Is The Calm Before The Storm Over ?

Is the 3 months’ calm before the storm, since the trigger in September 2015, over ?

Globally the bond bubble has grown by more than $20 trillion since 2008 of which the quality is largely junk. That is about 9 to 10 times larger than the US subprime housing hole of USD 2.5 trillion.

Will the distressed 4 largest economic bloc continue to print money to resuscitate the system in excess of USD 20 trillion and create an even bigger monster bubble in a few years’ time ?

Or has the end-game begun ?

The following article explains well the cause of the coming economic flood.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-01-13/bursting-bond-bubble-has-begun

 

Exalting Christ In Words But Not In Deeds Is Hypocrisy

A decade and a half ago when I was in the corporate world, my good friend in the IT industry hired a general manager to manage his business. He would speak so well of my friend in front of business associates every time. It almost seemed to the listeners that he hero-worshipped my friend. One evening when we were having drinks in a pub, he got drunk and started cursing my friend to my shocking surprise.

I was upset with his hypocritical attitude that I disclosed everything to my friend. I was even more surprised that my friend continued to keep him in employment. Not because he performed well but that he admitted he liked his praises in front of business associates !

It is clear to me that it is definitely possible to praise someone all the time for personal gain but it is not true to his heart. In real life drama, such hypocrisy is often played out among the rich descendants hoping to have a share of the inheritance from the patriarch.

This is what our Lord Jesus said in Matt 15:8-9 concerning this possible hypocritical attitude :
“This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”

Similarly today, do not be surprised that the hyper grace false teachers continually give Christ exalting messages and feel good messages. But their hearts are far away from Jesus. It is possible to praise and exalt Jesus in words all the time but it will be very difficult to conceal their hypocrisy in deeds.

Matt 7: 15-16
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits…”

Our Lord mentioned this fruit or the lack of it to know if one is with Him or otherwise. So watch for the fruit of the false prophets or teachers.

John 14:21,23; 12:47-48
“Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me…Whoever does not love me does not keep my words…If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.”

So how can the hyper grace false teacher really love Jesus when they brush aside all the clear teachings of Jesus and worse still, twist them to mean the opposite of what He taught or trivialize them ? There is also no intention to follow Him as a disciple on His terms given so clearly in Luke 9:23-26 and Luke 14:25-33. Much less to participate in the suffering of Christ !

It is also interesting to note from the above story of mine that one can ignore all wrongdoing as long as he hears flattering words. Similarly the hyper grace believers may be so side blinded by all the feel good messages that speak to their carnal desires that they fail to note the clear hypocrisy of the false teachers.

Galvanizing Churches To Double Their Church Buildings As Shelters

It has been my vision since the start of my ministry a decade ago.   I have been praying for God’s provision towards this vision since and will continue to pray for it.

Majority of the rooms and sanctuaries of the church building of most evangelical churches are closed during the week and only open for worship services and fellowship meetings on weekends.   It will be most wonderful to open up such rooms and sanctuaries as homeless shelters during the week modeled after the single night shelter operated by churches in New York City.  The homeless will queue for a place to sleep at these churches by 5 pm and get to stay for the night.

The budget and human resources for such ministry are not taxing.   A one time investment of foldable beds, bed sheets and pillows can be made for the fixed expense.  As for the operating expense,  all church members can volunteer to welcome the homeless and to wash the bed sheets.   If the church membership is large,  one only get to perform such duty once a year.  Budget for warm soup served is not much either.

As the economic flood is imminent,  many will suffer homelessness in the major freewheeling cities in China and other Asian cities.

May God grant my prayer wish this year by opening doors for me to share across the Asia region to galvanize churches to take up this ministry and to encourage all to give towards such cause.

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Practical Way Of Loving One Another

Luke 6:36-38

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.

Taking JI Packer’s paraphrase of the Moral Law, we can fully appreciate that it is the blueprint of a Christ-like life – a life characterized by loving God and loving one another.
“You shall worship your covenant God exclusively and wholeheartedly, according to His own revelation, regarding Him with consistent reverence and setting aside regular time for rest and worship in His honour; you should respect those who have nurtured you, labour to sustain the family unit; you must do all you can to safeguard the life, sexual purity, property, reputation, and well being of all you meet, and knowing that your God watches over you, you are to be content with what you have.” – JI Packer.

In Luke 6:36-38, our Lord gave us a practical account of what it meant to love one another.

We should show mercy to one another.
We should not be judgmental or have a condemning spirit against another.
We should be forgiving towards one another.
We should be generous towards one another.

What is a judgmental or condemning spirit ? Jesus told this parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Gatherer to some people who believed that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt. Luke 18:9. Viewing others beneath us in spirituality is false spirituality. That is spiritual pride with a judgmental or condemning spirit. We see ourselves as good and minimizing our own faults while maximizing the faults of others.

Showing mercy, especially to the poor and needy, also entails being generous. And when we are generous, God will repay us with the same measure of generosity in return. Prov 19:17. Jesus our Lord gave the following illustration to explain what generosity was. In His days, when one buys from a grain seller, and if the grain seller is generous, he will pour into the measure till it is full. Then he will shake the measure for the grain to settle to the bottom and even press down the grain. And he will continue to pour till the grain overflows into the buyer’s lap. That is generosity explained.

Such a wonderful passage on relationship between one another in Christ has been taken out of context to justify two wrong teachings by false prosperity and hyper grace teachers.

The first wrong teaching is on judging. Our Lord was teaching us not to have spiritual pride with a condemning spirit; but it did not mean we should not discern and judge false teaching and blatant sin. Our Lord and the Apostles judged the Pharisees, Judaizers and those who denied Jesus is the Christ for their hypocrisy, twisting of the gospel for their gain and the anti-Christ teaching respectively. The Scriptures even exhorted not to associate or receive such false teachers and to ex-communicate those who sin blatantly without remorse. 1 Cor 5; Titus 1: 11,13.

The second wrong teaching is on giving. The verse “give and it will be given to you” is taken out of context by prosperity gospel teachers to encourage giving with the promise that God will return many fold. As explained earlier, our Lord was exhorting a generous spirit towards one another.

Galvanizing Church Pastors To Start Tent-making Enterprise

Two years ago in a national chaplaincy conference in Baguio city in which I shared about the coming economic flood, I broached the idea to the needy pastors to rear pigs to supplement their income. Knowing that they would be short of start up capital, I requested that we would pray together for God’s provision.

Praise the Lord that one pastor took up this idea of starting such a farm. Instead of helping him with the entire start up funds, JC Manifesto was able to help him with the occasional lack of funds through gifts and loans for the feed or other operational needs.

(We have learned from experience in the past when we provided the whole start up fund for certain enterprise in Indonesia, the pastors were less committed.)

Today, he has about 30 pigs and piglets. Praying that he can succeed with this tent-making opportunity to be an example for other fellow pastors to follow suit.

 

Christian Joy

Christian Joy is a fruit of the Spirit and it is not the same as Happiness as defined and desired by the world.

The Scripture described Joy as gladness in the heart in anticipation of something great while the dictionary defined Happiness as a satisfying or pleasurable experience.

Joy is such that even when one is in need, or in pain, or in the middle of a storm in life, he can still have joy. Joy does not depend on circumstances and is permanent. Unlike Happiness which depend on circumstances and is fleeting due to the vagaries of life.

A Christian, who truly loves the Lord and obeys His commands to bear the marks of a disciple, will surely experience joy and will not oscillate between happiness and sadness because his family, self and possessions do not have any hold on him and are all surrendered to our Lord. Luke 14:25-35.

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and JOY in the Holy Spirit. – Romans 14:17.

Count it all JOY, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. – James 1:2-4

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. REJOICE and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. – Matthew 5:11-12

So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will REJOICE, and no one will take your JOY from you. – John 16:22

In this you REJOICE, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith – more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire – may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. – 1 Peter 1:6-7

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the JOY that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. – Hebrews 12:1-2

Let us REJOICE and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; – Revelation 19:7