Tuesday, April 14, 2015

One app's facial recognition outstrips the CIA's, you will never guess which it is

One of the most mysterious segments of prophetic scripture are the verses telling us about the Mark of the Beast. We read about it in Revelation 13:11-18. The Second Beast is the false prophet. It's actually the false prophet who causes all to have the mark, or be excluded from the economy. The mark is an identification of allegiance to and worship of the Beast. The penalty for not taking it is that no man may buy or sell. But the reason to take it is to worship the antichrist. Here is the passage.

The Second Beast
Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. 12It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed. 13It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, 14and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. 16Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, 17so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. 18This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.

Part of being entranced by the verses is the fact that there are so many questions that arise from reading them. How does one person cause all on earth to receive a mark? How will they know if someone doesn't take the mark? If someone gos to buy something without the mark, what will happen? How long will it take until someone in authority comes to grab the person who doesn't have the mark? Most interesting of all, much of this buying and selling and grabbing and beheading has to do with technology.

Prior to today's technology, such massive, global tracking and marking would never have been possible. I'm only 54 years old and I clearly remember when bar codes were invented and came into ubiquitous use. Never mind laptops, internet, and now quantum computing, Artificial Intelligence, bitcoin and its ilk, iris scanning, robotics, and nanotechnology. It's dizzying. It reminds me of the prophecy in Daniel 12:4,

"But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase."

As a rabbit trail for just a moment, the Lord sends an angel to fly at mid-heaven and warn the people of the world NOT to take the mark. See below:

And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.” (Revelation 14:9-1)

The mark of the beast is definitely a mark of worship and allegiance to the antichrist, which means the person has declared for satan. That's why taking it incurs so much wrath. But back to the technology of today. Managing the buying and selling of all peoples in earth via this mark is just an astounding concept to me. There is no such thing as privacy any more, tracking and hacking are things the youth of today are used to, though I'll never get used to it. There are undoubtedly many different kinds of technologies that will merge into the one that will allow the mark of the beast to be implemented and global economic tracking to such a specific degree occur. But consider this, I'll run it past you...

It's from Extremetech, published last March:

Facebook's New 'DeepFace' Program Is Just As Creepy As It Sounds

Facebook owns the world's largest photo library, and it now has the technology to match almost all the faces within it. Yes, even the ones you don't tag.  Facebook announced last week that it has developed a program called "DeepFace," which researchers say can determine whether two photographed faces are of the same person with 97.25 percent accuracy.  According to Facebook, humans put to the same test answer correctly 97.53 percent of the time -- only a quarter of a percent better than Facebook's software.  The takeaway: Facebook has essentially caught up to humans when it comes to remembering a face.

Facebook’s facial recognition software is now as accurate as the human brain, but what now?
It would also be irresponsible if we didn’t mention the true power of facial recognition, which Facebook is surely investigating: Tracking your face across the entirety of the web, and in real life, as you move from shop to shop, producing some very lucrative behavioral tracking data indeed.

As we move from shop to shop? 97% accuracy?

Facebook will soon be able to ID you in any photo
“we've been able to detect faces in images for about 2 decades,” LeCun says. Even the puny computers in cheap consumer cameras have long been able to detect and focus on faces.

But “identifying a face is a much harder problem than detecting it,” LeCun says. Your face uniquely identifies you. But unlike your fingerprints, it is constantly changing. Just smile and your face is transformed. The corners of your eyes wrinkle, your nostrils flare, and your teeth show. Throw your head back with laughter and the apparent shape of your face contorts. Even when you wear the same expression, your hair varies from photo to photo, all the more so after a visit to the hairdresser. And yet most people can spot you effortlessly in a series of photos, even if they've seen you in just one.

In terms of perceiving the world around us, facial recognition may be “the single most impressive thing that the human brain can do,” says Erik Learned-Miller, a computer scientist at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. By contrast, computers struggle with what researchers call the problem of A-PIE: aging, pose, illumination, and expression. These sources of noise drown out the subtle differences that distinguish one person's face from another.

Thanks to an approach called deep learning, computers are gaining ground fast.
Now, I am not saying that Facebook is the Mark of the Beast, for heaven's sake don't misunderstand. However, I'm intrigued that all along as we watch technology grow to an excessively intrusive point in our lives, that quietly, unassumingly, Facebook has amassed the data and know-how to put into place a large part of the puzzle that may become part of the technology involved with the Mark of the Beast.

I'm one of the last generation to have grown up technology-free. I played outside after school, roaming the neighborhood on my book, coming home when the streetlights turned on. I'm one of a generation who loves the internet but remember a time when I read books and went skating and built snowmen and played hopscotch- outside. I remember.

Reading that Facebook has amassed the world's largest facial recognition data dropped the penny. Facebook has my birthdate, photo, locations where I've lived, friends, employment, education...in short, an online profile. And I gave it to them.

It is an amazing, dizzying time, this new millnnium. Meanwhile, knowledge is increasing and technology is rapidly heading to its ultimate destination. I feel like Thumbelina on a leaf going down the rapids. But the leaf is really the hand of Jesus and I'm safe and secure. I'm not worried or scared or depressed. I'm amazed. Every day we make technological advances that enhance the lives of humanity but one day will be turned to evil use by the antichrist and false prophet. Amazing, stunning time. I want to see what happens next. Hopefully the Lord's return to collect His Bride in the rapture!

Because, you see, we will be raptured before any of this comes to pass. We won't have to worry about the mark of the beast, the false prophet, the antichrist, being excluded from the economy, starvation, or beheading. He will rescue us from the wrath to come, (1 Thess 1:10) and spare us His indignation poured out. (Isaiah 26:20). If you have repented of your sins, and confessed to Jesus as Lord and Savior, and know He is resurrected and reigning from heaven, soon to return as the Bible says, you are saved. (Romans 10:9). We rest securely in His arms and seek to become weak in the flesh so the Spirit will use us strongly. (2 Cor 12:9-10).

Now if you will excuse me, I need to go check my Facebook status...





8 comments :

  1. Lie to the internet. It makes it harder to track you. Use fake names, fake birthdays, vary the IP addresses you use, and then there's software you can get that helps shroud your identity (which I'm too lazy/uneducated about to have caught up with yet).

    There is no reason to give people "freebies" with which they can find out your home address, spouse's/parents'/siblings' workplace, the school your children attend, and even their GPS location (using smartphone GPS tracking which is encoded in tweets).

    I believe there's a distinction between defining information and identifying information. You define yourself by your character and beliefs and memories. You can share these online without them becoming too great of a threat to your safety. Your *identity* is stuff like your name, age, address, legal/educational record, etc, stuff that is irrelevant to "who you are" and which it isn't deceitful to refrain from telling the world. In the public forum of the internet, using your real name amounts to plastering it on your car and walking around in public shouting "I am so-and-so!" to every stranger, without knowing who they are or what they might do with the information.

    Therefore, and for many other reasons, I do not think anonymity is Biblically unjustified, let alone sinful.

    * I have yet to finish that mega-treatise on the subject, but I will definitely do so one day, and I'll gladly share it here so that others may consider the arguments for online/public anonymity *

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  2. Thanks Ms. Elizabeth for this insightful post. As Daniel 12:4 prophesied, so it is happening! But in the end, Jesus reigns and is victorious to all who belongs to Him. Amen.

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  3. I'm also part of that last generation who had a "real down-to-earth" childhood. Great post.

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  4. The verse about the Angel sent to warn people not to take the mark has always baffled me. Will it really be a visible angel, flying around in the sky, shouting? I mean, if so, wouldn't that be a done deal for all of humanity? If I were still here, which I won't be thank the Lord, and I saw an actual angel flying around shouting a warning, I would think "well, how about that?! Angel's are real. God is real. What they said about Jesus was true. I believe!" I cannot imagine people ignoring that. I have long wondered if it was more like everyone suddenly inwardly had a warning, like their conscience telling them not to take the mark, rather than seeing the angel.
    ______

    Adam, for those of us online already I believe the ship has sailed. It might work, however, for kids who are not online yet, if they start out shrouding their identity. Personally, I think its futile. And, like Elizabeth says, we won't be here when it is a bad thing anyway.
    Jennifer

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    1. Yes I agree it's beyond comprehension that the Tribulation people will see the plagues and quakes and even in Rev 9, the demon-locusts out of the abyss that blot out the sun and not convert.

      The Pharisees knew the scriptures and saw the miracles, and yet did not believe. Judas lived with Jesus, heard Him preach, and saw Jesus walk on water and did not believe.

      The Lord displays His grace when He sends an angel to fly at midheaven and proclaim the messages. One is the Gospel, thus fulfilling the verse, "And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come."

      Another reason He sends the angel in addition to display His grace, and to save souls, but also to demonstrate the lengths He has gone to save us. Romans 1:19-20 says he has made knowledge of Himself plain to them, through creation with all His invisible attributes.

      In addition, He sent His son, inspired the Word, fulfilled prophecy, raised up prophets and pastors. as well as the miracles during the Incarnation. NO ONE will be able to say, 'But but, Lord, You didn't do..."

      He has done it all, and His grace has no loophole, no missing part, and no one will be able to argue later. He might say "I even sent an angel to directly tell you the truth, and you rejected Me." What will anyone be able to say to that? Nothing.

      He does it for the glory of His name. I always liked Ez 2:32-5 for this same reason

      He said: “Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have been in revolt against me to this very day. 4The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says.’ 5And whether they listen or fail to listen—for they are a rebellious people—they will know that a prophet has been among them.

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  5. Hi Elizabeth, I noticed you used 1 Thessalonians 1:10 to prove that Christians will not endure the wrath of God post-rapture. However, I don't think the text or context of that passage warrants the reader to understand it in the way you present it (i.e. worrying about the mark of the beast, the false prophet, the antichrist, being excluded from the economy, starvation, or beheading.) In reading various commentaries on the verse and passage, it seems to be indicating the wrath of God dispensed out upon unbelievers after the final judgment, the eternal lake of fire prepared for the devil and his angels. The KJV renders the rescuing phrase as "which delivered us from the wrath to come." So it seems to indicate the delivering has essentially already happened; it happened at the moment Jesus was raised from the dead, when the purchasing of our redemption was proved to be efficacious. Redemption was accomplished on the cross, but made manifest to mankind upon his being raised from the dead as the firstborn among many brethren. This fits well with the doctrine of election and definitive atonement - a payment was rendered that secured (past tense) the salvation of God's chosen people, those whom God the father gave Christ Jesus (John 6). I just say all of this because I personally don't believe that verse was meant by Paul to refer specifically to the rapture as according to dispensational eschatology, there will be those that come to faith post-rapture who WILL go through what you term as God's wrath in your post.

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    1. Hi Kevin,

      1 Thessalonians 1:10 says in part that Jesus delivers us from the wrath to come. The Church will not endure the wrath that He pours out during the Tribulation. ("the wrath to come")

      Gill's Commentary says

      "even Jesus, which delivered us from wrath to come; which is revealed from heaven against sin, and comes upon the children of disobedience; which all men are deserving of, even God's elect themselves, but shall not partake of, because they are not appointed to it, but to salvation; and because they are justified by the blood and righteousness of Christ, and so are saved from it"

      See also 1 Thessalonians 5:9 and Revelation 3:10.

      However there must be a careful distinction of terms. The believing saved who live or died prior to the rapture are part of the Bride, AKA the Church. The Church has a quota, Jesus has a certain number in mind to fill the Church. When that number is reached, we will be raptured. (Romans 11:25). The Church/Bride will not endure the wrath to come (Tribulation era).

      The people who come to faith AFTER the rapture and during the Tribulation are the believing saved, but are NOT part of the Church. They are saved, but they are the Tribulation Saints. These people WILL endure the wrath. Most will be beheaded for it, or will be starved into death, not being able to participate in the economy, or dying in one of the wrathful judgments. (Rev 7:14)

      To sum up: believers who convert after the rapture will endure the wrath. The Bride won't.

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  6. Thank you for such a thought provoking article. I had wondered how everyone on earth was going to hear the Gospel, with the Rapture getting so close. At first, I thought the Gospel was going to be preached to all through the internet. But so many people in the world still don't even own a computer, which can be hard for us to believe in the 21st century, particularly in the west. I had never thought of an angel preaching the gospel during this time as per Revelation 14:6.

    P.S. Anne Graham Lotz has done a Four Part (short talks) series for those who find themselves left behind.

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