Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Indians of London, Globalization Project

Here's my project I did for class, well the paper section anyway... EVANGELIZING THE INDIANS OF LONDON Introduction Many countries on the earth have a great amount of power and influence behind them, but there is none more so than the land of Great Britain. Over the centuries, England has made its influence on the world by spreading its “colonial” ideals to other lands. With the grandeur of the British Empire, the territories that were reached with the culture extends not only to Scotland and Wales but also to Australia, South Africa, the Caribbean, and to India. Because of the vastness of the land of India, the spread of the culture was brought into Great Britain…Today; 1/16th of London is of Indian descent. A great influence on the people of the Empire, they are desperate to find their savior who died on the cross for them. As believers in the world today, there must be strategies put into place that will effectively reach the Indian communities, not just in London, but also around the world. I would like however, to focus on London, and its implications for the world today. Indians in London The city of London as a whole is vast and offers a huge variety of different peoples from virtually all walks of life, and as such it is no easy task to evangelize all the peoples in this city if one does not have a clear idea of whom they are trying to reach. The community that makes up London does not stop at Indians; there are the typical English, the internationals, and then the Indians. In order to effectively evangelize this people group, one must also consider the fact that there are peoples that need to be reached just as much as the Indians do. Developing a Strategy to reach the Indians Yes, the Indians are the primary focus of this strategy, but when it comes to reaching them, there has to be consideration for the fact that not only do the Indians need to come to faith in Christ, but also, there has to be those that can effectively reach them. Questions to be asked: 1) Do the Indians that one is reaching speak English? a. The majority of the Indian community of London (because of the Raj rule between 1858-1947) mainly speaks English, and English is actually one of the most common languages spoken in Indian circles today. 2) How would someone effectively reach the Indian community, knowing that it is not limited to just one specific people group a. The Resources available i. The International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention offers tools for missionaries around the world to be able to communicate the gospel as well as share the Gospel; however, this is an American-based website and their resources may only extend to the US, o the other hand, should there be a European website or agency, there would be so much effectiveness made. Hindi is another big language spoken by Indians, and if there are resources available in that language, that should be the biggest help. Before I can go any further to discuss what my strategy would be, there has to be careful attention paid to a necessity Christ himself commands us when we are reaching people: PRAY! We must give everything we do in life, whether it’s missions or it’s Academic work, we must always give everything we have over to the Lord’s hands and allow him to work. Nothing can be accomplished without getting down on your knees and asking for Christ to help you in everything that you do. An effective prayer might look something like this: Dear Lord: You are great and glorious, you see everything that goes on in this world, and nothing escapes your sight. Lord I pray for the city of London. I am thankful for men like William Tyndale and King James I, who took the Word of God and its studies seriously and spread the good news across the Royal Empire. I thank you for your people, the Indians, who need to learn how to love you, it may not be what you expect O lord, but at least they are in a place where your will can be done in their lives. Lord help me to be a minister who can reach them. To talk with them on a regular basis, to meet one-on-one as I have an opportunity to do it, and most of all lord, Be a student of their culture, being taught their ways and their practices. Lord I am but your humble servant, so however you can use me, use me to reach these people. Okay seriously, what kind of person would not give their ministry, their calling from the Lord over to him in the first place? It is a big deal to be on your knees before the God of heaven, asking for his help, his guidance, his support in everything that you do. Prayer is the pillar of everything that we do in ministry and we must have that attitude, even in missions. The Discipleship Process So what exactly would it take to reach people from an Indian Background when one is located in the city that is the farthest thing from India? First off, see the previous section? Get on your knees and pray. You must have the same attitude that Philip had when he was on the road to Gaza and ran into the Ethiopian Eunuch. Divine appointments happen because believers are being obedient to the Holy Spirit’s leading. In order to obey the Lord, obey his commandments, we must be in prayer. Let’s say you run into someone who is Indian on the Underground, on your way to meet some mates at Trafalgar Square. It’s a great summer day out, and all is right with the world. You have a copy of Harry Potter and you read the section describing the Gryffindor students Pavarti and Padmi Patil, the Indian twins who are friends with the heroin in the book, and lo and behold, there’s an Indian person sitting down in your train car, and you are intrigued and start a conversation. You learn that this person has just moved to London from Indian a couple of months ago, is learning English, and has plugged into a local Hindu community center. Your heart breaks because this person is buying into a dark and twisted mentality that is the nature of Hinduism; it saturates India, it becomes their guidelines for living, and it offers a false sense of security. It is absolutely necessary and vital that believers who really want to reach the lost people of India living in London immerse themselves in the religious aspects of the culture. This culture, the Indians, it is proud and very rich. The ideas that go around with evangelism could be used to be creative and intriguing to them. The church plants Anyone who is called into the mission’s world should understand number one, that there are not a vast amount of resources available to their name (Financially speaking). Prayer and letter writing is a great way to start that aspect of ministry off (take it from someone who knows first hand, being a missionary kid, money does not grow on trees). Imagine if you would, that you have a team of workers coming into the country and you are able to reach the 7 different people groups that occupy London. Simply because the culture is so similar, one would assume that all Indians are alike, well that is not true, there are 7 total different people groups in London: 1. Gujrati: The second largest Indian group in London belongs to Gujrat ethnicity. They mainly believe in Hindu religion, but there is a minority of Muslims. The capitols of Gujarati community include Wembley, Croydon and the northeastern boroughs. 2. Sindhi: Like Gujarati, another ethnicity, which is in available in large number in London, is Sindhi. They all are almost believed in Hindu religion. Most of the Sindhi’s are living In Southall. 3. Marathi: One of the popular states of India is Maharashtra and the community from Maharashtra that is Marathis, is living in large number in London and they are almost working in white collar professionals and above all most of them came from Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur and Kolhapur. 905 of them are Hindu, but there are small minorities of Muslims too. 4. Bengal: These Bengalis are from the states of Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal and usually belong to Hindu or Muslims religions respectively. 5. Tamil & Telugu: Unlike others there are small number of Indians from Tamil and Telugu in London. These all are mainly from Hyderabad, India or Chennai. Most of them belong to Hindu religion, but there is small minority of Muslims also. 6. Kannadiga: Small number of Kannadiga is also living in London and most of them belong to Hindu religion and a sizable number of Muslims. 7. Bihari: In London, there are people belongs to Bihar from India. They are around 75% Hindu and about 20% Muslim. Indians are changing and its not always that they are Hindus, they are also Muslims, and that is a great place to be also. Muslims are a very impactable group of people and Islam is predominant throughout the world, and as such the Hindus and Muslims can be reached. If you had the chance to see the film Slumdog Millionaire, there was a war in the slums, where the Hindu people group attacked the Muslim one. There is violence between these groups, so when establishing a church, and you have believers coming in that are from different backgrounds, take the time to meet with each believer individually and talk about where they came form in India, about their families, etc. Listen to their stories, because chances are they are able to tell things about people that can share their testimony and win even more people to Christ. The first goal of reaching the Indians is to get the native Indians of England to become believers, discipling them in the Bible, teaching them to read and to grasp God’s word, and then being a light in their neighborhoods and communities reaching all of them with the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah. The Method for Reaching One of my biggest ambitions for doing ministry is the ability to cook. I am impressed with the cuisine of India, which may have been a reason why I picked this people group. Imagine if you would being in your favorite restaurant and there’s a piping hot plate of Chicken Tikka Masala on the platter and you reach over and taste it, and think about the effort that went into making it. That is someone’s eternal fate hanging in the balance that needs Jesus Christ. If I had the resources available to me I would be in the restaurant business cooking food and reaching people with the gospel it is a platform of mine to be able to use the best talent I have; cooking food, and reaching people with the gospel. The restaurant platforms that exist in London serve as a most useful tool for getting the message out. There is a popular restaurant (Indian) that exists in England called “Tiffinbites”, it gets its name from the metal “Tiffin” box in which men would carry lunches to and from work. Bible studies could happen in those restaurants, even discipleship meetings that happen one-on-one. The restaurant business serves as a great platform, but also there are other steps that I feel should be taken in the consideration of reaching the very large Indian people group of London, England. The Media BBC is so huge that there are even videos and movies that are sent as DVD’s in the United States. Remember the really bad Chronicles of Narnia films back in the early 90s? Yeah, that was all the BBC. The national network has a great amount of influence. Take NBC here in the United States. Advertisements on the channel allow consumers to see things that they “have to have”. Wouldn’t “have to have” the Gospel be a good strategy? There are bound to be Indian networks that would allow advertisements for a new Church plant to be seen. It is hard though, considering the dark presence of the Muslims that live in London. It is not just Indians, there are a great deal of Middle Eastrn muslims that are there as well, and reaching people with a potentially harmful message can be a challenge. A great suggestion is to use a cover. Meet in secret somewhere like the people in hostile Christian environments would. “When one or two are gathered for the sake of my name.” Get a group of Indians together in someone’s home, cook food, and listen to worship music. A creative method would be to reach out to the immigrants who do not speak any English. Offer an ESL program in a community program. I was a part of one here in Fort Worth for a year at Southcliff Baptist church, working with a community of political refugees who came from all over the planet. There were about 12 different people groups. Education is a big tool for reaching people with the Gospel, because people who move over to England from India, some of them may know English, but there could also be a chance that they do not speak the language, so why not help them learn the language that can help them get jobs, or find their way around a big city. My mother and father work for a ministry called “Chosen People Ministries” which targets Jewish people around the world and in 2010, the ministry came up with the “Isaiah 53” campaign. The Jewish people have the greatest prophecy to them in their book, The Talmud (Old Testament) and they do not even realize that the message points to Jesus. Imagine if you were in rush hour traffic on a Thursday night and you look over the Lincoln Tunnel and see a sign that reads “Isaiah 53” and you look it up in the Bible and read about the “Suffering Servant”. I could totally see a campaign poster for reaching Indians disproving the existence of the over 330 million gods, explaining the supreme nature of the ultimate Guru, “Jesus Christ is your true guru”. Indians are people who have a great influence on the regions that they call home and are able to impact those with their kind hearted nature and their positive outlook on life. Their vibrant dancing, their extravagant song, this can all be tools used to worship the Lord, and they’d be such a great witness to people in the area… Prayer Points Pray for the Indian community in London, that they would be receptive to the Gospel. That they would not draw deeper into the falsehood that is the Hindu or Sikh religion. They need to be able to tell others about these falsehoods, and to have them at the side of an evangelism strategist. Being on the field can be a challenge at times, but to have those who have been called out by the Holy Spirit and to have that passion, it can be done effectively. Put a strategy into place of building up the disciples, training them in the ways of the Bible and then using those lessons, that have been taught and then taking those to the people of London and reaching them effectively. Conclusion Whatever ministry platform people chose to do in this life, the main thing that has to be understood is that reaching people with the Gospel starts with your willingness to be available. This doesn’t just apply to being a tea-drinking Englishmen; this is anyone we are talking about here. Your availability is what helps you to reach people for the Gospel. Have the same attitude as Philip did when he reached the Eunuch with the message of Isaiah 53, revealing who he was and the extreme need he had. Indians have an extreme need. They have a need to be saved, and their needs to be people there to reach them. It’s the most common people group in London. It’s the equivalent of being in Fort Worth and there are Mexicans here.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Personal Revival 2 years later...

Yeah, 2 years ago, I was writing a blog post about me being in the Hospital. You'll have to look at my post tabs along the side to see where it was when I wrote it. April 17, 2010 is a day I don't easily forget. The pain in my chest, the fear, the uncertainty, God holding fast to me. I had to trust that God was always in control, and that moment, that very moment was proof for me that he was. I had seen how great God was and I trusted him and never looked back. Now, 4 semesters into seminary, I just trust that everything is working out for the good and glory of God.

Now, I have bigger troubles. Figuring out how to provide for my family, and amazingly, God teaches me to trust him there too. Never been without anything, we have food, we have everything we could possibly need because I am trusting God no matter what.

When God tries to take your life away from you, its the time that tests you the most, because when you come close to losing your life, you are forced to see that the only one who holds your life together is the one who created you. That's where my peace came. I wasn't angry at God by any means that I had had a Heart attack. Today (the 18th) I would have been out of the lab for the procedure and they would have put me back into my bed, for rest after the angiogram...(if I even spelt that right)...

But now, I have a life that has changed. 2 years later. I now weigh 277 pounds (as opposed to the 315 pounds I weighed when I had my heart attack), I'm married to a beautifully compassionate Godly woman, I am a licensed preacher, I have an amazing group of friends, I am working at going to the mission field. I just can't stop listing how great God is. He is even breaking down walls in my own life, and I am just convinced that there is nothing that is going to stop how great God really is...

I will blog this weekend from Oklahoma. Donna and I are going to this conference "Heart of the Child", for her position at church. Should be a lot of fun. A 5 1/2 hour roadtrip from Fort Worth to Broken Arrow, OK...should be interesting considering I am leaving at 9pm from Fort Worth, we should be getting there at like 3:00am or something.



Psalm 37:4

Another Paper: The 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse

Here is another one of my papers I wrote this semester.

This one was a lot of fun to write, hopefully I do good on this one...


The sound of hoofs stopped. As Frodo watched he saw something dark pass across the lighter space between two trees, and then halt. It looked like the black shade of a horse led by a smaller black shadow. The black shadow stood close to the point where they had left the path, and it swayed from side to side Frodo thought he heard the sound of snuffling. The shadow bent to the ground, and then began to crawl towards him.
J.R.R. Tolkien describes terrifying things in his first Lord of the Rings book, and to some,
it is often considered that his concept of the “dark riders” could be taken from the passage that John mentions in Revelation 6. Tolkien places blame for the creation of his Nazgul under men who were driven by greed and wickedness, and were corrupted by evil due to their innate desire for power. There were 9 of these men, and in John’s Revelation, he receives a vision (Cf. Revelation 6:1-11) in which he sees 4 terrifying horseman who bring judgment and destruction upon the earth.
If this passage were in a literal sense, one would have a most terrifying notion that God brings forth such horrors that one should really fear him in a sense of their literal annihilation, but these horsemen are actually spoken in a symbolic sense. The representation of what the four horseman mean for the end of days should 1) frighten the unsaved for the realization of their wickedness, 2) encourage believers that God is coming to fulfill his promise, and 3) God is a God who is holy and we should have reverence for him and fear for him. This paper will examine these 3 aspects of the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse and help believers and unbelievers understand this frightening and awesome truth that God’s Word reveals in the book of Revelation.
The Apocalypse and its background
It would be considered a frightening thing to witness what John witnesses throughout the book of Revelation. “This association of horsemen with armed forces perhaps sparked the use of the four riders of Rev. 6:2-8 as symbols of military conquest, war, economic injustice, and death and Hades”. The visions are very detailed and offer insight into what “is to come”. John’s theology describes this sense as “consummated eschatology” as in the sense of things that have not yet happened. The American Journal of Biblical Theology describes the coming of the end in this sense especially concerning the four horsemen in a way that makes it clear it is to represent what God intends to do in His timing, not in man’s:
The revelation of the content of the scrolls takes place in a sequential manner that may imply a chronological sequence. Though we might find comfort in interpreting the events of the seven signs as taking place in the order that is implied, there is little need to actually do so. We know these things will take place, and that may be sufficient for us.
Historians and scholars alike have tried to interpret the things that John has described, but it is an often futile effort, because the interpretations of this book of the Bible have led to so many debates, but their symbolic representation is so in depth that one cannot help but look to this passage of Scripture and see that God is at work and is doing something so unbelievable; because the current state of affairs we are in; in this world, has one wondering if God will do what is incredible, and the answer is yes, and the symbolic representation of each horse has to give believers and unbelievers hope and shock, because God is going to bring about the end of days so fast, that things are bound to happen that cannot be stopped. “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end” (Revelation 22:13, ESV). What that statement is saying is that God’s role in the end of days is one of fulfillment and fruitful joy we can hope for in our salvation through Christ. His hand is moving and even amidst the chaos that John describes in Revelation 6, the people of God should always be quick to remember that he is in control.
The White Horse
The greatest deception of the Apocalypse is the falsehood that John presents in that there is described a “false trinity”, the Dragon, the Beast, and the False Prophet. The Beast is the mockery of the Son, Jesus Christ, and the people of God know him to be the “Antichrist”. John makes it clear that there is a terrible and twisted sense of authority coming into the world in his Revelation, chapter 6:
Now I watched when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say with a voice like thunder, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a white horse! And its rider had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer. (Revelation 6:1-2, ESV)
John seems to want his readers to understand that there is a conquering king coming
to bring what would be considered peace to many, but would also be a terrifying realization that the deceiver is at work and wants the people of God to feel that there is a hope that can be achieved, but the reality is that nothing can be fulfilled apart from salvation in Christ and in Christ alone. The prophetic vision that John presents about the conqueror riding the white horse is only fueling the truth that the Reverend Billy Graham describes in his book Approaching Hoofbeats, stating that
“Satan is a liar and a deceiver. He is a great imitator. As we have seen as far back as the Garden of Eden. Satan’s purpose was not to make Eve as ungodly as possible, but to make her as godlike as possible without God. Satan’s plan has always been to imitate God.
Satan’s tactic is to get people on earth to see that God is a liar and that Satan’s
ways are the true ways, ways that lead to life and promise of a bright and glorious future,
while we as the believers truly do understand that God’s gift is in His Son,
son, and in that we have eternal life that only he can bring. The representation of the Antichrist brings the shocking truth to light that God will allow this deceiving conqueror John describes into the world bringing his sick and twisted lies. Not only does this fuel the deception, it prevents believers from reaching others with the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah. The Messiah was described in the Old Testament as the “Suffering Servant” (cf. Isaiah 53), and to the average everyday Jewish person, the Antichrist will seem pretty enticing as the “Messiah”, the “political leader” that they had previously been seeking but never got the chance to find. With the coming of the antichrist, the biggest deception will be to the Jewish people who have found their “savior”, but the reality is that they have found the “man of sin” . Everything that makes God a holy and perfect God has been mirrored in an image of perpetual falsehood, that mocks God’s truth, and mocks the promise that we as believers have found in Christ. As a part of the “Unholy Trinity”, the Beast’s power lies in his followers, and he aims to gain as many as he can possibly gather. The conqueror that John describes symbolically represents not just the White Horse coming in under this falsehood that he is going to bring about a great “victory” and conquer lands, he is also going to conquer hearts and captivate people into an eternal separation from God.
The Red Horse
With everything that has been seen on the news and media in this modern age, it is easy to see where John was going with the second part of this passage out of Revelation.
When he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword. (Revelation 6:3-4, ESV)

A lot of people in today’s day and age are video game enthusiasts and there is a series called “Call of Duty”. While video games offer hours of entertainment, many players do not stop to realize the subliminal messages that are embedded in the games. The Modern warfare series offers a frightening aspect to Satan’s tactic, in which warfare and violence are being brought into the minds of young people and adults alike bringing a liking to violence and it only will get worse as the end of days gets closer. Tanine Allison in his journal article from Literature Film Quarterly mentions how there are transitions being made from the World War II aspect of video games, where there was not a complicated variety of technologies available versus today’s day and age where warfare has gotten more complicated, and more focused on the violence that the gaming system offers to its players. The author mentions that

the mode of warfare of these games reflects not World War II, but modern
warfare (appropriately, the name of the newest Call of Duty games), which is, in many ways, merging with and emulating video games—not just in training, but in remote guidance systems, automated weapons, and digital technology being used on the battlefield. Ironically, then, these games fail at simulating the history of World War II, but succeed in reflecting contemporary combat conditions, or at least the American
fantasy of what modern warfare is. The digital interface of a video game mirrors the interface on dozens of computerized instruments and weapons currently being used by the American military.

With the change of the technological era, advances in weaponry offer a shocking realization. With the coming of the end of the age, Satan will have a deeper ability to conquer the people of the world and bring war upon people who truly cannot fight back. The simple truth is that with stimulation embedded in the video game industry, not only does it strip down the history of past wars which brought peace to the world as the article’s author has expressed, it approaches violence in a sense that glorifies it and gives it an appealing nature rather than a fearful one, which God does describe.
John mentioned to his readers that the White Horse would bring out a false peace upon the world. When this false peace ends, the next seal will be opened (cf. Revelation 6) and thus comes out the dark period of war that Satan will bring it out upon the earth. The other factor to consider with why John mentions such frightening aspects of the end of days is that God brings true peace and true hope and the only thing that Satan has been bringing to the table is fear, destruction and death. John MacArthur mentions in his Commentary on the Bible that “violent slaughter will become common place. SWORD. Not the long, broad sword, but the shorter, more easily maneuvered one that assassins often used and that soldiers carried into battle”. This should be a resounding statement considered what was just mentioned in the above paragraph, concerning the use of violence in video games in correlation to the end of days. Glorifying violence is just another way that Satan is using his tactics against those who follow whole-heartedly after Christ.
The Black Horse
This is a complicated issue, but at the same time one of the darkest parts of the apocalypse that is yet to come. The black horse represents a coming death, a death to the things that give people life. Famine! In this day and age, the age of advances in technology and science the last thing that world needs to hear is that there is a shortage of food, or of water, and in famine situations, the worst possible outcome is a shortage of food. The End of Days that John is describing seems to get worse and worse with each seal that the Lamb opens. In this sense the readers of this letter are seeing that God’s intent is to give believers hope that the worst of things may be coming, but there is always something glorious and something better on the other side.
When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a black horse! And its rider had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures, saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius, and do not harm the oil and wine!” (Revelation 6:5-6, ESV)
The government of the devil will bring about a total state of dependence on his rule.
In the sense that the deceiver would come and bring people to follow him, this would not
just be in the sense of the falsehood that is being offered through the acceptance of
Antichrist as Messiah and taking his Mark and so forth, but it also involves the following
in his provision. “The scarcity of food” was so severe, that John was indicating that the
world was indeed going to change into a haywire evil situation that only the powers of darkness could control. It has been seen in history before on a smaller scale. Could this be that the End of Days is gaining its evidence through historical events? In Ireland, there was a great potato famine during the 19th century, historians believe that the turmoil throughout the country fueled this famine. Politics fuel disagreements in nations, and this article by David Nally only fuels such things to be true.
For Foucault, governmentality is essentiality the growing awareness of a new ecology of everyday life connecting human populations to hazards, propensities, dispositions, and patterns of living, socioenvironmental risks, and so forth. It is precisely these new interrelationships that become legitimate objects for state manipulation and control

Nally seems to believe that in the sense of control, a government system would infiltrate
a food supply controlling everything. In popular culture, Suzanne Collins popular classic
The Hunger Games, Collins describes a collapsed system of government in which society
is dependent upon the government’s aid and gets food as a result. Katness Everdeen, the
protagonist in her story, relies on her victory in the hunger games to get food for her
family. Nally had mentioned in his article that the government had tampered with society
and ended up giving people less food, Collins stated this in her novel, concerning what
would happen if people resisted against the government.
Look how we take your children and sacrifice them and there’s nothing you can do. If you lift a finger, we will destroy every last one of you. Just as we did in District Thirteen. To make it humiliating as well as torturous, the Capitol requires us to treat the Hunger Games as a festivity, a sporting event pitting every district against the others. The last tribute alive receives a life of ease back home, and their district will be showered with prizes, largely consisting of food. All year, the capitol will show the winning district gifts of grain and oil and even delicacies like sugar while the rest of us battle starvation.
Collins may not even be a believer, but her example in the fictitious story presents a clear representation of the horrifying life that John describes await those who do not follow Christ. The main thing that the readers of Revelation must take away is that God punishes unbelief and does not reward those whoa re against him. Much like the government of the collapsed and twisted society of Panem that Collins describes in the Hunger Games, John seems to describe how the world will be relying on what the Beast and his False Prophet for their sustenance. The people in the End of Days need the evil ones to provide for their needs.
Pale Horse
This is by far the worst of the 4 Horsemen, because in this instance God allows the harshest judgment to be poured out upon the earth; death. Death serves its purpose as being the worst kind of judgment that the world can endure.
When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” 8 And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider's name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth. (Revelation 6:7-8, ESV)
The passage that John expresses is interesting, because this is the only horseman that is
accompanied by other figures. Death comes swiftly and it comes in the sense that it is
punishment. In the book of Romans, Paul describes God as just and the justifier of the
one who is in Christ Jesus. (Cf. Romans 3:26), and because believers are protected by the
blood of Jesus. In the modern era, there are examples of what it is like for diseases to
enter the world. This passage in John is not specifically clear as to how the end of days
would come with the plague that the Pale horse brings, but it will be death that is brought
in a number of ways, not just violence, but diseases as well. Believers and people of the
world can see it now, in modern times, diseases are becoming more and more prevalent.
Doctors in India posted in a medical journal about the spread of the Swine Flu epidemic.

Swine influenza virus infections in humans have been reported in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. There are no unique clinical features that distinguish swine influenza in humans from typical influenza. Although a number of the case patients have predisposing immunocom promising conditions, healthy persons are also clearly at risk for illness and death from swine influenza. Sporadic cases of swine influenza in humans, combined with seroepidemiological studies demonstrating increased risk of swine influenza in occupationally exposed workers,
highlight the crucial role that this group may play in the development of new strains of influenza virus.
Modern technology, modern medicine, everything that has happened in this world, is in preparation for what God is doing. God is stirring in the minds of men to help them see that while he is a terrifying God, and that all that is happening in the world today is proof that God keeps all of his promises and does not hold back his judgment upon the world.
John’s presentation of the Four Horsemen is not something that should present an instance of fear for the people who read Revelation 6, but rather, it is a reminder of the power of God. While each of the four represents a very real judgment that the world brings, it is always the Lamb who opens the seals. John’s theology needs to be carefully observed in this passage of scripture because always, while it is terrible and real, the judgment that God pours out upon the world, these judgments may seem demonic and horrifying, the four creatures who worship and serve the Lamb are the ones calling the Horsemen to ride and bring their plagues upon the world. John reminds his readers that while the end is coming, yes, and that the end is a terrible thing to face; the world need not fear because God is the one bringing about the end, and bringing about the glorious future. The tribilatuoon that is coming, it is all a part of what God is doing to prove who he is. The judgment is to punish sin, and bring about the end of all things. This passage of Scripture serves as the reminder of who God is and what he does to prove that he is God. His power is greater than that of the world.


Tolkien, J.R.R. The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring. (3 book, 1 volume edition) New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1994.

Brand, Chad, Charles Draper, and Archie England, ed. 2003. Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary. Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers.

“Revelation 6:1-17. The Four Horsemen.” Accessed 3 April 2012, available from

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Nally, David. "“That Coming Storm”: The Irish Poor Law, Colonial Biopolitics, and the Great Famine." Annals Of The Association Of American Geographers 98, no. 3 (September 2008): 714-741. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed April 12, 2012).

Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games. New York: Scholastic. 2008. 374pp.

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Pharisee

It has legitimately been a very long time since I have written anything of a fictitious nature. (I really do need to start using words that express my education level), but tonight at church, we were reading the passages of Scripture pertaining to Palm Sunday, and our pastor had asked us, what if we were one of the characters in that passage, and mine was the Pharisee, so I had to think about it for a minute, and I came to the conclusion that this would make an incredible story. It's a short story mind you, but it's still a story none-the-less...I hope you enjoy it.

THE PHARISEE by Joel Freeman

Part 1) Palm Sunday...

It's just another one of those days, it's not too extravagant. I get to go into the temple court and rub it in people's faces that I'm better than they are. I have the best job ever, I get to sit around and do nothing all day long, maybe the occasional book or two, but I have been well read for years on the Torah, and people know it. I joined the Sanhedrin at like the youngest age imaginable. Just 26 years old and nobody seems to notice. I'm tall for my age, and I am starting to gray in my hair, but my nature is striking enough and I seem to have that viper-like whit that the old guys were looking for. Having just been married, my wife and i are gaining influence in our community. My wife has been running a business in our home. We made a great deal with some Roman Centurions and bought goats. My wife has always wanted goats, and we have a business selling milk and cheese. I am trying to do the best I can in life, and i feel getting to this prestigious position, I feel I am making it count.

Today I hear a commotion outside. I was in my chambers, and I run outside. There is a crowd. I yell when i realize that some young kids are cutting off palm branches from my tree, right outside my window. I scold the kids, and take them to their parents, who are also out in the streets amidst the commotion. That's when I see him. This yutz of a Rabbi, people call Jesus. I just don't get it. "There goes my powers and influence" I say to myself, as Jesus walks on by with his disciples. HOSANNA, they keep on shouting over and over again. I am in disbelief. They are all blind, I say to myself.

Part 2) 1 YEAR LATER...

I had had enough. I walked out the front door of the temple and threw my robes down on the ground. I spit on the ground, as the officials cast me out. Oh wait, no this wasn't a year ago, this was later than that. Maybe like less than that, but here's the deal. I saw him. I saw him alive, and I knew the truth about him. Jesus, that Rabbi everyone kept telling me about, you know the guy I called a yutz, yeah him. Anyway, I was filing papers in the records room, and I overheard a conversation in the main chambers. The high priests had these 2 centurions in front of him, and I notice that each of them have these huge sacks of gold. He said, "tell no one". Tell no one what? I imagine and try to think of what could possibly be so secretive. Then it hit me, I found the prophecy scroll that the head honcho guy had asked me to get for him, and then I read it. The messiah would rise after 3 days. It was just 3 days ago that Jesus died, and then I realize that it was him. It was Jesus.

I left to go find the proof, and sure enough I start running into people who claim to have seen Jesus alive. I see more and more of them. I don't want to believe it at first, really, I mean who wants to go with what the crazies are believing, but it becomes increasingly hard. Soon enough, I am back home, helping my wife sell cheeses and all of a sudden, there he is. Jesus himself, and 2 of his disciples with him. I run out to him after they had bought some cheese and I scream, Rabbi forgive my unbelief.

That's how it started, and I am running away from the Sanhedrin for good, a changed person, I have found the fulfillment I am looking for in the Messiah.

10 years later...

Children, Christians and more cheese. We now have cows and goats, making cheeses and selling it to the public. I sold goods and was able to give the money I had earned to some man named Paul, who is going around preaching about Jesus. This is all a result of me going and hearing this incredible news that someone was coming into Jerusalem on that day, so many years ago.

Remember that this is just fiction, but the event really happened. I often wonder if Jesus could have made an impact on a Pharisee besides Paul, but we'd have to ask Jesus when we are standing before him.


Psalm 37:4