The Feast of Great Rejoicing

The Feast of Tabernacles, which is the 7th and concluding holy day in the Biblical calendar in Leviticus 23:33-44, ends this week. This is the 7th Feast in the seventh month, otherwise called Sukkot. The Feast started at sundown on 13 October and ends at nightfall on Sunday, 20 October.

This Feast is also called the Feast of Ingathering as it’s observed after all crops had been harvested and gathered. This is a time of great rejoicing and we’re to ‘rejoice before Yahweh, our God for seven days.’ (Lev 23:40)

This Feast points to the fullness of God’s plan for Israel, for her salvation, for God to dwell among His redeemed remnant, comprising both redeemed Jews and Gentiles. This is also the time of ultimate eternal rejoicing in the long-awaited Messianic Kingdom.

So how does this Feast apply to our generation in these last days on earth?

I believe the Holy Spirit is compelling us to be fully prepared. He desires that we understand Biblical truth so that all our hope and joy are focused on the eternal King and His Kingdom, and we be far removed from this perishing world.

The prophetic importance of this last Biblical feast points to the greatest feast of rejoicing, which is the ‘marriage supper of the Lamb’ in Revelation 19:6-9, when Jesus and His redeemed righteous Bride are united forever.

In John14:3, Jesus says, “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” We’re not to settle for anything less than to know Jesus intimately as our Bridegroom Redeemer. And, as His Church, we’re to be made fully ready for His return. Just as the Apostle Paul reminds us we’re to keep seeking the things above, where Jesus is, seated at the right hand of God (Col 3:1-2).

And, though we’re in this world, we’re not of this world for the Holy Spirit’s work is to lead us out with its temporary worthless trappings and cheap thrills. Instead, we’re to be constantly refreshed and renewed in our hearts and minds to re-prioritise and wholeheartedly seek God and do His will.

The Word of God is true, and He doesn’t lie, ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.’ (1 Cor 2:9)

And, as the Holy Spirit has been highlighting the Parable of the Five Wise and Five Foolish Virgins in Matthew 25, He impressed upon me to revisit this parable and speak about it. Therefore, I believe we’re closer to that Day than we think.

In this parable, all the virgins went out to meet the Bridegroom. They’d said goodbye to the world to seek the things that are above, where Jesus is, and all took their lamps with them. But, there was only one difference: the wise virgins took oil in their vessels together with their lamps; the foolish virgins didn’t. The five foolish virgins did have some oil in their lamps because they said, “Our lamps are going out.” So, something must have been crushed in them as well, but it didn’t last.

“And at midnight a cry was heard: Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!” (Matt 25:6). All the virgins could hear that call, and all awoke to trim their lamps. As they were preparing their lamps, and the time was at the midnight hour, they realised they needed more oil than what was in their lamps to burn brightly. It was then that the foolish ones made the terrible discovery that their lamps were going out and they had no oil in their vessels.

Discovering they’d neglected to bring what was necessary, they tried to get oil from the wise virgins. But the wise didn’t have enough to supply themselves and the foolish. So, the foolish had to go out to buy oil, which means they had to take the time to crush the olives to get oil in their vessels.

Know this – when the bridegroom came, it was too late to buy oil, for those who were ready went with Him. ‘Afterwards the other virgins came also, saying, “Lord, Lord, open to us!” But he answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.” 

It’s imperative to understand that the life in us is the light of men and no one can borrow light from another. Today, there are people who live in sin but try to hide in the Church among Christians. People trust them because they attend church and seem to be good people. But the time is coming when these will be manifested for who and what they really are.

I urge us all to awake to gather oil in our vessels and be counted worthy to escape the things that will come to pass and to stand before the Son of Man. May we all by His grace and mercy truly experience the great rejoicing in the Feast of Tabernacles that points to an eternity spent with our Saviour and King! 


Ps. Daphne Yang

The Indomitable Canon Andrew White

For a long time, I had wanted to meet the indomitable Canon Andrew White. The stories I heard about him were legendary. The opportunity came one day as my wife and I were having lunch with one of our dearest friends, Canon J John and his wife Killy. I had asked him if he knew Canon Andrew White and J immediately lighted up and told us they were very close and even went on holidays together.

He recounted some amazing stories about Canon White and what God has done through the man in Iraq and I just knew I had to meet him. To cut a long story short, we connected through Canon J, invited him to Singapore and, in just a few days, we’re going to have the privilege of Canon White speaking at our Kingdom Invasion Trilogy on read more…

I Am With You Always

This blog is written especially to all students who are taking their year-end exams, and to those going through a stressful and challenging season in their lives. It’s an excerpt from a short study I did on the ‘Names of God’. I trust that it’ll encourage you.

There’s power in a name. It’s what we’re known by (identification) and it says who we are (identity). Just think of all the names of those influential and powerful world leaders. God is known by many names in the Bible. Learning to know each of His Name(s) opens up the door to a deeper relationship with Him – to understand His nature and character. The Bible says in Prov 18:10, “The Name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” In a world that’s getting more read more…

Unforgettable

I had an interesting conversation with my daughter recently where she quipped, “I can forgive but not forget … is that ok?” As a father, I’m confronted with the fact that my daughter is asking increasingly thought-provoking questions and oftentimes, a Biblically-correct answer doesn’t adequately satisfy – especially for a PK (pastor’s kid).

For those who are parents, here’s a great promise from Isaiah 54:13:  
“All your children shall be taught by the Lord,
And great shall be the peace of your children.”

At that moment, I felt I needed to share with her not just what’s in God’s Word, but also what’s upon His heart. Whenever our children come to us with a question we don’t have an answer to, we can always turn to our Heavenly Father. Most of the time, He wants to teach read more…

Two Extreme Mentalities

Biblical economics have gone through a rollercoaster ride. 100 years ago, it was almost fashionable to be poor if you were a believer. Hardly anyone spoke on this subject. Pastors were kept poor, churches were kept poor, and wrong teachings kept God’s people in poverty.

Today, the pendulum has swung to the other extreme. Everybody is speaking on biblical economics. Being rich and wealthy has become a lifestyle and a goal. If you’re rich, it’s because God’s blessing you, and this has become known as the ‘Prosperity Gospel’ which has infected and corrupted a whole generation.

Now, while there’s truth to this teaching, the goal of the Christian in Scripture has never been to become wealthy. Wealth and prosperity are a result and outflow of walking in covenant with God. The common and popular teaching today is: If I give, read more…

Knowing He’s Here!

Our God is more than amazing, He’s awesome and we should never cease to speak of His goodness and mercy!

33 unique lives are going through a God makeover in Bible College of Wales School of Ministry (BCW-SOM) this autumn. Only a week has passed, and many things are falling into place for them. One testified, “Until now there were misplaced jigsaw pieces in my life, and I see them fitting into the right places.”

The joy of seeing these 33 faces light up when it’s only been the first week! And, though some have come from very challenging family circumstances, yet they’re trusting and looking into the eyes of their Beloved.

Who is like God, and who can compare with Him?

Matthew 28:16-17 tells us that, “The eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had read more…

Teachers For Life

On Friday, we celebrated Teachers’ Day. All of us have fond memories of teachers who have impacted and changed our lives. We often forget the people we might have encountered along the process of work, but a teacher, we almost never forget.
We remember them not just for the subjects they taught us but, more than anything, for out interactions with them. These interactions comforted us, affirmed us, gave us confidence, directed us in the right path, and let us know that someone cared.
 
In truth, the task of teaching and instruction is inescapable for all of us. As parents, we’ve to teach and raise our children. In the workplace, there’ll always be newer staff whom we need to show the ropes to. In our families, we’ve nieces and nephews whom we interact with and guide. In our read more…

Passion Triumphs Over Personality

Whenever we talk about being passionate for the Lord, we often hear people say, “…but I’m not like that” or “It’s not me to be so loud and vocal”. And then we launch into this lengthy discourse of trying to convince the person that God has already deposited passion in us, citing examples from our favourite soccer or basketball team winning the championship to how freely and naturally we express our emotions when watching a touching movie.

Sometimes, I think the only outcome from those discourses only proves that our adrenalin and tear ducts are working. More often than not, we leave them feeling bad or worse, condemned.

Well, here’s my little version of why I believe passion triumphs over personality. Pray that it’ll make sense to you.

19 August 2019 will be a day to remember for me because read more…

Hurt By God

“Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.”

Isaiah 53:10 is a well-known messianic prophecy and picture of Jesus Christ crucified and raised from the dead hundreds of years before it happened. The bruising is the crucifixion and death of Jesus, making Himself an offering for sin. Verse 10 says it was the Father’s pleasure to do this. It pleased the Lord to bruise Him.

In the early days of my Christian walk, I used to have trouble reconciling how the Heavenly Father could find delight in bruising and hurting His own Son. Jesus told Peter in John 13:7, “You do not understand now read more…

A Hero of the Faith

This week, I had the privilege of having a meal with my hero in the faith – the evangelist Reinhard Bonnke. What a man. What a legacy. At almost 80, he’s still lucid, still strong, still full of the Holy Spirit, and still on FIRE. I related this story to Bro. Bonnke, of how I first met him in 1998.

I was a young pastor, with a fledgling ministry, and I get a call inviting me to lunch with the evangelist. It was a dream come true. I remember driving to the luncheon, praying all the way there, hoping I wouldn’t say anything embarrassing.

There were eight of us and the conversation revolved around what was happening in Africa. I took a deep breath, and I asked Bro. Bonnke to explain how the anointing works and how I could flow in read more…

The Journey of Faith

Over this weekend, we cross Singapore’s 54th year as a nation. I can consider my journey as a Christian living in Singapore and God’s faithfulness to us as a nation, but I’m thinking about my heavenly citizenship – I want to tell of my recent visit to the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina.

This is my most unforgettable encounter with a giant of faith in our lifetime. Words are insufficient to express the immense overwhelming presence of Evangelist Billy Graham when I stood on the grounds. Although he’s no more with us, who he was and all he’d done while on earth was tangibly felt that day.

As I entered the grounds, the first place I stood at was the grave of Billy Graham and his wife, Ruth Bell Graham. Memories, recollections of the innumerable scenes of thousands read more…

I Want To Help

A group of us has been in the United States of America this past week attending a conference on church growth. The unique thing about this conference is that it doesn’t advertise the conference. News about it spreads only through word-of-mouth. Into its 9th year, the 6,000 tickets for this conference get snapped up within hours of its release each year.
 
The vision is to help 1,000 churches break the 1,000 growth barrier. It isn’t focused on showcasing a lineup of incredible speakers but structured more like a school. Hundreds of their staff and volunteers walk around everywhere, ready to answer any question you may have about how something runs in the church. Everything you see and encounter is curated to reinforce what’s taught during the sessions.
 
Over the three days of the conference, read more…

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