Sunday 23 June 2013

Only the Poor Die Young


Ed note. This post, by Johan P. Mackenbach, is republished with permission from Project Syndicate.

People who are lower on the socioeconomic ladder (indicated by their level of education, occupation, or income) have shorter and less healthy lives, on average, than those on higher rungs. Indeed, life expectancy at birth often varies by 5-10 years, depending on social and economic well-being, with poorer people spending 10-20 more years of life suffering from illness or disability than their wealthier counterparts.

In the nineteenth century, this situation would not have been surprising, given low average income, widespread poverty, and lack of social security. But such data are commonly reported for high-income countries today, including those ranking high on indices of economic prosperity and human development – even Western Europe’s highly developed welfare states.

Since the end of World War II, Western European countries have tried to reduce socioeconomic inequality, or offset its consequences, through progressive taxation, social security programs, and a wide range of collectively financed provisions, such as public housing, education, health care, and cultural and leisure facilities. But, while these policies have reduced inequalities in some social and economic outcomes, including income, housing quality, and health-care access, they have been insufficient to eliminate health inequalities.

Long-term time-series data indicate that the socioeconomic mortality gap narrowed before the 1950’s, but has grown substantially since then. More puzzling is the fact that more generous welfare policies do not translate into smaller health disparities. Even the Nordic countries – world leaders when it comes to creating universal and well-designed welfare policies that cover citizens from cradle to grave – face significant health disparities, despite their relatively low income inequality.

To be sure, modern welfare states have far from abolished social inequality, with disparities in access to material and human resources continuing to generate highly unequal lives among their citizens. But the welfare state’s aim has never been radical redistribution of wealth. Rather, welfare policies are intended to create a compromise between the interests of employees and employers, laborers and the middle classes. As a result, their redistributive effects are modest.

So, while a partial failure of the welfare state may help to explain the persistence of health inequalities, one must look elsewhere to understand – and reverse – their rise. Two possible explanations have emerged from the rapidly growing scientific literature on the subject: selective upward social mobility and delayed diffusion of behavioral change. In reality, both factors are at work.

During the twentieth century, social mobility increased slowly but steadily in all high-income countries, with educational achievement and occupational status depending less on family background and more on cognitive ability and other personal characteristics. As a result, the lower socioeconomic groups have not only shrunk in size, but have probably also become more homogeneous in terms of personal characteristics that increase the risk of health problems.

Moreover, people with a higher socioeconomic position tend to adopt new behaviors first, and to abandon more readily behaviors that are found to damage health, such as smoking and high-fat diets. Given this, new behavioral recommendations by health authorities tend to exacerbate health inequalities, at least temporarily.

Significant disparities in smoking, physical exercise, diet, and alcohol consumption afflict many of Western Europe’s welfare states. The welfare system, which was created to combat poverty, has been less effective against “diseases of affluence” like heart disease and lung cancer.

All of this highlights the need for creative solutions to disparities that unnecessarily and unfairly blight the lives of those who have the least, generate massive health-care costs, and pose a barrier to increased labor-force participation (impeding efforts in some countries to raise the retirement age).

In the last few decades, social policy in most Western European countries has moved away from redistribution. This is a mistake, given that the consequences of this shift – rising income inequality, weaker social safety nets, and reduced health-care access – will aggravate health inequalities in the long run.

In fact, more, better-targeted redistributive policies, which account for the effects of selective upward social mobility and different rates of diffusion of behavioral change, are crucial to improving health outcomes in lower socioeconomic groups. Income support should be complemented by preventive health programs, while health literacy programs could help to diminish the link between low cognitive ability and bad health.

Equal access to health care is not enough. Reducing inequalities in health outcomes requires more intensive health care for patients in lower socioeconomic brackets, tailored to their specific needs and challenges. For example, revenues from tobacco taxation, which disproportionately affects lower income groups, should be used to fund cessation-support programs that target disadvantaged smokers.

Significant and persistent health inequality indicates that, by raising the health levels of those with lower incomes or less education, massive strides could be made in improving populations’ overall health. This may require reshaping the welfare system to some extent, but the payoff would be well worth the effort.

Johan P. Mackenbach is Professor of Public Health and Chair of the Department of Public Health at Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam and a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Thursday 20 June 2013

Biometric ID cards to become mandatory


Sensible immigration reform will strengthen American society and economy. But it must also respect the rights of U.S. citizens and those aspiring to join them.

Buried in the comprehensive immigration reform legislation before the Senate are obscure provisions that impose on Americans expansive national identification systems, tied to electronic verification schemes. Under the guise of “reform,” these trample fundamental rights and freedoms.

Requirements in Senate Bill 744 for mandatory worker IDs and electronic verification remove the right of citizens to take employment and “give” it back as a privilege only when proper proof is presented and the government agrees. Such systems are inimical to a free society and are costly to the economy and treasury.

Any citizen wanting to take a job would face the regulation that his or her digitized high-resolution passport or driver’s license photo be collected and stored centrally in a Department of Homeland Security Citizenship and Immigration Services database.

The pictures in the national database would then need to be matched against the job applicant’s government-issued “enhanced” ID card, using a Homeland Security-mandated facial-recognition “photo tool.” Only when those systems worked perfectly could the new hire take the job.

Immigrant employees would probably have to get biometric (based on body measurements like fingerprint scans and digital images) worker ID cards. Social Security cards may soon become biometric as well. Any citizen or immigrant whose digital image in the Homeland Security databank did not match the one embedded in their government-issued ID would be without a job and benefits.

Yet, citizens have a constitutional right to take employment. Since the Butchers Union Co. decision in 1884, the U.S. Supreme Court has held that “the right to follow any of the common occupations of life is an inalienable right …

Friday 14 June 2013

The Mindset Of A Whistle-blower



While Edward Snowden (NSA surveillance whistle-blower) has suddenly disappeared from his last known location in Hong Kong, you may be wondering what kind of person is a whistle-blower…

You may think that a whistle-blower is of a rebellious personality, someone who is standing up against the system. But according to experts who work with them, the average whistle-blower is actually deeply loyal, and not rebellious at all.

According to a professor of political philosophy and author of the book “Whistleblowers: Broken Lives and Organizational Power,” most of the whistle-blowers he talked to had intense allegiance to the organizations they worked for.

“My experience is that whistle-blowers are not politically radical people,” “they tend to be conservative in the sense that they expect people to do the right thing.”

“They expect the game to be played the way it’s supposed to be played.” And when it isn’t, “they’re genuinely shocked.”

“They’re not as cynical as the rest of us.”

- C. Fred Alford, reported at

Coauthor of “The Corporate Whistleblower’s Survival Guide,” Tom Devine said: “Most whistle-blowers deeply believe in their organization and are speaking out to defend it against mistakes which could backfire.” “Most whistle-blowers are trying to honor their professional responsibilities.”

“Most whistle-blowers who leave their legal rights behind try to stay anonymous. Mr. Snowden’s courage is rare and unique.”

While much of the main stream news media has suddenly begun to paint Snowden as a ‘bad guy’, the reality may be that he is someone who is trying to do the right thing while letting us all know the bigger picture of our privacy being stripped away as all of our communications and electronic data are being sucked up the enormous NSA vacuum cleaner…

I know that there are many Americans who do not have a problem with their government spying on everything that they do. These people will say, “If you have nothing to hide, then you should have nothing to worry about.” Unfortunately these same people have completely missed the point… they do not have an understanding of history, they do not know their own Constitution, and they do not understand the inherent danger and where it will almost certainly lead…

Remember this… absolute power corrupts, absolutely.

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.

Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.

Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.

It behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others: or their case may, by change of circumstances, become his own.

- Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday 11 June 2013

Svelare i numeri dell’Apocalisse (XIV)


Il calendario ebraico e quello gregoriano

calendario feste ebraiche

Sono state notate alcune “discrepanze” nei calcoli da me eseguiti riguardo la cronologia della settantesima settimana profetica sulla base della sequenza delle festività ebraiche, venute fuori nel tentativo di riconciliare il calendario lunisolare ebraico con quello solare gregoriano per poter stabilire i 1260 giorni della prima metà della settimana e i 1260 della seconda metà, unitamente ai 75 giorni costituiti dalla somma tra i 30 giorni di differenza tra i 1290 della desolazione e i 1260 della fine della settimana (1290 – 1260 = 30) e i 45 giorni aggiuntivi di benedizione, che portano fino al 1335° giorno. Ho dovuto, insomma, “manipolare” i numeri in modo che la settimana contasse 2520 giorni (cioè 1260 + 1260), perché così potesse avere inizio nel giorno, o meglio nella settimana, della Pasqua ebraica e si estendesse fino alla Pasqua che segna la sua fine. Nel fare ciò, è sembrato che le date venissero “forzate” per conformarsi al calendario solare, ossia: perché la settantesima settimana avesse inizio nella Pasqua del 2014, che va dal 15 al 22/23 aprile 2014, ho scelto di proposito la data dell’ultimo giorno come inizio della settimana profetica. In tal modo, ho potuto contare esattamente 1260 giorni sul calendario solare gregoriano e arrivare all’esatta “metà della settimana” con il Sukkot, o festa delle Capanne (cioè il 4 ottobre 2017).

Dopodiché, per poter effettuare un calcolo analogo per i 1260 giorni della seconda metà della settimana, anziché fare iniziare i 1260 giorni dal 4 ottobre 2017, cioè all’inizio della festa delle Capanne / Sukkot, li ho fatti iniziare anche qui dalla fine della festa + tre giorni ulteriori (i due giorni di Shemini Atzeret, connessi con il Sukkot, e uno di Parsha Bereishit, rispettivamente 22-23 e 24 Tishri), che hanno portato al 14/15 ottobre 2017. Ciò mi ha permesso di concludere la seconda metà della settimana profetica precisamente all’inizio della Pasqua del 2021, che troviamo 1260 giorni dopo il 14/15 ottobre: il 28 marzo 2021.

Ciò significa che ci sono un totale di 19 giorni di “discrepanza” nell’ambito del calcolo dei 1260 + 1260 giorni della settimana profetica, poiché si “perdono per strada” 8 giorni tra il 15 e il 22/23 aprile 2014 e 11 giorni tra il 4 e il 15 ottobre 2017 (8 + 11 = 19). Pertanto è sembrato a molti che io abbia forzato la realizzazione di questa cronologia per avere entrambe le metà della settimana uguali, corrispondenti a 1260 giorni, e farle iniziare e finire a Pasqua.
Il calendario ebraico e quello gregoriano si distinguono per il fatto che in quello ebraico (calendario profetico) un anno è costituito da 360 giorni (cioè 30 giorni x 12 mesi = 360 giorni), mentre in quello gregoriano l’anno è composto da 365,2425 giorni, con l’aggiunta di un ulteriore giorno ogni 4 anni nel mese di febbraio (anno bisestile).
Il calendario lunisolare ebraico, per poter “stare al passo” con quello gregoriano, deve aggiungere alcuni mesi, perciò ogni 19 anni vi sono, nell’anno del calendario ebraico, tanti giorni quanti ce ne sono in un anno di quello gregoriano.

Calendario lunisolare ebraico e gregoriano cristiano (Sequenza Profetica)

Il calendario ebraico è chiamato “lunisolare” (basato sulle fasi lunari) ed è progettato per la celebrazione delle festività religiose ebraiche, mentre quello gregoriano è un calendario esclusivamente solare, ossia basato sulla rotazione del sole.

Il calendario gregoriano conta in media 365,2425 giorni in un anno, mentre quello ebraico aggiunge un mese secondo lo schema che segue:

1. Il calendario ebraico aggiunge il tredicesimo mese (Adar Sheni o Adar II) a 7 anni ogni 19 anni. Il che è abbastanza complicato e comporta che, per 12 anni, ogni anno conta 12 mesi e una media di 354,37 giorni, ma che, nell’ambito di questi 12 anni, vengono disposti altri 7 anni (per un totale di 19 anni) che contano 13 mesi ciascuno, secondo uno schema tipo: 12… 13… 12… 12… 13… 12… 12…, e così via.

2. Il nostro 2014 (che poniamo come inizio della settantesima settimana profetica) corrisponde all’anno ebraico 5775, che ha 12 mesi e un totale di 354 giorni, perciò dovremo percorrere i 7 anni successivi e vedere come si ottengono i nostri 19 giorni di “discrepanza”.

Il Sukkot è una festa della durata di sette giorni, che inizia il 15 Tishri e continua fino al 21 (incluso). Poi seguono due ulteriori giorni legati a questa festività: Shemini Atzeret, chiamato anche “Ottavo giorno del Sukkot” o “Ottavo giorno dell’Assemblea”, che è una festa di due giorni (22/23 Tishri) a cui fa subito seguito Parsha Bereshit, che inizia il 24/25 Tishri. Questi ulteriori 3/4 giorni, sommati ai 7 giorni dall’inizio del Sukkot, costituiscono gli 11 giorni “aggiuntivi” o “perduti” nella nostra numerazione (dal 15 al 25 Tishri inclusi).

Ora, se dovessimo calcolare i giorni della settimana profetica secondo il calendario gregoriano, avremmo 365,2425 giorni x 7 anni = 2556,6975 o 2557 giorni e, all’interno di questi, avremmo anche un anno bisestile (poiché ce n’è uno ogni quattro anni). Quindi arriviamo ad un totale di 2558 giorni in sette anni solari/gregoriani.
Ma, perché il nostro calendario gregoriano combaciasse con quello ebraico, lo si è dovuto “ridurre” a 2539 giorni totali, “eliminando” 19 giorni.

Settantesima settimana di Daniele (tabella calendari - Sequenza Profetica)

Quindi, scopriamo che nella prima metà della settimana abbiamo 8 giorni che sono stati eliminati o troncati (dal 15 al 22/23 aprile 2014) e nella seconda metà della settimana ne abbiamo 11 (dal 4/5 al 15 ottobre, che però non è incluso) o, in altri termini, abbiamo 2558 giorni solari – 19 giorni “eliminati” = 2539 giorni solari.

Vediamo ora, dopo aver sovrapposto e riconciliato i due calendari, qual è il motivo per cui ci ritroviamo questi 19 giorni “in più” o 19 giorni “perduti” rispetto al nostro conteggio.

Nella tabella sottostante possiamo vedere, nell’ultima colonna a destra, la somma dei giorni per ognuno dei 12 mesi (eseguita da sinistra a destra). Come si vede, la cifra di 210 giorni è fissa, benché ovviamente le somme verticali siano irregolari. Vediamo che si hanno 210 giorni tra la fine dei primi 40 giorni della settimana (cioè la guerra Gog-Magog) e l’inizio della festa della Dedicazione. Questi 210 giorni corrispondono ai 7 mesi (di 30 giorni ciascuno) per la “purificazione della terra” dai resti della guerra Gog-Magog, secondo la profezia di Ezechiele 39:12: “La casa di Israele li sotterrerà per purificare il paese, e ciò durerà sette mesi”.

Nel nostro calendario, questo arco cronologico va dalla Pasqua, il 14/15 Nisan, fino a al 24/25 Kislev, per un totale di 250 giorni poiché, contando all’indietro, abbiamo 210 giorni di purificazione a partire dalla festa della Dedicazione + 40 giorni fino alla Pasqua che dà inizio alla settimana profetica. È notevole il fatto che la festa della Dedicazione sia l’unica festività non religiosa menzionata in modo significativo nel Nuovo Testamento (Giovanni 10:22-39), poiché le “festività bibliche” ufficiali sono sette: Pasqua (14-15 Nisan), Azzimi (15-22 Nisan), Primizie (16-17 Nisan), Pentecoste (6-7 Sivan), Capodanno (1 Tishri), Espiazione (10 Tishri), Capanne (15-22 Tishri).

calendario profetico

Gli otto giorni di festa a metà della settimana mostrano la giustapposizione della figura dell’Anticristo rispetto a quella di Cristo nel Tempio di Dio, quando Gesù, in occasione della stessa festività, ha dichiarato la Sua divinità (Giovanni 10:36). Così la Bestia arriverà “fino al punto da porsi a sedere nel tempio di Dio, mostrando se stesso e proclamandosi Dio” (2 Tessalonicesi 2:4). Questa dissacrazione avrà luogo, in base al nostro calendario, nel giorno della festa delle Capanne / Sukkot / Festa delle Nazioni, a metà della settimana.

Facendo i calcoli finali nell’ambito del calendario ebraico, leggendo le righe dei mesi orizzontalmente, da sinistra a destra, abbiamo la prova ultima che vi sono 210 giorni tra la guerra Gog- Magog e la festa della Dedicazione, o 7 gruppi (cioè mesi) di 30 giorni + 84 gruppi nell’arco di tutti e sette gli anni (7 x 12 mesi = 84 gruppi di 30) + 2 gruppi di 30 (nell’arco dei 75 giorni), considerando anche i 15 giorni “extra” (cioè 75 – 60 = 15).

Quindi, 7 + 84 + 2 = 93 gruppi di 30 che, con l’aggiunta dei 15 giorni extra, ci portano a 93 + 15 = 108, dove figura il 18, numero primo del cubo della Nuova Gerusalemme in quanto 12.000 stadi x 660 piedi (1 stadio) = 7.920.000 piedi x 12 lati = 95.040.000 piedi / 5280 piedi (1 miglio) = 18.000 miglia o 18.

Il 18 emerge anche dai 2520 + 75 = 2529 giorni della settantesima settimana di Daniele, in quanto 2 + 5 + 9 + 5 = 18 e 2 x 5 x 2 x 9 x 5 = 45, cioè il Sole della giustizia di Malachia 4:2.

La settantesima settimana usando il calendario profetico

di Doug Krieger © the Tribulation Network

edizione italiana a cura di Sequenza Profetica

I Parte; II Parte; III Parte; Parte IV; Parte V; Parte VI; Parte VII; Parte VIII; Parte IX; Parte X; Parte XI; Parte XII; Parte XIIIParte XV

Friday 7 June 2013

The Prophecy of Resurrection by the Messiah


The resurrection from the dead is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. It is the founding principle of Jesus ministry, and the quantifying truth of everything that Jesus affirmed.

  • Jesus claimed that He had power over death.
  • He claimed the ability to raise Himself from the dead.
  • He said that He will raise from the dead, those who believe in Him.
  • Jesus promised to destroy death forever.

As Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, they had a plethora of problems within the church.

  1. Chapters 1-4, members fighting over who was the best teacher.
  2. Chapter 5,  struggles with sexual morality issues.
  3. Chapter 6, Christians suing other Christians, instead of working out their differences together in love.
  4. Chapter 8, Christians using their freedom in a destructive way, causing others weaker christians to stumble in their faith.
  5. Chapters 10-11, during their love feasts, some were gorging themselves, so that when the poor came for their one good meal a week there was nothing left, and they went away hungry. Others in the church were getting drunk before partaking of  communion.
  6. Chapters 12 and 14, incorrect usage of spiritual gifts, caused disruptions during the teaching of the word of God.
  7. Chapter 15, false teachers had apparently come into the church and began to tell the people that there was no resurrection from the dead.

As a result of false teaching that there was no resurrection, the members of the church at Corinth had begun to lose hope. The source of this incorrect doctrine, was secular, and material philosophies of the Roman culture. There were three of these ideologies that crept into the church, which countermanded the truth of the resurrection:

Stoicism: (New Age philosophy) at death, the soul merges into God. The personality is destroyed, the body is not raised again, only the spirit.⁠1

Epicurean philosophy: (Atheism), there is no existence beyond death. Death is the end of all existence.⁠2

Platonism: (Hinduism, Buddhism, New Age), only the soul is immortal. At the death of the body, the soul “migrates” into a new body. There is no physical resurrection. Many of the doctrines of Platonism were adopted by the Christian church by St. Augustine, the doctor of the Catholic Church. His early writings were greatly influenced by Plotinus’ Enneads, and became the foundation for the entire Christian thought.⁠3

Paul is writing to the Christians at Corinth to correct these false doctrines, and to remind the church of the truth. In 1 Corinthians chapter 15, Paul writes that without the surety of a resurrection, “our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty” (15:4).

The word “Resurrection” came from three Greek words:

Anastasis: “to stand up”.⁠4
Nekro: a corpse.⁠5
Histemi: “to cause to stand up”.⁠6

If we put these three words together we get; “The Lord causes a dead corpse to stand up”. It is evident that the Bible teaches a physical resurrection from the dead, that includes the spirit, soul and body. The body will die, but the sprit is eternal. The moment that a believer in Jesus dies, their spirit departs their body and rises to meet the Lord in heaven.

2 Corinthians 5:1-8 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

…to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

We can be thankful that the church at Corinth was such a mess. Because of their misunderstanding in many of the basic doctrines of the Christian faith, we become great beneficiaries. As Paul writes to clear up the issue of “what happens after death”, we gain a clear understanding of the exactly what happens to us at the moment our body ceases to function.

Jesus promised those who place their trust in Him that although our body will die, He has the power to raise it to life. If we should perish before the Lord comes for us at the Rapture, when He arrives, He will resurrect our body and make it eternal as it rises to meet Him in the air.

1 Thessalonians 4:13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.

The church at Thessalonica has a similar misunderstanding of the resurrection and the doctrine of the Rapture. Paul writes to this church to clarify the important points of these two important doctrines:

  • Those who have “fallen asleep”, a polite way of saying that someone had died, have been with the Lord since the moment of their death.
  • When Jesus returns at the Rapture, He will be bringing their spirit with Him.

1 Thessalonians 4:15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

  • At the moment of the Rapture, those who are alive, will not rise first to meet Jesus in the air, the dead will have first priority.
  • Those who died believing in Jesus and the hope of the Rapture, will be raised first, their dead bodies transformed into eternal bodies, then united with their spirit which has been with the Lord in heaven since their death.
  • Those on earth who are alive, will then rise to meet the Lord, their bodies also being transformed into a new eternal body.

We should notice that the spirit of the person who dies believing in Jesus goes immediately to be with the Lord. There is no intermediate place called “Purgatory”, and no dwelling of the spirit on the earth for a period of time before it rises to meet the Lord after death. The process of death immediately sets the spirit free to ascend to heaven. We see this illustrated by Paul in the New Testament.

Paul speaks of an event that happened fourteen years previous in which he was stoned to death by some of the men from Lystra. In Paul’s description, at the moment of his death, he was immediately in the presence of the Lord, without delay.

2 Corinthians 12:2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven.

The term “I know a man”, is a common usage of the third person that often made use of to avoid the appearance of boasting. Some of the Greeks during this time suggested that when speaking of your own experiences, the writer should use the third person so as to appear humble.⁠7 Paul often said that he would boast only in Christ, and his own weaknesses. It is certain that this experience of death by stoning, was Paul’s description of an event that took place in his own life.

The precise timing of when Paul was stoned to death and immediately was in the presence of the Lord, is not known. It is likely that the “fourteen years” that Paul speaks of, was only an estimation. During this time, years were not accounted for in the same manner that we use today. Part of a year was still counted as a full year. The recounting of fourteen years could have been as little as one month or two from the first year, plus twelve whole years, and then a portion of the fourteenth year.⁠8 With this in mind, Paul could be referring to a period when he would have been in Tarsus, his home town, just prior to his first missionary journey.⁠9

There is a reference in Acts 14:19 where Paul speak of being stoned to death by  the men of Lystra after some who heard him speak believed that He was “a god”. Certain leaders believing that Paul was not a god, but instead a fraud, convinced the men of Lystra to stone Paul to death.

Acts 14:19 Then Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there; and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead.

Whether or not this event in Acts 14:19 is the true account of Paul’s death and ascension into heaven that he spoke of in 2 Corinthians 12:2, no one is certain. Based on this description by Paul, and what we know in regards to the timing of these events, this verse from Acts 14 is certainly a reasonable estimation of the time and place that this occurred.

Paul describes his death by stoning, and that he was immediately taken to “the third heaven”. This is not a mystical description of heaven as the Later Day Saints imply, it is simply a simplistic description of the true location of heaven.

First Heaven: The atmosphere of the earth where the birds fly.
Second Heaven: The location of the Sun, the Moon, and the stars.
Third Heaven: The unseen location where God dwells.

From this example in the New Testament, we can substantiate that the person who has placed themselves under the protection of Jesus sacrifice, will be taken immediately to heaven upon their death.

More important, at the precise moment of death, the hope of a resurrected body is assured us by Jesus

When our body does die, our spirit will immediately depart this temporary dwelling, and be present with the Lord in heaven. There is no delay, whereby our spirit will remain here on earth. There will be no “soul sleep”, as our soul lies in a state of suspension. The spirit that lives inside our body is eternal. At the moment of death, the spirit leaves the body. If we have placed our life in Jesus Christ, and we die trusting in Him, then our spirit will immediately be “present with the Lord”, in heaven. If we rejected the salvation that Jesus has offered us all throughout our earthly life, then our spirit will depart our body to descend into hell, were it will remain until the final judgement of all things.

Armed with these truths, Paul writes to the church at Corinth, beginning with the basics:

1 Corinthians 15:1-4 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.

First Paul reminds the church, that he has formerly taught these principles to them.

Second, they had in the past, received these facts as truth.

Third, these facts about the resurrection are the certainty in which we “stand”.

Finally, because of Jesus death for our sins, and His resurrection, we know that He has to power to raise to life our dead bodies. These are the truths whereby we are saved, if we continue to believe them all throughout our life.

1 Corinthians 15:12-14 Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.

The truth of the resurrection was predicted in the Old Testament, and the certainty of this eternal life, made possible by the coming of the Messiah. The Savior would offer up His life in exchange for all human lives. His death would pay the price owed for all sins, and make eternal life possible. Only those who personally accept what the Messiah has done, by His death on the cross, have this forgiveness of sins and eternal life appropriated to their account.

If we die without receiving Jesus, we have no hope after death. The Bible gives no indication that there is a possibility of salvation after the body ceases to function, and the spirit departs the body.

Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment…

The prophecy of Psalm 49:15, is the subject of this 109th Messianic prediction:

Psalms 49:15 “But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave, For He shall receive me.

The Messiah is promised resurrection after He makes His life an offering for the sins of the world. As a result of this, He has promised all those who place their complete trust in Him, a resurrection also.

John 11:26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?

John 14:19 … Because I live, you will live also.

Paul closes chapter 15 of 1 Corinthians, by emphatically stating that should we reject the principle that Jesus was raised from the dead, in fulfillment of this 109th prophecy, that our “faith is futile” (empty) and we are still in our sins.

1 Corinthians 15:17-20 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep (died) in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

From the new book by Robert Clifton Robinson, “365 Prophecies”, to be published the Fall of 2013


  1. 1 1. Stoicism, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  2. 2. John Sellars. Stoicism, p. 32.

2 Russell, Bertrand. A History of Western Philosophy, pp. 239-240

3 1. O’Connell SJ, RJ, The Enneads and St Augustine’s Vision of Happiness. Vigiliae Christianae 17 (1963) 129-164.

2. Pelikan, Jaroslav. The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine. Vol 1, The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition 100-600; Pelikan, Jaroslav. The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine. Vol 3, The Growth of Mediaeval Theology 600-1300, section, “The Augustinian Synthesis”.

4 Thayer and Smith. “Greek Lexicon entry for Anastasis”. “The NAS New Testament Greek Lexicon”. . 1999

5 Thayer and Smith. “Greek Lexicon entry for “Nekro”. “The NAS New Testament Greek Lexicon”. . 1999

6 Thayer and Smith. “Greek Lexicon entry for ”Histemi”. “The NAS New Testament Greek Lexicon”. . 1999

7 Levinson, Stephen C. “Deixis” in Pragmatics. pp. 54–96.

8 ESV Study Bible Acts 11:27-30 commentary

9 Ibid.

Tuesday 4 June 2013

Global SITREP A13-13: Chaos Magnified


03 June 2013: As if the chaotic situation in the Middle East could not stand another violent variable to be entered into an unsolvable equation, this is precisely what has occurred. And it has occurred in Turkey of all places. It's not the usual type one might expect of Kurd vs. Turk or Turk vs. Kurd violence. This time is different because it is Turk versus Turk civil unrest. This weekend saw the eruption of violent of anti-regime protests in approximately seventy of Turkey's largest cities by tens of thousands of anti-Islamic protestors ranging from nostalgic Ataturk secularists to the communist TKP (Türkiye Komünist Partisi). It would seem obvious that the anti-Islamic portion of Turkish society has had quite enough of the so-called Justice and Development Party (AKP) Islamist's led by Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It is impossible to predict where this violent uprising against Turkey's Islamist regime by Turkish citizens will lead except to say that violence begets more violence. So either this popular revolt against the Islamist government will escalate, or the Islamist government will direct their attention to the full-scale war going on in Syria and Lebanon to the south. 

Turkey also has serious international problems created by Erdogan's Islamists that are directly related to the Syrian civil war. Turkey, a new partner with the eastern bloc SCO alliance discussed in Global SITREP A10-13, is militarily at odds and ostracized from its new friends in the SCO, namely Russia and Iran, who both militarily support Bashar al-Assad's Ba'athist regime in Damascus with all manner of war materiel and fighting men. Turkey, as a NATO ally, would also be opposed to Russian shipments of S-300PMU-1/2 missiles and MiG-29M fighters through its Bosporus and Dardanelles Straits to the enemy regime in Syria. Turkey is also aligned with the terrorists of HAMAS in Gaza and against the Palestinian Authority controlled by Fatah and Mahmoud Abbas. HAMAS and Hezbollah are now at war with each other in Lebanon, and the Islamists of the Syrian FSA and Iraqi-led Al Qaeda-led Al-Nusra are killing each other with rocket fire across the Syrian-Lebanese border and an ongoing epic siege battle at al-Qusayr in Syria.

And then, not to be left out of the completely chaotic mix, there's Turkey's self-created problems with Israel. These are problems which the Islamist Turkish government under Erdogan's AKP leadership deliberately created via the flotilla in support of HAMAS terrorists. To make matters worse Turkey recently rebuffed an unnecessary but requested Israeli apology, which was PM Netanyahu's attempt at reconciliation, which appears to have been orchestrated at the behest of American President Barack Obama. Now, pardon me for being flippant about this situation, but just how many enemies can the Turkish Islamist government make in just a few months time? Could this be a new Guinness World Record for turning allies on all sides into enemies and other enemies into even greater enemies and then to go about making enemies of its own citizenry?

This is mind-blowing chaos magnified to be sure. And we've not quite arrived at the moment of Isaiah 17's fulfillment which I believe will be the catalyst for the final act of the Psalm 83 War. This is just craziness and there really is no way to make sense of it all... except to say that magnified chaos such as this meshes perfectly with our Lord Jesus Christ's Olivet Discourse description of the ever increasing frequency and severity of the birth pangs that herald the soon arrival of the 70th Week.
Look up, our Lord comes quickly!