Why We Must Stand For Israel

Robert Morris is the senior pastor of Gateway Church in Dallas, one of the largest churches in the United States, with 39,000 active members and the author of “The Blessed Life”. To say that he’s living the blessed life is an understatement. God has blessed this man. Once, in conversation with the Lord, Pastor Morris asked the Lord why He has blessed him so much, and immediately the Lord responded, “Because you gave your first fruits to my firstborn (Israel).”

Gateway Church gives one-tenth of its Mission’s Tithe to the Jew first through Israel-focused ministries. It’s also the first cheque written each month by their church office. This revelation concerning his re-connection back to Israel, which was given to him by the Holy Spirit, has been an untold blessing both to his life personally and also to Gateway Church.

Matthew 25 is a powerful chapter in Scripture and it consists of a cluster of three parables. These three parables all have a common thread and basically, they give us an idea of what we’re to expect when our Lord Jesus returns; how He’ll judge the Church and the nations and how He rewards them as well. They’re addressed to three different groups of people.

Now the people in all the parables seemingly believed the same things. So it’s not a matter of what we believe in this instance. Is that important? Definitely yes! But in this scenario, it’s not what we believe but what we do with what we believe. It’s important what we do, because one of the questions we’ll be asked on that day is what did we do with the life He gave us.

The first parable is The Parable of the 10 Virgins. This parable is addressed to the Church, and it’s about productivity. In the parable, all the virgins wanted to be part of the wedding. But we’re told that five were wise and five were foolish. Now all 10 virgins, which is a type of the believer in Scripture, slept. So we must watch the spirit of slumber. Then we’re introduced to the third group of people in the story – The cry of the midnight caller: “Behold the Bridegroom is coming.” They’re not asleep.

The wise ones had oil in their lamps. In other words, they had reserves. So it’s wisdom for us to be prepared. Now why did the wise virgins prepare and took oil? Because they didn’t know when the Master was coming back. So they prepared themselves. The emphasis is what they did with what they believed. The foolish virgins thought that He was coming back immediately and did not prepare. All the virgins believed in the Bridegroom and all believed that He was coming back. One group prepared for it, but not the other. The lack of preparedness cost them everything.

The second parable is The Parable of the Talents. This parable is directed to the servants of the Lord, the ministers of the Gospel. And it’s about productiveness. The master had entrusted his business to three servants. A talent in those days was quite a sum of money. The first servant made five talents from the five he was given and was richly rewarded. The second servant made two talents from the two he was given and he too was richly rewarded. But the third servant didn’t do anything with his talent. He didn’t lose the talent. He didn’t steal it. He didn’t waste it. He didn’t consume it. He just didn’t use it. And what happened to him? He was cast into outer darkness. That’s not a nice place to be for eternity.

The third parable is an Actual Scenario. It’s not actually a parable, but an account of how the Lord will judge the nations when He returns. We’re told that when Jesus returns to this planet, He’s going to return to His throne in Jerusalem; not London, or Canterbury, or Tulsa, or Springfield, MO. Then the nations will be gathered before Him and He’ll separate the nations as a man separates sheep from the goats. And what’s the criterion of separation? On what basis is the Lord going to judge and separate the nations? The answer to that is how we treat the least of His brethren. Make no mistake about it, His brethren here is a direct reference to the Jewish people. There’s no ambiguity about this.

How we treat the Jew is going to be the plumb line, the yardstick of measurement of how He’ll treat and reward us. We’re blessed as we bless Israel, and vice versa. How we treat the Jewish people is one of the plumb lines that God is establishing in His Church today, much like the Grace Message and the LGBT issue. It was Sir Winston Churchill who said that “no thoughtful man can deny the fact that the Jews are, beyond any question, the most formidable and most remarkable race, which has appeared in the world.”

Pastor Yang Tuck Yoong

The 2 Phinehas

There are many life examples recorded in the Bible for our learning and admonition so that we learn from the good ones and don’t repeat the mistakes of the bad ones. Our positions in these stories are very similar – they at the beginning, and we at the end of age. Truth is, we’re just as capable of messing up in our time as they were in theirs (1 Cor 10:11-12).

With that in mind, I want to briefly look at the life of two Phinehas in the Bible and draw some important lessons for our learning. Same name but two very different outcomes – one ended well, while the other ended tragically.

The first Phinehas was the son of Eleazar (Exo 6:25) and the grandson of Aaron, the high priest. He was read more…

Learning to Stand

It’s amazing how often this has happened in my life, that when things go wrong, they all go wrong at the same time. Or when demands and pressures come, it all seems to happen at the same time. Life just doesn’t dish out problems and difficulties evenly so that we can cope better. There’s no regularity or predictability when it comes to the storms of life. It isn’t something you can schedule into your calendars. While in the midst of one of those intense periods, here are some thoughts that I gathered:

1. Let your comfort zones be challenged
Humans all have a tendency to drift into a place of greatest comfort. Whether it’s when we’re wriggling into our little nook on our favourite sofa or finding that place of maximum efficiency at our work place; read more…

Cornerstone, A Place Where Dreams Are Made

Joyce Theng, a member of Cornerstone, recently shared this amazing testimony. She said, “I have been taking the same bus route ever since I started attending Cornerstone. I have never paid any attention to the shops along the road until this evening, before the 5pm service. There’s a pub along the road and the signboard had these words: “Legacy- where dreams are made”.  When I looked at it, a wave of sadness swept over me and tears welled up in my eyes. This is a pub. I was communicating to God in my mind and I said: “Father, why has it got to be a pub? Please forgive me and the church. Please Father, is there a church where your dreams for the people be made?” Then, the words just flashed in my spirit and mind: “I will reveal to read more…

God’s Dream Team

The pastors and heads of department have just returned from an intensive 3-day planning summit for the purpose of “charting the future course” for Cornerstone. The meetings consisted of prayer, worship, reports and planning. The summit provided an integration of God’s dream and plan for Cornerstone to be woven in and through the leadership. How does such a process take place? Let me explain. 

Dutch Sheets made the following statement in his last visit to Cornerstone: “God first dreams before He creates.” The Bible says much about dreaming, and it’s enlightening to discover that the concepts of dreaming and creating are found in the following Hebrew word: “yatsar” which means “to create”. “Yetser” is a slightly different form of the word, which has the meaning of “imagination, conception, and thought”. So the power to create begins with the read more…

Thankful for My Singapore

On the 9th August, our nation celebrated her 52nd birthday, and what a bash it was, with the Marina Bay skyline serving as a backdrop. As always, my family sat glued, watching the National Day Parade live on television. And as always, we sang the songs patriotically, laughed at the outrageous costumes, teared when the National Anthem was being sung, talked about our National Service experiences, but one thing is for sure, we were all proud to be Singaporeans.

I love my country and I love my people, regardless of race, language or religion. The evening before, my wife and I were with 6,500 other Christians at the “Day of His Power” at Suntec City, thanking God for Singapore and praying for her. The day after, we were with the Festival of Praise, Pastors’ Gathering, praying read more…

Consolidating the Vision Part 2

“Awake and arise! Take up your positions in Christ and man your posts!” This was the closing exhortation from Pastor Kevin Koh’s bulletin article last week. I’d like to build upon some of his thoughts regarding the vision for Cornerstone and the Singapore Church. Let’s be honest. There’s much to digest and it’s vital that we’ve a streamlined understanding as to what God is doing. The following three points of interest may help to bring that needed clarity: 1. The rain prophesied over Cornerstone; 2. Singapore’s upcoming National Day; and 3. The 2018 prayer and fasting for revival.

This week, Singapore will celebrate 52 years as a nation. It’s a time to pause and reflect upon God’s goodness and favour. The miracle of Singapore has parallels with Israel in Nehemiah’s day. Both Israel and Singapore were led read more…

Consolidating The Vision

There were fun moments as laughter filled the room, with the “oohs and the aahs” and the loud “Amens!” Then there were moments of silence and deep contemplation as hearts were gripped by the powerful messages delivered through God’s messengers. Shown on some faces were the resolved looks of those who had broken through and were ready to charge forward with the Lord. Yet there were those who came somewhat heavy-burdened because they needed an answer and clarity from God when they returned home. They were tired of “doing church” and maintaining status quo. Hence they found themselves at this crossroads, a decision point where the future of their families and ministries would hinge on the decision made here.

Such was the heightened atmosphere of the recently-concluded Cornerstone Global Network (CGN) Summit where 70 participants from 18 nations read more…

Do Not Despise the Day of Small Beginnings

This week, we’ve many of our pastors from the nations converging in Singapore for our annual Cornerstone Global Network Summit. This is an annual event for the pastors to reconnect relationally and to renew our visions for the work that God is giving to us. These meetings that we have each year are immensely enjoyable and inspiring. It always amazes us what these pastors are accomplishing in the nations and how we’re impacting literally hundreds of thousands of lives collectively.

Yet as I reflect on many of these relationships, I see and recognise God’s unseen hand orchestrating our journeys to allow for our paths to intersect. I see also the years of faithful labour, enduring difficulties, and humility in these pastors that have caused them to see growth and enlargement in the ministry that they’ve been entrusted read more…

Strong Dominant Churches

Last week, I had the privilege, together with my wife and Dr. Rolland Baker, to speak at the “Kingdom Mandate Conference” in Miri, East Malaysia. Between 400-500 people showed up for the 2-day conference and for a city like Miri, that’s a great response. But what an amazing time we had! 

The presence of God was powerful and the whole conference operated with clockwork precision.

I want to go on record to say how proud I am of our two firebrands, Pastors Sabrina Low and Rachel Bulan. They started the church just a couple of years ago with a handful of people and it’s now becoming a dominant spiritual force in Miri. They’ve many young zealots and firebrands in the church today and I can confidently predict that they’ll soon impact the city in ways we read more…

Understanding the Jerusalem Council

What was the purpose of the Jerusalem Council at the commencing of the Early Church? In short, it allowed for the discussion and addressing of the Jewish and Gentile cultural divide that proved a hindrance to kingdom advancement. It’s important for us to consider carefully what was at stake. 

The Gospel message was gaining traction, yet the Church was now confronting a moment of crisis. The decisions taken would determine whether this movement would be taken to the next level. Is there a message for us at Cornerstone and the Church at large?  

These thoughts are fresh in my mind in reflecting upon the Kingdom Wealth Conference of this past week. There’s so much to digest as a result of these meetings. The parallels between the Jerusalem Council and the modern Church read more…

Faithfulness Redefined

I overheard a conversation between two friends in a church and it went something like this – “He’s a very faithful man. He comes to church every weekend and has been a Christian for a long time.” That set me thinking about the word “faithful” and its true meaning, as I recalled what Jesus taught in the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30.

This parable began with the master, prior to his long trip, giving some talents (money) to his servants, each according to their own ability. It ended with the master returning and asking each of them to give an account for the talents entrusted to them. The servant who had received five talents went and traded (invested) with them, and made another five talents. Likewise, the servant who had received two talents gained two read more…

Book your tickets