Technology and Eschatology
On a Supernatural High-Speed Collision Course
By Tim Moore
Mankind has leveraged technology since leaving the Garden of Eden — in the sense that he has always applied knowledge to solve practical problems.
Knowledge, in and of itself, can be good or bad. The knowledge of good and evil was acquired through disobedience to God lead to Him banning Adam and Eve from the Garden and placing the entire creation under the curse. Later, God revealed His plan of judgment to Noah and provided specific instructions that equipped him to build an ark and escape the coming deluge.
As men began to repopulate the earth, their flagrant arrogance and pride led them to attempt to build a great tower that would reaching Heaven. The technology of the day involved fire-hardened bricks and grandiose construction aspirations. Scripture tells us the motivation was to “make a name” and avoid being “scattered over the face of the whole earth” — directly contradicting to God’s first command to mankind.
Over the following millennia, mankind mastered technology far beyond mud bricks. The technological advances that we take for granted today would strain the imagination of our forebears. And the pace at which technological advancement has skyrocketed exponentially in recent years is staggering. When observed through the lens of a biblical worldview, the Signs of Technology are shouting that Jesus is coming soon.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Like the category of Spiritual Signs, the Signs of Technology include both good and bad signs, as well as some that are downright ugly. After all, who can deny the blessing of air-conditioning, internal combustion engines, and photography?
Another example would be modern medicine. Would anyone like to revert to the medical practices of the 17 and 1800s? George Washington’s death was likely accelerated by the bloodletting his doctors utilized to relieve the vapors that were vexing him.
Standing in the rotunda of the Kentucky capitol is a statue of Ephraim McDonnell. He is considered the father of abdominal surgery because he performed an operation to remove a 22-pound ovarian cyst from a woman — without anesthesia! Most visitors overlook the depiction of the cyst in a bowl at McDowell’s feet. That woman, who sang hymns throughout her surgery and afterward rode home on horseback, deserves a statue!
Clearly, some aspects of the good ole days were not particularly desirable.
Early in my adult life, I was trained as a pilot. The strides in technology within the field of aviation are mind-boggling. Powered flight is less than 120 years old, yet we have advanced far beyond the Wright brothers’ unprecedented 12-second, 120-foot flight. Every pilgrimage trip Lamb & Lion Ministries hosts proves that point. We get on an airplane and wing our way to Israel in a matter of hours — a journey that took Mark Twain many weeks by steamship just 150 years ago.
But how does technology tie into God’s prophetic Word? In many more ways than meets the eye — if you apply spiritual discernment.
A Tool for Evangelism
From a Biblical perspective, man’s greatest challenge is spiritual in nature. If we don’t overcome our sin problem, no other accomplishment matters. And no technology exists to reconcile sinful man with a Holy God. Only the Gospel of Jesus Christ does that. Any aid to expanding and sharing the Gospel is certainly a tool to be utilized. Still, it is misguided to revere the tool instead of seizing its usefulness.
Paul did not spend time lauding the Roman network of roads and seagoing transportation — even as he took advantage of those technologies to propagate the Gospel. And make no mistake; the Romans took full advantage of the technology available to them at the time. From construction techniques to military applications, Roman engineering was world-renowned. To this day, the standard railroad gauge in most of the Western world is 4 feet, 8.5 inches — the width of an Imperial Roman chariot.
Similarly, although we do not idolize the technology that serves us today, we are grateful for transcontinental air travel that makes Israel pilgrimages possible, television and satellite communications that allow us to broadcast to millions of homes, and Internet capability that connects us with many millions simultaneously. God’s prophetic Word clearly foretold many of these technological advances.
When the Lord revealed distant visions of future events to Daniel, He told the great prophet that understanding would not come until the end of time, when “many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase” (Daniel 12:4). Daniel expressed curiosity about all the events he was witnessing. God’s responded, “Go your way Daniel, for these words are concealed and sealed up until the end of time” (Daniel 12:9). He promised that those with insight would understand when the time is right.
With the explosion of globe-trotting transportation and the exponential growth of human knowledge (sadly lacking wisdom most of the time), it seems as if we are at the threshold of the “end of time” that the Lord spoke about.
Describing the Indescribable
Imagine teleporting back 300 years into the past. How would you begin to describe jet aircraft, space vehicles, or computers to someone in that era? How could you explain television, telephones, or the vast array of gizmos that run on electricity? Then, consider how a person from the early 1700s would describe all those miraculous technological developments if they were given the foresight to witness them personally.
Now we realize the challenge Daniel and the other prophets faced when told to record their prophetic visions of the future. Words often cannot communicate concepts that exceed finite human understanding or even imagination.
The American astronauts who landed on the Moon recognized the limits of their ability to express the beauty of what they saw. Several remarked that although they were extensively trained in science and engineering, a writer, poet, or artist might have better communicated the wonder they saw with their own eyes.
I do not take away from the adequacy of God’s Word as recorded by the various prophets and writers He commissioned. But until hindsight offers us complete clarity, “we see through a glass, darkly” (1 Corinthians 13:12). So, some of our speculation regarding the specifics of wheeled vehicles (Ezekiel 2), the sky rolling up like a scroll (Revelation 6), and demonic locust hordes (Revelation 9), is just that: speculative.
Still, there are clear indications that technological advances are allowing many prophetic pieces to fall into place right before our eyes.
For example, consider the nuclear weapons capable of inflicting cataclysmic destruction in an instant. We know that when a thermonuclear weapon is detonated, “the powers of the heavens are shaken” (Luke 21:26) and the sky seems to “split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up” (Revelation 6:14).
Certainly, the radioactivity that is unleashed leaves survivors covered with loathsome sores (Revelation 16:11). Since the 1950s, mankind has dreaded the possibility of nuclear annihilation.
Am I adamant that what Jesus and John were describing is a nuclear blast? No. But does that technological “advance” in weaponry allow for the descriptions they prophetically foretold? Absolutely.
Making the Impossible Attainable
Until 70 years ago, anyone who read Revelation 11 had to wonder how the entire world will one day look upon the bodies of the two witnesses lying in the streets of Jerusalem. Will God provide supernatural vision? Will people they see in their mind’s eye instead of literally? But today, through television and satellite technology, this incredible ability has become a commonplace reality.
Throughout history, dictators and despots have aspired to exert autocratic control over their subjects. Such domination was unwieldy, even with extensive bureaucratic systems of spies and informants. The Nazis, the Soviets, and some Third World tyrants went to great lengths, but could never craft an ironclad surveillance state… until now.
Modern technology provides every tool necessary to monitor, control, and enslave entire populations. The Bible speaks of the Antichrist’s global government mandating a personal mark — giving it absolute control over buying and selling. The world is already marching eagerly toward electronic identification and digital currency — embracing the technology the Antichrist will utilize to achieve the dominance Scripture warns about.
The Antichrist wield unprecedented power over commerce, employ proactive population control measures, and utilize raw military force to coerce the world into submission. The infrastructure necessary to control masses of people is already being perfected in places like China and North Korea. These evil empires have employed video surveillance, massive data storage, and artificial intelligence to evaluate their citizen’s “loyalty” to the state.
And the rise in technological threats is not limited to Third World countries. London, England, has that highest number of public video cameras per capita. The United States has invested untold billions in secret data collection and storage facilities. Most Americans would be surprised to learn that the NSA (National Security Agency) is the leading employer for America’s best mathematicians. Certainly, surveillance state methodologies are not limited to despotic regimes.
It is difficult to grasp how rapidly this particular technology is advancing. Most people have smartphones, with camera and storage capabilities that spy agencies developed at exorbitant cost just a few decades ago. And these exponential technological advances are about to become even more pronounced with the introduction of quantum computing and artificial intelligence.
The Digital Age on Steroids
Just 40 years ago, computers were still relatively rudimentary. The Apollo program that took men to the moon was equipped with computers literally programmed by hand-woven wiring — and far less capable than video gaming consoles today. Data was stored on magnetic tape. While these devices have been dramatically decreased in size and energy use (a key consideration), they have grown tremendously in capability.
Quantum computing offers the potential to shrink the size of data storage and multiply computing power by many orders of magnitude, unlocking the elusive possibility of artificial intelligence — a machine that thinks, learns, and formulates new ideas. That capability has already been demonstrated in surprising ways.
The software that manages Target stores’ online and app sales famously began to predict when female shoppers were pregnant, based entirely on their spending habits. This startling discovery offer occurred weeks before the expectant mothers even knew they were pregnant! Discerning patterns out of mind-numbing streams of data, Target’s computers then followed their own algorithms to offer baby items to the unwitting mothers-to-be.
As you can imagine, military and intelligence services were among the first institutions to recognize both the potential and the threat of such technology. But ensuring control over such power is the quandary that causes industry experts to advise extreme caution.
In 2023, an Air Force simulation utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) discovered that the system charged with attacking an imaginary enemy instead turned its weapons against programmers and their communications infrastructure when it discerned that they were impeding it from completing its assigned mission.
Prophetic Foreshadows of Our Brave New World
So, where does Bible Prophecy tie into this explosion of technology? It is not only in the ability of the world to look upon the two witnesses lying in the streets of Jerusalem. Several other prophecies can be fully realized through modern technology:
- A 200-million man army (if human, this requires modern high-tech food production, medicines, and logistics)
- An unprecedented explosion of information (albeit lacking the wisdom of former generations)
- Transportation that allows quick and far-reaching interconnectivity between nations and peoples
- A system of identification whereby individuals can be authorized to — or cut off from — buying and selling in the global market
- The ability to create an “image” of the Antichrist that can move and speak (already possible through holography and AI visual and audio effects)
- Weapons so catastrophic that they can cause the sky to split apart like a scroll, move mountains and islands, and instill terror in every person on the earth (already present in the form of thousands upon thousands of nuclear weapons)
These anecdotal examples feed into the convergence of technology that will allow the Antichrist to rise to power and reign for a time on the earth.
Satan has always been ready and waiting to propel his Man of Lawlessness into power. He has had candidates prepped and primed to rise to that role. However, he has been waiting for just the right moment. When will that moment be? We believe it will occur when Jesus removes the Church from the earth at the Rapture. Without the restraining influence of Christians indwelled by the Holy Spirit, all hell will break loose.
Since the Rapture could occur at any time — an imminent promise that has also been valid throughout the past 2,000 years — it has always been Satan’s strategy to utilize whatever tools are at his disposal.
Well into the 21st Century, we can see how the Lord’s tarrying has allowed advances in human technical prowess that will play right into Satan’s plans. I would imagine that our infernal enemy is absolutely giddy with anticipation. Are you?
Technology as a Tool
In our modern culture, some people see various objects as benign blessings or abhorrent curses. So, smartphones are given to children and guns are vilified. Both inanimate objects are merely tools and can be utilized as instruments of good or a pathways to destruction.
Isn’t that true of so much human knowledge? Knowledge, like technology, is not inherently good or bad; rather, the person using it determines its effect. A hammer can be used to build or destroy a home. A computer can be used to share the Gospel or access unspeakably vile pornography. The same is true with virtually all technology.
In the end, the question is what we will do with the knowledge we have.
Our Eternal Low-Tech Problem
Speaking with Jesus, Pilate rightly discerned that He was a king. But his skepticism kept his understanding from blossoming into faith. Scoffing at Jesus’ assertion about truth, Pilate answered, “What is truth?” (John 18:33-38). In the end, every person — from the most technologically advanced person to the most ignorant — must grapple with the eternal question Pilate asked that weighs in upon every heart: “What shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” (Matthew 27:22).
No artificial intelligence can illuminate the human heart with the correct answer to that question. As Jesus testified when affirming Peter’s confession of faith (Matthew 16:17 and 1 Corinthians 2:10-16), only God the Father revealing Truth through the Holy Spirit will do so.
Man’s eternal problem is decidedly low-tech. It is Sin that separates us from God. He has provided the Eternal Solution to solve that real and devastating problem — the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Will you embrace that knowledge?