I scan the horizon daily for “the signs of the times”. Some things have been there for years. But, what’s new? What’s now in view that indicates progress toward the very final end time foreseen in the Bible?
“Artificial Intelligence” has been around for years, in some sense. But in recent times, with things like Chat GPT, there’s a new chapter and a new time of greatly enhanced computer advancement. For me, I view this from the perspective of a Christian who’s looking to see the fulfillment of Bible prophecy and the coming of the future foretold through the Biblical prophets.
I prefer to keep things as simple as possible. But I’m going to need to take the narrative up a notch in discussing A.I. and the Bible , to some of the more mysterious, complex aspects of the Biblical future, spoken of by Jesus and the prophets.
Most of those reading this have heard somewhere of “the Anti-Christ”, the prophesied world dictator who will arise, just before the return of Jesus. And certainly the concept of “the mark of the beast” has become more and more known, even by secularist around the world.
They may not believe it but many millions have come to know the ideas behind the verse that says of a future point in time, “No man might buy or sell unless he had the mark of the beast… in his hand or his forehead”. This is also where the famous reference to “the number of the beast [the anti-Christ] which is 666“. (Revelation 13:16-18)
But the number of those grasping these things greatly shrinks when we get to places in the Bible that may be where we find Artificial Intelligence becoming part of the fulfillment. We could start with one of the least understood things Jesus of Nazareth ever said. And He said it at a pinnacle moment in a pinnacle chapter, when He was telling His disciples about His return to earth and the time just before that event.
Don’t worry if you don’t understand it, I’m not sure anyone yet has a complete, total grasp of how this will be fulfilled. Jesus said, “When you shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, whoso reads, let him understand.” (Matthew 24:15)
Didn’t get it, did you? No worries; we’re going to try to delve into this, comparing Scripture with Scripture, as well as bringing in AI, and then see if there’s a clearer idea of it all from doing that.
Probably the biggest enigma in what Jesus said there is that phrase “the abomination of desolation”. Most likely you have no idea what that is. And I’m not going to be able to definitely clear it all up for you. But it’s worth looking into since Jesus brought it up. And also the prophet Daniel was told about this over 500 years before Jesus pointed to it, when talking about His second coming. [By the way, I went over these things in more detail in a video I did some years ago which linked Jesus’ words in Matthew 24 with the last verse in Daniel 9, verse 27. Here’s the link to that video:]
“Mark! Mark! I have it! The abomination of desolation is the Anti-Christ!”
Well, some do teach that but I personally don’t think the “AC” is the abomination. Jesus said “the abomination of desolation” was spoken of by the prophet Daniel. That phrase is used in several places in Daniel but the one that is most clear is Daniel 11:31. It says this. “And arms [armaments] shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength [soon to be rebuilt temple in Jerusalem]; and they shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that makes desolate.”
This and other places always give the picture of the abomination being a thing. Jesus said it will “stand” in the temple. It will be “placed” there. But the Antichrist is a person “the son of perdition”, similarly to how Jesus was a person, the very Son of God. As well, II Thessalonians 2:3 & 4 says the Antichrist will “sit in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God”. So I feel pretty strongly that the abomination is “a thing”, not a person.
The mystery deepens, no? One thing to remember, the word “abomination” in the Old Testament was often used to speak of what we today call an idol. They were physical objects, placed in temples where the gods of old, Dagon, Ashtoreth, Baal and others were worshipped. The Greeks and Romans had similar things, all the way up to New Testament times.
“Mark, is there anything in the book of Revelation about this?”
I think there is and this is where we get a view of where Artificial Intelligence may be an integral part of it all. I mentioned already those mysterious verses in Revelation 13 about “666” and “the mark of the beast”.
But we have to go deeper. We have to squeeze the truth from more of these verses to get a fuller picture. Many have heard vaguely of the Antichrist to come. But far fewer know that the book of Revelation says he will have a “side kick”, evidently a number 2 man, who the Bible calls “the false prophet”. And it says of this false prophet, in Revelation 13 that, “he has power to give life to the image of the Beast, that the image of the Beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the Beast should be slain.” (Revelation 13:15)
What’s the image of the beast, you ask? It becomes fascinating when we find that the word “image” in the Bible is often referring to an idol, just as the word “abomination” did in the Old Testament. If you do a Word study on those two words, “abomination” and “image”, you’ll see how many times they are referring to what we today call idols.
And I’ve taught and do believe that “the image of the Beast” in Revelation 13 and “the abomination of desolation” that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24 are the same thing. That might be a jump for some but I believe it is a sound conclusion that can stand review.
It is my opinion that “the abomination of desolation” and “the image of the beast” both refer to some kind of very advanced “machine”, for lack of a better word. Or I could say computer but one that’s so far advanced that it’s beyond what most regular folks in the world today can imagine. My thought on this is similar to a number of Bible students who’ve looked deeply into the specifics of the Bible’s teaching on the end time.
And this falls into the realm of reality since we all know just how fast and how far technology is advancing in those fields. Elon Musk is creating bio chips to link our brains into a mega-network that may bring on forms of bio-technical eternal life.
In all this, I zero in on the verse that says, “He had power to give life to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many of those that did not worship the beast should be slain”. So, a life-infused computer that can speak, also directing or monitoring all economic transactions on earth, as it says in Revelation 13:17. But actually, how farfetched does that really seem to be in the times we now live in?
I want to bring in here some things that have appeared recently in the New York Times newspaper. And keep in mind the part about “he had power to give life to the image of the beast”. Because that’s what’s comes to my mind when I’ve several times seen the word “summoning” in connection with what the absolute top scientists in Silicon Valley and elsewhere are working on with these things.
What are those tech creators summoning? The articles say they are summoning spirits, demons from beyond or whatever to inhabit and dwell in their most advanced computer concoctions in order to have them reach the limits and realms that the A.I. coders are trying to take things to. And this sounds exactly like what those verses in Revelation said would ultimately happen.
I’ll end this with just a few of the quotes I’ve taken note of in the New York Times articles that have come out about this. Here’s one.
“In 2018, Sundar Pichai, the chief executive of Google — and not one of the tech executives known for overstatement — said, ‘A.I. is probably the most important thing humanity has ever worked on. I think of it as something more profound than electricity or fire.’”
And even more, this quote gets to the essence of where AI advancement has come to. Read this paragraph with focus and bring in what the Bible says “the image of the Beast” will be capable of.
“We typically reach for science fiction stories when thinking about A.I. I’ve come to believe the apt metaphors lurk in fantasy novels and occult texts. As my colleague Ross Douthat wrote, this is an act of summoning. The coders casting these spells have no idea what will stumble through the portal. What is oddest, in my conversations with them, is that they speak of this freely. These are not naifs who believe their call can be heard only by angels. They believe they might summon demons. They are calling anyway.”
Friends, this is not coming from Alex Jones or some loony loner in a cabin in Idaho. This is published in what’s considered by the power elites to be the most reputable newspaper in America. They boldly publish that the most advanced scientific creators are now openly summoning demons into their computers.
I’ll end this with part of an article by Ross Douthat, again in the New York Times. It perhaps summarizes much better than I can what we are seeing here and what this is leading towards.
“In this sense what we’re doing resembles a complex incantation, a calling of spirits from Shakespeare’s “vasty deep.” Build a system that imitates human intelligence, make it talk like a person and answer questions like an encyclopedia and solve problems through leaps we can’t quite follow, and wait expectantly to see if something infuses itself into the mysterious space where the leaps are happening, summoned by the inviting home that we have made.
Such a summoning is most feared by A.I. alarmists, at present, because the spirit might be disobedient, destructive, a rampaging Skynet bent on our extermination.