Aug 22, 2013

Faith like Enoch - Walk with God

Gen 5:21-24 (KJV)
Gen 5:21 And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah:Gen 5:22 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:Gen 5:23 And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years:Gen 5:24 And Enoch walked with God: and he [was] not; for God took him. 
We read the first few chapters of the bible, and we’re struck by a mix of emotions. The first chapters deal with the creation and the more you meditate on it, the more glorious it becomes. The next chapter deals with Adam and his sin. And we read about the seed of Adam proving it’s tendency to sin in Cain. We continue to read about the diverging genealogies of Seth and Cain and we reflect on the loss of fellowship that man experienced.

In the midst of that gloom comes Enoch – A man whom the scripture records had “Walked” with God. Oh behold the glory of a man once again restored to the pre-sin state of being able to walk with God. Before Adam sinned, he walked with God. He fellowshipped with God. He conversed with God. God must have shared his heart with him, for Man was made for fellowship with God. And then came the serpent and the sin in Adam – where Adam hid himself from God and stopped the fellowship.
Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out].

Enoch must have read the record of Adam handed down to generations (about his initial walk with God, about sin, about the lord’s sacrifice to cloth them, Abel’s sacrifice, etc). This man must have believed that there was indeed a God. He must have got a revelation that there is a God who likes to talk and walk with men. I imagine Enoch initially talking to God softly – and saying “God – talk to me”. And then as God talked, Enoch talked back and continued into an “awesome” relation. I imagine the joy the lord felt during this fellowship was the same that Jesus felt when he talked to the woman at the well (for that was the will of the father). It is likewise for us – for when we initially sit with the word of God, we may speak to God tentatively – unsure of our standing with him. Once we speak and once the word speaks to us, we start growing in the love relation with the father. It's humbling that Enoch managed to do this, at a time when the neither the holy spirit was sent down nor the Word of God existed. 

As he talked, he also walked with Him. The bible says 
(Amos 3:3) Can two walk together, except they be agreed
Here was a man who was agreeing and completely finding himself acceptable to the creator of the universe – because he agreed with the principles taught by God. We need to come to a state where we accept the principles of God without rebelling. I see so many beloved children of God who love the lord but are not prepared to agree with him on many godly principles – like worshiping him alone, experiencing death and resurrection through the ordinance of water baptism, tongues, etc. When we agree and obey to the small commands of God, he leads us into a fuller experience of himself.

To walk with someone means you have to walk at his pace. Not faster, not slower. Enoch slowed down his life to enjoy the fellowship of the Father God. The scripture records nothing of Enoch except for the fact that he had offsprings and he walked with God. The other aspects of his life were not significant enough to be recorded in the word of God. He may have been a farmer or a shepherd – but it doesn’t matter to God. All it matters is, he continued the line of God and he walked with God. In a way, God is speaking to his beloved children (the blood-cleansed believer) – all it matters is that you have spiritual children and that you walk with God.

When you walk with someone (imagine, with your earthly father), there may be times when you don’t speak much, but still enjoy your fellowship. And there may be times when there’s profuse conversation. Times of sharing of plans and concerns. Times of correction as a mature son. We’re certain that Enoch received many revelations and prophecies. I wish to remind you of two of those recorded in the word.
  • The flood – The flood of Noah was made known to Enoch – God must have revealed to him his heart of sadness for the evil that abounded the earth. Enoch prophetically named his son “Methuselah” – meaning, “It (judgement) shall happen when he dies”. It is a picture of the longsuffering of God that he was the man who lived longest on this earth.
  • Coming of the lord with 10000’s of his saints – This was literally at the other end of the timeline of earth. God must have revealed his heart to Enoch (like giving him a preview of the book of revelation)

Jude 1:14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,Jude 1:15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard [speeches] which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.

365 years on this earth, and Enoch achieved more than what any man had till then. In those days, 365 years was like 30 years of today. But those 365 years were spent in full fellowship with the lord. And the love relation between them got so intense that the lord must have said “Enoch, I want you here with me. I cannot be away from you.” The wages of sin is death, but here was Enoch who overtook death and was taken up into the heavenlies by God. Likewise we are to be blameless and walking with God so that the lord will find us ready when he comes down to rapture his saints. (Yes I do believe we're living in the times when the lord will come and we will be with him in the heavenlies)
Heb 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
This man sought the lord all the days of his life. He walked with him. He was cleansed by the lord’s presence and fellowship. And the lord rewarded him with an eternal joyous fellowship.

Dear Christian friend,
We live in very perilous times – every sign is there of these being the days like the days of Noah and Lot where sin abounded. The few verses of Enoch in the word is speaking to us the heart of God
  • Be in fellowship with God
  • Use the presence of the word of God (bible) and the holy spirit (who was given to you when you got saved) to experience the fellowship of God
  • Walk with God at his pace and Agree to his commands
  • Make time for your daily hourly fellowship with your father
  • Christianity is a joy of being restored in relation with the Lord God
  • Have faith that the lord will talk, answer you
  • Let us wait in the joyful hope of the imminent coming of the lord and savior Jesus Christ !

Aug 14, 2013

The Lord Glorified in me

John 12:23 And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.
John 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
John 12:25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

Praise the lord Jesus Christ ! This is one of the most emotional moments in Gospel of John where the lord has just met with his dear ones and is announcing the hour of his death. This was the lord almighty – the King of heavens who was saying that the most glorious moment of His life was here – the hours of his greatest grief – his separation from the heavenly father – the times of torment for all mankind – His moments where he became as a snake of moses bearing the sin and reproach of all the world. The Man Jesus was about to face the darkest of his hours on earth. Yet, here he was saying that is the moment of glory. Spiritual life is very much like this. There are times of trouble for us – which are God ordained. As we approach these times, as the storms and clouds gather announcing the darkness ahead, we need to say that the lord is Glorified in our darkness. For where is the spirit of Christ most revealed if not in the way a Christian ( a true born again child of God) faces trouble.

We are to be in a process of dying to ourselves – as indeed the picture of baptism is there in Rom 6. The good seed in us sprouts and bears fruit only when we (the external cover holding the seed) dies and the seed meets the ground. If we hold on to the life dearly, we disqualify ourselves for the heavenly ticket since John 12:25 warns that we will lose our life if we hold on too dearly. Like how eve was taken out of the side of Adam in his sleep, The Church, the glorious bride of Christ was taken from the side of Christ – purchased through the blood that flowed from the side.

The next chapter talked about the love of God and the last supper where he instituted the new covenant. And then the lord says – now is the son of man glorified and the God is glorified in Him.
John 13:31 Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him.

Ultimately, the main fruit of the spirit that the lord expects us to bring forth is LOVE. As Jesus says in John 13:35, the world shall know that we are the disciples of Christ through the love that he sees in us.

John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
John 13:35 By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

This love is not possible till we die to ourselves. The members of the church of Christ is a motley bunch. We sometimes make it very difficult for others to love us. But here is the lord glorified, that we the disciples of Christ should die to ourselves and love each other! Let’s be commited to this as a first step of the great commission and discipleship.


Lord – Help us to be filled with the Holy spirit to bring forth the fruit of the spirit, love, without which all else is rendered useless. Help us to obey this simple command of yours by dying to ourselves daily. In this are you glorified. We ask this in Jesus Name, Amen.

Aug 12, 2013

Christian comics - a God Sent tool for teaching kids

I usually don't post non-devotional stuff on this blog. But this is indeed something that the holy spirit put on my heart. so there it goes ! 

Dear parents : I found a truly amazing series of Christian comics. I rate the comics very highly (they are packed with sound family values and are very well themed and crafted). 

Spire Christian comics
Leaving my liking for the comics aside, the best testimony for this is from my 5-year old. He loves the Barney bear series in this set and enjoys it when I read it to him. Given that these are made in the '70s and are out of print, it's a joy to find them hosted in this site. (I've been on the look out for christian comics and funnily enough, even the paid comics of these days cannot compare with the ones available on the site)

Also in the series is a book called "Theres a new world coming" - the best introduction to the book of Revelation that I have seen in my life! 

They also have Christian Archie comics ! Something for your teenagers ! 

The files are available as pdf. 

Hope you (and more so, your kids) enjoy these !

Aug 9, 2013

Strange Incense – An abomination before a Holy God

Praise the Lord Jesus Christ!

Lev 10:1 And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. Lev 10:2 And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.

This scripture portion caught my mind when I was reading the book of Leviticus (and my mind was also seeking guidance from the lord about false charismata). I believe this thought is relevant for the church of God today since we are called to be kings and priests before the lord. (1Pet 2:9)

For me, this chapter (Lev 10) represents one of the saddest moments in the glorious times that Israel went through.
  • They had just completed building the tabernacle of God according to the design that God gave them. Lev 9:23-24 describe the culmination of the inaugural sacrifices which God himself blessed and made his presence felt. 
  • Firstly, they were enjoying the deliverance from sin (through the sacrifices). 
  • Secondly, they had received detailed instructions for ministry of priests (and the promise of ongoing sacrifices in Lev 8 & 9. 
  • The high priests had just blessed them and the glory of the lord was with them and showed his approval of their obedience to his design by consuming the sacrifice with heavenly fire. 

Nadab and Abihu were in the centre of this glory, being the sons of Aaron. At the next moment, we see that they did the things which brought down the fire of God’s wrath on themselves. They offered strange fire and for the same reason, God consumed them and they died.

Why such a harsh judgment ?
Let us meditate on why this action was so despicable for God that he (who is full of grace and long-suffering and mercy) consumed these 2 priests on the spot. A few of my thoughts below.
  • They acted over and above what God had commanded. The festivities of the day were over. The lord had shown himself. After the fire consumed the sacrifice, Nadab and Abihu wanted to continue the glorious site. They tried to replicate the glory of God. Our God is a jealous God and if anyone tries to do an imitation of the real thing, he shall consume them. 
  • It was strange fire. They took fire off another source. The incense was supposed to be burnt only with the fire from the brazen altar. God is only pleased with a sacrifice which is done according to the will of God revealed in his scriptures. The source of worship has to be sanctified and holy (not a strange or unholy source of fire). This was warned in Exo 30:9. 
  • To offer incense offering, one had to enter into the holy of holies. This was reserved for the high priest and not for the other priests even the children of the high priest. 
  • Some people even say that they offered strange fire under intoxication (which was revealed in a rule in Lev 10:9 immediately after this)

This was a period where the covenant and tabernacle was being established before the Israelites. The severe judgement of God came on Nadab and Abihu since God wouldn’t allow such callousness amongst his priests and anointed. Similar to how Ananias and Safira were dealt with for their sin of hiding from the lord in the new testament church age, this was a cancer which had to be cutoff else, it would cause greater corruption amongst the chosen nation for the lord.

All these are written as severe warnings for us living in this age of grace. We are the New Testament church, the priests ministering to the lord. Let there be no blemish in us which makes the lord want to consume us in his wrath. Let’s meditate on some of our learnings from this piece of the word of God well chewed and digested.
  1. Learn to discern between the fire of God and the strange fire : Today, there are many places where there seems to be a lot of fire. But look closer – and see the source of that fire. It’s not from the altar of God – but from some strange unholy source. 
  2. Learn to be satisfied with the glory of God alone : When God stops doing miracles, let not man trigger a counterfeit revival to “keep the fire going”. Have the heart of Elijah who wanted a fire only from God (and who watered the sacrifice and the base of the altar to test that the fire was truly from God himself)
  3. Understand that when you try to create strange fire, you die. God in his mercy may not physically snuff you out, but the spirit in you grieves and is made defunct. He is grieved and stops giving you further advice. 
  4. When the elders understand that the modern day Abihu’s and Nadab’s have died spiritually, obey the voice of God to not mourn for them & to carry them outside the camp
  5. The lord says : (Lev 10:3) I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. The lord we present is holy, and hence, be Holy ! And in your simple sacrifices and humble spirit, is Our God glorified. 
  6. Beware of false worship and charismata. There is a true and glorious worship in the spirit. But to recreate the same effect, if a person tries to counterfeit it, remember the end of Nadab and Abihu. And there are indeed miracles which our lord does daily (and we’ve seen it!). But there are also false miracles in the hands of false prophets (Gold dust, anyone ?)

The lord warns that in the last days, there will be a falling-away and the evil spirit of darkness will seduce even the elect. Let’s hold onto Christ so that we will not be swayed by soulish displays and every slight of doctrine that comes our way.

Indeed, he has promised that He who has begun the good work in us will complete it in the day of the lord! Glory to His name. Praise the Lord Jesus Christ.