35) The Seven Seals

Sometime in the future.

Key Precept: Seals protect, so lifting off seals lifts protection.

Stepping Stone on the path to eternal life: Keep the testimony of Jesus Christ.

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly / rapidly come to pass / be done, be made, and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Blessed is he that 1) readeth, and they that 2) hear the words of this prophecy, and 3) keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” (Revelation 1:1-3)

it is essential that we determine the significance of the phrases “must come to pass,” and “shortly…”

God’s plans are irrevocable…hence, what is to pass is none other than the outcome of a declared decision of God’s

This explanation is so consistent with the foundational truth of all of scripture and the final battles with the Adversary laid out in the Revelation of the end of time that it must be true.

  • “And God said…and it was so.” (Genesis 1)
  • “my word…that goeth forth out of my mouth…shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)

The things which must come to pass then, are God’s intentions previously declared by God’s prophets, such as but not exclusively Daniel, regarding the fourth empire, as well as Job and Paul regarding the resurrection.

In other words, Revelation is the climax to the entire story beginning in Genesis 1.

“In the beginning God created

  1. the [i.e. single] heaven [called the open heaven where birds fly, defining a gaseous state composed of oxygen, etc.and
  2. [a separate entity hence a different word] the earth…And the earth was without form [defines semi-liquid to liquid to gaseous vs solid state, but this can’t be a gaseous state because gases mix so couldn’t be distinguished as a separate entity from the heaven. It is possible that it was created in a liquid state, but that is a supposition that must be clarified with further examination of the evidence.] And the Spirit of God moved upon the [sur]face of the waters [defines liquid, whether composing the entire earth or overlaying a solid earth]And
  3. God made the firmament…and God called the firmament [a second] Heaven [distinguished from the third Heaven which is hyperdimensional]…and divided the waters…from the waters….and the gathering together of the waters called he
  4. [two] Seas [one above the firmament of heaven and] Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place,
  5. and let the dry land appear: And God called the dry land Earth.” (Genesis 1:1-10)

This additional evidence defining “earth” as dry land must be applied to verses 1-2, concluding that the original dry creation became formless with water during an astronomical event. Interesting that the Bible reported this thousands of years ago and is only very recently being claimed as a scientific discovery. 

The LHB [Late Heavy Bombardment] may have been key to delivering water to Earth

In the past, comets were thought to be a significant source of the planet’s water…the ice-rich comets could have deposited water on Earth’s surface, while the planet’s atmosphere kept it from evaporating…

However, studies of comets, including Halley’s Comet and Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, have revealed that most of them seem to carry a different concentration of heavy water. While a normal water molecule is made of two hydrogen and one oxygen atom, heavy water has a hydrogen atom with an extra neutron in its nucleus, called deuterium. If Earth’s water had come from comets, its deuterium-to-hydrogen ratio should be higher than it is today.

Asteroids currently are the most likely suspect for delivering water to the planet…

researchers can study millimeter- to centimeter-thick layers of rock droplets known as spherules.

“Spherule layers…preserved in the geologic record, provide information about an impact even when the source crater cannot be found,” Brandon Johnson, of Purdue University, told Space.com…

“Some of the asteroids that we infer were about 40 kilometers (24.8 miles) in diameter…

The geological evidence of “heavy bombardment” on earth from space is also consistent with the hyper dimensional references in Genesis 1 to Day followed by Night followed by Day followed… being works of light and life opposed by works of darkness and destruction. See the post Days of Thunder for details.

It is also consistent with the additional details of the sequence of events in this era documented in the book of Job, chapter 38.

  • EVENING 1, works of creation: Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?…Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? 
  • NIGHT 1, works of darkness:  the seabrake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb…
  • MORNING 1: works of creation / restoration I…brake up [a law of physics: for every action there is an equal and opposite reactionfor it my decreed place
  • EVENING 2, and set bars and doors, And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed? [the firmament]
  • NIGHT 2: [During what is clearly a war] Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place; 
  • EVENING 2:That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it? It [the Earth] is turned as clay to the seal [formless]; and they [the wicked] stand as a garment [describes a body without life]And from the wicked their light [life] is withholden [definition confirms the description], and the high arm [vividly describes battle pose] shall be broken. [Jude verse 6, quoting Enoch, elucidates this mysterious passage: “And the angels which kept not their first estate…he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.] Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? [Which sea? This can only be determined by the context of the passage in which it is referenced, which is following the same sequence of events as Genesis 1. Since in this sequence the water on earth hasn’t been gathered together into one one sea yet, we must conclude that this is the sea of “outer” space, i.e. on the outside of the firmament. The immediately preceding and succeeding references to imprisoned inactivated / dead things bear out this conclusion.] or hast thou walked in the search of the depth [extent]Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death? [The sea on earth has never, in biblical or pagan paradigms, been considered a repository for dead beings, but pagan paradigms do report that the gods live – and war – in space and high ranking human servants ascend to the heavenly abode of their gods. 
  • NIGHT 2 next round of battle: Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth ? [Like Satan looking for an opportune place to pitch battle, “going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job?” (Job 1]] Where is the way where light dwelleth [the enemy to attack vs] darkness [to recruit an army] where is the place thereof, That thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof, and that thou shouldest know the paths to the house thereof? 
  • MORNING 2: Powers of creation fight back: Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail, Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war? By what way is the light parted, which scattereth the east wind upon the earth? Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder; To cause it to rain on the earth, where no man is; on the wilderness, wherein there is no man; To satisfy the desolate and waste ground; and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth? Hath the rain a father? or who hath begotten the drops of dew? Out of whose womb came the ice? and the hoary frost of heaven, who hath gendered it? The waters are hid as with a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen.
  • EVENING 2: Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sonsKnowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth? Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds, that abundance of waters may cover thee? Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go and say unto thee, Here we are?” (Job 38)

These are all good questions to pose to human politicians who, through scientific means, are seeking to control the forces of nature and the whole extent of space-time and overcome the limitations of the human condition by making alliances with powerful super beings from outer space. In fact, Job’s memoire of his conversation with the Creator at the beginning of recorded history encapsulates the entire history of mankind as a tug of war for control over space-time. And disinformation – lies – are one of the biggest weapons.

“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (John 8:44)

Despite its inherent failure to provide an explanation for matter out of nothing and organization out of chaos, The Big Bang Theory remains one of the most popular explanations for the existence of the universe without God.

Shown here is the Hubble Space Telescope's photo of a candidate galaxy that existed 480 million years after the Big Bang (the z~10 galaxy) and the position in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF) where it was found. The galaxy is touted as the oldest, most

Shown here is the Hubble Space Telescope’s photo of a candidate galaxy that existed 480 million years after the Big Bang (the z~10 galaxy) and the position in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF) where it was found. The galaxy is touted as the oldest, most distant one yet seen by Hubble. This field — called HUDF09 – is the deepest infrared image ever taken of the universe. (Image credit: NASA, ESA… and the HUDF09 Team.)

Before you base your faith on the Hubble Space Telescope, I suggest you look into NASA’s own Hubble website. As detailed in the post In The Beginning, Hubble doesn’t take photos, NASA manufactures them.

Name: Robert Simmon
Title: Lead Data Visualizer and Information Designer

My role is to make imagery from Earth sciences data. I turn data into pictures

Our team is purely about communications…Our writers and visualizers explain what we are seeing and our Web developers tell the world.

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So if NASA “has to” photoshop an image of the earth supposedly taken from a satellite 350 miles above earth, how can we possibly trust any image supposedly taken from the Hubble telescope of objects millions of lightyears away? Look through NASA’s Hubble websites for yourself and just consider the possibility that this is a massive propaganda campaign to condition humanity to accept aliens as saviors from our sins.

stsci-h-p2034a-f-1920x1080_0

New results from the Hubble Space Telescope SUGGEST (emphasis added) the formation of the first stars and galaxies in the early universe took place sooner than previously thought...This ARTIST’S IMPRESSION (emphasis added) presents the early universe.
Credits: ESA/Hubble, M. Kornmesser and NASA (emphasis added.)

Hubble…has played a key role in the discovery of dark energy, a mysterious force that causes the universe to expand faster and faster as time goes on.

And here is a statement that can be fact checked. And it turns out that Hubble is given credit for what earth bound telescopes discovered.

…the unexpected finding made in the late 1990’s that the rate of expansion of the Universe is increasing due to dark energy…was totally unexpected and won its discoverers the Nobel prize for physics...Between 1994 and 1998 twenty astronomers located in America, Europe, Australia and Chile looked at 16 high red shift supernovae.

Hubble turned 30 years old in 2020…Since the telescope’s launch [in 1990], five space shuttle missions have carried astronauts to Hubble to repair and upgrade it. The last mission was in 2009…The telescope will not be repaired or upgraded again. But, it is expected to continue to work past 2020.

Meanwhile, NASA and its international partners are preparing the James Webb Space Telescope to launch in early 2021. The Webb…will be able to see through clouds and dust in space.

Did you just admit that Hubble can’t see through clouds and dust in space?!

The article quoted above is still “Live! From NASA! History’s premier outer space propaganda website!” in 2020, 6 years after Hubble’s expected life span and 11 years after the last repairs and upgrades.

I understand that I don’t have the scientific background or access to Hubble records to prove that Hubble is a complete hoax. Maybe it’s not. But having grown up in a religious system that demanded blind acceptance of what was preached, I learned to apply critical thinking to ANY agency expecting me to blindly pay my tithes or taxes to support whatever they did. I do not put my trust in anyone whose story has a lot of inconsistencies, and there are a host of elements of this narrative that are open to scrutiny.

In the last 11 years, which of your much simpler earth-bound electronics have not required continuous upgrades, or are no longer serviceable, or simply quit functioning? Can you imagine any equipment as high tech as the Hubble would have to be to deliver on its claims, as exposed to the elements and space debris at its location, can possibly be still working just fine??

So let’s consider an alternate explanation. This is not conspiracy theory. This is being wise.

  • 1946 – WWII Nazi rocket science, seized as spoils of war by winners Russia and the US through the acquisition of top Nazi scientists, permits the existing concept of a space-based telescope to be studied for practical implementation.
  • 1949 – North Atlantic Treaty Organization / NATO is formed to deter Soviet expansionism, forbid the revival of nationalist militarism in Europe through a strong North American (and we all know that’s not Canadian) presence on the continent, and encourage European political integration.
  • 1952 – the United States begins an arms race with the Soviet Union. The newly formed US National Security Council’s releases NSC-68, a secret policy paper establishing a state of fear of a nuclear apocalypse and willingness to blindly fund secret spending by the Department of Defense, CIA, and National Security Agency, budgeted at $59 billion in 2015.
  • 1957 – Arch enemy, Russia, launches the first successful artificial satellite.
  • 1958 – Congress passes the Space Act creating the National Aeronautics and Space Agency.
  • 1961 – In his farewell address, President Eisenhower, unable to slow the arms race, warned of the dangers posed by the growing influence of the “military-industrial complex.
  • 1968 – The most tenacious anti-war movement in U.S. history, beginning with the start of the bombing of North Vietnam in 1964 and radicalizing hundreds of thousands of young people, climaxes in 1968, forcing an end U.S. combat operations against Communist forces in Vietnam and a suspension of the draft by January 1973.
  • 1969 – The National Academy of Sciences publishes “Scientific [clearly as opposed to Military] Uses of the Large Space Telescope.”

The Rise of AirLand Battle

First published in 1982, and further developed in 1986, AirLand Battle…envisioned a simultaneous set of attacks deep inside an enemy position, using long-range artillery, airstrikes, and paratroopers…precision guided munitions.

  • 1990 – Hubble Space Telescope launched.

Think I’m being a rabid conspiratorialist?

In a court of law an advocate don’t need to prove anything, simply show enough holes in the opposition’s story to establish doubt. NASA’s story does not hold up to scrutiny.

You are trusting in what you are told by scientists, and they can’t even prove what they claim to be reality.

It took quite a bit more than seven days to create the universe as we know it today. SPACE.com looks at the mysteries of the heavens…

Our universe was born about 13.7 billion years ago in a massive expansion that blew space up like a gigantic balloon.

That, in a nutshell, is the Big Bang theory, which virtually all cosmologists and theoretical physicists endorse. The evidence supporting the idea is extensive and convincing… [Emphasis added.]

However, inflation is not the only idea out there that tries to explain the universe’s structure. Theorists have come up with…the cyclic model, which is based on an earlier concept called the ekpyrotic universe.

This idea holds that our universe “bounced” into expansion…from a pre-existing universe that had been contracting. If this theory is correct, our universe has likely undergone an endless succession of “bangs” and “crunches.”

The cyclic model posits that our universe consists of 11 dimensions, only four of which we can observe (three of space and one of time). Our four-dimensional part of the universe is called a brane (short for membrane).

There could be other branes lurking out there in 11-dimensional space, the idea goes.

(Posted on Space.com in 2011 and still published in 2021.)

Almost everyone has heard the story of the Big Bang. But if you ask anyone, from a layperson to a cosmologist, to finish the following sentence, “In the beginning, there was…” you’ll get a slew of different answers. One of the most common ones is “a singularity,” which refers to an instant where all the matter and energy in the Universe was concentrated into a single point…

But this picture isn’t just wrong, it’s nearly 40 years out of date! We are absolutely certain there was no singularity associated with the hot Big Bang, and there may not have even been a birth to space and time at all. [Emphasis added.] Here’s what we know and how we know it.

The hot Big Bang, as it was first conceived…was the birth of space and time: a way to get the entire Universe to spontaneously pop into existence. It was the ultimate act of creation: the singularity associated with the Big Bang.

The stars and galaxies we see today didn't always exist, and the farther back we go, the closer to... [+] an apparent singularity the Universe gets, but there is a limit to that extrapolation.

Yet, if this were correct, and the Universe had achieved arbitrarily high temperatures in the past, there would be a number of clear signatures of this we could observe today…

And yet, the temperature fluctuations are…thousands of times smaller than a singular Big Bang predicts…

There’s a limit to how far we can go and still validly describe our Universe. In the early 1980s, it was theorized that…our Universe…was…

  • filled with energy inherent to space itself [really? This is God’s explanation of himself.]
  • which causes a rapid, exponential expansion, [In a moment, in a twinkling of an eye]
  • that stretches the Universe flat,
  • gives it the same properties everywhere, [order and organization]
  • with small-amplitude quantum fluctuations,
  • that get stretched to all scales (even super-horizon ones),
  • and then…converts that energy…into matter and radiation… [And God said…and it was so]

If you want to ask the question of how long inflation lasted, we simply have no idea…whether it lasted a little longer, a lot longer, or for an infinite amount of time is not only unknown, but unknowable.

So what happened to start inflation off? There’s a tremendous amount of research and speculation about it, but nobody knows. There is no evidence we can point to; no observations we can make; no experiments we can perform. [So what he’s saying is that it takes revelation.]

There are even some very famous graphics put out by top cosmologists that illustrate this picture. But that doesn’t mean this is right.

Illustration of the density (scalar) and gravitational wave (tensor) fluctuations arising from the... [+] end of inflation. Note that the assumption that a singularity exists prior to inflation is not necessarily valid.

In fact, there are very good reasons to believe that this isn’t right! One thing that we can mathematically demonstrate, in fact, is that it’s impossible for an inflating state to arise from a singularity…

In science, there are the things we can test, measure, predict, and confirm or refute…Everything else? It’s nothing more than speculation.

Throughout all of civilization, going back to the most ancient pyramids and temples up to modern space probes, humanity has been devoting immense resources to accessing outer space.

151217-space-exploration

The global space economy, valued at around 423.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2019, includes a range of activities involved in the researching, exploring, and utilization of space.

This is not purely scientific. There is some serious stuff drawing warmongering governments beyond Earth’s protective atmosphere.

And the Revelation of Jesus Christ explains why.

I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened…and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; 

By starting with Genesis, we understand that this is outer space and will figure as prominently in End Times as it did in the Beginning as reported not only in the Bible but pagan documents such as the Sumerian Enuma Elish.

and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea…

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.” (Revelation 20-21)

So now that we have established the time – end of – and place – earth and outer space – of the actions in Revelation, we can move on to the activities.

the term shortly signifies…that every detail is executed within the shortest possible period and without the least tardiness or waste of time, and is immediately followed by the execution of the next detail in systematic order.

  • shortly is translated from the Greek word Tachos from which we get tachometer – speed, and is also translated hastily, immediately.
    • get up quickly (Acts 12:7), get thee quickly out of Jerusalem (Acts 22:18)

By interpreting the words “shortly” and “come to pass” hermeneutically, we won’t make the mistake of assuming that the events described in Revelation happened shortly after being given to John, ergo two thousand years ago, as some claim, or that the sequence of events stretches out over hundreds of years.

In the history of the church, five predominant approaches…represent distinct views of the message and themes of Revelation...

The futurist approach to the book of Revelation regards the visions of chapters 4–22 as referring to events that lie in the future, events that will occur immediately prior to Christ’s second coming and the end of history.

Preterism…(deriving from a Latin root for “past”), takes the opposite tack of futurism. In this approach, the book of Revelation primarily refers to events that occurred in the past, either in the period prior to the destruction of the Jerusalem temple in AD 70 or in the early Christian centuries leading up to the destruction of the Roman Empire in the fifth century AD. For preterists, the language of Revelation 1:1 (“the things that must soon take place”) establishes a time frame for the entire book…Just as the seven letters to the churches of Asia Minor were addressed to actual churches in the first century, so the remainder of the book spoke to the members of these churches of events and circumstances that would soon occur. Only in chapters 21–22, in the vision of the new heaven and earth, do we find a prophecy of events still lying in the future.

The historicist approach reads the book of Revelation as a visionary symbolization of the sequence of events that will occur throughout the course of the history of the church, from Christ’s first coming until His second coming at the end of the present age…A wellknown illustration of an historicist reading of the book of Revelation is the Reformation identification of the harlot Babylon in Revelation 17 with the Roman Catholic Church and the papacy. A less well-known historicist interpretation is the medieval church’s identification of the Beast from the sea in Revelation 13 with the rise of Islam…

The Idealist Approach

Sometimes called “iterism,” this approach views the visions of Revelation as a portrayal of the church’s struggle throughout the entire period between the first and second comings of Christ. Idealism…maintains that the letters to the seven churches and the visions of the book reflect circumstances that characterize the entire church age, from Christ’s first coming until His return at the end of the present age. Whereas futurists, preterists, and historicists identify the harlot Babylon in Revelation 17 with an endtime, first–century, or historical figure, respectively, idealists argue that Babylon symbolizes a variety of political and religious forms of opposition to the church and the gospel that recur throughout history…

The Eclectic Approach

The eclectic approach acknowledges that there are elements of truth in all of the approaches identified thus far. Preterism rightly insists that the visions of Revelation reflect events and circumstances contemporaneous with its writing or the period immediately thereafter…Futurism partially solves the problem of preterism by emphasizing the way the visions of Revelation portray events that will take place shortly before the end of history…As for historicism…these events are not limited to a particular time in the past, present, or even future.

The obvious strength of eclecticism is its ability to incorporate the primary emphases of the other approaches without the one-sidedness that often characterizes alternative views. The weakness of the approach may be its tendency to ascribe different meanings to the same vision. In doing so, the eclectic interpreter can make the vision mean almost anything.

Our Task Today

What then shall we say in light of the strengths and weaknesses of these five approaches? One answer is clear. While all of these approaches may help to discover the meaning of the book of Revelation, none of them absolves contemporary readers from the hard task of interpreting the book in an exegetically responsible manner.

There is a problem with any approach that separates a Gentile Church of Christ from the Jewish nation. As detailed in the posts Everything New is Old Again and Pick a Side, the one entity that encompasses ALL the saints of God of ALL time under the Melchizedekian priesthood culminating in Jesus Christ is the Hebrew nation.

People who identify as exclusively Gentile Christians won’t be able to understand the Revelation, recognize the Signs of the Times, and respond appropriately to the challenges they face. They will find themselves on the wrong team, voting in Antichrist, even taking the mark of the beast. Doesn’t even this prospect warrant a serious study of the Bible’s – not a favorite Christian teacher’s – writings on this subject?

YHVH’s Savior certifies the events recorded in Revelation with the same signature found on all his previous writings.

“I am the LORD: that is my name…behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them. (Isaiah 42:8-9, John 14:29)

As the events described in Revelation unfold exactly as foretold, they will themselves be the proof that the written record is true. The prediction of the fulfillment of Yeshua’s promise is grounded in verifiably historically identical ways (get it?) that are unmistakable proofs of the identity/name of the same God returning to rescue his people once again, despite the passing of thousands of years and massive culture shifts, providing credibility and reliability not found in any other religious or sociological or scientific writings.

It is exactly because this holy 5eda23aaec6edb26ecc202e0999a8d65-evolution-science-richard-dawkinsbook doesn’t change its story over time that it provides credible warnings, and offers trustworthy positive outcomes, for the future of human beliefs in action.

This book alone provides historical documentation that the author’s word truly comes to pass, so that we can trust his word for our own uncertain future.

There is another aspect of God’s ID that is often overlooked, but is a key that will open up Revelation.

The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands.” (Psalm 9:16)

Keep this practice in mind to clarify who the actors are.

I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.

And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.

And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.

And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.

And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.

And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.

And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:

10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?

11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.

14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;

16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:

17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

The four horses and their riders described in Zechariah 6 and Revelation 6 detail not just a set but a linked sequence of events common to every catastrophic breakdown of society. A ride through history gives a broad overview of this pattern, enabling us to recognize future recurrences even before the next step in the sequence unfolds. Forewarned is forearmed.

fourhorsemenoftheapocalypse.jpg

  1. “And I saw...a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer”.  A strong man promises to bring peace to a chaotic world through strength
    1. Alexander the Great: Conquered the Persian Empire, often said to be the greatest military leader of all time.  Starting with welding a multitude of independent Greek city states under his control, by the age of 33, he had the largest empire in the history stretching from Greece to Egypt to India.
    2. Julius Caesar: Conquered the Gauls, genius military commander, played a critical role in the death of a Roman Republic and the rise of the strong Roman Empire, devised great strategies and plan for the expansion of the empire, political finesse, conquered almost all of Western Europe.
    3. Napoleon Bonaparte: Conquered the monarchical system, shrewd and cunning, the chaotic circumstances of the loss of any stable government following the French Revolution allowed him to rapidly rise from a lowly position in the army to seize the reins of the French government. and become first consul based on the Roman republican government recently resurrected by America in 1776, then Emperor of the still existing Western Roman Empire.
    4. Hitler: Conquered Germany’s national humiliation and crippling debt of the Versailles Treaty, leadership skills were matched only by few in the world, oratory skills, military expansions and economic growth plans, Meticulous planning, propaganda and strategizing by Hitler has in some way, shaped the power politics of the world that we see even today.
  2. And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.”
    1. Alexander the Great’s legacy: War of the Successors split Alexander’s empire into Macedonia, the Seleucid Empire in Syria and Mesopotamia, and the Ptolemaic Kingdom in Egypt, for centuries these three will be fighting for the hegemony of the Levant and the Eastern Mediterranean until defeated by the Romans.
    2. Julius Caesar’s legacy: two civil wars and the creation of an imperial system while observing the outward form of the Republican system
    3. Napoleon Bonaparte’s legacy: one of the greatest military strategists in history, during 23 years of warfare created an empire that stretched from the River Elbe in the north, down through Italy in the south, and from the Pyrenees to the Dalmatian coast.
    4. Hitler’s legacy: World War 2 is the biggest mass war known to man. It’s estimated over 50-70 million people died due to the conflicts. 80% of Soviet males born in 1923 didn’t survive World War 2. That is the vast majority of a whole generation. This led to economic problems for the country post war.
  3. “And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.” The rich got richer, especially the corrupt military-industrial complex, while for the average person “a man’s daily wages would be but just enough to buy himself bread, without any thing to eat with it; and when he would have nothing left for clothes, and other things, nor anything for his wife and children:” Dreadful living conditions, poor nutrition and pandemics for not just combatants but civilians in homelands diverting resources for war and in lands devastated by war, earthquakes and other natural disasters experiencing a break down of law and order, and homeless refugees in camps fleeing battlefields and genocide.“Food shortages contributed to the rioting that led to the [French] Revolution and persisted despite the Revolution. They drove the increasing anger and radicalism of the Parisian lower classes. Revolutions of 1848, known in some countries as the Spring of Nations…were a series of political upheavals throughout Europe in 1848. It remains the most widespread revolutionary wave in European history…Over 50 countries were affected…Urban workers had no choice but to spend half of their income on food, which consisted mostly of bread and potatoes. As a result of harvest failures, food prices soared…In the years 1845 and 1846, a potato blight caused a subsistence crisis in Northern Europe…Harvests of rye in the Rhineland were 20% of previous levels…the cost of wheat more than doubled in France and Habsburg Italy…There were 400 French food riots during 1846 to 1847….American investigative journalist Alfred Henry Lewis (1855-1914) famously said, “There are only nine meals between mankind and anarchy.” …What he means is that hunger dispels the illusions of a polite society and unleashes the desperate animal-like nature that lurks inside all human beings. A starving man trying to feed his starving children will at some point abandon all law and order, doing anything necessary to keep himself and his children alive, including engaging in robbery, assault and murder…”
    1. Napoleon Bonaparte’s legacy: The Napoleonic Wars devastated Europe for over a decade Throughout the 19th century, the monarchies of Europe, fearing what had happened in France at the end of the 18th century, became more and more suppressive.
    2. Hitler’s legacy: “Savage Continent…a world without institutions. No governments. No school or universities. No access to any information. No banks. Money no longer has any worth. There are no shops, because no one has anything to sell. Law and order are virtually non-existent because there is no police force and no judiciary. Men with weapons roam the streets taking what they want. Women of all classes and ages prostitute themselves for food and protection. This is…a history of Europe in the years directly following World War II, when many European cities were in ruins, millions of people were displaced, and vengeance killings were common, as was rape.”
  4. “And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.” – massive death rates from all causes.
    1. Napoleon’s legacy: One estimate is that 5,000,000–7,000,000 died overall, including civilians
    2. Hitler’s legacy: “Some 75 million people died in World War II, including about 20 million military personnel and 40 million civilians, many of whom died because of deliberate genocide, massacres, mass-bombings, disease, and starvation.”

Notice the the four horsemen of the apocalypse don’t actually go anywhere. They simply ride in a circle around a corral. These dire circumstances are the inevitable results of un-right-eous choices by men in power. They create such social chaos that otherwise independent humans are driven to a strong desire for, belief in, and subjugation to a savior. However, when the savior is un-right-eous, nothing changes but the faces, fashions and fatality potential of the weapons. This interminable cycle of events only ends when righteous people call for the righteous savior.

With the concept of “coming to pass” firmly in mind, please understand that I am not pointing the finger at any person or event as being fulfilment of prophecy, simply as being one of a host of obvious recurrences of prophecy bringing the end looming into view. Think of it like riding with the Four Horsemen on a merry-go-round. As you go round and round the views of the food stalls, the plunging roller coaster, the horror house, etc. stay the same, while only the individuals in each fleeting view change.

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My purpose is to update our static Sunday School pictures to heart-pounding current events. For now I just want to expand our awareness that what has been before will be again, and vice versa – known history brings past history to life.

If you can acknowledge the unending cycle of events, then you must acknowledge that the powerful US Presidents fit perfectly into the pattern of the Horsemen. Promising peace and prosperity through political deals, they led America and the world from one catastrophe to the next. The following is just a brief sampling.

  1. Hero on a white horse saves the day.
    1. George Washington: led the American Revolution, a visionary which has led America to become the super power it is today.
      1. Freed colonialists from tyrannical British rule
    2. Abraham Lincoln: led the country through the US Civil War, conviction, humility, oratory skills
      1. Freed the slaves.
    3. Theodore Roosevelt: led the country into Imperialism throughout the 1890s, increasingly relying on its military and economic power to pursue foreign policy goals
      1. Freed workers from exploitation by Industrialists and began noble policy of furthering the Progressive agenda around the world.” Roosevelt believed that the United States had emerged as a world power, and he sought ways to assert America’s newly-eminent position abroad by involvement with European conflicts and strengthening ties with Great Britain.
    4. Franklin D. Roosevelt: led America through WWII to become a world power.
      1. Conquered fear – of the Great Depression which he ended, of WWII which he won, and of world isolation which he overcame by making America the world leader by fighting and winning WWII. If you ask any American why the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, you will usually get a blank stare instead of an analysis of American actions prior to the attack —President Franklin Delano Roosevelt refused Japanese overtures to negotiate an end to the embargo and avoid war…
    5. George W. Bush: led America through 911 to become greatest military power in world history.
      1. Conquered fear of vulnerability against terrorism – “No president in the history of Gallup’s approval ratings has seen a higher rating than Bush did right after the attacks.” Two weeks afterward, nearly 9 in 10 Democrats and independents approved of the Republican president, with Democratic approval trailing Republicans by 10 percentage points.
  2. Red horse brings war and more war
    1. George Washington’s legacy: immediately, over 1,500 wars, attacks and raids on Indians, the most of any country in the world against its Indigenous people. In the long term, America has been at war 93% of the time since its birth in 1776.
    2. Abraham Lincoln’s legacy: The U.S. Army underwent an enormous expansion during the Civil War (1861–65), growing from 16,000 troops in December 1860 to 1,000,000 by 1865 plus another 500,000 Confederate troops at its height, resorting to conscription to maintain their vast armies. The Army Reorganization Act of 1866 provided for a standing army which saw almost constant combat in the Indian Wars, the Mexican American War, the Spanish American war, and the Philippine American War. When war came again in 1917, the U.S. Army was well prepared.
    3. Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy through his successor Woodrow Wilson: Wilson was the first U.S. president to visit Europe also the first to claim the U.S. role of making the world “safe for democracy.” American involvement in World War I tipped the victory to the allied side and caused Britain and France to falsely declare the Germans guilty of starting the war, rub its nose in defeat with heavy war reparations, and grab German and its losing allies’ colonies overseas. Woodrow Wilson demanded that the German king, Kaiser Wilhelm II, abdicate. All of these post-war depredations paved the way for the rise of the hyper-nationalist and jingoistic Hitler.”
    4. FDR’s legacy through his successor Harry Truman: The Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States and their respective allies, generally considered to span the 1947 Truman Doctrine to the 1991 dissolution of the Soviet Union, as each supported major regional conflicts known as proxy wars. Thus America has been permanently fighting overseas wars since WWII, with the exception of a 3 years hiatus after the debacle of ending the Vietnam War, and two other 1 year pauses.
    5. Bush’s legacy: a permanent state of war in which the US is directly involved. The War on Terror was launched by President George W. Bush after the al-Qaida 9/11 terrorist attacks. Our war on terror begins with al-Qaida,” he said, “but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped, and defeated.” “(1) the U.S. government’s deadly foreign policy of interventionism to kill “terrorists” would inevitably generate a constant supply of terrorists who would be seeking to retaliate; and (2) the U.S. national-security establishment would wield the omnipotent, non-reviewable power to determine who is a “terrorist” (or a “bad guy”), a power that would enable it to always have a steady supply of “terrorists” all over the world.” Today, the…Cold War and the war on terrorism have coalesced to ensure a permanent state of crisis and emergency and, of course, ever increasing budgets and power for the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA.”
  3. Black horse – Dreadful living conditions, poor nutrition and pandemics for the majority with the majority of wealthy concentrated into a small minority of the rich.
    1. George Washington’s legacy: Plains Indians were unable to hunt buffalo since the majority had been deliberately exterminated. Instead, they had to rely on government rations that could be withdrawn at any time for poor behaviour. Since they could not leave their reservations there was no way for Plains Indians to increase their wealth. They were reduced to a subsistence life. Indian children were forcibly taken from their homes and sent to school. In 1889 the federal government opened unassigned lands in the Oklahoma Territory that were formerly reserved for Indians, to white settlement, triggering a massive land grab. Starvation was common, and living in close quarters hastened the spread of diseases brought by white settlers.
    2. Lincoln’s legacy: “Destruction, hunger, lawlessness and violence in the South, one million plus homeless African American refugees, white male population decimated by the war, governments in many places ceased to exist, cities in shambles, farms destroyed, new labor arrangements of tenant farming and sharecropping became a way for wealthy whites to continue dominating society and keep blacks repressed well beyond the Civil War, poor African Americans and some whites routinely convicted of vagrancy or other crimes then sentenced to prolonged periods of forced labor leased to mines and plantations cheaper than slaves (In Alabama, convict leasing constituted 73% of the state’s revenue in 1898), lasted for almost 60 years. Redeemers passed Black Codes that limited the rights of African Americans and sidestepped the 14th Amendment by passing Jim Crow laws at the local and state levels to keep non-whites separated in public spaces, paramilitary groups like the Ku Klux Klan used intimidation, threats and attacks on people and property to preserve white supremacy.”
    3. Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy through his successors: Before World War I, the global economy was growing robustly. There were no limits on immigration and no need for passports. Governments were small and kept their budgets balanced…after World War I countries imposed restrictions…protectionism set the stage for the Great Depression. Countries dropped the gold standard. Governments learned their people would submit to taxation and conscription if it meant protection from outside forces. The U.S. top tax rate rose from 7% in 1915 to 77% in 1918, rising above 90% in 1944. Lenin called the rise of government influence during the war as “wartime socialism.” He used it as the basis for the Soviet Union. The German government printed money to pay for the war. It increased the number of Deutschmarks in circulation from 13 billion to 60 billion. Germany’s sovereign debt went from 5 billion to 100 billion marks also printing money to meet the 132 billion marks of Treaty of Versailles’ reparations. As a result, Germany experienced hyperinflation. Production collapsed, leading to a shortage of goods, especially food with the price of everyday items doubling every 3.7 days. Sandwiched between the giddy 1920’s and World War II, the 1930s saw a huge disparity in the lifestyles of the common man and those considered High Society. on “Black Friday”, October 29, 1929 the stock market crashed. Within a year 5,000 banks collapsed and six-million workers lost their jobs. By 1933 more than 15-million people – one-quarter of the workforce – were unemployed. The Great Depression was partly caused by the great inequality between the rich who accounted for a third of all wealth and the poor who had no savings at all…For the vast majority the 1930s was a time of misery. But for many American dynastic families, parties helped to escape the reality on the street and the grander the better. While storefronts stood empty, the 47-storey Waldorf-Astoria Hotel opened in 1931 at a cost of $42 million ($600 million today)…The Ritz was another favored venue for extravagant celebrations…Barbara Hutton, grand-daughter of the dime-store magnate Frank W. Woolworth, made her debut there in 1933. Costing more than $60,000 ($1million today)…on the West Coast  even greater excesses were witnessed, at a time when most Americans could not afford to feed their family.
    4. FDR’s/Truman’s legacy: “Millions of people, both civilians and military personnel, lost their lives…where United States and Soviet Union proxy wars took place. Russia was left with a devastated economy…Economic and social tensions soared for years after the Cold War ended and because so many nuclear weapons were stockpiled during the war, the chances of an intentional or accidental nuclear strike were dramatically increased. At the beginning of the Cold War, there were two superpowers, the U.S. and Russia. By the end of the war, only one superpower remained, the U.S.
    5. Bush’s legacy: At the end of 2000, violent conflict and its aftermath had left nearly 24 million people in 28 developing and transition countries and territories food insecure and in need of humanitarian assistance. In addition, some 35 million war-affected refugees and internally displaced persons showed high rates of malnutrition. Armed conflict leads to the destruction of crops, livestock, land, and water, and disrupts infrastructure, markets, and the human resources required for food production, distribution, and safe consumption. Combatants frequently use hunger as a weapon: they use siege to cut off food supplies and productive capacities, starve opposing populations into submission, and hijack food aid intended for civilians. Even after wars have ceased, landmines continue to exact high costs in terms of human life, economic and social development and agricultural production. Safe removal of 60-70 million unexploded landmines from 70 poor countries could expand agricultural lands; by 88-200 percent in Afghanistan.
  4. Pale horse – massive death rates from all causes.
    1. George Washington’s legacy: By the close of the Indian Wars in the late 19th century, fewer than 238,000 Indigenous people remained from the estimated 5 million to 15 million living in North America when Columbus arrived in 1492.
    2. Lincoln’s legacy: “The Civil War was America’s bloodiest conflict.  The unprecedented violence of battles such as Shiloh, Antietam, Stones River, and Gettysburg shocked citizens and international observers alike.  Nearly as many men died in captivity during the Civil War as were killed in the whole of the Vietnam War.  Hundreds of thousands died of disease.  Roughly 2% of the population, an estimated 620,000 men, lost their lives in the line of duty.  Taken as a percentage of today’s population, the toll would have risen as high as 6 million souls.” In addition, there were 50,000 civilian deaths during the war, the overall mortality rate for the South exceeded that of any country in World War I and all but the region between the Rhine and the Volga in World War II. The American Civil War produced carnage that was often thought to be reserved for the combination of technological proficiency and inhumanity characteristic of a later time.
    3. Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy: Troops movement in WWI helped the spread of the 1918 influenza pandemic. Worldwide, one out of three or 500 million people got sick. Of those, 50 million died, some within hours. In the United States, one out of four got sick. Of those, 675,000 died.
    4. FDR’s/Truman’s legacy: Over 12 million have died in America’s wars since WWII.4ilpi_world_map_umbrellas
    5. Bush’s legacy: “A series of new reports document an alarming escalation of civilian casualties caused by U.S. operations in Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia — and with it, a pattern of U.S. denial about the scale of the problem. The result is a global war on terror that persists in killing and injuring civilians — including children — in ever rising numbers.ISIS claimed the city of Raqqa, in north-central Syria, as the capital of its so-called “caliphate” in January 2014…But it was the U.S.-led bombing campaigns in Raqqa for which civilians and their city paid the highest price…The assault was relentless. “One U.S. military official boasted about firing 30,000 artillery rounds during the campaign — the equivalent of a strike every six minutes, for four months straight — surpassing the amount of artillery used in any conflict since the Viet Nam war,” the report…documented 1,600 civilians killed by U.S.-led airstrikes on the city, limiting their count mostly to those the organization and its partners were able to reasonably verify on the ground. “Raqqa’s soaring civilian death toll is unsurprising,” the report concludes, “given the Coalition’s relentless barrage of munitions that were inaccurate to the point of being indiscriminate when used near civilians…” in Afghanistan…more civilians had been killed by U.S. and U.S.-backed forces than by the Taliban or ISIS….Eighteen years of war and occupation haven’t eliminated the Taliban — while the U.S.-backed Afghan government fades under a morass of corruption and incompetence…The largely invisible U.S. war on Somalia…have included Special Forces and other ground troops hunting for al-Qaeda, al-Shabab and other militant organizations. Beginning under the Obama administration, the main focus has been an air war carried out largely by drones…“The toll from bombs, drone strikes and firefights is only the tip of the iceberg. Not included are the hundreds of thousands killed in war zones around the world by U.S.-imposed economic sanctions, by hunger stemming from food system disruption, and by disease resulting from the bombing of water treatment facilitieshospitals and clinicsAnd they are being killed by the very soldiers and pilots, bombers, National Security Councils, congressional war-funders, parliaments, prime ministers and presidents who claim to be liberating them.” “Around 90% of all deaths in war are civilians.

A snowball effect is how it rolls in the book A Path Where No Man Thought: Nuclear Winter and the End of the Arms Race by eminently popular atheist scientist Carl Sagan and Richard Turco. Published in 1990, it continues to be defended as a real and present danger by scientists. Interestingly, it matches step by step the beginning of the end of the world detailed in The Revelation by St. John the Divine published about 100 AD.

This cascade of events leading to the end of the world as we know it is not just prophecy by fanatical religious fundamentalists, it is a prediction by top scientists.

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Recently updated geopolitical assessments have led cientists to warn that, one way or another, human misbehavior is bringing our world to an end.

for I have heard from the LORD God of hosts a consumption /utterly consumed, devastation, even determined upon the whole earth. ” (Isaiah 28:14-22)

Interestingly, consumption is what tuberculosis was historically called in civilizations all around the world, due to inexorable wasting away of the entire body. Unlike many other diseases, TB appears to have originated in humans, not jumped from animals, has been discovered in skeletons from the Neolithic era (preflood) around the world, and “was probably the disease that killed the most human beings in historyDue to extreme drug resistance, it remains a critical health problem today.

TB is spread from person to person through the air. When people with lung TB cough, sneeze or spit, they propel the TB germs into the air. A person needs to inhale only a few of these germs to become infected.

About one-quarter of the world’s population…have been infected by TB bacteria but are not (yet) ill with the disease…Those with compromised immune systems, such as people living with HIV, malnutrition or diabetes, or people who use tobacco, have a higher risk of falling ill…Without proper treatment, 45% of HIV-negative people with TB on average and nearly all HIV-positive people with TB will die…Over 95% of cases and deaths are in developing countries.

Sound familiar?

As the COVID-19 pandemic has spread to almost all corners of the world, the Stop TB Partnership has released the results of the latest modeling study which demonstrates the impact the virus will have on the world’s leading infectious disease killer globally—tuberculosis (TB). The new study was commissioned by the Stop TB Partnership in collaboration with the Imperial College, Avenir Health and Johns Hopkins University, and it was supported by USAID.

All these [four horsemen events] are [just] the beginning of sorrows.

The fifth seal.

“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” (Revelation 6:9-11)

YHVH allows persecution of people who claim to believe in his Savior to force us to make a decision in a crisis: trust in

  1. the word of the human powers of this world or
  2. the word of the Creator of this world.

This weeds out the fair weather friends from the true. If people aren’t willing to follow Jesus into his sufferings and death, what makes them think they’ll follow him into his kingdom?

“Behold, a sower went forth to sow

  • some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up – When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart.
  • Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away – he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
  • And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them – he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
  • But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold – he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit.” (Matthew 13)

“The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.” (John 12:23-27)

“Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus…Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ…Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.” (II Timothy 2:1-16)

“thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (II Timothy 3:10-12)

It is only because of Jesus’ identity as a human that his death can be applied to humans, yes? And the reverse is also true. We can only be saved from judgment for sin by our identity as Jesus himself.

Most historians agree that Jesus or his followers established a new Jewish sect…The first followers of Jesus were essentially all ethnically Jewish or Jewish proselytesJesus was Jewish, preached to the Jewish people, and called from them his first followers. According to McGrath, Jewish Christians, as faithful religious Jews, “regarded their movement as an affirmation of every aspect of contemporary Judaism, with the addition of one extra belief-that Jesus was the Messiah…characterised by combining the confession of Jesus as Christ with continued observance of the Torah and adherence to Jewish traditions such as Sabbath observanceJewish calendarJewish laws and customscircumcisionkosher diet and synagogue attendance, and by a direct genetic relationship to the earliest followers of Jesus.

[They] regarded Jesus to be the Messiah, the promised king who would restore the Jewish kingdom and independence. Jewish messianism has its root in the apocalyptic literaturepromising a future “anointed” leader or messiah to restore the Israelite “Kingdom of God“, in place of the foreign rulers of the time. This corresponded with the Maccabean Revolt directed against the Seleucid Empire. Following the fall of the Hasmonean kingdom, it was directed against the Roman administration of Judea Province, which, according to Josephus, began with the formation of the Zealots and Sicarii(6 CE), although full-scale open revolt did not occur until the First Jewish–Roman War in 66 CE…

it is increasingly accepted among scholars that “at the end of the 1st century CE there were not yet two separate religions called ‘Judaism’ and ‘Christianity'”.

The name that is hated is Jewish, and those who take on his name are identified with the Jews, caught between a Rock and a hard place, violently rejected as heretics by both the zealous Jews and pagan Gentiles.

“ye, [Gentile] brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus / Yeshua haMashiach: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews: Who both killed the Lord Jesus / Yeshua, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us;” (I Thessalonians 2:14-15)

“Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh…ye were without Christ / Mashiach, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus / Mashiach Yeshua ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ / Mashiach.” (Ephesians 2:11-13)

“godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come…For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.” (I Timothy 4:8-10)

“God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord...but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling…according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus / Yeshua haMashiach before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ / Yeshua haMashiach, who hath abolished death [in fulfillment of Jewish prophecy] and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel...For the which cause I also suffer these things: (II Timothy 1:7-12)

Take, my brethren, the [Jewish] prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.” (James 5:10-11)

For a long time Christianity regarded itself as part of Judaism. It had its center in Jerusalem (Irenæus, “Adversus Hæreses, i. 26); its first fifteen bishops were circumcised Jews, they observed the Law and were rather unfriendly to heathenism (Sulpicius Severus, “Historia Sacra,” ii. 31; Eusebius, “Hist. Eccl.” iv. 5; compare Matt. xv. 26), while they held friendly intercourse with the leaders of the synagogue (see Grätz, “Gesch. der Juden,” iv. 373 et seq.; and Ebionites, Minim, and Nazarenes). Many a halakic and haggadic discussion is recorded in the Talmud as having taken place between the Christians and the Rabbis (see Jacob the Gnostic). Probably the Christian Congregation, or Church of the Saints, did not distinguish itself in outward form from the “Ḳehala Ḳaddisha” at Jerusalem, under which name the Essene community survived the downfall of the Temple (Ber. 9b; compare Eccl. R. ix. 9: ‘Edah Ḳedoshah)…

The founder of Christian theology…the Apostle of the Gentiles never ceased to consider himself a Pharisee…he was “educated at the feet of Gamaliel according to the strict manner of the Law.” Gamaliel was…so learned that the Jews, who keenly honor scholarship, called him “the beauty of the Law,” and gave to him first, as to only six men after him, the title of rabban, “our master.” From him and others Paul learned that shrewd and subtle…manner of Biblical interpretation…he remained to the end a Jew in mind and character, uttered no doubt of the Torah’s inspiration, and proudly maintained the divine election of the Jews as the medium of man’s salvation…

Until 68-70 AD/CE believing & non-believing Jews coexisted, sitting in the same synagogue, and attending the same temple.  Early believers kept all the Feasts of God…Jerusalem was between 1/3 & ½ believers in Yeshua before the destruction of the Temple…While many Jews did not agree that Yeshua was Messiah, they respected the believers for their lifestyle & devotion.

As long as Christianity appeared as one of the sects of Judaism, it was not persecuted. Judaism enjoyed the status of the religio licita, or a legal sect. But when it became distinguished from Judaism, it came under the ban of the state, which allowed no rival for allegiance of its subjects…

The first major split occurred between 68-70 AD/CE. Believers…heeding Yeshua’s words in Matt 24 [to flee the city in advance of the Roman attack caused them to be labeled]…as traitors in the eyes of many Jews [for not helping defend Jerusalem].

Between 70 – 100 AD/CE another major change began, as large numbers of gentiles accepted Jesus…Before 70 AD/CE all leaders in Jerusalem were Jews, after, all were Gentiles.

It was during the last struggle with Rome in the days of Bar Kokba and Akiba [136 AD] that, amidst denunciations on the part of the Christians and execrations on the part of the Jewish leaders, those hostilities began which separated Church and Synagogue forever, and made the former an ally of the arch-enemy [emphasis added]

The growing schism of Gentiles from the Jewish believers Christianity is evident in 190 when Ephesus’ bishop, St. Polycrates, held a council to consider The Quartodeciman controversy.

Polycrates emphatically stated that he was following the tradition passed down to him: We observe the exact day; neither adding, nor taking away. For in Asia also great lights have fallen asleep, which shall rise again on the day of the Lord’s coming … All these observed the fourteenth day of the Passover according to the Gospel, deviating in no respect, but following the rule of faith. And I also, Polycrates, the least of you all, do according to the tradition of my relatives, some of whom I have closely followed. For seven of my relatives were bishops; and I am the eighth. And my relatives always observed the day when the people[a reference to the Jews]put away the leaven...

Thereupon Victor, who presided over the church at Rome, immediately…wrote letters and declared all the brethren there wholly excommunicate. But this did not please all the bishops…Irenaeus…fittingly admonishes Victor that he should not cut off whole churches of God which observed the tradition of an ancient custom found in Leviticus 11...

nevertheless the Ephesian Church soon conformed in this particular to the practice of all the other Churches…the Council of Nicaea (325), confirmed for Ephesus its ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the whole “diocese” or civil territory of Asia Minor, i.e. over the eleven ecclesiastical provinces…the Council of Constantinople (381) formally recognized this authority.

“by the early 4th century all Christians were celebrating Easter on a Sunday….Emperor Constantine Isaid that it had been decided to adopt a uniform date, rejecting the custom of the Jews, who had crucified Jesus...first of all, it appeared an unworthy thing that in the celebration of this most holy feast we should follow the practice of the Jews, who have impiously defiled their hands with enormous sin, and are, therefore, deservedly afflicted with blindness of soul…Let us then have nothing in common with the detestable Jewish crowd…withdraw ourselves from all participation in their basenessWhy then should we follow those who are confessedly in grievous error?

When we base our faith and practice on scripture, there is no question about it. The core of the gospel of the kingdom is Jewish, with continuity of the city of Jerusalem and temple worship.

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ / Yeshua Mashiach, the Son of God; As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee…and the LORD, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the [new] covenant…And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years…For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed…John did…preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins…Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.(Mark 1:1-3; Malachi 3:1-6; Mark 1:4-15)

Most of all, there is hard core demand for righteousness and holiness.

if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenantye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.” (Exodus 19:5-6)

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers / newbies scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia…as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy…ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God…abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;” (I Peter 1-2)

“Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles…without Christ / Messiah, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus / YHVH’s Anointed Savior ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ / Messiahwho hath made both one [equal citizens in the commonwealth of Israel! Having abolished in his flesh the enmity [between Jews and Gentiles], even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; [obviously not the ten commandments!] for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

That “new man” and “one body” is Hebrew, with Jewish leadership, not “Christian” with Gentile leadership. See the previous post Everything New is Old Again for details. Or we can just continue reading Paul’s explanation.

And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God…built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets [like Isaiah and Jeremiah], Jesus Christ / Yeshua Mashiach himself being the chief corner stone…In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:12-22)

The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests that were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin: To whom the word of the LORD came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah…unto the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth month…the word of the LORD came unto me, saying...I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations...I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.” (Jeremiah 1:1-5)

“Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days…At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart.” (Jeremiah 3:14-17)

“The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book [As a guarantee, like the deed to a house or title to a car or warrenty for repairs]The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee…For thus saith the LORD; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations: publish ye, praise ye, and say, O LORD, save thy people, the remnant of Israel…for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn. Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock. For the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him…Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah… this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people…Thus saith the Lord, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever. Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the Lord.” (Jeremiah 31:31-37)

“I [Paul] say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew…at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.” (Romans 11:1-5)

Faithfulness in identifying with YHVH’s Savior through great tribulation even unto death results in one last surge of witnessing and opportunity for salvation of unbelievers. If you consider that this includes our own loved ones, isn’t it worth it?

6th seal

“And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo,

  • there was a great earthquake;
  • and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair,
  • and the moon became as blood;
  • the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
  • And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

earthquakes2b

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