Will Siri Steal Your Job?

Will Siri Steal Your Job?


Listen to the Trumpet Daily radio program that aired on January 9, 2017.

The world stands on the brink of yet another technological revolution. Advances in machine learning and vocal recognition are giving rise to new ways of intelligent machines—such as self-driving cars and electronic assistants. Some experts are predicting mass unemployment as machines take over yet more jobs once done by people. Are they right? Trumpet writer Richard Palmer examines the myths and truths behind these predictions and looks at how economic instability can lead to political and even global instability.

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2017—All Eyes on Jerusalem

2017—All Eyes on Jerusalem

JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images

As united Jerusalem turns 50, we ask: Will it make it to 51?

Jerusalem—2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War in which the tiny Jewish state of Israel defended itself against numerous Arab armies simultaneously. Israel not only survived, but by the war’s end, it had taken possession of the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the Golan Heights from Syria, and the West Bank from Jordan, expanding its territory threefold. At the time, many Jewish leaders and foreign journalists alike recognized this was a miraculous victory.

However, the most symbolic and emotive part of the war for the Jews occurred on the third day when Israeli Army Chaplain Rabbi Shlomo Goren gathered soldiers before the Western Wall to blow the shofar at Judaism’s holiest site. The solemn blast announced to the world that the Jews had captured the Old City and the Temple Mount. For the first time in almost 2,000 years, Jerusalem was united under Jewish rule.

But now, 50 years on, we must ask: Will united Jerusalem make it to 51?

UNSC Unilaterally Divides Jerusalem

As we enter 2017, more attention is being focused on Jerusalem than any year in recent memory.

On December 23, the United States broke with its traditional role as Israel’s protector at the United Nations Security Council (unsc) by choosing not to veto a resolution that called Israeli communities in the West Bank illegal and invalid. The resolution, however, has a more sinister aspect than most previous attempts to impugn Israel’s claims over the territory it won in the war.

In that resolution, we see the UN taking aim at Israel’s control and sovereignty of Jerusalem itself, not just the territory of the West Bank.

Notice the first three points of the resolution. The unsc (emphasis added):

1. Reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-state solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace;2. Reiterates its demand that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and that it fully respect all of its legal obligations in this regard;3. Underlines that it will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations ….

Why single out Jerusalem in the resolution? Why not just mention the West Bank, or the more general term of the “territories” as in previous resolutions?

Why? Because the unity of Jerusalem was the real target of this resolution.

The resolution isn’t about settlements in far off regions of the West Bank. The key difference in this resolution to all others is that Jerusalem itself is now on the chopping block. According to the unsc, which is the closest thing we have to a world government, Israeli rule over East Jerusalem has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation of international law.

In these three separate instances, the resolution draws specific attention to East Jerusalem, not just the West Bank. East Jerusalem of course is technically part of the West Bank, but all previous negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, such as the Oslo Accords in the 1990s and the Camp David Summit in 2000, dealt with Jerusalem as a separate issue from the territory of the West Bank.

The future of Jerusalem wasn’t predetermined. The issue of Jerusalem in a final peace deal was to be negotiated separately.

But now, according to the UN—and supported by the U.S.’s decision not to veto—the Israelis not only cannot build or live in Judea and Samaria, but now, any building in East Jerusalem beyond the now invisible 1967 lines is illegal.

The UN has unilaterally divided Jerusalem—and Israel didn’t even have a say in it.

Past Precedent

It is true that some Israeli leaders in the past had offered East Jerusalem to the Palestinians in an effort to reach a peace agreement. One of these was former Prime Minister Ehud Barak.

In 1993, the government of Yitzhak Rabin signed the first set of Oslo Accords. They became the new foundation and platform from which Israeli-Palestinian peace would be negotiated. As part of the accords, the future of Jerusalem was declared to be a separate subject for future negotiations. The likelihood of Israel giving up sovereignty of East Jerusalem in a peace deal was highly unlikely. Rabin even declared in his last Knesset speech, one month before he was assassinated in 1995, that Jerusalem must always remain the united capital of Israel.

However, one of Rabin’s own followers, Ehud Barak, would go against Rabin’s intentions just five years later.

In 2000, during the waning months of his time in office, Barak offered terrorist and Palestinian Liberation Organization chairman Yasser Arafat the West Bank and East Jerusalem in return for peace as part of the Camp David summit negotiated with U.S. President Bill Clinton. Although Arafat refused, Barak’s offer of East Jerusalem signified a huge departure from Israel’s negotiating position.

But now the cat was out of the bag: Israel was willing to negotiate away East Jerusalem. Israel had always said Jerusalem would be undivided, but apparently there was division on that position.

As Dore Gold, adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, recounted in his book The Fight for Jerusalem, the Israeli public was absolutely furious when it learned that Jerusalem was being offered as part of a peace deal. This led to the largest demonstration in Israel’s history, as 400,000 citizens marched to the Old City walls to protest.

At the time, even though Arafat did not accept the deal, some leftist Israeli officials even considered proposing a unsc resolution where the new parameters for peace including East Jerusalem would be locked in to the new negotiating position of the Israelis. But that didn’t happen. There was no security resolution in 2001.

But fast-forward to December 2016, and we now have that Security Council resolution. The international community has unilaterally decided, with U.S. support, that East Jerusalem does not belong to the Jews. East Jerusalem is no longer up for negotiation—it is Palestinian land, and the Jews have no right to it. Jerusalem, according to the United Nations, is not the united capital of the Jews.

Setting the Stage for Fulfilling Bible Prophecy

Why is this important? It would be easy to disregard the unsc resolution as nothing more than talk. Israel today, especially under the leadership of Mr. Netanyahu, would refuse to concede the Old City and East Jerusalem to the Palestinians. Mr. Netanyahu himself has said as much. If the UN wanted to enforce this resolution, they would have to march member-nations’ armies into Jerusalem to force Israel out of East Jerusalem.

Most people would agree that it would be highly unlikely and irregular for the UN to be able to organize itself that way.

It is possible, however, that the Palestinians themselves could react to this resolution in an armed uprising and try to simply take what the UN has now said already belongs to them. At which point, Israel would need to suppress the violence. That action would put Israel at loggerheads with the international community.

This is important because the Trumpet has long forecast this exact scenario we see developing. Pointing to a prophecy in the biblical book of Zechariah, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has said for many years that half of Jerusalem will indeed fall into Palestinian hands. In March 2006, he elaborated on how it would come about:

It seems the Palestinians could get East Jerusalem, minus the Temple Mount, without a fight. Zechariah’s prophecy implies that there will be an impasse over the Temple Mount—which the Palestinians “resolve” by taking East Jerusalem by force. That is why I believe the conservatives could regain control in Israel. They have a stronger will to fight for the land they believe belongs to the Jews.

At the time he made this statement, a passive left-wing government was in power. But for this prophecy to unfold, conservatives would have to return to power.

This has since happened.

Mr. Netanyahu will not accept Palestinian control of the Temple Mount or East Jerusalem. Yet buoyed by this resolution and likely further action by the international community in the coming months, the Palestinians could be motivated to make a run for it themselves.

Clearly the unsc resolution doesn’t further the chances for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Instead it undermines Israel’s negotiating position, and actually encourages the Palestinians to fight for the land, which brings into play Zechariah’s pivotal prophecy of half of Jerusalem falling.

In 2017, all eyes are going to be on Jerusalem. Zechariah’s prophecy of half of Jerusalem falling is not some obscure or relatively unimportant end-time event. Rather, it is a verifiable and highly visible event that sets off a chain reaction of further prophecies leading to the coming of the Messiah. To understand in detail the events to follow the fall of East Jerusalem, please request Jerusalem in Prophecy by Gerald Flurry.

God’s Watchman

God’s Watchman

The book of Ezekiel discusses two end-time watchmen. Only one of them is appointed by God.

The Prophet Ezekiel wrote about two watchmen who would be on the scene in this end time (Ezekiel 33). One has already come and gone. The other will remain until the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. You need to know who this second watchman is.

The Ezekiel message is an end-time warning to physical and spiritual Israel. Physical Israel consists of the birthright nations of America and Britain primarily. Ezekiel also discusses in less detail the scepter nation of Judah, which is the tiny Jewish state in the Middle East. (Request a free copy of Herbert W. Armstrong’s book The United States and Britain in Prophecy to prove the prophetic identity of these nations.) Spiritual Israel is God’s Church.

A watchman warns the people so they may live and be successful. He isn’t just a man of doom. “If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand” (Ezekiel 33:3-6). God is being very direct here. The watchman has no choice: He must either deliver a warning or die!

Notice Ezekiel’s description of the first watchman. “Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman” (verses 1-2). This figure was chosen by the people, not by God.

Some historians give Winston Churchill credit for saving Western civilization during World War ii. Britain and the entire Western world had quite the watchman at that time. God used Churchill to fulfill a vital purpose, but the people chose that man. God did not. (Request my free booklet Winston S. Churchill: The Watchman for proof that he was the prophesied first watchman of Ezekiel.)


The Second Watchman

Ezekiel wrote a very different description of the second watchman. “So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me” (Ezekiel 33:7). God says of this second watchman, “I have set you.” This is the last man whom God will use to deliver a warning before the coming of the Messiah. What a blessing it is to hear the voice of our Creator through His watchman. We must know our Bibles to discern whether this message is really coming from God.

There will never again be a watchman chosen by the people. The times are too dangerous, and the people are too asleep to see the need for a warning. The nations have reached the point of no return; no longer can they repent as a whole and escape destruction. (Request my free booklet Lamentations: The Point of No Return to understand more.) This time, God has chosen His own watchman. This is the greatest turning point in the history of God’s watchmen since He sent Jesus Christ to the Earth.

God’s watchman is a “son of man.” God chooses a lowly messenger to declare the warning so that the people of physical and spiritual Israel will focus on the words instead of an impressive leader.

There is a unique aspect to God’s watchman today. “And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them” (verse 33). He is a watchman and a prophet. You could not say the same about Churchill. He did not have a prophetic message. He did not tell the people to repent of their sins as God’s watchman does today.

Ezekiel was a prophet but not a watchman. He wrote his warning message to Israel in 585 b.c., while in Babylonian captivity along with the rest of the nation of Judah. Israel had already been enslaved by Assyria more than 100 years earlier, so Ezekiel’s warning to Israel must be for this end time.

“When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand” (verse 8). God is saying that He speaks through one man. We won’t hear from God personally, but hearing the voice of the watchman is the same as hearing God Himself!

“Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul” (verse 9). God wants to protect all people from the Great Tribulation. The only way to be protected is to hear the warning message, to accept it, to rally behind it, and to help deliver it to the world. God wants us to live! In a world full of nuclear bombs, survival is no certainty. We need God’s protection.

“Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live? Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” (verses 10-11). The root cause of all human suffering and death is made clear here: sin. God is crying out, through His watchman, for all mankind to repent! Evil leads only to death; God wants us to live.

The Rebels

“Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking [about] thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the Lord” (Ezekiel 33:30). A few people can sense that this is a message from God. They can watch it on television, hear it on the radio, and read it online or in print. It is an intriguing and peculiar message.

What do they do with this precious understanding? “And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness” (verse 31). Only God’s rebellious people could seem so much like His loyal remnant, yet without works. They may know how to talk or dress nicely, but where are their fruits? They are consumed by covetousness and materialism. If God’s own people have gone so far off track, the rest of the world must also be in big trouble.

“And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not” (verse 32). After Mr. Armstrong died in 1986, the Worldwide Church of God fell apart and broke into hundreds of offshoot churches. Other than the Philadelphia Church of God, no one has held fast to his teachings. They may enjoy reminiscing or listening to old World Tomorrow radio broadcasts, but they don’t do anything with the truth that God gave them! Only doers will receive the protection and blessings of God (James 1:22-25).

“And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them” (Ezekiel 33:33). God’s rebellious people fail to see the watchman standing right in front of them. They are wasting away in debilitating sins. The nations of Israel are just as blind and rebellious. Had the Gentiles received similar access to God’s truth, they would have repented! (Ezekiel 3:6). Our people seem determined to choose the path that leads to death (Deuteronomy 30:19).

“Thus saith the Lord, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed. Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil” (Isaiah 56:1-2). God’s people have failed to uphold the law. They no longer keep the Sabbath holy. They mix the corrupt customs of the world with the pure truth of God.

“His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber” (verse 10). Each rebellious offshoot group of God’s Church has its own watchman. These watchmen don’t warn of what is coming. They won’t face reality. These are the times of the Gentiles, whom God compares to wild ravaging beasts! Russia, China, Iran and the Holy Roman Empire are rising. This is no time for slumber! The only good news is that the problems in God’s Church are a sign that Jesus Christ is about to return.

God says He will offer a tremendous reward to anyone who supports His watchman warning message. “For thus saith the Lord unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off” (verses 4-5). God’s loyal remnant will be more than sons and daughters—they will be the very Bride of Jesus Christ! They will help billions of children be born into the God Family.

God tells us, “Do the Work, and I will make you a lot more than sons and daughters in my Kingdom.” That reward is worth anything asked of us.

God’s Watchman

The Prophet Ezekiel described two end-time watchmen who would have a powerful impact on the world. One was chosen by the people; the other was chosen by God.

Week in Review: All Eyes on Jerusalem, Germany Ready to Split with Trump’s U.S., Obama’s Post-Presidency, and Much More

Week in Review: All Eyes on Jerusalem, Germany Ready to Split with Trump’s U.S., Obama’s Post-Presidency, and Much More

Mark Wilson/Getty Images, NurPhoto/NurPhoto/Getty Images, STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images, JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images

All you need to know about everything in the news this week

Get all the important news from December 31–January 6 by downloading the Trumpet Weekly.Click here to receive it by e-mail every week.


All eyes on Jerusalem

  • The year 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War in which the tiny Jewish state of Israel defended itself against numerous Arab armies simultaneously.
  • Offensively, Israel captured the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the Golan Heights from Syria, and the West Bank from Jordan.
  • For the first time in almost 2,000 years, Jerusalem became a united city under Jewish rule.
  • But now, 50 years on, we must ask: Will united Jerusalem make it to 51?
  • German preparations for a split with America

  • “Doubts are growing inside Angela Merkel’s Chancellery that the incoming American president will mature and become a statesman,” wrote Spiegel Online. “The chancellor is preparing for frosty trans-Atlantic relations while at the same time trying to pull Europe together.”
  • Merkel is “preparing for the worst,” and those preparations may soon help to provide a clear response to Henry Kissinger’s famous question: “Who do I call if I want to speak to Europe?”
  • Spiegel concluded: “It’s possible that the EU may soon finally have such a number—thanks to Donald Trump.”
  • Agitator in chief?

  • Following Donald Trump’s election, United States President Barack Obama assured Democratic Party supporters: “[N]ext year Michelle and I are going to be right there with you … and we’re going to be busy, involved in the amazing stuff that we’ve been doing all these years before.”
  • Obama’s post-presidency plans will no longer involve merely nurturing the Democratic Party as an elder statesman. The outgoing president,” wrote British journalist Melanie Phillips, “is poised to return to his Marxist roots and lead opposition to Trump.”
  • As Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote in his booklet Great Again, “Mr. Obama is not the person most people think he is.”
  • Will North Korea test-fire long-range missiles?

  • North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un announced on January 1 that his nation had “reached the final stage in preparations to test launch” a KN-08 intercontinental ballistic missile (icbm).
  • If successful, this would be the North’s first ever long-range icbm launch, and such missiles would potentially reach the West Coast of the United States.
  • President-elect Donald Trump tweeted a response: “It won’t happen!”
  • The history of Pyongyang’s illegal tests could prove Mr. Trump wrong, and the history of Washington’s irresolute “red lines” could prove that tweet dangerous.
  • Frank Jannuzi, head of the Mansfield Foundation Asia dialogue forum, said in an interview with Reuters: “I worry … that it only emboldens the North, because they see it for what it is: empty talk.”
  • Beware the Bavarians

  • The Alternative for Deutschland won’t be taking over Germany any time soon, wrote David Clay Large, a senior fellow with the Institute of European Studies.
  • Instead, he wrote, the big rise to watch is that of Bavaria and its party, the Christian Social Union
  • “[A]nyone who wants to understand the political fights that loom in Germany’s immediate future should probably spend less time studying the populist Alternative for Germany Party (AfD) than the entrenched political establishment of the southern German state of Bavaria—familiar to foreigners as … the idiosyncratic culture that sustains its heightening feud with Chancellor Angela Merkel.”
  • Other news:

  • Two Russian warships arrived in Manila on Tuesday, marking the first ever navy-to-navy contact between the Philippines and Russia. “Russia is ready to become a new reliable partner and close friend of the Philippines,” said Ambassador Igor Anatolyevich Khovaev.
  • Russian dissident Garry Kasparov warned this week that the world could be “entering a very dark age” unless President-elect Donald Trump stands up to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
  • Get the details on these stories and more by subscribing to the Trumpet Weekly!

    North Korean Long-range Missile Test? Trump Says ‘It Won’t Happen’

    North Korean Long-range Missile Test? Trump Says ‘It Won’t Happen’

    STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images

    Will the president-elect’s statement be viewed as a ‘red line’ that comes back to haunt him?

    North Korean leader Kim Jong-un brought in the New Year on Sunday by proclaiming that his nation has “reached the final stage in preparations to test launch” a KN-08 intercontinental ballistic missile (icbm).

    In the past, the North has tested short- and medium-range missiles but never a long-range icbm, which could potentially reach the West Coast of the United States. Such a test would violate international law and, if successful, could pose a nuclear threat to America.

    The following day, President-elect Donald Trump took to Twitter to address the North Korean statement:


    It is unclear whether Mr. Trump was saying the test itself “won’t happen,” or if he meant that the North reaching the U.S. with a nuclear weapon won’t happen.

    If he meant the first, the next few months could prove him wrong. Pyongyang has repeatedly defied Washington and the international community in its drive to develop nuclear and missile programs. It has conducted test after test in brash defiance of international law and United Nations resolutions. Preventing a future test would be difficult to accomplish without a preemptive military strike or a missile interception early in the test.

    Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program told cnn on Tuesday, “North Korea will probably test the KN-08 this year, no matter what Trump tweets.”

    If Mr. Trump’s tweet referred to a test, it could also be viewed as a red line that he might later be bound to, in a situation similar to U.S. President Barack Obama’s 2012 red line warning the Syrian government against using chemical weapons. “I think this could be something that comes back to haunt [Trump],” said James Acton, of the Nuclear Policy Program at Washington’s Carnegie Endowment for International Peace think tank. “This was a foolhardy tweet for Trump to send given the enormous challenges of constraining North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.”

    If the North perceives the statement as a red line that is later ignored, analysts say it could intensify Kim Jong-un’s push against the status quo. Frank Jannuzi, head of the Mansfield Foundation Asia dialogue forum, said in an interview with Reuters: “I worry … that it only emboldens the North, because they see it for what it is: empty talk. It lays down a red line. … We don’t seem prepared to back up.”

    To understand the depth of the difficulties Mr. Trump’s administration will face, read “Can He Make America Great Again?