November 17, 2010 § 3 Comments
Got inspired to write a post today from my morning readings.
I never really understood the Old testament readings. I love the stories in it but could not relate to it much. But since The eternal purpose, my eyes has been opened to the richness of Christ that the OT has.
Before, I thought that the lives of the people of the books (such as: Moses, David and the Israelites) were only to be modeled after. Boy was I missing the point! There’s a greater picture! Here is one that I found today.
The Ark of the Covenant
Let me give you the background story behind this magical box. Then I will break it down part to part. Hopefully you’ll see what blew me away.
During their time in the wilderness, God asked Moses and the Israelites to build this box with some other things (Exodus 25). The Ark was placed inside God’s dwelling place called the Tabernacle. Why does God need a tabernacle? Because from the beginning of time, God wanted to live among His people. (Ex 29:45-46)
The ark was to be put inside the Holy of Holies (Where God dwelled) of the tabernacle. No one had access to this room other than the high priest for “The day of atonement” — On this day, God’s people (the Israelites) was made right of their wrong doings for the year. It was a day of purification from sin.
Throughout the OT, the Ark was a literal sign that God dwelled among His people. In the time of Joshua, when the Israelites circled the walls of Jericho guess what was being carried upfront? In the time of the kings, the Israelites would win their war when the ark was with them and vice versa. The Israelites weep when they found out that the ark was taken by the philistine. The ark represent God’s presence for the Israelites.
Now let’s take a look at the parts of the ark and its significance:
Inside the Ark, Moses put the two stone tablets – the ten commandments – that God gave to the Israelites (Exodus 40:20). The cover was called “the atonement” cover. On the top of the cover there was two cherubs (angelic being) facing each other with its wings opened forward (look at the picture)
God did not ask the Israelites to build this box for kicks and giggles, there’s a significant to it. The Israelites believed that God sat in between the cherubs on top of the atonement cover. This was God’s throne among his people (Lev 16:2)
Now get this, what was inside the box? The 10 commandments (THE LAW). On the day of atonement, the high priest had to come in the presence of the ark. Then, he had to sprinkle blood on the cover of atonement for the purification of the Israelites. After that ritual, the Israelites was made right with God for the year. WOW! The blood that was sprinkled on top of the cover of atonement cancelled out “the law” inside the box. What a foreshadowing of Christ!!
What about the two cherubs on top? They are the guardian God’s presence. If you remember, after Adam and Eve sin, God kicked them out of the garden and there were two angelic beings (Cherubs) placed in front of the garden to guard it. In fact the jewish people called the tabernacle or the temple of God in their time: “the second garden” (Frank viola)
The ark was none other than the picture of Christ Jesus, our Lord. The ark to the Israelites was like Jesus to us.
Not only the ark was a picture of Jesus, Hebrews wrote:
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. (Hebrews 4:14)
“The high priest” was also a picture of Christ. The difference between Christ and the high priest of the old testaments is that: Christ made us right once and for all (imagined if we had to be made right once a year?) not with animal’s blood, but with His blood.
And he understand your weaknesses (Hebrew 4:15)
God loves to play hide and seek eh? 😉 find more of Him in your own reading!
November 3, 2010 § 4 Comments
I will address this post specifically to all the young people out there (Don’t worry I won’t exclude the young at heart. This is also for you),
I’m reading an amazing book called “Against the tide” by Angus Kinnear (check my books-listing on the side of my home page). The book is a biography of the Evangelist-China-man “Watchman Nee.”
I won’t be surprised if some of you never heard of him or his work. Yet Nee’s writings were part of the essential resources that inspired the generation before us, focusing on God’s heart and the eternal purpose (By the way, my Dad was the one that introduced me to Nee’s books).
Youth today (you and me) are so excited to bring about what we like to call “Revolution” and “Movement.” We believe that we are the future leaders, called to spend our lives on Christ to bring about change. And that’s all swell and good. But I see a huge issue that needs to be addressed.
Personally, I fear that our generation is disconnected from the pervious movements and our rich history — heritage. It’s easy to forget that today we’re only standing on the shoulders of revivalists before us that have paved the way for God’s eternal purpose leading to this day. Yet I will carefully say that many of us are clueless and ignorant of our history (including me). Now, I believe that God is using many of his servant to edify and equip the body through the mainstream resources available today, but not all of them focus on what is essential. There were times when I feel that I’ve wasted my $20 and my time on books that talked about “christian-youth-pop-culture-lesson” that left me feeling unsatisfied.
Nee’s book on the other hand, lit a fire inside of me. Witnessing God painting Nee’s life story through this book is amazing. His burning passion for the eternal purpose and God’s work in all simplicity broke my heart. It revived a fire that I remember having when I was in my teen years. The way Nee and people around him acknowledged God’s sovereignty in their life would not make any sense to many people. As ridiculous as it sounds, Nee lived daily depending on God’s voice in his life. His life’s calling reminded me so much of mine. I remember when I was a new-born again Christian. I didn’t know much about theology or theory and was still very naïve. But God’s voice was always clear speaking in my heart. And every-time I obeyed, He manifested greatly in my life.
The book talked not only about Nee’s success but also his weaknesses. As a 21 years old, Nee was very impatience because of his zeal for the Lord, but God patiently taught Nee through slow processes and struggles. He used problems and people around Nee to mold this beautiful clay. God used Nee and his friends to bring about His kingdom in China. There was a great revival happening as these group of young believers daily came together to fellowship, learn about God’s word and preach the good news. The body moved so viral, spreading fast and no one could stop it. Nee stayed faithful until his death through enduring persecutions with the other believers.
His last words written in his hand:
“Christ is the Son of God Who died for the redemption of sinners and resurrected after three days. This is the greatest truth in the universe. I die because of my belief in Christ.”
Therefore, I am encouraging my fellow brothers and sisters, young people around the world to be rooted in God’s eternal purpose and to learn our heritage. Most importantly, be sensitive to god’s voice for He is speaking loud and clear. Waste your whole life on the eternal purpose. Get His heart. if he’s called you to speak, speak out of the overflowing of your heart. If he’s called you for other things follow Him. For our stories have been written before the foundation of the world.
This is a wake-up call for my generation.
October 20, 2010 § 6 Comments
Apostle Paul had a dilemma that I had experienced for a long time:
“I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another powerwithin me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.” (Romans 7:21-23)
Christ died for two things in our life. For the Consequences of our sin and the Power of sin. I put it this way: if you are a Shopaholic (Come down ladies, shopping is not a sin. Addicted to shopping is), the consequences will be your credit card debts. But the Power of sin is your urges to shop. I am talking about the second one here. The power that makes you want to touch the wet painted wall when there is a sign saying: “Don’t touch”
Even though Paul realized that Christ had redeemed him, he was still enslaved by “The power of sin.” By the end of Romans 7 he screamed out of frustration: “Oh what a miserable person I am! who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death.” — That’s exactly how I felt before this revelation: STUCK.
Romans 8 – Life in the Spirit
I never really passed romans 7. I understand what it means to be forgiven, but I never truly understand what it means to live in true freedom from the power of sin. But one graceful day, God revealed Romans 8 to me. Even though I have read it before, I never really got the “EUREKA” for it (you know that feeling).
Notice that Romans 5-8 were not written for Unbelievers but for Believers (Read it carefully, it’s life after Christ). Romans 8 is the answer to Paul’s struggles in the chapters before:
“And because you belong to him (Christ), the power of the life-giving Spirit (Christ) has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. (Romans 8:2)
This statement blew my mind away. Let me paraphrase: If you belong to Christ = you are free from the power of sin.
“Wait God, you’re telling me that the key to my freedom from the power of sin is in my status? You’re saying that the key to be free is realizing that I’ve been set free? That sounds too simple God. And If I’m already free like you said, then how come in reality I still lose to the power of sin?”
Let me tell you a story to help you understand how “knowing that we’re free is the key to our freedom”:
Indonesia was conquered for 350 years. After a series of struggles for independence, on August 17, 1945 Indonesia declared their independence. Indonesia is made up of many islands separated by a couple of oceans. Due to its geographical form, the news of the independence was slow to spread. The conquerors did not want to give back control, so they isolated the remote areas from any means of communication. The people in those areas were still oppressed even though in nature they were already free (Any Indonesian was automatically free, once the declaration of independence was read). Until one day some people tried to tap in to the underground radio station. They were surprised to hear the news that they were already free from the oppression. Once they learned about their freedom, they gathered strength and fought for control.
EUREKA! We are already free from the power of sin. The reason why we are still control by the power of sin is because we do not understand that we’re already free. The enemy tries to isolate our life from hearing the declaration of independence – which is Christ. He still wants to oppress us, and we’ve played along.
Don’t get fooled when the enemy tells you that you need to fight the temptation and stay holy for God. It does not work this way. Remember what Paul said: the more you try to do what is right, inevitably you will do what is wrong. This is our sinful nature. The only answer to this is to yield to Christ’s life inside of you. Declared your independence from sin by surrendering to His life inside of you.
Next time you get tempted, admit your disability to God and acknowledge that you have been set free from the power of sin through His life inside of you. Understand your status in Him and come to your brothers & sisters in Christ for prayer and encouragement.
Read my other post about grace: CLICK HERE
October 12, 2010 § 2 Comments
Hi everyone, just wanna let you know I just added a new feature in my blog.
Because some people want to know what books that I’m reading, I’ve decided that I should post them up for you: By the title and the author. I am hoping that you will also be inspired through them. You can find this list below my twitter update.
You can check out the books that “I’m currently reading” and the ones that “I’ve finished reading.” Leave a comment here to ask me anything about those books. I will be glad to answer you.
(I didn’t come up with this feature. I came across it in Michael Young’s blog: Blogging for Jesus Read his blog here. Awesome stuff! you can also find his blog listed under resources, at the bottom of my page)
Also, stay tune for my next posts. Very excited about them, they are very dear to my heart. God has touched my heart and gave me a new perspective through this revelation! It’s gonna be the continuation of yesterday’s post.
Read about the mystery here if you haven’t: The mystery: The eternal purpose
October 11, 2010 § 10 Comments
What if I told you that God has a mystery? A secret that has been kept for ages, something that was not even revealed to Abraham, Moses, Elijah or other prophets of the old testament.
What if I told you that this secret is the highest desire of God’s heart? His passion. His heartbeat. His longing.
All creations exist out of the overflowing of this passion. The whole entire bible points to this one mystery. And the Church exists by and for this mystery.
“That is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ” (Ephesians 3:3-4)
“According to his Eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Ephesians 3:11)
God revealed this mystery to Apostle Paul — the Eternal purpose of God. Eternal means that it was present in the “Past”, also here in the “Present”, and will still be there in the “Future”.
What could have existed in the past, present and future? (Here is a list of what christians today pursue)
- Evangelism? — No, there was no need for evangelism before Creation. And when Christ come the second time there will be no more need for evangelism.
- Bible study & Theology? — No, there was no need for theology before Creation. And when Christ comes the second time, our knowledge of Him will be perfected.
- Miracle & Healing? — No, there was no need of faith and healing before Creation. And when Christ comes the second time, our faith will be perfected. Also, there will be no more sickness and sorrow, remember?
- ____________ (FILL IN THE BLANK) — Social work? Apologetics?
(All the things in this list are good, but none is the ETERNAL purpose)
So what is the eternal purpose?
The only way for us to understand this mystery is to go back in time before creation (The eternity past). Whatever God was doing back then must be the eternal purpose.
“What was God doing back then before the creation? Was He jobless, bored and lonely?”
I am glad that my God is The Trinity. Thank God that we were not created out of boredom and loneliness, but out of the abundance of Love.
The answer to my question is this: God the Father, the Son, and the Holy spirit was enjoying each other as a Divine community. Loving, respecting, glorifying, and abiding in ONE ANOTHER.
And behold, the mystery revealed:
God enjoyed this lifestyle so much and being so passionate about it, He decided to SHARE and MULTIPLY this Divine life with us. That’s why He said: “Let us make man in OUR image” (Genesis 1:26) And the rest is history.
God’s eternal purpose is to establish His body – “true communities,” where The divine community can express/manifest themselves among His people.
If our church’s and our personal purpose in life does not align with this purpose, we are missing the mark. Without the eternal purpose, all the things I mentioned in the list above will not mean anything.
TO BE CONTINUED..
(Taken from “From eternity to here” – by: Frank Viola)
October 9, 2010 § 2 Comments
October 7, 2010 § 13 Comments
Grace is injustice to those who doesn’t need it, but it is sweet redemption to those who depends on it.
You know what is sad? As “Sweet” as it sounds, Many Christians are scared of “singing” the Amazing Grace. We are afraid of preaching the message of Grace due to our lack of wisdom and knowledge of Christ.
Why? Because these are the beliefs: Once you unveil Grace, there is no more control. What if people take advantage of it? What if people sin more? Where do we draw the line?
Let’s make one thing clear, so we won’t identify grace with “an-excuse-to-sin” but “the-way-God-intends-us to-live-by”
According to Apostle Paul there are only two ways of living: by Grace (vs) by the Law. If we are not living in one, we are living in the other.
Living in Grace = Living in Christ. Because Grace is a person. Grace is not just a concept or a theology. Grace is Christ! No one can find grace outside of Christ. The message of grace is that Christ made us right once and for all.
Living by the Law = Striving by ourselves. The law is about finding the best way of living according to us, without Christ. “The law is the power of sin” (I Cor 15:56). The law condemns sinners, but it doesn’t have a solution for it.
What cheapen grace is not because we sin more, because “as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant” (Romans 5:20). “Cheap grace” is just another word for “we don’t have Christ inside us,” and “The gospel of work” purely means “we are living by the law.”
Frank Viola and Leonard Sweet in their book “Jesus Manifesto” explained that Living in grace is simply this — yielding to Christ’s life within us.
I’ll write more about this. For now, tell me what you think, I would love to hear you out (this is what the blog is all about right?) as I am still trying to learn how to live by grace.
“But the beauty of grace is that it makes life not fair” – Relient K (From the song: Be my escape)