May 18, 2012

Diary of a Crazy Artist: Facebook and Bible Prophecy

The scene inside Facebook headquarters

If you have ever read the Bible you figure out pretty quickly that if you want to get anywhere in life you pretty much have to devote yourself to either God or the Devil. For example, Robert Johnson became a famous guitar legend by making a deal with the Devil at a lonely crossroads in Mississippi. Faust sold his soul to Mephistopheles for the love of a woman, and so on.

So what people should be asking now is what deal did Mark Zuckerberg make to go from being some nerd in a Harvard dorm to one of the richest and most powerful men on Earth in just a few short years? If the Bible is any guide, a bargain had to have been struck somewhere along the road, and it’s starting to look like it wasn’t with God. There just doesn’t seem to be any other explanation.

This morning I was watching all the fuss over the Facebook IPO on TV (the biggest in tech history) thinking how artists toil and labor all their lives and even the richest and most famous among them never become worth 20 billion dollars. Not Sol LeWitt, not Jeff Koons, not Julian Schnabel, not Andy Warhol or even Picasso. And while we’re at it, not Earnest Hemingway, not Stephen King, not David Milch, not even the wealthiest Oscar winner of all time, Steven Spielberg, whose net worth, after a lifetime of making blockbuster films, is estimated to be a mere $3 billion. Even Larry Page, cofounder and CEO of Google, is only worth $18.7 billion — but note that Page is 10 years older than Zuckerberg, so imagine where Zuckerberg will be in 10 years!

King of the Blues Robert Johnson and Mark Zuckerberg

I brought up Larry Page on purpose because at least Google has “Don’t be evil” as part of their mission statement. Facebook has no such thing and frequently changes its cryptic privacy rules so nobody ever knows what is shared, what is public, and what is deleted. So if Facebook is not restricted by such moralistic concerns, what is it that guides Facebook as a company? A sense of destiny?

In the last year alone Facebook has helped to enable the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Libya, and Syria. It’s even been central to organizing Occupy Wall Street. So while on the surface this may appear to be a good and moral thing — allowing people to communicate openly — it has been quietly making a killing selling ads and user information at a huge profit.

From Revelation 13:1–2 

Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast [Satan’s Antichrist, could be Facebook] rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, [The book of Daniel explains these represent 10 nations he will rule, but it can also mean have influence over] and on his heads a blasphemous name … The dragon (Satan) gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.

So could Facebook be headed in this direction:

From Revelation 13: 16–18

And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

In fact, the very way Facebook collects data and watches every move their users make and the way it attaches itself to cell phones, websites, and products you purchase online, it’s all designed to be like a virus you can’t get rid of. Is that evil?

So, is it possible the Facebook icon will be the mark of the beast? It’s now integrated into practically every website and smart phone. Now that the company is public it will need to increase revenue each quarter. So if, like Google, they already collect your data, sell it to the highest bidder, and treat users like sheep to be advertised to, what’s the next logical step? Their own cell phones? Handheld devices you need to use if you want to buy things? Could that be what “mark on the hand” means? Maybe Facebook could launch its own data-collecting phones and dominate the digital wallet business, adding all your financial data to your Facebook page. All your friends could see what you just bought or sold, no matter where you are. Would that be considered evil?

Some users apparently think so because they are now filing a class action lawsuit, charging that “Facebook has been improperly tracking the Internet use of its members even after they logged out of their accounts … Thilo Weichert, the data protection commissioner for the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein, was quoted in the German daily newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung warning shareholders to be aware that if European privacy authorities have their way, ‘Facebook’s business model will implode.’ ”

While it’s true Facebook is essentially a data-mining company and seems to have no clear moral compass, it has been good to at least one artist. A few years ago David Choe painted murals in their first Silicon Valley office and got paid in stock options. He is now worth between $200 and $500 million dollars. I am not sure where he fits into Bible prophecy (David and Goliath?), but he must be in there somewhere. You can hear his not-so-biblical story here on the Howard Stern show. Who knows, maybe he will be an angel and spread some of that dough around in the Bay Area art scene?

Comments (3)


    Many evangelicals believe that Christ will “rapture” them to heaven years before the second coming and (most importantly) well BEFORE Antichrist and his “tribulation.” But Acts 2:34, 35 reveal that Jesus is at the Father’s right hand in heaven until He leaves to destroy His earthly foes at the second coming. And Acts 3:21 says that Jesus “must” stay in heaven with the Father “until the times of restitution of all things” which includes, says Scofield, “the restoration of the theocracy under David’s Son” which obviously can’t begin before or during Antichrist’s reign. (“The Rapture Question,” by the long time No. 1 pretrib authority John Walvoord, didn’t dare to even list, in its scripture index, the above verses! They were also too hot for John Darby – the so-called “father of dispensationalism” – to list in the scripture index in his “Letters”!)
    Paul explains the “times and the seasons” (I Thess. 5:1) of the catching up (I Thess. 4:17) as the “day of the Lord” (5:2) which FOLLOWS the posttrib sun/moon darkening (Matt. 24:29; Acts 2:20) WHEN “sudden destruction” (5:3) of the wicked occurs! The “rest” for “all them that believe” is also tied to such destruction in II Thess. 1:6-10! (If the wicked are destroyed before or during the trib, who’d be left alive to serve the Antichrist?) Paul also ties the change-into-immortality “rapture” (I Cor. 15:52) to the end of trib “death” (15:54). (Will death be ended before or during the trib? Of course not! And vs. 54 is also tied to Isa. 25:8 which Scofield views as Israel’s posttrib resurrection!) It’s amazing that the Olivet Discourse contains the “great commission” for the church but not even a hint of a pretrib rapture for the church!
    Many don’t know that before 1830 all Christians had always viewed I Thess. 4’s “catching up” as an integral part of the final second coming to earth. In 1830 this “rapture” was stretched forward and turned into an idolized separate coming of Christ. To further strengthen their novel view, which evangelical scholars overwhelmingly rejected throughout the 1800s, pretrib teachers in the early 1900s began to stretch forward the “day of the Lord” (what Darby and Scofield never dared to do) and hook it up with their already-stretched-forward “rapture.” Many leading evangelical scholars still weren’t convinced of pretrib, so pretrib teachers then began teaching that the “falling away” of II Thess. 2:3 is really a pretrib rapture (the same as saying that the “rapture” in 2:3 must happen before the “rapture” [“gathering”] in 2:1 can happen – the height of desperation!). Google “Walvoord Melts Ice” for more on this, and also Google “Pretrib Rapture Pride.”
    Other Google articles on the 183-year-old pretrib rapture view include “X-Raying Margaret,” “Margaret Macdonald’s Rapture Chart,” “Pretrib Rapture’s Missing Lines,” “Edward Irving is Unnerving,” “The Unoriginal John Darby,” “Catholics Did NOT Invent the Rapture,” “The Real Manuel Lacunza,” “Thomas Ice (Bloopers),” “Wily Jeffrey,” “The Rapture Index (Mad Theology),” “America’s Pretrib Rapture Traffickers,” “Roots of (Warlike) Christian Zionism,” “Scholars Weigh My Research,” “Pretrib Hypocrisy,” “Appendix F: Thou Shalt Not Steal,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrecy,” “Deceiving and Being Deceived,” “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty,” “Famous Rapture Watchers,” and “Morgan Edwards’ Rapture View” – most by the author of the bestselling book “The Rapture Plot” (the most accurate and documented book on pretrib rapture history which is obtainable by calling 800.643.4645).
    PS – For some final shocks Google “The Background Obama Can’t Cover Up.”

    [Howdy, SFMOMA. I encountered the preceding on the never boring web. So what do you think about it?]

  • Chris Cobb says:

    One must admit, as far as corporate slogans go “Don’t Be Evil” is good PR. Orwell would, of course, call it doublespeak.

  • Google’s motto “Don’t Be Evil” is belied by the info collecting and selling… I think the best we can say is “they meant well”. And Facebook has done good with it’s organ donor advocacy. But doing good and meaning good while doing well – and they want to do well — well, maybe it’s a conundrum for them (and us, who use the site).
    As for Faustian bargains, was there a soul to sell here?

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