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Friday, March 30, 2012

Big bear weather this weekend

We had 2.5 ft of snow last weekend, and will have some new falling this coming Sunday, but probably not as bad. Sunshine followed snow, so things got back to normal very quickly. Whatever the weather channels said, the truth is the temperature at night last month and this month has been as low as 11 and as high as 36, and that's the end of winter/beginning of spring.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What happens to you when you die?

First, the person who used to be known to you and your neighbors as you gets dissolved in three parts - spirit, soul, and body.
  • The spirit (called ruach in Hebrew) goes back to God.
  • The soul (called Nephesh) goes to a receptacle called  Hades (in Greek, the equivalent of Hebrew word sheol).
  • The body returns to dust.
Second, the spirit is not the real you. It came from God so it goes back to God. But if you are a believer, the Spirit becomes "yours" to possess, so upon your departure you put it in the hands of God, the giver, so He could later give it back to you for you for the life eternal. You received the "right" to "possess" the Spirit, so you can say that it is "my" Spirit. You receive that "right" by you "receiving" and personally putting trust in Jesus, the Son of God, as your Lord and Savior.

If you die as an unbeliever, you do not have such a right, so that you are subject to a different treatment. See discussion below.

Third, whether you are a believer or a non-believer, your soul gets housed in a place called Hades (or simply grave). Hades is located somewhere at the heart of the earth. This soul can enter and leave a man's body. As it entered you and seated in your 'blood', you came into being. As it leaves you you stop being alive. Thus your soul [deposited in Hades] which is the real you remains non-operational; yet it has not vanished;  it is there in the form of (I believe) "information". And  you'd better be assured that God has ways to keep the information intact for his own purposes.

But you are not going to stay there for good. At the time chosen by God, Jesus will come again (occasioned by the so called "the Second Coming"), whereupon He will get all people, believers and non-believers, out of the Hades for judgment and retribution only to separate all into the two classes, and two alone, and direct them into two separate destinations, that is, believers for eternal life in a resurrected body, the unbelievers to eternal demnation in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. For this limited purpose (of judgment and retribution, and redirection), on his Second Coming, Jesus will cause "all" to come back to life, only to let the saved ones to live for good in His paradise, but let the wicked (also known as unbelievers) to suffer from the eternal punishment called "the Second Death"). Bear in mind that the believers (saints) are saved into the family of God by virtue of redemption, so their salvation is called "grace", whereas the wicked are hit with demnation by virtue of the "work" of their own hands, so what they receive is called 'wages'.

For those who are technically oriented, and/or more interested in the Biblical basis of the above, please write to: or leave comments for further discussions or check a website

The time is short (1Co 7:29)

How much time do you have between the moment of your (first death and the Day of Jesus' Second Coming?

The answer: Zero (Cf. Ecc 9:5)

Reason: The minute you breathe your last, you enter into the "No Time" zone, for the Scriptures say your physical death is [unbroken] sleep from which you awaken only upon Jesus coming back again, just as  it is written: "Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves hear his voice and come out -- those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned." John 5:28-29

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

"The Dead Know Nothing" Ecc 9:5 (The intermediate state between the first death and the Judgement Day)

Not a small number of people went to the other world and came back to life in this world. They include:
  • Elijah raises the widow's son (1Ki 17:17-24)
  • Elisha raises the Sunnamite's son (2Ki 4:36-37)
  • A nameless person whose dead body touched the bones of Elisha's dead body, and came back to life (2Ki 13:21)
  • Jesus raises the Jairu's daughter (Luke 8:53-56)
  • Jesus raises the son of a widow who lived in a town called Nain (Luke 7:14)
  • Jesus raises Lazarus (John 11:43)
  • Many saints rose from the dead at the resurrection of Jesus (Matthew 27:50-53)
  • Peter raises Dorcas (Acts 9:36-43)
Do you sense anything?
After coming back to life, their friends might have plied them with a lot of questions like 'Hey dude, what does the life over there look like?" Yet, none of them shared anything about the life in the grave (Sheol, Hades, inferni, hell or paradise section of the underworld, or however you call it). Why? Solomon answers: the dead know nothing (so had nothing to report). 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Getting to the heart of all the problems in life, and finding the solution to them in 3 minutes!

I will raise up for them a prophet like you... Deuteronomy 18:18

Moses speaks in Deuteronomy 18 to his folks, I guess about two million strong in number. Moses spent time with them for 40 years, as they journeyed to the Promised Land. Now they are about to get in. Looking back to the day when the Israelites freshly got out of Egypt, and gathered at the foot of the Mount Sinai nearly four decads before, Moses reminds his people of the problem their ancestor had: that is, avoiding 'direct communication' with God, for their forefathers said at the Mount Sinai, "Let us not hear the voice of our Lord God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die." He bothered to talk about the problem for unless one resolves the problem, that problem will never go away, and life will go only from bad to worse.

Amazingly the Lord said to Moses, "What they say is 'good'". What they said, especially the part reading, "or we will die", is a lie. In fact the opposite is true: hearing the voice of the Lord God is the key to life. In order to stay alive one ought to hear His voice and remain in direct and constant connection with Him. Yet the Lord accepted their suggestion, perhaps understanding their weaknesses, and willing to wait for the time to come - the time for them to learn to communicate with the Lord better. Again the Lord did NOT give up the purpose - opening up direct communication with his children. As he promised in Deuteronomy 18:18 he sent Jesus the Son who opened the way for all believers to hear his voice directly. Jesus opened a 'hot line' so to speak, the line for the direcd communication between God and men. He did it for God knows that all problems we have in life stem from men losing the "inter-personal" relationship with God.

Question: How am I using this hot-line? What is my 'usage' of the line? The book of Hebrews 4-11 especially 4:16 exhorts us to make the full use of the line for life. But how much am I actually "on-line" each and every day? Or you do not know even how to get on line and remain in contact with Him?

Further question: In the preceding passage (Deu 18:10-11) Moses lists "seven" [detestable] ways of "communication" (or 'channeling' if you will) practiced by the local people the Israelites were soon to encounter:
  1. divination
  2. sorcery
  3. interpret omens
  4. witchcraft
  5. cast spells
  6. medium or spiritist
  7. consult the dead
What do these practices indicate about man's need for "communication"?

For direct communication (as opposed to indirect) that helps to improve inter-personal relationship, check this site.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Love the Lord - "the" Key for Child Education (Deuteronomy 11:1)

A lot has been said about the child education. One suggestion came out, that is to say, "Help kids memorize 300 key Bible verses. That is it."

Is that it? Mayby not for children learn not just from what the parents ask them to do or not to do, but also from what the parents themselves actually do or do not do.

In Deuteronomy 11 Moses says in effect, "For child education, parents ought to love the Lord. That is it!" Moses' logic is this:

(1) You guys witnessed the Lord performing all sorts of miracles.

(2) But the the emerging generation did not. So you cannot expect them to obey the Lord.

(3) BUT, if you love the Lord and obey Him, they will also love the Lord and obey Him.

A question arises though. In what respect is the parents' loving the Lord as good as (if not better than) the children witnessing miracles? Moses' knkowlege of the Lord answers the question. Through serving the Lord for 120 years, Moses experienced firsthand that nothing is impossible with the Lord. Love desires to be at one with the one he or she chooses to love. Thus, when one loves the Lord, he literally becomes the Lord's alter-ego. As the parents love the Lord then they invite to the sphere of their children not just resources (such as miracles wonders and signs that are manifested in a physical world) but also the source itself. So which one would you rather choose - (1) a bucketfull of fish each and every day or (2) the one who owns the Pacific Ocean which contains all sorts of fish, so you could carry the source all the time (no matter where you go)? The answer is obvous.

So you do not need to even bother to demand your children to memorize three hundred Bible verses. As far as the do's and don'ts (or "how-to's") on child-education are concerned, Moses' is superior to the other. It is 300 times better than the 300 Bible verses memorization idea. [But still I think it is a great idea to help children memorize God's words, for with prayer, the word of the Lord is a primary means of grace.]

What do you think?  

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Remeber that you were slaves in Egypt... Deuteronomy 16:12

Knowing what we were helps us know better what we are. We are told when one is in the Lord the old is gone, the new has come. How is what is new different than what is old? Freedom rather than slavery.  As a noun slave refers to a person who is the legal property of another and is forced to obey; as a verb slave means having to work excessively hard. 

Yes, we are born 'free' and 'equal'. So it is NOT easy to admit that one used to be (maybe still is) a "slave" in a slave farm (of one sort or another). So some folks say, "We have 'never' been slaves to anyone." But the Lord says in effect, "Yes you were and still are, for anyone who sins is a slave to sin.... And a slave has no permanent place in the family." John 8

Brain of Chimpanzee [Wikipedia]

The command "remember" is suggestive of forgetfulness. In order not to forget one has to make consious efforts not to forget. According to Moses, remembering is not enough, for there is the call to celebrate, that is, celebrate "Feast of the Passover, Feast of the Firstfruits [resurrection], Feast of Tabernacles [practicing the life in the kingdom to come]", or according to the Apostle Paul celebrate "the life that is transformed with ever increasing glory", or according to Job, celebrate the life that waits for the renewal to come. Job 14:14 Or according to Solomon, celebrate the life that is upward mobile, for the path of life leads upward for the wise to keep him from going down to the grave. Pro 15:24 (+ Pro 12:28).

P.S.: We are told brain consists of five functional areas - Memory, attention, speed, flexibility and problem-solving. But do these functions involve only physical aspects like chemical reactions? Once Ronald Reagan said, "Never forget that we are one nation under God", and then he died of alzheimer's disease. And many of  us already have forgotten what he preached us NOT to do. So what is the remedy for the memory lapse? What can reverse the process?