Whatever you bind/loose on earth, is it you bind or God bind? Matt 18:18

Matthew 18: 18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed [f] in heaven.

The best discovery ever since I started in my MABS. In my Greek book, I found that the verse ” whatever you bind on Earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on Earth shall be loosed in heaven! “–Our favorite Pentecostal verse? Guess what? As I suspected, the Greek word for binding and loosing are future perfect passives, which means, ” Will have already been bound in heaven”. In other words, the heavenly decree confirming the earthly one is based on a PRIOR verdict. Omg! We got it wrong by praying in our human authority for so long, it is actually decided in heaven and then we merely implement it on Earth. That’s why I love my Greek now! 😊

Now there are implications here.

First, the tendency of charismatic churches and Pentecostals is that we assume great power that’s been given to us in the Name of Jesus for us to bind oppositions, and to loose “blessings” into our lives and our church. This is stretching what Jesus originally said. What Jesus said is that whatever you bind or lose on earth, shall be bound/loosed in heaven”. That’s where the confusion arises. The translation calls it, shall be bound/loosed in heaven, sounding like we bind first, and then the heavens follow suit. But no, the Greek words say, we only bind/loose that which has already been decided in heaven. This is very important. Therefore this answers the question of God first or we first in making this faith proclamation. It is obviously God. This has huge implications. You don’t go around bind things or loose things; you only do what God has already decided in heaven. That’s hard to find, on other words, the will of God. But we need to absolutely bear this in mind, so we don’t “abuse’ the verse.

Secondly, if it’s really the heaven’s verdict done first, we should be absolutely bind and loose things on earth with greater convictions and faith and they are guaranteed to happen.

Remember, God has the power. We don’t. It’s not our will power even, it’s God’s will be done, and then we follow up.

Amen.

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Teach me to pray -ii (Redeemer devotion)

New Testament Reading

False teachers were becoming so popular that Peter was compelled to expose the toxic nature of a spirituality that is rooted more in personal gain than godly patience. This letter anchors the reader in the promises of God in Christ, who is faithful and will come again.

Meditate on the passage, noting a few words or a phrase that stood out. Take them to God in prayer.

2 Peter 3

The Day of the Lord

1 Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. 2 I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.

3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.

11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

17 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.


Prayers of Intercession

Neighborhood

  • Pray for Hope for New York. That God would work mightily through the organization as it mobilizes volunteers and provides strategic support and grants to their affiliates.
  • Pray for Christians to be united across churches and denominations to work together for the good of their neighborhoods.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.


Benediction

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (2 Corinthians 13:14)

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Teach me to pray-I

Remind yourself that this morning marks another day to enjoy and glorify God. Use this email as you are able, in whole or in part.


Call to Prayer

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. (Psalm 90:14)


Opening Prayer

Almighty and most merciful God, we remember before you all poor and neglected persons whom it would be easy for us to forget: the homeless and the destitute, the old and the sick, and all who have none to care for them. Help us to heal those who are broken in body or spirit, and to turn their sorrow into joy. Grant this, Father, for the love of your Son, who for our sake became poor, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP 826)


Confession of Sin

Almighty God, you are generous in abundance. You have given to us gifts that we do not deserve. You have called us from death to life, granted us forgiveness through the death and resurrection of your Son, Jesus Christ, given us the Holy Spirit, and made us your children. You have provided for us, both spiritually and materially. Yet we have failed to be thankful and to rejoice in your goodness. We have ignored you and neglected to give you the praise that is due your name. Forgive us for our ingratitude. Give us eyes that see your hand at work in all areas of our life. Enable us to realize that every good thing comes from you. Deepen our gratitude so that we might serve you with undivided and joyful hearts. In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Take a moment to confess your sins, knowing that he hears you.

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My Reflection on “How to Stay Christian in Seminary”-as I started Seminary

My Reflection on “How to Stay Christian in Seminary”

One of the first things that hits me as I read this book is the statement that we should approach our studies devotionally. This encourages me and enlightens me a lot as I embark this journey of seminary MABS studies. I have heard of student’s failure spiritually after years M.Div. program in seminary. To me this is really so important for us all to carry that mentality and attitude and constantly remind ourselves as we dig into deeper into more Greek memorization, thick books reading and grasping of concepts. I also like the words that say the study may start to be dry and trying in the midst of our business, but when the theology of the bible begins to come together in our minds, when we start to see the overall shape of it, our academic study will feed our souls. This will be definitely my goal that this pursuit of knowledge will not just remain at “knowledge “ level, but it will begin to feed my soul.

One of the things I also love is that we are about the glory of God. And the fact that God glorifies himself by communicating himself. He showcases his ways. I see this as an integrating factor between my academic seminary studies and seeing and knowing the glory of God in a deeper & more profound way. Because the theology I learnt should unlock some of the riches of whom He is for me to appreciate and personalize it, so that the glory of Jesus can be displayed and delighted in my life.

Finally, I love it when it says, “if you articulate good doctrines, if you are somehow unsettled by God’s mystery, somehow overcome by his greatness, it’s probably because you have domesticated him.” That’s like you see the beauty of God, and come away untouched or unsettled by the beauty and greatness of God. I fear the word “domesticated God”, because we may have a lot of knowledge of him, but if are not touched in our hearts, we will always remain dry and limited because he is ‘small’ in our sight. In reality, he is the awesome God that transcends any of our imagination, and I pray that this seminary study is a journey that will help us to capture that more and more in our hearts and souls.

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Liberalism & College Campus Ministry

Liberalism & Campus Ministry

Charles Krauthammer, a renowned doctor and sociologist commentator in Fox News, says that in the 60s there was a counterculture leftist plan to take over the academia of universities in America to reshape America’s worldview. And they did: they have taken over the colleges one after other surely by sending the best man and woman to do PhDs and eventually become professors in the universities, especially the ivy league who in turn produces the most professors for other universities. And these professors begin to publish their thesis, books, and worldview. A look at all the colleges in America today will see how students heavily towards one end, liberalism.

Today’s college students by a far majority lean towards progressive values, liberal worldviews, including Christians to a significant extent. They are the future Leaders of America and why is the church losing the grip/influence on the young people there’s only one way to stop this slide by bringing in the glorious gospel to campus for a rich life transformation & endowment of the “life of abundance” that Jesus promised.

Any wonder America’s leaning towards sexuality continuously like gay marriage, transgender as a seismic shift of America’s worldview stunning even the liberals by the success they have. It all started in the campus, and today Christians has a unique opportunity to penetrate university. Strictly speaking the gospel is neither left nor right, neither liberal nor conservative. Gospel cares for the poor & marginalized which sounds like the liberal left but also stands for morality like marriage between a man & a woman, sexual fidelity, honesty, integrity, faithfulness etc. All these virtues (except the sexuality stuff) are all applauded by the society at large, but the major difference between them is that the society at large fails at carrying out these virtues, because humanly it’s impossible because our human nature is fallen & bankrupt by default. (Ephesians 4: 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.)

Any effort to boost it up as we see that plentiful in schools and the rest, are all but temporary, not sustainable, because the real reason is that our hearts are darkened, and hardened. We do have virtuous human instincts, but that is not sustainable, and the world and surroundings corrupt us. That’s the bottom line. And for Christians, it’s a fact that we are in a spiritual warfare. The prince of darkness continues to devour anyone like a roaring lion. (1 Peter 5:8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour). So any effort to change a campus, change the society, a country is in vain without the supernatural message of the gospel where Jesus died on the cross and paid the price for us. He lived the perfect life we should, but could never have in a billion years. We are totally in need of the redemption of Christ who was offered up as an atonement and sacrifice for us all sinners.

Putting this into action, we must therefore put a major emphasis on college campus ministry, by being very intentional and encouraging our young people to get PhDs and enter the academia and begin to teach the cream of our young generation who will be the leaders of tomorrow. We have a catch up time to do.

 

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Hope Berlin/Germany Festival, June 2017

My Berlin Experience & Reflection

Berlin-2017

In June 2017 my wife Doreen, my daughters Sarah Rebecca and I visited and joined the Hope Berlin/ Germany Festival conference in Berlin, Germany.

 

After being away from Hope International and North American conferences for years I certainly was looking forward to seeing and learning what’s driving the church plant of house churches in Germany. They have planted 400 “House Churches” all over Europe since they started like 17 years ago started and headed by Marcus Rose. This is a truly phenomenon breakthrough in post-Christian era Europe. He is an apostolic leader. I have known Marcus some 17 years ago but never met up ever since I myself was zealously planting churches in Kuching and Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia while he was starting in Berlin. It’s amazing and yes glory to God and how much He had used in anointing Marcus to have accomplished so much almost like Paul the Apostle, while I languished in America with a handful of core team. While over there in Berlin though, I have to say the theology taught by him and otherfamily-Berlins are really not anything in particular that moved my heart greatly and there was nothing much impactful on theology. Most was really practically oriented teaching. But I would say that we were very blessed to see how the Germans, white Caucasians, so dedicated in serving the lord and I was most blessed by the passion of worship. This is quite an eye opener after being in America for 15 years, as I just don’t see that fervency among the westerners/whites serving the Lord in New York or anywhere else. I also had some good discussions with their apostolic leaders. Quite frankly I wouldn’t use this term so easily, but anyhow they’re good folks who really wanted to plant house churches. They are definitely good in evangelism and discipleship making, and live out what they have been taught in a simple way. Not much theological thinking but just doing it simply, quite a contrast to New York’s spiritual giants like Tim Keller.

The idea of House church is somewhat similar to the Missional community group started by Church Plant in Belgium under the Redeemer City to City. In a hard gospel ground this seems to be working. No Sunday premise needed, no headache and renting, no money problem.

They evangelize wherever they go with a heart’s intention to bring blessings to them, not just to evangelize or proselytize them per se. Like my Malaysian German friend, Kajin Teo (also an apostolic leader there) shared, it’s not about bringing people to church, it’s about meeting their needs. Like Jesus’ way of evangelism is always about meeting the needs of the people, crowd around him. He healed them of all kinds of diseases, and cast out demons regularly. So we should also meet the needs of our friends, neighbors, and contacts. And interestingly, the way they do it is by listening to the Holy Spirit saying to them. Like asking the Lord who to talk to, and what to talk about. And when they have touched a number of people, they follow them up regularly, and it will come to a point its just more convenient to gather them to gather and teach them the word of God and also fellowshipping together. There you are, they just started a house church of 3 or 4 people. They then shepherd the leaders weekly through Skype and exhort them to walk in the Lord, obeying the scriptures etc. I also spoke with Ps Denis Lu of Hope Kuching, a sizable great church in my hometown of Kuching where I have preached a few times every time we visit our parents/family in Kuching. We love visiting Hope Kuching & the fellowship of the saints there and the hospitality of Ps Denis & Hai Eng. He also commented that if he were to start all over again, he definitely would consider this house churchmovement. First you raise a lot of preachers, leaders overnight, second, you would save a lot of money by running a 500 people or more church.

Question is: How do you quality control of all these small mushrooming house churches? Answer is they, the senior pastor skype with each of them at different authority levels and share God’s word, mentor them, etc…real personal level on a weekly basis. Then all the house churches combine and meet for celebration once a month or a quarter.

I will continue to pray and adopt all that I had observed in Berlin where applicable here in New York and continue to do expositional preaching that changes the hearts of listeners in New York and build a gospel centered movement. In God we trust. Thank you Lord for the opportunity to visit and learn in the Hope Germany Camp!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Different Gospel?

The fact is that’s what happened in the Torah/OT. It’s the whole bunch of men hungrily pounding and demanding Lot to release the 2 visitors for them to have sex. Gen: 19:4 Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. 5 They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.”–the rest is history. The 2 men who were angels saved Lot and struck those lustful men blind and later rained down fire and destroyed the whole Sodom.–That’s the revealed words/facts as recorded in the bible and Torah. Hypothetically, if the 2 visitors were women, and the bunch of wild men coming to rape them, I would have said their depravity is reaching the heavens. Same thing, no exception. Now:The Nestorianism is beyond the acceptable confines/boundary of any evangelical bible believing Christians. To call into question the deity of Christ, is completely preaching a different gospel from what Paul preached and has to be totally rejected . Galatians 1:6 “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!” The Nicene creed and Apostles creed are explained and expounded solidly from the revealed word of God in scriptures. It’s NOT an add on. One cannot expound on what thats NOT revealed. We have to be careful as what we teach as we would bear responsibility in the coming of Christ in the end time.

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