Nike: The chance of winning


Nike: The chance of winning

By Augusto A. Kho

Bureau of Jail, Management & Penology

District Jail, Balungao, Pangasinan

July 24, 2017 (Monday); 10:00 A.M.

Updated: July 26, 2017 (Wednesday) 4:00 P.M







Photo from the internet


Winning isn’t a piece of cake – Augusto A. Kho; 25th July 2017; 10:07 PM



Name above all Name

You sung that song that goes like this, “Jesus name above all names; You are worthy of all praise, My heart will sing How great – You are God…”


When facing with a big, big, big, difficult problem, to whom shall you turn too? To St. Jude Thaddeus, the patron of the hopeless? Or to this Nike Shoes right on my hands? Is it to slap it on your face or to pummel it to your head? Tapno Mamunawan ka or mahimas masan ka.


Tell me what the biggest problem you ever encountered in your whole life? Or what terminologies you can think of that poses to you a great challenges or risks?


Shall we say loneliness… fear of the unknown …loss of loved ones or family … low self-esteem.. loss of self-respect and sense of dignity … loss of worth or self-respect … conviction, imprisonment or death penalty… hopelessness? Because you are right here, in this place, in this prison cell. A present reality.


With such enormous problem that lies ahead of you, to whom shall you turn to? To your political padrino? Or money to bail you out from this mess? Or to any saint or god you can ever think of? Like St. Jude, the patron of the hopeless?


When I was age 20, I was hooked on alcohol and illegal drugs, lost my job, homeless and without food. I remember walking along the streets of Sta. Mesa with my mere brief on because I was high on drugs. I was gripped with hopelessness and misery.. On such falling state, I decided to pay a vow to St. Jude Thaddeus Chapel near Malacanan for the next consecutive nine Thursdays. After my vow , I received a subpoena for estafa. Another case came for illegal recruitment … To make it short, I managed to survive not until many years later, that I came to know the Lord in 1986.


On such a time like this, to whom you will turn to but to the Lord Jesus Christ who has a name above all names. He is above than your sorrow and fear. He is above than your conviction. He is above than all these world that you can name of even death.


Apostle Paul said, “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father,” (Philippians 2:9-11). Christ is the only hope you’ve got no matter what.



The Map

If you notice I drawn from the blackboard the map of Greece, Ancient Rome (now Italy), Constantinople (now Turkey) and Philippines. I will explain it to you later why I did draw that.



Ephesus, Turkey

We were then in Ephesus, Asia Minor (now Turkey) in June 14, 2017. As the lady tourist guide, Emile Meltem toured us around while sharing us bits and pieces of the city’s historical landmarks, a group of fellow tourist jammed in one place where they posed to a statue of seemingly long-haired female figure with a weaved laurel-leaves like over her named. Amused, I approached them to take a look. They said, the name of the lady-statue is Nike. Nike is the goddess.




Nike’s symbols

Nike according to Smith symbolizes golden sandals, wings, wreaths. According to Ancient Mythology, Nike was the goddess of speed, strength and victory. Nike means victory.


When I saw that nike statue in the ancient city of Ephesus, immediately, a song slipped into my mind that goes like this You have won the victor’s crown. You have triumphed over death and hell. Your name is lifted high and reigns throughout the earth. Every demon spirit in hell aways tremble when your name is heard. Your name is lifted high and reigns throughout the earth. Oh the glory of your name, the splendour of your name, none can compare with the power of your Name, You are Jesus, You are Lord, You are God!”



Athens, Greece

I visited the Temple of Athena in Acropolis, Athens, Greece way back sometime on 1985 after coming from Rome. That is where you can find the oldest building structure in the world called “Parthenon” which is just facing Mars Hills where Paul “while waiting” for Silas and Timothy in Athens was “provoked by the spirit in him when he saw the city was given over to idols,” (Acts 17:16/ NKJV). Such godly provocation or godly anger created “chaos in the city. A true Christian is a crowd-drawer. Either you please them or displease them. Either you win them or make them your foes depending on how they react to the Gospel of the Kingdom and to the Lord Christ.



Athina is said to be a priestess who led the priests for orgy prior in offering foods for their idols. Orgy is said to be made first prior to their religious ritual according to our female tourist guide when I had my sightseeing there. Athina or Athena is also called, Venus, the Greek goddess of beauty.


Ancient Rome, Italy

I left Greece and proceeded to Italy and from there I visited the ruins of ancient Rome during the reign of Emperor Augustus Caesar. Not far that ancient capital of the Roman Empire, you will find the Arch of Titus, named after General Titus who was responsible to millions of deaths among Christians and the Jews where he marched with his legions the whole Roman Empire to persecute anyone who does not worship the emperor of Rome.


St. Peter Square, where the Vatican is not politically part of Rome as of today but it is geographically a part of Italian land territory. Vatican represents a state in the United Nations UN) under Roman Catholic Church. I went inside the Vatican Church and feasted my eyes on the works of Michaelangelo, Di Vince and Raphael which includes La Pieta, Adam and Eve, among others.




Not far from the Arch of Titus is the ancient Colosseo or Roman Amphitheatre where many Christian martyrs were thrown there to be eaten by hungry, ferocious lions, if not to be stabbed alive to death with clubs or spears or swords by the merciless gladiators while hundreds of spectators on the arena would shout frenzy wild over the spilling of blood on the ground. This is what author of the Book of Hebrews is referring at. He refers to all believers that we are “surrounded with a cloud of many witnesses (martyrs who died before us), let us ran with patience to the race that is set before us” in Hebrews 12:1. While others die aimlessly, few die for a cost. That is why Paul said, “To live is to Christ, and to die is gain.”



Winning is not ..

And as I imagined right there and then, I pictured the unrequited Christians who lived and died ahead of us who have been persecuted, imprisoned, tortured and executed. And yet they stood their last ground even unto death just to share the Lord Christ’s victor’s crown. While many of us wanted to make a great exploits very few indeed are willing to pay for the price. Victory is not free neither it is cheap. You have to work hard for it. You have to die for it. Winning for victory isn’t a piece of cake.




Somewhere in that ancient city of Rome which is a little bit farther is where you can find the statue named Victoria that stands right at the middle of the Trevi Fountain. According to traditions, throwing coins on the fountain brings luck (so I did throw some coins there as well and uttered a wish or a prayer. I was still a Catholic then).


Victoria in Rome is the same Athina in Greece. In Roman, Athina is called Victoria. Athina and Victoria is one and the same and they are being called “Nike” in Asia Minor or Turkey.


(My cousin’s pet-name is Vicky. Her first name is Victoria. So when you see her building named “Victoria’s Court right infront of SM-Rosales).


And of course, Nike in Ephesus, Turkey. That is why I have drawn the maps of Greece, Italy and Turkey (according to chronological order as well in terms of their periods or epochs - Hellenistic (Greeks); Romans (Rome) ; Byzantine Period (Constantinople by Constantine) and Ottomon Empire (by the Turks).



Nike in the Philippines?

If victory is being attributed to Greek goddess Athina-Nike or Victoria, where will you place your chance of victory now as a Filipino? Nike in Ephesus; Athina in Athens, Greece and Victoria in Rome, what name will you render here in the Philippines?


Is it your victory depends from the names of the saints you’re believing on like St. Jude; or depends from your political connections or bail for your release to freedom, or from a judge who can acquit your case to your own favour? Our countless more where you can draw your slimmest hope? Or from God?

Philippines like any other nation of this world is influenced by the Roman mind. Take note of the annual Gregorian (name of Roman catholic pope) calendar. What month that does not represent a Roman god like Janus (January); Februa (Latin Feast for Purification) which is February; Mars (March); Janus (June) and others. Even our planets like Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn, Uranus, Pluto are all named after Roman gods except Earth?


Philippines is home to 85 % Roman Catholics to around 105 Million Filipinos.


Nike, goddess of speed

Nike is the goddess of strength, speed and victory


That is how goddess Athena Nike is being described. Do you think you can easily get away from this jail if you have the money (for bail), (political ) connection and speedily trial?

You know quite well that judicial system in the Philippines is one among the slowest in Asia. That is why some of you have been serving your “jail sentence”? when you are not yet “judicially convicted” and still awaiting for your trial for years. Not even money or connections can possibly buy your freedom.


Oftentimes we draw our strength and success from human means, efforts and achievements and not from God.


Where will you draw your hope and chance of winning for such much coveted crown of victory if you put your trust on men and not on God? To whom will you entrust your precious soul and life? To whom will you draw your personal victory over your monstrous, leviathan-like problems which you are facing at this very moment?


Shall you put your full confidence to your good lawyer who can handle your legal case? If you trust on them more than God Himself, the nike or victory you’re counting on is merely for this life and not for the life eternal. You may gain or win your body but loses your own soul.


Who is then our true victory? 1 Corinthians 15:57 says, “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”



Nike: Our true chance of winning

Victory, do we have the chance of winning? To succeed (towards victory) is not an option. It is your mandate and a divine destination. (Read “NOTES: Greatest Challenge”).


Our lives’ greatest challenge is endurance should we wish to achieve victory (Revelation 2:7; 2:11; 2:17; 3:5; 3:12; 3:21). However you faith to God must be anchored on Christ alone (John 14:6).


Romans 10:11 (NIV), “As Scripture says, "Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame." Psalms 40:4, Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. Nike or victory in Christ is our true chance of winning.



Christ is true victory

1 Corinthians 15:55-58, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”



Law is harsh

But the mere fact that you are here is that there is a “just cause” of being in this prison. Guilty or innocent are merely two options that you have but your chances is very slim. While Athina-Nike or Victoria is a goddess of speed and victory, Philippine judicial system is the slowest in Asia and your court-related cases will be dragged for years.


Beside the Roman Law which is the foundation of our Constitutional Law beside from Mosaic Law says “The law is harsh but it is the law. And no one is above the law.” As Scriptures puts it, “Eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth.”


Romans 2:11-12, “For there is no respect of persons with God.12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law.”


Notice the word “law” there? The word “law” in Greek “nomos” means “a rule producing a state approved of God which demands moral instructions” according to Strong Dictionary. So he who commits offense will pay it to the last penny.


A greater law

Victory in Greek word “nikos” means victory” or “to utterly vanquish. Strong Bible Dictionary defines that “a CONQUEST” or “TRIUMPH,” (kata gumpayan).


While others put their trust on gods, people and things of this world, anyone who put his confidence on Christ will be eternally victorious and unchallenged.



Victor’s crown

Victor in Greek “stephanos” refers to “a crown: a mark of royal or exalted rank.” According ot Thayer it is “the wreath or garland which was given as a prize to victors in public games.” Biology and Genetics graduate turned Christian archaeologist Dr. Mark Fairchild who accompanied us during our whole tour on all the locations of the “Seven Churches of Asia Minor” of Revelation chapters 2 and 3 explained to us clearly what is the difference between a theatre and amphitheatre.


And that Roman Collesseo that I saw in ancient Rome is an Amphitheatre . It is where the “enemy of the state” who does not like to vow down before Caesar as God will be put on public display or spectacle to entertain blood-thirsty spectators.


As former US President Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “There is no glory in battle worth the blood it costs” seeing the horrible picture and outcome of World War II. But in Christ’s Kingdom, war (spiritual) is inevitable. And cowards can never taste victory. Jesus’ words are clear and simple when He said, “


Until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force,” – Matthew 11:12


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,” - Revelation 2:10



Greatest challenge

Our lives’ greatest challenge is endurance (Revelation 2:7; 2:11; 2:17; 3:5; 3:12; 3:21). Time and time and time and again and again, Jesus Christ encourages the Seven Churches of Asia “” despite of the herculean odds before them. The word, “he who overcometh” was repeatedly addressed to all the churches as a form of encouragement.


Despite of the various situations they were all facing with like “evil practices, apostasy” (Ephesus); “tribulation, poverty, blasphemous assault; fear, suffering” in Smyrna; “satanic stronghold; execution and martyrdom” in Pergamma (Pergamos); “Jezebel spirit, seducing spirit and fornication; adultery; food offered to idols” in Thyatira; “faltering or falling, defilement or uncleanliness” among believers in Sardis; and “discouragements, losing heart and fear” in Philadephia; and lukewarm spirit; materialism; greed; spiritual poverty and blindness; nakedness or impurity” God still assured “victory” to anyone who will endure at end. Falling away is a mere result of lack of patience.



Bible Reference/ KJV

Name of the Church

Word repeatedly used

Reward if “endured”

Revelation 2:7



tree of life”

Revelation 2:11



not be hurt by second death”

Revelation 2:17




eat the hidden manna; his name written on a white stone”

Revelation 2:26




given power over the nations and morning star”

Revelation 3:5




clothed in white


Revelation 3:12



Will become “a pillar in the temple”

Revelation 3:21



will sit on my throne”


Other words used are as follows; ESV : “conquers”; NIV” “ overcome” and New Living Translation (NLT)” “victorious.”



Overcomethis derived from the Greek word “nikao” meaning “to conquer ‘ to carry off the victory (be victorious over all His foes, temptations, persecutions, etc.); to subdue; overcome; prevail. The Greek word “nikao” is derived from the Greek root word “nike” pronounced as “nee-kay” which primary means “victoryor “success.” To succeed or become victorious has been the absolute expectation that Lord expects from all Christian worldwide. This is the very key promise that God reminded to all the churches in the last of the Last Days. It is the destination that every church must look forward to.


There is no slimmest chance of defeat when we play by the rules (Revelation chapters 2,3). For Christ assured us of 100 % (complete ) victory. To be victorious isn’t an option, it rather our destination that God has assured us of.




  • Nike in Greek Mythology, Nike was the goddess of speed, strength and victory. Nike means victory.

  • Victory (Athina) in Greek mythology.

The Temple of Athena Nike (Greek: Naós Athinás Níkis) is a temple on the Acropolis of Athens. It was named after the Greek goddess, Athena Nike. Built around 420 BC, the temple is the earliest fully Ionic temple on the Acropolis


Nike is seen with wings in most statues and paintings, with one of the most famous being the Winged Victory of Samothrace. Most other winged deities in the Greek pantheon had shed their wings by Classical times. Nike is the goddess of strength, speed, and victor. Nike was a very close acquaintance of Athena, and is thought to have stood in Athena's outstretched hand in the statue of Athena located in the Parthenon (Source: "Nike: Greek goddess of victory".


  • Victory or Victoria in Roman mythology

How Nike in Ephesus, Turkey is related to Athens in Greece and Rome in Italy today? Athena Nike’s Roman equivalent is named Victoria (victory).


According to Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, Nice is the goddess of victory, or, as the Romans called her, Victoria, is described as a daughter of Pallas and Styx, and as a sister of Zelus (zeal), Cratos (strength), and Bia (force).


  • The sports equipment company Nike, Inc. is named after the Greek goddess Nike says Philip Levinson.

  • Victory or Nike in Ephesus, Asia Minor

  • Nike is often seen represented in ancient works of art, especially together with other divinities, such as Zeus and Athena, and with conquering heroes whose horses she guides. In her appearance she resembles Athena, but has wings, and carries a palm or a wreath, and is engaged in raising a trophy, or in inscribing the victory of the conqueror on a shield. Nice also occurs as a surname of Athena, under which the goddess had a sanctuary on the acropolis of Megara.



  • Apostle Paul in Areopagus

Areopagus is a Greek word which means “Mars” hill” in English. Thayer defined it as “martial peak” referring to “a rocky height in the city of Athens, opposite the western end of the Acropolis toward the west. Areopagus or Mars hill is named after the Greek god of war, Ares. In Acts 17:19, “And they took him, and brought him unto Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, is?



  • Manny Pacquiao Loses Nike

Manny Pacquiao Loses Nike Sponsorship Over Anti-Gay Remarks as reported by LIAM STACK on February. 18, 2016. Manny Pacquiao Responds to Nike, Manny Pacquiao, the Philippine politician and former boxer, responded with indifference to the news that Nike has dropped its sponsorship. He also defended his comments about the L.G.B.T. community. By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS on Publish Date February 18, 2016. .


.“We find Manny Pacquiao’s comments abhorrent,” Nike said in a statement. “Nike strongly opposes discrimination of any kind and has a long history of supporting and standing up for the rights of the LGBT community. “We no longer have a relationship with Manny Pacquiao.”


Pacquiao, 37, a born-again Christian and second-term congressman in the Philippines, had a lucrative sponsorship deal with Nike for many years, but by Wednesday night the company had removed all of his branded merchandise from its online store.


Outrage over Pacquiao’s remarks began to spread on Monday, when a video of him criticizing gay people during an interview with TV5, a Philippine network, was shared widely online.


It’s common sense. Do you see animals mating with the same sex?” he said in the interview. “Animals are better because they can distinguish male from female. If men mate with men and women mate with women, they are worse than animals.”


Common sense is not common anymore. More and more people have no sense of understanding these days – not knowing the wrong from the right. Even the educated and well-cultured aren’t an exemption. Meanwhile less educated Manny have a strong sense of common sense though. Manny Pacquio lost Nike’ valuable endorsement yet he WON CHRIST for his solid stand on the truth.