Jan 21, 2014

Fraud Is Driving Us Closer to the Mark of the Beast

Todd StrandbergBy Todd Strandberg
Rapture Ready

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As long as there has been money, people have used various forms of fraud to scam their way into wealth. This illicit activity has played out in a race between law enforcement and criminals. As technology has gotten better, crooks have used more complex tools to produce money that looks like the real thing.

cash burning

"A New Form of Money Is Needed"

For hundreds of years, the battle with counterfeiters evolved at a very slow pace. When the Secret Service began tracking phony bills, most of them were drawn completely by hand because printing presses were a technology that only governments could access. As printing became more abundant, criminals had greater ability to mass produce forged bank notes.

The introduction of digital printers has made it very difficult for governments to stay ahead of counterfeiters. These machines are so skilled at producing fine print that the Treasury Department has had to add an increasing number of features to maintain the security of our currency. Every few years, the Treasury will come out with a new design.

Technology has advanced to a point where a new form of money is needed. Here are four reasons why I think a major change will occur:

  1. Credit Card Fraud—I'm sure most of you have read about the 110 million credit cards that were stolen from Target. The increased usage of online payment and debit cards has made this form of money a key interest for criminals. Once crooks have your account and pin number, the cards are as good as cash. They use three main methods for stealing card number information: hacking into networks, buying data from insiders, or tricking people into giving up their personal information.

  2. 3D Printing—The demise of physical currency may be the result of three dimensional printing technology. Right now, 3D printing can only work with metals and plastics, but eventually these machines will be able to work with almost any material. Someday you will be able to put a $100 bill on a scanner, and out will come a copy of the bill that is so exact, a powerful microscope would be needed to tell the difference.

  3. Crypto-currencies—The first crypto-currency to begin trading was Bitcoin in 2009. Since then over 75 other forms of digital money have been established. They all rely on cryptography to control their creation and transfer funds. What makes them popular is the fact they are anonymous and are not linked to any government. They all have a flaw that could someday make them worthless. If someone is able to get around or decipher the code that protects these crypto-currencies, they could steal them away from their rightful owners. Some types of spyware programs could be the tool for accomplishing the task. Eventually, all forms of encryption may become vulnerable as the government develops quantum computers that can instantly decipher even the toughest codes.

  4. Gold and Silver—Precious metals would seem to be resistant to any form of counterfeiting. So far, scientists haven’t figured out a way to turn lead into gold, but some people have figured out how to make less valuable metals look like gold and silver. When precious metals reached a high in 2011, a large number of fake coins and bars were produced in China. Because some of them were coated with a layer of gold and silver on the outside, with a mix a cheap metals on the inside, only a coin expert could spot the fakes.

If the government is able to trace all monetary transactions in the world, a thief would be unable to use force to steal someone else's money. Even if they tricked someone into handing over a $1000, the victim could appeal to the justice system to have the transaction reversed.

The War on Terror has already placed cash in a very negative light. This past week, 33 year old Conor Guckian, was arrested at the Nashville International Airport because he had $153,000 cash in his briefcase. Officials arrested him because they assumed the money was connected to drugs. Even though Mr. Guckian looked very suspicious, charging him with drug money laundering makes criminals out of everyone who carries large amounts of cash. We've come a long way since the days when author, Hunter S. Thompson, could pay for his drugs with a two million dollar check that had "cocaine" written in the memo field without the bank contacting the feds.

When I first started studying prophecy, I wondered how the Antichrist would be able to get everyone to line-up and receive the mark of the beast. Back then, there were all types of civil rights watch groups, and anything that hinted of a "big brother" move by the government was automatically shot down. Today, the watchdogs are all gone and "big brother" is your friend. All the beast would need to do is get people to take the 666 mark as an offer for a safe platform for conducting financial transactions.

"He required everyone—great and small, rich and poor, slave and free—to be given a mark on the right hand or on the forehead. And no one could buy or sell anything without that mark, which was either the name of the beast or the number representing his name" (Revelation 13:16-17 NLT).