I recall about a year and a half ago hearing a YouTube short featuring Elon Musk on the Joe Rogan podcast, detailing his fears about AI (Artificial Intelligence). He was foretelling that if an entity more intelligent than humans were created by us, we may end up in a dystopian future. Feeling it prudent to put limits and regulations on this field of development, he wanted to protect the world from an unhinged sci-fi creation that could retaliate against its own creators.
For believers, this is a bizarre turn of events, since we, unlike atheists and secular individuals who assume a Darwinian worldview, and a world without God’s guiding hand, believe the end is already stated in Revelation. Unbelievers look to culturally iconic movies like Terminator or even I, Robot as a warning not to quickly trust the minds of machines.
What can Christians make of this?
We are in unprecedented times that the Bible has warned us about. Daniel 12:4 states that in the end of times, “many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.” Indeed, advancements in travel in the last 200 years have caused travel to explode so that anyone from across the world can commute from one part to another regularly. No one can deny that knowledge has dramatically increased.
Forty years ago, if someone didn’t know something, they had to find an expert or put the hard work in of searching the library for it. Now, you just “google” it on your smartphone. This level of “interconnectedness” ensures that global conditions are ripe for a coming great deception. If paper documentation became “obsolete” and one group gained control over all information on the internet, then one voice would get to define “the truth.”
The Bible shares a mysterious event that will occur in the rebuilt Jewish temple relating to this concerning thought:
“And [the false prophet] deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. 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 13:14-15
With this cryptic reference, we see that something will one day be created to resemble the Antichrist that will seemingly have a mind and voice of its own, created to serve his purposes.
Could it be that before Jesus’ return, when God gives authority to this “man of sin,” he will create a religious technocrat empire that will regulate its people? Could this image be an AI reflection of himself, to create a false omniscient like gaze over his enslaved populace? What we can be sure of is that the job of this intelligent system/icon will be to gather information about the people and enforce the mark of the beast regulation on penalty of death (verse 16).
Even so, those that trust in Christ do not have to fear either the Antichrist or the Terminator. Jesus told us that He would continue to keep us in perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3). The only “I’ll be back,” we have to concern ourselves with is not Arnold’s, but Jesus’.
ISOW (International School of the Word Bible College) provides several courses that explore end-time, prophetic events. For more information, check out the course, Harbingers Explained by best-selling author, Rabbi Jonathan Cahn. Perry Stone also explores these issues in the fascinating course, Book of Revelation: Breaking the Apocalypse Code.
Matthew Foley, Staff Writer