Tag Archives: Jesus

Papa Francisco’s Populist Discourse and the meaning of Evo’s Gift

8/2/2015 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

During the month of July we found ourselves south of the equator in our second home, Bolivia.  It has been two long years since we have walked the earth there and much has changed.  The following are some observations made on our journey.

First off, it is obvious that money is everywhere.  From the construction of new apartment buildings to a new style of McMansions that are being erected by those who have benefited by the DEA’s absence in this country:  The Cholet.  The same increase in economic activity that we have noted in Portland is evident here in spades.  Everywhere you look, there is a new store, restaurant, cafe, or industrial park, all with the comforts of modern architecture with inimitable South American flair.

The first part of our visit coincided with the visit of the extremely popular Pope Francisco, or “El papa Francisco” as he is known here.  We arrived in Santa Cruz on July 6th, two days before the Holy See arrived.  On the 8th, we listened, along with all of Bolivia, the radio call of his descent and landing at the airport in El Alto.  The radio call resembled the call of a soccer game here, with the announcer screaming “Llegó” with the same passion that they yell “gol” when the home team scores.

As a follower of Jesus of Nazareth, we are ambiguous to the activities of the Pope, who to us is simply another follower of the same Jesus, with a slightly larger following.  In other words, we do not recognize or attribute any special authority nor clairvoyance to the Catholic church that is not available to all believers.

That said, it is undeniable that papa Francisco is something special to the Catholic faithful, especially here in South America, as Francisco  (or Francis, as he is known in the English speaking world), an Argentinian (though you would never know it as he does not seem to swear like a sailor) is the first Pope to hail from the continent.

Having listened to his discourses over two days, it was obvious that Francisco is well schooled in the populist platitudes that the likes of Che Guevara awakened and contemporary leaders Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales have resurrected.

True to the populist playbook, Pope Francisco derides economic inequality and envisions a society where all elements of the economy, the productive sector, distributors, and retailers, all carry out their daily chores in harmony with mother earth and one another.  Where every child can enjoy a happy childhood, every worker enjoy a dignified position, and every elderly person enjoy a dignified retirement.

Evo Morales, the Bolivian President, welcomed Pope Francisco with a unique gift, a crucifix where in the place of the cross, Jesus of Nazareth is portrayed as being crucified on a hammer and scythe, a symbol synonymous with Socialism.

Regalo de Evo a papa Francisco
Regalo de Evo a papa Francisco

Was the Pope offended?  Hardly, you see, the artistic origins of the gift lie with a popular Jesuit priest who made what to some is the obvious connection between the Gospel and Socialist doctrine.  There is more to the story behind the gift, which you can read here:

http://www.ehagendaurbana.com.ar/2015/07/el-cristo-del-martillo-y-la-hoz.htm

We bring the whole matter up to state once and for all that the Gospel and Socialism have just one common thread:  The Gospel, or the Good News, is that God forgives, and expects us to do likewise.  Nothing more, and nothing less.  It is the most important spiritual and natural event that has ever occurred, in our lives and the lives of countless others, for it is forgiveness and forgiveness alone that unleashes the supernatural and eternal presence of Yahweh in the here and now.

To the extent that Socialism demands that mankind treat one another as they would like to be treated, it is in harmony with the Gospel.  However, any attempt to enforce what should be spontaneous acts of goodwill towards one another makes a mockery of the Gospel and subjects it to the rules of men.  As we have explored in our economic treatise, Why What We use as Money Matters, rules made by men are incompatible with freedom, which is the reason for the Gospel in the first place.

This Freedom extends to the right to be Socialist, but it does not extend to the right to enforce this destructive doctrine on one’s unwilling fellow man or woman.

We admire the Pope, heck, he gave mass in La Paz with one lung and drew out millions of the faithful in South America.  If he wants to use his enormous platform and the freedom afforded to him by the forgiveness of sins through Jesus of Nazareth to expound upon an idyllic worker’s paradise. more power to him.

The Pope speaks to the Socialist Movements in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia:

The danger in the Socialist doctrine is not evident in meaningless platitudes spewed by its proponents, nor is it evident in postulations about goals that are as unattainable as they are unmeasurable, such as universal dignity in work and retirement.  The danger of this poisonous doctrine is only evident in the blood spilled silently over the years in its name.  For when authoritarian regimes are allowed to define and enforce such concepts on a large scale, the previously unimagined economic burdens of such a program fall upon everyone, and the end result is invariably a society that lives and treats each other in a quite undignified manner.

A side note, and certainly fodder for further debate here at The Mint, our Mother-in-law posed a very interesting hypothesis about what may be wrong with Bolivian society, which seems hell bent on self destruction despite the gifts Mother Nature has seen fit to surround it with:  The poisonous union of the lie by two strata of society.

First the rich, or those who come into money, those whom we will call the upper strata of society.  This strata of society learns to lie as a means to maintain or improve their status both within their social circle, which in turn feeds a continuous chorus of lies as a group to the populations which they enslave and exploit.

Second, there are the lies of the exploited populations themselves, who learn to lie as a powerful tool of survival in a society where, to paraphrase President Snow of the Hunger Games, the odds are never in their favor.

The union of the accumulated lies tend to make any society impossible to navigate with any form of moral or ideological compass.  For to run the straight and narrow is to be stabbed in the back, and the lies create the sad and universally acknowledged truth that no one can be trusted.

Into such societies the seeds of Socialist ideology find fertile ground in which to grow and take root in the minds of the underprivileged.  They begin to grow and, like GMO crop production, look good until one realizes that the crops are only viable with a disproportionate quantity of productive inputs, and that they leave the soil and its inhabitants desolate once the massive inputs stop flowing.

It is then that the inevitable bloodshed begins, and no amount of platitudes or lofty goals, whether spoken by the Pope or the President, can stop it.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for August 2, 2015

Copper Price per Lb: $2.37
Oil Price per Barrel:  $46.77

Corn Price per Bushel:  $3.68
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  2.20%
Bitcoin price in US:  $279.31
FED Target Rate:  0.14%
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,095

MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  5.3%
Inflation Rate (CPI):   0.3%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  17,690
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,998,600,000,000

M2 Monetary Base:  $11,991,900,000,000

What is Truth?

3/15/2013 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

Our latest E-book in the “Why what we use as Money Matters” series: What is Truth?  On the Nature of Empire, has now shipped and will soon arrive on digital shelves across the Internet.

What is Truth?  On the Nature of EmpireIn the twenty first century, it has become clear to most that there is no divine right or imperative for the existence of an Empire on the earth. As such, an ever-increasing number of peoples have thrown off the yoke of Empire in favor of what has become known as a democratic model of collective governance. Yet simply changing the rules of governance has not put an end to the core ideals of Empire, and governments today that are elected democratically have largely retained the hallmarks of Imperial rule, namely the tendencies toward a central monopoly on the use of force and the right to demand tribute. How can this be?

The purpose of this volume is to gain an understanding of the true nature of Empire and, to convince the reader that Empire, and by extension large scale government, is not only unnecessary, but a great hindrance to human progress. This volume also explores why the Imperial model virtually ensures that the worst elements of humanity will rise to power, where they will ultimately impose their will on their fellow humans by violence. For the violent outcomes that Empires invariably produce are not exceptions to the rule, nor are they merely the norm.

They are literally guaranteed by design.

Once we have grasped the true nature of Empire, we will then will explore the only known antidote to Empire and the only possible means for mankind to rid itself of the lethal effects of Empire on the earth. And it is probably like anything you have imagined.

It is now available and can be enjoyed on SmashwordsAmazon’s Kindle, and Google Books.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for March 15, 2013

Copper Price per Lb: $3.51
Oil Price per Barrel: $93.21
Corn Price per Bushel: $7.16
10 Yr US Treasury Bond: 2.01%
FED Target Rate: 0.14% ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce: $1,596 THE GOLD RUSH IS STILL ON!
MINT Perceived Target Rate*: 0.25%
Unemployment Rate: 7.7%
Inflation Rate (CPI): 0.7%
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 14,481
M1 Monetary Base: $2,466,100,000,000 LOTS OF DOUGH ON THE STREET!
M2 Monetary Base: $10,499,300,000,000

The Seven Signs Through the Eyes of John

Our latest ebook on the Seven miracles of Jesus in the Gospel is finally ready.  You can pick up your free copy over at smashwords.com for a limited time.  Just follow this link: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/274564

Or click on the cover below and put in the code: AV98M

The Seven Signs Through the Eyes of John

A hard teaching at Capernaum, Jesus walks on water: The fifth sign

12/28/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

Today,  we continue our series on the seven signs that Jesus performed which are related in the Gospel of John.  If you have just now joined us, we recommend reading the following posts:

Changing water into wine, Healing of the Official’s son, the Healing of the paralytic at Bethesda: parts I and II, and The Feeding of the 5000 for additional context, as well as bookmarking or subscribing to The Mint for updates as we move through this important series.

As we observed yesterday, in feeding the 5000, Jesus was not simply solving a large-scale logistical problem, He was leading the crowd and His disciples into his most profound and divisive teaching yet:

The He is the bread of life.

This teaching was so profound that two of the signs which John recorded are associated with it.  The feeding of the 5000 at Bethsaida and the sign that we will explore today, Jesus’ walking on water.

After the miracle of the feeding of the 5000, the people had tried to make Jesus King by force, and we can imagine that they may have openly discussed mounting a revolution.  While those who were against Jesus believed these types of rumors, and ultimately used them to persuade the Romans to use their capital punishment apparatus against Him, the rumors were without basis.

As His Disciples would find out later, Jesus had no interest in becoming King of the Jews, the title which Pontius Pilate placed upon the cross where Jesus was crucified.  Jesus’ sole aim was to bring the Kingdom of YHWH into the hearts of everyone.

For this reason, Jesus departed when the crowd began to plan a revolution on His behalf.  They weren’t getting it.  The kingdoms of men are less than nothing in the eyes of YHWH, they are, in fact, His mortal enemy.  What use is an earthly kingdom to the One by whom all was created?

Jesus’ disciples were perplexed by this, so much so that, when evening came and Jesus did not appear, they decided to get into the boat and head to Capernaum.  Little did they know, they were about to witness the fifth sign which John would later choose to relate in Chapter 6:16-21, for it was the first sign in which Jesus clearly revealed his divine nature:

16 When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, 17 and they entered into the boat, and were going over the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not come to them. 18 The sea was tossed by a great wind blowing. 19 When therefore they had rowed about twenty-five or thirty stadia, they saw Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing near to the boat; and they were afraid. 20 But he said to them, “It is I AM, Don’t be afraid.” 21 They were willing therefore to receive him into the boat. Immediately the boat was at the land where they were going.

The Galilee
The Galilee

By walking, yes, walking, on the surface of the Sea of Galilee from the shore below Bethsaida to a boat that was twenty-five or thirty stadia, which in today’s measures would be 5 to 6 kilometers or 3 to 4 miles, almost at its destination in Capernaum, Jesus allowed His Disciples to witness something that many, save John, had not completely understood before that moment:

That Jesus is YHWH

In the book of Job, chapter 9, verse 8, Job declares the following regarding YHWH:

He alone stretches out the heavens, and treads on the waves of the sea.

However, in a moment of panic, the Disciples may not have been quick to make this connection.  Jesus’ salutation, “It is I AM,” was what nailed this truth home for them.

It is interesting that John does not focus on the fact that they thought Jesus was a ghost, nor on Peter’s failed attempt to walk towards Jesus through the waves, as Matthew did.  For John knew it was Jesus, and to him, Peter’s failed attempt to walk on the waves was not significant, for he knew that Jesus would save Peter.

John’s laser focus on the Messiah caused him to focus on something entirely different.

Ani hu and Ego eimi

Jesus’ salutation in John 6:20 allows us to highlight something astonishing about the Gospel of John.  John’s intentional use of the Greek phrase “Ego eimi” when Jesus is talking of Himself.  The phrase appears 24 times in the Gospel of John and is the Greek translation of the Hebrew words “Ani hu”, which appears in the original text of the book of Isaiah.  Isaiah used the phrase “Ani hu” as a euphemism for YHWH Himself.

"Walking on Water" By Ivan Aivazovsky 1890
“Walking on Water” By Ivan Aivazovsky 1890

John intentionally uses “ego eimi,” which parallels the translation of Isaiah’s “Ani hu” in the Septuagint {Editor’s note:  The Septuagint is the Greek translation of the Old Testament} to punctuate the Deity of Jesus.  This Greek term was synonymous with YHWH to the Jewish listener, this is made obvious by the startled reaction of the religious Jews whenever Jesus used this phrase to refer to Himself.

Though Jesus may have actually been speaking Hebrew, Greek, or Aramaic on any of the occasions that John inserts the pronoun ego eimi, in all cases the reaction of the Jews serves as proof that Jesus was declaring the He is God.

Just like Isaiah, 700 years before him, John saw the Messiah, and he knew that Jesus and YHWH are one.  While it would take religious scholars centuries to define the concept of the Trinity, John simply knew God, knew Jesus, and knew the gift that Jesus left them.  Above all,he knew that Jesus loved him, and theological details were rendered pointless in light of this truth.

The Bread of Life

Once Jesus had established the fact the He and YHWH are one to his Disciples, they were ready to learn a deep truth.  The truth that would separate those who would believe in Him and accept the radical, life-giving forgiveness that He was offering freely to them from those who simply wanted to place Him at the center of their religious system.

The Disciples were beginning to understand that Jesus is YHWH, and that He was turning the system which was being carried out in His name completely on its head.  It was exciting and terrifying all at once, Just like YHWH Himself.

This truth is so important that it must be read in its entirety, for it has great implications for the Church today.  Will we cling to antiquated forms of worship and service, fitting Jesus in when possible? Or will we allow Him to transform our very souls, to remove the root of sin from us, and let Him make of us the Temple that He has desired to inhabit since the dawn of creation?

John 6:22-71:

22 On the next day, the multitude that stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other boat there, except the one in which his disciples had embarked, and that Jesus hadn’t entered with his disciples into the boat, but his disciples had gone away alone. 23 However boats from Tiberias came near to the place where they ate the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24 When the multitude therefore saw that Jesus wasn’t there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats, and came to Capernaum, seeking Jesus. 25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?”

26 Jesus answered them, “Most certainly I tell you, you seek me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves, and were filled. 27  Don’t work for the food which perishes, but for the food which remains to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For God the Father has sealed him.”

28 They said therefore to him, “What must we do, that we may work the works of God?”

29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”

30 They said therefore to him, “What then do you do for a sign, that we may see, and believe you? What work do you do? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness. As it is written, ‘He gave them bread out of heavenGreek and Hebrew use the same word for “heaven”, “the heavens”, “the sky”, and “the air”. to eat.’”Exodus 16:4; Nehemiah 9:15; Psalm 78:24-25

32 Jesus therefore said to them, “Most certainly, I tell you, it wasn’t Moses who gave you the bread out of heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread out of heaven. 33  For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.”

34 They said therefore to him, “Lord, always give us this bread.”

35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will not be hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. 36  But I told you that you have seen me, and yet you don’t believe. 37  All those whom the Father gives me will come to me. He who comes to me I will in no way throw out. 38  For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. 39  This is the will of my Father who sent me, that of all he has given to me I should lose nothing, but should raise him up at the last day. 40  This is the will of the one who sent me, that everyone who sees the Son, and believes in him, should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

41 The Jews therefore murmured concerning him, because he said, “I am the bread which came down out of heaven.” 42 They said, “Isn’t this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How then does he say, ‘I have come down out of heaven?’”

43 Therefore Jesus answered them, “Don’t murmur among yourselves. 44  No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up in the last day. 45  It is written in the prophets, ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Isaiah 54:13 Therefore everyone who hears from the Father, and has learned, comes to me. 46  Not that anyone has seen the Father, except he who is from God. He has seen the Father. 47  Most certainly, I tell you, he who believes in me has eternal life. 48  I am the bread of life. 49  Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50  This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, that anyone may eat of it and not die. 51  I am the living bread which came down out of heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. Yes, the bread which I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

52 The Jews therefore contended with one another, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”

53 Jesus therefore said to them, “Most certainly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you don’t have life in yourselves. 54  He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55  For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56  He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me, and I in him. 57  As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father; so he who feeds on me, he will also live because of me. 58  This is the bread which came down out of heaven—not as our fathers ate the manna, and died. He who eats this bread will live forever.” 59 He said these things in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.

60 Therefore many of his disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying! Who can listen to it?”

61 But Jesus knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at this, said to them, “Does this cause you to stumble? 62  Then what if you would see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 63  It is the spirit who gives life. The flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and are life. 64  But there are some of you who don’t believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who didn’t believe, and who it was who would betray him. 65 He said, “For this cause have I said to you that no one can come to me, unless it is given to him by my Father.”

66 At this, many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. 67 Jesus said therefore to the twelve, “You don’t also want to go away, do you?”

68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and know that you are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

70 Jesus answered them, “Didn’t I choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?” 71 Now he spoke of Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, for it was he who would betray him, being one of the twelve.

This was taught by Jesus in the synagogue at Capernaum, which, as you may recall, is where the official’s son was healed in Jesus’ second sign, which he performed while physically present in Cana, roughly 20 miles away.

Capernaum was the place where Jesus showed us that blind faith is enough.  Here, he was probing to see who amongst the crowd possessed this blind faith.  We can see this in the way He continues to answer each request for proof of His Deity by the Jews with what seems an increasingly illogical claim, up to the point of declaring that unless they eat of His flesh and drink of His blood, they have no part in Him.

While at the time this may have seemed like an extreme bit of Jewish humor, it became charged with meaning in the context of the Cross.  You see, it took the Cross for the Jews to understand how far God would go for them and for all of humanity, so that they might understand the God loves us and forgives us, unconditionally.  All that He asks of us is to strive to love and forgive in the same way.

Will we take the assignment?  All of creation is awaiting our response!

While God has made it clear that He abhors sacrifice, He agreed to sacrifice His own Son, so that we would understand, once and for all, that sacrifice is finished.  There is nothing we can do to please God, apart from believing in Him and moving ever closer to Him.

It is safe to assume that many who witnessed these two signs and then heard Jesus’ teaching at Capernaum afterward had also heard the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus laid out God’s expectations for humanity.  Most of them did not get it, or got it and were looking for an alternative, a list of concrete tasks and observances to absolve their conscience before the Holy One.

There are no alternatives.  What God requires of us is something that only He can give us, a pure heart.  The only way to accept a pure heart is to first realize that we need one, we need God to remove the root of sin from within us.  Everything Jesus taught is pointing towards this.

While it is common to celebrate the communion, the truth of Jesus’ bread of life teaching had nothing to do with food, much less cannibalism.  The truth is that the food we are to desire is God’s Spirit, which he was pouring out even then.  All flesh is wasting away, but the Spirit of YHWH is the fountain of everlasting life.  With God’s Spirit moving in us and through us, we can all become the bread of life for those with whom we come into contact, until they, too, look to the source, God Himself, made known to us through Jesus, who was the first to become the bread of life, and the sacrifice to end all sacrifices, so that we may “always have this bread and drink.”

Are we, like the twelve, still with Him? Are we starting to get it?  Will we see the sixth sign?

Stay tuned for the sixth sign and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for December 28, 2012

Copper Price per Lb: $3.57
Oil Price per Barrel:  $90.62
Corn Price per Bushel:  $6.94
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.71%
FED Target Rate:  0.17%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,656
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  7.7%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  -0.3%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  12,938
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,407,600,000,000 LOTS OF DOUGH ON THE STREET!
M2 Monetary Base:  $10,491,100,000,000

On the nature of Empire, Part III: What is Truth?

9/10/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

The distinction between the failed “Might makes right” mentality, which is the ideological base for all Empires, and what we have termed the better way, which can be summed up in the words of the Golden Rule:  “Love your neighbor as you love yourself,” was made clear to all in an event that can only be adequately described as the flashpoint in human history, the moment which literally opened the possibility to choose the better way.

This critical moment is related for us in the Gospel of John, chapter 18, verses 37 and 38:

37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

38 “What is truth?”retorted Pilate. With this he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him.”

John 38: 17-18
a papyrus shroud containing the text of John 38: 17-18

For those unfamiliar with the scene, which is expounded upon in John 38:28-40, this historic exchange between Jesus and the Roman Governor Pilate takes place in Pilate’s residence, which is referred to as the Roman Governor’s Palace, in Jerusalem on the day before the Jewish Passover in what is now known as the year 33 CE according to the Gregorian calendar.  It was witnessed by none other than the Apostle John.  It is evident by its inclusion in John’s gospel that He grasped the full importance of the exchange.

For John was witnessing the start of a revolution.

Pilate, the governor, was Rome’s representative in Jerusalem, capital of the rebellious province of Palestine.  He spent his days tempering an uneasy peace between Caesar and the Jewish majority of the region.  His life was a daily exercise of the compromising principles and choosing the lesser of evils.  Perhaps more than any historical character, He represents the inescapable consequence of humanity orienting itself by the “Might makes right” mentality and the ever present fear that it engenders.

Pilate was the embodiment of Empire.

Jesus before Pilate by Nikolai Ge 1890
Pilate utters the lament of Empires across the ages: “What is truth?”

His reply to Jesus’ statement about everyone on the side of truth listening to him (Jesus), “What is truth?” is neither a contemptuous mock of Jesus, nor an honest question, rather, it is an exasperated utterance of a man whose life has been reduced to endless compromises, and has seen that the lesser of evils is, in any and every case, necessarily evil.

One must wonder how many heads of state today utter these same words as they contemplate the clear moral law in contrast to what they have been called to do in this life.

How many career military men, after carrying out an assault on the enemy, have grappled with this lament in their souls?

Each of them may grapple, if indeed they pause to reflect on such matters, with a contradiction which has been eloquently expounded by Adin Ballou, who wrote a significant body of work on peaceful resistance, in his pamphlet entitled:  “How many Men are Necessary to Change a Crime into a Virtue?”

“One man may not kill. If he kills a fellow-creature, he is a murderer. If two, ten, a hundred men do so, they, too, are murderers. But a government or a nation may kill as many men as it chooses, and that will not be murder, but a great and noble action. Only gather the people together on a large scale, and a battle of ten thousand men becomes an innocent action. But precisely how many people must there be to make it so?–that is the question. One man cannot plunder and pillage, but a whole nation can. But precisely how many are needed to make it permissible? Why is it that one man, ten, a hundred, may not break the law of God, but a great number may?”

Yeah, it is a contradiction that rightfully haunts thinking persons the world over to this day.

Que es la Veritat
The question that haunts thinking persons the world over to this day, “I que es la veritat?” (“And what is truth?” translation from original Catalan) highlighted by Antoni Gaudi the Passion facade of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. (Photo by Etan J. Tal)

At this flashpoint in history, Pilate speaks for all of them.  The Might makes right system, which must avail itself to represent the truth in a vain attempt to cloak itself with a shred of legitimacy, leaves its thinking adherents searching in vain for a truth that ultimately relies on the fragile force of arms to perpetuate itself.

On the other side of the truthless void embodied in the person of Pilate, is Jesus, the Messiah.  Jesus brought the truth with Him wherever He went.  As He stood, soon to be condemned to death by the Might makes right mentality which was swallowing the world, He embodied the truth as never before.  John witnessed this moment in the governor’s palace and remained shocked to the end of his days.

The Apostle John
The Apostle John, witness to the watershed moment in human history

To Pilate’s lament, “What is truth?” Jesus replies, then and forevermore: “God Forgives.”

In doing so, He ratified what he had preached in the Sermon on the Mount, to turn the other cheek, what is know today as the doctrine non-resistance.

Ever since that fateful day, which represents THE watershed moment in all of human history, mankind has had the choice to chose the Golden rule, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself,” over the self destructive system of Might makes right.  For Jesus represents the clear change in God’s relationship with mankind.  God would no longer claim His ultimate authority on the failed Might makes right philosophy, for there is none mightier than the Living God.  Rather, He chose to cleanse the world through Jesus, the ultimate example of non-resistance.

Jesus’ crucifixion served as an indictment to every soul who would claim triumph by defeating others.  It served notice of the moral bankruptcy of the world system.  For over 2,000 years, those who have stopped at the cross to soak in the message, as John did, have been relentlessly making the world a better place.

In His resurrection, Jesus shattered every excuse for those who believe in Him to cling to the failed system of Might makes right, for to cling to the system is to live in constant search of, or worse, a fear of a truth which has already been revealed.  It is to deny that the kingdoms of this world are perishing and the the Kingdom of God is advancing EVERY DAY.

The Christian, then, has no moral standing when embracing the “Might makes right” mentality in defense of property and even life.  Jesus showed us the better way, the way to the Father.  He is preparing for us a home in God’s Kingdom, where the rule of Might makes right is vanquished, where peace is permanently established and treasures are secure, for the Golden Rule reigns supreme.

Yet the true irony and divine beauty of embracing the doctrine of non-resistance here and now is that it serves to enhance both the peace and security of the adherent.

Why not give peace a chance?

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for September 10, 2012

Copper Price per Lb: $3.62
Oil Price per Barrel:  $96.28
Corn Price per Bushel:  $7.81
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.68%
FED Target Rate:  0.16%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,724 PERMANENT UNCERTAINTY
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  8.1%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.0%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  13,254
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,385,400,000,000
M2 Monetary Base:  $10,002,100,000,000

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