Wednesday, March 31, 2010

God is gender-neutral, He is spirit

Are women sons or daughters of God?
Recently, a prophetess came into our midst, left a saying to the effect that women are sons of God, not daughters. This got some people thinking, particularly, I believe it attracted the attention of a sister. This sister is quite curious about what I can come up with, “Are women sons or daughters of God?” I meditated a little on this question and did a little research as well. I believe what I believe is reliable and my little research did not change that. But before we go into details, maybe we should ask ourselves, how important this question is, or similar questions of whether or not, God is a male or female; whether the Holy Spirit is a female.

What is your motive?
Actually, we need to search our hearts of the motives behind the question or questions. I suspect one prime motive has its root from competitive spirit, and that will not be right. If it is on chauvinism that we are seeking answer to the questions, then our seeking will not be pleasing.

How important are these gender questions to you?
Back to the question of how important is such a question, each individual has to ask him or herself whether your knowing the answer will affect your salvation in anyway; will affect how you look at God (or the Holy Spirit). For example, I believe there are some pre-believers or backslidden believers who are holding onto the views that God is male-chauvinistic or there has been a male-chauvinism conspiracy in propagation of the faith since the past. Although it is not the same thing, we know for example, many people are not embracing the faith, or have backslidden from the faith when they view that there are many hypocrites in the body of Christ.

Nature of God in relation to gender issue
Rather than just answering the question directly, I decided to write on the more fundamental issue of the nature of God in relation to the question. I will answer the question as an implication or derivative from that nature of God.

God is spirit, so God is gender-neutral
First thing first, that we talk about gender, we are regarding God as a person. Is this visualization correct? I believe it is correct. God is a person not a force; God exhibits all the characteristics of personhood. God has a mind, a will, and emotions. God communicates and He has relationships, and God’s personal actions were evidenced throughout Scripture, and in our daily lives.

God is spirit. John 4:24 states, “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” Since God is a spiritual being, He does not possess physical human characteristics but He can take on physical form. Also, sometimes figurative language is used in Scripture to assign human characteristics to God in order to make it possible for man to understand God. The assignment of human characteristics to describe God is called “anthropomorphism”, and it is meant to help us to understand who God is.

God is spirit, and I believe God, being a spirit, is gender-neutral, i.e. neither male nor female. One may assess gender based on other criteria, but I am basically referring to the physical characteristics. Because God is spirit, and not physical at all, there cannot be a gender to God. I am not saying that God cannot take on a physical form; He can but He is spirit. When we talk about gender, we often time would touch on the subject of reproduction or pro-creation. If my Science learning of yesteryears did not fail me, very minute organism such as Amoeba does reproduce itself without the necessity of both a male and female counterparts. It reproduces itself asexually by fissions (splitting into 2 or even more, under certain conditions). Scripture told us nothing about spiritual reproduction or that in Heaven there are any kind of reproduction. Not that they were spiritual reproduction, there are 2 accounts of “births” in the Scriptures which we should perhaps look at, in a while. Many of the other “births” in Scripture are really creations of God, rather than in any sense, reproduction or pro-creation. For example, God created and perhaps still creates angels. We do not think of God reproducing angels. Also, we do not read of angels reproducing themselves, in Scripture. I believe it is so for the angels, perhaps, because they are created spirits as well. Demons and devils, too, I believe, do not reproduce or pro-create like human or even animal does, for the same reasons as the angels. In fact, for those who share with me the same belief, demons and devils were once angels of God; it was just that they have rebelled against God along with Lucifer, the once Archangel of God. I am glad that spirits do not reproduce, or we will have troubles without ends; it is bad enough they do not die; it will be horrendous if they increase in number by the days.

The begetting of the Son of God
Lets us now look at the 2 “births” I referred to above before we talked about other related issues. First, we look at the birth of the Son of God. I am referring to Jesus Christ, the Son of God, but no, I am not referring to the birth of Jesus by the woman, Mary, in the manger in Bethlehem. Scripture is clear that the Son of God did not come in existence when He was born by Mary. The gospel of Jesus Christ is not Mary giving birth to Jesus Christ, and then Jesus Christ becoming the Son of God after crucifixion and resurrection to Heaven. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the begotten Son of God, having witnessed The Fall of Man, agreeing to the making of the sacrifice of leaving Heaven to come down to earth to be born a man, lived as a man, died like a man, even death by crucifixion, so that man could be reconciled back to God, and that man could find his way back to God in the freedom as sons of God. Scripture recorded for us that the Word who is Jesus Christ was at The Creation; everything was created in and through and for Him. Just as a side, let us also be very clear that man is not the result of reproduction or pro-creation by God. Man is a creation by God.

So, if I was not referring to the birth of Jesus Christ by mortal woman Mary, then what birth was I referring to? We human, with our limited understanding basically want to hear that a son was born, but the Son of God was said in the Scripture to have been begotten by the Father, right from the beginning. Of course, this brief revelation in the Bible begs 2 questions, one of which is how was the Son begotten, and two, when was that. When I look up the dictionary on the word, “beget”, it has principally 2 meanings, one being to father; and two, to cause to exist, in other words having the connotation of creating. The former meaning (of fathering) is with emphasis on the male parent. I believe it would not be wrong to say that in olden days’ usage, one can only say a male begets a child; you probably cannot say a female begets a child. But words are words, whether in Hebrew or Greek, Scripture said no word can fully describe God. Perhaps, “beget” is but the best word to describe the appearance of Jesus on the scene. Even if we may think that the word “beget” may suggest connotation of presence of a counterpart to the begetting, the word “create” also would, perhaps, not be appropriate to be used on Jesus. If it was possible for Amoeba to beget without a counterpart, why can’t it be possible for God to beget His Son Jesus Christ without a counterpart. Please, I am not suggesting that Jesus came into existence through the splitting of God into 2. I just do not know how Jesus came about, and I just accept that my understanding is limited. When did Jesus come about? Scripture said that God is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. So when is the beginning? Is it important to us when exactly that beginning was? Not to me. Likewise, it was not important to me when Jesus was begotten, it matters only that He was there even before The Creation.

The birth in the Last Book
The other birth that we are going to look at very briefly, is the birth found in the last book of the Bible, in the Book of Revelation. The whole chapter 12 of Revelation was devoted to the vision that the writer of Revelation (John) had, concerning a woman and a dragon. The woman in the vision was pregnant and she gave birth to a child. I am just going to put a link here to Revelation 12, but I will not go into the details, because it was a description of a complicated vision, which often time, can be difficult to interpret, and there are a few interpretations (It will take a whole long separate article to talk about it). It suffices to mention that one interpretation links this vision to the birth of Jesus, and if indeed it is correct, it is only referring to the birth of Jesus on earth (perhaps, with corresponding spiritual realm happenings), it is not referring to the original begetting of Jesus. Other interpretations major on symbolisms, but they too do not imply the original begetting of Jesus. I say we just accept it that Jesus is the begotten Son of God, full-stop.

Gender-neutrality applies to all 3 members of the Trinity
Right at the onset I said God is gender-neutral. But God can either be the Father God, the Holy Spirit or the Son, Jesus Christ. I was referring to the Father God. Then what about the Holy Spirit? I believe it is the same, God or Father God is gender-neutral; the Holy Spirit is too. Even Jesus Christ is gender-neutral. But, you may say, Jesus Christ was a man. Yes, Jesus Christ was a man when He walked on the earth. In His divine state, He is spirit, and gender-neutral. This is my belief, all three members of the Trinity being spirit in their divine nature, are gender-neutral. The possibility that Jesus may still take on a physical form that somewhat resembles a man more than a woman in appearance does not negate the underlying reality that in His divine nature He is spirit, gender-neutral. But there is, of course, nothing wrong for us to picture Him as a “He”. Since God called Him, Son in the manner that we understand the word, we should just continue to address Jesus as “He”. Likewise, since Jesus referred to God as the Father; we should just continue to address Jesus’ Father as Father God or God the Father, and not Mother God.

We pattern after God, not the other way round
We return for a moment on the ‘begetting’ theme. Now, just because begetting may suggest a counterpart, it does not mean that the Holy Spirit is a female. It also does not mean that since there is the Father, and the Son, there must be the Mother, or that the Holy Spirit is the Mother or the Holy Spirit must be a female. We are created in the image of God, we are a creation given a certain manner of multiplication in numbers or pro-creation, but it does not mean that when we have father and mother as a child, it necessarily means that the Trinity is Father, Son and Mother. We have to be very careful in using Romans 1:20 to back our argument. I reproduce Romans 1:20 here –

For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse (Romans 1:20).

Please pardon me for being crude; that God created man to shit the way we shit does not mean that God likewise shit the way we shit or even shit at all. We are His creation, created in His image, in some respect, we pattern after God, but God does not pattern after us. I am not saying there is no relevance of Romans 1:20 even in a matter of shitting. This is how I will look at it: Wow! Look how wonderfully the whole digestive system of man is. We consume food by the mouth; the food passes through our body, yet is still outside of our body. Various secretions come out of our body to digest the food; and the nutrients then get absorbed into our body, leaving the waste, which passes along, without its decay affecting the lining of our body, and eventually leave our body in controlled fashion. How can such a system just happened, someone must have “engineered” it. How great are His wisdom and knowledge! What great power He has! And that someone is the Divine God. This is how men are without excuse; not because we shit, God also must shit!

Grammatical considerations
Now, there are many articles that looked at this matter from grammatical considerations. Scholars looked at the Hebrew, and the Greek, depending on whether one was looking at the Old Testament or the New Testament, and tried to say that certain words implied masculinity and certain others, femininity. Hebrew and Greek are not the only languages; there are the Aramaic, Syraic, Latin, etc. When you look at words used for the Holy Spirit or spirit, for example, you get different results with different languages and different words. Spirit in Latin (“spiritus”), is masculine; in Hebrew ("רוח") or ruach, is feminine; in Aramaic and Syraic, is feminine; and in Greek ("πνεῦμα") or pneuma, is neuter (neutral). The word Comforter which was also used on the Holy Spirit is masculine in Greek (“Parakletos“) whilst we have just said the Greek word, pneuma for spirit, is neutral. What am I saying? I am saying when grammatical gender is confused with physical gender, the Holy Spirit is then thought of as male, female or neither.

My own belief is that physical gender is not relevant when we are talking about God, whether for God, the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit. Secondly, there both masculine and feminine attributes in God, just like God has the attributes of holiness, love, and compassion, etc. The interplay of the various attributes is definite but we obviously lack the full understanding of the wisdom of God to know how much of what goes with what. For example, the holiness of God may call into play the masculinity attributes when punishment appeared necessary, but at the same time, love and mercy come into play. When different attributes are at work, depending on what are at work, certain words in languages are invoked to describe what is going on. We should not be too hang-up with the pronoun used. God (whether the Father God, the Son, or the Holy Spirit) has neither too much masculinity nor femininity, just the right balance. Jesus in Luke 13:34, for example, spoke about Jerusalem, how He longed to gather up the people, like a mother hen (femininity portrayed) would do, her chicks.

Luke 13:34 - O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!

Also, Jesus was a man when He walked on earth, but do you know that Jesus has also been seen as the incarnation of Divine Wisdom (sophia, grammatically feminine, in Greek).

I have said that we should continue to use the masculine pronoun for God the Father, and the Son, Jesus. What about the Holy Spirit? Martin Luther was reported to have used feminine terms to speak of the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, the use of masculine pronoun for the Holy Spirit is still the norm, and for consistency in usage on God, I do not see any change is needed.

Battle of the sexes should not cloud the reality of God
I honestly feel that the “battle of the sexes’ based on physical gender motivation should not be allowed to cloud the reality of God. We all need to be careful in implying that God was not fair and sexist. It is best to just follow the commands and precepts given in the Word of God for righteous living for all; for the men or for the women, if they are distinctly marked as gender-specific, rather than to come up with, based on our own understanding, models of our own. For example a model saying the Holy Spirit is the heavenly pattern of the women (there is such a model being taught) would leave men wondering what to do with the Holy Spirit or His/Her(?) teachings, and would require re-interpretation of the understandings of what are the roles of the Holy Spirit as expounded by Jesus before He went to the Cross. The Holy Spirit is for all believers, men and women, alike.

Now, are women sons or daughters of God?
The sister who had wanted to know whether women are sons or daughters of God, please do not be upset with me for not having answered your curiosity yet. Here is the answer:

First, we have understood that God is spirit, and God is gender-neutral. Next, we need to understand the nature of man. Man is body, soul and spirit, tripartite. For those we want to have a deeper understanding on the nature of man, you can read my separate article, “Man is body, soul and spirit”. In line with the understanding of nature of man, I believe that when a person dies, his body decays, and what is left is the spirited soul who will live on.

Some people like to say that the spirit lives on, making no reference to the soul. I believe (read the article to get my line of reasoning) it is the spirit of man, created by the breath of God at The Creation that enables the soul of man to live on. Of those who believe that it is the spirit who lives on, some believe that the spirit will be devoid of everything, or that he or she will be like a blank sheet all over again. I beg to differ; I believe our souls live on (as one with the spirit, or as the spirited soul), meaning we will know who are, and will know and recognize people in Heaven.

I have an aged mother, and one day, my sibling sisters asked the old lady if she had any concerns. My mother asked her daughters if she would recognize her deceased husband (my father) in Heaven. My sisters assured my mother that our father, her husband will be Heaven (He was saved before he died of cancer), but also told her that she will not recognize him. When this was related to me, I told my mother (and my sisters), that was not correct. My mother will recognize her husband; it is just that they are no longer in marital covenant. When I get to Heaven, I will recognize my earthly father, and he will know I was his son on earth. I believe this is possible because the soul is not destroyed.

The Book of Revelation only talked about us taking on a new incorruptible body, not that we become new completely, a blank sheet all over again. What kind of body is that, I mean the incorruptible body? Does it look like me at the prime of my life? We do not know; the Bible did not say. We just know that we will get an incorruptible body, meaning possibly it will not die and decay like the one we are currently having. If you are woman, will you look like a woman? The Scripture is silent on that. How then can I say that my mother would recognize her husband in Heaven? Apart from the belief that the soul is not destroyed, indirectly some of the stories and parables in the Bible pointed to this.

There is a story in the Luke’s Gospel (Luke 16:19-31) about a rich man and a beggar, called Lazarus, who used to beg at the rich man’s mansion gate. Both the rich man and the beggar died, but the rich man ended up in Hades, and Lazarus, with the Patriarch Abraham. If you read the story, the rich man could recognize both Lazarus and Abraham.

In the same gospel book, we read of the Parable of the Shrewd Manager (Luke 16: 1-9). Verse 9, I believe, implies that the friends we make here on earth and who are saved, they will know us when we get to heaven; it will be as if they will be there to welcome us. How can that be possible if we do not “recognize” one and another. As to how we will still know, when our brains are gone when we die, I do not know. God is able; He has a solution for that, maybe a remote storage, who knows!

Now, coming back to the question of whether women are sons or daughters of God, of course, while alive on earth, women are best said to be daughters of God. The world would be confusing if we start calling a boy, a girl, and a girl, a boy; or a son, daughter, and a daughter, a son. So really, the prophetess was referring to either in the spirit realm or she was talking about our status when we get to Heaven. For the latter, I believe, like other spiritual beings in Heaven, God, or angels, man will be gender-neutral, whether or not there will be something (say, in the name, or a mark, etc) to denote our previous (earthly) gender, I really do not know. As such, a son and a daughter will be the same, as each is still gender-neutral. Whether or not God will continue to call a woman (her earthly gender) a daughter, I really do not know. Maybe He will continue to call daughters, daughters, and sons, sons; maybe He may call everybody sons (since He calls Jesus, Son); but my belief is that our spirited souls will be gender-neutral. This will mean that in Heaven, there will not be reproduction or pro-creation the way we understand the terms to be. Firstly, Scripture said that upon death, the marital covenant ceases to exist, i.e. your wife is no longer your wife in Heaven. I believe you will know she was your wife in your earthly life though. I believe there is no more marriages in Heaven for 2 reasons: One, if there are marriages in Heaven with pro-creation, it would not have been necessary, on a continual basis over the years, to have man lived on, and be saved through the acceptance of Jesus (Mankind on earth could have just stopped at The Flood, for example). Heaven can populate itself, and there will not be a need for us to be gathered to Heaven to populate it. Two, without pro-creation, even if there is subsequently any kind of covenant between different souls in Heaven, it will not really be marital covenant as such. Do not worry, those of you who remarried after your spouse died, when you reach Heaven, you won’t have the dilemma of choosing your wife, because none will be your wife!

I believe, sister E, I have answered your question; all of us will be spirited souls who are gender-neutral. What God calls us afterwards is altogether a different question; He may choose to continue to call us sons and daughters or He may call us all sons (since He calls Jesus, Son), or He may address us all by our names; it is all up to Him.

Anthony Chia - Something is with clue in Scripture, and something is without. For the latter, it is all guess work even if we indeed get it right.

Comments are welcome here. Alternatively, email them to me @: ... {click on it to reveal complete address}
Or just email me your email address so that I can put you on my blog (new entry) notification list. To go back to blog main page, click here.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

It is so good to hear that people have been healed

This will be a little of a composite article although I will try not to have too many things in it. Overall, it would be an article about my little “ministry” and a little of my sensing or wondering.

Every few months I will reflect on what has been happening in my little “ministry”. By the little ministry, for the benefit of readers who are new to this site, I mean the tiny bit or two that I believe the Lord is using me in, or even would like to believe the Lord is using me in. Principally, there is a bit which I am a little more certain that the Lord is using me in a tiny way; and that is in the broad area of healing. Of course, for many who had embraced the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and the power thereof, such things that I do, may not, in their eyes, amount to a ministry at all, especially when what I do, I do not do it in a full-time manner. But I want to call it a ministry, if not for any other reasons, it is better for me to view the things I do, as important to the Lord because the sinful nature in me, naturally will not want me to do the things that I do. It is tiny, yet I must see it as capable of being made wider, deeper, and greater; not that I can but the Lord is able, and He can enlarge if He so desires. Is there any other bit? I like to dream with the Lord, and based on what I see as having happened or is happening to me, I like to picture myself as a “healer” with a slightly unique slant, a singing healer. We all have many dreams. How about a dream with the Lord? I find that dreaming with the Lord is one thing, not difficult at all, but to make an effort for that dream, is altogether a different thing, not a easy thing, because the sinful nature in us doesn’t like that. The tug of war of us trying to live according to the Spirit, and not, to the sinful nature is really tough, as like the Apostle Paul said it, in his epistles. But that is the reality of this life; there is no escaping it, we have to face it, and learn to win in that tug of war of choices of life, bearing in mind that Scriptures said that the Lord’s grace is sufficient for us, and that the Lord is faithful. I am still learning, and one recent thing that I am trying to internalize completely is that faith attracts grace.

What is faith? What is a faith entity or a unit of faith?
Because of my last statement above, I will explain a little of the understanding I learned. I will just be brief without quoting Bible references; perhaps when I feel I should write a separate article, I will go at length at this. Faith is not just a belief. Belief is only half the story, so to speak. The other half is action consistent with that belief. A unit of faith is belief coupled with an action consistent with that belief. If you just believe, that is not a complete faith unit or entity. Of course, action, by itself, is not faith at all. When a pre-believer believes that Jesus died for him but does not confess that fact with his mouth, that belief is just a belief, not a faith. It is only when that belief is followed by an action, like the confession with one’s mouth (or even putting up of hands), is the belief, a complete unit of faith, that can be counted as righteousness by God. Closely related is therefore, a definition of righteousness, but we will not go there, today. Some faith units are small, some are bigger, units can be joined together to form bigger units, bigger faith.

Therefore, in connection with the little ministry that I am referring to with regard to myself, i.e. in healing, if I believe but I do not pray for the sick person, I cannot claim the promise of God. I cannot say I have exercised faith, give me my grace. I have to believe (a belief) and pray (go into action consistent with that belief), and expect the grace of God to be poured out for healing. Of course, grace of God, by its very nature, depends on God, because when it is grace, anything asked for is unmerited. But I believe faith in God attracts God’s grace. When there is no unit of faith in God, there is no attraction of God’s grace. I am not saying that God cannot grant grace when no one put up any faith. Sugar attracts ants, but it does mean that ants cannot come by when there is no sugar. If we want to see God heals through you, move into action, do not just believe and do nothing.

Is expectation important?
I said we have to believe and pray, and EXPECT the grace of God to be poured out. Expectation in prayers for the sick tells of two things: One, strength of your belief. You do not expect because you do not believe or believed enough to expect. Two, your compassion for others; you do not expect because your heart did not go out for the sick person. Our God is a God of compassion, and when we move with his compassion, we are moving according to his heart-beat, and if it is His heart-beat, He is likely to move. So expectation is very important. If you pray without expectation, ask yourself, what is your motive? Again, do not get me wrong; I am not saying that healing cannot come without your expectation. Nothing can stop God from wanting to do something, except Himself. But if you want to see more healing, pray with expectation. But take note also that we cannot dictate how God should minister. We only expect God to act, how He acts is up to Him.

With these in mind, I will now share my joy of knowing that some people got healed when I prayed for them.

The last time I shared a testimony was in Jan 2010 – “Intercede for others, and you’ll be blessed too”. So, after 2 months or so, some 2 weeks ago, I wondered if God would do more in and through me. I long for God to break new ground, and I share my senior pastor’s desire of wanting to see more healings, and more significant healings, for his case, in the church, for myself, in the church, or elsewhere, wherever I minister. All of us, of course, know that healing is God’s work not ours, but remember what I just said about expectation.

At church
Some 2 weeks ago, in the church’s Sunday 8.30 am service, I again released words of knowledge and prayed for people in ministry time after praise and worship. I was encouraged that consecutively, one after another, 2 people got slain. The moment I finished giving my words of knowledge, a woman appeared in front of me. She was slain but there was not a catcher behind her; I was holding her hands, just like I normally would do when praying for people, at least at the beginning, before I usually would then lay my right hand on people’s forehead. When she felt like she was about to fall backwards, she grabbed my hands tightly, and in an effort to break her fall I also tried to hold onto her hands. This lady had rings on both her hands, the kind that hold diamonds, and those rings really gave me a nasty pain in my fingers (If any, from the church leadership is reading this, I got feedback, afterwards, from the woman and the husband, that they feared not having catchers around; maybe the church should regularly encourage members of congregation to step forward to be catchers).

Next was a man who 18 years ago, was miraculously healed by God of some weird muscle inflammation from certain death. This man is known to many in church. He walked up to me at the middle of the sanctuary front. Because the slain woman was still on the floor, there was no space to pray for this man, in case he also fell. I walked him to the extreme left side of the sanctuary and prayed for him there. Despite having walked some 30 feet to the left side of the sanctuary, when I prayed for him, I soon realized that he too was going to fall. I tried to break his fall, and he was slain to the floor. This gentleman had problem with his hip, and he told me that he had to be very careful when he put on his trousers because every time if the angle was not just right, he would experience extreme sharp pain on his hip. Afterwards, outside the church I passed by this brother, and he said he had experienced a tremendous release, which I took it to mean he had experienced the healing touch of the Lord.

TV program!
The above type of visible experiences excites me, and each time I would look forward to more. During the week, as I was watching a TV drama serial, 2 characters in the program talked about their experiencing a freshness going to work, just like the first days they started work. This set me meditating on the zeal that we must have concerning our work for the Lord – the first love. It got me thinking how much attention I gave to my “little ministry” when it first begun some 2 years ago. I began to remind myself how absorbed I was in the earlier days, although it is not to say I no longer did the things I used to do. The zeal and eager expectation sometimes eluded me. I reminded myself that many people, when they have not experienced God’s use of them in the supernatural, they long eagerly for such an occasion, but when they have tasted how it is like, they, soon, do not want to put themselves through “all the troubles” to be used by the Lord. I always keep in mind what a veteran itinerant preacher said about being used by God in the supernatural. These are his wise words: Anyone can be used by the Lord, but to be used consistently by the Lord one needs to get right with God, and stay right with God, even to grow. It is not difficult to understand, supernatural works are not works of men, and therefore clearly God is involved, consistent use of a person may imply a stamp of approval which God does not anyhow put on a person. God does look after His Name. So, you see, there are the “all the troubles” which, often times, people are not prepared to face.

FGBMF meetings
When I learnt from the Friday of 5th March 2010, that Michelle Hamilton (an Australian) would be sharing her testimony at the Jurong East FGBMFI(S) chapter (or now we called it gate) on the following Friday (12th March) , I was thinking to myself that I might want to be absent from the meeting. The reason was simple she had already shared the testimony in my church before, and I did not feel I want to hear her testimony again or would benefit from it. Do not get me wrong, Michelle Hamilton had a fantastic swept out to sea experience that completely changed her life. The experience happened some 20 years ago in Philippines, and today she was still sharing that testimony because it was that life-changing. Some of you, the FGBMFI(S) people know that I am part of the core Committee of the Jurong East Gate. I was supposed to provide the presence and support to the meetings, role of which I duly embraced for more than 1 year now (I am now on the 2nd term). I do not do very much at these meetings, although I have believed that my presences often helped. Still at this occasion, I just felt firstly I did not think that I would benefit from the coming to the meeting where Michelle Hamilton would be sharing, secondly, I was not really contributing much to make a difference; at least, that was what I thought sometimes. I had not been able to move much in the words of knowledge for healing in these lunch meetings as they are short, had its own liturgy, often attended by the same few persons. Often times, there was no room to pray for people, either no time left or I had better defer it to the invited speaker.

But because of the double slain in church, and the subsequent meditation of the first love, as a result of a prompting by the Spirit from the TV drama serial, I finally gave in to attend the Friday (12th March) FGBMFI(S) Jurong East Gate meeting where Michelle Hamilton was scheduled to give her testimony. I reminded myself that I was to serve, to give, and not to receive. On my way there to the lunch meeting, while driving, I told the Lord (I often did that) that alright I was to serve and to give, and asked the Lord to make my time at the meeting to count.

By the way, I just checked my blog entry on “A special Resurrection Sunday indeed (2009)”, and if my memory did not fail me, from my re-reading of that article, Michelle Hamilton spoke on that particular Sunday in my church (now confirmed from church online sermons site). I heard that testimony of hers 3 times that weekend, no wonder I did not feel like wanting to listen to it again. But this recollection, brought on a powerful connection that made me even more certain that I should pen this article down. When I re-read the 2009 article, I realized that what I did in that 10.30 am service in my church in April 2009 was exactly the same things I did on the Friday, 12th March 2010, both occasions of which Michelle Hamilton spoke.

At last Friday’s meeting, just like when I was in the April 2009 church service meeting, while I was seated, I received multiple sensations on my body, which by now I have learnt from “constant use”, to know these sensations were “words” of knowledge for healing. Those of you who were present at the meeting can compare what I said at the end of the meeting with the only recording that I had of my words of knowledge experiences in my church on this blog site, found at the end of the 2009 article. I gave out the words of knowledge in like manner. I am amazed at this similarity of the 2 occasions, many things were so similar, the words of knowledge were given at the end of meeting (in my church setting, that was uncommon, if you read, words were given outside the normal time slot), followed by many people responding to the words, I prayed for many people in this small meeting (maybe 8-10, and there was a proxy case even!), and I can recall that even when I was praying for people in this meeting, several persons were also being prayed for by Michelle Hamilton, like in 2009.

Back in the 2009 Resurrection Sunday session, I prayed like I was a great servant of God. For this FGBMFI(S) Friday session, although, I did not see anyone slain (in the 2009 session, also, no one was slain despite many were being prayed for), I remember I prayed with faith, just believing. For one of the women I prayed for in this FGBMFI session, I sensed heat on my hands when I prayed. I prayed with faith and expectation in that Friday afternoon.

All with early days’ vigor and zeal
So any healing took place from this Friday afternoon session, you are eager to know? After the meeting I realized it had been an extraordinary session, especially when it was such a small meeting of some 20+ people. While talking to the Lord before the weekend church services (both Saturday and Sunday services), I brought the occasion before the Lord, noted it was somewhat exceptional, but no people got slain. I entered the weekend church services with expectation. For those church services, I released words of knowledge, prayed for people, with great faith. I had hoped to see some tangible signs of God performing miracles in the church sessions. I was hoping I could at least see someone slain but I did not. Nevertheless, I was satisfied at the end of that weekend that I did my best for all the sessions, from Friday through to Sunday; I had gone into service for the Lord with the early days’ vigor and zeal.

Hello, so was there healing for the Friday FGBMF(S) lunch meeting at Jurong East Gate? I know some have feedback that my articles are too long-winded but please understand that these articles also served as a form of journaling for me of my journey with the Lord, and so I penned down things that I want to capture for my own record as well. The answer is affirmative. The news of the healing came on the Monday following, 15th March 2010, in the FGBMF(S) AGM. Before I go into the news, for the purposes of my own journaling, and also to encourage the brothers and sisters of FGBMF(S), please bear with me for a little recording of what I felt at the AGM.

For the benefit of those not knowing what FGBMFI(S) stands for, it is referring to the Full Gospel Businessmen Fellowship International, Singapore. I want to say that I could sense the Holy Spirit’s presence at that evening’s AGM. I usually sense the presence of the Holy Spirit physically. Not wanting to lengthen this article, I would only say that in this current season of my life I could sense the presence of the Holy Spirit by sensations in my ears, and on my forehead. The sensation was very strong when the central leadership was praying on the stage in the banquet hall. Also, when the people were asked to pray in the spirit (in tongues), I realized that when I did that, I prayed with a new tongue. Now, I have the gift of tongue for more than 20 years. I know I do pray in multiple tongues, and I am sensitive to the Lord’s doing of new things, like the giving of a new tongue (language) to me, in addition to those I already have. So, what I am saying is that I believed the Holy Spirit had given me a new tongue that evening. Because of the strong presence of the Holy Spirit, to which I usually would ask the Lord what he would want me to do; I prayed for the wife of the member who sat next to me. The member and the wife are new Christians, a year old. Both are old, over 70 years old. The lady was wheel-chair bound as a result of multiple strokes in the past, the last one happened some 8 years ago. May the Lord continue to grant her the peace and joy of the Spirit all the days of her life, just like I prayed for her that evening. Of course, I prayed for the Lord’s strengthening for her physical body to keep up with the long life the Lord has been granting to her.

At last, the 2 healing news from the Friday Jurong East Gate session. At that meeting, the words released included a condition of problem in the mouth, bad tooth, gums, or the jaw; pain in the knees; back pain; and breast disorder. The first thing that an Indian brother who had attended the Jurong East Gate session said to me, at the AGM dinner, was that he was healed. When I confirmed the details with him, he was indeed being healed of the first condition. This brother was having very bad glum and ulcers problem for over a week. He said it was so bad that he could hardly eat. I remember after that afternoon meeting, at the eating place (we always have lunch after each Gate session), this same brother thanked me for praying for him. This brother shared with me, on this Monday AGM evening that, that afternoon, after the prayer, his condition had already shown sign of improvement. He said by Sunday/Monday, he was healed. Many of us have experienced such nasty mouth ulcers or sores. Especially for those of us who are older, such ailments can really take a long, long time to go away if we leave it to our natural body immune system to heal the ailments. I thank God for He cared.

The next was a lady at the same table I sat. The Jurong East Gate members were spread over 3 tables in the AGM “banquet” meeting. She is the wife of another member of the gate. Both of them attended the gate meetings regularly. The husband goes out on mission trips from time to time, and the wife was relating to me on the Friday that I prayed for her, that each time the husband was to go out for mission trip, something would happen to her, she would get sick, pain in the eyes, mishap happened, etc. This time the husband is scheduled to leave for mission trip at the end of the month. She had a fall and injured her knee. Again, this couple is old; and old people when we fall, and injure ourselves, it can take quite long for physical injury to muscles, tendons and bones to heal; even bruises and blue-black marks take a long time to heal or go away. This sister said that by Sunday she was better already, and she had wanted to tell me and thank me on Sunday when she was at church (this couple attends the same church I attend), but somehow did not have the chance. To confirm her healing, she decided to wear high heels to the AGM. She even showed her shoes. Hallelujah.

Anthony Chia – Thank you Lord for the encouragement, and I must learn not to want to see people slain as a sign that you are working. But Lord, like my senior pastor, I want to see more significant healings, not that what you have done for the people were not important, you know that I know that, but more, Lord, more.

Comments are welcome here. Alternatively, email them to me @:
Or just email me your email address so that I can put you on my blog (new entry) notification list. To go back to blog main page, click here.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Fall of Man (Part I)

I have decided to do a series on this topic. The parts will be as follows:

Part I – The Need for understanding of the topic, background, and the fall
Part II – The Consequences of the Fall
Part III – Controversial Issues on the topic

Part I

The Need for understanding of this topic
Christianity is about God, Satan, and man, about man’s sinful nature, and sins, about the Gospel, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, about salvation, and born again, about the Way of Holiness, about the Kingdom of God, Heaven and Hell. As a Christian, as we mature in the faith, we must get to know enough about these things or are sure in our beliefs concerning these things.

To understand why we need to be saved, we need to understand what is wrong with us, and to understand what is wrong with us, we need to go back to the beginning, and in the talk about the beginning we necessarily need to cover topics such as The Creation, Nature of Man, Fall of Man. Those who have missed my article on the tripartite nature of man may want to read the article at “Man is body, soul and spirit”. For this series, we will look at The Fall of Man.

Particularly, we need an understanding of this topic to gain a fuller understanding of our need for the works of Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

As Christians, we must know that sin first got committed with this Fall of Man. The sinful nature of man was acquired with this fall. This sinful nature gets passed down the lineage of man. It is from here, that all men are born sinful. This Fall of Man captured the first disobedience of man towards God and so, the first sin commitment by man in God’s eyes. The stain of sin on man can only be washed clean by the Blood of Jesus Christ, hence the need for the Salvation Plan of God for Mankind.

Background to The Fall
The background of the story is in Genesis 2:8-25. In essence, the background is this:

God, having made man, also planted a Garden – the Garden of Eden (v8). God placed man in the garden to work it and to take care of it (v 15). Verses 16 & 17 are particularly important and I reproduced them here:

16 And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." (Gen 2:16-17)

Notice that God gave the commandment to the man directly, and not to the woman. The creation of woman is recorded in verses 21 & 22. According to my Bible, woman was created as a helper to man (v 18 & 20). I would not ignore this fact if I were a woman. As a man, I want to point out to the men that God gave the commandment directly to you, not your helper.

The other relevant and interesting verse is verse 25 - The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.

The Fall
The Fall itself was recorded in Genesis 3. Before I go any further, I must say that because of the brief account and because the event is ancient, there are many schools of thought concerning various issues like the Garden of Eden (What and where is the Garden of Eden?), how come the Fall happened? Was there a purpose for the Fall? Was it predestined, etc? Some of these issues are not really important but there are some fundamental elements that are important as they would determine how we view God and what He was and is and will be doing. I will try not to dwell too much into those that are not fundamental and at the same time controversial, at least not here, in this part.

We read in Genesis 3:1 that the serpent was involved – the crafty serpent. But haven’t we all heard that the one who tempted Adam and Eve was Satan. Nowhere in Genesis 3 was there a mention of Satan. Oh, you are told that the serpent is Satan. How did people come to this conclusion? First, let’s look at the temptation:

4 "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. 5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (Gen 3:4-5).

Genesis is the first book of the Bible, Revelation is the last book. It is from Rev 20:2, that we conclude that the serpent is Satan. Rev 20:2 –

2He [the angel with the key to the Abyss and a great chain] seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.

Let us look at the two subsequent verses to verses 4 & 5 above:

6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves (Gen 3:6-7).

I feel some Christians have unfairly blamed the woman, Eve for seeing that the fruit was good for food and pleasing to the eye. Look, the trees were so, it was stated in Gen 2:9 –

9 And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (Gen 2:9)

There are also those who speculated on why Adam ate the fruit when given to him by Eve. One speculation was that he did not want to be separated from Eve because he knew that she would be thrown out of the garden, so he joined her. I think we have to be careful and not find excuses for the man. Men like to do this, don’t we – make everything sounded like we are being loving, considerate and therefore should be forgiven even if we were wrong?

In addition, we read that the man, Adam tried to push the blame -

The man [Adam] said, "The woman you [God] put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it." (Gen 3:12)

In the first place, the commandment was given to the man; we saw this in Gen 2:16-17 earlier on. God gave the person in charge, the man, Adam, the commandment. Adam should know better, yet he did not stop his helper, the woman from disobeying God, on top of that he joined her to disobey God.

Isn’t this familiar, today, men are still doing this. I cannot claim I have not been guilty before; men, we must be aware of this. Actually, in a larger context, we (men and women alike) are also prone to doing this - commands were given to us (in some sort of leadership positions) but when things go wrong, we push the blame to those in subordinate positions to us. The man, Adam, was in leadership position over the woman, Eve; yet he tried to push the blame down.

We saw what the man said when confronted by God. What did the woman say when confronted?

Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?"
The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."
(Gen 3:13)

It sounded like “I can’t help it; I was deceived or misled what!?”

To me, these are plain about the Fall:

1. The woman did not trust God enough. She chose to trust the serpent more than God. God said, “You will surely die” (Gen 2:17) but the serpent said, “You will not surely die” (Gen 3:4). It is not correct interpretation to say that the woman’s lack of trust is not in God but in the man. I tell you why. The woman told the serpent the words which were supposedly God’s words told to her by the man (verse 2 & 3). She did not say anything different. The serpent did not say anything implying that the man had misquoted God or that the woman should doubt the man. Instead the serpent said, “You will not surely die, for God knows ……. (Gen 3:4-5).

2. The woman chose not to obey God. Trust and obedience are different things. To be obedient means that you do the things you are instructed to do, or you do not do the things you are instructed not to do. God said that Adam and Eve were not to eat of the fruit; obedience meant no eating of the fruit, full-stop.

3. The man is guilty just the same, as the woman. In fact, he failed God in another count – He had been a poor steward, God gave him a helper, he did not look after the helper well. He should have stopped the woman from disobeying God. She was under his charge. Actually, the man was responsible and rightly so; and throughout the Bible, reference was rightly made to Adam and not to Eve, for that fall or sinful nature of mankind. Teaching that tries to absolve the blame from the man is suspect.

4. Man(kind) was with choice or free-will. Men chose to do what they did when tempted by Satan. They fell. I believe God did not plan it, and God did not predestine it.

5. I believe God was aware of the possibility that man could disobey and eat of the fruit but I also believe it was not the intention of God for that to happen. And when it happened God dealt with the situation, and planned accordingly. (If I go any further, it will go into full-blown controversial discussion, which is best left to the last part of this series).

Before I end this Part I, I just want to point you to a separate article on the modus operandi of Satan (The Modus Operandi of Satan). In this article, you will see how the same modus operandi was at work in relation to The Fall, The 3 Temptations of Jesus, and The Triple Sins of King David.

Anthony Chia – Right from the beginning man was with free-will, and in the exercise of that free-will, man fell.

Comments are welcome here. Alternatively, email them to me @: ... {click on it to reveal complete address}
Or just email me your email address so that I can put you on my blog (new entry) notification list. To go back to blog main page, click here.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A recap of all points learnt from story of Gideon

{For full listing of all articles in this series, click here}

It was quite amazing the way God had dealt with Gideon – the favor He gave to Gideon, and His tolerance of Gideon’s antics. As such, it is good we try to learn the good points of Gideon that pleased God. I list again, by chapters, the points we have noted, albeit, in slightly more shortened form:

Chapter 6

1. A sincere heart of wanting to understand the ways of God. I believe the Word exhorts us to seek and hold onto the knowledge of God, the ways of God, wisdom or discernment. God looks at the heart of men. Men may not know the meditations of our hearts but God knows {through the Holy Spirit}. I believe when Gideon asked the questions in Judges 6:13, there was no bad insinuation in his heart.

2. Humility is a likeable trait to God. The opposite of being proud is being humble, not neutral. I leave my quote for you to ponder, “We need to be humble, if we were to be used positively by the Lord.” (The Pharaoh of Egypt, who was proud, was used by the Lord, but negatively.). Gideon was really humble (Judges 6:14-17).

3. Learn about our faith heritage. By this I do not mean just knowing the Word of God, as in, ok, I need to know what I must do and what I must not do, full-stop. I believe it pleases God if we try to know the “full works”. It takes time; nonetheless we need to be actively learning the full works. It is important that this learning include the past and present dealings of God with man. If we truly believe God is the same yesterday, today and forever, how can the past dealings of God be not relevant? There is much to learn in those dealings. There are 2 mistakes that we can make. First, is to ignore the Old Testament dealings of God with man, thinking that they are no longer relevant to us. Second, is to ignore God’s dealings with man outside the Bible. We should not ignore the dealings of God with man post-completion of Bible writing. A lot of Christians missed God’s blessing because they ignored what happened post-Bible completion. What was/is happening around the world with regard to God’s dealings with man is relevant to us.

4. Give pleasing offerings. Don’t be stingy with God. Yes, obedience is better than sacrifice. But it does not mean there is no need to sacrifice. If you truly love God, you embrace both. There are other motivations for both obedience and sacrifice, but I believe the correct motivation that pleases God is the love for God. Obedience can be motivated by fear of punishment but that is not what God is after. Jesus said if you love me, obey my commandments; he who obeys my commandments loves Me (John 14:15 & 21). What does the “famous” John 3:16 says? Yes, God so loved the world that He gave {sacrificed} His one and own begotten Son …… Pleasing sacrifice is not based on some code of honor of some secret society, or fear of embarrassment or grows out of a desire to stroke one’s ego, or so that we can leave a name for all posterity. Pleasing sacrifice flows from love. Sacrifice to God, therefore, to be pleasing to God, is one that flows from love for God.

5. Obey God. When we look at the burnt offering asked of, by the Lord, and Gideon’s doing as instructed, we find both obedience and sacrifice, the manifestations of love (of Gideon for God), at work. That seven years old bull was a prized possession (sacrifice). At the same time, the performing of the offering could bring a lot of problems for Gideon, could even cost him his life (obedience).

6. Trust God and be courageous. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. Obviously what Gideon did concerning the desecration of Baal altar and Asherah pole was expected to come to light. Gideon trusted God to take care of things, and it was courageous of him to go ahead to do as instructed by the Lord. To be courageous is not necessarily to be without fear. To be courageous is to do the right thing despite fear.

7. Inquire of the Lord before going to war. God and Satan are at war. When we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we have chosen side; we are sided with God. We are at war (The Apostle Paul said in 2 Tim 2:3, endure with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus). For whatever role that we have been assigned for the season, we are to be battle-ready (there are many battles in a gigantic war that stretched over time). We are also not to be a “stray soldier”, going to a battle without checking with our Commander, the Lord.

It appeared that a sign was not an uncommon way to ask for confirmation from the Lord in the olden days. I believe God still give signs to people as confirmation.

Chapter 7

1. In service for Lord, one must be attentive to God. This was the attitude of Gideon. Even after a double confirmation (with unmistakable signs of the fleece) from the Lord to fight the powerful Midianites and her alliances, with the promise of the Lord going with him, Gideon was still attentive to God, to what God wanted him to do to accomplish his mission. Gideon was working with God; he catered to God. That is what we must also do, cater to God. Many church liturgies leave no room for this, sad to say!

2. Victory is meant to glorify God, and God alone. Whether we meant it or not, it is best for us not to use the word, glory on ourselves. Glory, presently, belongs solely to the Lord. All must be ascribed to the Lord; no one is allowed to take any of it for himself. God reduced Gideon’s army strength to 1% so that all glory might be ascribed to Him and Him alone.

3. Without faith you cannot glorify God. The Scriptures directly said without faith it is impossible to please God. I believe without faith you cannot glorify God, too. The Scriptures does, in fact, talk about doing things without element of faith at all as sin; and if it is sin it obviously cannot glorify God. Going to battle with 1% army strength really required faith, in absolute numbers it was 300 men against 135,000!

4. It is ok to be afraid but we must be courageous. God knew Gideon was afraid, who wouldn’t be, at the thought of fighting a battle with only 1% of the original strength. Yet we can say that Gideon was courageous. I believe the courage, in the Bible, was about doing what was right despite being afraid.

5. Be humble and be humble. In the last Chapter we have already discovered that Gideon was humble, and that was a likeable trait by God. We see here again Gibeon was humble before the Lord; had he not being humble and admit that he was afraid, and had he put up a bold front before God, he would have missed the sign given by God through the dream of one of enemy’s men about the loaf of barley bread crashing the enemy at her camp.

6. Know our faith heritage to know what to do. This again is a repeat of one of the points in the previous chapter. It is just that I paraphrased it differently. Gideon knew what to do, to get to the enemy’s camp, to blow the trumpets, to shout, and to smash the jars to let the fires of the torches to come forth, all because he probably knew the significances of the available resources from his understanding of the faith heritage.

7. Faith must be followed by actions consistent with the faith. Faith without action is dead; the Book of James tells us that. Gideon acted consistent with his faith in God. God said to take only 1% of the army strength and to go into the enemy’s camp of 135,000, he acted on it! Do we really believe God is good, God is in control, and He has our interest at heart, too? If we do, there should not be lack of actions consistent with that faith in our lives.

Chapter 8

1. Love peace, and be gracious as the Lord has been to you
Many of us have a mindset of being very hard up for things, wealth, status, and even power and authority. Worse still, some of us are having this mindset despite already having and are being blessed with much by the grace of God. The relentless pursuit of these things, without the blessing of God inadvertently leads to strive, and peace taking a back seat; and enmity will arise, or made worse. We saw that Gideon was not like that. Very clearly God had raised Gideon, from the weakest clan in the Manasseh tribe, and the least in his family; yet we saw how he dealt with the sensitive issue between the sub-tribes of the house of Joseph. Some people grew up from poor and deprived families, and when they achieve successes in their lives, they are very grateful and thankful, and compassionate towards the poor and needy, and the marginalized and afflicted; while some of them, despite coming from such backgrounds, are not at all gracious to those who are struggling. It is sad to observe the latter.

Gideon was not hard up at all; he just concentrated on doing the things that God wanted him to do. I believe he knew what mattered was how God looked at him. In the Book of Romans, the Apostle Paul talked about serving, and he put it in this way: Serve righteously, and serve in the peace and joy of the Holy Spirit, in that way, our service will be pleasing to God, and our service will also gain the approval of men. Such had been the attitude of Gideon, and we read that at the end of the war, when finally the entire enemy had been subdued, the people still wanted Gideon, and his descendants, to be their king, despite that the war was over, and his letting the Ephraimites to take some of the choicest credits.

2. Can one sit on the fence? Apparently not
A man is never sitting on the fence. By The Fall of Man (an article is coming up), the unregenerate man is on Satan’s side. The only choice for man is either he remains on the side of Satan or he crosses over the line or the fence, into God’s side. Jesus Himself said that those not with Him is against Him (Matt 12:30a, Luke 11:23a). What is even more startling to know is what He said, for the second part, that those who do not gather with Him, scatter.

If you are not on God’s side you are on Satan’s side; Harsh it might seem, but that is the reality, although I believe in most cases, if not in all cases, God does provide a chance for one to choose. When it is the time to choose, and one does not choose, one is actually not sitting on the fence; he has made a decision, and that decision is that he has opted to ratify his existing position of being on Satan’s side.

In this Book of Judges, there are 3 examples of men or cities not taking side with God. These examples did not show that the parties went against God, but only that they were not with the Lord (just like Jesus said it in the New Testament), and they would not gather with the Lord. In all 3 examples, punishments were meted out.

3. Don’t play, play, the words from the mouths of favored men of God can be powerful
The declarations or prophetic words of favored men of God can, very well be honored by God, and be made to come to pass, just like what had happened to Succoth and Peniel in Judges 8.

4. Any form of idol worship is abominable to God
Gideon made a golden ephod with the gold melted down from the gold earrings from the spoil of war. This ephod was placed in his hometown and was being worshipped by the Israelites; and this was recorded for us as a snare to Gideon and his family.

This is not an isolated case, and I believe if we are not careful, we, men, tend to do these things – instead of worshipping God, we end up worshipping or giving the due reverence to a thing (making it an idol) rather than the Giver, who is God Himself.

5. Always be on your guard (be watchful) so that you may finish well
Few men of God, recorded for us in the Bible, finished well. The Apostle Paul had repeatedly called believers to be watchful, to keep our eyes focused on the finishing line, and to press on, and to run the race in such a way as to finish the race, wining the prizes. His motto for us is to run to win the prize God has in mind for each one of us, in Heaven.

Gideon, it looked to me, could not be absolved from blame for the worship of the golden ephod he made and installed, unless the worship was started only after his passing on.

6. Again, without a judge, after the death of Gideon, the Israelites went back to pagan worship
History repeated itself for the Israelites in this area - a consistent failure over the Judges period. Look at ourselves honestly, is there an area in our lives, we consistently fail the Lord?

7. Be kind to the family of the servants of God
Despite Gideon’s installing of the golden ephod leading to people worshipping the ephod, God still have it recorded that the Israelites ought to have been kind to the family of Gideon after he passed on. The point to be made is that we should be kind to the family of the late servants of God.

Anthony Chia - Lord, there is much to learn from Gideon’s life; help me to learn them well so that I may please you, always.

Comments are welcome here. Alternatively, email them to me @:
Or just email me your email address so that I can put you on my blog (new entry) notification list. To go back to blog main page, click here.