Recently I had an interesting chat with my eldest daughter, who lives in Norway. She mentioned about “algorithm” and how the social media outlets are able to track down the users’ choice of sites to visit. In the process managers of the outlets are able train the mind of their “clients” to look for and find similar sites. The result: the clients or visitors become “hooked” or addicted to those sites.
The information that the algorithm gathers then becomes “fodder” to sell to sites – and here’s where this kind of surveillance brings in money to the people or company that has control of the mechanism of algorithms, which are the soul of computers and what is called AI – “Artificial Intelligence,” a prime example being robots.
We live in an age where, through these man-made gadgets and devices, some people or group of people is able to control what goes on in the minds of unwary social media users.
The plain fact is that all this is a sinister, diabolical scheme which Satan, the “god” of this world, is foisting upon an unsuspecting mankind in order to deceive everyone and hold them under his evil sway (2 Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 12:9; 1 John 5:19, NKJV).
In 2 Timothy 2:26, the apostle Paul gives us an insight into Satan’s ploy: the devil has set up snares or traps all over the place [and aren’t there ever a host of them on the internet and the worldwide web!], by which he takes people captive to do his will! Satan uses coercion and subtle entanglements that play upon the human lust (James 1:14, etc.). In this way Satan is able to set up strongholds in the minds of men (2 Corinthians 10:4) – indeed a strong hold or control over those minds!
No wonder our world today is in such a mess and a living hell! Jesus predicted about our times today: “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will turn cold (Matthew 24:12). Instead, unnatural “love” [lust!] has become rampant (Romans 1:24-32)! True indeed that Satan has oppressed many people – through social media and in the hands of wicked rulers of this world.
In fact, Satan will use two human instruments to enforce his will and thus oppress helpless mankind in the coming years!
Revelation 13 exposes these two powerful human beings as the “beast” (a military leader) and a “false prophet” (a religious or church leader). They will have such great power as to be able to control the movement and economic activities of people all over the world (Verses 16-17)! Some have speculated if this “mark of the beast” might be some kind of computer microchip imbedded in the hand and forehead of the subject people. Without it no one could buy or sell anything. [For a Biblical exposition of what this “mark might be, see: https://www.herbert-armstrong.org, click ENTER HERE, select “Books & Booklets” and scroll down to the booklets titled “Who Is the Beast?” and “What Is the Mark of the Beast?”]
Among other things, Jesus came to heal all those oppressed by the devil (Acts 10:38). Jesus is ever alive today, and He is able to free people from the devil’s oppression as they come to Him! As He alluded to His role as the prophesied Messiah, He seeks to heal the brokenhearted, proclaim liberty to the captives, and set at liberty those who are oppressed (Luke 4:16-21).
Revelation 17 details about how at His return to earth Jesus, the “Lamb of God,” will make war with the “beast” and the “false prophet” and overcome them. He will then take control over all the kingdoms of this world and rule them in righteousness with His glorified saints (Revelation 11:15; 19:16; 5:10; 20:6). He will destroy with the fire of His brightness all His enemies — those who oppose His truth and righteousness, and who are destroying the earth and humanity through wickedness and immorality (Isaiah 66:14-16; Revelation 11:16-18).
Jesus’ Spirit of freedom
Unlike how Satan controls human minds by oppression and coercion, Jesus gives His Spirit as a liberating power. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Corinthians 3:17). That Spirit does not coerce or force a Christian in such a way that he loses control of his mind or will. 1 Corinthians 14:31 shows that “the spirits of the prophets [who speak under the guidance of God’s Spirit (2 Peter 1:21)] are subject to the prophets.” In other words, A Christian has full control of his mind even as he obeys God’s will. [See: What Is This Thing Called “Will?”] In fact, one of the facets of the “fruit” of the Spirit of God is “self-control” (Galatians 5:22, NKJV).
It is through that Spirit that we are able to avoid or suppress evil thoughts, and think pure, holy thoughts instead. We are thus able to obey God and have the “mind of Christ” (Philippians 2:5). [See: God’s Spirit and Obedience and The Higher Law of the Spirit.] All this to make us perfect and fit for God’s kingdom [see: Does God Require Us to Do the Impossible?]
This is not to say that social media have no place for a Christian. Christ is also using the social media to spread the true gospel message, such as this website you are reading right now! In fact, it may be through the social media or satellite broadcasting that God’s end-time “two witnesses” will be heard simultaneously worldwide (Revelation 11). Who knows how Christ might use “sanitized” social media to reeducate all of mankind When He Rules the World? Only the true and pure knowledge of God will fill the earth then (Isaiah 11:9) — nothing to destroy the mind and morals of everyone!
May you use your Christian liberty to avoid the pitfalls of today’s social media, and benefit from those sites that promote truth, righteousness and Godliness! And as God’s people celebrate the Feast of Pentecost this May 16th, may you be blessed with joy and a deeper understanding of and obedience to God’s will through His Spirit!
Pedro R. Meléndez, Jr.