APAC 2016 – Day 4

Final day of APAC 2016


Corporate Prayer



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)


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” in the book of Hosea
Very difficult for the prophet 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



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


Philadelphia (6th church in Revelation)
Philadelphia = 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

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?!

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

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

“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

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

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

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


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

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)

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

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

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

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

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!

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


“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

• 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