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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Like Father Like Son

Be Holy

1 Peter 1:13-2:3
Key Verse 1:15-16

Last Sunday we saw that God gave us a new birth into living hope and the inheritance that never perish, spoil, or fade.

Today we will think about how we conduct ourselves as new born children with the living hope and the glorious inheritance.

First, prepare your minds for action.

Look at v. 13a. “Therefore, prepare your minds for action…” Here ‘therefore’ means ‘since you have been checked into such a glorious standing, prepare your minds for action…”

If you have a lot of money in your bank account, you know that you are rich. So you do not act like a poor person. For you do not go out to the street and beg. Why beg, for you have so much money.

The same is true with the new born children. They are members of the royal family where God is the Father. You know God is the richest person. He owns the entire universe and everything in it. He keeps all of the rulers of the world in his palm.

And when you know that you have such a father, and you are the son and heir of the father, how would you behave? In addition if you know that your Father loves the world so much that he gave even his one and only Son that everyone believes in the Son shall not perish but have eternal life what would you do?

Certainly you will prepare your minds for action – the action to conduct as God’s child.

Second, be self-controlled.

Look at v. 13b. “Be self-controlled”. “Therefore…be self-controlled.” You have been born again into the family of God where God is the Father. Therefore be self-controlled.

In Peter’s mind, it is only a natural thing for a child of God to be self-controlled, just as God the Father is self-controlled. This is just like us saying, “Like father like son.”

Look around yourself, and see how God controls himself so well. He is the creator of the universe and everything in it. And he keeps all that have been created in full control. Think about the stars. There are so many. Yet, they all work in complete harmony.

The same is true with the way he created and designed man’s body to run. You know last night around 10 p.m. I ate one bowl of soybean soup with two bowls of rice. Then I fell asleep immediately. Then I had colorful dreams. In one dream I went up to a high mountain. Then two Mexican boys climbed up a cliff, and approached me. They carried a huge basket. I was curious. What’s in it? They opened the basket, and there were two ostriches! One mother ostrich, one father ostrich, and they had so many babies, all newly hatched! All of the baby ostriches were looking up to me, so lovingly! I fell in love. So I wanted to buy it. But I did not know how to raise them up. So I asked the boy, “Do you know how to raise them up?” “No.” I felt bad. So I gave up. After a few more dreams I woke up at 6 a.m. Then I took a shower. And I grew hungry again. As I walked to the Bible center, I was wondering about the way God made man. You know while I fell asleep, God made me in such a way that even during the sleep, I could enjoy colorful movies, not one but two or three. Then where did the soybean soup go? After taking shower I felt so good. How did he do that? Truly the way God made man is marvelous. Everything works seamlessly!

Therefore be self-controlled. God is the God of self-control. In practice, for those who put rust in the Lord, He gives His children the Holy Spirit who in turn gives his child the Spirit of self-control. So the call ‘to be self-controlled’ is not a new command. It is the call to be as naturally self-controlled as God himself is. It is t he call to go with the axiom, “Like Father like son.”

Third, set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Christ is revealed.

Look at v. 13c. “Set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

The Bible is the book of revelations. The point of revelations is simply this: Jesus Christ the Savior of the World.

When Peter says “Christ is revealed”, the word ‘revealed’ is the same as ‘coming again.” The Bible descries two comings of Jesus Christ – the first coming and the second coming. 

Jesus’ two comings have one purpose, that is, to build the family of God.

I don’t know how you like the patio outside. In order to get it built John Lee and I had to travel back and forth to Home Depot many times. [I think roughly 30 times maybe more?] But to build God’s house among men, the Bible records Jesus’ two visits. First time he visited the planet earth about two thousand years ago. And to complete this construction project He will visit us one more time.

And of the two visitations, the Bible talks more often of the second visits than the first. In fact according to some Bible scholars, the Bible talks about Jesus’ second coming 8 times more than the first coming. And here again in 1 Peter 1:13c, Peter himself talks about Christ appearing.

In many ways the way of Jesus’ second entry into this world will be way different than the way of Jesus’ first entry. For example for the first time he visited this planet earth borrowing a woman’s body. So he was born in a manger quietly. But the second time he will visit us directly from heaven. And all will be able to see Him coming.

When Jesus came first, he came to give himself to us. When he comes the second time he comes to take us back home!

Speaking of this transaction Peter says, “Set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed!” Focus on the word ‘your’. Peter finds this very important: so he emphasizes it saying, ‘set your hope on the grace to be given you.

Here again ‘grace’ refers to the life in a resurrected body in the new heaven and the new earth.

Set your hope fully on the grace to be given you… God knows that even in this bad economy you do not want work at a Taco Bell or Mc Donald. He knows that you want to get out of college quickly, make enough money, so you can retire early like before the age of 40, so during the remainder of your life, you can go to nice places like Cancun or French Rivera, lie down on a beach recliner, and sip banana daiquiri.

But God knows what you NEED far better! In fact for this very reason, and in his great mercy, he has given you a new birth into the living hope and glorious inheritance. Therefore the Apostle says, “Set your hope fully on the grace to be given you, when Christ is revealed.”

Fourth, be holy.

Look at vs. 14-16. “As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.””

Thus far, the Apostle touched upon ‘action’ which is external. He also talked about the ‘hope’ which looks to the future. Now, he talks about the inner attribute, that is, holiness.

But when you talk about holiness on Sundays, many Christians (especially young folks people) may be tempted to ask, “Man, I am a man full of youthful passion. How can you ask me to be holy even as God is holy? This is unrealistic. “

Is it then unrealistic? No. It is not. Why not? Here is why.  First of all Peter is talking to ‘children’. By ‘children’, he means the children ‘of God’. They have been given a new birth. This means they do have God’s Spirit working in them. Speaking of this transaction Jesus said to Nicodemus, “You must be born again.” Then when Nicodemus asked, ‘How’? Jesus responded, “The Spirit gives birth to spirit.” So the wind blew on them, meaning they have the Holy Spirit resting in them.

People conform to the evil desires in ignorance. But God’s children are different. Since they are born of the Spirit, as they learn to walk in step with the Spirit, they no longer conform to evil desires. Here ‘evil’ is ‘work’ against the Holy Spirit. Holiness stands for who God is as the Holy Spirit reveals Him.

So the call “Be holy as God is holy” is not an unrealistic. It is a natural call, the call for his children to be like God in attributes. Otherwise, you are abnormal.

Fifth, live as strangers.

Look at vs. 17-21.

“17 Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. 18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.”

Here, Peter starts talking about practical aspects of life, that is, ‘work’. God judges each man’s work impartially, so live your lives as strangers…” Say, ‘work’!

Our citizenship is in heaven. So we say “Christians are holy pilgrims’ journeying from this mundane world to the celestial city. But this does not mean that we sojourn here in this transient world doing nothing. Rather, we are here for ‘work’.

For the same reason Jesus said, “As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.”

The Father judges each man’s work impartially. Here ‘each’ man means ‘each’ man. He judges your work and my work. He does not judge in groups. I don’t know how you spent your time last week. I do not know exactly what you did yesterday. But remember: the Father judges each man’s work impartially.

While on earth we are here to do the work God sent each of us to do. In the past, while we remained as an unregenerate person, we used to live the ‘empty’ way of life handed down to us from our forefathers. In my case, until one year after I graduated from the law school I used to live the empty way of life handed down to me from my An-dong Kim family. But in God’s mercy through the living word of God especially Genesis, God redeemed me from the empty way of life into the family of God.

Why then did God save you and me? I think he did it for the work he had in mind.

Now why does Peter say, “Live your lives as strangers here”? I think he says “Live your lives as strangers here” for he does not want us to be like the wife of Lot in Genesis. Do you know what happened to her? She became a pillar of salt. She had too much hope (or root if you will) in the city of Sodom of Gomorrah. Abraham lived as a foreigner in the earth. So although he was rich, he did not even buy a condominium. He lived a simple life. He lived in a tent. But Lot and his wife especially Lot’s wife was different. She took a root in the world.

The same can happen to any Christian.

“Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear.”  Think about the expression ‘in reverent fear’. Why did he add this phrase? He did it because people (born-again Christians included) tend to regard the judgment lightly. Some even say, “Oh, there is no judgment”. For the most part, they regard the message of judgment as a joke. They are just like Lot’s two son-in-laws, for when Lot talked about the impending judgment they thought Lot was ‘joking’.

Sixth, love one another deeply.

Practically then what kind of work are we to do? Look at vs. 22-25.

22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. 23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For, All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, 25 but the word of the Lord stands forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you.”

Not all people can obey this blessed command. Only those who are born of God can do this. So Peter says “now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth, so that you have sincere love for your brothers…” Note that we already have this love, for God sent Jesus the Son who is the embodiment of His love. Now with this love we are called to love one another deeply and do that from the heart.

Why deeply? Why from the heart? Peter answers the first question in v. 24. “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall.” This is why we need to love one another deeply. Some folks talk loud. They also look strong. But inside they are very fragile. So we need to love one another deeply, so they would go strong inside out, as strong as our Lord Jesus is. And we need to love one another from the heart, for our heart is the seat of the Holy Spirit where God pours in us the Spirit of love and power.

Lastly crave pure spiritual milk.

Look at 2:1-3.

“1. Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.”

Three things to note: No. 1, what keeps man from growing up; No. 2, what nurtures man to grow up; and No. 3, to what extent are we to grow up.

Peter lists the factors that keep a new born child from growing up: all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Malice is the desire to cause pain or injury. We don’t need to explain the meaning of deceit, for even small children know how to tell a lie. And the list includes ‘hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind’. So we need to take a time to examine ourselves so each of us would rid ourselves of “all” of them.

What nurtures man to grow up? It is the Word of God (which talks about Jesus Christ) which the Apostle Peter calls pure spiritual milk. God’s word is not mere words. It is food and drink for life. It includes all sorts of ingredients that make man to grow up. It is ‘pure’ and it is ‘spiritual’. God’s word makes man pure. God’s word is God-breathed, so it makes man to overcome flesh and grow to be a man of Spirit.

The call for us then is to ‘crave’. In UBF we emphasize daily bread. Normally we say, “Okay, Jesus woke up early in the morning. While it is still dark, Jesus went out to a solitary place, and prayed. So please come to the early daily bread prayer meeting. But we are to crave pure spiritual milk, not just morning or evening. See how new born baby craves for pure milk all the time. Are they satisfied with only morning milk? No. They have to drink milk 10, 20, 30, 40 times a day. Basically we are called to eat the word of God and meditate on it all the time.

Then we are called to grow up. The word ‘up’ points us to an upward direction, up towards the fullness of the true greatness of our Lord Jesus. Thus, the call to grow up to the true greatness of our Jesus fulfills God’s purpose in sending Jesus.

In conclusion, we thought about how we ought to conduct ourselves as new born children. Prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you; be holy; live as strangers; love deeply; and crave pure spiritual milk. Simply, Peter says, “Be like God”, just as is said, “Be holy because I am holy.” One word: Be Holy

Friday, July 20, 2012

Be Self Controlled

We need to remember two things about 'self-control'. First in order to be self-controlled, we need to put off the old self and put on the new self. You cannot control the 'old self' for it is being corrupted by its deceitful desires. So you need to put off the old self. Because God knows that the old self is corrupted he has given his child a new self. This new self is designed to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

But God does not force you to put off the old self or put on the new self. It is your choice. So you need to put on the new self.

The second thing you need to know is how to control your new self. How do you control it? Galatians 5:22-23 answer the question, for it reads, "the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit is ... self-control."

So it is through the Spirit who is in you that you can control your self. The new self is from the Lord. Essentially it is spiritual, so what is spiritual can be controlled by the Spirit.

For this reason the Scripture says, "Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit." (Gal 5:25)

The Apostle Peter learned the way to control himself and obey the Lord by the Spirit. We can see an example in the way God helped Peter to preach the gospel to the Gentiles in the Book of Acts. Because he was a Jew he did not want to associate himself with the Gentiles. Although he was a born again Christian he did not want to go near the Gentiles much less preac the gospel to them. But one day while he was in prayer he fell asleep. Then in a dream the Spirit showed him a vision of a basket filled with unclean animals. In this way God helped Peter to deny his own ideas, go and preach the gospel to a Roman centurion. At first he was reluctant. But he repented. He went to the house of Cornelius and preached the gospel to him.

Our daily walk with the Spirit should not be this extreme however. Because the Holy Spirit is a 'counselor', if we stop insisting ourselves and open our ears to Him, we can listen to him. And as we listen to him, he will speak. And we can make up our mind and decide what to think, what not to think, where to go, where not to go, when to go when not to go, what to think etc. and so forth, and in this way, we can be fully self controlled.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Prepare your minds for action

Mind is the complex of cognitive faculties that enable consciousness, thinking, reasoning, and judgment. (wikipedia) Its faculties include consciousness, thought, memory, and imagination.

Prepare your minds for action. Here action refers to not only your action but also God's action. The idea is, "When God acts, you need to be ready to act." For example, when God says, "Hey, let us go." You might say, 'No, I am not ready." Don't do that!

How can you prepare your mind? This question leads to the next exhortation, that is, "be self-controlled".

7 Exhortations on the Holy Pilgrimage (1Pe 1:13-2:3)

  1. Prepare your minds for action (1:13a)
  2. Be self-controlled (13b)
  3. Set your hope fully on the grace to be given you (13c)
  4. Be holy becasue I am holy (1:14-16)
  5. Live as a stranger (1:17-21)
  6. Love deeply (1:22-25)
  7. Crave pure spiritual milk (2:1-3)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

You Sluggard, Go and Learn from Termites! (Pro 6:6)

The Bible says, "Be fruitful and increase in number." Gen 1:26-28 Our Lord Jesus also says in one of his parables, "Go...and compel them to come in, that my house may be full." Luke 14:23 (KJV)
Can church learn from termites? If so how? Here is how. (This afternoon, at my backyard, in examining a cedar log which was termite infested, I discovered a queen termite wiggling underneath the wood skin. I took a look at it with microscope. Then I grew more curious, which led me to this post.)

Is it hard to put this in practice?

Why not? Do you mean it is easy enough?

How  come?
Here is how:

* A church leader (if you think you are in a leadership position) should remmeber:
1. Jesus is the Senior Pastor - the only one with the authority and power
2. Jesus' leadership is a humble servant leadership who serves the flock with an unworthy servant's attitude
3. Prepare an environment in which "all" members can fully grow in the Lord Jesus
4. And serve the Lord with the talents/gifts the Lord empowers each person with

Monday, July 16, 2012

I want it all "RIGHT NOW!" Luke 19:9

Today is the day of salvation!

I picked up the art work (in the pic) at a yard sale in my neighborhood. It reads, "I want it all... and I want it delivered!" I would like to add "NOW".

Now we have, "I want it all... and I want it delivered, NOW!"

I have five beautiful grand daughters. And the script describes pretty much what they press me with most of the time. On further reflection I admit that this is what I demand the Lord to do for me...not from time to time but 'all' the time.

My walk with the Lord thus far (from 1972 - till now) indicates that the Lord loves it.

In fact knowing that this is what he has with me and inasmuch as he knows who I am, and all because of His love for me (even me), he says, "I already delivered it [all] to you even before you would be born, learn to open your mouth and ask me for this or that!", just as the Scriptjures say:

“Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalms 139:16

“He [Jacob] had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. There above it stood the LORD, and he said: "I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you." When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it."” (Genesis 28)

 "Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.” (John 17:24)

 “He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.” (1Pe 1:20)[Cf. Col 3:4; 1Jo 1:2; 5:20; Ephesians 1-5]

 “Please accept the present that was brought to you, for God has been gracious to me and I have all I need." And because Jacob insisted, Esau accepted it.” (Genesis 33:11)

 “All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them.” (John 17:10)

 "'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.” (Luke 15:31)

 “It is finished.” John 19:30

 “On that day you will realize that I am in the Father, and  you are in me, and I am in you.” John 14:20

Friday, July 13, 2012

You are to hamstring their horses and burn their chariots. Joshua 11:6b

In Joshua 11, the Joshua's army was faced with a vast number of enemies, as numerous as the number of sand on the seashore, all equipped with horses and chariots. The Lord promised to hand them over to Joshua, all slain. But, the Lord would not do a thing to the horses and chariots. It was for the Israelites to destroy them all, for the Lord commanded Joshua,  "You are to hamstring their horses and burn their chariots."

Obeying the command to destroy them is a truly "daunting" task. No doubt, there is a temptation involved. First consider the value of one horse or one chariot. The horse in the photo is still  available on-line for sale: asking price -150k euro. The chariot is comparable to a tank in modern times. 21st Century M-1 Abrams tanks are rolling computers and are in excess of 1 million dollars apiece.

When one puts himself in the position of Joshua, he might be tempted to say, "Man, am I to burn this much of money to go up into the thin air for nothing?"

Well, is it really for nothing? Why did the Lord command Joshua to do that? And why did Joshua obey the command ever so heartily? What is the redeeming value?

I think the answer is found in what the Scriptures say.

1. [When a band of gang-bangers came to arrest Jesus with guns and knives, one of Jesus' disciples drew sword and cut the ear of a rank-and-file, whereupon Jesus said, "No more of this". Then he touched the man's ear and healed the man. Luke 22:51

2. "Put the sword away. Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?" John 18:11

3. "Knowledge puffs up; love builds up" 1Co 8:1

4. I resolved to know nothing [while I was with you] except Jesus Chrsit and him crucified." 1Co 2:2

5. If anyone of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her. John 8:7

I think after the World War I and II etc. and as an increasing number of nations got hold of nukes (the power of Atom), the Adam's race were made aware of the need to exercise self-restraint.

But I see people within a close community (or even a body) of believers hitting each other not with guns or knives but with stones of theories and isms. And I saw this happening increasingly not so often among the unbelievers but among those who profess their faith in Jesus Chrsit. [Despite differences they are supposed to love one another, and use their energy to reach out for the needy outside of the body. But since they neglect the latter, using the leftover strength, they strike their fellow brethren within!]

What is truly absurd is that in their swollen egos they think that finally they figured all things out, that they need to stand up like Joshua, and indeed as they go out (Oh, wait, they do not go out; they stay inside) start  assaulting their brethren or young infants, and they do so ever so fervently and confidently all in the name of serving the Lord! The Lord's command to Joshua (Joshua 11:6) reminds me of the Apostle Paul's resolution to know nothing but Christ, and him crusified. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

the path of life: Self-love: Is it evil or good? (Why do God's people Sin?)

the path of life: Self-love: Is it evil or good? (Why do God's people Sin?)

Work against the Holy Spirit is evil.
A text message from 724-351-8435 :-)

Self-love: Is it evil or good? (Why do God's people Sin?)

Who dressed it? (Luke 12:27-28)
"Love  your self, for if you don't, how can you expect anybody else to love you?"(Author unknown)

The Apostle John says "God's people do not 'continue' to sin". Question then becomes, "Why do God's people sin?"

In associating myself with and praying for a friend of mine whom I have known for virtually a life time, it dawned on me one day that the answer is hidden in the effect sin does to a man. Sinning is the worst and final act of self-hatred, just as  it is written: "the wages of sin is death".

The antidote to (or prescription for) the self-hatred is 'self-love'.

Self-love however is often misunderstood as evil. The proponents of this idea might recite for you Bible verses like:

- the man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. (John 12:25)

- if anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. (Matthew 16:24)

But remember that the object of hatred is not the life per se, but your life "in this world". What John 12:25 promotes is not 'self-hatred' but 'self-love', that is, loving your 'self' (or life) by going for the life not in this world (whose ruler is the devil), but the 'eternal' life in the Lord - the life that is hidden in Jesus Christ! (Col 3:3-4).

Self-denial speaks NOT against, but FOR the self-love, for it targets to shoot down the old sinful self, only to embrace and nurture  the 'new self' found in Jesus Christ just as you are exhorted to put off the old self and put on the new self (Ephesians 4:22-24; Col 3:10).

So then consider the Word of the Lord:

"I have loved you with an everlasting love" (Jer 31:3), or simply "I have loved  you" (John 13:34; 15:9, 12; Rev 3:9).

You might wish to quote, "Esau I have hated" (Mal 1:3; Rom 9:13). But I would refer you to the discussion on the old self vs. new self, for Esau stands for godlessness, whereas Jacob godliness. God hates godlessness, for no one is self-sufficient in himself or herself alone; man is self-sufficient only to the extent that he remains godly (or in the relationship with God) so he can be God-sufficient, for God alone is self-sufficient (Ex 3:14).

Again sinning is the final act of self-hatred. So you sin due to you not practising the call to 'love' yourself as God has loved you. The root cause of sin always lies in you not 'loving' yourself.

Let me ask you a question: who gave you life? (Gen 2:7)

Who are you that you hate what God has given you?

One word: "I have loved you with everlasting love."

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Devotion to Destruction

Does the Book of Revelation (and all of its imageries such as the Mark of Beast) befuddle you?

Then try the "Intention Test" -  the Lord's intention behind the stuff described in the book, for it has been said, "All that counts in life is intention" (Andrew Bocelli) or "A purpose, an intention, a design, strikes everywhere even the careless, the most stupid thinker" (David Hume).

One can read into the Lord's intention that strikes throughout the Book of Revelation in Joshua 7:12, "I will not be with you any more  unless you destroy whatever among you is

"devoted to destruction"".

So what do the following have one thing in common?

- Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." 1Jo 2:15 (remember - God is a jealous God. Exodus 34:14)

- Jericho (in Joshua 6) vs. Babylon (Rev 14:8; 16:19; 17:5; 18:2,10, 21)

The question for everyone then is "How to identify and destroy (or simply remove from you) that which is to be destroyed?"

The task is daunting, but Joshua 7 gives us the insight into the matter.

- The potential (for corruption) was hidden all the while in the body, and manifested itself in fifth generation, for it is written: "Achan son of Karmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of them." (Joshua 7:7)

Achan <<< Karmi <<< Zimri <<< Zerah <<< Judah <<< .....(Oh, wait! It goes deeper and farther, all the way back to Adam! You are right!) .... <<<Adam

Thank and praise be to God that out of the line of Judah (whose name is identical with Judas Iscariot) God sent Jesus the Savior, the last Adam, so in Jesus Christ, the Son, we can rid the body of all that are devoted to destruction, so each believer in the Lord would be made a new creation, free of yeast, any hint of corruption!

So consider what is marked out (in God's mind/intention) for destruction and what is for construction. Once one figures out what has been devoted for construction and what for destruction, he or she no longer will remain befuddled.

Jericho Wall in Joshua vs. Babylon in Revelation

"The seven priests carrying the seven trumpets went forward, marching before the ark of the Lord and blowing the trumpets. The armed men went ahead of them and the rear guard followed the ark of the Lord, while the trumpets kept sounding." (Joshua 6:13)

The way the Lord empowered the Israelites to overcome (or take down) the Jericho and get into the Promised Land provides us with the key to understanding the Book of Revelation.

Revelation starts with the Risen Jesus speaking to the churches, and ends with Jesus the Lamb opening the seven seals one by one.

The opening of the seven seals culminates with the Babylon being set aside, and thus ushering in the rule of God.

At the outset of the Book of Revelation 19, Babylon is described as the great prostitute that contaminates the earth.

What then is the key to overcome the great prostitute? How can one overcome the contaninator?

Joshua 6 answers the question. And the heart of the wisdom is couched in the ark which comes with the following features:

- Moses' Ten Commandments (love the Lord and love your neighbor)
- Mercy seat
- Two cherubim (protecting God's holiness)

The ark represents Jesus Christ in whom we have the way to come to God the Father, fulfilling the commandments.

In Jesus Christ one can always overcome the world (Jericho which is symbolic of the great prostitude), just as Rahab the prostitute did.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Go and stand in the river (Joshua 3:8)

Jesus said the Scriptures talk about himself.

What then does the command to go and stand in the River talk about? Himself, that is, him coming to the Jordan river, getting into it, and being baptized.

This also reminds us of the Lord fulfilling the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 long years, by going to the desert area fasting 40 days and nights.

Why fasting? Why at the end of the session was he tempted by the devil and with what result?

The Lord's victory then gives us the hope of salvation, for our Lord Jesus came, and won the victory over the devil's temptations. He died on a tree for our sins and rose again for our justification.

Thank and praise be to the Lord!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Get ready

Get ready!

“Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them to the Israelites." Joshua 1:2
What do the following have in common with what the Lord commanded Joshua to do?

God's call to Abraham to "leave" his father's household, and "go" to the land God was going to show, turned out to be the call to go to the city with foundations, whose builder and architect is God. Hebrew 11:9-10

The Lord's revelation to Daniel that the kingdoms (eventually) will be given to Jesus Christ, and people belonging to him (holy people or 'saints'), so the wicked would be dispossessed of the earth, so the kingdoms of the earth would be possessed by the Lord and his people. Daniel 7:22,27

The idea of describing the birth narrative of Jesus, the Son, into this world, as a tiny baby, born in a manger, as the divine "invasion" into the "war" zone where the ruler and king, a dictator, is Satan, the father of all lies, a dealer in sin. (Read Revelation 12)

Right before suffering, in his high priestly prayer, Jesus said that he called the disciples "out of this world" and sent them "back to this world". John 17:16-18

The Risen Jesus commanded the disciples, "Go into the world and make disciples of all nations." Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:9-20

The gospel has to penetrate, but you are evangelistically impotent. Why?

Satan had a pretty good plan in initiating the World War II (such as the plan to wipe out all the Jews, and perhaps disrupt God's plan to send Jesus Christ back to this world).

What is Satan up to with regard to North Korea nowadays, and how are we ready?

Life here on earth as a Christian is never a vacation. It is the life as a soldier of Jesus Christ, called to do the will of God, that is, to save souls into His kingdom, making disciples of all nations. So be ready always. When you walk today and tomorrow, always be ready, for doing the work Jesus has in mind.