No Time to Lower our Guards
An eTPL31 Opinion
December 17, 2020. As the nation enters the year-end holiday period, a marked increase of coronavirus cases is now being seen – attributed to activity related to the Thanksgiving holidays. The onset of cold weather in the Northern Hemisphere is doubtless also a factor (folk staying indoors).
Yesterday, the US set a horrifyingly grim new 24-hour record of Covid-19 deaths (3,784 in one day) and 250,000 new cases diagnosed (as tallied by Johns Hopkins University).
Think of it! That means that if one lives in an average sized state, there were five thousand new cases diagnosed in your state just yesterday!
Yet, the general public attitude toward the disease seems lackadaisical to say the least. We frequently see photographs of large public gatherings in which few masks are being worn and there is obviously no “social distancing.”
Perhaps the availability just this week of the first Coronavirus vaccine has allayed the public’s fears of the pandemic, especially as a second vaccine is expected to be approved on Saturday. It has been stated by public health authorities that the goal is vaccination of twenty million Americans by the end of 2020.
Although the greatest majority of cases are not admitted to hospitals, there are now 113,000 persons in hospitals due to the virus – a new record, too – according to Health and Human Services. In some states, the intensive care units of all hospitals are approaching their maximum number of patients admissible.
But the most worrying statistic is that three times during the current week, the US has crossed the threshold of 3,000 deaths on those days ... equal to the death rate in late April when the pandemic reached its first most intense period (a period which did not seem to end).
We compare that to the tragic loss of about the same number of lives in one day when the Twin Towers were brought down by terrorism.
Yet the pandemic seems not as consequential to some!
In the last two weeks, on eleven out of 14 days, the number of new Covid-19 cases has topped 200,000 per day, seeming to sustain an extremely ominous increase in infections.
The pharmaceutical industry (“Big Pharma”) gets a bad rap for a lot of factors lately, but I personally feel it is not getting the praise it deserves for its unheard-of efficiency in developing not one but potentially several vaccines in a record short time frame. In less than one year, over twenty million people are expected to have received the benefits of perhaps three entirely new vaccines, which normally require three to six years for successful development.
The rapid result has been the outcome of President Trump’s initiation of Operation Warp Speed – to borrow a term from Star Trek (!) – and his insistence on the research firms producing in advance, millions of vials of vaccine which might have proven worthless had the research not been successful at the end of third-stage clinical trials.
Thankfully, the first vaccine – developed by Pfizer Pharmaceuticals and BioN-Tech – is deemed effective at an incredible 95% level! The next one due to be approved has an efficacy of about 94.5%!
The immediate result this week has been hundreds of heavy cargo aircraft departing Standiford International Airport (Louisville’s United Parcel Service base) and Memphis International Airport (the main hub for FedEx) to every portion of the nation.
The challenging logistics of the first vaccine (the Pfizer product) having to be shipped in containers which maintain temperatures near 90 degrees below zero was seemingly taken in stride by the two shipping giants. The entire span of the distribution operation resembled a military deployment of the most critical urgency, and indeed, was executed by military personnel as the major organizational force.
The result has been that four days ago (Monday) the first vaccinations were administered to medical personnel in major cities of the USA. But it will be months before enough doses of vaccine are administered across the country to make a difference.
Until then, the risk of individual infection is becoming greater with each passing week. The touted “herd immunity” level is estimated to be about 80% of the population having been vaccinated – which will be several months in coming. At that point the new infection rate should drop sharply – but that goal is months away... So the tacit warning is that individuals must NOT let down their safeguards during this transitional period...
One bit of good news has been that medical personnel have found that they can often squeeze up to seven doses of vaccine from each vial instead of the stated five doses per vial – a factor which will extend the “reach” by up to 40% with no added effort. The FDA has approved the use of every last milliliter of vaccine from each vial, so it is assured that there is no risk to this procedure.
December 18, 2020. Late this morning the vice president and second lady, as well as the US surgeon-general appeared at the White House briefing room to receive their vaccinations publicly televised for the entire nation to see. Their hope was to dull the objections which many have voiced to a vaccine that, in their minds, was produced too rapidly to have assurance of both its safety and its potency.
The colossal ignorance of such a view, in our opinion, belies the view-holders’ unawareness with the tightly-held, strict pharmaceutical protocols that were enforced by the authorities as well as those of the highly-respected scientific firms that produced them.
The promotion by some loudmouths of the belief that the vaccines which resulted are the result of dangerous “shortcuts” is a disservice to everyone in the nation. This group includes, unfortunately, some ranking people in government.
This is regrettable, because such statements will inevitably prevent many from “risking” getting vaccinated – a pathetic result, in our opinion.
Even if moral standards were not a factor in such stringent standards, the colossal exposure to thousands of lawsuits that would fall upon the developers of the vaccines would preclude any such shenanigans.
So our urgent appeal to readers is to continue diligently to observe the best-practices of social distancing (including wearing the mask and avoiding crowds) for your own self-protection.
But we would with all good conscience advise that each person receive the Covid-19 vaccine at the earliest possible time. To do otherwise is to continue in a state of vulnerability to being infected with a virus that in certain cases leads to agonal death by asphyxiation (pneumonia) as well as other complicating factors. The writer speaks from arms length experience as we just lost a dear sister-in-law to the coronavirus after only a short period in a hospital in San Antonio...
<HEL> ~1150 words. An eTPL31 Opinion. Circulated December 18, 2020.
Heavy Science Employed in Iranian Attack
An eTPL31 Exposition
Tehran, Iran: Monday, November 30, 2020. It would almost seem to be science fiction if it hadn’t really happened in the way it did...
Iran’s top nuclear scientist and physics professor, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, alleged “father of the Iranian nuclear bomb” was killed in a highly unlikely shooting in a suburb of Tehran.
The scientist and his wife and bodyguards were driving in a convoy of four bulletproof cars toward a vacation house in Absard, a Tehran suburb, when the leading car in the convoy pulled ahead to inspect the vacation house prior to the scientist’s arrival.
Soon a truck pulled ahead of the couple’s car and exploded. The convoy halted and the professor got out to see what had happened, apparently thinking the car had collided with something.
At the same time, a driverless Nissan pickup truck approached the group from behind and stopped about 500 feet from the vehicle. A remote-controlled machine gun honed in on the convoy and began to spray it with machine-gun fire.
Fakhrizadeh was hit three times, one bullet severing his spinal cord. A security guard fell on top of him to protect him and was riddled with bullets.
After about two minutes of machine-gun fire, the pickup self-exploded destroying the truck and the weapon.
Fars insisted that there were no human beings involved on the scene, the machine-gun being remotely controlled by someone not at the scene. Sounds like Mission Impossible!
The scientist was evacuated to hospital where he was pronounced dead – “martyred” in the words of the Iranian Fars News Agency.
A vehicle check showed that the truck’s owner had left the country some days earlier.
This is one version of what happened but there has been no confirmation of the accuracy of the Fars report. Other reports have indicated that several human gunmen were involved in a slightly different version (World Israel News).
No one has taken direct responsibility for the assassination – the latest in a long string of targeted killings of top Iranian officials. But a top unnamed Israeli official issued a statement to the New York Times later saying that “The world should thank Israel for killing the father of Iran’s nuclear weapons program, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh,” recalling the global threat that such arms would pose.
That official is said to have been involved in a program to track this important Iranian figure for several years, and, speaking anonymously, told the Times that Israel would continue to act aggressively to stop Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
Bruce Reidel, a former CIA official was also interviewed by the Times, calling the operation “unprecedented.” He added that the incident showed no signs of being effectively countered by the Iranians.
Israel is known to make effective use of native Farsi speakers in its population for effective intrusion into Iran – an approach which led to Israel actually pillaging an Iranian warehouse in Tehran several years ago and stealing nearly a ton of printed and electronic records relating to Iran’s nuclear program. It reportedly also maintains operatives in neighboring countries such as Azerbaijan.
Reidel pointed out that Fakhrizadeh was assassinated some eight years after the last such clandestine killing attributed to Israel and shows that, as he phrased it, “the game is afoot, or coming” – an ominous warning that still other actions may be in the works according to the Jerusalem Post.
The action caused an immediate response from Iranian officials. Kamal Kharrazi, head of Iran’s Strategic Council on Foreign Relations issued a statement saying Iran will “give a ‘calculated and decisive’ response to the killing of its top nuclear scientist” and suggested that Tehran’s revenge should be carried out by striking Haifa, Israel, in a manner such as to incur as many human casualties as possible.
That view was vented despite the fact that any such attack in the near term would complicate any initiative of US President-elect Joe Biden to bring about any reconciliation with Tehran after he takes office on January 20th. <HEL> Abstracted from multiple news reports...
<>HEL ~600 words. An eTPL31 Exposition. Published December 4, 2020, in Other Items on eTPL website...
U. S. Election is Unprecedented
An eTPL31 Opinion
The long wait is over ... for now. A president of the USA has been officially elected and confirmed ... for now...
In this fourth post-election day in the United States, there was still no clear answer as which candidate won (or should win) the contest ... until about 3 p.m. today, when Joe Biden finally won enough votes to exceed the number required by the Electoral College.
But even at that, no fewer than six states have tallied numbers whose differences have been razor-thin as to their majority of votes.
It is a situation that is nearly statistically impossible among a mix of only fifty states – to have over ten percent of them produce votes of such narrow margins...
It is reminiscent of the more mildly contested election of 2000, in which George Bush received less than a 1,000 vote majority in Florida – the key state in that election – and the hotly contested decision as to who won had to be certified by the Supreme Court. Remember the affair of the ‘hanging chads?’
The present election confusion is an occurrence unique in US history. And even though it might seem now to have been decided, the election still hangs in midair as President Trump contests numerous vote counts in the courts of law.
The electoral crisis imposes itself upon the already stressful conditions of the coronavirus pandemic that is afflicting the world ... because, like the pandemic, the election confusion also presents worldwide implications.
Whenever there is an element of confusion introduced into the affairs of the most powerful and influential nation on earth, that creates worldwide ripple effects abroad – not to mention the uncertainty felt among the native population.
Just imagine the indecision that the present crisis imposes on the conflict with Iran, for example. And with China, North Korea and Russia – all of whom must be gleeful that Donald Trump may well be defeated and that a friendlier regime may replace his administration, thus easing their respective conflicts with the USA.
Even the Pales****** leadership was doubtless hopeful that the Trump administration would end, thus giving the PLO and its confederates a better chance (in their thinking) of resolving a “two-state solution” to their conflict with Israel.
And just imagine the frustration felt throughout the White House staff, beginning with the president himself. His reaction to the most remarkable challenge that his administration has faced up to this moment has been predictable.
He feels the election has been stolen from him by the opposition party, the Democrats. The result has been to file lawsuits against several aspects of the voting and counting methods of some of the states that are involved in the crisis. The infighting promises to last yet for weeks ... or months.
As we watched the vote totals change as displayed by the various news networks, the tide seemed consistently to be going against Mr. Trump. He was maintaining an ‘edge’ only in North Carolina and Alaska as more of the mailed-in ballots were being tallied.
The ominous bank of ballot-scanners in Philadelphia droned on and on seemingly on autopilot, as hardly any humans seemed to be present on the monitors we have seen. These were said to be nearing the end of their appointed task of counting the remaining votes – and Joe Biden’s lead in the Pennsylvania contest increased sporadically as additional reports came in.
But the Trump administration still held out hope. It claimed that many of the ballots were spurious – and invalid – and that they shall be proven so in the near future as the court decisions play out and the votes are re-tallied.
The election has been ‘rigged’ in their words, and many votes cannot be certified as legal and above board. The several lawsuits pending will go a long way (and require a long time!) to resolve the confusion. But the vote differential seems to indicate a clear possibility of a Trump win in the long haul.
Many blocs of votes appear suspect. One download of several thousand votes from one of the western states contained NO votes for Trump; ALL of them were for Biden. That is statistically impossible and surely indicates a high degree of voter fraud, in our opinion. And that is only one of several such challenges...
The present impasse on several levels must surely be ‘of the Lord’ in our thinking. There has truly never been a precedent for the current crises. The indecision is so thick one could ‘cut it with a knife’ as the saying goes!
As to the general reaction to the pandemic, the words of Isaiah 26:20 readily come back into our consciousness: Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.
Our Father’s indignation toward the nations.
Indignation toward those entities which have now LEGISLATED evil principles into their laws, calling good evil, and evil, good (Isaiah 5: 20). But there are others as well.
If this is indeed the termination of Donald Trump’s tenure as leader of the US, it has been a most remarkable four years – and a direct repudiation of the regime that preceded his term in office. The president has affected favorable decisions about Israel and its place in the world on multiple occasions, blessing Israel profusely...
In reciprocation, the Almighty is seen to have blessed the USA with prosperity – until the pandemic struck suddenly just as the year 2020 opened. The societal recovery from that initial blow has indeed – so far – been a broad “v” shaped one, the economy bouncing back nearly to its highest previous level within mere weeks. Even the unemployment stats show a remarkably unexpected recovery ... one that yet has a way to go.
But what the future days hold is entirely unknown.
Other debts of ‘indignation’ are also coming due in these terminal days of Gentile dominance. Many inequities are overdue for settlement – challenges such as the Israeli-Arab ‘peace process’ and the entrenched animosity which prevails there. We see that as the main – and most imminent – a challenge that begs for a solution in these end-days.
It is a challenge which is prophetically ONLY soluble by a divine hand ... that is, by the physical return to the earth of the Lord Jesus and the imposition of His will among those adversarial nations round about Israel – as well as settling many other affairs.
Many detailed discussions of that method of resolution have been discussed in the electronic pages of The Prophecy Letter for years, so I will not elaborate further at this moment.
The ultimate solution of all these adversities can come only with the physical return of Him Who shall be recognized quickly and decisively as Messiah by Israel, His People, as He delivers them from the overpowering threat of the nations round about (Zechariah 12 and 13), and shows Himself definitively to have the power and might of the Lion of Judah which the Jews of Jesus’ day were mistakenly expecting, receiving instead, the Lamb of Bethlehem, Who was required first to perform the perfection of service to His Father that could measure up to the standards of the ultimate Redemptive Work of Superb Faith which He exhibited throughout His short life.
First the Cross ... then the Crown.
The present tension in all mankind is growing more prevalent – distress of nations with perplexity. However the current turmoil among the kingdoms of men is resolved, it SHALL BE resolved in a decisive, godly manner.
That solution shall give great honor ... immense weight to the Name of our Father, successively making Him known to the nations, as one by one, the LORD Jesus faces them “as a thief in the night,” unknown to each as to His true identity, but seen to be infinitely powerful, as well as just and equable.
So, under the stress of an uncertain future course for the country, additionally we continue to sequester ourselves and our families in this increasingly dangerous climate of the coronavirus – seemingly the superb vehicle which our Father has provided in order to bring about the fulfillment of those words of Isaiah 26: 20, which for such a long time were an enigma to us – but which have lately become lucid and clear, and meaningful, as another unmistakable SIGN of the times ... and assurance to the faithful that we may confidently know that we are now living the last brief hours of our probation.
Whether our probationary life be terminated by our demise or by the Second Advent, we anticipate it which eager expectation – that blessed interruption of human affairs when everything shall be turned upside down ... when His Way shall be established.
And when the faithful shall come to the stark realization that what He has promised, He is also able and willing to perform: Romans 4: 21, qv.
Thus the words of Psalm 21 take on a sober meaning to the Believer ... a text which promises that the inherited power of the King (Messiah) shall devolve upon all those Who are His, as they are transformed into His Nature through the process of immortalization.
Please read slowly and thoughtfully those encouraging words. Think soberly upon their precise application upon each individual Believer, as related to the events of His Second Coming with its attendant results...
Psa 21:1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The king shall joy in thy strength, O LORD; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!
Psa 21:2 Thou hast given him his heart's desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips. Selah.
Psa 21:3 For thou preventest (anticpates) him with the blessings of goodness: thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head.
Psa 21:4 He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it him, even length of days for ever and ever.
Psa 21:5 His glory is great in thy salvation: honour and majesty hast thou laid upon him.
Psa 21:6 For thou hast made him most blessed for ever: thou hast made him exceeding glad with thy countenance.
Psa 21:7 For the king (as well as all those who are His) trusteth in the LORD, and through the mercy of the most High he shall not be moved.
Psa 21:8 Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies: thy right hand shall find out those that hate thee.
Psa 21:9 Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger: the LORD shall swallow them up in his wrath, and the fire shall devour them.
Psa 21:10 Their fruit shalt thou destroy from the earth, and their seed from among the children of men.
Psa 21:11 For they intended evil against thee: they imagined a mischievous device, which they are not able to perform.
<HEL> ~1800 words. An eTPL31 Opinion. Published in 2020 Other Items, November 7, 2020
Throwing Around the Term “Armageddon”
An eTPL31 Analysis
October 8, 2020. During the past week we were viewing yet another video presentation about the end-time when we noted the vexing practice of the presenter to apply the term “Armageddon” to practically all the end-time events as he saw them surrounding the Second Advent. It was easy to see that he had given practically no thought to the study of the concept of “Armageddon,” and respectfully suggest that he actually is unaware of its definition and the context of which the term is used by God’s word. That is a crucial defecit ... and is one that gives us pause as to the accuracy of much of what the presenter is setting forth in the remainder of the presentation!
The refined scholar of God’s Word is required above all people to be accurate and concise in his or her language – in his explanation of the forthright teachings of the principles of salvation. The word Armageddon appears only once in scripture – and that reference defines its meaning.
That occurrence is in Revelation 16:16, which we eagerly approach in our discussion below – all of which consist of excerpts from our extensive study notes on the book of Revelation soon to be revised (really, updated and better defined) on the eTPL website: our suggestions here are in the interest of spiritual conciseness – of scriptural accuracy of terminology as to the end-time events. Please be aware that some details (e.g., the three unclean spirits like frogs) in the following account shall have been discussed in other portions of the narrative as originally published. For an overall grasp of our understanding of this entire 16th chapter, please refer to the published comments...
Except begins here:
The Frog Spirits
Rev 16:13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
Rev 16:14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. N. B., this is a reference to Armageddon (see vs. 16).
Rev 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
Because, as just stated, the Revelation does not concern itself with the details of the re-establishment of Israel and its internal struggles just prior to and AFTER the Second Advent, these significant events are not part of the narrative at this place.
But the diligent student will be able to “fill in the gaps” of historical development of the Kingdom’s approach, its establishment, and its nascent character within the Promised Land, its survival against the “nations round about” for over 70 years and then its final victory over them in Phase One of its end-time wars, facilitated by the sudden appearance of the Christ of the Second Advent accompanied by millions and millions of immortal Saints, all of Whom leap into the fray saving Israel from its enemies and those who hate them (Luke 1: 71, 74; Isaiah 59: 10-21).
After that initial conflict, the Gogian host “thinks an evil thought” and attacks from the lands beyond the Rivers ... and is utterly destroyed in one day (?). Phase Two.
Then comes the Phase Three wars of Israel (our label of these “phases” for convenience) – the War of Armageddon. It is a term that is not applicable to the past two Phases of the wars of Israel as the term is utilized ONLY in this upcoming account of the conflict of the Kingdom with the Church – in Europe, primarily.
Rev 16:16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
Our conviction is that the Sixth Vial period is presently in progress (in 2019). It shall lead inevitably to an event to be known as “Armageddon;” but that event is successor to the ‘decisions’ that are yet to be made in the Valley of Jehoshaphat and that of Decision – that virtual depression (defining the region of conflict) in which the initial victories are to be achieved – which we anxiously await today...
“Armageddon’s” fulfillment shall have required several years to develop and to bear fruit. And given that the Revelation is a commentary upon the interface of Rome spiritual with Zion Spiritual, it does not comment in any substantial way upon the intervening events,including the Second Advent with the Judgment of Saints, the Proximal Islamic debacle, and the Gogian affair. The present-day conflicts of the State of Israel – are not considered here; to do so would muddy the waters of understanding for the saints of the end time who are striving to understand this prophecy.
Those details are well delineated in great detail by the prophets of the Old Testament and are generally well understood today; many have been fulfilled.
We thoughtfully consider that the next verse leaps over all the details of the conflict within the Land Between the Rivers (the Promised Land) which we are experiencing today, and goes directly to that time when the “everlasting gospel” is proclaimed to the world, as the initiative of Christ and the Saints begins to spill over into the international scene.
The Lion of Judah at this place in the scroll is now leaving His lair and sallying forth into the broader world with His Gospel message...
The first target, in our opinion, is that gigantic “Church” which has supplanted the Gospel of Christ, and changed the truth of God into a lie. It is the “meat” of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, and continues the narrative which has so adequately described the previous events leading up to it, that are given by prophets such as Daniel, Ezekiel, Jeremiah and Isaiah (especially) and many of the “minor” prophets.
Its account leaps forward from the events of the Valley of Jehoshaphat (Joel 3: 2, 12) ... events that are coeval with the Valley of Decision (Joel 3: 14).
In our opinion, these are terms specifically relating to the Promised Land and the conflicts which shall occur within its geographic limits ... its boundaries being the defined limits of those 'valleys' of conflict. It is there where the decision is finally determined in the eyes of the nations as to whom the Land belongs in perpetuity – and as a result, they shall know the Lord (meaning God’s People, Israel).
Now that that decision is clearly apparent, and these two conflicts (the defeats of the Proximal Islamic states and the Gogian confederacy) are settled in the Valley of Jehoshaphat, the Revelator gives clarity, in our opinion, as to the divine continuation of His rapid expansion of His Kingdom to the world at large.
He names THAT specific coming conflict (series of conflicts) “Armageddon” (in the Hebrew tongue) in order to attach the identity to it as an extended DRIVING initiative – designed by, prosecuted by, and easily won by – an Hebrew of the Hebrews, the Lord Jesus Christ of the Second Advent. It will shortly be realized by those doomed adversaries that their kingdoms are being actively absorbed by the Kingdom of Jerusalem then in overdrive toward those universal acquisitions of the kingdoms of this world as in agreement with the diktat of Daniel 7: 27 q.v.
As such, this conflict is not just another in a long series of international human (Gentile) disagreements: it is the specific action of the (Hebrew) Master and Commander of the Lord’s Army to overcome the ungodliness of the worldly (Gentile) polities which are in conflict with His principles, His doctrines of salvation, and His plan for the fulfillment of His purpose with the entire earth.
Its character and objective is Hebrew as to origin and objective. It is a message to the remainder of the earth to begin thinking in Hebrew terms – in terms of the will and sovereignty of the newly arrived Hebrew Administrator and Executor of His Father’s Plan in the earth.
As such, ALL its participants are decidedly Hebrew as to identity. They are the Lion of Judah, the divinely established successor of the Lamb of Bethlehem, Son of Mary and Son of David, and the millions of Redeemed Saints – heritors of the (Hebrew) promises anciently made to Abraham, to Isaac and Jacob (all Hebrews) – and to their Seed, the LORD Jesus Christ which was for to come (Isaiah 41: 22)...
That is the decided reason for designating this conflict alone as being “in the Hebrew tongue, ‘Armageddon.’”
Having said that, it becomes quite readily apparent to the mind of the spirit that NO PREVIOUS CONFLICT may be assigned the designation “Armageddon,” because the scriptures limit the term to that of the Kingdom of God versus the Kingdom of Rome – the precise context in which we find the account in the Apocalypse as dictated to John by the LORD Jesus Himself...
Perhaps some will find our conclusion too tightly defined; if so they betray their general attitude to have become the vapid conclusions of the sensationalist profiteers and film moguls of Hollywood, who have adapted the term loosely to any catastrophic event that occurs! They have no valid concept of “Armageddon” as such!
It is highly significant – and completely in agreement with our conclusions expressed above – that “Armageddon” now is played out in the detailed events that are now described by the Revelator – the coming of “Great Babylon ... to remembrance before God” and her ultimate destruction by the Lion of Judah and His Forces which fall upon the Image that at that time shall have reconstituted itself adequately for ready identification by those who are scripturally well schooled ... and fulfill perfectly the graphics of the text of Daniel 2:45 – “Forasmuch as thou sawest that the Stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.”
The destruction of the powers of the Image are to be so thoroughly destroyed as to be obliviated for eternity ... as a millstone dropped into the sea (Revelation 18: 21) specifically designated as the fate of “great Babylon” of that future day!
The Seventh Vial: Great Babylon Destroyed - Armageddon
Rev 16:17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.
Rev 16:18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.
Rev 16:19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.
Rev 16:20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
Rev 16:21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.
As Great Babylon (Rome) comes into remembrance before God (verse 19) the serial events of Armageddon begin to unfold. It is this conflict as named in the previous verse that is pointedly meant here: the judgment of the Great Whore: Armageddon!
<HEL> ~1900 words. An eTPL31 Analysis. Published October 8, 2020, in “2020 Other Items.”
An eTPL31 Analysis
October 3, 2020. Events of the last 36 hours in Washington DC have been astounding as the world has seen an abrupt, highly-personal intrusion of Coronavirus upon the lives of numerous high-ranking U. S. government officials. About 36 hours ago, the startling news that President Donald Trump and the First Lady Melania had tested positive for Covid-19 literally shook the news world.
Many perhaps were not surprised at this development because the president has been seen in numerous TV appearances usually not wearing a mask – and often not maintaining the recommended social distancing.
Countless thousands of unmasked people at his recent campaign rallies are observed crowding closely together in noisy, shouting, hard-breathing events that are known to be conducive to transmitting the virus.
His defense against wearing the mask has been that he is tested daily for the pathogen, and that all others surrounding him are as well.
But testing has relatively little to do with prevention; it is only a monitor of ongoing conditions.
We personally were startled yesterday morning at around 4 a.m. by a TV report that noted that the president about three hours earlier had been diagnosed as being infected with Covid-19.
That midnight test had been administered to the president probably because a close associate – Ms. Hope Hicks, the president’s communications specialist – had been diagnosed as positive and been brought back from the first presidential debate at Cleveland in isolation on Air Force One.
As daybreak came, a few more details were revealed but the president was said to be suffering no visible signs of the disease except a slight hoarseness and a mild cough.
He was administered an eight gram infusion of monoclonal antibodies that had been duplicated synthetically from previous victims of the disease – usually a vital and quite effective approach to its clinical management.
But as the day progressed it became apparent that his White House physician had noted other worrying signs, and by about 4 p.m. had made the decision to have the president admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center – the premier U. S. military hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, just north of Washington. Details later revealed confirmed this suspicion: fever, and breathing difficulties had been experienced.
By 6 p.m. yesterday the president had been transported to Walter Reed by Marine One, and admitted to Ward 71 – a specially devised suite of accommodations especially designed for executive occupancy in a time of significant illness. The list of signs and symptoms seemed to have expanded somewhat with hints of some difficulty in breathing by the president, and a low-grade fever being the most alarming.
Reports at just after 3 a.m. this morning revealed that at least nine higher-level employees and officials on or close to the White House staff had also tested positive to the virus.
Several of these had been present at the Rose Garden ceremony earlier in the week when the president introduced his choice of Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his choice of a replacement for the recently deceased Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. At that ceremony a great number of attendees were noted as not being masked and not maintaining social distancing protocols...
This year seems to have brought a unique number of challenges to the smooth continuation of society and government in many parts of the world. The pandemic has been the most disruptive, and the most challenging. Never has a disease literally shut down the world in the many senses that Covid-19 has, resulting in the closure of several whole industries and private businesses as well as schools and universities. Unemployment shot through the roof...
Besides that, from the onset of the disease in January, 2020 (actually December, 2019) there has been no “right” way to combat it.
Given the lack of a vaccine, its spread could not have been prevented by any measures.
And it could have been retarded only in ways hurtful to society in general as to labor and industry, commerce, diplomacy and religion.
Some folk criticized President Trump for his handling of the crisis, expressing dismay that his recommendations seemed to change frequently. In recommending those changes he said he was “following the science,” which was usually true; the changes were being made because the scientific decision-makers were learning about this new viral challenge and adjusting their responses to it as they went along.
Viruses, like many other diseases, usually do not follow any previously prescribed course, even when they seem similar to previous outbreaks of organisms that may be similar to them in many ways. The scientists were making judgmental adjustments as dictated by the developments that they were observing as the virus manifested itself and its challenging capabilities to harm and kill.
The present pandemic is different in several significant ways from previous outbreaks that seemed similar at the outset.
For example, it is still unknown whether immunity following infection with the organism lasts permanently. At least a few persons who have had clearly defined cases of Covid-19 have become re-infected later. This effect is entirely counter-intuitive based on almost all earlier epidemics which have conferred medium- to long-term immunity.
Critics usually don’t give the president positive points for shutting down air travel from China and Europe quite early; many who later have claimed negligence on his part actually severely criticized him at the time he issued the order to shut down air travel with those destinations, calling the decision “xenophobic,” and essentially a stupid approach, and denying that it could be effective. Nancy Pelosi publicly invited everyone to join her at a street gathering in San Francisco’s renowned Chinatown, saying in effect that there is no problem ... and that the president’s caution was simple-minded and premature.
It is a humdrum example of the selfish human characteristic of everyone seeking to vindicate his own viewpoint and to denigrate the decisions of others that were made in an extremely challenging environment for which there was no precedent – no previous experience from which to learn!
The present state of uncertainty of nearly everything that we are now seeing compels other, more sobering considerations. Our conviction, for example, is that, in the approaching interventions of the returned Jesus Christ against the enemies of his People Israel, He shall have no human allies standing with Him in His solitary confrontation with the nations “round about” Israel – those who have for over seventy years struggled to conquer Israel and erase the nation. (Cf., Isaiah 63: 1-6)
We have long pondered that, given the high level of friendly American and allied presence in and around Israel at this time, why shall none of these powers come into play as military allies to Israel when Christ appears as the prophecy states?
There could be several mitigating factors, among which are:
· A sudden change in U.S. administration to one which would be uncooperative with Israel.
· A critical lack of time to respond due to the lightning-like action of the returned LORD Jesus.
· Disability of forces due to a pandemic or another sort of plague among the potential allies.
· A lack of decisive action at the needed time – relates to the lack of time to respond above.
· Drastic economic factors that militate against any such intervention such as profound economic depression – the possibility of which in America is being seriously discussed at this time.
We have our own opinion.
It seems in our estimation most likely that the potential allies of Israel shall not have time to make any move to assist Israel even if they wish to do so, because the returned Master and Commander of His Father’s Army shall not conduct His campaigns on mortal principles, or within the time constraints of carnal warfare.
Indications are strong, in our thinking, that His conquest of all the foreign forces between the Nile and the Euphrates Rivers and the Mediterranean Sea and the Persian Gulf shall be completed in one calendar day. The effect of such a lightning victory would be stunning to all the military experts of the nations of the world – a function of their just having observed the New Force among the nations – the unconquerable Army of YHVH which has finally arrived to establish and execute His Will in the earth!
Meanwhile, the occurrence of disruptive events has seemed endless – some without precedent.
In a hotly-contested election such as this one, the president’s sudden infection with coronavirus at this late date is highly disruptive – introduces great uncertainty. Even if he recovers from the illness with no sequelae, the last half of his time for campaigning has been compromised. His chances of winning reelection are diminished. And to many, the alternative is unthinkable...
And what about even worse outcomes?
If the president becomes disabled or dies how would that affect the approaching election at this late date? Is VP Pence moved up to the position of candidate? There are provisions made for this we may be certain.
In the case in which a candidate dies after being elected but before taking office in January, the elected vice-president is to be sworn in as president. That rule would mean that Mike Pence would be seated as president if that happened. At the present time, the vice-president is not infected. But his exposure to the pathogen is certainly a concern. What if he also becomes ill and is taken out of the campaign for reelection? We know of no provision for that possibility; is it possible that given the continued Democrat majority in the House of Representatives, that Speaker Nancy Pelosi would be next in line for the office of president?
Another is, in prospect of an inconclusive election such as this one may be, the Supreme Court may come into play as the arbiter of the certified winner of the election. Unless the nominee for the vacant chair on the Court is not filled, there could be the possibility of a tied vote on such an important decision.
Further chaos would follow. Such an outcome might result in anarchy – and blood in the streets...
Judge Amy Coney Barrett being approved and seated on the Court is said by many to be vital so that a tied decision is not a threat. But how can the confirmation of Judge Barrett proceed if several of the senators who would vote for her are ill with Covid-19 and become unable to appear in person to vote for her confirmation? The president at present only has 51 pledged votes in the Senate if every one of them is present, every one of which is necessary for confirmation of Judge Barrett.
Another grave consideration for the present time is the edgy relationship of the U. S. with China, Iran, North Korea, and even Russia – all of whom consider themselves as rivals of the U. S. in world affairs. So, challenges from them have become heightened as to possibility.
Pentagon officials have just made the terse announcement that the military preparedness of the U. S. has not been compromised, and that any potential enemies should be leery of any unwarranted challenges.
In addition to all these woes, the food industry is now beginning to see real disruptions in the food supply chain. Supermarket shelves are suddenly bare of certain products for extended periods of time. The means of food production is breaking down in ways never seen before...
The crescendo of adversity just seems to grind on and on – ironically a great benefit to all Believers ... as sure confirmation to them that their redemption draws near.
We recognize this era as a time of tribulation such as never was (Matthew 24: 21), and another sure sign of the nearness of the return of Jesus Christ to the earth as promised by numerous holy men of old who spoke (and wrote) as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (II Peter 1: 21). Their words come vividly forth brimming with significance in these last moments of Gentile domination. They inevitably generate increased faith in those who hear them indeed ... and who hearken to their instruction to be awake and aware of our times, and the richness with which they portray the age in which He shall come to His own, and bring life and immortality to light (reality) through the gospel (II Timothy 1: 10).
<>HEL ~2100 words. An eTPL31 Analysis. Published in Other Items in eTPL, October 5, 2020.
Looking Forward to Rosh Hashanah 2020
An eTPL31 Analysis
Otherwise known as the Feast of Trumpets, Rosh Hashanah begins the (civil) Jewish New Year. It is the first of the fall festivals (in Hebrew, the Moedim). A chart to which we referred in the original aicle shows how it fits into the overall observance of the Hebrew festivals, but that chart could not be reproduced here...
The spring festivals have been fulfilled literally by the events of the first century – the suffering of our Master and subsequent events, ending with the outpouring of the Spirit on the Feast of Pentecost.
The fall festivals await the same literal fulfillment by historical enactment in our understanding, and probably in the same extremely tight time-frame, the first of which will be the (clandestine) personal return of the Lord Jesus to the earth to raise the responsible dead and to judge them – and to award immortality to those who He deems to have been faithful servants.
These stark events shall occur behind an impenetrable curtain of secrecy from the people of the world ... hidden from their view or concern as our Master sets the stage for His personal re-introduction into the affairs of the world and of Israel His People.
Because of numerous scriptural references to the blowing of the trumpet (or shophar) as associated with the resurrection of the responsible dead, and the historic demonstration of literal fulfillment of the earlier festivals in 32 A.D., we have long believed that the return of Christ for that primary purpose may logically be expected to begin on an anniversary of the Feast of Trumpets, when “the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised....” (I Corinthians 15: 52).
But just which Feast of Trumpets? That is the question.
The uncertainty as to just which, specific Feast of Trumpets, exempts our expectation from violating the principle that “no man knows the day nor the hour” of His Second Coming. We cannot deny that our present day is discernibly in the near proximity of these things coming to pass ... but that we must not presume that it will come about in a few short weeks.
But it certainly seems much likelier than at any time in past history!
Given the sudden crisis of such great magnitude as we are now experiencing (the coronavirus pandemic, the drastic worldwide economic collapse, and the crude, threatening societal instability that we see everywhere), and the termination of the years of the “generation” which witnessed the budding of “the fig tree (cf., Luke 21: 29-32) and all the trees,” which generation we deem to be a seventy year time span (cf., Psalm 90: 10), we have good reason to expect His return to be imminent.
An important additional element is the overpowering, frightening, widespread unrest, uncertainty, and turmoil that we see all over the world, as well as the famines, pestilence of various sorts (locusts, viruses, resurgence of once-suppressed diseases such as TB and malaria), earthquakes increasing greatly in frequency and severity, etc. – all designated by YHVH as “signs” of the end time.
These are undeniable – and unprecedented in history!
Although we cannot be dogmatic, we fervently pray that His return may be on or near the date of the Feast of Trumpets in 2020, which begins at sundown on September 18th, and ends 48 hours later – on September 20th. (Some congregations only celebrate one day, which would end at sundown on September 19th.)
Reference to the chart above reveals just two festivals following Trumpets: the Feast of the Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles, both occurring in rapid order.
Our thought about these is that Atonement indicates the awarding of immortality to those deemed faithful at Jesus’ Judgment Bema, and Tabernacles (“dwelling”) might indicate Jesus’ ascension to the Throne of David, taking His regal position for the next thousand years as the King of Israel, ascending that throne in Mount Zion in stark reality. And our understanding is that He will do that only after the decisive defeat of Israel’s threatening legions beyond all her borders, His revealing Himself to His People on the Mount of Olives, and their heartfelt repentance and acceptance of Him as Messiah at that time.
It is an immense expectation to be sure ... but we believe it to be scripturally sound.
If these accomplishments are indeed fulfilled literally in the same manner as the four spring festivals, the paramount events which will include Jesus’ physical intrusion into the affairs of Israel and the world will occur in a lightning sequence...
Those actions happening in rapid order would place the nascent Kingdom of God on a sure footing almost immediately – and reassure its continuance in perpetuity, as the Christ of the Second Advent asserts His authority and sovereignty over Israel and begins to expand His kingdom rapidly over the whole earth.
The long-term results shall be as envisioned by the Prophet in Habakkuk (2:14): “For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.”
In light of this possibility (more than that – the probability is our fervent hope) it is good that each of God’s servants ponder his or her immediate circumstances ... his overall readiness ... for events that, if they follow the pattern of the first century fulfillments of similar festival days, would take place over an extremely short period of time all within the Hebrew month of Tishri (our September and early October) – namely the first 24 days of that period!
The result would be the unprecedented turning of the world upside down in only about three weeks time, ushering in the Kingdom age prior to the end of this Gentile year.
It is admittedly not the time-frame that was envisioned by earlier scholars, but many conditions have changed over the years of our stewardship.
That expectation of dizzying rapidity – of extreme urgency of execution – is exactly what we believe we may expect in these concluding events of our natural existence.
As we have often reminded readers, the Lord Jesus Christ is not compelled to conduct his affairs within the limits of human scale or capability. Why should He waste time with prolonged, drawn-out prosecution of these divinely ordered terminal events? He shall not be seeking a change in anyone’s mind, which always requires time; He shall be pursuing a program of pre-determined, lordly accomplishment of immense scale – and we believe that He shall see no need to prolong the affair in any way.
The extreme rapidity of it will bring about His determined end-result so swiftly as to be dizzying to all the amazed and mystified human observers ... and it will rivet their attention as no other action could!
Such a rapid execution would constitute the New Hebrew year 5781 as the beginning year of the Kingdom of God on the earth!
Our Readiness is Imperative on many Fronts
The Festival of Rosh Hashanah will occur 33 days from today on the evening of September 18th.
The events it could bring are scripturally inevitable ... they shall fall upon the world at some time unknown to us after today...
Every believer should exercise his most serious consideration of what such would mean for him and his family aside from his and her personal preparation for that event.
Without doubt, each shall have prepared for it within the best context of his or her ability as to personal preparation to meet our Savior for the first time face to face...
But there are other, lesser considerations.
What upheavals will it bring to our remaining households and families?
Shall they continue to be cared for and provided for in an expedient manner?
Shall everyone have been informed of the possibility that certain members of the extended family would be no longer there? – shall have disappeared without a trace?
Has there been adequate preparation of every family member whether they agree as to its possibility or not? Even if they are abject disbelievers, they should be soberly informed of our expectations.
Have reasonable provisions been made for the succession of personal property ownership? It is certainly not necessary to conclude such affairs in advance, but it would be desirable and considerate to have such provision set in place before we are abruptly removed from our families.
Perhaps a notarized letter to the authorities would be advisable so that family members would be absolved of culpability (of any responsibility) in the sudden disappearance of their close family members.
The writer has written such a letter to whomever it may concern, and has had it notarized so family members left behind will hopefully not be suspected to have had a part in their disappearance, which as you probably realize, is the most likely conclusion otherwise.
We have had objection made by some who have derided such preparation, being willing to leave purposely uninvolved family members to “shift for themselves,” so to speak.
Our rejoinder has been that such provision has vital benefits that may not be readily apparent – that such provision shall have given substance to our expectations to such folk ... and shall have witnessed perhaps one last time to family members our sincere convictions as to the stark reality of the coming events.
It matters not if they think we are slightly daft in making such provision, I believe they will only have a short time to mock (if such be the case) – and that they will suddenly become extremely grateful for such provision by us, when they are forced awkwardly to admit to the investigating authorities that some family members have disappeared without a trace!
And follow up that thought with this consideration: We pray that our un-converted family members will live safely through the time of great stress and turmoil that will attend the Second Advent – and that they will emerge from their own secret rooms (?) to discover that events in Israel and the world have taken the exact course about which they were forewarned. We pray that that fact will be strong impetus for them to sit still and wait for the salvation of the Lord to come (again?) to their doorstep ... and the offer of salvation once again be proffered to them – at which time we should presume that their acceptance of it would be with great joy and appreciation – that they might have an opportunity then to enter upon their own personal journey toward salvation in His service...
<>HEL ~1750 words. An eTPL31 Analysis. Published: August 17, 2020.
Additional Notes on our Common Journey through Space
June 27, 2020
Here is a fascinating reply from an “expert witness” about my brief article of the date of record (June 16) regarding “miles traveled” during our years of publication and during our lifetimes – viz., miles through space. I was aware that my estimate was not complete but was not able to elaborate further.
Indeed, my calculation was rudimentary, at best!
Read THESE added notes and you will be further amazed.
I had not taken into account that our solar system (centered in the sun) is moving at a half-million miles per hour in my limited comprehension of his comments. That’s an additional 12 MILLION miles each day of our lives!
Also, in the remarks below, he integrates the movement of “us” around the center of the earth each day (our earth-centered velocity, which I omitted) – about 25,000 more miles each day!
Our original premise is therefore immensely expanded: but having calculated this immense number, the number of “miles” traveled during a lifetime still fades into insignificance compared to the number of years of the “life expectancy” of an immortal inhabitant of the glorious Kingdom of God...
The correspondent is employed at Irvine Labs in California – a sophisticated scientific center of such esoteric considerations as we have noted – so I respect his comprehension of the subject to be far superior to mine!
I thank him for the expert input of one I suppose to be a bona fide astronomer.
June 17, 2020
Dear Bro Harold.
Your calculations are not quite right. You have calculated the distance traveled in a heliocentric system (solar centered).
But in absolute terms, the sun too is moving at about 500,000 MPH in a galaxy system (Milky Way centered).
On top of that, our galaxy is moving.
Calculating our distance traveled while located on the surface of the earth is a complicated matter [of] many “wheels within a wheel a rolling, way in the middle of the air”.
To be accurate, you have to take your earth-centered velocity, add that to your solar-centered velocity, add that to the velocity of the galaxy to arrive at the right number; and then integrate the result over time.
But in any case, we are talking of very large numbers – so large as to be beyond comprehension.
P.S. It now occurs to me that for even more perfect accuracy, each of us must add our personal mileage that we walk, drive our cars, ride in trains, planes and even on bicycles or on horseback (!) each year. <>HEL Published June 27, 2020.
Father’s Day for Believers
June 21, 2020: Father’s Day
An eTPL31 Exhortation
Today is being celebrated in the USA as Father’s Day; it honors all men who have children and their intimate, very special relationship with those children.
But for the Believer, every day is Father’s Day.
At least once every day, we habitually address Him in prayer, in the warm and cherishing language that His Son taught to the disciples, addressing Him collectively as “Our Father,” or in Greek, “Hemon Pater.” Matthew 6: 9.
Those words are the vocative opening of the prayer that Jesus gave on that occasion...
In Greek, the term “pater” indicates a male parent, whether near or more remote. It certainly is a term of personal endearment, and implicitly pleads our Father’s attention to the requests and praises of His sons and daughters.
On this day in America each sibling is encouraged to honor his or her father in some discrete way. A special card designed for just this purpose is often a part of the ritual. If possible, children get together with their parents physically for a special meal or other celebration. Honor is thus given to one’s parent in an outward gesture of affection and appreciation.
A More Fervent Level of Address
But we suggest that there is a deeper, even more fervent and intimate form of address that Believers may engage in their approach to their Creator.
Our Master used this more intimate term of address in addition to “Pater” when He engaged the Almighty in the prayers which He offered in Gethsemane on the night in which He was betrayed. “And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.” Mark 14:36.
It was perhaps the most intense and intimate moment that Yeshua had ever experienced with His Father, asking for mercy and compassion in His sincere, deeply emotional request for another way to accomplish His approaching sacrifice ... but framing his plea humbly and faithfully as a small Son to His “Daddy,” in the context of His Father’s will – not His own.
The Apostle Paul taught the Roman brethren the principle of adoption into the family of the Almighty: that they were no longer creatures (descendants) of the flesh, but were now creations of the Spirit and “the things of the Spirit.” Romans 8:5.
Having been washed (baptized) they were no longer subject to the bondage and the sentence of death in Adam, but that they were renewed in Christ Jesus – “in the spirit of their minds” (Ephesians 4: 23), and that they “have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:” Colossians 3:10.
As such new creatures, their hopes ascend into the nearly unimaginable realm of approaching reality! How greatly disproportionate is the reward to the means of achieving it! How great is their beloved Abba!
So Paul reasoned with the Romans: “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. Romans 8:15.
The Roman brethren (and all others since their time) now had a resource that was more deeply relational to their heavenly Father than before their baptism.
Our Father realized that each of His adopted children would at times encounter the same level of need in their lives as their Master had encountered in His own dedication to God’s service. They would need also to have a unique address of closeness - of tender intimacy for their Parent's great compassion...
Thus, each of them has available this same imploring spirit for use in such cases of extreme distress and necessity. The Apostle Paul addressed this special option in his letter to Galatia. He wrote, “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” Galatians 4:6.
In that deeply spiritual way, our Elder Brother’s siblings can identify more profoundly with His relationship with their Pater as Abba, in lock-step with Jesus’ heartfelt petition. Their spirit is supernaturally assisted by His Spirit dwelling within each of His children...
The continuing exposition of this principle is found in these wonderfully comforting words to the Romans: Romans 8:16 – “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 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. 18 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.19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.”
That endearing message evokes in His children an unmatched level of heartfelt confidence – of profound faith – in His promises; that what He has promised He is also able (and is willing) to perform ... that He is “able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us...” Ephesians 3:20. Such is illustrative of His overarching grace – His ever-present compassion for those who are His.
We seemingly cannot avoid at times deep feelings of despondency of our human ability to sustain high levels of trust in our Abba. The spirit is willing, while the flesh can be weak and insipid - ineffectual to comfort in our greatest times of need.
But the apostle reassures us in that regard also, when he writes these immeasurably helpful words: “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified” (Acts 20: 32). <>HEL ~900 words. An eTPL31 Exhortation. Published June 21, 2020, in Other Items.
We Begin the Thirty-first Year of The Prophecy Letter Today
June 16 2020
Good afternoon everyone:
Human beings ‘travel’ vast distances, even if they stay at home most of the time.
Well, we are inhabitants of a wonderful blue planet which is hurtling along in its orbit around the sun at thousands of miles an hour. The distance to the completion of that orbit is so immense that it consumes exactly a year … and its length will surprise you.
The occasion today marks the thirtieth such journey of one aspect of my personal life … and the 74th of another anniversary.
Today, June 16 (1946) the writer was baptized into Christ in the waters of Cedar Creek at Martinville, Arkansas. It was the beginning of a 74-year journey as of today and we pray that it continues until the Second Advent.
But this day has another significance.
The prompt for this note is the 31st anniversary of The Prophecy Letter which was begun at this time in June 1990. As of today, we will begin to ‘tag’ each bit of correspondence with the signature eTPL 31 in observance of this anniversary.
We have traveled a vast distance in those thirty years…
Allow me to do a few calculations to illustrate just how far.
Bear with me for a few moments as there is some simple math involved…
We will first determine the length in miles of each of earth’s (and our own) orbit of the Sun. That calculation requires only one ‘known’ – the radius of the earth’s mean (average) orbit, viz., the distance from the earth to the sun. With that knowledge, we may easily calculate the circumference of the orbit in miles and the miles traveled in one year…
The mean distance from the earth to the sun is about 93 million miles, which is the radius “R” of the orbit.
We need “D” (the diameter of the orbit) in order to calculate the circumference “C” of that orbit – and the number of miles in length.
The diameter is simply two times the radius: D = 2R which is 93 million x 2 = 186 million miles.
The formula for “C” is 2 x R (radius) which equals the “D” (diameter) x Pi (3.1416): C = PiD as it is formally stated.
Okay, that may be solved by this calculation: C = 3.1516 x 186 million = 584.4 million miles = one earth-orbit of the sun = one year.
That’s an inconceivable number.
Now, thirty orbits equal 30 x 584.4 million miles = 17,532 million miles, or seventeen billion, five hundred thirty-two million miles – a lot of frequent flyer miles (FFMs) to almost anyone.
But it is infinitesimal when compared to a much larger number.
We are thinking of the miles of earth-orbit that will be accumulated by even the least inhabitant of the Kingdom of God.
That number shall have NO end!
In trying to comprehend that number, we go to the last words of David, King of Israel, as written in Psalm 72 … speaking of the longevity of the King and His Son … and of his approved Saints whose lives shall be extended concurrently with His own existence!
Psalm 72:17 - His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed. 18 Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things. 19 And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.
The passage far transcends our finite understanding of this mortality, as the sun is destined never to cease its shining. Its life, like those of the Kingdom age, shall be infinite – never ending – admittedly an incomprehensible length of time, ever growing longer, in which the subjects possess a similar quality … immortality!
When we think soberly about its magnitude we realize the greatly exaggerated weight of the reward to the requirements for its acquisition: a mere five, or fifteen, or sixty … or even eighty years of delightful service to our Master during this mortal span of life!
The comparison defies our paltry, finite appreciation (understanding) of the unfathomable riches of the goodness and mercy of our heavenly Father – always the giver of abundant excess, as “… good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over,” [HEL1] as Jesus exhorts His brethren in Luke 6: 38.
I was also curious as to the number of my FFMs, on my own personal (mortal) records. That would be calculated as follows: 92 times 584.4 million miles = 53,765,000,000, or fifty-three billion, seven hundred sixty-five million miles – a journey that will be completed, God willing, at around 6: 30 p.m. tomorrow, June 17th, 2020.
Wishing all our loyal readers good physical health in these perilous times – i.e., safety from the vicious pandemic that has invaded the world around us.
Probably much as yours, our household (HE, Phyllis and Lindsey – and our dog Bruce), are sequestered almost completely, leaving our home for only brief periods for doctors’ appointments or a brief visit to the market – always masked, capped, jacketed and gloved!
Our remarkably dedicated son Joel does all our other ‘dirty work’ out in the broader world for which we are extremely appreciative to him.
With love in our Savior’s name to all of you dear ones,
H. Edward Lafferty, Editor and Publisher of eTPL and GPL.
New Star to Appear in Night Sky,
Heralding Balaam’s Prophecy of Messiah
By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz
January 10, 2017
“He counteth the number of the stars; He giveth them all their names.”
Psalm 147:4 (The Israel Bible™)
Five years from now [in 2022], the light from the ancient collision of two stars will reveal a brand-new star in the night sky. According to Jewish esoteric sources, this is precisely the celestial phenomenon which will accompany the arrival of the Messiah.
The new star, expected to appear in 2022 in a blaze of light called a nova, will be the brightest heavenly body visible in the nighttime sky for six months. It will be the first time in recorded history that a celestial event of this kind will be witnessed by the naked eye.
Beyond its scientific uniqueness, the appearance of the new star could have much bigger implications for the earth-bound, one prominent rabbi told Breaking Israel News, pointing to a Biblical prophecy of Balaam which [in his view] hails the appearance of a new star as the precursor to Messiah.
I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not nigh; there shall step forth a star out of Yakov, and a scepter shall rise out of Yisrael, and shall smite through the corners of Moab, and break down all the sons of Seth. Numbers 24:17
Rabbi Yosef Berger, rabbi of King David’s Tomb on Mount Zion, cited Rabbi Moses Ben Maimon, known by the acronym Rambam, the foremost Torah authority of the 12th century, whose rulings are still used as the basis for much of Jewish law.
“The Rambam brings this verse about a star appearing as proof that the Messiah will come one day,” Rabbi Berger told Breaking Israel News. “But he says it will come from Jacob, and not from Esau. More specifically, from the tribe of Judah.”
Even more incredibly, the Zohar, the foundational work of Jewish mysticism predicts in detail the color and type of stars which will appear. “The Zohar states explicitly that the Messianic process will be accompanied by several stars appearing. The Zohar goes into great depth, describing how many stars, and which colors they will be,” Rabbi Berger explained.
The new star, announced last week by Larry Molnar, a professor of astronomy at Calvin College in Michigan, will certainly be unusual. It is a binary star, or two stars orbiting a central point. Molnar described it as “two peanuts sharing a single shell.”
In his observations, Molnar noted that the orbital period was decreasing at an accelerating rate, leading him to understand that the two stars were moving closer to each other. Based on a previous case of binary stars, Molnar predicted the two stars would collide in 2022, resulting in a massive explosion.
“[The collision] will release as much energy as the sun releases in its entire lifetime,” Molnar said in a video about the discovery.
When the two finally collide, it will create a new star, a red nova. The star’s brightness will increase ten-thousand fold, making it one of the brightest points in the heavens for six months, after which it will fade and remain as a smaller dot in the sky. It will be the first time in history that the creation of a new star will be visible with the naked eye.
“It’s a one-in-a-million chance that you can predict an explosion,” Molnar said. “It’s never been done before.”
Ira Machefsky, an amateur astronomer with 60 years of experience who runs stargazing tours in Mizpeh Ramon, a town perched on a huge crater in the Negev desert, has been following the story closely. He described the delicate balance between science and faith to Breaking Israel News.
“The Heavens, especially unique phenomena like this nova, are a manifestation of God’s intellect. But this has to be understood in a specific manner in Judaism,” Machefsky warned. “Astronomy and astrology are prominent in Jewish mysticism since God works through nature. But at the same time, the term for pagan idol worship is avodat cochavim o’mazalot (serving stars and signs).”
Machefsky quoted the Talmud (Sukkoth 29a).
“Thus saith HaShem, ‘Learn not the way of the nations, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven, for the nations are dismayed at them, the idolaters will be dismayed, but Israel will not be dismayed.’”
“According to Hasidic philosophy, the wellsprings of knowledge will be opened up in the times of the Moshiach (Messiah),” Machefsky said. “It is truly amazing that astronomers can predict this when just a few years ago we wouldn’t have known about this until the star suddenly appeared. Science has enabled us to share in God’s natural processes.”
For stargazers, the nova will be visible as part of the constellation Cygnus, adding a star to the Northern Cross star pattern. Though the nova will appear in a few years, the actual event took place 1,800 years ago. It has taken nearly two millennia for the light from the collision to reach earth. <>Contributed by R. Farrar as an interesting item about a unique star-event.
The Single Greatest Motivating Factor
An Exhortation for Our Days
May 31, 2020.
Good morning dear Brothers, and Sisters.
You and I are living in an unprecedented era. No one, except a handful of people worldwide, has experienced something like this present crisis – going back to the pandemic of 1918. That handful of individuals that were alive during this period of time were so young that they wouldn’t be able to remember that traumatic event.
There are areas of this planet that fight diseases on a daily basis, countries in Africa, and some in South America, without food, suitable drinking water, and medicine ... something that a first-world country never has to face; this is a problem that is reserved for third-world countries.
The only thing that I can remember as a young boy about the age of 5 is the Polio Epidemic – a terrible disease that crippled and killed many young people. A man by the name of Jonas Salk developed a vaccine on March 29th, 1953. I was only about 3 months old when this vaccine was developed. However, in the 50’s the disease was not eradicated in the U.S.
Some who contracted Polio were placed in an iron lung permanently to assist their breathing because their diaphragms failed, causing their lungs to stop taking in oxygen, and expelling carbon dioxide.
I can remember when going swimming, as soon as you got out of the water you had to remove your bathing suit; the virus was transmitted with contact through the water.
If any of you older ones can remember the start of the March of Dimes, an effort to raise money so everyone would have access to the vaccine, millions of dollars were raised to assist this effort.
The March of Dimes was founded in 1938 by Franklin D. Roosevelt for the fight against polio that he himself contracted.
I received my vaccine in 1957, by injection when I was in Kindergarten. Another Doctor formulated the vaccine in oral form. When I was in 6th grade I was given that as well.
This is the only virus disease that I can remember in my lifetime. It was a horrific disease. However not to the proportion that has kept this country and others isolated to the degree that it has been with coronavirus.
When polio was at its peak, parks, swimming areas, movie theaters, birthday parties, were off-limits for young people, during something they called the polio season – summer.
So let’s understand, and I know that you know the meaning of pandemic; in the word “pandemic,” the beginning of the word is pan; this prefix pan means all, every, whole, all-inclusive. A pandemic is a disease prevalent throughout an entire country, a continent, or the world like we are now experiencing.
I would like to review the history of the worst pandemics. So I will only highlight them so we don’t get bogged down. Please bear with me; I will be getting to a very important point in a little while.
The Antonine Plague, AD 165: it affected Asia Minor, Egypt, Greece, and Italy. Many thought it could have been either smallpox or measles. Killing over five million people, it decimated the Roman army.
Justinian Plague 541-542: 25 million people died: the cause, the Bubonic plague. Killing half the population of Europe, it was the first recorded incidence of this plague.
The Black Death 1346-1353: 75-200 million died. This plague ravaged Europe, Africa, and Asia. They figured that the plague jumped continents via fleas living on rats which frequently lived aboard merchant ships. These vessels were perfect breeding grounds for the rats and fleas, devastating three continents in its wake.
The Third Cholera Pandemic of 1852-1860: Cause: Cholera. One million died. It originated in India, tearing through Asia, Europe, North America and Africa. A doctor John Snow while working in London identified contaminated water as the means of transmission.
The Flu Pandemic 1889-1890: One million died; it was Asian flu, or Russian flu, called the H2N2.
The Sixth Cholera Pandemic 1910-1911: death total 800,000. It originated in India spread to the Middle East, North Africa, Eastern Europe, and Russia. Learning from the past, the U.S. acted quickly, isolating the infected and only 11 deaths took place.
The [Spanish] Flu pandemic of 1918: 50 million died. It infected over a third of the world’s population. It struck down mostly the hardy, healthy young adults while leaving children, and those with weaker immune systems still alive. In the United States, 675,000 lost their lives.
The Asian Flu 1956-1958: two million died. Designated H2N2, it originated in China. It traveled from China, to Singapore, Hong Kong, and the U.S. 70,000 died in the U.S.
Pandora’s Box, according to Greek mythology, states: remember the prefix pan, meaning all-inclusive. The box was not only a gift from Zeus but also a tool for his revenge. It symbolized a source of trouble, curiosity, and an unknown future. Pandora’s action of opening the box meant the start of trouble. She released all the illness, disease, and bitterness and all the misfortune of the world before she could close the box.
The moral of Pandora’s Box is that unchecked curiosity and disobedience can be dangerous.
Of course the above is a fairy tale.
The Worst Pandemic of all Time
But all that is taking place today with respect to the situation that we are in, and all the worst pandemics that we cited earlier, are dwarfed by comparison to the most devastating pandemic of all time.
I would like to quote one verse, which in a nutshell unleashes what I just stated. Romans chapter 5, verse 12: Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.
Reading from the ESV, Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned. Death spread to all men, and of course women.
Not only the 50 million who died worldwide in 1918, or the 100,000 who died here in the United States, “sin” caused death to spread unto all people. That means all progeny – every person born would receive a death sentence from the beginning of creation.
I will now read verse 18 of Romans 5: Therefore as by the offence of one judgement came upon all men to condemnation, even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. The ESV reads, Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all.
Within this one verse, we see the most extreme contrast in all of scripture, because of our Father’s mercy through his dear Son.
So let’s go back to the Garden of Eden to reflect upon what we already know. Verses 16 and 17 of Genesis 2: And the LORD commanded the man, saying. Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat. But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shall not eat of it, for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
We know that the line of demarcation – the fateful transition – between the Man and Woman being very good and having a sinful nature, is verse 6 of Genesis 3. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat.
Reading the rest of chapter 3, all of the consequences are revealed that would befall both Adam and Eve and the rest of humanity – even verse 19 ... the death pronouncement. In the sweat of thy face shall thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground for out of it wast thou taken, for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
We see the benevolent mercy of our Father in this chapter because before all that would condemn mankind, our Father gives the remedy, the antidote if you will. It involves the first prophecy of his Son, and the way out of this devastating situation that would involve everyone who was born, and who had lived from the beginning of time: And I will put enmity between thee and the women, and between thy seed, and her seed, it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise this heel. Genesis 3: 15.
It’s not like today, with the disease that we have presently, that it comes upon us and scientists have to scramble the best that they can to find a cure. Our Father puts forth the cure before he states that now this is what you have to deal with.
I stand in awe of such benevolent mercy; that really defies description.
The Edenic Covenant given here to the first Man and Woman to partake of the covering of skins provided by God to cover them would be given freely to those of the Old Testament by faith and obedience. To those of the New Testament to our present day, it would be by taking on the saving grace of Jesus Christ through the waters of baptism.
Dear Brethren, this should be the greatest single motivating factor for all of us.
The benevolent mercy that our Father has bestowed upon us, that he has extended freely to all who fear him and keep his commandments is stated as the conclusion of the matter that Solomon declares in Ecclesiastes 12: 13.
The pathway that all must follow, then, is written here: Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings to us so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Hebrews 12: 1.
We know why.
But we have to continually remind ourselves of the why. Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith [the author and finisher of it – Hebrews 12: 2, KJV] who for the joy set before him endured the cross despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
No one knows the day nor the hour when our master will return. One thing that we do know without a shadow of a doubt is that he is going to return.
Our Father has a specific time and date for this to occur as stated in Acts 17: 31. Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
You and I have to be ready at all times, for we can be taken as described by the angels, in Matthew 24 verse 31. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds from one end of heaven to the other.
Or if any one of us falls asleep in his service, there will be a resurrection again to life.
In order for all of us to be vigilant in the service of our Father, and His Son we must continually reflect on the single greatest motivating factor every day that we described earlier... understanding the path that our Master went through in order for all of us to be a partaker of the mercy that we have been so graciously given.
In one single chapter (Isaiah 53) which we have been over and over many times, we have the synopsis of the life, the struggles, the humiliation, the love for us and his Father, and the ratifying of the covenant that began as we stated, in the Garden.
To repeat: it is an account of our Father giving the cure, the vaccine, the antidote, before the pronouncement of the penalty that he placed upon both the Man and the Woman.
As our Father and our God told the Israelites in Exodus 14 verses 13 and 14, Fear not; stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. The LORD shall fight for you and you shall hold your peace.
We are given a promise in Psalm 34 verse 7: That the angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.
In these unparalleled times that we are living in, and in each corner, we are surrounded by this pandemic with its turmoil and chaos; let us take heart that we are being watched over by our Father, and his dear Son. We – you and I – must be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
We must be doing our diligence to make sure to take care of all the protocols, using our common sense as to how we are to conduct our lives in the situations that we are faced with.
As a group of believers, sons, and daughters of God, let us not be afraid of the perils about us, using our ability as Christ-like saints – to be ready and able to bring about the glory of God, as he has shown to us His mercy and grace.
This should be the single most motivating factor in our life.
Romans 6 verse 23 states. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. <> Author: Ralph Diliberto, Burdett, NY, as presented to the Cataumet (MA) Ecclesia, and listeners via its telephonic sharing system.
An eTPL30 Analysis
Washington: April 1, 2020. If everyone has not yet realized it, President Donald Trump is showing a measured shift in tone when discussing the coronavirus pestilence. Yesterday at his daily news conference, he was unusually restrained and clearly enunciated conditions at this time as being as somber – as grave – as we may see them during this current crisis – that of the Chinese coronavirus.
“We are at war; we are in for a very, very painful time, a very tough two weeks ... the death toll could measure in the hundreds of thousands,” he said. It is a grim forecast, but it is reality.
The statement was reminiscent of Winston Churchill who stated at the beginning of WWII, “We have nothing to offer but blood, sweat, and tears.”
He had optimistically predicted two weeks ago that the nation would see a flattening of the curve of the rate of infection of Covid-19 by yesterday ... and that he would be able to relax the nation’s forced closure of activities (businesses closures, and citizens required to stay inside our homes) and its near-total mandate for each of its populace to remain at least six feet apart in public places.
Instead, he gravely extended the urgent measures for another four weeks.
His decision was heavily influenced by what has been observed in New York and New Jersey where the incidence of infection continued to climb sharply. He pointed to new centers of the breakout in New Orleans and Detroit as reflective that it is far too soon to relax the stringent approach to the virus’ containment.
Governor Cuomo of New York, who also holds a daily briefing for people of his state, undertook much the same stance when he said it is “time for each of us to calibrate himself,” meaning to place ourselves in a new mind-set as to our current outlook and lifestyle.
The ombudsmen of the government of Connecticut have mandated that if you do have to go outside your home, you should take all the necessary precautions – and that anyone coming into the state from New York (including New Jersey) must self-isolate for fourteen days. Telephone calls to individuals were clearly meant to be serious in that they asked those who received the calls to “press one” if they understand and will comply.
This is clearly “it” as the president stated.
Many business persons are taking the virus more seriously than ever, generously offering gratis services to folk whose livelihood has been interrupted and whose wages have suddenly come to a halt as well as health workers and first responders.
Uber, the ride-sharing company, has offered free rides to seniors, health-care workers, and disadvantaged folk of all kinds who need food delivery or transportation to hospitals, clinics or other vital service-centers.
Several restaurants in the New York area were highlighted which have been donating large amounts of food to hospital staffs and other vital workers who might have difficulty procuring such necessities.
States which restricted public movement early have seen significant reductions of new cases as reflected in California and Washington state. It is hoped that the same effect can be obtained by holding the course in the remaining states.
It might seem that such ones are taking heed to the admonitions of Proverbs 3, in which the comforting, reassuring Wisdom of Solomon shines forth brightly for times such as these, and are surely excellent instruction to ourselves as we endure these present woes...
Proverbs 3:19 The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. 20 By his knowledge, the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew. 21 My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: 22 So shall they be life unto thy soul and grace to thy neck. 23 Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble. 24 When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet. 25 Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. 26 For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken. 27 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.
Events each day seem to reach new heights. One terrifying outbreak is that 200 sailors on board the USS Theodore Roosevelt have been struck down by Covid-19. The giant aircraft carrier is docked in Guam where the captain is pleading with the navy to get his crew onto dry land and into isolation. The problem is, there are not enough facilities on Guam, so he is urging tent-cities to be constructed where his crew may be cared for. Living conditions on every naval vessel are necessarily compact – crowded – militating toward the spread of any such invader as the coronavirus.
Could future expansion of the virus shut down the mighty US Navy??
But despite the superlatives, the president applies to this Covid-19 pandemic, the 1918 influenza epidemic (pandemic) was a great deal worse. It came at a time when infection control techniques were not well understood, developed and applied. The flu spread like wildfire in army camps, factory towns, rural and urban communities, and universities – and especially within hospitals of the day.
The Spanish Flu of 1918 and the present Covid-19 pandemic have much in common.
Both have come at a time crucial to God’s People the Jews – at a time of expected change for their better status.
In 1918 the British had just liberated Palestine of the day from the Ottoman Turk who had oppressed it for 400 years, freeing it by the British army as the custodian for a future Jewish state (as had been stated by the Balfour Declaration). Today the Jewish nation stands on the threshold of its confrontation with the nations round about, in our opinion, and its long-awaited liberation from their vile attacks and threats. Both are events of divine deliverance and in our opinion, this coming crisis will see the literal return of the LORD Jesus Christ to the earth and to His People at some near-future time.
Neither approaching pandemic was regarded as very serious at their outset.
Neither was well understood.
Both were caused by a mysterious virus which cannot be detected by ordinary means.
The necessary precautions were not taken at the earliest time with either.
Both would have devastating, worldwide effects on entire nations – indeed, on far more nations than those involved in warfare at the time.
Both reached the ends of civilization ... and beyond.
Both taxed available medical facilities beyond their breaking points.
The Spanish Influenza of 1918 – a Video Presentation
There is an extremely well-documented video about the Spanish Flu of about 60-minutes length that is available on YouTube. It is well worth your time to watch.
It will inform you of the dreadful and terrifying process of spreading infection of the Spanish Flu in 1918. Its hyperlink is... https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UDY5COg2P2c
<HEL> ~1200 words. An eTPL30 Analysis Published April 1, 2020
The Panic Builds Worldwide
An eTPL30 Opinion
March 12, 2020. At noon today, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has plunged another 2,000 points, reaching a level nearly 30% off its recent value.
The approaching NCAA Basketball Playoffs will be played before empty stadiums (imagine the ominous squeaking of sneakers on the hardwood being the dominant sound in a cavernous arena hosting tens of thousands of empty seats).
Israel has shut down the operations of El Al, the national airline (imagine Ben Gurion’s terminals completely void of noisy lines of passengers).
The entire nation of Italy is under quarantine (imagine vacant streets in Rome, locked and shuttered opera houses in Florence, a complete cessation of autobahn traffic in the Mont Blanc tunnel, and no traffic into and out of the Vatican).
As the well-tuned functions of international business have been severely disrupted, the US Stock Market has dropped trillions of dollars in value as the Dow Jones Industrial Average precipitously plummeted more than 20 percentage points below recent highs – descending into “bear market” territory for the first time in years after a notable advance of thousands of points in recent time.
This morning it is “down” about 30%.
Since last October-December, Covid-19 has emerged ... and the number of known infections of a rogue strain of the coronavirus has exceeded 100,000 persons worldwide and has prompted the World Health Organization to declare the outbreak a “pandemic,” meaning a disease that has attained worldwide dispersion.
Its mortality level is highly threatening at around 4%.
It has instilled fear in the hearts of men and women all over the world.
The world has been turned upside down.
International leaders are turned aback by developments far beyond their control or management.
A bombastic, dedicated president of the United States has finally met his sinister match by an invisible, inscrutable, finite pathogenic organism that is fatal to a goodly number of persons who contract it, giving him sudden pause ... bringing his frustrated but sober consideration to a plague of monumental proportions that defies all his attempts to bring it to a halt.
Donald John Trump, the 45th president of The United States, has been stifled by an entity that he does not understand and by science that is well beyond his knowledge.
In so saying, we are not criticizing Mr. Trump.
Our comments are not political in any way.
The man has been blessed in his tenure, we believe, because of his considerate treatment of our Father’s People, the Jews of Israel, as they actively gather back into their promised inheritance in these perilous times as commanded by their God.
His achievements of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, of moving the US Embassy to the city, of acknowledging Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and recognizing Israel’s right to annex its own lands in Judea and Samaria which for 2,000 years have been usurped by outsiders – all these deeds have factored into Mr. Trump’s high standing among the more civilized portion of mankind today – and, we believe, in the favor of the God of Israel.
Has the Almighty not long ago stated His irreversible foreign policy in His promise of Genesis 12, that Whoever blesses Israel will be blessed; and whoever curses Israel shall be cursed?
But in opposition to the secret principles of the inscrutable Plan of the Ages, the inveterate Innovator, Mr. Trump, has arrived at a place in which conventional remedies are no longer workable. And it really isn’t his fault.
But it results from his unawareness of the now emerging visible Purpose of our Father – His Biblical edict – that His Land shall not be divided. That His people exclusively have a divine right to their land, and no others.
It is a principle that fractures the prevailing, lately-prominent insistence of “political correctness” which some are striving to apply ... and which will be their ultimate downfall and will finally silence them forever.
His “Deal of the Century” is the most generous solution – the most deferential, the most advantageous to the Pales****** people – that has ever been proposed by far.
Yet it has been met by an immovable wall of resistance from the principally benefitted peoples, the Islamic Arabs of the PLO, of Hamas, of Hezbollah, and of al-Fatah – to a man the adherents of another scrawny deity of the Canaanites called Allah.
The overall effect has been the frustration of all their plans – the stilling of their movement against the Creator of the universe and even of themselves ... and has resulted in the panic that is evident in all nations this day – men’s hearts literally failing them for fear as they begin to comprehend the enormity of the far-reaching threat of this mysterious foe that individually is about the size of a red blood cell, but whose collective effects could easily outpace that of the Black Plague.
Mankind has met his match.
It remains to men and women of goodwill to make the interpretation of these events known to their fellows – to speak to the hearts of the “innocent” victims, many (most) of whom, like those of Noah’s day, give no credence or allegiance to God’s will or word. They are similar to Noah’s neighbors – aptly described as being ... disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. 1Peter 3:20.
The events of the immediate future will be parallel to the destructive waters of the flood of Noah, but will instead consist of the “fire of His wrath” upon the errant populace (2 Peter 3: 7, 12). In that earlier day, God ... spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; 2Peter 2:5.
In our present day, the saved of the LORD shall be more numerous ... but perhaps not by much.
Many are called, yes ... but we are scripturally advised that few are chosen. The nations of the world have been led astray by cunningly revised views of the saving elements of God’s Truth, and therefore know few real facts relating to salvation.
Most of them don’t even know its definition.
So they really have no viable goal in life...
The instructive voice of the true Believer is tantamount to shouting into a wild and stormy wind ... difficult to hear and even harder to understand due to the distracting elements surrounding them. But we continue to strive to publish abroad His Way in the face of such difficulties, for our dear heavenly Father gives the increase entirely separate from our influence or supervision.
<>HEL ~1100 words. An eTPL30 Opinion Published March 12, 2020.
Body Blow Delivered by Covid-19 to USA and World
An eTPL30 Editorial
Monday was a day of shock and awe to the world as the worldwide stock markets plunged sharply, due it was said, to a combination of the coronavirus scare and the sharply decreasing price of crude oil. Russia and Saudi Arabia were supposedly making a deal to limit their production of crude oil, which should have softened the price decrease, when it was announced that Russia had refused to cut production.
It vowed to continue producing crude oil at its former levels.
The announcement caused an immediate response, triggering a sharp decrease of over 20% in the price of West Texas crude to just above $30 per barrel – a price at which the oil producers of most countries are at the break-even point (of no profit) or even below that point. Observers opined that Russia was attempting to bring to a halt the US shale-oil production as it does not make a profit at such price levels. Russia’s continued production, they said, would hold the price down and bring a halt to the US production. The price collapse is likely to trigger the bankruptcies of some marginally-run companies in the production end of Big Oil.
On Tuesday at around 4 a.m. the Dow Jones futures were showing an expected opening at about 750 points in a positive direction. But that figure by noon had dropped to around 20 points in the black. The recovery at that point in time had become insignificant and the world panic continued.
These sobering figures came in the wake of a week of drastically falling stock prices that were triggered by fears of the spread of the Covid-19 virus. These fears seem irrational to our mind in the realization that the US has already suffered the loss of tens of thousands of influenza victims in the current season. But we do understand that the fears are stoked by the realization that Covid-19 is much more infective (more communicative) than the ‘flu.
We believe the weak stability (and later substantial gain) in stock prices today have been the result of financial moves that were taken by President Trump to ease payroll taxes, for one thing, and to urge the availability of millions of test kits for the lethal virus.
We continue to be chagrined that the news media persistently give less than the vital facts about this threat.
We keep hearing that people must “wash their hands,” but we hear nobody saying anything more about that detailed process.
By infection control standards (the writer spent three years intensively involved in that field) one should use the warmest water that is comfortable (not simply cold water) in handwashing, and the process should be prolonged at least thirty seconds – long enough to sing the song, “Mary had a little lamb; its fleece was white as snow. And everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go,” AT LEAST THREE TIMES. It’s a nonsensical suggestion ... but it works every time, and it’s unusual enough to recall readily every time one washes his hands without using a stopwatch.
Also, we have heard no explanation as to why one should avoid touching his face and especially his nose, mouth and eyes. .The reason for that precaution is that the former two are a direct path into our bodies and must be avoided. If the virus is introduced into the eyes it will be washed into the lachrymal ducts which naturally drain excess tears into the upper nasal cavity where it can reside, proliferate and cause harm – where it may be able to enter the bloodstream of the patient and infect him or her.
After that, the virus may lie dormant or multiply for up to 14 to 16 days (its incubation period) before it reveals itself as an infective agent and causes signs and symptoms of the viral illness.
Another simple procedure that should be exercised is the avoidance of crowds, and personal distancing of at least six feet from others if possible. Droplets from sneezing and coughing can easily travel in the air for up to ten feet, so the rationale for such distancing is evident. But it also can survive for varying periods on surfaces of various kinds...
Do not touch handrails of stairways or escalators as these will be grossly contaminated by multiple other people possibly having left their viruses on those surfaces.
If possible, use gloves in touching fomites – which is the technical name of any inanimate object which may be already contaminated: door handles, elevator buttons, cafeteria trays (yes!), steering wheels, shopping carts and so on and on.
After washing hands in a public facility, use a paper towel to pull open the bathroom door and then discard the towel without touching its contaminated surface.
If doors swing outward, push doors open with your elbows or your knuckles (or toe of your shoe) rather than your open hand.
Avoid shaking hands with others but encourage elbow-bumps as a friendly greeting.
Although some such products are nearly entirely useless, wipe hands and shopping cart handles (for example) with the sterilizing hand-wipes that are usually furnished at supermarket entryways. Those that contain isopropyl alcohol are the more effective (you’ll be able to smell its distinctive odor).
Wash hands after handling currency of any kind, either paper or metal or ATM controls and grocery check-out terminals. These are some of the most contaminated fomites known.
If you are traveling, be cautious of hotel bed covers (often not washed for days or weeks) and other items such as faucets, refrigerator door handles, doorknobs, and TV remote controls. Wiping these thoroughly with your own supplied disinfective wipes is always advisable.
Despite their marginal inefficiency, wearing a face mask is not a bad option. Be certain to purchase the type which has a flexible metal band along the top portion so you can mold it to your facial contours (over your nose and cheeks) and ones that fasten by loops over your ears for the best coverage. These should extend back along your jaws as far as possible and fit snugly over your cheeks and chin.
Beards are not advisable as mask protection for bearded individuals is minimal.
The best face masks are the N95 (non-disposable) kind but their cost is greater ($39.99 for a box of up to 20 on one website). They effectively filter out 95% of all particulate matter and “breathe” easily.
The foregoing is not an exhaustive list by any means but is an impromptu list of effective resistance which readily comes to mind when considering respiratory/oral infection control procedures for individuals.
A Crucial Time in which we Live
The “bottom line” is that this is an extremely grave and crucial time in which we live.
But it is even more crucial in another area of consideration: it is obviously that short window of time which Believers have been given to prepare as best they can for the Second Advent of our LORD from heaven. The Fig Tree generation is at its terminal point of 70+ years.
One would think that the subject would be prevalent in every conversation among Believers, but to our knowledge it is not. A casual glance at FaceBook reveals trivial consideration of kids’ activities, cakes baked and marathons run – and rarely a mention of spiritual considerations!
Every exhortation on Sunday morning should concern, in our opinion, the imminence of our LORD’s coming and the orderly termination of the worldly affairs of every Believer in favor of extreme measures for His appearance. The time is beyond exhausted when the exhortations may be about such mundane affairs as “interesting” histories or word studies from the O. T. which do not relate to the Second Coming. These considerations may have been profitable in lesser critical times, but today fade into insignificance as compared to the stark reality that the dispensation of Adam is about to reach its end. Our world is at its terminal point – a fact for which we fervently thank our heavenly Father that He has allowed us to experience.
Our collective sensibilities as Believers perhaps have been inured to this realization – this awareness – because diligent Believers have long expected the LORD’s Second Advent; unfortunately such discussions have become outworn and trite for some (to their detriment).
This imminent expectation should occupy every moment of our attention in these last hours of the end-time. Our attention should be on only one aspiration: being as nearly ready as possible to meet our Master at the last trump, when the responsible dead will be raised from their graves and united with the living Believers to be transported to the secret, sacred place of our Master’s Judgment Bema. <>HEL. ~1400 words. An eTPL30 Editorial Published March 10, 2020.
Worldwide Economic Collapse and Food Shortages a Real Possibility
Serious consideration is being by given by economists that the world may be approaching an economic collapse due to the prevalent convergence of widespread locust plagues and pestilence such as Swine Fever and Covid-19, now coupled with natural disasters (earthquakes, volcanoes, wildfires, typhoons, hurricanes, tsunamis).
The finely-tuned economy of world agriculture production is at extreme hazard as the world unsuspectingly approaches the final days of so-called “normal” life on earth...
It is a scenario clearly revealed in the word of God, in which the prophets wrote of difficulties of unprecedented importance as many widely different factors converge to produce drastic shortfalls of food production producing widespread famine – only one of the end-time factors striking fear in the hearts of men.
One can read these accounts and readily visualize the intensity of the plagues of locusts, for example, which afflicted Egypt just prior to the Exodus.
Recall that during that series of plagues (cf., Exodus 10), the LORD had sent an enormous hailstorm that had devastated the land. It was immediately followed by a locust swarm such as had never been seen in Egypt. And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, that they may come up upon the land of Egypt, and eat every herb of the land, even all that the hail hath left. Exodus 10:12.
The following verses describe the devastation ... fully similar to that of Ethiopia and Sudan of today, but stated in this text to be the worst locust swarm in world history: Exodus 10:13 And Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and the LORD brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all that night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts.14 And the locusts went up over all the land of Egypt, and rested in all the coasts of Egypt: very grievous were they; before them there were no such locusts as they, neither after them shall be such.15 For they covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened; and they did eat every herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left: and there remained not any green thing in the trees, or in the herbs of the field, through all the land of Egypt.
This plague upon Egypt brought upon that nation in His Judgment, is entirely similar to the events we see today. The world is steadily descending into even deeper depravity and corruption; it is being judged by the Almighty for this evil. Even the Gogian host will be afflicted by the pestilence: Ezekiel 38:22 - And I will plead against him with pestilence...
The dark horse of starvation and famine even now is rearing its ugly head.
Global food production is being retarded and even halted in some regions by many various factors. Weather patterns have deviated widely from “normal,” while enormous locust swarms in Africa and the Mid-East bring unprecedented challenges to adequate food production.
Due to a huge outbreak of Swine Fever in China, a lot less food is being produced, creating a serious shortfall of edible meats.
China is struggling with the worst outbreak of African Swine Fever in recorded history. The disease, so far, does not infect humans, but it is highly virulent and spreads rapidly among herds of pigs similar to wildfire entirely out of control.
There is no available vaccine and no effective medical remedy for the disease. Once it starts infecting pigs in a given area the only “cure” is to sacrifice the entire pig population and burn their carcasses in a drastic effort to prevent its spread to other areas.
China has suffered an untold loss. The New York Times reports that the number of pigs that have been destroyed in China is “nearly one-quarter of all the world’s pigs....”
The current outbreak was discovered in Liaoning Province in early August 2018. One year later the entire swine population of China had dropped by forty percent!
The gravity of this report is emphasized by the fact that China accounts for more than half of the swine production worldwide.
China is not alone in being impacted by Swine Fever; the disease has cropped up “in fifty countries” and, though to our knowledge not yet seen in North America, American and Canadian farmers fear just what would happen if the epizootic disaster arrives on this continent.
The problem is exacerbated by the reality that even in the best of times the world’s farmers struggle to feed everyone on the planet; there are always pockets of starvation somewhere on the earth. This latest series of compromises will doubtless result in even greater, more critical shortages (and much higher prices) for the remaining food stocks.
The serious threats come at a time in which the USA as well as other key players such as Israel are diverted by their fanatical devotion to politics so that these grave “natural disasters” have been underreported...
Adding to the ruinous events, Australia has experienced extremely hot and dry weather that helped fuel horrific wildfires all over the continent. The key nation’s agricultural production will suffer an immense shortfall (the worst in its history) according to official estimates given out last week. Sorghum, sugar cane, cotton, and rice production will fall to about two thirds the normal this crop year ... serious implications for one of the recognized breadbaskets of the world.
For the first time in history by a “large margin,” Australia will not be able to export wheat (the level of sales in 2018/19 was nine million tons of wheat exported); instead, it has now started to import wheat on a large scale.
If the rest of the world were functioning on a normal level the shortfalls of Australia could be absorbed with insignificant effect ... but such is not the case.
At this moment, billions upon billions of locusts are voraciously decimating the farms of eastern Africa and the Middle East – stretching as far, potentially, as Afghanistan.
As we have reported in a Circular Letter of some weeks ago, these giant swarms of locusts are often the size of large cities and travel up to 100 miles per day foraging for food.
Incredibly, they can consume the entire crop of a medium-sized farm within 30 seconds. Their prevalent murmuration sends chills down the spines of witnesses to their devastation.
The official opinion is that these plagues will worsen over the next several months; one estimate is that the swarms could become five hundred times larger than at the present time – a condition that is unimaginable.
And now another serious factor – the emergence of an entirely new virulent microorganism – Covid-19 – the corona virus. The disruption of this potential pandemic, if it develops to that extent, adds to the present crisis by disrupting the chain of supply of various goods and services to the world community, including (as we have pointed out recently) the interruption of many vital medicinal compounds which are produced ONLY in China – estimated to be about 340 compounds – that cannot be sourced from any other area on earth. The world medical community is extremely worried about this possibility – and all the rest of us should be, too.
We pray for the outcome that our heavenly Father intends as He guides the affairs of mankind, meting out punishment where He sees fit, and rewards ... which seem to be few at the present time. May His will be done ... quickly ... decisively – fulfilling His righteous will.
<>HEL. Abstract of the original article in Economic Collapse Blog. ~1300 words. Published in eTPL, February 24, 2020