Reconciling the Grace message and the Social Justice message

Pope Francis and Disfigured Man

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve always been a huge believer in grace and the grace message that’s sweeping the world. I believe in prosperity too – yet apart from maybe someone like Andrew Wommack (who says, “Prosperity is how much of a blessing are you to someone else. That’s the way that God evaluates it.” and lives it), I’ve always felt there have been few role models who would believe in both God’s prosperity yet also believe that “we’re blessed to be a blessing” – and not just give lip service to that quote, but actually live it out!

Whenever I talk to many of my brothers and sisters who believe in the prosperity message (which, by the way, as mentioned above, I do believe it, just differently from most people), I would always say that while I believe in prosperity and that God wants to bless us materially, I also believe that the money isn’t so that we can indulge in it.

Here’s what I believe: If God blesses you and you spend it all on yourself, or most on yourself, that’s fine. I don’t think he’s going to get angry with you. And I’m not about to judge or condemn you. I’ll just leave you alone. But I firmly believe that God would want us to use that money to bless others. That’s what love is – to consider others first, not ourselves. No condemnation – if you want it to spend on yourself, go ahead.

Many of my brothers and sisters would say that there’s nothing wrong with spending a lot of it on yourself. After all, we need to SHOW THE WORLD that God blesses His children so that they will be attracted to this God. After all, if we have big houses and drive nice cars, wouldn’t we be able to reach the rich? Really?? I’ve heard this too many times. My response is always that the world is not not coming to Jesus because the church is not blessed enough. The world is not coming to Jesus partly because we’re hypocrites and we’re not loving. We spend on ourselves, we don’t help the poor, we don’t stand up for the marginalized. Instead we judge people and we show more condemnation towards people than God does. The world sees our big churches and our wealth and wonders why we talk so much about love and about a God of love but don’t truly help make this world a better place.

I’ve always believed that if Christians truly sacrifice, limit their living standards in order to help people (read: love them) and start loving and embracing the unloved and marginalized as Jesus would have done, the world will take notice. Now, I’m not saying that this will win over the whole world. Not every one will accept the gospel and it is still an offense to many and will always be.

But let’s face it, we Christians are known in the world to be judgmental and full of ourselves. We don’t truly love the world. We would always put ourselves and our families and the church before the dying and marginalized people out there. The world isn’t impressed at all. We can preach all we want that God loves them and doesn’t condemn them, but in our actions, the world can see we only care about ourselves.

Don’t get me wrong. The message of God’s love and non-condemnation toward us and everyone is totally spot on. I’m fully behind this message and the grace movement. But this message ought to take the focus off us. Not make us want bigger houses, more expensive cars, a more relaxing and luxurious lifestyle as if the world will become envious of us then. The grace of God, after all, made Paul labour more abundantly. That’s what God’s grace does. It makes us live for God and others and not ourselves.

The above rant was inspired by this article I just read: http://theamericanjesus.net/?p=11084

I’ve been a supporter of Pope Jorge/Francis since 2005 when I heard about him and the kind of lifestyle he lived. While I’m not a Roman Catholic, I’m fully behind him and his lifestyle. The world (atheists, etc.) sees Jesus in him, more than it sees Jesus in any Protestant leader we have. The world doesn’t see Jesus in us with all our wealth or our positive grace or prosperity message (nothing wrong with these messages). It sees Jesus when it sees humility and love for humanity – and grace and God’s material blessings ought to inspire that.

Surely the Roman Catholic Church is not perfect, but this Pope is darn inspiring…

Pete Cabrera Jr. and Friends in Singapore

Pete Cabrera Jr. is coming with a group of friends to Singapore from 9th to 11th November 2012. I first heard of Pete through some friends when I was in the States in 2010. Some friends I got to know during the Curry Blake (John G. Lake Ministries) conference I attended mentioned about him in glowing terms. Anyway, for those into street healing and watch YouTube videos of street healings, Pete’s extremely well-known for his pretty amazing healing videos. Check them out here: Pete Cabrera Jr. YouTube Channel.

Pete will be coming with a group of friends to Thailand (early November) and then to Singapore from 9th to 11th November. The meetings will be held at Good Gifts City Church and under the umbrella of the Reva Network. You can find all the information at Reva School Of Healing where you can register for the event online for free.

This is definitely an event not to be missed. I love what these people do. Unlike many of such kind of events Christians go to, these people are just ordinary Christians like you and I – yet are true practitioners going to the streets to heal the sick. Come and learn and be equipped and receive the revelation that we are all equipped and anointed to heal the sick!

DATES

9-11 Nov 2012

TIME

9 Nov: 7.30pm – 10pm
10 Nov: 1pm – 3pm, 4pm – 7pm (Healing Service)
11 Nov: 2pm – 6pm

Venue

Good Gifts City Church
14 Arumugam Road
Lion Building C #07-01
Singapore 409959

John G. Lake Ministries (JGLM) in Singapore

John G. Lake

An Australian John G Lake Ministries (JGLM) team is finally coming to Singapore from October 17th to October 27th.  Enzo De Vincentis, the Director of JGLM Australia and Steve Mann, the JGLM Life Teams Australian director will be coming to town to hold some meetings.

If your church/ministry is interested to invite Enzo and his team, you can email me at jonathan@stillhaventfound.org. There may be a day/night or two left. Here is the schedule for his team and below that is a bit more about JGLM and how the ministry has impacted my life.

Meeting Schedules

19th to 21st October (Friday to Sunday) – Divine Healing Technician (DHT) Seminar
Friday
Session 1: 7.30pm – 9.30pm
Saturday
Session 2: 9:00am – 12:30pm
Session 3: 2:30pm – 6:00pm
Session 4 (and Healing Service): 7:30pm – 9:30pm
Sunday
Sunday Service (and Healing Service): 10:30am – 1pm

Venue
Victory Harvest Church
37 Jalan Pemimpin,
Clarus Centre,
Block A , # 06-2A,
Singapore 577177
(Walking distance from Marymount MRT station)

25th October (Thursday), 8pm – Christian Gospel Mission at Choa Chu Kang
27th October (Saturday), 10am to 2pm – Victory Harvest Church (see address above)

The full DHT sessions will take place from 19th to 21st October. So come if you want the full impact of a healing seminar with healing meetings. The last meeting on the 26th October would be a smaller and cozier meeting with the Australian JGLM team. It will probably be a more informal session that will include a lot of sharing and interaction.

On JGLM

JGLM (main American website) and its General Overseer Curry Blake are not that well-known in the world yet. I’ll try not to write too much in this post because I’ve written quite a number of posts in the past 2 years on JGLM and Curry Blake’s teachings. Suffice to say that what this ministry teaches has transformed my life. I’ve been blessed by listening to a lot of great teachers like Joseph Prince, Bill Johnson and Andrew Wommack. They have definitely contributed hugely to who I am today and what I believe and do. But listening to Curry and his radical teachings two years ago brought my understanding of God and Scriptures and especially my identity and who I am in Christ to a whole different level. It challenged a lot of what I had been taught and a lot of what is being taught out there that subtly prevented me from understanding the fullness of who I am in Christ and who Christ is in me.

Probably the greatest thing that can be said of someone’s ministry is that it has impacted many young people around the world to move out into the streets and do street healing. This is because what Curry teaches about who you are in Christ and what is needed to see healing destroys a lot of the limitations (e.g. the limitation of the need for the “anointing” as you’re already anointed and He abides in you, or of the need for an “atmosphere” because healing is dependent on the Word not the atmosphere, or of the need for the “presence” of God because God lives in you and His presence is always in and with you, or of the need for a “Word of Knowledge” because you go by the eternal Word of God, or of the need to dig out the past to see what is preventing healing because the Word of God never teaches this, etc.) that the typical charismatic teachings have placed upon believers.

I love the idealism and radicalness in what Curry teaches. When you hear him, you think everything is possible in Christ. No “buts”, no “ifs”. He calls it as he sees it and he teaches it as the Bible says it. What the ministry teaches is definitely one of the most biblical messages I’ve heard. It’s simple and straightforward. There are a lot of “traditions” and made-made theories in the charismatic churches that actually don’t stand up to what the Bible teaches. Just take one example. I was taught and the majority in the charismatic church still teach that when ministering healing to someone and you don’t see someone healed, you may need to dig up the past and find out what is preventing this healing and get the person to deal with it. I don’t want to get too much into this issue, but no where in the Bible does it say we have to do it. Nor did Jesus nor anybody in the Bible who healed do this! That fact alone should make us question this practice. Yet, it’s very accepted in the charismatic circles. And this has a lot of practical effects on our faith.

If you (either as someone praying for the sick or as someone believing for one’s own healing) believe that something in the past could be preventing this healing, how can you have faith for immediate healing based on the Word of God? It’s very simple – you can’t. You get what you believe for. If you believe something is hindering a healing, you’ll go and address that first and dig those hindrances out before believing that the person can be healed. And thus in a very important sense, you can’t have faith for immediate healing there and then when you pray/command.

One of Curry’s famous quotes is, “The only hindrance to healing is that you believe there are hindrances to healing”. That’s revolutionary simply because many people do believe there hindrances to healing – unforgiveness, sin, etc. Yet what Curry is saying is that the only hindrance is the fact you believe there are. Actually, there are none. The Word says you’ve been healed by His stripes. And the Word talks about faith. In a sense, if there’s any hindrance to healing, it’s that you don’t believe that you’ve already been healed by Christ’s stripes.

If you believe something in the past is preventing this healing, your eyes is diverted away from what Christ did for healing and diverted away way from the power we have in Christ to perform healing as you start to dig up the past and focus on the person and his/her past. (Now, I do believe that digging out the past can probably help deal with the sick person’s faith so that barriers to faith can be gotten rid of so that the sick person can receive healing for him/herself based on his/her own faith – but why would we want to do that when firstly that’s not the model in the Bible and secondly an easier way is to keep our eyes focused on Christ and who we are in Christ and what we have in Christ and let revelation and faith arise to see the sick person healed?) As far as I know, in the Bible, there’s really only one main instrumental factor to seeing a person healed. With this ingredient, anyone can get healed. That’s faith, as the Bible says so many times. And it could be the faith of the person receiving healing or faith of the person praying for healing. Curry’s heart is to train disciples to heal the sick. The burden should be upon US to heal the sick (the disciples were rebuked when they couldn’t get the sick healed – the focus was not placed on the sick to have faith for their own healing), and not expect the sick to have their own faith. This is where Curry differs slightly from the traditional Word of Faith movement.

OK, I know I’ve dealt with quite a lot of issues in the above few paragraphs and there’s lots more than can be said about these issues which I won’t deal with here. The main thing that I’ve learned from Curry is that it’s about the revelation of what Christ has done and who we are in Him and what we have in Him (incomparably great power for us who believe – Eph. 1:19). This revelation builds faith, which is the only factor in any healing in the Bible – in fact, the only factor in receiving anything from God. It’s not about getting some special anointing or gift or about working up an atmosphere or digging up the past. It’s just about knowing who we are in Christ. That’s really the message of JGLM. And that’s the message that has transformed my life and many others.

Pastor Joseph Prince is awesome in unveiling the goodness and grace of the Father such that it makes you believe that God really wants to bless you and it opens your heart up to receiving from God (i.e. having faith). The unveiling of God’s love, grace and goodness can’t help but produce faith in the heart of believers. In a similar way, Curry Blake’s main message is that God has made you a new man (Kenyon would say a “superman”, which is so true!) and this new man has authority in Christ, is seated above every principalities and power and has incomparably great power for us who believe. What this message produces is faith in the Christian’s life to believer that they indeed can do greater works and can heal the sick. As we hear of who we really are in Christ and catch that revelation, we grow in faith to heal the sick.

Having said the above and being fully appreciative of how Curry’s teachings have changed my life, I also want to say that it’s not about one man. I don’t agree 100% with Curry on everything he says, just as I wouldn’t agree 100% with any man. I’m not a blind follower but you don’t have to agree with everything a man teaches to support him and his teachings. There are times where I would cringe at some stuff he says in relation to grace – at least in his past messages. But regarding his main message on the New Creation and Divine Healing, I think he’s spot on. Regarding the New Creation (who we are in Christ, etc.) message, I’ve been reading EW Kenyon and loving his writings a lot. Awesome stuff! Kenyon speaks in absoluteness the same way Curry does. Curry’s not particularly unique in this area. What he teaches is similar to EW Kenyon. I think he’s slightly more unique in his healing message – which is really the absolute and radical application of the New Creation message to healing. There were a lot of good healing ministers in the 19th and 20th Century and I haven’t read a whole lot of them so I can’t comment on how similar or different Curry is from them. But my impression is that Curry’s divine healing message, while similar to many of the rest, also has its own slants. One thing he focuses on greatly is ministering healing. He’s not as concerned as much for people receiving healing as he is in training people to minister healing (because he’s only one person – it’s better to train people so they can have a greater impact on the world). I think many healing ministries work on building the faith of the sick to receive their own healing or building the faith of the sick in the healer so the sick can come to the healer to receive their healing. But Curry’s focus is on training believers and teaching believers the revelation that they have everything and all power and authority in Christ so that these “divine healing technicians” will go out and heal the sick based on their own faith and revelation that they have incomparably great resurrection power in them to get rid of sickness – not depending on the faith of the sick.

If you’d like to hear some of Curry’s teachings, you can listen for free to his Divine Healing Technician (DHT) Seminar. The other set of teaching is his New Man Seminar. Both are maybe 17-20 hours each in total. I’ve listened to both a number of times and so have many of my friends. The DHT is his main teaching on healing that he’s been teaching for years. The New Man teaching is the new one which is also extremely powerful. He would say that the DHT flows out of the New Man. The New Man seminar is about the New Creation and who we are in Christ. That’s the foundation to the Christian life in the New Covenant. That is the foundation for healing. Know who you are in Christ then go and heal the sick. Listen to these teachings and I promise you your life will be transformed! It’s really like nothing you’ve heard in the typical charismatic church!

Also, if you’d like to read a bit more about my thoughts on Curry’s teachings, you can go to check out the many posts in my blog’s Curry Blake category. Some particular posts:

Curry Blake’s Divine Healing Technician (DHT) training course
Healing and Idealism
Two ways to minister
Why you should eat your Curry (Blake) before paying the Bill (Johnson)
Bruce Latshaw on Vineyard’s vs. John G. Lake’s Healing model

Prophetic Training Workshop

Hi guys, haven’t written for a long time. So many things to share but so little time to write :) Anyway, this post is just an advertisement for a friend and cell member Euclid who’s conducting a prophetic training workshop.

Euclid’s a young guy who moves in the prophetic and has a passion to train people to hear God’s voice. For readers of this blog, you know I am interested in this area and I’m particular interested in the training/discipling aspects of it.

Be it healing or the prophetic or whatever supernatural stuff, the focus ought to be on training others to do it (because everyone can!) more than doing it yourself and being seen as the “great man of God”. OK, while I’ve been part of those crazy lines where we line up to be prophesied over to get a “word from the Lord” from the “great man of God”, I’m kinda getting sick of that now. There’s something wrong with our charismatic Christianity if we still look up to these people as though they have something we don’t. Christianity was never meant to be like that – well, OT Christianity maybe, but not since Jesus came and the Holy Spirit was poured out upon us! It breeds an unhealthy form of dependence on these people and I’ve always felt these prophets need to be teaching others to hear from God for themselves, more than hearing God for the public out there – unless of course the public are unbelievers then that’s cool. I’m not saying there’s no place to prophesy over other Christians. I think that’s totally biblical, but we can’t always be relying on a Word from others!

So I definitely endorse what Euclid is doing. This workshop is catered to anyone. It’s held in the home of my cell group leader Lawrence. The cell group I attend, by the way, meets formally only about once a month and we consist of charismatic Christians from different churches (many of whom are from New Creation). Any of you are welcome to visit us – I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy yourself there. But anyway, for this event, even if you don’t know me or Euclid, feel free to come – you’re guaranteed to feel welcomed! And Euclid is a good trainer and is very grace-based in his view of prophesy. Here’s the info:

Catered to all, from those who has no idea how God speaks to those who have experience in prophesying.
Only 20 slots available on a “first come first serve” basis.
Personal coaching after the whole workshop will be available to those that need it.

Lesson Plans
1st lesson: Belief system & Identifying ways that God can communicate to us.
2nd lesson: Basic introduction to prophecy.
3rd lesson: Advance prophetic training.
4th lesson: Refining individuals.

The lessons are broken down to 4 separate days over the period of 2 months.
Dates: The 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month August and September. (Aug 4, Aug 18, Sept 1, Sept 15)
Time: 8pm to 10:30pm
Location: CharisLodge at 367 Pasir Panjang Road (aka Lawrence & Elina’s Home)
Fee: $4 for the training Manual that will be handed upon the first lesson. (required)

Contact Euclid at this e-mail to register or if you have any further inquires: euclidtan@yahoo.com.sg

PS: Do have your dinner before coming down. (Unless you are fasting or on a diet)

Reaching the World through the Prophetic

On a similar note, some of you may know that Esther and I have been focusing a lot on internet/online marketing for the past half a year. I’ll probably talk more about that in future, but for me this internet marketing business is a means to an end – to get my finances in place so that I can focus on my passion which is healing. But we’ve learned a lot of skills and we also want to use it in ministry.

We’re hoping to work with Euclid and other “prophetic” people to start an optimized website (or a few) targeting those in Singapore searching for “fortune telling” and other related keywords. What I’ve learned from Bill Johnson and others over the past few years is that we Christians should be able to do this better than the new age and other kinds of people who can “read people’s minds” or “tell people’s futures”. Whether it’s about telling people’s future or not, we should be able to speak God’s immediate word of love to these people to touch their lives. I’ve heard tons of stories of people in America going to these “new age” fairs and ministering to “psychics” or whoever. And these new agers get surprised and touched by what these Christians know and can do because Christ lives in them. I think this is definitely the future of the Church as we go out to the lost and minister Christ’s love to them where they are, and not just invite them to an organized form of Christianity.