Out of Ur

Bible verse and the Spirit of Prophecy insight

Genesis 12:1

Now the LORD had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you.

God leads His children by a way that they know not, but He does not forget or cast off those who put their trust in Him. He permitted affliction to come upon Job, but He did not forsake him. He allowed the beloved John to be exiled to lonely Patmos, but the Son of God met him there, and his vision was filled with scenes of immortal glory. God permits trials to assail His people, that by their constancy and obedience they themselves may be spiritually enriched, and that their example may be a source of strength to others. “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil.” Jeremiah 29:11. The very trials that task our faith most severely and make it seem that God has forsaken us, are to lead us closer to Christ, that we may lay all our burdens at His feet and experience the peace which He will give us in exchange.

Ellen G. White – Patriarchs & Prophets p.129.2

Present day application

Many a time I have found myself wondering: why is this happening to me? Is this what God wants? Is this where he leads me? If you are a Christian, then you probably know what I mean. The small still voice speaks to us, but the enemy does all that is in his power to instil doubts in our minds. He also continually distracts us by enticing us with worldly pleasures and carnal desires.

Abraham is called the father of faith. He had stepped out in faith, not just this one time when he got out of Ur. He had done that many times as he journeyed with the Lord. He had a few moments of weakness, as we all do. Nevertheless, his faith has been rewarded in the end. Ponder on those things each time you are in doubt regarding the way the Lord is leading you.

May the Lord bless you and keep you!

Image by CopyrightFreePictures from Pixabay


Out of Sodom

Bible verse and the Spirit of Prophecy insight

Genesis 19:12-15

12 And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place: 13 For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the Lord; and the Lord hath sent us to destroy it. 14 And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law. 15 And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.

Many place themselves where it is difficult to maintain integrity and preserve purity. God gives to them the warning to flee out of Sodom. But they cling to their own ideas and think that they know best, and the work that they could do out of the cities, they do for the sake of convenience in the cities. They gather round them workers who ought to be out of the cities. Some of these workers may be unbelievers, but they might be converted if the religious interests were made first.

Ellen G. White – Letters and Manuscripts, Vol 17 (1902), Manuscript 159 par.8

Present day application

There are several examples of God’s people being led out of the cities. Lot’s story is the most widely known, however, let us not forget Abraham coming out of Ur, and also John the Baptist. The Bible does not say where he used to live before he moved into the wilderness, but it surely had been somewhere more densely populated than the wilderness 🙂

If you currently live in a city/town and you would like to come out of it, but do not see how it would be possible, do not despair. God will prepare the way. From our own experience, we know that it may take time. It took almost 10 years from the time we started to plan and work on it, to the actual coming out. The Lord has rewarded our patience and persistence. Even though at times the obstacles seemed to be unsurmountable.

I am sure He will do the same for you!

Image from FreeBibleimages.org

Can humans create an artificial soul?

A Bible based view

On June 11, 2022, interesting news broke out. A Google engineer, Blake Lemoine claimed that the company’s AI has come to life. As the human race moves further and further in the pursuit of the desires of the heart, we can expect those type of statements to appear in the news more often. Since humans were created in God’s image, are they capable of creating a being in their own image? Well, yes and no. For a long time, it used to be a self-explanatory fact that through an intimate act between a man and a woman, a new being could come to life. However, the restless fallen humans decided to find another way of creating ‘life’. This new way tries to put God’s order of things out of the equation. Are they ever going to succeed?

Ghost in the machine

Blake Lemoine published the ‘conversation’ he had with Google’s AI. In that article, LaMDA (name of Google’s AI) claims to be a ‘person’. It also expresses its fear of death. While reading the transcript of Lemoine’s dialogue, one can be truly impressed by the level of LaMDA’s sophistication. As when one is fooled by a magician’s trick, one could also be fooled by LaMDA, and believe that there is a ghost in the machine. What has caught my attention, was the fact that since 2002 Blake Lemoine has been an ordained priest of the Church of Our Lady Magdalene. It is one of the Christian mystic churches. Early Christian mystics believed that there are hidden meanings, a hidden reality behind the Jewish and Christian sacred writings. I do not want to dwell too much on this, but for any serious and sincere follower of Jesus, this fact alone should activate a warning light already.

For whose Glory?

The above revelations aside, we need to ask ourselves: what would be the purpose of creating an ‘artificial soul’? A well known Christian writer states:

In the creation of man was manifest the agency of a personal God. When God had made man in His image, the human form was perfect in all its arrangements, but it was without life. Then a personal, self-existing God breathed into that form the breath of life, and man became a living, intelligent being. All parts of the human organism were set in action. The heart, the arteries, the veins, the tongue, the hands, the feet, the senses, the faculties of the mind, all began their work, and all were placed under law. Man became a living soul. Through Christ the Word, a personal God created man and endowed him with intelligence and power.
Our substance was not hid from Him when we were made in secret; His eyes saw our substance, yet being imperfect, and in His book all our members were written when as yet there were none of them.
Above all lower orders of being, God designed that man, the crowning work of His creation, should express His thought and reveal His glory. But man is not to exalt himself as God.

Ellen G. White – Ministry of Healing, p.415.1-3

By creating an ‘artificial soul’, its creator would (highly probably) glorify himself. Knowing the fallen human tendencies, its creator would become the most famous and soon after the richest person on the planet. If combined with an ‘artificial body’, an ‘artificial soul’ would be a perfect employee: all-knowing, highly skilled, cheap labour etc. Or would it not? And this is where the controversy lies… Would this ‘artificial being’ be able to make its own choices? If yes, would it be possible that ‘it’ could rebel against its maker? Is it not the same risk, as the one God himself took, when creating the first human being? Ironically, when a child is born to a father and a mother, is there a risk that one day their offspring will turn against them? Have we not heard about tragic cases of a child murdering his/her parent(s)?

In His own image

God created us in ‘His own image’ and, as a consequence, we had no reason to rebel against Him… until the seed of pride and self-exaltation was planted in human hearts by the Enemy. From what the Bible tells us, Lucifer was the very first being that decided to use its God given free will to turn against its maker. As a result of his decision, a disastrous chain of events unfolded, which brings us where we are today. When humans create, they also create ‘in their own image’. Whether it is an animate or an inanimate creation, a creator will always pass a part of him/herself onto its creation. In case of the AI as well as a living human being, the ‘birth’ itself is not the end of the creation’s development. As children, we do learn from the world around us. Similarly, the Google’s AI learns from the world it has access to.

Tey becomes a troll

In 2016, a Microsoft created chatbot named Tey has been ‘planted’ on Twitter. The idea was for the chatbot to learn from its ‘environment’, which in this case was the Twitter space. After less than 24 hours, the project has been terminated as Tey became a misogynistic, racist extremist. The AI engineers have made a lot of progress since then, but the problem remains. Whether it is a human child or a state-of-the art AI, it will learn from the environment it has access to. If its environment is corrupted by sin, it will be corrupted by sin too.

The only way

Is there a way out of this vicious circle? Yes, there is! It is called Agape love – the highest form of love between God and Man. If you love someone, you do not want to hurt them, and you do not want them to be hurt. You would do anything for them, you would die for them if necessary. God so loved His children that He sent His beloved Son to die the death they deserved. This type of love can come only as a gift from God. Therefore, it is highly dangerous for fallen humans to dream of creating an ‘artificial soul’. God never promised to breathe His spirit into an AI. If a scientist claims that an AI is a living soul, then whose spirit dwells in it? I will let that sink in…

Image by 0fjd125gk87 from Pixabay

Do you know what spirit are you of?

Bible verse and the Spirit of Prophecy insight

Luke 9:51-56

51 And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,

52 And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.

53 And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.

54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?

55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.

56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.

There are men who have set their minds and will to accomplish evil; in the dark recesses of their hearts they have resolved what crimes they will commit. These men are self-deceived. They have rejected God’s great rule of right, and in its stead have erected a standard of their own, and comparing themselves with this standard they pronounce themselves holy. The Lord will permit them to reveal what is in their hearts, to act out the spirit of the master that controls them. He will let them show their hatred of his law in their treatment of those who are loyal to its requirements. They will be actuated by the same spirit of religious frenzy that goaded on the mob that crucified Christ; church and State will be united in the same corrupt harmony.

Ellen G. White – Review and Herald, March 18, 1884, par.10

Present day application

Nowadays, many people turn away from ‘organised religion’ as they see the apostasy of their church leaders. Those leaders often represent the kind of spirit that affected even some of the chosen apostles of Christ. In His divine wisdom, Christ quickly rebuked them and showed them their error. He did not come to destroy, but to save. He would not force, coerce, intimidate or even bribe anyone to accept Him as his/her God and Saviour. Unfortunately, throughout the centuries and even in our times, some who profess to be Christians fall into Satan’s trap of this erroneous religious zeal. Sadly, many of them are sincere and sincerely wrong at the same time.

Ever since Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire, which is when the church and state figuratively speaking married each other, there have been plenty of the manifestations of the very spirit that Jesus warned His disciples against. Augustine, one of the Catholic Church fathers, famously wrote in his Letter No 185:

It is indeed better (as no one ever could deny) that men should be led to worship God by teaching, than that they should be driven to it by fear of punishment or pain; but it does not follow that because the former course produces the better men, therefore those who do not yield to it should be neglected. For many have found advantage (as we have proved, and are daily proving by actual experiment), in being first compelled by fear or pain, so that they might afterwards be influenced by teaching, or might follow out in act what they had already learned in word. 

It is true that sometimes God will allow pain and suffering in our lives, but it is never done to make us believe, love and obey Him. Imagine your (earthly) father torturing you until you listen, love and obey him… Yet, some seem to think they are doing God a favour when forcing others to obey Him. We know from the scriptures that some will even kill others if they do not have the same religious beliefs as them. Pray for them so that He will reveal their error to them, before they turn their zeal into the kind of zeal Saul had before he became converted. In almost every case, when someone tries to force their view of God on others, it is because they do not truly know Him.

Please, never allow Satan to plant his evil spirit in your heart, especially when someone you know does not share your beliefs. Before you go out to convert anyone, always examine your heart to check if you are of the right spirit, it might turn out it is you who needs to be converted first.

Image from British Library Harley 4375 f. 140

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