Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Brief Look At Agenda 21


Interesting quotes:

“Current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class – involving high meat intake, use of fossil fuels, appliances, home and work air conditioning, and suburban housing are not sustainable.” Maurice Strong, Secretary General of the UN’s Earth Summit, 1992.

Solution?  Destroy the middle class.

“Land…cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also a principal instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth, therefore contributes to social injustice.” From the report from the 1976 UN’s Habitat I Conference.

Solution?  Remove private owners from their land through regulation.

What do they consider unsustainable development?  You won’t believe this:
"Ski runs, grazing of livestock, plowing of soil, building fences, industry, single family homes, paved and tarred roads, logging activities, dams and reservoirs, power line construction, and economic systems that fail to set proper value on the environment.” UN’s Biodiversity Assessment Report.

“Individual rights will have to take a back seat to the collective.” Harvey Ruvin, Vice Chairman, ICLEI. The Wildlands Project

Solution?  Begin stripping citizens of their individual rights, including the rights to own land, farm land, use land for business, plant backyard gardens, owning pets, etc...

“Participating in a UN advocated planning process would very likely bring out many of the conspiracy- fixated groups and individuals in our society… This segment of our society who fear ‘one-world government’ and a UN invasion of the United States through which our individual freedom would be stripped away would actively work to defeat any elected official who joined ‘the conspiracy’ by undertaking LA21. So we call our process something else, such as comprehensive planning, growth management or smart growth.” J. Gary Lawrence, Adviser to President Clinton’s Council on Sustainable Development.

Solution?  Since people will most likely protest UN Agenda 21, it must be re-branded and given a new name (sustainable development), to make it seem less threatening.

Ultimate goal of UN Agenda 21?  Mass reduction in human population in order to maintain a sustained development of the planet.


Saturday, January 26, 2013

I Am A Witness To History


“I am a witness to history.

“I cannot tell you that Hitler took Austria by tanks and guns; it would distort history.

If you remember the plot of the Sound of ...Music, the Von Trapp family escaped over the Alps rather than submit to the Nazis. Kitty wasn't so lucky. Her family chose to stay in her native Austria. She was 10 years old, but bright and aware. And she was watching.

“We elected him by a landslide – 98 percent of the vote,” she recalls.

She wasn't old enough to vote in 1938 – approaching her 11th birthday. But she remembers.

“Everyone thinks that Hitler just rolled in with his tanks and took Austria by force.”

No so.  Hitler is welcomed to Austria

“In 1938, Austria was in deep Depression. Nearly one-third of our workforce was unemployed. We had 25 percent inflation and 25 percent bank loan interest rates."

Farmers and business people were declaring bankruptcy daily. Young people were going from house to house begging for food. Not that they didn't want to work; there simply weren't any jobs.

“My mother was a Christian woman and believed in helping people in need. Every day we cooked a big kettle of soup and baked bread to feed those poor, hungry people – about 30 daily.’

“We looked to our neighbor on the north, Germany, where Hitler had been in power since 1933.” she recalls. “We had been told that they didn't have unemployment or crime, and they had a high standard of living.

“Nothing was ever said about persecution of any group – Jewish or otherwise. We were led to believe that everyone in Germany was happy. We wanted the same way of life in Austria. We were promised that a vote for Hitler would mean the end of unemployment and help for the family. Hitler also said that businesses would be assisted, and farmers would get their farms back.

“Ninety-eight percent of the population voted to annex Austria to Germany and have Hitler for our ruler.

“We were overjoyed,” remembers Kitty, “and for three days we danced in the streets and had candlelight parades. The new government opened up big field kitchens and everyone was fed.

“After the election, German officials were appointed, and, like a miracle, we suddenly had law and order. Three or four weeks later, everyone was employed. The government made sure that a lot of work was created through the Public Work Service.

“Hitler decided we should have equal rights for women. Before this, it was a custom that married Austrian women did not work outside the home. An able-bodied husband would be looked down on if he couldn't support his family. Many women in the teaching profession were elated that they could retain the jobs they previously had been required to give up for marriage.

“Then we lost religious education for kids.

“Our education was nationalized. I attended a very good public school. The population was predominantly Catholic, so we had religion in our schools. The day we elected Hitler (March 13, 1938), I walked into my schoolroom to find the crucifix replaced by Hitler’s picture hanging next to a Nazi flag. Our teacher, a very devout woman, stood up and told the class we wouldn't pray or have religion anymore. Instead, we sang ‘Deutschland, Deutschland, Uber Alles,’ and had physical education.

“Sunday became National Youth Day with compulsory attendance. Parents were not pleased about the sudden change in curriculum. They were told that if they did not send us, they would receive a stiff letter of warning the first time. The second time they would be fined the equivalent of $300, and the third time they would be subject to jail.”

And then things got worse.

“The first two hours consisted of political indoctrination. The rest of the day we had sports. As time went along, we loved it. Oh, we had so much fun and got our sports equipment free.

“We would go home and gleefully tell our parents about the wonderful time we had.

“My mother was very unhappy,” remembers Kitty. “When the next term started, she took me out of public school and put me in a convent. I told her she couldn't do that and she told me that someday when I grew up, I would be grateful. There was a very good curriculum, but hardly any fun – no sports, and no political indoctrination.

“I hated it at first but felt I could tolerate it. Every once in a while, on holidays, I went home. I would go back to my old friends and ask what was going on and what they were doing.

“Their loose lifestyle was very alarming to me. They lived without religion. By that time, unwed mothers were glorified for having a baby for Hitler.

“It seemed strange to me that our society changed so suddenly. As time went along, I realized what a great deed my mother did so that I wasn't exposed to that kind of humanistic philosophy.

“In 1939, the war started, and a food bank was established. All food was rationed and could only be purchased using food stamps. At the same time, a full-employment law was passed which meant if you didn't work, you didn't get a ration card, and, if you didn't have a card, you starved to death.

“Women who stayed home to raise their families didn't have any marketable skills and often had to take jobs more suited for men.

“Soon after this, the draft was implemented.

“It was compulsory for young people, male and female, to give one year to the labor corps,” remembers Kitty. “During the day, the girls worked on the farms, and at night they returned to their barracks for military training just like the boys.

“They were trained to be anti-aircraft gunners and participated in the signal corps. After the labor corps, they were not discharged but were used in the front lines.

“When I go back to Austria to visit my family and friends, most of these women are emotional cripples because they just were not equipped to handle the horrors of combat.

“Three months before I turned 18, I was severely injured in an air raid attack. I nearly had a leg amputated, so I was spared having to go into the labor corps and into military service.

“When the mothers had to go out into the work force, the government immediately established child care centers.

“You could take your children ages four weeks old to school age and leave them there around-the-clock, seven days a week, under the total care of the government.

“The state raised a whole generation of children. There were no motherly women to take care of the children, just people highly trained in child psychology. By this time, no one talked about equal rights. We knew we had been had.

“Before Hitler, we had very good medical care. Many American doctors trained at the University of Vienna..

“After Hitler, health care was socialized, free for everyone. Doctors were salaried by the government. The problem was, since it was free, the people were going to the doctors for everything.

“When the good doctor arrived at his office at 8 a.m., 40 people were already waiting and, at the same time, the hospitals were full.

“If you needed elective surgery, you had to wait a year or two for your turn. There was no money for research as it was poured into socialized medicine. Research at the medical schools literally stopped, so the best doctors left Austria and emigrated to other countries.

“As for healthcare, our tax rates went up to 80 percent of our income. Newlyweds immediately received a $1,000 loan from the government to establish a household. We had big programs for families.

“All day care and education were free. High schools were taken over by the government and college tuition was subsidized. Everyone was entitled to free handouts, such as food stamps, clothing, and housing.

“We had another agency designed to monitor business. My brother-in-law owned a restaurant that had square tables.

“Government officials told him he had to replace them with round tables because people might bump themselves on the corners. Then they said he had to have additional bathroom facilities. It was just a small dairy business with a snack bar. He couldn't meet all the demands.

“Soon, he went out of business. If the government owned the large businesses and not many small ones existed, it could be in control.

“We had consumer protection, too

“We were told how to shop and what to buy. Free enterprise was essentially abolished. We had a planning agency specially designed for farmers. The agents would go to the farms, count the livestock, and then tell the farmers what to produce, and how to produce it.

“In 1944, I was a student teacher in a small village in the Alps. The villagers were surrounded by mountain passes which, in the winter, were closed off with snow, causing people to be isolated.

“So people intermarried and offspring were sometimes retarded. When I arrived, I was told there were 15 mentally retarded adults, but they were all useful and did good manual work.

“I knew one, named Vincent, very well. He was a janitor of the school. One day I looked out the window and saw Vincent and others getting into a van.

“I asked my superior where they were going. She said to an institution where the State Health Department would teach them a trade, and to read and write. The families were required to sign papers with a little clause that they could not visit for 6 months.

“They were told visits would interfere with the program and might cause homesickness.

“As time passed, letters started to dribble back saying these people died a natural, merciful death. The villagers were not fooled. We suspected what was happening. Those people left in excellent physical health and all died within 6 months. We called this euthanasia.

“Next came gun registration. People were getting injured by guns. Hitler said that the real way to catch criminals (we still had a few) was by matching serial numbers on guns. Most citizens were law-abiding and dutifully marched to the police station to register their firearms. Not long afterwards, the police said that it was best for everyone to turn in their guns. The authorities already knew who had them, so it was futile not to comply voluntarily.

“No more freedom of speech. Anyone who said something against the government was taken away. We knew many people who were arrested, not only Jews, but also priests and ministers who spoke up.

“Totalitarianism didn't come quickly, it took 5 years from 1938 until 1943, to realize full dictatorship in Austria. Had it happened overnight, my countrymen would have fought to the last breath. Instead, we had creeping gradualism. Now, our only weapons were broom handles. The whole idea sounds almost unbelievable that the state, little by little eroded our freedom.”

“This is my eyewitness account.

“It’s true. Those of us who sailed past the Statue of Liberty came to a country of unbelievable freedom and opportunity.

“America is truly is the greatest country in the world. “Don’t let freedom slip away.

“After America, there is no place to go.”

Kitty Werthmann

It’s time to open your eyes to what is happening in America today!

That ends the article that I copied and pasted into this blog.  Now for a few additional comments from me.

Slowly, our individual rights are slipping away.  Presidents past and present have signed one executive order after another, slowly diluting our constitutional rights to the point where those rights are now open for reinterpretation by those who would destroy the very words that this country was founded upon.

We need to learn from the past before it's too late.

The past:  Hitler promised to fix everything.  “We elected him by a landslide – 98 percent of the vote,” she recalls.

The present: Obama promises to fix everything.  November 2008 - Headline: "Obama wins election in landslide to become first black president."

The past: “No more freedom of speech. Anyone who said something against the government was taken away. We knew many people who were arrested, not only Jews, but also priests and ministers who spoke up.


Excerpt: “Brandon Raub was arrested with no warning, targeted for doing nothing more than speaking out against the government, detained against his will, and isolated from his family, friends and attorneys. These are the kinds of things that take place in totalitarian societies.

The past: “We had another agency designed to monitor business. My brother-in-law owned a restaurant that had square tables.  Government officials told him he had to replace them with round tables because people might bump themselves on the corners. Then they said he had to have additional bathroom facilities. It was just a small dairy business with a snack bar. He couldn't meet all the demands.  Soon, he went out of business. If the government owned the large businesses and not many small ones existed, it could be in control."

The present: October 31, 2011Headline: "Business Roundtable: Regulations Are Killing Business"

The past: "Everyone was entitled to free handouts, such as food stamps, clothing, and housing."

The present:  August 8, 2012 - Headline: "Over 100 Million Now Receiving Federal Welfare" (That's one-third of the population; does not include Social Security or Medicare).

The past:  “During the day, the girls worked on the farms, and at night they returned to their barracks for military training just like the boys.  They were trained to be anti-aircraft gunners and participated in the signal corps."

The present:  May 14, 2009 - Headline: "Boy Scouts Train to Become Homeland Gestapo"

Excerpt:  "Gestapo Scouts will be required to combat 'rightwing extremists' who will refuse to turn in their firearms after the next false flag terror attack or engineered pandemic. SWAT Scouts will be called to deal with those who refuse to participate in mandatory vaccinations. Police state Scouts will be the vanguard for Obama’s million-man Civilian National Security Corps. 'just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded' as the military."

The past: “Next came gun registration. People were getting injured by guns. Hitler said that the real way to catch criminals (we still had a few) was by matching serial numbers on guns. Most citizens were law-abiding and dutifully marched to the police station to register their firearms. Not long afterwards, the police said that it was best for everyone to turn in their guns. The authorities already knew who had them, so it was futile not to comply voluntarily.

The present: January 26, 2013 - Headline: “The Resistance Begins: New York Gun Owners Refuse to Register”

Excerpt: “With emotions running high in the aftermath of the Newtown Sandy Hook shooting, politicians on the State and Federal level have begun introducing legislative actions to curtail access to firearms protected by the Second Amendment. In Missouri, parents may soon be forced to register firearms with their child’s school under threat of criminal penalties. In Massachusetts, another proposal would require storage of semi-automatic rifles at government approved storage depots. And, in the State of New York, congressional representatives have already passed legislation that requires registration of every semi-automatic rifle and reduces maximum magazine capacity to 7 rounds of ammunition, and Governor Cuomo has floated the idea of gun confiscation.”

Goal: Get the population dependent on the government while stripping them of their individual rights.  The dependent populace will voluntarily give up some of their rights for safety, "human rights," political correctness, and for their basic needs (food, shelter, clothing, medical attention, medication, etc...).  By the time the populace realizes how much of their individual rights they have lost, it will be too late.  The state will gain control through marshal law and anyone who defies the state will be neutralized.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Making Sacrifices - How Noble Of You


"We need to make some sacrifices for our own safety." 

Every time the government chips away at our personal rights, we’re told it’s for our own safety. I’d like to take this opportunity to ask those who believe the government has our best interest in mind exactly how much they would  sacrifice for their “safety” and “protection.” 

Let’s start with the most current debate… guns.  Do we give up our right to possess certain types of weapons or do we just give them all up in hopes that a total weapons ban will save lives?  Of course, it hasn’t helped anyone in the other states in our union or helped the crime statistics in other countries, but it should work here, right?

Do we give up our right to travel freely on the highways without being forced to stop at checkpoints?  How wonderful it will be to be forced to stop every few miles to be told to head on over to the secondary area so that we and our possessions can be searched.

Do we allow ourselves to be implanted with a chip so that we can be tracked 24/7?  We can already be tracked by our cell phones.  What’s having a chip implanted going to hurt, right?

Do we allow the government to come up with a nationwide pay scale instead of allowing employers to pay their own employees what they feel they’re actually worth? You can forget about that raise based on your stellar performance.

Do we allow the government to move us all into housing units and forbid the personal ownership of single family homes?  After all, that’s what Agenda 21 is all about.  You aren’t familiar with Agenda 21?  Time for me to point my finger at you and scream, “Zombie!”


Do we submit ourselves to strip searches and other types of searches in a “guilty until proven innocent” society?  Reminds me of that story of the officers that searched a woman in public and reached up and pulled her tampon out or the 10 year old boy who was strip searched in the boys room in front of a female staff member.  Yeah, let’s have more of that!

Do we allow the government to force everyone to obtain and carry a National ID card to be surrendered on command whenever a law enforcement officer demands you to identify yourself?  We can combine that with what they do in NY.  You know, the “stop and frisk” thing they do.  After all, in a society where we desire total safety, everyone must be considered guilty until proven innocent.

And let’s create a “one child” policy like they have in China.  We wouldn’t want to overpopulate the planet and run out of food and water.  Don’t worry.  If you become pregnant, you can always have a forced abortion or bring it full term and hand it over to the pedophile government official who I’m sure will take good care of him/her.

Do we give up our religious beliefs in favor of a state sanctioned religion?  Christians are being seen more and more as threats to society.  We're being called bigots, racist and intolerant.  A one world religion will be seen by many to be the solution.

What type of sacrifices are we willing to make?  How much is too much?  How far is too far?  Why don’t we all just live in a prison cell.  We’ll be locked in, safe from harm.  We’ll be given our three square meals a day.  We’ll be given free medical attention (when it’s convenient for them of course) and we can work for the state to help pay for our room and board.  Sounds nice and safe, doesn’t it?  We’ll all wear the same clothing so that we’re all equal… you know, like school uniforms.  It’s all for our safety… for our protection. 

Giving up even one of our basic rights/freedoms leads to the taking of more.  One day, if the trend continues, we’ll be under a dictatorship and will be working for the state.  The only desire we will be allowed to have is the desire to do our best to serve the state.  Is that the kind of nation we want to live in?  Is that the kind of future we want for ourselves and for our children and grandchildren?

Acknowledgement:  Photo - infowars.com

Comparing Men And Angels


Here are the sort of crazy questions that often run through my mind.  “God made the angels, so why did He decide to make us?” “What is the difference between angels and humans?” “What qualities are found in man that are not found in angels?”

I've decided that when such questions arise, I should immediately write it down and then try my best to satisfy my curiosity.  I have also made the decision to blog about such things so that anyone else with the same questions can benefit.  Here is the information that I've managed to scrape together concerning men and angels.

As we all know, angels do the work of the Lord.  They fight battles in the spiritual realm, they deliver messages from God, they minister to those in need, they praise and worship God and they carry out the judgments of God.  They have great strength and continually fight against the enemy and his minions at God’s command.  They are another class of created being.  They are temporarily a little higher than mankind because they mainly operate in the spiritual realm, but one day we will be higher than the angels.  I say, “mainly operate in the spiritual realm,” because there are instances of angels appearing as men on earth (one example: Genesis 19).

I believe that one third of the angels were convinced “intellectually” to side with the Devil in opposition to God.  They couldn’t have been tempted in the flesh, because they don’t possess a fleshly body.  This reveals another difference between angels and man... 

Man is tempted in the flesh.  This is why we are told to crucify our flesh and take up our cross daily.  We must make a conscious effort to rely on the Holy Spirit, striving to live a righteous life, one pleasing to God.  Angels don’t have this fleshly battle (they fight against the enemy in the spiritual realm, though).  Our spiritual battle is raged on in the flesh and in our mind.  That’s where the enemy attacks us.  The scripture doesn’t mention the enemy’s attempt at trying to make more angels rebel against God, but scripture does show that the enemy is bent on preventing as many people as possible from receiving the promise of salvation.

Creating Adam
God personally ‘breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.’ (Genesis 2:7 MKJV)  We are both spirit and flesh, heaven and earth, in one.  Angels can’t comprehend what we experience in this mortal body.  We exhibit the same emotions that God does, albeit in a lesser degree.  I know that angels experience joy, love and compassion, but I’m not sure they have many other emotions.  We, on the other hand, experience not only positive emotions, but negative ones as well; grief, anger, jealousy, envy, etc…  Of course, the enemy has a way of twisting those emotions by using them to lead us into sin, but as we see from scripture, God gets angry (Numbers 12:9) and He is also a jealous God (Exodus 20:5). When those emotions enter our heart, they aren’t necessarily evil in and of themselves; it’s the condition of the heart and the intent of expressing those emotions that causes them to be judged as good or evil.  God tells us to, “Be angry, and do not sin. Do not let the sun go down upon your wrath …” (Ephesians 4:26 MKJV)  I guess those emotions could be subjects of another blog…lol.

Adam and Eve walked and talked with God.  They had the perfect relationship with Him.  That’s the relationship we now have with Him if we’re born again believers in Christ.  We are considered His children and heirs to the Kingdom of God.  We have instant 24/7 access to God because of what Jesus did on the cross.    

Speaking of Adam and Eve, that brings me to the next point of discussion.  We were created male and female.  Due to our mortal nature, we are subject to physical death, so God gave us the ability to give birth and to multiply… to create new life so-to-speak.  The angels in heaven are of a finite number and do not reproduce.  “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in Heaven.” (Mat 22:30 MKJV)

Remaining in the Garden of Eden for one more moment, I’d like to also mention that mankind received a special honor from God.  Mankind was given dominion, power, and authority over the earth, an honor that the angels don’t have.  I believe we have been given dominion over a temporal world and all that is in it not just to be representatives of God here on earth, but also in preparation of ruling with Christ during His millennial reign; in preparation to become part of the royal family.  How can we effectively rule with Christ during His millennium reign unless we have experience in making decisions based on God’s word?  God gives us that basic training during our brief existence here on this planet.  That leads us to the next point of discussion…

God has graciously blessed us with the ability to reason… to learn and grow as individuals. We have the ability to create paintings and sculptures, to write music, to organize, to think abstractly and to grow in wisdom, knowledge and understanding.  We have a sense of humor.  We have a curiosity and a need to learn and experience new things.  I don’t remember reading anywhere in the bible that states that angels have any of these qualities.

Although we are able to receive salvation through the blood of the Lamb, fallen angels are not capable of being redeemed.  Why?  Picture this… the fallen angels had lived in the presence of their Creator, surrounded by His glory, His love and His righteousness and they still rebelled.  It reminds me of this scripture: “For it would have been better for them not to have fully known the way of righteousness, than fully knowing it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.” (2Peter 2:21 MKJV)  If we, being mortal, receive a worse judgment by accepting and then rejecting the truth, then what kind of judgment would be meted out on those angels who lived in God’s presence and still chose to sin?

So, here’s a bullet list of how I believe we are different from the angels:
  • Angels are a different class of being created before mankind.
  • Angels have specific roles in God’s kingdom.
  • We are spirit and flesh in one; heaven and earth… just as Jesus became when He was born here on earth.
  • We are tempted in the flesh and experience things in the flesh that angels can’t comprehend.
  • Mankind has been given authority over all the earth and over all the creatures of the earth.
  • For the past 6,000 years we have been able to create life after our own kind and to increase in number.
  • We have an intellect and are able to reason; growing in wisdom, knowledge and understanding.
  • We have the ability to be creative and to invent new and wonderful things.
  • We experience all the emotions of God, to a certain degree.
  • Angels have been given the responsibility of protecting us, ministering to us and speaking to us at God’s command.  In serving God, they are serving us as well.
  • As heirs to the Kingdom of God, we have the authority by the blood of Jesus to approach the throne of God at any time.  We have continued and unrestricted access to our Father and to Jesus through the Holy Spirit.
  • We have been called heirs to God’s kingdom.  Brothers and sisters sharing in the authority of heaven.  Sons and daughters of the Living God!
  • We have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, something that fallen angels are not capable of receiving.
This is by no means a complete and comprehensive list of all the differences between man and angels, but it does give me a good grasp of the differences between two of God’s creations.

Acknowledgments

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

And They Have Divided Up MY Land


I've been thinking more about the situation with Israel concerning the circumstances that could lead to the building of the third Temple in Jerusalem. 

We know that the Temple will be rebuilt in the end times:

Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. (2 Thess. 2:3-4)

Then there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, “Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it. 2Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months. (Rev. 11:1-2)

We also know that Jerusalem will be divided:

For behold, in those days and at that time, When I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, 2I will gather all the nations And bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat.  Then I will enter into judgment with them there On behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; And they have divided up My land. (Joel 3:1-2)

So here is my question: 

With the leadership of the soon-to-be-revealed Antichrist, will Israel and the Arab nations come to an agreement that the Palestinians will be given possession of East Jerusalem in exchange for unrestricted access to half of the Temple Mount where the Jews will build the Third Temple?


Monday, January 07, 2013

There Are Two Types Of "Crowns"


I was in the process of doing a word study in the New Testament and I came upon something unexpected.  I already knew that there were two words in the Greek for crown:

G4735 - στέφανος - stephanos - stef'-an-os
From an apparently primary “stepho” (to twine or wreathe); a chaplet (as a badge of royalty, a prize in the public games or a symbol of honor generally; but more conspicuous and elaborate than the simple fillet, G1238), literally or figuratively: - crown.


www.travelingwithmj.com

G1238 - διάδημα - diadēma - dee-ad'-ay-mah
From a compound of G1223 and G1210; a “diadem” (as bound about the head): - crown.




What I didn't expect was to have the word "stephanos" associated with the crown that Jesus is currently wearing.  This is not the crown (diadema) of a King, but a woven crown of a Victor or Champion.  Of course, my curiosity got the better of me, so I had to dig deeper.

The first mention of a "stephanos" in the New Testament is at Jesus' crucifixion (Matt. 27:29, Mark 15:17 and John 19:2). The crown of thorns is actually a "stephanos" of thorns; a woven crown of thorny branches placed on Jesus' head.

The word "stephanos" is used almost exclusively throughout the New Testament when describing a crown.  It is even used to describe the crowns that the 24 elders are wearing in Heaven:

Rev 4:4  And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns (stephanos) of gold.

Rev 4:10  The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns (stephanos) before the throne, saying...

I'm sure most of us are used to thinking that the 24 elders around the throne of God are wearing actual crowns (diadema) but in actuality, they are wearing "stephanos" (woven crowns) of gold.

Again, Jesus is described as wearing a "stephanos:"

Rev 14:14-16  And I looked, and behold, a white cloud. And on the cloud sat one like the Son of man, having a golden crown (stephanos) on His head, and a sharp sickle in His hand.  15And another angel came out of the temple, crying in a great voice to Him sitting on the cloud, Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth was dried.  16And He sitting on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.

Who else is wearing a "stephanos?"

Rev 9:7  And the shapes of the locusts were like horses prepared for battle. And on their heads were as it were crowns (stephanos) like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men.

Rev 12:1  And there appeared a great sign in the heavens, a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon was under her feet, and a crown (stephanos) of twelve stars on her head...

So what's all the fuss about?  Why am I getting hung up on this "stephanos" thing?  Here's why:

It isn't until Revelation 12:3 that the word "diadema" is used.  First it's to describe the power and authority that Satan has on the earth during the tribulation:

Rev 12:3  And another sign was seen in the heavens. And behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns (diadema) on his heads!

Rev 13:1  And I stood on the sand of the sea, and I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns. And on its horns were ten crowns (diadema), and on its heads was the name of blasphemy.

Then it's used once more when John describes Jesus' return to earth:

Rev 19:12  And His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head many crowns (diadema). And He had a name written, one that no one knew except Himself.

So we come to the point of this entire thought process.  In all the pictures that we see of Jesus, he's wearing a solid gold crown (diadema).  I know that in MY head I picture Him wearing a diadema. Through scripture we can see that as of this moment, Jesus is wearing a golden stephanos.  Why would this be?  He is King of kings and Lord of lords.  Our Father has placed everything under Jesus authority.

The only explanation I have is that Jesus is still seen specifically as the Lamb of God and He wears His golden stephanos as a sign of His victory on the cross; His victory over death and the grave.  His victory over Satan.

It's not until He returns that He is seen as the Lion of Judah, the conquering King, coming in power and authority to reign over the earth for a thousand years.  When He returns to defeat the enemy at the end of the Tribulation, He no longer wears a single stephanos, but many diademas.

Oh, I almost forgot.  In case you were wondering, the crowns that we'll be wearing in heaven... those will be stephanos: 

Rev 2:10  Do not at all fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the Devil will cast some of you into prison, so that you may be tried. And you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful to death, and I will give you the crown (stephanos) of life.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

The Two Witnesses - Moses? Elijah? Enoch?


Shortly after the Rapture and the signing of the peace treaty between Israel and her enemies, two Witnesses will appear in Jerusalem who will preach the word of God and proclaim Jesus as Messiah.  

The following scripture is a little lengthy, so I've broken it down into bite sized pieces.

Rev. 11:3-5  “And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” 4These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. 5And if anyone wants to harm them, fire flows out of their mouth and devours their enemies; so if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this way.”

These two men will suddenly appear on the scene in Jerusalem. They will begin proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ and prophesy for 1260 days. You would be right if you said that 1260 isn’t exactly 3½ years… or would you? The Jewish calendar is made up of 12 months, each having 30 days. Their calendar is not like ours. Their year has 360 days, not 365.  So, 42 months (3½ years) x 30 days per month = 1260 days. This scripture also shows us that the two witnesses will be invincible, for the duration of their appointed time on earth.

Rev. 11:6  “These have the power to shut up the sky, so that rain will not fall during the days of their prophesying; and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with every plague, as often as they desire.”

As the scripture states, they will be able to prevent rain from falling for 3½ years and will be able to turn water into blood and cause all kinds of plagues on the earth as often as they want. Add this to the seven seal judgments. Think about it. One third of the earth’s fresh water sources are poisoned by a meteor strike, the two witnesses prevent rain from falling, and they will be able to turn fresh water into blood. Can you imagine the thirst this would cause worldwide? The lack of rain will devastate the world’s production of food and will play havoc with the world’s ecosystem. You can see why almost everyone on the earth will want these two men dead after a 3½ years of drought.

Rev. 11:7  “When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them.”

We see that after 3½ years, the Antichrist (possessed by Satan) will be allowed by God to kill the two witnesses. There is a reason why God allows them to be killed:

Rev. 11:8-10  "And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. 9Those from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb. 10And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and celebrate; and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.”

Imagine, the two men who have struck the earth with plagues, killed men with fire from their mouths, turned fresh water into blood and have caused a drought for 1260 days are finally dead! Rain once again begins to fall as the human race begins to rejoice and have hope that things are finally going to get better. Their ‘savior’ has finally defeated these two men! Not only are they celebrating their deaths, but they leave their corpses out in the street, in plain view of everyone. One thing about a party though... it always has to end.

Artwork
godsoutreachministryint.org/
Rev. 11:11-13 "But after the three and a half days, the breath of life from God came into them, and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were watching them. 12And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, ‘Come up here.’ Then they went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies watched them. 13And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.”

After 3½ days of laying dead on the ground in full view of the television and web cast audience, God breaths life back into their bodies. Can you imagine the fear that strikes the heart of everyone who sees these two men stand on their feet!  But that’s just the beginning. God speaks in a voice that everyone can hear! He speaks to the two Witnesses and says, “Come up here.” Then, in full view of everyone present and everyone watching the live feed on their television, computer, iPad and cell phone, a cloud forms around and under the two Witnesses and lifts them up to heaven!

As if that wasn't enough, while everyone is panicking and trying process all that’s just happened, there is a terrible earthquake that destroys a tenth of Jerusalem and kills seven thousand people. Those who survive this event begin giving glory to God.

NOW BEGS THE QUESTION: "WHO ARE THESE TWO WITNESSES?"

Let me state that we are not told by God who the two witness are. Though their true identity will not be known until their arrival, the Two Witnesses have the same authority demonstrated by two Old Testament prophets: Moses and Elijah. Could these two be the olive trees and lampstands that are before the Lord of the earth? Let’s dig a little deeper.

Who were two people who appeared with Jesus on the Mount of Olives? Moses and Elijah. These were not “spirits” of dead men, they were alive and in a physical form and appeared standing with Jesus. In fact, Peter wanted to construct three tents (one for each of them), so that they could have shelter and a resting place.

Let’s go one step further. The witnesses have the power to turn water to blood and cause all kinds of plagues. If you've ever read Exodus or watched “The Ten Commandments” on television, you know that this description fits only one person: Moses.

The witnesses will be able to stop the rain for 3½ years. If you read 1 Kings chapters 17 and 18, you’ll see that this has happened before, and who was it that prayed that it wouldn't rain for three and one half years? The same person that appeared before Jesus along with Moses... Elijah.

Some say that Moses could not be one of the two witnesses, since it's appointed for a man to die once and then judgment. Although Elijah didn't die (he was taken up to heaven in bodily form in a chariot of fire), Moses did die. The only other person in the bible who is said not to have died was the prophet Enoch.  

Gen 5:21-24  “And Enoch lived sixty-five years and fathered Methuselah. 22And Enoch walked with God three hundred years after he fathered Methuselah. And he fathered sons and daughters.  23And all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years.  24And Enoch walked with God, and then he was not, for God took him.”

Heb 11:5  By faith Enoch was translated so as not to see death, and he was not found, because God had translated him; for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” 

Enoch was a prophet as well:
Jude 1:14-15  “And Enoch, the seventh from Adam, also prophesied to these, saying, 'Behold, the Lord came with myriads of His saints, 15to do judgment against all, and to rebuke all the ungodly of them concerning all their ungodly works which they ungodly did, and concerning all the hard things ungodly sinners spoke against Him.'”

So we have three potential candidates for the role of "Witness" during the first half of the Tribulation. At first I was totally convinced that it would be Elijah and Moses, since the power given to the two Witnesses reflects the power given to Elijah and Moses when they were alive here on earth, but then I realized that if the OT saints are going to be part of the Rapture, Moses will have received his new glorified body at the resurrection of the saints, so he will not have a body that can be destroyed by death. If OT saints are NOT part of this resurrection (and instead will be resurrected at the end of Christ's millennial reign), the fact that he's already died once would exclude him from being one of the two witnesses, because it's appointed for a man to die ONCE and then judgment. Then again, God can do whatever He wants, right?  LOL

If Moses is out of the equation, then that just leaves Elijah and Enoch, two men who have never tasted death. How perfect is THAT plan! The two who have never tasted death will experience death when they are struck down by Satan, who will be possessing the body of the Antichrist at that time. Then 3.5 days later, they will be resurrected and finally be given their immortal and incorruptible bodies as they are lifted back up to heaven.

What a great and memorable day that will be, especially for those born again believers who are alive and witnessing this miracle. What an encouragement it will be for those Christians who are enduring the Tribulation. And this encouragement comes just before the most horrific attack on the church since it was formed on the day of Pentecost. How many of our brothers and sisters will go to their death with the confidence of their salvation not only because of what they know through the Word of God, but because they have also witnessed the resurrection of the two Witnesses!