Saturday, October 17, 2015

"Good Master, what shall I do" - The Truth of Jesus' Act in the Temple

Around Tokyo

The Truth of Jesus' Act in the Temple

One famous scene in the Gospels is that Christ Jesus turned over merchant tables in the Temple, exercising his human physical strength.

Some movies about Christ Jesus or the Bible depict this scene somewhat violently.  Christ Jesus looks like a crazy man in these works.  But is that true?

Mar 11:12 And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry:
Mar 11:13 And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet.
Mar 11:14 And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.
Mar 11:15 And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves;
Mar 11:16 And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.
Mar 11:17 And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.
Mar 11:18 And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine.

From a human point of view, it is rather understandable.  First, Christ Jesus was hungry.  He found a fig tree and wanted to eat figs, but there were no figs in the tree.  While He was hungry, He entered the temple to encounter servants of Satan selling and buying goods.  He seems to have got angry extremely.  Maybe due to His hunger, He lost His temper.  He took action with violent force, which is, however, not fit for a saint to do.  And after having quieted down, Christ Jesus preached to people, blaming those merchants.  Dangerously, the scribes and chief priests were hearing the word of Christ Jesus to be afraid of Hims so much as his teaching appealed to people so strongly.  They must have finally come to decide to arrest and execute Christ Jesus.
If Christ Jesus had been an ordinary person, we may as well support the above view.  But He was neither an ordinary person nor an ordinary saint.  Christ Jesus was the Son of God.  We have to change our view on this scene.

God set the course of Christ Jesus to the Crucifixion.  It directly started from the scene of the fig tree through the scene of the temple with Christ Jesus expelling sinful merchants. Causal laws should work, leading to the Crucifixion: violence vs. violence.

But why did God set such a course?  Probably Satan told the God, "Take out super natural power and heavenly might from Christ Jesus, and then we can see how powerless and foolish He will be.  Christ Jesus has nothing great except the power you gave to Him.  So, turn Him to a plain man without holy power!"  God probably said, "We may see as you want."

That is why Christ Jesus got hungry and wanted to pick a fig from a tree that Satan had planted so that it could not offer any figs to Christ Jesus.  Accordingly, the nature of Him as a man drove him to the violent action in the temple.  He could not even take enough caution against his enemies who were listening to His word on site.  Indeed, Christ Jesus was acting like an ordinary man but not a great saint, since God had taken away His super power.  

Accordingly, Satan succeeded in killing Christ Jesus on the cross.  But finally God wan, as Christ Jesus resurrected three days after the death of the ordinary man in Christ Jesus.

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Mar 10:17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
Mar 10:18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

Friday, October 16, 2015

"He that heareth you heareth me" - Move the Mountain!

Mt. Fuji, Japan

Move the Mountain!

Soseki Natsume (1867-1916) is the most respected author in the modern era of Japan.

One of his novels, titled Ko-jin (meaning one in a spiritual training), depicts a man with modern intelligence and a higher educational background in the Meiji era of Japan (when Japan started its modernization and Westernization).  But the protagonist suffers from his lack of emotional ability to understand his wife.  The modern Japanese intelligentsia must have looked so biased to the eyes of Soseki.

In this book, he referred to one tale of Islam:
One day Muhammad said to his followers and fellowmen, "I will move the mountain."  Then he faced a mountain far and prayed.  Everybody was watching Muhammad and the mountain.  But, nothing happened.  Finally, Muhammad said, "Well, I will walk to the mountain!"  And everybody followed him.

This tale was introduced in a scene where the suffering intellectual man was talking with his friend who wanted to know the man's state of the mind, thus referring to religion.

Religion cannot be judged with the worldly sense, and a religious man cannot be measured according to worldly criteria.  No matter how absurd a deed or an act of a saint looks, believers can find any sacred meaning in it.

When a saint says, "I will move the mountain," it is a right thing to say so.  When the mountain does not move, it is also a right thing.  And, when a saint starts to walk to the mountain, it is also a very right thing.
However, Christ Jesus said, "If you have any small faith, you can move a mountain."  So, you have to admit that your faith is still too small to move a mountain.

Otherwise, decades later after the death on the cross of Christ Jesus, the Temple of Jerusalem was destroyed by Roman troops and Judaists started to wander in the world.  Their religious center moved from the Temple to the holy books.

In Japanese, the head temple is called Hon-zan, which literally means the original or root mountain.

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Luk 10:16 He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.
Luk 10:17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.

"I lay down my life for the sheep" - 370, 17, and 9525 in the Sky

Ginza, Tokyo

370, 17, and 9525 in the Sky

When Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared over the Indian Ocean after it changed its course on the South China Sea on 8 March 2014, the world was not so dangerous.

But when Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down by a missile over Ukraine on 17 July 2014, the world was getting dangerous with annexation of the Crimean Peninsula by Russia in March 2014.

And then Germanwings Flight 9525 crashed in France due to a suicidal mad act of a German pilot on 24 March 2015. The world looked no more so peaceful.

When the MH370 accident occurred, nobody thought it was an ill omen.  Juts a very rare and strange thing happened in a busy air route connecting Southeast Asia and China.  But, when MH17 accident happened in the sky of east Ukraine where pro-Russian rebels were fighting the Ukraine Government troops, some people came to feel something like a warning from Heaven.  And finally, a mad, young German pilot pulled other 149 passengers and crews into the fatal crash, so that many people must have come to believe that God was telling them something terrible.

The mysterious MH370 incident started over the South China Sea.  And in the Sea, China has been building military bases on artificial islands or atolls fortified, claiming its groundless and unreasonable sovereignty over the sea areas around those islands and atolls.  It is an act of true invasion of sea territories of the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, etc.  It is one of the most dangerous acts of nations in East Asia after WWII.  It should rank with the war between the mainland China and Taiwan, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the war between China and Vietnam.

Put simply, the MH370 tragedy foretold the danger of China.

The tragic MH17 incident occurred in the middle of the conflict between pro-EU Ukrainians and pro-Russia ones or between Ukraine and Russia.  It simply confirmed the dangerous nature of the Russian Government, since it was apparent the Malaysian jet liner was shot down by a Russian missile.

Put simply, the MH17 tragedy reminded us of the danger of Russia.

The Germanwings Flight 9525 incident occurred when German responsibility was being intensified.  Due to the Greek Crisis, Germany was being tested as to its leadership and ability to lead Europe.  And, today, hundreds of thousands of Islamic refugees are trying to reach Germany as they could not live in war-torn Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.  What is worse, the German car maker VW was found to have been cheating regulators and authorities in terms of emission gas control.  The German ability to fulfill its responsibility is called into question.

Put simply, the Germanwings Flight 9525 tragedy has made Germany seen as a potential danger.

As Malaysia was an Islamic nation, we may as well assume that Islamic nations, China, Russia, and Germany will be key players in years ahead.  But prospects related to them are not rosy at all.

Pu simply, the Third World War could be triggered by some Islamic nations, China, Russia, and Germany, since we have had such ill omen in the sky on the globe.

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Joh 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
Joh 10:15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
Joh 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

"I am the good shepherd" - The Current State of China

Around Tokyo, "Autumn has come!"

The Current State of China

The probability that those born in the economically and socially lowest sector in China continue to stay in the class is now higher than in 1990s.

The upper 10% wealthy Chinese possess 63.9% of all the assets in China.

The upper 5% wealthy urban Chinese have 242 times larger yearly incomes than the lower 5% poor urban Chinese.

Among 1.3 billion Chinese, 900 million are officially registered as residents in villages and 400 million in cities.  It means 900 million Chinese are not beneficiaries of the Chinese economic success.

There are millions of poor manual workers in Shanghai who have come to the city for earning money.  They are called farmrr-workmen.

The Gini coefficient of China is now more than 0.6 while it is said that a country with the coefficient of 0.4 or more would tend to face a social turmoil.

The Chinese Government has adopted a policy of charging rich men who have earned money through illegal means instead of narrowing a gap between the rich and the poor to maintain order and appease complaining and angry poor people.

According to a survey by China Society of Economic Reform (CSER), a scale of money being handled in criminal or non-legal activities such as bribery and undeclared income is equivalent to 12% of Chinese GDP.

Now there are three million millionaires and 1000 billionaires in China.  But there are still 50 million Chinese who cannot take enough foods.

Since 2005 the exchange rate of the Yuan has been raised by 35% and the minimum wage in China was increased by 10%, resulting in weakened competitiveness of Chinese exporters.

According to the Chinese official statistics, a yearly increase of electricity consumption in China is about 3% in recent years, but a yearly increase of the Chinese GDP is about 7%.  Experts take the former data as a more authentic index for the Chinese economy.

The economic growth rate of China in 2016 is expected to be 6.8%.


Trend of Chinese exports, year on year, officially announced

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Joh 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

"they brought young children to him" - Legalism of the Qin Dynasty

Around Tokyo

Legalism of the Qin Dynasty

What person was the First Emperor (259-210 BC) of China?  How could he succeed in defeating all the other rival nations in China to establish the first full-scale unified empire in the Chinese history 200 years before Christ Jesus?

I really sometimes wondered.

The key to understanding the First Emperor and the Qin dynasty is the special philosophy Qin adopted: Legalism (Fa-jia in Chinese and Ho-ke in Japanese).

The founder of this legalism, Han Fei (c. 280 – 233 BC、Kan Pi in Japanese), wrote a book called the Han Feizi (Kanpishi in Japanese).  His thought can be well learnt from this book, though Han Fei himself was not born in Qin.  His philosophy was not highly appreciated in his own country, but he became an envoy of the country to Qin as Qin was trying to conquer the country Han Feizi belonged to.  His talent won respect from Qin's king (later the First Emperor).  The king tried to hire him but some of his subjects hated Fei.  Han Fei was arrested for a false charge and eventually forced to commit a suicide.  However, his philosophy was adopted by the king.

Han Fei wrote: there was a minister in a country. He had servants each appointed to special tasks.  One servant was in charge of taking care of minister's crown; another his clothes; another his shoes, etc.

One day, the minister took a nap on a couch in his room.  Meanwhile the air got chilly.  So, one servant covered his master with some clothes so that the sleeping minister would not catch a cold.

When waking up, the minister found that somebody put clothes on him.  He did not catch a cold.  So, he asked who handled the clothes.  Then he found that the servant in charge of care of his crown put the clothes round.

The minister called the servants in charge of care of his crown and his clothes.  And he punished both.  The servant in charge of care of his crown had done unauthorized act of handling his clothes.  And the servant in charge of care of his clothes did not prevent the other servant from handling his clothes.  Rules and order were more important than health.

This is one example of teachings of Han Fei's legalism.  And, the king of Qin introduced this philosophy into his administration of his nation and military.  It worked so well that Qin could unify China to become the first full-scale empire in China.

However, soon after the death of the First Emperor, Qin was crushed out.  (The empire Qin lasted only for 15 years.)  Qin was defeated by the founder of the Han dynasty, Liu Bang, and other warriors. Liu Ban became Emperor Gaozu (256 – 195 BC) who did not take in legalism but adopted Confucianism as the national religion of Han.  The Han dynasty lasted for 400 years with a minor interruption of 15 years when an insurgent took over power but soon lost it.

It is apparent that Qin's legalism is closer to ancient Judaism in the era of Christ Jesus and Confucianism is closer to Christianity.  But elite politicians and bureaucrats all over the world today still love legalism.  Indeed to control people, legalism looks like an appropriate tool.  To achieve a great thing, such as establishing an empire, legalism sometimes works well.  But, it is not suitable for maintaining a nation and human society.

However, China today looks like being governed by the elite who loves legalism and especially Qin's legalism.

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Mar 10:13 And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.
Mar 10:14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

Monday, October 12, 2015

"more tolerable in that day for Sodom" - Cities without Walls

A Fast-Food Shop around Tokyo

Cities without Walls

There is one characteristic in Japanese cities different from those in cities in the Eurasia Continent stretching from the Korean Peninsula to as far as Portugal and even in the Great Britain.

Japanese cities have had traditionally no walls surrounding them.  There has been no borders between cities and suburbs and villages.  Even residences or castles of feudal lords or the imperial palace were not in cities protected by walls.  They could be approached simply through plain roads running from villages, farm lands, hills and mountains.

However, Japan was an island country.  It has clear borders against other countries: the seas.  Accordingly, basically there have been no places around Japan where Japanese and foreigners live together or mingles (except when the Empire of Japan annexed Taiwan, Korea, etc. before the end of WWII after the late 19th century).  Foreigners are always those living beyond the seas.

This condition implies that there were no clear distinction between those living in cities and outside them.  Therefore, Japanese people might have different views on a nation, social classes, and social hierarchy than other people.

The point at issue is that when reading the Bible, Japanese people might have a very different impression on its contents than other people.  Accordingly, Japanese Christians might be very different from those in countries with an old tradition of protecting cities with walls.

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Luk 10:12 But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city.
Luk 10:13 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.

"And saw heaven opened" - Origin of the Chinese Issues of Today

Government Office District, Tokyo

Origin of the Chinese Issues of Today

In 1990s, the US seeing the Japanese economy as a threat helped China develop its economy to check Japan, while Japan itself was using Chinese cheap labor force.

Now, China has become a kind of monster with strong economic power, strong enmity against Japan and a keen sense of rivalry with the US but without a sense of freedom and respect for human rights.

Both Japan and the US are responsible for helping China emerge as a dangerous non-democratic economic power.  What is worse, Germany and Russia are kind of supporting China in international relationships.  Ghosts of Hitler and Stalin seem to be still wandering in these countries.

Now, what we should expect in China is a revolution for democracy and movements for a free nation in a peaceful manner.  We have to foster anti-Chinese communist ruler citizens in China.

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Act 10:11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:
Act 10:12 Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

"enquire who in it is worthy" - Three Conditions around Palestine

Shinkansen Super-Express Train, Tokyo

Three Conditions around Palestine

There are some historical factors related to the present-day crisis in the Near East.

- God gave Islam to the Arabs.

- God gave crude oil fields around the Persian Gulf.

- God allowed Judaists to return to Palestine after WWII.

We had better think about why God set these three conditions in the history around the Near East.  Is it purely for manifestation of the will of God?

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Mat 10:10 Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.
Mat 10:11 And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence.