Documentation for every aspect of this report may be found on the corresponding topic pages in Prophecy Central
and Apologetics Central.
Scripture quotations are from the New International Version. Hypertext links to Scriptures are to the King
James Version in the Blue Letter Bible.
7 – Technological Progress
Two verses in the Book of Daniel set the scene for the connection between today’s
technological progress and the events of the End Times. One is found in chapter 9 where
the dreadful future scenario is told of a powerful and evil ruler who will establish a
seven-year peace treaty with Israel, then break it in the middle of that time by defiling the
Temple in Jerusalem.
- He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he
will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an
abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on
him. - Daniel 9:27
This event was mentioned by Jesus in His Sermon on the Mount of Olives.
- “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes
desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand—
then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the housetop
go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get
their cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing
mothers! Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath.
For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until
now—and never to be equaled again." – Matthew 24:15-21
The most complete prophecy of this desecration is in chapter 13 of the Book of
Revelation, where the dictatorial world ruler is called “the beast,” and his False Prophet is
called “the second beast.” At this point, people the world over will be required to worship
the beast and display their devotion to him by accepting his “mark.”
- The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so
that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be
killed. 16 It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to
receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, 17 so that they could not
buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of
its name. – Revelation 13:15-17
With these prophecies in mind, there is a second very short prophecy, that Daniel himself
did not understand, but wrote down for our benefit who live in these fateful days.
- But you, Daniel, roll up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end.
Many will go here and there to increase knowledge.” - Daniel 12:4
Putting these two streams of prophetic revelation together, we realize that the first one,
which includes the ability of a world economic dictator to virtually control the buying
and selling of every person, depends on the second one, which provides the technology to
exert such power. A generation ago it was a great mystery how such a thing could
happen. Even a decade ago it still seemed that there were too many difficulties to
literally control all buying and selling.
But now we recognize a strong trend toward electronic commerce, even down to the level
of buying a burger and a coke at McDonalds. Computers, big and small, process most of
our purchases already. The computer revolution has caused the “information explosion”
that Daniel saw when he wrote about the increase of knowledge. And the Internet, still a
relatively new development in human history, provides the ability for electronic
transactions to “go here and there” all over the world in a fraction of a second.
Here are just some of the latest developments in the fascinating world of technology:
Mark of the Beast
Preference for eCommerce
In Europe use of debit cards increased by 10 per cent, meaning that 77 per cent of its
business was now done with debit cards, rather than credit cards, the use of which stalled
over the past year. Visa Europe predicted that debit card spending will overtake cash as a
method of payment this year. This strong trend toward use of debit cards will enable
stronger control over people’s spending because the money must be held in an account
(actually just a number in a computer somewhere) before it can be spent.
Rapid growth of Internet users
By the end of 2010, more than 2 billion people were using the Internet. This is nearly a
third of the world’s population. The fastest growth pattern was predictably from
developing countries. Improvements to the Internet and its successor, Internet 2, or “The
Grid,” will enable the additional growth of this medium to reach virtually everyone on
the planet. Even those isolated geographically, and unreachable by cable, can access the
Internet via satellites.
The obsession with social networking
Facebook, the phenomenon started by 19 year-old college student Mark Zucherberg just
seven years ago has grown more than anyone could have imagined. (My computer’s
spell-check dictionary didn’t even recognize the word “Facebook” until I wrote this
article and added it to the dictionary!)
By the end of last year, Facebook Inc.’s net worth was estimated at between $40 and $50
billion, passing Ebay's $39.3 billion valuation, and leaving only two internet companies
larger than Facebook. Those two are Amazon.com Inc., worth $74.4 billion, and Google
Inc., valued at $192.9 billion.
The Social Network, a movie about the Facebook phenomenon, swept every single major
Best Picture award, from critics’ groups to the Golden Globes, and is favored to be best
picture at the Academy Awards. In addition, Time Magazine picked Mark Zucherberg,
now 26 years old, as “Person of the Year.” In one section of Time’s extensive suite of
articles about Facebook it shows pictures of one of Facebook’s “server farms,” a massive
high-tech complex linking thousands of servers together. Such computing power serves
500 million (!!!) Facebook friends and takes away all doubt that modern computers can
handle the world’s commerce as well.
The emergence of smart phones
According to technology experts, the incredible power of the new “smart phones” will
soon replace the need for credit and debit cards, as well as the unmanageable passwords
that presently bog down eCommerce. Smart phones, such as the iPhone, Androids, and
BlackBerry phones, are similar in power to personal computers. My Motorola Droid runs
more than 1000 times the speed of my first computers (the Apple I and Apple II), and has
4 million times the memory of those early wonders. It creates and stores documents just
like the laptop, saves information about all our contacts and appointments, connects us
seamlessly to Facebook and other applications, authenticates who we are so we don’t
need to keep entering passwords, and even knows where we are because of its GPS chip,
and can tell you, through another computer, where it is if lost or stolen. Besides all of
this, it has millions of apps (software applications) available, mostly free, to help us with
a myriad of tasks.
Now these smart phones are starting to do “contactless transactions” with vendors, and
will eventually replace the need for debit and credit cards. All that would be needed now
to make them completely unusable to others would be to link them to an implanted
transponder such as the VeriChip, which has already been approved for human use.
Thus, if the owner and the phone are not together, the phone would not work. This would
reduce crime and solve the identity theft problem.
Perhaps this combination will be part of the attraction of the “Mark of the Beast.” The
name or number that will be placed on the forehead or right hand is an act of worship of
the beast. But, at the same time, it might well be that people who do not have an
implanted transponder will forced to take one, and many will consider it a privilege
because it will enhance their use of smartphones and allow them to buy and sell, just as
the Bible predicted!
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