David Reagan - Technology and the End Times with Britt Gillette
We have a special guest today who is an expert in Bible prophecy. He has written an outstanding book about the role of technology in the fulfillment of end time prophecies. I can assure you that you will find what he has to say to be both informative and fascinating. Stay tuned.
David Reagan: Greetings in the name of Jesus, our Blessed Hope, and welcome to Christ in Prophecy! My colleagues, Tim Moore and Nathan Jones, and I have a very special guest with us today. His name is Britt Gillette. Welcome to Christ in Prophecy, Britt.
Britt Gillette: Thank you, Dave, it is great to be here.
David Reagan: Glad to have you in God’s country down here in Texas.
Britt Gillette: Definitely.
David Reagan: You don’t know what to say to that. Well, folks, Britt and his wife and their three children live in Virginia where he works in the marketing department of an architecture and engineering design firm. Britt is an expert on Bible prophecy and has written several excellent books about the topic. Today, we are going to be discussing an outstanding book of his titled, Racing Toward Armageddon And the sub-title of the book is Why Advanced Technology Signals the End Times. Britt, would you say the subtitle is the thesis of the book?
Britt Gillette: Absolutely. I think, you know a lot of books have been written about the role of technology in the end times. But with this one I really wanted to get to if the prophecies of the Bible aren’t fulfilled before these advance technologies take place, they will eventually lead to the fulfillment of hundreds of ancient Bible prophecies concerning the end times, the Antichrist, and the Battle of Armageddon. So, while human advancements in technology are not–while end time prophecy is not reliant on those things happening, we will see–
David Reagan: What you are saying there is that God could do it supernaturally if He wanted to.
Britt Gillette: Correct, but if it doesn’t happen before these advancements take place then we will see the events that are described in the Bible fulfilled by the development of these technologies.
Tim Moore: Britt, I appreciate the fact you say that the fulfillment of Bible prophecy is not dependent upon technology, but obviously it has ramifications if it continues as is. One of the subtitles, or actually the chapter titles you used is “God’s Overlooked Prophecy.” What did you mean by that? And which kind of prophecies do you think are typically overlooked?
Britt Gillette: Sure. Well, I think there’s one particular prophecy, it is found in Genesis chapter 11, it is commonly known as the story of the Tower of Babel. And even people that are unfamiliar with the Bible have typically heard the story of the Tower of Babel. So, we go back to the beginning of humanity after the Flood. We’ve got the people of the world are reunited in a common purpose, a common language, they have a common government. And they set out to build this tower up into the heavens to glorify themselves. And so, God looks down and He sees, you know something that we may think of in today’s terms when we see all these skyscrapers up in the clouds, and all these different nations try to beat each other every couple of decades to see who can build the tallest tower. We may not look at as something severely dangerous, but God clearly did because we read in the book of Genesis that He looked down on all of this and He said, “If they are able to do this now and they’ve only begun to take advantage of their common language, and their common government, what will they do in the future? Nothing will be impossible for them.” And so, most people overlook well what would happen if we got to a time when after God confused the languages and broke these–created new languages and new nation states, that’s the time the state of affairs we’ve lived in ever since then. What would happen if that reversed and language barriers went away? Which we see that happen with technology.
David Reagan: They are in the process of going away now.
Britt Gillette: Correct.
Nathan Jones: They’ve got a lot of apps now you just speak into it and it gives the translation instantly.
Britt Gillette: Absolutely. Microsoft Translate will take over 60 different languages and instantly translate them.
David Reagan: I can go on a page on the internet and I can click, and it will go to French or Italian or whatever.
Britt Gillette: Correct. And then we see a great drive toward global government, so we see those two aspects that God said, “No, this can’t happen. I need to put an end to it right now.” And the reason why if we read what He says is He says, “Nothing will be impossible for them.”
Nathan Jones: I love that verse, Genesis 11:6, “And the Lord said, ‘Indeed the people are one, and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they purpose to do will be withheld from them.'” And it seems like in your book you are implying then that mankind working together can work their way up almost to godhood. Is that what God was implying?
Britt Gillette: Correct. If we look at what they were trying to do with the Tower of Babel they were trying to build this great monument to themselves, to their own glory. And we see Satan has the same desire. And people who are in rebellion against God have that same desire to supplant Him and take total control of their lives.
Tim Moore: And it also feeds into almost a humanist kind of attitude, of mankind can achieve anything and doesn’t need God. So, it creates a reliance only on man, and a scoffing at God.
Britt Gillette: Sure.
Nathan Jones: And you see that really in the imaginations of Gene Rodenberry who did the Star Trek series. This idea that apart from religion, and apart from God that mankind will develop better and better technologies and become better and better morally because of those technologies. And then work their way up until eventually, as there was one episode in the old Star Trek series that we are compared to amoeba, you know God compared to us, so we will eventually evolve up into God. And is that what you see that humanity believes?
Britt Gillette: Yes, if you read in the book of Revelation there’s a couple of passages that says that the Antichrist gathers the kings of the earth together to do battle against the Lord and His anointed one, Jesus Christ.
Nathan Jones: Take on God.
Britt Gillette: So, if we look at the history of Christianity when people read that they typically think, “Well, we are not going to take this literally because how could anybody possibly do battle against the Lord and Creator of the Universe?” But if we look at the Bible that’s what it literally says.
David Reagan: It reminds me of the fact that in the book of Revelation is says that the two witnesses will be killed, lie in the streets of Jerusalem three-and-a-half-days and the whole world will look upon them. Before the mid-1960’s there was no way we could understand that naturally. Now, you just point a TV camera up to a satellite.
Britt Gillette: Correct. And people have devices they can walk around anywhere and look at a news event like that unfolding.
Tim Moore: It’s interesting talking about devices, many people will never put them down. I mean there are folks who wear their device on their ear, or on their wrist, and 24 hours a day virtually they are connected.
Nathan Jones: Well, let me follow your line of thinking because I love to preach about end times technology. I tend to stick more with the technology we have today and how that points to the Lord’s soon return. But I love how your book because you’re looking not at technology today, but what’s technology tomorrow and right around the corner. And you refer to something in chapter 4 on page 23 called the singularity; that our human technology is working up toward something called the singularity. Can you explain what the singularity is, and how you see it implemented in changing the way we see Bible prophecy being fulfilled?
Britt Gillette: Sure. Well, the singularity is a theoretical event that states that technological advancement takes place so rapidly that the unaided human mind can’t comprehend it. So, as an example.
David Reagan: Exponential curve.
Britt Gillette: Correct. So, think as an example of when you’ve gotten some software in the past, maybe Microsoft Office. And then after you’ve spent a year, you’ve learned it, you really know how to work it, they come out with a new version. And then you’ve got to relearn the new version, and then they come out with a new one.
Nathan Jones: Wasn’t the joke: When do you know your computer is obsolete? As soon as you take it out of the box.
Britt Gillette: Right.
Nathan Jones: There is actually a law named after Tim Moore, I’m pretty sure. It is called Moore’s Law.
Tim Moore: Ah, I think it’s another Moore, Gordon Moore, yes, we were talking about that before the show.
Nathan Jones: Yeah, every 18 months, right? The technology doubles, and then it doubles, and then it doubles. So, it’s not just a steady stream up, but it is an exponential curve up towards something called the singularity.
Britt Gillette: Exactly. And so, as we see that exponential curve go upward, think of how taxing some of those developments have been. When you’ve learned something and then you’ve got to learn something new, and maybe it’s taken place over a couple of years. Well, as we climb that curve it will become a couple of months, then a couple of weeks, and then a couple days, and then a couple hours.
David Reagan: And you can’t keep up with it.
Britt Gillette: And you can’t possibly keep up with it, and we would become obsolete. Especially when you talked earlier about people wearing their devices. There are some people who look forward to a day when they can literally merge with those devices and that technology. And they would leave us behind because they would be able to keep up.
David Reagan: I think have already merged.
Tim Moore: I think have merged.
Britt Gillette: Yes.
Tim Moore: The other thing that I appreciated you touched on, and we see it already, is the proliferation of information has not led to greater wisdom.
Nathan Jones: No.
Tim Moore: So, some of the folks who have a great ability to absorb the new technology kind of dismiss the wisdom of those who have gone before, or even those who are still around today because they are not as technologically adept. And so, for instance younger generations they don’t want to hear about the wisdom sometimes of older generations because, well, they didn’t have technology. So, again they have embraced the information, but rejected wisdom. And information in of itself does not lead to wisdom, and that is a point that you made very clearly.
Nathan Jones: What happens when we reach the singularity? When our technology goes faster than our ability to keep up with it?
Britt Gillette: We don’t know, because we can’t see past that point by definition.
Nathan Jones: Okay, so it’s actually a horizon point that we are aiming towards.
Britt Gillette: Yes, more of a horizon point that we are heading toward.
Nathan Jones: And as a futurist, or I would label you that because you look at these technologies and see how they would affect then Bible prophecy. If we reach that singularity in our lifetime, well first do you believe we are going to reach that singularity in our lifetime? And two how would that affect as prophecy unfolds in Revelation?
Britt Gillette: Well, I believe we will approach that point. I’m not sure that we will actually get there before Jesus comes back. In fact, there’s a prophecy that Jesus gives where He says, “Unless those days are shortened no flesh will survive.” And often that’s been interpreted as, well, the world will destroy itself; there will be this massive war. But as you look at the agenda of some of the people that look forward to merging with technology, they look forward to being able to shed their actual biological bodies. And actually, for instance some people would like to download their brains into a computer network. They think that will allow them to live forever.
Nathan Jones: That is real common in Japanese anime, you see that.
Britt Gillette: Yes.
Nathan Jones: This idea that we are moving towards a time, like ghost in a shell for instance, where we will be able to move our spirits into robot bodies. Or further we’ll create space stations, and space labs that are all extra earth computers, where our souls then will live there as disembodied spirits. Do you see humanity, I know Gene Roddenberry was looking for that?
David Reagan: I don’t think we have that much time left.
Nathan Jones: No, I don’t think. And that’s the point about the singularity the second part of my question: Do you see the timeline for Bible prophecy in parallel with this upward exponential curve, or do you see it proceeding as reaching the singularity?
Britt Gillette: I see as we get toward the singularity we are going to reach a point where advance technologies will create new weapons that will lead to a new era in warfare. For instance, since World War II world peace has essentially rested on the concept of mutual assured destruction. Two nuclear powers wouldn’t got to battle with each other because they would both end up destroyed. And people think that will always be the case. But as we look at history we know that there are new eras, and new technologies that come to replace those.
David Reagan: Well, we are going to have to interrupt at this point, our time is up for this segment.
Britt Gillette: Sure.
David Reagan: And folks, when we return we are going to talk to Britt about transhumanism.
Tim Moore: Welcome back to Christ in Prophecy and our interview with Britt Gillette about the role of technology in the fulfillment of end time prophecies. We are discussing his fascinating book, Racing Toward Armageddon. It is subtitled, Why Advance Technology Signals the End Times. Britt, as we indicated you have a chapter dealing with transhumanism. What in the world is that?
Britt Gillette: Well, transhumanism is the belief that people will be able to evolve past our current mental and physical limitations using advance technology to enter a new era that transhumanist call post-human. We discussed earlier the merging with technology, and there are people that look forward to that fervently, almost with a religious fervor. That they are going to be able to upgrade their bodies to take on Godlike abilities.
Tim Moore: Almost a bionic man, or a cyborg, or in the worst case a terminator.
Britt Gillette: Correct.
David Reagan: You know Britt, that reminds of something that happened back in the early 70’s. The leaders of the New Age Movement began to say that the masters of the universe, their demons, had told them that a time is coming when God is going to take off this earth all those who live by faith, so that those who live by reason can move on with their evolutionary development.
Britt Gillette: That sounds exactly like what some people actually believe.
Tim Moore: And advocate.
Britt Gillette: Yes, and advocate, and look forward to.
Nathan Jones: Well, Britt back in the 1950’s there was a gentleman named Richard Feynman and he postulated this idea that we would be able to create things like God, using technology called nanotechnology, or nanofactories, and you talk a lot about nanofactories in your book. Can you tell everybody in simple terms, please, what nanofactories are and what that implications means to society, and how the Antichrist could possibly use it?
Britt Gillette: Sure. Well, a nanofactory is not much different from a regular factory, just like you would go to a regular factory and you would see conveying belts, and gears, and mechanical arms working with the product moving down the assembly line. Imagine all of that taking place in an atomic level. Where instead of a product moving down that conveyer belt, it’s some molecules that are being assembled. So, right now we manufacture from the top down, we break things apart, we glue them together, we weld them. In the age of molecular manufacturing we will build from the bottom up, one molecule at a time with building products.
David Reagan: And what can you build with that?
Britt Gillette: You can build anything with atomic precision, but it will also create an era where those nanofactories can build copies of themselves. And so, there’s a book that Eric Drexler whose the father of this modern thinking about molecular manufacturing wrote that a country the size of Singapore if they developed this technology could build an overwhelming military force in a matter of months, if not weeks, and use it to conquer the world.
Nathan Jones: So, it is like a 3D printer, but then you can build anything you want with it from the molecules up.
David Reagan: Are they talking about manufacturing human beings?
Britt Gillette: No, not manufacturing human beings, although there are molecular machines within human beings. You know our proteins; they are biological and natural and formed. But it is taking that natural process, putting it under computer control with, in some cases, using much harder materials then what we have in biology. And you could create cures for every disease.
Tim Moore: What is the implication for Bible prophecy of this kind of capability?
Britt Gillette: Well, that is one thing we touched on earlier is the era of mutual assured destruction that we’ve lived in since World War II, will come to an end because all of a sudden you’ll have a technology that really a handful of people could use to build an overwhelming military force. And it will create great uncertainty if you have multiple nations with that. Right now, if you develop nuclear weapons it is very expensive, it is easy to track what’s used there. There’s not these massive advancements that other countries are worried about. But with molecular manufacturing it will create a great level of uncertainty that makes striking first a top priority.
Nathan Jones: If you watch the old Star Trek Next Generation, I think this what, to put an image in people’s minds is that Captain Picard would stand in front of what he called the replicator and say, “Tea, Earl Grey, hot.” And all of a sudden boom it would be manufactured right there. So, you’re saying then with nanofactories we would have the ability to say whatever we want could be built. So, would there be any want or need anymore? And how would that change the balance of power in the world? You could see the whole world system being overturned with such a technology. Now, from what I’m reading though the technology isn’t really supposed to be available until about 30 or 40 years from now. Do you see that coming sooner or later? Because when I look at Bible prophecy as signs of the times I think the Antichrist is coming a lot sooner than 30 or 40 years from now. But if it does the scenario you built is impressive because then as humanity we would almost have the power of creation.
Britt Gillette: Well, Ray Kurzweil who is an engineer at Google, and probably one of the best people in Silicone Valley at predicting future technologies and when they would become available. He says that by the year 2029, $1,000 worth of computing power will be equal to a single human brain.
Tim Moore: Wow.
Britt Gillette: And he believes that we are on that exponential curve, and by around the year 2040 is when he envisions the singularity taking place. So, all of these developments are certainly within our lifetime.
David Reagan: Well, let’s move onto another topic.
Tim Moore: You asked, or have a chapter titled, “The Great Lie.” What is the great lie when it deals with technology and Bible prophecy?
Britt Gillette: Sure, well 2 Thessalonians 2:11 Paul states that for the end times generation God will send this great delusion and the people will believe a great lie, or the great lie, depending on your translation. Looking at the Bible and what is that great lie I look at the original lie in recorded human history, which is in the book of Genesis chapter 3, Eve is being tempted in the garden by Satan. And he says, “If you eat that fruit you won’t die, you’ll be just like God.” And as we were discussing earlier there are people within the transhumanist movement who see themselves as becoming just like God, that’s their aim. They see that they’ll be able to take on the superhuman intelligence, and immortality through technology. And that they will then go out and infuse the rest of the universe with their intelligence.
Nathan Jones: Wow. So, again and again we got this idea that humans think we can evolve and become better, and more moral. But you say throughout your book here, and I love it that you bring this point up because this is a huge point, page 45, “The human heart is worse than the most terrible weapon ever devised.” “Or technology can’t rid us of our rebellious nature, in fact it is just the opposite, instead of taming our sinful nature, technology will amplify it.” So, you’re saying that we are not going to become more like gods; with technology we actually become more like Satan.
Britt Gillette: Right. Well, we amplify what we are already. So, if we look at past technologies they brought great benefits, and these future technologies will as well. But those past technologies have also brought some pretty horrible things. For instance, railroads have been a good thing for humanity, so, have all sorts of industrial technologies, assembly lines. But the human heart used those things to create the Holocaust. They could bring to ship in people for mass genocide. So, we’ll see the same thing with advance technologies. The human heart cannot change. And that is the one thing that the transhumanists miss, is they think this utopia will brought about with all these technologies.
David Reagan: That’s because they are humanists and the fundamental idea of all humanists is that men are basically good, and what’s happened society has corrupted them. If we only perfect society everybody will be fine. Whereas Christianity teaches that man is fundamentally flawed by a sin nature. And I appreciate the fact you emphasize that over, and over, and over throughout your book.
Tim Moore: Yes, we can change the condition of our bodies, and into some degree our brains, or at least enhance it, but the human heart is the thing that is most deceitful. Well, with all of the analysis and vision that you have recorded even in your book, what do you see as the season in which we are living? Do you think we are living in the season of the Lord’s return?
Britt Gillette: Yes, absolutely. Jesus said that we can’t know the day or the hour, but he tells us over and over to be alert, to watch, and to look for the signs. And Jesus and the prophets gave us signs to look for. For the first 1,800 plus years of Christianity not one of those signs was present. But today we have the Jewish people back in the land of Israel. We have the Jewish people in control of Jerusalem. We have the Gospel being preached all around the world. We have enemies surrounding Israel. We have Israel one of the smaller nations in the world has an exceedingly great army. We see the beginnings of the Gog and Magog alliance which was written about in Ezekiel 38 & 39. The preeminent nations in that alliance, Russia, Turkey, Iran are all poised on Israel’s northern border as we speak, coordinating their militaries. And Ezekiel said that they would attack Israel from the north. So, we see all these things taking place. And Jesus said in Luke 21:28, “When you see all these things take place, look up, your salvation draws near.”
David Reagan: You have just implied the most important overreaching sign, convergence.
Britt Gillette: Absolutely.
David Reagan: Everything is converging for the first time.
Britt Gillette: And I want to emphasize Jesus didn’t say, “When you see all of these things look up because I may come in a century or two.” He said, “Look up, I’m coming now.” And we see all of these things coming together exponentially.
David Reagan: We are living on borrowed time.
Britt Gillette: We absolutely are.
Tim Moore: I think one of the keys even as we record a program that will be televised is we have the ability, and God takes things even intended for evil to turn some of this technology to a good purpose. Whether it is sharing the Gospel. Whether is it is sharing the Gospel in other languages that for many years we did not have the ability to communicate as effectively. We translate many of our books into other languages. So, the Lord has allowed us to use some of these technologies in a very positive manner, but you’re talking about the unfortunate downside to the technology, especially as it leads people away from God Himself.
David Reagan: Britt, how looking into that camera directly in front of you and telling viewers how they can be heirs of the promise of the Rapture.
Britt Gillette: Well, the most important decision that you can make is to follow Jesus Christ. Jesus said, you are either for me, or you are against me. And Jesus died on the cross and gave His blood to pay for your sins. We were all born sinners. And through Jesus you can find true life. You can find true peace. You can find all of the promises that the transhumanists look forward to fulfilled in Jesus.
David Reagan: And that’s not something you can earn.
Britt Gillette: No, it’s not. It is a free gift.
David Reagan: By grace, through faith.
Britt Gillette: By grace, yes.
David Reagan: Hallelujah.
Tim Moore: Amen. Praise the Lord.
David Reagan: Well, folks we will be back with you in just a moment.
Nathan Jones: Hey, Britt it has been so good to have you on Christ in Prophecy. Thank you so much. You keep writing about Bible prophecy.
David Reagan: Amen.
Tim Moore: Amen. Britt I also want to thank you for coming to Texas and for sharing with us a vision of what the future might hold. But I want to give you an opportunity to tell our viewers how they can be in touch with your ministry.
Britt Gillette: Well, thank you. You can find me at www.end-times-bible-prophecy.com.
David Reagan: Great and I too want to say that we really appreciate you being here. And I pray the Lord will just keep your hand going. I don’t know how you find the time, but you keep writing those books, okay.
Britt Gillette: Thank you. It was my privilege to be here.
David Reagan: Alright, well folks that is our program for today. Stay tuned and we’ll tell you how you can get a copy of Britt’s fascinating book about technology and its relevance to end time Bible prophecies. I hope our program has been a blessing to you. And I hope the Lord willing that you will be back with us next week. And in the meantime, I hope you will pray for this ministry. Pray for God to keep us right in the center of His will and pray for our proclamation to go out all over the world that Jesus is coming soon. Until next week, this is Dave Reagan speaking for Lamb & Lion Ministries saying, “Look up, be watchful, for our redemption is drawing near.”