Thursday 30 August 2012


Are the supernatural manifestations in church today invariably of divine origin?

My purpose in posting this is because I am shocked after watching this video on YouTube: False spirits invade the church - KUNDALINI WARNING - Andrew Strom 


More than ever before, believers must be vigilant and discerning. The Bible warns that during the end times, deception will be a prominent feature. 

And even the elect – supposedly mature leaders – can be deceived. If leaders are deceived, don’t you think the flock will fare even worse?

“For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many” (Matthew 24:5).

“For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24).

That is why it is so important to go back to basics. Be like the Bereans. Dig into the word and test the spiritual manifestations that we see in church against God’s Word (to see whether they tally with the Word).

“Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” ( Acts 17:11).

“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).

No doubt when the Holy Spirit moves, there is freedom and liberty. People may weep and/or fall down when they are convicted of their sins. There is a loosening of inhibitions. They become less self-conscious; unafraid of what the rest of the people in church might say or think of their behaviour.

But what on earth is happening when there is violent shaking, jerking movements, animal behaviour (like going on fours like a dog or barking) or uncontrollable shrieking?

Now let us consider some of the characteristics of the Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit is gentle. The one who comes under the Holy Spirit is of sound mind and has self-control.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law” (Galatians 5: 22-23).
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).

What did Paul say concerning checks and balances in the operation of spiritual gifts?

“The spirits of prophets are subject to prophets; for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints” (1 Corinthians 14: 22-23).

“Let all things be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40).

Who or what makes us competent in discerning whether a particular  
supernatural manifestation is of divine origin or of the devil?

The Holy Spirit in believers grants spiritual discernment to them. In fact they have the mind of Christ. Please check out this passage–1 Corinthians 2:12, 13, 15, 16:

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.

These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.
For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

May God grant us discernment to know that NOT all the supernatural experiences or manifestations that we see in church today are of the Holy Spirit.

And do not get carried away by supernatural experiences or manifestations per se. Just as not all that glitters is gold, not everything supernatural is of the Holy Spirit.

And let us be vigilant; go back to God’s Word and dig deep into it so we can test the validity of the supernatural experiences or manifestations, whether it is of the Holy Spirit or not. Let's build ourselves up in our most holy faith.

To try to make sense of these supernatural experiences or manifestations, the senior leaders of the church should weigh and judge whether they are of God or not (1 Corinthians 6:2,3 and 2 Corinthians 3:6). In a multitude of counsellors, there is victory. Is there a consensus among the leaders as to what these manifestations mean?

Some believers unknowingly play with fire by engaging with occultic practices (for example, playing with ouija board) which open the door to danger. When you let satan gain a foothold in your life, and then you come to church, the evil one will manifest even in church. (We are apt to think that God’s presence in church excludes the possibility of evil spirits manifesting themselves. But this is erroneous thinking). Those who dabble with the occult must cease all occultic involvement, repent and renounce such practices.

Similarly, believers who are addicted to porn might be opening themselves up to ‘evil spirits of lust’. At first, they are overcome by their own lust. In time to come, as they became more and more enslaved to porn, ‘evil spirits of lust’ enter their lives because they give permission to them. These believers need to repent and renounce such behaviour.

How to test false prophets? We know them by their character. Do they have the fruit of the Holy Spirit?

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?” (Matthew 7:15-16).

So coming back to the above YouTube video:
Are the supernatural manifestations of divine origin?
For the answer, we ask ourselves three questions:
1. How is it similar to the characteristics of the Holy Spirit according to God’s word?
2. How is it similar to a spiritual practice which people often associate with meditation and health?
3. Is the character of the key leader commendable?
If you can answer these three questions, then you will be able to know whether the supernatural manifestations in the YouTube video are of divine origin or not.

Please google “Andrew Strom” for more startling revelations.

What is the litmus test of an encounter with the living God?
“We know that the manifestations affect the emotions, but the Bible places much more emphasis on repentance (changed mind) and obedience (dedicated will) as the appropriate response to an encounter with the living God. The ultimate test of any experience is whether it leads to real repentance and observable obedience. This yardstick is especially necessary in an age which is addicted to novel experiences and regards all religious experiences as self-authenticating. The Church must not fall into this way of thinking but faithfully 'test all thing’” – David Pawson.


Can we ever attribute the following scenarios in church to the work of the Holy Spirit? A person barking like a dog? A person crowing like a cockerel?

Be aware, be warned. It’s already here.

Understanding the wiles of satan is the first step towards winning the battle against deception. 


Wednesday 29 August 2012


In our eagerness to perform, have we lost out in that which is most essential?

The church at Ephesus had many things going for them. They were commended in three areas:
They passed with flying colours in three P’s:

1. Performance – excelled in good works.
2. Purity of doctrine – being discerning, they managed to fend off false doctrine.
3. Perseverance – able to endure hardship.

But they failed in one area: First Love.

So it’s PASS for three P’s but FAIL for one F.

To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands. I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.
Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. (Revelation 2:1-5)

Now what exactly is ‘first love’?

It is the glow, excitement and enthusiasm that we had when we first believed in Christ. We could serve God and testify for Him with great joy.

But down the road in our spiritual walk, things have turned dull and monotonous. We no longer seek him as earnestly as before or spontaneously burst out in worship.

Jesus taught that “whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me” (John 14:21). If that were so, weren’t the believers at Ephesus through their good works keeping God’s commands and, in effect, loving God?

Yes, that is a valid point. But good works must be motivated by love. It must not be mechanical, or driven by selfish or ulterior motives like money, fame, power or pride. Good works should not be “generated” when we are running empty inside (1 Corinthians 13:3).

Truth be told, we need an abiding relationship with God (John 15) from which good works spring forth. We need to be like Mary first; and then, spontaneously, we will be like Martha.

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “You are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” – Luke 10: 38-42.

The danger of performance without ‘first love’ (or an intimate relationship with Christ) is that our ability to witness or impact those around us will be taken away – when our lampstand is removed from us.

Peak performance and statistics have always been the name of the game in business and corporate circles. It is the method by which we monitor success. Sadly, this kind of thinking has also been creeping into church circles.

Undeniably, good response is often a sign of God’s presence. It tells us God is moving as is evident during Pentecost when Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, preached the first sermon and thousands were saved.

But carnal men – without the spiritual reality – can use soft music, psychology and various ways of “beating the spiritual drums” to fan spiritual activity in order to produce awe-inspiring statistics. But is God pleased? Is performance the sole determinant of success in God’s eyes?

The ultimate danger of performance without a relationship with God is found in this passage:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers! (Matthew 7:21-23).

Tuesday 28 August 2012


Believers who sincerely want to bring about significant change to the fabric of society need to go beyond thinking church (their own local church). They need to widen their perspective and put on kingdom lenses.

What is the Bible’s view of kingdom?  The kingdom is any place where God has authority and dominion. It is not confined to a particular place (read church building). Also, kingdom values are relevant to all and not only for a select group (read clergy).

Developing a kingdom mindset enables believers to influence and impact the community. Advancing His kingdom is, in effect, extending the realm where His authority and dominion reside.

When believers step out of the church’s four walls and get involved in lunch-hour office fellowships, community clinics, thrift shops, dialysis centres and street feeding programmes, they are truly making a difference in the community.

Author Eric Swanson believes that a church should not just grow to show off its size and strength but to expand its capacity for service to the community. Such a church is internally strong but externally focused.

Rick Rusaw, co-author (with Swanson) of the book, “The Externally Focused Quest – Becoming the Best Church for the Community”, shared how, whenever he flies, he likes to “move from the aisle seat to the window seat” to get a better view of the scenery.

By analogy, Rusaw challenged the church to shift its focus from the aisles to outside. It’s not about becoming the best church in the community but for the community. “Changing seats is always difficult — especially if you’ve been buckled in the aisle seat for decades,” he wrote.

Loren Cunningham, founder of Youth with a Mission (YWAM), shares what he calls the “Seven Mountains of Culture” — Family, Church, Education, Media, Arts and Entertainment, Business and Government — that believers can make a difference in.

Linking it to Jesus’ concept of the kingdom (Luke 17:21), he points out: “The kingdom is in your heart; it’s within you. Whenever Jesus is on the throne of your heart, the kingdom has come. And when you go into a sphere, the kingdom has come into that sphere.”

Now why mountains? It is based on what Caleb said in Joshua 14:12: “Now give me this mountain …” Like Caleb, believers can claim these spheres of influence as their inheritance.

A missionary is one sent by God on a mission. Whether you’re a school teacher or a missionary who goes to a foreign land to witness, you are sent by God. Whatever you’re called to is holy, be it “secular” or “spiritual”.

Ed Silvoso, best-selling author of Anointed for Business, defines marketplace as a combination of various entities: business, education and government.  He believes that the church is not just an organisation but “an organism created by God that needs to permeate the marketplace.”

The call to be “separate from the world” (2 Corinthians 6:17) does not require us to withdraw ourselves physically from the marketplace to be in the company of believers in church.

Rather, it is a call to see ourselves as chosen people who have been changed from within. We are in the world, but not of the world (1 Peter 2:9). We have to go into the world to function as “salt” to slow down the process of decay in the world.

Monday 27 August 2012


Jesus taught us we are to be perfect but Paul tells us he has not attained perfection. How do we reconcile these two differing views? Who do we follow?

Jesus taught: “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).
The Greek word ‘perfect’ found in Matthew 5:48 is ‘telios’ which means ‘brought to its end, finished, wanting nothing necessary to completeness’.

The word ‘finisher’ found in Hebrews 12:2 is also from the same Greek word:
“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and finisher (perfecter) of faith” (Hebrews12: 2).

We know Jesus is perfect and perfection is a desirable goal for the believer.

But is it possible to attain perfection?

The greatest apostle who ever lived, Paul, has this to say:
“I have not yet reached my goal, and I am not perfect. But Christ has taken hold of me. So I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize. My friends, I don’t feel that I have already arrived. But I forget what is behind, and I struggle for what is ahead. I run toward the goal, so that I can win the prize of being called to heaven. This is the prize that God offers because of what Christ Jesus has done” (Philippians 3:12-14).

However, it does not mean that we are to throw in the towel and cease striving for excellence.

In fact, we should view the Christian life as a race in which discipline and perseverance are required – just as Paul pummeled his body (brought it under subjection) in order to win the race:
 “I don’t run without a goal. And I don’t box by beating my fists in the air. I keep my body under control and make it my slave, so I won’t lose out after telling the good news to others” (1 Corinthians 9:26-27).

To advance towards perfection, we need to have strong grounding in God’s word so that we can live by it:
“But you must never stop looking at the perfect law that sets you free. God will bless you in everything you do, if you listen and obey, and don’t just hear and forget” (James 1:25).

More than just milk, we need to take meat because “solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil” (Hebrews 5:14).

We also need the other members of the body with the five-fold ministry gifts to build us up till we become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13).

Sometimes God uses trials and suffering as tools to perfect us:
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2-4).

Finally we must recognise the role of the Holy Spirit in our spiritual transformation. Head knowledge of the Word is not enough:
“So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image” (2 Corinthians 3:18-19).

These days when we are so used to instant noodles and coffee (especially three-in-one), we are apt to think that we can achieve “instant sainthood”.

But just as the conquest of the Promised Land was achieved gradually and progressively, so too will be our journey towards perfection. In fact, it is a life-long process.

Let’s strive for excellence though we will not attain perfection this side of eternity.

Friday 24 August 2012


Baby boomers might remember this catchy tune, Sound of Silence” by Simon & Garfunkel, (the guys who also gave us “Bridge over Troubled Waters”).


Hello darkness, my old friend
I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

Recently I visited a grieving couple whose teenage son perished in a car accident. What do you do when you set out to comfort someone in grief but your mind draws a blank?

All I could do was look them in the eye while grasping their hands. For a few moments, the gaze, touch and silence “spoke”, as if in empathy.

Words did not matter; what was important was being there for them when they needed emotional support


Looking back, I wish I had some comforting words. But then again, when love is the motive, are words necessary?

So don’t be afraid to be silent. 

Silence can communicate louder than words.

Silence can be a bridge over someone’s troubled waters.


We need to recognise our distinctive gifts and callingand cease comparing ourselves with others. 

God has a unique plan for the life of every believer. Just as each snowflake is distinct from the rest, we are to be originalnot try to be a duplicate of other people. 

Why does Jane seem to have it all? She is glamorous and seems to have landed herself a most enviable job and a beau who is every lady’s dream. She seems to have all the breaks. Wow, she has just returned from an all-expenses-paid tour of Europe.

Even those in ministry are not exempt from this tendency to compare themselves with others: Why is Pastor Lee’s congregation bigger than mine? Why are his messages so powerful and influential? And why is his church youth wing so dynamic and vibrant? Why does he have a personal secretary and an official car to boot?

But we should console ourselves that giants in the faith, like the apostle Peter, share our human frailties.

Peter was told by Jesus that there will come a time when he will be led to a place where he does not want to go, a prediction that meant he too would die by crucifixion like his Master. Tradition has it that Peter was crucified upside down (John 21:18-19).

But Peter was somewhat a busybody. He asked Jesus how John will die. Jesus answered, “If I want him (John) to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me” (John 21:22).

Like Peter, we tend to compare our lives with others. We think that God must justify whatever He requires from believers and has to be fair to all.

Peter might have been thinking, “Why only me? What about John? Why not make John die a martyr’s death as well? This seems unfair, Master.” 

But God’s will for John, the beloved disciple, the one who lay on Jesus’ chest, was different. Whereas Peter was to be a shepherd and the apostle to the Jews, John was appointed primarily to be an eyewitness.

Later, when John was exiled on the island of Patmos, he received mighty revelations of end time events which were incorporated into the book of Revelation.

Let’s fix our eyes on Jesus and what He wants us to do, and cease being a busybody.

Even when a believer is a formless entity in the womb, God has already planned and ordained concerning how he or she should live to glorify His name.
  • “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed” (Psalm 139:16).
  • “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5).
  • “I know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23).

Let us be concerned about what God wants to do in our lives and stop comparing ourselves with others. We need to stop asking why he or she is more blessed or has more perks than us. Or why he or she needs to suffer less or give up less.

God has a unique plan for the life of every believer. Just as each snowflake is created distinct from the rest, we are to be originalnot try to be a duplicate of other people. 


Once we have resolved some important questions about our identity, we are well on our way to enjoy sound psychological health. We are also well-positioned to live out God’s calling for our lives.

When we come to a fork or crossroad in life, we know we need guidance.
How can we know God’s will for our lives?

Identifying some of the characteristics of a divine calling

God’s will has to be sought before we plunge headlong into any venture.