Saturday, May 03, 2014

"being ensamples to the flock" - Dangerous Trend of Global Wealth

Tokyo Railway

Dangerous Trend of Global Wealth

The trend of the total amount of global hedge funds is as follows:

1990 $39 billion

1995 $257 billion

2000 $491 billion

2005 $1.105 trillion

2006 $1.405 trillion

2007 $1.868 trillion

2008 $1.407 trillion

2009 $1.6 trillion

2010 $1.917 trillion

2011 $2.008 trillion

2012 $2.192 trillion

2013 $2.63 trillion

March 2014 $2.7 trillion

This amount accounts for about 5% of the total value of stock prices in global stock markets.

So, there is wealth in the global stock markets worth $62.4 trillion.

It could be distributed as 10,000 dollars per person globally, since there are more than 6 billion people in the world.  Or it is contributed to by each person in the world with 10,000 dollars.

It is apparent the world entered a very dangerous era since 2005 as the above table and figure show.  In the Christmas season of 2004, the world largest tsunami occurred off Sumatra, Indonesia, taking on hundreds of million lives.  And in 2005, John Paul II died.

This trend was not even stopped completely in 2008 when the global financial crisis occurred starting from Wall Street.

This growth of wealth used by Satan as a tool against God must be stopped.  Or something that can completely control it in the name of God must appear.  Otherwise, mankind will face a very serious catastrophe sooner or later.

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

1Pe 5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
1Pe 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
1Pe 5:3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

Friday, May 02, 2014

"Who is worthy to open the book" - Wealth without Freedom of Speech


Wealth without Freedom of Speech

If you hear news from China, you should trust it with less confidence than a news item coming from Rwanda.



1  Norway
2  Belgium
13  New Zealand
19  Germany
23  USA 
29  Canada
31  Australia
35  France
40  Japan 
47  Taiwan
52  Spain
64  Israel
     South Korea
68  Italy

71  Hong Kong
     South Africa
79  India
83  Greece
89  Philippines
91  Brazil
96  Indonesia
120 Turkey
131 South Sudan 
134 Mexico
140 Egypt
147 Malaysia
153 Afghanistan
164 Sri Lanka
174 Rwanda
176 Russia
179 China
182 Laos
      Saudi Arabia
196 North Korea

As is usual in this sort of global survey, north European countries are ranked high.

But the focus here must be on countries in East and South Asias, covering from Japan to China and India.

Put simply, though East Asia is now growing to become a focus in global economy on a par with the EU, it is still behind Europe, North America, and Anglo Pacific in terms of freedom of press and democracy.

Further, no matter how much wealth and money is being produced and exchanged in Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Singapore, it has less value than that handled in Tokyo, since such wealth in less free countries is more cursed than it accumulated in Tokyo.

Specifically, Japan is very different from China in its respect for freedom of speech and democracy, no matter how badly the Western media report anything about Japan with prejudice.

In addition, Ukraine is ranked No. 131 while Russia No.176.  Russian speaking people in Ukraine will surely opt to maintain their status as Ukrainians eventually.

Similarly, Taiwan will not be annexed to China and South Korea will never be conquered by North Korea.  Rather, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, and North Korea might face a revolution sooner or later.

By the way, Malaysia is not open in allowing its people to gain access freely to social and political information.  It might be one of underlying causes for the tragedy of the MH370 flight.

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

Rev 5:1 And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.
Rev 5:2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?
Rev 5:3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

"he stood by the lake of Gennesaret" - The New Testament without Definitely Calling Jesus God

Tokyo in a Spring Rain

The New Testament without Definitely Calling Jesus God  

Who started to call Christ Jesus God?
The relevant New Testament passages are comparatively few. Bultmann observes that 'in describing Christ as " God " the New Testament still exercises great restraint '.
Indeed, nowhere in the Gospels Christ Jesus introduced Himself as God of Israelites as well as mankind.  However authors of the New Testament documents sometimes suggested that Christ Jesus is God.
Do the Scriptures affirm the Deity of Jesus? Did Bible writers call Jesus "God" or claim that He possessed Deity? Please consider these basic passages about Christ as God in the flesh. 
John 1:1
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." The "Word" refers to Jesus (v17), the only begotten of the Father who became flesh and dwelt among us (v14). This affirms that Jesus is a separate individual from the Father (He was with God), and yet He Himself possesses Deity (He was God). Note that the context affirms both Jesus' Deity and His humanity: God became flesh and dwelt among us. 
Colossians 2:9
"For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily" (NKJV, KJV, ASV). Or: "For in Him all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form" (NASB, RSV, NIV is similar).
"Fulness" (plerooma) means " ... that which is brought to fulness or completion ... sum total, fulness, even (super) abundance ... of something ... the full measure of deity ... Colossians 2:9" - Bauer-Arndt-Gingrich.
"Godhead" or "Deity" (theotes) means: " ... the state of being God, Godhead ..." - Grimm-Wilke-Thayer. Trench says the language here means Jesus "was, and is, absolute and perfect God" (quoted in Vine, Vol. I, pp. 328f).
So the passage says that, in Jesus dwelt bodily "the full measure of" "the state of being God." 
Hebrews 1:3
Jesus was "the express image of His [the Father's] person" (NKJV, KJV) or "the very image of his substance" (ASV), "the exact representation of His nature" (NASB), "the exact representation of his being" (NIV). The context describes Jesus as the Creator, far above the angels so that He deserves to be worshipped (as will be considered in more detail later.)
"Express image" (charachter) means "the exact expression ... of any person or thing, marked likeness, precise reproduction in every respect (cf. facsimile) ..." - Grimm-Wilke-Thayer (cf. Bauer-Arndt-Gingrich)....

This must mean that Jesus truly possessed Deity before He came to earth. V7 uses the same word to say that He took the form (morphe) of a servant. Was Jesus really a servant on earth? Of course He was (Matthew 20:28; John 13:1-6; 2 Corinthians 8:9; Acts 4:27,30 ASV). It follows that, before He came to earth, He really possessed the nature of God. 
However, there are various efforts to study these expressions, taking into consideration the context from the Old Testament:


In three clear instances and in five instances that have a certain probability Jesus is called God in the New Testament.

The most plausible explanation is that in the earliest stage of Christianity the Old Testament heritage dominated the use of the title "God"; hence, "God" was a title too narrow to be applied to Jesus. It referred strictly to the Father of Jesus, to the God to whom he prayed. Gradually, (in the 50's and 60's?) in the development of Christian thought "God" was understood to be a broader term. It was seen that God had revealed so much of Himself in Jesus that "God" had to be able to include both Father and Son.
To see how St. Paul took his position in this matter is also important, since St. Paul is regraded as the true builder of the religion today called Christianity.
Does Paul call Jesus “God” in Romans 9:5?
30 March 2011
By David Maas 
There is only one passage in Paul's writings where he appears to explicitly call Jesus “God” or theos in Greek, Romans 9:5.  Since the faith of Israel from which Christianity arose was firmly monotheistic, the scarcity of such statements in Paul's letters raises questions. Romans 9:5 is translated in the New International Version (NIV) as:
“Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, for ever praised! Amen.”...  
Paul's purpose in Romans chapters 9 through 11 was not to expound on the nature of God or Christ.  At issue was the present status of ethnic Israelites in light of God's covenant promises and the nation’s rejection of Jesus.  Since God is now fulfilling His promises in Christ, and since most Jews repudiated Jesus as Messiah, had God's word failed (verse 6)?... 
Additionally, in his letters Paul always maintained a distinction between God and Christ, and often referred to God as “the God and Father of Jesus” (Romans 15:6, 1 Corinthians 15:24, 2 Corinthians 1:3, 11:31, Ephesians 1:3, 5:20, 1 Thessalonians 1:3).  On several occasions he identified the Father as alone “God” (1 Corinthians 8:6, Ephesians 4:6, Philippians 4:20, 1 Thessalonians 3:11, 3:13).... 
In summary, Romans 9:5 does not call Jesus “God.”  Instead, it is a declaration of praise to God offered immediately before Paul's question, had the Word of God failed? It affirmed that Paul did not doubt even for an instance that God's word had not failed. His faith in God was absolute.
Maybe or maybe not, St. Paul could not explicitly call Christ Jesus God, since it must have been very dangerous and too radical at the time.

Conversely, if nobody thought that Christ Jesus might be God in the first century when documents to be included in the New Testament were being created and written, why would they rather try hard so much to disseminate the teaching of Christ or Christianity of the original version?

The degrees of passion, zeal, sacrifice, and efforts those Apostles and disciples showed and exerted in their mission as the first or early Christians cannot be explained if we judge that nobody saw God in Christ Jesus at the time.

However, they did not blindly and easily persuade other "Jews" to accept this notion that God is in Christ Jesus or Christ Jesus is just another form of God, since oppression and persecution to followers of Christ Jesus by the Roman and "Jewish" authorities were so cruel.   So, in order to convert Judaists into Christians, St. Paul and other Apostles had to take a strategy to make them realize and discover by themselves through suggestions given by  St. Paul and other Apostles that Christ Jesus is God.  This realization must be spontaneously and voluntarily made.

Therefore, the New Testament does not have to necessarily and explicitly include a description that Christ Jesus is God.

In other world, only those who could discover that Christ Jesus is God by reading the New Testament could be Christians.

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

Luk 5:1 And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,
Luk 5:2 And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.
Luk 5:3 And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.
Luk 5:4 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

"Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God?" - Evidence for Existence of Christ Jesus

Tokyo in Rain

Evidence for Existence of Christ Jesus

Nobody thinks today that Christ Jesus did not exist but His story was fabricated.

However there are not so many authentic or proven documents about the life of Christ Jesus:
The sources for the historicity of Jesus are mainly Christian sources, but there are some mentions also in a few non-Christian Jewish and Greco-Roman sources, which have been used in historical analyses of the existence of Jesus.[33] These include the works of 1st-century Roman historians Josephus and Tacitus.[33][34] Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews, written around 93–94 AD, includes two references to the biblical Jesus Christ in Books 18 and 20. The general scholarly view is that while the longer passage, known as the Testimonium Flavianum, is most likely not authentic in its entirety, it is broadly agreed upon that it originally consisted of an authentic nucleus, which was then subject to Christian interpolation or forgery.[35][36] Josephus scholar Louis H. Feldman has stated that "few have doubted the genuineness" of Josephus' reference to Jesus in Antiquities 20, 9, 1 and it is only disputed by a small number of scholars.[37][38][39][40] Roman historian Tacitus referred to Christus and his execution by Pontius Pilate in his Annals (written ca. AD 116), book 15, chapter 44.[41] The very negative tone of Tacitus' comments on Christians make the passage extremely unlikely to have been forged by a Christian scribe [42] and the Tacitus reference is now widely accepted as an independent confirmation of Christ's crucifixion.[43]

"And now Caesar, upon hearing the death of Festus, sent Albinus into Judea, as procurator. But the king deprived Joseph of the high priesthood, and bestowed the succession to that dignity on the son of Ananus, who was also himself called Ananus... Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrin of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned.[26]" 
In the Antiquities of the Jews (Book 20, Chapter 9, 1) Josephus refers to the stoning of "James the brother of Jesus" by order of Ananus ben Ananus, a Herodian-era High Priest.[27][16]

The Antiquities of the Jews by Josephus
Chapter 3

3. Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross,[9] those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day;[10] as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.

The Annals (Tacitus)/Book 15

Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired. Nero offered his gardens for the spectacle, and was exhibiting a show in the circus, while he mingled with the people in the dress of a charioteer or stood aloft on a car.
In addition, from the beginning Judaists who believed Christ Jesus were not so large in number.
Jewish Christian 
It has been argued that few Jews joined the Christian movement in the first century and that the movement probably never exceeding 1,000 Jewish members at any one time during the first century. Furthermore the size and importance of the Christian movement in general during the first century tends to be exaggerated by most scholars. By the end of the first century the total Christian population is estimated to have been only 7,530.[9] The term "Jewish Christians" in the 3rd and 4th centuries can refer to groups such as Ebionites, Nazarenes and other groups, and related to these groups are quotation fragments of non-canonical gospels referred to as the "Jewish-Christian Gospels". 
Three events would greatly affect the fortunes of early Jewish Christianity. The first was the Conversion of Paul in the early 30's (and the possible conversion of his teacher Gamaliel), the second was the Council of Jerusalem c.50, and the third was the Destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD, which according to Josephus was one of the most significant events of the First Jewish–Roman War. Nonetheless, according to the Church History of Eusebius,[31] the line of Jewish Christian bishops of Jerusalem continued until the Bar Kokhba revolt (132-136) when Hadrian renamed the city "Aelia Capitolina" and barred all Jews except for the day of Tisha B'Av.
Despite all those efforts and miracles Christ Jesus performed in about three years in ancient Palestine or Judea, a majority or most of Judaists or Israelites at the time did not accept the teaching of Christ Jesus according to studies such as one above quoted.

Conversely, Roman and Judaist authorities at the time made their best to suppress this new spiritual movement originated by Christ Jesus.  They must have applied severe punishment and persecution to those who listened to Apostles and disciples of Christ Jesus who resumed their preaching and mission after the resurrection of Christ Jesus.

Even in the Acts of the Apostles, there are no descriptions about successful mission of Apostles and disciples of Christ Jesus in the Judaist community in Jerusalem and other parts of ancient Palestine.  They never made openly a speech or presented widely a sermon to the public in Jerusalem to acquire many followers.  Rather even St. Paul was arrested to be sent to Rome.

Therefore, it is very likely that thousands or more of Israelites who directly saw and heard Christ Jesus preaching the gospel during the three years of His mission gradually forgot Him without handing down orally the teaching of Christ Jesus to their children.  And Roman and Judaist authorities tried to eradicate and uproot influences of Christ Jesus.  

As a result, nobody among Romans and Isrealites mentioned Christ Jesus in documents, letters, or other records produced after the crucifixion of Christ Jesus, except Josephus and Tacitus.

Like there are almost no Muslims in the Iberian Peninsula and there are no believers in ancient Egyptian religion in Egypt today, the number of believers in Christ Jesus in ancient Palestine must have been small even before the First Jewish–Roman War on which Josephus wrote a great book, however, without mentioning Judaist Christians almost at all.

The scarcity of documentary material and evidence about the life and mission of Christ Jesus means an extremely strong degree of persecutions of Israelites who believed Christ Jesus after the crucifixion.  For 30 years before the First Jewish–Roman War, Roman and Jewish authorities seem to have almost completely destroyed the Christian movement, which was symbolized by the execution of the brother of Christ Jesus James.  

Therefore, it was really a miracle that Christianity prevailed eventually and overwhelmingly in the Roman Empire in a few centuries without sufficient documents to support the mission, which was in stark contrast to other religions such as Islam and Buddhism or even the Old Testament-based Judaism.

However if you think it is impossible to regard Christ Jesus as God, you might not mind this issue so much.  But in that event, you might be fatally on the side of Satan in the worst case.

The Siege and Destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans Under the Command of Titus, A.D. 70
Artist: David Roberts, 1850; Oil on canvas painting / 1356 x 1965 mm

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

Mar 4:30 And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it?
Mar 4:31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth:
Mar 4:32 But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

"is not this the Christ?" - Jesus and James after the Resurrection

Around Tokyo

Jesus and James after the Resurrection

It is said that Christ Jesus had a brother who eventually led Judaists in Jersalem after the resurrection of Christ.
According to Robert Funk, the Gospel of Mark shows that Jesus' mother and brothers were at first sceptical of Jesus' ministry but later became part of the Christian movement.[13][page needed] The biblical citation that Saint James ("the Lord's brother") presided over the Jerusalem church after the apostles dispersed[14] is built on to presume that other kinsmen of Jesus' also exercised some leadership among neighbouring Christian communities. Jewish Christian communities were expelled from Jerusalem by the Romans after the Bar Kochba revolt with the founding of Aelia Capitolina (c. 135).[14] Traditionally it is believed the Jerusalem Christians waited out the Jewish–Roman wars (66–135) in Pella in the Decapolis. The Jerusalem Sanhedrin relocated to Jamnia sometime c. 70.

At an earlier stage James[15] is said to have been granted a special appearance by the resurrected Jesus.[16] When Saint Peter, a leader of the church in Jerusalem left, it was James who became the principal authority and was held in high regard by the Jewish Christians.[17] Hegesippus reports that he was executed by the Sanhedrin in 62.[17]
But James or Jacob was not a follower of his brother Christ Jesus from the beginning.  Something changed James' mind to accept the teaching by Christ.
While James grew up in the same house with Jesus in Nazareth, he was miles apart from Jesus' thinking for the early part of his life. 
James did not grow up a believer (John:7:5). Though Jesus and James had the same mother, Jesus was the son not of Joseph, as James was, but of God the Father Himself—a fact that wouldn't fully sink into James'mind for years. It wasn't until Jesus' resurrection and His appearance to James and the disciples that James finally really understood who his half brother was. 
It is said that faithful followers of Christ Jesus saw in person Christ Himself with their eyes three days or more after the resurrection of Christ.

But it is not depicted in the Bible so drastically as the case of St. Paul.  The encounter of St. Paul with the holy spirit of Christ Jesus on his way to Damascus is so vividly recited.  But, the appearance of Christ Jesus to his honest followers after the resurrection is told rather in a touch of mystery.

In my interpretation, one of mysterious figures Christ Jesus met in a high mountain was actually James.  
Mar 9:2 And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them.
Mar 9:3 And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them.
Mar 9:4 And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus.
And, also in my interpretation, the angel who met with some Jesus' disciples at the entrance of the tomb of Jesus was actually James.

Mar 16:3 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?Mar 16:4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.Mar 16:5 And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.Mar 16:6 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.Mar 16:7 But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.
Christ Jesus told His brother James to come and help Him resurrect in the tomb after the crucifixion, in my interpretation.

But strangely, Christ Jesus would not present Himself openly to Roman and Judaist authorities so as to overwhelm them with His power proven by the resurrection.  Rather mysteriously, Christ Jesus made an appearance only to some of His disciples and followers.
Mar 16:12 After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.Mar 16:13 And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.Mar 16:14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. 
Specifically what was "another form" stated in Mar 16:12?  Why would not Christ Jesus act and preach in the same manner as He had done before the crucifixion?

The key to an answer to this question is in James.  He is the only person who knew what happened to Christ Jesus after the resurrection, since James, looking like an angel, helped Christ Jesus get out of the tomb.  However, all we know is that James became the leader of the so-called Judaist Christians in Jerusalem while St. Paul was preaching to gentiles outside Palestine.
In the non-canonical Gospel of Thomas, Jesus names James his successor: "The disciples said to Jesus, 'We know that you will depart from us. Who will be our leader?' Jesus said to them, "Where you are, you are to go to James the Just, for whose sake heaven and earth came into existence.'"[5] 
Apart from a handful of references in the synoptic Gospels, the main sources for his life are the Acts of the Apostles, the Pauline epistles, the historian Josephus, Eusebius and St. Jerome who also quote the early Christian chronicler Hegesippus and Epiphanus.[6] The Epistle of James in the New Testament is traditionally attributed to him, and he is a principal author of the Apostolic Decree of Acts 15. In the extant lists of Hippolytus of Rome,[7] Dorotheus of Tyre, the Chronicon Paschale, and Dimitry of Rostov, he is the first of the Seventy Apostles, though some sources, such as the Catholic Encyclopedia,[8] state that "these lists are unfortunately worthless".
Again in my interpretation, Christ Jesus helped St. Paul, St. Peter, and other disciples He sent to the world to preach the Gospel.  That is why Christianity prevailed.  It was not power and merit of St. Paul, St. Peter, and other disciples that made Christianity establish itself among gentiles and Romans.   Christ Jesus must have acted secretly behind the scene while St. Paul, St. Peter, and other disciples were making their best as human beings.  For example, Christ Jesus must have appeared to some foreigners to strengthen their belief after they listened to St. Paul, St. Peter, and other disciples preaching the Gospel in their way.  But these incidents were not recorded in any books.  Or simply a rumor that Christ Jesus appeared to some people who came to believe what St. Paul and others preached might spread.  And there must have a spate of such rumors.
Joh 21:25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.
However, in Jerusalem only James was in charge.  A brother of Christ Jesus, so was anything else needed among Judaists to support Judaist Christians?  Christ Jesus must have been busy in Rome and other places to promote faith in God after the resurrection.

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

Joh 4:29 Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?

Monday, April 28, 2014

"were filled with wrath" - The Greatest Emperor of China

Around Tokyo

The Greatest Emperor of China

Who is the greatest emperor of China. One of them seems to be Emperor Taizong of Tang Dynasty.
Emperor Taizong of Tang Dynasty (598 – 649), personal name Li Shimin (Ri Seimin in Japanese), was the second emperor of the Tang Dynasty of China, ruling from 626 to 649. As he encouraged his father, Li Yuan (later Emperor Gaozu) to rise against Sui Dynasty rule at Taiyuan in 617 and subsequently defeated several of his most important rivals, he was ceremonially regarded as a co-founder of the dynasty along with Emperor Gaozu.[10]

He is typically considered as one of the (if not the) greatest emperors in Chinese history. Throughout the rest of Chinese history, Emperor Taizong's reign was regarded as the exemplary model against which all other emperors were measured, and his "Reign of Zhenguan" (Jyogan-no-ji in Japanese) was considered a golden age of Chinese history and required study for future crown princes.
According to a Chinese history book on the era of Tang, during his reign Chinese households did not lock the door of their houses as there were no thieves and Chinese travelers did not carry foods because they were provided meals for for free on their way to destinations.

It is said that Emperor Taizong listened to his subjects very carefully and intently.

Especially he recruited a politician who had advised Taizong's older brother to kill Taizong, who was then called Li Shimin, due to a dangerous ambition of Li Shimin.  At the time Li Shimin's older brother was the crown princess, but he was not well qualified for a future emperor and was afraid that his younger brother Li Shimin would take his position sooner or later.  So,  following the advice from the politician the crown princess and his youngest brother planed to kill Li Shimin.  But Li Shimin acted more quickly to kill his older brother and younger brother and succeed in inheriting the throne.  But, after Li Shimin became emperor Taizong, he promoted the politician to a higher position.  And the Emperor asked this man, who had been once an enemy, to frankly criticize his governance and make remarks on his administration.  No matter how severely Emperor Taizon was offerred criticism to, he never got angry.

Later scholars compiled a book about questions and answers or dialogues between Emperor Taizon and his subjects. The book is called "Zhenguan zheng yao (Joganseiyo in Japanese)."

In this book, an episode the Emperor told is introduced.

Emperor Taizon loved to practice art of archery.  One day he got scores of nice bows.  So, the Emperor showed them to an artisan of bows.  But the artisan said to the Emperor, "These bows are all not good; all the cores of the woods used for the bows are not straight. And their veins are at random."  Then the Emperor Taizon realized that he did not yet understand the secrets of art of archery, though he had been engaged in war using many vows by himself.  Since he did not have an enough insight into familiar bows, he did not grasp key points of politics and governance.  Accordingly the Emperor asked high-ranking officials of his court to be on night duty, so that the Emperor could consult them and ask them for advice at any time or even at night.

"Zhenguan zheng yao" was introduced into Japan in the eighth or ninth century.  Since then, notable Japanese rulers and politicians read this book regularly or occasionally.  For example, those Japanese leaders include Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the last samurai regime of Japan which began in 1603, and the Emperor Meiji who took over power from the Tokugawa shogun in 1868.
However, Emperor Taizon had to kill his two brothers to ascend the throne.  Though this incident made the Emperor feel pain afterwards, the background power struggle in past Chinese dynasties in general looked always so cruel.  But the great achievement of Emperor Taizon and the glory of Tang Dynasty might justify such an bloody act, since China has never been a domain of Christendom.  

China under the Tang dynasty circa 700 AD

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

Luk 4:23 And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country.
Luk 4:24 And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.
Luk 4:25 But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;
Luk 4:26 But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.
Luk 4:27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.
Luk 4:28 And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,
Luk 4:29 And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

"marvelled that he talked with the woman" - Judas Iscariot

The Tone-Gawa River with the largest basin area in Japan

Judas Iscariot

Christ Jesus is said to have been betrayed by Judas Iscariot.  But how could God be betrayed by a man and executed eventually?

If Christ Jesus was God, the incident involving Judas means that God could not know beforehand and stop betrayal by one of His followers.  It is impossible, since God is almighty.  God must be able to know beforehand and stop betrayal by one of His followers.

If so, doesn't the incident involving Judas mean that Christ Jesus was not God at all?

But it can be easily explained.  God became a man, which meant He abandoned His omnipotence when he became a man.  God only allowed Himself to have ability of an ordinary man who could be betrayed.  And, He wanted to prove that despite the limited ability of an ordinary man, He could still live and work as a son of God or as a man to be loved and praised by God.  Therefore, He wanted to show people that they could also live and work as a man to be loved and praised by God if not as a son of God.

When God was Christ Jesus, He did not possess full capability of controlling everything in this universe at His will.  He just lived as an ordinary man.  It was to prove that even an ordinary man could live and work like Jesus Christ to be appreciated by God.

But, did Judas Iscariot think that Christ Jesus was God, the Son of God, the Messiah, or any holy prophet?  And while believing so, did Judas dare to betray Christ Jesus?  Then, why?

Reasonable justification of Judas' act is as follows:

1. Judas was from the beginning a spy sent by the Roman authority or Judaist priests.

2. Judas was made a spy at a certain time while following Christ Jesus by the Roman authority, Judaist priests, or any other parties.

3. Judas came to carry a grudge against Christ Jesus or other disciples.

4. Judas thought he was betrayed by Christ Jesus, so that he wanted  to revenge himself on Christ Jesus.

5. Though Judas was faithful, Satan got into his mind to act sinfully.

Once I argued the possibilities of 1 and 2.  But here I want to focus on the possibility 4.

Before Judas betrayed Christ Jesus, Judas might have thought that he had been betrayed by Christ Jesus.  Accordingly, Judas wanted to take his revenge on Christ Jesus.  But specifically, from a viewpoint of Judas, how did Christ Jesus betray Judas .  Something must have happened in Jerusalem.
The book of John details the most accounts of Jesus in Jerusalem. In John He is depicted as attending 3 Passover Feasts, the most significant of the Jewish feasts, as well as the Feast of Booths and the Feast of the Dedication. This account places Jesus in Jerusalem at least five times just in the three year length of His ministry. He also made several appearances near Jerusalem, such as where John was baptizing, and the nearby suburbs of Bethany and Bethphage. 
The Passover occurred once a year, drawing tens of thousands of pilgrims to the Temple and Jerusalem. The Gospels picture Jesus in Jerusalem during each of the three Passovers of His three-year ministry, as well as journeying to it as a youth. The city of Jerusalem swelled to many times it's normal population during the Passover. Pilgrims from all over the globe would set out for the Passover. A comparable scene would be Mecca today during the great Islamic festivals which attract hundreds of thousands of Muslims.
The Gospel does not depict that all the people in Jerusalem came to respect, follow, and revere Christ Jesus when He was in Jerusalem in the last and decisive time.  At night Christ Jesus and His followers got out of the city and slept in some orchard.  They were not welcomed, accepted, and admitted in some house or facilities within Jerusalem under management by a follower who newly came to believe Christ Jesus.  It loos like that Christ Jesus and His disciples could not make many residents in Jerusalem join their holy movement.  It must mean a failure in a mission in Jerusalem.

His disciples had to get out of Jerusalem at night to sleep under trees in an orchard.  They could neither acquire new believers who gave them hospitality nor receive donation of money needed for them to stay at an inn at night.   What was worse, Christ Jesus Himself was praying at night in a horrible manner as if He had been afraid of his terrible fate waiting for him ahead.

They came to Jerusalem to induce and enjoy glory of God.  But they were still a band of poor people.  Judas must have disappointed.  He must have thought that he would become a rich man when many rich citizens in Jerusalem came to believe and follow Christ Jesus and made big donation to the humble religious community Christ Jesus was leading.  The dream of Judas was betrayed.  He was still a poor man without any glory around him.  So, Judas had to take his revenge.

In other word, in this theory, Christ Jesus failed in his mission in Jerusalem.  The betrayal by Judas proved it.

Indeed, even the Gospel does not report that even after resurrection of Christ Jesus a majority or a multitude of citizens of Jerusalem came to believe Christ Jesus.  Rather, His followers were hiding to avoid persecution.  No trace of success by Christ Jesus in his mission in Jerusalem is found in the Bible or books written by Flavius Josephus, a notable first-century Romano-Jewish scholar, historian and hagiographer.

In conclusion, from a human point of view, we cannot blame Judas Iscariot.  But today, Judas Iscariot is regarded as a more sinful man than Hitler.

Now, why did Christ Jesus fail in His mission in Jerusalem?  Only God knows?

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

Joh 4:27 And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her?