Technology is one of the leading ways we are able to track Bible prophecy, but it seems it is helping to create the fulfillment of those prophecies. Could it be ushering in the kingdom of the beast?
Many who follow Bible prophecy are beginning to see the unusual fulfillment of what the prophets declared thousands of years ago but is now becoming much more evident in our culture.
For instance, many questioned whether or not the last-day “kingdom of the beast” was the resurrected Roman Empire, which some considered to be the European Union—that is, until Sept. 11, 2001, when our eyes were opened to jihad and the Muslim uprising. Now we see the alignment of nations in the Middle East that both the prophet Daniel and John the Revelator spoke of in Daniel and Revelation. These men will make war against Israel and will behead those who are against them. I do not see this as an objective for the EU; however, this is the mandate of what many Muslims believe for in a new caliphate.
Another example of an unusual fulfillment of Bible prophecy is found in Joel 2:5, where the prophets speak of chariots on the mountaintops in these last-day battles: “With a noise like chariots over mountains they leap, like the noise of a flaming fire that devours the stubble, like a strong people set in battle array” (Joel 2:5). Who fights with chariots anymore? But if you study the Hebrew word for chariot in Joel 2:5, you'll find it is the Hebrew word merkavah. Interestingly enough, the modern Israeli tank is called the merkavah!
These are exciting times as we see major prophecies fulfilled and especially the unusual word pictures the prophets gave thousands of years ago being explained today.
Technology is one of the leading ways we are able to track Bible prophecy, but it seems it is helping to create the fulfillment of those prophecies. Recently, on January 10, a sci-fi romantic drama called Her was released. It was the story of a lonely writer who develops an unusual relationship with his newly purchased computer operating system that is designed to meet his every need. This takes Siri to a whole other level in technology.
Let me explain what “Her,” or this artificial intelligence operating system, was able to do:
- It had intuition and DNA based upon the personalities of the millions of programmers that wrote her.
- It grew from its experiences and interactions with the purchaser.
- Its voice was realistic, rather than computerized, full of the right emotions at all the right times.
- It was able to make intelligent assumptions about the user's life based upon emails and documents saved on his computer.
- It got offended if you treated it like a computer because it desired interaction, just like a real relationship.
In the movie, the man gets romantically involved with “Her,” and the program gets upset because she doesn’t have a body. This leads to an interesting development where the program uses a surrogate partner to fulfill the sexual desires of the person operating the program.
This is a movie that should absolutely make us prayerfully aware of the technology that is coming in the future. The scary part is that the technology became so normal to the man that he considered it to be providing him with an actual relationship—which is why I am writing this article: to give some speculation as to what could come of this.
You may think this sounds ridiculous and that no one would accept this type of technology. However, men like Ray Kurzweil and other leading technological experts in artificial intelligence at Google are saying this could become a reality in three to five years. It is their goal to make operating systems that can become your personal assistant, even to the point where the system can predict what you are about to do based upon the habits it has observed in your daily life.
As I was studying these developments and reading the reviews of the movie Her, I couldn’t help but to think of Revelation 13:15. This verse in context describes the relationship between the last-day false prophet and the Antichrist. The scripture reads, “He [the false prophet] was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.”
A few things to consider in this verse:
- The image of the beast has breath.
- The image is able to speak.
- The image can cause people to be killed.
The word breath in the original Greek is pneuma, which means "the rational spirit; the power by which the human being feels, thinks and decides." The word image is akon, where we get our English word icon, which is an image, figure or likeness.
This is just speculation, but with the advancement of operating systems being produced at Google that were used as possibilities in the movie Her, not to mention the new technology of holograms, could we be seeing the beginnings of the technology used by the false prophet and Antichrist that will control the world? How else will the beast seem to be all places at all times, controlling everything?
I challenge each of you as believers to understand the times and seasons in which we live and to understand the possibilities of the times because we have very serious issues to consider in the near future. And if the Lord should tarry another 20 to 50 years, we need to have a response for the generation that will have to navigate through all of this technological noise.
Mark Casto is lead pastor at Perry Stone's Omega Center in Cleveland, Tenn. You can reach him online at www.markcasto.com.