HE has spoken to us by HIS SON

Christology

“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me”

Many years ago, I attended the launch and presentation of a book on Israel, and the author listed the subjects in Systematic Theology normally taught in bible schools.  He remarked that Israelogy has been left out of most the theological curriculum. I agreed fully. Arnold Fruchtenbaum had written about this and championed for this neglected subject to be included.

However, when I looked at the list on the board, I realized that Christology was placed as one of the subjects together with the rest.

Suddenly it dawned on me that studying and experiencing Christ should be the all-encompassing, all-embracing, grand and sweeping preoccupation, way above every other subject!  He cannot be replaced, misplaced or displaced!  Even the song sung by Israel Houghton “Jesus At The Center” could only scratch the surface of Him Who is all worthy. I believe if seminaries and bible schools would teach the supremacy and preeminence of Jesus and His finished work on the cross as the central thread and axis around which all other subjects are wound, the ramification would be awesome and life-changing in the churches.

Jesus at the center of it all, Jesus at the center of it all
From beginning to the end
It will always be, it’s always been You, Jesus, Jesus

Jesus, nothing else matters
Nothing in this world will do
Jesus, You’re the center
Everything revolves around You
Jesus, You at the center of it all, The center of it all

From my heart to the Heavens, Jesus be the center
It’s all about You, yes, it’s all about You
From my heart to the Heavens, Jesus be the center
It’s all about You, yes, it’s all about You

So Jesus, be the center of Your church
Jesus be the center of Your church
And every knee will bow
And every tongue shall confess You Jesus, Jesus
Say His name, Jesus, Jesus

From my heart to the Heavens, Jesus be the center
It’s all about You, yes, it’s all about You 
     

Fall From Grace

Liberty in the LORD 2

Liberty in the Lord leads to a Life in the Spirit with His Fruit in the believer.

It doesn’t make sense to me. How could a local church which has impacted thousands (locally and overseas) with the preaching of the Bible have six members of their leadership found guilty of misleading members on the use of church funds? Personally, I reckon it has to do with the incomplete understanding of scriptures.

And I also tried to fathom how my own church which has impacted millions worldwide (one can read the testimonies of the thousands who have been transformed by the Gospel of Grace) could have members who are regular and comfortable in the pews and yet have accusations levelled at a few for inconsistencies (in true-life anecdotes and in the social media). Somebody I know was taken advantage (working conditions) by an employer from my church and who reportedly ‘rub shoulders’ with church leaders.  When someone marketed an investment to me, he lauded the standing and character of his principal boss as being from my church.  Soon, this boss / church member had to flee the country upon complaints to the authorities, leaving behind many who lost millions.  With his “credentials” I would have invested much (and consequently lose much) if not for my limited resources.

Both the above anecdotal incidents relate to money matters, or rather to Mammon. What is happening? Personally, I reckon it has to do with the incomplete teaching and understanding of scriptures. Or could the pulpit be unconsciously encouraging the pursuit of prosperity when highlighting the goodness and unmerited favour of God to bless us materially? Has the pulpit been too eager to champion God’s Grace, blessings and benefits compatible with secular conventional wisdom to make our message attractive? And in so doing, have we rationalised and justified the pursuit of prosperity? So we narrate anecdotes of believers getting a double promotion, a big pay increment! Preach this in Cambodia, and they will tell us how can it be when they do not even have a job! No, proof texting on prosperity appeals to conventional wisdom and the human desires found also in the temptations in the garden and the wilderness!

It is the new normal nowadays for the pulpit to teach scriptures topically or in a partial manner, instead of expositing scriptures in the form (complete chapters, books) it was delivered.  The preacher is subject to the text, not the other way around. Scripture is the authority, and its message must be presented honestly, apart from personal bias.  A topical approach tends towards license for our own opinions and personal inclinations. Expositional teaching will give a fuller, more balanced picture of the “whole counsel of God”.

Randal Runions said = 1) A steady diet of topical sermons does little to help Christians learn the content and contours of the Bible. 2) The preacher, rather than the book of the Bible, determines the preaching agenda, often leaving the congregation with an unbalanced diet. 3) Bible passages can easily be wrenched out of context to support the points of the sermon. 4) It reveals a lack of confidence that “all Scripture is…useful” and relevant (II Timothy 3:16).

 

The Gospel of Grace indeed has restored, refreshed and renewed thousands of believers who have been wounded by the mixed message of discipleship / obedience / commitment so pervasive in many churches. It has also enlightened weak brethren not soundly established in the Gospel of Grace. That is why I often share that churches should spend six months in a year teaching on the legacy of our salvation, on the doctrines of the Gospel of Grace; and to preach the Gospel to ourselves every day.

Indeed this awesome, amazing and dazzling teaching has shone a light and liberated many who are weak and wounded by years of wrong teaching in churches.

On the other hand, in espousing the Gospel of Grace as the “full counsel of God” (??) and proclaiming that fruit bearing is automatic is definitely misleading and damaging. Citing testimonies of lives changed and transformed by the Gospel of Grace as examples that indeed Grace does not lead to sin may not portray or reflect the experience of the ENTIRE community of Christ, or the Full Counsel of the Gospel of Grace!

I found this out when I returned to the book of Galatians.  The pulpit has taught that “falling from Grace” is a return to the legalistic bindings of the law; after having been freed from being a slave to the law and the disciplines of works (which are impossible to fulfill, and heavy and implacable burdens to bear).

But I have yet to receive teaching that falling from Grace also means a descent into libertinism. This is clearly and forcefully taught in the latter part of Galatians. Romans chapter 6 bears this out beautifully, collaborating with the need for sanctification. There is abundant grace for sin committed in weakness.  But for sin committed in willfulness, there is this reminder that we must be instruments for righteousness, abandoning all passions and desires. There must be sanctification by right living, following right believing, having been saved by Grace, to be strong in Grace and to stand in true Grace.

Proclaiming my position in Christ that “I have the Righteousness of Christ” is an affirmation of my salvation from sin.  And whenever I sin (verb) my confessions of sins reaffirm my position in Christ, and also reminds me not to have the liberty to make light of my sins. Proclaiming that “I have the Righteousness of Christ” does assuage the conscience and any sense of condemnation. But this incomplete teaching could also anaesthetize our conscience to the deceitfulness of sin, to rationalize and forgive / excuse ourselves.  No – our conscience can also be a “spiritual alarm system” illumined by the Holy Spirit Who alerts us to our sins and point us to repent and change, in our minds, and subsequently in our behavior, lest we deceive ourselves. No wonder many has warned us of the teachings of Hyper Grace.

Truly the Gospel of Grace proclaims that we have Liberty in the LORD. It is  

  • Not to live according to the law of works and self righteousness  AND
  • Not to live APART from the law of the Spirit which is lawlessness.

It behooves all, especially those entrusted with teaching of the Word to determine the full counsel of God in the flow of the scriptures and in the format it was written and delivered.  In the previous post, I referred to Frank Viola’s chapter on “The Bible is Not a Zigsaw Puzzle”.

We must avoid the approach to scriptures with scissors and glue, cutting  and pasting isolated, disjointed sentences  from  different  epistles,  lifting them  out  of their  real-life setting, lashing them together  to build floatable doctrines, and then calling it ― the Word  of God.

‘Proof texting’ using isolated proof texts can become a weapon in the hands of agenda-driven men. It is because the text have been lifted out of their historical context. Each letter (epistle) has been plucked from its chronological sequence and removed from its real-life setting. Put another way, text has been transformed into a series of isolated, disjointed, fragmented sentences—so anyone can lift one sentence from one letter, another sentence from another letter, and then paste them together to create a …. philosophy of his or her choice.

Proof texting on prosperity has been the bane in churches and often derided and disparaged by the world, and we have been held with ridicule and disdain. It has lured believers to the deceitfulness of wealth, and to the unrestrained behavior and extremes in many WOF groups. Rarely do I find regular consistent expository teaching in WOF churches.  Rather it is weekly doses of topical teachings.

Likewise, incomplete and inadequate exposition of the complete content and context of the Galatians have neglected and negated the dangers of libertinism and the license to indulge in the flesh.

The Bible Is Not a Zigsaw Puzzle

pagan christianityScriptures in Context – the grammatical, historical, cultural and specific peculiar intent of the textual content.

Background

I started this blog 3 years ago after I heard how 3 John 2 was preached in my church.  (Since then, most of the blog content has to do with the Health & Wealth teachings – elements of which started in the garden and the wilderness temptations, and now sadly disseminated from the pulpit.)

I just wondered how there are still many around who continue to hold to the prayer for prosperity when Jim Bakker was incarcerated after such a belief led him to the pursuit of prosperity – having experienced the grace and freedom in the Lord, that believers could fall from grace into legalism and libertinism! (I hope to write about this from the book of Galatians). I believe that is what happened in CHC, as it happened with Jimmy Bakker.

In 1966, the Bakkers started working at Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network, and greatly contributed to the growth of the network. Later, they created the “Praise the Lord” show for Paul Crouch and the Bakker’s new Trinity Broadcasting Network. The rest is history.

From wiki – “In their success, the Bakkers took conspicuous consumption to an unusual level for a nonprofit organization. According to Frances FitzGerald in an April 1987 New Yorker article, “They epitomized the excesses of the 1980s; the greed, the love of glitz, and the shamelessness; which in their case was so pure as to almost amount to a kind of innocence.”

I read Jimmy Bakker’s book “I Was Wrong” written when he was in prison, and have been on guard ever since.  Immitating the Bereans, but moreso like the Ethiopian.  I learn to understand the scriptures and the importance of sound doctrines <> satanic doctrines.

“Bakker has renounced his past teachings on prosperity theology, saying they were wrong. In his 1996 book, I Was Wrong, he admitted that the first time he actually read the Bible all the way through was while he was in prison, and that it made him realize he had taken certain passages out of context — passages which he had used as “proof texts” to back up his prosperity teachings. He wrote:

“The more I studied the Bible, however, I had to admit that the prosperity message did not line up with the tenor of Scripture. My heart was crushed to think that I led so many people astray. I was appalled that I could have been so wrong, and I was deeply grateful that God had not struck me dead as a false prophet!”  (source https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Bakker)

“He wrote another book ” Prosperity and the Coming Apocalypse” and feedback in Amazon commented =

“God has truly inspired Mr. Bakker to warn all Christians of the “THE DANGERS OF MATERIALISTIC CHRISTIANITY IN THE END TIMES”. I walked away with eyes to see, ears to hear, and an urgency to love Jesus with all my heart for we are one in the same. Mr. Bakker has awakened the silent death of false teachings concerning prosperity. Teachings that have plagued so many Christians with spiritual death”

Frank Viola said in http://www.paganchristianity.org/Pagan_Ch11.pdf, in the chapter on “THE BIBLE IS NOT A JIGSAW PUZZLE”  that the problem most Christians have in understanding what the scriptures says

“by an approach “most commonly used among contemporary Christians when studying the Bible is called ― proof texting.”  He continues “This set the stage for the idea that if we lift a verse out of the Bible, it is true in its own right and can be used to prove a doctrine or a practice.”

“The Protestant scholastics held that not only is the Scripture the Word of God, but every part of it is the Word of God in and of itself—irrespective of context.”

“God’s people have approached the New Testament with scissors and glue, cutting and pasting isolated, disjointed sentences from different letters, lifting them out of their real-life setting, lashing them together to build floatable doctrines, and then calling it ―the Word of God”

We Christians have been taught to approach the Bible in one of eight ways:

1) You look for verses that inspire you. Upon finding such verses, you either highlight, memorize, meditate upon, or put them on your refrigerator door.

2) You look for verses that tell you what God has promised so that you can confess it in faith and thereby obligate the Lord to do what you want.

3) You look for verses that tell you what God commands you to do.

4) You look for verses that you can quote to scare the devil out of his wits or resist him in the hour of temptation.

5) You look for verses that will prove your particular doctrine so that you can slice-and-dice your theological sparring partner into biblical ribbons. (Because of the proof-texting method, a vast wasteland of Christianity behaves as if the mere citation of some random, decontextualized verse of Scripture ends all discussion on virtually any subject.)

6) You look for verses in the Bible to control and/or correct others.

7) You look for verses that ―preach well and make good sermon material. (This is an ongoing addiction for many who preach and teach.)

8) You sometimes close your eyes, flip open the Bible randomly, stick your finger on a page, read what the text says, and then take what you have read as a personal ―word from the Lord.”

“Now look at this list again. Which of these approaches have you used? Look again: Notice how each is highly individualistic. All of them put you, the individual Christian, at the center. Each approach ignores the fact that most of the New Testament was written to corporate bodies of people (churches), not to individuals. But that is not all. Each of these approaches is built on isolated proof texting. Each treats the New Testament like a manual and blinds us to its real message”

“We have been taught to approach the Bible like a jigsaw puzzle. Most of us have never been told the entire story that lies behind the letters that Paul, Peter, James, John, and Jude wrote. We have been taught chapters and verses, not the historical context.”

One will have to read http://www.paganchristianity.org/Pagan_Ch11.pdf.  I am definitely sure that it will open up more panoramas, vistas of how we could enjoy the New Testament, and have our minds and hearts enlightened and illumined.  I have been printing out this chapter and also emailed to many others, and the NT is being restored to its context and intent, and minds and hearts are renewed.

God Desires to Bless Us – the Aaronic Blessing

710JD+LZSnLThe law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul  (Psalms 119:7)

Indeed God’s Word is perfect.  “at many times and in many ways, God spoke” (Heb 1:1).  He has revealed Himself in historical events (Egypt and Passover), visually (rainbow, bronze serpent, Noah’s ark, the Tabernacle, the Menorah, etc), Hebrew words and alphabet, the Feasts and seasons, colours, numbers, metals, personalities in types, etc to point to His Beloved Son, lest we fail to see that He has now spoken to us by his Son in these last days.

Many indeed has been astounded and awed by the fresh vista and vigour of God’s character and compassion when meditating devotionally in the words and alphabet of Hebrew, the language of God’s people. While devotional meditations augment one’s affection, awe, adoration and admiration for our Lord, it must not trigger off a devotional license to superimpose and overlay my devotions over established doctrines and teachings, or even to overstate or inflate such meditations as revelations of new teachings (actually recognising and realizing God’s revelation), or to draw attention to oneself as the source? of such enlightening “truth”. For “…. there is nothing new under the sun. Is there a thing of which it is said,  “See, this is new”?  It has been already in the ages before us.” (Ecc 1)

Devotional meditations must be consistent with the major and main biblical body of truth.

John Garr’s book “Our Lost Legacy” – restoring our Hebraic root of our faith” has been most instructional and illuminating to me.  Another of his book is “Bless You – Restoring the Power of Biblical Blessing”

How I was awed and filled with joy when I read his devotional explanation of the Aaronic Blessing in the original Hebrew language.  One must read it as this 2nd hand sharing would do injustice.

Numbers 6:22-26 (Jewish Orthodox Bible)

And Hashem spoke unto Moshe, saying, Speak unto Aharon and unto his Banim, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the Bnei Yisroel, saying unto them,

Y’varekhekha Adonai v’yishmerekha

(Hashem bless thee, and keep thee);

Ya’er Adonai panav eleikha vichunekha

(Hashem make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee);

Yissa Adonai panav eleikha v’yasem l’kha shalom

(Hashem lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee shalom).

Firstly, within this 3-fold blessing there are 3, 5 and 7 Hebrew words in the respective blessing and benevolence upon His people

3 – God the Father Who desires to bless and keep us;

5 – the Son full of Grace (represented by the number 5), Who manifested, displayed and portrayed to us the Almighty Heavenly Father, as (Matt 17:2)

“If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” ….  “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.”  Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? (John 14:8,9)

7 – the Holy Spirit (Revelation mentions the seven spirits of God, sent into the world).

Secondly, within the 3-fold blessing, there are 5, 10 and 15 letters.  5 letters in the first 3 words, 10 letters in the second 5 words, and 15 letters in the last seven words.

Multiples of 5 – how God the Father has blessed us in His Son, Grace multiplied, Grace upon Grace!!!! Hallelujah.

Just as the prayer and blessing is for us to have spiritual revelation and wisdom to know Christ manifested in His face, so that our hearts can be enlightened (Eph 1:17,18), the prayer and blessing is for the Holy Spirit to lift up His face towards us and fill us with His shalom peace that is beyond understanding (Phil 4:7,9).  Indeed, He Who is the Comforter, will stoop down to my level, and in doing so, He lifts up His face and look at me with His tender eyes. Or as another put it, the Holy Spirit, in His role, in lifting us up towards Jesus, also lifts up His face upon us! He is ever my Comforter (Jn 14), and my Commander, Captain, Counsellor and Companion.  He will hug me, hold me by my hand as I pilgrim on to my blessed hope!

Hallelujah! What a Heavenly Father, what a Saviour, what a Comforter and Counsellor!

The Leaven of the Health and Wealth teachings

The leaven of the birds of the air.       

Lately, I have been writing about the different realms of wisdom as mentioned in the book of James – spiritual, secular and satanic.  It is utmost that my life is governed and directed by the power and life of the Holy Spirit – Spiritual revelations of the King’s values, rather than secular reasonings (1 Cor 2:14-16, Prov 3:5, Rom 12:2,) or satanic reckonings (Matt 4:10, 16:23, James 3:15).  It is real that Satan not only displaces God’s Word from our midst as in the parable of the Sower, but also tempts us when he replaces God’s Word with his own satanic doctrines, distortions, deceptions which appears to be reasonable and wise (2 Cor 2:11).

O how we ever need to pray for His deliverance from the evil one, the world of evil, the work of evil, the workers of evil (both seen and unseen), the words and wisdom of evil (inclusive of secular earthly wisdom).  We should not be ignorant of the diabolical wiles of the evil one to destroy all that Jesus stands for.

God willing and enabling, I intend to dwell at length in future into how secular wisdom and reasonings and satanic reckonings have displaced and replaced the Spirit’s and scriptural teachings with regards to Health and Wealth in our churches today.

Alby would be having David Holdaway speak on the 14th Nov 2015.  I signed up immediately.  What attracted me was the mailer describing his book, which would also be issued for participants

“When Jesus used the Aramaic term mammon to refer to wealth He was giving it a personal and spiritual character in Matthew 6:24. He personified mammon as a rival god, a spiritual power, an idol that can become infused with demonic energy. He was saying that if we do not gain power over money then money will gain power over us and attract spiritual forces to capture and control our lives. This is why the Apostle Paul could say, “The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” The devil knows that followers of Christ will not willingly bow to him but if he can get them to bow down to money he will use it to pull their strings like puppets as he becomes their puppet master.

David Holdaway, who who has written four books on finance, will speak about the social and spiritual forces connected to money and the differences between Gods’ economic kingdom and the world’s (devil’s) economic system. Learn how to be a master over money and wealth and live in God’s blessing instead of being a bondage to it. This is a seminar that will transform your perspective.

Two of the biggest mistakes many of these make when they speak about financial increase is that firstly, they tend to quote scripture selectively.  Jesus said, “Man shall not live on bread alone but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”  When a half truth is presented as a whole truth, it becomes an untruth.”

 

This morning, I started reading Gordon Fee’s book “The Disease of the Health and Wealth Gospel”. He is the eminent Pentecostal theologian and scholar, whose book “How To Read the Bible …” is a classic text for bible schools.  He wrote (in italics)

The pitch (by H&W proponents) says: “It’s in the Bible; God says it; so think God’s thoughts; claim it, and it’s yours.”

Not all who propagate this “gospel” do so as boldly, nor are they necessarily enemies of Christ; nonetheless their message consists of a dangerous twisting of God’s truth which seems to fit the American dream far more than the self-sacrificial discipleship taught by Jesus and exemplified in Paul.

The basic problems here are hermeneutical; i.e., they involve questions as to how one interprets Scripture ….

The most distressing thing about their use of Scripture is the purely subjective and arbitrary way they interpret the Biblical text. Thus in one of the more popular books we read: “We are putting the Word of God first and foremost throughout this study; not what we think it says, but what it actually says.” 

This is nobly said; but what does it mean? Implied is the hint that interpretations that differ from the author’s are based on what people think, not on what the Bible says.

Such “interpretations” are usually attributed to the Holy Spirit. More likely, however, they come from the evangelists’ own free associations in “meditation.”

…… The selectivity of Biblical texts by these evangelists allows them to espouse a view not taught anywhere in the New Testament, and also carefully to avoid hundreds of texts that stand squarely in opposition to their teaching.

Conventional wisdom sees life always in terms of quid pro quo, one thing in return for another.

But conventional wisdom is not Biblical.

Conventional wisdom is simply unreliable.

Conventional wisdom, therefore, cannot be made a part of the Biblical view of poverty and prosperity.

(Gordon Fee as portrayed in Charisma magazine –

 http://www.charismamag.com/spirit/bible-study/11740-a-professor-with-spirit



The pulpit has introduced leaven in the form of Conventional wisdom in teaching believers, and unwittingly opened the door for the words of evil into the food basket and menu in feeding the flock. Sigh.  See my previous posts on the teachings on the Birds by AW Pink and Jacob Prasch.
Just read this related article. 

https://bible.org/article/bankruptcy-prosperity-gospel-exercise-biblical-and-theological-ethics

Spiritual Cataracts

“Lord, let our eyes be opened.”  

Over coffee this afternoon, a dear brother taught me something I failed to see.  He is most astute and insightful, something so evident, discernable and noticeable.  He said we can suffer from Spiritual Cataracts.

(from Allaboutvision) – Cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss in people over age 40 and is the principal cause of blindness in the world. In fact, there are more cases of cataracts worldwide than there are of glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy combined……

(from Wiki) A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye leading to a decrease in vision. It can affect one or both eyes. Often it develops slowly. Symptoms may include faded colors, blurry vision, halos around light, trouble with bright lights, and trouble seeing at night. This may result in trouble driving, reading, or recognizing faces. Poor vision may also result in an increased risk of falling and depression. Cataracts are the cause of half of blindness and 33% of  impairment worldwide ……

 

So cataract affects those who are aging. When Isaac was old and his eyes were dim so that he could not see” (Gen 27:1).  But it is a bigger problem if I fail to recognize and acknowledge that I have this problem.  I didn’t know.  It took an external ophthalmologist to tell me so.

It seemed that I was unware, or rather really blind to the deterioration in my vision, and would have not been aware of my plight if not for a visit to the Eye Center for a problem with persistent discharge in one eye. The ophthalmologist  detected a more serious problem – both my eyes had cataract.  The deterioration had been so nondescript, innocuous and gradual that I thought I was having normal excellent vision all along.

Scriptures warned of a greater dilemma than physical sight or vision.  It is spiritual vision.  And it is the gradual clouding of our sight of spiritual realities. It is so gradual; and like the proverbial frog, could not sense the pain and pangs, by the gradual process of heating in a pot of water, that comes from losing our sensitivity – not aware, not awake and not alert.

Like the process of aging, I did not realise that I my vision was failing.  And as I “advance”  in my spiritual life through the decades, my spiritual vision could be failing. The problem is compounded when I reason that with the years, and increasingly attending more church services, read and studied more of the bible, participated regulary in cell groups, I should be matured or maturing.    Instead of seeing that which is eternal, I can lapse into thinking that I am growing, and getting more matured and experienced, am right and correct – in my views and convictions.  In reality, I could be getting blind when I see that which are temporal and according to secular reasoning and satanic reckonings (as in James) that come with experience, and age.

After the patch was removed from the first eye (they told me that it is best to perform the second cataract surgery a fortnight later), I saw a lady with a brown tee-shirt with my un-operated eye – in front of me. To my amazement, with the corrected eye, the tee-shirt was actually bright yellow!  My vision was truly ‘clouded’ and corrupted.

And how could I miss the biblical warnings on being sightless or shortsighted –

“…. and look, you blind, that you may see!  Who is blind but my servant,
or deaf as my messenger whom I send? Who is blind as my dedicated one, or blind as the servant of the Lord?  He sees many things, but does not observe them;”  (Isa 42:18-20)

“And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. (Matt 26:43)

“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”  (Matt 6:22)

“For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’  (Matt 13:15)

…. blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. (Matt 13:16)

And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire. (Matt 18:9)

When he entered the house, the blind men came to him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.”  And their eyes were opened.”  (Matt 9:28-30)

And stopping, Jesus called them and said, “What do you want me to do for you?” They said to him,

“Lord, let our eyes be opened.”     And Jesus in pity touched their eyes, and immediately they recovered their sight and followed him.  (Matt 20:32-34)
P/S (03Nov2015 Edit)

“‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; …” (Ac 2:17)

Peter, filled with the Spirit began to preach.  Why did he reverse the order of the young men and the old men first prophesied in Joel?  I can’t guess.  Can I bank on the years of accumulated experience and presume the eminence of nobility of age that my vision has not dimmed?

My vision is also hampered by the epochs of the last days!  The NT speaks much of the nights.

“But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, ….” (Jn 11:10)

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Ps 119:105)

““Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’”  Matt 25:1-8

We do have the lamp of the Words of life. But the light is failing and dimming.  We need the oil to energize the lamp to continue to light up that which is true, spiritual and eternal.

A fortnight ago, my granddaughter (not yet 2) wanted some potato chips.  So I put a few pieces onto her personal bowl. But she retorted in her limited vocabulary – and said “pour, pour” (Tit 3:5,6).   Yes, the flesh needs the Spirit. I need the Holy Spirit every moment to fill me, and be poured onto me to renew my entire being, lest I lose my vision and my hearing. 

I need to have my eyes checked often – 2 Cor 13:5. To test whether my vision and sight is on things that are above this world of secular and conventional reasonings and rationale, or of Spiritual eternal values. 

They Will Kill Us (the two witnesses)

Rabbi Threatens: Messianic Jewish Evangelists Deserve Death

http://www.israeltoday.co.il/Default.aspx?tabid=178&nid=27637

Last week, I read about the death threat by a Rabbinic leader for two staff members from One for Israel.  3 days ago, I went up to Eitan Bar (who was at St Andrews Cathedral), and said that I am praying for him.  He said “Oh, you know?”

I met him again yesterday at a function, and went up to him and asked whether he is afraid, added that he should not be afraid since the Rabbinical leader is based in New York and not Israel.  Eitan said that he is not so afraid of the rabbi, it is more of his followers all over Israel.  (Dr Erez confirmed that there are regular attacks from the extreme Jews.  So the threat is real, very real.  Let’s pray for our brethren – the messianic Jews.

And yesterday, Dr Erez surprised Eitan by disclosing that yesterday was Eitan’s birthday.  So spontaneously we sang “Happy Birthday” to Eitan.  And at the end of the session, sang again when a sister found a candle and put in on a cut-up banana cake (from which half the pieces were already eaten by us during the break) and walked up to Eitan.  We sang again.  O such a happy day.  I went up to Eitan, and said, without anything for his birthday, I shared from my phone the Youtube song “Rejoice O Israel” composed by NCC, and presented at the Southern Steps of the Old City of Jerusalem.  Both Dr Erez and Eitan has not heard that song, and would watch that video again in their own time. 

In a separate video response to Mizrachi’s threat, Bar and Vaknin asked for prayers for their personal safety, but also expressed forgiveness and love for the wayward rabbi.

“Rabbi Mizrachi, we still love you, forgive your incitement, and refuse to hate you back,” said Vaknin.

Yeshua said “They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever killyou will think that he offers God service.” (John 16:2)