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This article, written in 2019, highlights how rapid advances in technology are transforming civilization. Our digital age was described in biblical prophecy, with three specific Bible verses highlighting today’s interconnected Internet/smartphone era.
In Matthew 24, Jesus Christ’s disciples asked Him what would signal His return. One thing He said would happen was: “...this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (verse 14).
At the time Jesus gave this prophecy, communication was limited. Messages were carried by foot, ship or on horseback. It took time, sometimes a lot of time, to get the word out. Today roughly 2.7 billion people worldwide own a mobile phone, putting man’s collective fund of knowledge within reach at any moment. The potential now exists—as never before—for the true gospel of God’s coming Kingdom to be preached to “all nations.”
Consider the setting of the two witnesses mentioned in the book of Revelation. The context of this prophecy is just before Christ’s second coming, when God gives the two witnesses power to preach on His behalf for 1,260 days. They perform miracles, work out of Jerusalem and cannot be harmed (Revelation 11:3-6).
After they have completed their mission, God allows them to be killed (Revelation 11:7-8). Then something is described previous generations could not explain: “Their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city [Jerusalem]... And…people and kindreds and tongues and nations [all nations!] shall see their dead bodies three days and a half… And…shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth” (Revelation 11:8-10). The two witnesses are then raised from the dead.
People all over the world will see the two witnesses’ dead bodies in Jerusalem. This is impossible without today’s technological advancements.
The rise of a world-ruling superpower centered in Europe called “the Beast” in the Bible is also foretold. It will exercise unprecedented control over people and religion will play a major role, with advanced technology being one of its most effective tools.
The religious leader of this end-time superpower will kill those who refuse to worship the Beast: “And he had power…[that]...as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he [the false religious leader] causes all…to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark…” (Revelation 13:15-17). We are rapidly becoming a cashless society, in which it would not be technically difficult for people to no longer be able to buy or sell without the sanction of the Beast power.
In a Wall Street Journal article, titled “Technology Isn’t a Force for Liberation After All” (April 2019), editor at large, Gerard Baker wrote: “ For all its benefits, artificial intelligence of the sort that drives facial-recognition software…is proving an extraordinarily useful implement in the furtherance of repression… China leads the way, but governments of an authoritarian bent are eagerly acquiring and adapting similar tools…The possibilities are chilling.”
Then The Guardian describes China’s social credit system as follows: “…The system…grants subjects a social credit score based on their social, political and economic behavior. People with low scores can be banned or blacklisted from accessing services including flights and train travel; while those with high scores can access privileges.” (Kelsey Munro, “China’s Social Credit System ‘Could Interfere in Other Nations’ Sovereignty,’” The Guardian, June 27, 2018).
An article in The New York Post reported: “One of the ways that people can improve their own social credit score is to report on the supposed misdeeds of others. Individuals can earn points…for reporting those who violate the new restrictions on religious practice, such as Christians who illegally meet to pray in private homes…“ (Steven Mosher, “China’s New ‘Social Credit System’ Is a Dystopian Nightmare,” May 18, 2019).
The surveillance of Muslims in China is also documented. “Chinese authorities in the western Xinjiang province are building a comprehensive database that tracks the movements, mobile app usage and even electricity and gasoline consumption of people in the heavily Muslim region…” (Gerry Shih, “‘Police Cloud’: Chinese Database Tracks Apps, Car Location and Even Electricity Usage in Muslim Region,” The Washington Post May 2, 2019).
According to the author of the Human Rights Watch report, researcher Maya Wang: “‘This is not just about Xinjiang or even China—it’s about the world beyond and whether we human beings can continue to have freedom in a world of connected devices…It’s a wake-up call, not just about China but about every one of us.’”
Considering how technology is being used to control and harm people, we can see how the biblical prophecies concerning the coming Beast power tracking dissenters, taking away their ability to conduct business and commerce, and eliminating those who won’t conform is now a reality.
Beyond Today Magazine (Jul-Aug 2019)