A Night To Honour Israel

The 7th of November 2018 will go down in Cornerstone’s history as one of our most significant days ever. Almost 900 people gathered at the Marina Bay Sands to witness, celebrate and support the honouring of the Jewish community in Singapore and to celebrate 70 years of Israel’s Independence.

The occasion was graced by Her Excellency, Ambassador Simona Halperin, Chief Rabbi Mordechai Abergel, Lt. General (Retired) Winston Choo, Singapore’s Ambassador to Israel, Mr. Victor Sassoon, President of the Jewish Welfare Board and many other dignitaries. What an evening it was! The atmosphere was pregnant with joy and friendship and if I could sum up the whole evening, it was a God-moment that released grace from on high.



Many members of the Jewish community came up to me at the dinner to express their gratitude and the common refrain was, “We’ve not seen this kind of support and friendship anywhere else in the world!” The event itself was very unique and I want to thank God for giving us the opportunity to host this major event. For us, it was transformational, as it was exhilarating. To see two very colourful communities interact in such a loving and friendly manner – that’s the reward in itself.



As a representative of the Christian community here in Singapore, may I again reiterate and say to all our Jewish friends – the Christian community stands with, and proudly supports Israel. And the Church has not been silent, but vocal in our support for the Jewish State. Singapore is one of the few nations in the world where the Jewish community is not just tolerated, but celebrated. We’ve a long and proud history of friendship with Israel and we pray that this will always be so.



But let me venture to say that Singapore has a debt to pay to the Jewish people. For instance, in November 1965, a group of Israeli soldiers arrived in Singapore under a veil of secrecy and their job was to help our nation set up and establish her nascent army. Since then, security, research and development between the two countries have strengthened, and Singapore is now considered one of the biggest customers of Israeli arms and weapons systems. Today, Singapore has a well-equipped and efficient army, which serves as a deterrence against other nations, thanks to Israel.



We’re also indebted to Israel for the fact that the first Chief Minister of Singapore was a Jew, Mr. David Marshall. Four years ago, Rabbi Mordechai felt a deep desire to place a Hanukkah menorah on Orchard Road. He met with a wealthy businessman who heard and accepted his request and today, the menorah stands on Singapore’s busiest shopping street.



Allow me please to quote a parable from our New Testament. In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 25, there’s a cluster of three parables and these parables all have a common thread. Basically, they give us an idea of what we’re to expect at the end of the age and how the nations of the world would be judged.

But let me just focus on the third parable because in it, Jesus paints a scenario and tells us what will happen when He returns. All the nations of the earth shall be gathered before His Throne of Glory in Jerusalem and He’ll separate the nations as a man separates sheep from the goats. And what’s the criterion of separation? On what basis does He judge and separate the nations? The answer to that is how we treat the Jews. There’s no ambiguity about this. How we treat the Jews is going to be the plumbline, the yardstick of measurement of how He’ll judge and treat us. When it comes to the Jews, our Lord takes it very personally; they’re after all, His people.



It was the German theologian and Lutheran pastor, Martin Niemoller, who wrote the often quoted but haunting words when Hitler unleashed terror and destruction upon the human race, beginning with the Jews: He wrote and I quote: “First, they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.” 



Before his execution by the Nazis in 1945, Bonhoeffer warned us and his words still apply: “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” Haunting words. In the face of rising anti-Semitism especially in the West, I want to boldly step out into the open and affirm again that the Christian community stands proudly with Israel and we stand with the Jewish community in Singapore.



A Jewish friend once said that the Jewish person who has crossed your path is not an accident and I agree with him. Finally, a quote from Sir Winston Churchill; he said, “No thoughtful man can deny the fact that the Jews are, beyond any question, the most formidable and more remarkable race, which has appeared in the world.” God bless the Church, God bless Singapore and God bless Israel.


Pastor Yang Tuck Yoong

You Can Make A Difference!

This has been an amazing week and time of journeying in prayer as a church, praying with a single purpose for God’s divine plan and doing it with one mind. The power of our prayers is only as strong as the agreement behind them, both with one another and with heaven. I believe the Lord is urging us to participate with His Spirit in a bond of fellowship that’s so deep until we think like one person, and on the same things!

The Apostle Paul exhorts us to be of one mind, that we be like-minded. In Phil 2:1-2, “Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfil my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” read more…

The Slingshot, Sword and Sceptre

David was anointed on three different occasions. 
He was first called and anointed at Bethel (1 Sam 16:13), then chosen and anointed at Hebron (2 Sam 2:4), and finally as he remained faithful with what he had been given, he received his final anointing at Zion (2 Sam 5:3), which established his rule over Israel for 33 years. In Hebron, David reigned over Judah for a period of seven years and six months. He was then 30 years of age when he became king and he reigned for a total of 40 years. Pastor Yang often quotes the following statement, “David’s life could actually be defined by the battles he fought.”

It’s interesting to study the various weapons of warfare David used for each battle. I believe God makes available an appropriate weapon accompanied by a fresh anointing for each season and battle we read more…

Time to Tell A Story

“Facts tell, stories sell.” This is the mantra of advertising. It holds true because we all remember a good story, but facts are quite easily forgotten.
 
Is it any wonder that much of our Scriptures are brought across to us as a testimony of lives and events? Amazing that our God would weave truths and principles within the fabric of human stories that can be far more easily remembered and retained in our memories. Jesus, did likewise, by the parables that He told us.
 
I once heard this, that a vital difference between the United Kingdom and America can be seen in the monuments that they’ve built. Consider the British wartime Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill. Perhaps the most important British Prime Minister in the 20th Century.

He had a statue built to his read more…

Why Jesus Wept

John 11:35 is one of my favourite memory verses which happens to be the shortest verse in the Bible. Just two words, “Jesus wept”. So simple, yet so profound. Contained within these two words is the full expression of the humanity and deity of Jesus; fully God yet fully man.

Most commentaries explain this verse as Jesus identifying with the pain and loss of a loved one. Yet there’s this “holy dis-satisfaction” in me that says there’s something more which God wants to show us, perhaps an invitation to enter into something deeper than those who viewed things superficially (v 36) and those who doubted Jesus (v 37) would never enter in nor understand.

This chapter was punctuated twice (John 11:33, 38) with the phrase that Jesus “groaned in the spirit and was troubled”; in between the “Jesus wept” verse. read more…

What Astonishes And What Transforms

In the Parable of the Sower found in Matt 13: 5-6, Jesus described the seed that fell on stony places this way. He said, “Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away.”
 
Beware of ministries that spring up overnight without preparation. You’ve never heard of them and all of a sudden, like shooting stars, they’ve huge crowds flocking to their meetings. People are attracted to the razz-ma-tazz. They’re attracted to what glitters. But look at what the Scripture says. These seed fell on stony places, where there was not much earth, and they immediately sprang up, why? Because there was no depth. If read more…

The Feast of Booths

And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.” Zechariah 14:16

The Feast of Booths, or Sukkot, provided the Jews a time to remember how God had delivered His people from bondage, in addition to making provision for them in the wilderness. This moment allowed them to reflect upon their deliverance, while looking forward to something new. 

Of all the Feasts, Sukkot is surely the one that speaks most powerfully to our time. As believers, we celebrate Sukkot due to the prophetic purpose hidden in this unique festival. Its significance is unfolding today which includes its link to the Second Coming of the Lord.  The Feast of Tabernacles points to read more…

The Price for His Presence

The account of Mary’s anointing of the Lord is found in John 12. This may seem like a beautiful account of Mary’s devotion to the Lord, but really, if you could be present at that moment, you’d have found it awkward and intense. Awkward, because she broke cultural norms in order to step into a moment reserved only for men, to anoint the Lord. Intense and perhaps hostile, because her actions were misunderstood and totally inappropriate in those days.

What though is important to note is that she was the one who changed the atmosphere in that place and brought a pervading fragrance. While the guest list included the apostles – Lazarus, who was raised from the dead, Martha, the one who was the epitome of service, and many others; it was Mary who brought the fragrance. She brought the read more…

Be Like The Wind

Once during my devotion time, I asked God an audacious question, “How do I defeat the evil one?” Now, I know that Jesus has won the victory for us on the Cross and furthermore, Rev 12:11 exhorts us that we’ve defeated the “accuser of the brethren” by the Blood of the Lamb and by our testimony, not loving our lives nor renouncing our faith even when faced with death.
‬ But I was looking more for some practical steps to apply in my life. I was led to John 3:8 which I’ve come across before and it’s one of those verses which baffles me. It says, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Yup, I read more…

The Inner Chamber

A 25-hour day? In December of 2016, researchers at Durham University and UK’s Nautical Almanac Office discovered that we could spend an extra hour either in bed or at work. Scientists have claimed that the earth’s days will get an hour LONGER in the future due to the planet’s slowing orbit and clocks will become outdated.

However, earth’s citizens have been advised not to throw out the clock just yet, as the day is lengthening only by two milliseconds every 100 years and getting an extra minute in the day will take 6.7 million years. And the length of the day will not extend to 25 hours for around another 200 million years. 

It’s not uncommon to hear of someone saying, “I’ve so much to do and so little time to complete them and having one more hour in the day read more…

Success or Victory?

One of the key things in life is to distinguish the difference between success and victory. Oftentimes in life, we tend to focus on success rather victory. Success is a term that’s often used commonly in the business world. Victory is a term that’s used for combat. And which is the better picture of a church? A business or an army? Did Paul not exhort us to be good soldiers of Jesus Christ?

Here’s another way of looking at it. When Jesus died on the Cross, did He look like a success? Everyone thought He was a failure. All His disciples forsook Him. As far as they were concerned, Jesus failed. But what happened at the Cross? The victim became the greatest victor! He gained the victory and overcame the power of sin and death. He didn’t look successful, but read more…

Tests of Success

When the LORD your God brings you into the land He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you… then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” Deut 6:10-12

This is a marvellous promise of the blessing of God to the Children of Israel. Now here’s the surprise. Moses reminded the people by stating the following, “When this happens… Be careful that you do not forget the Lord” (6:12). To forget the Lord doesn’t mean to forget that He exists. It simply means that you no longer have Him in mind as in times past.

The message to us is clear. Say for example you’re blessed with a new or upgraded home; does God come to mind? Is the Lord read more…

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