John 16 – The Coming of the Spirit & Ancient Man’s Cults, Sects, and Religions: Shintoism (7 of 8)

Finger Pointing Up

1 Satans Choice

I just don’t get it, God.  I don’t understand why anyone worship another human being?  Why anyone would worship something that was man-made, like a wooden or metal statue/idol?  Why anyone would worship anything without proof of its existence?

We can look all around and even though we can’t see Your face, we can certainly see Your handiwork.  And to help us out You even sent Your Son down here and He has been seen by many so we have absolute proof of Your existence.

Through the Bible and Jesus’ words we know Satan is real, but he’s nobody to worship, he’s nothing but an evil narcissistic fool and his followers are people like Bush, Obama, Hilary, etc.

Below we’ll look at one of these ridiculous beliefs and tomorrow we’ll look at the opposite, we’ll look at the last ten…

John 16
The Coming of the Spirit

2 Kojiki
Kojiki is the oldest extant chronicle in Japan, dating from the early 8th century (711–712) and composed by Ō no Yasumaro at the request of Empress Gemmei.

The Kojiki is a collection of myths concerning the origin of the four home islands of Japan, and the Kami. Along with the Nihon Shoki, the myths contained in the Kojiki are part of the inspiration behind Shinto practices and myths, including the misogi purification ritual.

1 These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.

2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.

3 And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.

4 But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.

5 But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou?

6 But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart.

7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

“If I go not away” – Jesus didn’t say why the Holy Ghost wouldn’t come until He went away, but clearly taught that His saving work on the cross was necessary before the sending of the Spirit. 

We don’t need to know why – that is just how God wants to do it, that’s all we need to know.

8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

“He…will reprove the world” – the work the Holy Ghost does in the world.

9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;

“Of sin” – apart from the Holy Ghost’s convicting work, people can never see themselves as sinners.

“Because they believe not” – may mean that their sin is their failure to believe, or that their unbelief is a classic example of sin.

10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;

3 The Inner Shrine
The Inner Shrine, Naikū (also officially known as “Kotai Jingū”), is located in the town of Uji-tachi, south of central Ise City, and is dedicated to the worship of Amaterasu-ōmikami.

The Outer Shrine, Gekū (also officially known as “Toyouke Daijingu”), is located about six kilometers from Naikū and dedicated to Toyouke no ōmikami, the deity of agriculture and industry.

11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

“Of judgment” – Jesus was speaking of the defeat of Satan, which was a form of judgment, not simply a victory because Jesus already defeated the devil when He was resurrected.  The devil is now just waiting for his day of sentencing, the harvest.

12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.

13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

“Whatsoever he shall hear” – we aren’t told whether He hears from the Father or the Son, but it obviously does not matter, for the verse stresses the close relationship among the three.

14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

16 A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.

“A little while…a little while” – a few doubt that the first phrase refers to the interval before the crucifixion.  But interpretations differ as to whether the second refers to the interval preceding the resurrection or the coming of the Spirit or the second coming of Christ?

4 Emperor Meiji
Emperor Meiji (3 Nov 1852 – 30 July 1912), or Meiji the Great was the 122nd Emperor of Japan according to the traditional order of succession, reigning from 3 February 1867 until his death on 30 July 1912.

He presided over a time of rapid change in the Empire of Japan, as the nation quickly changed from a feudal state to a capitalist and imperial world power, characterized by Japan’s industrial revolution.

The disciples weren’t stupid so I believe the first phrase was talking about Jesus ascension to heaven and the second was about His second coming.

17 Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me: and, Because I go to the Father?

18 They said therefore, What is this that he saith, A little while? we cannot tell what he saith.

19 Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto them, Do ye enquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me?

20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.

21 A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.

22 And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.

23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.

“Ye shall ask me nothing” – seems to mean asking for information (rather than asking in prayer), which would not be necessary after the resurrection.  Jesus then moved on to the subject of prayer.

However, Jesus may have been saying that His disciples previously had been praying to Christ, but after His death and resurrection they were to go directly to the Father and pray in Christ’s name.

5 Amaterasu Omikami
Amaterasu Omikami: Principal Japanese deity who is the ruler of the gods and universe. She is the goddess of the sun, the Great Goddess or Mother Goddess who is responsible for fertility.

I believe what Jesus was saying verifies what Paul said:

“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his well, he heareth us.

And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him” (1 Jn 5:13-15).

24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

“Asked nothing in my name” – I don’t believe Jesus meant verbally, but many people ask and Jesus is not in their heart.

25 These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father.

26 At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you:

27 For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.

“The Father himself loveth you” – Christ is explaining why the disciples can come directly to the Father in prayer.  It’s because the disciples have loved and trusted in Jesus, and in love God will hear their requests in Jesus’ name.  Remember, a disciples is anyone that believes in Jesus.

6 Izanami no Mikoto
Izanami no Mikoto (she who Invites) and Izanagi No Mikoto (he who invites) are the two deities responsible for creating the first land mass. They were both siblings and spouses, and produced several children, including the eight babies who made up Japan, and several other deities.

28 I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.

29 His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb.

30 Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God.

31 Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe?

32 Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.

“Ye shall be scattered” – the disciples had faith, but not enough to stand firm in face of disaster.  Jesus knew they would fail; however, His church is not built on people’s strength but on God’s ability to use people even after they have failed.

33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Ancient Man’s Cults, Sects, and Religions:
Shintoism (7of 8)

Shinto is a traditional religion of Japan that developed a result of the influences of Buddhism and Confucianism. Shinto comes from the Chinese word “shin which means “way of the gods. ”

7 Shinto
Shinto has no known founder or single sacred scripture.
Shinto is wholly devoted to life in this world and emphasises man’s essential goodness.

It is the ancient religion of Japan that is as much about Japanese culture as it is about religion. Having no real founder, Shinto claims no sacred texts in the sense of holding their writings to be inspired or revered.

They are regarded more as useful. One in particular, called Kojiki, is widely read. It otherwise possesses no body of written laws or no liturgy. The priesthood is not well organized.

History

Shinto emerged in 5th century B.C. when several sects developed in a reaction against Buddhism. One of these was called Ise Shinto. It was not until the 19th century under Emperor Meiji (1868-1912) that Shinto became adopted as the official religion of Japan.

8 Shinto shrine in Nara
Shinto shrine in Nara
The traditional religion of Japan is Shinto, which roughly translates to the way of the Gods. However, Shinto did not have a name until the introduction of Buddhism to Japan via Chinese ambassadors, back when they were still welcomed, and Buddha was initially viewed as an additional deity to be worshiped.

This was at the time when the emperor was considered divine. Meiji traced his line back in succession to the first mythical emperor Jimmu (660 B.C.). Before and beyond Jimmu, succession stretched to the sun goddess, Amaterasu Omikami.

Shintoism was Japan’s national religion before World War II, out of which the successive divine emperors led to the belief that one is granted life for giving his life to the emperor. This formed the basis for kamikaze suicide pilots during the War.

After Japan surrendered to America in World War II, the American army forced the Japanese emperor to renounce his divinity. Since then, religion and politics have been separated.

Beliefs and Practices

Shinto is an eclectic blend of nature worship, fertility cults, divination, emperor worship, and shamanism. Worship focuses on gratitude to the kami, who are people or natural entities that have for centuries evoked the wonder of the Japanese.

Kami may be hills, mountains, or animals. Often the kami are deities and special human individuals, the latter commonly being emperors. This accounts for Japan’s longstanding worship of its emperors.

Shinto worship also occurs in homes, where a small altar (called a kami dana or kami shelf) may contain a number of items that are worshiped and revered, such as the names of the departed ancestors or statues of deities. In Shinto, ancestors are greatly revered and worshiped.

9 Zao Gongen
Zao Gongen, the protective deity of a Shinto-Buddhist cult called Shugendo

This statue of Zao Gongen can be seen in the East Asian Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Zao Gongen was the spirit of Mt Kimpu, which is south of Nara.

He had previously been holding a thunderbolt scepter, which is now missing. The Fujiwaras, everyone’s favorite ruling clan, were among the adherents of Shugendo, a syncretic Shinto-Buddhist cult.

One of the popular kamis has a divine couple, Izanagi-no-mikoto and Izanami-no-mikoto giving birth to the Japanese islands. One of their daughters, Amaterasu Omikami, became the sun goddess.

She has a shrine in her honor at Ise, a tribute to the (act that she is believed to have brought unity to the country.

Since there is no prescribed liturgies or specific sacred writings that guide the practitioner of Shinto, the canons of Confucianism are followed.

There are four affirmations in Shinto.  They are:

1. Tradition and family. The family preserves the j ancient memory and identity of each member of the family.

2. Love for nature. Nature is a vehicle for bringing I one closer to the gods. It is considered sacred.

3. Physical cleanliness. Practitioners of Shinto constantly bathe themselves and are greatly concerned about hygiene. The ideal place for bathing is at a river near the shrines, where the kami an worshiped.

4. Matsuri. This is the worship of the kami.

Shrines are built to specific kami. Upon entering it shrine, a tori, or gateway, is passed through. When passing through the tori one leaves the world behind and transcends to the infinite realm, where the deity dwells.

Shrine ceremonies include cleansings, prayers, and offerings. Worshipful dances, called kagura, are performed by both men and virgin women.

Celebrations of the seasons are held in the fall and in the spring. National Founding Day takes place on February 11th; this day is believed to be the birthday of Japan. A number of other festivals and rites of are observed.

10 Great Buddha
Great Buddha of Nara
A certain Buddhist melancholy is pervasive in the art and literature of the period, but pagan Shinto celebrations of agriculture were happily continued.

Origami (“paper of the spirits”) is the art of folding paper into various shapes. The folded paper is placed in shrines. This paper is never cut because it is believed that the trees from which they came are sacred.

There are four major traditions in Shinto.  These include:

1. Koshitsu Shinto. This pertains to the emperor himself and the rituals specifically performed by him.

2. Jinja Shinto. As the largest and oldest form of Shinto ritual, Jinja ritual focuses on prayers directed to the emperor, thanksgiving  for the kami, and obedience to the emperor.

3. Kyoha Shinto. There are thirteen sects formed in the modern world (from the 19th century on), each following its own particular rituals.

4. Minzoku Shinto. These are privatized and local rituals.

Conclusion

Traditional Christianity bears little resemblance theologically to Shinto. In reality, the worshiping of the Kami is a form of polytheism, whereas Christianity adheres to monotheism, as God demands:

11 All Mighty

“I am the LORD thy God…

Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Ex 20:2-3).

Some Protestant and Catholics in Japan do use the word Kami to denote God.  They blend the work kami with the word sama to make kamisama, thinking that is respectful of God –WRONG!

The worship of human emperors or ancestors is against God.  There is no salvation from sin without Jesus Christ.

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