catholic Church. They claim to be Christian, but they're the exact opposite.

Verse 5: "And across her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT..." In Rev. 18 it talks about the great city, Babylon the Great. How are all the cities of the world patterned? Even someone mentioned that yesterday, that if you go to China, you just replace the signs with English and you would think you were in an American or British city. All the cities are patterned after the Babylonian example of Satan the devil. God views it as the extended city of Babylon which now fills the whole earth. The judgment that's going to come is going to be awesome indeed.

Verse 6: "And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints..." Who are the saints? The saints are those who have the Holy Spirit of God—correct? These are the ones who are converted. These are the ones down through history and at the end-time who will be martyred for Christ. They will attain to the first resurrection.

"...and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.…" (v 6). Will there be other people who are not converted, but are not against Christ, are for Him, that they will not bow the neck and be killed? Yes! They will qualify for the second resurrection, obviously. But they're not converted. The dividing line is going to be: Do you have the Spirit of God or do you just profess Christ? There are a lot of people who just profess Christ, very staunch in doing so. If they get killed, is God going to ignore them? Of course not! They died for Jesus' name. They'll be in the second resurrection obviously.

These are some of the things that are coming down in the world. We can see as these things grow and develop, it's going to be quite a thing. We, for the transition period, have a few things we need to do. We should have some food. We should have some emergency supplies for a time when the world banking system collapses.

Let me tell you how I conceive that it's going to happen. How then do you control looking at it from the point of view of the servants of Satan the devil? There is an elite who:

  • control the world
  • control the finances
  • control the governments
  • control the religions

They're not all in agreement yet, but they know that they have to be working for an overall goal. I believe it's going to start with a total collapse of all banking systems around the world. Look at how close we are to it now with all the debt in Europe, the debt in America, the debt that individuals have.

Look at how close it came to collapsing in 2008. Remember when they came in and said, 'Oh, we need a rescue package.' The first question should have been: Who is selling short? It was deliberately done, in my opinion, to throw the election to Obama. At that point the unthinkable was happening—'John McCain of all people—the worse possible candidate that has been since Bob Dole—was ahead of Obama.' So, they had to do that. That was controlled. They're going to do the same thing with debt.

Can Greece ever get out of it? No! Italy? Portugal? Spain? Ireland? You know what they call those nations? PIGS, P-I-G-S, standing for the initials of the first letter of each country. How about Japan? Have they been struggling 20-years with debt? How about America? Truth is, we have $326-trillion of unfunded liabilities: federal, state and local.

You're going to see more and more cities, like it is in California. Right now it's San Diego and San Jose, California. They've said they're out of money, can't pay the pensions. Exactly what happened in Prichard, Alabama. Remember what happened there? Did you see that on the news? One day—no money, gone. The retired firemen, policemen, librarians, and city workers would no longer be paid their pensions. They staged a futile protest out in front of the city hall. 'Give us our money!' The city council said, 'We don't have it.'

They worked out some sort of compromise, raised the price of everything. Some people now have a $500 a month water bill so they can pay the pensions, partly. Think what's going to happen. California, we already had the city of Vallejo go bankrupt. If you're being robbed at home, you take care of it yourself. If there's a stranger in the neighborhood that is suspicious, they don't even send out police anymore. They even had one fire that they didn't think was severe enough. Finally a fire truck from a neighboring city came over and put it out.

What I want you to do is think big. Just think how this is going to happen in city after city after city, town after town after town, country after country after country. It's all designed for one purpose: collapse the entire financial system! It's going to lead to chaos. If you don't have some food stored at home, how long do you think it's going to last in the supermarket? How quickly do you think those lines are going to be formed? How loving and kind and generous that they will be to give everyone a little bit of something? Just like the mobs going in for Christmas shopping, 'Get out of my way! Anyone fall down, stomp on them! I want my food!' They'll be fights! They'll be shootings!

Add to it this: They can no longer pay the guards at prisons. They can no longer buy the food to feed the prisoners. What are they going to have to do? Just like what happened with Sadam Hussein. When the whole economy collapsed, when the U.S. forces invaded Iraq, he let them all out of jail and they ravaged the countryside before the soldiers got there. How many people are in prison? In the United States we have 3.5-million. You want to know they're going to be like? Watch CNBC! Watch National Geographic! Watch some of them where they have these high security prisons where the worst of the worst are. I've watched some of them.

They interviewed some of the murderers and said, 'They better never let me out of here because I will kill again.' What do you think they're going to do? No provisions, no food, no job, no nothing. That's why we need God's protection. We also need to be 'wise as serpents and harmless as doves.'

When that happens, the miracle worker, the beast, is going to come and say, 'We have a solution. We will end all of these problems. We'll have a world currency.' That's before the mark of the beast. The mark of the beast will be enforced later. But the whole world system will be set up. Everyone will have a new world currency number. All cash will be obsolete. I imagine there will be a lot of trading with gold and silver under the counter. But be very careful if you're going to be buying and selling with that.

These are the things that are going to be coming down. Can you see why it is a very urgent thing that we establish the right relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ? We don't want to be like the five foolish virgins of Matt. 25.

Today we all so accustomed to doing things right at the time it needs to be done. Have you ever asked yourself: If an emergency came, how long could I last? How long could my family last? Look at what you have in storage or in the cupboard. The way the prices are soaring now, people's reserves will be less and less and less.

Spiritually speaking, this parable is for our time today, Matthew 25:1: "Then shall the kingdom of heaven be compared to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom…. [Christ and the Church] …And five of them were wise, and five were foolish" (vs 1-2).

  • How do you know if you're wise

or

  • How do you know if you're foolish?

very simple:

  • Do you believe God?
  • Do you have a personal relationship with Him through prayer and study?
  • Are you led of the Spirit of God?

All those things are important because those are the things that make you wise! Five were foolish. They coasted along. They made their relationship with Christ a social event among brethren. Have we seen that happen? Yes, indeed!

Verse 3: "The ones who were foolish took their lamps, but they did not take oil with them." They had these small little reader lamps. I'm sure you've seen them. They're almost like a big clamshell, like a big gooey duck. They would put the olive oil in that little reserve and then have a wick that would come over the edge. Then they would light the wick. The oil would run out very soon, so they had to have an extra reserve they took with them so they could replenish it.

Verse 4: "But the wise took oil in their vessels along with their lamps. Now, when the bridegroom was gone a long time, they all became drowsy and slept" (vs 4-5). Showing that everyone's going to have their problems and difficulties. You ever had times where you've had to have a personal revival because you haven't been praying and studying like you ought to? Yes, indeed!All of us!

Verse 6: "But in the middle of the night... [when you least expect it, when you're sound asleep] ...there was a cry: 'Look, the bridegroom is coming! Go out to meet him.' Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out'" (vs 6-8).

Here's a lesson. You cannot have 'bump' spirituality between brethren to give each other a big hug and all that you've learned is downloaded into their brain and in their heart. You have to have your own work that you are doing it. Remember, whatever you have done in the past, that's good—if it's been good—fine, well and good. If not, repent of it. At least there's one thing that most athletes have correct: Take it one day at a time. Remember what it says: 'Today if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts' (Heb. 4).

What happens when you wake up in the middle of the night? That happened to me last night. Woke up in the middle of the night and I got up and for a minute I forgot where I was. I thought somehow I missed my plane and I missed Sabbath services here. Then I looked around, 'Oh, yeah, Sabbath services are going to be here in the morning. I'm here.' You know how it is when you wake up like that, you're totally disoriented. The same way, if you are not spiritually ready for the things that are coming down the pike leading to the return of Christ. If you're a get-along/go-along person, then better be careful.

Verse 9: "But the wise answered saying, 'No, lest there not be enough for us and for you. But instead, go to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.'…. [that can only come from Christ] …And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast, and the door was shut. And afterwards the other virgins also came, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open to us.' But He answered and said, 'Truly I say to you, I do not know you.' Watch, therefore, for you do not know the day nor the hour in which the Son of man is coming" (vs 9-13).

That is true. But also, we do not know the day or the hour when a trial comes upon us that is going to be very trying and stressful. It is true, that if you do not maintain a proper relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ—because

  • God the Father is One Who has called us.
  • God the Father is one Who has given the Holy Spirit to us.
  • Christ is the one Who sent it from the Father

called the Spirit of Christ and the begettal of the Father.

We are to be partakers of the divine nature. We are to be born into the Kingdom of God as spirit beings, eternal life. There's nothing in this world or anything or anyone that can compare to that. So remember, God loves you. Playing church doesn't count. You have to have a living relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ, and that's possible.

  • you can do it
  • God will help you
  • God will inspire you

When you go to buy, you don't have to pay any money. You pay with your life and dedication and conversion and yieldedness to God. He'll give you His Holy Spirit.

I know one of my prayers every day is, 'Oh, God, we look at the world and we see all these things that are taking place and we see people in dire physical and mental and spiritual conditions.' When I was driven up here to come to the hotel, here was a couple, must have been in their middle to late 60s, standing right by a signal light. No place to go, no home, no food, cold, wind blowing, looked very desperate. I had him roll down the window and I gave them some money.

Spiritually, we don't want to be in that situation. We need to be strong in the Lord regardless of the circumstances. God will give you the strength, whatever you need. This is where we are. We're edging closer and closer and closer to this time.

A lot of us are going to pass from the scene and you're going to be blessed by going to a place of safety and that is called the grave where all previous Christians who have been faithful are now resting. Yes, when we get old we get weak. We get forgetful. We have ailments come upon us. Our ears fail, and in some cases that's a good thing. Our eyes fail, our bodies fail.

But remember this: You have the promise (Psa. 71), 'When I'm old and gray, O Lord, forget me not.' God won't forget you. Just because you're weak, because you can't remember, because age has come upon us, God loves us even more. So, for all of us in that category, we need to pray that we'll be faithful to the end. All of those in a younger category, ask for strength and wisdom and understanding because we don't know what the future's going to hold, what you need to do, or what God is going to require of us. That's why we

  • walk by faith
  • believe in hope
  • live in love

—because we belong to Christ. So it doesn't matter what's going to take place. You can look back and you can see. Think about all you who have been in the Church for decades. Look at the problems that you've had to go through:

  • doctrinal problems
  • brethren problems
  • relationship problems
  • rebellion
  • disbelief

You've had to stand alone. Maybe your husband has died. Maybe your wife has died. Maybe all your friends are getting old and dying. We have one woman back in Maine 102-years-old. When you get that age, everyone you knew is gone. But God hasn't forgotten her and God is not going to forget any of us, regardless of the trial that comes.

  • yes, you'll be concerned about it
  • yes, you'll be upset about it
  • yes, it will cause you sleepless nights, maybe pain, maybe agony

But remember, all of that's for a purpose:

Romans 8:28: "And we know that all things work together for good..." ALL things. It doesn't say some things, doesn't say just the important things, it says all things. If something comes along and it's a disaster or near-disaster, ask God for wisdom. What do You want me to learn? How can I understand what I'm going through? We've all had to do that.

Those of us who have been in the church for decades, we look back and see all the things that we went through. We can look and see, yes, it was for a purpose that God had. But when you're going through the middle of a trial, you don't understand what that purpose is. It's kind of like being caught in a tunnel and you really don't know what's at the other end of the tunnel until you get out of it.

But remember, v 28: "All things work together for good to those who love God... [First, love God. That goes right back to the very basic thing of everything that God wants us to do through His grace. Love Him with all our heart, with all our mind, with all our soul, with all our being.] ...to those who are called according to His purpose"—which you have been. God has called you for a reason, a glorious reason, a great purpose.

Verse 29: "Because those whom He did foreknow... [That's us! If you have God's Spirit He foreknew you. He knows you right now—right?] ...He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His own Son... [That is what God is going to give you, to be like Him.] ...that He might be the firstborn among many brethren…. [We are called the Church of the firstborn. God is going to take care of it.] …Now whom He predestinated, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified" (vs 29-30). That is prophetic perfect. In God's view, it's as good as done. In our view, we haven't arrived there yet.

Now, with this kind of faith, Paul says, v 31: "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?.... [Is not God for us? Does not God provide everything? Yes, He does!] ...He Who did not spare even His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, how shall He not also grant us all things together with Him?…. [If things come against you, don't worry about. Just make sure you're right with God.] …Who shall bring an accusation against the elect of God? God is the one Who justifies. Who is the one that condemns? It is Christ Who died, but rather, Who is raised again, Who is even now at the right hand of God, and Who is also making intercession for us" (vs 31-34). Christ is praying for us daily, interceding for us.

Verse 35: "What shall separate us from the love of Christ?.… [We're going to be confronted with every one of these things somewhere in the future.] ...Shall tribulation... [a lot of us have already been through a lot of tribulation and trial] ...or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? Accordingly, it is written, 'For Your sake we are killed all the day long; we are reckoned as sheep for the slaughter.'.... [That's what it talks about in Rev. 13—right?] ...But in all these things... [I want you to understand how God looks at these things.] ...we are more than conquerors... [overcomers] ...through Him Who loved us" (vs 35-37).

Here's the persuasion we need to come to. Here's the kind of spiritual mindset that we need to ask God to help us grow into. Verse 38: "For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come... [Covers everything—doesn't it?] ...nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (vs 38-39).

That's how we can meet the challenge that we're going to face in the years ahead of us. We don't know how long it's going to be. We don't know how quickly it's going to come. But we always have to be ready and this is how we can do it!

Scriptural References:

  • Revelation 13:1-9, 11-12, 16-17
  • Revelation 17:1-2, 18, 2-6
  • Matthew 25:1-13
  • Romans 8:28-39

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Revelation 9; 11
  • Matthew 24
  • Luke 13
  • 2 Thessalonians
  • John 14:6
  • 1-Thessalonians 5
  • Revelation 18
  • Hebrews 4
  • Psalm 71
  • Revelation 13

Also referenced:
Sermons:

  • Toward the Mark of the Beast
  • The Mark of the Beast is Here

Book: I'm Ok, You're Ok by Thomas A. Harris
Article: Sweden Moving Towards Cashless Economy (www.cbsnews.com, March 18, 2012)

FRC:lp
Transcribed: 4-1-12
Formatted: bo: 4-3-12

Copyright 2012—All rights reserved. Except for brief excerpts for review purposes, no part of this publication may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means without the written permission of the copyright owner. This includes electronic and mechanical photocopying or recording, as well as the use of information storage and retrieval systems.

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