Prophecy and Technology

Today we are going to briefly look at some trends in technology and how they relate to Bible prophecy. No, we are not going to spend much time on the internet and privacy, but on other very important trends that are now coming to pass right before our eyes. These are some truly ‘epoch’ level changes coming and these new technologies are going to fundamentally alter life on earth and how man interacts with the world around him - his wages, war, how he pays his bills, works and travels. Major changes are just now starting to occur.

I can imagine many priests in the middle ages thought the Apostle John’s vision of the apocalypse too fantastic to believe in a literal sense. As I read the much older interpretations of scripture, I see how many of them tended to over-spiritualize so many of the things in there. They had no conception of the kinds of technological advances man would have achieved in the final hour.

Today, the things in Revelation may still seem strange and way out to some readers, but as we see the things now being invented and developed and some of the things now transpiring on earth on the environmental front, those prophecies no longer seem far fetched to anyone who reads the news. Mass die-off’s of the world’s oceans? Brothers, it’s right there in your Bibles (Rev 8:9, 16:3). I do not mean to say that we have seen the fulfillment of these things, only that they are by no means far fetched… not anymore.

One reader of mine who sends me interesting links from time to time had this question that will be the starting point for this paper.

 I was browsing over the internet a few days ago, and I came across articles describing the latest computer technology. In Japan they are creating robots that look almost completely human like. One very soon will even be able to interact intelligently with these robots:  no kidding here, this really is shocking. I even read of computerized algorithm being  created that will be allowed to decide guilt and innocence..., before the crime is even committed!  According to what I read, courts are actually condemning people on the basis of these computerized conclusions. Sounds too much like a return of inquisition. These same computerized thinking programs are determining medicine for the sick, and a whole myriad of other decisions that potentially affect a persons life in very dramatic ways. I even saw where a robot was performing surgical operations !

   My point is this...a thought leaped into my head...maybe it was from the good Lord, or maybe it was just from within me. I see a powerful potential for Satan to possess this computerized technology. My feeling is that he will, and it will come about here very soon. The link above somewhat confirms this feeling inside of me. I read in the bible where the false profit will build a statue of the beast, and this statue will come to life and say that all those who refuse to worship it must die...The sound of this passage appears far too much like the human appearing robot being constructed by the Japanese to me. - Name Withheld

Yes the trends in technology are real and are moving very rapidly. Yes, real androids who can interact with people and who look like us is not so very far off at all. I read a story where sex-bots were on the way.

But these somewhat anecdotal aspects of the coming android/robot revolution, in my view pale in comparison to some of the much darker implications.

Fully Autonomous Weapons Systems

Today there is a revolution now taking place. It’s in the field of military robotics. The word’s powers, the Americans, Chinese and yes, most definitely the Russians are now in a race to build fully autonomous robots and weapons systems. But these efforts in military and other forms of robotics do not just mean the world’s military’s. Private companies are also involved in this kind of development, including Silicon Valley.

In short, what we are seeing both in the military and private sphere is what some have termed the normalization of military robotics. These things are coming and to a large degree are already here. We have seen pictures of fully autonomous vehicles operating on the battlefield. The Russians as well, as we learn from their own news sources are working on their own ‘skynet’ of fully autonomous weapons systems capable of making its own decisions without any human interaction.

I don’t think I need to tell any reader here of the enormous implications of this and why this is one area that we as Christians should indeed be watching most carefully. I could give you all a slew of links on this subject and today I won’t. But I will pass on a couple.

Background - Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems UNOG

Killer Robot Series - HRW

There is a considerable amount of activity on this. Here is a group that is dedicated to the peaceful use of robots. There are many voices now sounding the alarm about this most serious development in mankind's technological ability. More and more man is showing that his knowledge is far outstripping his wisdom. Key questions needed to be answered long before the considerable development of these weapons transpired. But that has not happened.

But when we look at this issue what do we see prophetically? I am always amazed at the prophecies of Revelation insofar as this – in the last days, we see a massive army of strange and evil creatures that shall torment mankind. Brothers, we hear much about the beast, Antichrist, the mark, but we don’t hear much about some of the other things that our God gave us for a witness as to what shall transpire in the last days. Here is the witness.

And the fifth angel sounded,
and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth:
and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.
And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit,
 as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were
darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came out of
the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power,
 the scorpions of the earth have power. And it was commanded them
that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing,
 neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.
And to them it was given that they should not kill them,
but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment

as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.
And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it;
and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them
And the shapes of the locusts
were like unto horses prepared unto battle;
and on their heads
were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were
as the faces of men. And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth
were as
the teeth of lions. And they had breastplates, as it were
breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings
was as the sound of
chariots of many horses running to battle. And they had tails like unto scorpions,
 and there were stings in their tails: and their power
was to hurt men five months.
 And they had a king over them,
which is the angel of the bottomless pit,
whose name in the Hebrew tongue
is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue
his name Apollyon. One woe is past; and, behold,
there come two woes more hereafter.

(Rev 9:1-12)

This vision of a futuristic attack on the human race had to seem like some kind of impossible event to many who read it back in the days of old. In fact, so many of the visions in John’s revelation were so ‘far out’ that many did not want to include the book in the Bible.

That’s not so true anymore. So what was it that John saw? I wish I could tell you for sure, but I cannot. But I can look at many of the developments in our world on the technological front and give you some Biblically based ‘wise speculation’ on it.

As I read the passage cited above, I cannot help but get these basic impressions.

1 – That these locusts are very real. They exist in the material world. They are not some spiritual phenomenon that gives rise to something else within the material world.

2 – While they are material in existence, they are spiritually controlled. That controlling spirit is Appolyon, or Abaddon.

This is a tremendously important prophecy in that it shows that powerful spirits will be given great power over mankind -  not to their benefit, but to mankind's harm. But that even though they have this power, it appears to be limited to only what God allows. Note that in this particular assault, they cannot and do not kill anyone. They just torment and the torture is so bad that men will seek death and won’t be able to die. Who are these angels who control this insect like horde? They are only mentioned here in scripture.




Of Hebrew origin [H11]; a destroying angel: - Abaddon.




Active participle of G622; a destroyer (that is, Satan): - Apollyon.

But the other aspect of this vision is in the first part of the passage, it started with a star that fell from heaven. Clearly this is some kind of very powerful fallen angel. But he is given temporary authority over the bottomless pit. This is the place where the fallen host of angels dwells. Keep in mind that stars are symbolic of angels, both fallen and otherwise (Rev 1:20, Dan 8:10) falling from heaven is a key aspect of Lucifer (Isah 14:12).

We need to keep in mind that it is Jesus that holds the actual keys to hell and death. So this appears to be a temporary transfer of limited power to the devil and his host for a specific purpose. The bottomless pit appears to be a place that is reserved for certain classes of the fallen angels, who are consigned there for eternity (Jud 1:6). It is in essence, a place of damnation or perhaps more correctly, the holding cell for those that await it. 

So what are these creatures? Let’s take a look.

First off they are some kind of locusts, but none that any of us have ever seen. The come up out of this bottomless pit and the smoke from it is so great it blocks out the sun. This all may seem a bit too primitive of a geological view of the earth, but anyone who has seen what comes out of a volcano and the heat and the lava (that looks like a lake of fire) and the smoke, can understand that that this looks to be something similar but on a much, very much larger scale. Even today with volcanic eruptions, the volcanic ash can be so great as to divert air travel for s significant periods of time.

Why Volcanic Ash Is So Terrible for Airplanes

So what this prophecy envisions appears to be something along the lines of some kind of earth event that has the smoke effect of a large volcano or caldera. I admit, this is mostly speculation, but it is one that fits what we know about the earth. Some have wondered if it is possible that beings exist in torment in the deep recesses of the earth. I say, yes, but that place appears to be a place where spiritual beings exist (I cannot say live) and are in torment, rather than those of us in a physical body.

So what I see here is a major spiritual event (the fifth trumpet) that will translate itself into an event here in the material realm - a great fallen angel will be given great authority and will open up this great bottomless pit. The good news is that most of what is down there will not come out, but the bad news is that somethings will and that is those locusts I think, represent.

We don’t know how many of these things are let loose the scriptures do not tell us, but I think it safe to say there will be many of them as this is how locusts usually travel – millions of them in a giant swarm. This is clearly the impression that John leaves with us in this vision.

The picture that John gives us is something that no horror movie producer could ever fathom. They had faces like men, but were armored and decked out for battle, not unlike the warriors of Roman Times, which John lived. They had breastplates (armor) and were clearly designed specifically for battle. We must also keep in mind that the king that reigned over them was named (in the ancient languages) ‘destruction’ these warrior like characteristics seem only logical.

So what are we looking at, if we were to put them in to modern terms and terminology? This is how I tend to look at the book of revelation – look at the terrible judgments God brings on man and to a lesser degree he brings on himself by virtue of his wickedness. John was using 1st century terms to describe 21st century phenomenon. So when he saw these things he saw that they were not anything he saw before. I see this as being some kind of organized spiritually directed military assault using these creatures not to kill man, but as the scriptures say, to torment them or as the term is used today use ‘non-lethal force’ against the race of the sons of men, those who have not been sealed by God. So what are these things. I would put it into four possibilities.

1. They are drones – some kind of miniaturized drone technology that somehow this powerful fallen angel is able to get control of and are possibly thus possessed/remotely piloted by a certain class of fallen angels.

2. They are some kind of genetically modified or artificially created life-form that has been programmed (at the DNA level) to accomplish this task in the last days.

3. They are cybernetic, containing both machine and biological traits.

4. They are some kind of spiritual beings that literally come out of the earth and has nothing to do with mankind creative technological capability.

Given the leaps and bounds of mankind's technological capacity in both the fields of remotely controlled military hardware (drones) and DNA manipulation coupled with mankind's fascination with spiritual darkness, false religion, witchcraft and all manner of devilry, what we are seeing here I think may be as much a judgment of God as it is a natural outgrowth of man’s fondness for evil.

Yes, I do think it very possible that the locusts of Revelation chapter nine are some kind of drone or artificial life-form that is centrally controlled, not unlike ‘Skynet’ - the network that controlled the terminators in the movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger of the same name.

I admit this is all pretty speculative, but today we can see that mankind could indeed or soon will be able to create such such a creature to torment mankind in its 'non-lethal' arsenal. I think one thing we should kind of keep our eye on is to see if some kind of international agreement takes form to produce only certain kinds of non-lethal drones using only certain kinds of technology. Given the propensity in some quarters to make sure that some technology especially police and crowd control tech is non-lethal, this may be something that will be rather interesting to see develop because what is being described in the above passage looks to be a non-lethal attack. The whole idea as described here in appears only to inflict pain, tremendous excruciating pain on the victims and nothing more.

And then in the very next vision in Revelation, we see a very different set of unworldly looking creatures. This horde however is going to do much more than just torment, the next horde will be there to kill and kill one third of mankind. This happens just following the fifth angel sounding his trumpet. Here is the passage.

Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet,
Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.
And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour,
and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.
And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand:
and I heard the number of them. And thus I saw the horses in the vision,
and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth,
and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions;
 and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.
By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke,
and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.
For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails
 were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt.
 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues
yet repented not of the works of their hands,
 that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold,
and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood:
which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:
Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries,
nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.
(Rev 9:14-21)

This passage shows us many things. The most important is the spiritual observation in the last verse, that men utterly refused to repent of their evil deeds. But let’s take a good look at what is going to kill off so very much of mankind. These are not creatures that anyone living has seen. Again, we see spiritual forces who are used to prepare their way for destruction. This time there are four angels and they are set apart for this one specific purpose at this one specific time. Many have tried to opine that both of these angels who bring on these disasters in Revelation chapter nine are Holy angels – ones who did not rebel with the devil. No, these angels were bound and it does not seem at all likely that God has to bind up his angels. However there is a class of them who are bound up in chains as mentioned earlier.

And the angels which kept not their first estate,
but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting
chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
(Jud 1:6)

So it is fallen angels who are bound and these in my view are just four of them. They appear to be very powerful angels and may even be a class of arch angels of which some or many joined in the rebellion against the Most High God. My view is that both of these groups of angels are probably part of this fallen host, who will be allowed to be set free for just this particular moment in history. What these creatures are again I can only speculate, but I find it of interest that in both the 5th and 6th trumpets, we see these traits

The creatures have features like more than one type of animal

The creatures attack

The creatures have defenses (breastplate/armor)

The race of the sons of men are the target of both attacks

I think one other observation that should be made about the fifth and sixth trumpet is this. The fifth trumpet represents a non-lethal attack from the air (locusts). The sixth trumpet represents a lethal attack on mankind from the ground. We must also keep in mind again that John had no vocabulary for the description of things like tanks, Apache helicopters, hellfire missiles and military drones. Moreover, I think we are only just beginning to see out here in public some of the strange and new weapons that nations all around the world are working on and will one day deploy. The does not even take into consideration the kinds of things that have not even hit the drawing board yet. 

So is John’s vision one of a futuristic army that is ultimately controlled by satanic forces, but done so with God’s permission? I think it quite possible. Keep in mind that it is the beast of revelation that will be given great authority over the world and the kings of the earth. It takes no major leap in analysis to say that the evil spirits who control the beast system will also control their military's and their high tech drone armies. 

The truth is, I don’t think we have begun to fathom just how transformative to our world all of these new technological developments will be, both drones as well as genetically modified lifeforms.


US Military Gears Up For Cyborg Soldiers: Other DARPA Projects With Military Applications

Rise of the SUPER SOLDIER: Liquid armour, indestructible exoskeletons and weapons that never miss revealed as the future of warfare

Kill Proof,” Animal-Esque Soldiers: DARPA Goal

U.S. military spending millions to make cyborgs a reality

This is what they are already proposing for humans. We have no idea what they have already done with animals, insects and other organisms.

Machines Smarter Than Humans

Soon this will be the case. Machines that not only perform specific tasks and calculations better than humans, but are more creative, intelligent and even intuitive that their human counterparts.

Artificial Intelligence: Silicon Valley's Next Frontier

No, we are not there yet, but the key facets of human intelligence have already been identified and are being actively considered for incorporation in to future artificial intelligence (AI) machines, devices and robots. The first place to start will probably be in our mobile technology phones, tablets and automobiles. I say again, I don’t think most people really understand just how much this is going to transform society.

If they move forward with this, and it certainly looks like they will, it will remake our whole society in ways that we can only vaguely now comprehend. We will go into a store and not have to check out – the money will be withdrawn from our accounts as soon as we walk out of the store, We will get into our cars, say where we want to go, and our cars will take us there, we will come home and the lights will come on, the temperature will be just right, the TV will flip on at just the right time for our favorite shows – no human interaction. A domestic robot will fix our meals for us and clean our homes. But how much self-control will we give to these robots, most of whom will either be centrally controlled or at least ‘fail-safed’ to allow for ‘big brother’ to do whatever dirt he feels he has the right to do to us ‘biologicals’.

Do we see artificial life/intelligence in the Bible? Yes, I think we do. I think the whole idea of artificial life is clearly mentioned in the book of Revelation. Where you might ask? In one of the most important prophetic pieces within the book of the Apostle John’s vision. That being the creation and global worship of an image by satanic powers who will take control of the world’s governments for 42 months.

And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him,
and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast,
 whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders,
so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles
which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that
dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast,
which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
And he had power to give life
unto the image of the beast
, that the image of the beast should both speak,
and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond,
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,
or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

(Rev 13:12-17)

All of these things we see in revelation – they looked like miracles to John, though he recognized that they were satanic miracles whose specific intention was to deceive the race of men. Deceive them into the worship of the devil and his image. The fire coming down from heaven? Not so far-fetch today, with satellite technology and the coming of highly destructive lasers and particle beams. This could indeed cause fire to come down from heaven if placed on an aircraft or satellite. Such a thing may not seem like much of a miracle, but could be used as point of blasphemy and mockery of God if coupled with the great swelling words that the passage indicates saying that he (the man of sin) is God and that he can do the same miracles God can (think Elijah and the prophets of Baal - (1 Kings 18:21ff) . Keep in mind what our God says about this system and what it will ultimately do and what is purpose is.

And they worshipped the dragon
which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him
a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
If any man have an ear, let him hear.

(Rev 13:4-9)

So we see that the whole mission of this beast is twofold – it is to blaspheme God and get mankind to worship this satanic system (it is powered by the dragon) and finally to overcome the saints of God. In this we see the ultimate purpose of the system. Also if you keep our eyes on the ball so to speak, we can better understand just where the devil will be taking the world. It helps us to better predict events by understanding just what the goal is.

This is one of the final acts in the rebellion against God. Satan is doing his level best to deceive mankind to join that rebellion.

But take a look at the passage from verse 12-17, we see that this image is given life. The world for life in the greek is this one.

From G4154; a current of air, that is, breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively a spirit, that is, (human) the rational soul, (by implication) vital principle, mental disposition, etc., or (superhuman) an angel, daemon, or (divine) God, Christ’s spirit, the Holy spirit: - ghost, life, spirit (-ual, -ually), mind. Compare G5590.

The definition of 'life' can vary depending on whom you ask. But some kind of ability to interact intelligently and autonomously with the environment and some kind of self awareness I think would safely be categorized as life.

Drones, Artificial intelligence even time travel. These things seemed like science fiction a few years ago but not any more.

I see much of what Bible prophecy is about when it comes to Revelation is this – they are the last acts of rebellion of man against his creator and creation. The enemies of God use this strong desire to rebel against God and man's desire to be free to sin and do evil as ' leverage' and uses man to accomplish the devils goals, not knowing that is what they are ultimately doing. What does the devil want? He wants to be God, blaspheme him and his throne and after he has co-opted man, he wants to destroy mankind utterly. His M.O. has always been to steal (God’s worship) kill (mankind) and destroy that which God has made.

God will on some level give the devil and mankind what they want – they want sin and evil, he will give it to them along with the consequences. Mankind’s dabbling with all of this high technology without the wisdom to use it is like giving a loaded revolver to a three year old – it’s a disaster waiting to happen...

... and mankind today is a disaster in motion.


Mark S. Watson