YOU TOO CAN FAST! (a testimony on fasting)

Jesus and the multitudes

This year Yom Kippur begins on the eve of Sunday, September 27 and ends at night on Monday, September 28*. On this eve of the Jewish Yom Kippur I believe it’s a good time to reflect on how the Lord has enabled me and led me to build a lifestyle of fasting, with the goal of wanting to be Jesus-focus and know God more.

Back before building a fasting lifestyle (a spiritual lifestyle) in 2009, the minute anyone suggested fasting to me, I would have an automatic reaction that it could not be for me as I did not have the stomach for it. It seemed to me that food was so important. Many people like me could come up with a lot of reasons why they could not fast, e.g. Feeling weak and dizzy and even fainting, having gastritis, love for food etc. But I was led to read a Book on fasting, and it definitely assured me and gave me hope. Yes, I too could fast! I wanted to go deeper into Biblical living and living in the Spirit.

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You too can fast (excerpts from a fasting book)

The enemy will use all tactics and suggest all excuses to prevent you from fasting. He knows what fasting can do for you. Isaiah 58:6 “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?”

It is not whether you can or cannot fast. It is whether you want to or not, a matter of choice. Will you still allow the flesh to dictate to you, or will you learn to subdue the flesh, allow your spirit man to rise and eventually, learn to live by the Spirit?

(In the same chapter, the Pastor described how she set a condition for her Bible College student to fast three days before they are awarded with distinctions. A number made the usual excuses but they went through the fast and came out in top forms. There were testimonies of gastritis, backache, arthritis and migraine healed! )

No one can give any excuse. Nehemiah could have made a good excuse for not fasting. His job demanded that he taste the king’s food and wine to test if they were poisoned. Moreover he was expected to be cheerful before the king. But Nehemiah took the burden of the Lord upon himself. He wept and mourned, fasted and prayed for many days for Jerusalem. (Neh. 1:4) God intervened and moved the king’s heart to release Nehemiah from his post as cupbearer and made him governor of Judah for 12 years! Despite opposition, conspiracy and great difficulties, Nehemiah completed rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem within 52 days.

Some people are afraid to fast because they are afraid their bodies would be affected. Little do they realize that the body can actually go without food and water for three days. It can go for 40 days without food but not without water unless divinely led of the Holy Spirit. Moses neither ate nor drank for 40 days twice, in the presence of God and God is life. We can do without food but cannot do without God.

Fasting appears difficult because eating is a natural habit. Some people eat to live but others live to eat. In fact, the first sin against God involved eating. Esau lost his birthright because of eating. The Israelites were fed angels’ food from heaven yet they craved for food from Egypt than for God’s divine supply. Every Christian must learn how to discipline the body through fasting.

Start by fasting one meal, then two meals, then the whole day. This will give you more time to spend with God. You can then subdue your flesh and begin to feed your spirit man. Read the Bible, pray and worship God. Listen to worship and sermon tapes. Begin to tune yourself to God. “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24) “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (I Cor. 2:14)

Jesus redeemed us and made our spirit alive unto God. Man could once again resume relationship with God. By the power of God man is once again to live by the Spirit, filled, empowered and led by Him. “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.”(I Cor. 15:50) Fasting sets us free from our past bondage.

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Back then in 2009 I became thus convinced to start a fasting lifestyle. When I first started to fast I tried to skip one main meal a day on alternate day. However, I drank liquid (water, fruit and vegetable juice, milk) as substitute. I also scheduled my fast to a number of hours, e.g. from 4pm to midnight or from 10am to 6pm.

There was no hard and fast rule. On this current fasting and prayer drive, I could choose from a long list of choices: 1. the number of days (7, 14, 21, 40) 2. the number of meals (1, 2, all ) 3. vegetables/fruits 4. water/liquid

I chose to fast 14 days, one meal (fasting from 1pm to next morning 7am) a day on alternate day. I knew my limit. Unless led by the Holy Spirit I would not attempt more than the level I was committed to do. I hoped to progress to whole day (24 hours) fasting (from solid food), drinking water only during the weekend, i.e. fast from 6am Saturday to 6am Sunday.

In the Pastor’s testimony, the “best fast” (for discipline and major breakthrough) was three days at a stretch without food and water. A lot of great things happened when such fasts were carried out in the Bible. I will account this in the next post.

The above was originally posted on 2009-09-08

Looking back over a decade of fasting lifestyle and how much the Lord has enabled me to progress, I can only give all glory to God! I cannot imagine without the spiritual and physical preparation, how I could have gone through all those miracles including divine healing and living in divine health, fitness and youthfulness despite encountering many physical (with unseen spiritual implication) challenges!

Kainotes Sep 26 2020

*Israel Daylight Time (IDT) is 3 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). This time zone is a Daylight Saving Time time zone and is used in: Asia.

How did I start building a fasting lifestyle

The following is a record from an earlier journal on a personal Biblical living quest. The Spirit led me to see the power of being Jesus-focus. As I was struggling with the issue of weight, I realized that fearing having inadequate food was un-Biblical and baseless. The real issue lied in my heart not in my belly.

Journal day 51: Three days with nothing to eat (August 2009)

Today’s passage intrigues me. At least four thousand plus men besides women and children had nothing to eat for three days and they were still walking!

Matthew 15: 32 “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And I do not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.” Jesus told the disciples.

What were these people doing during the three days? Surly there is a clue as to how they had managed to survive during that period without food. In the same chapter, the Bible described the background activities. After Jesus rebuked the Jewish religious leaders for their hypocrisy, he went to Tyre and Sidon, where He healed the severely demon-possessed daughter of a Canaan woman, praising the mother for her great faith in Jesus. Canaanites were idol worshippers and enemies of the Jews. Yet the Canaan woman found great courage to come to Jesus as she was desperate and knew that all the idols she and her tribesmen worshipped all their lives could not save her daughter.

After that, Jesus departed from there, skirted the Sea of Galilee, and went up on the mountain and sat there. Then great multitudes came to Him. They brought the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others. They laid them at Jesus’ feet and He healed them all. The multitudes saw, marveled at the miracles, glorified and worshipped God.

So the great multitudes (four thousand men besides women and children) had spent their three days carrying their sick relatives and friends, following Jesus, walking long distance, climbing the mountain, listening to Jesus teaching about the kingdom of heaven, seeing Jesus (displaying His mighty supernatural power and healing them all), and worshipping God. In the presence of Jesus, the people saw God. They were awed. They were fed with spiritual food and filled. Jesus’ words were food. The people received life through His words (Spirit and life).

It is obvious that during the three days Jesus and His disciples had not eaten any food. Otherwise Jesus would have fed the multitudes miraculously just as He did previously when another group of people (five thousand men plus women and children) followed Him. So it was a big fasting gathering of thousands of people on the mountain!

Were they human? Yes. Jesus told His disciples that these people would be hungry and could faint on the way when they went home. As long as they were with Him, listening to His words, seeing Him displaying His power as the Son of God, and worshipping God, they would not be hungry. But they were human and would be hungry when they were away from Jesus. So Jesus fed them before they left, miraculously with seven loaves and a few little fish, multiplying these into abundant food.

My application:

After reading a book on fasting and prayers as the ultimate weapon to beat the devil, and real life testimonies of ex-patients who had been healed from terminal and other chronic diseases, broken relationship, and other failures, I have started learning to fast last week. I take a light lunch, skip dinner and drink water instead. Sometimes I take one glass of fruit and vegetable juice with milk in lieu of one meal. Whilst fasting I read the Bible and meditate on God and His words. It is refreshing to the soul. At first it was difficult and I kept thinking that I had gastritis pains. I resisted the temptation to take medicine.

Yesterday I woke up and found my old enemy, the back pain, emerged. I rebuked it and went on with my daily living Biblically. I resisted the temptation to take pain-killers after claiming the healing from Jesus. I refused to speak negative words giving the indication of any doubt/unbelief. In the afternoon when I felt the pain emerging, I read Romans chapter 8 again aloud in the bedroom. After that it subsided. In the evening I decided to spend time reading the Bible aloud. So I took the Romans chapter 8 and read again. Then I was led to read Isaiah chapters 58-66. After reading these, I received a phone call from a mother to urgently pray and intercede for her son (a young man) who is alone in a strange city. So I prayed and read the deliverance prayers for him.

Soon it was time for bed and I did not feel any hunger pang at all. I woke up refreshed and healthy today. I did not feel hungry even though I had fasted both lunch and dinner yesterday!

There is Biblical foundation for fasting. Many men and women of God did mighty works through fasting and prayers. When we fast, we are saying to the physical aspect of life that we are not to be dictated by it anymore. We are saying “no” to the body/flesh (five senses). We are saying “yes” to the Spirit. We learn to live by the Spirit. To be led by the Spirit and live according to the Spirit is the goal of victorious living of all Christians.

I find that my body becomes lighter and my mind becomes sharper when I fast. I feel more peaceful, happier and even more sensitive to the spiritual realm.

My advice to all who want to try is that you need to learn to reduce food intake bit by bit. Prior to this project I had reduced my meals by eating very light lunch and dinner. I cut down on snacks. I learn to drink water. It takes a lot of preparation physically.

The more important preparation is that you need to be convinced that the words of God are true. As you fast you need to spend time in the presence of God, reading His words, meditating on them, worship and sing praises to God. You also spend time praying and interceding for others. Sometimes I just listen quietly, close my eyes for a long time and see if pictures or words come into my mind.

My goal in this is not to seek sensational experiences. My only desire is to live Biblically and live out the kingdom life that Jesus has given to every believer. Why live as a beggar if you can live like a prince?

Ghostwriter for God: Dr. Luke -companion of Paul

Luke the beloved physician (Col.4:14a) in the movie Paul the Apostle

Revelation: As I study the background of the journaling historian, medical doctor, and evangelist Luke, I realize that I cannot look at him as a mere friend of Paul and focus on that line alone. It dawns on me that he is a pattern of a faithful and credible ghostwriter for God. His focus is not on Paul, a very outstanding apostle, or about the works that many have achieved. His focus is clearly to write down the part of history that concerns the most important era of mankind, when the Son of Man came and did what God said He will do, and what He enabled His followers do immediately after that in the founding of the Christian church and the spread of its message to the Roman Empire.

Seeing the importance and relevance to my own calling, I propose to give a very brief introduction of his background here and then move to a series along the line of a ghostwriter for God in my other blog. (Please click this link to go to the other blog and follow me there. Thank you.) My goal is: what can we (I) learn from Luke? Why is it very relevant today to study and pattern after him?

On the subject of Paul’s leadership and how he interacts with his friends -his fellow workers in his ministry to advance the kingdom of God, we continue to read his close relationship with Luke, the author of the Gospel according to Luke, and the Acts of the Apostles (the Acts of the Holy Spirit). There are only several mentions of Luke in Paul’s letters, but there are tons of related information from the two books of the New Testament Bible written by Luke. We shall look at Luke under a number of relevant headings in order to know him better and what kind of a ministry support he is to Paul the apostle.

Who is Luke? Luke is probably a Gentile by birth or a Jewish Christian of the Dispersion. He is a man of letters, well versed in the OT in Greek, educated in Greek culture, a physician by profession, a companion of Paul at various times from his second missionary journey to his final imprisonment in Rome, and a loyal friend who remained with the apostle after others had deserted him (2 Timothy 4:11) “Luke was the tried and constant friend of Paul, who shared his labors, and who was not driven from his side by danger”.

Luke, the companion of Paul. In the description of the happenings in Acts, certain passages make use of the pronoun “we.” At these points the author includes himself as a companion of Paul in his travels (16:10–17; 20:5—21:18; 27:1—28:16).  These “we” passages include the period of Paul’s two-year imprisonment at Rome (ch. 28). During this time Paul wrote, among other letters, Philemon and Colossians. In them he sends greetings from his companions, and Luke is included among them (Col 4:9–17; Phm 23–24).

Luke, the physician. The words he uses and the traits and education reflected in his writings fit well his role as a physician. The doctor of the first century might not have as specialized a vocabulary as that of doctors today, but there are some usages in Luke-Acts that seem to suggest that a medical man was the author of these books. And it should be remembered that Paul uses the term “doctor” in describing Luke (Col 4:14).

Similarities between Luke and Paul:

Both are studious, highly educated, multi-linguists, and qualified professionals in their respective fields, raised from an upper social-economic background, and have lived and travelled in cosmopolitan urban cities. It is also likely that both keep journals. Paul is from Tarsus and studied and mentored under the famous teacher Gamaliel. Luke is from either Antioch or Trois, studied medicine and is already a practicing physician when he becomes a disciple of Paul. He is also said to be the brother of Titus (a capable and trustworthy church leader whom Paul has delegated to take charge of the church leadership/officials matter), another disciple of Paul. Luke is likely a Gentile as Paul has excluded him from the circumcised (Jews) list in a letter. Both know the importance of the Holy Spirit, are Spirit-filled and walking by the Spirit. The predominance of the Holy Spirit is evident in both their writings.

In short, it will be interesting to find out “how come” Luke, such a highly qualified and talented man is willing to follow Paul and remains humbly in the background, journaling quietly whilst enduring the many (some utmost) hardships together with the apostle Paul, even to the extent of risking his life.

His relationship with Paul: Paul describes Luke in his letters as, “Luke, my fellow laborer” (Philemon 24), “Luke, the beloved physician” (Col.4:14a), and towards the end of Paul’s life, “only Luke is with me” (2 Timothy 4:11). How does Luke describe Paul? We shall find some answers in my subsequent blogs.

(To be continued)

Kainotes Sep 10 2020

godly leadership: no cheap love please, no cliche

I wrote this in February but withheld it until now. It is still valid. No cheap love please! No cliche!

Love God

AAAA watchman

One cliche in the Christian world is “I love you.” Cheap stuff. Leaders should not be naive enough to think that your co-workers/subordinates/flocks cannot see the hypocrisy. I have been recently subjected to a culture where everybody says “I love you.” The worst thing is that all those who are in the culture expect others love them and say “I love you” for nothing. I refuse to say “I love you.” Here are my reasons:

  1. It is hypocritical to say something I don’t mean.
  2. It cheapens love.
  3. It fools people into thinking that love costs nothing.
  4. Love (like friendship) needs to be earned.
  5. no one has the right (audacity) to expect love from others.

What is the kind of love I respect and honor? Let us see how Jesus demonstrated love while on earth.

John 13:1 AMPC [Now] before the Passover Feast began, Jesus knew (was fully aware) that the…

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Festival of Rosh Hashanah 2020

JewishNewyear
Jewish New Year

The festival of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is a joyous occasion celebrated by members of the religious community all over the world.

The festival consists of many elements, including prayer services in synagogues and the blowing of an ancient musical horn called a “shofar“, which is made from a ram’s horn.

On the first night of Rosh Hashanah, it is customary to greet one another with blessings and good wishes of Leshana tova tekatev v’techatem — May you be inscribed for a good year!

The festival of Rosh Hashanah—the name means Head of the Year—is observed for two days beginning on 1 Tishrei, the first day of the Jewish year. It is the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, and their first actions toward the realization of mankind’s role in G‑d’s world.

Rosh Hashanah thus emphasizes the special relationship between G‑d and humanity: our dependence upon G‑d as our creator and sustainer, …

The central observance of Rosh Hashanah is the sounding of the shofar, the ram’s horn, which also represents the trumpet blast of a people’s coronation of their king. The cry of the shofar is also a call to repentance, for Rosh Hashanah is also the anniversary of man’s first sin and his repentance thereof, and serves as the first of the “Ten Days of Repentance” which culminate in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

boy blowing shofar
boy blowing shofar

Another significance of the shofar is to recall the Binding of Isaac which also occurred on Rosh Hashanah, in which a ram took Isaac’s place as an offering to G‑d; we evoke Abraham’s readiness to sacrifice his son, …

Additional Rosh Hashanah observances include: a) Eating a piece of apple dipped in honey, to symbolize our desire for a sweet year, and other special foods symbolic of the new year’s blessings.

apples dipped in honey
apples dipped in honey

b) Blessing one another with the words “Leshanah tovah tikateiv veteichateim,” “May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.” c) Tashlich, …

One of the most recognisable food staples that adorns the dinner table during Rosh Hashanah is apple and honey, a traditional combination that has passed down the generations for centuries. This is accompanied by a song that is taught to young children at cheder (Jewish Sunday school), which goes: “Dip the apple in the honey, make a bracha [blessing] loud and clear. L’Shana Tova U’Metuka, have a happy sweet New Year.” In addition to dipping the apple in the honey, Jewish people also frequently eat honey cake, pomegranates and round raisin loaves of challah to see in the New Year.

Happy Rosh Hashanah to all our Jewish friends!

Note: The above is collected from online sources, to whom credits are given.

http://www.chabad.org/holidays/JewishNewYear/template_cdo/aid/4762/jewish/What-Is-Rosh-Hashanah.html

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/rosh-hashanah-2019-jewish-new-year-food-apple-honey-honey-cake-festival-a9123551.html

a new message for Yom Kippur 5781 (2020) meditation: shalom with God

blessed Shana Tova 2020 (5781)

Shalom with God
Therefore, having been made righteous by trusting, we have shalom with God through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. [a] 2 Through Him we also have gained access by faith into this grace in which we stand and boast in the hope of God’s glory. 3 And not only that, but we also boast in suffering—knowing that suffering produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Ruach ha-Kodesh who was given to us.

6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Messiah died for the ungodly. 7 For rarely will anyone die for a righteous man—though perhaps for a good man someone might even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Messiah died for us. 9 How much more then, having now been set right by His blood, shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him. 10 For if, while we were yet enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also boast in God through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Yet Sin Reigns through Death
12 So then, just as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, in the same way death spread to all men because all sinned. 13 For up until the Torah, sin was in the world; but sin does not count as sin when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in a manner similar to the violation of Adam, who is a pattern of the One to come.

15 But the gracious gift is not like the transgression. For if many died because of the transgression of one man, how much more did the grace of God overflow to many through the gift of one Man—Yeshua the Messiah. 16 Moreover, the gift is not like what happened through the one who sinned. For on the one hand, the judgment from one violation resulted in condemnation; but on the other hand, the gracious gift following many transgressions resulted in justification. [b] 17 For if by the one man’s transgression, death reigned through the one,[c] how much more shall those who receive the overflow of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the One, Messiah Yeshua.

18 So then, through the transgression of one, condemnation came to all men; likewise, through the righteousness of one came righteousness of life to all men. 19 For just as through the disobedience of one man, many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of one man, many will be set right forever.[d]

20 Now the Torah came in so that transgression might increase. But where sin increased, grace overflowed even more— 21 so that just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness, to eternal life through Messiah Yeshua our Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. Romans 5:2 cf. Isa. 54:17.
  2. Romans 5:17 Lit. judgment from one to condemnation . . . gift from many trespasses to acquittal.
  3. Romans 5:17 cf. Gen. 2:173:619.
  4. Romans 5:19 Lit. made righteous, cf. Rom. 1:17.

5 Now a certain man had been an invalid there for thirty-eight years. 6 Seeing him lying there and knowing he had been that way a long time, Yeshua said to him, “Do you want to get well?”

7 The invalid answered Him, “Sir, I have nobody to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up. While I’m trying to get in, somebody else steps down before me!”

8 Yeshua tells him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk!”

9 Immediately, the man was healed! He took up his mat and started walking around. Now that day was Shabbat, 10 so Judean leaders were saying to the man who was healed, “It’s Shabbat! It’s not permitted for you to carry your mat.”

11 But he answered them, “The man who made me well told me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’”

12 They asked him, “Who is the man who told you, ‘Pick up your mat and walk’?” 13 But the man who had been healed didn’t know who it was, for Yeshua had slipped away into the crowd in that place.

14 Afterwards, Yeshua finds him in the Temple. He said to him, “Look, you’ve been healed! Stop sinning, so nothing worse happens to you.” 15 The man left and told the Judean leaders that it was Yeshua who had made him well.

Sent by the Father
16 Because Yeshua was doing these things on Shabbat, the Judean leaders started persecuting Him. 17 But Yeshua said to them, “My Father is still working, and I also am working.” 18 So for this reason the Judean leaders kept trying even harder to kill Him—because He was not only breaking Shabbat,[c] but also calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.

19 Therefore Yeshua answered them, “Amen, amen I tell you, the Son cannot do anything by Himself. He can do only what He sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows Him everything He does. He will show Him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed. 21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whomever He wants. 22 The Father does not judge anyone, but has handed over all judgment to the Son 23 so that all should honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

24 “Amen, amen I tell you, whoever hears My word and trusts the One who sent Me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed over from death into life. 25 Amen, amen I tell you, an hour is coming and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of Ben-Elohim. Those who hear will live! 26 For just as the Father has life in Himself, so also He has granted the Son to have life in Himself. 27 Also He has given the Son authority to judge, because He is the Son of Man.

28 “Do not be amazed at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear His voice 29 and come out![d] Those who have done good will come to a resurrection of life, and those who have done evil will come to a resurrection of judgment. 30 I can do nothing on My own. Just as I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, for I do not seek My own will, but the will of the One who sent Me.”

The Father Testifies about the Son
31 “If I testify about Myself, My witness is not valid. 32 There is another who testifies about Me, and I know that the testimony He gives is true. 33 You have sent to John, and he has testified to the truth. 34 I do not receive the testimony of man, but I say these things so that you may be saved. 35 He was the lamp that was burning and shining, and you wanted to rejoice for a while in his light.

36 “But the testimony I have is greater than that from John. The works the Father has given Me to finish—the very works I am doing—testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me. 37 And the Father who sent Me has testified concerning Me. You have never heard His voice nor seen His form. 38 Nor do you have His Word living in you, because you do not trust the One He sent. 39 You search the Scriptures because you suppose that in them you have eternal life. It is these that testify about Me. 40 Yet you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life!

41 “I do not accept glory from men. 42 But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves. 43 I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me. But if another comes in his own name, you will receive him. 44 How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that comes from God alone?

45 “Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father. The one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have put your hope. 46 For if you were believing Moses, you would believe Me—because he wrote about Me. 47 But since you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”[e]

Footnotes:

  1. John 5:2 Lit. in Hebrew. Bethesda (Heb.) means House of Mercy. Bethzatha (Aram.) means the place of poured out water.
  2. John 5:4 ASV adds: They waited for the water to be moved. Other mss. also add verse 4: because an angel of the Lord sometimes went to the pool and moved the water. Then, whoever went into the water first was healed from whatever disease he had.
  3. John 5:18 cf. Mk. 2:27Lk. 13:16.
  4. John 5:29 cf. Ezek. 37:12Ps. 16:10Dan. 12:2.
  5. John 5:47 cf. Deut. 18:15-19.

Above Scriptures are quoted from the Holy Bible, Romans 5 and John 5

Tree of Life Version (TLV)Tree of Life (TLV) Translation of the Bible. Copyright © 2015 by The Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society.

The coming Jewish holidays in 2020:

Rosh HashanahFri-Sun, Sept. 18-20, 2020
Yom KippurSun-Mon, Sept. 27-28, 2020
SukkotFri-Fri, Oct. 2-9, 2020
Shemini Atzeret / Simchat Torah  Sat-Sun, Oct. 10-11, 2020
HanukkahThurs-Fri, Dec. 10-18, 2020

Financial Boom and responsibility: the Joseph Way (Revised Sep11, 2020)

Genesis 41:37-41 Joseph rises to financial and political power

Sep 11, 2020: I first wrote and posted this article on 08/14/2017. It is very relevant today as we are all seeking to hear clearly what God is saying. The Bible is very clear about seven years of boom in the economy. The new economy season started in November 2016 when there was a cosmic shift in the spiritual realm. God allowed Joseph seven years to establish the economy, political stability and prosperity that benefitted everyone in the country and beyond. No administration no matter how brilliant the leaders are can ensure any lasting changes less than seven years. The suppliers need those customers who can pay for their goods and services. Otherwise the suppliers have no incentive to supply. I would always look at the world as a market where there are sellers and buyers and both can operate together in win-win trade deals. The sellers are actually the buyers and vice versa. That is how economics work. Think global and macro. Earth is too small to afford petty power squabbles anymore. I pray many sons of Issachar (strategists) who have supernatural understanding of the times, who know what we ought to do (invest), will rise up. They will help the Josephs of our time everywhere to be in power and lead the nation and world economy. (1 Chronicles 12:32) When Christians look to God’s positive promises we are not being greedy. We have the responsibility to share our wealth and feed those who cannot feign for themselves. What kind of legacy are we leaving behind? This is the serious question we must each ask ourselves.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~the following article was posted on 08/14/2017 based on what I received prior Brexit and the presidential election in 2016.

More and more individuals are called today to serve the Lord on a voluntary basis and have often to rely on his/her own savings or income from investments. I believe there is an urgent need for this group to learn the Joseph way. The key is to be able to know what is ahead and hear God’s instructions on what to invest.

Lately I received this reminder and again today to learn from Joseph’s testimony. There is no doubt Joseph had close relationship with God and could hear God.

Genesis 41 recorded how Joseph rose to financial power. Briefly, one night the powerful Egyptian Pharaoh (king) had two dreams that caused his spirit to be troubled and no one could interpret his dreams. He knew of Joseph’s ability to interpret dreams through his chief butler. He immediately summoned Joseph to be brought out of the dungeon to him.

Joseph not only accurately predicted the forthcoming economic boom, its subsequent global famine crisis and their timing, he also presented an immediate financial strategy and action plan to the king as a solution. It was remarkable that Joseph prophesied that God would give Pharaoh a favourable answer even before he knew what Pharaoh had dreamed of! He also knew the solutions beforehand. The king rightly recognized Joseph’s worth!

Let us read some of the Bible verses and see this spiritual yet financially proficient man in supernatural action:

Joseph’s Strategic Action 1: Before Joseph knew what the dreams were, Joseph confidently gave a prophecy of good news to the king. How could he be sure of the positive outcome? Amazing. Joseph was a man of God. God told him what was to happen.

Verse 15 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it; and I have heard it said of you that you can understand a dream and interpret it.

Verse 16 Joseph answered Pharaoh, It is not in me; God [not I] will give Pharaoh a [favourable] answer of peace….

Joseph’s Strategic Action 2: After Pharaoh told him the dreams, Joseph gave his interpretation, and advice on an economic/financial strategy and action plan to solve the future crisis and take advantage of the crisis.

He states the problem and its size ahead: 25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, The [two] dreams are one; God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do…29 Take note! Seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt are coming. 30 Then there will come seven years of hunger and famine, …for it will be very woefully severe. 32 That the dream was sent twice to Pharaoh and in two forms indicates that this thing which God will very soon bring to pass is fully prepared and established by God.

He also states the solution in terms of action plan. The solution actually ensures favour to him: 33 So now let Pharaoh seek out and provide a man discreet, understanding, proficient, and wise and set him over the land of Egypt [as governor]. 34 … let him select and appoint officers over the land, and take one-fifth [of the produce] of the [whole] land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years [year by year]. 35 And let them gather all the food of these good years …36 And that food shall be put in store for the country against the seven years of hunger…

Indeed, the king gave Joseph a positive response according to God’s plan for Joseph to rise:

37 And the plan seemed good in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of all his servants. 38 And Pharaoh said to his servants, Can we find this man’s equal, a man in whom is the spirit of God? 39 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, Forasmuch as [your] God has shown you all this, there is nobody as intelligent and discreet and understanding and wise as you are. 40 You shall have charge over my house, and all my people shall be governed according to your word [with reverence, submission, and obedience]. Only in matters of the throne will I be greater than you are. 41 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.

Joseph’s Strategic Action 3: Implementation of a win-win action plan for the king, his nation and people. In doing so, his own family (his father Jacob and the whole family) was also ensured protection and sustenance.  Other countries too benefited from his wise administration.

…56 When the famine was over all the land, Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold to the Egyptians; for the famine grew extremely distressing in the land of Egypt. 57 And all countries came to Egypt to Joseph to buy grain, because the famine was severe over all [the known] earth.

Chapter 47

…20 And Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh; for the Egyptians sold every man his field because of the overwhelming severity of the famine upon them. The land became Pharaoh’s,..

23 Then Joseph said to the people, Behold, I have today bought you and your land for Pharaoh. Now here is seed for you, and you shall sow the land.

24 At [harvest time when you reap] the increase, you shall give one-fifth of it to Pharaoh, and four-fifths shall be your own to use for seed for the field and as food for you and those of your households and for your little ones.

25 And they said, You have saved our lives! Let us find favour in the sight of my lord; and we will be Pharaoh’s servants.

26 And Joseph made it a law over the land of Egypt—to this day—that Pharaoh should have the fifth part [of the crops]; …

The rest is history.

Kainotes, Sep 11, 2020

Paul and his good friends: Barnabas, John Mark, Silas, Timothy, Luke

2 Timothy 4:8 Crown of Righteousness

Paul has many friends. Some are closer than others. Today we continue to read about Paul and how he values his relationship with his fellow combat soldiers in the advancement of the Kingdom of God. Prior conversion to Christ, Saul (Paul) persecuted Christians with zeal at 31AD (Acts 8). But then he was called by the Lord and converted at 34AD (Acts 9). Barnabas went to Tarsus and looked for him at 42AD (Acts 11:25). Both were sent out on a mission journey at 48AD (Acts 13) by the Holy Spirit through the Syrian Antioch church. God provides him with several significant co-workers, namely, Barnabas, John Mark, Silas, Timothy, and Luke. Reading the Bible (book of Acts and Paul’s letters), it is clear that God arranges different important and faithful ministry partners/co-workers to work with Paul at different time for specific purposes. There is no mention of Paul’s family. These ministry workers are his friends and even family. When Paul wrote to Timothy his last letter (2 Timothy) at 67AD, he revealed a lot his inner feelings about true friendship in ministry. There is a depth of his knowledge of each of them despite the short span of time they each had with him in his ministry (42AD to 67AD).

Here is a summary of who they are and their relationship with Paul:

Barnabas (one who encourages/exhorts; pacification; consolation): An apostle, a wealthy Levite, who came from a Jewish-Cypriot priestly family, an early member of the Jerusalem church, and exemplary follower of Jesus. He became the important intermediary between the newly-converted Paul and the other Jewish disciples in Jerusalem. A good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. (Acts 11:24) He recruited Paul and was a chief companion in working with him for the ministry for a period of seven years (42AD to 49AD). It appears that Barnabas is considered more senior when they first team up, and he is listed first among the five “prophets and teachers” at Syrian Antioch church, with Saul appearing last. (Acts 13:1)

They were both commissioned by the Syrian Antioch church, and sent out together in Paul’s first missionary journey during which the leadership was passed to Paul subtly (48AD). They collaborated well and were able to preach Christ and started church planting in a number of predominantly Gentiles strategic places far into Asia Minor: Pisidian Antioch, Iconium, Lystra and Derbe. After returning to Syrian Antioch, they were both sent to attend the Council at Jerusalem. (Acts 13-15)

Later, Paul proposes returning to the various cities where they have established congregations (Acts 15:36). Barnabas is determined to take John Mark (15:37), “but Paul insisted that they should not take with them the one who had departed from them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work”(15:38). The disagreement caused them to part company; Barnabas took Mark and sailed to his home country, Cyprus. But Paul chose Silas and set out, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord” (15:39-40). And that is the last passage on Barnabas in the book of Acts. The close working partnership was broken, but not the friendship. Whenever Paul mentions Barnabas he words imply sympathy and respect. (1 Corinthians 9:6, Galatians 2:13)

John Mark: He is Barnabas’ young cousin, a Jerusalem Christian Jew with his mother, Mary, a Christian woman of wealth and position, who provides her big house as a gathering and prayer venue for Jesus and His disciples. As mentioned above, Paul and Barnabas disagreed over Mark’s suitability to go on a second mission trip with them. But Paul’s later testimonies of Mark would indicate that Mark had benefitted under Barnabas’ tutorship and became an accepted and significant co-worker to Paul. (2 Timothy 4:11) In Colossians he is with Paul, the prisoner. And in 2 Timothy 4:11 he is now with Timothy, possibly in Ephesus. The Gospel of Mark is attributed to have been compiled by John Mark, who had been in companionship with three great apostles: Barnabas, Paul, and Peter. When Paul wrote to Timothy and asked him to come to Paul and bring Mark with him because Mark is useful to him for ministry (2 Timothy 4:11), twenty year had gone by (48AD-67AD) and Mark has matured into a capable and dependable co-worker in Paul’s ministry!

Silas (Silvanus): We can read about his supportive role in Paul’s ministry in Acts 15-18. He is a leader at the Jerusalem church with prophetic gift (Acts 15:22). He was sent to the church at Antioch to welcome the Gentile Christians. There Paul took him as his ministry companion on the second mission journey. (15:36-41) Like Paul, Silas is a Roman citizen. (16:37-39) He is the right co-worker to accompany Paul as they go through important regions: Syria, Asia Minor, Macedonia and Thessalonica. He and Timothy also preach/teach the Corinth church together with Paul. (2 Corinthians 1:19) When Paul leaves Thessalonica, Silas stays behind with Timothy, and is thereafter associated mainly with him than with Paul (17:14, 17:15b, 18:5a).

Timothy: the son of a mixed marriage between a godly Christian Jewish woman, Eunice and a Greek man living in Lystra (Acts 16:1; 2 Timothy 1:5). Paul called him, “my true son in the faith (1 Timothy 1:2), perhaps having led him to faith in Christ during his first visit to Lystra. At the time of his second visit Paul invited young Timothy to join him on his subsequent missionary travels. From his two important ministry letters to Timothy, and the mentions of him in other letters, it is quite possible that Paul treated him as his disciple/student/potential successor. Timothy helped Paul evangelize Macedonia and Achaia (Acts 17:14-15; 18:5) and was with him during much of his long preaching/teaching ministry at Ephesus (Acts 19:22). He traveled with him from Ephesus to Macedonia, to Corinth (Acts 20:3), back to Macedonia, and to Asia Minor (Acts 20:1-6). He may even have accompanied him all the way to Jerusalem (Acts 21). He was with Paul during the apostle’s first imprisonment (Phil.1:1; Col.1:1; Philem. 1).

He was first entrusted with a special commission to Thessalonica to encourage the persecuted Christians. He was later sent with Erastus on another important mission to Macedonia, to proceed to Corinth. (1 Corinthians 4:17). He also went with Paul to Jerusalem with the collection. (Acts 20:4-5).

Following Paul’s release (after Ac 28), Timothy again traveled with him but eventually Paul commissioned him to stay at Ephesus to deal with false teachers, supervise public worship and the appointment of church officials there (1 Timothy 1:3), while Paul went on to Macedonia. Paul’s closeness to and grooming of Timothy to be a leader are seen in Paul’s naming him as the co-sender of six of his letters (2 Corinthians, Philippians, Colossians, 1,2 Thessalonians and Philemon) and in his speaking highly of him to the Philippians (Phil. 2:19-22). At the end of Paul’s life, he requested Timothy to join him at Rome (2Tim. 4:9,21). According to Heb.13:23, Timothy himself was imprisoned and subsequently released.

Paul revealed a lot his inner feelings about true friendship in ministry in his letters. In his last letter to Timothy, he showed his need for close friends and he urged them to hasten come to him (he was re-arrested and on trial for his life). We can see the disappointment (pain and hurt) and yet hope in 2 Timothy 4 (the last chapter).

(Paul repeatedly urged Timothy), 4:9 Be diligent to come to me quickly;  21 Do your utmost to come before winter.

(The disappointment) 10 for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica—Crescens for Galatia. Titus for Dalmatia. (Three ministry co-workers have left him to face the trial alone. One actually went back to the world) 16 At my last defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me…

(One consolation) 11a Only Luke is with me.

(Paul needs more human physical presence to stand with him in his final hours) 11b Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry. 12 And Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus.

(One warning about the enemy’s work) 14 Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm…15 You also must beware of him, for he has greatly resisted our words.

 (Expression of hope, strength, and thankfulness) 17 But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me…18 And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work…

Three persons have left Paul at this most difficult time. But he is still able to call three other friends to join him: Timothy, Mark, and Tychicus (an Asian). He also has Luke who sticks to him throughout. These friends stick with Paul through good and bad times, and that’s why he can write to them to come to stand with him with confidence that they would respond! He was executed soon after that (before Emperor Nero died in 68AD).

Above all, Paul has his closest friend, the Lord who has never left him. Why does he still want to see Timothy and the rest? Paul reveals his human side here. He knows this trial may be his last. And he is ready. 4:6 “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.”

He wants to say goodbye to those who remain his closest fellow combat soldiers in the advancement of the Kingdom of God —who are also his closest human friends in the last stage of his life on earth.

Kainotes, Sep 7, 2020 (To continue on Luke in my next blog)

friendship and ministry: Paul and his friends

Colossians 1:6

This morning I am prompted to look at how Paul treats his friends in Romans 16. Yes, don’t be surprised. Paul has friends. All sorts. Jews and Gentiles, church leaders, fellow-workers, men and women, young and old, rich and poor, couples and singles. He even has friends in high official positions.

Often we overlook human relationship when reading the Bible. In the case of the apostle Paul we admire his dedication to Christ and fearless preaching of the Gospel of Christ. Did the very busy and multitasking apostle Paul have friends? I asked this question before and my answer was, yes, the Bible recorded some of his fellow workers including familiar names like Barnabas, Silas, John Mark, Luke, Timothy and Titus.

But Chapter sixteen of Romans recorded a long list of other names. Paul was in Corinth when he wrote the letter and was making plans to sail to Rome and see the new converts in the city. Paul wrote this letter to the churches in Rome, expressing that it was divine will and also his strong desire to go to Rome to see them. (Chapter one and chapter fifteen)  He told them he had been praying for them and commended them for their faith. Reading this letter, I realize that although Paul has not yet been to Rome physically, his heart/spirit is already there for a long time. He knows the Christians there, not superficially, and treat them as his friends! Here is the list of names in Chapter sixteen. Note the meanings of each name. Most importantly, note how Paul greets each person individually, with grace, warmth, sincerity, respect, appreciation, and thankfulness! He knows, recognizes each person’s worth, and  addresses each of them according to their contribution to the advancement of the Kingdom of God. And he gives special commendation to those who go beyond the normal call of duty. Paul saw great potential in them. Indeed, many have later become significant leaders themselves.

Paul has many faithful friends. In Romans 16:21-23, there are eight renown co-workers who are with Paul sending their greetings to the Christians in Rome together with Paul.

Paul is truly a worthy leader and friend. That’s what friends are for! What is the secret of Paul’s success as a leader-friend? He always focuses on the number one goal, that is, the Good News of Christ is being shared and going out all over the world. For that matter, every worker in the kingdom of God counts!

Personal Greetings from Paul to the Christians in Rome. (My notes from various references are in brackets and italics):

Rom 16:1  I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea, 16:2  that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in whatever business she has need of you; for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also.

(Phoebe (radiant). A deaconesses of the apostolic church, Cenchrea. The first on the list, and one of the most important. What Paul said of her in 16:1-2 is worthy of special notice. Cenchrea is the eastern harbor of Corinth. Paul sailed from Cenchrea, (Acts 18:18) on his return to Syria from his second missionary journey. The strategically located church is important to Paul’s mission. She probably carried this very important doctrinal letter to the Roman Christians.)

Rom 16:3  Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, 16:4  who risked their own necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.

(Priscilla. (ancient) and her husband Aquila (an eagle). Priscilla’s name is often placed before that of her husband. Paul met them at Corinth, and became their house-mate, and business associates/partners making the Cilician tent or hair-cloth. When Paul left Corinth, Priscilla and Aquila accompanied him to Ephesus. There they remained and there they met and taught Apollos. The couple are Scripture teachers like Paul, familiar with the Gospel of Christ, and later became leaders of a house church in Rome. They remained faithful friends to Paul and even risked their lives for him)

Rom 16:5  Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Greet my beloved Epenetus, who is the first fruits of Achaia to Christ. (Epenetus (praiseworthy). Paul called him his beloved and specially remembered him as his first converted Christian in Asia!)

Rom 16:6  Greet Mary, who labored much for us. (Mary (a tear). Paul commended her for having toiled hard for him.)

Rom 16:7  Greet Andronicus and Junia, my countrymen and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me. (This couple, both are notable apostles, Andronicus (man-conqueror), and his wife Junia, are Paul’s blood relatives, and fellow prisoners.)

Rom 16:8  Greet Amplias (large), my beloved in the Lord.

Rom 16:9  Greet Urbanus (of the city, polite), our fellow worker in Christ, and Stachys, my beloved.

Rom 16:10  Greet Apelles (called), approved in Christ. (Tradition makes him bishop of Smyrna or Heraclea.) Greet those who are of the household of Aristobulus. (Aristobulus (the best counsellor). Tradition makes him one of the 70 disciples and reports that he preached the gospel in Britain.)

Rom 16:11  Greet Herodion, my countryman. Greet those who are of the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord.

(Herodion. A relative of Paul. Narcissus. (stupidity, some members of whose household were known to Paul. Some have assumed the identity of this Narcissus, with the secretary of the emperor Claudius.)

Rom 16:12  Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, who have labored in the Lord. Greet the beloved Persis, who labored much in the Lord.

(Tryphena and Trypho’sa. (luxurious).Two Christian women at Rome, enumerated in the conclusion of St. Paul’s letter. Rom 16:12. (A.D. 55). They may have been sisters, but it is more likely that they were fellow deaconesses. We know nothing more of these two sister workers of the apostolic time.) (Persis. (a Persian woman).Paul called her the beloved and commended that she labored much for them in the Lord. )

Rom 16:13  Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine. (Rufus. (red). Rufus is mentioned in Mark 15:21 as a son of Simon, the Cyrenian. Luke 23:26). Paul salutes Rufus, and specially designates him as “elect in the Lord.” This Rufus was probably identical with the one to whom Mark refers.)

Rom 16:14  Greet Asyncritus (incomparable), Phlegon (burning) (Pseudo-Hippolytus makes him one of the seventy disciples and bishop of Marathon.), Hermas (mercury)(According to tradition, he was one of the seventy disciples, and afterward, bishop of Dalmatia. Irenaeus, Tertullian and Origen agree in attributing to him the work called The Shepherd. It was never received into the canon, but was as generally cited with respect.), Patrobas (paternal) (Like many other names mentioned in Romans 16, this was borne by at least one member of the emperor’s household), Hermes, and the brethren who are with them.

Rom 16:15  Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them. (Ne’reus. (lamp). According to tradition, he was beheaded at Terracina, probably, in the reign of Nerva.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Timeline showing Paul taking five years between writing this letter and finally getting to see the Christians in Rome

57 ADPaul in Macedonia and GreeceActs 20
57 ADPaul Writes to the RomansRomans 1 – 16
62 ADPaul Sails for RomeActs 27
62 ADThe ShipwreckActs 27:13
62 ADPaul Ashore at MaltaActs 28
62 ADPaul Preaches at RomeActs 28:11

Sound Mind Economics: “equal right” (Sep 4, 2020)

Sep 4, 2020 I would add here that it is essential to look at the economic history of nations, see how different ideological philosophies worked or did not work. Beware of false data and false news released by centralized control government authorities. Lack of evidential based publicly edited economic data can be very misleading. However, no one or system can lie forever. No economy can sustain on its own. The truth will always reveal itself in time. Meanwhile, time is a commodity that you cannot redeem. My advice to the millennials, who will soon takeover when the very wise and shrewd “ancients” have finally retired to the other world after another short decade, is that you don’t have much time to experiment. Don’t be attracted by the shinny plastic sequins of ideologies. Be real. Now.

psalm 64:10

After re-investing some of my liquidated funds, I found the following article I wrote for my own millennial family on 2/28/2019. Interesting and relevant. Since the 2016 Brexit and Trump’s winning the presidential election, I have realized the power of faith in action. If you are my regular followers since the early days of this watchman blog you would have understood what I am talking about.

Sound Mind Economics and Application Issues #1

Dear Millennials and others: Because I was once your age I know how you currently struggle with many pertinent issues. Why economics? It is the main issue that divides many in this world of “inequality”. I believe when we go deeper in economics we shall find some solutions together.

Today we touch on the issue of “equal right” in the practice of economics.

Economics is neutral. It is a set of principles and concepts that describe the way human “trade” with one another in order to satisfy needs and wants.

The first thing I learned in my school economics is the law of supply and demand. Supply is based on demand. But every supplier has the right to supply to the target customers who are willing to buy his goods according to the supplier-seller’s condition of sales. Similarly, a customer can choose to buy or not to buy based on the same set of condition of sales.

A civil democratic (majority-rule) society normally has sales and purchase agreements with checks and balances based on recognized and legalized laws and practices by the majority of the legitimate legal citizens/residents who have legitimate voting rights of that society. Ideally such a system will ensure that the majority of needs and wants of the majority in the society will be met according to the original social “contract” of gathering together as a legal entity called nation/state.

The issues you may face today come from one predominant source: some individuals want to claim more right than others by demanding exemptions from the set social contract.  

In an economic system without exemption, everyone shall abide with the same terms and conditions of production and sales. You cannot force someone to produce and give/sell their products to you even if you have the required money to buy. The terms of exchange have to be met in full. Your ability to provide the monetary value is only one of the terms of the total sales and purchase agreement.

In a neutral civil economic society, the legitimate owner and seller of the resources, produces, goods and services has a legal upper hand than the person who wants that goods and services. It is therefore a crime to forcibly take what the owner does not want to give or sell to you. You cannot covet another man’s property. For example, I cannot ask you to remove your branded watch or shoes or bag from your possession and hand them to me just because I like to have or need to use them. It will be a robbery subject to punishment.

Similarly, no man can trespass another man’s property. That is what legal boundaries and demarcations are for.

The civil democratic constitution and law of “unadulterated” interpretation and implementation normally protect the right of the majority of the legitimate components of the society.  People in a society can create and/or encounter many social issues because they are ignorant or choose to ignore, misrepresent, misinterpret, misjudge, miss-apply and miss-execute the law.

Does a neutral economic system result in inequality? My question is: “inequality” in what? Don’t you honor patent right for the fruit of the inventor? In the same principle, remember and honor the one who produces a good and service. He has the right to decide to sell or not to sell. To give or not to give. A very simple guide is: do not rob or steal from others when you do not want others to do that to you or your loved ones. What honor and esteem you gain by taking what is not yours?

How then shall individuals who deem themselves as “under-privileged” function in a civil economic society? The group of individuals who form the civil society can come together and agree on some rules and regulations governing the common good in any ethical social system.

Who decides what is common good and what are considered ethical? In a democratic system there are established and tested ways to do this effectively. I believe the common moral and ethical values of a society influence that society’s decision making processes and choices. Normally this is influenced by the worldview of individuals, derived from family culture, education and their religious system. Can experiences and knowledge change our worldview? Yes. Definitely. My advice for the younger individuals is to remain open to views and really go in depth and study and understand economics and ethics. For those who are chronologically young, it is wise to know that the older individuals are learning knowledge and developing wisdom too and many are advancing in an accelerated speed and better focus because of the wider and deeper scope they have already gone through in life.

History has shown that taking without paying the due rewards for any goods and services from one man’s possession to another man has resulted in regression instead of progression of mankind. Such a system results in oppression and depression in which mankind do not feel motivated and challenged to do better for himself and/or the community. Social ills such as corruption, poverty and a general economic depression set in together with crime, abuses, violence, destruction, and brokenness in many aspects of the society. When an economy breaks down, the shortage of funds generated from taxation which otherwise would have maintained, up-kept and even improved the common amenities, facilities and security, often results in loss of the general wellbeing of individuals and society.

I would therefore urge you to read economic history in the context of the history of mankind. I would define the history of mankind as a history of economics. The depth and breadth of its knowledge, effective application and faithful unbiased implementation is really the key to maintain, sustain and further advance a civil society.

None of us will be around forever on this earth. We need to know and live with each other through genuine knowledge and cooperation with one another. Many great men and great women had lived before us and left behind tested economic principles, ethics and values which have ensured the effective and well functioning of human community. Their positive contributions have laid a foundation for human to work together peaceably and effectively. The evidence is the sustained and improved general human livelihood despite the exponential increase of the population of the world. Food for thought, don’t you think?

I hope this letter will clarify some thoughts and challenge you to widen your thinking scope. During my writing of this, I too have been challenged and decided to know more and think wider on this subject.

From: a sound-mind-economic being.

Postscript: I will attempt the subject of “ownership” of resources, “wealth” and related “equal right” in my next blog.

What is Wealth?

Definition from Strong’s Concordance 1952. hon: wealth, sufficiency NASB Translation: enough (2), possession (1), riches (4), substance (1), wealth (17).

(Investopedia) Wealth measures the value of all the assets of worth owned by a person, community, company or country. Wealth is determined by taking the total market value of all physical and intangible assets owned, then subtracting all debts. Essentially, wealth is the accumulation of resources. Specific people, organizations and nations are said to be wealthy when they are able to accumulate many valuable resources or goods.

Psalm 112:3 Wealth and riches will be in his house, And his righteousness endures forever.

Proverbs 13:11 Wealth gained by dishonesty will be diminished, But he who gathers by labor will increase.

Kainotes, Sep 4, 2020