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2010 In Review

The Year In Prophecy- Part 3

By Ron Graff

Printable (PDF) Version of this report

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.

Daniel 9:27

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
Matthew 24:15-21

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
Revelation 13:15-17

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
Daniel 12:4

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

Modern Technology

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:

Modern 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.

Smart Phones

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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Last Updated: 2/11/11

Documentation, Scriptural references and illustrations
may be found in the various sections of
Prophecy Central
“A World of Information About Bible Prophecy.”
Copyright © 2011 by Ron Graff.
Permission granted to use in churches or post on other websites as long it is printed or posted in its entirety.