Why Korean Missionaries Wish They Were Still Imprisoned by the Taliban

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE CHRISTIAN POST)

CPCHURCH & MINISTRIES

Francis Chan Explains Why Korean Missionaries Wish They Were Still Imprisoned by the Taliban

Jun 4, 2017 | 5:07 PM

New York Times best-selling author and popular Christian Pastor Francis Chan was a featured speaker at an annual Christian persecution conference on Saturday, and shared details of a conversation he had with a Korean missionary imprisoned and nearly executed by the Taliban in 2007.
(PHOTO: PULSE) Francis Chan addresses thousands of Christians gathered on the National Mall in Washington, D.c. for Together 2016 on July 16, 2016.

Chan, who is the author of the popular 2009 book Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God and is the co-founder and former teaching pastor at the Cornerstone Community Church in Simi Valley, California, spoke for about a half hour at International Christian Concern’s The Bridge 2017 conference, which this year was hosted at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California.

Chan, who is also the founder and chancellor of Eternity Bible College in Simi Valley, referenced Revelation 5:8 to speak about the importance of learning “obedience through suffering,” a concept that many Christians in the West may not be able to grasp by living their lives in comfort.

He also touched on how Christians are to obey the command given in Hebrews 13:3 — “Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.”

“I believe that to remember [the persecuted] well means we care and we try to ease their pain and suffering,” Chan said. “But I think also to remember them well means we enter into their suffering and maybe some of us sacrifice our civilian affairs because we know we are living way too comfortably right now.”

Chan wondered if Christians who have never faced true suffering for their faith could be missing out on an opportunity to have an even deeper intimacy in their fellowship with Christ.

Chan then shared a conversation he had with one of the 23 Korean missionaries captured and held hostage by the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2007. Chan explained that when he visited Seoul for the first time, he had dinner with the missionary who detailed the the willingness he and some of his colleagues had to suffer for and with Christ.

Chan did not name the missionary or explain when it was the dinner took place.

“He talked about how they got into this argument because they found out that they were going to be killed one at a time. This man I was having dinner with was saying to this other guy, ‘Look, I know they are going to kill us one at a time. I die first,'” Chan recalled. “The other man said, ‘No, I die first.’ [The first] guy is going, ‘No, I am your elder. I die first.’ Then, the other man says, ‘No, you have not been ordained as a pastor. I am an ordained minister. I die first.’ That man was the first one that was executed.”

Two male hostages were executed before a deal was reached for the group’s release by the South Korean government. One of the martyrs was 42-year-old Pastor Bae Hyeong-gyu and the other was 29-year-old Shim Seong-min.

Chan explained that the missionary he spoke with also told him that some of the 16 female missionaries imprisoned with him and the other six male missionaries have told him since they returned to Seoul that they wish they were still captives of the Islamic extremist group.

Chan quoted the missionary as telling him: “‘These women that were in these camps with us, they come to me and they say, ‘Pastor, don’t you wish we were still imprisoned by the Taliban?'”

“They tell me, ‘When I was surrounded by these soldiers, I felt the presence of Jesus in there with me. Now that we are back in Seoul, I am trying to experience that intimacy with Him but I can’t. I fast and I pray and I don’t feel it. I would rather be back there because of the intimacy I had with him.'”

Chan then suggested that the presence of Jesus that these Christian missionaries felt while they faced the threat of execution is probably similar to what certain martyrs in the Bible experienced before they were killed.

“How great is Jesus if there is nothing better on this Earth than that intimacy and sharing the suffering. … It totally makes sense to me biblically,” Chan explained. “That’s why Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were thrown into this pit of fire and suddenly, the king is like, ‘Wait, why are there four people in there? Who is that fourth one?'”

“That’s why Stephen, when he is about to be stoned to death, goes, ‘I can see Him,'” Chan continued. “Is there a special fellowship that we share in that suffering that we will miss out on because we just think comfort is everything and we just want to pull everyone into our comfort and into our civilian affairs rather than joining in their suffering and losing our life so that we can actually find something so much better?”

Chan then concluded by citing Revelation 2:10.

“Be faithful, even until death,” Chan said. “That is a beautiful thing in the eyes of the Lord.”

“I don’t know about you, but the Lord is working my heart. I know what it looks like here in America, but I don’t think I want to end so comfortably,” he added. “I am scared of suffering but I think I am more scared of comfort. I want to join the Apostle Paul. I want to join Jesus. It doesn’t make sense to the world but it makes sense in the world if there is a resurrection today.

Revelation Chapter #10

 

The theme here in Chapter ten is about the events between the 6th and the 7th trumpets. These events occur via the ‘mighty Angel’ and the ‘little book’ which Jesus (Yeshua) was holding in his hand in Heaven. Please remember that the Book of Revelation was penned by the Apostle John while he was in Roman exile upon the eastern Mediterranean island of Patmos.

This chapter is only 11 verses long yet it is quite informative, I am going to type these out for the folks who do not have access to a Bible. Folks please read through these verses and consider what we are being told.

“And I (John) saw another mighty Angel come down from Heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon His head, and His face was like unto the Sun, and His feet were as pillars of fire.”

“And He had in His hand a Little Book that was open, and He sat His right foot upon the Sea and His left foot upon the Earth.”

“And He cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars. And when He had spoken, seven Thunders uttered their voices.”

“After the seven Thunders uttered their voices, I was about to write when I heard a voice from Heaven saying to me, seal up these things that the seven Thunders spoke and do not write them.”

“And the Angel I saw standing upon the Earth and the Sea lifted up His hand to Heaven.”

“And swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created Heaven and the things that are therein, and the Earth and the things that are therein. And the Sea and the things that are therein, that there should be time no longer.”

“But in the days of the voice of the seventh Angel, when He shall begin to speak, the mystery of God shall be shown, as He has declared to His Servants the Prophets.”

“And the voice which I had heard from Heaven, spoke to me again, and said, go and take the Little Book which is open in the hand of the Angel which stands upon the Sea and upon the Earth.”

“And I went up to the Angel and said unto Him, give me the Little Book. And He said unto me, take it and eat it; and it shall make your belly bitter, but in your mouth it shall be as sweet as honey.”

“And I took the Little Book out of the Angels hand and ate it. And in my mouth it was as sweet as honey. But as soon as I had eaten it, it was bitter in my belly.”

“And the Angel said unto me, you must prophesy (preach) again before many people and nations and languages and Kings.”

 

Here in chapters ten and eleven is the space between the 6th and the 7th Trumpet where three Personalities are introduced to us. One of these is the mighty Angel with the ‘Little Book’, in the first 14 verses of Chapter #11 the other two will be introduced to us. As we have been shown this ‘Little Book’ is the book of the Seven Seals. This book was transferred from the hand of God the Father to God the Son to the Angel to John. This book is thought by many Bible scholars to be the deed, the title, to Earth. Their thoughts are centered around the ‘Mighty Angel’ who had one foot upon the dry Earth and the other upon the waters (Sea), thus claiming all things for God their Creator. I thought that these 11 verses were quite self-explanatory but I have been studying this material for 50 years now, if you are having trouble with the information please leave me a comment about your thoughts and I will get back to you as soon as I can, usually within 24 hours.

Revelation Chapter 7

 

To me, I would expect for the Seventh Chapter to be about the Seventh Seal upon the Book in the hand of Jesus Christ in Heaven. Oddly enough, this Seventh Seal will be discussed first thing in Chapter number eight, not here in #7. Chapter number seven is broken down into two parts. Verses 1-8 is dedicated to the ‘Sanctified’ 144 thousand of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. The second part of this chapter (verse 9 -17) is about the ascension of the Gentiles half way through the Great Tribulation.

 

It’s only 17 verses, it’s rather quick, do you understand what is going on here? Please take a moment to read this with me, then let us see what you think?

7:1-17 “And after these things (the opening of the 6th Seal and the events that followed) I saw 4 Angels standing on the four corners of the Earth, holding the 4 winds of the Earth, so that the wind would not blow on the Earth, nor on the Sea, nor on any tree.”

“And I saw another Angel ascending from the east, having the Seal of the Living God: And He cried with a loud voice to the 4 Angels, to whom it was given to damage the Earth and the Sea.”

“Saying, do not hurt the Earth, neither the Sea nor the trees, until we have sealed the Servants of God in their foreheads.”

“And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed a hundred and forty-four thousand from all of the Tribes of the Children of Israel.”

At this point the Scriptures lay out exactly who this “special” 144,000 people are, they leave no doubt, no room for speculation. 12,000 virgin males from each of the 12 Tribes of Israel. This ‘special’ group of people are ones who will get to be in the constant presence of Jesus.

 

The second half of this chapter is about the “great multitude of gentiles.” For those of you who do not know the meaning of the word gentile, the closest definition that I know of would be, anyone who is not 100% Hebrew blood. Here in this article I am going hardcore fundamentals, so think about this please. From Adam to King David, a bloodline that did not step outside of the Twelve Tribes to ‘spread their seed’, not once! Today here in the States it would sound like coalfield inbreeding. Just think about the lineage and the timeline, Adam to David till now. We are talking 3,000 years just to get back to David. Think about this for a moment please, you are a person whose family bloodline hasn’t forked, ever, then your gene pool for which you can date/mate within is very narrow. So, some out of this group will decide to remain virgins each generation, maybe through faith, or maybe all your cousins are ugly. What I am getting at is, what is the chance that there are many ‘pure bloods’ left? So, if they are all gone now, what’s holding up Jesus from pulling that last Seal? If there are by chance some ‘pure blood’s from King David’s lineage’ just how long will it before there are none? How long until, time is up?

 

Now I would like to get back to the “Redeemed multitude of Gentiles” The Apostle John wrote “I beheld a great multitude, which no man could number, of all Nations, and Kindreds, and Peoples and Tongues, stood before the Throne, and before the Lamb, clothed in White Robes, with Palms in their hands.” The Apostle John wrote “And one of the Elders (one of the 24 that surround the Throne of God) said unto me, who are these who are arrayed in White Robes and where did they come from?”

 

“And I said to him, Sir, you know. And He said to me, these are they which came out of the Great Tribulation and have washed their Robes and have made them White in the Blood of the Lamb.”

 

“Therefore they are before the Throne of God and serve Him day and night in His Temple: and He that sits on the Throne shall be among them.”

 

“They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore. Neither shall the Sun light on them, nor any heat.”

 

“For the Lamb which is in the midst of the Throne will feed them and shall lead them to living fountains of waters: and God will wipe away the tears from their eyes.”

 

Please consider this comment from the Apostle Paul who wrote in First Corinthians 10: 32 “give no offence, neither to the Jews, the Gentiles, nor to the Church of God.” In 12:13 Paul wrote “For by one Spirit we are Baptized into one Body, whether we are slaves, or free, we have all been made to drink into one Spirit.” Friends it is not of the Spirit of God to share space with a Demon of hate. If hate is part of us, we have allowed it to be, God says that we have brothers and sisters who are made up of every nation and of every tongue. So, who are we to kill a brother just because they have a different accent, skin color, or live in a different Country? If anyone of us is racists, they endanger their own Souls. For who are we to hate our own brother without a cause, how do we expect God to look us in the eye and say, good job you old bloke? It seems that there are some who still abide by God’s rules and not our own.

 

V: 9) The Elder told John…”The Holy Fathers children that stood Redeemed before His Throne were people of every nation and every tongue.” Just when is it that we humans got the hormones to say our racism out trumps the will of God our Creator? If God says yes to a subject matter who are we to stand up in the middle of a Heavenly Convention and go no, no, no, no, no. I don’t want to have to be seated by a ‘Hispanic’ or even worse, one of them European countries that talk funny, and of course we can’t have no Jews or no Arabs, or any of those weird white folks up around New York City. Honestly, folks those of you who feel like this are burning your own bridges and your own britches.

 

 

Revelation Chapter #5

 

Revelation Chapter #5

The time frame of chapter number five occurs right after the Rapture (the second advent/coming) of Christ. So, at this time “the Church” which is the “Bride of Christ” is in Heaven. This chapter is the start of the 7 year Tribulation period here on Earth. The Tribulation itself will be covered in chapters 6-18. This fifth chapter only has 14 verses in it, so, like chapter number four, it is quite short. In this chapter verses 1-4 we will discuss “The Book with the Seven Seals.” In verses 5-10 the subject matter is the Lord Jesus Christ (Yeshua) who is “the Lamb of God” who shed His blood to save us all. Also here Jesus is referred to as “the Lion of the Tribe of Juda.” In verses 11 and 12 we find where the Angels are singing songs of praise to the Lord Jesus (Yeshua). This chapter finishes off with the last two verses with all the Creatures in Heaven and Earth giving praise to the Saviour who lives for ever and ever.

Now, if you would, please get out a Bible if you happen to have one and follow along with me on these 14 verses. “And I (the Apostle John) saw in the right hand of Him that sat upon the Throne a book written within and on it’s back side which was sealed with Seven Seals.”

“And I saw a strong Angel proclaiming with a loud voice, who is worthy to open the Book and to undo the Seals there of?”

“And no man in Heaven nor in Earth, neither under the Earth, was able to open the Book, nor to look thereon.”

“And I wept bitterly because no man was found worthy to open and to read the Book, nor to look upon it.”

“And one of the Elders (one of the 24 with the Golden Crowns) said to me , weep not: behold, the Lion of the Tribe of Juda, the Root of David, has overcome and can open the Book and is able to undo the Seven Seals thereof.”

“And I beheld, and lo, in the midst of the Throne and of the four Beasts and in the midst of the Elders, stood a Lamb as if it had been slain having seven Horns and seven Eyes, which are the Seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the Earth.” (The seven Spirits are the seven Archangels of God who normally surround the Throne of God in Heaven.)

“And He came and took the Book out of the right hand of Him that sat upon the Throne.”

“And when He had taken the Book, the four Beasts and the 24 Elders fell down before the Lamb, every one of them having harps and golden bowls full of incense which is the prayers of the Saints.”

“And they sang a new song saying, You are worthy to take the Book and to open the Seals thereof. For You were slain and have redeemed us to God by your blood out of every kindred and tongue, and people and Nation.”

“And You have made us unto our God, Kings and Priests, and we shall Reign on the Earth.”

“And I beheld and I heard the voice of many Angels round about the Throne and the Beasts and the Elders, and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands.”

“They were saying with a loud voice, worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessings.”

“And every Creature that was in Heaven and on the Earth and under the Earth and those that were in the Sea and all that are in them I heard saying, blessings and honor and glory and power, be unto Him that sits upon the Throne and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.”

“And the four Beasts said, Amen, and the 24 Elders fell down and worshiped Him that lives for ever and ever.”

Okay friends that is the 14 verses, even though this is a short chapter it does give us quite a bit of information. I am going to take a few moments to breakdown this information to try to help folks who are new to this Book to understand a little bit more of its meanings. The first thing that we must understand it that Jesus is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah and He is the ‘Lamb of God’ the Father (Yahweh). Jesus (Yeshua) is also the centerpiece of this chapter and of the whole Book of Revelation. In verses 1-4 the subject of discussion is the Book with the Seven Seals. This Book was in the hands of He who sat upon the Throne, this “He” is/was God the Father (Yahweh) and the only one that was worthy to unseal the Seven Seals and to be able to open the Book was the “Lamb of God” which was/is Jesus (Yeshua). Scripture does not say exactly what this Book is called though a lot of folks believe this is the “Book of Judgement.” There are also many folks, like myself, who believe that it is basically a “Title to or a Deed” to this world, remember, Jesus bought this World with His own blood, He owns it. If you would, please read in the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament chapter 7 verses 13 & 14, this should help clarify what I am speaking of.

In verse 7 Jesus came and took this Book out of the hand of the Father. In verse 8 Jesus had this book in His hand and the 4 Beasts and the 24 Elders fell down before Him and worshiped Him. There is something else in verse 8 that needs to be clarified and that is about the Bowls of Incense that each of the Elders had and we are told that these contained the prayers of the Saints. Saints are simply the people who are true believers and followers of Christ. Before the Tribulation Jesus was/is the Intercessor (the go between) for the faithful to “The Father” but at that time the Church is in Heaven so Jesus transforms to the role of Judge. This is an event as this is when the Tribulation phase begins.

I would like us all to take a close look at chapter 5 verse 9. When Jesus was killed He redeemed all of us to the Holy Father by His own blood. If Jesus had not done this we would all just be the walking dead, spiritually speaking. If the Jews of Jerusalem had not had Jesus killed, the only ones who would have been able to be saved would have been the Jewish people with 100% Hebrew blood. Because God the Father hardened the hearts of the people so that they would do this horrible thing, all people, all of us today, can be saved from the eternal fires of Hell. This verse and this chapter tell us that if you are a racist who believes that only one skin color or one nationality is going to be saved and that all the ‘other people’ are going to Hell, you need to wake up and read the Scriptures because what you are saying is contrary to the teachings of God. What part of this message is beyond your ability to understand? The blood of Jesus redeemed people of “every kindred, of all people, of all languages from every nation.” Folks, there is no one skin color that is ‘privileged’ above another!

In verse number 10 it reads “and He (Jesus) has made us to be unto God Kings and Priests.” Please also note the final sentence. “We shall reign upon the Earth.” Many people (I believe, through their ego’s) believe that this sentence is speaking to everyone who is faithful to the end of their lives to Christ. I do not believe this, think about it, this idea would create a situation where the Earth would be full of Chiefs, with no Indians. I believe that this statement was to these 24 Elders. A lot of Scriptures are misunderstood because people do not take into account the situations of who is talking to whom about what, and what the issue at the time of the conversations. Way too often people want to take Scriptures out of their context so that it will apply directly to themselves when the conversation was much more narrow in its context. The last sentence in this verse the “We shall reign upon the Earth” throws a lot off of their personal train track because they have been being taught in their Churches that  we “God’s Saints” will live forever in Heaven with Christ Jesus. The Scriptures do not teach that! The Scriptures teach plainly that Jesus will rule on the Earth from the new Jerusalem that will come down out of Heaven, remember, the Earth is God’s footstool! The Earth is where God/Jesus will create a new Earth and this will be His Kingdom.

In verses 11 and 12 John simply tells of the many thousands of Angels who were worshiping  singing praise to the Lamb of God (the Christ, Jesus). John simply was telling us that there were to many Angels for him to count. In the last two verses 13 & 14 John speaks of all the Creatures in Heaven and on Earth and those under the Earth whom were also singing praise to the Lamb of God who “lives for ever and ever.” Folks, I hope that this breakdown was helpful to you in your understanding of this chapter. Hopefully I will be able to get chapter #6 written out and broken down for you within the next couple of days. Until then, God’s peace and love to you and your’s. Shalom

Revelation Chapter #4

 

Revelation Chapter #4

Chapter #4 only has 11 verses in it. These 11 verses break down into three different sections, or categories. Verses one through three is about the Throne of God in Heaven. Verses four and five are about the 24 Elders that are around the Throne of God. Then verses six through eleven are about the four Creatures that are at the Throne of God. Remember, the person that is writing this material to us is the Apostle John the things he is being shown are via an Angel of God. I have been debating whether to type out these eleven verses or to just explain their meanings to folks but I have decided to type them out for you because I realize that there are some people who may be reading this who do not have access to a Bible, I realize that there are some places here on this planet where it is actually dangerous to be in possession of a Bible so for these reasons I will take the time to type these 11 verses out.

Starting with 4:1 “After this I looked and beheld a door opened in Heaven. And the first voice which I heard was as if it were a trumpet talking with me, which said, come up here and I will show you things which will be in the future.” “Then immediately I was in the Spirit and beheld a Throne which was set in Heaven and one sat on the Throne.” “He that sat on the Throne was like looking upon a jasper and a sardine stone. And there was a rainbow round about the Throne, the color was like looking onto and emerald.”

“Round about the Throne were four and twenty seats. Upon the seats I saw 24 Elders sitting. They were clothed in white raiment and upon their heads were crowns of gold.”

“Then out of the Throne proceeded lightning and thundering and voices. There were seven lamps of fire burning before the Throne, which are the Seven Spirits of God.”

“Before the Throne there was a sea of glass which was like unto crystal. In the midst of the Throne and round about the Throne were four Beasts full of eyes in front and behind.”

“The first Beast was like a Lion, the second Beast was like a Calf, the third Beast had the face of a Man, the fourth Beast was like a flying Eagle.”

“Each of the four Beasts had six wings about him, each of them were full of eyes within and they did not rest day of night. And they were saying Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, which is, and is to come.”

“And then the Beasts gave glory and honor and thanks to Him that sat on the Throne, who lives for ever and ever and ever.”

“And then the 24 Elders fell down before Him that sat on the Throne and worshiped Him that lives forever and ever, and they cast down their crowns before the Throne, saying thou art worthy O Lord to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and for Your pleasure they are and were created.”

Well folks, that is the 11 verses, now I will do my best to explain a few things within those verses to hopefully make them easier for some folks to understand. What John was shown was an actual open door into Heaven unlike with Jacob when he witnessed a stairway to Heaven (Bethel). Now Jacob did not go up to Heaven yet John was called up to Heaven. But notice, John was called up ‘in the Spirit’, the reason is simple, there is no flesh in Heaven, God, His Angels and all who are in Heaven are Spirits, flesh is unclean and will never be allowed in Heaven.

The Book of Revelation was written in the Greek language, in verse number one it starts off with the words ‘after this’, in the Greek it is written “meta tauta” this is written at the beginning of the verse and at the end of this verse. The meta tauta that John was speaking of was ‘after the Rapture’. The Rapture is the event where Christ comes back to Earth with His Angels. At that time the dead in Christ will rise first then those who are still alive that are and have remained faithful to Him will depart this Earth in the twinkling (blink) of the eye to be with Jesus. In the English Bible you will not find the word ‘rapture’, but then again, the Bible was not written in the English language 1,900 or so odd years ago, it was written in the Greek language. Disclaimer here, the New Testament was written in Greek, the Old Testament was written in Hebrew. Now back to the Greek, instead of the word rapture the Greek word was Harpazo which defines as  “caught up, raptured, or snatched up.” Well folks, I hope that this chapter was easy enough for everyone to understand, if you have any questions, go ahead and ask them. I will always do my best to answer them as simplistically as possible. I hope that everyone was able to have a good and a safe Christmas and for our Jewish friends I hope you had a great Hanukkah, good night, God bless.

The Book Of Revelation: Chapter #3

 

Revelation Chapter #3

Today in this article I would like to discuss the third chapter of the Book of Revelation, to discuss the words written so that we can understand their meanings. Chapter #3 is a lot like chapter #2 was in that it is directed at three particular Churches back at the end of the first century A.D.. In the last chapter of this Book, #22 in verse #10 the Lord told the Apostle John “Do not seal the sayings of the Prophecy’s of this book: for the time is at hand.” There are those who teach in today’s Churches that this Book is not meant to be understood, that it is just a bunch of signs and symbols. I grew up in a Church which taught this, yet such a belief is contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ who dictated the contents of this Book to the Apostle John. Some of the teachings within this Book do go contrary to the teachings of the Church I grew up in, I wondered even back then if this is the reason they wanted to keep this a ‘closed’ book. This Book is like all books in the sense that you must slowly read it if you are to have any hope of understanding it. Yet, at least in my own personal opinion, I believe that a person needs to read all of the other 65 Books of the Bible first before you can grasp the understanding of some of the issues written here in the Bibles last Book. The Book of Revelation has 404 verses in it, of those 404 verses 278 contain references to the Old Testament. True understanding of the Scriptures of God are given to people through the eyes and heart of the Holy Spirit. If a person reads God’s Scriptures through ‘the eyes of the flesh’ there is very little chance that the person will understand what the Holy Spirit is actually saying.

After this third chapter ‘the Church’ will not be mentioned anymore here in this Book, the reason is that after this time ‘The Church” will no longer be here on the Earth, it will be in Heaven. Now I would like to get into these last three Churches of the seven the Lord was addressing in chapter number two, then we will be done talking about these seven Churches. These three Churches that this chapter are revolved around were located in Asia-Minor, they were located in Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. Sardis is located in modern-day Greece, the other two are in modern-day Turkey. First let’s look at what The Lord had to say to the Church in Sardis. The Lord told John “To the Angel of the Church in Sardis write; these things saith He that has the Seven Spirits of God and the Seven Stars. I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are really dead.” “Be watchful and strengthen the things you still have that are about to die. For I have not found your works complete before God.” “Remember therefore how that you received and heard, hold fast to that, and repent. For if you do not pay attention, I will come unto you as a thief, and you shall not know what hour I come unto you.” “There are a few among you even there in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in White: for they are worthy.” “He that overcomes this world shall be clothed in White Raiment; and I will not blot out their name out of the Book of Life, but I will confess his name before My Father and before His Angels.” “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the Churches.”

Friends there is no great mystery what The Lord is saying to the people at the Church in Sardis, nor in what He is telling us. The Lord in this letter is pointing out these folks good and their bad points. On the things that they are doing that are good and pleasing to Him, He tells them to continue in these ways. Yet on the things they are doing which are displeasing to Him, He tells them to stop doing those things, to correct their ways. Now here is the ‘kicker’ to those who believe in the fallacy of “once saved always saved.” Chapter three verse number five where The Lord said “and I will not blot out their name out of the Book of Life.” After we die and go before God at our judgement our names must be in ‘The Book of Life”, or we will be cast into Hell at that time. This verse makes it rather plain that one’s name can be removed from this Book. Please do not fall for the Demonic teaching of once saved always saved, it simply is not true, that teaching is not the teaching of God.

Let’s move onto the second Church, the one in Philadelphia that is in modern-day Turkey. The Lord said “To the Angel of the Church in Philadelphia write; these things says He that is Holy, He that is True, He that has the Key of David. He that opens and no man can shut, He that shuts and no man can open.” “I know your works: behold, I have set before you an open door, and no man can shut it. For you have a little power and have obeyed My Word and you have not denied My Name.” “Behold, I will make them of the Synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews and are not, for they do lie. Behold I will make them come and worship before your feet, then they will realize that I have loved you.” “Because you have kept the word of my patients, I will also keep you from the hour of temptation, which shall which shall come upon the whole world. To try them which dwell upon the Earth.” “Behold, I shall come quickly. Hold fast to that which you have so that no man can take your Crown.” “To he that overcomes I will make him a Pillar in the Temple of God. He shall no more go out, and I shall write upon him the name of God, and the name of the City of God which is the New Jerusalem which shall come down out of Heaven from God and I will write upon him My new name for him.” “He that has an ear let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the Churches.”

Philadelphia did not receive the rebuke that almost all of the other Churches received because God was pleased with the work that they were doing. Philadelphia was a Church that wasn’t just attending  a once a week service then sitting on their hands the rest of the week doing nothing to help save those that were living their lives around them, they were getting God’s Word out, outside of the Church walls. Yet if you will notice The Lord did warn them about becoming lazy, complacent in their work for Him. Just as with the other Churches we are shown the fact that we can ‘lose’ our Crown if we are not careful. Remember God’s teachings, there is no such thing as once saved always saved!

Now let’s go onto the seventh of the Seven Churches on the Lord’s list here at the beginning of the Book of Revelation, this last Church is the one that was at Laodicea. “To the Angel of the Church in Laodicea write; these things saith the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the beginning of the Creation of God. “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot: I wish that you were one or the other.” “So then because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.” “Because you say you are rich, and increased in goods, and have need of nothing, you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.” “I advise you to buy from Me gold that is tried in the fire so that you may be rich and clothed in White Raiment so that you may be clothed so that the shame of your nakedness does not appear, and anoint your eyes with eye salve so that you might see.” “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefor and repent.” “Behold I stand at the door and knock, if any man hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will eat with him and he with Me.” “To him that overcomes this world I will grant him to sit with Me in My Throne, even as I also overcame and have sat down with My Father in His Throne.” “He that has an ear let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the Churches.”

My friends, is there really anything that is written in this letter that is too difficult to understand? The Church at Laodicea had become large and filled with people who were wealthy and they felt safe in their size and their wealth. You know, if there was no such thing as a ‘God’, if all that humans did was live and die and then, there was nothing, this loving the dollar thing might actually be of some value. But, there is a God, and that God is not a person’s bank account. Even if we are a person who goes to Church every week and call ourselves a Christian, if we do not do ‘the works’ of Jesus, we are nothing but lukewarm water. ‘Christians’ who live their lives like this are really nothing but dead men/women walking and they are to blind and self-absorbed to know that they are walking on a plank above an active volcano. These Churches are teaching what I call “feel good religion.” To many Churches here in America have become businesses first, if Preachers teaches things that are uncomfortable to the people sitting in the pews many of those people will quit going to that Church and when this happens the money they were putting in the ‘offering plate’ leaves with them. To many Churches ‘Leaders’ are afraid to teach messages that are uncomfortable to ‘the flock’ for this reason. I have a question for every one of us, which do we fear more, a reduction in our income, or the wrath of God? The Lord’s Church (His Bride) must be a House of Worship and a House of Prayer first for it to be a God-fearing and God-loving Church/Bride.

I am going to close this article tonight with the words that are inscribed on the wall of a Church in Lübeck Germany. It is only 13 sentences but I think it is an excellent way to close this article tonight. My question to you is, what do you think of them?

Thus Speaks Christ our Lord to us:

You call Me Master, but you do not obey Me.

You call Me Light, but you do not see Me.

You call Me The Way, but you do not walk with Me.

You call Me Life, but you do not choose Me.

You call Me Wise, but you do not follow Me.

You call Me Fair, but you do not love Me.

You call Me Rich, but you do not ask of Me.

You call Me Eternal, but you do not seek Me.

You call Me Noble, but you do not serve Me.

You call Me Gracious, but you do not trust Me.

You call Me Mighty, but you do not honor Me.

You call Me Just, but you do not fear Me.

If I condemn you, do not blame Me!

Lukewarm Christians turn away would be Christians by how they live their lives. When we say we are Christians but we walk after the ways of the Devil these would be Christians see this and they turn away from Christianity. These lukewarm actions cost more than just your own Soul to be condemned, it costs the Souls of those around us who see our ‘works’ and flee from the teachings of God because of our evil ways.

Bible: Revelation Chapter #2

 

Revelation Chapter #2

Chapter #2 is all about the message the Lord Jesus gave to his Apostle John about seven of the Churches that were in Asia-Minor at that time. There were many Churches at that time but God chose these seven in which to give direct messages to. This chapter touches on all seven of the Church’s but it concentrates mostly on just four of them, the other three will be covered more in chapter #3. One thing that all people need to understand is that ‘The Church’ is the ‘Bride of Christ’ that He will be coming back to get. Like any ‘Bride’ the Groom wants His Bride to be as pure and faithful as possible, the ‘Church’ for Jesus is no different. In the first three chapters of the Book of Revelation the Church is mentioned 19 times yet in chapters 4 through 20 the Church is not mentioned at all. The reason for this is that after chapter #3 the Church leaves this physical Earth. Chapters 4-20 covers issues of what is yet to be. Jesus in His messages to these seven Churches were direct in their meanings and in their messages to these late first century Churches. O, by the way, if you are able to afford the trip, the ruins of these seven Churches still exist today if you wish to go check them out.

With how the Lord addressed each of these Churches it gives us a snapshot of the condition of each of their congregations at the time. All Churches are made up of human beings and just like human beings each Church then and today, have their own personalities, their own little quirks about them. This is one huge reason why it is so important for a Church to have Holy Spirit led Leaders within the Church family. If the head is a snake it will poison the body and consume all that was good about it. This is true of a family, a business, a Country, or of a Church. First I would like to discuss the Church that was at Philadelphia. The Lord was addressing this one Church yet it is obvious that He was addressing not just the Church at Philadelphia, He was addressing these other six Churches as well. What was also obvious is that He was addressing every Church Congregation every where, then and now. Remember, every Congregation just like any other family is made up of individuals, so the Lord was also talking directly to me, and to you. You see, all Churches must be in lockstep with each other in that there is only one Lord, one God, one Church (Bride), and one Head of The Church (one Groom) and that is Jesus The Christ who bought us with His own blood. If you will notice, there are seven addresses given to these seven Churches and within them is given the seven periods of the Church’s history. For those who are unaware of it ‘The Church’ began on the Day of Pentecost after the Lord had risen and ascended back to His Throne in Heaven. This day is when ‘The Kingdom, The Comforter’ which was the Holy Spirit was given to the twelve Apostles of Christ.

The Lord starts off His address to each of the Churches with the saying “I know your works”. With most of the Churches He congratulates the Congregation and then gives a condemnation to them. Yet, for two of the Congregations He did not give a condemnation, these two Churches were the ones at Philadelphia and Smyrna. The reasons for this are rather simple, Philadelphia was a missionary Church and Smyrna was a martyr Church as both of these Churches were effectively getting out the Word of God in their areas. Another thing to notice is the fact that He gave no congratulation to the Congregation at Laodicea, He only gave them a condemnation. The reason for this is that this Church, this Congregation had fallen away from the teachings of God that it had been founded upon. Each of the seven messages to the seven Churches all ended with the same warning “He that has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says.”

Within chapter #2 you will find the Lord’s messages to the first four Churches. In verses (1-7) you find the Lord’s message to the Church that was at Ephesus, in verses (8-11) this message is to the Church at Smyrna, in verses (12-17) the message is to the Church at Pergamos. The last of this chapter is to the Church at Thyatira, verses (18-29). The Lord’s messages to the other three Churches, Philadelphia, Sardis, and Laodicea, you will find in Chapter #3. If you would, please consider the Lord’s four messages to these first four Churches. Now remember, these messages are to the Apostle John at the direction of The Lord Jesus. “Unto the Angel of the Church of Ephesus write these things that the Lord has to say to them.” ” I know your works and your labor and your patience. I know how you can not tolerate them which are evil, and how you have tested them which say they are Apostles and are not, and you have found them to be liars. also how you have borne burdens and have been persistent, and for my Name sake you have labored and have not become weak. Never the less I have something against you, because you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen and repent and practice your first works, or else I will come unto you quickly and will remove your candlestick out of its place, unless you repent. But there is one thing which you hate, that is the deeds of make-believe Christians, which I also hate. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the Churches. To him that overcomes this world I will give to eat of the Tree of Life which is in the midst of the presence of God.” You see my friends, there is such a thing as falling away from the truth of God, and there is no such thing as ‘once saved always saved.”

Now the message from Jesus to the Church at Smyrna. “To the Angel of the Church in Smyrna write; these things the Lord has to say to you, He which is the first and the last, which was dead and is alive.” “I know your works and your tribulation (time of great affliction) and your poverty (but you are rich). I know the blasphemy of those which say they are Jews and are not. But are of the Synagogue of Satan. Fear none of those things which you shall suffer. Behold, the Devil will cast some of you into prison that you may be tested and you shall have tribulation. But if you are faithful until death I will give you a Crown of Life. “He that has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says unto the Churches, he that overcomes shall not be hurt of the second death.” Again my friends, the Lord says plainly that we must remain faithful unto death. These ‘Churches’ of today who are not teaching this, are not teaching the message that God Himself has given to all of us, they are not, teaching God’s word!

Now let’s study the message that God gave to the Church that was at Pergamos. “To the Angel of the Church in Pergamos write, these things says He which has the sharp sword with two edges. I know your works and where you live, I even know where Satan’s seat is. I know that you hold fast to My name, and that you have not abandoned My faith, even in those days when Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwells. But I have a few things against you. Because among you there are those that hold to the doctrine of Balaam who taught Balac to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel. To eat things which had been sacrificed to idols and to commit fornication. You also have among you those that follow the teachings of make-believe Christians which is something I hate. Repent, or else I will come unto you quickly and will fight against you with the sword of My mouth. He that has an ear let him hear what the Spirit has to say to the Churches. To him that overcomes this world I will give them to eat of the hidden manna, and will give them a White Stone. And in the Stone a new Name written. Which no man will recognize except for he that receives it.” My friends, again and again, we must remain faithful through our deaths. Also, in these verses we are being told very plainly that it does matter what the Churches, the Preachers, are teaching the Congregation. It is very important for the people to know exactly what “The Truth” is and the best way to do this is to separate out a little bit of our day each day to study the Bible and for prayer. It is also the absolute duty of the Congregation to insist that the Church Leadership is teaching the true messages of God to the Congregation, it does matter what is being taught from the pulpit.

I am going to finish off this article tonight with the message that the Lord gave to the Church at Thyatira. “Unto the Angel of the Church at Thyatira write. These things says the Son of God who has His eyes like unto a flame of fire and His feet are like fine brass. I know your works and charity and service and faith and your patience. But I still have a few things against you because you allow that woman Jezebel, which calls herself a Prophetess, to teach and to mislead my Servants to commit fornication and to eat things which have been sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent of her fornication but she did not repent. Behold, I will cast her into a bed and those that promote pagan religious ideas with her into great troubles, unless they repent of their deeds. I will kill her offspring with death and all the Churches will realize that I am He which judges the wills and the hearts. And I will give unto everyone according to your works (deeds). But unto you I say and unto the rest in Thyatira and for those who do not practice pagan doctrine and have not experienced the depths of Satan as they speak; I will put upon you no other burden. But the faith and doctrine which you already have, hold firmly until I come. He that overcomes and maintains my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the Nations. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the Churches.”

As you can easily see The Lord has many things to say to the Churches then and to the Churches now. Just as The Lord had a lot to say to the individuals then, He said a lot to each of us now. The Lord has made it so very plain that we must all remain faithful unto our own death, a Church or a person that teaches otherwise is not teaching the Word nor the Will of God. Anyone who teaches something so ridiculous as you can sprinkle a little water on an infant and that this baby, this person is now saved is just that, ridiculous. Think about this for a moment please, Hitler’s Mom was a Catholic, so there is a real good chance that Hitler was “saved” as an infant. So, then he grew up to be the monster that he was, but that was okay for him, he was still saved. Really folks? We are not saved by our works, our deeds, it is the Grace of God we are saved by. But God has laid down His “to do list” for all of us. We must walk after the heart and the face of The Lord everyday of our lives. He knows we will all have days that we will stumble but God knows each of our hearts, He will judge us by that, the condition of our hearts and our efforts. Okay, that is all for this evening, I hope this breakdown was of some help to you. Hopefully I will be able to get to chapter #3 tomorrow. For now, good night and God bless.

Understanding The Book Of Revelation: Chapter #1

Revelation Chapter #1

The Book of Revelation is the Book that explains the end! The end? Yes, this Book explains the end of the Earth as we all know it, and it explains the end of the human race here on this planet as we know it. Revelation is a Book of prophesy about how our world will end. This Book, this Letter, was written by the Apostle John who was a Roman prisoner on the Isle of Patmos in the eastern Mediterranean in approximately the year 95 A.D.. This Book is the Revelation of the Son of God the Father Jehovah, our Lord Jesus the Christ. The material came from an Angel of Jesus Christ at the direction of Jesus and Jesus is the main character within its pages.

The style of the writing, the consistency show quite well that this Book was written by one person. John received this Apocalyptic information through direct words, signs and visions. Some folks wish to argue that this is not the writing of John the Apostle because the writing style is different from the other four Books that he wrote in the New Testament. This argument is (in my opinion, silly) the reason I say this is that John was a prisoner on a small island so it is quite logical that he did not have a Scribe to take down his words to write it for him. Like the other New Testament Books Revelation was written in the Greek Language which would not have been John’s first language, and with no Scribe, his Greek was not as fluid as in his other Books. Some people try to discredit this Book out of ignorance or the hate of Christianity or of God in general, there are also those who are simply Demonically evil who do not want us humans to understand God’s warnings to us. Friends, remember that the Demons, including Satan Himself have already been judged and they know that when this system is completed, they will be cast straightway into the fires of Hell and they want every single one of us humans to be there with them, for them to torture for ever and ever. Of all of the Books in the Bible this is the one Book that the Devil and His followers hate the most. Think about this for a moment, Revelation is like the last script of a movie or a play, if you want to find out how the play ends, read ‘The Ending.’ Folks, the ‘Ending’ is laid out for all of us humans in this Book. Friends, for any human who is not a follower of and a person who puts their faith and love in Jesus Christ, our ‘second death’ is shown to us quite plainly in this Book. The end of times here on this planet are going to be horrific for those who are non believers, I pray that you will not be one of them.

This Book is the Revelation that God the Father gave to His Son who was/is ‘The Christ’ for an Angel to give to the servants of Jesus Christ so that His servants would know the things that will come to pass here on the Earth. This Angel of God gave this information to the last surviving Apostle, John, for John to circulate amongst the Church. To John’s credit he did bear witness as he was instructed to do. As instructed John wrote this ‘Letter’ to the seven Churches of Asia-minor (modern-day Turkey). Jesus is spoken of as He which was, He which is, and He which is to come. You see, Jesus is the faithful witness of His Father that no human has ever seen (His Face). Friends, Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice whose blood washed away the sins of the human race making it possible for us to be clean in the presence of God. For a moment please think about verse number seven, “behold Jesus will come in the clouds and every eye shall see Him, they also which pierced Him, all the people’s of the Earth shall wail because of Him.” At the Second Advent of Jesus think how horrible a sight it will be for all the people of the Earth who have turned their back on Him. Think how horrific this event will be to those who spat on, whipped and mocked Him, and how much more so for those who drove the nails into Him. Jesus will be returning with His Holy Angels in the clouds and everyone will see Him, and every knee will bow before Him.

John was in prayer and meditation when he heard a great voice behind him say, v:3 “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” (v:11) “I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, what you are seeing write in a book and send it to the Churches which are in Asia. Unto Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and to Laodicea.” Now, if you would, place yourself in John’s spot. When John turned around to see whose voice it was that was speaking to him, he saw seven Golden Candlesticks. In the midst of the seven Golden Candlesticks stood a man who looked a lot like Jesus. The man was clothed down to his feet and wrapped around his waist was a Golden Girdle. His head and His hair were white like wool which was as white as snow. His eyes were like the flame of a fire. His feet were like that of a fine Brass as it glowed in a furnace. His voice was like unto the sound of many waters.

The Lord had in His right hand Seven Stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword. The Lord’s appearance was like unto the shining of the Sun in its strength. When John saw Him he fell at His feet as if he were dead. Now I admit that I also love the Lord with all my heart, mind and Soul but I think that there is a good chance that my heart would have stopped if I had turned and seen this site myself. Now let’s get back to the Scriptures starting with verse #17. At this time the Lord put His right hand upon John and said to him “Fear not, I am the First and the Last, I am He that lives and was dead. Behold I am alive forever more and I have the keys to Hell and to death.” “Write the things which you have seen, the things which are and the things which shall be hereafter.”  (v-20) “The mystery of the seven Stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven Golden Candlesticks. The seven Stars are the seven Angels of the seven Churches: and the seven candlesticks which you saw are the seven Churches.”

This completes the first chapter of this fascinating book of Prophecy. This first chapter simply lays the foundation for the rest of this really interesting story on the events that are here now, and that are coming for everyone who calls Earth their home.  Chapter number two is the messages that God has for those seven Churches in Asia-minor. Yet, don’t be fooled, the messages God has for those Churches, those people, are also directed at all Churches and all people. There are 22 chapters in this last Book of the Bible and each chapter has eternity shaking messages for all of us human beings, I hope that you will join me as we go through these messages from our Creator, to all of us. Thank you for your time, I appreciate you very much.

Understanding The Biblical Book Of Revelation

 

The Book Of Revelation

Just as the first Book of the Bible (Genesis) is the book of the beginning of all things, the Book of Revelation (the last Book of the Bible) is a book about the end of all things. A term I have personally used quite a bit when explaining Biblical things about this “End” of all things here in Revelation is that what is being described is “the end of this current system” that we all live in. What we are shown in the Book of Revelation is the ‘fulfillment’ of God’s plan for you and I, us humans. Throughout the Bible, Old Testament and the New, there are many Books with Prophecies written within them. For me personally my favorite books of Prophecies that I really  like are the Books of the Prophets Isaiah, Daniel and Samuel in the Old Testament and the Gospel of John and the Book of Revelation in the New Testament. In case you have wondered about it, the title Revelation means “the unveiling or disclosure.” This Book was written by the Apostle John, the last of Christ’s Apostles and the only one that was not murdered for his teachings about Jesus. When this Book was written John was on the eastern Mediterranean island of Patmos, a rocky little island that the Romans sent nonviolent prisoners to, basically exiling these people there. The reason that this old man had been exiled there was because he would not quit preaching about Jesus. The New Testament was written in the Greek language and in the Greek the title of this Book is Apokalypis, the English translation is Apocalypse.

Revelation centers around many visions and symbols of God’s resurrected ‘Christ.’ Among the issues that are being explained to us is that only Christ has the authority to judge those who have lived upon the Earth and no one else. We are also shown that only He, through His righteousness  has the authority to remake the Earth and to Rule it for ever more. In chapter number one it is made plain to both the Apostle John and to us that it is the Lord that is giving these signs and wonders and information to John for all of us. In Chapter one verse number one it is stated that this Book is the Revelation of Jesus Christ and this is fitting being this Book came from Him and centers on Him. The Book begins with a vision of His Wisdom, His Glory, and of His Power. In chapters 2 and 3 this Book, this Letter, to us shows us that He and He alone has authority over all of the Church. For those of you whom do not know this, “The Church” is “The Bride” of Christ that He will be coming back from Heaven to Claim. In chapter one Jesus “calls out”  the names of seven of the larger Churches in Asia minor which is in current day Turkey. They are listed in a clockwise order as it was customary for important letters to be sent from one Congregation to the next, to the next in such a clockwise pattern. In Chapters number 2 and 3 The Lord spells out His issues with each one of these Congregations, He points out things that they are doing wrong and that they need to correct or they will be destroyed. This circular message is to the Congregations of God then, and to all of us now. The Lord is spelling out flaws in the Congregations that must be stopped.

When we get to chapter #5 Jesus is shown as the Lamb of God that was slain and is now alive and is worthy to open the ‘Book of Judgement.’ In chapters 6-18 we are shown how The Lord will pour out His Wrath upon the whole Earth for the sins that have filled the Earth. Chapters 19-20 explains to us that Jesus The Christ will return to the Earth in His Power and His Glory to judge His enemies and that He will destroy and condemn them. In the last two chapters #21 & 22, The Lord spells it out that He will come down from Heaven and Reign forever from the “New Jerusalem” which will come down to Earth from Heaven. This “New Jerusalem” will be located where the current day Jerusalem sits. In case you are wondering, when this is done there will be no current day Jerusalem, as Jesus told His Apostles in the 22nd chapter of Matthew, “there will not be one stone here left upon another.” Remember the surface of the Earth is going to be cleansed “melted” with a fervent heat, all the works of man, will be no more.

In this Book it is very obvious that it was written with a flavor of the conflict between the first century Church and the Roman government power of the time. It is also obvious that in the bulk of the Book/Letter, in chapters 4 through 22, that it is a Holy Spirit Inspired look into the events that will come before the Second Advent of Christ. This “Tribulation Period” spoken of is two sets of 42 months, or 84 months total which equals to 7 years. I plan on writing an article on all 22 chapters individually, this is why I have not gotten into more details about the different information contained within each chapter. This article today is meant as an overview if you will of the things I intend to spell out in the upcoming letters to you. For now I am going to close with a quote from Chapter 21 verses 3 & 4. “And I heard a great voice out of Heaven saying, Behold the Tabernacle of God is with men, and He shall dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be with them, and be their God”.—“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be anymore pain: for the former things are passed away.”

Bill Gates on dangers of artificial intelligence: ‘I don’t understand why some people are not concerned’

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON POST)

Bill Gates on dangers of artificial intelligence: ‘I don’t understand why some people are not concerned’

 (THE END OF THE HUMAN RACE?)
January 29, 2015

Bill Gates is a passionate technology advocate (big surprise), but his predictions about the future of computing aren’t uniformly positive.

During a wide-ranging Reddit “Ask me Anything” session — one that touched upon everything from his biggest regrets to his favorite spread to lather on bread — the Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist outlined a future that is equal parts promising and ominous.

Midway through the discussion on Wednesday, Gates was asked what personal computing will look like in 2045. Gates responded by asserting that the next 30 years will be a time of rapid progress.

“Even in the next 10 problems like vision and speech understanding and translation will be very good,” he wrote. “Mechanical robot tasks like picking fruit or moving a hospital patient will be solved. Once computers/robots get to a level of capability where seeing and moving is easy for them then they will be used very extensively.”

He went on to highlight a Microsoft project known as the “Personal Agent,” which is being designed to help people manage their memory, attention and focus. “The idea that you have to find applications and pick them and they each are trying to tell you what is new is just not the efficient model – the agent will help solve this,” he said. “It will work across all your devices.”

The response from Reddit users was mixed, with some making light of Gates’s revelation (“Clippy 2.0?,” wrote one user) — and others sounding the alarm.

“This technology you are developing sounds at its essence like the centralization of knowledge intake,” a Redditor wrote. “Ergo, whomever controls this will control what information people make their own. Even today, we see the daily consequences of people who live in an environment that essentially tunnel-visions their knowledge.”

Shortly after, Gates was asked how much of an existential threat superintelligent machines pose to humans.

The question has been at the forefront of several recent discussions among prominent futurists. Last month, theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking said artificial intelligence “could spell the end of the human race.”

[Why the world’s most intelligent people shouldn’t be so afraid of artificial intelligence]

Speaking at the MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics department’s Centennial Symposium in October, Tesla boss Elon Musk referred to artificial intelligence as “summoning the demon.”

I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I were to guess like what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that. So we need to be very careful with the artificial intelligence. Increasingly scientists think there should be some regulatory oversight maybe at the national and international level, just to make sure that we don’t do something very foolish. With artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon. In all those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram and the holy water, it’s like yeah he’s sure he can control the demon. Didn’t work out.

British inventor Clive Sinclair has said he thinks artificial intelligence will doom mankind.

“Once you start to make machines that are rivaling and surpassing humans with intelligence, it’s going to be very difficult for us to survive,” he told the BBC. “It’s just an inevitability.”

After gushing about the immediate future of technology in his Reddit AMA, Gates aligned himself with the AI alarm-sounders.

“I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence,” Gates wrote. “First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don’t understand why some people are not concerned.”

Once he finished addressing the potential demise of humankind, Gates got back to answering more immediate, less serious questions, like revealing his favorite spread to put on bread.

“Butter? Peanut butter? Cheese spread?” he wrote. “Any of these.”

The Microsoft co-founder’s comments on AI came shortly after the managing director of Microsoft Research’s Redmond Lab said the doomsday declarations about the threat to human life are overblown.

“There have been concerns about the long-term prospect that we lose control of certain kinds of intelligences,” Eric Horvitz said, according to the BBC. “I fundamentally don’t think that’s going to happen. I think that we will be very proactive in terms of how we field AI systems, and that in the end we’ll be able to get incredible benefits from machine intelligence in all realms of life, from science to education to economics to daily life.”

Horvitz noted that “over a quarter of all attention and resources” at Microsoft Research are focused on artificial intelligence.

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Practical Daily Devotions for the Real World

Gracefully Undone

For there is an unlimited amount of grace given in every process.

Undefined

writings from heart,stories about souls

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