Similarity Of False Prophets In Jeremiah’s Days And Hyper Grace Teachers Today

Jer 23: 16-17 NLT

This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says to his people: “Do not listen to these prophets when they prophesy to you, filling you with FUTILE HOPES. They are MAKING UP everything they say. They do not speak for the Lord! They keep saying to those who DESPISE MY WORD, ‘Don’t worry! The Lord says you will have peace!’ And to those who stubbornly follow their own desires, they say, ‘No harm will come your way!’

Jeremiah, best known as the weeping prophet, started his ministry around 627 BC during the reign of Josiah and continued to the eleventh year of Zedekiah. He prophesied during the last forty years of Judah and he witnessed the fall of Jerusalem and the deportation of Jews to Babylon.

His mission was to speak against the apostasy of his days and the coming judgment. His messages were so unwelcome that he faced so much persecution from both kings and common folk. The people even accused him of being a traitor for only bringing messages of reproof, warning and judgment. The people continued in their normalcy bias ways preferring to hear the feel good messages of the false prophets.

How ironic that the same is happening today again !

Against the backdrop of the warning of our Lord Jesus and the apostles to guard against spiritual apostasy, inordinate fear of calamities and persecution in the last days, most are so indifferent like in the days of Noah. They do not eagerly expect the return of Him and fall prey easily to the seducing feel good messages of hyper-grace teachers in indulging in dissipation.

Notice how similar are the seducing feel good messages of the hyper-grace teachers today with the messages of the false prophets in Jeremiah’s days telling them not to worry about the admonishing words and warnings of Jesus and that no harm will come their way when they follow their carnal desires as these are promises to be claimed from God.

Similarity of Ancient Day Pharisees And Modern Day Hyper Grace Teachers

Luke 16:13-18
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” 14 The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. 15 He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight. 16 “The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing their way into it. 17 It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law. 18 “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

In the eyes of Jewish society then, the Pharisees were outwardly pious Jews who honoured God through their exemplary life in being blameless in keeping the Law. Yet inwardly they loved money. Though they justified well in the eyes of the Jewish society, God was not impressed at all knowing that they saw godliness as a way of gain.

So when Jesus taught that no one can serve both God and Money, they sneered at Him. These Pharisees could profess love for God outwardly but inwardly their real god was Money.

Jesus went on to teach that the old covenant was from Moses to John the Baptist and the new covenant had begun. And everyone had to force his way into the kingdom through jumping over the obstacles set up by the Pharisees. John the Baptist’s message of repentance centered on repentance from the sins of cheating and extortion originating from love of money and believers had to literally force their way in overcoming their covetous or greedy tendency to contentment. Luke 3:7-14.

But with the advent of the new covenant, it does not mean the moral Law or values will be discarded. So Jesus taught that it is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out the Law.

I believe our Lord mentioned the law of marriage to expose the spiritual adultery of the Pharisees in believing they could have the best of both worlds. It is wishful thinking that they could worship both God and Money.

How similar are the modern day hyper grace false teachers with the Pharisees of old, though they preached two opposite extreme variants of the true gospel  !

1. They can be so spiritual on the outside but inwardly they love money.
2. They see godliness as a way of gain.  They preach a message of piety in tithing and giving, though one went further to stoke the covetousness of their followers through miracle seed teaching.
3. They trivialize or discard the law in order to justify covetousness.

Individual And Corporate Christian Response Are Not Necessarily The Same

Going by the whole counsel of the Word of God on individual and corporate responses, they seem to be diametrically opposite.

While individually, we should not gloat over the demise of our enemies. Prov 24:17-18. Corporately we are told to rejoice over the demise of a corporate enemy. Rev 18:17-20.

Take another example.  The Ten Commandments forbid murder. But corporately, we still join the army to protect our nation against aggression and we have to kill in defense. We may have to take up whatever means to protect our communities in the face of persecution, even armed defense if necessary.

In the first few centuries during Roman times when the Christians were persecuted, they lived in underground cities. The origin of these cities were unknown but the early century Christians dug further most of the levels in these cities. Under these cities was a vast network of tunnels, connecting each home in the area to the city. When the area came under attack, families would flee to their basements, rush through the dark tunnels, and gather at the basement city.

“Unwary (enemy) soldiers could be caught in the many traps laid throughout the labyrinthine corridors, such as stones which could be rolled to block doorways, and holes in the ceiling through which spears could be dropped. Invaders were further outwitted by the Christian builders who made their tunnels narrow, forcing their enemies to fight, and be picked off, one by one.”  –

That revealed how the early Christians defended themselves against enemy invaders.


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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.


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.




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