The Power of Right Believing by Joseph Prince: reflection 2

"The power of right believing" by Joseph Prince

"The power of right believing" by Joseph Prince

Tomorrow I fly off to lead a group of 47 pilgrims in a tour of Israel. Half the members are from our church, the other half are their friends and a group from another church. Its going to be an exciting time. We go to pray and to bless Israel, and certainly be blessed as well. Blessed to see what was once not a nation now a nation; blessed to hear Hebrew, once dead but now a living language; blessed to feel how Old Testament prophecies have been fulfilled, and God’s faithfulness revealed. All this will be energizing for us. This is also the land where Jesus lived, moved and ministered. Here He was born; here He died and rose again. Here is where He will return in glory. I’m excited. Do pray for us.

Before I go off I wanted to write this reflection on the second part of Joseph Prince’s book. If you have his book and it is lying on the shelf somewhere why don’t you read this particular part and help contribute some thoughts on how the book has helped you. You can share what you like or do not like in the book, and discuss more deeply some of the ideas in this part which covers chapters 4, 5 and 6. Imagine you are in a reading club and we are all reading this stuff together to discuss it on this platform instead of face to face.

Part 2 is titled “Learn to See What God Sees” and here is my summary of each chapter in this part:

Play the Right Mental Movies (chapter 4) - The central idea is that we have a tendency to look at the negative and this creates fear in our hearts. We play the wrong kind of mental movies. And fear like a boa constrictor suffocates us to death. We cannot get rid of such fearful ideas. The best way is to replace them. Replace them with God’s truth and right belief.

See Yourself As God Sees You (chapter 5) - Here Prince introduces the doctrine of justification in its practical implications. A great exchange has taken place. Jesus took our sins. We received his gift of righteousness. When God looks at us He sees Jesus’ righteousness and not our failures, sins, weaknesses. He looks at us and He sees a child of God deserving of favor, blessing and approval.

You Are Irreversibly Blessed (chapter 6) -  Prince takes the Old Testament story of Balaam paid by Balak to curse Israel but when it came time to curse Israel he actually blessed Israel. Balaam explained that God commanded him to bless and he could not reverse that. God has “not observed iniquity in Jacob, nor has He seen wickedness in Israel”(Num23:20,21). The chapter went on to develop further the idea of justification and how God views us who are made righteous in Christ, and how therefore God loves to pour out his undeserved blessings on us.

I am beginning to notice the use of a dominant image or life story in each chapter. For instance the mental movie, the constrictor snake, or a businessman who moved from fear to faith, or an American guy who found help in knowing how God sees him. I like it that he is using both local as well as Caucasians (with an eye to connecting to American Christians) as it shows that this message can have the same fruit across national boundaries and cultures.

When I read Chapter 6, I thought, I must digest this and share this with the church. Its a beautiful “shadow”  that points us to the amazing work of justification and its implications. Traditional teaching on justification falls shy of talking about how God will bless and favor us as a fruit of justification. They will focus on the spiritual blessings as in Romans 5. Prince boldly talks about material blessings though not in this chapter but elsewhere.

Conservative interpretation of the Old Testament also does not allow for the use of typology when the event, person, object or colour is not so used in the same way in the New Testament. Thus since Balaam and the story of Israel, and the high priestly breast-piece,  used as “shadows”pointing to the real blessings of justification was never mentioned in such a connection in the New Testament, it is not permissible to interpret the OT text in this way. I am less conservative with regards to this, and there are scholars along a spectrum on this issue. To me, such typology should be permissible. However, the text must not be artificially contorted beyond recognition and reason. It should not contradict any of the major Bible doctrines that are made clear elsewhere. Lastly, it brings out the loveliness of Jesus finished work and not shed light on some insignificant subject. If it sheds light on the overall redemptive theme of the whole Bible and I give it my thumbs up.

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91 Comments »

 
  • Wendy Lam says:

    Hi Pastor

    Have a blessed trip.

    This clip is from JP’s Dallas Tour for the book Power of Right Believing.

    This is the part on our relationship with God being based on love…and everthing else will “accidentally” fall in place. I sincerely believe it can be as easy as this.

    link to youtu.be

    Shalom and God bless you and your troupe with many many revelations !

    Cheers
    Wendy

  • Pilgrim says:

    Hi Lyn,

    Haven’t really got a chance to hear all of JP’s teachings. Only alittle bit here and there. What I like to share has got nothing to do with JP’s grace doctrine. So I am in no position to give my opinions about his teachings. I only can share what I learned about Grace in my own journey in life. I hope to learn from other Christians that are way ahead of me about the workings of Grace in sanctification.

    Grace. It can be seen as a doctrine that gives me the good things in life or it can be associated with certain christian lifestyles nowadays. A word that is open to abuse and can be misunderstood. If we are talking about the Grace that God demonstrates, then the end point is so that we can grow in godliness and be transformed to be like Jesus. Shouldn’t that be the case, since it is not only God’s desire to bless us in an earthly sense but also ultimately to be conformed to the image of His Son?

    We know all about salvation grace. Perhaps there is so much preaching about what we can get materially from Grace that we have overlooked how we can be transformed by Grace as well? Yes, indeed I have been blessed by God’s grace in the material/ physical. But I don’t think the life that was bought by God is limited to those things only. If its all about Jesus, then, it is all about His grace for me in and through my mountain high and valley low experiences of life. Grace for the good things and grace to reign through the bad things in life in order we can be more like Jesus.(Don’t miss the last part.)

    I think we have put Grace into a box and say that Grace should look like this or like that, or Grace should work in such n such a way. We have accurately defined Grace for salvation but I don’t think we have defined Grace correctly in the arena of progressive sancification. What about Grace to be Holy?(You need Grace for that too)

    It is critical to know that We are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. But it cannot stop there. We need the very same Grace to work out our salvation as well. We need to walk it out and God has given us the grace to do so. The Holy Spirit is also called the Spirit of Grace(Heb 10:29) and it is through this power by which we can do so. Being righteous, cleanse, holy and a new creation is our positional standing. However, all these spiritual blessings we have in Chirst Jesus has to be demonstrated in our day to day activities. Show me someone who just says “I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus”, and I will show you someone who has the outworkings of righteousness to back up what he is positionally.

    Grace correctly understood and approriated will empower us to overcome sin.

    Titus 2:11-15
    For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12 It(GRACE) teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope–the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. 15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.

    However, if we still choose to sin, Grace doesn’t say ‘it is ok’ but Grace will convict you(not condemn you)to return to what you were intended to be(a new creation in Christ). Why toy with sin when God has given you a new identity by being born-again?You were meant for greater things, why stoop so low? Sin is not just disobedience but also a lack of faith in what God intended you to be IN CHRIST! It is a disregard for what He made you to be and to become. Grace teaches us to say no to ungodliness and ungodly passions.

    In my own words, Grace also doesn’t keep us focus on our own needs and wants all the time that we become so myopic in our faith. Thats why a person who truely have been wrecked by Grace will even give up his rights for the sake of the other person. I have encountered Christians who have experienced the Grace of God in their lives but live a life that is all about them and what they feel they rightfully deserve.

    Lets define Grace in the context of discipleship and transformation. A lot needs to be touched on with regards to this aspect of Grace.

  • Ben says:

    “Conservative interpretation of the Old Testament also does not allow for the use of typology when the event, person, object or colour is not so used in the same way in the New Testament”.

    Why?

    The Tabernacle along with all other related articles of worship including the priestly garments are mentioned as being “the copy and shadow of heavenly things” in Hebrews 5. Even though no typology due to these was spelled-out outright in the New Testament, it is quite plain to see that the Tabernacle is a type of Christ. So is it that far fetched to believe that the High Priest garments point to Him also?

    Another typology that isn’t spelled out explicitly in the NT but which is almost obvious, is the story of Abraham and the offering of Isaac and the beautiful parallel of God the Father and the true offering of His Son. So if this is not mentioned in the NT, then according to “conservative interpretism” this is not a valid typology. But what is the scholarly rationale behind this reasoning?

    What about the events of the Passover, when the Israelites ate the roasted lamb and sprinkled blood on the doorpost to escape from the angel of death? Is there a type there? Again, it’s not explicitly mentioned in the NT though…

    Could it be that God might have hidden all these types in the Bible for us to search out, as further evidence of Jesus as the Christ? Proverbs 25:2 comes to mind.

    • blogpastor says:

      Hi Ben, the reasons conservative interpretation does this is not to be sneered at. They seek to be consistent and faithful and careful in the interpretation of Scriptures and to prevent types being used to launch heresies.

      Yes the High Priestly garments are not explicitly mentioned and are therefore not to be used as types. St Paul called Christ the Passover Lamb so that is okay…according to these interpreters.

      However there are those who do not agree with them and so you have the books about the tabernacle, the high priestly garments, the feasts of Israel, Noah’s ark, etc.

      It’s good to appreciate the opinions of others and where they are coming from without judging them, and good to know what you personally are convinced of and be able to agree to disagree.

      • Ben says:

        I apologize if I came across as overbearing or if inadvertently offended anyone.

        I honestly find it hard to reconcile with the reasoning that only explicit types mentioned in the bible should be allowed, according to this “conservative interpretism”, and I’m curious to know why.

        Like I mentioned, the high priest garments belong to the group of worship articles along with the Tabernacle that are cited in Hebrews 8:5 as a “copy and shadow of heavenly things” which God told Moses to create according to the pattern given to him. Doesn’t this imply that the garments (along with all other articles of worship that Moses was told to create) are all “types” of something else?

        Even the feasts of Israel are mentioned in Colossians 2:16-17 as “a shadow of the things that were to come”. This pretty much means that the feasts of Israel are also types, though they are not elaborated on.

        If the New Testament stated that these are types, but didn’t elaborate on them, are we then simply not allowed to find out more about these types according to “conservative interpretism”? Just because we might make mistakes?

        I would argue that we should instead be even more encouraged to study further on what these types actually mean.

        And then we have Jesus expounding about Himself “from the Law and the Prophets” during that 11km hike to Emmaus. That implies to me that in the Old Testament that there is at least enough content there about Jesus Christ to last 2-3 hours of deliberate expounding by the Master. It also certainly seems to be more content than what is explicitly mentioned in the New Testament.

        • blogpastor says:

          Hii Ben, the way others interpret it is to look at the way NT writers use and interpret types and antitypes, and use it the same way. In other words, those explicitly mentioned types in the NT are not an exhaustive list of what can be seen as legitimate types, but are examples or “model answers” which teaches us how to look for types in the Old Testament, even those that are not explicitly mentioned in the NT. I subscribe to this. Thus my parameters.

  • lyn says:

    Hi Pilgrim,

    What you’ve written is Grace according to Bible. Well done.

    Unfortunately, this is not the grace as taught in NCC’s lopsided version.

    With regard to Sins
    ********************

    When I went to NCC, I was a young Christian that took in everything Pastor Prince said, hook, line and sinker. The result is endless sinning and materialism. I was foolish, looked foolish, people looked at me foolishly but still I didn’t know how to fix all these foolishness abounding in my life. I felt great, though.

    Round and round in circles I went, wallowing in my own sins, on the one hand, and thinking I was in a ‘wonderful relationship’ with Jesus, on the other. My vocabularies were filled with Pastor Prince’s words, regurgitating his every word, unable to think for myself.

    Because major scriptures were left out of his teaching, the cleansing power of the Word was not in effect. The rebuking part of the scripture, the guidelines, the warnings were not included in his teaching for he is afraid to put people back under law. The effect of this is that sin permeates every part of my being, my thoughts, my words and my deeds. I destroyed a big part of my life in the process. This is the ’supply’ stance of his teaching.

    Then when I started to teach the Bible, I was replicating what Prince taught me. I began to see the same pattern in my people’s lives! It did not take me long to realise that this is not the way I wanted my people to go. I began to reevaluate my thinking and teach the Bible instead. Even with my own children I dare not show them only grace and love. I teach them with love, guidelines, disciplining, rebuking, threats, warnings etc. How are they different from the children of God? Underneath it all, they know I love them and only wanted what is best for them. I teach them from my heart of grace, not in a condemning way.

    Teaching from our own ‘ideas’ and ‘opinions’ with regards to God’s word is dangerous. Whilst it may be that God speaks to us, it may be too that the evil one has influenced us and we know it not. Just read the word of God. This is best. The devil knows that when he gets the church leaders, he will get the people as well. Why attack one when you can attack 100,000 through the one?

    God hates sins and He is the same always. When we continue in our sins, we cannot grow. That’s why we can confess till we turn blue but unless we have learned to put away sins we cannot get very far.

    A right relationship with God can be wonderful when we learn to obey Him the old fashion way, to yield ourselves to Him, to submit to the authority of God, to want to seek His face instead of His hands, to let go of all we hold dear in life in order to gain the life He wants for us.

    After 10-20 years under the ministry of Prince, I find that I’m free from the power of sin at around the same time as I when I let go of his messages. I cannot and will not teach what he teaches although that may be a crowd puller. I’m also quite amazed that none of the apostles who wrote the New Testament teaches like him and yet so many believers are ready to get out of their way to believe a man who said he has heard from God.

    Nowadays, I’m very contented to sit under a ministry that speaks God’s word without compromising it’s content. I find it comforting being reminded by God about what displeases Him. I find it peaceful that I’m on the right track with what God says. And when I’m not, I go home and pray about my weaknesses. I find it joyful to hear the whole content of God’s word as read from the New Testament.

    With regards to the Goodness of God
    **************************************

    Faith in the goodness of God is not a new idea. I teach God’s faithfulness and faith in God all the time. People’s lives are being transformed all the time as they learn to have faith in God.

    However, more often than not, God’s mercy and grace does not work out the way we think it should or we want. He is Sovereign. He will decide what is best and we will have to submit to His will in our lives. That is why Paul taught us to be

    Philippians 4:11-13
    New International Version (NIV)
    11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

    This is the best way.

    I have seen the hunger in the eyes of the people filled with peace when I teach them to submit to God’s will for them as oppose to when I teach them to wait in faith.

    We must pray that the Lord’s will be done in our lives as He had taught us to do because this kind of prayer pleases Him the most. We must trust that his heart of love for us.

    The right relationship with God is beautiful and deep. It’s not always being about how blessed or how favoured we are in this temporary world. Its not always about what we can gain in this world. It’s about how to please Him and how to be great in His sight.

    Matthew 16:24-25
    New International Version (NIV)
    24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.

    Help me, O Lord, to find my life..

    Matthew 19:30
    New International Version (NIV)
    30 But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.

    Let me, O Lord, be last in this world so that I may be first in Your kingdom..

    Mark 8:33
    New International Version (NIV)
    33 “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

    Teach me, O Lord Jesus, to have in mind the concerns of God and not merely human concerns.

    Luke 16:15
    New International Version (NIV)
    15 He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.

    Teach me, O Lord, to value highly what You value highly..

    John 8:29
    New American Standard Bible (NASB)
    29 And He who sent Me is with Me; He [a]has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.”

    Help me, O Lord, to always do the things that are pleasing to You..

    John 12:25-26
    New International Version (NIV)
    25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

    • Pilgrim says:

      Hi Lyn,

      Thanks for your authenticity and honest sharing about your journey. May the new year bring new beginnings and refreshing rain to your soul that cause you to grow in grace and godliness.

      “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and go0d hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.” 2 Thess 2:16-17

  • Charissa says:

    Pastor Prince said recently at TBN that all believers share in a Heavenly Father and a mother grace. Doesn’t sound biblical to me. Any comment on this?

    • Ben says:

      I believe he was referring to the “types” of the two covenants – Hagar who had Ishmael through trusting in the flesh, is a type of the law, and Sarah who had Isaac through God’s promise, is a type of grace.

      See Galatians 4:21-31, where Paul exposed the types in the Old Testament. Paul in those same verses also said that “Hagar is Mount Sinai and corresponds to Jerusalem now which is in bondage with her children”, but Sarah he contrasts by saying next that the “Jerusalem above is free, which is the MOTHER of us all”.

      So Paul is trying to convince his readers not to put themselves back under bondage through the old covenant, when they are made free through the new covenant.

      Obviously, the apostle Paul is also not saying that the new covenant (which is essentially all about God’s grace) is literally our mother in the same way that God is our Father, but rather that while we all have God as our Father, we can still belong to different covenants of law or grace.

      Nevertheless, I hoped this helped clear things up for you somewhat, but if my (admittedly inadequate) explanation only confused you further then I apologize. Suffice to say though that Pastor Prince definitely wasn’t referring to some far-out mother deity or something nutty along those lines.

      • Journeyman says:

        @Ben
        Sounds like a extremely long metaphorical stretch comparing
        Hagar+Sinai=flesh+bondage
        Sarah+Jerusalem =grace+freedom

        Both locations are bondage to national state and are not free-seems like deceptive imagery used to get people to apply for credit when they hv little potential future income ie live well and drown in debt tomorrow except our risk is now for eternity instead of a simple quantum of debt

  • Justthinking says:

    Kudos to Lynn and the pilgrim. Salvation is free and it cant be earned. However many blessings in the scriptures are conditional. Psalms1:1-3 — whatever he does prospers. What are the preconditions ? Read the verses before this statement. Prov 3:5 — what is the condition for making your paths straight ? Prov 16:3 — How will your plans succeed ? Prov 21:13 etc etc Why would the scriptures say the prayer of a righteous man is powerful ? As quoted by Lynn from the bible, whoever wants to be Jesus disciple MUST …… It did not say may or should . Trying to just please man is dangerous. I saw the interview by Larry King of a “big” pastor in US and when the caller asked is Jesus the only way to heaven, i was stunned at how much difficulty the pastor had in answering the question. Why ? Don’t offend others , have a nice message. Quite different when we read in the bible , when the crowd following Jesus became bigger, he turn around and send out a hard truth and after that many turn away.

    • Journeyman says:

      For a follower of Jesus where one tries to love God and one’s as oneself, the gracious answer Wud be “it depends on one’s own beliefs….”

      The zealot and rabid intolerant religious wud say “absolutely YES and everybody else is and if we had to fight a other world war or crusade, this will be the will of almighty God!

      Wonder what Jesus wud say? Hmmmm what do u think?

  • Wendy Lam says:

    Hi Blogpastor

    I used to read quite a bit on spiritual warfare and a key authority seemed to be Derek Prince.

    Recently, I noted that his ministry has been publishing a lot of his works and organising his messages – Derek Prince died a number of years ago at 88. In his last 8 years, he has been focusing more and more on GRACE and if there is a summary he wants to leave the world after dozens of years in ministry, in fighting the dark forces ….

    Its … YOU MATTER TO GOD. BY GRACE ALONE…

    In fact, a number of the teachings which I note critics of Joseph Prince have pointed out to…including Lyn…is seconded by Derek Prince. Unrevocably by Grace alone. Its interesting what a minister with a long illustrious ministry of over 50 years has to say, nearere to the end of his life….Grace.

    Derek Prince adds a perspective through his experience with spiritual warfare though.

    We reminds us, we are SPIRIT regenerated but our body and soul is still old, still part of the fallen nature.

    The toughest battles are at the soul and body. Temptation assails us at the soul and the body…AND we WILL fall from time to time, but rather than beating ourselves up, if we BELIEVE the GRACE of GOD and his ever forgiveness of our sins… We can move on with no condemnation.

    Continue to feed our spirit with the worship, word and walk with God and it will cause our soul and also our bodies to go through its metamorphosis until we enter that PERFECT DAY.

    Too many christians have stumbled and have been stopped at penances, guilt and condemnation and cannot move on because they keep getting stumbled by the devil – the accuser of the brethren- focusing them on every failing of their soul and body.

    I have elected to throw caution to the wind and my lot to God’s grace. When I fall, I apologise to God for my moment of weakness or the rebellion in my soul….and ask him to help me overcome it. Then i move on,going ahead with praise and worship- cellgroup- serving at church- reading my bible….thick skin and totally un-guilty. And making no apologies for it.

    If Christ chooses to forgive, why do I care what other Christians think.

    And you know what… The weaknesses I used to apologise to Christ for — they are no longer my weaknesses now. For by his grace, I have overcomed. Its that easy.

    I kept journals of my prayers to God from 1989-2004 : every failing, every sin that tormented me and made me so guilty and afraid of God — I had asked for God to help me overcome but year after year…they remained. Every year, it remained in my journal.

    2005 onwards, I came to NCC and I no longer kept those journals. My baggage got lighter and to other disapproving brethren, my skin obviously got thicket – no shame, cheap grace, lopsided grace, etc.

    The truth is, my old sins no longer tormented me as I walk in Grace. The devil has so few things to accuse me of, he gave me trouble from other people instead – persecutions, politics, etc. and I finally fell in love with Jesus. Not yet head over heels (YET… But I will get there) but definitely in love !

    Grace…lop-sided Grace preached by Joseph Prince and Derek Prince and Max Lucado and even Philip Yancey now…

    It feels, sounds, IS – the real Gospel.

    • blogpastor says:

      Thanks for sharing such a powerful and authentic personal story.

      • Non-Pentecostal says:

        @ blogpastor

        QUOTING yr tweet: “Is yours an obedience of faith that comes from abundant grace, or a belabored obedience that comes from the fear of not keeping the law?”
        _ _ _ _ _ _ _

        IMO,…….
        Scripturally-speaking, obedience or law-keeping does not really come from amazing or abundant grace. If this were so, how did Abraham, Moses, Joshua and the Old Testament prophets obey the laws/commandments/Word of God.?

        Example;
        1. At MATT.4:4, Jesus Christ had stated that man shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

        2. HEB.11:8 & 17 & 28 = By faith, Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place… & By faith, Abraham when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son. … & By faith, Moses kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood,…

        3. ROM.10:17 = So then, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.

        4. HEB.4:12-13 = For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any 2-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.
        And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all are naked and open to the eyes of Him, to whom we must give account.

        5. EPH.6:16-17 = …above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.
        And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
        , , , , , , ,

        Bear in mind that God’s Spirit has been around the earth since its creation(GEN.1:1-2). God created man in His image and He breathed life into every man when he/she was born.
        …….Since creation, the Spirit of God/Holy Spirit has been helping people(ACTS.17:28) to be obedient to their conscience(ROM.2:15 & 9:1, JOHN.8:9), to the laws of the land and to the laws/Word of God.(cf: HEB.8:10 & 10:15) God’s Spirit does not “belong” exclusively to the Jews and Christians. If it were so, no Gentile would hv converted to become Christians.

        Amazing Grace or the free gift of salvation is defined as being justified for salvation by faith in Jesus Christ and NOT by the works of keeping the Law.(GAL.2:16 & ROM.5:1) The name of Jesus is synonymous, specifically, with salvation or the kingdom of heaven or amazing grace; …whereas the name of God the Father is synonymous with blessings and curses, both on this earth and in the hereafter or the afterlife(=heaven or hell).

        Cf: Present-day Jews and Muslims still believe that they could gain salvation(or go to heaven when they die) by keeping Jewish laws(=Moses Law) and Sharia Law, respectively.
        …….In many of his epistles/letters, Paul was trying to disprove this false belief of his former fellow Jews. When the Jews rejected him and his message or new doctrine of salvation, Paul turned his ministry focus towards the Gentiles.

        Notwithstanding this fact about grace, b4 they die, any Christian may lose his/her faith in Jesus and/or in God, eg during trials/sufferings/persecution, backslide, convert to other religions or atheism, etc, …esp young Christians = losing their salvation or forfeiting the grace of God.
        …….Whether this fact will be true or not, depends on faith, ie people will only find out this truth about salvation when they actually die. Hence, HEB.11:1 defines faith as the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

        In comparison, most Hindus and Buddhists believe that when they die they will be reincarnated. Their merits or demerits(=good and evil deeds) during life determine the form of their reincarnation. Their hope is to end this cycle of rebirth and suffering by attaining enough merits in their many lives and finally enlightenment/nirvana/nothingness.
        …….Atheists believe that they will die and disappear into dust. Hence, most atheists enjoy their ABUNDANT lives while they can, esp in gluttony, debauchery, etc – like journeyman.?

        Grace alone, does not lead Christians towards obedience. In fact, it is faith alone, that will lead to both obedience and grace, ie by hearing or reading His promises in the laws/Word of God.

        Most Gentile Christians are born-again as Spirit’ual babies, growing gradually into childhood and then adulthood/maturity. Obedience by new Christians is not very much different from obedience by children, ie parents and teachers laying down the law/rules and disciplining them with love via the carrot-n-stick method. The children should know that the adults will stick to their words about rewards, punishment and their love. Not all children will become obedient, accept strict discipline/laws/rules and repentant.
        , , , , , , ,

        1COR.11:29-31 = 29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner[=during Holy Communion], eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
        30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep[=dead]. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.

        It is a disgrace to the name of Jesus Christ when some Pentecostal and Charismatic Christian pastors live and behave on this earth worse than Jewish Rabbis, Muslim imams/uztaz’s and Buddhist monks.
        …….Most mature people know how to judge others by their fruits or deeds/works.
        , , , , , , ,

        Peace.

    • Non-Pentecostal says:

      @ Wendy Lam

      The following Word of God may apply to those who live on JP’s Radical Grace doctrine and who may tend to commit sins ignorantly or willfully;
      ; ; ; ; ; ; ;

      1TIM.4:1-5 & 8-11 & 5:1-3 & 7-8 & 17 & 21-25(NKJV) =

      Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own CONSCIENCE SEARED WITH A HOT IRON, 3 forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.
      4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; 5 for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
      {Here, …Paul was writing to his disciple, Timothy, who was a Gentile Christian and might hv been referring to the Judaizer controversy of ACTS.15 and GAL.2 where new Gentile Christians were wrongly commanded to keep all of Moses Law by eating only kosher foods, getting circumcised, etc}
      &

      8 For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of THE LIFE THAT NOW IS AND OF THAT WHICH IS TO COME.
      9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance. 10 For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.
      11 These things command and teach.
      &

      [5] 1 Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity.
      Honor True Widows

      3 Honor widows who are really widows.
      &

      7 And these things command, that they may be blameless.
      8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
      &

      17 Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.
      &

      21 I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality. 22 Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure.

      23 No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.

      24 Some men’s sins are clearly evident, preceding them to judgment, but those of some men follow later. 25 Likewise, the good works of some are clearly evident, and those that are otherwise cannot be hidden.
      _ _ _ _ _ _ _

      REV.22:12-17 = Jesus Testifies to the Churches

      12 “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”

      14 Blessed are those who DO HIS COMMANDMENTS, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.
      15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.

      16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”

      17 And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.
      _ _ _ _ _ _ _

      Peace.

    • Non-Pentecostal says:

      Also, …….
      …….most new Gentile Christians carry a lot of old sinful/evil “baggages” with them when they are born-again as Spirit’ual babies, which may greatly hinder their Spirit’ual growth.
      …….In other words, God’s Spirit has to strive much harder(eg GEN.6:3) to sanctify or purify them from evil/sinful habits or practices(eg 1COR.6:9-11), in order to give them more blessings on earth, besides the great blessing of the kingdom of heaven when they leave this corrupted earth and their corrupted bodies/carnal flesh(1COR.15:42).

      Example:
      1. The law of circumcision.
      For the Jews, circumcision serves as a sign of their Abrahamic covenant. It also eradicates the strong sexual urge or lust in their bodies by desensitizing the forehead of the penis = reducing the sins of sexual immorality.

      Most uncircumcised Gentiles are like sex-maniacs or sex-addicts bc the very pleasurable sensation from sex has resulted in them having very strong sexual desires. Hence, uncircumcised China and India are very over-populated, in comparison to mostly circumcised Europe. The invention of contraception in the 1960s has only tempered this problem in uncircumcised countries.

      When an uncircumcised Gentile becomes a Christian, he will hv this problem of very strong immoral sexual desires in his/her body or soul. The Spirit of God/Holy Spirit, thru the Word of God, will help him/her to avoid committing sexual immorality, eg EXO.20:14 & 22:16, LEV.18:22-23, MATT.22:37-40, etc.
      …….Babies of GC should be circumcised bc it is not burdensome.

      In Singapore and USA, many immoral sexual sins(evil-deeds) that displease God, are not against the law, eg sexual fornication, adultery, homosexuality, etc. Bc of this condoning of sexual sins by modern societies, some new GC may be misguided by the Radical Grace teaching and continue to commit sexual immorality.

      2. The law against partaking wine, intoxicating drinks or substances = drunkenness or altered minds(LEV.10:9, EPH.5:18).
      Jewish laws(=Moses Law) and Sharia Law forbid the drinking of alcohol. The Mormons even forbid the drinking of tea or coffee(=caffeine or tannin)

      China and South Korea hv a common social tradition of smoking and alcohol drinking. It can be said that many Chinese and Koreans are alcoholics and nicotine-addicts. At one time(19th century), many Chinese were also opium-addicts.

      These psychotropic drugs damage the brain after long term and daily consumption(> 3 months). How.? …Such drugs are analogues of the brain’s own neurotransmitters. Eg alcohol mimics GABA and melatonin; heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine mimic dopamine, serotonin, adrenaline, endorphin, etc.
      …….Normally, the brain produces a small amount of these neuroT’s daily according to the body’s circadian rhythm and night/day cycle. More mood-elevating and energizing neuroT’s are produced in the morning(=triggered by sunlight), in order to prepare the body for a day of work(=farming, hunting, etc). During the night, more sedating or calming neuroT’s are produced, in order to prepare the body for sleep/rest.

      Over the long term, externally introducing large amounts of psychotropic drugs into the brain for their euphoric/high sensations or for their calming/anxiolytic effects, will cause the brain to stop producing its own respective neuroTs. This will result in lifelong addiction to or dependency on the drugs. It is similar to a Type II diabetic, with damaged pancreas, being dependent or “addicted” to artificial insulin for the rest of his/her life or …like an organ transplant patient being dependent/”addicted” to anti-rejection or immuno-suppressive drugs.

      Abstinence will cause the drug-addicts to suffer terrible/horrifying withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms are the exact opposite of the drugs’ effects. Eg alcohol is a sedative and one of its effects is to calm/relax/anxiolyte the brain and muscles. Withdrawal of alcohol results in unexplained anxiety/nervousness and muscle tics/spasms(…=Delirium Tremens). For a serious and elderly addict, these withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening, eg massive stroke.

      Once addicted, addicts should remain dependent on a daily maintenance dose of their drugs, like a diabetic being dependent on insulin daily. The main problem will be the high cost of staying on drugs for the rest of their lives(should they be legalized.? = cheaper). Multi-millionaire drug-addicts, like Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, etc, hv no problem sustaining their expensive drug habits.
      …….An addict can also choose to stay clean from drugs but they will hv to contend with the psychological effects of the withdrawal symptoms. Staying clean may require them to become social recluse bc they do not hv a normal functioning brain.

      Problems may also arise when addicts like alcoholics hv children bc the children will inherit the brain-damaged genes from their alcoholic/addicted parents, eg crack-babies, meth-babies, etc. In effect, these children are born as addicts and may suffer the terrible withdrawal symptoms, eg anxiety/nervousness, sweaty palms, etc.

      When a child of an alcoholic/addict grows up into an adult and then become a Christian, he/she will be carrying the sinful/evil baggage of a defective brain bc his/her parents broke the law against partaking wine, intoxicating drink/substance.

      3. Ancestor-worship,
      usage of surnames,
      etc.
      _ _ _ _ _ _ _

      Generations of lawlessness by most Gentile families present a lot of moral problems for God’s Spirit to strive with, when some of these Gentiles convert to Christianity.
      Bc of this fact, the chances of a new GC failing to grow into Spirit’ual maturity/adulthood, back-sliding or losing faith in Christ are quite high.
      …….In comparison, God’s Spirit has much less moral problems to contend with when a law-abiding Jew convert to Christianity.
      Bc of this fact, the chances of a new Jewish Christian finishing the marathon race of faith in Christ are quite high.

      Peace.

  • Justthinking says:

    Is apology the same as repentance ?

  • Brownie says:

    repentance is a gift

  • lyn says:

    Hi Justthnking,

    I do think that repentance that leads to salvation is a gift.

    After we are saved and in our journey, it is by will.

    I was a unrepentant person for over 10 years. I had suffered through the Lord’s harsh correction. So nowadays, I’m very sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit. I daily surrender my weaknesses over to the Lord.

    For example, if I were having lunch with my friend and we end up gossiping, halfway through the way the conversation, the Holy Spirit would remind me. Then comes the obedience stage. Do I stop now? I do enjoy the story though. If I do obey, I’ll most probably have overcome. I’ll change the subject subtly.

    If not, I’ll go on in that sin, go home, tell the Lord about it, ask for forgiveness and ask for His help. When I’d done this, I’ll find my desire to gossip lessens. I’ll be given a chance again (and again) next time to change.

    If I do go on in it, the Lord will most likely intervene and break me in some way (a bit painful).

    Or, if I did not feel the Lord’s discipline, then the consequence is that I’ll never have true friends. Hence, the lack of spiritual growth ( Because, if i can gossip WITH you, I can gossip ABOUT you. Who wants to live like that?)

    If I ignore my sins altogether, the Lord will discipline (definitely painful). Some go through the disciplining process again and again without having learnt a thing. Recipe for a big dramatic lifestyle.

    In this way, repentance, confession of sins and obedience go hand in hand.

    Sometimes the sin is more serious in nature and the Lord will show me clearly from situations and from His word and I will know this is a ‘no joke’ situation and will need to be corrected straight away to avoid a bad situation. So, I ‘decide’ in my heart and mind to stop immediately. No dwindling situation. I ask for forgiveness and stop.

    These are all aided by the Holy Spirit and is rarely a burden. Just so much satisfaction from knowing we have overcome.

    Hebrews 12:1,2
    New International Version (NIV)
    12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
    2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

    1 John 1:9
    New International Version (NIV)
    9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

    Luke 17:3-4
    New International Version (NIV)
    3 So watch yourselves.
    “If your brother or sister[a] sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. 4 Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”

    2 Corinthians 7
    Paul’s Joy Over the Church’s Repentance
    8 Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while— 9 yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. 10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. 11 See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter. 12 So even though I wrote to you, it was neither on account of the one who did the wrong nor on account of the injured party, but rather that before God you could see for yourselves how devoted to us you are. 13 By all this we are encouraged.

    Hebrews 12:11
    New International Version (NIV)
    11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

    • Non-Pentecostal. says:

      @ lyn …….Not all gossiping is a sin or evil deed.
      …….Only those that neglect profitable labor/work(eg gossiping instead of cooking dinner or working for God),
      harm or offend others/self/God(eg false rumors, libel, playing office politics or Church politics, etc) and
      delve into false teachings/doctrines(eg Mormonism).

      PROV.12:22-24 & 16:27-29, JAMES.3:10, 1TIM.1:6 & 5:13.

  • lyn says:

    As an aside and in my opinion, the discipline in the example above may most likely broken friendships or disharmony between friends. Some people often wonder why they often suffer from friendship issues, inner turmoil, depression and issues of insecurity. This will be so until the root of the problem is addressed. Issues of betrayal, pride and jealousy may ensue and most importantly the loss of peace.

  • Justthinking says:

    Agree with you Lyn. 2 Cor 7 is important. Yes you have reminded us that the Lord disciplines those he loves. Quite different from the teaching that repentance should not or does not include sorrow etc

  • Newbies says:

    So, we are back to justification by works.

    • Non-Pentecostal says:

      THE FULL GOSPEL OF SALVATION.?

      For salvation, Christians are not justified by works(=the works of keeping the laws/Word of God or the non-burdensome laws of Moses), but are justified only by faith in Jesus Christ.
      …….This debate had cropped up during Paul’s time, bc the Jews and some Jewish Christians still believed mistakenly, that they were going to heaven(=saved from hell=salvation) by their works of just keeping Moses Law.

      But the Jews’ good works of the Law or the good works of any good people will justify them being blessed on earth by God(eg prosperous White Europe vs poor Black Africa). The big difference is that all these good people won’t be saved from hell bc they had rejected or ignored Jesus as their Christ/Messiah/Savior.

      On the other hand, if misguided Christians wantonly or ignorantly or willfully break the laws/Word of God or some of the non-burdensome laws of Moses(eg DEUT.18:9-14), they will justifiably be cursed/punished/chastened on earth by God(as per DEUT.28:15, ROM.6:23, GAL.6:7) and will run the grave risk of losing faith in JC while in suffering, like the wife of Job who cursed God and died.
      …….Why take the unnecessary risk by foolishly and intentionally breaking God’s laws/Word or by not being led/guided/helped by the Spirit/Word to do the works of God.? Pls read MATT.24:45-51, 1JOHN.3:5-10, EPH.6:17.?
      …….It is also a disgrace to the name of JC and God for Christians to act/behave/do worse than non-Christians, in terms of sins/evil-deeds, esp by following false doctrines/teachings.

      In other words, good/righteous works will always follow those who hv true faith in JC.
      …….Hence, at MATT.7:12-29, Jesus taught His disciples to judge/know their leaders/teachers by their fruits or works of the Spirit, ie good works/deeds vs evil/sinful works or deeds(GAL.5:16-26) bc a few of them may be ravenous wolves who came in sheep’s clothing(1PET.5:8, 2THESS.2:9).

      In a court of law, the alleged criminals having pled not-guilty, will usually confess that he/she did not commit the crime. Some may even blame others for the crime or claim insanity or mental disorders(=self-justification). Only their past criminal history/records, witness testimonies and/or material evidence(eg DNA, fingerprints, stolen items, etc) can prove otherwise.
      …….Similarly, a ravenous Church wolf will usually confess his/her faith in JC and that he/she is an obedient sheep of God. The hearts of Man are not easy to decipher, except by God(JOHN.8:44, MARK.7:21, HEB.4:12, 2TIM.3:16).
      …….At JOHN.10:10, Jesus stated that these thieves(=wolves) come to the Church to steal(=money, property, assets, fame/glory, etc), to kill(=the body and spirit) and to destroy.

      Many people believe in God for Spirit’ual guidance in their lives while they are still living on this evil/dirty/corrupted earth.
      …….Christians believe in JC, specifically, for their salvation, ie to be resurrected, to live with Jesus on a new earth and to finally go to heaven to be with their Abba Father(GAL.4:6) when they leave this earth.

      Salvation is a free gift(=grace) from God, thru faith in JC. It cannot be bought or earned, eg by doing the works of the law or ‘investing in God’ with tithes/money.
      …….Caveat emptor or buyers beware.

      Be wary, even in Church.

      Peace.

      • Newbies says:

        Dear Non-Pentecostal

        In principle, I agreed with your main pointers except

        You mentioned that good/righteous works will always follow those who hv true faith in JC. But on the other Christian you added that some misguided Christians wantonly or ignorantly or willfully break the laws/Word of God. Isn’t that a contradiction? IMO, the so called Christian who wantonly or ignorantly or willfully break the laws/Word of God are not born again believers. JP emphasised that genuine Christians will hate to sin though they are far from perfect.

  • lyn says:

    Hello Newbies,

    When you go to church on Sunday, read your Bible, pay your tithes or pray, are those justification by works? You must have some things done in obedience to God, what are those?

    Or if you have never been in obedience to God because your pastor says that that is not important, what about those things you did in obedience to your pastor? You might be a bit confused right now but obedience to God is much more important than obedience to your pastor, you know.

    You must fully believe The Bible as opposed to ‘The Power of Right Believing’, as a Christian, Ok?

    • Newbies says:

      Dear Lyn

      When I go to church on Sunday, read my Bible, pay my tithes or pray, I did that out of a instinctive heart desire to do so and not out of sheer obedience. IMHO, I believe that is why the Bible stated that under the New Testament, God will give us a new heart and put in the right Spirit. I believed that if one is born again after he got a revelation of God’s love, mercy and grace, he will want to please God by obeying his leading from within.

      I have been studying JP’s teaching for about 5 years and do not agreed entirely with what he taught. But some of his unique teachings benefited me substantially after checking with the Bible and listening to other preachers.

      • Non-Pentecostal says:

        @ Newbies

        IMO,…….

        I think paying tithes(=a law of Moses) should not be simply based on the “instinct” of the Spirit, without looking into the Word of God. For a born-again Christian, esp a new Gentile Christian, there should be many questions about such an OT law, which could be answered by the Spirit of God. …How.? =Thru the Word of God, esp in the Old Testament.
        …….The questions are; eg should an NT Church be tithing.? How much to tithe.? What should the tithes be used for.? Etc.

        What does the Word of God says about the law of tithing.?

        The law of tithing was instituted during the time of Moses, at about 1500BC. He was a judge and prophet of God, and the de facto PM of the new-born nation of Israel. A 10% tithe was imposed by God on all the Jews for the purpose of running the Holy Temple and administering the govt of Israel, eg paying the priests, maintenance of the Holy Tabernacle, maintenance of infrastructure, development, national defense, social welfare, etc. The tithe is similar to the income tax imposed by the Singapore govt, except that the S’pore govt does not finance religions.

        Today, there is no more such nation of God, eg governed/ruled by a Church pastor or priest. Churches do not do national duties like maintenance of infrastructure, carry out development, provide for national defense with an army, social welfare, etc. Hence, Churches today do not need a tithe of 10%. To pay for the Church employees and Church maintenance, a much lesser tithe is required. Maybe, around 3%. Bear in mind that most Church members hv to pay income tax to their national govt – an average of 10% or more.

        I think Church pastors who “lobby” their members to pay 10% tithes are greedy and financially burdening their members, eg Prosperity Gospel.
        …….The ironic thing is that most of these greedy pastors would quote many OT Scriptures to support their “brain-washing” efforts to get their members to tithe 10% bc the NT says very little about tithing. …Why.? Bc the nation/kingdom of Israel was no more during Jesus’s time.
        …….But when it comes to the freely-given grace of salvation, these pastors practically ignore the whole OT and reject most of the Law as demonic doctrines.

        New Gentile Christians need to read and analyze the non-burdensome laws of Moses, in order to gain wisdom, be able to do good, avoid evil and live righteously. Of course, the Spirit of God(=the Helper-JOHN.14:16) would be helping them to accomplish this.

        Example:
        A small Church has 100 members who earn an average pay of S$2,000 a month. A 10% tithe will net the pastor S$20,000 a month.
        …….A Church with 1,000 members will net the pastor S$200,000 a month.
        …….Hence, the trend for mega-Churches and sermons to tithe.

        Cf: A 3% tithe would net the small Church pastor S$6,000 a month.

        Peace.

        .
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        .

        P S – Some may say that jealousy prompted this post. Is it.?

        • Newbies says:

          When I said I tithe instinctively, I meant to said I give out of a cheerful heart which is the fruit of Spirit. I read, study and meditate on the words of God but I don’t bind myself to the written code. As and when inspired by the Spirit, I obeyed accordingly with much peace and joy. That’s what I understand from the new convenant teachings by JP since 5 years ago.

          But from what I read of some of the comments give me the impression that we should return to the former yoke of slavery. Where is the freedom in Christ?

          If we are serious about obedience to the written code, how about the following new testament scriptures?

          a) love your neighbours as yourself
          b) sinned one, therefore sinned all
          c) in view of (a) and (b), shouldn’t we start plucking our eye
          and cutting our hand as an act of wholesome obedience?

          Did any Christian pool all our money together and shared among each other as practised in the early church? What I see is selective obedience to the written code.

          • Non-Pentecostal says:

            @ Newbies

            Imo, I think u misunderstood the sermon about the cutting of hands and plucking of eyes for sinning.

            First, remember that Jesus Christ was preaching to the Jews who believed that they were going to heaven by obeying Moses Law, ie by not committing adultery, murder, stealing or other intentional sins/evil-deeds. B4 the 1st Advent of JC, this was true, but not during or after. Eg Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Lazarus, etc who had lived and died b4 Christ are or will be in heaven.(LUKE.16:19-31, MATT.17:2-3) …How.? Pls read 1PET.3:19 & 4:6 and MATT.27:52.

            In paraphrasing MATT.5:27-30 about “Thou shall not commit adultery”, Jesus told the Jews(=men) that if they so much as looked at a woman(=not their wife) and lusted for her in their hearts, they were already bound for hell. This means all humans are bound for hell.
            …….The Jews’ old belief that they would end up in hell only if they had committed adultery, murder, stealing or other intentional sins did not work any more, with Jesus around. No wonder these Jews began to hate Jesus, ie for depriving them of salvation by the works of Moses Law.

            Jesus then challenged the Jews to pluck out their eyes, in order to inherit the kingdom of heaven thru their own efforts/works. …Why.? Bc blind people could not look at a woman and lust for her in their hearts and no possibility of them committing adultery.
            …….Sounds like a good proposal. But who in their right mind would pluck out both their eyes for the sake of being saved from hell. Hence, the Jews did not take up His challenge and instead accuse Jesus as a false teacher.

            Bear in mind that it is moral to look at yr wife and lust for her in yr heart and commit non-adultery. That’s how legitimate sons and daughters are begotten.

            Similarly, b4 someone murders, first he/she hated or was angry or jealous or greedy at another in his/her heart.
            …….With the hands and feet cut off, fully-disabled people could not physically assault or murder another, thus preventing the feeling of hate, anger or jealousy or greed at another from arising in his/her heart.

            After the death and resurrection of JC, now we know that the Jews did not hv to rely on their own works of practically cutting out their physical hearts(=plucking out eyes, chopping off limbs, castration, etc) or the works of the Law, in order to be saved from hell. They only hv to rely on the completed works of Jesus on the Cross = amazing grace.

            So, I think it is very foolish and irrational for people or Christians to pluck out their eyes or chop off their genitals or chop off their limbs or turn the other cheek or go the extra mile, or give in to all evil requests, etc, in order to be saved from hell.

            Having immoral lust, hate, anger, jealousy, greed, baseless fears/worries, etc in the heart is equal to sinning-in-thoughts(vs sinning-in-deeds). This sinful/evil trait in humans is inborn and has been inherited by all humans from Adam = Adam’s original sin. The source of this inborn evil in humans is Satan.(JOHN.8:44, MARK.7:21, MATT.16:23 & 23:28, 1JOHN.3:8) Pls read ROM.5:12-.
            …….It is this basic inborn sin that is causing all unsaved humans to be hell-bound, even though they may not hv committed any sins/evil-deeds all their life. Ie a good man will still end up in hell after death bc he did not believe in Jesus for his salvation, …but while on earth he would still be blessed by God with a good, contented, peaceful, joyful and long life.

            Peace.

        • Newbies says:

          Dear Pentecostal

          You mentioned that a small Church has 100 members who earn an average pay of S$2,000 a month. A 10% tithe will net the pastor S$20,000 a month.
          …….A Church with 1,000 members will net the pastor S$200,000 a month.
          …….Hence, the trend for mega-Churches and sermons to tithe.

          You seemed to imply that all tithes goes to the pastor. I thought it went into the church. Just a correction unless you are referring to round-tripping.

          • Non-Pentecostal says:

            I think in many of these mega-Churches(=mostly non-denominational or independent Pentecostal and Charismatic), the Church is equal to the “idolized n glorified” senior pastor, ie all the tithes collected are practically under his control.
            …….The elders in these mega-Churches are just his Yes-men or proxies or appointees, eg City Harvest Church/Ps Kong Hee.

        • Journeyman says:

          @npc
          Church is a very lucrative enterprise – like Sexuality it is a “dirty” word in the religious lexicon….. Figure the vesting and a extremely perspective will emerge.

        • Servant says:

          Tithing is mentioned in the Bible, but the obligation to tithe (or give one tenth) was binding only on the Jews. Jesus fulfilled the Mosaic law (Matt. 5:17) and tithing henceforth is not found anywhere in the New Testament. But this doesn’t mean we’re not obligated to support the Church. We are, but there is no longer a specific percentage required.

          The key to understanding how God wants us to give to the Church is found in 1 Corinthians 16:2, “On the first day of the week [Sunday], each of you should set aside whatever he can afford,” and in 2 Corinthians 9:5-8:

          “So I thought it necessary to encourage the brothers to go on ahead to you and arrange in advance for your promised gift [donation], so that in this way it might be ready as a bountiful gift and not as an exaction. Consider this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each must do as already determined without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you, so that in all things, always having all you need, you may have an abundance for every good work.”

          In other words, God doesn’t demand a fixed amount of money from us. He wants us to give from the heart.

    • Newbies says:

      Dear Lyn

      I remembered JP saying something like that in one of his sermons on holiness many years ago

      ” When I do good, I hoped I did not realised that I am doing a good thing”

      That is the fruit of Spirit and not sheer obedience by will. IMHO, it will be rather stressful if we have to do good thing just bacause we remembered we are a Christian”. I believed that’s why Jesus said ” Come to me those who are weary and heavy laden”.

      • lyn says:

        Hi Newbies,

        Obedience
        **********

        Hebrews 8:10-12
        New International Version (NIV)
        10 This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel
        after that time, declares the Lord.
        I WILL PUT MY LAWS IN THEIR MINDS
        AND WRITE THEM ON THEIR HEARTS
        I will be their God,
        and they will be my people.
        11 No longer will they teach their neighbor,
        or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
        because they will all know me,
        from the least of them to the greatest.
        12 For I will forgive their wickedness
        and will remember their sins no more.”[a]

        God put His LAWS in their minds and write them on their hearts. Whenever there is a law, God requires obedience.

        Ezekiel 36:26-32
        English Standard Version (ESV)
        26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, AND CAUSE YOU TO WALK IN MY STATUTES AND BE CAREFUL TO OBEY MY RULES.

        Instead of us observing it by our own power, He has now given us the fruit of Spirit which is self control. The power for obedience is that we are walking in the Spirit, God’s spirit reign in us.

        Romans 8:5-8
        New International Version (NIV)
        5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

        TRAINING
        **********

        2 Timothy 3:16-17
        New International Version (NIV)
        16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and TRAINING in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

        Hebrews 5:14
        But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have TRAINED THEMSELVES to distinguish good from evil.

        Hebrews 12:11
        New International Version (NIV)
        11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of RIGHTEOUSNESS AND PEACE for those who have been TRAINED by it.

        So once you are saved, your pastor’s, teacher’s teachings, God’s disciplines, obedience to God’s Word and instructions, all work together to ‘train’ you into righteousness. Positionally, we are already righteous in Christ. However our old self, led by the flesh still clings to us strongly. We are still slave to our flesh.

        True Bible teachers will help you to understand the importance of scripture and the instructions within. They have a strong allegiance to God and a desire to uphold God’s truth. They help you to recognize and obey the voice within, which is always substantiated by Scripture, and to allow God’s Spirit to reign in you. They help you recognize the discipline of the Lord and to warn you of the dangers of sin. To encourage and help you move progressively towards a closer and more wonderful relationship with God through recognition of His love and grace for you and your need for obedience and submission to Him. This is amongst others, a job of a good Bible teacher.

        God’s word is indispensable and of utmost importance.

        Just like I have quoted before from Jeremiah, false teaching can and will give you a sense of false peace.

        This temporary peace comes from the teacher’s persuasion. When trial comes, you are not able to withstand. You will then easily fall prey to temptation.

        In continuation of the example I wrote earlier about the sin of gossip. That is how we train ourselves to distinguish good from evil and to choose good over evil.

        1 Timothy 4:7-8
        New International Version (NIV)
        7 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, TRAIN yourself to be GODLY. 8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

        For example, supposing you are a handsome young man, working in a high position in a wonderful company. Your old, faithful secretary has now gone on maternity leave. In her place, your company sent you a hot, young thing in a short, red dress, whose dimpled smile makes your heart melt. She is soon ‘playing eyes’ with you. To make matters worse, your wife is pregnant in her third semester with your fourth child.

        Will knowing God’s love, grace and complete forgiveness help you? With some people, that knowledge will even push them over the edge. What is your desire now?

        On the other hand, knowledge of God’s law will not keep you from sinning.

        So, if you have trained yourself with situations like gossips (start small) when bigger things come, you already know how. In the hot secretary example, this requires of a complete shut down of the faculty of this adulterous sin. Asking God’s help, forgiveness for adulterous thoughts and repentance are tools to help us with accountability and to restore our sense responsibility, which are steps toward the right path.

        Always being in training and living a Spirit-led life will ensure that you are well equipped to handle that situation. We learn to heed the Holy Spirit voice within until God’s nature becomes our nature. Hence, the new creation. There will be no more struggling with sin because we will be repulsed by it as God is. Our desire to obey and please God far outweighs our desire for the flesh. This is the harvest of righteousness and true peace for those who has been trained by it.

        Romans 6:18
        New International Version (NIV)
        18 You have been set free from sin and have become SLAVES TO RIGHTEOUSNESS.

        Romans 6:11
        New International Version (NIV)
        11 In the same way, count yourselves DEAD TO SIN but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

        Romans 8:1-3
        Life Through the Spirit
        8 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has SET YOU FREE from the law of sin and death.

        This is TRUE peace. No more ‘unexplained irritations’ for us. :)

        Praise The Lord!!

        • Newbies says:

          Dear Lyn

          You mentioned that God put His LAWS in their minds and write them on their hearts. Whenever there is a law, God requires obedience. Which kind of obedience are you referring to? Holy Spirit’s leading or the written code in the Bible? IMO, obedience to the correct source is critical.

          You also quote a fair bit of do and don’t. May I asked why did God forbid Adam and Eve not to eat of The Tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil ( isn’t that a list of the do and don’t) but no prohibition on the Tree of Life(isn’t that the Holy Spirit)? I have no desire to commit the same sin as Adam if my understanding of Genesis is correct.

          Appreciate your view on my response to Justthinking which is quite relevant.

        • Newbies says:

          Dear Lyn

          Just to add that in no way I am implying we should not read the Bible. It is Holy Spirit’s inspired and are profitable.

          • lyn says:

            Dearest Newbies,

            Do’s and Don’ts
            ****************

            “Lots of Right Doing to Produce Right Living”?..yaaa

            Firstly, don’t worry, ‘Works’ is not a bad word, ok?

            James 2:14-26
            Faith and Deeds
            14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

            18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”

            Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you MY FAITH BY MY DEEDS. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

            20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that FAITH WITHOUT DEEDS IS USELESS[a]? 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his FAITH AND HIS ACTIONS were WORKING TOGETHER, and HIS FAITH WAS MADE COMPLETE BY WHAT HE DID. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,”[b] and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is CONSIDERED RIGHTEOUS BY WHAT THEY DO AND NOT BY FAITH ALONE.

            25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so FAITH WITHOUT DEEDS IS DEAD.

            Without the wonderful ‘works’ of many Christians that come before us, we would not even be in this place right now. How do Christianity progress without works?

            So, you have to revamp your whole thinking in that regard, ya?

            OBEDIENCE
            ************

            God’s law in the Ten Commandments is fulfilled by the Lord.

            Matthew 5:17
            “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them”.

            In most of Jesus’ teachings when He was on earth confirms the sentiments of the old law. The apostles’ teachings are also along the same lines . In the same way, the Holy Spirit leads us along the same line. We do not observe the laws to be saved though. We will be guided by it once we are saved like a Shepherd would guide His sheep.

            John 14:26
            But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and WILL REMIND YOU OF EVERYTHING I HAVE SAID TO YOU.

            The Holy Spirit will lead us to do pretty much what The Lord has already said. And amongst others the Lord, the Lord (not I) said this

            Matthew 5
            The Fulfillment of the Law

            17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who SETS ASIDE one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called LEAST in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever PRACTICES and TEACHES these commands will be called GREAT in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

            So, Jesus’s righteousness in us and leading a Spirit-led life will make us great in the kingdom of heaven.

            HOW TO ENTER THE SPIRIT-LED LIFE
            *************************************

            Before, my prayer life was really bad. I would pray ‘bless me’ prayers. Bless this, Bless that.

            Nowadays, my prayer is so that the Lord will change me, advance me, teach me, lead me, guide me, make me, show me, help me and submission prayers.

            I do this in the start of the day and the rest of the day, I just follow my peace.

            For example, the other day, I was out with some friends and we ended up talking about a friend’s 24-year old daughter. My friend’s daughter is beautiful, smart and sounds like a girl after God’s own heart. So, the mom who fears that the daughter would never marry because she does not yet have a boyfriend said that she’s ok with her daughter marrying a 40 year old man if only he loves her.

            I was arguing that she should not be like that and should pray for man more ’suitable’ for her daughter especially in terms of age. I got carried away and probably angered my friend a little bit. I later wrote to her but she ignored my text.

            So, the ‘old’ me would have ignored this person altogether but the prompting of the Holy Spirit is that I call her and make things right. I kept it off for a day but the voice kept getting louder and louder. I have lost my peace. So I called her, ask for forgiveness and was reconciled.

            This is in keeping with

            Matthew 5:23
            23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.

            The peace returned. Praise Him (continue to guide me, O Lord, I love you)

            Many a times when I’m about to do something not in accordance with His Spirit, He will remind me. Sometimes I would text halfway on my phone, the Holy Spirit prompts me and I’d erased everything I have written because it is either rude or crude.

            Nowadays, I can’t watch many Hollywood-produced movies because as I seat there listening to their swearing and cursing (sometimes the Name of God) makes me really uncomfortable. I can’t. (The old me used to swear like mad :) )

            PRAYERS TO PRAY IN THE SCRIPTURE TO LIVE THE SPIRIT-LED LIFE
            *******************************************************************

            Isaiah 55:8
            “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.

            Prayer : ‘My Father, My Lord, may Your thoughts be my thoughts, may Your ways be my ways.’

            Isaiah 48:17-18
            New International Version (NIV)
            17 This is what the Lord says—
            your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
            “I am the Lord your God,
            who teaches you what is best for you,
            who directs you in the way you should go.
            18 If only you had paid attention to my commands,
            your peace would have been like a river,
            your well-being like the waves of the sea.

            Prayer: My Father, teach me and direct me today so that my peace is like a river and my righteousness like the waves of the sea.

            Jeremiah 9:23-24
            New International Version (NIV)
            23 This is what the Lord says:
            “Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
            or the strong boast of their strength
            or the rich boast of their riches,
            24 but let the one who boasts boast about this:
            that they have the understanding to know me,
            that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,
            justice and righteousness on earth,
            for in these I delight,”
            declares the Lord.

            Prayer: My Lord, help me understand You and to know You, so that you may delight in me.

            John 5:44
            How can you believe when you accept each other’s praise and do not look for the praise that comes from the only God?

            My Father, I look for and desire praises (honour) that comes from You, My only God.

            Thank You, My Lord..I worship You.

            So.. the things of God are to be taken seriously, ok? Otherwise, the blessings that you keep praying for would fly away together with the caution that you have so easily thrown to the winds.

          • Non-Pentecostal says:

            @ lyn …….About yr friend’s fear that her pretty 24 yo daughter would never marry, …imo, the discussion should hv been based on the relevant Word of God below, rather than about whether a 25 yo or a 40 yo husband would better suit her daughter. If the discussion had been so Word-based, it would hv been more Spirit-led, u and yr friend would hv been more at-peace with the fact that her daughter is still without a bf at 24.

            1COR.7:6-9 & 32-35(NIV) = …
            ….6 I say this as a concession, not as a command.

            7 I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.

            8 Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. 9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
            &

            32 I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. 33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34 and his interests are divided.

            An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband.

            35 I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.
            _ _ _ _ _ _ _

            About many Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians being guided by the emotion/feeling of peace or joy or love being equated as being led by the Spirit, …imo, is not quite scriptural. In practice, the laws/Word of God seems to be missing often from this equation.

            No doubt the Word of God says that the fruit of the Spirit is love, peace, joy, etc(GAL.5:22-23) but the Word of God did not say that His people should be led or guided or live by these good emotions/feelings, in whatever they are doing. In fact, God/the Word/Jesus says that His people should live(=led/guided) by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God, esp when tempted or tested by Satan. Hence, the shield of faith(which comes by the hearing of the Word of God) against the fiery darts of the evil one, the helmet of salvation-in-Christ and the sword of the Spirit(which is the Word of God). The sword of the Spirit is not the good feeling of peace or joy or love.

            It seems these Christians are confused by the “chicken comes first or egg comes first” situation. The laws/Word of God comes first b4 the Spirit of God can act to help or empower faithful Christians to obey and do good = resulting in the positive/good feeling or emotion of peace or joy or love.
            …….By faith, Christians obey the laws/Word of God with the help/empowerment of the Holy Spirit, thus producing the fruit of the Spirit. It is not Christians obeying the Spirit = evidenced by the feeling of peace. Only when the feeling of peace suddenly disappears, will they backtrack and question themselves or look-up the WoG to see how did they do wrong/sin/evil. After some time, the resolution comes when the feeling of peace returns. I think the resolutions may often be self-suggestion or self-justification. I think equating being led by the Spirit with the good feeling/emotion of peace or joy or love or etc is unscriptural.

            How did Jesus Christ, who was filled with the Holy Spirit resist the testing, deceiving and tempting words of Satan to commit sin, at MATT.4.?
            …….Jesus quoted the Word of God from the Old Testament each time Satan tested, tried to deceive and tempt Him. With each successful application of the Word of God, I think Jesus felt peace, a fruit of the Spirit of God who was filling Him or was in Jesus.

            If new Gentile Christians are taught to ignore most of the non-burdensome laws of Moses in the OT, the Holy Spirit will not be able to fill/help/empower them to resist the evil words of Satan bc they do not know how to quote the relevant laws/Word of God = very unlike Jesus.(HEB.8:10 & 10:15) They will then ignorantly or willfully fall into sins/evil-deeds = cursed/punished by God = feeling little peace or joy on earth.
            …….But their salvation into heaven is a different matter, ie resting solely on their faith in-JC and not on their sins or non-sins.(eg 1COR.5:5)

            At MATT.13:18, in the parable of the sower, Jesus stated that the seed-Word of the kingdom has to be planted in people’s hearts n minds first b4 the seed could germinate, grow into a tree and bear fruit of multiple souls saved(=Church evangelism). Some seeds would not germinate, grow or bear fruit bc their minds do not understand the Word of the kingdom, their hearts cannot endure the tribulation/testing and persecution for the sake of the gospel and their hearts n minds worry more about the cares of the world(what to eat, drink, wear and where to live) and the pursuit of worldly things.
            …….Similarly, for the Spirit of God to bear fruit in the Christians, the seed-Word/laws of God has to be first planted in their hearts n minds. The born-again Christians will be prompted/led by the Spirit to read the WHOLE Bible, esp about righteous living and salvation-in-Christ. Faith cannot come without the Word of God, both faith in the laws/Word of God for a peaceful life on earth and faith in JC for salvation on leaving the earth/death.
            …….The will of the Spirit of God is for them to both, live in peace, joy n love on this earth and in heaven. Both are achieved on earth, first, thru the Word and then by the Spirit, ie everything from God begins with the Word(JOHN.1:1-3 & GEN.1:1-3).

            Medical science has proven that human emotions/feelings are affected by the body’s hormonal balance, certain foods, psychotropic drugs, steroid medicine, birth-control pills(make women feel more hungry=obesity), sickness, etc. Eg PMS, menopause, andropause, steroid rage, sedative drugs and alcohol that calm, give peace and relax the mind, etc.
            …….Recently, the HK action star, Jet Li, revealed that he is taking thyroid medicine(=synthroid) for hyperthyroidism, which hv many weird physical, emotional and psychological effects.

            Hence, it is foolhardy for Christians to base most of their Spirit’ual life on being led by positive feelings/emotions, as if led by the Holy Spirit. They will most probably behave like drug-addicts, ie people who are addicted to good feelings/emotions. In effect, their spiritual life will be one of chasing after one good feeling after another, …like drug-addicts daily chasing after their next fix, usually by begging, stealing, robbing and cheating others.
            , , , , , , ,

            Psalm 4:8
            In PEACE I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.

            Psalm 29:11
            The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with PEACE.

            PSA.85:8-13 =
            8 I will listen to what God the Lord says;
            he promises PEACE to his people, his faithful servants—
            but let them not turn to folly.
            9 Surely his salvation is near those who fear him,
            that his glory may dwell in our land.

            10 Love and faithfulness meet together;
            RIGHTEOUSNESS AND PEACE kiss each other.
            11 Faithfulness springs forth from the earth,
            and righteousness looks down from heaven.

            12 The Lord will indeed give what is good,
            and our land will yield its harvest.
            13 Righteousness goes before him
            and prepares the way for his steps.
            , , , , , , ,

            Peace.

    • Non-Pentecostal says:

      @ Newbies

      JOHN.3:1-5(NKJV) =
      The New Birth

      3 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”

      3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is BORN AGAIN, he cannot see the KINGDOM OF GOD.”

      4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

      5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of WATER and THE SPIRIT, he cannot enter the KINGDOM OF GOD.

      6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

      8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

      MATT.13:16-19…23 =
      16 But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; 17 for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

      The Parable of the Sower

      18 “Therefore HEAR the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the WORD of the KINGDOM, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. …

      23 But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”

      MATT.4:4 =
      But He answered and said, “It is written(in Deut.8:3), ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every WORD that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”

      MATT.4:17 =
      From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the KINGDOM of heaven is at hand.”

      JOHN.6:63 =
      “It is the Spirit who gives life, the flesh profits nothing. The WORDS that I speak to you are (S)spirit and they are (eternal.?)life.”

      EPH.6:17 =
      And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the WORD of God.
      _ _ _ _ _ _

      IMO,…….

      The whole ministry of Jesus Christ was about salvation or how to enter the kingdom of God/heaven, by being born again of water and the Spirit.
      …….Bear in mind that JC was preaching to His fellow Jews who were mostly law-abiding and righteous, eg the apostles. JC had no need to preach about righteous living to them, ie how to do good, avoid doing evil/sinfulness and receive the earthly blessings of God = a good, contented and long life. Being born-again was not intended for these Jews to learn how to live righteously on earth. Being born again was about being additionally blessed by God in the afterlife, ie going to heaven after death or leaving this earth. Righteous living had already been taught to them by God thru Moses about 1,500 years b4 Christ.
      …….For most of these Jews, they were already receiving the earthly blessings of God. With the 1st Advent of JC, they needed to also believe in JC b4 they could receive the additional blessing of eternal afterlife.

      Both the blessings in this life and in the afterlife are dependent on hearing(or reading) the laws/Word of God. Good deeds/works are done by the born-again Christians, Jews, Muslims and others also by the leading of the Spirit of God or Holy Spirit. …How.?
      …….GENESIS says that God formed Adam out of dust and breathed life into him(God’s breath = His Spirit.?). GEN.6:3 says that the Spirit of God constantly strive with man(to get them to stop committing evil.?) and bc they tend to commit sins, God limited their lifespan to 120 years. ACTS.17:28 states that all humans live, move and hv their being in God(=in His Spirit.?)
      …….Noah, Abraham, Moses and the prophets heard the voice or Word of God and obeyed. So, when a Jew hear the laws/Word of God and obeys, it is the Spirit of God in him/her that moved him/her to do so. I think all humans hv the “instinct” to do good which comes from the Spirit or God’s breath.

      The big difference between a righteous Jew and a righteous Christian is that God’s Spirit will additionally resurrect the born-again Christian towards salvation bc he/she believes in Jesus as his/her Christ/Messiah/Savior.
      …….The Jew missed out on this additional blessing bc he/she rejected Jesus as his/her Messiah/Christ.

      But a Christian is not guaranteed heaven, the moment he/she is born again bc most are born again as Spirit’ual babies, esp new Gentile Christians who had led mostly lawless lives. They need to grow into Spirit’ual maturity b4 God could use them to gain souls(=evangelism) and advance the kingdom of God/heaven.
      …….In short, the main emphasis of God birthing people again is for salvation and Church evangelism.

      The gospel of Moses Law and the gospel of Jesus’s salvation can be compared to high school and college education. Jewish Christians completed both high school and college = fully equipped to work in a company. Most new Gentile Christians did not finish high school and are struggling to complete college = not fully equipped for work.
      …….Eg in US Community Colleges, mature adults without high school diplomas are allowed to enroll, using their work experience as qualifications. Most of these mature college students needed to catch up on the basic foundational knowledge of high school education in order to be able to graduate. Similarly, new GC need to catch up on the foundational teachings of Moses Law b4 they could grow into Spirit’ual maturity and be fully equipped to work for God, eg in Church evangelism = in Church work, in tithing, etc. Not studying Moses Law may result in them sinning ignorantly or willfully = receiving the curses of God = getting sick, impoverished, oppressed by demons, etc. The kingdom of God or a company will hv much difficulty making use of a constantly sick or disabled worker/servant of God – not to say it is impossible.
      …….Hence, Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, in many of his letters, had to teach the new GC about sins/evil-deeds of the flesh, righteous living, how to do good and avoid evil, works/fruit of the Spirit, etc.

      When the NT states that all sins hv been forgiven, this applies esp to Adam’s original sin, which was specifically atoned for by the blood of Jesus, thereby qualifying believers for heaven after they die. The gospel of JC is the gospel of salvation, not the gospel of righteous living. Moses Law is the gospel of righteous living.
      …….Believers do not go to heaven immediately after they are born again. Their faith in JC will only hv all their sins forgiven when they later die and enable them to go to heaven. While still living on earth, the born-again Christians are still held accountable by God for their sins/evil-deeds/works. HEB.10:26-31 states that even the blood of Jesus will not avail much for willful or intentional sinners/evildoers who hv insulted the Spirit of grace.
      …….It is a cop-out to say that only false or non-born again Christians commit such sins. A born again Christian still has the freedom of choice to reject the leading of the Holy Spirit or the Word of God bc the devil is still roaming about the earth seeking humans to devour, esp unrepentant sinners/evildoers, as illustrated often in the NT.

      A born-again Christian is not a robot being fully controlled by the Holy Spirit = free from the devil’s fiery darts. Even God cannot force a person to do His will. Similarly, no person can force another to do something. Usually, words of advice, persuasion, teachings, etc are employed, with no guarantee of success.

      In comparison, when born-again believers obey God’s Spirit and Word, to do the good works of God, esp in Church evangelism, God in heaven blesses them in this life and also will bless them with crowns in heaven(1COR.9:24-27). Crown is a symbol of rulership in the kingdom of God or similar to management positions in a company.

      Seems, many Pentecostals and Charismatics desire for instant Spirit’ual maturity the moment they are born-again, esp new GC. It is as if the “instinctive” Spirit of God will automatically and instantly create an ‘apostolic or prophetic Paul’ out of them and forever change their earthly lives into one rosy picture of happily ever-after = …new creation.?
      …….The new creation of being born again is about being created anew-in-Christ for the main purpose of salvation, ie death, resurrection/rapture and being heaven-bound, thru faith in Jesus Christ. It is “in-Christ” that the born-again Christians will be blessed by God with eternal life when they die.
      …….In comparison, the Jews believe that “in-Moses”(=works of the Law), they will be blessed by God with heaven when they die; the Muslims believe that “in Muhammad”(=works of the Sharia), they will be…; the Buddhist and Hindus believe that “in good works/merit”, they will be blessed by their Gods with rebirth/reincarnation or nirvana; the atheists believe that “in-themselves”, they will bless themselves with whatever; etc.

      Most new GC are born again as Spirit’ual babies who require to initially feed on Spirit’ual milk and then solid food(=eat the body of Jesus or the Word) b4 they could grow gradually into Spirit’ual adulthood/maturity and be fully equipped to work for God, healthily and joyfully, in this life and in the afterlife. Hence, born again believers are also called the servants of God or slaves of God.

      Peace.

      • Non-Pentecostal says:

        About born again believers(-who are in-Christ by faith, after hearing the Word of the kingdom) being resurrected by the Holy Spirit;

        JOHN.20:21-23 =
        21 So (the resurrected)Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”
        22 And when He had said this, He BREATHED on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
        23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

        1COR.6:14 =
        And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.(=His Spirit.?)

        ROM.8:11 =
        But if the Spirit of Him(=the Spirit of God or Holy Spirit) who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit(=God’s Spirit) who dwells in you.
        , , , , , , ,

        Peace.

      • Newbies says:

        Dear Non-Pentecostal

        Perhaps I need to rephrase in reference to your remark on copt-out. I believe that a true Christian, rooted in the new convenant teachings, will not live a sinful lifestyle and have a distaste of sin. Not that he will not sin, as all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. We are transformed from glory to glory.

        You seemed to emphasise on righteous living by the WORD whilst I noted some comments on will power, confession and repentance. How successful was that and did the Bible stated in no uncertain term that this is the cure for all?

        But I know that the Bible did mentioned that sin shall not have dominion for those under grace. In addition, it is grace that taught us to deny ungodliness. Appreciate your view on grace before I give my 2 cents worth of comment which some might despise.

        I believe that when Isiaah mentioned about the coming of the wonderful counsellor, he is referring to the online version i.e the Holy Spirit and not the offline version i.e. the word of God. You questioned how to be led by the Spirit. IMHO and to put it simply, just asked, it shall be given and the Bible said that we are ruled by the peace of God. I bypass someone begging last week and it was the lack of peace that caused me to turn back.

  • Justthinking says:

    We are not saved by works but saved for works. Ephesians 2:8-10

    • Newbies says:

      Dear JustThinking

      Should the good works be led by the Spirit (which will not deviate from the Words of God) or done according to all that was written in the Bible (without exception or done selectively)?

      The Bible stated something to that effect that we love God and therefore obey his commandment. Shall we do good works to prove that we love God (as taught in many churches)or rather as a result of loving God (from the heart and not by willpower), we do good works instinctively?

  • Justthinking says:

    Dear newbies, I don’t think many bible believing churches teach believers to do good works to prove that we love God. Prove to who ? But lives that are transformed by God will manifest in changed lives which can be seen by the world. It is always 100% man and 100% God. When Peter walked on water, he’s wasn’t sucked out onto the water water but he obeyed and stepped over the boat and do what he did everyday ie walk. When we pray for someone to receive the gift of tongues, that someone has to speak and when he does that
    , the HS spirit takes over just like Peter’ s experience. One has to make a decision to obey God . When I accepted Jesus I was a smoker for 20 years. I had the same urge to smoke ( although some had that supernaturally removed ) but I have to fight it with all my will and commit to Jesus and pray for strength everyday and after battling one day at a time I realized after a period I had stopped. After many years I sometimes still have that urge to try again ( it’s mental) , but I have to pray and fight it with all my strength hand will. But the HS will grant us strength as we submit to him. It’s even worse for thee many drug addicts who gave their lives to Jesus. Is it spirit led ? It is 100% human effort and 100% God at least for me. I have spoken to many it’s the same. So don’t be deceived if someone tells you that what you doing is of the flesh just because you give in your 100% effort and sweat it out in whatever you do for The Lord. Look at Paul. When Jesus came he shrunk the laws into 2 but raised the bar so that we can really rely on the grace of God which can empower us and it’s always sufficient for us. But as disciples of Jesus, we must know the standard is high. Read Hebrews 10:23 on works as well. We are to spur one another , so is that the flesh or spirit led ? Works is not a bad word , don’t be hung up on this and be worried is this flesh or spirit. Our objective and goal is to be radical disciples of Jesus Christ empowered by the the radical love, grace and mercy of our lord.

    • Newbies says:

      Dear Justthinking

      Pardon me for my Sec 4 ‘s English. Hope I can get my message across.

      Correct me if I am wrong. Your response seemed to indicate one to rely on Spirit’s enabling and human work at the same time. I would rather interpret Phil 2.12/13 that the Spirit should take precedence over human work and IMO, the order is critical without confusion. According to JP, he claimed that relying on the Spirit’s enabling and human work at the same time is akin to mixing old and new wine together with undesirable consequence. In one of the Gospel, Jesus continued by saying that the new have come (Grace or Spirit’s enabling) but people still prefer the old (human effort or law). May I have your view? Finally, I read one of Charles Swindoll’s book and he said something to that effect that the 1st step to embracing the Holy Spirit is not to do anything.

      Yes, I agreed that there was some exhortation by Paul to do this and that. But I remembered in one of his letter where he stated his reason for doing so. He claimed that some are still carnal and not spiritual and that they are still drinking milk and are not ready for solid foods. Frankly speaking, I don’t see any good reason why we should settle for less.

      • lyn says:

        Hi Newbies,

        Sorry that I interfere here as well.

        I do agree with Justthinking in this issue. I find that a lot of times doing work for the Lord does involve inconveniences to us. Hence, this involves our will to perform. These may be interpreted by not being led by peace and purely human effort. I think working for the Lord requires us to be ready mentally. And then The Lord would open doors for us. We can still choose not to do them. It is perfectly ok though, if you are not ready. But when you are, you can pray for it.

        Luke 10:2
        He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.

        My Father, please send me as out as worker into Your harvest field.

        It is very rewarding and honoring to see that we partner with Him to be of some use to His kingdom and that He trusts us enough to use us in some way. If we don’t do anything (no human effort) then God sends and honors somebody else lo. (BTW, please chuck that teaching out of your mind too).

        God will send you work bit by bit and sometimes you have to do it however you perceive your peace to be. I mean how many would ‘really want’ to go to the poorest parts of Africa to care for the poor?

        For example, some time last year, I held a party at 2 in the afternoon to baptise a girl but my co-worker said to me that there are 6 more people to be baptised at around 10.30 that night because they are manicurists and would only be free at that time. By the time they reached my house it would be at 11 at night and it was in WINTER (I have a small mini hot pool outside my house). I held a party for the girl hosting 20 over people in the day and the idea of baptising 6 people in the night (one of them had to go back to the village the next day), in the cold was to me (a spoilt person) very disturbing (no peace) and tiring. But I knew the there was no other way. After the baptism, I felt wonderful!

        So lots of things we have to do for the Lord is difficult. Forking out moneys to help people and having to fight against our stingy nature also very hard. No peace, feel like purely human effort, but after we save some lives, wow, we feel on top of the world.

        In terms of following our peace, whenever we feel there are no clear directions from the Lord, His written Word takes precedence.

        For example, in a marriage situation, after 10 years of marriage and the wife is fatter, the peace situation is not too clear when there are always arguments. Then whatever the Lord says about marriage should be obeyed. Lots of prayers, counseling and waiting and we will see that the Lord is faithful.

        However, if the spouse is physically abusive and to the point of one party fearing for his/her life, I think that following that peace is a wise thing to do before somebody gets really hurt. After all, fear is the opposite of love (God).

        Whenever we have a great relationship with The Lord, everything usually falls into place very fast. Easier for us to know His will. Very peaceful and very happy. :)

    • Newbies says:

      Dear Justthinking

      I disagreed with your last para that we should strive to be radical disciple. IMHO, we should strive to be led by the Spirit and all things will fall into place. Aiming to be radical disciple, though noble and commendable, might not be God’s will for eg King David’s desire to build a temple.

    • Newbies says:

      Dear JustThinking

      You also mentioned that “Works is not a bad word , don’t be hung up on this and be worried is this flesh or spirit.”

      I certainly does not want to end up like Sarah (quoted by Paul in Romans who make a distinction between flesh and Spirit) whose wrong decision created problems in the world until today.

      • Non-Pentecostal says:

        @ Newbies

        The story about Abraham, Sarah and Hagar is found at GEN.16. The reference at ROMANS.4:19 & 9:8 only talked about Abraham’s faith and righteousness, wrt Sarah giving birth to a son at an old age(=past menopause). HEB.11:11 talked about Sarah’s faith after hearing the promise/Word of God to give them a son(GEN.18:10).

        Why was Sarah barren.? …Bc Abraham and Sarah were step-brother and sister, ie either they had the same father or same mother.(I forgot which) They lived b4 the time of Moses Law and were unaware that incest was a sin/evil-deed.
        …….In effect, Abraham and Sarah had ignorantly committed the sin of incest and they were still cursed by God with barrenness. Like they say, “Ignorance of the Law is no excuse” bc every adult human has a conscience that tells them about good vs evil(from the tree of the knowledge of good n evil that Adam ate).
        …….Imagine, marrying yr own sister or daughter or mother, …eww.!(=instinctive revulsion for most people)

        Even today, incest or inbreeding will result in barrenness or weird hereditary diseases in the progeny, eg amongst the exclusive Amish Christians. The evil effects of incest or inbreeding is common knowledge, eg unscrupulous dog-breeders selling expensive inbred pedigree dogs that hv hereditary diseases, eg heart, liver , kidney and gum diseases; and the Chinese custom that discourages those with the same surname to marry.

        When Sarah was at an old age, yet without a child, in desperation, she came up with a bright idea(=from her flesh or the devil) to get a child thru her slave-maid, Hagar, by allowing her to be Abraham’s new wife.(again, bigamy is against Moses Law) Thereafter, more problems occurred, ie sin on top of sin. In this case, Hagar was innocent and God came to her rescue.

        Maybe, Sarah should hv prayed to God about this ‘no-child’ problem and waited for His word of reply. Sometimes, when there is no answer from God after some time, it may mean, “No”.

        Hagar’s son, Ishmael, became the ancestor of the Arabs, and then the Muslim Arabs, thru Muhammad, at about 600AD.

        This biblical story illustrates the importance of the laws/Word of God for people’s life on earth, esp for new Gentile Christians who are mostly ignorant about many of the non-burdensome laws of Moses, which they should slowly learn to obey…
        ….The Word of God is living and powerful… The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. The words of Jesus are (S)spirit and they are life.

        If not, like Sarah, new GC may commit sins/evil-deeds ignorantly and receive the curses/punishment of God. Like Job who had repented for ignorantly sinning against God by buying Prosperity insurance from God(JOB.1:5 & 3:25) and then received double blessings from God, if the ignorant new GC repent, God would bless them double of what they had lost.

        Even worse, were the Jews who knew the Law but then forgot or ignored them, and ended up being cursed/punished by God into foreign colonization,
        …ie HOSEA.4:6 = My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.

        When many Christians encounter dilemmas in their life, they often ask themselves, “What would Jesus do.?” or WWJD. I think, a better question to ask is, “What does the Word(=Jesus) says.?”
        …….God has various ways to speak to His people. Today, it is often via the laws/Word of God as found in the Holy Scripture. …

        ….LUKE.16:25-31 = 25 But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted(in heaven) and you are tormented(in hell). 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’

        27 “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’

        29 Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’

        31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’”

        God in heaven(=the Father) sent His Spirit or the Spirit of God to earth. The Spirit always acts in conjunction with His Word or the laws/Word of God. Some 2,000 years ago, God sent His Son to earth, who was His Word became flesh, in order to save the world(JOHN.3:16).
        …….Eg, GEN.1:1-3 states that God said the Word, “Let there be light” and suddenly there was light.(=created by the Spirit that was hovering over the face of the earth) Similarly, His Word created the earth’s land, sea, air, plants, sun, moon, animals and Adam/humans.(JOHN.1:1-3)
        …….Jesus Christ had also healed with His word(followed by the healing action of the Spirit), eg “Be healed.”

        It is always better to learn from other people’s mistake, eg Sarah’s, Job’s, the Jews’, etc. The Word of God has many such examples of people’s sins/evil-deeds of the flesh(=obeying the words of the devil.?) and the terrible consequences.
        …….Vice versa, the Bible also has many examples of the good deeds of the Spirit(=obeying the laws/Word of God, either written or spoken) done by the faithful servants of God and the good consequences(eg peace and joy).

        Peace.

        • Newbies says:

          Thanks for responding to my posting which i have misquoted. It’s not Romans but Gal 4. Allow me to correct the misquote and add further comments to my earlier posting. I apologised.

          Dear Brother

          You also mentioned that “Works is not a bad word , don’t be hung up on this and be worried is this flesh or spirit.”

          I certainly does not want to end up like Sarah (quoted by Paul in Galatians 4 who make a distinction between flesh and Spirit) whose wrong decision created problems in the world until today.

          Aspiring to be a radical disciple with emphasis on works and not spirit-led (or the Grace of God) could disrupt the plan of God. To put it bluntly, it is still disobedience. A good eg is Sarah whose intention is help God fulfil his prophecy. The Bible stated ” Wait on the Lord”. There is a time of season for everything”

          We are a body of Christ and are not independent of one another. Let God (thru the Spirit) dictate what, when and who should or should not act.

          The bible stated “Whoever that is led by the Spirit are indeed sons of God”.

          Non Pentecostal – I agreed we should learn from those personalities in the bible. But we need to be led by Spirit and not jump the bandwagon. There are instances in the bIble whereby we need to be bold and move forward. But there are instances we are to be still. You need the Spirit to discern when to be still or move forward.

        • Newbies says:

          Dear NPC

          Just to add further to my earlier post.

          It was not solely by faith that Peter was able to walk on water. He asked and Jesus commanded him to do so.
          Have Peter did not hear the explicit response from Jesus “to come” ( in today context, the leading of the Spirit), he would have sunk much earlier.

          Somewhere in the Gospel, Jesus said the Spirit will remind us of all things that he said. I still read the Bible failing which there is nothing to be reminded. In addition, the Spirit teach us ALL things.

          In an article, Cho Yonggi related an incident of 2 ladies drowning while walking on water with many people watching. There was heavy storm and the ferry ceased operation. They need to cross the river to attend a major Christian conference. After praying and confessing the word, they act on the eg of Peter and became a laughing stock in the media.

          According to Cho Yonggi, one need to read the Logos word and hear and act on the Rhema word.

          • Non-Pentecostal. says:

            @ Newbies says:
            24/01/2014 at 10:15 am

            MATT.14:25-29(NIV)=
            25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.
            26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

            27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

            28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

            29 “Come,” he said.
            _ _ _ _ _ _ _

            IMO,…….

            About the story of Jesus walking on water, there was an uncertainty about who the apostles saw, ie whether the person walking on water was an evil/unholy ghost or the Holy Ghost/Spirit(=manifested as Jesus Christ), ie “ghost? or Jesus?” or “X”.
            …….To confirm this, Peter requested “X”(=bc it was not yet certain that it was truly Jesus) to issue the command(=the Word) for him to also walk on water. This meant, an evil ghost does not hv the specific spiritual ability to do miraculous things thru a command or word. Satan and his demons hv other means of doing miracles.
            …….So, “X” issued to Peter the command/Word, “Come”, for Peter to walk on water to come towards “X”.

            Believing that it was Jesus and trusting “His?” Word to “Come”, Peter confidently left the boat and began to walk on water towards “Jesus?” by the power of the Spirit of God(?).

            But midway, suddenly, gusty winds and strong waves lashed Peter. He became afraid. I think he began to doubt that it was really Jesus who had spoken to him and so he sank into the water(=no peace or joy).
            …….Where did the winds come from.? …Coincidence.? Local weather pattern.? Natural phenomenon.? Self-induced or self-realization.? Demonic.?
            …….I think when he saw the winds, Peter began to doubt that it was Jesus. Instead, he began to believe that it was an evil/unholy ghost who had spoken to him, deceiving him with a false command/word and trying to drown him to death.(Peter was a non-swimmer)

            Jesus had to reach out to save Peter from drowning and then castigated him for his lack of faith and for doubting that it was Him(walking on water) and His Word/command(/law).

            This story means:

            1. The apostles knew that Jesus(=God-in-the-flesh who was full of the Holy Spirit) performed miracles for people by the power of the Holy Spirit(=God’s Spirit) thru His spoken Word or command.

            2. When new Gentile Christians begin to learn to obey the laws/commandments/Word of God, with the help or empowerment of God’s Spirit, negative environmental/surrounding(spiritual.?) factors may come into play.

            3. If it had really been a ghost walking on water, Peter would hv been deceived, foolishly obeyed a false “command/word” and he would hv really drowned to death.(bc Jesus would not hv been present to save him from drowning)
            …….Similarly, if Christians believe and obey false teachings or demonic doctrines(=words of Satan or evil ghosts), they may also “drown to death”. Only the Word(=Jesus) will be able to save these foolish and misguided Christians from such a drowning bc the Word of God is living and powerful(HEB.4:12) and the words of Jesus are Spirit(JOHN.6:63).

            Hence, it is of paramount importance for any Christian teaching or doctrine to be based solidly on the laws/Word of God. Some teachings or doctrines are based mostly on spiritual experiences or feelings(eg speaking in tongues, miraculous healings, emotions of peace and joy, etc), which are open to counterfeiting by Satan. Satan cannot counterfeit the actual laws/Word of God, as written or spoken by God to His messengers in the Bible.

            Usually, false Christian teachings or doctrines do not pass the test of the laws/Word of God and do not pass the test of time(esp when Judgment Day comes), …similar to Ponzi schemes and Internet money-scams.
            …….Still, often, greedy, flesh’y, foolish and gullible people fall victims to various Ponzi schemes and Internet scams, similar to falling victims to false teachings or doctrines.

            Doubts about Pentecostalism can be found, right off the bat, with its birth/founding in 1906 by Charles Parham in Topeka, Kansas. The Word of God and “boring” fundamental Christianity were not sufficient for him. He wanted some “extra” spiritual experiences from God, hence the beginning of the ’speaking in tongues’(babbling.?) movement.

            2COR.3:15-18 =
            15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
            17 Now THE LORD IS THE SPIRIT, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
            18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

            Peace.

  • Justthinking says:

    Dear newbies, I don’t think many bible believing churches teach believers to do good works to prove that we love God. Prove to who ? But lives that are transformed by God will manifest in changed lives which can be seen by the world. It is always 100% man and 100% God. When Peter walked on water, he’s wasn’t sucked out onto the water water but he obeyed and stepped over the boat and do what he did everyday ie walk. When we pray for someone to receive the gift of tongues, that someone has to speak and when he does that
    , the HS spirit takes over just like Peter’ s experience. One has to make a decision to obey God . When I accepted Jesus I was a smoker for 20 years. I had the same urge to smoke ( although some had that supernaturally removed ) but I have to fight it with all my will and commit to Jesus and pray for strength everyday and after battling one day at a time I realized after a period I had stopped. After many years I sometimes still have that urge to try again ( it’s mental) , but I have to pray and fight it with all my strength and will. But the HS will grant us strength as we submit to him. It’s even worse for the many drug addicts who gave their lives to Jesus. Is it spirit led ? It is 100% human effort and 100% God at least for me. I have spoken to many it’s the same. So don’t be deceived if someone tells you that what you doing is of the flesh just because you give in your 100% effort and sweat it out in whatever you do for The Lord. Look at Paul. On a separate note, When Jesus came he shrunk the laws into 2 but raised the bar so that we can really rely on the grace of God which can empower us and it’s always sufficient for us. But as disciples of Jesus, we must know the standard is high. Read Hebrews 10:23 on works as well. We are to spur one another , so is that the flesh or spirit led ? Works is not a bad word , don’t be hung up on this and be worried is this flesh or spirit. Our objective and goal is to be radical disciples of Jesus Christ empowered by the the radical love, grace and mercy of our lord.

  • Justthinking says:

    @newbies- I think Lynn have said a lot and you should reflect on them slowly. Not sure why you disagree with discipleship after all those were the last words of Jesus before he ascended to heaven.I think the unbalanced teaching of grace is not a new phenomenon as Dietrich Bonhoeffer has addressed it during his time as he wrote The Cost of Discipleship. I have not read the book but read quite a few excerpts which i assume he is dealing with same issues in the church at that time. I think you may have seen that quote published in books many times so i will not rewrite all but it does have this phrase ” ……….. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross ………” You may also want to read these books ( not thick ones , easy reading) The Master Plan of Evangelism-Robert Coleman and the Radical Disciple – John Stott . -Solid food .

  • Newbies says:

    In the Bible, there is a distinction between good and bad works.
    Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son because he believed God will provide (he told his servant that WE will return). Rahab heard about how God open the Red Sea and we can conclude that she believe God. This is good works arising from faith.

    Sarah arranged for Hagar to sleep with Abraham because she did not believe (INITIALLY) in what God said. That is bad work arising from lack of faith.

    There should be more preaching on faith filled message and good works will arise and that is the fruit of the Spirit. To do otherwise might result in bad works i.e. the works of the flesh.

    Preach more on the goodness of God and true repentance will result.
    Preach more on being forgiven much, and we will love much. What followed will be fulfilling the greatest commandment i.e. to love God with all your heart, strength, might and mind.

    Are we preaching the true Gospel? As Paul had said some are preaching another which is not the Gospel at all. In addition, he said sth like that “The things of God are simple and it take the craftiness of our enemy to deceive us into thinking otherwise.”

  • Justthinking says:

    link to youtube.com
    link to youtube.com

    Its difficult to write too much but the above 2 teachings by Dr Michael Brown will help us understand more the current trend of teaching thats negatively impacting the “Church of Jesus” worldwide especially in the US . You may also want to purchase the book “Hyper Grace: -Exposing the dangers of modern grace message” by Dr Michael Brown. Have an open mind , check it out.

  • Justthinking says:

    BTW, on tithing 10% in the NT, Matthew 23:23 is a good ref where Jesus tell the Pharisees that they should have practised the latter ( mercy, justice etc) without neglecting the former ( 10% tithe)

    On feelings of peace i do not belittle it and in fact i think its very impt. But its not everything. you can see it on youtube in a debate between Dr Michael Brown and a renown pastor of a gay church. The pastor who is a homosexual said he struggled with his relationship with his male partner for a long time and finally he thank the Holy Spirit for affirming this homosexual relationship and he received great peace in his heart. Classic e.g. of deception.

    • Journeyman says:

      Seems human judgement can fall short of wisdom and God’s truth

      … Philippians 4:6-7 ESV

      do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

    • Non-Pentecostal. says:

      @ Justthinking

      IMO,…….

      I think a better understanding about the law of tithing in the OT and the Spirit of giving in the NT can be found at this website, http://www.tithing.com , or at other relevant websites.

      Wrt giving to the Church in the NT, MATT.13:23, 24:3 & 25:31-46 are also quite relevant.

      In these passages, Jesus Christ stated that those faithful Jews who had provided for the material needs(food, drinks, shelter, clothes, medicine, money, etc) of His apostles/disciples during their evangelism/ministry/missionary journey will be rewarded with heaven. Those who ignored the material needs of the apostles were condemned.
      …….Notice that these Jews were ordinary family folks who were not doing any works of evangelism or preaching or ministry.

      This implies that a Christian, gifted by God with the skill for making money thru profitable labor, can also earn his/her place in heaven by contributing towards Church evangelism being done by faithful Church workers/leaders.
      …….Ie, it is not necessary for every Christian to be evangelists or missionaries or teachers or pastors.
      …….But a Christian working in the secular world who ignores or neglects to contribute towards the welfare/material needs of these workers of God will not inherit heaven.

      The only difference between an evangelist and a “secular” Christian is, the evangelist will receive a greater reward in heaven.

      It also means that such “secular” Christians should be very discriminating or discerning or careful about who or which Church to give to, for the sake of JC and the ministry of His gospel of salvation aka The Great Commission(MATT.28:19-20).
      …….Eg there are “false” Church leaders/prophets who spend 90% of money-gifts or “tithes” from their members on their own luxurious celebrity lifestyle and vanity mega-Church-building projects, while just make a small show of non-productive evangelism work(eg a small donation to a foreign orphanage) = ravenous wolves in sheep clothing.

      This may be called, earning heaven by proxy. This is similar to in Common Law where there is the appointment of another with the Power-of-Attorney and absent shareholders voting by-proxy in company AGM’s. A CEO or PM has to delegate his/her authority to the faithful employees, ie he/she cannot do everything himself/herself in a large org.

      Without funds or material aid/help from ordinary “secular” Christians, no Church evangelism can be done, even if a Church has hundreds of evangelists, …except when Jesus was physically on earth.

      Peace.

  • Journeyman says:

    Always wondered if there was any point in being able to quote chapter and verse when we cannot live up to His commandments….

    Matthew 22:37-40 ESV
    And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

    • lyn says:

      Hi Journeyman,

      Happy Chinese New Year everyone :)

      Fullness of God and the Holy Spirit
      ************************************

      May the scripture itself be the starting point for us. All these beautiful instructions for us to follow is for our good. God knows us from the inside out. I think we all have to start somewhere. It does not mean that if we are not exhibiting these qualities that we cannot pray and grow into it. That is precisely what some of these false teachings are saying. Yes, we cannot dream of keeping this command so might as not ‘try’ or ’strive’ or ‘work’ or ‘religion’ they call it and throw caution to the wind.

      When God tells us to do things, there must be a way to do it. And until we find it, we should not rest.

      It’s the same as speaking in ‘new tongues’ or any other gifts (miracles) that the Lord has said that He has given us, there is no use going against these things because it is clearly stated in the Bible that we have it.

      Then pray, ask, search, seek, desire these things until we find them. Then we can have the fullness of God and the Holy Spirit in our lives. Denying or looking down on others that has these gifts are looking down or despising the things of God and is considered a great disobedience in itself.

      Mark 16:17-18
      King James Version (KJV)
      17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
      18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

      Colossians 3:15
      New International Version (NIV)
      15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.

      Loving God and Others
      ***********************

      And on the issue of love, we are to love others as ourselves, God says. I find that when I cared only about my own life, I was the unhappiest person in the world. Materially, I had everything I could ask for. I could not find the ‘it’ in my life though. It was when I started to care for others that I knew the reason I was born. I think a lot God’s love for us comes from us loving each other. Helping the poor or being kind to others would translate into God’s love into other’s hearts and minds.

      Matthew 5:16
      16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

      Service to God would of course be the first step in ‘loving others’. The source of this love is of course God Himself. We pray that God puts His love in our hearts so that we can love others with the same love that He loves us. Without prayer, this is quite impossible.

      I’m training my kids from young to put others first before themselves. Simple things like, waiting for others to get into the lift first, looking out for the old and the young and helping them, picking up things that others dropped for them or opening doors for others and going to the orphanages to give away their toys. These are small things but crucial for them to realise that it is joyful to serve others.

      We are not born into the state of loving others as ourselves. But as we ask the Lord for it and live it out bit by bit, we’ll find that we are able to do more and more each day. Hence, this is progress in our spiritual journey. As we care for others less fortunate, we then come to realise how blessed we really are despite the circumstances we are in.

      Going to a church that teaches only that God loves us, what Christ already done for us and there is nothing to ‘do’, is like living with a silly little wife who keeps pestering the husband everyday “do you love me?”. the husband then would say “yes, I do, very much”. Not being assured of this, she ask again “do you really love me?” The husband “yes, I married you didn’t I?”. Again, she would ask “are you sure? So on and so forth until the end of their lives. EEEEwww.

      Yes, God loves you. He so loved you that He sent His only Son to hang there for you. What about the 900 million people who does not know of His love? Are you not obligated to go and tell them about this love? Are you not obligated to go and help His suffering people? Is is enough for you just to know of this love inside out and not do anything about it? Is it bad news when you bring this good news of His faith, hope and love to other people? If we are not obligated do it, who is?

      • lyn says:

        I find that in Singapore, whenever I get into a taxi, the taxi drivers are really eager to talk. They will challenge me about God and His existence. Because they are so eager I always find it easy to tell them about Him. Whilst talking to them, inside me I’m praying already. I’m asking the Lord, what do I say Lord? Give me Your words and wisdom now to talk to him.

        Luke 21:15
        For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.

        It’s a 3 way communication between the two of us talking. More often than not, I feel so great after I’ve reached my destination. A feeling of accomplishment. My kids sitting next to me would by their own accord hi-5 me when we get out of the taxi, having the same feeling of accomplishment, like a job is well done after a 20 minutes taxi ride.

        Witnessing on our own without this Holy Spirit leading might even backfire at times. Turn people away from Him.

        This is the way it’s supposed to be all the time. Keep on, keeping on asking the Lord what to do. He, the Wise One, lives on the inside. He will give us ideas and thoughts that we cannot in a million years conjure up on our own.

        And unless we learn to obey His voice, to submit to His authority, to learn His ways and walk in His path, we will never have the fullness of God.

      • Non-Pentecostal. says:

        @ lyn says:
        10/02/2014 at 12:09pm

        QUOTE: ” Going to a church that teaches only that God loves us, what Christ already done for us and there is nothing to ‘do’, is like living with a silly little wife who keeps pestering the husband everyday “do you love me?”. the husband then would say “yes, I do, very much”. Not being assured of this, she ask again “do you really love me?” The husband “yes, I married you didn’t I?”. Again, she would ask “are you sure? So on and so forth until the end of their lives. EEEEwww. ”
        _ _ _ _ _ _ _

        Reminds me of this Bible passage:

        JOHN.21:14-19(NKJV) =
        14 This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead.

        [Jesus Restores Peter]

        15 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?”

        He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”
        He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”

        16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?”

        He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”
        He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”

        17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?”

        And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.”

        Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep. 18 Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.”

        19 This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God.

        And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me.”

        , , , , , , ,

        The shepherds or pastors or priests of God are supposed to feed and tend(=care for) their sheep or Church members. Feeding the sheep symbolizes teaching members about the laws/Word of God towards true and proper understanding. Tending the sheep symbolizes helping to keep the members in good spiritual, mental, physical and financial health(?).
        …….Grave problems arise in a Church when the shepherds/pastors themselves change into ravenous wolves in sheep’s clothing, ie not feeding and tending their sheep but devouring them financially, sexually, spiritually, etc. Eg these wolf-pastors do not know most of their Church members personally, ie very superficial relationships = in mega-Churches.

        The above Bible passage stated that Jesus prophesied martyrdom for Peter, …who was later executed in Rome. It is very interesting that most Pentecostal/Charismatic preachers ignore Bible references to martyrdom or dying for their faith/for Jesus or persecution, eg preach to the Muslims, esp in Arab countries.
        …….They seem to only want beneficial gifts from God, eg speaking in tongues, healings, prosperity, mega Church buildings, a rosy/successful life on earth, etc.

        Just some food for thought.

        Peace.

      • Journeyman says:

        @Lyn
        Sama-sama
        Perhaps we were born to be loving but the world imposed it’s worldliness on us as kids that some lost the gift before as they aged and became gringes or sociopaths of various shades

        Try reading the Bible the Dawson way wo annotations…. link to youtu.be

        Hope this helps in yr journey

        • lyn says:

          HI Journeyman,

          Thank you..Yes, David Pawson is a wonderful Bible teacher.

        • Non-Pentecostal. says:

          @ Jm

          QUOTE: ” Try reading the Bible the Pawson way w/o annotations…”

          I humbly disagree bc even novels and school textbooks hv chapter numbers, page numbers, topic titles, sub-topic titles, etc. Additional notes, cross-references and the Concordance help disciples/students of the Bible to remember the Holy Scripture. The annotations put in the Bible by ancient translators/inscribers may hv also been inspired by God’s Spirit.
          …….But it is true that the Holy Scripture should not be quoted out of context.

          Let’s look at MATT.4 to see how Satan uses Bible quotes to deceive people.

          MATT.4:1-11(NKJV) =
          1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

          2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”

          4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”[Deut.8:3]

          5 Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:
          ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’
          and,
          ‘In their hands they shall bear you up,
          Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’”[Psa.91:11]

          7 Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’”[Deut.6:16]

          8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”

          10 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”[Deut.6:13]

          11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.
          _ _ _ _ _ _ _

          Notice that when Jesus Christ started quoting the OT, Satan responded with his own Bible quotes, but Satan quoted the Scriptures out of context, twisting their meaning.

          The whole of PSA.91 contextually says that God will send His angels to protect those who loves Him(=who do His will/laws/commands/Word), ie God will not permit bad things to befall them or Satan to afflict them. PSA.91 does not apply for foolish and risky behavior or committing suicide, like poking a hornet’s nest for fun or playing with big firecrackers.
          …….Satan tried to get Jesus to foolishly commit suicide by jumping down a cliff by misquoting or twisting the Bible.
          …….Similarly, Satan can get a believer to commit suicide or do foolish self-harm if he/she misunderstands the Holy Scripture, eg “Give until you bleed dry” by a CHC pastor.

          Notice that Jesus quoted the Holy Scripture every time Satan tested and tempted Him. The followers of Jesus should also do the same.

          Bear in mind that Satan tests, tempts, scares, deceives and misguides people spiritually and randomly. Sometimes, our thoughts or ideas came from Satan, esp those that seek to harm or offend others, self or God bc Satan and humans are arch enemies(GEN.3:15).
          …….This inborn trait/character is part of the evil/sinful nature we hv inherited from Adam, ie Adam’s original sin, thru the eating of the forbidden fruit.(JOHN.8:44, MARK.7:21, MATT.16:23 & 23:27)

          Peace.

          • Journeyman says:

            @NPC
            Found the Pawson idea quite refreshing in discovering the Rhema word so have decided to start an exercise reading cover to cover after getting a societal cultural and temporal context whilst considering the perspective of the authors – the result of an exercise reading Songs, proverbs and ecclesiates was that probably all three were written by Solomon at different stages of his life – a lot more
            than reading as three separate books jag – the increased granularity gained showed me a changing perspective of an ageing man – commend this perspective if anyone is looking beyond the literal and traditional

  • Justthinking says:

    @NPC – Thanks for the references. I was actually responding to a comment ( can’t remember who) on the NT not mentioning about the the 10% tithe. Speaking in tongues is not a feeling but lets not dwell into this as i understand some sectors of the “church” do not believe in the gifts
    of the Holy Spirit in general. But Jack Deere has written a great book many years ago examining the gifts of the HS purely from the word of God. Its called Surprised by the power of the HS. You can get all the biblical foundation there.
    .

  • lyn says:

    Direction of the Church
    ************************

    I think that the stance that all churches must adopt in order to have spiritual maturity is the Holy Spirit led life. There is a strong Holy Spirit movement in Beijing where I am. This is not so much the one that concentrates on manifestation of power but one that affects the Christian walk/ way of life.

    Pastors must not underestimate the power of their teaching when the word of God is read from the Bible and the effect it has on the congregation. The Grace of God has much to do with saving people from their sins that leads to salvation. After being saved it is of utmost important to lead people towards right living by the power of the Holy Spirit.

    The Bible says that where sin abounded, grace did much more and this brings eternal life Romans 5:20 but it goes on to say after we are saved then we are dead to sin, Romans 6:1 and how we are now ’slave to righteousness’. Romans 6:18 Then Paul showed us the way to be dead to sin and this is to lead the Spirit-led life. Then in Romans 7 Paul clearly illustrates why we cannot exists under written law; Romans 7:21. Then in the all important Romans 8, he went on to illustrate how we then SHOULD live, Romans 8:5. The result of the new covenant living is then reiterated in Galatians and the result of the Holy Spirit led life is then revealed clearly in Galatians 5:22-23, which is known as the fruit of the Spirit.

    This is the whole package of the true Christian life.

    We cannot make the teaching Grace of God the highest point of our teaching and treat it as if this is where it stops. The high standard that the Lord Himself has called us to can only be had when His people are led into the Holy Spirit led life in their Christian walk.

    I’ve always wondered what the Lord meant when he said in Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Despite many different explanations from different theologians I can only come to the conclusion that when our own spirit is poor, the Spirit of God’s reigns in us and we’ll have eternal life.

    When teachers and pastors lead their congregation towards a Spirit filled and a Spirit-led life, we are actually working hand in hand with the Holy Spirit to bring his people towards spiritual maturity.

    For example, one Sunday the pastor at my church reminded the people about the fruit of the Spirit. After church my family went to a restaurant. The restaurant requires us to approach the counter to order our food. As she was taking down my orders, a man came from nowhere and started to give his orders in the middle of my ordering. The waitress then stopped taking my orders and took his orders instead! The ‘old’ me would have flipped and said something sarcastic. My heart was racing but because that morning the pastor reminded us of the fruit of the spirit, one of which is ‘patience’ I stopped short and and my anger turned to love and forgiveness. The Holy Spirit in me reminded me what the pastor said just in time! It’s not so much that the Holy Spirit reminded me of what the Bible said but what the pastor said that morning! So this is our how we should work with God.

    Through much training and reminder we will be walking in love and which is the ultimate aim of the Father for His children.

    I have been praying much about loving others because I know this is the secret to being at the highest level in the kingdom of God and a way of keeping all His commandments. I keep asking the Lord for me to be able to understand His love for us and may I have His love in my heart.

    As most of you would know the pollution situation in Beijing is really bad. One day, I’ve had enough and made a decision in my mind to leave Beijing and to go back home for the sake of my kids. As I’d made up my mind, I cried so much out of sorrow because although I had up my mind to leave, I know all my friends here had nowhere to run. My heart broke for them and the condition they are in.

    The Lord spoke to me and made me understand this is how He felt for the world He SO loves. He could have gone back to heaven anytime and did not have to go through any of those things He had gone through for us. But He chose to stay and He chose to lay down His life for us.

    For us to obey Him, to submit to Him, to serve Him and for us to do everything that He requires us to do by way His Holy Spirit leading is nothing short of an honor.

    We are to be dead to sin and to alive to God in Christ Jesus. We should be taught by our leaders to live this way. Anything short of this and we will suffer despite their best intentions. This is the way of life that God has determined for us as true Christian believers and in accordance to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

  • lyn says:

    Sorry, blogpastor, I’m interfering here a little bit.

    I’ll try to explain the Christian situation in terms of students in school.

    When we go to school, the teachers do not teach everyday, how much our dad loves us despite our failures. It’s ok if we fail or pass, our daddy loves and forgives us anyway. He loves us unconditionally. He will wait at the door to hug us and give us things despite our failures. What will happen to the students then?

    The teachers should teach in a way that students achieves excellence in their education.

    What if the students are told, their fathers have a way of helping them at school by guiding them through a website and all the students are allowed to communicate with their father to lead and guide them.

    Then the teachers should teach the kids how to access this website.

    The kids will know their father love and forgive them and even help them but to do excellently they have to obey instructions from this website. This is also helped by whatever is already written in the textbooks.

    The teachers would definitely teach the kids to access the website and what’s written in the textbooks.

    This is for the purpose of leading and guiding.

    How much more the kingdom of heaven? When we go to church, we should not only be reminded again and again and only how much our daddy loves us and forgives us and bless us despite our behaviors. We should be guided the way the Lord wants us to be led.

    There is a spirit of excellence which is the spirit of God within us. I cannot support the teaching of Grace for this reason. When we learn to heed the voice of our Father, we will not have to confess the whole day. We will go out in joy and be led forth by peace.

    Pilgrim talks a lot about Holy Spirit conviction. That’s the one. When we keep listening and keep rejecting sin, we will not have the desire to sin anymore. But whenever we do sin, just say ’sorry Lord, I will not do it again” but if we do, say it again. It won’t be many but there will be. Bit by bit, we will learn to put away sin and for sin will have no dominion over us, since we are not under law but under grace. I mean this in the literal sense.

    Therefore there are not many sin to confess much less confess the whole day.

    We must ask the Lord for us to experience this state of existence. Seek it, ask for it and desire it.

    What Justthinking or Michael Brown is talking about and what the people under radical grace teaching are saying are very different things. It’s not nitpicking.

    It’s the difference is between conducting our lives in the spirit of excellence which our Father in heaven has given of us (be perfect as your father in heaven is perfect) or be happy, standing by the door, always quoting the prodigal son as our yardstick.

    It’s allowing ourselves to be transformed to the image of God’s one and only son, Jesus, having His spirit of obedience and excellence and making that our goal rather than just to be happy we’re ’saved’.

    Our new creation self is to prepare us for the new heaven and the new earth, Revelation 21:1. We must have a new nature. And that is why although it is a popular view ‘once saved always saved’ there are many many statements to the contrary in the new testament itself. I remember David Pawson in one of his teaching saying that ‘being saved’ is a long processed until we meet our Lord.

    These contradictions are of course clearly stated in the Bible itself and cannot be denied. I have quoted several before. NP has reprinted the whole Bible in that aspect.

    It is not that we don’t love people as much as Prince seem to. It is because of this same love that many Bible teachers teach the Bible as it is.

    • Journeyman says:

      Hear ye hear ye
      What can Prince or hypergrace add to perfection?

      Perhaps some man’s need to monetize and another to consume adds to confusion.

    • Ben says:

      You said:

      “And that is why although it is a popular view ‘once saved always saved’ there are many many statements to the contrary in the new testament itself”

      I’m confused, Lyn. So do you still believe that we are “once saved always saved” or do you believe that once saved we still need to continuously confess our all sins to be saved?

    • Ben says:

      Btw, I understand the gist of what you are trying to say I think. We should of course desire and grow to be more like Christ even on this earth, it’s just the way to do that which we disagree on.

      Although I think you still subscribe to “once saved always saved”, I’m just double checking if this is still your view just to be sure.

      • lyn says:

        Hi Ben,

        With God as our Father, Jesus our Advocate and The Holy Spirit as our Counselor, I don’t see why we are not ‘once saved, always saved’.

        Praise The Lord, Hallelujah!!

        1 John 3:1
        See how very much our Father loves us, for He calls us His children, and that is what we are!

        1 John 2:1
        2 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

        John 14:26
        26 But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.

      • Ben says:

        Great! We might all have disagreements on some things but at least we agree on the main point of the gospel – once saved always saved indeed!

        God bless you Lyn.

        • lyn says:

          God bless you too, Ben and your wife. May His word be a lamp to guide your feet and a light for your path.

          Love,
          Lyn

          • Journeyman says:

            A perspective and a query – seems to me that preoccupation of some xtians to proffer a “realistic” model of God and attempts to convince themselves and others that it is so, seems to me to be a other futile exercise as trying to define and develop a limited model to understand the Master of the space, time, matter and cognitive consciousness. The closest analogy would be to assume one’s life has become more abundant because one has paid a large premium for a life policy! But this just my own perspective of the discussion about Prince and his ideas – fact is he has no more idea than any other on this forum.

            • lyn says:

              So, how many precent of the Bible do you believe? Is it 5, 50, 70 or 100 percent of it’s content? I challenge you today, if you can believe in 50, you should strive for a 100. Anything else, is an exercise in futility.

              I’m reminded of my friend’s very wise dad. Upon bringing home his report card and being proud of a mediocre result, his dad advise his son ‘when you show me your results, I’d rather it be a 0 or a 100. If you show me zero, I commend you for being brave. If you show me a hundred, I think you’re very smart. Everything else is a waste of my time.

              • Journeyman says:

                Dunno as I do not profess to understand everything in the Bible and it is my belief that when I do, the physical journey would end for me.

                Anyway what I believe and how much is a very personal thing between my God and me – generally of no consequence to else. Hope you will peace and contentment with your own beliefs.

                • lyn says:

                  Ephesians 4

                  11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

                  My job is, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to teach the peace of Christ, maturity in Christ and to attain the full measure of the fullness of Christ.

                  There is a a path of righteousness, there is voice leading people to it..

                  Psalm 23
                  1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
                  2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
                  he LEADS me beside quiet waters,
                  3 he refreshes my soul.
                  He GUIDES me along the RIGHT PATHS
                  for his name’s sake.

                  Isaiah 30:21
                  Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

                  Anyways, God bless all abundantly.. :)

                  Love,
                  Lyn

  • Justthinking says:

    @Lyn. I agree with your points absolutely. I and many friends are transformed by the gospel and i am absolutely sure of my salvation is by grace through faith and never by works. But i understand i need to pursue holiness as the Lord is holy and i need to be a disciple of Christ. I have never felt works will earn me anything esp salvation but yet i want to serve the Lord to my fullest in the area that the Lord has put me in. I also know the Lord loves righteousness. Yet when i fall, i will come to my Father for forgiveness and repent of my wrong doing knowing that my Father will forgive me. But since conversion, i am always thankful for for the forgiveness of God but my mind has never think this way — like Lord thank you for forgiving the sins that i have NOT YET commit. For me its weird if i think this way. Michael Brown was also a heroin addict saved by the grace of God and he in fact he loves the grace of God so much that compels him to write the book to point out some of the errors of the grace teachers. In US its gotten to a level where if you do not agree with some of the grace teaching, you are a legalist , Pharisee etc and thats why he felt compelled to write the book.

  • Journeyman says:

    @lyn
    Agree With main body of yr perspective – have issues only with yr concept of education – IMHO education is about teaching another to the process of life long learning and developing the ability to discern and think independently so that they may achieve a life of abundance and hv the ability to bless those around themselves. Feel that every good teacher will always work themselves out of a job and not try to create a cult or following – always pray those following me will be greater and better than me – have been blessed beyond whatever measure just by having a steadfast friend and a journey that has not stopped yet.

  • lyn says:

    Hi Ben, I do apologise. Please forgive me for I don’t mean to offend with all my remarks. It’s just a sharing based on what I’ve gone through myself.

    @ Justthinking, Journeyman: I was brought up under the radical grace teaching of pastor Prince. For years and years, I was told HOW to think and I thought that way. Prince’s voice drowned out all that the Lord was saying to me. I could not hear the Lord because of the overpowering opinions of a man. I could not hear the Holy Spirit leading me because I kept playing Prince’s cds and DVDs over and over again because he told me to. I kept believing that the Lord loves me and waiting to be transformed.

    Needless to say, I was not. Sin reigned and as I’d sated before, my life came tumbling down with a big event that pains me too much to even talk about to this day. I did not blame the teaching at all until I started to teach what Prince taught to the people under me. I got my wake up call when I when I taught ‘the no condemnation’ ‘radical grace’ message, two of my students who had been abstaining from wrongdoing, committed the same offense in two weeks.

    I attended pastor Joshua’s preaching in the early days and he made the remark that he himself never read the Bible much, just listened to pastor Prince’s tapes over and over again! Under Prince’s teaching I resented other pastors’ leading. I’d normally roll my eyes at what they are saying and consider myself above all that and as you’d correctly stated labelled them ‘legalism’ ‘works’ and ‘religion’. Some people under Prince’s ministry don’t even attend church when they are stationed overseas. I’m related to one of them.

    Now, under the leading of the Holy Spirit, I can’t even listen to those radical grace messages anymore. I KNOW it’s wrong.

    Justthinking, it’s very hard for the people under those teachings to come out from under it though. So deeply imbedded are they in it as I was and only by the grace of God was I able to to be led out and now I can hear the Lord’s voice clearly. I read the Bible and am able to accept ALL that is written in it. I used to pick and choose verses that suit my needs and my sense of ‘freedom’.

    Under the leading of the Holy Spirit, I am able to be transformed. I am helped tremendously by my pastors who promotes right doing to live right. I feel loved by God even though I’m not persuaded week by week but I know I’m loved because of the peace and joy inside. I follow God’s peace in all my dealings. When I feel I’ve done wrong I, on the spot, say to the Lord..”sorry Lord’. This gives me a sense of complete peace rather than to allow my wrongdoings to pile up. This is not so much that i think I’m not right with God but because I know it would help me be a better person. When I feel that I’ve offended my friends, I just write a little note to ask for forgiveness. It’s beautiful life through and through.

    Instead of labeling things that pastors say as ‘legalistic’ or ‘works’ or ‘religion’ I LOOK for instructions from the Lord in all my dealings. I SEEK HIS INSTRUCTIONS ALL THE TIME, keeping my antenna free for when He would lead me and teach me. God’s leading for my transformation comes through everything especially through Bible reading, pastors’ leading, repentance prayers, like-minded sisters and brothers in Christ and life events.

    I now LOVE instructions from the Lord. I LOVE the laws of the Lord exactly because I’m under grace.

    Psalm 119:159–160.
    159 Consider how I love Your precepts;. Revive me, O Lord, according to Your lovingkindness. 160 The entirety of Your word is truth,.

    The other problem I had encountered under Prince’s teaching that trapped me further is that injects the truth of God’s words with his own dangerous teachings. So, although he sometimes preaches against sin, his overpowering radical grace message confused me. He then put his own spin on the word of God. He will sometimes go outrightly AGAINST the word of God saying that some of God’s word are not relevant anymore or not for us or interpret it in such a way that are tailor made for his radical grace teaching.

    For example (only one of many, many), he said once that knowing good and evil is not important because that will bring us back to the garden of Eden where Adam and Eve chose the tree of knowledge of good and evil and we should choose the tree of life because this is Jesus. The Bible clearly states, at THIS SIDE OF THE CROSS

    Hebrews 5:14
    But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

    So as an obedient and ardent follower of Prince, I didn’t care what is good and what is evil, man. Anything and everything goes. The rest is historyla.

  • Journeyman says:

    @lyn
    Yep – we are the sum total of our experiences – quite unique and idiosyncratic. God still loves us!

    Regarding history – entrepreneurs always look and move forward – just making sure we so live today

    Have a blessed and fulfilling journey regardless!

  • Non-Pentecostal. says:

    @ lyn

    IMO,…….

    It is crucial for us to understand deeper the Holy Trinity of God, ie …
    God the Father in heaven(=unapproachable) = God the Son(=visible) and/or God the Spirit(=invisible) on earth.

    Almighty God in heaven had to transform/transfigure Himself into lesser forms, in order to come down to earth and speak to His chosen people(=prophets and apostles). If not, they would hv been incinerated(EXO.33:20) bc of their inborn evilness/sinfulness(=the Adamic sin nature)

    As the invisible Spirit, God gave His laws to Moses and the Jews, in order to cure their chaotic evilness and bless them with earthly goodness/peace.
    …….As the visible Son, God gave His salvation to the apostles and believers in Christ/Messiah/Savior, in order to bless them with heaven when they leave this ‘rotten’ earth or die.

    The Holy Trinity can be compared to the trinity of the Sun, her light and her warming-power, …being one and the same, yet different in their manifestations in the sight of earthlings. In other words, if there is no Sun, there will be no light and no warming-power.
    …….The Sun in outer space sends her light and her warmth to earth, in order to give mortal life to all living beings on earth. Similarly, God the Father in high heaven sends His Son and His Spirit-power to earth, in order to give eternal life to all living believers on earth. That is why at JOHN.1:9, JC is called the true Light – of the world, who gives eternal life.

    The ministry of Jesus on earth was all about salvation, ie the Cross and the atonement of Adam’s original sin(LEV.17:11, ROM.5:12-18).
    …….To find our way to heaven and eventually to our Abba Father, we need to follow after Jesus, right up to His return to earth, and after.(JOHN.14:1-6, 1THESS.4:16, 1COR.14:24) In other words, for our salvation, we need to look unto Jesus(HEB.12:2); for our life on earth, we need to look unto our Abba Father(eg confession and forgiveness of our sins/evil-deeds). That is why the name of Jesus or Joshua means God-is-Salvation or God the Savior, and not El Shaddai or Jehovah Jireh.

    The ministry of Jesus was not to re-teach His chosen people about how to obey His laws/Word and live righteously. That had already been covered by Moses and the Old Testament laws. Complications about the Law only arose when Gentiles became Christians – hence, the deceptive teachings of Radical Grace = the license to sin.
    …….HEB.10:26-31, 1COR.5:1-5 and 1JOHN.5:16 give stern warnings to foolish and ignorant Christians who willfully commit sins and who may continue to do so until they die(=no repentance), ie they will lose their salvation.

    For the Church, in dealing with Gentile Christians, priority should always be given to the teaching of salvation thru faith in Christ(=teaching of Grace), and not thru the works of keeping the Law. Only then, should the teaching about righteous living be given bc salvation(=heavenly blessing) is more important than earthly blessings of God. It is all a matter of timing.

    To be led by the Holy Spirit is synonymous with, to be led by Christ or to be led by the Word or to be led by God.
    …….That is why HEB.4:12 says that the Word of God is living and powerful; JOHN.1:1 & 14 say that Jesus was the Word who became flesh; JOHN.6:63 says that the words of Jesus are Spirit; EPH.6:17 says that the sword of the Spirit is the Word of God; 2COR.3:17, 2TIM.3:16, JOHN.15:7, MATT.7:24, etc.
    …….When the Sun rises in the east, her light and her warming-power, together, reach the earth, the day of activity, brightness and warmth begins. Her light and her warming-power cannot be separated if there is to be mortal life on earth. Similarly for God’s Son and Spirit on earth.
    Conversely, when the Sun sets in the west, her light and her warming-power leave the earth, the night of inactivity, darkness and coldness begins.

    The ministry of the Holy Spirit/Jesus(=the Word) in the Christian era is more about saving people from hell and less about teaching people how to live righteously bc even the Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, atheists and LGBTs know how to live righteously or morally.
    …….The problem is that b4 conversion, a few new Gentile Christians were habitual sinners/evildoers and they prefer to remain that way, thus rejecting the sanctification work of the Spirit of God = grieving the Holy Spirit.

    Peace.

 

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