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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Shining like a star in the sky at night

From 5/22-27 accompanied by Dr. Mark Yang and his wife Anna, Mother Barry visited Redding.

She is 86 years old, yet she is still going strong.

On sunday she served a message. Her message was on Phil. 2, entitled "shining star". Andrew and Natalka also joined the worship. The message had 4 points: manger spirit; incarnational spirit; serving spirit; and obedient spirit.

The Lord commanded Abraham to make a prayer journey by going out of his tent, and walking to the north, south, east, and west. So during her visit she made a prayer journey by visiting the Turtle Bay in the south, the Mt Lassen all the way to the top (8,500 ft) in the east, the site for the gold rush as well as The Judge Francis Carr Power House, French Gulch in the west, and the Castle Crag Mountain Vista Point (all the way to the top) in the north. At each location she prayed for the Lord's blessings upon the wesstcoast, Bible Westcoast campuses, asking the Lord to send harvest workers to harvest fields.

After the visit she grew at least 16 years younger particularly through forest walks so I entitled a picture collage compiling her visits "86 - 16 = 70."


Friday, May 15, 2015

A Book Recommendation - The Historical Christ by David Greer

This book is available for free at the website: Once you go there, type in words like "The historical Christs, the moral power of history, by David Greer."

It was published in 1890, and about Jesus Christ. On the way (of reading it through) you also can meet in a passing way people like St. Paul, St. Augustine (the great Christian theologian), Tertullian (the great Christian purist), Origen (the great Christian mystic), Mohammed in the Koran, Zoroaster, Sakyi Mouni, Fenelon, Vincent de Paul, and many more.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

An Altar Call for Jacob

In Genesis 35 the Lord God commanded Jacob to go up to Bethel, settle down, and build an altar there. Jacob obeyed the command, and called the place "El Bethel".

Jacob had a relationship problem. He did not get along with Esau his twin brother. Even after shaking hands, he ended up telling a lie, that is, instead of going to Seir he went to Succoth and settled there, sending a message: "Esau, you live over there, minding your business, I live over here minding my business." Prior to this event he exhibited the same problem with his neighbor Laban, his relative. Laban was his father-in-law, from whom came his wives. Yet, he built a wall between him and Laban as if  sending a message, "Laban, you mind your business over there, I will mind my business over here." He had problems with his neighbors the townspeople at Succoth, for as he had a relationship problem Dinah had a problem, so she went out and got into trouble. Like father, his sons went out and gotten into trouble with neighbors - they butchered people in revenge, making it impossible for Jacob to continue to stay there.

We see this 'relationship' problem not only on an individual level but also on a nationwide, and certainly worldwide level. Esau used to be bent on killing Jacob, and Jacob used to flee from him. And the Scripture ways the hands of Ishmael will be against all, prompting all against those who are against all.

Is there a solution to the relationship problem? Genesis 35:1 offers the solution, that is, build an altar to the Lord. Altar is symbolic of dedication and consecration. There you lay down what you have been attached to or holding onto - people, money, and all else, that is that which is created, and devote yourself to God, so you would rise to God's level and live at His level. [The expression 'settle' there at Bethel means do not meander or deviate from there, so you  should always walk with God.]

People like Laban, Esau, people at Sukkot, are all limited, so they are not the objects of competition, but compassion from you. The Lord prayed that Jacob should leave the life that lives on man's level, and rise to and live on God's level, so that by being fully sufficient with God who alone is fully sufficient all the time he could live not as a competitor but a source of blessing for all peoples on earth.

Go up to Bethel and settle down there. Build an altar to me. Jacob then called that place El Bethel. El means God. Bethel means house of God. Bethel is not a physical location but a spiritual one, built inside of you.

After the worship at El Bethel, it appears that Jacob forgot the purpose of the altar call. So the Lord God had to appear to  him again and reminded him that his name should no longer be Jacob but Israel meaning 'the one who contends with God and men and has overcome."

This is the reminder of the purpose of the altar call, that is, the call to live on God's level, not on man's level, and purpose of this purpose is for God to use him as a source of blessing for all nations, just as is shown in his promise (given to him subsequent to the reminder), "I am God Almighty; be fruitful and increase in number. A nation and a community of nations will come from you, and kings will be among your descendants." Gen 35:11

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The way of the Holy Spirit

In today's daily bread Bible passage (May 7, 2015), we see Jacob meeting God face to face "at night".

The environment in which he saw God face to face reveals the way of the Holy Spirit, that is, He reveals and makes himself present in an environment which is devoid of that which is created, or simply QE, that is, a quiet environment, because of which we say, "You need "QT" (quiet time) with the Lord."

God created  man to represent Him as his steward for his creation. To equip man to do this mission he built into man the channels to God and his creation, so it has been said, "within man are found ways opened up - the channel to the mineral, the biological, the animal, man, demons, angels, and God."

In reaching God (or God reaching us) and having communion with Him in the sphere of time and space in our inner person, sincerity separation dedication (or consecration) and stillness on our part are must.

In case of Jacob using the news that Esau approaches him with 400 men, the Lord secured sincerity of  the heart on Jacob's part, so he not only moved over the Jabbok river the 550 mercedes benzs, but also his wives, and 11 sons. He was left alone. To  help him empty himself the Lord wrestled with him all night. The blessing came when finally he after desperate prayer "save me (from the sword of Esau)" received the new name Israel [meaning a man who struggled with God and man, and won [or overcame]](rather than Jacob meaning the deceiver). Then joy and peace ruled in his heart.

Jesus followed the sane path, that is, before he began his public ministry he went down into the river of Jordan for baptism (separation from creation, dedication to the divine). As we rose from the river, the Spirit descended upon him. Voice (this is my son; I am pleased with him) was heard.

Similarly Peter said to the crowds, "Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, and you will  receive the Holy Spirit." Acts 2:38

The way of the Spirit is most clearly seen in the way the Lord commanded Moses to build the tabernacle. This way is not man's invention. It is from God, for he says, "Built the tabernacle according to the pattern shown you [by me the Lord] on the mountain." The temple/tabernacle consists of three sections, two on earth three from above, that is, "holy" place, "holy of holies', and finally the one who is holy holy and holy descends. Inside of the holy of the holies there is the ark of the covenant. Inside the covenant is the Lord's Ten Commandments. Above it is the atonement cover on which there are two cherubs (whose mission is to protect his holiness). Between the cherubs the Lord promised to speak to the Israelites. This set up is a lot of hiding on God's part, as Isaiah said, "You are a God who hides yourself". Isaiah 45:15

Because the way of the Holy Spirit is set this way, the first batch of Jesus' disciples also had to  wait 10 days in (intense) prayer until the day of Pentecost.

The same was true with the Apostle John. According to the tradition after Jesus' departure, and through the days when the wind of persecution was raging throughout the Roman Empire, John had hard time to overcome hatred against the Roman 'beasts'. One day while he was incarcerated at the island of Patmos, to overcome hatred he sort of complained to the Lord, "Why I cannot love the Romans? Why is there still hatred in me?" (from watching the innocent being butchered by the Roman beasts.) Then Jesus said, "It is because you do not deny himself." The word of the Lord struck him like a thunder. Then true conversion (emptying himself and turning to the Lord) took place, whereupon along with the revelations the Holy Spirit poured in. In a matter of week or so, the book of Revelation was born.

In talking with Dr. Paul Hong of Toledo last weekend, he asserted that the Apostle Paul had a quiet time (QT) while he was incarcerated for two years in the prison cell in Jerusalem. During the two year period, no one (from the second-gen controlled church of Jerusalem) visited him, Dr. Paul alleges. It was while he was having the QT that he did receive most of (if not all) revelations as reflected in his epistles.

"That night... Jacob was left alone..." (Gen 32:22, 24) During the night all grew calm. Noise and the hustle bustle of the day are quieted down. As the angry face of Esau looms large on him, he must knelt down praying more earnestly than ever. And this went on..., until the next morning, and he met God face to face, calling the place "Peniel". 32:30

In the same way Elijah heard the Lord (speaking in a gentle whisper) while in a dark cave, having QT. :-)

Speaking of the same, Isaiah says, "in repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength". Isaiah 30:15 Or Zechariah says, "Be still before the Lord, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his dwelling place." 2:13

Was it a mere coincidence then that it was while he was in a "far" side of the desert that the Lord appeared to him in a burning bush? In a song of ascents (ascending to the throne of the Lord) didn't David exhort the pilgrims, "I have stilled and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother...O Israel, put your hope in the Lord, both now and forevermore"?

Jacob was a pilgrim. And on the way to Paddan Aram (which is symbolic of this mundane world where pilgrimage is staged) the Lord secured for him a QT revealing himself at night (Gen 28).

Jacob's pilgrimage is nearly over. Thus towards the closing point off his pilgrimage the Lord helped Jacob secure a QT at the Jabbok River.

So before during and after the pilgrimage, (or simply now and forever) we the pilgrims do need QT.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Framework of God's Kingdom

(Tom Cassidy (1920-1989) tried to live a life that is simple. He lived in a small cabin 10 by 10 at most. Before his departure his friend John Rice Irwin visited him. And Tom said, "I've got that little cot in there, a chair, a stove for heat and cooking, a frying pan, a bean pot, an old dresser, my fiddle, and my pistol. What more does a man need?")

So what more does a man need? 

Here is what you need. 

The other day as I was heading from Redding to Igo area, when I turned on the radio in my truck, the music station on the radio played a pop song which kept saying 'shake, shake, shake'.

This reminded me of Hebrew 12:26 where it is written that God will shake everything that can be shaken so only that which cannot be shaken should remain.

That which cannot be shaken refers to His kingdom, as is described in the scriptures like Isaiah (9:7), Daniel (4:34, 6:26, 7:18) or Luke (1:33).

The citizens of his kingdom are composed of Jesus Christ the Son, and his co-heirs (or his bride), that is, those who belong to Him.

The expression 'that which cannot be shaken' describes the essence of His kingdom that is that which is spiritual. The word 'shaken' or 'shake' (raash in Hebrew), as it is quoted from Haggai 2:6 is repeated 30 times in the Old Testament (in KJV). The key word for this word shaken is the 20th letter of Hebrew Alphabet that is 'reish'. Its primary function of this letter is wickedness, and therefore destruction (via shaking). This concept is seen in what Moses said in regard to the wickedness of the Canaanites reaching its full measure (in fourth generation following Abraham) whereupon the destruction (or cleansing or removal as worthless) should be due.

The same cleansing will happen in regard to the universe, that is, heavens and earth, so as Hebrew 12:6 states the time is set when the foundations of the heavens and earth should be shaken for removal, but this time by heat (2 Peter 3:12).

According to the words of the Apostle Peter,  some of the properties of that which cannot be shaken are "those which cannot spoil, fade, or perish." In God's kingdom then you do not need septic system, sewage system, no recycling, no antique stores, no yard sale, no funeral home, no beauty shop, no need to trim your toe or finger nails, no need to put out trash can on every monday (in case of Redding), no need to change engine oil, no need to go to rest room one, two, or three times a day, no need to brush teeth.

Categorically that which cannot be shaken refers to that which is spiritual, just as Jesus said, "The Spirit gives life to man, flesh counts for nothing." John 6

By definition God is the Creator, so that which cannot be shaken is that which exists on the Creator's level. By the same token, that which can be shaken and therefore should be shaken for removal, consists of that which exist on the level of creation such as soul, body, iron, silver, gold, wood, stone, atom, and so forth.

Spiritually though that which cannot be shaken consists of that is righteous and holy. Speaking of the same concept, it is said, "The righteous shall live by faith" or "those who lead many to righteousness shine like stars forever." Daniel 12:3

Similarly the Scripture says "Without holiness no one will see God." Heb 12:14 For this reason the Book of Hebrews warns his audience against sexual immorality and love of money (13:4 et al).

In talking to the Samaritan woman Jesus revealed to her the way to enter the Kingdom which is not shaken: "God is spirit. His worshipers should worship in spirit and in truth." In this statement Jesus exhorted her to position her in the position of spirit, so she would live a life that is spirit-dominant, not flesh-oriented. In the same way Jesus said to Nicodemus, "You must be born (of the spirit) again".

For the same reason the Scripture shows the selection (or election if you will) of Isaac (that which is of God who is spirit) over Ishmael (that which is of man), Jacob (that which is spirit bound) over Esau (that which is earth bound), Israel (that which is spiritual) over Jacob.

To consummate the work of saving people from the world bound for destruction to the Kingdom that is forever life-giving, our Lord Jesus came saying, "I am He". John also says, "God so loved the world that  whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." 3:16 Then Peter says, "Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus, and you will receive the Holy Spirit." Acts 2:38

The English word 'position' means "a place where someone is located or has been put.'

So what is your position?