94) Judgment Begins At The House Of God

Despite the clear evidence of super-human involvement in her survival, Israel – like the vast majority of the rest of us so we can’t point fingers – ignores or rejects or outright rebels against God’s laws.

“What man…goeth in company with the workers of iniquity, and walketh with wicked men. For he hath said, It profiteth a man nothing that he should delight himself with God. Therefore hearken unto me ye men of understanding: far be it from God, that he should do wickedness; and from the Almighty, that he should commit iniquity.

For the work of a man shall he render unto him, and cause every man to find according to his ways. Who hath given him a charge over the earth? or who hath disposed the whole world? If he / the Singularity…gather unto himself his spirit and his breath; All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust…

For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings. There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves. For he will not lay upon man more than right; that he should enter into judgment with God.” (Job 34)

Unlike parents who cave in to temper tantrums of strong-willed children, God is not losing control. Prophecy after prophecy states that he is going to do whatever it takes to gain Israel’s cooperation as his chosen rulers.

Continue reading “94) Judgment Begins At The House Of God”

93) Cowards And Deserters From Battlefield Earth

The History of the Rapture

This doctrine is new; it was never taught or even discussed prior to the 1830’s. It seems to have first come from a “prophetic vision” by Margaret Macdonald, a woman in 1830, who was a part of the cult group the “Irvingites,” while having an emotional experience…After that, another cult group called the “Millerites,” predicted the return of Christ on October 22, 1844. It did not happen; that should have been a clue, but this would not die. [Miller…went on to play a role in the founding of the Seventh Day Adventist Church]…

At the same time, this belief was then picked up by Irish born…John N. Darby…who took this new fad to America in 1862 to 1877….He was, in fact, a failed lawyer who was very “intolerant to criticism” and prideful. This should be another clue…He then developed a poor method of biblical interpretation called dispensationalism (The Problem with Dispensationalism!)—another clue…

The very popular commentary of the Bible he produced…the very first study Bible, given out to just about every preacher and evangelist beginning in 1909, and one we still have todayThe Scofield Study Bible.

Where are the Bible passages for this? Is this not clear in Scripture? Many people think so, but take a look for yourself. The most popular Bible references are John 14:2–3; 1 Corinthians 15:49–55; Philippians 3:20-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:15–17; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-7. The best thing to do is read the passages in their context and you will clearly see for yourself what they say… 

Then this was further popularized the book, Jesus Is Coming by evangelist William Blackstone This work sold more than one million copies…in 1957, when respected Theologian from Dallas Seminary, Dr. John Walvoord, wrote a book called, “The Rapture Question”…it seems he did not check his facts and read into the passage a presumption he saw as fact because it was in his favorite work, Scofield Study Bible. But he did not declare it a dogmatic fact, but left it open for further research and debate…Then, the rapture gets popular with the publication of Hal Lindsey’s book, The Late Great Planet Earth, which sold over 15 million copies;

So if someone insists this is a valid doctrine, ask for the Scripture references, then ask for any solid biblical scholarship on it. You will find none as I did not. Yes, many great people think this is true and teach it passionately. They get so caught up in it, pun intended, they do not look it up. 

The Late, Great Planet Earth is a best-selling 1970 book by Hal Lindsey with Carole C. Carlson, and first published by ZondervanThe New York Times declared it to be the bestselling nonfiction book of the 1970s[Emphasis added.] The book was first featured on a prime time television special featuring Hal Lindsey in 1974 to 1975 with an audience of 17,000,000…it was adapted…during 1976 into a film narrated by Orson Welles…Lindsey and Carlson later published several sequels, including Satan Is Alive and Well on Planet Earth and The 1980s: Countdown to Armageddon.

The Late, Great Planet Earth is a treatment of dispensational  eschatology. As such, it compared end-time prophecies in the Bible with then-current events in an attempt to predict future scenarios resulting in the rapture  of believers before the tribulation and Second Coming of Christ to establish his thousand-year (i.e. millennial) Kingdom on Earth. Emphasizing various passages in the books of Daniel, Ezekiel and Revelation, Lindsey originally suggested the possibility that these climactic events might occur during the 1980s,

Didn’t happen.

foretold a Soviet invasion of Israel (War of Gog and Magog)

Didn’t happen.

Lindsey also predicted that...the European Union, was destined (according to Biblical prophecy)…to become a “Revived Roman Empire” ruled by the Antichrist…

Didn’t happen.

America would not be a major geopolitical power by the time the tribulations of the end times arrived…

It is now 2020 and America is still the world’s major geopolitical power.

the Tribulation or the Rapture would occur no later than 1988.

Didn’t happen.

According to the Bible’s judgement on prophets, Hal Lindsey is a false prophet. But he’s still going strong, because he and other rapture teachers like him give a false hope of evading suffering.

And what is it that the Church — or all true believers — is watching and preparing for? The “Blessed Hope” that the Apostle Paul describes in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17.

When we read that passage we find resurrection of the dead and transformation of the living, AKA the rapture, but where is the description of this as the “Blessed Hope”?

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (I Thessalonians 4:16-17)

When we look up “Blessed Hope” we discover the following passage

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” (Titus 2:13)

OK, so the blessed hope is the resurrection of the dead in The Promised One / Messiah / Christ at his appearing on earth, but does it prove the claim that, for the first and only time in history, believers will not experience tribulation?

Not according to the Bible.

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also…and hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.(Romans 5:1-5)

“Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints;” (Romans 12:12) 

“We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you…For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel…to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel…whereof I Paul am made a minister; Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:” (Colossians 1:1-24)

“Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father…And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost. So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad…how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.” (I Thessalonians 1:3-10)

“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? (II Thessalonians 2:2-5)

Someday soon, Jesus Christ is going to leave heaven and call for those who are watching for His return to leave this earth and meet Him in the air. This even includes those who have died during this Church Age…

Those who are left behind will be the ones who experience the “Day of the Lord,” which begins with the great Tribulation. You don’t want anyone you know or love to be in that number…

And how do you make certain you’re ready to experience the “Blessed Hope” and miss the “Day of the Lord?” Simple.  [Emphasis added.]

Recognize that you’re a sinner who has fallen short of the standard that God has set. (Every human being has!) Confess your sinfulness and ask God to forgive you. Accept the free gift of pardon that Jesus Christ purchased for you with His atoning death on the Cross. Believe God’s promise (“…whosoever believes in Him shall not die but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16) and receive His pardon in your heart. Then ask God to make of you what He wants you to be. Thank Him for giving you eternal life with Him.

You are now a part of God’s forever family and have just changed your eternal destiny. Now, you are one of those watching for the “Blessed Hope.”

Hal Lindsey’s use of the “Sinner’s Prayer” as a legitimate means of salvation without crucifying the flesh is consistent with his anti-biblical promise that Christians are promised a soft life.

The following passage is used by Dispensationalists as proof of a pre-tribulation physical removal of believers with their resident Holy Spirit.

  1. “…be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled…as that the day of Messiah / Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come
  2. a falling away / apostasia: defection, revolt first,
  3. and that man of sin be revealed / apokaluptó: to uncover, reveal, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”  (II Thessalonians 2:1-4)

The fact that apostasia most likely has the meaning of physical departure is a clear support for pretribulationism. If this is true, (Dr. Tim LaHaye and I believe that it is), then it means that…Paul teaches…that the rapture will occur first, before the Day of the Lord commences. It is not until after the beginning of the Day of the Lord that the Antichrist is released…This is the only interpretation that provides hope for a discomforted people. Maranatha!

For starters, these teachers have got the Day of the Lord all mixed up with the Reign of Antichrist, which in itself tells us just unqualified they are to teach anything about either event. The reign of antichrist has to occur prior to the Day of the Lord’s Christ.

Secondly, a basic investigation of how apostasia is translated reveals that the claim that this word has the meaning of a physical departure is just a flat out lie. This Greek word is only used one other time, and that in absolutely a spiritual context.

  • Original Word: ἀποστασία, ας, ἡ
    Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine
    Transliteration: apostasia
    Phonetic Spelling: (ap-os-tas-ee’-ah)
    Definition: defection, revolt
    Usage: defection, apostasy, revolt.

Acts 21:21: they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.

This one investigation into the pre-tribulation rapture teaching should shock us into awareness of “because they received not the love of the truth…God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” Even human armies execute soldiers for desertion. Should God shrug it off when eternal life for the people his son died to save is at stake?

The argument of the passage itself does not allow a pre-tribulation rapture interpretation. Paul is assuring Gentile converts that the sight of Antichrist in the temple is a sign that Yahweh’s Savior / Yeshua / Jesus will shortly return to rescue them.  Ergo, believers must be on earth to see it.

Moreover, using one verse to prove one’s private interpretation is a violation of the scriptural – and legal -requirements for at least two witnesses to establish truth. Anyone who cares at least as much about the truth as police investigators or psychiatric providers determining a course of action in this life can extend their investigation of the veracity of the pretribulation rapture doctrine to the other witnesses provided in scripture.

What we find is that the other passages describing the climax of human history unquestionably direct the action of falling away with the faith, defecting to the enemy whose lies they choose to believe.

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.” (I Timothy 4:1-2)

  • aphistémi
    Phonetic Spelling: (af-is’-tay-mee)
    Definition: to lead away, to depart from
    Usage: make to stand away, draw away, repel, take up a position away from, withdraw from, leave, abstain from.

Luke 2:37: she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.

Luke 4:13: when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.

Luke 8:13: They on the rock are they, which, for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

Luke 13:24-28: Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able….shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.

Acts 5:34-37: stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space; And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men. For before these days rose up…Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed. And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.

Acts 15:37-38: Barnabas determined to take with them John…But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work.

Acts 19:8-9: he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly…persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples,

Acts 22:28-29: Paul said…I was free born. Then straightway they departed from him which should have examined him: and the chief captain also was afraid, after he knew that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him.

II Corinthians 12:7-10: there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me…For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

II Timothy 2:15-19: 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. And their word will eat as doth a canker…and overthrow the faith of some. Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

Hebrews 3:12-13: Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God…lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

II Peter 3:15-17: “…account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.” 

  • Original Word: ἐκπίπτω
    Part of Speech: Verb
    Transliteration: ekpipto
    Phonetic Spelling: (ek-pip’-to)
    Definition: to leap out
    Usage: I fall out, fall off, fall away; hence in nautical language: I fall off from the straight course; of flowers: I fade away, wither away; I fall from, lose, forfeit; I am cast ashore; I am fruitless.

Romans 9:6: Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect.

Galatians 5:4: Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

As for the claim that rapture prior to tribulation is the only interpretation that provides hope for a discomforted people! Talk about taking a verse totally out of context. Read the surrounding passage in which Paul comforts the Thessalonians.

we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels…When he shall come to be glorified in his saints…Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ…he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work..” (II Thessalonians 1-2)

Paul never spoke of a Rapture.

Many Christians believe in a future End Times event when all true believers still alive before the end of the world will be taken from the earth by God into heaven. The term describing this event is the Rapture.

The Word ‘Rapture’ Is Not in the Bible

The English word ‘rapture’ derives from the Latin verb ‘Rapere,’ meaning ‘to carry off,’ or ‘to catch up…’

The term ‘Rapture’ first became popular in the United States toward the end of the 19th century through teachings on…dispensationalism by John Nelson Darby, an Irish evangelist. The rapture theory continued to grow in popularity among evangelicals largely due to a preacher named William Eugene Blackstone (1841-1935). His book, Jesus is Coming, sold more than one million copies…

The Rapture theory gained even greater interest during this time due to the books of Hal Lindsey. In The Late Great Planet Earth Lindsey predicted an imminent Rapture based on global conditions at the time…

the popular Christian book series based on the events surrounding the Rapture is the Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins…

What Paul discussed was not “rapture” as a group event but “change” as an individual transformation, from corruptible to incorruptible. This concept is so clearly expressed in “the change” as euphemism for menopause, when women stop experiencing the monthly corruption of potential new life, that it is hard to comprehend how this got so distorted into “I’ll Fly Away.” Other than loving the lie that Jesus’ followers don’t need to follow Jesus into battle against evil.

“that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed…the invisible things of him from the creation of the world…even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:…they…changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man.” (Romans 1:19-23)

“Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remaineth…and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail…Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.” (Hebrews 1:10-12, 12:26-27)

As detailed in Everything New is Old Again, Paul drew every bit of his teaching from the Old Testament. When we don’t add the word “rapture” up into heaven to scripture, but stick with “change” from mortal to immortal, we understand that this was a known phenomenon just as clearly described in the Old Testament as every other aspect of salvation.

Enoch was a prophet/priest/king whose transformation from mortal to immortal without going through physical death was timed to coincide with the end of his exceptional “walk through the valley of the shadow of death” while he preached of coming judgment to the most wicked population ever to walk the face of the earth.

“And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” (Gen 5:24)

there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ…Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” (Jude 1:13-14)

Elijah is a major spokesman for God who established his credentials during a time of vicious persecution of God’s people. His transformation, like Enoch’s, can be seen as a reward for an exceptional life’s service under fire, not an escape from it. The timing of his transformation signals not the beginning, but the end, of the enemy’s reign of terror.

“Elijah…said…the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. And the LORD said unto him, Go…anoint Hazael to be king over Syria: And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room. And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay. (I Kings 19:9-17)

“And it came to pass, when the LORD would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal….And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof.” (II Kings 2:1-12)

Since this instant change from corrupt to incorrupt is documented in the Old Testament, why don’t dispensationalists base their teaching of the future recurrence of this phenomenon on them? Their silence has thundering implications. They don’t want to admit the evidence for believers experiencing tribulation prior to the change.

So instead of referencing Enoch’s change experience, they wrest scripture to reference Noah’s experience.

The miraculous removal of millions of people from the earth !

Look at what Jesus says:

Matthew 24:37 “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be…

This disappearance spoken of by Jesus…is called the “Rapture” by those who know about it.

It is simply a “taking out” or “taking away” of Believers in Jesus Christ from the earth.

Uh, no. Noah and his family remained on the earth. Or we wouldn’t be here. You may recall that they repopulated the earth. They were not raptured out.

The days of Noah are referenced by Jesus because they are famous for unimaginable wickedness, giants, and the corruption of all human and animals flesh, i.e. hybridization. See the posts Seed of the Serpent and Mark of the Beast for details. For now, just note that diverting attention from the true examples of the “change” by Enoch and Elijah and the true reason Jesus references the “days of Noah”, the false prophets of Dispensationalism have left their followers in the dark about the worst era of history coming upon mankind.

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

This explains prophecy teachers’ obsession with monitoring wars and disasters. According to them, Christians can feel a great sense of relief when things really get bad, because they’re expecting an airlift out.

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as their’s also was.

But 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. [But not by some imaginary rapture!] Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them…the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” (II Timothy 3)

He who is taken away” is most assuredly the Holy Spirit, but not in the form of the Church being raptured up to God. According to Daniel and Jesus, it is in the form of the God’s people falling away to the enemy, led by corrupt leaders who ally with the enemy. We like to blame all persecution on the villainous Roman emperors and communist governments, but poseurs in our midst who out for personal gain do a whopping amount of damage to us.

  • And now ye know what withholdeth / katechó: to hold fast, hold back that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only
  • he who now letteth will let  /the same word katechó: to hold fast, hold back until he be taken out of the way.
  • And then shall that Wicked be revealed…[for who he really is] after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
  • And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
  • And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (II Thessalonians 2:2-12)

Is there any among us who picks up a mystery story and reads just a couple of chapters in the middle? So why accept teachers who limit eschatology just to Daniel?

standard-deviation-formulaAnyone who had to take the dread course Statistics in college understands that the only way to understand the complex code at the end of the course is to begin at the beginning, learn each of the simple segments of the equation, and fit them in the right order.

And the only way to get the right answer is to get every single element of the code correct. That’s why this blog book began at the beginning and ground its way through the entire Bible before tackling the end.

We can’t move the players around to fit our script. Just like

  • Jeremiah’s prophecy of 70 years came to pass then was expanded to Daniel’s prophecy of 70 weeks of years,
  • so too Daniel’s 70 weeks, although fulfilled in part by Messiah, had to be expanded by Messiah to ensure the cooperation of the other signatories to the covenant.

And we have to maintain the players and the order of events as Jesus gave them to us in the final version of the script. 

92) YHVH’s Attributes & Followers Hated

“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.”

In our ethnocentricity we automatically assume that “my name” is “Christian”. But if we stay consistent with our study, at the time that this was being spoken, the name that was raising such ire was a Jewish name – “Yeshua”, YHVH’s Savior.

Remember from previous posts that name = way. The noun derives from the verb, and is only true when action backs up the claim. The name is a message of salvation from, no, not other people’s oppression, but from ones’ own…sin?! How insulting! Of course they were hated everywhere they declared this distasteful “good news / gospel”.

“Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee. And Jesus answered and said [Will you follow me all the way to the end?]Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles: And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.

And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master…Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory. But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of?  (Mark 10:17-45)

they went out into the mount of Olives….And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matthew 26)

Jesus / YHVH’s Savior’s last lecture to his disciples – those attending in person and those of us distance learners – expands on the outline given in Matthew 24. John, to whom was also given another, even more expanded revelation of the end times, is the amanuensis for Jesus’ last instructions before his crucifixion. I encourage the reader to pore over John chapters 13-18 to understand the critical instructions Jesus gave his disciples to carry on his work. I can only give a brief summary within the confines of this post.

“Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved / bonded with them unto the end….

  • If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him…the Holy Ghost
  • I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you…If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you…all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake [YHVH’s Savior], because they know not him that sent me [YHVH].

“Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them…Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus / Yeshua of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it…This Jesus / Yeshua hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses…Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus / Yeshua, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ…And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them, Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.

  • And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold let us straitly threaten them
  • Then came one and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people…they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them…
  • and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus.” (Acts 3-5)

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s / Mashiach’s sufferings that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ / Mashiach, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified…let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator / YHVH.” (I Peter 4:12-19)

Faith in the eternal word of God trumps (yes, that’s a pun) an appeal to morality which is often exploited to cement unholy alliances. as well as denominational differences which turns to infighting

Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christthese speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.” (Jude 1:1-11)

“Paul…sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church…said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons…Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.I take you to record this day…Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.” (Acts 20:16-31)

And when the Church fell away from the faith once delivered to the saints, it was torn apart by wolves.

the followers of Christ, in the first three centuries, divided into a hundred creeds.

The Council of Nicea in 325 determined that Church and Synagogue should have nothing in common, and that whatever smacked of the unity of God and of the freedom of man, or offered a Jewish aspect of worship, must be eliminated from Catholic Christendom.Can we see the pattern though history that the essential heresy in The Church is the elimination of Judaic holiness from the body of Messiah? This is contrary to everything Paul, the chief apostle to the Gentiles, taught and demonstrated as a practicing Jew. Do we fail to recognize how sabotage of true salvation from sin and death continues to our own day? 

In all honesty, we don’t really need to battle the adversary as much as our own human nature.

in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth…evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” (II Timothy 3)

This gospel of righteousness which naturally leads to life is, naturally, viciously opposed in the spirit dimension by the adversary seeking humanity’s destruction.

4th Sign: Religious Leaders Taking Offence, Betraying & Hating the Gospel

The previous post The Splitting Church describes the psychological coping mechanism which explains how nominal Christians can separate the YHVH of the Old Testament from YHVH’s Savior in the New Testament. The same method for dealing with anxiety also explains how Christians can blacklist non-believers while simultaneously white-washing Christian leaders who engage in sin, despite the overwhelming evidence of self- and other-harming behaviors wreaking havoc and destruction to a Christian witness.

In March 2012, the Falwells…met Giancarlo Granda, a 21-year-old pool attendant. Granda told Politico that during this first encounter, Becki Falwell asked him to come back to her room and have sex with her while Jerry watched. The Falwells began flying Granda around in their private jet…also put up $1.8 million to buy and renovate a Miami Beach hostel that would be owned by Granda and Falwell’s son Trey…Enter Michael Cohen…famous as Trump’s lawyer and “fixer”… One of Cohen’s most important duties for Trump had long been to make embarrassing or potentially damaging problems go away. Sometimes that involved making threats to reporters, sometimes that involved arranging payments to women in exchange for their silence. (Cohen pleaded guilty to violating campaign finance law in arranging hush payments for two women in 2016.) The Falwells now faced such a problem: Someone…had obtained sexually compromising photos. So they asked Cohen for help.

By January 2016, the leading candidates in the Republican presidential race were Donald Trump and Ted Cruz…Falwell lavishly praised Trump during…Liberty appearance (“Donald Trump lives a life of loving and helping others, as Jesus taught”)…He told one of his own associates, meanwhile, that he was coming “under heavy pressure” (in the Times’s words) to endorse Trump.

Rostom later reported that Cohen “helped arrange” the endorsement…Other evangelical leaders condemned Falwell, with one saying his father “would be rolling over in his grave” if he knew Jerry Jr. had endorsed “the most immoral and ungodly man to ever run for President of the United States.”…Cohen knew about “secrets that can destroy Falwell’s whole world.” Even if the topic never explicitly came up in relation to the endorsement, that’s something Falwell couldn’t possibly have forgotten when he was making up his mind…Over the next two years, one damaging story after another came out about the Falwells…and made broader claims of corruption and mismanagement of the university on Falwell’s part.

Ambrosino reported on how Falwell frequently awarded Liberty loans and contracts to his friends and son, and quoted a source complaining he was running the university like a “dictatorship.”

Roston and Joshua Schneyer revealed that Falwell had given another young man, his and his wife’s personal trainer, ownership of Liberty University’s sports facility.

  • Jimmy Swaggart, a Pentecostal televangelist, got his start on television in 1975. In the 1980s, he teamed up with Reverend Jerry Falwell, Reverend James Robison, and Reverend Pat Robertson to use the Christian Right to shape the Republican party…Swaggart’s fall from grace happened in 1988 when it became public that he was cheating on his wife with a New Orleans prostitute…was an avid consumer of porn and experimented with BDSM / bondage, discipline, sadomasochism all while condemning such “immoral” acts.
  • Bill Gothard is famous for his homeschooling ministry, known as the Gothard Institute of Basic Life Principles. He promoted extreme submission of women…In 2014, more than 30 women accused Gothard of molestation and assault, including underage girls…Gothard was forced to resign from his ministry, though he resurfaced on the Internet with a blog in 2016.
  • Tony Alamo rocketed to fame in the 1970s for preaching a fundamentalist interpretation of Christianity….In 2009, Alamo was sentenced to 175 years in prison. The charges included sexual abuse, transporting underage girls across state lines for sexual purposes, pedophilia, marrying an eight-year-old girl, and child rape.
  • Bob Coy was the most famous evangelical pastor in Florida. His Fort Lauderdale megachurch had 25,000 members, and George W. Bush even visited Coy. But it all came crashing down in 2014 when he admitted to multiple affairs and a pornography addiction. He resigned in disgrace.
  • Dave Reynolds was a pastor at Cornerstone Bible Fellowship Church in Sherwood, Arkansas…40 years old when the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children found evidence that [he was]….visiting child pornography websites… In 2016, Reynolds was charged with 70 counts of possessing or viewing child pornography, a felony charge.
  • Doug Phillips was president of an extreme Christian-right group called Visit Forum Ministries. He was…an advocate of the Tea Party conservative political movement. Phillips argued that women must be completely submissive to their husbands and fathers. Daughters should not even have a say in who they marry…In 2013, Phillips was forced to resign after being publicly accused of sexual abuse and assault against a woman by masturbating on the woman multiple times while she cried and asked him to stop.
  • Robert Tilton was a televangelist based in Dallas and Fort Lauderdale. It came out in 1991 that he was running a scam where he asked viewers to send him prayer requests, promising to pray over each plea. An investigative report found thousands of requests dumped in a garbage bin––but not until the televangelist kept checks, money orders, and cash for himself.

What happens when those who are supposed to guide us away from sin become sinners themselves? Check out these pastors behaving badly to find out.

Fraud, private jets and a Lamborghini: 10 televangelists who have faced controversy

  • Kenneth Copeland, a Texas evangelist, came under fire for a viral “Inside Edition” video in which he defended his three private jets…He owns an airport close to his Kenneth Copeland Ministries in Fort Worth.
  • Louisiana minister Jesse Duplantis, who himself was implicated in Copeland’s jet scandal, has been in hot water for his own jet-setting lifestyle. He claims God told him he needs a private jet – specifically, a Falcon 7X, capable of carrying 12 to 16 passengers at speeds up to 700 mph. “Now, some people believe that preachers shouldn’t have jets,” Duplantis said in a video posted in 2018…In the same video, he showed off a photo of the three planes owned by his ministry.
  • As host of The 700 Club, Pat Robertson is one of the more visible televangelists to emerge on the national stage…In recent years, Robertson, 89, defended Trump before the 2016 election after a videotape emerged of Trump making vulgar comments about women. Brushing it off as “macho” talk, Robertson compared Trump to a phoenix. “They think he’s dead, he’s come back. And he came back strong,” he said on his show.
  • In the wake of Hurricane Harvey in 2017, preacher Joel Osteen – who helms one of the largest churches in America with 50,000 members and a 600,000-square-foot stadium – was criticized for not welcoming hurricane evacuees into his Lakewood megachurch. A social media post from the megachurch claimed the building was inaccessible because of “severe flooding.” But locals…posting photos around the church showing streets that were easy to get to…brought negative publicity to the church and Osteen, who has a reported net worth of more than $50 million.
  • South Carolina megachurch pastor John Gray gave his wife a $200,000 Lamborghini SUV for their eighth anniversary in 2018…“God helped me to make my wife’s dream come true,” he wrote in an Instagram post showing off the luxury automobile.
  • Pastor Robert Jeffress has elicited much controversy for his sentiments toward the LGBT community, Mormons and Muslims…He was appointed one of President Trump’s evangelical advisers and gained national attention when he claimed that “God has given Trump authority to take out Kim Jong-Un,” invoking the Bible’s book of Romans to do so.

Are you sickened yet? Or are you defensive? Making excuses, rejecting demonstrable evidence, accepting claims that they are suffering persecution from the enemy?

because they received not the love of the truth…God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (II Thessalonians 2:10-12)

Downfall will happen, not just to leadership – but to their like-minded supporters who are willing to gloss over sin because then they aren’t accountable either. This utter self-centeredness is the essence of evil. This is why rich people will hardly enter into the kingdom of God while those of us who have been oppressed and broken by evil sing praises to the God who rescued us by cutting short and cutting off evil – most of all within our own self-destructive selves.

91) Middle East Center Of World Conflict

Palestine: There is a solid geopolitical reason for Palestine’s centrality in world politics and wars. This is the result of Britain’s conflicting agreements with various persons of interest in WWI, and using the territory it won from the Ottomans to pay off those agreements. 

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      1. The 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement (1916) divided the Middle East into British and French spheres of influence as spoils of war. This is, after all, standard practice to reimburse the costs of waging war, as well as a major impetus for waging war, and gave the winners total control of captured territory and its inhabitants. Whether or not they were labeled with the old-fashioned term “slave,” they nonetheless existed to serve the purposes of the conquerors. 
      2. The 1916-1918 Husayn-McMahon Correspondence with the King of Hijaz in the Arabian Peninsula agreed to grant independence to him / his kingdom after the war in payment as mercenaries for launching the Arab Revolt as allies against the Turks.
      3. The 1917 Balfour Declaration in which the British government promised the politically active world Zionists who were primarily in Russia and America, a “national home” in Palestine in exchange for activism in engaging their nations as England’s allies in WWI. Recall that at this time Russia was embroiled in a massive civil war and America was isolationist. 
      4. As part of the negotiations to end The Great Arab Revolt of 1916, which opposed British permission of a massive influx of Jews into their land, the British decreed that Custodianship of Jerusalem’s Islamic and Christian Holy Sites, passed on to the Hashemite family under H.M. Sharif Hussein bin Ali, the leader of the revolt, would remain. It remains until this day [2020).

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After WWI the League of Nations representing European powers’ interests duly granted Britain the pre-arranged Mandate for Palestine. 

Note, a mandate is authority granted by a constituency to act as its representative, so the mandates in themselves constituted a betrayal of promises for independence. Worse yet, the Palestinian mandate included not just the current inhabitants but “international society” as well, non-inhabitants. Under the terms of the mandate Britain openly facilitated political, administrative and economic conditions of an invasion and occupation of foreign overlords into mandate territories. This not only paid off the Zionists for support in WWI but also transferred the burden of reparations, for two thousand years of of European persecution culminating in the Holocaust, from Europeans to Palestinians.

American Christians need to rethink the automatic assumption that political alliance with the Jews is blessed by God. On the contrary. The biblical record is that every secular political alliance with the nation of Israel invariably leads to betrayal and the downfall of both Israel and the betraying nation.

Think about it rationally. How would Americans respond to Russia facilitating an overwhelming transfer of Chinese into the greater part of America? We have on record the response of Americans to the influx of Hispanics. The Great Wall of Texas.

The Balfour Declaration (“Balfour’s promise” in Arabic) was a public pledge by Britain in 1917 declaring its aim to establish “a national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine…included in the terms of the British Mandate for Palestine after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire.

The question of why the Balfour Declaration was issued has been a subject of debate for decades…

In mainstream academia, however, there are a set of reasons over which there is a general consensus:

  • Control over Palestine was a strategic imperial interest to keep Egypt and the Suez Canal within Britain’s sphere of influence
  • Britain had to side with the Zionists to rally support among Jews in the United States and Russia, hoping they could encourage their governments to stay in the war until victory…

While Britain is generally held responsible for the Balfour Declaration, it is important to note that the statement would not have been made without prior approval…[from] President Wilson…Arthur Balfour confirming that Wilson was “extremely favourable to the movement”.

Israel has long drawn its legitimacy among Jewish communities around the world by presenting itself as a safe haven for the Jewish people that can protect them from hostility and genocide…

But this moral justification has always had one gaping weakness: The Palestinians and the injustice, displacement and death they have had to suffer so that European Jews would feel safe. Early liberal Zionism sought to erase the existence of Palestinians and their suffering, propagating the myth that Palestine was “a land without a people for a people without a land”.

But as Palestinians resisted erasure, colonisation and occupation and their identity, culture and activism grew stronger and more visible to the rest of the world, the liberal Zionists had to seek another solution…the idea of a Palestinian state and…the “peace process”…

But the only thing the Oslo Accords did was create an illusion, a fake optimism that Palestinian rights will be heeded and that a Palestinian state is possible…Oslo became a sedative for the conscience of the pro-Palestinian movement and a convenient cover for the colonial face of Israel.

This cover has now been finally lifted, as the Trump administration has said and done publicly what successive US administrations had said and done only behind the scenes. The Israeli political elite never intended for a Palestinian state to be created; the goal has always been full control and colonisation of historic Palestine. And that cannot be ever achieved without the gruesome massacre, subjugation and expulsion of Palestinians.

Why is the US unequivocal in its support for Israel?

With Israel attacking Gaza for a second week, United States President Joe Biden and his administration are sticking to a long-established script in Washington, expressing unequivocal support for Israel and its “legitimate right to defend itself” from Hamas rocket attacks…

Former US President Harry Truman was the first world leader to recognise Israel when it was created in 1948… right after World War II, when the Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union was taking shape.

The Middle East, with its oil reserves and strategic waterways (think the Suez Canal) was a key battleground for superpower hegemonic influence. The US was taking over from severely weakened European powers as the primary western power broker in the Middle East…

It is a tragic betrayal of faith that Christians have wholeheartedly supported secular Israel’s dependence on America rather than supported Messianic Judaism.

But the one thing we can all depend on America to do is to bail, or fail, in the near future.

Jordan: Remember Hussein of Mecca? His son Abdullah was instrumental in the secret negotiations with the British that resulted in the Arab Revolt of 1916 and in the Allies’ recognition of his father Hussein as king of the Hejaz. Abdullah fully expected to succeed his father as king of the united Arab kingdom promised as reward for their support of the British against the Ottomans in WWI. However, as detailed above, the British abandoned Hussein to his rival Abdulaziz for the sake of oil. To placate Abdullah, he was offered as a consolation prize the majority of the territory of Palestine. This he accepted, as he was after all in no position to fight Abdullah for the Arabian Peninsula. It was at least the northern half of his requested Arabian kingdom.

In the copy of the Mandate used to substantiate Britain’s right to transfer authority over the region, all references to the Jewish National Home in Palestine were expressly deleted. Not only was this a major deception against the new Moslem rulers who were losing the holy city Jerusalem but also a big chunk – and the best chunk with the entire maritime border with the Mediterranean Ocean – of their expected territory, this saddled them with two utterly unexpected and undesirable problems – confronting Jewish irreconcilable enemies on their property and supporting a massive exodus of Palestinian refugees surging east against the tsunami of Jewish immigrants. The solution to the “Palestinian problem” made sense to the British on a map if all you looked at was square miles and not people. It was not a permanent solution to the Palestinians, the Arabs, or the Jews.

Imposing a  foreign autocrat over the indigenous inhabitants with a history and culture as different as Laban in Syria, Pharaoh in Egypt, and Ishmael in Arabia was guaranteed to cause conflict. How would the residents of the American Southwest feel about Washington granting their states to Mexico and overnight becoming subject to their laws and regulations? Perhaps Spanish only in their children’s schools, Catholicism as the State Religion? Do you have some idea of how Texans would react? Of course war broke out, and the British helped the foreign Hashemite monarchy quell the locals’ rebellions.

While governing the Holy Land from the end of the first world war until 1948, Britain completely transformed the political landscape of Palestine and set the stage for intractable conflict between rival political parties.

In November 1918, Palestine did not exist as a political entity. What became mandate Palestine was carved out of four districts of the Ottoman empire…approximately 10% of the population of the Holy Land were [indigenous] Jewish…

But by the end of British rule in May 1948 there had emerged a powerful Zionist movement. It had succeeded in forging the institutions for statehood and independence…

The text of the Declaration stipulated that the British government…would ‘facilitate’, the ‘establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people’… no…consideration of how self-governing institutions for all of Palestine could be developed [in preparation for independence at the end of British rule. Think about the amount of time and training involved in preparing qualified political leaders and drawing up the Constitution of the United States of America in the 1700’s. How much more complex was society 200 years later in Palestine…]

those responsible for the administration of Palestine considered that the Palestinian Arab population could be managed by co-opting the Palestinian elite…

This practice had been working just fine for hundreds of years of colonial rule, until it stopped working.

The revolt in Palestine (1936–1939) was in many ways the decisive episode in the efforts of the Palestinian Arabs to resist the British mandate’s support for a Jewish national home in Palestine. At its conclusion in 1939, the Palestinian Arabs were exhausted by more than three years of British repression. Perhaps 5,000 had been killed and 15,000 to 20,000 wounded; 5,600 of their leaders and fighters were in British detention; and most of the rest were scattered outside the country or dead…more than 10 percent of the adult males were killed, wounded, or detained by the end of the revolt…

The negative publicity caused by the deteriorating situation in Palestine and the violence erupting on both sides made the mandate increasingly unpopular in Britain and was instrumental in the government’s announcement of its intention to terminate the mandate and [re]turn the Palestine question to the [newly formed] United Nations (UN).

mandate_for_palestine_paul_new_clip_image003On November 29, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 181 (also known as the Partition Resolution) that would divide Great Britain’s former Palestinian mandate into Jewish and Arab statesThe Palestinian Arabs refused to recognize this arrangement, which they regarded as favorable to the Jews and unfair to the Arab population that would remain in Jewish territory under the partition… The goal of the Arabs was initially to block the Partition Resolution and to prevent the establishment of the Jewish state…

After Israel declared its independence on May 14, 1948, [the day before the mandate ended] fighting intensified with…armies from Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt…Saudi Arabia…fighting continued into 1949…Under separate agreements between Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt, Lebanon, Transjordan, and Syria, these bordering nations agreed to formal armistice lines. Israel gained some territory formerly granted to Palestinian Arabs under the United Nations resolution in 1947. Egypt and Jordan retained control over the Gaza Strip and the West Bank respectively. These armistice lines held until 1967.

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The population of Palestinians in the Palestinian territories of Israel amount to roughly 4 million persons divided roughly in half between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Their interests are primarily represented by Ḥamās which alternates between electoral participation or violence depending upon political circumstances.

In 1946 the British granted freedom to the The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan with a boundary at the east bank of the Jordan River, again, juggling conflicting promises. In 1948 at the Jericho Conference, after winning the first round of the Arab-Israeli war, Jordan paid itself back for war expenses by formally annexing the West Bank territory of the Jordan River. This further diminished the opportunity for Palestinian self determination.

the US accepted the resolutions of the Jericho Conference, and…viewed incorporation with Transjordan as the logical disposition of Arab Palestine. The United States subsequently extended de jure recognition to the Government of Transjordan and the Government of Israel on the same day, 31 January 1949…The major problems of concern to the United States were the establishment of peaceful and friendly relations between Israel and Jordan and the successful absorption into the polity and economy of Jordan of Arab Palestine, its inhabitants, and the bulk of the refugees now located there.

Palestinian problem solved.

Wait…

The Arab League, formed in…1945 initially with…Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan (renamed Jordan in 1949), Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria condemned the Jericho Conference, and the Syrian press considered its resolution a violation of self-determination. Iraqi prime minister Nuri as-Said called upon King Abdullah to hold his moves towards annexation…

Notables from Ramallah and Jerusalem [on the West Bank] in particular were…unwilling to give up their claim to the whole of Palestine, and refused to endorse his policy of consolidating the partition.

The Transjordanian government gradually assumed the civil functions of the West Bank…In 1949 the Jordanian Nationality Law was amended to grant every Palestinian Jordanian citizenship. 

Citizenship on paper. What meaning does this citizenship have in actual life?

The Six-Day War was a brief but bloody conflict fought in June 1967Israel Defense Forces launched preemptive air strikes that crippled the air forces of Egypt and its allies. Israel then staged a successful ground offensive and seized [all Arab-assigned territories within its reach]- the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip from Egypt, the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria. The brief war…significantly altered the map of the Mideast and gave rise to lingering geopolitical friction.

Since the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Palestinians have experienced several waves of exile and have spread into different host countries around the world…more than 700,000 Palestinian refugees of 1948, hundreds of thousands…displaced in the 1967 Six-Day War…In the decade following the 1967 war…an average of 21,000 Palestinians per year were forced out of Israeli-controlled areas. The pattern of Palestinian flight continued during the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s…

The countries with the highest census of Palestinian exiles with no citizenship rights are:

  • Jordan 3,240,000
  • Israel 1,650,000
  • Syria 630,000
  • Chile 500,000 (largest Palestinian community outside the Middle East).
  • Lebanon 402,582
  • Saudi Arabia 280,245
  • Egypt 270,245
  • United States 255,000
  • Honduras 250,000

The War of Attrition raged across the Suez Canal from 1968-70…Egypt sought to bleed Israel, thereby reducing Jerusalem’s territorial conquests and military superiority from the 1967 Six-Day War.

In 1970, some two-thirds of the Jordanian population was Palestinian. Palestinian militants took part in the War of Attrition against Israel…the PLO launched raids from Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon as well…King Hussein had…to balance his interests in preserving a peace with Israel against a restless and increasingly radicalized Palestinian population…

Jordanian army and Palestinian militias led by the PLO fought several bloody battles in the summer of 1970…On July 10, King Hussein signed an agreement with the PLO’s Yasser Arafat pledging support to the Palestinian cause and noninterference in Palestinian commando raids on Israel in exchange for a Palestinian pledge to support Jordanian sovereignty and remove most Palestinian militias from Amman, the Jordanian capital. The agreement proved hollow.

When King Hussein supported…Egypt’s…cease-fire in the war of attrition…PFLP leader George Habash promised that “we will turn the Middle East into a hell,” while [PLO’s] Arafat…vowed, before a cheering crowd of 25,000 in Amman on July 31, 1970, that “We will liberate our land…”

Between Sept. 6 and Sept. 9, Habash’s militants hijacked five planes… Rather than receiving the support of King Hussein, the Palestinian hijackers were surrounded by units of the Jordanian military…Arafat worked for the release of the hostages [but] also turned his PLO militants loose on the Jordanian monarchy. A bloodbath ensued.

Up to 15,000 Palestinian militants and civilians were killed; swaths of Palestinian towns and refugee camps, where the PLO had amassed weapons, were leveled. The PLO leadership was decimated, and between 50,000-100,000 people were left homeless. Arab regimes criticized Hussein for what they called “overkill.”

Before the war, Palestinians had run a state-within-a-state in Jordan, headquartered in Amman…

King Hussein ended the Palestinians’ reign.

On Sept. 25, 1970, Hussein and the PLO signed a ceasefire mediated by Arab nations…Arafat and the PLO were expelled from Jordan by early 1971. They went to Lebanon, where they proceeded to create a similar state-within-a-state, weaponizing a dozen Palestinian refugee camps around Beirut and in South Lebanon, and destabilizing the Lebanese government as they had the Jordanian government, as well as playing a leading role in two wars: the 1973 war between the Lebanese army and the PLO, and the 1975-1990 civil war, in which the PLO fought alongside leftist Muslim militias against Christian militias.

The PLO was expelled from Lebanon following Israel’s 1982 invasion…

The Palestinian Black September movement, a commando faction that broke away from the PLO, directed several terrorist plots to avenge Palestinians’ losses in Jordan, including hijackings, the assassination of Jordanian Prime Minister Wasif al-Tel in Cairo on Nov. 28, 1971, and, most notoriously, the murder of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

Israel, in turn, unleashed its own operation against Black September as Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir ordered the creation of a hit squad that fanned out in Europe and the Middle East and assassinated numerous Palestinian and Arab operatives.

Put this in a time frame. Hitler’s Beer Hall Putsch in Munich occurred fifty years previously.

Neo-Nazi activists aided the Palestinian terrorists who perpetrated the massacre of Israeli athletes during the Munich Olympics in 1972,the German weekly Der Spiegel reported on Sunday.

The report is based on a 2,000-page file compiled by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, which was made public at the request of Der Spiegel.

Big surprise. So why didn’t Israeli hit squads go after Neo-Nazis? There are no good guys and bad guys. For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. There is none righteous, no not one. So why do American Christians ignore the fact that there are only allies with shifting alliances as purposes are served?

12bjewish-homeland-original-brit-mandateThe Arabs are not the only aggressors in the Middle East. Israel is primed and ready to fight, not just to defend current borders, but to expand those borders to the full extent possible.

We have to immediately deny all the…disinformation about UN Partition resolution 181, The only legal and enforceable document is the  Arab-Jewish Treaty on Jewish Homeland in Palestine and all its ratifications. All the countries (including former sovereign of this territory Turkey) ratified that document in various forms: from the Treaty of Versailles to the Anglo-American Convention.

Lebanon: Hezbollah is both a political party and militant group that first emerged as a militia in 1982 after the Israeli invasion of that country during Lebanon’s civil war. It coordinated its efforts closely with Iran, from which it acquired substantial logistical support. The civil war ended in 1990…enforced by Syrian forces, but political, economic and social chaos continues to reign supreme.

Egypt: Egypt was one of the first Middle Eastern states to gain independence, in 1922. This was arranged with puppet rulers who allowed British influence in the country to remain very strong, especially  continued control of the the Suez Canal. This rapid transit system to the Far East for economic reasons during peace and military superiority during war is a key feature of Egypt’s importance to the Western powers.the-suez-canal-shortens-the-sea-route-from-london-to-the-middle-east-and-africa-source

In 1952 the militant Muslim Brotherhood…backed Col. Gamal Abdel Nasser coup against England’s puppet monarchy and took economic and political control of the canal. When Britain and France invaded Egypt to take back control the USA succeeded in using political pressure to force them to pull out. This signaled the end of Britain’s imperial power and the rise of America’s in Egypt. At its height President Carter pressured President Anwar el-Sādāt into the 1979 peace treaty with Israel, for which President Sadat was assassinated in 1981.

Iran: The 1978 Iranian Revolution led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini provided a blueprint for political action against other governments that had betrayed authentic Islam and grown corrupt and authoritarian. The anti-West Islamic republic of Iran competed with pro-West Saudi Arabia at the international level for influence in the Middle East as the “solution” to the two failed secular ideologies, capitalism and communism, that had relegated religion to the periphery of government throughout the Islamic world. 

Mainstream opposition Islamic parties and organizations have demonstrated their power to mobilize voters and supporters through their welcome contrast to corrupt Westernized Christian influences in Islamic society through

  • social and charitable activism,
  • programs of good governance,
  • fight against government corruption,
  • struggle to moralize public life in entertainment and public behaviour ,
  • insisting on accountability for political authorities. 

Modern Iraq was created on paper in 1916 during a treaty between England and Imperial Russia, defining their respective sphere of influence and control in West Asia after the expected downfall of the Ottoman Empire. in 1920 it became a League of Nations mandate under British control with the name “State of Iraq”. Merging three Ottoman provinces into one country, Britain defined the territorial limits of Iraq based solely on land grabs with France under the Sykes-Picot Agreement. There was no accounting for the politics of the different ethnic and religious groups in the country, in particular those of the Kurds and the Assyrians to the north.

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During the British occupation, the Shi’ites, Kurds and urban-based nationalists fought for independence, resulting in the fateful policy of close cooperation with Iraq’s Sunni minority. Influenced by the heroic T. E. Lawrence whose close collaboration with the Hashemites’ war effort against the Turks is legendary, a Hashemite cousin to the King of Transjordan, a foreigner to all ethnic groups in Iraq, was proclaimed King as early as 1921, under British control, of course.

T.E. Lawrence remains one of the most iconic figures of the early 20th century…His wartime memoir, Seven Pillars of Wisdom, translated into more than a dozen languages, remains in print nearly a full century after its first publication. As Gen. Edmund Allenby, chief British commander in the Middle East during World War I, noted… “There is no other man I know,” he asserted, “who could have achieved what Lawrence did.”

Part of the enduring fascination has to do with the sheer improbability of…an unassuming young Briton who found himself the champion of a downtrodden people, thrust into events that changed the course of history. [Take heart, followers of Jesus Christ! See what one individual can do who perseveres and endures?] Added to this is the poignancy of his journey, so masterfully rendered in David Lean’s 1962 film, Lawrence of Arabia, of a man trapped by divided loyalties, torn between serving the empire whose uniform he wore and being true to those fighting and dying alongside him. It is this struggle that raises the Lawrence saga to the level of Shakespearean tragedy, as it ultimately ended badly for all concerned: for Lawrence, for the Arabs, for Britain, in the slow uncoiling of history, for the Western world at large. Loosely cloaked about the figure of T.E. Lawrence there lingers the wistful specter of what might have been if only he had been listened to. [Apply this idea to the true Savior Jesus Christ.]

The British resorted to military force when their interests were threatened. You guessed it. Oil

In 1927, huge oil fields were discovered…Exploration rights were granted to a front company named Iraqi Petroleum Company which was in reality a British oil company.

In 1932 Iraq achieved independence from British overrule.

When Ghazi succeeded to the throne in December 1933, he countered the British claim to Iraqi oil by claiming Iraqi sovereignty over neighboring Kuwait, which was still a British protectorate at that time and remained so until America took over in 1961. Kuwait’s value lies not only in oil but geographical location for trade and war strategy.

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We’ve heard Iraq claim Kuwait before.

The king was killed in 1939 in a tragic auto accident caused by reckless driving when he collided with a tree.

Haven’t we heard that before, too? No, wait. That death wasn’t from hitting a tree. That one was from hitting a pillar. Silly me thinking there’s a pattern here. Especially when the media reports that conspiracy theories have all been debunked by government investigations.

The British failure to take national considerations into account when cutting up the Middle East into huge pieces of pie for themselves burst into flames when the Kurds demanded self-determination.

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The Kurds are as big a problem in the Middle East as Israel and the Palestinians. There are just too many of them and they inhabit too much territory, making them a threatening presence to the countries across which their homeland stretches. They are the equivalent of the indigenous American Indians who the European immigrants (invaders?) chose to exterminate rather than allow to remain in their homeland. They represent a rebel force against the governments of Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran.

The leader of the Kurd-inhabited territory of Iraq, leader Mustafa Barzani, led a rebellion against the central government in Baghdad. When his bid for autonomy failed, he, naturally, fled to a close-by enemy of Iraq for refuge. Unfortunately for his reputation with America, this was the Soviet Union just to the north.

Part of the reason the the Kurd’s bid for their own nation failed was that Egyptian President Nasser’s Pan-Arabism movement was sweeping the Arab World at this time. Pan-Arabism sought empowerment, like the “United” States of America did in 1776, through rejecting self-determination / states rights and using the standard core identity of religion, “one nation under God”, to bind together the largest mass of humans and natural resources possible. Rejecting America’s capitalist financial structure which was siphoning off much of the Arab world’s wealth in the form of oil, Pan Arabism instead modeled itself after the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics formed by in the aftermath of World War II’s devastated lands. Just like America did when it recruited fellow Europeans to bolster its population and economic strength in the aftermath of the 19th century wars.

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

But America did not feel kinship with Nasser’s adoption of the USSR’s socialist ideology, especially during the Cold War, and lent its support to opposing parties.

Challenging Nasser’s assertion of Arab leadership, Iraq signed the Baghdad Pact in 1956. This pact outdid Egypt in allying Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan…and the United Kingdom, which by now was America’s puppet.

the United Arab Republic (UAR) in 1958 was the first case of the actual merger of two previously-independent Arab countries. Hastily formed under President Nasser’s leadership but on the initiative of Syrian leaders who feared a takeover by communists or “reactionaries…” It lasted until 1961, when Syrian army officers carried out a coup d’état and withdrew from the union.

Also in 1958, a Hashemite-led rival, the Arab Federation, was founded between Jordan and Iraq

In response, Nasser launched a smear campaign calling the Hashemite monarchies of Iraq and Jordan illegitimate children.

King Hussein of Jordan sneered back with a proposed expansion of the federation into a union of his Hāshimite monarchy with that of Iraq. He had long dreamed of incorporating Syria into his domain, as had been initially promised by the British to his grandfather. But Nasser had snatched it out from under him. His second choice was also next door – the small but extremely rich Kuwait, which due to its oil fields, was still under British rule. An invite to Kuwait to discuss changing sides brought the government of Iraq into direct conflict with the Western allies’ (read America’s) economic and military interests.

the-end-of-the-republic-the-beginning-of-the-empire-lOn July 14, 1958 military officers led by Qasim overthrew the Hashemite monarchy, rejected the Baghdad Pact, and proclaimed Iraq to be a republic.

We’ve heard that before.

At the same time Qasim invited Mustafa Barzani to return to Iraq in return for his political support. When the politician reneged on his promise to grant freedom to his nation (haven’t we heard that before?), Barzani began what became known as the “First” Kurdish Iraqi War lasting from 1961 until 1970.

in-the-game-of-divide-and-conquer-we-are-merely-5563490Throughout the 1960s, the uprising escalated into a long war during which 80% of the Iraqi army was engaged in combat with the Kurds.

Any potential trouble-making against the West was certainly prevented by this standard military strategy.

Two later attempts of Pan-Arabism are represented by Muammar Gaddafi’s attempts to merge Libya, Egypt and Syria in the Federation of Arab Republics, which lasted from 1972 – 1977.

The Ba’ath Party continues to espouses pan-Arabism and is organized in several countries.

The Ba’athists are not a religious group. It is, like the American Religious Right, a political movement powered by stirring religious fervor in its supporters and promising to restore religious values to society… As you read the following, overlay “Baathism” with the words “Religious Right”

Baathism, / Religious Right meaning “renaissance” or “resurrection”, is a secular ideology advocating the renaissance of Arab / America’s founders’ culture, values and society. It is based the principles of Arab / European Christian nationalism, pan-Arabism / Christian solidarity and Arab socialism / American capitalism. Baathists / Religious Right contend that socialism / capitalism is the only way to develop an Arab / any society which is free and united and promotes the creation and development of a unified Arab / allied with American state through the leadership of a revolutionary government / CIA backed regime changes.

In 1963 Iraqi leader Qasim was overthrown by a Ba’athist coup. The secretary general of the Iraqi Ba’ath Party, Ali Salih al-Sa’di, controlled the National Guard militia and organized a massacre of hundreds—if not thousands—of suspected communists and other dissidents following the coup. As occurred in Viet Nam by the American military at that same time, the Ba’athist Iraqi government carpet-bombed Kurdish villages with American-supplied munitions including 1,000 napalm bombs and 4,000 other bombs. Entire Kurdish villages and livestock were incinerated by napalm. American President Kennedy backed the decision. 

The war resulted in between 75,000 to 105,000 casualties when it ended in 1970. Subsequently the Ba’athist authorities took the opportunity to perform large-scale displacement and colonization projects in North Iraq, aiming to shift demographics and thus destabilize Kurdish power bases.

In 1980-1988 during the Iran–Iraq War Kurdish parties collaborated against Saddam Hussein who responded with the Kurdish genocide, with an estimated 50,000–200,000 casualties.

Only after the 2003 Iraq War, which ousted Ba’ath rule, was Iraqi Kurdistan was recognized as an independent state.

It is so embarrassing to contrast Christians’ attitude towards endurance in tribulation with the Kurds. Christians are the only group I know who think they should get a kingdom handed to them on a silver platter without lifting a finger themselves to make it happen.

The two Baathist / C35 CIA backed states which have existed (Iraq and Syria) prevented criticism of their ideology through authoritarian means of governance / murder and torture to coups and genocide. Baathist leaders include the former leader of Iraq, Saddam Hussein / supported by the CIA, and the current President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad.

It is also embarrassing to be linked with the widespread corruption of American-allied Islamic governments.

While America declares its support for democracy and human rights…millions of people see American officials…support, prop up extremely corrupt, crumbling regimes in the Middle East, regimes that have no sympathy for any democratic notion…any kind of human rights for their own people.

But they see Americans appeasing…supporting them…So they view this as an act of hostility towards the people of these countries…If they pull the plug on their support of the Kuwaitis or the Saudis, they [Kuwaiti or Saudi regimes] won’t be able to survive for two years in power.

But then we [Americans] worry that we won’t be able to have the oil we need or that [our economic and wartime allies] Europe needs or Japan.

Turkey is becoming a superpower

“Turkey has realised the greatest natural gas discovery in its history,” Erdogan was reported by Turkish and global mass media saying, stressing that this would help the country become a game-changer in relation to the energy market….

[Islamist] Erdogan told his nation that this gas find is a gift from God…”My Lord has opened the door to unprecedented wealth for us,” he said.

In fact, energy experts believe these gas reserves…usher in Turkey’s independence in this field…

READ: ‘We will not let anybody harm Turkey’s interests’

Writing in Foreign Policy, Allison Meikem noted that Turkey’s expansionist foreign policy came to a head in 2020.

“This year, Turkey’s military was more active around the world than it has been in decades, or perhaps ever. From Libya to Nagorno-Karabakh, the Turkish leader has used armed force to advance Turkey’s objectives.” Meikem argued.

“But Erdoğan’s real impact on geopolitics…will come in the form of the 21st century pan-Islamism that he has finessed through soft power. The religious revivalism…has filled a void in the larger Muslim world…

Simply, it is clear that Turkey has realised…their neo-Ottoman ambitions. Whether it is the ongoing growth of Turkey-Pakistani relations, to Turkey’s expansion throughout the Caucuses and involvement in civil wars throughout the region…

Will they become the next regional superpower?

Turkish Army Places 1st in New Ranking of Mideast Military Strength  

The popular ranking site Global Firepower, which orders the strength of 139 countries according to their military prowess, recently published its updated ranking of military might in the Middle East for 2021. Judging based on “values related to manpower, equipment, natural resources, finances and geography,” the site claims to present each country’s “potential war-making capability” when “fought by conventional means.”

The Middle East ranking follows its placement of the Turkish army first with Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Israel, as the region’s top military powers.

The military strength of the United Arab Emirates, ranked sixth in the region, is on the rise, while No. 7 Iraq and No. 8 Syria – formerly prominent military powers in the region – continue their decline following years of crippling inner-country conflicts. Lebanon is last on the list at No. 15…

The Turkish Armed Forces are the only NATO members in the ranking, a fact that adds to their strength. The Turkish army is second in size in the NATO alliance, with the US being the largest. “They have a very large land force, on a global level,” Ben-Dor says of the Turkish army.

Notably, as part of its membership in NATO, Turkey…hosts nuclear bombs in its territory…

Saudi Arabia’s spending in 2019 on defense was topped globally only by the US and China, and reached a total of $78.4 billion. With such a massive budget, it is no surprise that the country is ranked fourth in the region…

The top three of the global ranking, in order, are the United States, Russia and China….Israelrounds out the top 20.

90) War And Peace In Asia Minor

“John to the seven churches which are in Asia:” (Revelation 1:4)

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Asia? One looks askance at the idea. Quite like, “the Jews?”

Recall that Paul had transferred leadership of the body of believers in YHVH’s Savior to the Gentile churches in Asia Minor led by the church in Ephesus, as the church in Jerusalem was gasping its last breaths. 

Recall also that Asia (Minor) of Revelation – Turkey in today’s geopolitical nations – is the northern border of God’s earthly kingdom.

Turkey was considered an exceptional piece of land, where we have the two famous rivers flowing through it: the Tigris and the Euphrates. The rivers flowed all the way down to Mesopotamia (“land between two rivers”) and gave the land the shape of what became known as the Fertile Crescent…

The people in Turkey today are likely an extension of former civilizations like the Hittites, Greeks, Romans, Byzantine, Turkic…Turks were originally from…Mongolia.

Since political entities changed regularly, the term “the North” is systematically used in prophecies to reference the incursion into God’s Promised Land against rebellious Israel:

More detail in following posts, this is just focusing on Asia’s / Turkey’s geocentricity throughout history. 

And in an unmistakeable subplot threaded throughout the Bible demonstrating God’s sovereignty, all four kingdoms rose and fell in power – while surviving as an entity – in Asia / Asia Minor / Anatolia / Turkey.

Planted like a bridge between Asia and Europe, the peninsula of Asia Minor has been from the beginning of history a battlefield between the East and the West. Across this bridge the religion, art, and civilisation of the East found their way into Greece; and the civilisation of Greece, under the guidance of Alexander the Macedonian, passed back again across the same bridge to conquer the East and revolutionise Asia as far as the heart of India. Persians, Arabs, Mongols, Turks, have all followed the same route in the many attempts that Asia has made to subdue the West.

Unless otherwise referenced the following is taken from CHRONOLOGY OF ASIA MINOR (ANATOLIA) 500.000 BC – 330 ADSee the post Father Abraham for more details.

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Although the campaign failed spectacularly they came close to re-capturing Babylon. Xenophon established precedents for many logistical operations, and is considered a military genius. His detailed campaigns in Asia Minor and in Babylon outlining both military and political methods used by Cyrus the Great to conquer the Neo-Babylonian Empire in 539 BC inspired Alexander the Great

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  • 331 BC – Alexander the Great reclaims Anatolia for Greece and continues on to conquer Babylon and the Achaemenid Empire in Persia. On his death Alexander’s empire divided up by his four generals who, as well as other kingdoms, engage in constant bloody wars to expand their territory, wealth and power.

map_seleucid_empire

  • ~300 BC – Antioch just around the bend “in Syria” to distinguish it from the many cities named after her founder, becomes the seat of the head of government of the sixteen provinces of the Seleucid Empire, named for the Alexander’s general whose allotment was the Near East. Its geographical, military, and economic position for the spice trade, the Silk Road, and the Royal Road brought power rivaling Alexandria as the chief city of the Near East.
  • 263 – 230 BC – Rise of Pergamum kingdom which becomes strong ally in Rome’s regional interests against the Seleucid Greeks.
  • 189 BC – Seleucid hegemony over Asia ended as in battle after battle Rome methodically incorporates the Hellenized city-states of Asia.
    • 130 BC – City-state of Pergamum becomes the first Roman province in Asia Minor.
    • 101 BC – Cilicia (southern Anatolia) becomes a Roman province.
    • 84 BC – Lycia incorporated into Roman province of Asia
    • 81 BC – Pontus annexed into Roman province
    • 74 BC – Bithynia bequeathed to Rome
  • 64 BC – the last Seleucid king Antiochus XIII Asiaticus executed by Pompey the Great. The Romans make Antioch the seat of the governor of the province of Syria. Antioch was called “the cradle of Christianity” as a result of its longevity and the pivotal role that it played in the emergence of both Hellenistic Judaism and early Christianity. The city may have had up to 250,000 people during Augustan times, but declined to relative insignificance during the Middle Ages because of warfare, repeated earthquakes, and a change in trade routes, which no longer passed through Antioch from the far east.
  • 53 BC – 44 BC The Battle of Carrhae (present-day Harran, Turkey)one of the earliest and most important battles between the Roman and Parthian / Persian Empires triggered civil war raging across the Roman world. 
    • Crassus, the richest man in Rome, funded and led the expedition to win military glory and amass the finances needed for a coup against Republican Rome by the “first” triumvirate including himself, Julius Caesar and Pompey.
    • When Crassus was killed and and his legions wiped out, a balance of power could not be maintained between the two remaining powers Julius Caesar and Pompey, and civil war erupted.
    • Julius Caesar won, only to be assassinated in 44 BC for his authoritarian ambitions.

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  • Not surprisingly, their alliance soon imploded into war between rivals for supreme authority.
    • 37 BC – Antony logically allies with Egypt’s resources to support his bid, meets with Cleopatra at Tarsus in Asia Minor to form an alliance. Yep, as in “Saul of”.
    • 32 BC – Antony the soldier and Cleopatra the queen get married at Antioch, the agreement being that this capitol of the Eastern Roman Empire and the capitol of the Western Roman Empire in Rome would be transferred to Alexandria in Egypt. Rome responds to this outrage by declaring war on Queen Cleopatra’s Egypt.
    • 31 BC – Cleopatra and Antony defeated by Octavian at the battle of Actium.
    • 30 BC – Octavius visits Antioch to flex his muscles, Cleopatra and Antony commit suicide.
  • 30 BC – Roman Senate rewards the man of peace who ended a decade of world war by voting him (with a white stone) into a new political position with higher authority and bestowing on him a new name / title of Augustus projecting his new way / power. He was now Augustus / godlike, the first emperor of the new Roman Empire. Previously only applied to Roman deities of the Empire, this ushered in the Roman Imperial cult.
    • A deceased emperor…could be voted a state divinity (divus, plural divi) by the Senate and elevated as such in an act of apotheosis. The granting of apotheosis…allowed living Emperors to associate themselves with a well-regarded lineage of Imperial divi…This proved a useful instrument to Vespasian in his establishment of the Flavian Imperial Dynasty following the death of Nero and civil war, and to Septimius in his consolidation of the Severan dynasty after the assassination of Commodus.
    • The imperial cult was inseparable from that of Rome’s official deities, whose cult was essential to Rome’s survival and whose neglect was therefore treasonous. Traditional cult was a focus of Imperial revivalist legislation under Decius and Diocletian. It therefore became a focus of theological and political debate during the legalization of Christianity under Constantine I.
  • 29 BC – Ephesus replaces Pergamum as capital of the Roman province of Asia.
  • 48-58 AD – Paul naturally crossed the same bridge to revolutionize the West with the Eastern Semitic religion of YHVH’s Savior, leaving behind churches throughout the Roman province of Asia.
  • 70 AD – Antioch becomes the main center of Hellenistic Judaism after the Second Temple is destroyed
  • 379-395 – Theodosius I adopts Christ as the imperial cult and Christianity as Rome’s state religion while perpetuating the rites and practices that characterized the imperial cult in the theology and politics of the Christianized Empire.

We see that the ancient theocratic systems changed very little over thousands of years from Sumer to Rome, adapting more or less smoothly to the changed nationalities, languages, customs, even the atheistic influence of certain Greek philosophers and the Wizard of Oz-like facade of a republican government in the Roman Empire.

Bear in mind as you read the following that there are no straight lines of ancestry for the ancient gods. From their origins they weave and warp through time and divergent cultures. As detailed in the post The Seed of the Serpent, undying hyper dimensional beings must reproduce by cloning, so lines of descent really get messy. Relationships and identities between similar gods are impossible to keep straight. As detailed in the post Light and Life, immortals are hermaphrodites, so gender assignments change with culture shift or are lost over time in missing pieces of cuneiform tablets, left to the best guess of archeologists with a vested interest in a revolutionary new thesis. A sibling pair will be alternatively referred to as husband-wife and both can be true, note the pharaonic practice of keeping its power all in the family.  And of course, the gods themselves are liars.

With such murky depths to plumb, the principles of Occam’s razor are used in the following analysis:

a scientific and philosophical rule that entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily which is interpreted as requiring that the simplest of competing theories be preferred to the more complex or that explanations of unknown phenomena be sought first in terms of known quantities.

  1. Inanna is the ancient Sumerian goddess of love, sensuality, fertility, procreation, and also of war.
  2. She later became identified by the Akkadians and Assyrians as the goddess Ishtar,
  3. with the Phoenician Astarte
  4. and the Greek Aphrodite, among many others…through her great beauty and sensuality…

3d-inanna-ishtar-upon-lion1-1She is often shown in the company of a lion, denoting courage, and sometimes even riding the lion as a sign of her supremacy over the ‘king of beasts’. In her aspect as goddess of war, Inanna is depicted in the armor of a male, in battle dress (statues frequently show her armed with a quiver and bow)…

We can see in the Adversary’s iconography “the Lion of the tribe of Judah” who, who in biblical prophecy ultimately prevails after millennia of apparent defeats (Revelation 1:1-5), and the triumphant woman who rides a beast who, from the opposing perspective, is named The Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth. (Revelation 17:3-5)

Inanna is an independent woman who does as she pleases, quite often without regard for consequences  and either manipulates, threatens, or tries to seduce others to fix the difficulties her behaviour creates…

Her husband / son Dumuzi – who suffers for her rash choices in the poem The Descent of Inanna – transforms in time into the dying-and-reviving god Tammuz and, annually at the autumn equinox, the people would celebrate the sacred marriage rites of Inanna and Dumuzi (Ishtar and Tammuz) as he returned from the underworld to mate again with her, thus bringing the land to life. The Sacred Marriage of Inanna and Dumuzi was central to the fertility of the land and was re-enacted at important festivals (such as the Akitu Festival at Babylon) by the king and a priestess having sexual intercourse

Archeologists of Turkey, have recently unearthed an 16,000 year-old mother goddess figurinethe eldest in Mesopotamia, Anatolia and Near East…

CYBELE
As with Greek Gaia (the “Earth”)…Cybele embodies the fertile Earth…

Followers of Cybele…expressed her ecstatic and orgiastic cult in music, especially drumming, clashing of shields and spears, dancing, singing, and shouting—all at night.

At Ephesus, the Romanized Diana was passionately venerated in an archaic, certainly pre-Hellenic cult image that was carved of wood, and kept decorated with jewelry. Most similar to Near-Eastern and Egyptian deities, and least like Greek ones, her body and legs were enclosed within a tapering, pillar-like enclosure from which her feet protrude, and her breast was covered with many egg-shaped forms. She wears a mural crown (like a city’s walls), an attribute of Cybele. Shrines, bulls’ horns, and goddess images were found in her temple, showing the continuation linked to other mother goddesses of classical times like Artemis (whose cult flourished at Ephesus, and thus preceded that of the Christian Mary, who was imaged there with a crescent moon, just as her predecessor), Cybele and Aphrodite…

The Temple of Diana, the equivalent Roman goddess…was located in an economically robust region, visited by merchants and travelers from all over Asia Minor. Influenced by many beliefs, the temple was…for peoples of all faiths from many lands.

With this historical background, we can better understand that the Lord Jesus Christ sent his last apostolic messages to the seven churches in Asia. For the same reason that he sent his first apostolic message by Paul to establish these churches here. Ever been to a bustling international airport? The international travelers through these cities who heard about YHVH’s Savior would carry his message back to far-away lands.

Ephesus, which we’ll be exploring shortly, was a Greek and Roman city. The Greeks came here about 3,000 years ago, right after the…Trojan War….At the end of the (10 year) war the…legendary leader of the Greeks…decided…to build a new city.

Ephesus had a major port located at the end of the famous Silk Road. So imagine all the goods brought here with the caravans, and then distributed to the then known world through this Ephesian port. Ephesians needed a port…

Apostle Paul…spent considerable time on his second visit, from 52 to 55 A.D., more than two years. (Acts 19:1- 41) The longest time Paul stayed in one place during his missionary journeys was Ephesus. Why did Paul pick this spot? Why John came here? What was the big deal for these two disciples in Ephesus? The population. Almost 300,000 people at its peak, and about 200,000 in the first century. We mentioned earlier that Ephesus was the western end of the Silk Road, which means it’s not only the goods, but also the words spread out very easily through this port. And the majority of the population of Ephesus were pagan (or gentiles). So it was a virgin territory for Christianity. In other words, that was the best place where Paul meant to be, having the opportunity, the chance, to convert a civilized Ephesus, which was the capital of the Asian province of the Roman Empire, known as Lumen-Asia (“the light of Asia”). This was a major move on Paul’s part to spread out the words of the Lord. That’s why he spent such a long time here in Ephesus.

a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus…he began to speak boldly in the synagoguehe mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ…And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul…came to Ephesus: and…went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus. And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.” (Acts 18:24-19:10)

Paul's Missionary Journeys

The monotheistic Jews in the synagogues were disputing

  • IF Yeshua of Nazareth was The Messiah prophecied by the prophets,
  • IF resurrection was true, and
  • HOW one attains righteousness to ensure a good experience after death.

The pagan Greeks and international peoples traipsing through this bottleneck trade route from the Far East had no problem with believing any of this.

After all, resurrection to godhood had happened to many of their heroes like Gilgamesh, Alexander the Great and the Caesars. Accepting the god-man Yeshua of Judea – with a cultural twist – into their pantheon of existing gods and goddesses was business as usual for the Greeks.

The problem that the Gentile Ephesians had with Paul was NOT believing in Yeshua of Nazareth as the Son of God, but excluding all other gods for the worship of only one.

“ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands [as fit vessels for the spirits of the gods]So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth. And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.” (Acts 19:26-28)

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Ottoman Empire, empire created by Turkish tribes in Anatolia (Asia Minor) that grew to be one of the most powerful states in the world during the 15th and 16th centuries. The Ottoman period spanned more than 600 years and came to an end only in 1922, when it was replaced by the Turkish Republic

At its height the empire encompassed most of southeastern Europe to the gates of Vienna, including present-day Hungary, the Balkan region, Greece, and parts of Ukraine; portions of the Middle East now occupied by Iraq, Syria, Israel, and Egypt; North Africa as far west as Algeria; and large parts of the Arabian Peninsula. The term Ottoman is a dynastic appellation derived from Osman I (Arabic: ʿUthmān), the nomadic Turkmen chief who founded both the dynasty and the empire about 1300…

the Ottomans were leaders of the Turkish warriors for the faith of Islam, known by the honorific title ghāzī (Arabic: “raider”), who fought against the shrinking Christian Byzantine state.

The historical accumulation of titlesof the Ottoman ruler includes Padishah (Emperor) of Iraq / Babylon, Persia / Iran, Greece / Turkey, and a host of other known states, as well as Caesar of Rome (Kayser-i Rûm) of much of Eastern EuropeIstanbul as its capital and control of lands around the Mediterranean Basin, was at the centre of interactions between the Eastern and Western worlds for six centuries until its dismantling after WWI. 

Turkey is the legal successor to the Ottoman Empire. A revolution by the Young Turks in 1908 turned the Empire into a constitutional monarchy…a coup d’état in 1913 created a one party regime which allied the Empire with Germany against the British incursions into Ottoman territory. After being reduced to a small homeland in the Anatolian heartland by the British and French division of spoils after the war, the Turkish War of Independence against the occupying Allies was a rare success. Led by Mustafa Kemal who gave himself the name / way Atatürk / Father pf the Turks, the Republic of Turkey abolished the Ottoman monarchy but not the dreams of restoring the Empire.

“in terms of its sphere of influence, Turkey is a Middle Eastern, Balkans, Caucasian, Central Asian, Caspian, Mediterranean, Gulf, and Black Sea country all at the same time…

Whereas the historical literature about Turkey emphasizes the country commitment to the West since the proclamation of the Turkish Republic in 1923 by Mustafa Kemal, later known as “Atatürk” (Father of the Turks), little is written about the country relations with Arab and Muslim countries…Hence, in the 90th year of existence as a republic in the Middle East any scientific analysis of Turkey with its impressive examples of political, economic, cultural as well as societal development should also spotlight its relations with the countries it formerly shared one single empire with…

After having secured its Western borders by signing the Balkans Pact with Greece, Romania and Yugoslavia on 9 February 1934, Turkey…signed a pact with Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq in 1937…

[In the 1950’s] Turkey initiated an assertive foreign policy in the region and to a certain extent achieved renewed importance in the Arab and Islamic world…

the first Islamic country to recognize the Jewish state of Israel on 18 March 1949, less than one year after Israel’s official proclamation of independence on 14 May 1948, Turkey changeful relations with Israel peaked in a trilateral security alliance [with monarchal Iran as the third member] in 1958. Israel and Turkey are considered as two main democracies and Western-oriented states in the Middle East which are often said to have shared common values and common interests in regard to their regional antagonists throughout history…

whenever Israel was in direct confrontation with Arab states and whenever Israel was directly humiliating Palestinians, Turkey was on the side of the Palestinians. Likewise, whenever Arab countries were intimidating Turkish concerns, Turkey returned to Israel’s side…

Combined with rational decisions of realpolitik (closeness with the US because of financial necessities, NATO-membership to counter communist influence, and close ties with European organizations to fulfil the Kemalist state ideology of Westernization alike modernization)…a Turkish “Ostpolitik” started to become part of a newer Turkish ideology. Turkey relations with countries which were formerly part of the Ottoman Empire and which were now part of the Islamic world were no more avoided or discreet…

In 2002 Recep Tayyip Erdoǧanformed a pragmatic Islamist government that successfully cultivated diplomatic relations with Western powers. 

Having gained America’s confidence, Turkey is now openly edging its way into the place vacated by the United States in the Middle East. Turkey is cozying up to its Muslim neighbors to the east with a desire to re-establish the influence and power lost by the Turkey-based (that’s a really bad homonym I know) Ottoman Empire not that long ago. 

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Turkey, which has strong historical and ethnic ties in Afghanistan…has developed close intelligence ties with some Taliban-linked militia. Turkey is also an ally of neighbouring Pakistan, from whose religious seminaries the Taliban first emerged.

When in August 2021, ISIL killed 13 American military personnel and at least 169 Afghan civilians during the U.S. evacuation of Kabul:

…as chaos gripped Kabul airport…which Turkish troops have guarded for six years [Turkish] President Erdogan said he viewed messages from Taliban leaders with “cautious optimism”….“Turkey is ready to lend all kinds of support for Afghanistan’s unity…”

Prof Ahmet Kasim Han, an expert on Afghan relations…says further ties in Afghanistan allow President Erdogan to “broaden the chessboard” of his foreign policy and play to his AK Party’s support base.

“They consider Turkey as a country with a manifest destiny – an exceptional position within the Muslim world… based on Turkey’s…Ottoman heritage as the seat of the caliphate.”

The Turkish proposal to secure and operate the Kabul airport is influenced by…fraying U.S.-Turkish relations…Turkey has found itself sidelined and its political sensitivities ignored…

A greater Turkish role in Afghanistan would also allow [capitol city] Ankara to…become the most important foreign military actor in Afghanistan and a key political patron of the traditional leaders of country’s Turkic minorities, thus furthering its geopolitical and economic linkages with the largely Turkic nations in Central Asia.

Fundamentalist Muslims have good reason to line up with Turkey to clear the Western nations / The Romans out of their land.

As the Syrian Civil War created vast ungoverned spaces after its March 2011 initiation, some of the Syrian jihadists who had joined ISIS in Iraq returned to Syria. They returned partly because they were originally Syrians and had family and clan connections in Syria. The other reason was because the Syrian town of al-Dabiq [just below Syria’s northern border with Turkey] is the site of a prophecy, allegedly by the Prophet Mo- hammed, that the final battle between Islam and the “Romans” (literally the Christian West) would begin at al-Dabiq. ISIS propaganda often featured al- Dabiq.

There is a dark side to Turkey’s ambitions.

The Kurds are the largest ethnic minority in Turkey…between 15% and 20% of the population…primarily concentrated in the east and southeast of the country, within the region viewed by Kurds as Turkish Kurdistan…

Massacres…have periodically been committed against the Kurds since the establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 1923…During the Kurdish–Turkish conflict, food embargoes were placed on Kurdish villages and towns…many instances of Kurds being forcibly expelled from their villages…Many villages were reportedly set on fire or destroyed…political parties that represented Kurdish interests were banned.

Iran—formerly an ally with Turkey and Iraq – became one of Israel’s main security threats in the region after regime change following the Islamic Revolution of 1979. This fact shows that even though former allies worked closely together, they can dramatically drift apart when once-shared concerns diverge or fundamentally change…

By 2015, aid to anti-Assad forces became the most expensive US covert action program in history, topping 1 billion USD. However, some of the funds and arms wound up in the hands of violent extremists, while some of the troops with the units funded by the United States defected to other groups, taking their arms with them. After the rise of ISIS in June 2014, more US aid went to groups professing to be anti-ISIS, but some of these groups had violent jihadi orientations…

As the conflict inside Syria was radicalized, more regional actors were taking part in the war. What has made Syria a turning point for the regional policy of Turkey, Iran, Israel, and Iraq?

  • Assad [Syria] received support from Iran and Hezbollah
  • triggering pacts between Israel and Arab countries who had mutual interests in curbing Iranian influence in the eastern Mediterranean
  • ad Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries increased their support for Sunni opposition groups,
  • which fueled Iran’s and Hezbollah’s increased support to Assad.
  • triggering Turkey to fund extreme jihadi groups affiliated with al-Qaeda-linked organizations, because they were anti-Assad and anti-Kurds.
  • triggering Russia to support Assad
  • triggering concerns that Russia will establish a broader base of influence in the Middle East

Rodríguez: What are the reasons for this to be a turning point in international politics?

Sorenson: The internationalization of the Syrian conflict raised real doubts about the validity of the previous international order [with America reigning supreme]….Great-power rivalry was increasing…but the Syrian Civil War gave Russia new opportunities, as Russia has positive, if tenuous relations, with Iran, most Arab states, Turkey, and Israel. Russia has no domestic barriers to expansion beyond its laggard economy [which, as with Germany for WWII, is not a barrier but an impetus to war] while the American public is tiring of two long wars that have cost close to 2 trillion USD just in direct costs…

Trump’s exit from Syria represent [s] a game-changer in the US geopolitics…

The United States has rested its security on forward presence and forward engagement since World War II. So…decision to withdraw American forces from Syria…was seen widely as a signal that the United States under Trump was withdrawing from its larger global role. The US Syrian withdrawal came as Trump questioned Ameri- can alliances in both the Pacific and NATO…appeared to downplay the European threat posed by Russia under [Pres. Vladimir] Putin….talked openly about withdrawing residual American forces from Afghanistan and Iraq. Israel and other American friends in the region interpreted the American withdrawal as both a retreat from a region and abandonment of a[n]…ally…

After Trump’s exit, Turkey has entered again in the war scene with virulence.

We can expect to see Turkey reintegrate Iran, Iraq into an alliance – oh, wait – Turkey already did that in the Baghdad Pact of 1955.

And a Jerusalem Post headline in March 2021 reads “Iran, Russia and Turkey Signal Growing Alliance“.

For many years, Ankara would say one thing to Moscow and Tehran about partnership while telling Washington’s Iran hawks that it was “against Russia and Iran…” 

However, the reality was that Turkey was always working closely with Russia and Iran…

This is the long-term goal of Turkey in finding an accommodation with states in the region and bringing together its alliance with Iran and Russia to legitimize its continued occupation of parts of Syria and bases in Iraq.

The Real Outcome of the Iraq War:  US and Iranian Strategic Competition in Iraq” which is available on the CSIS web site at: http://csis.org/files/publication/120308_Combined_Iraq_Chapter.pdf

Since the 2003 war, both the US and Iran have competed to shape the structure of Post-Saddam Iraq’s politics, governance, economics, and security.

the US invasion now seems to be a de facto grand strategic failure in terms of its cost in dollars and blood, its post-conflict strategic outcome, and the value the US could have obtained from different uses of its political, military, and economic resources. The US went to war for the wrong reasons – focusing on threats from weapons of mass destruction and Iraqi-government sponsored terrorism that did not exist. It had no meaningful plan for either stability operations or nation building. It let Iraq slide into a half decade of civil war, and failed to build an effective democracy and base for Iraq’s economic development. The US failed to establish anything like the strategic partnership it sought.

Iran has very different goals from the US. It seeks to ensure that Iraq does not…reemerge as a threat to Iran. It seeks to rid the country of American influence – particularly of American military personnel – to the greatest extent possible. Iran has aggressively used its networks, patronage, economic ties, religious ties, aid money, and military support to various factions in Iraq to achieve these goals…

Iran seems likely to be the de facto winner of the US invasion of Iraq. It now enjoys deep ties in a neighboring country with which it once fought a fierce and bloody eight-year war. Iran has a great deal of cultural, military, and economic resources available to influence Iraq. 

This US-Iranian competition will not only have a major impact on Iraq, but the far broader range of US and Iranian competition in the Arab world – especially the Southern Gulf, in Turkey, and in dealing with Iran’s efforts to create an area of influence that includes Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon and which poses a major challenge to Israel…

For more than two decades, the United States has seen the politics of the Middle East as a tug of war between moderation and radicalism—Arabs against Iran. But for the four years of Donald Trump’s presidency, it was blind to different, more profound fissures growing among the region’s three non-Arab powers: Iran, Israel, and Turkey.

For the quarter century after the Suez crisis of 1956, Iran, Israel, and Turkey joined forces to strike a balance against the Arab world with U.S. help. But Arab states have been sliding deeper into paralysis and chaos since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, followed by the failed Arab Spring, leading to new fault lines. Indeed, the competition most likely to shape the Middle East is no longer between Arab states and Israel or Sunnis and Shiites—but among the three non-Arab rivals…

Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear capability and its use of clients and proxies to influence the Arab world and attack U.S. interests and Israel are now familiar. What is new is Turkey’s emergence as an unpredictable disrupter of stability across a much larger region. No longer envisioning a future in the West, Turkey is now more decidedly embracing its Islamic past, looking past lines and borders drawn a century ago. Its claim to the influence it had in the onetime domains of the Ottoman Empire can no longer be dismissed as rhetoric. Turkish ambition is now a force to be reckoned with.

For example, Turkey now occupies parts of Syria, has influence in Iraq, and is pushing back against Iran’s influence in both Damascus and Baghdad. Turkey has increased military operations against Kurds in Iraq and accused Iran of giving refuge to Turkey’s Kurdish nemesis, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Turkey has inserted itself in Libya’s civil war and most recently intervened decisively in the dispute in the Caucasus between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh. Officials in Ankara are also eyeing expanded roles in the Horn of Africa, and in Lebanon, while Arab rulers worry about Turkish support for the Muslim Brotherhood and its claim to have a say in Arab politics.

89) Wars And Rumors Of Wars

As unrighteous behaviors increase exponentially in the opposite direction from the numbers of people falling away from faith in a God who rewards righteous behavior.

The COVID-19 pandemic…presents an unprecedented challenge to public health, food systems and the world of work. The economic and social disruption caused by the pandemic is devastating…

Millions of enterprises face an existential threat. Nearly half of the world’s 3.3 billion global workforce are at risk of losing their livelihoods…Without the means to earn an income during lockdowns, many are unable to feed themselves and their families…

The pandemic has been…disrupting domestic and international food supply chains and reducing access to healthy, safe and diverse diets…the food security and nutrition of millions of women and men are under threat…

Now is the time for global solidarity and support…Only together can we overcome the intertwined health and social and economic impacts of the pandemic and prevent its escalation into a…catastrophe…

Only then can we…ensure that our ‘new normal’ is a better one.

And when in the history of mankind has the powerful generously shared their excess of resources with the helpless?

Never.

The same people who urge humans to be generous and kind believe that the principle of survival of the fitness evolved mankind into what we are today. Two concepts completely at odds with each other.

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And so, as humanity scrambles to survive without the guidance of the Creator and Sustainer, things will only get worse.

World War is the inevitable result of multiple ethnic messiahs seeking to liberate only their own people, in contrast to the one Mashiach who came to free the whole world.

The prophet Zechariah’s vivid description of a team of four horses furiously racing to change history would have been in Yeshua’s and his listener’s minds’ eyes, and should be in ours. John’s description of a future recurrence of this repeating pattern in history matches up.

“And I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came four chariots out from between two mountains; and the mountains were mountains of brass.

  1. In the first chariot were red horses [war]…
  2. and in the second chariot black horses…go forth into the north country [famine]
  3. And in the third chariot white horses…and the white go forth after them [promising deliverance]
  4. and in the fourth chariot grisled and bay horses….the grisled go forth toward the south country…and sought to go that they might walk to and fro through the earth: and he said, Get you hence, walk to and fro through the earth. So they walked to and fro through the earth – [death from war starting in the south spreads throughout the world

These are the four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the LORD of all the earth.” 

The Fertile Crescent, AKA the Middle East, is always at the center of biblical prophecy, so we can place “the south” as Egypt and “the north” as  Asia Minor / Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran.

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This does pan out with world-changing battlegrounds.

  • and pestilences 
    • This would naturally occur from unsanitary conditions during the siege as well as lowered immunity from malnutrition, but biological warfare is also a factor. The earliest documented incident of the intention to use biological weapons is possibly recorded in Hittite texts of 1500–1200 BCE…in about 590 BCE, Athens…poisoned the water supply of the besieged town…with the toxic plant hellebore. According to Herodotus, during the 4th century BC Scythian archers dipped their arrow tips into decomposing cadavers of humans and snakes or in blood mixed with manure, supposedly making them contaminated with dangerous bacterial agents like Clostridium perfringens and Clostridium tetani, and snake venom.
    • “A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet upon Shigionoth. LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: LORD…in wrath remember mercy. Before him went the pestilence, he…drove asunder the nations…his ways are everlasting.” (Habakkuk 3:1-5)

The warmongers in the Middle East are easy to spot.

Al-Qaeda ‘the Base’, ‘the Foundation’, was founded in 1988 by Osama bin-Laden during the nine-year Soviet–Afghan War fought by insurgent groups (known collectively as the Afghan mujahideen) against the Communist Democratic Republic of Afghanistan and the Soviet Army throughout the 1980s. The conflict was a Cold War-era proxy war with the United States, naturally, backing any enemy of Russia, which means Al-Qaeda. Between 562,000 and 2,000,000 Afghans were killed and millions more fled the country as refugees, mostly to Pakistan and Iran. Between 6.5%–11.5% of Afghanistan’s population is estimated to have perished in the conflict and the war caused grave destruction to Afghanistan’s infrastructure.

The best description of Al-Qaeda was given by Osama bin Laden in a 2001 interview. As you read this, envision it as a template for God’s kingdom filled with his children. Does Christianity represent this to the world?

We are the children of an Islamic / Christian Nation, with Prophet Muhammad / Jesus Christ as its leader, our Lord is one … and all the true believers [mu’mineen] are brothers. So the situation isn’t like the West portrays it, that there is an ‘organization’ with a specific name (such as ‘al-Qa’idah’) and so on. That particular name is very old. It was born without any intention from us. Brother Abu Ubaida … created a military base / Bible academy to train the young men to fight against the vicious, arrogant, brutal, terrorizing Soviet empire / spiritual wickedness in high places... So this place was called ‘The Base’ [‘Al-Qa’idah’], as in a training base, so this name grew and became. We aren’t separated from this nation. We are the children of a nation / sons of Abraham in the Hebrew nation, and we are an inseparable part of it, and from those public demonstrations which spread from the far east, from the Philippines to Indonesia, to Malaysia, to India, to Pakistan, reaching Mauritania … and so we discuss the conscience of this nation.

Islamic Jihad: in the 1990’s in North Africa and South Asia…conflicts with government authorities led to bloody civil wars, as in Algeria between 1992 and 2002, resulting in the exile of many Islamist activists to Europe and the Americas and led many others to join such military fronts as the Afghan Jihad. Morocco and Indonesia formed Islamic political parties when authoritarian regimes—faced with serious socioeconomic crises and seeking to legitimize themselves in the eyes of the public—implemented limited political liberalization.

ISIL or ISIS (depending on the translation) – the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – was created in 1999 as the latest iteration of Pan-Arabism against Western interference into Islamic operations. It introduced itself by pledging allegiance to Al-Qaeda and participating in the Iraqi insurgency following the 2003 invasion of Iraq by Western forces. In 2014, the group proclaimed itself a worldwide caliphate by which it claimed religious, political, and military authority over all Muslims worldwide, changing its name to Islamic State

The United States-led international coalition intervened against ISIL in Syria and Iraq in 2014, with an airstrike campaign, followed by a smaller-scale Russian intervention exclusively in Syria with airstrikes and cruise missile attacks.

But in 2015, ISIL was estimated to have an annual budget of more than US $1 billion and more than 30,000 fighters. They were conducting ground attacks on both government forces and opposition factions, held an area extending from western Iraq to eastern Syria ,and ruled over an estimated eight to twelve million people on whom it enforced its interpretation of sharia law. ISIL is believed to be operational in 18 countries, including Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Taliban, meaning “students”, are made up of former Afghan mujahedeen, who fought the invading Soviet forces in the 1980s…Following the end of the Russian-Afghan War, the Taliban emerged in 1994 as one of the prominent factions in the Afghan Civil War, establishing the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in 1996. After 9/11, the Americans invaded Afghanistan in December 2001, and the Taliban regrouped as an insurgency movement to fight the American-backed Karzai administration and the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in the War in Afghanistan.

In August 2021, two weeks before the U.S. was set to complete its troop withdrawal after a costly two-decade war, the Taliban blitzed across the country, forcing an undignified and embarrassing retreat. The insurgents stormed across the country, capturing all major cities in a matter of days, as Afghan security forces trained and equipped by the U.S. and its allies melted away, the Western-backed government that has run the country for 20 years collapsed, and the President fled the country.

WHY DID THE AFGHAN SECURITY FORCES COLLAPSE?

The short answer? Corruption.

The U.S. and its NATO allies spent billions of dollars over two decades to train and equip Afghan security forces. But the Western-backed government was rife with corruption. Commanders exaggerated the number of soldiers to siphon off resources, and troops in the field often lacked ammunition, supplies or even food…As the Taliban rapidly advanced in recent days entire units surrendered after brief battles, and Kabul and some nearby provinces fell without a fight.

There is widespread hatred, for good reason, of The Great Satan America when even Christians disregard basic human decency.

Emigration of Muslims from the Middle East and South Asia throughout the host of 20th century Islamic conflicts produced large Muslim communities in the United States, Canada, and the countries of western Europe, creating a polarization of Moslems across the world. While Islam was becoming politicized and imposed on society in the East, Western Muslims were struggling to practice their religion in a non-Muslim society. In the first decade of the 21st century, Western Muslims were still not fully integrated into their societies, and many suffered various forms of discrimination. Controversies as the banning of the veil in public schools in France and the publication in Denmark of cartoons caricaturing the Islamic faith (and particularly the Prophet Muhammad) became instantly global, challenging the modes of regulation of Islam not only in Muslim but non-Muslim countries as well. Western Moslems began questioning whether full participation in Western culture and political life was even possible, let alone desirable.

It was in this context of the Western degradation of Islam that 9/11 occurred, creating a world divided in a war between Muslims and “Crusaders and Zionists.” The U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, the Iraq War in 2003, and the protracted inability of the international community to solve the conflict between the Palestinians and Israel only served to strongly reinforce this belief.

In this context, one must seriously consider the possibility that the Bush administration staged the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the Pennsylvania airplane crash to justify a “defensive” rather than “first strike” position against what was becoming a more and more powerful and feared Islamic civilization, no longer discrete individual nations, beating the war drums announcing their intention of taking over the world.

The 33 Strategies of War includes in the Taking Offensive section: “Don’t trust people’s words. They will find moral justifications for their amoral behaviors.”

Our presidents don’t have constitutional authority to start a war, so they just don’t declare war. They just wage it. There are only five times Congress declared war:

  • War of 1812
  • Mexican-American War 1846
  • Spanish-American War 1898
  • The War to End All Wars 1914
  • World War II beginning 1939 with America entering in 1941

Does that come as a surprise, given America’s lead role in the permanent state of world conflict since World War II? Naming just the significant officially undeclared but officially named wars, American has been involved in the

  • Mexican Revolution of 1914
  • Russian Civil War of 1918
  • Korean War 1950 – 1953 among the most destructive conflicts of the modern era, with approximately 3 million war fatalities, a larger proportional civilian death toll than World War II or the Vietnam War, thousands of massacres by both sides, the destruction of virtually all of Korea’s major cities as one of the most heavily bombed countries in history.
  • Vietnam War 1964-1973
  • Persian Gulf War 1991
  • War in Afghanistan 2001-ongoing
  • Iraq War 2003-2011, with emergence of ISIS as a direct result.

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It appears that the President of the United States is the greatest change agent the world has yet known, bringing about the new world order.

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The Iraq War from 2003 to 2011 began with the invasion of Iraq by the United States–led Western coalition under false pretenses. The Bush administration claimed that Iraq had a weapons of mass destruction (WMD) program, and that Iraq posed a threat to the United States and its allies. No stockpiles of WMDs or an active WMD program were ever found. Some US officials falsely accused Saddam of harbouring and supporting the terrorist group al-Qaeda which was blamed for 9/11. In 2004, the 9/11 Commission said there was no evidence of an operational relationship between the Saddam Hussein regime and al-Qaeda. The rationale for war faced heavy criticism both domestically and internationally. Kofi Annan called the invasion illegal, under international law it violated the UN Charter. The Chilcot Report, a British inquiry into its decision to go to war published in 2016 concluded that peaceful alternatives to war had not been exhausted, that the United Kingdom and the United States had undermined the authority of the United Nations Security Council, that the process of identifying the legal basis was “far from satisfactory”, and that the war was unnecessary.

stirthepotIraq held multi-party elections in 2005…The al-Maliki government enacted policies that alienated the country’s previously dominant Sunni minority and worsened sectarian tensions, changing the invasion to an occupation.

The Iraq War caused at least one hundred thousand civilian deaths, as well as tens of thousands of military deaths, the majority of which occurred as a result of the insurgency and civil conflicts between 2004 and 2007. Subsequently, the War in Iraq of 2013 to 2017, which is considered a domino effect of the invasion and occupation, caused at least 155,000 deaths, in addition to the displacement more than 3.3 million people within the country.

In 2011, coincident with America’s exit from Iraq, The Arab Spring erupted as a series of pro-democracy uprisings  enveloping several largely Muslim countries, including Tunisia, Morocco, Syria, Libya, Egypt and Bahrain… The political and social impact of these popular uprisings remains significant today, years after many of them ended. Many of these protests tore down regimes, leading to instability that ended with violent civil wars.

I supported the Iraq War in 2003 because I believed the Bush administration’s case that Iraq was again actively seeking to acquire nuclear weapons…

Yet the goal in 2003 was bigger than denuclearization. Iraq’s Saddam Hussein was both oppressing his own subjects and menacing his neighbors. By replacing Saddam’s regime with a more humane and peaceful successor, the U.S. could set the Arab Middle East on a path to a better future—contributing to America’s own security after 9/11.

Inside the Bush administration, we thought we were ready to remake Iraq for the better—but we were not. We were ignorant, arrogant, and unprepared, and we unleashed human suffering that did no good for anyone: not for Americans, not for Iraqis, not for the region. Almost two decades later, the damage to America’s standing in the world from the Iraq War has still not been repaired, let alone that war’s economic and human costs to the United States and the Middle East.

The ignominious retreats from Iraq and Afghanistan should be evidence enough that United States has passed its zenith and is on a free-fall from world power. The opportunity to seize power is tantalizing for many players. In the rush by America’s enemies to grab what they can, WWIII is inevitable.

Who will dare lead the face off against American claims to world power? Dare? There are zealot-led armies begging to be let off the chain. To date it seems that the only thing that has kept any one of them from rising to the top of the food chain is the incessant internecine warfare America has managed to keep in play.

In spite of a surfeit of suspects, the culprits are plain to see for those who know history.

The Roman Emperors waged bloody wars of succession, so from a biblical perspective the Cold War and Arms Race and Space Race should all be viewed as competition between the Western and Eastern branches of the European Leg of the Roman Empire.

Follow the pattern of the downfall of “God’s people” who corrupt themselves by alliances with pagan nations. As detailed in the post The Fourth Kingdom, today that is not only the nation of Israel allied with America, but America which with malice and forethought took over the Western branch of the European Roman Empire from England during WWII. Whoever Christian America placed their trust in and put their money on for a defense league will conquer her. 

That is not the United Nations, which is essentially an extension of America. It is not NATO or the EEC. England paid America to be her ally in World War II through the Lend-Lease Act and Germany transferred massive military assets to America after the war in exchange for reconstruction of her economy.

That leaves Russia as the only other major ally in WWII, allowed to retain seized booty in both territory and military scientific assets like rocket science, just like America, for its participation in the Allied forces against the Axis powers. Immediately following the close of WWII America turned on Russia in the Cold War using Communism’s atheism as a religious justification to overthrow the Eastern branch of the Roman Empire and attain total supremacy. And if I sound utterly unpatriotic, think. Seriously, how does total supremacy ever turn out for the population? Totalitarianism under any label of type of government is oppression. 

88) Falling Away

Still following the Hegelian dialectic:

Problem: Corruption of big business and the right; labor reforms; civil rights and women’s rights movements; belief in equality of condition,i.e. that equality is to be achieved primarily by government programs aimed at raising wages and transferring income from rich to poor through income taxes and finance welfare programs; rise in belief that poverty is not a personal failure but a societal failure; expansion of secondary and higher education; attack on religious and racial barriers to equal opportunity leading to later attacks on gender-based assumptions of behavior and discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Reaction: The “mainline” Protestant churches weakened sharply in both membership and influence while the most conservative religious denominations (such as the Southern Baptists and Missouri Synod Lutherans) grew rapidly in numbers, spread across the United States…and became politically powerful. Other evangelical and fundamentalist denominations also expanded rapidly…and the more conservative churches saw themselves battling secularism in terms of issues such as LGBT rights, abortion, and creationism.

Solution: Becoming more “relevant” in society by appealing to the self-indulgence of the Me Generation and eliminating requirements for holy living. This has happened 1) corporately by becoming a political action committee for White Anglo Saxon Protestants, and worse yet, 2) individually by expanding the emphasis on a personal relationship with Jesus to the detriment of doctrine.

The Evangelical PAC.

I’m an evangelical, like about a quarter of the United States population. Evangelicals believe in the good news of the Gospel — that Jesus died on the cross, for our sins, and in our place — and we need to tell the world about that.

But that’s not what most people are talking about today…

Many evangelicals and leaders invested money, time and conviction toward the promise of making America great again.

And right there is the problem. How many passages are there regarding “my kingdom is not of this world” and the promise on which believers should be focusing?

before the great and notable day of the Lord come…it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved...hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it…God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ…Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.” (Acts 2:20-40)

In turn, Donald Trump made good on these investments from an evangelical perspective. Most evangelicals (me included) are grateful for the Supreme Court justices he appointed and for some of the religious liberty concerns he addressed. His anti-abortion stances surprised many (again, me included), and for that I was thankful.

Nevertheless, most of that is in jeopardy now because Trump is who many of us warned other evangelicals that he was.

He has burned down the Republican Party, emboldened white supremacists, mainstreamed conspiracy theorists and more.

Yet of greater concern for me is the trail of destruction he has left within the evangelical movement. Tempted by power and trapped within a culture war theology, too many evangelicals tied their fate to a man who embodied neither their faith nor their vision of political character…   

For years we’ve been talking about a coming evangelical reckoning. A flood of books, articles and conferences — many of which I wrote and participated in — have warned of the approaching storm clouds for the evangelical movement.

This reckoning is here…three reasons why we have arrived at this point:

First, far too many tolerated egregious behavior. The past half-decade has offered near daily examples of people co-opting the Gospel for sinful ends. Racism, nationalism, sexism and a host of other sins have found purchase within the evangelical movement in both overt and subtle expressions. Many have been able to dismiss these examples as outliers that did not truly represent the evangelical movement. We have long since exhausted this excuse.

As evangelicals, we have to stop saying this isn’t who we are. This is who we are; these are our besetting sins. However, this isn’t who we have to be.

Second, far too many failed to live up to their promise of speaking truth to power. During the 2016 election, and at many points since, many evangelicals justified their full-throated support by promising to be a check on Trump’s character. What has become apparent is that this promise was hollow…

Watergate figure, and later evangelical leader, Chuck Colson once said: “When I served under President Nixon, one of my jobs was to work with special-interest groups, including religious leaders. We would invite them to the White House, wine and dine them, take them on cruises aboard the presidential yacht. … Ironically, few were more easily impressed than religious leaders. The very people who should have been immune to the worldly pomp seemed most vulnerable.”

That was us.

Finally, all of us have failed to foster healthy political discipleship. The foundation of our reckoning was laid far before Trump. Committed to reaching the world, the evangelical movement has emphasized the evangelistic and pietistic elements of the mission. However, it has failed to connect this mission to justice and politics.

Ahhhh. See, still stuck in the middle, straddling two worlds of spirituality and secular government.

Even the best intentioned evangelism efforts are marked by a departure from the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Basically, the church got rid of the use of the Law about a hundred years ago, and it has been propagated by some preachers today. People got the idea that somehow we need to change the message in order to appeal to people today, but that is just a misunderstanding of the function of the Law...Christians are no longer under the penalty of the Law. We are under the covering of grace. But the same standards of the Ten Commandments still are the standards by which non-Christians will be judged on the Day of Judgment. On the Day of Judgment, God still hates lying. He says that liars and thieves and adulterers and blasphemers will be cast into the Lake of Fire…In order for thieves and liars to understand that that is what they are and that they need a Savior, they need to be confronted with the standards that God will judge them by on that day. And that is what Jesus did throughout the Scripture…

If you can remember four simple points, it will help you get from the beginning to the end of a conversation and lead you through witnessing to somebody. Who do you know that is not saved? Do you have a good friend who is not saved who you have been trying to witness to? It is easy to call them up on the phone and say, ‘Hey, how is it going? How is your family? How is your job? What is going on?’ That is simple. But you are thinking, Man, how do I talk about his or her salvation? That is the hardest part. One of the things that we suggest is bring up the movie The Passion of The Christ, and then use that as a springboard to say something like, ‘That movie never would have made sense to me if I didn’t understand how exactly I had sinned against God,’…What do you think about the Ten Commandments? That is a pretty high standard. Do you think that you have kept it…?’

Get into the conversation any way you want and then the four stepping stones are WDJD, which stands for What Did Jesus Do — not What Would He do, but look in the Bible and see What He did do:

W — Would you consider yourself to be a good person?
D — Do you think that you have kept the Commandments?
J — Judgment. If God judged you according to those Commandments, would you be innocent or guilty?
D — Destiny. So, do you think you would go to heaven or to hell?

The short version of “getting saved” takes God’s sovereign judgment out of the action, allowing humans to mouth a profession of faith and continue to live in sin. And its preachers can point to scripture to justify easy believism.

Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. 

  1. Compare: For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.
  2. But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh…thou shalt be saved
    1. if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus,
    2. and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead.” (Romans 10:4-9)

But this passage is like an opening paragraph in a news reports. To get the full story we have to keep on reading the entire message to the Romans, or we can be misled.

This popular methodology and objective is selling fire insurance, but is it salvation from sin? Certainly not if the individual has not experienced the resurrected life through the Holy Spirit now.

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 

  1. Compare: For what the law [of Moses] could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh,
  2. God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk [the walk and not just talk the talk] not after the flesh, but after the Spirit…

For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, IF so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

IF the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God…And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

This passage, and many others, also disabuse the Jesus Movement‘s claim that the presence of the Holy Spirit is proved, not through the evidence of freedom from bondage to sin of all kinds, but through manifesting the gifts of the spirit. A frenzy of speaking in tongues, healing, and prophecy, even spread to the ponderous institution of the Roman Catholic Church.

And then there’s the ever popular prosperity gospel.

Hinn has been a leading proponent of prosperity gospel theology since the 1980s, teaching that God rewards active faith with health and wealth. But on September 2, during his 3-hour, 50-minute weekly broadcast, Hinn said he had changed.

“I am correcting my own theology and you need to all know it,” the televangelist told his studio audience and those watching online. “The blessings of God are not for sale. And miracles are not for sale. And prosperity is not for sale.”

Hinn said he now believes such give-to-get theology is offensive to God. He specifically repudiated the practice of asking for “seed money,” where televangelists tell people that God will bless them if they give a specific dollar amount. Hinn himself has done this numerous times, promising God will give material blessings in exchange for a gift of $1,000. On Monday, he said he wouldn’t do it anymore…

Some of the Christians who have watched him closest, however, viewed the apparent renunciation with skepticism…waiting for some evidence of his transformation…”we’ve been down this road before.”

Hinn rejected the prosperity gospel for the first time in the late 1980s and again in the early ’90s, and there were reports at the time that he had really changed. He went on to preach prosperity again…

He joined the Assemblies of God for a while, accepting the oversight of the Pentecostal denomination, but then separated and went back out on his own.

Hinn’s financial practices have also been investigated twice by the federal government. The US Senate launched an investigation of Hinn, along with Joyce Meyer, Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar, Paula White, and Eddie Long in 2007. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), then chair of the Senate Finance Committee, was shocked by the lavish lifestyles of American prosperity preachers, and expressed concern the IRS wasn’t doing its job enforcing existing rules against excessive compensation for leaders of religious nonprofits.

Hinn, according to some estimates, was receiving tens of millions of dollars in donations every year…An exact figure is unknown. Hinn’s televangelist organization is registered as a church, so it doesn’t report any financial information to the IRS.

The Senate investigation faced sharp criticism from a number of evangelical groups, including James Dobson’s Alliance Defense Fund (now the Alliance Defending Freedom), the National Religious Broadcasters, and Christianity Today.

The investigation ended in 2011 with no definitive findings…Grassley’s office said the investigation was successful…because Hinn was “instituting reforms without waiting for the committee to complete its review…” 

It is not clear whether there was any self-reform, though. Hinn’s ministry is not accountable to any outside group.

Hinn’s ministry came under investigation again in 2017. The IRS raided the televangelist’s headquarters in Grapevine, Texas. The agents had a search warrant saying there was probable cause to believe they would find evidence of tax evasion and “general fraud against the government” in the ministry’s offices.

A spokesman for the IRS told CT that the agency cannot legally confirm or deny whether that investigation is ongoing.

Neither Hinn nor his spokesman could be reached for comment on Friday.

Hinn’s nephew, Costi Hinn, who has been very critical of his uncle and of the prosperity gospel, said the big, splashy “renunciation” does fit a pattern.

“Over the years, he has consistently conceded to enough of a report or an accusation to gain enough trust—as if he’s admitting to it—to gain control over the narrative. He always wants to control the narrative,” Costi Hinn said.

It’s also not clear how thorough this renunciation is…

“I still believe in prosperity,” Hinn said. “The message of prosperity is in the Bible. We cannot deny that if we give, we will receive. That’s in the Bible. You can’t erase it. No way. God wants to bless his people way more than you want to receive that blessing. But you can’t put a price on it.”

Watching the recording of Monday’s statement, Costi couldn’t help but see a performance.

“It’s very sensational,” he told CT. “When we are repenting, we’re humble. We’re very low. We’re not being sensational when we repent. We’re being broken. We’re being contrite. There was a lot of showmanship in the statement.”

Costi Hinn said one thing he would hope to see is some measure of accountability. A board of outside overseers would go far, he said, towards ensuring this change is real.

Rusty Leonard, the founder of Ministry Watch, an independent evangelical group that advocates for financial accountability and transparency, agrees.

“Maybe it’s sincere. I’m hopeful,” Leonard said. “But right now there isn’t any corroboration. 

This is just one example of how the increasingly autonomous identification of one’s relationship with God phased out accountability to biblical faith and practice. In a local congregation this occurs naturally between the leaders and members.

“Am I am not an apostle…are not ye my work in the Lord? If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord. Mine answer to them that do examine me is this.” (I Corinthians 9:1-3)

The self-defined relationship with Jesus Christ escalated synergistically – both sides feeding off each other – with the rise of televangelism, newly styled “non-denominational” churches, dropping a church’s denomination from its name, non-traditional churches and megachurches allowing an individual’s anonymity in the crowd, and a growth in parachurch organizations and community faith centers that blurred or eliminate doctrinal distinctive. And the result was the loss of a functional body of believers.

“unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ…And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 

  • For the perfecting of the saints,
  • for the work of the ministry,
  • for the edifying of the body of Christ: 

Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ…This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.But ye have not so learned Christ;

IF so be that ye HAVE heard him, and HAVE been taught by him, as / since the truth is in Jesus:” (Ephesians 4:7-21)

Most of all, one’s “personal relationship with Jesus Christ” eliminates the Bible, the sole foundation of saving faith.

Andy Stanley is a master communicator, and he communicates very well and very often...he quite regularly makes arguments that subvert the authority of Scripture and cast doubt upon biblical Christianity…

Earlier this year, Stanley brought controversy when he argued in a sermon that the Christian faith must be “unhitched” from the Old Testament. He claimed that “Peter, James, Paul elected to unhitch the Christian faith from their Jewish scriptures, and my friends, we must as well…”

In his view, the first century leadership of the church “unhitched the church from the worldview, value system, and regulations of the Jewish Scriptures…”

Stanley speaks of outgrowing a childhood belief about the Bible and coming to understand…that we must know that biblical references to the Scripture “did not mean the Bible.”

This is something I’m trying desperately to help people understand…There was no “The Bible” until the fourth century…such a thing did not exist until after Christianity became legal and scholars could come out of the shadows and actually put such a thing together…”

So…no one ever said in the early church, ‘the Bible says, the Bible teaches, the Bible says the Bible teaches,’ because there was no ‘The Bible…’ every time we see the phrase ‘the Scripture’ or ‘Scripture’ in the New Testament, as you know we have to stop and ask the question, what was this particular group of people referring to because there was no ‘The Bible’ and there was no book that contained all the Jewish Scripture because it was contained in synagogues and as you know virtually no one could read and write.”

Well, wait just a minute…it is not true that references to “the Scriptures” or “the Scripture” by Jesus and the Apostles are any mystery to us. They are plainly referring to what we know as the Old Testament. There are references to “Moses and the Prophets” (Luke 16:29) and to the “Law and the Prophets”(Luke 16:16), but faithful Jews in the first century would emphatically have known exactly what the Scriptures are…the Greek phrase, ta biblia, “the books” was “an expression Hellenistic Jews used to describe their sacred books several centuries before the time of Jesus.”

The fact…is that…Jesus and the Apostles did make their arguments “according to the Scriptures” (see, for example, Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4).

Consider Jesus preaching in the synagogue in Nazareth: (Luke 4:17-21)…

Jesus was powerfully arguing “the Bible says” in a way that his hearers in the synagogue clearly understood, and that pattern is found throughout the New Testament…

Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount:

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”(Matthew 5:17-19)

The pattern is promise and fulfillment, not rejection and repudiation. This is true even in the case of Acts 15, with the apostles citing the authority of Amos 9:11-12 and even citing the binding authority of Genesis 9:4 on the Gentile believers. Again, the pattern is promise and fulfillment. Andy Stanley argues that the Old Testament should not be cited as “the go-to source regarding any behavior in the church,” but the moral law of the Old Testament remains honored by the church and repeated (even intensified) in the New Testament.

Peter, James, and Paul did not “unhitch the Christian faith from their Jewish Scriptures,” nor can we.

We are looking here at the ancient heresy of Marcion…who lived about the years 85-160…The Old Testament deity was repugnant to Marcion, who argued that Christianity just make a clean break from Judaism. The Old Testament, he taught, reveals a vindictive law-giving creator deity who bears no resemblance to the merciful redeeming God revealed in Jesus Christ. As Irenaeus, one of the most significant church fathers argued, “Marcion himself divides God in two, saying that one is good, the other judicial, and in so doing takes God away from both.”

Marcion was embarrassed by the Old Testament, and so are many modern people. Andy Stanley, at the very least, seems to fear that embarrassment in others, even if he does not identify with it himself.

He spoke this way with Jonathan Merritt: “I’m convinced that we make a better case for Jesus if we leave the Old Testament or the old covenant out of the argument.” We can make a better case for Jesus than the case Jesus made for himself?

But the embarrassment comes through clearly in Andy Stanley’s comments in the interview. He spoke of people who have “lost their faith” because they read the Old Testament, and then said…

it’s time that we face the facts and unhitch our faith and our practice from some of these Old Testament values that we can appreciate in their original context, but we really don’t have any business dragging them into a modern context…'”

The church cannot “unhitch” from the Old Testament without unhitching from the gospel Jesus preached. Speaking of the Old Testament Scriptures, Jesus said “it is they that bear witness about me…” (John 5:39)

Stanley questions whether Jesus actually meant his own references to Old Testament narratives to be taken as historical. He said: “Then a person has to decide…Jesus references the Garden of Eden, or he references in the beginning when God created the first two people, he references Jonah. Then you have to decide when the Son of God references these people and these incidences and these prophets, what did he mean..?

It is very instructive to remember that the most influential theological liberal of the twentieth century, Adolf von Harnack, chose Marcion as his theological hero. Why? Because, like Marcion, he wanted to reduce Christianity to what he claimed to be its essence, the benevolent fatherhood of God. All the doctrines of orthodox Christianity, including the doctrines concerning the divinity of Christ, were dismissed as either Jewish or Greco-Roman encrustations…

the Christian identification of the Old Testament as the “Jewish Scriptures” has a dangerous pedigree…Adolf von Harnack must also be remembered as seeking to champion Marcion within German Protestantism just as anti-Semitism was rising once again with deadly power in Germany. As Alister McGrath notes, “Sadly, Marcionism is a heresy that seems to be revived with every resurgence of anti-Semitism.”

The issues actually reach deeper. In recent years, Andy Stanley has encouraged getting over “the Bible tells me so.” He actually claimed in 2016 that the church veered into “trouble” when it began to make its arguments on the basis of the Bible. He cited “deconversion” stories in which people told him that they lost their Christian faith when they lost confidence in the Bible. He said: “If the Bible is the foundation of your faith, here’s the problem: it’s all or nothing. Christianity becomes a fragile house of cards religion…”

key question is whether one can be a faithful Christian while denying the truthfulness of Scripture. Jesus himself makes the point that without the Old Testament as the Word of God, we really do not know who he is. Then what does it mean to be a Christian..?

In this latest interview, Andy Stanley also suggests that “Christianity ultimately and eventually created the Bible.” That is consistent with Roman Catholic theology, but not with evangelical Christianity. In the interview Stanley affirmed again that affirmation of the virgin birth is not necessary. He had earlier stated, “If someone can predict their own death and resurrection, I’m not all that concerned about how they got into the world.”

But the New Testament is very concerned about how Jesus got into the world, and if he was not conceived by the Holy Spirit, then he was conceived in some other way. Here we need to remember that the etymology of heresy is rooted in choice. A heretic denies a belief central and essential to Christianity. But heresy also takes the form of choice. You can choose to believe in the virgin birth or not, Stanley argues; he is not all that concerned about it.

Many cultural Christians think church is a good thing, but they are not committed.

They are not involved in any ministry.

They don’t sacrificially give.

They couldn’t tell you the last time they told someone about Jesus.

They come to church about once every couple months, because they are “just so busy…”

Ask any of these people if they are saved, and they will say “yes.” They will tell you about a time when they prayed a prayer and got baptized. But they don’t live their lives as if Jesus is Lord.

Aren’t these like the branches that God removed from Israel?

“Now if some of the branches were broken off, and you, though a wild olive branch, were grafted in among them and have come to share in the rich root of the cultivated olive tree, do not boast that you are better than those branches … they were broken off because of unbelief, but you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but beware, because if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.”

– Romans 11:17–21 CSB

The same transgressions that got Israel removed from the tree—compromise, taking their salvation for granted, giving lip-service to God, and going through religious motions without their hearts really belonging to him—are rampant within the church today.

I am especially concerned for children who grow up in church, are raised in Christian families, and live up to expectations by, at some point, “getting saved.” They avoid most major sins—at least, the ones they think are major. But in their heart of hearts, they know Jesus is not Lord.

If this is you, Paul says, “Wake up! If this is what God did to the sons and daughters of Abraham, it’s what he will do to you, too!”

Sometimes Christians will use a perverted version of the doctrine of eternal security to assure themselves they belong to God. This doctrine says, “once saved, always saved.” That is, once you are truly saved, you can never lose it.

Eternal security is a glorious and comforting truth. But notice what Paul says in Romans 11:20: You will be kept if you avoid the unbelief that overcame Israel and “stand by faith.”

If.

We have two seemingly contradictory truths: On the one hand, the Bible says that once God saves you, you’ll always be saved (e.g., John 10; Romans 8); on the other, it says that only if you endure to the end will you be saved (cf. Hebrews 3:12–14).

You have to put the two together. One of the essential marks of truly saving faith is that it endures to the end. The real doctrine of eternal security reads like this: Not only “once saved, always saved” but also “once saved, forever following.”

Having a faith that endures to the end is evidence that you possess the salvation you could never lose. Not enduring to the end is evidence you never had it to begin with.

Saving faith is staying faith.

You see, the evidence of saving faith is not the intensity of emotion at the beginning but its endurance over time. Think of it like a marriage: You don’t judge the sincerity of a marriage vow by the lavishness of the wedding ceremony but by the faithful commitment that follows it.

When it comes to God, a lot of Christians are all ceremony, no marriage.

87) False Messiahs

“Many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ / the Prophesied Deliverer from Evil Oppression; and shall deceive many.

Belief in false messiahs has caused untold Jewish suffering over the past 2,000 years, and threatens us today. The medieval sage Maimonides, considered a heretic in his day, but now venerated by today’s Orthodox, declared that all Jews must affirm, “I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the messiah and even if he tarries, nevertheless, I will await him every day.” For the Orthodox, perfect faith means “blind faith” and provides a perfect storm for disaster. History confirms Einstein’s observation that “Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of the truth.”

The word “dis-aster” literally means a bad star, and one of the greatest disasters in Jewish history was brought about by the so-called, “son of a star,” or in Aramaic Bar Kochba, the false messiah, who was heralded by Orthodox legend Rabbi Akiva, as the long awaited Jewish king, who would deliver the Jews from Roman occupation. This irrational claim led to an ill-advised Jewish revolt against Rome in 135 CE, which resulted in the loss of our homeland and nearly 2,000 years of bitter exile and tragedy for the Jews.

On Dec. 25, we recall an even more famous false Jewish messiah with dire consequences, when Christians celebrate the alleged birth of Jesus, who was also claimed to be born under a star. Absurdly believing that a crucified failed leader of a Jewish revolt against Rome was the messiah, these misguided Jews, spread a crazed messianic fervor to even less informed non-Jews that produced a pagan off-shoot of Judaism that subjected millions of Jews to centuries of ghettos, inquisitions, crusades, pogroms and the Holocaust, because of our refusal to accept idolatrous, mythological beliefs about Jesus.

Given the pagan off-shoot of Judaism that became Christianity, and the horrific history of persecution of the Jews by Christianity, this rabbi’s rejection of the leader(s) of that corrupted belief system is on target. Christianity replaced the lowly Jewish Yeshua hamashiach with the socially acceptable Sol Invictus. Unfortunately this rabbi overshoots as he tracks back in time to pinpoint the false messiahs, but he is on target in current events.

Continue reading “87) False Messiahs”

Section XVIII: The Signs of the Times

Two thousand years ago the Messiah’s / Christ’s disciples thought the end was nigh. They had good reason to believe that this world system was coming to an end.

We can collate Daniel’s words in chapter 11 with Jesus’ updates in Matthew 24 to sequence the signs of the times. Do realize, once one of these ball gets rolling, the momentum keeps it going, until all the balls merge like a hurricane into one totally chaotic maelstrom rather than a sequence of events.

  1. Many shall come in my YHVH’s name and shall deceive many leading to
  2. Wars with associated famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places leading to blame and
  3. World-wide tribulation on YHVH’s people who shall fall by the sword, by flame, by captivity, and by spoil…to try them and to purge and to make them white, leads to
  4. Religious leaders taking offense, betraying and hating YHVH’s people leads to
  5. Rise of false prophets leads to
  6. Forsaking the holy covenant, which in Jesus’ update of Daniel’s prophecy certainly means the New Covenant in his blood so these prophets are within what we call Christianity.
  7. Israel places the abomination that maketh desolate in the holy place.
  8. The vile king shall exalt himself and shall plant the tabernacles / tents / bivouac of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain.

After their triumphal entry into Jerusalem, YHVH’s Savior’s disciples were fully expecting to see the great day of his wrath against the corrupt Jewish rulers.

This was in fact the original plan.

And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem…then sent Jesus two disciples…ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them. All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass…And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest…This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.

And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves. And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them.” (Matthew 21)

They were expecting Jesus to take over the kingdom of Israel at that time, with them sitting on twelve thrones as viceroys

“And when the [usurper] chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the son / prophesied heir of David; they were sore displeased, And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say?” 

“I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.” (Matthew 21:12-14, 23:34-36)

Jesus “taught daily in the temple” (Luke 19:47) in the days leading to his crucifixion, so he was very familiar with the details of the magnificent complex when “his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.” (Matthew 24:1)

Clearly they were not familiarizing him with it, they were gloating over their new residence and wondering where each of them would be enthroned.

“And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” (Matthew 24:2)

This was not what they were expecting.

The logical conclusion to this news that was that there would be a war for the kingdom, like the Maccabees had waged against vicious Antiochus Epiphenes, with a lot of righteous people being terrorized and martyred. What a bummer.

They didn’t want to throw cold water on the joyous expectant crowd, so they kept this bad news to themselves until they could balance it with something to sustain believers enduring the inescapable suffering to come.

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” (Titus 2:13)

The disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us…what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world / ultimate salvation from sin’s suffering and death?” (Matthew 24:3)

We need to pay close attention to his answer.

“Take heed that no man deceive you.” (Matthew 24:4)

As YHVH’s Savior answered his disciple’s query, he only provided talking points. His scripturally literate Apostles could fill in the details from the scriptures describing tribulation and rescue:

  • Genesis, especially the prototypical days of Noah and Nimrod,
  • Exodus – Joshua battling giants,
  • history books from Judges through the Maccabees under oppression from foreign nations
  • the prophets from Enoch through John the Baptist preaching the name / way of salvation,

And they could read The Signs of the Times of current events under classical Rome.

They were well aware of the details of the seven Seals and seven Trumpets with false Christs / Saviors promising to rescue their followers from the horrific events that follow each.

Excerpts from Isaiah 8-25

“the Lord spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, Say ye not, A confederacy [with Egypt, with Assyria, with Babylon, with Persia, with Greece, with Rome, with the United nations of the world], to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy… [instead, as instructed in the law of Moses] Sanctify the LORD of hosts/ armies himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offenceto the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken. 

Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples. And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him. Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion…To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. 

And they shall look unto the earth; and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish; and they shall be driven to darkness….the land of Judah shall be a terror unto Egypt, every one that maketh mention thereof shall be afraid in himself, because of the counsel of the LORD of hosts, which he hath determined against it…whither we flee for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria / modern Turkey with its alliances: and how shall we escape? A grievous vision is declared unto me;

All ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth, see ye, when he lifteth up an ensign on the mountains; and when he bloweth a trumpet, hear ye….For afore the harvest…he shall both cut off…and take away and cut down…In that time shall the present be brought unto the LORD of hosts of a people scattered and peeled, and from a people terrible from their beginning hitherto [whichever nation allied with Israel then, inevitably, turned on her]…to the place of the name of the LORD of hosts, the mount Zion.

Therefore are my loins filled with pain: pangs have taken hold upon me, as the pangs of a woman that travaileth: I was bowed down at the hearing of it; I was dismayed at the seeing of it. My heart panted, fearfulness affrighted me:…For thus hath the LORD said unto me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth...And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen…The burden of DumahThe burden upon Arabia….DedanimTema…Kedar shall fail…for the LORD God of Israel hath spoken it…a day of trouble, and of treading down, and of perplexity by the LORD God of hosts in the valley of vision, Elam bare the quiver with chariots of men and horsemen, and Kir uncovered the shield. And it shall come to pass, that thy choicest valleys shall be full of chariots, and the horsemen shall set themselves in array at the gate.

And in that day did the LORD God of hosts call to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth: And behold joy and gladness, slaying oxen, and killing sheep, eating flesh, and drinking wine: let us eat and drink; for to morrow we shall die…Surely this iniquity shall not be purged from you till ye die, saith the LORD God of hosts…And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant…and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.

he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death in victory; and the LORD God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it.

And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

Only later, through his Apostle John, did Yeshua elaborate on his outline by providing details of these events. Why?

Because of the scriptural illiteracy of the growing numbers of Gentile Christians.

The way we know the true savior is through his match with the consistent biblical record of the

  1. creation of humanity in spiritual union with their creator and sustainer of life,
  2. selfish nature of humans inevitably leading to loss of relationship / connection therefore loss of sustained / everlasting life from the Giver of Life.
  3. prophecy and and fulfillment of YHVH’s / Creator’s Savior in HIS name / way of providing salvation through taking on human nature genetically, overcoming sin, and in that bodily state experiencing death for all humans with whom he shares the same DNA, thus maintaining God’s justice while mercifully affording forgiveness of sin by transferring the punishment for sin onto himself,
  4. thus allowing restoration of a connection with the giver and sustainer of life forever, under terms of a type of marriage covenant union requiring the assent of both parties. 

Sects of Judaism deny the unity of Jesus Christ with the Father, i.e. his deity. Christianized Pagans separate him from the Father through doctrines such as the trinity deny his identity as a human being. Since his unique combination of God in human flesh was proven by his resurrection from the dead, any doctrine eliminating either of those natures effectively denies both resurrection and the union of the rest of humanity with God as the means of salvation from sin and death.

“how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?…For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins…If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” (I Corinthians 15:12-19)

Antichrists are identified by their denial of this accomplished plan of salvation by YHVH’s Promised Savior / Jesus Christ.

“For many deceivers…confess not that Jesus Christ [the Creator’s Representative] is come in the flesh. This is…an antichrist.” (II John 1:6-8)

“Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.” (I John 2:18)

Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus / The Creator’s Son is the Christ [Promised Savior from death]? He is antichrist, that denieth the [true Creator] Father and the Son [the very image and likeness of the Father].” (I John 2:22)

“And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” (I John 4:3)

“For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.” (II John 2:7)

Antichrists offer different plans of salvation from death ranging across the spectrum from putting the blame on someone else to denying anything is wrong to imposing impossible rules and penances for saving one’s self from the punishment for sin.

Since the 7th century militant Islamic leaders are the primary alternate claimants to representing The One True God Who sent his prophet to save his people from their sins are . This has not changed in the 21st century.  Many Christian nations have been betraying biblical mandates and hating one another in power-seeking alliances with Islamic leaders. More on this below.

And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many Christians shall wax cold, hearts and minds and necks becoming hard as cold wax. Love for the word of God, for desperate people in need. Can we not recognize that the rapture doctrine is the height (that’s a pun) of love grown cold? Total abandonment, total self-love with no love lost even on family members left behind to face the worst horrors ever experienced by humanity. How cold hearted can you get? 

“But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” (Matthew 24:13)

There are two ways to understand this statement.

    1. Only people who endure to the end are saved. This is taught as endurance being a requirement for salvation by Jews during the Great Tribulation, an entirely different means of salvation from the free gift by grace given to Gentile Christians. If you believe that, check out the posts Everything Old Is New Again and the three posts on the Splitting, Separating and Schizophrenic Church. Better yet, read Paul’s letters to Gentile Christians without Scofield’s notes.
      • “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.” (Titus 2:11) Does that exclude females? Why treat is as though it excludes Jews?
      • For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise [of the Seed of the Woman Savior from death] made of none effect…Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were… He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;” (Romans 4)
      •  If Jesus meant that people must endure to be saved, he would have simply stated “He that endures to the end shall be saved,” as in “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” There is a reason that extra bit “the same” was included.
    2. Absolutely people who endure to the end are saved. Providing assurance of salvation when in doubt.  This understanding is established by comparing the verbally simple but linguistically complex Greek words houtos, hauté, touto translated “same” here with variations in translation while maintaining the same concept.
        1. it serves to repeat the subject with emphasis:
          1.  Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For 1) they are not all Israel, 2) which are of Israel: (Romans 9:6)
        2. gives what follows special weight
          1. “Being confident of 1) THIS / same 2) very thing, [and that is] that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” (Philippians 1:6)
        3. indeed, especially:
          1. “But 1) brother goeth to law with brother, and 2) THAT! (even more shocking) before the unbelievers.” (I Corinthians 6:6)

This should be a relief to Christians indoctrinated with the rapture teaching who find themselves in the midst of circumstances they never expected to experience. No, they didn’t get left behind. They are not doomed.

  1. Then shall be great tribulation not just on YHVH’s people but all humanity, since except those days should be shortened there should no flesh be saved:
  2. Immediately after the tribulation of those days on all humanity shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: 

Yeshua’s arrival to save the day has always included clouds. Perhaps in our day and age we can grasp that these, like nuclear weapons, are a hyper dimensional counter-weapon? Perhaps something like matter against anti-matter?

“And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount. And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire...And the LORD came down…and Moses went up.” (Exodus 19:16-20)

“I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” (Daniel 7:1-14)

“Jesus…being assembled together with them…while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said…this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.‘ (Acts 1:1-11)

For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man beImmediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Matthew 24:29-32) 

“Behold, I shew you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In…the twinkling of an eye…for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” (I Corinthians 15:51-53)

“Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen / this is the truth.” (Revelation 1:7)

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86) Sex And The City In Noah’s Day

“as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be…in the days that were before the Flood / Extinction Event of Seal 6

  • they were eating and drinking
  • in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:
  • marrying and giving in marriage
  • the spirits [now] in prison; Which…were disobedient…in the days of Noah. while the ark was a preparing.” (Matthew 24:37-38, I Peter 3:19-20, 4:3)

Obviously the characteristics of the pre-flood world are key to understanding our world’s future. Since the history of Noah’s day are frankly reported, this puts the Bible’s prophetic value light years ahead of later obtuse prophets like Nostradamus.

There have been roughly 4,500 years since the flood, i.e. triple the amount of time of the 1,500 years of pre-flood civilization that ended in the destruction of the world by flood. Yet despite numerous empires demonstrating appalling evil against mankind, we have not yet reached the utter depths of evil doing of Noah’s days prophesied to trigger the end of the world.

What does it take?

The same strategy used in the first Days of Noah.

  • great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world [i.e even in the days of Noah],
  • And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh / mortal body, human nature be saved:” (Matthew 24:3, 21-22)

“in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing…

    • the earth was filled with violence…
    • for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth……
    • [only] eight souls were saved.” (I Peter 3:20, Genesis 6:12)

The post Days of Noah Part One details the meaning and process of becoming corrupted.

It means losing one’s unalloyed created nature, whether human or animal, and turning into a hybrid creature.

The allure and practice of merging one’s identity with another’s is easily recognized in behaviors and images expressing solidarity in fashion, sports, politics and ethnicity.

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Marriage is the ultimate merging of two individuals’ identities into one, and requires sexual intercourse.

A marriage is considered consummated upon sexual intercourse of the married spouses. Sexual intercourse is considered the full physical expression of the joining of the man and woman in marriage…

[In the Catholic Church]…The annulment process…determines if the marriage was ever really a marriage (meeting the conditions above).

A sexless marriage is…one in which repeated sexual advances are ignored and the couple experiences a long period without any intimate activity at all.

‘It is called either alienation of affection or constructive abandonment,’ reports The ExperienceProject.com. If a spouse is withholding sex, or using it as a weapon, this is immediate grounds for divorce. Marriage, as set forth in legal precedent, implies that there will be sex’ to withhold this is considered a divorceable offense…likely could be considered for an at-fault divorce.

“Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.” (I Corinthians 7:3-4)

There is a scientific reason why sexual activity results in physical, emotional, and spiritual / life energy bonding, for good or bad.

Hooked: The Bonding Power of Sex

when we do anything exciting, a hormone called dopamine is released in our brain that makes us feel like the world is good, that we have been a success…

When any of us have sexual intercourse, we have a huge outpouring of dopamine into our brains…It is the same hormone that is secreted with addiction to drugs and nicotine…

During sexual intercourse, in the female brain there are more receptors for oxytocin, and in the male brain there are more receptors for vasopressin. Both hormones cause the person to feel emotionally attached to the other, even with just one act of intercourse.

So those in a [sexually active] relationship…You become attached, addicted, bonded to each other.

In marriage, that is a good thing because you will stay attached to each other. Children are reproduced and you bond to those children, care for them, and help them grow up…

All of this results in actual physical changes in the brain. When these hormones flow and send their impulses, they dramatically affect connections or synapses between the neurons in the brain. Those synapses actually are strengthened when we repeat a behavior or they are weakened when we stop. So, when you repeatedly attach and unattach with multiple sexual partners you actually weaken the ability to stay connected. Studies have shown that when people have had multiple sexual partners before marriage they are more likely to divorce because they actually weaken the pathways that are necessary to attach at the deep and necessary emotional level important for marriage…

Based on the most modern neuroscience, sex is a whole body experience. The brain is the biggest and most important sex organ of the body. All these hormones in the brain and all these synapses that influence our habits and our patterns of living.

And because the same neurotransmitters are involved in sex as in drug use, sex becomes an addiction in search of that momentary sense of, at least relief, since fulfillment is no longer possible.

Sex addiction is often conceptualised as the compulsive engagement in sexual acts without any regard for the negative consequences that may arise…

#1. Sexual acts with multiple partners: Sex addicts are often unable to remain loyal to their partners due to their insatiable sexual appetites. This usually results in them engaging in risky behaviours such as cheating and engaging in sexual acts with multiple partners…

#2. Neglectful of responsibilities: Similar to any other addiction, sex addicts often put their desire for sex ahead of family commitments, job responsibilities, and pretty much anything else that isn’t sex-related. This can lead to financial difficulties, job loss, and even divorce if the neglect continues to spiral out of control.

#3. Indulging in trade-offs for sex: Almost all sex addicts are willing to trade their time and currency, particularly when illicit sex is the end game…

#4. The dismissiveness of risky sexual behaviour: What if I get caught cheating? Or contract a sexual disease from all the sleeping around?…Sex addicts might run along this emotional parallel for a while, the difference being that all the pondering in the world doesn’t stop them regardless of the consequences.

#5. Unable to reduce the amount of time spent on sexual activities: Similar to substance addiction, sex addiction is often difficult to cut down on, since over time the sexual urges become stronger, not weaker. It’s easy to detect a sex addict as they struggle to minimise the amount of time they spend on sexually related activities (also similar to gaming and internet addictions).

#6. Inability to discuss the problem: If you’ve ever tried to speak to an alcoholic about their drinking, then you’ll likely come across the same problem with a person who is addicted to sex. You’ll likely experience the same level of denial and an inability to open up and discuss the problem.

#7. Loss of sexual functioning: This is particularly prevalent in young males who tend to view a lot of porn. Since the sexual ‘high’ they experience in pornography cannot be matched with a real life partner, they often experience erectile dysfunctioning as a result. Essentially, when a male engages in porn, his dopamine levels rise to an extreme level and this conditions the body to desire those high-arousal levels. When indulging in ‘normal’ sex with a partner, this conditioning can reduce the ability to function.

#8. Displaying strong disinterest in a partner: This is perhaps the most obvious sign of a relationship problem, where one partner is keen to have sex and the other isn’t. When one half of a couple begins to withdraw from sex, this is often a sign that something deeper is going on.

#9. Constantly watching porn: Constantly engaging in porn and sexual fantasies…real-life sex often cannot live up to the type of porn scenarios that people see online or on television.

#10. Feeling remorse or guilt after sex: Shame and guilt often accompany most addictions…The type of ‘emotional hangover’ that a sex addict often experiences after engaging in risky sexual behaviour is nothing to be envied.

The damage caused by unhealthy sex to the soul is not just in the sexual arena.

A soul tie is a connection with someone deeply embedded into your soul, certified sex therapist De-Andrea Blaylock-Johnson, LCSW, CST,tells mbg. “Often it’s thought to happen after you have intercourse with someone,” she notes…

7 signs you have a soul tie with someone:

1. You feel connected on a deeper level.

Having a soul tie means you are bonded on a deeper level, at the level of Spirit…

2. They elicit strong reactions from you.

There’s a level of intensity to soul ties, and while they don’t all look the same, you can be sure everything will be amplified—the good and the bad…

3. They feel familiar.

On top of strong reactions to them, this person likely feels familiar to you…even if they’ve only been in your life a short while…

4. You may feel like they “complete” you.

This is especially true in the case of romantic soul tie relationships. This is when soul ties veer into toxic territory…

5. Your relationship feels unique or one-of-a-kind.

“Look for feelings and experiences you’ve never had before,” she says, such as never having felt that much sexual passion with someone else, for example, or even doing something completely new together, like starting a new business venture or project…”

6. They showed up at a significant time.

Perhaps this person showed up at the exact moment you needed “help, healing, or expertise they have to offer,” she adds. Ask yourself what was going on in your life when you first met and what they had to offer.

7. A part of you feels like it’s missing if they’re not in your life.

a soul tie with someone can often become painful if things go south, as soul ties can often turn into attachment (or be mistaken for attachment altogether). “A lot of times, people may experience a feeling of brokenness,” she says, “as if a part of them is missing because they’re no longer connected to this person…”

soul ties can also become toxic and one-sided. People..get lost in their role as a partner within a relationship and lose their individuality,” she says…

“don’t feel that you’ll never find another special friend. The universe is very receptive and will help you find new friendships that are more aligned and appropriate for your life now,” she says…

A ritual for breaking soul ties:

  1. Sit in meditation.
  2. Call on any angels or spirit guides to be with you as well.
  3. Tell the…soul that you…simply don’t want to be in relationship with them anymore… physical ears won’t hear this release, but their soul definitely will!

This neopagan article very nicely distinguishes the toxic vs healthy relationship experienced with a exploitive vs beneficent spirit.

“Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.” (I Corinthians 7:16-18)

This passage provides the basis for logically deducing that evil spirits present in a sexual partner’s body can be passed to the other partner while the bodies are sexual joined “as one body.”

Beyond sexually transmitted evil spirits and diseases and emotional damage, permanent brain changes limiting relationship fulfillment leaves the partner drained and enervated in all relationships. Contrast this with the “Christian tradition” sex energizing and empowering each of the human individuals engaged in a monogamous relationship.

“Sermons from the Mound”, an unmistakable sexual play on words, describes the inevitable convergence of sex with any activity involving pagan gods / evil spirits. This is because sex provides high octane energy needed for the perpetuation of spirits disconnected from the Singularity.

Every religious tradition has rules—spoken and unspoken—around sexuality, and sacred texts come into play as these rules are navigated in dating and marriage. What does your faith tradition really say about the meaning of our sexuality and sexual activity? What role does sex play in the life of the spirit?

Let’s answer that question from a Bible-based perspective.

Marriage…is a sacrament in the Catholic Church; it is the union of one male to one female in order to come closer to God…venue in which to bear children…a sacred covenant between each spouse with each other and with God…

each spouse in the marriage acts as a conduit of God’s grace to the other spouse…Christ is the source of this grace and the spouses serve as Christ to each other.

This explanation is consistent with the interpretation of the original creation of Adam in the hermaphroditic image of God as both male and female, as detailed in the post Created In The Image Of God”. The fall changed this image, requiring the physical joining of a male and female through sexuality and reproduction to represent the fullness of the Creator. A marriage that intentionally and by God’s practices and policies includes the presence of the Holy Spirit in the union is empowered by the infinite Singularity.

Contrast this with the role of sex in the pagan tradition involving gods, goddesses and spirit beings.

“The Charge of the Goddess,” penned by Wiccan priestess Doreen Valiente (1922-1999), is a piece of liturgy so powerful that its influence has reached far outside Wicca into spiritual feminism, the sex-positive community, and contemporary Paganism as a whole. When used in ritual, the Charge is spoken by a priestess who is embodying the presence of the Goddess. She says:

And ye shall be free from slavery; and as a sign that ye are really free, ye shall be naked in your rites…

I just have to break in here and point out “as a sign that ye are really free ye shall be naked.” WHAT A LIE! My spirit and emotions are so hyper charged by this utterly outrageous distortion of reality I’m having trouble breathing and its a good thing I haven’t eaten yet this morning.

Hello!!! Sex trade??!! Try this on for a reality check, and I’m not linking to the website below for obvious reasons that I don’t want my computer flooded with offers to immerse myself in the filth that so many find themselves addicted to. Freedom? No. Bondage.

Slave market in the ancient world / Watch online https://www…….slave-market-in-the-ancient-world « gr8 scene …it is so satisfying to see the five naked female slaves chained together and being paraded in the slave market – completely stripped of all dignity » 0 +1 -1 MFANO 5 years ago. « Wow, what a divine [now there’s profanity for you] time. White sluts tied and for sold in all public how cattle. Wonderful. Would like to buy some sluts for me as female slaves and…

Keep this in mind as you continue reading the Adversary’s lies.

and ye shall dance, sing, feast, make music and love, all in my praise.…for behold: all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals...

Many Wiccans and witches believe that all things contain a primal energy or vital life force that moves within and among them. This energy is most easily experienced through sexual activity, especially when it is raised with spiritual intent. Through their sexual intimacy, practitioners can participate in a primal moment of creation: a moment when two divine forces or beings—imagined as a many-gendered God/dess making love with her mirror reflection; or a lunar Goddess and a solar God; or a genderless yin and yang, nothing and something—communed together in an erotic union whose vibrations continue to animate the universe.

Hypersexualized models of femininity in the media affect the mental, emotional and physical health of girls and women on a global scale.

This and the following article give the logical reason why promiscuous sexuality is an irreducible part of any attempt at increasing one’s spiritual life energy / power apart from the source of all life energy,

Energy must be consumed from another living being.

The Grave Yard Press is a website created for the real vampire community.

The Sexual Vampire: is a bare bones straight out, call it like it is, definition. It is an understanding of the base of the creature and what they are about. There are still many different types of sexual vampire, that part never changes, but what doesn’t change is that at the base of it, sex has to be involved, either in action, intention or thought…

Regardless of the means in which you engage in it, whether purely physical, or totally psychological, the end result is that some element of sexual energy has to be involved….There are basically two categories…Biological and Energy Feeders…

Coitus feeding: This is literally the physical act of having sexual intercourse…there are those who find anything other than the very act itself, isn’t doing anything…

Organic Fluid Feeding: Well this gets to the sticky heated mess of it all. The basics of it are that you need the sexual fluids, whether that be in the form of semen, sexually excited blood, menstrual or vaginal fluids, these feeders claim that without it, they cannot sustain themselves appropriately.

Flirts don’t have to actually have sexual contact in any way, merely evoke a sexual response in others. This doesn’t have to be a response focused on their own form. A ‘flirt’ can be in a situation where they draw another to a strip club, or watch a sexy movie, or for that matter sexualize another in a manner that draws those hints of sexual desire from others.

The ‘Tease’…is the one who makes you wiggle in your seat. They tend to end up in your dreams, or haunting your desire on some evening when you are alone and don’t have to account for your secret desires.

The Tempter: doesn’t just want you turned on, they want you to explore dark places. They combine sexual fears and fantasy, to lead people to places they might never explore on their own…These can be the most dangerous however. Simply because one has a fantasy, doesn’t mean it should be explored. A smart ‘Tempter’ understands that if they draw someone into something that is psychologically unhealthy…you no longer feel excited and a little scared, but actually reach into self loathing.

Speaking of sexual exploitation…

“Being queer means pushing the parameters of sex and family, and in the process, transforming the very fabric of society.”

–National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy director,
Paul Ettelbrick (Kurtz, 2003)

Michelangelo Signorile describes the campaign “to fight for same-sex marriage and its benefits and then, once granted, redefine the institution completely–to demand the right to marry not as a way of adhering to society’s moral codes, but rather to…radically alter an archaic institution.”…

study showed that 28 percent of homosexual males had had sexual encounters with one thousand or more partners. Furthermore, 79 percent said more than half of their sex partners were strangers…Almost half of the white homosexual males…said that they had had at least 500 different sexual partners during the course of their homosexual careers,”…

Since part of the compulsion of homosexuality seems to be a need on the part of the homophile to “absorb” masculinity from his sexual partners, [emphasis added] he must be constantly on the lookout for [new partners].

Gay life is most typical and works best when sexual contacts are impersonal and even anonymous…far more preoccupied with sex than heterosexuals are, and far more likely to think of a good sex life as many partners under many exciting circumstances….

It must be remembered that in the gay world the only real criterion of value is physical attractiveness…The young homosexual will find that his homosexual brothers usually only care for him as a sexual object.  Although they may invite him out to dinner and give him a place to stay, when they have satisfied their sexual interest in him, they will likely forget about his existence and his own personal needs[emphasis added]…

Demon-controlled humans destroy their own bodies, their families, and society through excesses of perverted sexual behaviors.

What’s the worst plague the human race has ever seen? Is it the Black Death of the middle ages — or today’s AIDS?

Black Death — bubonic plague — wiped out a third of Europe’s population in six terrible years. Over the next century [that is, 100 years keep in mind], it killed [a total of] 40 million people as it spread across the globe.

AIDS soon will rank as mankind’s greatest scourge. And while 14th-century medicine had nothing to offer plague victims, 21st-century modern medicine does, but it doesn’t get to 95% of people with AIDS…”A total of 65 million people will have died of AIDS over 15 years. The Black Death happened 700 years ago when science was negligible. Yet despite our modern technology, today we have a disease that is killing a vast number of people. The diseases are similar because of the vast scope of death, the destruction of families, and the destruction of the economies of nations.”

What’s the worst form of terrorism on earth? About 3,000 people died in the Sept. 11 attacks. Every day, about 8,000 people die of AIDS.

Childhood sexual abuse is a subject that has received much attention in recent years. Twenty-eight to 33% of women and 12 to 18% of men were victims of childhood or adolescent sexual abuse (Roland, 2002, as cited in Long, Burnett, & Thomas, 2006). Sexual abuse that does not include touch and other types of sexual abuse are reported less often, which means this number of individuals who have been sexually abused in their childhood may actually be greater (Maltz, 2002)…

Childhood sexual abuse has been correlated with higher levels of depression, guilt, shame, self-blame, eating disorders, somatic concerns, anxiety, dissociative patterns, repression, denial, sexual problems, and relationship problems…

A study found that women survivors reported significantly more medical concerns than did people who have not experienced sexual abuse…often related to pelvic pain, gastrointestinal problems, headaches, nd difficulty swallowing (Ratican, 1992).

Stress and anxiety are often long-term effects of childhood sexual abuse…A study compared the posttraumatic stress symptoms in Vietnam veterans and adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. The study revealed that childhood sexual abuse is traumatizing and can result in symptoms comparable to symptoms from war-related trauma (McNew & Abell, 1995).

Amid the reports of rape cases and sexual predation, a new study has found that sex addiction is on the rise.This new finding revealed by researchers at the University of Minnesota states that 10 per cent of men and seven percent of women are in a constant battle to control their sexual urge and thoughts.

The research which was carried out in America shows that the number of people struggling with difficult-to-control urges is creating concern for psychologists.

Many have attributed the rise to access to explicit content online and casual sex.

Amid the reports of rape cases and sexual predation, a new study has found that sex addiction is on the rise.This new finding revealed by researchers at the University of Minnesota states that 10 per cent of men and seven percent of women are in a constant battle to control their sexual urge and thoughts.

The research which was carried out in America shows that the number of people struggling with difficult-to-control urges is creating concern for psychologists.

Many have attributed the rise to access to explicit content online and casual sex.

…the Christian ethic clashed harshly with Roman sexual morality. Matthew Rueger writes about this in his fascinating work Sexual Morality in a Christless World and, based on his work, I want to point out 3 ugly features of Roman sexuality, how the Bible addressed them, and how this challenges us today.

Roman Sexuality Was About Dominance

Romans did not think in terms of sexual orientation. Rather, sexuality was tied to ideas of masculinity, male domination, and the adoption of the Greek pursuit of beauty. “In the Roman mind, the strong took what they wanted to take. It was socially acceptable for a strong Roman male to have intercourse with men or women alike, provided he was the aggressor. It was looked down upon to play the female ‘receptive’ role in homosexual liaisons.”

A real man dominated in the bedroom as he did on the battlefield. He would have sex with his slaves whether they were male or female; he would visit prostitutes; he would have homosexual encounters even while married; he would engage in pederasty (see below); even rape was generally acceptable as long as he only raped people of a lower status. “He was strong, muscular, and hard in both body and spirit. Society looked down on him only when he appeared weak or soft.” So Romans did not think of people as being oriented toward homosexuality or heterosexuality. Rather, they understood that a respectable man would express his dominance by having sex—consensual or forced—with men, women, and even children.

Roman Sexuality Accepted Pedophilia

The pursuit of beauty and the obsession with the masculine ideal led to the widespread practice of pederasty—a sexual relationship between an adult man and an adolescent boy. This had been a common feature of the Greek world and was adapted by the Romans who saw it as a natural expression of male privilege and domination. A Roman man would direct his sexual attention toward a slave boy or, at times, even a freeborn child, and would continue to do so until the boy reached puberty. These relationships were seen as an acceptable and even idealized form of love, the kind of love that expressed itself in poem, story, and song.

In the Roman world “a man’s wife was often seen as beneath him and less than him, but a sexual relationship with another male, boy or man, represented a higher form of intellectual love and engagement. It was a man joining with that which was his equal and who could therefore share experiences and ideas with him in a way he could not with a woman.” Pederasty—pedophilia—was understood to be good and acceptable.

Roman Sexuality Had a Low View of Womanhood

Women were not generally held in high regard in Roman culture. “Women were often seen as weak physically and mentally. They were inferior to men and existed to serve the men as little more than slaves at times.” A woman’s value was largely in her ability to bear children and if she could not do so, she was quickly cast off. Because lifespans were short and infant mortality high, women were often married off in their young teens to maximize the number of children they could bear.

When it came to sexual mores, women were held to a very different standard than men. Where men were free to carry on homosexual affairs and to commit adultery with slaves, prostitutes, and concubines, a woman caught in adultery could be charged with a crime. “The legal penalty for adultery allowed the husband to rape the male offender and then, if he desired, to kill his wife.” Under Augustus it even became illegal for a man to forgive his wife—he was forced to divorce her. “It is not enough to suggest that women were under-appreciated in Roman culture. There are many instances where they were treated as second-class human beings, slightly more honored than slaves.”

Sexual Promiscuity and Societal Stability

It becomes clear that Rome was a culture of extreme promiscuity and inequality. Those who had power—male citizens—were able to express their sexuality by taking who and what they wanted. Their culture’s brand of sexual morality was exemplified in the Caesars who, one after the other, “were living icons of immorality and cruelty,” using sex as a means of domination and self-gratification.

Yet this system, evil as it looks to our eyes, was accepted and even celebrated by Rome. It was foundational to Roman culture. To be a good Roman citizen a man needed to participate in it, or at least not protest against it. To be loyal to Rome, one had to be loyal to the morality of Rome. To the Romans, the biblical view “would have been seen as disruptive to the social fabric and demeaning of the Roman ideal of masculinity.” What we consider odious and exploitive, they considered necessary and good.

Christianity’s Condemnation

Christianity condemned the Roman system in its every part. According to the Roman ethic, a man displayed his masculinity in battlefield and bedroom dominance. In the Christian ethic, a man displayed his masculinity in chastity, in self-sacrifice, in deference to others, in joyfully refraining from all sexual activity except with his wife. The Roman understanding of virtue and love depended upon pederasty—the systematic rape of young boys. But the Christian sexual ethic limited intercourse to a married man and his wife. It protected children and gave them dignity. A Roman woman was accustomed to being treated as second-class human being but “in Christendom, a woman found a culture of genuine love that saw her as equally important as any man in the eyes of God. She was sexually equal with the man in the marriage union and had equal recourse under the law of God to demand marital fidelity.”

Do you see it? Christianity did not simply represent an alternate system of morality but one that condemned the existing system—the system that was foundational to Roman identity and stability. Christians were outsiders. Christians were traitors. Christians were dangerous. Their brand of morality threatened to destabilize all of society. No wonder, then, that they were scorned and even persecuted.

The Road From Rome

We can’t help but see connections between first century Rome and our twenty-first century world. “Our early Christian ancestors did not confess biblical chastity in a safe culture that naturally agreed with them. The sexual morality they taught and practiced stood out as unnatural to the Roman world… Christian sexual ethics that limited intercourse to the marriage of a man and a woman were not merely different from Roman ethics; they were utterly against Roman ideals of virtue and love.” This is exactly why Christians faced so much hostility. Their morality threatened society’s stability by loving and protecting the marginalized and disenfranchised while condemning (or even converting) those who took advantage of them.

Isn’t this the very thing happening again today? Our society is throwing off the last vestiges of the Christian sexual ethic and as it does so, we are once again outsiders and traitors who threaten to destabilize the whole system. As we insist that sex is to be limited to the marriage of one man to one woman we threaten the stability of a society hell-bent on permitting and celebrating nearly everything except sex within marriage. As we insist that people flourish only within God-given sexual boundaries, we threaten the ideals of virtue and love that demand no greater commitment than consent. As we live our moral lives according to a higher ethic, we silently condemn those who reject the whisper within.

Rueger says, “The first Christians were men and women of great courage. Confessing Christian morality always requires that spirit of bravery.” Indeed, confessing and practicing Christian morality today requires bravery, the willingness to obey God rather than men, even in the face of persecution. May God continue to instill that spirit within us.

social sexual revolution, resulting in an massive epidemic of demonic possession, paves the way for Jesus Christ’s second coming.

The core of the global cultural revolution is the deregulation and deliberate confusion of sexual norms. The dissolution of the identity of man and woman and of the moral boundaries of sexuality through the new ideology of Gender Mainstreaming appears to bring increased freedom, but in fact it leads to the destruction of the family and the destabilization of society. This is a slippery slope to a new kind of totalitarianism.

More on this later, when we explore Antichrist’s strategies in depth.