22 AUG 2021 – RECS English Service

22 AUG 2021 – RECS English Service

happy sunday so glad to see you guys all here especially some of the kids um and as i was mentioning last week we along with the recommendation by the authority we have started food vaccination uh entry for for this place so those folks who are out there who are not resonated i want to really encourage you to be resonated i know that there are some concerns that some people have and you know a lot of people are still observing and things like that i’m not very sure what you’re observing for actually because as i mentioned in a crisis situation the only way forward is to use the best score given faculties that we have with the people who are the experts in this area formulating a strategy moving forward as a group of people because there’s no other options so there may be situations where the ideas were not entirely correct in hindsight right because hindsight is always perfect but you really don’t have any option so you are either part of the solution or you’re part of the problem that the authorities have to deal with and as people of god we always want to be part of the solution and in any case if the vaccine turn up to be something is wrong with it and we all become zombies you are only the only one who is still surviving so i don’t know you want to be either legend kind of a guy in the movie i don’t know how you survive anyway you know so to put in mali your dialects all die together kind of thing because there is no other solution moving forward in any case as i said the testings and all that kind of thing are very very robustly done if you do not trust the vaccine you shouldn’t trust anything actually including all your off the self shelf medication and what have you right so it really is something that is getting to be a little bit difficult as we as the nation narrows down to the last few percentage of the people uh because it is a serious problem for us all as the country continue to lock down and you look around the world it’s it’s just a big fat mess everywhere so singapore in this area is still a lot better than other people so again we do want to pray that god will allow us to gather again sooner for me the key concern i have is still with this life worship service and also especially with the children’s sunday school because they don’t get together and that’s going to be pretty difficult and moving forward if with full vaccination we still have to do this safety distancing thing then it’s even another thing to think about or you forever and ever have to wear face masks that’s also another thing to think about because it is going to impact the way we gather together and someone was asking me about our anniversary that is coming up in october you know every year when we do that we have cakes and we have all kinds of things now i don’t know you can’t even eat okay you can’t even sing that’s really crazy so we have a lot of issues ahead of us that we really need to come together to think as a group and seek god’s wisdom now today i am going to carry on with the armor of god series and moving forward i’m going to be touching on two pieces of time oh god per week and then after efficient end i will proceed to start on the episode or the letter written to the philippians so with god’s grace we have been learning so much or at least i have been learning so much from the preaching of god’s word so let’s begin and again some advertisement for you a call for you to continue to write and contribute to the uh daily devotional quite a few of you have contributed i’m very happy with that so please continue writing and later on at 11 30 we have a special session of the ask me anything with our brother frankie who will be sharing with us issues relating to mental health and quite a few of you have written to me with questions relating to that so this is a very important topic and frankie is a senior pharmacist at the institute of mental health so this is his area of expertise and actually we have been discussing also on the site on issues relating to some of our people and what does it mean and all that so please come on to join us if you can’t join us the item the the line in red is for people who can come on to look at the archive and everything that we do in the ama has been archived and you can go and revisit it and of course nothing is better than being on live and you can continue to ask questions too if you want to ask questions you can send it i guess send it to the what’s app number better so that we can look at it afterwards okay let’s go and look into what was taught in the last lesson in the last lesson we enter into the last portion of the episode to efficiency which is probably the most famous portion about efficient many people just remember the armor of god when they think about efficiency and essentially we talk about how the apostle paul wrote about how there’s so many enemies and so many adversaries everywhere from the air the unseen foes the enemies all around us and i’ve started by asking the question is this true you know in the course of my sermons i often want to ask set the ground first by asking questions is this true and this is because many people think that the apostle paul lived in early christian days you know where people are very superstitious where people are very primitive they don’t understand a lot of things so therefore everywhere they turn they seem to see the devil where else today in our modern christian world we don’t seem to think like that and especially for most of us christianity seems to be something that brings us comfort we’re quite happy to be christians in this land and there’s very little persecution sometimes it is a plus point to be a christian right for example if you want to go to acs and anglo chinese school you know that you better be a melodies then it is a in thing then you can get access to the school so christianity now and christianity back in the days of the apostle paul quite different and so many people conclude that paul was imagining things or paul is is really reflecting upon the mindset of the early days people and today there is there’s just no devil there’s just no adversaries no not much problem all around us this is a problem of giving the devil too much attention or giving the devil too little attention so the christian writer c.s lewis says both are problematic so we have brothers and sisters in christ who are in a charismatic wing especially in the extreme ones who rarely see the devil in everything under the sun everything is a problem that is caused by the devil from the headache to the air conditioning not working if the devil is at work whereas on the other hand we have people in our camp the reform camp or the conservative camp who really do not see the devil in anything and everything is is just about pure facts so both are problematic because when you give the prop never too much attention you can create a situation where people look at the christian and say you guys all see one you every little thing you say there’s a devil and when you don’t give the devil any attention then what the apostle paul wrote you will ignore completely and the fact is that the apostle paul was right that there are evil all around us and some of them are very obvious evil that we can see right before our eyes recent days i’ve been observing the situation in kabul afghanistan very closely and it’s very scary have you have you been following it it’s so frightening and you know in all these crises sometimes there’s an iconic picture that will appear so in the withdrawal of the american troops from saigon the iconic picture was a helicopter taking off and everybody trying to reach out for the helicopter for kabu the iconic picture has appeared it is the refugee passing a baby up to the wall and then the marine reaching out and yanking the baby is a very scary side the baby is very small and the butt wire is razor sharp all around and the the marine was yanking and people are so desperate that they will pass their babies over to the wall hoping that if i don’t get to escape from kabul at least my baby get to go somewhere safe because if you go into the the american territory then you will be safe and it’s just crazy right i mean it’s such a sad scene and the thing is still unfolding before us the americans have declared that you better go to the airport now because they are sensing that there’s some issues that is going to happen so i was just telling patricia you don’t go to the airport and go away how are you going to escape you cannot run you cannot crawl you cannot take a bus or whatever it is the airport is the only way out but you know for the americans this is a huge mistake because all the taliban has to do is shoot one anti-aircraft missile from the ground on any plane that’s taking off and that’s it the whole thing is paralyzed so the evil that’s unfolding right before us are very frightening but i think more frightening are the subtle and the insidious evil that we don’t detect that you will sit there and think that there’s no evil in the world there’s no problem in the world i think that’s the more frightening evil as the apostle paul says much of it are things that we cannot see principalities in the air and i ask the question that i’ve been asking all my life long is a christian a patient or a soldier is the church that we have here a hospital our army training camp big difference between the two you know if a christian is a patient it means that all your life long you need to be using the local words i sayong you know we need to sayong you because you are patient you are sick you you are in trouble we always have to cater to pastoral work to help you uh if the church is a hospital that’s exactly what we do people who are hurt and whether we come in we spend all our time and energy trying to heal you and trying to help you however if a christian is a soldier if a christian if the church is an army training camp that’s a different ballgame altogether a soldier is trained to go out there and fight a war a army training camp is used to train soldiers so that they will go out there and fight a war now the army training camp would have a medical unit inside so this is not to say that a christian cannot moan and groan or have no problems of course a lot of issues out there in fact much of my pastoral time is spent through trying to help people with the issues they have in life and so pasourio is definitely part of our christian war so i want to say to you that if you are in trouble when you when you find yourself stuck in whatever it is please feel free to approach me because that’s what a pastor do because if the chinese like to say thank you to me that means if you’re in the midst of some issue you are always confused you you you don’t know what’s happening and you always think that you are right actually you are lost pankwanza the follower on the side looking at it he’s much clearer penguins are saying he is able to tell where the issues are so therefore pastoral service is is important at the same time you need to know that the bible does not portray the christian as someone who is always a patient the clear teachings of the bible is that we are salt and light of the world we are the children of light in the world of darkness therefore there is no doubt whatsoever that if you would read the bible clearly we are called to be soldiers as the apostle paul would then describe needing to put on the armor of god the problem of course is that a lot of us are just plain ignorant we don’t know we we don’t know what the bible say and we just listen to whatever it is that people tell us all we know but we choose not to know are we plainly unwilling to do whatever it is that the bible tells us to do and so my dear brothers and sisters in christ we are called to be soldiers of jesus christ yes there will be time where we need to go to the medical unit and get ourselves healed but know that we feel exception there are some people who are exceptional going through very difficult times you know that and i understand that vast majority of us are indeed called to be witnesses for our lord jesus christ in this world and i ended by reminding you that the victory has already been won by our lord upon the cross and upon his resurrection but there are still many battles left for us to fight and that by the will of god comes from his perfect wisdom as to how we should live our life all of us are given a fixed time fixed talent fixed resources that the lord has given entrusted to us and we are to be good steward of the time and the resources he has given to us to fight the battle that he has given to us to bear witness and lift up the name of jesus christ and one day when christ come again we will be held accountable for how we will live our life although he has already won the victory he has deemed fit to ask us to continue the battle now we’re going to go on to the detail of the armor of god starting from the first two our first three items in the armor of god let’s come before the lord in the word of prayer and commit the time to him let us pray we thank you god for any opportunity that we can come to you and to meditate upon your word and this morning there are people who are right here in this sanctuary and people who are joining us we are cyberspace we do pray that you help us understand that it is by your good will that you have allowed us to come and so may we be teachable may we be humble may our years be open to you for some of the teachings that we hear are jarring and difficult and often in our own self-centeredness and arrogance we will reject you and we will think of your words as foolish and superficial help us oh god to have the humility to recognize your voice jesus christ said that he is the good shepherd and he will call out his sheep by name and when his sheep hear him they will recognize his voice may we recognize your voice oh lord so that we will turn and follow you a special mercy on your unworthy servant may the words of his mouth and the meditation in all our heart and mind be deemed acceptable in your sight for your god and our redeemer in jesus name we pray amen so i’m going to start off with the last verse that we stopped last week verse 13 therefore take up the whole armor of god that you may be able to withstand in the evil days and having done all to stand firm now therefore means there’s something before that right those of you who do math and all that you always have to come up with some equation and then come with a therefore if i remember my math correctly therefore is three dot right therefore and then what’s before that so the verse before that as mentioned earlier was the verse relating to the warfare before us for we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against the rulers against the authorities against the cosmic power over this present darkness against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places so paul says that man is out there a lot of problems there’s a lot of unseen danger there’s a lot of forces against the people of god therefore because of all this you need to equip yourself and the apostle paul then went on to talk about the armor of god a very famous and very familiar imagery that for many of us and as i mentioned to you before this was probably because the apostle paul was chained to an actual soldier a roman soldier and looking at the roman soldier then the apostle paul used that illustration and went on to talk about the armor of god and he would have been very familiar with the way the roman soldiers operate because they changed for a long time so there could be a possibility of him speaking to the roman soldier asking what is it that you guys do and what are some of the procedures that you have to go through in order to do your job and one of the reason why we are quite convinced that he was chained to the roman soldier was in his description of the armor of god he left out the spear in a standard issue roman soldier equipment the sword is a weapon plus the spear so a spear is something you you throw but because this roman soldier was chained to him in the house therefore there is no need for the spear so the only thing that he carried was the sword so therefore in the armor of god description the apostle paul left out the spear lightly because the soldier chained to him did not carry a spear so that’s one of the reason why people are quite certain that paul was looking at this guy and listing out the armor of god and not only that he would use the sequence in which the roman soldier dressed himself as a illustration in verse 14 he said stand therefore having fasted on the belt of truth and having put on the breast spirit of righteousness so the first item that the apostle paul mentioned was the belt of truth this was because that would have been the first item the roman soldier would have to wear now uh as i look around i don’t see many of you wearing belts except the guys but some of the guys wearing t-shirt over your trousers so i can’t tell whether you have a belt or not these days the belt is more like a fashion accessory i suppose a lot of women the belt doesn’t serve any purpose or it’s just by surya in hokkien but in the days of the apostle paul that’s very important in fact not long ago it was still important long time ago it was very easy to tell whether someone is from mainland china do you know how his trouser is very big then he has a belt that is very long then he will wear quite high and then he will tie it when i was studying in the university of texas at austin there were that was the first time the u.s government let in a lot of mainland chinese scholars so all these phd people and all that come from china and and they brought of course they are living habits right so one of the things that’s quite interesting is they bring their own bicycle hong kong taiwan phoenix brand black color bicycle i don’t know how they ship into china so one who you know this guy is from china second sign is the the bell because their trousers are always very big then the bell is very long do you know why so that you can wear the trousers for a long time because of poverty so as you you have a big trousers and then you tie your belt and you grow fatter and fatter you just loosen the belly loosen loosen the belt yeah if you go skinnier skinner you just tighten the bell and so that trousers will serve you for a long time these days of course those though those needs are no longer there so you guys just have who knows how many clothings you have at home you’re piling and of course in china now it’s the other way around they have too many fat people you know there was a period of time when my blade father went back to china a long long time ago for the first time after so many donkey years he was one of those people who came to china singapore at 13 years old because of famine back in hainan island so finally he got a chance to go back to china i remember asking him what’s the first impression you get when you visited china he said one thing i realized is there’s no fat people there there’s no fat people there there was a long time ago now you know you throw a stone you hit a fat person because life has changed so but for the people back in the days of the apostle paul especially the soldiers the belt is not a fashion statement you know it is a essential part of the whole outfit the belt was used to basically tie everything together so much so that the bible often use the belt as an illustration isaiah chapter 11 verse 5 when describing the messiah to come righteousness shall be the belt of his ways and faithfulness the belt of his loins for the roman soldier the first item to put on is the belt that will hold everything together so after the battle when they go back to the cam they just loosen the belt then everything a bang bang bang fall down then they can relax themselves and of course even for the roman soldiers the bell may seem quite insignificant because it doesn’t seem to function do a lot of things not a weapon it’s not a defensive thing however it is the most important thing that actually keeps everything together so the apostle paul used the belt as the first illustration what the apostle paul meant when he said that having fastened on the belt of truth he meant that everything for a christian is dependent on the very first principle and the very first principle is the truth that is to say that everything in the armor of god is held together by one thing only and then one thing is the truth and again i want to ask ironically the question is this true is it true that the truth is the one thing that will hold everything together and it is the most important thing in the christian understanding because i have suspect that when you are listening to me whether you are here or in cyberspace it’s not the first thing that will come to your mind if i ask you what’s the most important thing in in christianity what is the most important thing hold everything together i suppose a lot of you will say maybe the salvation of jesus christ maybe my redemption maybe courage maybe goodness kindness whatever it is the apostle paul says it is the belt of truth the problem for us is that truth is a very elusive thing actually meaning is not something that we think about a lot at all and so in all of humanity it is a topic that is very big and it’s so big that really i can’t use one sermon to talk about it it is a topic that needs an entire life and beyond for you to study and to understand but maybe because it’s so big so people don’t want to go and think about it too much and thinking about the truth all the time seem to make you like a person who is out of joint with the normal life but in all cultures people understand that the truth is important so they tell stories to try to encourage the truth chinese culture for example has many stories that teaches the the young person to be truthful some of which are very strange but the general idea is that it has to be truthful in the west they also have many stories and one of the most famous stories is george washington and cherry tree so some of you have heard this story before so george washington the first president of the united states of america he’s considered a very honest kind of a person so one of the story that the americans always tell to the kids when they are young is the story of george washington and the cherry tree so apparently when george washington was young his family was quite rich and in his birthday sometimes they say he’s five years old six years old seven year old birthday the father gave him a gift now today you will give your child a gift that is quite wonderful right i don’t know maybe you give the fuller transformer or some remote control airplane or whatever it is or kite or something like that right george washington father gave him an x for give back in those days the x was a game now remember the unfortunate unfortunate situation in the river valley school right the murderer used an axe so some people immediately raise their arms in the air and say hi give an x-ray get an extra blah blah blah you know when i was growing up in school as a scout we had x-men ship you know we could buy the eggs from the provision shop and then there was the batch that we were that shows that we are expert in wielding the x so not so surprising that george washington’s time the x was a two that a child would use i remember in premier one i had to sharpen pencil using a pen knife how many of you did that before raise your hand see like all these people too already you cannot be like you’re so young penny you know so would you give a kid a pen knife today you’re freaking out right we were shopping in brazil using a pen knife and my goodness the panel you could use to kill someone you know so george washington had a axe so what happened was that the father went out of the house and he wanted to test the eggs he went to chop the cherry tree and the territory happened to be the father’s most favorite cherry tree and so when the father came back he was furious and kept asking who is the one who has chopped down my tree and the most famous statement in this story george washington said i cannot tell a lie i cut down the cherry tree so this phrase is repeated often in american popular culture i cannot tell a lie because i am the one who chopped down the cherry tree and the story ended with george washington’s father saying oh goodbye because you were honest you spoke the truth so it’s okay i i forgive you so you know the story all end well however we know that in real life it doesn’t really quite work i had the same experience when i was very young in sunday school my sunday school teacher told the story that’s why i always remember this is my eternal pain by the way so as a child i believe my sunday school teacher right that’s what the sunday school teacher told me that you always tell the truth then when i went home one fine day i broke a bus and i went to tell my mother i cannot tell a lie i broke the bus guess what happened next i discovered that my mother is not george washington’s father you know that’s what happened next so it’s a very illusive and very difficult thing so as a young child i had to ask myself was the story real or the story not real and life is so complicated today that there are so many things that are floating around that are no longer real in this particular story a political cartoon was drawn in a time of donald trump where george washington with the exit i cannot tell a lie and the person next to him try using alternative facts this person actually is called kellyanne conway she was a special counsel to president donald trump so what happened was that you know when donald trump was inaugurated he said that he has the most people in the history of america attending his inauguration you know flooded the whole place and so everybody went after that that that claim because the photograph they can show that actually not not so many people at the moment is inauguration ceremony and so when kevin conway was asked in a press conference she said we are presenting to you alternative facts these are alternative facts so it becomes a joke and everybody keeps asking the question is it true the idea of truth everybody think is good but when you actually come to do it it’s a different ballgame altogether i just heard someone say for example forgiveness is a good idea until you have to do it so a lot of people have this idea that of course the truth is very important i’m most impressed with india actually because india adopted a motor for their country that is very different from all other motors in the entire world in singapore we just did our national day celebration what’s our motto who knows what’s singapore’s motto are you please tell me you know what singapore’s motto is it’s in malaya by the way what ma jula singapura that means onwards singapore right india’s national motto is sankrik which means truth alone triumph well this is very profound you know truth alone triumph alone that means only the truth will win finally and you know when i first saw that i said wow these people are very advanced very civilized but you also know that india is the most corruption in the world most horrifying situation in the world today that in this covet situation you better not be in india and by the way indonesia is so not much better right or even malaysia but this is a very profound truth alone triumph the fact is that the truth is in a messy state today and it’s really really difficult to tell who is telling the truth and who is not telling the truth even in ancient days the greek philosopher as jealous already said in war truth is the first casualty that’s why these people are philosophers you know when you listen to you say what this guy is very smart truth is the first casualty that means when there is a conflict the truth get lost and somebody said history is always written by the victors so you win the war you get to write the history then you say oh you know the japanese are horrible and the germans are terrible they’re monsters or whatever guess what if the japanese won the war the germans won the war then the americans would be the monsters you know so in war truth is always the first casualty and it’s not just in war it’s also in personal conflicts now as pastor i have to deal with a lot of conflicts right a lot of issues a lot of problems and especially between couples that are fighting and quarrelling when couples fight guess what the truth is the first casualty because in chinese kung fu kong yoli poyoli the husband will say something blah blah blah tell you a story the wife will say something another story and as a counselor you must listen to both sides you cannot listen to one side of the story and then take it because in a conflict the truth is the first casualty and the truth is somewhere out there and and and it’s it’s very difficult and you you sometimes scratch your head and say hey how come the same issue both side got completely different understanding because in war truth is the first casualty my dear brothers and sisters in christ actually we are surrounded by all kinds of falsehood all kinds of half truth that is really permeating our entire life when you look at the newspaper when you look at all around you you see all kinds of false advertisement half breakthrough being shoved into your face and so much so that you really don’t quite realize it anymore you look at advertisements on the newspaper telling you that there’s a special sale for whatever it is if you believe it you will discover very quickly that there is a fine print written down below patricia used to have a division center at bukit timah shopping center and nearby there’s a courts you know and you know cause always put all these big ass right wow really the cheap 60-inch tv and all that kind of thing something very cheap kind of thing and because she has a center there i get to go there early in the morning sometimes on saturday and you see people queuing up like crazy you know to buy whatever it is that’s advertised what they don’t realize is that actually only two sets available or they put down there um until so long so once you reach that they tell you so already and that’s a form of false advertisement and of course this is fake news are all over the place and the the the best or rather the most perpetual fake news or this loose weight kind of thing no need to exercise no need to suffer whether i lose 30 pounds and people continue to believe in things like that one of the things that is very scary in recent years is the emergence of people who were right very soft story incurring kind of christian news i just received this a couple of days ago from a few people are not just one because of the taliban situation uh today sadly they just informed me that uh they’re gonna execute 229 christian missionary sentenced to that by the taliban in afghanistan so please pray for them blah blah blah this is this message was sent by judith carmona so the when you first read something like that it’s like wow you know the one going to execute missionary let’s go together together to pray call out the church and tell everybody forward to our whatsapp group and say everybody pray get out our knees and and pray because that should be the reaction to this right but i have come to know that every time i receive something like that better go and check who is this judith carmona person one google you know this is fake news and you ask yourself why well you’re very free or nothing to do and generate things like that and send you all over the place and get people all fired up i mean of course we know that the talibans are not exactly friends of christians right but stuff like that really is doing a disservice because all of a sudden you sort of get all confused so what exactly is the truth the fact is that most of us if not all of us have accepted falsehood as a normal part of life that we think that it’s okay to be not so sensitive to the truth that falsehood is very much a part of everyday culture anyway and it’s not just about the christian it is something that envelope us everywhere from the most profound if you look at other religions and i’ll be very careful right because in singapore you want to be careful about talking about other people’s religion so i always use greek mythology and chinese mythology as a excuse because it’s quite similar with common religion in greek mythology in chinese mythology or even indian mythology the myth always feature gods and goddesses who are just like human being so this is called anthropomorphic like human-like and so the gods will always make mistakes and not only make mistake their lies and last fool and and can be tricked and can be stupid you know that’s that’s mythology and common religion has that threat especially the not so sophisticated religion out there and people just follow did you see the news recently about covet injection uh a thing that you can burn for your ancestors yeah i know you know you know so my daughter asked me you already died really why you worry about kobe i say well you know you go to a web market you probably can buy a set of i don’t know maybe art testing kit that you can burn for your ancestors and and these are the things that makes you think twice about what this is all about or make you not think at all and and it’s thriving business you know people do that so you accept it as part of life the yellow there are some things that are like that law so don’t question your question too much then you get all confused some things it was just so like like like like you know just just get over it not only that in some cultures there is deliberate promotion of falsehood one of the statements that the senior pastor made that is really good is this one of the saddest parts of the chinese culture is treating the seed as if it were a virtue that means you you you treat the seed as something that is wonderful for example somebody sent me a video of some chinese guru teaching the chinese people the differences between the americans or the west and the chinese intelligence and there are many such things in the internet you know a lot of chinese talk show or chinese talk guru and all that teaching and commenting on public affairs so this guy was saying that there is a big difference between the way the western people were and the way we chinese were and his audience was quite big he said for example in a fast food restaurant and fast food restaurant always have some special whatever it is like you know specialty special that he said that i’m more a fast food guy would stand out there and say sir what do you want and the guy will say oh i want that special and i want this without because i want this without this i want this ddd you know a lot of special requests and all that and the poor hamburger flipper guy will try to answer and then people get impatient because the line queue very long and then he will keep trying to say that okay so this is very difficult so this chinese say panda this is so stupid chinese difference it’s very simple if it were me if i’m there i just simply say also then we solve the problem the audience all clap like crazy this is brilliant this is so smart you know deceit as a virtue and my goodness i’ve seen so many of these i think i shared this with you before a relative of mine the sun went to premier one and mother give the fuller 50 cents for allowance then premier one the further come back the mother says so what you do with the 50 cents to say aliens say she need money so i give her the money aka also say he needs money so i let him have the money the mother freaked out and said hey how can you do that the 50 cents is for your allowance you know you must not give your money away you go and take it back from them then a week later asked the kids so have you took back the money the kids say yeah here’s the money the mother looked at it huh how come got so much money the kids saying well i leaned to 50 cents i asked her to give me back 70 cents akal took 50 cents i asked him to give me back one dollar guess what happened my relative was overjoyed he was so happy he said my goodness i have a genius son this son is going to grow up to be very rich only premier won and he already got all these ideas when i heard the story i was so shocked that the parents would praise the son for being devious you know the kid is a natural hong kong man and the parents are very happy and he’s wow you know why because business is like that we should all call each other right and then be very happy about it so much so that john mcarthur junior as i mentioned to you last week had this statement that really freaked me out he said so much of business politics government education system science religion and even family life is built on falsehood and half truths that the sudden revelation of the whole truth would cease will cause society as we know it to disintegrate we are so used to falsehoods in our life that if you are forced to really face up to the truth of the world in all arena the society will cease to function and i’ve been thinking about this statement long and hard and he is right but you don’t have to worry too much because nobody would really want the truth anyway in the examples that i given to you for example the one about the taliban that that statement i went to write to one of my friends i said this is fake news right it’s not true this is not fake news the guy got angry and wrote back to me and said don’t you know that these are horrible taliban they are terrorists and all that kind of thing even though this is fake news for sure they will go and kill some missionary blah blah blah you know he got angry so the same with the fella who sent me the video on that fast food guy i went to repeat what dr tom said to him don’t go around the pay i surpa people don’t want to listen to the truth so don’t worry about it society is not going to collapse the way john mcarthur jr described it would be why then did apostle paul says then faster on the belt of truth because the truth may be something that we think may not be something we think about all the time but in reality it is still the most important matter not just for the christian faith but for the entire universe why would that be the case this is because god is true the other statement that dr stephen tong made the left deep imprint in my heart is this dr tong said that one of the greatest contributions of the hebrew culture to the world is the word truth in the midst of all this mass in the world the hebrew culture the bible judeo-christian understanding lift up the idea of the truth and that’s one of the biggest contribution that they can have to the world and the hebrew culture or christianity as a whole live up the truth very simply because god is truth it’s as simple as that and you can hit the bible in many places just go and google bible verses about god is true you will see so many of it that there can be no doubt whatsoever that the key attribute of god must be truth and one of the most famous passage must be this one john 14 6 jesus said to him which is thomas i am d way and d truth and d life no one comes to the father except to me this statement actually create a lot of problems for christians because an exclusive statement jesus didn’t say i am one of the way i am one of the truth i am one of the lives he said i am the way the truth and the life my dean in biblical graduate school theology wrote a thesis on this he said in the original greek the three all in one i am the way truth life the greek word care means join together it’s all one it’s not like i am the way who is not the truth who is not the life but all three are one this is because god is really the very definition of truth because we don’t think about this very much we often sort of segregate that god is god truth is true fosu is another thing altogether the reality is god is the very definition of what being true is all about to put it very simply what is true is of god and what is not true is not of god it’s as simple as that so oftentimes you you want to ask the question what is sin sounds very complicated what is sin oh sin is don’t do this do that do that this behavior better is it actually a very simple definition is anything that is not of god is sin anything that is not in accordance to god is sin and so it’s as simple as that what is of god is true what is not of god is not true and if you understand this you will be able to understand the other bible verses that we are familiar with john 8 32 and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free subsequent verse so if the sun sets you free you will be free indeed love the word indeed indeed means very much so in chinese unto you really truthfully indeed you will be made free if you are not a christian you look at all the declaration of jesus christ you will say in chinese you know my goodness is very arrogant how dare you proclaim that you are the only way the answer is because he is the only way he is the truth it is an absolute statement so much so that is very clear in every place in the bible in your second responsive reading you read from james 1 117 god is the source of every good and perfect gift every good and perfect gift comes from the father of light in whom there is no variation at all that means there is no such thing as the tiniest tiniest tiniest little bit of falsehood in god no variation at all the other passage the apostle john especially sensitive to this first john 1 5 this is the message we have heard from him and declare to you god is light in him there is no darkness at all and so the truth in accordance to god or as an attribute of god is at the stage which is incomprehensible to us because we don’t know anything like this we have no idea what it means but there is no possibility of falsehood at all in god and so when we look at all these like i said this is a very very huge topic one of the the diagram that i tried to explain this as best as i can that i’ve shown you before will look something like this in our life there is such a thing as scientific truth isn’t it like you know you want to buy a car like those cars downstairs right well telsa or whatever you know this very expensive looking car they are very strict engineering facts to you uh from 0 to 100 kilometer how many seconds and all these are proven is a scientific fact so things like your medicine things like your math you do all this these are scientific facts there are self-evidence that means they can prove themselves at the same time there’s a group of facts which are moral facts moral facts are things that are right and wrong morally it got nothing to do with chemistry or physics or whatever it is and i’m only including moral effects that are true for example recently the olympics right so there’s this story about the olympic hockey team uh women’s hockey team having won something or was it volleyball i can’t remember but too bad the member was a dalit so she is a lower ranking race by race in the car system so when she go back to india she got discriminated against but to the indians who believe in the old system that’s truth of course that’s morally not true so those truths don’t include in that purpose occur what is happening in our understanding is that biblical truth is all-encompassing all of the moral truths of the world whether it’s chinese or hindu or japanese or whatever it is they all are subset of the whole biblical truth and biblical truth itself is the whole truth that god wants us to know because john 17 17 declare sanctify them in the truth your word is truth you may notice that there is a intersecting point there so some biblical truth are the same as scientific truth for example we believe in the creation of life by god in the order but the bible is not a scientific book or a book dealing with signs so it’s always a mistake to think that okay the bible tell me that my diet must be like this or this number or their numbers show me that it has to be like this the the bible tells me how a car should function no no no the bible doesn’t not interested in how engineering work so therefore the scientific truth that’s outside of biblical truth although there are some common areas guess what god’s truth however is all-encompassing so all truths are god’s truth not only are all truth god’s truth if you look at the picture god’s truth is far beyond all the truth that we can experience whether it’s scientific truth moral truth and certainly biblical truth we are only told of the truth of god that is necessary for us to live a life of faith and a life that is pleasing to god do not think that god’s truly so small only these few things are these few areas in life much much more that we can ever comprehend and so when we think about god’s truth i would suggest to you that we are far far away from understanding because if you look at the chart some of us don’t even know much about biblical ii let alone the entire truth of god this is why the bible says that god opposes the proud and give grace to what the humble because you cannot have an understanding of god truth and then still think that you’re a big deal if you do think that you’re a big deal something is wrong up here some screw is loose the light is on nobody’s home because you do not understand my dear brothers and sisters in christ when we think about what christianity is all about you must know that the definition of a christian of course is a person redeemed by the grace of god to the death and resurrection of our lord jesus christ that i think is the best kind of a description of what a christian is and because of that we are a child of god and we follow our lord jesus christ you use the word lord right so you follow him and because we are follower of god who is the truth it definitely means that we are follower of the truth because anything that is true is of god and anything that is not true is not of god this is why the apostle paul says the very first thing you do is you tie everything together with the truth if it is not true it cannot be of god and so using that belt of truth as a principle may i suggest to you in your life you always must ask yourself the question is this true because the truth is everything and i always say that it is a question you need to ask yourself not just about other faith it is also a question you ask yourself within the christian faith itself example this pastor in particular tell you that the bible says that when two persons get together therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and join with his wife and the two shall become one flesh you know i’m very pro-family pro-children and i always preach and tell you that that is the best arrangement that god has given to us the monogamous one-man one-woman relationship for those who are caught into marriage is this true or is this just what pastor young day men say because he’s a pastor so is his job you ask yourself is this true and i would argue that the truth of god no problem it can answer all your questions that’s why we do ama ask me anything because it’s true and god is truth and i say that you can use this simple formula to look at all of christendom especially when i deal with my charismatic brothers and sisters for example you know they have a lot of claims that are very big and sounds very dramatic i think my attitude is i don’t want to go into theological argument with you because don’t forget they have their phds and their these and their abcdefgs and their seminaries and doctor whoever who believe in all these things but i just want to ask a very simple question is this true i was invited to translate the books of one of the leaders of the one of the biggest mega church in singapore i read the book they gave me five it’s booklet i read the first one halfway i give up i say no i’m not gonna do this you know why guys say that he resurrected a dead after holy communion because holy communion got curative power and so in my mind there’s a lot is this true question you know first of all holy communion can cure is this true now that’s a bible part you can argue like because mythology says so whatever it is ah but now you say you resurrected a day is this true resurrected a date there hello and yesterday i was looking at the old video of jesus resurrecting lazarus lazarus were dead for how many days who knows before resurrection four days very good four days jesus deliberately wait for the father to smell first then he resurrected that guy right so you say that that follower was resurrected is this true is he really dead i mean assuming he would sort of come to life and may i know who could verify that he he got resurrected and if he indeed was resurrected from the day assuming he died just one day okay give you 75 discount compared to jesus center one day is dead do you not think that cnn or abc cbs washington post new york post whatever post all the media in the world will be very interested to see some guy who is dead for one day and then you resurrected him i mean i don’t be judgmental maybe you have special power over there but is this true i think it’s a fair question to ask right is this true so you you can tell me that you’re going to just what today is sunday wednesday i met with someone who told me that he wants to do a healing center in some resort somewhere so he he need help for fundraising and what have you because god told him to set up a healing center in a resort so people will come and supposedly be healed be healed or what the heal of stage four cancer hiv aids things that are incurable is that what being healed means my goodness that’s a very big claim you know you say that you can sell a healing center and you want me to raise fund for you to to do that is this true but i tell you i have quite so many of these through the years that i’m not going to devote energy to help him raise money for a healing center there was one particular case that was very close to my heart because a cousin of mine was dying of stage four ovarian cancer so all kinds of things were done all kinds of healers were caught into and some famous healer came and supposed to pray for healing is this true after that i saw what happened oh you know when this brother prayed the shocked they told me the showed no no no no the spirit was fully present so i asked so is she going to be healed oh brother and so say there is definite spiritual healing and she didn’t make it so is this true spiritual healing i also know how to say is spiritual healing so my dear brothers and sisters in christ because god is truth you need to ask the question is this true i have spent a lot of time on this don’t worry you’re looking at the clock so far you only talk about one point then we always stay until t time no no no the first point is the most important point because it’s about the whole everything together we serve a god of truth let us be truthful in everything we do and the truth is the truth is the truth if a prostitute will tell you the truth it is true if the reverend doctor cannon bishop yong tang will tell you a lie it is a lie the truth will always triumph truth alone triumph because of that the apostle paul then followed on by saying you must put on the breastplate of righteousness because what does it mean to be true it means you are right a christian who say that he follows the truth must surely live righteously and be right not self-righteous nia but righteously guess what this is not an option i think sometimes the thing that bothers my mind is that we all keep thinking that it’s an option it’s up to me so yeah sunday i come here i talk through it whatever blah blah blah but weekday i was just a completely different person because up to me up to me to choose is not an option of all the things that the bible tells us to do everything boils down to being truthful with god you notice jesus christ the most upset with hypocrisy and you know a lot of things are tools coming to worship and all these are all tools they are meant to help us to be truthful before god and the bible is very clear about this some of the verses that i always return to include old testament mikka 6-6 with what shall i come before the lord and bow myself before god on high shall i come before him with burnt offering with calves a year old will the lord be pleased with thousands of rams and 10 000 rivers of all shall i give my firstborn for my transgression the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul the prophet mika asked so you asked why is it that god wants to come before god shall i come and build you a big church shall i raise money for the poor shall i cut off my arm and give it to you prophet mika asks a question and the most famous verse of mikka is mika 6 8 the prophet said he has told you o man what is good and what does the lord require of you the answer is but to do justice and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your god and so if you are a follower of the truth you will do all this righteous act to do justice to love kindness and walk humbly with your god in other words if you do not like justice you do not like kindness you are proud and arrogant person then guess what no matter how many things you do in life in the glory of god or whatever you call it got nothing to do with god he’s not interested because this got nothing to do with his truth and verse 15 follow on by saying and as shoes for your feet having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace the order is that a soldier will wear his breastplate tie together everything with the belt and then he will wear his shoes and the apostle paul says that the shoes is a natural indication of how we are ready to go out to share the gospel of peace a natural outcome when you know for yourself what the gospel of peace is all about and all of scripture points to the fact that we will go out there and we will shine because we are light living in darkness therefore if one does not share one probably does not know like i always say you can bring me someone who is a theologian and has a lot of knowledge if you tell if i find out that this guy is a mean person not kind terrible the answer is he doesn’t know he may know on paper but he doesn’t really no no truly know the gospel of peace and we share not just in words but certainly in all the deeds we do in our life as well and so my dear brothers and sisters in christ the full armor of god may be something that we are clear about maybe something that we continue to hold on to all our life long step by step from the easily from the belt of truth all the way to the breastplate of righteousness and then in action to the journey that we will take to share his gospel to the rest of the world i know these are heavy topics and tough tough things to think about let’s have faith in the word of god and look into our life humbly with humility in our heart we would definitely see the lord guiding us so that we will become a better soldier for him as our years go by on this earth that he has placed us let us pray together thank you a lot for the word that we have had and as the server of god has shared these are profound and difficult topics the truth of god we are talking about nothing short of the entire attributes of god in a nutshell for his truth but we are far away from you far far away and so we find it difficult to understand and difficult to comprehend even harder to want to accept many of us if not all of us just simply want to take what is good for us and live a life that is pleasing to ourself the word of god can tell us whatever we just don’t like it we don’t want it we just don’t want to believe in it grants to us the wisdom to understand that your truth will always triumph that we are walking around and around in a journey that doesn’t make any sense in the end if we are stubborn and stiff neck and we just refuse to accept you and all throughout human history we see that happening the israelite wandered for 40 over years because they refuse to accept you may we not make the same mistake grant us the humility we need deep in our heart to recognize your word yes we are all far away from you but you want us to slowly but surely embrace the truth in every single part of our life because that’s what it means to be more and more like our lord jesus christ and with your truth comes the love joy and peace that marked your presence in our life may we all learn to enjoy and get to experience this most wonderful light that is from you so that when we shall see you face to face again we can say that we have lived a life that is pleasing to you a good life a life that has been fulfilling because we have lifted up the name of jesus in our life with all the confusion out there grant us the understanding that when we are with you it is still a wonderful life may we live this life and live it abundantly in jesus name we pray amen
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22 AUG 2021 - RECS English Service

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