Posted in heat wave, India, judgment, prophecy, revelation, wrath

Heat wave in India so severe roads are melting

Some roads in New Delhi melted.

This is an actual cover of yesterday’s newspaper in New Delhi, India. Steve Herman is the Asia correspondent for Voice of America.

Here is the story:
Intense heat wave claims over 900 lives across India, torrid temperatures melt roads in Delhi

An unrelenting heat wave has killed more than 900 people across the country over a fortnight with southern neighbours Andhra Pradesh and Telangana bearing the brunt, as torrid temperatures melted roads in the national capital and forced people indoors on Tuesday. The meteorological department issued “red box” warnings for Odisha, Jharkhand and coastal Andhra Pradesh, signalling high chances of heatstroke, dehydration and fatality with temperatures inching upwards of 45°C and conditions worsened by constant dry, sweltering winds.

This article from CNN said that the temps rose as high as 118F (48C), breaking previous the national high of 117. Some areas have reported temps of 120F. CNN reported that the death toll has reached 1,100 persons, dead from heat stroke or dehydration. In India, seven hundred ninety-two million people have no access to electricity, which means they do not even have a fan to even try and cool off.

By all accounts this heat is not normal and it’s breaking records, even for normally hot India. The average high temperature for Delhi in May is 90F. A prolonged heat wave with temps in solid triple-teen digits is unusual, though infrequently the temps may reach low triple digits for short periods. People who have been interviewed for news articles  have talked about how the heat wave has crippled the city, caused dehydration, parched bodies seeking water from anywhere.

The storm gathers: sin piles up to heaven, wrath is promised

All this reminds of of the Tribulation to come. It is not the Tribulation now. However, this heat in India reminds of of the more severe heat stored up in His wrath that the Lord will pour out on the world. This heatwave today is a dim picture of the judgment to come.

One of the judgments will be a scorching heat, at the same time there will be no water. The Euphrates will be dried up. (Rev 16:12). The rivers and other waters will be made into blood. They will have only blood to drink (Rev 16:4-6)

The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was allowed to scorch people with fire. They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory. (Revelation 16:8-9).

This is that the MacArthur Commentary for the Book of Revelation says about the above verse:

In contrast to the first three angels, who poured out their bowls on the earth, the fourth angel poured our his bowl on the sun. As a result the sun, which has since the fourth day of creation (Gen. 1:14-19) given the world warmth, light and energy, becomes a deadly killer. Searing heat exceeding anything in human experience will scorch men so severely that it will seem like the atmosphere is on fire. Those who will be scorched with the sun’s fierce heat are the same “people who had the mark of the beast and worshiped its image.” (v. 2).

This fiery judgment is reminiscent of Isaiah 24:4-6,

The earth mourns and withers; the world languishes and withers; the highest people of the earth languish. 5The earth lies defiled under its inhabitants; for they have transgressed the laws, violated the statutes, broken the everlasting covenant. 6Therefore a curse devours the earth, and its inhabitants suffer for their guilt; therefore the inhabitants of the earth are scorched, and few men are left.

One would think that the unparalleled disasters of the first four bowl judgments would cause people to repent. God’s judgment is designed to bring sinners to repentance (Rom 2:4), or, like Pharaoh,  to harden their hearts.  Instead of blaming their sin, in the most shocking example of hardness of heart in history, they blasphemed the name of God, whom they know to be responsible for all their misery. Amazingly, they know that it is God who has the power over the plagues that were afflicting them. Yet they will love their sin so much, and be so deceived by the antichrist, that they will not repent so as to give God glory. Until this point, only the antichrist has been described as blaspheming, (Revelation 13:1, 5-6); here the world adopts his evil character.

Do I refer to this heatwave’s a shadowy picture of one of the judgments to come because I believe we are in the Tribulation now? Of course not. The rapture of the church will happen first, and then the judgments will be rendered by the Holy and Just Judge exactly and in the order as chronicled in Revelation.

Do I speak of the severe judgment to come in order to instill fear? A little. Holy fear and biblical knowledge of the power of God in wrath is a good thing. His judgment and His wrath are holy attributes of which we should be acquainted. But that is not why I write about the India heat-wave, entirely.

It is because knowledge of the future judgments should give us an urgency to —

–witness with words as to the grace available through Jesus Christ now,
–live holy lives in the face of known coming judgment

When I read something like the India heatwave in the headlines, my mind goes this:

“Man, I’m sorry for those people. It hurts my heart to see this suffering.”
“Boy that heatwave is nothing like the one prophesied to come in Revelation. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy…”
“I’m sooooo grateful to have been saved by His grace and living with the knowledge that He is preparing a place for us and to receive us in His great gathering up!”
“What about my neighbor? Does she know Jesus? Does she know how much He loves us but is storing up wrath to come? I should talk with her tomorrow…”

Prophecy is God’s glory on display

Prophecy gives us urgency. It reveals God’s plan and offers us the wonder of seeing it fulfilled to the jot and tittle, from the past by reading the Bible, and the future as we await His return. Prophecy shows us His holy anger, of which we must fear. We gain comfort and hope- think of Simeon and Anna in the temple, eagerly awaiting the Consolation of Israel, their hope and comfort fulfilled before their eyes as Mary and Joseph came to present the babe. (Luke 2).

I like being heavenly minded. I think of seeing the face of Jesus, singing to Him with all the redeemed. I think of the street of gold, the saints of the past I’ll get to know, and so much more. Being heavenly minded also means seeing the justice of God as He renders it in the Tribulation and in the Millennial Kingdom. Judgment, wrath, and hell. There but for the grace of God go I… He took my ragged and pitifully craven life and turned it into something glorious for the Father. He put in me a new heart and my soul daily being cleansed of sin.

In all the ways above and many more, prophecy demonstrates His glory.

I encourage you all to read and study the Book of Revelation. It is not difficult, and the Spirit will make it clear. John MacArthur’s “Because the Time is Near” is tremendous in explaining the Book, or any of his sermons at gty.org from Revelation are good. You know we receive a blessing if you read the Book of Revelation. In addition, as you saw from the explanation above, the parallel verse to the scorching heat verse in Revelation is one from Isaiah. Zechariah has as much prophecy in it related to the final days on earth as Revelation does, if not more. I enjoyed Steve Hadley’s verse-by-verse sermons from Zechariah. There is so much prophecy in the Old Testament. I guess I should just say that the entire Bible is wonderful. Some say that a quarter of the whole Bible is prophetic. There is history, Law, narrative, poetry, wisdom, and prophecy. Something for everyone! So get to it today, don’t shy away from prophecy, especially Revelation.

Prophecy puts me in my place. I am a crumb, saved by grace, and at His perfect appointed time, placed within the Age of Grace to do His will, and perhaps gloriously see His rapture while I’m alive. What a privilege. Share Jesus with another, His prophetic timetable is moving quickly toward the climactic moments on earth.

Posted in Amy Carmichael, India, missionary, Tamil

"Missionary life is simply a chance to die" – Amy Carmichael

Amy Carmichael (1867-1951) was a missionary to India, and was one of the most respected missionaries of the first half of the twentieth century.

She was born in Ireland to a well-to-do family, who raised her as a Christian (Presbyterian). In her Methodist boarding school as a young teenager she accepted Christ as savior. Shortly after, her family’s circumstances changed when her father died and the family’s finances were severely reduced.

Amy Carmichael As a young women.
From AmyCarmichael.org

She and her mother moved to Belfast, and Amy began visiting in the slums and saw the women there who worked in the factories…or who didn’t work at all. Women who worked in the factories wore shawls instead of hats, and were pejoratively called ‘shawlies.’ Amy’s heart went out to them, and she began a ministry for them in care and love, and fully dependent on the Lord to provide. The church crowd looked down on Amy’s ministry to the slum women and the shawlies and in fact were rather shocked.

A few years later she moved to Manchester from Belfast and formed another ministry to the young women in the factories and the slums. Amy received a call to be a missionary in Japan. However, Amy was not a well women, suffering from neuralgia. She went anyway, but the language was difficult for her. After a period of disappointment in the behavior of the missionaries there and more illness, 15 months later, Amy sailed for Ceylon and then for home, convinced that Japan was a mistake. After a lengthy recuperation, at age 28, she sailed for India.

Once again, Amy became ill, this time with dengue fever, and again, the missionary ladies’ meetings were simply tea-drinking gossip-fests. She felt not just disappointment this time, but despair. However, her early convictions of the Lord’s provision, sovereignty, and love sustained her, and falling to her knees in submission, Amy trusted that the Lord would not leave her desolate.

He didn’t.

Amy Carmichael with Indian children. From “Things As They Are”

Feeling led to move to the very south of India, Amy lived with a Christian missionary family and began an itinerant mission among the people of the slums, just as she had in Belfast and Manchester. Hinduism was very strong there, and with it, temple prostitution of children. Many, many girls were sold to the temples for the ritual perverted prostitution. In 1901, Amy met her destiny.

A young temple prostitute, 7 years of age, had been sold to the temple priests but repeatedly ran away. On this particular time, an older Indian woman brought the runaway to Amy, by then, known as a loving and understanding woman. The girl’s name was Preena, and as she sat in Amy’s lap and talked of the perverted rituals done to her by using the rag doll Amy had given her to demonstrate, Amy became shocked. Upset beyond words, she resolved to love these children sacrificially, and Amy’s mission became clear. She had found her place of service. It was 1901.

For the next 55 years, without furlough, Amy Carmichael rescued young children and women from temple prostitution or from being sold to the gods and goddesses. A few years later, she began rescuing boys, many of them born to the girls who had been prostituted. Once again, as in Manchester, Belfast, and Japan, some of the other missionaries looked down on Amy for loving the unlovable.

Old India, from Carmichael’s “Things As They Are”

Influenced and inspired by George Muller, Amy opened an orphanage, the Dohnavur Mission Orphanage which still ministers today. Many children were thus rescued, taught the Gospel, and loved by Amy and the staff. Soon, Amy was called Amma, which means mother in the native language. She loved sacrificially and constantly.

In addition to her mission work among the children of India, Amy was also known as a poet and a writer. In one of her books, she was so realistic about mission work that her manuscript was rejected. The editor’s note requested a rosier picture. Instead, she didn’t change a thing, but simply re-titled the manuscript, “Things As They Are” and pursued publication with renewed vigor. Of course, the book was eventually published. (You can read it here on Project Gutenberg or order through Amazon).

Even at that, within a few weeks of the publication of Things as They Are, some in England doubted its truth, and notes were sent from different parts of India conforming the truths that Amy was sharing about life in the slums, the caste system, ritual temple prostitution, and more.

Here is one such confirmatory note, proclaiming the truths of the ‘more pessimistic’ side of missionary work.

From Rev. T. Stewart, M.A., Secretary, United Free Church Mission, Madras.

This book, Things as They Are, meets a real need—it depicts a phase of mission work of which, as a rule, very little is heard. Every missionary can tell of cases where people have been won for Christ, and mention incidents of more than passing interest. Miss Carmichael is no exception, and could tell of not a few trophies of grace. The danger is, lest in describing such incidents the impression should be given that they represent the normal state of things, the reverse being the case. The people of India are not thirsting for the Gospel, nor “calling us to deliver their land from error’s chain.” The night is still one in which the “spiritual hosts of wickedness” have to be overcome before the captive can be set free. The writer has laid all interested in the extension of the Kingdom of God under a deep debt of obligation by such a graphic and accurate picture of the difficulties that have to be faced and the obstacles to be overcome. Counterparts of the incidents recorded can be found in other parts of South India, and there are probably few missionaries engaged in vernacular work who could not illustrate some of them from their own experience.

Missionary Elisabeth Elliot and her husband Jim were greatly inspired by Carmichael. I wrote of the Elliots and their missionary work in the jungle of Papua New Guinea last week. In an Elisabeth Elliot newsletter from 2002, Elisabeth quoted Amy Carmichael’s realistic challenges of missionary work. She wrote,

“I would never urge one to come to the heathen unless he felt the burden for souls and the Master’s call, but oh! I wonder so few do. It does cost something. Satan is tenfold more of a reality to me today than he was in England, and very keenly that awful home-longing cuts through and through one sometimes—but there is a strange deep joy in being here with Jesus. “Praising helps more than anything. Sometimes the temptation is to give way and go in for a regular spell of homesickness and be of no good to anybody. Then you feel the home prayers, and they help you to begin straight off and sing, ‘Glory, glory, Hallelujah,’ and you find your cup is ready to overflow again after all.”

From her own eye-opening experience of personally reduced circumstances, to further eye-opening first-hand visits to the slums of Belfast, to the disappointments of fellow missionaries and church goers too well-to-do to help the poorest or most downtrodden, to Japan to Ceylon to England to India, which eventually brought her to Tamil region of south India, Amy Carmichael is a picture of sacrificial love and strength through God’s grace and provision. At the end of her life, Amy was bedridden for a period of years. It was at this time she flourished in writing her devotionals and poems and books. There are so many publishers have lost count even as the originals have disappeared. A standard number is that Amy wrote 35 books.

In a letter from a prospective missionary, one young woman asked Amy what it was like to be a missionary. Amy wrote back, “Missionary life is simply a chance to die.”

Source

Amy never returned to England. She remained in India and it was there where she died in 1951. She did not want an elaborate grave nor a tombstone. Her place of bodily rest is marked simply with a birdbath the children erected, and a single word. Amma.

Of Amy Carmichael’s struggles, a very few recounted here. This short essay of a remarkable life does not include the illnesses, riots, rumors, prison threats, arsons against her, and much more. Amy better than anyone knew that missionary life many times meant death, threat of death, or near-death. The Tamils were NOT hungry for the Gospel and in fact called Amy a “soul-stealing woman.” She endured the earthly worst.

However, Amy also exemplified the spiritual best. Every day in India, Amy died to self and sacrificially cared for the country’s cast-offs, abused, neglected and poor. She endured with God’s strength and provision, and she left a legacy that inspired a new generation of missionaries. God always raises up a banner for His name, and for half a century in India, His banner was named Amy Carmichael.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Further Reading:

Amy Carmichael—A Portrait of Sacrifice

Amy Carmichael: the Torchlighters episode for children

Amy Carmichael: Facts and Extensive reading List

Posted in India, kings of the east, prophecy

India has unveiled its first home-built aircraft carrier

Indian-built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant launched
India has unveiled its first home-built aircraft carrier from a shipyard in southern Kerala state.

The 37,500 tonne INS Vikrant is expected to go for extensive trials in 2016 before being inducted into the navy by 2018, reports say. With this, India joins a select group of countries capable of building such a vessel. Other countries capable of building a similar ship are the US, the UK, Russia and France. Monday’s launch of INS Vikrant marks the end of the first phase of its construction. The INS Vikrant was launched amid chanting from ancient Hindu scriptures at the Kochi shipyard in the southern state of Kerala.”

Remember, India is a nuclear power. Also remember that in the final days of world history, the Kings from the East will march against Jerusalem. (Revelation 16:12). India is East of the Euphrates.

India’s increasing military capability at this juncture is interesting to note, particular in the area of having their own aircraft carrier. In any case, this news is indicative of the fact that Jesus said there will wars and rumors of wars during the Tribulation. Life on earth will not get any better, it is always on a downward slide till the end. India, having the toy, they will want to use it. It is only a matter of time.

Posted in God, hail, India, weather

Freak storm: hailstorm with ice boulders rain down in Indian villages

The Daily Mail has the story, along with their typically fantastic photos

Nine people killed as freak hailstorm rains massive boulders down on Indian villages
Hailstones the size of boulders have rained down on villages in southern India.
“At least nine people were killed when the violent weather hit several villages in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The hailstorm which lasted for almost 20 minutes, destroyed crops, houses and live stock, causing devastating financial implications for residents. It was once-in-lifetime experience for people living in seven villages in Chevella, Moinabad and Shankarpally. The hailstones started falling from the sky on Tuesday night and covered the entire villages under the snow-like blanket.”

This area in India which received the hail is prone to huge hailstorms. The Weather Underground reports,

“The deadliest hailstorms, and perhaps the largest hailstones, in the world occur on the Deccan Plateau of northern India and in Bangladesh. The heaviest authenticated hailstone ever measured was one of 2.25 pounds that fell in the Gopalganj district of Bangladesh on April 14, 1986. The stones size was not measured although anecdotal reports claimed the stones were the size of “pumpkins”. Ninety-two people perished as a result of the storm although how many of these can be attributed to the hail is uncertain. A hailstorm in the Moradabad and Beheri districts of India killed 246 people on April 30, 1888, the deadliest hailstorm on record in modern history.”

But even this storm has the Meteorological Office scratching their heads.
“HYDERABAD: Two days after a severe hailstorm lashed parts of Chevella mandal in Rangareddy district, a two-member team of meteorologists from the Indian Meteorology Department (IMD) visited the affected areas, but were clueless as to what caused the unusual phenomena and were only able to give textbook answers. … Officials said that hailstorm normally occurs during summer months but not in January. … When asked if the hailstorm of such a scale as the one witnessed on Wednesday ever occurred, Rao said that there was no record and did not rule out such a possibility.”

Here is a gentle reminder:

God controls the weather. He either sent the storm or He allowed satan some latitude to cause it. (Job 1:9-12, 19; Isaiah 30:30).

The other reminder is that He will send 100lb hailstones in the Tribulation.

“And great hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, fell from heaven on people; and they cursed God for the plague of the hail, because the plague was so severe.” (Revelation 16:21)

You notice the verses ‘they cursed God for the hail’. The people by that time will know it is God sending these things as plagues, or judgments. It is better to know it now, before the judgment comes.

Do you acknowledge God is King (Psalm 29:10)? Do you understand that you are a sinner, that He sent His Son as the sacrifice to die for your sins, and God accepted the sacrifice by raising His Son from the dead to reign in heaven, and who will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead? That’s the Gospel. (1 Corinthians 15:1-8)