(Elderly ministry 16 Apr 2010)
1. Emmanuel Message
God the Trinity is already always with us.
1) Spirit, Soul and Body -> Living, Relationships, Finance, All Things!
God is our Father. He loves us because we are His children. Think of His love, not in materialistic forms, of whether He answers our prayers, or whether we do things right. Think of His love from the relationships point of view.
Ro 5:8 "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
羅 馬 書 5:8“惟有基督在我们还作罪人的时候为我们死，神的爱就在此向我们显明了。”
When we were yet ignorant in the world, He gave us common grace as a type of people who will continue to humble down or come closer to Christianity. Before we know Him, He opened our eyes to meet Him. Before we know about salvation, He gave us convictions in our hearts to respond. Before we can have faith, He has first loved us. Before anything at all, He is already in our Spirit, Soul and Body. This is the message of grace that we have in the month of April. May we all be healed in this month of April.
3Jn 2 "Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well."
約 翰 三 書 1:2“亲爱的兄弟阿，我愿你凡事兴盛，身体健壮，正如你的灵魂兴盛一样。”
In all the conditions that He gave us, He is in them. The conditions are which He uses to let us draw nearer to Him.
If it is true that He also blesses the body, I not only believed it, I know and I will pray and let God take actions on me, e.g. to go for exercise. In the past, I hated exercise, but because I believed that God will heal me, I pray as I exercise, and I believed that God will heal my dislike for exercise. Then God set me free. Today, I love exercising because I can pray and find a lot of spiritual, soul and bodily freedom from it.
Therefore, I have found a better way, and this is to place myself under the grace that shows itself in full measure already in the Old Testament and New Testament, and to reject all of the need for conscience and efforts to please God.
2) Old Testament and New Testament
Many could not reconcile Old Testament with the New Testament. In fact the New Testament is based on the foundations of the Old Testament, and the Old Testament is understood by understanding the New Testament. It is because the intentions of God (Old Testament) cannot be understood by men, therefore Christ (New Testament) has to come to bridge the way. With Christ, the Holy Spirit (Who is present in both the Old Testament and the New Testament) came into the life of saints. Therefore, when saints read the Old Testament, they receive the very essence of God’s perfect intentions originally planned by God. The New Testament came about because men do not understand the Old Testament. Therefore, the New Testament brought Christ in the form of visible Son of Man, so that Satan is overcome, and the Holy Spirit now lives to bring direct understanding of the Old Testament. There are 39 books of the Old Testament as compared to 27 books of the New Testament. Why would God use more books to emphasize the New Testament, unless He has ALREADY meant everything in the Old Testament? In fact, the first verse of the Bible reads, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." No one could understand this unless it is through the Word that God really meant in John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." And in fact, we cannot just read even the four gospel books without the understanding of Torah. The 5 books written by Moses, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy are the foundations of which we understand the rest of the bible. God cannot just use old law to emphasize the new grace. But when Paul talks about the old requirements of the law, it does not really mean to abolish the law, but to bring a totally new understanding of what God really intended to mean about the law. In fact, Jesus also said that we must also do what the Pharisees do, and even more than them. Jesus also said that the summary of the law is to love God and love men. This is the whole intention of God’s commandments. Emmanuel message reconciles the Old Testament with the New Testament because Emmanuel is the Name of Christ. Everything points to Emmanuel. David’s whole life was bent on bringing the ark of covenant and to build the temple. He was named, "A person who is after the heart of God". He knew grace from the Torah even when everyone thought that the Old Testament meant the laws. To David, he ate the laws like honey. They tasted sweet not only because he knew they were right, but because he wanted to be filled with the essence of it. Jesus came so that all the Word of God will be fulfilled, to the point of every drawing and ink.
By this, we will understand the purposes of the Law, and the purposes of the Blood of Christ. Christ accomplished the greatest work on the cross in the whole bible, the works of cross gave everyone in the bible righteousness and perfection. The message of grace is very simple yet profound. It always points us to Jesus. But it continues on to point to the new creation. What is the new creation? The new creation is none other than God’s child. The new creation is the chosen one of God, the remnant, the one near the root, the one who knows the very heart of God, not only to comfort, but the comfort goes all out to being able to accept all things as the love of God, and see everything with power, and bring out all sorts of blessings, even till the ends of the world entrusted with the Great Commission to baptize all peoples in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, raising disciples who need God alone, and not people who need what God can give. Jesus’ life, Jesus power, and Jesus’ blessings.
The symbolism in the Old Testament carves images into our mind. We can dream and make visions because the symbols remind us so strongly that the truths will always be with us. It tells us in the most detail how the people of God should live by. The belief system and the living principle was the culture of Israelites. They lived around and centered on the tabernacle. They followed the pillar of cloud and fire wherever they went. They lived centered around brethrens. Everyone has a role and they lived by fitting and communicating with everyone, and this is called serving. The lifestyle of the church was vividly presented in the Old Testament as a foundation to all saints. Even Jesus and Paul went to the synagogues to receive the Old Testament messages, to preach the New, to bring God Who is originally with us already (Emmanuel) before the creation of the world.
Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. He was definitely in the Old Testament and the New Testament. Therefore, we continued on with Bible Overview messages. The Bible Overview messages fill in the flesh for the skeleton the cross drew.
By this understanding, we will know that God is a God of History.
3) All History = Time
If the gospel is only for our enjoyment, it immediately becomes cheap, and we relax into the world of impudicities. God already has allowed Adam to fall from grace, but when that happened, He already saw that the very meaning of it is for the conclusion of building the kingdom of heaven, exalting God’s Only Son Jesus Christ, and to find the Unreached and hidden children of God. There is already an ultimate goal because God is above time. Emmanuel messages extend history from before the creation of the world to the ends of time.
If God is love, He is with us yesterday, with us today, and also with us tomorrow. Being set free is a process. The gospel is a process. Salvation is a process. Without knowing sin, we will not be contrite in our spirit. Without being contrite, we will not have called to God to save us. Without sins filling up, God would not work. In Exodus, God waited till the people of Israel went into the end of their life, so that they could no longer live by themselves, so that they cried out to God. It was then that God called Moses. But God had always been preparing Moses. He chose Moses before Israel cried out to God. Therefore, at the instance we understand God’s very heart, we will be set free, and give thanks to Him, even if it meant that the works of cross was fulfilled 2000 years ago. What has the 2000-year-old cross got to do with a year 2010 person now? This is because we saw that we have gone through the same process – death and resurrection WITH Jesus Christ. Through that, our hearts are filled with thanksgiving. With that, we confirm with God’s guarantee that we are a new creation. From then, we naturally want to love God and all men, especially their souls, so that they will also go through in the same way as us, on the same rugged 2000-year-old cross. How would we look to Jesus unless the Holy Spirit convicts us of the need for Jesus Christ, and also at the same time that He convicts us that we can and are already set free totally in Jesus Christ? How else can we totally look to Jesus Christ?
Therefore, if it is yesterday that He loves, there must not only be a reason for our past failures, but a complete and perfect plan that God has placed in us out of the matrix of this world. In that background, we will know how He will continue to lead us. He will not move out of the path He has already given us. Yes, at a certain point of time, we are saved from all the clutches of Satan. However, if it is already proven that we are saved and loved, then all our past must also be important, because it leads to us being saved greatly. Salvation is not earned, but always learned.
If He loves us today, the happenings that have just passed (even if it is just 1 second ago) are already God’s voice to us for us to explain (after testing and approving) and immediately react and speak. I begin to practice this after I noticed that Rev Leechull and Pastor Vincent tried practicing this. The most vivid understanding is during Hotel Maluri Camp stay. The way Rev Leechull answered me was using the things that he had just seen in a while ago, and speaking to me in questions and answers relevantly to the thing that just happened. For example, when I see my boss smiling at me, I do not only think that she always smile, but I take that smile and test and approve God’s perfect will for me at that moment. At the instance I found God’s will for me, I can immediately smile back. This is called relying on the voice of God that is speaking in my heart – there is a voice behind that instructs me. Even if we fall into sins, there is yet another greater voice of God that we seek out. We do not limit ourselves to the same old answer that we received with the past failure. Messages have to progress.
If we know about the things that He is going to do today, we will know what He is going to do tomorrow. Messages have to go on to knowing about tomorrow. But this is not fortune-telling, because the bible has already the answers in the future. In fact, the bible always speaks about the future, Deut 28, book of Daniel and all the prophets, Jesus Himself prophesizing in 4 gospel books and in Acts chapter 1, and even all the epistles, and not excluding Revelations. His heart is only for World Gospelization. Jesus Christ’s compassionate heart is always that the fields are white, and He hoped that He can call someone to the field, with the one who responded with, "Lord, send me!" One person will become a big nation. Emmanuel messages mean that we already know from the spiritual state one is in already right now, and based on what had already happened throughout his life. We can see God’s leading in his life how God is going to use him. Therefore, we can see through and even bless people with ministries and visions. If we test and approve right, we can go ahead and even proclaim that the places, families, companies that we are at or where we will go will have angels ministering to us, and doors of evangelism will open up. In fact, Emmanuel Messages tell us that doors do not just WILL open up, they have ALREADY opened up if we just open our eyes and see.
God taught me an important lesson on this when I heard the pulpit messages from Singapore during my business trip in South Korea. It is not my concentration prayers on early morning to equip myself, or zeal to go for dawn prayers on Good Friday so that I made great leaps of progresses that very 2 days, but God wanted to prove that the problems are already solved before I went to Seoul to try to solve it. When I look back, it is indeed this happenings, because I saw that little things, encouragements and tips from people from Raleigh Lab in America, British, Singapore and Malaysian citizens in the Singapore IBM Lab gave me voices from God to tell me to try a certain path (out of many possible paths).
When we continue to experience all this, World Gospelization will just explode because God does not look at our performance on whether we are faithful. He looks at when we are READY, because World Gospelization has already been fulfilled. Mt 24:14 talked about World Gospelization. This is the very vision God drew in my mind years back on my bed.
Therefore, if He has already accomplished World Gospelization, we move on to the Covenantal Messages, as there is always a way to think forward, and be even more positive than all the motivational speakers combined together.
2. Covenantal Message
Jesus Christ came because there is a covenant ALREADY made between God and man (God is already with man, so that in a certain sense, God must fulfill).
Where does Covenantal Messages lead to?
1) Christ’s Whole Life, Christ’s Blood, Christ’s Sure Victory
Because the only problem is the separation of man’s brokenness with the Emmanuel God Who is always with him, Christ has to come to bring answers through showing His whole life. Because the only problem is the problem of guilt, curses and repeated depression, He came to shed blood to remove all condemnations and fulfill perfect righteousness. Because the only problem is the problem of accusations, deceit and murders of creation, He came to ensure a complete victory by erecting a flag of victory before the victory has won.
Be it the Passover, Circumcision, Baptism, or Holy Communion, they all talk about the covenant "This is my covenant. Do it in remembrance of Me." Yes, God gives love to us. But God sealed it up. It is not the love that God gives that is important. It is not grace that God gives that is important. It is God Himself Whose Name is Love, Whose Name is Grace and Whose Name is Truth.
In fact, the covenant meant that God Himself guaranteed and even bound Himself to a covenant that we are His Body, and He cannot disown us. Through the covenant, He gave us everything to us and never withhold anything to us.
2) Remnants and the Main Character of this Era
God is an abundant God. He gives grace, adds talents (humor, eloquence, revelation) to preachers and Christians to bless. And when we use that grace, He adds even more. This is from a brother-in-Christ, and I fully agree with him in love.
This is the promise of God. This is called the covenant in the true spirit. The one who does not know that there is a great Treasure in his life does not know how to use the things that He has already placed in us. If we saw that in our conditions, God is just right there in them, we are not hurt by them. We stand up and proclaim and see that they have reasons to make us unique. If we can see that we are unique, we will not be proud if we think in terms of the promise of Christ’s Blood. Then we will be very self-confident, and reject all sorts of negative comments from others, but just because we wanted to follow God’s voice.
But this is not cheap and proud. If there is a sense of pride, God will immediately rebuke us, and hide His Spirit from us. The remnants, as spoken throughout the Prophetic Books (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, etc) have a lot to restore in order to boast about Jesus Christ. In fact, it is impossible for the gentle child of God to proclaim that he is chosen and highly favored by God, UNLESS they go through a process called making a covenant with God. This is called dying and resurrecting, finding the reasons that one cannot but must die and resurrect, and seeing the evidences that restoration also meant that one has to suffer along with all the curses in the world first. Making the covenant is a one-time resolution, but no overnight success. Making a covenant is about wholeheartedness, concentration, and perseverance (一心、专心、恒心), because it requires days, months and even years.
3) World Gospelization Positiveness – Philosophy Gospelization, Culture Gospelization, Authorities Gospelization, Nation Gospelization, Global Gospelization
There is a direction given very clearly in the bible. Acts 1:8 "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." There is a hymn that touches many, called "Above All". In the first verse, it is said "Above all powers, Above all kings, Above all nature And all created things, Above all wisdom, And all the ways of man, You were here Before the world began." In the second verse, it is sung, "Above all kingdoms, Above all thrones, Above all wonders The world has ever known. Above all wealth, And treasures of the earth. There’s no way to measure What You’re worth". We have seen how gospelization made the nation of Israel to the highest peak in the era of Solomon, in the era where Babylonian and Persian palace were gospelized by Daniel, his 3 friends, Ezra, Nehemiah, in the the era where the Roman Empire converted to Christianity, the era where Europe established theology and kingdoms, kings and queens based on the knees of prayerful men, in the era where America became the world’s only superpower in just 200 years and had all their way of life founded by the gospel, in the era of East Asia where the nation South Korea rose rapidly and this pointing to China where there are already close to 0.1 billion believers (out of a population of 1.4 billion) in unofficial records. I have ever wondered why I thought of this. Am I crazy? When I confirmed in my spirit of the nature of the gospel and Trinity, which is eternal, always, spiritual, larger than the universe, omnipresence, omnipotent, and omniscience, this is just very natural. In fact, when we received the gospel, we are already called to this very positiveness and direction.
We care not to criticize others. If we criticize, we destroy God’s church. But we rebuke ungospelized teachings so that they would understand what Christ longs and yearns for every day. The Lord misses His brethrens daily. In fact, the further and the more hidden they are, He misses even more, just like the parable of the Prodigal son. Daily, the father waits at the door for his missing son to return. And when he returns, the father made a great feast, took the chance to teach the obedient son about what the father thinks of daily, and forgets everything that the missing son ever did. This is so that the son could be drawn to God again. He has died, but now has become alive!
Yet, there is definite works of God in the current era of churches. There are mega churches, and they keep on growing. They brought a lot of comfort to believers, a lot of loving bondings with fellowshipping, and a lot of vows to love Jesus and perseverance to pray. We cannot forget their grace. World gospelization also has a need to join with all other churches, even their messages. Therefore, we also take the chance to learn from them. In fact, I discovered that I could accept every kind of messages with peace like a river, love like an ocean, and joy like a fountain when I took everything into my spirit. I do not just eat without thinking, but the Spirit in me discerns actively. The Spirit does not reject the inferior messages, but He takes the strong points of all messages that come in, explains the very essences of what the Spirit in the preachers actually meant out of their insights, fervency and loving-kindness on their pulpit, and continues to build up and progress the messages that are already with us.
There will also come to a point in time that people will accept, build and speak the same messages. However, there will be others who accept our message but would not speak our messages, because they also have a set of another format for which God led them. Do we not join together and co-work with them to fulfill world gospelization since the world is so big, and the ends are so far away? When we say that we have the best messages, do we say that others have inferior messages? Let discipline fall on us if we ever meant this. But we meant that everyone should be positive that God is with them, and God wants to use them.
We will also have disciples and children who will have a different set of messages from their lives. The failure of passing the covenant down to the next generation has all been so clear in the history of Israel and churches. We learn from history and take heed that we must teach them properly. However, I discover that this will happen not because our message or theology is strong. It can only happen if God is touched by our sincerity of faith. Our sheep, disciples and children must find us faithful in order to receive our very spirit.
3. Spiritual Message
Knowledge and Rational are the most important. However, knowledge cannot do any good if it does not go into spiritual understanding.
1) The Realms of Heart Laboratory for Confirmation (确认)
Unless we allow the Emmanuel messages and Covenantal messages to go into our spirits, they become very hard and religious. In fact, sometimes, they even kill. This is what I learnt when I continue to hear about only go-go-go, and my hearts do not get pastored and loved, so that grace cannot increase. Yet, when I confirm again, grace continued to abound. Grace must be understood in terms of the essence, or the spirit. The spirit is not hidden from blessed people, but Christ tore down the veil between the Most Holy Place and the Holy Place in the temple. Therefore, we can test and approve in our spirits.
The word of God may kill, but if we let it go through our spirit that is already Emmanuel and Covenanted, it becomes living and active. Test and approve with the eyes of Jesus Christ the things that happened outside the spirit, and then let it go through your spirit.
The moment you have joy in your spirit when you met God, through testing and approving the works that Christ has already fulfilled, continue to test and approve through the 7 fruits of the Spirit potentially present in your heart. Let the fruits grow. Confirm that you are Today’s Jesus Christ who has the same Spirit of God in your spirit.
Then test and approve what things you think or have in your heart so that the Holy Spirit will be happy or be grieved. Surely He will reveal. When you just submit to those, the Holy Spirit reveals to you in your heart laboratory through the colors of angels that He is rejoicing with you.
When you continue to use this to see the spirits in others, compassion continues to grow so that you know that God is happy when you just hear His voice of instructions to love and wait for people’s timetable, and when the time is up, you just speak the grace of God to them, so that the Spirit can enter their hearts, and fill their hearts.
2) The Realms of Faith
Upon seeing the evidences that you can see through your spirit, you can be reminded that there is a great force and camp of darkness. Now, Satan is very angry and will shoot all sorts of arrows towards you. The pressure and oppression you face are not because the messages you hear are wrong, but since God is everywhere, there must be a turning point ahead.
Know this, and seek for the answers by faith and proclaim that you have victory. Move ahead one step just like Peter by believing in Jesus, by stepping onto the water, and Peter found that he could also walk on water like Jesus Christ. Such a faith can move mountains.
Take challenges as a grace. Take resolutions as ownership. God gave us the ability to decide, and show us how a person not afraid of dying and is already prepared to die can already win battles. We just cannot ignore the many aunties and grandmas who have continued to nag at God in prayers on their knees that brought about the spiritual movement of angels that convicts and touches people to come closer to God, and move them to become the workers and ministers of God.
Go into prayers, and fasting if needed. Go into relay prayers. God must answer because God is alive.
3) The Realms of Love and Compassion
Different people have different styles of expressing Romance with their loved ones.
For God, He romanced with the church in the most beautiful way in the Song of Songs. Not only was there expressive poetry, there was a beautiful process of wisely avoiding His love, so that love would grow, and so that when the time is up, they meet together missing each other so very much. There is also a very beautiful ending, so that the bride became so fertile as to share her love with everyone all around. Everyone is so envious of the relationship between God and her, so that she leads them to learn all about the love.
This love is all-knowing, all-patience, all-kindness, all-courteous, all-about-relationships, all-humility, all-forgetting, all-simplicity, all-wishing-for-goodness, all-giving, all-sacrificial, all-confidant, all-transparent, all-forgiving, all-righteousness, all-truthfulness, all-protecting, all-trusting, all-selflessness, all-hoping, all-persevering, all-knowledgeable, all-powerful, all-victory, and all-grown-up.
This type of love can only happen in God. But this does not happen overnight. If it happens overnight, it is not love. It is fake. The longer it takes, the stronger the love.
4) The Realms of Joining Together in One Spirit
Finally, if we can understand the spirits that join together, we will discover that there is an immense strength just by coming together.
If we just know messages, but not have the flow between brothers and sisters, we are lacking very deeply in our life and living. The Lord wants to heal us. In fact, the greatest healing is found among living with brethrens. With brethrens, we can talk and communicate another dimension of God’s perfect will, messages and testimonies.
I myself have received and enjoyed the greatest power of love in the world, and this is where a pastor showed his personal love, encouragements, and motivation to me, just like how Jesus would when He is right now with me. In fact, when I look back, many pastors showed their love to me. There are personal touches. There are personal encouragements. They hoped without any requirements in me. Even if some held some reservations against me, I could see that it was because they could not just love me as a human because without God, I would continue to destruction. This is why sometimes, they ignored me. Sometimes, they became quiet and did not reply even my earnest plea and letters. But it is through these that God spoke to me personally to give up love from even pastors, as they are just merely men. In fact, all their essence of love and essence in their spirit are already in their pulpit messages. Therefore, from then on, I just listen attentively to their voices. I learn to wait in God-driven ways. If I miss them, they must also miss me. I do not purposely do this, for we are humans and we can never vouch for any trust or relationships. We all have to pass through the kingdom tests. Yet, when these happened, I begin to love their lives, their love, their families through their messages and testimonies. When I meet them, there are so many things in my heart that I do not know what to speak first, and many times, I just remained quiet. But quietness cannot let a relationship grow. Therefore, both of us must also rely on the Holy Spirit’s voice to talk. There are some pastors who showed me no requirements, and I also love them. When I have grown up, I will find that encouragements and praises are better not mentioned, but a calm assurance will do. All that I mean here is, we need pastoral touches. However, God must be higher than our relationships with pastors. (This is why we say, centering on pulpit first, then centering on brethrens, then on ministry. If the procedure is wrong, there is no love.) Then there will be coworkers for life, and even through sufferings and death. I want such a relationship. I felt I loved Pastors Yue Xin, Fang Rong and Kuan You who taught me Sunday School, gave me a bible which I used till it broke into pieces, guided me through my teenager years, and laughed with me to comfort me, and I felt more love from Pastor Rickson, Rev Leechull and Pastor Vincent than I ever loved them – they gave me everything.
Romans 5:7-8 says, "Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." I would like to bring out the true essence here of Romans 5:7-8 of pastoral touches, of true coworkers for life, and of raising 12 disciples with the same life as mine. Allow me to paraphrase: "Very rarely will a friend die for another, though for his own flesh and blood, he might possibly dare to die. But a pastor in Christ’s image demonstrates his own love for his sheep in this: While the sheep is still in weakness, the pastor died for the sheep." I want such relationships. I want such co-workers with a meaningful ministry on earth. And I want such disciples so that when I see Jesus face-to-face, I can see Him putting crown on me even though I try to give the crown to Him first. John 13:34 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
We really live around people. Don’t escape from relationships. The reason why we cannot enjoy is because we are hurt. But the reason why Satan wants us to be hurt is because there are the greatest blessings in interpersonal relationships.
Through brethren-living and ministry towards one another, we will know then know the true extent of our healing. True healing is not a declaration, but a calm assurance plus evidences from living amidst brethrens. If they love to be with me, deem that I handled their trust and response appropriately, then this is the best evidences that I am healed. I am not yet healed totally, but I pray for it. When someone cannot trust in me, I learn humility and pray for God to heal.
This is called manpower, but more appropriately, "He/she is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh" <Genesis 2:23>.