- Who We Are
- I’m New!
Rev. John Young
It was one of the most exciting days of his life. After a year of patiently teaching, with a myriad of miracles performed right before them, it finally came down to this moment: “Who do the people say that I am?”…“Who do you say that I am?” Peter blurted out: “You are the Messiah!” (Mark 8:29). WOW! What an earth-shattering pronouncement! They finally recognized who Jesus was! How could Jesus not be excited? After all, it was not a casual acknowledgement that any ordinary person could make and it was not something one would say without any consequence, because acknowledging who Jesus was was directly tied to what would happen to Him later… Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again (Mark 8:31). Jesus clearly knew what His destiny was, and was resolutely marching toward it. Yet for the disciples, especially Peter, such was not acceptable, that Christ, the Messiah, the chosen of God to save the world would suffer and be killed? “God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you” (Matthew 16:22).
Now, isn’t it just shocking that an advice out of good intention on Peter’s part would invite such a sharp rebuke from Jesus? “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human thing.” (Mark 8:33). But pay close attention, even though Jesus appeared to rebuke Peter, he was actually rebuking Satan. What did Satan do to incur Jesus’ severe reprimand?
Satan’s trick was, and is, to capitalize on human nature of fear, worry, jealousy, or anger… to sow seeds of doubt in a person’s heart, causing him or her to doubt God and God’s plan. Even Jesus Himself was the object of Satan’s attack. The human heart is in reality the war zone of spiritual warfare.
The Lord God said to Cain: “Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is lurking at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it” (Genesis 4:6-7). This is the classical picture of the warfare being waged in a person’s heart. We must identify who our enemies are. So, take a long look inside yourself. Who are your enemies lurking behind the door? Maybe it is fear, or the broken relationships in your life. They are driving a wedge between you and the Lord, so that you cannot experience intimacy with Him, nor can He come near you to minister to your soul.
No one can reveal the truth of our intimate worship to us better than the cherubim, who stay so close to the mercy seat of God and are able to behold God’s holiness (Ezekiel 10). They are the 4 living creatures covered with eyes in front and in back, standing around the throne. Day and night they worship the Lord unceasingly. Because of this intimate position, they are able to see who God was, is and is to come; seeing things of the past, the present and the future (Revelation 4:6-8). Although they see many horrifying events such as wars, famines and plagues, a great earthquake, the sun blackened, the moon reddened, the great tribulation, thunder, lightning, the earth burned up, living creatures dead, water turned bitter, stars fallen from the sky, locusts torturing people, etc. (Revelation 6-22), their worship goes on. They praise God’s holiness, giving Him glory, honor and thanksgivings (Revelation 4:9). Read more
Pastor YouPing Liu
A story I recently read was about a truck driver who was entrusted to deliver a coffin. On his way he saw a man asking for a ride, and he let him in. Because a sudden rain shower came, the man hid himself in the coffin and closed the lid. Soon, he fell asleep in the coffin since nothing could bother him. As the truck driver continued down the road, he met two other men asking for a ride, and again he let them in. These 2 men were happily sitting beside the coffin. After a while, the man in the coffin woke up, opened the lid and stuck his head out. That really stunned the 2 men and they jumped out of the truck. One fell dead instantly, while the other sustained severe injuries. On the surface, there seemed nothing to be afraid of, but the fact that an unexpected person suddenly appeared out of the coffin, caused tremendous fear. Read more