IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Spirit of Prophecy – Pete Garcia - https://www.rev310.net/post/the-spirit-of-prophecy
The cross is the center of the world's history; the incarnation of Christ and the crucifixion of our Lord are the pivot round which all the events of the ages revolve. The testimony of Christ was the spirit of prophecy, and the growing power of Jesus is the spirit of history. Alexander Maclaren
Even before the creation of our reality, before the age of men and angels, a sovereign God looked down through the passageway of time and determined to Himself, the why and how to perfectly orchestrate the plan of redemption for mankind.
Thus, the universe in its totality, mankind’s shared history, the ever-persistent now, and the unknown future, are all equally foreknown to God. Nothing is hidden from Him. He is perfectly in control. He is perfectly in command of every molecule that floats through our existence. He knows every star by name. He knows the goings-on of every sparrow. He knows how many hairs we have on our heads. He knows the number of every hair of every head that has ever lived. He upholds the foundations of reality by His sheer willpower, without exhausting an ounce of effort. Nothing escapes His knowledge. No power, ruler, authority, prince, king, angel, demon, or ‘titan of industry,’ can bring anything to pass without His permission.
Even more incredible, is that God knows all this while still allowing free will.
He orchestrates events as such that His word, never returns void. What He has foreordained, will come to pass, even with men and angels acting after their own desires. The only thing I am aware of that God forgets is our sins when we come to Him for forgiveness. At that point, He casts our sins as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). He is all-knowing, yet, even knowing the worst of us, has chosen us for Himself while we were still enemies of the Cross (Rom. 5:8-10). We are not only chosen but are become living stones precious to God (1 Peter 2:3-5). Lewis Sperry Chafer once said anyone can devise a plan by which good people may go to Heaven. Only God can devise a plan whereby sinners, who are His enemies, can go to Heaven.
Such is the greatness, perfectness, and unfathomable depths of our God’s mercy, sovereignty, justice, grace, holiness, wrath, and love. We (as a human race) know more about the seemingly infinite characteristics of outer space than we do about God. We only even know who God is, by what Scripture states, and yet, even words on paper cannot do justice to who God really is. As holy as some of us think we are, what would it be like to be in His presence? Most of us would consider the prophet Isaiah to be a very holy man, and yet, all he could muster was woe is me, for I am undone! I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips. (Isaiah 6:5)
Most of us would consider the Apostles (minus Judas) to be godly men. The Apostle John, having personally known Jesus, the Incarnate God, and even having been an eyewitness to Him glorified both in the Transfiguration (Matthew 17) as well as His post-Calvary appearances (John 20-21), fell as dead when seeing Christ in His true form (Revelation 1:17). Needless to say, our knowledge of Him, and even our personal encounters with the Holy Spirit, cannot fully prepare us for what lies ahead.
As far as man has advanced in knowledge, in every academic and technological arena we have at our disposal, we still cannot fathom the unsearchable riches of His grace. As the Apostle Paul recorded, eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things God has prepared for those who love Him (1 Corinthians 2:9). It is simply too much for finite man, to fully wrap our minds around an infinite God.
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-7
A think tank, or policy institute, is a research institute that performs research and advocacy concerning topics such as social policy, political strategy, economics, military, technology, and culture. Most think tanks are non-governmental organizations, but some are semi-autonomous agencies within government or are associated with particular political parties or businesses. Think-tank funding often includes a combination of millionaire donations and individual contributions, with many also accepting government grants.
Think tanks publish articles, studies or even draft legislation on particular matters of policy or society. This information is then readily used by governments, businesses, media organizations, social movements or other interest groups as part of their goals. Think tanks range from those associated with highly academic or scholarly activities to those that are overtly ideological and pushing for particular policy, with widely differing quality of research among them. Later generations of think tanks have tended to be more ideologically oriented. (Source: Wikipedia)
Throughout the ebb and flow of ages and empires, there have always been the cottage industries of intelligence. These are they who make their bread by predicting the world to come. In ancient times, they were called astronomers, magicians, and soothsayers. Later, there were called ‘wise men’ and royal advisors. These days, they are called think tanks, strategists, planners, and analysts. In fact, we have (at least in this modern era) created a shadow government dedicated to trading in intelligence. They attempt to predict the world to come, primarily, by studying the world that was, and observing the world that is, to predict and then shape the world to come. As of 2020, there are roughly 6,066 think tanks in the world (most of which are located in the United States).
Recently, a friend gave me a copy of the National Intelligence Council's report titled Global Trends 2040: A More Contested World. They publish one of these every four years and have done so going back as far as 1997. From their foreword:
A central component of the project has been our conversations with the world outside our security gates. We benefited greatly from ongoing conversations with esteemed academics and researchers across a range of disciplines, anchoring our study in the latest theories and data. We also broadened our contacts to hear diverse perspectives, ranging from high school students in Washington DC to civil society organizations in Africa, to business leaders in Asia, to foresight practitioners in Europe and Asia, to environmental groups in South America. These discussions offered us new ideas and expertise, challenged our assumptions, and helped us to identify and understand our biases and blind spots. (Source:https://www.dni.gov/files/ODNI/documents/assessments/GlobalTrends_2040.pdf ) [Emphasis mine]
The NIC's assessment then bucketed the global issues into five key themes (summarized):
1. Global Challenges- catastrophic climate change, disease, financial crises, and technology disruptions
2. Fragmentation- increased connectivity is increasingly dividing and fragmenting communities, states, and the international system
3. Disequilibrium- an increasing mismatch between challenges and needs, and the systems and organization in place to deal with them
4. Contestation- increased fracturing due to increased identity affiliations
5. Adaptation- events are forcing states and state actors to adapt to the changing environment (they cite climate change as an example)
At the end of this 156-page document, they then list their five prediction scenarios. The work in its entirety, as a human endeavor, is impressive. However, despite their unpretentious claims of broadening their contacts to hear diverse perspectives in order to identify their blind spots and challenge their assumptions, this 156-page document makes no mention of God, nor any of the geopolitical predictions the Bible makes. In fact, there is no mention of bible prophecy at all or even religion for that matter. When religion is mentioned, it is only referenced as a demographic. Interestingly, even their demographics have Christianity declining around the world.
But why is that?
Religion (or lack of it) is very often the catalyst for why nations, state actors, NGOs, and terrorist groups do what they do. Communism, for example, was the bane of the 20th century and catalyst for the forty-year Cold War. Communism is rooted in atheism, which replaces God with the state as the highest "divine" entity. When you endear those godlike powers to men, it has the tendency in almost every instance, to corrupt them and enable them to believe they are in fact, divine (Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Tito, Franco, Ceaușescu, Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Un, etc). Even communism's ugly brother, fascism, has seen its share of ideological tyrants (e.g., Mussolini, Hitler, Stojadinović). In Hitler's Nazi eschatology, he both promised and then attempted to usher in a thousand-year Aryan Reich, dragging the world into a second global war in the process.
Both the Sunni and Shia revolutions in 1979, wanted a revival of a global Islamic Caliphate. What followed was decades of terrorism, civil unrest, and warfare across the Middle East. This same desire for Islamic domination has been revived in Turkey in 2001, with the Tayyip Erdogan cementing his iron-fisted control over the nation where the US has several military bases. Even today, Al Qaeda, Iran, and ISIS base their actions on the belief that they can bring about the end of the world by creating the conditions necessary for the Mahdi to return. In fact, it would be impossible to dismiss the reality that their actions are not only consistent with their beliefs, but are driven by them.
And yet this document does so without a passing glance.
I thought they wanted to be unbiased? I thought they wanted to challenge their assumptions? Instead, they regurgitate the same old politically correct tripe of unprovable man-caused climate change, "challenges" of burgeoning technologies, and diseases.
Now, I am not a prophet, nor the son of a prophet. I am, however, an observer of the times in which I live. I also have the revelation of God in His Word, the Bible, as well as the Holy Spirit to guide me in how to understand His word. Thus, like the days of Elijah on Mt. Carmel (1 Kings 18:20-40), let us compare their predictions, against what the Bible predicts, and see which will come to pass. To date, Scripture’s track record for accurately predicting future events is still sitting comfortably at 100%.
Mind you, our adversary, the Devil, is powerful. In the order of created beings, he is below God, but above man in regards to intellect, experience, strength, wisdom, beauty, and pretty much every other category. He has but only to break a single prophecy in the Bible (and there are hundreds upon hundreds) to break the infallibility of the Word of God. And despite his best efforts, God still holds his leash.
Nevertheless, here are the respected, trusted, and esteemed NIC’s five most likely scenarios for how they see the world by 2040: (Source: https://www.dni.gov/index.php/gt2040-media-and-downloads ) I’ve taken the liberty to underline key phrases as are germane to the discussion.
1. Renaissances of Democracies
Open, democratic systems proved better able to foster scientific research and technological innovation, catalyzing an economic boom. Strong economic growth, in turn, enabled democracies to meet many domestic needs, address global challenges, and counter rivals.
The combination of better service provision and anticorruption efforts helped restore public trust in institutions and eventually mended many fractured societies. Strong differences in public preferences and beliefs remained but these were worked out democratically.
US leadership proved central to multilateral coordination and focus on global challenges, building on established alliances and international institutions. A revival in the EU and the United Kingdom, spurred on by technological innovation and economic growth, was key to broader success.
Over time, the combination of severe repression, stalled economic growth, and mounting demographic pressures undermined established authoritarian regimes in China and Russia, making them less predictable and more aggressive in their neighborhoods.
2. A World Adrift
This is a directionless world in which international rules of behavior are no longer followed, global cooperation is limited, and technology fails to provide solutions.
China’s increasingly aggressive moves in Asia elevates the risk of armed conflict with other regional powers, especially over critical resources. In contrast, developing countries with large unemployed youthful populations feel compelled to appease Chinese demands in hopes of securing much-needed investment and aid.
Regional powers and non-state actors, including corporations, have more influence over domains like cyber, space, and other technologies, but they lack the power to dominate the system.
Weakened rules and lack of multilateral cooperation leave the world more vulnerable to individual hackers, terrorists, and criminal groups. Belligerents feel emboldened to pursue their goals with force, particularly in the Middle East and Africa.
Large global problems, particularly climate change and health challenges, fester as states lack incentives to pursue collective actions and instead apply a patchwork of mismatched approaches. Nonetheless, some states, companies, and private organizations use the freedom to discover novel ways to enhance human health and worker productivity and to experiment with new approaches to economic development and governance
3. Competitive Coexistences
The US-China rivalry and other state-to-state relations are channeled into competition for markets, resources, and brand reputation within mutually accepted rules in these areas. Publics rally around their governments in the competition, tempering societal fragmentation.
Strengthened economic interdependence lowers the risk of the major powers pursuing armed conflict; most of them engage in influence operations, corporate espionage, and cyber-attacks that allow them to achieve goals without risking destructive wars.
The central security challenge is how to keep the geopolitical competition between the United States and China from undermining the economic cooperation upon which their prosperity and the global economy depend.
Long-term stability remains at risk from growing climate challenges that were ignored in favor of near-term economic gains; technological innovations and economic prosperity have lulled leaders into believing that they can put off making hard choices on climate change.
4. Separate Silos
Separating economies has dire consequences, including massive financial losses for countries and corporations, as supply chains fracture, markets are lost, and once lucrative sectors, like travel and tourism, decline. The resulting economies are less vulnerable to future supply chain disruptions but also less efficient.
Larger countries with abundant resources, few nearby enemies, and defensible borders, such as the United States and Canada, are better able to adapt than most others. The focus on self-sufficiency makes some states more resilient even as others founder.
To maintain domestic stability in this world, states adopt mixed political models combining elements of democracy and authoritarianism, increasing surveillance and potentially repression. Many states turn to exclusionary forms of nationalism to unify majority populations against perceived foreign enemies.
Unable to attract talent globally or sustain international collaboration, technological innovation atrophies. Wealthy countries begin to compensate by shifting resources to domestic education.
International organizations and collective action to tackle climate change, healthcare disparities, and poverty falter. Countries independently adapt to the catastrophic impacts, significantly increasing the incentive for risky solutions.
Focused on internal security, the world’s larger militaries avoid direct armed conflict. Rival blocs compete for control over scarce resources, leading to smaller wars or other means of diverting attention from domestic problems and rallying public support against foreign enemies. Nuclear weapons proliferate.
5. Tragedy and Mobilization
An existential threat catalyzes a bottom-up social movement that transforms multilateral cooperation, disrupts economic incentives, and offers nonstate actors greater influence.
Major power competition among individual states is rechanneled to address more pressing global challenges; the geopolitical hierarchy is reshuffled, creating once unlikely partnerships between progressive European political parties and the Chinese Communist Party.
Europe takes the lead in promoting sustainable development, while China adopts and promotes new energy technologies.
Countries beholden to fossil fuel industries are the slowest to get on board with the global revolution, creating a global backlash to their leadership, products, and brands. The second-and third-order implications of the new political movements create long-term challenges for their economies.
With broad popular support, NGOs, multilateral organizations, and activist groups have unprecedented ability to influence standards, marshal resources, hold violators accountable, and prod states to act. In some cases, global priorities take precedence over national interests.
I don't know about you, but reading these, sort of reminds me of reading Nostradamus. Throw a bunch of stuff against the wall, and see what sticks. However, let us review their key themes (those mentioned repeatedly) and take note of what they (the NIC) really view as important.
Pastor Ken Ortize once said, and I will repeat here for the sake of the common-sense challenged:
“If something is not true, then it’s not real. And if it’s not real, then it doesn’t work.”
These NIC predictions (going back to 1997) are part of the deep-state propaganda they drum up every four years to scare (or steer) the next administration into taking on their globalist agenda. These problems, while almost entirely government-created scenarios are not true problems, thus, are not real, and thus, they don't work.
Again, none of these scenarios really get at the heart of what ails mankind; they are like putting bandaids on bullet holes. Until you treat the internal damage, dressing it up on the outside is a moot point. Man is fallen and sinful. In this state, man (all of mankind) only ever seeks after their own hearts' desires and thus becomes corrupt.
Granted, I might be more sensitive to this seeming slight (NIC's dismissal of God) than others, but it irks me to no end that the "experts" (who get paid to give their opinions) routinely attempt to delve into the only domain man cannot know, and do so without the input from the only One who can. The one true God, Yahweh, the I AM, of the Bible, who upholds our universe together by His sheer will, is not factored into these "experts" thinking at all.
Now ask yourself, why that is?
Let us set aside our beliefs and ideological differences for a second. Let us pretend we had a time machine, and a book that accurately predicted future events; now wouldn’t that be the most valuable book ever written?
It would without question.
In the 1989 movie Back to the Future II, Marty McFly’s arch-nemesis, Biff/Griff Tannen, gets ahold of a Grays Sports Almanac, which has the complete sports statistics for the years 1950-2000. Future Griff (circa 2015) retrieves this almanac from a trashcan and is able to steal Doc Brown’s time machine to go back in time to 1955, to provide himself with an alternate future timeline with all of this valuable information. This of course makes him insanely wealthy and corrupt, and he uses it to secure his power over the town of Hill Valley.
Gray’s is not a real almanac (i.e., it was created for the movie) but there are many like it in real life. Imagine if you went back in time, and had one of those sports almanacs that recorded the wins and losses of every major sports game for half a century. That would be a gambler’s dream. Now, let us apply this fictional movie scenario to real life.
Think tanks, analysts, planners, strategists, and so forth, would all love to have their own crystal ball. Their reputation depends on them accurately predicting the most likely geopolitical scenarios to come to pass. Having reviewed most of these reports for years now, they, almost always, apply the broad “shotgun blast” method of predicting things and hoping to hit something approach. This is not to say they get everything wrong. When you shotgun blast predictions, you are bound to have some hits. But when we look back over the major events for just the past several decades, none of the major events like 9/11, Iraq-Afghanistan conflicts, 2008 Mortgage crisis, the revival of nationalism (the Trump effect), COVID-19 global economic shutdown, etc., are ever clearly predicted. They aren't even accurately articulated when they are happening at the moment (e.g., moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, recognizing Israeli sovereignty, Abraham Accords, etc.). These guys' accuracy ratings are even below that of political pollsters.
However, the reason they get things wrong so often is that they refuse to acknowledge their blind spots and biases. All of us have a Bible at our disposal, a book that has accurately predicted events since the 14th-century BC. Yet, the “professionals” refuse to accept it because it is not politically correct.
Author's note: Political correctness was created under the guise of Cultural Marxism in the late nineteenth/early twentieth century. Marxism (as a system) is atheistic in nature, and thus, dismisses God out of hand for ideological purposes. We can all see historically, how successful and wonderful Marxism has been over the past century and a half (with only 200,000,000+ murdered by their governments). <Sarcasm Intended>
For over two thousand years, the Bible has accurately predicted thousands of events. From the naming of kings, to the rise and fall of five kingdoms who would shape the ancient (and future) world. The Bible records the coming of the Messiah; His birth, life, ministry, miracles, death, and resurrection. It even records how and why He would die. The Bible accurately predicted the nation of Israel's deliverance (Egypt), travails (wandering), success (Saul, David, Solomon), its conquest (Assyria, Babylon, and Rome), as well as its national resurrection (1948). Furthermore, the Bible predicts in the last days, the world will be divided under the leadership of ten kings, who will then submit themselves to one ruler (the Antichrist). This Antichrist will then force everyone on earth, on pain of death, to either take his mark or be beheaded (Rev. 13).
These experts refuse to accept objective truth, at the very moment in time, when the geopolitical/economic/technological conditions on the ground are happening. This ironically is juxtaposed with a society consumed with the spirit of Antichrist. They are blinded, and cannot even bring themselves to acknowledge their own blindness, because of pride. Now, I’m certain, many people labored months, pouring untold gallons of their own sweat-equity into their document. However, their work is all for naught and will be wrong (as usual).
Here is what the Bible states will actually happen
1. Israel would be resurrected as a nation after a nearly two-millennia diaspora and reclaim Jerusalem as their capital (Deut. 4:31, 30:1-10, Isa. 11:11-12, 66:8-9, Ezek. 36:22-24, Amos 9:14-15, Zech. 12:2-3, Matt. 24:15, Luke 21:24)
2. A world increasingly deteriorating morally and spiritually leading to increased lawlessness, wars/rumors of wars, and men's heart waxing cold against God (Matt. 24:3-14, 2 Tim. 3:1-7, 2 Peter 3:3-9)
3. A world buckling under its own problems (Earthquakes, pestilences, rumors of war, human conflict, signs in the sun, moon, and stars), all the while knowledge and travel is increasing, adding to man's potential for pretending nothing is wrong and adopting a false normalcy bias (Dan. 12:4, Luke 17:26-29, 1 Thess. 5:1-9)
4. A world increasingly becoming God-hating and Christ-rejecting- while embracing paganism, secularism, ecumenicalism, satanism, and pantheism, even the last days' Christian church would become lukewarm and ineffective (1 John 2:18, 4:3, 2 John 1:7, Romans 1:18-32, Rev. 3:14-22)
5. A world caught off guard by a divinely predicted and appointed, rescue operation known as the Rapture of the Church (John 14:1-3, 1 Thess. 4:13-5:9; 1 Cor 15:51-56, Revelation 3:10)
6. A world at war with no mention of a super nation like the United States anywhere to be found in Scripture, should be sending up red flags to all these think tanks, but they aren't (Gog-Magog coalition, Red Horse- global conflict) (Ezekiel 38-39, Rev. 6:3-4)
7. A world thrown into chaos, and then united by crisis, divides itself into ten regions, who then is taken over by one man (Dan. 2:42-45, Rev. 6:1-2, 13, 17)
8. A world subjugated by 21 divinely appointed judgments (Rev. 6-18) which ultimately destroys all the oceans, trees, rivers, and even the sky; all enemies vanquished and conquered by a returning and victorious Jesus Christ (Zech. 12, 14, Rev. 19)
9. The true, new world order with Christ Jesus as King of kings and Lord of lords restores the earth back to its former state of paradise (Isaiah 2, Revelation 20)
All of history before the Cross led to the One whom it would bear. All of history since points back to His victory by conquering death and hell. In His triumph, He has promised to return and has given us His Holy Spirit and His Word to see that day approaching. Because God is ever-faithful until the end, we can trust His plan and know true peace. He has promised us that we who are watching, would not be caught unawares.
The world at the present regards us born-again believers as rubes, brutes, ignorant, and foolish for worshipping a God we cannot see. However, we who know Him and have a personal relationship with Him, know the power of God to change lives and to change us from the inside out. This is something no human religion, philosophy, ideology, or otherwise, could ever do. Furthermore, even we who hold close to the prophetic promises, are viewed as the lowest of the low, because we dared have faith in a plan of redemption clearly articulated in the world's most perfect book.
We have the trusted eyewitnesses (the patriarchs, prophets, apostles), who, often at the pain of death, swore with dying breaths of their allegiance to our God and to our Lord Jesus Christ. These men were instructed to put together, by divine inspiration, a book no human(s) could ever do on their own accord, accurately predicting hundreds of events years, decades, and even centuries into the future with perfect fulfillment.
This is why we don't need the NIC to play God. This is why we don't need a 156-page document produced every four years with untold millions of hours and taxpayer dollars poured into it to see what direction the world is going. This is why you don't need the United Nations to promote their godless agendas (2020, 2030, etc.) to save the planet. This is why you don't need the media to repeatedly drive you into a frenzy over their constant doomsday predictions. You just need Jesus. Once you know Him, only then can you know and understand His plans for the future as detailed extensively in the Bible.
In closing, God foreknew man's potential to amass great knowledge (Gen. 11:6), and in that knowledge, become prideful and abandon their need for Him (Prov. 16:18). Playing against that pride, God chose those things enlightened men would find foolish, to accomplish His perfect plan.
For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:26-31
New Dead Sea Scroll revelation: Eight manuscripts were written by same mysterious scribe – Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz - https://www.israel365news.com/190089/new-dead-sea-scroll-revelation-eight-manuscripts-were-written-by-same-mysterious-scribe/
Thus said Hashem, the God of Yisrael: Write down in a scroll all the words that I have spoken to you. Jeremiah 30:2 (The Israel BibleTM)
A new study into the Dead Sea Scrolls gave deep insights into the scribes whose hands inscribed the parchments over 2,000 years ago.
CARBON DATING THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS
A new study that used Carbon-14 dating on fragments of about 30 Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible, was presented at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. Carbon-14, or radiocarbon dating, is a method of age determination that measures the decay of the nitrogen of radiocarbon. It has been several decades since such tests have been carried out. The Israel Antiquities Authority is normally reluctant to facilitate these tests as the technique is destructive, albeit on a very small scale.
The study was intended to settle the academic conflict over the precise dating of the scrolls, which most scholars believe were written between the third century BCE and the first century CE.
“When it comes to dating the manuscripts, there is the problem that for most of the period, we have no internally dated manuscripts, and the few that we have dated from the outer ends of the timescale,” Prof. Mladen Popović, the head of Groningen’s Qumran Institute and the leader of the project, said at the conference.
The study revealed that some of the scrolls were more ancient than previously thought. The results of the radiocarbon tests on 25 of the scrolls helped calibrate an algorithm for digital analysis of paleography (the science of handwriting).
“With regard to dating the manuscripts, the data from our model shows that there was not a nice continuous progression and development of characters, but rather that sometimes there was a lot of development and sometimes not so much,” Popović said. “The characters were not developing in a linear homogeneous manner throughout these periods.”
PALEOGRAPHY; THE STUDY OF HANDWRITING
“Our paleographers will say that they can date Dead Sea Scrolls with a precision of 25 to 50 years’ date range, and [the research] is yet to substantiate their model,” he said. “Pending new data in the future, we dare say that we have a model that works consistently and is able to date manuscripts with an empirically based precision that was not possible before. This is a huge advance for the field.”
The study also revealed new theories about the authors of the scrolls presented in the journal PLOS ONE two weeks ago. Popović, professor of Hebrew Bible and Ancient Judaism at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Groningen and director of the university’s Qumran Institute dedicated to studying the Dead Sea Scrolls, investigated these theories in his project titled ‘The Hands that Wrote the Bible’.
One aspect investigated was biomechanical traits, like the way in which someone holds a pen or stylus. In this study,Popović collaborated with PhD candidate Maruf Dhali. They focused on the Great Isaiah Scroll (1QIsaa) from Qumran Cave 1. The writing on the scroll seems uniform, attributable to one scribe, but some believe it was written by two scribes using identical styles. Precise comparisons focusing on minute details are difficult.
“This scroll contains the letter aleph, or ‘a’, at least five thousand times,” Lambert Schomaker, professor of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence at the Faculty of Science and Engineering, said. “It is impossible to compare them all just by eye.”
Schomaker explained that computers are well suited to analyze large datasets, such as 5,000 handwritten a’s. “Digital imaging makes all sorts of computer calculations possible, at the microlevel of characters, such as measuring curvature (called textural), as well as whole characters (called allographic).”
He also performed studies to investigate how biomechanical traits, like the way in which someone holds a pen or stylus, would affect handwriting. The study revealed that the Great Isaiah Scroll, one of the more significant of the Dead Sea collection, was the work of two scribes with nearly identical writing styles, with the second scribe taking over in the middle.
“We also succeeded in demonstrating that the second scribe shows more variation within his writing than the first, although their writing is very similar,” Schomaker concluded.
Given the close similarity in penmanship, the researchers believe the two scribes likely received the same training or were even peers within the same scribal school.
The study also applied the algorithm to study the writing style of 51 Dead Sea manuscripts. The style, known as round semi-formal, dates back to the late 1st century BCE. The study concluded that eight of the manuscripts considered were written by one scribe, the most prolific scribe ever identified and able to work in two languages.
“One of the really exciting aspects of our findings is that these manuscripts are very diverse,” paleographer Gemma Hayes told The Jerusalem Post. “We found seven Hebrew manuscripts and one Aramaic manuscript, so-called sectarian manuscripts associated with the community in Qumran and non-sectarian manuscripts, as well as some para-biblical texts, including the one known as the testament of Naftali and some writing about Rachel and Joseph.”
The rest of the manuscripts studied are believed to have been written by different scribes save two fragments which may have been penned by the same scribe.
Nearing Midnight: Russian Nuclear War Threat? – Terry James - https://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
Russia’s bellicose actions lately have some predicting nuclear war and what would amount to World War III. One blogger who is a long-time commentator on geopolitics as they might relate to Bible prophecy believes that Russian President Vladimir Putin plans an assault on Alaska.
His thinking is that Russians have long sought to recover Alaska from the time they owned and sold the now American state to the US. Josef Stalin was, he says, set to invade Alaska, but the action was preempted by the Soviet dictator’s death in 1953.
The blog pundit throws in the fact that China also has its sights on taking over America, and that Putin needs to prevent that from taking place, because Russia is planning the same thing.
The blogger’s conspiratorial analysis goes much deeper, but that’s the overall gist of his suspicion—America is on the brink of being taken over by Russia, China, or both.
The inept, even seditious, traitorous Biden administration, as he characterizes it, and its deep-state provocateurs are fomenting this attempted takeover by pushing hard at Russian involvement in the threat to Ukraine. He believes the new administration is doing this in order to provoke nuclear conflict. This, somehow, is so that the new, global order they wish to construct can, with the help of China as a sort of partner in the whole agglomerate matter, leap to world domination.
No, I haven’t a clue how China would ever agree to be part of such an amalgamation. Its goal is clearly total world dominion, not partnership in such.
And China, like the US Senate’s Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, plays the “long game.” That is, they are extremely patient and will go through the geopolitical gyrations for as long as necessary to—in China’s case—achieve global domination. Only if they see there is no longer a pathway to such domination will they then resort to all-out nuclear war.
They are threatening militarily around the world—like, for example, their constantly running their air force and navy up to the boundaries surrounding Taiwan. And like their nonstop intimidation of US and other naval forces in the China Sea and around the globe. But they know which side their bread is buttered on. They couldn’t win a nuclear conflict with America. They’ll never try—this side of the Tribulation era.
Same with Russia. They wouldn’t have a chance of winning nuclear all-out conflict with the US. Most all experts who study war agree. All would suffer unacceptable devastation in such a conflict.
The threat of nuclear exchanges has existed since the Soviets stole American technology and built their nuclear arsenal. The Cuban missile crisis of October 1962 was the closest the world has come to such an exchange.
Like in every case, avoidance of such world-changing or even world-ending conflict has been held back by the very hand of God. There is no doubt about this to anyone who is a believer and is spiritually attuned to the supernaturally foreknown movement of human history.
As a matter of fact, God’s Word outlines precisely the final disposition of both of the nuclear powers which the blogger confidently predicts will soon take over the US in a probable nuclear conflict.
Ezekiel the prophet gives us God’s view and His way of dealing with Russia in chapters 38 and 39. The Russian leader, Gog, leads his forces against God’s chosen nation and they are obliterated except for one-sixth of that force.
China is held behind the oriental barrier to the occidental world so far as domination is concerned until they are freed to come across the dried-up Euphrates, as prophesied in Revelation chapters 9 and 16. This force will be annihilated at Armageddon.
God’s restraining hand is in evidence even on the level of this nuclear confrontation matter.
Observers were looking to the potential conflict presented by Putin sending troops to the Ukrainian border en masse. They looked poised to invade. President Joe Biden’s poking at the Russian bear, sending airplanes full of tactical nuclear weapons into Ukraine, supposedly, was meant to provoke that nuclear conflict, whereby all the New World Order stuff outlined above would begin to roll out.
Of course, I see all of that as not possible—not if Bible prophecy is true. And it is. Even if such were the plans of the globalists and the Chinese leadership, God’s restraining hand would never allow it—again, according to Bible prophecy.
We again see a stepping down from the nuclear brink in the following excerpt.
After weeks of tension over a build-up of Russian troops close to Ukraine’s border, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shogun has ordered a number of units in the area back to their bases…
Russia said all along that these were nothing more than military exercises.
But Moscow knew very well that its troop movements close to Ukraine and in annexed Crimea were making a lot of people very nervous: in Ukraine, Europe and in America.
And that was the point.
Moscow may well have been using the build-up of troops to send a signal to Kyiv, Brussels and, especially, to Washington that Russia is a force to be reckoned with. (“Russia to Pull Troops Back from Near Ukraine,” BBC News, April 23, 2021)
Nuclear war involving these end-times nation-state actors will take place. The kings of the east will almost certainly use nuclear weaponry to kill one-third of the world’s population. Nuclear exchanges are inevitable during the Tribulation. No weapon ever invented by the fallen minds of mankind has ever been withheld in the murderous wars of history.
The Christian of this Church Age (Age of Grace) needs not fear suffering through that time of such horrors. Believe in Jesus today and be kept from that terrible hour of evil. Jesus promises the following to those who belong to Him.
Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation [Tribulation,] which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. (Revelation 3:10)
Are They Purposely Trying To Make The Streets Of America “Abnormally Violent” In The Summer Of 2021? - by Michael Snyder - http://endoftheamericandream.com/are-they-purposely-trying-to-make-the-streets-of-america-abnormally-violent-in-the-summer-of-2021/
Have you noticed that the corporate media has been repeatedly using the word “violent” to describe what the summer of 2021 is going to be like? Many Americans believed that once Joe Biden was in the White House that all of the civil unrest that we have been witnessing would magically disappear and that violent crime rates would go back to normal. Of course neither of those things has happened. We continue to see civil unrest erupt in major U.S. cities such as Portland, and murder rates are even higher in 2021 than they were in 2020. This is a fact that was highlighted in a recent Axios article entitled “It’s set to be a hot, violent summer”…
In this instance, Axios is right on the money.
Murder rates were way, way up all over the nation last year, and this year murder rates are shooting even higher.
It is also true that we tend to see a spike in violence over the summer, and one expert that was interviewed by Axios is warning that this upcoming summer will be “abnormally violent”…
“Summer 2021 is going to be abnormally violent,” John Roman, a senior fellow at the economics, justice and society group at NORC at the University of Chicago, wrote this year. “It is the new normal.”
There is that word “violent” again.
It is almost as if they are trying to mentally condition us for something.
Once you are alert to it, you will start noticing the corporate media using it constantly.
And actually this is one point in which I am in full agreement with the corporate media. There will be tremendous violence during the summer of 2021, and certain decisions that our political leaders are now making will contribute to that violence.
For example, it was just announced that 76,000 inmates could soon be permanently released in California, and we are being told that 63,000 of those inmates have actually been “convicted of violent crimes”…
California is set to release at least 63,000 inmates convicted of violent crimes in an effort to create “safer prisons.”
Yes, the prisons will most definitely be safer if all of those criminals are released.
But the mean streets of California will become even more dangerous.
I have no idea why California Governor Gavin Newsom would do such a thing. Releasing tens of thousands of violent criminals just in time for the summer is incredibly foolish, and he is being strongly criticized by Republicans for choosing to do this…
A number of Republican lawmakers in the state have opposed the move and criticized Gov. Gavin Newsom for acting “on his own authority, instead of the will of the people.”
“This is what I call Newsom’s time off for bad behavior. He’s putting us all at greater risk, and there seems to be no end to the degree to which he wants to do that,” Republican state Sen. Jim Nielsen said.
Murder rates in California are already threatening to spiral out of control.
Is Governor Newsom purposely trying to make things even worse?
On a national level, it has been announced that there are no plans to bring the federal inmates that were released during the COVID pandemic back to prison…
The U.S. Bureau of Prisons has no immediate plans to send thousands of inmates released during the COVID-19 pandemic back to prison, but to prevent that from happening in the future, Congress needs to change the law, its head said Thursday.
“We’re going to use good judgment and common sense and work within the law,” said BOP Director Michael Carvajal in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, noting the agency has no desire to “arbitrarily” disrupt peoples’ lives by forcing them to return to prison.
I have an idea.
Let’s just release all of the inmates in all of the prisons and see what happens.
Doesn’t that sound like fun?
For a long time I have been warning that crime rates would spike dramatically and that we would see tremendous civil unrest in our cities, and now it is happening right in front of our eyes.
The elite can see what is happening too, and they have been purchasing very large chunks of real estate in very remote areas.
For instance, billionaire Mark Walter recently bought up large sections of a very small town in Colorado called “Crested Butte”…
But Walter’s activity in Crested Butte has drawn lots of local attention among its population of about 4,700. This year alone, Walter purchased six commercial properties, including several historic buildings downtown and a family resort called the Almont, which sits at the intersection of the East and Taylor rivers. Walter closed the deals under limited liability companies registered to his work address in Chicago.
“He’s been very—I wouldn’t say ‘secretive’—but certainly not forthcoming with what he’s going to be doing with the buildings,” Crested Butte Mayor Jim Schmidt told The Daily Beast. Realtor Eric Roemer echoed the uneasy feeling: “Nobody really knows what his game plan is.”
And Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made headlines when he gobbled up another 600 acres in Hawaii for 53 million dollars…
Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan have nearly doubled their controversial land holdings in Hawaii, after buying almost 600 acres on Kauai from a non-profit for $53 million.
The deal, which closed on March 19, according to deeds first reported by Pacific Business News, comprises three parcels, including the remote northern waterfront known as Larsen’s Beach.
It must be nice to have an extra 53 million dollars lying around.
Do you ever wonder what Mark Zuckerberg would be doing today if Facebook had not worked out?
Of course Facebook and the other major social media platforms are also helping to fuel the civil unrest and violence that we have been witnessing. There is so much anger and frustration in our society today, and all of that anger and frustration is constantly being magnified by the corporate media and the major social media platforms.
Yes, this will be a long, hot summer filled with violence, but that won’t be the end of it.
Because the truth is that this party is just getting started, and it is going to rip this country to shreds.
Daily Jot: Groupthink, communism, and you - Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
We are all appalled when we read stories that China is further persecuting Christians by removing Bible Apps and Christian WeChat public accounts, but are we frogs in the water when it comes to what is happening here in this country? Here’s my point: There are very clear examples of Christian and Jew persecution by socialist and communist states, yet we do not put our foot down as a church here in this country when political cousins of the communists are attempting to do the same type of thing. The horrors that Christians are facing in places like China and communist leaning nations are the result of first removing God from the public square and condemning Judeo-Christian beliefs as antiquated.
It starts with groupthink. Groupthink is defined as “a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an irrational or dysfunctional decision-making outcome. Cohesiveness, or the desire for cohesiveness, in a group may produce a tendency among its members to agree at all costs.” Is it not irrational when one says they are for free speech, but demand censorship of those who disagree? It is also irrational to say “hate doesn’t live here,” and at the same time vehemently oppose and openly ridicule people of the very faith whose God commands to love your neighbor as yourself.
When we are aghast at what China does to our brothers and sisters in the Lord, we are looking into the future if we do not put a stop to this leftist, communist agenda. The Communist Manifesto says, “But communism abolishes eternal truths, it abolishes all religion, and all morality, instead of constituting them on a new basis.” Daily Jot sources close to the Chinese government reveal in no uncertain terms that the Communist Chinese are not so much against religion, except when it replaces government as God. In China, these sources say, government is god. The Biden Administration and those politicians who support it are of the very same motivation that the government, not God, is the savior of the people.
In Nicaragua, the communists placed billboards all around the country with their “President” Daniel Ortega’s picture on it and the caption: “cristiano, socialista, solidario”. Communists invoke God to manipulate Christians into believing that Jesus was a socialist and therefore government is an instrument of God. This is based on Acts 4:32, “And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.” In reality, the early disciples of Christ gave voluntarily out of the love of their hearts, not from the groupthink of communism where distribution of personal property is compulsory. So the next time you hear these leftist invoke religion as part of their justifications, think of our brethren in China and look in the mirror.
Daily Devotion: Courageous Faith - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. —Psalm 91:4
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/courageous-faith/ - Listen
Fear is an overwhelming emotion that can take hold of us and cause irrationality to the point that we’re no longer dealing with reality. In fact, sometimes we can be more devastated by fear than the very thing we’re afraid of.
I spent part of my childhood in New Jersey, where on one cold morning, I was walking around the neighborhood with a newly acquired pair of cowboy cap guns. I had on my little belt with my holsters and guns, and I was feeling pretty tough.
But a couple of young hoodlums spotted me and starting pushing me around. Even worse, they confiscated my cap guns and started laughing at me. With empty holsters, I went home crying.
Then I told my brother what happened and asked him to help me get my guns back. He was five years older than me and a lot bigger.
So we went back and found the guys with my guns. Feeling great courage, I walked up and demanded that they give my guns back. My newfound boldness, however, didn’t come from who I was but because of who was with me.
Psalm 91:4 tells us, “He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler” (NKJV).
God will put His wings around us. He will protect us. And because of this, the psalmist is saying, we don’t have to be afraid. Why? Because He’s with us.
In addition, verses 9 and 10 include a promise: “Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you” (NKJV).
As we look at a frightening world, we can have courage—not because of who we are, but because God is with us.
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