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“Marked Off ”
(formerly entitled, “ The Reservation” )
“Seasons Café”; Waterfront Hotel, Formerly Hilton Hotel
By Augusto A. Kho; December 25, 2017; 9:01 P.M.
Updated at The Lobby, Manila Hotel, Luneta; December 26, 2017; 4:00 PM
Manger, a marker?
Have your read Isaiah 53:1-2, the humble beginning of the messiah?
because there was no room for them in the inn – Luke 2-7
The other Sunday Service of December 17, 2017, I suddenly blurted out that we will be conducting a casual worship service on December 24 through Passover Feast and the Lord’s Supper. Why?
Because I have the feeling that 2018 is something different. First, Israel just ended their 70th Year of Jubilee in 2017. Second, 2018 is the beginning of the Roman calendar in the month of January,
Shabbat Table (Photo by Peps December 31, 2017)
Biblically speaking the No. 7 have plenty of symbols and meanings. A week is governed by 7 days, God rested on the 7th day, Daniel prophesied the 70 Weeks for the anti-Christ to be revealed and again Israel will be on Desolation (Daniel 9;2); there are seventy elders(Exodus 24:1); seventy year when God’s judgment occurs (Jer. 25:11-12); Forgiving 7 times 7 (Matthew 18:22); Jesus appointed 70 (Luke 10:1, 10:17).
The month of January is named after a Roman god named Janus who is the god of the door or god of the beginning or opening. Whereas Christ said he is the door of the sheep in John 10:9 and He is the only one who can open and close a portal because he has the key in Greek “kleis” i.e. the shutting and the opening (Revelation 1:18). Jesus alone is the beginning and the end (Rev. 1:11).
So by December 24, on a Sunday Preaching entitled, “The Inn” a “family Shabbat” was conducted as a symbolic act of deliverance of the ancient Passover in Egypt for the coming of the new year 2018.
To reiterate my last Sunday Preaching about the “The Inn”:
Luke 2:7, “He was born in a manger because there is no room for them in the inn.”
Room “topos” i.e. place, portion or space marked off.
Revelation 3:20 Laodicea is the destiny of a future Church where Christ is seen standing outside the church door. Some churches could be on the same condition today where Christ is no longer the centre of the preaching nor the centre in the lives of Christians.
Inn “kataluma” i.e. in, lodging place, eating room, a dining table, guest-chamber.
In is not merely defined as a lodging place but a dining place or dining table. Once you let someone in to sleep or rest in your house, you serve him a warm dinner as well.
The dining invitation that Christ was speaking in Revelation 3:20 at Laodicea is not a simple dining table. It is what they call “deipnon” in Greek which is a “special meal” and that is “dinner.” The Lord broke bread with His disciples during dinner time at the garden of Gethsemane. It is a covenantal dinner which is the Lord’s Supper.
The word “kataluma” originally derived from the Greek word “kataluo” i.e. “dissolve, disunite, destroy, demolish, a traveller ( to halt on a journey for the night and taking off or unbound all the straps and packs of the beasts of burden).”
It is unloosening the weight or burden that can make the subject or slave rested and refreshed from any strap that beset him as it is mentioned in Hebrews 12:1 “that beset us.” Beset is to cause problems or difficulties. Hebrew 12:1, “lay aside every weight which doeth so easily beset us..”
Lay aside “apotithemi” i.e. to put aside, off or away
Weight “ogkos” i.e. burden, mass of weight
Right after preaching, I drove to Manila at 2:15 P.M. to catch up our appointment with our son Isaac at the The Waterfront Hotel (formerly Hilton Hotel) where we were billeted. Days of lacking rest and enough sleep, I often dozed into sleep for few seconds while I cruised at TPLEX, SCTAX and NLEX until I decided to pull over at 3:10 PM at Shell Gas Station in Mexico, Pampanga. I had a nap for at least an hour. Nelids was dozed into sleep as well. When we woke up, we took a light snack at Hen Lin.
Left pohoto: Seasons Café; Middle Photo: WaterFront Hotel Lobby: Right Photo: Overlooking Luneta
We arrived at 7:00 PM in Waterfront Resorts and Casino Hotel, United Nations Avenue, Malate, Manila and after unloading our baggage inside our room we proceeded at “Seasons Café” one hour later. We had our Family Dinner for three at Table 12 which we never done before since Isaac moved to his new job as a Manager in the main office of LBC beside Resorts World Hotel along NAIA 3.
While taking our breakfast at the Seasons Café on December 25, I explained to our single guest that Christ is often forgotten during Christmas. Why? Christmas is well celebrated. Yes! But It is more commercialized than revered.
How many really allow Christ to occupy in the centre of their lives? From there I shared her a story. This is the story:
When Isaac was 5 years old, a pastor came in to our house and headed directly at our dining table and sorted out the letters he had with him and to give me my own copy. This pastor seated right at the chair where I often seated. Suddenly Isaac cried out saying, “That is Papa’s seat….” The pastor quickly jumped out from his seat. He was bewildered.
Often kabisera is where the head of the family takes his seat. And I am using that. That is a “marked off space.” It is a reserved seat.
The kabisera is where I always take my seat during meal (Photos by Peps 2017)
When Christ was born, there was no “space or room marked off” or “topos” in Greek which the Scriptures says, “There is no room for them…” in Luke 2:7. We call that a “designated seat” or “reserved table” to a restaurateur or we call that “reserved room” to a hotelier.
Hotel reservation is necessary during peak season. I understand from Isaac that our room in The Waterfront have been reserved a long time ago for this Christmas. He said that many families are booking themselves in big hotel this Christmas for family bonding. And this is the first time we celebrated Christmas by ourselves as a family. If you notice, Christmas Day or Birth of Christ is a family affair to Joseph, Mary and Jesus (Luke 2:4-5).
The central theme of the Christmas is the birth of a son. And family is defined as the basic unit in society traditionally consisting of two parents rearing their children according to Webster.
The word family is first mentioned Leviticus 20:5/ NKJ from the Hebrew word “mishpachah “ (mish-paw-khaw) as “clan, family, family, tribe, people, nation, species, kind.” The word “kind” is “a group united by common traits or interests : category; a specific or recognized variety.” The word “kind” connotes “distinguishing marks, similarities or commonalities.” And each one must reproduce according to its kind according to the Scriptures.
“And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good,” (Genesis 1:25).
Family in Greek “patria” (Ephesians 3:15) means “lineage running back to progenitor; ancestry; nation or tribe; paternal descent; race; lineage.” It derived from the root word “pater” means “male ancestor.” Example is Matthew 1:1 saying, “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. “ Generation in Greek genesis means “source, origin, lineage, progeny, nativity, birthday, begotten, fathered, birth” from another root word “genea”.
When I talked to Bilal Barakat the next day over a dinner at The Racks in MOA, he shared that all rooms and hotels are completely filled up from January to March next year all over Jerusalem. Bilal is a Jerusalem –based, Palestinian businessman –friend of ours. (By the way, the descendants of Bilal has over 800 years of historical residency in Israel which 13 generations if we apply NSO maximum mortality rate of Filipinos of age 60).
The question is this, when all our days are completely filled up with our important appointments and “things-to-do” then Christ will suddenly comes in, can we accommodate Him and cancel our designated important appointments of the day?
Will you allow Christ to cancel your points of preferences of the day just to let Him in? Or is Christ has His own place marked off in your wallet for your dutiful tithing; or He always have a reserved place in your family occasions or special gatherings?
Many pastors I knew had their annual calendar completely filled up and when you call them for an important business of the Lord or in prayer because something crops in that threatens the Church and the nation, they will have plenty of excuses.
As the time when Christ was born, “There was NO ROOM for them in the INN.” Christ has no “space or place marked off” yet in our lives today.
Anything that is reserved or marked off is a marker. God is God of marker. Jacob placed a marker during God’s visitation in his life and he named is Bethel (Genesis 35:15). Strong called it “inclosed territory” or “space” from the Hebrew word “gebul” i.e. landmark (Proverbs 22:28).
The Temple of Solomon was originally called Ornan (1 Chronicales 21:15) when a destroying angel punished King David for his vanity in taking up a census of the people. Shall we call it “spirit of grandeur?” I saw many pastors who have such spirit. David finally bought in full price the threshing floor of Araunah (2 Samuel 24:24; 1 Chronicles 21:24-25) where he erected the temple (2 Samuel 24:16, 2 Chronicles 3:1). Solomon, the son of David confirmed it during his reign when he said, “I have surely built thee an house to dwell in, a settled place for thee to abide in for ever. “ The words “settled place” in Hebrew word “makon” means “a space.”
In the same way, Christ was not given a marked off place or designated space for his messianic birth.
Prior reservation for room or dining table is necessary for most hotels during peak season because of the high demand. I understand that Isaac also have had a hard time making reservation for our Christmas Dinner on December 25 at the Café Ilang-Ilang in Manila Hotel.
When Christ was born in Bethlehem, all the people must be taxed according to the Roman Law that residents started to flock simultaneously to the city to be registered. It is unfortunate then that Mary was about to delivered her child on the same time and looking for a an available room for a decent delivery of her child is therefore expected. The city’s numerous inn as well its residential houses were fully booked then and there was no available space but the manger.
At the Manila Hotel Lobby; December 25, 2017
However reservation is often made when a guest is expected to come for a specific time. If not that too specific at least an “expected” time, more or less. And once that you did not show off on the designated reservation time or day, the reserved space will be given to the next on the queue from the waiting list.
We were booked in The Waterfront on December 24-25 and another was in Manila Hotel from December 25- December 26. So we were changing hotels for the last two days as Isaac’s Christmas Treat for us and for her mom.
Isaac also invited Kuya Dan, Ate Tanet and their son, Lemuel. But Lemuel was not able to make it. Only Kuya Dan and Ate Tanet showed up during the reserved dinner.
Again, I understood well that Café Ilang-Ilang was reserved a long time ago. In fact, Manila Hotel personnel called up Isaac in the morning of the day of our designated Christmas Dinner asking him for reconfirmation for the dinner.
And how many times we reconfirm our covenant with God?
As I explained in my teaching entitled, “The Inn”. The moment you invite someone in to give him room to stay, you automatically invite him for a dinner as well. Dinner or Greek word deipnon in Revelation 3:20 is covenantal which is The Lord’s Feasts. Yet many do not honour Covenants.
Deipnon is a ‘special evening meal” in the Greek culture. In the Greek mythology, it is being offered to Hekate, the Greek goddess to appease her anger.
When we were in Palawan 5, around 218 Bishops and Christian Leaders attended on the said Leader’s Conference. It is from there that Position Paper were made against BBL and Anti-SOGIE Bill. Every night, we recited the Covenant that has been made. Then from there we will proceed for Dinner in The Legend Hotel. But how many of those who covenanted with us joined the “Wall of Lights” as agreed by these people last December 16, 2017 at People’s Park at 4pm- 6pm?
Judge it by yourselves on the photo given below. And how many of us shall honour our covenant with Christ and with the brethren?
“Wall of Lights”, a silent protest against “SOGI Bill” , People’s Park; EDSA, December 16, 2017
Passover, a Family Dinner
Passover is a family dinner with a prophetic restorative purpose in Exodus chapter 12.
Eph 3:15 “ Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, “
Fellowship can be seen in this chapter.
Ephesians 3:9, “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,” The word “kononia” means “partnership” or “communion.”
Baliao Family Reunion, San Juan, Manila, December 29, 2017
Eph 3:15 “Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, :21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. “
CLSF December Workers’ Camp; Caliraya Resort, Laguna
Early Church in Communion
Act 2:46 “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, “
God hates covenant-breaker (Romans 1:31). When someone says “yes” when he knew from the very beginning he not keep his promise, then he is lying. Liars cannot enter the Kingdom of God (Rev. 21:8)
Covenant –breakers are considered “unfaithful” which is derived from the Greek word “asunthetos” i.e. faithless, treacherous (Rev. 21:8)
God is a covenant-keeping God (Gen. 6:18; 9:11-18). Covenant from Hebrew “beriyth” means “covenant, alliance, pledge, treaty, constitution, ordinance, agreement, friendship, signs or pledges, compact, confederacy, league. It is a compact (because made by passing between pieces of flesh i.e. circumcision of Abraham as a pledge to God). “
The New Testament by the Blood of Christ completed and perfected the Old Testament. The piercing of His Flesh on the cross symbolizes the compact (passing between flesh). Christ said:
Bishop Daniel Balais led Lord’s Meal at Garden of Gethsemane,
Jerusalem, 2014 (Photo by Peps)
“ This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you” – Luke 22:20
The Athenian Greeks honored Hekate during the Deipnon. In Greek, deipnon means the evening meal, usually the largest meal of the day. Hekate's Deipnon is, at its most basic, a meal served to Hekate and the restless dead once a lunar month according to the play Plutus by Aristophanes (388BCE), line 594
Hecate or Hekate is a goddess in Ancient Greek religion and mythology, most often shown holding a pair of torches or a key according to Americal Journey of Archaelogy by Charles M. Edwards. and in later periods depicted in triple form. She was variously associated with crossroads, entrance-ways, light, magic, witchcraft, knowledge of herbs and poisonous plants, ghosts, necromancy, and sorcery by the writings d'Este, Sorita & Rankine, David, Hekate Liminal Rites, Avalonia, 2009.
Christ Jesus in Revelation 3:20 using the Greek mythology reveals Himself as the One who deserves the Special Evening Meal
According to Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, the Passover or Pesach (/ˈpɛsɑːx, ˈpeɪsɑːfrom Hebrew פֶּסַח Pesah, Pesakh), is an important, biblically-derived Jewish holiday. Jews celebrate Passover as a commemoration of their liberation by God from slavery in ancient Egypt and their freedom as a nation under the leadership of Moses. It commemorates the story of the Exodus as described in the Hebrew Bible, especially in the Book of Exodus, in which the Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt. According to standard biblical chronology, this event would have taken place at about 1300 BCE (AM 2450)
Passover is a spring festival which during the existence of the Temple in Jerusalem was connected to the offering of the "first-fruits of the barley", barley being the first grain to ripen and to be harvested in the Land of Israel according to Josephus, Antiquities 3.250–251, in Josephus IV Jewish Antiquities Books.
Passover commences on the 15th of the Hebrew month of Nisan and lasts for either seven days (in Israel and for Reform Jews and other progressive Jews around the world who adhere to the Biblical commandment) or eight days for Orthodox, Hasidic, and most Conservative Jews (in the diaspora) as written by , Rabbi Mark Dov. "How Long is Passover?" 2015) and Ben Dreyfus.
In Judaism, a day commences at dusk and lasts until the following dusk, thus the first day of Passover only begins after dusk of the 14th of Nisan and ends at dusk of the 15th day of the month of Nisan. The rituals unique to the Passover celebrations commence with the Passover Seder when the 15th of Nisan has begun. In the Northern Hemisphere Passover takes place in spring as the Torah prescribes it: "in the month of [the] spring" (Exodus 23:15). It is one of the most widely observed Jewish holidays.
In the narrative of the Exodus, the Bible tells that God helped the Children of Israel escape from their slavery in Egypt by inflicting ten plagues upon the ancient Egyptians before the Pharaoh would release his Israelite slaves; the tenth and worst of the plagues was the death of the Egyptian first-born.
Matzah or Matzo
A symbol of the Passover holiday is matzo, an unleavened flatbread made solely from flour and water which is continually worked from mixing through baking, so that it is not allowed to rise. Matzo may be made by machine or by hand. The Torah contains an instruction to eat matzo, specifically, on the first night of Passover and to eat only unleavened bread (in practice, matzo) during the entire week of Passover (Exosdus 12:18). Consequently, the eating of matzo figures prominently in the Passover Seder. There are several explanations for this.
The Torah says that it is because the Hebrews left Egypt with such haste that there was no time to allow baked bread to rise; thus flat, unleavened bread, matzo, is a reminder of the rapid departure of the Exodus according to the “Overview of the Seder.” Other scholars teach that in the time of the Exodus, matzo was commonly baked for the purpose of traveling because it preserved well and was light to carry (making it similar to hardtack), suggesting that matzo was baked intentionally for the long journey ahead.
Matzo has also been called Lechem Oni (Hebrew: "bread of poverty"). There is an attendant explanation that matzo serves as a symbol to remind Jews what it is like to be a poor slave and to promote humility, appreciate freedom, and avoid the inflated ego symbolized by more luxurious leavened bread says Rabbi Yossi Marcus.
Hand made shmura matzo
Shmura matzo ("watched" or "guarded" matzo), is the bread of preference for the Passover Seder in Orthodox Jewish communities. Shmura matzo is made from wheat that is guarded from contamination by chametz from the time of summer harvest to its baking into matzos five to ten months later.