Saturday, January 10, 2015

"praying without at the time of incense" - History as God

Around Tokyo Station

History as God

History is God for human beings.

When we look at the long history of mankind, we have to feel something so profound and solemn.  It is all beyond any man's design or scenario but it manifests ability and power God has endowed mankind with.  The only source of such ability and power mankind has exercised through its long history is God.  Accordingly, in awe of God we have to observe our history.  And we have to feel that history is God's and history is God.

We cannot easily see God around us, though it is not impossible. But we can find God in history, since our existence simply depends on the good will of God.

History is a series of moments at each of which God refrained from destroying mankind.  Accordingly, we can trace how mankind foolishly and sinfully acted but God narrowly overlooked it.  It is a kind of interaction between human thoughts and behaviors and God's interference.

Of course, when we look back at our past and present living, we might find God at certain points of time or on some occasions.  But we have to realize first we are living in the world that has been allowed to continue to exist from the far distant past.

And the great accumulation of human deeds and activities in these 5,000 years tells us how we have been under the will or control of God.  We have to see God behind the flow of our history, since God always watches mankind.

And most importantly, the fact that we are now living in 2000s is very important, since each of us might have been born 100 years ago, 1000 years ago, or 1500 years ago; but we are living the year 2015.  But why?  Just by chance?

If you think that there is no God and you happen to be living 2015, everything around you has no meaning other than a phantom.  It simply passes away with you living toward death.

But if you sense existence of God, everything around you will come to have significant meaning.  Besides, you have to acknowledge a possibility that God always watches you just like He is watching the whole history of mankind.

Every religion must have any kind of relevance to this notion.

Judaism is too personal in relation with God; Christianity is so passionate with an emphasis on the Second Coming of Christ; and Islam is no more tolerant about men's enjoying future.

As it has been 2000 years since the Son of God appeared in the human world, we have to expect God to decisively interfere with mankind.  And I think the Second Coming of Christ has been realized in these years.

It takes 250 million years for the solar system to make a circuit of the Galaxy.  Just 250 million years ago, dinosaurs came to appear on the earth under the gaze of God.  It is a miracle, indeed.

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Luk 1:9 According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.
Luk 1:10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.
Luk 1:11 And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.

Friday, January 09, 2015

"a cloud received him out of their sight" - Frictions between Christians and Muslims


Frictions between Christians and Muslims

Whatever has happened in the world, you have to calmly wait for the promised coming of Christ Jesus.

There were many acts of terrors, wars, and armed conflicts.  But they never settled definitely. One change in situations led to occurrence of another event.  And some people were sacrificed while a majority of others simply survived with some lessons that never taught them a final solution.

Due to accumulated amounts of evil deeds, contaminated desires, and committed crimes, a terror or any other terrible incident occurs at some interval of time in the world.

Having said so, this incident of the terror in Paris is really alarming.  The US was attacked in 2001, London was attacked in 2005, and now Paris is now experiencing terror in 2015.  Terrorists are all Islamic.  Apparently the focus of history is now on Islam.

Though you might not believe at all, a third world war-class tragedy can be triggered by this situation involving Muslims in a global scale.  For example, before WWI, nobody probably believed that the Judaist issue would trigger a world war after the then coming World War I.

Indeed after 2001, many Muslims have been killed in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Gaza, etc.  Even before 2001, European Muslims in the Balkans and the south of Russia were killed in a large number.

Something decisive, a third world war-class tragedy, seems to have already begun with Muslims.

And this movement might converge on Israel sooner or later.

But can it be realized that Israel ceases to be a threat to Muslims and the Islamic world advances economically to accommodate all the Muslims living and working in Europe to erase frictions between Christians and Muslims?    

The path to such a final state must be, however, full of tragic accidents like the one recently observed in Paris and still going on there.

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Act 1:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
Act 1:10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
Act 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

"baptize you with the Holy Ghost"

Mt Fuji 100 km Far from the Tokyo Suburbs Today

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Mar 1:8 I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.
Mar 1:9 And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

"the latchet of whose shoes" - Roles of Islamic Phillosophy

A 2011 Tsunami Stricken Town, Northeast Japan 

Roles of Islamic Phillosophy

Islam has philosophy.  And it is still alive.
In recent studies by Muslim contemporary thinkers that aim at "renewing the impetus of philosophical thinking in Islam," Nader El-Bizri offers a critical analysis of the conventions that dominate mainstream academic and epistemic approaches in studying Islamic philosophy. These approaches, of methodology and historiography are looked at from archival standpoints within Oriental and Mediaevalist Studies, fail to recognize the fact that philosophy in Islam can still be a living intellectual tradition. He maintains that its renewal requires a radical reform in ontology and epistemology within Islamic thought.
For the Christian culture to prevail in the world, it has needed to be supported by results of fundamental studies of the Christian mind.  Even the Industrial Revolution would have been impossible to have advanced to the modern status of science and technology without cultural frameworks having been based on the Christian philosophy.

So, any future advancement of global Islamic communities need effective Islamic philosophy today.

What Muslims need is not weapons to destroy any chances for Islamic peaceful advancement but philosophy toward future.    

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Mar 1:6 And John was clothed with camel's hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey;
Mar 1:7 And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

"glory and dominion for ever and ever" - Christianity and the Old Testament

Electronics Store-Filled Akihabara Street, Tokyo, on Jan. 1, 2015 (heisei 27th) 

Christianity and the Old Testament

Christ Jesus was one of ancient Israelites.  He was neither a Roman citizen nor a Greek.

He didn't refer to ancient Greek philosophers such as Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle.  Christ Jesus didn't write a book or run a school.  He didn't go to Rome to occupy it spiritually.

But Christ Jesus seems to have respected the Old Testament fully, though nobody in Rome and Greece at the time respected the Jewish Bible.  Rome was so dominant as the center of the civilization at the time and Greece had great influences as the Greek was the international language at the time.

However, glory and hegemony of ancient Rome and Greece has long gone.  On the other hand, Christianity and Judaism have survived and advanced to have decisive influences in the world today.

More importantly, the two religions are interwoven as Christ Jesus referred to some passages of the Old Testament.  Without Jesus' quotations, Judaism might have been neglected and forgotten totally in the Christian world.  But, as there are concrete evidence of Jesus' respect for the Old Testament, the destiny of Judaism has been decided so that it would remain and survive along with Christianity if all the Judaists have disappeared.            

Jesus' References to Old Testament Scriptures

Jesus' References to Old Testament Scriptures, by Rich Robinson
From start to finish, the New Testament contains quotations, references, allusions and paraphrases of the Old Testament. Sometimes the New Testament follows the Hebrew text; in other cases it more closely follows the translation into Greek of the Old Testament called the Septuagint.
This chart lists many references from the Old Testament found on the lips of Jesus in the Gospels.*
But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'" (Matthew 4: 4, NKJV, c.f. Luke 4:4)
"So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD." (Deuteronomy 8:3)
Jesus said to him, "It is written again, 'You shall nottempt the LORD your God.'" (Matthew 4:7; cf. Luke 4:12)
"You shall not tempt the LORD your God as you temptedHim in Massah." (Deuteronomy 6:16)
"Then Jesus said to him, 'Away with you, Satan! For it is written, "You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.'" (Matthew 4:10, cf. Luke 4:8)
"You shall fear the LORD your God and serve Him, and shall take oaths in His name." (Deuteronomy 6:13)
And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: "The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD." (Luke 4:17-19)
"The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn." (Isaiah 61:1-2)
"You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.'" (Matthew 5:21)
"You shall not murder." (Exodus 20:13)
"You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery.'" (Matthew 5:27)
"You shall not commit adultery." (Exodus 20:14;Deuteronomy 5:18)
"Furthermore it has been said, 'Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.'" (Matthew 5:31)
"When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some uncleanness in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house, when she has departed from his house, and goes and becomes another man's wifeif the latter husband detests her and writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house, or if the latter husband dies who took her as his wife, then her former husband who divorced her must not take her back to be his wife after she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the LORD, and you shall not bring sin on the land which the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance." (Deuteronomy 24:1-4)
"'Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.'" (Matthew 5:33)
"'And you shall not swear by My name falsely, nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am the LORD.'" (Leviticus 19:12)
"If a man makes a vow to the LORD, or swears an oath to bind himself by some agreement, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth." (Numbers 30:2; cf. Deuteronomy 23:21)
"You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.'" (Matthew 5:38)
"But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe." (Exodus 21:23-25; cf. Leviticus 24:19-20Deuteronomy 19:21)
"But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice.' For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance." (Matthew 9:13, cf. Matthew 12:7)
For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. (Hosea 6:6)
"For I have come to 'set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law'; and 'a man's enemies will be those of his own household.'" (Matthew 10:3536, cf.Luke 12:5253)
For son dishonors father, daughter rises against her mother, daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; A man's enemies are the men of his own household. (Micah 7:6)
"For this is he of whom it is written: 'Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.'" (Matthew 11:10; cf. Luke 7:27)

"BEHOLD, I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight. Behold, He is coming," Says the LORD of hosts. (Malachi 3:1)
"And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: 'Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, and seeing you will see and not perceive; for the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.'" (Matthew 13:1415, cf. Mark 4:11-13Luke 8:10)
And He said, "Go, and tell this people: 'Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.' "Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and shut their eyes;
lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and return and be healed." (Isaiah 6:9-10)
He answered and said to them, "Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? "For God commanded, saying, 'Honor your father and your mother'; and, 'He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.' (Matthew 15:34; cf.Mark 7:10)

"Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you." (Exodus 20:12, cf Exodus 21:17)
"Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: 'These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'" (Matthew 15:7-9, cf. Mark 7:6,7)
Therefore the LORD said: "Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men…" (Isaiah 29:13)
And He answered and said to them, "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,'"and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? "So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate." (Matthew 19:4-6, cf.Mark 10:6-8)
So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:27)
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24)
So He said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one isgood but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments." He said to Him, "Which ones?" Jesus said, "'You shall not murder,' 'You shall not commit adultery,' 'You shall not steal,' 'You shall not bear false witness,' 'Honor your father and your mother,'and, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'" The young man said to Him, "All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?" (Matthew 19:17-20, cf. Mark 10:19Luke 18:20)
"Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor." (Exodus 20:12-16, cf.Deuteronomy 5:16-20Leviticus 19:18)
And He said to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer,' but you have made it a 'den of thieves.'" (Matthew 21:13, cf. Mark 11:17Luke 19:46)
Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations. (Isaiah 56:7)
"Has this house, which is called by My name, become a den of thieves in your eyes? Behold, I, even I, have seenit," says the LORD. (Jeremiah 7:11)
And Jesus said to them, "Yes. Have you never read, 'Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise?'" (Matthew 21: 16b)
Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength, because of Your enemies, that You may silence the enemy and the avenger." (Psalm 8:2)
Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the Scriptures: 'The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the LORD's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?'" (Matthew 21:42, cf. Mark 12:1011Luke 20:17)
The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone. This was the LORD's doing; it ismarvelous in our eyes. (Psalm 118:2223)
"But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living." (Matthew 22:31-32, cf. Mark 12:2627Luke 20:37-38)
Moreover He said, "I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God. (Exodus 3:6)
Jesus said to him, "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind." This is the first and great commandment. And thesecond is like it: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (Matthew 22:37-39 [no second NT ref])
"You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength." (Deuteronomy 6:5, cf. Leviticus 19:18)

"How then does David in the Spirit call Him 'Lord,' saying: 'The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool?'" (Matthew 22:4344, cf. Mark 12:36Luke 20:4243)
The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool." (Psalm 110:1)
"See! Your house is left to you desolate; "for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!'" (Matthew 23:38-39, cf. Luke 13:35)
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! We have blessed you from the house of the LORD. (Psalm 118:26)
"Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand), "then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains." (Matthew 24:1516)
"Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate." (Daniel 9:27, cf. Daniel 11:31,12:11)
Then Jesus said to them, "All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: 'I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.'" (Matthew 26:31, cf. Mark 14:27)
"Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, against the Man who is My Companion," says the LORD of hosts. "Strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered; then I will turn My hand against the little ones." (Zechariah 13:7)
"For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: 'And He was numbered with the transgressors.' For the things concerning Me have an end." (Luke 22:37)
Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because He poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors. (Isaiah 53:12)
"And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, 'Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?' that is, 'My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?'" (Matthew 27:46, cf. Mark 15:34)
My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, and from the words of My groaning? (Psalm 22:1)
"It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me." (John 6:45)
All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and greatshall be the peace of your children. (Isaiah 54:13)
"It is also written in your law that the testimony of two men is true." (John 8:17)
"Whoever is deserving of death shall be put to death on the testimony of two or three witnesses; he shall not be put to death on the testimony of one witness." (Deuteronomy 17:6, cf. Deuteronomy 19:15)
Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your law, 'I said, "You are gods?"'" (John 10:34)
I said, "You are gods, And all of you are children of the Most High." (Psalm 82:6)
"I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, 'He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me.'" (John 13:18)
Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me. (Psalm 41:9)
"But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, 'They hated Me without a cause.'" (John 15:25)
Let them not rejoice over me who are wrongfully my enemies; nor let them wink with the eye who hate me without a cause. (Psalm 35:19, cf. Psalm 69:4)
To delve further, see these resources:
G. K. Beale and D. A. Carson, ed. Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007. A thorough and up-to-date reference work.

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Rev 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
Rev 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Monday, January 05, 2015

"God called the light Day" - Return Money to Whom?

Tokyo Downtown on a New Year Holiday

Return Money to Whom?

If all 100 people in a community with the population of 100 are bad guys, you cannot expect such a community to survive for long periods.

If only one person in the community is righteous, God might not destroy the community as long as the man is alive.

But what will happen in a case that a half of the community members are bad guys and the rest are righteous?

If all the bad guys declare war on those righteous persons, both the camps will be totally destroyed as their power is balanced.  So, bad guys would try to look righteous to be accepted by righteous people who are diligent to produce a lot of products in their workplaces.  Bad guys would follow the righteous people to be affluent.  But, their avarice would lead them to evil schemes to steal goods, products, and assets the righteous people possess.

That is why the financial sector was established to absorb a huge amount of money from the society.

That is why Christ Jesus said to return what belongs to Caesar to Caesar.  Or more clearly, "Return money to the emperor who issued it."

Indeed, money is the very means with which evil guys can steal assets from righteous people.

But can we expect that someday mankind will abolish use of money?

Anyway we have to return money to an emperor, a government, a central bank, or any other originator, since our work should not be for money even if we are engaged in any worldly professions..

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Gen 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
Gen 1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
Gen 1:5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.