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MESSAGE FOR THE MONTH
 

From a Beast to the Best

The whole nation was numbed with shock when the News about the Gang rape in the Capital city of India trickled down in the wee hours of 17th Dec, 2012. Through the length and breadth of our Country what followed was overwhelming concern for the rape victim, who was battling for her life even as righteous indignation against the perpetretators of this ghastly crime was welling up in the hearts of shocked citizens of the country. When the innocent rape victim breathed her last after bravely battling for her life thirteen days later, anguish of the Nation knew no bounds. No wonder then, there was universal relief that Justice was done when the guilty ones’ were sentenced to death by the “Fast track Court” Judge Yogesh Khanna who termed the crime amongst other things as “HAIRISING BEASTLY”.

UNREGENERATE…

It may shock many, if I observe that all those (irrespective of their social standing) who are not part of God’s family in Christ (Col 1:13-14) appear as “beasts” in His Holy sight. Consider this Scripture which describes the hair-rising vision of Prophet Daniel involving Beasts…


In my vision that night, I, Daniel, saw a great storm churning the surface of a great sea, with strong winds blowing from every direction. 3 Then four huge beasts came up out of the water, each different from the others.

The first beast was like a lion with eagles’ wings. As I watched, its wings were pulled off, and it was left standing with its two hind feet on the ground, like a human being. And it was given a human mind.

Then I saw a second beast, and it looked like a bear. It was rearing up on one side, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. And I heard a voice saying to it, “Get up! Devour the flesh of many people!”

Then the third of these strange beasts appeared, and it looked like a leopard. It had four bird’s wings on its back, and it had four heads. Great authority was given to this beast.

Then in my vision that night, I saw a fourth beast—terrifying, dreadful, and very strong. It devoured and crushed its victims with huge iron teeth and trampled their remains beneath its feet. It was different from any of the other beasts, and it had ten horns.

As I was looking at the horns, suddenly another small horn appeared among them. – Daniel 7:2-8

This vision was a re-affirmation of an earlier dream of King Nebuchadnezzar who in his dream (Daniel 2:31-33) saw a huge human statue made of different metals…


Firstly for the exposition of the afore-referred visions and dreams…
    a) The first Beast appearing as a Lion as also the Golden head of the human statue represents Babylonian Empire. It is symbolic of fierce consuming, power that Babylonian Empire was. It’s two wings stand for the speed with which the Babylonians’ became the World super power.

    b) The second beast the Bear – Mede Persian Empire- symbolizes ferocity, strength, stability and the mindless cruelty. The silver torso of the human statue is its equivalent in King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.

    c) The third beast the Leopard - Greek empire - symbolizes the speed and viciousness with which they conquered the world. They were swifter than their Babylonian counterparts in becoming the World’s Prima donna, hence 4 wings are seen in the Leopard’s body as against two in that of the lion. The Division of the Greek Empire amongst 4 General’s of Alexander the Great consequent to his death is symbolized by the 4 heads. In the dream of King Nebuchadnezzar, the Greek Empire is represented by the Bronze abdomen and the thigh.

    d) The fourth beast - Roman empire- with 10 horns symbolizes the ten kings that is, kingdoms, into which Rome was divided on its incorporation with the Germanic and Slavonic tribes, (JFB Commentary). It’s equivalent in the King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream was the Iron leg.

    e) The little horn that appeared on the 10-horned beast as also the feet of Iron and clay in the King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream represents the imminent Anti-Christ’s Empire, which shall be set-up soon after the Rapture of the Church.

    Now for the Big question. Now why did the World Emperors (existing and future) of Daniel’s time appear as Beasts to the Prophet but only as different parts of human being to King Nebuchadnezzar? While King Nebuchadnezzar an ordinary man of flesh endowed with no special gifts saw them merely as different parts of a human body, the Prophet being a “spiritual” man endowed with Divine insight (1 Cor 2:14-15) could see them “differently” for what they actually were. Yes, strange as it may seem for many an uninitiated soul, even a King/Queen or a President with all the regal splendor and high-nosed stance which goes with offices’ of authority, if he/she is unregenerate would in inherent (from Adam) selfish state appear as a Beast to a Holy God. Period. No wonder, Jesus speaking to a “religious leader” of high social standing namely Nicodemus said unequivocally “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” In the truthful Scripture do not we see outwardly “righteous” men and women commanding respect of the society seeking the Saviour, confessing their sins and getting baptized in His name? I do not have to go beyond the transformations’ and subsequent Baptisms of the temple-visiting, Bible-reading Ethiopian Official of great authority (Acts 8:26-39), Charitable Roman Centurion Cornelius (Acts 10), devout purple cloth merchant Lydia (Acts 16:13-15) and the sympathetic , empathetic (to Paul and Silas) Philippian Jailer (Acts 16:16-35) to underscore my point.
U-TURN…


I reiterate, even at the cost of sounding repetitive that Good News with Capital G or all the unregenerate souls is that they can receive the Saviour into their hearts by making this simple prayer “Father in Heaven, I confess that I am a sinner who has no intrinsic holiness or righteousness of his own. I believe that Your Holy Son Jesus died on the Cross as atonement for my sins. I accept Jesus as my personal Saviour this very moment. Please forgive all my sins on the basis of the redemptive work of your Son on the cross and grant me a new life. In Jesus Holy and precious Name I pray. Amen”.

Didn’t Jesus launch His Ministry with this clarion call beside the Sea of Galilee two thousand years ago “THE KINGDOM OF GOD HAS COME NEAR. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:14). What is the meaning of “KINGDOM OF GOD” here? Is Jesus referring to Heaven to which all righteous souls would go to after death or is He referring to the Millennial Kingdom, which He would establish soon after His Second Coming (Rev 20). Neither of them was NEAR two thousand years ago to His audience. To understand the meaning of Kingdom of God let Scripture interpret the Scripture. Turn with me to Romans 14:17, which reads thus: “Kingdom of God is…righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit”. Once an unregenerate soul repents, he or she immediately gets into a right standing (best definition for righteousness) with God and then would not peace and joy in the Holy Spirit enter follow in the repentant soul’s heart as day follows night, making an erstwhile sinner now “addicted to his/her former allergies (Holy Living) and allergic to former addictions (Selfish, pleasure-seeking lifestyle)”?

UNIQUE…


But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.- I Peter 2:9

Talking of Beasts and animal world…conversion of a soul is akin to a raven becoming a dove. Once a “Beast” becomes a Christian, he or she becomes the BEST in the sight of God. Consider the above-captioned Scripture portion to reflect on the high calling of a Christian, who amongst other things is also now branded Biblically as a “temple of God” (I Cor 3:16).

Honestly, to please the Almighty is anything more important than Christ-like Holiness. This Holiness which is now imputed to a Christian as a free gift (Eph 2:8) on this side of Eternity would become intrinsic on the other side of the same as the ever truthful Scripture guarantees...

“Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is.” – John 3:2

In India the highest Civilian award “Bharat Ratna” is awarded by the Highest authority in the Land namely the President to the truly deserving ones’, now to the One Who gives continual “Holiness” free of cost to us (the unworthy ones’- Romans 3:23) by continuously placing His Spirit (which gives us the ability to lead a Holy Life- Zech 4:6) within us, do not we owe our lifelong undivided loyalty and devotion besides a LOUD HALLELUJAH now!!!

UNESCAPABLE…


“When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in NOAH’S DAY.”Luke 17:26

During Noah’s time “earth had become corrupt and was filled with violence.”- Genesis 6:11

Oh I never tire of repeating the words of my Lord “Let those with ears HEAR” (Mark 4:9) and understand the implications behind the World-wide events which are “trumpeting” the unescapable truth about Christ’s imminent return. Even after this New Delhi gruesome gang rape incident and public condemnation of the same, have gang rapes ceased/ or for that matter has violence in our shrinking Globe shrunk? What does the Telangana strife, escalating violence in Syria and Egypt prove? As Bible-believing Christians we should steel ourselves for the situation to worsen before it becomes better. Praise God, eventually AND SOON

“HIS WILL WOULD BE DONE ON EARTH, AS IT IS IN HEAVEN”. The best in God’s scheme of things as the wine in the wedding at Cana is always reserved for the last (John 2:10). Come Lord Jesus to reign in our hearts and also the World!!!


Suresh Manoharan