1Cor. 10:26 For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof
WHY DO WE NEED BODIES?
QUESTION: When we die my understanding is that our spirit, free from our earthly body, goes straight to heaven. Why is it necessary later on , at the rapture , to receive resurrection bodies. (dead in Christ will rise first) There are deceased people that have been in heaven now for many years without resurrection bodies and when the rapture happens they will all of a sudden receive a resurrection body. Do you have any idea why God is waiting until the rapture to give us a resurrection body and not straight away when we die .
From my human thinking it doesn’t make much sense but I do know that God sees the bigger picture and he must have a good reason for it.
ANSWER: To enjoy all the blessings of our eternal life, we’ll require a physical body. We know this because Jesus made such a point of demonstrating that He had one (Luke 24:36-39), and John wrote that when we see Him we’ll be like He is. (1 John 3:2) Departed believers have to wait for the rapture to get theirs just like we do. In fact, the entire creation is waiting for the Rapture. (Romans 8:19)
DO OUR BODIES GO IN THE RAPTURE?
QUESTION: When we are raptured, do you believe our present bodies remain behind here on earth? I’ve wondered if there will be dead bodies everywhere with those left alive here on earth to try and determine the cause of their death. Thanks for your answer.
ANSWER: In 1 Cor. 15:51 Paul said, “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed.” In Paul’s terminology to sleep meant to die. So, if we won’t sleep that means our bodies won’t die. When he said we will all be changed he meant our present bodies will transformed from mortal to immortal in a flash (1 Cor. 15:51-52). Therefore, we won’t be leaving our present bodies behind.
Some like to speculate that when we disappear our clothes and any man made body parts like dental work, pacemakers, artificial joints, etc. will be left behind, but the Bible doesn’t say anything about that.
What we do know is when we come into the presence of the Lord, we will be so completely changed that nothing of our earthly self will remain, and that includes our sin nature. In every respect we will be made fit to dwell with God forever.
All this means when we all disappear, the people left behind will have an even bigger mystery to solve than if we had left a bunch of dead bodies lying around.
Some will remember us telling them about the rapture and will realize that’s what happened to us. Many of them will become believers at that time due to the witness of our sudden departure. They will have missed out on being part of the church, but at least they will have changed their eternal destiny from death to life.
It’s a good idea to tell everybody you can about the rapture. Even if they don’t believe you now, they will remember what you said when they see it happen right before their eyes, and maybe they’ll believe it then.
LEAVING OUR BODIES BEHIND?
QUESTION: Thinking of how the news media is pushing the idea for at least the last 20 years of a World Wide Pandemic, and that there are many movies and a new hit TV show on the subject, I have been thinking that the public is primed and ready for this to happen. Why would we take our bodies to meet Jesus and leave just our clothes? I am convinced that will not happen. I think the strong delusion will be the millions of raptured saints bodies passed off as the coming worldwide pandemic. Someone will have to step up to calm those left behind and clean up the mess. Am I off base, and if not, why is everyone saying that only empty clothing will be left? I have never heard anyone say millions of bodies will be everywhere and it will be an international disaster. Is there anyone out there who thinks this way, besides me?
ANSWER: You’ve probably never heard anyone say that after the rapture there will be millions of bodies everywhere because most people don’t believe it will happen that way. Death is when the spirit leaves the body, but according to 1 Cor. 15:51-53 living believers won’t die (sleep) at the time of the rapture. Instead we’ll be changed in an instant from mortal to immortal, from imperfect to perfect, from bearing the likeness of Adam to bearing the likeness of Jesus (1 Cor. 15:49). We won’t be leaving our bodies behind because we’ll need them for all of eternity.
MORE ON LEAVING OUR BODIES BEHIND
QUESTION: Why do you think our earthly bodies will be raptured? What would we do with them in heaven? Doesn’t the Bible speak of a mass delusion that God sends to keep those left on earth from realizing what has happened? (2Thess. 2) Could it be that our souls will be raptured making Matt. 24 (about the vultures) have to do with our bodies?
ANSWER: In 1 Cor. 15:51-52 Paul said he was revealing something that had previously been a secret (a mystery). He said we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed. This was his way of saying we will not all die, and He was talking about those of us who are still alive at the rapture. By definition death involves the separation of soul and spirit from the body, so if we don’t die we won’t leave our bodies behind. Instead we will be instantaneously be changed, from mortal (subject to death) as we are now, to immortal (not subject to death) as we will be then.
Believers who have already died when the rapture comes will get new bodies because their old ones will have decayed to dust. But we who are alive will simply be transformed without experiencing death. Rather than getting new bodies, our current ones will be made perfect.
The strong delusion Paul spoke of in 2 thes. 2:11 refers to those left behind believing the anti-Christ’s lie that he’s God. And the vulture comment in Matt. 24:28 has to do with the 2nd coming, not the rapture, which will have happened 7 years earlier.
LEAVING OUR BLOOD BEHIND?
QUESTION: I have run into a belief I am not acquainted with regarding events surrounding the rapture. There are those who believe that all the blood from those who are raptured will be left for the world to see. Their reasoning is that this blood cannot enter heaven. I never thought about this as I took that we when we are changed in a moment in the twinkling of an eye, the blood will cease to exist just as the flesh will. Another argument used is that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. What is your view of this?
ANSWER: First let me say that if you are implying that only our spirits will go in the rapture and our bodies will cease to exist, then I disagree. According to 1 Cor. 15:53, when we change in the twinkling of an eye,we’ll be changing from mortal (subject to death) to immortal (no longer subject to death). We’ll retain our physical bodies, although they will be made perfect. Otherwise there would be no point in deceased believers coming with the Lord to get us. Their spirits have been in heaven all along (2 Cor. 5:6-8), and they’ll be coming to be reunited with resurrection bodies (1 Thes. 4:16-17).
When Jesus came out of the grave He was a physical being (Luke 24:38-39). When the disciples saw Moses and Elijah on the Mt. of Transfiguration they saw physical beings (Matt. 17:3). The dead in Christ will get new bodies to become physical beings again as well (1 Cor. 15:42-44).
As for the arguments about our blood being left behind, I think they are just conjecture on someone’s part. The contrast Paul was making in 1 Cor. 15:42-49 was between natural and spiritual bodies. That means two types of body, the natural (earthly) body and the supernatural (spiritual) body. Both are bodies. When he said flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom (1 Cor. 15:50), he was simply referring to our natural earthly bodies.
LEAVING OUR CLOTHES BEHIND
QUESTION: When our Lord was resurrected, He left His grave clothes behind. I know a lady who is horrified to think she may go naked up into the air in the rapture, before “God and everybody.”
While we are talking about the subject, what is the significance, what are we to learn, from the face cloth folded and laid separately?
ANSWER: Yes He left His grave clothes behind, but He wasn’t left naked. The Old Testament explains that the Lord is very big on modesty. Remember the issue with Noah and his sons when one of them found him uncovered? The other two backed into the tent to cover him so as not to see him naked (Genesis 9:20-23) Also Moses was instructed to make linen undergarments for the priests to keep them covered as they walked up to the altar. (Exodus 20:26 & 29:42-43)
As for the Lord’s face cloth, ideas abound. But I think that it was done to show that the Lord’s body wasn’t stolen. Thieves wouldn’t have taken the time to fold the cloth.
RESURRECTION BODIES OR SPIRITUAL BODIES?
QUESTION: Upon our death, do we have a resurrected or spiritual body?
ANSWER: When believers die during the Church Age they leave their physical bodies behind to be buried while their spirits go to be with the Lord. At the rapture they will receive new physical bodies, called resurrection bodies, at the same time as living believers are instantaneously transformed into their resurrection bodies. (1 Cor. 15:51-53).
RAPTURE / RESURRECTION BODIES
QUESTION: I have a question regarding the rapture. I get the impression from books, commentary I have read, and from bad movies I have seen that when the rapture occurs all those who are in Christ will disappear from the earth, however I don’t understand why God would have any use for our physical bodies. It seems to me that when the rapture occurs God will receive our spirits and that the corpses of all those who believe will the left on earth. Is my understanding incorrect?
ANSWER: The Lord’s resurrection is the example we’re to use, and it applies to both the living and the dead. On the evening of the resurrection He made sure we understood that He was still a physical being with a tangible body, not just a spirit (Luke 24:36-39). And when He ascended into the clouds He didn’t leave His body behind, but ascended in physical form (Acts 1:9). These two events tell us we’ll have physical bodies in eternity.
Since the bodies of those who die quickly decompose, their spirits, who have gone to be with the Lord, will receive new physical bodies. This is what Paul meant by saying the dead will rise (1 Thes. 4:16). But in 1 Cor. 15:51-54 he wrote that living believers will not die but will instantaneously be changed, transformed from mortal to immortal. Therefore we won’t leave any corpses behind when we depart in the rapture.
(CLICK ON) LATEST DAILY NEWS CLIPS:
News Clips Obtained From Many Sources – Including
HEADLINES FROM TRACKING BIBLE PROPHECY
Rapture Ready News
Main News Channels
Other Christian Sites 29/01/2018
- Zoabi on Polish bill: ‘Those who deny crimes against Palestinians should not be surprised when others do same’
- Netanyahu Orders Embassy to Meet With Polish PM Over New Holocaust Law: ‘We Cannot Allow Holocaust Denial’
- Yad Vashem Condemns Poland’s New Holocaust Law, but Says Warsaw Is Right to Object to Term ‘Polish Death Camps’
WORLD TERRORISM – WARS
GENERAL WORLD NEWS:
MASSIVE EARTH CHANGES/EARTHQUAKES/VOLCANOES ETC:
CHRISTIAN WORLD NEWS:
EXTRA WORLD – ALTERNATIVE NEWS:
- STUDY: Over 30% of All ‘FDA-Approved’ Drugs Have Grave and Deadly Side Effects A study from The Journal of the American Medical Association has exposed safety issues occurring in over 30% of FDA-approved drugs between 2001 and 2010.
- DAILY MAIL: Schools in ELEVEN states have closed this flu season as experts warn more than 50,000 Americans will die
- The Flu Is FAR WORSE Than We’re Being Told: Tens of Thousands of Americans Are DYING-SQ-THE KILLING FIELDS HAVE ARRIVED, AT THE END OF A NEEDLE,AND THE ENSUING ,POPULATION REDUCTION ACTS NOW UNDERWAY!
- “Nuclear Bomb Memo is About to Explode – Mark Taylor.” Author of “The Trump Prophecies,” Mark Taylor, predicted Donald Trump would win in 2016 and, after that, “there would be military style tribunals” to prosecute massive crimes in Washington, D.C.
- Daniel’s prophecy,2;43 represents conditions that were taking place before the flood and which will be occurring in the last days preceding the return of our Lord Jesus Christ to establish His kingdom on earth for 1,000 years
- The British defense secretary says Russia could kill ‘thousands and thousands and thousands’ of Britons with a cyber attack that could cripple infrastructure and energy supply and cause panic and chaos across the United Kingdom.
- Is America Closing In Upon ‘Pitchforks Time’? If The Globalists Launch World War 3, There Will Be No Stopping The Massive Culling That Is Coming – Hundreds Of Millions Of Dead Americans Perfectly Suits The Globalists ‘End Game’
- George Soros Declares War On President Trump and His Supporters: Soros Is Even Turning On His NWO Allies at Google, Facebook and Twitter
- A Robotic Exoskeleton Suit is Now Approved by the FDA ,moves by reading bioelectric signals sent from your brain, called the Hybrid Assistive Limb (shortened to HAL, another unfortunate naming coincidence)
- DAILY MAIL: Apple wants to make it easy to access your medical records on your iPhone – though it insists it will only see the information if you let it-SQ-A DANGEROUS AND DEADLY DEVELOPMENT-‘THE GENOCIDE DETERMINATE’!
- SHOCK VIDEO: THE ISLAMIC CALIPHATE HAS RELAUNCHED THE AFRICAN SLAVE TRADE, BUT CNN WON’T TELL YOU Why is the MSM hiding this humanitarian crisis?
- Just another Titan? Human-shaped ash cloud appears over Calbuco volcano: Look at this amazing human-shaped cloud emerging from the ash of the fiery volcano!
- With 10.5 million cubic meters of pyroclastic material deposits volatile Mount Mayon continued its heightened activity with 3 eruptions in the night
- CALIFORNIA has been rocked by a fresh earthquake measuring 3.4 in magnitude while Alaska continues to be hit by mid-sized earthquakes after a 7.9 magitude earthquake struck off the coast of Alaska this week.
- Mysterious Great Underground City In The Jungle Inhabited By The Old Ones And Guarded By White-Skinned Indians’ SQ: WHITE SKINNED BLUE EYED GIANTS , IS WHAT WE HAVE BEEN TOLD! OH AND BUY THE WAY—CANNIBALS
- Congress Finally Targets Obama Top Officials – Climbing The Ladder To Reach The High Hanging Fruit – The Senate Judiciary Is Now Going After The Bigger Fish
- In Venezuela, ‘We Loot Or We Die Of Hunger’–For all the morons who envision socialism and communism as utopia, watch Socialist Greece, which may soon be communist and is real close to a Venezuelan type situation’. George in Athens!
PROPHETIC NEWS ARTICLES:
MIDDLE EAST WAR LOOMING THE BUILD UP TO PSALM 83 AND GOG OF MAGOG WARS EZEKIEL 38:
TURKEY’S ATTACK ON SYRIAN KURDS COULD OVERTURN THE ENTIRE REGION
The new front is not just a local conflict: it could lead to a broader Kurdish revolt that redraws the map. The west must finally decide what it wants to achieve in the Middle East or other players will benefit
In whichever state they live, the Kurds endure a perilous existence. In Iran, the Kurdish people of the west have suffered significant persecution at the hands of the Islamic republic, while in Iraq, the Kurds of the north were confronted with a well-organised military operation. They also faced a diplomatic initiative that illustrated that, even in the fractious world of Middle East politics, Kurdish aspirations can manage to unify Iraq, Iran and Turkey in common opposition, following the independence referendum.
Even more strikingly, western powers were also aligned against their Iraqi Kurdish allies who had been so valuable in the fight against Isis. The thinking of western governments was logical – coolly objective even – as they remained committed to their policy of protecting the territorial integrity of Iraq. But, from a Kurdish perspective, they seem to be useful proxies when needed – and friends to forget when not.
This pattern is again playing out in the far north of Syria, in Afrin, controlled by the Kurdish Yekineyen Parastina Gel (YPG) and their political partner, the Democratic Union party (PYD). For Turkey, these groups are synonymous with the PKK, proscribed in Turkey and in western countries as a terrorist organisation. The groups, by contrast, claim they are wholly Syrian and are committed to Rojava, as they call the region, being autonomous within a future federal Syria. They are also committed western allies in the fight against IS.
The problem with these arguments is that they all contain an element of truth. No matter how persuasively leaders of the PYD claim that they are not part of the PKK, circumstantial evidence would suggest otherwise. This is not a surprise. The PKK had previously been based in Syria and the government of Syria had embraced a policy over many years of encouraging Kurds there to join the PKK. One day, these fighters were going to return home. So, while this does not mean that the YPG is the PKK, it’s understandable why Ankara would make the claim.
However, the Kurdish groups have proved themselves politically responsible, administering their territories in the chaotic setting of post-2011 civil war Syria. And militarily, the YPG seemed to have turned into the Middle East’s equivalent of the Spartans. With limited equipment but an abundance of discipline and sheer belief, the forces fought a dogged and ultimately successful defence of Kobane, which history will view as the moment the tide turned against IS, which had, until them, seemed virtually unstoppable.
Then, as the core of the Syrian Democratic Forces, they rolled back Isis village by village, not only across the north-east of Syria, but also down the border with Iraq as far south as Deir ez-Zor province. Working with western, and especially US, military forces, the Kurds gained experience and skills that would bolster their already fearsome standing.
In short then, from a western perspective, Nato-ally Turkey does have a point, but then so too do the Kurdish anti-IS allies. When faced with having to make an almost impossible choice, it is perhaps easier to opt to do the bare minimum. But Afrin is not a battle that western governments can ignore as easily as they did the Kurdish referendum in Iraq.
At the immediate tactical level, the battle-hardened Kurds are already inflicting serious damage upon Turkey’s proxy forces. Will the military forces of Turkey have more success? It is unlikely or, at least if they do, it will come at a very considerable cost. The Turkish military is still recovering from the failed coup of July 2016 against President Erdoğan. If Turkish forces, or even their proxies, become bogged down in a bloody fight in Afrin, it is Erdoğan’s judgment that could be called into question by a population that he himself has made more nationalistic and anti-Kurdish.
Furthermore, the Kurds of Turkey could exploit an upsurge in Kurdish militancy and intensify their insurgency. Such a ramping up of Kurdish nationalism would also be evident in Iraq and Iran. With a rising insurgency beginning with the success – or even noble failure – of the defence of Afrin, a broader Kurdish revolt against their host states and allies is not beyond the realms of possibility.
This possible Kurdish domino would be transformative and unpredictable, even putting in play the very boundaries of the Middle East state system. There is also a further possible domino, already threatened by Afrin and of even greater concern to the west: its effect on the cohesion of Nato.
For Russia, involvement in Syria offered an opportunity to undermine the integrity of Nato, to further Russian interests in eastern Europe, the Baltic, and perhaps beyond into other theatres. With Russia seemingly helping Turkish operations in Afrin – by granting permission to use the airspace and openly condemning the US for its “unilateral”actions in strengthening the YPG – Moscow could claim to have at least part-orchestrated a beautifully conceived plan. Two Nato members – the US and Turkey or at least their proxies – could end up pitched into a very bloody and protracted conflict.
Events in Afrin are therefore not solely about the future of the Kurds in the north of Syria. Far from it. They could transform the region – Turkey, Iraq and Iran in particular – and have profound consequences for the west as it confronts the challenge of an increasingly influential, dynamic and capable Russia.
It’s time for the west finally to face an uncomfortable question – what is it that they want to achieve in the Middle East, beyond glib statements promoting peace, stability and democracy? Sure, it’s a fantastically difficult question, but it needs to be answered. In the absence of an answer, the events unfolding in Afrin, and what might follow, will continue to throw up consequences that can only benefit the interests of others.
Gareth Stansfield is professor of Middle East politics at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, Exeter
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, TRANSHUMANISM AND THE CHURCH: HOW SHOULD CHRISTIANS RESPOND?
As artificial intelligence and emerging technology continue to develop at breakneck speed, Christians have no choice but to engage given the staggering implications it’s already having for ministry and the broader culture, scholars say.
For many followers of Jesus, the explosive use of digital devices like smart-phones and an ever-growing number of social media utilities are challenging enough to deal with, especially when it comes to raising children. As leaders in the tech industry place their own children in schools where technology is not available and even home use is discouraged, many are also increasingly concerned about a burgeoning, smartphone-fueled mental health crisis.
But wholly rejecting or ignoring technology will only worsen conditions for everyone, according to two tech experts who spoke with The Christian Post. What Christians need to reject is their ignorance of the subject, they say, and a re-examination of their priorities is in order.
Fabrice Jotterand, a professor of Swiss nationality who teaches at a Wisconsin medical school and is a renowned scholar in neuroethics, recounted in a CP interview last week that most believers are simply unaware that AI technology is in fact already here.
“People think it is science fiction, it’s something of the future, or it’s in the movies. And I think that there is a kind of naiveté about these technologies,” Jotterand said, as this industry is in dire need of voices providing serious ethical and theological reflection. He is presently writing a book titled, The Unfit Brain and the Limits of Moral Bioenhancement.
“We shouldn’t say all technology, all AI, is necessarily, inherently bad,” he said, arguing that it’s vital to distinguish between transhumanism and AI because all too often people mistakenly conflate them.
“Transhumanism is the idea that you’re going to transcend human biological nature using technology; at the basis you still have a human being using technology to enhance his or her capacities,” he explained.
By contrast, “AI is basically a new entity, an entity that in some ways replicates some of the attributes of the human being.”
Yet most of the confusion exists around the notion of embodiment, he went on to say, a confusion rooted in a Gnostic mindset that pervades the transhumanist creed. And it is not an exaggeration to consider transhumanism a religious cult of sorts, one that proposes immortality on its own terms and amounts to the very erasure of what makes us human, he stressed.
Indeed, already these beliefs have taken shape in a futuristic movement called Terasem, which was formed in 2002 by Martine Rothblatt, a transwoman and multimillionaire CEO of United Therapeutics, along with his wife, Bina. Rothblatt also has a robot wife called Bina 48 who looks like the real Bina Rothblatt and has received many uploads of information from her life. According to its website, Terasem is based on four pillars: (1) Life is purposeful. (2) Death is optional. (3) God is technological. And (4) Love is essential.
The Terasem “Beliefs” page plainly states: “Nobody dies so long as enough information about them is preserved. They are simply in a state of ‘cybernetic biostasis.’ Future mindware technology will enable them to be revived, if desired, to healthy and independent living.”
The movement claims with regard to God being technological: “We are making God as we are implementing technology that is ever more all-knowing, ever-present, all-powerful and beneficent. Geoethical nanotechnology will ultimately connect all conMeanwhile, futurist Ray Kurzweil, who works on Google’s machine learning project, has said in recent months that by year 2029 what is known as “singularity” — the total merging of human and computer intelligence — will be achieved.
Jotterand explained that an essential aspect of transhumanism is “that the body is totally irrelevant to our identity as a human being” and that “the body becomes something you can manipulate at will and doesn’t have any normative stand in defining who we are as human beings.”
In other words, from the transhumanist perspective, what defines a human person is what is inside the brain and if the contents can be uploaded onto a hard drive then that would still be you.
With AI, a larger challenge emerges, namely: “What kind of relationship will humans have with it?” he said. Already headlines are telling of people wanting to marry and have sexual relations with robots.
Other quandaries now upon us, which most Christians never thought they would even have to ask or think about, center on the social status of robots in the law.
“If we define legal personhood based on certain functions or tasks it will mean that the robot has rights, and disabled people or individuals with a handicap of some kind might then have a lesser status,” Jotterand pointed out.
“And this is where we need to be very careful,” he added. “Are we using these robots and AI to fulfill human ends or are we allowing them to be autonomous and fulfill their own purpose?”
European thinkers have been exploring many of these themes for some time, the professor noted, referencing German philosopher Martin Heidegger’s 1926 essay “The Question Concerning Technology,” in which he maintains that technology indelibly “enframes” human beings.
Whatever one makes of Heidegger’s writings and other work, “think about an iPhone or a smartphone, you [practically] cannot function in this world” without one now, Jotterand said. He urged Christians to consider how much Facebook and Google govern so much of their thinking and daily decision-making.
“My advice would be to be aware that this technology exists and know how it works, but use it to promote the human good and put boundaries [around it].”
“Unless we become the Amish of the world with regard to technology and say, ‘Nope, we’re not really going to touch technology’ … but then we don’t function. And so what we need to do is earn our place around the table and shape these discussions in a way that honors God and protects human dignity.”
Christopher Benek, who has written extensively on transhumanism for CP and is an internationally recognized expert on emerging technology and theology, said in a recent interview that the first thing for Christians to remember is that almost all of us are already using AI in our cell phones and other digital devices.
“When I start to talk with people [about this subject] I say, ‘Let’s back up a bit,’” Benek said.
“If we look at God and we have some concept that God created us, that means we are already God’s alternative intelligence, as I like to say, God’s AI.”
Benek is a Presbyterian pastor in southern Florida and the founding chair of the Christian Transhumanist Association. He stressed in the interview that the healthiest way of interacting with this subject theologically is to take what we know about theology and begin to converse about what is helpful, recognizing that AI can be used for evil or good much in the same way nuclear physics can be utilized to either make murderous weaponry or to provide a clean energy source.
“Christ started a redemptive process that we are called to participate in, to actually help in the redemption — Christ has already secured the victory — but as co-creators, like as with a parent and a child, to co-create alongside God. So there is no reason to think that God wouldn’t empower us to create AI and create very powerful AI to help in those redemptive purposes,” Benek said.
This requires the recognition that all matter is essentially technology, something that is to be stewarded like anything else, he said.
In November, Benek traveled to Japan and was the first ever pastor to speak at the International Conference for Social Robotics.
“What was fascinating was how amazed they were at the insights I had with regard to the robots they were building. And part of the reason I have that insight is that I deal with people who build robots and AI.”
The creative processes involved in the making of this technology is inextricably linked to who human beings are and the reflections and iterations of themselves that are projected onto what they build, he explained; and if Christians are formed as people in ways that emulate Jesus Christ, then their technological creations will benefit humanity and further His purposes in the world.
Echoing Jotterand, Benek strongly believes that the Church has no option but to engage these issues immediately and be a part of the ethical conversations surrounding widespread technology use. He recently counseled a foreign government that had solicited his advice (he could not say which country) to invest a billion of their currency toward AI safety.
An additional concern many Christian leaders have today is how emerging technology might thwart our very humanity particularly as it changes the economy and labor market. Southern Baptist leader Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, wrote in December that he was especially nervous about driverless cars dependent on AI technology.
“What happens to a view of work when increased automation seems to be constantly ‘disrupting’ careers and even entire industries? Unlike previous generations of Western people, ours increasingly has little understanding of the world our parents and grandparents lived in, in which one expected to learn a skill, find a job, and remain in it, or perhaps be promoted upward through it, for life. Those days are gone,” he said.
“Instead, increasingly, younger people find they must compete in a ‘gig economy’ where they may change jobs multiple times in a five-year period, if they can even find work at all.”
CP asked Benek how churches might respond and minister to those who face potential job losses and the ever-growing crisis of smartphone technology addiction among youth, a problem likely to increase if current trends continue.
“How do we expect our children not to be addicted to a phone if they haven’t been formed in the teachings of Christ to know otherwise? If they don’t know what an idol is, they are not going to know. We as Christian adults, we have to moderate ourselves on these things,” he replied.
“The church has forsaken the gospel to maintain the institution of the church. And so if we continue to worry about property and buildings and not about people then you will continue to see [bad] results and we’ll have no one to blame but ourselves.”
But Benek believes automation is the biggest opportunity the church has had in front of it since the Reformation to be relevant. He is currently drafting an overture to the General Assembly for the Presbyterian Church of America asking them to consider emerging technology and have some kind of formal council that issues recommendations to churches about how to deal with these issues.
For those who do not think the subject matter is relevant in the church, Benek asks: “Stand up in your pulpit on Sunday morning and look out and imagine half of those people being unemployed. What are you going to do when that happens?”
“Tech will reform the church if we do not get involved. And maybe God will use that technology to reform the church so we are more interested in the gospel and less in property and in stuff because tech will take it away from us and we’ll actually have to worry about people.”
He further observed that many people, Christians included, are experiencing this unique moment of exponential growth in technology in a way that has never been felt before, a feeling that can be unsettling. Whereas inventions like the printing press and the steam engine punctuated history in ways that fundamentally changed how human beings interacted with each other, technological breakthroughs are occurring so quickly it is hard to keep track. And the potential for seemingly everything to change all of a sudden is now a reality.
For Christians who spurn most technology or find the idea of becoming a modern day Luddite appealing, Benek urges them to consider what happened to the actual Luddites, the bands of English textile workers and weavers who in the early 19th century destroyed machinery, especially in the cotton and woolen mills, the technology they believed threatened their livelihoods.
“The thing to remember about the Luddites is that technology still won. It’s still won the day. The tech is coming; the question is whether or not we are going to address it,” Benek said.
While in Japan conversing with the roboticists, Benek ended up sharing key parts of the gospel message, telling them that God made them to be co-creators with Jesus Christ and that He cares about what they do, that they are part of the redemption of the world.
“This one woman choked up and raised her hand,” he recounted, and she said through tears, “You mean God cares about me?”
“If that doesn’t speak to the need as church people, then what the heck are we doing? We need to get out there and connecting with people in ways that are real, and we need tech people to come along and scoop some pastors up and say, ‘you know what, we need you in this field.’”
THE PERFECT STORM – HOW WE KNOW WE ARE LIVING IN THE “LAST DAYS”
Matthew 16:1-3 – “Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven. He answered and said to them, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.”
Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for not recognizing the signs of His first coming. The religious leaders of His day had full knowledge of the prophecies of the Messiah, yet these religious leaders ignored the signs and still rejected Him. Being a meteorologist, forecasting the weather and discerning the signs of the times go hand in hand for me. Unlike the religious leaders of the first century, I refuse to ignore the signs of the Lord’s return!
What are the signs of the Lord’s return? How do these signs show us that the Lord’s return is soon? Jesus refers to these signs as “birth pangs.” In the “Olivet Discourse” study, I discuss in detail what “birth pangs” are. Here are the “birth pangs” Jesus told us to watch for:
- Wars and rumors of wars
- World wars
- Earthquakes in diverse places
- Fearful sights and great signs in the heavens
- False prophets
The signs of the Lord’s return will be like “birth pangs,” in that they will be increasing in frequency and intensity before Jesus returns (Matthew 24:8). Therefore, we can use the “birth pangs” to gauge how close we are to the Lord’s return. The “birth pangs” occurring on a regional scale today, will become global in the Tribulation, as described in Revelation 6. When these “birth pangs” begin to have large-scale consequences, on the verge of becoming global, we know the Lord’s return is imminent:
|Regional Birth Pangs||Global Seal Judgments|
|Many false christs Matthew 24:4-5,11, Mark 13:5-6, Luke 21:8||1st Seal One ultimate false christ, the Antichrist Revelation 6:1-2|
|Wars and rumors of wars Matthew 24:6-7, Mark 13:7-8, Luke 21:9||2nd Seal Global war Revelation 6:3-4|
|Famine, pestilence and troubles in various places Matthew 24:7-8, Mark 13:8, Luke 21:11||3rd & 4th Seal Global scarcity. 1/4th Earth subject to death Revelation 6:5-8|
|Persecution and martyr of some saints Matthew 24:9,13 & Mark 13:9-13||5th Seal Martyr of saints unrestrained Revelation 6:9-11|
|Earthquakes in various places Matthew 24:7, Mark 13:8, Luke 21:11||6th Seal Wrath of the Lamb worldwide earthquake Revelation 6:12-17|
The super sign that shows we are in the end times is that Israel is a nation again. The Jewish people are returning from exile. After nearly two millennia of rejection, God is going to call them His people again (Hosea 1:9, Romans 9:25-26), but first He must deal with their transgression of the Law (Daniel 9:24).
God is not going to wait for several generations to deal with Israel. God has brought His chosen people out of exile to deal with their transgression, in preparation for the Millennium. Many people, including myself, believe that the sign of the fig tree in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 show that God is going to fulfill all these signs within the life of the generation who witnessed the rebirth of Israel as a nation.
As we move closer to the Tribulation period, we should see an increase of the following signs:
Daniel 12:4 – Increase in knowledge and travel – This will support globalization.
Matthew 24:7, Mark 13:8, Luke 21:11 – Famines and pestilences – Due to increase in natural disasters and war.
Revelation 11:9 – Satellite technology – People from all over the world will be able to view the two dead witnesses.
Revelation 13:16-17 – Computer technology – The mark of the beast will be a cashless society.
Revelation 13:16-17 – Global currency – All other currencies will crumble.
2 Timothy 3:1-8 – Rampant immorality and hedonism – Increase in selfishness and resistance to absolute truth.
A “perfect storm” is brewing. Since Israel has been back in the land, we have seen an explosion in technology and travel, now called the “Information Age.” Constantly, there are wars and rumors of wars. There has also been a drastic increase in the intensity in natural disasters. In just the last few years, these disasters have become a threat to the global food supply.
Immorality is certainly on the rise, with legalized abortion and homosexual marriage, in addition to rising fornication, adultery, and divorce. Hedonism has helped to lead the world into the credit crises we are in, which is threatening to collapse economies around the globe.
Because of the credit crisis, there have been calls to form a new global currency. This could easily be instituted as a cashless currency. Cash is not widely used anymore, due to advances in computer technology. The technology of the mark of the beast is here, as computer chips are already being embedded in animals, and people who have diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.
Having personally gone through natural child-birth twice, in my opinion it looks like the biblical “birth pangs” are nearing the point of transition, where the regional “birth pangs,” with regional consequences, will “transition” to global judgments, with global consequences during the Tribulation period. Also, lulls between these “birth pangs” are becoming shorter, reflecting the increasing frequency between them, just like human birth pangs.
Those who don’t think we are in the end times, I believe have taken the “epidural” of blindness. Anybody even casually watching can see the lateness of the hour. I believe that the rapture of the Church will be the catalyst to “transition” these signs, from a regional to a global scale:
Luke 21:34-36 – “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
The more I watch, the more I find that I cannot not watch; if that makes sense. A perfect storm is brewing, and the signs are all pointing to the ever more imminent return of Jesus Christ.
Specific “birth pangs” in the headlines
Luke 21:25-28 – “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”
Jesus told us to watch for specific signs leading up to his return. These signs are the “birth pangs” discussed above. When these signs “begin” to happen, we know our redemption is near. While this redemption is ultimately speaking of Israel at the 2nd Coming of Jesus, the “birth pangs” have already begun. In other words, as the “birth pangs” increase in frequency and intensity before our eyes, we know that the Church’s redemption in the rapture is that much sooner.
To track the “birth pangs” click here.
The following are excellent articles about the “signs of the times”:
HOW THE KING JAMES BIBLE ABSOLUTELY DISPROVES THE PERPETUAL VIRGINITY OF MARY
One of the arguments presented by the Catholic Church is that if Jesus really did have other brothers and sisters, then why did He have to tell His disciple John to care for Mary? The answer is quite obvious – the all deserted Him in accordance with Old Testament prophecy. Only John, the “disciple that Jesus loved” remained till the bitter and glorious end.
Today we are going to see where the King James Bible, in both Old and New Testaments, reveals that Mary the mother of Jesus absolutely had other children.
“Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.” Mark 6:3 (KJV)
One reason why the King James Bible is hated by the Catholic Church and Laodicean “christian” scholarship is because of the treasure trove of information it contains that no other version of the Bible does to disprove so many false doctrines taught in our day. For example, only in the KJV can you run the references to discover that the identity of the coming Antichrist is none other than Judas Iscariot, the ‘son of perdition’ revealed by a sop. It also shows you what the word Selah really means, and it has nothing to do with meditating on peaceful thoughts of sweet baby Jesus. It reveals a global war.
Today we are going to see where the King James Bible, in both Old and New Testaments, reveals that Mary the mother of Jesus absolutely had other children.
The Bible verse at the top of this article clearly shows that Jesus, the carpenter son of Mary, had four brothers named James, Joses, Juda and Simon. Not only that, He had an unnamed number of sisters, but two at the very least. The Catholic Church lamely attempts to dispute this by saying that the word “brother” doesn’t always mean brother, and that they could have been cousins. Then they run to the “teachings of the early church fathers” to try and show Mary’s “perpetual virginity”:
“The origin is different but the nature alike: not by intercourse with man but by the power of God was it brought about: for a Virgin conceived, a Virgin bore, and a Virgin she remained [Sermons 22:2 (A.D. 450)]. – Pope St. Leo I
But in all their blather about attempting to cast doubt on the clear teaching of Jesus’ siblings in Mark 6, they forgot all about Psalm 69.
Psalm 69 is one of those great psalms of David where he starts out talking about himself, but winds up prophesying about the crucifixion of the Messiah Jesus on the cross. Let’s start with the very well-known passage talking about events leading to His death:
“For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.” Psalm 69:9 (KJV)
We know that this is talking about Jesus driving out the moneychangers in the Temple because John 2:17 says it is. This is what John recorded:
“And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.” John 2:15-17 (KJV)
When the disciples watched the action in the Temple, they remembered that David had prophesied this about the Messiah, and they rightly connected it with Jesus. But have you ever stopped to see the verse that immediately precedes it in the context? It’s a verse that talks about the rejection of Jesus by both His people the Jews in general, and his brothers and sisters in particular:
“I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother’s children.” Psalm 69:8 (KJV)
Well, will you look at that? David records Jesus talking about the two-fold rejection of Jesus by brethren and brothers. One of the arguments presented by the Catholic Church is that if Jesus really did have other brothers and sisters, then why did He have to tell His disciple John to care for Mary? The answer is quite obvious – the all deserted Him in accordance with Old Testament prophecy. Only John, the “disciple that Jesus loved” remained till the bitter and glorious end.
“But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.” Matthew 26:56 (KJV)
Now you can go on believing that Mary remained a “perpetual virgin” if you want to, but you have to do it in spite of clear Bible teaching from both Testaments that Mary had other biological children with Joseph after the birth of Jesus.
PROPHECY IN THE NEWS
BY HAL LINDSEY
Wow! What a difference a year makes. Just a few months ago, Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas stood in the White House and praised President Donald Trump’s leadership and negotiating abilities. He gushed, “Now, Mr. President, with you we have hope.” Last week, Mr. Abbas delivered a two hour rant to the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). In it, he raged against President Trump and even pronounced an old Arabic curse upon him: “Yakhrab baytu!” Translated: “May his house be destroyed.” Since Mr. Trump now lives in the White House, and that is “the peoples’ house,” it seems logical that the Abbas curse applies to the United States, as well. A little like spitting on our flag. What made the PA leader change his tune so drastically in the last few months? Well, a couple of things quickly come to mind. First, President Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. (And this week, Vice-President Pence told the Israeli Knesset that our embassy would be moved there by the end of 2019.) Then, President Trump’s disgust with the PA finally got the better of him and he tweeted: “…we pay the Palestinians HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect. They don’t even want to negotiate a long overdue peace treaty with Israel.” His recent criticism of the PA and Abbas for promoting terrorism by using American money to reward terrorists who kill Israelis has rankled the Palestinians. Mr. Trump threatened to cut off funding to the PA as a result. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered his explanation of Abbas’ unhinged public rant: “The world has pampered the Palestinians, and not told them the truth. I think Abbas is reacting. For the first time, someone is telling them the truth.” That someone is Donald Trump. You know, Mahmoud Abbas isn’t the only one who hates Donald Trump and the United States of America. Curiously, though, there may be more Americans who hate Donald Trump than non-Americans! At least if you believe the mainstream media. Aside from his obvious brashness and hubris, his tendency to fire from the hip, and his use of nicknames to identify the defining traits of his opposition, what is it that so irritates that opposition? Especially the American Left! I hate to say this, but I think it is his intense desire to see America return to its greatness and position of genuine world leadership. And if he’s hated for that, then it means that those who hate him actually want to see America weak and content to languish back in the pack with the other mediocre nations and societies. Donald Trump wants so much to see America return to greatness that in 2012 he trademarked the slogan, “Make America Great Again!” In 2016, that sentiment finally resonated with a majority of American voters. I believe there is a broad sense among Americans that we’ve left something behind—something crucial. But what? What made America so successful, rich, safe, powerful, and desirable? We keep hearing that it was “American values.” But what are “American values?” The definition you would hear from a 20-something in 2018 would be very different from a 20-something in 1958. ”American values” change with the generations. George W. Bush and Barack Obama believed that “American values” would transform Islamic nations. Bush tried nation-building in Afghanistan and Iraq. Obama pushed the Arab Spring. The utter failure of both of those enterprises should be a lesson learned. America’s greatness did not come because her successful democracy and constitutional government. Rather, her successful democracy and constitutional government came as a result of her greatness. You see, the truth is America’s greatness has little to do with “American values.” It has everything to do with “Judeo-Christian values!” In fact, American values are at their very best when they reflect Judeo-Christian beliefs. And it’s not true just for America. Where Christianity flourishes, people flourish. Humanitarianism, science, the arts, and democracy all abound in societies that try to align themselves with Biblical morality. One practical reason is that children thrive in a Christian environment. It’s full of love and discipline. It encourages and stabilizes families—the foundation of any society. Bible morality and Bible values also cause business to thrive. With them, owners and workers alike value honesty, responsibility, sobriety, hard work, compassion, and fairness. Even government works better when the people have a general agreement on Bible-based values. More Bible means less corruption and more cooperation. For two centuries now, we in America have been the recipients of these blessings. That’s not to say that we’ve never failed morally. Having ideals and fully living up to them are two different things. We still struggle sometimes to live up to the most basic premise of our society, that “all men are created equal.” (That premise, by the way, directly reflects Bible doctrine.) And our critics are quick to point out our failures. But with “created equal” as our north star, America became the safest, fairest, and most prosperous society in the history of the world. Sadly, all of that is beginning to disappear. The economy is booming, but the joy is gone. Corruption is spreading. Too many little ones are neglected and abused. Millions are killed before they are born! How did this happen? Where will it lead? I believe the anti-God movement that seems to be the major motivating force in America today seeks the love and kindness of Christian teaching, but without the God who inspires it—or the Bible in which He teaches it. For decades, they’ve been working to build a Christian society, but without Christ. That’s like transplanting a tree by cutting it off at ground level. Without its roots, the tree will die. So we shouldn’t be surprised to see the tree of liberty withering and dying in our day. America is cutting off its roots. When followed, Biblical principles—such as the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule—make nations and people great. But when they stop believing in God Himself, they are usually just a generation or two from denouncing those Bible principles. (Sound familiar?) After that, the loss of prosperity and freedom is inevitable. Finally, nothing is more descriptive of the mystery of the Church than the sublime comparison between Christian marriage and the marriage of Church Age believers to the Lord. Especially when viewed in the context of the marriage customs of the time in which the Apostle Paul describes it. The “process” of marriage in those days was far different than now. It illustrates the “process” of our union with Jesus Christ. We’ll go from the betrothal to the whisking away of the bride by the bridegroom to the gala celebration of the marriage to the “happily ever after!” That time is so very close, that you may be surprised at where we are today in that beautiful scenario.