Tag Archives: Bible

Healing of the paralytic at Bethesda: The third sign

12/17/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

If you have just recently joined us here at The Mint, we are exploring the seven signs that Jesus performed which are related in the Gospel of John.  We recommend that you begin by reading Changing water into wine:  The first sign, and Healing of the Official’s son:  The second sign, for additional context, as well as bookmarking or subscribing to The Mint for updates as we move through this important series.

We are finding that each sign appears to have a central theme, an overarching lesson that Jesus was teaching.  Perhaps this is why John chose these seven out of the seemingly infinite miracles of Jesus that he had witnessed.  In Changing water into wine, Obedience appears to be central to the operation of the Miracle, in the words of Mary, the mother of Jesus, “Whatever he says to you, do it.”

In healing the Official’s son, the operation of blind faith, believing without seeing, is required, “Go your way. Your son lives.” is Jesus’s response as the Official pleads with Him to journey from Cana to Capernaum to heal his son.

Today, as we begin to examine the third sign, the healing of the paralytic at Bethesda, we must be attentive to the presence of an underlying theme, for it is becoming clear that John selected each miracle carefully, and is recounting each one in order to give us something of eternal value, something that we can use today.

In the book of John, the narrative of the third sign immediately follows that of the second sign, beginning in John, Chapter 5, verses 1 – 17.  It begins with Jesus returning to Jerusalem.

The return to Jerusalem

As we pick up the narrative, we find that Jesus has gone to Jerusalem for the second time during his earthly ministry (we know that he went once before with his parents at twelve years of age, making it technically the third time).  This time, Jesus goes to Jerusalem in full view of the religious authorities.  The observant reader will recall that after His Passover first visit, Jesus and his disciples were run out of Jerusalem by the Pharisees for what may be called “excessive baptisms.”  This time, Jesus would have the first of what would be many direct confrontations with the Jewish religious authorities.

Which Feast?

In relating this sign, John does something that at first appears to be an uncharacteristic oversight, he forgets to tell the reader which particular feast of the Jews that Jesus is attending.  This apparent oversight has led come commentators to conclude that Jesus had gone to Jerusalem to celebrate Purim, which would have occurred in early March.

However, it is more likely that the feast that John referred to, or didn’t refer to, as it were, is actually the second Passover that Jesus attended during his earthly ministry.  This can be inferred both positively, in that the Passover was referred to as the “Feast of the Jews” and that the explicit Passovers mentioned in John 2:13 and 6:4 require an extra year between them.  This interpretation also allows for the harvest seasons mentioned in Mark 2:23 and 6:39.

It can be inferred negatively as well, in that Purim was not considered a religious feast of the Jews (it would be akin to the 4th of July, in a very stretched metaphor), and that it is unlikely that, due to the climate in Palestine in early March, that the sick persons by the pool would be lying in the open air.

The final arguments against the feast being Purim lie in the narrative itself.  As Jesus performs the sign on the Sabbath, for which the religious take exception to Him, and the feast of Purim cannot be celebrated on the Sabbath.

The greater question, perhaps, is why did John, who meticulously recorded the name of the other Jewish feasts in his gospel, omit the name of this particular feast?  For an answer, as well as beautiful insight into the importance of John, we turn to Dr. William Milligan in the “International Lesson Commentary”, who is here quoted in Volume III–John of B.W. Johnson’s “The New Testament Commentary,”

Why did John, whose custom it is to mark clearly each festival of which he speaks (see 2:13, 23; 6:4; 7:2; 10:22; 11:55; 12:1; 13:1; 18:39; 19:14), write so indefinitely here? The only reply that it is possible is that the indefiniteness is the result of design. The Evangelist omits the name of the feast, that the reader may not attach to it a significance that was not intended. To John,–through clearness of insight, not from power of fancy,–every action of his Master was fraught with deep significance; and no one who receives the Lord Jesus as he received him can hesitate to admit in all his words and deeds a fulness of meaning, a perfection of fitness, immeasurably beyond what can be attributed to the highest of human prophets. Our Lord’s relation to the whole Jewish economy is never absent from John’s thought. Jesus enters the Jewish temple (chapter 2:4). His words can be understood only by those who recognize that he is himself the true temple of God. The ordained feasts of the nation find their fulfillment in him. Never, we may say, is any festival named in this Gospel in connection with our Lord, without an intention on the author’s part that we should see the truth which he saw, and behold in it a type of his Master or his work. If this be true, the indefiniteness of the language here is designed to prevent our resting upon the thought of this particular festival as fulfilled in Jesus, and lead to the concentration of our thought on the Sabbath shortly to be mentioned, which in this chapter has an importance altogether exceptional.”

The significance of the Pool

The Pool of Bethesda.  Up until the 19th century, when archeologists uncovered the site of the pool where Jesus performed this sign, there was no evidence outside of the Gospel of John that the pool existed.  This lack of evidence caused some to argue that the Gospel was written later by someone who did not have first hand knowledge of Jerusalem and chose to use the pool in a metaphorical sense.

The discovery of the pool by archeologists in 1856 did wonders for the credibility of the Gospel of John.

As it turns out, the pool, which was first mentioned in the 8th century BCE, was formed when a dam was built across the short Beth Zeta Valley, creating a reservoir.  The pool is mentioned in two other Biblical texts 2 Kings 18:17 and Isaiah 36:2, where it is referred to as the “upper pool”:

17 The king of Assyria sent Tartan and Rabsaris and Rabshakeh from Lachish to king Hezekiah with a great army to Jerusalem. They went up and came to Jerusalem. When they had come up, they came and stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is in the highway of the fuller’s field.

and,

The king of Assyria sent Rabshakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem to king Hezekiah with a large army. He stood by the aqueduct from the upper pool in the fuller’s field highway.

As well as in Isaiah 7:3:

Then Yahweh said to Isaiah, “Go out now to meet Ahaz, you, and Shearjashub your son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool, on the highway of the fuller’s field.

The Bethesda Pool Today
The Bethesda Pool Today

A second pool was then added on the south side of the dam around 200 BCE.  In the first century BC, caves to the east of these pools were turned into baths as part of what was know as an asclepieion, a Roman healing temple dedicated to the god Asclepius.  The symbol for this god of medicine, healing, rejuvenation, and physicians is used today as the symbol for the American Medical Association and is ubiquitous in medical settings.

The site was brought inside the walls of Jerusalem by the expansion of Herod Agrippa around 50 BCE.  The pools, which had been constructed to bring living water into Jerusalem, had been turned into a pagan bath house whose waters are thought to have healing powers.  Naturally, it was crowded with those hoping to become well.

Today, the site of these pools is in the Muslim East Jerusalem near the ruins of a Crusader church which was completed in 1138 CE on a site that what was thought to be the birthplace of Jesus’ grandmother, Saint Anne.

So Jesus, on the Passover, the holiest of all Sabbaths, goes to the pagan bath house, which also happens to be the site that representatives of the Assyrian army stood and publicly humiliated Hezekiah, the King of Judah, before Jerusalem was invaded by them in 701 BCE.  Furthermore, according to later tradition, is near the grotto where his grandmother was believed to have born.

The pool at Bethesda ia a very interesting place, and Jesus has chosen to go there on the Passover.  What would he do?

Stay tuned for more of the third sign and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for December 17, 2012

Copper Price per Lb: $3.64
Oil Price per Barrel:  $87.48
Corn Price per Bushel:  $7.24
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.76%
FED Target Rate:  0.16%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,698
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  7.7%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  -0.3%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  13,235
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,527,700,000,000 LOTS OF DOUGH ON THE STREET!
M2 Monetary Base:  $10,375,100,000,000

Teaching the Bible – The Inspirational Character

The pages of the Bible are full of characters.  The characters may be explicitly identified in the Biblical narrative, or, as we have explored by way of the Bible Play earlier, implicitly present.  As the teacher, it is extremely important to identify the inspirational character in the narrative that is being explored.

Bettie Mitchell, the founder of Good Samaritan Ministries, described the appearance of inspirational characters in the following way, “Anyone willing to lay down their life for others IS A BIBLICAL CHARACTER…God himself is the inspirational character of the Old Testament.  In the New Testament, those who came into contact with Jesus became inspirational characters”

You will notice the above statement appears to expand both the range of inspirational characters to every Biblical character as well as the opportunity to become a Biblical character to anyone willing to lay down their life for others.

In order to understand the concept of the Biblical and inspirational character, we must first understand something about the Bible.

The Biblical record has been carefully passed down to us by the Jews, who see the Old Testament as not only the history of their people, but a sacred text entrusted to them by God which is to be shared with the entire world.  In this sense, Judaism is unique to many religions who view their sacred texts as proprietary information, accessible only to those with the proper spiritual credentials.

It is odd, then, that the Old Testament should not be a book which has been carefully edited to make the Jewish people appear especially heroic.  In fact, it may be said that a great deal of the Old Testament deals with the Jewish people’s shortcomings when establishing and attempting to fulfill their covenant with God.

In the same way, the New Testament may be seen as a compact version of the same, self depreciating narrative of the origins of Christianity.

Yet the point of the Biblical narratives, which have been carefully preserved and widely disseminated against all odds, is not to justify the position with relationship to God of Jews and Christians, rather, it is to point out that it is impossible for anyone to claim a place of privilege with regards to The Holy One.

As one reads through the Bible, it quickly becomes apparent, as early as the second chapter, that the performance of good deeds is not a preresiquite for inclusion.  While being a Biblical character may bestow upon the individual a certain amount of fame, it does not automatically qualify them as an inspirational character.

Yet there is one action that is and always will be pleasing to the Holy One, it is the act of starting where one is and desperately seeking after God. 

 Isaiah, an example of an Inspirational Character
“Here I am. Send Me!” Isaiah, an example of an Inspirational Character
{18th century Russian icon of the prophet Isaiah located in the Iconostasis of Transfiguration church, Kizhi monastery, Karelia, Northern Russia, painted by an unidentified artist during the first quarter of the 18th century.}

The desperate seeker, from Isaiah declaring “Here I am! Send Me!” (Isaiah 6:8) to the Apostle John, who, upon hearing John the Baptist call Jesus the Lamb of God (John 1:29), arose and ran after Him, to the desperate man or woman today, crying out in the middle of inexplicable pain and loss for answers, the desperate seeker is the inspirational character.

The one who is constantly seeking and moving towards God, the one who chooses to turn the other cheek, to lay down their life for others, to accept and carry out the hard assignments, to walk humbly with the Holy One, to seek justice despite incurring personal injury, to love their neighbor as themselves, they are the inspirational characters. 

Seek them out, in the Biblical narrative, within yourself and all around you, and you will find them.  Once the inspirational character has been identified, the class will be greatly enriched as you, as the teacher, encourage the class to experience the Biblical narrative from their perspective.

Once identified, it is extremely important to supplement your knowledge of this person by exploring them as they appear in other Biblical narratives, if any, as well as other credible historical references that may be available.  The class will connect to the the Biblical narrative and the assignments presented only to the extent that they connect to the inspirational character.

Further, one of the goals of the class setting is to bring the class as close as possible to the inspirational character, so that they may be in a position, as the inspirational character was, to accept the assignments which are presented to them as individuals.  For one, it may be to reconcile with a family member, for another, it may be to pick up their mat and walk, for another, it may be to accept a position of influence to root out corruption.

Whatever the assignment may be, the inspirational character will help those in the class to find the courage to seek out and accept them.  For the Lord is with those who seek, and great blessing awaits those who are willing to say, along with Isaiah, “Here I am. Send me!”

As you and the class explore the text together and are lead by the Holy Spirit, it will become evident that all of those present have the potential to be the inspirational character in their home, workplace, and beyond.

Bible Teaching – Avoiding Distractions

We must remove the distractions and say only what is eternally important.

Today, perhaps as never before in human history, people find themselves in the middle of a constant battle for their attention.  When people enter the classroom to hear the Word of God, this battle intensifies.  As such, the teacher is not only fighting for the class to hear the Word of God in a fresh way, they must first fight through any number of distractions which are competing for the attention of the class.

The distractions generally take one of two forms.  There are the obvious distractions such as cell phones, external noises, and whispering amongst students.  These obvious distractions are best ignored and will usually fade as the Word of God begins to captivate the class.

The more subtle form of distraction is the type of distraction which masquerades as a search for an understanding of the Biblical text.  The key to avoiding these subtle distractions is twofold:  1) Remember that we are reading the Bible as if we have never opened it before and, 2) Take pains to reiterate that the Word of God is for each and every person in the class.  As such, it must be understood that the Word is being taught and received in an intimate fashion, regardless of the size of the class.

For example, when teaching the story of Creation presented in Genesis, there may arise a question as to whether the days of creation are literal 24 hour days or are meant to represent a longer periods of evolutionary change.  While this may be a profound theological question which inspires a lively debate in the class, you can see how allowing the class to be distracted by this debate destroys any opportunity for the class to receive the words of Genesis in a personal fashion.

For example, in Genesis 2:7, we are confronted with the following,

“Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”

God breathed life into Adam
Imagine, the Living God breathing in our nostrils! www.thebricktestament.com

That is intimate!  Imagine, the Living God breathing life into our nostrils!  A theological debate can add nothing to this beautiful imagery, and while scholarly debate may appeal to the intellect, it will do nothing to radically change the lives of those who listen.

When teaching the Word of God, scholarly debate is a distraction to be avoided.

As teachers, we must remove the distractions and say only what is eternally important.  Only then can the class take the cup of the Word of the Living God and drink it deeply into their souls.

Rapture!

8/20/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

We have recently released our latest e book here at The Mint entitled:

Eschatology and Money: A brief look at what is to come

For as long as we leave it up, it can be had for free over at Smashwords.com.

As the title suggests, it is a brief look at what is to come in the monetary realm as the Biblical prophecies regarding the end of the world unfold.  While nobody can predict when or exactly how these events will play out, it is important to be aware of them and, if necessary, take the gift of time afforded us in the here and now to make the proper adjustments to one’s relationship to both their money and The Living God.

The Beauty of Rapture

Students of Eschatology will note our belief in a pre-tribulation rapture.  For those unfamiliar with the term, the concept of rapture is the taking up, out of this world, of we who accept Jesus of Nazareth as the promised Jewish Messiah.

Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection undeniably changed the world.  He is the ultimate expression of God’s mercy towards us.  To us it is logical that we are to be called up to heaven to watch God’s final judgments unfold from the safety of our new home with Him.  Admittedly, anyone who has taken the time to read the book of Revelation would be either masochistic or insane to not want to subscribe to a pre-tribulation rapture.

Even so, there are strong arguments which find support in scripture for a “mid-tribulation” rapture or even a “post-tribulation” rapture.  Further, there are those who believe that the book of Revelation is simply an allegory for events which occur from time to time throughout history.

Given the seemingly sound, yet grim, alternatives, on what basis can we have confidence that this pre-tribulation rapture is true?

As stated above, the basic logic of our worldview leads us to this conclusion.  God loves us jealously and mercifully.  He is bringing the judgments described by John to the earth to prove once and for all the He is the only God.  For those of us who already understand this, the display of sovereignty and wrath is unnecessary and inconsistent with who He is to us.

However, if God is making one last merciful attempt to call His creation to Him, the events in described in Revelation are perhaps the only way to get their attention.  The time of evangelism of the living saints will be over.  Were God to allow those of us who have already chosen to give our lives to Him to suffer further through the tribulations, it would only serve to cause confusion amongst those whom He will call during the time of tribulation.

For those who believe that God will need many witnesses at that time, would not the rapture of the saints, who would disappear without notice, be perhaps the most powerful witness since Jesus himself first appeared?  We argue that many who witness the rapture but do not partake in it will be God’s most fruitful evangelists through the tribulation that is to come.

To apply this logic to the events examined in our e book, for the believer, the test of allegiance that will take the form of the mark of the beast appears to be, has already been passed.

Beyond logic and into Beauty

Yet beyond logic, or perhaps to further affirm it, there is a beautiful symmetry between God’s first universal act of redemption, at the resurrection of Jesus which occurred on the date of a Jewish festival call the Passover, and what will be His final act of redemption before He returns to physically reign, which we believe will be at the time of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish day of atonement or judgment.  It is also known as the Feast of Trumpets.

Jason Hommel has written extensively regarding the Feast of Trumpets being the appointed time of the coming rapture of the saints.  Through his insights, we gather a greater glimpse of the beauty of Jesus’ plan to rapture His bride, the church.

For the rapture will not be an emergency airlift operation of a people in distress, this is what the day of our salvation from sin was.  No, the rapture will be Christ knocking at our door to take those who are prepared and have our lamps lit to our wedding feast with Him.

Somehow the word beauty seems inadequate.  For God has given us the model of the Jewish wedding, a seven day celebration which begins at an unexpected time.  This is consistent with the scripture, “You will know not the day nor hour, but the season.”  It is also consistent with the celebration of Rosh Hashanah, which generally takes place over a period of two days for the simple reason that no one knows exactly when the new moon, which marks its beginning, will occur.

You will notice that while we may be certain of the time of year which Jesus will come, no one is certain as to which year it will occur, nor the specific date, the only certainty is that the doors of heaven will be swung wide open at that time.

It is just as God intended it, and it is beautiful.

Rosh Hashanah for the year 5773 (or 2012, according to the Gregorian calendar) begins on September 16th.

Is your lamp lit?

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for August 20, 2012

Copper Price per Lb: $3.37
Oil Price per Barrel:  $95.83
Corn Price per Bushel:  $8.15
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.81%
FED Target Rate:  0.13%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,621 PERMANENT UNCERTAINTY
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  8.3%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.0%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  13,272
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,308,300,000,000
M2 Monetary Base:  $10,037,100,000,000

Dabbling in Eschatology: What to expect in the Monetary Realm as the world comes to an end – Part III of III – The Vision of Daniel

4/11/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

If you missed parts I or II of this series, please click below and give them a brief read before continuing:

Part I – Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and Part II – The Vision of John

In our brief but necessary excursion into the wild world of Eschatology here at The Mint, we have endeavored to bring to your attention, fellow taxpayer, what one can expect in the Monetary Realm as the world comes to an end.

To be clear, we are not predicting when the world will come to an end, for only God alone can determine this, rather, we are sharing our interpretation of what will take place regarding man’s relationship to his money and possessions as the inevitable trials and tribulations which will take place begin to unfold.

First, a brief review of parts I and II of the series:

Part I – Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s:  Around 2000 years ago, Jesus reiterated the importance of a mark in determining monetary ownership, stating that since the mark of Caesar is on the coin used to pay the tax to Caesar, it is proper to “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

With this simple statement, Jesus reaffirmed both the complete Sovereignty of God as well as the validity of private property held by men in God’s view.

The obvious yet staggering implication is that money and coinage given by an Emperor may at some point be demanded back by that Emperor, therefore it is foolish to accumulate money and coinage issued by an Emperor as a store of one’s wealth.

Not surprisingly, the same is true today.

Part II – The Vision of John:  Roughly 60 years after Jesus’ declaration, the Apostle John was given a vision of the events that would transpire before Jesus returned to the earth to reign triumphantly.

{Editor’s Note:  This is not unprecedented; in addition to the vision of Daniel which we will discuss today, a vision of Jesus’ first coming was given to Isaiah some 700 years prior to the event.}

 

Albrecht Dürer, The Revelation of St John: The Four Riders of the Apocalypse, 1497-98, Woodcut
The Revelation of St John: The Four Riders of the Apocalypse, 1497-98, by Albrecht Dürer, Woodcut

John’s vision, recorded in the book of Revelation, covers a great deal of topics and is perhaps the most widely studied book when it comes to Eschatology.  In this series, we are specifically concerned with only the portion of the vision which is commonly referred to as the “Mark of the Beast.”

In our review, we stated that the “beast (satan)” will at some point in the future demand the worship of all men.  Specifically, he will ban all worship of the One True God and cause a statue to be set up, which God refers to as the “abomination which causes desolation,” and demand that everyone on the earth render worship to the statue.

One tactic that will be used to coerce mankind into worshiping the statue instead of the One True God will be to require mankind to accept a “mark” on their physical body in order to be able to buy and sell.

The choice to accept or deny this mark will be the watershed moment for the inhabitants of the earth at that time.  They will be forced to choose to either throw their lot in with satan, whose kingdom is being destroyed forever, or the One True Living God, whose Kingdom is established for eternity.

On paper, the choice is obvious.  However, given the deception which satan employs in an attempt to manipulate mankind, much perseverance will be required.

The prospect of losing title to all of their possessions and not being able to buy or sell may be too much for even self professed Christians to bear, and many, faced with the choice to continue their way of life within the system or to presumably wander the earth as Cain was, may be tricked into capitulating to satan’s tactic and accepting the mark.

We wrote yesterday that the Rapture will occur before any of the tribulations, including the dreaded choice of whether or not to accept the “mark of the beast,” takes place.  Therefore, if the end times which John writes of seem like too much to bear (as it is for us,) we implore you to begin trusting Jesus today.

If you have just made or have already made a decision to trust Jesus, you may stop reading and begin a life of praise and service to God.

However, for those who are unfortunate enough to be living on the earth during the perilous days to come, the third and final passage which we will consider is intended to give them a measure of hope, as well as the timeframe which one must be prepared to endure.

Fortunately, God has given us, circa 2012, a guide to the end times.  For the vision of Daniel regarding the end times, related in the book of Daniel, Chapter 12, taken together with the vision of John in Revelation gives us the specific time frames that the “Mark of the Beast” will be required to be used for buying and selling within the earth’s system.

It is clear from John’s vision that the imposition of the mark will coincide with the erection of the statue which God calls the “abomination which causes desolation.”  Therefore, according to Daniel 12:11-12, the time frame from the beginning of the tribulations until the time that the decision to accept or reject the mark is presented to all of those on the earth at that time, will be 1,290 days, or approximately 3 years and 6 months.

If one finds him or herself on the earth at this time, we advise you to use those 1,290 days to prepare at least 45 days of rations.

Why 45 days?  Because 45 days is the period of time which one will have to refrain from buying or selling if you still desire to accept Jesus and reject the mark of the beast.  As it is related in Daniel 12:12:  “Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of 1,335 days.”

Again, 45 lonely days is all one will have to refrain from buying or selling as a consequence of wisely rejecting the mark of the beast.  During this extremely short period of time, the beast will appear to have complete control over the monetary realm.

Then, the fraudulent monetary and religious system that the beast has attempted to impose on the earth will collapse, and all of the earth will fall into a deeper tribulation as a result.  However, it is clear from Daniel’s vision that those who refused to accept the mark of the beast will be blessed.

We are aware that this is but one of many interpretations of the events surrounding the end times.  It is our prayer that you will find both comfort and a call to action in our interpretation of what is to come. 

45 days may seem like a long time, but with the proper preparations, all of the peoples of the world who remain during the coming tribulation may eagerly await the coming of Jesus without fear and full of hope.

God is faithful and will quickly answer honest and earnest prayer.  We encourage everyone to study the Bible and to seek God in order to develop their own understanding of what is to happen and what they are to do.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

 

Key Indicators for April 11, 2012

Copper Price per Lb: $3.68

Oil Price per Barrel:  $102.70

Corn Price per Bushel:  $6.36

10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  2.03%

FED Target Rate:  0.15%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!

Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,660

MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25% AWAY WE GO!

Unemployment Rate:  8.2%

Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.4%

Dow Jones Industrial Average: 12,805

M1 Monetary Base:  $2,299,000,000,000

M2 Monetary Base:  $9,823,900,000,000

Dabbling in Eschatology: What to expect in the Monetary Realm as the world comes to an end – Part II – The Vision of John

4/10/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

If you missed Part I of this series, please click below and give it a brief read before continuing:

Part I – Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s

It is clear from Jesus’ answer to the spies’ question that He ascribed little importance and value to the coinage of Caesar.  This flew in the face of what to most people believe about money on a subconscious level.

As we have explored in this space before, the current monetary system, where money is debt, creates an unnatural link between human beings, a sort of mutual slave/master relationship in which each and every person within the system finds themselves ensnared.

How does Caesar ensnare people in this system?  By simply placing his mark on the coinage, the coin becomes Imperial property.  The next step is to pass a series of laws, commonly known as legal tender laws, which obligate people to use the coinage in trade and commerce.

“Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s,” therefore, may be seen as a call out of the system of Imperial coinage and tribute.  If one remains in the system by accepting and using the coinage in exchange for goods and labor, they remain a slave to the empire and all of the money bearing his mark which they have accumulated belongs to Caesar.

Today, some 2000 years after Jesus’ words, most of the western world lives in a system where not only does the modern day Caesar lay claim to their money via a mark, but also their future output by means of debts which are incurred as a necessity in the face of the declining real world value of the Imperial coinage in trade.

And yet it is only money, nothing more.  Jesus stresses both private property rights and God’s divine sovereignty over all when He continues, “and to God what is God’s.” implying that everything is God’s while recognizing the right for Caesar to lay claim to all Imperial coinage via the mark.

This brings us to the second passage which we will examine as we continue our eschatological dabbling into what to expect in the monetary realm as the world comes to an end.

Albrecht Dürer, The Revelation of St John: The Four Riders of the Apocalypse, 1497-98, Woodcut
The Revelation of St John: The Four Riders of the Apocalypse, 1497-98, by Albrecht Dürer, Woodcut

The second passage relates to us a portion of the vision given to the Apostle John as he was exiled on the Isle of Patmos in the Aegean Sea circa 95 AD.

The passage, Revelation 13:14-18, is a source of widespread discontent amongst Christians who are paying attention as it warns of a time when all people on the earth will be forced to make a permanent choice between accepting the “mark of the beast” and “buying and selling.”

The discontent stems from the perception that one will be forced to accept the mark, and as a consequence presumably be forever estranged from Jesus, to be able to put bread on the table for themselves and their families.  On the surface, this discontent is completely understandable.

Yet in light of the coming rapture of the Church, it is also completely unfounded for the true believer.  Allow us to explain.

At the Mint, we are of the opinion that Jesus will rapture us (those who have accepted Jesus as their savior) before the inhabitants of the earth are faced with this fateful decision.  This opinion is based on the parallels between the rapture and Jewish wedding traditions, where the bride (the Church of Christ) is swept away for seven days.

The parallel is that Jesus will come to sweep us away and hide us in his house (heaven) for the seven years of the tribulation which were revealed to John in his vision.  This interpretation is supported by everything else that Jesus said about the end of the world.

While nobody knows exactly when Jesus will come, it is reasonable to expect that He will return around the time of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.  The first coming of the Messiah, Jesus, was the culmination of the Jewish Passover which occurs in the springtime.  It could logically follow that the second coming of Jesus would occur during the harvest time around the Feast of Trumpets.  Though we do not know the time of Jesus’ return, we will know the season.

If you, too, would like to share this joyful fate, we encourage you to choose today to trust Jesus.  At this point, you may stop reading and begin a life of praise and service to God.

In the unfortunate event that one chooses to decline God’s loving invitation and finds themselves on the earth when humanity is faced with the ultimatum to either accept the mark of the beast or to be denied access to a perceived economic necessity, namely, “buying and selling,” please read on, for there will still be time to choose eternal life with God, but it will involve a seemingly difficult decision.

There is no shortage of speculation as to what form this “mark of the beast” will take, ranging from barcode tattoos, implanted microchips, and even the choice to worship on Sunday.  Here we do not wish to add to the speculation.

Rather than focus on the substance which the mark will take, it is more important to focus on what it will mean, for at the time of the ultimatum, the choice they are being asked to make will be subtle and at the same time, crystal clear for all of mankind.

God’s enemy, satan, desires to occupy the place of God in people’s lives and the obligation to worship an image and accept a mark will be his final, desperate attempt to obtain all human worship for himself through a final deception.

It is clear that this desperate attempt will fail, yet that even some of those who are following Jesus may be led astray.  For this reason, it is important for all to be aware of the choice which is being presented.

The acceptance or denial of the mark will be a choice that all those on earth will be forced to make and it appears to be the final watershed event in human history.  The choice for those living at that time will be clear to them and the consequences eternal.

The choice is the following:  Will you accept the mark and throw your lot in with the world which you can see or will you deny the mark and throw your lot in with the unseen God, and as a consequence subject yourself and your family to being ostracized from the world system to face hunger, persecution, and torture?

Denying the mark will likely be similar to losing title to all of one’s assets and loss of access to the banking system.

In other words, it would mean being shut out of the system.

The choice that each person makes at that time will then be clear for all to see.  It will symbolize either entitlement to goods, services, and protection in the world system or being cast out of it to wander the earth as Cain did.

Those who desire to throw their lot in with God at that time are then presented with the some very important questions here and now:  How long can you and your family survive without access to your assets or the banking system?  Is it worth it to resist the mark and live as wanderers?  Won’t God understand if I take the mark and forgive even this transgression?

To the first two questions, only you can provide the answers.  The Bible is clear as to the answer to the third question, and from what we read in Revelation 14:9-12, it appears that the answer is no.

So, then, the true believer is left to prepare to live outside of the system until Jesus comes for them, to keep their lamp lit until the groom comes, as it were.

But for how long?  That, fellow taxpayer, is the exciting part, and it will have to wait until tomorrow.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for April 10, 2012

Copper Price per Lb: $3.69

Oil Price per Barrel:  $100.90

Corn Price per Bushel:  $6.34

10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.99%

FED Target Rate:  0.16%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!

Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,660

MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25% AWAY WE GO!

Unemployment Rate:  8.2%

Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.4%

Dow Jones Industrial Average: 12,716

M1 Monetary Base:  $2,299,000,000,000

M2 Monetary Base:  $9,823,900,000,000

TEACHING HOSEA

The following is yet another excerpt of a book which we have recently completed about teaching the Bible which focuses on some techniques that may be little known and are certainly seldom practiced today.  Here we present “Teaching Hosea,”  Enjoy!

Taken from “Hosea: A teacher’s guide for those who are lead to teach the book of Hosea”

TEACHING HOSEA

With these teaching tools in your tool belt, it is now time to approach Hosea.  The following sections are tools designed to acquaint you with the prophet and the world in which he lived.  It is by no means exhaustive and is no substitute for your own investigation on the subject.

Keep in mind that teaching the Word of God is not a journalistic exercise, nor is it similar to writing an academic paper.  As such, there are no formal rules with regards to citing your sources or using previous academic work to support your statements.  In fact, citing sources in an attempt to gain credibility with your class may have just the opposite effect.

The Word of God is its own authority, and you, who have humbly submitted yourself to guide the class through the Word of God, will speak on its authority to the degree that you allow the Holy Spirit to operate both in your life and in the class that you are guiding.

An 18th century Russian icon of the prophet Hosea located in the Iconostasis of Transfiguration church, Kizhi monastery, Karelia, Northern Russia, painted by an unidentified artist during the first quarter of the 18th century.

It will be obvious to all when you state an opinion that is purely your own, and you should not be afraid to speak into the class that which you are lead to say simply because you cannot find it cited somewhere else.  For what you are to speak is something new, and many may be healed by what you say at the Lord’s direction. Again I say, do not be afraid to speak it.

The setting and character development which will greatly enrich the class can and must be investigated both inside and outside of the Bible.  The Bible did not take place in a vacuum, and neither should your teaching of the Bible take place in a vacuum.  There is a wealth of information being discovered today which is serving to support the Biblical narrative as God’s creation bears witness to His Word.  It is your job as the teacher to investigate and bring what is required of this information to your class.

The balance of this book is a summary of my own investigation into Hosea, and I pray that it will supplement your own study of Hosea.  You are free to use of it what you deem appropriate for your specific audience.

Stay tuned for more teaching tips and purchase the book itself hereTrust Jesus and stay fresh!