流水不腐,戶樞不蠹

Archive for 六月, 2007

地中海吻上耶路撒冷

 

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約旦之旅

「聖經的歷史與地理背景」雖還有三天課,但已考完試,得了一個珍貴的"A",喜出望外。明天一連三天「約旦之旅」,上課但不用考試,更加令人身心愉快!

約旦一般人可能很少聽到,但其實它是古以色列迦得、呂便與半個瑪拿西之地,處於約旦河東。上一代有看過「印地安瓊斯」系列第三集「聖戰奇兵」的人,都會記得電影最後一幕「法老的寶藏」的宏偉場景,就是在約旦的Petra取景。

對約旦有興趣的人,可看引用中「中國時報」的旅遊介紹,相片拍得很美,資料也詳盡。

十一年前與昱昱來以色列度蜜月,所以這次遊歷的地方有不少我都是重遊。不過約旦可是第一次踏足,加上沒有考試壓力,分外興奮。

約旦之旅

「聖經的歷史與地理背景」雖還有三天課,但已考完試,得了一個珍貴的"A",喜出望外。明天一連三天「約旦之旅」,上課但不用考試,更加令人身心愉快!

約旦一般人可能很少聽到,但其實它是古以色列迦得、呂便與半個瑪拿西之地,處於約旦河東。上一代有看過「印地安瓊斯」系列第三集「聖戰奇兵」的人,都會記得電影最後一幕「法老的寶藏」的宏偉場景,就是在約旦的Petra取景。

對約旦有興趣的人,可看引用中「中國時報」的旅遊介紹,相片拍得很美,資料也詳盡。

十一年前與昱昱來以色列度蜜月,所以這次遊歷的地方有不少我都是重遊。不過約旦可是第一次踏足,加上沒有考試壓力,分外興奮。

07年6月24日──你是彼得,我要將我的教會建立在這盤石上

We had a Sunday service on the mountain of Beatitudes . Jeremiah and Keity led us to sing. Tim and Dan gave short sermons on the topic of Beatitudes.

After that we had private time. I sat down and had meditation. There are a lot of archeological site-seeing in this trip. But how do they relate to our faith in Christ? What are the applications of these knowledge? I am glad that we had some time with Jesus alone, though I did not think about the archeological things.  

I asked God what He wanted to tell me about my future ministry, about our family’s future. This is a prayer of my whole trip. God gave me a vision of establishing church through 1 Peter 2:5 fourteen years ago. I did not prove disobedient to the heavenly vision in these fourteen years. My team established a congregation of 600 in Hong Kong and a congregation of 60 in the mission field. But when I gave up all my career and ministry in Hong Kong to go to USA to equip, I face uncertainty again. I deadly want God to speak to me again.

 

I waited for God for fifteen minutes in silence and peace. But God did not speak to me as fourteen years ago. I took out my Palm and opened my Bible. The first two verses are Matt 16:18-19. Tim and Dan had just preached on Matt Chapter 4 and 5 and I read those two chapters with my palm Bible just 20 minutes ago. But the Palm Bible stayed on Matt 16:18-19 which I read yesterday when I opened it at that moment.

“I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.”            

 

I know I am Peter (stone). I know God want me to build His church. Is it God reconfirm me? Or is it just my own wishing? my self-fulfilling prophesy?

 

And I asked God many times after I studied many mission theories, “Should we start a church by ourselves as we do it in Hong Kong ? Or should we train local people at the very beginning time?” Is this verse an special answer to me?

 

I can only say, I don’t know. Even at fourteen years ago, when God spoke to me in my young age, I was not sure about the will of God on me. Only after many years could I confirm the will of God on my life.

 

May God glorify His own Name.              

        

07年6月24日──加利利湖與Titanic

Today is a great day in Galilee . We started with a boat trip. Traveling on the Sea of Galilee just made me feel closer to Jesus. We saw the Capernaum , the church of the Primacy, the pink Orthodox church and the church of Beatitudes etc. I read the Bible and worshiped Jesus on the boat.

Certainly I know it is the boat of Galilee , not Titanic!

07年6月23日──耶穌給教會的使命與今天的「教會」

At the end of the first century B.C., the Romans annexed this place to the kingdom of Herod the Great. Herod built a temple close to the springs here, and dedicated it to his patron, the Roman Emperor Augustus. After the death of Herod the Great, his kingdom was divided among his three sons. The north and the Golan Heights were awarded to Philip, who called this place Caesarea Philippi. And he made this place the capital of his kingdom in 2 B.C.

Caesarea Philippi was a famous place for worshipping the god Pan, who lived in nature. Next to the flowing spring and the rich vegetation, the Panaeon was constructed. Therefore the place was also called Paneas or Pameas (Banias, according to the Arabic pronunciation).

Jesus brought his disciples to this Gentile area in his last year of ministry. An extremely message would be given here.

There is a huge rock in the temple of the Pan. After Peter confessed that Jesus was Christ, Jesus said,

I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.                                                      Mat 16:18-19

This is the first time Jesus talking about the Church recorded in the Gospels. The Church should be established. And the Church has the authority to pulling out people from the Hades, leading them into the Heaven. This is the reason why Church should be established. And this is why Jesus proclaimed this message in a Gentiles’ area but not in Judea . The Church belongs to all peoples and should set her goal on all peoples. This is why Jesus proclaimed this message in an idol worship center but not in Yahweh-seeking Judea . The Church should make disciples of all original idol-worshipping peoples. The establishment of Church is not for the saved people but the lost. 

 

Today the North American churches and many churches around the world seem to forget why Jesus established the Church. Many of them behave like the knowledge, the academy or the master/doctor degrees can save the world. If you don’t get a doctor/master degree, it’s difficult for you to lead a church in North America . After getting degrees and discouraging many non-intellectual believers, these guys know only teaching knowledge that does not change life to the saved congregation inside the walls of their churches. They seldom or never lead the lost from the Hades to the Heaven as the message of Gospel is too simple for them. Why do they have to study for ten years if they already know the message of Gospel before they went to the seminary? These never-evangelists claim that they should mobilize others to do evangelism. And the outcome is that no one cares about the salvation of the lost. The doctors can teach “very important” knowledge nonstop and the congregation can learn “very important” knowledge nonstop until the second coming of Christ. 

 

They think they are serving God.  

 

07年6月22日──希律王與耶穌

Caesarea was another great architecture of Herod the Great. Caesarea was originally a little village. It was awarded to Herod in 30 B.C. He built a large port city at the site, and called it Caesarea in honour of his patron Octavian Augustus Caesar.

 

Caesarea was a planned city, with a network of crisscrossing road, a temple, theater, amphitheater, markets and residential quarters. It took 12 years to build and completed in 10/9 B.C. The city transformed rapidly into a great commercial center, and by the year 6 B.C. became the headquarters of the Roman government in Palestine .

 

The high-level aqueduct, which brought water from Shuni springs some 7.5 km northeast of Caesarea , served as a source of water for the prospering city. Its population included Jews and Gentiles, but conflicts between them were one of the important causes of the Great Revolt that erupted in 66 A .D. Caesarea served as a base for the Rome legions who dealt with the quelling of the revolt, and it was here that their commanding general Vespasian was declared Caesar. The city received the status of “colony” and after the fall and destruction of Jerusalem , became the most important city in the country.

I was impressed by the grand architectures of Herod the Great in Herodian, Messada, Jerusalem and Caesarea . I especially like the great swimming pools he built in Herodian and Caesarea . If I were at Jesus’ time, I would love to be invited to swim in summer.

Comparing to Herod the Great, Jesus never built a famous architecture in his time. May be he had helped his father to build some works when he was young. He was so politically and economically powerless. And Herod was at the opposite. Only seeing the remnant of Herod’s architectures, one can imagine the power, money and authority Herod held that time.

Anyhow, if one has no interest in Israel history or archeology, they hardly will know about Herod the Great. Even they hear about Herod from the Bible, they won’t know the great Architectures of Herod. However, there are very few people in the world not knowing Jesus. And there are millions of churches established in the name of Jesus. Thousands of the churches are more beautiful than Herod’s palaces!

 

This is the difference between the Kingdom of Earth and Kingdom of God . Kingdom of earth pays attention to the earthly wealth, power and authority. It works for the lust and desire of man. And it won’t last for long. Kingdom of God pays attention to the spiritual needs, eternity, love and righteousness. It works for the glory of God and saves the souls of men. It loses in the present world but wins eventually. It lasts to eternity.