You Wish to See Us?

8 10 2011

Please if you wish to see what we’re doing informed us a month or two before your coming to check our calendars as we started receiving many people from around the country and outside.





Death, Faith and The Kingdom – p2

8 10 2011

Death is the prerequisite to acquire faith. Death is man’s choice, it’s voluntary. Anyone who wants to be a part of The King’s Kingdom must deny himself, align his life values to the King’s uncontested rule. Faith does nothing to dead people except to raise him from the dead, but has something to do when he will be raised – dying ‘daily.’ Faith let’s you do something what you do not like to do, not what you want to do nor what you want to get. Most of the time we impress people by our faith by the wrong things – how we got our house or car by our faith, mostly not to encourage them by our faith but to make them jealous of the things we now have, using ‘faith to acquire.’ I mostly hear people talking about: “God blesses me with a new car.”

Mostly I replied directly, “Really? How about those who don’t have it? Are they cursed if we are defining ‘faith as a license to get?” We even measure our faith by the things we receive or not receive. It’s faith by ‘calculation’: Faith plus our way of doing it equals blessings. We live in an age of consumerism – even our Christian brothers acquiring things they do not need to impress people they do not like. And they call it having faith – to acquire. Where is this in the Bible?

Faith does not give you permission to do what you like to do but to do what you should. This is not manipulation by faith, but power!

Jesus, the Son of God, clothed with human dirt, suffered, died, to the ‘point of death!’ “Let this cup pass from me,” He cried with sweat blood in the garden, “but not my will be done but yours.” Let God’s will be done on earth – Jesus fulfilled it in His life here on earth even to ‘the point of death.’ He voluntarily ‘gave’ his life. No one ‘takes’ His life, not even God because He ‘gave’ Himself up. He lays down His life for His sheep [Jn.10]. It’s how he got His Kingship. There will be a time when King Jesus will return in His body on earth then those who didn’t give their lives voluntarily, those who didn’t align themselves in the King’s rule – their lives shall be taken by force! Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!

For now, while it is still called ‘today’ it’s your choice to recognize that you’re dead because of your sin – no Kingdom faith at all. Faith in God is given you know – only to dead people. When you realize this what sort of faith that you’ve got is maybe not faith at all.

Baptism is called Burial of self. A unsaved person needed to realize this if not then any kind of baptism does not make sense to him. Our sin does not only killed Jesus, it has also killed us first, right from the beginning we are all dead in our sin. Eph. 2:1: you were dead in your trespasses and sins. That’s why to enter into The King’s domain baptism is a sort of ‘initiation’ to one-self, but unlike any initiation of any group or fraternity, it is not force, but voluntarily. Jesus warned any violent people who ‘take the kingdom by force’ He never endorses it.  Being born a second time is prerequisite to enter into The Kingdom of God [Jn. 3] but before you will be born again you need not to enter into your mother’s womb but into God’s womb – born not of human will but God’s – through death to yourself, your old man, your old ways. Just as Jesus died you also died with Him in baptism, just as He was raised from the dead, by God, you also raised to new life. See, Jesus Himself gave up His life to death, not force, but voluntarily gave it, none takes it. It is God who raised Him from the dead, He became the Author of Life – he who looses his life shall find it!

Back to faith that it does nothing to kill you, to kill yourself is voluntarily aligning your values in the King’s command, but it does something to raise you from the dead, not ‘repair’ your life, sorry, God has no human shop – sadly, our churches is like a ‘machine shop’ – keeping the machine going through their programs by their money in their own ways to maintain the status quo of their product. When you rise up in that water of baptism, you are born a ‘second-time, alive in Christ, then it is where you can truly ‘live by faith.’

 





Death, Faith and The Kingdom

7 10 2011

“It is when our struggles stops that we lost the battle.”

“It is when we lost trust to ourselves that God can start trusting us.”

Here are the quotes that I got this morning while a pastor friend of mine shares his journey from a multi-million peso, 4 big companies, built the biggest power plant in china, lighted the whole Vietnam after war, building a couple of power plants in Hong Kong,consultant and engineer by profession, imagine a 70,000 peso [$1,500] he spent a day, a father of two, their weekly groceries alone cost 30,000 peso [$800], and guess how old is he that time? 32. He is 53 now and in the service of the community around his church.

‘Dying’ is certainly costly, death to the identity that the world gives you. Death to the destiny that your profession dictate to. For all this man has in the world started on his 20’s, at age 32 as he was sitting on his office staring that heaps of paper works – God speaks to him. He was just a plain member of a church in Manila then.

“Are you happy with all these things that I am allowing you to handle?” God said.

“Lord, you have given me so much but deep inside my heart you know that you know that I am not happy at all.” He replied, “what do you want me to do.”

“Leave…everything.” God said in his mind.

He obeyed the voice, close down his 4 companies, paid all 4 presidents, staffs, lock up the office, and leave the next decision what to do about his office facilities to the building owner. “I could have sell it of up to 700,000” he said. [$18,000]. Paid all bank debts, even leaving his own house, and live in the slum area in Manila, serving the people in 5 communities for 5 years – trusting God ‘alone,’ not a lot for his family and two kids to provide every need.

“God is cleansing us” he said. Their daily food in every meals has to come from God – “we depend on God to knock on our door and hand us some food like sardines, corn, etc through His people in the community” he said. God did.

What interest me as I and another two woman heard his story was that how one of the woman exclaimed in awe, “You have such great faith!”  in which I was totally not in tune with what she gets. I was focusing on his ‘dying’ side of his story rather than his ‘faith.’ Yes, he has indeed have great faith in which most Christians around can just have it but live totally ‘living on their own turfs.’

Yes, one’s faith in God pleases God, [without faith it is impossible to please God] but if we look at Hebrews 11, you will see these ‘hero’s of faith’ died without receiving anything to what they had faith for. Moses did not get into the promise land, the prophets were persecuted and killed, Jesus Himself in spite of being a son suffered, even what He want to happen in the Garden of Gethsemane – let this cup pass from me – He didn’t get it! So, what kind of ‘faith’ are we talking about in most Christian circles today?

Most Christians want something to happen but refuses to change. Church leaders want revival to happen in their neighborhoods but refuses to align themselves with the King. And so trying to make that revival happen in their own ways in their own terms.

I believe ‘death to self’ is a prerequisite to ‘ true faith.’ Change is costly. Change requires leaving something old behind and press to something new. The Bible says that we have to ‘put off the old man’ and ‘put on the new man.’  As Wolfgang says, “Cleaving requires leaving.”

To get into a church membership might need just someone who believes in God, makes God one’s savior. But to enter into His Kingdom, His domain takes death to one’s self. Death to one’s ambition, death to his own secured identity, as The King in His Kingdom puts it plainly – “a disciple must deny himself and take up his cross daily.” Paul, an apostle died ‘daily.’  It is interesting when Jesus and the apostles when talking about ‘death to self’ it didn’t say, “It can be repaired!” The old man has to die to give way to the new man to live. The cost of ‘being’ a disciple is not about ‘doing’ what a disciple does. What can a dead man do? Christianity today thought about serving God more by doing more as if God needed anything. It remains a fact that our Maker made us human ‘beings’ not human ‘doings.’ When we are dead to ourselves, not only God can use us. But only then God will give us our divine, [life destined by God] to us.

Gabriel, this friend’s name is, says, “Only then I realized that I cannot trust myself anymore.” We seek God’s work to fulfill His work instead seeking His ways and watch Him work. His intent for man to enter into His Kingdom is to die once so that He will be born twice [John 3]. A man who is alive to his own ways, uses his logic and intellect – no wonder God uses the fool to shame the wise – to do God’s work, such a mindset cannot be discipled – it must be killed!

Faith is not useful for those who are alive. What is faith for, is it not to raise the dead? Look at the prophet Ezekiel, chapter 37, he raised the whole army of bones and enlist them for battle. Simply a believer of Jesus does not make you a disciple. Being a disciple requires death. A believer ask for ‘discounts’ – get the lowest fee to get God’s blessings – but being a disciple is no choice. Either you lose your life to get it, or live life selfishly and lose that life ultimately.

“You have a choice.” A friend’s advice in the Wolverine movie, as he is planning to take revenge. His reply is a stunning statement: “Mine is taken.”

What is the option of a dead person? Dependent to the One who has the power to give life. Except the Author of life, King Jesus must raise him first, put on God’s faith in him and cast him off to go make more disciples for His Kingdom, he remains dead meat, stinky. That’s why Paul says, “I no longer live but Christ’s lives in me.” One who live lives for his own, simply exist. But one who is dead cannot live on his own, does not live on his own, lives for nothing – he was raised from the dead, has given new life not for his own but for the one who gives it.

A disciple who knows that he’s not living for himself but for His King, when encountered by persecutions, trials and struggles does not care anymore [- as my friend Gary Goodell says, “if it still hurts then you’re not dead yet” -]  it doesn’t matter. Why? It is not about me, I, myself, nor you, you know, it’s about The Kingdom!





Great Books!

4 10 2011

There have been many “fads” in the Christian world over the years. The latest “fads” are perhaps those of “house church movement” and “community” and “everyone gets to talk” cells, simple, house and organic church fads.

Christians have been on the search for some “new” and fulfilling Church Life.

But, the Reality is, that EACH of those “fads” were thought to be the ultimate big deal for a few years—until it was discovered that STILL 50% of the marriages were destroyed, and 75-80% of the teens were still choosing the devil over Jesus, 50% of their men have a serious admitted addiction to deep sin, and “70% of all leaders don’t have a single person they can name as a close friend.” (Barna, Gallop, Graham, Jakes, Wilkerson, Hayford)

There is Truth in the Scriptures that will NEVER be popular, and yet will change lives by the millions for those who turn to Jesus in obedience to this Truth. There is freedom found in doing things Jesus’ way.

Some of the Answers to the tragic mess of cultural christendom lie within the pages of these books. No gimmicks, but a CROSS. Laying down our lives and sitting at Jesus’ feet…Together. Read on.

http://books.jesuslifetogether.com/