Saturday, October 25, 2014

"for the disciple that he be as his master"

Pacific Coast Line Southwest of Tokyo

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Mat 10:24 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.
Mat 10:25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?
Mat 10:26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.

Friday, October 24, 2014

" how hard is it for them that trust in riches" - Without Christ Jesus?


Without Christ Jesus?

To believe that there is only one God who created this universe might not be so difficult if we honestly observe the nature around us, especially, in a scientific manner.

Indeed the nature is so well designed with some simple basic elements though a multitude of their combinations have produced so diverse phenomena and living things.  There must be a great designer or designers of this universe, and it must be only one designer since all the physical laws are so well unified as if they were intended to achieve a sole goal, namely to generate human beings with souls eventually in this universe, which suggests that the designer is only one.

So, we can believe that there is one God that created this universe.   But, the idea that the God sent His son to the human world is hard to believe.
Most Often Quoted
One of the greatest, and most often quoted, verses in the Bible is actually a quote from Jesus.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Conversely, we had better think about what should have happened to mankind if the God had not sent His only son to the earth.
If Christ Had Not Come . . . we would not know the Father

It is sometimes easy to forget that without Christ, Jehovah would be, for many people, an inscrutable, faraway, mysterious Being. Even today in some countries, countless thousands and even millions of people worship images of wood or stone, hoping to appease a detached deity. For them, the idols represent gods who are harsh, condemning, and difficult to please.

The ancient Hebrews received from God a system of law that could be misunderstood by those who fail to comprehend the father love of Jehovah. Many Israelites failed to see the true intent of the Law and its purpose as a standard of righteousness. For them, it became the restrictive rules of a God who lashed out in anger at those who failed to obey the Law. They feared God for what He might do, but they failed to appreciate Him for who He truly was.

When Jesus of Nazareth began His ministry, He described God as a heavenly Father who cared for the most undeserving of His children. The Savior portrayed Jehovah as a parent awaiting the return of His prodigal child. The man from Galilee encircled children with His arms, touched repulsive lepers, and taught that God sympathized with a sparrow when it fell to the ground-anywhere in the world. When Philip said to the Lord, "Shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us," Jesus answered, "Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?" (see John 14:8-9). God is exactly like Jesus, but that glorious fact would have remained unknown if the Lord had not come to earth.

If Christ Had Not Come . . . prayer would be impossible

Within the ancient world, only special people had access to God. Moses went into the mountain to meet the Almighty; Elijah prayed and God responded by preventing rain from falling over a period of three and a half years; Isaiah, Daniel, and others prayed and received responses from heaven, but such experiences were unknown among ...
Put simply, it is a revolution that Christ Jesus had carried out in His lifetime around 4 BC to 30 AD.  As it was so revolutionary, it captured the minds of Paul and others including Israelites and pagans.

The core of the revolutionary notion is that the God takes greatly care about and takes deeply thought of each human being, so unconditionally.  What's more God might get angry so fiercely on people who do not obey and observe His teaching directed to love, justice, and humility.

More specifically, the God will save every individual, but everyone has a responsibility to trust and follow the God and the Son of God.

As Paul and pagans in the Roman Empire realized extravagant meanings of this revolutionary concept, they could not help but devote their lives on this revolution.  Probably the shock they felt must have been greater than that ancient people should have felt when they had been shown the structure of this solar system and its position in the galaxy.

Nonetheless, there remains still an enigma: Why did the God have to create the universe and mankind, troubling Himself so much as to send His Only Son to the earth for the purpose to save human souls from Satan.

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Mar 10:24 And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

"Blessed are the eyes which see the things" - The Sun and The End of the World


The Sun and The End of the World

We may sometimes wonder how the human world will end, since eschatology is an important theme of the Bible.
End of The World: Top 5 Popular Scenarios

1: Extraterrestrial Impact
This scenario is where there is an impact of a large extraterrestrial object with the Earth.

2: Pandemic
A pandemic taken from the Greek words pan all and demos people, it is a spreading of infectious disease that propagates through populations across a large region. 
3: Climate Change 
Throughout the Earths history there has always been climate change, in this end of the world scenario we take the meaning of climate change as when the environment becomes too hostile to support current human life populations.

4: Nuclear War
Since the creation of the atom bomb in the 1940's, there has been a new threat to mankind, nuclear war.  
5: Gray goo (nanobots) 
Nanorobots (nanobots, nanoids, nanites or nanonites) are typically conceived to be devices ranging in size from 0.1-10 micrometers and constructed out of nanoscale or molecular components. As no artificial non-biological nanorobots have yet been created, they remain a hypothetical end of the world concept. 
Gray goo phrase is given to the concept of out-of-control self-replicating robots consume all matter on Earth while building more of themselves.
However, we have to think about our origin first when handling our survival, the matter about ourselves so grave and significant.  It is because there must be a kind of relationship between the beginning and the end of our existence.  Moreover, if we were an extraterrestrial being, we would surely check from how human beings came to exist to how it has ceased to exist all through history of human beings when we examine the fate of them.

Pu simply as we, mankind, came to exist receiving energy from the sun like any other living things, we might face the end of our history due to some special condition of the future sun.  Then, how can the sun destroy human beings?
Ice age on the way as scientists fear the Sun is 'falling asleep' 
A NEW ice age could be on its way to Europe after scientists warned of an alarming fall in the performance power of the Sun. 
By: Owen BennettPublished: Sat, January 18, 2014

The number of gas explosions on the Sun's surface should be at the peak of its 11-year cycle of activity, but there has been an unexpected drop off. 
One space physicist said he had not seen anything like it in his 30 year career, and there are fears the temperatures could drop so low the Thames might freeze over.
"If you want to go back to see when the Sun was this inactive... you've got to go back about 100 years," Richard Harrison, head of space physics at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire told the BBC. 
One of the Sun's biggest lulls came in the 17th century, known as the Maunder Minimum, at the same time as freezing winters swept across Europe. 
That caused not only the River Thames to freeze solid,  allowing Londoners to enjoy frost fairs, but even the Baltic Sea iced over in some of the harshest conditions ever recorded in Europe. 
Dr Lucie Green, from University College London's Mullard Space Science Laboratory told the BBC: "It's completely taken me and many other solar scientists by surprise."
After this sudden calming of the Sun, scientists wonder whether its activity will continue to fall. 
"It would feel like the Sun is asleep... a very dormant ball of gas at the centre of our Solar System," said Dr Green. 
"There is a very strong hint that the Sun is acting in the same way now as it did in the run-up to the Maunder Minimum."

Specifically we can refer to data and a graph showing centuries-long fluctuation of influences of the sun on the earth.

Finally, the Sun may influence the Earth's climate also in other, more convoluted ways, e.g. by modulating the flux of cosmic rays, which have been proposed to increase the coverage by low-lying clouds.

But how strong the Sun's influence is and which mechanism is playing the main role is a matter of current research. The Sun's influence on the Earth's climate can not be measured directly. However, good correlations have been found between different proxies of solar activity and climate records, for example, between the concentration of 14C in tree rings and glacier fluctuations (Fig.1).
Fig. 1. Sunspot number (green line) and the concentration of 14C in tree rings (red) as proxies of solar activity versus glacier fluctuations (white circles; after Eddy 1976, Nature 192, 1189).

Another example is the the coincidence of the so called Maunder minimum (a period in the second half of the 17th centuty when hardly any sunspots were seen during more than 50 years, see Fig. 1) with the Little Ice Age in Europe, a time of severe cold and great hardship, when the Thames froze regularly and alpine glaciers grew deep into the valleys. The latter is greatly illustrated by painters of Dutch school, showing winter scenes, ice-covered canals, figures skating and sledging (Fig. 2).

In a longer time span through the history of the earth, it has experienced an ice age in several times.
What is an ice age? An ice age is a long interval of time (millions to tens of millions of years) when global temperatures are relatively cold and large areas of the Earth are covered by continental ice sheets and alpine glaciers. Within an ice age are multiple shorter-term periods of warmer temperatures when glaciers retreat (called interglacials or interglacial cycles) and colder temperatures when glaciers advance (called glacials or glacial cycles).

At least five major ice ages have occurred throughout Earth’s history: the earliest was over 2 billion years ago, and the most recent one began approximately 3 million years ago and continues today (yes, we live in an ice age!).

Currently, we are in a warm interglacial that began about 11,000 years ago. The last period of glaciation, which is often informally called the “Ice Age,” peaked about 20,000 years ago. At that time, the world was on average probably about 10°F (5°C) colder than today, and locally as much as 40°F (22°C) colder.

Simplified chart showing when the five major ice ages occurred in the past 2.4 billion years of Earth’s history. Modified from several sources including Dynamical Paleoclimatology: Generalized Theory of Global Climate Change, 2002, by Barry Saltzman.

If severer condition of the current ice age should come to be manifested and engulf the whole earth to continue for 100 years or more, if not one million years, the human civilization would be frozen and disintegrated.  The end of the world for human beings must surely come if the condition should continue for 1,000 years.

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Luk 10:23 And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

"it was at Jerusalem the feast" - The Right Side and The Wrong Side of 1492

Asakusa, a Tokyo Downtown

The Right Side and The Wrong Side of 1492

In 1492, Columbus started to sail to a new world over the Atlantic Ocean.  But in the same year, corruption of the Vatican reached one of the worst levels.

ALEXANDER VI. (Rodrigo Borgia) (1431-1503), pope from 1492 to his death, is the most memorable of the corrupt and secular popes of the Renaissance. He was born (January 1, 1431) at Xativa, near Valencia in Spain, and his father's surname was Lanzol or Llancol; that of his mother's family, Borgia or Borja, was assumed by him on the elevation of his maternal uncle to the papacy as Calixtus III. (April 8, 1455).

His manners were agreeable and his appearance fascinating, but, like many other prelates of the day, his morals were far from blameless, his two dominant passions being greed of gold and love of women, and he was devotedly fond of the children whom his mistresses bore him.

Before his elevation to the papacy Cardinal Borgia's passion for Vannozza somewhat diminished, and she subsequently led a very retired life. Her place in his affections was filled by the beautiful Giulia Farnese (Giulia Bella), wife of an Orsini, but his love for his children by Vannozza remained as strong as ever and proved, indeed, the determining factor of his whole career. He lavished vast sums on them and loaded them with every honour. A characteristic instance of the corruption of the papal court is the fact that Borgia's daughter Lucrezia (see BORGIA, LUCREZIA) lived with his mistress Giulia, who bore him a daughter Laura in 1492.

On the death of Pope Innocent VIII. the three likely candidates for the Holy See were Cardinals Borgia, Ascanio Sforza and Giuliano della Rovere; at no previous or subsequent election were such immense sums of money spent on bribery, and Borgia by his great wealth succeeded in buying the largest number of votes, including that of Sforza, and to his intense joy he was elected on the 10th of August 1492, assuming the name of Alexander VI. Borgia's elevation did not at the time excite much alarm, except in some of the cardinals who knew him, and at first his reign was marked by a strict administration of justice and an orderly method of government in satisfactory contrast with the anarchy of the previous pontificate, as well as by great outward splendour. But it was not long before his unbridled passion for endowing his relatives at the expense of the church and of his neighbours became manifest. For this object he was ready to commit any crime and to plunge all Italy into war. 
So, history tells us that when Europe was on the verge of irredeemable corruption symbolized by the emergence of a putrid Pope, God gave another big chance for salvation to mankind through Columbus.

The historical fact that the two incidents occurred in the same year means that the so-called discovery of America and the religious standstill of Christianity movement led by the Vatican represent the right side and the wrong side of a coin.

If there was no American Continent and the Atlantic and the Pacific formed one super-big ocean, Columbus could not have reached anywhere and Europe would have been morally degraded irremediably.

It is not simple to see how and what good influences the discovery of America had on the status of the Vatican and Christianity, but it is also a historical fact that the Vatican threw heavily itself to missions in South America.  As the incumbent Pope is from Argentina, Latin America must have given a kind of breakthrough in spirit of the Vatican.  Of course, their missions to Africa and Asia also contributed to uplift of morale of the Vatican.  But, Popes and other Vatican bishops must have felt a divine providence in the discovery of the new world, America.  They had then found a new stage to redo their stalemated religious missions despite the emergence of corrupt Popes such as Alexander VI.

It is a lesson to lean from incidents in 1492.

Today, the world has become more complicated.  But the emergence of horrible Islamic terrorists and ISIS must be balanced with something hopeful.  So then, what is the right side of a coin this time?

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Joh 10:22 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.
Joh 10:23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch.
Joh 10:24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.

"The lips of the righteous feed many" - Crude Oil, Desire and Tragedy

Around Tokyo

Crude Oil, Desire and Tragedy

The material civilization we are today enjoying heavily relies on crude oil and steel.

Especially without crude oil, we would have almost no electricity, since not only thermal power stations but also renewable energy generators and nuclear power systems need crude oil for building equipment and component devices in addition to grids.  Crude oil is also a main source for various chemical products.

Without crude oil, we might have to live like people 2000 years ago when Christ Jesus was alive.

Around 1980, it was said that crude oil in the world would be depleted in 30 years or so, but we have still abundant supply of crude oil, as shale oil and new forms of oil and natural gas are being put into practical use.

Crude oil has produced many super-rich people like the Rockefellars, the Rothschild, Arab royal families, etc.  Wealth has been accumulated by those who are engaged in oil business.  Accordingly, crude oil is regarded as the largest factor that rouses people to expand their desire.  Therefore crude oil must be the most anti-Christ among natural resources.

Therefore, if desire destroys human beings, as the Bible teaches, crude oil will play a major role in the future tragedy.  If we want to avoid the tragedy, we should control use and production of crude oil.  But in reality, it is in the hand of market where human desire and demands are dominant with some rationality narrowly preventing violent destruction of the human society.  

Ultimately we might have to introduce a quota system worldwide.

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Pro 10:21 The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for want of wisdom.
Pro 10:22 The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.

Monday, October 20, 2014

"the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you" - Tobacco, Slaves and Independence


Tobacco, Slaves and Independence

The economic development of America started with introduction of plantation economy.

Especially the main staple that brought wealth to early white Americans was tobacco.  It began in Virginia.  So, use of slaves started in Virginia.
Plantation owners embraced the use of slaves mainly because indentured labor became expensive. Some indentured servants were also leaving to start their own farms as land was widely available. Colonists tried to use Native Americansfor labor, but they were susceptible to European diseases and died in large numbers. The plantation owners then turned to enslaved Africans for labor. In 1665, there were less than 500 Africans in Virginia but by 1750, 85 percent of the 235,000 slaves lived in the Southern colonies, Virginia included. Africans made up 50 percent of the South’s population.
It is so interesting that the combination of tobacco and slaves set foundation of economic growth and future great prosperity of America.
The History of slavery in Virginia can be traced back to the very founding of Virginia as an English colony by the London Virginia Company. The headright system tried to solve the labor shortage by providing colonists with land for each indentured servant they transported to Virginia.[1] African workers were first imported in 1619, and laws regarding their slavery were codified into Virginia's first slave code in 1705.

Increasingly toward the end of the 17th century, large numbers of slaves from Africa were brought by Dutch and English ships to the Virginia Colony, as well as Maryland and other southern colonies. On the large tobacco plantations, as chattel (owned property), they replaced indentured servants (who were only obligated to work for an agreed period of time) as field labor, as well as serving as household and skilled workers. As slaves, they were not working by mutual agreement, nor for a limited period of time. In time the practice of slavery became an economic factor for the labor-intensive tobacco and cotton plantations of the South.
Wealth tobacco sales generated was so huge that it became a main factor of a war between Americans and Englishmen.
Tobacco cultivation and exports formed an essential component of the American colonial economy during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Tobacco plantations were distinct from other cash crops in terms of agricultural demands, trade, slave labor, and plantation culture. Many influential American revolutionaries, including Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, owned tobacco plantations, and were financially devastated by debt to British tobacco merchants shortly before the American Revolution.

So, tobacco triggered the American Revolution, leading to America's independence.  But tobacco farming needed slave labor.  In this context, the habit of smoking and existence of African Americas in the US today are two symbolic vestiges of the glorious American Revolution.

Without tobacco, originally from native Americans, and slaves from Africa, there might not have been independent America.

So, whenever you smoke a cigarette, you must be thankful to African Americans.

But, it is truly amazing that tobaccos only consumed by native Americans before the arrival of Columbus at the American Continent have so widely penetrated into the whole world over centuries.
Global Tobacco Industry

Published on December 14th, 2010 11:35

Global Tobacco Industry sells approximately 6 trillion cigarettes annually.

Last year the total value of global tobacco market was approximately $614 billion.

Excluding China, about a half of the international tobacco market is operated by the four largest public tobacco corporations, in accordance with British American Tobacco report.

The BAT’s report provides the following numbers concerning the market share for the last year:

Phillip Morris International (PMI) -16%
British American Tobacco (BAT) - 13%
Japan Tobacco International (JTI) - 11%
Imperial Tobacco - 6%

In addition, it is said that tobaccos were brought into Japan in the late 16th century or the early 17th century by Portuguese or Spaniards who sailed to Japan for trade or Christian missions.

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Mat 10:19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.
Mat 10:20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

"a division therefore again among the Jews" - After the Resurrection


After the Resurrection

Where did Jesus go after the resurrection?  A common explanation is as follows:
First Jesus was in the garden where the tomb was situated. He later went to Emmaus, Galilee and back to Jerusalem. There may have been other places, but these are the ones specifically mentioned. Finally, He ascended into heaven.
But, if Christ Jesus came back to life, why wouldn't he restart His mission again?  Of course, He had to escape from the Jewish authority and Roman troops.  If He repeated the same mission again around Jerusalem, He would have been arrested and crucified again.  In deed, they positioned guards before the tomb where the dead body of Christ Jesus was laid down.

So, what is a reasonable action Christ Jesus should take after the Resurrection?  Should He sporadically show up to His disciples like a guerrilla?  Yes, He actually did it.  But, it could not last long.  Rumors would reach His enemies, and they would send spies, like Judas Iscariot, to His followers and eventually Roman soldiers would attack them or try to capture Christ Jesus again.  Therefore, Christ Jesus should disappear.  And, He actually did it.  Then, where did He go?

There are no concrete and proven evidence about the fate of Christ Jesus after His resurrection and sporadic showing up to His followers for some time after the Resurrection.

However reliable incidents are as follows: Christ Jesus spoke to Paul in the form of pure spirit; for decades Paul and Peter were successful in preaching the Gospel in and outside Palestine; around the time when the First Jewish–Roman War (66–73 CE) was set off the Gospels of Mark, Mathew, Luke, and John were written: and despite persecution, Christianity prevailed in the Roman Empire.

So, probably we have to think that Christ Jesus must have helped Paul, Peter, and other followers spread His teaching through the First Jewish–Roman War so covertly like He worked on Paul on his way to Damascus.

In my theory, Christ Jesus went to Rome to write the Q-source, the common underlying document for the four synoptic gospels, or write a Gospel of Mark under the very name of Mark, and He must have helped Titus Flavius Josephus write The Jewish War (c. 75) and Antiquities of the Jews (c. 94).  Then where did He go finally as a human being?

One of my theories is that He traveled to Medina or Mecca to prepare for the future emergence of Islam.  Christ Jesus most probably, pretending to be the angel Gabriel, helped Muhammad (c. 570 – 632) found Islam.

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Joh 10:17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
Joh 10:18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
Joh 10:19 There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings.