Friday, December 06, 2013

"Herod would have brought him forth" - Jesus to Punish the Rich

Part of Fukushima Prefecture, Japan

Jesus to Punish the Rich

A major source of man's suffering is poverty.

Conversely, to be rich and keep the status of being rich, rich men would do anything horrible to others.  They will make the poor poorer, so that they can be richer.

They will take political power to control society where they live with poor people, namely their enemy.  Indeed, the rich regard the poor as their enemy, so that they will take any cruel measures to suppress the poor and make them unable to challenge the rich.

Even ancient rich Judaists didn't feel pain when they saw poor Judaists.  Rich Israelites acted like strangers to poor Israelites. There had no neighborly love, no friendships, and probably even no love for brothers, provided that neighbors, friends, and brothers are poor.  So, despite a strong religious tie among Israelites, there was a clear gap between the rich and the poor among Judaists.

What is worse, the rich Israelites tied up with Romans.  So, it must have been expected that someday soon poor Israelites would spark a revolution targeting rich Israelites and Romans.  However, it was impossible for poor Judaists to defeat Roman troops.  They would be defeated and put into a more horrible state.  

Then Christ Jesus emerged to give the last chance for rich Israelites to repent and save unity of all the Judaists.  Accordingly, His teaching was focused on poverty and wealth or economics.
Jesus, the Radical Economist
June 11, 2012 
If the teachings of Jesus were really taken seriously, the Christian Right wouldn’t be devoting so much time to protecting the wealth of the wealthiest. True Christians would be demanding redistribution of the world’s riches in ways far more radical than modern politicians would dare propose, as Rev. Howard Bess explains.

By the Rev. Howard Bess
Torah is very straightforward. Land and ultimately all wealth belong to God, who places property in the control of human beings, not as owners but as stewards who must share it and return it to God every 49 years for redistribution.

For Israelites, time was divided into blocks of seven years. Land was not tilled in the seventh year. After a series of seven, seven-year blocks of time, a Year of Jubilee was declared. During the Year of Jubilee, all land was to be returned to the control of the priests, who, in the name of God, were to make a new and fresh distribution of all land.

In other words, the wealthy were supposed to surrender their stewardship and the poorest of the poor were given land with the encouragement to be productive for God and their fellow Israelites. All slaves were set free and all debts were canceled.

At the time when the Israelite system of Sabbaths and a Jubilee was codified, the economic and political structures may have accommodated such radical economic and social changes in a one-year observance of Jubilee.

Hundreds of years later, however, when Jesus lived and taught, the combination of Roman rule, compliant fat-cats and religious elites made the observance of Jubilee impossible. So, almost every Israelite knew what Torah said, but the prescription had not been followed in anyone’s memory. The poor had given up on the idea of a Year of Jubilee, but apparently not Jesus.

According to Luke’s gospel, early in the public ministry of Jesus, he went to a synagogue gathering and read a passage from Isaiah:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. God has sent me to bring good news to the poor. God has sent me to proclaim release of captives and liberty to the oppressed. This is the acceptable year of the Lord.”

Everyone in his hearing understood what he was saying. Israelites had gone too long without a Year of Jubilee. It was time for the wealthy to turn loose what they had accumulated. It was time for the poor to receive their full stewardship.

But most poor people had taken on the understanding of life that their oppressors presented and taught. It was true then; it is still true today. So, the Year of Jubilee code was regarded as impractical. However, the principles of the ownership of God, the end of slavery, and economic justice still were possible.

The Israelites who held wealth and power knew what was in Torah, but they were not interested in reading it with new eyes of compassion and justice. (When Jesus finally took his message to Jerusalem – riding in on a donkey to mock the rich who favored horses and turning over the money tables at the Temple to protest religious corruption – he was deemed an insurrectionist and was executed.)

Jesus died almost 2,000 years ago, but the laws of Sabbaths and Jubilees are still on the books today. Torah still has a powerful message, especially since the evils of greed and mindless ownership are with us in ever growing magnitude. Resulting inequities and injustices surround us.
Put simply, a state of being rich means a lack of love of one's neighbors.  If a rich man loves his poor neighbors as Jesus taught, he would distribute all his money among the poor neighbors to be one of them eventually.

You cannot stay rich, if you have great love of your neighbors.  You would be surely as poor as they are.  You cannot make money sacrificing or neglecting your poor neighbors.

So, economics can be translated into a matter of love of neighbors.  Indeed if there were no rich men in this world, no economics theories now being respected would be of no use.

Jesus' teaching to love your neighbors as much as you love yourself tells everything about His economics.  It means that money should be equally possessed by all the people.  But you can earn money as much as possible, so that you distribute it among the poor.  You may have big money to distribute to your neighbors.

In addition, there some movement today concerning this spirit.
Jubilee 2000 was an international coalition movement in over 40 countries that called for cancellation of third world debt by the year 2000. This movement coincided with the Great Jubilee, the celebration of the year 2000 in the Catholic Church. From early 2001, Jubilee 2000 split into an array of organisations around the world.

*** *** *** ***

Act 12:5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.
Act 12:6 And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison.
Act 12:7 And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

"how that on the sabbath days" - Japanese Cuisine and Rice

Tokyo, Toward West

Japanese Cuisine and Rice

Japanese cuisine is of course a product of its long history, its nature, its racial features, and its spiritualism and religion.
Japan welcomes listing of "washoku" as UNESCO intangible heritage   2013-12-05 15:09:48  

TOKYO, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Japan said Thursday that it welcomes the news that its traditional cuisine, washoku, has been registered on UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization 's (UNESCO) Intangible Heritage List, hoping it could attract more visitors to Japan. 
Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Thursday that the news is "delightful" and Japan "sincerely welcome" it, adding the traditional cuisine embodies Japan's spirit of respecting nature. 
The Japanese government's proposal was approved by UNESCO at a meeting of its Intergovernmental Committee in Baku, Azerbaijan on Wednesday, making washoku the 22nd Japanese asset to be listed on the intangible heritage list, which also covers Japan's Kabuki, Noh and Bunraku. 
Japan's Agriculture Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi also said the registration will be "a major tailwind to spread Japanese food overseas," adding it is "not a goal but a start," according to local media.  
Of course the base of the Japanese cuisine is rice.

Before modernization and Westernization of Japan in the late 19th century, rice was delivered by farmers to samurai lords as tax in lieu of money.  It might be like colonies of the Roman Empire sent wheat or flour to Rome as tax.

And this rice is a main component in the shinto religion, a unique Japanese religion where spirits of ancestors are deified and enshrined in shinto shrines.  Accordingly only Japanese can taste Japanese foods based on rice in a correct manner and sense.

(Of course other Asians who eat rice as the chief article of food like Chinese might have different attitudes toward rice.)

But, it is just what a man eats.  It must be open to mankind.

Truly the body is more important than foods as Christ Jesus said.

(Wa is one of special forms of words meaning Japan.  Shoku means food.  So, washoku is a Japanese food.  Western cuisine is called "yo-shoku" in Japanese.  And Chinese cuisine is "chuka ryori [simply chuka]" or "chugoku ryori."  Chuka, a classic word, and chugoku mean China.  Ryori is cuisine.)

*** *** *** *** 

Mat 12:5 Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?
Mat 12:6 But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.
Mat 12:7 But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

"sent him away shamefully handled" - Faith among Americans


Faith among Americans

America is not collapsing as Europe is not.

It is because most of Americans have a concept of or  faith in God.
Most Americans still pray, believe in God
Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:12 EST 
July 16, 2013 (Heritage) - A new Pew Forum poll shows that 48 percent of Americans say a decline of religion is bad for American society. But do fewer Americans consider themselves faithful these days? 
Over the past two decades, the number of Americans who mark their religious preference as "none" has undoubtedly grown. Only 8 percent checked that box in 1990. As of May of this past year, 20 percent of all Americans identified themselves as having no religion.
Despite an increase in these "nones," the majority of Americans are still religious. Over 90 percent of Americans believe in God or a higher power, and almost 40 percent attend religious services weekly. 
Even among those who claim no particular religious affiliation in an earlier Pew Forum survey, roughly 80 percent still believe in God or a universal spirit, and a majority describe themselves as "religious" or "spiritual." According to a recent survey by researchers at Baylor University, most of those who say they have “no religion” also pray.

A survey reports a simpler result on this theme: how much do Americans believe in God?
July 28, 2008
Majority of Americans Believe in God 
A large majority of Americans (78%) say they believe in God and 15% say they don't believe in God, but do believe in a higher power.
This rate might be comparable with a result on the same topic in any Islamic nation.  However Muslims have only one type of image of Allah, since the Koran is so demanding.  Americans are freer in this context:
Americans View God in Four Different Ways (Froese, Bader 2010)
How Americans View God
By Austin Cline 
Belief in God is popular in America, but not everyone who believes in God believes the same things about God.... 
In the end, they collected all the data into four different types of gods:
Authoritative God: 28%
Benevolent God: 22%
Critical God: 21%
Distant God: 24% 
According to Froese, believers in the Authoritative God "divide the world by good and evil and appeal to people who are worried, concerned and scared. They respond to a powerful God guiding this country, and if we don't explicitly talk about (that) God, then we have the wrong God or no God at all."
Many believers in the Distant God would probably prefer to be called spiritual rather than religious and it's an attitude that taps into old, long-standing Deistic attitudes that can be traced back to the founding of America. Believers in the Distant God seem to adopt the attitude that morality, politics, and social structures are ultimately their responsibility to develop and get right. For whatever reason, they don't believe God is actively looking out for them or is going to fix things they get wrong.
These images of God can be reasonable distributed almost equally.  Men are unique among themselves.  So, images of God they have can be different.

And the 3/11 Great Tsunami Disaster of Japan in 2011 has served as the catalyst of studying concrete contents of Americans' belief in God.
56% Say that God Controls Everything that Happens (PRRI/RNS 2011)
Americans Believe God Controls Everything
By Austin Cline 
The Public Religion Research Institute and the Religion News Service conducted a survey on Americans' views about God in the wake of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. When asked how much they agree or disagree with the statement "God is in control of everything that happens in the world," people responded: 
Completely Agree: 35%
Mostly Agree: 21%
Mostly Disagree: 17%
Completely Disagree: 17%
Don't Know / Refused: 2%

18% Have Doubts About God due to Innocent Suffering
Suffering Causes Few Doubts About God
By Austin Cline

The Public Religion Research Institute and the Religion News Service conducted a survey on Americans' views about God in the wake of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. When asked how much they agree or disagree with the statement "Seeing innocent people suffer sometimes causes me to have doubts about God," people responded: 
Completely Agree: 5%
Mostly Agree: 13%
Mostly Disagree: 24%
Completely Disagree: 48%
Don't Know / Refused: 2%
The God is almighty and omnipotent.  What looks complicated to human eyes can be simple to the God.  What looks like an unbearable tragedy for mankind can be nothing to the God, since He can compensate for any pains, fear and burdens of victims and the sacrificed.  So, the rate of 48% of Americans who trust in the God despite so many terrible incidents in the human world is somewhat sound. 

So, America is not collapsing due to those believers.  And if the US should tumble and fall, Americans will be probably able to survive and revive like Western Europe after the great collapse of the Roman Empire though it was centuries after.

*** *** *** ***

Mar 12:4 And again he sent unto them another servant; and at him they cast stones, and wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully handled.
Mar 12:5 And again he sent another; and him they killed, and many others; beating some, and killing some.
Mar 12:6 Having yet therefore one son, his wellbeloved, he sent him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son.
Mar 12:7 But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be our's.
Mar 12:8 And they took him, and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard.
Mar 12:9 What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? he will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

"shall be heard in the light" - Armageddons and Armageddon

A Tokyo River

Armageddons and Armageddon

Will Christ Jesus come and appear in our world again?

The Bible says that he will come back in the middle of war between believers and evil men.
Rev 22:6 And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.
Rev 22:7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
Rev 22:8 And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.
Rev 22:9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.
Rev 22:10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.
Rev 22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
Rev 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
Rev 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
Rev 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
Rev 22:15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
Rev 22:16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
Rev 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
If this Book of the Bible is not holy or genuine, the whole church system of Christianity should collapse.  

The sentence "Rev 22:16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star" is very critical.  If Jesus had not said so but they wrote this part, it would be the greatest blasphemy.

But what this prophecy means is clear.  Despite great activities of believers, there would still many bad guys who would never repent and believe.  No one would be able to correct them.  But believers should keep faith to have righteous lives.  And then Christ Jesus will come back to save the believers and punish the bad.

Of course, people live and die while this prophecy is not fulfilled.  So, you may wonder what effect of this prophecy has.  However, a situation each individual lives cannot be easily judged by others.  A believer who died before this era must have caught a glimpse of a similar situation to what was written in Revelation.  And in a wider scope of the 2000 year history, the following description seems to come to fit more and more to this era we now live in: "Rev 22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still."  
List of wars by death toll 
This is a very incomplete list of wars (an estimated 3,023 wars have taken place in recorded human history...). 
60,669,200-84,589,300 – World War II (1939–1945), (see World War II casualties)
30,000,000–60,000,000 – Mongol conquests (1206-1324)[2][3][4][5]
27,000,000 – Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945)[6]
25,000,000 – Qing dynasty conquest of Ming Dynasty (1616–1662)[7]
20,000,000 – Taiping Rebellion (1850–1864)[8]
16,563,868-30,000,000 – World War I/Great War (1914–1918) (see World War I casualties)
16,000,000 – White Lotus Rebellion (1794-1804)[citation needed]
13,000,000 - An Lushan Rebellion (755–763)[9]
10,000,000 – Era of Warring States (475 BCE–221 BCE)
10,000,000 - Red Eyebrows Rebellion (9-24)
8,000,000–12,000,000 – Dungan revolt (1862 –1877)
7,500,000 – Chinese Civil War (1927–1949)[10]
7,000,000–20,000,000 – Conquests of Tamerlane (1370–1405)[11][12]
7,000,000 - Reconquista (711-1492)
5,000,000–9,000,000 – Russian Civil War and Foreign Intervention (1917–1922)[13]
5,000,000 - Conquests of Aurangzeb (1681-1707)
5,000,000 - Gothic War (535-554)
5,000,000 – Conquests of Menelik II of Ethiopia (1882–1898)[14][15]
4,000,000 - Three Kingdoms War in Ancient China (189-280)
3,500,000–6,000,000 – Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) (see Napoleonic Wars casualties)
3,000,000–11,500,000 – Thirty Years' War (1618–1648)[16]
3,000,000–7,000,000 – Yellow Turban Rebellion (184–205)
3,000,000 - Second Northern War (1655-1660)
3,000,000 - French Wars of Religion (1562-1598)
3,000,000 - Hundred Years' War (1337-1453)
2,500,000–5,400,000 – Second Congo War/Great War of Africa (1998–2003)
2,500,000–4,000,000 – Conquests of the Hunnic Empire (408–469)
2,500,000 – Russian–Circassian War (1763–1864)
2,000,000–4,000,000 – Huguenot Wars (1562-1598)[21]
2,000,000 - French Revolutionary Wars (1792-1802)
2,000,000 - Crusades (1096-1272)
2,000,000 – Shaka's conquests (1816–1828)[22]
2,000,000 - Fang La Rebellion (1120-1122)
1,500,000 - Algerian War of Independence (1954-1962)
1,200,000[23] – Korean War (1950–1953)
791,000-1,141,000[24] – Vietnam War/Second Indochina War (1955-1975)

Indeed, the 20th century is called a century of wars.  The most significantly six million Judaists were killed in Europe under strong influences of the Vatican during WWII.  This greatest tragedy of mankind in these 2000 years must have been really foretelling the coming of Armageddon.

Nonetheless Christ Jesus first appeared before the great war between Islaelites and Romans in the first century.  Hence we may be allowed to assume that Christ Jesus will surely come after the great Holocaust for his second emergence.  It is because the age of Revelation must start with a decisive tragedy for Israelites and end with another decisive tragic affair for them.  Truly the God must have chosen Judaists for this critical role.

Now I think very personally that it is time that people come to hear rumors about the second advent of Christ Jesus.  He might appear in a subway car of New York or in a street of Shanghai if not in Jerusalem.

*** *** *** ***

Luk 12:3 Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.

Monday, December 02, 2013

"Martha served" - The Most Important Question in our Universe

A Shinto Shrine, Japan

The Most Important Question in our Universe

One thing sure about this universe is that it is finite.

They say it has the width of 47 billion light years.  It is very huge but still finite.  For a space which is finite, there is the outside.  Then what is there outside the universe?

If something or other universe exists outside our universe that is also finite, what exists outside it.  Maybe this structure might be repeated infinitely.  But will it satisfy our mind and sense?

From a religious point of view, it doesn't matter what structure, simple or complicated or finite or infinite, our universe and other universes take.  It is the very act of God.  He can exercise his infinite ability and power in handling material universes.  But there must be one important sphere called Heaven in addition to the hell.

Our minds and souls are linked to some functions or spirits which exist in Heaven or some spiritual sphere.  When we were born and grow, gradually a link between a physical human and a spirit in the heavenly sphere must be established.  A human being as a physical entity lives following various physical and biological conditions, but the mind and soul of each man is linked to a corresponding spirit in Heaven or the spiritual sphere.

According to the Gospel, Christ Jesus was directly linked to the spirit of God.  But ordinary persons cannot have their souls connected to God.   However, as Christ Jesus told to accumulate treasure in Heaven, we can have our souls linked to higher-ranking spirits in Heaven through good work we do on the earth.

In contrast, if we do wrong, neglecting the poor, the weak, the oppressed, etc., we will be surely connected to the hell.

When we die, leaving our physical bodies and this world, our souls will be completely united with other ourselves in Heaven or the hell.  Then we will start a new life in the spiritual world.  And such a life can be infinitely long.  Further, if we are united with our own remote spirits in Heaven, no one would like to come back to this wild, namely the rotten, and painful material world.  If we can live more closely to God in Heaven, why do we like to leave it to live in this incomplete material world so far away from God?

So, it is far more meaningful for us to think about Heaven than imagine what exists beyond our finite material universe and beyond.  

Nonetheless, we may ask why God created this material universe?  Was it to create human beings who will eventually enter Heaven or fall in to the hell?  Why does God need us?  According to Christ Jesus, it is love.  But mankind cannot yet fully comprehend the love of God toward us.

Finally can mankind believe that God loves us so much, while there are so many people who have to live a horrible life and die a terrible death?  This is the most important question for us who will die someday at 100%.
Our Material Universe in Gray and Other Universes

Anyway God can be defined, if so humanly, as the one that governs everything, including Himself, that exists and does not exist.

*** *** *** ***

Joh 12:1 Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.
Joh 12:2 There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.
Joh 12:3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.
Joh 12:4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him,
Joh 12:5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?
Joh 12:6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.
Joh 12:7 Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this.
Joh 12:8 For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.