“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name?
and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matt. 7:15
As we look at the present world in the context of the end of times we can see our world is changing rapidly all around us. The world is becoming more and more ungodly and the proof is evident. Just look at how enamoured the world has become with their electronic devices, making us focus inwardly rather than toward God, eating up the valuable time we are commanded to redeem in each of our individual lives. We see the world meddling into things that are not ours to toy with. We are probing into the Pandora’s box amongst things far too advanced for us. Since the popularity of Darwinian evolution began around 1859, we as a society have become emboldened in our own self assurance and have served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For instance, in 1996, science claims to have successfully cloned a sheep and named it, Dolly; ever striving to take that next step toward creating life by itself with the intent to prove there is no Creator God. In 2008, physicists and engineers at CERN turned on the “Large Hadron Collider” claiming the intent to better understand how the universe works, but could result in opening up permanent and perhaps unintended consequences for generations to come. Again, the scientific community is distancing itself from worshipping the Creator God, further evidenced by CERN’s extremely bizarre and satanic opening ceremony. You see, the tendency of humans to want to play God is inherent in this sin cursed world ever since pride was found in Lucifer’s heart;
“For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” Isaiah. 14:13-14
And so it continues today, the race to create life and prove God wrong is reaching a crescendo with the integration of a wider range of artificial intelligence into society as a normal day to day activity.
Now there’s an oxymoron! As I was walking through a local shopping mall once, I saw an enormous interactive display, including a number of very large video screens. As I came closer, I saw people wearing large headgear that covered their eyes. Assisting these people, it appeared there were others making sure the participants did not fall down or hurt themselves. But, as I walked past, the odd thing I noticed was the people that were visibly disturbed and had to be helped to sit down and have the have the headgear removed from them. It appeared they needed physical assistance to be calmed down from their experience. I did not stop to see what they were experiencing, but it was very obvious this activity was not for all of them. This display experiment was what is called, Virtual Reality, and from my brief observation at the mall, it did not appear to be a healthy activity. In fact, it looked dangerous on many levels. Virtual Reality (VR) is, quite simply, artificially created interactive surroundings where the participant can act and interact with a computer simulation of their choice, providing stimulation that affects the human mind, body, and emotion. Clearly, the effect on some of those people I saw at the mall elicited an outward emotional response. I submit, as this technology evolves and produces even more vivid images, it may very well be used to convince someone that their VR is, in fact, reality. Needless to say, such technology in the wrong hands could be a very manipulative tool.
“I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.” Psm. 101:3
Some very serious questions arise. What if VR becomes so realistic that some individuals actually begin to prefer it over reality and become addicted to it and then decide they cannot live without it? And, what if a virtual god becomes the means through which the god of this world woos society into great deception? What I submit to you is, I believe not all technology is good and healthy for us to use with an air of impunity. In fact, this artificial reality could even have much more eternal consequences. We need to be discerning in this day, not simply accepting everything that is thrown our way. However, some would argue, what if this technology could help in some way?
More and more we are seeing virtual desktop assistants that are present at the consumers’ beaconing command. We have found them pop up on our personal computers claiming to be an assistant to you on your computer. “Siri”, is the virtual assistant of Apple, Inc.; “Alexa”, was first used in Amazon’s Echo and Echo Dot, known as a smart speakers; and “Cortana” is Microsoft’s brainchild for the Windows 10 operating system. As much as they have these very calming female human voices and are there to answer questions and make life generally simpler, such as, perhaps, turning appliances and household units on and off, they are all very unnatural and their helpfulness is still limited to their programming. A brief search on the internet reveals that some of them, especially the smart speakers, have experienced glitches which are cause for some concern. Such as, the unit turning itself on randomly and laughing out loud, singing, playing music, or speaking without being spoken to. There are claims of spying and recording of conversations without a request being made to carry out such a task; to the end that these devices have been described online by some people as, “haunted”. Then, there is the more advanced technology that has produced artificial intelligence, like robots that can actually carry out physical duties such as cleaning the home, driving cars autonomously, and actually even attempt to take the place of a human companion. What we see in advanced robotics is the ability to learn from its surroundings. This technology would actually learn from its surroundings and experience making it, well, smarter. The question is – where does it end? Will the technology adapt so well that it may become smarter than humanity itself? Could they actually become capable of calculating and solving problems more quickly, thereby advancing past humans and making us subservient to them, in fact, rendering us obsolete? Perish the thought! But, there are actual accounts of computers challenging the best of us in many areas and surpassing all expectations. Now, take this down the road a little farther, could someone eventually take credit for creating life someday? When we look at the Bible, are there any prophecies of such activities in the end of times? Well, turn to the Book of Revelation, it speaks of the Antichrist raising up an inanimate object to life. According to prophecy in the Revelation 13:14-15, the Antichrist, who is given power from the first beast, which is the political system in the first ten verses of Revelation 13, he will bring an image of that beast to life:
“And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” Rev. 13:13-14
This will be the Antichrist’s dénouement, the pinnacle of his miracles. After exercising power from the first beast, he brings fire down from heaven in verse 12 and performs many great wonders, then raises up an image, artificial intelligence, to life. Just remember, the devil always imitates, but never duplicates! We do not know what the image will look like, but I surmise it will be a human image, perhaps somewhat like many robots made in our image today. But, it clearly says this image will come to life. Clearly, this is another example of Satan’s counterfeits. Now, what about we as Christians? Are there artificial Christians around us in the world today?
We can talk about artificial intelligence evolving in society around us, but what about God’s creation of mankind? Can we look around us and see those who are not really who they claim to be? That they are, in fact, artificial? Could there be artificial Christians? The Bible talks about those who call themselves Christians, but are not. What about false prophets or false teachers? Certainly, there are ones who look the part, but they are not real. They are virtually real, they look like they are wearing the right clothes, but are not what they appear. They seem to say the right things and they appear sincere and genuine, but have a look at Matthew 7, not everyone that says they are Christians, are in fact so. There are false prophets, ones who claim to be the real thing, they claim to be real sheep, but what do we find God telling us? Beware of them. They are not the real thing. In fact, they are very dangerous and are described as, “ravening wolves”, “in sheep’s clothing”.
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” Matt. 7:15
So, how do we know that they are not the real thing, but are artificial counterfeits? The Bible says, you will know them by their fruits. You will know them by what they say and the fruit they produce. A good tree will produce good fruit and a corrupt tree will produce evil fruit. What do you do with the false prophet and the corrupt tree? Reject it outright! Also, like the artificial as opposed to the real thing, the Bible also says there will be those who think they are the real thing and not artificial. In fact, they will go on that way until they stand before God only to find out they were never the real thing. There is only one way to be a real Christian, that is accept the real Saviour according to the Bible and walk in it. There are many false “saviors” out there; the Jehovah’s Witnesses have an artificial Jesus who is not God; the Hindu’s have three hundred million gods, all artificial; the Roman Catholic church worships an artificial god made of bread; and many others worship an artificial god. They will hear those words, even after a life of dedication and service. Consider this:
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matt. 7:22
Finally, there is much artificial intelligence in the world today. Whether it shows up in computers or robotics, much of it begins with the rejection of the sufficiency of God as our Creator and sustainer. When we rely upon ourselves, the next most natural progression must be that we are our own God. The end of that process is humanity trying to prove we can create life by ourselves. So, the ungodly world sets out to prove its own foolishness and as Romans 1 says:
“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.” Roman 1:22-23
You can see how the progression goes. No belief in God as Creator and author of life leads to us being God ourselves and attempting to perform things that are only in God’s realm of ability. We see this progression all around us and it will get us into trouble if we are deceived. Many will reject God while wasting their time trying to be God and we see from scripture, even in the end, that the Antichrist will create some counterfeit form of life and will deceive many, casting many into the eternal lake of fire, where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
My friend, if you have been reading this without accepting Jesus as your eternal Saviour, let me tell you: He is the God and Saviour in the reality of life. No fabrication. Nothing artificial. You must trust in Him for your eternity. No artificial form of any other god will do, and there are many! In reality, they will all lead you to eternal separation from God after death. Would you not ask for Jesus’ salvation today and trust in Him? No artificial intelligence can save us from our fate.
© 2018 Remi Fernhout