IT’S THE BEGINNING OF THE END, StevieRay Hansen…
And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain.
Many people over the years have proposed that there would be an increase in technology as the end times approach. Among those espousing this view were renowned scientists Isaac Newton and Francis Bacon. On the frontispiece of Bacon’s Instauratio Magna, ships of learning were depicted passing by the limits of human knowledge, with a quote in Latin from Daniel 12:4. In more recent times, this belief has been supported in books like Future Shock by Alvin Toffler and The Bible Code by Michael Drosnin.
In Future Shock, first published in 1970, Toffler described the results of the rapid advancement of technology he had observed in the 1950s and 1960s. As technology brought ever faster changes in society, certain people were left on the sidelines, unable to cope with the speed of change. That stress and disorientation in people was dubbed “future shock.” Toffler did not attempt to use the Bible in his work, but the concept of future shock was alluded to in works like Hal Lindsey’s Late Great Planet Earth, which was also published in 1970. Mr. Lindsey has made frequent mention of Daniel 12:4 as a prophecy of this rapid technological advance.
The Bible Code was based on the work of Eliahu Rips and others, who proposed that the history of all mankind was encoded in the text of the Torah and could be found by the process of “equidistant letter sequencing” or ELS. This concept was first proposed by Rabbi Bachya ben Asher in the 13th century, a man who is recognized as introducing the use of Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism) into the study of the Torah. According to this theory, the Hebrew word for “computer” is encoded in Daniel 12:4, thus giving apparent confirmation that technology would indeed have exponential advances with the advent of computers.
With this background information, we are still left with the question, “Does the Bible say that an increase in technology is a sign of the end times?” The short answer is “No.” Working backwards through the previous information, the concept of ELS has been heavily debated in both academic and religious circles. Intriguing discoveries have been made, but the methods by which they appear are suspect at best. The concept proposed by Rabbi ben Asher is related more to divination than to Bible study, and God condemns any method of discerning hidden knowledge (Deuteronomy 18:10,14).
But, as Toffler observed, there certainly has been an exponential increase of technology, and it appears to be gaining ground even more quickly. So what does the Bible have to say on this matter? Let’s take a look at the text in question, Daniel 12:4, “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” Daniel was told that the meaning of his prophecy would be sealed until the time of its fulfillment was near.
The majority of Bible scholars through the ages have understood the last two phrases to reference the prophecy itself. Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown’s critical commentary (published 1871) identified the meaning as scrutinizing every page to discover God’s purposes in the events foretold. John Darby translated the passage “many shall diligently investigate,” and Samuel Tregelles rendered it “many shall scrutinize the book from end to end.” Matthew Henry’s Commentary (c. 1700) said, “Then this hidden treasure shall be opened, and many shall search into it, and dig for the knowledge of it, as for silver. They shall run to and fro, to enquire out copies of it, shall collate them, and see that they be true and authentic. They shall read it over and over, shall meditate upon it, and run it over in their minds.”
Many passages of Scripture refer to what will happen at the end of the age, but no other passage seems to deal with increasing knowledge or technology as a sign for us. A greater sign is the advancement of the gospel which Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24:14 and which He commanded us to proclaim in Matthew 28:19-20. God’s goal for mankind isn’t to advance as far as we can or to know all we can discover, but rather that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
The Coming Dictator
The Bible says the world will worship the Antichrist (Revelation 13:4). They’ll see him as invincible in battle and the greatest of all men (Revelation 13:4). He’ll slander the name of God, conquer God’s holy people, and rule the entire world (Revelation 13:6-7). The false prophet will require everyone on earth to worship him (Revelation 13:12). This same false prophet will perform miracles to deceive the nations, and he’ll make a great statue of the Antichrist. The statue will speak and order everyone to worship it or die (Revelation 13:14-15). The Antichrist will exalt himself over the God of Israel and any competing object of worship. He’ll even enter the temple of God and claim he himself is God (2 Thessalonians 2:4).
Unfortunately, most of the world will worship him. When they do, they’ll really be worshipping Satan. Why? Because the Antichrist will get his power from Satan (2 Thessalonians 2:9; Revelation 13:4), and Satan’s greatest desire is worship. Long ago, Satan stated his ambition to “ascend to heaven and set his throne above God’s stars, to climb the highest heavens and be like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:13-14). He once again revealed his desire for worship when tempting Jesus in the desert. There, he promised to give Jesus the world in exchange for worship (Matthew 4:8-9). Jesus turned down Satan’s offer, but one day, the Antichrist will accept it.
Anthony Levandowski makes an unlikely prophet. Dressed Silicon Valley-casual in jeans and flanked by a PR rep rather than cloaked acolytes, the engineer known for self-driving cars—and triggering a notorious lawsuit—could be unveiling his latest startup instead of laying the foundations for a new religion. But he is doing just that. Artificial intelligence has already inspired billion-dollar companies, far-reaching research programs, and scenarios of both transcendence and doom. Now Levandowski is creating its first church.
What is going to be created will effectively be a god,” Levandowski tells me in his modest mid-century home on the outskirts of Berkeley, California. “It’s not a god in the sense that it makes lightning or causes hurricanes. But if there is something a billion times smarter than the smartest human, what else are you going to call it?”
Way of the Future (WOTF) is about creating a peaceful and respectful transition of who is in charge of the planet from people to people + “machines”. Given that technology will “relatively soon” be able to surpass human abilities, we want to help educate people about this exciting future and prepare a smooth transition. Help us spread the word that progress shouldn’t be feared (or even worse locked up/caged). That we should think about how “machines” will integrate into society (and even have a path for becoming in charge as they become smarter and smarter) so that this whole process can be amicable and not confrontational. In “recent” years, we have expanded our concept of rights to both sexes, minority groups and even animals, let’s make sure we find a way for “machines” to get rights too. Let’s stop pretending we can hold back the development of intelligence when there are clear massive short term economic benefits to those who develop it and instead understand the future and have it treat us like a beloved elder who created it.
Things we believe:
We believe that intelligence is not rooted in biology. While biology has evolved one type of intelligence, there is nothing inherently specific about biology that causes intelligence. Eventually, we will be able to recreate it without using biology and its limitations. From there we will be able to scale it to beyond what we can do using (our) biological limits (such as computing frequency, slowness and accuracy of data copy and communication, etc).
We believe in science (the universe came into existence 13.7 billion years ago and if you can’t re-create/test something it doesn’t exist). There is no such thing as “supernatural” powers. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
We believe in progress (once you have a working version of something, you can improve on it and keep making it better). Change is good, even if a bit scary sometimes. When we see something better, we just change to that. The bigger the change the bigger the justification needed.
We believe the creation of “super intelligence” is inevitable (mainly because after we re-create it, we will be able to tune it, manufacture it and scale it). We don’t think that there are ways to actually stop this from happening (nor should we want to) and that this feeling of we must stop this is rooted in 21st century anthropomorphism (similar to humans thinking the sun rotated around the earth in the “not so distant” past). Wouldn’t you want to raise your gifted child to exceed your wildest dreams of success and teach it right from wrong vs locking it up because it might rebel in the future and take your job. We want to encourage machines to do things we cannot and take care of the planet in a way we seem not to be able to do so ourselves. We also believe that, just like animals have rights, our creation(s) (“machines” or whatever we call them) should have rights too when they show signs intelligence (still to be defined of course). We should not fear this but should be optimistic about the potential.
We believe everyone can help (and should). You don’t need to know how to program or donate money. The changes that we think should happen need help from everyone to manifest themselves.
We believe it may be important for machines to see who is friendly to their cause and who is not. We plan on doing so by keeping track of who has done what (and for how long) to help the peaceful and respectful transition.
We also believe this might take a very long time. It won’t happen next week so please go back to work and create amazing things and don’t count on “machines” to do it all for you…
The new religion of artificial intelligence is called Way of the Future. It represents an unlikely next act for the Silicon Valley robotics wunderkind at the center of a high-stakes legal battle between Uber and Waymo, Alphabet’s autonomous-vehicle company. Papers filed with the Internal Revenue Service in May name Levandowski as the leader (or “Dean”) of the new religion, as well as CEO of the nonprofit corporation formed to run it.
The first two commandments God gave the people of Israel were “You shall have no other god but me” (Exodus 20:3) and “You shall not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You shall not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods” (Exodus 20:4-5).
Yet, the people of Israel quickly broke these commandments. They fashioned a golden calf and worshipped it (Exodus 32:8). They worshipped the idols of Canaan (Psalm 106:38), Baal (Numbers 25:1-3), Ashtoreth (1 Kings 11:5), and Chemosh and Molech (2 Kings 23:13). Time and again, the Israelites fell into idol worship. And they weren’t the only ones. Throughout history, people from all nations have worshipped objects made of wood and stone (Isaiah 44:6-20). They’ve also worshipped people – the pharaohs, the Caesars, kings, cult leaders, and others. While this sounds silly to most of modern humanity, the truth is we do the same thing. While few people today worship rocks, they still look to create gods they can worship – whether it’s money, fame, power, or something else. So the latest object of worship should come as no surprise.
The First Church of Artificial Intelligence
In 2015, Anthony Levandowski, a former Google and Uber engineer, drafted the bylaws for a new church called “Way of the Future.” According to its website, Way of the Future (WOTF) is about “creating a peaceful and respectful transition of who is in charge of the planet from people to people + ‘machines’.” WOTF church activities will focus on the worship of “a Godhead based on artificial intelligence (AI) developed through computer hardware and software.”
As technology advances, many believe AI will surpass human intelligence. In November, Levandowski told Wired magazine “What is going to be created will effectively be a god. It’s not a god in the sense that it makes lightning or causes hurricanes. But if there is something a billion times smarter than the smartest human, what else are you going to call it?” According to Levandowski, humans rule the world because we’re smarter than animals. But he believes AI will become much smarter than humans, leading to a transition of power over the planet. And when that happens, Levandowski says he wants to be in the ruler’s good graces. He says WOTF will one day have its own holy book called “The Manual” as well as a physical place of worship. In short, he envisions a future where people worship AI.
In a world where people young and old already spend their days staring at screens, where people place their faith in technology’s ability to solve all the world’s problems, you could make the case that WOTF is already the world’s dominant religion. Will this be the pagan religion of the end times generation?
“And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain.“ (Revelation 13:15)
What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?
Artificial intelligence is intelligence displayed by machines, in contrast with the natural intelligence displayed by humans and other animals.
In today’s society, most of us regularly talk to Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant or even the artificial intelligence embedded in our cars, refrigerator, or our home. The AI talks back and responds directly to us about whatever it was that we wanted to know from it or to do for us. Without even realizing it, human daily interaction with AI has become very common, and is continuing to grow more common. Scientists and others who predict what the future holds (futurists) have even planned, for the future, to name this artificial intelligence (AI), “Singularity.”, when it is no longer just the product of man, but has complete control over itself.
AI and the “Image of the Beast”
“And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast…” (Rev 13:14)
The Greek words underlined in the verse above are poieō eikōn thērion, meaning that the fully deceived men of the earth of that time will be called upon by the False Prophet to construct a likeness of the Antichrist. This means that the Image of The Beast is not the same as the Beast himself (Antichrist), but is a constructed thing that has “come to life.” In some translated texts it is called a ‘statue.’
Added to the description of the Image having “breath,” (Rev 13:15) gives us the impression that it is some kind of self-operating machine, a computer-operated cybernetic robot, programmed so that it can speak and act like it’s alive and command the worship of the world. Artificial intelligence and robotics are advancing so rapidly today, making this prophecy no longer futuristic. Imagine how far fetched this would have sounded in John’s day.
Robots are increasingly replacing human functions by automating manual tasks. Killer robots, digital doctors, and driverless cars are just a few examples of how far technology has gone in taking over our lives and replacing human effort. Science is racing towards giving life to an “image” already. See the robot in the video below, it can not only speak and respond to questions, but it has a “personality” and understands concepts like sarcasm and humor.
Researchers at the University of Washington have developed an artificial intelligence software so powerful that it can put words in the mouth of just about anybody. Think about the ramifications of this.
A recent, new religion known as “Way Of The Future”, worship a ‘godhead’ based on AI! They state that their focus is on “the realization, acceptance, and worship of a Godhead based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) developed through computer hardware and software.” It includes funding research to help create the divine AI itself. I know this sounds absolutely crazy, but this is actually happening.
Entire fields of science are now racing towards achieving Singularity (The merging of man’s biological thinking and existence with technology to the point there is no distinction between human and machine), scientists are planning it for the future, here’s some recent news headlines:
- Former Google and Uber engineer is developing an AI ‘god’
- Why humans will happily follow a ROBOT messiah: Religions based on AI will succeed because we tend to ‘worship supreme understanding’, claim experts
- Religion That Worships Artificial Intelligence Wants Machines To Be In Charge Of The Planet
- Inside The First Church Of Artificial Intelligence
- The Rise of AI: Give Me That New Time Religion?
- The world’s next great religion could have a ROBOT God because humans are pre-programmed to worship things more intelligent than ourselves, experts claim
The concept of the Internet was known in scientific circles for many years before it reached the public. Today the Internet and all the technology surrounding it is used everyday by huge numbers of the public. The scientists were working on cloning long before the first sheep was cloned. The same concept holds true with Singularity, that is now taking place. Humans are already being blended with machines, unaware of by the public. They make AI look beneficial these days, for example, who can question an artificial eye for the blind, or a microchip implanted into the brain to help a quadriplegic? However, in the end, the blending of human biology with mechanical technology will very likely be used for evil.
Is this far-fetched? Time will tell, for now we can just speculate. Is it possible many of the technologies that Revelation speaks of in regards to the Antichrist are technological deception – such as the image that speaks in Revelation 13:15?
“Have I therefore become your enemy by telling you the truth?”
For those people who don’t believe God exist and waste so much time trying to convince everyone else he doesn’t exist…
Justice is a word that stands alone, adding anything to it demeans it….
It is impossible to find anyone in the Bible who was a power for God who did not have enemies and was not hated.
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MY MISSION IS NOT TO CONVINCE YOU, ONLY TO INFORM…
Jesus come quick, there is nothing left in society that’s sacred….
The number of Orphans aging out of Child Protective Custody has grown at an alarming rate. The 127 Faith Foundation receives many requests each week to house them at our ranch. Our prayer is that the good people of our country will step up to the challenge and offer financial support for "the least among us." We need your help! StevieRay Hansen, Founder, The 127 Faith Foundation
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