The Danger of Selective Listening

It is very common to listen to what we would like to hear. This however, is very dangerous, especially concerning spiritual matters. We could go off on a tangent and miss important doctrines and truth if we approach scriptures with preconceived biases and try to fit scriptures within the framework of our own understanding or suit our own narratives.

A pertinent case in point is the episode where the Lord blasted Peter calling him Satan for saying something that was completely contrary to the will of God.

Matthew 16:18: And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Matthew 16:19: And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Matthew 16:20: Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.

Matthew 16:21: From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.

Peter was initially told he was given the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Next, the Lord’s revelation about His sufferings, death and resurrection upset Peter so much that he was so audacious to rebuke the Lord.

Matthew 16:22: Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.

What did Peter miss or misunderstand that caused him to impose his will on the Lord Jesus Christ?

Peter must have gone over his head for being told he was given the keys of the kingdom of heaven!

Was he trying to exercise the powers of those keys given to him to bind and loose earthly matters concerning the kingdom and expect endorsement from heaven?

It was so strange for Peter to do what he did here as though he could lord over the Lord.

What offended Peter so much that he just blew his top to rebuke the Lord?

Peter and the other disciples had been following the Lord for quite some time. They had witnessed first hand all those miracles performed and ministering to thousands who came to hear the Lord preached.

A revolution was about to take place under Roman occupation of their homeland. It was promising and got the attention of the ruling religious elite who came to question the Lord. People were talking about the Lord trying to figure out who Jesus was.

Matthew 16:13: When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?

Matthew 16:14: And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.

Everyone was intrigued about the Lord. He was doing extraordinary things no man could do. This put the religious elite to shame who constantly confronted the Lord but the common man followed the Lord. So this question was put to the Lord’s disciples.

Matthew 16:15: He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?

Without hesitation Peter confessed and gave the absolutely correct answer. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God.

Matthew 16:16: And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

Confession is one thing but faith and self-will are something else. These disciples including Peter had been following the Lord day in and day out and had become so familiar with Him. It is so easy to take the Lord for granted and treat Him like one of them.

They were full of optimism concerning the kingdom with their Messiah physically with them who could do all things; healing the sick, cast out devils, rebuke the wind to still the storm and even walk on water. What is stopping them to share the glory of the coming kingdom and Roman occupation would become a thing of the past when the Son of David finally sits on His throne in Jerusalem?

The evidence of the coming coronation was apparently so evident that the Lord had to get out of the way.

John 6:14: Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.

John 6:15: When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.

The disciples surely feel the same way too. They were already jostling for power even before the Lord ascends the throne.

Luke 9:46: Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be greatest.

Mark 10:35: And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire.

Mark 10:36: And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you?

Mark 10:37: They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory.

Some time later Peter even wanted to know their rewards for following the Lord.

Matthew 19:27: Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?

Hence the kingdom was very real to these disciples. They were expecting the arrival of the kingdom. John the Baptist was disillusioned too when he was in prison and sent disciples to ask whether the Lord was indeed the Messiah or should they look for another.

Matthew 11:2: Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples,

Matthew 11:3: And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?

As far as John the Baptist was concerned who manifest Christ to Israel, if the kingdom was so real, why should he be languishing in prison? Unfortunately, the message the Lord sent to him might not be what he liked to hear.

Matthew 11:6: And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

Of course in the flesh John the Baptist could be offended in circumstances that turned out the way he least expected. There was no message of comfort or deliverance for him.

So Peter and the rest of the disciples were truly looking forward to the coming kingdom. Now with Peter given the keys of the kingdom of heaven, a great confirmation no doubt, but with the revelation of the Lord’s impending sufferings, death and resurrection, this threw the future of the kingdom into great uncertainty.

Peter was definitely offended.

What the Lord revealed were three folds. Firstly His sufferings, followed by His death and then His eventual resurrection on the third day.

What did Peter actually missed hearing? Did he ignore the last part about the Lord’s resurrection?

Was his focus only on the Lord’s sufferings and death? This would be obviously not something he would like to hear.

What is so good about the keys of the kingdom of heaven when their Messiah the King of the Jews would suffer and die?

What could the keys do when the King is no longer around?

What is there glory to share in the future?

Peter’s selective listening to what the Lord revealed was causing this outburst to get out of hand. For conveniently ignoring the Lord’s eventual resurrection, the Lord’s plan of salvation for the whole world, his chastisement came fast and furious.

Matthew 16:23: But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

It is noteworthy here that Peter turned Satan for that moment when he sought to impose his will on the Lord’s will. Peter in his self-will was looking through the lens of the flesh and not the eyes of faith.

It is important to realize that even believers in the Lord are not out of reach from the Devil if the Lord so allows it. In fact, Peter was always the main target and was right in the Devil’s crosshairs.

Luke 22:31: And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:

Luke 22:32: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

Satan is actively desiring and planning to touch God’s people but the Lord is also actively countering his every move. Notwithstanding, some believers would pay a price for their folly when they allow Satan to play a role in their life.

Acts 5:3: But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?

Acts 5:4: Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.

Acts 5:5: And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.

The difference here is Peter being called Satan survived while Ananias dropped dead after Peter rebuked him for allowing Satan to fill his heart to lie to the Holy Ghost.

The Lord’s furious rebuke of Peter is instructional here.

Peter was not simply trying to protect the Lord and prevent His sufferings and death but his lack of faith in the resurrection.

If Peter failed to heed the Lord’s revelation of His resurrection on the third day, then Peter indeed could not hide his disappointment concerning the coming kingdom. They had left all and followed the Lord and if the kingdom turned out to be a piped dream, it would be disastrous to all these followers of Christ.

In fact, after the Lord’s death, the disciples were indeed disillusioned.

Luke 24:18: And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?

Luke 24:19: And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:

Luke 24:20: And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.

Luke 24:21: But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.

The hopes of the kingdom were gone when the Lord died and everyone was trying to move on from this sorry episode. Euphemism gave way to despondence.

Even Peter went back to his fishing business when their Messiah the King was no longer around and the rest followed him.

John 21:2: There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples.

John 21:3: Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.

So Peter’s strong reaction to the Lord’s revelation concerns the issue of resurrection in the context of the kingdom.

Without death how can there be a resurrection? But Peter was standing in the way of the cross by his own understanding and self-will.

Regarding the issue of resurrection, the Jews do believe there is a resurrection. But this is a fuzzy idea where the present reality of a resurrection is not something so easy to grasp. They had seen the Lord raised the dead but apparently, they were still grappling with this issue. The raising of Lazarus is a case in point.

John 11:22: But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.

John 11:23: Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.

John 11:24: Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.

The Jews believe in the resurrection at the last day but not the present day. And Martha did not believe his brother could rise again that day in which he did.

So the Lord had to drill into the disciples concerning this issue of the resurrection. The message of dying is gain takes centre stage.

Matthew 16:24: Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Matthew 16:25: For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

Matthew 16:26: For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Dying is gain is a strange concept to the world. Followers of Christ must practise self-denial and bear the cross to stay spiritually profitable.

There is no point entering the kingdom with our corruptible body of flesh and blood. The Lord has a better plan for His people.

The resurrection of Christ should be the central theme and His sufferings and death are just signposts but for selective listeners, they miss the forest for the trees. Selective listening by ignoring the most important part of the entire message brings fear and confusion.

Thus, the Lord had to reiterate His subsequent coming in glory with rewards for every man to assure His disciples.

Matthew 16:27: For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

Moreover, the Lord is always and ever gracious despite the lack of faith and self-will of His people. The Lord promised some of the disciples present would experience the glory that should come in their earthly life.

Matthew 16:28: Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

This culminated in the transfiguration of the Lord on the mountain with Moses and Elijah where Peter, James and John had the privilege to have a glimpse of the world to come.

Matthew 17:1: And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,

Matthew 17:2: And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.

Matthew 17:3: And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.

As such, beware of selective listening, especially concerning the spiritual things of God. This would lead to trouble, confusion and fear. There might be things we do not like to hear from the Holy Bible that do not fit into our intellect, our upbringing, our own understanding and preference, but we have to accept the whole counsel of God by faith.

With eyes of faith, we should look to the glorious world to come and the things in this life would turn strangely dim.

John 5:25: Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

Apostolic Succession – Peter the Misunderstood Keyman

Apostolic succession seems like a logical and natural progression to perpetuate the authority of the Church to prevent confusion to the flock. This is especially the case when there is biblical evidence to support such a doctrine to keep the followers of Christ on the straight and narrow gospel road. There is no better place in the New Testament than the passage found in Matthew 16:15-20 to justify apostolic succession.

Matthew 16:15: He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?

Matthew 16:16: And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

Matthew 16:17: And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

Matthew 16:18: And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Matthew 16:19: And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Matthew 16:20: Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.

Peter was seemingly the rock upon which the Lord declared he would build His Church. He was also given the keys of the kingdom of heaven as well wielding great powers to bind and loose earthly matters with heavenly concurrence. If this were the case, then numerous scriptures would have to be rewritten in order to support this assertion.

There are several places in the Holy Bible where rock is mentioned. It is imperative to examine such scriptures in order to arrive at a biblically correct conclusion on this matter rather than to suit the narrative of some church authority.

Deuteronomy 32:4: He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

Peter definitely cannot be this rock unless he is God.

Deuteronomy 32:15: But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.

It would be ludicrous to suggest that the Rock here was Peter. It is obvious Peter could not be the Rock of Salvation for Jeshurun.

Deuteronomy 32:18: Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.

Here is another verse that shows Peter could not be the person who is capable of begetting anything. He only came into this world much more than a thousand years later.

Deuteronomy 32:30: How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had shut them up?

Again, Peter was non existent. He couldn’t have help the children of Israel fight battles that scared their enemies into flight of frenzy. If Peter was present, he would be of ancient proportion. When the Lord claimed eternal existence much older than Abraham, the Jews wanted to stone Him.

John 8:56: Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.

John 8:57: Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?

John 8:58: Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

John 8:59: Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

The implication is painfully obvious. If Peter claimed to be an ancient entity, this would be classified as blasphemy and a cause for execution by stoning.

Deuteronomy 32:31: For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges.

The enemies of Israel also is a rock but a different kind of rock.

Deuteronomy 32:37: And he shall say, Where are their gods, their rock in whom they trusted,

These enemies of Israel also trust their own gods their own rock which is distinctly different from the Rock of Israel.

King David also mentioned the Rock.

2 Samuel 23:3: The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.

The Rock of Israel could not be Peter as well.

The apostle Paul also wrote in the New Testament about the Rock mentioned in the Old Testament.

1 Corinthians 10:4: And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

He conclusively connected the Rock in the Old Testament as the Lord Jesus Christ in the New Testament.

Moreover, the Lord also gave us the meaning of the name of Peter.

John 1:42: And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.

So the interpretation of Peter’s name is a stone and not the rock upon which the Lord promised to build the Church. There are a lot of difference between a stone and a rock.

The size of both objects is one difference where a rock is huge and meant for support such as Moses stood upon (Exodus 33:22) while a stone is held in the hand for execution like in the case of David killing Goliath (1 Samuel 17:50).

A rock could be smitten and water gushed out to provide sustenance for the children of Israel (Exodus 17:6) and a stone could not.

A rock could be spoken to to provide water as well (Numbers 20:8) and a stone would be too small and insignificant.

A rock is a place of refuge (Numbers 24:21) and a stone can’t protect you.

There are many more so it is ridiculous to conclude that Peter was the rock spoken of when the scriptures clearly stated that the Lord Jesus Christ was only speaking to Peter and did not indicate that Peter was the rock. The Lord was referring to Himself being the Rock of the Old Testament and at the same time giving the keys to Peter to fulfill new missions for the New Testament Church. Peter was just the keyman and not the foundation.

Matthew 16:18: And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Matthew 16:19: And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Insisting that Peter is the rock instead of a stone would do violence to scriptures. In addition, can Peter be the head of the Church, the firstborn from the dead?

Colossians 1:18: And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

Despite the Lord’s open approbation for Peter and given the keys in relation to the kingdom of heaven, he had never bragged about this matter. As a matter of fact, he wrote about himself in relation with his fellow disciples of Christ as follows:

1 Peter 5:1: The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:

He humbly submitted that he was simply one of the elders among others. He had never claimed to be the chief apostle. In fact, his Christian behaviour was far from being perfect.

Galatians 2:11: But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.

Galatians 2:12: For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.

Galatians 2:13: And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.

Galatians 2:14: But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?

Even though he was blasted by the apostle Paul for his inconsistency in his walk with his fellow followers of Christ, he wrote lovingly about Paul addressing him as a beloved brother.

2 Peter 3:15: And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;

There was no mention of Peter ever passing those keys given to him to anyone to succeed him. Apostolic succession is a myth and not a biblical fact.

By the way, Peter was a family man. He was not some pious bachelor pretending to be pure and holy living spiritually pure life above everyone else. He had never claimed to be so sanctified that he must not get married and had never encouraged anyone to follow such misplaced ideals.

Matthew 8:14: And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever.

1 Corinthians 9:5: Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?

As far as the Lord revealed to Peter, he was given keys to use in relation to the kingdom of heaven and the Lord Himself is the rock where the foundation of the Church is to be built. The historical fulfillment of this prophecy is recorded in the book of Acts.

When asked by the disciples when the Lord would restore the kingdom to Israel after His resurrection just before the Lord’s ascension into heaven, they were told about the three categories of people they had to deal with.

Acts 1:6: When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

Acts 1:7: And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

Acts 1:8: But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

They were to be witnesses for the Lord firstly to the Jews, and then to the Samaritans and finally to the Gentiles. The keys were in the hands of Peter where he would play a major role as a vanguard for these missions.

So on the Day of Pentecost, it finally happened.

Acts 2:38: Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Peter was preaching to the Jews and proselytes present in Jerusalem. He offered them salvation in the form of repentance and water baptism for the remission of sin and they would then receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. So the Jewish believers were the first to enter the Church when Peter opened the door to them.

Next would be the believers in Samaria. Philip had earlier preached the gospel to them and those folks did believe but it was incomplete until the apostle Peter showed up in Samaria according to the prophecy mentioned in Acts 1:8.

Acts 8:14: Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:

Acts 8:15: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:

Acts 8:16: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)

Acts 8:17: Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

So these believers in Samaria finally received the Holy Ghost when Peter the keyman arrived. This was a historical event and not a doctrinal truth where those living in Samaria today have to go through the same pattern when they believe in the Lord such that they also have to wait for some apostles from Jerusalem to show up and lay hands on them to receive the Holy Ghost. Anyway the apostles had been long dead and so Peter who had the keys had a job to do on that fateful day and that was all.

Finally, it was the Gentiles turn to receive the Holy Ghost. It was not easy to coerce the Jews to go the the Gentiles. It was something unlawful and unthinkable. There is a huge cultural divide and enmity between the Jews and the Gentiles and even with the Samaritans. In fact, the Samaritan woman was surprised when the Lord Jesus Christ spoke with her.

John 4:9: Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.

The disciples of Christ marvelled as well.

John 4:27: And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her?

So in order to prepare Peter to go to the Gentiles, the Lord had to put Peter through visions so that he could justify himself to go to the Gentiles.

Acts 10:28: And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

Peter told Cornelius it was the Lord who revealed to him not to consider the Gentiles unclean. He was also confronted by his own Jewish brethren after ministering to the Gentiles.

Acts 11:2: And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him,

Acts 11:3: Saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them.

So Peter being the keyman had no choice but to go to the Gentiles. The Lord did not use other apostles to reach the Gentiles first. When Peter had preached to the Gentiles about Christ, they immediately received the Holy Ghost.

Acts 10:43: To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

Acts 10:44: While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.

It was a departure from the past where the apostles had to baptize the believers first and then lay hands on them. The Lord here opened the door to the Gentiles as though Peter had forgotten to bring the keys! Nevertheless, the presence and preaching of Peter were necessary being a keyman for the purpose of fulfilling Acts 1:8.

Acts 10:45: And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 10:46: For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,

Acts 10:47: Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

Peter and those Jewish brethren present were obviously shocked. It was a new normal for them to experience. They recognized the Gentiles had received the Holy Ghost like they did.

So water baptism for these Gentile believers became a non event. No more gift of the Holy Ghost follows as a result of water baptism. Water baptism henceforth becomes symbolic as a testimony of the faith of those who profess they believe in the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

To build a case where Peter was the rock upon which the Lord would build His Church is totally unscriptural. The keys given to Peter had been put into action during the transition period where the nation of Israel had completely rejected their Messiah even after His resurrection with the preaching of the Jewish apostles.

Moreover, Peter was exposed to be a compulsive boaster who eventually denied he knew the Lord Jesus Christ.

Matthew 26:33: Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.

Matthew 26:34: Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.

Matthew 26:35: Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.

Luke 22:33: And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.

Luke 22:34: And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.

Furthermore just after being given the keys of the kingdom of heaven, Peter was scolded as Satan by the Lord Jesus Christ when Peter rebuked the Lord who spoke to them about His sufferings, death and subsequent resurrection.

Matthew 16:22: Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.

Matthew 16:23: But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

Peter’s selective listening regarding the Lord’s revelation got him into serious trouble with the Lord concerning this episode of self-will.

There is no point trying to build a holy aura around the apostle Peter to make him into somebody he was not. His subsequent service for the Lord was remarkable being obedient in using those keys given to him to fulfill prophecy in the historical past opening the gospel door to the Jews, the Samaritans and the Gentiles. He then bowed out of the way with Israel being set aside and the apostle Paul took over as the Lord deals with the Gentile believers unto this day.

The fallibility of Peter is cleared for all to see in the scriptures and his humility thereafter is an example for all to follow. Christians are not to elevate him to be put on a pedestal creating an unscriptural office for others to succeed pretending to be the new recipients of the keys of the kingdom of heaven.

The priesthood of believers is now universal and all believers in Christ have full and equal access to the throne of grace before the Lord as the apostle Peter clearly declared.

1 Peter 2:9: But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

Hence, apostolic succession is unscriptural and to be rejected by all Bible believing Christians.

Don’t ever mistake a keyman as the owner of the house!

Peter is just a servant and the Lord Jesus Christ is the Master.

The Church of the living God is the ground and pillar of truth and not the keyman Peter.

1 Timothy 3:15: But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.


Healing According to the Apostles’ Protocol

The Apostles’ Protocol is one of the many marketing materials circulating on the Internet touting some amazing breakthrough you would do well to take heed. It comes with religious connotations though. It is supposedly quite stunning that even Christians are stunned. Here is part of the marketing punch lines.

Jesus’ Lost Words Stun Christians (Not in the Bible!)

Take a look at this ancient scroll.

Biblical scholars are calling it one of “the most extraordinary archeological discoveries in the modern world.”

It was found in a cave near Nag Hammadi, Egypt. And Claremont Graduate University has confirmed it dates to just a few years after the crucifixion.

More important… it contains Jesus’ lost words.

So here is another so called latest discovery from Egypt that is so revolutionary that many diseases could be healed and of course, it is not free. If you wish to know how this elixir formula might be of help to you, the cost isn’t exorbitant though. It is priced at a level many can afford. For an annual subscription fee of $49 for some natural health publications, this Apostles’ Protocol could be yours to keep along with other books like The Little Bible of 77 Censored Health Cures and Daniel’s Diabetic Miracle.

The trouble is using our Lord Jesus Christ as the poster boy to sell some remedy is not right and in fact, reprehensible. With a catchy name “The Apostles’ Protocol”, this is biblically misleading and actually, unbiblical to say the least.

When the Lord sent out the apostles on a mission where healing was part of their work, their protocol was never to accept payment. Here is the original commandment.

Matthew 10:8: Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

So performing healing is not supposed to be compensated, especially monetarily.

After the Lord’s resurrection and ascension into heaven, the apostles continued such practice of healing without compensation.

Acts 3:2: And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;

Acts 3:3: Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.

Acts 3:4: And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.

Acts 3:5: And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.

Acts 3:6: Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.

The apostles themselves were poor. Yet they did not ask for compensation or rewards for healing of this handicapped man.

The marketing page on this healing book is very convincing citing fantastic testimonials and scientific research as well as throwing in free gifts to sweeten the deal. It is just a no brainer not to subscribe and get a hand on The Apostles’ Protocol together with other useful and helpful free gifts.

However as a Bible believing Christian, the moment when Jesus’ lost words not found in the Holy Bible are mentioned, it is time to dismiss such claims. Jesus is being conveniently use to peddle some products for the benefits of some people. Haven’t Christians been warned about such tricks from unscrupulous people?

2 Peter 2:3: And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

So the peddling of “The Apostles’ Protocol” as some stunning cure is just another one of those money making schemes devised to milk unsuspecting folks of their money thinking such information has biblical support and offer them hope out of this sin cursed world. Such products are certainly cancerous to bible believing faith in the Lord Jesus Christ drawing them away from the authority of the written words of the living God.

The most important healing the world ever seen was prophesied by the prophet Isaiah.

Isaiah 53:5: But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

It was further confirmed by the apostle Peter as follows:

1 Peter 2:24: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

The most important aspect is the healing of your fallen soul.

Have you been healed?

If you have been healed by the Lord’s vicarious death on the cross of Calvary, your perfect glorious body awaits you in glory.

Philippians 3:21: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

This is the true apostles’ protocol. And it won’t cost you a cent!


Fellowship of the Accursed

Ever since the fall of man, the earth is cursed and men are born in a fallen state. Despite the fall of man, man was not originally cursed. The first man to be cursed was Cain who murdered his brother in cold blood. The next man to be cursed was Canaan, the son of Ham, during the drunken episode of Noah after the flood. When Balak hired the prophet Balaam to curse Israel, he was prevented from doing so.

Deuteronomy 23:5: Nevertheless the LORD thy God would not hearken unto Balaam; but the LORD thy God turned the curse into a blessing unto thee, because the LORD thy God loved thee.

While every man is born dead in trespasses and sins after the fall, not everyone is cursed. So being cursed is a serious matter. Here is an interesting event where the issue of who are living under the curse should be examined.

John 7:45: Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him?

John 7:46: The officers answered, Never man spake like this man.

John 7:47: Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived?

John 7:48: Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him?

John 7:49: But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed.

During the earthly ministry of Christ, the religious elites had become unnerved with the success of the Lord’s ministry attracting huge crowds performing miracles showing signs and wonders these people in the high society of the religious realm couldn’t do. So they ordered the religious police to arrest Christ. Unfortunately, the religious police failed to do so and couldn’t give a proper account to those high minded elites.

The rebuke from these religious elites came quick and swift. They questioned the religious police whether they had been likewise deceived. They demanded these poor officers who failed in their duty to apprehend Christ whether they knew any of those elites believed Jesus was their Messiah. The most audacious judgment they passed on those lesser mortals were words of condemnation: But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed.

By inference, these religious fundamentalist elites were those who knew the law and they were not cursed. However, the poor peasants who ought to listen to them and obey them were cursed. So being custodians of the law had benefits and one could be promoted to a status free from the curse. Is it the case where one could be educated out of the curse by knowing the law?

The scriptures make it abundantly clear that this is not the case. In fact, contrary to knowing the law as an advantage, this has turned out to be a curse instead.

Romans 5:13: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

Sin is not imputed in the absence of the law so how can knowing the law alone becomes a blessing and be curse free? It is so much better with the absence of the law as far as accountability is concerned. Knowing the law adds burden where man is held accountable for such knowledge and that leads to being cursed for non compliance of the law.

Romans 3:20: Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Galatians 3:10: For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

Galatians 3:11: But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

Galatians 3:13: Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

While it is true salvation is of the Jews as the Lord Jesus Christ also affirmed, the God of creation is not the exclusive possession of the Jews.

John 4:22: Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.

Didn’t these religious elites remember Jehovah God sent Jonah to preach to the Gentiles in Nineveh? Didn’t they know it was God who commanded the Gentile kings to release and instruct the Jews to return to Israel to rebuild their Temple and reside in their own homeland after their captivity in Babylon?

How arrogant of them to pronounce judgment on those who knew not the law are cursed? The Lord has words for these self-conceited fools.

Matthew 23:1: Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,

Matthew 23:2: Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat:

Matthew 23:3: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.

Just because they occupied the seat of Moses they could dispense curses on the lesser mortals? Even Balaam failed in his endeavour to curse Israel and these religious elites were behaving like religious thugs. Thus it turned out that they were those who were actually living under the curse according to scriptures.

Galatians 3:10: For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

These religious thugs were talkers and not doers. Hence, they rightly deserved to be cursed for their pride and obstinacy. The psalmist aptly described these people who err from the commandments of the Lord.

Psalms 119:21: Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, which do err from thy commandments.

Unfortunately in Christendom, there are those who are so enameled with the law of Moses that they seek to bring Christians under bondage again by adding the law of Moses to the grace of God during this Church Age. The apostle Paul had to deal with those who seduced Christians to follow their errors who preached another gospel.

Galatians 5:4: Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

Acts 13:39: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

Those who corrupt the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and fail to repent are consigned to the accursed category, a fate worse than ordinary fallen man since not every man born into this world is cursed.

Galatians 1:8: But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

Galatians 1:9: As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

These modern day religious authoritative figures have now replaced the Pharisees of old to become the new accursed category forming a new alliance of the fellowship of the accursed.

Meanwhile fallen man continues to be born into this world dead in trespasses and sins. Only the pure gospel of the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, without the law of Moses can save such an one to a future world of the blessed where the curse will be a thing of the past.

Revelation 22:3: And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:

Even so, come, Lord Jesus.


How To Get Prayers Answered

The healing of the daughter of the Canaanite woman is a classic case on how to get prayers answered.

This woman of Canaan was a desperate mother whose daughter was grievously vexed with a devil. She must be at her wits end trying whatever means to deal with her daughter’s vexing trouble. It was no ordinary ailment where human intervention might bring solution to her vexing soul. It was an affliction that originated from a different dimension where human efforts are often found wanting and powerless in the face of such assault on the body, mind and soul of the tormented victims. Many were afflicted with such trouble in Israel and the religious elites could offer little help to the family members of the suffering victims.

But this woman of Canaan heard about Jesus and she had faith that the Lord could be the only solution to heal her pitiful daughter, God knows for how long had she been afflicted with the devil. So she approached the Lord during the Lord’s visit to her hometown.

Matthew 15:21: Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.

Matthew 15:22: And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.

Her approach was direct and she went straight to the point to plead for mercy, acknowledging Jesus as the Lord, the Son of David. All nationalistic pride was put aside, confirming the Lord Jesus Christ to be the King of the Jews, who would sit on the throne of David ruling over Israel. So this woman wasn’t an ignorant peasant unhappy with the Jews living in the former land of her forefathers and full of hatred for the Jews.

She cried and begged the Lord to have mercy on her and relating to the Lord her daughter’s condition. It wasn’t a small matter as her daughter was vexed with a devil badly in need of deliverance.

Matthew 15:23: But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.

However, the Lord ignored her. The Lord was being kind to her by ignoring her. The Lord could have said nasty thing she might not want to hear. She was not one of their own people. So the Lord kept silent.

With the Lord ignoring her, this woman went after the disciples. She must be harassing the disciples to ask them to help speak with the Lord. The disciples’ lack of compassion was rather telling. Instead of helping her intercede with the Lord to heal her daughter, the disciples got frustrated and went to beseech the Lord to send her away.

They didn’t behave that way when the Jews were healed of devils but for this woman, not one of their own nationality, they could not care less. Such is the hardness of men still very much plagued with nationalistic divide over who should benefit from blessings of their Messiah. So the woman continued her pleading with whoever who would help say a word to the Lord to help her and heal her daughter and this got annoying, at least with the disciples.

Matthew 15:24: But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Finally, the Lord open His mouth. Those words weren’t what this woman hoped to hear. But the disciples were very likely pleased and perhaps even secretly applauded the Lord’s reply to the woman. They couldn’t wait to get this woman off their back and they still had much work to do and with many others to minister to. Every day was a busy day and this woman of Canaan was holding up their work.

Moreover, it was the Lord who commissioned them to minster to the Jews and they were expressly forbidden to reach out to the Gentiles. Now this Gentile woman showed up and this would be a good test to see if the Lord meant business. So far the Lord confirmed the mission was meant for the Jews only.

Matthew 10:5: These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:

Matthew 10:6: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

The disciples were observing what the Lord would do with this woman, a non Jew coming to ask for help. Would the Lord practise double standards and violate His own admonishment for the disciples to avoid the Gentiles? The Lord’s reply confirmed their earlier commission. The Gentiles were to be bypassed. No doubt, the disciples might be glad and even pleased too.

So the door for this woman had been closed. She was an outsider outside of the commonwealth of Israel and could not enjoy the blessings meant for Israel. But she still didn’t give up knowing all avenues were closed and she had no other authority to appeal to in order to become a recipient of God’s blessing for His chosen people. She left the disciples and approached the Lord again since the Lord had opened His mouth to pronounce His rejection of her plea.

Matthew 15:25: Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.

This time, this woman did more than just acknowledging the Lord as the Son of David. She came and worshipped Him. She even worshipped Jesus as the Lord God, above just the King of the Jews. In fact, the Lord is not just the God of the Jews but God of the Gentiles as well. This episode of healing was about timing and the Jews must be dealt with first.

Earlier, she called Jesus Lord and Son of David. She already knew her proper place. This time she upped the ante and she worshipped the Lord. Her priority was to get her daughter healed and she knew the Lord could and she was doing all she could to get that blessing and her prayers answered.

If you are using some false bibles, you will get your prayers hindered. The translators of these fake bibles didn’t believe this woman of Canaan worshipped the Lord Jesus Christ. They only believe she bowed down or knelt before the Lord. Bowing down and kneeling do not necessarily mean worship for many people in this world also bow and kneel before earthly kings but worship is only reserved for the Divine. So it is time to throw away these modern fake bibles in order to get your prayers answered.

Matthew 15:25New International Version (NIV)
The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.

Matthew 15:25New American Standard Bible (NASB)
But she came and began to bow down before Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”

Matthew 15:25English Standard Version (ESV)
But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.”

Matthew 15:25Amplified Bible (AMP)
But she came and began to kneel down before Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”

Matthew 15:26: But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.

Since the Lord had already opened His mouth and the woman had persistently not given up hope on getting the Lord to do something for her daughter, the Lord had no choice but to reveal the real truth to this poor woman who had already lowered herself to beg, cry, prostrate and worship the Lord.

The reply here was terrible. To add insult to injury, she was called a dog. This woman was already humiliated for being an outsider. Now she was called a dog.

What do you expect this woman to do? Crawl away barking like a dog and complain to everyone how heartless the Lord has been to her?

Anyone who is not sincere and just making use of the Lord to get prayers answered without truly believing in the Lord and becoming a follower of the Lord would be greatly offended. How often we see people who needed help would do anything to just get what they wanted and then they would turn their back to their benefactors once they achieved their objectives!

Such people would come to you just to get a blessing and then leave you when you are no longer useful. Such scheming people would no doubt get up and spit at you and walk away and blast you all over the Internet to show to the world how cruel you are and would demolish you because you didn’t accede to their demands.

But this woman of Canaan was a woman of faith, no doubt a sincere believer of the Lord Jesus Christ. She was already in trials and tribulation over her daughter’s plight, what more could be added to afflict her and for this instant, it came from none other than the Lord of the whole earth to test her faith and tenacity in prayers!

The disciples might be getting more irritated even though this woman had left them and went back to beg the Lord for help. Why didn’t this Gentile woman just get lost and leave them alone? Didn’t she know she wasn’t a qualified beneficiary and the Lord had also made clear to her!

But this woman’s reply stunned heaven and astounded the disciples as well wondering how much lower could she go in order to get the Lord to lift a finger to help her and heal her daughter.

Matthew 15:27: And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.

Such a reply was classic. When she was already put down and then called a dog, instead of being offended, she reasoned with the Lord. There was so much wisdom in her reply under tremendous stress and despair with everyone over there against her and no one spoke a word in her favour.

Her reply was spoken softly rather than yelling back at the Lord but those words struck a chord in containing the Lord’s reproach, cornered the Lord and stormed through the dark clouds of heaven and so the windows of heaven poured down blessings upon her that day.

It is truly not right to give food meant for the children and cast it to dogs. The biblical exhortation is always to take care of one’s family first and not the other way around.

1 Timothy 5:8: But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

How many times have we come across foolish Christians giving away their wealth to ministers of Satan promising them God’s blessings and prosperity and then their family suffer poverty while these ministers of Satan enrich themselves and live in luxury.

What the Lord told this woman earlier wasn’t being unkind but scriptural. It must always be taking care of family first before helping others. Putting outsiders first would cause the family to fall apart. How many ministers who put in so much effort in ministering to others and neglected their own family and then they wonder why they ended up in divorce or their children become rebels when they grow up!

Perhaps everyone over there that day expected this woman to throw in the towel feeling disgusted and walked away. The Lord had already used the most cruel words to put her down and this was generally the attitude of the Jews towards the Gentiles regarding them as unclean. Even the Samaritans they regarded as people having a devil and would not speak with them or have anything to do with them.

John 4:9: Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.

John 8:48: Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?

Years later when Peter opened the gospel door to the Gentiles at Cornelius house in Acts chapter 10, he ran into trouble with the Jewish believers in Acts chapter 11 who confronted him. He had to explain himself with witnesses following him to Cornelius house to keep the peace of the believers in Israel.

But those words from the woman rang loud and clear though spoken softly hoping for the best. How would the disciples answer her having heard these words? What other excuse could the Lord throw at her with such a reasonable reply from her?

Yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. What she said was true and an observable known fact! How else could anyone counter her argument?

The Lord told the disciples not to minister to the Gentiles and the Lord made Himself an example by not wanting to help this Gentile woman. But what this woman did and said that day changed the course of events following. None wag a tongue after hearing what she said and all mouth was stopped that moment.

Matthew 15:28: Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

The Lord’s reply was one of excitement and full of admiration for her great faith and thus granting her request and her daughter was made whole that very hour. The Lord is plenteous in mercies but worthy recipients are few and far between. The Lord is rich beyond imagination but those chosen to share His wealth are just remnants who accept Jesus as Messiah and Saviour of the world.

This woman was one such recipients of the Lord’s mercy and grace and of course riches beyond measure. That day, her posture was one from prostrate humility and kneeling on the ground in worship to another of rising in victory conquering all odds that were stacked against her. No one could possibly stand in her way from getting her prayers answered.

The disciples stood speechless as the Lord took the exception to grant healing to the daughter of this Gentile woman that was against the original commandment given to them to minister only to the Jews, the lost sheep of the house of Israel. No one complained and stood against her for the Lord’s double standards in dealing with this Gentile woman in this case. They heard with their very own ears what this woman said and her reasoning was one full of faith and humble gentle submission in responding to the King of the Jews why she should be one of the recipients of the Lord’s mercy and grace even though she was a Gentile dog.

This woman’s admission of her lowly status nationally speaking and her unflinching determination interceding with the Lord in wisdom and humility won her the Lord’s favour as well as everyone present with no one dared to disapprove of the Lord dispensing healing to her tormented daughter.

She became a living example of what the Lord proclaimed as a message to the desperate and despairing John the Baptist rotting in jail waiting for execution, and she was blessed indeed because she was not offended by the Lord and in what the Lord had told her earlier.

Matthew 11:6: And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

Seldom you will find the Lord excited and exclaiming a big fat O in responding to situation during His earthly ministry. Here is one such incident where the Lord exclaimed with a big O followed by praise for this woman’s great faith.

Just a chapter before this woman’s incident, the Lord also likewise exclaimed with a big fat O but this was in response to Peter’s lack of faith while walking on water towards the Lord.

Matthew 14:30: But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
Matthew 14:31: And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

Matthew 15:25: Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.
Matthew 15:28: Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

Putting these verses together is a rather embarrassing comparison. Both made short prayers and were answered. The Jewish apostle was rebuked for his little faith and doubts while this Gentile woman was commended for her great faith and for not giving an inch to every obstacles thrown in her way to prevent her from getting her prayers answered and her daughter healed.

Such is the Lord’s dealing with fallen man. Even chosen privileged people of God can fail in faith while those temporarily set aside Gentiles could gain access to the privileges conferred for God’s own people and become one such members of God’s amazing goodness to all fallen man. Now that the chosen nation of Israel has been set aside for two thousand years and the Gentile Church is temporarily grafted in to deal with the world at large to magnify the name of Jesus above every name, the day will soon dawn upon this world when the Church is removed and the nation of Israel is come into focus again in the Lord’s prophetic calendar.

In order to get your prayers answered, you need to know your place and come sincerely in humility in worship of the Lord who is worthy of all praises and adorations. If you trust those fake bibles without having to worship the Lord in praying to the Lord to hear your petition, you will be badly mistaken. You will need to justify with reasons why the Lord should grant you your request lest you ask for things to consume upon your own lust which is not according to God’s perfect will for you. On top of that, you need to have this unflinching faith in the Lord who is more than able and capable to grant you your request. The question is whether you are one such worthy recipient for God to honour that request you put before the court in heaven.

Hebrews 11:1: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Hebrews 11:6: But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Faith is a prerequisite when approaching the Lord to petition your request. You must believe that He is God when you approach Him diligently like this Gentile woman. The Lord will then reward you according to your faith when you have pleased Him no matter how hopeless the situation might be.

Luke 11:9: And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

Luke 11:10: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

May heaven smile upon you as you bring your petitions before the Lord in all humble submission full of faith and truth!

Thinking out of the Earth

Very often, we have been told to think out of the box to come out with innovative solution to deal with some difficult situation or solve some tough problem. For earthly situation within human control, this might work but there will be times where all human effort would prove to be elusive where the problem would still remain within the box beyond all human intervention.

There is case in point regarding the feeding of the thousands where the disciples of the Lord were offered a chance to think out of the box for a solution but they all ended up boxed in by the problem. No solution was found until they gave up thinking out of the box.

Consider the situation here when the Lord offered them a chance to come up with an innovative solution to solve the hunger situation of the followers who came the hear the preaching of the Lord.

Matthew 14:14: And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.
Matthew 14:15: And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals.
Matthew 14:16: But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat.
Matthew 14:17: And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes.

Mark 6:35: And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed:
Mark 6:36: Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat.
Mark 6:37: He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat?

John 6:5: When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?
John 6:6: And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do.
John 6:7: Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.
John 6:8: One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, saith unto him,
John 6:9: There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?

It was a futile situation beyond all human hope. How could the multitudes be fed? We could sense the disciples reacting in frustration. The response from the disciples sums up their conclusion.

It was an impossible task. It was a mission impossible. No matter how much brain juice they could squeeze to think out of the box, it was not going to be of any help and make any difference to those people waiting to be fed.

The people in this world would criticize the disciples for lacking in helicopter vision. They were all looking horizontally being bogged down by the cares of the ministries and they forgot to look up. All human endeavour matters nothing for a situation like this.

What they really needed was to think out of the earth. They should view the situation from above to solve this earthly problem. They had forgotten they had the Lord with them who came from above. Who else could provide a solution to solve this hunger situation better than the Lord?

They had been so accustomed to watching all the miraculous healings that were taking place among the people including casting out of devils beyond human intervention but why they failed to rely on the Lord was another symptom of human weakness, albeit followers of Christ. They were becoming too familiar with the Lord just as another ordinary man among them, a miracle worker no doubt.

It was only after the episode of the Lord walking on water towards them where Peter tried and failed when he left his eyes on the Lord to focus on the boisterous wind instead that the disciples worshipped the Lord with this confession.

Matthew 14:33: Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

The disciples got distracted and couldn’t see beyond the horizon. In fact, the situation the disciples had to deal with was nothing new. Prophet Elisha encountered one such similar situation though smaller in scale.

2 Kings 4:42: And there came a man from Baal-shalisha, and brought the man of God bread of the firstfruits, twenty loaves of barley, and full ears of corn in the husk thereof. And he said, Give unto the people, that they may eat.
2 Kings 4:43: And his servitor said, What, should I set this before an hundred men? He said again, Give the people, that they may eat: for thus saith the LORD, They shall eat, and shall leave thereof.
2 Kings 4:44: So he set it before them, and they did eat, and left thereof, according to the word of the LORD.

Didn’t the disciples know of this account from their Old Testament? Given the fact that the scribes and priests were custodians of the scriptures, if they didn’t know of such an account, it reflected the spiritual poverty of the people during that time. It shouldn’t come as a surprise though because the religious authority during that time had conclusively rejected Christ as their Messiah. If the religious elite didn’t know any better, then the common people won’t fare much better as well.

Nevertheless, the disciples should know how the children of Israel who came out of Egypt were fed with manna from above for forty years. Getting too busy and too tired can cause anyone to forget past victory and blessings. So no solution could come from the disciples concerning this situation of the feeding of the thousands, but another monumental miracles documented for all posterity to remember the power and goodness of the Lord.

It is so easy to get distracted by all the cares in this life even though some activities are legitimate concerning ministering to the saints. This can cause our eyes to look at earthly solution instead of looking for divine intervention when face with difficult situation and troublesome problem.

Our spiritual posture should be one of looking up instead of looking around. Much more can be done by looking to the Lord with steadfast faith than to rely on our fallen mind for wisdom and knowledge. They will surely fail.

Instead of thinking out of the box, it is better to think out of the earth and look to the Lord for help.


Attending One’s Own Funeral

South Koreans have taken the world by storm with their k-pop culture, Korean drama series and fashion. Seldom you will find Asian and even some Western women not well aware of the latest Korean drama or the up to date news of well-liked and well-known Korean artists. This is the commercial aspect of Korea being projected to the world; a glittering utopian paradise of sort where women and men are beautiful and good looking living up the good life.

However, one Korean King James Bible believing preacher called the capital of South Korea Seoul, “Sodom”. A recent documentary presented South Korea in a very different light from what the world is known to have understood. It is a cruel society that has lost its soul where suicide occurs every 33 minutes. That is quite astounding and unflattering for a nation of significant economic prowess where big corporations such as Samsung is giving Apple a run for its money on electronic and digital products. So stripping away the phenomenal facade of success, South Korea is just another country where many are left behind and the elderly are abandoned and left to die alone.

The documentary portrays attending one’s funeral as some therapeutic remedy for those afflicted with suicidal thoughts where participants are reborn after the experience to get back to life with a new found meaning and a new perspective in life. Sadly, the cold and cruel reality of the world around them won’t change and the constant slavery of making a living will still continue to plague them for the rest of their lives living out a meaningless existence. This rebirth experience is definitely not going to change reality on the ground.

The Bible however, also talks about dying and being born again.

Firstly, every sinner in this world is born dead in trespasses and sins regardless of whether the sinner is conscious of this fact and reality. Every living human is already condemned to death and waiting for the final execution to come; that is the reality.

Ephesians 2:1: And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

For a Christian however, he has been quickened which means he no longer remains in this state stuck dead in trespasses and sins. He has moved on from that state and has acquired a new status and a new course of life. This is done by God who quickens the new believer with Christ being saved by the grace of God. While physical death is still true for a Christian, it is not an execution of condemnation awaiting for the wrath to come but a translation into the presence of the Lord continuing in this new life eternal.

Ephesians 2:4: But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

Ephesians 2:5: Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

This theological fact is further explained by the apostle Paul writing to the believers in Rome.

Romans 6:7: For he that is dead is freed from sin.

Romans 6:8: Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:

Romans 6:9: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

Romans 6:11: Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Once a sinner believes in the Lord Jesus Christ and accepts Him as Lord and Saviour, his condemnation is already passed. He has been judged and executed together with Christ and died with Him on the cross of Calvary. When Christ rose from the dead, the new born child of God is likewise raised and he now lives together with the Lord in newness of life.

The apostle Paul also explained to believers in Galatia he had already been judged by the law and was already executed and dead to the law. He had then been reborn to live unto God.

Galatians 2:19: For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.

In like manner, the apostle Paul also expounded to believers in Colosse concerning their death experience and the subsequent rebirth in Christ.

Colossians 2:13: And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

The apostle Paul also wrote to Timothy to remind him of this theological fact that as believers, we are already dead with Christ in the past but are now alive to live with the resurrected Lord.

2 Timothy 2:11: It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:

Hence the new birth experience for a Christian is completely different from a man-made funeral event that leads to a psychological rebirth experience for suicidal persons. Christian new birth leads to hope and eternal life while the man-made psychological fake death experience simply provides an emotionally charged experience seeking to alter attitudes and change of mind concerning the struggles in this life.

Without a biblical new birth experience, there will be no hope and no eternal life to look forward to for a sinner struggling hopelessly in this fallen cruel world. As such, the Lord Jesus Christ requires a sinner to be born again in order to live. Every other sinner will remain dead in trespasses and sins struggling to find meaning in this life with no true life thereafter.

John 3:3: Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

John 3:4: Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?

John 3:5: Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

John 3:6: That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

John 3:7: Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

The first water birth by the flesh cannot see life and enter the kingdom of God. It requires the second birth by the Spirit that will accord life eternal. This process cannot be obtained by a man-made fake death experience. No middle man can facilitate the process to confer this second birth of the Spirit. It requires the sinner to simply come to Christ without any merit of his own but receives the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.

John 1:12: But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

John 1:13: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

The born again sinner is conferred the title as a son of God. This new birth experience is not born of blood and of will of man through a gestation period but is an instantaneous event because it is effected by the Spirit of God. The Lord Jesus Christ confirms this fact that the reborn sinner has been passed from death unto life, explicitly mentioning everlasting life.

John 5:24: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

So the apostle Paul practised the art of dying daily to remind himself that he was already dead in Christ been judged by the law and then live on with Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:31: I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

Thus Christians should reckon themselves to be already dead but are now alive with Christ and awaiting for redemption of a new body to live on eternally. Man-made psychological death experience in order to get an emotional high has no place for a child of God. Pity lost sinners wallowing in the mire of sorrows and despairs and may the Lord be merciful to draw many more struggling sinners to experience the true new birth in Christ.


Tiger Mom and Eagle Dad

For many years, it has been reported that Asians are consistently outperforming Caucasians academically. One report suggests that Asian students work harder than their counterpart for their phenomenal academic performance.

Why Asian-American Students Outperform Their White Peers

While it may be true Asian students work harder, it does not however explain the reason why they work harder and the actual underlying motivation for them to work harder other than their “outsider” status in the host country.

Another report suggests that higher Asian parental expectation for their children’s academic performance is another reason why Asian students outperform US students. US parents are content with having lower academic performance for their children and this is not helping their children to level up to Asian students.

Why Asian Students Still Outdistance Americans

The above reports are based on observations seen through the lens of westerners’ perspective and they do not address the actual inner psychic of traditional Asians. Many Chinese hope and desire their sons to become dragon and their daughters to become phoenix according to the proverbial sayings, 望子成龙,望女成风.

Dragon and phoenix symbolize power and wealth. In time past, Chinese emperors wore dragon robes. Chinese believe they are descendants of dragons. By the way, there is a very famous Chinese song, Descendants of the Dragons, and Chinese cannot but be moved by the lyrics of this song which is quite melodious.

Since it is the hopes of Chinese parents for their children to become a symbol of success when they grow up, this process cannot be left to chance. Children are taught from young to live a disciplined life according to this Chinese proverb, 玉不琢 不成器 人不学 不知义。

Like jade that requires cutting and polishing to become a much sought after masterpiece, children are required to undergo rigorous training from young to become some outstanding person when they grow up. A child who does not learn will not understand righteousness is the second part of this proverb and hence the constant emphasis on learning.

So it has been driven into the inner psychic of Chinese parents to teach their children to pursue academic excellence from a young age as recorded in the Chinese classic written in 1100 AD, 万般皆下品,唯有读书高.

Every occupation on earth is rather common but academic excellence is of the highest esteem. Therefore, this constant forward looking posture of acquiring knowledge is a Chinese tradition drilled into the minds of children at a young age.

By the way, such thinking and work ethics also hold true for Koreans, Japanese, Taiwanese and even Vietnamese. A visit to the Temple of Literature in Hanoi City will show how much Chinese influence has taken hold on the Vietnamese even of today.

As such, this gives rise to some overbearing parents to become tiger moms micromanaging the lives of their children and their everyday activities in the pursuit of excellence in every aspect of life. Of course this does not sound like fun but once success has been achieved, looking back, the child would understand why the mother has to be very strict and rigid with the upbringing regime.

The Tiger Mom Effect Is Real, Says Large Study

In addition, some children bore the brunt of rigorous training and discipline from eagle dad at a very young age. The kind of training some of these little kids go through will shock many. It is like putting these kids through special force or army rangers training at a tender young age.

Eagle Dad Regime

So learning and pursuing academic success become part of the psychic of Chinese from young so much so even Cantopop singer and song writer Sam Hui wrote a song 学生哥 to encourage young children to pursue their studies when they are young lest they regret later in their life.

To the Chinese, not doing well academically shames the family. Decades ago, a neighbour of mine failed his national examinations at age 12 and he dared not return home after getting his results from school. He eventually came home after a very long reflection and fearing retributive punishment back home. He had to repeat another year to sit for the national examinations again the following year. Education is a serious business for Asians.

This constant need to excel does take a toll on some. Last month, a Japanese father stabbed his 12 year old son to death for failing to study for a school entrance exam.

Japanese Man Stabs 12 Year Old Son to Death For Failing Exam

This is tragic no less. High parental expectation on children has probably driven some to suicide. A couple of years back, a young girl having done pretty well for her Cambridge Ordinary Level examinations except for one or two subjects that she failed to score a distinction committed suicide. A few months after, her mother took her own life as well. The father was reduced to a mental wreck requiring professional help since.

Another tragic case was reported in Canada in 2010. A bright young Vietnamese girl was put through the strict non-nonsense regime by her parents hoping she would become successful someday. She was doing pretty well during the initial years but dropped out thereafter and she lied to her parents about making it into the University of Toronto.

Eventually when her parents found out about her deceit, she was grounded. Her boy friend then conspired with her to hire killers to murder her parents and then inherit the property. Tragically, her mother died during the assault.

Daughter of Vietnamese Immigrants Hired Hit Men to Kill Her Parents

This is one of those sad stories of human frailties struggling to make it in this fallen world. The apostle Paul told the Corinthians the distinction on the preoccupation between the Jews and the Greeks.

1 Corinthians 1:22: For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

Here the Asians are the modern Greeks going all out to acquire wisdom and knowledge in this world clutching at straws for a better hope and future for their children. This is of course understandable as they do not have the promise of God providing for them and meeting their every needs like the children of Israel in the Old Testament and Christians in the New Testament.

Matthew 6:31: Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

Matthew 6:32: (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

Matthew 6:33: But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Matthew 6:34: Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

The wisest man who ever lived made this remark concerning pursuing academic excellence.

Ecclesiastes 12:12: And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

King Solomon was of course so right. Who in the world would think that doing well academically is just a piece of cake! King Solomon who went out of the way to master everything under the sun and then concluded that all was vanity. Hence his closing advice was this:

Ecclesiastes 12:13: Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

For the struggling humanity wallowing in the depths of despair and misery, there is a way out of this mad rat race of life.

Malachi 1:11: For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the name the Gentiles shall trust and great is His mighty name who came to heal the broken hearts and restore hopes of life eternal to those who seek after Him.

Titus 1:2: In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

Of making many books there is no end, but Jesus came to be the book of books where those who finds Him will never have to suffer weariness of the flesh again.

Hebrews 10:7: Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.

John 21:25: And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

Christians parents should take heed how they raise their children in this world and not getting caught up with the folly of many parents seeking the best for their children without factoring in the Lord into the equation of their child raising regime.


Deviants Not Born This Way

For those who are pretty senior in age, you would have understood the word “gay” which means bright, happy or carefree and it has been often used by students in written essays in decades past. In fact, this word is also found in the Holy Bible as an adjective to describe the clothes worn by certain category of people that has nothing to do with perverse deviants of our days.

James 2:3: And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:

Today, this word “gay” has taken on a different meaning altogether where upright humans would loath to be associated with characters described by the new meaning of this word. Biblically, these people are abominable deviants that invited God’s direct intervention in aeon past where those practising perverts in Sodom and Gomorrah were completely erased from the face of the earth.

Genesis 19:23: The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.

Genesis 19:24: Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;

Genesis 19:25: And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.

As a nation, Israel was given the mandate to establish its penal code and Sodomites were not allowed to live.

Deuteronomy 23:17: There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel.

The very reason why the Lord wanted the Canaanites exterminated was to eradicate such practitioners of perversion and then gave their land to the children of Israel.

1 Kings 14:24: And there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.

The history of the nation of Israel recorded righteous kings executing such sinners to prevent the wrath of God to fall on them for such abomination.

1 Kings 15:12: And he took away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made.

1 Kings 22:46: And the remnant of the sodomites, which remained in the days of his father Asa, he took out of the land.

2 Kings 23:7: And he brake down the houses of the sodomites, that were by the house of the LORD, where the women wove hangings for the grove.

The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is also recorded in the New Testament for the great contempt God shown to those practising perverts and a warning to others who dare follow suit.

2 Peter 2:6: And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;

Today after two thousand years where God has been showing mercy to the world calling sinners to repentance by the gospel of Christ where the Church does not and is not given the power to execute such deviants to remove them from the earth, these perverts are getting worse and are coming out of the closets to claim their rights to be accepted as normal and seeking legal recognition and demanding legal rights to be married. Alas such form of species cannot reproduce. They can only recruit. They need to expand their pools of recruits for greater availability to practise their abomination.

Romans 2:4: Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

While the Lord allows these category of sinners to continue in their abomination without the nation of Israel to execute judgment on them, the Lord in recent times however, unleashes diseases to plague such sinners to die a horrible and miserable death on earth and hereafter judgment with no end in sight. Mention of AIDS strike fear in many. Originally, this disease is called GRIDS – Gay Related Immune Deficiency Syndrome. This really hurts some group of people.

Gay Related Immune Deficiency Syndrome

This GRIDS virus was first reported to be a disease that afflicted those perverts. It then spread to others where the name of the disease was then changed to AIDS – Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. The funny thing is how does one acquire this disease is too shameful to disclose. It is also too political to label perverts for the cause of this disease. It was later called HIV – Human Immunodeficiency virus. So thanks to these deviants for this new pestilence to come into this world.

The world is giving good press to these deviants claiming that such people are born that way. They are forcing the boundary of acceptable norms in society. Some cities are creating a third gender where lavatories are built for them as part of the amenities of public spaces. Schools have to teach children such deviants are actually part of the eco system of mankind and are encouraged to accept them as well as to explore their own sexuality. Hence, the rise of the foolish idea of Gender Neutral Parenting in some first world countries.

Gender Neutral Parenting

Not many dare to challenge such perverse indoctrination that they are born this way. Big multi-national corporations are sponsoring the acceptance of perverts and to go against the grain could cost the person his job and business owners their livelihood.

Nevertheless, the recent studies from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine reported that the politically correct “born this way” paradigm is not backed up by sufficient scientific data. The authors of the report wrote that “The understanding of sexual orientation as an innate, biologically fixed property of human beings – the idea that people are ‘born that way’ – is not supported by scientific evidence.

Study On Fixed Sexual Orientation

Of course any Bible believers already know this fact. For the scriptures have concluded that such deviants have deliberately rejected the knowledge of God and have even taken pleasure in such abomination. Hence, God also gave them over to a reprobate mind to practise perversion to their own shame and destruction.

Romans 1:20: For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Romans 1:21: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Romans 1:22: Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

Romans 1:23: And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

Romans 1:24: Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

Romans 1:25: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

Romans 1:26: For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

Romans 1:27: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

Romans 1:28: And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

Romans 1:29: Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

Romans 1:30: Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

Romans 1:31: Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

Romans 1:32: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

According to the report, the author, Lawrence S. Mayer, M.B., M.S., Ph.D., wrote, “I was alarmed to learn that the LGBT community bears a disproportionate rate of mental health problems compared to the population as a whole.

The New Atlantis – Sexuality and Gender

Is it surprising to note these deviants have mental health issues when the Lord gave them over to a reprobate mind? By the way, Dr. Mayer wasn’t writing this report in support of Christian point of view on this issue. He was presenting scientific findings hoping to be of help to this group of people. Here is what he wrote, “I dedicate my work on this report, first, to the LGBT community, which bears a disproportionate rate of mental health problems compared the population as a whole. We must find ways to relieve their suffering.

Actually, what is happening in this world is already revealed from scriptures. Prophetic statement has been issued concerning the coming wicked one during the end times. He is not any ordinary individual on earth. He has unique taste and preference and will claim to be someone above all else on earth.

Daniel 11:37: Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.

This sounds remarkably familiar to another character in eternity past where he sought to be who he was not and became the chief antagonist against the Creator God.

Isaiah 14:12: How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

Isaiah 14:13: For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

Isaiah 14:14: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

Isaiah 14:15: Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

So when you see deviants running rampant on earth, the time to the celestial city is not very far away.

Luke 21:28: And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh


Pearl of Great Price

Matthew 13:45: Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:

Matthew 13:46: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

The Lord Jesus Christ likened the kingdom of heaven like a merchant man seeking goodly pearls. Once found, he is willing to part with his all to obtain this pearl of great price. From this piece of information, there must be great value placed on pearls, in particular, special pearl of great price.

Since ancient time, pearls have been used in ornamental adornment together with precious stones for women. Apart from the purpose of treasure collections together with other precious stones, pearls are also used in medicine and cosmetic products as well as part of the burial items for the dead.

Pearls in some part of Taiwan have been so good due to the pearls being cultivated in mountain spring water, they could be used to alleviate many aliments as well as used as eyes cleansing solution when the pearl powder is mixed with water. These pearls are not cheap. They are sold in grams. The pearls are then ground to powder in your presence and put into small bottles. These pearl powder can be consumed with water as health supplements for its excellent minerals and medicinal properties.

In Wuxi China, the pearls obtained from clams in the lake Tai Hu are also much sought after for its beauty and often used as adornment pieces. The first lady of China was reported to like purple colour pearls and hence the price for this type of pearls has gone up. A beautiful white pearl necklace was also given to Michelle Obama during the US president’s visit to China some time back. These pearls are also made into cream and used as skin whitener as well as other cosmetic products much like the Japanese SK II cosmetic products.

Legend has it that the last Qing Dynasty Empress of China, Empress Dowager Cixi was buried with a lot jewels when she died and a massive pearl was put in her mouth to prevent her corpse from decomposing according to Chinese traditions. During the civil wars, her tomb was robbed and her corpse was said to be intact. Once the pearl from her mouth was removed, her corpse began to decay. The pearl was then given to the Kuomintang leader Chiang Kai-shek by the warlord but ended up as an ornament on the gala shoes of Chiang’s wife, Soong Mei Ling. Notwithstanding the fact that this is just a legend and the truth required authentication, the importance and the premium placed on pearls of great price cannot be under estimated.

Recently, it was reported that a Filipino fisherman found a gigantic pearl. He didn’t know what it was and kept it under his bed for ten years as a good luck charm. When finally discovered, this massive 34 kilograms pearl could be worth more than 100 million dollars.

Biggest Pearl in the World

Fisherman’s Giant 34 kg Pearl Worth 100 Million Dollars

Matthew 7:6: Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

Just like the scriptures admonished not to cast pearls before swine because some people simply can’t appreciate the beauty and price of pearls, those who could find such pearl of great price would willingly give up all they have to acquire this pearl. Today, the gospel is this pearl of great price where those who finds it will give up their all to go after the kingdom where pearly gates await.

Job 28:12: But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding?

Job 28:13: Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living.

Job 28:18: No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls: for the price of wisdom is above rubies.

While precious pearls may be valuable, wisdom is far above the price of pearls and precious stones. This wisdom can only be found in none other source other than in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the power of God and the wisdom of God.

1 Corinthians 1:24: But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

Those seeking after the pearl of great price leading them to the Saviour of the world, the Lord Jesus Christ, would be rewarded with inheriting the city of the pearly gates.

Revelation 21:21: And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.

The 34 kilograms pearl found by the Filipino fisherman is absolutely nothing compare to the massive pearls that will the adorn the gates of that celestial city for the saints of all ages.

If you are not the dogs and swine the scriptures described, you have a good chance of seeking after the pearl of great price. If you wish to have a chance to see the greatest pearls of great price, you need to follow the sign posts below.

John 14:6: Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Romans 10:9: That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Romans 10:10: For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Romans 10:11: For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

Romans 10:12: For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

Romans 10:13: For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

If you have followed the instructions above, you are well on your way to that city and enter the pearly gates together with the multitudes of other saints having found the pearl of great price in the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Revelation 21:23: And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

Revelation 21:24: And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.

Revelation 21:25: And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.

Revelation 21:26: And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.