Monday, January 18, 2021

Prophets & Scribes

It's been a tough week under the Movement Control Order. For a third time in less than a year, church premises had to close and yesterday we recorded our second Sunday online service. I preached a message for 46 minutes on the Five-Fold Ministry in Eph 4:7-16 as I continued on from Paul's letter to the Ephesians commenced in July 2020. I shared how the Church still needed these five main offices or ministry, especially the prophetic ministry as some believe that there are no apostles in today's Church and the apostolic office has ceased after the first century AD. I hold to the view that at least for the prophets and the office of a prophet, the calling and gift are still relevant today as it was 2,000 years ago. I listed several passages from Acts 13:1, Matt 23:34 and Rev 11 to support my case and the Matthean passage is especially significant since Jesus speaks of "sending prophets, wisemen and scribes..." I spoke about the need for wise men as shown in the book of Daniel that in the End-time, the people of God who will persevere are called the wise ones. Likewise the need for scribes which Jesus further affirms in Matthew 13:52 that a scribe trained in the kingdom of heaven is like a house owner who take outs his new and old treasures in his treasury. I shared a testimony about my experience in South Korea where I attended a Bible Conference in 2016 with more than 600 Professors from all around the world. The Vice Chairman of the NT society of Korea in his speech mentioned that in South Korea there were 300 PhD holders in the New Testament. But in Malaysia one can count the number with less than the fingers of one hand. No wonder Jesus said in Matt 23:34 that some of these prophets, wise and scribes would be persecuted and chased out from town to town. It's clear that an anti-intellectual culture and climate still persist in the Church and somewhat influences the mindset of many Christians including church leaders. But in our church's YouTube channel, my sermon yesterday has garnered more than 200 views within 24 hours and 20 likes, which is much more than the sermon I preached on the first Sunday of 2021. But God's truth stands strong. It does not depend on reception or approval from men. Whether people will hear or not, Ezekiel was commanded to speak forth God's Word and the hearers will know that there is a prophet in their midst.

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