At the Ritz in High Tech City
Study No. 95
Dateline: Atlanta, Georgia, January 9, 1986. As I sit at a marble table in a luxurious room at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, I realize that this would be a very difficult place to convince anyone that this world is coming to an end, and that the Messiah will soon establish His kingdom from Jerusalem to rule the world according to Godís laws.
As I am looking down onto Peachtree Avenue from my $145/night single room, Atlanta feverishly bustles with activity. Northern Atlanta where I am staying is one of the worldís great "high tech" areas. Computer hardware and software program developers abound here.
Across the street is the world headquarters of Management Science America (MSA), the worldís largest computer software company. (MSA merged with McCormick & Dodge in 1989 to become Dunn & Bradstreet Software Company.) I have just attended a stimulating training session for one of their packages owned by my employer. If my expenses were not paid for by my company, I couldnít afford such high class accommodations. I wouldnít be on the leading edge of the computer revolution. In the large Company I work for, I am considered an expert on MSA mainframe (large central computer) packages, as well as micro computer software (personal computers). I seldom do any programming. I train company employees to use computer systems, and assist the "users" as we call them (people who use computers) with their problems.
The Computer God
Recent advances in computer technology boggle the mind. Computer power that used to require machines occupying whole buildings now are so small that they fit on oneís desk. All that has been developed in the past, pales into insignificance the new technologies on the horizon. A new computer chip the size of a coin has been developed that will handle 64 trillion bits of information. Computers utilizing this new chip will be available in late 1986. A new "lightning" dictionary for personal computers has just been released that corrects spelling immediately ("real time") when words are entered into the computer. It costs only $60.
In the next few years, voice communication with the computer will become routine. Computerized robots will become standard. You will tell the computer what information you want, and it will get it for you. Computers of the future will even have "artificial intelligence" whereby they will think for themselves rather than merely respond to explicit commands. Computers will help you communicate, correcting your bad grammar, telling you where to go, what to do. Computers will grow perfect crops, control the weather, eradicate disease, psychoanalyze and alter the mood of your wife, etc. We cannot imagine what miraculous things computers will do.
As I sip Perrier water and nibble Macadamia nuts on the sixth floor of the Ritz in the center of high tech, this all seems plausible. One sinks into the plush carpet. There is even an extra telephone in the bathroom. Chandeliers adorn the elevator.
Ah, but there is also a Gideon Bible tucked away in the hardwood nightstand. What does it say about all this?
Daniel 12:4 says that at the time of the end, many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. Being in the computer business, I know full well this is true. Knowledge is skyrocketing. It is growing faster than our ability to handle it. In the large company I work for, we can barely make efficient use of the computer hardware and software we have. Education is lagging far behind our ability to use these "high tech" tools. Yet technological breakthroughs race ahead. We canít catch up, ever. There is no question what will happen. Dictators using computers, or maybe the other way around, will eventually win total control of mankind. What mankind has invented will ultimately control him.
That is, unless . . . unless God stops what man is doing, as He did long ago at the Tower of Babel. Unless the Almighty intervenes, nothing will be restrained from manís wildest technological imaginations, Genesis 11:6.
At the Ritz, it is hard to "see" the word of God. A wealthy technological society forgets that the food it eats comes from farmers struggling for economic survival (largely because of our national sin of usury ó debt money, charging interest on money).
At the Ritz, they think that computers and technology will solve all of manís problems. After all, didnít man develop, with computer help, those high yield grains that can feed the worldís billions?
What a Computerized World Would Be Like
Flying to Atlanta from St. Louis, I read an interesting article in U.S. News & World Report (December 30, 1985 issue, pages 116-117). The article projects what could happen to a typical baby, Michael Smith, born in 1986.
Michael Smith would grow up in an "intelligent" home where computers monitor room temperature, watch over children, and automatically call the fire department if thereís a fire. Robots will vacuum and rake the leaves. Stoves may say "dinnerís ready."
Little Michael will drool on a computer keyboard, type the letter "C" and the computer will pronounce it. If he spells C-A-T, the computer will say "cat." Michael will learn at home via computer telecommunications. He will grow up much healthier than his parents, being vaccinated against everything from tooth decay to AIDS. When he becomes an adult, our typical Michael Smith will have a workweek of only 20-30 hours. There will be mining, manufacturing, health and tourism industries on moon cities. Weather modification will blunt the fury of hurricanes or create cloud blankets to cool cities. Electricity from solar collectors in space will beam power to the earth. The deserts will grow alfalfa and other crops.
Mike Smith will be able to fly half way around the world in only an hour. Global language barriers will fall as computers give instant translations. More than his divorced and remarried parents, Mike is likely to be married and divorced, on the average, three to four times. As one authority predicts, "We'll see that divorce is not that bad. Our desire to have more meaningful relationships will lead to less resistance to break up."
Cancer will be cured in Mikeís lifetime. "Smart" pills will increase Mikeís IQ. If his body parts wear out, they will be replaced with artificial or genetically engineered joints, organs, even eyes. In 2080 A.D., at a hospital on the moon, Michael Smith will die at the age of 94. Many of his friends will live to be over 100 years old. Mikeís children will have a normal life expectancy of 120 years and beyond.
I believe the writers of the U.S. News article are sane. This is not a fairy tale. It is entirely possible. They are realists and stated that all this depends upon some big IFís! This could happen to Michael Smith or our children, "IF they escape nuclear war, plagues, natural disaster and street crime, and IF there is no long-term economic collapse." And, I might add, IF God allows it.
Will God Allow It?
I do not know if God will allow all these things to happen. I believe the Messianic kingdom is coming soon. Recent false prophets have predicted 1914, 1975 and other years, as the "end of the world" dates. I believe the Millennial kingdom will follow 6,000 years of manís sordid history, when manís rebellion against the Almighty and His laws will have written a program that "does not compute." Bishop Ussherís date for the creation of Adam and Eve at 4004 B.C. cannot be too far off. Therefore, around 2000 A.D. might be the time. The Eternal has not yet revealed to man the year, day and hour of the coming of the Son of Man, Mark 13:32. We know that the time will be cut short. Manís berserk program will abend (abort). It will be stuck in a "loop" with no exit, Mark 13:20.
We must watch and be ready, doing the works of the Lawgiver:
Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, Matthew 24:42-51.
A computer is only a tool. Of itself, it is neither good nor bad. We use a computer to do Bible research. This article was composed, proofread for spelling errors, printed by a computer and mailed out with computer-printed labels.
Manís carnal mind is enmity (in defiant rebellion) against the laws of God, Romans 8:7. It can and will take the tool of the computer and use it for evil. The computer is likely to become a Frankenstein monster.
At the high tech Ritz, they scoff at Godís existence, His laws, and His Son who died for our sins and who is coming back to rule the earth. The U.S. News article predicted that in the year 1999, as Century 21 draws near, "millennium fever" will mount, and the end of the world will be predicted (by religious fanatics). Ha! Ha! Very funny!
Psalms 2:1-12, "Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall He speak unto them in His wrath, and vex them in His sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon My holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of Me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potterís vessel. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and ye perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him."
Computer Problems Mirror Human Problems
A few weeks ago, I was installing an "accelerator board" on a personal computer that will double its processing speed. For some time, the computer would not work. When the problem was finally discovered, it was found that we needed faster computer chips than the ones that came attached to the board. We needed 150 nanosecond chips, not 200 nanosecond chips. A nanosecond is a billionth of a second, that is, .000000001 of a second. A 150 nanosecond chip can execute one command in .000000150 of a second. This is unbelievably fast. When the 150 nanosecond chips were installed, everything worked fine. New chips will be able to execute commands in picoseconds, i.e., trillionths of a second. Then what? So what?
It must be zillions of miles from Heaven to earth. But at the last trump, in the twinkling of an eye, the dead will be resurrected and the living true believers will be changed to meet the returning conquering Messiah, I Corinthians 15:52. Now that is real processing speed!
High tech really thinks that it is great. But, as U.S. News admits, "All these changes donít necessarily mean that Michael Smith will be any happier than people are today." True happiness comes only from following the programmed instructions contained in the Bible.
The "GIGO" principle of computing is easy to understand. "GIGO" stands for "Garbage In, Garbage Out." Life is like that. What you sow (put in), you reap (get out).
Computerized high tech wonít solve the worldís problems. It will create many more problems. What manís mind can create is marvelous. But it is not perfect like what the Creator does. Todayís biggest computer problem is incompatibility and poor communication between computers.
I pray that our children do not face the prospect of such a computerized high tech existence. I want them to appreciate the beauties of the Eternalís great earth. I want them to be baptized, receive the Holy Spirit, and live by the Eternalís laws, keeping the Sabbath, the Holy Days, tithing, trusting in Him for healing ó not doctors and vaccines, and being married to another Holy Spirit-led believer for life without ever divorcing and remarrying.
I want our children to know they are not "users" to the Creator, that He is concerned for them, cares for them, and will lovingly guide and protect them, and is ever willing to give them a spirit body that will last forever, if they submit to His will.
I want todayís young people, and adults as well, to know that as in the computer business, lifeís biggest problem is communication. We need to communicate with each other. Even more, we need to communicate with our Creator. We know that there is never a power failure with the Almighty. He is always "up and running." We refuse to communicate between ourselves, and with Him. His ways are always "user friendly," but we fail to sit down and learn how to use them.
There are dozens of computers and computer terminals in my Companyís offices. There is more computing power at the employeeís fingertips than existed on earth only a few decades ago. Yet I am always amazed how people use, abuse, and misuse, computers. Recently a panic-stricken market analyst came to me. He had to produce a financial report for the Company President in half an hour. He was using a spreadsheet program on his personal computer to produce the executive report, and couldnít do the simple function of adding two columns of numbers properly. He has been working with computers for a long time, but never bothered to learn the basics contained in the documentation manual. How much like so many who act like they are Bible believers, but donít even know the basics!
We Need to Be "High Tech" With Our Creator
Itís time we get on the leading edge of technology. No, I'm not talking of chips, bits and bytes, of "pointing" and "clicking" a "mouse." I mean we MUST thoroughly know, and live by, THE book. This way is NOT compatible with IBM, Apple, or anything else developed by the mind of man.
At the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in the high tech city of Atlanta, Georgia, or wherever you are, sooner or later your program will come to an "END" statement. You will die. You are not eternal. You are not a silicon chip. You were made to rule over all things, always under the authority of the Supreme Being.
The END statement will be the END for you unless your output has been good and right. GIGO. You will get out of life what you put into it.
There is a limit to manís high technology, although man does not think so yet. On the other hand, of the increase of Messiahís government there shall be no end, Luke 1:33.
Isaiah 9:7, "Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this."
There will be no GIGO then. Amen. W
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