Saturday, March 10 2012
The Olivet Parables
The telescope shown in the photograph is classified as a Newtonian Reflector - "Newtonian," after its designer, Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727; Newton's "Newtonian" obviously would not be computer driven, as is the one in the photo which has over 40,000 objects in its memory that it can quickly go to, just by the operator using a hand-held keypad) and "reflector" because it uses a mirror to gather light (unlike a refractor, or refracting, telescope that uses a lens). The Newtonian Reflector in the photo has an open-top tube that permits light to enter and be gathered by the parabolic mirror at the bottom of the tube (the telescope shown has a mirror 10 inches in diameter), which then reflects a focused image (according to the focal length of the mirror) back to the top, where a small diagonal mirror, mounted on a "spider" in the opening, redirects the image into an eyepiece on the side of the tube. Generally speaking, the diameter of the telescope's mirror determines what the telescope is able to see (i.e. faint deep-space objects), while the interchangeable eyepieces determine how much the image is magnified.
The Biblical word "parable" originated from the very same word as that used for a parabolic mirror. The only difference is that a telescope mirror focuses gathered light, while a parable focuses gathered words (although both give "light" to the "eyes"). Similarities do however remain: both look up to heaven, both focus what they gather to make a "point," and both make use of that "heavenly" light to see and understand God's Creation.
The Messiah's "Olivet Prophecy" (named after the Mount of Olives, where it was spoken) is one His most famous prophecies. While it covers all of Matthew chapter 24, it also continues into the next chapter (keeping in mind that the now-familiar chapters and verse numbers were actually added by European printers, about 5 centuries ago, long after the Scriptures were written without them).
First, the end of chapter 24, in which the Messiah warned Christians, regarding His return, "Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come":
"24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 24:38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 24:39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 24:40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 24:41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
"Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come"
Jesus Christ then continued the prophecy with parables to explain how everyone of His true people should live their lives as though His Return is immediate - because physical life can end anytime, from accident or sudden illness, and the dead have no sense of the passage of time to their resurrection (see When And Where Your Eternal Life Will Begin). Christians are not live to live "idol" lives, or idle lives - they are to study and grow in the Word of God (see What Does Word of God Mean To You?).
"25:1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven [see The Kingdom Of Heaven Is At Hand] be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 25:2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 25:3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 25:4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 25:5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
The Messiah then continued with a different parable, with the same message and warning.
"25:14 For the kingdom of heaven [see The True Gospel Of Christ] is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 25:15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. 25:16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 25:17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. 25:18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his LORD's money.
Fact Finder: What is the "soul"? What happens to the "soul"?
This Day In History, March 10
241 BC: The Roman fleet sank 50 Carthaginian ships during the Battle of Aegusa.
298: Roman Emperor Maximian concluded his campaign in North Africa against the Berbers and made a triumphal entry into Carthage.
49 B.C. Julius Caesar "crossed the Rubicon," a small river that separated Cisalpine Gaul from Italy. Caesar's crossing violated a law of the Roman Senate (the Lex Cornelia Majestatis) that stated that a general was not permitted to lead a military force out of the province in which it has been assigned. The action triggered a 3-year civil war that ended with Julius Caesar becoming the ruler of the emerging Roman empire (see The Politics Of Rome and A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars).
418: Jews were banned from holding public office in the Roman Empire.
1528: Balthasar Hubmaier, a prominent Austrian Anabaptist (see Anabaptists), was burned at the stake as a heretic in Vienna.
1656: The Virginia Colony extended voting rights to all free (i.e. white) men regardless of their religion.
1831: The French Foreign Legion was established by King Louis-Philippe to support his war in Algeria.
1848: The Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo ended the U.S. war with Mexico.
1922: Mahatma Gandhi was arrested by the British governors of India; he was rightfully convicted of sedition ("an illegal action inciting resistance to lawful authority and tending to cause the disruption or overthrow of the government") and sentenced to 6 years in prison.
1927: Prussia (an area of Germany, not to be confused with Russia) lifted its Nazi ban; Adolf Hitler was then allowed to speak in public (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).
1945: During the Second World War, 300 U.S. B-29 bombers (with conventional bombs; the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki came a few months later, on August 6 and August 9) bombed Japan's capital in what became known to the U.S. warlords as "the Great Tokyo Air Raid." The resulting firestorm killed 100,000 civilians (the atomic bombings of the other two civilian targets killed or horribly burned another 250,000 men, women and children).
1952: The government of Cuba was overthrown by Fulgencio Batista, who ruled as a Mafia and CIA-backed puppet dictator until 1959 when he was overthrown by the communists led by Fidel Castro. The people of Cuba traded one dictator (one controlled by the western democratic nations) for another (one controlled by the eastern communist nations).
1969: James Earl Ray pleaded guilty to the murder of U.S. civil rights activist Martin Luther King and was sentenced to 99 years in prison.
1973: The governor of Bermuda, Sir Richard Sharples, was assassinated on the grounds of Government House.
1985: Soviet leader Konstantin Chernenko died after only 13 months in office.
1995: The European Union responded angrily to Canada's seizure of the Spanish fishing ship Estai and its crew in international waters the day before, demanding its release and calling for economic and military retaliatory measures. Prior to its arrest, the Spanish ship was observed violating Canadian law within Canadian waters; as well, a Canadian Navy submarine later recovered the net that the Spanish ship cut while being pursued and found it to have an illegal small-mesh liner that was "vacuuming the ocean" of fish of all sizes, thereby exterminating future fish stocks. The seizure of the Spanish ship and its crew led to weeks of political tension and an escalating high-seas warship standoff between Canada and the rising-superpower European Union (which forced Britain to chose between its European Union membership and "the Canadians that have always been there for us during two world wars" - to which the British government chose Canada; as well, during the crisis hundreds of British fishing boats flew Canadian flags while working off the coast of Europe).