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Teddy

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Teddy last won the day on April 9 2017

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  1. I thought ideas contained in this HBR article could help you, as well. https://hbr.org/2018/03/thriving-in-the-gig-economy
  2. What does the process look like? What are the requirements? Thanks
  3. "for by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory." (Proverb 24: 6) Now that you've received a multitude of counsel (or, you can wait for a few more), then enter your prayer/ meditation chamber. Ask the Holy Spirit which one of these counsels He will say you must follow. Have God as your partner. Make the Holy Spirit your co-author. Then not only your work will be inspired, but He will also motivate you and give you energy day-by-day. He will also open the right doors at the right time to get your work to the press, to the market, and on the desk of reviewers. God bless you and guide you as you seek His face.
  4. Some helpful ideas: i). Find a publisher. They'll hold you accountable to the agreement you signed with them. The income we make or the recognition we acquire by being published is a strong motivator to many of us. ii). Find a co-author. He/ she will keep you accountable to your part of the deal. iii). Write it as a letter to a person you most respect or love. You won't dare to disappoint the person you most love/ respect, or they will nag you to send them the next installment and then the next. But make sure that you'll always end your letter at the most suspenseful moment. The push (love/ respect for the other person) and pull (the suspense you create) work as strong motivators. iv). Would there be any literary magazine which accepts serial novels? Many famous works were started and finished as serial installments. v). First visualize the whole plot. Then write the first chapter. Next write the last chapter. The outcome of the last chapter must be a surprise/ intriguing/ teaching, etc., so that it will motivate you to work on the middle chapters as intriguing ladders rushing to the grande finale. This to work as intended, you need a plot outline. The outline helps you to fill the middle sections. Do not worry you can later tweak the first and last chapters. Good luck!!
  5. The Israel-Palestinian Problem: A Biblical Solution by Teddy L. Desta (2003) The problem in the Middle East, particularly the relationship between Israel and Palestinians, can find a solution only when any man-made peace plan follows the peace plan outlines provided in the Bible. The following is what we find in the Bible about the Israel-Palestinian problem and its solution. Since the Bible's speaks about the broader Israel-Arab relationship as well, what is presented here can be called the Bible's Middle East peace plan (BMEPP). - Unlike no other geo-political regions, God has made clear His mind about the future security arrangement of the Holy Land (i.e., today’s Israel, but not necessarily limited to its present-day borders). Only if God has not shared His plan about the future of the Holy Land, then that we would have been free to let the best of our political thoughts and diplomatic practices to guide us in our search to write a Middle East plan. But since God has shared His mind about the Holy Land's future, then our duty is to read His plan from the Bible and follow His precepts and blueprint. In the sense, we will succeed in our search for peace for a problem only when we make the Bible our starting place. To do otherwise is to set up ourselves for failure. - Today, to a considerable extent, the world community believes that political, economic, and social justice for Palestinians can come only through a two-states solution. A TSS, by ending the occupation of the West Bank by Israel, will guarantee the Palestinians their own independent state. Most Palestinians buy the idea that their myriads of problems get solution only when they win their own national state. Even going far, some extremist Palestinian groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad want to altogether displace Israel as a state planning to set up an Islamic Palestinian state in the whole the Holy Land area. (The Holy Land, in this context is the promised land as defined in Joshua chapters 13- 19). However, both a two-states solution or a one-state solution where Hamas is the ruler have one major problem: They fly against the will of God as expressed in the Bible. For that matter, any peace plan not crafted according to the Bible is doomed to fail. Such a plan which does not take into consideration, at least the major parameters of peace as written in the Bible will keep failing, never able to realize the peace which the two peoples or other countries in the region desire greatly. In short, a peace plan based on the vision of secular Zionism, global or regional organizations, the Palestinian Authority or Hamas will all fail because they all make God’s word invalid. When it comes to Middle East peace, we must swallow our human pride, and let God be God. In this matter, if necessary, peacemakers and stakeholder should let God be true and all humanity a liar (cf. Rom 3:4). - We must go to the Bible to find about the LORD’s plan for the Holy Land. For example, the Bible shows that the so-called occupied territories lie within Israel’s ancient heritage and will belong to Israel in her restoration after her long absence from the Land. Today’s “Occupied Territories” are part of God’s original Promise Land which He gave to the children of Israel. In the second sense, the “Occupied Territories” falls within the lands God has said through His prophets that He would restore to Israel, in the Last Days when Jews return to Eretz Israel after their long absence. (See, for example, Jeremiah 31; Ezekiel 34: 13-16; Micah 7: 14-16; Obadiah 17 – 21; Zephaniah 2: 4-9). Therefore, any man-made peace plan that tries to deny Israel jurisdiction over the land (defined either as the Promised Land or as restoration prophecy), will fail. That is, any man-made peace plan can succeed only to the extent that it shows respect to God's will as expressed in the Bible. "This is what the LORD says: "As for all my wicked neighbors who seize the inheritance I gave my people Israel, I will uproot them from their lands and I will uproot the people of Judah from among them. But after I uproot them, I will again have compassion and will bring each of them back to their own inheritance and their own country. And if they learn well the ways of my people and swear by my name, saying, 'As surely as the LORD lives'--even as they once taught my people to swear by Baal--then they will be established among my people. But if any nation does not listen, I will completely uproot and destroy it," declares the LORD.” (Jer. 12: 14-17) - The Bible recognizes that upon their restoration to the Land, Jews would face hatred from the people dwelling in the Land. But God warns that He will take tough action against any hatred Jews may be facing. But after such a cleansing, Palestinians will experience recognition and elevation. In the end, there will be a political alliance between Jews and Arabs. Potentially, there will be an “assimilation” of the Palestinians into the Jewish social and political fabric. "Ashkelon will see it and fear; Gaza will writhe in agony, and Ekron too, for her hope will wither. Gaza will lose her king and Ashkelon will be deserted. a mixed people shall dwell in Ashdod, and I will cut off the pride of Philistia. And I will remove their blood from their mouth, and their detestable things from between their teeth. Then they also will be a remnant for our God, and be like a clan in Judah, and Ekron like a Jebusite." (Zechariah 9: 5-8) Hence, what God’s has a plan is that Jews and Palestinians should live together peacefully in the Holy Land, ever growing closer. Before they reach this stage, however, God must do a deep work of cleansing among the Palestinians. This is related to their attitude towards the Jews’ presence in the Holy Land. The first step is that Palestinians accept the biblical declaration that Jews belong to the Holy Land. Therefore, Palestinians must abandon any plan to push them into the sea at worst or rule over them as second-class-citizens. As a second step, Palestinians will become part of the Jewish polity as full-fledged citizens as loyal and notable members of the state. What God speaks through Zechariah is not a two-states solution. It is a one-state solution. Any man-made peace plan that overlooks God’s plan could fail. But some people would reject a one-state solution because Jews and Palestinians are so different culturally and that they have wounded each other so deeply that to make them live in one-state is unwise and impractical. But there is a scriptural precedence where Jews and Palestinians coexisted and cooperated. King David was who built the first unified Jewish state. He was quite a pious Jew of the first order, and he was a nationalist par excellence. But King David’s chosen bodyguard or elite force was from Philistines (i.e., in modern day terms, Palestinian). This Palestinian contingent was loyal to David even the moment a coup d’etat carried against David by his son, Absalom. "All his servants marched past him—all the Cherethites and Pelethites, and six hundred Gittites who had followed him from Gath. The king said to Ittai the Gittite, "Why should you come along with us? Go back and stay with King Absalom. You are a foreigner, an exile from your homeland. You came only yesterday. And today shall I make you wander about with us, when I do not know where I am going? Go back, and take your people with you. May the LORD show you kindness and faithfulness." But Ittai replied to the king, "As surely as the LORD lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king may be, whether it means life or death, there will your servant be." (2 Sam 15: 18-21) King David, who had fought the Palestinians (i.e., Philistines) in several skirmishes, knew how to make peace with his enemies. He knew how to work with them for mutual interest. He knew how to accommodate them. David was so successful in his relationships with them so much that he gave a contingent of Palestinians an honored and trusted position in his army. For example, Uriah, the husband of Bathsheba, was a devoted soldier in King David’s army. But Uriah was a Hittite, a non-Jew. It is this kind of relationship between Jews and Palestinians that God vows to bring about in what the prophet Zechariah predicted. - God’s peace plan — to the surprise of many — includes the East Bank! This is because the original Promised Land includes lands on the east bank of the Jordan River. This is the land given to the tribes of Reuben, Gad and half the tribe of Manasseh (Numbers 32, Joshua 13:15-23). You may ask that was then, but does God promise the Jews a land to the east of the Jordan River in their restoration from their long exile? Yes, God does. God’s plan for the Jews, as part of their restored Jewish state, includes the east bank of the Jordan, the traditional land of these three tribes (See Jeremiah 30:3). Gilead (which is the traditional pasture land on the east side of the Jordan River) is part of Israel’s original and restored inheritance (Jeremiah 50:19; Micah 7:14). "But I will bring Israel back to their own pasture, and they will graze on Carmel and Bashan; their appetite will be satisfied on the hills of Ephraim and Gilead." (Jeremiah 50:19) "O LORD, protect your people with your shepherd’s staff; lead your flock, your special possession. Though they live alone in a thicket on the heights of Mount Carmel, let them graze in the fertile pastures of Bashan and Gilead as they did long ago." (Micah 7:14) However, today the lands of Ruben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh are part of the Kingdom of Jordan, and they are Palestinians mostly in their inhabitants. If this plan becomes a reality, then all Palestinians — including those in Gaza, the West Bank and East Bank — under a single polity umbrella. This polity, because of God’s promises, we will remain Jewish in state profile. Palestinians will enjoy recognition and rights. Palestinians will gain political status within the Israeli polity. Palestinian social, economic, and political elevation depends on the condition as set by the Prophet Zechariah. They must reject their rejection of the state of Israel. They must accept the Jews’ place in the Holy Land, which the Bible declares. Briefly, what God envisions for Israelis and Palestinians is a one-state solution. This is a one-state which will be just and fair to both Jews and Arabs. Second, what God says restoring Jews to Gilead suggests a political arrangement like a confederation between the state of Israel and the Kingdom of Jordan. So, those nationalist Israelis who say the Palestinians in the West Bank must evacuate to the Kingdom of Jordan are flat wrong. Unknown to them, their plan goes against the plan of God. Instead, God will settle Jews in Gilead. That can become a reality, for example, through a confederation arrangement that Israel reaches with the Kingdom of Jordan. Third, God will bring Palestinians in Gaza, West Bank, and Jordan into one state through the confederation arrangement. Palestinians in the Diaspora will now get the right of return. Israel will allow this to happen because Palestinians will accept Jews as their kin. - God also has a peace plan for the larger Middle East region is about Israel and the Arab relationship. God promises to do the unthinkable about a Jew-Arab relationship, which has been a source of war and friction in the Middle East for decades. According to Bible prophecy, Arab nations, both moderate and radical, will have a cordial relationship with the state of Israel. For example, the prophet Isaiah writes: "In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will go to Egypt and the Egyptians to Assyria. The Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together. In that day Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing on the earth. The LORD Almighty will bless them, saying, "Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance." (Isaiah 19: 23-25) According to God’s plan, in terms of relationship with the state of Israel, a moderate Arab state (for example, Egypt), a radical Arab state (for example, Syria) will have a positive relationship with Israel. The trio will form an axis of blessing from God for the world. God will make the Middle East a peaceful place as He brings together these irreconcilable forces which have been behind the turmoil and war in the region for so long. - God’s Word speaks, although not much, about Iran, using its ancient names such as Elam, Medes, and Persia. Iran may first face turmoil, war, and exile (Isaiah 22: 5-11, Jeremiah 49: 34-37). Then God promises to place His throne in Elam, which is a promise to turn Iranians to His faith. The Word carries a promise to end the current anti-Israel regime in Iran. "I will establish my sovereignty over Elam. I will destroy their king and their leaders," says the LORD. "Yet in days to come I will reverse Elam's ill fortune." says the LORD" (Jeremiah 49: 37-38). One of the big problems for settling peace between Israel and Palestinians has been the regime in Iran. Here God promises to remove a regime in Iran and substitute it with a government open to His will. Advice to Israel - Israel should be careful not to dispossess Palestinians or marginalize them. Current Israel must emulate its forefathers, such as Abraham, Joshua, and King David, in treating Palestinians with fairness and justice. For example, Abraham, though promised the land, when offered a cave to bury his wife for free, he insisted to pay for it (see Genesis 23). Abraham did not feel entitled to get the land for free. He did not take advantage of God’s promise in engaging in an unfair deal with the indigenous people. He respected their property rights. - God ordered King David to build a sacrifice altar at Mount Moriah. But the place where God wanted the altar built belonged to a Jebusite farmer, a non-Jew indigenous person. Although King David was the most powerful person in the nation, he did not expropriate the farmer and use his land to build an altar to God. Even if the farmer wanted to give the land for free to his king, David insisted on paying for the land (2 Sam 24:24). David never abused his kingly power (Cf. Jeremiah 22:15-16). He never used religion as a cover to take away property from his people, Jew, or non-Jew, without due compensation. God’s orders to His people is that they stay a just and a fair-minded people, showing mercy and justice without discriminating against the poor and the stranger (Deuteronomy 24: 14, 16; 25: 13-16; Isaiah 10: 1-2). God expects the polity to have the same law for Jew and non-Jew, to native and immigrant. Jews must apply the same scale of justice to all, regardless of citizenship status. The Jew must be impartial in administering justice (See Proverbs 20:10, 20:23, 21:22). The following are a few suggestions for I-P peace-makers to consider. i). Civic engagement Both sides need to take a few crucial steps to start and foster people to people contact to develop a positive rapport between the two communities. As much as hate and conflict are man made, equally understanding and peace are man-made. Peace-building needs courage and effort. Ideally, the Israel Government must facilitate the way where civic societies and goodwill persons start the first step in building bridges across the two communities. The process can start small but can grow into a snowball social movement. Such group-to-group meetings may involve sharing stories and perspectives, asking for forgiveness, weeping together, and discussing visions for a better future. The stronger the bonds of friendship grow between the two peoples, less the opportunity arises for hardliners spew hate and foment violence. ii). Goodwill outreach Israel, for all plain reasons, has now won the armed part of the struggle for the Land. However, it has yet to win the battle for the hearts-and-minds of Arab/Palestinians. Israel-Jews now must do their utmost to stretch their humanitarian and goodwill hand to Arabs/Palestinians, particularly to the most vulnerable parts of those communities. Israelis/Jews have the resources (funds, manpower, and technology) to do goodwill outreaches in many areas of life in helping Arab/Palestinians. This outreach includes but is not limited to, providing rare medical services, giving scholarships to bright Palestinian students in Israeli elite universities and programs, job opportunities to outstanding Palestinian graduates, funding to savvy Arab/Palestinian entrepreneurs, etc. Israel must be open to discuss possibilities for members of the Palestinian Diaspora (who are no threat to its national security) to visit home and even return for good to their homeland. iii). Justice Israel must see that the rule of law and fair system of justice makes the legal ethos of the Land. The court systems, both Israeli and Arab, must work impartially. Particularly the Arab/ Palestinian part of the society must feel that it does not treat them as second-class citizens. The life, liberty, and property of Arabs/Palestinians must count as high as that of Israeli-Jews before all courts in the land. A just legal and justice system is a powerful means to develop a sense of acceptance and belongingness. Through this tool, Israel-Jews can ensure that Arab/Palestinians feel welcomed and respected part of their polity. iv). Education The future of the Land belongs to the young. We must start now to educate both Jewish and Arab children to learn to accept each other citizens of the Holy Land. Policymakers and civic leaders from both communities must sit down and write school curriculums that foster mutual understanding, empathy, and common purpose among the young. Weekend and summer camps where Jewish and Arab/ Palestinian children interact closer can foster long-term relationships between the two communities which can last generations. v). Empowerment Israel-Jews must start taking tentative steps allowing Arabs-Palestinians to rise in the ranks in the civil service, academia, mass media, and civil society. The state must allow public exposure and recognition for Arabs/Palestinians who excel in their field. This move is important to ally the fear of Arabs/Palestinians that their fate is always to be downtrodden, always passing as second-class citizens. vi). Diplomatic initiative Because of Hamas’s (and Islamic Jihad’s) anti-Israel policies, the people of Gaza have paid a heavy price. But now Israel must think creatively to address the Gaza problem. Israel must take its good relationship with Egypt and powerful Gulf states to make a bold diplomatic move. Israel must promise to lift its blockades against Gaza if an international consortium takes over totally in Gaza to administer the area, say, for the following 10 years. The consortium will ensure that Gaza disarms, develops civic societies, cultivates a normal economy, and engages with the rest of the world as a normal society. Israel by initiating these bold steps, it can show the world its readiness and willingness to end the suffering in Gaza. vii). Democratic and Jewish By thinking creatively how to represent Arabs-Palestinians in the polity and integrate them into the society the Israeli-Jews can establish a system that is democratic and Jewish. Once Arab-Palestinians receive due political recognition, economic opportunities, and social respect they will concede - out of historical understanding and goodwill - that the state must remain mainly as Jewish in its orientations or the State of Israel in its name. Moreover, other creative political arrangements can be devised where the Land will be undivided, the state remains Jewish in character and orientation, and Arabs/ Palestinians enjoy full political, economic, and legal rights. In short, each people "can has its cake and eat it, too." In short, this is the kind of peace plan that God has in mind, and it is this plan we need to pursue relentlessly with all our mind, soul, and energy. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Glory be to God © TLD, 2017 - 2030. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is 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.
  6. Teddy

    The Blood

    Quite true. Eph. 4:13-19. Heb. 10:19-20.
  7. Daniel 7: A New Perspective (Part X) by TLD Speaking of Time God has indicated that the tribulation of the saints lasts for a time, times, and half time, or for 42 months (Dan. 7:25). If we take this time frame literally, then the whole tribulation period lasts only three and half years. But such an undertaking clashes with reality. If we interpret the vision of Daniel in Ethiopian politics terms, then we have to interpret the time frame symbolically as we did with the rest of the vision. Since we already know that the Ethiopian Revolution has lasted more than 3.5 years, we must look for a symbolic meaning of not only the 1,260 prophetic dates, but also equally for the other two prophetic dates, namely 1,290 and 1,335 days associated with the duration of the calamitous period. One clue for the symbolic understand of times will be to recognize that Scripture singles out certain numbers to use them as length of time, but with profound prophetic and symbolic intent. The following numbers when used as length of time (either used as days or years), mean something prophetic: 3, 7, 12, and 40. The numbers 7 and 12 are used as objective measures of time. Seven (and its multiples) is the standard measure for the week and month cycles. Seven is associated with the lunar cycle. On the other hand, twelve, which is associated with the solar cycle, is used to measure the diurnal and annual cycles. (For example, see Gen. 1:14 where God established the celestial bodies to mark seasons and times). Moreover, God also uses what we call heaps of time to establish some religious/ spiritual order. For example, based on the idea of seven-days based week cycle, He also establishes the seven-year cycle, as well as the 49-years (jubilee) cycle (Lev. 25). However, God has used an undefined time measure to inform Daniel about the duration of the tribulation period. God stated that a “time” with its multiples will make the span of the impious tyrannical system. “The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time.” (Dan 7:25) So, what does God’s prophetic “time” span mean here? How long is a “time’? To begin with, good candidates for the “time” span include: three, seven, twelve, and forty years. Given what has happened in Ethiopia since 1974, I decide to take “time” to refer to 12 years, Therefore, a “time” is a prophetic time capsule made up of 12 years. Hence, the calculation of the duration of the calamitous period, becomes. A time = 12 years Two times = 24 years Half-time = 6 years For a total of 42 years. Hence, counting 42 years from 1974 gets us to 2016, which by itself is a significant year in Ethiopian politics. The Revolution turned 42 years in 2016. The year 2016 is important in Ethiopian politics as it is in November that year that we’ve started to see serious protests emerging against the EPRDF regime. It is these protests which finally culminated in overthrowing the Marxist/ Stalinist dispensation which has dominated Ethiopian politics since 1974. The protests gave hope that the eclipse that has enveloped the country was finally to lift. We equally recognize that the atheist dispensation did not end in 2016 and to this Scripture gives additional hint. For example, in Daniel 12, we read how God extends the completion time at least twice. "From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days.” (Dan. 12:11-12, NIV) That is, we are given two new end-points, prophetic landmarks, namely 1,290 days and 1,335 days. If we apply again the same formula where we take each prophetic day to mean 12-years, then 1,290-days equals 43 years and 1,335 days equals 44.5 years. When applied to Ethiopian events (starting our counting from 1974 from the year of the Ethiopian revolution), these two dates take us up to 2017 and 2018, respectively. But do these two-year markers then match any significant change in Ethiopian politics? Do the 43 and 44.5-year mark dates (i.e., counting from the 1974 Ethiopian Revolution) mean anything? The year 2017 is significant because the anti-regime protests had become widespread and sustained. The year 2017 made clear that the EPRDF days were numbered. The second phase of Ethiopia’s Marxist/ Stalinist Revolution (i.e., the EPRDF dispensation) looked to wind down. What happened in the 44.5-years mark, meaning in mid-2018? Something quite prophetic and remarkable has happened in Ethiopia in mid-2018 which gained worldwide attention and respect. It was in April 2018 that the 2.5-years old protests crested achieving radical change. The leadership changed at the top. The coming of Dr. Abiy Ahmad (who is a born-again Christian) to the helm of power, in many eyes, is God’s miracle. Abiy’s rise to power inaugurated a new day in Ethiopian politics. It became clear that communism/ atheism was out of the Ethiopian palace finally. Hence, we can conclude that 1,260 days initiated, the 1,290 days sustained, and the 1,335 culminated the regime change protest movement. Or, we can equally argue the 1,290-days and 1,335-days mark points are included for another reason. We can argue saying that the momentous tribulation train does not come to an immediate stop. Mechanical engineering requires that a train with high momentum must apply the brakes slowly lest the train derails. Similarly, God slowly winds down the Marxist/ Stalinist train slowly, gradually. He needs two or three additional years to bring everything to a halt and system change. Hence, the same deceleration principle applies to the prophetic-spiritual world. But does, the 44.5-years mark (mid-2018) mean total and final rest? No, because again some time must elapse as indicated by the angel who spoke to Daniel: "As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance." (Dan. 12:13, NIV) It is just like this. Once an airplane has touched down, it must run on the runway for a few miles before it stops. Even after the airplane has stopped, passengers must wait until the motor (blades) stop rotating. Only then do the doors open and passengers leave the airplane. As there are stages of ending a long flight, in similar ways God’s long tribulation journey, apparently, follows the same principle. The series of dates about the the duration of the tribulation (i.e., 1,260, 1,290, and 1,335, etc.) are intended to intimate such idea: Things do not return to normal right away. . The idea of gradual deceleration of calamity also gets support from one story in the Scriptures. Regarding, the Flood (Gen. 8), once the rains has stopped, we are informed that the flood waters receded gradually. The Holy Spirit intentionally marks out milestone dates and the series of waiting days Noah has to do before he disembarked from the boat. "The water receded steadily from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the water had gone down, and on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. The waters continued to recede until the tenth month, and on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains became visible. After forty days Noah opened a window he had made in the ark" (Gen. 3-6, NIV) Noah's times foreshadows the sinful culture of the last days and the Flood prefigures the wrath of God which will overtake the earth as the result (Luk. 17). Similarly, the effect of the tribulation will recede step by step, and not immediately. End Notes: [Note 1: Throughout the Bible we read how God uses three days (similarly, the third day) as symbol of a divine sanctioned waiting period. We have either to wait, journey, or prepare for three days before God perfects His plan. The period is used as a sign of our obedience in waiting upon God. For example, see Gen. 22:4; Joshua 1:11, 3:2; Esther 4:16; Luke 13:32; Matt. 12:40; Rev. 11:11.] [Note 2: Time capsules (heaps) are human inventions used to measure time more conveniently and to organize life easily. Some of the most common ones include the following: 1 day = 12 (24) hours 1 week = 7 days 1 month = 30 days 1 year = 12 months Decade = 10 years Century = 100 years Millennium = 1,000 years [Dedication: To my beloved mother Etete Desta. RIP] Glory be to God. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx © TLD, 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. Duplication and sharing of this writing is welcomed as long as the complete message and website information for Teddy L. Desta, PhD is included. Copyright © 2016
  8. Daniel 7: A New Perspective (Part IX) by TLD Application of the Visions If Daniel's visions are political and that they can be understood and interpreted meaningfully in modern-day political terms, then it requires us to look around the world to find a country whose politics answers to the inherent symbolism given in Daniel 7 and in the prophet's other visions. Here I will use Ethiopian politics to exemplify Daniel's visions. I will use Ethiopian politics beginning its revolution in 1973/74 to show how it closely parallels (the interpretations I have provided) the visions of Daniel. The Turbulent Political Waters First, the sea whipped up by the storm and eventually manifesting four major (political) animals matches the Ethiopian situation in 1973/74 period where there was a revolutionary situation brewing and major political forces tearing at the long-standing monarchy and feudal system. Next I match the major Ethiopian political players with Daniel's beasts and what their imagery represents. Lion: The lion in the vision represents the Solomonic dynasty that ruled Ethiopia for long centuries until its overthrow by the Ethiopian revolutionary forces. The lion in particular represents the last emperor, Haile-Selassie, who through what is now known in history through the 1974 “creeping coup”, step-by-step was stripped of his powers and majesty. At the end the majestic king fell into the hands of his guardians, the soldiers. The Emperor, once looked upon as a divine figure, with deep awe and respect, now through a carefully planned coup was stripped of his majesty and power. The Lion of Judah, frail and weak, was reduced into an obedient pet in the hands of his captors. He was handled and treated as a mere human being, and no longer as the anointed one of God, the most revered Lion of Judah. Like a circus lion, tamed and cowed, the Emperor took orders from his one-time obedient soldiers. Does the picture (imagery) and what happened to Emperor Haile-Selassie match to the description and interpretation of the lion vision of Daniel. I say, "yes". Bear: The bear has two main features, namely it drags itself one side and second it devours much flesh. I identify the imagery of the bear with the northern secessionist/ regional movements which were active in particular in the norther part of the country, such as the Eritrean liberation fronts such as the ELF and the EPLF, and also another regional group, the TPLF. These groups were one-sided. They were regional or ethnic in their base and operation. So when Daniel said the bear lifted itself up on one side, he is referring to such regional forces. Secondly, these groups were responsible for a long-running regional insurgency which killed and maimed hundreds thousands of people. Daniel saw the bear with three ribs in its mouth to represent how rapacious the political animal it represents would become. Does the picture (imagery) and activities of the bear match to that of the northern regional and secessionist movements which were a major political force in Ethiopia, particularly after 1973/74? I say, "yes". Leopard: The leopard, with its four head and four wings, is matched with a political movement with main characteristics with the following traits. The movement will be brainy, likely made up of mainly intellectuals. The political force will be quick in its activities. Its operations will not take time to emerge and mature. Third, its influence will sweep the four corners. Fourth, its followers will be drawn from the four quarters; it is be diverse (mottled). Fifth, the political force will use ambush (terrorist) tactics. Because of these peculiar characteristics, I identify the leopard with one political force which came into prominence during the Ethiopian revolution. This is the Ethiopian Student Movement inspired urban-based Marxist groups, such as EPRP (Ethiopia People's Revolutionary Party) and AESM (All-Ethiopia Socialist Movement), etc. Such organizations were made up of educated elite. They were nation-wide in their outreach. They recruited irrespective of ethnicity, religion, and gender, etc. Particularly, EPRP and AESM engaged in urban warfare. Until they were destroyed by the fourth beast (i.e., Derg or military junta), EPRP and AESM were important power-brokers in Ethiopian politics. EPRP's tactics of political assassination which drew the wrath of the the fourth beast (i.e., the Derg) in the form of the Red Terror. Fourth Beast: The fourth ghastly beast, for its features and actions, matches the other main role player in the Ethiopian revolutionary politics. I find the the Ethiopian army which gave rise to the armed forces coordinating committee (i.e., Derg) to match the nature and actions of of the fourth political beast. If the beast in general is the army, and then its ten horns represent the several strongmen it gave rise to, namely the Derg. The ten horns represent the 109-member Derg which was made up of mostly obscure junior officers and non-commissioned soldiers. Eventually it was the Derg which emerged the most powerful force in post-1974 Ethiopian politics, removing the monarch from power and squashing all its political opponents. The Derg was repressive, intolerant, and cruel. To fulfill the vision, the Derg manifested series of power struggles. Several leaders of the Derg were eliminated through bloody purges. Finally, one despicable (non-noble, or insignificant) officer, Mengistu Haile-Mariam (MHM) emerged as the de facto head of the Derg and of Ethiopia. Major Mengistu removed from power, one after the other, General Aman Mikael Andom and General Teferi Benti the successive chairpersons of the Derg (junta) before himself assumed the chairmanship. Mengistu also killed Major Atenafu Abate who was the initial leader and inspiration behind the Derg. Major Atenafu made way for Mengistu to serve as first vice-chairperson of the Derg, under the Generals Andom and Teferi. Eventually, under the leadership of MHM, the Derg adopted communism as state ideology, making the Soviet Union and North Korea as its models of state craft and policy-making. Answering the descriptions of the little horn found in Daniel chapters 7, 8, and 11, Mengistu was intelligent, cunning, hard-headed, haughty, impious, militaristic, and merciless. His economic policies were socialist/ communist, as he was distributive to a high degree. Under him the country was literally brought down to its knees – the socialistic economic policies bankrupted the country. His agricultural policies devastated the country. His militaristic approach made the Ethiopian civil war in the north worse. Mengistu mercilessly eliminated his opponents. At the hands of the Derg, thousands of Ethiopians lost their lives, were thrown into prison for many years, and other millions left the country for good in exile. Because of its communist ideology, the Derg put protestant churches under severe restrictions.[23] Many Pentecostal churches were shuttered, and most were turned into government offices or community service centers. Many believers were incarcerated or left the country in search of religious freedom. God judged the Derg through the fire of war. God completely dismantled and destroyed the Derg in 1991, when the northern “bear” (I.e., the EPLF and TPLF alliance) defeated the Derg’s army and took power in Addis Ababa in May 1991. Other political organizations were let operate in the country, but the Derg was totally destroyed. "As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but an extension of life was granted to them for an appointed period of time.” (Dan 7:12) A Diversion to Daniel 2 The iron-legs regime is succeeded by the the ten toes-&-iron-and-clay made feet. The branching or multiple toes are indicative of political or regime fragmentation. The iron and clay mix predicts a political alliance between strong and weak organizations. In short, the regime which succeeds the iron-type dictatorial regime will be fragmented and fractious, with quite strong elements and extremely weak components as well. The iron leg in the man-image in Daniel 2 matches the dictatorial behavior of the Derg. But what succeeds the "iron leg" is the fractious metal-clay mix feet. The fragmented and fractious feet as an image of a regime nicely match the picture of the Ethiopia People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) which replaced the Derg in 1991. Hence, what Daniel sees about the "feet" fragmented-and-fractious regime easily fits the description of the EPRDF. "Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. The feet of the image were partly iron and partly clay, which suggests that this last kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. It will be a fractious regime. It will be a fractious regime. Just as you saw iron mixed with clay, so they will mix themselves with human offspring. Furthermore, they won't remain together, just as iron doesn't mix with clay." (Daniel 2: 41-43, NIV) Similarly, the EPRDF is a federation of ethnically based political parties. Among all ethnic based parties which make up the EPRDF, it is only the TPLF which has the iron quality because of its military strength and political domination, while all its allied parties are mere clay for their relative weaknesses. Moreover, the EPRDF has set up Ethiopia as an ethnic federations, with 9 ethnic regions. Because of ethnic based federal system, the country has become quite fractious and unstable. Daniel intimates that mix between the iron and clay represents the seeds of men (v. 43) The seeds of men today we know as races or ethnic groups. It is in such a political atmosphere where ethnic-based federalism prevails that God sends His heavenly kingdom. "In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever." (Daniel 2:44, NIV) That means the EPRDF is barely visible in Chapter 7 (also not in Chapters 8 and 11). This suggests that the EPRDF is not anti-church and blasphemous as the fourth beast, therefore gets less of God's attention. However, God has given us enough clue that the fourth beast will not be immediately succeeded by the Kingdom of God. God has indicated in Daniel 2 that first there has to be an iron-clay mixture regime, which we have identified with the ethnic-based politics and federalism. Hence, based on this new line of interpretation then it is right to expect the political Kingdom of God to make its appearance about any time soon. [To be Continued} Glory be to God ============================================================================================================================================= © TLD, 2017 - 2025. 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.
  9. Daniel Chapter 7: A New Perspective (Part VIII) by TLD (2003) [Continued] To summarize, the fourth political force: First, possesses formidable power, beyond any comparison to what the other three political beasts possess. Second, expresses itself through a select body (i.e., the ten horns). Third, instills dread and horror, and acts ruthlessly. Fourth, is susceptible to power struggle. There will be power struggle among the ten horns, which means the leaders in this political organization will fight for dominance. Fifth, causes the persecution and destruction we customarily associate with the events of the last days. Basically, the imagery of the fourth beast implies a political force which is armed to its teeth (literally and figuratively). It makes policies that cause wide destruction. It emerges winner mainly through terror and brute strength. Several modern-day political movements can fit this billing, particularly those which combine politics with arms. Political movements such the Nazi, Fascist, and communist-based parties easily meet this description. Equally, a military junta can qualify as a candidate to be named the fourth beast. [15] Overall speaking, the key idea behind the fourth beast is dictatorial power that creates terror and wide spread suppression and destruction. Such negative power is often exercised through the military and organs of suppression. This entails that the fourth beast-type party or state that has the guns to instill fear, has the secret service agencies to spy on all, and newly minted laws to suppress opponents and terrorize citizens. Given its anti-God (atheistic) nature it will possess policies which persecute the church. Its militaristic and economic policies ultimately destroy the country. The Fourth Beast as a Junta Whenever the military takes upon one of the extreme ideologies (such as fascism or communism), itself in the form of a junta (or, a revolutionary command council, etc.) takes over political power, it makes for the most grotesque and terrifying political form. This is because by its very nature the military is not fit for politics. Its structure, purpose, and culture are not designed to make it effectively work as a political party or allow it to govern a state in humanely. Therefore, often military regimes suppress political and civic organizations, instill fear through emergency rules, and suspend the people’s rights permanently, etc. The military is a dreadful, awe-inspiring fighting machine. But it is organized and trained to have these effects only on the enemies of the nation and not on citizens. As the result, whenever the military becomes part of politics, politics gets skewed. The balance of power shifts in favor of those with guns and natural freedoms disappear almost overnight. As the military brass (i.e., horns) govern by force, and not by popular consent, they spread fear and terror among other (normal) political organizations and the general public. Because of its authoritarian streak (i.e., iron discipline and unbending will), the military finds it easy to break up political and civic organizations and subdue them. As history attests, some of the first edicts a military government issues are to ban other political parties, abrogate the people’s right of assembly and freedom speech, and throw into prisons or kill all those it suspects of challenging its rule. “It [the fourth beast] was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns.” (Dan 7: 7) The fact that the fourth beast has ten horns is something to take note of implied symbolic value. Based on Scriptural symbolism, the number ten represents the idea of a large number to the point of redundancy. [16] What this means is that the political force – here the army as the fourth beast -- will give rise to several leaders (i.e., ten horns) who will serve as the governing arm on its behalf. The Holy Spirit uses the number ten for the number of horns as if to say, “I see leaders too many to count!” In this count, whenever the military engages in politics or takes political power directly, it usually does through a junta or a revolutionary council.[17] The junta or the council becomes the governing or political arm of the military. If the metaphor of the ten horns implies that the military will exercise political power through a collective leadership (commonly known as junta), Daniel reminds us the council will not be unified. As a lot of juntas or revolutionary command councils do, this prophesied political force will exhibit some form of power struggle. From the power struggle will finally emerge one council member (i.e., little horn) as a strongman to dominate others. This insignificant or despicable leader[18] turns out to be exceptionally haughty, destructive and impious. "While I was contemplating the horns, behold, another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were pulled out by the roots before it; and behold, this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth uttering great boasts.” (Dan. 7:8) What this means is that there will be a collective leadership system in the junta at the beginning. Eventually the junta will experience some internal power struggle, either due to a faction developing within the group or because one person wants to rule as the ultimate dictator.[19] As history attests, often from the internal squabbles of a non-democratic organization which is on the saddle of political power, will subsequently emerge one person to become the undisputed leader. This person may not necessarily be the senior member of the movement or junta; he can even be an obscure member. In our case what Daniel's prophecies show us that it will be an obscure person who will overthrow a few of its predecessors to assume total power in the “ten horns” council. To maneuver oneself to the pinnacle of power within a junta invariably demands a high level of cunning, ability to act in the right time, and to strike with ruthlessness. This exactly what Daniel notifies us of the little horn that it actually possesses such skills.[20] "As I was looking at the horns, suddenly another small horn appeared among them. Three of the first horns were wrenched out, roots and all, to make room for it. This little horn had eyes like human eyes and a mouth that was boasting arrogantly." (Dan 7:8) The fact that the dictator (i.e., little horn) is said to have eyes like human eyes conveys the message that this leader will possess unusual intelligence. At least, the dictator knows how to vie power, scheme to acquire absolute power, and then know hold on to it successfully. That implies that the man is a master tactician, able to outmaneuver all his rivals. Moreover, his mouth speaks arrogantly. He becomes defiant of God by unleashing persecution against the church. That means humility or religiosity is not part of the virtues of this dictator. "I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom.” (Dan. 7: 21 - 22) This means that fourth beast supported political system - led by the despicable dictator -will become quite antagonistic to God. The system will cause the persecution of the saints. Such an action makes the possibility that the junta likely espouses an atheistic ideology.[21] At this point the implication of the vision about the fourth beast is clear. The hideous fourth beast will likely be a military or quasi-military organization. It will produce a derivative multi-member political unit, likely a junta or a revolutionary council. The ruling council will manifest a power struggle from which will emerge someone described as despicable, cunning, arrogant and impious. This dictator will be the face of the terror and destructiveness of the fourth beast. The fourth beast as a political actor will succeed in subduing the other three political forces, destroy the land economically, and persecute the church. Effectively the fourth beast will reign supreme in the land until God intervenes to judge it. As Daniel tells us, God would orchestrate events that would destroy the fourth beast utterly. The fourth beast will be consumed by a fire of judgment, which it does not survive. However, to the other three beasts are not utterly destroyed, but allowed to exist longer for a little while (vv. 11-12). Additional Notes Note 1: It is in particular the fourth beast and the little horn which gets the attention of Daniel’s other end time visions in Daniel chapters 8 and 11. The same is true in Jesus’ and the apostles’ prophecies about the end times and the persecution the church suffers. Note 2: Based on the idea I have presented, namely (i) the turbulent sea represents a popular revolt, a revolutionary situation developing. (ii) Major political forces emerge as competitors for dominance in the revolutionary milieu. These are contemporaneous political forces, not successive empires and separated by hundreds of years. They are sequential in the sense of their time of first formation. (iii). Each of the beast in the vision represent a modern-day political force. I have showed the lion is a monarchy; the bear is a regional separatist movement; the tiger is urban-based intellectuals-led guerrilla movement; the fourth beast is an atheistic militaristic junta. Note 3: The fall of the fourth kingdom does not immediately lead to the kingdom of God. Daniel 2 adds some crucial information lacking in Daniel 7 about the coming of the kingdom of God. According to Daniel 2, a fifth kingdom will be in place after the fourth kingdom which God’s kingdom encounters and destroys. There will be another type of government, a fractious government, which will succeed the dictatorial fourth kingdom. It is the fifth kingdom that the kingdom of God (i.e., the Son of Man) will strike when it comes. Note 4: The next task is to find a country whose modern-day politics fulfills the reality of this political vision. [To be Continued} Glory be to God ============================================================================================================================================= © TLD, 2017 - 2025. 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.
  10. Teddy

    CORONATION TEMPLE

    CORONATION TEMPLE by TLD (2003) This God has to say to His prophets of the third day. To Moses, I showed him the likeness of the Tabernacle, and he built it according to what he saw. To David I sent him a diagram, and Solomon used it to build the Temple. I showed to the prophet Ezekiel My future temple and gave him the details: he wrote it down and left it to posterity. These days, to you, my sons and daughters, the company of prophets, I have entrusted the vision and the building of My Kingdom Temple. You have beholden the vision and heeded My calling; and you have not been disobedient to the heavenly vision. I have seen how you have clung to this vision for years and not let it go. I have seen how you carried it in your bosom and nurtured it to maturity. I have seen each of you how you labored day and night at My Temple work and fainted not. I have seen how you went up to the high mountains, to cut the logs and to dig up the stones. I have seen how you tirelessly carved and polished the stones and the wood for beauty. I have noted how you inlaid My Temple with precious silver and gold. All these My eyes have seen, says the Lord. This shall be for a name and for a remembrance to you for generations to come, says your God. And now says your God, be of great courage and of faith. Be diligent and finish, which My Spirit has shown you to build for My Name. Let not your hands slacken, nor your hearts lose hope. It is a little while, then I will come and indwell this House. Remember when Moses and the children of Israel finished the work of the Tabernacle, My glory cloud came down and filled the Tabernacle. And the day Solomon completed his work and dedicated the Temple, My Glory Cloud came and filled the Temple. When I had finished My Atonement work and had prepared the disciples, I sent My Holy Spirit on the first fruit of the Church, and they were filled with the Glory of God. Today, you are the continuation of My Temple, My Church, but you are also that last generation destined for greater things, to build My last-days Temple. My Spirit marks you for a purpose; you shall complete and perfect the millennial vision of My Church. Through your hands, My work will be perfected. You shall fashion and complete the holiest place where My Ark will abide. It is this Temple, and it is this innermost sanctuary. My Glory will come to fill and abide in forever. Can you see and hear My Glory Cloud coming? It is about time that it hits the earth. It is coming with power and fury. It will come and fill the Temple you have built for My Name; and I will abide in your midst forever. The entire world shall see My power and glory emanating from this Temple, says your God. Now let each of you be diligent and finish working on what I have set you to do. This shall be for a name and for a remembrance to you for generations to come, says your God. Glory be to God © TLD, 2017 - 2025. 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

    Remnant Theology (Part II)

    REMNANT THEOLOGY -Part II- by TLD (2003) III: The End-Time Remnant 3.1 Introduction At the beginning each Kingdom dispensation the remnant-branch principle operates at a grand scale. For example, when God inaugurated the Dispensation of the Law, we saw how the remnant-branch principle operated in the life of Moses. We noted how God made a new branch out of the shepherd Moses to anoint and commission him to liberate the people and usher in the covenant of the Law. Similarly, at the beginning of the Church Dispensation we noted how God used the death-resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ to liberate mankind from the power of sin and to usher in the age of Grace. Reflecting the remnant principle, we have seen why Jesus is called the root (i.e. stump) and branch of David (Rom. 15:12; Rev. 22:16) in His role as the mediator of the New Covenant between man and God (Heb. 7: 22). In all this discussion, however, the matter of interest is to answer the following question: If each Kingdom dispensation is ushered in by the remnant-branch principle, then is it true that a similar process usher in, at the end of the ages, the fullness of the Kingdom of God? The answer to this important question lies through careful investigation of the Scripture. However, it is also equally important to listen to the voice of revelation as being given by the Holy Spirit in our day as the Holy Spirit reveals the Scriptures through the prophetic ministry operating in the Church (1 Cor. 2:10; 1 Pet. 1:10-12; Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 28, 3:6, 13, 22). 3.2 The Branch Idea In both the Old and New Testament there is ample evidence that the reign of Christ and the saints in the Millennial Kingdom of God that the remnant-branch principle will be in full play. For example, St. Paul quotes the prophet Isaiah (Is. 11: 1-10) to associate the future kingship of Jesus Christ with the remnant-branch concept, “There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the gentiles. In him the gentiles trust” (Rom.15: 12). Jeremiah on his part uses the same remnant-branch metaphor to describe the future king, “Behold, the days come, says the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a king shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth” (Jer. 23:5). Jesus in the Book of Revelation declares Himself as the promised Root and Branch of David, thereby identifying Himself as the promised Messianic King (Rev.22: 16, 5:5). 3.3 The Overcomer Idea As we read in the Book of Revelation, Jesus has promised to share His glory and power with the overcomer (see Revelation chapters 2 & 3). In one of such promises, Jesus said, “He who overcomes and keeps My works until the end - as I also have received from my father, to him I will give power over the nations. He shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the potters’ vessels they shall be broken to pieces. I will give him the morning star” (Rev. 3: 27-28). Promises made to the overcomer in the 2nd and 3rd chapters the book of Revelation alludes to the major Messianic prophecies of Daniel (Dan. 7:13), David (Ps. 89, 110), and Isaiah (Isa. 9 & 11). The implication of Jesus’ words in these promises to the overcomer, is therefore, that those who endure the end-time tribulation to end will get a glory and authority like the one the Lord Himself had obtained after His victory over the cross and death (Rev. 3:21, Eph. 1: 20-22). The idea of the believer being conformed to the suffering and glory of Jesus is not new to Scripture, rather it is found in several places in the Scriptures (Rom. 8: 18--30; Phil. 3: 10-11, 21; Col. 3: 3-4; 2 Thes. 2: 14; 2 Tim. 2: 11-13; 1 Pet. 4: 12-14; 1 Jn. 3:2). For example, St. Paul writes (Rom. 8:29-30) that the goal of God’s plan is to conform the believer to the image of Christ. “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.” As the above passage shows, the justification (i.e. sanctification) process implies a pruning and purging process. It is through the crucible of suffering that the dross of the carnal nature is consumed, and the image of Christ formed in the saint. The aim of the end-time tribulation is to prepare the saint to the glory to come. In short, the path to the Kingdom throne passes through the passion of the cross. When St. Paul expresses desire in participating in the passion of Christ and in attaining to the resurrection of the dead (Phil. 3:10-11), he is more than likely referring to a ‘remnant-branch’ or ‘death-to-glory’ experience, which is the ultimate goal of the call of a Christian (Col. 3: 3-4; 2 Tim. 2: 11-13; Rev. 3:21, 11: 1-19). 3.4 The Process and the Branch As Scripture teaches, as we enter the end-time, we shall encounter the great tribulation, which among many other things, the Lord will use it shape and mold His people into His own image. First by allowing them to pass through a fiery trail, He will make sure that they are purged of carnality. Afterwards, by restoring and glorifying them, He allows them to obtain His holiness and righteousness, which are His Divine essence. As the saints endure the deep work of the cross through the tribulation, they mature and grow into the full stature of the image of Jesus Christ. The end-time suffering and glory of the saints can be then be understood in terms of the remnant-branch principle. The end-time suffering-persecution can be compared to the state of a tree stump, what the saints look like as they pass a fiery pruning process. The glory that follows their tribulation, on the other hand, can be compared to new branch emerging from a lowly stump. The idea that God will lift the humble to the throne is found in several places in the Scriptures. When Scripture says the meek shall inherit the earth, it is promise made to the saints, because they submit to the sanctifying (pruning) work of the Holy Spirit (cf. 1 Sam. 2: 8; Ps. 37: 11, 113: 6-8, 147:6, 149: 4; Isa. 60:22; Matt 5:5; Lk. 12:32). 3.5 The Wherewithal of the Branch In the history of the church, the fixing of the identities of the overcomer of Revelation chapter 2 and 3, or the two witnesses of chapter 11, or the man-child of chapter 12 have not been an easy task. The prevailing consensus among Evangelical scholars is that, at least the overcomers refer to all the saints who will be taken up in the Rapture and who will then come back with Jesus in His Second Coming to rule and reign with Him. According to this viewpoint, none of the ruling-judging overcomer saints will pass through the Tribulation. However, In the other end-time prevailing viewpoint, that of the Post-Tribulation teaching, saints will be present on earth during the Tribulation period, but they will be much protected from it. Accordingly, there is little mention of the need for the saints to be shaped and transformed by the Tribulation into the image of Jesus Christ. In recent years, there is another emerging viewpoint which teaches that the overcomers or the man-child company will be a few last-days saints who are accorded special revelation about the end-times. According to this teaching, it will acquisition of revealed knowledge that will qualify the chosen ones to sit on the throne with Jesus and allow them to rule the nations with a rod of iron. Again, in this viewpoint, there is little mention of the Tribulation, or its role in the shaping of the future reigning saints. Besides the above-discussed thoughts on the end-time, there is also another viewpoint worth considering. It can be argued from the Scriptures that the end-time saints will not only pass through the Tribulation period, but also that God will use it to shape the saints into the image of Jesus Christ. This viewpoint can be defended from Scripture on the following grounds, - The saint to be called an overcomer, one has first to pass through a fiery trial, endure the testing without fainting, and then emerge victorious at the end (Rev. 3:21; 1 Pet. 1:5-9; 4: 12-13; 5:10). - The two witnesses of Revelation chapter 11 have first to pass through death before they entered resurrection glory. - The man-child and his mother must face of the great dragon, Satan, himself who tried to destroy them (Rev. 12). - The two witnesses and the woman who gave birth to the man-child have first to endure the mystical 42 months period of suffering before they emerged victorious. The great tribulation and the glory to follow it can then be understood in terms of remnant-branch (cross-resurrection) principle. - Jesus said His followers will suffer much during the Tribulation, and He warned that only one who endures (the Tribulation) to the end would be saved (Matt. 24: 9-13). - The Old Testament figures like Joseph, Moses or Esther-Mordecai, first they had endured their fiery trial before they emerged victorious and entered their glory. In this case, their lives are a type and shadow of end-time saints. Secondly, based on this alternative viewpoint, the identity of the overcomer can be shown to be more than a company of saints inheriting the promise, but also that it has a very crucial individual dimension to it. For example, some Bible scholars about the promise have been able to discern an individual in certain passages of Scripture. For example, the great Bible commentator A. R. Fausset (*) reads in the very emphatic of the Greek original wording of Revelation 21: 7, an intended reference to an individual person. He observed, “He shall be my son--"He" is emphatic: He and in a peculiar sense, above others: Greek, "shall be to me a son," in fullest realization of the promise made in type to Solomon, son of David, and anti-typically to the divine Son of David.” -There have been also a few other Bible students who have said the person referred to in places such as Ezekiel 37:24 and 44:2-3 is a human being. They understand this person as a future viceroy king who will rule on earth as Jesus rules from Heaven. Unfortunately, such viewpoints are the exceptions rather than the rule. Therefore, it can be said that the personal dimension of the overcomer promise in Revelation has be one of those Scriptural truths, which has been hid from past generations (Rev. 2:17, 3:10-12, 21-22). However, insight into the Word of God is now been given that many among the people of God are getting the understanding that someone bearing the image of Christ will appear on the world stage as priest-king-prophet. Undoubtedly, there shall be such a personage who will be at the head of the company of overcomers. As Revelation 2: 17 says, he is promised a new name, which carries the name of Jesus Christ, of God and of the New Jerusalem (Rev. 3: 12). If so, then He will bear the names given to Jesus in the Old Testament. Hence, he will be known as, ‘The glorious branch,’ (Isa. 4:2), and ‘The root of Jesse,’ (Isa. 11:1,10). To Zechariah he is known as, ‘The branch which will rise from his own place,’ (Zech. 6:12). Jeremiah calls him, ‘The righteous branch of David,’ and, ‘The prince,’ (Jer. 23:5, 30:21). Ezekiel knows him as, ‘The Prince,’ (Ezek. 44:3), and ‘king David’ (Ezek. 37: 24). In Daniel he is represented as the son of man who comes to receive kingdom authority on behalf of God’ s saints (Dan. 7:13-14, 27). 3.6 The Narrow Path to Glory Such a manner of a saint will be a Moses-like figure for the ways God will deal with him and later glorify him. Such a person, the Spirit of the Lord will shape and mold following the above discussed pattern of the remnant-branch. In the beginning the believer will be one enjoying the glories of the natural man. Then the believer will be reduced to a very lowly state. He will be a humiliated and despised person. [The stump/remnant of the saint, as being conformed to the suffering of Jesus, is assigned different naming by the prophets: ‘the fallen tabernacle of David’ (Am 9), ‘the worm’ (Ps. 22, Isaiah 41), ‘the lame’ and ‘the exile’ (Jer. 31:7-13; Mic. 4:6-7), ‘the feeble’ (Zech. 12), etc.] Lastly, to the lowly stump will come resurrection glory. When the Holy Spirit visits this lowly person, and as the result, the stump will shoot forth a new and glorious branch. This amounts to the opening of the grave and calling him out of his death-like experience (cf. Col. 3: 3-4). When the Holy Spirit from the travail of his soul delivers the lowly and obscure servant, he shall see the joy of resurrection, and become a very powerful world-changing prophet. Such a branch will be called ‘the glorious branch’ (Isa. 4: 2-6, 11: 1-10), ‘the victorious lion of Judah’ (Rev. 4), ‘the overcomer’ (Rev. 2), the man-child (Rev 12), ‘the servant of God’ (Isa. 42), ‘David’ (Jer. 23, Ezek. 37), etc. The following words of the prophet Isaiah (Isa. 49: 7) can be used to best describe the death-resurrection (or stump-branch) experience this prophetic person will undergo. “Thus says the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, the Holy One, To him whom man despises, To him whom the nation abhors, To the servant of rulers, Kings shall see (you) and arise, Princes also shall worship, Because of the Lord who is faithful, The Holy One of Israel, And He has chosen you.” This transition from a humiliated stump to a glorious Branch is also expressed in Isaiah 52: 11- 15 passage. Or as St. Paul has put it (Eph. 4:9), “Now this, ‘He ascended’ – what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth?” I believe that when God is speaking through the prophet Zechariah (6: 12-15) about the Branch, that He is saying to us to watch for priest-king-prophet overcomers to be revealed in the last days bearing the image and glory of Jesus. Then say to him, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, "Behold, a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the temple of the LORD. "Yes, it is He who will build the temple of the LORD, and He who will bear the honor and sit and rule on His throne. Thus, He will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices.'" Those who are far off will come and build the temple of the LORD." Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. And it will take place if you completely obey the LORD your God. * Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible This one volume commentary was prepared by Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown and published in 1871. Glory be to God! (Revised: July 19/03) © TLD, 2017 - 2025. 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.
  12. Teddy

    Preparing Joseph

    Preparing Joseph by Teddy L Desta 12/12/08 God aims at two major things in our life: to change our inner nature into Christ-likeness and to prepare us for the higher calling He has purposed for our life. God is goal-oriented. He does not waste His time and our time when He works in us. From the tiniest encounters and experiences to major life-changing events He weaves it into His grand plan to change us into the image of His son and to get us to the place where we will fulfill the destiny He created us for. In his desire to see each of us realize our full potential, God would deploy every necessary means. God arranges various circumstances and uses different persons to mold us and to lead us to our destiny. He carefully chooses each situation we pass through, so it will contribute something important to our destiny. Often our journey to our destiny could be full of sorrows and toil that we could barely see God’s hand in it. God’s process of preparation sometimes makes little sense to our natural mind. But on God’s side nothing is wasted; He does not waste our sorrows, our time, or our resources. Unfortunately, for many of us, God’s ways will make sense only once we cross the finish line and God crowns our journey with laurels. If we examine the lives of Joseph, Moses, David, Paul, etc., we can see this principle in operation. For example, let us illustrate this Divine principle by using the life of Joseph to see how God uses every circumstance as a preparation for the realization of our destiny in him. Let us carefully examine to see whether the circumstances Joseph passed through had any relevance and contribution to His final calling. After years of trials, we know that God finally made Joseph a prime minister in Egypt. Joseph’s primary responsibility was to fix the economy of Egypt. So we ask, do Joseph’s years of the trial have anything to do with his service as prime minister of Egypt? His life as a slave in the house of Potiphar and his life as an inmate in the king’s prison, do they have anything to do with his final destiny? Did these experiences carry any merit for the job Pharaoh later honored him to do? Can we find any linkage between the stages in the life of Joseph’s suffering and his great success? Joseph in Power The dream of Pharaoh, which Joseph correctly interpreted, pointed toward a wild economic swing that would soon hit Egypt. Joseph predicted that years of economic boom will give way to years of economic hardship. Unless Egypt’s leaders do something in advance during the boom years, Joseph warned Egypt’s survival as a nation will be at risk. Joseph recommended to the king a wise policy where the Egyptians save extra in the revenue-surplus years to tide them over the slump years. The king liked Joseph’s idea so much so he appointed Joseph as his prime minister, making him directly responsible for overseeing the implementation of the measures he recommended. During the economic boom years, Joseph followed a policy of forced saving instituting higher taxation. The king’s treasury overflowed with corn revenue, and Joseph husbanded every extra resource and put it aside for the years of the economic downturn he was sure were coming. Once the lean years came, Joseph lowered taxes and followed an easy money policy. He even subsidized the poor through royal largess. Through his wise policies, Joseph could mitigate the adverse social and economic consequences of a recession. He not only virtually eliminated the pain associated with economic cycles for Egyptians but also made them rich through grain export to other starving nations. But where did Joseph learn all these secrets to manage an economy wisely, of tiding it smoothly from one cycle to another? Was he not at one time a mere slave and then an inmate? Where did he get all this wisdom? Let us backtrack Joseph’s life and see how God prepared Joseph for this role. Looking Back: Joseph as a Servant-slave Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers and ended up as a slave in Egypt in the household of Potiphar. This Potiphar who bought Joseph was a very high official in the administration of Pharaoh, the king. Potiphar who was at the head of the palace guards was a man of power, influence and wealth. Therefore, he must have been at the head of a large household and other properties and resources. It was this large and rich household that Joseph joined as another slave. Soon, Joseph, because of the grace of God on him, distinguished himself over other slaves for his practical wisdom and integrity. Gradually, he rose through the ranks as a trusted servant and was given additional authority to oversee Potiphar’s household and wealth. Potiphar was quite pleased with Joseph how successfully he was managing his household that Potiphar appointed Joseph as his chief-of-staff and made him responsible for everything. What does life in Potiphar’s house have anything to do with what Joseph later became and did? One major characteristic of Potiphar’s household was its stock and flow of wealth. That was a household of the abundance of resources. The major responsibility and challenge of managing a household of that size were cutting on waste, adding value to the existing wealth, and fighting corruption. A wise manager should save every extra penny and invest it so that the wealth of the household will grow. The manager also has to watch out for any signs of illegal diversion of funds for personal use, or the peddling of positions or influence for money. It is because Joseph did all these things and more that he won the trust and confidence of his master. While doing his duties, Joseph’s integrity was tested to the limit at one point. Will he resist the opportunity to possess the last prize in Potiphar’s household or will he remain true to God and his master? Joseph chose the latter course. He turned down the offer for an affair from Potiphar’s wife time again and again. That cost him his job and reputation and landed him in jail through a charge of attempted rape. With God’s grace, he proved that not necessarily that absolute power absolutely. Throughout his career, Joseph focused on doing the job entrusted to him, avoiding any corrupting influence from affecting him. Potiphar’s household was God’s model of an economy in a boom. In Potiphar’s household, God provided Joseph the opportunity to learn the responsibilities and challenges of managing an economy of abundance. He managed the “sovereign funds” of his master without waste, corruption, or downturn. After Joseph passed many years serving and learning in this module, God took him to another and different economic environment for another training stint. Looking Back: Joseph as an Inmate In prison, rather than allowing depression about his sad fate, Joseph was in a positive mood in his new circumstance. Soon after he ended in prison, Joseph was up and running doing what he was best doing—administering people and resources. For the practical wisdom and integrity Joseph was showing through in what he was doing and saying, he won the trust and confidence of the prison warden who soon made Joseph an unofficial administrator of the jail. The jail Joseph was in must have not been a small jail. It must have been a big and important jail where the king sent his ministers when they offended him. Joseph to be successful had to exercise judicious judgment in administering people in prison—who are often gruff, discontent, and given to in-fighting. As the prison’s virtual administrator Joseph had to know how to soothe nerves and lift spirits with wise words, settle disagreements with wise judgment, and apportion scarce prison resources (food, clothing, sleeping space, etc.) in a very balanced and fair manner. Joseph must have been good in speech-making. This skill must have been a crucial asset for Joseph, helping him to lift spirits and organize and mobilize inmates for some good cause. Avoiding jail riots, knife fights, or crime from happening under his watch was a key measure of Joseph’s success as a manager. Joseph had to know how to be tough when it was needed, and to be compassionate when the situation required it. If the prison authorities trusted Joseph in his role, he must have proved it to them in doing all these things successfully year in and year out. What does life in prison have anything to do with Joseph’s future role at the helm of Egypt’s economy? The prison was God’s nearest training module of an economy in depression. The most important feature of an economic bust is that resources are lacking, and the biggest challenge of a chief administrator in this kind of situation is to ensure nobody is starving. God taught Joseph the skills on how to allocate scarce resources in the condition of tight supply so that everybody gets his fair share. Another skill God taught Joseph must have been how to lift the spirits of people who feel down and out. Joseph must have learned how to inspire and mobilize inmates for some good cause. Husbanding spiritual resources matters as much as managing material resources in a dire economy. Thus, through his stint as an inmate, God equipped Joseph for the challenges of an economic downturn. Only God’s eyes could see Joseph at the helm of the Egyptian economy, an economy that would face bad days following rosy years. God knew that this needs training and some experience by the chief economist to help the nation over the depression years, avoiding any social upheaval. When God passed Joseph through these two starkly different economic conditions—as He made him a manager over a ‘boom’ and then a ‘bust’ household one after the other - God knew what was coming in Joseph’s life. The household or the prison was a microcosm of the larger national economy. The term “economy” is derived from the Latin word meaning, household management. At the core, the basic requirements, in terms of principles and skills, of running a household economy may not be essentially different from that of managing the economy of a community, a region or a nation. Looking Back: Joseph’s Dreams Joseph was a dreamer since he was a young lad. God showed Joseph in two dreams his future when Joseph was just a 17-year-old. It is possible that God had given him several more dreams later in his life, increasing his awareness about the importance of dreams in God’s economy. Joseph must have learned the skills of interpreting dreams exercising his mind in trying to interpret the dreams God gave him. It is also probable that he had also volunteered to interpret other people’s dreams to exercise this valuable skill (Gen. 40: 5-14). God’s training in this area finally enabled Joseph to successfully interpret the Pharaoh’s difficult-to-interpret dreams, and for this God-given skill (gift) Joseph was quickly elevated from inmate to prime-minster, from prison to the palace. Looking Forward: What is in a Name? There is additional wisdom of God in the life of Joseph. There is something Joseph’s name that foreshadows his future. Joseph means “adding”. There is a connection between his name (i.e., “Adding”) and the science of economics. Economists are worried about economic growth — value-adding, productivity, and efficiency. These economic ideas point towards adding to the national wealth. In this sense, we must see Joseph as a primordial economist who prudently manages the largest economy of the day through judicious macro-economic management and legislating. In Joseph’s name, his future career is implied. Could personal names hide mystery? Could our future be implied in the name we are given? It needs your readiness and cooperation with God to unleash the dream/destiny locked in our name. But sometimes we may need to pay the price of training like Joseph. If God takes us through tough circumstances to train us to the full potential implied and locked in our name, we must say, “amen.” We must not despise the days of little things, the tough days. Our exacting days are God designed stairways leading us up to the elevated seat of influence and effective service. Glory be to God © Teddy L. Desta, 2017 - 2025. 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.
  13. I think our preachers have replaced the parable story-telling with anecdotes. This short-short stories about persons in various situations are used by preachers to enliven their sermons and to make their points. Some preachers are extremely effective in using this technique to reach outsiders and teach the flock. Otherwise, the parable/ allegory (which is creative story-telling) lives among Christian writers, such as C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, Flannery O'Connor, etc..
  14. You wrote: Maybe what we need in the Church today is more Parables, for it seems that the average Believer is not grasping the Revelations that the Holy Spirit is giving to those that have “ears to hear.” I do not know how much those who speak from the pulpit (i.e., pastors, evangelists, and teachers) use the parable method to convey their message. But there are several Christian writers, past and present, who write stories whose themes and messages are moral and spiritual to make their stories modern-day parable and allegory. One good example among modern Christian writers and reputed for this style is Flannery O'Connor.
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