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As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (John 20:21b-22a NIV)

Elon Musk, the South African CEO of Tesla and multi-billionaire businessman, investor and inventor, was recently quoted in a headline: “Musk warns we only have a 5-10% chance of preventing killer robots from destroying humanity.” “Without regulations,” he stated, A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) presents a “fundamental risk to the future existence of civilization.” We have been hearing robots were a good thing. What’s changed?

Stuart Russell, professor at the University of California, and leading expert in A.I., sounded the same alarm. A November 21, 2017 news story quoted Russell as saying: “Killer robots which use facial recognition before slaughtering people, ‘will be devastating to humankind.’”

Days before Professor Russell’s statement, a warning appeared in the online magazine, Zero Hedge: “Killer robots easier to achieve than self-driving cars.” Killer robots! Easier than cars without drivers? Better buckle up!

Armies of Cyborgs are not relegated to fictional novels, DC Comics or sci-fi films, they are in the testing stage, and soon in the implementation stage. The U.S. military has successfully tested a robot that carries 180 pounds up nine flights of stairs, considerably outperforming the most fit soldiers. That’s only one example.

Killer robots programmed to destroy without requiring specific commands: Think about it. What if a robot stood nine feet tall (2.9 meters), could outrun a deer, do somersaults and jump high hurdles, plus turn a person to powder in a flash? What would we have? We have the new face of warfare.

The scenario described in Revelation 13 provides a picture of the future, not unlike what we cited above: “He [the False Prophet] was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed.” (Revelation 13:15 NIV)

Regarding the above Revelation 13 passage, “Could the first beast’s image potentially be a cyborg?” Yes! Giving breath to the image so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the beast’s image to be killed is not a crazy, weird or remote idea—not any more. Minds bent on power have already conceived it. Technicians tirelessly work to achieve it. When it happens…buckle up!

Missing in the killer robots, until near the very end, is what the NIV renders “breath.” In Revelation 13:15, the Greek word is pneuma, which is usually translated “spirit.” If we substitute the more common “spirit” for “breath,” as in “the spirit of the beast,” we may have solved a mystery. Paraphrased, Revelation 13:15 could read this way: The false prophet will breathe the “’I am a god’ spirit of the beast into the image(s).”  Of course, we could be describing cyborgs that look like the beast’s twin. They could talk like him, have an IQ in the 2000 range, and possess the beast’s deceitful, diabolical personality. Along with other superior abilities, we have the beast’s image—spirit and all—proliferating the earth. As a finishing touch, the image has authority to command worship, or die.

In Part 6, we will expose more of Satan’s end-time plan to overthrow God’s rule, creating counterfeit beings with the ability to destroy, a plan that dates back to the time of Noah.

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As he [David] was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it. When the Israelites saw the man, they all ran from him in great fear. (1 Samuel 17:23-24 NIV)

Fear and faith are mutually exclusive. To control humans, Satan must create strongholds of fear. If God’s people refuse to give in, even to the fear of death, then faith’s power is unleashed (Hebrews 11:6).

David understood the contest between him and Goliath was not about strength or skill. It was a confrontation between the proxies for Israel’s God and Satan.

In 1 Samuel 17:4-7, we have Goliath, a giant of a man, a champion of the Philistines, defiantly challenging Israel’s army. For awhile, it seemed Israel did not have a man brave enough to fight for God’s honor.

Let us look at Goliath. Were he and his brothers offspring of the Nephilim, a race of giants (Numbers 13:33a)? Goliath stood more than nine feet in height (less than three meters). Though Saul was taller than his Israelite brothers, self-preservation–or in this case “cowardice”–kept him from battling Goliath (1 Samuel 17:25, cf. Numbers 13:33b).

Before the flood, Goliath’s predecessors roamed the land without opposition, as lords of the earth. Early in this present age, they were re-introduced to live among the Canaanites and prevent Israel from claiming the Promised Land (Numbers 13). They remained godless and soul-less; violent men who through taunting, separated God’s servants from their source of power (1 Chronicles 20:5-8). It will be that way again. Wimpy saints need not apply. Are we buckled up and ready (Revelation 13:4-7)?

Like Goliath, the huge man from Gath, “sons of the gods” have physical features that do not belong to humans (1 Chronicles 20:6-7). In addition to their immense size and strength, they have an aura of indestructibility. Nebuchadnezzar referred to this in a remark he made in Daniel 3. When, after casting Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego into the fire, he peered into the furnace and said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” (3:25)

To many futurists, the growing attachment to robotics signals the inevitable end of humanity. I see the robotics trend as the re-emergence of the Nephilim, the sons of god. Roaming the earth as before, they will be re-packaged versions of the heroes of old. Yet, like bygone days, they possess inhuman characteristics. Compared to men, they are taller, stronger, bigger, smarter, without emotion or affection. Their creation is fueled by man’s desire for power.

We saw these beings in Noah’s day before the Flood (Genesis 6), again, in the time of the twelve spies (Numbers 13), and before David ruled Jacob (1 Samuel 17). Better buckle up!

As for men, some crave the title “supreme ruler of the earth.” That is all the opening Satan needs. He is the seducer of the proud, convincing them they are gods. As to their ambition, if they conceived it and believed it, they will achieve it! —all with the evil one’s help, of course.

In Part 5, we will look at the one step remaining. Cyborgs are in production, but how will the sons of god and their humanoid counterparts, the beautiful daughters of men, be activated to fulfill their mission?

In the pride of your heart you say, “I am a god; I sit on the throne of a god in the heart of the seas.” (Ezekiel 28:1b NIV, cf. Revelation 17:15) 

What will the soon-to-be-revealed Beast or Antichrist be like? Prophecy in Ezekiel 28 has the answer. It is apparent after verse 10 that we are not reading about a human king, but about Satan himself. There is no doubt the beast will be Satan in human flesh.

In Ezekiel 28:1 the king says, “I am a god. I sit on the throne of a god in the heart of the seas.” His arrogance in claiming to be a deity equals that of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon (cf. Daniel 4:29-30). Also, we have the same arrogant spirit with Herod Agrippa before God struck him dead (Acts 12:21-23). Prideful, describes Satan in Isaiah 14:12-15, a condition that made him God’s enemy. Satan in female form describes the great prostitute of Revelation 17. Of her it was written, she sits on many waters, which in a prophetic context (see above) means peoples, multitudes, nations and languages (17:15). The same was said of Tyre’s king in Ezekiel 28:1 or was the beast of Revelation more in mind?

In summary, regarding the beast or antichrist, prophecy and the pattern of history warns of a coming, Satanic power who will be bent on overthrowing God’s rule, on destroying God’s people, and all while demanding universal worship.

It may seem like a stretch, but potentially, it fits with robotics’ potential for evil. For now, we need more Scriptural background so we can accurately predict where robotics is going.

According to Jesus, the end of the first age was a preview of what occurs in the last days (Luke 17:26). So how was life before the Flood? Something very weird was going on.

When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. Then the LORD said, “My Spirit will not contend with men forever for they are mortal…” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown. (Genesis 6:1-3a, 4 NIV)

Perhaps you have settled on a meaning for the above Genesis 6:1-4 passage. Consider this: What if we drop the upper case “G” in the NIV phrase the sons of God, since it could be misleading. (The upper case or capital G was a translator decision.) It helps to read this passage in the context of “I am a god” (lower case “g”) with Ezekiel 27 as a background. The sons of god helps us better understand the Nephilim before the Flood as a reason for God’s judgment. From Goliath’s example–which we will look at next time–we conclude the Nephilim were violent, soul-less, physically-superior beings that manifested the Antichrist spirit of arrogance.

Buckle up! Another crop of Nephilim are coming. Currently we call them Cyborgs. There is nothing new under the sun.

More Biblical background needs presented in Part 4, then we can better tie the past to today’s fast-changing world of robotics.

The LORD said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.” (Genesis 11:12 NIV)

Almost a century ago, “Think and Grow Rich” author, Napoleon Hill, wrote: “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” Variations on this theme have dominated self-help books and motivational talks since the idea for them began. Maybe there is something to the notion.

The Lord acknowledged the potential for accomplishing the impossible when he incorporated the divine image in man (Matthew 17:20). He deposited within Adam an ability given to angels: For good or evil, if it could be conceived and believed, it could be achieved. The bad side of this is it created a necessity to rid heaven of all who conceived or believed they could displace the Most High (Isaiah 14:12-15). The same thing happened on earth.

All like Korah, in Numbers 16, who would challenge God’s authority (Psalm 2:1-3), or deny His power (2 Timothy 3:5), or seek to share in His glory (Isaiah 42:8), must face everlasting banishment.

Nurturing subversive thoughts toward God immediately identifies the creature as His enemy. The Flood erased the first population of wicked who took a stand against the Almighty. After the end of this age, the second group of wicked will be looked for, but they will not be found (Psalm 37:10). A final purge will follow this age by a thousand years.

Babel was an early example of God’s respect for iniquity. In defiance of His command to spread out and fill the earth (Genesis 9:1), the people of Babel settled in one place and built for themselves a city. In it, they constructed a tower that reached to the sky.

They had acquired a mindset that it was no big deal to upset God’s laws. The tower was their way of showing God they did not fear another flood judgment. Their attempted overthrow was halted when they were scattered to the four winds. Nevertheless, what was conceived in their hearts was spread with them—witness the many tall city skylines around the world.

Well buckle up. They–meaning the rebels–are at it again. In defiance of God, they conceived a new plan to overthrow His rule and set laws. In Genesis 11, the invention that fueled Babel’s insurrection was brick-making. The breakthrough this time around has come in technology. Propelling Babylon the Great’s future conquests are recent developments in robotics.

In Part 2, we will begin to explore the potential for evil of robotics.

So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.  (Matthew 24:15-16 NIV)

“Watch out that no one deceives you.” With this warning in Matthew 24:4, Jesus began his detailed description of events preceding the sign of his coming and the end of the age. Deception will be rampant, so our Good Shepherd shows his love for the flock by sounding an alarm. As in the past, many disciples will turn away from following Christ (Matthew 24:10-11, cf. John 6:66, Revelation 12:4, 9). How will this happen? The answer is by severe trials and deceit in the mouths of trusted leaders (cf. Matthew 16:21-23).

“If the plain sense makes sense, we have the right sense.” This is a general rule for interpretation. Nothing can be plainer than Matthew 24. In this prophecy and its parallels in Mark and Luke, Jesus gave a chronology of signs that are introduced with terms like following, then or immediately after. So, we have a sequence of events.

Many Pre-tribulation rapture teachers (PTR) who are fond of advocating for a literal interpretation of the Word, attempt to muddy the waters of Matthew 24.  They do this to protect their doctrinal view. Other passages will invite a verse-by-verse exposition, but not Matthew 24. Some go so far as to say Matthew was written specifically for Jews. (They rightly point out the Church is not mentioned in Matthew 24-25. An argument from silence; the weakest of all arguments.) Watch out for this deception! Esteemed Bible teachers will use this or similar frail arguments to hinder disciples from gaining a proper understanding of prophetic events–all to preserve the PTR position.

They imply Jesus’ Olivet Discourse does not matter, since it was written for Jews, not the Gentile Church. “Christians,” they say, “will be raptured prior to the tribulations described in Matthew 24.” According to these teachers, Jews, will have to endure the Great Tribulation, along with the highly fictional “Second Chance Christians.” Jews have a history of suffering, some argue they deserve it. Anti-Semitism is alive and well in the church.

If Matthew 24 was simply for Jews, to whom did Mark (chapter 13) or Luke (21) write their Gospel version of the same Olivet Discourse? Common sense must be used. Jesus was addressing disciples, whether Gentile or Jew. As a warning, “Make sure no one deceives you” is only relevant to followers. Many will fall away at the end. This pertains to Christians led astray by false prophets and false christs.

Let the reader understand could not have been directed at contemporary Jews. Who among them would read Matthew? The command was intended for Bible-toting Christians. It is for us, those who name Jesus as Savior and live in the end times.

Let the reader understand are Jesus’ words to modern-day the Church, particularly Bible students. They have God’s Word; so, they are without excuse. If we do not know what takes place, how can we prepare. Ahead of a favorite PTR verse, Matthew 24:36, Jesus summarized his prophecy by saying, “See, I have told you ahead of time.”

The Word judges us, so let the reader understand. Not reading prophecy to take it to heart denies disciples of great blessing (Revelation 1:3). Neglecting Jesus’ warnings begs another question, “How shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation?” (Hebrews 2:3)

To God be the glory, great things He has done

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Watch out no one deceives you for many will come in my name claiming I am the Christ and will deceive many. (Matthew 24:4 NIV)

The Part-to-Whole fallacy may be explained this way: “Because part of a thing is true, it does not mean all of it is.”

The Galilean fisherman Simon was often right. In Caesarea Philippi, he hit the jackpot when Jesus asked, “Who do you say I am?”

Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” (Matthew 16:15-16)

Like a seed, the disciple’s confession had been planted by the heavenly Father. It earned Simon a new name. From that time on, he was “the Rock.” (Matthew 16:17-18)

Peter enjoyed a new status. God spoke to him. With that heady experience behind him, he then felt qualified to contradict the word of Christ:

From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.  Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” (Matthew 16:21-22)

Peter, the Rock, rebuked Jesus; though it is doubtful Simon would have been that brash. He must have been upset by what he deemed as “the Lord’s negative confession.” Peter wanted to hear only positive. He may have assumed that since he was granted special revelation about Christ’s divine person, he received divine revelation on prophecy as well. As far as who God is, even demons believe and tremble. (James 2:19)

Sharply, the Lord Jesus rebuked the Rock. “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” (Matthew 16:23)

This is how it will be in the last days: Men and women will be esteemed and placed in positions of honor. They will receive wonderful revelations, even prophesying in Jesus’ name and performing miracles. They will draw large crowds and wow their audiences, thus becoming susceptible to Peter’s error (Matthew 7:22). Not every spirit is from God, so no one should assume they always speak or act for Him. Especially when it comes to prophecy, first test the spirits, or we may find ourselves opposing Christ (1 John 4:1).

Caveat emptor (“Let the buyer beware.”) Simply because our fine preacher or pastor has wonderful abilities, and rightly identifies Jesus as Lord, it does not mean he or she may not call God a liar. To assume our respected teachers or mentors know everything, without testing the spirits, places the responsibility for being deceived on our shoulders.

In Part 2, we will examine more evidence that, in the last days, the Part-to-Whole fallacy will cause many to fall into Satan’s deadly trap.

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. (Romans 1:18-19 NIV)

The road to perdition begins with a first step. The path leading to LIFE begins the same way though they are diametrically opposed. Each takes us to a destination.

Joshua was told to proclaim blessings for Israel on Mount Gerizim and to pronounce curses on Mount Ebal. Two mountains that represent two outcomes. One could stand on one mountain or the other, but not simultaneously on both.

Blessings or curses are a choice with each step. At one time, we all stood in the middle. Would we love the truth or suppress it? Would we hate the lie or delight in wickedness? Then we decided.

In Romans 1:18, initially on the road to perdition our attention is turned to those who suppress the truth by their wickedness.  Paul does not focus on the liars–not at first. It is the “truth-suppressors” who incur the wrath of God. We could write volumes about how truth is being suppressed in our universities, in the news media, in government, in business or in the halls of justice, yet we ignore suppression in the church. It is not what is said in pulpits, but what is omitted that stirs heaven’s indignation.

Placebos are not a lie, they just substitute for what is meaningful. It is common for spiritual leaders to feed entire congregations placebos. In doing so, they suppress the truth, though God has made it plain to everyone that His judgment is close at hand.

While in Florida this Spring, my wife and I visited a large retirement village. As I scanned the community’s newspaper, I asked our host if the paper had any political leanings, left or right. He said, “It is a feel-good paper.” For their readers, everything was always rosy. There was no evil to report. No lies needing exposed. No hard truth to declare. This is what we mean by truth-suppression. It’s where the road to perdition starts for the good folks.

Truth-suppressors have exchanged the truth of God for a lie (Romans 1:25). Truth-suppressors set their Bible aside and reject God’s counsel. So, without a truth orientation, they are unwittingly led up Mount Ebal. The lie is a default position. If we do not stand firmly on Scripture, we will fall for the lie.

They have lied about the LORD; they said, “He will do nothing! No harm will come to us; we will never see sword or famine.” (Jeremiah 5:12a)

No one who loves the truth sets foot on the road to perdition. “Christians” whose prophets prophesy lies, and priests who rule by their own authority, are living in La-La Land. But what will these people do in the end? (Jeremiah 5:31)

The substitute for the truth is where the road to perdition starts. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) Beware, my friends, of the suppressors.

While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.   (1 Thessalonians 5:3 NIV)

Last January, a report surfaced from the U.S. West Coast that billionaire businessmen were building a secure underground community. Though they don’t fear God, these Silicon Valley titans of technology want to be saved from that which they do fear.

Mentally, American Christians are being encouraged to take a similar approach. They live under an illusion of peace and safety. “If there is a disaster, Jesus will keep me safe” –or so they believe. The Lord will shelter them “from” rather than his actual promise to take them “through” (ex. Isaiah 43:2-3a).

God’s desire for his servants is to obey and believe, not doubt or fear. Escaping trials is the exception for the saints, while enduring them is the rule.

In the last days, teachers of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture (PTR) position will be responsible for a great multitude of those who fall away. They paint a picture of safety that does not square with Bible prophecy. Amillennial teachers will be accountable also. Denying the literal warnings of the Bible’s prophets, with intellectual-sounding arguments, is the devil’s work. The signs of a looming day of disaster are unmistakable or why would rich people be digging big holes for condos in Kansas?

Doing nothing is not an option. Noah’s ark of refuge had to be under construction long before the deluge began. What the saints need to build are self-supporting communities around prophets in the mold of Elijah, watchmen who are sounding the alarm of impending disaster. (God has raised up contributors to this blog for this purpose.)

One of Satan’s schemes for destroying God’s people is to cause them to sin, so the Lord himself slays them as punishment for disobedience (Exodus 32, Numbers 25, Joshua 7, 1 Kings 13, et. al.). The peace and safety crowd are rebelling against God’s Word by ignoring the commands to be ready, to watch and to pray (Luke 21:34-36). They add more guilt to their sin by ignoring judgment and proclaiming disaster will not befall them. They are being deceived. They live under an illusion of safety.

 All the sinners among my people will die by the sword, all those who say, ‘Disaster will not overtake or meet us.’ ” (Amos 9:10 NIV)

You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth? That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” (Galatians 5:7-9 NIV)

The Allied World War II commander in the Pacific, Douglas MacArthur, once stated he only believed 5% of what he read in his intelligence reports. If General MacArthur were still in command, he might be even more skeptical. The difficulty with copying his approach is what 5% are we supposed to believe?

Intelligence briefings for the average Joe is packaged in news reports. What we hear, read or see is communicated by people who supposedly are in the know. From whom do these journalists receive their briefings? From intelligence or official sources in high places? If the 5% rule applies to the news’ sources’ sources, then how much remains to believe? Of the little that is fact, how do we tell the difference between it and fiction? Could 5% be true or is it a lot less?

The Apostle Paul understood the negative potential of the lie. He could not stand guard, monitoring who said what to whom. Believers, then as now, had to fine-tune their personal truth detection system. Like MacArthur, each had to detect the false in every report. “A little yeast works its way through the entire batch,” he warned.

This is where we need critical thinking or skill in making distinctions. I’m not merely referring to news sources, but to what Paul was addressing. He was upset by the lack of discernment among God’s people and by the little white lies (leaven) hindering the saints in Galatia. Paul had invested a great deal of time and effort. Would it be for nothing?

Lies take good people off track, preventing them from running their race. Opportunists cut in and divert attention and energy from the pursuit of God’s call.

Many of our distractions are “contrived arguments”. They are fake news or false stories. They are made up, a ruse, a trick, a strategy to lead one astray. Like pie and ice cream to the dieter, clever-sounding arguments entice the curious to indulge themselves. The little white lie we swallow today props the door open for the family of deceit tomorrow.

In Part 2, let’s expose some contrived arguments that threaten to undo us.

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