It is no secret that I’ve supported the Republican nominee for President: But some people take it a bit too far. This week I was at a rally in Los Angeles for Travis Allen, who is running for Governor of California. There after the rally a lady was going around saying that everyone should read a certain book. Naturally, because of the way I am, I ask why? The interaction went like this:
Welcome back to Eyes of Reason! This blog has been dormant since 2012, and is now restarted starting today. Many things have happened since 2012, we have Uber, Bitcoin, a new President, intersectionality; but more importantly today, its a new year in my life. I would like to share with you a self-reflection of how I have evolved in my thinking about Christianity in the early 21st century.
The main difference as I think about it is less of an emphasis on esoteric questions and more of an interest in the practical procedure in a person coming to have Faith in Christ. During University, most if not 90% of the people I knew were saved, now, that isn’t so much the case.
It’s easy to travel the world and preach Christ; much harder to live out near home.
A Faith that doesn’t cause your heart to yearn for the lost, isn’t much of a Faith.
Lots of things have changed in the last six years, but one thing has not changed: Christ is still on the throne, doing everything He can to save each of us. It is my prayer that this blog and the writers on it may play a part in helping someone know Jesus for themselves.
We Believe our God is Jesus
We Believe that He is Lord
We Believe that He has saved us from Sin and Death Once and For All
These three lines is the basic narrative of Christianity. It took thousands of years to realize and it takes a lifetime to put into practice. The following is not a detailed explanation of the nature of Jesus Christ…that will come later; this is a simple look into why if you miss the fact that God is Jesus (or a better way to put it, that Jesus is God) then you miss out on why Jesus (and only Jesus) is important.
Jesus, only Jesus
Who has the Name above all names? Who is Holy, King Almighty? Who is the one that Angels all adore? Jesus, Only Jesus. (Philippians 2:8-11, Mark 1:24, Revelation 5:6 Hebrews 1:6)
Who is the one that every human shall acknowledge? Its Jesus. (Philippians 2:8-11)
From the above we can easily see that Jesus is indeed a special person, and He is a unique person.
The main reason Jesus comes into the picture is because He is the only one that can take away sin. The blood of Lambs, goats and doves could not do what Jesus’ sacrifice did. This makes Jesus integrally important because without His blood, sin could never be removed from the one who committed it. This means that without Jesus, and only Jesus we would all be lost. (1 John 3:5, Hebrews 10:4)
The Bible (Which, FYI, you should have access to when you are reading my articles!) describes Him as the Holy Lamb that was killed. Because of that sacrifice He has achieved blessing and honor, glory and power and is described as the only wise king.
There are some people out there that want to claim Jesus but reject what the Bible says about Him.
Worthy is the Lamb
Revelation 5 is perhaps one of the most graphic images the Bible paints about the worth of Christ. The book of Revelation tells us more about Heaven than any other place in Scripture. It describes an immense scene…millions upon millions of galactic beings and every intelligent mammal on Earth are intensely curious about who is able to unlock the book/scroll. The throne is surrounded by a sea of glass, everywhere there is worship, singing and praise. God himself was there sitting on the throne. John saw the throne-room of the most powerful being in the universe. In verse 1 a scroll was in the hand of God. Scrolls were made of papyrus Scrolls could be up to 30ft long. For official documents, wax was dropped along the seams which was the way the paper was sealed and protected. The scene is so intense for the search and it becomes obvious that no one can open it. Whatever is inside of the book is of obvious importance, and the fruitless efforts by the authorities of heaven to look inside of it causes much sadness in heaven, and causes John to cry. Notice that the text doesn’t say that no one was willing, but no one was worthy. The Fact that no one was worthy enough to open the scroll made John cry.
But John is told that everything is going to be alright…there is someone who was found to unlock the book!!! (Revelation 5:5)
6 Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7 He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne.8 And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people.
There is much to take in here. Lets break it down together.
First of all John must have been confused. He is told that the Lion of the tribe of Judah was the one who is able to unlock the seals. But he did not see a roaring lion, or a ferocious beast with claws and teeth. He did not see a lion who would rip the seals with his great claws, but he saw a harmless and innocent lamb. As if that was not shocking enough, the lamb was ALSO WOUNDED. This lamb does what is no one is able to do. The main question here we really need to ask is: “Who is the lion, that is a lamb?”
- John says that the Lamb was standing. It doesn’t take a genius to know that a lamb that has been slaughtered can’t stand. There is only one way a slain lamb can stand…unless he has been raised from the dead. (Jesus was Resurrected and that Jesus has the power to take up His life again)
- The lamb had been slain. How did John know that had been slain if it had been standing? He can only know if his death wounds were still visible. (Jesus has wounds in his hands and feet and side, He had a brand new body but his old wounds were still there)
- John said that he saw the lamb standing in the center of the throne. He did not say that the lamb stood in front of the throne, or next, or behind but in the center. Remember that God the Father is sitting on the throne, the throne is not empty, when the question is asked, “Who is worthy to open the scroll?” No one moves a muscle. But a lamb comes from the same place that God is sitting. They both are on the same throne. What this tells us that the lamb that has been slain is equal to God the father
- John says the Lamb has seven horns and eyes. Combine this from what you know from prophecy. After all, John is writing with prophetic symbols in mind. The horn is a symbol for power (Daniel 8:22) .Seven is God’s perfect number. Thus Seven Horns indicates Perfect Power (or all powerful omnipotence). Likewise, Seven eyes points to perfect Knowledge and Wisdom (or all knowing omniscience), the symbols of God’s presence is His Spirit which means that He is ever-present throughout the earth (omnipresent). These described qualities are none other than the attributes of than God Himself.
Jesus’ Dual Natures
Jesus is very interesting to say the least. Look at this Lion/Lamb combination:
|Belongs in a cage.||Belongs in a petting zoo.|
|Is a great hunter||Is hunted.|
|King of the Universe||Servant of All|
|Mighty, Glorious||Meekest of the Meek, non-pompous|
|Victorious in battle||Sacrifices Himself|
No wonder His praise and glory shall not fail throughout eternity (the paradoxes are numerous . Look at the Song they sing about the Lamb.
9 And they sang a new song, saying:
“You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
and with your blood you purchased for God
persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
and they will reign on the earth.”
What is it that makes the lamb so worthy? It is His death and Resurrection that makes him worthy (Revelation 5:8-14) Every creature in heaven worships the Lamb. It is His death (Revelation 5:9) that makes Him worthy. In verse 12 the focus of their worship is on the fact that the lamb was slain. His is worthy due to His victory of the cross. The Cross is at the center of it all in heaven. It is Christ who is able to take the scroll, whom they are shouting about, whom they are singing about, it is him who is worthy.
God’s strength is appears as weakness through the cross. Was there every any greatest display of apparent weakness on God’s part than what the cross looked like? This bloodied, naked, dying being was performing an act that was greater than the creation of the world and ending it. Christ’s redemptive work on the cross was God’s most powerful moment. Notice that is the subject of the Angel’s adoration. Its quite amazing to think that the “mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam” would be the place where the King of Glory would perform such an act. Through that one action the devil was shamed, humans were reconciled. Christ and Him Crucified is the Glory of All of Heaven (Revelation 5:9,10)
“HOLY, HOLY, HOLY is THE LORD GOD, THE ALMIGHTY, WHO WAS AND WHO IS AND WHO IS TO COME.” – Revelation 5:8
It is not enough to say that Jesus is simply a good person. Or that He was a prophet. it is not even enough to say that Jesus was God’s first work. Revelation 5 alone must motivate you to say “I believe that Jesus is God”. The entire Bible is testifying about Jesus. The Angels and Elders and Living Creatures in Heaven are all talking about Him. He is the center of attention, and what He did at the Cross for sinners is the prime subject.
The song by Chris Tomlin has the line “We Believe our God is Jesus” Which is a great song, but incomplete. God is interconnected with the Father, Spirit and Son: They are One. This article does not touch the trinity, but Revelation 5 has revealed to us one part of that puzzle, that Jesus is God.
What do you think about Jesus Christ in Revelation 5, Is He that Worthy? Comment Below!
This year marks the 100th aniversary of the terrible sinking of the RMS (Royal Mail Ship / USPS) Titanic. On April 15, 1912 this ship was the largest moving structure ever built by the hands of mankind. It was luxurious, spacious and packed more than 2000 on what would be her first and last voyage from Southampton, England to New York City. Its also interesting to know that the ship was funded by J.P Morgan Chase. (I wonder if the bank will make any statement in regard to this tragedy) Over 1000 persons died when the ship broke into two–710 survivors were left in lifeboats that weren’t filled to the max. Everyone associated with the event is now dead.
But where was God?
This is a question people ask when disaster’s happen. And no doubt this question has been asked many times since the event. Is it possible to trace God’s hand in this event? It is possible to understand it through His eyes? Some would say that God didn’t care about these people, that He could have simply moved the iceberg and everything would have been okay. But the Christian should nevertheless look for God’s hand in the matter and this is what I hope to set out to do today.
Side Note: Class Restrictions
An interesting thing to notice that the Titanic was the most segregated ship of its time. Though all of the classes were treated better than what was accustomed to at the time, first and second class had nearly all of the luxury. For example, first and second class had multiple bathrooms while there were only two (one for each gender) for the entire third class (1,026 passengers). Third class passengers were on the waterline, so when the ship crashed into the iceberg, they would be the first to go. Third class had Iron toilets, while second class had Porcelain and first class had marble toilets! The most interesting thing is that each class of passengers were kept from interacting with each other. So a person in second class could not enjoy or even see all the tantalizing things that were happening in first class. But if you were in first class you were only a deck below where the lifeboats were! Luxury indeed were not for most of its passengers, just for those who could afford it. However the richest passanger abourd the ship, John Jacob Astor IV did not survive.
A Near Accident
When the Titanic left On Wednesday 10 April 1912 a few minutes after her departure at Noon, the ship had a near accident. The huge ship passed by a much smaller ship SS City of New York . The displacement of water caused the other ship to increase height drastically and fall back to normal levels. The ships cables could not support the sudden change and snapped. This caused the New York to spin out of control and it nearly missed the Titanic by 4 feet (1.2 meters). This delayed the ship for an hour.
The ship then went to France and Ireland. From there it went out of the English channel into international waters. It then traveled for three days smoothly.
With a disaster about to hit so many souls, it would have been even more disastrous if this event happened without warning. But there was a warning. I believe that God was trying to send a message to the Titanic to prevent what happened from taking place.
At least six warnings, like the one pictured here, were sent to the Titanic. The Marconi International Marine Communication Company, Limited, was the main telecommunications service operating in the North Atlantic Ocean. They had two operators on the Titanic: Senior Jack Phillips and Junior Wireless Operator Harold Bride. They were both considered very qualified and were tasked with carrying messages two and from the Titanic on the Marconi “Wireless” (their radios).
It is known that the wireless operators had an antenna that had power output of 1.5 kW per each of the two antenna that were in use. This allowed for a range of 1000 miles. The messages were communicated in Morse Code, which consisted of dots and dashes.
The wireless operators had many messages, along with weather reports, they were given news reports from newspapers and also a heavy amount of mail. As the ship got closer to New York, many passengers sent messages ahead to family members to make plans for their arrival. This resulted in a large load of information that had to be translated and communicated.
Ice Warnings Received By Titanic
Caronia (MSF) – Eastbound, New York to Liverpool, Queenstown. The message was delivered to the bridge, where Captain Edward John Smith posted it for his officers to read.
‘Captain, Titanic – West-bound steamers report bergs, growlers and field ice in 42° N, from 49° to 51° W, April 12th. Compliments, Barr’
Baltic (MBC) – Eastbound, New York to Liverpool, Queenstown. This message was delivered to Captain Edward John Smith as he talked to Bruce Ismay. Ismay pocketed the piece of paper, and later showed it to several passengers. At 7.15pm, Smith asked for its return, when it was finally posted in the chart room.
‘Greek steamer Athenia reports passing icebergs and large quantities of field ice today in latitude 41° 51′ N, longitude 49° 52′ W. Wish you and Titanic all success. Commander.’
Amerika (DDR) – This message was actually a private one to the US Hydrographic Office in Washington DC, overheard by Titanic’s radio operators. Regretably, it never made its way to the bridge.
‘Amerika passed two large icebergs in 41° 27′ N, 50° 8′ W on April 14.’
Californian (MWL) – This message was actually to Antillian (MJL), but overheard by Titanic’s radio operators. This was delivered by Bride to the bridge, although Captain Edward John Smith was not made aware of it. He was in the a la carte restaurant, dining with the Wideners.
‘To Captain, Antillian: Six-thirty pm, apparent ship’s time; latitude 42° 3′ N, longitude 49° 9′ W. Three large bergs 5 miles to the southward of us. Regards, Lord.’
Mesaba (MMU) – This message never reached the bridge. Harold Bride was getting some much needed sleep, and Jack Phillips was busy on the key sending and receiving commercial traffic to Cape Race.
‘From Mesaba to Titanic . In latitude 42° N to 41° 25′, longitude 49° W to longitude 50° 30′ W, saw much heavy pack ice and great number large icebergs, also field ice, weather good, clear.’
You can read more about the geographic reprsentation of the reported areas where the icebergs were reported here.
About forty minutes before Titanic began to sink, another message was sent to her by the S.S. Californian. The ship was in the same ice-field that Titanic was approaching, and was stuck in it. The Californian sent a message to the Titanic without the MSG prefix (which would require a response from the Bridge). Phillips, maybe beacuse he was tired or he was trying to send out all of those reports the passengers wanted sent out, replied to the Californian with a message of “D-D-D,” meaning shut up. Can you believe it? So, the Californian turned off their radio. When the Titanic sent out distress signals, the S.S. Californian which was only a few miles from the sinking ship.
So the Titanic was notified of the danger, and due to the stubbornness of some of the crew, and the myth of the “unsinkable ship”, they went full speed ahead. They saw the iceberg, made a turn and it hit it. At first they thought it was a minor scrape, but they did not know of the 300-foot gash well below the ship’s waterline.
When the captain assessed the damage, he predicted the ship would last about an hour. The minutes that followed would forever be encased in human minds until this very day. With over 40,000 tons of water filling the ship, it began to sank.
There are tales of a band playing Nearer my God to thee as the ship sank. This song would be played during the many benefit concerts that raised money for the victims of the tragedy, including their families.
This clip from the Titanic Movie(1997) seems to best capture the sadness of the event.
At least among those men, Faith was still alive and well in their hearts. Titanic carried a total of 20 lifeboats which could support about 1/3 of the total capacity of the ship. This was considered well above the standard of the day as the thought was that the boats would be used to ferry passengers to and from any other large boat that would be there for the rescue, in the unlikely event that something would occur.
The demise of the Titanic lead to drastic changes in safety regulation of Navel vessels. The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) was created to create global changes in the way ships were ran. 24 hour radio operators were made standard, and all messages dealing with the navigation of the ship were made the highest priority always, regardless of heading. There are also numerous other improvements that are still in effect to this day.
So God did not let this happen without warning. When I consider this, I thank Him for the warning messages. I could see Him crying out as the ship sank, with tears in His eyes as people fell victim to hyperthermia. We need to stay watch to the messages that God sends in our life, and be forever watchful of His hand when tragedy strikes.
Christianity is the faith of more than a billion persons on planet Earth. However, it is a very diverse group, full of differing opinions and perspectives. Some of these perspectives are false, while all of them represent a certain way of thinking and relating to the world around them (reason). This blog exists because it realizes that there is not a monopoly on reason. People reason in different ways. That reason is colored by a persons view of the world: their experiences, traditions and assumptions. This blog will feature a number of unique perspectives on Christianity. It is my hope that the analysis of these perspectives will lead one to consider the various ways of thinking about a matter, and to choose the one that is honest and true (if any). Thus, It is my hope that Jesus Christ will be glorified and lifted up high.