Daily Devotional for Monday April 1, 2019
“What man meant for evil, God meant for good!!!”
(Matthew 24:24, Genesis 50:20)
***DAILY PERSONAL PRAYER FOR YOU: Dear Lord, help us and guide us in this changing world we live in to be effective servants for YOU. I am so grateful that You never change! Throughout human history we have embraced the technology of the day in order to share the Truth of your Word and the hope and love of our Lord Jesus Christ. Grant us Your wisdom oh Lord, and help us to use all of the tools and technology we possess to get Your Truth to the masses,minister to hurting people, and lead lost souls to faith in our Savior Jesus Christ!!!
“For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” Matthew 24:24
Robot/AI (artificial intelligence) “pastors” and “spiritual leaders” are upon us! About a decade ago I made mention in the Daily Devotional and on the TV program about the future of “robots” replacing a huge percentage of minimum wage type jobs. I spoke about this issue again numerous times in 2013, 2014, 2015 as that reality was coming to pass. It was just this past January 4th, that I talked about this issue in the Daily Devotional on that day. Here is a link to that Daily Devotional: https://liveprayer.com/devotional.cfm?id=53890
There was a specific line in the final paragraph that I want to share with you, “Let me leave you with this to start praying about. I can promise you as I am typing these words, it will not be many years from now that you will be able to go to a church with a “pastor” that is a robot. THERE WILL BE ROBOT PASTORS IN THE VERY NEAR FUTURE!“
Hello “VERY NEAR FUTURE!”
Let me share with you 8 quotes from an article last Thursday by Rebecca Heilweil of the Wall Street Journal,
-Gabriele Trovato is worried about tomorrow. Or at least that’s what he confesses to SanTO, one of his religion-inspired robots. Just shy of 17 inches tall, SanTO resembles those small figurines of saints often found in Catholic homes—except with a computer, microphone, sensors and a facial recognition-enabled camera. As Mr. Trovato touches and speaks to the machine, its deep, echoing voice responds with a Bible quote: “From the Gospel according to Matthew,” it says, “do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
-Mr. Trovato, a roboticist and assistant professor at Japan’s Waseda University, designed SanTO to provide comfort and assistance to the elderly. Interactive, social robots like ElliQ, a robot companion for seniors, or Sony’s Aibo robot dog are increasingly seen as a means to alleviate loneliness, entertain and provide information
-At the same time, a handful of religious institutions are developing robots to converse with visitors and share doctrine. These robots are not meant to replace religious leaders, but they can make religious information more accessible or spur attendance to places of worship. “Religion has evolved through history, from oral tradition to written tradition to press and mass media. So it’s very reasonable to think that AI and robotics will help religion to spread out more,” Mr. Trovato said.
-Eventually, says Robert Geraci, a professor of religious studies at Manhattan College, robots might become more than just tools. “One possibility is that religion gets radically reformulated in collaboration with the advancement of technology,” he said.
-Like any new technology, robotics raises ethical questions for spiritual institutions, especially as interactive machines get more sophisticated and mainstream. Robots are already able to share religious content and “recite” blessings, tasks traditionally reserved for faith leaders and adherents.
-Others are also trying to marry religion and robots. The Longquan Monastery, a Buddhist temple in Beijing with a reputation for embracing technology, deployed a 2-foot robotic “monk” that was named and modeled after the rotund cartoon character Xian’er. It chants Buddhist mantras and answers basic faith-related questions. Its cute appearance and playful—often wise—answers have attracted curious visitors to the temple, according to online videos and social media posts.
-To mark the Protestant Reformation’s 500th anniversary in 2017, Germany’s Protestant Church in Hesse and Nassau developed a robot that could “bless” humans. The machine, called BlessU-2, was built from the body of an automated-teller machine, and fitted with a touchscreen, arms and a face. BlessU-2 could communicate in seven languages in a man’s or a woman’s voice, and offered several different types of prayers, such as those focused on tradition or renewal.
-Roman Catholic priest Loys de Saint Chamas, who interacted with a prototype of Mr. Trovato’s SanTO, said that these types of robots will likely increase access to religious information. He compared the technology to the invention of the printing press in the 15th century and the Catholic church’s embrace of television in 1963. “It is interesting to focus, to study, how this change of the medium is influencing the relation of people with God and the activity of religion,” he said.
In that January 4th Daily Devotional, I reminded people that robots and AI (artificial intelligence) were only capable of doing what the men who created them enabled them to do. Artificial intelligence is exactly that, artificial. It is simply man installing his intelligence into whatever device they have chosen to carry that intelligence. Having stated that, while evil men will ALWAYS find ways to use the creation of men to advance their evil agenda, there is no reason men and women of God can’t use the creation of men to advance the Kingdom! Example, the internet!!!
When Liveprayer signed on to this new medium the internet on August 31st at Noon, you have to remember there was no Facebook, or Twitter, or 99% of the websites that exist today. At that moment in history, there were only a few dozen websites where live streaming video existed. Remember, most people were using dial-up connections and the speeds were slowwwww to be kind. So streaming video on a large scale really wasn’t very practical.
Like so many advancements in all kinds of inventions, men looking to use those inventions for evil purposes often pioneered much of the initial advancement. The internet was no different. You can thank the rapid advancement of speed and much of the technology for “live video” to the pornographic industry. When Liveprayer signed on nearly 20 yrs ago, the ONLY places on the internet that offered “live video” was on pornographic websites!
The initial vision for Liveprayer was to literally have a live person in a prayer studio 24/7 to pray for the needs of the people who came to the website. When I was starting to do the work necessary to create Liveprayer, I nearly gave up 4 or 5 different times in the year leading up to our launch. The reason was simple. It was going to take well over $3 million dollars to create the infrastructure for “live video.” Not willing to take “no” or “impossible” for an answer, Liveprayer literally ended up partnering with the leading operator of “live video” pornography sites to make Liveprayer possible.
I will never forget praying one night as I was close to admitting I had not heard God correctly about Liveprayer (don’t forget, at that time I didn’t even own a computer or really wanted anything to do with computers). The Holy Spirit reminded me of that powerful verse of Scripture in Genesis 50:20, “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” What man meant for evil, God meant for good!!!
SO FOR THE FIRST 6 MONTHS OF LIVEPRAYER, OUR 24/7 LIVE PRAYER FEED THAT WAS LITERALLY MINISTERING TO PEOPLE WORLDWIDE, PRAYING FOR THE NEEDS OF THOSE WHO CAME TO US, AND LEADING PEOPLE TO FAITH IN JESUS...WAS GOING THROUGH THE SAME INFRASTRUCTURE THAT WAS HELPING DESTROY LIVES, MARRIAGES, AND FAMILIES THROUGH PRONOGRAPH Y!!!
I love you can care about you so much. Over the years, many people have criticized me for using a network created for porn websites in order to operate the “live video” prayer at Liveprayer. I understand why some may feel that way, but why should men with evil in their hearts be the only ones to utilize such cutting edge technology when we could use it for the glory of God? Also, anyone who would ever try to tell me I am soft on porn has never read any of my Devotionals on the subject over the past 20 yrs. You can go to our Daily Devotional archives ( https://liveprayer.com/devo.cfm ) and type in the KEYWORD “pornography” and read them for yourself.
As a side, “live video” in those initial days was still quite expensive. Our agreement with the porn company as to pay them $10,000 a month, which was a very fair price. I actually got them to make a monthly donation of $5,000 to Liveprayer, meaning we only had to pay $5,000 of actual dollars! After the first 6 months as more players go involved in “live video,” we were able to separate from that initial association with porn operators and partner for the next 6 months with another “live video” provider until we finally were able to move everything to our own servers in-house.
I am not sure what God is going to have us do, if anything, with the new technology of robots/AI. Trust me, I have been praying. My first response however has been to warn people of this technology since I have no doubt there are evil men who will try to use it in a religious context to lead the souls of people to hell. With so many cults that currently exist, this type of technology could be very destructive for those who seek to start their own religion, and I have no doubt it will play a huge role for the anti-Christ in creating a “one-world religion.” It will be interesting to see what God has up His big sleeves!!!
In the meantime never forget, “WHAT MAN MENAT FOR EVIL, MANY MEANT FOR GOOD!!!”
In His love and service,
Your friend, brother, and co-laborer in Christ,