In Luke 14, , again on the Sabbath, at a Pharisee’s house no less, Jesus healed a man with dropsy. Noticing how the people competed for the best places Jesus spoke of the lowly place to be sought rather than the place of honor, and as an object lesson he gave us the parable of the Great Supper and the cost of following Christ. Finally Jesus mentioned the value of good salt and the worthlessness of salt that lost its savor.
1 Kings 8. It was celebration time when the Ark was brought into the Temple, Solomon gave a great speech and a prayer of dedication. Then he blessed the Assembly and dedicated the Temple with lots of sacrifices and it finished with a fourteen day feast.
1 Kings 9 tells of God’s second appearance to Solomon, this time with a promise and a warning. Solomon and Hiram exchanged gifts and the chapter lists more of Solomon’s achievements.
This passage in the second chapter of the Gospel according to Luke chapter 5, is one that puzzled me for a long time: (Jesus speaking)
First, let ‘s dispense with the King James’ translation, the original Greek mentions wineskins, not bottles.
Wine is made from grapes, and the sugar content of grapes is about 16%. The wine making process is to convert the sugar into ethanol via fermentation, and grapes come replenished with their own yeast, so the fermentation starts whether you like it or not. If you leave the grapes out in the air they will ferment and the ethanol will oxidize into vinegar, so they must ferment in a vessel that locks out oxygen. The fermentation has two phases, the first phase is fairly fast, a little more than 10 days, where the sugar converts to ethanol. This process releases CO2; nearly half of the weight of the sugar goes up in the air in the form of CO2, the rest is ethanol. No wineskin can handle that, so fermentation was usually done in a clay vessel with a lid on to prevent air to enter. At the end of 10 to 15 days they had “new wine”.
Bur the fermentation was not over, the aging process began, and that lasted from a few weeks to a few months. During that time there is a slow release of CO2, but the vessel had to be air tight so no oxygen could spoil the wine and turn it into vinegar.
This is where newwineskins come in, they can handle this process by being ever so slightly permeable, if they are made from young goatskin, properly prepared.
Old wineskins on the other hand are hardened and can even be brittle, like an old leather glove that has been lost in the snow for the winter, and when it is found in the spring, it is ruined.
Jesus did not teach wine-making when he used that parable, in the parable the wine is the Holy Spirit and we are the wineskins.
Many people, me and my wife included have been praying for a great new, worldwide revival, and following that, a great worldwide awakening. Revivals usually start small and local, but with a great intensity. The intensity will be greatest among the young people, and they will celebrate with a new song in their heart. They are the new wineskins, and they will be filled with new wine, and their new music will be less refined, raw and unpolished, or so it will seem to us old wineskins. We better prepare for the outpouring of the Holy spirit in our old wineskins by rejuvenate them with the oil of joy to make us ready to receive the old wine, aged to perfection with the full bouquet, like when Jesus turned water into wine. Then we who have been saved for many years can join and appreciate each other, we appreciate their youthful enthusiasm and music, and they will appreciate the good wine that comes from lifelong experience.
There is a great passage in Isaiah 25, a song of praise coming right after the dreadful chapter 24. It speaks of aged wine being the finest of wines.
Revelation 7:17: For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’ ‘And God will wipeaway every tear from their eyes.’”
Yes, there will be a great worldwide revival, and an even greater awakening.
Luke 13. Jesus kept telling the religious Jews “Unless you repent you all perish.” The fig tree is a symbol of Israel, and until then God has been patient with the barren Fig Tree. Moving on, like Jesus so often did, a woman was healed on a Sabbath, which made the ruler of the Synagogue angry. Jesus took issue with that, asking why can you save animals on Sabbath but not people? He then told the parable of faith like the Mustard Seed, the Leaven and the narrow Gate and explained why not all will enter. Finally, Jesus lamented over Jerusalem.
1 Kings 6 retells in great detail how Solomon had the Temple built.
And the retelling continues in 1 Kings 7, how Solomon had his palace and the other buildings built. He hired Hiram the Craftsman, and he completed the bronze pillars for the Temple, the Sea and the Oxen, The Carts and the Lavers and had all the temple furnishings made.
Philippians 2:12-29, shining as stars, Timothy and Epaphroditus.
This emphasizes who was, is, and will be performing the salvation, as was written in Philippians 1:5-6 “ For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day (past) until now (present); 6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it (future) until the day of Jesus Christ:”.
The United States, the world’s second-leading emitter after China, seeks to reclaim global leadership in the fight against global warming after former President Donald Trump withdrew the country from international efforts to cut emissions. President Joe Biden unveiled the goal to cut emissions by 50%-52% from 2005 levels at the start of a two-day virtual climate summit attended virtually by leaders of 40 countries including China, Russia and India.
How can that be?
China burned 51.2% of the world’s coal in 2012, USA produced 12.5%. China’s production was more than four times larger. This has now stabilized and was in 2018 47%, because India and the real developing world are increasing their dependence on coal for electricity production, and also for cooking meals.
This of course is with the Paris accord in mind. U.S. and the European countries are to limit their emissions and slowly diminish them, down to a per capita emission comparable to the mid 1800’s, while China, being a “developing” country is allowed to increase their emissions until 2030, and then stabilize them, not decrease them.
How can they be burning nearly half the world’s coal mined?
One reason is they are the world’s state controlled manufacturing company. They are also responsible for half the world’s Steel production. China produced 50.3% of the world’s crude Steel in 2015, USA produced 4.9%. China’s production was over 20 times larger than the U.S.Some of this steel was dumped below production cost to crush our domestic low end steel industry. An example: Rolled steel to make steel cans were exported at about $200 a ton, the production cost in the U.S. is more like $400 a ton. They can do this, since their environmental regulations only pay lip service to pollution. Remember how Pittsburgh was 60 years ago? China is much worse.
Cement production. China produced 51.4% of the world’s cement in 2015, USA produced 1.8%. China’s production was almost 30 times larger.
It takes a lot of concrete to build artificial islands so they can take control of the South China Sea. But they are building many other things, Ghost Cities, but also an impressive infrastructure with high speed trains on elevated concrete tracks.
Worrisome as that may be, it is nothing compared to China’s dominance in Rare Earth Metals. Let me explain why rare earth metals are so important to our modern economy.
First, rare earth metals re not rare at all, they exist in small quantities together with Thorium and sometimes Uranium wherever other metals are mined.
The Lanthanides occur in quantity in Monazite, a byproduct of mining Phosphates, but also as a byproduct of mining Titanium, and even from some Iron ores. The rare earth metals are free to begin extraction if it was not for one thing, they also contain Thorium, and Thorium is very weakly radio-active, so in the mid 1980’s the NRC and IAEA reclassified Monazite and anything containing Thorium as a “Source Material” and after that it became too costly to comply with all the regulations for nuclear material, so all production of rare earth minerals ceased in the U.S.
China saw an opportunity to grab the world market for Rare Earth Metals and is now controlling about 85% of the supply of all rare earth metals.
So what are rare earth metals used for?
China now has a de facto monopoly on all usages of rare earth metals, and in the case of war or an embargo, not only are our precious cell phones and computers in jeopardy, so is our defense, night vision goggles, aircraft engines, navigation systems, laser guidance, just to name a few uses.
And not only that, we import the completed parts from China, even for our most sophisticated military equipment, such as the F35 aircraft, after telling the Chinese how to make the components. The very same components are now in China’s version of the F35, still under development, but in a year or so China will have their faithful copies made! A F35 aircraft contains about 935 pounds of rare earth metals.
This is clearly unsustainable, so in 2014 Congress tried to pass HR 4883 and S 2006 to remedy the situation, but the bills got killed in review by none other than the defense department, citing National Security! Our only major rare earth metals mine reopened, only to go bankrupt in 2015. It has since reopened, but the ore is shipped to China for refining! One good point is that the Mountain Pass mine was scheduled to reopen the processing facilities late 2020, but full processing operations without the help from the Chinese rare earth refining giant corporation Shenghe Resources have been delayed to 2022
The idea was that we should change our electricity production into renewable sources, such as wind and solar.
Wind power uses a lot of rare earth metals to get the most efficient generators, all made by China. Wind power is about maxed out, that is, if you care about birds, especially eagles and raptors. The allowable bald eagle kill was upped from 1200 to 4200 a year for all U.S. wind turbines during the Obama administration. Killed golden eagles and storks has a S250,000 fine, paid by the electricity users, and if we build it out more, we may exterminate some species.
Solar power looked promising until pollution was taken into consideration. China added 53 GW solar capacity in 2017. The forecast for this year i 45 GW, and for next year 35 GW.
The efficiency of solar panels are drastically reduced by the layer of soot accumulating daily from air pollution. They have to be cleaned daily with water, and water is in short supply in northern China. The yellow river no longer reaches the ocean during large periods of the year, all water is spoken for. In southern India a solar farm used up so much water that the wells went dry and there was no more water for agriculture and people, except during the monsoon season. Germany has given up on their solar program except for special needs. The best places for large solar farms in the U.S. are in Arizona and Nevada, both are having severe and growing water problems. In addition, that is not where the energy is needed, so transmission losses must be taken into account, as well as the need to expand an increasingly vulnerable and in many parts undesirable national grid.
I am not against solar panels, and as soon as we are freed from total Chinese dominance on the material used in solar panels we should install them in open spaces, such as parking lots around factories and shopping malls, wherever there is adequate sunlight. Park the cars under them and the summer heat will be so much more bearable, and in the winter you will not have to scrape the windshield. When it snows, solar panels do not work anyway.
Where it rains, China pollutes. The Yang -Tse river carries nearly half the plastic waste that is dumped in the ocean. It can be stopped, but it will consume a lot of energy, both man-power and electricity to do all the cleanup.
The most practical solution is found in creating a massive effort in developing and installing Thorium nuclear power. Here is a list of reasons why we should jump on the opportunity to solve the energy crisis:
Luke 12:1-34. Jesus was teaching: “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees,” “even very hairs of your head are all numbered,” “His eyes are on the sparrow,” “acknowledge me before men” and “anyone who blasphemes the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.” “Do not worry, the Holy Spirit will give you the words to say when you are persecuted for my sake”. Jesus claimed he is not the arbiter in worldly disputes and strongly urged people not to hoard riches here on earth. Again, do not Worry, look at the lilies, (my interpretation: Smell the roses and enjoy God’s creation).
1 Kings 3. Solomon asked for wisdom. He got it as well as great riches. Armed with that wisdom he showed his wise judgment.