Saturday, June 08, 2013

"your Father knoweth what things ye have need of"

South of Fukushina Prefecture

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Mat 6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
Mat 6:8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

Friday, June 07, 2013

"power over unclean spirits" - The Other World

Streets in Southern Tokyo Urban Core

The Other World

There is one big question about this universe.

It is believed that this universe has a size or it has limits or borders.

Then what exists beyond the borders of this material universe?

Is this world a kind of goldfish bowl?  Then who is watching this goldfish bowl?

If you believe in God, the answer might be easy.  The God is watching this universe and human beings on the earth.  But specifically what world is it that exists outside this material universe?

Of course our material universe can be part of a greater material universe with higher dimensions and infinite energy.

But above anything material, including our world, there must be the universe of concepts, ideas and logic.  And above this abstract universe, there must be a world of spirits.

Anyway, what can be seen and observed is made of what cannot be seen and observed as the Bible so teaches.

We do not need to be afraid of what is beyond this world.  And our existence includes not only the material body but also a soul which can live outside this material world.  

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Mar 6:7 And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;

Thursday, June 06, 2013

"the body of sin might be destroyed" - A Japanese Who Met Lincoln

Subway Station & Parliament Street, Tokyo, Japan

A Japanese Who Met Lincoln

There was one Japanese who met and shook President Lincoln by the hand in 1862.

It was Hikozo Hamada who was also known as Joseph Heco since he acquired nationality of America in 1858.

In October 1850, when Hikozo was 13-years old and called Hikotaro, he joined a voyage of a cargo ship from a port in Western Japan to Edo (presently called Tokyo).  When the 17 crew was returning on board the ship, a great tempest attacked it to carry the Japanese ship off coasts of Japan far and far to the east on the Pacific Ocean.

But they were rescued by an American commercial ship called the Auckland sailing from Hong Kong/Shanghai to San Francisco.  The American ship arrived at San Francisco in February 1851.

Then the 17 Japanese mariners were sent by the US Government to Hong Kong and then Macau via Hawaii in March 1852.  But the Japanese captain leading the group died from a disease in Hawaii.  So, the 16 poor Japanese sailors arrived at Hong Kong, waiting for black ships of Commodore Perry of the US Navy.

Commodore Perry was ordered to sail to Japan and conclude a diplomatic tie with Japan governed by the samurai shogun, though Japan had been a nation of isolation over centuries.  (As samurai leaders did not like Christian influence in the Japanese society, they closed the country except to China and the Netherlands in the early 17th century.)  Perry wanted to use the 16 Japanese mariners as a means to make communications easier with the shogun government in Edo.  Samurais would not have been alarmed so much, if his fleet should have kindly handed victims of a Japanese wrecked vessel.

But the arrival of Perry's fleet was delayed.  So, through various incidents, all the Japanese mariners, except one, ran away from an American naval ship where they were staying in the port of Macau.  (Most of them could finally return to Japan on board a Chinese ship.)
But Hikozo and other two Japanese got on board a ship heading for California with an American who wanted to work and  make fortune in California.  In California Hikozo worked honestly and hard to be known to a prominent banker called Saunders who also served as the head of the custom house in San Francisco.

This banker eventually took Hikozo with him to the East as Saunders' family lived in Baltimore.  Hikozo was truly lucky to be helped by this kind banker.  He went to school and church staying in the house of the banker.  Then he was baptized, following advice of the wife of Saunders.   And then he was naturalized in the US in 1858, since Saunders recommended Hikozo to do so for his future return to Japan as the samurai government of Japan did not allow Japanese who converted Christianity abroad to return home.

And subsequently Hikozo found a job in a ship sailing to Japan, so that he left the Saunders in Baltimore and went back to San Francisco and to Japan eventually in 1859.

When he came back to Japan, Hikozo was personally employed by Townsend Harris, the first United States Consul General to Japan.  Hikozo worked as interpreter to be involved in some significant diplomatic occasions.  But some samurai factions and samurai feudal lords were against the policy of the shogun government to open the nation.  So, some samurai launched terror on foreigners and their servants who then mostly lived in a restricted port area near Edo.

Hikozo could have been a target of terror since he looked like a betrayer to the eyes of such anti-Western samurais. So, Hikozo decided to sail back to the US for the time being.  He actually left Japan in 1861.

On this occasion Hikozo got big support from key citizens in San Francisco.  They recommended Hikozo to travel to the East and get a reasonable job from the Federal Government.  So, Hikozo traveled to Washington DC and New York with some help from a Senator and his old mentor Saunders. In this course, Hikozo was introduced to Secretary of State Seward and President Lincoln in 1862.  Hikozo was officially appointed to a translator of the US consular office in Japan.  Accordingly Hikozo sailed back to Japan while President Lincoln was fighting the Civil War.

Hikozo came back to Japan in October in 1862, but he left the consular office in September 1863.  Since then, Hikozo made his own business or he was sometimes employed by prominent Western and Japanese merchants.  He once even worked in the Ministry of Finance of the Japanese Government.  But Hikozo never traveled to the US anymore.  He didn't even become a leading figure in the Japanese society though he acquired many such influential friends.  Hikozo opted to live rather quietly in his later life in Tokyo.

Hikozo adopted a Japanese surname, Hamada, and married a Japanese woman.  He eventually died in Tokyo in 1897 at the age of 60, though he was still an American legally.

Hikozo wrote two books in his life time: one in Japanese in 1863 and another in English in 1895.    

(As Hikozo could read but could not fully write decent written Japanese, it is thought that he gave dictation when he prepared a draft of the above Japanese book.)

In the English book titled the Narrative of a Japanese, he presented a letter he received from US Secretary of State Seward as a response to an emergency letter Hikozo wrote to Seaward when he heard of the assassination of President Lincoln in 1865.

The narrative of a Japanese; what he has seen and the people he has met in the course of the last forty years./Chapter 5. 
July. In the course of this month we heard of the murder of President Lincoln, and of the attack on Mr. Seward, Secretary of State, in Washington. Upon receipt of this intelligence, I at once wrote to Mr. Seward, tendering my sincere condolence to him, and through him to President Lincoln's family. In reply I received the following autograph letter.

Washington Sept. 25, 1865
My dear Mr Heco,
I have just received
your letter of the 31st of July and
I thank you for remembering
me among the troubled concerns
yet in the midst of the pleasing
 ? of your far away native
Home. Our father in Heaven
has allowed our country to
be afflicted, but He has never–
theless remembered mercy, and
our nation is rescued from danger.
He has been pleased to visit
me with trials, but he has
graciously enabled me to
pass through them. Let us in
all things submit ourselves to
his will. He is omniscient and
omnipotent, we are blind and
Faithfully your friend
William H. Seward
Joseph Heco Esquire
 ? of ?
And one Japanese mariner, Sentaro or Senpachi, who sailed to Japan with Commodore Perry in 1853 would not return to Japan on the occasion.  But years later, he came back to Japan with a family of an American missionary priest as a kind of American, too.  Senpachi was later personally employed by an American professor who came to Japan for teaching.  Senpachi died in Tokyo in 1874, of course, as a Japanese.

(Refer to ; ;;_what_he_has_seen_and_the_people_he_has_met_in_the_course_of_the_last_forty_years./Chapter_5)

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Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Rom 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
Rom 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
Rom 6:7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.
Rom 6:8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

"a pair of balances in his hand" - God's Handball

National Assembly Diet Bldg. Street, Tokyo, Japan

God's Handball

The Japanese national soccer team was about to lose the game against Australia.

The Australian team got one goal 10 minutes before the end of the 90 minute game.  But Japan took a PK chance to deliver an equalizer at the 91 minute point in an extension period.

This tied game has qualified Japan for taking part in the 2014 World Cup Games in Brazil.

Japan has become the first country to be authorized for joining the 2014 World Cup.

As the game was held in the Saitama Soccer Stadium situated in the suburbs of Tokyo last night, this sport news has become a major topic in Japan today.

But how could the Japanese team take a PK chance?  It was because an Australian player committed a handball in their penalty area.  So Japanese soccer fans have today call it "God's Hand."

Japan 1st team to qualify for 2014 World Cup
SAITAMA, Japan (AP) — Japan became the first team to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, tying Australia 1-1 Tuesday night on Keisuke Honda’s penalty kick in the first minute of second-half stoppage time.
Before a crowd of 62,172, Tommy Oar put Australia ahead in the 82nd minute. But Matthew McKay’s hand ball set up the penalty kick for Honda, who beat goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer with a left-footed shot to the top corner.

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Rev 6:5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
Rev 6:6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

"to the ministry of the word" - The Pyramid and The Ark of the Covenant

From and to North of Tokyo City Core

The Pyramid and The Ark of the Covenant

One piece of interesting account about the Bible and the Great Pyramid of Gaza:.
The Connection Between the Pyramid and the Ark of the Covenant
“This seems unlikely. Rather, it is more likely that the Holy of Holies and the Ark were relics from an earlier time, and were taken out of Egypt by the fleeing Israelites. The Ark is said to have once been kept in the King's Chamber of the Great Pyramid. The famous 'lidless' coffin of Cheops was in actuality the receptacle for the Ark of the Covanant.”
The capacity of the Ark, based on its Biblical measurements, was 71,282 cubic inches, while the measure for the granite container in the King's Chamber is 71,290 cublic inches. In 1955, Dr. Alfred Rutherford of the Institute of Pyramidology in Illinois performed an experiment in which he re-assembled the pieces of an exact replica of the Ark inside the King's Chamber and lowered it into the Chamber's stone box. It fit remarkably well, with a relatively uniform half-inch clearance on all four sides of the replica. Not without significance is the fact that the dimensions of the King's Chamber itself form a double-cube—precisely the same dimensional configuration of the Hebrew Tabernacle Holy of Holies.

So believers should be reminded of the Holy Hebrew Tabernacle whenever they see the King's Chamber of the Great Pyramid built by King Khufu.

Anyway the Pyramid is older than Abraham.

But we might be allowed to imagine how Judaism is old roughly since King Khufu is roughly 600 years older than Abraham.

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Act 6:1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.
Act 6:2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.
Act 6:3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
Act 6:4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
Act 6:5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:

Monday, June 03, 2013

"his days shall be an hundred and twenty years" - Money Economy and Christ Jesus

Running Around Tokyo

Money Economy and Christ Jesus

One thing very impressive about the Gospels is that money was already widely used in the era of Christ Jesus.

If His work had been done in society where money or coins were not yet common, the story of Christ Jesus must have looked very remote from situations where subsequent readers of the Bible, including present-day ones, lived.

The fact that money was so visibly used in the era of Christ Jesus makes the Gospels so familiar and close to modern readers.

If money had not been used on a daily base in Palestine 2000 years ago, the story of Christ Jesus must have looked so ancient and thus very remote to modern readers.

In other word, one of major conditions concerned with why the Son of the God should come to this human world 2000 years ago is related to use of money by human beings as the way of handling wealth.

So, the following word of Christ Jesus is so meaningful: "Man cannot serve both God and Mammon.

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Gen 6:1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,
Gen 6:2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
Gen 6:3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
Gen 6:4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
Gen 6:5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Gen 6:6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
Gen 6:7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.