Saturday, December 20, 2008

Puzzle#3 Saul vs David - True Repentance

Commenting on 1 Sam 15:4-25 Saul's confession, a member said ...
  • I am not too sure if Saul truly repentant but I am reminded of David's case having some similarities. See 2 Samuel 12:13-20 for comparison. There are as many points for consideration in both passages, but I am specifically making a comparison between Saul and David's respond to repentance:

    1. Both admitted to sinning
    2. Both suffered consequences ( Saul was rejected as King and David's son died)
    3. Both challenged the consequences of their sins ( Saul's repeated attempts to kill David. David protested against the dying of his son by fasting.)


    1. David did not ask for forgiveness ( 2 Samuel 13) but Saul did (1 Samuel 15: 25)
What made David's repentance a true one?

Puzzle#2 How can God regret?

A member pointed out in 1 Sam 15:35 that God regretted making Saul King.
How can an all-knowing God regret His actions if He can see the Beginning and the End?

Please give your comments.

Bible Puzzle for Wisdom - True Repentance - My View

Referring to the post

Bible Puzzle for Wisdom - True Repentance,

Many thanks to all who contributed. Most considered Saul did not truly repent. He only admitted his sins so as to get Samuel to
  • a. plead to God not to reject him as king.
  • b. get Samuel to go back with him to worship God and so he appeared ok to his people.

However, I was not so smart. I read this verse many times in the past believing that Saul was truly repentant based on the face value of his confession. He admitted his guilt "I have sinned & transgressed God's commandment" and he even gave his reason for failure - "I feared the people and obeyed them". To top it all, he asked for forgiveness! Then he received his forgiveness very quickly by asking Samuel to go with him to worship God!

Saul actually had all the ingredients for a good repentance!

  1. admission of sin
  2. specific - what I did wrong
  3. reason
  4. ask for forgiveness
  5. receive forgiveness
  6. go ahead with a new life
How wrong was I. Saul did not meant what he said. He said those things to get what he wanted from Samuel - just go back with me so that I appeared to be accepted by God by joining me in the worship of God.
The conversation between Saul and Samuel is private. Saul & Samual worship together is public.

Here are some comments from other authors ...

the book
  • "You can see here that Saul was greatly concerned about his image. He didn't want the people to know that he had sinned. So he said, "Samuel, why don't you come with me, and nobody will know that I've disobeyed. You just return and let's worship together like we've always done." His greatest concern was his image. Samual didn't buy it .... not for a minute......"
Matthew Henry:
How poorly he expressed his repentance. It was with much ado that he was made sensible of his fault, and not till he was threatened with being deposed. This touched him in a tender part. Then he began to relent, and not till then. When Samuel told him he was rejected from being king, then he said, I have sinned,
This confession of his sin does not appear to be ingenuous, cordial, and sincere, and was made chiefly for the sake of getting the sentence of rejecting him from being king reversed:

but his confession proceeded not from sincere repentance, but from a sense of danger and desire of averting the sentence denounced against him. For the sake of public appearance, he besought Samuel not to allow their serious differences to transpire, but to join with him in a public act of worship.

The Objective of the Sharing
  1. Learn to be wise.
    Common proverb - "Smart is knowing not to believe what is heard. Wisdom is knowing which 50% to believe."
  2. Don't just believe what people say on the surface.
  3. Understand the context and the motivation behind what was said.
  4. Motivation can be seen by the requests made or the preceding & following actions.
  5. Then you shall know the truth.

Bible Puzzle for Wisdom - True Repentance

Came across the following verse in the book "A Man of Passion & Destiny" by Charles Swindoll,
1Sa 15:24-25 Saul said to Samuel, "I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice. 25 Now therefore, please pardon my sin and return with me that I may worship the LORD."
Is Saul truly repentant?
Yes or No and please explain your answer.

Monday, December 1, 2008

What is Your View of Faith?

A home group member asked "What is your version or view of Faith"?
We all the know the Bible Reference on Faith:
  • Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
But what is your view ?

My View on Faith
  1. Faith has an object - what is it that you have faith on. The object of your faith makes all the difference - whether it is true or not or whether it will work or not. Faith in Jesus is OK. Faith in man will result in some disappointment. Faith in Science is also temporary as Scientific principles and laws changes with time.
  2. Faith is trust that results in actions according to the belief. Believe without corresponding action is mental accent. It is of the mind only and not of heart.
  3. Faith is belief in the heart and not just of the mind.
  4. Faith is NOW. Faith is NOT hope or wish.
  5. Everyone has and exercises Faith. That is no such thing as doubt. Doubt is actually faith in contrary belief. For example, if you said you had doubt about the healing of God, you are actually saying that you have more faith in the natural medical science than your faith in the Bible that says God can and will heal.
  6. Faith can therefore be increased or developed by
    a. meditating and understanding of the Bible and
    b. through action and experience according to the understanding obtained.
    It is a spiral of understanding and practice re-inforcing each other to greater level of faith.
  7. People of Faith say they are not moved by circumstances but by the Word of God. Another way to put it is 'facts are real but temporary'. Word of God are powerful that can change the facts to confirm to the Word of God proclaimed.
What about you? What is your view of faith?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Laying of Hands

The details of our discussion are given in the mind-map "Laying of Hands".
The key points learned about "Laying of Hands" are

  1. one of the 6 foundational doctrines listed in Heb 6:1-2
  2. It is for the purpose of appointment of position and impartation of gifts for the individual.
  3. It is a transference of authority, power, gifts, anointing from one of higher authority to a another.
  4. It is about healing through laying of hands.
  5. Do not be hasty in laying hands on others - e.g. installation of leaders.
  6. Do not be hasty in receiving laying of hands from anyone as you don't know what transference is taking place.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Get Well

We discuss this topic "Do You Want to Get Well?" preached by Ps JK on 2 Nov 2008.

The discussion is best summarized by the mind-map Get Well.

Notes on Mind Map:
  1. I am a strong believer on Cognitive Learning.
  2. Mind-map is one of the good way of building up our knowledge and understanding. I conduct a course on "Creative and Visual Thinking for Breakthrough Ideas" in NUS Extension.
  3. In the past, I post mind-map jpg files.
  4. Recently, Mindmanager 8, one of the mind mapping software that I use, has the ability to produce flash swf file. This swf allows user to freely expand and collapse branches of the mind map without the need of installing the Mindmanager sofware.
  5. I hope this new flash format is better than the old mind map in static form. Let me know.
  6. Also discovered, a bit late may be, that Google Site provides you a fast and easy way of constructing your own web pages.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


The home group is covering Discipleship Evangelism Lesson 2-01 on Self-Centeredness: The Source of All Grief.
  1. Self-Centeredness is the source of ALL Grief ?

    • 'ALL' should be removed or be changed to a major source of our grief
      • We grief for sufferings of others like Earthquake victims, injustice done etc.
      • Jeremiah grieved because of the sins of his people
      • Nehemiah grieved for his people, the fallen Jerusalem wall and God.
    • Grief is deep mental anguish according to American Heritage Dictionary.

  2. Definition of Self-Centeredness
    • Thinking of Oneself as the Center of the Universe without God.

    • Engrossed in oneself and one's own affairs; selfish.

    • Synonyms: egocentrism, self-concern, self-interest, egoism

  3. This teaching does not means to condemn self but the centeredness of self.

  4. Self is of much worth - the worth the Life of Jesus Christ.

    • Christ came just to redeem us.

    • Everyone is uniquely created by God for a specific purpose.

    • Everyone is to find out about our unique calling by God and to fulfill it.

    • Self-esteem (as defined by God), self-worth and self-value are all important.

  5. We, ourselves, should be responsible and be held accountable for our actions.
  6. We are encouraged to be God-centric in our thinking.

  7. A key part of the self-centeredness is our Will against God's will for us. It is the carnal or freshly mind that put Self at the center. Creation cannot knows the answer for his creation. Only his Creator, God can tell him the purpose of his creation.

  8. The cure for self-centeredness is not to get rid of self or to condemn self - that would be Buddhism or Hinduism worldview. It is to have God's view of our self. The order should be God -> Self -> Others. We are to be God's idea of us - Unique - Creative- Able Children of God and to Love others with God's love in us. It is to put God at the center and relate Self to God first and then to Others. Either extreme of putting Self in the center and the remove Self(-worth) is wrong. We are OK and just need to be guided by God.

  9. Jesus told us the he would loose his life for His sake shall have it. By having God centeredness we find our true self and standing.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

God's Appointed Journey

The group has an in-depth discussion on the topic "God's Appointed Journey". This is summarized in the mind-map below. Click the Map to see the details.

Please also read the related postings ....

Sunday, August 24, 2008

God & Money

This is the summary of our 22 Aug discussion on God and Money.

The key point is Use Money to Serve God.
Between Money & God, God is of higher priority.
God is our creator and giver of life.
Money is an amoral means for getting things.
Money is a good servant but a bad master.
The key point is Use Money to Serve God.

Become a Magnet of Money
2nd point is not to chase after Money but become a magnet of money by seeking God's principles and laws; by diligently following God's commands; by increasing our ability; asking God's for wisdom and guidance.

We also talked about preparing for Christ 2nd coming.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

It is All about Jesus


Good News!Good News!Good News!

We win.................... because JESUS has won for us.

As the days of olympic (8-8-2008) appproaching,China while preparing for the race,she has suffered great trials n tribulations.

We are also supposed to run a race,a race to behold JESUS n point people to JESUS.

Acts-20-24 But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

888 which is a symbol for JESUS,(8-8-2008)the revelations of JESUS will be unleashed to all churches.

Everything alive will point to JESUS.

Be it: method based,doctrinal based,faith based,grace based,kingdom based,supernatural,sign n wonders...all n all will point to JESUS n HIM only in the last days.

The church as a whole will unite under the revelations of JESUS CHRIST.

We will be transformed to the perfect bride without spot n wrinkle when we behold the GLORY OF JESUS.

Eph5-27that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.

2Cor-3-18But we all, with unveiled face,beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Hope n pray that our church will reveal more of JESUS,JESUS,JESUS

The Number 888 - JESUS, The Salvation of Our God

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

1.JESUS is our life

Colossians 3- 4When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

2JESUS is our intercessor.

Romans8-34Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.

3.JESUS is our wisdom,righteousness,holiness n redemption.

Corinthians 1-30.It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.

4.JESUS is our riches n tresures.

Colossians2-4.My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

5.JESUS is our Grace n Truth

John1-17.For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

6.JESUS is our faith

Heb 12-2.Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

7.JESUS is our peace

Isaiah9-6.For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of peace.

8.JESUS is our Alpha n the Omega

Rev 21-13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last

JESUS is our full armour

Ephesians6-13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Bible will point to JESUS.

JESUS is greater then the bible.

John 21-24Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

Holy Angels will point to JESUS

Rev22-16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”

HOLY SPIRIT will point to JESUS

John16-13 .However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.


John5-37And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form.

JESUS n JESUS alone be glorified.


larry(small fly in Petra)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

What is of External Value?

We must know what is of eternal value in our christian walk.

1.Relationship with GOD

2.Good relationship with men.

3.Good works done with the help of GOD.

4.Souls saved

5.The fruit of the Holy Spirit in us will blossom to perfection in Christ.

Correct me if I am wrong.



Saturday, June 14, 2008

Pre-Evangelism BT Version

In this week home group meeting on 13 June 2008, we discussed about "Pre-Evangelism" that we learned from the Church Camp.

After much discussion and contribution from all, we have come out with our version, OAT ....

  • Definition:
  • helping people, through observe-ask-listen, to discover and think through for themselves about their believes, values, needs and obstacles and then connecting them, by telling, to Jesus.

The very basic and foundational step before & throughout the conversation is to pray and be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

The Steps:
  1. Observe
    • their facial expressions & body language
    • are they sad, happy, uncomfortable, stress, depressed, tired, ...

  2. Ask & Listen & Ask Again... Helping Them to See for Themselves their Real Situations....
    • to bring out their true feeling and thinking and to paint a picture of for them of what they are feeling and thinking
    • e.g. how are you feeling? where or who can help you? have you consider God? tell me about your belief or God. What's stopping you from ...?.
    • listen and understand what are not being said, or the manner it was said.
    • Empathy: if you were in his position, what other things will want to find out, what would you do... think for him inside and the ask him....
    • e.g. "What about ....?", "Have you try ....?
    • we may or may not hear their Sour-notes - belief-vs-belief, belief-vs-behavior, belief-vs-longing, illogical belief.
    • the key to help them find out their real needs.
    • we may need to address 2 main areas of needs
      • head - logical solutions, guidance to their problems
      • heart - comfort, assurance, to remove their doubts, fear, discouragement.

  3. Tell
    • We believes that Jesus is the Answer to all man's needs.
    • tell them that Jesus/God love them and can help them.
    • share some personal experience of how God/Jesus really come to help.
  4. Minister
    • There could be a possible further step that they request or we can ask for permission to pray for them.
Other Issues:
  1. Present day young generation with some much blessing and wealth does not seem to be concern with spiritual matters. They are pursuing material success of promotion and wealth. Need to learn how to introduce them their need for the spiritual dimension.
  2. When encountering obstacles to receiving Christ such as "cannot pray to ancestors", "cannot partake foods offered to idols", our answer should be to receive Jesus first and let Jesus tell them what to do. There should no conditions for them to get connect to Jesus.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Can Little Boys Play with Toy Gun?

Member P posted a question:
Since we are on this issue of raising children, i would like to ask for views on whether children (especially little boys) can play with toy guns?
My stand has been strictly "NO".

Member L's reply:
Guns can be used by police or thief.
If my son wants to play police,then is ok.

I think the trend now for older kids is computer games PS3, 'grand theft auto,conan...'
we need to keep watch.They will take the character of a robber or warrior, to steal, kill n destroy.

If i ve 3 sons.First one I give him all grace,second :all laws,third :part grace part laws.

What will the outcome be?
Who will love the father more?
Who will be successful in career?
Who will be successfull both in career n relationship?

Be Bless! See also Grace n Laws

Member K's reply:

I struggled with that question before and decided that it is ok for my children to play with guns ( but not to murder…).

The reason is this:
The bible never told us not to kill. It simply tells us not to murder (pre-meditated killing).
Some Christians soldiers in the USA faced problems when called to serve in a war claiming
that it is against the bible because going to war entails killing (their enemies).

Member P's further question:
Concern is whether at a young age, can he discern btw killing and murder?

I also attribute the increasing violence amongst youths in the west these days to the nature of games and toys. Of course, dysfunctional families play a big role as well.
While I take the stand that I will put off letting him play guns for as long as I can, the overall approach I would take is to be in touch with whatever they do or express interest in, providing guidance along the way.

Member N's reply:

I taught children for about 3 years before going army and another 2 years after army. I got the opportunity to watch some of them grow (4 years old to 11 years old). During those time, I design programs for children. I go on to teach student at secondary level for a year or two where I taught teenagers with learning issues. In the last five years, mainly teach students at tertiary level only. I am always thinking about how rules are best applied and especially in how it really can have a "learnt" effect on student.

Let alone the learning curves of a child at different ages, I am interested in thinking about how the adult got to cope with changes (mental and intellect) of the growing child. And am thinking if
refraining a child from doing things is a method that is:

1. applicable most of the time
2. to various age age groups
3. really going to make him/her grow to become a better person

I know of a friend who was the only child and since young was very protected by her parent. This child grow up in the watchful eye of their parent as much so that she did not really got the chance to make friends and socialize. Well, by the time she enter work force, she realize that she
could not cope with dealing with people and with work politics amongst other things. After suffering from severe depression and job changes, she committed suicide.. Her old parent lived to tell us the story at her wake... I really think this is an isolated case, but an reminder of "extreme parenting" I suppose.

I am thinking "to what extend do we refrain a child from been exposed to things of the world?"
and if it is a method that really help a child grow. Think of it in another way:

" where on earth does the child learn how to use a toy gun?"

a. Possibly from watching tv programs with parents?!!
b. Or from schoolmates?
c. children programs?

I am just thinking if playing and disallowing the play of toy gun is the root of the problem (violence? insane killing in the school of Americans?). Or is it T.V. programs, friends and many
times from adults themselves? So do we refrain the child from not just toy gun but many more...
Member C's reply:
My (2 cents worth) view is that prolong deprivation of a desire/interest/curiosity without proper guidance/explanation may lead to bigger problem in future?

Of course we can’t expect them to understand at their tender age but total deprivation may not be the way to go.

I have no toy gun at home nor will I allow it if my girl asked as I think there are “better” toys out there. Tiffany came home one day, curl up her hand into a shape of the gun and say “bang” shoot me in my face when I decline one of her “nonsense” request. I think she learn this from her “boyfriend” in school, I am bias here, could be a girlfriend too. So, I think the best way is if they encountered it, let them “experience” it while we as parents moderate it. In due time, they may say that we are “chiong hei – long winded” but we know is for their good.

My reaction when she did the “bang” to me, look at Mavies with disbelief, shocked and start telling Tiffany don’t do that blar bla bla while she just calmly walk away ignoring my rant. (probably also blowing away the smoke from her hand gun).

May be I should just play dead to humour her form this point onwards. Then crab her when she come closer and tell her that it is not a good gesture to “shoot” your daddy when she disagrees with me. Just a thought, you may disagree but don’t “shoot” me. :-}
Lim Liat's Reply:
What is the similarity among Gun, Sword, Fire, Bomb, Money, Tongue, Pen, Blog ?
They are all powerful - able to create great impact for good or bad.
They are amoral powerful agent.
Physical person can be killed by the sword or gun or even a useful tool like a hammer or screw driver or a beautiful vase.
Characters are assassinated by the tongue or the pen.
Some country government is after the authors of certain blogs.
The responsibility of parents is to bring up their children with the right values and the ability to make the right decision.
The ability to make the right decisions are gained through giving the opportunities to make them and to experience the consequences - whether successes or failures or mistakes.
Parents have the responsibilities to prevent major failures - like death, great physical or mental harm.
But parents have to let the children handle the consequences for those with lesser impact.
The level of impact increases with age.
The number of decision making opportunities increase with age.
Teach the value, Show the uses, for good and harm, of the 'things'.
Let them decide.... for age > 2.
For Age <2>2 may be can teach and let them decide.
For Age >2 , children starts challenging authority.
Be sure to implement the warning and consequences.
Many Parents out of 'love' did not implement what they said they will do if violation occurs --- resulting in out of control children later.
Here is mind map ....

Member A's reply:
After reading the replies, this is what I gather from general observation:

Proverbs 22: 6 "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."

People tend to focus on what is right and wrong and the emphasis is on right behaviour, which can be missing the mark at times.

Instead, focus on teaching the child how to navigate/respond in this imperfect, fallen world using biblical principles.

This is just trying to sum up & simplify everything in a nutshell. Not exhaustive but I think can be used as a guiding principle instead of trying to be too specific in methodology.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Grace n Laws

A good posting by our Larry ....

n Laws
If i ve 3 sons.First one I give him all grace,second :all laws,third :part grace part laws.
What will the outcome be?
Who will love the father more?
Who will be successful in career?
Who will be successfull both in career n relationship?
All grace may love the father more n become EQ stable.
All laws may be successful in studies n career, have I.Q but no E.Q.
Grace n laws may result in both success in career n relationship... both I.Q n E.Q.
Love n Laws
In a good functional family,
we must use love to rule our children n
we must use rules to love our children.
Use love to rule may include compassion,empathy,involvement n rewards
Use rules to love may include setting boundaries,times management,chores management,
anger management,punishment n whateverment..
Passion n Laws
In a good functional football game we need both.
Game without passion will end zero goal n draw.
Game without rules will end in fights.
Spirit n Laws
In a functional church we need both.
SPIRT:Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty(2 COR 3.17)
LAWS:And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”(John 8.32)
For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.(GAL5.13)
But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.(james 1.25)
In Petra
We ve elder to preach the WORD,lines upon lines n precepts upon precepts.
Who is also strong to set the boundaries,duties n rules.(LOGOS)
We ve pastor to preach the WORD with passion n worship flowing in the Spirit.(RHEMA)
Strong in mission n fieldworks.
I used to sleep on my right side,after a while it ache.
If i use right mind to put across my ideas,leftist n logical mind (truth) will complain.
Then i sleep on the left side,after sometimes this side also ache.
If i use my left mind to to put across my ideas,rightist n emotional mind (spirit)may complain.

No choice, i sleep face up.Middle of the night ,i got a kick.
My wife complain that i snore.
If i use part left n part right,sometimes both love me,sometimes both hate me.
Love the difference!
Children are different,petrans are different even leaders are also different.
We must love the difference through love serve one another n become doer of the work.
We ve not reach yet,but we must enjoy the journey.
Love all, serve all

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Following the Spirit & Thinking & Learning

During our fellowship meeting, I posted the questions:
  • If we are to follow the Spirit, does that mean we don't have to think?
    Or stating in another way,
  • Can we just be obedient to the Spirit and forget about learning the Bible or pick up any knowledge?
Some contributions are:

K says....
  • I often remind my children that their success is "in-Christ Jesus" and not in their academic performance. But I also tell them that it does not mean that academic performance is not important. How well the perform academically will determine where God can use us.
  • For example: a person decide not to go to school/study (eventhiug talented) but only to depend on God. Because of lack of education or training, that person become a street sweeper. I believe that person can still find success and the most fulfilling life is being of use to the Lord. Where and how God can yoiu person is limited to that person's ability.
  • God will use us to touch the people in our circle of influence and in this example, either street sweeper or a doctor.
  • Similarly, I think it is important that we put our talent to work in sturying the bible or in picking up knowledge for our daily use (profession). Even so, we are not to depend on our acquired knowledge but we depend on God for our success.
  • Living in the Spirit is about intimate communion with the living God who lives in us. This is not something that is achieved in one sitting but come by practise. The more we practise hearing his voice the more we will be able to recognize it and obey accurately. Studying the bible helps us to understand his character better and helps us in our pursuits.
  • Jesus explained how he did it in John 8:28 and also John 5:19 + 30
  • Bottom line is, living in the Spirit is about living the life of obedience (to his voice).
    Here I am not talking about whether we need to ask God for every minute details like should I take a shower, brush my teeth etc. But more on issues where it seems ok to go either way but we just want to choose what pleases Him. Like the issue of getting a Tattoo or even a situation should I buy a $50 or $500 shirt after all God has blessed me with the money. There is no right or wrong answer and different individuals may get different answer depending what God need to work in that person heart.
  • For a person who has a problem of stinginess, God may want to free that person by teaching him how to abound. But for a person who has a problem of liberalism, God may need to help this person differently.
A says....
  • Hmm... is this a trick question?
  • I'm sure that following the prompting of the Spirit and learning the Bible go together.
  • But I seriously do not think that the Spirit will lead us to totally ignore studying the Bible, though there may be seasons for intense studying and there are seasons for less intense studying but if ever there is a spirit that guides or tells the believer to ignore studying the bible or not to pick up any knowledge and not to think... I sure like to cast that spirit out... and likewise, Paul's epistles contain encouragements to exercise Spiritual gifts and be led by God through the Spirit and does not contain any instructions to totally ignore the Spirit, otherwise I don't see why Jesus and Father would even bother to send the Spirit to us in the first place.
  • On a separate note, there are people who do not have high or any academic qualifications but rise to become business owners and subsequently millionaires. And there are also highly qualified professionals who do not have good financial sense.
  • But this does not in any way lend support to the idea that it has to be either following the Spirit or purely relying on knowledge. It just shows that wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
N says....
  • I want to discuss a common thread behind many Christians sharing of their spiritual encounters.
    1. A christian feel an urge to doing something (felt lead to pray for someone)
    2. This christian acted in faith to do that something ( pray for that person)
  • Above consist of a common spiritual experience. Mainly informed by a spiritual conviction, right?
  • 3a.They discover a significant in doing that act. (they realise the person they prayed for earlier needed prayer.. real bad.) This discovery is the result of a logical and thinking process. They happily and gladly share this encounter most likely because they see a rationale in acting on that earlier experience. mmm...
  • 3b. They did not discover a significant in doing that act. (they did not know why but did it in obedience.) They know that they are acting in faith and obedience by responding to a spiritual conviction. This realisation of knowing that they are acting in faith and obedience is a thinking and reasoning process, right?
  • So is it not "following the Spirit is experiential and thinking"
Sister M says ....
  • I totally agreed with Brother K and thank you for yr encouragements. Indeed very practicalin life!
  • I personally feel that the more we are with God, we hear n see HIM better. His words are for us to know Him more, assurance of how much HE loves us, ourproblem solver and also to help us built our characters.
  • I believed Focusing unto Him in our life will never go wrong, for God will put us at the Right Place, at the Right Time. The more I talk to God or pray in spirit, the happier i am. I will not know what will happen tomorrow or 10 years down the road, But if Ipray and spend time with God daily, I believe God will take care of me n my family.
Brother A says ....
  • Maybe I should provide a real life example so it's clearer.
  • A pastor once shared that in one incident when there was healing/miracle, there was a person on wheel chair. In an instant he just pulled up the invalid from the chair, who was able to stand immediately, independent of support.
  • And the pastor went on to say that he did not have time to think whether is this the right or wrong thing to do, and what will happen if the person could not stand and just drop down?
  • It happened in a split second and he did not understand why he did it. Don't even have time to discern whether is this God's voice or prompting ... etc... don't have time to think whether is this obeying or not...
  • I guess for such cases, the result will just speak for itself.
  • Such things can happen. But not everyday-everytime.
  • Of course we all learn from experience... during normal situations, we usually exercise common sense right? When we follow the Spirit, we usually back it up with the Word of God right? So back to this statement, if we follow the Spirit, we do not neccessarily don't think.
Brother N says ....
  • I am all for doing things by the spirit in healing, miracles.... I am a Jack Deere fan ( the ex Dallas Professor who discover the power of the Spirit). i am quite convicted of following the spirit.
  • I am just trying to point out that:
    • 1. the process of thinking is already at work when 'the pastor's act on the prompting' to pull up the invalid.
    • 2. thinking is a part of God's design
    • 3. the bible has always been an integral part of nurturing Christian ( I mean.. Christian read the bible.....)
    • 4. Anti-thinking seem like a convenient way for Christian not to read the bible ( Myself included. I actually hate reading..)
  • Pretext: I came across churches controlling Christians by not directing them to decipher/ hear from God and his word but by whatever the pastors say. I came across a cell leader who was convinced that she is to prepare me to enter work force by telling me about dress codes like... wearing tie or something! Tell that to an artist...??? And worse still, another cell leader in a university told their members that he will decided who the members should date! I am thinking that in church:
    • 1. the faith in God often got mis-interpreted for faith in Pastor..
    • 2. abuse are in found in both thinking-focused and spirit-focused situations, but often only mistakes made by thinking-focused Christians are amplified.
Brother A says ....
  • 1. the process of thinking is already at work when 'the pastor's act on the prompting' to pull up the invalid.
    • Actually, the pastor's words was that he had no time to even think.
    • In fact, he even mentioned that thank God it just happened, if he had time to think, he may end up just thinking and the poor guy would still be in the wheel chair.
    • For this case, I am reporting from a 3rd party point of view, I won't be able to analyse and verify if in fact there was any thought from the pastor within that few nano seconds.
    • We can also say that for the pastor's arms to move in order to lift the person from the wheel chair, the brain must have sent signals to the arms and that itself is already a thought...
    • Well... I'm not here to split hairs and lose sight of the bigger picture and that is, the invalid was set free. That pastor has a track record, I'm perfectly fine just accepting his own testimony. It's between him and God.
    • However, I am in no way disregarding your views.
    • Whatever you mentioned are valid.
    • If my memory is still ok... I remember Jack Deere (Dallas Theological Seminary, right?), there was once he came to Singapore almost 10 years ago. In one of those conference at Raffles City. I was there... as an usher ...
  • 2. abuse are in found in both thinking-focused and spirit-focused situations, but often only mistakes made by thinking-focused Christians are amplified.
    • During that conference in Raffles City, I vaguely remember Jack Deere mentioned about the errors in those charismatic & Pentecostal circles who were operating in the move of the Spirit in those circles. Jack came from a conservative background that do not accept speaking in tongues. But by then (when he was in Raffles City), he was already filled by the Spirit and was speaking in a conference that was organised by a Pentecostal denomination in Singapore.
    • Actually, not only mistakes made by thinking-focused Christians are amplified but mistakes made by Christians who were spirit-focused were also amplified. Especially when the Pentecostal move were in its early days. So just in case you're wondering... both got "persecuted" any how.
  • So back to the notion of "If we are to follow the Spirit, does that mean we don't have to think?"
    • Most of us would agree that we need both. Otherwise we have situations that are extreme.
    • While we need both, we still have to be aware of exceptional cases and be mindful that not all exceptional cases are not of God. Paul did mention that we know only in part right?
    • Which is the mistake that Christians of the past were guilty of right? That's why we have splits and denominations after denominations...
      • Group 1: We believe in this.
      • Group 2: But what about that and that which you can't explain?
      • Group 1: We insist that base on the bible, only this and this is God's truth.
      • Group 2: We disagree...
    • One group was overly dogmatic and persecuted others who disagree... the other group reacted strongly against the first group... and we see a divide. Each time when one group gets too dogmatic in their doctrines, we see a new group reacting to it... much like a pendulum effect.
    • In the words of one of my previous lecturer... the Truth lies between the tangent of 2 extremes.
    • But thank God in time to come, we will see more unity as the truth unfolds.
    • We will start to see more churches agreeing, more healing between the "factions" and more unity. Just love one another and keep each other in prayers and the Lord will reveal more of His truths. Like what was mentioned in the earlier emails... sometimes we may not be aware of our own blind spots.
Sister PK says ...
  • It is because we spend time reading the Bible and thinking about Him in our daily life that make us able to react to the Spirit fast under situations like that. The thinking has been done already.
  • It is like a well trained basketball or volleyball team, the team members know where to run to, which position to take and what to do to help each other scoring points. They do all these 'without thinking'because is no time to think when the game is on.
  • It is also relationship, ie how close you are with God. If you are close to someone, just 1 action or expression, you'll get the thing done for him.
Brother AG says ...
  • If i recollect correctly, the qns arise after we touch on the subject of whether tattooing is it allowable in believers.. Somehow from there we got into the subject of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, which somehow resulted in the discussion of knowledge as being a negative consequence of the "Fall"..
  • Such a view (knowledge as being a negative consequence of "Fall") is obviously erroneous..
  • So i think it would be a good idea to clear up the misunderstanding on the tree of knowledge of good and evil before we discuss the original question further..
  • First, let me define what I mean by the term knowledge as used in the question:
    • it is the identification, acquisition and classification of information(useful data) – ie. “normative” knowledge..
    • Bcos of the brilliant way God designed our brains, this process happens consciously or subconsciously..
    • [Identification and acquisition of useful data = Information -> Classification of information into meaningful concepts and ideas = Knowledge -> Proper application of knowledge = Wisdom, -> Proper application of knowledge aligned with scriptural and spiritual principles = Godly wisdom]
    • So how did knowledge become the object of contention here..?
    • It is easy to overlook things when we do not read carefully.. Very often when one sees a phrase like “knowledge of good and evil”, one’s focus will immediately zoom in on the word “knowledge”, and presume that knowledge (normative) is the root of the issue...
    • However, if we look a little bit closer, we’ll notice the “of” which come immediately after knowledge.. Gen 3 isn’t talking about “normative” knowledge, Gen 3 is talking about knowledge of good and evil (or what James Montgomery Boice calls, Carnal Knowledge)
    • I believe that the failure to differentiate between “normative” knowledge (the kind of knowledge we are pick up from learning), and carnal knowledge (knowledge of good and evil) is the cause the confusion..
    • Like what Elder pointed out in the HG report that the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil is a good tree, so the problem is not with the tree..
    • It is interesting to note that even though Eve was the one who got deceived by the serpent bcos she of her “itchy” ears, it was Adam who sinned;
      • “In neglecting the tree of life, of which he was allowed to eat, and eating of the tree of knowledge, which was forbidden, Adam plainly showed a contempt of what God had bestowed on him, and a desire for what God did not see fit to give him. He would have what he pleased, and do what he pleased. His sin was, in one word, disobedience (see Rom 5:19); disobedience to a plain, easy, and express command. He had no corrupt nature within, to betray him; but had a freedom of will, in full strength, not weakened or impaired.” ~extracted from MHCC on Gen 3:6
    • The result of consuming the forbidden fruit; Man gained carnal knowledge, lost his innocence, which led to the corruption his nature (ie. produced a sin nature); corrupting man to the point of death, physically as well as spiritually.
    • Man also developed a conscience, bcos now he knows the difference between good and evil, eventhough he cannot help but do evil bcos of his depraved nature..
    • (for more on this please read Carnal Knowledge by James Montgomery Boice )
    • The consequence of his disobedience, read Genesis 3:16-19,23
  • Now back to the question:
    “Can we just be obedient to the Spirit and forget about learning the Bible or pick up any knowledge?
  • For those believers that just “flow with the Spirit", but pay no attention to knowing scripture.
  • I am willing to put money on the table that his/her concept of the faith is “out-of whack”, he/she is flaky, and in some instances, a “religious weirdo”.. And I must tell you I’ve met quite a few of them (so of them can be quite scary)..
  • Also for believers who don’t believe in getting acquainted with the Word, scripture warn that they are in danger of coming under “religious” bondage..
  • BUT THE [Holy] Spirit distinctly {and} expressly declares that in latter times some will turn away from the faith, giving attention to deluding {and} seducing spirits and doctrines that demons teach,
  • Through the hypocrisy {and} pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared (cauterized),
  • Who forbid people to marry and [teach them] to abstain from [certain kinds of] foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe {and} have [an increasingly clear] knowledge of the truth.” (1Tim 4:1-3, Amplified)
    and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." (Jn 8:32, NASB)
    Set them apart for holiness by means of the truth -- your word is truth.” (Jn 17:17, CJB)
  • (Excerpt taken from Life By The Son, Expostiton Studies in 1 John by Ray C. Stedman )
  • Instrument of Growth
  • Now we come to the last class, the young men. "I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one." I believe John placed this last for a very important reason. He has already described these young men as those who have overcome the evil one. He repeats that again, but he adds this explanation, "you are strong, and the word of God abides in you." He put that last because here is revealed the secret of growth. What makes a spiritual child become a young man, spiritually? Why, the Word of God abiding in him! That is the secret of growth. That is what will move him from one stage to another until at last he becomes a father, able to reproduce himself in others.
    Here, then, is the divinely designed instrument of growth, the Word of God. It is absolutely impossible to grow up as a Christian or as a real man or woman, unless the Word of God abides in you. This is why the devil fights the whole matter of Bible study, the building of your life around the centrality and the authority of the Scriptures. Though the devil cannot stop us from being Christians, he can certainly keep us from becoming strong Christians. The way he does it is to introduce false methods, trying to divert our attention and get us off onto spiritual sidetracks. He brings in certain apparent shortcuts which offer to bring us to maturity in an instant. Instant spirituality, instant maturity! That is up-to-date, is it not? He suggests that if you can just get the experience of speaking in tongues, or if you can have visions of Christ, then you will be mature. If you give yourself to exploring the realms of human knowledge, this will bring you to maturity. But all these things are cleverly designed ways to arrest Christian growth. Across the years I have watched these things prevent maturity by diverting attention from the divinely designed instrument which will bring it about, the knowledge of the Word of God.
    Now do not misunderstand that. I am not talking merely about Bible study. There is a very mechanical, wooden approach to Bible study which gets you acquainted with the teachings of the Bible, but that is not enough. This passage, remember, says the Word of God "abides." That means a knowledge of the Bible plus obedience to the Spirit. When the Scriptures speak of knowing the Word of God, it is never merely talking about the instrument of the Bible, it is always the Bible plus the Spirit. It is the Word understood in the light of the illuminating, searching power of the Holy Spirit. It takes these two, together, to produce maturity. We first lay hold of the Word, and then it lays hold of us. Thus the Word abides. It penetrates to the conscience, it lays hold of the will, it exposes the thoughts and the intents of the heart. That is what produces maturity.
  • (Excerpt taken from What to do While Waiting by Ray C. Stedman )
  • In his first letter Peter exhorts us to "desire the sincere milk of the word, that we may grow thereby," (1 Peter 2:2 KJV). There is a certain quality about the Word of God that is like milk to a baby: it feeds and establishes life.
    In another place Paul mentions the strong meat of the word, (Hebrews 5:12, 5:14). There is something that the most intelligent mind can ponder and which will sustain the most advanced Christian. There is power in it, and strength to be derived from it. It is absolutely essential and fundamental to spiritual growth or understanding of life.
    Many Christians are confused about the need to study the word. They think of it as kind of an option, something to do if you are especially religious. But that is not what it is for at all. It is for those who want to find out what life is all about. It is not just for the religious but is the revelation of the way things are -- in life, in death, in the universe, the physical universe as well as the world of ideas, thoughts, and the social life of man. It touches everything. You never can understand life unless you understand the Word of God. That fact is basic, essential, and fundamental to the whole Christian message. Therefore, we are not talking about something that ought to interest only the religious; it ought to interest anyone, anywhere. That is the character of the Word of God..
  • If you have the time, you might be interested to read this article as well The Way God Guides by Ray C. Stedman )
Brother AG says....
  • If we are to follow the Spirit, does that mean we don't have to think?
  • My qns to the above qns is; does the Spirit operate by possession..?
    • If there are no periods of blackout, memory lapses, or any other symptoms associated with possession, then, we must conclude that during the period when one follows the Spirit, one is conscious..
    • So if one is conscious and has control of ones external faculty; can i speculate that the way the Spirit guides is through a gently exertion (could be influential or suggestive) on ones thought faculty (cognition), which ultimately guide ones action..
    • However, since the subject under the Spirits guidance is conscious and has full possession of his/her external faculty.. The subject's actions are still under the domain of his/her own cognition; which is free to either accept (yield to) or reject the Spirits promptings..
    • In other words, if one is following {under to influence} a spirit and is not thinking; one is technically under possession...
  • Can we just be obedient to the Spirit and forget about learning the Bible or pick up any knowledge?
    • Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
    • Amo 3:3, KJV
    • I think the verse above says it all..
    • Anyway, how does one be obedient without first knowing what to obey..
    • God's chosen medium to reveal Himself is through His Word {Scripture, Logos, Bible}.. How obedient can one be, when one refuses to acknowledge the way God chosen to reveal Himself..
    • It is interesting to note that the Christian Bible has been translated in many different languages, making it the most accessible (ie. allowing one to understand it's content) book in the world..
    • The muslims koran on-the-other-hand, is mostly in arabic.. Yet the muslim, who's native language is not arabic, will literate himself in arabic, so that he can better know his god.. What does it say about his (the muslims) faith (ie. his sincere love for his god).. Conversely, what does it say about the faith of the christian who says it's unnecessary to know more about the bible...
    • So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God Rom 10:17, KJV
    • We have a gracious God.. Even if a believer is illiterate, it still does not put him at a great disadvantage, bcos if he is sincere about his faith, he can alway ask someone to read it for him.. If he is sincere about his faith, he can seek out places (and media) where the Word is being preach, taught and expounded.. If he is sincere about his faith, he can knock on the door of a house group that devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (in case you are wondering, i took the last part from ~Act 2:42
    • (Btw, the book Romans was written in a time when Johannes Gutenberg haven't inverted to press yet, so hearing the Word would actually be more practical than reading the Word)
Liat says ....

If you are close to someone, you will be

  • a) sensitive to what the person may say
  • b) think and feel alike such that when a event happen, both will react the same ways without consultation.
  • c) trust enough to speak out - be the channel or spoke man. eg. prophesies

This applies to the relationship between us and Jesus.With practice and constant communications, we can be sensitive to His leading or prompting. Our mind are opened to receive from our spirit connected to His spirit.
We have the mind of Christ.

Because our thinking mindset is so imbeded in us, we don't have to think- appear not to have to think - just reflect action.e.g. extending help automatically when a child fell down.

There may be not much point analysing whether it go through the mind or not...

The keys are:

  • a) be sensitive to hearing from God through prayers and obedience ... by experience, we learn to know who is speaking to us ... ourselves, God or Devil.
  • b) learn to think like Him through reading the Bible and talking to Him.
  • c) practice and practice through obedience to become habits and reflect-actions.
  • ... the grow process will make us be like Christ - think, feel and act like Him when we just need to nudge from Him.