Thursday, May 4, 2017

5 Reasons The “Prosperity Gospel” Is Actually A Non-Christian Religion

April 28, 2017 by Dr. Benjamin L. Corey

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Does being a good and faithful Christian result in good health, a long life, having an abundance of possessions, and material wealth?

That’s the subtle/not so subtle belief of a brand of Christianity that’s often called the “prosperity gospel.”

There is a growing number of Christians who believe that– a shocking amount, actually. And not just in the United States, either– this is a growing belief around the world. I think this is happening in large part because charismatic Christianity is the fastest growing brand of Christianity in many places, and the prosperity gospel is something that seems to have infected charismatic circles more than others.

While I believe we as Christians ought be careful about declaring who is in and who is out (I feel the wrath of the heretic hunters, so I know what that’s like), when it comes to this belief system that associates being a good Christian with materialism, health, and wealth, we cannot be silent or tip-toe over words: the prosperity gospel is completely outside the Christian religion. It’s not Christianity, period.

Here’s 5 reasons why:

 5. The prosperity gospel encourages us to be money focused instead of people focused.
Within the prosperity movement, the ultimate goal is how to get from here (lack of material wealth) to there (an abundance of material wealth).

This places the ultimate focus of this religion on materialism– but that’s not what Christianity is focused on.

Christianity is a religion that is focused on other people– how to love other people, how to disciple other people in the ways of Jesus, and how to be the tangible agent of God in the lives of others. Nothing about true Christianity is about self– in fact, Jesus said to become a Christian you actually had to die to self.

4. The prosperity gospel promotes a performance based religion.
Christianity is not a religion about performance, but the prosperity gospel is all about performance.
The prosperity gospel teaches that if you do X, Y, and Z (one of them usually involves sending money into a guy on TV) that you will get more in return (a concept they call “sowing”). This paradigm sees God’s favor as something you earn by doing, instead of something you receive freely by God’s grace alone.

In fact, Jesus blew this concept out of the water when he described God’s love and favor as being like the rain which falls upon those who do good and those who do evil. He even went on to say that God is actually kind to the wicked.

But instead of seeing God’s love and blessing as something freely given through his grace, the prosperity gospel associates God’s favor with right behavior, and interprets hard times as God holding back his favor. But according to the Bible, none of that is true.

3. The prosperity gospel promotes one of the most frequently condemned sins in Scripture: greed.

The prosperity gospel is a gospel of more, and that completely stands against what Christianity is about.

One of the most frequently condemned sins in scripture is that of greed, even going so far as to say that greed is idolatry. In fact, the apostle Paul found greed to be such a repulsive form of idolatry that he commanded Christians to refuse to even share meals with someone who claimed to be Christian, but was greedy.

Instead, the Christian message is one of learning to be content with what you have. In the 10 Commandments we’re taught to not “covet” which is the same as saying, “thou shalt be content with what you have.” Again, Paul talks about this and recognizes that life will have cycles where you have plenty, and cycles where you don’t have enough, but that what God wants for us in all those places is to be content with what we have.

Bottom line: if you have what you need, but still want more– especially while others go without– you are greedy, and this sin is biblically considered wickedness, even if modern society (and Americanized Christianity) excuses it.

2. The prosperity gospel promotes elitism among the body of Christ.
One of the central beliefs of Christianity is that we are all on an equal playing field in God’s eyes. We are all created in the image of God and have unsurpassable worth, so much so that Jesus died for us. For those of us who are Christians, the Bible says we are all part of “one body” and that we are equal. However, the prosperity gospel has a way of creating an elite status of Christians– because if you’re really rich, it must be because you’re doing it better than everyone else.

Case in point: a few years ago prosperity preachers Kenneth Copeland and Jesse Duplantis argued that they needed to fly in private jets because flying commercial on an airline was like getting in a “long tube with a bunch of demons.” They also lamented how annoying it would be for people to come up to them and ask for prayer… thus, they “need” to fly in private jets.

This kind of disgusting elitism is not just outside of Christianity, it’s opposed to Christianity. It in no way reflects the homeless Jesus who hung out with the worst of sinners.

1. The prosperity gospel perverts God’s purpose in material blessing.
Can or does God bless with material excess? Certainly! The Bible says that every good and perfect gift we receive comes from God. But the prosperity gospel forgets that, in occasions where God blesses someone with financial or material excess, that blessing comes with a specific purpose: to bless others.

When God gives us more than what we need, he does so in the hopes that we will honor him by sharing it with others who don’t have enough. The early church in the book of Acts actually founded the earliest Christian community on this premise– when they had more than needed, they shared their wealth so that there were “no poor among them.”

The idea that God gives some people more than what they need so that they can enjoy the high-life of luxury while people around them die of hunger and illness, is a disgusting perversion of the actual Gospel.

There’s plenty of things that are killing the church today, but one of the biggest things killing the church is the rise of a false, anti-Christ religion that so many people mistakenly believe is part of Christianity.

Let me be blunt: the prosperity gospel and those who preach it are not part of the Christian religion. They just made up their own religion of materialism and are falsely calling it “Christian.”

Link: patheous

Saturday, April 15, 2017

City Harvest appeal: Ruling may have serious implications on corruption cases, says Shanmugam

Court's decision to cut jail terms could have impact on other corruption cases

NEED TO TAKE TOUGH STANCE
From the Government's point of view, this legal reasoning has serious implications in other cases, including corruption cases, (and) our zero-tolerance approach for the future and we will have to consider as a matter of policy what other steps to take because we cannot relax our stand on that... We will have to make sure that the position is as strict as we have always maintained it. So I've asked AGC to advise whether we need to do anything.
LAW MINISTER K. SHANMUGAM, on the appeal verdict's serious implications. City Harvest Appeal

The Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) is considering if it can take further steps in the City Harvest Church case, given that the decision to cut the jail terms of the six convicted could have serious implications for corruption cases, said Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam yesterday.

"We will have to consider as a matter of policy what other steps to take because we cannot relax our stand on that," he said, referring to Singapore's zero-tolerance towards corruption.

A day earlier, all six church leaders in the largest case of misuse of charitable funds in Singapore's history had their sentences slashed by a three-judge panel in the High Court, despite the prosecution's appeal for longer jail terms.

Their original jail terms, ranging from 21 months to eight years, were cut, in some cases by over half. The 52-year-old church founder Kong Hee, for instance, had his eight-year term cut to 31/2 years, while former fund manager Chew Eng Han, 56, had his six years reduced to three years and four months.

A critical reason for the High Court's decision was the ruling that directors are not agents under the more serious Section 409 of the Penal Code dealing with criminal breach of trust. The bench majority replaced the offence with basic criminal breach of trust, resulting in lighter sentences.

Referring to this legal point, Mr Shanmugam said it has serious implications for other cases, including corruption cases in which company directors are taking bribes.

But he sounded a note of caution, saying people can disagree with the court but they should be careful about "casting improper ulterior motives" on the judgments.

"The reasoning is there, they set it out, we agree, disagree, and from a Government point of view, if we disagree, then we always consider what we do. If necessary, we legislate through Parliament," he added.

In November 2015, the church leaders were found guilty of channelling $24 million in church funds into sham bonds in music production company Xtron and glass- maker Firna, then using another $26 million to cover up the misdeed.

The church had said the money was used to fund the singing career of Kong's wife, Ms Ho Yeow Sun, as part of what it described as a church mission to evangelise through her music.

All six appealed against their convictions and sentences, while the AGC appealed against the sentences for being too low. Mr Shanmugam said the Government agreed with the AGC's push for longer jail terms.

Referring to the four judges - three High Court judges and one State Court judge - who heard the case in total, Mr Shanmugam said two judges had thought "either the sentences should be as they are or higher". Justice Chan Seng Onn, in differing from Judge of Appeal Chao Hick Tin and Justice Woo Bih Li, had said in his dissenting judgment that there were elements of benefit to Kong and his wife, and also permanent financial loss to the church.

The appeal judgment had commented on how the prosecution had not focused on whether any third parties had reaped gains from the church leaders' actions, even though this may have been suggested in the charges.

This point was not raised in the prosecution's written submissions for the appeal or at the trial.

As a result, the court had approached the sentencing in this case "as one without any element of wrongful gain or personal financial benefit, either direct or indirect", said the oral judgment.

Mr Shanmugam said he has "noted the court's comments on the way the matter was handled by the prosecution", and has asked Attorney-General Lucien Wong and his deputies to look into the matter.

Association of Criminal Lawyers of Singapore president Sunil Sudheesan told The Sunday Times the AGC could go to the Court of Appeal "to clarify section 409 once and for all". This must be done within a month of the High Court's decision.

Lawyer Lau Kah Hee said if the apex court takes a different view on the legal question, it could then decide on suitable sentences or send the case back for resentencing.

City Harvest verdict: AGC to take case to Court of Appeal

SINGAPORE - The Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) said on Monday (April 10) that it will be taking the case involving the misappropriation of millions in City Harvest Church (CHC) funds to the Court of Appeal on questions of law.

Church founder Kong Hee, 52, and five other leaders had their sentences slashed last Friday after a three-judge High Court panel reduced their convictions for criminal breach of trust (CBT).

The six were originally convicted for CBT as agents, under Section 409 of the Penal Code. But in a two-one split decision, the High Court ruled that the six church leaders are not considered agents under the provision and replaced the offence with basic criminal breach of trust, under Section 406.


In a statement on Monday, the AGC said: "Having carefully considered the written grounds, the prosecution is of the view that there are questions of law of public interest that have arisen out of the High Court's decision, including and in particular, whether a director or a member of the governing body of a company or organisation who is entrusted with property, or with any dominion over property, is so entrusted in the way of his business as an agent for the purposes of section 409 of the Penal Code.

"The prosecution has accordingly filed a criminal reference today, to refer these questions of law to the Court of Appeal."


Under the Criminal Procedure Code, the Court of Appeal, in hearing and determining any questions referred to it, may make such orders as the High Court might have made as the Court of Appeal considers just for the disposal of the case.

The AGC statement said that if the Court of Appeal agrees with its submissions, the prosecution intends to ask the apex court to "reinstate the appellants' original convictions under section 409 of the Penal Code and make necessary and consequential orders in relation to the sentences given".

Kong, deputy senior pastor Tan Ye Peng, former fund manager Chew Eng Han, former finance manager Serina Wee, former finance committee member John Lam, and former finance manager Sharon Tan, were originally sentenced to between 21 months and eight years' jail.

They were found guilty, after a marathon trial that started in 2013, of misappropriating millions in church funds to fuel the pop music career of Kong's wife, Ms Ho Yeow Sun, in a church mission known as the Crossover Project.

They had channelled $24 million from CHC's building fund into sham bonds in music production company Xtron and glass-maker Firna. This money was in fact used to fund the Crossover Project. Later, another $26 million was used to cover up the initial misdeed.

The prosecution appealed for higher sentences. The six appealed against their conviction and sentences.

On Friday, the jail terms were drastically reduced.

Kong's original sentence of eight years was cut to 3½ years.

Tan Ye Peng, 44, had his 5½ years in jail cut to three years and two months.

Former fund manager Chew Eng Han, 56, who originally got six years in jail, had it reduced to three years and four months. Former finance manager Serina Wee, 40, had her five-year jail term halved to 2½ years.

The three-year sentence of former finance committee member John Lam, 49, was also halved. Former finance manager Sharon Tan, 41, will be jailed for seven months instead of 21 months.



Sunday, April 9, 2017

City Harvest appeal: Leaders lied for sake of Church, not personal gain

SINGAPORE - They were not motivated by personal gain and they thought they were acting in the best interests of City Harvest Church (CHC).

Ultimately, the church leaders believed that their actions would advance the Crossover Project, a church mission to spread the gospel through pop music, which was found to be generally supported by the congregation.

These were the "exceptional" mitigating factors considered by a three-judge panel, in reducing the jail terms for the six convicted CHC leaders on Friday (April 7).

The six, who had appealed against their conviction and sentences, were given reduced jail terms raging from seven months to three years and six months.

In a 304-page written judgment, the judges noted that the case should not be seen as a "sinister and malicious attempt" by the six to use the church's funds for their own purposes, despite the huge sum of about $50 million involved.

Rather, they had "resorted to deceit and lies", such as hiding the truth of their transactions from auditors and lawyers, because they wanted to keep the use of the church's monies for the Crossover Project confidential. They had also feared that questions would be asked.

"Their fault lies in adopting the wrong means," the judges said.

The prosecution, in calling for stiffer sentences, had earlier stressed on the misappropriation of charity funds as among the key aggravating factors.

But the court, in the written judgment, clarified that while CHC is a charity organisation, it is not a charity that is also an Institution of Public Character (IPC).

This means that donations to the church are not tax-deductible.

Thus, unlike funds that are held by IPCs, such as the National Kidney Foundation, donations to church funds "are invariably made by its members for the benefit of the church" and do not serve the community as a whole.

In addition, while the six had been "reckless" with the funds, the court accepted that had no intention to cause permanent financial loss to the church.

"The appellants had, at all times, intended for the funds ... to be eventually returned to CHC with the stated interest even if they might not have been entirely sure as to how or when they could do so at the time when they entered into the transactions," the judges said.

In meting out the harshest sentence among the six to Kong, the judges agreed that he was the "ultimate leader" of the Crossover Project and gave the overall direction and moral assurance to the five others.

He was also one of the main players - if not the main one - who had directed and influenced the others to using the church's Building Fund to purchase sham bonds, even if he did not directly participate in redeeming them.

Touching on the issue of personal gain, the judges said: "While the Prosecution did, in its oral submissions before us, attempt to make the point that a benefit had accrued to Kong Hee's wife, Sun Ho, this point was not raised in its written submissions for the appeal." The issue of personal benefit was, therefore, not factored into the sentencing.

The judges also disagreed with the prosecution that former CHC finance committee manager John Lam, 49, was an "inside man" integral to the success of the conspiracy.

Instead, the judges found Lam's involvement to be "relatively limited" and "only at some junctures", thus sentencing him one year and six months, down from three years.

Former CHC fund manager Chew Eng Han, 56, had "employed his wits and financial expertise to mask the reality of the transactions", even though he was not a spiritual leader of the church.

As he had been the person trusted in all financial matters, the court handed him a jail term of three years and four months, down from six years.

CHC deputy senior pastor Tan Ye Peng, 49, was jailed three years and two months. This was a reduction from his orignal sentence of five years and six months.

While he was a spiritual leader in church, the judges accepted that he did not have the trust and authority that Kong had.

Finally, the judges found that former CHC finance managers Serina Wee, 40, and Sharon Tan, 41, were less culpable as they were not leaders in church.

Wee was an "administrator" helping out with accounts and documentation. She received two years and six months' jail, down from the five years that was previously given.

As for Tan, who took over the role from Wee, the judges agreed that she was "only an employee" and was merely carrying out instructions by the decision-makers in the church. She was given the lowest sentence of seven months, instead of 21 months previously.

Kong Hee asks church to fulfil building fund

City Harvest / Kong Hee Appeal - Five key highlights of the judgment

WHY WERE THE CBT CHARGES REDUCED?

The court found that City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee, 52, deputy senior pastor Tan Ye Peng, 44, and former finance committee member John Lam, 49, were not "agents" entrusted with dominion over CHC's funds.

While they held important positions in the church, it does not mean they were offering their "services as an agent to the community at large" or making their living as an agent. This is unlike a banker, a broker or a lawyer.

With this, the aggravated charge of CBT under Section 409 of the Penal Code, which involves CBT by a public servant, banker, merchant or agent, was reduced to a simpler charge under Section 406.

http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/default/files/attachments/2017/04/08/st_20170408_sewrap08_r2_3063398.pdf

WHY WERE SENTENCES CUT?

The lesser charge of CBT had a "significant impact" in the reduction of the sentences, as the maximum punishments of the two are "markedly different", the court said. The maximum jail terms under Section 406 are less than half that for those under Section 409.

Despite the huge sum of about $50 million involved, the court recognised that there had been no personal gain, among other mitigating factors, and "their fault lies in adopting the wrong means".

WHY WERE THE ACCOUNT FALSIFICATION CHARGES UPHELD?

These were related to entries recorded in the church's accounts in October and early November 2009 showing that the sham bonds purchased by the church's building funds were redeemed. The court held that the accused were aware the entries were false and they intended to defraud.

WHAT DID JUDGES SAY ABOUT KONG HEE?

Kong's role was that of "spiritual leader" of the five others, providing the "overall direction and moral assurance for their actions". Thus, his overall culpability was the greatest.

He was also one of the main players - if not the main one - who had influenced the others into using the church's funds to purchase sham bonds, even if he did not directly participate in redeeming them.

WHAT DID THE DIFFERING JUDGE SAY?

Justice Chan Seng Onn, in differing from Judge of Appeal Chao Hick Tin and Justice Woo Bih Li, noted there were elements of benefit to Kong and his wife, Ms Ho Yeow Sun. There was also permanent financial loss to the church.

Justice Chan called for a dismissal of the appeals for the six accused and prosecution.


Rise and fall of a superstar pastor



On Friday, Kong Hee sat stony- faced in the High Court, as a three- judge panel delivered its verdict.

Clad in his usual sharp black suit, the 52-year-old looked steelily ahead when he later exited the court, ignoring the barrage of questions from the media scrum.

It was a marked contrast to the charismatic eloquence that had helped propel his City Harvest Church (CHC) to its superstar status over the past three decades.

In 1989, the computer science graduate, then 25, started CHC in a single-storey terraced house at 41A Amber Road. It was called Ekklesia Ministry. His congregation comprised 20 teenagers.

The Raffles Institution old boy would cycle to see church-goers. Sometimes he would turn up for work dressed in a T-shirt and slippers, according to a church member interviewed for a 2002 article.

He married Ms Ho Yeow Sun in 1992, and the couple set up home in a Tampines flat although they would later live in a $9.3 million Sentosa Cove penthouse.

Registered as a society in 1992, CHC had few assets - it had no place of its own and services were held at rented conference rooms.

Mr Kirk Png's journey with CHC began at one such venue in 1993 - at the World Trade Centre. Then a Buddhist, Mr Png had been invited by friends. He said: "The congregation was about 800-strong. It was the friendship and presence of God that led me to stay when I faced parental objections."

The compliance consultant, 42, described the church's early years as "young and dynamic". "Many of us were young Christians. We learnt how to build up our character to be good Christians so we would make an impact when we stepped out."

In 1995, CHC moved to the Hollywood Theatre in Tanjong Katong. During its six years there, its congregation swelled from 1,300 to 10,000. Then came the millennium, with 2001 as a pivotal year. It erected a $47.6 million compound in Jurong West with a $583,000 fountain. At its peak, its coffers and congregation expanded - to $100 million and 33,000, respectively.

But controversy followed.

In 2002, Ms Ho recorded her first Mandopop album, Sun With Love, for what CHC called the Crossover Project - a mission to spread the Gospel through pop music. It was meant to launch her career in the US. That same year, Kong was asked whether it was appropriate for a pastor to be a pop star. He replied: "Why don't we wait and see... if Sun compromises on her integrity and values. I have a feeling she won't."

But some church-goers were concerned. In 2003, a member, Mr Roland Poon, alleged that the church's building fund had been misused to finance Ms Ho's music career. He later retracted the allegations and took out advertisements in five newspapers to apologise.

Later, Ms Ho outraged some when she was photographed in a revealing red Armani dress at the Hollywood Film Festival. Some also expressed discomfort over her music videos being played before services.

During the trial, the court learnt that more than US$8 million (S$11 million) had been spent on Sun With Love. This included US$1.6 million in production fees for American rapper Wyclef Jean.

But the album was never released although singles were produced. Of these, the 2007 music video China Wine - in which Ms Ho adopted a persona called Geisha - was the most controversial.

Now 44, Ms Ho was reported to have received over half a million in bonuses and advances, including a $30,000 birthday cash gift and an $80,000 "special performance bonus for hits in the US or the United Kingdom" in 2006.

In court last year, deputy public prosecutor Christopher Ong noted that Kong and the other five accused church leaders had not shown remorse - which ordinarily would be a mitigating factor.

During the case, CHC's attendance fell. In 2015, it drew a congregation of 16,482 - a 30 per cent drop from 2009, a year before investigations began. But Mr Png said of the dip: "What is important is not who has left but who has stayed. When things happen you don't just leave the family and move on."

On the status of the Crossover Project, a CHC spokesman told The Sunday Times: "As a church, we believe that the cultural mandate and marketplace evangelism are every believer's calling.

"As for the means in which we express these, we need to take time to pray and seek God for the future."

Over the past four years, it had also become more transparent about the management of its assets and funds, she added.

Kong Hee seeks church's forgiveness

There was a rousing cheer as City Harvest Church (CHC) founder Kong Hee walked onstage yesterday at the packed Suntec convention centre auditorium.

But as he addressed the congregation that had gathered for the 5pm service, the crowd numbering in the thousands grew quiet.

"I'm so sorry for all the hurt, all the disappointment and all the painful ordeals you've been through," he said in a shaky voice.

"I really, really, really wish that I was and am a better, wiser leader. Pastor is deeply sorry and sincerely asks for your forgiveness. Please forgive me," he added.

He also thanked them for being members of the church at the first service held a day after the High Court reduced the sentences of all six church leaders, including Kong, in the biggest case of misuse of charity funds in Singapore history.

Executive pastor and president of the CHC management board Aries Zulkarnain later took to the stage to lead the church in prayer, together with Kong and his wife Ho Yeow Sun.

Nearing the end of the two-hour service, Kong returned onstage, saying he had learnt "many lessons through this entire ordeal".

In the midst of the church's quick growth, he admitted, he had not "slowed down, paused and prayed more" and made "unwise decisions" in the process.

In November 2015, Kong and five CHC leaders were handed jail terms ranging from 21 months to eight years. The prosecution and all six later launched appeals.

Following the High Court's decision, a spokesman for the Office of the Commissioner of Charities (COC) told The Sunday Times it will resume removal proceedings to protect the assets of the charity.

COC had previously said seven individuals involved will be banned from being a governing board member, key officer, trustee, agent or employee of CHC. Kong can continue with his religious duty as a pastor.

Many in the congregation declined to speak to The Sunday Times.

Yesterday, Kong promised the congregation that "whatever happened in the past will never repeat itself in the future".

"We must never let it happen again," he said. "It was a steep learning curve for all of us."

British court orders Malaysian tycoon Khoo Kay Peng to pay $112 million in divorce settlement



KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian tycoon Khoo Kay Peng, who owns the Laura Ashley brand, has been ordered by a British court to pay £64 million (S$112 million) to his former wife as settlement for their divorce in a long-running row.

Judge David Bodey said in his ruling on Friday (April 7) that Chai should receive the divorce settlement in the form of both cash and property, the Guardian reported. The judge's detailed judgment on how the matrimonial assets would be split is expected to be released soon, said the report.

"I just want to thank my superb legal team ," Chai said in an e-mailed statement to Malay Mail Online after the court ruling.

Her lawyer Ayesha Vardag said in the same statement: "This litigation has been long and arduous. It is a journey which has now ended in the affirmation of the principle of fair sharing. It emphasises that there is no place in England for discrimination between home maker and bread winner."

Chai, who was crowned Miss Malaysia in 1969, had sought £100m from the 78-year-old tycoon following their split after 42 years of marriage. She claimed their assets were worth at least £205m. The 68-year-old said she had contributed to her ex-husband's success by being a "traditional" wife, and that they had made a sharing agreement entitling her to half of the family wealth.

"I looked at marriage in the traditional way," Chai had told Justice Bodey at hearings in the family division of the high court in London. "He is the breadwinner and I stayed at home and looked after the children. It was a daunting task."

Khoo, who owns 44 per cent of Laura Ashley Holdings, argued that his former wife should only receive £9m, the Guardian reported.

The two married in 1970 and had five children before splitting in 2012 and have spent more than £6m between them on lawyers to fight their financial dispute, according to the Guardian.

The tycoon had wanted the divorce proceedings heard in Kuala Lumpur where Chai would likely be awarded a less generous settlement. But Chai wanted a British court to decide on the divorce proceedings, claiming she had not been living in Malaysia since 1980 and is a resident of Britain.

In 2014, Chai gained the upper hand in the divorce battle after London's High Court ruled it could hear the case.

In January 2016, a London court granted a preliminary divorce decree to Chai, which entailed she would be entitled to half of Khoo's fortune once the marriage was officially dissolved.

City Harvest appeal verdict: Six church leaders get reduced jail terms, Kong Hee gets 3.5 years


SINGAPORE - A three-judge panel on Friday morning (April 7) reduced the jail sentences for all six City Harvest Church (CHC) leaders who were convicted of criminal breach of trust and falsification of accounts in a high-profile case involving the misuse of millions of dollars of church money.

Church founder Kong Hee. 52, who was  handed an eight-year jail term in November 2015, will spend 3½ years behind bars.

The other five - deputy senior pastor Tan Ye Peng, 44; former CHC finance managers Serina Wee, 40, and Sharon Tan, 41; former CHC finance committee member John Lam, 49; and former CHC fund manager Chew Eng Han, 56 - also  had their jail terms reduced after the court, in a split decision, allowed their appeals against conviction and found them guilty of a less serious charge of criminal breach of trust.

The six were found guilty in 2015 after a marathon 142-day trial that started in 2013.





Sunday, April 2, 2017

Dark Secrets of the Rockefeller Family


Rockefeller's Death and The Impact on All of Humanity


Monday, February 6, 2017

Prophecy: 'Even This Week, I Will Shake Your Courts!'



President Donald Trump and Judge Neil Gorsuch











President Donald Trump and Judge Neil Gorsuch (Reuters photo)

2/2/2017 BOB ESCHLIMAN

Wednesday, Hank Kunneman, senior pastor of Lord of Hosts Church in Omaha, Nebraska, and founder of One Voice Ministries, offered a summary of past words he's shared from the Lord, as well as a new one that demonstrates how God has been at work in America.

He wrote in an article that was shared with readers of The Elijah List:

Prophetic Word Spoken by Hank Kunneman on Sept. 15, 2016:

"I will be a positive irritant to you, America," says the Lord!

"I have chosen," says the Spirit of God, "to arise upon America at this time, and I have come to be an irritant to those who oppose. I have come to be an irritant to those who have mocked and shook their fists thinking that they can push Me out of this nation."

But the Spirit of God says, "I was an irritant to Pharaoh, and so I shall be an irritant in this season too," says the Lord. "And there was a time when I irritated Pharaoh, I needed bold leadership, I needed those who would speak for Me and not for themselves; I needed those who would not have an agenda of their own, and so I sent signs and wonders and raised up those who would carry out My will and so I have found the same.

"Watch what I do to irritate this nation as they suddenly realize that they cannot stop Me. For you are coming into a season where laws that have been penned by the arrogance of men shall swiftly change and there are those who have stood and have said they will continue to push God out of the schools."

The Lord says,"Watch what I do to irritate them to where they have no chance, no choice, for there will be a sound of the young that shall arise across this land, and they will say, 'We want God! We want Jesus back in our schools!' And I will listen to them," says the Lord.

"So now they discuss the health of the candidates, but what about your nation? It has been sick," but God says, "I have heard the prayers of a righteous rebellion and there is coming another revolution, but this one is My doing.

"Watch how I irritate even the media to where I will shake one, I will shake them so violently," says the Lord, "that they will be sold; and then it will be raised up with a different sound that shall come from the network.

"Watch how I, the Supreme God, shall irritate the Supreme Court. Do not think that it is political success that has caused things to be where it is now? It is My restraint. I will have the last say. America, you have entered into a season of Me being your positive irritant. Watch how suddenly things shall change and nothing will stop My hand.

Prophetic Word Spoken by Hank Kunneman on Jan. 4, 2015:

"I will establish righteousness on your courts," says the Spirit of God!

"Watch Me unfold, watch Me pull back the covers! And even in this nation there are things that have been penned with arrogance: legislation and laws that have been signed into being what they thought was permanent. Did they not know that I am the Lord God of all, that I am the Judge of all things? So I will pull the cord and I will expose the legislation and the laws that were meant to afflict this nation. But a great reform has been planned for this time and this season of America.

"Watch what I am about to do, for they say, 'Your court is supreme.' I will pull back and I will shake the courts and I will deal with two that are upon your courts. They will say this is now our opportunity to once again push our agenda." The Spirit of God says, "I will block it and I will establish righteousness upon your courts."

Prophetic Word Spoken by Hank Kunneman on Oct. 26, 2016:

"I will bring compassion on the Supreme Court as it changes" says the Lord!

"Your Supreme Court will change for I am the Supreme Judge." God says, "Watch, for I will raise up, when there is a vacancy of two and then three," the Spirit of Grace says, "there shall be a woman I shall place there at the high court, and this shall be a compassionate woman," says the Lord, "and it shall be her compassion for the right for the unborn to live that shall overturn and topple the laws that have aborted the innocent. What does a nation look like filled with glory? Can you see it? Can you see it?" says the Lord.

Prophetic Word Spoken by Hank Kunneman on Jan. 29, 2017:

"You are experiencing, right now," says the Spirit of grace, "freedom; for this is My promise to you that I am setting My people free this year." And God says, "This promise is not just to My people, but this promise is to America, and this promise is to Israel.

"So let it be known, as I have declared to you before that I would rise up upon this land as a positive irritant to irritate those who refuse to see My plan, to irritate those upon your Supreme Court, to irritate those in the political seats that they hold, to irritate those upon the media—for this is the work of My finger.

"Do you remember the days when Yeshua stooped down and wrote within the dirt and those who were ready to cast their stones upon a woman caught in adultery? But when the Son of God stooped and wrote in the dirt, the writing caused them to be convicted within their hearts as irritation came to them."

And so once again, God is writing upon the dirt of this land! "I am writing upon those who have set themselves to oppose the plan that is before Me and before this nation. Know that I am breathing, I am breathing, for I am the same God that breathed into the dust of this earth and made man, and I am breathing into the dust, the dirt of this land, when men have stood and demanded that I judge.

"Watch as a gentle wind blows throughout the land. Watch how a violent wind continues to blow into specific places and it will be, 'Why is it gentle here and there is even rain there, and why are there violent winds that seem to be shaking this part of a particular region and city?' Because God says, "My breath is blowing gentle where it's received, violently where it needs to be shaken and put in order.

"Watch even this week, I will shake your courts and I'm going to establish as I said before. I am stepping in upon your courts for I am the Supreme Judge. And what I have planned shall now balance your courts, but very soon there will be vacancies again, and I've said to you and say to you again I am breathing upon your courts.

"Do not get caught up in the political rhetoric, for they will fool you with their speaking, but look at the work of My hands and how I will cause the courts now to bring freedom that you are declaring and saying from your lips.

"For there will be rulings in your land, 7-2, 6-3, when I'm done shaking your courts. And there will be laws that have been upon the books for 45-plus years that will suddenly change, they will change for the good and they will change for life, they will change for prayer in the schools, they will change and no longer will they say, 'God' only, but they will say, 'Jesus' and they will say, 'Yeshua' and this that will change will even go forth and bring an adjustment to those upon the media who refuse to utter it.

"And there will be swift changes that take place upon the media, and My wind will blow, as I've said to you before, upon one network I will violently shake it as they've resisted Me, they've lied and they have mocked My name. They will be sold as My wind blows upon them, and when they are raised up they will speak different and they will speak according to My plan."

Lift up your hands and ask God to breathe in you as we declare the wind, the breath, the life of God to breath in you now. Take a deep breath because I can sense it in the air across this nation that it is almost like, as in the day of Noah—when he came out of the Ark and offered a sacrifice unto the Lord and the Lord smelled the aroma. There is a cleansing that has been taking place over the last few years, whether you understand it or not, and there is something that is in the air that is starting to become very pleasing and attractive to God and it's coming from His people!

It started when we prayed and cried out for God to heal our land and God is doing it. What you're experiencing is the work of the Lord's hand! Don't get caught up in the rhetoric of men!

World Vision Director Denies Funneling Millions to Terror Group


A World Vision worker hugs a friend.














by JESSILYN JUSTICE

The World Vision director accused of funneling ministry money to Hamas pleaded not guilty at his trial this week.

"World Vision has not seen any credible evidence supporting the charges (against Mohammad El Halabi). Access to any such evidence would help us address any potential gaps in our systems. We remain committed to understand the truth behind the allegations made against Mohammad El Halabi and determine what, if any, changes we need to make," World Vision CEO Kevin Jenkins said in a statement.

Israeli authorities arrested Halabi where he was stationed in Gaza in summer 2016.

After his arrest, the Shin Bet alleged Halabi admitted to being a Hamas activist and using his position "to divert the humanitarian organization's funds and resources from the needy to benefit of Hamas' terrorist and military activities," Charisma News previously reported.

Jenkins says World Vision suspended its humanitarian work in Gaza and hired a global accounting firm to conduct a forensic audit. Thus far, the audit has not yielded any concerns against the organization or Halabi himself.

"World Vision condemns any diversion of aid funding and strongly condemns any act of terrorism or support for those activities. None of the allegations against Mohammad El Halabi have been tested in an open court, and we support the ongoing presumption of his innocence," Jenkins said. 

Bridge-Building or Compromising with Heresy? - Michael Brown

In response to my article on my meeting with Pastor Joseph Prince, I was flooded with words of support and encouragement, commending us for getting together. Others were quite critical, posting comments like this: "I am so disappointed! Why are you cozying up to that cheap grace teacher Prince? Why?" (I imagine Pastor Prince heard from critics who were upset that he met with me, perhaps branding me a legalist or worse.)

An old friend wrote to me after reading the article and said, "it's so clear that God has put an anointing and even a mantle on your life to be a bridge-builder." Conversely, another old friend of mine was challenged by a supposed spiritual watchdog website (which I will not publicize here), urging him to confront me on my embrace of allegedly heretical preachers.

The comments on my Facebook page reflected polar perspectives as well, including posts like this, on the positive side: "As a Pentecostal/Charismatic Pastor I have to say that I was blessed by your article on your meeting with Pastor Prince. It was an amazing story of what can happen when we get together and share our hearts with each other." And, conversely, on the negative, posts like this: "The church cannot function properly in the context of the social issues we face today with people like Joseph Prince in its midst. He's a false teacher, and, as Paul did with false teachers in the New Testament, we need to place him outside godly fellowship if or until God grants him true repentance."

So, which is it? Was my meeting with Joseph Prince an act of godly bridge-building, for the glory of Jesus and the edification of His people, or was it an act of compromise?

When I wrote Hyper-Grace, I emphasized "that those I'm differing with in this book are brothers and sisters in the Lord—at least, to the best of my knowledge—and with rare exception, I find much in their writings and messages that thrills my soul and blesses me deeply. Often, as I would be reading their books, I would be shouting amen on one page, only to groan on the next page as a verse was misused or a key truth overlooked or a falsehood stated as if it were true."

When I mentioned Pastor Prince's book Unmerited Favor, I said that, "I found much in his book that was excellent." I also stated that, "He writes like a man who knows the Lord and has experienced God's goodness, like a man who takes delight in God's Word and who knows what it is to worship and love Jesus." And I affirmed that "My heart resonated with much of what he wrote."

So, even while expressing my strong differences with a number of Pastor Prince's positions, I did so recognizing him as a brother who loved the Lord and who had many good things to say. On the flip side, Pastor Prince always recognized me as a brother in the Lord.

This, then, begs the question: How can it possibly be wrong for two well-known leaders to sit face to face, in humility and respect, and discuss their theological differences? How can this be compromise (on either side), especially if we agree on the essentials of the faith?

To be perfectly clear, the last thing I'm looking for is human approval. (If you know me at all, that's self-evident.) Rather, I write this to help other believers (and especially leaders) who have differences to follow our lead and sit face to face for dialogue and discussion.

Perhaps, when you meet with that brother or sister, your views will be closer than you realize, or perhaps you'll discover there are some serious misunderstandings between you. Or maybe one of you can help the other see the light, or maybe one of you needs to be warned about major error.

This much is sure: It is better to come together with humble and open hearts before the Lord, talking face-to-face, than to ignore each other or attack each other from a distance.

If Pastor Prince does have some serious errors in his teaching, I'm now in a position to help him directly. Conversely, if I have some serious errors in my teaching, he's now in a position to help me directly. Again I ask, how can this be wrong before the Lord?

Ironically, some of those who criticized me for meeting with Pastor Prince and posting my article (which, again, was edited by him until we came to agreement on the final text) belong to camps whose leadership refuses to meet with me to have theological dialogue.

Not only so, but some of those attacking me for interacting with Pastor Prince hide behind anonymous websites and identities, so we have no idea who we're dealing with, no idea of whom they're submitted to (or with whom they're connected in the Body), no idea of their own spiritual and moral history.

As one who loves truth and has sought to confront error for decades, I find this anonymous, self-appointed spiritual policing to do more harm than good.

Some readers will say to me, "We have no issue with you getting together with Joseph Prince. We take issue with you embracing him as a brother and proclaiming your areas of agreement. That's where you're deceived."

The fact is that he is a brother, he does love the Lord, he is a serious student of the Word, he does have a burden for the lost, and he truly wants to confront counterfeit grace. (Note carefully that I chose the term "hyper-grace" in writing my book rather than "counterfeit grace," since I never believed that Joseph Prince or most of the leaders I critiqued in my book taught "counterfeit grace." I also chose the term because some of those I identified as hyper-grace preachers embraced the term, saying, "Yes, God's grace is hyper!")

In Hyper-Grace, I wrote, "Without a doubt, many believers have been transformed listening to Joseph Prince and others teach about grace, and it is because much of what they are saying is biblical. I affirm that part of the message wholeheartedly, and I wish I could recommend their material without reserve. The problem, I believe, is that he and other hyper-grace leaders sometimes teach about grace in exaggerated form or, worse still, mixed with serious errors, and that's why there are all too many casualties and divisions among the listeners and readers."

Pastor Prince stressed in our meeting (and in my article) that those who listened to his message and then lived in compromise and complacency had really not heard or understood the message of grace. I stressed my conviction that there were errors in his message that produced the bad fruit, while the biblically-accurate content of the rest of his message produced the good fruit. Which of us is right?

In my view, by emphasizing our very important areas of agreement, it will be more difficult for people to misunderstand either of us, and the door is now open for honest dialogue about key verses and truth, with both us expressing a desire to follow the Lord and His Word wherever that leads. And we both want to expose what we do agree on: the very real dangers of counterfeit grace, some of which is growing in the midst of the hyper-grace camp.

Again I ask: In our heavenly Father's sight, how can that be wrong?

I have no desire to placate my critics, nor do I have any interest in a broad-based, theologically-loose, skin-deep unity. I am running after God's heart and mind with all my might, and I know that truth-based unity is of great importance to Him. That requires honest dialogue and interaction with others in the body with whom we have differences.

Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is Breaking the Stronghold of Food. Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter.

My Meeting With Pastor Joseph Prince - Michael Brown

Joseph Prince with Dr. Michael Brown













On Friday, Jan. 20, while ministering in Singapore, I had the pleasure of spending two and a half hours with Pastor Joseph Prince, delving into the Scriptures in Hebrew and Greek, discussing the points on which we differed and highlighting the points on which we agreed. Without a doubt, the points on which we agreed far outnumbered and outweighed those on which we differed.

When I wrote the book Hyper-Grace: Exposing the Dangers of the Modern Grace Movement, I reached out to the main authors I quoted in the book, asking them for permission to quote their writings if I went beyond the normal publishing guidelines, also asking them if they would like to reconsider any of their positions.

But I did not reach out to Pastor Prince, wrongly assuming he would not be interested in dialoguing with me based on my experience with some previous leaders who refused to interact. I apologized to him for my failure to do so, and he graciously received that apology.

He also wanted to make clear that he strongly differed with the positions of some of the others I quoted in my book, and what grieved him was not that I misrepresented his position when citing him but rather that he was cited side-by-side with some others whose views he strongly rejected.

Additionally, Pastor Prince felt that I have not accurately represented those who follow his Bible teachings regularly and how this has helped many around the world lead disciplined, holy, victorious and Christ-centered lives. He explained that his ministry office regularly receives testimonies from people who have been set free from the destructive bondage of sin, from those who have been liberated from the shackles of pornography and from those set free from severe drug addictions through his preaching of the gospel of grace.

Although I gladly acknowledged those testimonies and said I also heard similar stories from those who follow his teachings (because of the wonderful truths he delivered) I reiterated that I had also heard opposite stories from those who had become complacent and fleshly (because of what I believed were errors in his teaching).

Pastor Prince maintains clearly that those who have become complacent and fleshly do not understand the gospel of grace, and he would be the first to warn them that they are not living under God's grace and to share with them Romans 6:14: "For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under the law but under grace." He believes beyond a shadow of a doubt that people who have an accurate revelation of God's grace have the power to lead holy and victorious Christian lives. For Pastor Prince (and of course, for me as well), grace is not the license to sin; it is the power to break free from the bondage of sin.

Our principal area of disagreement remains his teaching that the moment we are saved, our future sins are already pronounced forgiven (in contrast with the idea that our future sins are paid for but sin is not pronounced forgiven until it is committed and brought to the Lord). But to repeat, our areas of strong and vibrant agreement are much greater than our areas of disagreement, and I want to shout out those areas of agreement to the world.

First, we both agree that it's all about Jesus. He must be central. He must be the focus of our lives. We must draw all people to Him and His atoning work on the cross. Pastor Prince also said that, rather than just say, "Jesus, Jesus" all the time, we should get back to the biblical emphasis: Lord Jesus. And I say Amen to exalting Jesus as Lord.

Second, we both agree that many (if not most) believers often struggle with guilty consciences, failing to realize the depth of God's love for them and failing to understand what Jesus did on their behalf, and so it is essential to ground them in grace. I also shared with Pastor Prince that whenever I teach on the errors of hyper-grace, I begin by extolling God's true grace, seeking first to open us that glorious revelation. And I told him that, at FIRE School of Ministry, in the first semester, we do our best to ground our students in the love of God and in their identity in Jesus.

Third, we both agree that God calls us to holiness, sin is terribly destructive, and true grace will be manifest in a holy life. Prior to our time together, he sent me a compilation of video clips in which he stated plainly that if a man in his congregation claims to be a believer and is living in adultery, he will tell that person plainly he is not living under grace (otherwise sin would not have dominion over him) and needs to repent, drop that other woman and go back to his wife. He said he would also question whether that man was a real believer, since a true believer may fall into sin but will not practice sin.

In his own words (from a forthcoming chapter he wrote for a joint compilation on grace), "If you hear of any 'grace' teaching that tells you it is all right to sin, to live without any regard for the Lord, and that there are no consequences to sin, my advice to you is to flee from that teaching. You have just been exposed to counterfeit grace. Genuine grace teaches that believers in Christ are called to live holy, blameless and above reproach. It teaches that sin always produces destructive consequences and it is only through the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ that one can be set free from the dominion of sin."

He then asks, "So how do we know if someone is truly living under the grace of God?"

His answer: "We look at their lives."

And so, "If someone is leaving his wife for his secretary and tells you he is under 'grace,' tell this person that he is not under grace but under deception! ... Genuine grace doesn't compromise God's holy standards and condone sin; it is the answer that gives people power to live glorious lives zealous for good works."

Fourth, we both agree that sanctification is progressive, meaning the moment we are saved, we are forgiven, declared righteous, and set apart as holy, but now we must grow in holiness. To quote his own words again, "true grace does teach progressive sanctification," and, "As believers, we cannot become more righteous, but we can become more sanctified or holy in terms of how we live our lives. ... The more one grows in grace—the more one is washed again and again by the water of the word of God's grace—the more one grows in sanctification and holiness."

He rejected strongly the idea, put forth by another "grace teacher," that progressive sanctification is a "spiritually murderous lie."

Fifth, we both agree that the Lord corrects us, and even disciplines us, and we both agree that included in the preaching of grace is the calling to "exhort, and rebuke with all authority" (see Titus 2:15). We agree that true born-again believers will feel uncomfortable in their sins (because of their born-again spirits and because of the Holy Spirit) and will have a genuine desire to find a way out of sin. We agree that the only way out of sin is to point people to Jesus.

Pastor Prince believes the primary role of the Holy Spirit is to remind us we are the righteousness of God in Christ (see 2 Cor. 5:21, John 16: 10) and that this understanding is critically important in helping people to turn from sin. While I also believe that this is an important role of the Spirit, I believe His primary role when we sin is to lovingly reprove and correct us, thereby pointing us back to the Father (see Rev. 3:19, 22). Obviously, these two emphases go hand in hand.

Sixth, we both agree that God's Law is glorious and holy and beautiful and that, in Pastor Prince's words, "True grace teaching upholds the moral excellencies, values and virtues espoused by the Ten Commandments." But we understand that, "The Ten Commandments are so perfect in [their] standard and so unbending in [their] holy requirements that Galatians 3:11 states that no man can be justified by the law in the sight of God. Justification before God can only come by faith in Christ."

The Law, as designed by God, exposes our sin and brings us to the end of ourselves, thereby bringing us to the foot of the cross where grace and mercy flow. Not only so, but "when God's people are under grace, not only do they fulfill the letter of the law, but they also exceed it or go the extra mile."

Seventh, we both agree that any form of universalism or any denial of future punishment for the lost must be categorically rejected, and we agree that as recipients of grace, we share a burden for the lost, wanting to reach everyone with this glorious message, also believing in Romans 1:16, to the Jew first.

Eighth, we both agree on the importance of commitment to the local church and the authority of the local church, recognizing how many so-called grace preachers have broken away from both, to the harm of their own souls.

In our meeting, we shared our mutual love for the people of Israel and our desire for them to be saved, we shared our abhorrence of counterfeit grace, and we each lovingly challenged the other to consider certain points before the Lord. And, in the midst of our current differences, we agreed to do our best to expose what we both believed were counterfeit grace errors.

It is my prayer that these errors will continue to be exposed and that God will use us to point His people to His glorious grace that has appeared in Jesus, which "teaches us to say 'no' to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age" (Titus 2:12, NIV). And where I have a blind spot or a misunderstanding of God's Word, may the Lord give me grace to see it, and where my brother has a blind spot or a misunderstanding of God's Word, may the Lord give him grace to see it.

I'm sure Pastor Prince will come under attack for meeting with me and welcoming me warmly as a brother, and I'm sure I will come under attack for doing the same with him. And so, to each of you who find fault with us for having this dialogue in the Lord, I encourage you to pray for us and, more importantly, to ask yourself if you too agree with our points of agreement here. If so, join us in shouting them out to the rest of the church.

May God's true grace be exalted; may counterfeit grace be exposed.

Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is Breaking the Stronghold of Food. Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter.


Joseph Prince Gets It Right and Wrong on the Day of Atonement - Dr Michael Brown

On October 11th, which marked the beginning of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement on the biblical calendar, a friend sent me Joseph Prince's Daily Grace e-devotional entitled, "ONLY CHRIST'S ATONEMENT SATISFIES GOD."

In his email message, Pastor Prince rightly pointed us to the shed blood of the Messiah for our atonement, stating, "Because of His sacrifice, all our sins have already been perfectly atoned for. That is why, should we sin, we know that 'we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous'. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins."

Pastor Prince also emphasized that it is not our acts of self-mortification that bring us forgiveness – not whipping ourselves or beating ourselves or fasting for days or praying for hours — but rather what Jesus did on our behalf.

He writes, "My friend, there is no need to climb the Himalayas or whip your back bloody to atone for your sins. No amount of self-punishment or crying can atone for them. Your sins have already been punished fully in the body of Jesus. Only His finished work satisfies God."

This is a life-giving, life-transforming message, and it is one that can deliver us from a legalistic, work-righteousness, earn-your-salvation mentality that plagues many believers.

We are saved by Jesus' righteousness, not our own righteousness! May we never forget that as long as we live.

Unfortunately, as is common with the hyper-grace message, there is a mixture of beautiful truth with potentially dangerous error.

Citing 1 John 2:1-2, Pastor Prince writes, "Now, it does not say that if anyone repents, we have an Advocate with the Father. It says that if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father. The moment a child of God sins, straightaway, his Advocate, Jesus Christ, goes into action to pray for and protect him."

Does that mean, then, that I can continue in sin without consequence? Does that mean that, the more I rebel and the more I turn away from God, the more Jesus forgives me?

You might say, "But that's not the point Pastor Prince was making. He's teaching believers not to get caught up in fleshly efforts of 'repentance' and rather to find forgiveness in the cross."

Of course, I understand that, and I applaud that. Shout that from the rooftops, Pastor Prince. (I know you already do.)

But since he never once says in the article that it's important that we turn from sin to be in right relationship with God (something taught throughout the entire New Testament), and since he wrongly defines repentance (more on that in a moment), how is someone to know that it's important that we do not continue in sin?

Perhaps Pastor Prince could have added in even one line to the effect?

After all, why quote 1 John 2:1-2 without also quoting the next two verses? John continued, "And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says 'I know him' but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him" (1 John 2:3-4). Would this undermine one of Pastor Prince's points?

And how about some of these other verses from 1 John? Would the reader of Pastor Prince's e-devotional realize that this, too, was John's message?

1. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth (1 John 1:6).

2. Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. (1 John 2:9)

3. Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him (1 John 3:4-6).

4. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. (1 John 3:8-9).

5. Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him (1 John 3:24a).

6. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome (1 John 5:2-3).

Yes, it is absolutely true that Jesus paid for our sins and our atonement is found in Him alone. And it is equally true that He saves us out of sin, calls us out of sin, and as our Lord and King, commands us and empowers us to turn from sin.

That is also an essential part of the gospel message, and in a devotional that misrepresents repentance and states that, "The moment a child of God sins, straightaway, his Advocate, Jesus Christ, goes into action to pray for and protect him," this is a potentially fatal omission.

With regard, then, to repentance, Pastor Prince rightly states that, "Bible repentance is not this idea of hitting or punishing yourself to atone for your sins." But he wrongly states that, "The word 'repentance' is metanoia in the Greek, which means to change one's mind."

Not so (although this a very common error).

"Repentance" in the Bible means a change of mind, heart, and direction. It means the recognition that you are heading the wrong way on the highway, then making a complete about face — with God's help and grace — and heading in a brand new direction. But if you recognize you're heading in the wrong direction — in other words, you have a change of mind — but you don't turn around, you have not repented in the biblical sense of the word.

And how important is repentance for the believer?

According to Jesus, very important.

That's why, five separate times, he told congregations in Asia Minor (to paraphrase), "If you want to be in right relationship with Me, repent and change your ways" (see Rev 2:5, 16, 21-22; 3:3, 19).

To quote the Lord's own words, "Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me" (Rev. 3:19-20).

And so, as we celebrate the atonement we enjoy in Jesus the Messiah, let us always remember that He sets us free from sin, not to sin, and that forgiveness and repentance go hand in hand.

So, we look to the cross, where our sins were paid for in full, and, empowered by the Spirit of God, we confess our sins (see 1 John 1:9, which is primarily written to believers, not the lost), we renounce those sins, and being washed and cleansed by His blood, we turn away from those sins.

As expressed so powerfully by Peter, "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls" (1 Pet. 2:24-25).

That is the message of atonement.

Some Honest Questions for Joseph Prince - Dr Michael Brown

Joseph Prince

On a regular basis, I hear reports about believers who have been transformed through the ministry of Joseph Prince, and I thank God for every one of those good reports.

Without a doubt, his message of grace is liberating many from legalism, performance-based religion and a spiritual inferiority complex, and for all of this, I am grateful.

In 1992, God spoke to me to do a fresh study of grace, and the results of that study were eye-opening, to the point that one of the chapters in my 1997 book Go and Sin No More is called "It's All Grace" while another is called "The Letter Kills."

So as much as I have been known as a repentance and holiness preacher (which is correct), my preaching flows out of and into God's grace as it is expressed most fully in Jesus.

It is because I am so jealous for God's true grace (see 1 Pet. 5:12) that I wrote Hyper-Grace: Exposing the Dangers of the Modern Grace Message, and while agreeing with many things that Pastor Prince teaches, there are strong area of disagreement as well. (For the record, a mutual colleague of ours delivered a signed copy of Hyper-Grace to Pastor Prince, but I have been unable to secure a personal audience with him.)

Critics of Hyper-Grace have accused me of misunderstanding or misrepresenting their message, despite the fact that I quote the relevant authors, pastors and teachers directly throughout the book, fairly and in context.

But since we all agree that clarity and humility are of the utmost importance in our interaction and that we should strive for unity and understanding wherever possible, I submit these questions for discussion.

My intent is not to stir up ugly debate, nor is it to mock. It is to understand where we truly differ and where we don't, so here are my questions for you.

1) Does God require anything from you as His child? Is there anything He says that you must do as His child other than receive His grace? If so, are there spiritual benefits that come through obeying these requirements and spiritual losses that come from ignoring them?

2) The New Testament writers often exhort us to live in ways that please the Lord. Does that mean that it is possible for us to displease Him? We agree that He relates to us as His beloved children, but is He always pleased with us? And since Paul urges us not to grieve the Spirit, does that mean that we can, in fact, grieve Him?

3) Is there anything you can do to disappoint the Lord? If the Lord always sees you as perfect in His sight, is there any way for you to disappoint Him? I've heard it said that we can only grieve or disappoint Him by not trusting His grace, but according to your message, hasn't that sin been forgiven as well?

4) If God has pronounced your future sins forgiven in the same way He has pronounced your past sins forgiven, why do Paul and other New Testament writers address these very sins in their letters, and why does Jesus address them in Revelation 2-3? We know that God doesn't bring our past sins up to us, since He has forgiven and "forgotten" them. Why then does He bring our present sins up to us in the New Testament, even warning us about the dangers of walking in those sins, if they have also been forgiven and forgotten in advance?

5) A leading hyper-grace teacher claims that the doctrine of progressive sanctification is a "spiritually murderous lie." Does that mean that grace preachers like Charles Spurgeon, who believed in progressive sanctification, taught this alleged lie? And if "progressive sanctification" simply means to walk out our holiness with the help of the Spirit, what is so dangerous about this teaching? Put another way, do you reject the concept that the one who made us holy now calls us to live holy lives in thought, word and deed, thereby "completing our sanctification in the fear of God" (2 Cor 7:1)? Doesn't Paul say we are called saints (that is who we are) and called to be saints (that is how we live)? (See 1 Cor. 1:2.)

6) We agree that the Holy Spirit never condemns us for our sins as believers, but does He ever make us uncomfortable when we sin? To me, this is a very loving act of the Father, not wanting us to get comfortable doing things that could destroy our lives and the lives of others. Isn't that something to be embraced? And doesn't that drive us to the cross rather than away from it?

7) We agree that we do not need to confess every sin we commit each day in order to "stay saved," but is any type of confession and request for forgiveness appropriate? For example, is it appropriate for believers to say, "Father, I'm sorry for sinning and I ask you to wash me clean"? Is it OK for us to get our feet washed (using the language of John 13) when we feel the need to? Are we denying God's grace or showing an ignorance of God's grace when we confess our sins to Him, asking Him to forgive us?

8) Since you believe we are not to judge our salvation by our conduct, how can we avoid self-deception? I know that you are against certain types of self-examination lest you become "sin conscious" and take your eyes off the finished work of the cross, but what do you make of verses that state that we know we have passed from death to life only if we live a certain way (like 1 John 3:14)? If I understand you correctly, you would question the salvation of someone who demonstrated no change of life and continued to walk in unrepentant sin. But doesn't this mean that, on some level, you are looking at your "performance" to verify your salvation?

9) Do you think there's any danger in claiming that the teachings of Jesus before the cross don't apply to us as believers today? I take a lot of time on this subject in my book, exposing what I believe to be the very real dangers in doing this, but for the moment, I'm wondering if you could tell me why grace preachers like Spurgeon (whom I mentioned above) or D.M. Lloyd-Jones gloried in the Sermon on the Mount and considered it to be choice material for believers today, whereas you reject it as being applicable to us. Were they missing something?

110) What does it mean for you to walk in the fear of the Lord? We agree that we are not to live in servile fear before our Father, especially since fear has to do with punishment (1 John 4:18). But what do you make of verses like these, addressed to believers? "And if you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your sojourning. For you know that you were not redeemed from your vain way of life inherited from your fathers with perishable things, like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot" (1 Pet. 1:17-19).

11) Do you see any possible danger in emphasizing that it is impossible for a believer to lose his or her salvation? Of course, we could debate whether the Bible teaches this at all, but simply as a matter of experience, many of us have encountered very lost people—drunkards, fornicators, without the slightest interest in God (see 1 Cor. 6:9-10)—who have then assured us that they were saved because it was impossible for them to lose their salvation. So on a practical level, do you feel it's important to add any scriptural caveats to your teaching of eternal security and, if so, how can you do this without putting an emphasis on "performance"?

Again, in posting these questions, I am not trying to be contentious, nor have I worded them so as to set some kind of trap. I am genuinely asking for honest responses from Pastor Prince and those who embrace the modern grace message for the sake of clarity and understanding and, where needed, self-correction.

May we all walk in the fullness of God's grace and love!

 Michael Brown is the author of 25 books, including Can You Be Gay and Christian? and host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show "The Line of Fire." He is also president of FIRE School of Ministry and director of the Coalition of Conscience.

Megachurch Pastor Kong Hee Pleads for 8 Year Prison Sentence to Be Overturned as Court Case Resumes

Singapore's City Harvest Church founder and Senior Pastor Kong Hee is back in court, pleading for his eight-year prison sentence for misappropriating $35 million of church funds to be overturned.



Kong's lawyer, Edwin Tong, argued on Thursday that the pastor should see all three of the criminal convictions against him overturned, Channel News Asia reported.

Tong said that the CHC founder put money forward to support the church's mission, which was supported by virtually the entire congregation, and that the church had not suffered any actual financial loss.

Although Kong is accused of being part of a scheme that funneled $35 million to the pop star career of his wife, fellow CHC pastor Sun Ho, the lawyer noted that the singer was synonymous with the Crossover Project, the church's ministry through music effort.

"It is beyond question that the accused believed wholeheartedly that they were using church funds for an approved church purpose," Tong explained.

Judge See Kee Oon said last year that Kong and five other CHC members had a major role to play in channeling millions of dollars that were set to be used for investments and building-related projects into sham bonds, used for Ho's career.

All six of the convicted church members have appealed their guilty verdicts and sentences, pleading innocence.

The prosecution has insisted that Kong and the others were well aware that they were misusing the church's money, however, and said that the sentences are "manifestly inadequate," calling on Kong to face a jail term of 11 to 12 years instead.

Tong said on Thursday that it is wrong to believe that Kong acted dishonestly and was only concerned with funding his wife's music career, however, and gave evidence that Kong had consistently consulted auditors and lawyers on two bond investments.

"Every cent was used entirely for the church's mission," the lawyer said. "Even if (the church's funds — meant for investments or building-related expenses) were put to 'wrongful use,' they were 'applied in good faith," he added.

Kong has said in his own words that he was not the mastermind behind the misuse of money, and said that the sentencing against him was "erroneous."

"My lawyers will also address the prosecution's appeal at the appropriate time. I sincerely need your prayers during this process for a favorable outcome. The road ahead is long and arduous, but God's grace is sufficient for me," he told supporters last year.

Ho has stood by her husband in the long standing court case, though she has not herself been accused of wrongdoing.

The Straits Times reported that the trial will resume on Friday, with former CHC fund manager Chew Eng Han and former finance manager Sharon Tan expected to present their own appeals.

The prosecution, on the other hand, is scheduled to present its case on Sept. 20.

Kong Hee's City Harvest Church Hit by New Police Investigation Into Fraud by Ex-Fund Manager

Eight members linked to Pastor Kong Hee's City Harvest Church in Singapore have been hit by a new police report by former CHC fund manager Chew Eng Han, accusing them of "fraudulent misrepresentation" of facts, as Kong, Chew, and four other members await appeal decisions on a prior conviction.



TodayOnline reported on Wednesday that Chew, who was one of the six CHC leaders convicted and sentenced to prison, pending appeal, for misusing close to $35 million in church donations, has filed a police report regarding eight church members accusing them of fraudulent misrepresentation of facts about the church.

Police officials confirmed that a report has indeed been made, but could not provide many details.

"As police investigations are confidential, and the complainant Chew also has an appeal against his conviction and sentence pending adjudication by the Supreme Court, it is inappropriate at this juncture for the police not to comment further," a police statement told Today.

Lawyers for CHC have already responded to Chew's report, calling his statements "bare allegations."

"Further, these allegations are misconceived and/or erroneous as a matter of law," the lawyers added.

The eight members reportedly include Kong and his wife, fellow CHC pastor Sun Ho, along with CHC Kuala Lumpur founder Kevin Loo, former CHC Executive Pastor Derek Dunn and CHC Executive Pastor Aries Zulkarnain.

Kong has insisted that he is innocent of all charges despite being sentenced to eight years in prison for his role in the alleged misuse of church funds, which are believed to have gone into funding the music career of Sun Ho in America.

The CHC lead pastors have been touring several countries across Asia and even into Africa, focusing on healing and revival services, while Kong awaits the result of his appeal back home in Singapore.

Back in May, the Sunday Times reported that the legal troubles have been taking a toll on the CHC ministry, with the congregation having dropped to 16,482 members in 2015. Before the trial began in 2009, the church had 23, 565 members, meaning it has lost close to a third.

As Today noted, Chew and CHC have been embroiled in a civil suit concerning millions in unreturned investments, with CHC accusing Chew of owing close to 3.5 million USD in accrued interest.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

羅慧娟最後生命見證,分享。

TRUE REPENTANCE - Part 1

By TAN KOK KIM

( Matthew 4:17 )( Acts Chapter 2 )

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There is no permanent or lasting change except through REPENTANCE. We must once and for all abolished any idea or any conception in our hearts that somehow, if we try our best, somehow if we give ourselves time, if we grow older, if we go to Church more often, if we sit down in Christian meetings, if we listened to Christian music, if we spent time just with Christians, if we going to listened to more messages, somehow in the future, somehow down the road, we are going to changed, somehow our lives are going to get better, because we are with Christian friends, we are coming to Church, we are reading the Bible. Now, whatever ideas that we have, WE MUST PUT IT ASIDE, because according to the Scriptures, according to God's revealed purpose, there is one basis, there is ONLY ONE VERY IMPORTANT REALITY, that will bring change in our lives, that is "TRUE REPENTANCE."

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There is no change, there is no permanent and lasting change in our lives, OUTSIDE OF REPENTANCE. God has so arranged in our made up and in His redemption and in His working with our lives, God has reserved the whole reality of repentance to be the fundamental and the foundational basis for our well being, for our Spiritual well being, for our change. Now, please understand this beloved, there is no permanent, no lasting change outside repentance. Here, this will answer right at this point, that one of the reason why many of us are not seeing, and we are not experiencing permanent and lasting change is BECAUSE SOMETHING HAS GONE WRONG IN THE AREA OF REPENTANCE, something is a missed, something is misunderstood, something has somehow missed our lives concerning repentance, because we going to come and see in Scriptures, that God has ordained repentance as the means, as the way to a LIFE OF CHANGE.

There is no change in us, and let's this be clear in all our hearts, is not because we sit in the Church or Christian meetings for many years, is because we have been exposed to Christian ministries, and preaching of the word, or because we have done this or that, or because we have been with Christian circles for a long long time, so therefore, that give us the license to believed that we will change somewhere down the road. Now, THAT IS WRONG, that is many times, in fact is a DECEPTION OF THE ENEMY, and I will show this to you in the Scriptures, that there is no permanent change or lasting change in your life and my life, only an EXCEPT through the reality and experience of repentance.
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Here now, we do know that repentance in the Scripture is a very simple word, it means to turn around, it means a complete and a total change of our mindset, another words, repentance has to do with something inside us, inside our very nature, inside our thought, and our mind. It changes our nature, it alter our being, our inward being. Repentance touches something deep inside us, repentance don't deal with the surface, repentance don't deal with the outward, repentance deals with a man inner nature, it deals with his disposition, it deals with his mindset, his attitude, his heart condition, repentance means a changed in our mind, it turns around in the mindset that is in all of us, that's why REPENTANCE IS SO POWERFUL.

NOW, THERE ARE TWO VERY PIVOTAL EVENTS IN THE BIBLE, the first is none other than the birth of the LORD Jesus Christ. Here, we may remember that when Jesus waited for thirty years before the FATHER is going to launch Him into public ministry, by the time when Jesus came out of the river Jordan, and begin His first message in His public ministry, this is given to us in Matthew chapter 4. Now, Jesus is being launch out into this grand and tremendous purpose of the Father, that from this point is going to lead Him to this place called Calvary, where He will accomplished the purpose and the will of the Father.

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Now as it is given to us here in Matthew 4:17. The moment when He came out in public ministry, this is the first thing that was on His lips, that was the first word, THE FIRST PIVOTAL EVENT of the New Testament, the very message from the Heart of God. And what was the first thing that came out from His mouth? He said, " REPENT: FOR THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND." Folks, what does that means? IT MEANS THAT EVERYTIME WHEN WE REPENT, THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AVAILABLE TO US. In another words, what it means is this: THE ENTIRE REALITY OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD. What is the Kingdom of God? The Kingdom of God is THE RULE OF GOD, THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD, all of the INHERITANCE OF GOD, all of the RICHES OF GOD, all this embodied in this very principle called the Kingdom of God.

Jesus said the Kingdom of God is about to crush on us, is about to fall upon us, it going to invade into our lives. And how is it going to come into us? He said, "REPENT." The moment a man and a woman comes into repentance, God will throw him into ALL OF THE GLORY OF THE KINGDOM.The moment a man and a woman comes into repentance, Jesus said, the Kingdom of God going to be near, it's for him, it's for her to experience, it's available, it's not far away, it's that close to us, IF WE ONLY REPENT. He said, the Kingdom of God is available to us now, that was the pronouncement, and that was an announcement, Jesus make it absolutely clear.

THE SECOND PIVOTAL EVENT is given to us in the Acts of Apostles, how repentance is so central in the New Testament. Acts Chapter 2. Here, THE SECOND PIVOTAL EVENT IS NONE OTHER THAN THE COMING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, the descend of God's Spirit upon all flesh, something in which God kept or promised Jesus after His death, His resurrection, and His ascension. The coming of the Holy Spirit is absolutely important, which of course, you and I understand this to be the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2, Peter is preaching, we may know Holy Ghost fell on the 120 in the upper room, it all started in verse 1 of chapter 2. The account goes on and Peter stood up and began to to preached, because they were shout shocked as men and women saw what was happening to this 120, they didn't understand, because there was such an phenomenon that comes upon men and women, because it was a new day, it was the beginning of dispensation, it was a new work that God never done before, this was the first time that God is pouring His Holy Spirit upon men, pouring His Holy Spirit upon all flesh.

Right there and Peter under the influenced and the anointing of the Holy Spirit, he stood up and he begins to preached and this whole message lead us into verse 37 and 38. "Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and the rest of the Apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."

Now, showing to you and I HOW IMPORTANT IS REPENTANCE IN THE MIND AND IN THE HEART OF GOD. How does it works? How does repentance work in my life and your life? If God holds repentance as something which is so foundational for my entire life, how does it works in me? How does God plans to do this in me? What is the anatomy? what is the clinical examination? How does God brings repentance to my life? What is it all about? As it is so important because it is going to determine my permanent and my lasting change.

How many of us know today that one of the rarest thing to find is the lasting and permanent change in Christian, one of the rarest thing to find today, lives are at pain, lives are in crisis today, the Church is in such a stage today all over the nations of the world, is because so many of us are not in the place of transformation, so many of us are not living in a place, where our change is permanent, where our change is evident. Just as we think that we are growing, and before we know it, we start to regressed, just as we take two steps in front, we start to go back four steps, just as we pushed a little bit, we go backward far more, somehow change is not lasting in so many Christian lives, the illness, and the disease has to do with the lacked or even should said the whole forfeiture of repentance. Now, how does it all work? Jeremaiah Chapter 6 which believes is going to UNFOLD AND REVEAL TO US SOMETHING CONCERNING REPENTANCE THAT MANY OF US HAS SOMEHOW MISSED IN OUR LIVES...To be continue...Jeremaiah Chapter 6...

or further reading please visit TAN KOK KIM