Virtual Faith

I heard an interview a few years back concerning new developments in robotics. It was both fascinating and frightening — especially the concluding remark. The guest was a scientist who is one of the leading minds in the effort to develop a robot that is as human as possible. They call such robots humanoids. This technology has made incredible advances in duplicating human responses to different stimuli.

According to the professor, the students get so involved with these robots and their responses that he has to turn them off until the student can come back to reality and remember it is only a machine. The robots can already respond to visible motion and some facial expressions.

One center of technology is collaborating with another to develop a complete human body. One group is working on the upper torso while the other is working on the lower. The progress that is being made on this type of technology in different parts of the world is stunning. These humanoid robots are becoming virtual humans.

Virtual environments are being created where a person can enter and not sense the difference between the real and the unreal. The ideas that are continually being stimulated and realized in this field are practically unlimited. One leading scientist in the field wrote: “By the 2030s, however, virtual reality will be totally realistic and compelling, and we will spend most of our time in virtual environments. In these virtual environments, we won’t be able to tell the difference between biological people who have projected themselves into the virtual environment, and fully virtual (i.e., non-biological) people… We will all become virtual humans.”1

At the root of all this technology is the quest to improve on nature, including human biology — what God has created. It is all being driven by the fear of death. That fear compels such men to attempt to retard — and finally stop — death’s fatal process entirely.

Certainly, it’s normal to want to stop the process of dying. It’s really not God’s intended purpose that humans would grow old and die. We were not created for that. You can see in Romans 5:12 that there was a time when humans didn’t know death. But through human beings, death came into the world because of sin. In one fatal blow, Adam and Eve cut mankind off from the vital connection to the source of life. From that time until now, we’re guaranteed that after birth comes death, and then the judgment.2 Now man is trying to undo this inevitability in his own strength.

Not only has man brought death upon himself by the choices he makes, but he also affects his environment in the same way. The devastation and hopelessness has reached such proportions that men are seeking solutions — a way out. But are they crying out to the One who can save them from this? Some are, but most are not.

Man looks to his own genius to eliminate the effects of his own wrong choices. He doesn’t deal with the motivation behind those choices. He concentrates his efforts on trying to avoid and undo the results. An example of this is the following: people, for whatever reasons (and there are many), choose to eat too much and eat the wrong things. The result? They get fat and/or suffer all kinds of illnesses. Obesity is a major epidemic in this country. Now the question society asks is, “How do I stop getting fat, but continue eating the way I want to eat?”

A team of scientists has isolated the gene that causes the body to store fat when it’s not needed in the body (i.e., when you eat too much). They have removed that gene in laboratory mice, and according to the scientists, the mice can eat ravenously and still enjoy the “benefits” of being slim. The next step is the perfecting of this finding on human beings who voluntarily come to the laboratory. This is a classic case of dealing with the results, but not with the cause.

Sin causes death. In man’s mind it’s easier to try to deal with the process of dying rather than confess and forsake the very sin that is taking him to death.

Virtual means: 1) Being in essence or effect, not in fact, as the virtual presence of a man in his agent or substitute. 2) Almost, but not exactly, or in every way.

Virtual environments are so real in appearance and effect, but they are generated by computers. One retreats to those environments to escape reality. Virtual humans look so real, and when they are perfected, their components will be used to replace certain human parts to prolong life. One will not have to face the results of his wrong choices that affect his body adversely.

All these things fall into the category of contrivances. A contrivance is an artificial development, formed or created in an artistic or ingenious manner to deceive. It is a technique to deceive, as through artistic medium, or as through a spiritualist’s medium or power, through human control, or emotional feelings — a means of conveying a lie as the truth.3

What is happening in the scientific world has already been long in process in the religious world. An entire realm of virtual faith and worship has long been in existence, since true faith and worship died with the first-century church. The first believers demonstrated what kind of life true faith produces.4 Their actions, behavior, lifestyle, and growth were something God produced.5

This is clearly seen concerning the church in Thessalonica. When they received the Word, it produced a work in them, because they believed.6 The same gospel produced the same life that it produced in Jerusalem.7 It was the same gospel from the same Savior, producing the same results.8

Just as men today have ventured into the realm of artificial intelligence, so men brought into the church artificial light — virtual light9 — and they loved it.10

The True Light

The true light they had in the beginning was from God.11 The light of the church was the life that is in the Messiah.12 The life that started in Acts 2:36-47 and 4:32-37 was the very light that gives understanding. That life that results from hearing and obeying the gospel makes it clear what salvation is, and how it is to be walked out.13

That’s what light does. It makes things clear and visible, even the hidden things.14

The love that was in the first church was engendered by the Holy Spirit.15 It always causes believers to do what was done in Acts 2 and 4, because that kind of love causes them to want to be obedient to Messiah’s commands.16

Martin Luther and John Calvin created the greatest deception in the 16th century, and that deception has continued to this day. In churches all over the world people are being taught that their lives are pleasing to God and that they are doing His will by building up the world that is under the power of the Evil One.17 They’re being told that they are actually fulfilling John 13:34-35 with their special rallies and weekly gatherings. In total contrast to what John said love is, they are under the delusion that they are loving one another in the same way that Christ loved us.18 Well-known evangelists hold week-long evangelistic crusades that have a strong appeal to the emotions. After the crusade, everyone scatters to wherever he came from, and all the new converts scatter to begin their search for the Bible-believing church of their choice.

After Peter and the apostles preached, all who believed were together, and had all things in common.19 That was the true expression of the love in 1 John 3:16.

The music, the pews, the carpets, and vaulted ceilings, coupled with the sermons, create an illusion of being in a holy place. These are contrivances of man, used as a means of conveying a lie as the truth. In that atmosphere one believes he has eternal life when he has never called on the name of the One who is life.20

Just as the scientists are working to create their own perfect humanoid, so are the evangelists and teachers within today’s religious system working to create the perfect illusion of eternal life and forgiveness without the life and love of the Holy Spirit.21 That is not what God gives growth to. It is produced by gimmicks, seductive advertising, and every other appeal to the flesh that can cause men to desire to give their allegiance to it.

The reality of the love that once existed as a community of believers is now only a doctrine of love and a nice story in the Bible.

Yet, there are many who have a deep longing in their hearts to live and experience the real life that comes from having your sins forgiven. The only way to do that is to be in the place where forgiveness is expressed in a life. The life of Christ is expressed in a people who live together, sharing everything, because they are thankful for forgiveness. If this is also the desire of your heart, you are warmly invited to visit us at any one of the addresses on the back page.

  • 1., October 20, 2003
  • 2. Hebrews 9:27
  • 3. 2 Corinthians 11:15
  • 4. Acts 2:36-47; 4:32-37
  • 5. Colossians 2:19
  • 6. 1 Thessalonians 2:13
  • 7. 1 Thessalonians 2:14
  • 8. Hebrews 13:8
  • 9. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15
  • 10. 2 Corinthians 11:4
  • 11. 2 Corinthians 4:6
  • 12. John 1:4
  • 13. Colossians 2:6
  • 14. John 3:19-21
  • 15. Romans 5:5
  • 16. John 13:34-35
  • 17. 1 John 5:19
  • 18. 1 John 3:16
  • 19. Acts 2:44
  • 20. John 14:6
  • 21. 1 John 5:20

The Twelve Tribes is a confederation of twelve self-governing tribes, composed of self-governing communities. We are disciples of the Son of God whose name in Hebrew is Yahshua. We follow the pattern of the early church in Acts 2:44 and 4:32, truly believing everything that is written in the Old and New Covenants of the Bible, and sharing all things in common.

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