I have never met the man Elon Musk but I have read quite a bit about him during this past year or two. So, I do not know him personally so the best I can do is to garner what I can from him through his quotes. Personally I have no doubt that the man is a genius as far as his IQ is concerned. I have learned during my time here on this Earth that a person can be brilliant yet still do and or believe things that are just plain stupid. I also have learned that a person with a very low IQ can sometimes come up with great ideas, sometimes things in life simply are defined by the angle or the light in which one looks at the issue in question. This article today is going to be my opinions that I have taken from an article that I read this morning in ” livescience.com “. This article is one that I reblogged earlier this morning if you wish to read it before or after you read this article. When I write articles it is always my wish and attempt to get folks to think, to stretch their minds beyond their everyday plain, this article will be no different. I am not really saying that you need to agree with me but I hope you will take a couple of moments to consider what I am laying out for you to think about. This article today is one that does concern every ones life and their Soul.
The Science article I mentioned to you a moment ago is concerning a company that Mr. Musk owns that is called ‘Neuralink’. Mr. Musk’s ambition with this company is to develop a “Ultrahigh-Bandwith Brain-Computer Interface.” Mr. Musk says one of the purposes is to ‘accelerate human evolution.’ He is not seeking to create pure machines like you see in the Terminator movies or even in the Will Smith movie simply called, AI. Mr. Musk says that “he sees a real danger in Artificial Intelligence” he has called AI a “fundamental risk to the existence of human civilization.” I believe that he is correct there as science, which is often pushed by military government funding seeks to have pilot-less aircraft, not just Drones, but also big Jets, folks the Navy has a sailor-less battle ship! Of course that will then lead to commercial airlines getting rid of all of their pilots. Think about it, driver-less cars, tractor-trailer units, driver-less trains. O yes, we already have this technologies don’t we? Think about factory jobs for a moment please. When I was in my teen years my Dad worked at a Chrysler Assembly plant in northern Illinois, back then the assembly line had far more employees putting together the units than what you see these days. Now machines directed by computer brains have replaced most of those ‘human’ jobs. Machines, computers don’t have Unions, don’t ask for pay raises, paid days off, overtime pay, medical benefits and that list goes on and on. Why let a human do what a computer can do much cheaper, and in most cases, better?
Evidently Mr. Musk is concerned that we humans, starting with the poorest, weakest, least educated will only be a burden on society (the wealthiest people), if you are not a positive to society, why should you be allowed to live off of someone else (the rich)? What was Arnold’s phrase, ‘you have been Terminated’? Mr. Musk believes (and he is trying to accomplish this through his Neuralink Company) “that the best way to keep pace with the machines intelligence is to up grade human intelligence.” In the good ole days wasn’t that called going to school and getting the best education that you were able to get?
From a pure science perspective Mr. Musk is correct on a couple of different plains. I believe that he is correct about his concerns regarding AI. Do you not believe that the servant can become the master? Could the humble public servant (politicians/bureaucrats/police) ever dare to become the master over the people? We already have, and we have had for many years now the integration of computer chips for people. It started out with chips for our pets so that they don’t get lost from us. Then we went into chips for new-born babies, just in case they ever got lost or stolen. Then came the chips for employees and their convenience. We have had little ‘brain’ chips for well over a decade now. Neuralink and Mr. Musk are now simply trying to stretch the human-computer ‘interface’ as he puts it. There will soon be a day where if you are an employee or if you are an office supervisor of importance that the company will require you to have mandated chip technology in your hand or you can’t get the job or the promotion. If you don’t think that what I am saying to you is logical or true, my friend it is you who are living in a fantasy world, not me.
This last paragraph is going to be from my Christian Biblical viewpoint. We are told several times in the book of Revelation about the ‘Mark of the Beast’ being put into our hand or into our head, we are told that if we humans allow this that when Christ and His Angels return that we will die twice. The first death is when this body dies, the second death is when God severs His relationship with us and cast’s us into Hell for all eternity. Many will say things along the lines of ‘what has the Mark of the Beast got to do with computer chips’? I know that most folks still do not realize what ‘Armageddon’ really is. Scripture is very plain that Armageddon is when the Nations of the Earth and their Armies fight against God and His Angels at the Second Advent of Christ. We are also told that the people who are found to have the mark of the Beast in their hand or in their head will be totally crushed as if in a wine-press. Friends think about it for a moment, it is the governments which at that time will be led by Demons and Satan Himself that are going to fight against God, so yes, the governments will be even more wicked than they are now. Friends the mark of the ‘Beast’ is not the number 666, no where does Scripture say that it is. Simply there will come a time when 10 governments will control almost all of the globe and these 10 governments will sit upon the 7 Continents. Then the power will be consolidated into 3 all-powerful governments, then into one. Six is the sign of man, three is the sign of God. The world will have 3 all-powerful governments that are ruled by 3 of Satan’s top Generals. 3 Men who will try to take the place of God, as if they are God’s. Then they will give up their power to the 1 true Anti-Christ, Satan Himself. 3 Men (6’s) who would be God (3’s) if they could. Friends, all I can say to you as I close this article today is please for no reason ever allow anyone to ever put any kind of chip into you, please.
Racism And Jesus
Racism is hate and if you believe in Jesus, in Christianity, then this hate can be no part of any of us. Jesus was a Jew folks, he would have been Mediterranean brown, not a white boy. Here in America and a few other places around the globe there are people who call themselves ‘White Supremacist’, ‘Skin Heads’, ‘Alt-Right’ and or members of the KKK. I know very well from my travels all around this country that there are people filled with racial hate of every skin color, not just these white folks. There are also many people who are hate filled that use their religion to spew their hate, violence and murder. To me one of the things that I have never figured out is hatred of others within the Christian communities such as Protestant’s killing Catholics and vise versa. There is no such thing as “in the name of Christ I kill you.”
Up until the moment that Jesus rose from the chains of death the only people in the world that had any chance of salvation were the Jewish folks, not the Greeks, Romans, Brits or anyone else. When Jesus rose from the grave He broke the bonds of death and He ‘grafted’ all of the non-Jewish people into the safety of His arms. Jesus made it very plain to His Apostles and Disciples that they were to go and teach the Gospel to all nations, all tongues, all people so that they also could receive Salvation that it was no longer just to the Jewish people. People whom call themselves Christians yet will not invite a person of another nationality or skin color into their home or to sit with them at their supper table are delusional in thinking that these actions, this hate is ordained by Jesus. You will not find anywhere in Scripture where racism is ordained by God.
Jesus died on that cross to open up Salvation to all people of the Earth. If we are filled with hate toward other people over something they nor we have any control or say over, like skin color or the country we were born in, we are condemning our own selves to Hell. Folks if we say and believe in Jesus as ‘The Christ’ and we say we are followers of Christ ‘Christians’ yet we are racist or hate filled of others then we are nothing but ‘luke warm water’ to Jesus! For those who do not understand this meaning I will try to help bring its meaning into focus for you. In the Book of Revelation Jesus said that as Christians He would rather we be hot or cold for if we are luke warm He will spew us out of His mouth. Being hot would be being a very devout follower of God’s teachings. Being cold would be someone who is a Christian in their own mind yet never acted like a Christian or even let the people around them know that they were a Christian. Being luke warm is being a ‘fake’ Christian, a person who only acts like a follower of Christ for a couple of hours on either Saturday or Sunday morning. These are the people who during the rest of their week talk filth, lie and steal and tell racists jokes or have racist hatred in their actions toward other people, yet say they are a Christian. The people who do these sort of things drive the people around them away from considering becoming a Christian because of their horrible examples. Also, people who act like this tend to ‘drive away’ new and/or weak Christians. A luke warm Christian will be found guilty of not only their own blood being condemned they will be held accountable for the blood of all of those you chased away from the Cross of Christ. We cannot serve God and the world at the same time, either we are one or the other. If our heart is filled with hate, we have already made the decision that we have chosen the Devil over God.
UNDERSTANDING THE BIBLE’S 2nd PSALM
The 2nd Psalm: Coronation of the Lord’s Anointed
To me the Bible’s second Psalm is not a mystery, I do not say this as some sort of ‘brag’, I say it as an observation. I have studied the teachings of the Bible, Old and New Testaments since I was 10 years old, I am 60 now. During this time I have read through and studied through (there is a difference) the Bible many times. I am not going to say how many times I have done these things as studying G-d’s Word is not a ‘Cock Crowing’ contest. Studying the Scriptures is a practice of love just as Christianity is an act of love and obedience to our Creator. I ask you to please consider the definitions that I will give to you after I have completed typing in these 12 verses that make up the Second Psalm.
Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?
The Kings of the Earth set themselves, and the Rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against His Anointed, saying,
Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.
He that sits in Heaven will laugh; the Lord will have them in derision (ridicule).
Then shall He (G-d) speak to them in His wrath, and vex them in His sore displeasure.
Yet have I (G-d) set My King (Christ) upon My Holy Hill of Zion.
I will declare the decree: the Lord has said unto me , You are My Son; this day I have begotten Thee.
Ask of Me, and I shall give You the heathen for Your inheritance, and the utter most parts of the Earth as Your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall break them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.
Be wise now therefore, O ye Kings: be instructed, ye Judges of the Earth.
Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
Kiss The Son, lest He be angry, and you perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.
Bible scholars seem to have for the most part told us that King David of Israel wrote, or had a scribe do it for him, just about half (75) of Psalms 150 verses. 2nd Psalm is not one of those that is credited to King David. The 2nd and the 95th Psalm were not written by King David even though they are credited to an Israeli King. In the New Testament in the books of Acts 4:25 and in Hebrews 4:7 we gain the understanding that the King who pinned these two Psalms, his name translated into “Beloved of Yahweh”, and this was not King David. By the way, for the folks who do not already know it, Yahweh is the Hebrew name for G-d the Father. For those of you who are wondering why I have been spelling the word G-d this way is out of courtesy to my devout Jewish friends who do this out of respect to G-d just as some who even though they are quite fluent in the Hebrew language they tend to speak Yiddish, or some other language, again, out of respect to our Creator. Many feel that the average human is not worthy of speaking the “language of G-d”. Upon closing I bring you one other little tidbit of information concerning Psalms 2:7 and it’s fulfillment in the New Testament Book of Matthew 3:17, “G-d will declare Him to be His Son.”
Some folks think that the 2nd Psalm is talking about King David as David was indeed anointed by G-d to be an earthly King of Israel ( 1011-971 B.C.) David’s rule was temporal, when ‘The Christ’ descends from His home in Heaven the ‘New Jerusalem’ will have already been placed over the ruins of the current Jerusalem. ‘The Christ’ will sit upon His Throne upon ‘The Temple Mount’ and He will rule the whole world from there. At this time Christ will have banished Satan/Allah to His eternal home in the belly of Hell.
I hope you have enjoyed this short commentary and I hope that you will leave me any questions that you may have about this article, or pretty much anything else if you so wish. I did not get into the issue of Jesus being ‘The Christ’ as this issue easily makes for a longer article than this one all by itself so I will save that discussion/issue for another article. Thank you for taking of your time to read what I have written, I hope that you were able to enjoy the article.
Here in the U.S. I have heard people make the statement that all ‘these religions’ pray to the same God, they just call Him/Her by a different name, so why can’t they all just get along? This statement would be nice, if it were true, but it isn’t at all correct. Mostly the people I have heard say this nonsense have been the Hollywood types or talking heads from the NYC area. People who make this assumption tend to be people who have no knowledge of what the different religions teach and usually have no knowledge of even the teachings of one religion. I know that here in the U.S. that the majority of the population tend to say that they are Christians simply because they were brought up with their families who were or said they were. Here in the States there are a lot of different Christian religions. Religions where they say that Jesus Christ is whom they believe in, even if they have not stepped foot in any Church since they were children, or maybe even never. You hear the divisions of ‘Christ’s’ Church a lot here in the form of the questions like, are you a Christian or a Catholic? Or, Catholic or Protestant. As almost all of you know there are many divisions of Christian Churches like Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, Pentecostal and so on and on and on. Then there are the ‘Born Again’ Christians and groups like the Church of Christ, the Church of God and the Jehovah’s Witnesses, O, and let us not forget the Mormon Church. It is easy to see why people who have no religious upbringing or very little of it could think that all ‘Religions’ serve the same God. Even though the Catholic Church doesn’t teach exactly what I believe I honestly haven’t found a ‘Church group’ that does. Yet I am not going to stone any believers in Jesus Christ whether they are Protestant or Catholic. One of the many things I have never understood in life is how groups that believe that Jesus Christ is our Saviour and King can raise their weapons against another person who believes the same thing, in the name of Religion, in the name of Christ! This confusion isn’t just among Christian Churches, let God be the Judge, we are not qualified.
Now, let us go onto non-Christian Faiths for a moment. This article is about confusion and understanding, and hopefully, clarity. I know that this article is really going to upset some folks, that is not my intention. My intention is simply to speak the “Honestly Of God’s Truth” as I see it, understand it, and believe it, too you. The only real Truth is God’s Truth and His Truth is 100% pure Truth. Humans tend to dilute God’s Truth in an effort to make it fit what they want the Truth to be, that is why only God’s Truth is pure Truth, He doesn’t need to dilute anything.
I don’t know how much knowledge each person who is reading this has concerning Old Testament Scriptures so I will be as direct and short as I can in an effort to help people understand the connections. In the Old Testament (which was written as ‘The Law’ to the Hebrew/Jewish people) the first of the 3 ‘Founding Fathers’ of Israel was Abraham, then there was his son Isaac, and Isaac’s son Jacob. God would later change the name of Jacob to Israel. The 12 Tribes of Israel are named after Jacob’s/Israel’s 12 sons. Since the Book of Genesis but especially in the Books of Isaiah and Daniel the people of Israel are told of a Messiah/Christ/Redeemer/Saviour/Promised One, that will come and elevate Israel to the premier Nation on Earth and this Messiah/Christ will rule the Earth from a new Jerusalem that will come down from Heaven. It is believed that ‘The Christ’ will rule from His Throne upon The Temple Mount. I as a devout Christian believe this exact same thing. The big difference is that as a Christian I believe that the Hebrew/Jewish Messiah has already come in the form of Jesus (Yeshua) but the Jewish folks do not believe that Jesus was ‘The Christ’. You see, when Jesus came to the Earth in 4 B.C. to fulfill Scripture the Jewish people were looking for the ‘Messiah’ to come and remove the Roman Rulers from Israel and to set up His Kingdom then. When the people realised that Jesus was not here to do that many of the people turned on him. Jesus was simply here to fulfill what the Scriptures had to say about Him. Christians should not be at all mad at our Jewish brothers, sisters and friends for their ancestors killing Jesus as they did. First, God hardened their hearts so that they would do so and there is the reality that if Jesus had not done what He did and the people had not done what they did, none of us ‘Gentiles’ (anyone whom is not 100% of Hebrew blood) would have no chance of salvation at all. We would be no better than the dogs or pigs as far as salvation is concerned. (This is exactly what Islam does think of us Christians and Jews by the way.)
The Jewish faith and their beliefs are correct in that the Messiah will come from the skies and put an end to this corrupt and violent world that we all live in. Christians call this the ‘Second Advent of Christ’, in the Jewish faith they are looking for the Messiah to come for the first time. When Jesus comes for the Second time He will put an end to this sinful world and the ‘New Jerusalem’ will come down from Heaven and The Messiah will rule the whole World from the Temple Mount just as the Jewish people believe. The Jewish faith believes that all of us Christians are ‘lost’ and that we nor anyone else have any chance of salvation, only the Jewish people do. The Jewish faith does not believe that the ‘New Testament’ is the word of God. They believe in the Torah which are the first 5 books of the Old Testament that Moses authored and the rest of the Old Testament which is called the Books of the Prophets, some major Prophets, some minor. The New Testament and the teachings of Jesus make it very plain that the ‘only way to the Father is through Him’ also that those who deny Him, deny the Father. As Christians we pray to The Father through Jesus and believe that this is the only way that our prayers have any chance of getting to the ears of The Father. Jewish folks do not believe in Jesus as the Messiah/Christ so they do not pray to Jesus and by New Testament teachings the Jewish people’s prayers have no chance of reaching The Father’s Ears. This would make the prayers of the non-believers of Christ worthless, just the same as someone who prays to Allah, Buddha or the Dali Lama, a dollar bill or as if a total atheist prayed because they would have no faith in Jesus, nor do they believe in Him. Those statements are hard I know, but they are not meant to be hateful at all, they are just pointing out the honest differences. God has made it very plain that He will never ever abandon Israel nor His people. God is always looking out for the Nation of Israel and He always will. Salvation is to the Jew first, then to the Gentile. We as Christians as well as all other people of the Earth if they have any sense at all should always make sure to stand by Israel and Her people for they are sacred to God Himself.
The third of the Abrahamic Religions is the religion of Islam. As Abraham is the Father of the Jewish Nation and people he is also the Father of a boy called Ishmael through his Egyptian Servant woman Hagar. Abraham’s wife was barren until she was 100 years old so being Abraham had no heir his wife Sarah told him to lay with his Servant Hagar to obtain a son and heir. Not long after Ishmael was born God opened up the womb of Sarah and she had a son called Isaac. Sarah got jealous of Ishmael so she had Abraham chase him and his Mom away. Ishmael is the father of the Muslim people and he was of the loins of Abraham so yes, they are Abraham’s descendants. About 600 years after the death of Jesus in Jerusalem a man called Mohammad arose from the deserts of what is now Saudi Arabia and started a new religion in the cities of Medina and Mecca. Mohammad died in the city of Mecca in the year 632 A.D. but his teachings are the religion of Islam. The followers of Islam refer to God by the name of Allah. Do not be shocked that almost all religions other than Islam do not believe that the ‘Allah’ that they are praying to is actually ‘God’. Just as the Jewish believers believe that Christians are not praying to God when we pray to Jesus the Jewish people don’t believe that the Islamic people are praying to a ‘God’ when they are praying to Allah. Also, the Islamic believing people do not believe that the Christians or the Jews are praying to ‘God’ because they are not praying to Allah. Islam calls the Christian and Jewish people the ‘people of The Book’. In this they are correct, just as they know that Islam does not believe in the teachings of ‘The Book’ (The Bible). So folks, it is obvious that the people of the Islamic faith when they are praying to Allah that by the Christian and Jewish beliefs these people are just praying to the open air at best and at worst, they are praying to the Devil Himself. I am not trying to be hateful here in this article, I am just pointing out some very obvious truths between the three Abrahamic Religions where the issue is prayer.
Chapter 11 deals with the time period concerning the closing of the great Tribulation Period. This chapter has a total of 19 verses, the first 14 are speaking to us of the period between the 6th and the 7th Trumpets. The last 5 verses are concerning the sounding of the 7th Trumpet of God. In chapter 10 the Scriptures mentioned 3 Personalities yet to this point in time only one has been spoken of and that was the Angel who held the ‘Little Book’ and stood upon the Earth and the Sea. This Angel was claiming all of creation for the Creator of all things as it is only He (God) who has the right to do so. In these first 14 verses we will discover the other two Personalities spoken of in chapter 10. These other two are the ‘two Witnesses’ that will testify for God and against humans sins here on Earth after they come down from Heaven to Jerusalem. There is a TV program called ‘Sleepy Hollow’ that my wife and I like to watch that is ‘very loosely’ concerning the ‘end of days’ where the two lead actors are the ‘two Witnesses’. I like the show but I do worry a bit that some folks may think the program is actually Scripture based concerning God’s two Witnesses and reality is that the program and the Scriptures have nothing to do with each other.
Please bare with me now as we go through these 19 verses, this is a very informative chapter that I believe will help people to understand the truth behind what is going to happen.
“And there was given to me (the Apostle John) a reed like unto a rod: And the Angel (the mighty Angel from chapter 10) stood, saying, rise, and measure the Temple of God and the Altar and them that worship therein.”
“But the Court that is outside the Temple leave out and do not do not measure it. For it is given unto the Gentiles (non-Jews): They (Gentiles) shall tread under foot the Holy City (the New Jerusalem which will come down to Earth from Heaven) for forty-two months.”
“And I (God) will give power to My two Witnesses and they shall prophesy (preach) one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in Sackcloth.”
“These (Witnesses) are the two Olive Trees and the two Candlesticks standing before the God of the Earth.”
“And if any man will hurt them, fire will come forth out of their mouth and devour their enemies. If any man will try to hurt them, he will in this manner be killed.”
“These (2 men) will have the power to shut heaven so that it will not rain in the days of their prophecy. And they will have power over the waters to turn them to blood and to smite the Earth with all plagues, as often as they wish.”
“And when they have finished their testimony, the Beast (Devil) that ascends out of the Bottomless Pit (Hell) shall make war against them (the 2 Witnesses) and shall overcome them and kill them.”
“And their dead bodies shall lay in the street of the great city (Jerusalem), which is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.”
“And the people of all the kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and a half and shall not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves.”
“And they that dwell upon the Earth shall rejoice over them (their dead bodies), and make merry and shall send gifts one to another; because these two Prophets had tormented them that dwell on the Earth.”
“And after three and a half days the Spirit of life from God shall enter into them and they shall stand upon their feet and great fear shall fall upon them that see them.”
“And they shall hear a great voice from Heaven saying unto them (the two Witnesses), come up hither. And they shall ascend up to Heaven in a cloud and their enemies shall see them.”
“And in the same hour there shall be a great earthquake and a tenth part of the city (Jerusalem) shall fall. And in the earthquake seven thousand men shall be slain. And the rest shall be frightened and they shall give glory to the God of Heaven.”
“The second woe is past and behold the third woe shall come quickly.”
“And the seventh Angel sounded (his trumpet) and there were great Voices in Heaven, saying, the Kingdoms of the world have become the Kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever.”
“And the four and twenty Elders which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces and worshiped God.”
“Saying, we give thee thanks, O Lord God almighty, which is and was and are to come. Because You have taken to Thee Thy great power and has reigned.”
“And the Nations were angry and Thy (God’s) wrath is come. And the time of the dead that they should be judged. And that You (God) will give reward unto Your servants the Prophets and to the Saints and to them that fear Thy Name, small and great. And You (God) will destroy them which destroy the Earth.”
“And the Temple of God was opened in Heaven and there shall be seen in His Temple the Ark of His Testament. And there were lightnings and voices and thunderings and an earthquake and great hail.”
The Protestant Bible that most of us know as the King James Bible was authorized by King James of England in 1611. There were many books that were considered to be canonized (included) in the Bible that were turned down. Different ‘Christian’ religions like the Catholic Church added some of these other books in what we refer to as the Apocrypha. It is not just the Catholic Church that has chosen to add some ‘uncanonized’ books to their Bibles. This is true of the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Cryptic Christians of Egypt and several others.
There are two of these books that I would like to bring to your attention for a moment. These two are called the Book of Enoch (seventh in lineage from Adam) which even Jesus (Yeshua) quoted, and the Book of Nicodemus. These two Books do give us information in regards to these two Witnesses of God. I want you to think about something for a moment please. Jesus Himself was murdered, all of the Apostles except John were murdered, but he did die, just about all of the Old Testament Prophets were murdered, but they all did die. Everyone in human history has died, except for two men. These two men were ‘called up to Heaven’ while they were still alive. These two men were Enoch and then Elijah. I have found no Scripture that says the two Witnesses are these two men so this is only my belief but if I was a betting man (which I am not) I would bet a cold six pack of Pepsi that it is these two men. Think about it for a moment, both of these Witnesses that came down to Earth from Heaven will end up being murdered also, thus completing the cycle of life and death. It is possible that my thoughts on this are incorrect, but I believe there is a huge chance that I am correct. Does it really matter if I am right on this issue? No, not really, it is just input for you to consider if you so choose to.
Well friends, that is all for tonight concerning the 11th chapter of Revelation, I hope you enjoyed your read. If you have any questions please leave me a comment and I will get back with you, usually within 24 hours. I hope you are having a good week, stay safe, God’s blessings to you and all of your loved ones, shalom.
Revelation: Chapter #6
Chapter #6, this is where the beginning of the ‘Great Tribulation’ period here on the Earth begins. When the Apostle John was in Heaven (in his Spirit) these are the events that he beheld. Now, as Jesus (Yeshua) broke each of the Seven Seals of the Book that had been bound in Heaven that no one else could break, John witnessed the events upon the Earth as each Seal was broken. There are only 17 verses in this chapter, so I am going to type them down for those who do not have access to a Bible. After we read these 17 verses we will then break down each of the events so that we can have a better understanding of what we are being told.
“And I (John) saw when the Lamb (Jesus) opened one of the Seals and I heard what was like the noise of thunder and one of the four Beasts said to me, come and see.”
“And I saw and beheld a White Horse, and He that sat on him had a bow; and a Crown was given to Him; and He went forth conquering and to conquer.”
“And when He had opened the Second Seal, I heard the second Beast say to me, come and see.”
“And there went out another Horse which was Red, and power was given to Him that sat upon this Horse to take peace from the Earth so that people would kill one another. And there was given to Him a great sword.”
“And when He had opened the Third Seal, I heard the third Beast say to me, come and see. And I beheld, and lo there was a Black Horse. And He that sat upon him had a pair of scales in His hand.”
“And I heard a voice in the midst of the four Beasts say, a measure (1 quart) of wheat for a penny (1 day’s wages). And three measures (3 quarts) of barley for a penny ( day’s wages). But see that you do no hurt to the oil or the wine.”
“And when He had opened the Fourth Seal, I heard the voice of the fourth Beast say to me, come and see.”
“And I looked and beheld a Pale Horse: and His name that sat upon him was Death, and Hell followed with Him. And power was given unto them over one-fourth part of the Earth, to kill with the sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with wild beasts of the Earth.”
“And when He had opened the Fifth Seal, I saw under the Altar the Souls of them that were slain for the Word of God and the testimony which they held.”
“And they cried with a loud voice, saying, how long, O Lord, Holy and True, until you judge and avenge our blood on those that dwell on the Earth?”
“And White Robes was given to every one of them. And it was said unto them that they should rest (be quiet) yet for a little season (while), until their fellow Servants also and their Brethren, that would be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.”
“And I beheld when He had opened the Sixth Seal, and lo, there was a great earthquake; and the Sun became black as sackcloth hair and the Moon became as blood (turned red).”
“And the Stars of Heaven fell on to the Earth, even as a fig tree casts away her untimely figs, when she is shaken from a mighty wind.”
“And the Heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.”
“And the Kings of the Earth and the great men and the rich men and the Chief Captains (military leaders) and the mighty men and the bondmen (slaves) and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and under the rocks of the mountains.”
“And (these people) said to the mountains and the rocks, fall on us and hide us from the face of Him that sits upon the Throne (The Holy Father/Yahweh), and from the wrath of the Lamb (Jesus/Yeshua).
“For the great day of His wrath has come; and who will be able to stand?”
Okay friends, that is the 17 verses of this chapter. I will now do my best to point out the definitions of some of the things written in this chapter that might be stumping a few of you. Folks, chapter six is the dividing point within the book of Revelation. But before we get into this break down I would like you to look up something that the Apostle Peter wrote in the book of Second Peter chapter #1 verse # 20 “Knowing this first, that no Prophecy of the Scripture is of any interpretation.” I am no different from many millions of you in the reality that God’s Holy Spirit indwells me, as He does you. All Scripture is given by the Holy Spirit, we all form the “Body of Christ” and like any body, it has many parts, many different gifts. Peter is speaking that no one Prophecy stands as an island unto its own. All Prophecy is given by the Holy Spirit and all Biblical Prophecy stands together as one unit, they are all pieces that fit together as in one puzzle, or one Book. If you think back into the different Prophecies within the Old Testament they fall into place, Prophecy is about the things that are yet to happen, about the future. Prophecy is not about the past, that is simply called History. Revelation is a Book of Prophecy, we are being told what the final chapters of the Earth and humankind is. I want to make this point as clear as I can, in the Book of Revelation chapters 6 through 20 are about events that are yet to happen.
Now, let’s start with that First Seal. The rider of this White Horse is the Antichrist. He is a fake ‘Saviour’, the people will be begging for help from anywhere they think they can get it. Wanting to be rescued from all the bloodshed and famine they will want peace at any price and they will ‘elect’ their own destroyer. Right now this world we are living in is ripe for the Dictators who are being elected freely by the people themselves. Look at the current leadership in Turkey, the Philippines, the so-called democracies in the Arab World. What about the current situation here in the U.S.? Friends, there will be no peace here on this Earth because the powers that be, the super rich, the super powerful survive through the chaos they themselves create. When they just promote one of their own to the Throne of their countries, it is just the same evil for the people, just with a different face.
The Second Seal, the Red Horse of War. The fake peace that the Antichrist of the First Seal was just a ruse, we all know the story, a politician promises the people one thing, then they get hold of the reigns of power and what the people get is a ruthless power-hungry Dictator. In the first Book of the New Testament, the book of Matthew please read chapter 24 verse 2. This is where Jesus tell His Apostles that where they were at, the Temple in Jerusalem, that there will be a day when not one stone will be left upon another. A lot of folks believe that the destruction of the Temple happened when the Romans destroyed the Temple in A.D. 72. Folks, the people who teach this are wrong, the event that the Lord was speaking of had nothing to do with the Romans. The reason I know this is simple, have you ever heard of the Wailing Wall or the West Wall which is at the Temple Mount? Friends, this is part of the West Wall of Solomon’s Temple, there are many stones, one upon another still in existence. The event that Jesus was referring to, has not happened yet. For your own thoughts, what is powerful enough to level Jerusalem and the Temple Mount to where there would not be one stone left upon another? To me, the answer is obvious, is it really a secret to you? I believe an event like Israel deciding to go ahead with the plan to build Synagogues on all four corners of the Temple Mount would infuriate the Arab World and if one of them has nukes (Iran), they would use them on Israel, this is the only thing I can think of that could cause the event of which Jesus spoke of. What kind of “peace” do you think the world will be in when this happens?
The Third Horseman, when Jesus broke the Third Seal the rider of the Black Horse came forth. The Black Horse represents ‘mourning’. There are a few paragraphs of Scripture I wish you to read so that you will understand better what I am saying. These Scriptures are Jeremiah 4:28 and Malachi 3:14. After the arrival of the Third Horseman there will be a world-wide famine. Please read Lamentations 4: 8-9 “There appearance is blacker than coal; they are not known in the streets (they look so bad they can’t be recognized): their skin clings to their bones; it is withered, it is become like a stick. Those that are killed with the sword are better off than those that will be slain with hunger. For these wither away, stricken through for want of fruits of the field.” Famine and disease will be the norm in these times. The wealthy will still have their wine and their oil in these times just as it has always been throughout human history. Those whom have the most will be the least, and the last affected, just as it has always been. Yet these events, will be on a global scale, every Nation on Earth will be infected.
The opening of the Fourth Seal: The Rider of the Pale Horse. The Pale Horse represents plague and pestilence. When Jesus was upon the Mount of Olivet He spoke what has become known as the Olivet Discourse. Please read Matthew chapter 24: 5-8. Please take the time to read and understand these words the Lord spoke about the four Events are the Horsemen. These events are about to happen with the opening of the Fourth Seal, these events folks will kill a full one-fourth of the whole world’s population. If you used the population of the Earth today as an example, that would be about one billion seven hundred million people would die. Remember the Lord’s words concerning this matter: “Except those days be shortened, there would be no flesh saved, but for the Elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” These “Elect” that the Lord is speaking of are the ones who have been left on Earth after the Rapture who have decided to turn to God/Jesus and believe in and to follow after the Lord and His teachings. Most people when they fall upon hard times and I do mean very hard times, tend to curse God and to turn their back on God and walk away from Him, a few do just the opposite, they turn to God in these times, these are the ones being spoken of here. If you honestly think about it, if the Rapture happened today, would even 10% of the people who say they are Christians be taken up with the Lord at that time? Do you remember in the “Left Behind” movie where even the ‘Preacher’ got left behind? If we do not have faith, it is impossible to please Him!
The opening of the Fifth Seal and the prayers of the martyred Saints. The Souls mentioned here that are under the Altar of God. These are the Souls of the people who have been murdered for their doing of God’s word, their teaching and living according to God’s word. These are those who lived during the time frame of the ‘Old Testament’. Please open your Bible to the Gospel of Luke and read chapter 11:50-51. Our Lord spoke on this matter “That the blood of all the Prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world may be required of this generation. From the blood of Able (Adam and Eve’s son) unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the Altar and the Temple. Verily I say unto you, it shall be required of this generation.”
With the opening of the Sixth Seal, the Lord’s ‘Day of Wrath’ has come. But the good thing is for those still upon the Earth, this is the beginning of the end of the Tribulation period. These events though are horrifying just in reading them. Please reread chapter 6 verses 12-14, also please read Revelation 20:11 and the Old Testament Prophet Nahum 1:5. Friends, it is easy to see how pathetic and weak humans are and will be upon the Lord’s return. Folks, the Demons and Satan Himself have already learned this horrible lesson but we humans have self-induced blindness toward the word of God. We humans are walking hand in hand with the very same Demons we have chosen to worship and to serve and those that do so will be their servants in Hell for ever and ever. Folks, what we don’t know can and will do more than just destroy us in this life.
The Seventh Seal does not get opened until the beginning of the eight chapter so for you who want to read ahead and have any questions, go ahead and do so. I am never ever going to tell a person to not read the Bible. I wish that all humans wanted to see, understand and believe in God’s teachings to us. I do believe that time is running short for the human race, for me personally I know that because of my health that my time left here is very short. We all very badly need to turn our lives over to God. We all have flaws, we all make mistakes, none of us are perfect and God knows these things about us. Our lives come down to faith, what do we put our faith in? If we put our faith in our Creator, if we live our lives according to His teachings of love then we have no need to fear the events that will happen to us after this life is over. Lord willing I will speak with you soon when I do my best to breakdown chapter seven. Shalom
Revelation Chapter #5
The time frame of chapter number five occurs right after the Rapture (the second advent/coming) of Christ. So, at this time “the Church” which is the “Bride of Christ” is in Heaven. This chapter is the start of the 7 year Tribulation period here on Earth. The Tribulation itself will be covered in chapters 6-18. This fifth chapter only has 14 verses in it, so, like chapter number four, it is quite short. In this chapter verses 1-4 we will discuss “The Book with the Seven Seals.” In verses 5-10 the subject matter is the Lord Jesus Christ (Yeshua) who is “the Lamb of God” who shed His blood to save us all. Also here Jesus is referred to as “the Lion of the Tribe of Juda.” In verses 11 and 12 we find where the Angels are singing songs of praise to the Lord Jesus (Yeshua). This chapter finishes off with the last two verses with all the Creatures in Heaven and Earth giving praise to the Saviour who lives for ever and ever.
Now, if you would, please get out a Bible if you happen to have one and follow along with me on these 14 verses. “And I (the Apostle John) saw in the right hand of Him that sat upon the Throne a book written within and on it’s back side which was sealed with Seven Seals.”
“And I saw a strong Angel proclaiming with a loud voice, who is worthy to open the Book and to undo the Seals there of?”
“And no man in Heaven nor in Earth, neither under the Earth, was able to open the Book, nor to look thereon.”
“And I wept bitterly because no man was found worthy to open and to read the Book, nor to look upon it.”
“And one of the Elders (one of the 24 with the Golden Crowns) said to me , weep not: behold, the Lion of the Tribe of Juda, the Root of David, has overcome and can open the Book and is able to undo the Seven Seals thereof.”
“And I beheld, and lo, in the midst of the Throne and of the four Beasts and in the midst of the Elders, stood a Lamb as if it had been slain having seven Horns and seven Eyes, which are the Seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the Earth.” (The seven Spirits are the seven Archangels of God who normally surround the Throne of God in Heaven.)
“And He came and took the Book out of the right hand of Him that sat upon the Throne.”
“And when He had taken the Book, the four Beasts and the 24 Elders fell down before the Lamb, every one of them having harps and golden bowls full of incense which is the prayers of the Saints.”
“And they sang a new song saying, You are worthy to take the Book and to open the Seals thereof. For You were slain and have redeemed us to God by your blood out of every kindred and tongue, and people and Nation.”
“And You have made us unto our God, Kings and Priests, and we shall Reign on the Earth.”
“And I beheld and I heard the voice of many Angels round about the Throne and the Beasts and the Elders, and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands.”
“They were saying with a loud voice, worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessings.”
“And every Creature that was in Heaven and on the Earth and under the Earth and those that were in the Sea and all that are in them I heard saying, blessings and honor and glory and power, be unto Him that sits upon the Throne and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.”
“And the four Beasts said, Amen, and the 24 Elders fell down and worshiped Him that lives for ever and ever.”
Okay friends that is the 14 verses, even though this is a short chapter it does give us quite a bit of information. I am going to take a few moments to breakdown this information to try to help folks who are new to this Book to understand a little bit more of its meanings. The first thing that we must understand it that Jesus is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah and He is the ‘Lamb of God’ the Father (Yahweh). Jesus (Yeshua) is also the centerpiece of this chapter and of the whole Book of Revelation. In verses 1-4 the subject of discussion is the Book with the Seven Seals. This Book was in the hands of He who sat upon the Throne, this “He” is/was God the Father (Yahweh) and the only one that was worthy to unseal the Seven Seals and to be able to open the Book was the “Lamb of God” which was/is Jesus (Yeshua). Scripture does not say exactly what this Book is called though a lot of folks believe this is the “Book of Judgement.” There are also many folks, like myself, who believe that it is basically a “Title to or a Deed” to this world, remember, Jesus bought this World with His own blood, He owns it. If you would, please read in the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament chapter 7 verses 13 & 14, this should help clarify what I am speaking of.
In verse 7 Jesus came and took this Book out of the hand of the Father. In verse 8 Jesus had this book in His hand and the 4 Beasts and the 24 Elders fell down before Him and worshiped Him. There is something else in verse 8 that needs to be clarified and that is about the Bowls of Incense that each of the Elders had and we are told that these contained the prayers of the Saints. Saints are simply the people who are true believers and followers of Christ. Before the Tribulation Jesus was/is the Intercessor (the go between) for the faithful to “The Father” but at that time the Church is in Heaven so Jesus transforms to the role of Judge. This is an event as this is when the Tribulation phase begins.
I would like us all to take a close look at chapter 5 verse 9. When Jesus was killed He redeemed all of us to the Holy Father by His own blood. If Jesus had not done this we would all just be the walking dead, spiritually speaking. If the Jews of Jerusalem had not had Jesus killed, the only ones who would have been able to be saved would have been the Jewish people with 100% Hebrew blood. Because God the Father hardened the hearts of the people so that they would do this horrible thing, all people, all of us today, can be saved from the eternal fires of Hell. This verse and this chapter tell us that if you are a racist who believes that only one skin color or one nationality is going to be saved and that all the ‘other people’ are going to Hell, you need to wake up and read the Scriptures because what you are saying is contrary to the teachings of God. What part of this message is beyond your ability to understand? The blood of Jesus redeemed people of “every kindred, of all people, of all languages from every nation.” Folks, there is no one skin color that is ‘privileged’ above another!
In verse number 10 it reads “and He (Jesus) has made us to be unto God Kings and Priests.” Please also note the final sentence. “We shall reign upon the Earth.” Many people (I believe, through their ego’s) believe that this sentence is speaking to everyone who is faithful to the end of their lives to Christ. I do not believe this, think about it, this idea would create a situation where the Earth would be full of Chiefs, with no Indians. I believe that this statement was to these 24 Elders. A lot of Scriptures are misunderstood because people do not take into account the situations of who is talking to whom about what, and what the issue at the time of the conversations. Way too often people want to take Scriptures out of their context so that it will apply directly to themselves when the conversation was much more narrow in its context. The last sentence in this verse the “We shall reign upon the Earth” throws a lot off of their personal train track because they have been being taught in their Churches that we “God’s Saints” will live forever in Heaven with Christ Jesus. The Scriptures do not teach that! The Scriptures teach plainly that Jesus will rule on the Earth from the new Jerusalem that will come down out of Heaven, remember, the Earth is God’s footstool! The Earth is where God/Jesus will create a new Earth and this will be His Kingdom.
In verses 11 and 12 John simply tells of the many thousands of Angels who were worshiping singing praise to the Lamb of God (the Christ, Jesus). John simply was telling us that there were to many Angels for him to count. In the last two verses 13 & 14 John speaks of all the Creatures in Heaven and on Earth and those under the Earth whom were also singing praise to the Lamb of God who “lives for ever and ever.” Folks, I hope that this breakdown was helpful to you in your understanding of this chapter. Hopefully I will be able to get chapter #6 written out and broken down for you within the next couple of days. Until then, God’s peace and love to you and your’s. Shalom
Revelation Chapter #4
Chapter #4 only has 11 verses in it. These 11 verses break down into three different sections, or categories. Verses one through three is about the Throne of God in Heaven. Verses four and five are about the 24 Elders that are around the Throne of God. Then verses six through eleven are about the four Creatures that are at the Throne of God. Remember, the person that is writing this material to us is the Apostle John the things he is being shown are via an Angel of God. I have been debating whether to type out these eleven verses or to just explain their meanings to folks but I have decided to type them out for you because I realize that there are some people who may be reading this who do not have access to a Bible, I realize that there are some places here on this planet where it is actually dangerous to be in possession of a Bible so for these reasons I will take the time to type these 11 verses out.
Starting with 4:1 “After this I looked and beheld a door opened in Heaven. And the first voice which I heard was as if it were a trumpet talking with me, which said, come up here and I will show you things which will be in the future.” “Then immediately I was in the Spirit and beheld a Throne which was set in Heaven and one sat on the Throne.” “He that sat on the Throne was like looking upon a jasper and a sardine stone. And there was a rainbow round about the Throne, the color was like looking onto and emerald.”
“Round about the Throne were four and twenty seats. Upon the seats I saw 24 Elders sitting. They were clothed in white raiment and upon their heads were crowns of gold.”
“Then out of the Throne proceeded lightning and thundering and voices. There were seven lamps of fire burning before the Throne, which are the Seven Spirits of God.”
“Before the Throne there was a sea of glass which was like unto crystal. In the midst of the Throne and round about the Throne were four Beasts full of eyes in front and behind.”
“The first Beast was like a Lion, the second Beast was like a Calf, the third Beast had the face of a Man, the fourth Beast was like a flying Eagle.”
“Each of the four Beasts had six wings about him, each of them were full of eyes within and they did not rest day of night. And they were saying Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, which is, and is to come.”
“And then the Beasts gave glory and honor and thanks to Him that sat on the Throne, who lives for ever and ever and ever.”
“And then the 24 Elders fell down before Him that sat on the Throne and worshiped Him that lives forever and ever, and they cast down their crowns before the Throne, saying thou art worthy O Lord to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and for Your pleasure they are and were created.”
Well folks, that is the 11 verses, now I will do my best to explain a few things within those verses to hopefully make them easier for some folks to understand. What John was shown was an actual open door into Heaven unlike with Jacob when he witnessed a stairway to Heaven (Bethel). Now Jacob did not go up to Heaven yet John was called up to Heaven. But notice, John was called up ‘in the Spirit’, the reason is simple, there is no flesh in Heaven, God, His Angels and all who are in Heaven are Spirits, flesh is unclean and will never be allowed in Heaven.
The Book of Revelation was written in the Greek language, in verse number one it starts off with the words ‘after this’, in the Greek it is written “meta tauta” this is written at the beginning of the verse and at the end of this verse. The meta tauta that John was speaking of was ‘after the Rapture’. The Rapture is the event where Christ comes back to Earth with His Angels. At that time the dead in Christ will rise first then those who are still alive that are and have remained faithful to Him will depart this Earth in the twinkling (blink) of the eye to be with Jesus. In the English Bible you will not find the word ‘rapture’, but then again, the Bible was not written in the English language 1,900 or so odd years ago, it was written in the Greek language. Disclaimer here, the New Testament was written in Greek, the Old Testament was written in Hebrew. Now back to the Greek, instead of the word rapture the Greek word was Harpazo which defines as “caught up, raptured, or snatched up.” Well folks, I hope that this chapter was easy enough for everyone to understand, if you have any questions, go ahead and ask them. I will always do my best to answer them as simplistically as possible. I hope that everyone was able to have a good and a safe Christmas and for our Jewish friends I hope you had a great Hanukkah, good night, God bless.
For those of you who have little or no knowledge of the Scriptures I can understand if you are screaming at me right now, and that is okay, if I had no knowledge of the Scriptures I would be doing the same thing. I used this title to try to get people’s attention. If you know the story about Moses and the Egyptian Pharaoh do you remember how there was several times that the Pharaoh had agreed to let the Hebrew people leave Egypt one day but the next day changed his mind? Each time this happened we are told it was because God hardened Pharaoh’s heart. Even the last time where Pharaoh actually ordered them to get out of Egypt, after the people had left God hardened his heart one last time and Pharaoh took off after them to bring them back, only to drown the Egyptians in the Red Sea.
I brought that issue up to help remind you that God did the same thing about 1,500-1,600 years later except this time He hardened the hearts of the Jewish people of Jerusalem so that they would go through with having their own Messiah killed at the hands of the hated Romans. You see, the Jewish people of that time were waiting for the Messiah to come there and to set up an Earthly Kingdom where He would rule the whole world from Jerusalem and in the process, get rid of the hated Romans. Actually, this is what the Jewish people of today are also waiting on, for the Messiah, the Christ, to come to Earth and do exactly that, except for the Romans part. The Jewish people were/are God’s chosen people and when the Messiah does come (back) He will do exactly that. When the Jewish people 2,000 years ago realized that Jesus was not there to set up the Messiah’s Kingdom at that time, God hardened their hearts so that the Scriptures could be fulfilled completely.
Folks, if Jesus had set up His Throne at that time, if He had not been killed and if He had not been raised from the dead three days later, there would be no such thing as Christianity and no one and I do mean no one but the Jewish people would have been able to be saved. Jesus the Christ, the Messiah, went through with all of that pain so that everyone could have the chance to be saved. The Jewish people are correct, the Messiah is coming and the people who are of pure Hebrew blood are still peculiar people to God. And yes, Christ is going to set up His Kingdom from the Holy City of the New Jerusalem which will come down out of Heaven and yes the Messiah will set up His Throne upon the Temple Mount. After the New Jerusalem has come down from Heaven those of us who are not of %100 Hebrew blood (Gentiles) will be allowed to walk the streets of the Holy City for 42 months. After that time Christ will come down from Heaven and sit upon His Throne and rule the whole world from the Holy City for ever more. But, after that forty-two months us Gentiles will no longer be allowed within the Holy City. I know that some folks are angry at the thought that I/you/we are only relegated to the reality of a true Heaven on Earth type life style but think about it for a moment before you complain too loudly. If the Jewish people of 2,000 years ago had not killed Jesus we would all be one of those folks in Hell hoping for a bit of ice water. So, quit complaining, and just be thankful.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HUFFINGTON POST/WORLD POST)
THE WEEKEND ROUNDUP
Europe was already reeling from major terror attacks in Brussels, Paris and Nice as well as Brexit and the defeat of the political establishment in the Italian referendum before this week. With anti-immigrant parties standing ambitiously in the wings waiting for events to further boost them into power, the worst thing that could have happened, the shoe waiting to drop, was a terror attack at Christmas time in Germany by an asylum-seeker linked to Islamist terror groups. It is just that which took place in Berlin this week.
That the inevitable has now occurred likely seals the political fate of Europe. Public opinion will surely turn decisively against the open-arms refugee policy of German Chancellor Angela Merkel — the most prominent defender of the troubled European project of integration and the free movement of people. Merkel’s coalition partner (yet mainstream opponent) Horst Seehofer of the Bavarian Christian Social Union, has already laid down the challenge. “We owe it to the victims, to those affected and to the whole population to rethink our immigration and security policy and to change it.” As Nick Robins-Early reports, the Alternative for Germany party and other anti-immigrant groups are already capitalizing on the incident. One AfD leader called those killed “Merkel’s dead.”
Alex Görlach hopes that Merkel’s considerable political skills can save the day by adjusting the Europe-wide refugee policy in the wake of this week’s tragedy. That she is also the only European leader who can stand up to the next American president, Görlach notes, could be a political asset.
Yet, even if the chancellor survives, the damage has already been done. The European idea, which has been losing luster for years, looks to be the latest and most consequential casualty of a world in turmoil that stretches from the rubble of Aleppo to the World War II memorial ruins of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, near where the Christmas market attack took place in Berlin.
Writing from Germany, Stefan Schmidt argues that his fellow citizens should resist calls to blame anyone but the perpetrator while continuing to embrace the values of an open, but inevitably vulnerable, society. In a similar vein,Sebastian Christ writes from Berlin that, “We can’t give in to those who want to force their hate-filled world view on us. … On top of everything, we must continue to hold on to freedom for ourselves. I will definitely continue going to Christmas markets in Berlin.”
Picking up on the theme in the back of everyone’s mind about Muslims at Christmas, Dean Obeidallah fondly remembers his Muslim father, born near Jesus’ birthplace of Bethlehem, hanging Christmas lights on their home in New Jersey as a child. He also surveys other American Muslims who partake in the holiday, including Aasif Mandvi.
Unfortunately, the attack in Germany wasn’t the only attack we saw this week. Another act that shocked the world took place in Ankara, where the Russian ambassador to Turkey was assassinated. John Tures, who has studied the different motivations and effectiveness of “lone wolf” versus “wolf pack” terrorists linked to organized extremists, argues that preventing future attacks, whether of the kind in Berlin or Ankara, requires being able to distinguish between these two threats.
Details are still emerging about the attack in Ankara, but it appears to be an apparent act of revenge over the Kremlin’s key role in the brutal assault on Aleppo in recent weeks. As Alex Motyl writes, more such attacks can be expected due to Putin’s Syria policy. “Anti-Russian terrorism is the new normal,” he says. Turkish journalist Ilgin Yorulmaz ponders the timing of the assassination in Ankara, which came on the eve of a tripartite meeting of Russia, Turkey and Iran concerning Syria, and reports that some suspect a geopolitical aim. “A strong NATO member,” she writes, “Turkey may have found a new ally in Russia, and possibly even Iran, to become a game changer in the Middle East.”
This week also saw the last evacuations out of Aleppo. Dr. Ahmad Tarakji, whose organization has been working on the ground in the besieged city, offers a detailed account of the humanitarian catastrophe there, which he says is far from over after the forced relocations. “The world has failed the people of Aleppo time and time again,” he writes, “but it’s not too late to act now to help those seeking refuge somewhere else. The international community must do everything in its power to protect these most vulnerable of people. They continue to suffer while the world is standing idly by.”
Writing from Moscow before the Syrian regime claimed control over all of Aleppo,Vladimir Frolov proposes that the best course for the Kremlin now would be, “declaring victory in Aleppo, scaling down its military operations against the rebels, refocusing its air war on ISIS in a new collaborative effort with the U.S. and pressuring the Assad regime into a political settlement.”
Returning to the hot issue of Russian influence meddling in the affairs of democracies, Toomas Hendrik Ilves knows from whence he speaks. In 2007, the former president of Estonia experienced a Kremlin-led cyberattack on his government, banking and news media servers. He expects more such attacks in Europe as elections loom. “The conundrum that Europe will face in the coming year,” he writes from Tallinn, “is whether or not to use illiberal methods to safeguard the liberal state. … Because of cyberattacks and fake news, we can already imagine the problem all democratic societies will face in future elections: how to limit lies when they threaten democracy?”
In an exclusive interview, former U.S. National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski claims Russian President Vladimir Putin was directly involved in the effort to tip the recent American election scales in Trump’s favor. “Yes. Russian intelligence was involved, no question,” he says, “Yes. Putin plays that kind of direct role. Russian intelligence is not some independent agency. It is an agency of the state organized for specific political purposes. Putin absolutely controls the state apparatus. No doubts there.” He also warns that “stupid irritations” over Taiwan risk derailing America’s most important foreign policy relationship with Beijing. “A world in which America and China are cooperating,” Brzezinski underscores, “is a world in which American influence is maximized.”
One of the hottest issues in the U.S. presidential campaign was Donald Trump’s pledge to build a wall with Mexico. Writing from Mexico City, Homero Aridjis and James Ramey offer a highly innovative proposal: Instead of Trump’s wall, they want to build a border of solar panels. “It would have a civilizing effect in a dangerous area,” they contend. “Since solar plants use security measures to keep intruders out, the solar border would serve as a de facto virtual fence, reducing porousness of the border while producing major economic, environmental and security benefits on both sides.” Such an installation, they continue, “would make trafficking drugs, arms and people all the more difficult for criminal cartels. In Mexico, the solar border would create a New Deal-like source of high-tech construction and technology jobs all along the border, which could absorb a significant number of would-be migrant workers on their way to cross into the U.S. illegally, at great physical risk.”
Rolling back globalization to stem joblessness and inequality was another prime issue in the recent presidential election campaign. Branko Milanovic takes up this challenge, arguing that reversing globalization would only reduce growth rates in both the advanced and emerging economies, to no one’s benefit. “A more promising avenue for dealing with inequality in rich countries for the 21st century,” he writes, “is to reduce inequality in human and financial capital endowments. This implies, first, reversing the currently extraordinary high concentration of capital assets by giving the middle classes fiscal and other incentives to invest and own assets and, second, equalizing access to high-quality education that is increasingly monopolized by the rich.” A special Highline investigative report we publish this week traces the corporations and criminals profiting handsomely from the refugee crisis.