Be True Sons And Not Illegitimate Children

Deuteronomy 8:2,3,5

2 And you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not.
3 And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD…Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the LORD your God disciplines you.

We should know the blueprint of Christlikeness, the Law, is summarized into two commandments – to love God and to love your neighbor. That is the pre-destinating purpose of God to conform those whom He called to be like His Son. Rom 8:29.

So God ensures all things – both good and bad – to work for good as He disciplines us as true sons and not illegitimate children. Rom 8:28, Heb 12:3-11.

Like the Israelites going through the wilderness before going to the Promised Land, this life of ours is all about training in Christlikeness or Love.  Such is the training in my humble opinion:

1. Personal storms or suffering are to train us in Love, Peace and Joy.

2. Our neighbor’s storms and suffering are to train us in Gentleness, Kindness and Goodness.

3. Tests and temptation (which God allows) are to train us in Patience, Faithfulness and Self Control.

Because true sons will live by EVERY word that comes from the mouth of God, they will bear the WHOLE fruit of the Spirit.

Ministry In Phnom Penh, Cambodia

All praise and thanks be to God for the hospitality extended to us by Prison Fellowship Cambodia (PFC)  during our 4 days’ stay in Phnom Penh from 6 to 9 July 2017.   We were briefed on the organisation, governance and programs.

PFC conducts the following 6 programs :

  1. Vocational training.
  2. Health and nutrition provision.
  3. Visitation of foreign prisoners.
  4. Resiliency of spirit course.
  5. Reintegration support.
  6. Support for children of prisoners.

We also visited one of the largest churches in Phnom Penh, New Life Fellowship and her affiliated churches in other provinces who partner PFC in the above programs to better understand the support they may require.

PFC currently has 28 pastors in 28 provinces partnering them in the prison visitation ministry and conducting the resiliency of spirit course in the provincial prison, and a further 65 pastors partnering in the support program for the children of prisoners.

We will commit to prayer for the Lord’s blessing in the possible collaboration of helping the PFC volunteer pastors in establishing self sustaining enterprise.  The project of rearing chicken using the EM technology is one such possible enterprise in which we can provide training and funding.   Funding is also available through micro-finance in which we have good relationship with the micro finance companies operating in Cambodia.


My Resolve To Truly Love Christ

Once I had a dream….

My Lord Jesus said to me,”Do you love Me ?”

I answered,”Lord, I do. You know I gave up all to follow You.”   (Luke 14:26,27,33)

He said to me again,”Do you love Me?”

I answered,”Lord, I do. You know I will keep all Your word.”  (John 14:23,24)

He said to me again,”Do you love Me ?”

I answered yet again,”Lord, I do. You know I will feed Your lambs, and tend and feed Your sheep too.”   (John 21:15-17)

…I woke up.

I repented thereafter in deed and in truth by His grace over the years.

(Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. – 1 John 3:18)

Chalcedonian Creed

The Chalcedonian Creed was adopted at the Council of Chalcedon in A.D. 451. Chalcedon was an early centre of Christianity located in Asia Minor. The Council was the fourth of the Ecumenical Councils that are accepted by Chalcedonian churches which include the Eastern Orthodox, Catholic, and most Protestant churches. – Wikipaedia.

Chalcedonian Creed

  1. Jesus has two natures — He is God and man.
  2. Each nature is full and complete — He is fully God and fully man.
  3. Each nature remains distinct.
  4. Christ is only one Person.
  5. Things that are true of only one nature are nonetheless true of the Person of Christ.
  • (copied from an article by John Piper).

Lord Jesus has always been God from eternity past to eternity future.  But He has not always been man.  He took on the human nature when He incarnated 2000 years ago.  He is not God minus some elements of His divine nature then, but fully God plus one new nature – the nature of man.

In the gospels, we read of His miracles and exploits which proved His omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence.

Yet there was an attempt by the NAR prophets to twist the doctrine of Christology that He was just mere man without His divine attributes when He was on earth.  All His miracles and exploits were the result of the enabling power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in Him.  This false teaching was to make their followers believe that they could perform the same miracles as mere men with the enabling power of the Holy Spirit in them.

In John 2:18-22,  we read that He as fully God could raise Himself up in 3 days.

(Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” But He was speaking of the temple of His body.)

In Mark 2:1-12, we learned that He had the authority on earth as God to forgive sins.


National Chaplains Of Philippines National Convention June 2017

Attended and celebrated the ordination of my comrade-in-Christ, Pastor Martin Fao-ilan, as Bishop during the National Chaplains of Philippines national convention cum fellowship conference with the leadership of the Body of Christ Fellowship, Indonesia from 19 to 20 June 2017.

All thanks and glory to God that I was also conferred the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity by the Alliance of International Bishops and Theologians Inc, Urdaneta City, Bangasinan, Philippines and re-appointed as the International Chaplain on the same occasion.


Pastor Myra and John Jalique of Cathedral of Faith, Philippines

Testimony (14)

Phil 4:6

 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

We will encounter trials and tests of our faith in our life journey.   Do we bring our anxieties to God in the first instance and ask for deliverance ?

At times, God delivered us.  And at other times, God granted us peace to deal with the situation.

My 2 younger children aged 14 and 13 were supposed to join a church delegation on an overseas mission. They were already issued boarding passes and had boarded the plane but were later offloaded from the plane because they would need a waiver of exclusion ground to travel unaccompanied by a parent to the Philippines.

We told them not to be disappointed but to bring everything to God in prayer first.

We had 3 hurdles to clear altogether :

  1. We hoped the airline would not void their air tickets and  treat as no-show for the promotional tickets they had purchased. That was unlikely because the terms and condition specified on such promotional tickets put the onus on us to check and comply.
  2. We had to expedite the application for this waiver at the Philippines embassy which normally required at least 3 days in advance for such application according to their website.  To compound our anxiety, that very day was a holiday for the Philippines embassy staff, so we had to wait till the next day to apply for the waiver.
  3. Even if we clear the first 2 hurdles, would there be available seats the next day since we were informed few seats were available ?

We prayed knowing that if God so willed, He could still grant our prayer request to overcome these hurdles despite the really slim odds. It was a great lesson for my children to learn to trust God in every situation.

Because the airline had issued the boarding passes and my children had boarded the plane,  the airline was also apologetic for the mistake which should not happen in the first place.  Otherwise my children would be denied entry into Philippines at the Philippines airport which would be more problematic.  So the airline was willing to allow my children to re-book on later flights.  We had cleared the first hurdle.  When we showed up the next day at the Philippines embassy,  we learned they could expedite our waiver application and issued in 2 hours.  Hallelujah !  Another hurdle cleared.  And we could also get seats on the flight the following day and we cleared all hurdles.

Hallelujah ! All thanks and praise to God our Father and Jesus our Lord for granting our prayer !  My children were able to join the mission after all.


The Christian And Politics

The Only Commission

The only commission given to the Christian is to save souls and make disciples.  And not to effect policy change in legislating morality.  Legislating such change cannot permanently change human hearts.  Only the gospel, through the power of the Holy Spirit, can effect real change in society.  We are to share the gospel to everyone but when we take sides in politics,  we end up losing the evangelism focus.

The Sovereignty Of God

All governments are ordained by God.  God is sovereign over all the affairs of the world and we can trust Him over all national and foreign affairs.  God has revealed through His Word how the world will end with lawlessness increasing by the day till it climaxes.  We are not to be alarmed and we should have hope because we are already pre-warned.   As such,  it is something we cannot stop.  We can never make any society truly righteous until Christ our Lord comes again and set up His perfect Kingdom.  Instead of political activism, we should glorify God in our little sphere of influence by exalting our Lord through good works,  witnessing,  and exhibiting good conduct.

Submission To Governing Authorities

Our Lord came in a time where there was slavery, persecution and oppression.   He never tried to effect political change although the people were looking forward to it.  Instead He said,” Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”  Matt 22:21.  Instead of political revolution,  He started a spiritual revolution in the hearts of men.

During  the apostles’ time,  the believers faced severe persecution under the wicked Nero.  Yet Paul and Peter exhorted us to submit to the governing authorities and live godly exemplary lives.  Rom 13:1.  1 Pet 2:12-15.   We are also exhorted to pray for those in authority over us and the salvation of their souls so that we can live tranquil and quiet lives in all godliness and dignity.  1 Tim 2:1-2.   Titus 3:1-2.   So when we see our leaders act unrighteously,  the first response is to pray rather than protest, since it is God who ordain these governments in the first place.

Citizenship In Heaven Not Earth

Our true citizenship is in Heaven.   Though we are in the world, we are not of the world.   Our priorities are to advance the Kingdom of God and not kingdom of the world.  So when we spend time on making the world a better place to live,  is that advancing the Kingdom of God or kingdom of the world ?  Even if we manage to Christianize governments through political means,  do you think we can change the heart of the non Christian society through political power instead of the power of the Holy Spirit ?  We should pursue spiritual pursuits instead of political pursuits.

  • gleaned from an article by Dr John MacArthur, “God, Government And The Gospel”.


Gray Areas In Life

In many matters of conscience in which Scripture does not address clearly the appropriate response,  should the believer simply have the freedom to act as he wishes ?

Can a believer enjoy any entertainment ?

Can a believer enjoy any music ?

Can a believer enjoy any hobby ?

Is it correct to say that a believer can do what he wants to do since he is free in Christ ?

It is true that the Bible does not mention specifically every possible decision a believer may face in life, but it does address all choices with general principles that govern Christian freedom and conduct.

Here are some principles which I gleaned from the excellent book, Right Thinking In A World Gone Wrong, by Dr John MacArthur, that will help us to make the right decision in life which will glorify God as the main goal.

1.  The Edification Principle.  Will this activity produce spiritual benefit ?

1 Cor 10:23.   “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.

Unless something is profitable and helpful to the spiritual good of others,  it is not worth doing.

2.  The Enslavement Principle. Will this activity lead to spiritual bondage ?

1 Cor 6:12.   “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.

Anything that dominates us and takes that rightful place of Jesus Christ as our Lord will bring us ruin at the end.

3.  The Exposure Principle. Will this activity expose my mind or body to defilement ?

1 Cor 6:19-20.    Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Anything that exposes us to the sinful nature of the society is to be avoided obviously.

4.  The Esteem Principle. Will this activity benefits others, or cause them to stumble ?

1 Cor 8:8-9.  Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.

If any activity that causes a brother to stumble because of his weaker conscience, we should not insist in doing it for the sake of love for the brother.

5. The Evangelism Principle. Will this activity further the cause of the gospel ?

Matt 28:18-20.  And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Christians should always consider whether their action in any activity will affect their witness to a watching world.  1 Cor 10:32-33.  1 Cor 9:19-23.

6.  The Ethics Principle. Will this activity violate my conscience ?

We sin if we act in any way that goes contrary to the convictions of our own faith and good conscience.   If our conscience is troubled by what we are doing,  don’t do it.

7.  The Exaltation Principle. Will this activity bring glory to God ?

1 Cor 10:31.  So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

We are created to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.  If any activity that will bring dishonor to His name,  don’t do it.

The Inspiration And The Canonization Of The Bible

(All the contents of this article is adapted or gleaned from the book, How To Get The Most From God’s Word by Dr John MacArthur, Jr.)

Revelation And Inspiration

Revelation is the message from God and Inspiration was the primary method of delivering that message to mankind.  Inspiration is the act of the Holy Spirit in revealing to human writers the message that God intended to comprise the Bible.  The inspiration was not only in concepts and in thoughts but also in the very words.

1 Cor 2:13.  We also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches.

1 Pet 1:10-11 NLT.  10 This salvation was something even the prophets wanted to know more about when they prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you. 11 They wondered what time or situation the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he told them in advance about Christ’s suffering and his great glory afterward.

From 1 Pet 1:10,11,  it is amazing to note that when the apostles received the prophecy from God, they did not understand and they simply recorded what they were told.

How can the Bible be the Word of God and at the same time, for example, the words of Paul ?  God formed the personality of the writer.  God made Paul into the man He wanted him to be.  God controlled his heredity and his environment. When the writer reached the point that God intended, God directed and controlled the free choice of the man so that he wrote down the very words of God. God literally selected the words out of each author’s own life, out of his personality, his vocabulary, and his emotions.  The words were man’s words, but that man’s life had been so framed by God that they were God’s words as well.  So we can say that Paul wrote Romans, and we can say God wrote it. Both statements are correct.  2 Sam 23:2.

2 Tim 3:16. ESV.  16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.  Just like how God spoke out of His mouth and breathed the universe into existence (Psalms 33:6),  God breathed the Bible into existence.


The word Canon means measuring rod or standard.  It was Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria who referred to the completed NT in AD 350 as the canon.  The final choice of the 27 NT books were held up by Athanasius and other early church fathers.

The following were the tests used by the early church fathers in deciding the final canon of the NT.

  1. Was the book authored by an apostle or someone close to the apostle ?
  2. Did the content square off with apostolic doctrine ?
  3. Was the book widely read and used in the churches ?
  4. Was the book recognized and used by the next generations after the early church ? (Polycarp, Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Origen, Eusebius,  Athanasius, Jerome and Augustine.)

As for the OT,  Jewish tradition holds that the final compilers of the OT canon were part of the Great Synagogue, that school of scribes founded by Ezra after the Jews returned from captivity in Babylon. There were some apocryphal books not added into the OT canon because :

  1. They were written long after the canon was completed about 400 BC.
  2. None of these apocryphal books claim divine inspiration and some even openly disclaim it.
  3. They contain errors of fact and teach questionable ethics and doctrines. For example, the writings justify suicide and assassination and also teach praying for the dead.

Infallibility, Inerrancy And Authoritativeness

The Chicago Statement, drafted at a summit conference called in October 1978 by the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy to affirm the authority of Scripture, explained well with this statement :

“Infallible signifies the quality of neither misleading nor being misled and so safeguards in categorical terms the truth that Holy Scripture is a sure, safe, and reliable rule and guide in all matters.  Similarly, inerrant signifies the quality of being free from all falsehood or mistake and so safeguard the truth that Holy Scripture is entirely true and trustworthy in all its assertions.”

If the Bible is infallible and inerrant, it must be the final word – the highest standard of authority – because it is God’s very Word.

Envy And Jealousy

James 3:16

For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

Prov 3:31-32

Do not envy a man of violence and do not choose any of his ways,  for the devious person is an abomination to the Lord, but the upright are in his confidence.

Prov 6:34-35

For jealousy makes a man furious, and he will not spare when he takes revenge.   He will accept no compensation; he will refuse though you multiply gifts.

Prov 14:30

A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.

Prov 23:17-18

Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the Lord all the day. Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.

Prov 24:1-2,19,20

Be not envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them, for their hearts devise violence, and their lips talk of trouble…Fret not yourself because of evildoers, and be not envious of the wicked, for the evil man has no future; the lamp of the wicked will be put out.

Prov 27:4

Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?

Two of the terrible grinds in life are envy and jealousy.   They rob us of peace.  We often pray for the much coveted blessings of peace and joy from God, yet ironically we chase these blessings away through our own sinful desires.

There is a difference between Envy and Jealousy. Envy is like a man with his hands empty of achievements or possessions that he desires and he finds it hard to swallow about people who have what he does not have at the moment. Jealousy is like a man having full of achievements or possessions in his hands, yet he worries about losing out to others who are fast “catching up”, or he is not happy with others having more than him.

The jealous guy will always occupy his position without giving up.  He will always strive to have more.  He will always strive to stay ahead with a very competitive attitude.  He will grind himself into a nervous wreck without pausing to learn to enjoy all the intangible things like relationship, friendship, nature and arts.

The envious guy will curse, not bless, others hoping in his or her heart that others will lose their possessions one day.   He will strive to attain these achievements or possessions in the shortest possible time. He is so sewn up with himself because he feels bitter towards all who have what he does not have (unlike the jealous guy who only has that sour taste in his mouth with few in his circle).

Sadly we see envy and jealousy even in Christian ministry today.

When a brother is wise, he invites irrational backbiting.

When a brother is capable in his ministry, he invites undermining.

When a brother shares his testimony of receiving God’s amazing providence in his life, he invites disbelief.

There is no meaningful ministry for a believer consumed by envy and jealousy for a Christian knows to be the greatest in God’s kingdom, he has to be the least and servant of all.

Envy and jealousy eat away at one’s soul. Our Lord Jesus has exhorted in so many parables to be rich towards God and not towards things, and to store treasure in heaven rather than accumulate perishable treasure on earth.  True peace and joy is only found in our Lord.   Rom 14:17.

One who succumbs to envy and jealousy and pursue the world is at enmity with God.  He cannot be a true disciple who has to surrender all idols to God and let God reign in his life.

Contentment with godliness is the only antidote. 1 Tim 6:6-10.  Contentment freeds us from greed which will consume us and anxiety which will torment us.