The Top 3 Prophetic News Headlines of 2019 :: By Britt Gillette

The number one sign of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is the convergence of all the signs He said to look for. Jesus said, “When you see all these things take place, look up! Your salvation draws near” (Luke 21:28). What are the things Jesus and the prophets said to look for? Israel back in the land (Jeremiah 23:7-8)… The Jewish people back in control of Jerusalem (Luke 21:24)… The Gospel being preached to the whole world (Matthew 24:14)… And more. Today, we see these signs. Because we do, we can be confident we live in the season of His return. But Jesus cited other signs too. So did the prophets. And we see those signs as well. As 2019 draws to a close, what were the biggest prophetic news stories? Below is a list of what I believe were the top three:

1) Syria: The U.S. Moves Out, While Turkey Moves In

In early October, the United States withdrew from northeastern Syria. A few days later, Turkey invaded. This continued an ongoing trend in Syria. It’s a trend that sets the stage for fulfillment of bible prophecy.

Ezekiel said an invading force of many nations will attack Israel in the last days. In Ezekiel 38-39, he describes this force as coming from the north of Israel, and he says a man named Gog will lead them (Ezekiel 38:2-6). Below are the nations involved, followed by their modern day names:

Rosh = Russia

Magog = Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan

Persia = Iran

Cush = Sudan

Put = Libya

Meshech, Tubal, Gomer, and Beth-togarmah = Turkey

If you’ve paid attention to the news, one thing from this list jumps out at you. The three most powerful nations – Russia, Iran, and Turkey – now reside in Syria. The decreased U.S. presence in Syria paves the way for further influence from these three nations. The leaders of Russia, Iran, and Turkey have met several times to coordinate their military forces. Over the past several years, their alliance has grown stronger, and their joint military forces are right on Israel’s border. And they’re not just on any border. They’re on Israel’s northern border. Why does this matter? Because Ezekiel said this invasion force will come from the north (Ezekiel 38:15; Ezekiel 39:2).

Today, we see the three most powerful nations in Gog’s invading force coordinating on Israel’s northern border. Never have these three nations been on Israel’s northern border at the same time. Never have they cooperated militarily. Until now. This sets the stage for the fulfillment of the Ezekiel 38-39 prophecies. This means eventually, Russia, Iran, Turkey, and the other nations in the Gog of Magog alliance will send an overwhelming invasion force against Israel (Ezekiel 38:8-9). The world will not come to Israel’s defense (Ezekiel 38:15-16). But God will. He’ll put His full power on display and supernaturally destroy Israel’s invaders (Ezekiel 38:18-23). The events of 2019 bring us closer to that day. Expect to see more and more events in Syria to align with Ezekiel’s account. Expect Russia, Turkey, and Iran to get closer. Expect other nations to join them. And expect Israel to become more isolated.

2) The Saudi Drone Attack

September 14, 2019 was a major milestone in the history of warfare. On that day, someone (thought to be Iran) launched a successful drone attack on two oil processing facilities in Saudi Arabia. At the time, almost five percent of the world’s daily oil consumption flowed through those two facilities. The news made headlines for a few days. Then, most people quickly forgot about it. But as we look back in the years to come, I think we’ll view that day as highly significant. Why? Because it was the first successful large-scale strike in the new era of drone warfare. Saudi Arabia invested millions to secure those facilities. In mere minutes, those defenses proved useless.

Unmanned drones have been used on the battlefield for years. But those drones were much larger, and they attacked as part of a larger military campaign. Because of the success of the September 2019 strike, expect to see more drone attacks. Expect to see smaller drones arriving in larger numbers. In the years to come, drones will get smaller. They’ll attack in sophisticated swarms piloted with artificial intelligence. Drone swarms are the future of warfare. They can inflict just as much damage as any conventional weapon, and because they’re unmanned, the attacking nation can deny any involvement. They’re less expensive to build and maintain than large standing armies. They don’t require large numbers of highly trained personnel. They can be controlled from a remote, secure location. They can be deployed anywhere in the world, often undetected. They can even evade radar. Because they blend into the environment, they can appear out of nowhere, surprising the enemy. They present a new threat, and most conventional armies are unprepared to defend against them. Drones magnify the military power of smaller nations. They close the gap between weaker nations and world superpowers.

The rise of drones is a turning point in modern warfare. Together with artificial intelligence, drones will overturn the post-war stability of MAD. Ultimately, this will lead to World War III and global domination by a single nation. This is exactly what the Bible says will happen in the end times. It says a global war (Revelation 6:4) will lead to a global empire (Revelation 13:7).

3) The Continued Popularity of Home Smart Devices

Another 2019 trend involved the continued popularity of home smart devices. In millions of homes throughout the world, Amazon, Google, and Apple are watching and listening. Popular devices such as Amazon’s Alexa products, Google Home devices, Facebook’s Portal, and Ring doorbells have placed cameras and listening devices in people’s homes.

Next time you go somewhere, take a moment to identify all the cameras around you. They’re everywhere, and they’ll only get more powerful. This isn’t surprising. Many people have long foreseen the rise of an intrusive government surveillance state. What hasn’t been foreseen is the willingness of so many people to aid in their own surveillance. Of their own free will, people have placed eavesdropping devices in their own homes, sometimes in their own bedrooms – allowing corporations, governments, and hackers to record their conversations and view their interactions.

Even if you avoid all these devices, you’ll find it hard to escape their watchful eye. Millions now have doorbell cameras recording everyone who comes and goes. Depending on their placement, these cameras are capable of recording everyone who comes and goes from every house in an entire neighborhood. In addition, other people can upload pictures of you on Facebook. Even if they don’t tag or identify you, Facebook often will. Through its facial recognition technology, it automatically tags people. Even if you don’t have Alexa or Siri devices, if you’re in the home of someone who does or within earshot of such a device, you’re at risk of being listened to and recorded. Do you trust all this personal and private information in the hands of a large corporation? What about your government? And what about foreign governments who will find it more than easy to hack into these devices?

As technology advances, devices like these will become smaller, cheaper, and far more powerful. Cameras and microphones will cover every square inch of the world. And ever more powerful forms of artificial intelligence will search those camera and audio feeds. What will they search for? They could search for you. A government in control of such a system will know everything you do and say.

In 2020, this trend will continue. These technologies will build the foundation for a totalitarian global government. The Bible says such a government will appear in the last days (Daniel 2:40). It will trample and devour the whole earth (Daniel 7:23). No one will be able to oppose it (Revelation 13:4), and it will have such total control over daily life, no one will be able to buy or sell anything without its permission (Revelation 13:7). The rise of the modern surveillance state is just the latest sign we’re approaching the fulfillment of these prophecies.

What to Look for in 2020

Hopefully, Jesus will return in the last few days of 2019. But whether He does or doesn’t, expect these same trends to continue in 2020. Look for increasing cooperation between Russia, Iran, and Turkey in Syria. Look for drones to become smaller, operate in larger numbers, and become more powerful. We may even see a Pearl Harbor-like event utilizing drone technology. Look for smart devices connected to the Internet to spread into even more homes. All of these things and more will probably mark 2020. This is why the #1 thing you should look for is the return of our Savior. As we enter the new year, all the signs tell us, “Jesus is coming!”

Britt Gillette is author of the free ebook Coming to Jesus as well as the books Signs of the Second Coming, Racing Toward Armageddon, and The End Times. Receive his book 7 Signs of the End Times for free when you sign up for his monthly newsletter.

 

Will Artificial Intelligence Rule the World? :: By Britt Gillette

In the Hollywood blockbuster The Terminator, humans create a powerful network of computers, an artificial general intelligence named Skynet. Skynet develops the ability to think for itself and decides to eliminate humans. War breaks out between humans and “the machines” – with an advanced artificial intelligence in control of the machines. Is this our future? Some say yes.

For example, speaking at MIT in 2014, Elon Musk called artificial intelligence our “biggest existential threat.” He also said “with artificial intelligence, we’re summoning the demon.” In the same year, Stephen Hawking told the BBC, “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race. It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever-increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superseded.”

Is all this true? Is artificial intelligence humanity’s greatest threat? No. In my mind, it isn’t. Artificial intelligence won’t destroy the human race. While it’s certainly possible, that doesn’t make it likely. No doubt, artificial intelligence will be extremely powerful. But what is greater? The creator or the created (Isaiah 45:9-10)? Stephen Hawking thinks it’s the created. He foresees a future where machines advance at an ever-increasing rate while humans are left behind. But I don’t think that will happen.

As humans, I don’t believe we’ll allow our own technology to surpass us. Our collective ego is too big. Our pride is too great. Instead, we’ll simply merge with artificial intelligence. Think about it. What’s more powerful? Artificial intelligence or humans augmented with artificial intelligence?

I argue it’s the latter.

Think it’s absurd to believe people will merge with technology? It’s not. In fact, it’s been happening for a long time. People already merge with technology to improve their health or natural abilities. Examples include pacemakers, artificial heart valves, cochlear implants, and prosthetic limbs. In the near future, people will continue to merge with technology. But the technologies they merge with will be far different. They’ll include devices to implant artificial intelligence in brains and connect humans to wireless networks. Artificial intelligence won’t be a threat to humanity, and the reason why is simple. Artificial intelligence and humanity will be one and the same.

Artificial Intelligence as a Tool

If artificial intelligence isn’t a threat to the human race, we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief, right? Not necessarily. Even if it doesn’t try to destroy the human race, the world won’t morph into a utopia anytime soon. In a way, the doomsayers are right. Artificial intelligence will conquer the world and dominate the human race. But it won’t do so alone. It will have help. Humans will use it to conquer the world. It’s inevitable. Why? Because the emergence of artificial intelligence and other advanced technologies will end the era of mutual assured destruction (MAD).

When MAD becomes obsolete, the threat of nuclear war will disappear forever. But this won’t lead to peace on earth. Why? Because a new threat will take the place of nuclear war. That new threat is an arms race between nations with post-MAD weapons. Such an arms race will be highly unstable – much more volatile than the nuclear arms race. When it erupts into war, it will destroy the entire planet. So while the threat of nuclear war will end, the threat of global destruction will not. In fact, the odds of global destruction will increase.

But such a war is not a certainty. As an example, consider this. What if Germany had been the first nation to develop the atomic bomb? Do you think Hitler would’ve used his advantage to conquer the Allied Forces and dominate the globe? On the other hand, the United States was the world’s first nuclear power. The United States could’ve used its advantage to prevent other nations from acquiring nuclear weapons. It could’ve used its position to create an impregnable world empire.

In a similar fashion, the first nation to develop artificial intelligence and post-MAD technologies will have the option to create its own global empire. With its first mover advantage, it could prevent other nations from developing such capabilities. The path would be clear to conquer every nation on earth.

In a post-MAD world, many people will recommend this path. They’ll see only two options:

1) An unstable arms race ending in global annihilation, or

2) Global government

Think I’m wrong? Vladimir Putin doesn’t. In September 2017, he said, “the one who becomes the leader in this sphere will be the ruler of the world” (emphasis mine). Putin was talking about artificial intelligence. He understands the stakes. He knows a race is on. It’s a race to create artificial intelligence and post-MAD technologies. The second-place nation gets nothing. The first-place nation gets the whole world. I’m sure Putin imagines he’ll win the race. But regardless of who wins, the nation that does will draw the same conclusion he did – global government is inevitable.

The Worship of Artificial Intelligence

The power of artificial intelligence and other advanced technologies will be enormous. As Putin said, those in possession of artificial intelligence will rule the world. The processing speed and knowledge base of artificial intelligence will be so great, it will seem all-knowing to most.

Linked to a global network of cameras and audio devices, those in control will seem all-knowing, all-seeing, and all-powerful. Made of non-biological materials and having already conquered the earth, artificial intelligence will also seem immortal. These are all characteristics typically used to describe God. So it should come as no surprise some people will seek to worship it. In fact, it’s already happening.

In 2015, a former Google and Uber engineer named Anthony Levandowski created a new church called “Way of the Future.” Its stated purpose is to create “a peaceful and respectful transition of who is in charge of the planet from people to people + ‘machines’.” Way of the Future church activities will focus on the worship of “a Godhead based on artificial intelligence developed through computer hardware and software.”

In March, a Buddhist Temple in Kyoto, Japan, made headlines all over the world. That month, they unveiled a sutra-chanting android named Mindar. The robot has a human-like silicon face and hands, and it’s pre-programmed to recite The Heart Sutra – a revered Buddhist text. Temple visitors can ask the robot questions, and using artificial intelligence, Mindar answers in Japanese while English and Chinese subtitles appear on a wall behind it. With built-in cameras, Mindar makes eye contact with questioners, creating the illusion it’s alive and interacting with people. It’s so life-like, people worship it. That’s right. You can see the video here. People are actively engaged in the worship of a robot idol.

Why It Matters

So why do I bring all this up? I bring it up because the speed with which AI will come to dominate our world will come as a shock to many people. A world ruled through artificial intelligence isn’t a futuristic dream. It’s an imminent event.

According to Ray Kurzweil, a computer will pass the Turing Test in 2029. This means a computer will develop the ability to exhibit intelligent behavior equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human. In that same year, Kurzweil estimates $1,000 worth of computing power will equal one human brain. This means a company such as Apple (which sits on a cash reserve of over $100 billion) could effectively “hire” 100 million “employees.” This is forty times as many employees as currently work at Wal-Mart, the world’s largest employer. But these “employees” will never go on vacation. They’ll never take smoke breaks. They’ll work 24/7, and they’ll never get tired. They’ll also become ever more productive as they re-design themselves to be faster and more efficient. Billions of humans deploying billions of super intelligent machines will create a world of profound and rapid change.

The world is fast approaching a time when global government is certain. It’s not a matter of if; it’s a matter of when. Without global government, a post-MAD arms race is certain. And such an arms race will destroy the world. So whether it’s for noble purposes or selfish reasons, the first nation to develop artificial intelligence and post-MAD weapons will gladly choose global empire over global destruction.

For those who read the Bible, this comes as no surprise. This is exactly what the Bible foretold centuries ago. Is this a coincidence? I don’t think so. We’re on the threshold of the end times. All the signs Jesus and the prophets said to look for are present.

The Jewish people are back in the land (Jeremiah 23:7-8) and back in Jerusalem (Luke 21:24-28).

The Gospel is being preached throughout the world (Matthew 24:14).

Travel and knowledge are rapidly increasing (Daniel 12:4).

And enemies surround Israel on every side (Psalm 83:4-12).

The coming arrival of artificial intelligence is just one more sign pointing to the soon return of Jesus. Why? Because the Bible says one man will come to dominate the globe (Revelation 13:7). He’ll be so powerful, no one will be able to oppose him (Revelation 13:4). He’ll control every aspect of global commerce (Revelation 13:17). The world will even worship him (Revelation 13:12-15).

For centuries, these events seemed impossible. Outside of the supernatural, they probably were. Now, our generation is on the verge of a world where such global domination is not only possible, it’s imminent. Jesus is coming!

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Britt Gillette is author of the free ebook Coming to Jesus as well as the books Signs of the Second Coming, Racing Toward Armageddon, and The End Times. Receive his book 7 Signs of the End Times for free when you sign up for his monthly newsletter.