My Redeemer Liveth

Penang Assemblies Combined Easter Conference 2017: Session 4 (final).

Speaker: Dr Peter Wong

Job 19:23-27 (ESV)

23 Oh that my words were written! Oh that they were inscribed in a book!

24 Oh that with an iron pen and lead they were engraved in the rock forever!

25 For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will stand upon the earth.

26 And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God,

27 whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another…

Job lived long before the time of Christ. Most Bible scholars think he lived close to the time of Abraham; it is not possible to date the Book of Job precisely, whether from internal or external evidence.

Job did not have “the scriptures” – neither in the sense of the word as we use it today to refer to the whole Bible, or even in the sense of 1 Corinthians 15:3,4, where “the scriptures” refers to the Old Testament, which foretold and foreshadowed the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.

When Job lived, Moses had not yet written down the Book of Genesis, even!

But we know from the Book of Job that he was an upright man, who feared God. Satan was not happy about that. So Satan said bad things about Job to God, claiming that Job only honoured God because God had protected Job and blessed Job.

Take away Your protection and blessings from Job, taunted Satan, and Job will curse You to Your face!

God then allowed Satan to afflict Job. Job lost his possessions, his children, his health.

We know Job’s famous response:

“The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD!” (Job 1:21)

In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong (Job 1:22).

And when even Job’s wife in her despair and anger asked Job to curse God and die, Job’s answer was, “Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10).

In all this Job did not sin with his lips (Job 2:10).

 

Not that Job was a sinless man. There is none righteous, no not one. But Job feared God. And, as we shall learn as we consider Job 19:25-27, he put his trust in God as his Redeemer. Job was a sinner, but Job was redeemed!

Because Job was redeemed, Satan had no winning case against him in the courtroom of heaven. God permitted Satan to accuse and attack Job, but Job’s eternal security was never in question. Though Job might lose his wealth, his family, his friends, Job could never lose what he chose to place in God’s hands – his soul.

Job was far from faultless, but because he was redeemed, God would deal with Job’s faults privately, as a father disciplines his son (chapters 38 to 41), leading to Job’s repentance and restoration (chapter 42).

 

Even in this brief review of Job’s life, can we not see the similarities between Job and us, who have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ in the dispensation of grace?

Yes, there are key differences – as I mentioned just now, Job did not have the scriptures; and as we considered last night, there are differences between Old Testament saints and New Testament saints as to how we come to salvation – although ultimately their salvation and ours alike hinge on the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

But again I say, Job did not have the scriptures! How then did he know to turn to the one Redeemer who could save him?

I must emphasise, today we DO have the scriptures – we have the Bible, the Word of God. And it is the Good News of Jesus Christ found in the Word of God which must be preached to the lost. We must preach Christ crucified – we must tell those who are not yet in Christ that there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12).

But Job lived under a different dispensation – a different stage in God’s revelation of His one plan of salvation.

Job had a lot less revelation than we did. Yet Job knew certain things that amaze us that he knew.

The last 3 of the verses we read from Job 19 tell us some surprising things that Job knew, that Job believed.

The words of Job testifying to these glorious truths, coming in the midst of Job’s cries of despair, shine all the brighter because of the darkness of their setting.

Let’s look at these verses again carefully!

 

Job 19:25-27 (ESV)

25 For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will stand upon the earth.

26 And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God,

27 whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another…

 

First, let’s make sure we understand the “big word” in this passage, the most difficult word if you haven’t come across it before: Redeemer.

Who or what is a redeemer?

A redeemer is someone who redeems, or claims back, or buys back, something that was taken away or lost.

The word redeem means “to buy out”. It’s a word that was used to refer to purchasing a slave’s freedom.

The Bible says that Jesus Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law (Gal. 3:13), meaning, when we were sinners under the curse of the law, the Lord Jesus paid a price to free us from the curse of the law.

We had become slaves to sin, but the Lord Jesus bought us out of slavery to sin; He paid the price to secure our freedom.

That’s why Christians call the Lord Jesus Christ our Redeemer.

 

Now that we understand what “Redeemer” means, let’s scrutinise Job’s words in verses 25 to 27.

 

Let’s observe that in verse 25, Job said “I know”.

I know that my Redeemer lives”!

He did not say, “I think that my Redeemer lives”.

Nor “I hope that my Redeemer lives”.

How could he know? How could he be sure of the divine truths in these 3 verses?

Surely God had revealed this to Job. Without revelation, there can be no faith. Faith is a response to revelation. Faith is believing what God has told us.

Job had no written Word of God, but he must have heard word from God.

God may not have sent his prophets yet, but we do know from Job chapters 38 to 41 that it is not beneath God for Him to communicate directly with a man, even a sinner.

God had clearly revealed wonderful things to Job. Whether through the quiet working of the Holy Spirit in Job’s heart, or through dreams, or through forceful words as in Job 38 to 41, we don’t know, but God spoke to Job.

We pause here for a devotional application to us. Hebrews 1:2 says that in these last days, God has spoken to us by His Son. What a privilege, that Job did not have! To have the Lord Jesus Christ as God’s communication to us. To have encountered the Word.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1). God Himself said, “This is My beloved Son: hear Him!” (Luke 9:35).

Have we sat at the Lord Jesus’ feet today (as Mary of Bethany did), and listened to Him? Have we met Him in the pages of the Bible? How often do we go to meet Him there?

 

Coming back to Job 19, next please notice with me that Job said, “I know that my Redeemer lives”!

He did not say “the Redeemer”.

He did not say “a Redeemer”.

He said “my Redeemer”!

Job knew that he needed, and that he had, a personal Saviour.

We all need a personal Saviour. I too have one – the Lord Jesus Christ. Do you?

 

Job says that His Redeemer lives. He had a living Saviour.

I too have one – the Lord Jesus Christ. Do you?

 

And although in this darkest time in Job’s life, when all seemed lost and he was in excruciating pain, Job could not yet see His Redeemer, He believed that he would one day see Him! So sure was Job, that he repeatedly said this – “in my flesh I shall see”; “I shall see for myself”; “my eyes shall behold”.

 

What did Job know about this Redeemer, whom He knew he would one day see?

  • That He was not then on the earth, but would one day be.
  • That He was God.
  • That He was not a stranger.

 

Let’s take these 3 points about Job’s Redeemer one by one.

 

  • That He was not then on the earth, but would one day be! Job’s Redeemer was not one of his friends, who had come to sit with him; it was not any man, for until man travelled to outer space in the 20th century, the only place that man inhabited was the earth! So who could this Redeemer who was not on the earth, but would come to the earth, be? Either a celestial being, or God Himself!

 

  • Job then asserts that He was God! Indeed I believe that is what Job means in verse 26 when He says “I shall see God”. He had just been taking about meeting his Redeemer in verse 25, and then in the same breath mentions God. Notice the flow from verse 25 to verse 26: “My Redeemer… God”. Instead of pairing rhyming words, Hebrew poetry pairs matching ideas. “My Redeemer” in verse 25 pairs with “God” in verse 26. I believe that Job knew that his Redeemer is God.

 

  • That He was not a stranger. That’s the meaning I gather from the phrase “not another” in Job 19:27. The ASV translates this verse like this:

“Whom I, even I, shall see, on my side. And mine eyes shall behold, and not as a stranger…”

Job’s Redeemer is someone who knows Him – someone close to Him; and not a stranger.

The Hebrew word for Redeemer here in Job 19:27 is goel, which refers to a relative who buys back for someone a possession that had been lost. Indeed, Job’s Redeemer is a Kinsman-Redeemer, a goel. He is God, took the form of a Man, in order to be our Kinsman-Redeemer.

 

So, wondrously, Job knew that he had a Redeemer; a living Redeemer; not an impersonal and distant one, but his Redeemer, a kinsman; who would stand one day on earth; who is God; and whom he would meet face-to-face one day, seeing Him with his own eyes.

All so true of our Lord Jesus Christ to us!

I wonder if, when Christ opened the scriptures to the disciples on the road to Emmaus, beginning at Moses and all the prophets expounding the things about Himself, He pointed them to the faith of His servant Job.

 

Is there something else that we have missed in these 3 verses? Perhaps there is! Look again at verse 26.

“And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God.”

Maybe Job simply meant that even though he was covered in boils, even though he looked and felt so aweful, even though his flesh was destroyed, it was no obstacle to meeting God face-to-face.

Or maybe not. Maybe, even tough Job was not under Mosaic law or nor did he know the teachings of Leviticus yet, Job might yet have had a sense that in his state, he was “unclean” and unable to meet a holy God.

Maybe Job believed that the way he would see God in the last day would be to be given a new body! A resurrection body!

Had God give Job a revelation concerning resurrection?

Was Job a believer in resurrection, as Abraham was according to Hebrews 11:19 (which we studied at Island Glades this morning)?

I don’t know for sure.

Job may not have been very clear about that himself.

But Job was not ashamed to declare what he knew, what he believed, to others.

Regardless of his own sorry condition, Job wanted others to know about his Redeemer!

He wanted his friends to know! He wanted the world to know! My, he even wanted future generations to know!

The first 2 verses we read from Job 19 just now tells us so! Job 19:23,24.

Job said, “Oh that my words were written! Oh that they were inscribed in a book!

Oh that with an iron pen and lead they were engraved in the rock forever!”

Job desired to testify about his Redeemer.

 

Brothers and sisters in Christ, are we in half as sorry a state as Job? Maybe not even 10% as sorry a state. Last I checked, I hadn’t lost any livestock, my children are still alive and I have no boils on my skin.

Yet, are we half as enthusiastic as Job was about proclaiming his Redeemer?

 

Tonight we witnessed the baptism of Choo Ean, Tracy, Xiao Hui, Siew Hin, Weiking and Chun Kean.

Do you know why they went through the waters of baptism?

They did it as a public testimony of their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ!

Like Job, they wanted others to know that their Redeemer lives!

Romans 6:4 – “we were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”

Tonight, when these 6 brothers and sisters went into the water, they were identifying with Christ in His death – Christ our Passover; and when they emerged from the water, they were testifying of the power of God to both raise Christ the Firstfruits from the dead, and if they should “fall asleep” before the rapture, also raise them from the dead as the promised harvest after the firstfruits! And to meanwhile wait for His Son from heaven, whilst enabling them to lead new, holy lives!

 

Brothers and sisters in Christ, are we continually testifying for the Lord Jesus? We must ask ourselves this question tonight, whether we’re new believers, or saved and baptised years or decades ago. Even if you’re like me baptised in the last century. Have we forgotten why we went through the waters of baptism? Are we still telling others about Him? Are we walking in newness of life, walking with our risen Lord?

 

Dear friends who have not yet trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ – it is no coincidence that you are here tonight. Maybe you are a seeker who has been searching for answers for many years. Maybe you came just to support your friend or family member being baptised. Or maybe you came here to meet people, and are not looking to meet the Saviour. It doesn’t matter why you came: tonight you have heard that we all need a Saviour. A personal Saviour. A living Saviour.

Jesus Christ died for our sins on the cross, and rose again from the dead on the third day. Christians remember this not just at Easter, but week after week when we meet the first day of the week to break bread. Dear friend, come speak to me, or to one of your Christian friends tonight after this meeting, and ask why that is so precious to us.

It is our desire that you too come to know our Redeemer, that you may like us have life eternal and joy everlasting!

Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved!

 

IGGC as the organizers extend our thanks to all the combined Penang assemblies for their love, support, and selfless contributions joyously serving together to make the Penang Assemblies Easter Conference 2017 a rich and rewarding experience of God.

Abraham Reckoned

Penang Assemblies Combined Easter Conference 2017: Session 3.

Speaker: Dr Peter Wong

Genesis 22:1-18

“By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.” ~Hebrews‬ ‭11:17-19‬ ‭ESV‬‬

 

“Abraham reckoned that God was able to raise Isaac from death — and, so to speak, Abraham did receive Isaac back from death.” ~‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭11:19‬ ‭Good News Bible

Abraham lived in 2000 BC.
When Abraham first received promised to be made a great nation, he and his wife were old and childless.
They left a stable home to live a life in tents.

Abraham at age 86 tried to foolishly help God by fathering a child, Ishmael with Sarah’s Egyptian maid servant Hagar.

God then blessed Abraham and Sarah with a son Isaac.
Isaac is now grown to be a young lad and Abraham is then asked to sacrifice Isaac.

 

Why did God ask Abraham to sacrifice his child?

Especially when human sacrifice is an abomination (Deuteronomy 12:31).

Is it just a test? No.
1. God has the right to take human life. (Matthew 28)
2. God can authorise men to take men’s life
3. God is not capable of evil (John 1:5)
4. If sacrificing Isaac was evil, God would not ask Abraham to do it.

The sacrifice of Isaac was right as God does no evil.

God does expect us to make a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1).
To be holy consumed like a burnt offering.

Imagine what Abraham felt. Son. Only son. Only son whom you love. Like a knife plunged deeper and deeper.

 

How did Abraham respond

He obeyed immediately without delay. Abraham was determined to be fully equipped to prepare God’s command bringing woods.

What did Abraham bring?
• 2 servants
• Chopped wood
• Isaac, his son

At the centre was always his son.
Abraham had time to think carefully on 3 day journey about giving his most precious possession.

Worship (v5).
First mention of worship in the Bible.
Teaches an important lesson and sets tone for rest of Bible.

 

What is truly worship?

More than songs of praise in a big church building with many people in attendance.
Worship literally means to bow down.
Not truly worshiping God unless you bow down before God’s will.
Abraham’s worship is private without the servants.
Only in the secret place of our own hearts can we truly worship the Lord.
Do we come to Sunday worship with our hearts bowed down?

Abraham told his two servants that he and his son will come again to them.
Was Abraham deceiving his servants?
Was Abraham hoping that God would change His mind?
Abraham had already thought things carefully and knew that through Isaac, he would be the father of a great nation.
It must mean that God will raise Isaac from the dead.
No resurrection yet known at that point.
Abraham believed in resurrection.

Isaac obediently went together.
Isaac carried the wood.
Abraham provided a thoughtful answer that “God will provide Himself a lamb”
Abraham didn’t know it, but these words were literally proven true.
Fulfilment echo across 2000 years to the words of John the Baptist.

“The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
‭~ John‬ ‭1:29‬ ‭ESV‬‬

To all intent and purposes, Abraham had obeyed and offered up Isaac already in his heart.

“Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar?” ~‭‭James‬ ‭2:21‬ ‭ESV‬‬

In fact you could say that Isaac was dead for 3 days.

When God stopped Isaac from killing his son.
It was as if his dead son had come back to life.

If you had bumped into Abraham and Isaac, Abraham may have said, “Meet my son Isaac. He was dead but is alive again.”

Our Lord Jesus Christ did die for us on Calvary.
(Calvary could possibly be the very same mountain in the region).

There was no cancellation of the burnt offering.
The ram was Isaac’s substitute on the altar.
For us, there was no substitute for the Lord Jesus Christ as He was our substitute.

Important that ram was caught by its horns.
If caught elsewhere, would have been blemished.

Even though Abraham’s son was spared, God did not spare His own son.
How deep the father’s love for us that He should give His only son.

 

First mention of the word “obey”.

How has Abraham obeyed God?
Giving up his most treasured possession.
No holding back.
Don’t hold back anything for God who for your sake did not withhold His only begotten son.

First mention of the word “love” (Genesis 22:2).

Refers to father’s love for his son. (Not man and wife or other type of love).
Abraham’s love for Isaac is a picture of love of God the Father for God the son.

First mention of the word “love” in New Testament.

“And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”” ~ Matthew‬ ‭3:17‬ ‭NIV‬‬

 

“And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”” ~ Mark‬ ‭1:11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

 

“and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”” ~ Luke‬ ‭3:22‬ ‭NIV‬‬

 

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” ~ John‬ ‭3:16‬ ‭NIV‬‬

God’s son is at the centre of His plan of salvation and master plan for all creation.
Is God’s son at the centre of your life?

Christ the Firstfruits

Penang Assemblies Combined Easter Conference 2017: Session 2.

Speaker: Dr Peter Wong

Day 2 (3)

“And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. He shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. And you shall offer on that day, when you wave the sheaf, a male lamb of the first year, without blemish, as a burnt offering to the LORD. Its grain offering shall be two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering made by fire to the LORD, for a sweet aroma; and its drink offering shall be of wine, one-fourth of a hin. You shall eat neither bread nor parched grain nor fresh grain until the same day that you have brought an offering to your God; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.” ~‭‭Leviticus‬ ‭23:9-14‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

 

“Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.” ~‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:12-23‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Feasts foreshadow future
1. Passover: Christ dying on the cross
2. Unleavened Bread: Communion of believers
3. Firstfruits: Resurrection of Christ
4. Pentecost: Descent of the Holy Spirit
Last 3 feasts events in the future
5. Trumpets: Israel’s redemption and awakening
6. Atonement: Israel’s restoration
7. Tabernacles: God’s eternal kingdom

Recommended reading: Feasts of Jehovah by John Ritchie

feasts-of-jehovah

Passover is on a specific day: 14th day of the first month for 7 days.
Firstfruits is not assigned a specific date (unlike Passover and Unleavened Bread).
But Firstfruits is on a fixed day of the week (the 1st Sunday after the Sabbath Passover).

Offering required of Israelites
• Sheath of grain
• Burnt offering 1 year old male lamb
• Flour offering
• Drink offering of wine
Is there any offering missing? (Read on below)

What lessons could the Israelites learn from this?
To Jews: in the midst of prosperity, the claims of Jehovah were to be first remembered. What God blesses them, first give a portion to God.
Firstfruits is a successful joyous celebration.

Perfectly fulfilled picture or type of feast of firstfruits.
The timing of the resurrection on Sunday after Sabbath of Passover.

Sheath of grain in expectation of harvest which would follow.
Likewise Christ in His uniqueness and preeminence resurrection, and then many others would follow.

They who are Christ’s at His coming. (1 Cor 15:23)

1st resurrection (Rev 20:5)
2nd resurrection (John 5:29)

Resurrection of life, and damnation.
Resurrection of the just, and unjust.

Two resurrections are 1,000 years apart.

1st Resurrection
Resurrection of God’s people.
Resurrection from among the dead.
“Out” resurrection meaning never to die again.

2nd Resurrection
Where the lost are raised.
To face judgment.
Nowhere in Bible is this called as resurrection from among the dead (but “of the dead”).
Bible considers them still dead.

Paul’s letters often refer to “in Christ” referring to New Testament saints.
Those “who are Christ’s at His coming” covers a larger group:-
1. Old Testament saints
2. Infant & children who have yet to reach the age of accountability
3. Tribulation saints

1. Old Testament Saints
Job, David & other OT saints died before the time of Christ.
For us, we look back at the past and are saved by grace through faith.
For them, they were also saved by the cross – looking forward to the Messiah.
Even the first animal that had to die when Adam & Eve sinned.

2. Infants and Children
2 Samuel 12:22-23
Matthew 18:10-11

3. Tribulation Saints
Those who turn to Christ after the rapture of the church. They will be martyred and be with Christ after the 7 year tribulation.

But each one in his own order (1 Corinthians 15:23)

Christ at the head of the army.
Followed by resurrected.
Lastly tribulation saints.

Christ is the firstfruits.
Main harvest: 1st resurrection
Tribulation saints: gleanings

What do the waving of sheathes of grain signify?
Leveticus 23 ESV: so you may be accepted

What is the significance of Christ the firstfruit?
God’s acceptance of the sacrifice of Christ.
More than that, God’s acceptance of believers together with Christ because of what He has done.
This is as Christ has made the end of all the sins.

Which Levitical offering is not mentioned?
No sin offering!

“so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.” ~‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭9:28‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Christ completed the work atoning for our sin.
From that point on no more sin offering.
It is Christ’s resurrection that declared sins are forever gone for those who believe.

God accepts us in Christ (Ephesians 1:6).
Risen with Christ (Colossians 3:1).
God has raised us together with Christ (Ephesians 2:5).
Christ raised for our justification (Romans 4:25).

The one who is the waved sheath – Christ

“And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.” ~‭‭Colossians‬ ‭1:18‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Firstfruits and the first born from the dead.

Is Christ’s resurrection the first one from the dead?
No. Six resurrections are recorded in Bible before:-
1. Son of widow of Zarephath raised by Elijah
2. Son of Shunammite’s son raised by Elishah
3. Body of man who touched Elisha’s bones
4. Son of widow of Nain raised by Christ
5. Daughter of Jairus raised by Christ
6. Lazarus raised by Christ
Thus Christ is the 7th resurrection.

How then is Christ the 1st resurrection?
All of them temporarily and all of them died again.
Christ is triumphant over death and raised never to die again.
Christ is raised with a spiritual body.

Christ is first raised and we shall follow.

I will make him my firstborn (Exodus 4:22).

Let all angels revere Him (Hebrews 1:6).

By the resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ was declared to be the son of God with power. In everything He may be preeminent (Romans 1:4).

Preeminent: unrivalled; Having first place of the highest rank

 

Does the Lord Jesus Christ have preeminence on your life?

Is He unrivaled among all things? Does He have first place in your heart?

What do you think God felt when Christ presented Himself as the firstfruit?
God is delighted with the offering of firstfruits. How much more God’s delight must have been on resurrection morning as the perfect fulfillment of the foreshadow.

What will occupy your heart as you go from hear tonight?
Will your heart be occupied with Christ our firstfruit?
Will your life be transformed?
Will you point others to our unique preeminent Lord Jesus Christ who is alone the Savior, Passover lamb and firstfruit.

Christ Our Passover

Penang Assemblies Combined Easter Conference 2017: Session 1.

Speaker: Dr Peter Wong

“For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.” ~ ‭‭I Corinthians‬ ‭15:3-8‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Context/Background
Corinth was a young, richly blessed assembly eagerly using their gifts.
Problems faced:
• Divisive rivalries
• Defilement
• Disorderliness at meetings
• Disregarding others interest
• Denying important doctrines (including resurrection)

Truths
Christ the messiah foretold & foreshadowed in Old Testament
• He died for our sins
• He was buried
• But His tomb was empty
• He is risen

Paul makes a further point: according to the scripture (mentioned twice!)

Where was the Lord Jesus Christ on His first resurrection Sunday?

“And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?”” ~‭‭Luke‬ ‭24:27, 32‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Christ our Passover

Exodus 12 ESV

There is none righteous.
The wages of sin is death.
Substitution of a life for a life.
A redemption of blood.

Pasah” in Passover means spreading.

“For the LORD will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you.” ~‭‭Exodus‬ ‭12:23‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

The hand of the Lord is for all who trust Him & His wrath for all who forsake Him.
No option for us to be neutral.

Did the blood of the Passover lamb save the life of the Israelites firstborns?
Yes

Did the blood take away the sins of the Israelites?
No (Hebrews 10:4)

John the Baptist testified on Him (John 1:29)

Our key verse tells us that true Passover the Lamb is our Lord Jesus Christ.

Christ foreshadowed
• Without blemish and flawless
• Checked thoroughly
• Displayed publicly

Passover lamb with unleavened bread & bitter herbs.
Leaven a picture of sin as a tiny bit of leaven causes the bread to be drastically transformed.
Causes bread to be puffed up – like pride in men.
Each generation of men inherit the sin of Adam.
The feast of unleavened bread for 7 more days.
All traces of leaven was needed to be removed from the Israelites home.
It’s an object lesson that sin must & can be removed – with the Passover lamb.
They reflects the breaking of the sin nature.

Because Christ has died as our Passover lamb we can & must purge all traces of sinful ways from our lives. Live lives of sincerity and truth.

The order is important
1. Passover
2. Feast of unleavened bread

Israelites put away leaven because they had been saved (and not the other way around).
We are saved by grace not by works. We are saved for good works. After we have been saved, we must be involved in good works.
There is no pause between the Passover and feast.
Likewise when a person trusts Jesus, there is no more room for sin in our lives.
Christ has finished the work of redemption on the cross.

In summary: We are not holy in order to be saved. We are saved in order to be holy. All who are saved must be holy.

Why bitter herbs?
Remind Israelites on their lives as slaves.
Speak to us of the suffering of Jesus Christ.
Like the hymn:

O Christ, what burdens bowed Thy head!
Our load was laid on Thee;
Thou stoodest in the sinner’s stead,
Didst bear all ill for me.
A Victim led, Thy blood was shed;
Now there’s no load for me.

Death and the curse were in our cup:
O Christ, ’twas full for Thee;
But Thou hast drained the last dark drop,
’Tis empty now for me.
That bitter cup, love drank it up;
Now blessing’s draught for me.

In what matter Passover meal eaten?
In haste. Ready to leave at a moments notice. Belt faster, sandals on feet, and staff in hand.
We who are redeemed are to be ready to go whenever called or when raptured.
Are we ready? Be watchful like soldiers on night duty, and not asleep.
We are called to be sojourners on earth (not tourists).

The Passover changed everything for the Israelites. Everything would be new after that. They would experience the provision of God in the wilderness. Their lives would never be the same again.

So must it be for us being saved by the blood of Christ. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

“Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.” ~‭‭I Corinthians‬ ‭5:7‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Basic Biblical Eschatology – Part 2

Basic Biblical Eschatology – Part 2
By P.B. Teo

eschatology

Eschas=last things
Ology=study

Millennium Rev 20
Angel down from heaven
1000 years – 6x
Rev 20:2-7
V3 Satan bound – deceive not

Basis for premillennial pretribulation view
Church distinct from Israel (does NOT replace)

“Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God—”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭10:32‬ ‭NIV‬‬

 

“I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel:”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭11:1-2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Promises & curses applies to Israel & NOT the church

Great tribulation – Matt 24, Daniel 70 weeks

““Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.”
‭‭Daniel‬ ‭9:24‬ ‭NIV‬‬

(7 + 62) 69 X 7 = 483 years from rebuilding temple to Christ’ death for us
Unfulfilled promises to Israel will be fulfilled in the millennium on earth

Rapture
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Hope; Lord personally; In the air; Comfort

“Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:51-53‬ ‭NIV‬‬

New incorruptible bodies

Not for wrath
No more judgment for believers
Instead hope & comfort
Trials are for training

Problems w Other Viewpoints
Post millennial: Christ comes after the millennium as so many people become Christians during the church age. Christians suffer tribulation whenever gospel opposed. Rapture, Jesus coming & end of world at same time.

Amillennial: Symbolic, spiritual millennium right now. Satan is bound. Martyrs live & reign w Christ. But how is Satan in the abyss now? Deceives now but unable to wage war? Christians suffer tribulation in the world. No future earthly future for Israel. Rapture, Jesus coming & end of world at same time.
Israel replaced by church thus unfulfilled promises fulfilled in the church spiritually. Great tribulation is for Christians/church. Rev 6-19 judgments are for the church.
Difficulty explaining two witnesses (Rev 11)
Difficulty explaining 144,000 from 12 tribes sealed (Rev 7)

Conclusion
The basis for premillennial pretribulation view
Rev 20 = 20 Literal 1000 years reign on earth
Church does not replace Israel

Q&A
Q: Millennium 1000 years: Will we be part of earth’s population or a separate group of people with our new bodies?
A: 2 groups of people. We will be like Jesus & able to interact with others. But our new body is like Christ. We will reign, not marry, etc.

Q: Rev 7 how do you determine the tribes as records destroyed, intermarriage, etc
A: Do not know how. But somehow after nation ceased to exist, Jews are back in Israel now. Believe the truth in God’s Word that will happen.

References
Heraldofhope.org.au
GotQuestions.org
Berita-Bethel-Ung.com

Basic Eschatology: An Introduction

Basic Eschatology: An Introduction. What’s the difference between the different views
By P.B. Teo
At SNGH

PB Teo

Introduction

What is eschatology?
Greek: end (last) things
-logy: knowledge/study

Doctrines & examples

1. Fundamentals of Faith

  • Salvation by faith
  • Christ alone
  • Scripture only
  • Deity of Christ
  • Resurrection of Christ
  • Trinity

2. Primary Doctrines

  • Eldership
  • Baptism by immersion
  • Sign gifts
  •  Dispensationalisation
  • Eschatology view

3. Tertiary Issues

  • Communion cup(s)
  • Musical instrument(s)
  • Dress code

Each church led by elders accountable to God (not other elders)

Content
1. 3 major views

  • Premillenial, Post-millennial, Amillenial
  • Pre-tribulation, Post-tribulation

2. Explain mak justification behind each viewpoint
3. Implications of each view
4. Why we believe in the viewpoint: Premillennial & pre-tribulation
Note: do not get angry with others with different viewpoint or as heretics as does not affect a believers salvation

Not Covering
1. Details events of great tribulation
2. Details time anti-Christ
3. Details Daniel’s 70 weeks

Outline
• Introduction
• 3 key events
• 2 key interpretation rules
• 3 views
• Summary

3 Key Events
• Millennium (Revelation 20)
• Great tribulation (Matthew 24)
• Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

2 Key Interpretation Rules
• How literal is “Literal”?
• Literal vs contextual
• Is the church = New Israel?

Eg How many days did God take to create the world? 6 days (literal)
How many people did God create? 2 (literal)
Parting of Red Sea = literal

The Lord’s eyes ran to & fro the earth
Figurative that God watches everything (not literal)

Israel transformed & God now loves the church?!

Millennium (Revelation 20)
V1: Angel down from heaven
1000 years? Literal / symbolic of long time?
Where did this happen?
Re: Rev 20:2-7
V3 Satan bound – deceive not
V4, 6 Saints reigned
V5-6 1st resurrection
V7 Satan released & decieved
V11-13 Great white throne judgment works

Angels come from heaven
Saints rules on earth 1000years
Satan bound
1st resurrection
Great white throne judgment (2nd death)

Are we judged by works?
Salvation for believers not by our works
This judgment are for those not received the word of Christ

3 Millennial Views

Three-Millennial-Views

Premillennial

  • Christ reigns literally for 1000years
  • Satan bound no longer able to deceive the nations
  • End released, war

Post-millennial

  • Only comes after 1000 years
  • Viewpoint that Christ is reigning in our hearts & church
  • Support for this viewpoint fading with increasing occurrence gay marriages, ISIS, etc

Amillenial

  • A=none (no millennial)
  • Symbolic millennium
  • 1000 years = long time; reflects the church age
  • Bound in the sense that satan cannot raise enemies (?)
  • Christians are reigning now (?)

Church replaces Israel?
Amillenials: God has one majestic plan throughout the ages & the church has morphed into the new Israel

Premillennials: Israel will return during the Millennium

Distinction between Israel & church

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God—”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭10:31-32‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Jews: Israelites
Greeks: Gentiles
Church of God: God’s people
Jews purposely mentioned!

Romans 9-11

Expounds on God not giving up Israel
Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ
Promised Israel nation will never leave or forsake you

“I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel:

Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭11:1-2, 11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Speaking to Gentiles now (Romans 11:25-32)

We are privileged
Jews had rejected the Messiah
Gospel given to Gentiles to provoke Jews to jealousy
Israel still exists; Gospel is still for Jews
Majority Jews will turn to Messiah… one day

Patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob

Not talking about church but nation of Israel

Many promises (many not yet fulfilled) for Israel

  • Abrahamic covenant
    • Genesis 12:1-3, 7; 15:5-20; 17:3-8; 28:13-15
    • Literal land promise – all the way to Jacob (not including Ishmael nor Esau)
    • Unconditional (single sides covenant only God committed)
    • Unfulfilled (Egypt to Euphrates land never fully owned – hasn’t happened yet!)
    • Unceasing love (Jeremiah 31:1-5, 31-40)
  • Land promise
    • After divided kingdom lost their land
  • Covenant of peace (Ezekiel 34:1-2, 25-30)
    • God will still being Israel back to a time of peace

If God is a faithful God, He will fulfil it one day. When? (Believed to be) in the millennium

When will Israel be cast out?
Only when the sun, moon & stars depart; Only when the heavens can be measured

Land Promises
• Forever & ever – Jer 25:5, Amos 9:15
• This Land – Jer 23:3-8, 24:34-7, 32:36-41
• Nations of the earth – Jer 33:6-9
• Own Land – Eze 28:25-26
• For My Name – Eze 36:22-28
• One Nation – Eze 37:21-25

How God will bring His people back & live in safely for His own glory
Northern + Southern Kingdom together

Davidic Covenant
• 2 Sam 7:10-17; Ps 89:3-4
• Literal Kingdom 2 Sam 7:13
• Literal Temple 2 Sam 7:13
• David’s Kingdom Forever 2 Sam 7:16
Unconditional – “I will”
Unceasing love – Jer 33:22-26; Rom 11:1-5, 11-12, 29-32
Jews understanding- Acts 1:6
Not for you to know the time (meaning it will happen just that we don’t know when!)

image

Great Tribulation
Matthew 24
• Jacob’s trouble Jer 30:5-7
Let those in Judea (today = Palestine)
Sabbath = important & observed by Jews
• Dan 9:24-27
70 weeks; For Daniel’s people, Israel & Jerusalem
Talking about great tribulation that applies to the Jews
• Rev 5-18

““For thus says the LORD: ‘We have heard a voice of trembling, Of fear, and not of peace. Ask now, and see, Whether a man is ever in labor with child? So why do I see every man with his hands on his loins Like a woman in labor, And all faces turned pale? Alas! For that day is great, So that none is like it; And it is the time of Jacob’s trouble, But he shall be saved out of it.”
‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭30:5-7‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

God has let the nation go through the great tribulation but will eventually be saved

Jeremiah 30:16-20

Rapture (to be continued next session)

Q&A
Q: Jews part of church?
A: Yes includes Jewish people who accept Christ (Israelite believers) – Eph 2

 

More Reading

APAC 2016 – Day 4


Final day of APAC 2016

Final-day

Corporate Prayer

prayer-teo

image

Pray that the assembly leaders will be careful not to allow the likes of Jezebel to happen in the assembly. Let us pray that the sisters be encouraged to play their effective non-public faithful roles & not teaching roles. In like manner, let us pray that each assembly will ensue the brothers take up their leadership responsibilities to teach & pray.

Morning Devotion: The Hesed (hay-sad) of God
By Tan Kian Huat, Bethesda Hall (Ang Mo Kio)

message-Tan-Kian-Huat

Hesed (Greek): Four Loves
• Eros (romantic)
• Storge (family, pets)
• Phileo (friendship, common passion)
Agape (love of God, sacrifice, forgiving, unselfish, unconditional)

Agape not a common word outside the Bible. Mainly used in NT.

Steadfast love = hesed

“The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”” – ‭‭Exodus‬ ‭34:5-7‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Terrible judgment God no longer traveling with them
Moses meeting God in tent of meeting face to face interceding on behalf of people
God graciously consented to go with His people

“Show Me Your Glory”

God revealed Himself to Moses
God’s attributes
• Merciful & gracious (loving God)
• Slow to anger (patient God)
• Abounding in steadfast love (hesed) & faithfulness (good & kind God)

The “hesed” of God
246 occurrences in Bible
Translated as loving mercy, loving kindness, merciful, goodness, lasting love, steadfast love, etc

“Hesed” in book of Ruth

“But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each of you to her mother’s house. May the Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me.” -‭‭Ruth‬ ‭1:8‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“And Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “May he be blessed by the Lord, whose kindness has not forsaken the living or the dead!” Naomi also said to her, “The man is a close relative of ours, one of our redeemers.”” – ‭‭Ruth‬ ‭2:20‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“And he said, “May you be blessed by the Lord, my daughter. You have made this last kindness greater than the first in that you have not gone after young men, whether poor or rich.” – ‭‭Ruth‬ ‭3:10‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Horizontal “Hesed”

“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
– Micah‬ ‭6:8‬ ‭ESV‬‬

• Loving our neighbor because he is part of the community
• Ruth showed hesed to Naomi (Ruth 3:10)

Vertical “Hesed”
• To His chosen people
• Enduring love, faithful love or loyal love
• Corresponds to unchanging nature of God
• Bounded Himself to act faithfully to the commitment He made to His people
• He is a covenant keeping God

“Hesed” in the Psalms
He is our God & we are His people
100% reliable!

Hesed-psalms
“Hesed” in the book of Hosea
Very difficult for the prophet Hosea

Hesed-Hosea

 

God’s agape love in the NT
7 churches commendation & condemnation for most churches
No perfect assembly all with own weaknesses & failures
Yet we are assured of God’s hesed
He will not give up on us
We can cling on His hesed & faithfulness

Esther afraid to approach king even though queen
Nehemiah afraid to speak us as cupbearer
No hesed from those kings

1 Chronicles 21:10-13

3 choices for David
• 3 years of famine
• 3 months of devastation by foes
• Pestilence (hand of the Lord)

Job 13:15
Job 23:10
Habbakkuk 3:2
Habbakkuk 3:17-18

 

Hesed-conclusion

We will take courage to draw near to Him
We know He will surely receive us as we are His people
When we repent He will forgive
His abundant mercy is there for us
He will extend hesed to us as our Heavenly Father
When we return to Him, He will restore
Even though we may feel unworthy & failed Him, yet let us remember the hesed of God

 

Session 7: Evangelistic Endeavour at Philadelphia
Revelation 3:7-13

Session7

Philadelphia (6th church in Revelation)
Philadelphia = brotherly love

brotherly-love

Earthquake prone area; soil rich for vines (grape & wine)
Youngest of 7 cities
Founded 140 BC by King of Pergamos (Attalus) in love of brother Eumenes
Missionary zeal for Greek language & culture would go out far & wide
Earthquake in AD17 city rebuilt & renamed Neo Ceasarae
Last city to capitulate to Ottoman invaders
Popular gods: Dionysus (god of wine), Janus (key bearing god)
Modern city in John’s time & production of liquorice
Spiritually no rebuke not condemnation for the assembly & while not perfect were faithful

V7
Holy = separate, sanctified
True = not in contrast of false, but genuine & holy (1 Thessalonians); 10x in Revelation; True in conduct & character; Holiness & truth itself
Key of David = absolute authority & ability to open doors (Isaiah 22); Jesus has key to salvation, the kingdom, death & hell; He is the key man
Openeth & shutteth = freedom of access; opening of food cupboards to feed the family

1 Cor 16:9
2 Cor 2:12
Col 4:3
Acts 14:27

Foretaste of heaven when many nations gather to praise, honour & worship God
In many places in the world, the door is open & only Jesus can shut it; The great commission – take advantage of the open door! Do we look but not go in? Or do we go straight in?!

V8
Set before thee = right in front of you in close proximity; one cannot miss it
Open door = opened deliberately & wide open
Even though we have little strength or numbers

V9
Behold 7x
Synagogue of Satan = false Jews (by race not spirit)
While this door of opportunity is open far & wide, nevertheless at home is open & enemies of the Lord & assembly will come to see God & worship with believers
Eg apostle Paul – from persecutor to be saved & brought to believers in Damascus & Jerusalem seeing that he was wrong in the past
See Christ as saviour

V10
“I” (the Lord) is in authority & power
Hour of temptation = great tribulation
Believers kept out (from) the hour of temptation
Also application in our day
When great tribulations comes, persecution the world has never seen before, believers will be saved & with God

V11
Behold come quickly to take away the believers on the earth
We are not earth dwellers but pilgrims passing through – headed for a different place
We rejoice!!

“Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” – ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:51-52‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” – ‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭4:16-17‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Imminent rapture & drove them to preach the gospel
Rediscovered 200 years ago, church became evangelical, many people saved & many assemblies

Imminent & the next thing on God’s calendar, coming swiftly
That could happen now. May be next few year or longer.
Why? God’s patience (not our patience waiting for Him) Not desiring that any should perish

Looking forward to eventually receive our crown
Many crowns in heaven; crown we will lay at Jesus’ feet
Let no man take your crown = let no man rob you of your reward/taking what are yours

Examples losing crown

  • Esau to Jacob
  • Reuben to Judah
  • Saul to David

V12
In this city any who had contributed bountifully to the city & citizens was immortalised in local temple pillar built in his honor
The overcomer made a pillar not in temple god of wine but temple of God in heaven
Honoured in eternal way that we do not deserve

City prone to earthquakes & inhabitants flee seeking safety
Go out no more: promise to the overcomer
The city of God is absolutely secure & an amazing place to be
Nothing can shake it; Forever safe in company of Jesus
Believers today do face physical earthquakes & earthquakes in the lives – persecution, bereavement, sorrow & loss
Headed for heaven where here are no earthquakes, no sorrow, no crying

Write on him he name of my God, the city of my God (new Jerusalem) & my new name
Name written = ownership bearing His name (God the father; the new Jerusalem)
New name suggests a new direction & relationship
When we get home to heaven in death / rapture, we will be enjoying a new relationship with Jesus

Challenges
An open door for service of Christ
The rapture of saints
The judgement seat of Christ

Let us who believe He is coming, be fired up in His truth
Let us be excited in His coming to claim the earth which is rightly His & to setup His Kingdom
“Because He lives!”

 

Session 8: Comfortable complacency at Laodicea
Revelation 3:14-22

Laodicea-today

Laodicea
Comfortably complacent
Today = Apathy, apostasy
Learn from the letter to avoid

“Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis.”
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭4:12-13‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Vulnerable city militarily as did not have own water supply
Water piped in via aqueduct 6 miles away easily attacked by enemies
Politics diplomatic & compromised
Named after wife of Antichus II (Laodecia)
Refining gold, financial centre, glossy black garments (black sheep)
Destroyed by earthquake AD61 rebuilt with own resources
Spiritually the only church which nothing good is said

V14
Described in 3 ways
• The Amen: only place “Amen” used as proper noun; true & reliable as God of truth
• Faithful & true witness: (re: Revelation 1); one we can come to & seek for help day by day
• Beginning of the creation: not meaning He was created (without beginning & without end); He is the source & power of all things God created (by Him, for Him); Creator of all things (not 1st creation)

V15
I know thy works (said to all churches)
Lukewarm: cold to freezing & hot to boiling
Cold refreshing & very good for many things
Hot good for many things too
Lukewarm: tepid; not good for much;
Not speaking against sin; as if disinterested
Cold: frigid not doing anything; can be heated & become valuable to God
1st preference: hot – for burning in enthusiasm & evangelism

V16
Started cold at the springs but tepid reaching Laodicea
Tastes bad; undrinkable; unattractive; don’t want to hear from you; of no use with God
Want you to be hot & on fire with your whole heart
Assembly like the city tried to be friends with everybody
Is this a description of your assembly?
Do we speak out against sin OR just keep our heads down & low profile?
No persecution as no cause of concern to satan

V17
Rich in need of nothing: actions, lifestyle & approach to things relying on own resources & finances
No difference with non believes
Same attitudes persist into the assemblies
The truth is that you are wretched, miserable poor, pitiable & naked; lacking spiritual vision & destitute spiritually

“Where there is no vision, the people perish…” – Provers 29:18

V18
A way back
An investment in our spiritual future
Takes time, effort & determination
In times of recession, there is a flight to goal
Investing in pure gold: gold of heaven; the person of Jesus Christ – his divinity, humanity
People who invest seek a return, for believers pays rich dividends to all whose treasure is there
Speciality of town making silky smooth black clothes
Nakedness: judgment & humiliation
White raiment: righteousness & purity
Rich as my appreciation of Jesus Christ has grown
Salve: restoration of spiritual sight & light; through action of Holy Spirit in my life

V19
As many as I love in spite of our apathy, wretchedness & condition I am in
A call to members of church to repent of their sin & lukewarmness to buy & invest in the righteousness of God
Be zealous: glow, warm up, become hot!

V20
Behold I stand at the door & knock: an invitation to fellowship with Him
Previously looking at open door, now closed door
One standing outside closed door is Jesus Christ & He is seeking entrance
We at assemblies may have closed Him outside & we may be reluctant to let Him in
He is the centre, the theme, the leader of the worship & praise

William Holman Hunt’s painting of Jesus standing outside door knocking

Light-of-the-world

“You forgot the handle!”
“No, the handle is on the inside”

Song of Solomon 5:2-6

He will stand patiently but there will be a time he stays no longer

Hymn: O Jesus, Thou Art Standing
O Jesus, Thou art standing, outside the fast closed door,
In lowly patience waiting to pass the threshold o’er:
Shame on us, Christian brethren, His name and sign who bear,
O shame, thrice shame upon us, to keep Him standing there!

O Jesus, Thou art knocking; and lo, that hand is scarred,
And thorns Thy brow encircle, and tears Thy face have marred:
O love that passeth knowledge, so patiently to wait!
O sin that hath no equal, so fast to bar the gate!

O Jesus, Thou art pleading in accents meek and low,
“I died for you, My children, and will you treat Me so?”
O Lord, with shame and sorrow we open now the door;
Dear Saviour, enter, enter, and leave us nevermore.

Supper: last meal of the day
2 disciples on road to Emmaus invited Jesus in & received a wonderful Revelation of he truth of Jesus Christ
The invitation goes out today to invite us in

“My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” -‭‭John‬ ‭14:2-3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Only one that can sit on Father’s throne is Jesus
Thankfully Jesus has His own throne & we are invited to sit on His throne

This letter represents this day & age of apathy & neutrality
Let us invite Jesus to come within our heart to stay

Challenges
• Neither cold nor hot
• Rich but poor
• Opening the door

Hymn: Abide With Me
Abide with me, fast falls the eventide,
The darkness deepens, Lord with me abide,
When other helpers fall and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.
Swift to its close ebbs out lifes little day,
Earths joys grow dim, its glories pass away,
Change and decay in all around I see,
O thou who changest not, abide with me.

Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word,
But as thou dwellest with thy disciples, Lord,
Familiar, condescending, patient, free.
Come not to sojourn, abide with me.
Come not in terrors, as the King of Kings,
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings,
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea,
Come, friend of sinners, thus abide with me.

Thou on my head in early youth didst smile,
And though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee,
On to the close, O Lord abide with me.
I need Thy presence every passing hour,
What but Thy grace can foil the tempters power,
Who like Thyself, my guide and stay can be,
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord abide with me.

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless,
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness,
Where is deaths sting, Where, grave thy victory,
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.
Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes,
Shine through The gloom and point me to the skies,
Heavens morning breaks, and earths vain shadows flee,
In life, in death, O Lord abide with me.

 

Goodbye til we meet again

thank-you-farewell

apac2016apac2016APAC2016

APAC 2016 – Day 3 H2

APAC 2016 day 3 2nd half

Overcoming Challenges: HK
By John Short, Austin Avenue Gospel Hall

John-Short

Priests back in the day added oil & trimmed the lamps
“Jiayu!” We need to add oil!

Thank God for all who are full time.
And we are ALL full time Christians.

Stop daydreaming as in daydreaming you’re the hero
In prayer, God is the hero

The return of the Lord Jesus is imminent

Mission: to know the complete gospel of Jesus Christ

Imprisoned as refused to accept politically appointed person as head of church
As Jesus is the head
A body without a head is lifeless
A body with 2 heads in a monstrosity

God is light & God is love
God knew we were unstable
Never fear, God is near

There is one race, the human race
Not use nationalities of mankind to divide
We are all one family in Christ

Perfection = perfection of being bond slave of Christ (Romans 6)

Life is through Him alone

 

Emmaus Report
By David Harvey, ECS East Asia Coordinator Encourager

Emmaus-David

One of the first things Christ did after resurrection was to teach 2 of His disciples
We need to know Him more & His power of resurrection

Don’t be a spoon fed Christian
Don’t eat sardines!

Challenge:

2 disciples on the road to Emmaus listened & learned (Luke 24:13-27)
Berean believers searched the scriptures to confirm what they heard (Acts 17:11)

Book publishing
Prison ministries
Correspondence courses

Exists to glorify God by providing biblically-sound resources & study materials

Why use ECS courses?
• Biblically sound
• Trusted writers
• Concise lessons (30-60mins)
• Wide number of subjects

2015 report
• 1.4m distributed
• 1m corrected
• 71% completion rate
• 103 countries
• 80 languages

Wanted
• Students
• Promoters
• Teachers

ecsministries.org

 

Overcoming Challenges
By Peter Ferry, Christian Assembly

Peter-Ferry

Last 57 years lived in Thailand
Originally from Scotland
Thank God for the joy & privilege of serving Him

#Acts

Paul did not stay on but when had trained men, committed them to the Lord
A great example of one used by the Lord to see local assemblies established whenever he went

Workshop: What worship means
In Thailand almost all from Buddhist background
Worship for Buddhists is subjective looking on
Worship for believers is objective with our eyes fixed on God as we worship
Why do we meet on the Lord’s day?

Workshop: Witnessing
How to witness
Practical experience/role-play
How to speak about salvation
Gone out as a team to the marketplaces

Need for local believers to preach
Need to give younger believers an opportunity to serve
For example, one Sunday worship a month conducted by youth – one to preach, one to lead singing, etc.
All meet together & prepare message together

Work of training is always ongoing

APAC Youth Discussion

APAC-youth

Challenges & what works
Focus on 1 to 1 discipleship
Lose young adults going overseas
Challenge of remaining relevant
Chasing money & choices

Struggle with interest, engagement, comforts, many university activities

Success catching gap between form 5 & before beginning university/college & before starting work
Parental & assembly encouragement

Struggle on whether appropriate to use activities to attract youth

What do the students really want to know?

Ageing church population

Help them in problems faced in everyday life

Homosexuality & sex

If the church doesn’t teach, youth will learn from the world

Worldly & think can go to heaven if sin

Difficult for them to hear the gospel

Difficult for believer to find other believers for marriage

Pray for APAC Youth
Platform to bounce ideas & discuss challenges etc
APAC Youth 2018

 

Cultural Night & Dinner

cultural-night

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Malaysia

APAC 2016 – Day 3 H1

APAC 2016 day 3 1st half

APAC2016

Day 3 Chairing by Adrian Low, Klang Gospel Hall

chair-day3-Adrian

Corporate Prayer 
• Pray that leaders will kneel the Word & exercise it wisely, faithfully & decisively to prevent false teachings encroaching into our assemblies
• Pray that we will hold fast to our faith in times of adversary & persecution
• Pray that we in assemblies will discern false teachings & not promote the teachings of Balaam & Nicolaitans
• Pray we will always remember the Lord Jesus as our source of spiritual sustenance at all times including when we are down

prayer

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image

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Morning Devotion
By Mark from Hui-Lai-Li Christian Assembly, Taiwan

devotional-Mark

 

2 Timothy 2:1-6

Be strong in the grace
Grace is to get what we don’t deserve
We have the salvation of Jesus

My father is a full time worker but I did not agree with his lifestyle. We would have fellowship an hour a week talking on life, school, work & church. I began to realise the important of God’s love who touched me. I began to share the gospel with my school friends & those around me. We need to stand by courage.

Legacy: My father told me that if a Christian ministry cannot be done without you, it will not last. When we are serving we need to look for reliable men who are qualified to teach others as well. Paul entrusted to Timothy. Timothy then entrusted to reliable men & then to others. Total 4 generations. My wife & I serve in university. We train university students to care for high school students. And for the high school students to care for younger ones.

Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Jesus Christ. In Taiwan every young man has to serve in the army for 1 year. In the army, you need to absolutely obey your chief. Asked to lie down, need to comply immediately wherever you are on grass, rock or mud. But does not compare to Jesus who sweat blood, betrayed by humans, whipped naked & crucified.

Paul was imprisoned, whipped, endangered everywhere & full of suffering but not defeated. Likewise we should endeavour to be like Paul.

A church brother who is an athlete undergoes rigorous training & diet everyday. One day, a girl caught his attention & his lifestyle began to change – staying up late & straying from diet. After long talk & searching, chose to focus on sports & wait for Godly woman.

My grandfather is a farmer who gets up before the sun rises. Everyday we gets up to remove weeds, rocks & tills the ground daily. After 4 months, he reaps he harvest. When we are teaching brothers & sisters, we will face many difficulties & need to be strong in Jesus serving His will. We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

 

Session 5: Worldly Compromise
Revelation 2:18-29

session5

Thyatira compromise
Least important city among 7 yet receives longest letter
Small but striving town SE of Pergamos surrounded by Hills
Modern town of Akhisar nearby (Population 75k)

Akhisar

Politically not significant but associated & following Pergamos
Meeting of trade guilds where meat sacrificed to idols was eaten, followed by business discussion & actors performing immoralities & often ending involving the audience
If one was to be a successful businessman, one was required to compromise & join a guild so not to lack opportunities for profitability
Produced purple dyes (pale pink to deep purple)
Military base & produced own armaments
Spiritually many different gods to be worshipped associate with various guilds

V18 Angel = leadership of the church (as prev)
The Son of God (only 1x mentioned in Revelation) = Jesus, deity, authority, blazing, eternal, available at any time
In contrast with sun god of Thyatira who had ‘faded away’ & only seen on bright days & not at night
Eyes = all seeing, penetrating gaze
“Flames of fire” vs “like jewels washed in milk” described by Solomon in tranquil beauty
Feet will stamp out what the eyes find unsuitable
Eyes like flames of fire + Feet like fine brass

V19 Commendation by inspector of assemblies
I know = full & comprehensive knowledge
7 things known
• Works
• Charity/love
• Service
• Faith
• Patience
• (First) Works
• (Last) Works
Good thing when assembly attempts to meet needs & help needy in local community
Acknowledges a continuing love
Even in the weakest & worst of assemblies there are those who continue & grow in love of the Lord
It may be that those who are better taught have lost their love for the Lord
How is it possible to love the saints & brethren? Neither I nor any Bible teacher can teach that. Only God teaches you how to love.
Last works more than first works of increasing importance.
Do our works have any impact on the local community?

V20 Few things against you worded in very strong language
Sufferest that woman = leave a her alone; ignores her; major mistake of the oversight

(Sisters have a very important place in the assembly & so many things in assemblies men cannot do
Without them the assemblies would be so much poorer
But to remember the Biblical rule of headship
Not her place to teach or pray publicly when church is gathered
Reminder to brothers & leadership that it is important to lead the leadership & only those with gift to teach
Young men to be encouraged, taught & guided in right way)

Self appointed as prophetess claiming inspiration for the things she said
Teaching totally unscriptural & weak husband (men) not performing their part
Physical or spiritual fornication encouraging them to not worry & join the guilds associating with idol worship
That woman Jezebel seduced MY servants

V21 God’s amazing grace giving her window of opportunity to repent
Refused: set her mind against God & Christ

V22 The time for her repentance had come & gone, but still open for others to repent
Cast = hurl violently & suddenly into bed (figuratively appropriate) of compromise leading to pain, death
Cast into same bed unless they repent of their sins
God’s willingness to forgive should be mirrored by leadership & every individual

V23 Kill her children (those given opportunity to repent but refuse to)
The Lord loves the assemblies so much that there’s only so much He can stand
Don’t push the envelop!

V24 Say unto you (Angel/leadership?)
Rest = faithful saints; remnant not follow her
Jesus ever careful not to overburden His saints (Previously mentioned fornication & meat offered to idols)

V25 Hold fast = hang in there
Until I come = wonderful promise
First 3 churches not mentioned as no longer existent at time of rapture
Other 4 churches still in existence & encouraged

V26 Overcomer will have administrative position in millennial kingdom, which may follow into eternal state
Faithfully until the end given power to reign until the end & all things will finally become true

V28 Given the morning star (Reformation?)
Morning star = Jesus Christ
Spreading light & hope over dark earth
While others cannot appreciate it, overcomer does now & in days to come

More Reading
Matthew 13:31 The Parable of the Leaven (Yeast)
Matthew 24 False Prophets
Dark ages (rise of papacy & persecution)

Challenges
Lack of separation
Unjudged sin
Women in leadership

 

Session 6: Nominal Christianity at Sardis
Revelation 3:1-6

Sardis but did not know they were dead
Reputation (from past) of being alive
30miles SE of Thyatira; Where gold was fine
Today only a small village called Sart (Population 5k)

Sart

On plateau surrounded by mountains all sides suitable as fortress & previously capital of ancient Lydia
Destroyed in 17AD & rebuilt by Tiberius, who waived taxes
People erected monument to Tiberius & overconfident to own security & fell to Cyrus
Never returned to its past glory
What they felt was their strength became their weakness not once but twice
2 temples to Cybele & Artemis (idol worship); loose living & pleasure loving
Economy active & relatively wealthy
Agriculture (fruits), wool & dyes
River ran through the centre of town
No Balaams, Jezebels or Nicolaitans & no outside persecution
The church was at rest. Asleep. Spiritually dead.

V1 7 spirits of God X= 7 different spirits but indicates the wealth, peer & resources of the HS

Spirit of…
1. The Lord
2. Wisdom
3. Understanding
4. Counsel
5. Might
6. Knowledge
7. Fear of the Lord

No commendation (only commendation in letter is some who have not fallen asleep)
Assembly was a beehive of organised activity but the Lord knows what is really happening
Sleepwalking, zombies, dead
Caused by sin in its midst

V2-3 Fire has gone out & testimony so mute that wasn’t worth attacking
Be watchful: arise out of sleep & urged to setup a new watch
4 instructions
1. Watch (for sin, the devil, to pray, for the Lord)
2. Strengthen (the things that remain that are ready to die; dead = more concerned with ritual than Jesus)
3. Remember (whence they had fallen)
4. Repent
Responsibility of leadership, teachers & invited preachers to strengthen & hold on fast to the things that remain
An urgent task in UK, US & Canada

No assembly is perfect. If you find the perfect assembly, don’t join it otherwise when you join, it will become imperfect 😝

Keeping in fellowship, breaking of bread & in prayer.
In the early days was made own at great cost.
Inappropriate & unhelpful to throw away the things they stood for.
Hold fast & repent = keep a firm grip on the Word
Coming as a thief = surprise, unprepared
How is your assembly? Behold he sleepeth?

V4 Few names = Few people
Who are not guilty of defiled their garments
Not soiled, smeared or fouled their character
There is always a remnant who love the Lord

“Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name.” – ‭‭Malachi‬ ‭3:16‬ ‭NIV‬‬

White = the colour of heaven
Will walk with me in white (like Enoch walked with God & taken to heaven)
A wonderful promise
Are we walking with the Lord?

“When we walk with the Lord in the light of his word, what a glory he sheds on our way!”

V5 Book of life occurs 7x in Revelation
Book of life = in heaven penned names of all trusted Christ as their saviour; not to be blotted out
(Maybe differs from Book of the living = all who have lived on earth at any time)

John 17 when the Lord Jesus is praying in connection to his disciples & marked as His

Connection with Israel
Is Israel in remnant?
Matthew 13
Matthew 24

Challenges for Assemblies
Dead men walking
Watchfulness
Judgment
Reformation

APAC 2016 – Day 2 H2

APAC 2016 Day 2 H2 at Aug 18, 2016

Afternoon Prayer by John Short (HK)

John-prayer

 

Being Overcomers in Cross Cultural Mission

Korea-cross-cultural

Foreigners in Korea are increasing every year
Diverse in Nationality & Status
1st = Chinese (2/3rd Korean Chinese)
2nd = American

Confronting many conflicts especially cross-culture families
Outreach program e.g. Ansan East Assembly (Many Chinese & SEA), Chinese Bible study in Daegu Area (since 2000), Korean language study in Wonju Assembly (monthly Gospel hours + planning 1st Gospel camp in Mongolia by combined assemblies)

Summary
Many things to do in Korea especially for foreigners who suffer language & cultural differences
Please pray for Korean Missionaries (31 missionaries in 16 countries)
Against wrong & false teachings (heretics & cults)

GLO Ministries Australia Report
By Andrew Cowell

GLO-Aus

I, GLO & you are passionate on Christ
In Australia lost out first love & we need to return back

I, GLO & you love the church
We exist as servant of assemblies to build the church

I, GLO & you long to see people gathering to Christ in discipleship witnessing & discipling in His name

How do we mobilise & motivate the next gen to love Christ & committed to preach Him to the nations? One of greatest challenges!

Aus peaked in 70-80s, plateaued & now in decline. Happening now & in near future for ASEAN countries.

Starting Q: Is there anything we can do to help?
GLO is not large but God provides resources towards helping assemblies. How?
GLO helps the church
1. DESIGN discipleship environments & training
2. DISCOVER people of vision, faith & action
3. Who can be DEVELOPed and then
4. DEPLOYed (send, command) by the church

Helping be a “midwife” for over 50 years

CROSStalk since 1997 eg English as Secondary Language
Fb.com/crosstalk

CROSSconnect discipleship & ministry training in “Practical Christianity” since 1975 trained 500+ people
Fb.com/crossconnect

CROSStrain makes you fit & ready for missions work since 1994 equipping 50 candidates from over 7 countries for missionary service

GLOministries.org.au

Challenge to reach the nations with the gospel (2.7b)

Ending Q: Is there anything we can do to help?

 

GLO Malaysia Update

GLO-My
GLO school setup in Malaysia many years back
It is difficult as missions is not an easy call
Grateful to GLO Australia for helping establish the school
Satisfying to see graduates of GLO Malaysia serve as church leaders & missionaries
Kathmandu Missions Centre in Nepal led by Amar trained through GLO supported by Malaysian assemblies
Every year usually May evangelism & short term mission and Nov for intensive training
Challenges of the need for training

 

Evening Prayer by Wong from Bethesda

prayer-wong-SG

 

Session 3: Satanic Tribulation for the Church in Smyrna
Revelation 2:8-11

Roy-Hill-session3

Smyrna = Persecution, bitterness, myrrh
40miles N of Ephesus with a beautiful bay in an almost perfect location
Still survives today known as Izmir (only 1 of 7 churches where there’s a living town today)

Izmir-modern-map

Known as “the crown of Ionia”
Destroyed 2-3x in its history (earthquakes, war)
Rebuilt – died & lived again!
An ally of Rome & place temple erected dedicated to Caesar
Centre of emperor worship & intolerable of other religions. Can follow all religions except for Emperor’s Day (the lord’s day) where worry citizen had to burn a pinch of incense on the altar. Very difficult for Christians as only one Lord – Jesus Christ.
Some “Christians” may have burnt but many who refused to bow the knee no matter the (high) cost.

Economy: wealthy & wicked city. Main exports wine & myrrh. Myrhh gum raisin tasted bitter but when crushed fragrant.

3 forms of persecution: pagan, Jewish & satanic

Being a Christian in Smyrna was a serious matter. Slandered by Jews. Tortured & killed by Romans. No word of criticism from the Lord to Christians in Smyrna. The Lord understands, sympathises & empathises.

V8 Jesus introduces Himself in 2-fold way

Jesus addresses Himself as first & last. Existed before evil commenced & will still be there when evil has run its course.
A personal relationship with Him will lift is above life’s trails.
To walk with Him & appreciate His love & care.
Previously Christians could worship. Increased interference from governments. Not allowed to wear cross or speak of faith (in the West!)
Registrars of marriage because of personal convictions refuse to marry same sex couples risk being dismissed.
The landscape is changing rapidly.
Our message of a living God is vastly superior to any other message preached on earth.
Our Gospel message is an attractive message in its own power prices people away from what is wrong & come to that which is right. This is our priority.
First and the Last = Deity

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. “All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish.” – ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭41:10-11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

““Listen to me, Jacob, Israel, whom I have called: I am he; I am the first and I am the last.” – ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭48:12‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Next: description of Jesus’ humanity
Dead… and Alive: an encouragement to martyrs
He died voluntarily & gave His life voluntarily

V9
I knew thy works
I know thy tribulations
I know thy poverty
I know the blasphemy directed against you

Remained faithful in spite of suffering
Directed to fellow saints rather than those in Smyrna
If one is in old age, disability, young in faith, etc the Lord understands
But for the rest of us who are well & there is not much persecution… yet… We need to take action before its too late
Tribulation = pressure = man placed on ground with stone heavy unbearable until life goes away
Poverty = employment & business opportunities restricted by being believers
Poverty not known from birth but thrust upon them
Poor yet rich spiritually (eternal treasures in heaven) & joyful in the spoiling of their goods
Those who persecute His people will one day face Him & need to answer to what they have done to His flock
Blasphemy – those who said they were Jews historically & in connection with own religious practices but the Lord said they are NOT Jews but of the devil
These Jews attacked Christians verbally & spread lies accusing of being a secret organisation with abominable practices like cannibalism (eating body & blood of Christ), immorality (love feasts on regular basis), anti-family (driving families & friends apart)
atheists (did not believe emperor was lord of all), disloyal to heritage, country, God & Roman Empire (as spoke of King of another kind – Jesus), & doomsayers (constantly speaking of end of world where Christ reigns)
Synagogue of Jews had become synagogue of Satan

V10 Do not be afraid of even 1 of these things
Faith of those in persecuted is to be admired & applauded as fear not even 1 of these things
Battle has been fought & victory has been won – devil defeated
Easy to say but when the storm breaks & fire comes, would we stand tall with our heads held high? A huge challenge.
Devil working to imprison believers
Devil = one who lays traps & snares catching men alive
Cast = hurl violently facing hunger, chains, darkness, solitude & torture
Cast one by one causing fear & testing to destruction
John is writing to encourage the saints. What hope can he give them? It will last for 10 days
10 days = 10 years? = 10 emperors? = literally 10 days
Limited by divine sovereignty to short period of time in God’s grace & mercy
Faithful into death we are given the reassurance of the crown of life
Crown of life = martyrs crown = symbol of triumph = token of public honour = life in its fullness
Something to be enjoyed not only in heaven but also on earth (Joy!)

# Hebrews 11

V11 Letters brought to us lessons
Overcometh = succeeds in the trial
All genuine believers are overcomers will not be hurt of 2nd death (the lake of fire)

Parallels Israel in bondage

# Matthew 24

Challenges
• Poverty & suffering
• Blasphemy & fear
• Suffering & faithfulness

Practical Lessons
• We are to thank God for His grace & mercy for us, largely without persecution… but it will come
• Jesus Christ was there in glory before it all started, today is still there & when it is all done will be there

 

Sharing by Indonesia
By Pak Suko

sharing-Indonesia
Total Population: 255.0m
Unreached: 155.6m
Largest Religion Islam: 80%

Under new government, Christianity not considered as a minority religion

Increasing openness of Indonesians repealed by harsh extremisms & legalism

Vision: New Testament church planting movement established in Indonesia

Today 13 assemblies in Indonesia (Jakarta 1, West Java 1, East Java 8, & Central Java 3) with 14 elders & 12 church planters

Even though some think Indonesia is a barren field, there are many opportunities asking through the Lord of the harvest

Change daily conversation topics to the gospel by building bridges = good relationships

Mercy ministry targeting the poor (pre-evangelism), student sponsorship programs (129 students from elementary to high school), traditional medicine, fresh water aid (especially dry season), and youth & outreach camp

Thank all who support especially Jalan Imbi, Kajang & GLO.

“Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”” – ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭9:37-38‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Pray for Indonesia
Keep praying
Keep seeking
Keep praising
Keep hoping
Keep believing
God shows up in unexpected ways

Thanksgiving for the food by Teo Pek Bing, SNGH

prayer-Teo

Corporate Prayer
Thanksgiving for Korea
• Praise God for many missionaries sent out
• His goodness & faithfulness in protecting Korea

Pray for Korea
• NK open up & Gospel proclaimed
• Content for GNTV reaching lost
Prayer for Ephesus Message
• His right hand holds church leaders
• Encourage & rest in His mighty hand & seek His leading
Remember & nurture our first love for God, His people & His work

corporate-prayer-2-1

corporate-prayer-2-2

corporate-prayer-2-3

 

Session 4: The Church at Pergamos Impure Doctrine
Revelation 2:12-17

session-4

Pergamos = Pergamum = Twice married (at same time); Strange name; Tower + Married (Greek)
20 miles from sea & built on a hill
Messenger who carried these messages went in an arc upwards
Pergamos = Ancient capital of Asia Minor
Symbol = sword = granted authority to impose death penalty wo referring to Rome
Unofficial centre for pagan religion; Important for scientific & medical research; Hospital & manufacturer of medicinal ointments; Insignia = serpent of medical profession; Library 2nd only to Alexandria
Academic city rather than commercial but did manufacture ointments + parchments
Spiritually filled with idolatry, altars & temples; Centre for emperor worship & God of medicine
This letter is the only evidence there was an assembly in Pergamos

If the Lord today would write to all churches here today, would be interesting & instructive. Yet as is autonomous nothing we can do about the conditions that prevail there. Most important to us would be own church.

Lord instructed John to write like many times in Revelation

V12
Sharp sword = drawn; not in sheath/scabbard = Word of God = Rapid, swift, painful, impossible to escape (2 edges)
For this city there is no higher court of appeal
Suggestive of fact there is a higher authority than the city, council, Caesar – Jesus Himself
Suggestive God’s authority to examine & expel any wrong doing in the church
The Word of God is our final court of appeal
Everything to be examined on that basis alone
Anything non-scriptural must be removed
Assemblies must not change? No! Change is necessary but within the scope of God’s Word

V13 Starts off in normal way “I know thy works” – fully, completely, comprehensively
Where thou dwellest – Your works considered in connection to where you are
Abraham (Hebrew) = Passer through
Dwelling in the world, not just passing through
Where Satan’s seat is = in the city of the serpent & perhaps in temple of Asclepius (god of medicine) where serpents are worshipped presided by Satan
Satan was there first, & the assembly of God was placed there angering Satan to destroy the assembly
In other cities (eg Babylon) asked to flee but in Pergamos to hold fast showing determination & strength to be faithful
My name speaks of authority & holding fast not only to His Word but to His Name (2 edged & sharp challenge)
Has not denied MY faith = trust in His as the highest, ultimate & heavenly jurisdiction
Everything we have belongs to Him
I want you to remember those days when Antipas was a member of your assembly described by the Lord as my “faithful witness” which Jesus used to describe Himself
Slain = killed outright by Satan
Among you = killed at your side in your sight
Antipas was put inside a hollow brass bull which was heated to impassible temperatures suffocating & burnt to death
Jesus knows you were probably thinking “I’m next”
Jesus encourages, blesses & reminds them He once sat where they once sat being attacked by Satan, Jews & pagans
We must not marvel to find broken bones & blood near the lions’ den, like we find in Pergamos

V14-15
Few things against the church
Few = not indicative of number although there were 3
Assembly here had become divided into 3 sections
1. Still honoured the Lord’s name
2. Followed doctrine of Balaam
3. Followed the doctrine of Nicolaitans
Attacked not only outside but within
Balaam was called to curse Israel & almost killed if not saved by dumb ass
Balaam still continued to try to curse Israel for personal gain yet recognised that could not go against God
Balaam planned for beautiful Moabite women to stumble Israelites
Balaam & Balak succeeded by deceit
Suggested that it was ok for believers to mix in & have an attitude of worldliness
Worldliness = believers indulge in pleasures = accepting its manners = copying its habits = sharing its ambitions = submitting to its wisdom
“Let’s forget about separation & intertwine with the people” casting a stumbling block (trap) entangling the feet of the children of Israel
Today beware still the doctrine of Balaam & the need to disavow the world
Lest will become entangled in the foot & become useless
Fornication = spiritual and/or physical
Nicolaitans tolerated by assembly this evil = guilty!
Sin = feelings of guilt that debilitates the individual

V16 Was there any means of escape?
Repent!
Where there is repentance, there is possibility of recovery
I will come – the divine promise
Sword of the mouth – like angel w drawn sword in story of Balaam

V17 I will give him the hidden manna feeding the children in dark days
Manna spoke of the person of Jesus Christ
Only one that can save Pergamos is Jesus
Manna is described as small (humility), round (perfection), white (purity), (freshness), coriander (fragrance), fresh oil (authority), wafers mixed with honey (sweetness), colour of bdellium (preciousness)
White = livery of heaven (eg garments, robes, linen, throne)
Overcomers promised a new name (eg Abram to Abraham; Sarai to Sarah; Jacob to Israel; Saul of Tarsus to Paul), hidden manna, new direction & new relationship with God
Relates to Israel in the wilderness
Parable of the mustard seed

“But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” – ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭24:13‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Individuals need to be careful who one associates with, & likewise the church
No compromise with the state & Christianity
Road to recovery = Putting Jesus first
New things to be done & great things to be achieved
Thus let us take heed the advice to Pergamos