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Revelation Insights #5
Welcome To Babylon
The Land of Merchants
(Ezekiel 16:29 NIV)

A Mad, Bad, Sad World

For those who choose not to look beyond the horizons of their own lives, the world can appear as being rather a pleasant place . . . after all, we might hear them say, the economy is flourishing, we are prospering, our cupboards are full, holidays are just around the corner, the kids are well and doing well, and all-in-all we have very little to complain about. The sad fact, however, is that the great majority of people on this planet are either starving or desperately ill, living in fear or sorrow, and/or merely eking out an existence - a meaningless existence. While our own private world might be somewhat comfortable, for millions of people on this planet, life is only a little way from our worst perceptions of a living hell.

Let us imagine for a moment what the all-seeing eye of God is confronted with in the course of just one day? Is there ever any one second in any one day when God does not see something that must break His infinitely compassionate heart? Can God be happy for one second in any one day as He sees children being abandoned, neglected, molested, abused, kidnapped and being sold on sex markets? Can God be happy for one second in any one day as He sees people and animals being cruelly treated and killed, homes being robbed, accidents taking place, mothers and fathers getting divorced, injustices being committed, women being raped, and on and on and on? Most assuredly, this paragraph has the potential to be the longest paragraph ever written

While the commercials may paint a rather rosy picture of our world, and while the public relations exercises of large institutions may give us the impression that all is well, and while the overtures of governments might speak of future hope, prosperity and peace, and while the busy-ness of our lives may draw our minds away from the heartaches and the hurts of people all around us, the truth is that for most people on this planet, every day of their lives is but another chapter in a horror story - a horror story that will only end, either in the grave, or with the coming of Jesus.

`There are multitudes struggling with poverty, compelled to labor hard for small wages, unable to secure the barest necessities of life. Toil and deprivation, with no hope of better things, make their burden heavy. When pain and sickness are added, the burden is almost unbearable. Care-worn and oppressed, they know not where to turn for relief.' (9T90.4)

Why does God not do something about this? you might ask.

He did. He made you and I . . .

In truth, therefore, our world is an extremely sad world, an extremely mad world, and an extremely bad world. So bad, in fact, that if it were not for law and for law-enforcement, we would surely be living in chaos right now - that is, if we were still living at all.

Some years ago, the city of New York experienced a protracted power failure. Realizing that security systems were disabled, thousands upon thousands took to the streets, looted stores, broke into homes and cars, and bedlam reigned until the power was restored. Unrestrained by fear of the law, and aided by dense darkness, human nature revealed its true character . . . and the world was given a frightening preview of what is yet to come.

There is no question, therefore, that our world is primed for destruction. We only live as we do today because the angels of God are using various agencies to hold back the winds of strife. (Revelation 7:1)

                 
 

`Hunger does not result from scarcity of food; it comes from the economic and political choices of well-fed people.' (Tom Dybdahl, The Empty Breadbasket, p.12).

`Poverty,' according to the Second Carnegie Report into Poverty in Southern Africa, `does not occur in a vacuum; it is the consequence of a process which enriches some men while impoverishing others.' (The Johannesburg Star, 26th January, 1989)

         

It is in this light, therefore, that I wish to welcome my reader to Babylon. Welcome to a world where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, not by chance, but as the result of the cunningly devised plans of the rich; a world where the hungry only get more hungry, not because there is a lack of food, but only because there is an abundance of greed and a lack of genuine compassion in high places; a world where hope is unknown to the masses, not because there is no hope, but because the custodians of hope are ineffectual in sharing their hope. Welcome to a world where even the desire to live has gone from the hearts of untold millions, a world where men's hearts are even now "failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth." (Luke 21:26)

Welcome to "Babylon, land of merchants!" (Ezekiel 16:29 NIV). Welcome to a world that is driven by the desire for money - a world where greed is unashamedly dubbed "the theology of Wall Street." Welcome to a world where the largest and most "respected" institutions on the planet profit handsomely and shamelessly out of the afflictions, the ignorance, and the fears of men. Welcome to a world where everything that can be traded is traded - even "the bodies and souls of men." (Revelation 18:10)

Yes, welcome to a world that has proportionately more financial experts than ever before, and yet there is more debt and poverty than ever before; a world that has proportionately more medical professionals than ever before, and yet there is more sickness than ever before; a world that has more psychiatrists than ever before, and yet there is more mental illness than ever before; a world that has proportionately more marriage counselors than ever before, and yet there are more divorces and unhappy marriages than ever before . . .

Welcome to a world where governments are but pawns in the hands of the mega-rich, where wars are arranged and where millions may die - not for the sake of some widely-publicized "noble cause" - but simply because war can be extremely profitable to those who pull the financial strings. Welcome to a world that is kept extremely "well informed" by a huge media network, but where the real news, that is, the news behind the news, is known only to a few.

In general, the history of this world is a record of cruel oppression - a sad testimony of the "inhumanity of man towards man." Scripture itself alludes to oppression more than one hundred times. So where is the oppression today? Is oppression no longer a problem? Has anything changed over the centuries? Is man more morally and/or socially conscious than he was in days gone by? Not a chance!

The truth is that society today is probably more cruelly oppressed than ever before, the only difference being that the modern-day oppressors have learnt how to condition the minds of the masses through "media dazzle," and they have become masters at veiling their profit-motivated designs under a cloak of morality and/or integrity and/or social responsibility. While on the one hand public relations departments will trumpet loudly that the institutions that they represent really do "care," on the other hand those same institutions rob the poor and the widow, deprive people of their homes, "strip the land bare," and all the while they profit handsomely and proudly out of the suffering and uncertainty that they themselves have authored.

Should my reader have any doubts about the truthfulness of the latter statement, the modules that follow will more than eradicate those doubts.

Meditational Nuggets: `We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.' (1 John 5:19)

This is why `the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty.' (Psalm 74:20 NKJV)

We should not be surprised to discover, therefore, that `there is a kind of man whose teeth are like swords And his jaw teeth like knives, to devour the afflicted from the earth and the needy from among men.' (Proverbs 30:14 NAS)

`Truly the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil; madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead.' (Ecclesiastes 9:3)

A Mad, Bad, Sad Economy

Living as we do in an extremely bad, mad, sad world, we cannot but expect that our world economy is anything other than bad, mad, and sad - and it surely is. In this regard, the following comment on James 5:1-6 is of particular interest.

`The Scriptures describe the condition of the world just before Christ's second coming. James the apostle pictures the greed and oppression that will prevail. This is a picture of what exists today [written prior to 1900]. By every species of oppression and extortion, men are piling up colossal fortunes, while the cries of starving humanity are coming up before God.' (COL170)

In the light of this statement, we may draw the following conclusions:

(1) Oppression and extortion were rampant prior to the year 1900. As such, we may safely conclude that oppression and extortion are even more rampant today.

(2) Mega rich institutions are behind much of the oppression and extortion that is practiced in our world today.

(3) Much of the poverty in our world today is the result of the oppressive and extortionary practices of mega-rich institutions.

(4) Because we hear much about the starving masses, and much about the mega-rich, and very little about the greed, the oppression and the extortion that are so rampant in our world today, we must conclude that the oppressive and extortionary practices of the mega-rich are very well camouflaged (usually in the name of PR).

                 
 

`Do not the rich oppress you?' (James 2:6 NKJV)

`In the day of His wrath, He [the LORD] shall execute the heads of many countries.' (Psalm 110:5-6 NKJV)

         

Bearing these thoughts in mind, let us now turn our attention to Revelation Chapter 18. This chapter assures us that in the last days Babylon is going to fall, and that her economy is going to fall with her. This means that if we are living in the last days today - and we surely are - then we are currently living in spiritual Babylon and, as such, our economy today must be typically Babylonish.

In this light, let us again consider an interesting statement relative to Revelation chapter 18.

`This Scripture (Rev 18:1, 2, 4) points forward to a time when the announcement of the fall of Babylon, as made by the second angel of Revelation 14, is to be repeated, with the additional mention of the corruptions that have been entering the various organizations that constitute Babylon, since that message was first given, in the summer of 1844.' (GC603)

From this statement we may conclude, . . .

(1) that we are in fact living in "Babylon" today,

(2) that our present-day Babylon is made up of "various organizations" and/or institutions,

(3) that these organizations and/or institutions have become especially corrupted since 1844,

(4) that these organizations have a huge global presence and that they most probably have a significant impact on life as we know it.

As such, we need to prepare ourselves for a few surprises. If this is "Babylon," and if our economy today is typically Babylonish in nature, then "the news behind the news" is certain to startle us.

                 
 

`These kindred heresies, and the rejection of the truth, convert the church into Babylon. Kings, merchants, rulers, and religious teachers are all in corrupt harmony.' (2SM68.2)

         

The Big Four

One sure way of judging the true nature of an economy is to examine the character of the major institutions that buoy up that economy. As such, let us take a moment to consider four of the richest, largest and most influential institutions in the world, namely . . .

(1)  the Catholic church,
(2)  the medical/drug industry,
(3)  the banking industry, and
(4)  the insurance industry.

As we consider these four institutions, please understand that we are not leveling criticism at the many fine, honest and well-intentioned people who are employed by, or who are associated with these institutions - nor are we questioning any legitimate service that these institutions may render. We will be noticing, however, that the spirit of Babylon has infiltrated a few boardrooms.

As we well know, each of these institutions is founded on and thrives on meeting the distinctive needs of society. Yet there is an abundance of evidence to suggest that an avaricious spirit dominates each of these institutions, a spirit that is infinitely more concerned with profiting out of the needs of society than it is concerned with satisfying or meeting the needs of society - and this point is certainly confirmed by the "colossal fortunes" that have been and are being amassed by each of these institutions.

In the modules following I will prove to my reader that a number of corruptions have taken root within these institutions, and that these corruptions have given rise to a number of very serious tensions . . .

                 
 

`The same spirit that existed among the Jews, leading them to substitute gain for godliness, and outward pomp for inward purity, curses the Christian world today.' (2SP123.3)

And if this spirit curses the Christian world today, the curse on the non-Christian world can only be tenfold worse.

         

   tensions between (a) doing what is morally correct, and (b) doing what will be most profitable,

   tensions between (a) the satisfying of societies needs and (b) the invention of and/or exaggeration of societies needs,

   tensions between (a) helping, serving and educating society and (b) capitalizing on the misfortune, the fear, and the ignorance of society,

   tensions between (a) the realization of reasonable returns - which is the reasonable right of any organization that provides a valid public service - and (b) the amassing of "colossal fortunes" at the expense of the man in the street.

As can be expected in a mad, bad, sad world, covetousness has triumphed over integrity and, as a direct result, we now find ourselves living in a largely usurious economy - that is, according to ancient definition, an economy that not only bleeds society through excessive interest, but one that actually uses the misfortunes, the afflictions, and the ignorance of the masses to amass colossal fortunes.

Meditational Nuggets: `The ancient problem of "usury," in the form of the exploitation of the ignorant poor by moneylenders, is still important in many parts of the world.' (Professor Kenneth E. Boulding, Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol.17, p.959)

`Usury enshrines the principles of exploitation, greed and guaranteed gain at the expense of others. It is diametrically opposed to the concept of people living and transacting in an atmosphere of mutual trust, concern and good will. The current global monetary system gives control to those who create money and charge interest [reserve banks and banks], leaving the majority of the world's population open to manipulation and exploitation.' (PAID News, Autumn 1990, p.1)

`The biggest and most modern buildings in the blighted and debt-ridden downtowns of the world are still banks and insurance companies. Both are active in usury in slightly different ways and have cornered the larger part of the wealth of the world.' (R. K. Hoskins, War Cycles Peace Cycles, p.10)

`Will you judge this city of bloodshed? Then confront her with all her detestable practices and say, "You take [a] usury and [b] excessive interest . . . There is a conspiracy of her princes within her like a roaring lion tearing its prey; they devour people, take treasures and precious things and make many widows within her. Her officials within her are like wolves tearing their prey; they shed blood and kill people to make unjust gain . . . The people of the land practice extortion and commit robbery, they oppress the poor and needy and ill-treat the alien, denying them justice." ' (Ezekiel 22:2-29)

If we were to define usury as the act of "using" the negative circumstances of others to advantage ourselves, then it is obvious that our "big four" thrive on usury. You see, whichever way we view these institutions, the tragic fact today is that, . . .

(1)  the Catholic church amasses colossal fortunes, as ever, out of guilt, (in times gone by she even sold "certificates of pardon" to guilt-ridden believers),
(2)  the medical/drug industry amasses colossal fortunes out of sickness,
(3)  the banking industry amasses colossal fortunes out of poverty, and
(4)  the insurance industry amasses colossal fortunes out of fear.

This means, in short, that our present-day world economy is largely an usurious economy in that it is founded upon, vitally dependant on, and flourishing on guilt, and sickness, and poverty, and fear.

Does that not sound like Babylon to you?

Could anything be more sad and more "babylonish" than the fact that our current-day world economy is as dependant on human affliction and suffering as a table is dependant on its legs?

To make matters worse, far worse, and this I will also convincingly prove to my reader in the modules following, . . .

(1)  the Catholic church has little in its make-up today that relieves guilt, but much that promotes guilt,

(2)  the medical/drug industry has little in its make-up today that actually heals sickness, but much that promotes sickness (or that keeps us alive while we remain sick and while we continue to pay the bills),

(3)  the banking industry has nothing in its make-up today that relieves poverty, but much that promotes poverty,

(4)  the insurance industry has nothing in its make-up today that relieves fear, but much that promotes fear.

In short, therefore, each of these institutions is uniquely positioned, not only to amass "colossal fortunes" out of the misfortunes, the afflictions, the fears, and the ignorance of society, but even to fuel and/or to exaggerate those misfortunes and afflictions. While powerful public relations exercises may well have conditioned our minds into believing otherwise, it should take only a little unbiased thought to convince us that this is in fact the truth.

Bearing in mind, therefore, that our current-day world economy is vitally dependent on guilt, and sickness, and poverty and fear, let us focus our minds on a few sobering realities . . .

  In order to boost the economy of a country, or of the world, all that we have to do is to ensure that mankind is more severely plagued by guilt, by sickness, by poverty and by fear.

  Anything that relieves guilt, sickness, poverty and fear, would constitute a most serious threat to the world economy.

                 
 

`Between truth and error there is an irrepressible conflict. To uphold and defend the one is to attack and overthrow the other.' (GC11-126)

         

  The gospel of Jesus is the greatest threat to our present-day world economy for the simple reason that the gospel, which includes the gospel of health (MM259), is God's failsafe answer to guilt, to sickness, to poverty and to fear. Looking to the future, therefore, there is no question that the dissemination of gospel truth will in some way contribute to the collapse of our Babylonish economy.

Is this not perhaps one good reason why God's children will be blamed for the calamities that are soon to come upon the earth? (Mar176)

  The troubles and the tragedies of our present-day world are not so much the result of the meanderings of fate, or the result of a wayward economy, as they are the result of circumstances that have been ably engineered by the financial puppet masters of our world. Does this not explain why so many country's, those that only recently were peaceful and prosperous, are today riddled with crime and poverty and every manner of affliction - and why their economies, sustained as ever by the "big four," are still booming in spite of these afflictions?

The sad truth is that in our Babylonish economy, crime does pay - and handsomely, guilt does pay - and handsomely, sickness does pay - and handsomely, poverty does pay - and handsomely, and insecurity and fear do pay - and handsomely.

  We have the assurance that `poverty is coming upon this world.' (Ev240). While some of the poverty-stricken will have authored their own fate, the great majority will be victims of boardroom decisions - victims of "the rot behind the recession."

  Had the church been true to her mandate, these institutions would not be enjoying the power and the influence that they currently enjoy. This again confirms that our Laodicean lethargy is largely to blame for much of the hardship, affliction, and tragedy in our world today.

Meditational Nuggets: `I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun: I saw the tears of the oppressed - and they have no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressors - and they have no comforter.' (Ecclesiastes 4:1)

`Men cry out under a load of oppression; they plead for relief from the arm of the powerful. But no one says, 'Where is God my Maker." ' (Job 35:9)

`The treacherous dealer deals treacherously, and the plunderer plunders.' (Isaiah 21:2 NKJV)

`In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak, who are caught in the schemes he devises.' (Psalm 10:2)

`They crush your people, O LORD; they oppress your inheritance. They slay the widow and the alien; they murder the fatherless.' (Psalm 94:5)

`The people of God are sighing and crying for the abominations done in the land.' (5T474)

`Like birds caught in a snare, so the sons of men are snared in an evil time.' (Ecclesiastes 9:12 NKJV)

`We pay for the water we drink, and our wood comes at a price. We labor and have no rest.' (Lamentations 5:4-5 NKJV)

`Will the evildoers never learn - those who devour my people as men eat bread and who do not call on God?' (Psalm 53:4)

Realizing, therefore, that all that we read and hear about is not necessarily all that is, and remembering that oppression is probably more rife today than ever before, and bearing in mind that "mega rich institutions are behind much of the oppression and extortion that is practiced in our world today," and that oppression and extortion are certainly more effectively concealed today than ever before, let us continue to cast a critical eye upon the big four of our Babylonish economy.

The Apocalyptic Horsemen

                 
 

"The amount of energy and money and ingenuity applied to corporate spin and corporate lying has never been greater or more effective than it is now. The biggest delusion of our times is that great corporations have an ethical centre. They have absolutely no ethical or moral centre." (Paul Sheehan, Sydney Morning Herald, 28 February, 2001)

         

We have now come a long way together, dear reader, and at this stage you are probably wondering whether I am suggesting that the "big four" of planet earth are the apocalyptic horsemen of Revelation chapter six. The answer to this question is a resounding NO!

Please notice that the focus of Revelation 1-8 is on four horsemen who sit upon and direct four horses. The horses are simply vehicles that are being directed and used by four ill-intentioned "riders" or, for lack of a better term, "spirits." Clearly, therefore, the horses in themselves are not the architects of evil as are the "riders" or spirits who direct and control them.

It is my belief that these four institutions are the horses of Revelation 6 - but they are not the riders. I repeat, therefore, that we are not leveling criticism at the many fine, honest and well-intentioned people who are employed by, or who are associated with these institutions - nor are we questioning any legitimate service that these institutions may render. Our concern, however, is with the "spirit" that "sits upon" and that currently directs, sways, and controls these institutions.

While at this point in time it would be unrealistic of me to expect my reader to believe as I do, I now need to state, and this I do humbly and sincerely, that I am as convinced as ever I will be that "the spirits" that currently control and direct these four institutions are the Apocalyptic Horsemen. Wherever we mention these institutions from here on, therefore, please bear in mind that they are merely the "horses" and that the primary focus is on the ill-intentioned spirits (the apocalyptic horsemen) who are straddled upon and who currently direct these institutions.

The onus now rests on me to support this interpretation, and it is going to take the remainder of this module and at least four more modules in order to do so. Please bear with me, therefore, and please reserve your judgment until such time as all the (shocking) evidence has been presented.

The "Legs" Of Our
Babylonish World Economy

 

(1) (2) (3) (4)

The world's mega-
rich institutions

Catholic
Church

Medical/Drug Industry

Banking
Industry

Insurance
Industry

Primary income boosters

Guilt

Amassing colossal fortunes out of our spiritual woes

Sickness

Amassing colossal fortunes out of our physical woes

Poverty

Amassing colossal fortunes out of our financial woes

Fear

Amassing colossal fortunes out of our fear and insecurity

Positioning

Uniquely positioned to profit out of guilt while promoting guilt

Uniquely positioned to profit out of sickness while promoting sickness

Uniquely positioned to profit out of poverty while promoting poverty

Uniquely positioned to profit out of fear while promoting fear

To Ensure Future Growth

Keep people ignorant of the true character of God and of His  forgiving grace

Keep people and health professionals ignorant of the true nature of disease and the laws of health

Covertly fuel the fires of inflation and thus force individuals and industry into high-interest debt.

Capitalize on the fruits of instability and godlessness - such as crime, murder, insecurity and fear of death.

Top-of-the-range "Products"

Eternal life at a heavy price

Life at an exorbitant price

Money at an exorbitant price

Peace of mind at an exorbitant price

Payment Plan

Pay monthly and reap when you die

Pay monthly and reap when death threatens

Reap now and pay monthly till you die, or until your debt kills you

Pay monthly and reap when you die

Greatest Allies

Ignorance and forgetfulness of God

Ignorance and forgetfulness of God

Ignorance and forgetfulness of God

Ignorance and forgetfulness of God

Greatest Threat

The gospel is God's answer to guilt.

The gospel, which includes the gospel of health, is God's answer to sickness.

The gospel is the good news of a God who provides for us and who shields us from poverty.

The gospel assures us that if we fear (revere) God, we have nothing else to fear.

Gospel Promises

`Whatever the sin, if the soul repents and believes, the guilt is washed away in the blood of Christ.' (DA322)

 

`The laws of nature, as truly as the precepts of the Decalogue, are divine, and only in obedience to them can health be recovered or preserved.' (LLM110)

`My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.' (Psalm 34:19).

 

`There is no want to those who fear Him.' (Philippians 4:11, 19)

`I have the keys of Hades and of Death.' (Revelation 1:18)

 

`Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you.' (Psalm 50:15)
 

`In the kingdoms of the world, position meant self-aggrandizement. The people were supposed to exist for the benefit of the ruling classes. Influence, wealth, education, were so many means of gaining control of the masses for the use of the leaders. The higher classes were to think, decide, enjoy, and rule; the lower were to obey and serve. Religion, like all things else, was a matter of authority. The people were expected to believe and practice as their superiors directed. The right of man as man, to think and act for himself, was wholly unrecognized.' (DA 550.2)

Has anything changed?

In modules 1 and 2 we demonstrated that our traditional interpretation of the apocalyptic horsemen is more than questionable. Then in modules 4 to 5 we assembled a number of logical guidelines to direct us in our search for a more credible interpretation. In the light of those guidelines, therefore, let us now apply the following tests to this possible interpretation:

TEST 1:  The true interpretation must correspond perfectly with the interpretive keys that we assembled in modules four and five.

TEST 2:  The true interpretation must correspond perfectly with the tabulated comparison of the True Vineyard and the Corrupted Vineyard or Wasteland that we compiled in module five.

TEST 3:  The true interpretation must correspond perfectly with the actual description that is given in Revelation chapter 6 of the four horses and their riders.

TEST 4:  An in-depth investigation (which will be included in modules 7 to 10) must leave us in no doubt (a) that the spirits that currently dominate these institutions do have agendas and characteristics that perfectly match the characteristics of the Apocalyptic Horsemen, and (b) that the current activities of these institutions may be considered as judgments from God - judgments that have come upon the earth largely in consequence of Laodicean lassitude.

TEST 1:

The true interpretation must correspond perfectly with the interpretive keys that we assembled in modules four and five.

In prophecy, horses may represent
"unrighteous" organizations . . .

Key no.

Characteristic

Catholic Church Medical Drug Industry Banking Industry Insurance Industry

Key 1

that thrive on "meeting the needs" of people.

YES

YES

YES

YES

Key 2

that do not have the best interests of people at heart - although they may profess "to care" (heard that before?).

YES

YES

YES

YES

Key 3

that are large and powerful.

YES

YES

YES

YES

Key 4

that are generally admired and highly regarded.

YES

YES

YES

YES

Key 5

that "satisfy" a widely felt public and/or social need.

YES

YES

YES

YES

Key 6

that have a great public following (even though they do not always act in the best interests of the public).

YES

YES

YES

YES

Key 7

that work in "corrupt harmony" against the best interests of society.

YES

YES

YES

YES

Key 8

that have a global presence and a world-wide influence.

YES

YES

YES

YES

Key 9

that could fill the office of merchant, guardian or official.

YES

YES

YES

YES

Key 10

that are pretty much a law unto themselves.

YES

YES

YES

YES

Key 11

that existed prior to 1844, but that have become especially corrupted since 1844.

YES?

YES

YES

YES

Key 12

that could be described as either an organization, an institution, or an industry.

YES

YES

YES

YES

Key 13

that are led by "human instrumentalities."

YES

YES

YES

YES

Key 14

that are cloaked in a garb of holiness and/or morality and/or respectability and or public "service."

YES

YES

YES

YES

Key 15

all of which might serve in one way or another to misrepresent the character of God and to obliterate the knowledge of God.

YES

YES

YES

YES

Key 16

one of which presents mankind with "another God"

YES      

Key 17

one of which presents mankind with an alternative to obedience.

 

YES

 

 

Key 18

one of which presents mankind with an alternative to depending on God.

 

 

YES

 

Key 19

one of which presents mankind with an alternative to trusting in God.

 

 

 

YES

 

TEST 2:

The true interpretation must correspond perfectly with the tabulated comparison of the True Vineyard and the Corrupted Wasteland that we compiled in module five.

Because there is still much to be said about these four institutions (and much that the world will probably never know), I must again urge my reader to reserve judgment until much later in this exercise. In the meantime, I invite you to carefully consider whether the big four fit into our tabular representation of the true and the corrupted vineyard (Babylon).

The True Vineyard

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

Wine-yard Owner

Wall

Winepress

Watchtower

God

Moral Law

Natural Law

Temple

A God To
Love

A Law To
Obey

A Nature To
Depend On

(A Place Of)
Worship

Rest In His Proprietorship

Rest In His
Protection

Rest In His
Provision

Rest In His
Promises

Life Giver

Life Guard

Life Support

Life Line

Know Me

Obey My
Moral Laws *

Obey My
Natural Laws

Trust Me

"Fear (or revere) God"

"Give Glory to Him"

"Worship Him"

Freedom

The Corrupted "Wasteland"

A human instrumentality posing as God

Human instrumentalities posing as our great protectors

Human instrumentalities posing as our great providers

Human instrumentalities posing as great promise-keepers

A man-made alternative to God

Man-made alternatives to obeying God

Man-made alternatives to depending on God

Man-made alternatives to trusting in God

Promoting
Godlessness

Promoting
Disobedience *

Promoting
Self-Dependence

Promoting
Self-Belief

Resulting In
Guilt, Skepticism, Pride and Infidelity

Resulting In
Spiritual, Mental
and Physical Ills

Resulting In Poverty, Want, and Hardship

Resulting In
Fear, Anxiety
and Insecurity

Fear (Revere) Man

Trust Man And Give Glory to Man

The Catholic Church
& The Pope?

The Medical/Drug Industry?

The Banking
Industry?

The Insurance
Industry?

Slavery

`There is a religion of man [that leads to slavery] and a religion of God [that leads to freedom].' (2SM379)

`Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.' (Proverbs 29:25)

* `There are many ways of practicing the healing art; but there is only one way that heaven approves. God's remedies are the simple agencies of nature, that will not debilitate the system through their powerful properties. Health is to be secured through obedience to the laws that God has established for the good of all mankind. The laws of nature, as truly as the precepts of the Decalogue, are divine, and only in obedience to them can health be recovered or preserved. The only hope of better things is in the education of the people in right principles. Let physicians teach the people that restorative power is not in drugs, but in nature.' (CH323; MH113; CH90)

TEST 3:

The true interpretation must correspond perfectly with the description that is given of the four horses and their riders in Revelation chapter 6.

The White Horse & Its Rider
Revelation 6:2

A white horse

White is a symbol of purity and, as such, it is a fitting symbol or color for a religious body.

This white horse rider, therefore, is "carried" by religion.

Its rider held a bow

Scripture indicates that Jesus has many symbolic bows (His children, His wrath, the conscience, blessings withdrawn etcetera). These are the "weapons" that Jesus uses in the cause of truth and in the best interests of His children. The fact that this rider holds only one bow suggests that this is not Jesus but an imposter.

William Barclay tells us that this bow represents military power.

This white horse rider, therefore, is "carried" by religion. He is someone other than Jesus, someone who depends on military or governmental power to advance his cause.

He was given a crown,

Jesus is the eternal king and, as such, he has always had a crown (many in fact). The fact that this rider was given a solitary crown implies that there was a time when he never had a crown. Again, therefore, this is not Jesus - but an imposter.

This white horse rider, therefore, is "carried" by religion. He is someone other than Jesus, someone who wears a crown, someone who depends on military or governmental power to advance his cause.

He rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.

In Revelation 19 we read that Jesus is bent on justice. This rider, by contrast, is bent only on conquest.

`Satan is filled with wrath against Jesus. But he cannot hurt the Saviour except by conquering those for whom Christ died. He knows that when through his devices souls are ruined, the Saviour is wounded.  (2MR343.1)

`Satan knew that he must either conquer or himself be conquered.' (AG162)

`Satan continues the warfare in the determined purpose of conquering. (RH, November 27, 1894.1)

This white horse rider, therefore, is "carried" by religion. He is someone other than Jesus, someone who wears a crown and who is bent on conquest, someone who depends on military or governmental power to advance his cause.

Let's Identify The White Horse?

Which institution perfectly matches our interpretive keys?

Which institution offers the world "another God?"

`For thou [the Pope] art the Shepherd, thou art the physician, thou art the director, thou art the husbandman; finally thou art another God on earth.' (Christopher Marcellus' Oration in the Fifth Lateran Council, 4th session, in J. D. Mansi, Sacorum Conciliorum ... Collectio, Vol. 32, col. 761, translated).

Which institution offers the world doctrines that misrepresent God and Jesus and that thus promote guilt, skepticism, pride and infidelity?

Which institution fits the description - "carried" by religion. He is someone other than Jesus, someone who wears a crown and who is bent on conquest, someone who depends on military or governmental power to advance his cause?'

Which institution is amassing colossal fortunes out of mankind's spiritual woes?

In 1990 one researcher estimated the value of the liquid assets of the Catholic Church at $150 billion. Heaven only knows what they are today. Wouldn't Jesus rather have used this money to help the poor?

Which institution thrives on guilt while at the same time promoting guilt, skepticism, pride and infidelity?

Who is the rider on the white horse of Revelation 6:2? This rider is represented by a spirit that straddles and steers the Catholic Church. Here we are not speaking of the many fine dedicated Catholics in our world - and there are many - but of a parasitic, avaricious, unbiblical religious system that (a) interposes a Pope, a mere mortal, between God the Father and His children, (b) that venerates Mary, a women who confessed her need of a Saviour (Luke 1:47), above the Saviour Himself, (c) that is founded on a multitude of doctrines that have no Scriptural foundation, (d) that deprives the guilt-weary sinner of direct access to our gracious heavenly Father by teaching that confession should be made to a priest, who is, at best, a mere fellow-sinner, and (e) that gorges itself on mankind's inclination to worship His maker, on mankind's guilt, and on mankind's ignorance of the Scriptures.

If you can think of a more likely candidate, please let me know.

The Red Horse & Its Rider
Revelation 6:4

NB: Readers who are not familiar with the SOP teachings with regard to the nature of disease are urged to click here and to carefully read this article before continuing below.

A fiery red horse.

We are told that red is a symbol of blood. (4T120.3). Then Scripture tells us that `the life of a creature is in the blood.' (Leviticus 17:11).

This red horse rider, therefore, is "carried" by life - or by our desire to live.

Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth

According to Vine's Dictionary, the corresponding word for "peace" in the Old testament is "shalom," which primarily means "wholeness."

This red horse rider, therefore, is "carried" by life - or by our desire to live, but its "services" deprive mankind of wholeness (or wellness).

To make men slay each other.

This red horse rider, therefore, is "carried" by life - or by our desire to live, but its "services" deprive mankind of wholeness (or wellness), and ultimately result in the death of men at the hands of men.

To him was given a large sword.

Reference here to a "large sword" must indicate that this rider is responsible for the death of a large number of people.

This red horse rider, therefore, is "carried" by life - or by our desire to live, but its "services" deprive mankind of wholeness (or wellness), and ultimately result in the death of great numbers of people at the hands of men.

Let's Identify The Red Horse?

Which institution perfectly matches our interpretive keys?

Which institution offers the world an alternative to obedience?

`The laws of nature, as truly as the precepts of the Decalogue, are divine, and only in obedience to them can health be recovered or preserved.' (LLM110). This statement assures us that healing is vitally dependant on our obedience to Nature's laws. The medical/drug industry, however, teaches that healing is vitally dependant on drugs, with little or no mention ever being made of our need to comply with Nature's laws. This means, in short, and in general, and notwithstanding those times when drugs do serve a vital role, that the medical/drug industry is offering to the world an alternative to obedience.

Which institution is responsible for the death of large numbers of people?

`The drugs administered to the sick do not restore, but destroy. Drugs never cure. Instead, they place in the system seeds which bear a very bitter harvest. (2SM288.3).

`The drugging business has done more harm to our world and killed more than it has helped or cured.' (MM27.2)

"The effects of medicine on the human system are in the highest degree uncertain: except indeed that it has already destroyed more lives than war, pestilence, and famine all combined." (Dr Mason Good, a London Professor, As Quoted by Dr Hartley-Hennessey, Water the Healer, p.215)

`It's not that drugs are absolutely unnecessary; as I have stated before, drugs are on occasion a necessity. It is instead that, driven by what has become a savage and deadly greed, drugs are catastrophically over-promoted, over-prescribed, over-used and over-trusted in the Western world. Always remember this: it is very rare for any drug to improve your health; rather they are nearly always a band-aid for your symptoms . . . a patch that must be applied over and over for extended periods or permanently, and is therefore in a sense addictive, and is therefore incredibly profitable to the drug companies. Except for a little thing called social concern, why would the drug companies possibly want to cure the underlying health of people, since that would mean taking away the need for repeated use of their mere treatments and therefore their immense profits?' (Dr Joseph Mercola)

Close reading of medical peer-review journals reveals that the American Medical System is the leading cause of death in the US. (Large sword? - read more and more and more and more). According to an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, doctors are the third leading cause of death in the USA, causing 250,000 deaths every year (read more). To read more about drug side effects, click here. To read more about how disease should be treated, and how inappropriate treatments lead to more serious diseases and to premature death, click here and read two chapters and/or click here. And if you thought you could believe all that the drug companies write about their drugs, please read here. If you wish to know more about the autism/vaccine link please read here.

Which institution is amassing colossal fortunes out of mankind's physical woes?

`Many good and merciful acts have been done by practicing physicians, but I was shown that as a general thing the medical profession has become a den of thieves' (1MR211.1) `Under cover of the medical profession, what iniquities have been practiced, what delusions supported!' (CTBH113.1) `There are many novices in the medical profession, men who have wicked hearts, who take advantage of their position, and corrupt not only the souls but the bodies of those under their care [see Rev 18:13]. Their reward in the day of final account will be according to their works. Only daily faith in Christ will make and keep the physician pure before God; for Satan will stand at the side of the physician to tempt him, to open avenues to practice dishonesty, to commit grave sins under the cloak of his profession.' (1MR 212.1).`There are many who are practicing physicians who do not work with an eye single to the glory of God, but for the sake of gain to themselves. They exact exorbitant prices from those who require their services. In a large degree they work from selfish motives. Their unreasonable charges are recorded in the books by the true Witness, who says, "I know thy works." The money physicians generally take from rich and poor, is in many cases too large for the services rendered and is reckoned no more or less than dishonest gain, by the God of Heaven.' (1MR 198.1)

Which institution thrives on sickness while at the same time promoting sickness?

Which institution plays a major role in depriving mankind of "wholeness?"

`By the use of poisonous drugs, many bring upon themselves lifelong illness, and many lives are lost that might be saved by the use of natural methods of healing. The poisons contained in many so-called remedies create habits and appetites that mean ruin to both soul and body. Many of the popular nostrums called patent medicines, and even some of the drugs dispensed by physicians, act a part in laying the foundation of the liquor habit, the opium habit, the morphine habit, that are so terrible a curse to society.' (CH 89.3)

Which institution fits the description - "carried" by life - or by our our desire to live, but its "services" deprive mankind of wholeness (or wellness), and ultimately result in the death of great numbers of people at the hands of men?

Who is the rider on the red horse in Revelation 6:4? This rider is represented by a "spirit" that directs and influences the Medical/Drug Industry. This "spirit" does not include the many fine, self-sacrificing people serving in this industry - and there are many - and it does not include the many legitimate treatments that are offered by this industry - and there are many. It does however include a parasitic, avaricious, drug-besotted spirit that dominates the worldwide medical/drug industry - a spirit that has infinitely more to do with "disease-treating" than it has to do with "health-building," a spirit that has infinitely more to do with the suppression of symptoms than it has to do with health recovery, a spirit that is infinitely more concerned with amassing colossal fortunes than it is with healing and educating the masses, a spirit that doggedly refuses to recognize the relationship between a bad lifestyle and diet and the development of disease, a spirit that remains blissfully ignorant of the laws of health and of the role of a good lifestyle and diet in the prevention and cure of disease, a spirit that seeds its future on inappropriate treatments and that gorges itself on mankind's ignorance of the laws of health. (To fully appreciate what I am saying here some may have to first read this article.)

If you can think of a more likely candidate, please let me know.

More on this subject: ( 1 )

The Black Horse & Its Rider

Revelation 6:5-6

A black horse.

A commercial enterprise is said to be either in the red (loss) or in the black (profit).

This black horse rider, therefore, is "carried" by profits.

Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand.

A scale implies trading activity. The fact that this rider holds two scales in one hand denotes an obsession with trading.

This black horse rider, therefore, is "carried" by, and obsessed with the profits that may be realized from trading and commercial interests.

A quart of wheat for a day's wages, and three quarts of barley for a day's wages,

"What John is foretelling is a situation in which a man's whole [daily] working wage would be needed to buy enough corn for himself for a day, leaving absolutely nothing to buy any of the other necessities of life and absolutely nothing for his wife and family." (William Barclay)

"The prices reported show an inflation rate of 1,200 percent over the 1st-century norm." (Richards, L. 1991. The Bible Reader's Companion. Victor Books: Wheaton, Ill.)

Clearly this passage is referring to the effect of inflation.

This black horse rider, therefore, is "carried" by, and obsessed with the profits that may be realized from trading and commercial interests, and is in some way responsible for inflation.

Do not damage the oil and the wine!

"There is wheat - at a prohibitive price; and the wine and the oil are not affected." (William Barclay).

What is the significance of this? Scripture tells us `Whoever loves wine and oil will never be rich.' (Proverbs 21:17). Clearly, therefore, oil (taken out of its natural context, refined, and hydrogenated, as most freely-available oils are today) and wine (taken out of its natural context and fermented) are a curse. As such, Satan would not want inflation to "damage" or to dampen sales of these deleterious substances.

Oil, in itself, as eaten in the olive, for example, is not harmful, but when the oil is extracted from the plant cell and refined and hydrogenated (turned into a type of cellulose or plastic), it places a tremendous burden on the human system. For more information on the curse of hydrogenated oils and margarine (which include almost all fats that are freely available today and almost all fats that are included in almost all processed products today) please click here.

"And," let us ask, "have oil and wine remained reasonably affordable?" Yes.

This black horse rider, therefore, is "carried" by, and obsessed with, the profits that may be realized from trading and commercial interests, and is in some way responsible for inflation. This is a selective type of inflation, however, in that it increases the price of essential commodities, but has little adverse effect on the sale of deleterious substances.

Let's Identify The Black Horse?

Which institution perfectly matches our interpretive keys?

Which institution forces people to depend on it instead of on God?

`The money power prays upon the nation in times of peace and conspires against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me, and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. Corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavour to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people, until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the republic is destroyed.' (Abraham Lincoln, as quoted by H. S. Kennan, The Federal Reserve Bank, p.9)

Which institution is largely responsible for the inflationary trends in our world today?

When banks were required to hold in reserve 95% of all monies deposited with them, they were simply places of safe deposit. When "fractional reserve" banking was introduced, however, and a central reserve was created, and banks were thus permitted to lend 95% (or all) of the monies deposited with them, they became money-lenders - and since that time the very worst kinds of evils have taken root and have cursed society. In many countries, the fractional reserve banking system is the major cause of inflation. More about this in module 9.

Which institution thrives on poverty and yet is largely responsible for much of the poverty, want, and hardship on our planet?

Which institution is amassing colossal fortunes out of mankind's financial woes?

Which institution fits the description - "carried" by, and obsessed with, the profits that may be realized from trading and commercial interests and is in some way responsible for inflation. This is a selective type of inflation, however, in that it increases the price of essential commodities, but has little adverse effect on the sale of deleterious substances.

Who is the rider on the black horse in Revelation 6:5-6. This rider is represented by a "spirit" that directs and influences the Banking Industry. This does not include the many fine, well-meaning people who are employed in this industry - and there are many. It does however include a parasitic, avaricious, usurious, profit-blinded spirit that bears sway in the worldwide banking system - a spirit that corrupts entire economies - a spirit that increases profits by increasing poverty - a spirit that gorges itself on mankind's blissful ignorance of the inner workings of the fiscal system and on mankind's greed and need.

If you can think of a more likely candidate, please let me know.

The Pale Horse & Its Rider

Revelation 6:8

A pale horse.

Various versions of the Scriptures translate the word "pale" as "yellowish color," "ashen," "pale green," "sickly" or "deathly pale." According to William Barclay, "the word is chloros (GSN5515) which means pale in the sense of livid and is used of a face blenched with terror."

This pale horse rider, therefore, is "carried" by fear or terror.

Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him.

Jesus says, "Do not worry about your life." (Matthew 6:25). Then He tells us why we need not worry about our lives - for "I hold the keys of death and Hades." (Revelation 1:18).

But this rider is named Death and Hades? Hades is variously translated, but Scripture tells us of a time when "Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them." (Revelation 20:13). Whatever else Hades may be, therefore, we may safely conclude that it is a "holding place for the dead."

This pale horse rider, therefore, is "carried" by fear of death.

They were given power over a fourth of the earth

While divine grace has limited the influence of this institution to one quarter of the world's people, it nevertheless wields great power and influence over the inhabitants of our planet.

This pale horse rider, therefore, is "carried" by fear of death and it has a huge global presence.

To kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.

We are not told exactly what it is that this institution kills, which means that it could kill bodily or it could kill faith etcetera. In the light of what is revealed about this institution, and considering the character of the other horses and riders, I would suggest that it kills our faith by promoting fear of death and. more especially, fear of dying by sword, famine and plague etcetera.

This pale horse rider, therefore, is "carried" by fear of death, has a huge global presence, and it kills faith by instilling in people a fear of death by whatever means.

Let's Identify The Pale Horse?

Which institution perfectly matches our interpretive keys?

Which institution is largely responsible for killing faith?

`Life insurance is a worldly policy which leads our brethren who engage in it to depart from the simplicity and purity of the gospel. Every such departure weakens our faith and lessens our spirituality.' (1T550). And thus we lose sight of God as our protector, provider and promise-keeper.

Which institution forces people to trust in it instead of in God?

`This [life insurance] is a commerce with the world which God does not approve. Those who engage in this enterprise are uniting with the world, while God calls His people to come out from among them and to be separate.' (1T549)

Which institution is amassing colossal fortunes out of mankind's insecurity?

`Those who engage in this worldly [life insurance] policy invest means which belong to God, which He has entrusted to them to use in His cause, to advance His work. But few will realize any returns from life insurance [for, over time, inflation will reduce the projected payout to a mere pittance], and without God's blessing even these will prove an injury instead of a benefit. Those whom God has made His stewards have no right to place in the enemy's ranks the means which He has entrusted to them to use in His cause.' (1T550)

Which institution thrives on fear and insecurity and yet works actively at promoting fear and insecurity?

"Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." (2 Peter 1:10-11)

Which institution fits the description - "carried" by fear of death, has a huge global presence, and it kills faith by instilling in people a fear of death by whatever means?

Who is the rider on the pale horse in Revelation 6:5-6. This rider is represented by a "spirit" that directs and influences the Insurance Industry. This does not include the many fine, well-meaning people who are employed in this industry - and there are many. It does however include a parasitic, avaricious, usurious, profit-blinded spirit that bears sway in the worldwide life insurance industry - a spirit that increases profits by increasing our fear of death - a spirit that gorges itself on mankind's lack of faith in God and his resultant insecurity.

If you can think of a more likely candidate, please let me know.

In the light of the foregoing, we need to once again consider that if Laodicea had responded to God's call, none of these institutions would be enjoying the power and the influence that they currently enjoy. How great is our answerability?

Thanks largely to Laodicea's failure, however, these institutions have had opportunity to direct the course of recent history, and even to forge the very character of life as we know it - and they will continue to do so

(a) to serve as a judgment against modern-day Babylon - just as Cyrus served as a judgment against ancient Babylon,

(b) to help the world's people to come to an understanding of the true character of their money god,

(c) to enable stubborn eyes to see beyond the quagmire of earth and to behold the fathomless wonders of Calvary,

(d) to awaken God's children so that they may do, "in days of darkness, under the pressure of trial and persecution" the work that they could have done "in peace and comparative prosperity." (5T456/7)

Test number 4 will span the next four modules wherein we will be devoting an entire module to each of the "big four."

The Broad Picture

As we proceed, please bear in mind that throughout the great controversy God has been on trial and, in the final analysis, He will prove to all the universe that He is just and that He could not have done one more thing to redeem one more person.

                 
 

"I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things.' (Isaiah 45:7)

         

God's redemption strategy has always been the same - to reveal His love to a fallen race. Where eyes have refused to be opened to the wonders of Calvary, God has often used calamity and consequences to open those eyes - a process that has already begun.

Through infinite patience, and at the cost of infinite pain, and with Laodicea as His sad trophy, and with a planet in rebellion screaming for divine intervention, the Lord now has no option but to allow the world to suffer the consequences of her choices.

It is my studied belief that the four horsemen of Revelation chapter 6 are the first of these final consequences. Please note the words of William Barclay: `Here [Revelation 6:2-8] John is using a traditional picture of what is to happen when God dispatches his wrath upon his disobedient people. At the back of it all is the permanent truth that no man or nation can escape the consequences of their sin.'

Then come the seven trumpets - but these yield little fruit for we are told that "they did not repent." (Revelation 9:20-21)

Then come the seven bowl judgments or plagues, and here again the harvest fails, for we are told that despite their suffering, "they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds.' (Revelation 16:11; 21)

Then comes the final fall of Babylon - but even here they never repented but rather lamented their material loss, "for in one hour such great riches came to nothing." (Revelation 18:17)

And then, finally, when earth's darkest hour comes to its close, with mankind having been exposed to Calvary and to calamity, to love at its best and to terror at its worst, every knee will bow and declare:

"Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!" (Revelation 5:13)

                 
 

`I saw that Jesus would not leave the most holy place until every case was decided either for salvation or destruction: and that the wrath of God could not come until Jesus had finished his work in the most holy place. I saw that [1] the anger of the nations [the present], [2] the wrath of God, and [3] the time to judge the dead, were separate events, one following the other. The nations are now getting angry. Therefore what is done to rescue souls from the coming storm of wrath, must be done before Jesus leaves the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary. (Mar258.1; ExV 19.1; CET 105.1)

         

Meditational Nuggets: `Babylon was a golden cup in the Lord's hand, that made all the earth drunk. The nations drank her wine; therefore the nations are deranged. His plan is against Babylon to destroy it, because it is the vengeance of the LORD. The LORD has both devised and done what He spoke against the inhabitants of Babylon. O you who dwell by many waters, abundant in treasures, your end has come, the measure of your covetousness. They shall not take from you a stone for a corner nor a stone for a foundation, but you shall be desolate forever. The land will tremble and sorrow; for every purpose of the LORD shall be performed against Babylon, to make the land of Babylon a desolation without inhabitant. For the LORD is the God of recompense, He will surely repay. Thus Babylon shall sink and not rise from the catastrophe that I will bring upon her.' (Jeremiah 51:11-13; 26; 29; 56; 64)

` "I will send four kinds of destroyers against them," declares the LORD.'  (Jeremiah 15:3)

`How much worse will it be when I send against Jerusalem my four dreadful judgments - sword and famine and wild beasts and plague - to kill its men and their animals!' (Ezekiel 14:21)

`The earth dries up and withers, the world languishes and withers, the exalted [the custodians of truth] of the earth languish. The earth is defiled by its people; they have disobeyed the laws, violated the statutes and broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore a curse consumes the earth; its people must bear their guilt.' (Isaiah 24:4-6)

` "You will not go unpunished, for I am calling down a sword upon all who live on the earth, declares the LORD Almighty. "The tumult will resound to the ends of the earth, for the LORD will bring charges against the nations; he will bring judgment on all mankind and put the wicked to the sword. (Jeremiah 25:29; 31)

`The wicked in his pride persecutes the poor; he blesses the greedy and renounces the LORD. His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and oppression; under his tongue is trouble and iniquity. He sits in the lurking places of the villages; in the secret places he murders the innocent; his eyes are secretly fixed on the helpless. He lies in wait secretly, as a lion in his den; he lies in wait to catch the poor; he catches the poor when he draws him into his net. So he crouches, he lies low, that the helpless may fall by his strength. LORD, do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may oppress no more.' (Psalm 10:2, 3, 7-10, 17)

`Defend the poor and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy; free them from the hand of the wicked.' (Psalm 82:3-4)

` "Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, and has become a habitation of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury." And I heard another voice from heaven saying, "Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her  plagues." ' (Revelation 14:8; 18:2-4)

`For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against [a] the RULERS, against [b] the AUTHORITIES, against [c] the POWERS of this dark world . . . and . . . against [d] the SPIRITUAL FORCES of evil in the heavenly realms.' (Ephesians 6:12)

Dear reader and fellow truth-seeker. Once again we would like to open the door to friendly dialog with anyone who has any suggestion or constructive criticism that will contribute in any way to this document. Please feel free to share your insights with us.

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