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Archive for July, 2018

“That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;…(Phil.2:15)
God is qualified as the Father of lights. His son is light which lights up every man who comes into the world (Jn.1:9) In a manner of speaking light as quality has a source and surface on which it can touch which can also depending upon the quality of surface also reflect. Christian Living is living in the light.
When Jesus sent 70 other disciples he instructed them. As with his twelve disciples they were sent two by two. They were to stay in the house that received them and not go around but preaching the gospel, healing the sick and preparing those who would believe. Receiving the disciples according to the principle of Association was as good as receiving the One who sent them. (Mt.10:40) Conversely wherever they were refused they were to speak the same formula, ‘the kingdom of God is come unto you.’ Salvation or condemnation depended on the response of the householder.
Somewhat similar to the light taking so many millions of light years to be seen in our night sky glory of God has been in the background while persons responded to it and believed in its significance. A verse that underlines it is, ‘Then began men to call upon the name of the Lord (Ge.4:26). Much later people who sat in darkness would see a great light (Matt.4:16). Similarly in eternity the glory of God and the Lamb shall give them light. In this light children of light have a part and everything of Christian Living has been absorbed in it. While in body we all made distinction of our needs and inclinations in the city of New Jerusalem only the glory of the Lamb describes us.
As for the present the kingdom of God and the world are graded on the persons and the ministry of Jesus Christ. Let us consider this verse, “Fear them not which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul…(Mt.10:28)” For this reason the Spirit is cautioning the two worlds are represented by every person. The believer is one who has received the kingdom of God or heaven to which the indwelling Spirit is but an earnest.“…Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts (2 Cor.1:22).” Kingdom of God and kingdom of heaven are interchangeable.
Benny

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This age, dubbed the Meghalayan, began 4,250 years ago when what was probably a planet-wide drought struck Earth, according to the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS). Civilizations across the world, including those in Egypt, Greece, Syria, Palestine, Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley and the Yangtze River Valley were affected. This drought lasted 200 years and was likely prompted by shifts in ocean and atmospheric circulation.

Geologists have systematically divided up, and named, all of Earth’s roughly 4.54-billion-year history . From the longest to shortest, these lengths of time are known as eons, eras, periods and ages. Currently, we’re in the Phanerozoic eon, Cenozoic era, Quaternary period, Holocene epoch and (as mentioned) the Meghalayan age.

To determine the beginning time for each age, scientists looked at the unique chemical signatures found in rock samples from that time; each signature relates to a big climatic event, the IUGS said in a statement.

The Greenlandian, the oldest age of the Holocene (also known as the “lower Holocene”), began 11,700 years ago, as the Earth left the last ice age.

The Northgrippian (also known as the “middle Holocene”) began 8,300 years ago, when Earth abruptly began cooling, likely because vast amounts of fresh water that came from Canada’s melting glaciers poured into the North Atlantic and disrupted ocean currents, the BBC reported.

The Meghalayan is also called the “upper Holocene”Geologists chose the name “Meghalayan” because of a rock sample they analyzed from Meghalaya, a northeastern state in India, whose name means “the abode of clouds” in Sanskrit. By analyzing a stalagmite growing on the ground of Mawmluh Cave, geologists found that each of the stalagmite layers had different levels of oxygen isotopes, or versions of oxygen with different numbers of neutrons. This change marked the weakening of monsoon conditions from that time, the BBC reported.
(Ack: We are Now living in a geological age,Experts say/lauraGeggel/LiveScience of July18,2018/selected)
We may never come to grips with an eon. But man who has come of age ought to be responsible for how he uses his environment. Anthropocene Age which is man made calamity. Think of degrading your rivers waters and dumping your plastic. It is sure to end up in the food chain and you could be dining on hamburger laced with plastic granules. It shall not make Delhi-belly any grander. Eons ago we had a blue planet and we are now living in Planet Plastic.

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“Come master, I shall lead you to a seat of honour myself. My great patron has opened his doors and finest wine from Cyprus must flow. Yes indeed!” I being a stranger did not think twice. I followed my cicerone into the cool hall marbled and gilded along the cornice,- and beneath the unbroken band and between pillars festooned with rose garlands I could see the Aegean sea purple, and looking the other way the tables of viands and wine cups by the reclining lounges were lordly. Men from strange lands took their ease. The host a portly man, a cross between Midas and Lucullus, who upon seeing me came towards me and greeted, ‘Gods above and titans below but mead within our hands.’ I thanked and said, “May we live to enjoy work of our hands ever.’ My guide had meanwhile found the seat of honor and made himself scarce. He was a parasite and having done some useful service he was entitled to his share of the feast.
My host led me to my seat and next he settled himself. Pouring wine he slowly pressed me to share my experience for the benefit of all. Having quaffed enough drinks and had eaten I said,” I made so much wealth which was easier done than my three sons who having received their share went their ways. One son went in search of the world to come and that was the last of him; so I went in search of the son who went underworld and may gods forgive if he have lost his way. But the last one who was the least adventuresome decided to find his own occupation.”
The host said, “If you want to find your son, your task is a wild goose chase.” How shall you find him? Does he carry any easily identifiable feature to pick him from the crowd?” I said, “He is tightlipped except when has had more wine than he can carry. He is sure to sing the most outrageous imitation of catcalls. In between he would add crowing of a rooster as though it made his silliness any better.” Instantly the entire audience turned their necks to one corner and sure enough I understood why. There was my son ready to perform. He barely could stand but there he was my cicerone for the evening, drunk as a lord. I would not have recognized himself,-but sure as Zeus is Jove, my son in flesh! his performance was tour de force. How did he achieve it I could not say.
Benny

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“Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven (Matt.6:10).”

Jesus taught his disciples to pray and the above mentioned quote is taken from that short prayer which we know as the Lord’s Prayer. One interesting feature of prayer is in how not to pray. “…When you pray, use not vain repetitions, do as the heathens do.” So we are not to recite name of God hundred or thousand times. Neither do we manufacture by our own cleverness names each emphasizing an aspect of his Power and Wisdom nor imagine we are past praying. What is our power and wisdom? Shall not our Maker know of what worth it all amounts to? So a right standing with God is so simple as the prayer Jesus taught us. Even before we make petition for our failing health or sickness in the family, ‘Your Father knoweth what things you have need of, before you ask him.’ So the Lord’s Prayer is not meant as petitions but to be in the right spirit and to keep the contact with our Father as you do on earth. Prayer interceding for needs of others and our own needs are special and such ability to continue in prayer is a gift. The Lord’s Prayer however is to keep the right standing with God.
The elder brother in the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Lk.15:11-32)would not come in because he held resentment against his Father. “He(elder son) was angry, and would not go in.” Is not our difficulty to pray, is on account of our failings than of God? The elder son as his custom was went from the field straight home to his father. On one day he is told his brother had been found and he is home. He was angry with his brother who had come having wasted all. The problem with the elder son lay in his own sense of propriety than anything else. (His self-righteousness was not from God but his own. It gave him an idea how a bad son should be taken to task by the parent for getting out of the line. Self-righteousness is such it shall not tell the truth that his father has the right to love his son no matter what. So the elder son was in the wrong for other reasons than the wrong the lost son was guilty of. It is what one tells the man has a mote n his eye while he misses the beam right in his own.)
Our Father in heaven has the sovereign right to give gifts to all liberally or deny; and the parable is intended to illustrate ‘There is joy in the presence of the angels over one sinner that repenteth (Lk.15:10)’.

A child of God reveals his closeness to God in his communion with God. “Pray without ceasing (1 Thess:5:17). Paul prayed for believers and for their steadfastness. “I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.(1 Thess.5:23). When we pray first and foremost consider it as a cherished moment where each one is in an intimate moment with ‘our Father which art in heaven.’ Celebrating such a moment is what every Christian should seek as a privilege and a gift of love. Lastly I shall quote here a passage to show whatever we do or whatever others do to us for good or bad shall have it noted in heaven as well. It is a warning not to despise meek and the weak in terms of material terms.’Little ones’ are not only in terms of age or size but the vulnerable who can easily be driven to the wall. “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do aways behold the face of my Father which is in heaven (Matt.18:10).” It shall be clear to anyone that heaven is in context of the earth and nothing good we ever do for the glory of our Lord Savior shall be forgotten. It is a memorial in heaven.
Benny

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“For he(Abraham) looked for a city…whose builder and maker is God (He.11:10).”

Man makes his city of habitation. In the verse quoted here above, we find a city made by God is mentioned. Throughout the Scripture we shall note a parallelism existing between heaven and the earth. Man builds a city one of the earliest mentioned is the one founded by Cain whose credentials ought to give us the quality of it. Cain settled in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden (Ge.4:16) and built a city and called it after the name of his son. It is no different from Alexandria or Constantinople to commemorate famous people. Leaving the presence of God one can imagine the city founded by him and the kind of people who would have settled there. The cities of habitation are all alike. Man creates cities and brings many to dwell in company; slowly number of people swells necessitating city limits to extend further. If the created in turn drive the creator to fall in a pattern, that is what urban dwelling would mean, are they not slaves to custom or habit brought upon themselves? Look at any city and the frenetic pace of their daily routine to understand this truism. Their urbanity and way of life go against the nature of things. Longer hours and living on caffeine or strong spirits, commuting to and from, all the while racing against time and missed deadlines it is what means to be upward mobile city dweller. Haran in the time of Patriarch was indeed a commercially thriving city as New York today. Situated on the high road, which ran from Nineveh to Carchemish its importance increased by proximity to the Mediterranean Sea. When God called out Abraham he was leaving his comfort zone, he ‘went out not knowing whither he went.’ The city of Haran is a shadow of city, which exists in heaven and we read that in eternity shall be called holy. In a vision Apostle John saw the holy city coming down from heaven. This parallelism existing between heaven and the earth can only be bridged by the article of faith. It is how we need take the whole narrative and several of symbols provided therein.

Law of Moses provided for cities of refuge in which God set apart six such cities, three of which were on the west and the other on the east of Jordan (Josh.20:7). Spiritual significance of crossing the river of Jordan is well known. For our present intent and purpose we may see such parallelism is not any coincidence but for our spiritual understanding. Under the old covenant these were for set apart for those who had shed blood unintentionally and as a place for refuge. Christ is our refuge to which the writer to the Hebrews alludes thus: “Let us go therefore unto him, without the camp bearing his reproach (He.13:12).” Jesus took away our reproach being made a curse for us and he hung on a cross was predicted by the brazen serpent on a pole. (Gal.3:13). The city is Jesus Christ and when we speak of being hid in Christ and abiding in him its spiritual significance is obvious. Like Abraham it is the ‘place where we should after receive for an inheritance’. This life in a limbo is life of faith. If we live in the most wonderful city the dictum by which we live shall be to place ourselves above. “…All things are lawful for me, but all things edify not (1 Co.10:23).”
Coming back to the Promised Land God commanded Moses to set apart three cities of refuge (Deut.4:41-43) and Joshua set apart three cities on the other side of the River Jordan. Having discussed the role of Jesus Christ as our refuge we may consider the probable significance of the words, “In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so I would have told you (Jn.14:2).” Also significance is the context in which he conveyed this piece of news to his disciples. His time on earth was drawing near. He had already promised them a kingdom (Lk.12:32) so his mentioning of many mansions is a mystery only known to the Father. So we shall leave all conjectures over them as a sealed book to us. Joshua meaning Jehovah is salvation is same as the Hellenized form of the name Jesus.

(Reprinted from Guide To His Word of July17,2018)
Benny

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Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky… (He.11:12)”

Here we see Abraham and Sara counted among the heroes of faith. A man of faith by accepting God is adopted in his Son so he is counted as though he were predestined for His blessings. Things that are seen are temporal while things not seen are identified as belonging to eternal attribute of God. Faith is one such. In order to show this we have stars of the sky and sand by the seashore as symbols. One indicates the innumerable and nameless host of believers (whose faith is counted) still living or dead. Whether dead or alive they are witnesses: they are preserved as a memorial in heaven. It is similar to the seven golden lamp-stands in the first vision of John in the Book of Revelation. No churches on the earth are perfect but these are indicated in heaven. Wherever these churches are fallen off it shall correspondingly show. In whichever case the seven golden lamp-stands remain as a memorial. This is Parallelism of faith. Faith of man becomes testimony of God, to be precise.
God having promised to bless Abraham brings him outside in the open and said, “Look now toward heaven and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him (Abraham), so shall thy seed be.” Abraham believed him and it was counted to him for righteousness (Ge.15:5-6). In the Book of Job we read that his Spirit garnished the heaven with stars. No man can fathom the Spirit, which like the wind is not seen but we see its effect in the night sky. Faith as evidence of things seen is held as a memorial in heaven. This is also mentioned in the creation act of God. “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven…and let them be for signs (Ge.1:14).” The point we need to understand is the stars may run out of fuel and other stars shall make appearance. Amidst such changes the sign shall never change since it a memorial of faith. It is forever settled like the word in heaven (Ps.119:89). ‘By his spirit he (God) hath garnished the heavens (Jb. 26:13)’
In the key verse we are given the seed of Abraham compared to sand, which by the seashore innumerable. God’s promise to the patriarch ‘In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed (Ge.12:3) has a parallel in heaven. In this connection the writer to the Hebrews in the following chapter refers to ‘ a cloud of witnesses (He.12:1)’ and from the context we can understand that it is of all those martyrs who have suffered affliction ‘not accepting deliverance.’ They all ‘…having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided …that they without us should not be perfect (He.11:39-40).’

“The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground…(Ge.4:10)” The Spirit in setting down Abel as a martyr uses his blood (‘bloods’ in Hebrew in plural form)in the verse, indicating how before God every creation stands. From Abel to the end of time each shall be counted in the cloud of witnesses in heaven as a memorial. Not even the fall of a sparrow shall escape His notice. No less is the death of a saint whose death before time is an affront to his majesty and honor. Those nine African American churchgoers who were killed in Charleston because of their color are martyrs and included in the cloud of witnesses. So are those killed in diverse places from Egypt to Indonesia because of belief. What we need to infer from the above is the timelessness of saints since faith is of such quality and their faith and their works are secure from hatred and calumny of the world. We have the testimony of God, “Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth…(Re.14:13)” Significant is the context in which this verse is marked in the apocalyptic vision of John. Just before the beast is judged the angel urges patience of those living. Those hundred and forty and four thousand souls shown standing with the Lamb on the mount Sion bear the Father’s name on their foreheads (Re.14:1). Urgency of the voice from heaven is to stiffen the faith of those caught in the Great Tribulation and they have a choice of martyrdom or bear the mark of the beast on their foreheads or on hand. Those who died for their faith shall be counted as blessed and their works validated. Thus the Spirit in setting Core Will of God uses parallelism of memorial in heaven for events occurring on the earth.

Benny

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Harvest-time: the good to the heaven and the tares to fire.

Mat.13:24-30

Parables are mysteries that any one may enter on condition that he is really in earnest. Where there is no vision, the people perish (Pro.29:18). A wise man asks the right questions and from right quarters. Power is in his persistence. Pearl of great price shall not be found by wayside. So man with vision is one possessed of his need and ready to spare no efforts in order to acquire it.

Power and Wisdom are the eternal qualities of the Godhead and when the Psalmist affirms ‘the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord (Ps.33:5)’ he touches upon those qualities as being in full evidence. While he is so convinced why do not we see the world around us differently? A skeptic would declare that whoever is the Supreme Being has abandoned it; and a humanist shall suggest man can achieve it if he tried hard enough. Such are ideas man can play with and lacking in vision wisdom of man is like the blind leading the blind. Man being full of his own ability to manage his affairs has created a no man’s land. It is what one may call as ways of the world. Man made the earth a global village after inventing airplanes. Progress for him is motion while what he touts as progress has added another arsenal to indiscriminate killing of civilians and cities with aerial bombings, to which progress can claim equally having had an hand. Is it not the prince of the power of the air or the devil who is behind all this?
God sowed the good seed but ‘An enemy hath done this.’ In the parable servants of God ask God, ‘Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?’ Answer of God reveals his long-suffering nature (v.29). God is perfect and it means his Power and Wisdom do not contradict one another. Instead love of God is the hallmark of whatever God does. Here what he says to them: “Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn”.

There shall come a day of judgment: gathering of souls is indicated by ‘the wheat into my barn.’
Benny

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