This generation is witness to the
emergence of a radical new social movement known as transhumanism.
Expressing an unshakable faith in the continued and rapid advancement of
human technology, transhumanists look to the future with what can only be
described as a religious fervor. Many of this movement's adherents point to
the singularity (an exponential increase in technological advancement so
rapid the unaided human mind is unable to grasp its implications) as the
climax of human civilization. Believing this event will usher in a new era
for the human race in which limited mortals transcend their biological
bodies and set out to conquer the universe, transhumanist anticipation of
the singularity is comparable to Christian anticipation of the Second Coming
of Jesus Christ.
Ironically, the Bible points out that
in the time just prior to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, the world will
be characterized by unparalleled human arrogance. Led by the Antichrist, the
human race will launch not only a spiritual rebellion against God, but an
actual physical confrontation between itself and the King of Kings, Jesus
The apostle Paul foresaw this conflict
almost two thousand years ago:
"For that day will not come until there is a great
rebellion against God and the man of lawlessness is revealed--the one who
brings destruction. He will exalt himself and defy every god there is and
tear down every object of adoration and worship. He will position himself in
the temple of God, claiming that he himself is God" (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4,
The Tower of Babel
To properly understand the origins of
this rebellion, we must first examine the development of human civilization
in the aftermath of the Flood. It is a time marked by another rebellion
first chronicled in Genesis chapter 11, the story of the Tower of Babel:
"At one time the whole world spoke a single language
and used the same words. As the people migrated eastward, they found a plain
in the land of Babylonia and settled there. They began to talk about
construction projects. ‘Come,' they said, ‘let's make great piles of burnt
brick and collect natural asphalt to use as mortar. Let's build a great city
with a tower that reaches to the skies--a monument to our greatness! This
will bring us together and keep us from scattering all over the world.'
"But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower
the people were building. ‘Look!' he said. ‘If they can accomplish this when
they have just begun to take advantage of their common language and
political unity, just think of what they will do later. Nothing will be
impossible for them! Come, let's go down and give them different languages.
Then they won't be able to understand each other.'
"In that way, the Lord scattered them all over the
earth; and that ended the building of the city. That is why the city was
called Babel, because it was there that the Lord confused the people by
giving them many languages, thus scattering them across the earth" (Genesis
In this story, God scatters the human
race and confuses the people with different languages. His reason for doing
so is to avoid the inevitable disaster wrought by global government and a
common language. Why are these things a concern? Because if they
in due time, "nothing will be impossible" for the human race. This is more
than a flippant comment by God. It's a prophecy of things to come.
It's a prophecy of something so bad,
God put a stop to it the moment He first saw it. God knew that, left to
pursue its technological development, the human race would one day challenge
Him. After all, what was the motive for building the Tower of Babel in the
"Let's build a great city with a tower that reaches
to the skies—a monument to our greatness!" (Genesis 11:4, NLT).
The human race set out to build a
monument to its own greatness, exalting mankind above God and extending its
tower far into Heaven with the sole intent of usurping God's glory and
authority. This innate human desire did not end with the Tower of Babel. It
continues to this day, and soon it will result in one final attempt to usurp
the authority of God.
The Great Lie
The motive for this great rebellion
will be predicated on lies. The Bible predicts that deception will be
rampant in the end times. And just as God hardened the heart of Pharaoh for
putting faith in his own power, He will do the same to the inhabitants of
the earth who will become drunk with their own power:
"So God will send great deception upon them, and they
will believe all these lies" (2 Thessalonians 2:11, NLT).
Paul makes it clear that these people
will be deluded into believing "the lies." But what exactly are the "lies"
to which he refers? A cursory examination of the first book of the Bible
reveals a quote from the originator of lies. In fact, it's the very first
lie referenced in the Bible:
"‘You won't die!' the serpent hissed. ‘God knows that
your eyes will be opened when you eat it. You will become just like God,
knowing everything, both good and evil'" (Genesis 3:4-5, NLT).
These lies from the Garden of Eden are
the same lies to which Paul refers. The same lies that brought sin into the
world will be the same lies that spark the ultimate rebellion against God
Almighty. Humanity will come full circle. In the last days, the same
construction projects envisioned by the Tower of Babel architects will
result in mankind achieving a level of technological sophistication so
advanced that "nothing will be impossible for them." The human race will
come to believe the great lies of the serpent.
In his arrogance, man will believe he
3) Just like God
Mankind will mimic the earth-shattering
arrogance of Lucifer by freely joining in his rebellious attempt to usurp
the throne of God, because, without Jesus Christ, fallen mankind's ambition
is the same as Lucifer's. Centuries ago, Isaiah described this fallen being
and his sinister motives:
"How you are fallen from heaven, O shining star, son
of the morning! You have been thrown down to the earth, you who destroyed
the nations of the world. For you said to yourself, ‘I will ascend to heaven
and set my throne above God's stars. I will preside on the mountain of the
gods far away in the north. I will climb to the highest heavens and be like
the Most High'" (Isaiah 14:12-14, NLT).
In the last days, this passage will be
an accurate depiction not only of Satan, but of all mankind.
The Transhumanist Movement
The latest incarnation of man's
rebellion against God is the transhumanist movement. Many within the
movement believe the singularity will lead to the emergence of
"post-biological humans" who are able to shed their biological bodies and
"upgrade their hardware." Others believe that by downloading themselves into
a network, they will effectively become "immortal." True believers have
modified their diets, exercise regimens, and entire lifestyle in an effort
to increase the likelihood of living to witness human reversal of the aging
process and eventual human "immortality."
Ray Kurzweil--inventor, author, and
transhumanist--s considered one of the best in the world at accurately
forecasting short-term and intermediate technological trends. In chapter 7
of his bestselling book, The
Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology, he describes his
view of the ultimate outcome of our technological advance:
"The matter and energy in our vicinity will become
infused with the intelligence, knowledge, creativity, beauty, and emotional
intelligence (the ability to love, for example) of our human-machine
civilization. Our civilization will then expand outward, turning all the
dumb matter and energy we encounter into sublimely
intelligent--transcendent--matter and energy. So in a sense, we can say the
Singularity will ultimately infuse the universe with spirit."
According to Kurzweil, the universe
will be infused with "spirit" as a result of the natural advancement of our
human-machine civilization. This suggests that the universe is not already
infused with "spirit," and that if God exists, His designs are inferior to
those who will be created by the predicted human-machine civilization.
In the next paragraph, he describes the
advancement of the human-machine civilization as approaching the very
conception of God. Ironically, he admits that the accelerating growth of
evolution can never achieve the infinite character traits exclusive to God:
"Evolution moves toward greater complexity, greater
elegance, greater knowledge, greater intelligence, greater beauty, greater
creativity, and greater levels of subtle attributes such as love. In every
monotheistic tradition God is likewise described as all of these qualities,
only without any limitation: infinite knowledge, infinite intelligence,
infinite beauty, infinite creativity, infinite love, and so on. Of course,
even the accelerating growth of evolution never achieves an infinite level,
but as it explodes exponentially it certainly moves rapidly in that
direction. So evolution moves inexorably toward this conception of God,
although never quite reaching this ideal. We can regard, therefore, the
freeing of our thinking from the severe limitations of its biological form
to be an essentially spiritual undertaking."
The concluding sentence of this
paragraph should send up red flags for every student of Bible prophecy.
According to Kurzweil, as the human race moves forward, it will seek to free
its thinking "from the severe limitations of its biological form." The Bible
reveals that one day mankind will gather its armies in an attempt to "break
the chains of God and set themselves free from His bondage." Psalms 2
describes this confrontation:
"Why do the nations rage? Why do the people waste
their time with futile plans? The kings of the earth prepare for battle; the
rulers plot together against the Lord and against His Anointed One. ‘Let us
break their chains,' they cry. ‘And free ourselves from this slavery.' But
the one who rules in heaven laughs. The Lord scoffs at them" (Psalms 2:1-4,
Could this passage describe an attempt
by post-biological humans to overthrow the rule of God? Could the chains
that hold them in bondage be the "severe limitations of their biological
form"? Remember, when this event occurs, Satan and his fallen angels are
also inhabitants of the earth:
"Rejoice, O heavens! And you who live in the heavens,
rejoice! But terror will come on the earth and the sea. For the Devil has
come down to you in great anger, and he knows that he has little time"
(Revelation 12:12, NLT).
In his arrogance and desperation, Satan
will advance the dark powers of the spiritual realm, aided by a fallen
mankind with powers beyond our current limitations, in a last-ditch effort
to defeat God. The technological advancements of the near future will
provide mankind with unprecedented power, and the ambitious goals of the
transhumanist movement are already in direct conflict with God Himself.
The following verse provides additional
support for believing transhumanism will play a pivotal role in this final
rebellion. In the New Testament, when Jesus describes the signs of His
coming to the disciples, He makes an interesting statement in light of our
"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 24:22, KJV).
Throughout the centuries, this verse
has been interpreted as meaning the Second Coming of Christ will arrive just
in time to save the human race from itself, meaning human wars would
threaten to cause the extinction of the human race. However, it might mean
that "no flesh will be saved" because a nakedly ambitious human race will
transform itself into a race of "post-biological humans" intent on reshaping
the universe according to an alternative agenda.
Given the history of human rebellion
against God, it would be unwise to discount this possibility.
The Great Rebellion
Just as Paul prophesied, human ambition
will ultimately lead to a great rebellion against God. This rebellion will
reach its zenith at Armageddon, an actual geographical location in
modern-day Israel. The gathering of the world's armies at Armageddon will
not be (as some believe) a war of humans versus humans, but rather a
literal, physical confrontation between rebellious mankind and the King of
Kings, Jesus Christ. In addition to Psalms 2, this battle is referenced
multiple times in Scripture, and it's clearly referenced twice in the book
"These miracle-working demons caused all the rulers
of the world to gather for battle against the Lord on that great judgment
day of God Almighty" (Revelation 16:14, NLT).
"Then I saw the beast gathering the kings of the
earth and their armies in order to fight against the one sitting on the
horse and his army" (Revelation 19:19, NLT).
The "one sitting on the horse" is
identified as Jesus Christ. Literally interpreted, both of these passages
state that the world will gather for battle against Jesus Christ. The Bible
is clear about this; yet for countless generations, these passages have been
interpreted as indicating a mere spiritual battle and not a literal,
physical conflict. It's not difficult to imagine why. The idea of mankind
physically engaging God in battle seems so preposterous that these passages
have given way to numerous symbolic interpretations over the years. Yet
Scripture is clear. Remember what God Himself said about the human race that
will ultimately fulfill His Tower of Babel prophecy--"Nothing will be
impossible for them!"
In fact, the book of Daniel reveals
that the Antichrist will manage to attack
"the heavenly armies, throwing some of the heavenly beings and stars to the
ground and trampling them":
"From one of the prominent horns came a small horn
whose power grew very great. It extended toward the south and east and
toward the glorious land of Israel. His power reached to the heavens where
it attacked the heavenly armies, throwing some of the heavenly beings and
stars to the ground and trampling them. He even challenged the Commander of
heaven's armies by canceling the daily sacrifices offered to him and by
destroying his Temple" (Daniel 8:9-11, NLT).
The power of the Antichrist and the
human beings of his era will far exceed what our generation can currently
imagine. As proof, Daniel describes a time when the Antichrist will engage
Jesus Christ Himself in battle:
"He will even take on the Prince of princes in
battle, but he will be broken, though not by human power" (Daniel 8:25,
The human race, led by the Antichrist,
will take on the Lord Himself in battle. Like the Tower of Babel generation,
the arrogance of this final generation will extend all the way into the
heavens, where the human race will attempt to usurp the glory and authority
of God Himself. But just like the Tower of Babel generation, their efforts
will end in utter failure.
The transhumanist agenda serves as a
reminder of what the human race is without the blood of Jesus Christ--an
enemy of God. A movement that views its ultimate purpose as bringing
enlightenment to the universe sets itself up in direct opposition to God's
own purpose. This is the very definition of rebellion, and it's the
inevitable result of fallen mankind's sinful nature.
Yet despite our sinful nature, God
provided us with the free gift of salvation through His Son Jesus Christ.
All we have to do is accept this gift. Those who accept it will experience
peace and everlasting life, but those who reject it will become slaves to
sin, and their ambition--ike Satan's--will one day lead to an outright
physical confrontation with God Himself. It's a battle that God will win.
Britt Gillette is founder of
BrittGillette.Com, a website examining the relationship between Bible
prophecy and emerging trends in technology. For more information or to sign
up for his email alerts, please visit http://www.brittgillette.com.