Sunday, December 28, 2014

God's message to me for the last Sabbath of 2014

On December 26, 2014, I celebrated my eighth anniversary with my wife, Fiona. It was in the spring of 2011 that our marriage was put to a test with my having to migrate to study in Canada. Thankfully, we passed that test and are both celebrating today in Canada more committed to each other. However, I have sought from God the vision for our family for 2015 and beyond. And he has begun to answer.

On the last Sabbath of December 27, 2014 or of the Gregorian calendar, I got the same message from God that I received during my 2014 Feast of Trumpets season. From Sabbath school, to the songs sung by the singers for special music, to the sermon from the appointed speaker. The message was consistent, in that God is calling me to plunge deeper into my spiritual life with him and move beyond just believing the testimonies of others to becoming one with testimonies to give to others.

You see, God makes himself invisible unto us a human beings and cannot be accessed through our scientific empirical methods. However, he makes himself available to us via the route of faith. While he has left evidence in nature to reveal himself, he has always chosen to reveal himself after our sin in Eden to a few persons, who serve as witnesses that testify of his existence. These witnesses are sent to help us interpret the visible evidence in nature and in life. So, for example, God called Noah to be his witness to tell persons that God was about to act and send a flood.

However, God leaves human beings only with the physical evidence and the testimony of his witnesses to make a decision. However, for those who are willing to believe the testimony of his witnesses, God takes them to another step, revealing more of himself to them personally and awarding them for their faith in the testimonies or witnesses. This is what happened in the early church in Acts, when the apostles testified of Christ, and the Lord gave the Holy Spirit to those who believed their testimony, so that they too could experience God for themselves.

The New Testament evangelists basically provide two verses that help to define what faith is. First of all, faith comes by hearing (Romans 10: 16-18). It is listening carefully and attentively to a testimony. Secondly, faith is the evidence of things unseen (Hebrews 11:1). Basically, witnesses are people who have heard or seen things, that they tell about or report on in order to help persons interpret evidence and make judgments. This is what Peter and John declared when a Jewish Council sought to forbid them from preaching Jesus (Acts 4:19-20). According to Peter and John stated "we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard" (Acts 4:20, English Standard Version/ESV).

In fact, in Acts 1:8 Jesus proclaimed to his disciples that they would receive power when the Holy Spirit arrived and shall be his witnesses"both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (NASB95). Further, in Acts, Jesus mirrors a prophetic passage in Isaiah 43: 8-11 (King James Version /KJV):
Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears.
Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and shew us former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, It is truth.
10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
11 I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour.
Further, God also prophesied to the Hebrew people that he would raise up someone to speak in his name rather than to speak to human beings directly. According to Deuteronomy 18:15-19 in the English Standard Version (ESV) it is reported that Moses said:

15 “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen— 16 just as you desired of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die.’ 17 And the Lord said to me, ‘They are right in what they have spoken. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. 19 And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him.
However, listening to the testimony from God's witness is just the first part of the process. The next is for us to have our own testimony. Even in Moses' time, God did not confine his Spirit and prophetic utterances to Moses alone, but gave it unto other Hebrew men. One event was so significant that it is recorded in Numbers 11:26-29 in the New International Version (NIV):
26 However, two men, whose names were Eldad and Medad, had remained in the camp. They were listed among the elders, but did not go out to the tent. Yet the Spirit also rested on them, and they prophesied in the camp. 27 A young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.”
28 Joshua son of Nun, who had been Moses’ aide since youth, spoke up and said, “Moses, my lord, stop them!”
29 But Moses replied, “Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!”
 Apostle Paul related a similar idea in his letter to the Corinthians. In 1 Corinthians 14:5 Paul states:
I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy.(New International Version/NIV)
Thus, part of God's message to me was that he no longer wants me to be content in believing in the Bible and the experiences of those recorded in the Bible, but he wants me to go deeper and the next level, that he can take my faith and turn me into someone who his Spirit can rest on and use as a mouthpiece to speak in his name. And the same is God's desire for you, whoever you are that reads this post.

God's Passover message to me back in 2011

On April 18, 2011, a friend asked: 'Can u tell me what is the significance of Passover?'

Coincidentally I was reflecting on and writing up what I had learned the even before, when I got this question from my friend. So I shared with him this message:

My friend also asked: ' What can I do today to celebrate this event?'
And what does it really mean?

I answered stating that I thought he asked very good questions. His questions are what I myself need to ponder. I know what I am going to do personally, but is what I am doing really what G-d would want from me?

This evening I am going to celebrate a home Passover with my little girls and wife. Most Jews in the diaspora will do that.

My friend asked:  What do you plan to do with your family that is different?

So I state my agenda:
The recounting of the story of the Exodus, beginning from bondage in Egypt. Drinking (non-alcoholic) wine, eating Matzah (unleavened bread) and bitter herbs, lighting candles and explaining to my 3-year-old what it must have been like to come out of Egypt. Then move on to the story of Jesus and his disciples at the night of his supper, recounting his last supper with the disciples and what he did for humanity and what was the significance of his death and why he had to die.

My friend replied stating that he found my plans interesting, but asked another question: 'Isn't that a message which we should share all year around?'

I replied, that G-d has a different focus for each season. For the Passover season, he wants us to reflect on Christ' death and resurrection. For the season of Pentecost, we focus on the Holy Spirit and the birthday of the church. During the fall festivals, he wants us to focus on the return of Christ and the second advent.

Specifically, the Passover seasons is the spiritual beginning and renewal of the year. We are renewed spiritually for the rest of the year and in preparation for the outpouring of the spirit for the harvest, that prepare us for our work and contribution to the harvest and eventually the harvest itself.

I thank G-d for friends who like me are seeking the spiritual food in the season that G-d has made it available.

My friend, you have already started to celebrate Passover, at least spiritually. Seeking G-d and his meaning in this season is how G-d intends for us celebrate his feasts, his spiritual feasts. By seeking the spiritual food that he has for us in the season that he has prepared it. Just like how you look for mangoes in their season and other fruits in their season; so with the natural, so with the spiritual

It is G-d that created the lights of the sky to mark seasons and times (

G-d binds his feasts to the seasons, communicating to us that his feasts will never be done away with. Even after the second advent, we will be invited to his commemorative feasts and celebrations (

In the Bible, G-d says that his seasons will never end  ( 

G-d in the Bible also declares that there is nothing done under heaven that is not done within a season or within time (

Lessons from a Passover service I attended in 2011

United Congregation of Israelites
5:30 PM Pesach Services
April 18, 2011

I attended and caught the last part of the services, where I heard the message on the meaning of Pesach/Passover. What I am doing here is a basic summary, as I arrived at the synagogue drained of all intellectual alertness, and was afraid to take out a pen and write down the ideas said. Instead, I  sought to follow the intellectual message with my mind and record new ideas that resonated with me. 

The meaning reflected on in this particular service was on the significance of freedom and the contribution of Jewry towards human liberation. Freedom the rabbi said is not just physical, but also spiritual. Persons do not know they are enslaved spiritually until they are set free. The Jewish experience of bondage in Egypt represents spiritual bondage from which we must become free, in order to make our contribution to the world and to usher in a "new world order" (the rabbi's words, not mine).

Jewish freedom led to the world's monotheism, as prior to Jewish freedom, the world did not know G-d. Jewish liberation from bondage in Egypt led to the world's awakening to who G-d was and established (or I would say re-established) monotheism as the standard of world religions. 

Jewish freedom will eventually lead the reign of peace throughout the earth. When the Mashiach/Messiah returns, he will lead the Jews again to freedom and establish a 'New World Order' based on the reign of peace.

As I reflect on the rabbi's message, I could summarise this thought trough these words: 
Jews were set free from a world superpower in order to get the world to recognise the one who holds supreme power.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Adventist Christmas and New Year conundrum

If there is one (of many) thing[s] that irks me about the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church today is the inconsistency of its theology. On one hand, they hand out religious liberty tracks that paint Roman Catholicism as the whore of Babylon that has lead the world away from true worship. Then in December, the church begins to observe two of Rome's holy or special days: Christmas and New Year. And in North America, the idolatry is heightened when the SDA church decorates it halls and interior with 3-dimensional representations of angels and other creatures or objects of heaven or earth (including the snowman image/sculpture) (Jeremiah 10:3-9). Further, the Christmas tree is decked with these objects and jewels. Then the church calls on the writings of Adventist pope, Ellen G. White, to justify these practices (The Adventist Home Chapter 77, p. 477-483). This is done, despite Pope White not stating that she got a direct revelation from God that Christmas and New Years must be observed.

While I have no problem with my brethren, the Roman Catholics observing these days, and even my fellow Sunday Protestants doing the same, it strikes me that for Adventists, the practices are oddly inconsistent with their theology and teachings, especially their narrow interpretation of their mission of the three angels message in Revelations 14:6-9. From what they taught me, if Rome's worship involves changing God's calendar and deciding when to observe what, then if you are calling people to the true worship, why not point them back to God's original calendar that he first gave to his people the Jews. If you point fingers on Rome, then why do you do some of what they do, but not everything? If you go part way with Rome, why not all the way?

In the Bible, God only has one new year, the Passover (the 14th of Nissan) (Exodus 12:2). However, today Jews celebrate Rosh Hashanah as a second "new year", especially when it announces a year of jubilee (Gordon, 2014). However, scholars dispute this second "new year" (Gordon, 2014; Rood, 2004), with Rood (2004) indicating that the real Biblical new year is the month of Aviv or Passover.

As for Christmas, if the Adventist church developed in protest against Roman Christianity, why has it not opted to adopt the Eastern Christianity's Christmas date in January?

Nonetheless, I want to wish a Merry Christmas to all you who celebrate it without theological inconsistency! Whether on December 25th or in January.


Gordon, N. (2014, Sep. 26). Nehemia's wall: Uncovering ancient Hebrew sources of faith. [Blog post] Retrieved from

Rood, M. (2004). The Pagan-Christian connection exposed: A Rood awakening. Alachua, FL: Bridge-Logos

White, E. G. (2001). Christmas. The Adventist home: Counsels to Seventh-day Adventist families as set forth in the writings of Ellen G. White. Maryland: Trustees of the Ellen G. White Estate.