The 7 Letters of Revelation: #6 PHILADELPHIA- HIS GRACE IS SUFFICIENT (Rev.3:7-13) - FAITH

Philadelphia was a Faithful Church
Rev.3:8: She had LITTLE STRENGTH but Kept the Word
It doesn't matter if the strength is small; His Grace is Sufficient

His strength is made perfect in our weaknesses

Mustard seed faith can remove mountains
Persistent blows can crack great rocks

Gideon considered himself the least (Jdg.6:11), but with 300 men, by the help of God, he won a great battle (Jdg.7:7)

- Will be kept from trial
- Will be a Pillar in God's Temple
- Will receive Name of the City

The 7 Letters of Revelation: #5 SARDIS- Negligence Destroys Intelligence (Rev.3:1-6) - WATCHFULNESS

Sardis was a Careless Church
Negligence Destroys Intelligence

1. They had a name "Alive", but were dead
2. They had works, but the works were not perfect
3. Jesus said that if this continued, when He comes, they will not know....

A. A Negligent Christian is a Fool
5 Foolish Virgins - negligent about the oil, negligent about the time of the groom (1Thess 5:2,4)

B. A Negligent Christian is Not Diligent
The Diligent
- Constant in effort to accomplish something
- Attentive and persistent in doing anything
- Someone who works in a careful and thorough way
(Prov.10:4; 22:29; 2Pet.3:14)

C. A Negligent Christian is Indisciplined
1Cor.9:27; 2Tim.2:1-5

The 7 Letters of Revelation: #4 THYATIRA- Lack of Authority Destroys Integrity (Rev.2:18-27) - AUTHORITY & SUBMISSION

Thyatira - The Corrupt Church. The city was famous for dyeing.

Lack of Authority Destroys Integrity
Rev.2:19. Jesus always began with a positive note. He got something to praise about, but He introduces Himself as the Judge (Rev.2:18)

Rev.2:23,24: Division: Judgment on Jezebel. No burden on others.
But they were responsible because they allowed (Rev.2:20)

Jezebel in the Church - Rebel
1. She was a Stranger to God ("that woman")
2. She was a self-made, self-declared prophetess
3. She was a teacher-seducer of God's servants (deception)
4. She was unrepentent (Rev.2:21). She crossed the deadline of repentance.
5. Her doom was pronounced.

Submission to authority is important.
(Num.16:1; 1Sam.15:22-23)


The 7 Letters of Revelation: #3 PERGAMOS- One Dead Fish Pollutes the Pond (Rev.2:12-17) - PURITY

Rev. 2:12-17
Pergamos was a Compromising Church. The city was a head quarter of Satan.
One Dead Fish Pollutes the Pond
Balaam's Error: Tolerated

Beware of 3 Polluting Elements
1. The Old Leaven. The leaven of malice and wickedness. The leaven of tolerated sin (1Cor.5:7)
2. The Root of Bitterness. The bitter root of unbelief (Selling Birthright) (Heb.12:15)
3. The Garment Spotted by Flesh. The garment covering of carnality (Jude 1:23)

Smyrna: Satan's Synagogue
Pergamos: Satan's Dwelling Place, Throne

Warning: Rev.2:16; 1Cor.3:16
Promise: Hidden Manna, Hidden Name on White Stone (Not parchment, which Pergamos was known for).


The 7 Letters of Revelation: #2 SMYRNA- The Bold Get the Crown (Rev.2:8-11) - COURAGE

Smyrna was a Persecuted Church. It was where Polycarp was leader and was martyred in 155 AD

The Letter exhorts Smyrna Church to be Courageous

The Bold Get the Crown
The Kingdom of God is Taken by the Aggressive

Courage is the Virtue of the Warrior. He Never Turns Back.

There is no armor for the back.

Matt.11:12; Dan.11:32; Prov.28:1; 2Tim.1:7

7 Reasons Why We Must Be Courageous
1. He is the First and the Last: A & Z
Your beginning and your end are in Him. The battle belongs to the Lord. He is in control
2. He Conquered Death and Came to Life
Death shall not have dominion: Where is your sting, power, O Death?
3. He Keeps a Record of Your Suffering ("I Know....")
(Ps. 56:8; Job 23:8)
4. He Keeps a Record of What You're Going to Suffer (Rev.2:10)
(Acts 9:16)
5. He Wants Us to Pass the Tests (TESTED)
Don't give up midway (Heb.10:32-39)
6. He Wants to Give Us the Crown of Life 
Second Death Can't Hurt.
7. It's His Command

The 7 Letters of Revelation: #1 EPHESUS: Your Affections Affect Your Destiny (Rev.2:1-7) - LOVE

You are responsible for your affections (2Cor.6:12)

7 Incredible Facts Revealed by Jesus (Rev.2:2,3)
1. You can be an active Christian and yet be a failure. (works)
2. You can be a laborious Christian and yet be a failure. (labor)
3. You can be a patient Christian and yet be a failure. (patience)
4. You can be a righteous Christian and yet be a failure. (cannot bear those who are evil)
5. You can be a wise and discerning Christian and yet be a failure. (tested those who say they are apostles...)
6. You can be a perseverant Christian and yet be a failure. (have persevered)
7. You can be a tireless Christian and yet be a failure. (have not become weary)

3 Facts About Love
1. Love is the key that opens the heart of God (Jn.14:23; 2Cor.6:12)
When God measures a man, He puts the tape around his heart - not around his head. - Guideposts
2. Love is the wall that keeps the enemy out (Song 4:12)
3. Love is the stronghold of victory already got.
Love God and do whatever you like - St. Augustine

Why Love is A Place of Victory
1. Love never fails (1Cor.13:8)
2. Love fulfills all law and prophets (Rom.13:8,10; 1Tim.1:5)
3. Love is the strongest witness of Christ (Jn.13:35)
4. Love is as strong as death (Song 8:6)
5. Love win people (even enemies) (Prov.18:19; Rom.12:20-21)
6. Love covers a multitude of sins (Prov.10:12;17:9)
7. Love activates faith (Gal.5:6)
8. Love casts away all fears (1Jn.4:18)
9. Love does no harm to neighbor (Rom.13:10)
10. Love edifies (1Cor.8:1)
11. Love is the pulse beat (sign) of eternal life (1Jn.3:15-16)
12. Love compels action (2Cor.5:14)
13. Love begets love (1Jn.4:19)
14. Love brings meaning to life (1Cor.13:1-2)

Symptoms of Love Failure
1. Love run dry - Indifference (hardened)
2. Love grown cold - Insensitivity (numbed)

8 Enemies of Love
1. Lawlessness (Matt.24:12)
2. Looking backward (Josh 23:11,12)
3. Wrong alliances (1Kg.11:2)
4. Critical attitude (Prov.15:12)
5. Annoying Acts (Prov.17:9; 25:17(
6. Desire for human honor (Jn.5:42)
7. Disobedience (Jn.14:24; 15:10)
8. Hypocrisy (Rom.12:9)

1. Remember. Memory is important. Meditation. Prayer. Worship. (Col.3:2)
2. Repent. Walk in repentance. Humility. Brokenness. Change
3. Do. Actions Affect Affections
Sow a thought, reap an action
Sow an action, reap an habit,
Sow an habit, reap character,
Sow character, reap a destiny. - Samuel Smiles


God Cannot Be Doubted, He Is In Control - A Short Story

The jailer pushed the youth into his prison cell with utter disgust. The youth had been convicted for attempt to rape, a serious crime, and even more serious when committed in the premises of a government official’s residence. From their cells, the other prisoners gazed at the youth with astonishment and contempt. He snuggled into a corner.

There were whisperings and comments in tones and terms that would send chills down the spine. And, they continued for long and long till the heavy rug of the night dampened all sight and sound. After a while, only the guards could be heard walking with their spears tapping on the ground. The taps were being mixed with rhythmic snores buzzing through the cells. In his locked corner, the youth sobbed with hushed tears. He groaned in between snivels in a language different than that spoken in this land:

“Why is this happening to me?”
“What have I done to deserve this injustice?”
“Now, I’m hated by my family and also by the world for no wrong?”

The world was fast asleep. He was talking to God. But, was God also listening? Or, was He as indifferent as the world around? Was He also compelled by circumstances and the violent wills of men? The past was too painful. The future looked bleak, uncertain, and dark.

The youth kept weeping for a long time till it seemed all his tears had run dry. Then he stopped for a little while, and all of a sudden started weeping the more vehemently again. This time it seemed he was singing a song:

“Forgive me Lord for doubting Your hand
That holds the scepter over sky, water, and land;
By one gesture, You have signaled it to be,
That the luminaries of heavens bow down to me.
And, yet not to me but to You who commands!
What power can resist it, what mortal hand!”

He moved his shackled hands and the chains clanked. A prisoner woke up in the opposite cell and fell to snoring again.

“Darkness has covered me like a thick cloud,
And I can’t see You anywhere around;
But, should I ask for proof before I believe,
Should I have the answer before its appointed time?
Should I trust my sight and doubt Your might
By which the day exists and also the night!
Yes, also this night! Yes, also this night!”

The youth fell asleep. Unseen by him, two luminous angels who stood guard over his cell talked to each other, 'This young man knows our Master, and he knows that the Master cannot be doubted." Just then two other angels appeared. "You are both summoned to the Master now; we'll take over. The sun is soon to rise; has the boy found some rest?" they inquired.

"Yes, he has found rest," they smilingly answered and disappeared.

Several years after this incident, the boy became the Prime Minister of that nation. The King gave him the name Zaphnath-Paaneah, which some believe means "the preserver of life"; others think that it means "the one to whom secrets are revealed." But, we remember him as Joseph, the dreamer of dreams.

Your Attitude Should Be The Same As That Of Christ Jesus (Phil 2:5)

"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus" (Phil 2:5)

Attitudes are our disposition towards someone or something. Our attitudes affect our character and relationships.

Attitudes are important; they can either make a person or break him. Some years back a research was done on job interviewees who were successful in getting a job. The research revealed that the majority of those who got the jobs got them not because they were smart but because they had a right attitude.

The Bible teaches us that God wants us to have the attitude of Christ. He left for us an example of how we must look at and treat our fellowmen, our children, our elders, and God.

Jude 10-11 lists three kinds of attitudes that can destroy the life of any person.
Yet these men speak abusively against whatever they do not understand; and what things they do understand by instinct, like unreasoning animals--these are the very things that destroy them. Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam's error; they have been destroyed in Korah's rebellion. (Jude 1:10-11)

The three destroyers are:
1. The Way of Cain. It is the attitude of selfishness, envy, and hatred against one's brother. A person with this kind of attitude will never be happy at anyone else' success. He would always desire his own praise despite his shortcomings and sins. He doesn't look at the man whom God accepts as an example but looks at him as his enemy. King Saul was another example of a man with this attitude.
2. The Error of Balaam. The attitude of Balaam was materialistic and utilitarian. He even felt that God could change His mind, and when it seemed that God wouldn't, he tried to corrupt Israel by introducing worldliness into their life. He was ruled by the love of money which is the root of all evil. Jesus said that a man cannot serve both God and Money. The rich young man couldn't follow Jesus because he loved money. Balaam's error lay in considering godliness as a means of gain. A mind dehumanized by money can never look at others as fellow-humans. It loses the love for neighbor and God.
3. The Rebellion of Korah. Korah's was the attitude of pride. It was the Luciferic attitude. It is the I-am-better-than-thou attitude. Korah rebelled because he was not ready and willing to accept any God-appointed authority over his life.

Now, look at the attitude of Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death--even death on a cross! (Phil 2:6-8)

Attitude determines the formation of character, and character is what a person is. If suppose I asked someone who he is, he may reply by saying that he is related to so and so, or he is a teacher or an engineer or a doctor. But, God doesn't look at a person in that manner. God looks at one's character.
Surely you desire truth in the inner parts;
you teach me wisdom in the inmost place. (Psalm 51:6)

Character is something between God and the person. It is God who sees and judges. A few things need to be noted about character.
1. Education cannot build character. If it could then sin couldn't co-exist with knowledge. Education can inform but cannot transform. If it could then why would people be smoking cigarrettes and chewing tobacco despite the warning that tobacco causes cancer, why would there be corruption among the police who are expected to know and protect the law, and why would there be winelovers among medical practitioners. King Solomon had so much knowledge but he couldn't keep character.
2. Anointing cannot build character. If it could Lucifer wouldn't have fallen. He was known as the anointed cherub (Eze 28). King Saul had the anointing but he lost his character.
3. Religion cannot build character. If it could the pharisees and sadducees wouldn't have crucified Jesus. Jesus called them hypocrites. It was not the sinners and publicans who wanted Jesus crucified. It was the men with religious authority who didn't have character.

In each case, attitude determined what one was.

If character is to be built there must be a change in the way of thinking; in our disposition. And the first in the line is the attitude of self-emptying, as Jesus did. One needs to humble himself before the Lord.
You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart,
O God, you will not despise.
(Psa 51:16-17)

One must die to self, to the world, and to sin; or else, he can never be a follower of Christ. The attitude of total repentance is the beginning of forsaking the old and following the Lord. Unless the heart is broken because of the sin, repentance is not possible. A hardened heart is rebellious in nature. A repentant heart is reverent.

Secondly, the Bible teaches us that evil company corrupts good habits (1Cor. 15:33). It also says that "he who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed" (Pro.13:20). The Book of Psalms begins with warning us against wrong companionship; so also does the Book of Proverbs. Right attitudes are formed in the fellowship of the Master; right character is formed in the crucible of one's walk with the Master.

Let us walk with a heart that is ready to repent from the wrong and committed to live and die for the Truth, a heart that continues to be transformed through the walk with Jesus.

Boredom - Excerpt

Excerpt from Epistemics of Divine Reality, pp.211-212

Boredom or ennui may be considered to be the metaphysical turbulent emotion that arises out of the paradox of the rational sense of immutability and the empirical sense of mutation. Reason anticipates permanence, changelessness, and immutability as the quality of ultimate reality; however, for experience immutability is an impossibility. Nothing immutable is empirically conceivable; for if something doesn’t move in space, it at least moves in time. The tension between the immutable and the mutable produces the emotion of ennui, the sense of tediousness and vexation associated with the absence of immutable or lasting purpose in the cosmic phenomena of change. Boredom is not due to immutability or mutability but due to the failure of harmony between the both. Thus, one is not bored with the same self, that experiences change. No one expects the consciousness of self to be filled with multiple memory-erasures of itself…. Obviously, the framework of immutability (‘self’ or ‘itself’) is impossible to dispense with, since it is provided by reason. Similarly, mutability is anticipated by experience without which no experience would be possible; all would be a monotony. Boredom, however, results when mutation fails to relate and harmonize with the immutable. Thus, the Preacher says,
Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?... All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing….I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.[1]

Thus, in the Preacher’s eyes, work and labour is a burdensome drag and vexation since, first of all, it seems to possess no meaning; but, secondly, it is incessantly unsatiable. Thus, the incessant labour for novelty, creativity, and change in order to find a final immutable satisfaction itself becomes tedious since no immutable satisfaction seems to come out of all labour.
I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine….I made me great works….I made me gardens and orchards….I made me pools of water….I got me servants and maidens….I gathered me also silver and gold….So I was great, and increased more than all….And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them….Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.[2]

Obviously, neither reason, for whom, as has been seen, immutability comes at the expense of mutability, nor experience, for whom mutability precludes immutability, is able to solve the paradox. The problem is rather existential and can only be resolved in an existentially fulfilling situation.

According to the Bible, this condition of contentment cannot be given by the world of experience; for the world itself is a turbulent changing one, pointing out the fact that as a whole the universe itself has not reached the point of contentment. ‘For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.’[3] Accordingly, Jesus says to His disciples: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.’[4] To the Samaritan woman at the well, He says: ‘Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.’[5]

Thus, some kind of an immutable condition (‘never thirst again’) of incessant fulfillment (‘well…springing up’, indicating motion) is the solution for the problem of boredom that arises from the immutable-mutable paradoxical sensation

[1] Ecclesiastes 1: 2, 3, 8, 14 (KJV)
[2] Ecclesiastes 2: 3-11
[3] Romans 8: 22
[4] John 14: 27 (KJV)
[5] John 4: 13, 14 (KJV)

4 Pillars of Spiritual Instruction

Spiritual Instruction must be a part of every home in order for each family to be strong. Following are the four pillars of Spiritual Instruction:

1. Sound Doctrine

This is the RULE OF TRUTH. It provides the RIGHT PERSPECTIVE in life.

Titus 2:1 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine.
2Timothy 1:13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which you have heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
2Timothy 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

2. Strong Discipline


Proverbs 12:24 The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.
Proverbs 22:29 Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.
Proverbs 19:18 Discipline your son while there is hope; do not set your heart on his destruction.
Proverbs 22:15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.
Proverbs 23:13 Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you beat him with a rod, he will not die.
Proverbs 29:17 Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart.
2Timothy 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
2Timothy 2:4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
2Timothy 2:5 And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.
Romans 5:4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope (RSV)

3. Spotless Devotion

This is the RULE OF LOVE. It guards the heart with PURE AFFECTIONS.

Galatians 5:6 faith which worketh by love.
2Corinthians 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
2Corinthians 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
Titus 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
Hebrews 12:28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:

4. Spiritual Deeds

This is the RULE OF ACTION. It accomplishes GOD'S WILL.

James 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
James 2:20 faith without works is dead
Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
Galatians 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

March 3, 2014
The above four rules anticipate the four pillars of education by UNESCO:
1. Learning to know: Rule of TRUTH (INFORMATION)
2. Learning to be: Rule of PATIENCE (holding on to character) (UNIQUENESS, SELF-ACTUALIZATION, VOICE, IDENTITY, CONSISTENCY)
3. Learning to live together: Rule of LOVE (SOCIAL RELATEDNESS)
4. Learning to do: Rule of ACTION (PRACTICAL WISDOM)
These are the same as the 4 Pillars of Faith.

New Release: A Dialogue on Trinity

A Dialogue on Trinity

By Domenic Marbaniang
Ebook, EPUB Format

13-Year Madeleine approaches her dad, Rev. Clarke, for answer to a question on Trinity and a dialogue ensues. They begin by discussing problems of consciousness and personality in the Three persons of the Godhead and proceed on to evaluate various theories, models, and views on the doctrine before finally evaluating the concept of "Unity" in Zeno's paradoxes and in the Priestly prayer of Jesus in John 17.


A Tale of Something, or Nothing, and God

In the beginning was God and nothing.
Then, God created something out of nothing.
But, soon that something forgot she was once a nothing.
And, forgetting herself and God, she assumed herself to be everything.
And, assuming herself to be everything, she died to everything else and God.
After many days, when this something had run out of everything she got,
She came to her senses and "Who am I? Where am I?" she thought.
Then, she realized she was a nothing without her God,
And so returned to her original place in God.
In the end was God and something.

Estrangement and Belongedness in the Ultimate Sacrifice of God

“He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name…” (John 1:10-12)

The sense of belonging is an amazing epistemic quality among humans. The animal world is not without it: the lioness with her cubs, the elephant with her calves, and the eagle with her eaglets portray a picture of attachment that are the subject of many a story, movie, and a documentary novel. But, in humans the sense is qualitatively different. It is epistemic and existential. Martin Buber talked of its occurrence in two worlds of relationships: the I-It (related to the world of utility) and the I-Thou (related to the world of relational bonds). Where the sense of I-Thou doesn’t exist, dehumanization occurs. Estrangement is a horrific aftermath of a loss of the Thou in the I-Thou world of epistemic and existential sensibility. Added to that, this is also the world where values (both aesthetic and moral) are a reality beyond any materialistic, scientific recognition. The sense is spiritual. The world is spiritual. Therefore, loneliness, boredom, emptiness, and rootlessness are not causes but symptoms of disturbance in the world of I-Thou. Their persistence will result in the human person seeking escapism in some alternate I-It world (sensations (drugs, sex, alcohol, etc) or anti-sensation (sleep, suicide).

Volumes can be written on this topic. But, let’s focus on the verse before us today. When John talks about the Word (God the Son) being in the world, the word “world” comprehends both the physical and the human. The human, in fact, is responsible for how the world treats God. The human is the world. Now, it was through the Son that the world was brought into existence – the world that belongs to humans, since it was given to them. But, humanity fell into the corruption of sin and the bondage of death (and with it the entire creation was made subject to bondage).
Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
Rom 8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope
Rom 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
Death, in essence, was not merely physical. It was spiritual, epistemic, existential, aesthetic, and ethical. Sin brought estrangement from God (the ultimate Thou in the relational set). Yet, the umbilical cord was not snapped, or else man would have sunk into diabolical hellishness. We see strands of love and belongedness and a deep quest for God in the hearts of men. Distortions only occur where the I-Thou world has been fully erased. The Scripture records that God didn’t leave humans alone; His spirit kept striving with them, and through prophets and holy men of God in every tribe, He communicated to them an anticipation of liberation that was soon to come:
Rom 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
Rom 8:21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
The reason why the Son of God came to the world was because the world was made through Him – it ultimately belonged to Him. It was lost; yet, it was His. He was willing to leave alone the 99 in order to seek this one that was lost. But the world did not recognize Him, His own didn’t receive Him. There are sharp, acute, and yet distinct pictures here. The pictures are sharper in prose than any poetry can portray.

The world is not the world as a whole and yet it is the world as a whole. Not everybody failed to recognize Him, and not everybody rejected Him; and, yet in the moment of the Sacrifice, that was what happened. The world as a whole was represented by the leaders (both religious and political) who put to death the Son of God. The depth of estrangement and contortion was manifest in the kind of death administered: the death of the Cross. It was the world that failed to recognize Him – the world that belonged to Him. Yet, the real story is not that the world rejected Him; the real story is that He was willing to let the world reject Him. Divine self-emptying, divine servanthood, and divine crucifixion are powerful themes that shock the philosophy of religion. Nietzsche called the greatest of all sins to be the murder of God (deicide). There was nothing more sinful than that. On the reverse, the greatest of all righteousness fulfilled was in the self-giving of the Son of God. This self-giving brought an end to the history of hostility between man and God. It cancelled all debts. Man had committed the greatest of all crimes, and God had allowed it to be done to Him in the ultimate divine sacrifice. The Cross was where Justice and Love met vis-à-vis. It was where man affirmed his estrangement and God affirmed His belongedness. It was where God accepted man as he was. The one act of righteousness by the Son of God nullified forever the writ of accusation against all humanity. The veil was torn away; the entrance is paved, now the ball is in our court. He has accepted us. Do we receive Him or choose to remain estranged?

Therefore, “as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.”

The Dawn of the E-Age and the End of Paper

It has been variously predicted that paper will go extinct within the next few decades. Enter the age of electronic money, electronic books, and of course, electronic communication. It is the age of Google, Facebook, Skype, Scribd, Wikipedia, and YouTube. Emailing has superceded the courier and ipads are replacing the school bag and the library.

One should be aware by now that anyone having an internet connection has access to the largest library in the world. It is a library larger than men have ever dreamed of. The search engines provide the most up to date indexes ever. Much information is available free of cost. Also, books can be viewed, borrowed, bought, and downloaded. They are now available in different formats, kindle, epub, pdf, djvu, and simple txt to name a few. Most of these can be viewed on smartphones even. Many are turning to ipads as the essential book reader and research tool. And, interestingly, the Government of India has announced its intention to make available tablet PCs to students at a cost as low as Rs.1750 ($35) only. The new device is called "Aakash" [See Aakash, IBN News]. The Government seems a bit unhappy with paper. It encourages uploading of documents through internet and requests customers to not print railway tickets on paper, rather carry them on mobile phones or laptops. Check this GIF from the IRCTC.CO.IN page for instance.

There are some disadvantages of the internet for sure. But, then the adage of Sir Francis Bacon applies to this age as well: "Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention," with this caveat, "some must be avoided as one would avoid poison". The fruit of the tree of knowledge in itself is fatal anyway.


Shudh Ek Jalan (Pure & Holy Passion) - Hindi Worship Song (Domenic M)

One Pure & Holy Passion by William Murphy

Give me one pure and holy passion
Give me one magnificent obsession
Jesus, give me a glorious ambition for my life
To know and follow hard after You
To know and follow hard after You
To grow as Your disciple in the Truth
This world is empty pale and poor
Compared to knowing You my Lord
Lead me on and I will run after You

Trs/Version. Domenic Marbaniang
(w/ slight alterations)

Mujh mein Tu shudh ek jalan de
Mujh mein ek adbhut umang de
Yeshu mujh mein aisi ek arju Tu bhar
Ki chalun sarvada Tere peeche mei
Ki chalun sarvada Tere peeche mei
Ki badun Tera shishya banke mei
Ye duniya shunya aur bejaan
Tujh mein hi meri pehchaan
Le chal mujhe, Tere peeche daudun mein.

Success in God's World

By the world's definition of success, the devil is the Leadership Guru ultimate... If he wrote a leadership book today, it would be the ultimate bestseller and bag multiple awards. He runs the largest industry and has the widest influence, anyway. If you want success in God's world, deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Him regardless of what the world says.

The Word is Life and Light (Jn.1:4)

‎"In Him was life, and the life was the light of men" (Jn.1:4).

There are many words that your ears will hear and eyes may read this morning; but remember only Jesus Christ, God's Word in Flesh, gives you life and light.

Some words slay, some words stirr;
Some words silent; some, hidden still;
Some built kingdoms; some bartered some;
But none gives Life and Light like God's only Son!

~ Have a Blessed Day ~

The Problem of Evil

1 . The Problem of Evil is a problem that relates to Theology, Cosmology, Anthropology,
Ethics & Politics, Soteriology, and Eschatology, chiefly; then, also to the other doctrines.
Therefore, its solution is pivotal.
2. Any theology that claims to be systematic, but fails to address the Problem of Evil
sufficiently is severely defective. It cannot be systematic; and if it is, its foundations are
3. Any Systematic Theology that relegates the Problem of Evil to the realm of mysteries is a
blank theology.
4. To unstrap the Problem of Evil is to touch the heart of reality; to feel the heartbeat of

The brow of Prince Siddhartha wrinkled up in deep pondering. He thought hard, and forgot
the world around – all the whisperings of servants, chirpings of birds, and the presence of his
wife nearby. The four scenes that he had recently seen occupied his thoughts as the dusk
turned into the dark night. Sickness, decay, and death on one hand and the tranquility of the
ascetic on the other hand – these two contradictory sights that he had seen troubled him.
Finally, he donned the saffron robe and left his palace in search for Truth.

If a philosopher can denounce his philosophy over a toothache, his philosophy is worthless. It
is pain that makes one a philosopher; it is the philosophy that solves the problem of pain that
is worthy to be called philosophy in the end.

Why is there evil in the world? Why is there a world? Is there a history-healing solution for
the problem of evil? because, if there is only a future solution, the past is left unameliorated.

The mother, with her four kids, looked at the SS man and asked, “See them, is it really
possible that you are going to have such lovely kids killed?” He didn’t answer. A few hours
after this, the kids were gassed in Hitler’s gas chambers.

If God governs the world, why does crime abound, why do accidents happen, and why is the
world bereft of peace? If God does not govern the world, then is it free of His jurisdiction? If
not, why doesn’t He govern?

Gautama: The root of evil is tanha, desire. One experiences evil as long as one experiences attachment. The solution is enlightenment.

In effect, the problem is subjective (epistemic and moral) and not objective. No God or
people are to blame for evil.

Upanisads: The root of evil is maya, the self-delusion of the Non-dual into differentiatedreality. In reality, there is no evil; because there is neither subject nor media nor object, neither the experiencer nor the medium of experience nor the experienced. The solution is enlightenment.

In effect, the problem is subjective (epistemic) and not objective. No God or people are to blame for evil.

Mahavira: The root of evil is karma, the physical aggregations of worldly indulgence. The more one indulges in the world, the more karma he accumulates leading to bondage to the world and consequent cycle of birth and rebirth, punarjanma. Evil is himsa, violence, that brings bondage. The solution is ahimsa and meritorious works, punya.

In effect, the problem is subjective (epistemic and moral) primarily. No God is to blame for evil. However, people do cause evil and suffer the consequences of it in the next birth. But,
one’s salvation from evil is one’s own responsibility. No one else is to blame, ultimately.

Augustine of Hippo: The cause of evil is two-fold: natural evil is caused by demons or fallen angels and moral evil is caused by sinful humans. The solution is eschatological: the Kingdom of Jesus Christ (grounded on the atoning work of Christ).

In effect, the problem is both subjective (moral) and objective (caused by others).

The first three solutions apply to a universe where God does not exist, where that universe is
eternal. Non-dualism is also a kind of atheism, in which the existence of an objective God is

The fourth solution doesn’t answer the question why God allows evil, apart from the
proposition that God cannot obstruct free will. However, who is to blame if the policemen are
required to allow crimes to take place, while they are present, in order to uphold the right to
freedom (or free willing), in hope that justice will be meted out in the end?

The clue is from the Word. This is not philosophical theology.
1. This is not the best of all possible worlds.
2. If this is not the best of all possible worlds, this is not final.
3. If this is not final, this points to the final.
4. The final is the perfect.

1 . If freedom of will can exist without freedom to evil in the New Creation, then freedom of
will without freedom to evil is a possibility.
2. If freedom of will without freedom to evil doesn’t exist in this world, then this world is
3. If this world is evil, then it does not belong to God.
4. If this world belonged to God and now does not belong to God, then He has abandoned it
to destruction.
5. If this world is abandoned to destruction, then this world is cureless.
6. If this world is abandoned to destruction, then evil will escalate towards its end (by “evil”
both moral and physical are meant).
7. The world is evil escalating towards destruction.

1 . If evil escalates, then evil hasn’t reached finality.
2. If evil escalates, then evil is not infinite.
3. When evil reaches finality, it will destroy itself (A fully rotten apple is self-destroyed).

1 . If evil is discerned, then moral freedom exists. For, only sentient, moral beings can
discern the difference between good and evil (moral knowledge exists).
2. If moral freedom exists, then moral retribution exists.
3. If moral retribution exists, then the moral law exists.
4. If the moral law exists, then the moral law-giver exists.
5. If the moral law-giver exists, then He must be good and all-powerful. For, if not so His
law would be evil and He would be incapable of executing the Law.
6. The moral law-giver must be God.

1 . If God is good and all-powerful, then He would save the evil world.
2. If the world is evil, then it will die.
3. If the world is bound to die, then it can only be saved through resurrection.
4. If the world is to be saved through resurrection, then it must have the cause of
5. Only God can be the cause of resurrection.
6. Therefore, the salvation of the world consists in God becoming the cause of resurrection
within the world.
7. In the Incarnation, Death, and Resurrection of Christ, God became the cause of
resurrection within the world for those who accept the cause (Spirit of resurrection) while
alive on earth.
8. Thus, only those who accept the cause while living can experience the resurrection from
the dead and the justification of Jesus Christ.

Domenic Marbaniang, 2010

Dealing with Rejection the Jesus Way

To be rejected and to feel rejected are two different things. The former is an event; the latter, an experience, a choice. Every choice involves a selection and a rejection. Because somebody has made a choice not to select us in some kind of a relationship (society, job, friendship, marriage, etc) doesn’t mean that the rejection is universal. You are not universally rejected. There are still some who accept you. And, even if there is nobody, you are the choice of God, because it was His choice to create you as you are. He didn’t create you for anybody else so much as He has created you to be His child and beloved one; and our relationship with others only must proceed out of our relationship with Him.

Leah: Human Rejection is Not Divine Rejection

We know of Leah in the Bible who was, in a way, rejected by her father (he wanted to marry her off as soon as possible), her society, and her husband Jacob. The only reason given was she wasn’t beautiful and had weak eyes. But, the Bible makes it clear that she was accepted by God. Do you know that the priestly family and the royal family both descended from her sons Levi and Judah? In her lineage were great priests, prophets, and kings; but, even greater, the Son of God became flesh in her line of descendents. Jesus was born of the tribe of Judah. She is a great example of a strong woman because she never allowed anybody’s rejection of her to make her feel unworthy and lost. She knew who she was and knew what she was supposed to do in the context that she was born and wedded into. Today, a great part of World History (Judeo-Christian) owes its distinctiveness to her courage to be what she was.

Job: Absolute Stability in the Midst of Adverse Storms

It is usually not a good feeling when one is rejected for reasons that one is not directly responsible for. Also, it is even painful when one is rejected for reasons of being misunderstood. Job was someone who both fell into adversity and was also gravely misunderstood by his own friends. Of course, his servants left him and despised him when he became bankrupt – their relationship was only materialistic, anyway (they used to crave his acceptance because they needed money). But, the greatest pain came when his friends called him an evil and wicked person and argued that his adversity was the result of his sins. The greatness of Job is found in the fact that though rejection had touched his bones, he never lost gripped over his view of God and of himself. His memory did not falter due to adversity; his hopes did not die because of his adversaries. The Bible says that God rewarded him two-fold in the end for his faithfulness towards Him.

Jesus: Rejected by Men, of Men, for Men

Yet, there is no picture of rejection so acute as the picture of Jesus humiliated and nailed on the Cross of Calvary. The Bible talks of Him as the One who was “despised and rejected by men” (Isaiah 53:3). The despisal was so bitter that they wanted Him to die the severest death possible and felt no moral remorse about it. Yet, on the Cross He prayed to His Father to forgive them and promised to the repentant thief that he would be with Him in paradise. His connection with His Father and His will was perfect and fully independent of what people thought about, said of, and did to Him. Therefore, “the Stone which the builders rejected has become the Chief Cornerstone” (Matthew 21:42). The cross might have been the ultimate symbol of rejection to the world; it was the ultimate symbol of triumph in the sight of heaven, a triumph over reasons that separated humanity from God (Colossians 2:14,15).

God doesn’t forsake His people. His arms are ever opened. However, this lifetime is the time of choices. When somebody repents, the Father’s arms receive that person with great joy, because He is the Father. In going away, actually, it is not God who rejects a person, but a person turning his back on God. Yet, He waits with open arms, and His love pursues us wherever we go.

The Bible also talks of God as the King. And, in this aspect, rejection of the King is a political crime with consequences of eternal banishment of anyone, even if he were a prince, who has rebelled against the laws of the Kingdom. So, Biblical warnings are serious. The Kingdom of God is not a democracy where the leader is elected by majority of votes; it is a reality that is eternal and must be accepted as such. Rejecting God is like rejecting oxygen and trying to breathe without it, like rejecting the ground beneath our feet and trying to still be grounded on it. It is a self-contradictory experience. Our rejection of God doesn’t affect God; it affects us.

In closing, let me underscore a few Jesus Principles with regards to dealing with rejection:
  1. Do not let your feelings of rejection overpower your acceptance before God. He has not rejected you, and that is the eternal fact. He created you for a purpose and the purpose is more real than what people feel, think, do, or say. Even Jesus felt forsaken on the cross when He cried "My God My God why have You forsaken Me!" But, at the end, He knew He could submit His spirit into the Father's hands, because He was acceptable before the Father though the world had rejected Him. The Father had not rejected Him.
  2. If you have been rejected by someone you deeply loved, remember that this is not a surprise to God though it may look a shock to you. Therefore, prepare not to be offended; and if you have been, destroy the feelings by faith in God's control over your life. Love them still whether they betray, forsake, or deny; because, the pursuit of love will win someone who had a heart of love beneath the mask of inhibition (Matthew 26:23, 49, 50; John 21:17).
  3. Do not commit yourself to any human because they seem to be accepting you. Human acceptance is usually selfish in nature (John 2:24)
  4. Never expect praise and honor from men for being true to God (John 5:44). Do not compromise your faith in order to feel accepted. Such acceptance is bondage.
  5. Never try to please men. Don’t put any human at the center. Do only things that please the Father (John 8:29).
  6. Do not let anybody’s rejection make you forget your identity and mission before God (Luke 4:18-30). Do not die because people want you dead. Remember “He passed through the midst of them and went His way.”
  7. Learn to respect freedom of choice to be independent, though not against you (Luke 11:23).
  8. Bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5:44).
  9. Rejoice when the world hates you because it hates Jesus, because this shows that your witness is clear and that your light is truly shining out so that they know you belong to Christ (Matthew 5:12). But, never do something or say something that will give a false caricature of Christ and become a stumbling block for people.
  10. Be faithful to God, be faithful to your family, and be faithful to those whom God has placed within your circle of responsibility; for that is the whole meaning of your life (John 17:4; 13:1; 19:25-27; 21:15-17).

© Domenic Marbaniang, 2011

Is Money All One Needs?

I recently heard a mother say something like this: “I want my children to get the best of education, because education and money is all one needs at the end of the day. If you got good education, it’ll help make money, and if you got money, you got respect, you got a place, a position, a standing in society. If you don’t have money, you are a nobody.”

In contrast, Jesus made it very clear: “one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (Lk. 12:15). He told the Parable of the Rich Fool, that we know. The Fool thought that his unprecedented success in business had now set him for life. He got life. But God called him a fool since his death was ordained for that same night, and his success in business could not stop it nor follow him beyond the grave. On that same night, the rich fool would find himself before God in the most impoverished condition; because what he hadn’t spent for the poor and for the kingdom of God had remained behind for other men to use or squander. He had invested nothing in the kingdom that rules both heaven and earth; and so, he lost life both here and in the hereafter.

O Henry said it well, “We can’t buy one minute of time with cash; if we could, rich people would live longer.”

Jesus poses the deeper question, “What does a man gain if he gains the whole world, but loses his own soul?” He, therefore, commanded us to be rich toward God, i.e., rich in things of God. He told us to have treasures in heaven and not merely store up things on earth. To His disciples, He said “Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing” (Lk. 12:23). He commanded us to change the focus from earning bread to doing the will of God, to change the focus from establishing our own security on earth to giving ourselves up fully for the kingdom of God. This simply means that we stop working merely for daily bread; on the contrary, whatever we do must be done in interest of the kingdom of God. In this way, we won’t be like those who are focussed on money-making and money-hoarding. But, we will use whatever we have and whatever we get along this life’s journey on earth for the kingdom of God. We won’t focus on hoarding up money for self-interest; we’ll focus on spending it generously for divine-interest. The fact is He is interested in the salvation of our souls. Jesus says, “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Lk. 12:32). Do not be vexed with thoughts of earthly security, for God has decided to make us inheritors of His kingdom.

Making Ministry Needs Known

Jesus never told His disciples to make "ministry needs" known to the world. The One who sends is the One who provides everything. How He does it is His business.

|| 'And He said to them, "When I sent you without money bag, knapsack, and sandals, did you lack anything?" So they said, "Nothing." (Lk.22:35) ||

Specific Words in Hindi for LOVE

The Hindi language is rich in words. Its words are usually object-specific, and one can easily identify the nature of an object within a single word used. For instance, it has several different words for love, differing according to the object in mind.

Prem: It is the general word for "love"; but is usually used for friendly love.
Preeti: It usually carries the meaning of "love that contains delight". This is the word used in the Hindi Bible in Peter's answer to Jesus when He asked "Do you love Me more than these?"
Pyaar: It is a common word for love; but, nowadays is commonly used for romantic love.
Chaah: It usually means "like" or "desire".
Anurag: Friendly love that is far deeper and means selfless love or affection.
Mitrabhav: Friendly affection

Sneha: It is the love that an elder has for the younger.
Vatsalya: It is a parent's love for the child.
Mamata: It is the mother's love towards her child.

Popularly today, Prem, Pyaar, Chaah...
Anurukti: Intoxicated love that sinks a person in thoughts of the object.
Asakti: Deeper intoxication in love - being lost in love.

Kama: Sensual Love, Kameccha: Sensual Feelings
Moha: Love towards worldly objects

Bhakti: It is superior to all other form of love. It is love in worship, love of the worshipper towards his/her God. In the Bible it is usually used for devotion, religion, and godliness.

YISHU KI JAI - Hindi Gospel Rock by Domenic Marbaniang


Wesley's Secrets of His Long Life

On his 85th birthday on Saturday, June 28 of 1789, John Wesley entered in his journal the reasons for his long life.

He starts with thanksgiving to the Lord and a reflection on his health:
It is true, I am not so agile as I was in times past. I do not run or walk so fast as I did; my sight is a little decayed; my left eye is grown dim and hardly serves me to read. I have daily some pain in the ball of my right eye, as also in my right temple (occasioned by a blow received some months since), and in my right shoulder and arm, which I impute partly to a sprain, and partly to the rheumatism.

I find likewise some decay in my memory, with regard to names and things lately past; but not at all with regard to what I have read or heard twenty, forty, or sixty years ago, neither do I find any decay in my hearing, smell, taste, or appetite (though I want but a third part of the food I did once); nor do I feel any such thing as weariness, either in traveling or preaching. I am not conscious of any decay in writing sermons which I do as readily, and I believe as correctly, as ever.

The first reason for his good health and long life is the power of God "fitting me for the work to which I am called, as long as He pleases to continue me therein". If God has a task for a person, it doesn't matter what his age is, His grace will empower His servant to finish the divine assignment.

The second reason, Wesley observes, subordinately to the first, was the prayers of His children.

Then he asks if the health could not also be attributed to the following reasons, though in a lesser way:
1. To my constant exercise and change of air?
2. To my never having lost a night's sleep, sick or well, at land or at sea, since I was born?
3. To my having slept at command so that whenever I feel myself almost worn out I call
it and it comes, day or night?
4. To my having constantly, for about sixty years, risen at four in the morning?
5. To my constant preaching at five in the morning, for above fifty years?
6. To my having had so little pain in my life; and so little sorrow, or anxious care?

Finally, he observes that he has pain daily in his "eye, or temple, or arm; yet it is never violent and seldom lasts many minutes at a time" and wonders if this is or is not a sign sent to him of the closing of his days.

Two years later, on March 2, 1791, a few months before his 87th birthday, he entered into glory; but not before having already preached many more times to numerous others. His last entry in his journal was on Sunday, February 24, 1791, a few days before his death:
l explained, to a numerous congregation in Spitalfields church, "the whole armor of God." St. Paul's, Shadwell, was still more crowded in the afternoon, while I enforced that important truth, "One thing is needful"; and I hope many, even then, resolved to choose the better part.

Did some candle ever fully burn out well just for the One who lighted it? John Wesley did, and when he died he had not only given the world all of his possessions, but also a host of writings and the Methodist Church.

Read Wesley's Journal at CCEL

Hindi Messages (M4a & Mp3 Audios) from Bilaspur Convention

Following are links to audio files (m4a, Apple Lossless Audio) of messages delivered at the 6th Chattisgarh Annual IPC Convention, Oct 2011 (Note: All messages are in Hindi):


Marbaniang-Deny Self and Follow Christ.m4a19.1 MB Download  
Marbaniang-Everlasting Arms of God.m4a13.4 MB Download   
Marbaniang-Faith That Raises Dead.m4a12.9 MB Download  
Marbaniang-Made For A Purpose.m4a19.1 MB Download   
Marbaniang-The Lord's Table.m4a9.4 MB   Download  
Marbaniang-Young Christian.m4a4.4 MB   Download  

Beauty for Ashes - Poem

I've seen beauty, I've seen strength;
I've seen them all pass away at length.
I've seen such class that influence the masses;
But I've seen them die and turn to ashes.

My ashes remain at the foot of the cross,
From whence I've risen to gain against loss
A life eternal, a life all new,
A life that's known by only a few.

Now, I'm ready to write a song,
A song to the Lover who forgave my wrong.
He calls me out from the wandering masses,
He loves my soul and gives me beauty for ashes.

"To give them beauty for ashes..." (Isaiah 61:3)

Seeking God's Approval in Life

The Spirit defines the meaning of "success" in a Christian's life; not feeling or feedback.

One is slave to the one he seeks approval from.

While we can understand how riches could become a trap for the rich young man who couldn't follow Jesus, and how bad affections could mutilate the heart of Herod from refusing to accept Jesus, there is one other group that Jesus sternly rebuked several times for their slavery to a master that stood against Christ. They were the religious leaders of the day and were reproved for seeking the approval and honor of men. He told them
John 5:44 "How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?"
They were slaves to humans and thus were prevented from serving God. The Bible tells us clearly "Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the LORD. "(Jer 17:5)

But Jesus laid an example for us. When many people responded to Him after seeing His miracles, the Gospel records
John 2:23 Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did.
John 2:24 But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men,
John 2:25 and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.
Jesus sought to please His Father. He came and lived to fulfill His will. And, it is His desire that we follow Him in doing so.
Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
When He returns He should be able to say about us
Matthew 25:21 "His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'

Man Beyond Nothingness

A particle afloat in the ocean of infinity,
Yet, so conscious of self in profuse vanity --
Lofty though his thoughts may be, they're all profanity.
Man is nothing, made of nothing, that's his identity.

Emptiness craves for sensation beyond sanity,
Like a black hole eating anything in its vicinity,
Such is the tale of empty, chaotic, gravity;
Man is nothing, made of nothing, that's his identity.

Lost in a world of baneful, belligerent brevity,
Filled with protests of ignoramus sincerity,
Tossed between lines lacking any clarity,
He lives, dies, and is buried in utter poverty.


The Son of God came down from His celestial city,
He left Heaven and donned the garb of humanity.
He lived, loved, and served in all simplicity,
Then died by the hands of those professing religiosity.
But, He arose the third day, breaking death's jaws of fatality,
Alas, the shame of those who die in their hostility!
For the Son of Man is ascended to the Throne of Supremity --
And all knees will bow before the Name of His Majesty,
Before the One who is given all authority,
Because He stooped down, emptied self and defeated vanity --
God girded His loins to serve sinful humanity!
What is man but a finite speck of futility,
Driven o'er surges, surrounded by fests of calamity;
Unless the Son of God had loved us, we wouldn't have any identity!

"For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren." (Romans 8:29)

© Domenic Marbaniang, Oct 25, 2011.

My First Prayer - Randy Stonehill (w/ Hindi Translation)

Words and Music by Randy Stonehill

I've been waiting for a long, long time
Hoping you're a friend of mine
If there's one thing that I need to do
Well, that's to find out more about you
I have been wandering all of my days
So if you're there, show me the way

I see people in a world of lies
Staring out through lonely eyes
Watching as the years go by
Knowing they're living only to die
There must be something missing somewhere
So if you're listening answer this prayer

I will follow if you'll lead me
Help me make a stand
If you'll breathe new breath inside of me
I'll believe you can, I'll believe you can

Well, I never really learned to pray
But you know what I'm trying to say
I don't want my life to end
Not ever knowing why it began
So if you'll trust me, I'll do my best
And I'll be trusting you for the rest

1976 King of Hearts Publishing
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Din yu beete karte intezaar
Ki mile mujhe koyi yaar
Yadi kuch ho jo mei kar sakta
To yahi ki mei dhoondu tujhe
Zindagi bhar mere yuhi gujre
So, yadi tu hei, le chal mujhe

Jhoote duniya mein in logon ko
Sunsan in aankhon se
Dekhte din gujar gaye
Ki marne ke liye ye jee rahe
Kuch to kahi par khoya hei
So, yadi tu suntan, jawab de

Mei to chalunga yadi tu chalaye
Khada kar mujhe
Yadi mujhme naya shwans tu phoonk de
Tu ye kar sakta, ye vishwas mera

Toh, mei duwa kabhi kar na paya
Par ye koshishen Tu jaanta
Mei marna yu na chahta
Jab tak na jaanu kyu hu yaha
So yadi mujhme ho bharosa
To mera sab kuch hei tere liye



1st Prize Winning Speech by Anna Massey
New Delhi 2011

THE LITERAL meaning of the term "empowerment" is to give authority or power to someone or to enable someone. Today the main concept of our youth meeting is "youth empowerment". By this we mean to give authority or power and enable the youth of the christian community. As it is written in 1 Timothy 4:12 "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity..." With this we must understand that by being a Christian we must set examples for others irrespective of our age. We must live our lives with love, faith and purity and set an example for others so that they might admire us. We must always obey and respect our father and mother as the Bible says in Exodus 20:12 "Honour your mother and father, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you." and even in Proverbs 1:8,9 "Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck..." Many quotes like this enable us to live a better life as a youth and even we can motivate others in our society to lead their lives in a more prosperous way. We must always keep in mind the Ten Commandments and lead our lives accordingly. As Christians we must empower ourselves:

by living a moral life
by making moral decisions
by considering JESUS as our moral guide

We must always love and trust our Lord and God Jesus Christ. There's one story called "CALL FROM THE ALMIGHTY". This story involves a pastor of a storefront church. The pastor's church is called the Almighty God Tabernacle. On a Saturday night long ago, this pastor was working late and decided to call his wife before he left for home. It was about 10:00pm, but his wife didn't answer the phone. The pastor let it ring many times. He thought it was odd that she didn't answer, but decided to wrap up a few things and try again in a few minutes. When he tried again she answered right away. He asked her why she hadn't answered before, but she said that it hadn't rung at their house. They brushed it off as a fluke and didn't give it a second thought. The following Monday, the pastor received a call at the Church office, which was the phone that he'd used that Saturday night. The man that he spoke with wanted to know why he'd called on Saturday night. The pastor couldn't figure out what the guy was talking about. Then the guy said "It rang and rang but I didn't answer." The pastor then remembered the mishap and apologized for disturbing him, explaining that he intended to call his wife. The man said "That's OK. Let me tell you my story. You see I was planning to commit suicide on Saturday night but before I did I prayed, "God if you're there and you don't want me to do this then give me a sign now." At that point my phone started to ring and I looked at the caller id and it said 'Almighty God'. I was too afraid to answer!!" Such miracles do happen and that too in real. By reading such stories individuals get empowered. Their faith in God grows and they live their lives in a much better way. At last I would like to recite a poem on IDEALS by Helen Steiner Rice which states that by following the ideals we shape our future and get empowered...
Remember that ideals
are like stars up in the sky
You can never really reach them
hanging from the heavens high...
But like the mighty mariner
who sailed the storm-tossed sea
and used the star to chart his course
with skill and certainty
You too can chart your course in life
with high ideals and love
For high ideals are like stars
that light the sky above...
You cannot ever reach them
but lift your heart up high
And your life will be as shining
as the stars up in the sky .....

© Anna Massey, 2011

Sukhi Parivar Ke Saat Lakshan (सुखी परिवार के सात लक्षण)

7 Characteristics of a Happy Family (Hindi)

Living Word Chapel, Sanjaynagar
October 11, 2011
Dr. Domenic Marbaniang

परमेश्‍वर चाहता है कि हमारा परिवार सुखी हो। आज हम सुखी परिवार के सात लक्षण देखेंगे, लेकिन इसका मतलब यह नही की लक्षण सात ही है। जैसे जैसे आप और नई बातें सीखेंगे आप इसमें जोडते जाएं।
निम्‍न बिन्‍दुओं पर गौर करें। संक्षिप्‍त में विवरण भी दिए गएं है।

1. स्‍नेह (Love)

परिवार में स्‍नेह भावना आवश्‍यक है। परमेश्‍वर चाहता है कि परिवार ही स्‍नेह का सर्वोत्‍तम स्‍थान बनें। जब परिवार में इसकी कमी होती है तो सदस्‍य घर से बाहर स्‍नेह की तालाश करते है जिसके कारण परिवार की मजबूती ज्‍यादा नही रह पाती है।

2. समझ (Understanding)

आपसी मतभेद के बावजूद एक दूसरे को समझने का प्रयास करना अतिआवश्‍यक है। कई बार सदस्‍य एक दूसरे पर दोश लगाने लगते है कि वे समझते नही या ये समझते नही। दोश लगाने से कुछ भला नही होता। समझ प्रेम और विश्‍वास का बंधन है।

3. समर्पण (Devotedness)

परिवार मे लक्ष्‍य एवं समर्पण की भावना होना चाहिए। समर्पण आपसी हो और लक्ष्‍य पर केंद्रित हो। यहोशु को याद करे जिसने कहा कि वह अपने घराने समेत ईश्‍वर की सेवा करेगा। समर्पण एवं कर्तव्‍य निष्‍ठा साथ साथ चलते है।
घर के अध्‍यक्ष का परिवार के लिए कुछ लक्ष्‍य रखें है। ईश्‍वर भी जगत में पारिवारिक उददेश्‍य रखता है। उददेश्‍य समर्पण को निर्धारित करता है।

4. स्‍वास्‍थ्‍य (Health)

ईश्‍वर न केवल दैवीय चंगाई देता हे बल्कि दैवीय स्‍वास्‍थ भी प्रदान करता है। लेकिन हमें इसके विषय में बेपरवाही नही होना चाहिए। खानपान, रहन सहन, रख रखाव इन सारी बातों पर स्‍वास्‍थ केंद्रित ध्‍यान धरें।

5. सम्‍मान (Honor)

एक दूसरे को सम्‍मान दें। त्रिएक परमेश्‍वर हमारे लिए आदर्श है। पिता पुत्र और पवित्रात्‍मा के बीच जिस प्रकार आपसी सम्‍मान की भावना है, वही भावना परिवार के सम्‍मान को भी बढ़ाता है।

6. सलाह (Counsel)

सलाह एवं सम्‍मति परिवार में हो तो व्‍यक्ति यहां वहां भटकने से बच सकते है। भजन 1 के अनुसार परमेश्‍वर चाहता है कि धर्मशास्‍त्र हमारे घर के बुनियाद बन जाए। अकसर टीवी और सिनेमा बुरी सलाह से मन को भरमा देते है। परन्‍तु जो घर वचन पर स्‍थापित है वह़ बना रहेगा।

7. सहभागिता (Communion)

यदि सहभागिता न हो, आपसी वार्तालाप न हो तो फिर परिवार टूटने लगता है। अंग्रजी में कहावत है "The family that prays together stays together" अर्थात जो परिवार मिलकर आराधना करता है वह मिलकर साथ रहता है। परमेश्‍वर के साथ हमारी सहभागिता हो और यह एक दूसरे के साथ की सहभागिता का सही संदर्भ उत्‍पन्‍न करेगा।

परमेश्‍वर आपको आशीष दें।

WINNER - Acrostic

W - Will to Win
I - Initiate to Act
N - Negate Nonsense (Stay Focussed)
N - Never Give up
E - Endure Hardness (2Timothy 2:3)
R - Rely on God

What Manner of Spirit Are You Of? (Luke 9:51-56) - Sermon

Text: Luke 9:51-56
Living Word Chapel, SNGR
Sunday, October 09, 2011.

Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, "Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?" But He turned and rebuked them, and said, "You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives but to save them." And they went to another village.(Luke 9:51-56)

Every day, from morning till evening, we go through a number of experiences that excite our emotions, that compel our reactions, and that inspire our decisions. However, every time, we are reacting to something, we need to be asking this question "What manner of spirit is it that is compelling this reaction?" James and John needed to know that after 3.5 years of training at the feet of Jesus. How much more do we?

Proverbs 16:2 says, "All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the spirits." We usually think that our actions are right until we submit ourselves to the discernment of the Lord. We need to examine ourselves in His light.

Let's look at four categories of spirit under which people usually operate and also see what the Lord desires us to have:

1. Rebellious Versus Obedient Spirit

Regarding the Israelites, God tells to Ezekiel that they are a rebellious house (Ezek.2:5). It was their hardened heart and rebellious nature that brought destruction into their lives. Psalm 68:6 says "God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity; but the rebellious dwell in a dry land." A rebellious person will never experience prosperity and blessing, but only experience dryness and barrenness. He rebels against parents, teachers, leaders, authorities, and therefore ends up in solitariness. A rebellious spirit is blocked to the will of God.

Therefore, God says:
"If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; But if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword"; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken." (Isaiah 1:19-20)

2. Haughty Versus Broken Spirit

The Bible says that Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall (Prov.16:18). It was a haughty spirit that turned an angel called Lucifer into the devil. Pride can begin like a grain of mustard, but will grow to become a cancer and turn a good person into a wicked man. Therefore, one must guard one's heart against pride.

The Bible tells us that "the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit" and that the Lord will never despise "a broken and a contrite heart" (Psalm 51:17).

We all remember the story of the pharisee and the publican. They both went to pray but the pharisee could not pray because he was filled with religious pride. However, the publican was justified because he confessed his sins and begged for mercy. The Lord resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.

3. Angry Versus Patient Spirit

Let's look at a few scriptures here:
Pro 14:17 A quick-tempered man acts foolishly.
Pro 21:19 Better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and angry woman.
Pro 22:24,25 Make no friendship with an angry man, and with a furious man do not go, lest you learn his ways and set a snare for your soul.

The 70s and 80s are remembered as the era of the "angry young man" movies. History tells us that these were also the era of high violence among students, workers, and people everywhere. Bad company spoils good manners. Quick-tempered anger is a sin that the Bible prohibits. See what the Bible says:
"The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, for anger rests in the bosom of fools." (Eccl 7:8-9)
"Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil." (Eph 4:26-27)

Patience builds character, the Bible says (Rom.5:4), and the test of our faith is the extent to which we can allow patience to work in our lives (James 1:4).

4. Distressing Versus Excellent Spirit

We are told in 1 Samuel 16:14 that a distressing spirit came and distressed Saul. This was a spirit that produced restlessness and robbed Saul of peace. However, when David used to play the instrument, that spirit used to leave Saul. Yet, not for long; for soon one day, Saul took a spear and hurled at David to pin him to death while he was playing the instrument. David escaped, but then that was the end of Saul's days of any peacefulness. Saul gave in to the distressing spirit.

But, let's look at the testimony of Daniel in the midst of foreign rule, enemies all around, and while in exile:
"Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm." (Daniel 6:3)
Daniel had an excellent spirit; and therefore, he experienced favor and promotion in his life. People are attracted to those who have an excellent and noble spirit; who don't give in to circumstances, who live by principle, who are trustworthy, and who have the favor of God upon them.

Do we have such excellent spirit?

Rebellion, pride, anger, and distress are evils that drive away people and promotion away from us. They are carnal, unspiritual, and sinful. The Lord still asks us today what manner of spirit is it that is influencing our lives.

Let's have an obedient, humble, patient, and an excellent spirit that brings glory to our Lord. We need to have a Holy Spirit controlled temperament.

Finally, this prayer:

"Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." (Psalm 51:10)

Freedom in the Truth (John 8:32)

Published in REVIVE (formerly Trumpet Magazine), Kumbanad, Sept 11.

Of all the aphorisms on freedom ever uttered by human lips, the most liberating one is the declaration of Jesus in John 8:32: "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." He further qualified it with another in verse 36, "If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

More than any other time in history, the modern century is witness to this unshakeable truth of the Scriptures. Despite the ironic failure of the 18th century Enlightenment, which, while celebrating the freedom of the human mind from the shackles of religion, gave rise to an era of cosmic skepticism, and the horrific tales of the French Revolution that produced both the guillotines and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen at the same time, the 19th century unabashedly ventured to erect a Babel of scientific and philosophical theories that attempted to redefine the meaning of man apart from the revelation of God. While the cannons kept thundering and humans kept butchering each other, the doctors of thought kept celebrating the fact that at least now, man was free to chart his destiny as he liked. Darwin wrote the Origin of Species in 1859 and Marx published his Das Kapital in 1867, the former attempting to rewrite the history of man as biologically self-evolved and best-evolved; while the latter, as economically and politically progressing towards a utopian age of wealth and liberty (though "utopia" was a term Marx disdained to use). The 20th century welcomed this optimism with the rage of war, the hatred of the Holocaust, and the earth-shaking detonations of the first atom bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki (as if it takes an atom bomb to shake the delirious world to its senses, now!). We didn’t enter the Utopian Age: we entered the Atomic Age.

The Bible never says that the world will start getting better as the Day of the Lord gets closer. That’s the false hope of human wishful thinking. Education may inform, but cannot transform the nature of men. Neither can it free one from the domain of darkness and the rule of spiritual wickedness in the high places (Eph.6:12). The whole world is under the control of the evil one, the Bible says (1Jn.5:19), and it is only because of the Lord’s mercies and His unfailing compassions that we are not consumed (Lam.3:22). If the devil had the freedom, it would have been his pleasure to suck all humanity into his whirlpool of wickedness, even as a black hole sucks every object, even light, that comes near it. But, the Son of God has come to destroy the works of the devil (1Jn.3:8), the devil is a defeated foe, and those who obey the Gospel of the Son are delivered from the power of darkness into the Kingdom of His dear Son (Col.1.13).

The paradox of a sinful mind is that it is unaware of its own sinfulness. Sadhu Sundar Singh described this condition as similar to that of a man underwater. If a 100 kilo weight was placed on his head, he wouldn’t feel it so much; but, take him out of the water, and the weight will be very real. Similarly, a sinner sunk in his sin is unaware of the seriousness of his sin. It took a Nathan sent by God to shake David to his senses to realize the horrific nature of his crimes against the house of Uriah. Unless the Lord encounters us in His grace, we would be doomed to death in the anesthetic insensitivity of our own fatal sinfulness. Only the Son can set us free by the liberating light and power of His Truth.

1. Liberating Light of His Truth

To the Greek mind of the 1st century, light was an important category. A few centuries back, the giant philosopher Plato had described the condition of humans in the Parable of the Cave. Though juxtaposed with a different connotation, the parable portrayed vividly men as chained inside a cave facing towards the wall, since childhood. There was a great fire behind them, and in between them and the fire a walkway in which walked daily men, women, and animals to and fro. Since, the prisoners couldn’t turn their heads around nor look behind at the real people, they had always had the impression that the shadows cast on the walls and the echoes bumping off the walls were all the reality that was to be known. In course of time, however, one of the prisoners is released and he, turning around, is dazzled by the light of the fire. Led out, he sees reality, the fire, and the sun and is finally able to apprehend what reality actually is and its difference from the world of shadows. So, he returns to share this good news with his former prison mates. However, since their faces are still turned towards the wall and they are bound with chains, they are only skeptical and highly suspicious of their friend who became free. They think he has lost his mind. They couldn’t grasp reality because their faces were turned away from the light outside the cave.

In 2 Corinthians 3:13-15, Paul uses a different analogy from the Old Testament to describe how a veil over the minds of people prevents them from understanding the truth of God. Then, he says in verse 16: "Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away." In other words, the problem is not that the Light is not there; the problem is that man is shackled to a position facing away from the Light. True liberation lies in repentance and turning to the Light of God in obedience to the preaching of the Gospel. Chapter 4:4 of the same epistle indicates that belief is important in order for the Light of the Gospel to shine in the heart of a person. The preaching of the Gospel is like a knock on the door of a dark room; when the door is opened, light floods in and dispels all darkness. It is like the announcement of a train on a railway station; on the train’s arrival, the passengers get in and are commuted to the charted destination. The one who refuses to come into the light, to get into the train foregoes God’s true emancipation. The Bible explains:

And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God. (John 3:19-21).

Those who shun repentance for fear of losing the pleasure of sin are doomed to the underworld of darkness and gnashing of teeth. But, those who repent and take up the cross to follow the Lord walk in a path "which shines brighter and brighter until full day" (Prov.4:18, RSV).

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. (2Cor. 3:17-18).

2. Liberating Power of His Truth

There is nothing as destructive as falsehood; nothing as liberating as truth. Successful missions are accomplished on principles and actions that are accurate and flawless. "The pen is mightier than the sword," wrote Edward Bulwer in 1839. He went on to say:
The arch-enchanters wand!
Itself a nothing!
But taking sorcery from the master-hand
To paralyse the Cæsars, and to strike
The loud earth breathless!
Take away the sword
States can be saved without it!

Ideologies govern bullets and ballots alike. Even as I write this, the world deeply mourns a recent tragedy in Norway that sent seismic shocks across the globe. Before he went on the killing spree, in which some 91 deaths have been reported this far, Andres Behring is said to have posted a single-liner on his newly created twitter account. The post was an overstatement of a J.S. Mill quote and read "One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100000 who have only interests." Just a few hours before the attack, he mailed to 5,700 people a manifesto of some 1,516 pages that explicated his case against the Labour Party. While the investigations roll on, the world stands bewildered at the enormous power beliefs wield over the actions of men. We don’t believe that truth is relative, anymore, do we? If it was so, everything could be justified for reasons that someone somewhere believed to be "true". Yet, the sinful heat scorches our globe with such vehement hellfire that morality is left charred beyond recognition: feelings rule and feelings have gone berserk – while some mourn the loss of innocent lives on one side, some celebrate the sanction of same-sex marriages on the other. Mankind without God is like a ship without stars or compass.

"My Spirit shall not strive with man forever," said God concerning the world at Noah’s time, "for he is indeed flesh." He said to Noah, "The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth," and commanded him to build an ark. Then, He destroyed the earth with a flood save only eight in Noah’s ark. The wicked were destroyed, but deep somewhere the strands of wickedness lay potent. Some 2000 years later, Jesus told Nicodemus, "…unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3: 3). Nicodemus found this quite perplexing because little did he anticipate that there could also be a reversal of the laws of nature. "Can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?" he enquired. Jesus replied, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (John 3:6). The new birth that Jesus was talking about was a birth not by any natural means but by the Word of the eternal God that was living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword (John 1:13; 1Pet.1:23; Heb.4:12). Falsehood creates wreckage and fosters evil through the privation of the good; the Word creates the heavens and the earth, and all that is good, and ushers in the Kingdom of righteousness. Therefore, it is said "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!" (Rom.10:15). Truth brings healing, recovery, and liberty (Luke 4:18). The witness of Truth has liberating power.

Are we being true witnesses of Christ? Are we being His salt and His light in this world? Are we being useful for the Kingdom of Christ? How sad that the Church possesses such immense restorative, liberating, and recreating power of God, and yet fails in administering the one thing that the world is so much in need of!

The Church is called the "pillar and ground of the truth" (1Tim.3:15); but, if it fails in its primal duty of supporting and lifting up the truth of God, there remains no other hope for mankind. Sadly, the devil is often successful in getting Christians do anything else than release the liberating Word of God. They fail to be true watchmen while the world collides with destruction. Let’s gird up our loins with the belt of truth, let’s put on the full armor of God, let’s bring down the walls of falsehood, and let’s bring divine emancipation to the ends of the earth.

© Domenic Marbaniang, 2011.

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