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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Who is the God of fire?

God uses signs and wonders and the manifestation of the supernatural realm to reveal Himself and His nature.

Many people do not understand the need nor the importance of the manifestation of the supernatural realm. Since the logic of man could not easily explain the supernatural or the manifestations of signs and wonders, it would be far easier to shove them aside or to discredit them.

Let me relate two examples of the manner God uses signs, wonders and miracles to reveal His nature.
(1) When miracles of “gold teeth” happened in France many years ago, a minister shared what was happening to an old Jewish lady. When she heard the account of how God would fill the mouths of the believers with “gold teeth”, tears began flowing down her cheeks. She said that when the Jews were tortured by the Germans in the past, they would be pulling out and removing the teeth of the Jews. This miracle of “gold teeth” is a sign that God knew what happened then and it was a sign of His restoration and His love.

(2) In the great revival of Argentina, there were abundant miracles of God filling the mouths of His people with teeth to the extent that there will be live telecast of preacher praying for a particular person and upon declaring the Name of Jesus, right before the video’s lenses, teeth would appear in the mouth of the person prayed for. There were accounts where the teeth would sometimes take the forms of a dove or a cross and when tested in laboratories, at times they could not determine what were these teeth made of and could only conclude that they must be heavenly substance. One may ask why did God do such denture miracles (or could even argue that there’s no biblical basis for God to perform such denture miracles)? He was actually revealing His love and care for the Argentines where most of them were poor and couldn’t afford dental care.

So, we can see from the above examples God shows His nature and attribute by manifestation of the supernatural, in miracles, signs and wonders.

Who is this God of Fire?
We have experienced the effects and manifestations of the fire of God in meetings where the fire anointing is strong. And the fire of God can bring deliverance, healing and accomplish numerous wonderful fruits in our lives if we open our hearts to embrace it.

At the same time, have we ever wondered who this God of Fire is? It is not enough for us to experience the fire of God. If our hearts are hungry for a closer walk with Him, we cannot be just satisfied with what God has done (not denying the fact that His works are to be greatly praised and treasured). We must press in to know the Person behind the works. We want to know Him. We desire to know this God of Fire in a more intimate way.

Abraham (Abram) had an encounter with the God of fire and may God also reveal Himself to us as we look at the account of this encounter in Genesis 15.

Background - The Promised Land
Genesis 15:7
7 Then He said to him, “I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to inherit it.”


Besides promising a son to Abram, Jehovah God also promised the patriarch a land as an inheritance. (A piece of land that remains so controversial to this day). We do not always remember this promise God gave to Abram but it was an important promise. It was initiated by God. Abram did not ask for a piece of land. He has obeyed the leading of God to leave his homeland and to go wherever God has directed him and here God confirmed His leading of Abram out of his own country to give him a land as an inheritance.

Our God has also given many promises to His children. Many personal prophecies, prophetic promises and rhema word of God have been released from the throne room of God. Some of us were given promises of conquering certain lands or countries as spiritual inheritance. More often than not, these promises were released at the initiative of God when we first obeyed His leading.

Abram’s Response - The Legitimate “How” and the “When” Questions
Genesis 15:8
8 And he said, “Lord GOD, how shall I know that I will inherit it?”


We can learn from Abraham in the way he responded to the Almighty God after receiving God’s promise. No, he did not immediately try to make things happen by trying to “help God” fulfill the word (like most of us are tempted to do most of the time).

Wisely, he asked how could he be sure of what he has just heard (paraphrased). God did not rebuke him for being doubtful or not having sufficient faith. It was a legitimate question. Many times, we asked God “When, Lord?” quietly within our hearts, fearing that people would think we did not have the faith to believe. Out of frustrations and impatience, our natural inclination is to ask God when will His Word come to pass in our lives. God looks at our hearts and He answers beyond the questions we asked.

God’s Reply
Genesis 15:9-11
9 So He said to him, “Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” 10 Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, down the middle, and placed each piece opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. 11 And when the vultures came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.


Here, instead of giving Abram an answer that most of us would expect or prefer, God began to give instructions to Abram to enable Him to orchestrate a supernatural encounter that will reveal His nature to Him. God, looking into the heart of Abram, knew the perfect answer to Abram’s question where words would not suffice. This is why understanding the language God speaks is so important. The language of the spirit realm is beyond words.

Firstly, God asked Abram to bring five types of animals to Him. The number “five” speaks of the grace of God. In other words, God’s commandment and His instructions are not burdensome. He has first provided for what He would be asking. We can only give to Him what He has first provided to us or what He has first accomplished in us. Isn’t He wonderful? God’s grace is sufficient for us in all circumstances that He has led us to. Amen.

Secondly, these animals that were cut in two also speak of sacrifice and yielding to God. Often times, God’s requirement of us is only to yield ourselves fully to Him and surrender our all to Him. It was demonstrated in the life of Jesus (Philippians 2:5-11). This also involves the sacrificing of the “smaller animals” in our lives right up to the “bigger animals”. He may first ask for our time, our energy or our money. For certain people, He may ask us to let go of certain mindsets, certain way of thinking which we have been accustomed to. Certain likes and dislikes. The big “I” in our lives has to go. More of Him and less of Me.

The Wait
Genesis 15:12
12 Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him.


We do not know how long did Abram wait but wait he did until the sun went down. Waiting is not a welcomed vocabulary amongst Christians today. The worldly culture and environment have caused us to have a distorted view about God’s timing. We want everything to be instant but time is not a concern in the spirit realm.

The Revelation
Genesis 15:17-20
17 And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces. 18 On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying:
“To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates— 19 the Kenites, the Kenezzites, the Kadmonites, 20 the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21 the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”


It is imperative that we understand the background and the backdrop of this supernatural encounter to fully appreciate the revelation of God to Abram. As a start, we know that Abram was a Chaldean for seventy-five years prior to the time he entered the land of Canaan. The covenants of Abram's day, in that part of the civilized world (including Chaldea) were made by dividing an animal into two pieces and then the two parties making the covenant walked between the divided portions of the animal. In this way, each party to the covenant was saying to the other, "If you breach the contract (in today’s language), may this very thing happen to you", i.e. it would cost the failing party blood; the failing party would be cut in two just like the animals were.

Following the Chaldeans' practice, Abram cut the three animals in two and stood the two halves against the walls of a trench he had earlier dug. He did not cut the birds in two. The animals' blood flowing down the trench formed a blood-path the two parties would walk down to confirm the covenant.

Amazingly, the God of fire as signified by the fire pot and flaming torch, chose to be the parties responsible in the covenant. If Abram had to walk down the blood-path, it would have cost his descendants blood if they violated the covenant. But with God being both parties, it would cost His Son's blood (i.e., life) if Abram's descendants failed to keep the covenant. Thus God passed through the divided sacrifice by Himself and, in this way, it became a unilateral covenant so that the fulfilling of the promise made to Abram to inhabit the land was not made dependent on Abram fulfilling his responsibility to the covenant.

Oh, what a wonderful prophetic revelation! We asked, who is this God of fire? The God of fire is the covenant-keeping God. He is the King of Love. It was a revelation of the coming of Yeshua Hamashiach and His sacrificial death on the cross. The greatest sign and wonder He ever did was His death on the cross and His resurrection three days thereafter. And therein lies the power of God – the cross! The hope of mankind, lost in slavery of sin and death. Hallelujah! When we catch a glimpse of this revelation, we would echo the words, “Is there anything too hard for Him?” He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? (Romans 8:32). This is the guarantee of all the promises He has made to us. May God burn this revelation of Himself and His love deep into our hearts so that our hearts will never be moved come what may as we walk with Him and serve Him with all our hearts. Amen.

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Note: The above is an expanded version of a message shared in a meeting on 6th September 2009.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Cleansing the house (part 2)

Sometimes, when discussing issues like cleansing the house and stuffs like that, it can become very controversial. Not everyone will agree with throwing away items from the house that seem so harmless. One may end up being labelled as a "freak" or being an "extremist". I remember hearing an Indian minister addressing his congregation to throw away all the photos taken during their Hindu wedding ceremony and to give up many of the cultural practices which have been practiced by them for all their lives. It was a struggle for most of the Indian believers. In fact, persecutions await them once they decide to take a public stand for Christ, valuing Him above everything else.

Limited understanding due to imbalanced teachings, different doctrinal upbringing or insensitivity to the leading of the Holy Spirit may cause one not to understand certain spiritual principles. The natural realm is very different from the spirit realm. The Word of God teaches us the value of things unseen and the invisible dimension of life. If one is unsure about whether to remove some objects or items from their house - the main principle is to obey the leading of the Holy Spirit at whatever cost. We may not fully understand the prompting of the Spirit of God but once we obey, His revelation will come. The following references/examples would shed some light in understanding the principles behind the acts of removing items or objects that attract/allow the operation of the powers of darkness in our lives and homes: -

(1) Ridding Your Home of Spiritual Darkness by Chuck D. Pierce and Rebecca Wagner Sytsema is a good book to read to understand more about doing house cleansing.

(2) Sis Victoria's blog posting on Demonic realm can affect natural realm is an excellent example of how the demonic realm "uses" natural object or item.

(3) Bro Thomas shared with me that he was also led to get rid of all the Hello Kitty dolls from his home. He was reluctant to do so initially until his spiritual eyes were opened to see the "demonic face" of the dolls. And on another ocassion, it was quickened within him to remove the reflective stickers from his room when he woke up from his sleep. Again, his spiritual eyes were also opened to see the "demonic eyes" on those stickers.

Following from my earlier post on house cleansing, a timely word from Marsha Burns on Sept 4, 2009 confirmed the workings and leadings of God for my family: -

SMALL STRAWS IN A SOFT WIND by Marsha Burns -- Sept. 4, 2009:
In a dream I was preparing for a new job, which seemed like a promotion. As I was cleaning out my desk and going through my files I found that most of what I had saved or valued from the past was useless nonsense, and there was nothing worth taking with me to my new position. I believe that this dream represents an elevation in the realm of the Spirit where we can be positioned to establish ourselves in God's plan and purposes and to fulfill our destiny. But, we will have to leave the past behind complete with things that we once thought to be important to make room for things that constitute spiritual value in the kingdom.
Isaiah 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts


Getting rid of things that do not please God is sometimes a way God uses to prepare us for new levels of spiritual dimensions in our relationship with Him. Even though on one hand, doing house cleansing can close all the gateways of the enemy into our homes and lives, it is also a preparatory work to allow the King of Glory to visit our homes and lives. In the Old Testament, we read of accounts where after a period of time when the people of God have gone astray and later when the books of law (revelation) were rediscovered and read before the people, the kings would summon for solemn assembly and ordered for the removal and destruction of every idolatory objects from the land and the people of God would experience a measure of revival and renewal in their midst.

It's amazing the manner God speaks and leads His people. Little did I know that God was not done with our initial co-operation with Him to get rid of spiritual darkness from our home. Last Friday morning (4th Sept), after praying for a while I took a nap as I was feeling a little sleepy. In the middle of my nap, my spirit somehow "came out" of my body and it was like my spirit stepped into the spirit realm where there is no limitation of time. During the brief period of time, my spirit saw a few scenes in my house that explained certain attacks of the enemy in my family. It was a little bizarre but after receiving the understanding, I shared with my wife and that led to a massive removal of items from our house, as led by the Spirit of God. All glory to God for what He has done and what He is doing. He is definitely preparing us for greater things ahead and greater intimacy with Him.

Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary
Pure and holy, tried and true
With thanksgiving, I'll be a living
Sanctuary for You

It is you, Lord
Who came to save
The heart and soul
Of every man
It is you Lord
who knows my weakness
Who gives me strength,
With thine own hand.

Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary
Pure and Holy, tried and true
With thanksgiving I'll be a living
Sanctuary for you

Lead Me on Lord
From temptation
Purify me
From within
Fill my heart with
You holy spirit
Take away all my sin

Lord prepare me to ba sanctuary
Pure and holy, tried and ture
With thanksgiving, I'll be a living
Sanctuary for You

Friday, September 4, 2009

Cleansing the house (part 1)

In the past, due to my limited understanding, I did not see the need to cleanse the house (or temple). By cleansing the house, I am generally referring to getting rid of things, items or objects that do not please God from the house that could be due to idolatary images or objects being an open door for the demonic realm to enter. Due to an incident two days ago (which will be elaborated below), I would like to share some experiences of cleansing the house that took place in the recent months (which I could still remember): -

(1) On one Sunday service meeting, a well-intentioned sister from the church my family used to attend brought a bag of toys for my daughter. They are mostly used toys but they were all in good condition. The variety of toys included soft toys and a Barbie doll. Shortly after, my wife informed me that she began to have unpleasant dreams. We prayed about it and repented of any sins but the dreams kept coming. Then, one night my wife received a revelation that most of the toys in the bag should be thrown away. We prayed and concurred that the source of the evil dreams are somewhat related to and can be traced to those toys. So, we rebuked and bound the demonic spirit and removed those toys and items from our house.

(2) On another ocassion, my wife was attacked by unclean dreams again in her sleep for a few nights. This really puzzled us as we prayed and repented should there be anything in our lives that caused the enemy to launch it's attack but the dreams continued. Then, out of the blue, God spoke to my wife, telling her to get rid of a set of clothings that was given to her by a sister (who has worn those clothings before) due to the presence of unclean spirits in the sister's life. After my wife obeyed, the unclean dreams stopped.

The incident that actually initiated further house cleansing activities two days ago was when my wife and myself overheard my daughter's (2 years 9 months) baby talk. She was playing with a new pair of sandals which we have just purchased for her. Out of the blue, she uttered "I don't want to follow Jesus. I want to follow me." We were shocked! My wife asked her, "Who said that?" She pointed to the "hello Kitty" character painted on the sandals. Immediately, we rebuked and bound the evil spirit to leave in Jesus' mighty Name and threw away the new pair of sandals together with two other hello Kitty dolls and a hello Kitty balloon.

We felt that God wanted us to continue some house cleansing activities. On the same day, we did the following, as led by the Spirit of God: -

(a) We tore and threw away some of our honeymoon photos, especially all of those taken in the famed Grand Palace, Bangkok as we found there were many figurines of idols in those photos. A few months ago, my wife said she was prompted to throw those photos but I said proudly, there's no such need (as I was unwilling to part with those photos taken during such memorable times). I repented and as we threw away those photos, we bound the demonic spirits in Jesus' Name and rebuked them to leave.

(b)Then, we were led to get rid of some books. Interestingly, all these books appeared harmless per se but with the leading of the Holy Spirit, we threw away (1) my daughter's storybook titled "Puss in the boots"; (2) a thick Christian book which contained a few pages of images of idols, etc. (3) a few cooking books (in Chinese) which contained a lot of images of Thai-inspired images.

In short, the 2 simple lessons learnt: -
(1) not to simply accept items from people (despite the good intentions of people); and
(2) not to simply purchase things without asking God.

Hallelujah! God is so kind to reveal these things to us. This is in line with His heart's desire to have a Bride that is pure, spotless and without wrinkle. Not only is cleansing the house a prophetic act, God is setting forth His standards of holiness amongst His people. Let's be sensitive to His leading and obey His promptings.

(to be continued)