(Sharing 24 Apr 2010)
What now after formatting up all the messages (that Christianity has gathered up from the creation of man till the church at the present era) with the perspectives of Emmanuel (Trinity is Already now With Us), Covenant (The hot Blood in the Remnants who always die and resurrect in thinking positive in World Gospelization), and Spirituality (peace of Confirmation, joyful Faith like a fountain, Love like an ocean, to build the Brethren spiritual atmosphere)?
In the year 2008, where the theme of the year is "Inflaming the Spirit’s Fire", I led the second Sunday Worship Singspiration. I had thought that it was the year where we should make our spirits alive. Therefore, I led people to "feel high", and led hymns about the Holy Spirit. I led hymn 75 "Ignited Candle", where "if we have not lighted up naturally, where we have not loved people, how can people know; yet if it is natural, why not let your light shine before men to the glory of the Father"? I also led hymn 58 "The Counselor of My Soul". After leading this, I remember Pastor Vincent came up and a voice came to me saying, "We must never rely on abstractness. We need to know properly, and we need to build the temple." It was like a "tight-slap" to my face by the Holy Spirit in protecting me with His love in the truth.
I believe the same thing happened in America with the same message that start of the year. Many may think that inflaming our spirits meant "we can fly now", or "we can now be set free", and "for the Lord has loved us greatly, and He is our guarantee as He has given us the authority in heaven and on earth; therefore we can believe unwaveringly without any strings attached already". I mean, these are not wrong. In fact, these are just natural, battles won that revealed the spiritual dimension, good testimonies of believers, and even every of it accords to the bible’s revelations. However, there needs to be an additional spiritual gift to make us strong. Paul says in <Ro 1:11> "I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong". Therefore, especially in year 2008, "Relying on the Holy Spirit, Driving out Demons, Restoring Heavenly Kingdom" was a year more about building the temple first, then going into the Holy Spirit, Demons and Heavenly Kingdom, and lastly, it never ventured anywhere, but we received the 7 mysteries of how to pray. And even in year 2009, we went into messages, not of sending out the living springs first, but unearthing the living springs first. It is better to be slow, to (1) restore to the essentials and (2) build the temple up all the way to prayers and doors of evangelism, than to gush out all the way. The spiritual dimension or testimonies are still above the third dimension, therefore, when we use "the concept experienced through our 3-dimensional earthly life and living" to talk about the spiritual mysteries, we can only take them as a reference, and not to take it as an absolute method or way.
Therefore, we must format up. When I do not format up and just want to speak through my experiences, my heart tells me that there is something missing – either I am relying too much on some ideas so that it will seem to boast my ego, or that I am just only sharing some enlightenment from my own experience, thinking that everyone must experience what I experience, carving my own golden calf without me myself knowing it? When I take myself as the greatly blessed, deeply loved and highly favored, for the reasons of the covenant present already in the gospel, I saw that what is in me does not accuse me, but those turned into the convictions of the Holy Spirit, i.e. they became a voice in me. What the devil wants to place into me as seeds of flesh, power of sin till purposefully wanting to murder my uninformed conscience turned into many convictions of the Holy Spirit. This is the best gift that God has given to us, and this is to be able to realize from death, and resurrect to become alive, so that we cannot help but speak what we have seen and heard.
I also see many times that there are 2 elements in building the temple (or in formatting up). 1) so that we know the correct start, and always start from this correctly, so that this spirit will draw all nations, 2) so that we can know we have accomplished everything even when it has not happened. This will keep us in check and keep the blood of Christ, to die and resurrect, and to carry our own cross. On another point of view, I find that Satan also accuses people in two ways. If we do not have the correct start, but have all sorts of teachings, the devil accuses and brings guilt to especially the children of God. Yet, if we have the correct start, but do not emphasize on the procedure and format that joins together everything till one needs to find prayers a necessity and the need to live considering the limited days on earth, the children of God will be accused because they will think that they always do not start correctly. This means that they keep thinking like a child. <1Co 13:9-12> says "For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." I mean, if we continue to think that the church is not yet ready to receive the full messages as spoken in the bible, e.g. the book of James saying, "righteousness by walking with God", and not only "righteousness by faith" and "righteousness by grace", the church will continue to think like a child. To these people, they continue to only want milk and not solid foods. The response that they need to understand how milk is really nutritious to them and that solid food is good for them only belittles them. Yet, I say again: do I reject what the format actually wants to emphasize firstly? No, in contrary not, for <1Co 13:8> says "Love never fails…", and <1Co 13:13> ends the chapter with, "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." We often need to explain for half of the message to sheep about the correct start. Yet, we need the other half. Firstly, because God initiates (blessed 蒙 is more important than loved 爱), therefore, taking this "blessed" as the most important, it must go into confirming that oneself is the most precious (as this is not from pride but through God), and then, it must go into forward looking that glorifying God, seeking the Unreached brethrens and building the heavenly kingdom on earth and eternity is the perfect will of God voicing behind me. Every part of the format not only results from the first point that God seeks us first as God-driven so that we do all things naturally, but that every point must be seen as God-driven (blessed 蒙), and the love of God. In fact, if there is no method and no forward training on the method to build up each point in the format, Satan will just go in and out on those missing areas and do accusation and life-murdering work.
Please, do not be late, and do not stop at seeing that everything is already fine and enough. Even if our ministry is flourishing, or even if we feel good now, if it does not have foundations all the way till being able to see Christ crowing you, it will all crumble down at one time. Discipleship Training is so important. By discipleship training, I do not only mean attending classes only. Attending classes are needed, just like how Jesus Christ gave classes to His disciples in the field. However, more importantly, Jesus gave those classes practically in the field at the right place, and at the right time, relevantly to His disciples. This is called field training. Sometimes, He gave them even more than what they had experienced, but it is definitely enough for what their faith, as small as a mustard seed, could absorb. Of course, many times, they discussed among themselves, "What does He mean by saying, …", not understanding what Jesus meant <Jn 16:17>. "They kept asking … We don’t understanding what He is saying" <Jn 16:18>. Let us not be discouraged when we do not understand. Jesus only replied, "Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father" <Jn 16:25>. What I mean is that, not understanding does not mean that our faith cannot accept discipleship training. But in a society especially like in Singapore, a little non-understanding would cause people to just feel inferior. That is not what God intended. The life that God has created in us is a vessel that can contain a lot of "past, present and future experiences".
Yet, does discipleship training stop at these teachings? Towards the end of Jesus’ ministry on earth, all the disciples left and scattered. They were blown away, because there were no foundations and no structure! Discipleship Training has to go on towards reformatting up. Jesus must disappear. The disciples had to continue to pray (confirm in their spirits) and recall everything that Jesus had been with them, conversed with them, and walked with them at the right time, at the right places, so that they began to slowly understand everything. They must become alive. The Living Springs in them must be unearthed. The Holy Spirit had to descend. This happened clearly known as the Pentecost, like a second born again, when everything in the past, present and future is confirmed in the spirit so that the person becomes alive.
As I wrote, I find that God wanted to let the Emmanuel messages, Covenantal messages and Spiritual messages become alive in us. I say again. They cannot become head knowledge so that we just speak "This is definitely the best lah!" They cannot become a fiercely untouched "For the sake of World Gospelization, etc etc etc". Finally, they also cannot become a fantasy of reminiscence floating in our heads "Oh, God loves us so much; we have so many loving people beside us; We are in a bond of love; ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here. If You wish, I will put up three shelters—one for You, one for Moses and one for Elijah?’" God will then reply in the same way as He did to Peter 2000 years ago, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!"
Taking the Spirit of the messages that God had given through us for all these years, we have to progress on. If really, we can rely on the Holy Spirit, drive out demons and see the kingdom of heaven resting on us, we have to see "Your Kingdom come, As It is in Heaven". We have to let it practically materialize relevantly in us and our fields. God led us to hear the Emmanuel messages, Covenantal messages and Spiritual messages till year 2008, so that my previous blog was already 2 years old. (This is what I meant that we must not be late.) If we continue in those messages only, we will be late in blessings, and this means that we will not be able to fight off Satan at the present moment. (Remember that God permits Satan to also increase his degree of attacks against messages in the hearts of believers.) So what did God intend and do in the year 2009 and this year 2010? The Emmanuel, Covenantal and Spiritual messages have to become Living Springs, so that God themed our messages "Unearth the Living Springs", "Send Out the Living Springs", and "Gush Out the Living Springs" for this very purpose. When we do these, do we forgo the gospel? When the Spirit is right, we will move into even much more intimacy with the gospel.
P.S. I actually intend to write more as one blog, but I find that it may be too long already. I wonder why God also want me to write so many things now. In fact, recently, I wrote a technical report after my overseas assignment, to be sent to South Korea in order to give to the end-customer. I wrote for about 2 days in office already, yet a very good programmer told me that one section of my report is not professional enough. I spent another day yesterday to try to sound as professional and as helpful as possible to the customer. It is still pending for review presently. The number of pages already reached a total of 15 pages. A China sister also asked me when I can write the messages in Chinese because she finds reading English dizzy. I mean, it is not me who wanted to write, but there is a voice to push me on.
Do look forward to my second and third installments of Living Springs as "Unearthing The Living Springs" and "Sending Out The Living Springs". They will probably be filled with photographs because I will be placing very practical experiences I had in South Korea, especially with respect to how it is possible to materialize technical-inclined, business-world, and customer-facing situations with the Living Springs. Then finally, I will try to write on the survey of the 3 Korean mega-churches that I have been to, also with photographs 🙂