What do we know about the Antichrist, the future world dictator whose coming is foretold in the Bible? Is he living now? Probably. And what about his new world order? Is the Antichrist already working behind the scenes to bring about his plan for world economic and political domination? It seems so.
From all indications, the Antichrist’s satanic, technology-based system is already being set in place–“satanic” in that the Antichrist will be Satan-possessed (Daniel 8:24; 2 Thessalonians 2:9; Revelation 13:2-4; 12:9), and “technology based” in that he will use technology to achieve and enforce his near total control of the world and its people. A key Bible passage about this is Revelation 13:16-17:
He [the Antichrist’s right-hand man, the False Prophet] causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on [or “in”] their right hand or on [in] their foreheads, 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.
Imagine what the apostle John must have thought when, in about 90 AD, he saw a vision of this taking place in a futuristic world. People ever since have been baffled as to how any such universal, totalitarian economic system could be established or policed. But now the age of technology has arrived. With electronic commerce rapidly replacing cash and virtually everything that is bought and sold being identified and tracked by bar codes and other means, it is no longer inconceivable that the financial transactions of everyone in the world could one day be monitored by a centralized agency.
Most of the technology already exists, but before the Antichrist’s plan can work, it needs to be more powerful and widespread. It stands to reason, then, that the Antichrist would get behind research and development in such fields as microchip technology, biotechnology, and the Internet.
Also, the technology is not enough in itself. The Antichrist also needs to sell the world on it. It appears that he is busy at that, too, and he is not alone. He works through others–mostly unwitting accomplices who are helping to further his agenda by developing and marketing the technology, including some of the world’s brightest minds and biggest financial powers. A scripture that goes along with that point is Daniel 11:21b KJV:
He shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.
Some versions of the Bible translate this as “seize the kingdom by intrigue” – by secret scheming or plotting. Either way, it sounds as though the Antichrist is going to rise to power through cunning salesmanship rather than solely the strong-arm tactics that the leaders of most past empires depended on.
Through the various forms of mass media, the Antichrist is doing everything he can to convince the world that these new technologies are beneficial and necessary. What he is not saying, of course, is that he will eventually use them to suit his evil purposes. Consider these developments:
Video cameras now monitor and record our faces and movements in many stores and public places. We have learned to accept this intrusion into our lives because of the benefits: It discourages crime and helps apprehend criminals. Likewise, the monitoring of Internet communications helps curtail child pornographers, terrorists, and other threats to our common good.
As electronic databases replace filing cabinets, more and more data about us is being collected, stored, cross-referenced, and shared. Now that nearly everything we do leaves behind a “data trail,” combining information from different sources can re-create a person’s activities with astonishing accuracy and detail. This reservoir of personal information is especially helpful to marketers, and it is big business. Financial privacy has become a thing of the past, as financial institutions and others now routinely put the details of their clients’ lives up for sale.
Other data-gathering technologies help complete the mosaic of information that can be collected on individuals. For example, computerized “black boxes” are being built into cars, and location-tracking chips into cell phones and other electronic devices–innovations that consumers are being told are for their own good. Similarly, microchips are being implanted under the skin of pets for ID and tracking purposes, and pilot programs are already being done for Alzheimer’s patients and children.
Biometrics is the technology of collecting, processing, and storing details of a person’s physical characteristics through such means as fingerprinting, thumb scans, retina scans, hand geometry, face recognition, voice recognition, and digital macrophotography. Biometric identification has caught the interest of both governments and the commercial sector because it is far more foolproof than more primitive forms of ID, such as photo ID cards or signatures.
The shift from cash to electronic commerce helps curtail drug trafficking, counterfeiting, and theft, not to mention the greater convenience and security that electronic commerce affords. So-called smart cards now contain microchips that store not only the owner’s financial information, but also medical records and other personal information. The logical next step would be to eliminate the plastic card and embed the chip directly into the owner, say “on their right hand or on their foreheads.”
As amazing as these new technologies are, the Antichrist will not be able to fully set up his new world order until it’s all pulled together into an integrated network with universal standards–an obstacle that might not be an obstacle much longer. Governments and industry are setting international standards and expanding their electronic networking by sharing information, services, and technology. As more countries turn to the latest technology to help solve their particular social and economic problems, they expand the network’s reach and capabilities. The level of technological development now varies greatly from nation to nation, but the whole system could be “online” in a relatively short time.
Proponents of these new technologies and cooperative efforts always point out the positive aspects, such as convenience, security, lower costs, and improved quality, speed, and efficiency in the delivery of goods and services. Little is said about the negative aspects of this public intrusion into what were once private personal affairs. Under the banner of science and technology, and more recently “the war against terrorism,” the governments of the world are rushing to complete the Antichrist’s economic and political system for him–the very system the Bible warns against.
Don’t be duped into following this false messiah or receiving his mark! Follow the true Messiah, Jesus Christ. Then you’ll be on the right side, the winning side, when Jesus returns to put a stop to the Antichrist’s wickedness and set things right (Revelation 14:9-11; 19:11-21).