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.

Spirit Filled Pentecostal Prayer

I have not prayed for years in my passionate faith filled pentecostal prayer like this afternoon after chatting with and connecting my daughter with a sister church’s pastor in London. After that I sensed an anointing of God upon me, I prayed immediately praising God, akin to Elizabeth bursting out in praise & prayer to God, though in a smaller scale.

Luke 1:41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!

That’s precious.  I also remember how Jesus was filled with the Spirit after being tempted by the devil in the wilderness for 40 days. In a smaller scale, I begin to understand or feel what the Bible means being filled with the Spirit.  

Luke 4 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,where for forty days he was tempted[a] by the devil. 

Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit & spoke courageously and powerfully to a hostile crowd about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Acts 4:  Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people!  If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 

All these to show that there is ample supply of bible verses supporting the Spirit filled person after an encounter with God.

You need an encounter with God for being filled with the Spirit

Elizabeth didn’t just yell out “Blessed be the mother of my Lord” out of nowhere. She did it because she heard the voice of Mary calling her. Luke 1:41 and when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. SO much so that her baby in her womb leaped in her womb! That’s an encounter with God. (BTW, who says life starts at delivery only??)

We all need an encounter with God for the outburst of joy, faith, and confidence. Encountering with God produces a surge of faith, like Peter, stepping out in such strong faith and courage, preached to a hostile Jewish crowd, who just a few days earlier, crucified the Lord Jesus. Elizabeth’s spirit connected with God’s Spirit (Holy Spirit), when she heard the voice of Mary. We all need that special encounter with God, in small ways, in big ways. Normally encounter with God will be a big way.

I burst into praise to God after connecting my daughter with Hope church London’s pastor. I then prayed with great faith. With great liberation, I leapt into great prayer, which I haven’t seen for years in New York. Coming from a Pentecostal background into a Presbyterian and Reformed theology in seminary, I feel my prayers been enriched but subdued, but I wont call it suppressed. It’s subdued in terms of burst of energy and joy. This afternoon’s prayer is an outburst of celebration with faith and I felt connected with God in the Holy Spirit and uttered the prayer with faith that I haven’t seen for years. That’s the return to prayers with faith and energized by the Holy Spirit. I long for more of this kind of encounter, and one thing for sure, I am returning to more energized and Spirit filled faith empowered prayers. For sure.

Amen.

If you live after the flesh, you shall die

Living in this very sexualized society today in America, or any big city, men facing worldly lustful temptations is very real. No one is exempt from this. We are continually bombarded by the sensual media of the world in the media. It’s a well-known fact that Christians struggle with purity in this world, and porn has been a real destructive force among millions of men and a lot of Christians are not spared. A very good book to read is “Mortifying Sins”- by John Owens.

One day I felt stirred in my heart to read this famous book by John Owens, and I started reading it, and as I was reading chapter one, he quoted this verse in Romans 8.

13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. Romans 8 KJV

I was hit by this verse that says it as it is, so in your face kind of tone “If you live according to the flesh, you will die”. There is no negotiation. No reasoning. No further explanations. It just hits me in my head. I was alarmed by it, and thought to myself, I don’t want to die. Therefore I should not live after the flesh.

You know how as Christians we often play with such words. It’s like negotiating with God’s word. It’s like we don’t take God’s word seriously. We love the verses of God for blessings, but we take it with a grain of salt for those verses with warnings. And the reason we don’t take them seriously enough is that it doesn’t hit us in the heads, so to speak. It’s kind of head knowledge. Actually you can apply that to verses of promises too. So the key is to let it hit you on the heads.

I can describe my own experience. A sense of fear, Godly fear, dawned upon me, after I read that verse in Owens’ book. I immediately paused and meditated over that verse. It really sank it in. So when I face temptations, I recall that verse, it hits me again. It’s like the Spirit of God brings it alive. This makes me appreciate more what the Holy Spirit is working with the bible.

12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4)

That’s the word of God. Sharper than a double-edged sword! It’s cutting. It divides soul and spirit. What happen is a lot of times, the word of God is blunted by our soul, spirit, and also the circumstances around us. It take us to calm down and spend time meditating through the logos to become rhema, quickened word of God. But that still doesn’t cut it sometimes, it is those special moments God really wants to communicate something to us. Its precious, and you won’t forget it. The thing is this, the more you spend time meditating and praying through God’s words, the more you will be getting revelation. This should motivate us pray more. Lets take a look at these verses:

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Rom 12)

That “renewal of the mind” is the key. How does that happen? Mind can only be renewed when we read the bible verses, meditating upon them, and prayerfully letting Holy Spirit convict us, touch us. Its just like what I described earlier experientially how I felt hit in my head when I read that “living by the flesh, you will die.” That’s renewing happening right away. And that happened to me when I was actually reading a renown author’s book “Mortifying your sins” by John Owen who quoted Romans 1 on this. God can do it in a thousand ways, and He is sovereign. What we should be concerned is that we need to seek the Lord in reading books, bible & prayer.

We all need a special revelation of the Lord like weekly.

The Sacredness of Life

I am wonderfully and fearfully made in my mother’s womb. I began to reflect upon this one time when I was jogging to catch my early morning shuttle bus last week, and my foot got caught on an uneven road surface, and I stumbled and almost fell. My reflex action, a built in mechanism that God has endowed to all of us, kicked into action and stabilized my body after a brief fumble. At that moment, it dawned on me how wonderfully I am made by God and that verse came into my mind. Then it hit me there is another portion of that verse that’s hardly caught by me, and that’s ‘fearfully’ made.

13    For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 14    I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. (Psalm 139)

I want to talk about the verse that says we are “fearfully” made by God. I think we are wonderfully made, of course, just look at the complexity of our bodies, the muscles, tendons, blood vessels, the heart that’s constantly pumping, the kidney that’s constantly filtering, the liver that filters our blood to cleanse our blood, and the intestines as long as a football field. All these are too amazing for my mind to comprehend, and we have breath & spirit and emotion & feelings. Who and how is all these put together that’s called my body? I am just amazed. To say it’s wonderful doesn’t do the job; it has to also include the second portion that says we are “fearfully” made by God.

I totally get it. We are fearfully made by God. It’s a holy fear. I tremble and being amazed in awe at the amazing complex functionality and organism’s balance in the most amazing way that modern robot and artificial intelligence can only gaze from a distance. It’s fearful. It’s awesome.

Ephesians 1:4 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.

That is another mind boggling thing. God chose us before the foundation of the world. That’s before Genesis 1. God had already chosen us to be holy before him. That’s sacred. Our life was not created randomly. But it was purposeful to be holy and sacred even before God created this world! Think about that! That’s how much God had thoughts about us. He loved us even before the world was created. It’s like David who said it’s just too wonderful for my thought.

If we only catch a glimpse of the awesomeness and fearfulness of our bodies creation by the Almighty God, we would start to appreciate life more, and more thankful to God and families. Mre awed by God. It’s an incredible feat that God put us all together in this world. The silent heart pumping away, the silent liver filtering away, the silent kidney filtering it away, we have taken all these sacred acts of God for granted. There needs to be an awakening to such appreciation of the beauty and wonder of the creation of God, that Genesis 1 must come alive again and again.

Genesis 1: then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.

That verse that says, “God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life” is sacred to me. That’s sacredness, holiness, glory & power of God. God breathed into Adam the breath of life. God didn’t breathe into Adam hot air, or cool air, but breath of LIFE. His personal breath. I love that our God is a personal God. He breathed into us. That’s personal. Which idol or god you have heard that their god breathed into their nostrils. Its almost too intimate. Our life came from the breath of God, and we are now the descendants of Adam & Eve. Its very important for me that the God that I love & follow is a personal God. Not a cosmic force somewhere, but one who feels with me & for me.

There is a lot of implications. First we should treasure life. All that we have comes from God. We may not have a lot, but a sense of thankfulness must fill our hearts every day. Whenever we lose sight of that, it’s time to remind ourselves of how wonderfully and fearfully made by God. The whole concept of identity has to come from the very hands that knitted us together. No one else can give us the identity. Not the culture, not the inner desire of our hearts, which often are deceitful.

Life begins at conception. Gender begins at conception. Our identity begins at conception. God’s hands knitted us in our mothers’ wombs. Wonderfully & fearfully made. We cannot question the wonderfulness and fearfulness of how God created us. There is no way for us to point our fingers back to God and say hey God you made a mistake. Our naturally born gender is determined by God. Do not change that or challenge that. We are not the creator; we are the creation.

Until we recognized the hands that knitted us in our mothers’ wombs are the same hands that were nailed to the cross, we will never experience the joy of true freedom & liberty through the redemption of God. And unless we are redeemed, we will always remain a creation of God that has never known our maker.