This prophecy is remarkable. Think about it: Nearly 2,000 years ago the apostle John, who prior to meeting Jesus had been a fisherman by trade and had been called an “uneducated and untrained” man (Acts 4:13), predicted that a global economic system will one day be instituted in which everyone will be forced to receive a number, without which they will not be able to buy or sell. Only in this era of computers and electronic commerce could this prophecy be fulfilled.
There are currently a number of methods commonly used for purchasing items. You can use cash, you can write a check, you can use a credit card, or you can use a debit card that instantly deducts the amount from your bank account and deposits it into the account of the merchant.
Smart cards take this several steps further. They have a tiny computer chip embedded in their plastic. These electronic marvels not only give you instant access to your bank account, but they can also contain (or access) your passport information, your medical records, driver’s license, photographs, biometrics, credit history, and other data. Hundreds of millions of smart cards are in use across Europe in the form of health cards, SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) cards (which turn your phone into a smart card),95 and ePurse cards.
A parallel program is the biometric passport (AKA, epassport) which began being issued by many countries in 2006. Although not involving commerce, this does involve an attempt at fail-safe identification. Epassports not only contain your name and personal data in printed form, but an RFID chip embedded in the cover contains the same information in electronic form along with biometric information.