Sermons Anthology Issue 2-pdf by ajizai

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                      Sermons Anthology
                                   Issue No.2




                                        By

                                    TK Chin
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           C•O •N •T•E •N•T •S



           • 04 • Foreword
           • 05 • Preface

           • 07 • Adam, Where Are You?

           • 12 • A Good Shepherd
           • 18 • Anchor of the Soul

           • 28 • Bearing Fruit and Salvation

           • 33 • Beware: Satan Among God’s Children
           • 37 • Caleb from young to old

           • 42 • Let Me See Your Countenance, Let Me Hear Your Voice

           • 47 • Marching Together To Heaven
           • 58 • Sanctification Through The Holy Spirit

           • 62 • Spiritual Fellowship

           • 67 • True Peace
           • 76 • The Palanquin of Solomon

           • 81 • The Essential Truths of Marriage

           • 85 • The Will of God
           • 90 • Your Love is Better than Wine
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                             Foreword

           I   THANK the   Lord Jesus for guiding me to write this second issue
               of sermons anthology. Thanks also go to those who offered
           fe e d b a ck, such as re qu e sting more detailed sermons. In
           response to such a request, there are fewer sermons as com-
           pared to the first issue, but each sermon is composed of a rela-
           tively more elaborated content, enabling the reader with
           enhanced effortlessness and efficacy.

           Gratitude goes to two members (AH and CC) who helped in
           proofreading the work and also to the graphics designer (PC).

           These sermons aim to provide assistance to those engage in
           sermonising, Bible studies, fe l l owshipping and spiritual
           enhancement.

           May all be munificent to furnish remarks and criticism for improv-
           ing future publications.

           May God help us to utilise His words for our spiritual growth to
           glory His name.

           Hallelujah! Amen!


           TK Chin
           4th March 2004, London.



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                              Preface

           W        E THANK  the Lord Jesus Christ who enables this second
                    issue of sermons anthology to be published. May
           God bestow Pr. Thien Kiew Chin spiritual wisdom and power
           to continue to labour for Him to benefit all the readers.

           May Jesus love those who cherish and practise His words in
           their life.


           The Administrator,
           Africa Ministry Committee (AMC), London, UKGA, IA.
           7th March 2004




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           Adam, Where Are You?


           Introduction
                         Adam and Eve transgressed against God’s com-

           A
                       FTER
                    mandment, God still conferred them a period of
                    grace to repent (Gen 3.8-13). However, they for-
           sook the opportunity and the Lord consequently punished
           them (Gen 3.14-24). There are valuable teachings that we can
           learn and be warned from the reactions of our two ancestors.

           1. God bestowed Adam and Eve a period of grace to
              repent (Gen 3.8-13).
           God’s response towards them demonstrated that He still
           desired them to repent.

           1.1.   God still walked in the Garden of Eden after Adam and Eve
                  had sinned (Gen 3.8).
           He did not immediately condemn, pronounce judgement or
           drive them out of the Garden of Eden. This was, indeed,
           God’s mercy and grace towards sinners. God further demon-
           strated His tolerance by asking them four questions. These
           questions showed that God still welcomed them to recognise
           their sins and repent.

           1.2.   God asked them four questions.
           1.2.1.   “Adam, where are you?” (Gen 3.9).
           Of course, God knew where Adam was. God asked in order
           to offer him an opportunity to wake up from his sins because


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           he might not know where he was in terms of keeping God’s
           words. God might be asking us the same question in terms of
           our spiritual cultivation, our behaviours, our lifestyle in the
           church or in the society. Where are we now? Are we keep-
           ing His commandments? Are we sinning? Let us pray that
           God will help us to know where we are now spiritually so that
           we can grow according to the will of the Lord.

           1.2.2. “Who   told you that you were naked?” (Gen 3.11a).
           After they sinned against God, they realised that they were
           naked. Nakedness symbolises sins. We must put on white
           linen that is the righteous acts of the saints. “And to her it was
           granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the
           fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” (Rev 19.8; see
           also Matt 25.36). We need to constantly examine ourselves to
           see if we are naked in the eyes of God.

                “Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded
           1.2.3.
           you that you should not eat?” (Gen 3.11b).
           For sure, God knew Adam had eaten the forbidden fruit.
           God asked for He wanted Adam to recognize that he had
           sinned wilfully. This again offered Adam a prospect to repent
           but he did not take it. God desires us to admit our sins and
           repent unreservedly.

           1.2.4. God asked Eve, “What is this you have done?” (Gen
           3.13).
           After posing three questions, God asked the fourth. He
                      d
           d i re c te this to Eve who, for sure, was responsible fo r
           mankind’s downfall. God wished that she would repent, but
           she did not.

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           1.2.5. From these four questions, we can see that God still gave
           them an option to repent, a period of grace. However, they
           did not welcome that grace but forsook the occasion to admit
           their sins and repent. As Job said, Adam covered his trans-
           gressions (Job 31.33).

           2. Adam and Eve’s negative responses after sinning.
           2.1.   They hid themselves.
           They hid themselves among the trees of the garden (Gen 3.8,
           10b). How could they conceal themselves among the trees
           that were God’s creation? It is human nature to cover up after
           sinning. Nevertheless, hiding our sins is unwise. Adam and
           Eve could not hide themselves from God after transgressing
           His commandment. Repentance always triumphs over hid-
           ing one’s sins.

           2.2.   Fear came upon Adam.
           Fear came upon Adam after sinning (Gen 3.10). He was afraid
           of God because of nakedness (Gen 3.10, 11). Nakedness spir-
           itually means sins. Before they sinned, they must have com-
           municated with God in the garden. God must have walked in
           the garden many times. They must have familiarised them-
           selves with the sound of the Lord walking in the garden (Gen
           10.8). But, now they were frightened of that familiar voice of
           God’s walking in the garden because of sins. Sins, unques-
           tionably, isolate one from God.
           2.3.   Adam and Eve tried to justify themselves after sinning.
           Adam blamed Eve who gave him the fruit. As if it was God’s
           fault when Adam said, “The woman whom you gave to be


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           with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate” (Gen 3.12). Eve
           blamed the serpent that deceived her (Gen 3.13). She now
           recognised she was deceived but without any sign of repen-
           tance. They should have admitted their sins and repented
           before the Lord. But instead, they blamed and accused each
           other, which they ought not have done. When something
           goes wrong or when we have done something erroneous or
           immoral, we must not blame one another. We must pray to
           God to forgive rather than accuse each other.

           3. God’s punishment.
           3.1.   To the serpent.
           3.1.1. The serpent was cursed more than other animals; to go
           with belly and eat dust (Gen 3.14).
                Enmity came between the serpent and the woman,
           3.1.2.
           between their seeds. The man shall bruise the serpent’s head
           and the serpent shall bruise His heel (Gen 3.15).
           3.1.3.Devil bruised Jesus’ heel (the seed of the woman).
           “For dogs have surrounded Me; the congregation of the
           wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My
           feet.” (Ps 22.16). “But they were insistent, demanding with
           loud voices that He be crucified. And the voices of these men
           and of the chief priests prevailed.” (Lk 23.23).
           3.1.4. The seed of the woman refers to Jesus. Jesus shall destroy
           the devil, the power of death.
           “and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body
           through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.” (Eph
           2.16). “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His
           name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.”


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           (Matt 1.21). (See also Lk 1.35; Heb 2.14). We are God’s chil-
           dren and must rely on Jesus to overcome the devil.

           3.2.   To the woman.
               She shall multiply in sorrow and pain in conception
           3.2.1.
           when bringing forth children (Gen 3.16a).
           3.2.2. The woman shall desire for her husband and he shall rule
           over her (Gen 3.16b).

           3.3. To   Adam.
           3.3.1. The ground was cursed.    He was to toil to eat (Gen 3.17).
           3.3.2. Thorns and thistles for Adam.   He shall sweat to eat (Gen
           3.18, 19a).
           3.3.3.   He shall return to the ground (Gen 3.19b).
           3.3.4. God drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden to
           till the ground (Gen 3.20-24).
                God prevented them eating from the tree of life (Gen
           3.3.5.
           3.22).
           3.3.6. God placed cherubim and a f laming sword to guard the
           way to the tree of life (Gen 3.24).

           Conclusion.
           We must not sin wilfully. When we sin unintentionally and
           after realising our sins, we need to swiftly admit our sins and
           repent before the Lord. Let’s not learn from Adam and Eve
           who failed to grasp the opportunity to admit their sin and
           repent, giving rise to punishment and condemnation.



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           A Good Shepherd


           Introduction
                     is the Great and Chief shepherd. Jesus is the Great

           J
                  ESUS
               Shepherd for He shed His blood to purchase His sheep
               (Heb 13.20). Jesus is the Chief Shepherd because He will
           .  crown those victorious with the crown of glory (1 Pet 5.4).
           All God’s workers need to learn from the Great and Chief
           Shepherd to take care of God’s sheep. We, as shepherds for
           God’s sheep, must be shaped and moulded. Only the Good,
           Great and Chief Shepherd can give us the wisdom needed to
           take care of His sheep. “The words of the wise are like goads,
           and the words of scholars are like well-driven nails, given by
           one Shepherd” (Eccl 12.11).

           1. Learn from Jesus, the Shepherd and Overseer of our
              souls.
           1.1.A good shepherd must be an overseer of the souls of the
           believers. He ensures they do not go astray (1 Pet 2.25).
           1.2. The Holy Spirit has made us overseers, to shepherd the
           church of God purchased with Jesus’ blood (Acts 20.28).
           1.3.Let’s learn from Jesus. He heals their diseases, and pre-
           serves them from beasts of prey. He is indeed the Good,
           Great, Chief Shepherd and Overseer of His sheep. To accom-
           plish His objective Jesus feeds His sheep, provides a good fold
           and pasture for them, He gathers the lambs in His arms, car-
           ries them in His bosom, and gently leads those that are with
           young (Is 40.11).


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                Jesus feeds His f lock (Is 40.11a). He feeds His flock like
           1.3.1.
           a Good Shepherd. He provides food for His f lock by leading
           them into green and good pastures, the Truth and perfect
           Gospel in the end-time True Church. Jesus has appointed us
           to be His good shepherds to feed His sheep with His words;
           we must know His words well before we can feed His sheep.
           Make sure we do not feed the sheep with the wrong food.
           1.3.2. Jesus gathers the lambs (Is 40.11b). After feeding, Jesus
           gathers the lambs with His arms. These are the weaklings and
           sucklings of the f lock. They are the newly born babies, weak
           believers, possibly the smoking f lax and the bruised reeds.
           We must gather them in the Name of Jesus, encourage them
           to attend the spiritual feasts of God, participate in God’s work
           and saving many souls of the world.
           1.3.3.Jesus carries them in His bosom (Is 40.11c). To effec-
           tively gather them, especially the feeble ones, Jesus carries
           them in His bosom. This means not only outward gathering,
           but a gathering with great affection, care and concern. This
           also alludes to an intimate care for and communication with
           those who are in need of spiritual nourishing. We, as Jesus’
           good shepherds, must build up a caring and intimate relation-
           ship with the sheep so as to guide and direct them to spiritu-
           al growth.
           1.3.4.Jesus gently leads those with young (Is 40.11d). Those
           with young can refer to sheep that are with the hearts to do
           well spiritually but are still weak. They require more feeding,
           gathering and being carried in Jesus’ bosom; all these demand
           from the good shepherds patience, time and effort. Leading,
           of course, means setting good examples for the sheep to emu-
           late.


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                  Like Jesus, Jacob (as did David) led his children, flocks
           1.3.4.1.
           and herds gently. Jacob said to his brother, “My lord knows
           that the children are weak - all the flock will die. - I will lead
           on gently at a pace which the livestock that go before me, and
           the children, are able to endure -." (Gen 33.13,14). Let us not
           overdrive the tender and young sheep.
                  Imitate God’s gentleness. “You have also given me the
           1.3.4.2.
           shield of Your salvation; Your right hand has held me up,
           Your gentleness has made me great.” (Ps 18.35).

           2. Imitate Jesus, the Good Shepherd who ensures no one is
              able to snatch the sheep out of His Father’s hand (Jn
              10.29).
              David typifies Jesus, the Good Shepherd. David struck
           2.1.
           and killed lions or bears to deliver lambs from their mouths.
           Goliath to David was like a lion or bear (1 Sam 17.34-36).
           There may be many Goliaths attacking God’s sheep; we must
           be good shepherds, empowered by God to defend the sheep
           and defeat the evil ones.
           2.2. Like David, a good shepherd, we must fight for Jesus to
           keep His sheep from being snatched and destroyed by wild
           beasts. To do this, we need one of the greatest spiritual
           weapons, courage. Learn from Jesus who “will not fail nor be
           discouraged, till He has established justice in the earth; and
           the coastlands shall wait for His law.” (Is 42.4).

           3. A good shepherd is, like David, with integrity of
              heart and skillfulness of hands (Ps 78.72).
           3.1.   A good shepherd must have a heart of integrity. This



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           means faithfulness, devotion, dedication, commitment, etc.
                A good shepherd must have skillfulness of hands. This
           3.2.1.
           means being fully equipped with spiritual wisdom, knowl-
           edge and cultivation.
           3.3. We must be shepherds according to God’s heart. “And I
           will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed
           you with knowledge and understanding.” (Jer 3.15).

           4. A good shepherd, like Jesus, has compassion.
           4.1. Jesus was moved with compassion for the multitudes,
           because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no
           shepherd (Mat 9.36; Mk 6.34).
           4.2. We need to offer timely compassion (timely love in
           action). “I have compassion on the multitude, because they
           have now been with Me three days and have nothing to eat.”
           (Mk 8.2). “Jesus said to them, "Come and eat breakfast." (Jn
           21.12). What a timely invitation. Look out for sheep who
           need our immediate action of love.
              A good shepherd loves his sheep unconditionally. “For if
           4.3.
           you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not
           even the tax collectors do the same?” (Mat 5.46). “Freely you
           have received, freely give” (Mat 10.8b).

           5. A good shepherd, like Jesus, is with a sacrificial spirit. “I
              am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life
              for the sheep.” (Jn 10.11, 15).
              Learn from Nehemiah who sacrificed much for God’s
           5.1.
           people (Neh 5.14-19).



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              Learn from Paul who risked his life for Jesus’ sheep. He
           5.2.
           and his co-workers were burdened to the point of death (2
           Cor 1.8). “I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in
           Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.” (1 Cor 15.31).
              Learn from Priscilla and Aquila who risked their lives for
           5.3.
           Paul (Rms 16.3,4).

           6. A good shepherd, like Jesus, knows His sheep; not a
              hireling (Jn 10.12-14).
              A good shepherd knows the conditions of the sheep. He
           6.1.
           must be alert, able to see the coming of wolves (Jn 10.12b).
           These wolves can refer to the predicaments of sheep, which
           may lead them astray when appropriate actions are not taken
           timely. These wolves can be worldly temptations, all sins,
           inclusive of sexual immoralities.
           6.2.A good shepherd is not a hireling (Jn 10.12a), that is, he is
           not an employee. He takes care of the sheep not just because
           of responsibility but because of love. He does not flee or run
           from responsibility though the sheep might demand much
           attention and care (Jn 10.13).
           6.3.A good shepherd not only knows the sheep well, but the
           sheep also know him well (Jn 10.14). He creates opportuni-
           ties to enhance spiritual fellowship with them.

           7. A good shepherd intercedes for his sheep.
           7.1. Moses, Paul and many other God’s workers prayed for their
           sheep.




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           7.2.Jesus prayed to the Father to keep His disciples from the
           evil one (Jn 17.15). We have to do likewise.
             Jesus prayed for Peter so that he should not fail (Lk 22.32).
           7.3.
           We pray for the sheep so that they do not fail.

           8. A good shepherd is not a worthless shepherd.
           8.1.“Woe to the worthless shepherd, who leaves the f lock! A
           sword shall be against his arm and against his right eye; his
           arm shall completely wither, and his right eye shall be totally
           blinded.” (Zech 11.17).
           8.2.Good shepherds are not dumb and greedy dogs (Is 56.10-
           11).
           8.3.   Good shepherds are not dull-hearted (Jer 10.21).

           8.4.God goes against worthless shepherds (Jer 23.1, 2; 25.34-
           36).

           Conclusion.
           We must strive to acquire all the good qualities for a good
           shepherd in order to pastor Jesus’ sheep, presenting every man
           perfect in Christ Jesus (Col 1.28).




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           Anchor of the Soul


           Introduction
                         hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure

           T
                    HIS
                     and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind
                     the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us,
           even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to
           the order of Melchizedek (Heb 6.19, 20). These two verses
           endow the definition of the “anchor of the soul” that is our
           hope of salvation, eternal life in God’s Kingdom. This hope
           is sure and steadfast because God has sealed and confirmed it
           with both a promise and an oath. (See Heb 6.13-20). Like a
           ship sailing in a boisterous and dangerous ocean, we, in the
           end-time, need to anchor our soul upon Jesus with an
           immovable faith, and both knowing and practicing His words.
           Though our soul might be tossed by various temptations, we
           shall not wreck because like a cable bonding the ship to the
           anchor in sure ground, our faith, like a spiritual cable, ensures
           our hope in entering into Heaven. The anchor of the soul
           would, thus, propel us to live a life with constant spiritual
           insight towards God’s affairs. Whatever we do shall be for
           God’s glory and for the salvation of many more people. Let
           us study the anchor of the soul with the following topics.

           1. The Heavenly King’s business is the anchor of our
              soul.
           In God’s sight, there are only two kinds of businesses in this
           world.



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           1.1.   Temporal and perishable business.
           This includes enterprises, careers, etc., that people, without
           faith in God, grasp and grasp but are unable to carry anything
           away when physical death comes (Ps 49.16, 17; 1 Tim 6.7).
           Works, careers and businesses have consumed many people.
           They have no time for their families and for the church. It
           seems they can continue to do all these in another world after
           death.

           A story goes like this. In the early days of America, a great land-
           lord had much land. He sold his land by $1000 per day. A buyer
           paid $1000 and would run for one day and the circle of land he cov-
           ered belonged to him but with one condition; he must get back to his
           starting point before sunset, otherwise he would forfeit the area of
           land he had run for. A young man paid $1000 and began to run
           early in the morning and when noon came he was tired, thirsty and
           hungry. He said to his stomach to wait till sunset, or else, it would
           be a waste of time and land. He continued running till late after-
           noon but he could not run with speed anymore for he was exhaust-
           ed. However, he encouraged himself: “Work hard today and you
           will be wealthy tomorrow.” He kept on struggling, enlarging the
           circle as he ran. He suddenly looked up and saw the sun was set-
           ting and yet he was so far from his starting point. He was terrified.
           He thought: “If I do not get back to my starting point, I will lose
           all the land.” In fatigue, he drained out his last bit of energy; he
           wriggled, he collapsed, he died, far from his goal. The landlord could
           do nothing but to bury him in the land, occupying an area just
           enough for a coffin. The young man worked so hard only for a piece
           of land for his coffin; he lost his investment and his life. Beware!
           We might be no different from this young man.


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           1.2.   The Heavenly King’s business.
           God’s business is dissimilar from that of the world. God’s
           business follows us into eternity. “Then I heard a voice from
           heaven saying to me, ‘write: Blessed are the dead who die in
           the Lord from now on’; ‘they may rest from their labours, and
           their works follow them’” (Rev 14.13). This is the anchor of
           the soul! “ Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast,
           immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord,
           knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Cor
           15.58). God’s business for us is first to ensure that we work
           out our own salvation through spiritual cultivation. Then,
           with the Lord’s power, we can save many more people; a soul
           is more valuable than the whole world – the most profitable
           business! Let us be assured that God’s business, bearing good
           fruit, relates to our salvation. “Therefore I say to you, the
           kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation
           bearing the fruits of it.” (Matt 21.43). We must make certain
           that everyone in the church is doing something for the Lord.

           2. Treasures in Heaven, an anchor of our soul.
           There are two kinds of wealth, worldly wealth and spiritual
           wealth (treasures in heaven).
           2.1.   Worldly wealth.
           “What will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and
           forfeits his life?” (Matt 16.26). Jesus is talking about all the
           wealth in this world that is less than the value of the salvation
           of a man. Remember what the rich man said when he
           became very rich? He said to his soul, “Soul, you have ample
           goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, be
           merry”. But God said to him, “Fool! This night your soul is


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           required of you; then whose will those things be which you
           have provided?” “So is he who lays up treasure for himself,
           and is not rich toward God.” (Lk 12.19-21). This rich fool
           had taken his worldly riches as the anchor of his soul.
           One day a charity worker went to a very wealthy stingy per-
           son for donation. With much reluctance and compulsion, the
           stingy rich man donated five pence. The worker, not depart-
           ing immediately, sat under a tree in front of the rich person’s
           house. He threw the f ive pence coin on the ground and
           closed his eyes. While the worker had his eyes closed, a child
           came along and took the money and ran. Seeing this, the rich
           man shouted angrily, “I donated money, if you do not want it,
           return it to me! Why throw it on the ground to let someone
           take it!”. The charity collector, calm and collected, replied: “I
           did this to let you know: While you can still open you eyes,
           your money belongs to you, but when you die and close your
           eyes, your money belongs to someone else”. “The wise men
           die; the fool and the stupid alike must perish and leave their
           wealth to others” (Ps 49.10). Indeed, worldly treasures do not
           belong to us forever.
           2.2.   Treasure in heaven.
           Jesus preached so confirmatively that worldly wealth could be
           turned into heavenly treasure. Jesus said to a rich ruler: “You
           still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the
           poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow
           Me. But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for
           he was very rich.” (Lk 18.22, 23). “Do not lay up for your-
           selves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and
           where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves
           treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and



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           where thieves do not break in and steal.” (Matt 6.19, 20).
           Look at the parable of the Rich man and Lazarus (Lk 16.19-
           31). Abraham was also a very wealthy man (Gen 13.2).
           However, the rich man ended up in hell and Abraham went
           to Heaven. This was because Abraham utilised his wealth to
           love (e.g. Gen 18), turning his worldly possessions into heav-
           enly treasures. Why, in the parable, was Lazarus in Abraham’s
           bosom and not in the some one else’s bosom, such as Moses?
           This was because Jesus desired to make a clear contrast
           between two vastly different rich persons. Abraham was not
           only the father of faith, but also a father of love who knew
           how to turn worldly wealth into spiritual wealth, treasures in
           Heaven. The rich man wasted God’s grace and blessings, not
           utilising God-given wealth to help the poor, committing a sin
           unto death.
           Jim Elliot said, “He is no fool, who gives what he cannot
           keep, to gain what he cannot lose.” Without a doubt, Jesus
           requests us to turn worldly riches into heavenly treasures, i.e.
           using money in the world to bring more people to salvation.
           Turning worldly wealth into heavenly treasures is, for sure, an
           anchor of the soul.

           3. Spiritual Joy, an anchor of our soul.
           God has created us with an ability to feel joy. But not every
           experience of joy is of the same quality. There are three kinds
           of Joy: joy of sinful pleasure, earthly joy and spiritual (heaven-
           ly) joy.
           3.1.   Joy of sinful pleasure.
           This is a low and debasing level of carnal pleasure. It is a feel-
           ing of happiness in satisfying the desires of the sinful human


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           nature. This joy fades away quickly and always leaves a bitter
           taste of guilt in a man’s conscience. It is polluted by sin and is
           therefore under God’s wrath, leading to eternal condemna-
           tion. We must learn from Moses who totally forsook such
           sinful pleasures. He chose to rather suffer with God’s people
           than to enjoy the pleasures of sins for a short time (Heb 11.25,
           26).
           3.2.   Earthly joy.
           This may be a nobler sphere of worldly pleasure. It comes to
           humans by worldly achievement and success, which might
           physically enrich and sweeten one’s life. Quite often God is
           the giver of such earthly blessings and joys (Job 1.10). People
           are entitled to enjoy them. But again and again, the Bible
           warns us not to set our hearts on earthly things, riches, fame,
           success or honour. They are unreliable and not lasting. They
           can draw us away from the true, spiritual, everlasting heaven-
           ly joy in God’s Kingdom.

           3.3.   Heavenly spiritual joy of salvation.
           3.3.1. This is unchanging, lasting and available to all! This is
           found in Jesus Christ. “These things I have spoken to you,
           that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be
           full.” (Jn 15.11). “Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will
           see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one
           will take from you. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy
           may be full.” (Jn 16.22, 24).
           3.3.2.We might have lost the joy of salvation in the course of
           our journey to Heaven. We must pray to God to return to us
           this hope, the anchor of the soul. “Restore to me the joy of
           Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.” (Ps


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           51.12). It is God’s promise that He will bestow us the ever-
           lasting joy. “And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and
           come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their
           heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and
           sighing shall f lee away.” (Is 35.10; 51.11). “I will greatly
           rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for
           He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has
           covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom
           decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself
           with her jewels.” (Is 61.10).
           3.3.3.We must foretaste this joy of salvation, the anchor of the
           soul, in God’s Kingdom on earth, the True Jesus Church
           before we enter into God’s Kingdom to rejoice the everlasting
           joy. We find this and taste this in the presence of God, in His
           household (Ps 16.11). We obtain this through the Holy
           Spirit. “For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking,
           but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Rms
           14.17). We gain this by eating God’s words. “Your words
           were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy
           and rejoicing of my heart; for I am called by Your name, O
           LORD God of hosts.” (Jer 15.16). We secure this in the serv-
           ice of the Lord, even in tribulation (2 Cor 7.4; Ps 126.5). Let
           us joyfully do more work for Jesus while we are physically still
           alive.
           3.3.4. Some useful quotations.
           DL Moody: “This is a land of sin and death and tears - but up
           yonder is unceasing joy.” Billy Sunday: “If you have no joy,
           there’s a leak in your Christianity somewhere.” Henry Ward
           Beecher: “The test of Christian character should be that a
           man is a joy-bearing agent to the world.”


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           4. Jesus is the anchor of our soul.
           4.1.Jesus is the anchor of our soul, the hope of our salvation.
           “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is
           laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor 3.11). Let us not anchor
           ourselves upon people, non-spiritual organisation, positions,
           worldly knowledge, etc., lest we lose grip of eternal life. Billy
           Graham: “The men who followed Him were unique in their
           generation. They turned the world upside down because
           their hearts had been turned right side up. The world has
           never been the same”. Napoleon Bonaparte: “Alexandra,
           Caesar, Charlemagne, and myself founded empires; but on
           what foundation did we rest the creations of our genius?
           Upon forces. Jesus Christ founded an empire upon love; and
           at this hour millions of men would die for Him”. Indeed,
           Jesus is the rock of our salvation, the anchor of our soul!
           4.2.Extend our short physical life into everlasting spiritual life
           through Jesus as the anchor of our soul. Our life in this world
           is negligible as compared to eternal life. The Bible clearly
           articulates about the succinctness of our physical life. It is like:
           4.2.1.Pilgrimage.
           “And Jacob said to Pharaoh, ‘The days of the years of my pil-
           grimage are one hundred and thirty years; few and evil have
           been the days of the years of my life, and they have not
           attained to the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the
           days of their pilgrimage.’” (Gen 47.9). “For we are aliens and
           pilgrims before You, as were all our fathers; our days on earth
           are as a shadow, and without hope.” (1 Chro 29.15).




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           4.2.2. Flower and grass.
           “Man who is born of woman is of few days and full of trou-
           ble. He comes forth like a f lower and fades away; he flees like
           a shadow and does not continue.” (Job 14.1, 2). “but the rich
           in his humiliation, because as a f lower of the field he will pass
           away.” (Jas 1.10). “All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man
           as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its f lower
           falls away.” (1 Pet 1.24).
           4.2.3.Shadow and dream.
           “Now my days are swifter than a runner; they f lee away, they
           see no good.” (Job 9.25). “I am gone like a shadow when it
           lengthens; I am shaken off like a locust.” (Ps 109.23). “He
           will f ly away like a dream, and not be found; yes, he will be
           chased away like a vision of the night.” (Job 20.8). You carry
           them away like a f lood; they are like a sleep. In the morning
           they are like grass which grows up.” (Ps 90.5).
           4.2.4. Cloud and smoke.
           “As the cloud disappears and vanishes away, so he who goes
           down to the grave does not come up.” (Job 7.9). “whereas
           you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is
           your life? It is even a vapour that appears for a little time and
           then vanishes away.” (Jas 4.14). “For my days are consumed
           like smoke, and my bones are burned like a hearth.” (Ps
           102.3).
           4.2.5. Breath and sigh.
           “Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow.” (Ps
           144.4). “For all our days have passed away in Your wrath; we
           finish our years like a sigh.” (Ps 90.9). Indeed, our physical
           life is not only short but also meaningless. “We are born cry-



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           ing, live complaining, and die disappointe d .” (Thomas
           Fuller). Jesus is the Lord who grants us meaning in our life
           and eternal life in God’s Kingdom. No wonder Paul says: “If
           in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the
           most pitiable” (1 Cor 15.19). Without Jesus we are worse
           than unbelievers. We must desire a much better everlasting
           heavenly country for our spiritual life. “But now they desire
           a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not
           ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for
           them.” (Heb 11.16). When the Lord Jesus comes again, we
           shall be resurrected and or transformed to enter eternal life.
           This is the anchor of our soul!

           Conclusion.
           Let us rely on the Holy Spirit and prayers to hold fast to that
           hope – the anchor of the soul. Jesus has done His part for us.
           It is up to us to pursue towards that goal and hope. “In his
           famous painting of Chri st knocking at the door, art i st
           Holman Hunt has purposely omitted from the door a knob or
           handle. Why? Because that is on the inside, and you, and you
           alone, can open the door to Jesus.” (CH Spurgeon). That is,
           we have to take the initiative to take Jesus as the anchor of our
           soul. We, then like a ship, will never capsize even amidst giant
           waves and tempests, because with the power of the Holy
           Spirit, we are assured the correct Anchor of the soul - sure and
           steadfast; anchored upon Jesus, fixed in Heaven. Only then
           will we eventually enter into the Heavenly Kingdom to meet
           Him face to face.




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           Bearing Fruit and Salvation


           Introduction
                                the Holy Spirit is indispensable for salva-

           R
                     ECEIVING
                      tion. However, it must be emphasised that, having
                      received the Holy Spirit, one needs to walk accord-
           ing to the Holy Spirit. In addition, a believer need also to bear
           the fruit of the Holy Spirit. The Bible clearly declares that
           bearing fruit, doing church work, is certainly related to salva-
           tion.

           1. There are two kinds of fruits according to the Bible.
           1.1. Fruit of death.
           Not bearing all kinds of fruits ensures salvation. Paul asserts
           that there is the fruit of death. “For when we were in the
           f lesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were
           at work in our members to bear fruit to death.” (Rms 7.5).
           This is also called wild grapes (Is 5.2, 4).
           1.2. Good fruit.
           1.2.1. Good grapes.
           Only those who bear good grapes and good works will inher-
           it God’s Kingdom. “He dug it up and cleared out its stones,
           And planted it with the choicest vine. He built a tower in its
           midst, And also made a winepress in it; So He expected it to
           bring forth good grapes, But it brought forth wild grapes.”
           What more could have been done to My vineyard That I have
           not done in it? Why then, when I expected it to bring forth
           good grapes, Did it bring forth wild grapes? (Is 5.2, 4).


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               Fruit of righteousness.
           1.2.2.
           “Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those
           who make peace.” (Jas 3.18).
           1.2.3. The fruit of the Holy Spirit.
           “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering,
           kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
           Against such there is no law.” (Gal 5.22, 23).

           2. Why do we need to bear good fruit?
              We are appointed to bear good fruit.
           2.1.
           “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you
           that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should
           remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may
           give you.” (Jn 15.16). “Therefore, my brethren, you also have
           become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you
           may be married to another-- to Him who was raised from the
           dead, that we should bear fruit to God.” (Rms 7.4).
           2.2.To avoid being cut down.
           “And even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees.
           Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut
           down and thrown into the fire.” (Matt 3.10). “Even so, every
           good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A
           good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good
           fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and
           thrown into the fire.” (Matt 7.17-19; also Matt 21.19; Lk 3.9).
                Jesus grants us opportunities to bear good fruit.
           2.2.1.
           He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree plant-
           ed in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found
           none. 7 Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for
           three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find


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           none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?' 8 But he
           answered and said to him, 'Sir, let it alone this year also, until
           I dig around it and fertilize it. 9 And if it bears fruit, well. But
           if not, after that you can cut it down.’” (Lk 13.6-9).
                Jesus prunes those who bear fruit.
           2.2.2.
           “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away;
           and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear
           more fruit.” (Jn 15.2).
           2.3. To glorify God and be Jesus’ disciples.
           “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so
           you will be My disciples.” (Jn 15.8).
           2.4. Bearing good fruit is to do with our salvation.
           2.4.1. Bearing good fruit is to receive eternal life. “And he who
           reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that
           both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.” (Jn
           4.36). “But now having been set free from sin, and having
           become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the
           end, everlasting life.” (Rms 6.22).
           2.4.2. God’s Kingdom is given to those who bear good fruit.
           “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken
           from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.” (Matt
           21.43).

           3. What kinds of fruits can we bear?
           Paul desires that we bear fruit that abounds to our account.
           “Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to
           your account.” (Phi 4.17). Jesus wants us to be good ground
           bearing good fruit. “But he who received seed on the good
           ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who
           indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some

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           sixty, some thirty.” (Matt 13.23). In practical terms, we must
           bear the following kinds of fruit:
              Proclaiming the Perfect Gospel.
           3.1.
           “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season.
           Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teach-
           ing.” (2 Tim 4.2).
           3.1.2.   Leaf leting, door to door, etc.

           3.2.   Pastoral works.
           3.2.1.   Visiting.
           3.2.2.   Sermonising.
           3.2.3.   Fellowshipping with brethren.
           3.2.4.   Bible studies with believers.
           3.2.5.   Interpreting.
           3.2.6.   Religious Education works.

           3.3.   Other kinds of works.
           3.3.1.   Literary ministry: editing, proof reading, designing, etc.
           3.3.2. Praying.
           Praying for truth-seekers, the weak ones, God’s workers, etc.
           3.3.3. Choir and hymnal.
           “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of
           praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His
           name.” (Heb 13.15).
           3.3.4. Others.


           4. How can we bear fruit?
           4.1.   We must abide in Jesus.

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           “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me,
           and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do
           nothing.” (Jn 15.5). This also means all workers must work
           together and are sent according to church organisation that is
           spiritual. In other words, one must not work alone or in iso-
           lation from the church.
           4.2.   We must rely on the Holy Spirit.
           4.3.We need to pray before, during and after working for
           Jesus.
           4.4. Bear fruit every month.
           “In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was
           the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its
           fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing
           of the nations.” (Rev 22.2). This tells us we need to always
           bear fruit.

           Conclusion.
           Our work is not in vain. “Therefore, my beloved brethren,
           be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the
           Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” (1
           Cor 15.58). The Crown of righteousness is awaiting us. “I
           have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have
           kept the faith. 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of
           righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give
           to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have
           loved His appearing.” (2 Tim 4.7, 8). Works follow us.
           “Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, Write:
           ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ‘Yes,’
           says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labours, and their
           works follow them.’” (Rev 14.13).

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           Beware: Satan Among God’s
           Children


           Introduction
                     OD’S will is for His children to overcome Satan with

           G        Jesus’ power. Only those who have overcome Satan
                    can enter into God’s Kingdom. However, Satan
           constantly attacks God’s children to cause them to fall. To
           achieve his aim, Satan can arise among God’s children.

           1. Satan persistently emerges among God’s children.
           1.1. As soon as after God created Adam and Eve, the devil went
           among them in the Garden of Eden to tempt them (Gen 3.1-
           6).
              It is Satan’s intention to constantly try to destroy man, the
           1.2.
           most honourable creation of God. The first Adam was
           defeated and died in sins (Rms 5.14, 22). The last Adam,
           Jesus (1 Cor 15.45) overcame devil’s temptations (Mat 4.1-
           11).
           1.3. Satan will continue to mingle among God’s children.This
           spiritual battle will continue until the Second Coming of
           Jesus. However, Jesus’ victory over Satan proves that we too
           can be victorious with God’s power.

           2. Satan comes among God’s children in all circum-
              stances.
                                  The Garden of Eden can typify the
           2.1. In the Garden of Eden.
           end-time True Church where one finds the perfect gospel of


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           salvation. Beware! The devil instantly attacks us even in the
           Church if we give ground to him.
           2.2.Satan also came among God’s children in God’s presence
           (Job 1.6; 2.1). Note that Satan came to disturb God’s children
           even in God’s presence.
           2.3.The devil also attacks in the wilderness, e.g. in the case of
           Jesus (Mat 4.1-11). The wilderness can spiritually represent
           time and place when we are alone, and when we are spiritual-
           ly cultivated (The devil came to tempt Jesus after He fasted
           forty days and nights).
           2.4.Satan comes among God’s workers. One of the twelve
           apostles was a devil. “Jesus answered them, ‘Did I not choose
           you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?’” (Jn 6.70).
           Beware! Satan always aims to destroy God’s servants so as to
           destroy the Church devastatingly.

           3. Why does Satan come among God’s children?
           3.1. To destroy God’s work, to cause man to fall and to be con-
           demned.
           3.2. To call off God’s children’s concerns for heavenly matters.
           To make them heavy of heart, to care only for the world. To
           incite them to be friends of the world, and consequently ene-
           mies of God (Jas 4.4).
           3.3.To sow seeds of dissension among brethren, especially
           God’s workers. To induce disharmony through abuse of
           wo rds, procuring groupings and divisions in Church .
           Through words of criticism or even false witnesses, Satan
           achieves his goal in damaging the brotherly love among
           believers.


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           3.4. To stimulate pride among brethren, especially God’s
           workers, so as to cause them to be forsaken by God. “He
           must not be a recent convert, or he may be puffed up with
           conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil” (1 Tim
           3.6; RSV).
           3.5. To dampen believers’ ardour, enthusiasm, eagerness to
           serve. To abate, shrink brethren’s love. To dishearten their
           praises to God, to chill their prayers to the Lord. To kill their
           zeal and spiritual joy in the Lord. Eventually, Satan’s aim is to
           turn members of God’s household into guests or eve n
           strangers, having no part in the salvation of God. Beware!
           Satan has resolved to tempt the strong ones in the Church, to
           cause them to fall, to lead them to rebel against God.
           3.6.To change and twist God’s words. This has been Satan’s
           wicked trick since ancient time, immediately after creation of
           Adam and Eve. The devil twisted God’s words to tempt Jesus.
           As soon as the gospel seed was planted, the devil sows the evil
           seed (Mat 13.25). “O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son
           of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease
           perverting the straight ways of the Lord?” (Acts 13.10). Satan
           is evermore desirous to alter God’s words today. Beware!
           3.7. To bring in one like Tobiah to attack God’s people.
           Deployed by Satan, Tobiah began his attack openly using
           ridicule, th reat, discouragement, ex to rtion, comp ro m i s e ,
           slander, treachery (Neh 4.6-14). All these failed and Satan
           resorted to gr eater compromise by allying with the priest
           Eliashib (Neh 13.4). Tobiah eventually won a place in the
           courts of the house of God (Neh 13.7, 8). Beware! Do not
           comprise with Satan. Watch out for Tobiahs.



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              To cause God’s people to think like him, look like him
           3.8.
           and act like him (refer to the dragon’s mouth in Rev 16.13).
           3.9.Knowing the believers’ weaknesses, Satan comes among
           them to attack them with the appropriate poison, e.g. a
           greedy person will be defeated by greed, like Judas Iscariot; a
           lustful person will be presented with opportunities to commit
           sexual immoralities, etc.

           Conclusion.
           Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks
           about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Pet
           5.8). Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able
           to stand against the wiles of the devil (Eph 6.11). Therefore
           submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you (Jas
           4.7).




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           Caleb from young to old


           Introduction
                            reckon “Caleb” in Hebrew is kalebh, mean-

           M
                          ANY
                       ing “dog”. But, with respect to the alike Syriac
                       and Arabic words, the meaning is not "dog," but
           "raging with canine madness"; Chaleb). Therefore “Caleb”
           can infer “fighting with power”. Caleb was a son of
           Jephunneh, the Kenizzite, and head of one of the families of
           Judah (Num 13.6; Josh 14.6). We can learn a lot of spiritual
           teachings from this warrior.

           1. Moses commissioned Caleb at the age of forty to spy
              on the land of Canaan.
           1.1. The age of forty was young in those days. He was forty
           years old when Moses sent him (as one of the twelve spies) to
           spy the land (Josh 14.7). That was about 1440 B.C.
           1.2.An age of forty at that time was the age of greatest valour,
           splendour, energy and vitality. At the peak of his life, Caleb
           was commissioned to serve God. We need to do the same. It
           is only appropriate to offer our service or even our life to Jesus
           when we are still young and healthy. “Remember now your
           Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days
           come, and the years draw near when you say, "I have no pleas-
           ure in them"” (Eccl 12.1-7).

           2. Learn from the courage of Caleb.
           2.1.   While ten of the spies declared the feebleness of Israel to


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           overcome the Canaanites, Caleb and Joshua spoke encourag-
           ingly. Caleb, silencing the people before Moses, exhorted and
           charged them enthusiastically and boldly, "We should by all
           means go up and take possession of it, for we shall surely over-
           come it" (Num 13.30). From Num 14.6-9, we can see how
           Joshua and Caleb further encouraged the congregation: “- an
           exceedingly good land; - He will bring us into this land -; the
           Lord is with us. Do not fear them.”
           2.2. In the end-time, the True Church workers must have such
           great courage to fight a victorious spiritual battle for the Lord.
           Let us learn from Jesus: “He will not fail nor be discouraged,
           till He has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands
           shall wait for His law.” (Is 42.4). Let us imitate Paul: ”I can
           do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phi 4.13).

           3. God protected the courageous Caleb.
           3.1. Hearing the encouragement of Joshua and Caleb, the con-
           gregation wanted to stone them to death, but the Lord’s glory
           appeared before all the children of Israel (Num 14.10).
           3.2.Serving God, preaching the Perfect Gospel, might some-
           time invite “stoning”. When Jesus preached the Truth, He
           also invited stoning from the Jews (Jn 8.59). But Jesus was not
           intimidated by the enemies; He continued to work and just
           after escaping from being stoned, He healed a blind man from
           birth (Jn 9.1ff). God’s glory and power protect us when
           encountering spiritual foes.

           4. The ten spies who discouraged the congregation
              died.



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           4.1.The ten spies gave a bad and discouraging report: “- the
           people in the land are strong; cities are fortified -; we are not
           able to go up against them -; it is a land that devours its inhab-
           itants -; we were like grasshoppers in their sight -” (Num
           13.28, 31, 32, 33). The ten spies had seen the goodness of the
           land: milk and honey (Num 13.27) and yet did not believe
           that God would give them the land as promised (Ex 3.8, 17;
           13.5).
           4.2.The ten spies who brought the evil report about the land
           died by the plague before the Lord (Num 14.36, 37), but
           Joshua and Caleb remained alive (Num 14.38; 32.12).
           4.3.We might be weak at times, but we must not discourage
           the believers. As workers, we need to pray to be strengthened
           so as to encourage and strengthen others.

           5. Caleb had a different spirit and followed God whol-
              ly (fully, wholeheartedly) (Num 14.24).
           5.1. When most people or workers are weak, we must be
           strong and courageous. This is a different spirit. This shows
           that we must take the initiative to be courageous, as God
           commanded Joshua to be strong and courageous (Josh 1.9).
           5.2.When most others do not follow God wholeheartedly, we
           must do so. This is a different spirit. With this different spir-
           it, Caleb followed God wholeheartedly (Josh 14. 8, 9, 14).
           This following with totality did not abate since he took up the
           mission of spying the land of Canaan at the age of forty (until
           eighty-five years old or more).




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           6. Caleb warred with humility.
           6.1. “If the LORD delights in us, then He will bring us into this
           land and give it to us, a land which f lows with milk and
           honey.” (Num 14.8). “If the Lord delights in us -” strongly
           indicates that we are not worthy of the Lord; this is humility.
           We need to constantly remember that we are not worthy to be
           saved if not because of God’s grace through the blood and
           death of Jesus. As workers, we must always bear this in mind.
           Caleb had this spirit and mentality when he was forty years
           old.
           6.2.After forty-five years, at the age of eighty-five, he still had
           this undiminished humility when requesting for his portion
           of land: “It may be that the LORD will be with me, and I shall
           be able to drive them out as the LORD said.” (Josh 14.12b).
           He did not naturally assume that the Lord would be with him;
           he felt unworthy. This was his humility. After we have done
           something for Jesus, we need to learn to say: “We are unprof-
           itable (unworthy) servants.” (Lk 17.10).
              We must learn to be humble in serving God. There are
           6.3.
           many wonderful humble workers in the Bible, such as Jesus,
           Moses, Paul, etc.

           7. At the age of eighty-five, Caleb was still as strong as
              he was forty.
             Caleb, who at the age of eighty-five, was still as strong for
           7.1.

           war as when he was forty (Josh 14.10, 11). At such age he
           drove out the Anakim from Hebron (Josh 14.6-15; 15.14). He
           then attacked Debir (Kiriath-sepher), to the South West of
           Hebron (Josh 15.15).



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           7.2.It is quite explicit that God blesses those workers who
           serve Him wholehearte d ly. He grants them health and
           longevity.

           8. Caleb also knew how to share out his work and
              appreciated others’ help.
           8.1.Caleb said, "He who attacks Kirjath Sepher and takes it, to
           him I will give Achsah my daughter as wife.” (Josh 15.16). So
           Othniel (Caleb’s nephew) the son of Kenaz, the brother of
           Caleb, took it; and he gave him Achsah his daughter as wife
           (Josh 15.17).
           8.2.From here, we can see that Caleb was wise in sharing his
           work and he appreciated for others’ help. He was generous in
           giving more when her daughter asked for spring of water (Josh
           15.18, 19). We need to learn to share out God’s work and
           appreciate one another’s assistance and co-operation.

           Conclusion.
           As God’s workers of the end-time True Church, we must
           endeavour to learn from Caleb’s spiritual qualities. As prom-
           ised by God, Caleb received his inheritance (Num 14.24; Josh
           14.9, 13, 14). Likewise, we shall receive our heavenly inheri-
           tance when Jesus comes again.




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           Let Me See Your Countenance,
           Let Me Hear Your Voice


           Introduction
                          Song 2.8-16. A key message in these verses is

           R
                     EAD
                     “Let Me see your countenance, let Me hear your
                     voice” (Song 2.14b). This is the voice of th e
           beloved, the Almighty God, Jesus Christ. Countenance can
           mean our deeds, conduct and way of life. Voice can mean the
           Gospel voice. Jesus desires us to be salt (Mat 5.13) and light
           (Mat 5.14, 16) of the world. He wishes us to live out His
           image and to proclaim the Gospel to many more people in the
           world. He expects our countenance to be lovely and our
           voice to be sweet (Song 2.14c) in order to draw more believ-
           ers to God.

           1. Leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills
              (Song 2.8b).
           1.1. God, the Lord Jesus, is qualified to beseech us to let Him
           see our countenance and let Him hear our voice. This is
           because God Himself, in the first place, through His manifes-
           tation in flesh, let the world see His countenance and hear His
           voice. What Jesus preached He manifested in His deeds. For
           example, He preached on a sunny hill to love enemies and He
           performed this upon the cross on the Hill of Calvary when he
           uttered the first word to pray for the forgiveness of those who
           nailed Him on the cross. How much more we have to learn
           form Jesus to live a life worthy of God.



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           1.2.The voice of my Beloved (Jesus) came in actions (Song
           2.8). Not only was His voice heard (i.e. He preached the
           Gospel of Salvation), He leaped upon the mountains and
           skipped upon the hills.
                Mountains and hills can refer to obstacles (big or small),
           1.2.1.
           mockery, sufferings, pains and agony upon the cross, taste of
           Hades, etc., which Jesus overcame. Jesus underwent great
           tribulations before coming to us to save us from condemna-
           tion and punishment. The last mountain in His life was
           Golgotha upon which He was nailed on the cross. We must
           treasure His great love for us.
           1.2.2. Mountains  and hills can also refer to sins (great or small).
           Jesus overcame all temptations, sins and the devil; He is thus
           qualified to deliver us from all sins.

           2. Jesus is like a gazelle or a young stag (Song 2.9).
           2.1. The gazelle (Arabic for “affectionate”) is the smallest of the
           antelopes (with long, slender, hollow cone-shaped horns;
           about one meter in height at shoulders) in the Holy Land. It
           is a cud-chewing animal, related to goats. It was considered
           clean (Deu 14.5), and was Solomon's table provision (1Kg
           4.23). Characteristics: Beauty (dark, liquid eyes) and speed
           (leaps when intimidated; Asahel, David’s soldier, was “as f leet
           of foot as a wild gazelle (2Sam 2.18)). Stag: a young deer (cud-
           chewing, divided hoof). Characteristics: beauty, swiftness,
           ability to sense danger quickly.
           2.2. Like a gazelle or a young stag, Jesus desires to come to us
           (Song 2.9b). But he stands behind our wall. This wall can be
           a wall of sins. This wall of sins must be broken down to let



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           Jesus come to us. Our sins separate us from Jesus.
           2.3.Though sins separate us from God, Jesus determines to
           come to us. He is looking through the windows, gazing
           through the lattice (Song 2.9c). He is looking for us; desiring
           to cleanse our sins. During water baptism, Jesus’ blood
           cleanses our sins.

           3. Jesus calls us to rise to receive His grace (Song 2.10-
              13a).
           3.1. Our initial condition could be without the Truth or under
           the law of the Old Testament. After water baptism, we are
           His “love, His fair one” (Song 2.10). But we might still linger
           on with our past beliefs (like the Jews in the Apostolic time).
           The first “rise up” (Song 2.10) can mean Jesus wants us to rise
           (to depart totally) fr om our wrong beliefs to receive the
           Perfect Gospel. It can also mean Jesus wants us to truly rise
           from our sins (especially after water baptism) to genuinely lead
           a holy life.
           3.2.The winter is past, the rain is over and gone (Song 2.11).
           This can refer to our past before coming to Jesus while we
           were in wrong beliefs and sins (like the Jews holding on to
           their Jewish traditions under the Old Testament, unable to
           shake themselves off their sins).
           3.3. Flowers appear, time of singing has come, voice of the tur-
           tledove is heard (Song 2.12). Flowers appearing can signify
           life and joy in Jesus. Like a turtledove, Jesus proclaimed the
           good tidings in the world, in our hearts (like land to be culti-
           vated).




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           3.4.Fig tree puts forth her green figs and vines, with tender
           grapes, give a good smell (Song 2.13a). Fig trees and vines
           refer to believers. We must be like fig trees and vines, able to
           grow and bear fruits, living out a life of fragrance, bringing
           many people to the Lord (cf Zech 2.11; 3.10; 6.15).

           4. Let Me see your countenance, let me hear your voice
              (Song 2.14b).
              A second “rise up” is seen in Song 2.13b. Jesus invites us
           4.1.
           to do something for Him, not just burying ourselves in His
           grace and abundance.
           4.2.Do not just hide ourselves in the clefts of the rock and the
           secret places of the cliff (Song 2.14a). These clefts and secret
           places can refer to God’s grace, security, love, protection,
           providential care, riches, earthly blessings, etc. Jesus wants us
           not just to enjoy His blessings but to come out of the clefts
           and secret places to work for Him, to save more souls.
           4.3. The Lord expects our voice to be sweet and our counte-
           nance to be lovely. This voice can especially refer to the
           Gospel voice (i.e. we must preach). Countenance designates
           good conduct and behaviours that other can behold with ease
           (i.e. we must lead a life of sanctification, preaching the Perfect
           Gospel to many more people).

           5. Catching foxes (Song 2.15).
           5.1.Foxes can be big or small. Big foxes can mean visible sins
           or people openly sin against God. These people have got used
           to sinning. They must be caught, i.e. they must stop contin-
           uing to be stubborn, blaspheming God.



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           5.2.We must also catch little foxes. These can refer to people
           sinning in darkness. These are as devastating as big foxes.
           5.3. These foxes can spoil the vines with tender grapes. That
           is, not only can they deter others to come to Jesus but they can
           also infest the believers, especially the newly baptised. Only
           after we have caught the foxes, can we let Jesus see our coun-
           tenance and hear our voice.

           Conclusion.
           We must let Jesus see our lovely countenance and hear our
           sweet voice. If we could do this, then “Jesus is mine and I am
           His” (Song 2.16a), i.e. living out the image of Christ. The
           Lord then feeds His f lock among the lilies (Song 2.16b), i.e.
           we all shall dwell in the grace of God.




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           Marching Together To Heaven


           Introduction
                  is God who chooses us and instigates our walk on the

           I
                  T
               journey towards the Heavenly Kingdom. This spiritual
               voyage, however, demands brethren praying together;
           husband and wife marching jointly; parents and children
           pressing forward collectively; all co-workers walking and
           working wholeheartedly; all bre thren stirring forward in
           unity, in order to be triumphant.

           1. Striving together in prayers for Heaven.
           1.1.   Striving together in prayers.
           Marching towards the Heavenly Kingdom is individual and
           also congregational. That is, we are individually and collec-
           tively responsible for our salvation. We can do a lot together
           to assist and support each other to march towards eternity. An
           indispensable endeavour is labouring together in pray ers.
           Striding together to Heaven entails labouring together in
           prayer. Paul expounds this vibrantly. “Epaphras, who is one
           of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always labouring
           fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and
           complete in all the will of God.” (Col 4.12). “Now I beg you,
           brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love
           of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to
           God for me,” (Rms 15.30). “You also helping together in
           prayer for us, that thanks may be given by many persons on
           our behalf for the gift granted to us through many.” (2 Cor
           1.11).

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           1.2.We need to strive and labour together in prayers in one
           place.

           We can individually pray at home or pray together at the same
           time in different places or homes. Nevertheless, praying
           together at the same time and at the same location is, unques-
           tionably, a powerful act of spiritual activity, vital for marching
           together to Heaven. Look at the church in the apostolic
           times. Believers at the time gathered together praying in one
           place. “Now when the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they
           were all with one accord in one place.” (Act 2.1). “These all
           continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with
           the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His
           brothers.” (Act 1.14). It was the believers’ striving together in
           prayer that helped to release Peter from prison. “So, when he
           had considered this, he came to the house of Mary, the moth-
           er of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gath-
           ered together praying.” (Act 12.12).
           1.3. All members must strive together in prayers to enter into
           God’s Kingdom.
           These include husbands and wives, parents and children, all
           co-wo rke rs, and all breth ren praying togeth e r, marching
           together to Heaven.

           2. Husband and wife marching together to Heaven.
           2.1.   Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers.
           “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For
           what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what
           communion has light with darkness?” (2 Cor 6.14). This is



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           the perquisite for husband and wife to march together to
           Heaven. How can a True Church believer yoke together with
           a person not believing in the Perfect Gospel and walk togeth-
           er as husband and wife? Marriage within the Lord is, thus,
           indispensable for husband and wife to march together to
           Heaven.
           2.2.Walking together to Heaven, husband and wife must not
           sin together.
           2.2.1. Do not learn from Adam and Eve who sinned together.
           Adam and Eve demonstrated that togetherness without keep-
           ing God’s words was and still is spiritually devastating. They
           were cast out of the Garden of Eden. Jesus can forsake and
           cast us out of the True Church if we do not walk together in
           His words.
                Do not learn from Ananias and Sapphira his wife who
           2.2.2.
           sinned together (Acts 5.1ff).
           “Then Peter said to her, ‘How is it that you have agreed
           together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those
           who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will
           carry you out.’” (Acts 5.9). Husband and wife must remind
           and warn each other not to sin against God together.
              Walking together to Heaven, husband and wife must help
           2.3.
           and support each other.
           2.3.1. Learn from Manoah and his wife.
           “Now there was a certain man from Zorah, of the family of
           the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was bar-
           ren and had no children. And the Angel of the LORD
           appeared to the woman and said to her, ‘Indeed now, you are



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           barren and have borne no children, but you shall conceive and
           bear a son.'” (Judg 13.2, 3). The wife, very swiftly, came and
           told her husband about this (Judg 13.6), demonstrating that
           they both shared much together in their lives. Upon hearing
           this, Manoah prayed to God, “O my Lord, please let the Man
           of God whom You sent come to us again and teach us what
           we shall do for the child who will be born.” (Judg 13.8). He
           did not say “come to me” or “teach me” but “us”, demon-
           strating their togetherness. God listened to Manoah and He
           came to his wife (not him) while Manoah was not with her
           (Judg 13.9). “Then the woman ran in haste and told her hus-
           band, and said to him, ‘Look, the Man who came to me the
           other day has just now appeared to me!’ So Manoah arose and
           followed his wife. When he came to the Man, he said to Him,
           ‘Are You the Man who spoke to this woman?’ And He said, ‘I
           am.’” (Judg 13.10, 11). Manoah feared that God would kill
           them but his wife comforted, encouraged and supported him
           (see Judg 13.22-24), showing how they walked together,
           helped and supported each other.
           2.3.2. Learn from Aquila and Priscilla.
           Aquila and Priscilla are always spoken of together in the Bible.
           When Paul moved from Corinth, they travelled with Paul as
           far as Ephesus (1 Cor 16.19). In Ephesus, they met Apollos
           whom they taught the way of the Lord more perfectly (Act
           18.18-28). They were indeed not only husband and wife but
           also true yoke-fellows in the Lord Jesus Christ. Together,
           they not only helped Apollos in the Scriptures, but they also
           set up “a church in their house” at Corinth (1 Cor 16.19), and
           at Rome, where, together, they also risked their lives for Paul
           (Rms 16.3-5). Furthermore, they were both near Timothy,



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           in or about Ephesus (2 Tim 4.19). For sure, they helped each
           other to know the Scriptures. They assisted one another to
           preach God’s words. They supported each other in God’s
           works. In unity, they received and worked together with
           God’s workers.
           2.4.   Husband and wife are heirs together of the grace of life.
           “Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding,
           giving honour to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being
           heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be
           hindered.” (1 Pet 3.7). If husband and wife are heirs together
           of the grace of life, they must also be mirrors for each other.
           Husband and wife need to correct each other when seeing a
           spouse not upright in attitude, words, and behaviours. When
           a spouse holds a negative view about a member, the other
           must not aggravate the situation by inserting damaging words.
           Husband and wife must always deploy God’s words as mirrors
           so as to be mirrors to each other, and so not sin against God
           together. “For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a
           doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror;
           for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets
           what kind of man he was.” (Jas 1.23-24).

           3. Parents and children marching together to Heaven.
              Parents and children marching together to Heaven with
           3.1.
           prayers.
           Job constantly made offerings for his children. He did this
           with the children’s knowledge. “So it was, when the days of
           feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sancti-
           fy them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer



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           burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job
           said, ‘It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in
           their hearts.’ Thus Job did regularly.” (Job 1.5). Parents and
           children praying together is vital for walking together success-
           fully to Heaven. As parents, let us make a resolution that we
           pray together with our children everyday of our life.
              Parents and children walk together to Heaven with God’s
           3.2.
           words.
           Another seasoning power for parents and children to walk
           together to Heaven is to be led by God’s words. Look at
           Timothy who from young had learnt from his mother and
           grandmother. “When I call to remembrance the genuine
           faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother
           Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you
           also.” (2 Tim 1.5). Parents and children must build up fami-
           ly spiritual altar, not only praying together, but also reading
           the Bible together everyday.
           3.3. Parents and children walk together to Heaven with right-
           eous actions.
           It is imperative for parents and children to walk together in
           righteous actions to Heaven. Look at Abraham and Isaac.
           “And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid
           it on his son Isaac; and he took the fire and the knife in his
           hand. And the two went to geth e r.” (Gen 22.6). “And
           Abraham said, My son, God will see to the lamb for Himself,
           for a burnt offering. And the two of them went together. And
           they came to the place which God had said to him. And
           Abraham built there the altar, and arranged the wood. And he
           bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on the wood.



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           And Abraham put out his hand and took the knife to slay his
           son. And the Angel of Jehovah called to him from the heav-
           ens and said, Abraham! Abraham! And he said, Behold me.
           And He said, Do not lay your hand on the boy, nor do any-
           thing to him. For now I know that you are a God-fearer, and
           you have not withheld your son, your only one, from Me.”
           (Gen 22.8-12).
           Note that Isaac did not resist at all when he was bound by the
           father. Did Isaac know that Abraham was going to offer him to
           God? Of course, he knew! But Isaac did not defy his father to
           the slightest extent because the father and son walked together in
           faith, righteousness and obedience to God.

           4. All wo rke rs working and walking together to
              Heaven.
           4.1. Zephaniah prophesised that God’s people would serve
           Him with one accord.
           “For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language, That
           they all may call on the name of the LORD, To serve Him
           with one accord.” (Zeph 3.9). Certainly, God’s workers in the
           Apostolic times worked together to preach the Gospel. “Now
           Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of
           prayer, the ninth hour.” (Act 3.1). “Now the apostles and
           elders came together to consider this matter.” (Act 15.6). Paul
           emphasises workers working together. “We then, as workers
           together with Him also plead with you not to receive the
           grace of God in vain.” (2 Cor 6.1). Let’s work together to ful-
           fil Zephaniah’s prophecy.




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           4.2.It is vital to note that workers working together must
           involve Jesus.
           In Jesus, togetherness is without partiality. Yes, we have dif-
           ferent opinions and suggestions but these must not give rise to
           disunity or disharmony, lest we give ground to the devil to
           work. In other words, if we are not alert, we might be work-
           ing with the devil instead of working together with God.
           “Your teeth are like a f lock of shorn sheep Which have come
           up from the washing, Every one of which bears twins, And
           none is barren among them.” (Song 4.2). “Your teeth are like
           a f lock of sheep Which have come up from the washing;
           Every one bears twins, And none is barren among them.”
           (Song 6.6). “And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers
           fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps
           may rejoice together.” (Jn 4.36).

           5. All brethren marching together to Heaven.
           5.1.   Faith is individual but also congregational and collective.
           For this reason, we can see from the Old Testament through
           to the New Testament and now, a great deal of emphasis is
           placed on gathering together, marching together to Heaven.
           In the ancient times, the Israelites marched as a group, fought
           as a troop. In the Apostolic time, many believers prayed as a
           large family and fought spiritually as a congregation. Today,
           in the True Jesus Church, all brethren must emphasise all the
           more to getherness in marching towa rds the Heave n ly
           Kingdom. Paul encourages well: “that is, that I may be
           encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you
           and me.” (Rms 1.12). “Only let your conduct be worthy of



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           the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or
           am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one
           spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the
           gospel,” (Phi 1.27).
           5.2.   Make sure our coming together is not for harm.
           “Now in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since
           you come together not for the better but for the worse.” (1
           Cor 11.17). For first of all, when you come together as a
           church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part
           I believe it.” (1 Cor 11.18). With God’s power, we must
           endeavour to ensure our togetherness is to do no harm to each
           other. “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our
           Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that
           there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly
           joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”
           (1 Cor 1.10). Be alert that some people come together and sin
           together.
           5.3.   In marching together, we must benefit one another.
           5.3.1. We must aim for mutual benefit and edification.
           Instead of doing harm, we must benefit and edify each other
           while marching towards the Heavenly Kingdom. Paul desired
           to be refreshed together with the believers. “that I may come
           to you with joy by the will of God, and may be refreshed
           together with you.” (Rms 15.32). Indeed, we need to come
           together to edify one another. “How is it then, brethren?
           Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a
           teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation.
           Let all things be done for edification.” (1 Cor 14.26). In so
           doing, we all will be built into the holy temple of God. “in



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           whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into
           a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built
           together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” (Eph 2.21,
           22). This holy temple shall be a spiritually functional body
           edifying each other in divine love. “from whom the whole
           body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies,
           according to the effective working by which every part does
           its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in
           love.” (Eph 4.16; see also Col 2.2, 19). “Therefore, having
           these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filth-
           iness of the f lesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of
           God.” (2 Cor 7.1).
           5.3.2.To achieve mutual benefit and edification, our together-
           ness must be in unity and peace.
           “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to
           dwell together in unity!” (Ps 133.1). We must endeavour to
           keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph 4.3).
           “Your navel is a rounded goblet; It lacks no blended beverage.
           Your waist is a heap of wheat set about with lilies.” (Song 7.2).
           Let us also learn from the Apostolic believers. “Now when
           the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one
           accord in one place. So continuing daily with one accord in
           the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate
           their food with gladness and simplicity of heart. And through
           the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done
           among the people. And they were all with one accord in
           Solomon's Porch.” (Acts 2.1, 46; 5.12). Paul exhorts us to be
           like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of
           one mind (Phi 2.2; 2 Cor 13.11), so that we can glorify God
           with one mind and one mouth (Rms 15.66). Likewise, Peter



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           encourages with the same message. “Finally, all of you be of
           one mind, having compassion for one another; love as broth-
           ers, be tenderhearted, be courteous;” (1 Pet 3.8).

           Conclusion.
           Walking together to Heaven must begin with husband and
           wife praying together in unity. Parents and children must
           build spiritual altars when marching together to eternity. All
           co-workers need to work and walk in total togetherness to
           achieve God’s will. All brethren ought to benefit and edify
           one another while striding together to Heaven. Then, we all
           will be heirs of God and be glorified together (Rms 8.17).
           Therefore, whether we wake or sleep, we should live togeth-
           er with Him (1 Thess 5.10) for He shall make us sit together
           in the Heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph 2.6).




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           Sanctification Through The
           Holy Spirit


           Introduction
                  is God’s will that His believers are sanctified for salva-

           I
                   T
               tion. “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without
               which no one will see the Lord .” (Heb 12 .14).
           “Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am the
           LORD your God. And you shall keep My statutes, and per-
           form them: I am the LORD who sanctifies you.” (Lev 20.6-
           8). “But now having been set free from sin, and having
           become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the
           end, everlasting life.” (Rms 6.22). “So now, brethren, I com-
           mend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able
           to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those
           who are sanctified.” (Act 20.32). “Flee sexual immorality.
           Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who
           commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do
           you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit
           who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not
           your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify
           God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.” (1 Cor
           6.18-20; see also 1 Thes 4.3-7; 1 Pet 1.2, 13-17; Rev 7.13, 14).
           We certainly need the Holy Spirit for sanctification.

           1. Sanctification by the power of the Holy Spirit.
           1.1.   We need the Holy Spirit for sanctification.
           “But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you,


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           brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the begin-
           ning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the
           Spirit and belief in the truth,” (2 Thes 2.13). “that I might
           be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the
           gospel of God, that the offering of the Gentiles might be
           acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.” (Rms 15.16).
           Without a doubt, we need the Holy Spirit to sanctify us.
           1.2.   We need to let the Holy Spirit lead us to be sanctified.
           Having recognised that we need the Holy Spirit for sanctifi-
           cation, we must let the Holy Spirit lead us do things not of the
           f lesh. The action and desire of letting is vital as we can act
           against the Holy Spirit (see later). “For the f lesh lusts against
           the Spirit, and the Spirit against the f lesh; and these are con-
           trary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you
           wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the
           law. Now the works of the f lesh are evident, which are: adul-
           tery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery,
           hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, self ish
           ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness,
           revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I
           also told you in time past, that those who practice such things
           will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Gal 5.17-21). “For if
           you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit
           you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” (Rms
           8.13). “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body,
           that you should obey it in its lusts.” (Rms 6.12).
           1.3. Let the Holy Spirit help us to be sanctified.
           When we let the Holy Sprit lead, He will help us in our weak-
           nesses and intercede for us with groanings. “Likewise the



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           Spirit also helps us in our weaknesses. For we do not know
           what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself
           makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be
           uttered.” (Rms 8.26). For the Holy Spirit to help us, howev-
           er, we also need to walk in the Spirit (Gal 5.16) after we have
           been made free by the Spirit from the law of sin and death
           (Rms 8.2).

           2. Do not quench, grieve, resist or blaspheme the Holy
              Spirit.
           In order to be sanctified by the Holy Spirit, we must not do
           the following to the Holy Spirit:
           2.1.   Do not quench the Holy Spirit.
           “Do not quench the Spirit.” (1 Thes 5.19). The Holy Spirit
           inspires us to do good and to be sanctified. We often can feel
           the inspiration, but we must yield to the inspiration so as to be
           led by the Holy Spirit.
           2.2.   Do not grieve the Holy Spirit.
           If we continue to quench the Holy Spirit, we will grieve the
           Holy Spirit. In other words, the Holy Spirit can become sor-
           rowful though He will continue to inspire us. “And do not
           grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for
           the day of redemption.” (Eph 4.30).
           2.3.   Do not resist the Holy Spirit.
           Once we continue to grieve the Holy Spirit, we will arrive at
           a point where we resist the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit,
           being constantly grieved and resisted, might not inspire us
           anymore. “You stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and



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           ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so
           do you.” (Act 7.51). “Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted
           Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds,
           disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no
           further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also
           was.” (2 Tim 3.8, 9).
           2.4.   Do not blaspheme the Holy Spirit.
           If we constantly quench, grieve and resist the Holy Spirit,
           then we blaspheme the Holy Spirit. “Therefore I say to you,
           every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blas-
           phemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men.” (Matt
           12.31). “of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I
           delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.” (1
           Tim 1.20).

           Conclusion.
           Being sanctified by the Holy Spirit is indispensable for salva-
           tion. “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us
           cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the f lesh and spirit, per-
           fecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Cor 7.1). “Therefore
           submit to God. Resist the devil and he will f lee from you.
           Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your
           hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-mind-
           ed.” (Jas 4.7, 8).




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           Spiritual Fellowship


           Introduction
                          or more people manifest fellowship alluding to

           T
                       WO
                     friendship, companionship, comradeship, when they
                     engage themselves with a purpose in communication
           and interaction, either physically in the same local or through
           media such as the phone, internet and other means. The
           Bible enlightens us that there is spiritual fellowship of right-
           eousness and also fellowship of carnal nature deriving from
           the evil one. It is our goal to strive towards spiritual fellow-
           ship so as to walk together on the path to the Heavenly
           Kingdom. The following teachings are crucial for our spiri-
           tual cultivation.

           1. Fellowship of carnal nature.
           Many biblical verses assert that we must not have fellowship
           with the evil ones.
           1.1.   God would not have fellowship with those of iniquity.
           “Shall the throne of iniquity, which devises evil by law, Have
           fellowship with You?” (Ps 94.20).
           1.2.   We shall never have fellowship with the demons.
           “Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sac-
           rifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to
           have fellowship with demons.” (1 Cor 10.20).
           1.3.We must not have fellowship with lawlessness and works of
           darkness.


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           “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For
           what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what
           communion has light with darkness?” (2 Cor 6.14). “And
           have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but
           rather expose them.” (Eph 5.11). “If we say that we have fel-
           lowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not
           practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the
           light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of
           Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 Jn 1.6, 7).
           1.4.   Fellowship with evil ones ruins our conduct and spiritual life.
           “Do not be deceived: "Evil company corrupts good habits."”
           (1 Cor 15.33). “Now in giving these instructions I do not
           praise you, since you come together not for the better but for
           the worse. For first of all, when you come together as a
           church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part
           I believe it.” (1 Cor 11.17, 18).
           1.4.1.Fellowship with evil ones can base on material things.
           Many people are drawn together by indulging in carousing,
           gambling, drinking, etc. Such kind of fellowship would sure-
           ly let us down eventually.
                Fellowship based on gossip.
           1.4.2.
           This is detrimental to individuals and to the church. This can
           end up in backbiting others, generating jealousy, causing mis-
           understanding and hatred. We must abstain from damaging
           others through gossip. Do not simply believe or jump to con-
           clusion if what we hear is based on gossip because one can
           intentionally talk to damage others.




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           1.4.3.Fellowship based on false teachings is injurious.
           Some people fellowship together because they hold the same
           erroneous teachings. We must be vigilant when fellowship-
           ping with those who hold views contrary to the truth or pos-
           sessing designs denting our faith.
                Fellowship based on grouping and partiality is sinful.
           1.4.4.
           We must ensure we fellowship not to craft division, grouping
           and partiality in the church. Partiality is sin: “but if you show
           partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as
           transgressors.” (Jas 2.9).
                Beware: Not to compromise with sinners.
           1.4.5.
           We must not fellowship with dreamers (Jude) or compromise
           with sinners, such as Tobiah (Neh 13.4-9). Otherwise, we
           might be polluted by them.
           Note: we need to throw out Tobiahs from the church, i.e. we need to
           change before God throws us out of the church.

           2. Spiritual fellowship.
           2.1.   Functions of spiritual fellowship.
                Coming together to have fellowship is for mutual edifi-
           2.1.1.
           cation.
           “How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together,
           each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a rev-
           elation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edifi-
           cation.” (1 Cor 14.26).
                Fellowship to prosper the Gospel.
           2.1.2.
           “for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until
           now,” (Phi 1.5).
           “and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery,


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           which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God
           who created all things through Jesus Christ;” (Eph 3.9).
           “So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and
           breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with
           gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having
           favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church
           daily those who were being saved.” (Act 2.46, 47).
           “imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the
           gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.” (2 Cor
           8.4).
           2.2.   How to engage in spiritual fellowship?
                Fellowship in the apostles’ doctrine (Act 2.42a).
           2.2.1.
           God’s words, not our own, must form our basis of spiritual
           fellowship.
                Fellowship in prayers (Act 2.42c).
           2.2.2.
           We aim to pray not only at home but also together with other
           members in the church.
           “you also helping together in prayer for us, that thanks may be
           given by many persons on our behalf for the gift granted to us
           through many.” (2 Cor 1.11). Praying together is a powerful
           means to enhance our spiritual fellowship.
                Fellowship in breaking of bread (Act 2.42b).
           2.2.3.
           This involves dining together.
           2.2.4. Fellowship must involve Jesus.
           “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship
           of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Cor 1.9). “that which
           we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may
           have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the
           Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.” (1 Jn 1.3).


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           (See also Phi 2.1, 2; 3.10). Note: Sometimes, in fellowship,
           we might forget the presence of Jesus, His overseeing us in
           words and actions.
           2.2.5. Fellowship must be in holiness.
           Fellowship can kill or build. Do not create opportunities to
           sin in fellowship. Some people have been polluted through
           sinful fellowship and acts, such as clubbing, drinking, smok-
           ing and gambling, etc. Such deeds might eventually invite
           excommunication. We must determine not to pollute God’s
           temple, our body, in fellowship, lest He forsakes us.
                Sometime, we might need to be warned by God’s words
           2.2.6.
           during fellowship. No one enjoys warning, but warning with
           His words preserves spiritual life. God does not delight in
           watchmen who do not warn to save (See Eze 3.17-21).

           Conclusion.
           Believers must spend more time to have spiritual fellowship
           not only at homes but also in the church. We need to be vig-
           ilant when fellowshipping with people we encounter, lest they
           manoeuvre us to go astray.




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           True Peace


           Introduction
                        very often mentions the word “peace” in his let-

           P
                      AUL
                   ters to the believers. “ To all who are in Rome,
                   beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and
           peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Rms
           1.7; also Rms 2.10). “Grace to you and peace from God our
           Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor 1.3; Gal 1.3; Eph
           1.2; Phi 1.2). “To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ
           who are in Colosse: Grace to you and peace from God our
           Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Col 1.2; see also 1 Thes
           1.1; 2 Thes 1.2; 1 Tim 1.2; Tit 1.4; Philem 3; 1 Pet 1.2; 2 Pet
           1.2; Rev 1.4). “Peace” can mean harmony, safety, assurance,
           soundness, completeness, welfare, etc. But according to
           Jesus, there are two kinds of peace: peace of the world and
           peace given by Jesus. “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give
           to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your
           heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (Jn 14.27). Let us
           compare the true peace according to the Bible and the peace
           the world gives.

           1. Peace the world gives.
           1.1.   Peace based on falsehood.
           Since the end of World War Two, many have been hoping for
           peace in the world, but has there been any real peace in the
           world? No!! Wars have been continuing in different parts of
           the world. Hundreds of millions of people have died and are


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           still dying, not just because of wars but, because of diseases
           and other calamities.
                Just like the false prophets who proclaimed “Peace,
           1.1.1.
           peace!” when there was no peace.
           “They have also healed the hurt of My people slightly, Saying,
           'Peace, peace!' When there is no peace.” (Jer 6.14; 8.11).
           “Destruction comes; they will seek peace, but there shall be
           none.” (Eze 7.25; also 13.10, 16).
           1.1.2.   Where is real peace when we see the following:
           1.1.2.1.   Crime rates climbing!
           1.1.2.2.   Murders and violence increasing!
           1.1.2.3. Sins multiplying; divo rce rate soaring; illegitimate
           babies being born!
           1.2.2.4. Indeed,   the prophecies of Jesus are being fulfilled (Matt
           24.4ff).

           1.2.   Peace based on physical worldly matters.
           Many base their peace in good health, good careers, success-
           ful businesses, money and great worldly possessions, etc. Yet,
           as soon as these worldly physical materials are deprived of
           them, people are plunged into the deepest pit of grief and
           despair. Where is peace for people who found their lives on
           earthly possessions?
                Peace based on money and riches.
           1.2.1.
           Many people base their peace of mind upon wealth. However
           Paul tells us: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of
           evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their




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           greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sor-
           rows.” (1 Tim 6.10). If people are pierced through with many
           sorrows because of love for money, how can love for money
           give real peace? Look at Judas Iscariot: did his greed for
           money bring him peace? No! Otherwise, he would not have
           committed suicide by hanging himself!!! “Surely every man
           walks about like a shadow; Surely they busy themselves in
           vain; He heaps up riches, And does not know who will gath-
           er them.” (Ps 39.6). “Will your riches, Or all the mighty
           forces, Keep you from distress?” (Job 36.19). “For he sees
           wise men die; Likewise the fool and the senseless person per-
           ish, And leave their wealth to others.” (Ps 49.10). “Do not be
           afraid when one becomes rich, When the glory of his house is
           increased; For when he dies he shall carry nothing away; His
           glory shall not descend after him.” (Ps 49.16, 17; see also Pro
           11.28; 23.5; 27.24; Eccl 5.13).
           1.2.2.   Peace based upon security on other worldly matters.
                  Beautiful mansions.
           1.2.2.1.
           It is well said that one can buy a great mansion but not a sweet
           home. Indeed, “Their inner thought is that their houses will
           last forever, their dwelling places to all generations; they call
           their lands after their own names. Nevertheless man, though
           in honour, does not remain; he is like the beasts that perish.
           This is the way of those who are foolish, and of their posteri-
           ty who approve their sayings. Like sheep they are laid in the
           grave; death shall feed on them; the upright shall have domin-
           ion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall be con-
           sumed in the grave, far from their dwelling.” (Pro 49.11-14).
                      based on good physical health.
           1.2.2.2. Peace
           Many base their peace in good health. But, physical health


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           does not ensure eternal life. There is, in fact, no true health
           before remission of sins. “There is no soundness in my f lesh
           because of Your anger, nor any health in my bones because of
           my sin.” (Ps 38.3). “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear
           the LORD and depart from evil. It will be health to your
           f lesh, and strength to your bones.” (Pro 3.7, 8). Good and
           healthy food might not truly confer good health, “for the
           kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness
           and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Rms 14.17).
                 Peace based on knowledge, education.
           1.2.2.3.
           Education and knowledge will not consent to true peace and
           joy. “For in much wisdom is much grief, And he who
           increases knowledge increases sorrow.” (Eccl 1.18).
                Peace based on fame, power, etc.
           1.2.3.
           Undeniably, peace the world gives is indeed short-lived. This
           can vanish anytime. It is fallacious and is certainly not eternal!

           2. True Peace.
           2.1.   True peace comes from Jesus.
           Certainly, true peace comes from Jesus. “Peace I leave with
           you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give
           to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
           (Jn 14.27). “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we
           have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” (Rms
           5.1). “The LORD will give strength to His people; The
           LORD will bless His people with peace.” (Ps 29.11). “The
           word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching
           peace through Jesus Christ - He is Lord of all.” (Act 10.36; see
           also Is 9.6).



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           2.2.   Jesus guides us into the way of peace.
           “To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of
           death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” (Lk 1.79).
           The way of peace is reconciliation with God through the
           blood of Jesus. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God
           through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now
           received the reconciliation.” (Rms 5.11). “and by Him to
           reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on
           earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the
           blood of His cross.” (Col 1.20). “Now may the Lord of peace
           Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with
           you all.” (2 Thes 3.16).

           2.3.   True peace comes from the Gospel.
           “And having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel
           of peace;” (Eph 6.15). “And He came and preached peace to
           you who were afar off and to those who were near.” (Eph
           2.17). This preaching was and is the gospel of peace. The
           angels heralded this gospel of peace: “Glory to God in the
           highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Lk
           2.14). People sang it at Christ’s entry into Jerusalem: “saying:
           ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the LORD!’
           Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” (Lk 19.38).
           Simeon, for example, expected this peace. “Lord, now You
           are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your
           word;” (Lk 2.29). The woman with twelve years haemor-
           rhage was given this peace: “And He said to her, "Daughter,
           your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of
           your aff liction.” (Mk 5.34).



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           2.4.   True peace is without sins.
           2.4.1.The wages of sin is death.
           “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal
           life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rms 6.23). How can there be
           peace when sins that instigate death, punishment, condemna-
           tion? “Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright; For
           the future of that man is peace.” (Ps 37.37). “In His days the
           righteous shall f lourish, And abundance of peace, Until the
           moon is no more.” (Ps 72.7).
           2.4.2.No peace in Adam and Eve after sinning.
           After sinning, Adam and Ever hid themselves (Gen 3.8, 10b)
           and fear came upon Adam (Gen 3.10). He was afraid of God
           (i.e. without peace) because of nakedness (3.10, 11) – sins.
           “Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.” (Ps
           34.14). “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritu-
           ally minded is life and peace.” (Rms 8.6).

           2.5.   There is no jealousy in true peace.
           Saul did not find peace in his life because he was jealous of
           David. Jealousy invited the devil to come to Saul! How could
           there be peace in Saul when the devil was invited to come into
           his life? There is no peace in jealousy! “A sound heart is life
           to the body, But envy is rottenness to the bones.” (Pro 14.30).
           How could there be peace when one’s bones are rotten? We
           must not even envy sinners: “Do not let your heart envy sin-
           ners, But be zealous for the fear of the LORD all the day;”
           (Pro 23.17).




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           2.6.   Divine love generates true peace.
           Only when there is genuine love, there is true peace. “But
           the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kind-
           ness, goodness, faithfulness,” (Gal 5.22). From 1 Cor 13.1-8,
           we can explicitly see the definition of love. Without such love
           that is derived from God, how can there be peace?

           2.7.   Forgiveness emits true peace.
           How can one feel true peace when his heart is devoid of for-
           giveness and full of grudges? Learn from Joseph who totally
           forgave his brothers, who desired to kill him. No wonder,
           Jesus teaches us to forgive others seventy times seven: “Jesus
           said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to
           seventy times seven."” (Matt 18.22).

           2.8.   Meekness and gentleness fabricate true peace.
           Peace among people is always perturbed by a lack of meekness
           in our words or actions. “With all lowliness and gentleness,
           with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeav-
           ouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
           (Eph 4.2, 3). “But you, O man of God, f lee these things and
           pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentle-
           ness.” (1Tim 6.11). “But the meek shall inherit the earth,
           And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” (Ps
           37.11). “You have also given me the shield of Your salvation;
           Your right hand has held me up, your gentleness has made me
           great.” (Ps 18.35; also 2 Sam 22.36).




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           2.9.   True peace comes from obeying God’s words.
           “‘There is no peace’, says the LORD, ‘for the wicked.’” (Is
           48.22). Obeying God’s words spawn peace. “These things I
           have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the
           world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have
           overcome the world.” (Jn 16.33). “Great peace have those
           who love Your law, And nothing causes them to stumble.” (Ps
           119.165). “Oh, that you had heeded My commandments!
           Then your peace would have been like a river, And your
           righteousness like the waves of the sea.” (Is 48.18). “The
           things which you learned and received and heard and saw in
           me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.” (Phi
           4.9; see also 2 Tim 2.22; 1 Pet 3.11; Is 55.12).

           2.10.   True peace comes from dwelling in harmony and unity.
           We must pursue harmony and unity to generate peace among
           us. “Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace
           and the things by which one may edify another.” (Rms 14.19).
           Paul emphasises that we need to be in one mind to live in
           peace. “Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of
           good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of
           love and peace will be with you.” (2 Cor 13.11). “And let the
           peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were
           called in one body; and be thankful.” (Col 3.15). We must
           endeavour to pursue peace among ourselves (1 Thes 5.13;
           Heb 12.14; Mk 9.50; Eph 2.14; 4.3).

           Conclusion.
           Let us trust in Jesus to receive true peace. “You will keep him



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           in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he
           trusts in You.” (Is 26.3). “These things I have spoken to you,
           that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have
           tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
           (Jn 16.33). “Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these
           things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot
           and blameless;” (2 Pet 3.14). “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
           ‘May they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls,
           Prosperity within your palaces. For the sake of my brethren
           and companions, I will now say, ‘Peace be within you.’” (Ps
           122.6-8; see Eze 34.25; 37.26; Rms 15.33; 16.20; Phi 4.7).




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           The Palanquin of Solomon


           Introduction
                            Song 3.6-11. The making of the palanquin by

           R
                        EAD
                       Solomon can refer to the establishment of the
                       Apostolic church after the downpour of the Holy
           Spirit. Undoubtedly, we can learn from these verses to build
           the True Church in the end-time. It is through the Holy
           Spirit and God’s words that the Body of Jesus is fashioned.
           With these, God’s workers and believers are moulded, shaped
           and equipped according to God’s requirements to be sancti-
           fied, fruitful and victorious.

           1. Who is this coming out of the wilderness? (Song
              3.6a).
              This rhetorical question is a voice of admiration and con-
           1.1.
           firmation of Solomon’s palanquin, Jesus’ Church, as verse 6
           onwards verifies.

           1.2.   Coming out of the wilderness.
                Wilderness can allude to barrenness, bleakness and fruit-
           1.2.1.
           lessness of people (church) before accepting Jesus. Such peo-
           ple’s ways are bewildered, confused, whose lives are void of
           spiritual grace and are exposed to wild beasts (devil as roaring
           lions), without meaning and hope of salvation.




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           1.2.2.Wilderness can of course refer to the world in which
           believers and unbelievers dwell. Such a wilderness is full of
           sufferings, pains and agonies, and also Satan’s snares, tempta-
           tions, lust of the f lesh, lust of the eyes and pride of life, etc.
           However, true believers though in the world (wilderness) are
           called out of it.
              She (True Church, believers) is coming out like pillars of
           1.3.
           smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all mer-
           chants’ fragrant powders (Song 3.6b).
           1.3.1.Pillars of smoke can refer to the Holy Spirit (just like the
           pillars of cloud and fire referring to the Holy Spirit). It is the
           Holy Spirit that has established the True Church in the end-
           time.
           1.3.2. Pillars of smoke can also signify true believers whose
           hearts are kindled with love towards Jesus, always looking
           upwards (like rising smoke) for things unseen (2 Cor 4.18);
           their destination is God’s Heavenly Kingdom. Like smoke of
           burnt offerings, they have offered themselves to God.
           1.3.3. “Pillars of smoke” might infer some degree of dimness,
           blemish and defect. But with spiritual cultivation, we will be
           perfumed with myrrh and frankincense and merchants’ fra-
           grant powders, which refer to Jesus’ fragrance (2 Cor 2.15; cf
           Ps 45.8), i.e. we must live out Jesus’ image so that others can
           see Jesus in us.

           2. It is Solomon’s couch (Song 3.7a), palanquin (Song
              3.9b), the Church.
           2.1. A palanquin is a portable chair or throne with a canopy
           carried by four servants. Kings or emperors of the ancient


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           world utilised such chairs as an emblem of their rank and
           power. The chair sits in the centre of two long poles, one on
           each side, which rest on the shoulders of the people carrying
           them. Solomon’s palanquin was with sixty valiant men
           around it (Song 3.7b), indicating that Jesus’ church in the
           time of the apostles and in the end-time are armed with many
           spiritual warriors.
           2.2. All the valiant warriors of Israel around the palanquin are
           well equipped.
                They all hold swords (Song 3.8a). God’s workers must
           2.2.1.
           be equipped with the sword of the Holy Spirit, the word of
           God (Eph 6.17). They must know God’s words well.
                They are expert in war (Song 3.8b). God’s warriors not
           2.2.2.
           only know God’s words well, but know how to use God’s
           words to battle for Him. NB Some know God’s words but
           do not know how to use (explain, expound) God’s words.
           2.2.3.Every man has his sword on his thigh (Song 3.8c). A
           warrior knowing and being expert in God’s words is vital, but
           he must be willing and ever ready to fight a good fight for
           Jesus.
                Being equipped with the sword of the Holy Spirit, one
           2.2.4.
           does not fear in the night, i.e. darkness, evil will not defeat
           him.
           2.3. Solomon the King made the palanquin (Song 3.9), i.e. it
           is Jesus who established the Church. The materials deployed
           are:




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                Wood of Lebanon (Song 3.9a), i.e. cedar, which is both
           2.3.1.
           incorruptible and of a good fragrance. This can refer to the
           incorruptible, everlasting, perfect Gospel and/or the faithful
           servants of God.
                                              These can allude to the per-
           2.3.2. Pillars of silver (Song 3.10a).
           fect Gospel, especially the spiritual warriors being equipped
           with the Truth. God’s workers are like pillars, such as James,
           Cephas and John (Gal 2.9). The Church is also the pillar and
           ground of the Truth (1 Tim 3.15).
           2.3.3. Its support (base or bottom) is made of gold (Song
           3.10b). This can mean pure Gospel for Jesus is the foundation
           of it. This can also refer to God’s holy and powerful workers.
           Workers must be vessels of gold and silver, i.e. sanctified and
           useful for the Master, prepared for every good work (2 Tim
           2.20, 21; see also Job 23.10; Zech 13.9).
           2.3.4.Its seat of purple (Song 3.10c). This can infer redemp-
           tion, remission of sin, and justification and sanctification
           through the blood of Christ. This is purchased by Jesus’
           blood. Only Jesus is qualified to sit on it, i.e. Jesus is the Lord
           of lords, King of kings. He is the leader and head in our life
           and of the Church. Make sure we do not sit on this purple
           seat.
           2.3.5. Its interior is paved with love by the daughters of
           Jerusalem (Song 3.10d). This love surely refers to the holy
           love of believers manifest in the power of Jesus Christ. What
           an adornment for the end-time True Church! This can only
           be possible when all workers and believers serve and work in
           unity.




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           3. King Solomon with the crown with which his mother
              crowned him (Song 3.11).
           3.1.When believers are sanctified, they become the crown of
           Jesus.
           3.2.Believers are brother, sister and mother of Jesus (Mat
           12.50).
           3.3.When we are qualified to be Jesus’ crown, He will bestow
           us with the imperishable crown (1 Cor 9.25), crown of right-
           eousness (2 Tim 4.8), crown of life (Jas 1.12; Rev 2.10), crown
           of glory (1 Pet 5.4).

           Conclusion.
           With God’s words, the Holy Spirit, sanctified believers, we
           must build the end-time palanquin, the True Church before
           the second coming of Jesus.




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           The Essential Truths of Marriage


           Introduction
                      ELIEVERS’successful marriages play a vast role for

           B        church growth and thus the saving of many souls. It
                    is God’s intention that members engage in a holy
           matrimony for the upbringing of godly offspring. We must,
           therefore, endeavour to hold on to the precious Biblical
           teachings to ensure successful marriages, lest we fall into the
           snares of Satan.

           1. God instituted Marriage.
              God took one of Adam’s ribs to make a woman (Gen 2.21,
           1.1.
           22). He instituted marriage. He is the Initiator of matrimo-
           ny. A woman did not exist until God made her. This was
           God’s establishment of marriage. Marriage is honourable
           (Heb 13.4).
           1.2.A woman was made to marry a man (Gen 2.22, 23). God
           did not make a man to marry a man, neither did He make a
           woman to marry a woman. Therefore, homosexuals are
           against God’s matrimonial principle. God hated and still hates
           sins of homosexuality. He destroyed Sodom, mainly for such
           sin (Gen 19). Paul condemns such sins (Rms 1.27; 1 Cor
           6.9). We must never follow the rebellious, devastating tides of
           the world to go against God.

           2. God was the matchmaker for Adam.
           2.1.   God brought the woman to Adam (Gen 2.22a). They did


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           not come to each other. God was the matchmaker for Adam
           and Eve.
           2.2.The Church has a vital role and responsibility to care for
           the marriages of members. It can only provide goodness to
           the souls of believers if God’s workers were concerned in ren-
           dering matchmaking. A church must set up some sort of mar-
           riage counsel to cater for those who are to be married.

           3. God was the solemniser of the marriage.
           3.1.It was God who announced that Adam and Eve be joined
           together to become one f lesh (Gen 2.24). This was God’s
           solemnisation for the marriage. God solemnised the first mar-
           riage of mankind.
              Two believers must not come together to live as husband
           3.2.
           and wife before solemnisation.
              Cohabitation or fornication does not exist in a holy mat-
           3.3.
           rimony.
           3.4.God solemnised Adam and Eve before they sinned against
           God. Therefore, the Church does not solemnise believers
           who have committed cohabitation and other sexual immoral-
           ities.

           4. Marriage within the Lord Jesus.
           4.1.It is God’s will that a believer must get married only to
           another believer. For only two believers, having their sins
           purged in the blood of Jesus in the One correct water baptism
           according to the Bible, after being married, can build up a
           spiritual blissful family. How can a believer unite with a non-
           believer (sinner) to become one f lesh? (NB: Of course, we


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           need to preach to the sinners to be accepted by Christ Jesus).
           4.2.Israelites in the OT marrying the gentiles were an abom-
           ination to God (Ez 9.1) and they invited a curse (Neh 13.25).
           These caused Ezra to pluck his hair and beard (Ez 9.3) and
           Nehemiah to strike some of them and pull out their hair (Neh
           13.25). It was the gentile women who caused Solomon to sin
           and falter (Neh 13.26; 1 Kg 11.1-8).
           4.3. In the NT, Paul teaches us to marry within the Lord.   “Do
           not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what
           fellowship has r ighteousness with lawlessness? And what
           communion has light with darkness?” (2 Cor 6.14). Being
           yoked together can, of course, mean not following unbeliev-
           ers’ sinful behaviours. But, unbelief is a sin itself. How can a
           believer marry an unbeliever?

           5. There is no divorce in God’s will and principle of mar-
              riage.
           5.1.   God hated divorce in OT (Mal 2.16).
           5.2. Jesus did not allow divorce: “So then, they are no longer
           two but one f lesh. Therefore what God has joined together,
           let not man separate.” (Mat 19.6; Mk 10.6-9, 11, 12; Lk 16.18
           cf 1 Cor 7.11-13). Divorces may take place if a spouse com-
           mits adultery (Mat 5.32; 19.9), but this is not encouraged.

           6. A holy matrimony does not permit adultery.
           6.1. The seventh commandment does not permit adultery (Ex
           20.14). Monogamy is God’s principle.
           6.2.   Adultery was a sin to death (Lev 20.10).
           6.3.   “Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks under-

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           standing; he who does so destroys his own soul.” (Pro 6.32).
           6.4.Those committing adulte ry will not inherit God’s
           Kingdom (Gal 5.19-21).

           7. Husband and wife must love each other.
           7.1.The wife is to submit to the husband as to the Lord. The
           husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the
           Church (Eph 5.22, 23, 24). But, “as” implies that the hus-
           band must be qualified to be the head of the wife, like Christ
           is qualified to be the head of the Church. That is, the hus-
           band must learn to be like Christ, with the image of Christ to
           be qualified.
              The husband must love the wife as Christ loves the
           7.2.
           Church, to the point of death (Eph 5.25); as his own body
           (Eph 5.28); as Jesus loves the Church (Eph 5.29). The hus-
           band must not be harsh to her (Col 3.19).
           7.3. The husband loves the wife as himself and the wife respects
           the husband (Eph 5.33). Love each other (Gen 2.18).
              Help each other to walk on journey of faith (1 Pet 3.7).
           7.4.
           Learn from Pricilla and Aquilla (Rms 16.3-5). A virtuous
           wife cares for family (Pro 31.15, 21, 29).
           7.5.   Produce godly offspring (Mal 2.15; Gen 1.27, 28).

           Conclusion.
           Only if the husband and wife love each other, there will be a
           spiritual blissful family. Only blissful, spiritual, godly families
           shall constitute a holy, powerful church. Let us start building
           the end-time True Church by establishing spiritual families.



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           The Will of God


           Introduction
                        word “will” can mean wish, want, desire, deter-

           T
                        HE
                    mination, resolve, etc. Paul emphasised that he was
                    an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God (1 Cor
           1.1; Eph 1.1; Col 1.1; 2 Tim 1.1). Paul also mentioned much
           about God’s will in his service, preaching the Gospel and
           other aspects of the will of God (Rms 1.10; 8.27; Act 13.36;
           Col 4.12; 2 Cor 8.5). The Bible teaches us valuable aspects of
           God’s will and enlightens us how to fulfil His will. Jesus came
           to do God’s will: “then He said, ‘Behold, I have come to do
           Your will, O God.’” (Heb 10.9). We must also do God’s will.

           1. What is God’s will?
           1.1.   To bring us forth and deliver us from this present evil age.
           “Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth,
           that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.” (Jas
           1.18). “Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliv-
           er us from this present evil age, according to the will of our
           God and Father,” (Gal 1.4). We must be willing to be deliv-
           ered to fulfil God’s will.
           1.2. After we have been delivered, we must not conform to the world.

           “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed
           by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is
           that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Rms
           12.2). Not conforming to the world means:



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           1.2.1.   To be conformed to the image of Jesus.
           “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be con-
           formed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-
           born among many brethren.” (Rms 8.29). This means we
           must live out the image of Christ in our daily lives.
           1.2.2.   To be conformed to the death of Jesus.
           “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and
           the fellowship of His suf ferings, being conformed to His
           death,” (Phi 3.10). This means we must cut ourselves off
           from sins and we shall resurrect to life.
           1.2.3.   To be conformed to His glorious body.
           “who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed
           to His glorious body, according to the working by which He
           is able even to subdue all things to Himself.” (Phi 3.21). This
           means we shall be saved after transformation.
           1.3.   We must abstain from sexual immorality; be sanctified.
           “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you
           should abstain from sexual immorality;” (1 Thes 4.3). “By
           that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the
           body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Heb 10.10; see also Song
           3.10 silver pillars, base of gold; 2 Tim 2.20ff; Job 23.10; Zech
           13.9). Sexual immorality has spiritually slaughtered many
           people. Beware!!
           1.4.   Rejoice, pray and always give thanks to God.
           “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give
           thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1
           Thes 5.16-18). Only when we rejoice in God’s grace, can we
           pray constantly to give thanks to God.


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           1.5.   Doing good.
           “For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put
           to silence the ignorance of foolish men -” (1 Pet 2.15). Doing
           good means putting God’s words into practice and keeping
           His commandments. The most important aspect of doing
           good is to preach the perfect Gospel to save many more peo-
           ple.
           1.6.   God’s will is that all should come to repentance for salvation.
           “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some
           count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing
           that any should perish but that all should come to repen-
           tance.” (2 Pet 3.9; see also Matt 18.14; Jn 6.39, 40). Let’s do
           G o d ’s will by helping each other to enter into God’s
           Kingdom.

           2. How to fulfil God’s will?
           2.1.   Ask God to teach us to do His will.
           2.1.1.   Pray to God to teach us His will.
           “Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God; Your Spirit
           is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness.” (Ps 143.10).
           Very often we are not sure what God wants us to do. It is vital
           to pray to Jesus to direct our footsteps.
           2.1.2.   Know His will (as seen above).
           Know His will: “and know His will, and approve the things
           that are excellent, being instructed out of the law,” (Rms
           2.18). We need to learn to know God’s will in order to do His
           will.



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           2.1.3.   Ask according to His will.
           “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we
           ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” (1 Jn 5.14).
           2.2.   Live for the will of God.
           2.2.1.   Live the rest of our life according to His will.
           “That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the f lesh
           for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.” (1 Pet 4.2). We
           might not have been living according to His will, but we must
           now.
           2.2.2.   Do not insist on our own opinions or decisions (Jas 4.13,
           14).
           “Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and
           do this or that.’” (Jas 4.15). Learn from Jesus. “Again, a sec-
           ond time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if
           this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will
           be done.” (Matt 26.42).
           2.2.3.   Let God’s will be done on earth as in Heaven.
           “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in
           heaven.” (Matt 6.10). This demands our knowing and doing
           God’s will, fulfilling His will on earth as in Heaven.
               To live for God’s will, we might have to suffer according
           2.2.4.
           to God’s will.
           “Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God
           commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful
           Creator.” (1 Pet 4.19). We might suffer at times in our life so
           that we can be trained up spiritually. However, God will
           deliver us from all calamities. “I sought the LORD, and He



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           heard me, And delivered me from all my fears.” (Ps 34.4).
           “For He has delivered me out of all trouble; And my eye has
           seen its desire upon my enemies.” (Ps 54.7). “The righteous
           is delivered from trouble, And it comes to the wicked
           instead.” (Pro 11.8).

           3. Rewards for doing God’s will.
           3.1.   To be Jesus’ brother, sister and mother.
           “For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sis-
           ter and mother.” (Mk 3.35; Matt 12.50).
           3.2.   Will receive God’s joy.
           “That I may come to you with joy by the will of God, and
           may be refreshed together with you.” (Rms 15.32).
           3.3.   Salvation.
           “For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done
           the will of God, you may receive the promise; But we are not
           of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe
           to the saving of the soul.” (Heb 10.36, 39). “And the world
           is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of
           God abides forever.” (1 Jn 2.17).

           Conclusion.
           In order to enter into God’s Kingdom, we must not only
           know God’s will but also to do His will while on earth.




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           Your Love is Better than Wine


           Introduction
                           Song 1.1-4. Song of Songs or Song of Solomon

           R
                     EAD
                      is about the relationship between God and the
                      ancient saints (in the OT), the Apostolic believers
           and the True Jesus Church members. Though Solomon
           wrote one thousand and five songs (1 Kg 4.32), only one has
           been included as a book of the Bible. Solomon means peace-
           ful, peaceable. He was also called Jedidiah (beloved of the
           Lord) at his birth (2 Sam 12.24, 25). Solomon was a prince of
           peace before sinning against God. He can typify Jesus. Song
           of Solomon can thus mean Song of Jesus. (Note that all scrip-
           tures were inspired by God). These few verses style the intro-
           duction to the Song of Solomon with an imperative message
           to all those who belong to God.

           1. Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth (Song
              1.2a).
              This is the spiritual quest of a believer who loves the Lord
           1.1.
           Jesus, the Almighty God. Such a believer yearns to be kissed
           by Jesus.
           1.2.God’s kisses, His words, are words of life. As in Genesis,
           God’s words bestow life in His creation, His words today spir-
           itually recreate a person who receives His words into his heart.
           Only when one is regenerated through His words with faith
           and His blood during water baptism, one is spiritually alive to
           communicate with God.


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           1.3.We need to be kissed by God’s words directly to receive
           eternal life. God communicated with His people indirectly
           (visions, dreams, prophets) but directly (mouth to mouth;
           KJV, RSV, NAS) with Moses (Num 12, 6, 7, 8). Preachers and
           other speakers of God’s words are important for our spiritual
           growth but we must go beyond such indirect communication
           with God. We need to read, study and directly receive God’s
           words into our hearts (being kissed by Jesus directly) to grow
           to maturity. Then, God’s words would be more valuable than
           gold and sweeter than honey (Ps 19.7-10).
           1.4.Unfortunately, many people are kissed by temptations,
           sins, including sexual immoralities, etc. They are kissed by
           Satan. (See Jn 6.70). We must not kiss the devil or be kissed
           by the devil but by the Lord Jesus Christ. Judas Iscariot kissed
           Jesus with a kiss of death (Mat 26.49) but Jesus overcame
           death and resurrected. We must rely on Jesus so that we are
           not assailed by the kiss of death. Watch out! Satan desires to
           kiss us.

           2. Your love is better than wine (Song 1.2b).
           2.1. Only after a person has directly been kissed by God, can he
           feel and recognise the true and divine love Jesus Christ which
           is better than wine. He can then genuinely feel Jesus’ love
           upon the cross.
           2.2.Wine spiritually represents wealth, enjoyment, worldly
           achievements, fame, status, money, etc. One can indulge in
           these seemingly beautiful worldly things and forget about
           God.




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           2.3.Wine can also represent pleasure of sins, all kinds of sinful
           and lustful fellowships and activities such as clubbing, danc-
           ing, etc. One without Jesus and His words can easily get
           drunk with these sinful diseases, leading to spiritual death,
           eternal punishment. Wine bites like a serpent and stings like
           a viper (Pro 23.31, 32).

           3. The fragrance and the Name of God, Jesus, draw
              many people towards Him (Song 1.3).
              Jesus’ fragrance (His behaviours, deeds, power and love)
           3.1.
           and His Name (proclaimed by many) attracted great multi-
           tudes to follow Him (Mat 4.25; 8.1; 12.15; 14.13; 19.2;
           20.29).
              The Name, Jesus, is more excellent than those of angels
           3.2.
           (Heb 1.4) and exalted and above every name (Phi 2.9ff).
           3.3. Can our fragrance be like that of good ointments? (Song
           1.3a). Can we draw others to Jesus when they smell our fra-
           grance or do we have any aroma? Can our deeds, behaviours,
           lifestyles shine for Jesus? Can others see Jesus in us?
           3.4. Can our name be poured forth like good ointments? (Song
           1.3b). Do we have good reputation (Acts 6.3; 10.22; Gal 2.2)
           to proclaim the Perfect Gospel to many more people? Does
           our reputation hinder or attract others coming to the Truth?
           Can we ensure the virgins (those ignorant of God initially)
           love God? (Song 1.3c). (Please also see Pro 22.1; 2 Cor 2.14,
           15; 8, 18f).

           4. Lead me away! We will run after You (Song 1.4a).
           4.1.   Only when a person is truly kissed by Jesus and he recog-


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           nises that His love is better than wine, can he implore Jesus to
           lead him away. We must let Jesus be the Leader in our life, i.e.
           put Jesus first in our life.
           4.2. “Me” can refer to a worker of God, pouring out fragrance,
           manifesting in good deeds and behaviours, setting good
           examples for others to follow. He is a spiritual leader; he leads
           not by exercising his alleged authority but by spiritually doing
           better than others who can emulate him. He prays more,
           reads the Bible more, loves more, forgives more, works more,
           etc.
           4.3.“Me” (singular) is transformed into “We”. This is God’s
           expectation. He beseeches every individual “me” to be culti-
           vated, spiritually strong, so that all the “mes” will become
           “we”. In other words, God desires the whole Church to fol-
           low Him, not just “me”.
           4.4.We will run after You. When every “me” is spiritually
           powerful, we can then run after Jesus. Jesus expects us to run
           after Him in our journey of faith. Some follow Jesus reluc-
           tantly. We must run after Jesus. Think about our service, fer-
           vency, love, etc towards Jesus. Do we run or walk sluggishly?

           5. Jesus has brought me into His chambers (Song 1.4b).
           5.1. A chamber can mean a bridal couch with curtains (refer to
           Ps 19.5; Joe 2.16). Entering into chambers can also mean
           earnest prayers (Cf Is 26.20). Only believers whose faith in
           action is running after Jesus can enter into Jesus’ chambers, in
           deep spiritual communication with God in prayers.
           5.2. Only those who have been kissed by Jesus and feel that His
           love is better than wine can truly enter the King’s chambers.


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           We must strive to enter into His chambers. This can only be
           possible not only by God’s kisses (His words) but also by
           prayers.
           5.3. We will be glad and rejoice in God (Song 1.4c). Only after
           we have entered into His chambers, can we then rejoice spir-
           itually.

           6. We will remember Jesus’ love more than wine (Song
              1.4d).
              In Song 1.2b, we recognise “Your love is better than
           6.1.
           wine”. But this recognition is not sufficient. We must
           remember constantly God’s love more than wine.
           Remembrance is more important than just mere recognition
           (Song 1.4d).
           6.2. In Song 1.2b and Song 1.4d serve as open and close brack-
           ets respectively. Once we have recognised God’s love is bet-
           ter than wine and steadfastly remember that His love is more
           (better) than wine, we will then be showered with all the
           blessings within the brackets.

           Conclusion.
           Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth - for your love is
           better than wine. Rightly do we love Jesus (Song 1.4e).




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