These are exciting times for believers in Christ who are interested in Bible prophecy. Many things that are suggested by unfulfilled, future prophecies seem to be trending like never before.
We reserve a few minutes Sunday morning to discuss some of those things.
✎ We are careful to use recognized, reliable sources for news and information.
✎ We’re not saying the things we report are the fulfillment of prophecy – only that they are the things you’d expect from reading the Bible literally.
I want to preface today’s update by reading from the Revelation. In this reading we encounter two characters prominent in the future Great Tribulation:
✎ The person called “he” in this passage refers to a false prophet.
✎ The person called “the Beast” is the man we know more commonly as the antichrist.
Rev 13:14 And he [the false prophet] deceives those who dwell on the earth – by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast…
Rev 13:15 He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.
Rev 13:16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads,
Rev 13:17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
The two things I want to call attention to are the so-called “image of the Beast,” and the announcement “that no one may buy or sell.”
✎ The “image of the Beast” having life sounds like Artificial Intelligence.
✎ The restrictions on buying and selling sound like social credit based on surveillance and other hi-tech.
With all that in mind, here are a few excerpts from an article called, The Coming Social Credit System.
Beijing’s use of consumer data, biometric information, GPS tracking coordinates, facial recognition, DNA, and other forms of data harvesting has turned, and continues to turn, China into a beast never before seen worldwide, not even under Mao. In China, the tools of surveillance capitalism are employed by the surveillance state to administer the so-called social credit system, which determines who is allowed to buy, sell, and travel, based on their social behavior.
“China is about to become something new: an AI-powered techno-totalitarian state,” writes journalist John Lanchester. “[China] aims to form not only a new kind of state but a new kind of human being, one who has fully internalized the demands of the state and the completeness of its surveillance and control. That internalization is the goal: Agencies of the state will never need to intervene to correct the citizen’s behavior, because the citizen has done it for them in advance.”
He is talking about Beijing’s pioneering use of Artificial Intelligence and other forms of digital data gathering to create a state apparatus that not only monitors all citizens constantly, but also can compel them to behave in ways the state demands without ever deploying the secret police or the threat of gulags (though those exist for the recalcitrant), and without suffering the widespread poverty that was the inevitable product of old-style communism.
China’s social credit system automatically tracks the words and actions, online and off, of every Chinese citizen, and grants rewards or demerits based on obedience. A Chinese who does something socially positive – helping an elderly neighbor with a chore, or listening to a speech of leader Xi Jinping – receives points toward a higher social credit score. On the other hand, one who does something negative – letting his or her dog poop on the sidewalk, for example, or making a snarky comment on social media – suffers a social-credit downgrade. The bottom line: a Chinese citizen cannot participate in the economy or society unless he has the mark of approval from Xi Jinping, the country’s all-powerful leader. In a cashless society, the state has the power to bankrupt dissidents instantly by cutting off access to the internet.
That’s an unbiased reporting of facts. The author then gives his personal appraisal: “If you don’t believe that the left – woke capitalists, universities, and other institutions – would jump to implement such a system, as part of a plan to rid the world of racism, of homophobia, of transphobia, of bigoted Christianity, political dissenters, and so forth, you are living in denial. It’s coming, and it’s coming hard.”
This is just the kind of stuff that we expect from a literal, futurist reading of unfulfilled Bible prophecy.
Another article said, “By next year there will be 600 million surveillance cameras in China, roughly one camera for every two citizens.”
It is as if someone in the Chineses government read Revelation 13 and said, “Hey, we can do that!”
We believe the resurrection and rapture of the church is imminent. It could happen any moment; nothing needs to happen before it. It will definitely happen before the Tribulation.
Jesus will return in the clouds. He will raise the dead in Christ. He will transform the bodies of living believers to glorified, resurrection bodies.
We will all join Him in Heaven while the earth endures one final seven-year campaign of severe evangelism.
Are you ready for the rapture? If not, Get ready; Stay ready; Keep looking up.
Ready or not, Jesus is coming!