Despite my regular quoting of Mike Treder and Chris Phoenix at The Center for Responsible Nanotechnology, I somehow missed Mike’s article-“A Global Surge Protector?”-when it was originally published two years ago. I highly recommend following the link and reading the article in its entirety. It addresses the issue of a sudden surge in worldwide political, economic, and military power-not a decentralized surge, but one that could possibly consolidate enormous power in the hands of a single nation or even of a single individual.
What’s most interesting is that Mike writes his articles from a secular worldview. He doesn’t take Bible prophecy into account when postulating future events. Nevertheless, his views about the future are in complete alignment with the Bible on the six points enumerated below:
# 1 The Consolidation of World Political, Economic, and Military Power
According to Treder’s article, “A Global Surge Protector?”:
“Molecular manufacturing represents power: political power, military power, and economic power.”
“The combined control of economic and military policies represents political power. If Hanson and Gubrud are right, one or more political leaders soon could possess more power over people and events than the world has ever seen.”
Giving what we know about the potential power of molecular manufacturing (MM), I would have to agree with these conclusions. The Bible also agrees, explicitly stating that prior to the glorious appearing of Jesus Christ, one individual will control a global empire with unprecedented political, economic, and military power. It will be an empire unlike any the world has ever seen. The Bible tells us it will be a revived form of the Roman Empire, perhaps the Western European Union, and it will be ruled by an individual known throughout history as the Antichrist.
The enormous political power held by this individual will be on a scale never before witnessed in human history. His authority will extend to every single person on the face of the earth:
“And he was given authority to rule over every tribe and people and language and nation” (Revelation 13:7, NLT).
The economic power of this individual will also be without precedent. He will be able to regulate the purchase and sale of everything. Throughout history, black markets have always cropped up in the face of excessive economic regulation, but in this instance, the regulation of commerce will be absolute in nature.
“He required everyone-great and small, rich and poor, slave and free-to be given a mark on the right hand or on the forehead. And no one could buy or sell anything without that mark, which was either the name of the beast or the number representing his name” (Revelation 13:16-17, NLT).
The Bible tells us that the final world empire ruled by this individual will crush everything in its path. It will be different from those before it-Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Rome (the previous beasts referenced in this passage):
“Then he said to me, â€˜This fourth beast is the fourth world power that will rule the earth. It will be different from all the others. It will devour the whole world, trampling everything in its path'” (Daniel 7:23, NLT).
The Antichrist and his empire will be the first empire of a truly global reach. No nation or people on earth will escape their authority. He will hold absolute political, economic, and military power.
# 2 An Increase in the Likelihood of a Devastating War
Treder also points out that the development of molecular manufacturing will significantly increase the likelihood of an unstable arms race resulting in a devastating war:
“Experts who have studied these fast-moving economic, military, political, and technological trends are concerned that large-scale war, which has been on a decline for several decades, could become more likely and more deadly. Unless only one nation or bloc of nations has a distinct power advantage, a battle for supremacy may ensue. But, as discussed in a previous Future Brief essay, a new arms race conducted under rapidly changing conditions could be highly unstable, and could result all too easily in devastating war.”
In an earlier article, I discussed the possibility of multiple powers developing molecular manufacturing within a similar time frame. If parallel powers do emerge, the likelihood of a massive and devastating war increases dramatically. The leading developer of MM will most likely use its advantage to disable its competitors in an effort to either seize total power or avoid the unprecedented destruction of an MM-based arms race. But a preemptive strike by the initial power might itself result in a limited MM-based arms race. Even if the initial attacker’s competitors are at a decided disadvantage, the death toll could rival that of all twentieth-century conflicts combined.
The Bible describes just such a scenario in the book of Revelation. At the beginning of the Tribulation, a conqueror sets out to overcomemany nations (Revelation 6:2). His actions are quickly followed by a war of unprecedented destruction:
“When the Lamb broke the second seal, I heard the second living being say, â€˜Come!’ And another horse appeared, a red one. Its rider was given a mighty sword and the authority to remove peace from the earth. And there was war and slaughter everywhere” (Revelation 6:3-4, NLT).
Notice that the rider on the red horse who removes peace from the earth is given “a mighty sword.” Could this be a reference to molecular manufacturing?
# 3 The Impacts of Molecular Manufacturing Will Be Sudden
Mike Treder’s statements continue to parallel those of the Bible, as he compares the development of molecular manufacturing with the dawn of the Industrial Revolution:
“Some refer to this as the next Industrial Revolution, and that is not an unreasonable comparison. The big difference, however, between previous industrial revolutions and the nanotech revolution is the time span covered. Steam engines, electricity, the automobile, telecommunications, computers: these all brought extreme transformations to society, but they each did so over a period of decades. When molecular manufacturing arrives, probably before 2020, a shock wave of change could reverberate around the world in only a year or two. Never before have disruptive impacts occurred so rapidly.”
Under such circumstances, social and technological change will occur so rapidly that the mere existence of molecular manufacturing will threaten to overturn the current world system. Change will occur with greater frequency and greater intensity.
When His disciples asked Him what would be the sign of His coming and the end of the age, Jesus Christ described such a time to His disciples. In Matthew 24:8, He specifically describes the appearance of such signs as “the beginning of labor pains.” This means the events He had described to His disciples-the appearance of false prophets, wars, famines, and earthquakes-will mimic birth pains. They will appear with greater frequency and intensity as time passes.
The apostle Paul describes a similar situation when he refers to the day of the Lord, a day that will come like “a thief in the night”:
“When people are saying, â€˜All is well; everything is peaceful and secure,’ then disaster will fall upon them as suddenly as a woman’s birth pains begin when her child is about to be born. And there will be no escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:3, NLT).
This verse can be easily applied to our generation. We plan our lives as if tomorrow will be like today. Despite humanity’s bloody history, we rush forward with a blind faith that peace and security is in our future. We take pride in our vast knowledge, but remain ignorant of the imminent dangers of molecular manufacturing. Unless we humble ourselves now and take immediate action, disaster will strike suddenly. Given the worldwide implications of MM, there will be no escape for anyone.
Two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ revealed the path we would choose:
“For that will be a time of greater horror than anything the world has ever seen or will ever see again. In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, the entire human race will be destroyed. But it will be shortened for the sake of God’s chosen ones” (Matthew 24:21-22, NLT).
# 4 True World Domination Becomes an Option
Mike Treder makes another interesting observation when he states:
“For, until our time, conditions have not made it possible for true world domination to exist.”
The ancient Roman Empire, although enormous and powerful, never came close to true global domination. Even with current technology, true global domination is impossible. In today’s world, the most powerful nation on earth, the United States of America, is facing great difficulty dominating the relatively small nation of Iraq. Although it could easily destroy Iraq with weapons of mass destruction, governing its population is a great undertaking, requiring the deployment of vast resources. Imagine this same mission on a worldwide scale. It would be impossible with today’s technology. But with molecular manufacturing, it will not only be possible; it will be a necessity.
The Bible reveals that, in the last days, one man will dominate the entire world:
“And he was given authority to rule over every tribe and people and language and nation” (Revelation 13:7, NLT).
This generation will be the first even capable of witnessing the fulfillment of this prophecy.
# 5 Economic and Social Disruption
According to Mike Treder:
“Some of the troubling implications include: massive job displacement causing economic and social disruption.”
Just as the first two seals of the apocalypse parallel probable events that might follow the development of MM, the third seal seems to foreshadow a time of great economic upheaval:
“When the Lamb broke the third seal, I heard the third living being say, â€˜Come!’ And I looked up and saw a black horse, and its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. And a voice from among the four living beings said, â€˜A loaf of wheat bread or three loaves of barley for a day’s pay. And don’t waste the olive oil and wine'” (Revelation 6:5-6, NLT).
This verse clearly points to a time of great economic crisis. The black horse is a symbol of famine. Its rider, the Antichrist, will be in full control of the world. The scales in his hand indicate a need for him to carefully measure and ration the food supply. We know this because the verse that follows indicates a scarcity of food-“And a voice from among the four living beings said, â€˜A loaf of wheat bread or 3 loaves of barley for a day’s pay.'”
Three loaves of barley equal approximately one pint. This is generally regarded as a minimum-sustenance diet. Therefore, this verse foreshadows a time when an entire day’s wage will barely yield enough food to survive. The reference to “olive oil and wine” symbolizes luxury items that were exclusive domains of the rich during the time the book of Revelation was written. From this verse, we learn that the famine referenced in the preceding sentence will not affect the wealthy.
Following the development of MM, a world economic crisis will ensue. Every sector of the economy will be transformed in some way by this emerging technology, and the transformation will be rapid and demonstrable. Many industries will be in utter ruin, unable to compete against an endless supply of cheap, generic products. As a result, many will be plunged into poverty.
# 6 An Environment Conducive to Ambitious Leaders Seizing Power
In one of his final points, Mike Treder notes the seductive hold this enormous power will have on ambitious world leaders:
“It’s easy to see how these events could jolt the balances of economic, military, and political power. Such a surge might destabilize conditions so much that social chaos will erupt and spread across the globe, and that, unfortunately, offers a prime opportunity for ambitious rulers to seize total power.”
Following His baptism, Jesus was tempted by Satan in the desert for forty days and forty nights. After a series of failures, Satan saved his greatest temptation for last:
“Next the Devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him the nations of the world and all their glory. ‘I will give it all to you,’ he said, ‘if you will only kneel down and worship me'” (Matthew 4:8-9, NLT).
According to the Bible, the Antichrist will receive this same offer from Satan. But unlike Jesus, he will accept. This man will have unprecedented global power, and no one will be able to stand against him:
“They worshiped the dragon for giving the beast such power, and they worshiped the beast. ‘Is there anyone as great as the beast?’ they exclaimed. “Who is able to fight against him?'” Revelation 13:4 (NLT)
With the aid of molecular manufacturing, a global dictator will be invincible. With no outside power to threaten his rule, and a ruthlessly efficient global police state at his disposal, who could stand against him? Who could possibly make war against such a man? In the minds of those who dwell in this world, the answer is no one.
But the conventional wisdom of this world is often foolishness. The one who will break the power of the Antichrist is already world famous. His name is Jesus Christ.
Britt Gillette is the author of Signs of the Second Coming: 11 Reasons Jesus Will Return in Our Lifetime and Coming to Jesus: One Man’s Search for Truth and Life Purpose. He’s also the founder of End Times Bible Prophecy.