In times of crises, especially those that are of proportions never before experienced in our lifetime, the predictable response is to desperately seek answers. But sometimes, it is this very genuine quest for answers that causes us to unknowingly present to the world an image of Christians who are prone to quick judgement without fully interrogating facts or, worse still, Christians who are driven by fear rather than faith.
This is nothing new. From the days of the early persecution of Christians all the way to the infamous Y2K bug at the turn of the 21st century, Christians have always seen tragedies and crises as a harbinger of something greater.
But the recent trend of labelling people and technology as pointers to the Antichrist has gone a little overboard and doomsday prophets have taken advantage of this.
Let me begin by giving some clarity on the current issues around the Covid-19 vaccine, Bill Gates and 5G technology. It is true that these developments are revolutionary. However, several Christian leaders have tried to link events that are, in fact, unrelated.
One video clip doing the rounds came from TruNews and Rick Wiles – both are well known in the United States for their doomsday teachings going as far back as the early 1980s.
Here are a few facts about the video. At one point, Wiles says he was barred from attending some secret meeting. That is true, and I know because I was at that meeting. The reason he was not allowed into the meeting was that he had a badge issued to people invited as part of the entourage of a public figure, in this case US President Donald Trump. It is not unusual for people escorting public figures to be restricted from certain events. So it was not true that he was barred because there was a secret discussion going on.
Secondly, the meeting he mentions in the video took place in 2018, which is the year Trump was invited, not 2017.
On the issue of digital identity, there have been discussions on this for a while, especially among the refugee community and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The idea of digital IDs is driven by concerns about how many stateless people there are – people with no passports or any other form of ID and who increasingly find it hard to prove their citizenry. In fact, there is already a form of digital ID processing through e-passports, which give access to a lot of personal data.
Let’s now turn to Bill Gates and the quantum dots dye (you can read about it on https://mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKBN21I3EC). The dye is part of a bigger problem that is being faced by the medical fraternity as a few companies push to gain control of products that promise to bring in high returns. Bill Gates is just the loudest voice.
The idea of technology for doing evil and controlling the world is already with us and is quite scary. But to link this to Gates is stretching things too far. And by the way, he has been called the Antichrist from way back in 1999!
Having said this, let us admit that in many cases, and particularly so for Christians, this search for the Antichrist is often a genuine attempt to find meaning. Sadly, we try to explain what we see with our eyes by trying to work backwards to the Bible. This is not how biblical prophecy works – rather, it is the Bible that directs the world. We lose sight of God when we allow the world to become our compass to understanding the Bible.
Here are some reflections to guide us whenever we’re trying to understand tragedies, crises and key world events.
- To what end?
What is our motive? Do we want to be known as the prophet who explained the mind of God or are we sincerely seeking to understand the times so we can go out and preach the gospel like never before?
- Could we be going ahead of Christ?
Even Jesus Christ warned us about running after those who keep saying: “Here is he (the Antichrist).” Could we be running on our own, going where Christ has not told us to go?
- Could this be a distraction?
What if the enemy is merely deflecting our attention and distracting us from something much worse? This is my biggest fear: That we are gullible and the enemy can easily throw a bone on one side then go and wreak havoc on the other side while we are busy analysing who Bill Gates is and what 5G technology can do!
- Are we giving Satan powers that belong only to Christ?
Satan cannot create anything; he can only manipulate what God has already created. So if we begin to ascribe creation powers to Satan, are we not elevating him to the status of God? Satan may use 5G or viruses for evil, but this doesn’t change the source of these things, who is God the Creator.
- God is good all the time!
If we agree with this, then it follows that nothing God creates is evil. It is what man does with it that is evil. So the issue is not what is created, rather what is done with the created. We can use the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G and all these other created things to do tremendous good in God’s name. But if we focus only on the evil that Satan is doing, we miss the main agenda.
- Who is talking, and why now?
It is interesting to note that only during crises do all manner of prophets emerge. Who are they? What is their background? Those spreading information about 5G, digital ID and vaccines by Bill Gates should know that these issues have been around for nearly 10 years. IoT is actually more than 20 years old and has been used to repair plane engines for decades.
In addition, most of the so-called smart homes run on IoT while 5G is a natural progression from 4G because it’s about the speed of data. It began with 1G, which gave us our fixed telephone lines, followed by 2G that ushered in the first mobile phone. Three (3)-G gave us the internet on our mobile phones and 4G is what gave us conference calls and the ability to view movies on demand (what we call streaming). Five (5)-G has given us tele-medicine, driverless cars and smart cities.
There are other even more revolutionary technological advances such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and the more dangerous “deepfakes”. So we are not done with technology yet. The question is: If 5G is so bad, why did we not see it coming while it was still 1G?
- God cannot contradict Himself
How can the Antichrist be so obvious when even Jesus says the end will come like a thief in the night? Surely, cannot contradict Himself.
- What about God’s bigger agenda?
“Then all Israel shall be saved…” That is an even bigger issue for God than what we are seeing now. It is more about evangelism than a focus on the end-times.
- We are not the first; we will not be the last
Every Christian generation that has lived through a crisis has had the same view – that the crisis is about the end. Perhaps this is what God wants so that the enemy is himself caught unawares!
- What manner of men, therefore, should we be?
So what is all this about? The truth is that everything is building up to the great and ongoing redemptive work of God. And that is the best news! That is what we should pay attention to and it means we should strive to use every available means, whether technology or vaccines. Our focus should be on the kingdom, not on peddling end-time predictions.
Right now, let us take that which God has created, which Satan is misusing, and use it to preach the gospel. At this time, we do not know when the end is, and neither should that be our worry.