Question: WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE ANTICHRIST, THE FUTURE WORLD DICTATOR WHOSE COMING IS FORETOLD IN THE BIBLE? IS HE LIVING NOW AND PERHAPS ALREADY WORKING BEHIND THE SCENES TO BRING ABOUT HIS PLAN FOR WORLD ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL DOMINATION?
Joseph Candel: Recent developments indicate that the Antichrist’s system is already being set in place, based on technology that will allow him to achieve and enforce his near total control of the world and its people.
A key Bible passage about this is Revelation 13:16-17: The Antichrist’s regime “causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on [or “in”] their right hand or on [in] their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”
Imagine what the apostle John must have thought when, in about ad 90, he saw a vision of this taking place in a futuristic world. People ever since have been baffled as to how such a universal, totalitarian economic system could be established or policed. But now the age of technology has arrived. With electronic money rapidly replacing cash, and with virtually everything that is bought and sold being identified and tracked by bar codes, RFID chips, and other means, it is no longer inconceivable that the financial transactions of everyone in the world could one day be monitored by a central agency.
Most of the technology already exists, but before the Antichrist’s plan can work, it needs to be more powerful, cheaper, and more widespread. It stands to reason, then, that the Antichrist would get behind research and development in such fields as microchip technology, biotechnology, and the Internet. Of course, those technologies in themselves are not necessarily bad. It’s how they will be used that we need to worry about. In the Antichrist’s case, passages such as Daniel 8:24, 2 Thessalonians 2:9, Revelation 13:2-4, and Revelation 12:9 make it clear that he will be Satan-possessed, therefore his system will be far from benign.
DO YOU REALLY THINK THAT PEOPLE WILL ACCEPT THE TYPE OF CONTROL YOU’RE DESCRIBING?
The Antichrist needs to sell the world on it. It appears that he’s already busy at that, and he is not alone. He works through others?mostly unwitting accomplices who are helping to further his agenda by developing and marketing the technology, including some of the world’s brightest minds and biggest financial powers.
A scripture that goes along with that point is Daniel 11:21b (KJV): “He shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.” Some versions of the Bible translate this as “seize the kingdom by intrigue”?by secret scheming or plotting. Either way, it sounds as though the Antichrist is going to rise to power through cunning salesmanship rather than solely the strong-arm tactics that the leaders of most past empires depended on.
CAN YOU BE MORE SPECIFIC ABOUT THE TECHNOLOGIES YOU SEE THE ANTICHRIST CAPITALIZING ON?
Let’s start with surveillance technology. Video cameras now monitor and record our faces and movements in many stores and public places. We have learned to accept this intrusion into our lives because of the benefits. It discourages crime and helps apprehend criminals. Likewise, the monitoring of Internet communications helps curtail child pornography, terrorism, and other threats to our common good.
As electronic databases replace filing cabinets, more and more data about us is being collected, stored, cross-referenced, and shared. Now that nearly everything we do leaves behind a “data trail,” combining information from different sources can recreate a person’s activities with astonishing accuracy and detail. This reservoir of personal information is especially helpful to marketers, and it is big business. Financial privacy has become a thing of the past, as financial institutions and others now routinely put the details of their clients’ lives up for sale.
Other data-gathering technologies help complete the mosaic of information that can be collected on individuals. For example, computerized “black boxes” are being built into cars, and GPS chips into cell phones and other electronic devices?innovations that consumers are being told are for their own good.
Surveillance cameras in public places are rapidly becoming the norm, with cities like London leading the way. London’s “Ring of Steel” makes use of nearly 2 million cameras to record the movements and activities of London’s approximately 7.5 million people. China’s “Golden Shield” comprehensive surveillance program, launched in major cities like Shenzhen, goes even further with systems that can even recognize faces.
New passports issued by the U.S. and more and more other countries now contain microchips, and China is adding microchips to the ID cards every citizen is required to carry. Microchip implants are the next logical step. They are already being implanted under the skin of pets for ID and tracking purposes, and pilot programs are already being done for Alzheimer’s patients and children. Other pioneer cases continue to make news. Mexico’s attorney general and members of his staff, for example, have joined the ranks of the chipped.
THE EXAMPLES OF CHIPPING ARE ISOLATED CASES?HARDLY INDISPUTABLE EVIDENCE OF THE GLOBAL TAKEOVER YOU SAY IS COMING.
Yes, they are isolated cases, but they are preparing the way by getting people familiar with the concept and selling them on its benefits. The Antichrist will not be able to fully set up his government until these technologies are pooled into an integrated network with universal standards?an obstacle that might not be an obstacle much longer. Governments and industry are setting boundaries and expanding their global electronic network by sharing information, services, and technology. As more countries turn to the latest technology to help solve their particular social and economic problems, they expand the network’s reach and capabilities. The level of technological development now varies greatly from nation to nation, but the whole system could be “online” in a relatively short time.
YOU HAVE TO ADMIT THAT THESE NEW TECHNOLOGIES AND COOPERATIVE EFFORTS HAVE POSITIVE FEATURES ALSO. THINK OF THE CONVENIENCE, SECURITY, LOWER COSTS, AND IMPROVED QUALITY, SPEED, AND EFFICIENCY IN THE DELIVERY OF GOODS AND SERVICES MADE POSSIBLE BY THESE ADVANCES.
Very true, but precious little is said about the negative aspects of this public intrusion into what were once private, personal affairs. Under the banner of science and technology, the governments of the world are rushing to complete the Antichrist’s economic and political system for him?the very system the Bible warns against.
IF ALL THAT IS TRUE, WHAT IS A PERSON’S BEST DEFENSE?
To be forewarned is to be forearmed. Arm yourself with the truth, and then you won’t fall for the clever propaganda of the AC system when it comes. If your spiritual eyes and ears are open, you’ll understand what’s happening and you won’t just follow the crowd. You won’t go off the cliff with the rest of the lemmings. Your best defense is to be knowledgeable and alert.