This is an extremely useful read especially in the times where we are in as Christians. Even Jesus warned us of false teachers, therefore we should heed of his warning and be vigilant. Because there’s no doubt that the devil has infiltrated our churches and are leading our people astray. Hence, be discerning and we will not just save ourselves, but those around us.
“There were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you.” (2 Peter 2:1)
There are no “ifs, ands, or buts” in Peter’s words. It’s a clear and definite statement. There were false prophets among the people (of Israel in the Old Testament). That’s a matter of history. False prophets were a constant problem in the Old Testament, and those who falsely claimed to be prophets of God were to be stoned. The people rarely had the will to deal with them, so they multiplied, causing disaster to the spiritual life of God’s people.
In the same way Peter says, “There will be false teachers among you.” Notice the words “among you.” Peter is writing to the church and says, “There will be false prophets among you.” So he is not talking about New Age people on television. He is talking about people in the local church, members of a local congregation.
There is no such thing as a pure church this side of heaven. You will never find it. The wheat and the tares grow together. Warren Wiersbe writes:
Satan is the counterfeiter. . . . He has a false gospel (Galatians 1:6-9), preached by false ministers (2 Corinthians 11:13-12), producing false Christians (2 Corinthians 11:26). . . . Satan plants his counterfeits wherever God plants true believers (Matthew 13:38).
Read the full blog post presenting the 7 traits here>>>
Since late last year, God revealed to me that my season in Viet Nam would be coming to an end. And that the next chapter is to return to Singapore. Hence, I had made plans to return to Singapore next year.
However, God had other plans. He orchestrated a job opportunity for me that will allow me to return to Singapore much earlier as I would have anticipated. In addition, the new company was willing to wait out my 3-month resignation notice!
Thus, next month I would be returning to Singapore to start my new job.
This new development also prompted my wife to look for her job in Singapore. And recently she received an offer to a job that would further her career as a professional counsellor. She begins her new job in a week’s time! Praise God!
Thus far, it has been amazing to see how God is working ALL things for us to return to Singapore with such ease! Too much ease that we cannot deny we are in the will of God. So that is assuring that we know we walking with Him. And that’s all that truly matters to me- that we are following Jesus!
I’m also thankful to God for my wife.
Without her love and support, I would not be in Viet Nam for the last 4 years. My wife demonstrated her love for me when she resigned from her dream job which she was then a school counsellor. And she did that so that I could pursue the vision and purpose of God for my life!
I must admit I have often took her for granted and her sacrifice. That’s why I’m so delighted that she now has this new job where she can continue to pursue her vision and purpose of God in her life from where she had left off.
In our next season, I believe it is now my turn to rally behind her and to see to it that my wife becomes all that she is destined to be and achieved in Christ!
The Boat is written by Nam Lee who is a Vietnamese-born Australian writer. This book comprises a collection of short stories of escape journeys from Vietnam after the reunification happened in 1975.
It is difficult to fully understand what the war or the reunification meant to the people who were directly involved in that historical episode. But here’s one painful and turbulent experience recounted for us.
Watch the interactive graphic short story here>>>
Today, Viet Nam celebrates her 40th year of reunification- the day that South Vietnam fell under the Northern regime and re-uniting the country under one communist rule after 21 years of separation.
I believe this 40-year milestone as a re-united nation is significant for Viet Nam from a spiritual perspective.
Learning from Israel
Israel spent 40 years in the wilderness after being released from Egyptian slavery. That Israel led by Moses could have entered the Promised Land much sooner but due to their stiff-necked and disobedience, God withheld that from happening.
Before, that’s how I saw it. I interpreted how God was using that period of time in the wilderness to discipline the Israelites and in a sense punishing them for their disobedience. Although this is somewhat true, but I discovered later that what I saw was just a glimpse of who God is and His intentions.
Looking at this episode with New Testament lens, I discovered how God’s love and grace was in abundance towards the Israelites. I saw God’s real intention for withholding the Promised Land from the Moses-generation Israelites was because He was protecting them from total annihilation.
God knew that the enemies that were residing on the Promised Land would have easily defeated the Israelites if He had led them to cross over. Those Israelites then were not ready to do battle with external enemies as they were battling with their inner enemies.
Hence, it is truly grace that kept them from entering the Promised Land.
God’s grace for Viet Nam
Similarly, God loves Viet Nam and His grace has protected and guided this nation this past 40 years in spite of her disobedience and weaknesses.
Although Viet Nam has flourished materially, but instead of improving lives the reverse is more true with other social issues such as divorces, youth delinquency, vices and etc… arising as quick to destroy its society and social fabric.
Interestingly, Israel then even in the wilderness was also materially better off. They left Egypt with their gold and silver loot surrendered by the Egyptians. However sadly, this resulted to idolatry, self-gratification and self-vanity of misplacing their confidence and trust on their own efforts.
Likewise, the past 40 years of reunification for Viet Nam has been a journey of ‘wilderness’ and battling of their inner enemies of finding their identity as a unified country and people.
Without identity, one can never truly grow and achieve significance. At best, drift along and achieve mere survival. Because one’s vision, purpose, values and confidence stem from one’s identity. And discovering one identity ultimately leads one to know God as the Creator and Source.
Hence, the past 40 years for Viet Nam has been a bumpy ride of finding her identity towards her journey with God. All these trials, necessary in preparation for the ‘crossing over’.
The future for Viet Nam
Like Israel, with their new found freedom, the Moses-generation or pioneering generation of Viet Nam carried many emotional and spiritual ‘baggages’ that had prevented them to truly know God and follow Him towards progressing as a nation.
However, His love and promises to this nation remain unchanged!
In His great grand scheme of things, God has prepared and is raising up a new generation of believers with the ‘Joshua’ mantle and mettle to lead His people to truly know God and follow Him.
The future of this nation now hinges on this Joshua-generation of Viet Nam to cross over into the ‘Promised Land’ and lead the progress of this country into her destiny.
And to see this happening, we need to forget (but learn the lessons from) the past and focus on investing in this Joshua-generation for the ‘Promised’ future!
Today, I’m excited for what lies ahead for Viet Nam. And I’m believing that the next 40 years will be a glorious one with Viet Nam saved, transformed and prosperous for His glory. Will you believe with me?
If you do, please pray with me and together let’s reach to love and disciple the Joshua-generation around you!
I am a CHRIST-I.A.N.: Without Christ, I Am Nothing.
Meditated on this while jogging: “COMMIT ALL THINGS TO PRAYER”.
Usually it is after we exhaust all our human wisdom, ways and attempts that we start to look up for some form of divine intervention. Why don’t we start all things on the right note? Even if it may seem like a lost cause, its never too late.
Commit ALL things (marriage, relationships, family, work, finances, health, struggles or burdens etc) in prayer and allow Him to show you how you can have a different approach for a different result!