Monday, January 3, 2005
Spiritual War II: Overcoming through Sufferings and Struggles
Topic: Spiritual War
Throughout our lives, we faced many sufferings and struggle in order to work the things right. For examples, when we try to live our lives in our workplaces. Some of us try to communicate with the new people and share our beliefs and faiths. Or some of us would face the major decisions on which way we should go as we listen to the other people's advice. Some of us have physically disabilities, and we face the sufferings and struggles through the days to learn and communicate with other people. These and other problems are not only ones we face physically, but, also, we are suffering and struggling against the spirits in the darkness as well. Like Job, when he suffered and struggled against Satan during his life. Jesus, He who fought against the tempter in the wilderness after the forty days and nights of fasting.
Let me ask you this question: Have you wonder why God let you have sufferings and struggles? I often ask myself that one question as I go on with my life. I came from to this country. I experienced many circumstances and I cannot solve my life crisis. Being an orphan boy was one thing I had. But, now, I face many other challenges than when I was in the orphanage in the 1980s.
Early in year 2001, I faced the major spiritual battle while I'm in Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center of Virginia to do my job training. As I listened to the people around me, my mind was beginning to confuse about which way I should go. Satan was trying to use the people to tempt another person and me with our friendship. It left my heart and soul burning in the fire. But thank God that He provided me some Christian friends to overcome this difficult obstacle with me. It is not easy to overcome many challenges, especially in the spiritual round. Satan may swallow you up if you cannot find some resources to win this kind of battle.
Read II Corinthians 12:7-10 and look into Paul's special blessing, he discovered something that helps to understand why he faced many trials in his life. In this passage, we find that Paul had been faced with many obstacles and begged God to help him. His problems were not from God or from the people, but from Satan.
This is the same way that our problems occur. Satan tries to destroy our lives, too, by using anything that he can to control our minds and spirits, such as money, the media, relationships, and other things he can use to destroy our souls. The Henry Potter Movie is the one of tools that Satan could teach the children how to become witchcraft, which they could receive the same power as God has, for example. These techniques Satan tries to use to destroy our relationship with God in our lives. If you would like to have more details about today’s occult, I would strongly suggest read what God’s Word said about this subject, especially in Leviticus 19.
But Paul discovered something else, too, in II Corinthians 12:9-10. He didn't discover this on his own, but from God. Paul discovered that all his pains occurred because of two reasons.
First, he can live with Christ's power. Without Christ and His power, we would not go pass through our difficulties. But what does He give us as individuals? Love? Salvation? Talent? Whatever He gave you, use it to overcome your sufferings and struggles. Don't stand there. Use the gifts He already has given you. Satan cannot stand against the gifts we have.
Second reason is restoring our energy. In verse 10, Paul said, "…when I am weak, then I am truly strong." The battles that we're facing will not last forever. When Paul mentioned the last phrases, he meant when we feel tired, then we need to take the time off to restore our strengths. For doing that, we need to go to God's word and prayer to refresh our spirits and be ready to face our problems again.
“And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (II Corinthians 12:9 NKJV.) Our battles are not against people or ourselves, but against the Prince of Darkness. We cannot fall into one of devil's traps if we are willing to walk with God everyday. Maybe you are searching for answers to your issues and need someone. The best way to do that is finding some Christian friends in your church or community, but mostly to go with God, because He has all the answers.
I don't know what circumstances you're facing, but God knows. He knows every answer to our problems. Max Lucado said, "He doesn't come quarreling and wrangling and forcing his way into anyone's heart." No. That is not what God does. God brought His Son, Jesus, to this world, to fight for our sins and fill us with His strength, power, hope, faith, and love.
Are you communicating with God everyday basis to get the resources what you need for your upcoming battles? If you are truly in God's family, don't waste your time with your activities and call God for help in the last minute. Instead, train yourself with God for your next battle with Satan.
First Timothy 4:8 says, in the New Century Version, "Training your body helps you in some ways, but serving God helps you in every way by bringing you blessings in this life and in the future life, too."
Posted by MGJC Web Ministry
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Friday, December 24, 2004
Spiritual War I: Preparing to Go to the Battlefield
Topic: Spiritual War
As we go with our lives, there are many challenging that are waiting for us to step in the battlefield. As we are living for Christ, we would already go through some warfare that are related to physical and spiritual issues. The most problems are occurred in marriage and family problems, financial issues, friendships, and people in our workplaces. As we see on the media, many people faced the tragedies and had resulted as broken hearts. Also, throughout the biblical period, there were many issues as people were going through the battles.
For the next two issues on "Spiritual Warfare," we are not looking only into the physical problems and the spiritual causes, but, also, look into what God told us about the issues we are facing. The first issue is about how we can be ready for any battles. Second message is dealing with sufferings and struggles. And the final message is on the solution to the problems and that is called the "Finishing Line."
As we read from Paul's advice on how we need to prepare for the spiritual battles (Ephesians 6), we will also be looking at the physical issues. Read Ephesians 6:10. Paul told us (as the body of Christ) that we need to be brave and strong.
How we need to be strong and brave in the spiritual battles? We need to trust God the Almighty. Proverbs 3:5-6 said that we need "trust the Lord with all" our hearts "and he [God] will give" us "success." As we can see many people want to have power, fame, and wealth. If we turn on the TV, we would see many violent and sex activities. Look what had happened at Pentagon and World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. We saw that many people had injured and killed because of some plane hijackers. Look on the Social Security Trust Fund (SSTF) for our retire benefit. Although this ministry doesn’t believe every doctrine from the radio and television Christian evangelists, I have found the information about what our government is doing with our money. Pat Robertson, a founder of Christian Broadcasting Network, mentioned that politicians are trying to use our money through the Social Security Trust Fund advertisement, so they can use it for their political reasons. These or more tricks we can be sure of. But we need to be alert everyday by listening and trusting God.
But look Ephesians 6:11-12 and see that what kinds of weapons we need to fight against the devil's tricks. Notice and understand from these verses that we are not planning to against the other people. From the childhood to the adulthood, we have learned that we feel to fight against our neighbors, family members, friends, co-workers, and other people. This is a difficult task for most of us, because we easily see that the people have made mistakes and can't forgive them until we would get the revenge. But look what Paul is saying that we need to fight against the devil only. Although we can't see the devil, he is trying to work in us.
So how can we prepare for the warfare we face?
First, we need to have God's truth. Read Ephesians 6:14 and see that we need to know God's truth to get through the spiritual battles. Also, read Proverbs 3:5-6.
Second, we need to have the Word of God to stand against the Prince of Darkness. In Ephesians 6:15, Paul reminded us the Word of God is a tool to stand against that enemy. For example, three times Jesus used the Scripture from the Old Testament to fight against the tempter (see Matthew 4). He didn't lose the battle, because God's Word is so powerful that the enemy of Christ cannot stand against it. We need to use the Bible and mediate on God's Word to exercise our faiths each day. We do not know what kinds of troubles would come next. Also, we need to exercise our faiths, so we can touch the people into Jesus Christ.
But we need to accept God's salvation before we ask Him for help. "Accept God's salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." (Ephesians 6:17 NCV.)
Finally, we need to pray all kinds of prayers (see Ephesians 6:18). We can't lose the spiritual war if we pray to God. Our prayers can be any problem that occurred to our lives.
Are you ready for your upcoming battles as you walk with Christ in your daily lives? Take God's Word before you open your door and walk with all kinds of frustration. Try reading a couple verses each morning and let God show you the way through your busy schedule.
Posted by MGJC Web Ministry
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Friday, December 17, 2004
How to Win in Spiritual Warfare
Topic: Spiritual War
In Ephesians 6:10-17, Apostle Paul gives instructions to prepare us for a fight against Satan and his demons. First, let us go to spiritual battle training. We need to understand who Satan and his demons are and what they can do to pull us apart from God.
We need to understand that Satan is a liar; he is the master of lies. In his book, You Are Destined to Win!, John N. Chacha brings out some of the key lies of Satan. Here are a few:
- Your sins are beyond forgiveness.
- Your problems are beyond God’s help.
- Jesus didn’t die for you as an individual. (Page 6.)
These are lies from the mouth of our enemy. The Word of God says that he is the father of lies (John 8:44). There is no doubt about it, Satan is a liar! Dr. Chacha also pointed out that our battleground is in our minds, because Satan tries to give us bad thoughts or bad habits to control our minds, so he can destroy us in our relationship with God, ourselves, and others. Unfortunately for him, Satan has very limited power to defeat us. Apostle Paul had experienced pain from Satan, but God said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in you (II Corinthians 12:9 NKJV).” Satan and his armies are no match with God, our Supreme. Jesus defeated him when He crucified Himself on the cross for our sins, but He resurrected on the third day from the grave to show us that He won the war.
We need to do our part, training with God to face our enemies. Paul says in I Timothy 4:8, “For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.” Paul knows and understands the importance of being trained spiritually because he had experienced the pain that Satan put him through as we see in II Corinthians 12.
First, we need to understand that our struggle is not coming from the other person. Sometimes, the problems might be caused by the other person’s mistakes. However, we need to look beyond the problem. Paul said that we need to be prepared to fight against principalities, powers, the rulers of the darkness of this age, and spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly realms. You and I need to understand the main reason why Paul wrote this portion of passage in Ephesians.
Today, we see the enemy attacking the churches around the world through the creation of certain denominational churches that mix Christianity and paganism tradition. We see this throughout I Corinthians, where Paul focused on the problems within the Church of Corinth . We see many issues within the churches throughout the , such as: denominations, immorality within the church, and music that is mixed with worldly tunes (Contemporary Christian Music). These and other problems arrived from our very own enemy, Satan.
We not only need to recognize our enemy, we need to equip our spiritual weapons to stand against Satan. Paul named some weapons that we can use to stand firm against the prince of this world. These weapons are:
- The truth of the Gospel (Ephesians 6:14a)
- The breastplate of righteousness (Ephesians 6:14b)
- The Gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:15)
- The shield of faith (Ephesians 6:16)
- The helmet of salvation (Ephesians 6:17a)
- The sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17b)
We need to gird our waist with the truth of the Gospel. The truth of the Gospel is like a belt that we put on our waist. Paul says that when we are wearing the belt of the Gospel, we will not be deceived by the lies of Satan. We also need the “breastplate of righteousness and having shod our feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:14-15).” This protects us from satanic attack as the shield of armor protects us from the enemy’s sword. Finally, we need to have the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:16-17). These weapons are deadly to Satan and his armies. Paul recommends us to have all these weapons in us, ready at all times.
Above all, Paul stresses the importance of prayer (Ephesians 6:18). Prayer is vital for our stance against devils. Our communication with God is crucial to have in our daily life. It is the key to stand against Satan at the spiritual battleground. Jesus said that if we ask Him anything in His name, He can do it for us. Read what God did for Paul when he faced struggles in his life. In II Corinthians 12:8-9, Paul asked the Lord to remove his pain from him; and God answered him. He knew Paul’s circumstances and let him know that He had been working with him to strengthen him.
As I am a disabled man, God is continuing to work with me through various trials in my life. When I am distressed or going through a hard time as I am living independently, there is a great resource. I receive some help from the community, but there is no greater resource than God, His Holy Word, and my communication with Him. Being a physically disabled person doesn’t mean that Satan can defeat me easily. No! As long as I trust in God and have hope, Satan cannot stand against me long.
As we see in Paul’s letter to the Church of Corinth , he didn’t deny the Gospel of Jesus Christ; instead, he continued to pursue and to tell others about what Jesus did for all humanity. Also, he wrote and preached a powerful message to the Ephesian church, urging them to protect themselves from the darkness of life.
We need to learn from Paul’s experiences that there is nothing Satan can do to destroy our lives or pull us away from God’s presence. Our daily prayers are the most powerful weapon we have in our lives, because God stands with us when we cry out to Him while facing problems throughout our lives. Although Paul had a stressful life in his missionary journey to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, God was with him because of his communication with the Creator of the Universe. To have a successful life, we need to prepare our spiritual weapons and make room for God to intervene in our lives each day.
Posted by MGJC Web Ministry
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Friday, December 10, 2004
Topic: End of the Age
In his fictional best-selling book, Blood Moon, Hal Lindsey explains in great detail what would happen on the final day of Lord’s second coming. Although there might be some discrepancies between his book and the Bible, he describes great detail on the religious movement that could produce the antichrist to the world. For example, Lindsey describes that the antichrist would appear on the world scene through the hatred of Islam. Although the word Islam means peace in the Arabic world, we see and hear about the Islamic people attacking Christians. Is that possible? (It seems ironic!) What does the Word of God say about the end of the world?
We need to first understand that God’s Word is always true. The Bible says that His Word never fails. We can try to change His Word around, but His Word always stays the same. Apostle John writes, “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (Revelation 22:18-19.)
One of books in the Old Testament that deal with the end time is Daniel. The Book of Daniel is like the Book of Revelation, giving detailed prophecies on the end time (Chap. 7-12). God chose Daniel to be His messenger to the Gentile and Jewish world to warn them of the judgment that God would bring to their current and future world. We see that Daniel was in Babylon, training as a royal servant to King Nebuchadnezzar. During the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar and Balshazzar, God was with Daniel and showed him some prophetic events that would take place.
Daniel describes his visions in Daniel 7. The visions that he had seen were not just personal nightmares but were God-given dreams with purpose. God has a plan to end this world that He created and create a new one, so that the devil can’t enter the new location to destroy His creation. We are part of His creation.
Living in this very age, we have seen and heard rumors of wars in various places, people committing suicide and murdering each other in the community, government promoting partial-birth abortions, and voting in favor of gay marriage in the United States of America. We have seen the birth of the final days, and there will be more events to come before the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Although there will be more world tragedies, God will not leave us in the midst of terrifying events; instead, He will save us if we are truly born again into His family and have fellowship with Him throughout our lives. For example, God saved Daniel and his friends from the midst of their tribulations. God saved Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego from the fiery trial of Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 3). In the fiery furnace, God was with them because He knew that they refused to worship the useless statue that Nebuchadnezzar made, and they trusted their God faithfully. Daniel himself was saved by God in the lion’s den, due to his faithfulness (Daniel 6).
We might ask ourselves what Daniel 2 and 6 have to do with the final judgment of the earth in Daniel 7-12. In Matthew 24:43-44, Jesus says, “But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh..” We need to be ready to meet the Lord’s coming. Although we do not know the final hour that Jesus would return to judge the world, we must always be prepared to meet our Holy Father. Otherwise, we might miss the opportunity to be with Him for eternity.
Matthew 24:44 applies to end time prophecy and urges us to be ready to face the new challenges in our daily lives as well. We do not know when problems might hit us. Follow the example that Daniel and his friends did when they faced the challenge. “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).”
In the last days of the earth, there will also be a lot of cries around the globe, because many people will be left behind on this planet and few of them will be caught up with the Lord Jesus Christ in the clouds (I Thessalonians 4:17). Those who are left behind, they will face many sufferings on the earth before the white throne of judgment. (According to some experts, there will be a second Rapture of the Church during the seven-year tribulation, which will be after the first three and one-half and before the second three and one-half years of the tribulation. Although there is no 100 percent guarantee of a second rapture, there will be a lot of cries, murders, suicide, and global disaster throughout the whole world.)
Daniel also writes about the ten horns and a little horn on the fourth beast (7:7-8). He speaks about the appearance of the antichrist to the world scene. Before the appearance of the antichrist, there will be ten nations, which are ten horns, among the earth to prepare the road for the antichrist, the eleventh horn, to destroy one-third of a portion of the earth, mainly to attack the land of the Israel. Then, in Daniel 7:9-10, he talks about the judgment that God will have for each of us. He will judge by the books that were written down, recording what we did while we lived on the earth. Unfortunately, He will not judge us by our works; instead, He will judge us according to what we did on the earth with the gift of the salvation that He gave us. On the other side of the judgment seat, God will judge those who didn’t accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. In that day, they will have no choice rather than to accept their punishment from God.
Our chance to meet God in the last days of earth depends on our decisions. Nobody makes the decision for us to meet Jesus Christ. It is our own choice to accept and follow or reject Him. Consider what Daniel and his friends did when King Nebuchadnezzar made everybody worship him. They chose to worship the one true God rather than a king of fame. When the antichrist comes onto the world scene, he will declare himself lord of all lords and try to make us worship him. It is up to us to choose whom we will worship and serve eternally.
Posted by MGJC Web Ministry
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Thursday, November 25, 2004
Why We Need to Obey?
Since Adam and Eve decided to disobey God’s command, many people have been experienced problems and pains in their lives. Throughout the Old Testament, many people of decided to follow their own way to living life. Because of their decisions, God let them have their way, with many consequences in their lives. As a result, they realized what they were doing was wrong and decided to follow God’s way of living.
Why do we need to obey God? Do we need to obey all the biblical laws of God? There are at least 613 laws that God established in the Bible; how can we keep those 613 laws? God knows that we are imperfect that we cannot keep the Ten Commandments perfectly. We cannot keep all the 613 laws that God established for us to learn and obey. We have a hard time hearing and obeying God’s voice because of our sins.
So what do we do now? How can we have God in our lives again? Is there a simple law that we can keep?
If one of us seriously desires to have that relationship with God again, first, we need to repent of our sins and ask God for forgiveness. Although many TV evangelists use the “sinner prayer” as a repentance formula, there is no certain prayer in the Bible that we need to follow to pray. It is up to us individually alone to repent and ask God for forgiveness of our sins. Then, we may accept God as our Savior and follow what God says to us to do. If He says to enjoy going to the church, we may decide to go there. One thing God cannot do for us is make a decision for us.
We all have the freedom to live in this planet. God created us to have the freedom of choice. God didn’t make us robots that we cannot make our own decisions. Look at Abraham in Genesis 22; God called Abraham to sacrifice his own son Isaac as an offering to Him. It was hard for Abraham to obey God because he loved and had compassion for this young boy. But Abraham decided to obey God rather than following his own feeling; God blessed him and provided a ram, instead of Isaac, as his offering to the Lord. Because of his faithfulness and obedience, Abraham was included in the “Hall of Faith,” which is recorded in Hebrews 11.
God commands us to obey His voice because being obedient will lead us to greater things that we can’t imagine. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” If we want our dreams to come true, we first must acknowledge our Heavenly Father and seek Him before we ask Him for anything else. Jeremiah 29:11 said that God already knows what He wants to give us. Before He would like to give something to us, He would like to know that we have not neglected Him. The only way He knows that we can be trusted is if we make right choices and obey His command while we are living in this present age.
Of course, God knows that we cannot keep all 613 laws or even the first Ten Commandments. Instead, He gives only one law for us to keep. That is, love one another as our Heavenly Father loves us. If we love each another, we are doing more than just obeying the first Ten Commandments. We are fulfilling all the 613 laws if we obey one simple law that Jesus gives us to do.
Why is it love and not the first ten laws? I John 4 tells us that God is love and He loves and cares for us. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Romans 8:38-39 tells that there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Jesus also says that if we love Him, we need to obey His command. If we love Him and refuse to follow His command, it means that we do not love Jesus at all. This applies to human relationships as well.
God chose His Son, Jesus, to be a sacrificial offering for our sins. Throughout the Gospels, we see that Jesus was fully obedient to His Father. Even though He knew that many of His people would reject Him as their Messiah, He refused to disobey His Father’s will. Why? Jesus knew that His people didn’t know what they were doing to God.
Today, there are few people who choose to obey God and follow Him. Jesus tells us that there would be few who will make it to Heaven (Matthew 7:13-14), because only few have accepted Him and follow through His way of living. That’s why James warns that having faith but not showing our work is considered spiritually dead (James 2:14-26)—separation from God.
In addition to obeying God, we need to obediently love people. The last six commandments of the Ten Commandments are laws that are related to people. If we decide to not showing any respect to people, we are neglecting them as our guests, friends, business partners, or neighbors. Not do only we make them to feel unwelcome, we are breaking our loving relationship with Jesus Christ as well. But God says that we need to show respect to people by listening to them or have communication with them. It’s another way to be obedient. Also, we need to love them as our Heavenly Father loves us.
We cannot have faith in God unless we show respect to God and people. We can obey all the laws in the Bible, but remain unhappy in our lives. We can become a multimillionaire, but money doesn’t satisfy our needs. To satisfy our need, we need to establish a relationship with God and people through obedience.
Today, the divorce rate is high within families, because they disagree with each other and with God. They haven’t established good foundation of relationship. Many young people decide to go astray from their family by disobeying their parents. Many marriages have broken because the husband and wife don’t show any respect to each other. Most of them are from Christian homes.
To have success in life and marriage, we need to respect people; but mostly, we need to fully follow God’s instructions in our lives. It is up to us to make that decision.
Posted by MGJC Web Ministry
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Thursday, November 18, 2004
Where We Stand?
When we look at today’s world events, we see that our living style has changed over the generations. Throughout the years, our moral standards have also changed. If we look into our governmental systems, we will see that many laws have been added or taken away to make brand new laws for the people to follow. For example, God, in the early days of creation, established the law of marriage that it should be between one man and one woman. Today, in this twenty-first century, we see that the people want to redefine God’s law of marriage stating that any union, including some same sex unions, should be acceptable.
So we must ask ourselves these questions: Where do we stand and where are we on this issue? Is our world becoming a Sodom and Gomorrah ? The book of Genesis tells us that many ungodly people had been drinking, eating, and have some same sex marriages until God judged the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah .
While still living in the midst of this world’s standard, God tells us that we must not give up our identities to the world. Instead, we must continue to hold on to God’s moral standard of living. When we read the book of Genesis, we see that God’s standard was opposed by Isaac’s son, Esau. God blessed Jacob to be the father of the nation because of his desire to know God; and God rejected Esau because he decided to live his own way.
Although the moral standard of the world may be pleasing to us, it is not pleasing to God. Even though John 3:16 tells us that God loves the world, He is making reference to His love for the people and not to the pleasure of this sinful world. Jesus came to the world because He wanted to save His people from their sins. He wanted to rescue His people from the Prince of this world, Satan. First Peter 3:l8a says, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God…”
We must ask ourselves this question: Where do we stand? We have two choices, we may live moral life or immoral life as Psalm 1 declares. All people are born from different ethic and moral backgrounds. People from all around the world come to live in the bringing their beliefs with them. Some practice the rituals of Buddhism, Judaism, and Islam. Some of them teach to hate people or other religious people. Others might teach their people to love and care for others.
If we look at the religion of Islam, we see that their moral standards are totally opposite of what Christianity teaches, for example, in Christianity, Jesus teaches us to love each another while Islam teaches to hate anyone that is opposed to Islam. Unfortunately, the command to love each another is not in full operation in , even though its laws were established on godly moral principles. Because our constitution states that we accept all people and their rights to worship in their own way, we have opened the door to the moral decline of this country.
Even though we believe that this country is a Christian nation, it doesn’t mean that we are free from God’s judgment. He will begin to judge those who are in the House of God first. He will judge us according to what we have done with our gift of salvation. I do believe that He will judge us according to His moral standard. Paul says in II Timothy 4:8, “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”
Where do we stand? Jesus warned us that there will be only two ways to have eternal life, one way will lead us to eternal life with Him or eternal death with Satan.
Most of today’s preachers teach more on world ethics and moral standards of living, such as having a good marriage, stewardship, and family life. These teachings are good, but there is more than just having a successful life. Throughout the Bible, God teaches us how to have a successful life by having a relationship with Him. God wants to have a relationship with us. To have a successful life, doesn’t mean that God doesn’t care about our marriages, finances and family, but without Him it’s in vain.
This world was created by the hand of God and He created us to enjoy it and to have relationship with Him. Although Satan destroyed God’s creation, it doesn’t mean that he can rule our souls. Satan’s moral standard has no limits, but God’s standard for us has boundaries. God loves and cares for us; He wants us to learn His way of living.
Where are we? It’s our choice which way we want to live. Although is considered a Christian nation, it doesn’t mean that all the people living in are Christians, only those who accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. Some have other values for their life, but, it’s our decision to choose how we should live our lives.
Posted by MGJC Web Ministry
at 12:01 AM EST
Thursday, November 11, 2004
What it means the word exile to our lives? As we are going our days and schedules, there are some problems occur to our lives that are unusual for us to handle the situations right. Do you feel as if you are exile?
As we read in II Chronicles 36, the people of were turning against God and realized that they need God to repent their sins and rebuild the Temple of the Lord, so He can live with them.
In my own experience as I'm physical disabled and am in the training program, it's hard for me to stay in touch with God all days long as I'm going into some temptations and challenges. In his book, Run with the Horses, Eugene Peterson wrote, 'Exile pushed them [Israel] from the margins of life to the vortex where all the issues of life and death, love and meaning, purpose and value formed the dynamic everyday, participation-demanding realities of God's future with them... Exile is the worst that reveals the best.
'All of us given moments, days, months, years of exile. What will we do with them?' Eugene asked. In James 1:12 mentioned that temptation that we are facing is our exercises to prove that our faiths are connected with God. God doesn't put into the temptation or exile, but we did as the people of put themselves into the jeopardy of their lives.
Application in 'The Inspirational Bible' says, 'Do you feel as if you are in exile? Let disaster develop your character. Do not spend all your time seeking relief but reflect on what God wants to teach you. Ask him to show you what is really important.’
Read II Chronicles 36 and discover why we are in exile for God's kingdom.
If you would like to know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, please consider to ask Him to forgive your sin and come into your life today. Paul said in Romans 10:9, “That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. “
In the meantime, may God bless you.
Posted by MGJC Web Ministry
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Thursday, November 4, 2004
Biblical Time Period and Resurrection of Christ
In Jewish's time, the day begins at 6 PM and it goes on to 6 PM on the next day. In Genesis 1:5 says, "So the evening [6:01 PM to 6 AM] and the morning [6:01 AM to 6:00 PM] were the first day." This was the first time 24-hour period system that God created before somebody developed 12:01 AM as day starts point.
In the New Testament, Jesus told us that He will be in the heart of the earth for 3 days and 3 nights as Joanna was in the belly of the great fish (see Matthew 12:40). Most today's churches believed that having an Easter sunrise service means that Jesus resurrected on Sunday at 6:01 AM. If this is true, the book of Joanna would be considered as fictional story and Jesus' word would mean nothing to us.
Some believe that Jesus was buried on Wednesday at 6:00 PM. This theology may seem to be accurate time. If Jesus was buried on Friday at 6:01 PM, He would resurrect on Monday at 6:00 PM. This would mean that Mary shows up to the tomb on the third day of the week. If He rose on Sunday at 3 AM from Friday evening, that would mean He was in the heart of the earth for 1 day and 9 hours. And He cannot rise on Saturday, because that day is to be Sabbath, which would be constricted with the Sabbatical law.
If Jesus was buried on Wednesday at 6:00 PM, He would meet the requirement of the Passover of Lamb on Sabbath.
Posted by MGJC Web Ministry
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Thursday, October 28, 2004
Books of Old and New Testaments
Topic: Holy Words of God
One of the oldest books in the historical record of world events is the Bible. The Bible has been the best selling book throughout many years; it is the best published book in today's world. From the books of Genesis to Revelation, it tells us what happened in world history from the beginning, prediction of the world future event, and how we can live life on this earth. Both the Old and New Testaments are still relevant resources in our lives today.
Although it is the mostinspiring book ever published, both the Old and New Testaments have many aspectsof God's characters toward people. For example, the passage John3:16tells us how much God loves theworld that He sent His Son to us to show the light of path. In fact, the NewTestament has a completely different revelation of God who helped the Israelitesset free from the bondage of sufferings from their sins. However, the Old andNew Testaments reflect the character of God throughout all the 66books.
All the books in the Bible are all about God's character toward humanity that He created since the beginning of the world.
In the Old Testament, there are 39 books that are recorded about the earliest parts of the history of the Jewish world. From the books of Genesis to Malachi, the Old Testament provides us details on what happened in the earliest part of the world.
The Old Testament begins with the Book of Genesis which explains how God created this world and living creatures, including humans; how God brought down the first judgment to the earth; and how God choose three Patriarchs to form the twelve tribes of . After the first book, from the Book of Exodus and on, it begins telling about the beginning of the hardship that the people of were facing and how they turned to God. From then on, it explains how the Israelites created their own government, religion, and economy to try to walk away from God for several years; and then how they realized their mistakes and the effect on their lives and how they needed Him back in their lives.
In addition, books of the Old Testament were written by several Hebrew authors or scribers in the time of period BC or Before Christ. During this time period, God taught and disciplined His people about life in earth and how God was reliable to them and would bring a restoration in their lives. The Old Testament is split into five parts. There are the Laws of Moses, earliest prophets, writing and poetry, Major Prophets, and twelve Minor Prophets. Each section of the Old Testament has different themes and discusses many aspects of Jewish history. For example, in the prophets section of the Old Testament, it discusses the greater details of God's judgment against His people and how He saved them from the disastrous area. It also discusses what kind of judgment that God would bring on earth in the future to end the battle with Satan.
In contrast, the New Testament has 27 books that are recorded about the earliest history part of Christianity. It links from the Old Testament. The New Testament began after 400 years of God's silence to the world. During the 400 years, there was no word from the prophets who spoke to the people of . Instead, they did their own way to live a life, although God was waiting for them to repent their sins and have them back in His presence. After the end of 400 years, the new era had risen.
The New Testament begins with the first four books, which is called the gospel of Jesus Christ. It tells us about the life and teachings about Jesus Christ. Not only does it show the history of Jesus Christ, it also brings the complete picture of who God is and what He has planned for our lives. After the first four books of the New Testament, from the Book of Acts and on, it begins telling the beginning of Christianity and Church histories. The Book of Acts is different from any other books in the New Testament, because the story did not end after Paul preached God's message to the Roman citizens. In fact, the Book of Acts has never concluded the journey of Paul until God would complete to gather the church and take us home.
In addition, books of the New Testament were written by Greek or Gentile authors or scribers in the earliest time of period of AD or After Christ. During the early church era, there were many people who began to understand what Jesus Christ had done for them and began to convert themselves to Christianity. As many of them converted to Christianity, there was a great fight between Christians and Roman citizens; and Christians and Jews. There also was a great argument about who Jesus Christ was among many other religions. In fact, since early AD, many churches viewed Christianity differently and believed that they needed to separate from the other Christians.
The New Testament has no particular chronicle order to explain the history of Christianity. However, when we read the Book of Revelation, we would see many aspects of what God had done for us in the past, in the present, and what He will do in the future. In addition, many Christians would prefer the New Testament when it comes to learning about Christian living.
The Old and New Testaments also explain to us who God is and how people received the wonderful healing in their lives through Him. Although the Bible has two separate eras, it does not mean there are two different gods. One of the reasons is the both testaments reflect to each other. The Old Testament discusses about the coming of Messiah, which it leads to Jesus Christ. Also, it discusses who Jesus was throughout the Old Testament. Whenever we would like to know who Jesus was, we could go to the Old Testament to identify Him.
Even though the Bible is old, we can use it today as current guide resource for life situation, world update, and answer to our toughest situation. To prove that the Bible would lead to these, we may need to read the Bible and find related situation in our daily lives. Or we may believe that God's Word is the truth by looking at ourselves and have faith and trust that God can change our lives.
Some people changed their lives to one true God, because they believed in the faith of Jesus Christ. Whether we would believe or not that the both Old and New Testaments reveal about God's character and His wonderful works through the humanity, we would see the changes in people's lives because of their faiths in God's hands.
Posted by MGJC Web Ministry
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Saturday, February 7, 2004
I were Satan II: If I were Satan
Topic: If I were Satan
In today's society, many people are looking for answers to their lives after the event of Sept. 11, 2001 attack. Still the news media reports today's bad news. There are seeming the world has filled with the bad news as we are in the 21st century. The question is still remaining for us to answer when we all will meet Jesus Christ at face to face: What was your relationship with Jesus Christ?
Even we still experience many sufferings and trials in our life; we may often forget the important question in our lives. Why we face a challenge? What is God doing? If I were Satan, what would I do?
Read with me in John 14:30 as we answer that question. Jesus said, "I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming."
What Jesus meant these sentences? Although He showed Himself to His disciples after the resurrection, what He meant to us in this century? Before the reformation of the Church, there were a great religious movement going on between the Roman Catholicism and Paganism. The both religions became a partner to each other and they Christianized from their original background in about 300 A.D. Even before Jesus left on earth, He warned His disciples that there will be a great suffering on earth.
Even today, we see many ugly events among our people, nation, and the third world countries. We see many U.S. governments voted for abortion, alcohol, sexual activities, and drug administration. The Church has been separated from each other since the early church era. Many people are scattered to search for the answers.
In I Corinthians 1:10-17 and Chapter 3, Paul argued about the divisions in the Church. Paul asked, "Is Christ divided?" The word "denomination" means the division among the group. If the Baptist has the conference meeting, then Catholic Church doesn't show up. If there is Washington, DC conference and the both Catholic and Protestant Churches show up, then the Baptist Church doesn't go to that conference. Do we depend on our own denomination or the Word of God and our relationship with Christ? God does not looking for our performance and attendances in the Church. He does not looking for any favoritism in our church denomination. But He only wants to have the personal relationship with each of us.
There is a great different between the two passages of the Scripture. One is that God loved the world (John 3:16) and another one is hated the world (I John 3:15-17). In John 3:16 says, "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." According to this verse, Jesus didn't refer to this physical world, but in the heavenly world. If He loves so much of things in this world, He died for our sins. Yet God created this world, we are still bound into sins and our sins cannot wash away unless Jesus Christ came to the world to demonstrate how He loves us and would like to take us into His world that He created and loved.
Satan is an enemy of God. The Bible recognizes Satan as deceiver, devil, Lucifer, dragon, serpent, and the World Prince. He was in the world since God created the earth, heaven, and creatures. In Genesis 3, Satan tricked Eve and Adam with the one of fruits that God warned them not to eat. In Job 1, he was at the Heaven with God's angels to temp Him by accusing the life of Job. In Matthew 4, he was trying to tempt Jesus at the wilderness after 40 days and nights. Satan was and is the Prince of this world since the event of Garden Eden.
This world is belonged to Satan until God will put him into his own world, Hell. Because he is ruling of this world, God cannot enjoy His creation any longer. Yet He is still loved us, we have the choice to love God or to love our own deeds. If we love the world, the love of the Father is not in us. "For everything in the world... comes not from the Father but from the world." In the same way, if we love the world much than God, He can't just love us and take into His home. The place is called Hell real. God created Hell for those who reject Him, even though He doesn't want any of us to go there. Hell is filled with gnash of the teeth, lake of fire, a place of remembrance, and a separation from God.
Look at today's America. Our country has been turned to the day of Gomorrah and Sodom and filled with variety religious and cultural activities. Satanism Secret Society, Gothicism, and other unfamiliar occults are already developed in this country. Our economic system is becoming greater than other parts of the world.
But where are you in this point of the time? If you and I were Satan, where we will be after we die? These characteristics of Hell and Satan are real and realistic. But God doesn't want to see any of us to go to Hell and enjoy our eternal life with Satan, but we may choose to go there for eternality. Jesus didn't just die on the cross 2000 years ago to wash away all our sins, but that He may have the personal relationship with each of us from now and throughout the eternality.
Jesus said, "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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God." (John 3:16-21.).
Posted by MGJC Web Ministry
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Wednesday, December 3, 2003
The Prophetic Call
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. (Joel 2:28-29 KJV)
God said that He will pour out His Spirit to all people to reveal His plan to them. For example, in Acts 2, we see the fulfillment of the prophecy in Joel of God’s Spirit being poured out. When we read Acts 2, the apostles received the gift of the Spirit to proclaim His message to the entire world. “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:4).”
So how do some receive the gift of the prophecy and other do not? How can we hear the prophetic call from God?
We first need to understand that God has many gifts and He gives them severally. He gives us the same Spirit, but different gifts and receiving a prophetic calling is one of them. When God gives us a gift, we must obey His commands. Remember Jonah? God called him to go to Nineveh and proclaim His message to the people, but He refused to follow God’s plan (Jonah 1:1-3). If we disobey God’s call, we are misusing our gifts.
Our obedience to God is the key to successfully using His gift. Jesus says in John 14:10, “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love…” Obedience is also the key to living in God’s unconditional love. When a child obeys his parents fully, he receives great rewards from them, such as love and praise.
Unfortunately, we see some teenagers decide to part from their parents’ covering to live on their own, and commit acts that are not pleasing to them or God. Just like Jonah, they decide to go the other way rather than do what God directed to him.
Although we might think that hearing a voice in our minds is optional, hearing from God is not. We can ignore the voice of God, but He will keep trying to call us to fulfill His plan.
Not only do we need to obey God’s voice, we also need to have the desire to do the work for His kingdom. When God called Jonah, he didn’t have a desire to do the work that he was assigned to. Why did God call Jonah when he didn’t have a desire? In I Corinthians 1:27, Paul says that “…God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty...” God used Jonah to glorify Himself to the people of Nineveh . Even today, He uses people to reveal Himself, but the question is: Are we going to obey or disobey His calling?
While Jonah was captured by a big fish (Jonah 2), he realized that being disobedience didn’t help much. He spent three days and nights in the belly of the fish praying to God. He realized that God wasn’t joking around with him. Swallowed by a fish was Jonah’s punishment from God.
When God called Jonah a second time to go to Nineveh to proclaim His message, he obeyed the call, but argued with God. Although he knew the people of Nineveh would surrender to God, Jonah wished that God would punish them. Jonah didn’t like the idea of having a great revival in Nineveh because they were enemies of , but God asked him, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plan?” (Jonah 4:9a.)
What if God calls us to go to the prisons to proclaim His message to the hundreds of prisoners? We might think it is impossible to share His Word to unsaved people, but God won’t let us go to an unknown people without a plan. We might struggle with God as Jonah did, because we would like to be used more with well-known people.
Did Jesus command us to go to the well-known people to proclaim the Gospel? No! He didn’t. In Matthew 5:44, Jesus says that we need to love our opponents, bless those who don’t agree with us, do good to those who hate us and pray for those who spitefully use us and reject us. This principle may be hard for us to apply because we don’t do this as often. When we obey God’s command in unfamiliar assignments, God will reward us greatly.
To receive a prophetic gift doesn’t mean that we can do whatever we would like to do. Being a pastor or inspirational writer is a part of the prophetic calling from God. The pastor or inspirational writer must listen and obey what God has to say to us. This is the only way to begin to grow in our spiritual lives. If we don’t obey God, we are useless for the kingdom.
Jonah experienced this in a hard way; he didn’t fully understand what God had provided for him. Now, it is up to us to obey God’s calling. What will our response be when God calls us?
Posted by MGJC Web Ministry
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