Nemesis: Remembering Rocky
- Category: Teachings & Articles
- Published: Monday, 21 August 2017 23:38
- Written by Augusto A. Kho
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Nemesis: Remembering Rocky
By Augusto A. Kho
Balungao District Jail; Balungao, Pangasinan
August 21, 2017 (Monday); 2:10 A.M.
Updated: August 21, 2017; 10:00 A.M.
Updated: August 23, 2017; (Wednesday);3:15 P.M.
It simmers me when I see injustice. I feel like going frenzy wild inside. Something revengeful inside of me begins to surface. Revenge! Vengeance! That is when we wanted bring justice unto our own hands believing the court or the government is very slow ….
The suspension of God’s judgement depends on a single just man. Jeremiah 5:1/ NLT says, “If you can find even one just and honest person, I will not destroy the city.” I have read this yesterday but I failed to write it down but this morning at 2:10 A.M. I was reminded again so I opted to record it.
I remember the word “vengeance” when we normally bring justice unto our own hands believing the court or the government is very slow in rendering justice in our behalf or in behalf of those who are dear to us.
And this morning at 9:30 A.M. it reminds me of Rocky, a former inmate of yours who have been detained in this jail for over 5 years. . According to him he will be soon transferred to Muntinlupa City Jail without his years spent in this jail being counted to the number of sentenced meted to him. Until he was found one morning in his prison cell cold dead. Is it justice has been duly served in the name of justice.
Another inmate is this guy named Larry who was implicated for the murder of one policeman in the so-called “encounter.” But paraffin test proved negative that he fired a gun. He served also nearly four years in this year until one morning, he put his right hand on his chest and he suddenly fell, lost consciousness and he was brought to the hospital dead on arrival. Is it justice being served well? It was then Rocky (when he was still living) who called me up when Larry was rushed to the hospital. I immediately proceeded to where Larry was admitted but his still warm body simply that welcomed. He too died without yet receiving what he called “justice.” Where is justice? Where is God?
To remain silent
Shall we remain silent despite of this widespread injustice? Shall we pretend we have not heard nor seen nothing? Is silence means cowardice. Ella Wheeler Wilcox said, “To sin by silence, when we should protest, Makes cowards out of men.”
Even servant of God is not exempted in this social ill. Habakkuk lamented before God as if suggesting that the Lord is apathetic and slumbering:
“How long, O Lord, must I call for help? But you do not listen! “Violence is everywhere!” I cry,
but you do not come to save. Must I forever see these evil deeds? Why must I watch all this misery? Wherever I look, I see destruction and violence. I am surrounded by people who love to argue and fight. The law has become paralyzed, and there is no justice in the courts. The wicked far outnumber the righteous, so that justice has become perverted,” – Habakkuk 1:2-4 (NLT)
Can the Church today could still hear and see what is right from the wrong? Or just pretending everything are just fine?
I vowed as a Christian to seek justice and partiality. I have gone through some courts and quasi-judicial courts and legislative sala defending what I believed is scripturally and constitutional rights. In the end, powerful politicians did me harm instead.. Until I’ve found myself facing lawsuits.
Justice is natural science
Justice is an exact measurement says David. Just imagine an erratic gravitational force in the universe, what will happen? Just imagine if distances of the planets from the sun are not properly aligned to one another? But the universe proves that it is in natural, scientific and in divine order.
Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” Hebrew 11:3, “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” Psalms 89:14, “Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.”
Violence, Violence, Violence
“58 dead in 3 days in renewed Philippine anti-drug bloodshed,” reported by Jim Gomez of Associated Press dated August 18, 2017. A 17-year senior high school student named delos Santos is allegedly found dead in one of the raid. Senator Richard Gordon reacted as published by The Star dated August 18.
“Duterte, meanwhile, praised the massive Bulacan operation and the rate of deaths. "Maganda 'yun (That's good)," he said in Malacañang on Wednesday night,” A. Jo. Bolando reports on Star dated August 17, 2017.
“That case of the 17-year-old victim, we’ll investigate that because there’s evidence,” Gordon said in a telephone interview.” Gordon also said he found it “disconcerting” that in most of the cases of extrajudicial killings, there are no witnesses who could help in the investigation.
Sen. Risa Hontiveros said the country “paid a very dear price” for the President’s error in thinking he could wipe out drugs in six months. The price, she said, were “8,000 to 12,000 deaths due to the abusive and corrupt war on drugs.”
“What needs to change is the President’s thirst for blood. The Duterte government cannot kill its way out of the drug problem,” Hontiveros said.
Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, a critic of the administration, described Duterte as “a monster who craves killings.”
“Duterte lies and deceives just to get his way. He is a monster who craves killings and tries to justify it through lies, deception and twisted logic,” Trillanes said.
Are they not oppositionist senators?
Jess Diaz of Star reported on August 18th, “Lawmakers threaten to scrap P900-M drug fund.” What! That ‘s nearly a billion pesos
Our own taxes or tribute to the government is being repaid for innocent blood in the name of “justice” clothed in “anti-drug campaign,” and in Filipino we call this, “ginigisa sa sariling mantika?”
Justice in the Philippines, is it elusive? Especially now that over 8,000 victims of EJK (Extra judicial killings) and it is still counting. Is “due process” served? The Constitution forbids “death penalty” in this country. Yet why many are left being left dead without mercy on the streets without even submitting their affidavits and to exercise their “rights to be heard?” If the walls and pavements could only talk, shall they seek justice as well?
Inquirer net dated November 24, 2014 by Neal H. Cruz says, “PH has slowest justice system in the world.” It added, “The Philippines, I am sure, is in the Guinness World Records as the country with the slowest judicial system. Of this, we should not be proud but be ashamed. We just marked the anniversaries of two mass killings in the Philind in ppines, both of which made world records: the Maguindanao massacre where 58 poor souls, including 32 media workers, were murdered; and the Ozone Disco Club fire in Quezon City that claimed the lives of 162 persons, most of them young men and women celebrating their graduation.”
Justice under the ground?
Can a dead man still seek justice when he is being buried six (6) feet under the ground?
Yes! Abel was killed by his own brother Cain. And God returned to Cain and sought justice for Abel. And God said to Cain, “What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground,” (Genesis 14:10).
Justice is godly. Isaiah 1:17/ NIV, “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow..”
God is the God of justice – both to the living and the dead.
What is justice?
Justice is the legal or philosophical theory by which fairness is administered according to Malta u l-Qorti tal-Ġustizzja tal-Unjoni Ewropea (PDF) (in Maltese). Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. 2014. ISBN 978-92-829-1733-6. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 April 2016 and Luban, Law's Blindfold, 23.
The concept of justice differs in every culture. An early theory of justice was set out by the Ancient Greek philosopher Plato in his work The Republic. Advocates of divine command theory argue that justice issues from God.
In the 17th century, theorists like John Locke argued for the theory of natural law. Thinkers in the social contract tradition argued that justice is derived from the mutual agreement of everyone concerned. In the 19th century, utilitarian thinkers including John Stuart Mill argued that justice is what has the best consequences.
1987 Preamble of the Philippine Constitution reads:
“We, the sovereign Filipino people, imploring the aid of Almighty God, in order to build a just and humane society, and establish a Government that shall embody our ideals and aspirations, promote the common good, conserve and develop our patrimony, and secure to ourselves and our posterity, the blessings of independence and democracy under the rule of law and a regime of truth, justice, freedom, love, equality, and peace, do ordain and promulgate this Constitution.”
Rene Sarmiento, one of the framers of 1987 Constitution argued, “The Preamble… must also aims to build a just and humane society.”
And what makes the Philippines a Republican country? Footnotes from 1987 Constitution says, “Because we are not under the rule of men but we are under the rule of law.”
When a suspect bare body lies on the street without his case being brought to the court and have not given his freedom to be heard, will that be justice-Philippine style? Will it be humane?
Holier-than–thou bishops and pastors, an ardent supporter of a politician argued “they are criminals-sinners?” Whose talking? What does the Bible says in Romans 3:10, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” Jeremiah 5:1 confirms that, “If you can find even one just and honest person, I will not destroy the city.”
Why such arrogance as if we claim to be holy by ourselves? Is it pride?
Each one of you have been placed in this prison for whatever reason, you may be guilty or not? Some, if not many of you will be in this place perhaps for the rest of your life even without yet receiving your court sentence. Will that be right? Will that be just especially we have the worst judicial system in the whole world? Can you get justice?
Justice Biblically Defined
In KJV the word “just” is “judgment” in Hebrew “mishpat” (mis-phaw) meaning “justice, an ordinance, act of deciding, a case, court, seat of judgment, process, procedure, litigation, sentence.”
An attorney once said, “Justice is when the price is right.” Two different lawyers once confided today that some cases being handled by other judges would ask, “How much can you give?”
Such “justice-peddling” is not isolated anymore. The wisest man, Solomon had earlier squealed that saying, “Don’t be surprised if you see a poor person being oppressed by the powerful and if justice is being miscarried throughout the land. For every official is under orders from higher up, and matters of justice get lost in red tape and bureaucracy. 9 Even the king milks the land for his own profit!,” (Ecc. 5:8-9).
While my cousin brought his case to the court and a certain judge asked him P250,000.00 in exchange for verdict for his own favour. My cousin turned it down.
So when your freedom or mine will be trampled upon by the very power who have sworn to protect us, then where is justice and where we can turn to for help- (but only to the great Judge our Lord and our King)?
Amartya Sen, Indian philosopher and economist said, “When there is no democracy, there is no justice.”
On June 12, 2017 on a crisp cold Monday morning in the city of Izmir, Turkey (Smyrna) we went to the ancient ruins, Ms. Meltem the female tourist guide shared:
“This harbour is Roman, the square area is agora, close to the harbour. This city wall is from here up to the hills, with castle and fortress, with wall, stadium and theatre. This place was attributed to its founder Alexander the Great. Alexander came to slopes of Mt. Pago or Kadifekale. This place is dedicated to god, Nemesis. There is the Temple of Nemesis, goddess of retribution and revenge..”
Why Alexander the Great dedicated the place to god, Nemesis? And it is said that Nemesis is the goddess of retribution.
God is a God of Retribution
What is retribution? Retribution is dispensing or receiving of reward or punishment especially in the hereafter. Retribution is something given or exacted in recompense (Webster). It is like “thou shalt give life for life, tooth for a tooth and eye for an eye,” an exact measurement of judgment you rendered to others (Exodus 21:23-24). Retribution is a punishment for doing something wrong says Webster.
God is not deaf to those who cry for justice.
Isaiah 26:21/NLT, “The Lord is coming from heaven to punish the people of the earth for their sins. The earth will no longer hide those who have been killed. They will be brought out for all to see.”
If the Greeks believe in the name of Nemesis who will exact vengeance, we have a greater God whose divine wrath can bring ultimate destruction to both body and soul in hell (Matthew 10:28).
Nemesis in Greek also means “to give what is due. God who is super “Nemesis” who is an “exacting God” whose balances of wrong and right is non-negotiable. Romans 2:6 says, “Who will render to every man according to his deeds.” In Aramaic Bible in Plain English it means, “He who pays every person according to his works.” He who have given evil, also evil will given back to him, and he who given good, also good will be given back to him. That is how true God of retribution exact vengeance to those who have done wrong.
Nemesis is the Greek goddess of retribution. “Nemesis (mythology), in Greek mythology, “a spirit of divine retribution against those who succumb to hubris” a.k.a. the Pursuer, a fictional character in Resident Evil universe.
The poet Mesomedes wrote a hymn to Nemesis in the early second century AD, where he addressed her: "Nemesis, winged balancer of life, dark-faced goddess, daughter of Justice, and mentioned her "adamantine bridles" that restrain "the frivolous insolences of mortals". Her cult was allegedly started in Smyrna writes R. Scott Smith, Stephen Trzaskoma, and Hyginus.
Above photo from the internet
Justice (Dike, on the left) and Divine Vengeance (Nemesis, right) are pursuing the criminal murderer. By Pierre-Paul Prud'hon, 1808
In the same manner, anyone who has done wrong to others cannot get away from God. God is a GREAT PURSUER greater than Nemesis.
God is not forgetful to those who have done His people wrong. God will pursue your enemies not matter how secure their hiding place is. Take the case of the Amaleks.
God commanded king Saul to attack the Amalekites. This is what the Lord said to him in 1 Samuel 15:2-3, “Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. 3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.”
When I first read these as a young Christian, I said to Him, “How could you kill even innocent children?” But who am I or you to question God?
See, how God remembers? Remember in Hebrew “paqad” (paw-kad) means “reckoning”. Reckoning is to calculate, compute, count, estimate, judge (Webster). That is how God of Retribution is kept on counting for whatever evil things done.
Then, He continued, “I remember … which Amalek did to Israel..” Then God’s ultimate goal, “Utterly destroy all.!” Destroy in Hebrew “charam” (khaw-ram) means “to exterminate,” which savagely refers “to mutilate.” Exterminate is a complete annihilation leaving nothing and no one alive, both man and beast. That is painstakingly cruel!
And how far God can remember the retribution? According to Chronology of Judges Timeline, Moses lived estimated sometime from 1,350 chronological time of judges while King Saul sometime from 1010. Moses and Saul have a year gap of 340 years. 340 Years! Yet God still remembered what Amalek did to Israel.
God remembers what your enemy did it to you? He will not rest until His counting ends.
You might be innocent languishing in this jail? Or the evidence made against you was made as a set-up? God never sleep and rest until He will demand a single penny to what the wicked have done to you. But if you yourself have done wrong to someone else, then be ready as well to receive your judgment, otherwise repent and ask God’s mercy?
How can avenge the blood of the innocent just like of those martyrs in the likes of Stephen, Paula and Polycarp? Only by the hand of the Lord and with his seething teeth displaying fiery anger to senseless violence and injustice.
Polycarp was the first Christian bishop in Smyrna (now Izmir). He was a native born on that town.
Revelation 2:8, 10, “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. “
If would be better to be imprisoned for doing what is good and be persecuted for righteousness’ sake rather than being placed into cell for a wrong doing. But he who suffers for the Lord and for righteousness will never be forgotten and his tormentors will never be set free.
The Martyrdom of Polycarp. Is translated by J.B. Lightfoot; abridged and modernized by Stephen Tomkins. Edited and prepared by Dan Graves.
The early church was hated by the society and government of the Roman Empire for various reasons, such as the refusal of Christians to sacrifice to the gods. The Empire went through many phases of demanding that the Christians sacrifice — which meant denying their faith — or be killed. The earliest attacks claimed the lives of many of the apostles.
This text is the story, from around 160 AD, of the martyrdom of Polycarp, the Bishop of the church in Smyrna, a city in Asia Minor (modern Izmir in Turkey) devoted to Roman worship. The account is in the form of a letter from eye-witnesses to other churches in the area. It is the earliest chronicle of a martyrdom outside the New Testament.
Polycarp, an old man
Polycarp was an old man, at least 86, and probably the last surviving person to have known an apostle, having been a disciple of St. John. This was one reason he was greatly revered as a teacher and church leader. One interesting feature of the letter is that the writer is very conscious of how Polycarp’s death followed the pattern of Christ’s.
Below are the contents of the ancient writings found in Smyrna:
…The fire of their savage executioners appeared cool to them, because they fixed their eyes on their escape from the eternal unquenchable fire and the good things promised to those who endure – things ‘which ear has not heard, nor eye seen, nor the human heart imagined’ but were revealed to them by the Lord. They were no longer men, but had already become angels. In the same way, those who were condemned to the wild beasts endured dreadful torture. Some were stretched out on beds of spikes. Others were subjected to all kinds of torments, all in the Devil’s attempt to make them deny Christ.
In all that the Devil attempted he failed, thanks be to God. The heroic Germanicus encouraged the weak by his own endurance, and fought bravely with the wild animals: when the Proconsul tried to persuade him to cooperate for the sake of his own youth, he drew the wild beast towards himself and provoked it, in order to escape more quickly from this wicked world. Seeing all this, the amazed crowd of spectators cried out, “Down with the atheists! [i.e. those who do not believe in the Roman gods] Get Polycarp!”
Three days before he was arrested, while Polycarp was praying, he had a vision of the pillow under his head in flames. He said prophetically to those who were with him, ” I will be burnt alive.”
Those who were looking for him were coming near, so he left for another house. They immediately followed him, and when they could not find him, they seized two young men from his own household and tortured them into confession. The sheriff, called Herod, was impatient to bring Polycarp to the stadium, so that he might fulfill his special role, to share the sufferings of Christ ..
The police and horsemen came with the young man at suppertime on the Friday with their usual weapons, as if coming out against a robber. That evening, they found him lying down in the upper room of a cottage. He could have escaped but he refused saying, “God’s will be done.”
When he heard that they had come, he went down and spoke with them. They were amazed at his age and steadfastness, and some of them said. “Why did we go to so much trouble to capture a man like this?” Immediately he (Polycarp) called for food and drink for them, and asked for an hour to pray uninterrupted. They agreed, and he stood and prayed, so full of the grace of God, that he could not stop for two hours. The men were astounded and many of them regretted coming to arrest such a godly and venerable an old man.\
When he finished praying… they put him on a donkey, and took him into the city…
As Polycarp was being taken into the arena, a voice came to him from heaven: “Be strong, Polycarp and play the man!” No one saw who had spoken, but other Christians who were there heard the voice.
When the crowd heard that Polycarp had been captured, there was an uproar. The Proconsul asked him whether he was Polycarp. On hearing that he was, he tried to persuade him to apostatize, saying, “Have respect for your old age, swear by the fortune of Caesar. Repent, and say, ‘Down with the Atheists!’”
Polycarp looked grimly at the wicked heathen multitude in the stadium, and gesturing towards them, he said, “Down with the Atheists!” “Swear,” urged the Proconsul, “reproach Christ, and I will set you free.”
Polycarp declared, “For 86 years have I have served him and he has done me no wrong. How can I blaspheme my King and my Savior?”
“I have wild animals here,” the Proconsul said. “I will throw you to them if you do not repent.”
Polycarp replied, “Call them. It is unthinkable for me to repent from what is good to turn to what is evil. I will be glad though to be changed from evil to righteousness. If you despise the animals, I will have you burned.” “You threaten me with fire which burns for an hour, and is then extinguished, but you know nothing of the fire of the coming judgment and eternal punishment, reserved for the ungodly. Why are you waiting? Bring on whatever you want.”
It was all done in the time it takes to tell. The crowd collected wood and bundles of sticks from the shops and public baths. The Jews , as usual, were keen to help. When the pile was ready, Polycarp took off his outer clothes, undid his belt, and tried to take off his sandals – something he was not used to, as the faithful always raced to do it for him, each wanting to be the one to touch his skin – this is how good his life was. But when they went to fix him with nails, he said, “Leave me as I am, for he that gives me strength to endure the fire, will enable me not to struggle, without the help of your nails.”
So they simply bound him with his hands behind him like a distinguished ram chosen from a great flock for sacrifice. Ready to be an acceptable burnt-offering to God, he looked up to heaven, and Polycarp said,
“O Lord God Almighty, the Father of your beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ, by whom we have received the knowledge of you, the God of angels, powers and every creature, and of all the righteous who live before you, I give you thanks that you count me worthy to be numbered among your martyrs, sharing the cup of Christ and the resurrection to eternal life, both of soul and body, through the immortality of the Holy Spirit. May I be received this day as an acceptable sacrifice, as you, the true God, have predestined, revealed to me, and now fulfilled. I praise you for all these things, I bless you and glorify you, along with the everlasting Jesus Christ, your beloved Son. To you, with him, through the Holy Ghost, be glory both now and forever. Amen.”
Then the fire was lit, and the flame blazed furiously. Then saw a great miracle … The fire shaped itself into the form of an arch, like the sail of a ship when filled with the wind, and formed a circle around the body of the martyr. Inside it, he looked not like flesh that is burnt, but like bread that is baked, or gold and silver glowing in a furnace. And we smelt a sweet scent, like frankincense or some such precious spices.
Eventually, when those wicked men saw that his body could not be consumed by the fire, they commanded an executioner to pierce him with a dagger. When he did this [a dove flew out and] [*this may well be a later interpolation or transcription error] such a great quantity of blood flowed that the fire was extinguished.
The crowd were amazed at the difference between the unbelievers and the elect – of whom the great Polycarp was surely one, having in our own times been an apostolic and prophetic teacher, and bishop in Smyrna. For every word he spoke either has been or shall be
Polycarp could have been executed, yes, successfully in man’s term but not in God’s term. He is I believe among the many “great witnesses” in Hebrews 12:1 who are watching over us how we ran in this spiritual race on whether we give in or never give up.
Evil men who have burned him alive or thrust a spear on him could have done their merciless demonic deed yet they could never gone away with this. Just like God who remembered the sin of Amaleks and God decided to pursue them for their own destruction after 34 years, the God of yesterday, today and forever will exact vengeance in behalf of the faithful like that of Polycarp.
While it is true that Nemesis is a revengeful god among the Greeks, our God is greater than any other gods. Our God is our Avenger, the True Nemesis of the heavens and the eath.
Isaiah 63:4 says, “For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come.” And another in Revelation 6:10 saying, “And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?”
There can be no true God without true just revenge. There is no true revenge without right justice. Can a poor innocent martyr like Polycarp can get justice to those who mercilessly executed him? The blood of the innocent cries out for justice. Who can avenge us?
True justice can only be found in the Lord. Vengeance is for the Lord’s. The God of Justice is greater than the so-called Nemesis. Our Avenger is the Lord God Almighty through Jesus Christ our Lord! We should not therefore lose heart and repay our enemies evil. For it is written:
“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath:
for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord,” – Romans
As of today, August 22, I received a text message very early in the morning to reserve a venue somewhere in Manila to hold a press conference of three (3) big Christian groups who will make their stand of indignation to “EJK” prevailing in the country on August 28.
Greek definition of various terminologies mentioned in the Church of Smyrna
Tried in Greek “peirazo” (pi-rad-zo) means “to make into trial, test, for the purpose of ascertaining his quantity.”
Death in Greek “thanatos” refers to “the death of the body” but not the soul. Metaphorically “the loss of life which is alone is worthy of the name. “
Crown is Greek “stephanos” refers “the wreath” or “garland which was given as a prize to victors in public games.” It is “mark of exalted rank.”
The second death is being referred to “thanatos” (Greek) which is the “nether world” or the “abode of the dead” which we call “hell” as a form of judgment or revenge of God to the wicked.
Nemesis symbols are the swords, dagger, measuring rod and scale. Nemesis in Greek means “to give what
is due.” It simply means “exacting justice” which is like “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, life for a life.”
God’s symbols greater than that of Nemesis
The word of God symbolizes sword and a weighing scale of judgment or justice (Matthew 26:52/ NIV,
Hebrews 4:12; “sword piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit…” Job 31:6/ NIV “honest scales” and NLT “scales of justice”
That is the reason that Judiciary has a symbol of blindfolded woman carrying a weighing scale that speaks of impartiality and fairness.
The word “dividing “ in Hebrew 4:12 is based on mathematical operation called “division” which means “equal part.” Therefore, Nemesis is a god or goddess that renders equal and impartial treatment of justice. Then what is more to God? That is why vengeance belongs to the Lord. God will only render whatever is due to you. Nemesis in Greek means “to give what is due.”