Friday, August 28, 2009

EXTRA WEAPON - PRAYER!



(Eph 6:18) And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

This is an extra piece of armour that Roman soldiers probably didn't really understand nor comprehend. This armour is hidden inside the heart. PRAYER! The apostle Paul knew about this powerful piece of armour that while he was in prison, he was still touching heaven, changing earth!! The stronghold of the devil was crumbling even when the prison chains of Paul were unbroken! The enemy could chain his hands and feet but he could not chain his heart. A heart dedicated to prayer!!

Without a heart of prayer, friends, even we have the full armour perfectly worn, we can still be defeated. As time goes by, as we are successful in our life and ministry, we tend to believe we can do it all by ourselves. Slowly but surely, we begin to depend upon our own strength. We then become overconfident and throw away our sword. Unknowingly, we may also throw away our helmet, then our shoes, our breastplate, our shield and finally, our belt. We go to a spiritual sleep mode thinking we have done it all for God. And the enemy will eventually overpower us without even us knowing it! Therefore, pray and be alert! Pray unceasingly!

And pray for others too. Prophet Elijah thought he was alone in the battle with Satan. The Lord assured him that there were 7,000 in Israel that hadn’t bowed down to Baal. Today, the battle is heating up everywhere because the end is near. All the signs are here for the eventual return of Jesus to take control of the world. There are tremendous campaigns and efforts all over the world in terms of reaching out! This battle is not only involved you alone, but everyone who calls on the Name of Jesus.

Let the whole Church take up the full armour which must include prayer! Intercessory prayers plus physical groundwork are so powerful that they just rip the devil's works apart. Prayers prepare the ground for claiming more grounds from the devil's grasp as God's angels victoriously overcome the dark forces of the evil one. Many demons had vacated their places where once were their strongholds due to the prayers of the saints! Only after much prayers, we as full-armoured Christians then boldly proclaim the gospel everywhere. Reaching out to countless men and women who can receive their greatest gift on earth, the salvation of their souls!

The war is raging on today for souls of Christless men and women. Are you ready? Are you a full-armoured Christian?

Quoting one missionary’s words as my last words ending this Series, “It can be done! It shall be done! It must be done!”

Monday, August 24, 2009

THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT


(Eph 6:17) Take.... the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.


This is the only piece of armour the soldier uses to fight and win war! (There are many other weapons in the time of Roman Empire but Paul only mentions the Sword) Without this, he will only be defending although he can advance. Simply put, he can run, shout, kick and jump but he will not accomplish much! Like a child sitting in a merry-go-round, he has lots of movement but always ends up in the same place! If a soldier goes around without a sword, he will eventually be defeated. Sooner or later, he will either be captured or killed.


We have to wield the sword to fight the devilish opposition in our victorious campaign! The Greek word for the "word of God" here is Rhema. Rhema is used by Jesus when He overcame the devil in the temptation passages of the Bible (Matthew 4). The Spirit of God gives the Word of God a POWER PUNCHline to whatever temptations that may come our way! Hence, Sword of the Spirit! A specific wisdom for a specific occasion!


The “Sword” (Specific Word from God or "S-Word") is not only used to overcome temptations set up by the devil to defeat us. Much more than that, the Sword is used to break the chains from people who are bound by Satan. And to set them free from bondage! This is another weapon for advancing into the deep territories of the evil one just like the shoes and the shield! But the Sword is the only weapon that produces result and victory as far as the gospel preaching is concerned! The Word of God is living and active and cuts like a double edged Sword (Hebrews 4:12).


Remember the belt of truth? It holds the sword. We know what God said about us generally but in the war we have to use Rhema when the time comes to fight. That’s why we must tighten up our belt first, knowing what God said about us in His word before we can effectively use the sword.


More often than not, Christians are not wielding their Sword! We are blessed by the Word but sadly, we keep the Word to ourselves. We may have a doctorate in biblical studies, confidently living a life of prosperity because we follow the Word. All these are good but the devil is not concerned! Knowledge and wisdom in the Word can produce a good Christian but it would do no good to the Gospel if we keep our Sword hidden inside the sheath, buckled under our Belt. The sword hung on the belt is useless in the war of influencing lives for Jesus! Peter, in Acts chapter 2, knew just how to wield the Sword. As he preached to the people, the Bible tells us that they were cut to the hearts (v37).


Oh.. there are so many “Christless” people who are hurt and filled with anxieties of life! And dare we not hide our "Sword" which can be used to heal and to bring them into the eternal life God promised to all those who believe and accept Jesus' work on the cross!!


Come on, Christians, take out your Sword!


Next Article: An extra weapon.....P.R.A.Y.E.R.....
http://psbible.blogspot.com/2009/08/extra-weapon-prayer.html

Thursday, August 20, 2009

LOCKERBIE BOMBER'S RELEASE: A CHRISTIAN'S VIEW



Al Megrahi was yesterday released from prison in Scotland to go back to his homeland, Libya to live out his remaining months of his life. He is suffering from terminal cancer and doctors only giving him three more months to live. He was supposed to serve 27 years in Scotland but after 7 years, he was released.

Why is the world so caught up with this news? Al Megrahi was convicted for murdering 270 people in 1988 when he took part in bomb attack of a plane in mid air. The plane then crashed down on Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all on board as well as people on the ground below.

The Scotland justice minister said that he was released on compassionate grounds, being merciful to him as mercy is the value system of the people.

There are much debate going on right now concerning this issue. The United States deeply regretted this (as most of those killed were Americans) but the strongest opposition is from those whose loved ones died mercilessly that day. They said why we need to show him compassion now when he didn't show compassion on those lives he took then.

What is our view as Christians?

First of all, I cannot speak on behalf of the families of the victims as there are no words to express their griefs and I couldn't express my feelings either as I am an outsider.

Al Megrahi's case is not the only one that Christians need to grapple with.

There is one Jeffrey Dahmer who killed and mutilated 17 people who was caught and sentenced to life imprisonment. He became a Christian. He was killed in prison.

And the trial of one Kaing Guek Eav nicknamed Duch is still going on today for his involvement of genocide by the notorious Khmer Rouge, torturing and killing prisoners. He confessed as being a born-again Christian.

As a Christian, I am just as appalled as anyone concerning mass murderers, disgusted at how a human being can behave in such beyond animalistic behaviour. I was asking myself whether does God look at sin as greater or lesser sin or sin is just sin.

I believe there is this truth of a greater sin and a lesser sin (John 19:11; implied by Jesus in Luke 12:42-48; Matthew 12:31; 2 Peter 2:20-21). The verses mentioned are taken in the context of punishment sin brings when one faces God unrepentant.

Mass murderers or cruel people in this world can escape the judgment of man but they will not escape the wrath of God. The Bible clearly says, the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Death here speaks of a separation from God and all things God. This means hell is real (Jesus Himself spoke of it often) and darkness and torment in hell are not fabrications. Like someone said, Hell is no playground! In my opinion, there is something like greater punishment and lesser punishment for hell bounders (Luke 12:42-48).

Most Christian would agree to the hell part although some would disagree with greater and lesser punishment theory. The big question is more towards how do we treat the wicked people now when they are still alive? How does God see them? The case becomes more complicated when these people accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour. Does God forgive them just like that?

First of all, God wants everyone to know Him and turn to Him for salvation. He provided salvation by sending Jesus, His only Son to die for the sins of the whole world (2 Peter 3:9; John 3:16; Acts 4:12). This means God sees all people as being lost and hopeless without Him. All people here include mass murderers, they are all given equal chance to repent. This is called grace, a favour granted to undeserved and sin-infested humans. Amazing grace to be exact! The poor and the rich, the good, bad, ugly, all have equal opportunity in God’s eyes.

Sometimes I want an-eye-for-an-eye judgment in this life for those found guilty of crime which many would agree with me. This is what I called consequences of sin and of wickedness that will afflict those criminals. Consequences include the law and the judicial system and also the majority of common people going against these criminals.

As Christians, we may have a strong urge for judgment and not shedding a tear even when they die or like Al Megrahi about to die, we must also display mercy and grace for these whose lives may be lost forever. Yes, they deserve more than a death sentence for their inexplicable crime, God still sees them as lost souls. Most of us may not be as evil as them but we are as guilty to God as they are. Only God understands the feelings of those who lost their loved one in the Lockerbie tragedy. Each life is precious to God and when the time comes, all of us will die one way or the other. The most important thing we must ask ourselves while we are still alive is “Have I made right with God?”

I think it is not right to publicly cheer Dahmer or Duch who embraced Christianity as families of victims they afflicted are still licking their wounds. Cheering for Al Megrahi when he landed in Libya is putting salt in the wounds for the victims’ families. Let us all be sensitive to lives affected by these senseless crimes but look to God for His amazing grace to overcome the grief as well as to forgive.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

SAMUEL, THE MAN WHO MADE KINGS



David feels a warm wind blowing out of nowhere. He seldom gets anxious like this since that day a bear dashed out from the bush. He remembers vividly how it came so near to mauling some of the sheep. A wide grin appears on his smooth, handsome face as he reminisces that glorious day. He remembers that day, his whole body miraculously toughened and fear found no place in him. Strangling the ferocious animal by his bare hands made him marvelled then about the power of his God. Today he still marvels. His hands stretch towards heaven and immediately a song “melodies” in his mind. Beautiful words and fine singing fill the air as he calms down.


“Come out! Come out! All of you!” shouts Jesse, a tough old man who personally trains his sons to be tough for Israel. Now, all his sons are soldiers of the king except David. Although David is obedient to him, somehow father Jesse cannot fit him into any of his plans.


“Prophet Samuel is here! He is inviting all of us for the sacrifice!” the proud old man ushers the family out from the house. He senses something urgent and divine as he sees the prophet of God approaching his house.


Samuel asks them to bow before God, the Maker of heavens and the earth and he prays for them. “Present your sons to the Lord at the sacrifice afterwards,” he commands. Jesse savours every moment of it and is overjoyed to have found God’s favour. He knows from his heart that this day will finally come that God chooses someone from his family to become a great figure in the nation of Israel. Everyone hears about God rejecting King Saul, the first king of Israel who was called to unite the nation since the days of evil in the land many years after the death of Joshua. Although he is to lead the nation Israel to greater heights, the King turns proud and arrogant. Now God commands Samuel to look for a man from the house of Jesse to be the next king.


Meanwhile, Samuel’s heart is still reeling from the hurt that God rejects the disobedient King Saul. The prophet has looked towards this head-above-the-rest man to unite the struggling country under God when he anointed him as king. Samuel’s tears have just begun to dry but his anger hasn’t. As he ponders of the next king, Jesse’s family arrives, amidst much joy and expectation. He sees Eliab, the eldest and tallest son. The garment is too small for his body, those protruding muscles almost tearing it. Samuel is reminded of Saul when he first saw him. “Lord, this must be the one,” he guesses, his heart beats faster than usual. But the firm words of God cannot escape Samuel’s ears, the ability he has since he was a boy.


“Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”


He cannot recall when was the last time he felt so embarrassed. He quickly calls Jesse to line his other sons so that he can inspect them too, one by one. There is no second glance of Eliab as the obedient prophet rejects what God has rejected. Abinadab is next and the Lord rejects him too. Then comes Shammah but Samuel promptly passes him by. There is no positive word from God as all the seven sons take their turns. Frustration fills Jesse’s heart as his plan falls apart one by one, literally.


“There must be someone else in this family,” Samuel corners Jesse. “Not him! It cannot be him. He’s too....” Jesse mutters in unbelief. "Send him to me right now!” orders Samuel, the Lord’s words just a little while ago have made an impact on him. Perhaps that one can be THE ONE!


David senses something’s different today. The weather is weird, the sheep aren’t grazing but keep staring at him and the birds are singing as though they are praising God for something. His suspicion turns to sheer surprise as he hears his name being called urgently.


"Father Jesse is calling for you. He says the prophet is here to see you! Go, let me take care of things here,” the servant quickly relays the message. “You mean THE prophet Samuel!!” David quips. Throwing the rod to the messenger, he dashes off like a sheep dog.


When he arrives, father Jesse sighs at his sweaty face and unkempt hair yet his good looking boyish appearance is undiminished. The God whom Samuel knows all throughout his life speaks somewhat differently this time. There is some excitement in that voice as if God knows David really well. “Rise up and anoint him. He is the one!”


Jesse raises his hand in amusement, shakes his head. “David??” The brothers bow their heads low in disbelief. Prophet Samuel wonders what is up the sleeve of God but has given his full trust to his Master. David meanwhile basks in the glory of God, being filled with God’s Holy Spirit in His fullness. As the family ponders over the future of their nation with the lowly shepherd, God and Samuel put their stamp of approval on David to be the greatest king of Israel!

Monday, August 17, 2009

THE HELMET OF SALVATION




(Eph 6:17) Take the helmet of salvation....




This piece of armour works two ways. The primary idea is to protect the head of the soldier and secondly it is to signify to others, he belongs to a certain kingdom or nation. Without the helmet, it would be very difficult to survive. The head is usually the first thing the enemies go for. The dizzier you are, the more confuse you become. If your head is wounded, everything falls apart. If we want to have victory over Satan and circumstances in this battle for Christless souls, put on the Helmet of salvation.




Helmet of salvation has two-fold purpose in our warfare.




Firstly, we must know this very fact, that we belong to Jesus, our Chief Commander. He is the One who creates and owns this world. It is God who saved you and enlisted you into His army. A person who is successfully enlisted into the Army will have to wear the uniform, and especially the helmet! He must be proud of the armour to know that he belongs to that particular nation. The shirkers are some soldiers who quickly throw away their uniform when the enemies are attacking as they chicken-out in fear! But we belong to the army of God in His Victorious Kingdom which is always gaining ground, always victorious, always on the move. Hallelujah!




Are you at this moment, still afraid to tell people that you are a Christian?! Or are you ashamed of the name of Jesus, that you belong to? Remember, Jesus Christ was not ashamed of you when He died on the cross, overcoming shame, pain and even nakedness just for us.




Secondly, (Helmet of) salvation in the Bible can also mean “continue to be" saved, delivered and set free from all kinds of situation. In other words, God will always protect our head, hence helmet of salvation! God doesn’t save us and then leave us alone. He promised, "I will be with you always until the end of the age". The helmet of salvation is like a mark of God and that God will continuously deliver you. When you are down, He will lift you up! When you burn out, God will refresh you! When you are wounded, He will heal you! With this piece of armour, you will always fight with confidence and knowing that God is fighting the battle for you. Joshua knew this truth and the Israelites under his leadership always gained ground in the battle for the promised land!!




Is your helmet of salvation on your head? Are you associated with the most wonderful Kingdom of all in the universe, the Kingdom of God? And that God’s Kingdom cannot be defeated?




Jesus Christ, our Commander in Chief is coming back again to reign on earth!! Are you ready?




(Rev 11:15) ... "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever."





Thursday, August 13, 2009

JOSHUA, THE VICTORIOUS MAN


“You are witnesses... that the Lord God has fought for you. He has driven out nations before you and gave you this land. This is your inheritance!” Joshua spoke loudly, his voice still forceful even though he was advanced in age. He paused in his farewell speech as silence prevailed in the crowd of the victorious people of Israel. Few drops of tears rolled down from his eyes, a rare sight from this warrior man. He was one fighting machine!


“Be very strong. Be careful to obey the Law of Moses. Don’t turn to the right or to the left” Joshua let out each word carefully. He knew that once the people thought they were the ones who wrought the victory, defeat would swiftly overtake them.


Joshua was a man who always dared to dream. Despair and desperation were not in his dictionary, only victory. As a young slave in Egypt, his heart would fire up inside him every time he heard of the promise of God carried along by his fore fathers. “One day. That one day will come” he often encouraged himself. When Moses led the great deliverance of his people from slavery out of Egypt, he was one of the first to volunteer for anything. His passion for God coupled with his ever-willing heart to serve were what caught the eyes of Moses. Perhaps, slavery was to him a training ground for his mind and a grinding ground for his muscles. Joshua became an assistant every leader looked for. He became a mentee every mentor dreamt of. God Almighty, who had foreknown everything, could never miss Joshua in such a time in history. While Moses delivered Israel out of slavery into the wilderness, Joshua settled them down as a nation in the promise land. Thus, the promise of God fulfilled!


That day, as Joshua stood there with the rest of the history makers, he could not imagine that he was the one who led Israel into becoming a nation. He knew deep inside him that God’s every promise was to be taken literally. And with faith and patience, all promises would come to pass, no matter what. He heard about God’s promise that Israel would be a nation and that day, he saw it with his own eyes. Hittites, Amalekites, Perizzites and all the other “terrorites” fell like timber logs when the judgment of God came sawing through. Nothing could possibly stand erect when God attacked. No enemies could withstand the awesome might of God.


“But if you turn and serve other gods, God will attack you. You will be His enemies,” Joshua warned. In God, there would be no favouritism, no “specialism”. God formed and settled the nation of Israel to be His light. Joshua knew God’s love for Israel entailed an even greater purpose. Israel, a victorious overcomer by the strength of God must also be His servant. A servant that would shine forth God’s Name and shout His fame!


“Choose you this day whom you will serve, idols or the Lord God. As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord,” the victorious leader wound up his speech. The people unanimously said a big “AMEN!!”


Preaching a great sermon was never enough for Joshua. He insisted on their display of allegiance to God by committing them to a covenant. As an altar call for his congregation, he had prepared a heavy stone for a memorial for all they promised God. The stone would stand firm against the powers of nature to be a powerful witness.


Joshua was a victorious man in his every endeavour but never once thought his victory came from his own strength. Like he always said, “God fights for Israel!"

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

SHIELD OF FAITH

(Eph 6:16) In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.


Remember the breastplate? They protect from "sword, spear and arrows" of the devil. The Shield carries the soldier one step further into the enemy's territory! This part of armour protects a soldier from fiery darts. This is one step further in the war with the devil in the Christian context! The evil one has to dig in for a more sophicated weapon, the fiery arrows. We must shield ourselves from every eventuality. So that the gospel can advance even farther.


Faith is simply trusting God in every step of the way. Faith is the opposite of fear. Fear of man and of circumstances are sure stumbling blocks to the advancement of a Christian's life. It is often the Faith Factor that hinders us from advancing! Fears cause us to be unfruitful. The fearful Christians retreat but faith always looks forward to the things of God in anticipation and excitement!


Someone said this, "Fear knocks on the door and when faith answers, nobody's there".



FAITH stands for Forsaking All I Trust Him.
Trusting means to let Jesus drive your car. He knows all the curves and turns and He maneuvers excellently!! Just enjoy the ride! With the shield of Faith, you are able to block off all negative elements (fiery darts) the devil will bring against you. Going deeper into his territory means we have to endure his attacks even more ferociously.

Not only the devil will put doubts and fears on us but the greatest tool he will use is discouragement! Don't let the devil "Dis" your courage to go on! I urge you not to stop influencing people for Jesus. Take up the shield of faith! Taking up the shield of faith simply means believing what God said about you! Not what the devil, world or even friends said about you! If the devil brings an accusation against you and said you are good for nothing, then you counter him with the Word of God saying, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13)!

Advance! Don't retreat! Deal with your hurts by believing what God said! Move on! Trust that God had won the victory and you are called to claim them! Remember Joshua and Caleb? They did not shrink back in their quest for the promised Land even though the other ten spies cowed in fear. Remember, King David? He took on the giant when all the king's soldiers crouched in fear.

When the Roman soldiers in their war campaign arrived by ships to certain shores to conquer and fight, they burned their ships! No retreat! Victory or nothing!!

Are you ready to advance another step in your war with Satan? Bringing the gospel to even more people? If yes, then take up the shield of faith!

Next...Helmet of salvation...

Friday, August 7, 2009

GOSPEL FEET!

(Eph 6:15) and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.


This piece of armour helps the soldier to run smoothly. This is really important because it helps him advance. It is unimaginable for a soldier to fight without protection for his advancing feet!

This is also an Old Testament picture of Isaiah 52:7, talking about the good news of captives in exile being released. The Israelites were being exiled for 70 years because of their sins. When the King of Persia, Cyrus, conquered Babylon, he released them back to their own land. He sent messengers ahead to tell the people. How beautiful on the mountain are the feet of those who bring good news. They had a tremendous job. To cover as many grounds as possible so that all bound people must know of this freedom!

Today, Jesus has won the victory for us and for all those who are held captive by the devil. We have the message. We have the gospel truth. The torch and baton are in our hands! We are given the ministry of reconciliation. Jesus commands the believers to go and preach to all creation, and He will be with them until the end of the age. This is not an option.

God commanded Joshua on the same line to claim the land. Sometimes we have to know what are we fighting. What is the sole message that has been entrusted to us. God wants to show the world that He is the only God and that Jesus Christ, His Son, is the only Saviour of the world.

Spiritual warfare sometimes gets out of context. We make the devil looks so powerful. Yes, he is indeed much stronger than us and with our own strength, we will utterly fail. But God is on our side and that makes all the difference. We often forget that God is the Creator and satan is only a created being. Remember, in our spiritual war today, we fight on the standpoint of victory and not towards victory. Jesus has won the victory and God is fighting for us. But we need to put on the Gospel of peace shoes!

The shoes must also fit our feet in order to fight effecfively. In other words, the gospel must bring us peace before we bring peace to others. The devil tries diligently to lower our confident level so that we cannot fight vigilantly!

Do you know what are we fighting for?

We turn people to Jesus and influence them for Him! That’s what the war is all about! But sometimes churches are fighting the wrong battle, they keep on patching the wounds of the people, keeping the aquarium clean. Only feeding the church members until they grow fat with the Word, the head swell but the heart unmoved. We do the fighting in the church among members where we supposed to go out there and fight the devil. The job of the church is not to impact the church but to impact the world. Influence back the souls of Christless men and women!

Are your feet ready?

Are you ready with the message of the gospel?

Are you bringing answers to anyone who is asking you for the hope you are having?

This is already a part of armour that talks about advancing into enemies' territories!!

Nothing can be won by just defending!


Next Article: Shield of Faith....
http://psbible.blogspot.com/2009/08/shield-of-faith.html

Thursday, August 6, 2009

NUCLEAR WAR TO START IN THE MIDDLE EAST!




The newest President of the United States, Barack Obama is a good man and his purpose for the world is commendable. One of his noblest and greatest goals is having a world without nuclear weapons. This dream is a dream I believe of majority peace-loving people of the world. Last Thursday, it was the 64th Anniversary of the dreaded Hiroshima atomic bomb attack.


As Obama envisioned that dream in his heart, ironically, controversial nations like North Korea and Iran are building nuclear weapons. India and troubled Pakistan are already boasting of nuclear weapon capabilities. Latest news we have India’s nuclear-powered submarine launch and the patrolling of Russia’s nuclear submarines near to the coast of the United States.

The closest nuclear war that could have turned the world upside down was during the then Soviet Union and the United States over Cuba’s crisis in 1962. The worst nuclear accident was the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster in Ukraine in 1986 that killed hundreds and then went on killing thousands through diseases affected by the fallouts of radioactive materials (Incidentally, Chernobyl means Revelation’s ‘wormwood’ in the Russian language). The tragedy has triggered a world response towards nuclear weapons proliferation. A nuclear war eruption can cause the world to turn instantly back to medieval age.

The world will never learn whether it is Cuba’s crisis or Chernobyl’s disaster. History will not only repeat itself but exacerbate. All of us have heard of terrorists wanting to get their hands on weapons of mass destruction and also leaders wanting to annihilate countries they hate with nuclear weapons. And that day may be inevitable, the detonation of nuclear bombs.

What does the Bible say?

Both the Old and New Testaments describe an event that seems to resemble a nuclear war.

Revelation 9:18 - “A third part of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur”

Revelation 8:7 - “A third of trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.”

Joel 2:30 - “I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood, and fire, and billows of smoke.”

Zephaniah 1:14-15 - "The great day of the LORD is near-- near and coming quickly. Listen! The cry on the day of the LORD will be bitter, the shouting of the warrior there. That day will be a day of wrath, a day of distress and anguish, a day of trouble and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness.."

Zechariah 14:12 - "This is the plague with which the LORD will strike all the nations that fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths."


Why is “that Day” so devastating for mankind?


It is referred to as the Great Tribulation (Rev. 7:14) or the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth (Rev. 3:10).

All of us have tribulations in our lives but that Day is not a normal earthly tribulation but an intense judgment of the heavenly on all those who rejected Jesus, a Saviour sent to save mankind.

In Matthew 24:22, Jesus spoke of this terrifying ordeal and that if God did not stop it by His mercy, the whole world would be consumed.

In God’s judgment, there is always a purpose to it that greater good can come out of it. But the greater mercy of God is being shown here, that God always forewarns everyone of the impending judgment!

Jesus forewarned those who lived in Jerusalem during His time to flee so that they would not be killed but most chose to stay. Noah preached of impending flood for more than a hundred years. The prophets of old forewarned that the Assyrians and the Babylonians would come and destroy the Israelites. All these warnings went unheeded till they were swept away by the judgment of God!

I repeat, history will not only repeat itself but exacerbate. Jerusalem once again will be the place to watch in end-time biblical season. This is because prophecies concerning Jerusalem have yet to fulfil. That’s where all the actions are at this point of time. There will be a time of great distress for the people in Jerusalem...

(Dan 9:25-27) "Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven 'sevens,' and sixty-two 'sevens.' It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. After the sixty-two 'sevens,' the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven.' In the middle of the 'seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him." (Cf. Matthew 24:15)

When Jesus died on the cross, the devil thought he got rid of Jesus but he never realised that was the greatest victory for Jesus Christ! In the same way, when the devil, controlling the Anti-Christ gained an upper hand on Jerusalem, Jesus will come back the Second Time and defeat him. This time, Jesus will reign on earth as King of kings, Lord of all lords!

Zechariah 14:1-4; 8-9 - "A day of the LORD is coming when your plunder will be divided among you. I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city. Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south.......On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea and half to the western sea, in summer and in winter. The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name."

The Bible is such an adventurous book. It is so coherent that it thrills me to bits! I hope readers can take heed what was written in it!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

MOSES, GOD'S DELIVERY MAN


Moses with rod in hand, walked carefully on the slippery path, on the bed of the Red Sea. He could hear the echoes of the 'ooohs' and the 'aahhs' of a great multitude of his people, treading along walls of blocked waters, on the empty ground once filled with the mighty ocean water! “Come on, people, the Egyptians are coming!” the man of God would shout. The people’s unbelieving eyes slowed them down to marvel at the miracle of their God Almighty!


Past and future thoughts crammed Moses’ mind.


Past being the first baby step he took to side an Israelite while killing an Egyptian. He grew up in the luxury of Egypt and its system, being the adopted son of Pharoah’s daughter. Often he would go up to a high tower and look at the slaves, his own people suffering injustices at the hands of their masters. His heart would weep for them as he stood powerless to do anything. “I pray one day that they could live like me, free as a bird!” Moses cried.


After that day when he killed the Egyptian, he was torn between the luxury and helping his people. Of course, status quo would be the best but rocking the boat also seemed like exciting good alternative. But his heart for his own couldn't let him choose the former. And rocking he sure did when someone saw what he had done! He ran for his life. Surely he did not think that it could play out this way at all.


From a complete luxurious lifestyle to become a backward shepherd was what God had planned for him. Strangely, he felt no remorse for killing the Egyptian and saved one of his own. His heart ached for the suffering Israelites. Anger and resentment for Pharoah’s idea of enslavement would consume his heart as he heard stories of how Joseph, the heroic son of Israel, saved the Egyptians from famine. “Someone must teach this new Pharoah a lesson in history!” Moses often thought to himself.


As Moses pondered for many years how the Israelites were faring in Egypt, God appeared to him. The burning bush moment was a moment of frightening proportion. Not in a million years he could have thought he was the one that God called to deliver Israel out of Egypt. He knew too well the power that was. It needed nothing short of powerful miracles to get them out of the hell hole.


While Moses and the multitude were rushing out of the dry bed of the Red Sea, he had a mountain of faith in God. He remembered his infant faith when he tried all sorts of excuses to thwart the calling of God. Now he knew that he was just God’s delivery man. And the rest, it was God’s business. After ten mighty plagues and the parting of the Red Sea, he couldn't think of anything else God cannot do.


As he looked towards the end of the tunnel onto the other side of the shore, the future began to dawn on Moses. Finally, the possibility of a new nation was so real! God’s promise to Abraham, Isaac and to Israel was inching nearer and nearer. With God, nothing is never ever impossible. He promised it. And that settled it.


And when the last man stepped onto the bank on the other side, they could feel the wind gushing from their side towards the path where they had just walked. A white figure looked like an angel 'whooshed' past them and stood behind. And the familiar clouds that had followed in front of them joined the celestial being. The clouds separated light from darkness. On one hand, darkness covered the pursuing armies of Pharoah and on the other, light shone on the Israelites. The multitude, still gasping for breath, their strength drew thin, stood in silence on the other side, waiting for one more big miracle of God.


At the instruction of God, Moses, the delivery Man, raised his hand and waters roared back with a vengeance. The Israelites cheered and clapped while Pharoah’s armies clamoured to escape. No one was spared from the overpowering seas of destruction. At last, the slaves were free and their task masters, trapped. God had advanced yet another step towards His promise of a blessed nation.

Next: Joshua, The Victorious Man