A Christmas Message ...
Our Christian Faith“We are remiss if we treat our Christian faith more like an insurance policy [i.e. a credit default swap] rather than a way of life.” The Blind Man’s Elephant, 2007
Well, twelve months have gone by since our Christmas Message for 2010. And, if anything, 2011 was more of the same, only worse. In case you missed the article, it's posted just above this one in the Feature article's menu. You just need to mentally update the stats, including the fact that it’s not just the US federal government, the states and local municipalities that have a majorly serious financial debt crisis on their hands, but so do many other nations closely linked to the faltering US economy. [Ed. note: The economic situation is worse now in 2018. See Economy].
In hindsight, Shakespeare’s Polonius in Hamlet had sage advice, “Neither a borrower nor a lender be.” If we had lived within our means, the US might not have 1000 or so military bases circling the globe, and the second largest item in the US budget wouldn't be our national debt payment, but we’d have a healthier ledger sheet, and a stronger financial future for our children and grandchildren. Instead, we’ve gambled our national inheritance in the world's largest casino, Wall Street, literally losing our houses to “the House.” [See the Feature article, Our Corrupted Compass].
In all, the aggregate debt of the “wealthy” nations of the world is on the order of $200 trillion and counting. This is about three and a half times the world’s GDP, which is the same debt ratio of the US’s debt as a percentage of GDP. Cumulatively speaking, this is the largest amount of debt in the history of the world. And the US is the world's biggest debtor nation by far. [The US national debt doubled from 2009 to 2016 and is now $21 trillion plus; US Debt Tracker Or Speedometer?]. More than a few first world countries are close to the point that the interest payments on their debt will overwhelm their nation’s revenues. Some governments are only holding back this mudslide of financial collapse by having favorable interest rates … for now. [Ed. note: The low interest rates have not helped improve the economy as of 2018. See video: Low Interest Rates Not Helping].
To put $200 trillion in debt into some sort of perspective, if you counted from one to a trillion every second of every day of every year, it would take you nearly 32,000 years. Now multiply that times 200, about 6.5 million years, and you get some kind of an idea how deep the hole is. The 99% are on the hook for a lot of bucks.
In short, no pun intended, many countries have increased their debt burden with potentially far worse implications than the big bank and investment house’s fiasco with credit default swaps. And we know how well that turned out. We should be very concerned about the intertwined world economy and any secure, long-term sense of financial well-being as the US has known it. Fewer and fewer will be able to enjoy the “good life” as the financial crisis tide rises. In other words, the 2010 message remains the same for this year as well, but with some scary updated financials.
Ninety-nine percent of Americans are more likely to have been directly impacted by this deliberate act of financial terrorism than we have with any act of political terrorism. Following the 9/11 attacks, homeland security ballooned exponentially, yet almost nothing has been done to protect us from further financial ruin, which many financial pundits believe is on the horizon in the form of a $700 trillion [double this figure in 2014] unregulated derivatives market. As only five banks control the derivatives market, their actions, intentional or not, could make the 2008 crash look like a small tremor in the world's economy opening the way for a one world government and economy.
Many of the alleged perpetrators of 9/11 were hunted down and imprisoned, tortured or killed. The Bush administration went to war in Iraq. However, your money was used to reward the financial corporation's predators with trillions in bailouts and billions in bonuses. Some of the perpetrators, like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and others were declared "too big to fail." However, the biggest failure is in the moral fabric of the US.
It’s ironic, while New York was the key target in the 9/11 political terrorist attacks, it is New York’s Wall Street, with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley at the forefront, that unleashed the financial terrorist attacks on the US and the rest of the world with far greater negative impact, blowback, on the West. [2013: They're At It Again; see the Sneakers article, One World Peace And Security]. The question begs asking, why is there such a vast difference in the government's response with al-Qaeda versus al-Wallstreet? The simple answer is that our government is filled with al-Wallstreet operatives. [For the back story of the US financial mess and where it's heading, see chapter six in the book, The Blind Man's Elephant and the final chapter in The Curious Elephant, The Great Rebellion. For a secular look at these events, read The Big Short- Inside The Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis].
In May 2010, there was a big kerfuffle, or much ado about nothing really, when Harold Camping made the prediction that May 21, 2011 marked the end of the world. His end of the world prediction was not financial in nature, but more about people and the planet. His followers sold off belongings, including their houses in some cases in order to get the word out and warn everyone. You have to give them credit for sincerity because they really put their money where their mouth was on that one.
For others in 2010, it probably felt like the end of the world when they lost their houses, and their jobs, too, but for far less noble causes, the tumble on effect of Wall Street greed, witnessed by the massive cardiac arrest of the subprime mortgage bond market, and the way beyond rational, nation killing military debt spending that continues [$716 Billion 2019], like some medieval cure, to bleed out the US empire’s ever weakening economy.
In typical fashion, the media beat the 2011 “end of the world” story to death. In the end, May 21, 2011 came and went just like all the days before it in 2011. The readjusted date was moved up six months to October 21, 2011 with the same results, but with hardly a peep from the media. And in December 2012 we got another end of the world scenario with the Maya’s 5125.4 year, or Long calendar on the 21st. [See the Sneakers article, Momma Maya, What's Next?].
No one seems exactly sure what this signified for the Mayas other than marking the end of an age. However, some nouveau postulators say that it is an ending, the Apocalypse, the end of the world, while others, optimists that the glass is half full, claim it’s a new, enlightened beginning. Some say it will mark the beginning of dramatic climate surges, others the alignment of galactic time portals. If we have a horde of Mayas spontaneously materializing on the solstice December 2012, we’ll know why. So far, no one has popped into view. We do know that for the first time in 26,000 Earth years, the Sun will align itself with the equator of our Milky Way galaxy on that day.
While many people don’t seem to have a real hunger concerning a personal interest in religion on a daily basis, we certainly do have an insatiable thirst to know when the world will end. Perhaps by knowing, we feel it gives us time to hedge our theological bets on the altar of the CYA church.
Of course, when the Biblical record speaks of the end of the world, it is referring to the end of this particular age, and not the inhabited planet. “And as he [Christ] sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be and what shall be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the world?” [Mat. 24:3]. The word world here in Greek is aion, meaning age as opposed to the Greek oikoumene, which does refer to our planet full of people.
This defining event in the New Testament is commonly referred to today as “The Apocalypse.” In the Old Testament prophecies, it is referred to as the time of Jacob’s trouble. Same thing. Jacob, who became Israel, was the grandson of Abraham. Christ is Abraham’s seed as the apostle Paul noted. [See the Feature article, Abraham's Seed And Heirs].
The 144,000 in Revelation chapter 7 who survive “The Apocalypse”, or Jacob's trouble, are all from the nations of Israel. “And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed a hundred forty four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel” including 12,000 who are Jews or descendants of Judah. It’s all connected in the Biblical record. It’s not two separate stories, one for Jews and the other for Gentiles, as is mistakenly believed today. It’s one dynamic story for the House of Judah and the House of Israel. [Again see chapter six, The Blind Man’s Elephant for details].
We do live in a specific age. In the Biblical record, it is the time period between Christ’s first coming, marked by the spiritual fulfilling of the Old Testament day of Pentecost, the first day of “Christianity” and it ends by Christ fulfilling the Old Testament Biblical day of Trumpets, the last day of “Christianity.” [See 1 Ths. 4:16; Rev. 8]. Organized Christianity today has no idea of the theological significance of this period or age. If they did, it would be common knowledge as to why we are here, and what is our purpose in life. And we'd fully comprehend the significance of our current circumstances, which metaphorically can best be described as a bus over the cliff. [See the Feature article, Three Temple Ages Make A Plan].
The Hijacked Elephant goes into great detail about this age if you wish to read more about it. Actually, it goes into great detail about this age even if you don’t wish to read about it. And the significance of Christmas in all this is that our joyous love for all things Christmas is a major contributor to getting ourselves firmly wedged into our current predicament. If you are inquisitive enough to want context for this statement, read The Curious Elephant as well. [See the Feature article, And Now, A Word From Our Sponsor].
However, for the Biblical “end of the world” to occur, there are certain events that must take place before then. One of them is discussed in Revelation, chapter 13. These events have not yet occurred. And when they do, they will last for forty-two months or three and a half years. Then this age can come to an end. So what are some of these things that need to occur in the interim before we get to the point of asking the rocks to fall on us? [See Rev. 6:15, 16].
According to the Biblical record, the end of the world, or age, will not come until there is a “falling away" or apostasia from the first century canons. The truth about Christ’s gospel began eroding and was “falling away” by the middle of the first century with the appearance of false prophets, the opening of the first seal in Revelation six by Christ, as witnessed by Peter, John and Paul in their letters. Our falling away has continued through the past twenty centuries, increasingly turning Christianity from the love of the truth through deceit. [See 2 Ths. 2:7-10].
And it is because of our falling away from the love of the truth that Christ is turned to be our enemy according to the prophecies. We’ve angered him far more than did the moneychangers in a temple made of stone. “But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; so He turned Himself against them as an enemy, and He fought against them.” [Isa. 63:10]. The state of Christianity today is like a white mouse held over a cage as a live meal for a snake. Christ is the one holding us up by the tail, yet we think, “All is well, we are in God’s hands.” [See the Feature articles, Revelation 17: Big Brother and Christ Against Christians?].
The events unfolding around us are analogous to those elaborate domino demonstrations. Once the first one falls, events are set in motion. Two thousand years ago, our Christian ancestors knew their Biblical identity, our first domino as it relates to the covenants. For the most part, we lost that knowledge a long time ago. And because we’ve been deceived about the truth of our Biblical ancestry, our first domino fell away setting events in motion. Rebelliously, we've thrown our covenant inheritance, bought by the blood of Christ, back in his face. We’ve made Christ our enemy.
Subsequently having lost this understanding and our love of the truth regarding the covenants, and as objectionable as it may sound to our 21st century ears, we lost the true gospel delivered by Christ in the first century, which is inextricably linked to both the old and new covenants, including an explicit event that took place about twenty-seven hundred years ago. The truth is right in front of us, modern ideologies notwithstanding.
But to be fully cognizant of events around us, we need to return to the true gospel as Paul so resolutely pointed out in Galatians 1: 6-9. Reading Paul’s words, and looking at daily events, can we honestly say the US is bountiful and blessed today? Hardly. Even a perfunctory look at the media shows that the foundational moral, social and economic fabric of the US and other “Christian” nations is being ripped to shreds. While schoolchildren in California are required to learn gay history, we’re ignorant of our own Biblical history to teach our children. Our children are more excited about Hogwarts and wizardry than they are about Christ and Christianity. It’s no wonder more of them are turning to atheism upon reaching adulthood. We suffer the curse of Proverbs 22:6.
Christianity’s understanding of the true gospel is missing today despite an excess of words written and spoken about it by our pastors. The good news was delivered to a specific group of people, as Christ and the apostles clearly said, though our Savior’s words today are disrespectfully dismissed in place of the foolish fables we deceptively call the truth. Thus, end-time prophecies directed to us declare our “pastors are become stupid and have not sought the Lord” and the church is “wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.” God isn’t lying to us about such matters. Yet the most devious deceit we can fall prey to is self-righteously thinking, “He’s talking about them, not me.”
Lacking any wit of understanding the gospel delivered by Christ in the first century, we are completely in the dark about understanding the end-time prophecies. It’s like trying to unravel a riddle when someone has given us an incorrect clue. It’s hopeless. And it shows today especially when our pastors repeatedly tell us the US, and other “Christian” nations are not in end-time prophecies. Nothing could be further from the truth. [See the Feature article, Is The US (And UK) In End-times Biblical Prophecy?]. Comprehending the gospel delivered by Christ in the first century, we clearly discover that the US is currently in the eye wall of the approaching climactic Apocalypse storm according to Bible prophecies. As mentioned in The Curious Elephant, however, we can’t be expected to master the calculus of prophecy when we’ve flunked the arithmetic of the covenants. [See the Feature article, The Tale Of Two Covenants].
We’re blind to what the prophecies addressed to us in the Biblical record tell us. Having lost our ancestral understanding of the covenant promises, and consequently having fallen away from the truth, the first century gospel, we can’t heed our prophetic warnings to make the necessary changes. It’s a lethal Catch-22 that denial can’t chase away.
The key to all this is Paul’s warning for Christians today. “This evil man  will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles. He will use every kind of wicked deception to fool those who are on their way to destruction [our falling away] because they did not have the love of the truth that would save them. So God will send great deception upon them, and they will believe all these lies. Then, they will be condemned for not believing the truth and for enjoying the evil they do … [Joyeux Noel anyone?]. And you know what is holding him back, for he can be revealed only when his time comes. For this lawlessness is already at work” [in the first century; see 2 Ths. 2].
Two thousand years on, the consequences of our falling dominos have reached epic proportions as readily witnessed in the media daily. We’ve been greatly duped, the theologically silly Santa Claus season topping the list. And the fruit of this deceit is the fear of the truth. Rather than be distracted about the timing of “the end of the world,” which we can’t know, we should be concerned with those things that we can, like the prophetic events set in motion that are destroying us and our national heritage. We can know our Biblical origins, which means we can learn and understand the true gospel Christ delivered in the first century. And then we can know our place in the Biblical prophecies, which allows us to make sense of these signs all about us when we are motivated for a love of the truth.
"Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near … Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” [Mat. 24:32, 44]. "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” [Mat 6:34].
-- Michael J. Miller, original article 2011
Be sure to read or re-read all the Christmas Messages in The Holidays section as they remain relevant today.
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"Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned."