“The Enemy Is Within.”

•January 30, 2021 • Leave a Comment
Pelosi: 'The Enemy Is Within the House of Representatives'

“The Enemy Is Within,” says Nancy Pelosi in reference to the Republican ranks.

Pelosi made the remarks during a Thursday news conference while reassuring the more than than 30 lawmakers who penned a letter to the speaker and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy this week looking for more personal security resources. The ask was prompted by a rise in threats directed at lawmakers after the insurrection on January 6th.

When asked to expand on what she meant by “the enemy is within” she responded: “We have members of Congress who want to bring guns on the floor and have threatened violence on other members of Congress.”

Pelosi did not state names of colleagues who might be a threat during follow-up questions, but she did mention the incident when Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) was caught attempting to sneak a gun into the House chamber after the deadly riot at the Capitol.

Parkland families call for Marjorie Taylor Greene's resignation after posts surface showing she agreed shooting was a 'false flag'
GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene:”She’s a traitor to our country, she’s guilty of treason.” 

CNN’s KFile, in a report on her online activity, said GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., allegedly “liked” a comment on her Facebook page in 2019 that threatened Pelosi life and other Democrats.

Her comments come after Republicans have tried, in recent days, to bring their guns on the House floor, despite the addition of a metal detector at the chamber door. Some Republicans are bypassing the metal detector altogether.

abcNEWS / CNN

“I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hid from Me; for now, O Ephraim, thou committest whoredom, and Israel is defiled” Hosea 5:3

China warns Taiwan of War

•January 30, 2021 • Leave a Comment

China sharpens language, warns Taiwan that independence means war.

Excerpts from REUTERS By Tony MunroeYew Lun Tian January 28, 2021

BEIJING (Reuters) – China toughened its language towards Taiwan on Thursday, warning after recent stepped up military activities near the island that “independence means war” and that its armed forces were acting in response to provocation and foreign interference.

China deploys two new aircraft carriers to stoke tensions with US after  warning of a 'new cold war'

Taiwan, claimed by China as its own territory, reported multiple Chinese fighter jets and bombers entering its southwestern air defence identification zone last weekend, prompting Washington to urge Beijing to stop pressuring Taiwan.

China believes that Taiwan’s democratically-elected government is moving the island towards a declaration of formal independence, though Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has repeatedly said it is already an independent country called the Republic of China, its formal name.

Asked at a monthly news briefing about the air force’s recent activities, Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said Taiwan is an inseparable part of China.

China State Media Blames U.S. for Stirring Trouble in Taiwan: 'When the  U.S. Calms Down, It Will Calm Down'

“The military activities carried out by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in the Taiwan Strait are necessary actions to address the current security situation in the Taiwan Strait and to safeguard national sovereignty and security,” he said.

“They are a solemn response to external interference and provocations by ‘Taiwan independence’ forces,” he added.

Wu said a “handful” of people in Taiwan were seeking the island’s independence.

“We warn those ‘Taiwan independence’ elements: those who play with fire will burn themselves, and ‘Taiwan independence’ means war,” he added.

Taiwan’s Defence Ministry reported six Chinese air force aircraft, including four J-10 fighter jets, flew into its air defence zone on Thursday, close to the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands at the top end of the South China Sea.

The weekend Chinese incursions coincided with a US carrier battle group entering the disputed South China Sea to promote “freedom of the seas”.

China warns Taiwan 'independence means war' after stepped up military  activities near the island

How the US Could Lose a War With China by The Atlantic.

It’s not that the Chinese Communist Party would take over Washington. But in its own region, China has the advantage. by KATHY GILSINAN July 26, 2019

If a war broke out between the United States and China, the clash between two of the world’s most powerful militaries would be horrific. And the United States could very well lose.

That’s a concern among current and former defense officials and military analysts, one of whom told Breaking Defense earlier this year that in war games simulating great-power conflict in which the United States fights Russia and China, the United States “gets its ass handed to it.”

Why Taiwan Is the Biggest Risk for a U.S.-China Clash: QuickTake - Bloomberg

Speaking at the Aspen Security Forum last week, Admiral Philip Davidson, who oversees U.S. military forces in Asia, called China “the greatest long-term strategic threat to the United States and the rules-based international order.” He described China’s rapid military buildup in nearly every domain—air, sea, land, space, and cyber—and said that while China’s capabilities don’t outnumber America’s in the region for now, it’s possible they could overtake the United States’ within the next five years.

But the sheer number of ships, missiles, planes, and people doesn’t tell the whole story. What already gives the Chinese the advantage is geography.

AN AUTOPSY OF JERUSALEM IN THE AD 70 INFERNO

•January 29, 2021 • Leave a Comment

The Lord shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee until He have consumed thee from off the land whither thou goest to possess it.
The Lord shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart; and thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness (Deuteronomy 28:21, 28-29)
I create darkness; I create evil; I, the Lord, do all these things (Isaiah 45:7).

Matthew 10:34 “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth. I came not to send peace, but a sword.

AN AUTOPSY OF JERUSALEM IN THE AD 70 INFERNO

Image result for fall of jerusalem in ad 70An autopsy (also known as a post-mortem examination or necropsy) is the examination of the body of a dead person and is performed primarily to determine the cause of death, to identify or characterize the extent of disease states that the person may have had, or to determine whether a particular medical or surgical treatment has been effective.

Spiritually and physically Jerusalem faced its death in AD 70 but nobody has asked and wondered why? Have the warnings from the Prophets were of no effect? Why such a silence?

For the Lord promised:

Ye shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the Lord. Leviticus 18:5

And this promise was reinstated later by Moses before Israel entered the Promised Land:

That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey His voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto Him; for He is thy life and the length of thy days, that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord swore unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them. Deuteronomy 30:20

And elsewhere:

Whosoever shall be wanting, he shall not live. II King 10:19

But Thou, O God, shalt bring them down into the pit of destruction; bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days. Psalms 55:23

But it shall not be well with the wicked; neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow, because he feareth not before God. Ecclesiastes 8:13

For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law: that “the man who doeth those things shall live by them. Roman 10:5

And in a form of a question:

Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die, saith the Lord God, and not that he should return from his ways and live? Ezekiel 18:23

Certainly the answer is that the righteous will live and the wicked shall die by fire. And this principle is reaffirmed in the New Testament, which is built on the foundation of the Old Testament:

“I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I cometh, the straps of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose. He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with FIRE (pyr g4442). 17 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor and will gather the wheat into His garner; but the chaff He will burn with FIRE (pyr g4442) unquenchable.” Luke 3:16-17

Christ came as lamb, but He could come with wrath too:See the source image

Psalm 2:12 Kiss the Son, lest He be angry and ye perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. — Yes, the Son could have wrath, too.

Isaiah 5:4 What could have been done more to My vineyard than I have not done in it? Why, when I looked for it to bring forth good grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? John Gill: “what is further or hereafter to be done to my vineyard”, and “I have not done in it?” that is, by way of punishment; I have reproved and chastised them, but all in vain; what remains further for me (to do), because of their ingratitude and unfruitfulness? I will utterly destroy them as a nation and church;

5 “And now, I will tell you what I will do to My vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down.

Gill: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; that is, the vineyard shall be eaten by the wild beasts that will enter into it, when the hedge is taken away; or “it shall be burnt”; that is, the hedge, being a hedge of thorns.

6 And I will lay it waste; it shall not be pruned nor dug, but there shall come up briers and thorns. I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.”

Calvin: I will lay it waste. God will not take pains to dig and prune it, and consequently it will become barren for want of dressing; briars and thorns will spring up to choke its branches; and, what is more, by withholding rain, God will dry up its roots. — “I will deprive you of all my blessings.”

See the source imageThe above Scriptures are all setting the stage for the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70.

And here it is expressed in a question:

Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? Shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it? Amos 3:6

And the answer is obvious: that God sits on His Throne, giving warnings about the soon coming destruction of Jerusalem.

But why?

Forty Years earlier, John the Baptist warned that the Son of God was prophesied to Baptize His subject with Fire:

Matthew 3:11 I indeed baptized you with water unto repentance, but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear. He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with FIRE.

Luke 3:16 John answered, saying unto them all, “I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I cometh, the straps of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose. He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with FIRE.

Luke 9:54 And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, wilt Thou that we command FIRE to come down from heaven and consume them, even as Elijah did?” 55 But He turned and rebuked them and said, “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. 56 For the Son of Man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” And they went to another village.

Note: As Elijah did (II Kings 1:10,12).

Like Chaff with Unquenchable Fire

Matthew 3:12 His fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His threshing floor and gather His wheat into the garner; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

Luke 3:17 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor and will gather the wheat into His garner; but the chaff He will burn with fire unquenchable.”

Luke 23:27 And there followed Him a great company of people, and of women who also bewailed and lamented Him.
28 But Jesus, turning unto them, said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.
29 For behold, the days are coming in which they shall say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore and the breasts which never gave suck.’
30 Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’
31 For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?”

These warnings were for the Events leading to the Atrocities of Jerusalem in AD 70.

What Happened in AD 70, Forty Years after Christ’s Death?

Titus’ Siege of Jerusalem began in April 14, AD 70

On 14 April 70, during Passover, General Titus laid siege to Jerusalem. To the northeast of the old city, on Mount Scopus, the legions XII Fulminata and XV Apollinaris shared a large camp; V Macedonica was camped at a short distance. When X Fretensis arrived from Syria, it occupied the Mount of Olives, in front of the Temple. The soldiers of these legions, each of around five thousand soldiers during the first century, had a special incentive to fight: they had been defeated by the Zealots in 66 AD, and had Jerusalem controlled by Judean rebel factions and they wanted revenge.

Image result for death of jerusalem in ad 70 picsDuring this same Passover, One Zealot leader, Eleaser, allowed all inhabitants to perform their religious duties in the Temple. The festival, however, was spoiled by other militias who took swords with them and forced some Romans into surrender. Despite early successes in repelling the Roman sieges, the Zealots fought amongst themselves, and they lacked proper leadership, resulting in poor discipline.

The Roman attack served to unite the militias, who started to make sorties, but failed to destroy the new weapon that the Romans had prepared: siege towers. These were taller than the walls and enabled the legionaries to throw missiles on the defenders of the walls; when the latter tried to evade the missiles, the battering-rams could do their work. After fifteen days, the wall collapsed, and the Jews withdrew from Bezetha to their second wall. Titus ordered an all-out attack on this wall. The militias were able to ward off for four days, but on the fifth day the second wall yielded to the violence of the battering-rams.

Fighting continued in the streets of Jerusalem, where the defenders inflicted heavy losses upon the Romans, who were forced to retire through the breach to Bezeth, a suburb north and north-west of the Temple, built opposite the tower Antonia. After four days of heavy fighting, the latter again managed to drive away the Jews from the second wall, which was immediately destroyed.

Titus now decided upon a show of strength, staged an army parade. Meanwhile, his adviser Flavius Josephus was to talk to the men on the walls, trying to induce them to surrender. The Jewish leaders were not impressed by the arguments of the turncoat, and on the fifth day, the Roman soldiers renewed the struggle: they started to build four large siege dams, aimed at the Antonia fortress. (It was to be taken by force, because it had large stores and two great cisterns.)

Image result for death of jerusalem in ad 70 picsThe Romans knew that their enemies would fight for every inch of their city, and understood that the siege of Jerusalem would take a long time. Therefore, Titus changed his plans. There were signs that the supplies of Jerusalem were giving out: some Jews had left the city, hoping to find food in the valleys in front of the walls. Many of them had been caught and crucified – some five hundred every day. The soldiers took pleasures by nailing their victims in different postures, while for others they decided to starve them into surrender. In three days, Jerusalem was surrounded with an eight kilometer long palisade. All trees within fifteen kilometres of the city were cut down.

The death rate among the besieged increased. Soon, the Kidron valley and the Valley of Hinnom were filled with corpses. One defector told Titus that their number was estimated at 115,880. Desperate people tried to leave Jerusalem. When they had succeeded in passing their own lines and had not been killed by Roman patrols, they reached the palisade. One of the defectors was the famous teacher Yohanan ben Zakkai, who escaped in a coffin and saved his life by predicting Titus that he, too, would be an emperor.

Since there was no wood, the construction of new siege dams to attack the Antonia took three weeks. A sortie of weakened Jewish warriors had no success. Soon, the sound of the battering-rams was to be heard, and one night, a wall of the Antonia collapsed; but the legionaries discovered that a new wall had been built behind the breach. The Antonia had to be taken by other means.

During a dark night at the beginning of July, twenty-four Roman soldiers climbed the walls of the castle, killed the guard, and sounded a trumpet. The garrison of Antonia overestimated the number of enemies; many fled to the Temple. At the same time, Titus ordered his men to enter the mine that the militias had made. At three o’ clock in the morning, these men entered the fortress; after ten hours of fighting, they had driven all the militias away.

See the source imageOn 14 July, prisoners told the militias that the priests in the Temple had been forced to interrupt the daily sacrifices, which had greatly demoralized the defenders of Jerusalem. The Antonia was demolished. The stones were used to build a new dam, this time towards the Temple terrace. The Romans used the dam to set fire to the porticoes on the northern and western side of the terrace, but it was impossible to bash through the walls. On the tenth of August, the Temple itself was set on fire. Six thousand women and children were taken prisoner at the Court of the Gentiles, while the legionaries sacrificed to their standards in the Holy of Holies.

The Temple was set on fire. During the next few days, the Romans destroyed the archives, the quarter immediately south of the Temple, and the building where the Sanhedrin convened. Then, they descended into the Old City. Meanwhile, dams had been prepared to attack the palace; when Titus’ men had taken it, the last defenders managed to hide themselves in the sewer system but to no avail. By 8 September, Titus was master of what was left of the city.

On his return to Rome, Vespasian, Titus and their soldiers celebrated a triumph. They paraded through the streets of their capital in a beautiful procession, which culminated in the punishment of the Jewish leaders: Simon son of Giora was executed and John of Gischala was sentenced to life imprisonment. The sacred vessels, the table on which the Bread of God’s Presence had been put, the Menorah, the curtain and all the other objects that nobody except the high priest was allowed to see, were carried through the Roman streets.

See the source image

The boundless riches from the Temple treasury were used to strike coins with the legend JUDAEA CAPTA (“Judaea defeated”). Any Roman would be reminded of their victory. The Jews were forced to pay an additional tax (fiscus Judaicus).

During the four years of war, the Romans had taken 97,000 prisoners. Thousands of them were forced to become gladiators and were killed in the arena, fighting wild animals or fellow gladiators. Some, who were known as criminals, were burned alive. Others were employed at Seleucia, where they had to dig a tunnel. But most of these prisoners were brought to Rome, where they were forced to build the Forum of Peace (a park in the heart of Rome) and the Colosseum. The Menorah and the Table were exhibited in the temple of Peace.

But which sects had escaped death? History recorded only two sects that escaped the inferno of AD 70:

(1) The Christians, known as Nazarenes in Acts 24:5. They escaped to a northern town called Pella, west of the Jordan River.
(2) Some Pharisees, those of the House of Hillel. They were headed by a Pharisaic rabbi, Johanan ben Zakkai, the head of the Sanhedrin, who was smuggled out of besieged Jerusalem in a coffin. They escaped to Yavne and, later, his followers re-emerged as Rabbinic Jews, who established the Hillel Calendar, which was revealed by Hillel II in about AD 359 concerning the rules of the calendar.

All other sects of the Jews died and disappeared in the AD 70 inferno: All Sadducees, Herodians, Boethusians, Essenes, together with the House of Shammai Pharisees and those of its military arm, the Zealots. They all disappeared from history. Were they receiving their “fire”? Were these sects facing their sodom and Gomorrah?

Were these “baptised in FIRE” as warned by John the Baptist? We need to note a very important point in this judgment. God included His holy city of Jerusalem in this judgment. He did not exclude them from judgment during the inferno of AD 70.

The Destiny of the Pharisees (Shammites) — Dead

Main characteristics — Rivid rules and penalties; Lack of mercy and grace.

More about the Pharisees HERE

The Destiny of the Sadducees — Dead

Main  characteristics — Passover on the Early Fourteenth; Pentecost counted from the weekly Sabbath.

More about the Sadducees HERE

The Destiny of the Boethusiasms — Dead

Main characteristics — Passover on the Early Fourteenth; Pentecost counted from the weekly Sabbath.

More about the Boethusiasms HERE

The Destiny of the Essenes — Dead

Main characteristics — Different Calendar from one established by the Sandhdrin

More about the Essenes HERE

The word “FIRE” is highlighted above, with a hope that the Blind could finally see. When we look back, one cannot avoid concluding that God had deemed that the Sadducees, the Boethusians and the Essenes were worthy of extinction during the AD 70 INFIRNO. Everything about them were destroyed. A large portion of the Shammai Pharisees also followed suit; only the Christians survived by fleeing to Pella and the Hillel branch of Pharisees limped off to Yavne.

See the source imageAnd these are the verses in Ezekiel repeated and expanded here for reflection. The message of Ezekiel was and is to the House of Israel. Ezekiel was already a captive when he gave the warning, “I was among the captives by the River of Chebar” Eze 1:1 so his warning was not for those already in Babylon but for those far beyond his time.

Ezekiel 3:17 “Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore hear the word out of My mouth, and give them warning from Me.
18 When I say unto the wicked, ‘Thou shalt surely die,’ and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way to save his life, the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
19 Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.
20 Again, when a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die. Because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
21 Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.” Ezekiel 3:17-21

Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die, saith the Lord God, and not that he should return from his ways and live? Ezekiel 18:23

And I gave them My statutes and showed them My judgments, which if a man obey, he shall even live in them. Ezekiel 20:11

But the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness. They walked not in My statutes and they despised My judgments, which if a man does them, he shall even live; and My Sabbaths they greatly polluted. “‘Then I said I would pour out My fury upon them in the wilderness to consume them. Ezekiel 20:13

Zechariah 12:9 And it shall come to pass in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.10 And I will pour upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of grace and of supplication; and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him as one who is in bitterness for his firstborn.

Although in mourning and in grief, the Jewish Orthodoxy survive, but would those from the Church of God Communities survive?  By adhering to the same belief of Passover and methodology of counting Pentecost of the Sadducees and Boethusians, would they repeat history by following their fate?

If not, why not? What other features and characteristics are there for the end-time Church other than wretched, blind and naked? Is God going to spew them out of His mouth? What does that mean? And not into the FIRE?

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Leviticus 26: Time to Reflect On

•January 29, 2021 • Leave a Comment

The LORD spoke to Ephraim, the HEAD of the Ten Lost Tribes:

Leviticus 26:15 and if ye shall despise My statutes, or if your soul abhor My judgments so that ye will not do all My commandments, but that ye break My covenant,

16 I also will do this unto you: I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague that shall consume the eyes and cause sorrow of heart; and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.

17 And I will set My face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies; they that hate you shall reign over you, and ye shall flee when none pursueth you.

18 And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto Me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.

19 And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron and your earth as brass.

20 And your strength shall be spent in vain; for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits.

21 “‘And if ye walk contrary unto Me and will not hearken unto Me, I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins.

22 I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children and destroy your cattle and make you few in number, and your highways shall be desolate.

23 “‘And if ye will not be reformed by Me by these things, but will walk contrary unto Me,

24 then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins.

25 And I will bring a sword upon you that shall avenge the quarrel of My covenant; and when ye are gathered together within your cities I will send the pestilence among you, and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy.

26 And when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver you your bread again by weight; and ye shall eat and not be satisfied.

27 “‘And if ye will not for all this hearken unto Me, but walk contrary unto Me,

28 then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.

29 And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat.

30 And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcasses upon the carcasses of your idols; and My soul shall abhor you.

31 And I will make your cities waste and bring your sanctuaries unto desolation, and I will not smell the savor of your sweet odors.

32 And I will bring the land into desolation, and your enemies who dwell therein shall be astonished at it.

33 And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you; and your land shall be desolate and your cities waste.

34 “‘Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate and ye are in your enemies’ land; even then shall the land rest and enjoy her sabbaths.

35 As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest, because it did not rest in your sabbaths when ye dwelt upon it.

36 And upon them that are left alive of you, I will send a faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies; and the sound of a shaken leaf shall chase them; and they shall flee as fleeing from a sword, and they shall fall when none pursueth.

37 And they shall fall one upon another, as it were before a sword, when none pursueth; and ye shall have no power to stand before your enemies.

38 And ye shall perish among the heathen, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up.

39 And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies’ lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them.

40 “‘If they shall confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against Me, and that also they have walked contrary unto Me,

41 and that I also have walked contrary unto them and have brought them into the land of their enemies—if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled and they then accept the punishment of their iniquity,

42 then will I remember My covenant with Jacob, and also My covenant with Isaac, and also My covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.

43 The land also shall be left by them, and shall enjoy her sabbaths while she lieth desolate without them; and they shall accept the punishment of their iniquity, because, even because they despised My judgments and because their soul abhorred My statutes.

44 And yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly and to break My covenant with them; for I am the Lord their God.

Clarke: Neither will I abhor them to destroy them utterly – Though God has literally fulfilled all his threatenings upon this people in dispossessing them of their land, destroying their polity, overturning their city, demolishing their temple, and scattering themselves over the face of the whole earth; yet he has, in his providence, strangely preserved them as a distinct people, and in very considerable numbers also.

“The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet” Isaiah 28:3

A Critique of Fred Coulter’s Passover (d)

•January 28, 2021 • Leave a Comment

A Critique of Fred Coulter’s Passover (d)

Passover on the 14th or 15th? 

Fred R. Coulter
Christian Biblical Church of God
Post Office Box 1442
Hollister California 95024-1442

This is a continuation of a Critique of Fred Coulter’s Passover. This Passover controversy is an important Bible subject and we’ll follow it in detail. The main issue is whether the Passover is on the early or late fourteenth of Nisan. Quoted are Fred Coulter’s work, from an internet PDF version. These excerpts are in block form, in PINK, and indented so as to differentiate them from other quotes or comments. The Scriptures, in RED, must be our primary focus and guide, and sometimes the Scriptures, which include the Septuagint and the Targum, say things very different from what we think!

And so with that in mind, we’ll begin:

Chapter 6 – 7

The killing of the Passover lambs took place AT THE BEGINNING of the fourteenth day.  As the thirteenth day of the month drew to a close, all the children of Israel assembled their families and gathered around the lambs, watching the sun set and waiting for the sun to disappear below the horizon.  The instant it dropped below the horizon, ending the thirteenth and beginning ben ha arbayim of the fourteenth, all the children of Israel killed the Passover lambs at precisely the same time!  What a fantastic occurrence!

 As God had commanded, “And the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it BETWEEN THE TWO EVENINGS [Hebrew ben ha arbayim]” (Pg 57).

What is being described above – “watching the sun set waiting for the sun to disappear below the horizon” – resembles the Samaritan Passover! What Hayyim Schauss wrote below about facing WESTWARD toward the setting SUN and about the REJOICING KISSES could complement Fred Coulter’s book:

Image result for the samaritans pics

“Exactly at sunset the High Priest faces westward and reads that portion of the Pentateuch which orders the slaughtering of the Pesach sacrifice. About twelve or fourteen of the younger Samaritans busy themselves, meanwhile, with preparing the sacrificial animals. They form a circle about the pit of fire, holding the lambs between their legs, and as the High Priest utters the words, ‘And the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at dusk,’ they utter a benediction and throw the lambs, throats to the pit, where they are slaughtered by two ritual slaughterers. Six or seven sheep are slaughtered.

“The slaughtering is a signal for general rejoicing. Greetings are exchanged in the oriental manner; the participants kiss one another, first on the right shower and then on the left” (Schauss, The Jewish Festivals, Pg 63).

In reality, the Samaritans, “AT SUNSET” and facing “WESTWARD” are SUN WORSHIPPERS, a syncretic blend of paganism and heresy, and this ancient apostasy is continuing in the CoG (CoGs) Communities today, unabashed.

“At sunset, or ba erev,” according to Fred Coulter, “is a very short period of time. It begins when the sun appears to touch the horizon,” and that’s when the lamb was killed, all simultaneously, during and is no more than 3-5 minutes. “What a fantastic occurrence!” Fred Coulter added his expression as the Samaritans began kissing each other on the shoulders, first on the right , then on the left. 

But note one significant difference. The Samaritans don’t have another sacrifice following one at  ba erev to satisfy ben ha arbayim as expressed in Exodus 12:6. Even the Samaritans are not that foolish, but Fred Coulter would whip out another rabbit from his hat and make another sacrifice. He wrote of others but in reality some of his observations are for himself. Here is one:

“WHAT FOLLY!  What foolishness to accept a traditional belief that directly conflicts with the truth of God’s Word, and to use interpretations of Scripture that promote the false ideas of men!  No wonder God says that He entraps the intelligent in the foolishness of their own human wisdom” (Pg 61).

According to Fred, “there can be no doubt whatsoever that ben ha arbayim comes after ba erev, or sunset.” And he kept on harping his stupidity, “we have found irrefutable proof that ben ha arbayim — “between the two evenings,” or “between the setting-times”—begins immediately after the day has ended at sunset, or ba erev.” 

Miami Jewish Film Festival: 2001 Films

His analysis requires two rabbits for his passover, called Fred Coulter’s passover, one for his analysis of Exodus 12:6 ben ha arbayim and the other to satisfy his definition of Deuteronomy 16:6 ba erev. Like a magical touch of Simon Magus, it’s another slight of hand. And together with most of today’s Churches of God Communities, they also believe the same magic. It’s no surprise they came from the same homeland — from Samaria. 

“Ephraim compasseth me with lies, and the house of Israel with deceit” Hosea 11:12.

“And the head of Ephraim is Samaria” Isaiah 7:9 

The Churches of God Communities may fervently consider themselves as virgins, waiting, waiting, but they haven’t realized they are being described elsewhere as “wretched” and “blind” and “naked,” and lies!

But the House of Israel continue with their deep-seated hatred of their brother Judah:

“Manasseh, Ephraim; and Ephraim, Manasseh; and they together shall be against Judah. For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still” Isaiah 9:21.

The Orthodoxy Rabbinic interpretation as to when to correctly kill the lamb is confirmed by the work of Ezra: The lamb were indeed killed on the afternoon of the fourteenth and eaten on the night of the fifteenth. The Targum (530 BC to 500 AD), whose origin was during the intertestamental period, translates and explains the eating of the Passover from the Hebrew in Exodus 12 into the vernacular, in a very simple language, and verse 8 is extremely clear: “And you shall eat the flesh on that night, the fifteenth of Nisan . . .” (Targum Exodus 12:8) 

Day / Night | Learn english, English vocabulary, Telling time in english

When the Exile returned from Babylon, Ezra, a Levite and high priest, read and translated the Torah in Hebrew into the common Aramaic language, and he, or other Levites, explained the Torah so the people could understand.

“The Levites … instructed the people in the Law while the people were standing there. They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people understood what was being read” (Nehemiah 8:7–8).

Another way of saying: The Law was read by Ezra, verse by verse, and each verse was followed by a recitation by the Levites into the Aramaic version. Hence in Nehemiah 8:8 Ezra narrated not only the reading of the Law, but the Levites interprete and explain the Torah from Hebrew into the vernacular in Aramaic.

Now on the subject of the true timing of when the quail arrived in the evening, the Rabbinic understanding is that the quail arrived in the afternoon, anytime when the sun moved passed its zenith, until sunset, which is the first phase of erev — this same period could also be described as ben ha arbayim — “between the two evenings,” or “after noon and until nightfall.” During this time of about six hours, it is daylight time and the Israelites wouldn’t have any problem catching the quail, killing them, skinning and cleaning them, cooking and having them for food. There wouldn’t be any problem at all about keeping the Sabbath when it arrived a few hours later.

Also, the Scriptures are silent about the quails appearing six times a week in any manner like manna did for forty years as expressed in Exodus 16:35. In fact, the story of the quail in Numbers 11 strongly hints, especially with a plague involved, that it is a one-off event, or probably, twice. Numbers 11 has a chronological order. It began with “And when the people complained, it displeased the Lord; and the Lord heard it, and His anger was kindled. And the fire of the Lord burned among them, and consumed those who were in the uttermost parts of the camp.”

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-25.png

Despite fire consumed some of them, others still complained: 

Numbers 11:4 And the mixed multitude [Targum: strangers as well as sons of Israel] that was among them fell to lusting. And the children of Israel also wept again and said, “Who shall give us flesh to eat? 5 We remember the fish which we ate in Egypt freely, the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic;

Notice the next verse, this took place when the children of Israel already had manna to eat:

Numbers 11:6 but our soul is dried away. There is nothing at all besides this manna before our eyes.”

While the story of the quails was taking place, the children of Israelites were already having “this manna before our eyes,” speaking with “disdain and contempt of the manna.” So pretending that their bodies lack fresh food, and having no moisture in them (John Gill comments on what “our soul is dried away” means), they murmured and complained. This complaining continued until they weep pitifully in their eyes, so the wrath of God was rekindled again:

Numbers 11:10 Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every man in the door of his tent. And the anger of the Lord was kindled greatly;

So in short, God in anger sent them a month’s supply of quails, so much for them to eat until they came out at their nostrils . . . “And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, before it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord smote the people with a very great plague” (Numbers 11:33).

Sometimes the Masoretic Text is vague on certain issues, but the Targum could shed further light on these uncertainties. Numbers 11 ended with a plague where “the wrath of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord smote the wicked (Targum) people with a very great plague,” (v 33) killing by “a flaming fire from the Lord” (Targum) all those who murmured against Him, being “contemptuous” (Targum) and lusted for flesh to eat, and after eating, and “offered no thanksgiving to Him” (Targum). 

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However, if the quails had continued coming down throughout the 40 years, what about the plague? Was there only one plague regarding eating the quails in all that 40 years? And if so, did the people in later weeks or years stop grumbling?

Or that God had relented in His anger, feeling later that the son of Israel’s grumblings were legitimate compared to one recorded in Numbers 11?

The Scriptures offered no clear answer, but indications are that it was a one-off event, or only twice.

Also, the Targum in Numbers 11 confirms the time “all that day and all that night and all the next day” (v 32) was actually the time spent on waiting, watching and when the quails came, the catching and gathering the quails. No other details were given but Scriptures commented that the gathering of the quails was so great that the catch could last not just a week or two, but a whole month’s supply.  

The story of the quails has nothing to say about the time preceded by the Sabbath, disproving Fred Coulter’s sole hypothesis “that ben ha arbayim comes after ba erev”:

Thus says the Targum:

“And they who had been wanting in faith arose: and all that day, and all the night, and all the day that followed, they gathered the quails; even he who was lame and infirm gathered ten korin (ten donkeys’ loads), and they spread them abroad round about the camps” (Targum: Numbers 11:32).

And after this incident, no repeat of the quail’s appearance were ever mentioned again. The story of the quails is about a contemptuous, a wicked and a lusting people, offering no thanksgiving to Him that fed them, thus deserving a death penalty by a flaming fire from the Lord – all hinting that Numbers 11 was the final event. 

Below are more Scriptural evidence that the quails didn’t arrive again:

Deuteronomy 8:3 And He humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know, that He might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live. — no mention of quails but manna only.

Deuteronomy 8:16 who fed thee in the wilderness with manna which thy fathers knew not, that He might humble thee and that He might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end; — no mention of quails but manna only.

Joshua 5:12 And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more, but they ate of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year. — surely this incident would include the quails if quail arrivals had occurred throughout the forty years in the wilderness; also no mention of the ceasing of quails before entering the Promised Land but manna only.  

Nehemiah 9:20 Thou gavest also Thy good Spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not Thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst. — no mention of quails but manna only. 

Psalm 78:24 and had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven. — again, no mention of quails but manna only. 

Gambel's Quail | Audubon Field Guide

In the New Testament, no mention of quails were ever mentioned. Only manna were mentioned a couple of times. However there is only one Scripture in the Old Testament that has quails in it and that it maybe of interest to take a closer look:

Psalm 105:40 The people asked, and He brought quails and satisfied them with the bread of heaven. — The people asked [grumbled, lusted] for fresh, and God brought quails but satisfied them only with the bread of heaven. The “bread of heaven” is manna. Again no mention of quails to satisfy them, but they were satisfied only manna from heaven. The quails were not from heaven.

John Gill, however, thought the quails appeared twice. He commented on Psalm 105:40: “the people of Israel asked flesh of the Lord, and he gave them quails; which he did twice, first at the same time the manna was first given, Exodus 16:13, and some years after that a second time, when the wrath of God came upon them and slew them while their meat was in their mouths, Numbers 11:31.”

Regardless of the quails appearing once or twice, the story of the quails is about a contemptuous, a wicked and a lusting people, offering no thanksgiving to Him that fed them, thus deserving a death penalty by a flaming fire from the Lord. Whether it was a one-off event or twice it wouldn’t make a difference. All these bad attributes mentioned above brought about their downfall, a lesson they needed to learn to be content, be humble and be thankful with having manna for the rest of their forty years wandering in the desert.

Besides flouting and stigmatizing the Rabbinic understanding of evening (erev), Fred Coulter also redefines what morning (bôqer) is in Genesis 1:5 And the evening (erev) and the morning (bôqer) were the first day. Such a day is a full 24-hours day. And this 24-hour day is divided into evening  (erev) and morning (bôqer), each could only be a 12-hour period. The full extent of time for evening (erev) is from noon to midnight; and the full extent of time for morning (bôqer) is another 12-hour period, from midnight to noon.

~~7~~

Up to Chapter 7 of Fred Coulter’s The Christian Passover, we can see the author had quoted a lot from Everett Fox’s translation and from the Schocken Bible. And both sources translate boqer as “until sunrise” or “UNTIL DAYBREAK,” (pg 71) or “beginning at the crack of dawn,” (pg 77). 

Flashback to Chapter 6, Fred Coulter wrote:

These two key verses must be kept in mind: “…And none of you shall go out of the door of his house UNTIL SUNRISE….And the children of Israel went away and did as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron; so they did” (Ex. 12:22, 28). (Pg 64).

The Schocken Bible conveys the directness of the command even more emphatically and pinpoints the exact time that they were permitted to leave their houses: “…Now you—you are NOT to go out, any man from the entrance to his house, UNTIL DAYBREAK” (Ex. 12:22, SB). (Pg 65).

And this is repeated in Chapter 7:

God strictly forbade any Israelite to leave his house until sunrise.  The Schocken Bible conveys the precise meaning of the Hebrew word boqer, showing the exact time at which the children of Israel were permitted to leave: “Now you—you are not to go out, any man from the entrance to his house, UNTIL DAYBREAK” (Ex. 12:22, SB). ( Pg 71)

Morning, or boqer, does not include any part of the night, or lailah. Boqer begins with the first light of dawn, just before the sun rises above the horizon. Nowhere in Scripture is there any indication that boqer is “long before sunrise” or “the latter portion of the night.”  The Scriptures never refer to the dark hours after midnight as boqer, or “morning.” (Pg 78)

So who is Everett Fox, since he is greatly admired by Fred Coulter? And who are behind the Schocken Bible? Since Fred had quoted principally from Fox’s translation and the Schocken Bible we’ll take a deeper dive to find out more. Aren’t you curious? I am sure we all do.

About Our Services and Service Leaders
Rabbis Everett and Cherie Fox

Everett Fox spent years at Brandeis University as a college student, majoring in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies. He is the husband of Jewish educator, Rabbi Cherie Koller-Fox (a Jewish feminist), yet he is described, at best, as a conservative Jewish scholar.

Although he studied at the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) of America in New York for only one and a half years at the Seminary, the influence from the reform-minded Seminary had a deep impact on him, as evidence showed in his translation of the Bible, published by Schocken Books. And they all teamed up to publish the Schocken Bible (described as an offshoot of the Buber-Rosenzweig translation), from which Fred Coulter quoted extensively.

The JTS seminary was started by Rabbi Zecharias Frankel (1801-1875) who was a leading figure in mid-19th Century German Jew. Known both for his traditionalist views and the esteem he held for scientific study of Judaism. Frankel was, ironically, at first considered a conservative within the nascent Reform Judaism Movement. 

The Reform Judaism Movement, or Reform Judaism, or sometimes just the Reform Movement advocates that Jewish laws are not static, but rather have always developed in response to changing conditions. In his endeavour, Frankel amassed scholarly support which showed one must be open to a changing environment and developing Judaism in the same evolving fashion that the law should be reinterpreted, and as a way of restoring meaning to modern life.

Jewish Theological Seminary

Although the Jewish Theological Seminary of America was alleged to be a product of the Reform Movement, it claimed to be “a new rabbinical school” in New York City. There were power struggles between the two, but eventually Reform Judaism gained ground as the Seminary developed a new movement known as Conservative Judaism. This conservatism may not sound conservative — traditionalist, orthodox, conventional — but Reform Judaism were just only taking place at a slower pace. Nevertheless the Jewish Theological Seminary became the primary educational and religious center of Conservative Judaism. 

The central theme for the Conservative Movement is that Jewish Law shouldn’t be regarded as static, but “to reignite a fresh religious insight,” that Rabbinic Judaism be regarded as non-binding and that individual Jew should be regarded as autonomous, and that our perception of Judaism “should incorporate openness to external influences and progressive values” as the years unfold. Concurrently, examining Jewish history and rabbinic literature through the lens of academic criticism, it maintained that these laws were “always subject to considerable evolution, and must continue to do so.”

Conservative Rabbi Amy Eilberg

Thus from the beginning in the 1970s, the topic of women’s ordination was regularly discussed at JTS. A special commission (which consisted of 11 men and three women) was established by the chancellor of the Seminary to study the issue of ordaining women as rabbis. After years of discussion, the JTS faculty voted to ordain women as rabbis and as cantors in 1983. The first female rabbi to graduate from the school (and the first female Conservative Jewish rabbi in the world) was Amy Eilberg, who graduated and was ordained as a rabbi in 1985. The first class of female rabbis that was admitted to JTS in 1984 included Rabbi Naomi Levy, who later became a best-selling author and Nina Beth Cardin, who became an author and environmental activist. Erica Lippitz and Marla Rosenfeld Barugel were the first women ordained as cantors by JTS (and the first female Conservative Jewish cantors in the world). They were both ordained in 1987.

Since March 2007, JTS has accepted openly gay, lesbian, and bisexual students into their rabbinical and cantorial programs. This is to uphold the Seminary’s non-discrimination policies for their new founded admission policy, without taking a stance on same-sex unions. JTS marked the first anniversary of the change with a special program. Since then, special programs were established to recognize the pluralism in the student body. In April 2011, JTS held a Yom Iyyun, or day of learning, about LGBTQ issues, and their intersection with Judaism. Joy Ladin, a transgender woman who teaches English at Yeshiva University, gave a talk about her life. Other programs included creating welcoming communities, and inclusive prayer, among others. It was sponsored by other Jewish social action groups to ensure that all other queer individuals are  included in all sectors of Jewish life. 

Becoming Joy | Princeton Alumni Weekly
Transgender Joy Ladin

Ladin has described her girlhood intuiting at a young age, viewing her assigned male identity as “false” as a child. At age eight, she began calling herself a “pacifist” in order to avoid combative play and athletics.

She received her PhD from Princeton University in 2000, her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1995 and her BA from Sarah Lawrence College in 1982. In 2007, Ladin received tenure at Yeshiva University, and thereafter announced her gender transition. In consternation, the Yeshiva could only place her on 18 month paid leave, but with the aid of lawyers from Lambda Legal, Ladin returned to work at Yeshiva University in 2008.

Since its birth, Reform Judaism had given themselves a new challenge. In an effort to avoid what they perceived as “bondage to Judaism” the Bible has to be reinterpreted in a different way from what the Rabbinic Orthodoxy believes. Thus the Hebrew term ben ha arbayim is reinterpreted as between the setting-times and erev as dusk. And bôqer, which Orthodoxy defined as the time after midnight to noon, is redefined and restricted to daybreak or sunrise. So Passover and the Exodus were redefined to recapture the spirit of the ancient Samaritans, a spirit that persistently looked at Jewish laws and issues not from a static viewpoint, but from an evolving angle.

Biblical and non-Biblical history has recorded a couple of evolving reinterpretations at various times to suit a new social and political environment, each has its own axe to grind:

(1) King Jeroboam — Being anointed King of the Northern Kingdom he quickly felt he needed a new place of worship, lest his subjects could be influenced to pledge their allegiance back to the Kingdom of Judah based on Jerusalem. For the convenience of his subjects, he chose two places: Bethel and Dan. And to differentiate from Jerusalem’s feasts, he moved the Feast of Tabernacles to the eighth month. Also, he made himself the high priest, whose action drove most of the Levites and others in the priesthood south to the Kingdom of Judah.

See the source image

(2) The Samaritans — After the Shalmaneser king of Assyria had taken the Ten Tribes into Exile, he took the surrounding heathens to resettle the land. But lions plagued the new settlers, so they needed a priest from the previous populace to come and teach them how to worship the God of the land. Having secured a returning priest, the new settlers “feared the Lord, but served their own gods, after the manner of the nations who carried them away from thence” (II Kings 17:33). 

(3) Sanballat the Horonite — He was a Samaritan governor and was a chief opponent of Nehemiah and Ezra, and who, with some Jewish allies, constantly fought against Jerusalem and the teaching of Ezra. Failing to infiltrate Jerusalem in the rebuilding Temple activities, he sought consent from the Persian Court to build a similar temple on Mount Gerizim as Nehemiah had done in Jerusalem. And he had one of the grandsons of Eliashib, the high priest in Jerusalem, made a high priest in Mount Gerizim. He was Manasseh, who married a daughter of Sanballat, and was dispelled from Jerusalem for not keeping his lineage pure (Nehemiah 13:28). The Mountain Gerizim was inserted into the Pentateuch to make the new mountain under their control as God’s sacred mountain.

(4) The Sadducees — the Sadducaic sect claimed they drew their name from Zadok, the first high priest of Israel to serve in the First Temple, with further claims they were the “sons of Zadok,” descendants of Eleazar, son of Aaron. Many of the Pharisees were also priests and both participated in the Temple and in the Sanhedrin, so there were intense rivalries battling each other for centuries. The Boethusians and the Herodias had strong blood ties and were close compatriots of the Sadducees.

(5) The Karaites — Anan ben David (715 – 795 or 811?), a nasi, a prince, from a family of exilarchs, the leaders of Babylonian Jewry, was the founder of the Karaite movement. His followers were, at first, called Ananites, but adopted Karaism as their movement. They rejected the Oral law as divinely inspired and because many of their other beliefs were similar to the Sadducees, some claimed they were descendents from them. Nehemia Gordon is a prominent Karaite today among English-speaking audiences.

History of the Reform Movement | Union for Reform Judaism

(6) Reform Judaism — Abraham Geiger (1810 – 1874), a rabbi in Germany,  was considered the founding father of the Reform Movement. Emphasizing Judaism’s constant development along history and universalist traits, Geiger sought to reformulate a new form of Judaism in what he regarded as a religion compliant with modern times. And so he did, splitting Judaism further in varied forms: Reform, Conservative, Progressive, Liberal, Humanistic and Reconstructionist.

(7) Church of God Communities — together with the Church of God, Seventh Day, the Seventh-Day Adventists came from the teachings of William Miller (1782 – 1849), especially the need to keep the seventh-day Sabbath. Next came Herbert W Armstrong who started the Radio Church of God in 1933 (renamed Worldwide Church of God in1968), and Ambassador College in 1947. Following his death in 1986, the church and the college collapsed, and now a couple of its splinters remain, known collectively as the Church of God Communities.

But here our concentration is on the (6) Reform Judaism for the moment:

The Orthodox or Rabbinic life faced many challenges since the Industrial Revolution and were subjected to numerous scrutiny among the majority of Jews living in the diaspora at large. And soon their claim as sole traditional theological authority to Torah Law and practice were not sustainable over time. This gave rise to demand for changes and reforms in various guises —  a stiffnecked people adding sin to sin, a rebellious and lying children —  all ending with a consuming fire. Thus says in the Sacred Text:

Reform Jewish Movement, Judaism's Largest U.S. Branch, Poised to Pass  Transgender Rights Resolution

“Woe to the rebellious children,” saith the Lord, “that take counsel, but not of Me, and that cover with a covering, but not of My Spirit, that they may add sin to sin . . . 9 that this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord”  (Isaiah 30:1,9).

 And the Lord said unto Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiffnecked people.10 Now therefore let Me alone, that My wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them” (Exodus 32:9).

“Understand therefore this day that the Lord thy God is He who goeth over before thee as a consuming fire” (Deuteronomy 9:3).

Could this wrath of “a consuming fire” that were destined for other people in ancient times be turned around in our modern era toward the CoG Communities by the same Lord? And could it “begin at My sanctuary?” (Ezekiel 9:6). We’ll see as we investigate this question further in future critiques.

~~~~~

The Declining US Navy

•January 25, 2021 • Leave a Comment

The US Navy, America’s First, Best Strategy

To Provide and Maintain a Navy: Why Naval Primacy Is America’s First, Best Strategy, by Henry J. Hendrix (Focsle, 146 pages)

Jim Talent, January 24, 2021

HMA Ships taking part in a trilateral passage in the Philippine Sea with US Navy ships and the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence.

Excerpts from YahooNews

Dr. Jerry Hendrix (Ph.D.) is a retired Navy captain, a frequent contributor to NR, and one of the foremost naval historians and strategic thinkers in Washington today. He understands thoroughly what’s wrong with the Navy and what it will take to fix it; and it would be a sign that Providence intends once again to shine on these United States if he were at some point to become secretary of the Navy.

He would be the best secretary since the legendary John Lehman, who built the modern Navy during the Reagan years and who also writes the foreword to Captain Hendrix’s new book, To Provide and Maintain a Navy. The book is intended to be, and is, both an argument for the importance of naval power and a blueprint for the future Navy that the lay reader can easily access and understand.

The thesis is that the primacy of American naval power after World War II firmly established the idea of the seas as international commons, ensured oceanic security by deterring naval conflict, and — along with the technological advances of those years — empowered the growth of the American (and world) free-trade economy while also giving the United States a cost-effective means for sustaining its influence and alliances around the world.

Hendrix offers one of the best explanations of naval “presence” that I’ve ever seen:

US Navy ships . . . possess a distinct advantage over their land contemporaries in that they can exert influence ashore without having to be physically tied to the land. Not only does sovereignty move with each commissioned ship but also through the effects of its sensors and weapons; it can project influence simply by being present offshore. Think of this influence as an incandescent lamp moving about upon the sea. As it approaches an object, its influence can be understood as the degree to which [its] sensors and weapons fully “illuminate” or make clear the local strategic environment while demonstrating US interests at the local area. . . .

Ships moving toward an area of interest cast a “bow wave” of influence ahead of them as they approach, projecting their capabilities and potential for action well prior to their arrival, yet ships departing an area also leave behind influence in the good will and stability they fostered but also because of the implicit promise that they can, and will, return.

Invasion: Lepidopterologists and pest-control companies believe more than three million residences across the UK have been affected by moths, this year alone

Unfortunately, as Hendrix explains in lucid detail, American naval primacy is now largely a thing of the past. The defense budget was reduced by over a third in the 1990s, forcing the Navy to cut 200 ships. The situation got even worse in the first 15 years of this century. All pretense of meeting naval requirements was dropped, and the Navy lost another 100 ships. Our NATO allies reduced their fleets even more than the United States did during the same period.

At its low point about five years ago, the Navy had only slightly more than 270 ships. It was obvious to everyone (except some fact-checking organizations) that the Navy was too small, which prompted me in 2017 to write a column called simply “We Need More Ships!

There should be two aircraft carriers in the Pacific theater at all times. Only one is deployed there consistently. There should also be a two-carrier presence in the Persian Gulf, yet only one is typically there. There should be a continuous carrier presence in the Mediterranean, but typically there is no carrier there at all. This is because  the United States only has eleven aircraft carriers and at any given time only about a third of them can be deployed at sea. Carriers have to steam to and from deployments, and they must be maintained in home port. This “two for one” rule is true for the entire Navy (and in fact, for most of the armed forces) but it’s especially true for carriers, because they require so much maintenance.

October is the month for discovering moth infestations according to pest control experts

The Trump administration made rebuilding the Navy a priority but was able to add only about 20 ships to the inventory in four years. As a result, the Navy has had to lengthen ship deployments in order to maintain at sea even two thirds of the required number of vessels. That in turn has reduced the time available for maintenance and training, to the point that even the ships we have are much less ready than they should be. Hendrix calls this effect the “material death spiral” — the cascading disintegration of naval readiness when the fleet is highly stressed for long periods of time.

“I will be unto Ephraim as a moth” Hosea 5:12 

Clarke – I will consume them little by little, as a moth frets a garment.

Gill which eats garments, penetrates into them, feeds on them privately, secretly, without any noise, and gradually and slowly consumes them; but at last utterly, that they are of no use and profit:

COVID-19: Fighting a Loosing Battle!

•January 23, 2021 • Leave a Comment

On December 20, 2020, the Guardian reports that Britain has notified the WHO about a new fast-spreading strain of COVID-19

Covid-19 vaccine research, stock image

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson has imposed tighter COVID-19 restrictions ahead of Christmas, after he was briefed that a new strain of the virus circulating in south-east England could be up to 70 per cent more transmissible.

With the average number of cases in England soaring because of a new, more contagious strain of the virus, Mr Johnson said the Government had to take urgent action.

Just days after reaffirming the festive “bubble” plan and claiming it would be “inhuman” to cancel Christmas, the prime minister announced the creation of a new, stricter “tier 4”.

 “And I will make your cities waste and bring your sanctuaries unto desolation, and I will not smell the savor of your sweet odors.” Leviticus 26:31

The Sydney Morning Herald adds that it may well be spreading around the world:

Chief scientific advisor Sir Patrick Vallance said viruses often mutated but this strain had gained force over autumn.

“We think it may be in other countries as well. We definitely think there’s a large outbreak in the UK,” he said.

John Hopkins' Britain Stats

“It may have started here, we don’t know for sure. There will be other types of mutations around the world.”

Professor Edmunds, a highly respected epidemiologist and member of the government’s powerful Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, told television station ITV the new strain was “the worst moment of the whole epidemic”.

The Lord shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart; and thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness (Deuteronomy 28:29)

Update: December 24, 2020

The Daily Mail reports “Cases in South Africa have spiked from 3,000 to 9,500 per day in three weeks, with the mutant accounting for up to 90 percent of those new infections.”

Britain’s Health Secretary, Matt Hancock said: “This new variant is highly concerning because it is yet more transmissible and it appears to have mutated further than the new variant that has been discovered in the UK.”

Britain and South Africa are both suffering resurgences of coronavirus which they are blaming on newly-identified mutations of the disease

Britain, Germany, Switzerland, Turkey, Israel and Mauritius have banned flights from South Africa in an effort to stop the spread of the mutant which is thought to be giving young people more acute symptoms than other variants.  

South African doctors say their patients are younger and do not always have other conditions that amplify the virus’ effect, but are nonetheless suffering from more severe forms of Covid-19. 

More in Britain’s Daily Mail

CNN (Jan 22, 2021) reports about the new UK variant death rates: “If you took… a man in their 60s, the average risk is that for 1,000 people who got infected, roughly 10 would be expected to unfortunately die with the virus. With the new variant, for 1,000 people infected, roughly 13 or 14 people might be expected to die.”

The UK remains under a strict lockdown.

The Times of Israel reports (Jan 22, 2021): “I don’t think this virus is going anywhere,” British government’s chief scientific adviser, Patrick Vallance said. “It’s going to be around, probably, forever.”

Deuteronomy 28:21 The Lord shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee until He have consumed thee from off the land whither thou goest to possess it.22 The Lord shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blight, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish.

Yale Economist Warns of Dollar Collapse

•January 22, 2021 • Leave a Comment

“And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have no assurance of thy life” Deuteronomy 28:66

A Yale Economist, Stephen Roach (author of Unbalanced: The Codependency of America and China) Warns of an Imminent Dollar Collapse.

Peter Schiff, author of numerous books, has been warning about a looming dollar collapse. During an appearance on Fox Business in July, Peter said the dollar isn’t just going down, it’s going to crash.

See the source image

“I think the dollar is going to keep drifting down until it collapses,” Peter said.  “And this is going to usher in a real economic crisis in America, unlike something we’ve ever seen.

Peter is not alone. In a recent article published on SCMP.com, Yale economist Stephen Roach said he expects the dollar to plunge by as much as 35% next year.

Roach lists three factors he thinks will ultimately doom the dollar.

This reflects three considerations: the rapid deterioration in macroeconomic imbalances in the United States, the ascendancy of the euro and renminbi as alternatives, and the end of the aura of American exceptionalism that has given the dollar Teflon-like resilience for most of the post-World War II era.”

Stephen Roach 2008.jpg

Roach called the confluence of an erosion in domestic savings and the current account deficit “nothing short of staggering.”

The national savings rate has entered negative territory for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis, coming in at -1% in the second quarter. According to Roach, a temporary surge in personal savings due to the pandemic and government stimulus checks has been more than outweighed by a record expansion in the federal budget deficit.

With the federal budget deficit exploding towards 16% of gross domestic product this financial year, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the savings plunge is only a hint of what lies ahead. This will trigger a collapse in the US current-account deficit. Lacking savings and wanting to invest and grow, the US must import surplus savings and run massive external deficits to attract foreign capital.”

A current account deficit occurs when the value of the goods and services a country imports exceeds the value of its exports. We’re already seeing signs of that the current-account deficit is widening. It came in at 3.5% of GDP in Q2 – the worst since the 4.3% deficit in the fourth quarter of 2008. Not only that, the quarter to quarter decline charted the largest deterioration since recordkeeping began in 1960.

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Roach noted that the Federal Reserve will exacerbate the rapidly destabilizing savings and current-account imbalances with its zero percent interest rate policies and its “average 2% inflation” targeting.  In simple terms, the Fed is committed to holding interest rates low, even if inflation gets hot.

This new bias towards monetary accommodation effectively closes off an important option – upwards adjustments to interest rates – that has long tempered currency declines in most economies. By default, that puts even more pressure on the falling dollar as the escape valve from America’s rapidly deteriorating macroeconomic imbalances. In short, the vice is tightening on a still-overvalued dollar. Domestic savings are plunging as never before, and the current-account balance is following suit. Don’t expect the Fed, focused more on supporting equity and bond markets than on leaning against inflation, to save the day. The dollar’s decline has only just begun.”

What Will Happen to You When the Dollar Collapses?

by Jeff Thomas

Excerpt from International Man

Historically, when a nation’s debt exceeds its ability to repay even the interest, it can be assumed that the currency will collapse. Typically, governments exacerbate the situation by printing large amounts of currency notes in an effort to inflate the problem away, or at least postpone it.

The greater the level of debt, the more dramatic the inflation must be to counter it. The more dramatic the inflation, the greater the danger that hyperinflation will take place. No government has ever been able to control hyperinflation. If it occurs, it does so quickly and always ends with a crash.

International
							Man

“I create darkness; I create evil; I, the Lord, do all these things” Isaiah 45:7

America’s Self-Doubt Over a Military Conflict with China

•January 22, 2021 • Leave a Comment

Declassified White House docs reveal America’s self-doubt over a potential military conflict with China

“O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? . . . For your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away” Hosea 6:4

RT by Tom Fowdy – 13 Jan, 2021

With Donald Trump set to leave office, newly released documents show his strategy towards Beijing has largely failed, and that the US isn’t confident over its ability to contain China in certain areas should a conflict arise.

Following the departure of White House Deputy National Security Advisor Matthew Pottinger and with the Trump administration coming to an end, a number of documents have been declassified setting out its ‘Indo-Pacific’ strategy or, more specifically, its gameplan to attempt to contain China over its four years in office.

The documents are hardly comprehensive, yet reveal ambitions to contain Beijing in the political, diplomatic, economic and military spheres, including a blueprint of what the US would do in a potential war scenario. 

Declassified White House docs reveal America's self-doubt over a potential  military conflict with China — RT Op-ed
Documents Reveal Self-Doubt

According to the papers, the US has aimed to sustain its “primacy” in the region, “support activists and reformers” opposed to Beijing (such as the Hong Kong protesters), create a counter to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and economically integrate the region towards the US, enlist allies against China in the form of the Quad and assist “the rise of India”. 

But what about in the event of a conflict? The documents spoke of aiming to prevent China “dominating the first island chain” – the scope of islands extending from Japan to Taiwan and around the South China Sea – via air and sea, and to maintain uncontested supremacy over the “area beyond”. Military analysts have described the former objective as being modest in expectation.

“China’s leaders are much smarter than ours. It’s like taking the New England Patriots and Tom Brady and having them play your high school football team,” President Trump.

Army recruitment: Facing falling enlistment numbers, the U.S. Army is  taking a new approach | Fortune

If anything, the file reveals the comprehensive failure of the Trump administration’s strategy towards the region during his tenure in office. Not only have attempts to bolster America’s economic presence failed completely, largely owing to the contradictory priorities of the White House, but in addition the document illustrates subtle doubt rather than confidence that the US is capable of defeating China in this “first island chain” region. 

The US, above all, is seeking naval containment of China, and in line Beijing has utilized the Belt and Road Initiative to counter it by diversifying its energy supply routes.

Throughout its tenure in office, the Trump administration has been unable to accept China’s status as a rising power, and these documents reveal how this resulted in a set of policies aimed at attempting to quell the country’s rise through various means. 

BBC - Mark Mardell's America: Should Obama betray self-doubt?

These methods, however, have not yielded much success, largely because of the US’s understating of the dynamics which underscore Beijing’s centrality and importance to the region as an economic power, and the erroneous belief that it can easily divide the world into cold war blocs and force countries to undercut their relations with China on the premise of values alone. 

The idea that the US can somehow displace Beijing again as the region’s economic centre of gravity is not realistic, and events such as the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership underscore that.

Ephraim also is like a silly dove without heart; they call to Egypt, they go to Assyria” Hosea 7:11

Mike Pompeo Is The Worst Secretary of State

•January 21, 2021 • Leave a Comment

“I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole,” former CIA director and now Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on April 15, 2019 at a forum at Texas A&M University, TX. “It was like – we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment.” Interestingly, a Christian religious news broadcaster picked up on Pompeo’s words and described it with such precision as follows: “that’s not the resume of the Secretary of State… that’s the resume of Satan.”

Mike Pompeo is the worst secretary of state in history

Washington Post by Jackson Diehl – August 31, 2020

As secretary of state, Mike Pompeo has presided over the collapse of negotiations with North Korea, the failure of a pressure campaign against Iran and an abortive attempt to oust Venezuela’s authoritarian regime. On his watch, China has carried out genocide in its Xinjiang region and the suppression of Hong Kong’s freedoms without resistance from Washington until it was too late.

Pompeo has failed to fill dozens of senior positions at the State Department, and hundreds of career diplomats have left or been driven out in political purges. Morale is at a historic low: In staff surveys, there has been a 34 percent increase between 2016 and 2019 in those who say the State Department’s senior leaders “did not maintain high levels of honesty and integrity.” Maybe that’s because Pompeo himself has defied legal mandates from Congress, skirted a law restricting arms sales to Saudi Arabia, tasked staffers with carrying out errands for himself and his wife, and fired the inspector general who was investigating his violations.

Last week, Pompeo crossed yet another ethical line by speaking before the Republican National Convention, thereby disregarding the State Department’s explicit legal guidance against such appearances. The speech he delivered was weak and littered with false or simply ludicrous claims, such as that the recent diplomatic accord between Israel and the United Arab Emirates is “a deal that our grandchildren will read about in their history books.” Maybe if they major in Middle Eastern affairs.

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With his ambitions likely fixed on a presidential candidacy in 2024, Pompeo is undoubtedly hoping most of the diplomatic disasters will ultimately be blamed on President Trump, especially if Trump loses the November election. But the former Kansas congressman should not get off so easy. Yes, it’s Trump’s foreign policy. But Pompeo’s steering of it has led to some of the worst diplomatic damage the United States has suffered in decades — especially in relations with its closest allies.

A good example can be seen in the debates over Iran this month at the UN Security Council. Amid the press of other news, the Trump administration’s failure to extend an expiring UN arms embargo against Iran hasn’t gotten much attention. But it offers a telling illustration of how Pompeo has driven US policy into blind alleys.

The pressure campaign against Iran has been Pompeo’s signature cause: Trump announced the US withdrawal from the multilateral accord restraining Iran’s nuclear program 13 days after Pompeo became secretary of state in April 2018. The president said he wanted to negotiate another deal, but Pompeo quickly moved to head that off, setting a dozen far-reaching conditions Tehran would have to meet and letting it be known his own goal was regime change.See the source image

Which, of course, hasn’t happened. Despite mounting US sanctions and a drone strike killing its most important general, the regime of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has remained intact and has stepped up its uranium enrichment. By this summer Iran had quintupled the stockpile of enriched uranium it had when Pompeo’s crusade began.

That brings us to the battles at the Security Council, where Pompeo tried to force through an extension of the UN arms embargo against Iran, which is due to expire in October. Though US allies have no interest in allowing Tehran to sell and buy weapons, they recognized that a new embargo would rupture what remains of the nuclear deal, prompting Iran to expel the UN inspectors who are still monitoring its activities. That, they concluded, was Pompeo’s real intent.See the source image

The result was a humiliatingly lopsided vote against the US resolution, with Britain, Germany and France withholding support. Pompeo’s reaction was to publicly trash the allies — who, he said, “chose to side with the ayatollahs.” A week later, he doubled down, notifying the Security Council that the United States would seek to invoke a provision of the nuclear accord allowing one government to unilaterally force the reimposition of UN sanctions — even though Washington is no longer a party to the pact.

That has set the stage for an even more bruising battle. Last week, the Security Council’s president announced that all but one member of the council had rejected the US gambit as illegal. The US reaction? Another statement accusing its closest allies of “standing in the company of terrorists.” Pompeo, says Daniel Fried, a former State Department chief for Europe, “seemed to take gratuitous pleasure in division.” US relations with Europe, he told me, are the “worst I can remember.”

The Washington Post

Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in November, 2020. China announced on January 20, 2020 that it was imposing sanctions on Pompeo and more than two dozen other officials and members of former president Donald Trump's cabinet.RT and Yahoo (Jan 20, 2021) report China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying accused Pompeo of “lying and cheating,” and calling him “a doomed clown and the joke of the century!”

“The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet” Isaiah 28:3