Between the Trees
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Between the Trees – Pete Garcia & Randy Nettles - https://www.rev310.net/post/between-the-trees
There’s a tree on the first page of Genesis, the first Psalm, the first page of the New Testament, and the last page of Revelation. Whether it is the fall, the flood, or the overthrow of the Pharaoh, every major event in the Bible has a tree marking the spot.
One of the main pieces of evidence we have about the supernatural nature of the Holy Bible is the consistent use of symbolic imagery beginning from the first chapter to the last. This provides a consistent picture that highlights not only God’s great providence but of His foreknowledge of the end from the beginning. Of interest to today’s brief, is God’s usage of trees. Other than God or humans, trees are mentioned more than any other living thing in the entirety of the Bible. Granted, it’s not something we think of often, but it is interesting how trees have been used to play a pivotal role throughout history to shape the course of man’s destiny.
1. The Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil
The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Genesis 2:8-9 (Emphasis mine)
On the newly created (or recreated depending on where you stand on tohu-bohu position), the Lord God planted a garden in Eden and made every tree grow that was pleasant to the sight and good for food. Then the Lord took the man and put him in the garden to tend and keep it. There were two specific, supernatural (or supernatural to us) trees that were mentioned, and located “in the midst” of the garden. The first was the tree of life, and the second was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
These trees were separated from the other trees in the garden. Two is the number for division or separation. Aside from the commandments to ‘tend the garden’ and to ‘be fruitful and multiply,’ (Gen. 1:28, 2:15) there was only one prohibitory rule that God gave Adam: “You shall not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil…” (Gen. 2:17). Evidently, it was ok to eat from the tree of life, as no prohibition of this is mentioned anywhere in the text.
Trees, grass, and herbs were created on the third day of creation. Three is the number of divine perfection and resurrection. “And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. So the evening and the morning were the third day” (Genesis 1:12-13). The seed is buried in the earth, dies, and is then resurrected to new life; which is symbolic of Christ, the first fruits of the dead (1 Cor. 15), afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming (Rapture). God declared the 3rd day of creation ‘good’ twice.
Did Adam and Eve ever eat from the tree of life? Most scholars say no because of Genesis 3:22. After the first couple ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever.” Once man (mankind) sinned, he could no longer eat from this tree, or else he would live forever in a state of unrighteousness and would not be able to be redeemed. Man and the tree of life would have to be separated from one another. Thus man was expelled from the garden of Eden, and we don’t hear about the tree of life again until the book of Revelation.
2. The Fig Tree
The other (third) relevant tree we see in the Garden of Eden is the fig tree. “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings” (Genesis 3:7). Adam and Eve heard the Lord God (theophany of Yahweh) walking in the garden and hid themselves from Him among the trees. The Lord called to them and asked where they were. Adam told the Lord he hid himself because he was afraid and was naked. The first feelings the couple felt were fear and shame after committing the first sin of mankind, rebellion against the word of God. The Lord asked them if they had disobeyed His commandment. The man blamed the woman and the woman blamed the serpent. The Lord then gave His judgment (and the first prophecy) against the serpent (the devil and his seed) as found in Genesis 3: 14-15. He also judged the man and woman (Genesis 3:16-19). They were cast out of the garden of Eden and lost direct fellowship with the Lord God.
In Genesis 3:20, we see the first typology of the atonement of sin by blood, The fig leaves were not sufficient for the covering (atonement) of sin, so the Lord had to kill an innocent animal and used its skin/fur to cover their nakedness (representing sin). This would become a common practice/ritual (during the time of Noah, Abraham, and the patriarchs, and with Moses and the children of Israel) where animals would be sacrificed to God for the atonement or covering up of the people’s sins. The sacrifices and shedding of blood by the Israelites was only a temporary “fix” for their sins and had to be done continuously until the perfect sacrifice with the perfect blood was found. This could not be accomplished by the blood of animals, but only by the blood of the God-man, Jesus Christ, who covers us not with skins but with His Holy Spirit.
3. The Parable of the Trees
Several thousand years later, we find the parable of the trees recorded for us in the book of Judges. Although somewhat cryptic at the time of writing, it would “bear fruit” (pardon the pun) later on when Jesus refers to this in His own Olivet Discourse parable of the fig tree.
Now when they told Jotham, he went and stood on top of Mount Gerizim, and lifted his voice and cried out. And he said to them:
“Listen to me, you men of Shechem,
That God may listen to you!
8 “The trees once went forth to anoint a king over them.
And they said to the olive tree,
‘Reign over us!’
9 But the olive tree said to them,
‘Should I cease giving my oil,
With which they honor God and men,
And go to sway over trees?’
10 “Then the trees said to the fig tree,
‘You come and reign over us!’
11 But the fig tree said to them,
‘Should I cease my sweetness and my good fruit,
And go to sway over trees?’
12 “Then the trees said to the vine,
‘You come and reign over us!’
13 But the vine said to them,
‘Should I cease my new wine,
Which cheers both God and men,
And go to sway over trees?’
14 “Then all the trees said to the bramble,
‘You come and reign over us!’
15 And the bramble said to the trees,
‘If in truth you anoint me as king over you,
Then come and take shelter in my shade;
But if not, let fire come out of the bramble
And devour the cedars of Lebanon!’
4. The Fig Tree Examples and Parable
The symbol of the fig tree had long been associated with the national status and economic prosperity of Israel.
However, the fig tree parable, although tied to Israel in symbolism, cannot specifically and only be about the rebirth of Israel.
Then He spoke to them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near. So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. Luke 21:29-33 (my emphasis)
I tend to split the fence on the views regarding where Israel stands with regards to the Fig Tree Parable. On one hand, I agree with Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum’s position of considering the use of the budding of the fig tree as specifically using its budding as a literal illustration of something coming (for example, rain clouds signaling the approaching storm).
On the other hand, the usage of the Fig Tree itself by Jesus is interesting, considering His omniscience as God in the flesh, would have been intimately familiar with the symbolism tied between the two. IOW, if the fig tree was used purely as a literal illustration, then why didn’t He just call it the parable of the fruit tree? That way, there would be zero confusion as to His intent on using it only as a literal illustration of timing.
However, linking the parable (regarding timing) with the fig tree (which has a long history of representing national Israel), and knowing God is not the author of confusion, He would have already known what the natural conclusions we would draw from the correlation. On top of that, adding to our recent history with the supernatural rebirth of the nation of Israel after two of the world’s largest conflicts (WWI and WWII), if we were to take things at face value, then there has to be a correlation between the two.
Perhaps there is intentionally enough “wiggle-room” built into the text so that no one can be dogmatic about it. This would seem to lend credence to Jesus' other statement about “no man knowing the day nor hour.”
Just as there is recognizable significance tied between many nations and their symbols (e.g., the Roman Eagle, British Lion, Russian Bear, Lebanese Cedar, etc.), so to would Jesus have known the symbolism between the fig tree and the status of nations. Some will point to Luke’s Olivet Discourse and His usage of “and all the trees,” as evidence of its' non-specific symbolism. However, I would simply refer them back to Judges 9’s Parable of the Trees and its linkages to trees representing nations. Consider the proximity for the creation of Israel’s neighboring nations, along with her own rebirth that came as the consequence of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and World War II.
So we are left with only two options; either that is an amazing coincidence or its divine providence. But it can’t be both.
5. The Cross of Calvary
Interestingly, the Bible does not detail what exact kind of tree the cross was made from. There is an old legend that claims it was dogwood, but that is just a legend. The truth is, like with the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, we aren’t told what kind of tree God used. One would think, given the gravity of the event surrounding Christ’s crucifixion, the kind of tree used to make the cross would have been made known to us. Perhaps God chose not to allow its type to be known, to prevent mankind from associating any kind of stigma to it.
6. The Honorable Mentions
While too numerous to mention by name, the Bible references many trees and has numerous critical associations with most of them. Here are the honorable mentions
Over millennia, Bible scholars and theologians have long debated the exact symbolic or literal nature of Adam and Eve's participation in eating from the forbidden tree. We will look at it as a literal, historic event since Jesus referred to this as a literal, historical event (Matt. 19:4-5). At some point (presumably the Second Day) between the creation of the universe and before Adam and Eve’s creation (the Sixth Day), Lucifer (aka Satan/the Devil) rebelled against God and took a third of the angels with him. This is why there was a tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden in the first place. Before Lucifer fell, there was no evil, thus, no need for a tree depicting evil. Until Lucifer's rebellion, everything in God’s creation at that point (with the exception of the heavens), was considered ‘good.’
Now, evil itself is a by-product of a created being's exercise of free will that is either opposed to God's perfect standard, or God's perfect will. Since only God is perfectly good, any deviation or distortion of that perfectness is a form of evil. Lucifer, who up until that point, was God's most perfect and beautiful creation, had first committed the sin of pride in thinking he could somehow supplant and replace God (see also Isaiah 14, Ezekiel 28).
After Lucifer's fall, and in the midst of God's order of creation, He found it necessary to put a tree of knowledge in the garden, to provide Adam the opportunity to exercise his own free of doing right. Adam (and we) presumably, would have lived in the ever-expanding garden forever in perfect harmony with our creator God. That was what was originally intended.
This is why there was a tree aptly named as such because as human beings were also created with free will, there needed to be a mechanism to test said free will. If God made Adam so either he couldn't have the potential to sin, or that Satan couldn't tempt mankind, then we wouldn't have free will. In other words, you can’t have free will if there was only one option to exercise said free will.
The reason why the Bible doesn’t tell us what kind of tree (tree of knowledge of good and evil) was, is because it doesn’t matter to the context of the story. What matters, is that God’s one rule of not eating from that particular tree was in place as a warning to protect Adam and Eve; not constrain them. God is the author of all good knowledge, and thus, would not prohibit Adam from learning as such. After all, Adam was given dominion over the earth and then tasked with naming all of the animals (including land, air, and sea creatures). At a minimum, Adam would have had a perfect understanding of the world which was just created.
To tap into a highly familiar Greek mythological symbol, the act of Adam and Eve’s rebellion was tantamount to opening Pandora’s Box. It was doing something that once done, couldn’t be undone. It was an act that would require an alternative solution to what had been originally intended. Originally, God had intended to live in perfect harmony with His creation. However, once Lucifer rebelled, mankind would now have to co-exist with another antagonistic force vying for mankind’s affection. By eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Adam would inadvertently taint the human bloodline and allow limitless evil to come into God’s good creation through a corrupted version of mankind.
Adam and Eve had only one prohibitory commandment from God: Do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Yet they failed His test and disobeyed Him. Some theologians believe the fall of man occurred 40 days after God created him, as 40 is the number that represents trial or testing. Here are seven examples:
1) Moses' life was divided into three 40 year probation periods. The first 40 years were spent as a prince in Egypt, where he eventually killed an Egyptian for the murder of a Hebrew man. The next 40 years were spent in the Midian desert tending his father-in-law’s flocks. His last 40 years were spent in the wilderness leading the Hebrews to the “promised land.”
2) Moses was on Mt. Sinai for 40 days and 40 nights.
3) Moses intercedes on behalf of the children of Israel for 40 days and 40 nights for their idol worshipping and apostasy against God.
4) The Hebrew spies took 40 days to spy out the land of Canaan.
5) Goliath ridiculed and challenged Saul’s army for 40 days before David killed him.
6) Jesus was tempted for 40 days and nights by the devil.
7) Jesus spent 40 days on the earth after His resurrection before He ascended into heaven.
God is omniscient, meaning He knows the past, present, and future simultaneously. He knew man would fail His test, disobeying His one and only rule, and eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He also knew Satan would possess the serpent and entice Eve to eat the forbidden fruit; and yet He allowed it. Why did God allow such an intelligent and evil being to be in contact with such a simple and naïve being? This is a great mystery.
Satan isn’t just a liar. He is the father of lies, a master liar. The trick to being a good liar is mixing the truth in with the lie, a half-truth if you will. Since they failed, and Eve bought into this half-truth. This was what he did with Eve when he said “You will not surely die.” This was a half-truth, for they might not die immediately (physically), but they would eventually die. They did die immediately as far as being spirit connected (filled) with the Lord God. Then he said, “For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” He spoke the truth here, because they would be like God in the fact that they would know good and evil after eating the fruit from the tree. Not only them but all of their children and their descendants throughout history.
Mankind had become like the angels in that we would now have the ability to choose between the two antipodes of good and evil. The choice had become (and always was) are you going to obey your creator’s will and word or, are you going to rebel and not obey. Before Adam and Eve were influenced by Satan, it would never have occurred for them to eat the forbidden fruit. They just would never have thought of it. How could they? They didn’t even know what evil was, so how could they desire it? However, when the serpent told them they could be like God, this got Eve’s attention. She then started to notice how pleasing the fruit was and wondered what it would taste like. She remembered Satan’s words and how the fruit would make them wise, and naively believed his lies regarding they would not die from eating the fruit. The rest is history, literally.
Perhaps this was God’s will after all. Without knowing evil, what do you compare good with? You have to know them both before you can choose one over the other. God always gives his spirit-filled creature’s agency, the capacity to act independently and to make their own free choices. God is good! He doesn’t send anyone to Hell not consign them to spiritual death. The ones who go there are the ones who choose evil over good. They chose to rebel against their maker and disobey the one rule He made for obtaining eternal life with Him: believe in the one He sent, Jesus Christ.
The first created man, Adam, brought sin into the world by way of a tree (knowledge of good and evil). The second created man, Jesus, redeemed man from their sins by way of a tree (the cross). The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross only had to be offered to God one time, unlike the animal sacrifices of old, which like the fig leaves of Adam and Eve only covered up sins temporarily. We now have the promise of eternal life, by the sealing of the Holy Spirit within us, which is the fruit of the tree of life. The tree of life is planted by the ultimate gardener, our Lord, and Savior, Jesus Christ, who encourages us to eat His fruit freely.
7. The Tree of Life
The fruit of the tree of life is symbolic of the nine fruits of the fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23. Solomon said, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise” (Proverbs 11:30). By the way, the Latin translation of the Bible known as the Vulgate includes three more fruits, totaling 12. The righteous Gentiles, Old Testament saints, and remnant 12 tribes of Israel will all be partaking of the fruit from the tree of life.
Regarding the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, it is never again mentioned in the Bible. It is not pictured in heaven as the tree of life is. I think the Lord God (Yahweh/the Son) might have withered it up as He did with the fig tree in Mark 11:20, when Jesus said, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again” (Mark 11:14). The tree of knowledge of good and evil’s purpose has been fulfilled. Now all of God’s spirit-filled creations (mankind, angelic) have the knowledge of good and evil. The cross has also served its purpose and gone the way of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It is a relic of the past and has turned to dust.
In Jesus’ previous life on the earth, as a carpenter, he enjoyed working with wood and building things. In the interim between His first advent and the soon coming second, He has had nearly two millennia to build His bride, the Church, a mansion in heaven.
“The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal. Then he measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones; the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyz, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.” Revelation 21:16-21
After a week (for the Lord) of 7000 years, man and the tree of life will be reunited in the New Jerusalem after the millennial reign of Jesus Christ. In the New Jerusalem, there will be 12 trees of life, each one bearing its own fruit every month. One tree, perhaps the original one, is located in the middle of the street of gold. There are five trees on one side of the river of life and six on the other side of the river.
“The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.” Revelation 12:2-3
Amen, even so, come Lord Jesus.
Houthi’s long-range drone attack on Emirates is wake-up call for Israel – David Isaac - https://www.jns.org/houthis-long-range-drone-attack-on-emirates-is-wake-up-call-for-israel/
The Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen struck the United Arab Emirates on Monday with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and possibly ballistic missiles. Uzi Rubin of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS), and founder and first director of the Israel Ministry of Defense’s Missile Defense Organization, told JNS that the attack—a distance of 1,400 kilometers (869 miles)—is “a leap” and Israel better be paying attention.
“This is a first. They managed to fly something 1,400 kilometers,” said Rubin, who helped develop the Arrow, Israel’s first missile-defense shield. He noted that the Houthi drone strike on Sept. 14, 2019, which struck Saudi oil-processing facilities at Abqaiq and was launched from Iran, covered a distance of only about 600 to 700 kilometers (about 370 to 435 miles).
“So 1,400 kilometers is a leap in demonstrated capabilities,” he said.
The attack hit two sites—the Abu Dhabi International Airport and an industrial district in the southwestern part of the capital. Three were killed and six wounded when three gas tankers exploded. The airport suffered minor damage, closing only briefly. The Houthis said their attack was in retaliation for an attack last week in Yemen by Emirati-backed forces, supported by Saudi airpower, which led to the fall of the oil-rich region of Shabwa, the first significant Houthi military loss in years.
The Houthis have claimed drone and missile attacks on the UAE before, but this is the first time Abu Dhabi admitted to it. It’s possible the UAE was struck more than twice, said Rubin. (A Houthi spokesman claimed that the group launched five ballistic missiles and “a large number” of UAVs.) Rubin said it’s in the Houthis’ interest to play up the attack, just as it is in Abu Dhabi’s to downplay it.
The point, he stressed, isn’t how many missiles and drones reached Abu Dhabi but that they reached it at all.
Rubin, who is now a private citizen, said he can’t say for certain that Israel’s defense establishment isn’t paying attention to the growing threat, but if they’re not, they had better start preparing a “defense against UAVs from Yemen.”
He said the distance from Yemen to Eilat—Israel’s southernmost city—is about 1,800 kilometers (1,118 miles) starting from the capital of Sana’a. The Houthis have probably maxed out the range of their ballistic missiles (although he noted there’s always the chance Iran will give them bigger ones). The story is different with UAVs; there, he said, “it’s a matter of pouring more gas into the gas tank.”
Asked if the Houthis could become a southern version of the Iran-backed terror group that has become the most powerful presence in Lebanon, Rubin said that they are already a regional threat given their proximity to and ability to wreak havoc on the Hormuz and Bab al-Mandab Straits—navigation chokepoints that together account for a sizeable percentage of the shipping of the world’s oil, gas and merchandise.
‘Houthis will remain security problem for years to come’
Yoel Guzansky, a senior research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), agreed, telling JNS that “the Houthis already are ‘Hezbollah South.’ ” He sees the threat to Israel as three-pronged: 1) A ballistic-missile or drone attack targeting southern parts of Israel; 2) disruption to Israel’s trade, as most of it goes through the Bab al-Mandeb Straits; and, 3) an attack staged abroad against Israeli interests, embassies and the like.
However, Guzansky doesn’t see a Houthi attack on Israel in the near future, as that would invite Israeli retaliation, and few, if any, would believe Houthi claims that Israel attacked first.
“The Houthis will be seen as the aggressor and held accountable. You’ll see the world standing beside Israel. It will be a different ballgame,” he said.
He noted that the Houthi attack on the UAE was, in a sense, rational. “The Houthis attacked the UAE because its forces attacked their strongholds. So it was logical for them to respond and try to deter further attacks,” he said.
The ones who most fear the Houthis are not the Israelis, but the Saudis, he said. “Even if some kind of settlement will be reached, the Houthis will remain a security problem for years to come. The Houthis have come a long way in the last seven years in terms of military equipment and war experience.”
Guzansky said it’s in Israel’s interests to help both the Saudis and the Emirates with their military defense. “The Saudis are being targeted on a weekly basis by the Houthis, and Israel has a lot of experience, knowledge and technology on missile defense. Israel can learn from what happens, and they can learn from Israel,” he said.
As to the possibility that the Houthis will be completely defeated, he doesn’t see that as likely, given that Shi’ites make up about 35% of Yemen’s population. Still, he said the recent successful attack by Emirati-backed forces on Shabwa could bring negotiations closer.
“The reason that you haven’t seen an agreement in Yemen is that the Houthis didn’t want to compromise because they had the upper hand on the ground. They’ve been offered the best deals—actually everything they wanted the Saudis agreed to—but they said, ‘No, we can get more. We can get control of more vital and strategic places.’ Only now they’re feeling the pressure,” he said. “That’s why they fired at the Emirates.”
First Steps - Fed Moving Closer to Creating US Digital Currency - by PNW Staff - https://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=5175
The Federal Reserve has released a long-awaited review of the potential for creating a central bank digital currency or CBDC. The report represents a significant first step in moving forward with the concept and is now going through a public review period where people will be invited to respond to questions put forward in the report.
From the moment bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies first emerged, sold as an independent and alternative medium of exchange outside the financial status quo, it was only a matter of time before the new alternative would be absorbed, modified and redeployed in service of the state.
For many government officials who want to maintain control of the financial system, "Central Bank Digital Currencies": are the mainstream answer to bitcoin.
For those who have never heard of them, "Central Bank Digital Currencies" (CBDCs) are exactly what they sound like, digitized versions of the pound/dollar/euro etc. issued by central banks.
Like bitcoin (and other crypto), the CBDC would be entirely digital, thus furthering the ongoing war on cash. However, unlike crypto, it would not have any encryption preserving anonymity. In fact, it would be totally the reverse, potentially ending the very idea of financial privacy.
The countries where the idea of digital currency has progressed the furthest are China and the UK. The Chinese Digital Yuan has been in development since 2014, and is subject to ongoing and widespread testing. The UK is nowhere near that stage yet, but Chancellor Rishi Sunak is keenly pushing forward a digital pound that the press are calling "Britcoin".
Other countries, including New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Malaysia, are not far behind.
The proposals for how these CBDCs might work should be enough to raise red flags in even the most trusting of minds.
Most people wouldn't like the idea of the government monitoring "all spending in real-time", but that's not the worst of it.
By far the most dangerous idea is that any future digital currency should be "programmable". Meaning the people issuing the money would have the power to control how it is spent.
That's not an interpretation or a "conspiracy theory", here is a quote from Agustin Carstens, head of the Bank for International Settlements, speaking earlier this year:
The key difference with a CBDC is that the central bank would have absolute control on the rules and regulations that will determine the use of that expression of central bank liability, and then have the technology to enforce that."
Which tells you not only that they want and are seeking this power, but how they justify it to themselves. They transform other people's money into an "expression of their liability", and so consider it's only right that they control it.
An article in the Telegraph, back in June, was just as candid:
Digital cash could be programmed to ensure it is only spent on essentials, or goods which an employer or Government deems to be sensible
The article goes on to quote Tom Mutton, a director at the BoE:
You could introduce programmability... There could be some socially beneficial outcomes from that, preventing activity which is seen to be socially harmful in some way.
Governments and employers making sure the money they issue can only be used on "sensible" things, and not be used in "socially harmful" ways? It doesn't take much imagination to see just how this system could evolve and re-shape society into a truly dystopian nightmare.
In China the process is already beginning, with a trademarked lack of subtlety. As they progress toward the release of their digital currency, they are banning all cryptocurrencies to remove competition and it's already known the digital yuan will be programmable.
The West's approach will probably be less direct, but no less controlling for that.
Britcoin will likely be programmed in only "special circumstances". Starting, as the Telegraph says, with state benefits. They will be flagged to be spent only on "essentials". (Of course, if Universal Basic Income is put in place, then it's possible the majority of people could end up on "state benefits".)
It's also not hard to see programmable money feeding into the "protect the NHS narrative", where people aren't allowed to spend state money on sugar, cigarettes or alcohol. Or people on organ waiting lists, or diagnosed with certain conditions, have their wages and spending controlled.
By and large, however, it is the nature of British tyranny to be unofficial. So the UK government will make a big show of renouncing their own power to program the money, thereby positively contrasting themselves with China...but at the time will take no steps to prevent large companies "programming" the wages they issue.
So, while the state controls the digital yuan in China, the digital pound will be subject to corporate control and used to enforce the unspoken state-corporate partnership that defines true fascism.
It will likely start in small, predictable ways designed to "limit competition". McDonald's, for example, will make it impossible to spend their wages at Burger King, and vice versa. Coke and Pepsi. Starbucks and Costa. You get the idea.
We've witnessed the rise of cancel culture, the cultivated age of identity politics, and virtue signaling. Well, imagine how programmable currency fits into that. Companies could commit to "combatting hate", and stop their employees from donating money to blacklisted political parties, religious groups, charities or individuals.
In the age of Covid we have seen how authors/actors/singers who step out of line are subject to poisonous witch hunts but imagine a world where companies could "renounce those who spread misinformation", by making it impossible to spend wages they issue on art/films/music/books by outspoken critics of the government.
Maybe companies will make it so that employees who aren't vaccinated have more limitations placed on their wages than vaccinated ones. Maybe an unvaxxed paycheck can't be spent at cinemas or nightclubs, to "stop the spread of the virus".
John Cunliffe, deputy director of the Bank of England, told the Telegraph:
You could think of smart contracts in which the money would be programmed to be released only if something happened.
So maybe employers will remove choice altogether, and make a negative test and/or a vaccine booster a prerequisite for unlocking your wages. That could be applied to all kinds of behaviors moving forward.
The World Economic Forum has a clear vision of the future where people "own nothing and are happy", combine that with a prolonged war on homeownership, and you can see employers and governments issuing money which can be spent on rent, but not on a mortgage.
Now imagine the nascent "Green New Deal". Hard limits on how much money you can spend on petrol, plastic, or meat.
Only X dollars on flights per year. Only Y pounds on beef. All for the good of the planet.
Money will turn from an expression of independence into nothing but a voucher system operated completely at the whim of corporate monoliths.
All of this would have sounded like rampant paranoia just two years ago, but not now.
A programmable digital currency would have, coded into it, the ability to control our entire society. And it looks like that's where The New Normal is heading next. Combine this new digital currency with "digital ID" requirements coming soon (which will be necessary to review your IRS returns as of the end of 2022) requirements for digital health passports and you have a frightening possibility of absolute control.
If this sounds eerily familiar to what is described in the Book of Revelation you are right. Revelation 13 describes a time in which it is not possible to buy or sell without a "mark" of allegiance to a world leader commonly referred to as "The Antichrist".
What that final mark will look like is greatly debated but with the rise of biometrics possibly being merged with digital currency - the possibilities are numerous. The concept of programmable currency which can not only be monitored in real time but restrict who can use it is a scary possibility of how the Antichrist could control the masses through financial pressure and manipulation.
While many of these developments still seem afar off, Covid has reminded us of how quickly the entire world can change in a matter of months. It is important to not only be informed of world events but to understand how they fit into the larger picture of God's plan for the last days.
New Data From Life Insurance Companies Confirm That Americans Are Dying In Unusually Large Numbers - by Michael Snyder - http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/new-life-insurance-numbers-confirm-that-americans-are-dying-in-unusually-large-numbers/
Death is in the air. Unless you have been living in a cave for the past 12 months, you already know that this is true. Old people are dying, young people are dying, famous people are dying, and countless hard working Americans that make up the backbone of our economy are dying. For months, I have been writing articles about “the mystery of the missing workers”. For the very first time in U.S. history, we have a severe shortage of able-bodied workers, and this is one of the biggest reasons why we are facing an unprecedented supply chain crisis today. Millions of Americans that were working prior to the pandemic seem to have “disappeared” from the system, and now it has become clear that a lot of them have simply died.
Before I discuss the new life insurance numbers that have been revealed, I want to do a quick review.
Earlier this month, I wrote an article about a large life insurance company in Indiana that announced that the death rate for working age people covered by their policies was up 40 percent from pre-pandemic levels…
The head of Indianapolis-based insurance company OneAmerica said the death rate is up a stunning 40% from pre-pandemic levels among working-age people.
“We are seeing, right now, the highest death rates we have seen in the history of this business – not just at OneAmerica,” the company’s CEO Scott Davison said during an online news conference this week. “The data is consistent across every player in that business.”
A 40 percent increase in the death rate is really bad news for a life insurance company, because they make money when people don’t die.
In fact, Davison said that a 40 percent increase in a single year “is just unheard of”…
“Just to give you an idea of how bad that is, a three-sigma or a one-in-200-year catastrophe would be 10% increase over pre-pandemic,” he said. “So 40% is just unheard of.”
Davison’s remarks sent shockwaves all over the Internet, because they were one of the first hard pieces of evidence confirming the fact that Americans are dying in unusually large numbers.
But of course it was going to be extremely important for other life insurance companies to confirm that such a dramatic shift was indeed taking place, and now that is starting to happen.
According to Reuters, the amount of money paid out by global life insurance companies absolutely skyrocketed during the first three quarters of 2021…
The global life insurance industry was hit with reported claims due to COVID-19 of $5.5 billion in the first nine months of 2021 versus $3.5 billion for the whole of 2020, according to insurance broker Howden in a report on Jan 4, while the industry had expected lower payouts due to the rollout of vaccines.
“We definitely paid out more than I had anticipated at the beginning of last year,” said Hannover Re board member Klaus Miller.
Let’s assume that claims in the fourth quarter of 2021 came in at the same pace as the first three quarters of 2021.
That would add another 1.83 billion dollars, and it would give us a grand total of 7.33 billion dollars for the year.
So basically the amount of money that global life insurance companies will pay out for 2021 will be approximately double what they paid out for 2020.
Needless to say, that suggests that the death rate for those covered by such policies roughly doubled.
In that same article, it was reported that one life insurance company actually had its claims in the Americas more than triple during the third quarter…
Dutch insurer Aegon, which does two-thirds of its business in the United States, said its claims in the Americas in the third quarter were $111 million, up from $31 million a year earlier.
This isn’t normal.
But you already knew that.
Reuters is telling us that claims for MetLife and Prudential also “rose”, but we were not given specific numbers for those two insurance giants…
U.S. insurers MetLife (MET.N) and Prudential Financial (PRU.N) also said life insurance claims rose. South Africa’s Old Mutual (OMUJ.J) used up more of its pandemic provisions to pay claims and reinsurer Munich Re raised its 2021 estimate of COVID-19 life and health claims to 600 million euros from 400 million.
So now we have solid confirmation.
A lot of people really are dying.
Interestingly, an entirely separate investigation by The Epoch Times has also shown that deaths were unusually high in 2021. They analyzed death certificate data from the CDC, and they came to the conclusion that the number of deaths among Americans aged 18 to 49 “increased more than 40 percent in the 12 months ending October 2021 compared to the same period in 2018–2019″…
Health departments in several states confirmed to The Epoch Times that they are looking into a steep surge in the mortality rate for people aged 18 to 49 in 2021 — a majority of which are not linked to COVID-19.
Deaths among people aged 18 to 49 increased more than 40 percent in the 12 months ending October 2021 compared to the same period in 2018–2019, before the pandemic, according to an analysis by The Epoch Times of death certificate data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
This is bombshell information.
Americans are dying in enormous numbers, and that trend is almost certainly going to continue throughout the coming year.
Most of you that are reading this article know people that have died over the last 12 months. Every time that I hear that someone that I was personally familiar with has passed away, it deeply grieves me. What we are witnessing is such a great tragedy, and a lot more death is on the horizon.
Every moment that we are given is a precious gift, and so let us endeavor to make the most out of every single day.
Many people assume that they will live to a ripe old age, but that isn’t always true.
Death unexpectedly came for countless Americans in 2021, and countless more will also die in 2022.
Daily Jot: The Farm Chronicles: Gone Fishin’ - Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
If you watch enough Andy Griffith shows, you kind of get the idea that living in a rural town or in the country comes with some expectations. People expect friendliness. They expect the Golden Rule. They expect there is honesty and empathy among the businesses. And they expect that you will get a full sixty seconds out of your minute. Life on the farm was a lot like that. We worked hard, even us kids. We knew the value of neighbors because we all helped each other out. Yes, there were the normal disagreements, likes and dislikes, but at the end of the day, if someone needed help, we all pitched in. So the work was hard, but there was also time to relax.
Much of my “relaxation” was riding horses and playing in the woods. There was nothing like getting on my favorite horse and taking a ride through all the paths in the woods early in the morning before the flies got bad in the summertime. We had a lot of trails on the 100-acre farm. There was even a hallway of trees. These were mature trees that when they were young, someone had tied them over to create some sort of hallway along the path. We believed that the Indians did this to lead the way to some mounds that were situated near the end of the hallway. It was a nice path to gallop, but in all those years, we never disturbed the mounds. To this day, I don’t know if they are burial mounds or just mounds. Let it be.
One of the things that I never got into was fishing. I remember getting all excited one time about going fishing. You know, like Opie does with his dad at the beginning of every episode. So, I found a very old fishing pole in the shed. It had a red and white plastic bobber and an old hook on it. Digging up a few worms and putting them in a can, I hoisted the fishing pole across my shoulder and headed out toward the pond, whistling, or trying to whistle, the theme to the Andy Griffith Show. I found myself a nice spot along the bank of the pond, beneath an old oak tree with branches hanging over long enough to cast a shady shadow, and settled in. After baiting the hook, I tossed it out as far as I could into the murky water. After about an hour or so, nothing going on, no fish biting, I’m thinking to myself, “This isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.”
I was bored. There was no action. And I couldn’t just sit there any longer. So I reeled in, packed up and marched on home. That night at the dinner table, Dad asked me what I did all day. I told him that I went fishing at the pond. He looked over at Mom and they both got grins on their faces. Dad asked if I had caught anything. I lowered my head in defeat and said, “No.” And they both had a good laugh. Dad then told me that there weren’t any fish in the pond. He said for some reason that pond could never sustain any fish. Realizing I wasted my time, and I didn’t like sitting around, that was the end of my fishing. Rarely have I gone fishing since. Instead, I heard the call as Christ beckoned in Matthew 4:19, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” There’s a lot more action and I never get bored being a fisher of men.
Daily Devotion: How to Waste Your Energy - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation. —Hebrews 11:2
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/how-to-waste-your-energy/ - Listen
If you’re worrying about when you’re going to die, you’re wasting a lot of energy. That is in God’s hands. The Bible says, “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27 NKJV).
You will live as long as God wants you to live and not a day longer.
Take, for instance, the men and women in the Bible’s Heroes Hall of Faith: “By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight” (Hebrews 11:33–34 NLT).
Of course, there’s one person in the Bible we especially associate with the word lions, and that is Daniel. Daniel was a prophet of the Lord, and he served Babylon’s King Darius, who relied on him for his counsel. Daniel’s enemies knew the only way they could remove him from his position of influence was by finding something connected to his faith.
Daniel had an amazing habit of daily prayer, so they convinced the king to sign a decree that no one could pray to anyone except the king for 30 days. But Daniel went home and prayed as he always did, so they arrested him and threw him into a den of lions.
The king had a sleepless night, despite the comforts of the palace. Meanwhile, Daniel slept like a baby in the lions’ den, and God preserved his life. This reminds us of the simple fact that it’s better to be in a lions’ den with God than anywhere else without Him.
God wasn’t done with Daniel yet, and He isn’t done with you yet. So stop worrying and start trusting Him.
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