Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
November 12, 2007
Last Updated :
July 23, 2012
My Interest In Robotics And Nanotechnology, Locusts Of The Apocalypse, Modern Fighter Helicopters And Tanks, Image of The Beast, US Military Drones And Robotic Vehicles, DARPA, The Darpa Urban Challenge, Roboticist William L. Whittaker, Positive And Negative Contributions Of Modern Technology, George W. Bush And The Illegal Invasion Of Iraq, Body Bags, Masters Of Science Fiction - Jerry Was A Man, Future Wars Fought with Automated Machines = No Accountability, Science Fiction Is Becoming Reality, America Was Founded Upon War, America Survives And Increases Her Empire By Waging Wars, Gov't. Propaganda Machines And Malleable, Gullible Public, Shock And Awe Wars, Robot Wars Of The Beast And False Prophet, Battle Of Armageddon, The Beast And False Prophet Defeated, Their Armies Devoured By Birds, Terminator Movies And SkyNet, Great Tribulation And Humankind On The Brink Of Destruction What Will Stop The Endtime Madness?, God's Chariots Of Fire
As some of my regular readers may already know, I have been a follower of developments within the fields of robotics and nanotechnology for a number of years now. Not only do I find these topics interesting, but I believe that it is important that we have a grasp of where these fields are heading, as they may possibly help us to better understand some of the rather cryptic visions which are found in the Apocalypse, or the Book of Revelation, as it is commonly known. For example, in chapter nine, after the fifth Angel has blown his trumpet, we find the following intriguing Scriptures which describe the deadly locusts which ascend out of the Bottomless Pit, led by the demonic leader known as Abaddon, (or Apollyon in Greek); which literally means the Destroyer:
"And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months."
Revelation 9:7-10, KJV
Obviously, these creatures are not regular locusts as we know them. Is it possible that they've been genetically modified; or could it be that they are not locusts at all, but rather something entirely different? We need to consider that given the time period in which John was given his visions, and the unusual appearance of these creatures, the best that he could possibly do was to compare them with something with which he was familiar, and that apparently was locusts. According to Thayer's Greek lexicon, the word translated in these verses as "locusts" is derived from the Greek word "akris", which it defines as follows:
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A locust, particularly that species which especially infests oriental countries, stripping fields and trees. Numberless swarms of them almost every spring are carried by the wind from Arabia into Palestine, and having devastated that country, migrate to regions farther north, until they perish by falling into the sea. The Orientals accustomed to feed upon locusts, either raw or roasted and seasoned with salt (or prepared in other ways), and the Israelites also were permitted to eat them."
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I honestly don't know what John saw. However, according to information I read years ago, some writers have suggested that these "locusts" may represent fighter helicopters of one kind or another, which are used by national militaries all over the world. The sound that John describes might very well be attributed to the helicopter's engines. The "hair of women" might possibly be a reference to the fast-spinning propellers. The "faces of men" could possibly be a reference to seeing soldiers through the transparent windshield on the front of the craft. The "teeth of lions" might be referring to "teeth" painted on the front sides of the helicopters in order to make them look more fierce. As you'll already know, it is a common practice of war pilots to do this in order to scare their enemies. Last of all, the sting in their tails might be referring to the ability of helicopters to shoot missiles from their tail sections.
Further down in the very same chapter, after the sixth Angel has sounded his trumpet, we read of a great army comprised of two hundred thousand thousand, (or 200,000,000) horsemen; but again, the horses upon which these riders ride do not sound like regular horses at all. In verses 17-19 we read:
"And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt."
Revelation 9:17-19, KJV
Again, I really can't say what John saw. One speculation that I read a number of years ago suggests that John may have seen a battlefield full of army tanks. Tanks shooting artillery shells would certainly fit John's description of these horses shooting fire, smoke and brimstone from their mouths. As far as their tails being like serpents with heads that hurt, the picture I am given is of a poisonous snake striking out at something which it perceives as a threat, and then recoiling. If we think about how when fired, an artillery gun on some of these tanks will sort of spring forward momentarily, and then draw back again, it makes perfect sense to describe them as serpent heads.
Taking into consideration these explanations, theories that they may be, does suggest then that some of the things that John saw in his visions may have actually been war machines of the future, and not real locusts or horses. But the real question is, how far into the future?
We find another Scriptural example which suggests futuristic technology in Revelation chapter thirteen, where the Prophet John describes the amazing "Image of the Beast", which seems to come alive through the power of the False Prophet. Verses fourteen and fifteen state:
"And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed."
Revelation 13:14-15, KJV
In the previous verses, according to Thayer's Greek lexicon, the word "image" is derived from the Greek word "eikon". It means "image, figure, likeness". It's from this word that we also get our English word "icon". In other words, the False Prophet will encourage the world to make a statue bearing a resemblance to the Beast. But how can a statue possibly be made to speak? In John's day, such a feat would have been impossible; but today, given our technology, the answer is as simple as using a speaker; or it could possibly be that, as I have suggested before, the phrase "Image of the Beast" is referring to a computerized image of the Beast, such as on a huge monitor; or it might even be some kind of robotic entity. To John, seeing a futuristic-looking robot suddenly move or speak, would indeed seem like a statue coming to life by some unseen spiritual power.
What actually inspired me to write this commentary was some news articles I have been reading in the New York Times over the last several years, regarding the US military's efforts to create robotic vehicles which it plans to use in its wars of the next decade. At this current time, as you may know, the American government has already been deploying drones in foreign countries. These pilotless vehicles are used, among other things, to map terrain, to spy on the activities of perceived enemies, and even to fire missiles on selected targets with deadly precision.
In order to pool ideas, and speed up the development of its battle machines of the future, during the last three years or so, a special US Government agency known as DARPA, which is an acronym for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, has been sponsoring a robot race that has drawn participants from major corporations and universities all across America. These include Stanford, MIT, Carnegie Mellon, Virginia Tech, and other prestigious institutions. While the race, currently called the "Darpa Urban Challenge", is a lot of fun for the participants, we should not lose sight of the fact that the primary goal of these races is to help the Pentagon to build its next generation of war machines. In fact, it should be noted that this year's race was held at a former Air Force base located in Victorville, California, according to the New York Times.
Of course, these universities aren't just participating in the DARPA races because they are a lot of fun, or even just because they are American patriots. There is a lot of money involved. This year's race involved navigating a sixty-mile course through a simulated urban environment; and the robotic vehicles had to accomplish this task in less than six hours, in order to qualify for one of the three prizes, which were two million dollars, one million dollars, and five hundred thousand dollars.
There were eleven entrants in the "Darpa Urban Challenge", and the grand prize went to a vehicle designated as "Boss", which was designed by noted roboticist William L. Whittaker and his team at Carnegie Mellon University. According to the information I have read, Professor Whittaker was one of the original individuals to propose using these kinds of vehicle races as a means to advance robotics. Since earning his B.A. and Ph.D. at Carnegie Mellon University in the mid-70's, he has been deeply involved in the field of robotics. In fact, in the same year that he received his Ph.D., the infamous Three Mile Island nuclear accident occurred, and Whittaker and his team constructed robots to inspect and repair the damage which had occurred in the reactor's basement. Later, in 1986, Whittaker would perform a similar function when the Chernobyl nuclear disaster occurred in Ukraine.
In addition to his experience with nuclear reactor meltdowns, beginning in the late 1990's Professor Whittaker and his team designed and created a robot called Nomad the meteorobot; the purpose of which was to search for fallen meteorites in the glacial ice fields of Antarctica. This project was funded by a $5 million dollar grant from NASA's Telerobotics Research Program in the Space Science Office. Furthermore, the project was a prelude to sending exploratory robots to the Moon, as well as to Jupiter's frozen moon, Europa, and also to the red planet, Mars. Furthermore, Whittaker has been involved in projects which have sent robotic vehicles into the craters of active volcanoes, and also into collapsed mine shafts.
While there are obviously some ways in which these races can benefit society as whole, such as by leading to the eventual production of regular vehicles which will be safer for the general public, nevertheless, as I read these news articles regarding the DARPA project, it occurred to me how dangerous these developments can be as well; and I will now explain to you why I feel this way.
As I have pointed out in earlier articles, modern technology can be very beneficial for humanity in many different ways. Through a plethora of modern inventions, no one can deny that our lives have become so much easier. As a result of modern medicine, lives have been prolonged, and the suffering of a lot of people has also been eased. However, just as there is potential for a lot of good to be derived from this modern technology, there is likewise potential for evil being done as a result of it as well. It depends on who has access to the technology, what their motives are, and how they intend to use it. On one hand, well-meaning scientists may create prosthetic limbs or an artificial heart, while on the other, they also invent nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.
To understand how evil this is, stop and consider how much of the world is opposed to America's illegal, ill-conceived war in Iraq.
As a direct result of George W. Bush's foolish invasion of that sovereign nation, literally millions of people's lives in Iraq have been negatively affected. Iraq's government, as well as its military forces, was shattered. Social order was destroyed. Iraq's economy was obliterated. Its infrastructure was in large part destroyed, and basic social services came to a standstill. Furthermore, as the mass media has revealed, millions of people have been displaced; thousands of people have died, or been physically or psychologically crippled needlessly, and poverty, sickness, starvation and misery have become more widespread.
But in America, as past wars have shown, what makes a war unpopular, is when the body bags begin to come home, or when soldiers arrive home horribly disfigured, missing limbs, or psychologically messed up. If the numbers rise to high, that is when the American public begins to say "Enough is enough". This is precisely what occurred during the Viet Nam war era, and this is what is happening now with the Iraq war. As a result, next to the economy, the war in Iraq has become one of the most important issues to American voters as the 2008 presidential election approaches.
In spite of the fact that President Bush has done everything in his power to keep the full truth from the American people regarding how many American dead and injured there have been, enough of the truth has leaked out, to where a large portion of the American population are now sick of the war, sick of Bush's lies and deception, and they want American forces out of Iraq. What was supposed to be a war that would last a few weeks, or a few months at the longest, has now turned into almost a five-year war, and Bush and his cronies insist that America needs to remain there even longer, years in fact.
So how does the war in Iraq relate to our main discussion? Well, what would happen if instead of there being thousands of Americans casualties, plus thousands more of American soldiers maimed, disfigured and psychologically messed up, there were only hundreds, or perhaps even dozens, or less? After all, Norman Whitaker, the DARPA project manager for this year's race stated "We've been looking at the problem of protecting people on the battlefield". Exactly what did Whitaker mean by that? Well, what better way would there be to protect American soldiers on a foreign battlefield, than by not having to use real people at all, or at least very few of them? This is not as far-fetched an idea as you may think; and all indications are that this is precisely the ultimate goal of those who deal with these things.
Last year I had the opportunity to view a short-lived sci-fi television show called "Masters Of Science Fiction". One of the four episodes was called "Jerry Was A Man". It turns out that Jerry was an android designed, like his fellow androids, to clear mines in a battlefield. Sometimes the robots would take the wrong step and would be blown up. Jerry, however, was different. In a particular test, he clearly demonstrated the will for self-preservation when he purposely bumped into another android, which subsequently stepped on a mine, and was blown up. The reason why I find this story interesting, is because, as we have seen through other examples of modern technology, our science fiction is slowly catching up with us. What does this say about our future, and the future of human warfare?
That is precisely what could happen in the not-too-distant future, if an American president, or any world leader for that matter, could fight a war primarily using intelligent robotic machines. The high-flying drones that are now in use are just the beginning, and the tip of the ice berg, of what terrible wars could lie in the world's near future. Can you perceive the danger of such a scenario? As a result of this kind of advanced technology, an American president, or any world leader, could wage a secret, endless war against his enemies, and not be held accountable for it, because there would be very few, if any, body bags coming home from the war front. Many Americans have become so callous, that as long as there are no American casualties, and as long as the economy is doing well, they would probably offer very little protest.
It is a well-established historical fact that the U.S.A. was founded upon war. America, and its economy, have survived to this day, as a result of being almost in a constant state of war, somewhere in the world. The U.S.A. has repeatedly used war, or at least the threat of war, as a means to spread its imperialistic empire around the world. The America government has repeatedly used war to punish its perceived enemies, and to force "belligerent" nations into submission to the will, and foreign policy objectives of the war hawks in Washington D.C.
Given America's clear history over the past two hundred plus years, it can be honestly said that the American people are really a war-prone people. While they claim to be a peaceful nation, the record reveals that the USA has resorted to war in order to achieve its objectives, more than any other major world power during the last seventy years. Whenever Americans have hesitated to engage in a war, the president, along with his propaganda agent, the mass media, has always found a way to convince them that waging war is in their best interest. The war, so he claims, will make them a lot safer, and it will protect the comfortable American way of life, which no American is about to give up, for any price.
The prevailing attitude seems to be that it is far better to make the other fellow, in some other country, pay the price for Americans' luxury, and wasteful lifestyle. Thus, through a constant barrage of slick propaganda, Americans are lulled back to sleep, and the war, legitimate or not, is waged by their Commander-In-Chief. While I have highlighted America's war sins, it should be noted, of course, that the American president is not the only world leader who engages in such subtle tactics. All world leaders, when embarking on the war path, have to first convince their constituents, that a war is a just and necessary cause, even if it is a distasteful one; and like the American president, they too will promote patriotism, and will spin whatever lies are necessary, in order to convert the populace to their way of thinking.
As I pointed out earlier, if robotic vehicles and automated fighter machines are used in future wars, it means that the human casualty rate on the American side will be very low, if not totally nonexistent. As a result, lethargic American society will have nothing to complain about, and a president could potentially wage a war for years, without ever taking any negative heat for it. As long as the economy is strong, and the public continues to enjoy their materialistic life- style, everyone is happy; except, of course, for the people in the targeted country, whose lives are being destroyed by America's merciless, "shock-and-awe" wars.
So this is the potential evil which may some day result from fighting wars with only machines. It is interesting to note that the Bible tells us that the coming world leader known as the Beast will have such tremendous military might at his disposal, that no one will be able to resist him, or prevail against him. The Book of Revelation seems to indicate that he will be the absolute ruler of the world. Is it possible that this strong military advantage over other nations will be a result of possessing advanced robotic technology? The Book of Revelation tells us:
"And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? . . . And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations."
Revelation 13:4, 7, KJV
As I explain in "From Armageddon To The New Earth", having subdued their earthly enemies by their great military power, the Beast and the False Prophet make a very serious mistake when they defy God, and challenge Jesus Christ at the Battle of Armageddon. In spite of the advanced military technology which they may possess at that time, Revelation informs us that this devilish pair will be soundly defeated by the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ, as we see by the following verses:
"And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon."
Revelation 16:12-16, KJV
"And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone."
Revelation 19:19-20, KJV
Concerning the armies of the Beast and the False Beast, who blindly follow them into battle, we are informed that their rotting bodies will be devoured by the fowls of the air, as we see here:
"And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God . . . And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh."
Revelation 19:17, 21, KJV
As I mentioned earlier in this article, due to the current pace of technological developments, what was once considered to be merely writing tools deployed in the science fiction genre, are now, in certain cases, actually becoming reality. Many of you reading this article have undoubtedly viewed the highly popular "Terminator" movies, and perhaps the American television spin-off program, "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles". While the writers have obviously taken a lot of artistic license in inventing the sinister "SkyNet" threat, and ask us to suspend our disbelief, I can't help but wonder if, like the Patriarch of old once stated, we might in fact bring upon ourselves those things which we fear the most; in other words, by the inventions of our own hands. As Job said in a moment of desperation:
"For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me."
Job 3:25, KJV
At this current time, the general consensus within the realm of science is that computers will become as smart as, or even smarter than human beings, around the middle of this century. Is it conceivably possible that SkyNet will begin to evolve? While that is indeed a scary thought, I don't think that it's going to come to that. My reason for stating this is simple. What the previous verses seem to indicate, is that while the wars of the future may involve a lot of automated technology, apparently, at the time that the Battle of Armageddon occurs, there are still going to be a lot of human beings engaging in warfare; although they may be enhanced human beings; that is to say, what are referred to as "super soldiers". These rebellious souls will be devoured by the fowls, so they are obviously not robot fighting machines.
I suspect that it may in fact be the Second Coming of Jesus Christ which will stop humanity from reaching the point of no return where fully automated armies become a reality, and where intelligent machines begin to take over the world, as per the "Terminator" franchise. In the twenty-fourth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus plainly stated:
"For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened."
Matthew 24:21-22, KJV
So exactly what will be the cause of this Great Tribulation, such as the world has never seen before? Will it just be the armies of the Beast and the False Prophet waging war against the people of God, and the nations of the world? Will we be facing complete annihilation due to multiple nuclear wars? Will it be the result of the many earthquakes, famine, and disease which will plague the world? Or is it possible that the "Rise Of The Machines" will begin to become a reality, and Christ will have to put a stop to it, lest there is no one left alive? Please notice that Jesus clearly states that if it weren't for the fact that He is coming back, and thus shortening the days of this time of great trouble, no flesh would be saved; in other words, no one would be left alive. That, my friends, means complete and total annihilation. Or does it infer extermination by a superior evil force?
Interpret His words as you will. Personally, I am just glad that Jesus Christ will arrive just in time to put a stop to the world's, and Satan's, madness; and I hope that you are too. As Jesus stated in that same chapter:
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."
Matthew 24:29-31, KJV
Exactly how Jesus will save us out of this world is another interesting question I pondered some time ago. If you would like to know what I think, you may want to consider reading the intriguing series called "Chariots Of Fire: A Voluntary Voyage To Heaven?". It is rather challenging; particularly for conservative-minded Christians. You may marvel at the creations of the writers of science fiction, but your mind will be blown when you discover what God may have. Even the crew of the Starship Enterprise would be jealous.
In conclusion, John and Sarah Connor may be cool in the world of science fiction, but I'd rather put my trust in Jesus any day. How about you? With these words, I'm going to bring this article to a close. I pray that it has been a blessing to many. If you have been inspired by it, I ask you to please consider sharing its URL with your online friends. If you have an account on Facebook, Twitter or Google+, I would also appreciate if you would take the time to click on the corresponding link which is found on this page. Thank you so much, and may God bless you abundantly!
For additional information, you may want to refer to the list of resources below which were either mentioned in this article, or which contain topics which are related to this article. All of these articles are likewise located on this very same Bill's Bible Basics website:
Capture of Saddam Hussein and the New Babylon
Chariots of Fire: A Voluntary Voyage to Heaven?
From Armageddon to the New Earth
Obama, McCain and the Bush Legacy
Saddam Hussein's Execution and the Euro Dollar War