Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Moving my Devotional Posts to Patreon

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Hi Readers,

I have moved all my devotional posts from Blogger.com to my new Patreon platform: https://www.patreon.com/cmthen/posts. My devotional posts will remain a free public service on this new platform. However, on Patreon, you can support my devotional ministry (and others) by being my patron.

For $5 a month, you will be notified by Patreon whenever I post a new devotional or podcast. You will also receive a copy of the devotional in your email. In this tier, you can also download my e-book compilation of each completed book of the Bible, starting with Revelation. Once I have completed my current series on Genesis, you will be informed by Patreon to download the Genesis Devotional E-book.

If you support me as a patron for $10 per month, you get further access to my workshop and seminar videos and handouts. You will also be entitled to a free 30 minute MBTI consultation via Skype.

Please visit my new Patreon site to support my ministry: https://www.patreon.com/cmthen.

I will continue to use Blogger-com to post other articles of interest on a more or less weekly basis: book reviews, Bible prophecy updates, and links to other good teaching videos on Youtube.

God bless.

Chee Min

Monday, April 16, 2018

Genesis 9:1-2 God's Glorious Purpose for Humankind

KEY TEXT: Gen 9:1-2 And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered."

KEY THOT: Immediately after the Flood (read Genesis 7-8), God blessed Noah and restated His original purpose for mankind: "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered." God restated His mandate for humankind that He first gave to Adam in Genesis 1:28, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth." That was and is God's intention when He created man--that he should rule over God's earth. However, when man sinned against God, Satan usurped this authority to rule over this world. 

So Christ came as the Last Adam to restore this divine mandate to rule over God's creation and creatures. And everyone who is now in Christ, though born of the First Adam, will rule the earth jointly with Christ, the Last Adam:
  • 1 Corinthians 15:45-49 Thus it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being";  the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.
So, God's original purpose for the First Adam to rule over the earth will be fully restored in Christ, the Last Adam. In fact, all who are born again into God's family as His children have already been given this restored authority to rule over the earth. Thus it is stated in Ephesians 2:4-6, "But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus." So Paul also declares in Romans 8:37, "in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us."

So as believers we are not only raised up spiritually from the dead, but we also exalted to the highest place in heaven and seated together with Christ Jesus as joint-rulers over the earth. Our mandate and authority to rule the earth has been restored in Christ. Satan who has usurped the authority from Adam remains the de facto prince of this world (that is, over those who are still aligned with him in rebellion against the true God.) But Jesus told His disciples in Luke 10:18-19, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.  Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you."

We are created to rule upon this earth, not as slaves of Satan or sin, but as sons and daughters of God, clothed with the full authority of Christ to fulfill our original purpose. Like the Prodigal Son in the Parable of the Lost Son (Luke 15:11-32), despite his failures and sins, the father restored to him the full rights as his son, even though he wanted to return to his father's house to be a servant. This Prodigal Son has his full rights restored--his new robe and ring signify his restored status as son of the household: "But the father said to his servants, 'Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet" (Luke 15:22).

The sad part of this parable is the Elder Son. Though he lived in his father's house, he didn't understand his full rights and authority. He even claimed that though he had never disobeyed his father all these years, his father "never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends" (Luke 15:29). What a sad tragedy! To be living in the Father's household and yet not enjoying the rights and privileges of sonship.

This Elder Son may be typical of many Christians who has never enjoyed their rights and privileges as sons and daughters. They continue to live in spiritual poverty of fears and sins, more like prodigals outside the Father's house than restored children who have been clothed with the robe of righteousness of Christ and the ring of authority of Christ.

God has called us to be rulers over the earth. And in Christ, He has restored to us the full authority to rule. May our eyes be opened to this fact and live accordingly, not like the Elder Brother, complaining with frustration that he didn't even get a goat to celebrate with his friends!

Abba-Father, thank You that You have restored to us the mandate to rule and reign with Christ. Thank You for restoring our full rights and privileges as children of God in Christ. Help us to live in these blessings from this day onward. Amen.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Genesis 6:11-22 The Flood Generation

KEY TEXT: Gen 6:11-22 Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight, and the earth was filled with violence. And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. And God said to Noah, "I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits. Make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above, and set the door of the ark in its side. Make it with lower, second, and third decks. For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons' wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female. Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground, according to its kind, two of every sort shall come in to you to keep them alive. Also take with you every sort of food that is eaten, and store it up. It shall serve as food for you and for them." Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.

KEY THOT: Jesus said in Matthew 24:37-39 that the generation that will see His return will be like Noah's generation: "As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.  For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark,  and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man." And in the days of Noah, people will continue to live life as usual--"eating, and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage"--until the flood came unannounced and swept them all away. Beside that, violence and moral corruption was endemic, affecting all peoples at all levels of human society globally. 

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The situation today is quite similar to the days of Noah. Just as Noah's generation ignored his warnings about the coming judgment of waters in his days, so today's generation will ignore warnings of the divine judgment of fires before Jesus returns. We continue to hear of wars and rumours of wars spoken by global powers like USA and Russia, each boasting about their nuclear arsenal of strategic intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that can destroy one another without being detected with the hell-fires of nuclear war. And on top of that, the actual mass killings and murders being committed by many states, terrorist organizations and individuals.

The global situation will get worse as Jesus' coming draws nearer. Like birth pangs that brings about a new life, so the frequency and intensity of violence and spiritual/moral corruption will increase in the coming days as creation groans and awaits its redemption as Paul describes it in Rom 8:22-23, "For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies."

In Noah's days, only Noah's family and the animals on his ark were saved from destruction by the Flood. But in our days, the judgment will come as fires raining down upon the earth as described in Revelation 8:7-11. God has made a promise to Noah in Genesis 9:11 never to use flood waters again to judge mankind. So in these last days, God's judgment will be by fires, not waters.

Noah's Ark was a picture of Christ. Just as those inside the Ark was saved from judgment, so only those who are "in Christ" will be saved from God's fiery judgment when it comes. In the meantime, we cannot live like the world, carrying on our lives as per normal. We must live in the light of Christ's coming and judgment, with nobler goals and ambitions than the average non-believers who live just for the present moment, as though this earthly life will go on forever.

Abba-Father, show us how to live our lives in the light of Your coming judgment when Jesus returns. Teach us to number our days so we may glorify Your name and live as pilgrims who are passing by. In Jesus' name, Amen.