Mike MacIntosh and Barry Stagner

Mike Macintosh and Barry Stegner

Mike MacIntosh and Barry Stagner

Story by Carmel Flippen

How might this unprecedented year connect to biblical prophecy? Pastors Mike MacIntosh of Horizon Christian Fellowship, San Diego, CA, and Barry Stagner of Calvary Chapel Tustin, CA, discuss a recent headline from Associated Press, but also point toward unshakable hope for the future.

Cashless and Churchless

“Cash: long a refuge in uncertain times, now under suspicion”:

BEIRUT (AP) — In troubled times, people have been known to hoard currency at home — a financial security blanket against deep uncertainty. But in this crisis, things are different. This time cash itself, passed from hand to hand across neighborhoods, cities and societies just like the coronavirus, is a source of suspicion rather than reassurance.

No longer a thing to be shoved mindlessly into a pocket, tucked into a worn wallet or thrown casually on a kitchen counter, money’s status has changed during the virus era—perhaps irrevocably. The pandemic has also reawakened debate about the continued viability of what has been the physical lifeblood of global economies: paper money and coins.

From the supermarkets of the United States and Japan to the shantytowns of Africa to the gas stations of Tehran, a growing number of businesses and individuals worldwide have stopped using banknotes in fear that physical currency, handled by tens of thousands of people over their useful life, could be a vector for the spreading coronavirus.

Public officials and health experts have said that the risk of transferring the virus from person to person through the use of money is minimal. That hasn’t stopped businesses from refusing to accept currency, and some countries from urging citizens to stop using banknotes altogether.

Barry StagnerBarry Stagner: Mike, we know this is heading in a direction the Bible has foretold: we are going to become a cashless society. We have learned to adapt [our predictions] as situations develop and we see things become possible. People speculate all the time over what the Mark of the Beast will be: it will be an RFID chip, it will be a bio-tattoo. Who knows what it’s actually going to be?

For a long time, we all talked about the fact that there would need to be a global currency. But all the digital currencies are adjusted online during the transaction. The whole rate of currency is in the system. So we don’t need a single currency; we just need technology, and we have it. This virus is pushing things in that [technological] direction, even though the CDC [has] said surface contact is not a main highway for transmission.

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. Revelation 13:16-17

Mike MacIntoshMike MacIntosh: Isn’t that something? ‘Cashless society’: you don’t hear that term often. A good friend of mine sent me an article which names some European countries that are already planning on doing [away with cash] soon. Well, [I believe] the Euro market is the Ten-Nation Confederation that everyone looks at, the City of Seven Hills, and so forth (Daniel 2:31-45; 7:7-24; Revelation 13:1-2; 17:3-16). “The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who…will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.” Revelation 17:12a, 14b

This virus is being used to set up, from our point of view, the Book of Revelation—but from the globalists’ point of view, their one-world government. They are already controlling many things now. Who ever thought that in America, in our lifetime, the church wouldn’t be allowed to get together?

Even in England in World War II, when the bombs were dropping, the church was not shut down. Even Hitler allowed the Lutherans to get together.

Barry: Last night we had a drive-up prayer time at Calvary Chapel Tustin. People stayed in their cars. There were many nearly tearful reunions, as we looked at people in the cars that we hadn’t seen in nine weeks. The value of that contact with our church family is immeasurable. We need to be standing up for it.

We need to vote, be politically active, and make sure our voices are heard. The Bible says, When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; But when a wicked man rules, the people groan. (Proverbs 29:2).

But I challenge the church: we should be more concerned that the Great Commission is being abandoned than that the First Amendment is being violated. We should be more concerned that people aren’t hearing the Gospel because so many churches have turned to itching the ears of their congregants instead of speaking the truth in love, and doing and fulfilling what we’ve been called to do as Christians.

And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25

Hope in Troubled Times

Mike: Well, here’s some good news for you. [In these troubled times] I’ve been thinking about Daniel. He was a Jewish prophet inside the Babylonian palace. His enemies put him in a lion’s den to be killed because they caught him praying. In the morning, King Darius ran down to the lion’s den and yelled, “Daniel, did your God protect you?!” And you know, he was totally healthy, the lions did not come after him, they didn’t bite him. Whatever God was doing, He protected His man.

Now there are some boys called Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. They would not bow to the enemies of the Lord. There was a huge statue of the king, Nebuchadnezzar—we’re talking tens and tens of feet high of solid gold. If somebody did not bow down to it, they would be thrown into a fiery furnace. But Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego did not bow down.

Then Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury…He spoke and commanded that they heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated. And he commanded certain mighty men of valor who were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, and cast them into the burning fiery furnace…Therefore, because the king’s command was urgent, and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Daniel 3:19-20, 22-23

So the soldiers took them over to the fiery furnace. When the soldiers opened the furnace door and threw them in, the fire was so hot, it knocked the soldiers over backwards and killed them.

The king thought, “I gotta see what’s going on with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego.” He looked in the window and said, “Didn’t we throw three people in?”

“Yes, sir, Mr. King.”

“Well, there’s a fourth in the fire with those men, and He looks like the Son of God.”

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came out of that fire without even a smell of smoke on them, or their clothing even singed, or their hair burned.

“Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” Daniel 3:25

Maybe this is a really rough time for you. You’re in the furnace and the fire’s burning. You know what, we’re all going through rough things, but I’ve found in the last 50 years of my life, Jesus is in the fire with me. He’s with you in the trouble, the pain, the suffering and setbacks—and you’re going to be delivered. He’s already paid the price for you.

Some of you are in the fire, and you think you have no way out. Yes, you do. Call upon the Lord while He is near (Isaiah 55:6b). Draw near to God and He will draw near to you (James 4:8). He’s near to you right now. He’s using Barry and myself to tell you about Him and His Word. A large part of His Word is about His love for you. If you will ask God to reveal Himself to you, He will do that. He’s a gentleman. He’s not going to push in on your life or twist your arm. And if you’ll ask Him to forgive your sins, He will forgive you. See, Jesus died for your sins because His Father God asked Him to do it. If you’ll ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior, He will do just that right now, and the fire will cease. Oh, you’ll still have problems and issues, but you’ll always have someone you can talk to … because God loves you.

This article has been edited and adapted from a recent HisChannel’s World News Briefing.


All verses above are quoted from the New King James Version.

© 2020 Calvary Chapel Magazine. All rights reserved. Articles or photographs may not be reproduced without the written permission of CCM. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.® Used by permission.