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CYBERNETICS, ROBOTICS and SPIRITUAL NEUROTICS in
COMING RUTHLESS ACROBATICS
Silicon.com April 1, 2005
In Silicon.com, for one example, we find reference to the widely reported phenomenon of cybernetic work for one paralysed, to enable him to direct action on outside mechanical things, such as a computer mouse, in order to achieve what paralysis otherwise prevents.
In an article by Joe Best, we find this.
Cybernetics - the fusion of human beings and technology - is helping one paralysed man control his environment by connecting his brain to his PC.
It proceeds to speak of quadriplegic ex-American football player Matthew Nagle. A cybernetic system enables his thought impulsion to be converted into actions on a computer. His brain has to be connected to his computer by a man-made system called BrainGate. Thought impulses are caught up from a sensor implanted in the cortex of his brain.
As to detail, the transmission occurs through 100 1mm long electrodes implanted in his brain. These are converted to on-screen cursor movements. He can even play games, open email. The process involves the BrainGate system recognising the pattern of impulses from within, and acting so that it then secures the action desired, outside his brain. Thus the pattern of thought as evidenced in a pattern of impulses at the physical level, becomes an object for recognition, and the impulses electrically associated with it are so directed that a particular result flows from them. This has been painstakingly matched to what has been wanted.
Thus, if the desire is known, and the electrical pattern may be gained that relates to this, then the action that matches this can be implemented.
It is similar in style to a tape-recording of a voice. This is as far removed from the movement of electricity as are stones from a Gothic Cathedral; but there are elements which can be interpreted, and accordingly an action built to mirror these transitory flows. It is rather like tags, attached to files. It is valuable to be able to do this, but there is nothing to be gained from confusion. Tabs are not the files! but they can be used to draw them! An associated phenomenon can be used as an index to the thing itself, just as letters are associated with words, though they are not words, and may be painstakingly built up, when they are recognised, and you know what you want, to produce words. These in turn may produce works, if you have the correlative equipment to move from command or understanding, to the performance. In the navy this would, in the old terms, perhaps be done by a naval rating! He of course has to be there.
Let us however see further into this new development.
The Silicon.com report includes another interesting datum. Kevin Warwick, professor of cybernetics at Reading University, has recently conduct ed experiments to connect his nervous system to a PC using an RFID implant in his arm.
If this less drastic approach were to become practical, then a far less intrusive method might follow to enable the outward and electronic, eventually mechanical expression of what is within the mind, in contrived and inventive ways, to act by mere will. It is not some revolutionary way of making thought cheaply become action by the mere thinking! Hamlet might have been misinterpreted, for example, when his thought was "Now will I do it pat!" relative to the much pondered murder of the King!
Thus, questions of thinking one MIGHT do something would need to be most carefully distinguished from the resolve, decision or plan that one WILL do it; and again, the decision to do it, at the planning stage would need to be differentiated from the decision to do it NOW!
Apart from such niceties, which are of course crucial in any effort to export a thought into action, since thoughts are varied in their actual-potential-pondering phases, there is the question of cost and work. Obviously much work is needed to substitute an electronic-mechanical apparatus for the use of one's hands for example! At best, it cannot contain all the vast multitude of human cognition, but it can perhaps express one phase, the ACTION LIKE THIS, component!
Thus it is no more personal or moral or ethical or inventive than any other non-personal thing, except in this, that it is rather intimately connected to human WILL or DECISION in various simple action modes. It is these themselves however which remain personal.
Moreover, it costs. It is a substitute. It seeks to export from a defective musculature, a thought which normally would have rendered muscle movement adequate.
Vast as is the release that this may occasion for one paralysed, and the relief indeed, it has implications which need to be considered.
'LIFE TO THE IMAGE OF THE BEAST '
A possible application towards this effect ?
Thus it brings up two biblical aspects of prophecy, which in the last 60 years has been fulfilled at such a rate that it is well to watch it! (cf. SMR Ch. 8, Ch. 9, Answers to Questions Ch. 5). On the one hand, it relates to what appear robotics in Joel 2 depiction of "the day of the Lord" and on the other, to the giving life to the image of the beast, an area of possible application, for the time of self-exaltation to surpass even that of Hitler and Mao, Stalin or Lenin.
Let us take the second first. We studied this in News 5 , some years ago.
A short excerpt will suffice here.
Beasts in the Daniel-Revelation compound ...
mean political-social-psychological unspirituality vested in some being of great worldly power, normally national in complexion but capable of divesting itself of such site. Power in and over the earth is critical to the concept; and ungodly ways of manifesting it are of the essence.
Having spoken of the generic beast, the main theme for the rottenness of the End Times, when man grows nearer to interview with his Creator, as a race, Revelation 13 proceeds to tell us of another beast (v.11) - that the other beast, the one duplicitous in its appearance as a lamb, but having two horns, showing something grosser, as also exhibited by his talking as a dragon.
This one is the communications specialist, the one which makes inter-relationships an art form, and people domination a matter of method. Accordingly, it (he?) makes procedures such as the mark on the forehead and on the right hand as a test of loyalty to become likewise a means of marketing, even of such simple ingredients of life as buying and selling; and making this a monopoly, this powerful force, this devilish dynamic then uses it to exterminate non-conformists. England could be very hard on non-conformists at one time, seeking deliverance from foreign powers intruding into its civil structure, though using this more broadly in time. Here however the second beast will be an INTERNATIONAL phenomenon, with no escape to America, because this is merely part of the world which literally is now his stage.
Amongst his performances are these: he makes an image of the beast, and (v.15)
"had power to give breath to the image of the beast"
SO THAT it can do two things:
1) speak and
2) set about killing those who do not WORSHIP the image of the beast.
It is not hard to realise what is happening. This is spiritual mimicry at a decoy, deceitful level. GOD sent CHRIST to be HIS EXPRESSION on earth, equal in honour to Himself (John 5:19-23, Colossians 1:19-23, Philippians 2); and so the devil sends this IMAGE to be a kind of centre and resource and test of fidelity, expression of his 'life' and base for ... yes, worship. The devil is an awful mimic, and when lies and fraud are of his nature, mimicry is likely to be quite an outstanding, not to say an exceptional performance! If the antichrist is the devil's messiah, then this image is his face for the public: they are a tartan, a lively tartar that, so to speak, hits you in the face.
Now our point in this reflection is one: what is it that the beast imparts to the image? In the Bible, the word for 'breath' is used, rather like that used of the people, Jews, brought back in Ezekiel 37, to their land, a biological unit; and to this is SEPARATELY given spirit, and it lives. That is of course parable; but it signifies the coming into being of what makes the return of the Jews to their land more than a physical presence.
What then is this breath given to the beast? In a book admittedly and intensively symbolical, what might it be intended to signify? We find the answer in several Biblical quarters, comparing scripture with scripture, things spiritual with the same.
The considerations most obvious appear these:
i) what the thing, the image to which breath is given, is.
ii) what it comes from, and
iii) what it does.
i) What the thing is...
The thing is a manifestation of evil, of devilish lust for conquest, control and inordinate power, centred in the person of the devil and his instruments as expressive, designed to deceive, to mislead and to obtain and display false glory which can neither last nor make the grade to the splendour of goodness, reliability, loyalty, kindness, mercy and power which makes glory so glorious as to be something to be desired. It proceeds to kill non-conformists, and has a ruthless desire to amplify its sphere of influence to both small and great (v.16), not excluding the poor.
Its ambit is not economic but personal; though its means are certainly emphatically inclusive of the economic. It is an excellent bait ... as baits go ... for collecting human rubbish in the sense of denatured persons whose life is lived for what they can purchase, sell, gain in this world. What they become in the process is decidedly secondary. Such people are primary public for the image of the beast.
ii) What the thing comes from...
The thing comes from a beast: that, as already explained, definitely involves the personal in the normal human sense, but seeks to transcend this by invoking pretentious means on a broad scale in the world. Taking the reality without the artificiality, then, there is a human base for it. Thus it is not GOD who makes this creation (His creations in life form being called 'creatures'); so that it is not in that specific sense a creature. Rather it is a result of the exercise of human CREATIVITY. However many people may be involved, it is a human production.
Now man is a DERIVATIVE from God, because he is derived from God's actions and creativity, called creation. This thing however is a derivative of man, because it is derived from man's actions and creativity, called invention. The point about the terminology is that we know what we are talking about, which is often quite useful, though not perhaps always in philosophy, which we accordingly avoid, preferring the word of God as determinant to thought; though it is assuredly true that thought attests it as it does nothing else, in the end (see The Shadow of a Mighty Rock, Chs.1,3,10).
What then is this thing? it is this. It is the derivative of a derivative. It derives from man who derives from God; and more strictly, it derives from man whose being is created by God. It is therefore a DOUBLE DERIVATIVE (a term doubtless precious or at least peculiar to the minds of exponents of that form of mathematics known as calculus).
We have therefore a double derivative, derived from man and his creativity, just as man in turn was created by God. The distance from God is increasing. This is in the mind of man which was made, with his soul and spirit, in the image of God: that is, in such a form and style as to be able in LIFE to COMMUNE or even COMMUNICATE meaningfully and ... consciously, intelligibly and personally, indeed inter-personally, with God.
What however may be said of this double-derivative image? Firstly, it is useful to consider what it is NOT.
It is NOT equipped with what is special and specific to God: Spirit, Person, with moral, spiritual and personal dimensions to consciousness. THAT is specific to the God who is ALONE, as we are told, without like, except in that He created man in His image, and made such other beings as He chose, equipped to commune with Him as derivatives.
a) there is no moral dimension to any consciousness with which it may be equipped. It does not know what is good and evil per se; it may be programmed or instilled with this or that, like Hitler youth which still could deceive the deceiver by their SPIRITS, and know what they were doing and WHY.
b) there is no personal dimension. It may be programmed super-exquisitely to be able to relate to multiply imagined scenarios, and to do so indeed in ways so sophisticated as to elicit praise from some executive-trainers, for its fidelity to the very image of 'success' and 'prosperity in this world'; but it does not possess that uniqueness called person, which is God's, and which has been derivatively represented in man.
End of Excerpt
Having thus recalled the nature of the case of 'giving life to the image of the beast' in Revelation, we are in a position to wed to this situation, the recent scientific development in cybernetics.
It would be entirely possible, given due development in this technology, for an imposing, important and ambitious man, rather after the mould of Lenin or Stalin or Mao, desiring to amplify his profile and increase what even now we call 'image', to use cybernetic means of this type to deliver by apparent effortlessness, results of an impressive kind. Thus, though the development in view from our current news item is to help one with less than normal power, through paralysis, to regain something of that power, the application could be very different: to augment already normal power!
Imagine a Stalin, surrounded with rivals and agents, wishing to impress his power on the minds of those whose adulation, subjection or subjugation he desires, THINKING of some mighty act, and having carefully had the cybernetic contrivances to enable action set up beforehand, pointing out that having thought it, he finds it now done! He thought, and it was done! A god-like feeling could well emanate from this, on the part of those whose concern is power not purity, whose pre-occupation is appearance and not reality, which may even involve in no mean degree, the greater part of the intelligentsia at least, of this earth.
Seeking position and power, they are impressed with the same. Impure, they are dupes for the impure. Manipulators, they are prone to manipulation.
Perhaps an atomic bomb could be displayed in this way, perhaps just ... a tactical one, or perhaps merely to eliminate ... a threat. The possibilities are of course enormous.
In a similar way, access to knowledge banks could presumably be contrived, so that the movement of cursor could become the access to what its movement would produce. In this way, power and knowledge might seem fitting accessories to one who would like to have the appearance of GOD Himself, as is shown clearly in II Thessalonians, under the heading of "the man of sin", who shows himself that he is God in the temple. The irony is of course devastating, as is the result, but for the moment he basks with mingled egotism, paranoia and blasphemy, in his role. This in turn fits smoothly into the concepts in Revelation, where 'the image of the beast' has to be worshipped on pain of death.
This image could be an actual image, robotic, activated by various sources, including perhaps a cybernetic one from the Great Leader, as some of the Communists have liked to be conceived; and others before them in a way not too dissimilar. Stalin's hope that the laws of nature could be superseded when the 'class conflict' was overcome, in terms of philosopher Lysenko, are merely one more illustration of the fact that the hunger for power can become the paranoia of folly.
Another option ? The man himself could become the 'image' and instead of his having something built outside him, which he can operate from inside himself, as in the current case, doubtless there could be something like a gearing, or contrivance as in the case of the professorial experiment noted in the news item above. This could be based in an arm, such that there is obvious amplification of power from the person himself, and this could be called the image, the image bearer and so forth.
The case developed above thus could lend itself to this image in that way, or by operational connection to something which could be called the 'image', so that the human thought would operate merely receptive elements within it, receptors of the working of life in man, giving the illusion of life in the device. II Thessalonians 2 gives us a sweeping look at this evil leader, including the report in verse 9:
"Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan
with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness
in those who perish; because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
"And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
That they all might be condemned
who did not believe the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."
Either way, much potential is to be found in these cybernetic developments, in this sphere, one which includes 'lying wonders', ways of impressing which merely give a basis for the perverted worship denied to God (II Thessalonians 2, cf. Revelation 13:6, 13).
In that last reference, we find this: "Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in haven". He makes war with the saints and gains a temporary ascendancy. Next, as in Revelation 13:13,
"He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth
in the sight of men, and he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs
which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast".
This is the second beast, the ally and agent of the first, the one with horns like a lamb, but who speaks like a dragon: an eschatological increment to wolves in sheep's clothing! Those who linger in forbidden churches at war with the word of God are amongst those most likely to be impressed with more human invasions of the truth, at the personal level, putting man first in a classic humanistic effort at synthesis with the truth. Any good thing is as possible from such errors and evils, as are pure streams of water from acid rain! As to those claiming special spiritual insight and authority, we simply note the words of Peter that God gives His Holy Spirit to those who obey Him! The word is 'obey', not 'betray'!
On this, see the recent publication, Impossible to Man, Open to God Ch.3 and Ch. 4.
Here then we have been considering the giving of 'life' to the image of the beast, in the arena of fraud, deception and paranoia of a deceived populace. In organic evolution many have been deceived for long*1; it would be no wonder if the deception were to gather in its being something more personal, more human, more directive, and here it is!
There is now a second area of biblical prediction which relates to the news item we have been now for some time considering.
'THE JOSTLING INHUMAN BATTLE UNITS
OF JOEL 2
The use of robotic devices has been seen in earlier phases when airborne drones would operate, driven by radio waves from those in a nearby truck, and these would without any vulnerability to flesh where they roved, send back accounts of what was being investigated.
After this, come more robotic devices, more varied in their performance abilities. A news item from 2003 evoked interest: covered and pondered in Great Execrations, Great Enervations, Greater Grace Ch. 10, and we give some excerpts concerning these, before applying our current news development to this phase of prophecy.
ROBOTIC DEVICES IN STORE EN MASSE
FOR THE MILITARY,
says recent News
and GRACE STILL IN STORE FROM THE LORD
1. SOME EXAMPLES
A WORD FOR OUR DAY
This is the MASS for the MILITARY, and judging by the report, it is a horrid one! In an article headed, “War without death” in The Advertiser, Feb, 8, p. 29, we find some of the work of Boeing and General Dynamics, with its Eagle Enterprise division.
Future wars, we are told, would involve masses of robots dropped from aircraft, these too unmanned in a human conservation role for the attacker; and this could be linked with a human devastation role for the robots. Almost as if smiling with the teeth of war, the statement comes that this could involve “little if any” domestic opposition to such a crusade (or parade, or insurgency, or territorial aggrandisement or empire nascency), for few would be killed in the realm of the technocratic power dispatching these robots, it is thought.
It might be added however that the possibility of early or eventual retaliation might arise, unless of course the slaying were envisaged as epochal! Then of course, as in the earlier atomic days, there might be questions of first strike! In history, somebody often manages to have either a massive overdose of some sense of human or national glory, direct or indirect as in the case of jihad (cf. More Marvels Ch. 4), paranoia or both.
Terrorists might have other ideas that simply suffering such assaults, of course, but when the financial controls of Revelation 13, so often augured in various ways already (cf. SMR 906ff.) come into force, there will be no small difficulty for such as they! These controls, so much readied in the plethora of cards instead of paper, electronic financial media instead of tellers, numbers instead of people for reference, the diminution of personal access and the magnification of keyboard finance, which can be broken or pirated by law or otherwise, are looming like a tornado, clearly visible on the horizon. Meanwhile, the townsfolk keep busy, for is it not quite a little way away ?
On the other hand, the view is put that many wars would not start, in view of the loathsome horror of such heartless armies of relatively unsquanderable robots. Unfortunately, that view is true only in part, for if there is one thing that history teaches in this arena, it is that there is a species of summary desire which quickly inhabits many, when equipped or thought to be equipped, so that they try out not the new vacuum cleaner, but the nation cleaner-up! This sense of experiment, may be imbued with hatred, revenge or simple self-congratulation.
In such ways, victory, triumph, glory and hegemony often call the ‘elect’ of the race to dominate, until they join the dusty battalions of others of the army of pomp, from past years. Ezekiel , given to speak of the demise of Egypt as a Great Power, had these words (31:13-18):
· “ ‘On its ruin will remain all the birds of the heavens,
And all the beasts of the field will come to its branches—
So that no trees by the waters may ever again exalt themselves for their height,
nor set their tops among the thick boughs,
that no tree which drinks water may ever be high enough to reach up to them.
· ‘For they have all been delivered to death,
To the depths of the earth,
Among the children of men who go down to the Pit.’
How does this relate to prophecy ? It does so in terms of the famous and fascinating prediction of Joel.
1. JOEL’S LEGACY FROM THE LORD, TO OUR DAY
In a little, we shall plan to survey the newspaper report of recent military, robotic technology, and what it is planned to do. Meanwhile let us see the prophecy of Joel in this connection.
Joel deals at first with a locust plague, in Ch. 1. It is dramatised, but our own mouse plague of some years ago, reminds us that drama has little need of invention in such cases: it is openly self-declared. There is to be a progressive devastation from this locust source (Joel 1:4). To a fast, they are exhorted to turn, for a “fire has devoured the open pastures” (1:20), and this account is repeated.
We are, in the midst of this rank series of (relatively) minor, but still ravaging judgments (they are not destroyed as a nation, though greatly impoverished), told of the day of the Lord. It is not A day; it is THE day of the Lord. It is “a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness”. We are therefore reminded of the epochal judgment on Egypt at the time of Israel’s so famous Exodus.
Now however a clearly new element enters. We are reminded of Daniel 12:1 which imparts in the name of the Lord, that
“there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation… and at that time, your people shall be delivered.”
In context, this is the end of the prophecy of Daniel, and is in conjunction with the realm of the general resurrection and eternal judgments, for its dramatic topography!
What then is this new element in Joel 2 ? It is this, in words close to those of Daniel, somewhat in form and mightily in force. The famous translator and commentator Keil, in his commentary on the Old Testament with Delitzsch, renders verse two here as follows.
· “A day of darkness and obscurity, a day of clouds and cloudy night: like morning dawn spread over the mountains, a people great and strong: there has not been the like from all eternity, nor will there be after it to the years of generation and generation. Before it burns fire, and behind it flames flame: the land before it as the garden of Eden, and behind it like a desolate wilderness; and even that which escaped did not remain to it.”
From eternity backwards, history has known nothing like this, which is to come. Afterwards, you could not find the like to the years as long as you wish. It is unique in all history. Its devastation is not merely vast, but the manner of it is excruciatingly impersonal, imperiously disregarding man and his ways, pushing without apparent vulnerability, crowding and quashing they come, these strange and spectacular species that act as if alive, and yet seem to lack the very weaknesses of flesh. Of this we read in a passage taken from Joel 2:6-10.
· “Before them the people writhe in pain;
All faces are drained of color.
They run like mighty men,
They climb the wall like men of war;
Every one marches in formation,
And they do not break ranks.
“They do not push one another;
Every one marches in his own column.
Though they lunge between the weapons,
They are not cut down.
”They run to and fro in the city,
They run on the wall;
They climb into the houses,
They enter at the windows like a thief.
The earth quakes before them …”
Keil’s rendering of verses 7-8 will help, in that it is graphic:
· “They run like heroes, like warriors they climb the wall; every one goes on its way, and they do not change their paths. And they do not press one another, they go every one in his path; and they fall headlong through weapons, and do not cut themselves in pieces. They run about in the city, they run upon the wall, they climb into the houses, they come through the windows like a thief.”
It appears that in some way this action is serving God, but as we reflect on what He had to say about Egypt, and His own work in securing these downfalls in due time, perhaps after generations of patience, we must realise that by no means does this imply that they are specifically in alliance with God. Thus, Babylon was an enemy, as was Assyria, but God used both to bring His judgments on Israel, before judging them both! (cf. Isaiah 14, Isaiah 37ff., Jeremiah 50-51).
It might be well to reflect also, that being ‘in alliance with God’ has nothing to do with His necessary power. With God, NOTHING will be called impossible; but it has MUCH to do with the outcomes for those concerned. A wife may be in alliance with a bold warrior, her husband, or married to his enemy. It is not what she does in the battle which counts at the onset, but where her alliance lies has much to do with the results.
In view of this coming judgment, this unique thing from all eternity which is scheduled for appearance in its time, this “day of the Lord,” we do well to ponder its end (Joel 2:11), for the Lord gives His voice before His great army, “for strong is He who executes His word.”
As to this phrase itself, it is necessary to consider Joel 2:31, quoted by Peter at Pentecost, where “the day of the Lord” refers to the actual end-of-Age judgment before which dread hour for the ungodly, people are to call upon the name of the Lord. Thus the term found in the earlier part of Joel 2 is paralleled later in the same chapter, and in the same tenor, style and sense of ultimacy for the flesh which loiters in this world. It is the “great and terrible” day, out of which and the environments of its terror, those who “call on the name of the Lord”, who is one Lord and not another! (cf. Exodus 20), will be saved.
Never from eternity, we recall, was there a day like this, nor does one arrive like it from generation to generation.
v What then are the dramatically, though tersely described devices in view, as noted in Joel 2:6-10 ?
v These are precisely robotic.
They act in some ways with an address and determination, a specific targeting of victims and the like, as if men; but their appearance is not that of men, and their vulnerability is not that of men. That is just what robotic devices are. These are to be instruments of terror, of judgment and of overwhelming force as the final judgment scene comes into focus, and before the Lord actually sits in judgment. Locusts remind one of these things, in their smothering numbers, their ceaseless insistence, their devastating thoroughness; but these devices are not susceptible to death, like locusts, being merely engines of devastation, without life, but with plan and purpose in some way bent upon them.
This, is it not the way with robots! But what is happening NOW to forward such things, as a preliminary ? Why what would be more appropriate than this: TO MAKE THEM!
2. THE NATURE OF THE CURRENT MILITARY PREPARATION FOR LOCUST-LIKE NUMBERS OF OSTENSIBLY INVULNERABLE DEVASTATORS
We turn now to the report in The Advertiser, February 8, 2002.
Let us take for illustration of the trend and preparation, the Stryker of General Dynamics, and consider some of its capacities; but first we need to realise that its size is that of a small sports utility vehicle. It can SCOUT, and with this, SEARCH and DESTROY. It takes, we read, robotics to a new level.
It can detect enemy targets to 3 km. distant, and on receiving orders from the command post in its remote fastness, can launch Javelin anti-tank missiles. For eminently dangerous missions, its role is to replace … people!
Thus it is equipped “with an array of sophisticated sensors, infra-red cameras and images gathered by satellites updated by a highpower computerised mission planner 10 times a second.”
Referring back to Joel, this gives the sense which we have already seen in this prophecy here, of directness, protectedness and zealous, purposeful continuance! Satellite reinforcement to the data bank ten times per second is rather quick, even for a man, and facilitates the element of surprise, the sense of the overpowering as in Joel! A quotation from Arniss Mangolds of Foster-Miller’s military robot division is so apt to our present point that it seems best to cite it as given in The Advertiser’s report:
Ø ‘When you see a robot coming down (on the battlefield), it’s interesting and even if it has a weapon on it, maybe it’s a little scary and you give it a little respect. But if you’re standing somewhere and see 10 robots coming at you, it’s scary.’
This is precisely the feeling evoked as one reads Joel: that it is a terrifying, a remorseless, and an inveterate foe that is coming, as insensitive to fear as locusts are, and as determined, yet without feeling the emotion, merely fulfilling the purpose for some reason. The reason, in this robotic case, would be clear. It would be the reason of the controller in his safe stronghold, well away from exposure to the easiest forms of retaliation. If you were in trench warfare and a group of 10 charged at you, then you could at least duck and weave, destroying their advancing forces in measure, and if others were with you, in concert; and however unlikely it might be that you would succeed, it would not necessarily be emotionally draining. You just do it.
In the robotic case however, their flanks are not open, their disposition is not easily deterred; their ‘intelligence’ is hidden from you, and not near!
With the Stryker, there is planned to be an assortment of other vehicles, from land or air, all unmanned. This provides the sense of overpowering multitude exhibited in Joel’s prophecy for the “day of the Lord”, yes that same “day of the Lord” noted later in this very chapter, as the finale and terminator for the history of our Age!
This technology has been rapidly developed since the US war in Afghanistan, where “Packbots” were used in cave investigation. Driving on small tank tracks, these can cover rough terrain, provide smoke-screens for advancing troops, check chemicals in the atmosphere and send LIVE images to command posts. It is less gory, for the attacker, more certain, less complex, and at $76,000 per unit, less costly! Whether it is more humane will depend on the purpose: if to slay mass assassins, then presumably so.
Why kill the innocent if you do not have to, in hunting down blood megalomania, which instead of prizing dollars (a vain pursuit), prizes death. In so doing, however, whatever the reason, and in this case without rationality (cf. More Marvels … Ch. 4, Divine Agenda Ch. 6, SMR pp. 986ff, 1080ff., 809, 1078, 625ff.), there is simultaneously, fulfilment of Revelation 6, where we find various crusades in the days leading up to the end of the Age, and two of them have these characteristics.
1) There is installed a dynamic of death. One mission is sent with stated purpose: “to take peace form the earth, and that people should kill one another, and there was given to him a great sword.” This is in Rev. 6:4.
2) Another messenger is sent. The vocation in judgment ? It is “over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death and by the beasts of the earth.” The morbidity of this assault on mortality becomes clear in the killing with death, a spreading thrust of lethality. ‘Death’ possibly by metonymy signifies just such a scope and frenzy, indulgence and inveterate consistency.
3) As noted earlier, the term translated here as ‘beasts’ is in form ‘little beasts’ and can include insects. (See Deliverance from Disorientation Ch 11, *1 where the Greek Lexicon’s contribution is noted for the term in view, namely fhrion.) The spread of these "little beasts" in the form of destructive insect attacks, has also been noted before (Licence for Liberty Ch. 5, in which Revelation 6 is being considered). See also News 84, and with it, Regal Rays of Revelation Ch. 5, where some of the current developments in our present Age and contemporary world are related to the prophecy. The heating process helps these insects to transfer themselves and to threaten new plagues; and this is now, as things are merely what Christ has called “the beginning of sorrows”.
There is, then, the multiple prophetic background on the one hand, and the time for its fulfilment on the other. Here we find the present and the correlation in intimate parallel, developing apace, with the presentation prophetically made. Feasibility in operation for these new robotics ? It was claimed that operation of a Stryker would be possible for those concerned, with one week of training deemed sufficient - presumably on a relevant educational basis, though not a highly technical specialisation. In the defence sector, golf-cart sized robots would soon, the report proceeded, be available to patrol sensitive US sites.
At the organisational level, we learn that Boeing is also involved in further troop-replacement technological systems, called Future Combat Systems, with a two billion dollar contract out for 2010 deployment.
END of EXCERPTS from Great Execrations Ch. 10
To this robotic assemblage, relating to Revelation and to Joel, both millenia ago, and each covering much of what has happened since, there is this robotic seeming rampage, this invulnerable feeling attached to invading forces, not to be cut down, inveterate, seemingly indomitable, not apparently mortal, and vicious in devastation. We have sited these in the revealed schema of things, and pondered them as in Joel 2*1.
What if, in terms of possible developments of the cybernetic arrangements made for Nagle, in the news item with which we started, extended powers were sought in personal management of such robotic devices! Then not a cursor for imagery, but perhaps from the arm, a control through it of a robotic array could be available on the battle field.
The increasing desire for genome analysis and cybernetic achievement shows the enormous scope for the efforts to make an image, whether in man or through his control, of the beast, of that godless political-social-religious array of international powers which are to come, just as in significant measure they have come in the past, but never with total world dominion as yet. Nevertheless, with Hitler you have been able to see something very close to it, and just HOW close is to be seen in Dunkirk, in the Battle of Britain, and in the various US battles in the Pacific, the outcome of all of which was far from a foregone conclusion.
In fact, the peril of the Japanese, German-Axis dominion of this world was not too distant at one time, around 1942, when in fact the author of this volume came close to being sunk in a ship on which, as a young teen-ager, he was travelling. Later, the dangers then unknown, were made much more manifest!
If you had lived in Russia, in the USSR indeed, from 1920-1990, you might have felt that this vast chunk of the earth was coming close to such an international beast rule, and if in China from 1948, you might if not pleasing to the masters, have felt as thousands and indeed millions did, that this was no soft option, but a beast at work, in the scriptural meaning of that term.
It takes just a little more, and it will come internationally, by deception and intrigue; and come it is predicted to do. It is not just as Lord Acton famously observed, that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, for none has this but God, who is beyond desire, having it in Himself; but the trend is a potent one, and those who resist it are always to that extent, admirable.
Rather the case is that those who love power as an ambition and ornament of created will, these are corrupted already, and their ambitions make a farce of service, a fiasco of rule and a ferment of oppression. Near has the earth come to such a sweltering sway and ignominious elevation of what is base, to heights seemingly sublime, but in fact polluted in infamy! Its next step, just as in the case of earlier narrow misses by astronomical bodies which could have dwarfed in impact, the power of the atomic bomb, may not need to be a big one, before the ultimate scenario of unspiritual and unsavoury absurdity appears as one ruler.
It is well then to ponder these units of apparatus, whether cybernetic or robotic, as the world develops the computing infra-structures of computer-driven finance and numbered knowledge of transactions of various kinds, and identity card chips laden with information. To dismiss this as unwarranted, is to do a Britain against Churchill job, as in the thirties. Just because some prefer not to see evil when it is erupting as if in scores of volcanoes, is no ground for dismissing the concept of lava flow, as if in some psychic reflex of protection from trouble, until it comes.
The passions of flesh are inveterate without the redemption of the Maker, and all the good intent in the world does not cure the devil or his earthly pawns, whose vision of power and control is an ever-present desire. Nor does it need to parade its power. It can rule by subterfuge, direct by deviousness and management with apparent compliance, appealing to this or that need, until the individuality of man becomes, very nearly, a thing of the past, and indeed, is this not precisely what even in theory, the follies of Communism*2 have been preaching! It has to be sure, in this, the air of the ludicrous. Thus people who ARE individuals decide by the work of their individual minds and spirits, even if conversing with others, that individuals do not matter. If THEY DID NOT, then neither would their own words.
Again, they decide that this or that is MORALLY necessary, and that SHAME and punishment must apply to those who differ. However, in a world allegedly governed by matter (which however has no mind for it, but merely conforms), how is there ANY morality, ANY requirement of something beyond man ? Does action mean response ? Does what happens mean what ought to do so ? So do they delude themselves; but it did not work. It is too childish and too brutal, too illusory.
Next time there will be, as the Bible depicts, an auxiliary beast, or a second one, who is dressed as a lamb but speaks as a dragon. Religion will be strongly represented and it will seek to derive its authority from a divine source, set squarely both in and as the Leader himself! Was not Mao's ludicrous Red Book become a bible to many, authorised, impelled, a little directive to thought, an occasion for knowing what OUGHT to be done! He is gone, but the deception remains not only in history, but in the derelict spirits of those who reject the living and true God, the One who acts and is verifiable (cf. REASON, REVELATION and the REDEEMER ).
How is this so ? It happens because what is fitted for God and rejects Him is vulnerable to little things, little substitutes, squalid little lies, intense and directed deceptions. It has been shown to be so; it is predicted to be so, and that on a world schema, on a universal though short directorate over this world!
Man's aspirations, apart from God, these have a soaring tendency, because of the God they reject, and a squalid result, because in rejecting the infinite, they play with the finite and it is justly ludicrous, a comic opera not so funny for those who are tortured politically, socially, financially, by false accusations and by imprisonment, forced labour or other inhuman follies.
What is this search for glory, so often found in those disenfranchised from the freedom of being friends of God ? It may be for competitive superiority, racial dominance (as perhaps in World War I and in World War II, at least in part); it may be for fear, lest those NOT controlled blow up or otherwise render uninhabitable this world; it may be for the glory which intoxicates many, whether directly in potent positions, or vicariously in rugby matches, where the crowd for all the world at times seems to be singing some imitation of hymns ... to whom!
However the complex of motivation comes, the result has come and continues to come in pathological profusion to the race of man! The ultimate trouble is the absence of the worship of the true and living God, the God with go, who gives growth and glory; so that glory is being snatched and efforts made to apply it somewhere else, or to something else.
The twisted thrust may also be to growth, which should be in grace and in holiness and in knowledge of God and love for one another (II Peter 3:18, I John). Without being based however, in truth, it is becoming almost a disease whether in multi-nationals or in size of enterprise, or in industrial giants always looking for merger and more control in this world of this or that, or in trading practices, so that the moral considerations are shelved because of the majesty of size of international trade. The trend amiss may also be to go, so that the energetic nature of ill-considered enterprises evokes admiration and produces votes; without the consideration of the direction taken!
Man is ready by technological advance, for pathological decadence; and the latter is so strong, that these two twins are grinning all the way to the bank, the levy bank of international lordship, to control, to safeguard, to prevent, and amongst the rest of the litany of ludicrous lordship, as the anti-God mood develops, even to substitute man for God. This is already the case in some false religions and so far from being a negative on such a procedure, they are mere preliminaries (cf. Aviary of Idolatry, Impossible to Man Ch.3 and Ch. 4, News 44, 100, 121, 122, The Coming King ... Ch. 5).
God having foretold these grave threats and methods of control, including the financial which advances apace (as in its final stage, in Revelation 13:16-18 cf. SMR pp.967-968), none who can read or listen, has excuse for being ignorant, or has any ground for surprise.
The antidote ? So live that you abound in the grace and love of God, fearing none and nothing but God, which latter is a clean fear (Psalm 19), and pardoned for your misdeeds of spirit, mind or body, proceed to glorify Him, knowing His will for your life, and doing it with the joy of being a child of the present Saviour (Matthew 28:19-20), doing all things in Christ's name with the relish of His kingdom in your heart.
There is no fear there, nor any terror; for His is the world and all that is in it, and He made it; and though its terminus comes (Isaiah 51:6, II Peter 3), and that in drastic terrms, yet there is no terminus to or for the eternal life of those who have received Him as Lord and Saviour according to His word. This does not cease (John 5:24, I John 5:11ff.).
There is growth with joy, and longsuffering with gladness.
As David put it:
"God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
"Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah
"There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God,
The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved;
God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.
"The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved;
He uttered His voice, the earth melted.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
"Come, behold the works of the Lord,
Who has made desolations in the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariot in the fire.
"Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!
The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah"
Let the earth be removed in its time: so are old coats removed, but one does not fear when one has the means for the next: so with coats, and so with life. Let it depart with a great noise, as Peter declares will be the case. So long world! It was great knowing you. Let someone steal your famous painting, so be it; if you know the painter, the loss is so far from irreparable as to leave you unmoved.
Again, says David, this time not in Psalm 46, as above, but in Psalm 17:
"As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness;
I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness."
For more detail on Joel in various aspects, especially in chapters 2 and 3, see the following:
Barbs, Arrows and Balms 23,
More Marvels ... Ch. 5;
Great Execrations Ch. 10 (Joel 2);
Of the Earth, Earthy ... Ch. 3, The Pitter-Patter of Prophetic Feet Ch. 7,
See Beauty for Ashes Ch. 3, Wake Up World! ... Chs. 4, 5, 6, A Spiritual Potpourri 1-9, Spiritual Refreshings Chs. 13, 16 and if more is needed, the trilogy, The gods of naturalism have no go!
*2 See, for example -
Aviary of Idolatry, Delusive Drift ... Ch. 5,
News 44, 69, 97, 98, TTT 8;
The Grating Grandeur and Aggrandisement of Man and the Meekmess of the Majestic Messiah Ch. 2;
SMR pp. 925ff.; News 97 (the exploiters, the fanciful, the Communists, the de-godders and the realities)
Beauty for Ashes Ch. 6 (and Hong Kong, and the movement of nations in the last century a concern),
News 98, News 37;
Beauty for Ashes 3 (war and force, rising downwards, Tiananmen and truth),
4 (liberty, Tiananmen, worship and its direction in time, its terms and code of truth);