Rabu, 24 April 2013


Agony and the Ecstasy of Paul
The Testimony of Jesus Christ is Spirit of Prophecy
Sunday 1st Service ( (24 October 2004)
By Art Katz

Praise the Lord. Good morning dear saints. If I look in any fresh, that’s a deception, I’m altogether crumpled, tired, uninspired, uninstructed, feeling and finding my way, and yet cherishing this final occasion. I can’t tell you how deeply… not to miss the mind of the Lord in any particular… the issue is not to find what is good but to find what is perfect.
There are a lot of good things, tested, given things. But what is the appropriate and intended word for the conclusion of these days, as if it were once and for all and will not be given again. We think that for that a man would need a full night’s sleep. The marvel is if I’ve had any. But hat is a necessity that I would stand before you in a kind of crumpled condition because I can tell you that when you’ll be called upon to give a climatic final moment of utter and eternal significance, you’re not going to feel any better than I’m feeling presently and you’ll have to be obedient in the want of vim and vigor, strength and inspiration that you think you ought to have to the uttermost because the moment is so critical but you’ll have it least. You’ll have to be obedient in your weakness. And so I’m required, as a prophetic man, not only to speak, but to demonstrate the thing to which you are so for-called. Got that picture?
So even here, we’re talking in the car, what shall be said and how shall we conclude and what text? And I’m not even sure now though I’m moments away from having to open my mouth. So Lord, our confidence is in you. If we’re jealous for this conclusion, for this finale, as if it will never again be our privilege, what ought to be spoken Lord? In Your so great wisdom. Who alone knows the end from the beginning. You know the destiny my God of the Church and this expression in this city and in this nation. What ought to be spoken Lord? And how? Come have all the more opportunity to express yourself because I’m in a condition of weakness. Because my mind is fuzzy. Because I can’t humanly put it together. Exhibit my God your wonderful grace, that resurrection and power for which these children will be called to fulfill in their weakness what you are setting before them and mine. And we thank you for the mystery of it and your provision through it and your wonderful grace that as one who has gone before in exactly this way, for You were crucified in weakness. So we thank You and give You praise for this conclusion now. Lord let every word be a sword and a dagger. Every piece of punctuation, your accent, your voice, the disposition of your heart and mind, that nothing my God will fall to the ground. We’ll cherish it we promise and thank You for the privilege of it in Jesus Name, Amen
Well it would almost be criminal to have passed through these days and not one time to speak to you out of Romans 11. Are you aware what Romans 11 signifies for the Apostle Paul? It is his very heart. Are you aware what the book of Romans signifies for the Apostle Paul? It is the most systematic statement of his apostolic creed, of his whole perception of the faith and of reality.
The book of Romans is classic beyond all estimation and scholars have rightly said that chapters 1 through 8 are the preliminary for 9 through 11, which is the heart and 12 through 16 is the aftermath, the working out, the application of what is spoken as the centerpiece which is Romans 9 through 11, the subject of the mystery of Israel and the Church.
Can you imagine what a statement it is of God’s wisdom that the Church that is gentile, would take to its heart this great burden and this great mystery not just as an aspect of its consideration or concern, but the very heart of its purpose, call and being. That a gentile Church who should be preoccupied with the destiny and faith of the Jewish nation is a remarkable statement to the principalities and powers of the air who preside over mankind in their premise that men are only goaded and provoked by their self interest and will only seek what pertains to themselves, their pleasure, their security and all the rest. God wants to being that false interest down. Not only to contradict it but to utterly to destroy it because it has made of captive nations and races of men who live for number one, for themselves, their security, their selfinterest, their satisfaction as an unspoken premise that this is the principle for life. That if you have any kind of reason, you know that you take care of number one first and if you have anything left over, you might consider a bit of philanthropy and altruism. But God contradicts all that and says that the utterness of the divine wisdom is a consideration other than yourself, contrary to yourself. That not only does not promote your self interest but threatens it. And so I can tell you with confidence, anyone who will take up Paul’s burden of the mystery of Israel through the Church in the last days makes himself an especial candidate for suffering. The powers of darkness will hate this determination on your part not only because you’re gentile, but because you are Chinese. Because you’re oriental, you’re Asian. So that which is to say, you’re the least ones of whom anyone would expect some kind of identification with that
Semitic people in the other part of the world whose representative is standing before you. Why should you have any affinity for the Jew? Any interest in the destiny of that nation? All the more when its track record stinks. When the Lord acknowledges that you have blasphemed my Name in every nation where I have sent you, where I have cast you in judgment. And now in the last days, you’re even doing it in the land that you presently occupy. And you’ll continue to do it until I bring that final last day sifting and judgment by which the great majority of you will not survive and the remnant will
constitute the redeemed nation who returns to Zion with everlasting joy upon their heads, sighing and mourning passing away.
So will you take my word for it, you dear saints? I know that this is a strange subject you’re not acquainted. But I want to introduce it. I want to by the grace of God sound a theme. There’s no way that we can begin to develop this, this takes a 3 to 5 day seminar at least to dwell upon this and draw this out. What I’m hoping for in the gravity of time, which means shortness that the theme will so be sounded that it will ruin you, that it will haunt you. It will come back into your thought, your consciousness, “Israel, why should we be preoccupied? It’s as distant and remote a subject and concern as could ever be put before us as Asian Christians. And yet if we don’t take it up, we will contradict the very mystery that was at the heart of the great apostle’s consideration. That to remove this from Paul is to remove Paul.
And what are we, if we do not reflect and take to our heart what was central to him. What is the Church if it’s not built upon the foundation of the apostles and the prophets? So we want to probe and feel and identify and grasp what pulsated in this great apostle’s heart. What was given to him as revelation over which he was a steward of the mystery. And no where else does he say, “Brethren my desire is that you should not be ignorant of this mystery lest you become wise in your own conceit.”
There’s no other place where he warns that the loss of a mystery will have any negative consequence except here. To lose this mystery, not to obtain it, opens you to consequences that are undesirable and change and threaten the entire character of the Church itself.
He said, “I would not have it that you be ignorant of this mystery lest you become wise in your own conceit.” Something pompous, something inflated, some swelling up of your Christian egotism will necessarily follow the absence of, the lack, of this mystery. This mystery is calculated to temper you, to humble you, to bring you into a sense of
God in the majesty of His mind and will, because Paul ends this remarkable statement in Romans 11 with 3 verses that in a most magnificent, poetic paean of praise to God stated anywhere in the whole corpus of the Bible, Old or New Testament. There’s no greater ecstatic statement that stretches language to breaking than Paul’s spontaneous eruption at the end of his final statement in Romans 11. “Oh the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God.” The man is staggered, he is reeling, his breath fails him. “Oh the depth of the riches.” What has he seen, that he would
exclaim something so ecstatically that it defies language to comprehend? Who has been his counselor? Who has given to him and it shall be given again? For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things to Whom be glory forever.” You dear saints, if you trifle with this, if you think that Paul is only employing a little piece of flourish and rhetoric, some stylistic thing to end his remarkable statement in Romans 11 with the glory of God forever because it has a nice lofty sound, you are condemned, you’re shortchanging God, you’re crippling yourself, you’re losing the heart and nub and genius of apostolicity itself…is the issue of the glory of God forever.
Don’t you understand? If we miss what Paul is saying, why he is ecstatic, why he concludes like that, we turn the word “glory” into a piece of traffic. We make it a little piece of convenient verbalism that we can write, put into our choruses, our songs, taught to pray, but we don’t know what it means, it doesn’t pierce us through…We don’t understand the ultimacy of the word “glory”. Which is at the heart of Church that is Church, it’s very purpose for being, beyond any and every other consideration
of any benefit that it derives from believing, is the purpose pertaining to the glory of God.
If I could only make that point, if I could only sink that home, if I could only drive it into your corporate consciousness and into your deeps, I will heave a sigh of relief and feel that I have discharged my obligation to toward you.
A Church that is not jealous for the glory of God is ipso-facto not the Church. It can call itself that, it can have services and programmes and all the rest, but it has lost its reason for being. And how do we understand this? The glory of God? The phrase itself defies every concept. We can’t even summon humanly an understanding, let alone an appropriation of a phrase like “the glory of God forever.”
So I want to tell you flat out, that there’s no way that you can even aspire to it or consider it, unless it is given you by the grace of God.
Isn’t it remarkable contradiction that we can’t live for the jealousy of the glory unless God Himself should communicate something of the substance and spirit and meaning of that word? That we’re dependant upon Him even to catch some sense of the thing which is to be central to our own reason for being. That’s why he says, “for of Him and
through Him and to Him are all things to whom be glory forever.”
I’m pleading with you to wrestle with that, that Paul is not just going on a flight of fancy
and getting poetic to bring a nice, lofty sounding conclusion to a great epistle. This is
the heart, the genius of what is apostolic because it recognizes that the remarkableness
of our call, the ultimacy is so beyond our ability even to understand it, let alone to fulfill
it, because it’s of Him. It’s not from Art Katz or any man however clever. This is of
Him, this mystery that no man could have conceived. That there is a relationship in
God’s wisdom between the Jewish people, that nation that is despised and even now
stirring the hatred of the world toward it which will increase in torrents. It will be an
Anti-Semitic inundation worldwide. They will be the most hate and despised of all
peoples, like the Lord before them. And you’re going to be identified with them in
those last days?
It’ll threaten your future, it’ll mark you, it’ll make you an object for persecution because
whoever hates them and wants to drive them into the sea and to obliterate them once
and for all and blame them for every malady and failure of world and society will bring
upon you some measure of that vitriolic hatred as upon them if you are seen to be in
any way sympathetic towards them or identifying with them or willing to extend
yourself for them when they are universally hated and despised and looked upon as the
enemies of mankind.
Got the picture?
That you should yet be willing to suffer that risk and count it privilege to identify with a
people who in no way have done anything for you for which you have received the
benefit and yet you’re willing at the sacrifice and peril of your own life and family to be
so identified with them whom you’ve never even seen in the flesh? That’s a mystery.
That’s an extraordinary phenomenon that can only be understood out of the councils
of the wisdom of God which Paul being the apostle that he is and the steward of these
mysteries had seen.
Not to see it, dear saints, is to condemn us to charismatica. Is to condemn us to
predictable services oriented for our enjoyment, our pleasure. They’re good, its
Biblical, it brings a dimension of something that is desired, but it falls short of the glory.
“For of Him” This mystery, only God could have conceived it in the divine mind. This
reciprocal relationship between not only two different kinds of people, but people who
have been in historic enmity throughout the whole chronicle of the ages – the Jew and
the gentile.
I know you don’t know anything about that. Will you take my word for it? That I grew
up with it as a Jewish by in a Jewish home with a Jewish mother who when she was a
kid in London, England and they had to take swimming, her gentile teacher threw her
into the pool and said, “sink or swim you fat Jew.” My mother in her 90s still
remembered that and never forgave that gentile insult. Jews carry with them a history
of the enmity of the gentile world against them. Where have they been safe? In what
nation in the world where they had been aliens and cast out. At what moment would
the bottom fall out? Even when they achieve a measure of security and then suddenly
something turns as in Germany. And they become the object for annihilation.
You can’t understand how deep and savage has been the history of enmity, fear and
suspicion between Jews and the gentile world. And yet God says in His mystery, that
there’s a necessary relationship between a gentile Church and this people. So necessary
that if you don’t enter it consciously and willfully, even though there are few Jews in
your midst to whom you can demonstrate this presently, you forfeit the possibility for
the fulfillment of yourself as Church.
The issue of what your are as Church is altogether related and totally identified with
this people. You cannot even understand yourself as Church or fulfill your purpose as
Church if you have not the consciousness of the intended relationship with that people.
Nor can they come to the fulfillment of God’s intention for them independent of you.
And that’s humbling for any Jew who wants to make it alone and independent and
show himself morally and in every way superior.
God in His wisdom has created these differences that requires a reconciliation, a union,
an identification which only He can affect. He calls us to the impossible. With man this
is impossible. But with God…So then why Katz are you bursting your jugular vein to
communicate this if it’s but God? Do we just lean back and sit and wait for the magic of
His performance? No. There’s a required participation of a conscious willful kind. It’s
an agreement to pay for this and sacrifice because what is the first verse after Romans
“Brethren therefore I beseech you make of your bodies a living sacrifice as an
altogether proper worship unto the Lord.” What is he saying? This is not going to be
fulfilled by sitting on our haunches. This is going to require ultimate sacrifice, which is
your proper service. Or it cannot be fulfilled.
How many times have I used now already the word “ultimate”? How many times have
you ever used it? I would bet dollars to donuts (American idiom) that there’s hardly a
soul in this room who has ever once breathed the word ultimate. Or has spoken about
ultimacy. And yet the prophetic heart cries out for that word especially.
Because if we will not be ultimate in the intention of God, we will be predictable,
ordinary, mundane, mediocre. And that is a contradiction in terms because “unto Him
be glory in the Church,” not mediocrity. Got the picture?
You would sink into a necessary mediocrity of predictability of religion as a Sunday
addendum where your first purpose is really the success of your career and the
attainment of your education and the finding of a wife or a husband and having a family
and a nice home and car, etc. You would necessarily go the way of all flesh if God in
His mercy had not just called you to religion but to ultimacy. To things beyond your
ability that requires an ultimate sacrifice, an ultimate determination, an ultimate
understanding, an ultimate jealousy for the glory of God which itself is an ultimate
subject. And the heck of it is this; you can’t even perform that by yourself. It is of such
a nature and kind that it requires corporate fulfillment or no fulfillment at all.
That’s why he had you on the floor the other night, you young ones. Because unless
you are incorporated in those purposes, and come early to the recognition of the
ultimacy of your call and destiny in Him, we older ones cannot fulfill it without you.
We’re in something together.
Those that believed were together. It’s more than being alongside each other in chairs,
looking up at a platform and enjoying the service. The whole issue of the Church is the
issue of this mystery, its comprehension and its fulfillment, which is of Him.
But if it’s of Him, it must necessarily be through Him. All of your well meaning
intention, all of your brittle ability, your well meaning clever(ness), you did well in
school, now you’ll do well in Church, You’ll fulfill this mystery out of your capability; no
This is so requiring, so ultimate that has been conceived of Him, that it can only be
fulfilled through Him. That’s why I’m in my crumpled condition this morning. Because
the speaking itself of this mystery cannot issue out of human expertise and ability. Not
even human energy. It’s got to be through Him or not at all. Even the proclamation of
the mystery, the setting forth of it has got to be through Him. Through His life, through
His power, through the resurrection reality which is at the heart of the genius of the
faith and not just the expediency by which Jesus was removed from His tomb and
elevated to the right hand of God.
Resurrection through Him, which means that you are so now under obligation to move
from the mere acknowledgement of the truth of resurrection as doctrine, to the
appropriation of resurrection as – the Germans have a good word, they always do; the
urs brunk – the motivation, the animation, the spring of life itself.
But I know that I know, there’s hardly one of you in the room that has ever tasted that
reality. Though you thought that you had done God service by acknowledging the truth
of it as doctrine.
You’ve got to live through the resurrection. You’ve got to live through that life.
Through that power, through its enablement, which is given all the more opportunity in
weakness which is to the human flesh humiliating.
Everything that is human in us wants to strive on the basis of our ability, our strength,
our clarity, our clear-headedness, we’ve got it together. God will never allow the
greatness of His mysteries to be fulfilled even so much as an iota from that which
springs out of man himself. With man it is impossible, that’s why it’s to the glory of
God you dear saints, that He should triumph in the fulfillment of this extravagant vision
to resurrect a nation being brought to a death as the consequence of its own sinful
rejection of its own God, the breaking of its own covenants, that has every reason to
be forsaken of God and cast away and discredited.
That’s why the first question that Paul takes up in Romans chapter 11, “has God cast
away His people whom He has foreknown?”
The Church thinks that He should have. By every reckoning they’ve had their
opportunity and blown it. Now let the Church take over and be the Israel of God. He
says God forbid that you should think that. That would be your natural tendency to
replace Israel, as if their finished and have had their chance and have blown it and have
had full opportunity. Because that’s total human, worldly reasoning. But God is God
when He extends mercy to whom He will extend mercy. Not because they’re
deserving, but all the more because they are undeserving. Because what does mercy
mean? It’s not something that is obtained on one’s merit. It’s exactly to those who have
no merit, have no deserving because when God extends mercy, He’s being who He is
in Himself. I AM that I AM and I will have mercy upon whom I I will have mercy, I will
elect whom I will elect, and the way in which I show myself in the utter sovereignty of
my own will that can never be conditioned by man or by need is by choosing a nation
which least deserves this consideration, and in that do I display the genius of who I am,
as I AM that I AM. And if I can do this with Jews, with Israel, that has blasphemed my
Name in every nation, failed again and again in covenant faithfulness and even now a
totally secular nation that is not even willing to consider Me in view of their impending
destruction, then there’s hope for any people and any nation anywhere.
The issue of Israel is the issue of God. As the issue of the communication of that which
alone can be hope for the nations who will observe both Israel’s judgment, uprooting,
casting out and restoration and return by the mercy of God.
That’s why he says in Romans 11, “By Your mercy, they may obtain mercy.”
How many of you dear Chinese saints have mercy to extend? Where will you find it?
It’s not a commodity. It’s not an abstract aspect of our creedo. But there’s got to be a
palpable, substantial mercy which is the very character of God exuded by Chinese
Singaporean Asian saints to Jews who will be coming into your midst in greater
numbers than you could ever imagine. Who have been uprooted from nations
elsewhere in the world will find their way here somehow in the mystery of God
because He says in Amos chapter 9, “I will sift you through all nations.” And not the
least of the reasons for that sifting is to sift you.
What will you do? If you will find them in your midst, uprooted, disheveled, unkempt,
cast out, broken in spirit, absolutely disheveled and not knowing what hit them because
when it comes, it will come suddenly.
And what are they doing in your part of the world? How did they get here? By some
process of God. God knows. He said I will sift you through all nations, so that in the
day of my judgment, I will separate in the nations the sheep and the goats over one
question – what did you do with the least of these my brethren?
I want to announce in whatever measure of authority I have as a prophetic servant of
the Most High, that this will be your test. This will not be an abstraction. And it will
come in your generation and in your time. The conditions for it are already working
and it is at the door.
They themselves don’t know it. There’s going to be upheaval of a kind that could hardly
be imagined after the Nazi holocaust that will eclipse the Nazi holocaust and bring a
devastation greater than that by which 6 million Jews were systematically annihilated in
But now the extent of this of which Jesus spoke in Mt 24, that there’s coming a trouble
for the nation such as exceeds any thing they have previously known nor will again
know. And if that time were not cut short, no flesh will survive. But for the elects’
sake, for the surviving remnant, that time will be cut short whatever that means.
I want to tell you, if I know anything, if I am anything in God, that is future, but it’s a
near future, and I think the only thing that prevents its eruption now is your
Everything is in place for Jewish catastrophe, but the Church is not yet ready to receive
them and to extend mercy that they may obtain mercy because the Church only knows
mercy as a category, only as an abstraction, only as an article of faith. It does not know
it substantially as a palpable reality, so how can it extend it?
You know what’s happening to me right now with my headache and condition? I’m
experiencing the mercy of God. Can you see it? I should be in bed or some other place
where you put old withering men. But if you’re receiving anything, and it’s so critical
that you will, or you’ll be doomed to be just another expression of church as it is
conventionally known, but performing a little better than your neighbour.
God has a greater destiny for you, or I would not be here. I would be someplace else.
I’m here because His eye is upon you. Because He is seeing the investment of
preparation, the intention, because you’re read and prepared for a word now by which
you can come of age.
God forbid that you should only be a successful Christian work. God forbid. He has
greater intention than that you dear saints, that touches the issue of forever.
How does Paul end that of Him, through Him and to Him are all things to Whom be
glory forever. So I don’t know about you Chinese, because there’s something about
ancestor worship…are you better prepared than Caucasians than ___ (33:40) to
understand eternality? Of things that lie beyond time? Beyond the present moment?
And that the present moment, though it seems so engaging and so total is only a
transient thing and a time of preparation for that which is eternal?
Brother Art, you sound like you are right out of the Middle Ages. Isn’t that what they
thought? That this life is a veil of tears and a time of preparation and it’s all for that
which is future and eternal?
Yes! And they were right!
It’s you modernists who are all wrong. You’ve bought a bill of goods from the wisdom
of the world that has its origins from the pit that says this life is what it’s all about.
Success now, your life, you’ll only live once. Your marriage isn’t happy? Well dump her
and try, try again. Because it’s only the one life that you have now. This is the now
generation. Instant. Boy have you been deluded.
So the word “forever” needs to come into your consciousness, not just as a category,
but as a pulsating central consideration that brings the now moment into its present
perspective that is appropriate in God’s sight. Or else you will be slaves, victims,
jerked, manipulated, palpitating for a Toyota or something even a little better. Why
not? This is only the one life. And how is it measured? And how is its satisfactions
obtained? By what you possess, what you own, what you use. The only thing that will
free you from the power of now is the consideration of that which is eternal. You’ll
never be a great expression of the body of Christ until eternity has come into your
heart as Pastor himself spoke and prayed this morning. And how do you obtain it? Even
the consciousness of it? Only in conjunction with the mystery of Israel and never
independent from her or apart from it. God in His wisdom has locked you in. You’re
doomed to be merely charismatic and only successful unless you take into your
deepest consideration what Paul took into his; the mystery of Israel and the Church in
the last days.
You cannot be eternally minded and “glory forever” conscious independent of that
mystery. It’s all wrapped up together. He’ll not allow you to have it separately except
as vocabulary. But if you’re going to have it actually and existentially, it’s only in
conjunction where he has set the mystery himself.
Am I getting too fancy? Sorry about that. But you’ll have the tape to ponder and pastor
and others to elaborate the foundational premises that must come to you through a
prophetic man. Because it had to do with your foundations.
Well let’s begin with the beginning of Paul’s great mystery, Chapter 9 (of Romans). Just
to show you the remarkable sweep of this that ends with an exclamation of
unparalleled praise, we need to begin where Paul begins, with unparalleled sorrow.
You think this is accidental? You think Paul plotted this? No he was only writing to the
Church of Rome, he never thought it would be in the Bible. And not only is it in the
Bible, it is a text central to the consideration of the Church of every age and every
location, especially the Church in the last days.
Are you that Church? Are you last days conscious? You think that we’re moving
toward the end? The consummation of the ages? Are you expecting apocalyptic fury of
the powers of darkness who know they have but a short time and will ventilate it in the
earth and seek to destroy this people? Why? Because if this people succeeds, after ages
long apostasy, of a return to Zion and to the God of Jacob, then the King who is
contained in the heavens and Acts 3:21 waiting for the restoration of all things spoken
by the prophets since the world began is released to be the King at Zion on the holy
hill where God says, “I have set My King on the holy hill of Zion and I’ve given him the
nations and the heathen for His inheritance.” Where am I quoting? Psalm 2. The great
eschatological Psalm that speaks of a very literal kingdom and rule in the in the one
place in earth where it is appointed, which we would not ourselves had chosen. And
that one place is Zion. That one place is Israel, not as it is presently constituted, but as
it will be when the Lord will restore them and renew covenant with them in an
everlasting way and give them His Holy Spirit and forgive them their iniquities in the
day of their restoration after they have been rescued and saved out of death by the
mercy that they have received through you.
Isn’t it remarkable? Just as there’s no greater exclamation of praise, they call it a paean
of praise at the end of Rom 11: 32-36 and if you provoke me I’ll sing it. That’ll be
But isn’t it remarkable? That something that ends with this ecstatic statement, that
where Paul is beside himself in joy in depth of riches of what he has seen of the wisdom
and knowledge of God because he has seen something more than Israel’s own
restoration. What has he seen that makes him flip out? He has seen the transfiguration
of the Church. A bride prepared for the bridegroom through the conditions that will
bring the Church to its final maturity and preparedness for its own eternal destiny as
the bride of the Lamb by the crisis brought to it by Israel.
Don’t get scared. I’m not expecting you to understand me, but I am under obligation to
speak this. Late on it will come into your consciousness and into your understanding.
Now you can just look bewildered. This is the prophetic predicament, which itself is a
suffering and a cross and a form of death, because what speaker does not want to be
gratified by being understood? But after forty years I still have a wife who’s scratching
her head and wondering what kind of husband has she got? Who never wanted to
marry a preacher, and if she had to, why can’t he tell jokes like the others?
So there’s always a necessary suffering that precedes glory.
But we need to give at least a few moment to the remarkable way in which Paul opens
the heart of the book of Romans for which everything from chapter 1 through 8 was
preparation and now commences the elaboration of the great mystery from 9 through
11 and ends with this ecstatic outburst of praise. But it begins with the most pathetic
cry of sorrow for his people to the point where he would wish himself accursed.
I say the truth in Christ. I’m not play-acting, I’m not putting on a performance, I’m not
getting dramatic, Paul is saying. I lie not, my conscious also bearing me witness in the
Holy Ghost. God knows. He’s looking upon me. I’m not effecting something. I’m not
getting sentimental, emotional for effect. This is deep in my apostolic consciousness and
needs to be so in ours that I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.
For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen
according to the flesh.
Listen dear saints, unless the issue of Israel begins with this cry, the rest cannot follow.
There cannot be the great climax nor the depth of the riches of joyous exclamation
unless it begins with the depth of this sorrow. And this saves you from shallowness!
You’re such candidates for shallowness that I’ve not seen anywhere. What is it about
you? This Singaporean culture and civilization, for which I am the antithesis, that is
calculated for your shallowness., for your reduction. To make you either objects of
commerce and trade, employment to fit into the economy. As I was being told
yesterday, so many places was for those who would become engineers or lawyers or
doctors according to the need of the society. I said, “How many Singaporean students
take liberal arts as their major? Philosophy, English, Literature, Ethics, Morality? I’ll bet
there’s not one in ten thousand who would misspend their university education for the
luxury of a subject realm that has nothing to do with personal success.
You’re on a train, you’re on a track, you’re being groomed for use, for exploitation. To
fit into the economy, to produce it and to buy it. And shallowness aids in that purpose.
This is a society that doesn’t want you to be reflective and contemplative, let alone that
you should experience sorrow. It may mean that you’ll not be effective on the job or
your computer will get gummed up…. Hey better than this, return to Confucius, better
that you should become shallow Christians, at least become Confucian in an attention
to philosophy if it will save you from inevitable shallowness. God didn’t call you to be
one dimensional cut-outs, paper machete saints. His called you to reveal His glory in
the breadth which is of God Himself, in our emotion and in our thought level and our
So it’s no accident that the great apostle begins with the deepest expression of sorrow,
which is unpleasant to experience. You say, “Oh that’s Paul, cause he’s Jewish, of
course he’s going to feel sorrow for his own kinsmen according to the flesh. But that saves me from any necessity because I’m not Jewish.” See how simple you are? You
think that Paul is crying out because he is Jewish. You’ve not understood. He’s crying
out because he’s apostolic. It’s his apostolic heart that is full of sorrow for the
condition of his people that he would wish himself accursed for those who happen to
be his brethren. But he would be equally as grieved and sorrowful if it were pygmies
that God had appointed to be the people of His choice in the fulfillment of His
kingdom. Am I threatening your insurance policy?
Listen you dear saints are you following me? If you have no intention for apostolic
reality, if you’re content with mere religiosity, I’ll shut up right now. Why listen to this
spectacle, unless you have an intention that is ultimate? It’ll save you from being merely
Chinese and Singaporean. Ultimacy will save you from being one-dimensional,
predictable cut-outs who say the right thing and sing the right thing, but are not the
right thing, This is not going to be a sending nation and the Antioch to the world and to
Asia unless there are those who can be sent. That’s the genius of the word apostolos,
the sent ones. But not sent from predictability, but not sent from predictability or
mediocrity or ordinariness. Sent from a vibrant community of believers who are jealous
for the glory of God and have taken to their hearts a mystery for which there’s no
natural explanation that they should even be interested let alone absorbed. There’ll be
no sending there’ll be no Holy Spirit saying, “Separate unto me.” Unless you have come
to a reality of a kind that Paul describes in his epistles and he was in himself. For the
apostolic man, as the prophetic man is the thing in himself. It’s not an affectation, it’s
not an overlay, it’s not professionalism, it’s not learning a new lingo, new vocabulary,
new phrases to show yourself pert and clever. It’s ultimate reality, you know why?
Because the high priest of our confession is also our apostoler. He’s the chief apostle of
our confession because He’s also the high priest. And His glory is when He is replicated
and expressed in the corporate body that shows forth the same mercy, magnanimity,
breadth of understanding, jealousy for the will of the Father, the glory of God unto
sacrifice unto death is His intention through the Church.
I almost wanted to say, “If you have no heart for this, please leave now.” Let’s not clog
up the work with too many bodies. Let’s reduce the Church to the Church that is the
Church, God’s remnant people who are serious about His glory and honour and Name
and know that it has got to cost something. The lost of career, the lost of marriage, the
lost of body, life, who knows what and what form? The last days are going to be
tumultuous in the clash of kingdoms. There will be casualties. Martyrdom is not the
rarity, a something that falls upon a few that we cluck our tongues and heave a sigh of
relief, “It’s not me.” Martyrdom is the normative intention of God for all the Church. If
the Church is not a martyr Church, it’s not the Church. It doesn’t matter how we
actually end our lives, martyrdom a conclusion that comes unhappily in a way that we
would try to avoid, it’s the logic of a life lived in a certain way that is sacrificial and
martyr in it’s very composition mentality and genius.
Lord, Lord, grace Lord. Let my faith fail not as I look out on these precious faces that
are looking at me in unbelief like, “What is the man saying?” Here’s what I’m saying.
You don’s have to be Jewish to sorrow for Israel. It’s not because Paul is Jewish that
he’s having this deep sense of grief. It’s because he’s an apostle. He’s expressing his
apostolic heart, which is to say, the heart of God.
The apostolic heart is God’s very heart of concern and anguish for this people. And if
we’ll not have it for them, for whom will we have it? Do I have to indict you as I did
those German students a few days ago? When my first statement was to them after
hearing their Christian choruses and they’d got it altogether, “You lack a tragic sense of
life. I don’t see in you any disposition to sorrow. You’re shallow, the range of your
emotion is happy, happy, happy and maybe you’ll have a bad day, but you don’t know
the depths of the anguish of soul of Paul. How then shall you be able to recite with
meaning the glory of the conclusion? “Oh the depth of the riches.” The two are
profoundly connected. One is the beginning, the other the end. You cannot come to a
place of joy without a beginning in a place of sorrow. Are you willing to know grief?
Pain? Sorrow? The heart of God which is painful which is painful to experience? But if
you don’t begin there, there’ll be no ending of that kind. And it’s the mystery of Israel
that brings you in. This is your privilege, this is the mystery itself, to save you from
being merely Singaporean. Can you see it? This why the Church is so distinctive an
entity in the world, because it expresses the range and magnificence of very God
Himself, in His capacity both for pain and sorrow and grief and acclamation and joy and
estatic reverence. That’s living saints. That range of response is living. And anything less
than that is falling short of the intention of God for our humanity. And the heck of it is
that history shows, if we’ll not come into the fullness of this apostolic intention, we will
become instruments, not of life but of death.
Like the great nation of Germany. However unequalled the level of its civilization,
became the brutal, bestial engineers of factories of death through which Jews were
passed. Isn’t that remarkable? That if we’ll not be the one we’ll be the other? If we’ll
not extend mercy, we’ll deprive them of mercy? If we’ll not be larger than life we’ll be
less than life? And it is all centered in one mystery, the issue of Israel. The Jew, the
despised nation who have no sense of their own calling and don’t even know that the
gifts and calling of God as Paul says in Romans 11, are irrevocable. They’ll not be taken
back. It’s without repentance. What does that mean? That God is obliged to fulfill it.
That even though they want to be the Hong Kong of the Middle East, God has a
greater intention. To be a nation of priests and a light unto the world despite and
against their own unwillingness even to consider such a destiny. Can He succeed with a
people who are not even willing? Yes. Cause He’s God, because He’s powerful and
because He’s willing to bring them down that He might raise them up because He said
to their father Abraham that from your seed, I’m gonna form a people who will bless all
the families of the earth.
You think you’re blessed now? You ain’t seen nothing yet. When this nation will come
into its destiny as a nation of priests and a light unto the world, it will disperse over the
earth. Art Katz is in every place. You call that blessing brother?
There is a quotient, there is a dimension you’re receiving. You’re too young and
innocent, maybe too dumb to know it, but it’s still being expressed. So unique, you
don’t know how unique. After I’m gone, you’ll appreciate it. Send me a note. Now
you’re too young. Nevertheless it’s been expressed.
We branches who have been broken off, Jewish atheists, ex-Marxists, radical, anti-god,
we’re saved by the mercy of God because one of my students and her mother were
praying for this atheist teacher. And the hound of heaven pursued me for fourteen
months through Europe and the Middle East as I’m looking for philosophical and
ideological answers for a broken life. And revealing Himself by every believer who
picked me up off the side of the road. And the one who put the New Testament in my
hands for which God gave me revelation at the first reading.
I’m grafted back into my own roots since and Paul says, “How much more when they
the natural branches are grafted back into their own root.” And God is able to graft
them in again. You’ll not appreciate that unless you realize that what Paul is saying
when he describes you as wild branches that were grafted into our root. Did you know
that? All you would have been capable off is chop suey places and commerce if you had
not been grafted in. Now something new is flowing out of the sap of life from that root,
that gives you a larger vista for the use of your life than you would otherwise have had.
You would have been unhappily Chinese, all too Chinese; human, all too human. But
now, you’re grafted in to a remarkable tree that has an Hebraic history. The patriarchs,
the prophets, the psalmists, the apostles, and whose roots are in God. And the sap that
issues from the roots and come up into the branches is the very life of God. Or else
you would be pathetic dumb-dumbs. And I’ll tell you what, you’re only enjoying that life
to the degree that you’re conscious that you’ve been grafted into somebody else’s tree
and you’re grateful for the privilege. It’ll only flow to the degree of your
acknowledgement and your gratitude. But if you’re only merely Christians who got
saved, and don’t realize the dimensions of that salvation, because salvation is of the
Jews! How did you get into the act?
I always will remember my first experience in Singapore. Years ago, I forget which
church it was, maybe you can identify it as I describe it. It was a large building and there
were seven or eight hundred Chinese believers singing the praises of the God of Israel.
I came undone. Chinese people are celebrating my God. And celebrating Him with
meaning and real devotion in a Hebraic way that would bless His soul to hear and does.
And on the walls were the plaques commemorating the death of the missionaries that
had come to Singapore. Mary Jones, arrived 1903, died 1907, malaria. John Smith,
arrived 1912, died 1915, malaria, yellow fever, typhus. There was a roll call of the death
of missionaries who expended their lives that you should not be Chinese dumb-dumbs,
and outside the purposes of God and fitted only for commerce. But He brought you
into His eternal purposes that you should not regret a misspent lifetime given ver to
servitude to things, but called into the majesty of the knowledge of the God who is
God, the Creator of heavens and the earth, the God of Israel and of Jacob and to be
the very salvific agent for their return. For He is able to graft them back in again if He
was able to graft you in who were wild branches and fruitless, is He not able to graft
them in who are natural? And when He does, Paul says, it will be nothing less than life
from the dead. A nation of priests and a light unto the world.
We are living beneath the intention of God in our own society. That’s why it all
commercial. Why it’s all things. Why it has not an ethereal and spiritual content and
richness is because a people who were called to bring you that priestly dimension are
yet presently out of it. But Paul says, the great apostle, the gifts and callings of God are
If He has called them, let them spit out their guts, let them be more commercially
minded than you, and accomplished in every field other than their calling. I will restore
them to the calling to which I have called them, because I have spoken it. It is a promise
and a call, and if I do not fulfill it, how then am I God?
And Paul says in verse 25, “And so all Israel shall be saved. For the Deliverer shall come
out of Zion and take transgression form Jacob according to the covenant that I have
made with them. As it is written, ‘when the fullness of the gentiles be come in.’ How
can you read an apostolic statement and not choke and gasp and fall before the
magnitude, the richness. Who can understand it? It stretches language to breaking. That
despite ages long apostasy, despite the fact that we Jews have turned to every other
field and given the world Karl Marx and communism, and Sigmund Freud and
psychiatry, and every kind of malicious alternative to the redemption of men and God
through Christ, we’re foremost subversives. Despite all that, God will restore us to
our calling because the issue of the nations is at stake, including yours.
You need a prophetic and priestly intrusion. You need someone to blow the whistle on
those things which you have accepted as normative and thought that that’s what life is
all about. That comes from priestly men who see through the apparent things and
whose hearts palpitate for the glory of God and know that there’s a sinister world that
conspires against truth, against reality, against eternity. This is the priestly function, to
show things as God Himself sees them to those who would otherwise be mesmerized
and live their lives fruitlessly in any kind of significance and die that way.
Your involvement in being the agents of Israel’s restoration will bless all the families of
the earth, including your own. But it won’t be an easy and a cheap role for you to play.
And you’ll not play it at all unless you understand that what is at stake here is the issue
of God’s glory forever.
So I’m quoting as I’m being led out of Romans 11, ans I just read the genius and heart of
it, verse 25, “I would not brethren that you should be ignorant of this mystery.” Listen
to you, dear Chinese saints, do you have a heart for mystery? Do you have a
disposition for mystery? Or are you all factual, analytical , critical, mathematics and
statistics oriented? That very preoccupation spoils and inures you against mystery. And
yet the heart of the faith are the mysteries of which Paul was steward, and at least you
should have a sensitivity, a disposition, an appreciation for mystery. Or else how can
you appreciate the prophetic man who speaks strangely and not systematically and is all
over the landscape saying this, that and everything as he’s being prompted. There’s
mystery. You need a sense of mystery. There are things that lie too deep for words.
Things that cannot be reduced to system. God forbid that that should characterize the
Church, that has been reduced to system, to manipulation as it is so unhappily is
everywhere. There’s mystery. The things where you stop speaking, where you choke,
splutter, where you can’t go on, where you feel you don’t know, you have to feel, intuit
and not analyze. Paul was the steward of mysteries. You need to at least appreciate the
word, who says in apostolic authority, “I would brethren that you should be ignorant of
this mystery.” You can’t afford to be ignorant of this one, lest you should be wise in
your own conceit. You’ll become inflated and pompous. You’ll say the kingdom now,
you’re gonna take over society, you’re gonna replace Israel, all of these are
presumptions of the vainest kind that inevitably will follow those who do not know the
The mystery saves you from what would otherwise be inordinate conceit, ending
puffed up. Because if you become a puffed up and conceited church, you’re no longer
the Church. You’re no longer reflecting and revealing the character of God who at its
essence is humble. Learn of Me, for I am lowly and meek. The King shall come to you
lowly and meek riding on the back of an ass upon which another man sat. That’s our
King, He was born, came into the flesh, lay aside His deity, took upon the form of an
infant, that had to breastfed and have His diapers changed, our God would reduce
Himself to that humiliation and live a life of obscurity and die as a criminal, the most
painful, grotesque of all deaths, nakedly came into the world, nakedly went out of it
nakedly. His whole is a statement of the humility of God. What is the Church that
doesn’t reflect that? The Church that becomes pompous and inflated and, ‘we’ve got it
together, look at our numbers, look at our programme, we’re number one, we’re this,
we’re that.’ It’s no longer the Church that reflects Him, it’s no longer the Church. It’s
an institution, it’s a culture, it’s a blessing society for itself. And that happens if you miss
this mystery.
This mystery is calculated to keep you humble. Because it shows that God has elevated
a people to a place of prominence and significance over you – Israel. And has chosen as
the centre of His theocratic kingdom not Singapore which you would have thought, of
all the world, but Zion, the holy hill. It’s not even a mountain, it’s a pimple. That’s why
He’s chosen it, because He chooses the foolish things and the weak things to confound
that which purports to be mighty and wise. There’s a drama here saints. It’s a
statement that God is wanting to make of essential truth as He knows it, that needs to
come into all mankind through the fulfillment of this mystery. That blindness in part has
happened to Israel until the fullness of the gentiles comes in. Well maybe I’ll talk about
that in part two in the next service.
But I can tell you this, it’s not only numerical, it’s also actual. There’s a fullness that is
the key to Israel’s restoration that must come to you. Not just in number but in
quality. And when it will come to you, you know what happens? You’ve lost your Asian
cast of character and you become Hebraisized. Not Judaized, Hebraisized. You
become like the sweet singers of Israel. You become prophetic, you become like the
psalmists of old. You’re infused with the things that are Hebraic, of a special quality and
kind that saves you from the narrowness of your own racial and genetic origin.
Not only you, but even we Jews need to come into that largeness and into that fullness
which God Himself infuses us as we take up His mystery. And when it comes, He will
take care of Israel. Israel will not take care of herself, she’ll be down and out, incapable.
And so it is written, “Israel shall be saved, all Israel. There shall come up out of Zion
the Deliverer shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob for this is My covenant with them
when I shall take away their sins.” I don’t even wait for their repentance. I shall take the
initiative. I will take away their ages old transgression and sins, even the crucifixion of
my Son. I don’t even wait for them to understand, to be sorry or repent, I will, I’ll take
the initiative so soon as the fullness of the gentiles come in, I’ll act upon Israel.
So the issue of Israel is not Israel, the issue of Israel is you. Your fullness. That’s the
mystery. And so Israel is delivered and you’ve come to a place of the fullness which is
the whole purpose of your salvation. Because when you exit this world and this life, it’s
not to play a harp on a cloud, it is to administer the kingdom that has come, and some
of you will rule over five cities and some over ten, based on your excellence in this life
and maturity and discipline to which you yourselves have submitted. This is preparation
dear saints for the eternal kingdom which is a gift and a reward for the righteous, for
which you need to be in conscious preparation. God will have a restored nation, but
He’ll have an exalted Church, glorified and administering and overseeing from the
heavenly realm displacing those fallen angels, the administration of His theocratic rule
over all creation.
We will not come to it except we are trained up by it in embracing this mystery and
giving ourselves to it by the mercies of God as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable
unto God because we’re jealous that His covenant should be fulfilled. That His
promises should be fulfilled. That what is written should be fulfilled. Because if God will
not be fulfilled in the things which He has written and spoken and promised and
covenanted in writing, how is He God? The issue of Israel’s restoration is the issue of
God as God. And how can we be the Church and not be jealous over that fulfillment
and give ourselves as living sacrifices to the attainment of it?
So I want to pray for such a Church here. Lord, encourage my faith. I believe, help my
unbelief. Everything in Singaporean society and Chinese ancestry, all that is Asian, is
counter to the Hebraic genius of apostolic and prophetic faith. They would have to be
transcended, to come out of themselves, to become larger than life, to break the
power this world that wants to fit them into a system. And so many doctors, so many
lawyers, so many accountants, to fit he purposes of society and fall short of the
purpose of God unto glory forever. Lord break that power. Loose these captives. Give
them ambitions and intentions beyond economics success and my own this and my
own that, I, I, I, me, me, me. Let them be jealous for the glory of God that alone will
liberate them from such a puny consideration to succeed merely at the level of
profession, take their place in the anonymous sea of peoples who are fitted into a
system in the world that has no eternal consequence whatever and is doomed for
judgment and will pass away as dust. Lord I bless this congregation. My God use this
foolish speaking Lord my God to awaken something, to stir them, wake them from
their sleep to raise them out of their graves, to give them intentions greater than
anything that they have ever considered and waits upon the consideration of that
mystery alone - the issue of Israel and the Church in the last days. Give them a heart
for this Lord, open their understanding, bless their ministers and pastor as they seek
and dwell upon these remarkable verses in Romans and are given the ability to
expound them and make them known. Ruin this people Lord, by the magnitude of the
mystery and that to which we are called as privileged. And we thank You and give You
praise, in Jesus’ Name and God’s people said, “Amen.”

Transcript by
Cornerstone Community Church : : Singapore
Message can be downloaded from our website at www.cscc.org.sg
(Spiritual Food > Teachings)


Preparing for a
Charismatic Meltdown

By J. Lee
Grady, Editor of Charisma.
Three prominent charismatic ministries have suffered huge setbacks
this month. What does this mean for our movement?
Foreclosure. Eviction. Bailouts. We're hearing those terms a lot
these days, and not just in the newspaper's business section. In the last two
weeks three charismatic churches that once enjoyed huge popularity have fallen
on hard times.

Brother William Lau
for a Charismatic Meltdownwas written by no less an authority on the Charismatic
Movement than J. Lee Grady, Editor of Charisma. The article is shocking in its
import although not surprising. What is happening to the Charismatic Renewal
While I
may not be in agreement with Mr. Grady on other issues, I would like to comment
on his article.
When the
Charismatic Movement was born over forty years ago, it was in reaction to a
form of evangelicalism which at that time among other things taught believers
the virtues of self-denial, suffering for Christ, and even poverty. It promoted
austerity both inwardly in the spirit and outwardly as a lifestyle. One result
of this teaching was that some believers did not experience joy and
“abundant life.”
The ground
was thus fertile for the advent of a teaching that promised an intimate
relationship with Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit which would result in
unspeakable joy, power through the Spirit for an overcoming life, and
fruitfulness for the Kingdom of God. It taught that through the Holy Spirit
believers would be enabled to become effective witnesses for Jesus Christ.
Acts 1:8
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be
my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the

What was the purpose
of the coming of the Holy Spirit?
primary purpose of the coming of the Holy Spirit was to empower believers to
witness for Christ and to proclaim the Kingdom of God effectively. It was to
impart power to believers to fulfill the Great Commission before the Second
Coming of Jesus Christ. As clear as this purpose was according to Acts 1:8, it
was in the end neglected for the most part by the Charismatic Movement. How did
this come to pass?
There is a
trait of human beings that is manifest time and time again. Whenever we move to
an extreme position, there will inevitably be a reaction. That reaction will be
in the opposite direction. Unfortunately the backlash can take us all the way
to the very opposite extreme. That is what has happened to the Charismatic
As an
example of this, over 500 years ago Martin Luther and the Protestant
Reformation reacted to Roman Catholicism which erred at the time by teaching a
form of justification by works. We are now taught correctly from Ephesians
2:8-9 that we are saved by grace through faith, and not by works. However,
Protestantism eventually went to the opposite extreme of teaching that once we
are saved by faith in Christ, we are not required to obey the Lord with any
good works at all---despite the admonition in James 2:14-20. Some have aptly
labeled this the gospel of “cheap grace.” We have gone from
salvation by works all the way to salvation by doing nothing except a public
confession with no outward evidence whatsoever of saving faith---from one
extreme to the other.

What happened to the
Charismatic Renewal Movement
This very
same thing has occurred to a large extent within the mainstream Charismatic
Movement. In reacting to the self-denial and asceticism once taught by
mainstream evangelicalism, charismatic teaching has drifted steadily to the
opposite extreme. The emphasis has become primarily directed toward securing
God’s blessings for our spiritual and material comfort here on earth.
While it is true that God wants to restore His people’s lives on earth
and to provide for their physical needs, there has developed a definite
imbalance in the teaching. Even though it is taught that like Abraham we are
“blessed to be a blessing,” the emphasis is almost always on how to
secure God’s blessing for oneself and far less on being a blessing. The
original promise to Abraham from God is found in Genesis 12.
12:2 “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will
make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who
bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will
be blessed through you.”
And so we
scour God’s word and listen to many good teachings on how to secure the
Lord’s blessings in their various forms for us and our loved ones---how
to become “successful” in this life. After we are sufficiently
blessed and restored, then we can be a blessing to others. What is wrong with

The heart is deceitful
beyond all things
“the heart is deceitful beyond all things and beyond cure”
(Lamentations 17:9). When we start out our walk with the Lord by focusing
exclusively on what He can do for us beyond eternal life and the forgiveness of
sins, our priorities can go astray, however gradually. Our priorities should be
to obey and please Him in everything that we do because we love and fear Him.
But instead we are slowly led to the motivation of obeying and pleasing Him for
the sake of receiving blessings from Him on earth. It is the “seed”
theology of giving in order to get back here on earth. We have become unbalanced
and forgotten the admonitions from Paul and Peter:
3:1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where
Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set
your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died,
and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also
will appear with him in glory.
1 Peter
1:13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to
be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.

will enough be enough?
when will we reach the point of being sufficiently blessed, encouraged and
restored so that we can devote full or more attention to being a blessing to
“all peoples on earth”? Few are the believers who have been taught
to pursue God’s blessings zealously and then who can change direction and
their focus to devoting energy for dispensing blessings for the sake of the
advance of the Kingdom of God on earth. Once one has been given a specific
motivation and focus, it is not easy to change.
For some
believers, enough is never enough. They want “all that God has for
them” on earth. Yes, they have learned to give generously, but for the
primary purpose of getting and enjoying more.

are blessed in order to become a vehicle of the gospel
the original promise to Abraham that “all peoples on earth will be
blessed through you” referred specifically to the coming of his
seed---Jesus Christ---through whom redemption and the forgiveness of sins would
be proclaimed to all nations (Genesis 22:17; Galatians 3:8,16). Abraham would
be a blessing by being the obedient vehicle through whom the gospel of Jesus
Christ would later be given to the world.
we are to be a blessing by being the vehicles through whom Jesus Christ will be
proclaimed to all peoples as the only Savior and the only way to the Father. We
are to be a blessing as agents of the Great Commission given by Christ to the
Church.. But how many of us are actively involved in preaching the gospel and
fulfilling the Great Commission? The answer is very few, although we are
thankful that some do indeed give very generously for the work of evangelism
and missions. But most charismatic believers instead invest their time and
energy in learning about what God can do for them.
this kind of “learning” (as designed by the teachers) can take a
lifetime, leaving precious little time and energy to accomplish the works
commanded by Jesus Christ to His disciples in order that He might return for
His Second Coming. When will the learning be complete? For the many who have
learned how to just sit and receive, it likely will never be finished.
Ironically, this is good for the success and popularity of the teachers whom they
so avidly follow.

The Old Testament is
but a shadow
many of the earthly blessings cited by charismatic ministries which teach about
the “successful Christian life” are taken from the Old Testament.
Deuteronomy 28 is an especially good example of this. The Old Testament,
however, is but a shadow of what is to be fulfilled in Christ Jesus. Thus the
flavor and tone of the Old Testament contrast noticeably from that of the New
Testament. The Old Testament can be compared to the letter while the New Testament to the spirit. It can only be
by the spirit that
we can properly interpret and understand the purpose behind the letter. Does the New
Testament place more emphasis on material and spiritual blessings in this life,
or on the eternal blessings in the next? Does the New Testament focus on the
benefits of faith in this life, or on having faith in Christ which leads to a
life of holiness and good works pleasing to the Lord? The answer is clear to
those who know the Scriptures.

The primary blessing
is spiritual
3:14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to
the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
primary blessing that we are to receive as New Testament believers is
spiritual: the promise of the Spirit and spiritual blessings that He brings.
1:13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the
gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal,
the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance
until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the
praise of his glory.
Here the
apostle Paul describes the Holy Spirit as “a deposit guaranteeing our
inheritance.” Indeed, that is the greatest blessing---not the real estate
known as the land of Israel as promised to Abraham, or any other earthly
blessing for that matter---but the guarantee of our inheritance in heaven above
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.

The purpose of the
coming of the Holy Spirit
purpose of the coming of the Holy Spirit should be for disciples to know the
Lord intimately so that they will love Him more, live a holy life in the fear
of God, and serve Him obediently. Its purpose should be for disciples to have
power to become effective witnesses of Christ Jesus so as to fulfill the Great
Commission. Then they will hear His words, “Well done, good and faithful
servant! …Come and share your master’s happiness!” This is
what disciples of Jesus Christ should live for and look forward to.
The gifts
of the Holy Spirit upon which charismatic believers place much emphasis are, in
accordance with 1 Corinthians 12, for building up the body of Christ. But what
is the purpose of building up the body? Along with the five-fold ministry, the
gifts help to “prepare
God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ
may be built up” (Ephesians 4.12). Unfortunately, most charismatic
teachings do not equip God’s people for works of service leading to the
fulfillment of the Great Commission, but instead position them to receive more
blessings from God on earth.. Again, we note the imbalance within the
contemporary charismatic Church..
The Holy
Spirit should stir our hearts not just to ask what God can do for us, but what
we can do for God.

A suspect foundation
“your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast
works through the whole batch of dough?” (1 Corinthians 5:6) Whenever
there is a weakness in the foundation of a building, the entire structure is in
danger of collapse as more and more weight is put on the suspect foundation
over time. In the same way, the imbalance that has characterized the
Charismatic Movement since its near inception is now threatening the entire
structure and may bring down the entire Movement. When the Movement returns to
the fear of God in spirit and in truth, then it may survive. Or God may decide
to demolish the entire structure and then to rebuild on a scriptural
foundation---we are given the Holy Spirit in order that we might be empowered
to be effective witnesses of Jesus Christ to the world in our lives, in our
words, and in our works of supernatural power.
But what
about our earthly needs?
taught us to “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these
things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).
As J. Lee
Grady concluded his article:
“All of us should be trembling. God requires holiness in His
house and truth in the mouths of His servants. He is loving and patient with
our mistakes and weaknesses, but eventually, if there is no repentance after
continual correction, His discipline is severe. He will not be mocked.

Romans 11:22 says:
‘Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell,
severity, but to you, God's kindness, if you continue in His kindness;
otherwise you also will be cut off’ (NASB).
...I pray the fear of God will grip our hearts until we cleanse our
defiled pulpits. Let’s examine our hearts and our ministries. Let’s
throw out the wood, hay and stubble and build on a sure and tested foundation.
It is the only way to survive the meltdown."


zoe ministries

GL Garden 01-21-02, Solok Paya Terubong 8, 11060 Penang, Malaysia

House Phone: 604-8277554 Hand Phone: 60165318276.

Email: cvs3zoe@yahoo.com

Ephesians 4:11-12 (NKJV) 11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,

Dear Friends, when the early church began after the Pentecost experience they were living as a family of God recognizing other believers as brothers and sisters. The Christians in Jerusalem shared all they had so that all could benefit from God’s blessings.

Acts 2:44-45 (NKJV) 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.

None of these Christians felt what they had was their own, and so they were able to give and share, and eradicate poverty among them. This was not a project but an act of love. This was an expression of love towards one another because of what the Holy Spirit was doing inside of them.

Differences of opinion are unavoidable even among believers and can be helpful if handled with the love and wisdom of God. BUT spiritual unity is very important –loyalty, commitment, and love for God and His Word. Without spiritual unity the Church will not survive. When those who have are not sharing with those who do not have simply shows that the church is divided. This shows that the church does not have the Holy Spirit [who is the Spirit of Love]. The Church does not have Love. It is disgusting to say these words.

Acts 4:32 (NKJV) 32 Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common.

Acts 4:34 (NKJV) 34 Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold,

Acts 4:37 (NKJV) 37 having land, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

Today is the church growing? Is it maturing? To answer that question please look at some statistics below.

In the United States in 1950, 10% of all income was spent for luxuries ($50 billion).

By 1980, 30% of all income went to luxuries ($350 billion). [Did the Christians in USA live differently?]

Amount Americans spend on entertainment and recreation $705 billion

Amount spent by American teenagers [ages 12 -17] (2006) $179 billion

Amount Americans spend on jewellery (2008) $65 billion

Amount Americans spent on state lottery tickets (2007) $58 billion

Total US – government foreign assistance budget for the world $39.5billion

Amount spent on pets (2003) $31 billion

Amount spent by Americans on cosmetic surgery (2007) $13 billion

Total Overseas ministries income to 700 Protestant mission

agencies, including denominational, interdenominational, and

independent agencies (2005) $5 billion


Personal income of Christians Globally per year US$15.2 Trillion

Potential giving from above should be US$1.5 Trillion

Actual giving by Christians US$270 Billion [1.8%]

Church budget 0.001% for 24% of UPG

Mission Giving is US$15 Billion [$8 annually per Christian]

[I got the above statistics about the church 7 years ago –Do you think there is a change now –better or worse?]

I believe a BIG part of the church consists of “goats”.

Matthew 25:31-32 (NKJV) 31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.

Matthew 25:41-43 (NKJV) 41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 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.’

The actual giving of the Christians [check above statistics] shows that there are many robbers among us and some of them leading the Church. There are leaders who rob the members and there are churches who rob God.

Malachi 3:8 (NKJV) 8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings.

Mark 11:17 (NKJV) 17 Then He taught, saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’”


Luke 16:13 (NKJV) 13 “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

Many of God’s people including pastors are still worshipping idols. They worship mammon.

The moment the local church grows in number and finances; what does the pastor of a local church thinks about? He thinks about building a big church building [which he calls church]. He will say that he is building for the glory of God. He is not thinking about building lives but making a name for himself and building an empire. [This is anti –Christ spirit]. He leads the people away from doing God’s will. He leads them to give towards his project. The people will be manipulated and controlled to give to something that is not of God and so the servants of God and the poor will be neglected. Perhaps once in a while they will tip the ministers of God and the poor so that they can show some statistics on the white board.

Genesis 11:4 (NKJV) 4 And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”

The statistics above shows that about 99% of the finances of the church budget is used for “self” but 0.001% is used for the 24% of the World’s Unreached People Group.

Does this show that the church is growing [maturing] or decaying?

Remember my friends –the spirit of this warning and exhortation is love. I love God and His Church [including pastors] and those who have not yet become His People. I truly love them. It is His love that moves me to write these strong words. It is not easy for me to do this.

Think with the mind of Christ

A family of five with children going to school and some about to go for college. The father buys a brand new luxury car. Why? All his colleagues have one. Beside it will not glorify God’s name if he is using an old car or even a new Japanese car. The children’s budget is cut because the father needs to drive a new luxury car for the “glory of God”. The wife and children do not have proper food and clothing. But the father dresses and eats for the “glory of God”. [I am wondering whether you understandJ]

Modern day parable

Think with the mind of Christ again

Two brothers’ families live in the same row of the street.

One has 3 cars and lives in a big house with 7 rooms. Daily, in their rubbish bin is found left over rich food. Every year they go for 3 foreign holidays to rest and recover. Window shopping and shopping is a lifestyle. They are fat and have all the rich man’s disease [This family is sick because of over eatingL].

The other brother is working hard to feed, clothe and shelter his family. They are a family of five who live inside a 1 room shack. The father cycles everyday to deliver newspaper. The children did not pay their school fees for the last 6 months because the father was sick and admitted in hospital for the last 5 months that’s why no money [not because of laziness], little food and no school fees. Sometimes the children eat from their uncle’s dust bin. [This family is sick because they are malnourishedL]

The above story is about today’s two churches. One MEGA and one micro church. One RICH church and the other poor church. One City church and the other village church.

[BTW many of the members of mega churches were once from the village and small town churches]

I thought Jesus is building His Church. That is there is only ONE CHURCH.

But we are divided. Divided into have and the have not.

Please read Jesus’ parable on the rich man and Lazarus [Luke 16:19-31]. Please understand what happened to the rich man. Do we understand what is Jesus saying?

Many Big church pastors are going to suffer in hell because they did not care for the poor. When they had their opportunities to help the small churches they did not help them. If they helped them it is with condition; that is the small churches must change their church’s name and come under the Big Church’s covering. [What evil is done by the church?]

Do we minister the spiritual gifts [which we have received from God] with condition?

Do we minister the talents [which we have received from God] with condition?

Why do we minister the finances with condition? We are no better than the World.

Listen to what Paul said.

2 Corinthians 8:13-14 (NKJV) 13 For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened; 14 but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may supply their lack, that their abundance also may supply your lack—that there may be equality.

Paul stressed that all believers had a duty to contribute out of their own abundance to the needs of the poor. Beginning with the family of God and over flowing and touching others who are not yet in the family of God.

Friends, what should we do?

1] Repent from the sin of idolatry [especially worshiping mammon]. Repent from the sin of pride [making a name for yourself].

2] Start giving [your God given Time, God given Talents, God given Treasure] to the small churches / village churches / small town churches to help them to grow. [Your nation and other nations]

3] Start giving to ministers of God [they do not have to be your church staff] and send them to the nations to be a blessing to the nations.

4] Give continuously and consistent to God’s character.

5] Give to the poor and help them to rise up [without condition]. Give without letting them know that you come from the church. They will find out that you are one if you are a follower of Christ.

6] Defend the poor, the widow and the fatherless. Speak up for them.

As we begin 2011 let us ask God for help to pull out every root of bitterness, root of lust, root of pride and ask God to fill us with His Love.

Let us return to our first love then you will understand what I am writing and speaking about.

Revelation 2:4 (NKJV) 4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.


Luke 12:42 (NKJV) 42 And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season?

Luke 16:10 (NKJV) 10 He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. 11 Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?

Praying that the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ will grow and flourish and bear fruit that will last and give HIM Glory.

With Love




arise and shine
Isaiah 60:1-2 (NKJV) Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. 2 For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,  And deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you.
Ephesians 5:14 (NKJV) 14 Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep,  Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.”
We can be walking and going around doing our daily work and yet be a sleep.
For this reason, the Scripture says, "Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you" (Eph. 5:14). If we truly want Christ to "shine" upon us, we must arise from the distractions that entomb us in lethargy and spiritual darkness.
Arise from our passivity and experience HIS Glorious Presence and allow HIM to flow through us to refresh those who are around us and who are heavily burdened and oppressed.


How shall they preach unless they are sent?
01-21-02 GL Garden
Solok Paya Terubong 8,
Paya Terubong
11060 Penang , Malaysia
Phone: 604-8277554
Handphone: 60165318276
Email: zoemicvs@hotmail.com
Romans 10:15 (NKJV)15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,
Who bring glad tidings of good things!”

Dear friends in the Kingdom of God ,
As the year 2007 comes to a close we do want to take time and refresh your minds of

What we do?

We are helping local Pastors and ministry leaders in different nations to equip their leaders and members with the gifting that God has entrusted us with.

How do we do it?

MLDS – Ministry Leaders Development School . [A Mobile school] –Focused on teaching, training, activating and mentoring Kingdom minded leaders to give godly leadership and to restore lives.

SOPP- School of Prophets and Prophetesses –Focused on teaching, training and activating members of the “body of Christ” to their full potential so that they would live and serve with authority and power.

What it is not?

It is not to compete with the local pastors but to stand alongside with them to help build the “body of Christ”.

How long?

It is a life time ministry. As we receive from above we pour out into lives.

How much?
Freely we have received and freely we give.

What we need?

We need a team [consisting of churches and individual members] who would stand alongside with us to be our friends who will support us through their wise counsel, prayers and finances. We need faithful men and women who will help us do what God would have us do. We need churches like Air Itam Baptist Centre – Penang who have been faithfully supporting us for 2 years without any condition. They trust in us and in what we do.


[We give covering through counsel, teaching, prayer and finances –this is a covering that comes from God above]

We have been faithfully pouring out our lives all these years into local churches both in Malaysia and outside of Malaysia [ Thailand , Singapore , Philippines , India , Indonesia , Russia , New Zealand , and England ].
We have been praying for key pastors and ministry leaders everyday without fail [many of them do not know that we are covering them with our prayers daily].
Through the teaching of the Word of God we have been covering them.
Through financial support [from time to time individual ministers/ and also by paying for our trips ourselves –many of these churches and ministries could not afford to take care of their own ministers].

Pray together

Pray together with us that you also together with many others will stand together with us to build what God builds.

Time is running and there is so much to be done but when we stand together with HIM we can do it and finish it.

Those who are moved by God to become our senders please contact us.

We are a faith ministry. When you are lead by the Lord to give, do send your check to


I/C Number -540303-07-5307

May Bank account number : 107125195025

Home Branch number 07125 -KAMPONG BHARU

In His Majesty’s Service

Christopher and Vijaya.K.

Minggu, 07 April 2013

Lost In Church?

Lost In Church?
We have often heard that the people in the world are lost without Christ. But these days, many of us Christians are ourselves lost ~ lost in church. Lost in our journeys with the Lord, wandering in our own wildernesses and religious circles. The world at large is lost, and so is the church! This may seem highly impossible, but this is exactly what Jesus said would happen in Matthew 7:21-23:
"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,'
shall enter the kingdom of heaven,
but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
Many will say to Me in that day,
'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name,
cast out demons in Your name,
and done many wonders in Your name?'
And then I will declare to them,
'I never knew you; depart from Me,
you who practice lawlessness!'
Looking closely at these verses, we will find that many of these "lost" people are not just ordinary church members sitting in the church pews every week but they are the leaders and the ministers in the church! They are not just a small isolated few individuals, but a large group of people! Jesus said many would be involved! If many of these Christian leaders are lost and going astray, many of their members and followers will be lost too. The apostle Peter revealed this lost condition of the church in 2 Peter 2:1-2:
But there were also false prophets among the people,
even as there will be false teachers among you,
who will secretly bring in destructive heresies,
even denying the Lord Who bought them,
and bring on themselves swift destruction.
And many will follow their destructive ways,
because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.
Many of them will deny the Lord, and will be denied by the Lord Himself! They may think that they have the spiritual gifts such as prophesying, casting out demons and working miracles, done even in the name of Jesus, but they are lawless in the sight of God, practicing lawlessness! What is lawlessness? It is summed up in just one word "unloving" - not loving God and others! Jesus again said in Matthew 24:12:
And because lawlessness will abound,
the love of many will grow cold.
The love of many Christians will grow cold. And many will be indifferent or lukewarm towards God and others. Many will lose their zeal and passion to seek God and to do His will! How does our love for God or others grow cold? The moment we embrace things of the world more than the things of God! The moment we esteem ourselves and our interests above those of others! The moment we start worshipping money instead of God! The moment we stop seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness!
But know this, that in the last days
perilous times will come:
For men will be lovers of themselves,
lovers of money, boasters, proud,
blasphemers, disobedient to parents,
unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving,
slanderers, without self-control, brutal,
despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty,
lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
having a form of godliness but denying its power.
And from such people turn away! (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
We are living in very difficult times. The world climate may be in terrible crisis and condition but much worse is the condition and crisis of human hearts. For people will love only themselves, and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will not consider what is holy and what is not. They will be unloving and unforgiving. They will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their own friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasures rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Many Christians do not have close friends. If they do, their friends would be those they can exploit, take advantage of, use or misuse. And people like these are numerous among us! And we may be one of them.
For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this:
"You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (Galatians 5:14)
Without obeying this one law, we become lawless, and practice lawlessness! Many Christians working inside the church and outside the church are lawless in God's eyes! We don't have agape love. God is not impressed with our sermons, our signs and wonders, our prophecies etc. Others look at the outside, God looks at the inside - the heart factor!
"Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature,
because I have refused him.
For the LORD does not see as man sees;
for man looks at the outward appearance,
but the LORD looks at the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7)
God looks at the heart, but man always chooses to look somewhere else. In fact, man still chooses to look at the outward appearances. Hollywood and Bollywood have entered the church arenas. Many churches have become show business! Many pastors and preachers have become entertainers and guru stars themselves. Most music in the churches today no longer draws men to God and God to men. The worship teams are performers, and the congregations have become the audiences, enjoying or not enjoying what they see, hear or feel! It is now all about how we feel and not how God will feel! Our preferences of likes and dislikes will determine how the church services will be conducted. In praise and worship, biblically speaking, God is the Audience of One, and we are the worshippers! And God desires true worshippers! Our utmost desire is to please Him and not ourselves!
Today, many people do not wish to listen to sound and wholesome teachings. They will follow their own desires, looking for preachers and teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth of God, chasing after myths and false teachings, and compromising with the standards and values of the world.
For the time will come
when men will not put up with sound doctrine.
Instead, to suit their own desires,
they will gather around them
a great number of teachers to say
what their itching ears want to hear.
They will turn their ears away from the truth
and turn aside to myths. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
People love to look at other people either to admire, compare or criticize! And Christians are no exceptions! We love the visuals, the sounds and the razzle-dazzles! Sometimes, we secretly "worship" eloquent preachers and inspirational teachers, admiring them for their spiritual giftings and pulpit showmanship. We are called to worship the invisible God! But we choose to worship the visible! We love doing church, and going through the religious motions and activities! That's why Jesus would say that He does not know many of us. Many of us are known in our churches and congregations, but we may be unknown nobodies in God's eyes!
The Lord says:
"These people come near to me with their mouth
and honor Me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from Me.
Their worship of Me
is made up only of rules taught by men.
Therefore once more I will astound these people
with wonder upon wonder;
the wisdom of the wise will perish,
the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish." (Isaiah 29:13-14)
Many of us are far away from God! Many of us have lost the joy of our salvation, lost our faith in God, lost our trust in God and in man, lost our pursuit of holiness, lost our desires to do good, lost our passions to win souls, lost our love for God and others, and eventually we lost ourselves! Remember the story of the Israelites! They are God's chosen people, yet many of them strayed away from God even though God was with them 24 hours a day, seven days a week!
And the LORD went before them
by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way,
and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light,
so as to go by day and night. (Exodus 13:21)
God called His people stiff-necked, rebellious! They were like sheep who have gone astray, each turning to his own way! In fact, all of the Israelites died in the wilderness, and not one of them was left except Caleb and Joshua. Only their children and children's children entered into the Promised Land! That's why we must remain refreshed and renewed in our relationship with God. God is our Father, and we are His children! We cannot afford to be dull of hearing, having hardened hearts!
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on Him
the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6)
'Go to this people and say:
"Hearing you will hear, and shall not understand;
And seeing you will see, and not perceive;
For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them."' (Acts 28:26-27)
Judas Iscariot was with Jesus for 3½ years. He was the perfect example of one who is lost in church! He was personally chosen by Jesus Himself to be one of His 12 apostles! Very privileged and honored. He was in the same company with Jesus. He ate, slept, worked and journeyed with the Lord! He was the Lord's treasurer! Jesus entrusted him with all His finances! Judas had heard the best sermons spoken directly out of the mouth of Jesus! He saw the miracles, signs and wonders that Jesus did! He witnessed and experienced divine love as Jesus reached out and touched the multitudes! Judas also tasted the goodness of the Lord as Jesus washed his feet. He knew what true servanthood was! But in the end, he chose otherwise. He traded the life of a beloved Friend for 30 pieces of silver! He betrayed Christ! That's the saddest part of the gospel story when Judas committed suicide after all the damages were done! I believe Jesus had forgiven him. On the cross, Christ prayed, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." I believe the pronoun "them" includes Judas. Though Jesus had forgiven him, but Judas just couldn't forgive himself! Like Judas, will we betray the Lord? or will we deny Him like Peter? or will we run away from knowing Him like the other apostles?
Peter denied knowing the Lord thrice but he came to his senses and repented. The Lord forgave him, and reaffirmed him! Like Peter, we must know our own hearts and spiritual conditions. The worst thing we can do is to pretend that we are alright when we are not. The sick must see a doctor, and the lost must find the way home! We cannot afford to go on doing the same things week in and week out! We must turn back and return to God! Like the prodigal son who was lost, we must realize our own wretchedness and go back to the Father in repentance! Before God the Father, we must be transparent. God sees and knows all things! He will forgive, He will restore! Never let our pride and ego prevent us from approaching God! And we may taste His amazing grace again!
Amazing grace!
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found
Was blind, but now I see.
Written on:
11 July 2007