#5) Image of the Antichrist
The fifth sign involves the “living” image of the Antichrist. “He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men… 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” (Revelation 13:13-15).
Revelation reveals that during the Tribulation the Antichrist will order his False Prophet to set up an image of himself in the newly built Jewish Temple and order the world to worship him as if he were God. This is the same scenario all over again when the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar set up a statue of himself and ordered everybody to worship it. Daniel tells of how Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused and so were thrown into a fiery furnace. This is all going to happen again during the Tribulation, but instead of chucking people into ovens, the False Prophet will rain down fire and incinerate those people who refuse to worship the Antichrist.
How will the False Prophet make fire fall down from the sky and consume people? Assuming there’s nothing supernatural going on, let’s look at the technologies involved in producing pyrotechnics. Maybe John was referring to jets or drones dropping bombs and other incendiary weapons. And, satellite-based weapon systems, such as missile or laser systems, could simply zap people from high up in orbit. Remember that the Antichrist must use technology because he is a counterfeit. His False Prophet will not be a real miracle maker, and so will use today’s military technology to destroy people with the touch of a button.
What’s so peculiar about the story of this image is that John reveals that it was given life. Nebuchadnezzar’s statue didn’t get up and walk around and sing and dance and all that; it didn’t even move. But, the image of the Antichrist will appear to be alive! Assuming there’s nothing supernatural involved in making the illusion of a living statue, such as the demonic possession of an object, statues still cannot move. They lack the proper joints and musculature.
What kinds of technology could the False Prophet use then to make an image move? John may have been the very first person to watch television. The Antichrist’s image may appear at regular intervals on a person’s TV set or mobile device, and once broadcast, everyone is expected to fall down and worship his image.
Or, the image may involve robotic and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. How about a fully functional hologram? Japan especially has been hard at work developing both robotics and holographic technologies. Why, for years now, one of Japan’s biggest pop stars has been Hatsune Miku who is a fully interactive hologram that sings in live concerts. With the proper Alexa-like technology, the Antichrist’s living image, be it robot or hologram, could fully interact with his adoring acolytes.
Today’s weapons and robotic technologies point to the fact that Jesus Christ is returning soon.
#6) Population Explosion
The sixth sign of technology that points to the fact that we are living in the end times involves a great population explosion. Revelation reveals, “Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared” (Revelation 16:12). Prepare the way for what? “Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them” (Revelation 9:16). And, what happens to this army? “And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses’ bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs” (Revelation 14:20).
In context, as the Tribulation winds mercifully to a close, the Antichrist’s empire begins to crumble due to a number of rebellions led by various sub-rulers. Just as the Antichrist squashes a rebellion in Africa, he must turn his loyal forces north to deal with a rebellion coming from the East. Both armies meet in the Valley of Armageddon located in northern Israel. While these armies are busy slaughtering each other, they will see Jesus and his armies returning out of the heavens and unite against Him. The King of Kings will easily defeat the world’s armies just by speaking. The blood from the vanquished armies will flow as high as a horse’s head for a staggering 180 miles!
By the end of the Tribulation, most of the world’s population will have been wiped out, and still these prophesied Kings of the East can amass a 200 million man army. This prophecy must have blown John’s mind, for in his first century day, there were only 200 million people living on the whole earth. How then does the human population get so large that, despite the massive death toll of the Tribulation, the East can assemble such a staggeringly large army? How do we have the billions that we now have today? The answer: medicine. As each successive generation produces more and more people, aided by medicines that greatly reduce infant mortality and keep people healthier and allow us to live longer, we’ve reached a massive global population numbering nearly eight billion people. China and India have been able to mount a 200 million soldier army ever since the 1960s, and so could easily do so during the Tribulation. The exponential curve strikes again!
Today’s medical technologies point to the fact that Jesus Christ is returning soon.
In the eighth segment of this series on the end times sign of technology, we’ll continue looking at the signs of technology as they relate to the terror that is nuclear weapons.
In this book, edited by Terry James and including chapters by Dr. David Reagan and Nathan Jones, eighteen “watchmen on the wall” tackle issues that are critical for this generation of believers to understand. Each contributor examines, under the microscope of Scripture, a specific topic, from anti-God movements within religion and culture to satanic geopolitical rearrangements. This, we believe, will help make understandable the madness taking place in this generation.
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