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Teddy

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Teddy last won the day on April 9 2017

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  1. Thanks Accord64. What is the title of your book? Just wanted to know: How much time did you spend reading (studying) the medical and policy aspects of pandemics before you wrote your book? Did you read much about viruses and pandemics, and US government policy (i.e., emergency preparedness) put in place to tackle an outbreak of pandemics?
  2. Hello Accord64, I hope your post-apocalyptic novel anticipated something like the current coronavirus pandemic. What scenario did you present? Looking back at our day, will 2120 historical fiction writers be more concerned with the 'positive' rather than the negative outcomes of COVD-19 pandemic? https://www.bbc.com/reel/playlist/rethink?vpid=p08hfq6s Will COVID-19 will be an opportunistic killer, selecting 'winners' and 'losers'? So, compared to the 1918 flu pandemic, will COVID-19's disproportionate victims will be certain group of people? https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200727-how-covid-19-could-destroy-indigenous-communities Will we be still debating by 2120 the source of the virus? I fear there will be endless stream of books, some patently false in spinning out conspiracy theories and 'archaeological (archival)' based narratives, etc.
  3. William good idea. I guess you are asking about historical fiction to be written in 100 years from now. I hazard that your question has been answered in a different way, already. On the flip-side of your idea, a few brilliant minds have anticipated a day such as the pandemic and wrote about it -- in fiction form. I am referring to 'post-apocalyptic literature.'* Authors of this genre have grappled with what-if-scenarios, creating stories representing realistic situations wondering what would happen when the country or the world is hit by a major catastrophe. They wrote these stories to prepare our minds for a catastrophic day. They also wrote to help policymakers, to make them ready for a day of national or global disaster. So, if we revisit some of these books, what do we conclude: How close to reality they got it? Have we heeded their warnings? Will we encourage such writings as a coping mechanism or as part of our preparatory toolbox? [PS: * I am writing based on my experience sitting in a few literature classes. In one of our short-story writing assignments, one of my classmates wrote about a flu pandemic. I remember my classmate's story opening scene -- panic in a major city's airport.]
  4. Teddy

    The Mountains of God

    The Mountains of God BY TEDDY L. DESTA May 17, 2004 I gave My covenants from mountains. I proclaimed, decreed and ratified them from the high places which I used as My PA systems. The day I gave the law to Israel, I set Mount Sinai ablaze with fire. I shook Mount Sinai with peals of thunder, flashes of lightning, and the sounds of trumpets. I shook the mountain with earthquake. Thus, I revealed Myself to Israel as a dire reminder to her about My character of holiness. And when the time arrived to inaugurate the new covenant of grace, I chose a hill-top for PA. From a hilltop the Lord delivered the Sermon-on-the Mount. I pronounced the precepts of the Gospel of the age of grace. The day I announced the precepts of the New Covenant, I did not send dark clouds, flashing lightnings, earthquake, and sounds of trumpet. It was a day of calm and peace, because the New Testament is not a covenant of harsh judgment. I used words that the wooed in love and attracted by the cords of mercy. I sealed the New Covenant with My own Blood, which I shed on a cross erected on a hill. On the hill of Calvary, I sealed the new eternal covenant with My own Blood. The wrath of God against sin, I absorbed for all people, by dying on the cross. Now it is My time to inaugurate the new dispensation of the fullness of the Kingdom of God. It is time that I also use a new PA system to announce to My people to precepts of the new age. To proclaim this new dispensation I have again chosen the mountaintop to address My people. You ask - where is this mountaintop from which God’s new covenant is being announced to the world? But this time I am not using a literal hilltop or and mountaintop to proclaim My covenant. The mountaintop I am using in your day is a metaphorical mountaintop. My new mountaintop PA are the electronic and digital hilltops. I am using the Internet, satellite TV, and radio as My PA system to reach the whole world with the good news of the fullness of the Kingdom of God. On the electronic mountaintops, I have gathered My eagles, a company of prophets, to make known to you My End Times purposes. I have established their feet on the electronic and digital hilltops with truth and grace. They will reveal My precepts about the unfolding of the universal Kingdom of God. And to My chosen prophets and seers, the Lord says: Stand firmly where I placed you on the mountaintops. Do not waver before the threats of the enemy. Do not succumb to the tests of life. I have placed you there for My purpose, therefore, strengthen your arms. Let not fear control your hearts to restrain your message. Instead lift up your voice and declare to the whole world that I AM coming in justice and righteousness to establish the fullness of My Kingdom. Obey My voice and let the earth hear My words of the new order through you, says your God. Be faithful, be diligent. I am coming. My reward are with Me. “Get yourself up on a high mountain, O Zion, bearer of good news, Lift up your voice mightily, O Jerusalem, bearer of good news; Lift {it} up, do not fear. Say to the cities of Judah, " Here is your God!" Behold, the Lord GOD will come with might, With His arm ruling for Him. Behold, His reward is with Him And His recompense before Him.” (Is. 40: 9-10) (Ps. 24, Ps. 68: 15-18; Is. 57:13, 15; Mal. 3: 1-5; Rev. 14: 1-5)
  5. Good points. Timely.
  6. Teddy

    Isaiah 24 for Our Times

    Isaiah 24: Reflection by the Sages What might God be speaking through the sudden viral crisis that has gripped the world? Scriptures such as Isaiah 24 (and also Isaiah 2:12-23; Amos 3:1-8; Luke 21:34-36; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-5) may be pertinent. Here I will use Isaiah 24, as an example, to show what God's Word can teach us about our times. Chapter Summary The twenty-fourth chapter is composed of three parts. Isa 24:1-12 contains a description of the calamities that would come upon the whole land, amounting to far-spread and wide desolation - with a graphic description of the effects of it on the inhabitants Isaiah 24:2, on the land Isaiah 24:3-6, on the wine, the amusements, the song, etc. Isaiah 24:7-12, causing all gaiety and prosperity to come to an end. Isa 24:13-17 contains a statement by the prophet that a few would be left in the land amidst the general desolation, and that they would be filled with joy that they had escaped. From their retreats and refuges, their fastnesses and places of security, they would lift up the song of praise that they had been preserved. Isa 24:18-23 contains a further description of augmented judgment that would come upon the land - a more severe and lengthened calamity stretching over the country, agitating it like an earthquake. Yet there is even here Isaiah 24:22-23, an indication that there would be deliverance, and that the Lord of hosts would reign on Mount Zion - a description which is extended through the next chapter, and which constitutes the scope and substance of that chapter. (Barne’s Notes) Commentary verse-by-Verse 24:1 Of course the expression, "maketh empty," is rhetorical, some remarkable, but not complete, depopulation being pointed at (comp. ver. 6). Turneth it upside down (comp. Ezekiel 21:27). Scattereth abroad the inhabitants. The scanty population left is dispersed, and not allowed to collect into masses. [Pulpit Commentary] “The prophecy leaps far beyond all particular or national conditions” to apply globally. (Cambridge) 24:2 The judgment affects all classes alike, without distinction of rank or fortune. (Cambridge) All shall suffer equally. The author is obliged to take as examples distinctions of rank known to him; but he carefully selects such as are of almost universal occurrence. There was scarcely any nation of antiquity in which there were not "priests and people," "masters and slaves," "buyers and sellers," "lenders and borrowers," "takers and givers of usury." By "usury" is meant, not exorbitant interest, but interest simply, of whatever amount. (Pulpit) 24:3 But an emphatic mention of the city of the world, the proper focus of worldliness, corresponds to its importance. [...] That under this city we do not understand Jerusalem, as most do, is self-evident from our view of this passage. The city of the world is called the city of emptiness, [not confusion] because worldliness has in it its seat and centre, and worldliness is essentially תֹּהוּi.e, vanitas, inanity, emptiness, [Lange] 24:4 The earth... fadeth away. As a flower that fades and withers up (comp. Isaiah 1:30; Isaiah 28:1, 4; Isaiah 34:4, etc.; Psalm 1:3; Psalm 37:2). The world (tabel) has never any narrower sense than the entire "world," and must be regarded as fixing the meaning of arets in passages where (as here) the two are used as synonymous. The haughty people; or, the high ones. All the great are brought down, and laid low, that "the Lord alone may be exalted in that day" (cf. Isaiah 2:11-17). [Pulpit] 24:5 The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof - The statements in this verse are given as a reason why the curse had been pronounced against them, and why these calamities had come upon them, Isaiah 24:6. The first reason is, that the very earth become polluted by their crimes. This phrase may denote that injustice and cruelty prevailed to such an extent that the very earth was stained with gore, and covered with blood under the guilty population. So the phrase is used in Numbers 33:33; Psalm 106:38. Or it may mean in general that the wickedness of the people was great, and was accumulating, and the very earth under them was polluted by sustaining such a population. But the former is probably the correct interpretation. Changed the ordinance - Or, the statute (חק chôq). […] is usually applied to the positive statutes appointed by Moses. The word statute accurately expresses the idea. These they had changed by introducing new statutes, and had in fact, if not in form, repealed the laws of Moses, and introduced others. Broken the everlasting covenant - The word 'covenant' here is evidently used, as it is often, in the sense of law. By the term 'everlasting covenant,' Vitringa correctly supposes is denoted the laws of nature, the immutable laws of justice and right, which are engraven on the conscience, and which are inflexible and perpetual. [Benson] 24:6 the curse which always follows on evil-doing, or, more specifically, the curse of the Book of the Covenant, as in Leviticus 26; Deuteronomy 28. The curse is personified as a beast of prey or a consuming fire, ready to devour. (Comp. Genesis 4:7; Genesis 4:11.) […] The curse, the symbol of the wrath of Jehovah, is the consuming fire that burns. [Ellicott] 24:7-8 The mirth of tabrets... of the harp ceaseth (comp. Isaiah 5:12). The feasting, and the drinking-songs, and the musical accompaniment, common at the vintage season, are discontinued. All is dismay and wretchedness - desolation in the present, worse desolation expected in the future. [Pulpit] 24:9 They shall cease to find pleasure in it in consequence of the general calamities that have come upon the nation. 24:10-13 “The world with its pleasure is judged; the world's city is also judged, in which both the world's power and the world's pleasure were concentrated. […] every house is shut up, so that no man can come in. There is lamentation for wine in the fields; all rejoicing has set; the delight of the earth is banished. What is left of the city is wilderness, and the gate was shattered to ruins. For so will it be within the earth, in the midst of the nations; as at the olive-beating, as at the gleaning, when the vintage is over." [Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament The city: the singular word may be here taken collectively. City of confusion; or, of vanity, or emptiness, or desolation; for this Hebrew word signifies all these things. Every house is shut up; either for fear of the enemy who have entered the city; or rather, because the inhabitants are either fled, or dead, or gone into captivity, and so there are none to go into it, or come out of it. [Poole] 24:12 The gate is smitten with destruction; or "gates", the singular for the plural; none passing and repassing through them, as formerly, and themselves utterly destroyed. [Gill] My note: The gates of modern cities are its transportation hubs, such as airports, train and bus terminals, and sea ports. All these are “broken”, because of the lock-down and quarantine few are travelling any more. They are deserted. 24:13 That is, a small and scattered remnant of inhabitants shall alone be left, like the few grapes and olives that were the portion of the gleaners (cf. Isaiah 17:6). [Pulpit] 24:14 The utterers of the praise are obviously the remnant of the saved, whether of the “Jews of the dispersion,” or of the Gentiles. To them there appears in the midst of the desolation, the vision of the glory of the Lord, and far off, from the sea (the Mediterranean, as the great sea of the ancient world) they raise their song of praise. [Ellicott] They shall sing for the majesty of the Lord - They shall sing on account of the glory, or goodness of Yahweh, wire had so mercifully kept and preserved them. They shall cry aloud from the sea - From the isles and coasts of the Mediterranean where they would have escaped, and where they would find a refuge. No doubt many of the inhabitants adjacent to the sea, when they found the land invaded, would betake themselves to the neighboring islands, and find safety there until the danger should be overpast. [Barnes] 24:15 But, as the word בארים, here translated, in the fires, is not used elsewhere in Scripture, in this sense, others render it, in the valleys; and others again, in the holes, or caves: as if he had said, Glorify ye the Lord, who are forced to hide yourselves in secret places. Possibly, however, the word may be better rendered, for lights, or illuminations, which may be understood, either of the light of the truth which God would reveal to them, or of the comfort which God would confer upon them, light being frequently taken in both senses in Scripture. For this Hebrew word, in all other places of Scripture where it is found, signifies the Urim, which was in the high-priest’s breast-plate, and which properly signifies lights or illuminations, as both Jews and Christians understand it: see note on Exodus 28:30. [Benson] 24:13-15 There shall be a remnant preserved from the general ruin, and it shall be a devout and pious remnant. These few are dispersed; like the gleanings of the olive tree, hid under the leaves. The Lord knows those that are his; the world does not. When the mirth of carnal worldlings ceases, the joy of the saints is as lively as ever, because the covenant of grace, the fountain of their comforts, and the foundation of their hopes, never fails. Those who rejoice in the Lord can rejoice in tribulation, and by faith may triumph when all about them are in tears. They encourage their fellow-sufferers to do likewise, even those who are in the furnace of affliction. Or, in the valleys, low, dark, miry places. In every fire, even the hottest, in every place, even the remotest, let us keep up our good thoughts of God. If none of these trials move us, then we glorify the Lord in the fires. [Matthew Henry Concise Commentary] 24:16 Sin is a burden to the whole creation; it is a heavy burden, under which it groans now, and will sink at last. The high ones, that are puffed up with their grandeur, that think themselves out of the reach of danger, God will visit for their pride and cruelty. Let us judge nothing before the time, though some shall be visited. None in this world should be secure, though their condition be ever so prosperous; nor need any despair, though their condition be ever so deplorable. God will be glorified in all this. But the mystery of Providence is not yet finished. The ruin of the Redeemer's enemies must make way for his kingdom, and then the Sun of Righteousness will appear in full glory. Happy are those who take warning by the sentence against others; every impenitent sinner will sink under his transgression, and rise no more, while believers enjoy everlasting bliss. [Matthew Henry] 24:18 The windows from on high are open . . .—The phrase reminds us of the narrative of the Flood in Genesis 7:11; Genesis 8:2. There was a second judgment on the defiled and corrupted land like that of the deluge. The next clause and the following verses were probably reminiscences of the earthquake in Uzziah’s reign, and of the panic which it caused (Isaiah 2:19; Amos 1:1; Zechariah 14:5). [Ellicott] The image means here that calamities would be multiplied in all the land, and that if the inhabitants endeavored to avoid one danger they would fall into another. And the foundations of the earth do shake - An image derived from an earthquake - a figure also denoting far-spreading calamities. [Barnes] Shall fall into the pit; when he designs to avoid one danger, by so doing he shall plunge himself into another and a greater mischief. The windows from on high are opened, and the foundations of the earth do shake; both heaven and earth conspire against him. He alludes to the deluge of waters which God poured down from heaven, and to the earthquakes which he ofttimes causeth below. [Matthew Poole] 24:19 The earth is utterly broken down - The effect as it were of an earthquake where everything is thrown into commotion and ruin. [...] The repetition also of the expression in the same sense three times, is a strong form of emphasis; and the whole passage is designed to denote the utter desolation and ruin that had come upon the land. [Barnes] 24:20 The earth totters under the weight of its iniquity, and falls (we must remember the Hebrew idea of the world as resting upon pillars, 1 Samuel 2:8), never to rise again. [Ellicott] As we say of a drunkard, he may stumble often, and partially recover himself, yet he will certainly fall so as not then to be able to recover himself, so it would be with that agitated and convulsed land. They would make many efforts to recover themselves, and they would partially succeed, yet they would ultimately be completely prostrate in the dust. [Barnes] not rise again—not meaning, that it never would rise (Isa 24:23), but in those convulsions it would not rise, it would surely fall. [Jamieson-Fausset-Brown] The transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; those sins which they formerly esteemed light and pleasant shall now be most burdensome and grievous to them, because of the dreadful punishments which shall follow them. [Matthew Poole] 24: 22 The high ones, that are puffed up with their grandeur, that think themselves out of the reach of danger, God will visit for their pride and cruelty. Let us judge nothing before the time, though some shall be visited. None in this world should be secure, though their condition be ever so prosperous; nor need any despair, though their condition be ever so deplorable. God will be glorified in all this. But the mystery of Providence is not yet finished. The ruin of the Redeemer's enemies must make way for his kingdom, and then the Sun of Righteousness will appear in full glory. Happy are those who take warning by the sentence against others; every impenitent sinner will sink under his transgression, and rise no more, while believers enjoy everlasting bliss. [Matthew Henry Concise Commentary] In the pit - Margin, 'Dungeon.' The sense is, that he rulers of the land should be made captive, and treated as prisoners of war. [Barnes] 24:23 The moon shall be confounded . . .—The thought implied is that the most glorious forms of created light will become dim, the moon red as with the blush of shame, the sun turning pale, before the glory of Jehovah’s presence. The Lord of hosts shall reign . . .—Better, hath become king, the phrase being that used as in 2Samuel 5:4; 1Kings 15:1, for a king’s accession to his throne. And before his ancients gloriously.—Better, and before his elders shall he glory. The “elders” are, like the seventy of Exodus 24:9, like the twenty-four of Revelation 4:4, the chosen ones of the new Jerusalem, to whom it shall be given, as the counsellors of the great King, to see His glory, that glory resting on them as in old time it rested upon Moses. [Ellicott] My Comments The prophet says the world will be shaken by reason of transgress the eternal laws of God. Calamities will catch the inhabitants of the earth unguarded. Cities will be the focus of the calamity. But in the midst of the crisis, as the world is shaken and tested, the faithful will be protected. Paradoxically, in the middle of the crisis, the faithful are called to worship God, because they will be seeing the break of day in the midst of the darkness. They will witness the God's kingdom emerging. God will reign on earth. God will make His will and Word to prevail on the earth, subduing the powerful of this world. "So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!” (Luke 21:28) End Notes 1. A viral darkness has swooped down on earth. It is dark at noon. https://www.bbc.com/news/in-pictures-52127945 2. The IMF’s chief said during WHO briefing on 04/03/20. The coronavirus pandemic has created an economic crisis “like no other,” the top International Monetary Fund official said. “Never in the history of the IMF have we witnessed the world economy come to a standstill,” said Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the IMF. “It is way worse than the global financial crisis” of 2008-09, Georgieva said during a World Health Organization press conference. “This is in my lifetime humanity’s darkest hour, a big threat to the whole world and it requires for us to stand us, be united,” Georgieva said during a World Health Organization press conference. “It is way worse than the global financial crisis” of 2008-09, she said. “This is a crisis like no other.” 3. I will make their widows more numerous than the sand of the sea. I will bring a destroyer at noon against the mothers of young men. I will suddenly bring upon them anguish and dismay. She who bore seven has grown feeble; she has fainted away; her sun went down while it was yet day; she has been shamed and disgraced. And the rest of them I will give to the sword before their enemies, declares the LORD.” (Jer 15: 8-9)
  7. 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/
  8. 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)
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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’ 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 willingly will go the road of the SKULL. I AM looking for an Isaiah who said “Yes” to My order. He walked naked and bare-footed for three years to obey My voice. He despised the shame for the sake of His God. I AM looking for a Hosea who obeying My Voice married a woman of no-repute. He allowed Me to prophecy to Israel through his act. He was ready to be counted among the transgressors for My sake. I AM looking for a Jeremiah who said "Yes" to wear a yoke of iron for many days before My people. He was ready, obeying My voice, to buy some real estate when all round him was only war and terror. He was prepared to be called an idiot for My sake. I AM looking for an Ezekiel who was ready to lay at the public square for more than a year, starving himself by eating the ration of famine. He did not shy away from the shame of being called a lunatic for My sake. I AM looking someone like the Virgin from Nazareth. Mary let her LORD to form the Messiah in her womb. She shunned death by stoning when she said “Yes” to her God. She was not ashamed or afraid to stand by the cross of her Son. From the outset she allowed the Sword of God to cleave her heart. She negated her will for My will. Today, I AM looking for servants who will gladly embrace the shame and the rejection of their age for My sake. Yes, I AM looking for those who will go for Me all the way to the place of the SKULL. Yes, I AM looking for those who for the joy set before them will despise the shame and carry their cross outside the gate. To them 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)
  12. Psalm 46 says how God will be with us in testing (stormy) times. Our prayers are with you. God bless.
  13. "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.
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