19 Types of Surveillance Continued. 10. The NSA Warrantless Surveillance Programs. Every single electronic communication in the world-phone calls, faxes, emails-is intercepted and recorded by an international surveillance network run by the NSA and other large international intelligence agencies. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is fighting back, and they have 3 former NSA employees on their side. A motion was filed confirming that the NSA has the capability to seize and store electronic communications passing through its US intercept centers, such as the “secret room” at the AT&T facility in San Francisco first disclosed by technician Mark Klein in 2006. “Neither the Constitution nor federal law allows the government to collect massive amounts of communications and data of innocent Americans and fish around in it in case it might find something interesting”(Snyder)….. 11. Pre-Crime Surveillance Technology. This is no longer science fiction. A company known as BRS labs has developed “pre-crime surveillance cameras” that they claim can identify potential terrorists and criminals even before they strike. Dozens of these cameras are being put up all over San Francisco. BRS labs will also be putting them up in subways, buses and trams. The cameras will track up to 150 people at a time in real time and will gradually build up a ‘memory’ of suspicious behavior to work out what behavior is suspicious…sounds like a scam to me………………………………. 12. Mobile Backscatter Vans. Law enforcement authorities all over the country will soon be driving around in unmarked vans looking inside your cars and inside your clothes using the same backscatter technology currently being used by the TSA at US airports. Called a pornoscannerwagon, the van has a “mighty isotope cannon.” But Joe Reiss, vice-president of sales of the company which makes this horror, says, “I’m hard pressed to see what the concern or objection could be.”…………………………………… 13. Automated License Plate Readers. License plates are tracked when the vehicle enters Washington, DC and continually tracked until the vehicle leaves DC. But the program has expanded to other cities and in DC itself. Now police agencies store the information from the license in DC and other cities. DC has more than one plate reader per square mile, the highest concentration in the nation. The suburbs have dozens of cameras, as well……………………………………….. 14. Data Mining. There are many large corporations making a ton of money finding every last morsel of information about you. It’s called “data mining.” Acxiom is one of the largest data mining companies. It has collected data on 190 million people in the US alone. This company falls into a category called database marketing. It started as Demographics, Inc., using phone books to amass information on voters.

Jesus and the Kingdom of God. The Gospel of Mark. Introduction: This shortest of NT gospels is likely the first to be written, yet it often tells the events of Jesus’ ministry in more detail than the other gospels. It recounts what Jesus did in a vivid style, where one incident follows directly upon another. In this almost breathless narrative, Mark stresses Jesus’ message about the kingdom of God now breaking into human life as Good News and Jesus himself as the Gospel of God. The key verses summarize what Jesus proclaims as gospel: fulfillment, the nearness of the kingdom, and therefore the need for repentance and faith. Parables about the kingdom of heaven is Jesus’ main subject of teaching and preaching. Mark begins his Gospel thus: “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ (the Son of God). As it is written in Isaiah the prophet ‘Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way’.” Like the gospels of Matthew and John, Mark begins with an echo of the book of Genesis. ‘The beginning’ recalls the first line of the creation narrative in Genesis 1:1, and suggests that the good news that Mark is about to tell is a new beginning, a new work of God as original and stupendous as the creation of the universe (Commentary by Mary Healy in “Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture). The word “gospel” means good news or glad tidings. For Mark the good news is that, in Jesus, the promise is being fulfilled. Mark gives Jesus two titles, Christ and the Son of God. Christ is Greek for anointed and only gradually will the disciples realize that Jesus is Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God. I feel the the incident when Peter declares Jesus to be the Messiah is a kind of climax to the drama of the disciples. John the Baptist preaches that he only baptizes with water, but the One to come will baptize with the Holy Spirit. Many people were baptized with Holy Spirit during the charismatic renewal which spread through both Catholic and Protestant communities. We were in the midst of the kingdom of heaven, and it was wonderful. Healy reminded me of it. Then, when John was baptizing in the Jordan, Jesus came and was baptized. Then he “saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, ‘You are my beloved son; with you I am well pleased.'” (1:10-11). Why does Jesus submit to baptism? In one gospel he does it for the sake of appearances because his brothers are with him. Healy says he does because of his total solidarity with sinful humanity. In fact its a foreshadowing of his death. Immersion in water is a symbol of death……………………….. . Jesus started preaching after John was arrested, and he walked around telling people to “Repent and believe in the gospel. The kingdom of heaven is at hand. This is the time of fulfillment” (1:15). This all agrees with Matthew. Jesus decided to wait until John was no longer preaching to start his own career. In fact, it was God’s plan (CSB). Mark keeps Jesus in an endless walk around Galilee for three years. The “Gospel of God means not only the good news from God but about God at work in Jesus Christ.” This is the time of fulfillment of God’s promises……… In 4:3-20 Jesus tells a parable about a farmer who sowed seeds. Some seeds fell on the road and were picked up by birds; some seeds fell on rocky ground, but they dried and died in the sun; some seeds fell among thorns and were choked; but some seeds fell on good fertile ground and yielded 100 fold and more. The seeds are the word, the sowers are the disciples and the ground is the various reactions to the gospel. Jesus said to the Twelve: “The mystery of the kingdom of God has been granted to you. The sower sows the word. The key feature of the parable at hand is the sowing of the seed representing the breakthrough of the kingdom of God into the world. The climax of the parable is the harvest of thirty, sixty and a hundred-fold, indicating the consummation of the kingdom. Thus both the present and the future action of God from the initiation to the fulfillment of the kingdom is presented through this and other parables (CSB).

Surveillance in America. Everything we do is watched, monitored, tracked and recorded. In fact, they know I’m reading this article now, the title of which is “The End of the American Dream,” by Michael Snyder. The surveillance grid is expanding in thousands of different ways, so if you stopped one form of surveillance, you would hardly make a dent in the astounding growth of this system. The author gives us 19 signs that America is being transformed into a giant surveillance grid. 1. There is new software that will store and analyze millions of our voices. “Voice Grid Nation,” which came from Russia, can analyze and find a match to your voice in seconds and “Speed Pro,” the American name for it, claims a 90% rate of success. 2. Unmanned Aerial Drones will (Are?) be used inside the US to spy on us, you and them. The military has had great success with them and is promoting them to local law enforcement agencies. 3. High Tech Government Scanners can secretly scan you from 164 feet away. Soon, Homeland Security can instantly know what you had for breakfast using a laser-based scanner from 164 feet away. You will be oblivious. These scanners will be deployed at airports and border crossing all over the US. 4. The DNA of Newborn Babies all over the United States is Systematically Collected. The parents of the babies have no idea that this is happening since their permission is not sought. What happens to the blood after it is used is problematic. 5. Twitter is being used to monitor those who use it. Nothing you do on the Internet will ever be private again (Snyder). According to Susanne Posel, Twitter is being used as a law enforcement tool more than ever. I don’t use Twitter, but I’ve had my text disappear. It happened 2 days ago when I was writing about China’s surveillance grid. I will bring it back because it targets people for death. “The Transparency Report” states that the US leads the world in requesting information on their citizens. 6. Your cell phone is spying on you. Authorities are using cell phones to record the identities of people who attend street protests. 7. Students are Increasingly Being Tracked by RFID Microchips (Radio Frequency Identification System). Such chips are becoming part of our lives. The Northside Independent School District in Texas plans to track students at 2 of its campuses using technology implanted in their student ID cards. If successful, it would include 112 schools and 100,000 students. 8. Spy cams in Hospital Bathrooms to Monitor Hand Washing. The less said the better. 9. Spyware that Monitors the Behavior of Government Workers. The software can monitor the workers’ complaints to lawmakers and others about medical devices they think dangerous. The software could be programmed to intercept a Tweet or a Facebook post. It could snap screen shots of their computers. It could even track an employee’s keystrokes, retrieve files from hard drives or search for keywords.

Jesus and the Kingdom of God. The Book of Matthew. In the end when the apostles achieve eternity, they will sit on 12 thrones judging the 12 tribes of Israel. The apostles’ authority would pass to their successors, the bishops, who sit on thrones called cathedras (Greek for throne), in big buildings called cathedrals. Jesus doesn’t want them to get inflated, so he tells the story of the laborers who came to work at different times but all received the same wage. The denarius everyone gets is Jesus (according to John Bergsma in “New Testament Basics for Catholics”). James and John Zebedee, wanting to sit next to Jesus, don’t understand that the kingdom is about service, not about lording it over everyone else……………………. The last great discourse is the eschatological discourse. In 24 and 25 Jesus describes the “end times” of two things: Jerusalem and the world. He is describing both at once. Jerusalem was the temple city, the “navel” of the universe, whose temple represented the whole cosmos. The Temple was decorated with sun, moon and stars. Jews viewed the cosmos as a macrotemple and the Temple as a microcosmos. Therefore, the destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple was a premonition of the end of the world…………………………. John Bergsma tells us that the human race will not pass away before God brings the final judgment. There are three parables about being ready for the end: 25:1-13, The parable of the 10 virgins waiting for the bridegroom, 5 were wise, but 5 were foolish, not having enough oil in their lamps. They were locked out when the festivities started. That means locked out of heaven, dude. But there is something depressing about this parable, but then I’m depressed about everything these days. The second parable about the end times is in 25:14-30 and it tells about a rich man who gives his servants 5, 2 and 1 talent while he is gone on a trip. The first 2 invest the talents and have twice the talents when the master comes home. They were preparing for the end much better than the third who buried his talent in the ground. In 24:11-14 the ‘end times’ are described as follows: “Many false prophets will arise and deceive many; and because of the increase of evildoing, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the world as a witness to all nations and then the end will come.” Many people in China are converting. They meet in house churches. They even have seminaries. They are very brave because they get raided so they have to hide all the religious objects. If they are arrested, they face long sentences in prison camps. I read recently that the US has more people in prison than China and Russia combined. It’s I suppose mostly black men on rinky-dink drug charges or other victimless crimes. There are Muslims converting also, but they are staying in the closet, afraid for their lives. South Americans are going Pentecostal in droves. The Catholic church has been working with the poor–liberation theology–but it is corrupt, also. I should get back on task. In these verses 11-14 “false prophets” are Christians who have probably joined a heretical sect. Because of the apocalyptic nature of much of this discourse on the ‘end times,’ the literal meaning of this description of the church should not be stressed too hard (CSB). However, there is reason to believe that these verses reflect the condition of Matthew’s community………………………………… 25:1-13, Then the kingdom of heaven will be like 10 virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bride groom. The 5 foolish virgins had no extra oil and, when the bridegroom arrived at midnight, they had to go buy more oil. When they went back, the door was locked. The foolish virgins said, “Lord, Lord, Open the door for us!” But he said in reply, “Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.” “Therefore,” said Jesus “stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” The oil in this parable represents good deeds and the lack of good deeds. Once again, the Christian is confused about what he needs be saved–faith in Jesus or good deeds. The word ‘Then’ in the first line refers to the parousia, when Jesus returns in glory. Scholars say the command ‘stay awake’ may merely mean be prepared since both wise and foolish virgins fell asleep……… 26:63-64, Jesus was silent. Then the high priest said to him, “I order you to tell us under oath before the Living God whether you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “You have said so. But I tell you: From now on you will see ‘the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power’ and ‘coming on the clouds of heaven.’ ” This conversation with the high priest is peculiar to Matthew. Jesus is going to be crucified, but he will return in clouds of glory. (Note: This was a perfect opportunity for Jesus to admit he was the Messiah, but he didn’t take it. Would it interfere with his plan to be crucified? Were there legal problems? Would the Jews try to revolt and create a throne for him?…………………………………………… 28:18, Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and earth has been given to me.” The Greek word translated ‘power’ is that found in the Greek translation of Daniel 7:13-14, where one ‘like a son of man is given power over an everlasting kingdom by God. And the Risen Jesus claims universal power.

AI and Facial Recognition. Facial recognition has evolved to a point that crowds can be engaged, their faces counted, and coded for target analysis. 5G can make this process very effective and lethal for masses of people being targeted. A Robot can scan and tack individuals or groups based on race, ethnicity, color, gender, age, head pose and skin type. This can be used for tracking and targeting people for organ trafficking as the Chinese Regime has been known to do at the state level. Chinese AI has the ability to scan emotions and potential actions, but also your character and whether you are resistant to control. If China’s regime goes unchecked and not eliminated in the next 5 years, this can happen via Robotics connected to 5G and exponentially threaten humanity with the transition from 5G to 6G. The Chinese Regime has gained a deadly tool by scanning over 1 billion Chinese faces, and logged who belongs to what faith, who is an atheist, and who is a communist member in China. (Note: I read a book about Christianity in China. There is the state sanctioned Catholicism and the free Catholicism. The free Catholicism is occasionally subject to raids and long terms in the camps, but the state sanctioned Catholicism is very weird.) Currently the facial recognition software sends data to the command center which notifies the police or military under the Chinese Communist control to capture adherents to various groups resisting the government. The Communist government usually tolerates peaceful religions because they don’t threaten the Regime. But they now must be in line with AI and government control. AI can know your faith, character and resistance to control just by sampling your voice. There is a device created by corporations and MIT that intercepts signals coming from your brain to your vocal cords. The signals-information- are sent to a computer. Eventually, it will be implanted into human brains, and with AI, the person will have access and control to the internet autonomously. By combining many human detection software, including facial and voice software, your exact thoughts can be deciphered from a distance. The Chinese didn’t do this on their own. They did it because they stole western research, they forced technology transfer, they collaborated with western tech companies, open source sharing, IP theft, merging. In fact the Chinese consulate in Texas was shut down because one of its people was a spy

Jesus and the Kingdom of God. The Book of Matthew. In 21:43-44 Jesus said to the Jews: “Did you ever read in the scriptures: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes’?” Therefore I say to you, “The kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.” This verse was taken from Psalm 118:22-23 and was used in the early church as a prophecy of Jesus’ resurrection. The last sentence refers to believing Jews and Gentiles, the church of Jesus. In 22:2-14 Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: “The kingdom of heaven might be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son.” He told a servant to summon the invited guests to the feast, but they all had something better to do. The king was enraged and told his servant to go and invite anyone who was loitering in the streets. His table was filled with people in wedding clothes, except for one, whom the king sent out into outer darkness. The king is obviously the Universal Father, his Son is Jesus and the guests who refused to attend the feast are the Jews who rejected Jesus. This parable is from Q; Matthew has given it allegorical traits like the burning of the city of those who refused the invitation. This corresponds to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. This parable is not only a statement of God’s judgment on Israel, but a warning to Matthew’s church. Verse 2 is probably an OT portrayal of final salvation under the image of a banquet. Sending servants out means sending out Christian missionaries………………… In 23:12-13 Jesus says: “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, but whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites, you lock the kingdom of heaven before human beings. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter.” The CSB says that the authority of the Jewish officials is practiced in such a way as to be an obstacle in entering the kingdom of heaven. Jesus wants to change this………….. The NT follows the OT very closely in some ways. We’ve already seen how the NT mimics the OT. There is a correspondence between King Solomon and Jesus. King Solomon was anointed at a sacred spring called Gihon. The high priest Zadok presided at this anointing. Then King Solomon was charged with keeping the Law of Moses before beginning his reign (1 Kings 1-2). Also Jesus is anointed in the sacred water of the Jordan by John the Baptist, who had legitimate priestly status from his father Zechariah. Then when he went into the desert, where he keeps the Law of Moses against the devil, and returns to begin his reign with the cry, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”………………………………………… Jesus was tempted by the devil in the wilderness according to “New Testament Basics for Catholics,” by William Stob. According to Matthew, the devil told Jesus to break his fast by turning stones into bread. The devil next took Jesus to the parapet of the temple and challenged him to jump off and angels will catch you. Last, the devil showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and said Jesus could have them if only he would worship him. These three basic temptations are called the ‘threefold concupiscence’ and St. John summarized them as the “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life”(1 John 2:16). They are the triple-headed monster of temptation which had begun in the Garden of Eden, when Eve saw that the fruit was good for food, pleasing to the eye, and would make one as wise as God: an ego trip. Jesus is undoing our first parents’ threefold surrender to sin (Stob).

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China and the weaponizing of AI. “AI, Trump, China & the Weaponization of Robotics with 5G” by Cyrus Parsa is a very serious book about how China has the personal data on almost everyone on the globe. AI, robotics, and bio-metric corporations are being used by China’s Communist Regime to advance its current and future goals in Weaponizing AI. The author and his team (AI Organization) were able to track multiple hidden AI movements that traveled through a bio-digital network that connects with the internet and the Human Bio-Digital Network. “The findings are alarming.” We found extinction codes under one platform that is connected to all platforms. We also discovered that China was using AI and bio-metrics to hunt for people for the purpose of organ trafficking and development of their concentration camps…………………… AI DEEP LEARNING. Deep Learning resembles a human beings process of observing information by smell, touch, taste, visual, audible or subconscious that can be known as gut feelings. These feelings are all combined to enable us to identify, think, know, understand, analyze, decide and upgrade thinking and physical capabilities in the world as we know it. However, for AI, Deep Learning seeks to develop another level of capability that allows the program to be aware and capable of operations simultaneously in the digital and physical world, giving it control over everything with a conscious mind………………… HUMAN TARGETING CAPABILITY Testing and preparations are ongoing of software that will be able to detect many human traits not limited to facial recognition. They include: gesture recognition, people counting software, crowd monitoring, facial attributes, emotion recognition, skeleton recognition, body detection, voice detection, vital organ detection, and human bio-field detection software. These human targeting technologies are being tested through Machine Learning, Deep Learning and installed in robotics, and undergoing preparation for the 5G network with AI Automation in China. Thousands of factories in China are being prepared for automated building of robots that can exponentially grow with AI Automated Robotic Assemblies. People of faith and platforms that mimic democracy are being programmed in the software for detection and AI automated capture programs. Almost all capabilities to track, capture and terminate a human being now exist in China because of IP theft, forced tech transfers, mergers, investments, espionage, cyber attacks, made in China products, open-source sharing and Western collaboration………….. HUMAN BODY DETECTION INSTALLED ON ROBOTS. Human bodies can be detected through objects, walls and in settings where there are multiple objects such as a car, a dog, a table, a fence, or any landscape that exists. Through crowd monitoring, skeleton recognition, people counting, gesture recognition, vital organ detection and human tracking software, a robot can kill with speed and precision while connected to 5G. A robot can monitor a crowd looking for people its coded to detect. It might be a Christian today and a Buddhist tomorrow. Once they implement robots with 5G their ability to capture, put people in camps, engage in further organ trafficking or kill any person increases at a terrifying rate. The Chinese have never had it so good–or so bad.

Jesus and the Kingdom of God. The Book of Matthew. In 19:11-12 Jesus says, “Not all can accept this word, but only those to whom it is given. Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some because they were made so by others; some because they renounce marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.” The Catholic Study Bible says that Jesus is probably referring to the disciples who have trouble accepting the word ‘celibacy.’ Jesus agrees, but says that celibacy is not for all but only for those to whom it is granted by God. Those incapable of marriage are eunuchs either from birth or castration. One can become a eunuch for the kingdom of God, also…………………………………………… In 19:14 Jesus said, “Let the children come to me and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” This account is understood by some as intended to justify the practice of infant baptism. That interpretation is based principally on the command not to ‘prevent’ the children from coming, since that word sometimes has a baptismal connotation in the NT. 19:23-24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again, I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” The disciples started to display dismay, worry and confusion and wondered how anyone could enter heaven, so Jesus walked it back by saying, “But with God all things are possible.” But riches are an obstacle to entering the kingdom that cannot be overcome by human power. In fact, Jesus then says, “For human beings this is impossible, but for God all things are possible,” indicating that a rich person might enter heaven depending on the life they led (CSB) or how they used their money……………………………………….. In 20:1-15 Jesus says, “The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreement with the laborers on the daily wage, he sent them into the vineyard. The landowner hired new laborers at 9am, 12pm, 3pm and 5pm. When it was time to pay them, he paid them all the same wage. Those who worked all day were highly indignant, but the landowner said, “Am I not free to do what I wish with my own money?” Then Jesus says, “Thus, the last shall be first and the first shall be last.” According to the CSB this involves no injustice on the landowner’s part because he was being generous to those coming later. This parable is exclusive to Matthew, and its difficult to know whether Matthew composed it himself. Its close association with 19:30 suggests that its teaching is the equality of all the disciples in the reward of inheriting eternal life. 19:30 expresses the same thought in reverse; “But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”…………………………………………. 21:28-31 Jesus asked the Jewish leaders this question: “A man had two sons. To the first son he said, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard.” The son said ‘No’ but went out and worked anyway. The man asked his second son to go out and work in the vineyard. The son said he would but then didn’t follow through. Then Jesus asked the Jewish leaders,”Which of the sons did his father’s will?”They answered, “The first.” Jesus apparently didn’t like the answer because he said, “Amen, I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you.” One would think this would be a simple parable about saying and doing, and the son who actually went to work in his father’s vineyard was doing his father’s will. But the two brothers represent, respectively, the religious leaders and the religious outcasts who followed John’s call to repentance. By the answer they give to Jesus’ question they condemn themselves. There has been a lot of controversy about how to interpret this parable. Various translations differ on how to word these sentences.

Jesus and the Kingdom of God. Matthew. Matthew’s Jesus gives several more comparisons between the kingdom of heaven and earthly situations. In 13:33 he compares the kingdom of heaven to yeast that leavens flour in making bread. In 13: 37-38 he uses a farming metaphor. The Son of Man grows good seed; the field is the world; the good seed is the children of the kingdom. Later, in 13:43, he says the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their father. (Jesus was worshiped as a sun god by some heretics)……………………………………… In 16:13-19 Jesus asks his disciples to tell him who do they think he is. Some say a prophet, some say Elijah. But Peter said: “You are the Messiah and the Son of the Living God.” Jesus gives the keys to the kingdom of heaven to Peter and tells him whatever is bound on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever is loosed on earth will be loosed in heaven. This is the only place the word ‘church’ appears, (ekklesia in Greek) in the Gospels……………………………………… In 16:28 Jesus says: “Amen, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom (this doesn’t mean he will come back in clouds of glory anytime soon as 1st century Christians thought; it involves according to the CSB, the manifestation of his rule after his resurrection……………………………….. In 18:1-4 The disciples asked Jesus: “Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a child over and putting it in their midst, said:”Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” The child is held up as one who is supposedly innocent, but because he is completely dependent on his parents and trusts them. The CSB says this teaching to disciples is superfluous; Jesus has already made his point…………………………… In the Second Discourse, the Mission Discourse, (10:5-42) Jesus commissions the disciples to go out and preach the Gospel of the kingdom of God and heal. He teaches them how to cast out demons. Much of this part of the Gospel comes from Mark and Q. Jesus warned the disciples to expect opposition when they preached the gospel. Matthew’s emphasis on judgment goes hand in hand with his emphasis on good deeds. Living out the gospel should not be confused with mere noble aspirations and religious rhetoric. A tree is known by the fruit it produces (CSB)………………… In the book “The Four Gospels: A Guide to their Historical Background and Characteristic Differences” by William Stob, the author is interested in answering the question of why there are four gospels. According to Stob, the peculiar design and character of the gospels is rarely perceived even by those most familiar with their contents. Stob says the following fours are related to the earth: the compass points; the seasons; elements connected with the world (earth, air, fire and water); the 4th commandment (requires rest from earth’s labors); the 4th clause of the Lord’s Prayer (“Thy will be done on earth). Stob says it is fitting that the Holy Spirit should give us four gospels in which to set forth the earthly ministry of the Heavenly One.

Jesus and the Kingdom of God. Matthew. The Book of Matthew has six parts: 1. the Sermon on the Mount (4:17-7:29) 2. Jesus the Healer (8:1-9:35) 3. The Mission Discourse (9:36-11:1) 4. Mounting Hostility to Jesus (11:2-12:50) 5. The Parable Discourse (13:1-53) 6. The Kingdom and the Disciples (13:54-16:12)………………………………. The first discourse, the Sermon on the Mount, is centered around Matthew’s conviction that Jesus is the Messiah and therefore the authoritative teacher of God’s will. The Sermon does not have a neat progressive structure; rather, the sayings of Jesus are clustered around basic motifs. The conviction that the end of the world will be a triumph for God’s grace–a conviction based on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus–runs through the Sermon and gives it special force. Matthew begins his Gospel with a narrative prologue and a genealogy, in which he asserts that Jesus is in the line of King David, thereby elevating him to royal status. There are several other items that make this Gospel unique. Matthew’s emphasis on good deeds is clearly expressed when Jesus says: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven” (7:21). Jesus instructs his disciples to love their enemies; strive for complete honesty; avoid retaliation for injury; not violate another through lust or manipulation (5:27-30)…………………………………….. Matthew is the first gospel because the book is highly esteemed for the way it presents the story of Jesus, how it presents the demands of Christian discipleship, and the breaking in of the new and final age through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Matthew is unique in that it is both the most Jewish of the Gospels and most hostile to Judaism. Jesus calls the Pharisees ‘hypocrites’ and ‘a brood of vipers.’ Jesus loathes the Jewish leadership. Matthew blames the Jews, rather than Pilate for Jesus’ death. The Jews cry: “His blood will be on us and our children.” This was the most fateful thing ever said. One of Matthew’s central concerns in to claim that his community of Christian Jews is faithful to the traditions of Israel. He writes in continuity with Judaism, in continuity with Jewish traditions. He quotes the Old Testament /Hebrew Bible more than any other gospel writer. In Matthew’s Gospel Jesus restricted his mission to the Jews and ordered his disciples to do the same. In a saying found only in Matthew Jesus affirms the validity of the Law and the Prophets, considered sacred by 1st Century Jews. Matthew styled Jesus’ birth like Moses’ birth. They were both threatened by death after they were born. Herod Antipas is like Pharaoh, and Jesus’ birth is an exodus from bondage to sin and darkness. To continue the Moses typology, Jesus climbs a mount to give the Sermon like Moses climbed Mt. Sinai to receive the Laws………………………………………….. The gospel is also structured around 5 discourses: 1.The Sermon on the Mount 2. The Missionary Discourse 3. The Parable Discourse 4. The Church Order Discourse 5. The Eschatological Discourse (eschatological is an adjective meaning relating to death, judgment and final destiny of the soul and of humankind). The information in this blog is taken from the CSB.