Thursday, June 2, 2016

Billy Graham reveals biggest spiritual mistake Christians make



While there is nothing wrong with doing good deeds, evangelist Billy Graham says this becomes a mistake when people base it as their only hope for getting to Heaven.

"The greatest mistake anyone can ever make is to assume that they are good enough to go to Heaven. And yet countless people make this mistake every day, thinking their good deeds will somehow outweigh their bad deeds and make them eligible for Heaven," he writes on his website.

The reason why this is a mistake is because God's standard is nothing short of perfection, explains Graham. God is absolutely holy and perfect, and just even one sin would be enough to banish people from His presence. In school, Graham says it's okay for students to make several mistakes just as long as they hit the passing mark, but the same cannot be said of God.

The Bible says of Him in Habakkuk 1:13: "Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing."

However, Graham says this does not mean that no one will ever get to Heaven. "The reason is because God has provided another way for us to be saved. That way is Jesus Christ. He was without sin (for He was God in human flesh)—but on the cross all our sins were placed on Him, and He took upon Himself the judgment and Hell that we deserve. He died in our place!" says the evangelist.

He is advising people to trust God and not in their own goodness for salvation. Graham says non-believers should now commit their lives to Jesus Christ as well as put their faith and trust in Him. "Then you will know that someday you will go to be with Him in Heaven forever—not because of your goodness, but because of His," he says.

Billy Graham warns the 'days of Noah are returning to the Earth'



http://www.christiantoday.com/reporter/czarina-ong

World-renowned evangelist Billy Graham warns that the "days of Noah are returning to the Earth," and should it finally happen, then it will be a "climactic event that will ring the curtain down on history."

"The Bible many times warns that toward the end of history as we know it, there will be a return to pre-flood conditions of gross sin and wickedness," Graham writes on his Decision Magazine. "The Scripture says concerning the people of Noah's day, 'Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually' (Genesis 6:5)."

Graham adds that in the last days, there will be "perilous" things happening, what with men being "lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power."

Even though the Bible did not say exactly when that judgment will come, "there are many indications that we are now living in the closing period of history."

People are called to repent and turn to Christ as the day of judgment draws near, says Graham. There are many who mistakenly assume they are already saved, but Graham warns they only have a "false notion" of what it's like to truly be a Christian since they continue living life any way they like.

"In their manner of living, they are indistinguishable from the world," he says. "It is true that they attend church with some regularity and do many good works, but they are not resting in the blood of Jesus Christ for their salvation, and they are not doing the works of faith that are required as an evidence of one's relationship with God."

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Hong Kong Mafia Boss Encounters Jesus Christ : Amazing Testimony


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Sign of a True Apostle (It’s Not What You Think)

A few years ago I heard a preacher tell a room full of ministers that they couldn’t work miracles or exercise apostolic authority unless they used the word apostle as a title. So some of them ran out and printed new business cards—as if putting the word in front of their names was the magic ticket to reclaiming New Testament power.

That was a bad idea. For the past 15 years or more, thousands of people have been wounded and countless churches have nosedived because immature leaders thought they could gain apostolic status the easy way. We are so eager to qualify ourselves that we forget God alone calls, prepares and sends true apostles.

The late Arthur Katz, who was a prophetic voice to our movement for many years, wrote in his 1999 book Apostolic Foundations that nobody should be eager to step into an apostolic assignment or to treat such a task flippantly. “God is jealous over the word apostolic,” Katz wrote. “It is a word that has fallen into disuse and needs to be restored, and that restoration is not going to be cheap.”

We are so carnal, so power hungry and so enamored with status and position that we don’t have a clue what apostolic ministry really is. Most charismatics think it is about authority, and many men who claim to be apostles build top-down pyramid structures that abuse people. Others think apostolic leaders are marked primarily by sensational miracles. Yet I see something we have entirely missed when I look at the life of the apostle Paul.

Paul told the Thessalonians that love is the true hallmark of any person who is sent on an apostolic mission. Therefore, if we want apostolic power or authority (which we should), it must flow through apostolic love or it is a counterfeit. This apostolic love can be described in four ways:

1. It is incarnational. Paul brought the gospel to the Thessalonians and lived among them. He did not just drop in, preach a good sermon and leave. He said, “We were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives” (1 Thess. 2:8, NASB, emphasis added). Just as Jesus came to this earth, lived among us and died for us, true apostles give it all. If all an “apostle” does is preach a good message, he is a poor substitute for the real thing. (And if he also spends more time taking up offerings for himself, he is a hireling or a con artist.)

2. It is sacrificial. Paul risked his neck in Thessalonica, and then he told his followers that he would “suffer affliction” from his persecutors (1 Thess. 3:4). But he loved them so much that he prayed for them continually, and he longed to visit them again even though he knew it would be risky. He never mentions money. In fact, when he was with the Thessalonian church, he worked night and day “so as not to be a burden to any of [them]” (1 Thess. 2:9). That flies in the face of modern apostles who charge $1,000 an hour for their consulting fees.

3. It is relational. The word brethren appears in 1 Thessalonians 17 times. That’s because Paul viewed the church as the family of God. He saw himself in the role of a gentle, nursing mother (1 Thess. 2:7) as well as a strong father (v. 11). Paul’s affection is so thick and so slobbery that it drips off the page of his letter. He says the members of the church “have become very dear” to them (v. 8) and that they “also long to see [them]” (3:6). It’s no surprise that he ends the epistle by exhorting the people to greet one another with "a holy kiss” (5:26).

What has happened to this kind of holy affection in today’s church? Why are we so disconnected? We have replaced deep relationships with cold professionalism. Many pastors have not been properly fathered, so they don’t know how to love—nor do they have close friends. So we cover our dysfunction with busyness. We work, work, work—while sterile, loveless congregations struggle to grow. We use gimmicks and programs to get people in seats because our love is not warm enough to attract people to Jesus.

4. It is confrontational. Paul was not seeker-sensitive. He did not hesitate to confront sin. He gave the Thessalonians one of the most frank, forthright sermons on sexual sin ever written (1 Thess. 4:1-8). But he confronted them as a loving father by emploring them to stay within their God-given boundaries. He didn’t use anger, manipulation, domination or threats. He led with strong, apostolic love.

I believe God wants to pour out a new wave of apostolic power on our generation. But we can’t be trusted with this anointing if we refuse to grow up. We will have the maturity to use the word apostolic when we learn to walk in the love that was modeled by the first apostles.

J. Lee Grady is the former editor of Charisma and the director of the Mordecai Project (themordecaiproject.org). You can follow him on Twitter at @leegrady. He is the author of The Holy Spirit Is Not for Sale and other books.

Two types of leaders. Which will you become? by Frank Viola

In our leadership-frenzied Christian culture, I've opted for a different label for leadership.

That label is influence.

Despite the unhealthy love-affair that countless Christians have with "leadership" and being "a leader," the truth is, if you're a follower of Jesus Christ, you're an influencer.

Your influence may be large or small, it may be good or bad, but it exists.

In this UNFILTERED update, I want to address two types of influencers in the body of Christ. And I'd like to do so by using an experience I had many years ago with two very different kinds of leaders.

At the time, both had considerable influence. But in terms of their character and leadership-style, they were light years apart. And so each influencer represents two very different kinds of leadership with drastically different results.

Influencer 1

The first leader was a gifted speaker and writer. He held a PhD in charm. And when he was at the top of his game, he was unparalleled in articulating certain topics about which he was passionate.

As with most gifted communicators, whenever he spoke in public, one part of the audience would descend into a "take his head off" feeding frenzy, while others who would hardly squirm, never once reaching for their smart phones.

However, this influencer suffered from a piercing narcissism to which he was completely blind. And as with most narcissistic types, he became easily jealous of others who were as gifted - or more gifted -- than he.

Even during his public talks, his megalomania would betray itself as he'd wax eloquent about himself and his accomplishments.

Despite his outward warmness, he viewed other mortals as projects to advance his own ministry rather than people made in God's image. He had no capacity to accept advice from others, even when it would have spared him lots of failure and frustration.

While he would speak compellingly about brokenness and humility, he was routinely threatened by the popularity of others. Notoriously vain and monstrously insecure, he'd often engage in petty back-biting, school-yard belittling, and even slander, all to compensate for his insecurities. He'd routinely bad mouth others just to work off his own demons.

These character defects made him toxic.

Because he never dealt with the insecurities that possessed his soul, he routinely projected the darkest parts of his heart onto others, recklessly (and wrongly) imputing evil motives to them. He was also quick to blame other people for his own failures.

Today, this man's ministry has shriveled down to nothing. Virtually all the people who once supported him bailed out long ago. He burned through secretaries, co-workers, donors, and friends like most of us go through pistachio nuts. His tissues of lies eventually shredded all around him.

His life was a study in self-sabotage.

To my knowledge, he's never come to terms with the damage he's brought to so many. Nor has he ever repented and apologized to those he hurt. Instead, he appears to remain fixated on his own legacy, whatever is left of it.

The tragedy here is that the vision for his life was struck down by his own hand. When his ship came in (and it did several times), he was found waiting at the airport.

A prominent Yankee once described the late Billy Martin (former manager of the Yanks) this way,

"Billy Martin is one of the most complex people I've ever met. Billy really is a funny guy. He's nice, he's mean. He's good and bad. He's kind and he's cruel. He's done some intelligent things and he's done some dumb things. He would be an absolutely fascinating character study for someone who knows a lot more about psychology than I do. There were times when he was as nice to me as a man could be, and there were times when he went as far as out of his way as possible to hurt me as a ball player and as a man. He's said complimentary things about me. He's said a ton of negative things. The many faces of Billy Martin."

This description fits the influencer I just described like a glove. But unlike Billy Martin, who had thousands of people show up at his funeral, unless Influencer 1 repents and apologizes to the countless people he's hurt, his funeral will be attended by a small cluster of true believers and his legacy will be rapidly forgotten.

What a man builds with his gifts, he can just as quickly destroy by his character.

Infuencer 2

The second influencer was the smartest man I've ever met. Yet one of the most humble.

He possessed amazing wit, impressing everyone he met. Especially people in ministry, including Bible scholars and theologians who held more degrees than a thermometer. Down to the man or woman, they would all walk away awed after a conversation with him.

Whenever he spoke, he held people spellbound. (This includes people like me, who has a toddler-like attention span.)

People left his presence enriched, encouraged, and inspired. (Taking my cue from this man, I strive to do the same.)

I learned more from him than anyone else. Yet despite his incredible gifting, he was more interested in others than in himself . Their lives, their heartaches, their joys, and their pain. Unselfishly, he made himself available to listen to them -- even for hours -- and offer encouragement and wise counsel.

This leader also had an uncanny ability to validate people, even the most difficult. I watched him deal with high-maintenance befuddled souls and he'd instinctively disarm their anger and emotional turbulence.

He knew how to throw a blanket of calm over smoldering fires. His quick wit and ability to use humor to disarm people in turmoil was profoundly impressive. And I credit him for teaching me how to employ this same skill.

This particular man didn't think much about his legacy. He lived in the present, and his lived-example was an example to others. Myself included.

As to having a robust knowledge of the Lord, the Scriptures, and history, he was without peer. And so was his gift to unpack lofty insights into simple language.

He existed to serve, not to show off.

He existed to inform, not impress.

He existed to do good, not look good.

He existed to make a difference, not a name or a legacy.

Recap

Two influencers. Two very different characters and styles. Two very different results.

The first leader had an unchecked ego. As a result, he has virtually no influence today, except for a small handful of fawning sycophants who don't know him very well.

The other leader still emits the fragrance of Jesus to all who come in contact with him. And even though I've never once heard him talk about his legacy, it lives on in myself and others whom he touched.

10 Take Aways

Here are ten take-aways I learned from observing both influencers. Since each one of you has influence in this world, I hope you'll seek to build each lesson into your own life.

1. Know your own limitations. The body of Christ has many functions and gifts. You don't have them all. So learn to rely on others who excel in those areas that you don't. And lay down your need for control. Delegate.

2. People aren't projects or stepping stones to advance your own ministry. Learn to love and honor others for their own sake. As Paul said in Philippians 2, look out for their interests. Great leaders want others to supersede them. Insecure leaders can't release the limelight.

3. Always have peers -- people who can speak into your life. If you consider yourself too "gifted" to have peers, you're living in a dream world. One that will eventually become a nightmare. It won't be long before the rope runs out. The first leader refused to have peers in his life. The second welcomed them.

4. Never judge the motives of others. While you are free to evaluate the actions and ideas of other people, imputing motives to their hearts only reveals what's in your own.

5. Be quick to apologize if you've wronged someone. Great leaders apologize to people even when it's not entirely their fault. Mending relationships (wherever possible) is more important to them than being right. They consistently take the high road, not just preach about it.

6. Major in Matthew 7:12. If you don't know what that text is, go read it and tattoo it on your forehead (spiritually, that is). The first leader believed the worst about others. The second leader would never speak ill of another believer. If he heard something negative about a fellow Christian, he dismissed it. If he was concerned, he'd go to the person who was gossiped about directly to inquire -- the same thing all of us would want if the shoe was sitting on our foot. So learn to live Matthew 7:12 in all situations. It's a description of the life of Jesus Christ when walked out in shoe leather.

7. People will follow your way of life more than your words, for better or for worse. The first leader's followers carved themselves into his image. They followed what he did, not so much what he said. Consequently, they were petty, insecure, judged the motives of others, become easily jealous, were given to one-upmanship and humiliating others, and trafficked in believing and spreading slander. Never forget: people will follow your bad traits more than your good ones.

8. Own your mistakes and don't blame God's people. The first leader was quick to blame his failing ministry on everyone else. Blaming others and guilt-tripping them is the mark of a poor leader. Good leaders acknowledge their mistakes and take responsibility.

9. Don't over promise and under-deliver. The first leader would often share impressive ideas, plans, and goals. He was superb at bluster. But he'd rarely follow through to the end, which eroded trust and respect. Never say things just to impress people. Make good on what you promise. Deliver.

10. Forget about leading others; make serving them your business. The first leader was more interested in leading than serving. The second leader never talked about "leadership" nor did he seem to view himself as a "leader." He was too occupied with serving. So bury your penchant for wanting to lead, and excel at serving.

This article was written by Frank Viola and was published in his exclusive Unfiltered update list which goes out every month to his email subscribers. If you enjoy this update, you can get these Unfiltered updates by signing up here. It’s FREE.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Great Ecclesiastical Conspiracy

by George Davis, Michael Clark, & Kirk Pearson

Introduction

This book was written as an expose' of an 1800 year old conspiracy. It is intended to define the conspiracy, leaving you to judge for yourself. Consider it a primer, covering only the basic elements of the subject. It is not intended to be exhaustive, since the total truth of this matter could not be told in such brevity. It is written with the utmost confidence that its readers will be its perfecters. It is the result of a million prayers, asking, "Why? Why Lord, is the Church before me so unlike the one I read about in the Bible? Why O God is there so much failure and defeat in what is supposed to be the representation of you in the earth?" This book may present more questions than answers, but questions are not to be feared.  God is not like the haggard parent who resents the seemingly unending barrage of questions proceeding from the inquisitive child. God is eager and attentive to them all.

While not written for everyone, this book is dedicated to those analytical ones who have dared to ask the forbidden question, "What is wrong with the church?" It is dedicated to all those who are willing to pay the price to see Christ's Ekklesia restored. The reformation is not over. In fact it is just begun, and this book is dedicated to all reformers everywhere. It is dedicated, as we are, to the restoration of all things. It is written to those who willingly suffer the loss of all things for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ. It is written in the deepest respect and honor for those of whom the world is not worthy, who laid down their very lives to expose this conspiracy. What qualifies us to write such a work? Nothing, except perhaps an indescribable burden, a passion that can only be characterized by the heart of a Father yearning to see His children set free from their oppressors, and a desire for the final deliverance of His family from the conspirators’ hands.

George Davis and Michael Clark

Continue reading The Great Ecclesiastical Conspiracy

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Judge See Kee Oon’s assessment over City Harvest Church case



All of the CHC six were found guilty of all charges in court on 21st Oct 2015 .



Judge See Kee Oon has published material explaining his judgments and findings.

Judge See Kee Oon

IN THE STATE COURTS OF THE REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE

District Arrest Case 023145 of 2012 and others

Between

Public Prosecutor

And

(1) Lam Leng Hung
(2) Kong Hee
(3) Tan Shao Yuen Sharon
(4) Chew Eng Han
(5) Tan Ye Peng
(6) Serina Wee Gek Yin

ORAL JUDGMENT

PUBLIC PROSECUTOR
V
LAM LENG HUNG & 5 ORS

State Courts — District Arrest Case 023145 of 2012 and others
Presiding Judge See Kee Oon

21 Oct 2015 Judgment reserved.

Presiding Judge See Kee Oon:

Overview

1 This was a 140-day trial involving 43 charges against the 6 accused persons. They were tried primarily on charges of conspiring to commit criminal breach of trust (“CBT”) by dishonestly misappropriating funds belonging to City Harvest Church (“CHC”) that had been entrusted to one or more of them. There are two broad groups of charges involving CBT. The first group comprises the first to third charges and pertains to what have been referred to in the course of the trial as the “sham bond investments”. The second group comprises the fourth to sixth charges, pertaining to what has been termed “round-tripping”. A third group of charges, the seventh to tenth, concerns falsification of accounts in CHC’s books relating to the “round-tripping” transactions.

2 I do not propose to set out the evidence as it is lengthy and voluminous. It suffices to note that the main background facts are largely undisputed or uncontroversial. I will set out my findings in relation to the elements of the offence of CBT first, leaving aside the issue of the mens rea of dishonesty. I will then focus primarily on the extent of the accused persons’ knowledge and involvement in the plans to use funds belonging to CHC for the Crossover Project (“the Crossover”) and on whether their conduct in the circumstances shows that they had acted with dishonest intent.

Criminal breach of trust – elements

3 In relation to the elements of the offence of criminal breach of trust by an agent, leaving aside the mens rea element, I shall state my conclusions briefly. First, I am satisfied that Kong Hee, Tan Ye Peng (“Ye Peng”) and John Lam Leng Hung (“John Lam”) were, as members of CHC’s management board, each entrusted with dominion over CHC’s funds, whether in the Building Fund (“BF”) or the General Fund. Second, I am bound to hold that they were entrusted with such dominion in the way of their business as agents because, being board members, they were so entrusted in their capacities as agents of CHC. Third, I am satisfied that the various plans to use CHC’s funds amounted to putting these funds to unauthorised or wrong use.

“Wrong use” of CHC’s funds

4 The BF was a restricted fund that could be used only for building-related expenses or investments for financial return. I find that the Xtron and Firna bonds were not genuine investments but were a wrong use of the BF. I find also that Tranches 10 and 11 of the Special Opportunities Fund (“SOF”) were not genuine investments but were transactions designed to create the appearance that the Firna bonds had been redeemed. I find, finally, that the payment under the Advance Rental Licence Agreement (“ARLA”) was not abuilding-related expense but was a transaction designed to perpetuate the appearance that the Firna bonds had been redeemed. They were therefore all wrong uses of CHC’s funds.

5 I turn next to the accused persons’ involvement and knowledge in the various plans to use CHC’s funds.

Funding the Crossover – being discreet

6 The accused persons understood that Kong Hee’s preference to be discreet about the funding for the Crossover was for the sake of ensuring the success of the Crossover, but being discreet was also synonymous with non-disclosure and mis-statements. Kong Hee had explained that it was his preference to avoid disclosure of CHC’s involvement in Xtron to avoid any misconception that Sun Ho’s secular music career was “not real” and that CHC was (still) using its money to promote her career. But in relation to both aspects, the evidence shows that it was true that her perceived success was inflated from rather more modest levels and Xtron and the Crossover team had to rely heavily on sponsorship from CHC members or supporters to help prop up her album sales and promote her career. When these sources of financial support which did not directly flow from CHC were insufficient, they had to come up with other means.

Xtron bonds

7 Xtron was CHC’s special purpose vehicle for the Crossover, and for this purpose Xtron was clearly under CHC’s control and not independent. The plan formulated in 2007 was that CHC’s funds, specifically funds from the BF, would be channelled through Xtron to be used for the Crossover, and the use of the funds was controlled entirely by Kong Hee and his team. In truth, this was analogous to an elaborate extension of a pattern of financial assistance via “sponsorship”, lending or prepayment to Xtron that had already either been taking place or been contemplated prior to 2007. These were seen as short-term measures to put Xtron in funds and support the Crossover. The mindset was thus that the Xtron bond issues were only yet another “temporary plan” albeit one which involved borrowing from CHC’s BF, and hoping that the funds would somehow find their way back to CHC at some unspecified future point.

8 Kong Hee, Ye Peng, Chew Eng Han (“Eng Han”) and Serina Wee (“Serina”) each clearly played a substantial role in conceiving and executing this plan to channel CHC’s BF through Xtron for the Crossover. John Lam’s role was evidently less substantial, but I am satisfied that he had his own part to play as a board member and investment committee member. All of them knew that the BF was a restricted fund to be used only for specific purposes. They claim that they believed the Xtron bonds were genuine investments. They believed the Xtron bonds would bring CHC financial return. But on my evaluation of the evidence I consider that the prosecution has proved beyond a reasonable doubt that they did not hold that belief.

9 I find that the accused persons were planning on the basis of Sun Ho’s planned US Crossover album being realistically capable of generating sales of

only 200,000 units, and although their projections showed that the bonds could not be redeemed by the maturity date, they were unconcerned since Eng Han assured them that the maturity date for the bonds could always be extended or fresh bonds could be issued. I am unconvinced that they could have had a genuine belief in Sun Ho’s prospects of success for the US Crossover given their consciousness that much of her earlier success was contrived and contributed to by CHC itself. Serina readily conceded that Sun Ho’s Asian Crossover albums all made losses and Xtron had thus incurred substantial accumulated net losses. Kong Hee, Ye Peng, Eng Han and John Lam also knew that CHC was involved in propping up her Mandarin album sales. I am unable to see how there can be any genuine or honest grounds for their claims that they expected far higher sales for her planned US album well in excess of the projection of 200,000 units. This was no more than an optimistic hope. It was definitely not a realistic expectation. All this strongly militates against their claims that the Xtron bonds were motivated by the realistic prospect of financial return and were genuine investments.

10 Further, the accused persons were all involved in making plans to put Xtron in funds to redeem the bonds. They knew that these plans would involve CHC paying money to Xtron under the guise of legitimate transactions, when in fact the real concern was Xtron’s cashflow difficulties and the purported transactions were mere excuses for CHC to channel money to Xtron. Thus they knew that there was a strong possibility that the apparent financial return under the Xtron bonds would come from CHC itself. This knowledge further undermines their claim that they believed the Xtron bonds were a genuine investment.

11 In addition, the accused persons hid or obscured material information from others. Eng Han and John Lam kept the truth about the Xtron bonds from Charlie Lay. All of them at various times gave the auditors the impression that CHC and Xtron were independent of each other, when they knew that Kong Hee in fact made all decisions on Xtron’s behalf in relation to the Crossover without reference to the Xtron directors, who were mere figureheads. The auditors were not told that Xtron was in fact controlled by Kong Hee and Ye Peng and that they together with their co-accused would exercise control over the use of the bond proceeds. There is no doubt that they knew that they had something to hide.

12 In all the circumstances, I am satisfied that the accused persons knew that the Xtron bonds were conceived first and foremost to support the Crossover and not for financial return. The prospect of any financial return was a secondary consideration at best and even then I do not accept that they genuinely believed that the sale of Sun Ho’s music albums would generate sufficient profit for CHC to enjoy financial return. They knew that any financial return to CHC might be illusory in the sense that it was CHC’s own money that might need to be channelled to Xtron to redeem the bonds. Given their knowledge, I cannot accept their claims that they believed the Xtron bonds were a genuine investment. Accordingly, they caused CHC to subscribe to $13 million in Xtron bonds knowing that they were not legally entitled to do so. Thus they acted dishonestly, and I find that the first and second charges have been made out against John Lam, Kong Hee, Eng Han, Ye Peng and Serina.

Firna bonds

13 In respect of the Firna bonds, the accused persons all knew that the primary purpose of the bonds was also to channel money from CHC’s BF to the Crossover. Kong Hee, Ye Peng, Eng Han and Serina knew that they, and not Wahju, were the ones controlling the Firna bond proceeds and deciding how the proceeds should be applied towards the Crossover. Yet they took the inaccurate position that Wahju was somehow “independently” supporting the Crossover using his “personal monies”, and this was what they told the auditors and lawyers. They knew that the financial return under the Firna bonds would not come from the profits of Firna’s glass factory business but depended entirely on the success of the Crossover. If the revenue from Sun Ho’s albums was not adequate, they would find alternative sources of funds for Firna, and that might include channelling CHC’s own money into Firna through various means. Given this knowledge, I do not think Kong Hee, Eng Han, Ye Peng and Serina could have believed that the Firna bonds would generate financial return for CHC, and so they could not have believed that the bonds were a genuine investment.

14 John Lam was further removed from the Firna bonds than the other accused persons. But he signed the “secret letter” that secured the signature of Wahju’s father-in-law on the Firna BSA. I am satisfied that he knew that the prospect of financial return for CHC did not depend on the success of Firna’s glass factory business. He knew that it was a very real possibility that the Crossover would not be profitable. Thus I find that he too did not believe that the Firna bonds would generate financial return for CHC, meaning that he did not think the bonds were a genuine investment.

15 Therefore, in causing CHC to subscribe to $11 million in Firna bonds, the accused persons knew that they were not legally entitled to do so. They thus acted dishonestly. As such, I find that the third charge has been made out against John Lam, Kong Hee, Eng Han, Ye Peng and Serina.

16 At the centre of the first to third charges is how the BF came to be applied for the Crossover when it was a restricted fund for specific purposes – either for building or investment. In my judgment, the Crossover was not one of these purposes. It was not an investment since by their own characterisation, it was meant to serve a “missions” purpose all along. I am not convinced that there was any “mixed motive”, “dual purpose” or “hybrid” intent behind the use of the BF. These are creative labels tacked on in an attempt to strain and stretch the plain meaning of the word “investment”. They were plainly fabricated in an attempt to justify their past conduct and misuse of the BF. I do not see how they can be said to have acted in good faith in relation to the charges they face.

17 The accused persons have of course pointed to the fact that the money did come back to CHC with interest. However, this is patently due to their efforts to put Xtron, Firna and AMAC in funds to facilitate these repayments through the round-tripping transactions. It does not confirm that there was any actual intention at the outset to invest for the purpose of maximising returns. What is more telling is that it was consistently represented to CHC’s Executive Members that investing the BF in this fashion was meant to maximise returns. There was no mention at all that the investment was in the Crossover, let alone that it was for “spiritual returns” or for both spiritual and financial return from the Crossover. The failure to mention those facts buttresses my conclusion that the accused persons knew that they were not legally entitled to cause CHC to enter into the Xtron and Firna bonds.

Round-tripping and falsification of accounts

18 As revealed by the evidence adduced at trial, there was never any financial “return” derived from any of Xtron’s and Firna’s Crossover-related activities. Instead, when the time came to deal with the auditors’ queries and to address Sim Guan Seng’s concerns, they resorted to removing more funds from the BF and also the General Fund under the pretext of making further “investments” into Tranches 10 and 11 of the SOF and purportedly for a building purchase by Xtron through the ARLA. The round-tripping transactions were crafted to create the appearance that these were genuine transactions involving the redemption of bonds when they were not. They were not genuine transactions because the accused persons controlled these transactions every step of the way, and the substance of it was that CHC was channelling money through various conduits in order to pay itself.

19 Given that Ye Peng, Eng Han, Serina and Sharon Tan (“Sharon”) were fully aware of the whole series of transactions, they could not have believed that Tranches 10 and 11 of the SOF were genuine investments, or that the payment under ARLA was a building-related expense. They say that they viewed all this as “restructuring”, but that to my mind is fundamentally inconsistent with a belief that the transactions were genuine investments or building-related expenses, and this inability to provide a coherent explanation for their conduct strongly suggests that they knew they were not legally entitled to cause CHC to enter into these transactions. They may have apprised the CHC board of an earlier version of the transactions, but they kept that knowledge from the lawyers and the auditors. Taking into account all the circumstances, I am satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the fourth to sixth charges have been made out against them.

20 I am also satisfied that there was falsification of CHC’s accounts following from the attempts to disguise the SOF and ARLA transactions as genuine transactions. In relation to the ninth charge, the accounting entry recording a redemption of Xtron bonds in the form of a set-off against advance rental was false, because it was not a case of CHC and Xtron making independent decisions to pay advance rental on one hand and redeem bonds on the other. I find that the accused persons knew that false accounting entries would have to be made pursuant to their plan to create the appearance of redemption of bonds, and hence I find that they each had intent to defraud. I am therefore satisfied that the seventh to tenth charges have been made out against Ye Peng, Eng Han, Serina and Sharon.

Objective evidence and inferences

21 I note that there was an extensive record which comprised an elaborate patchwork of emails, Blackberry messages, phone SMSs, hard copy documents and numerous other documented exchanges in some form or other. The fact that there was a mass of available evidence which when woven together amounted to a paper trail is not necessarily indicative of innocence. In my view insofar as much of it was incriminating, it is more suggestive of a mindset of presumptuousness or boldness, demonstrating that the accused persons were overconfident in their belief that they could replace the funds in time before suspicions were aroused.

22 The case against the accused persons depended heavily on inferences to be drawn from the objective evidence. Much of these inferences can be readily drawn as the tenor and language in the communications adduced at trial strongly point to their dishonest intent. In short, the documentary evidence goes a long way in demonstrating their subjectively guilty knowledge. I am not convinced that they have raised any reasonable doubt in this regard.

23 I find that the accused persons were variously inextricably entangled in two conspiracies to misuse CHC’s funds. One conspiracy consisted of misusing BF monies for the Crossover, and the other involved misusing CHC’s funds, a substantial portion of which comprised BF monies, to create the appearance of bond redemptions and to defraud the auditors via falsified accounts through the various roles they played. Each of them participated and functioned in their own way as crucial cogs in the machinery. Although there are distinctions in their respective levels of knowledge and participation, I am unable to discern any rational basis to exclude any of them from being implicated and characterised as conspirators.

Beliefs, motives and mindsets

24 Much of the defence centred on the beliefs and motivations of the accused persons. If it can be shown that they genuinely, honestly and reasonably held the view that what they were doing was legitimate in the sense that they were legally entitled to do it, and they went ahead to act in good faith as a result, I think there may well be room for doubt as to whether they had acted dishonestly. The weight of the evidence however points to a finding that they knew they were acting dishonestly and I am unable to conclude otherwise.

25 Where professional advice was sought, this was really mainly an attempt to seek out self-supporting confirmatory advice based on selectively-
disclosed information. They omitted mention of the crucial fact that CHC remained in control of Xtron and would correspondingly control the use of the funds. They provided leading questions for belief confirmation and support from only those advisors whom they trusted to support the Crossover vision and were quick to reject or filter out any disconfirming information.

26 The accused persons chose to support the Crossover vision and to act and participate in acts in support of it. The Crossover became a comprehensive logic for justifying their beliefs and actions, and for doing whatever was expedient for its advancement. The pervasive mindset seemed to be one of short-term expediency; the use of means involving dubious methods was worth the risk to them if there was some hope of longer-term gain.

Conclusion

27 In their defence, all the accused persons testified largely to the same effect: they love CHC and would not have wished to do harm to CHC. They never intended to cause loss to CHC. They consulted and cleared their proposals with their lawyers, the auditors and the CHC Board. They were motivated by CHC’s cultural mandate and they believed in the Crossover vision. They pointed to pure motives and a justifiable purpose in the use of CHC’s funds. Ultimately the funds which were removed were for Church purposes and were returned to CHC.

28 The crux of their defence was that there was no conspiracy and no dishonesty. All six would never intend to cause harm or loss to CHC and the ultimate objectives were in furtherance of the Great Commission. It may be arguable that all of them thought they were not acting dishonestly to cause wrongful loss since no permanent loss was intended, but this was premised on their unquestioning trust and belief in Kong Hee and their confidence that the Crossover would succeed. Thus they convinced themselves that it was both morally and legally permissible to temporarily use the money from CHC’s funds when they knew it was not.

29 The accused persons chose to engage in covert operations and conspiratorial cover-ups. They contrived to create cover stories and clever round-trips concealing their unlawful conduct. They chose to participate in the conspiracy to misuse CHC’s funds, which included siphoning off large amounts from the BF for Sun Ho’s music career and eventually for the round-tripping transactions to enable the bond redemptions. They chose to defraud the auditors with falsified accounts suggesting a series of genuine transactions for the redemption of bonds and advance rental. The evidence points overwhelmingly to a finding that they had all acted dishonestly and in breach of the trust reposed in them and they played their respective roles in a conspiracy with intent to cause wrongful loss to CHC and to defraud the auditors.

30 I am therefore satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that the six accused persons are guilty of all the charges that have been brought against them. I note that all of them believed that they had acted in what they considered to be the best interests of CHC. There is no evidence of any wrongful gain – that was never the prosecution’s case in any event as the charges were premised on wrongful loss caused to CHC through the misappropriation of CHC’s funds.

31 I consider that John Lam, Eng Han, Serina and Sharon were all acting in accordance with the instructions of people they considered to be their spiritual leaders deserving of their trust and deference, and Ye Peng, although a leader in his own right, similarly trusted completely the leadership of Kong Hee. But no matter how pure the motive or how ingrained the trust in one’s leaders, regardless of the context in which that trust operates, these do not exonerate an accused person from criminal liability if all the elements of an offence are made out. In my judgment all the elements of the relevant offences have indeed been made out. Accordingly, the accused persons stand convicted as follows:

(a) John Lam is convicted on the first to third charges;

(b) Kong Hee is convicted on the first to third charges;

(c) Sharon is convicted on the fourth to tenth charges;

(d) Eng Han is convicted on the first to tenth charges;

(e) Ye Peng is convicted on the first to tenth charges; and

(f) Serina is convicted on the first to tenth charges.

Source: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3A-00dAvijTNXAyaGEyLUtZdW8/view?pli=1. (Accessed 23/10/2015.)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Singapore church leaders (Kong Hee) convicted of fraud in pop music venture

City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee (right) and his wife Sun Ho arrive at the State Courts in Singapore. – Reuters pic, October 21, 2015.

Six religious leaders in Singapore who used US$36 million (RM154 million) in church funds in a failed bid to turn the pastor's glamorous wife into a global pop star were convicted on Wednesday of fraud.

After a two-year trial that captivated Singapore with tales of lavish spending and financial deceit, pastor Kong Hee and five aides were found guilty of diverting Sg$24 million (RM74 million) to finance his wife Sun Ho's music career, which was portrayed as a religious mission.

The six were also found guilty of misappropriating another Sg$26 million from City Harvest Church to cover their tracks, prosecutors said.

Ho, who starred in a music video with rapper Wyclef Jean, was not charged.

The church said Ho's music could be used to attract followers to the sect.

On Wednesday, Judge See Kee Oon found the accused guilty of criminal breach of trust or falsification of accounts, or both.

The maximum penalty for criminal breach of trust, which all six were convicted of, is life imprisonment, according to the penal code.

The six were granted bail before their sentencing date, which has not yet been set.

The glamorous couple fell from grace after the leaders were charged in 2013 and the court was told how church funds were spent on music videos, marketing and a luxurious lifestyle.

Prosecutors said Kong and his subordinates engaged in a practice called "round-tripping" by channelling money allotted for a church building fund into sham bonds in linked companies so they could finance Ho's music career.

They falsified church accounts to make it appear the bonds were redeemed, prosecutors say. – AFP, October 21, 2015.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

WHEN DOES TOLERANCE BECOME COMPROMISE?

By Dr Lim Poh Ann (Porridge for the Soul)

Tolerance is often regarded as a positive trait. Sometimes we think that maturity means we must always be tolerant—even to the extent of condoning false teaching.

But that is not the stance adopted by apostles Paul, Peter and John. They made sure they took a strong stand against destructive heresies (2 Timothy 4:1-4; 2 Peter 2:1; 1 John 4:1).

Love alone without truth is compromise. http://bit.ly/1f0RuXH

"The early Christians condemned false doctrine in a way that sounds almost unchristian today." -Vance Havner

We must be careful, however, not to be overly dogmatic on relatively minor issues such as the method of baptismwhether it is by sprinkling or immersion.  **

Truth is not just about morality—integrity in thought, word and action. The oft neglected aspect of truth is doctrine, to which we must hold fast.

                                                                   
“Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:20-22).

Contending against false doctrine (heresies) will stop believers from slipping down the path of destruction and damnation (2 Peter 2:1).

Fighting the good fight of faith is not just about keeping our personal faith and finishing the race.http://bit.ly/1deSgkU

It is also about contending for the faith, keeping believers safe from enticing words of man’s wisdom that delude many and send them to destruction. http://bit.ly/1g2CpED

                                                                    
Preaching the truth, the Word of God, irrespective of the season, is of paramount importance. The flock needs to be fed the solid Word, especially when there is false teaching (heresy) that is so enticing; it tickles and soothes “itching ears”. People are naturally drawn away from truth to distorted versions of truth (lies) because the latter give them the “feel good” feeling.  There is a great need not only to teach and encourage (positive) but also to correct and rebuke (negative).


                                                                         
The success of any minister lies not only in his ability to impact lives when he is around. He must be able to pass the baton to chosen ones so that lives continue to be impacted when he is no longer around. “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others” (2 Timothy 2:2).

Before he left the elders of the church at Ephesus to go to Jerusalem, Paul shared with them a poignant farewell message:

“So guard yourselves and God’s people. Feed and shepherd God’s flock—his church, purchased with his own blood—over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as elders.  I know that false teachers, like vicious wolves, will come in among you after I leave, not sparing the flock. Even some men from your own group will rise up and distort the truth in order to draw a following.”http://bit.ly/1fX66ru

“And now I entrust you to God and the message of his grace that is able to build you up and give you an inheritance with all those he has set apart for himself.”
(Acts 20: 28-30, 32).

It is imperative for leaders to confront false teaching during these perilous end times. If they can identify with Paul the seriousness of the task they have been entrusted withto feed the flock with solid teaching from the whole Word of God (Acts 20:27) as well as to correct and rebuke heresy (2 Timothy 4:2)then people will not be so easily led astray from the faith. 

So when does tolerance become compromise?

When we fail to teach sound doctrine and stand up for truth.


"I do not believe in the weak tolerance that we hear preached so often now, the idea that Jesus must tolerate everyone and that the Christian must tolerate every kind of doctrine. When we become so tolerant that we lead people into mental fog and spiritual darkness we are not acting like Christians, we are acting like cowards!" -- A. W. Tozer : Faith Beyond Reason

FALSE DOCTRINES IDENTIFIED

1. DID JESUS SET ASIDE HIS DIVINITY?
A prominent leader, Bill Johnson, teaches that Jesus operated only as a man and not God during His earthly ministry. But did Jesus set aside His divinity while He was on earth?

2. WILL TRUE GRACE PLEASE STAND UP?

False grace exposed.

RELATED POSTS
EIGHT WAYS TO FIGHT FALSE TEACHING
UNITY versus TRUTH

CULTIVATING A SHEPHERD’S HEART

FINISHING WELL

PARTING WORDS
What was the main thrust of Paul’s farewell message to the church at Ephesus and his last words to young Timothy?
http://bit.ly/KU9clI


  **    FOOTNOTES:
SCHISMS: DISAGREEING ON MINOR TRUTHS
"People who were agreed about the centralities of the faith dividing and separating from one another over matters that were not essential to salvation, not absolutely vital. This is always one of the dangers afflicting us as evangelicals. We can be so rigid, so over-strict, and so narrow that we become guilty of schism."

Do Not Burn for Ministry by Susan Tang

STATION OF LIFE

Latest update from Pastor Susan Tang

Especially at a time like this – oh, how we need to get into the spirit of prayers and pleadings, how we need to have the Father Himself pour upon us the spirit of supplication from above. ( Zech 12:10)  Do not burn for ministry (that’s why people burn out) but burn for God. As you  burn for Him, He will  take you into a lot of places you do not want to go and also do a lot of things you do not want to do;  but as you submit to Him and go and do them as obeying Him,  there will be a  great sense of  fulfillment and joy. Joy and fulfillment is always  the  by product of obedience.

 That’s what Jesus meant when He said that His meat is to do the will of God. Meat is satisfying and it ‘substantiate’ our diet. Doing  God’s will, will indeed  ‘substantiate’  and  satisfy us. Remember Jesus  told  Peter  that when he (Peter) matured in the Lord, Peter will have to stretch out his hand and  be led ‘by another’  to do the things he did not want to do. Have you learned to be led ‘by another?’  The  ‘another’  is the Lord Himself  who come to test our spiritual  maturity by leading us into places  we do not want to go and doing the things which we do not like to do Like Peter, we must learn to submit..............

The quiet labor of prayers, of  watching and ministering to God had yielded much fruits, both in the church and school. The Lord had also  directed me to write two very timely books on the end times entitled,  “LIVING BETWEEN THE SEALS”  AND “MIDNIGHT PRAYERS.”  This book “ LIVING BETWEEN THE SEALS” had already been translated in India into  Tamil. Persecutions of  Christians in India  had been very  intense lately and God’s timing to have this book printed in Tamil is just  perfect.



Many had turned up for the training of WATCHMEN AND INTERCESSORS  in the first week since we initiated the training about two and a half years ago, but many did not  stay back for the follow up teaching of THE DEALINGS OF GOD AND INNER HEALING AND DELIVERANCE in the second week of school. Honestly, you  have almost missed the ‘CRUX’  of the school ! The lessons of the first week is merely to prepare you for the SECOND WEEK OF MORE INTENSE DEALINGS AND TEACHINGS FROM GOD  AND IN - DEPTH MINISTRY.

If we want to operate as priests, watchmen or intercessors, we have to know what are the dealings of God in our lives; we have to  be healed of deep inner hurts and come free of unclean spirits and familiar demons from the ancestry line.  The main  reason why people cannot prevail  in the presence of God,  cannot  understand the scriptures they read, cannot  hear from God is because of they have not been dislodged of such spirits. Many intercessors and watchmen hear from familiar spirits and have weird manifestations and leadings because they have not been thoroughly cleansed. I have seen many intercessors bring damage to individuals, churches and ministries because they mistook the spirit of clairvoyance  for the voice of the Holy Spirit. It is dangerous to build any  intercessory ministry when we have no corporate body to pray with us, or  have nobody to pray for us or when we become unaccountable to anyone.

Ministry of INNER HEALING AND DELIVERANCE is done very differently in the school – this is why crowds are not accepted – we minister as we teach. Deliverance and inner healing OCCURRED AND IS ACTIVELY WORKED INTO THE STUDENTS DURING CLASS TIME by the sharp word of God, who ‘discover’ sins and administer healing. The anointing is strong as we seek God corporately. Often, when a rebuke is given in general, spirits will surface as the Spirit of God moved actively in the anointed surroundings. God declared that “the anointing breaks the yoke,” and it happens here often in the classroom. The testimonies from pastors and lay leaders had been overwhelming. They had told us to keep their stories confidential, so we honor their requests and did not put in their testimonies.

Do not forget, as you apply for the 1st week of SOL WATCHMAN,   consider  the 2nd week too. Actually, the 1st week  of  the school is basically for the alumni and for those who could not take leave. To set aside two weeks for the change of a lifetime is SO LITTLE!  Many alumni return because  they want deeper impact. Beyond my wildest dream, God had truly turned this insignificant insecure town into the safest place,   by transforming it into the  ‘ ENHAKKORE’  or  “Spring of the Caller”  of  Judges 15:19.  Many who are thirsty,( nigh to death like Samson,) had come to  drink and be refreshed again to serve,( like Samson) for another twenty years! See you at the school!
Susan Tang

Monday, June 22, 2015

GRACE AND HYPER-GRACE IN A NUTSHELL by Dr Lim Poh Ann


The basics about grace and hyper-grace.


As Christians, we are saved by God’s grace, not by our good works, and stay on in this journey of faith because of His grace.

Like the penitent tax collector, we constantly need God’s grace and mercy (Luke 18:9-14). *

In fact, we need lots of His grace and mercy.

The poet Robert Frost penned that “all you really want in the end is mercy.” I think he was spot on there with this one-liner.

As we look at our own lives, weigh our brownie points against our sin, we will definitely conclude that a fair judgment on God’s part at the end of our lives here on earth would be this—‘guilty’.

For we have all sinned and fall short of God’s standards. If not for God’s mercy, where will we be?

Grace is about getting what we don't deserve; mercy is about not getting what we deserve. 

Yes, there is nothing wrong with a teaching that emphasizes grace provided …

it (grace) leads to transformed lives.

it (grace) is not misused as a licence for sinning.

personal responsibility is being emphasized to the same degree as grace.

Most of us are familiar with the account of the woman caught in the act of adultery (John 8:3-11). The crowd gathered around her and wanted to stone her.

But Jesus said, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”

Finally, when the crowd dispersed, Jesus asked her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”

She said, “No one, Lord.”

And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

This short account has deep theological implications. The recipient of God’s love and mercy ought to show evidence of change in thought and behavior. In other words, the sinner has to repent.

We tend to emphasize God’s love and mercy towards sinners. The need for sinners to bear fruits that befit repentance—personal responsibility—is often not emphasized to the same degree.


Like all good things, grace can be abused.

Human nature is such that we want to emphasize what God's grace can do for us and downplay what we need to do on our part.

We all love a God whose image fits our expectation of a benevolent being. We prefer preachers who portray God as loving and forgiving, patient with our sins and deficiencies—rather than those who dwell on judgment.    

The respected theologian A. W. Tozer says: "Much of our difficulty as seeking Christians stems from our unwillingness to take God as He is and adjust our lives accordingly. We insist on trying to modify Him and bring Him nearer to our own image.”

As long as our perception of God is coloured by personal preferences, our concept of grace will be distorted.  http://bit.ly/1bJcfJo

Varying emphasis on the role of grace in the lives of believers has caused Christians from different camps to hold divergent views on the issue of grace.

The camp that overemphasizes grace—hyper-grace—states (in blue) that:

The truth is you are saved by grace and you are kept by grace. It’s grace from start to finish! Don’t let anyone frighten you into doing dead works, but rest secure in His finished work. Just as you did nothing to earn salvation, there is nothing you can do to lose it.

God has already forgiven all the future sins of believers and, as such, we should put the ‘sin issue’ behind us and banish ‘sin consciousness’ from our lives. So we no longer need to confess our sins. When God looks at us, all He is going to see is Christ’s blood, not our sins whether it is past, present or future. We merely rest in the "imputed righteousness of Christ".

More: http://www.gotquestions.org/hyper-grace.html

While all believers need God’s grace, some believe that hyper-grace can be dangerous. 

Satan rejoices when believers rest in a false sense of security that all is well, that all their sins have been dealt with once and for all at the point of conversion—that they can therefore afford to banish sin consciousness in their lives. 

This condition reminds me of the frog which finds great delight sitting in a basin of warm water. Finally, when water temperature reaches boiling point, it is too late to jump out of the water.

"Faith is good only when it engages truth; when it is made to rest upon falsehood it can and often does lead to eternal tragedy."  – A. W. Tozer.

The following are some posts that shed light on grace and hyper-grace using references from the whole Bible.

THE FIVE FACES OF GRACE 
Grace is much more than God’s unmerited favour towards sinners. There is grace that sustains, grace that empowers and more …


FIVE MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GRACE  


GRACE: CAN WE HAVE TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING?


WHAT IF A BELIEVER SINS REPEATEDLY? 


ONCE SAVED, FOREVER SAVED?


IS REPENTANCE MERELY CHANGING ONE’S MIND?


ARE OUR FUTURE SINS FORGIVEN AT CONVERSION?


DOES GRACE MAKE THE LAW OBSOLETE?


SHOULD WE GET RID OF SIN CONSCIOUSNESS?


ARE GOOD WORKS UNNECESSARY WHEN WE EMBRACE GOD’S GRACE?http://bit.ly/GXjZKb

NO NEED TO CONFESS SIN?