Daily Tidbits 1/22 – Hobo Gospel

Tomorrow (1/22/12) begins the Chinese New Year so I thought it appropriate to share a tidbit on Chinese believers and the ‘hobo gospel.’

One of the leaders of the house churches in China is a man who is called Brother Yun (Tianshang ren).  The accounts of his life and how the Father has used Him to spread the Gospel in China is written of in a book called The Heavenly Man.

Following is an excerpt from the book which portrays the theme of the Father using men and women who are perceived as the lowliest of mankind to spread His Word.

The Heavenly Man pg 70
“On one occasion when I was arrested the authorities let me choose whether I wanted to be shocked with an electric baton or whipped with a rope.  They mocked me and said, ‘This is your free choice.’

There is ‘freedom’ of religion in China only if you’re willing to do, say, live and worship exactly as the government instructs you.  Anyone who desires to live a godly life and obey all of Jesus’ teachings will soon find out how much freedom there really is.

For weeks after I was beaten in Shaanxi I continued to bleed from my mouth.  While I was recovering, our church decided to send me to the south, to Hubei Province.

On this trip we experienced many miracles.  By the power of the Holy Spirit there were many divine healings.

Because of the efforts being made by the authorities to catch us in that place, my co-workers were very concerned for my safety.  They relocated me to northern Hubei.

We slept in caves and fled on foot from one place to another.  Our clothes were torn and our hair unkempt.  People were disgusted by us and considered us ‘the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world.’ {1 Corinthians 4:13}”

1Co 4:13  being defamed, we entreat. We have become as filth of the world, dirt wiped off by all until now.
Lam 3:45  You have made us sweepings and garbage in the midst of the peoples.

The ‘Hobo Gospel’


The word ‘hobo’ does not have a definite etymology, it is possibly from the phrase ‘ho, boy’ which was a workers call on western railroads in the 1800s.  Bill Bryson suggests in Made in America that it could either come from the railroad greeting, “Ho, beau!” or a syllabic abbreviation of “homeward bound”.  During the Great Depression hobos traveled via train to different areas seeking work which tended to be temporary where they would then move on to another location.

A hobo would be described in Scripture as a ‘wayfaring man.’

Isa 35:8  And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.

Wayfaring man is translated from the Hebrew הלך דרך ‘holayk derekh’ which means travelers of the way.  Interestingly, ‘wayfaring men’ is also translated from the Hebrew word עבר ‘avar’ which is the root of the word עברי ‘ivri’ which means ‘Hebrew.’

The Apostles followed the Way
Act 19:9  But when some were hardened, and did not obey, speaking evil of the Way before the multitude, departing from them, he separated the disciples, conversing day by day in the school of a certain Tyrannus.
Act 19:23  And about that time there was no little disturbance about the Way.
Act 24:14  But I confess this to you that according to the Way, which they say is a sect, so I worship the ancestral God believing all things according to that having been written in the Law and the Prophets,
Act 24:22  And hearing these things, Felix put them off, knowing more accurately about the Way, saying, When Lysias the chiliarch comes down, I will examine the things as to you.

Preparers of the way
Isa 40:3  The voice of him who cries in the wilderness: Prepare the way of Jehovah; make straight  in the desert a highway for our God.
Isa 40:4  Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the knoll shall be a level place, and the rough places a plain.
Isa 40:5  And the glory of Jehovah shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of Jehovah has spoken.
Isa 62:10  Pass! Pass through the gates; prepare the way of the people! Raise up! Raise up the highway; clear it from stones; lift up a banner over the peoples.
Isa 62:11  Behold, Jehovah has made it to be heard to the end of the earth; Tell the daughter of Zion, Behold! Your salvation comes! Behold! His reward is with Him, and His work before Him.
Isa 62:12  And they shall call them, The Holy People, the Redeemed of Jehovah. And to you it shall be called, Sought Out, A City Not Forsaken.

John the Baptist

Luk 3:2  upon the highpriesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the Word of God came on John the son of Zacharias in the desert.
Luk 3:3  And he came into the neighborhood of the Jordan proclaiming a baptism of repentance for remission of sins,
Luk 3:4  as it has been written in the scroll of the Words of Isaiah the prophet, saying: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.
Luk 3:5  Every valley shall be filled up, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the crooked places shall be made into straight, and the rough into smooth ways;”
Luk 3:6  “and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” Isaiah 40:3-5

In our culture today John the Baptist would appear as a homeless man or hobo.  He was a nazarite who never cut his hair (Luke 1:15) wearing a garment of camel’s hair (Matthew 3:4), a ‘rough garment’ which prophets were known to wear (2 Kings 1:8; Hebrews 11:37; Zechariah 13:4; Revelation 11:3).

The LORD is described as a wayfaring man in Jeremiah 14:8.  When Christ Jesus walked the earth, this is the ‘occupation’ He took upon Himself.

Luk 9:57  And it happened as they were going in the way, one said to Him, I will follow You everywhere You may go, Lord.
Luk 9:58  And Jesus said to him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the heaven have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere He may lay His head.
2Co 8:9  For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that being rich, He became poor for your sake, so that you might become rich by the poverty of that One.

Mat 25:34  Then the King will say to those on His right, Come, the blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
Mat 25:35  For I hungered, and you gave Me food to eat; I thirsted, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you took Me in;
Mat 25:36  naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.
Mat 25:37  Then the righteous will answer, saying, Lord, when did we see You hungry, and fed You; or thirsting, and gave You drink?
Mat 25:38  And when did we see You a stranger, and took You in; or naked, and clothed You?
Mat 25:39  And when did we see You sick, or in prison, and came to You?
Mat 25:40  And answering, the King will say to them, Truly I say to you, In so far as you did it to one of these, the least of My brothers, you did it to Me.
Mat 25:41  Then He will also say to those on His left, Go away from Me, cursed ones, into the everlasting fire having been prepared for the Devil and his angels.
Mat 25:42  For I hungered, and you did not give Me a thing to eat. I thirsted and you did not give Me a thing to drink;
Mat 25:43  I was a stranger, and you did not take Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.
Mat 25:44  Then they also will answer Him, saying, Lord, when did we see You hungering, or thirsting, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to You?
Mat 25:45  Then He will answer them, saying, Truly I say to you, In so far as you did not do it to one of these, the least, neither did you do it to Me.
Mat 25:46  And these shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into everlasting life.

‘Ho boy’ also links back to the Hebrew word אבוי ‘oboy’ which means sorrow or a needy one with an empty hand desiring to be filled.  אביון ‘ebyon’ which means ‘poor’ in Hebrew is from the same root בי ‘biy,’ meaning an empty hand.

Mat 5:2  And opening His mouth, He taught them, saying:
Mat 5:3  Blessed are the poor in spirit! For theirs is the kingdom of the Heavens.
Mat 5:4  Blessed are the ones mourning! For they shall be comforted.
Mat 5:5  Blessed are the meek! For they shall inherit the earth. Psa. 37:11
Mat 5:6  Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness! For they shall be filled.
Mat 5:7  Blessed are the merciful! For they shall obtain mercy.
Mat 5:8  Blessed are the pure in heart! For they shall see God.
Mat 5:9  Blessed are the peacemakers! For they shall be called sons of God.
Mat 5:10  Blessed are they who have been persecuted for righteousness’ sake! For theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.
Mat 5:11  Blessed are you when they shall reproach you, and persecute you, and shall say every evil word against you, lying, on account of Me.
Mat 5:12  Rejoice and leap for joy, for your reward is great in Heaven; for in this way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Jas 2:5  Hear, my beloved brothers, did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to the ones loving Him?
Jas 1:9  But let the lowly brother rejoice in his lifting up;
Jas 1:10  and the rich one rejoice in his humiliation, because he will pass away like the flower of the grass.
Isa 14:32  What then shall one answer to the messengers of the nation? That Jehovah has founded Zion, and the poor of His people shall trust in it.
Isa 29:19  And the humble ones shall increase joy in Jehovah, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
Zep 3:12  I will also leave a poor and weak people in your midst, and they shall trust in the name of Jehovah.
Zep 3:13  The remnant of Israel shall not do injustice, nor speak lies. And a deceitful tongue shall not be found in their mouth. For they shall feed and lie down, and no one shall frighten them.
Zep 3:14  Shout for joy, daughter of Zion; shout, Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all the heart, daughter of Jerusalem!
Zep 3:15  Jehovah has turned off your judgments; He has turned away your enemy. Jehovah, the King of Israel, is in your midst; you shall not fear evil any more.
Zep 3:16  In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear not! Zion, do not let your hands droop.
Zep 3:17  Jehovah your God is mighty in your midst; He will save. He will rejoice over you with joy; He is silent in His love. He rejoices over you with a joyful shout.
Zep 3:18  I will gather the afflicted ones from the appointed place; they were from you, a lifting up of reproach over her.
Zep 3:19  Behold, at that time I will deal with all those who afflict you. And I will save her who is lame, and gather her who was thrust out. And I will give them for a praise and for a name in all the land of their shame.
Zep 3:20  In that time I will bring you, even in the time I gather you. For I will give you for a name and for a praise among all the peoples of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, says Jehovah.
Mat 11:5  The blind receive sight, and the lame walk; lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear; the dead are raised, and the poor are given the gospel. Isa. 61:1
Mat 11:6  And blessed is the one, whoever shall not be offended in Me.
Mat 11:7  But as these were going, Jesus began to say to the crowds about John, What did you go out into the wilderness to behold? A reed being shaken with the wind?
Mat 11:8  But what did you go out to see? A man being clothed in soft garments? Behold, those wearing soft things are in the houses of kings.
Mat 11:9  But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and one more excellent than a prophet.
Mat 11:10  For this is the one about whom it has been written: “Behold, I send out My messenger before Your face, who shall prepare Your way before You.” Mal. 3:1
Mat 11:11  Truly I say to you, There has not arisen among those born of a woman any greater than John the Baptist. But the least in the kingdom of Heaven is greater than he is.
Mat 11:12  But from the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent seize it.
Mat 11:13  For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John.
Mat 11:14  And if you are willing to receive, he is Elijah, the one going to come.
Luk 6:20  And lifting up His eyes to His disciples, He said: Blessed are the poor, for the kingdom of God is yours.
Luk 6:21  Blessed are those hungering now, for you will be filled. Blessed are those weeping now, for you will laugh.
Luk 6:22  Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they cut you off, and will reproach you, and will cast out your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man;
Luk 6:23  rejoice in that day, and leap for joy; for, behold, your reward is much in Heaven! For their fathers did according to these things to the prophets.
Luk 16:20  And there was a certain poor one named Lazarus who had been laid at his doorway, having been ulcerated,
Luk 16:21  and longing to be filled from the crumbs that were falling from the table of the rich one. But coming, even the dogs licked his sores.
Luk 16:22  And it happened, the poor one died and was carried away by the angels into the bosom of Abraham. And the rich one also died and was buried.
Luk 16:23  And being in torments in hell, lifting up his eyes, he sees Abraham afar off and Lazarus in his bosom.
Luk 16:24  And calling he said, Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering in this flame.
Luk 16:25  But Abraham said, Child, remember that you fully received your good things in your lifetime, and Lazarus likewise the bad things. But now he is comforted, and you are suffering.
Luk 16:26  And besides all these things, a great chasm has been fixed between us and you, so that those desiring to pass from here to you are not able, nor can they pass from there to us.
Luk 16:27  And he said, Then I beg you, father, that you send him to my father’s house;
Luk 16:28  (for I have five brothers, so that he may witness to them, that they not also come to this place of torment).
Luk 16:29  Abraham said to him, They have Moses and the Prophets, let them hear them.
Luk 16:30  But he said, No, father Abraham, but if one should go from the dead to them, they will repent.
Luk 16:31  And he said to him, If they will not hear Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if one from the dead should rise.
1Co 1:18  For the Word of the cross is foolishness to those being lost, but to us being saved, it is the power of God.
1Co 1:19  For it has been written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will set aside the understanding of the understanding ones.” Isa. 29:14
1Co 1:20  Where is the wise? Where the scribe? Where the lawyer of this world? Did God not make the wisdom of this world foolish?
1Co 1:21  For since in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom did not know God, God was pleased through the foolishness of preaching to save the ones believing.
1Co 1:22  And since Jews ask for a sign, and Greeks seek wisdom,
1Co 1:23  we, on the other hand, preach Christ crucified (truly an offense to Jews, and foolishness to Greeks),
1Co 1:24  but to the called out ones, both to Jews and to Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God;
1Co 1:25  because the foolish thing of God is wiser than men, and the weak thing of God is stronger than men.
1Co 1:26  For you see your calling, brothers, that there are not many wise according to flesh, nor many powerful, not many wellborn.
1Co 1:27  But God chose the foolish things of the world that the wise might be put to shame, and God chose the weak things of the world so that He might put to shame the strong things.
1Co 1:28  And God chose the low-born of the world, and the despised, and the things that are not, so that He might bring to nothing the things that are,
1Co 1:29  so that no flesh might glory in His presence.
1Co 1:30  But of Him, you are in Christ Jesus, who was made to us wisdom from God, both righteousness and sanctification and redemption,
1Co 1:31  so that even as it has been written, “He that glories, let him glory in” the “Lord.” Jer. 9:24

Deu 8:2  And you shall remember all the way which Jehovah your God has caused you to go these forty years in the wilderness, in order to humble you, to try you, to know that which is in your heart, whether you will keep His commandments or not.
Deu 8:3  And He has humbled you, and caused you to hunger, and caused you to eat the manna, which you had not known, and your fathers had not known, in order to cause you to know that man shall not live by bread alone, but man shall live by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of Jehovah.
Deu 8:4  Your clothing did not wear out on you, and your foot did not swell, these forty years.
Deu 8:5  And you have known with your heart that as a man disciplines his son, Jehovah your God disciplines you.
Deu 8:6  And you shall keep the commandments of Jehovah your God, to walk in His ways, and to fear Him.
Deu 8:7  For Jehovah your God brings you into a good land, a land of streams of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills,
Deu 8:8  a land of wheat and barley and vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey,
Deu 8:9  a land in which you shall eat bread without want; you shall not lack anything in it; a land whose stones are iron; and you shall dig copper out of its mountains.
Deu 8:10  And you shall eat and be satisfied; and you shall bless Jehovah your God in the good land which He has given you.

Psa 34:18  Jehovah is near to the broken of heart; and He saves the crushed of spirit.
Psa 34:19  Many are the evils of the righteous, but Jehovah helps him out of them all,
Psa 34:20  keeping all His bones; not one of them is broken.

Psa 51:15  O Lord, open my lips and my mouth shall declare Your praise.
Psa 51:16  For you do not desire sacrifice, or I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering.
Psa 51:17  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.

Isa 57:15  For so says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, and His name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, even with the contrite and humble of spirit; to make live the spirit of the humble and to make live the heart of the contrite ones.
Isa 61:1  The Spirit of the Lord Jehovah is on Me, because Jehovah has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the meek. He has sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to captives, and complete opening to the bound ones;
Isa 61:2  to proclaim the acceptable year of Jehovah, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn;
Isa 61:3  to appoint to those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of the spirit of infirmity, so that one calls them trees of righteousness, the planting of Jehovah, in order to beautify Himself.
Isa 66:1  So says Jehovah: Heaven is My throne, and earth the footstool of My feet. Where then is the house that you build for Me? And where then is the place of My rest?
Isa 66:2  And My hand has made all these things, even all these things exist, declares Jehovah. But I will look toward this one, to the afflicted, and to the contrite of spirit, even trembling at My Word.

Mic 6:8  O man, He has declared to you what is good. And what does Jehovah require of you, but to do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?

Luk 18:10  Two men went up into the temple to pray, the one a Pharisee, and the other a tax collector.
Luk 18:11  The Pharisee was standing, praying these things to himself: God, I thank You that I am not as the rest of men, rapacious, unrighteous, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.
Luk 18:12  I fast twice on the sabbath; I tithe all things, as many as I get.
Luk 18:13  And standing at a distance, the tax collector would not even lift up his eyes to Heaven, but smote on his breast, saying, God, be merciful to me, the sinner!
Luk 18:14  I say to you, This one went down to his house having been justified, rather than that one. For everyone exalting himself will be humbled. And the one humbling himself will be exalted.

Homeward bound
Heb 11:1  Now faith is the essence of things being hoped, the evidence of things not having been seen.
Heb 11:2  For by this the elders obtained witness.
Heb 11:3  By faith we understand the ages to have been framed by the Word of God, so that the things seen should not come into being out of things that appear.
Heb 11:4  By faith Abel offered a greater sacrifice to God than Cain, by which he obtained witness to be righteous, God testifying over his gifts; and through it, having died, he yet speaks.
Heb 11:5  By faith “Enoch” was translated so as not to see death, and “was not found, because God translated him.” For before his translation, he had obtained witness to have been pleasing to God. Gen. 5:24
Heb 11:6  But without faith it is impossible to please God. For it is right that the one drawing near to God should believe that He is, and that He becomes a rewarder to the ones seeking Him out.
Heb 11:7  Being divinely warned by God about the things not yet having been seen, moved with fear, by faith Noah prepared an ark for the salvation of his house; through which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness according to faith.
Heb 11:8  Having been called out by faith, Abraham obeyed to go forth to a place which he was going to receive for an inheritance; and he went out not understanding where he went.
Heb 11:9  By faith he resided as a foreigner in a land of promise, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the joint-heirs of the same promise;
Heb 11:10  for he looked forward to a city having the foundations of which the builder and maker is God.
Heb 11:11  Also by faith Sarah herself received power for conceiving seed even beyond the time of age, and gave birth; since she deemed the One having promised to be faithful.
Heb 11:12  Because of this came into being from one man, they who were generated, and these of one having died, seed even “as the stars of the heaven” in multitude and countless “as sand by the seaside.” Gen. 22:17
Heb 11:13  These all died by way of faith, not having received the promises, but seeing them from afar, and being persuaded, and having embraced and confessed that they are aliens and tenants on the earth.
Heb 11:14  For those saying such things make clear that they seek a fatherland.
Heb 11:15  And truly if they remembered that from which they came out, they had time to return.
Heb 11:16  But now they stretch forth to a better, that is, a heavenly land. Therefore, God is not ashamed of them, for Him to be called their God; for He prepared a city for them.
Heb 11:17  By faith, being tested, Abraham offered up Isaac; and he receiving the promises was offering up the only begotten,
Heb 11:18  as to whom it was said, “In Isaac your Seed shall be called;” Gen. 21:12
Heb 11:19  reckoning that God was able to raise even from the dead; from where indeed he obtained him in a parable.
Heb 11:20  By faith concerning things to come Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau.
Heb 11:21  By faith when dying, Jacob blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and “worshiped on the top of his staff.” LXX-47:31
Heb 11:22  When dying, Joseph by faith made mention of the Exodus of the sons of Israel, and he gave orders concerning his bones.
Heb 11:23  Being born, Moses was by faith hidden by his parents three months, because they saw the child was fair; and they did not fear the king’s decree.
Heb 11:24  Having become great, Moses by faith refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter,
Heb 11:25  having chosen rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than for a time to have enjoyment of sin;
Heb 11:26  having counted the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.
Heb 11:27  By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the anger of the king; for he kept on as seeing the Invisible One.
Heb 11:28  By faith he made the Passover, and the sprinkling of blood, that the one destroying the first-born might not touch them.
Heb 11:29  By faith they passed through the Red Sea, as through dry land; by which, the Egyptians taking the attempt, were swallowed up.
Heb 11:30  By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, having been circled during seven days.
Heb 11:31  By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish with those disobeying, having received the spies with peace.
Heb 11:32  And what more may I say? For the time will fail me telling about Gideon, Barak, and also Samson and Jephthah, and also David and Samuel, and the prophets,
Heb 11:33  who through faith overcame kingdoms, worked out righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
Heb 11:34  quenched the power of fire, escaped the mouths of the sword, acquired power from weakness, became strong in war; made armies of foreigners to yield.
Heb 11:35  Women received their dead by resurrection; but others were beaten to death, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.
Heb 11:36  And others received trial of mockings and of floggings; yea, more, of bonds and of prison:
Heb 11:37  they were stoned; they were tried; they were sawn in two; they died by murder of sword; they went about in sheepskins and in goatskins, being in need, being afflicted, being ill-treated;
Heb 11:38  of whom the world was not worthy, wandering in deserts, and mountains, and caves, and the holes of the earth.
Heb 11:39  And having obtained witness through the faith, these all did not obtain the promise,
Heb 11:40  God having foreseen something better concerning us, that they should not be perfected apart from us.

Gavin Bryars – Jesus’ Blood (never failed me yet)

Johnny Cash – Wayfaring Stranger

 

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