Pastoral Letter 15 Sep 2019

My dear readers,

Questions Posed at CPBPC’s Annual Church Camp (10-15 June 2019) – Part 12

Question: 2 Peter 1:10 seems to contradict the doctrine of “preservation of the saints” especially since 'these things' refer to the godly virtues listed in the preceding verses?

Reply: The context of 2 Peter points to evidence of salvation that must be seen in a believer's life if he is truly born again in Christ. Since salvation is entirely the work of God in a sinner’s life and with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit compelling and transforming him to become more and more like Christ, the evidence of salvation is not an option but a clear outcome. Verses 5 to 7 list the logical sequence of the believer's experiences which is the work of the Holy Spirit from within him (cf. verse 8). The professing believer who does not have these experiences in his life is not born again as verse 9 reveals. Thus the injunction from God to all professing believers to look deep into their own souls and to make sure of their own salvation by ensuring that the logical sequence of a sinner’s transformation into a saint is clearly evident.

2 Peter 1:5-11: And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”

The perseverance of the saints is based upon God’s perspective of a sinner’s salvation. This means that if he is truly born again in Christ he cannot lose his salvation. His salvation is literally in God's hand and the hand of Christ. Unless there is someone or something that is more powerful than God the Father and God the Son, all born again believers can never lose their salvation. The following are some Bible verses that support the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints and it is entirely God who perseveres so that God's children will have an eternally secured salvation. Once saved always saved!

John 10:27-30: My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one.”

Romans 8:34-39: Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Question: Is it necessary to practise biblical separation toward those who believe that tongues still exist in forms of ecstatic utterances?

Reply: The doctrine of biblical separation is given by our loving heavenly Father to protect His beloved children from the sins of this world. This blessed doctrine is like the white blood cells that destroy the bad stuff that invades the body and keep the body healthy. We all want a healthy body, do we not? The doctrine of biblical separation keeps the sins and wrong doctrines out of the believer's holy life of witness for Christ. We all want a healthy spiritual body for Christ’s sake, don’t we? 2 Corinthians 6:14-18: Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”

Every believer ought to stay away from the sin of sinners and not the sinners themselves as he is called to reach out to them for Christ. The two examples where the doctrine of biblical separation applies to unbelievers are marriage and business partnership. Both of these relationships can only work when both parties apply Christian principles and submit to the leadership of Christ according to Holy Scriptures. Believers can, but the unbelievers cannot. Quarrels will ensue. It is important to note that Christians cannot use Christian principles to judge non-Christians. To do so would be most unjust. Love and truly care for them especially for their soul’s sake.

The doctrine of biblical separation also involves separating from professing believers who live in sin and refuse to repent of their sins. Romans 16:17-18: Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” In the case of professing believers, the separation is based upon Christian standards. The sin of the professing believer also shames the name of Christ. For this reason the doctrine of biblical separation is even more significant. By exercising the doctrine of biblical separation to the errant professing believer if he refuses to repent of his sin, it also helps him to realize his sin. This is to let him know that there cannot be any fellowship with him because of his unrepentant sin, just as he has no fellowship with God because of his sin. Psalm 66:18: If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.”

Speaking in “tongues” (so-called ecstatic utterances) is a serious doctrinal error as this is a hallmark doctrine of Charismatism. Charismatics do not just speak in “tongues,” they also follow the whole gamut of erroneous doctrines resulting in atrocious practices that shame the name of Christ.

Tongues speaking in the Bible are languages and not the gibberish of the Charismatics. The Charismatics legitimize their deception by citing Bible passages to deceive and promote their false Christianity. The tongues of the Charismatics are either psychological or demonic. They are not innocent practices that do not hurt the cause of Christ. They are deadly, for they have

deceived grown men and women and children into uttering nonsense and into believing that they are speaking with God when in fact they are simply making a fool of themselves! Describing speaking in tongues as ecstatic utterances is usually promoted by neo-evangelicals. They are compromisers of the truth and reject the doctrine of biblical separation. They are basically men pleasers. They do what is right in their own eyes and the Bible is cited only when it is convenient. They have little or no biblical convictions, for they behave like chameleons changing their colours to please whomever they fellowship with. These are the professing believers who label tongues speaking as ecstatic utterance, thus allowing them to fellowship with Charismatics. The sins of these men are greater than that of the Charismatics who “speak in tongues”. But these neo-evangelicals are worse than the Charismatics in their sin and deception because they condone, agree ad accept the tongues of the Charismatics by calling them ecstatic utterances when in reality they are either demonic or self deceptions. The tongues of the Charismatics are definitely not of God and not ecstatic utterances but gibberish.

Why would a child of God want to befriend those who “speak in tongues” and fellowship with them and not point out their sins? If you truly care for them you must tell them the truth and help them get out of the deception. If they refuse to listen after they have been taught, then the best approach to continue to help them is to separate from them. Proverbs 27:5-6: Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.”

Question: Please help me to understand the magnitude of these 2 verses. Deuteronomy 10:14, “the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the Lord's thy God,” and Daniel 7:25, “until a time and times and the dividing of time.”

Reply: The context of Deuteronomy 10 is Moses reminding the people of Israel that they must obey God's commandments. He had just rehearsed to them how the Ten Commandments had to be given a second time because Moses broke the tablets the first time when Israel made the golden calf after they had given their word that they would not make of God any images nor bow down to them. The worst part was that this sin was committed in the face of God, for Israel was still camped at the foot of Mount Sinai when they committed the sin of the golden calf. Moses’ final words to Israel are in the Book of Deuteronomy. He wanted Israel to be holy and did not want them to sin against God and be punished. Deuteronomy 10:12-15: And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good? Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD'S thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is. Only the LORD had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and he chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day.”

Moses commanded Israel to look up at the starry heaven and up to the heaven of heavens, i.e. the third heaven where God dwells, which, and the earth also, belong to the LORD God of Israel. Out of this greatness of God's creation, the LORD God of Israel chose Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and through them made Israel into a people of God. They are to be like God in holiness by obeying His commandments. They are not to sin like their fathers who perished in the wilderness. This generation of young people from 39 years and below were all born and brought up in the wilderness. They must enter the Promised Land by conquest. They must do so in holiness and not in sin, otherwise the LORD would not help Israel to succeed.

The phrase “until a time and times and the dividing of time” in Daniel 7:25 simply means “three and one half years.” “A time” means “one year” and “times” means “two years” and “the dividing of time” means “one half year.” Add them together and we have 3.5 years. The Antichrist will make peace with Israel in the last days. This period will last only seven years according to Daniel 9. In the midst of this seven-year period, the Antichrist will break the covenant of peace by placing an abomination of desolation in the holy place. Daniel 7:25: And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” Daniel 9:27: And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” Daniel 7:25 describes the second 3.5 years whereas Daniel 9:27 describes the first half of the seven years. We know this because Daniel 7:26 says that after the end of the 3.5 years the Antichrist will be judged by God and his power will be taken away from him. Daniel 7:26: But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.”

Question: Psalm 137:8-9, “… happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. “Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones....” Help us to understand “happy” in these 2 verses.

Reply: Psalm 137 is an imprecatory psalm. Imprecation means that the psalmist cried to God to punish Israel’s enemies for the evil and unjust wickedness that were done to them. Psalm 137 is a national imprecatory psalm. There are others like Psalms 58 and 59 which are personal imprecatory psalms from David who cried to the LORD to punish his enemies. The word “happy” here is usually translated as “blessed” in other passages of the Old Testament. Psalm 1:1: Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.” And Psalm 2:12: Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.” [Emphasis added.] “Blessed” in the Bible (both OT and NT) has the meaning of being happy and the reason for happiness is a personal relationship with the LORD. This is also the same meaning found in the Beatitudes of Matthew 5.

The question then is why would a person be called happy or blessed when terrible things happen to the enemies of God's people? It seems wrong as we are taught in the Bible to forgive and pray for mercy and salvation. It is wrong, but that does not mean that the child of God cannot and ought not to cry to the Lord for His justice to be upon this earth! This was what the Lord Jesus Christ taught all His disciples to pray in the Lord’s Prayer. Matthew 6:10: Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” When God's kingdom comes, God's justice will reign on earth! That was exactly what the exilic Jews in Babylon cried to the Lord for. The Babylonians did to the Jews exactly what the Jews were crying to the LORD to do to the Babylonians. This was not vengeance but a cry for equitable justice which is what all children of God must long for. The resurrected and raptured saints in heaven cry for God's justice too. Revelation 6:9-11: And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.”

Yours faithfully in the Saviour’s Service,

Rev Dr Quek Suan Yew
Advisory Pastor

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