Tipping Point Quick Hits (05.21.20)

Implants and locusts: News stories capturing our attention this week

Bill Gates and Elon Musk talk chip technology

From swiping our credit cards to tagging our pets, most of us have grown accustomed to the convenience of chip technology. We might not even think twice about it! But for those who spend a lot of time considering the end times and biblical prophecy, advances in chip technology always catch our attention. Two recent examples have been in the news this week, and both involve plans to make chip implant technology a reality.

The first comes from a post at the research journal Oriental Review that discusses Bill Gates, vaccinations, microchips, and an invention registered as Patent 060606.

The case described below relates to an officially documented fact, although there is something rather biblical about it. Patent WO/2020/060606 was registered on March 26, 2020. The patent application was filed by Microsoft Technology Licensing, LLC, headed by Bill Gates, back on 20 June 2019, and, on 22 April 2020, the patent was granted international status. The title of the patent is “Cryptocurrency system using body activity data.”

It describes a chip inserted into the body, which is then used to monitor a person’s daily physical activity in return for cryptocurrency. Was the code number 060606 a deliberate choice? Or does it have anything to do with this familiar passage in Revelation?

Then, as part of a May 7, 2020, interview on the Joe Rogan podcast, Tesla founder and tech entrepreneur Elon Musk discussed a conceptual brain implant technology called Neuralink. His plans for this startup include surgically implanting computer processors into human brains. He founded the company in 2016 with hopes of finding a way for humans to control wireless devices with their thoughts.

Here’s a video clip of Rogan and Musk discussing the technology:

A swarm of locusts is devastating Africa

Meanwhile, as the world faces the COVID-19 pandemic, news of a different kind of plague is coming out of Africa: locusts.

The online publication Vox has an explainer article about how billions of hungry insects are threatening famine in some of the most vulnerable parts of Africa.

Gargantuan swarms of desert locusts with a voracious appetite for staple crops like teff, wheat, and sorghum are sweeping over the Horn of Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia, leaving crops and rangeland destroyed.

A combined 42 million people in Eastern Africa and Yemen were already expected to face acute food insecurity this year, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The locusts, and now the novel coronavirus, could push more people to the brink of starvation.

In some areas, swarms have wiped out entire crops. The phenomenon is not new—locust swarms occur from time to time, with a major swarm taking place in 1954 and a worldwide plague from 1986 to 1989.

This year’s swarm seems to have been caused by heavy rains over the past year, as weather and climate conditions created ideal conditions for a population explosion.

Exodus 10 describes the devastation of a swarm of locusts as one of the ten supernatural plagues in Egypt, which God used to convince the pharaoh to free Moses and the Israelites.

“For they covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened; and they ate every herb of the land and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left. So there remained nothing green on the trees or on the plants of the field throughout all the land of Egypt.”—Exodus 10:15

Supernaturally devastating swarms of locusts are also mentioned in Revelation 9, a plague released at the sounding of the fifth trumpet:

Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. 4 They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5 And they were not given authority to kill them, but to torment them for five months. Their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it strikes a man. 6 In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them.”—Revelation 9:3-6

Patent 060606. Computerized implants in the brain. Swarms of locusts. (And, of course, the current worldwide pandemic.) Are any of these individual stories related? Should we draw specific conclusions from them?

My advice, as always, is to watch and see. Be alert to the signs. None of them give the full picture, but they can help us prepare for the near future—and help us see what God is doing.