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Teddy last won the day on April 9 2017

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  1. Teddy

    The Amalek & COVID-19 Nexus

    by TLD 03/20/20 One of Israel's ancient enemy, Amalek, was unique. It was an opportunistic enemy; it attacked Israel when it was weary or lacking its usual defenses. Israel confronted Amalek through two strategies: spiritual and natural. Israel fought Amalek using prayer and physical combat. This article draws parallels between Amalek's attacks against Israel and Satan's strategy targeting the most vulnerable in society. The paper argues that there is prophecy and parallel between Haman's genocidal fury, depicted in the Book of Esther, and in what Satan intends to achieve through the current COVID-19 pandemic crisis. The Book of Esther foreshadows how the current Satan's genocidal fury can end. Amalek in Perspective God speaks to us about current problems through the enemies of Israel in the Old Testament. God’s people enemies such as the ancient Egyptians, Amalekites, Midianites, Philistines, Assyrians, and Babylonians speak of different challenges humanity, and more pointedly what believer’s face. Here I focus on one enemy, Amalek. The manner Amalek attacked Israel and the way is defeated carries spiritual truths for the church today. In the Bible, we find at least three places Amalekites launching an attack against Israel.[1] There is a pattern to their attacks. The way this enemy is routed by God’s people in all these instances carries similarity. Amalek: The Heartless Opportunistic Enemy The first enemy Israel encountered after it left Egypt is Amalek. As Israelites were marching through the desert, Amalek attacked them from the back. It attacked the stragglers: “Remember what the Amalekites did to you along the way when you came out of Egypt. When you were weary and worn out, they met you on your journey and attacked all who were lagging behind; they had no fear of God.” (Deut. 25: 17-18) Amalek attacked when Israel when Israel was at its weakest, tires and exhausted. It attacked from the rear. It killed the most vulnerable, the weakest members of Israel. The stragglers are usually the old, the infirm, women, and children. This is the pattern that persists about Amalek throughout the Bible. Amalek attacks when Israel is defenseless or when Israel is exhausted. This is what we find we meet Amalek in 1 Sam 30. David and his men were away, they have left their camp unguarded. In the three days David and men were away, Amalek attacked their camp. As Amalek found the camp unprotected, they ransacked the camp. They looted and took the women and children captives, and they burned to the ground the camp. “David and his men reached Ziklag on the third day. Now the Amalekites had raided the Negev and Ziklag. They had attacked Ziklag and burned it, 2 and had taken captive the women and everyone else in it, both young and old. They killed none of them, but carried them off as they went on their way. 3 When David and his men reached Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. 4 So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep.” (1 Sam. 30: 1-4) Here again we note, how Amalek took advantage of the fact that the strongmen were away. Amalek found the camp without due protection, exposed and vulnerable. David’s camp was without its usual defenses temporarily, and that gave Amalek to attack and ravage the camp. It ravaged the camp. It took captive the most vulnerable – women, children, and the old and infirm. We note here again Amalek is a master of opportunistic attacks. It chooses and attacks the weakest among the group. Third time we read about Amalek is in the Book of Esther it is the same pattern repeating. When Amalek appears in the Persian empire in the form of the prime-minister Haman, its target is the most vulnerable group in Persia. Haman launched an evil plan to eliminate all Jews from the Persian empire. The Jews as a minority “immigrant” group in Persia, they were defenseless. Haman calculated that nobody will raise to the defense of this minority group if he wants to destroy them because they could worship him. Haman’s plan was all ripe and ready for execution; he had the permission of the Persian king to carry out his genocide mission. But Haman’s plan was nipped in the bud only because God intervened and turned the table against Haman. God intervened and delivered His people because the Jews “fought” the way Moses and David fought Amalek in their days. How is Amalek Defeated? There is a consistent pattern established in the Bible how Amalek is defeated. It is always through spiritual means – prayer, fasting, intercession, or seeking the face of guidance. In the first instance when Amalek attacked Israel at Rephidim, the victory came through the intercession of Moses. “So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.” (Ex. 17: 10-13) The fighting efforts of Joshua and his young men were important in routing Amalekites. But what was their efforts without the backing of intercession by Moses? Moses held the key to victory; his intercession determined the progress and the outcome of the battle against the opportunistic attacker. David could defeat Amalek only for one reason. First David turned to God in prayer. God spoke to David as an answer to pray; God gave David strategy how to pursue the raiders. Just because David prayed and followed God’s plan, David could overtake the Amalekites and rout them. David did not only recover the captives and the loot taken from his camp; he took far more booty than he lost. God’s fighting forces regrouped and launched a counterattack and won. Haman, the arch-Amalekite, was defeated through prayer and fasting. The prayer and fasting galvanized by Esther and Mordechai moved the hand of God. God gave grace to Queen Esther before the king Xerxes (Ahasuerus). Haman did not have the knowledge Esther was a Jewess. Only much later, when it was too late, he recognized that he overplayed his hand in scheming in trying to eliminate the Jews from the 127 countries rule by Xerxes. The most defenseless people he thought, they were the most powerful. They had one of their own sitting on a throne next to the absolute king. The Amalek of Our Days In the New Testament period, God’s covenant people face spiritual evil forces as their primary enemies. Their battle is targeted towards these spiritual wicked forces. Like ancient Israel our enemies are not humans like the Egyptians, Philistines, Midian, Amalek, Assyria, and Babylon. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Eph. 6:12) That means, if we face enemies, they are primarily demonic forces. Even if the problem we encounter is physical in form or natural in manner, behind all is the devil using them as his instruments of attack. The devil’s presence in the world is pervasive. “We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.” (1 Jn. 5:19) Moreover, the devil is a master of disguises. It hides its hands in ways we least suspect. “And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” (2 Cor. 11:14) Since, Satan is full of crafty wiles, God asks us to be vigilant to the devil’s evil designs. God advises us that we should be wary not to give Satan an opportunity to take advantage of us, because of our ignorance, innocence, or unpreparedness. “In order that Satan should not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.” (2 Cor. 2:11) One way we become prepared against the wiles of Satan is by drawing lessons from the Old Testament. Israel’s various ancient enemies are mines of lessons about our enemy Satan who manifests troubles in various shapes. In our case here, what is the meaning of Amalek? What form does it take in our life? How do we counter the evil force of Amalek? The essence of Amalek is that it is an opportunistic enemy. It loves to attack waiting for the right time our defenses are down (or, away). It attacks we are weary and exhausted. When we are not in good shape strength and health-wise. As society, it attacks us harming the most weak and vulnerable among us. Amalek finds this group of people its easy prey. Its common prey are the old, infirm, poor, and children. One Amalekite force the devil mobilizes to kill, steal, and destroy through what we call -- opportunistic infection. There are pathogens which attack people only when their defenses are down temporarily. Such pathogens target also people whose natural bodily defenses are low because of underlying illnesses, poverty, or old age. The most vulnerable among us are susceptible to such an attack. That means the pathogens the devil wields are opportunistic and selective in their manner of attack. Interestingly, the pathogens are crafty creatures despite what their microscopic size belies. [2] Often, they remain quiescent during normal times, bidding their time to flare up when the body defenses are weak. Moreover, they can also effectively dodge medicine or antibodies through mutation. In this case, the, God’s order how to deal with Amalek will not sound extreme: “bloat out its memory from the earth.” But such order carries meaning in the way we deal with deadly pathogens. If we get infected, the medical recommendation is that we must complete the therapy until all the pathogens are wiped out of our system. By not completing the regime of treatment, we should not give the pathogen another chance to re-group or to mutate. Half-way measures do not work vis-à-vis Amalek.[3] [4] Covid-19: The Haman of the End Times? That brings us to today and the coronavirus threat the devil have unleashed against all humanity. The plague, COVID-19, has infected more than 300 thousand people and has killed about 15,000 people worldwide in a spate of three months. The devil who is behind the plague has targeted the most vulnerable among us, people with underlying health conditions or who are old.[5] The existential threat COVI-19 poses to humanity draws some parallels with the existential threat the Jews faced from Haman. As Haman created a great consternation among the Jews back then, so does COVID-19 today among the nations. These are trying times for humanity. Today, the economy and social life are under strain. Many nations are in state of emergency or lockdown mode. There is a lesson for all of us the way the Jews dealt with the threat of Haman. Mobilized under the leadership of Mordechai and Queen Esther, the Jews through prayer and fasting neutralized the threat of Haman. Haman lost and he lost badly. On the other hand, the people of God whom he schemed to destroy; they went up fast. Mordechai whom Haman tried to kill, took Haman’s place; he became next to the king in authority. Haman was hanged on the gallows which he has prepared for Mordechai. The Esther of the day, a queen seated on the right-hand of the potentate of the earth is the church of Christ (Eph. 2:1-2). The secret in routing the day’s Amalek ultimately lies with the church. The church must enter prayer and fasting mode. That is the Moses-David-Esther way of dealing with the attacks of Amalek. Once the church mobilizes its prayer and fasting forces, then it will dawn on the devil that it has over-played its hand. God will intervene and turn the table against Satan. COVID-19 could be the pit Satan has dug up to bury humanity, but into which itself will go down headfirst (Ps. 7:13-15) “He has prepared his deadly weapons; he makes ready his flaming arrows. See, the wicked one is pregnant with evil, conceives trouble, and gives birth to deceit. He digs a pit, even excavates it; then he fell into the hole that he had made.” That means the devil will suffer the same fate that befell Haman. He will die on the same gallows he has fashioned for humanity. It will lose its power and kingdom. The saints will inherit the earth which so far has been run by evil ones. We are living in the last days. The darkness we are facing today can be compared to the darkness prophesied in Isaiah 60:1 and Matthew 24:29. Note how the darkness prophesied in Isaiah 60:1 and Matthew 24:29 breaks into a glorious light, the joys of the fullness of the Kingdom of God. But how did transform the darkness into glorious light? Back to the Book of Esther. The darkness Haman created it was removed when the people of God prayed, fasted, when they sought the face of God. The same principle applies to deal with the Amalek existential threat of our time. To assist us in seeking the face of God, we have the promise of God. In the last days, God has promised to pour out the spirit of prayer and grace on His people (Zech. 12). In the Old Testament, the story of Amalek culminates in the Book of Esther. The Book of Esther is a prophecy about the end times.[6] END NOTES [1] There is also a possible fourth instance. This is from the Chabad resource page: “The King of Arad: In the fortieth year of the Jews’ wandering in the desert, Aaron, the high priest, passed on. The protective clouds of glory that surrounded the Jewish camp disappeared, as they were present only in Aaron’s merit. Seeing the exposed encampment (Note: My emphasis), the Canaanite king of Arad launched a savage attack against the Jews. The sages explain that the king of Arad and his army were actually Amalekites who had merely disguised themselves as Canaanitesbefore entering battle (Note: My emphasis). They wanted to confuse the Jews about their attackers’ identity. While the Jews would pray to G‑d for salvation from Canaanites, the Amalekites would be free to do whatever they pleased. The plan backfired. The Jews were victorious and went on to enter the Land of Israel unimpeded by the Amalekites.) (source: https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/3942715/jewish/Who-Were-Amalek-and-the-Amalekites.htm) [2] Viruses, despite their bone-minimum structure, they are crafty and deadly. They serve the Satan’s purposes mightily, to kill, to rob, and to destroy. They serve the devil as its invisible legions. Their craftiness as described here, has allusions to what St. Paul calls the “wily craftiness of the devil.” [https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/03/23/coronavirus-isnt-alive-thats-why-its-so-hard-kill/] [3] For example, God gave King Saul the order to extirpate Amalek. King Saul’s incomplete action against Amalek drew the displeasure of God and cost him his kingdom (see 1 Sam. 15). It is thought by many biblical scholars that Haman, who posed serious threat to the existence of Jews in the times of Esther, came from the Amalekites which King Saul failed to destroy. [4] Israel dealt with the Amalek threat in two ways, through the spiritual and natural means. Israelites used both prayer and warfare to overcome Amalek. For example, while Joshua was fighting Amalek in the valley, Moses was praying against Amalek from the hill (Num. 25). David first prayed (sought God’s guidance) and then pursued Amalek and defeated through old style combat (1 Sam. 30). Esther and Mordechai used both spiritual and natural means to neutralize the threat of Haman. First, they prayed and fasted and then they moved against Haman and his kin by violent means. The lesson is this: we need people who pray and fast against any sneaky plague, like COVID-19, that Satan unleashes. The natural means consists of use of medical professionals, medicine, and building the body’s defense mechanisms (i.e., antibodies). Both strategies God commends in destroying the modern-day Amalek. [5] See here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yt6oDueqbpE [6] See my writing, “Esther, Mordechai, and the End Times” on this web site: https://christianwriters.com/blogs/entry/13131-esther-mordecai-and-the-end-times/
  2. Teddy

    Of Body Parts

    Body Parts and the Last Days By Teddy L. DESTA May 3, 2006 My church, I have established you as a Body. Each of My children, I have made a body-part in My Church, My Body. Whom I have called, I have equipped, I have required each of you to function and to operate in the body, fitting properly. My children, there is no one whom I left out without a calling; there is no one in which I have not assigned a place. Some, I have made part of the eye, so that you can see for the whole body and give it direction. Some, I have formed part of the mouth, so that you can speak My Word, to teach My children. Some, I have made into the nose, so that you can discern between that which is good and evil. Some of you, I have fashioned into legs and feet so that you can run with the gospel of peace and bring salvation to many. Some, I have made into the arm, so that you can do mighty exploits in My Name. Some, I have made into the heart, so that you can express My compassion and serve others with My tender Love. Notice how each of these parts has been assigned an honorable position. These body-parts operate in the open; they are conspicuous. No one despises them. In contrast, consider the other body parts, which are not as conspicuous as the first. These parts are not accorded respect as they are regarded as ‘less honorable’, ‘weak’, or ‘despised.’ They have to be hidden as they are given less esteem. They are commonly a butt of jokes; they are considered as objects of shame. Therefore, they are concealed from public view. They have to be meticulously clothed and covered. But these ‘despised ones’, ‘weaker body parts’ they are glorious, called for the highest purpose. Hidden from public view, they develop. They develop taking many years. They must wait for many years before they come to maturity. It is only at their adulthood; they are made of use. Only at their appointed time, they enter their service. Their service is of the highest calling. These body-parts come to their service on the day of marriage. They are created as body-parts of joy, organic union! It is these ‘despised’ body parts, these ‘last of all ones,’ which I have created to bring joy unspeakable to the whole body. Moreover, as no other member of the body can do, I have designed them to give rise to a new life, a new generation. Now apply this analogy to My Church, My Body. In My Church, I have assigned a few whom I have appointed as the ‘little ones’, the ‘despised ones.’ I have concealed and hid them from the public gaze for many years. These, I have hidden them under My wings for many years to develop and to mature. Them I have been prepared for the Last Day, for the Great Wedding Day of the Lamb. Therefore, it will be on the Great Day of the Festivities that these ‘weak members’ will be revealed and come into their calling. These humiliated and despised Body parts will appear clothed with costly apparel, beautified, exceedingly, and abundantly. They shall receive the honor on that Glorious Wedding Day. Through them, I bring My Body untold joy, ecstasy unending. It shall be them who shall bring a sublime union between God and the human race. They shall enable the whole body to become fruitful and bring forth the New Race, the Resurrected Ones into being. The same I shall use as My chosen instruments to humiliate and overthrow the devil. The same I shall use to bring Satan’s demise and eternal shame. Yes, these hidden, concealed, secret ones, I shall use as My weapons of mass destruction. With them, I shall shake the kingdom of darkness; with them, I shall empty the grave; and with them, I shall shutdown the Babylon system of your day, says your God. Scriptures ‘No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty; but are presentable parts have no such need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it.’ 1 Cor. 12: 22-24. ‘But you Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be the Prince in Israel; whose goings forth have been from old, from everlasting.’ Micah 5: 2. 'The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.' (Ps 118:22)
  3. Dialect "A dialect is the language used by the people of a specific area, class, district, or any other group of people. The term dialect involves the spelling, sounds, grammar and pronunciation used by a particular group of people and it distinguishes them from other people around them. Dialect is a very powerful and common way of characterization, which elaborates the geographic and social background of any character." [Literarydevices.net]. How to incorporate Mexican (or Mexican-American) dialect in your writing: i). See a few examples of dialect in American literature known as regionalism (local color). See how the masters like Mark Twain, William Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor did it. ii). Find and read authors who do local color in the case of Mexican American English. iii). Hang around the speakers of such English sometimes. Do some cultural immersion among Mexican (-Americans). iv). Practice writing the dialect. Test it to see when people read what you wrote that the pronunciation will come out exactly as you intended.
  4. Teddy

    When God Speaks Science (I)

    When God Speaks Science by Teddy L. Desta In the Bible there are several places speaking that God, only God, created the universe. (Gen. 1; Job 38; Ps. 33:6-7, 119:90-91; Prov. 8; Is. 40; Jer. 10:11). The Bible also declares about the infinite wisdom and knowledge of God (Da. 2:19-22; Prov. 8; Rom. 11:33-35). God invites us to the storehouse of his wisdom and knowledge (Prov. 2:1-7, 4:1-13, 9:1-6; 1 Cor 2; Col. 2:3). And He teaches how to access His knowledge and wisdom. It starts with accepting Jesus as Lord (Col. 2:3). It requires us to be filled with the Spirit of God, who can search (explore) all things related to God (1 Cor. 2). It requires a holy walk with God and diligence in studying the Bible (Job 28:12-28; Prov. 2:3-5, 8:34-35). One place we notice God declaring His wisdom and knowledge is in the closing chapters of the Book of Job. These chapters come as a surprise to many readers. God seems to miss the question Job has been crying out for an answer for several chapters. God chose not to address Job’s question: “God, why I am made to suffer like this?” Instead God does a strange thing. He overwhelmed Job with a lecture on cosmology. Some Bible commentators take God’s lecture as a form of His rebuke to Job’s relentless questioning. If Job cannot understand any part of God’s creative powers and wisdom, how can he understand God’s ways in his life? God can allow the most awful calamities to work out His splendid will. As this might silence Job’s restless questioning, as I show here, God’s words carry deeper “scientific” messages to future generations. I argue God’s statements on cosmology and related matters are divine challenges to humanity to go on a journey of exploration and investigation. God’s questions posed to Job, in today’s terms, are scientific. Starting with the scientific works of Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, and Newton man has embarked on a long scientific journey, which all clear reasons, are addressing the questions God poses in the closing chapters of Job. There are a few assumptions and premises I follow in interpreting God’s words in the Book of Job. Assumption 1: God’s speech to Job (chapters 38 through 41) are challenges issued to mankind to investigate the wisdom God manifested in the created world. Assumption 2: God’s speech contains challenges to mankind to do certain things to prove man’s capabilities and inventiveness. Premise 1: To understand God’s speech in Job chapters 38 through 41 and man’s subsequent scientific and technological response, first we must accept a certain form of Biblical hermeneutics. This is an interpretative mode that God spoke in a veiled form that requires working with analogy, imagery, and figure of speech to reveal the message. Literal interpretation fills the commentaries. But, this time, we must go beyond the familiar. We should let the Holy Spirit remove the veil to disclose God’s words’ true and meaning and purpose. My presentation will be non-conventional as I rely on decoding analogy, imagery, and figurative speech (and as I make a futuristic reading of the Bible) as the basis of my interpretation. My line of interpretation on the reader’s part demands some familiarity with non-literal (symbolic) interpretation of the Bible and the history of scientific and technological discoveries. The aim of this paper are two related objectives: (i) To show how the Bible expects and expresses modern science and technology using terms ancient in form, and (ii) To show how humanity met God’s expectations and challenges through a series of scientific investigations and technological breakthroughs. Here I will present just a few selected examples taken from the Book of Job and the Book of Proverbs. ============================================================================================================== [to be continued.] =============================================================================================================== © Teddy L. Desta, 2017 - 2045. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Teddy L. Desta and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
  5. Teddy

    Why the "Skull"?

    WHY AT GOLGOTHA? by Teddy L. Desta “Carrying His own cross, He went out to The place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). There they crucified Him, and with Him two others, one on each side, with Jesus in the middle. ” John 19: 17-18 They crucified Jesus at a place called Golgotha (in Hebrew) or Calvary (in Latin). The translation of the name means the Skull. Then we have to ask: Why did God choose this place with a strange shape, and therefore with a strange name? It cannot be a mere accident or coincidence that the place be called the Skull to reverse the fall of mankind. If not by accident or coincidence, then what is the reason for God to choose, of all places, a place called the Skull for the greatest event in human history? Back to Eden From the beginning, God planned that man should always live in His presence, always listening to His voice and responding to His commands. But as we read in Genesis chapter 3, the first man, Adam, disobeyed God’s commandment by virtually seeking an independent life free from God’s voice. When Adam, deceived by the devil, ate the fruit from the forbidden tree of the knowledge-of-good-and-evil, he became wise-in-his-own-eyes. The consequence of Adam’s disobedience was severe. Because of Adam’s original sin of rebellion, God cursed the earth. God banished Adam from His presence, kicking him out of the Garden of Eden. The earth fell under God’s curse. Man became alienated being on earth. Satan, instead of man, became the ruler of this world. Sin, sickness, decay, and death became the new normal on earth. Worse still Adam’s disobedience introduced a sin-nature into the human race. Mankind is born with the perpetual inclination to rebel against the will of God, with the bent to choose the evil over the good. The sin-nature became the source of strife among the human family and the cause of the wrath of God on wicked communities. Adam’s choice to be wise in-his-own-eyes became mankind’s undoing. Forward to the Future The good news in the midst of the gloom-and-doom of the fall is that same day God has made a promise of redemption. God’s promise, as progressively revealed, was designed to undo the sin-nature to restore mankind back to Himself. Keeping the promise, in the fullness of time, God sent His Son, Jesus Christ into the world (Gal. 4:4). Jesus, through a life of total obedience and submission to the will of God, was sent to achieve the complete antidote to Adam’s disobedience and its dire consequences. God sent Jesus to pay fully for the original sin of Adam (i.e., atonement), to take out the sin nature from man’s heart (i.e., sanctification), to remove the curse from the earth (i.e., restoration), and to bring mankind into full fellowship with God (i.e., infill with the Holy Spirit). Discerning God’s way to achieve these goals holds the key to understanding the mystical meaning of the cross and Golgotha. Unlike Adam’s choice of autonomy, Jesus’ life was the opposite. Total surrender and submission to the will of God marked Jesus’ life. It became God’s will if by one man’s (namely, Adam’s) disobedience sin, death, and pain entered the world, that the obedience of another man (namely, Jesus Christ) provide the antidote for their removal from the world (Rom. 5:19). That God will defeat the devil at its own game, made Jesus’ life, starting from His birth in a manager total surrender and submission to mark to His death on a rugged cross to God’s will. “Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God. But made himself of no reputation and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Phil 2: 7-8 It is clear now that God’s design was to defeat the devil by his own devices. Jesus took it back from the devil living a life of full surrender and obedience to the will of God. The Cross on Golgotha As the ultimate sign of His total surrender to His Father’s will, Jesus embraced death by crucifixion. To do the will of God, Jesus showed a readiness to be spat upon, flogged, stripped naked, and nailed to a rugged cross. Jesus did not defend Himself in the face of blatant lies. He refused under intense provocations to vindicate Himself. He remained on display—naked—on the cross, while the citizens of Jerusalem looked at Him the full day. Because of the manner of His death, according to their customs, the Jews considered Him cursed of God and the Romans as one of the worst criminals they have to deal with. The place where God made His Son to die, Golgotha (also known in Latin as Calvary), is not accidental. The name means the skull, and as the result it carries a deep spiritual meaning. This name God purposefully selected to underline the original sin, the sin of rebellion against the will of God, and what it takes to reverse the fall from grace and restore humanity to full fellowship with Himself. To atone for original sin and to achieve the total reversal of its consequences, Jesus surrendered His will by agreeing to go the path of crucifixion, to die on a hill called, the Skull. That day, Jesus, metaphorically, became the Skull as He emptied Himself of the self. In submitting to a humiliating and agonizing death on the cross, Jesus has to empty His mind of the self-centered mindset, as He has to get rid off of rationality, self-preservation, and self-respect, etc. By emptying His head, Jesus, hence, became a skull of sorts in the eyes of his enemies and friends. When, thus, Jesus let God’s will take over completely in His life, He passed the test of obedience to God’s will. To reverse the original sin of Adam, which is disobedience, we see Jesus accepting God’s will, how bitter and painful it might have been. Calvary became the place where Jesus, by totally surrendering His will to the Father’s will, reversed the Fall. At Calvary, God dethroned the self and enthroned the Holy Spirit in the heart of man. Jesus’ through an act of obedience that led to His death, He opened the way for the Holy Spirit to come and indwell the heart of man. Jesus atoned for the original sin, satisfying the demands of a just God. His death provided a remedy for the sin-nature, providing full access to Grace that will help people to live a holy and surrendered life. The devil ensnared Adam presenting him with the Lie, making him disobey God. God used Jesus to reclaim for humanity which the devil has stolen. But Jesus’ life was also a pattern for others to follow. Jesus Our Pattern Jesus’s life was also an exemplar for total submission and obedience to God’s voice and Word. Jesus has now made possible the way back to the full presence of God which Adam had lost for his progeny. Jesus’ life on earth set a pattern how to live a surrendered life that is pleasing to God. For example, Jesus followed only what He saw His father in Heaven was doing (Jn. 5:19). To do the Father’s will was His sole pleasure (Jn. 32-34). Jesus, through His life of total surrender and submission, reversed not only the Fall but also created a pattern of life for the children of God to emulate and follow (Phil 2:5, Heb 12;1-2, 1 Pet 2:21). Hence, the Spirit of God will say to us. It is this pattern of the life of utter surrender and obedience to the will of God that the Holy Spirit emphasizes today, saying: My people in your day I AM also looking for those who will willingly go the road of the SKULL I went. I AM looking for an Isaiah who for the Word of God’s sake said “Yes” to My order. He walked naked and bare-footed for three years; and to obey Me. I AM looking for another Hosea who despised the shame of being called a sinner and married a woman of no repute. He allowed Me to prophecy to Israel through his act. I AM looking for a Jeremiah who said yes to look foolish for My sake by wearing a yoke, and by buying a real estate when all round him was only war and terror. I AM looking for an Ezekiel who did not mind for My sake to appear lunatic in eating the ration of famine. My servant did not hesitate to lie on the ground, by a roadside, for many months in full public view to do My will. I AM looking one like the Virgin from Nazareth who shunned death by stoning to say “Yes” to her God that the Messiah be formed in her womb. She was not ashamed to nurture the Son of God. She was not ashamed of Him to stand by His cross when He died a humiliating death. From the outset, she has allowed the Sword of God to cleave her heart. Yes, I AM looking for servants who will gladly embrace the shame and rejection of their age. I AM looking for those who go for Me all the way of the SKULL. I AM looking for those who for the joy set before them will despise the shame and carry their cross outside the gate. To these I will give an imperishable name. To these shall belong the glory and the power of the kingdom—forever. “I saw the souls of them that were beheaded (=head-less) for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” Rev 20: 4 Wanted: A HEAD-LESS GENERATION. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx PTL (2005)
  6. Psalm 46 says how God will be with us in testing (stormy) times. Our prayers are with you. God bless.
  7. "To this end the Son of God was revealed, that he might destroy the works of the devil." (1 Jn. 3:8) Cancer is the work of the devil. We, all, agree, in prayer to destroy the cancer in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
  8. Even in poking fun at someone (something) is 'taking advantage of some weakness' in the character. Sacramental naming can take satirical twist, O'Connor is equally good in such art.
  9. On good quote about naming characters in fiction: " According to Flannery O'Connor, naming is inextricable with seeing, and seeing with truth. Inasmuch then as fiction is truth-telling, says O'Connor, "the accurate naming of the things of God" is its moral basis. Further, "accurate naming" is an artistic aim which can be met, she argues, only by "trying to see straight" {Letters 131). This accurate naming and straight seeing both depend upon a relationship with transcendence, which for her was "an unlimited God who has revealed himself specifically" and who "has a name" {Mystery 161). O'Connor's God is neither an abstract speculation nor a theological idea; he is "the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob," who calls each particular being by name. His own name is "I AM," the name of pure being, of "actual existence in its absolute perfection" which "stands alone as a frightening mystery at the core of reality" (Gilson 63). The name before all names is both noun and verb, complete, personal, and unlimited. Thus, "the accurate naming of the things of God" in fiction requires language which attempts to see straight to the heart of a reality known by name, by I AM." (Archer 18) Emily Archer. "STALKING JOY": FLANNERY O'CONNOR'S ACCURATE NAMING." Christianity and Religion.
  10. Question Lynnmosher: Does this kind of self-publishing gives the author legal protection in terms of copy rights? Are such ISBN recognized by libraries? How much it costs?
  11. One good quote about naming characters in fiction: " According to Flannery O'Connor, naming is inextricable with seeing, and seeing with truth. Inasmuch then as fiction is truth-telling, says O'Connor, "the accurate naming of the things of God" is its moral basis. Further, "accurate naming" is an artistic aim which can be met, she argues, only by "trying to see straight" {Letters 131). This accurate naming and straight seeing both depend upon a relationship with transcendence, which for her was "an unlimited God who has revealed himself specifically" and who "has a name" {Mystery 161). O'Connor's God is neither an abstract speculation nor a theological idea; he is "the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob," who calls each particular being by name. His own name is "I AM," the name of pure being, of "actual existence in its absolute perfection" which "stands alone as a frightening mystery at the core of reality" (Gilson 63). The name before all names is both noun and verb, complete, personal, and unlimited. Thus, "the accurate naming of the things of God" in fiction requires language which attempts to see straight to the heart of a reality known by name, by I AM." (Archer 18) Emily Archer. "STALKING JOY": FLANNERY O'CONNOR'S ACCURATE NAMING." Christianity and Religion.
  12. The name of the character need inherently imply the character (trait, nature, habits) of the character (person). In naming there must be a creative and empowering process. That is biblical.
  13. Teddy

    Acting Prophecy (Part V)

    Acting Prophecy (Part V) by Teddy L. Desta The Abomination of Desolation: A different meaning A word study of the two words which make up the abomination of desolation will help us to discern the meaning of Jesus when He put the fulfillment of this sign in the last days. Importantly a word study is helpful to see the application of the term to the mystical temple of God, namely the body of the believer. Word study help us the connection between acting prophecy and the sign of the abomination of desolation. The word study delves into the figurative, symbolic, and typology language of the Bible. Word study: Sanctuary/ temple Up-to-now, the temple/ sanctuary (mentioned in association with the abomination of desolation) has always been understood in terms of a physical structure, either a Jewish temple or a Christian sanctuary (church building). But when the Prophet Daniel speaks of the abomination of desolation, he does so in association with the sanctuary (temple) of the Prince (Dan 8: 11). But the sanctuary of the prince (Messiah’s) can be taken as His body. It this body, as the temple of God, which gets desecrated by an act of Satan. This form of understanding of the term sanctuary/ temple has ample biblical basis. In the New Testament, the believer’s physical body is called the temple/sanctuary of God or a tent/ tabernacle (Jn. 2:21; 1 Cor. 6: 19 –20; 2 Cor. 5:1; 2 Pet. 1:14; Acts 8: 47 –50; Is 66: 1-3). It is this kind of mystical understanding of sanctuary/ temple which holds the key to unlock the true meaning of the vision of Daniel and Jesus’ reference to it in association with the last days. If the prophet spoke of the sanctuary of the Prince (v. 13) in case of the Prince’s (Messiah’s) body as the temple of God, then we will no longer be referring to a literal temple/ sanctuary where the abomination of desolation manifests. Word study: Abomination Abomination in its Biblical usage can be one of two things. It can mean sin, idolatry, uncleanness, and disobedience, something repugnant and objectionable to God (Deuteronomy 7:25, 26, Isaiah 44:19; Deuteronomy 32:16 2 Kings 23:13; Exodus 8:22; Deuteronomy 22:5; Deuteronomy 23:18; Deuteronomy 24:4, Leviticus 18:27). The dictionary definition reflects the biblical sense: “Anything hateful, wicked, or shamefully vile; a detestable behavior; an object or state that excites disgust and hatred; a hateful or shameful vice; pollution.” (Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary) In the second sense, it refers to a condition where a person becomes a reject of his community. It can refer to rejection related to some type of taboo, sickness, calamity, or ignominious act, etc. ((Genesis 46:34; Exodus 8:26; Psalm 88:8). “You have taken my friends from me. You have made me an abomination to them. I am confined, and I can't escape.” (Psalm 88:8) See also Psalm 38 and Job 17:6. So, in which of these two senses of the word should we understand the abomination of desolation in the context of Daniel 8:12-13? In which way is the body (person) of the Prince become an abomination? Is the prince committing some dreadful sin the eyes of God to become an abomination? Or, is it that the Prince is afflicted by Satan to become an abomination in the eyes of all around him? “When Daniel undertook to specify an abomination so disgusting to the sense of morality and decency, and so aggressive against everything that was godly as to drive all from its presence and leave its abode desolate, he chose this as the strongest among the several synonyms, adding the qualification "that maketh desolate…" (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Frank E. Hirsch) Word study: Desolation What about the word “desolation”? In which sense should we understand it? If this is the meaning “abomination of desolation” gives under proper word analysis, then which interpretation makes more sense: - An impious king, the Anti-Christ, will sit in a physical temple of God receiving worship as god. This causes the spiritual pollution of the temple, making the faithful to abandon it? Or, the Holy Spirit departs from the temple; making the sanctuary an “empty” or desolate place. - The Anti-Christ physically bulldozes the Temple in Jerusalem or churches, razing the sanctuary of God to earth. - The Prince’s body is the ultimate temple of God. Its body is desecrated by an affliction unleashed by Satan. His personhood is brought low, humiliated. The desolation is his social and psychological devastation. But is Jesus referring to a physical temple, either a Jewish temple to be built in Jerusalem or to the physical structures of the church of Christ in general? But the New Testament gives us clue on this. In the New Testament the overwhelming application of the temple of God in the new dispensation is the body of the believer: "However, the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands. As the prophet says: 'Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me? says the Lord. Or where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things?' (Acts 7: 48-50). “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?” (1 Cor. 6:19). Given these examples, it becomes plausible to reason that what becomes desolate because of the abomination is the body of a believer-person as the ultimate temple of God. In the case of Daniel 8:13, the person of the Prince is made desolate, is reduced to misery. The Prince, in the eyes of society has now become an abomination and his soul is devastation (desolation). The laments in Psalms 38, 88. And 102 describe such desolation of a person. The misery Job has experienced serves as a type for the Prince’s desolation. Jeremiah’s dirges are other good examples (see Lamentation 3). The Psalms of David speak about Christ prophetically. Many Psalms describe Christ’s suffering and resurrection (Luke 24:44). The Psalms represent the suffering of Christ mostly in terms of sickness and deep humiliation. (see for example the Psalms 13, 22, 38, 69, 88, 109). The prophet Jeremiah had a life of humiliation. Jeremiah had a humiliating sickness (15: 18, 20: 18, 30: 12-14). His suffering – humiliation and rejection – was so deep that some Jewish commentators identify Isaiah’s the Suffering Servant with Jeremiah. For that reason, we can think that Jeremiah partook in the Messiah’s suffering. In the New Testament we find the Apostle Paul with a humiliating affliction which is like the Messiah’s and Jeremiah’s. Paul describes it as “a thorn in his flesh” or a “messenger of Satan” (2 Cor 12: 6). His affliction Paul calls the “death of Christ” and “the stigmata of Christ” he carried around in his body (2 Cor. 4:10; Gal 6:17). Isaiah (49:7) also notes how God uses the deep humiliation of His Servant as the occasion to make the high and mighty of this world to bow down to His Servant. The Prophet Amos (9: 11) writes that God will restore David's tabernacle from the rubble it is reduced to. The Prophet Zechariah (12:8)remarks how God will use the deeply humiliated one to be God-like, David-like. Humiliation changing into glory is repeated through the imagery of a branch arising from a stump of a tree. The Prophet Zechariah in a vision about the high-priest (Zech. 3) sees a deeply humiliated prince-high priest. That is if we take the soiled garments of the high priest as figurative speech about his bodily contamination. God -- in a form of vindication/ resurrection -- orders the casting away of the filthy dress in exchange for a glorious raiment. God actualizes a radical transformation in the life of the prince-high priest. It is a journey from the pit of degradation to the bliss of glory. It is the same idea then that the Apostle Paul expresses in Philippians 3: 19 and 21. "For he will transform the body of our humiliation into the image of his glorious body, according to his great power by which everything has been made subject to him." (Phil. 3:21) So, it is more appropriate to understand the image in Zechariah Chapter 3 about the High Priest in the context of a bodily humiliation (i.e., an affliction that typifies the stinking nature of sin to God) instead of simply saying the High Priest, in behalf of the people's sin is feeling ashamed, standing accused by Satan. It is better to interpret the imagery as another depiction of the suffering/ humiliation and restoration/ resurrection of the Prince as depicted in Isaiah 52: 13 - 53:12. Also the Apostle Paul repeats the same theme of cross-to-glory principle using a different approach. Paul writes in 1 Cor 1: 26-29, showing how God uses what the secular world considers moronic, despised, and feeble to shame the world's power and wisdom. The Apostle may have Isaiah’s 53 humiliation when he writes these words. If a Christian is chosen in partaking of (fellowship in) the Christ's sufferings, then that person must rejoice, because the humiliation will be followed by eternal glory (Phil 3: 10-11; 1 Pet. 4: 13-14; 2 Tim 2: 11). This identification with Christ’s’ suffering will enter a new phase in the last days, where evil will break forth with all its power. This is because the ultimate abomination of desolation takes place only during the Great tribulation in the End-times. Interestingly, End-times events have also associations with Israel's second-set of feasts which appear in autumn every year. The holidays of Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, and Suckoth will be fulfilled in their prophetic meaning only in the last days. For example, Rosh Hashanah (i.e., Feast of Trumpets) prophetically represents the Day of Warfare of the last days. Rosh Hashana, in its anti-type or end-time prophetic fulfillment, is the start of the time of the Tribulation which Jesus taught in His Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24; Mk. 13; Lk. 21). Part of the Great tribulation is the setting up of the abomination of desolation in the temple of God. However, the abomination of desolation may not be a material idol to be set up in the future man-made temple by the anti-Christ. At least in the context of its applied meaning, it means a humiliating sickness manifesting in the Prince's body. It is the same affliction as typified in the acting prophecy of the Apostle Paul.] [Note: I see the abomination of desolation of the end-times from two approaches. I have dealt with the political dimensions of the term in my interpretation of Daniel Chapter 8 which is available on this web site. Here, I have discussed the term, in its equally important application, as a form of bodily affliction, as exemplified in the acting prophecy of the Apostle Paul.] ============================================================================================================================== Glory be to God © Teddy L. Desta, 2017 - 2055. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Teddy L. Desta and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
  14. I thought ideas contained in this HBR article could help you, as well. https://hbr.org/2018/03/thriving-in-the-gig-economy
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