Hal Lindsey posted an article on World Net Daily this morning, with the headline, “Prophesied Cashless Society: It’s Almost Here”. Here’s the link.
He makes some good points in the article about the current desperation in Government circles to alleviate a Great Depression-type crisis. Such desperation has some unfortunate and tragic historical precedents.
But then Mr. Lindsey predicts “the elimination of cash as a medium of exchange.” Because that’s what he thinks the book of Revelation predicts. But my question for Mr. Lindsey is, “Where exactly does the book of Revelation predict a cashless society?” This is another Dispensational/Pre-trib fiction. It’s a myth. Revelation predicts no such thing.
What Revelation does predict is that a Christ-usurping institution will control economic markets to such an extent that only the people it approves will be allowed to buy and sell. Here’s the passage:
Revelation 13:16-17 16 Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, 17 so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. (ESV)
The People’s New Testament Commentary, on verse 17 says,
It has been common for Catholics to be forbidden to patronize those who were not loyal to the Pope. At least three councils are named, those of Tours, of Constance and the Lateran, which have expressly forbidden business intercourse with heretics.
And the famous Baptist theologian, John Gill, wrote in his commentary also on verse 17,
Either in an ecclesiastical sense, as to, be in any church office, or perform any such service, to say Mass, hear confession, give absolution, sell pardons and indulgences, &c. or in a civil sense, as to trade, and exercise merchandise, and this was forbidden by several Popish councils and synods; the Lateran council, under Pope Alexander, decreed against the Waldenses and Albigenses, that no one should presume to retain or encourage them in their houses or countries, or “trade” with them; and the synod of Tours in France forbid any reception of heretics, or protection, and that any communion should be had with them “in buying and selling,” as Mr. Mede has observed; and it was ordered by a bull of Pope Martin the Fifth, that no contract should be made with such, and that they should not follow any business and merchandise…
The details of this prophecy can be argued to have already been fulfilled during the tyranny of the Popes, especially in the so-called, “Dark Ages”. Even if Mr. Lindsey is unfamiliar with European history so that he simply didn’t know that this sort of thing has already happened, it’s quite a leap for him to go from verses 16-17 of Revelation 13 to predictions of a “cashless society”. If journalists are expected to be responsible in their reporting of the news, shouldn’t Bible teachers be responsible in their reporting of Biblical prophecy? Otherwise, when the misunderstood false-predictions of people like Mr. Lindsey never actually come true, some people might mistakenly conclude that it was the Bible that was unreliable!