In our series of articles on the current Biotech Revolution, certainly the most controversial area is that of "cloning," the common vernacular for nuclear transplant techniques. The British Parliament has recently approved laws to allow research using stem cells from human embryos to develop new medical treatments, overruling opposition from those who said it was a step toward human cloning. Recent technical journals predict that a human cloning will occur this year.
In last month's article, we reviewed some of the recent strides emerging in this technology. In this article, we will explore some of the speculative conjectures concerning the potential Biblical implications.
One of the goals that may emerge from the convergence of the fields of nanotechnology, robotics, and genetics is the development of directable, sentient, molecular-sized machines capable of transmitting designed diseases to specific genetic groups, or even individuals.
In the passage referring to the 4th Horseman of the Apocalypse, the Chloros (or pale green) Horse will kill one fourth of the world's population by (among other things) the "beasts of the earth." 1 These need not be restricted to four-footed mammals: this could include microbial "beasts." Also, in the 5th Trumpet Judgment, we encounter the bizarre demon locusts.2 While there are many diverse views on these strange creatures, the peculiar limitations (pain only, and for five months) are as provocative as their weirdness.
The Mingling of "Non-Seeds"
Perhaps the most disturbing of all is the mystery of the "miry clay" of Daniel's interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's famous dream in Daniel Chapter 2.
The famed metal image of gold, silver, brass, and iron is clearly stated to be a profile of the major empires that will be climaxed by God's intervening and setting up His own kingdom from the "stone cut without hands." (This view is underscored by the series of visions in Daniel Chapter 7, which occurred later in his career. The idioms are very different, but the subject is the same.)
The fourth empire reemerges in a second final phase (ten toes in Chapter 2; ten heads in Chapter 7). It is the introduction of the "miry clay" in the iron of Chapter 2 that has been the subject of much speculation. But Daniel himself explains this peculiar idiom:
And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. - Daniel 2:43
The grammatical construction requires that the "they" (a personal pronoun) must be something other than the seed of men, in order to "mingle with" the seed of men!
One possibility is that this is to be viewed in terms of the strange activities which occurred in Genesis 6, and which was the ostensible cause for the Flood of Noah. The incursion of the fallen angels led to the emergence of hybrids known as the Nephilim, or "fallen ones."3
(These hybrids were not limited to the period before the flood. They were the "giants" encountered in the land of Canaan4 and ordered to be exterminated by Joshua.5 These were called the Rephaim, the Emim, the Horim, and the Zamzumim.)
This may be also linked to similar strange goings-on in the last days by the allusion of Jesus:
But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. -Matthew 24:37
This suggests that similar incursions may be part of the end-time scenario. However, an alternative possibility is that these may be clones. What makes this so provocative is that, from the context of the image, it would seem that they are numerous enough to constitute a political constituency!
(From mankind's propensity to find trivial aspects to stratify a culture - color of one's skin, etc. - it wouldn't be surprising to find clones unaccepted in "polite" society.)
This raises some strange theological issues: Does a clone have a soul? Can a clone receive Christ? Can a clone be "saved"? The debate is destined to continue.
There is a view that the Nephilim and Rephaim in the Old Testament were ineligible for resurrection6 because Jesus didn't become a Nephilim and die for them!
The Ultimate Clone
We discussed last month the ambitions of the "Clone Jesus Project," which aspires to exploit the DNA from a religious relic and clone Jesus as their contribution to a "Second Coming." Aside from the blasphemous presumptions of the project, it has already spawned some fictional novels (in which the clone becomes the Antichrist).7
The possibility that the Coming World Leader might boast of an "alien" connection has been a popular conjecture among prophecy buffs. The fact that he might be a clone of some kind is also hinted at:
And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition. - Revelation 17:11
The beast's definition as being "an eighth, but of the seven," is suggestive. Could he be a clone of one of the leaders of the past?
(The possible genealogical links between Antiochus Epiphanes and Titus Vespasian - and possibly almost any of the grand families of Europe - has also been a popular conjecture among some authors.)
The Removal of Restraint
The Removal of the Restrainer in Second Thessalonians Chapter 2 appears to be a prerequisite condition for the revealing of the Man of Sin, the Coming World Leader.8 It is my view that He is restraining far more than we have any capacity to imagine. I believe that things will become so weird in that strange time that attempts to render them - even in science fiction special effects - would not be credible to our most imaginative audiences.
The advent of biotechnological advances may be viewed as another "sign of the times":
And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. - Matthew 24:22
From the looks of things, it can't be that far off. Do your homework. Film at eleven.
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This article is among those excerpted from our current Briefing Package, Biotech: The Sorcerer's New Apprentice?.