Jesus Splits the Mt. of Olives 

Chapter 23 of the Corrupting The Image 3 : Jesus Splits the Mt. of Olives 

After saying, “Baruch Haba B’shem Adonai,” the Jerusalemites will likely have to hide from the impending hordes of hybrids who want to kill them. We get the impression that nearly three days have passed since they called upon Jesus, based on Hosea: 

“Come, and let us return to the LORD; for He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up (Hos 6:1). After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight (Hos 6:2).” 

However, the cataclysmic events will darken the sun and moon, and fill the air with smoke and gases from the elements that will melt. Mankind will panic, and it may not even be possible for them to determine the time that has passed since it all started; but it may be 3 literal days. Regardless, the Jerusalem remnant will try to make their way to the Mount of Olives because they know that is where Jesus will come. Jews have elected for centuries to be buried on the Mount of Olives, anticipating that will be where the resurrection occurs first—according to their expectations.  

“Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle (Zech 14:3). And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east (Zech 14:4).” 

The Jerusalemites may be trying to make it to the top of the Mount of Olives when they find themselves surrounded by what appears to be a pincer move from the Beast’s forces who are coming from the north, and from the south to destroy them. Satan might once again think he has won, but he will again be outfoxed. 

Figure 47. Arrows represent the coming forces of the Beast to destroy the Jerusalem remnant. Photo by Bibleplaces.com. 

Even though the Remnant is surrounded by mountains on two sides and hybrid hordes on the other two, Jesus will give supernatural powers to the governors of Judah: 

“In that day I will make the governors of Judah like a firepan in the woodpile, and like a fiery torch in the sheaves; they shall devour all the surrounding peoples on the right hand and on the left, but Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place–Jerusalem.” (Zech 12:6). 

They are in the Valley of Jehoshaphat; the forces of antichrist are coming against them; and then the governors of Judah who are on the periphery receive power from the Lord to have fire shoot from their hands. This is more than feasible based on what the text says: 

“In that day the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; the one who is feeble among them in that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the Angel of the LORD before them” (Zech 12:8).  

In Habakkuk 3:4, we learn: “He had rays flashing from His hand” this means Jesus has rays of light flashing from his hand” (Hab 3:4)! This is far cooler than any superhero movie. Jesus will give them power; the strong among them will be like the angel of the Lord before them. They will have fire coming from their hands to defend themselves until Jesus gets there. 

Figure 48. Jesus touching down on the Mount of Olives and with the Jerusalem remnant in the valley of Jehoshaphat. 

The Jerusalemites in the Valley of Jehoshaphat, the Kidron valley are waiting for Jesus; they are fending off the people, the hybrid hordes of Gog that are coming and are devouring them on the right and on the left. The forces of antichrist are doing a pincer move, planning to conquer them from either side. 

Finally, Jesus touches ground on the Mount of Olives, and when He dismounts his horse, then the mountain will split. Which might be the cause of the world’s greatest ever earthquake (more on that later). 

Suddenly, where there was no way to escape, God makes a way!  

“The Mount of Olives shall be split in two, from east to west, making a very large valley; half of the mountain shall move toward the north and half of it toward the south (Zech 14:4). Then you shall flee through My mountain valley, for the mountain valley shall reach to Azal. Yes, you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Thus the LORD my God will come, and all the saints with You (Zech 14:5).” 

We recall that Israel was in this predicament before. They were trapped between a rock and a hard place, with Pharaoh on one side and the Red Sea on the other side. This will be the second Exodus! 

“For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, ‘They are bewildered by the land; the wilderness has closed them in’ (Exod 14:3). ‘Then I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, so that he will pursue them; and I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, that the Egyptians may know that I am the LORD.’ And they did so (Exod 14:4).” 

After the ten plagues, Pharaoh did not learn his lesson and thought he could trap the Israelites and enslave them again. However, it was God who was creating the trap for Pharaoh. In Exodus, we find the sea splitting down the middle, but in the last days, it will be a mountain splitting down the middle. Just as God said that He would “harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they shall go in after them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host” (Exod 14:17), so too “the LORD alone will be exalted in that day” (Isa 2:17). 

Mother of All Earthquakes 

The earth will experience the greatest earthquake the world has ever seen and will ever see. Though Scripture does not specifically state it, we have good reason to believe that quake could be caused by Jesus’ feet touching down on the Mt. of Olives. The Mount of Olives will open up wide enough for a multitude of people to flee through, similar to the parting of the Red Sea, and will cause tremendous shaking. We know that not many kilometers from Jerusalem, there is an area known as the Dead Sea Transform—“a transform plate boundary, along which two tectonic plates slide past one another.”325 Dr. Yariv Hamiel, head of the GSI’s Geological Hazards and Geological Engineering Division in Israel cautions:  

“In general, we’re worried about the whole Dead Sea Transform (the Syrian-African great rift) from Eilat to Lebanon … There could be a strong quake anywhere along it at any time.”326 

The Dead Sea Transform is itself at the center of four major plates: the African plate, the Anatolian plate, the Arabian plate, and the Eurasian plate. Jesus splitting the mountain could be the very domino that sets in motion the greatest of all earthquakes the world has ever seen. In fact, this is almost certainly the case based on the plethora of Scriptures that talk about massive earth shaking when God returns.  

Figure 49. Dead Sea Transform Red lines are spreading boundaries, where new crust is generated as plates move away from one another; black lines are transform faults where plates slide past one another. 

Nevertheless, even if Jesus’ foot stomping is not what causes the greatest of all earthquakes, the earth will experience a worldwide and unprecedented quake when He returns. It will be so monumental that it is mentioned repeatedly throughout Scripture. 

“I will shake the heavens, and the earth will move out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts and in the day of His fierce anger” (Isa 13:13). 

We find this same event repeated in Revelation where we learn that “every mountain and island was moved out of its place” (Rev 6:14). That is a big deal. This same event is repeated in chapter 16: 

“There was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth” (Rev 16:18). “Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found” (Rev 16:20). 

There will be the biggest earthquake in history. It will be so big that every mountain and island will move and flee away. The whole geographical structure of the surface of the earth as we know it will suffer dramatic changes. Nothing has or will ever compare to this event. In 2011, there was a 9.1 magnitude earthquake around Fukushima, Japan that caused unbelievable damage. They say that the earth shifted about an inch. Many of us watched in real time as tsunami waves overwhelmed houses, cars and people. That was just one island and just one inch. According to NASA,  

“Calculations also show the Japan quake should have shifted the position of Earth’s figure axis (the axis about which Earth’s mass is balanced) by about 17 centimeters (6.5 inches), towards 133 degrees east longitude… This shift in Earth’s figure axis will cause Earth to wobble a bit differently as it rotates.”327 

Now imagine if every island and every mountain moved out of its place! The prophet Isaiah described the event, “the foundations of the earth are shaken” (Isa 24:18); and,  

“The earth is violently broken, The earth is split open, The earth is shaken exceedingly (Isa 24:19). The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall totter like a hut; Its transgression shall be heavy upon it, and it will fall, and not rise again (Isa 24:20).” 

The devastation is so bad that Isaiah had to add, “it will fall and not rise again.” The earth will never be the same. Jeremiah described it as the earth, “tohu vavohu,” the same words used in Genesis 1:2 which describes a liquid:  

“I beheld the earth, and indeed it was without form, and void [tohu vavohu]; and the heavens, they had no light (Jer 4:23). I beheld the mountains, and indeed they trembled, and all the hills moved back and forth (Jer 4:24).” 

Figure 50. Some effects of soil liquefaction after the 1964 Niigata earthquake. 

During sizeable earthquakes, the soil begins to act like quicksand, known as liquefaction,​ which is why buildings can just fall over; the soil under the foundation below them is eroded and becomes like liquid. 328 

In other words, the surface of the earth has lost its previous shape and consistency and lies marred, sunken and cracked. Jeremiah further explains the coming devastation: 

“I beheld the mountains, and indeed they trembled, and all the hills moved back and forth (Jer 4:24). I beheld, and indeed there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens had fled (Jer 4:25). I beheld, and indeed the fruitful land was a wilderness, and all its cities were broken down At the presence of the LORD, By His fierce anger (Jer 4:26). For thus says the LORD: “The whole land shall be desolate; Yet I will not make a full end (Jer 4:27). For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black, Because I have spoken. I have purposed and will not relent, Nor will I turn back from it (Jer 4:28).” 

Habakkuk states, “the perpetual mountains were shattered, the ancient hills collapsed” (Hab 3:6 NASB).  

How many times can the earth have every island and every mountain move from its place? It will only happen once because it will irreversibly destroy man’s proud cities:  

“And there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake such as there had never been … (Rev 16:18) … and the cities of the nations fell … (Rev 16:19).”  

The haughtiness of man has been brought to nothing: The factories of man’s industry which produced tanks, planes, guns and bombs; the grand, magnificent skyscrapers, built ever higher, as well as the homes of both the humble and the proud; the stadiums full of idolatry; the great underground cities built for that very day; the glorious and stable pyramids, everything lies shattered in smoldering ruins, debris and rubble as if ripped apart by a tornado, crushed by Jesus’ fierce anger.  

However, this is not the end. We recall that the Beast and the Marked have prepared for this day by upgrading themselves into hybrid “gods” so that they could fight against Jesus. The earthquake certainly rocked their world, but they are not out of the fight yet. This reminds us of how after taking Israel out of Egypt, God was not done with Pharaoh. “And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gotten glory over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen” (Exod 14:18). So too, in the battle of Armageddon, God says:  

“You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes” (Ezek 38:16). “Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Are you he of whom I have spoken in former days by My servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied for years in those days that I would bring you against them?’” (Ezek 38:17). “So I will show my greatness and my holiness and make myself known in the eyes of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD” (Ezek 38:23). 

In other words, God will be glorified when the boastful, blaspheming Gog is humbled and destroyed. It will also be on that day that an unprecedented earthquake will strike. 

“For in My jealousy and in the fire of My wrath I have spoken: surely in that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel (Ezek 38:19), so that the fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all creeping things that creep on the earth, and all men who are on the face of the earth shall shake at My presence. The mountains shall be thrown down, the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground’ (Ezek 38:20).” 

Ezekiel describes this same event in which there will be an enormous earthquake that affects Israel and the whole world so that the mountains are thrown down and every wall falls. Every skyscraper will fall because every mountain and every island will move and it will be the greatest earthquake we will ever know.  

“For the day of the LORD of hosts shall come upon everything proud and lofty…” (Isa 2:12). “Upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up; (Isa 2:14) upon every high tower, and upon every fortified wall” (Isa 2:15) “… And the haughtiness of men shall be brought low; the LORD alone will be exalted in that day” (Isa 2:17). 

Gog / the Beast has seen his fortune change, but his blasphemous arrogance will not allow him to throw in the towel. He will continue to fall into God’s trap, just as Pharaoh did before him. In order to give time to prepare the way for Israel to go through the sea,  

“The angel of God who was going before the host of Israel moved and went behind them, and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them (Exod 14:19), coming between the host of Egypt and the host of Israel. And there was the cloud and the darkness. And it lit up the night without one coming near the other all night (Exod 14:20).” 

God is going to make a way for the Jerusalem Remnant to get away. Rather than it being a wall of fire and cloud as between Israel and Egypt, this time it appears it will be a wall of gigantic hail, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.  

“And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone (Ezek 38:22). Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the LORD (Ezek 38:23).” 

The same description is in the Revelation Armageddon passage: 

“And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth. (Rev 16:18) … And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent (Rev 16:21).” 

Figure 51. Softball (and larger)-sized hail fell during a severe thunderstorm that struck Vivian, S.D. on July 23. (Image: © NOAA). 

A talent is roughly 75 pounds, or 34 kilos. The largest hailstone ever recorded was: 

On June 22, 2003, chunks of ice the size of softballs rained down on Aurora, Nebraska. One, a jagged behemoth with a 7-inch (17.8-centimeter) diameter, entered the record books as the largest U.S. hailstone ever. Although large in size, it didn’t unseat the champion by weight, which fell in Coffeyville, Kansas., in 1970, according to the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). That hailstone weighed more than a pound and a half (0.75 kg).329 

A pound and a half chunk of ice hitting someone at high speed could easily kill. Nevertheless, it will be dwarfed by the hailstones that will fall during the end of the Tribulation. A 75-pound hailstone falling is more like a cannonball.  

Just as Pharaoh was blocked, while “the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left” (Exod 14:22). So also, falling hail will block the Beast / Gog and his hordes as the Jerusalem Remnant “shall flee through My mountain valley” (Zech 14:5), a canyon with steep walls on their right and left!  

However, as soon as possible, Pharaoh greedily led his army into the parted waters to capture his prey, and fell into God’s trap.  

“And the Egyptians pursued and went after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen” (Exod 14:23).  

So too, the Beast and company will follow suit. The hail eventually stops, and we know that it has not killed Gog and the upgraded hybrid hordes because Revelation says that after the hail: “Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great” (Rev 16:21). Once the hail has stopped, then the Beast / Gog will hungrily pursue the Jerusalemites into the newly created Arema-Gei-Don, the Valley of Judgment of the Sheaves, and will fall like sheaves. They will do this because God is the one who put a hook in their jaws to lead them to Jerusalem to bring them into his valley of judgment, and they do not understand his thoughts: 

“Now also many nations have gathered against you, who say, ‘Let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion.’ But they do not know the thoughts of the Lord, nor do they understand His counsel; for He will gather them like sheaves to the threshing floor” (Micah 4:11–12).  

In the Exodus, “the LORD looked down upon the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud, and He troubled the army of the Egyptians” (Exod 14:24). That is, God was present in the midst of the pillar of fire and cloud. He was personally overseeing Israel’s rescue. The text says, “He took off their chariot wheels, so that they drove them with difficulty” (Exod 14:25). It quickly became apparent to the Egyptians that they were fighting a force far greater than themselves; and Pharaoh, the one they believed to be a god, was outmatched.  

The Egyptians said, “Let us flee from the face of Israel, for the LORD fights for them against the Egyptians” (Exod 14:25).  

This time, however, God will not be looking through a pillar of fire and cloud, but will be there, face to face with his adversary. Jesus will jump down about four hundred feet (yes, He can do that) and will interpose himself between his people who are fleeing behind him and the Beast and his hybrid hordes in front of him.  

Figure 52. Jesus interposing in the newly formed valley “gei” of the judgment of the sheaves “Armageddon.” 

When they see Jesus, they will realize they are in trouble and will seek to go in reverse, but unfortunately for them, another wave of hybrids is pushing them toward Jesus, whose “face is like the sun” (Rev 1:16) and whose “brightness was like the light” (Hab 3:4). The brilliance of his visage “will strike every horse with confusion, and its rider with madness … and will strike every horse of the peoples with blindness” (Zech 12:4). All the while, He will decimate the Beast and attackers with the “rays flashing from His hand,” where “His power was hidden” (Hab 3:4). John also tells us, “out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations” (Rev 19:15).  

When they want to get away from him and go back, they cannot; then what God said through the prophets Ezekiel and Zechariah will come to pass: 

  • “I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains,” says the Lord GOD. “Every man’s sword will be against his brother” (Ezek 38:21).  
  • “It shall come to pass in that day that a great panic from the LORD will be among them. Everyone will seize the hand of his neighbor, and raise his hand against his neighbor’s hand” (Zech 14:13). 

In the Exodus, the trap also became the Egyptians tomb: 

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the waters may come back upon the Egyptians, on their chariots, and on their horsemen” (Exod 14:26). 

So too, Gog and his horde will meet their doom in the Arema-Gei-Don.  

They Melt 

Unable to retreat they will literally melt before the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords who has come to fight on behalf of his people, just as He promised.  

“And this shall be the plague with which the

LORD will strike all the people who fought against Jerusalem: their flesh shall dissolve while they stand on their feet, their eyes shall dissolve in their sockets, and their tongues shall dissolve in their mouths” (Zech 14:12). 

Scripture is replete with passages stating how the mountains will melt at God’s coming:  

  • The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up (2 Pet 3:10). 
  • The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the LORD, At the presence of the Lord of the whole earth (Ps 97:5). 
  • The mountains will melt under Him, and the valleys will split Like wax before the fire, Like waters poured down a steep place (Mic 1:4). 
  • The Lord GOD of hosts, He who touches the earth and it melts, and all who dwell there mourn. (Amos 9:5). 
  • I will send fire on Magog and on those who dwell securely in the coastlands,330 and they shall know that I am the LORD (Ezek 39:6).  

If the mountains and elements will melt, how much more will the Beast’s / Gog’s horde melt when confronted with the King? We should keep in mind that just as the entire earth did not melt when God came on Sinai, neither will the entire planet melt into goo when Jesus comes. The melting seems to be localized on the surface of the planet. God put Moses in the cleft of the rock as He passed by, because the rocks offered some protection against His fiery presence. It is like passing your hand through a flame will not harm you, but leaving your hand on the flame, even for a few seconds, burns. It is God’s fiery presence remaining in one place that does the damage. It will do so because creation is degenerate due to the Fall and has further degraded over time; but “creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Rom 8:21).  

God set the trap, and Satan / the Beast and company fell into it. They had been exposed to God’s fiery-lightning presence and were melted like wax. Paul corroborates this destruction caused by God’s presence:  

“These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from [apo απο – because of, by virtue of] the presence of the Lord and from [apo απο] the glory of His power” (2 Thess 1:9). 

BDAG explains how apo can be used “to indicate cause, means, or outcome; gener., to show the reason for something. because of, as a result of, for (numerous ref.)”331 Hence, they are not punished away from his presence but because of, by virtue of Jesus’ presence. They are exposed to Jesus, who will consume them “with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming” (2 Thess 2:8). 

“Punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power”; we see this in the parallel passage of Isaiah 66:  

“For behold, the LORD will come with fire and with His chariots, like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by His sword the LORD will judge all flesh; and the slain of the LORD shall be many” (Isa 66:15–16).  

Isaiah tells us the reason for God’s wrath: “For the indignation of the LORD is against all nations, and His fury against all their armies” (Isa 34:2). 

Jesus Treads  

The fury on Jesus’ face will endure for some time; for even after Gog and his horde have been hit by the consuming fire of Jesus’ presence and have begun melting before him, He will then execute judgment by treading them underfoot to the point that his garments are stained with their blood: 

“He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood” (Rev 19:13), “He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God” (Rev 19:15). 

Jesus will cut down the wicked like sheaves with his sickle and then trample them in the “great winepress of the wrath of God” (Rev 14:19). He even states in Isaiah:  

“I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with Me. For I have trodden them in My anger, and trampled them in My fury; their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, and I have stained all My robes. I have trodden down the peoples in My anger, made them drunk in My fury, and brought down their strength to the earth” (Isa 63:2, 3, 6). 

Jesus will trample like grapes the Beast332 who “even exalted himself as high as the Prince of the host” (Daniel 8:10–11), who decided to “exalt himself in his heart … (Dan 8:25), the one “who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, (2 Thess 2:3–4), and the one who “was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies … against God, to blaspheme His name (Rev 13:5-6). When Jesus returns to redeem His people, which God had long warned of through the prophets, that will be the Day of the Lord. Isaiah 2 tells us plainly, “the LORD alone will be exalted in that day” (Isa 2:17). The Day of the Lord is not the entirety of Daniel’s seventieth week or even the three and a half year years of the great tribulation for the simple reason that the Beast / Gog /Antichrist is ostentatiously exalting himself and blaspheming God and those who dwell in heaven. Gog’s humiliation will continue as wave after wave of attackers flow into Jesus’ winepress of God’s wrath. In Revelation, John writes:  

“The winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses’ bridles, [for one thousand six hundred furlongs]” (Rev 14:20).  

Figure 53. Blood up to the horse’s bridle. 

That is a lot of blood. If we are imagining that place up in the Megiddo Valley, up in the north, and if we are thinking about 4 and a half or 5 feet of blood, it seems nearly impossible. But if we imagine a narrow valley with steep canyon walls on the sides, while not a pretty picture, it at least makes more sense.  

Thus Gog, the son of Perdition, Satan’s avatar, the one who deceived the world into believing the delusion and boasted he and his army could defeat Jesus, has fallen and his reign of terror has ended just as God stated: “he shall be broken without human means” (Dan 8:25). He will fall in the Valley of YHWH Judges, Jehoshaphat, next door to Gehenna which God declared: “this place shall no more be called Tophet or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter” (Jer 19:6). Following his fall, God declared Gog’s further humiliation: 

“You shall fall upon the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops and the peoples who are with you; I will give you to birds of prey of every sort and to the beasts of the field to be devoured” (Ezek 39:4).  

God further says in Ezekiel 39:  

“… speak to the birds of every sort and to all beasts of the field, ‘Assemble and come, gather from all around to the sacrificial feast that I am preparing for you, a great sacrificial feast on the mountains of Israel, and you shall eat flesh and drink blood (Ezek 39:17). You shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth—of rams, of lambs, and of he-goats, of bulls, all of them fat beasts of Bashan (Ezek 39:18). And you shall eat fat till you are filled, and drink blood till you are drunk, at the sacrificial feast that I am preparing for you (Ezek 39:19). You shall be filled at My table with horses and riders, with mighty men and with all the men of war,’ says the Lord GOD (Ezek 39:20).” 

Jesus likewise spoke of the birds of prey that would follow: “So also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together” (Matt 24:27, 28).  

The Greek word aetos, is a general word for carrion birds, such as the crow, eagle or vulture. It makes sense that carrion birds, birds that eat decaying flesh, will survive the longest after the waters have turned to “blood as of a dead man; and every living creature in the sea died” (Rev 16:3). Vegetation has burned up as well. Many land animals and many birds will have died, so the carrion birds will be quite busy. Because the carrion birds are the last ones around, they are invited to feast on all the dead in both Ezekiel and Revelation:  

“An angel … cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, ‘Come and gather together for the supper of the great God (Rev 19:17), that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great’ (Rev 19:18).”  

The time of the battle of Armageddon will be at the Fall Feasts. The return of Jesus is most likely on Yom Teruah (the Feast of Trumpets), the day that no one knows the day or the hour because it falls on the first of the seventh month [Rosh Chodesh].  

Figure 54. Migration of birds over Israel https://spanishnature.blogspot.com/2011/12/tale-that-knows-no-boundaries-big-blog.html 

In the Spring and Fall there is a massive migration of millions of birds, from Europe and Asia to Africa. Incredibly, the vast majority of birds fly over Israel. They do not fly over anywhere else primarily, but just almost completely over Israel. The angel will say to these birds, “Come on down, we’ve got this great feast, because the Lord has just trodden his enemies underfoot.”  

The Beast has now been thoroughly vanquished and humiliated. However, because he is a hybrid, he will sustain a lot of punishment until ultimately, the text says: “Then the beast was captured and with him the false prophet” (Rev 19:20).  

After Jesus has vanquished all foes, He says: 

“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory” (Matt 25:31). 

Similar to the previous two texts, Daniel says fire comes from the Judge, court is in session, and the Beast is given to the fire: 

“His throne was a fiery flame, his wheels a burning fire, a fiery stream, issued and came forth from before Him (Dan 7:9). Thousands, thousands ministered to Him, ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him, the court was seated in the books were opened (Dan 7:10). I watched until the beast was slain and his body destroyed and given to the burning flame (Dan 7:11).” 

John finishes with the same description of the end concerning the Beast and False Prophet: 

“These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone (Rev 19:20). And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh (Rev 19:21).” 

Following their judgment, a mighty angel will lead Satan bound in chains to the smoking and pitch-black abyss. 

“Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain (Rev 20:1). And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years (Rev 20:2), and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while (Rev 20:3).” 

Satan and the fallen will be put into the abyss, Sheol, the very prison they opened in order to fight Jesus. They will have their ultimate judgment deferred until one thousand years later, which we will explore in great detail in Corrupting the Image 4. 

Table 11. Day of the Lord, Jesus Comes in Fiery Wrath. 

Rephaim Cast Down 

Chapter 21 of The Corrupting The Image 3 : Rephaim Cast Down

Jesus’ wrath is directed specifically against the Beast (Satan’s Avatar). The leadership of Jerusalem and all who call upon the name of Jesus will be spared that wrath. “For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess 5:9). Isaiah says that God’s people will escape his wrath in rooms or chambers. 

“Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, until the indignation is past” (Isa 26:20). 

In context, we see that this “hiding yourself” is happening concurrently with the time of the resurrection. It is very revealing to review the preceding verse in the NKJV, which reads: 

“Your dead shall live; together with my dead body they shall arise. Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust; for your dew is like the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead” (Isa 26:19). 

The use of the words “dew of herbs” and “dead,” in the Hebrew text, present us with exciting details. The word translated as “dead” is actually “Rephaim,” and is not rendered literally by many translations. Therefore, after a closer look, I decided to do my own translation, which is based on the Hebrew and corroborated by the Latin Vulgate:  

“Your dead will live, my corpse, they will rise; wake up [הָקִ֨יצוּ hakitzu] and rejoice O dwellers of the dust because the dew of lights [טַ֤ל אוֹרֹת֙ tal orot] is your dew and the earth will cause the Rephaim [רְפָאִ֥ים] to fall [תַּפִּֽיל tappil]” (Isa 26:19 My translation). 

The first thing we notice is the call to the dead (dwellers of the dust) to wake up [הָקִ֨יצוּ hakitzu]. It is the same word used in Daniel, where those sleeping in the dust will wake. The only difference is Isaiah’s version is a command to “wake!” and Daniel’s is in the future tense, “will awake.”  

“And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake [יָקִ֑יצוּ]… (Dan 12:2) Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever” (Dan 12:3).  

In Daniel’s prophecy, we learn that those who wake will shine. In my translation of Isaiah 26, I translated tal orot [טַ֤ל אוֹרֹת֙] as “dew of lights.” The idea is people are dwelling in the ground. When they awake, they will be covered with dew like someone who slept outside. However, this dew is not of herbs (grass), but of lights [אוֹרֹת֙]. When we compare this with Daniel’s account (“shall shine”), we find they are parallel.  

Lastly, Isaiah uses the feminine singular “hiphil” form of the verb naphal (to fall).316 The hiphil is the causative aspect of the verb, which means: the earth will cause the Rephaim to fall. We examined the Rephaim in detail in Corrupting the Image 2 and determined they are angel-human hybrids. The Latin Vulgate confirms our reading by translating it as “et terram gigantum detrahes in ruinam (Isa 26:19 VUL) “and the earth will drag down the giants in ruin.”  

God’s Awesome and Unusual Work  

In Isaiah 28, God revealed that He would do an amazing, unusual work where He says He will fight Rephaim (which are the transformed people who have taken the mark of the Beast, altering their core genetic makeup and rendering them hybrids). This transformation is almost certainly the reason we are told: “In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them” (Rev 9:6).  

With the call and supplication of Jerusalem’s leadership to Jesus, God (Jesus) does an “unusual act.”  

“For the LORD will rise up as at Mount Perazim, He will be angry as in the Valley of Gibeon– that He may do His work, His awesome work, and bring to pass His act, His unusual act” (Isa 28:21).  

To understand the significance, we need to understand what happened at those two places. In the Valley of Gibeon, God listened to a man concerning the sun and moon.  

“Then Joshua spoke to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel … ‘Sun, stand still over Gibeon; and Moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.’ So the sun stood … till the people had revenge upon their enemies…” (Josh 10:12–13). 

Joshua and the children of Israel were facing the Amorites who were Rephaim, (genetic hybrids) that were an abomination in God’s sight—beings emerging not from God’s will but that of Satan’s. We have seen this multiple times through the Corrupting the Image series. Here are summary verses: 

  • The Amorites … are stronger than we are … and all the people that we saw in it are of great height… we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim) … (Numb 13:29–33, ESV).  
  • Rephaim … a people great and many, and tall as the Anakim (Deut 2:20–21a, ESV). 

God says it was He who “destroyed the Amorite … whose height was like the height of the cedars” (Amos 2:9). God’s “awesome work,” and “unusual act” in the Valley of Gibeon was fighting against hybrids. 

Next, at Mount Perazim, David fought the Philistines, some of whom were genetic hybrids, like Goliath and his brothers (who in Hebrew are called Rephaim and in Greek, gigantes / giants).  

  • At Gath, where there was a man of great stature … and he also was descended from the giants [רפה rapha] (2 Sam 21:20 ESV). 
  • Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite [Gath] … he also was descended from the giants [Rephaim] … These were descended from the giants in Gath (I Chron 20:5–-6, 8 ESV). 

David was fighting the Philistines who “went and deployed themselves in the Valley of Rephaim [עֵ֥מֶק רְפָאִ֖ים emek Rephaim]” (2 Sam 5:18). The Septuagint reads “την κοιλαδα των τιτανων “the valley of the Titans.” We explored the Rephaim and Titans extensively in Corrupting the Image 2 and concluded they were angel-human hybrids. Mount Perazim is the Valley of the Rephaim / Titans, a place where a battle occurred against hybrids and the principalities and powers which David intimates in this his victory cry: 

“’The LORD has broken through my enemies before me, like a breakthrough of water.’ Therefore he called the name of that place Baal Perazim” (2 Sam 5:20; 1 Chr 14:11).  

Those who fled from before David (and ultimately YHWH), “left their images there… (2 Sam 5:21) to which: “David gave a commandment, and they were burned with fire” (1 Chr 14:12). God’s “awesome work,” and “unusual act” at Mount Perazim, which Isaiah spoke of (Isa 28:21) was that God was fighting against Rephaim / Titans and the principalities and powers; and He broke through like water. Then, the vestiges of the battle (the images) were burned with fire. God is saying He is going to do that amazing work again! He tells the mockers and scornful men in Jerusalem:  

“Now therefore, do not be mockers, lest your bonds be made strong; for I have heard from the Lord GOD of hosts, a destruction determined even upon the whole earth” (Isa 28:22). 

The destruction is coming upon the entire planet because the entire planet is coming against Israel. “The LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle” (Zech 14:3). When Jesus comes back, He will come as a lion, not a lamb. Ezekiel says,  

“When Gog comes against the land of Israel,” says the Lord GOD, “that My fury will show in My face (Ezek 38:18). “For in My jealousy and in the fire of My wrath I have spoken,” (Ezek 38:19).  

Jesus spoke of how He would bring fire on the earth one day: “I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!” (Luke 12:49).  

This battle of the ages is what the Bible calls the Battle of Armageddon. 

The Sky Opens at Jesus’ Coming! 

Chapter 19 of The Corrupting The Image 3 : The Sky Opens at Jesus’ Coming!  

The leadership crying out “Baruch Haba B’shem Adonai” are the words that Jesus had waited two thousand years to hear. This is the time He “will have mercy on His afflicted” (Isa 49:13). Indeed God says, “The mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you” (Isa 54:10). 

It will be the time that Isaiah pined for ages ago when he wrote, “Oh, that You would rend the heavens! That You would come down! That the mountains might shake at Your presence,” (Isa 64:1). It will also be the time Jesus longed for, when He said, “I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!” (Luke 12:49).  

The heavens will indeed open at that time, as John tells us:  

“Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war” (Rev 19:11).  

Earlier John said, “The sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up…” (Rev 6:14). This is the epic moment when the veil between heaven and earth, or as investigative reporter George Knapp put it, the “thin psychic dimensional membrane,” dissolves. Peter said that “The heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up” (2 Pet 3:10). 

In Corrupting the Image 2, we studied how God’s domain was one with ours before the Fall in the Garden of Eden. God and Man enjoyed fellowship in the same dimensional plane. When sin entered, a veil had to come between us for our protection.  

The veil between our dimension and God’s is analogous to the magnetosphere that surrounds the planet and protects us from solar and cosmic rays, so that we are not blasted by the sun. We cannot see it or touch it, but we know it is there. The veil is of a similar nature; it is a kind of shield—a force field or separating membrane—that shields us, and our corrupted degenerate earth, from God’s righteous fire. Whose holiness is now incompatible with the fallen state of our domain. 

The passage, “When the Lord Jesus is revealed (αποκαλυψει apokalypsei) from heaven with His mighty angels” (2 Thess 1:7), describes the moment He is “unveiled,” and the barrier is removed, reuniting the two domains. Scripture declares, “He will destroy on this mountain the surface of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations” (Isa 25:7). 

There are four distinct places where the veil (heavens) opens: 

  • Ezekiel: “I saw the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God” (Ezek 1:1). 
  •  … Jesus came up … and the heavens were opened to Him… (Matt 3:16). 
  • Stephen: “I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” (Acts 7:55-56).  
  • John: “… I saw heaven opened … Jesus was on a white horse…” (Rev 19:11). 

What happened when Ezekiel was sitting with the captives by the River Chebar? Did all the planets move over, effectively opening a window, or was the sun knocked out of its place—or something like that? No. Ezekiel was able to see through this dimension into another dimension. At Jesus’ baptism the heavens were opened, the planets and stars did not move over, but a portal was opened between these two places. The same is true for the other two passages.  

“I saw heaven opened … Jesus was on a white horse …” (Rev 19:11).  

Figure 41. The two Dominions of Earthly and Heavenly Dimensions. 

Heaven opening is the same as the “sky receding,” and it is at this point that Scripture reveals. “The sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up …” (Rev 6:14).  

In this age, we have the earthly dimension that Satan rules; he is the god of this world. God rules the heavenly—spiritual—realm. When Jesus comes back, the heavens will be opened, and He will make war against Satan, the Beast, and their forces. Isaiah 25 speaks of the veil between heaven and earth: 

“He will destroy on this mountain the surface of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations” (Isa 25:7). 

They are separated (see Figure 41). It was, “by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross” (Col 1:20). Peter said in Acts 3 concerning Jesus, “Whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things” (Acts 3:21). Jesus will remain in the spiritual (heavenly) dimension until the time of restoration. 

John said,  

“His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God” (Rev 19:12–15). 

A sword is a tool that cuts and pierces. It may well be related to the quality of Jesus’ voice which is described as “a loud voice, as of a trumpet” (Rev 1:10) and, “His voice as the sound of many waters,” (Rev 1:15), and “Out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword” (Rev 1:16). If we combine these descriptions, we see his voice is piercing like a trumpet, weighty and voluminous like the sound of many waters and appears like a two-edged sword.  

This same trumpeting quality is what was heard at Sinai, which is also a good preview of what we might hear as He comes into this realm.  

“Then it came to pass on the third day, in the morning, that there were thunderings and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain; and the sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly” (Exod 19:16–18).  

Just like at Mt. Sinai, there were thunderings and lightnings with smoke and fire causing the mountain to quake greatly, so too will the earth shake greatly and burn at the coming of Jesus.  

Due to the Jerusalem leadership calling upon Jesus, it will finally be the time for Jesus to repay his enemies according to their deeds (Isa 59:18), and to bring the restoration of all things in heaven and earth. An angel will come out of the heavenly temple and will cry, “Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe” (Rev 14:15, Joel 3:13). The temple in heaven will open followed by lightning and thunder (Rev 11:15–19) Then, Jesus will “roar from Zion” and “the heavens and earth will shake” (Joel 3:16).  

Jesus’ indignation (wrath) (Isa 26:20) begins when He “comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity” (Isa 26:21). Paul speaks of this in his letter to the Thessalonians: “the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God…” (2 Thess 1:7–8). 

As noted above, the word “Revelation” is literally the “unveiling” which in Greek is αποκαλυψει apokalypsei. Paul was evidently drawing from the passages we have reviewed as well as Isaiah 66: 

“The LORD will come with fire and with His chariots, like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire” (Isa 66:15). 

Heaven is not the only realm to suffer dramatic and frightening changes once the barrier veil is removed. As we leaned from Peter, the Earth will also suffer an epic/ apocalyptic transformation: 

“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.” 

Why will the earth melt? Because He is coming back in flaming fire to take vengeance on those who do not know the Lord; and He is going to judge them. This is the day when Yeshua comes back, after the heavens will have receded like a scroll. And all people on planet Earth are going to say, “Uh oh!” They thought they could make war against Jesus and win. But once He is revealed, they will know they are in big trouble; the very elements are melting under their feet.  

Fury Will Show on His Face  

In the heavenlies, dark, thick clouds will roll out, followed by flames of fire and raging bolts of lightning lighting (Ps 18), and then all the world will see His indignation.  

The New English Translation brings out the grandeur of Jesus, the mighty warrior, in Habakkuk 3: “He took his battle position and shook the earth; with a mere look he frightened the nations” (Hab 3:6 NET). With “His eyes like a flame of fire, and on His head many crowns“ (Rev 19:12): Jesus will take his position in the open heaven, filling the sky with his awe-inspiring presence and stand there for several moments surveying the earth, which has suffered incredible carnage during the time of Jacob’s trouble; All the seas and rivers have turned to blood and everything in the seas has died: all the fish, the coral, the whales, dolphins, starfish, shellfish, even the plankton are dead. He will note the locations of Satan’s armies of chimeras, zombies, and demons who are ostentatiously attempting to annihilate the Jerusalemites. Their vast numbers will be of no consequence, for they will be like a drop in a bucket, and will be reckoned as dust on the scales (Isa 40:15). 

Ezekiel describes God’s reaction:  

“When Gog comes against the land of Israel,” says the Lord GOD, “My fury will show in My face (Ezek 38:18). “For in My jealousy and in the fire of My wrath I have spoken,” (Ezek 38:19).  

The fury on his face (Eze 38:18) is exactly why the kings of the earth and the great men say to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne, for the great day of his wrath has come” (Rev 6:15–17). Isaiah says they will “go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the crags of the rugged rocks, from the terror of the LORD and the glory of His majesty, when He arises to shake the earth mightily” (Isa 2:21).  

The return of Jesus will not be a surprise to those who love him. For those who are in the light, his return will not be like a thief; His return is like a thief to those in darkness, according to Paul: 

“You yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night (1 Thess 5:2). For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape (1 Thess 5:3). But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief (1 Thess 5:4). You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness (1 Thess 5:5).” 

Yet his return will be a big shock to “those in darkness,” who are in league with the Beast and Satan. Jesus says, “If you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you” (Rev 3:3). That is, to those who are watching, his coming is expected. To those who are not watching, his coming is an utter surprise, which He stated in Revelation after the demons go to collect the nations to war against him: 

“For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty (Rev 16:14). ‘Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame’ (Rev 16:15). And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon (Rev 16:16).” 

The surprise at Jesus’ return will not come to the believers but to the ungodly, who have likely convinced themselves that He, the almighty God of the Bible, does not exist as such; and they should be able to defeat him. When they see the skies receding like a scroll and the fury on Jesus’ face, there will be much more than a surprise; there will be dread and fright: 

“All hands will be limp, every man’s heart will melt (Isa 13:7), and they will be afraid. Pangs and sorrows will take hold of them; they will be in pain as a woman in childbirth; they will be amazed at one another; their faces will be like flames (Isa 13:8).” 

Fear takes hold of them because the day of His wrath has come: 

“Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and He will destroy its sinners from it. For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be darkened in its going forth, and the moon will not cause its light to shine. ‘I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will halt the arrogance of the proud, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible’ (Isa 13:9–11).” 

Satan may think he has a chance to beat Jesus, but most—even mildly sane mortals—will undoubtedly feel their hearts skip a beat as they fix their eyes on the champion towering over them and the armies of heaven coming behind him. Everyone on the planet will see his brighter-than-the-sun radiance, and the powerful beams of light coming out from his hands, and the sharp sword protruding out of his mouth. 

There will be no doubt, when Jesus comes back, He will come as a lion, not as a lamb. “The LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle” (Zech 14:3). This will be the battle of the ages, when God comes to fight on behalf of his people!  

Coming on the Clouds 

After Jesus has ripped open the heavens and surveyed the earth, He will descend on the clouds to fulfill his epic mission: to make God’s enemies a footstool, and to fight and subdue the Beast. We see the son of Man coming in several other places:  

“Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matt 24:30). 

“Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war (Rev 19:11). And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses (Rev 19:14).” 

Daniel says:  

“I was watching in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed” (Dan 7:13–14).  

Daniel first sees in the vision how the Ancient of Days / Son of Man will come to fight for the saints, who will then be given the kingdom, and then, in verses 26-27, he is given the interpretation of the vision.  

“Until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom (Dan 7:22). But the court shall be seated, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and destroy it forever (Dan 7:26). Then the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him (Dan 7:27).” 

There can be no mistake; Jesus is coming to fight on behalf of his people! He will fight in favor of the leadership of Jerusalem and pour out his wrath on the Beast and his followers. Paul clearly states, Jesus will reserve his wrath for the enemies of God and not to those who serve Him. 

“For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess 5:9). 

All who put their trust in Jesus, including the newly believing leadership of Jerusalem, will not face His wrath, but will enjoy his peace and protection. 

Jesus Reclaims the Land of the Snake-Dragon (Hermon) 

Chapter 20 of Corrupting the Image vol 2: Jesus Reclaims the Land of the Snake-Dragon (Hermon)

There in the land of Bashan: land of the Snake-dragon, land of Og and the dead and deified king, land of the Rephaim, the abode of the dead—Jesus made it clear that He, the anointed one of Israel, had come to win. He would free mankind from the snares of the ultimate snake-dragon (Rev 12:9). He declared His victory at the base of the snake-dragon’s mountain when He said the Gates of Hades (Kingdom of Darkness) will not prevail.  

He then declared: “I tell you the truth, there are some standing here who will not experience death before they see the kingdom of God come with power” (Mark 9:1 NET). Then just “six days later Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John and led them alone up a high mountain privately” (Mark 9:2), to stake His claim at the top of the mountain Hermon,ccvimeaning “devoted to destruction”. Also known as Mt. Bashan (batios), it is where the watchers came down and execrated themselves: “According to the command of the great bull god Batios, those swearing an oath in this place go forth.” It was on that mountain that: 

He was transfigured before them, and his clothes became radiantly white, more so than any launderer in the world could bleach them. Then Elijah appeared before them along with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus (Mark 9:2–4 NET).  

On the mountain that Satan’s team claimed as their own, Jesus showed them that the kingdom of God had come with power.  

So Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us make three shelters [σκηνας skenas]—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” (For they were afraid, and he did not know what to say.) Then a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came from the cloud, 

“This is my one dear Son. Listen to him!” Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more except Jesus. As they were coming down from the mountain, he gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. They kept this statement to themselves, discussing what this rising from the dead meant (Mark 9:5–10). 

It must have been amazing to see Him transfigure and to hear the Father’s voice, but why was this event so important? Why did Jesus go on a secret excursion on that mountain? Why did he need to transfigure in front of Peter, James and John? Did he just want to encourage them by letting them witness His glory, or could there be another reason? King David provides important clues in Psalm 68:  

MT. BASHAN IN PSALM 68 

A mountain of God is the mountain of Bashan; A mountain of many peaks is the mountain of Bashan. Why do you look with envy, O mountains with many peaks, At the mountain which God has desired for His abode? Surely the LORD will dwell there forever. The chariots of God are myriads, thousands upon thousands; The Lord is among them as at Sinai, in holiness. You have ascended on high, You have led captive Your captives; You have received gifts among men, Even among the rebellious also, that the LORD God may dwell there (Ps 68:15–18 NASB).ccvii  

There are in fact, three peaks at the top of Hermon, which led Easton’s Bible Dictionary to suggest: “There is every probability that one of its three summits was the scene of the transfiguration.”ccviii It very well may be the reason Peter suggested building three tabernacles—one on each peak.  

Peter later mentions the experience in his second epistle and explained how God the Father’s “voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’” (2 Pet 1:17). Peter implies they were on Hermon (meaning devoted, set apart for destruction) when he says: “We heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain” (2 Pet 1:18). 

The top of Hermon is also loaded with pagan temples, and perhaps Peter considered this landscape and thought it would be fitting for their team to stake a claim by having tabernacles (dwelling places) there, as well. We may never know the exact reason. The Psalmist seems to mock Bashan, the mountain with many peaks, because it is envious of God’s mountain. It is not clear in the text if Zion is being referenced as God’s mountain, or if this is a tacit reminder that ultimately, Bashan also belongs to God.  

The presence of the mighty prophets, Moses and Elijah, at the transfiguration served as a reminder to the forces of darkness that God intended to keep His promises to His servants. The three apostles watched as Jesus radiated with His glory, then Moses and Elijah appeared, and God’s voice boomed from the sky, calling him “Son”. Moses was, of course, the one who brought God’s people to the edge of the Promised Land. When they saw the people of Bashan: the snake-dragons, the Nephilim-Rephaim corrupted-people—they lost their faith in God and retreated, to wander the wilderness for forty years. In a sense, the snake-dragon people contributed to Moses himself not being allowed to enter the Promised Land.  

Moreover, Elijah was forced to deal with the corrupted king and queen of the Northern Kingdom, Ahab and Jezebel, who were caught in the grip of Batios / Baal (Melqart / Ninurta) and Ashtoreth (Ishtar), which are manifestations of the snake-dragon. Elijah, who ironically was called “troubler of Israel,” 

confronts this power couple and exposes them as the ones who have grievously troubled Israel. Elijah sets up a public test of the powers resulting in Yehovah / God triumphing over the Baal / Ashteroth, et al.  

Jesus transfiguring on top of Hermon was also a fulfillment of a promise He had made earlier in Psalm 68, that He would bring back captives from Bashan. If we keep in mind that Bashan is not just a place, but is the snake-dragon, then we discover an entirely new perspective. Charlesworth reminds us: 

M. Dahood, who wisely employs Ugaritic to shine light upon dark passages in the Psalter, perceives that Bashan in Ps 68:23[22] refers to a dragon-snake or serpent … The translators of the NEB also opted to bring out a reference to a snake in Ps 68:23[22]: “from the Dragon”. It is clear that in antiquity Bashan meant not only a mountain but also a mythological dragon-snake. The meaning “dragon-snake” is what was intended in Psalm 68:23[22] (Emphasis mine).ccix  

We also recall how on the pinnacle of the Temple, Satan challenged Jesus to throw himself down using Psalm 91:11–12, but stopping before the next verse: “You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra (peten – venomous snake), The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot (Ps 91:13). Jesus would tread on the peten [[פתן, a creature which is closely related linguistically to the Bašmu snake-dragon. (See Figure 63, opposite). DDDB notes the tension between Mt. Sinai, where God came down after the Exodus, and Mt. Bashan, where the “gods” or fallen angels descended, according to 1 Enoch and the Hermon inscription. 

In Ps 68: 16 … Bashan is a har ‘elohim, the same expression used in the Bible to designate -Yahweh’s abode … According to the same Ps 68:9, 19 Yahweh has His original abode in Sinai … Mount Bashan is rather set against Sinai.ccx  

King David thus prophesied that God would take possession “of this divine mountain as His own ancient abode,” and thereby evict the “divine dwellers of Bashan whom the Ugaritic tradition records are: the mlkm/melakim (rpum/Rephaim).” ccxi Notably, the description of Bashan in Psalm 68 has “the syntagma har/ harim gabnunnim, most commonly construed as a metaphor for ‘high mountains’ … and the tauromorphic appearance of Baal and other deities in Canaan.”ccxii The tauromorphic appearance of Baal is exactly what we deciphered on the Hermon inscription—“According to the command of the great bull god, Batios.” 

Figure 63 Mušḥuššu H. Frankfort, Cylinder Seals, text-fig. 33 (=ANEP #511) (Gudea; Girsu [Tello]). 

THE TRANSFIGURATION: WARFARE OF MISDIRECTION?  

When a country becomes a nuclear power, it detonates one of its weapons to demonstrate to the world that the nation has arrived and is not to be provoked. Jesus’ transfiguration was a significant showdown. We must not miss the importance of Jesus’ show of strength.  

For months before the invasion of Normandy beach, the Allies created inflatable tanks and stationed them in locations in Britain to give the spying Nazis the impression that the landing would take place further north in Calais. Their fake show of force worked, and the Nazis were caught by surprise on D-Day. Despite the obstacles, the Allies were able to establish a foothold in Europe which led to the ultimate defeat of the evil Nazi regime.  

Jesus’ transfiguration was a significant demonstration of His weaponry. It was an epic, intergalactic tour de force. The transfiguration may have been a decoy analogous to the fake tanks in Britain. After all, no real battle took place; we saw that Jesus was transfigured and chatted with Moses and Elijah, and then the Father spoke. No doubt it was impressive and meaningful, but from a strategic-war perspective, it was a non-event. Or perhaps, that is how God wanted it to seem! 

Here is what we know: Bashan was the very mountain where the sons of God descended according to the command of the great bull god Batios… that is, according to Satan’s command as found on the Hermon / Bashan Inscription. Satan knew of God’s stated intentions concerning Bashan, as gleaned from Psalm 68: that God was claiming it as His own abode (vs 16); that God’s chariots were in the millions, that God was going to be among them (v 17); that Bashan would be the place where God / Messiah would have “ascended on high” and “led captivity captive” (Ps 68:18)—which Paul quotes in Ephesians 4:8–10 after the fact, of course. 

Looking at Psalm 68:20–22, we learn more clues:  

Our God is the God of salvation; And to GOD the Lord belong escapes from death. Surely God will shatter the head of His enemies, The hairy crown of him who goes on in his guilty deeds. The Lord said, “I will bring them back from Bashan. I will bring them back from the depths of the sea” (Ps 68:20–22). 

Satan, who is learned in the scriptures, would have known that God would save people from death, would shatter His enemies’ heads, and would return (or bring back). DDDB notes how it will be at Bashan that the God of Israel will make His return.  

Bashan, the divine mountain, is simultaneously the ‘infernal’ sphere from which the God of Israel promises to make his faithful return (v 23). This coincidence of the ‘celestial’ and ‘infernal’ levels is congruent with the Canaanite mythology that locates here the abode of its deified dead kings, the mlk(m)/rpu(m) that dwell(s) in ‘Štrt-hdr’y. Again the parallelism clarifies the issue, making plain the infernal character of Bashan. (Emphasis mine.) ccxiii 

God will do those things on the very mountain that was known as the infernal abode of the deified dead kings and where the angels came down to war against God. God’s faithful return will be nothing short of a show of force and an outright declaration of war! Just as the Nazis thought the Allies were amassing tanks for an invasion in the north of France, Satan likely interpreted the activities of Jesus at Mt. Hermon as the pause for a deep breath before the battle. After all, visibly present were Moses, the one who bested Og, King of the snake-dragons and Elijah, the one who defeated the four hundred priests of Melqart (Satan’s alias in Ezekiel 28). Satan would have been well aware of God’s strength, as demonstrated in Psalm 68, and in the story of Elisha (Elijah’s understudy, whose servant feared the Syrian army but gained resolve when he saw that God had myriads and thousands and thousands of chariots): 

And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, and said, “LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha (2 Kgs 6:15–17) (Emphasis mine).  

Satan most assuredly has many texts stored in his photographic memory that could have come to mind. For example, Isaiah’s incredible vision of God’s fire and His chariots: 

For behold, the LORD will come with fire And with His chariots, like a whirlwind, To render His anger with fury, And His rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by His sword The LORD will judge all flesh; And the slain of the LORD shall be many (Isa 66:15–16). 

Also, Isaiah 2 could have come to mind, because it references the impending battle of God that results in men casting away their idols that were used to worship Satan and His minions.  

In that day a man will cast away his idols of silver And his idols of gold, Which they made, each for himself to worship, To the moles and bats, To go into the clefts of the rocks, And into the crags of the rugged rocks, From the terror of the LORD And the glory of His majesty, When He arises to shake the earth mightily (Isa 2:20–21).  

The battle of Gog of Magog could have come into Satan’s mind, for he understands the Sumerian meaning of the name, Gog, and he knows that the battle is directed at him.  

“I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains,” says the Lord GOD. “Every man’s sword will be against his brother. “And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone” (Ezek 38:21–22).  

Jeremiah’s prophecy against the arrogant usurper, could have flooded his mind:  

But the LORD is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth will tremble, And the nations will not be able to endure His indignation. Thus you shall say to them: “The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under these heavens” (Jer 10:10–11). 

And of course, in the Garden of Eden, God had promised that the Messiah would crush his head. The text in Psalm 68 said, “Surely God will shatter the head of His enemies” (Ps 68:21). Satan may have concluded that this was it! This was the big moment, the show down for which he had been planning for millennia. God was assembling the troops and chariots; God had His champion, Jesus, who had donned His glorious apparel and showed His divine prerogative to cover himself “with light as with a garment” (Ps 104:2). Matthew says Jesus’ face “shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light” (Matt 17:2). Jesus is putting on His armor of glory as prophesied in Isaiah 63: 

Who is this who comes from Edom, With dyed garments from Bozrah, This One who is glorious in His apparel [הָד֣וּר בִּלְבוּשׁ֔וֹ], Traveling in the greatness of His strength?—“I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.” Why is Your apparel red, And Your garments like one who treads in the winepress? “I have trodden the winepress alone, And from the peoples no one was with Me.  

For I have trodden them in My anger, And trampled them in My fury; Their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, And I have stained all My robes. For the day of vengeance is in My heart, And the year of My redeemed has come (Isa 63:1–4). 

Satan may have thought this was God’s big move to deliver a checkmate. All the signs suggested the battle would be fierce, a battle unlike any other:  

All the host of heaven shall be dissolved, And the heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll; All their host shall fall down As the leaf falls from the vine, And as fruit falling from a fig tree. “For My sword shall be bathed in heaven; Indeed it shall come down on Edom, And on the people of My curse, for judgment (Isa 34:4–5).  

We know from the book of Revelation that such a battle in the heavenlies between Satan and his forces and God’s army is real and is coming. 

And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him (Rev 12:7–9).  

We also know that it was possible that such a battle could have taken place at that time, due to Jesus’ own statement in the garden of Gethsemane:  

But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. “Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? (Matt 26:52–53).  

Jesus revealed that roughly sixty-thousand angels were ready for him to give the orders to attack! His statement reveals that God’s own angels likely did not understand the details of Jesus’ mission, as Peter explained: 

Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully … (1 Pet 1:10). To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven–things which angels desire to look into. (1 Pet 1:12) (Emphasis mine). 

Angels are incredibly smart, but they are not all-knowing, nor do they have knowledge of the future, other than what God reveals. Thus, they were eager to learn how God’s plan would be fulfilled. The implication is that they did not know what Jesus was going to do, but they stood ready to do whatever their captain called them to do.  

Thus, we conclude that Satan viewed the transfiguration as the staging of the coming battle: He realized that his kingdom was in grave danger. As the supreme leader of this kingdom, he took immediate action to hold his ground and protect his assets. If our theory is correct, then the decoy worked: Jesus’ transfiguration on that location, the dragon’s home turf, goaded Satan into action because he was not about to go down without a fight.  

Naturally, Satan understands warfare. Quite possibly he inspired Sun Tzu in his book the Art of War, which said: “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” So Satan’s reasoning must have been like this: God’s champion would not be able to usher in the Day of the Lord, battle for dominion of the earth, and crush his head if He were dead. If he could take out God’s champion before the battle even began, then he might avert the battle altogether, or at the very least, level the playing field.  

Such conclusions seem well justified based on the fact that Satan was personally involved in the betrayal of Jesus by making sure it happened exactly according to plan: He first planted the seed: “The devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him” (John 13:2). Then, he assumed the controls of Judas, his vessel: 

Then Satan entered Judas, surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered among the twelve. So he went his way and conferred with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray Him to them. And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. So he promised and sought opportunity to betray Him to them in the absence of the multitude (Luke 22:3–6) (Emphasis mine).  

Satan entered Judas to make sure the job was done right. After all, this job, the entrapment and execution of the Promised One, must be done right in order to stop the One who declared war at Bashan—the One who was prophesied to stomp on his head. 

At the Passover celebration (Last Supper), Jesus was aware of Satan’s presence and declared Judas would betray him. “Having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot” (John 13:26). “Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Then Jesus said to him, ‘What you do, do quickly’” (John 13:27) (Emphasis mine).  

Jesus called out Judas’ evil intentions and gave him the bread, and after Judas ate it, Satan possessed him. Were Jesus’ words, “Do quickly” addressed to Judas or to Satan, or both? Judas certainly carried the culpability of his actions, yet it was clearly Satan in the driver’s seat. It was almost as if Jesus was daring Satan to do it, urging him, “Go for it!” Satan accepted Jesus’ challenge, for shortly thereafter, in the garden of Gethsemane, Satan delivered. Through his agent Judas, Satan walked up to Jesus and kissed him, in what has gone down in infamy as the greatest demonstration of betrayal.  

And while He was still speaking, behold, a multitude; and he who was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them and drew near to Jesus to kiss Him. But Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” (Luke 22:47–48).  

Jesus the True Super-Hero

Chapter 17 of Corrupting the Image vol 2: Jesus the True Super-Hero [Part-2]

In the last and hardest test “the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me” (Matt 4:8–9). 

The highest mountain within the boundaries of the United Kingdom of Israel, and even as far as Sidon, the northern most point of Jesus’ ministry, is Mount Hermon. There is no other mountain in the region that is higher; it is visible from nearly everywhere in Northern Israel and even to the southernmost part of the Sea of Galilee. It is the highest point in Israel, standing over 9,200 ft (2,800 m) above sea level, often with snow on its highest peaks.  

Of course, we remember that it was on this mountain that the angels came down and took an oath to corrupt the seed of man and beget the Nephilim. On that high mountain, Satan used his power to show Jesus “in a moment of time” (Luke 4:5), all the kingdoms of the world that he possessed. They all belonged to Satan. In Luke, Satan said “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish” (Luke 4:6). Jesus did not argue with Satan because it was true. The harsh reality that Satan is the supreme-ruler of this world is evidenced throughout the pages of Scripture:  

  • the ruler of this world [cosmos κόσμος] (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11). 
  •  “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ” (Rev 11:15). (Meaning they were not before that moment).  

We need to understand “the earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein (Ps 24:1, See also Ps 89:11). Everything belongs to God; It is all His creation. However, in the beginning God made man and said:  

“Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth” (Gen 1:26).  

The same motif is clearly stated in Psalm 8:  

What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet. All sheep and oxen—Even the beasts of the field (Ps 8:4–7).  

Think of it this way: God created the world, and then leased it out to Adam. It is all God’s, but He gave full authority to Adam. The dominion was Adam’s, though it technically belonged to God. Satan hoodwinked them in the Garden and gained the dominion for himself. This is why he said to Jesus, “All this authority … for this has been delivered [παραδεδοται] to me” (Luke 4:6). The word paradedotai [παραδεδοται], according to BDAG, means: “to convey something in which one has a relatively strong personal interest, hand over, give (over), deliver, entrust,” and also “to entrust for care or preservation, give over, commend, commit.” 

In other words, the kingdoms of this world have been given over, entrusted, committed to Satan—we might say he swindled Adam and Eve fair and square. Satan found a legal concept by which he could come in and take control of the planet and the world system, called adverse possession. According to Cornell Law School: 

Adverse possession is a doctrine under which a person in possession of land owned by someone else may acquire valid title to it, so long as certain common law requirements are met, and the adverse possessor is in possession for a sufficient period of time, as defined by a statute of limitations.clxxxvii 

Neither Adam and Eve, nor God had any legal recourse; Satan legally scammed them. Satan played the trump card! To be sure, God was more powerful and had more angels in His army. But the contest was not about strength; it was about authority, and Satan had the authority. He knew for certain God could not just overpower him and take it back because “righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne” (Ps 97:2). If God should overpower Satan, which he could, then God would no longer be righteous and just. If God tried to forcefully take back dominion of Earth, Satan could exclaim: 

“Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Gen 18:25). 

Because of this ace up his sleeve, Satan did not fear that Jesus could take back the planet. He reasoned that the most He would do is comfort mankind for some time; but in the end, because of the bondage of corruption which led to death, and because he held the power of death (Keys of Death and Hades) (Heb 2:14–15), Satan would remain master over the world indefinitely.  

We saw Satan’s hubris played out in the Akitu festival where the “good news” was brought to Enlil of the killing of (An) the Creator and where the “anutu” (Anu-ship) was delivered to Enlil. Enlil then in turn, gave the Enlil-ship to whoever he wished because it was his to give out. That authority was known as the Tablet of Destinies in the ancient world, and he was the owner. Amar Annus reminds us “In Enuma eliš, the Tablet of Destinies is associated with the powers of Anu”clxxxviii (Anu being the creator).  

THE SCROLL AND THE TABLET OF DESTINIES 

The Tablet of Destinies that Enlil possessed appears to be the same as the scroll in God’s right hand in Revelation.  

And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals. Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?” And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it. So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it (Rev 5:1–4).  

In the Book of Daniel 7, we see a similar picture of millions upon millions of mighty beings surrounding God’s fiery throne! 

The Ancient of Days was seated … His throne was a fiery flame, Its wheels a burning fire (Dan 7:9). … A thousand thousands ministered to Him; Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him (Dan 7:10).  

John says a challenge went out to the 100+ million angels in God’s retinue: “A strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?” (Rev 5:2). He was asking who was authorized to open this scroll, and worthy to loose it seals. The reality was “no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it.” 

Nobody on the Earth, no one in heaven or in the Earth or under the Earth, or in the abode of the dead. Nobody of the 100+ million beings, at least, standing before the King of Kings! Consequently, John says: “So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it” (Rev 5:3). 

He is weeping because of the significance of the scroll. The destinies of humankind are linked to the scroll, which Satan called the Tablet of Destinies. We learn as we continue to read Revelation that judgments come when the seals are broken. The judgments eventually lead to “loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!’” (Rev 11:15). In other words, once the scroll is opened, Satan’s kingdom is over.  

The scroll is the dominion God gave to Adam which he forfeited in the Garden. Scrolls had not yet been invented in the Sumerian civilization. All contracts were recorded on clay tablets. We recall how “Ninurta, as the seal-bearer of Enlil in Nippur, was probably authorized to act with Enlil’s authority. … Ninurta … is often invoked as the “Bearer of the Tablet of Destinies of the Gods.”clxxxix Hence, the Tablet of Destinies was the equivalent of the scroll. Whoever held the document, controlled Earth and the destinies of mankind.  

John wept beforehand because it was sealed, and nobody could open it; somehow the right to open the scroll had been forfeited. If the scroll could not be opened, it meant that Satan’s kingdom and authority would go on forever. 

SATAN OFFERS JESUS HIS AUTHORITY 

Satan indeed had authority over the world, a fact that Jesus did not contest: “The devil said to Him, ‘All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish’” (Luke 4:6). Satan offered to give Jesus the Tablet of Destinies if he would just bow down and worship Satan. He had given the Tablet to Nimrod millennia earlier, just as he would give it to Jesus if He complied.  

We could frame Satan’s offer like this:  

Oh, you want the planet? You want to save mankind? No problem, I can give it to whoever I want. The Father sent you on this mission to get all the kingdoms of the world and to show humanity how to live and to bring all into a meaningful relationship with God. I will make you a good deal. I will just give it all to you. You want it and this is what you came for. Take it. But just one little thing … no big deal, really. Bow down to me and worship me like others have in the past, and the world is yours.  

Had Jesus taken the offer, Satan probably would have kept his end of the bargain and the world would look quite different. Yet death would remain; death and the fear of death would have still permeated the planet. In Hebrews, the message is clear that Satan had authority over men, because we are told Jesus freed us:  

Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage (Heb 2:14–15). 

Satan ruled mankind, and by his authority as Holder of the Keys of Death and Hell, he sealed the destiny of mankind. Consequently, humans could never go back to be with God because death is inside them: the animals, plants and also the planet itself. Remember earlier, nuclear physicist Dr. Robert Gentry told us that even granite is in the process of decay which can be measured by a Geiger counter as radiation. God Himself, in all of His beauty and glory cannot come back to this corrupted planet without melting it. His face is like the sun; He cannot come back unveiled. When He does come, He has to shroud himself in thick darkness. Even with the protective shroud, when He came down to Mt. Sinai, the mountain was enveloped in smoke and it was on fire because the glory of the Lord.  

Satan was ingenious; He elaborated on how he could give Jesus exactly what he came for, but understated that little clause “just bow down”. But thankfully, Jesus was way ahead of Satan.  

Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’” Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him (Matt 4:10–11).  

Jesus the True Super-Hero 

Chapter 17 of Corrupting the Image vol 2: Jesus the True Super-Hero [Part-1]

A true story comes to us from Australia where a father heard the cry of his son who was being attacked by a 15-foot (4.5 m) python which had sunk its teeth into the boy’s leg and was trying to pull him away, but the child was holding on tenaciously to a fence. The father ran to save his boy, hit the snake, and then pried open its jaws to free the boy. However, the snake kept coming after the boy. So, the father fought it back some more. Finally, somebody brought a sledgehammer, and the dad finished off the snake.  

Figure 60 4.5 Meter python killed by Australian father. 

That story is analogous to what Satan did to humanity. He cheated mankind out of his birthright and staged a coup against his Creator. God summarily declared: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed [zarakha זַרְעֲךָ] and her seed [zarah זַרְעָהּ]; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel” (Gen 3:15). Over the millennia, Satan tried time and again to thwart the coming of Messiah who was prophesied to bruise his head. He sent the angels to Mt. Hermon where they cursed themselves if they should not fulfill their mission. With only eight people left in the world who had not become irreversibly corrupted, God sent the Flood.  

He then caused Nimrod to become a gibbor and made him into a god. Acting through Nimrod, Satan erected the gate of the gods in Babylon to have communication between the realms; and as a result, God scrambled the languages. Using Nimrod as the god Ninurta / Amurru, Satan seduced and altered the population in order to permeate the Promise Land with genetically modified Nephilim / Rephaim and was ready to meet Israel. His purpose was to ensnare Israel as soon as they entered the land and to stop Israel from remaining faithful to God.  

The perverted and lustful Babylonian system that he created did indeed infiltrate the life of Israel. It was her wisest king, Solomon, who brought Molech / Milcom “the king” into the daily life of Israel. As a result, Israel cursed themselves, just like Adam and Eve had done. (See Appendix 5 Balaam). Consequently, the Kingdom of Israel split; God divorced the ten northern tribes and sent them away, calling them: “not my people” and “no mercy.” (See Hosea 1:6, 9). The remaining people in Judah were not divorced but were chastised in Babylon, of all places, and then returned to the land. Satan did not surrender; He tried to get Judah to fail again through marriage to pagan women. Satan orchestrated a wave of Greek influence that seduced Judah.  

Again, the people cursed themselves when they abandoned the ways of God and craved Greek philosophy, games, sports, language and gods. The people of Judah were Hellenized by choice and embraced the Greek culture and religion. The Greek king even desecrated the Holy of Holies with an abomination. Mankind falls for Satan’s schemes; Humanity was doomed and could only be rescued by a true hero. 

There is a funny meme that illustrates how Jesus did something like the father who saved his son from the python. In the meme, the Marvel superheroes: Thor, Iron Man, Spiderman, Captain America and Hulk are sitting around Jesus who says: “…and that’s how I saved the world.” It drives home the point that Jesus is the ultimate superhero who saved the world! He is the one that came to save us from the jaws of the enemy who had his teeth sunk into our leg, and would not let us go and kept coming after us. Jesus was willing to do what was necessary to save us from Satan’s bite.  

That father in Australia, I have no doubt would have been willing to lay down his life for his child. I would absolutely do that for my children without hesitation. However, Jesus could not merely take a sledgehammer to Satan’s head and rescue us; he had to be wise, disciplined, and come with a plan. Because Satan is no dummy, Jesus had to outsmart him. We need to understand who Jesus was. He is not just some little kid who rose up to achieve greatness. He existed before he came to this planet. He existed before he was born of a virgin. He had greatness. He had all the splendor and the praise that you could ever imagine. Jesus was clothed in glory to such a degree that Paul says: 

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross (Philip 2: 5–8). 

When Jesus is praying to the Father in the garden, He says: “O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was” (John 17:5). Jesus was “the word who was there in the beginning. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). The glory He had was rightfully His; He decided to lay that aside and to come as a humble child.  

He was not born in luxury, nor in a great palace with servants in attendance; no one was waiting for him saying: “Come, Your Highness, we have the best room waiting for you.” No, Jesus came humbly; He was born in a lowly manger: “She brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger” (Luke 2:7). He was born in a barn because “there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7). Nevertheless, God’s angels lit up the sky and announced the birth of the long-awaited and promised Messiah. They proclaimed that:  

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord (Luke 2:8–11).  

He came and he humbled himself to do what was necessary to redeem us, to buy us back and to save us from the jaws of the snake.  

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him (Matt 2:1–3).  

God warned the wise men that Herod was up to no good, so they did not return to Herod and disclose the baby’s location. Herod did not want to locate the baby to adore the new King; He wanted to kill Him. Thus, Satan the snake-dragon tried to destroy Jesus before He could become a threat.  

Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men (Matt 2:16). 

The dragon would try to destroy the child as soon as He was born. Herod was the representation of the serpent, used by Satan to try and destroy the child. 

Despite all that, when the child came of age, John “saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’” (John 1:29). Then when Jesus came up from the water, “the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him (Matt 3:16). And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’” (Matt 3:17). 

Satan the great dragon was the greatest of all creatures. He easily outwitted Adam and Eve, like taking candy from a baby, but the shrewd move secured him dominion over the entire cosmos. Therefore, when the arrival of the “seed of the woman” finally came, after so many millennia, Satan would need to test His claim and determine if He could be quickly brushed aside.  

SATAN TESTS THE TRUE HERO  

Matthew tells us that “Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted [πειρασθηναι peirasthenai] by the devil” (Matt 4:1). When God tests us, He wants us to pass—He wants to prove our faith. Nevertheless, the same word [πειρασθηναι peirasthenai] is used when Satan wanted to test Jesus, and show Him lacking. Naturally, the dragon does not want a fair fight, so he began the testing after Jesus “had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry” (Matt 4:2).  

His first question was a challenge “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread” (Matt 4:3). Robertson aptly notes:  

The devil is alluding to the words of the Father to Jesus at the baptism: “This is my Son the Beloved.” He challenges this address by a condition of the first class which assumes the condition to be true and deftly calls on Jesus to exercise his power as Son of God to appease his hunger and thus prove to himself and all that he really is what the Father called him.clxxxiv 

In other words, Satan accepted the claim just as he heard God’s voice from heaven. And that being true, he wanted to see Jesus in action. I am grateful to my friend Dr. Michael Heiser, who on my show, “The Awakening Report”, made an astute observation that Satan was testing Jesus to see what he knew and what he would divulge; would he use his power, and most importantly, could Satan kill him?clxxxv Thus, perhaps we could frame Satan’s challenge like this—“Can I mislead you through a selfish use of your power and thereby disqualify you as man’s champion?”  

Jesus answered and said, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’” (Matt 4:4). He passed the first test and then came the second:  

Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone’” (Matt 4:5–6). 

Satan specifically presented the Messiah with a messianic passage. In fact, Satan must have left off the next verse deliberately: “You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra [פתן peten], The young lion and the serpent [תנין tanin] you shall trample underfoot” (Ps 91:13).  

The Hebrew words are incredibly provocative. We already investigated peten in the context of Bashan, and found the meaning: snake-dragon. Tanin is also often used for a type of dragon. Satan was encouraging Jesus to “tread the lion-snake-dragon”! Satan was saying I am Ušumgallu, the great dragon, I am Mušuššu the fierce red dragon, I am Bašmu, king of Bashan; You came to crush my head—let’s go! You are here to fulfill the prophecy of doom, let’s get started. Satan knew exactly why Jesus had come; and after waiting thousands of years, he wanted to get straight to the point.  

In other words, Satan was baiting Jesus: if you jump to fulfill this Messianic prophecy and the angels catch you up—you will have proven that you are indeed Messiah. Did Satan hope Jesus would be sophomoric and try to fulfill the prophecy in the most obvious way? If Jesus had taken the bait, Satan would know that Jesus could not kill him.clxxxvi Yet very adroitly, Jesus answered, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God’” (Matt 4:7).  

Back to the Future Conference! July 25-26

Back to the Future Conference
There is nothing New Under the Sun…..Ecclesiastes 1:9
July 25 – July 26, 2014

Austin, Texas

Register Now
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

Hosea 4:6

 

A awake up call to Yeshua’s (Jesus Christ) bride the church. A call for her to come out of Babylon and prepare for the time of trials and tribulation that are coming in the near future.  An understanding that we are, as the whole world, headed back to the future! We need start asking the hard questions about the times in which we live, and begin to gain the knowledge to decode these times as Yahweh (the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob) reveals all thing to his Servants and Prophets first. (Amos 3:7) This conference is designed to answer questions like:

– The Days of Noah, and why Yeshua would reference that time specifically when speaking with His Disciples about his return?

– America says in GOD WE TRUST, which god, Yahweh or some other god or gods.?

– Do America’s symbols, icons, and monuments reveal what this countries role is in the end times?

– Aliens, Angles, Demons, UFO’s and the corrupting of Yahweh’s creation what do they all have in common?

– What about Yeshua’s Millennium Kingdom?

 

These questions and more will be asked and answered using Gods word, because the Scripture is profitable for teaching, for correcting, for reproof, and instruction in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16)

 

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

2 Corinthians 11:13-14

 

Join Award Winning Film maker Rob Skiba, and Biblical Scholar / Hebrew Expert Douglas Hamp as they share what God has taught them from His word and through their research on prophecy and the End Times. This will be a jammed pack two days of learning, and fellowship.

 

 

Rob Skiba
Film Maker, Researcher, and Author

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Doug Hamp
 Author, Researcher, and Teacher of Gods Word

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Interesting Information for our Days from Around the Web!

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THE KNOCKOUT GAME IS JUST A PREVIEW OF THE CHAOS THAT IS COMING TO THE STREETS OF AMERICA

http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/the-knockout-game-is-just-a-preview-of-the-chaos-that-is-coming-to-the-streets-of-america

 GOD WILL SAVE ANYONE BUT NOT EVERYONE (Excerpt)

The Christian Post – Sep. 25, 2013 — There is a reason why Jesus is called “the Savior of the world,” and not merely “the mentor” or “the example.” Jesus Christ literally saves people from their sins. But not everyone. Only anyone.

Many don’t want to be “saved.” They don’t think they need “salvation.” It’s not that God doesn’t want to save them. It’s that they don’t want God in that way. Instead, they just want Him around in case they need to ask for something else.

Personal salvation is a free gift, but there are many who decide to turn away from this gift. They honestly don’t see the importance of this offer of grace. It’s like a person who has a deadly disease, but is unaware of his condition. He thinks everything is just fine. If he only knew.

Sin goes deep within man. It is a violation of God’s perfect standard. And it deserves punishment from a Holy God. All of that just seems to “fly over the heads” of those who “don’t feel too sinful.” They assume their feelings can be trusted, and that the Bible should be looked at with suspicion rather than with faith.

It would be like that man with a disease who is told about his terminal illness, but he doesn’t trust the diagnosis. Therefore, he continues to live life as though everything is OK. If he only knew.

God will save anyone, but not everyone. Many will spend eternity apart from God and His heavenly kingdom. And what a kingdom it will be! If man only knew what he is missing. By rejecting the love and mercy of Jesus, man says “no” to the only Person who can save his soul for eternity. Of course, those who say “no” to Jesus don’t think they are going to miss out on anything. If they did, they would likely accept Christ’s free gift. If they only knew.

Can anyone come to Christ and be saved? Yes indeed. Anyone can approach Christ in faith. Anyone that is who sees His need and sees the solution. It’s like this: Your soul is sick, as is mine. We are sinners. We cannot wash away our sin, but Jesus can. His blood can do it, and this occurs when a person trusts Christ to forgive Him. You bring Jesus your sin in sincerity and truth, and He cleanses your soul and makes you acceptable to the Father. Without Jesus, you are in no condition to approach the Father. You are unclean, and so am I. Only Jesus makes us clean before God.

God will save anyone, but not everyone. That’s just the way God designed His plan of salvation. And you get to design your approach to life, and to death. You can live and die with Jesus, or you can live and die without Him. You can trust Christ and follow Him, or you can ignore Him and say “no” to His offer of grace. God won’t force you to be in His family if you are determined to live life outside of it.

So the ball is in your court. God has done everything necessary for you to be offered this gracious gift of eternal life in heaven. Will you combine this Gospel message with faith, or instead, continue on in unbelief? The door is open. Salvation has been provided. While it may seem to you like “everyone” has heard this message before, here’s the real question for you today: Is “anyone” listening?

IDF SOLDIERS WARNED AGAINST CONTACT WITH MESSIANIC JEWS

Weekend News Today – Dec. 16, 2013 — citizens of Israel woke up this week to a special early morning announcement by the Israeli Army on news broadcasts all across the country: The Ministry of Defense has ordered that all soldiers staying in Jerusalem over the Sabbath are not allowed to have any contact with members of the sect of Jews who preach faith in Yeshua (Jesus).

Is faith in Yeshua such a threat to our national security that one of the most effective military organizations in the world feels the need to “protect” its soldiers from this “sect of Jews”?

It all started when a small group of Messianic Jews visited a hostel for lone soldiers in Jerusalem over the Sabbath. The army provides the hostel for soldiers who have no family in Israel. On the weekends, when they are off base, they can stay at “Beit Hachayal,” or Soldiers’ House. A group of Messianic Israelis were visiting soldiers at this particular Beit Hachayal on the Sabbath and talking about their New Testament faith.

Many soldiers enjoyed these visits, and some began reading the New Testament and other Messianic literature regularly. Soldiers were invited to visit with Messianics in their homes, where they were introduced to Messianic faith during Sabbath meals and Bible teachings.

The Jewish believers had built up many friendships with management and staff of the hostel, who appreciated the positive impact the visits had on the lone soldiers. One of the soldiers even came to faith in the Yeshua. No one at the hostel, or in the IDF, were bothered one bit by this, not until an “anti-missionary” organization stirred up trouble.

The so-called “anti-missionaries” became aware that a soldier had come to faith in Yeshua most likely from reading one of the many Messianic or Christian newsletters and websites they follow. So they reported to the Ministry of Defense and IDF authorities that “the cult of Jews who preach Christianity are running missionary activities at Beit Hachayal.”

The ultra-Orthodox authorities to which the anti-missionaries are attached carry a lot of political weight and can cause a lot of problems. So, without investigating the facts on the ground, the Ministry of Defense and IDF immediately put out the public warning against association with Messianic.

Messianic Jews also received a letter from the Ministry of Defense forbidding them from entering “Beit Hachayal without explicit permission including a description of intended activities.”

Years ago, Messianic Jews were considered something of a security risk by the IDF. Many were not allowed to serve in elite or sensitive units. Today, however, Messianics are highly regarded by military authorities, and are even sought out to serve as commanders and officers in every branch of the Israeli military, including Military Intelligence, which requires the highest security clearance.

One Messianic Jewish Sabra (native-Israeli born), a sergeant in the Israel Air Force, recently asked his commander if he could include the New Testament together with the Hebrew Bible in his pledge of allegiance to the State of Israel. “Yes you may,” returned the officer without blinking an eye. And so this young man joined the growing numbers of hundreds of openly Messianic Jewish soldiers proudly serving in the IDF.

So why is the Ministry of Defense now publicly opposing Messianic activity in Jerusalem? According to one combat soldier, who is not Messianic, it all has to do with politics. “The government passed a law recently to recruit religious (ultra-Orthodox) Jews, but most refuse to serve,” he explained. “The army is trying to appease the Orthodox community in Jerusalem by making this absurd announcement against Messianic faith. We are all here to serve our country and the army should not be involved in telling people which path of faith to follow.”

WHY IS ISLAM GROWING IN THE WEST?

Christian Headline News – Nov. 6, 2013 — The global Muslim population will grow by 35 percent over the next 20 years, from 1.6 billion to 2.2 billion by 2030.  “Why are Westerners drawn to Islam?”  “What is the contrast between salvation by grace vs. works in Islam? And what is a true comparison between Islam and the Bible?” How should Christians respond?

Let’s take the second question first. “Islam” is typically translated “submission,” in this case to the will and laws of Allah (the Arabic word for “God”). These laws are often summarized as the “five pillars of Islam.”

First is the “witness” (shahadah), declaring that “there is no God but God and Muhammad is his prophet.” Second are the prayers (salat), five times a day facing Mecca. Third is hajj, the holy pilgrimage to Mecca, the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad. Fourth is fasting (sawm) during Ramadan, the month when the first revelation of the Qur’an was given to Muhammad in AD 610. Fifth is alms-giving (zakat), at least 2.5 percent of one’s goods to the poor.

Here’s the point: no Muslim can know if he or she has kept these laws well enough to be granted a place in paradise. By contrast, the Bible teaches: “by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). In religion, we try to climb up to God. In Christianity, God climbs down to us.

Why would a works-based religion be popular in Western culture today? Actually, the vast majority of “new” Muslims in Europe and America are immigrants or children of Muslims. Only 20,000 Americans convert to Islam each year, a number smaller than one of several megachurches in the Dallas area. Since the Muslim birthrate in Europe is three times higher than non-Muslims, it’s easy to see why Islam is growing on the Continent. But its works-righteousness is not the primary reason why.

What about Islam and the Bible? Muslims are taught that God revealed himself in the Old and New Testaments, but Jews and then Christians corrupted his revelation; so he revealed himself a final time in the Qur’an, which is his “pure” revelation to mankind. Actually, textual scholars are convinced that the Old and New Testaments we have today are almost identically the same as the original manuscripts. However, not long after Muhammad’s death, so many different versions of the Qur’an existed that Caliph Uthman ordered all but one version destroyed. As a result, no Muslim can really know if the Qur’an he or she reads today is consistent with the original.

Let’s close with my favorite story regarding the grace of Christianity. An elderly professor of world religions surprised his colleagues by declaring his commitment to Christ. He explained: “It was as if I had fallen into a deep, abandoned well. Muhammad came by and told me it was the will of Allah that I be in this well, then he left. The Buddha came by and told me if I would cease desire I would cease to suffer in the well, then he left. A Hindu teacher came by and told me if I was faithful in the well I would escape through reincarnation, then he left. Confucius came by and told me if I’d not tripped I would not be in the well, then he left. Jesus came by, saw me, and got into the well with me. That is why I am a Christian.”

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GROWING UP WITHOUT A FATHER TRANSFORMS CHILDREN’S BRAINS

Christian Headline News – Dec. 12, 2013 — A new study shows that growing up without a father not only affects behavior – it transforms children’s brain structure.

That’s the verdict reached by the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Center and recently published in the journal Cerebral Cortex.

Researchers studied the behavior and brains of Californian mice who, like humans, are monogamous and raise their children as a unit.

Mice separated from their fathers showed greater aggression, anti-social behavior, and “abnormal social interactions” than those raised with both parents.

“The behavioral deficits we observed are consistent with human studies of children raised without a father,” said Dr. Gabriella Gobbi, the report’s lead author.

However, more groundbreaking was their finding that the behavior was not the only thing affected by the lack of a father. Mice raised by one parent had a misshapen prefrontal cortex, the portion of the brain associated with behavior, decision-making, and problem solving.

“This is the first time research findings have shown that paternal deprivation during development affects the neurobiology of the offspring,” Gobbi said.

The report states, “Our results emphasize the importance of the father during critical neurodevelopmental periods, and that father absence induces impairments in social behavior that persist to adulthood.”

The absence of a father has been associated with a string of poor behavior and life outcomes, including higher rates of substance abuse and criminality.

A report published by the Center for Social Justice found that half of all children in Britain are living in a single-parent home, more than 1 million British children in all.

By contrast, the presence of fathers – even uncommunicative ones – raises the levels of positive outcomes for children.

In 2011, researchers at the University of Melbourne found that delinquent behavior was reduced by 7.6 percent among boys who lived with their biological fathers, and five percent points for those living with non-biological fathers only, especially violent and gang-related crime.

U.S. PLAN GIVES JERUSALEM HOLY SITES TO VATICAN (Excerpt)

International mandate to control sections of Israel’s capital

WND – Dec. 16, 2013 — Secretary of State John Kerry quietly presented a U.S. plan for eastern Jerusalem that calls for an international administrative mandate to control holy sites in the area, according to informed Palestinian and Israeli diplomatic sources.

The exact composition of the international mandate is up for discussion, the sources said, but Kerry’s plan recommended a coalition that includes the Vatican, together with a group of Muslim countries such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

The international arrangement is being proposed as a temporary solution for about two to three years while security arrangements in Jerusalem between Israelis and Palestinians are finalized, said the sources.

Israel, the sources said, was not receptive to the particulars of Kerry’s plan, especially the concept of Turkish participation in Jerusalem.

A POTPOURRI OF BLESSINGS

Hebrews 6:7  “For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God….”

Creation Moments – Nov. 15, 2013 — Many people like to have a nice perfume around the house. They brew a potpourri of mint, citronella, lavender and similar fragrant plants to make home smell more like home. But humans aren’t the only creatures that appreciate a nice smell around their house.

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During field studies, scientists have found that a small bird called the Corsican Blue Tit also likes to have a pleasant-smelling nest. This was an unexpected discovery, made quite accidentally when one researcher discovered various sprigs of aromatic plants in dozens of nests. When she starts to lay her eggs, the female bird will begin keeping her nest stocked with fresh, fragrant herbs until all the eggs hatch. The birds prefer yarrow, citronella, mint and lavender. When researchers secretly removed these herbs from the nests that they were observing, the parent birds were quick to replace the fragrant sprigs with others.  It also turns out that these herbs also have disinfectant and anti-pest characteristics. They inhibit bacteria and fungi and act as mosquito repellents. Rather than simply beautifying their nests or adding a nice perfume, the birds are also protecting their offspring from diseases and pests. You might wonder, Who taught them to do this?

As the Bible says, herbs are a blessing from God. They are not just a blessing to man, but also to many of God’s creatures.

HOW GOD SEES THE UNBELIEVER

Ephesians 2:1-5

God’s Word is always true but not always popular. When it runs counter to cultural preferences, the message of the gospel can be uncomfortable to hear and may lead to challenge and confrontation. We need to know biblical truth, including the fact that God sees unbelievers as . . .

• Dead in their trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1). As newborn babies, we are physically alive but spiritually dead. Spiritual death came to all generations through the first Adam (Rom. 5:12); spiritual life comes only through Jesus, the “last Adam” (1 Cor. 15:45).

• Unable to grasp spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14). Those who are spiritually dead can’t perceive the things of God. Divine truth can’t penetrate because their “receiver,” or spirit, is dead within them.

• Not part of God’s family (John 1:12). Spiritually, there are only two families in the world: God’s and Satan’s (John 8:44). A person is born into God’s family—or “born again”—by trusting in Christ’s sacrifice and receiving Him as Savior.

• Under wrath (Eph. 2:3). Unbelievers, even kind and loving ones, are under judgment. A sin debt is owed (Rom. 6:23), and it can’t be paid by kind or loving acts of service. Jesus paid on our behalf, and only by trusting in His substitutionary sacrifice can we escape God’s wrath.

Unbelievers are in grave danger, but most do not realize it. The good news is that God’s offer of salvation through Jesus Christ is still available. Have you reached out for the hand of your Rescuer? If your answer is yes, are you pointing others to the One who wants to rescue them?

In Touch Ministry

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Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus.  Amen. (1 Pet. 5:14)….dave

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