Cloud of Sin

We live in the digital world. Its all bits and bytes on computer screens. This is the new age. The battle of minds and hearts is fought over social media platforms, messaging applications and associated media. Move over books and newspapers. TV and movie screens also reflect this trend with increasing digitisation of tech.

So, it logically follows that the battle between G-d and Satan also moves into the new spheres of influence. There are pros and cons in this new age of technology. Everything becomes more transparent, snooping and stalking reaches right into the doors of households, activists have a huge outreach as do those who want to wreck and destroy. As digitisation of old books and records gains pace, one can see the story of mankind like a movie. It gives us a unique perspective.

One thing that stands out from a digitised history scan, is that mankind was ALWAYS inclined to evil. The murderous tales and genocides keep repeating with each age, cloaked with kingdom grandeur, religion or as in the current age — tech. A refusal to accept this fact leads to a very distorted perspective. The Bible is unique in that it points out this fact again and again. It does not even hide the fact that those who professed to follow the ways of G-d turned out to worse than those who did not have the commandments.

Back to this age, the cycle repeats itself. Not surprising is it ? But, the interesting part is the sound bytes used by charlatans wearing different types of face masks. The intention is power grab at any cost. These are present in every culture and pose the same thing over and over again, with surprising success — ‘Our superior civilisation is at risk, consider this as a call-to-arms’. Emphasis on ‘superior‘. This often follows up with attacking other nations and cultures, who are weaker in strength and numbers, while sucking up to the stronger ones in the hopes of wrecking them from inside.

I have tried to compile a Key word cloud that seems to influence ( incite ? ) people of this age, to become what they actually are i.e. top rung predators. Cloud — [ ‘Kaffirs’, ‘pagans’, ‘civilisation’, ‘global dominance’,’jihad’,’crusade’,’logical conclusion’,’race’,’peace’,’science and tech’,’first world’,’savages’,’enlightenment’,’freedom’,’gender’] Will keep expanding on this. Some of these terms are innocuous by themselves but are used as dog whistles to whip up the crowds into a tribal front. Oh yes ! Deep down we are pretty tribe oriented.

I belong to a non-English speaking culture, we have our own share of charlatans, but since this directed to an English speaking audience I am not putting their keywords here.

What is the duty of a believer in this scenario ? In my belief it is to stick close to those who are intent on shooting themselves in their foot. First off to pray that they come to their senses, second to try and make sure that they do not take half of the planet with them, as they go down. Be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Unfortunately, in this interconnected global world, one set of idiots does affect the whole. When a pack of idiots vie for ‘global dominance’, the ripples from their head slams will be felt globally.

For us the fight is spiritual, and spirit prayer warriors know what I am talking about. Time to bend those knees and sweat like the Master. These are desperate times. For the lukewarm, kindly brush off your Bibles and check whether there are five Gospels ? Have actually seen a priest check this in a packed Church and come up with no rebuttals. FYI apologists from other faiths know more than most of the faithfuls, albeit in a twisted deformed manner.

P.S. English is not my mother tongue. So, please bear with grammatical and other errors.

The Counterfeit Church

A sickly child had caught fever again. The worried parents debated on going to the doctor for the umpteenth time, and tried to form a strategy to help the child. As the couple racked their brains, the father had a brainwave. He would give the child a harmless pill masked as a miracle cure, with some fruit juice. This should pick up the child’s spirits and possibly help beat the fever and pain ? Against all odds, the plan worked. The thermometer showed a normal temperature.

Medical jargon describes the pill as — a placebo. Its not the real deal but is made to appear like it. Does it work all the time ? NO. But, a few medical experiments with the placebo have been successful. The trick is to make the patient believe that its the real deal, and then somehow the mind connects to the body’s immune system in such a way as to defeat the invader bugs.

In the battle between good and evil, the devil often resorts to this counterfeit placebo stunt. It’s about setting up an elaborate network of Churches and a whole ecosystem that thrives upon slyly doing the exact opposite of what Churches were supposed to do — i.e. guiding people towards a spirit filled lifestyle. The stunt is convincing enough to appear spiritual but the fruits are way way rotten. The talk is well just that … plain talk. And the walk ? The walk would even put the devil to shame.

The counterfeit Church is meant to fool the believer, not the outsiders, who can plainly see what is going on. This way the placebo serves a dual purpose, the believer ends up in a rut, while the outsiders whom G-d also wants in, see the rut plainly and are driven away. Years back, I had read the testimony of a Nigerian believer, who had seen a vision about this counterfeit Church. It had struck me as being the perfect plan to wreck lives.

In my walk with Him, I have come across several such counterfeit establishments and have seen the destruction caused by these. In all the cases important members of these placebo Churches and institutions, have been practising ‘dark’ arts. They are in regular contact with the ‘other’ side while appearing to look spiritual and Biblical in their walk. I am not going to admire them for this evil but have seen them singularly focused and resolute in their foolish resolve to destroy souls. I say foolish because in the end they will go where their master is headed to — eternal damnation.

1 Peter 5:8: Νήψατε  ; γρηγορήσατε  . ὁ ἀντίδικος ὑμῶν  , διάβολος  , ὡς λέων ὠρυόμενος περιπατεῖ  , ζητῶν τινα καταπιεῖν  ,

1 Peter 5:8: Be sober minded and watch. For your adversary, the devil, roars and prowls about like a lion, seeking whom to devour.

The devil is powerful and roars about like a lion, but is also sly and cunning. I must add VERY sly and cunning. The not-so-spiritual believer of this age is not going to stand to the power, fury and cunning of the dragon. Bit-by-bit the counterfeit Church is going to bring the forces of evil into it’s fold, adding to it’s ranks. As the Bible predicts, in the end-times, people are going to appoint preachers who will feed them exactly what they want to hear. This is the ultimate joint trip, as junkies would put it. ‘No more condemnation’, ‘let’s not be judgemental please’, ‘Everything is OK as long you keep it to your bedroom’, ‘amen and awoman*’ etcetra …

The counterfeit Church thrives on key phrases that seem to drive out the offensive nature of the Gospel. Offensive because the works of men are evil and the Gospel plainly says that to their face. I wouldn’t be surprised that one day Christ Himself would be a non-factor in the placebo Church. Sexual assaults, paedophilia and corruption abound but are hushed up and driven under, only to keep rearing their ugly head time and again. Pornography is rife. Marriage fidelity is considered a trivial thing. Racial hate and profiling is everywhere. False prophets keep belting out their numbers like rock bands high on hash. Soon, the land is taken over by ‘aliens’ who bring with them darkness and oppression.

It is my belief that the next phase of the counterfeit Church taking over would be the unleashing of the Dragon’s** raw power throughout the globe. That will start the age of real persecution with people systematically hunted down for their faith, globally. An evil doctrine emanating from a powerful global force will be imposed on the faithful. Worship it or be hunted down. Technology will be advanced enough to tag people who are loyal or otherwise. In fact it already is at the cusp of that age now. The takeover is going on at a dizzying pace, as are technologies meant to identify and monitor individuals on a global scale.

The solution is to stop the rot now, impose roadblocks to check the Dragon’s march and take a stand. Or it may be too late for all of us. It is a battle of minds and souls which will ultimately spill over into the streets, either as a victory parade of the saints or that of the evil.

.תהלם צד׃טז׃ מי-יקם לי ,עם-מרעים; מי- יתיצב לי, עם-פעלי און

Psalm 94:16: Who will rise up with me, against evil-doers ? Who will take a stand with me, against workers of evil ?

References

* https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/emanuel-cleaver-awoman-amen-prayer/

**διαβολος — diabolos is the word for the devil in the New Testament, meaning slanderer or backbiter; but I am using the Dragon to denote the vehicle of the devil, pointing to current world events. May the wise get it.

Aramaic in the Old and New Testament

Winding down deeper into the Scriptural ancient scripts trail, one discovers so much more. It often seems like diving deeper and deeper into a bottomless ocean. There is so much knowledge and spirituality to be gained, I often wonder, as to how did I miss making this pleasant journey earlier in my life? It’s happening now all thanks to a microscopic bug labelled Covid. Ironic.

If you have read the previous ancient scripts trail post, then you know that Hebrew is the script for the Tanakh/Old Testament (OT) and Koine Greek for the New Testament (NT). However, it now emerges that considerable portions of the scripture text are written in Aramaic. Well, its just about 1% of the OT, but then that is about 250 verses, and a few of them in the NT too. ( The Gospel of Mark, chapter 5, verse 41 has the Aramaic “Talitha Kumi” or “Little girl, arise” also used as the featured image of this post. )

The Aramaic language was the official language of various empires that attacked and subjugated the Northern and Southern Kingdoms of Israel and Judahʳᵉᶠ. Not surprising then that the books of Daniel and Ezra carry many chapters in Imperial Aramaic*, the lingua franca of the Babylonianᴺᵉᵇᵘ and the Achaemenidᶜʸʳ empires.

I was able to code in Imperial Aramaic to my system, for the pleasure of the interested readers. It has a Unicode block allotted to it, . Daniel chapter 2 verse 4 kicks off the Aramaic portion and it ends with chapter 7. The script reads from right to left.

Daniel 2:4 — Then the Chaldeans spoke to the King in Aramaic – “O King, live forever! Tell the dream to your servants, we will give the interpretation.”

דניאל ב.ד — וידברו הכשדים למלך, ארמית: מלכא לעלמין חיי — אמר חלמא לעבדך ופשרא נחוא

𐡃𐡍𐡉𐡀𐡋 — 𐡅𐡉𐡃𐡁𐡓𐡅 𐡄𐡊𐡔𐡃𐡉𐡌 𐡋𐡌𐡋𐡊 𐡀𐡓𐡌𐡉𐡕 𐡌𐡋𐡊𐡀 𐡋𐡏𐡋𐡌𐡉𐡍 𐡇𐡉𐡉 — 𐡀𐡌𐡓 𐡇𐡋𐡌𐡀 𐡅𐡐𐡔𐡓𐡀 𐡍𐡇𐡅𐡀

Above, you can see the English, then Hebrew and lastly in bold italics, the Imperial Aramaic text. It almost takes me back to the time when Daniel must have stood before an enraged emperor i.e. Nebuchadnezzar, who wanted to tear apart all the magicians, soothsayers and wise men of his kingdom. He wanted them to tell him what his dream was and to interpret his dream. The slaughter was about to begin as no one was willing to do so. That is until Daniel stepped in. Living in faith was never easy.

The NT has far fewer Aramaic portions. The older Imperial Aramaic script had changed to a form closely resembling the Syriac-Aramaicᴾᵉˢʰ script. (The script reads from right to left and has its own Unicode block, allowing me to code it in my system.) It is an established fact that Aramaic was the common language in Israel, during the time of Christ. The Gospel of Mark, chapter 15 verse 34 has Aramaic in it.

Mark 15:34 — At the ninth hour, Jesus cried in a loud voice – “Eloi Eloi lema sabachtani” which is translated as “My God, My God why have you forsaken me?”

ܐܠܝ ܐܠܝ ܠܡܢܐ ܫܒܩܬܢܝ

Aramaic in bold italics, above. The Syriac Peshitta NT puts it as ‘Eil Eil Lmana Shwaqthani’. I have rendered it as ‘Eli Eli Lmana Sabaqthani’ᴱˡᶦ, more in line with the traditional rendering. Some of the bystanders of the crucifixion, heard His cry, and misunderstood it as a call to Elijah. ‘Eli’ rhymes partly with ‘Elia’, Aramaic for Elijah.

The Aramaic script fills an important void as far as my understanding of the Scripture goes. It brings into focus the times of Jewish captivity and exile in Babylon and then other empires, then on to the Messiah and His Ministry. The language and the script continued to be used widely in the Middle-East till the 7th century AD. Thereafter, it managed to survive through the centuries in parts of Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Israel and India. Currently, it is the liturgical language of the Syriac Orthodox church.

That’s all from me.

Please do check out the references below if you are interested in digging deeper into Aramaic.

References:

ʳᵉᶠ History of ancient Israel and Judah

* Imperial Aramaic

ᴺᵉᵇᵘ Babylonian Kingdom

ᶜʸʳ Achaemenid Empire

ᴾᵉˢʰ Syriac-Aramaic Unicode Peshitta — The Syriac NT

‘ᴱˡᶦ The cry of the Messiah on the Cross — ‘Eli’ translates to ‘My God’, ‘El’ for God and the ‘i’ suffix denotes the genitive case ‘My’; ‘sebaq’ means to forsake, in Aramaic.

The Trail of Ancient Biblical Scripts

Hi there!!

I have been busy on the ancient scripts trail, while studying the Tanakh aka Old Testament and the New Testament. Thanks to the Coronavirus, well not really!

The oldest ‘known’ ancient script ( i.e. backed by ancient artefacts discovered by archaeologists ), which was used by the Hebrews is Paleo-Hebrew *(PH for short) aka the Phoenician* script. Due to the availability of it’s alphabet in Unicodeⁿ, I was able to modify some system files to incorporate it in my operating system. This script was in use from 1000 B.C. to 500 B.C.ⁱⁱ

Another script that was even more ancient and, was the precursor of PH, was the Proto-Sinaitic** (PS for short) script. Unfortunately it is available only as a user font as of now and we cannot use it across the internet. This script was used, from Canaan to Sinai, during the period: 1900 B.C. to 1500 B.C.ⁱⁱ, i.e. from the time of Abraham’s exploits to Joshua’s reign. PS was also the precursor of the ancient Greek script, which led later to the development of Koine Greek.

The relevance of getting to know these ancient scripts lies in the fact that we can ground ourself in the historical basis of the Scripture. Further, we can make out that far from being nonchalant in communication, people in ancient times were constantly trying to better the writing scripts and preserve their history, for later generations.

Let’s kick off by using the PH, PS scripts for Genesis 1:1, ( in Hebrew — בראישת א.א ) , please keep in mind that all these scripts were written in a right to left style.

Latin: In the beginning, God made the Heavens, and the Earth.

Hebrew: בראשית, ברא אלהים, את השמים, ואת הארץ

PH: 𐤁𐤓𐤀𐤉𐤔𐤕, 𐤁𐤓𐤀 𐤀𐤋𐤄𐤉𐤌 𐤀𐤕 𐤄𐤔𐤌𐤉𐤌, 𐤅𐤀𐤕 𐤄𐤀𐤓𐤑

Rendering of Genesis 1:1 in PH Image form , top row and in PS script, bottom row.

As seen in the image above, the Paleo-Hebrew (PH) script had evolved from the Proto-Sinaitic (PS) one and this is brought about by the images of the PH script, which is the basis of the PH text. *The PH images and text alphabet chart is available in the resources link section at the end of this post.

Consider the first word in Genesis 1:1⁰: B’reishit or נראשית, it means ‘At first’ or as translated in English ‘In the beginning’. The key alphabet here is ‘ר’ or Resh, in Hebrew. Resh means the head, and since it was/is considered the prominent part of the body it also means authority and being first. Now the PS script clearly brings out the ‘head’ part with their pictographical alphabet Ra’š, that of a human head.

The Hebrew alphabet Resh, starting off from the PS ‘head’ at the bottom row, ( presented prominently on the right part of the image above ) and its iterations through PH 𐤓 , and finally to its current form of Hebrew ר , on the top row.

Digging deeper we find the Hebrew alphabet chain starts at א, or aleph, this is a variation of an ox head pictograph which was used in the PS script. The ancients regarded power to be represented by an ox head. I am assuming that this is because most of them were agriculturalists and knew the importance of cattle. Aleph thus represents strength and leadership, even in the current Hebrew alphabet system. The PH script comes close to representing Aleph as an ox head 𐤀 , but the PS script takes the cake with the image of its first alphabet, below:

The alphabet Alp in PS script also known as aleph in later PH and Hebrew scripts, it matches almost perfectly with an ox head.

Moving on to Koine Greek we have Christ Himself describing Himself as the Alpha Α and Omega Ω, in the New Testament. Alpha starts the Koine Greek alphabet chain and Omega is the last alphabet in the chain. Thus Christ is the Absolute Power as both the Head and the End of All Creation. This will be the subject of another post delving into how the PS script morphed on to the Phoenician aka PH script and then created the ancient Greek writing system. Koine Greek and the modern Greek script are the children of the PS script.

I could go an and on but this post will almost certainly turn into a thick novel, so its time to conclude by saying that if you find the PS, PH and Phoenician scripts mention confusing, don’t blame me. It all happened at the tower of Babel, and we are all just wading in the aftermath. I would also like to point out that this is no way an exhaustive description of ancient Biblical scripts, interested readers may delve deeper by using resources mentioned below just to start on this trail.

Resources:

*Paleo-Hebrew/Phoenician: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleo-Hebrew_alphabet This page contains the PH Image and text chart. Remember PH is the abbreviation for Paleo-Hebrew.

ⁿUnicode: https://home.unicode.org

**https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto-Sinaitic_script Please remember that PS is the abbreviation for Proto-Sinaitic script. The font is by Kris J. Udd, copyright information of his fonts is available online.

ⁱⁱTime periods are approximate, as are the timelines of the Biblical patriarchs.

https://biblehub.com/interlinear/genesis/1-1.htm Note: I did not use the nikkud marks because these were not used in ancient Hebrew scripts. Nikkuds are vowel marks, and vowel pronunciations were left to the reader, who were quite aware of the consonant-vowel word play.