God has implanted in all men the knowledge of God

It is fascinating to read about whether deep down the hearts of every man & woman, there is an awareness of the divine God. No matter how much a person denies the divinity, somehow, there is always a crack when he or she will show the fear of God existentially when he or she falls into trouble or danger.

In New York or most city folks, men and women are chasing after careers, money, pleasures, sex and forgetting God. God is a marginal issue. But Calvin argued prolifically that deep down every person heart, there is an awareness of God. Lets see his argument applied to our situation. To prevent anyone from taking refuge in the pretense of ignorance, God himself has implanted in all men a certain understanding of his divine majesty.[1] He went on to say that there is no eminent pagan, no people or nation so barbarous, savage, and remote that they have not a deep-seated conviction that there is a God. Interestingly how do you compare that with the urban city folks? They are not remote, not savage, but educated, but extremely worldly. Essentially they love for themselves, and their families or loved ones. That probably rings true for all countries in the world today. Actually, the world that we see today in the big cities especially like New York, the trend is definitely towards what’s written in :

2 Tim But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

Lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, abusive, disobedient, slanderous, no self-control, etc.…all the virtues are lost. Why? That’s the prophecy for the end time. So if you balance these two together, there got to be an intentional denial, of the deep conviction that there is a God. That sense is usually ignored or intentionally marginalized. Unless the Spirit of God moves in their hearts, they are essentially gone! The direction of life will be marching towards the bottomless abyss. It is a sense of helplessness and fear as we witness the civilization falling in front of our eyes. Yet, Calvin argues fervently that sense of the knowledge of the divine has not been gone altogether. My article today is what do people do with that tension in their hearts? That’s a really good tension, and I believe the stronger the tension towards the divine God, the stronger the pull by the Holy Spirit, the better chance does a person have in coming into the family of God. Calvin argues that there is no city, no household, since the beginning of the world, which could do without religion; there lies in this a tacit confession of a sense of deity inscribed in the hearts of all.[2] So well written by Calvin! In other words, no civilization through human history throughout the whole world has been able to survive without a religion. That’s true, because I have never seen an atheist civilization that grown massive in history. Look at Rome, the Roman empire calls Caesar god even! In China, the emperor is called king from heaven, same as Japan too. Indeed every idolatry is ample proof of this conception. Talking about idolatry, you can see that everyday in the world we live in today, no matter which year, which country. We all have idols in our hearts. A lot of times, we idolize money, career, sex, women, power, greed or even children. This just shows these idols actually take the place of God in our lives.

History tells us of a Roman emperor after Caesar, Gaius Caligula, who showed unbridled contempt of deity (God) ; yet he trembled miserably when any sign of Gods wrath manifested itself-albeit unwillingly, he shuddered at the God whom he professedly sought to despise. He who is the boldest despiser of God is of all men the most startled at the rustle of a falling leaf. [3](Lev 26:36) 36 And as for those of you who are left, I will send faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies. The sound of a driven leaf shall put them to flight, and they shall flee as one flees from the sword, and they shall fall when none pursues.

So question is where does this arise but from the vengeance of divine majesty, which strikes their conscience all the more violently the more they try to flee form it. [4] He is saying that even though men try to run away and hide themselves from the Lord’s presence in some disguise, love of boy or girlfriend, or money, and to efface it again from their minds. But deep down, they are always entrapped. Although sometimes it may seem to vanish for a moment, it returns at once and rushes in with new force. There is no respite.[5] In other words, there is always a sense of emptiness in their hearts, even though in the surface, they seem to be happy and fulfilled, but their hearts are far from being in rest. This is the attitude and result of an impious mind, non-reverence to the mighty God, and this exemplifies the seed of God is alive in all men’s minds.

 

[1] John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Vol 1, Westminster John Knox Press 2011, p 43

[2] Ibid p44

[3] Ibid

[4] Ibid

[5] Ibid

The Meaning of Losing & Gaining your life

Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matt 10: 37-29)

Jesus said if you love your mum or dad more than him, you are not worthy of him! That’s a strong statement, and who can say that? Only the Savior of the world, the Son of God himself and also who loved you enough to die for you, is qualified to say that. Seriously your parents didn’t die for you, for the eternal salvation of your soul. Therefore he is worthy is having such allegiance from us, because He is talking about eternity. Recently I heard about the struggles of folks holding onto something he or she loves in life, to such an extent that, he/she lost the life that Jesus promised. That’s exactly what Jesus says here in v39—whoever finds his life will lose it. Some cases of real life examples: Some have pursued financial prosperity so much that he gives up on his walk with the Lord. Some have been so influenced by the world’s liberal views that, it’s questioning even his own faith in the salvation of Christ. Some have been so swept away by girlfriend or boyfriend that, it overshadows the relationship with God, and plunged forward to what’s ‘gained’ in this life.  Now if you want something or somebody so strongly that is against God’s will, you just gained your life in your worldly desire, so to speak, but you just lost the real life, the eternal life in Christ! (v39). In other words, those who go all out to get what they really want in life, but against your own deep conscience as a Christian and hence God’s will, will lose it altogether. That’s like you build your identity on something or someone you love so much that, it’s becomes yours eventually but you will go down. The only way out of this, is to continually look to the Lord for his deliverance, for his captivation of your heart of his love, beauty and what he can do for you instead. Only the Holy Spirit can convict you to come back. Think of the all the patriarchs and folks that held on to Christ in their persecuted life, some were extremely persecuted to death even, and especially in the early church era during emperor Nero in Roman empire for instance. Christians suffered persecution in China, Iran etc now in this 21st century, and they persevered to the end. But we are nowhere near that now. The point is the Lord is faithful and will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.

13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. (1 Cor 10)

Then it talks about this: 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?

This is a realistic and practical question but deadly serious that we will really need to answer from the bottom of our hearts. Just exactly what’s important to us really? People who rush into foolish decisions in life may wreck their eternity forever. This is the darkest thing one ever will encounter in your entire life! How would anyone trade that heritage in Christ? For what? This is certainly not a decision to be taken lightly.

But those who lose what they love much in life for the sake of Christ, will gain the real life like a zillion times better. This is big. What a victory in sight. What a joy set before him. That’s how Jesus endured all the pain and shame & sufferings on the cross. (Heb 12) And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Lastly consider these verses: Heb 12: 16 See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. 17 Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. Even though he sought the blessing with tears, he could not change what he had done.

Don’t sell your birthright, no matter what you do!

Gospel authenticity Vs Liberal Scholars

Introduction                   Oct 4, 2019        

We need to understand better the argument for the authenticity of the transmission of scriptures into the canon, and the dynamics of how the canon was formed together. This is a subject I have not really grappled with before the class, but coming to New York City, in the very liberal worldview world, it’s not difficult to be challenged about the authenticity of the Bible. Some have argued about the transmission of scriptures, and what happened to it, and the whole questions of man writing God’s word. It has produced a lot of angst among some Christians who are questioned and in turn cast a shadow in their minds of the authority of scriptures. The inerrancy of scriptures is also challenged by the liberal scholars, and have therefore influenced the faith of Christians. The worst is that the so called orthodox Christians are being shifted in their view towards liberal stand, and hence shipwrecked their faith. That is a real sad case, and I intend to learn and pray that what I have learnt from this class can be applied to help them and to argue for Christ. Of course, this will be further developed as this canon issue grows over the years.

Gospels Mark, Matthew, Luke and John were written between AD 50-90

Let’s get this right. All of the gospels were written by the apostolic circle in the 1st century. Any manuscripts written in the 2nd century were not included in canon. The apocryphal gospels, for instance were all written in the 2nd-5th century.

Jesus died at AD 33. The gospels were written barely like 30 years after his death. Therefore when the first manuscripts were published, it was exposed to readers who knew Jesus personally, walked with him, and witnessed some of the miracles Jesus did, and what Jesus taught, if any contradicted their memory of the record, they would have called it out and faced rebuttal.

The Rabbinic Way of learning

The Rabbinic way of learning in the old Jewish ancient tradition, is pretty much memorization word by word. Richard Balkan wrote extensively in his book and argued for the accurate word for word recording of the gospels and the teaching of Jesus in the Bible. Between AD 33- AD60, the messages with Jesus’ teachings, records of his miracles etc were all memorized and transmitted verbally, while, they were also, simultaneously, written down by the apostles and disciples.

The quantity and quality of Gospel Manuscripts, 2500 copies manuscripts

Talking about accuracy of the gospel and NT manuscript, there are 5,800 manuscripts of New Testament in view, 2500 copies of gospel , Latin 9000. And they all agree with one another with very minor differences, due to copying etc in the ancient world of 1st & 2 centuries. With this kind of quantity and copied manuscripts, and very little or hardly anything variance, this argues well for the confidence of the authenticity of the gospels. These overwhelming amount of manuscripts copied and copied in the 1st century shows forth the strength of the accuracy of the transmission of the scripture.

Liberals Removed all Supernatural from the Bible

Be warned that liberal thinkers theologians in Germany in the enlightenment period, literally stripped off all supernatural deeds of Christ, and retained only the virtuous sayings and teachings of Jesus. Liberal theologians like Richtsl, Boltzmann etc have all done a great disservice to the Kingdom of God by following the god of rationalizing in rationalizing away all the supernatural that they couldn’t reason out. They essentially humanized a divine Christ and made it, so called palatable to human reasoning’s of the enlightenment period. This is dark, by denying the divinity of Christ, its is actually anti-Christ. Its demonic at the highest intellectual attack of Christ and Christianity overall.

All Scripture is inspired by the Holy Spirit

That’s in 2 Tim 3: 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. This is the final stamp of approval from the divine transcendent God himself. All scripture is God breathed, caused into existence by the breadth of God himself. John 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. That’s how authoritative the Word of God is. In John, Jesus is the Word, and God created the world through His Son Jesus Christ, also the Word. You can see the scriptures brings life, eternal life. Its no ordinary book.

 

 

 

 

 

Reformed Charismata New York

There is an uptick of what the Lord wants to do through what God already put in my heart over the years and now the recent experience of my brother in Christ, classmate, Helder Nozima in Convergence conference crystallized it.  For 2 years now, I have been attending RTS seminary (Reformed Theological Seminary) in New York, I’m more and more convinced that we need and must start a Reformed Charismatic church in New York city, because the Reformed lacks the gifts of the Spirit, while the charismatics lacks the reformed theology, which I think it’s the best in the world, and most God centered, biblical and accurate. But there is hardly or none I find in New York that’s truly reflecting that, and now that I have been trained in reformed theology for 2 years, done 32 credit hours, eager to see such a church birthed.

My friend Helder is an ordained Brazilian Presbyterian pastor who is now studying in RTS as well, and we have great conversations about this subject. He and wife recently attended a powerful conference, Convergence, a reformed charismatic conference on prophetic recently in Oklahoma, and he is pumped! https://www.convergenceconference.org/

See his FB sharing on this that says: “Can’t ignore anymore I still don’t know what to do But I can’t ignore the supernatural and supernatural demonstrations of the Holy Spirit. Prophesies, word of knowledge, discernment of spirits, languages… and gifts of cures. After coming to the convergence, to see cures (many, even of palsy resulting from pour) and being the target of supernatural actions of the spirit, I have no more to deny or choke this in my ministry. I continue to believe in the doctrines of grace, child baptism and the church’s church. But I also believe in the contemporary and exercise of all the gifts granted by the holy spirit I have the honor to follow Sam storms, Matt Chandler, Andrew Johnson, Jack Deere, Wayne Grudem and other retired and charismatic. I have the honor to call charismatic Arminians as Michael Brown brother. I’m not alone. How to do this? I don’t know Maybe something has to start from scratch. But it would be a serious sin to bury the gifts God gave me, and help to bury other people’s gifts.”

It would be a serious sin to “bury” the gifts God gave us. Have you thought f it that way? That’s  pretty scary to bury gifts that God gave you for a purpose. What do you plan to do as Christians? Do you just let it sit with you and not do anything about it? Like the parable of the talents? The guy hid the talent God gave him and did nothing. What then happened to that guy? What the little that he has is also taken away from him and given to the guy with 10 talents! Not to mention the absolutely scary scene of gnashing of teeth & outer darkness.

Seriously folks in the world today will want an experience with God, an encounter with God, to see the reality of Jesus. I say we need both the word & the Spirit to get the fire going. Revival is at hand coming to New York.

If you desire to see the prophecies flowing, healing gifts operating, and word of knowledge going together with great reformed teachings of the word of God in a meeting, check us out as we start a small group with these mentioned operating right here in Manhattan.

 

 

 

 

 

A refreshing encouraging memory lane with Hope KK founding days

A refreshing encouraging memory lane with Hope KK founding days

August 30, 2019

Today my wife, daughter and I visited Malacca, and met up with Abigail Chong, our ex Hope KK Church leader for dinner. She is now pastoring Hope Malacca Church with her husband David. Its amazing she brought up how her first walk into Hope KK Church, when the sermon was about living water inside you, and how I asked everyone how many people would know that you are a Christian. She was struck by the Spirit of God that day. She commented it was the anointing of God in Hope KK at that time, that was palpable. College students like her, at that time, would be so smote by the worship and teaching of God’s word especially Friday night DMM (David’s Mighty Man) leadership teaching. Students from Hope Sabah in the church would wake up at 5:30 am three times a week, to pray. She even would end up at times sleeping through her lunch break in school. LOL. But she mentioned again it’s the anointing of God that made all these possible. All these were happening during our planting Hope KK Church for the first 5 years before we left for the US in 2001. Eighteen years have passed, but the memory was intact from a fervent servant of the Lord. It’s amazing to hear her story, which is almost faded from my memory. Interestingly I never heard this from Hope KK over the years I visited them. Tonight must be the timing of the Lord to speak this word of anointing to me. I was certainly refreshed and encouraged, and the words that struck me is the “anointing of God” at that time in Hope KK (Kota Kinabalu).

So the question is what’s happening now in New York? Great question, and many things come to my mind. NYC is certainly a different ball game altogether for church planting. The helicopter style of dropping a planter to a new city and leave without a denomination on the ground support has not worked in any planting experience in NYC. Paul’s church planting tent making ministry model may work in an extra ordinarily gifted person in Paul, and with enough support this can be done in the western world, and New York too. However, this planting in urban city has multiple facets and cultural dimensions embedded in it, that I wasn’t aware. I was ill prepared, but now by the grace of God, I am in Reformed theological seminar doing my MABS now, and later with City to city church planting module. Its amazing how much I have learnt and I have been illumined. Anointing doesn’t change, but the theology has strengthened and deepened. But theology in itself won’t cut it, but it has to be soaked in prayers, and seeking the face of the Lord, for that anointing comes from the Lord himself.

Recalling the mighty acts of God in our lives strengthen my faith and the God of Abraham, Isaiah, Jacob will not let us down, for he is the faithful awesome God. May God glorify his Name in us.

Jesus of History & Jesus of Faith

The Jesus of history as conjured by the liberals is an attempt to reconcile with science, which in many cases, do not agree within their own research and findings. Science has never been able to explain the walking on water by Jesus, the resurrection of Jesus, turning of water into wine, and not just in the gospel, but also in the OT, Moses parting of the Red Sea etc. Many scientists today including some big names have acknowledged there is no way to explain the miracles by science, and science can’t explain them and some of them have become professing christians. Bottom line, Christianity is a supernatural religion, not a human science religion/ethics club.

It all started in the Enlightenment period among the German Scholars & Philosophers. Names like Strauss, Bultmann, etc have all tried to reason away the gospel by removing all the supernatural deeds of Christ, in order to “appease” science of the day. In their attempt, they totally denied the divinity of Christ, and humanize the totally God-Man Jesus Christ. Gospels like Gospel of Thomas have all famously removed all those. Gospel of Thomas is a Gnostic gospel. The danger of liberalism is that they took away all the miracles & supernatural works of Jesus, but taken all the sayings of Jesus. This is precisely the gospel of the Gnostics. Then they embraced all the good virtuous sayings of Christ. That’s why they became so popular in the academic & university world. Check out any colleges, especially the humanities of the Ivy leagues in America, in Oxford Cambridge, in all the top schools in Europe, their influence is staggering. Christians would be naive thinking our warfare is just on evangelizing and losing the big picture mental intellectual world where all our young people flock to like in the major cities in the world.

You may be asking why do we even bother to entertain them? I thought so myself, but unfortunately apparently they have wielded quite a lot influence in the academic world, in the modern universities and Colleges, that is how liberalism started and invaded the colleges professors & our children in colleges. The only to fight that, is to have evangelical christians to become scholars by enrolling in Theological Seminaries.

I have benefited enormously from seminaries, and me coming from a pentecostal background in Reformed Theological Seminary, is a awesome combination. I would urge folks to join a reformed theological seminary, for they have the highest standard of theology. I will share a lot more, in my future posts.

Sermon on the Mount-Reformed & Non Reformed View

What are some problems with non-Reformed views of the Sermon on the Mount and how does the Reformed view avoid (or answer) those same problems?

Sermon on the Mount presented enormous challenge to Christians to follow on the surface. Jesus basically went beyond the OT Torah Moses laws, as given to Israel. Like you shall not commit adultery, but Jesus said if you look at a woman with lust, you have committed adultery. Like an eye for an eye in the OT, but Jesus changed it to if you are slapped on the left cheek, turn the other cheek too.

Anabaptists seeing the radical nature of the call of Jesus on SM, decided to withdraw from the society and the civil law in order to really live out the commands of SM.

Thomas Aquinas taught in his Summa Theologia there are two levels, one is for all Christians, and a second for application only to a few, and that’s his way of separating the laity and clergyman as the commands are too hard for the former, which is essentially what the Catholics have taken.

Reformed teaching is saying not to turn SM into a new legalism with the stringent application of all the details, but the discovery of a new, radical love for both God and neighbor in our hearts. Jesus said in a number of places that he is the fulfillment of the law. That’s the only way to approach SM, by knowing and expediting the radical love of Jesus in our hearts, we can, and only then, respond in l=kind with our love to him and gradually our neighbor.

I think SM reaffirms the OT laws and point to Jesus as the ultimate fulfillment of the OT law. And we will have greater respect and understanding on the relationship between OT law and NT grace period in Christ.