And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.
Babaylon is a future great corrupt worldly city. God will destroy
that city in one hour. Revelation spend the entire chapter 18 describing the
city in detail including their commerce. Verse 11 to 13 lists the items that
the city will trade in. There was nothing immoral about trading flour and wheat
and sheep etc. Then there was slavery which is immoral. Lastly they trade the
souls of men. At first reading, that seems too outlandish. We know a soul is
not something physical you can trade. People take that as a figure of speech.
The paragraph listed 27 literal items that are literal and very commonly traded
to establish that this paragraph is to be taken literally, and not figuratively.
This is a great hint that God is giving us. He went to lengths to show that
selling the souls of men is literal and not a figure of speech.
Other areas of the Bible also had prophecy that was once thought of as a figure of speech because people could not imagine the technology, but turned out to be literal. Jeremiah 50:9 foretold the war against Babylon that “their arrows shall be as of a mighty expert man; none shall return in vain.” That sounds like figure of speech to say none of the arrow ever missed their target. Now we know the Bible is literal, and is talking about smart bombs and smart weapons. Smart bombs never miss their target no matter how high you drop them. They have sophisticated navigation system that guides them exactly where you need.
Another example of new technology is Revelation 11:9 where the death of the two prophet will be celebrated and viewed by all nations for three days. For centuries, readers could not understand what that meant. How can all the worlds look at two bodies. Then came TV, internet, smart phone and now virtual reality. Is quite common for all the world to watch a single event.
Back to selling of the soul. Is that a new technology? An earlier chapter in Revelation introduced a perhaps similar technology possessed by the anti-Christ that our world has not seen before.
And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
Anti-Christ made an image of himself. An image by itself is no big deal. Everyone with a phone can take a selfie. But this was not just a picture. He gave life to the image. What does it mean to give life to the image? When God made man, he gave life to dust. Gen 2:7 God gave the breath of life, and man became a living soul. Breath of life is God’s spirit, and God made man to have a living soul.
Anti-Christ giving life to the image meant he cloned himself perhaps digitally, and made a conscious being out of the clone. The image was obviously impressive enough for people to worship it. Creating a conscious being would certainly be impressive enough to be worthy of worship by non-believers. This was a self-aware being that can think, reason and judge the actions of others. It will put to death those who do not worship it. It was able to influence the government and marshal power to do its will. This artificial intelligence is what is popularly referred to as a machine becoming self-aware or has obtained consciousness. We don’t have that technology right now, but is not inconceivable that it can happen.
No matter what you think of him, Donald Trump will probably go down in history as the first use of artificial intelligence to sucessfully influence the 2016 election. This will probably not be the last either. Cambridge Analytica used a self-learning program on Facebook to understand voter’s pattern and manipulate the public's decision. Hilary at the time dismissed the notion that a computer in Britain can understand American electoral system which she has extensive experience in. Computer was able to so significantly change the election that every poll in America became obsolete overnight, and gave the wrong wrong result (LA Times was the only exception). The world has now seen how powerful computers can be.
Daniel 11:32 said the anti-Christ will win over the kings not by war, but by flattery. He will say just what they want to hear. Anti-Christ will not deceive everyone, but enough to take him to power. We already know computer given enough data has power to influence people. A self-aware artificial intelligence would certainly do a wonderful job at political manipulation. The number of the anti-Christ is 666, the only person in the Bible that is identified with a number. This does suggest anti-Christ is computer related.
If anti-Christ can imprint his image with a soul, then it is conceivable that with advanced technology, people can buy and sell their own soul. Question is what exactly is a soul?
This section is a summary of the youtube video by Dr Gene Kim
that expounded on body, soul and spirit in the bible. Youtube
video by Dr Gene Kim
Is important to understand body, soul and spirit to understand what is meant by selling of the soul. Below is the description of body, spirit and soul. God created the body from dust, breathed His spirit into the body. The end result is a living being with a soul. After the first sin, body and spirit is dead. At the cross, spirit is made alive again. More importantly, the soul is now cut or separated from the body. We do not need to die with the body. Our soul can be “saved” and go to heaven.
The soul is the part that make you who you are. It is where your thoughts and decisions come from. The soul has many human attributes. It can see, touch, taste even wear cloths. It does all these things are obviously not done in our physical realm, but in some other metaphysical realm that parallels our universe. We know heaven is above us, and hell is below us. Those are the place that the soul goes to.
At this point, is pure speculation base on our current technology
what is buying and selling of the soul. There are probably some things that
technology most likely cannot do. One is building a new human out of artificial
DNA. That is too complicated to model all the proteins. Computers we have do
not have enough power to figure out folding of proteins. Is an exponential problem
that quickly out pace computational capability. Similarly, in artificial intelligence,
key ingredient that is still elusive is machine self awareness. We cannot define
what consciousness is. Our programs are basically deterministic algorithm that
is basically coefficient driven. It may be that consciousness is one area that
computer programing has to be outsource to humans. Is a futuristic speculation
that a computer would be able to "borrow" a human consciousness. We
have to speculate that human consciousness can somehow enters a machine or be
displaced into a machine. How does consciousness get displaced?
Just on pure speculation, psilocybin drugs (magic mushroom) gives people life changing mystical experience. For example, there is 85% success rate at quitting smoking with just one mystical experience. Even Steve Jobs said acid was the best thing he ever did. This is by no means an endorsement for drugs. Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit. Psychedelics are beyond drunk. Anything that is not by faith is a sin. Just ask yourself is psychedelics what God wants for you. Your faith will tell you no. However, with psychedelics, somewhere in there may be a doorway where physical and spiritual intersect. Definitely not something Christians want to explore. When your consciousness leaves you, what is going to enter you? We don't know, and don't want to find out the hard way! One thing we do know for sure that is not a speculation, and it is that the Bible said mankind will be buying and selling man's souls however they do it. It certainly raise a lot of questions and implications.
Genesis 11:5, at the tower of Babel, which is the first Babylon, mankind found the technology to make bricks and build a tower to challenge God. God said,
“Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.”
God confused their language. Technology was set back 5,000+ years until the last Babylon. Modern linguist see language as a tool for thought as well as communication. Language serves as symbols for us to re-created the world inside our mind. Not having language affects both communication as well as the thought process. We have to wonder what was it that God wanted to prevent people from doing in Genesis 11:5? It is certainly technology related. Buying and selling slaves is bad, but worst is buying and selling people’s soul. The soul is the core of who we are. Anti-Christ put his name on people’s body. He therefore owns the body. In Babylon, ownership extends to that of the soul. That is one step above in wickedness. God was merciful in that He prevented that from happening until the appointed time when mankind’s soul can be saved by Jesus instead of being traded.
Back to Crucifixion and Suffering with Christ
Purchase for Kindle
Purchase for hardcopy
Comments, send email to benmlee at yahoo dot com
Back to benmlee.com