I was shocked to see two men from a roadside garage burning wires made of copper and insulated with PVC, apparently to extract the copper.
In celebration of the wonderful birth of Jesus Christ, King of Kings who became a human being and entered our world 2000 years ago, these children performed a beautiful dance.
Performed by children who are part of the Explorers club of Sunday school of Living Hope Church, all these lovely dance steps were conceptualized by the famous Gwendoline, their dance teacher. On site supervision was done by Divya and Racheal.
Enjoy the wonderful performance!
There is a lot of talk about Ghar Wapsi or Homecoming in India nowadays [Dec 2014], especially by people belonging to the RSS or similar groups who want people of other faiths living in India to embrace a particular religion.
I say, great! I am for it too!
What, exclaim my friends! You being a Christian are saying this?
I say, cool, relax, let me explain 🙂
Ghar Wapsi or Homecoming is all about going back to our original religion, the God whom our very first ancestor worshipped at the beginning, right?
If that is so, let us peek back in time, shall we?
Where have our ancestors, forefathers come from?
National Geographic did a study on Mitochondrial DNA to study where humans have migrated from. “Every drop of human blood contains a history book written in the language of our genes,” says population geneticist Spencer Wells, a National Geographic explorer-in-residence.
In the mid-1980s the late Allan Wilson and colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley, used mtDNA to pinpoint humanity’s ancestral home. The map of human migration which they made based on mitochondrial DNA studies. The map was a big surprise for those who believed that humans have come out of Africa! [Please see at bottom of post]
Archeology and history also point to the fact that our earliest recorded civilizations are no more than five thousand years old, and most of them are located in the region of present day Iraq. [If evolutionary timeframes were true, where is the evidence for the so-called millions of years of human history?]
Did you know that there are stories of a global flood in almost all the people and cultures of the world, either in written form or oral.
The Bible in Genesis also tells us about a global flood around 4500 years ago, ie 2500 BC.
Why was there a flood?
Just a few centuries after Adam and Eve, this is what happened: The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. So the LORD said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created–and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground–for I regret that I have made them.”
But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.
(Genesis 6:5-8 NIV)
History tells us that this flood wiped out all humans who existed at that time except for eight people on the ark.
After the flood the ark with Noah and his three sons and their wives settled in the region near Mount Ararat.
The placing of the catastrophic global flood in the year 2504 BC means that all civilizations discovered by archaeology must fit into the last 4,500 years.
Within a few centuries of the flood, humans had spread over the Middle East.
After God confused their languages at Babel, around 2200 BC humans spread out to the entire world [Genesis 11:9].
So our ancestors came from the region of present day Iraq [as confirmed by genetic analysis]
So what is our original religion?
God has made man with a heart that loves to worship. We still love to worship anything or everything that we adore or aspire. Some worship money, others power, others a Cricket hero and so on.
After Noah, God allowed his descendants the freedom to worship whatever or whoever their hearts desired. That is how religions came into existence. Religion is man trying to reach out to God. What prevents man from connecting with God is our own selfish nature, our heart. That is why the Bible talks about the amazing love of God in reaching out to us humans as Jesus Christ, the Saviour who would rescue us from our sins and shame.
Since we are on the topic of Ghar Vapsi or Homecoming, let us come back to Noah our very first ancestor. He worshipped the living God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth!
Indians [and the whole of humanity] are descended from Noah and his three sons and their wives who were in the ark with him.
That is why I say, I am all for Ghar Vapsi or Homecoming! I say, let us all, all Indians, go back to the original, the God that our very first father worshipped. God is waiting for all of us to return to Him.
PS: No one can force or tempt you to accept the real Jesus Christ.
Why? Because Christianity is a heart relationship with God through Jesus Christ born out of love.
Jesus never promised money, property, jobs or fame, only inner peace, joy, eternal life and freedom from Sin, along with persecution from those who are opposed to the truth!
Have a blessed homecoming or Ghar Wapsi, dear reader.
Imagine a Doctor advising a patient who has vomiting, to cover up all food and water in his home because the very act of looking at food makes him vomit, and vomiting is not good for health. What would you call such a Doctor? A quack, obviously! And you would ofcourse try to understand why there is vomiting in the first place, and treat it!
This brings me to a similar situation common to many parts of the world these days: covering up a woman in a burka or niqab to prevent men from lusting at them.
Why do some Muslim women wear burkas?
Raihan Ismail is a lecturer in Middle East Politics and Islamic Studies at the Australian National University. Dr Ismail spoke with 666 ABC Canberra to answer some common questions about the burka. The Koran calls for both men and women to ‘cover and be modest’ she said.
This is because being immodest can awaken lust, which is recognised as bad by most religions of the world.
So what is the only solution to the problem of lust?
The Bible tells us in simple and plain language that all of us were or are in this situation, following our heart and fulfilling the lusts of the flesh:
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.
The Bible also talks of a people transformed from within:
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
(Ephesians 2:1-10 NIV)
The answer to the lust problem then is not in covering up the objects of lust, but dealing with the lust within your own heart.
Easier said than done? Here is how it is possible:
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; the list goes on. (Galatians 5:16-19 NIV)
The Spirit of God is a wonderful gift that God gives to those who have repented of their sins and accepted the free gift of forgiveness offered by God through the substitutionary sacrifice of the sinless man Jesus Christ.
That is why the Apostle Peter could write two thousand years ago:
Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. (2 Peter 1:1-4 NIV)
God has created man and woman as precious, wonderfully different and yet equal in His eyes.
We all have been born with a default mode that is damaged, with the tendency to sin and lust. I am sure all of you have experienced that, in yourselves and in others.
Yet the amazing fact is that despite knowing us, God loves us, and has made the provision for us to ‘participate in His divine nature’, and overcome every evil in our hearts. The way is simple and effective.
So dear friends, do you feel that covering up women or the opposite sex is the solution to the problem of lust?
Religion tells us to follow rules and external conformity, hoping that will solve the problem of lust and other evils. God tells us to change our heart from within. You decide J
God who created us male and female made marriage to be the best relationship between a man and a woman. Obviously He knows what is best. But modern man thinks he is wiser than God and has pressured many Governments to allow or legalize same-sex ‘marriages’. These ‘same-sex-marriages’, besides being an abomination to God and the very institution of marriage, are also now being used by criminals to smuggle people into these very countries.
BBC sting exposes fake same-sex marriage scam
Figure 1 FOR A FEE OF £10,000, ANY NON-EU CITIZEN CAN ENTER IN A FAKE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE
LONDON: A new crime category has emerged in Britain after same-sex marriages were made legal in March: fake marriages between same-sex couples for a fee that enables a non-EU citizen skirt strict visa rules and stay in the country after ‘marrying’ a UK/EU citizen.
Organised gangs provide a man or woman for an all-expenses fee of £10,000, so that the non-EU citizen can enter into the fake marriage. Registrars and immigration officials are said to be struggling to stop such marriages.
The usual modus operandi of such ‘marriages’ is that after it is registered, the two individuals go their separate ways, and file for divorce after the non-EU citizen gets permission to stay in the country after the mandatory period.
In the past, several Indian citizens were arrested for being part of such fake but different sex marriages. After March, when same-sex marriages became legal, there are no reports yet of Indians being involved in such fake marriages.
However, a BBC sting operation telecast on Monday shows an Asian undercover reporter being given the name of ‘ Ruby’ from Mumbai by a gang member, who organised the fake marriage, so that she could stay in the country. ‘Ruby’ posed as an illegal immigrant urgently seeking a fake marriage to stay in the UK, while another posed as her uncle.
The gang offered two potential fake Romanian brides to the reporter, both of whom explicitly stated they were not lesbians but were willing to pretend to be gay and marry anyone for cash. Romania joined the EU in 2007, and from January this year, UK lifted temporary restrictions on them to move here.
Peter and Ricardo, the gang’s leaders, boasted to the undercover reporters they had ‘fixed’ weddings ‘lots of times’, while one of the girls, Alexandra, said she had previously organised six fake weddings and knew how to deceive immigration officers.
Mark Rimmer, head of Registration and Nationality Services in the London borough of Brent, told BBC: “Here in Brent, the Home Office stops marriages on a weekly basis…I think it is probably more difficult to spot the signs if you have a same sex couple whether they be male or female.”
23 Sep 2014 Hindustan Times (Mumbai) Prasun Sonwalkar firstname.lastname@example.org
By Jihadist or Moral Police I mean people who wish to see society behave in a morally righteous or legally ‘correct’ manner and are willing to do anything, even take up arms, to achieve their ends.
This is what is called Moral Fanaticism.
We see it ever increasing in this world today.
Figure 1 Common scenes across the world today
Is there an answer to such Moral Fanatics?
The moral fanatic imagines that his moral purity will prove a match for the power of evil.
But like a bull he goes for the red rag instead of the man holding the red rag. He grows weary and succumbs; he becomes entangled with non-essentials, and falls into the trap set by the superior ingenuity of his adversary, the prince of this world, the father of lies, who is much more cleverer than any human being who relies on his own intelligence or even worse, philosophy or belief system.
Figure 2 Moral Police
These are the words of none other than Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was hanged in 1945 for his part in an assassination attempt on Hitler in his Letters and Papers from Prison begun in 1942. http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/bonhoeffer.html
The opening essay is titled After Ten Years. Here Bonhoeffer identifies with the evil of the times, and especially the war. He speaks of the unreasonable situations which reasonable people must face.
He warns against those who are deceived by evil that is disguised as good, and he cries out against misguided moral fanatics and the slaves of tradition and rules.
In viewing the horrors of war, Bonhoeffer reminds us that what we despise in others is never entirely absent from ourselves.
This warning against contempt for humanity is very important in light of authors such as Ernest Hemingway, Jean Paul Sartre, and Albert Camus, whose contempt for the war turned into disillusion with humanity. This is a striking contrast between several witnesses to the war who came to very different conclusions.
Bonhoeffer’s conclusions were the direct result of a personal relationship with Christ. The conclusions of Hemingway, Sartre, and Camus were the pessimistic observations of those without a final hope.
“God’s truth judges created things out of love, and Satan’s truth judges them out of envy and hatred.”
The peacemakers abhor the violence that is so often used to solve problems.
This point would be of special significance for Bonhoeffer, who was writing on the eve of World War II. The peacemakers maintain fellowship where others would find a reason to break off a relationship. These individuals always see another option.
So what is the difference between morality and true righteousness?
This picture will give you an idea.
Figure 3 The difference between Morality or Self-righteousness from True Righteousness
The one who thinks of himself as righteous has a partial understanding of true life and joy in the Spirit.
Here is a link you might find useful. http://thedomesticfringe.com/morality-vs-righteousness/
Do what is right.
Be right with God.
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. ~ Hebrews 11:6
Live by the Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Love your neighbor as yourself.
And the second is like unto it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. ~ Matthew 22:39
God bless you with true righteousness today. J
This may be pretty hard reading for many, as I am going to ask you deep questions on your life.
What do you base your esteem on?
Is it on your body, or perhaps your mind? Your skin colour, your hair, your clothes, the place where you stay, your family background or your grades in school? Or on your possessions?
It is natural for us to base our esteem on ‘self’. After all these things are what we can experience using our natural senses.
Is there a better reality on which to base your esteem on? Something super- natural?
You may well ask what is the problem with basing our esteem on ‘self’?
After all, you have been born in this family, privileged to get this education, worked hard to reach where you are presently, so naturally you ask the question: should I not be proud of my accomplishments?
Ask yourself, is this going to last? Will your hair last, or your health, or your wealth? Your fancy car?
Is there a better way, a more satisfying measure?
Yes, and for that you need to ask yourself the hard question: What is my real need?
What do I really, really need?
Is it recognition from people, name, fame and money?
Or is there something more deeper, more satisfying, and more lasting than these?
Jesus said in Mathew 6:19
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Mat 6:19-21 TNIV
What is taught to us by Jesus here?
- Treasure is precious
- We are preoccupied with it
- Presently on Earth: it is affected by Moth, rust, or can be stolen
- Protect it by all means
- Provide happiness – temporary
- Perpetual- anxiety and worry
So what is the advice given by Jesus?
Store your treasure in heaven!
What is your treasure?
What do you spend your time, energy and attention on?
What makes me do what I do? What is the method I use? What is the result?
“Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long;
Their lives are perpetual fashion shows, embroidered prayer shawls one day and flowery prayers the next.
Mat 23:5 MSG
Eg: Why do you wear clothes? For others? To get attention/honour?
It is as if everything most people do is motivated by some sort of fear or guilt.
Fear in you is made use of by merchants.
Fear of ‘others’
What is your NEED?
When you dont get what you need, you satisfy yourself with substitutes. Then you never look for original.
What is my central need?
From childhood, the child looks for it and does not get it. Parents who have no idea cannot give what they do not have.
Ultimately it concludes that it is not going to get it, so start looking for substitutes like approval, recognition, honor from people. Then it will never look for the truth once it is satisfied with substitutes.
It is these substitutes that kill.
Fakes look like the original, but they do not deliver what you really need.
What is the result?
You start pretending that you have got the real thing:
What you are inside and outside are both pretensions
Putting on a mask
Many types of people
Identity struggles result as the result of pretensions which have gone on for decades.
Children pretend to be what they are not because parents demand, do not allow them to be true.
Result of pretension? IF YOUR INSIDE AND OUTSIDE ARE NOT THE SAME YOU WILL END UP MENTAL.
Luk 5:36 Jesus then told them these sayings: No one uses a new piece of cloth to patch old clothes. The patch would shrink and make the hole even bigger.
Many breakdowns come because of continued pretensions. Trust is broken.
Why did you pretend? What others will think?
What happens in conflicts: Cumulative effect of pretensions
What does man do naturally?
Keep a distance so I won’t be affected. If I come closer there will be pain.
Inability to love the unlovable.
Why they are unlovable?
Trace the reason backward
1 John 4:7-8 NIV Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
Love is from God:
The Living God is the only one source of unconditional Love, also called agape love.
[In the world: I love you means I want to make use of you]
Man when separated from God. has no unconditional love:
And here I am, standing right before you, and you aren’t willing to receive from me the life you say you want.
I’m not interested in crowd approval. And do you know why? Because I know you and your crowds. I know that love, especially God’s love, is not on your working agenda.
I came with the authority of my Father, and you either dismiss me or avoid me. If another came, acting self-important, you would welcome him with open arms.
How do you expect to get anywhere with God when you spend all your time jockeying for position with each other, ranking your rivals and ignoring God?
Joh 5:40-44 MSG
So how can we love unconditionally? We cannot.
Man in the natural is without unconditional love
Unless we believe in Jesus, and become a source of unconditional love.
When we do not accept this unconditional love, what happens? The inner vacuum remains.
This vacuum inside is called lust. We want to fill the vacuum by fulfilling our lust. It never gets full.
What is the result?
Ecc 2:10-11 NIV I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my labor, and this was the reward for all my toil. 11 Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.
Man without love has three major problems [present in every one]:
- Loneliness: Nobody cares for me, nobody understands me.
- Inferiority: I am nobody, I want to become somebody
To fill the vacuum you are looking for love from People
You accumulate honor, acceptance…but do not get Love
Then what does man do? Try to save yourself…
Use self-salvation measures: SIN
From Sin into Sin
Pretension: to save your image you tell a lie
Power: competition destroys love, creates hatred
Comparison: To climb the ladder [Anything you cannot compare?]
These methods can make you successful, and are addictive. They can destroy.
He wanted love, tried all self-salvation ways, ended up getting Hatred.
Luk 9:24 NIV
For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.
Luk 9:25 What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you?
What are you looking for?
Success: Efficiency, Achievement
How is it measured? eg: Houses, Cars.
By statistics alone. The world says: No numbers, no success.
How do you define a good child?
Is it by success? Can you love your child for who and what he is?
In the Kingdom of God’s evaluation is not on Success but on your Faithfulness
Four areas of faithfulness:
- In Little
- In Money
- With someone else’s goods
- Serving one Master
Jesus said in Luke 16:10-13 He who is faithful in the least is also faithful in much. And he who is unjust in the least is also unjust in much. 11 Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will entrust the true riches to you? 12 And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who shall give you that which is your own? 13 No servant can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
Your real need is Unconditional Love
Have you ever felt the need of your Soul?
As the deer pants, my soul longs.
Even if you are successful to the nth degree, if the needs of your soul are not met, everything is a waste
When you enter in a crisis, you may realize this need.
Restored relationship with me is your need, is the counsel of your Creator.
He alone can give you unconditional love, as He demonstrated in Jesus Christ.
We are taught by the evil one that our need is more ‘things’.
We say he or she is doing very well, but inner life is miserable. Is this ‘doing well’?
Are we not brainwashed by the World?
A teaching which no one will accept, a teaching of Jesus:
Luk 12:15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
If you think abundance is the basis, you will be greedy for more.
Luk 12:13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
That could be our prayer request. Praying to God to answer ‘our’ prayers. Jesus says “who gave me this job?”.
What is His job?
Find the lost, save the sinners.
We think Jesus answers our prayer requests for marriage, job, education, marriage?
Unanswered prayers based on lust are answered by the one who gave you that lust, by the evil one. That is why people confuse the evil one with God. They think God is a desire fulfilling genie.
Whom do we believe?
God says this is not the life…World says this is the life.
What is Sin? Not believing in God
Holy Spirit convicts you of Sin: John 16:9
about sin, because people do not believe in me;
Root of Sin: my right is for myself
What is the basis of our prayer requests?
Don’t think those who are uneducated are living unhappy lives.
Why did God call a certain rich man [in the parable mentioned in Like 12] a fool?
If abundance of possessions is the basis of life, why was his life gone?
Luk 12:20-21 NIV
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
“This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”
God calling someone a fool…is a severe judgment.
Do we realise that we all are dead? We are born dead, living dead, going to eternal death. It is mere existence. Protoplasmic activity. Man separated from God has protoplasmic activity for 70 to 80 years. Like the severed tail of a lizard which moves but has no real life. Movements we make are mere activity. We will all go to our death.
John 3:18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
At Creation, when God created Adam:
Gen 2:7 Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
The presence of God in man as a Spirit was life.
After the Fall, Man became mere flesh. Life is not there.
Unless we realise that, we won’t feel the need for abundant life.
When Jesus Christ came, He said ‘I am the way, the truth and the life’. A parallel way to eternal life.
How can man get eternal life?
John 5:24 Jesus was very clear: “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.
I must believe the whole Gospel. Gospel literally means News that is too good to be true.
Interpretation of John 5:24 is….
1Jn 3:14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death.
We must be ‘born again’.
What does it mean?
How are you born again?
1Peter 1:23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.
Hearing the Word of God produces faith, you get convicted by the Spirit of your real nature, your need for forgiveness, and that you are loved unconditionally and forgiven by God in Jesus Christ.
Romans 8:11 And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
Unless you are born of water and the Spirit you cannot enter the Kingdom of God:
John 3:5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.
Not by any act that you do. Salvation is not by works. It is by Faith.
It is only then that your real need, your deepest desire is met, by the One who created you and loves you beyond measure.
So I base my ‘value’ on the fact that God loves me so much that He has sent His Son Jesus to die for my sins, restore me into a loving relationship with Himself, and give me eternal life. This value will never fade away, and no one can take it away from me. I will be foolish to base my value on my self-esteem [my body, mind or possessions]. I can boast only of ‘Christ esteem’ as Andrew Wommack puts it.
Thank you God!
Have a lovely day.