This year had been difficult. There is not much of a chance to write and pen down my thoughts often. Parenting had been hard, no matter how much effort you pour into it. It will never be viewed as enough, nor can it satisfy anyone. Finding the time to update a blog had become a luxury that is hard to come by.

But somehow, we arrived at the end of the year. It is about time to think and reflect. A time to give thanks and to resolve.

Be thankful For All God Had Provided 

Indeed, I believe that many of us received a fair amount of blessing, even those in the midst of trouble also received some help from the Lord. Perhaps some of us may even received a good abundance and have much to thank God for. In the midst of these blessings, let us remember the Lord God. Let us continue to keep his commandments and follow his path

Just as God through Moses once reminded the children of Israel

“Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God
  by not keeping His commandments, His judgments,
  and His statutes which I command you today, 
   lest—when you have eaten and are full, and have
  built beautiful houses and dwell in them; 
   and when your herds and your flocks multiply,
  and your silver and your gold are multiplied,
   and all that you have is multiplied; 
  when your heart is lifted up, and you forget
  the Lord your God who brought you out of the
  land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; ……..
  then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might
  of my hand have gained me this wealth.’”"- Moses (Deut 8:11-14)

Indeed, in days of peace and abundance, there is a risk for us to think that we are the reasons for our success. Especially in a world where we are taught to believe in our own strength and to fight. We tend to forget this simple reminder from the Psalm

“Unless the Lord builds the house,
  They labor in vain who build it;
  Unless the Lord guards the city,
  The watchman stays awake in vain.”- Solomon (Ps 127:1)

I do think that human being need to work hard for success. God had never condoned laziness. In fact even when God rain manna to feed the children of Israel. They are required to get up early before the sun rise to gather manna for their daily bread. God did not rain it once a week and tell the children of Israel to work all at once and rest the entire week. In fact they are only allowed to gather what they need for the day for 6 days. The only exception is on the Friday where they are allowed to gather two portions so that they can keep the Sabbath.

But we need to remind ourselves that our effort by itself is never enough to gain such success. The work of our hands still require the guidance and opportunities given by God in order to achieve success. Therefore as we enjoy these fruit of success, we need to remember God and to be thankful for all he had provided.

We should also be thankful for the friends, and the good people that he had put around us. As well as the many troubles and trials we need to go through. For all these are given by God so that we can better ourselves and build up our faith for the next year.

Be Mindful That The End Of All Things Is At Hand

As the year draws to the close, we draw ever closer to the second coming of God. It is indeed true if we compare the state of the world and how society had change. The modern world no longer persecute the believers of God by throwing them into prisons and lion dens. For those had never successfully deterred Christians from following God.

The modern world now hide under the flag of progressiveness and human rights. Where the rights of certain individuals can supersede the rights of many others who just wanted to lead normal lives. They insist that they were being attacked, bullied by Christians holding on to Victorian era morality.

Indeed, the bible warn us of this time long ago.

“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 
  For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters,
  proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 
  unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal,
  despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure,
  rather than lovers of God,  having a form of godliness but denying its
  power. And from such people turn away!”-Paul (2 Tim 3:1-5)

As Paul told Timothy his son.

“Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus 
  will suffer persecution.” (2 Tim 3:12)

Interestingly, the modern form of persecution now comes in the form of repeating the narrative that what is wrong is right, and repeating it so often that what is incorrect is now regarded as normal. Those who dare speak against that are now demonised to be un-progressive, phobic and bullies.

Sometimes the persecution can even arise from within the church. For many will be deceived by what the word teaches/

This was also mentioned by Paul as well
" But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving
  and being deceived.”(2 Tim 3:13)

Sometimes the challenge for Christians in the last days is more about trying their best to keep their own faith in the midst of these difficulty surrounding. That is why Paul continue to remind Timothy, as well as us

“But you must continue in the things which
  you have learned and been assured of, knowing
  from whom you have learned them, and that from
  childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures,
  which are able to make you wise for salvation through 
   faith which is in Christ Jesus.” – Paul (2 Tim 3:14-15)

In this new year. Let us continue to hold on to this faith. The world is going to scream louder against us year after year. But we must strive to be learned and assured of what we believed in. For the end will come. and only those who endure to the end will be saved.

We should also take heed of the advice of Peter

“But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be
  serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all
  things have fervent love for one another, for 
  “love will cover a multitude of sins.”
Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. 
  As each one has received a gift, minister it to one 
  another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”-Peter (1 Pet 4:7-10)

Let us be even closer to God, be focus in prayers and be serious in Faith. Let us resolve to love one another, for love cover a multitude of sin. Let us continue to serve God seizing every chance, for we know that the time is short. Let us learn to be hospitable to one another despite our differences, and be good stewards of the grace of God.


How is our service like, have we met with much difficulties and much pain? How is our walk with God like? Is it full of thorns and thistles?

Sometimes when difficulties strikes us. It makes following God a big challenge. For we feel that we no longer feels the abidance of God with us. We feel that God had left us to fend for ourselves. In the very beginning of my faith, i was pretty touched with the poem on footprints. This is a poem where God told his child that when he saw a single set of foot prints, that was because God carried him in the period of difficulties.

but interestingly as I move on in faith. I noticed that God doesn’t always carry us n this way. There are times he let us undergo trials and tribulations so that we can make the resolve to follow him even in the midst of trouble. This is true especially to those who need to serve in Church. The path of serving God is never easy 

That is why the Author of Hebrew remind us

“Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down,
   and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for
  your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated,
   but rather be healed.”- Author of Hebrews (Heb 12:12-13)

Nothing illustrates this better than the diary of David Livingston. Livingston is a British doctor who spend most of his life serving in Africa. He visited Africa during it darkest history. He served there and died of malaria and dysentery about May 4th 1873.

His field diary recorded much of his life. throughout the diary there were many instances where he wrote and “Lord, I offer myself to you once again”.

Indeed, whenever we encounter problems in life where our faith is being challenge, that is when we need to reconsider and make the decision to follow God once again. Such move will strengthen our resolve, give us the additional strength we need to continue to follow God.

To achieve this in the coming year,  we need to constantly remind ourselves of the blessing that we received from God. That we are his children and it is an honour that is not easily attained.


There is quite a lot shared here regarding the things we need to consider during this new year. Let us also be willing to make resolves for the Lord. Let us resolve to make changes to ourselves, try to walk closer to God.

Let us resolve to forgive each other and let go of the old hurt that we receive last year.

Let us resolve to learn to manage our sadness, our emotions even when other hurt us badly.

Let us resolve to build our family altar and to lead our children to learn about God and serve God. For the world our children will grow up in will be harder than our world. The challenge that they will face while keeping the faith will be much stronger.

Recently a friend shared about a video that our next generation is finding it harder to follow God. This is something that we ought to worry about as parents .Therefore in this coming year let us remember to make the resolve to teach this faith to our next generation.

May God continue to guide each and everyone of us in the  new year. 


The titles of believers reminds us of the virtues a believer ought to have. These titles are meant to help us reflect and examine if we are befitting of these titles.

So far in our studies we have examine 2 titles

The most common title is a believer
The most basic title is a disciple.

But the most identifying and accurate title is a Christian. why do I think it is the most accurate?

When one are called a believer, you would need find out about his belief. When a person is called a disciple, there is a need to find his master. But when one is called a Christian, he is known to be a believer and a disciple of Jesus. For there is only one Christ and one Jesus.

The term Christian did not originate from Jerusalem as we read in Acts

And when he had found him, he brought
  him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole
  year they assembled with the church and
  taught a great many people. And the disciples
  were first called Christians in Antioch.”- Luke (Acts 11:26)

There are many who think that Christian was a form of mockery. But personally I find the lack of evidence to support that claims. But those in Antioch must have heard the name of Christ mentioned often. They can see that these people are focused on Christ and they often mentioned him. Perhaps that is why they decide to call them Christian.

Today if one is known as a Christian, it  is no longer a form of mockery. But if a Christian fail to behave or fall short of the teaching of Jesus. Then it would be a mockery to call him Christian.

In the gospel, Jesus defined what it meant to be a Christian, let us study these definition closely. 

PT 1 : Christians Belong to Christ

“If you were of the world, the world
  would love its own. Yet because you
  are not of the world, but I chose you
  out of the world, therefore the world
  hates you.” – Jesus (Jn 15:19)

A Christians belong to Jesus, He had chosen them out from the world. As they were called out from the world to follow him, therefore they belong to him and not the world. So the first question we need to ask ourselves is if we truly belong to Christ?

“Do you look at things according to the
  outward appearance? If anyone is
  convinced in himself that he is
  Christ’s, let him again consider this
  in himself, that just as he is Christ’s,
   even so we are Christ’s” – Paul (2 Cor 1-:7)

Paul wanted Christians to consider if they truly belong to Christ. If we indeed belong to Christ, are we like Christ? Let us not be Christians by name but with behaviour that are unlike Christ. For Paul wrote to the church in Phillipi

“Brethren, join in following my example,
  and note those who so walk, as you have
  us for a pattern.
For many walk, of whom I have told you
  often, and now tell you even weeping,
  that they are the enemies of the cross
  of Christ:  whose end is destruction,
  whose god is their belly, and whose
  glory is in their shame—who set their
  mind on earthly things. 
  For our citizenship is in heaven, from
  which we also eagerly wait for the Savior,
  the Lord Jesus Christ, “- Paul (Php 3:17-20)  

We need to pay attention to disciples who walk in Christ. Paul and the apostles are such examples for we read of how they love Christ, how they forsake everything and was willing to suffer for Christ. They have gave up everything and they never regret or recant their faith in face of persecution, whipping and even death. These are evidence that they belong to Christ.

On the other hand there are those who appeared to have good behaviour but are actually the enemies of the cross.  How are these people enemies of the cross? The teaching of the cross tells us of Jesus being God who came in the form of flesh, it tells us to obey the teaching of Jesus. But these people had their belly as their God, they choose to obey their lust and refuse the teaching of Jesus.

The message of the cross tells us that God wanted to forgive the sins of man and to grant them eternal life. But these people focus only on their lives on earth but not that eternal life. They set their minds on things of earth and forget that the belong to heaven. They will rather pursue the things on earth and not the things about eternal life. They often go against the teaching of the cross.

They accused Christians for being impractical and obsessed about eternal life. They felt that Christians had forgotten about the daily suffering that the people faced. They feel that the sermons spoken by Christians are high and mighty, empty talk that are useless in life. For those who hear it remains poor and hungry and it brought no benefit to the hearers. They ask “What is the point of worshipping God if one is hungry and poor”

The fact is that going to church will not make a person reach. The Church will not be able to provide monetary support or food. In most of my church, you would only receive a free lunch, and the queue is often so long. It is not surprising that many find sermons empty and impractical.

But is the teaching of Jesus that impractical and empty? 

Jesus remind us not to labour for food that perish but food that leads to eternal life. Jesus is not talking about something empty. He is here on earth to give us that eternal bread. He is here to remind us that if we only seek physical bread, our end will be death and destruction. That is why we need to seek that bread which God wants to give to us, one that leads to eternal life.

We need to seek for the things above and hope in his second coming. Sometimes if that means suffering and poverty it is not a big problem, For life on earth is short and life is more than just eating and drinking. 

PT 2 : Christians Emulate Christ

Jesus tell us that a Christian is someone who emulate Christ.

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me,
  for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and
  you will find rest for your souls.”- Jesus (Matt 11:29)

Jesus wanted us to learn from him because we belong to Christ. We need to have the life of Christ within us. We need to manifest Christ in our lives. The essence of that life is being gentle and lowly in spirit.

In the world, different type of lives exhibits different kinds of instinct. A butterfly will always be attracted to the fragrance of flowers and you will always find them in the garden. But a housefly is attracted to stench and they will always be found at the rubbish dump.

A Christian should be inclined to love in the way of Christ, for we must follow his example, be humble and gentle. We need to get rid of anger and pride. Those that belong to Christ will live out the character of Christ.  That is why Paul reminded the Philippians

“Only let your conduct be worthy
  of the gospel of Christ, so that     
  whether I come and see you or
   am absent, I may hear of your     
  affairs, that you stand fast in one
  spirit, with one mind striving
  together for the faith of the gospel,”- Paul (Php 1: 27)

A Christian behaviour must be worthy of the gospel of Christ. The gospel teaches that we belong to Jesus and are a new creation. Our old sinful self dies with him in baptism, and a new man emerges from baptism. So are we a new creation or are we our old self?

If a Christian conduct is unworthy of the gospel, it would look like a terrible match. The Chinese had an interesting phrase to describe it. It is  狗尾貂续. It is like a Sable tail  joined to a tail of a dog.

In ancient china the tail of a sable considered a luxurious commodity. It is said the mother of Genghis Khan gave a gift of sable tails to the wife of the Khan as a gift. But to pair a sable tail with a dog tail is an irony. On one end it looks luxurious as beautiful and at the other its so cheap and ugly.  

In the same way, the gospel of Christ is something precious and if the Christian fall short of that standard, it would be an irony and a mockery. For it would be like a new cloth being sew into an old garment. The new cloth will shrink and make the tear worst.

Christians are suppose to remove their old garment and put on the new garment. If we patch a new cloth onto our old garment, it will not match We need to put aside our old garments and put on the new one.

Let us not be called Christian by name, let us be a true Christian, a new creation.

PT 3 : Christians are witness for Christ

Jesus tells us that

“Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary
  for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the
  dead the third day, and that repentance and
  remission of sins should be preached in His
  name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 
  And you are witnesses of these things.” – Jesus (Lk 24:46-48)

Jesus is on earth to preach the gospel of salvation.To fulfil salvation, he had to be nailed on the cross, and be raised from the dead on the 3rd day. These events proves that he is the savior and his gospel is the gospel of salvation. 

That gospel is one that can forgive sin, today we are witness to that gospel, we have enjoyed the grace of God. But we are not to enjoy this grace alone, we need to preach the message to others so they wlll become Christian.  We need to share this message with our family especially.

(Extracted from Acts 26:27-29)

Paul : “King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe.”
Agrippa : “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.”
Paul: “I would to God that not only you, but also all
            who hear me today, might become both almost 
            and altogether such as I am, except for these chains”

Paul is a man who preach Christ in season and out of season. He was arrested for the sake of the gospel and he stood trial before King Agrippa. Paul wishes that all those who heard him would become a Christian.

Today whenever we share the gospel, often those who hear us will not listen. But we are to continue in this work, and not be discourage. We need to be like Paul to seize every opportunity to persuade them, for Paul knew that faith will only come through hearing. and hearing will only happen when we speak. If we choose to remain silent how can they hear and believe?

We need to ask ourselves if we had did our best to preach the gospel. We are not to just preach with our mouths, we need to testify through our behaviour We need to show that we are indeed Christians, for actions speak louder than words.

In my church in Taiwan there are many natives. They bore a good testimony for their faith. Even though they are persecuted for their faith, they did not give up.  They listen to the words of God and they changes their behaviour they indeed become a new creation. In the past they used to be drinkers, they get into fights and live their lives immorally . But after they became Christian and they changed and the  government officers can see the change in them.

Let us not forget our status as witness, if we know our responsibly and status, we will understand that Christ had called us out to be his witness. Will our testimony be glorifying God or a mockery before God.? 

PT 4 : Christians are followers of Christ

Jesus tells us that a Christian is a follower of Christ

“The following day Jesus wanted to go to
  Galilee, and He found Philip and said to
  him, “Follow Me.””- John (Jn 1:43)

In those days, there are many who are willing to follow Jesus, but they their method of following Jesus is different. These are something we need to consider. For we all wanted to follow Jesus, but how do we follow?

“After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being
  a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear
  of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might
  take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate
  gave him permission. So he came and
  took the body of Jesus. 
  And Nicodemus, who at first came to
  Jesus by night, also came, bringing a
  mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a
  hundred pounds. 
  Then they took the body of Jesus, and
  bound it in strips of linen with the
  spices, as the custom of the Jews is
  to bury. “- John (Jn 19:38-40)

Here records of 2 followers of Christ, Joseph is a rich man and Nicodemus is a council member, an officer of the Jews. They were disciples of Christ in secret, they followed him secretly. Nicodemus was a man who seek Jesus in the night. They are both aware that Jesus is the Christ, but they did not have the courage to openly profess that they are Christians. So they followed in secret

But after Christ was crucified, they witness the love of Christ on the cross, it touched them deeply, so they made the resolve and repented. They openly profess that they believe in Jesus. They went to collect his body and bind it with spices and buried him. They completed that last beautiful deed for the Lord. But what is most important is that they are no longer Christians in secret.

So how do we follow Christ? are we doing so openly or in secret? Sometimes those around us may not even know that we are Christians . Perhaps we have good reason to hide that identity. But if we recognised the love of Christ on the cross, it will touch us greatly. We will be like Joseph and Nicodemus, to be open and courageous about our faith.

There is also some who follow Jesus from afar.

“But Peter followed Him at a distance,
  right into the courtyard of the high priest.
  And he sat with the servants and warmed
  himself at the fire.”- Mark (Mk 14:54)

Peter followed Jesus but he did so from afar. He was afraid. If we also choose to follow the Lord from afar, we will fall just like Peter. But what we can be assured of , is that Jesus did not give up on Peter even though he fell. When he denied Jesus 3 times, Jesus turned and looked at him. When Peter saw his eyes, he will know that it is not one of rebuke but one with mercy.

For Jesus already told him that he will deny him 3 times and he had already prayed for him. Jesus had given him a chance, reminding him to strength his brethren when he return. When he recalled the words of Jesus, when he saw how he had denied Christ. When he saw how far he was as he was following Christ, his failures and his weakness. He went out to weep. But that weeping changed his life. From then on he no longer followed Christ from afar, he followed Christ closely. He follow even onto death, he no longer give up or change his resolve.


We all have our moments of weakness, perhaps we used to be zealous and now we are cold. Perhaps we used to follow Jesus closely and now we are afar off. If we continue in that state, what will happen to us at the very end?

We need to consider if we are true Christians, for Jesus wanted us to follow him, he want us to follow closely and not afar off. We need to be open about our belief and never change.

Are we a true Christian? 

So far, we have studied the following

1. The Holy Spirit Is Here To Lead Us Into All Truth  (Part 1, Part 2)
     a. Aspect 1: To lead individuals to develop a relationship with the Truth 
     b. Aspect 2: To lead the church into all Truth 
2. The Holy Spirit is here to lead the church into all truth (Part 3, Part 4)

Let’s continue to explore the other misconceptions about the Holy Spirit 

Misconception 6: Only Holy Spirit Calls Jesus Lord

Paul once said

“Therefore I make known to you    
  that no one speaking by the Spirit
  of God calls Jesus accursed, and no
  one can say that Jesus is Lord except
  by the Holy Spirit.” – Paul (1 Cor 12:3)

That is why many in Christendom today believe that only people who are moved by the Holy Spirit will address Jesus as Lord. Therefore, whoever who calls Jesus Lord is moved by the Holy Spirit.  They have the Holy Spirit living within them and therefore they belong to Christ. 

Some may even go on and  supplement their case quoting

“that if you confess with your mouth
  the Lord Jesus and believe in your
   heart that God has raised Him from
  the dead, you will be saved.
  … …
  For “whoever calls on the name of the
  Lord shall be saved.””- Paul (Rom 10:9,13)

But is this what the bible teaches? Is that what Jesus says?
“Not everyone who says to Me,
  ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the
  kingdom of heaven, but he who
  does the will of My Father in
  heaven.”- Jesus (Matt 7:21)

The right question to consider is to ask ourselves if we indeed obeyed and did the will of God. While it is true that the Holy Spirit can move someone to call Jesus Lord, but the Holy Spirit is supposed to lead a person to call upon the name of God and seek God.  The Holy Spirit will never go beyond the words of Christ.

It is good to call Jesus Lord, and it is good to call upon his name. These are all truths in the bible. But they are only part of the Truth that the Holy Spirit is here to teach. He is also here to teach us to love one and another and to lead a life without sin.

Important Concept: Complete Truth Includes The Truth Of Salvation

The truth mentioned previously are all truths found in the bible. But there are more to it within the words of Jesus. The Holy Spirit is here to lead us into all truth, not just a partial truth. Today we see many Christians moved by the Holy Spirit, believing in Jesus and practicing the love of Christ in their lives. These are all good and are truth taught by Jesus but the Holy Spirit is meant to lead us into all truth. 

What am I referring to? Jesus once instructed his apostles

“teaching them to observe all
  things that I have commanded
  you; and lo, I am with you always,
  even to the end of the age.” – Jesus (Matt 28:20)

Those were the command of Jesus, we are to teach one another to understand the teaching of Christ till the end of the age. We are here to teach the whole truth, not part of the truth. We are here to teach all that Jesus commanded, and the Holy Spirit is here to lead people into all truth. Especially regarding the forgiveness of sin and salvation.

Many Christians today are moved by the Holy Spirit, they believed in Jesus, they are full of the love of Christ. But those are part of the truth. The Pneumatology of Christ tell us that the Holy Spirit is here to lead us into all truth, Jesus tells us to keep his words and command. We must do it ourselves as well as to teach others to follow.

Jesus is not talking about only part of his teaching, but his complete words. We know that by the first century CE, the Holy Spirit stop descending, the teaching of the church had deviated and they no longer keep the complete truth. The truth taught were correct, but they have stopped talking about the other aspects of the truth.   They no longer keep the teaching of the bible, even though they claim to be believing in Jesus

An Example Of A Incomplete Truth

But a partial truth is not the same as the complete truth.Even though the words are still correct, but the missing pieces negate the effect of that truth brought.  The Didache was compiled by the early Christians.  but even from within it we know that the church no longer keep the complete truth taught by Jesus.But by reading it we know that the church no longer held to the complete truth taught by Jesus.

For example, chapter 7 to 10 of the Didache talks about Baptism.  Within the gospel, we know that Jesus and John the Baptist, as well as the Apostles baptized by full immersion using living water (Living water is flowing water, from the stream.)

As quoted in Wikipedia
Baptism is to be conferred "in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit"[ with triple immersion in “living water” (that is, flowing water, probably in a stream). If that is not practical, in cold or even warm water is acceptable. If the water is insufficient for immersion, it may be poured three times on the head (affusion). The baptized and the baptizer, and, if possible, anyone else attending the ritual should fast for one or two days beforehand.

Comparing this to what Jesus had done, it proves that even in the first century, the Christians no longer keep the teaching of Jesus fully. Even though they believe in Jesus, they have downplayed the need for baptism, and they no longer esteemed baptism.

They had forgotten the fact that Baptism taught by the Apostles is for the Remission Of Sin, they have forgotten how the disciples conduct baptism. They allowed their view to supersede the words of Jesus.  They added their own recommendation, which is that those attending baptism should fast one to two days beforehand. Which is not commanded by Jesus.

Misconception 7: One should listen to the Spirit and not the words of man.

There is another misconception from Christian that arises from the words of Paul in  Gal 1:11-12

“But I make known to you, brethren,
  that the gospel which was preached
  by me is not according to man. 
   For I neither received it from man,
  nor was I taught it, but it came through
  the revelation of Jesus Christ.”- Paul  (Gal 1:11-12)

Over here Paul is talking about the moving of the Holy Spirit, how he was led to the truth. For Paul did not receive the teaching from man. He was not taught by men and his teaching came as a revelation from Jesus Christ

Since the Holy Spirit had led him to understand the truth of Jesus, therefore we must allow the Holy Spirit to guide us freely. We need to ignore the perspective of a man completely.

Those who took this view seriously may even advocate that we should destroy all books and teaching written by man, and that only the bible, dictionary and concordance are allowed. For Paul received instruction from the Holy Spirit and no one else.   

But this is a dangerous view to hold, for that will mean that one should only pray and not listen to a sermon. For only the Holy spirit is allowed to teach and no one should teach one another. On the long run, this may lead to a more serious issue.

Just imagine if the Holy Spirit had taught an individual, they compiled and wrote them down in a book, for they believe that it is important, when they pass away, the next generation of Christians burnt their book, and begin that cycle again. Then the libraries will be filled, burnt up and filled again, 

But is this thinking in accordance with the words of Jesus? This is in fact a dangerous path to take.. I can think of a few immediate dangers.

But is this according to the teaching of Jesus?

It is actually dangerous to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal truth. While we understood that the Holy Spirit is here to guide us and lead us into all truth.  But that does not mean that we should just listen to Spirits and ignore the teaching of others.

It is actually correct to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to guide us and help us understand the truth. But it is not right to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal truth. For it is against the teaching of Jesus. There are many dangers that will arise and let us examine these dangers together. 

Pt 7. : A Potential Foothold For The Devil

By asking the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth we would leave a foothold for the devil to work. We are giving him a chance to lead us away from the truth. This danger can cause great damage to the church. For many Christians are misled by the devil. We need to use the bible to help us understand and explain the truth.

Let us imagine a scenario. Today, if through prayer and the revelation of a Spirit. We perceive certain truths. What happens if these revelations had no basis in the scripture? Will we choose to believe it? There is a risk that some in the church will think that the revelations are not inspired by God.  This will lead to a split in the church, for there will be 2 groups of people in the church. Some will choose to believe while others will not.

We need to understand that the Holy Spirit is given to help us understand the word of God. He is not here to go beyond what Jesus had taught. Jesus told us that the Holy Spirit will not speak on his own authority, he will take those that belong to Jesus and give it to others. He will never speak contrary against the teaching of Jesus.

The Warning Of Paul

“Now, brethren, concerning the
  coming of our Lord Jesus Christ
  and our gathering together to Him,
  we ask you, not to be soon shaken in
   mind or troubled, either by spirit or
  by word or by letter, as if from us, as
   though the day of Christ had come. 
   Let no one deceive you by any means;
  for that Day will not come unless the
  falling away comes first, and the man of
  sin is revealed, the son of perdition,”- Paul (2 Thess 2:1-3)

In those days, the church in Thessalonica was curious, they ask the Holy Spirit to reveal truth to them. They did not pay attention to the teaching of Jesus nor do they bother about the teaching of the Apostles. Since they know that the Holy Spirit is here to lead them to understand the truth.

They did receive truth that no one knows,  and they feel that it is God who revealed it to them, Those truths are different from what the Apostles commonly taught. So the Christians there were wondering whether to believe in these revelations or not. For they have heard from people filled with the Holy Spirit, full of love and of good teaching.

But the teaching of these men was confusing and it is full of destruction. For they are sharing a gospel that altered. These teachers preach it since they believe that they are guided and moved by the Holy Spirit.  So they wrote letters to the Thessalonians talking about their belief, which are different from what Jesus and the Apostles taught.

That is why Paul tells them to careful, be it in Spirit, Word or letter, they need to discern what is being shared.

The Advice Of John : Test the Spirits

Elder John teaches us the same thing 1 Jn 4:1-3

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit,
  but test the spirits, whether they are
  of God; because many false prophets
  have gone out into the world.
By this you know the Spirit of God: Every
  spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has
  come in the flesh is of God,  and every spirit
  that does not confess that Jesus Christ has
  come in the flesh is not of God. And this is
  the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have
  heard was coming, and is now already in the
  world.”- John (1 Jn 4:1-3 )

There is a need for Christians to judge and discern if a Spirit is indeed from Christ. But how do we discern? What is the basis for our judgement? Should we believe them just because they come in the name if Jesus? What was John talking about?

What John was talking about in 1 Jn 4:2. In his time there were people who claim that Jesus Christ is not from God. They do not believe it because in their opinion, the Holy God will never take the form of an unholy body. They believed that the body is sinful and unclean, capable of sinning and vulnerable. They questioned whether God will stay in a body that is prone to sin. 

While today this problem no longer exists as most Christians believe that Jesus is indeed God in the flesh. But during the time of John there were some who regarded Jesus as a mere illusion, even though he appeared as human but he is not a man. They went one step further to say that he came in the form of man but without a physical body.

Sometimes this debate carried on into modern day Christianity.

So how should we discern the Spirit? Is it as simple as asking, “Do you confess that Jesus had come in the flesh?”. If we do so, is that not childish? If a man wants to deceive you, will he answer truthfully? Perhaps he may confess, but he may be an anti Christ in disguise. 

We tend to picture the devil as ugly and scary. But Paul tells us

“For such are false apostles, deceitful
  workers, transforming themselves into
  apostles of Christ.  And no wonder! For
  Satan himself transforms himself into an
  angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing
  if his ministers also transform themselves
  into ministers of righteousness, whose end
  will be according to their works.”- Paul( 2 Cor 11:13-15)

Let us not be surprised that the devil can disguise himself as an apostle. They can even manifest the power of the apostles, to heal the sick and cast our demons. These are things that many cannot do.  

The Corinthians saw their miracles and believed that these people are the apostles. But Paul warned them that Satan can come as an angel of light. In the same way, his servants can pretend to be ministers of righteousness. They will be able to heal the sick, cast out demons  making others believe in them. If these ministers can perform miracles, but not teach the truth. Then it is a huge problem. That is why I would like to side-track a bit and discuss the following question.

Is the Holy Spirit Here To Perform Miracles Only?

The Holy Spirit has the power to heal the sick and cast out demons. But that is not his main purpose. In the same manner, Jesus can perform these miracles, but his sole purpose on earth is not to heal the sick and to cast out demons.

That is why when many came to Jesus with their sick and demon possessed, Jesus left them and went somewhere else to preach the gospel.  For that is his true purpose why he was on earth. The Holy Spirit had the power to heal the sick and cast out demons. But according to the Pneumatology of Christ, his greatest duty is to lead Christians into all truth. That is why we need to discern what is truth and what is not

If we examine the words of John carefully in 1 Jn 4:2-3. He tells us to examine the Spirit and not the man. John is indeed wise and watchful for he knows that man can choose to be deceptive.  They can disguise themselves as a minister of righteousness and deceive you. They can even profess with their mouth that Jesus is Lord, but yet the spirit of the antichrist is within him.

That is why he tells us not to examine what is external but look into his spirit. Let us examine a man base on his way of life and what he does. Let us judge if he had indeed led his life according to the teaching of Christ. Let us ask questions such as “Did he submit to the truth? Has he truly repented?” that is how we can discern between what’s real and what’s false.

That is why John taught this

“We are of God. He who knows
  God hears us; he who is not of
  God does not hear us. By this we
  know the spirit of truth and the
  spirit of error.” – John (1 Jn 4:6)

Only those who are of God will listen to the words of God. Those who are not of God will not listen. That is how we differentiate between the Spirit of  truth and Spirit of error. Ultimately, it is the truth that will help us discern the Spirit, if one indeed receive the Holy Spirit, he will be moved by the Spirit and submit to the words of God. For the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth

The Spirit of Truth will never go against the truth, but the Spirit of error will. The Spirit of Error will only pay lip service, but his actions will truly reveal who he is.


Truth will always be true forever. Falsehood can pretend for the moment by that façade will disappear eventually. The Chinese had a saying 驴要知马力,日久见人心. If you ride a horse for a while, you will discover its strength, if you observe a man for a while, you will understand his heart.

Let us not believe in every spirit, but let us test the Spirit. For many false prophets had gone out into the world. We need to observe their Spirit, we need to discern them, then we can differentiate between the Spirit of Truth and the Spirit of Error.

If we are not familiar with the words of God, we would end up not following man blindly without discernment. We will be deceived by his outward appearance,  and we would not be able to tell if his actions are against the truth.

Let us start by having a basic understanding of the scriptures. Let the word of God dwell richly within us. Let us be doers not hearers. Let us not just learn bits and pieces from various sermon speaker, but aspire to go forward and read the word of God ourselves. Let us allow it to dwell richly within us, then we could use the word of God to help us discern the Spirit.


As the year 2017 comes to a close, it is a time for us to consider how our previous year is like. So for tonight as it is less than 1 hour to the new year. Therefore, I would like to spend the last hour thinking. If there are things that I have neglected this year.

According to the dictionary neglect means failure to take care or to give attention to something. Neglect can happen when we overlook or if we are uninterested in something. Someone who is careless and does not pay enough attention to thing, runs the risk in neglecting something.

Let us consider 3 points for tonight.

Pt 1: Do not neglect the needy

“Now in those days, when the number “
the disciples was multiplying, there
   arose a complaint against the Hebrews
  by the Hellenists,because their widows
  were neglected in the daily distribution.”- Luke (Acts 6:1)

In this record, the church neglected something that they should not neglect. In those days, the church helped orphans and widows by providing daily necessities for them. But then the church neglected the widows who are in need of their care. This neglect happened probably because of a lack of workers.

As the result, the Hellenist (Greek speaking Jewish Christians) had a complaint against the Hebrew speaking Christians, and if this neglect is unchecked, it will lead to further criticism and fights within the church. It can potentially divide and destroy the church.

The Apostles understood the magnitude of the problem. But their main duties are to pray and minister to the word of the Lord. Therefore, they selected 7 deacons to help take care of the administrative function of the church. They hoped that by sharing the load and responsibility the number of neglected widows would decrease over time.

From this story we can see that as Christian we cannot neglect the brethren who needs our help. The duty of taking care of them does not fall to the minister and church leaders only. It is also the responsibility of every brother and sister. Everyone of us had a part to play in creating a loving atmosphere within the church. That is why we need to watch out for our brother and sister who needs help.

Besides not neglecting the needy in the church. The Bible reminds us of 2 other issues that we must never neglect. Let us consider them together.

 Pt 2: Do Not Neglect Salvation

“For if the word spoken through 
  angels proved steadfast, and every
  transgression and disobedience
  received a just reward,
  how shall we escape if we neglect
  so great a salvation, which at the
  first began to be spoken by the Lord,
  and was confirmed to us by those
  who heard Him,”-Author of Hebrews (Heb 2:2-3)

Over here the Author of Hebrews warn us, how can we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? Let us resolve not to neglect the salvation we receive from God. For it is the grace of Christ.  Jesus brought this grace with him when he preached about the kingdom of God

This grace is better than the Law that was given through angels (messengers and servant of God). In the wilderness the Israelites followed the Mosaic law delivered to them through Gods messenger Moses. To the Jews, that law is the most precious gift from God.

But that Law cannot be compared with the gospel preached by Jesus. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (Jn 1:17). For our grace of salvation is taught by Jesus Christ. He is the originator of the new Covenant. While the Old Testament Joshua wrote the law onto stone tablets as he renewed the Mosaic Covenant. The New Testament Yeshua (Jesus) completed the work of salvation by dying on the cross and nailing the curse of the Law onto the cross.

As the Author of Hebrew continues telling us

“But we see Jesus, who was made a little
  lower than the angels, for the suffering
  of death crowned with glory and honor,
  that He, by the grace of God, might taste
  death for everyone.”- Author of Hebrews (Heb 2:9)

Only Jesus can give us this grace, and it is confirmed by those who hear him. When the Author of Hebrew wrote the word Us in verse 3. He is referring to the 2nd and 3rd generation Christian of his time. For the first generation received the gospel from Jesus directly. They were the eyewitness of Jesus. The gospel that was preached by Jesus was affirmed and preached by them to the 2nd and 3rd generation Christians. God himself gives a witness to them, confirming their teaching with signs miracles and wonders. These signs bore witness that what Jesus said is true.

Throughout history to even today, God had preserved the word of God faithfully so that the church in the end days can still find the words of salvation within them. If we were to consider these facts, we will see that this grace of Salvation is not something easily obtainable.
Jesus needs to proclaim it to the disciples and eyewitness first. Then they are supposed to hand it down to the next generation of Christians, finally to be preserved in the new testament. On to the church in the last days over a span of 2 millennia. Throughout the process, God continues to use signs, miracles and wonder to affirm this message. Even today he had given us the Holy Spirit so that we have a witness from God concerning our beliefs. In order to bring this salvation to us, everyone needs to play a part.

What a sin it would be should we neglect this salvation!

The Lesson for Us Today

When the author of Hebrews wrote Heb 2:2-3, the believers were undergoing persecution, that is why he began the chapter by telling them

“Therefore we must give the more
  earnest heed to the things we have
   heard, lest we drift away.”- Author of Hebrews (Heb 2:1)

In the same way, Christians today ought to be diligent to ensure that we continue in the grace of God. For Christ had already sacrificed his life and destroyed the power of Satan. He suffered so that he can redeem us who were once slaves of sin.

God has planned to bring us into eternal glory, Jesus had completed his part of the work, it is our work to take heed of what we heard and not drift away from God. As Heb 2:2 remind us. “Every transgression will receive a just reward". If we fail to take heed of our salvation, we would receive our just reward as well.

What does he mean by just reward?

Just reward refers to the end result we get for what we have done. If a worker were to perform his duty, the boss would need to pay him. If he did not do his job well, his reward will not be good.

Jesus had chosen us out of the million of people on earth and he had given us this grace. We need to repay him by preserving this grace that he had given. If we did this successfully, we will receive our reward in the kingdom of heaven.

But if we choose to neglect it, if we feel that our faith is unimportant, and we allow it to die and drift away. Then God will reserve for us our just reward, for he had given us so much grace, and instead of treasuring the grace, we allow it to die. As the author of Hebrews continues to warn us

“For it is impossible for those who were
  once enlightened, and have tasted the
  heavenly gift, and have become partakers
   of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the
  good word of God and the powers of
  the age to come, if they fall away,
  to renew them again to repentance, since
  they crucify again for themselves the
   Son of God, and put Him to an open

   For the earth which drinks in the rain
  that often comes upon it, and bears
  herbs useful for those by whom it is
  cultivated, receives blessing from God;
but if it bears thorns and briers, it is
  rejected and near to being cursed,
  whose end is to be burned.”- Author of Hebrew (Heb 6:4-8)

Their end is to be burned. Sometimes we wonder why is God so cruel. But that is because they did not treasure the grace that God had given, they wasted the grace of God.

That is why to neglect salvation is a severe sin. God had prepared the kingdom of God for his children, the bible had described it as a big feast. He had given us a sample of the feast by giving us the Holy Spirit. We have tasted and tried everything that God had prepared, we have used them in our lives and God had blessed and satisfied us.

We have already begun that spiritual journey when we accepted Christ, and were baptized in his blood. We have already partaken that feast. Now that we have eaten it half way, we decide to throw it away. Is that not a great waste of the grace of God.

Let us remember the preciousness of this grace and never neglect this grace of God

Pt 3: Do Not Neglect Our gift

It had just passed midnight, I am able to see 2 location of fireworks from my apartment.

The third point came from the writing of Paul

“Do not neglect the gift that is in you, 
  which was given to you by prophecy
  with the laying on of the hands of the
  eldership.”- Paul (1 Tim 4:14)

Paul reminded Timothy not to neglect the gift that is given to him. In the same way , let us not neglect the gifts given to us by God. To Timothy, his gift is granted through prophecy and the laying of hands by the elders.

That is why in my church, we have a tradition where ministers would pray and lay hands on the workers before they begin ministry. God will grant his worker gifts, so that they can edify the church. For God wanted them to work together to establish a glorious church.

God granted Timothy a gift, so that he can be an example to the believers. Through his preaching, he could guide them to learn to fear God. Paul reminded Timothy to be a good steward of the Lord, and never neglect or despise the gift he had given. Instead, he ought to accept all opportunities to serve God.

Paul wanted to encourage Timothy, for it is something he needs, for Timothy is a younger preacher, inexperienced. Sometimes he had doubts if he could guide the church since he is young. He neglects the gift given to him by God, for he felt he was young. He refrained from using his gift, which resulted to setbacks in his service to the Lord.

That is why Paul emphasized and encourage him. “To be courageous, and not despise yourself because of your youth"

Meditate on these things; give yourself
  entirely to them, that your progress
  may be evident to all.”- Paul (1 Tim 4:15)

Paul reminded him to meditate on these gift, use them often so that others can see his progress. Paul was writing as a teacher of Timothy, he is speaking from the perspective of being a teacher.

As teachers, we wanted our students to grow, we willing impart knowledge to them all the time, but how well they will learn depends on how much they pursue. Some student put in a lot of effort to listen and to take notes, while others waited for the lesson to end. The only way to track their progress is to test them and see how they applied their knowledge. That will reveal who had been paying attention.

Learning From Experience  

Paul is reminding Timothy that he needs to learn as a student, even though he may not have the right experience, he can continue to learn. He can learn from others and grow. He can let others see his progress, when God gives a gift, it doesn’t mean that we are experts in using it. We would still need experience, and on the job learning. That requires us to encounter many setbacks for it will not be a smooth sailing journey.

Let us not give up thinking that we are failures and unprofitable, for if we think like this we will remain unprofitable. But since God had already given us the gift, let us improve and work on it. We need to have an attitude of a student, be willing to learn.

Today there are many youths who think that they cannot serve God, they did not have the experience in life to do it. But they forgot the fact that when Jesus rode into Jerusalem, he chose to ride on a young donkey’s colt. It is a young and inexperienced donkey, but Jesus sent his disciples to fetch it. He used it to enter Jerusalem at his most glorious moment. That donkey was never ridden before, yet the first person who rode it is the Lord.

There are various degrees of church work, and God had given us the gift to serve him. Even if we feel that we are young and inexperienced, though we may not have the courage to serve yet.
Let us not neglect the gift that God had given us. We need to seize the opportunity and learn. If we persist in this, our progress will be clear to others.

Take Heed To yourself and to the doctrine

Paul encourage Timothy one more point

“Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine.
  Continue in them, for in doing this you
   will save both yourself and those who
  hear you.” –Paul (1 Tim 4:16)

This is something we need to continue in our work in serving the church, we must not give up on this. There will always be work in a church that requires our help and we need people to participate in these ministries. Even though serving the church may be tough, but it will allow us to work together with the Lord. With God on our side, he will always give us the strength we need. But to do some we must choose not to neglect our gifts


Today, we learn about 3 things that we should not neglect in our lives of faith
   a. Let us not neglect the brothers and sisters in need of help and concern 
   b. Let us not neglect that great grace of salvation given to us by God
    c. Let us not neglect the gifts God has given us

May these be the directions for us in this new year.


The bible tells us that a Christian is given many titles. Each of these titles holds a different significance to the Christian. Each of these titles highlights the different virtues a Christian ought to have. Let us examine these virtues and see if we live up to the standards of these titles.

In our previous post of this series, We learnt that the most common title of a Christian is a believer

But the most basic title is a disciple.  This title was  mentioned by Jesus

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of
the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to
observe all things that I have commanded you;
and lo, I am with you always, even to the end
of the age.”-Jesus (Matt 28:19-20)

Jesus did not say, “Make everyone a believer” but instead he tells us to make disciples for him. He wanted them to be his disciple. A disciple is one who learns and follows a master. In the old days, the disciple is a student of a master. He is supposed to live with his teacher and learn a skill from him.

Being a disciple is more than just believing in Jesus. He needs to be baptized, to come under the name of Jesus and learn the word of God. He need to serve God, and that is what it meant to be a disciple.

Today, many of us are baptised, we are in the Lord, but have we become his disciple? How do we know if one is truly a disciple of Jesus?

Fortunately, Jesus did define for us what it meant to be his disciple. If we are his true disciple, we need to learn from these and practice them in our lives

PT 1: A True disciple abides in the word of Jesus

“If you abide in My word,
you are My disciples indeed.”- Jesus (Jn 8:31)

When Jesus spoke these words, he is not addressing unbelievers. He is talking to the Jews who believed in him. In those days, and even today, there are Jews who believe, but are unable to follow his words. That is why Jesus tells us that only those who abide in his words are his disciples.

For one day Jesus will ask us “Why did you call me Lord and not follow my word? Are you really my disciples?”

There was a group of chickens who wanted to soar in the skies like eagles. So they approach an eagle and begged him to teach them how to fly. In the midst of learning, they suffered a lot, they fell and got bruised. But finally they are able to fly in the skies.

So the eagle is proud of his students, before he left, he told them “Now you can fly with your wings freely, you do not need to walk anymore”. After that, he parted ways with them and flew away. As he flew away, he was feeling proud and joyful. Since he had taught the chickens well and he wanted to see how well they are flying. But as he turns back and look, he did not see any chickens flying. Initially, he was surprised, he thought they have flown farther than the eagle, but as he look hard on the ground, he saw them walking on the ground. The eagle was disappointed, he shook his head. “Why bother to learn to fly if all they wanted is to walk?” the Eagle was wondering.

If a disciple of Jesus, cannot abide in his words, Jesus will ask why did he called Jesus Lord and refuse to do as Jesus commanded. If we truly believe in Jesus, we must abide in the words of the Lord. If we fail to do so, we will be cast out.

“ There will be weeping and gnashing
of teeth, when you see Abraham and
Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets
in the kingdom of God, and yourselves
thrust out.  They will come from the east
and the west, from the north and the
south, and sit down in the kingdom of God.
And indeed there are last who will be
first, and there are first who will be last.”- Jesus (Lk 13:28-30)

The descendent of Abraham will be seated in the kingdom of God. But the bible tells us that some will be thrust out. That is because even though they have the faith of Abraham, they did not obey God. For if we do not abide in his words, we will fall behind, we will be thrust out. For there are people who are first who will turn out last.

No one likes to lose out in life, that is why we will change if we notice we are falling behind our peers. For they used to be walking behind us and now they are ahead of us. That is a good attitude to have. Why don’t we apply that to our faith? In the same where there are others who used to fall behind and now they are in front of us.

Jesus is not telling us to judge others, but rather we should consider if we are walking in front or not But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul. That is why Jesus reminds us

“Strive to enter through the narrow gate,
for many, I say to you, will seek to enter
and will not be able.”- Jesus (Lk 13:24)

Will we be able to enter into the door? Or will we be thrust out?  We need to be a good disciple to enter through the door.

PT 2: A true disciple is one with love

“A new commandment I give to you,
that you love one another; as I have
loved you, that you also love one another.
 By this all will know that you are My
disciples, if you have love for one
another.”- Jesus (Jn 13:34-35)

People will know that you are a disciple if you love one another. We know that loving one another is found in the bible, even in the old testament. Why then is this a new commandment?

For love in the New Testament had a new standard. We need to love one another with the love of the Lord. The disciple of Jesus will not love with the love of man, but love with the love of the Lord. Why is this so? For the love of man is selfish and incomplete. A man will love those who love them. They will love only when others bring benefits to him. Such love is troublesome, it had the risk of turning bitter and having disappointment.

The love of Christ is perfect, selfless. If one love with a love of God, there will be less problems, it will reduce unhappiness. It can bring more joy and more hope. In the past we love with the love of man, but now as disciples of Christ, we love each other with the love of Jesus.

Let us look at what that love means

“You have heard that it was said,
‘You shall love your neighbor
  and hate your enemy.’
But I say to you, love your enemies,
bless those who curse you, do good to
those who hate you, and pray for those
who spitefully use you and persecute you,[
 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven;
for He makes His sun rise on the evil
and on the good, and sends rain on the
just and on the unjust.”"- Jesus (Matt 5:43-45)

It is easy for us to love our neighbor and hate our enemies. Everyone one Christian and non Christian alike can love those who love us, and hate those who hate us. But now we need to love our enemies, pray for our persecutors.

The latter is hard, for how can we love someone who hates us? We always wanted revenge, we wanted their life to be miserable as well. But the fact is, we will never be sure if we inflict any damage or hurt to the other part. But one thing is for sure, those who hold on to that hatred, will be unhappy. Whenever we think about that person we hate, we will lose our appetite and our sleep. By choosing to hate them, we wanted to make their life miserable, but the truth is, we are the ones who are suffering.

To forgive is to release yourself.

“Judge not, and you shall not be judged.
Condemn not, and you shall not be
condemned. Forgive, and you will
be forgiven.”- Jesus (Lk 6:37)

To forgive here  ( ἀπολύω  G630) also carries with it a meaning of release. To forgive someone is to release yourself from the pain and suffering.

How To Forgive?

We often think that by granting forgiveness, we are allowing the aggressor to win, and that feeling makes us indignant. But if we allow hatred to bind us we will be even more unhappy. If we take the advice from the bible and forgive, on the surface it appears as if we have taken a position that is disadvantaged.

But the fact is that we have released ourselves from the anger, and found true freedom and peace. The  Chinese character for anger is very interesting.

This character is formed by 2 separate Chinese words. 奴(Which means “Slave”)  and 心 (which mean “heart”). A person who is bound by anger enslaves his own heart. This was understood by the ancients and they constructed the word in such a manner.

This is easy to understand as theory, but the question is, “"How do we forgive our enemies? How do we love them?”

Loving your enemies is not about hugging them like lovers or long lost friends. I understand that it is difficult to do, kudos if one can do it sincerely and well. But all the Bible requires us to do is to pray for them. We need to forgive them in our prayer. If we can release ourselves of that hurt, we will not remember the hurt he had cause us. Then we will be able to greet him with a natural smile. There is a difference between a natural smile and a compelled smile.

But isn’t love a matter of choice? Can we be compelled to love? Why did Jesus command us to love like this?

There is a big reason why this love comes as a commandment. For it is easy and natural for us to love someone who love us. But in life we will encounter people who are just plain unlovable, someone who is petty, selfish, proud and bad tempered. By instinct, we will stay away from such characters. For they are hard to love

There is no need for God to command us to love the ones who love us. Since we can do this willingly, with joy and without any complain. But love as a command is targeted at those who are unlovable, whom we deem are unworthy of respect. It is targeted at these people who we will avoid by instinct.

That is why Christians are given the command to love those we can’t love, our enemies. We want them to experience the love of God, hopefully one day they will change. We want our own love to grow and not be selfish. If we are true disciples of Christ, we need to love them with the love of the Lord.

PT 3: A true disciple bear fruits

“By this My Father is glorified, that you
bear much fruit; so you will be My
disciples.”- Jesus (Jn 15: 8 )

Jesus said that his disciples will bear fruit. In verse 5 he was describing himself as a vine and the disciples being the branches. The value of the branch lies in its ability to bear fruit. If the branch does not bear fruit, it will be a waste of the nutrients from the tree. That is why that branch will be cut off, so that the other branches will bear more fruit.

“Every branch in Me that does not bear
fruit He takes away; and every branch
that bears fruit He prunes, that it may
bear more fruit”- Jesus (Jn 15:2)

There are 2 types of cutting off, one is to cut away the branches that bear no fruit, the other is to prune the branch so that it will bear more fruit. A branch may be able to bear fruit, but its yield may be less. In order to make the branch bear more fruit, its useless stump will have o be removed.  That is because these stump make use of the nutrients from the tree and bears no fruit. By cutting these off, the nutrients could be used to make more fruit.

How To bear more fruits?

In order to bear more fruit, we need to accept the pruning from God. It is meant to remove our weakness and imperfections within us.

Take for example

Every Christian had the heart to bear fruits for the Lord, many are willing to offer to God. But because they had many other desires which requires money, they often find it hard to offer. But if these desires are cut off, they will have more resources to offer to God willingly.

Every Christian wanted to be able to serve God and spend more time in the ministry. But sometimes we do not have the time. The fact is, God had given everyone 24 hours, and every Christian need to work and take care of their family. But some are able to find time for God while others don’t. This is more a question about how we use our time, if we have used them on things that are important.

If we want to handle our lives well to cut waste and to find time to serve God, we need to be able to free up our time and resources. Sometimes our desires hinder us from getting what we need to serve God.

How to be pruned by Jesus?

But how does God prune us so that we can bear more fruit?

“For the word of God is living and powerful,
and sharper than any two-edged sword,
piercing even to the division of soul and
spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is
a discerner of the thoughts and intents
of the heart.”- Author of Hebrews (Heb 4:12)

The word of God is living and powerful, it can pierce through our hearts, discerning our intentions and thoughts. It will point out what is not good within us, what is unnecessary and where to prune. It is not meant to hurt us, for that is the pruning of God to help us identified the aspect of us that need improvement. God’s word is like a sword that pierce our hearts, but it is not meant to hurt us, it is meant to prune us, help us improve ourselves.

Today, if we feel hurt when listening to a sermon. Let us not be unhappy and offended by it. For that is a good thing and we have discovered where our weakness is.

There are 2 common responses we see in people, some will continue in their wrong, and pile more sin and mistakes on top of it. Others will acknowledge their mistakes and repent. If the word of God is right and we are offended by it. Do the fault lies in the word of God or in us?
How should we go from here?

That is the exact moment when the word of God prunes us.

If we allow the word of God to prune our character, if we listen to it and repent, we will be renewed. Perhaps we may repeat our mistake in our moment of weakness, but if we turn to God he will help us overcome it.

That is why, if we feel that the word of God had hurt us, we should submit to it, give thanks and allow it to pierce into our heart. It will bring about change and it will cleanse us

You must be joined to Jesus the true vine to bear fruit

Besides allowing God to prune us, we must be joined to the Lord to bear fruit.

“I am the vine, you are the branches.
He who abides in Me, and I in him,
bears much fruit; for without Me you
can do nothing.”- Jesus (Jn 15:5)

We need to ask ourselves if we are abiding in the Lord or not. Abiding in the Lord is not about our church attendance . It doesn’t mean that those who are not physically in the church building do not abide in the Lord.  For many are able to come and sit in the church hall, but their hearts are far away from the Lord.

Is our hearts in the church? Have we examined ourselves?  Sometimes our hearts can run around while we are siting in the hall. But Jesus wanted our heart to be in service as we are gathering  in church.

We need to worship in Spirit and in truth, our hearts must be joined to the Lord. This is important, especially when we sing a hymn, pray or listen to a sermon.  For Jesus continues to tell us

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you,
you will ask what you desire, and it shall be
done for you.”- Jesus (Jn 15:7)

Whenever we gather in churches, read the bible, pray or listen to a sermon, we are abiding in his words, we are attaching our hearts to the Lord. Some may think that coming to church is a habit, for they come in and leave on time. It is a good habit, but good habit does not help one grow in faith. If our worship of God is a habit, it is a good habit to have, but we cannot allow our faith to become a habit. For faith is a communion with God and his words. It is through prayers, hymns and listening to his word,s we have communion with God.

Do we only focus on how well we sing? Do we sing with our hearts and mean what we sing? We may be singing about being a disciple, but are we truly his disciple?  IF through the hymn we examine ourselves, discover that we are far from the standards of God. If we repent and ask God for forgiveness and mercy, than a simple hymn is all that it needs to bring us closer to God, to have our hearts aligned with God.

But its sad, ‘since we often sing with our lips and our hearts are not there, we may come to church but we lead our own life outside of church. One who is truly joined to the Lord will sing with his heart and his faith. Those who practice this will have a different life of faith, they will improve over time.

We do not sing a hymn or speak for the sake of receiving applause from man.

The same principle applies to prayer, the truth is there is no rules in the bible that demanded people to pray for a specific length of time, but we know that if left by ourselves, our prayer will only last for seconds. What is important is not about the length of prayer, but whether we prayed with our hearts. If we pray with our hearts, we will feel the Lord before us. There are times when we pray and it felt as though God had left, but that is usually because we have many other things that had replaced the position of God in that prayer.

These are all lessons we need to know, if we can do this well, we can bear more fruit.

PT 4: A True disciple loves God above everything

“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his
father and mother, wife and children, brothers
and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot
be My disciple. ”- Jesus (Lk 14:26)

In order to be disciples, we must love God above our family. This is one of the hardest verse in the bible and the one that draws the most irk from readers. But the bible is not saying that Christian are not to be filial nor love their parents.

But today if our parents or family obstructs us from believing in Jesus, and they stop us from serving God. We need to overcome their objection. There is no need for us to openly disobey them, or to say hurtful words to hurt them. But  we need to make our stand clear. If our family object to our faith as Christians, that is not right. While we can submit to them on many occasions, but we should not give in for this is wrong. There is no need for us to fight them but we ought to make our stand clear.

Let us learn to persist in our stand and be loyal to God. Let us not betray the Lord

Finally, let us consider

And whoever does not bear his
cross and come after Me cannot
be My disciple”-Jesus (Lk 14:27)

We need to bear our own cross as disciples. Every Christian has their own problem and their own troubles. Some are easy to solve while others add on to sorrows. Perhaps we may have prayed about it often and it appears that God remained silent.

So sometimes we murmur against God and ask why he did not help his disciples.  But Jesus had already told us that his disciples need to carry their cross.

Indeed, there are times we need to bear the cross, and it is a trial for us. Trials are like exams, while we will gladly help a friend with their assignment interfering with their exams will bring harm to them. In our life of faith, there are crosses we near to bear.

It is true that sometimes we can choose to throw the cross away and stop believing in Jesus. We can do whatever we want, and be as low and dirty as some may play. We can choose to ignore conscience and not care about anything. We can defend ourselves and get back on our aggressors. As long as we are cruel enough, we can resolve many problems. That is the way of the world

Sometimes being a disciple is hard, by choosing to hold on to our faith, we bring trouble upon ourselves. We cannot do what the people of the world do. But we must be willing to carry that cross. For Jesus bear the cross for us in the first place.

The gospel is the message of the cross, its followers tread on the way of the cross. We need to be willing to bear the cross and walk down that path. For we know that no matter how heavy the cross is it is worth it. It is worth more than our lives.

For the end of that path is the glorious heaven, that is the way that Jesus had walked.  If Jesus had to walk on that path to be glorified. How can his disciples be spared of it? Jesus had already carried the cross on our behalf so that we can receive this glory. Let us carry our cross and follow the Lord

May God grant us this faith, may we truly be his disciples.

So far, we have studied the following


1. The Holy Spirit Is Here To Lead Us Into All Truth  (Part 1, Part 2)
     a. Aspect 1: To lead individuals to develop a relationship with the Truth 
     b. Aspect 2: To lead the church into all Truth 
2. The Holy Spirit is here to lead the church into all truth (Part 3)

We have taken a detailed look on how the Holy Spirit is able to lead us into truth. Now it is time for us to examine the second point of the Pneumatology of Christ

Pt 2: Holy Spirit  will not go against Word of God

Let us examine the words of Christ again

“However, when He, the Spirit of truth,
  has come, He will guide you into all truth;
  for He will not speak on His own authority,
  but whatever He hears He will speak;
  and He will tell you things to come.”- Jesus (Jn 16:13)

Jesus tells us that the Holy Spirit will not speak on his own authority. He will only tell us what he heard  from God. Jesus continues tells us
 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what
   is Mine and declare it to you” – Jesus (Jn 16:14)

The Holy Spirit will not tell you that which does not belong to Christ. He will never go beyond the words of God or speak against it. This is an important concept that we must understand, for it will affect how we discern the truth.

The modern Christendom is full of people who claims to be moved by the Spirit. But if any of them spoke against the word of God. Then he is speaking on his own authority and is not led by the Holy Spirit

Misconception 3.  Must we listen everything revealed by the Spirit?

Today are many religion including Christianity believes in the inspiration and revelation of a Spirit. But ironically, many of these inspired word from the Spirit goes against the truth from the Bible. These inspiration were not the words of Jesus.

That is why it is so important for Christians to learn to discern. There are some who feels, that since the Holy Spirit is here to lead us into all truth. Therefore, whatever the Spirit said must be right and should be accepted.

But is this the right concept to hold? Jesus tell us that the Holy Spirit will never speak on his own. He will only tell you what he had heard, he will only take what belongs to Jesus and declare them to us. That is the right understanding we ought to have.

What are “Things To Come” in John 16:13?

But when we read John 16:13, we understood that the Holy Spirit will tell Christians about the things to come. But what is it referring to? Those things to come concern the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus. Those are things that had yet to happen at the point of John 16:13.

Why must Jesus die? How will he resurrected? Why must he ascend to heaven?  What does all these have to do with our faith as a Christian? Those are questions that the apostles are still unable to understand at the point of time.

When the Spirit came, he lead them into all truth, they have wrote their understanding in Greek for the sake of the wider audience  and today these writings form the New Testament that we read. These words they wrote are based on the words of Jesus, not revelations from Spirits. The Holy Spirit allowed them to recall the words of Jesus, when they entered into all truth, they are able to understand its spirit and its meaning.

As Christians we ought to understand that the Holy Spirit will never go against the truth. Why is it so? Let us examine the reasons behind it.

Reason #1 : The Holy Spirit Is The Truth, Just like Jesus

One of the simplest and the most important reason is the fact that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth.  We know that Jesus is the truth. How can the Spirit of Truth go against the Truth of Jesus?

But where in the bible tells us that the Holy Spirit is Truth? 

“This is He who came by water and blood—
  Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by
  water and blood. And it is the Spirit who
  bears witness, because the Spirit is truth
  For there are three that bear witness in
  heaven: the Father, the Word, and the
  Holy Spirit; and these three are one.”- John (1 Jn 5:6-7) 

John explains why the testimony of the Holy Spirit is authoritative. That is because the Holy Spirit is truth. The same John wrote in the gospel that Jesus is the truth. Can there be two truth? no, for the Truth is only one. By calling the Holy Spirit truth, he implying that the Holy Spirit is one with Jesus.

Just as Jesus is one with the father, and the Holy Spirit is the spirit of Jesus, that makes him the truth.  So how do we know that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus? 

“Now when they had gone through Phrygia
  and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden
  by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. 7
After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go
  into Bithynia, but the Spirit[ did not permit them.” –Luke (Acts 16:6-7)

Luke was narrating about the missionary journey of Paul. Here the Holy Spirit stopped them in Asia and they went to Bithynia, now the Spirit did not permit them. Some  translation included the text “Spirit Of Jesus”

The Apostles uses the term Holy Spirit and Jesus interchangeably as if they are the same.  Interestingly, these are concepts that most in Christendom cannot accept. There are some who even thinks that the Holy Spirit is merely the power of God. Others believed in the Trinity where God is 3 distinct and separate being yet are one. People with such belief will not regard the Holy Spirit to be the same as  Jesus. 

But the Apostles through the guidance of the Holy Spirit came to this understanding. The Holy Spirit is one with Jesus, just like Jesus is one with the father. John called the Holy Spirit the truth, and Luke called the Holy Spirit the spirit of Jesus. 

The Disciples Only Understood This After Receiving The Holy Spirit

This understanding is not something they have at the beginning when they followed Christ. They understood it only on Pentecost. Perhaps some will wonder how I came to this conclusion?

“A  little while, and you will not see Me; 
   and again a little while, and you will
   see Me, because I go to the Father.”- Jesus (Jn 16;16)

This words are spoken very soon after Jesus talked about the Holy Spirit. The disciples was very puzzled about what Jesus was saying at that point of time.  They did not know what Jesus meant. Where is Jesus going? will he return tomorrow? Will they ever get to see him again?

They were wondering among themselves

“What is this that He says to us, ‘A little
  while, and you will not see Me; and again
  a little while, and you will see Me’; and,
  ‘because I go to the Father’?”  – Disciples (Jn 16:17)

Jesus was saying that he will go to the Father. This seem to suggest that the disciples did not see him for he will die. But yet Jesus said “A Little while later you will see me.”

Jesus went on to tell the disciples

“Therefore you now have sorrow;
  but I will see you again and your
  heart will rejoice, and your joy
  no one will take from you.

  And in that day you will ask Me    
  nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you,
  whatever you ask the Father in My
  name He will give you.” – Jesus (Jn 16:22-23)

Jesus was in fact talking about what will happen after his resurrection.  He will come and he will see them, and their hearts will rejoice.   The joy they will receive is not a normal joy,it is a joy that will never be taken away from them.

He also said that when he comes again, they will not need to ask anymore. For they will understand all things. When that happen, they can ask from the father and he will grant you.  This is something the disciples cannot understand initially, they understood only later.

For after Jesus had died, resurrected and appeared to them again. They are able to experience the joy of seeing Jesus again. This joy happen even when they are living in fear.When Jesus appeared them in Jn 20:19. When Jesus come and said “Peace be with you” when he show them his hand and his sides. That is when they rejoice. That is the point of time where they understood what he meant. For a little while they will see him.

Indeed when they see Jesus after his death, they were full of Joy. But how long did that joy last? We know that Jesus later ascended to heaven. Did their joy depart because Jesus had ascended to heaven?

Keeping Difficult Sayings Of Jesus In Our Heart

But Jesus promised them that he will see them forever,they will dwell together.

“I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. 
  A little while longer and the world will see Me
  no more, but you will see Me. Because I live,
  you will live also.  At that day you will know
  that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and
  I in you.”- Jesus (Jn 14:18-20)

“And I will pray the Father, and He will give
   you another Helper, that He may abide with
  you forever—”- Jesus (Jn 14:16)

Jesus  promised that he will not leave his disciples, and he will come to them. A little while longer the world will see Jesus no more. But his disciples will see him. They will not just see him but they will know that Jesus is in the father, and they are in him and he is in them.

These are things they cannot understand at that point of time. When Jesus spoke these words, he was standing before them, they have seen him eating and drinking just like a human. How can Jesus be in them and how can they be in Jesus?  This is  something that they cannot understand how it works.

There was another occasion where Jesus said that one need to eat his flesh and drink his blood to have life. (Jn 6). These are things they are unable to understand, how can a man say this? This is a hard saying, but it is an important saying, for it concern salvation and life.

The 2 points above are different form stories about miracles of  casting demons and healing of the sick. Stories about miracles are easy to understand, but they are unable to cleanse a person of sin. It cannot bring about salvation. Even today we have many who received miracles from Jesus and were unable to find faith. That is why many departed from Jesus  just because

This is different from stories of casting out demons and healing the sick. Those are stories that are easy to understand. But they are unable to cleanse one from sin. It cannot bring salvation.  Today there are many who received miracles and are unable to believe. Many departed from Jesus after they heard the hard teaching.

Only those who really believe that the words of Christ are life. Only those who believe that his words are truth that can cleanse us from sin, to lead us to God and save us. Then the words of Jesus will be important to us.

The Holy Spirit is here to help us understand these truth spoken by Jesus. These words have life and are able to save us. We need to remember them. Even if we do not understand them, we need to keep them close to our hearts. When we hear someone explaining it, the Holy Spirit will guide us to understand it. That is the point of time when we enter into the truth and have a relationship with God.

Building Your Faith Upon The Word Of God

When our lives developed a relationship with Christ, That relationship is not built upon a mere rational understanding of God. It is a faith built upon the words of God.

Before the arrival of the Holy Spirit, the disciples were unable to understand many things. But the day will come when they could understand it. When Jesus ascended to heaven, they prayed for another 10 days until the day of Pentecost. When the Holy Spirit finally came they understood and experienced joy. That is a joy that no one can take away from them.

The facts speaks for themselves. the apostles are thrown into prison and whipped. They did not complain against God. They did not expect the Holy Spirit to come and protect them so that they will not feel any hurt or pain. They are willing to be flogged and they did not complain. Instead they were filled with joy and the joy cannot be taken away.

For the Holy Spirit had proven that the things they know, and their belief is true. For Jesus is indeed God and saviour. He did not leave them as often. He dwells with them through the Holy Spirit, bringing them peace, joy in their heart. 

The Holy spirit is not just a witness to our faith, he is able to lead us to peace and joy. The peace and joy that comes from the Holy Spirit cannot be understood by others. It is amazing, especially to those who were looking at the disciples.  Their actions amazed the officers, scribes and the Pharisees.

What is most important is that the Holy Spirit allowed the disciples to understand the words of Jesus.

“And in that day you will ask
  Me nothing. Most assuredly,
  I say to you, whatever you ask
  the Father in My name He will
  give you”- Jesus (Jn 16:23)

For the Holy Spirit will lead them from then on. Today the Holy Sprit is still the as the Holy Spirit of the Apostolic Church. The promise of Jesus is not restricted to the disciples, it is given to us as well. For God will not leave us as orphans. The Holy Spirit is a precious promise.. It is a promise from Jesus never to leave us as orphans.  It is through the moving of the Holy Spirit we know that our faith is true.

The Importance Of Submitting To The Holy Spirit

Today it is important for us to submit to the moving of the Holy Spirit. I am not referring to just about marriage or work or  matters concerning our lives on earth. We need to submit to the Holy Spirit to allow him to guide you to that truth that save our souls. Only then can we really fulfil that commission given to us by Jesus, to preach to our friends and relatives.

Then our direction in life will become intertwined with the salvation plan of God. Then our lives will truly be of value. All work on earth must come to an end, but only the work of God had eternal value. This work is not reserved for ministers but it is entrusted to all disciples of Christ.

The Holy Spirit is not a mere guarantee it is not given just for the sake of assurance of our heavenly inheritance. Man often mistaken that that is the sole purpose of the Hoy Spirit, but it is not his only work. The Holy Spirit spoken off by Christ is more than that. Jesus had mentioned it in the gospel.

If we take heed and learn about the Pneumatology of Christ, than when he arrives he will guide you into all truth. But the question is whether we would be willing to listen and submit to the truth. The Holy Spirit will help us achieve a life of righteousness and be a new man. He will also want to propagate the gospel through us. We will examine this a while later

Now let us look at some common misconception that will arise with this aspect

Misconception 4 : Holy Spirit Will Reveal The Date Of 2nd Coming

There are some in Christendom that believes that the Holy Spirit will reveal the date of the second coming of Christ. But now we understand that the Holy Spirit will never go against the teaching of Christ. He will only speak according to the word of God and never go against it.

Let us examine a practical example that demonstrate this. So that we can understand the work of the Holy Spirit fully. There are some Christians who quote the words of Paul

“But God has revealed them to
  us through His Spirit. For the
  Spirit searches all things, yes,
  the deep things of God. 
  For what man knows the things
  of a man except the spirit of the
  man which is in him? Even so no
  one knows the things of God except
  the Spirit of God.”’ – Paul (1 Cor 2:10-11 )

Then they conclude saying that since the Holy Spirit searches all things including the deep things of God. Therefore they say that the Holy Spirit will reveal certain spiritual mysteries to man. So today, if someone who claims “I know when will Christ will come again” Should you believed in his words?

Definitely not, for Jesus once said

“But of that day and hour no one knows,
  not even the angels of heaven, but My
  Father only.”- Jesus (Matt 24:36 )

These are the words of Jesus. no one knows the day and the time, not even the angels of heaven. Only the father knows it. It is from this verse we know that what he said was wrong. But what if he claims “This is revealed by the Holy Spirit who searches the deep things of God.”Now he claims that it is God who had revealed this to him. should we believe in him?

If we remember the pneumatology  of Christ. If we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us to the truth. Then we will understand that the Holy Spirit will never speak against the word of Christ. The Holy spirit is the spirit of Truth, he is the truth and he is Jesus.

Misconception 5 : Will God Change His mind And Reveal It through The Spirit?

There are also some in Christendom who thinks, perhaps in the past God would not want to reveal it but now he changed his mind. But when you question him further why he thought so he simply says. “The Holy Spirit said it, so now I am telling you”. This appears to be logical. But that is base on the teaching of man.

What did Jesus tell us about the Holy Spirit? Is truth relative? Can truth change suddenly?

Paul gave us an important principle when it comes to discerning the truth

“But as God is faithful, our word to you
  was not Yes and No. For the Son of God,
  Jesus Christ, who was preached among
  you by us—by me, Silvanus, and Timothy—
  was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes.” – Paul (2 Cor 1:18-19)

There is only one Truth and the Truth is unchanging. That should be the basis of faith. A truth that changes over time, that is relative only to the era is an incomplete truth. If a truth needs to be supplemented, how can this truth be complete, how can it be used as a foundation and the basis of faith?

Knowledge that belongs to man can change over time. That is because our understanding may not be perfect. That is why there are new discoveries, and why we need to add supplements to our knowledge. That result to a more complete and a more correct understanding.

But that cannot apply to the truth of God, we cannot say that the truth of God was imperfect. If it is true that the Holy Spirit need to make supplements to itself, so that the truth will be perfect. What shall we do if the Holy Spirit comes back next year with a new truth?

A truth that changes over time is not the truth. They are not truth but the precepts of man. But the Truth from God is absolute, Paul tell us that all in God is yes. God will never say “Yes and no” especially when it concerning salvation.

The Truth of salvation is given once and for all to the saints. That is why Paul remind us that the things he teach is not “Yes and no”. It is given one and for all to the saints. The Truth is not revealed over time, it is given as one complete package. It is complete, and all the components are presents. there is no need for supplements to be sent to it.

that is why Christians ought to contend for the truth that is given to us.

Conclusion : Discerning The Word Of God

Jesus once said

“Heaven and earth will pass away,
  but my words will not pass away” – Jesus (Matt 24:35)

Jesus will never change his truth, nor will he need to supplement to it. There will be not be corrections. This is something we need to understand. The Holy Spirit is here to help us understand the truth and to built our faith upon Jesus

We need to use the word of God as the yardstick to help us discern what we hear. This is important especially in the last days where there are many false prophets and false price. They will talk of marvellous things, things too good to be true. They will even back up their claim by saying that this is a revelation of the Holy Sprit. They will even appear with the power and authority of God. They will perform many miracles, they can cast out the demons and heal diseases. they will appear to have come from God.

If we use miracles to testify and judge the truth. We will be at risk of being deceived. We need to compare their words to see if it is truly from God. We need to check if what they speak is in accordance to the truth. We need to judge if he had went beyond the truth

May God help us to understand and discern the teaching of the Holy spirit. May it preserve our faith and help us in discerning the truth.


The bible uses different titles to describe a believer of Christ. Many thinks that the titles are like ranks, one is higher than the other. But the fact is, these titles are used simultaneously. Each of these titles had a different significance  Each significance tells us of the virtues a believer ought to have.

That is why we ought to examines these titles and examine our faith with them. Are we living up to the expectation of these titles? or are we fake believers who does not live up to its standards?

The first and the most common title of a Christian is a believer. Even though it is common, but the significance behind the title is extraordinary. For a believer is one who had faith and believe in the word of God.

Faith is the beginning of our spiritual life. It is the most fundamental quality that God is pleased with.

Understanding what basic faith is about

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him,
for he who comes to God must believe that He is,
  and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently
  seek Him.”- Author of Hebrews (Heb 11:6)

This verse will be a great fit if everyone who comes before God believe in him. But the fact is that there are also people who comes before God and does not believe. Would it be unfair to expect these people to have faith?  This verse tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God. Is that a reasonable demand? If yes, what is the definition of faith over here?

The author said “"Believe that He is”. It is a faith that believe in the existence of God. God will reward those who hold such faith. The most basic faith is a faith that believe in the existence of God. Such faith will be rewarded by God, the faith mentioned by the author of Hebrews is not so much about believing in Jesus or the salvation of Christ. He is talking about the simple faith that believe that God is there in the first place. That belief is part of the nature of man. For God had place this nature into all man to seek him.

because what may be known of God
  is manifest in them, for God has shown
  it to them. For since the creation of the
  world His invisible attributes are clearly
  seen, being understood by the things
  that are made, even His eternal power
  and Godhead, so that they are without
  excuse,”- Paul (Rom 1:19-20)

Paul tell us that the works of God is seen clearly in the hearts of man. Have we wonder why every culture and every race had a concept of a God even though they have never seen him? That is because God had place that concept into the very nature of man.

This is done so that man will know that there is a God, for within him he knows that there is a creator.  That creator created the entire universe. This is so from ancient time even till now. Man had the heart to seek and worship God, it is often express through  his action. Even Atheist when force to desperation hope of a miracle or some unknown intervention.

This is a trait not seen in animals, for animals do not  have a nature to worship God. This is only seen in man. Whenever a man seeks for God, God will be pleased. God will see his heart and move him and guide him to understand.  Eventually he will find God and understood the word of God.

Reasons for unbelief

Today if one comes before God without faith, he comes before God believing in himself only. It is difficult for a man with such an attitude to be moved or guided by God. He may be a scholar in Greek and Hebrew, he may be able to read the bible in its original language from cover to cover. But he will read it and not understand, for he did not allow the word of God to dwell in him, he had rejected God upfront. He had denied the nature that God had placed in his heart. For he trust only in his own rational mind and his ability as a scholar.

A man with such attitude will make statements like “I will only accept if I can rationalise this in my mind. I will only believe if I see with my own eyes”. On the surface that sound reasonable. But if we take a step back and ask, does he only believe when he sees? That may not be the case all the time.

He had never seen his forefathers, but he know they exist, for he heard his grandfather talks about his own grandfather. At the same time he reads of books and historical character that they have not met. But yet he believe that they exist.  But ironically when he read about God in the bible, he finds it hard to believe. 

Others tend to say “I will only believe if my mind can accept and understand it”. This statement sounds fair, but is that what they do strictly? No, for they do no understand a lot of the components they see on their food labels, but they have the courage to eat the food . They are unable to understand how a mobile phone works, but they use them nonetheless.  Most of them are willing to use it because they can see the benefits from using it.

Others says “I will believe only when i see the proof of God”. That appears reasonable, but yet they are often seen using things that are unproven. When they get onto the cab, they did not demand a proof from the driver that he is a good man. They used his services in good faith believing that he is a gentleman. The proof will only be there when they complete the trip unscathed.  

Being a True believer

The truth is that, we do believe in things that cannot be seen , proven or understood. But yet when it comes to faith, we demand the strictest evidence. Is there a need for such evidence? We feel that there is a need because we do not have a heart to believe. We want to believe in ourselves and what we experience.

One day God will ask “"If we can believe in so many things, why not believe in me?”

God had place that nature to seek him in the heart of man, but we often choose to reject it. He place that nature within us because of his love, he took the first step to manifest himself before us. But not everyone is willing to follow and believe and that is the problem.

Many thinks that God choose not to reveal himself to us, and it is his fault but God had already taken that first step to allow us to believe in his existence, but we are the ones who choose to  reject and deny him.  We choose to believe and rely on ourselves, is it fair for us to push that blame to God?

That is why the bible gives us a definition of faith

“Now faith is the substance of things
  hoped for, the evidence of things not
  seen.”- Author of Hebrews (Heb 11:1)

Faith is something that we hope for, it is about believing what we did not see. If faith is not a result of us examining the evidence. There is only so much evidence we can gather, there is just so much knowledge we can accumulate. But faith is believing in something that is not seen. Faith is not a result of seeing, and Christians need to rely on faith to please God.  That is why they are rewarded when they seek God.

Today we can use this same faith to know God and believe in him. IF we are able to do so, we have become a believer. A believer is someone who believe in the Lord. But let us go one step deeper into this understanding.

What does it mean to be a believer? What is expected from a believer?  Are we a true believer?  That is a question that Jesus ask all of us.

“But there are some of you who do not believe.”
  For Jesus knew from the beginning who they
  were who did not believe, and who would
  betray Him.”- John (Jn 6:64)

Jesus already knew who would believe and who would not. He even know who will betray him.
What does the title of believer signifies? Let us examine a few points here.

Pt 1: A believer to truly believe in the word of the Lord

Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your son lives.”
  So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke
  to him, and he went his way. And as he was now
  going down, his servants met him and told him,
saying, “Your son lives!” – John (Jn 4:50-51)

The nobleman son is sick to the point of dying. The noble came to Jesus and pleaded with him to come to Capernaum to heal his son. But Jesus did not accede to that request. Jesus told him simply  “Go your way; your son lives.”. 

How would we have responded? Jesus did not grant our request, can my son be healed?  Sometimes we doubt, but the nobleman is a true believer, he truly believe in the words of Jesus. He place his trust in Jesus and headed back.

Today there were many words spoken by Jesus which we no longer believe, even if we do believe, we have our doubts over it. But if we are unable to believe in the words of Jesus, are we still believers?

“Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives,
  the disciples came to Him privately, saying,
   “Tell us, when will these things be? And
    what will be the sign of Your coming,
    and of the end of the age?””= Mathew (Matt 24:3)

The disciples believed that Jesus will come again and when it happens it would be the end of the world. This is something many Christians do not believe today. But these was spoken by Jesus. The disciples believed, that is why they asked about the sign of his coming. Those who do not believe will not ask such question. They will treat this as a threat, a fairy tale or a story

But those who truly believe in the words of Jesus, will make preparations for his second coming. It is a pity that after Jesus ascended to heaven, many Christians stopped believing in this. Peter wrote about people who mock and scorn at the second coming of Christ. For many years have past and Jesus had not come. The word continues to go on and the world continue to progress. How could the world be destroyed?

As the result many stop believing in his second coming.

 The state of many churches today

When Peter wrote about people who stopped believing in the second coming of Jesus, it should be between the period of 30 CE-70CE.  40 years have barely past and the people had stop believing. How more now in year 2017, two thousand years away from Christ.

That is why many Christians no longer believe in the second coming.  The churches are no longer in use, and many of these buildings were sold. Sometimes my church would purchase these buildings. When we encounter the members of the previous church that gathered. Sometimes they will find it amusing why we wanted to purchase their building. For they themselves have already stopped going to church and have decided to sell the building off.

What is sadder is when some of the church buildings are converted into bars and people make a mockery out of the phrase “Lets go to the church”. It seems that many Christians have stopped gathering in churches.

Yet we know of Christians who choose to gather to worship at all times. Even though they have no church building, they will gather in each others house.

From here we can see that different believers have different levels of faith. But let us not examine others but ourselves. Do we truly believe in the words of Jesus? If we do, we should be prepared for his second coming. We may not be rich on earth but we will never be without God. It doesn’t matter if we are rich or poor, for we know that life on earth is short and all will come to nothing in the end.

We will be satisfied with God, and find peace and joy in the midst of our difficulties. We will not be like the rich fool. The rich fool only believe when he sees God, but it was too late for him. 

 Pt 2: To believe is to have a living faith accompanied with works

“You believe that there is one God.
  You do well. Even the demons believe
  —and tremble! But do you want to know,
   O foolish man, that faith without works
  is dead?”- James (Jas 2:19-20)

Interestingly, the demons sometimes have more faith than man. While many on earth choose not to believe in God, but the devil knew and believe God exist. While many on earth forget that Jesus will return to the world as a judge, the devil believes in the judgement of God, he trembles at the thought of it.

The devil have faith, but can such a faith save him?  James tells us that they believe and they tremble, but their belief is one without action, it is faith without works. He believe in God but not worship God, he believe in God’s judgement, but there is no repentance. that is a faith without works, it is  a dead faith.

Today many of us believe that Jesus is our saviour, we believe he will come again. But is our faith one with works? Have we truly repented from our sin and ask God for forgiveness? Are we willing to keep his words and do all that he had commanded. If we believe but refuses to draw near to God. If we believe in the judgement of God yet continue to sin. Can such a faith save us?

That type  of faith is no different then a faith of a demon. We need to have faith and we need to accompany faith with works. then that is a true faith, a faith that can save. It is a faith that will follow the command of God.

If not, Jesus will ask us “Why do you call me Lord and not do as I say?” We need to repent be zealous so God will truly love us. God does not want to judge us, he will that all man be saved. But the day of judgement is set, for God is just and we need to judge man for the things they do. That is why we need to obey the words of God.

There are many things that we need to be serious about on earth. We need to put in our effort in  order to gain the reward. That is why we study and work heart, we are willing to sacrifice for the sake of result. But why is it that we are not willing to do so with regards to faith?

Pt 3: To believe is to have God in our hearts

It is our choice if we want to believe in God or not. It is our choice to be serious in our faith. I hope that each and everyone of us will make the right choice.

“As many as I love, I rebuke
  and chasten. Therefore be zealous
  and repent. Behold, I stand at the
  door and knock. If anyone hears
  My voice and opens the door, I will
  come in to him and dine with him,
  and he with Me.”- Jesus (Rev 3:19-20)

Jesus rebuked the church of Laodicea. They appear as good before the eyes of man. They are zealous in their service and they offered much and preached the gospel. The church appeared prosperous and good, lacking nothing. They called Jesus Lord and are pious in their worship of God.

But God does not judge by their external experience, God look into their heart. Their heart is without God and that is something that shock people. For these Christians are zealous yet without God in their heart. They called Jesus Lord with their lips, but there is no Lord in their heart, there is no fear of God, can external faithfulness save a person?

The Pharisees are serious in their worship, but their external faithfulness save them? They appear perfect, but Jesus called them whitewashed tombs. For there tombs look beautiful but within them are dead mans bones.

Faith is not an external show for others to see, it is about having God in our hearts and being a true believers. That is why Jesus rebuked these men, they need to repent and be zealous for God. They need to open the door of their hearts so that Christ can enter them. they need to allow Christ to be their king and to rule over their hearts. then they will be a true believer with a faith that saves.   

The Umbrella Illustration

There was a merchant who often goes to the native village to do businesses.  Whenever he arrives at the village, he will carry an umbrella with him, and the natives find it strange. they have never seen an umbrella and wonder what it does. But they figured that since the merchant carry it all the times, it must be something important.

One day the chief asked the merchant. “What is this umbrella for? Why did you carry it?”
The merchant replied, “The umbrella is useful, especially when it rains. You will not get wet in the rain if you carry the umbrella with you. If you would like, I can sell my umbrella to you.”

So the chief bought the umbrella and he waited for rain, finally one day it started to rain. Everyone in the village gathered at the chief house, they wanted to see him use the umbrella. However the chief took the umbrella with him  and he was wet. The tribes man thought he was using the umbrella incorrectly. They advice him to hold it with both hands. But no matter how he hold it, he was still wet.

So everyone in the village thought that the merchant had cheated them. When the merchant arrives at the village again, they scolded him and call him a cheat.

“Didn’t you say that if i carry the umbrella I won’t get wet? Why am I drenched?” The chief asked.

So the merchant asked “How did you hold it?”

The chief replied “ I held it with both hands, a single hand, and even strapping it on my back”

The merchant asked “ did you open the umbrella?”

that is when the merchant opened the umbrella. From then on the chief knew that he would not get wet if he opens the umbrella.

It is good for us to be Christians and it is good for us to believe in Jesus.  But if we refuse to open our hearts, if we refuse to fear God and to allow God to rule in our hearts. What is the use of holding on to faith?

Jesus wanted to come into our hearts, and he want to dine together with us. May everyone open their hearts tot he Lord. May God be in our hearts always. May we learn to worship him with our hearts, for such a man is a true believer.


So far, we have studied the following

1. The Holy Spirit Is Here To Lead Us Into All Truth  (Part 1, Part 2)
     a. Aspect 1: To lead individuals to develop a relationship with the Truth 
     b. Aspect 2: To lead the church into all Truth 

Now after having the understanding of Entering Into The Truth. Lets move from individual into the church.

Pt 1.2: The H/S Is here to Lead The Church Into All Truth

The Holy Spirit is here to guide the church into all truth. That is to develop a deeper understanding of the truth. This is best seen in how they understood and explain the scriptures. In this example, we will look at how they explain the prophecy regarding the rebuilding of the temple.

“After this I will return
  And will rebuild the tabernacle
  of David, which has fallen down;
  I will rebuild its ruins,
  And I will set it up;
   So that the rest of mankind may
  seek the Lord,
  Even all the Gentiles who are called
  by My name,
  Says the Lord who does all these things.’”
  Known to God from eternity are all His works.
  Therefore I judge that we should not
  trouble those from among the Gentiles
  who are turning to God, “- James (Acts 15:16-19)

James was quoting the old testament scriptures and during the discussion about circumcision  during the counsel at Jerusalem. James quoted the scriptures regarding the rebuilding of the temple. His usage of the prophecy tells us that the apostles viewed the rebuilding of the temple to be more than a physical event. It also concern the establishment of the church.

Today many non believing or half believing Christian will discredit the new testament by accusing the apostles of quoting the scriptures out of context. But many of them do so because they were unable to understand how the Apostles was lead to the truth.

Let us examine how the apostles explained the prophecy of rebuilding the tent of David.

The basic textual understanding and the truth led by the Spirit

In its raw form, the prophecy was made by Amos. In its context, Amos was talking about the time after the first temple was destroyed. God was prophesying that the temple will be rebuilt. As far as the textual fulfilment of this prophecy, it is already fulfilled.

For we know as a historical fact of how God led the Jews to return from the Babylonian captivity.  Zerubbabel, Ezra and Nehemiah return to Jerusalem and the temple was rebuilt.

But the Holy Spirit lead the disciples to look at this prophecy at a deeper level. The Apostles saw a dimension into the truth regarding the prophecy. the prophecy is also about rebuilding of the temple in the latter days. That is the apostolic church built by the Holy Spirit.

For the old prophecy of Amos contains something else which was unfulfilled. That prophecy talks about the Gentiles coming in to the temple to worship God after it is rebuilt.

The fact is that after the Jews rebuilt the temple, there are not a lot of gentiles coming to follow the Lord. That part of the prophecy was not fulfilled. It is only fulfilled after the apostolic church is established by Jesus.

For God said he will rebuild the fallen tent of David, and this rebuilt tent is the Church. Through the church, God will save Israel as well as the gentiles. When Peter first  preached to the gentiles, he understood it, the apostles understood that as well. That is why they quoted the prophecy about rebuilding the fallen tent of David.

There understand that the gentiles who will enter the rebuilt tabernacle of David (that is the church). That understanding is not created out of thin air, they did not come up with the concept because they woke up on the wrong side of the bed . They took that understanding from the words of Jesus.

“Destroy this temple, and in
  three days I will raise it up.”- Jesus (Jn 2:19)

Initially the disciples did not understand what Jesus meant. Especially about the part that he will raise the temple. As far as they know, the temple was ready rebuilt. They extended the temple later and it took 46 years to complete that extension. How could the temple be destroyed and rebuilt in 3 days?

At that point of time, they are unable to understand or link that to the prophecy on Amos. 
But after  Jesus ascended to heaven, and poured the Holy Spirit onto the first Christian. Not long later the gospel is preached to the gentiles and the Holy Spirit fell on them even though they did not keep the Law of Moses. They finally understood and believed the scriptures.

For now indeed the gentiles are able to call onto the name of Jesus and be saved just like the Jews. That is when they understood what Jesus meant.  That is why John wrote this in his gospel. 

“But He was speaking of the
  temple of His body.  Therefore,
  when He had risen from the dead,
  His disciples remembered that He
  had said this to them; and they
  believed the Scripture and the word
  which Jesus had said.”- John (Jn 2:21-22)

At point of time, the scriptures referred to the old testament. These Christians believed in the scriptures as well as the words of Jesus. That is why you see them arriving at this understanding of the prophecy of Amos. 

 Was The Apostles Understanding Wrong?

So now we understand that Jesus was raising a spiritual temple which is the church. Today it is through the church God will save all of mankind. The Church must be built on the truth an dthe Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is given to both Jews and gentiles who did not follow the Mosaic covenant. The church is the body of Christ. These are all basic understanding  that the early Christians had as they preached the gospel.

Today many feel that this prophecy concerns us in the last days. But how do we fit into these prophecies?

We know as the matter of fact, the Apostolic Church did not last beyond the first century. By the beginning of the second century, the church had already departed from the truth.  Heresy had already crept in even at the time of Paul. And today anyone who believes in prophecies understood that the temple must be rebuilt before Christ will come. 

But now Jesus had not come, yet the temple was no longer true, so are the disciples wrong?

The Early Church And Her Belief About The End Times

To understand this, we need to consider another prophecy quoted by the Apostles.

“But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
  ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God,
   That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;
   Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
   Your young men shall see visions,
   Your old men shall dream dreams.
    And on My menservants and on My maidservants
   I will pour out My Spirit in those days;
  And they shall prophesy.” – Peter (Acts 2:16-18)

When The Holy Spirit first came on Pentecost, Peter quoted Prophet Joel. He claimed that the prophecy was fulfilled on the church. For in the end days, God will pour his Spirit onto his children. When that happens than the great and awesome day of the Lord will come.

At that point of time, the disciples felt that last days were close at hand, for the Holy Spirit had established the church. God is able to saved those who believe and they believed that the judgement day will come soon.

This is especially so as they have experienced the Holy Spirit that was given to them on Pentecost.  When Peter shared the prophecy, the Jews were cut to their heart,  they understood the prophecy and they saw the Holy Spirit poured down fulfilling that prophecy. They believed  that the great and awesome day of the Lord is at hand.

That is why in Acts we see them repenting, selling their earthly procession and went out to preach. For they believe that since the Holy Spirit is here, and the end of the world is coming. They wanted others to repent and believe in Jesus .

But today we know, the end of the world had not come, close to millennial had past, and Christ is not here yet. Who would have expected that the prophecy will span 2 millennial and still unfulfilled.

So is the prophecy Wrong? Are their understanding incorrect?

We know that the prophecy are true, but its just that they have not entered into that truth yet. Even at the time of Peter they have not entered into that level.

The Deeper Understanding Of The Descent Of The Holy Spirit

The deeper aspect that they have not seen, is the fact that the Holy Spirit will come in 2 periods. The first was at the time of the apostles, and the second time that is close to the end of time.

Why do I have the audacity to make such a proclamation? 

Let us go back to the Prophecy of Joel.

“Be glad then, you children of Zion,
  And rejoice in the Lord your God;
  For He has given you the former rain faithfully,
  And He will cause the rain to come down for you—
  The former rain, And the latter rain in the first month.” – Joel  (Joel 2:23)

Joel talks about the 2 periods of rain. The Autumn rain starts from October to November, it is the time for sowing. After that comes the Spring rain which is March to April and its called the latter rain.

Joel is not talking about ordinary rain, for we know that as long as the earth moves, the rain will always come on time. There is little need to be joyful. But why did the prophecy say that they will rejoice?

Joel is not referring to the blessing of rain, but the Holy Spirit being poured out.  They will receive spiritual life.  Joel 2:28 was used by Peter in his sermon.  It says in Joel 2:31 the sun will be darkened, and the moon will be as blood  Then the great and awesome day of the Lord will come.

That is why we know that there are 2 period of rain, it will come, and the spiritual temple will be rebuilt. It will save those in the last days, then the great and awesome day of the Lord will come.

The Prophecy And Us Today

In our modern Era there are many churches, many of them teaches from the scriptures. their belief were all different, and they are all taken from the bible. How do we know if we are really in the right church?

Only by comparing our belief with the teaching of the apostles can we find the right church. Only if we open our hearts to God then the Holy Spirit can lead us to enter into the truth. On the personal level, we ought to esteem the leading of the Holy Spirit and continue to seek the truth. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to guide us and to compare the teaching of the church to see if what she teaches is according to the words of God.

But Will There Be Another Revival And Another Descent Of the Holy Spirit?

Some who are reading my point here will wonder, will there be a 3rd descent of the Holy Spirit? What if we are wrong? how can we be sure? If the revival is now, why is it that the churches are not perfect?

I am personally certain that there will not be a 3rd aspect. For so far I have based all my belief of the Old Testament prophecy based on the explanation of the apostles. So far we know that the apostles regarded the temple as the church. And Prophet Joel’s rain refer to the down pouring of the Holy Spirit.

We know as a matter of fact, there are 2 temples. One built in the time of  Solomon and one built in the time of Zerubbabel,. This is similar to the fact that Joel only mentioned 2 periods of rain. One was during the Apostolic Era (Autumn Rain) and today we are in the spring rain.

The Parallel In The Story Of Noahs Ark

Interestingly, there is a similar typology given in the story of Noah. Personally I do not believe in using prefiguration often. For I understand how prefiguration can be abused by men to push incorrect teaching. Before I share this I would like to emphasise this.

Prefigurations or typology should never be used to define belief or doctrines. Prefiguration must not be a result of imagination, it should be base according to the words of Jesus.  

With that understanding, let us examine the story of Noah.  

In Gen 8 Noah sent out the dove to check if the waters had resided. The order in which the animals were sent out coincides with the 3 period of times where the Holy Spirit work on the earth.

The dove is often used to refer to the Holy Spirit (Matt 3:16, Mk 1:10,Luke 3:22, John 1:32).

Jesus himself once said.

But as the days of Noah were,
  so also will the coming of the
  Son of Man be.”- Jesus (Matt 24:37)

It seem that the story of Noah had a deep connection with the last days. For in those day the people was evil and God had to judge the world. To save Noah, Noah had to build an ark according to the dimension and specification given to him by God. The ark is also a prefiguration of the salvation of God, and the need to adhere to the command and instruction of God for salvation.

As the story unfurled, Noah released the Dove 3 times.

On the first time, the waters were not cleared (Sin was still present) The dove was unable to find a place to rest. This is referring to the time of the Old Testament under the Mosaic covenant. The water had not resided, God salvation is not established fully and sin was not forgiven. The Dove was able to fly around but was unable to rest on anything. It could fly around but eventually it had to return to the ark.

The second time, the waters had partially resided, that coincides with the apostolic era. At that point of time the work of salvation is completed. The dove is able to bring back an olive branch, but yet it returned to the ark. This is similar to the Holy Spirit bringing the first fruits back to heaven. These are the first believers 

Now the third time, the dove is released, this time it did not return.  It will continue to work until the plan of salvation is complete. 


Usually i would choose not to share prefiguration’s, but I decided to share this today as i find that the typology matches the entire study that we have seen. I hope that readers will understand that my understanding is not built base on the prefiguration.

My understanding is first built on the words of Jesus and the apostles as well as the understanding of the prophet. When everything ties together,then it could be tied to a prefiguration.

In this case, it is the apostles who linked Joel with the pouring of the Holy Spirit, they were the ones who link the rebuilding of the temple to the church.  The link between Noah to the end days comes from Christ and if we believe in the words of Christ, we know that everything will happen according to what he had said. 

  Jesus once tell us

“Now learn this parable from the fig tree:
  When its branch has already become tender     
  and puts forth leaves, you know that summer
  is near. So you also, when you see all these things,
   know that it is near—at the doors!”-Jesus (Matt 24:32-33)

Jesus was talking about a geographical fact, that if the fig tree ripens, than summer is near. But what are the signs he is referring to?  He was referring to the signs of the end days which he had shared from Matt 24:1 onwards. If we really look at the signs we know that the time is near.

Revelations tell us that Jesus is at the door knocking and the time is running out. We need to open our hearts to God and allow him to lead us. Let us all prepare , and allow the Spirit of God to guide us. Let us pursue spiritual growth.

May God help us.


“And truly Jesus did many other signs
  in the presence of His disciples, which
  are not written in this book; but these
  are written that you may believe that
  Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and
  that believing you may have life
  in His name.”- John (Jn 20:30-31)

John tells us that there are many miracles performed by Jesus which were not recorded in the gospel. He had specially chosen 7 for us to read. He did that so that we can believe that Jesus is indeed the Christ and we can have life through his name.

So far we have taken a look at these miracles

1. Jesus turning water into wine (Part 1, Part 2)
2. Jesus Healing The Nobleman’s son (Part 3, Part 4)
3. Jesus Healing By The Pool Of Bethesda (Part 5, Part 6)
4. Jesus feeding 5000 with 5 loaves and 2 Fishes (Part 7 , Part 8)
5. Jesus Walking on Water (Part 9, Part 10)
6. Jesus Healing A Blind Man (Part 11, Part 12)
7. Raising Lazarus (Part 13)

This is the last blog post of this series in the previous blog post, we learnt that Jesus intentionally came late to Lazarus. So that he will die  and Jesus will be able to resurrect him.

Now let us look at the other lessons that we can learn from this miracle.

Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.

“Lord, behold, he whom
  You love is sick.”- Mary and Marta (Jn 11:3)

Jesus love Lazarus and he is sick. Sometimes we think that people who are loved by God will receive special grace. Most Christians will define this special grace as “"No disasters and no trouble”

To many in the world, grace means having no problems, no sickness and no pain. This is something we desire. That is why when we see people in trouble our first reaction is “Why the grace of God is not given to him? Why would God allow the ones he love to suffer?”

But that is the thinking of man and not what the bible tells us. The bible records that those who are loved by God will still fall sick. Elisha was a great prophet, full of great miracles and he healed many sick. He is loved by God and God used him mightily. Yet the bible records that Elisha died of illness.

Those who are loved by God will still fall sick and will still die. The only difference is that they pass away with a heart full of joy and peace of the Lord. For they know that God loved them and had brought them back to heaven for an eternal rest.

That is the difference between a someone whom the Lord loves and an unbeliever.

Those who are loved by the Lord understands that he is cleanse from sin, he will receive the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of his inheritance. He is assured that God had prepared a place for them and he will take him there some day.  That is why they can remain peaceful and joyful always.

But those who do not believe will despair. He may be able to think positively for a while, but if the sickness and pain is prolong, he may despair and give up hope. Even the strongest man may despair at times in the midst of suffering.

That is why Paul remind us

But I do not want you to be ignorant,
  brethren, concerning those who have
  fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others
  who have no hope. For if we believe that
  Jesus died and rose again, even so God
  will bring with Him those who sleep in
  Jesus.”- Paul (1 Thess 4:13-14)

“Then we who are alive and remain shall
   be caught up together with them in the
   clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And
   thus we shall always be with the Lord.
Therefore comfort one another with
  these words.”- Paul (1 thess 4:17-18)

As Christians, will we choose to despair in face of death and difficulties? Or will we choose to believe in the words of Jesus and be filled with peace and joy?

That is something we need to consider and we need to comfort each other often with these words

Jesus Delayed Coming To Lazarus

“So, when He heard that he was 
  sick, He stayed two more days
  in the place where He was. “- John (Jn 11:6)

“Lord, if You had been here, my 
brother would not have died.”- Martha and Mary (Jn 11:21,32)

Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick, he remained 2 more days, he did it so that Lazarus will die, and then he can perform this miracle. But Mary and Martha did not know this, so they murmured against Jesus. They questioned why Jesus chose to delay for 2 more days while they are worried for Lazarus.

As Lazarus’s condition got poorer and poorer still Jesus did not come. When Jesus finally arrived, they were unhappy and they blamed him for Lazarus death. They must be thinking within themselves “What is the point of coming since he is now dead?”

We face similar situations before, even more so when we are in extreme difficulty and danger. We call out to God again and again and it appears as though Jesus did not hear us, nor did he grant us our request.  Finally, our patience is exhausted and we start to murmur against God and blame him for the consequences that happens.

But the story of Lazarus tells us, that while we are entitled to our will, we need to understand that God has his own will as well. If Jesus were to come early, Lazarus will be healed, he will not need to die and it is good. But Jesus had another will, one which he delay in his arrival so that Lazarus will die. Jesus wanted Lazarus to be buried for at least 4 days.

There was a common Jewish superstition that after a person is dead, his spirit will remain in the tomb for 3 days. Only when the body starts to smell, that is when the spirit leaves. Therefore Jesus choose to come late not just for the sake of Mary, Martha and Lazarus. It is also for the multitude as well as the many Christians who will read of this miracles. He came late so tat everyone will know that he is the Lord of Life. Only though Jesus one can be saved.

That is the better will of God, and Christians who have faith will have a different attitude. Yes we may have our own will, our own wishes  and our own timing. But God will have a better will and a better time. Even though God did not answer according to our timing and our desires. But we will not despair nor murmur. Even though we may not understand why God did not grant our wishes, but we believe that God had a will that is far better. We will thank God and trust that God will have a better will and a better time.

Jesus Wept

“Jesus wept.”- John (Jn 11:35)

This is the shortest verse of the bible, and it is also the most touching. For Jesus wept, he wept after seeing the sorrow of the bereaved. He could see their despair and helplessness in face of death. As the result, Jesus is sad and sorrowful.

“Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping,
   and the Jews who came with her weeping,
   He groaned in the spirit and was troubled.”" – John (Jn 11:33)

Here it records that when Jesus saw everyone weeping, he started to groan in Spirit. Some translation indicated that this groaning had a kind of anger and indignation. On one hand, Jesus was weeping, and on the other hand he was anger.

Have we wonder why Jesus is agitated? Jesus wept because he saw their sorrow and agony over death.  He understood our tears, and he can understand our weakness. Jesus had tasted the experience of being human. He is able to understand us. Whenever we encounter suffering and pain, he will weep together with us. He will weep with us even when everyone else is mocking us.

Perhaps others may think that the suffering we have encounter is small and insignificant, but Jesus will weep with us .For he knows our weakness and our suffering.

Jesus is sad because of the people and their unwilling to believe in his words. For those who do not believe in his words, will despair even more  and be in deeper agony, this is true especially when they are facing difficulty or death.

But if one believes in the words of Jesus.”Eve n though he may die, but he will live” Then he will not feel despair and helpless before death.

A Christian feels only sadness during funerals, for we know that it is a temporary separation. This separation is similar to us sending our children off to study. We are sad because we will not be able to see them, but we will never despair and be sorrowful. For we know that those who believe in the words of Christ will meet again. That meeting will be eternal in the kingdom of God. That is why we will not be despair, be helpless and sorrowful.

If one do not believe in the words of Jesus, he will feel the despair and agony of death. That is the reason why Jesus s troubled before the tomb of Lazarus.  He was sad at the hard heartedness of the people and their unbelief.

That is why we need to remember that Jesus wept.  We need to constantly ask ourselves, in all that we do, are we bringing trouble and distress to Jesus? The author of Hebrews reminds us that without faith it is impossible to please God. Those who come before God must believe that he exist. He must believe that all that Jesus promised are true.

 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”

John 11:39

Jesus : “Take away the stone.”
Martha : “Lord, by this time there
                  is a stench, for he has
                  been dead four days.”

Jesus told the people to roll the stone way. Does Jesus really need people to do this work?  If he were to command angels to do it, they will roll the stone away.  But Jesus chose to ask man to do it, even though people find excuses not to follow the instructions of Jesus.

But Jesus wanted man to do the work.  when Jesus gives us an instruction, it is within the ability of man. He did not want man to command the dead to come forth, he only wanted us to move the stones ourselves.

We need to understand that even when God perform miracles, he expects man to do what they could do, while God will accomplish the things that man cannot do.

“Commit your works to the Lord,
  And your thoughts will be established.”- Solomon (Prov 16:3)

This is a proverb that many knew, but yet the fact is, there are times when we commit our works to the Lord, and God did not establish it. It makes us wonder why.

“he preparations of the heart belong to man,
But the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.”- Solomon (Prov 16:1)

Here it tell us that man can make as much plans as they like, but it is God’s who can decide whether to establish a plan or not. So do we know when God accepts a plan and when he rejects it? When you ask your Christians friends, some may say that if everything goes smoothly, that means that it is the will of God, but if you face opposition it is not. But is this a good way to judge ?

Let us consider Prov 16:2

“All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,
  But the Lord weighs the spirits.”- Solomon (Prov 16:2)

Here it reminds us, that man will always think that their plans are good. But God does not look at the surface, he looks deeper into our hearts. God wanted to know our true intention, our true motivation behind our actions. If they are aligned to the will of God, God will grant it.

“Did I not say to you that if 
  you would believe you would
  see the glory of God?”- Jesus (Jn 11:40)

Today there are many who claim that they will believe only when they see something. For as humans we have a tendency to trust our eyes for facts. But Jesus reminds us that only by believing can we see the glory of God.  Today if we want to see the glory of God, if we want to see something that is impossible made possible, then we need to follow the word of Jesus.

We need to remove the stones within our hearts, we need to be willing to believe and follow the words of Jesus, then we can see the glory of God. That is the faith we ought to have. We need to first roll away the stone. That is something within our ability, then we need to believe that Jesus can do what we cannot do.

If we roll away the stone with no faith, then we will doubt if Jesus can raise Lazarus. Those who rolled away the stones must have smell the stench of the dead body in the tomb. But sometimes we need to smell the stench in order to see the dead being raised. The smell from the tomb must have made many around doubtful. But if we choose to stop believing after removing the stones, then we will never see the glory of God. Then we will not see Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Then all our work will be in vain and it will come to nothing.

But if we believe that Jesus can raise a man from the dead, and yet we choose not to roll the stone away, then our faith will be in vain for it lack action. That is why faith must be accompanied by actions. Then we can see the glory of God

 Jesus said, “Loose him, and let him go.”

“Loose him, and let him go.”- Jesus (Jn 11:44)

When Lazarus was raised and he walk out of the tomb, he must be wrapped up in his grave clothes. If he remains like this what sort of resurrection is this? That is why Jesus told them to loose him and let him go. If they did not loose him, he will continue to look like a dead man. Only by removing the grave clothes can he be a true living person and be able to move freely.

Today all of us is like Lazarus, we have received the blood of Jesus and we are reborn. But sometimes we still look like our old person. It looks as if we are still dressed in grave clothes.

That is why Paul remind us

“But you have not so learned Christ,
  if indeed you have heard Him and
  have been taught by Him, as the truth
  is in Jesus: 
   that you put off, concerning your
  former conduct, the old man which
  grows corrupt according to the deceitful
   lusts,  and be renewed in the spirit of your
  mind, and that you put on the new man
  which was created according to God, in
  true righteousness and holiness.” Paul (Eph 4:20-24)

If we have truly learnt from Christ and become his disciples, we need to let go of our former conduct. That is just like Jesus calling the people to take the grave clothes of Lazarus. For we have all received a new life through the precious blood of Jesus.

That is why we need to listen to the words of Jesus, to put off our old man. For when God create the new heaven and new earth. Our old sinful self will not be allowed to enter. Only those who are reborn built according to the image of God can enter this kingdom.

We need to follow the words of Jesus, put off our old self and put on the new man. We need to be a real person that is raised by Jesus.

WE have finish this series concerning the 7 miracles of Jesus. May we all learn the lessons from this even miracles and believe that Jesus is Lord.


4. May God help all of us to apply this to our lives


In our previous discussion we talking about this verse

“However, when He, the Spirit of truth,
  has come, He will guide you into all truth;
  for He will not speak on His own authority,
  but whatever He hears He will speak; and
  He will tell you things to come.

We shared that there are 2 aspects about guiding us into all truth.

In the first aspect, we have explored that the Holy Spirit is here to help individuals create a relationship with the truth. That relationship can allow us to enter into the truth of Christ, to change ourselves to take on his image. Then we will be truly connected to Christ, and we will not depart of Christ. Then the Holy Spirit will continue to guide, leading us into salvation.

Before we look at the second aspect. Let us consider the notion, “Entering into the Truth

What Does It Means To Enter Into Truth?

Entering into truth is not about achieving academic knowledge. One can always study the bible academically and build an understanding regarding it. But that will only remain as a basic understanding, a superficial relationship with the text.

The Holy Spirit wants to lead us into all truth, which surpasses a superficial understanding. It is here to lead us to create a practical and a deep relationship with the truth. For Truth is more than just an intellectual understanding of Gods word.

Differentiating The Word Of God From The Words Of Man

The word of God is different from the word of man . The word of man is derived from the thinking of man. It is from philosophy. Great man like Confucius and Socrates all have different understandings and they wrote books about what is in their mind. Therefore their perspective differs. The Truth they talk about is different from the truth of the bible.

What is the difference? Their words are a result of their thinking. But the word of God is not just a concept or a thinking. The Word Of God is God and it is living. 

“In the beginning was the Word,
  and the Word was with God, and
  the Word was God.
  And the Word became flesh and
  dwelt among us, and we beheld His
  glory, the glory as of the only
  begotten of the Father, full of grace
  and truth.”- John (Jn 1:1& 14)

This word is not a mere thought or a concept. He is something we can experience and see for ourselves. That is why John said “we beheld his glory”. This truth is a person, and it is someone we can build a relationship with. This word is Jesus, and he tell us that he is the way the truth and the light.

None on earth can dare claim to be the truth. Man can only seek the truth. He can discover and understand the truth but he is not the truth. He is a mere seeker. But those who found the truth cannot become the truth. But Jesus said that he is the truth. Those who believe in him have everlasting life, and his truth is life.

Those who entered into the truth, have an intimate relationship with God, the truth will allow them to have a deep communion and connection to God.

A Practical Illustration By Jesus

I am the vine, you are the branches.
  He who abides in Me, and I in him,
  bears much fruit; for without Me you
  can do nothing.
If anyone does not abide in Me, he is
  cast out as a branch and is withered;
  and they gather them and throw them
  into the fire, and they are burned.” –Jesus (Jn 15:5-6)

Branches need to be connected to the tree to have life. If it was cut off from the tree, it may be able to live for a while, but it’s life will eventually wither way. It may be able to bloom and to bear fruit. But it will de because branches are not the source of life. Its source of life come from the tree. branches that not joined to the tree, will die eventually.

But how can we be joined to Christ and receive this spiritual life?     

“If you abide in Me, and My words
  abide in you, you will ask what you
  desire, and it shall be done for you.”- Jesus (Jn 15:7)

We tend to focus only on the latter portion of the verse about asking. When we believe in Christ, we have a faith that is joined to Christ. When we pray, we experience God listening to us.  Many of us experience the grace of God as far as prayer is concern.

Experiencing Grace Is Different From Entering Into Truth

But the main purpose of Christ coming to earth is not to perform miracles or to grant worldly blessing. But many came to him seek for such grace. Initially they appeared to be full of faith and wanted to be joined to Christ. But they failed to enter into the truth, for they do not have the truth in them. That is why soon after they receive what they ask for, they leave Jesus.

These people are slightly better than unbelievers as they indeed had a relationship with God. But sadly that relationship only lasted for the duration where they came before him to ask for help. Their faith remain at that superficial level. When they received what they ask for and there is no more need for Jesus. They stop praying, they no longer wanted Jesus.

The Holy Spirit is always there, he is willing to lead us into all truth so that we can have a relationship with God. The word of God is spirit and it life, he is able to give us eternal life.

An Example In The Bible : Lydia

Let us examine an example of how the Holy Spirit can lead one into the truth.

“And on the Sabbath day we went
  out of the city to the riverside,
  where prayer was customarily
  made; and we sat down and spoke
  to the women who met there. 
  Now a certain woman named Lydia
   heard us. She was a seller of purple
  from the city of Thyatira, who 
  worshiped God. The Lord opened her
  heart to heed the things spoken by Paul.”- Luke ((Acts 15:13-14)

Here is the record of the first believer in Philippi which is Lydia. Lydia was lead into the truth. Verse 14 told us that God opened her heart to pay attention to the words of Paul. She understood and entered into the truth. She had a relationship with Christ. She was willing to be baptised. That resulted to her salvation.

Misconception 2 : It Is the Holy Spirit Fault If One Does Not Believe

While we examined the story of Lydia, some  may think , “Today if we are unable to receive the truth, that is because the Holy Spirit did not open our heart. That is also the reason why we are uninterested in the truth. Therefore it is the Holy Spirits fault”

But that is a misconception, for the Holy Spirit is willing to lead everyone to the truth. But the question is are we willing to be lead by the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit will not force himself on us. If one is unwilling to open his heart, the Holy Spirit will not pry his heart open and control him.

This is seen clearly in the conversation of Lydia. how did we know that she opened her heart?

Lydia is a business woman, her clients are likely nobles. For she is a seller of purple cloth. In those days purples are reserved for the nobles. She must be busy working for the higher echelons of society in her days. But in the midst of her job she did not lose her direction in life. Instead she saw the vanity of life, which makes her realise what is the true value of life. That is why she seek what is eternal and valuable. That is also the reason why she will go to the riverside on the Sabbath.

Learning From Lydia

Lydia did not go to the riverside at the spur of the moment, she was doing that on a regular basis. This is something we ought to learn.

Today we see some Christians choosing to go to church only when their favourite speakers are speaking. But Lydia was different, she had the heart to worship God. She was one of the women who will gather at the riverside to worship God. (Verse 14). It is her habit to come on the regular basis. She willingly seek God, that is why the Holy Spirit was able to lead her to the truth.

Conclusion Of Entering Into The Truth

In Revelations, Jesus is knocking on the door of our hearts. He is asking us to open our hearts. He wanted to come in and live in our hearts. That message is not written for unbelievers. He is talking to believers, and that vision is telling us something.

Today there are many believers who had closed their hearts to Jesus, they no longer seek Christ. If one does not desire and thirst for Christ, how can one seek Christ?  How can we experience the Joy of the Holy Spirit leading us into truth? How can we develop this personal relationship with Jesus?

We need to pray for the Holy Spirit to open our hearts so we can receive the words of God. But firstly we need to esteem the word of God. So are we willing to find time for God in the midst of our busy schedule? The Word of God is no ordinary word, he is God himself.  

With this understanding, let us proceed to study the second aspect of being lead into the truth. In the next post we will study how does the Holy Spirit  lead the church into the truth