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God's Not Mad at You
“Is cryptocurrency the mark of the beast?”

“Is cryptocurrency the mark of the beast?”

SEPTEMBER 3, 2021

/ Programs / Key Life / “Is cryptocurrency the mark of the beast?”

Steve Brown:
Is cryptocurrency the mark of the beast? The answer to that and other questions on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
If think laughter isn’t spiritual or that faithfulness to God it’s conformity to Christian stereotypes, then this program probably isn’t for you. But if you’re looking for honest, Biblical answers to honest questions, welcome to Key Life. Here’s our host, author and seminary professor Steve Brown, along with Pete Alwinson from ForgeBibleStudy.com.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. Hi Pete.

Pete Alwinson:
Hey man. You doing alright?

Steve Brown:
I’m doing alright, but you’re going to have to answer that question. We’ll talk about it when we get to it. That’s Pete Alwinson, be sure and check out ForgeTruth.com. Pete’s been coming in here for over 25 years. And we’ve been sitting at this table answering some of the thousands of questions we get from you. And we love your questions. We take you and your question seriously. If you have a question and the Spirit moves, just pick up the phone and dial 1-800-KEY-LIFE and follow the instructions. You hit the right button, record your question. And sometimes we put that on the air. Or you can send your question to

Key Life Network
P.O. Box 5000
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In Canada, it’s

Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8

Or you can e-mail us at Steve@keylife.org. And those are touch places where if you pray about it and you feel that you should support us financially, you can do that. And, we’ll be faithful with your gift. You can charge it on your credit card, include it in your envelope and we’ll use it to help a whole lot of people, who can’t help us financially. Only about 10% are those champions, and if you will be a part of that 10%, I’ll rise up and call you blessed. And if you can’t, we understand. If you pray for us, I’ll rise up and call you blessed for that too. Pete, why don’t you lead us in prayer and we’ll get to these questions.

Pete Alwinson:
You got it. Let’s pray. Father, we come to you today, at the end of this week. Lord, thank you that you have been large and in charge the whole time. We stop and we remember the issues and the problems and the challenges, and many of them worked out. Many of those things, we’re all upset about. And, some of them still need your hand. So, we come to you with our requests and we come to you with our Thanksgivings. Lord, you are gracious to us in so many ways. And we stop right now. Thank you that you love us, that you’ve redeemed us, that you hold onto us. You promise never to let us go and that even through this life, you turn trials which seem to be a disadvantage to our advantage. So, we honor you and praise you, pray that we would be able to worship you this week-end and give you praise and honor and glory. Be with our leaders in a powerful way and be with Steve and all those great people in the back office, who are doing wonderful things here at Key Life. We pray for them and we commit this time of Q&A to you right now, as we pray in Jesus name. Amen.

Steve Brown:
Amen. Let’s go to our phone lines.

Caller 1:
Cryptocurrency is a mark of the beast, 666. Don’t touch it, it’s a one way ticket to hell.

Steve Brown:
You sure? I’m not even sure what it is, you know, people sit me down, you know, and try to explain things to me about technology and about cryptocurrency. And I don’t understand it either one, nor do I want to understand either one and I’m not going to give either one very much thought, as long as somebody understands that’s enough for me. So, I’ve heard that said before.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah, doesn’t crypto mean, I can’t understand it. I’m not sure what that would mean. Yeah. You know, fascinating. You know, our degrees are in theology. Right?

Steve Brown:
Yeah, not bit coinery.

Pete Alwinson:
There you go, so it’s the market. So, what we can say, is it’s not the mark of the beast, because the way the book of Revelation talks about it, you have to have it to buy things, right? Whatever the mark of the beast is, you have to have it to buy things. And apparently, I mean, I’ve never been asked or cryptocurrency going into Publix, for instance.

Steve Brown:
In fact, they wouldn’t accept it there.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. Yeah.

Steve Brown:
As a matter of fact, so if it is the mark of the beast, it’s going to be a long way down the pike and it’s not going to happen tomorrow. It is a kind of, and I realize there are people that are really putting a lot of money and time into this and think they’re going to get rich and maybe they will. I wish them luck, but it seems to me that it’s kind of ethereal and there’s nothing you can grab on to. You know, I don’t trust my computer to trust, to correct my spelling, much less to run my banking. So, but no, it’s not the mark of the beast. What do you think will be the mark of the beast?

Pete Alwinson:
Golly, I don’t know. I mean, it was probably, it was probably inside the injection that people are getting for COVID.

Steve Brown:
Okay, this is an e-mail. Malachi says you’ll be cursed if you don’t tithe. But the apostle Paul says to give cheerfully and not under compulsion, which is it.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s good. That, that’s a good question from a Biblical, theological, historical, hermeneutical standpoint. So, how do you approach that?

Steve Brown:
Well, you’ve got to remember that tithing in the Old Testament was more than just giving 10% of your income to the work of God. Tithing had to do with a theocracy and it funded all the parties and it funded all of the infrastructure, if you will, of the theocracy, it was the income that flowed into the government, which was under God, to feed the hungry, to help where help was needed, to fix things and to keep the church going. And, you know, so God was saying not so much about tithing, but tithing in the Old Testament since, is something that you, as a member of God’s covenant people have to be a part of. And if you don’t do it, then there is a curse that follows, like your country is going to fall apart, if you don’t support it.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. It’s kind of like our part of the covenant, keeping the covenant conditions in the Old Testament.

Steve Brown:
So, it’s not God, it says, if you don’t try, you’re ugly and I’m going to curse you. But when you move into the New Testament, you got a whole new thing going, don’t you?

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. It’s fascinating we’re in the new covenant time. And I think the general principle of the covenant community, covenant of grace, holds true. And so tithing is a great starting point, but Paul does go beyond that to radical generosity. Doesn’t he?

Steve Brown:
He really does.

Pete Alwinson:
And so, it’s both and. And, really, as we see the gospel, God owns all of us. I’ve been bought with a price, Paul says. We’ve been bought with a price. He owns everything. He owns my cars, my trucks, my house, whatever.

Steve Brown:
And he lets me keep 90% of it.

Pete Alwinson:
Isn’t that amazing to build your life out of 90%. It’s wonderful.

Steve Brown:
You know, there is something to be said about the joy of giving, you know, you think when you start out, you know, I can’t give that much money I’ve got bills to pay and children to feed. But when you start down that road, Wesley said, give and then give until it hurts. And then give until it’s fun. And that last part becomes really a part of the giving.

Pete Alwinson:
It’s so true. We had a guy in our ministry who just this past week, we were going to do something special for the guys and give them a give them a book. And he said, I want to cover that. And I didn’t ask him. I didn’t even think about it, but it, he’s just a generous guy. And he finds great joy in doing that.

Steve Brown:
And I think that can be true for all of us, to see what God does with the, with the funds that we provide, because he always provides for us.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
One of the staff members here at Key Life, is getting some extra money and she’s going to give it all away. And I said, you know, maybe you ought to keep a little bit of it. She said, I don’t need it. And I can hardly wait to go down the list and see who I’m going to give it to.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s fantastic.

Steve Brown:
Yeah, it is. What is the purpose of evangelism in light of God’s omnipotence and sovereignty, especially considering belief in predestination or election? Are we wasting time and money on evangelism?

Pete Alwinson:
I think she’s got a good point. Yeah. Don’t evangelize. God is sovereign.

Steve Brown:
Yeah, just give it up. No, of course not.

Pete Alwinson:
Right. I mean, the Bible tells us to, Jesus in his parting words says, go and make disciples. So, it’s clear. Yeah. Predestination is true. God ordains who comes to Christ. He also ordains how they come to Christ and it’s through our telling people.

Steve Brown:
And in the context, yes, it is. And in the context of that, there is still the antimony, the difficulty of freedom and responsibility and God’s sovereignty, which the person who asked this question in the e-mail doesn’t understand. And I don’t understand. And Pete doesn’t understand, it’s ambiguous, deal with it. I don’t know how in a world that works out, but Jesus said,do it. So, do it. And he’ll bring fruit, cause he said he would, a harvest is prepared for you. So, go out and do it and rejoice in what God does, because of your evangelism.

Pete Alwinson:
See, this is actual, actually this position actually motivates us way more for evangelism, because we know God’s people are out there. We know there’ll be some that will respond. And so just be a good, good news teller. Just tell the truth, try to answer the questions you can.

Steve Brown:
See what God does.

Pete Alwinson:
And see what he does. It’s great. It’s freedom. It’s not bondage to evangelize.

Steve Brown:
This is an e-mail. What do you think about once saved, always saved?

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah, I’m dependent upon it.

Steve Brown:
If you could lose your salvation, I would have lost it several times.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s true. That’s true. And truer about me than anybody else I know.

Steve Brown:
I remember Ruth Graham when somebody, said, does God always answer your prayers? And she said, no, he doesn’t. If he did, I would have married them wrong man, several times. And I would have lost my salvation several times.

Pete Alwinson:
Oh man.

Steve Brown:
Listen, God has already, and I realize that there were some theologically who believe that you can lose your salvation, but those who are thoughtful about it, say, yeah, you can lose it, but that’s one hard thing to do. So, and I don’t agree with that. I agree that God made up his mind about you a long time ago and wouldn’t kick me out anymore than I would get my daughters out. They can’t stop being my daughters,

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. That’s right.

Steve Brown:
no matter what. And it’s a great comfort, isn’t it?

Pete Alwinson:
Oh, it is. And that’s what motivates us to keep growing, to know that we’re secure in him.

Steve Brown:
That’s right.

Pete Alwinson:
Love brings security.

Steve Brown:
It does. And he gives you freedom to risk. A lot of Christians just stay in a corner, so they can be good. And you can’t do that. You’re supposed to be in the world and not of the world.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
Got to go. But first, Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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