Word of the Week: Transcendence

The digital agenda for Europe includes a single European payment area. Mark of the beast infrastructure formed now

Let's start from the end and work backward. The near future: "He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on 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." (Rev 13:16-17) This is the famous Mark of the Beast verse. Many people refer to it as the "one world currency" or the "New World Order."

Though the verse does not explicitly say, the concept of a global economy is inherent in the verse. If the Beast has been granted power over all the people, tribes, tongues and nations (Rev 13:7b) and causes all to engage in a certain action, i.e. to worship him, (Rev 13:8) then it stands to reason that he has power over the global economy, also. If you have the Mark, you can participate in the economy. If you don't have the mark, you can't participate in the economy - in any way.

Let's skip back now to the past generation. Prior to the microchip's invention in 1960 it seemed impossible that these verses could come about. People in prior generations could not conceive of how one man could have economic power over all the people in the world. Remember, these were the days before computers, satellite television, the internet, global positioning systems, and cell phones. The world was still a big place then, and many of the globe's nations were little known to a non-traveling public.

In 1950 Europe had just finished a devastating world war and sovereignty was rampant. People loved their countries, having come so close to losing them, thanks to Hitler. And they wanted it to stay that way. But they also wanted economic prosperity. WWII had wiped them out.

The European Union was born in 1950 when an economic partnership between 6 nations over coal and steel was formed. Coal and steel were necessary components of the continent's re-build of the continent's WWII bombed-out infrastructure. Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands were those partners, and it went so well that  by 1957 the European Economic Community, or "Common Market" was born.

Between the birth of the microchip born 1960 and the solidification of the Common Market in the same decade, the groundwork for Revelation 13's oppression through economic means was laid. In the 1970's the Common Market was expanded to nine with the inclusion of Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom. By the end of the 1970s the European Parliament was created and member states could directly elect their representative.

In 1989 the Berlin Wall came down and the European Union bloomed as East and West Germany were unified. No more Iron Curtain separated vibrant economies of the same continent, and the EU grew in stature and membership. 1993 was the seminal year, when the Single Market was completed with the 'four freedoms' of: movement of goods, services, people and money.

In the millennium 2000 decade, the euro was introduced, and the EU membership swelled to 27 nations. They adopted a constitution. With the collapse of communism and its doctrine of suppression of information, the internet became widely available to the lay-person.

But wait, there's more. Here's where it gets closer to the end point that we saw in Revelation 13. The EU has a plan, and it has been lately debated and this week it was legislated and accepted. The next plan includes 'pillars' named "Single Market Act," "Digital Single Market" and "European Stability Mechanism" - with implementation by 2012.

Thanks to some of the European nations that are not as deeply in debt as others, the EU is surviving the current fiscal crisis. However, they note that they were still impacted, notably by a large unemployed segment of the population - almost 10%. The Single Market Act was proposed and adopted by the European Commission this week. The Single Market Act proposes 12 key actions to boost European competitiveness and to unlock economic growth and jobs which, considering the crisis, we want to see adopted by the end of 2012. The 12 action items all of relate in some way to the free-flow of money, venture capital, and employees with payroll in and among member nations.

But HOW is the money, capital, and payroll to flow freely, you might wonder? The Digital Single Market, one of the founding pillars of the Digital Agenda for Europe.

"Transport, energy and electronic-communications networks are the backbone of the single market. Indeed, efficient infrastructures foster rapid free movement of people, goods and various types of energy and data (with the allocation of a sufficient radio spectrum) at a reasonable cost. Efficient economic integration relies on the integration of efficient infrastructure networks ... networks need to become smarter in order to improve energy transmission. New legislation must facilitate the establishment of a unified smart network..."

The infrastructure mentioned is no longer the coal and steel, quaint commodities of the old days of the burgeoning EU in 1950, but data networks, fast internet, and single European payment area.

The problem is that a French guy's credit card may not work in Bulgaria. A venture capitalist from Finland might want to start an annex to his business in the Czech Republic, and the data-transfer infrastructure as it stands now is too cumbersome. Hence, the 'Digital Agenda for Europe': in a nutshell, streamline the whole thing, NOW.

Single European Payment Area (SEPA) "will improve the efficiency of cross border payments and turn the fragmented national markets for euro payments into a single domestic one: SEPA will enable customers to make cashless euro payments to anyone located anywhere in the area using only a single bank account and a single set of payment instruments." Wikipedia, map at link. Timetable is completion by end of 2011. 1st meeting is in June 2011.

I gave you the short history so you could see how far and how fast the economic unification has come in one generation. Fifty years ago, a Christian reading the Revelation 13 verse could not conceive, nor comprehend how it would all work. This week, the European Single Market Act was passed. The Single European Payment Area is on the horizon, and once the 'infrastructure' is created, it would not take much for a smooth talker who was killed and resurrected to wow the world and slyly take over the whole shebang. Which, since we know the end from the beginning, he will do. And it looks like it won't be long.