As we read of the Biblical end times, we see hints scattered through the prophecies of the modern digital age we are living in today.
When the angel of the Lord delivered a prophetic message to Daniel about the end times, God’s messenger said these prophecies would be sealed until the end of the age that would be marked by a rapid increase in knowledge:
4 But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.” (Daniel 12:4 ESV)
Even Sir Isaac Newton, a 17th century scientist who studied the end times prophecies, suggested that there would need to be an increase in technology to fulfill the events he saw taking place in the end times.
One example include the death of the two prophets of God, who had tormented the world, in the Book of Revelation, the Apostle John’s vision of end-times events.
John saw that when the beast killed the two prophets, people from every tribe and nation would view their bodies for three and a half days.
Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth. (Revelation 11:9-10)
When John had his vision around 90 AD, there was no way this was remotely possible.
But it’s easily conceivable today when such events could be live-streamed around the world, something that couldn’t even be imagined a hundred years ago.
And it would have taken months for the news of their deaths to reach remote parts of the world. But we see hints of social media when people spontaneously take to the streets celebrating and giving each other gifts, as the news spread like wildfire.
Even the reference to the Mark of the Beast hints at technology, not available at the time, that would prevent people from buying or selling without taking the Mark of the Beast (Revelation 13:16-17).
That would have been almost impossible feat to enforce in John’s day, but with the decline in cash and the emergence of chips being inserted in people’s hands, to facilitate purchases, it is increasingly becoming more realistic.
And this technology can take an ominous turn if it is focused on Christians.
Recently, Open Doors UK, a persecution watchdog, wrote a report warning of an increase in digital persecution against Christians.
Entitled, Digital Persecution – The New Frontier for Freedom of Religion or Belief, the study particularly focused on the digital developments taking place in China under the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
In an interview with Premier Christian News, Open Doors Public Affairs Director, Dr. Dave Landrum, said:
“China, as you would probably expect, is leading the world in this technology, the development of this technology, and also the exporting it all over the world.”
And de facto when countries buy this technology to monitor their own dissidents, they’re then operating by the Chinese Communist Party playbook, which is to oppress religious minorities.
“The Chinese Communist Party have apps that they provide to their citizens to report bad citizenship. So Christians are monitored, they’re tracked with location and proximity apps.”
The CCP has also developed a Social Credit system that assigns scores to people based on their behavior. This information is gathered through its vast monitoring system, which includes:
- Data collection on the internet/social media, including online purchases;
- The use of apps where people can report others; and
- Millions of cameras monitoring citizen behavior in the real world.
You gain points by joining the CCP and performing other government-approved activities. You lose points by such things as breaking the law, eating and smoking on trains, speeding tickets, and going to church.
If people’s Social Credit score gets too low, the CCP prevents them from purchasing such things as airline tickets.
In an article written three years ago, The Guardian, reported that the CCP had banned 23 million Chinese people from purchasing airline and train tickets because of low scores.
- RELATED: China bans 23m from buying travel tickets as part of ‘social credit’ system: The Guardian
And even though your social credit is not low enough for an outright ban, it can impact when you can board a train, as those with good scores board before those with lower scores:
- READ: Chinese subway passengers with good ‘social credit scores’ will be let on first ahead of those deemed ‘bad’ for offences such as eating on a train
And even democracies are moving in that direction.
Using COVID as its justification, a recent report revealed that Canada’s federal health agency secretly tracked 33 million mobile devices and knew when people were going shopping and visiting friends. Though the federal government stated it removed personal identifiers, it was available to them.
The world is changing and as Jesus said that believers need to be as wise (subtle, crafty, shrewd) as serpents and as innocent as doves (Matthew 10:16).
I did a podcast a while back on Sir Isaac Newton’s study of the end times: