Thursday, September 25, 2014

My 2014 Rosh Hashanah/Feast of Trumpets reflections: Part 1

This season of the feast of 2014 Rosh Hashanah or Feast of Trumpets, I sought the message from God. On this occasion, the message came from several experiences and events that helped to reveal to me the spiritual lessons. In this post, I summarise the events and experiences and the lessons I drew from them regarding God's will/purpose for me.

Event/Experience 1: An email message from Sid Roth 

So I subscribe to Sid Roth, because occasionally I might hear an interesting program now and then. But to get to the point, my wife and I watched and listened to his Rosh Hashanah message, which is also an appeal for us to donate money to his program/ministry. What was particularly interesting to me about the message was the story related by Roth (2014) about a woman being taken to heaven by large two angels. These two angels, on their way with the woman to heaven, began to experience difficulties in lifting her. They then pointed out that it was not their fault, but it was because of her sins. Roth (2014) then goes on to mention that for this new year, we need to make some changes, including dropping habits and sins that we might have been comfortable with in the previous year,

Event/Experience 2:

The next morning, my wife tells me her dream. She indicates that she felt God convicting her to stop playing a certain Facebook game.

Event/Experience 3:

In the same day, I participated in the review of some programs at Western University with external reviewers with the purpose of seeking ways for the programs to improve and confirm that the programs were indeed faultless.

The lessons revealed:

So I ask God in my mind, what is it that I am to learn from all these as well as "what is your sermon or message to me for this Rosh Hashanah season?" The message I received:

  1. God wants me to grow. Things or sins that I was comfortable with prior to Rosh Hashanah, I must now let go off. Especially if I want to live with God.
  2. Just as how universities review programs to determine how to improve them, the same principle applies with God, God desires continuous improvement in his followers or believers. We are to grow and keep on growing in the faith and producing more abundant spiritual fruit.

To grow, I must let go off sins I once cherished. I can't say "but I am a much better person today than I was 10 years ago!" That will not cut it. I cannot excuse my current sins by arguing that such sins are not as bad as how I was years ago. God doesn't want me to stop growing. He doesn't want me stuck in the past. He wants annual growth and improvement and annual shedding of sins. He wants perfection, and he wants us to annually shed sins and grow towards such perfection.


Roth, S. (2014). Rosh Hashanah 2014 — Jewish new year. Sid Roth's It's Supernatural! Retrieved from

Saturday, September 6, 2014

"Jewish" prophecies and the Middle East in the Christian's Gospel?

One of the key concepts that Jesus preached about during his time was the kingdom of God. Several theologians and scholars have discussed this idea (Aslan, 2013; Chilton, 2000). Yet, this concept has been missing in today's version of most of Christianity's gospel (see previous related blog post discussing a bible study on the concept). Interestingly, I discovered this recent reading that summarizes this:
Within a very short period after the Church was founded on the day of Pentecost, A.D. 31, a violent controversy arose concerning whether the gospel to be proclaimed was the gospel of Christ—Jesus’ own gospel that he proclaimed and taught, or a gospel about Christ. Jesus had come as a messenger bearing a message from God about the kingdom of God. That message was his gospel. But soon many were ignoring Jesus’ gospel—the kingdom of God—and preaching merely that Jesus was the Christ, preaching about the messenger, ignoring his message or gospel. That is still continuing today. (Pack, 2012, p. 10)
Jesus's teachings about the kingdom of God was informed by the Jewish prophets. According to Chilton (2000), Jesus based his identity and mission on the prophets. In his biography of Jesus, where Chilton tries to reconstruct the life of the historical Jesus, Chilton (2000) suggests that Jesus applied prophetic visions from Daniel to understanding self.
In the wilderness he began to use a vision from the book of Daniel, an angel beside the Throne of God called in Aramaic "one like a person", who brought him close to his Abba in the divine court of heaven. This "one like a person" was shortly to emerge as the anchor of Jesus' visions and of the visionary discipline he taught his followers. (p.132)
As such, Chilton's words seem to be supported by Pack (2012) who states that the "New Testament Church" or the movement that Jesus founded is built directly upon the Jewish prophets and prophecies. According to Pack:
Did you realize that the New Testament Church is built directly on top of the prophets? I never heard this in Sunday school or in the church of my youth. Ephesians 2:19-20 says, “fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone.” There it is—the Church stands directly on a foundation that includes the prophets! What is written in the
prophets is instruction to God’s New Testament Church! (p. 23)
Considering these things, it is very essential that Bible believing Christians not just focus on New Testament scriptures. For frankly, in the time of Jesus, the New Testament wasn't even written. The foundation of the teachings of Jesus and his disciples were the Jewish prophets. But not to take my word for it, check out the following testimonies from New Testament passages:

Luke 24:27 (New International Version)And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
Or 2 Peter 1: 19-21 (New Living Translation)
19Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines in your hearts. 20Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, 21or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.
And the majority of these "Jewish" prophets made forecasts of the future of no other region than the region of the Middle East (not America or anywhere else in the West). As such, as Pack (2012) mentions, the "[e]vents in the Middle East carry far greater significance than most even begin to understand" (p. 24). Yes, the Middle East is the centre of many Jewish prophecies, including the ones about the kingdom of God that Jesus preached.

This said, Western Bible believing Christians and Jews (who believe in the same prophetic sources), should be intently watching what's happening in Egypt, Libya, Syria and all the places of the so-called Arab spring. For one thing is certain is that all these places are mentioned in the prophecies of the so-called "Old Testament". The very gospel of the kingdom that Jesus told his disciples to teach is based on Middle-East events and territories.


Aslan, R. (2013). Zealot: The life and times of Jesus of Nazareth. New York: Random House.

Chilton, B. (2000). Rabbi Jesus: An intimate biography. New York: Doubleday.

Pack, D. C. (2012). Bible authority: Can it be proven. The Restored Church of God: St. Catharines, ON. Retrieved from