Due to unwarranted circumstances, I will not be updating this blog indefinitely. Thank you for following the articles and God bless you.
Friday, November 2, 2007
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Worship, an act of surrender and devotion of one’s self to God. Christ described worship under the New Covenant as done in spirit and truth. As He taught the Samaritan woman:
But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. John 4:23-24
Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. Hebrews 13:15
However, is this sort of worship still found in churches nowadays? Is this element of true worship found in “Christian” events such as the ultra-hyped Christian concerts or even found in the regular worship services of “happening” churches? Do you sincerely believe that people are sincerely worshipping and marveling at His glory in the midst of an environment specifically designed to unleash adrenaline into the bloodstream and stimulate a hyped up atmosphere? If you actually think so, then please reexamine your beliefs.
Get it right, worship is simply your sacrifice due before God; to transform worship into your ultimate source of entertainment where you revel in your musical, worship leading or singing talents is idolatry! It is idolatry when your attention deviates away from God and shifts onto yourself, when you seek a “fantastic worship experience”, you become the object of worship as you are seeking to satisfy YOURSELF rather than the One above.
The true practice of idol worship that has ensnared the Church of Christ only becomes more evident when realizing the full extent of secularism that has embedded itself in the modern worship system. In the Old Testament, the Jews were required by the Law to keep sacred instruments precisely that, sacred. The priests kept the objects separate and sanctified from common use in the temple, for objects that were defiled by the world were unacceptable in the sight of the Lord. Even the formula for the holy incense was unique. If anyone was caught using it for other purposes, the person was expelled from the nation. It only serves to reinforce the definition of holy; it was kept separate from the common; it was reserved for God alone. Now that Christ has come to fulfill the Law, the same laws of purity and holiness still apply to worship, though not in the physical but in the spiritual realm. The temple is no longer a physical structure; YOU are the temple.
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 1 Corinthians 6:19
Do the modern worship systems which resemble secular rock concerts fulfill this criterion of worship? Is it possible to take such a worldly construct intended primarily to stimulate audio and visual excitement and fit Christ in it? Surely no! For to bring the world, and hence the devil into the church for the sake of “reaching out to the lost” violates God’s principles. Before God, in issues such as these; the means of achieving a goal matters as well as the ends. Christians are clearly not to dabble and bring the world into the Church. We expose the deeds of darkness and open blinded eyes, not barter with the darkness for souls.
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. Ephesians 5:11
For one thing, true worship is one thing that a carnal Christian will never be able to engage in for the flesh is in permanent enmity with the spirit. When coming before God, one must do so with an attitude of sincerity, humility, repentance and reverence. However is this found in churches nowadays? Do people seek to exalt themselves by seeking to “feel great and uplifted by that fantastic worship” while musicians and singers bask in the glory of their talents? Worship should be more Christ-centered and less man-centered and hence by faith one should approach Christ for the cleansing of one’s sins. Then only can one begin to worship truly. Pride and other such sins will hinder one’s worship from reaching heaven. Above all things, God looks at the heart.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart-
These, O God, You will not despise Psalms 51:17
Vital to worship is purity of the heart and a clean conscience. As Christians, our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, where we offer our sacrifices of praise before God. Therefore, is it remotely possible for one to worship God in a desecrated temple?
Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
Take a close look at the vision given to the prophet Ezekiel. In the vision, God called the worship of the elders in the temple a ‘wicked abomination’, for they were doing so in the corrupting presence of idols. We do not see Him compromising His standards to accept substandard worship. Idols compete for devotion with God, and their modern incarnations include money, looks, fame and above all, one’s self in the form of pride. Pride exalts itself against God and is the primary reason for Lucifer’s downfall.
And He said to me, “Go in, and see the wicked abominations which they are doing there.” So I went in and saw, and there- every sort of creeping thing, abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed all around on the walls. And there stood before them seventy men of the elders of the house of Israel, and in their midst stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan. Each man had a censer in his hand, and a thick cloud of incense went up. Then He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the room of his idols? For they say, “The Lord does not see us, the Lord has forsaken the land.” Ezekiel 8:9-12
Vital to the modern worship system are the modern “pop and rock theology” worship songs which promote shallow if not out rightly misguided Christian theology. Does your church worship team gobble every latest CCM song which simply happened to catch the fancy of one member for its catchy tune or beat? If yes, then perhaps you should request for more theology oriented worship songs. The songs are critical in worship as well; a song which does not seek to glorify God is worthless for worship. Songs promoting a Love-centric gospel only reinforce the belief of Jesus as your celestial boyfriend among Christians. Who do you truly perceive Jesus Christ as? Is He your lover whom you can twist around your finger or a pushover buddy who will cater to your every whim and fancy?
On the other hand, there are those who engage in worship purely out of obligation or ritual. This sort of half-hearted worship is undesirable as well, for our God is a jealous God who requires nothing less than full devotion to Him. Furthermore, this sort of worship is indicative of one’s lukewarm approach towards the faith, an attitude strongly rebuked by God. This, by far and large could arguably be the largest obstacle for Christians in worship.
Therefore the Lord said:
“Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths
And honor Me with their lips,
But have removed their hearts far from Me,
And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men
To worship in spirit and truth simply means making a transition from the carnal into spiritual. It is not an overnight transformation but it is a journey which necessitates turning ones back onto the world and heading for the cross. It involves being continuously sanctified by the blood of the lamb and walking on the narrow path. The fruits of doing so are sweet indeed as promised by the bible, which is to experience the peace of God and to taste His fulfilling joy. In short, to worship in spirit and truth is to come before God with a sincere and humble heart and acknowledge His sovereignty as the Lord of the universe!
So Christian, which shall it be, will you worship God “in spirit and in truth” or “with your lips but remove your heart far away”? Are you living a defeated lifestyle and your temple defiled by the presence of idols? Will you disregard your duty as a Christian and deny your Father His due? If you do, repent then.
Saturday, October 6, 2007
Cool... We Christians just love an uplifting, heart-pumping, glitzy and ultimately entertaining worship session don't we? The louder the amplifiers, the more pyrotechnics and dazzling lights, the more complex the dance choreograph, the more we proclaim Christ, isn't it guys?
Friday, October 5, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Sunday, September 23, 2007
I will be away for the next fortnight or so.
Before leaving, I have transferred The Watchfire to a new Gmail account, and I can now be contacted via email: email@example.com. The use of my previous (somewhat long and cumbersome) Gmail account (firstname.lastname@example.org) will henceforth be discontinued.
In the process, I have altered my screen name from Thyreos to Thureos, due to a minor transliteration error. For the curious, it is a Greek word meaning shield, and is derived from Ephesians 6:16 in reference to the Shield of Faith.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Christian themes in Potter books make good evangelism tools, some say
Harry Potter Evangelism. A mild biblical oxymoron or downrightly blasphemous? Read the following bible verses below or you could simply do things the old-fashioned way and flip through your bible and decide for yourself.
The Harry Potter series revolves around "magic" which is little more than a screen for the biblically condemned practice of sorcery and witchcraft. Think that conjurations and incantations are harmless practices? Think again then. Your bible condemns witchcraft and places it on the same level as idolatry!
Sorcery is an evil which is an abomination before God. How can it not be so, when sorcerers are directly tapping into demonic forces? Incantations, wards, charms are all works of Satan. The Bible has made it exceedingly clear in the Old and New Testament that witchcraft is an abomination that no Christian should even be associated with.
Also he made his son pass through the fire, practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft, and consulted spiritists and mediums. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger. 2 Kings 21:6
A man or a woman who is a medium, or who has familiar spirits, shall surely be put to death; they shall stone them with stones. Their blood shall be upon them. Leviticus 20:27
For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,
And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the LORD,
He also has rejected you from being king. 1 Samuel 15:23
And I will come near you for judgment;
I will be a swift witness
Against those who exploit wage earners and widows and orphans,
And against those who turn away an alien—
Because they do not fear Me,
Says the LORD of hosts. Malachi 3:5
Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. Revelation 22:14-15
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you[b] are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
“ I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.”
“ Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you."
“ I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the LORD Almighty.”
2 Corinthians 6:14-17
And the Church has the audacity to repackage this great demonry and proclaim it as Christ's? What do the works of God have in common with the works of Satan?
[Time will tell whether Harry Potter can be used to promote Christianity, but the record 8.3 million U.S. copies the series’ final installment sold on its first day indicate that the Potter market will continue for a number of years.
It’s the “greatest evangelistic opportunity the church ever missed,” Neal said.]
If the modern church sincerely thinks itself bold enough to disregard God who has condemned witchcraft, and wise enough to wield demonic forces to extend the Kingdom of God, then the modern church is truly Laodicean; wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Will all who call themselves Christians be guaranteed entry into Heaven? The Scriptures clearly says NO. Simply calling yourself a Christian will definitely not be sufficient in the eyes of God. Your salvation is not a once in a lifetime event, attained at the point when you prayed the Sinner’s Prayer. It was basically your starting point in your journey back to Christ, not the end. Many Christians are in serious error when they presume that Heaven’s door is a wide gate that admits in just about anyone who applies the self-adhesive label of “Christian”. Christ has clearly warned through many parables that He Himself will weed out the false Christians.
Ponder on this. Why did Jesus keep warning against lawlessness and sin in the church unless it was a severe threat? In fact, Jesus clearly stated that MANY will do great works in His name, but yet they will be denied entry into paradise. The reason for Him to do so will be no other than because they never truly repented and gave up their sinful ways.
Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?” And He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’ then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’ Luke 13:23-27
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Matthew 7:21-23
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 13:47-50
Among you there may be some so familiar with the image of the Loving and Suffering Savior and little else that the following verses may come across as barely digestible, but that is what YOUR bible says. As Christ died for the sins of all men, He will stand as judge of mankind. After all, He has every right to deny entry to those who reject His sacrifice on the cross. Do you find yourself squirming and resisting the thought that it is your all-loving Jesus, not the Father, who will cast unrepentant sinners into the lake of fire? If you do so, then your understanding of God’s nature is inaccurate.
For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son. John 5:22
I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. Revelation 1:18
The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 13:41,42
Moreover, it would be a mistake to believe that as one matures in Christ that he develops an immunity to sin. The bible clearly states that as long as we exist in the flesh, we will be in perpetual enmity with the spirit. Becoming a Christian does in no way mean an eradication of sin for the nature of the flesh is and will always be sinful. Being a Christian simply means that one has decided to strive to exchange his sinful nature for Christ's perfection. It is not being sinless that sets the Christian apart from the non-believer, it is that when he sins, he repents, renounces his sins and resume his journey on the narrow path.
In contrast, a Christian living carnally will find himself caught in a perpetual sin-repent cycle. Praying the Sinner's prayer is not an end by itself, it is only the beginning of a journey back to God. This journey of salvation entails taking on His traits in exchange for one's sinful nature as one matures in Christ. Hence, if you are living in a semi-backslidden state by indulging in your sinful nature on weekdays but playing the holy hypocrite on weekends, you are most certainly NOT pleasing God. His call to Holiness requires that the Christian exchange the world for Him. If your conscience bothers you on certain issues of sin, listen to it rather than obtaining ‘advice’ to remedy your guilt. For by doing so, you may actually be searing your conscience against the guilt of sin.
Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened,
That it cannot save;
Nor His ear heavy,
That it cannot hear.
But your iniquities have separated you from your God;
And your sins have hidden His face from you,
So that He will not hear.
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:6,7
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2
For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. 1 Peter 4:3
...bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5b
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 1 John 15,16
This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:17-24
So long we live on this earth, our sinful selves will never be perfect, but we must never stop pursuing after righteousness.
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1,2
I am not saying that you will not enter heaven, but you must be absolutely certain of your salvation. There is for a very good reason why walking with Christ is called walking on the narrow path and the door of Heaven the narrow gate.
Repent, Christian and leave your secular ways for the cross. For there is no other way to God.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
First of all, fantastic theme and an equally fantastic bible verse to support it, nevermind that the verse quoted is incomplete. I’ll post the complete bible verse here.
And they shall teach My people the difference between the holy and the unholy, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean. Ezekiel 44:23
Why are they hiding their true agenda which involves letting people know the difference between holy and unholy, clean and unclean? By inviting Christians to indulge in secularism, it certainly gives them a taste of the world; Christians now will know through personal experience what it means like to be wallowing in unholiness and uncleanliness!
On a serious note, the gospel of Christ CANNOT be repackaged into a secular medium. You cannot reclaim any secular medium and use it for God, for God is holy and the secular world is in permanent enmity against Him. There is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY that you can reclaim for God worldly objects or beliefs dedicated for the worship of Satan. The fact that they used the phrase ‘reclaim street dance from the world’ shows that they are well aware of the filth associated with street dancing. I do not have to explain why street dancing is ungodly, they have admitted it point-blank! Can you 'reclaim' drug abuse for Christ and weave in the Gospel? After all, the Bible does not state explicitly that drug abuse is a sin. The sheer audacity of Christians to mock God and present filth before Him!
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 2 Corinthians 6:14-15
Can one purify an idol of an Egyptian god and assume that it is ‘reclaimed for God’? No, this clearly contradicts the Bible. If you attempt to ‘reclaim’ worldly objects and bring it into the church, the following results:
So I went in and saw, and there—every sort of creeping thing, abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed all around on the walls. And there stood before them seventy men of the elders of the house of Israel, and in their midst stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan. Each man had a censer in his hand, and a thick cloud of incense went up. Then He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the room of his idols? For they say, ‘The LORD does not see us, the LORD has forsaken the land.’” Ezekiel 8:10-12
The elders were worshipping in the temple of God which was defiled by the presence of idols! Does the same not apply when Christians bring the world into the church and call it godly?
They dare claim that they can proclaim the Most Holy God through a secular medium like street dancing. Can we now proclaim Christ through radical mediums like Christian Erotic Pole Dancing? By the way ladies, are you interested in serving ministry by being a Hooker for Christ?
Christ fashioned a whip to drive the world out of the temple. Dare you defy Him by bringing it back in?