Saturday, November 6, 2010

Flood, Rainbow and God

C asked: I was telling my son about the story about rainbow (in biblical pt of view) and God's promise not to destroy mankind by flood. My son said God is not keeping his promise , cos lots of people are still killed by flood these days. How should I answer him? Thanks

Lip Kee replied: I would, first of all, compliment your son for having a sensitive and compassionate heart for the people who are suffering. That is very precious to our Lord.

Second, ask your son a few questions, to help him figure things out.

1.1 Why do you think a doctor would administer medicine or carry out procedures to kill off the germs, bacteria or cancerous cells in a patient's body?
1.2 What would happen if the doctor decides to be kind and merciful to the germs, bacteria and cancerous cells and decides let them live? What would that mean to the healthy organs, tissues and cells in the patient's body? What would be the end result?
1.3 Now, why do you think God allowed the Flood to happen during Noah's days?

2 Do you think there is there a difference between the Flood during Noah's days and the floods we see today - in terms of the scale and the impact?

3.1 Do you think there is a difference between PERMITTING and CAUSING something to happen?

3.2 Would you blame the Transport Minister if someone were to be injured in a road accident? Accidents are PERMITTED to happen because people are PERMITTED to drive cars and use the road. But, do you think that it was the Transport Minister who CAUSED the accidents and the injuries?

3.3 Would you blame the Education Minister if a student were to feel anguished and devastated because she did badly for her PSLE exams? Failures and disappointments are PERMITTED to happen because students are PERMITTED to go to schools and to participate in examinations. Do you believe it was the Education Minister who CAUSED the student's failure and grief?

3.4 Now, would you blame God for natural disasters and human tragedies?

4.1 Do you see God as a merciful and gracious God or a judgmental and condemning one?

4.2 What does the Bible tell us about God's heart? (John 3:16-17: God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. Jesus came to the world not to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved).

If you have the time, please follow the link below to read about and share with your son some of my favorite encounters with the rainbow:!/note.php?note_id=65007352325

Hope this helps.

C asked: I 've gone through the part 1 to part 3.1 with him ... so far so good.
By the way, can i say that the flood that we have today is not sent by God but due to "???" Need help here. Thanks in advance

Lip Kee replied: You are welcome. :-)

God did not send the Flood in Noah's days. And God does not send any flood today. God is source of all good things. He only has good to give.

God did not and does not CAUSE natural disasters. Natural disasters are PERMITTED to happen because man was PERMITTED to rule over the Earth. The world was perfectly good when it was created by God. After Adam's fall, the world no longer functions perfectly.

The Bible puts it this way: "For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time." (Rom 8:19-22)

In short, the world is "broken". All of creation is in a "malfunctioning" state.

When Jesus comes back again, the "broken" world will be fixed, and the "malfunctioning" creation will be restored to perfection.

You may want to watch this sermon excerpt for some insight into this issue:

Let me know if you want to watch the full sermon. I can send a copy of the DVD to you by post.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Making sense of prayer


H's question:
If we don't ask,He won't give it to us?

Lip Kee's comment:

God is always giving
There are preachers and teachers out there who teach that we have to ask or else God would not give. Personally, I don't subscribe to that kind of teaching.

The God I know is always loving, always caring, always giving and always providing.
He knows what we need, and He takes pleasure in satisfying our needs.

"Your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him." (Matthew 6:8)
"...your Father knows that you need these things. But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Matthew 6:30-32)

Then why does the Bible teach us to ask of God in prayers? Why is there a need for us to ask at all?

God does not need to be arm-twisted or reminded for Him to give

I believe our "asking" is not to meant to arm twist God to remind Him to give to and provide for us. He is always giving and providing. Rather, our "asking" serves to remind us and the people around us that God is our faithful and gracious Provider.

God is not forgetful of His covenant. He does not need to be told or reminded of what He needs to do.

Prayer is meant as a reminder for us, not for God

We are the ones who are always forgetful and distracted. We are the ones who are un-faithful and unfocused. That is why God graciously provided us with a reminder tool called "prayer". Because we need it to remind ourselves of how He is always there for us - ever caring for us and providing for us.

To elaborate: Imagine someone who does not pray. She was facing a difficult situation which lasted 6 months. God eventually delivered her from the situation. But because she did not use the "reminder tool" (i.e. prayer), she is unlikely to be conscious of how God helped her out of her challenge. She would be filled with much stress and anxiety during those 6 months.

Also, in the absence of any prayer offered to God. She and the people around her will mostly likely credit herself, other people or mere good luck for the good outcome, when the whole challenge was over.

Now, imagine the same person, when faced with her situation, chose to pray to God, and to ask her friends to stand in faith with her. What difference would it make to her and to the people around her?

The benefits of praying

First, she would have a sense of hope, assuredness and restfulness, even in the midst of her 6-month long challenge. And when the breakthrough finally comes, she and her friends would be conscious of God's help. Their hearts will be filled with thankfulness to the Lord, instead of pride arising from the belief that their self efforts made the difference, or a vague sense of good fortune.

In the scenarios above, God intervened and helped, regardless of whether anyone prayed. So prayer did not affect how God acted. Like I mentioned, He does not need arm-twisting or reminder.

However, prayer did affect the quality of life, and the quality of the response of the people, don't you agree?

God meant for prayer to be used as a tool of reminder for us, not for Him. :-)

The Giver has given. Has the receiver received?

Besides, when a person is not conscious of God and His constant provision, God could be giving and giving, but she may not benefit because she is not receiving. Even though the giver has given, many a times, the receiver needs to actively receive what has been given in order to enjoy the benefits. A simple example would be that of someone who inherits a fortune but is ignorant of it or refuse to believe it.


H's question:
"Again I say to you that if any of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ASK, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven." (Matthew 18:19). Does it means two or more agreed is more powerful?

Lip Kee's comment:
It is the power of our God (not our prayers) that makes things happen

Regarding your question on whether it is "more powerful" to have two or more agree on something in prayer, my answer is a "No" if you are referring to the power that changes our situations, that overcomes our challenges, that grants us our victories.

It is not our prayers, or the number of people agreeing with us in prayer that has the power to do anything. God is the One with the power to make things happen.

Prayer is powerful because it makes us conscious of our powerful God

But if by "more powerful", you are referring to the impact on the way people deal with and respond to their situations, then, my answer would be a "Yes". Please read my comment to your earlier question above.


H's question:
There is also a verse,which I forgot which verse, "Two or more gathers in My Name,I'm in the mist of them." But God says He never leave nor forsake us,so what is this verse saying?

Lip Kee's comment:
You are right, God never leaves us nor forsakes us. By His Holy Spirit, He is in us and with us forever.

The verse you referred to is found in Matthew 18:20 "For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them."

The "find-applicable-truth-by-reading-verses-in-reverse" method does not always work

Sometimes, when we read a verse in reverse, we can get a truth is applicable to us. For example, the verse in 1 Cor 11:30 regarding the effects of partaking the Holy Communion in an unworthy manner, which states "For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep." If we apply the opposite meaning, we get a truth that applies to us, i.e. when we partake of the Holy Communion in a worthy manner (i.e. remembering Jesus and focusing on the wholeness and forgiveness He wrought for us by His broken body and His blood), we can expect to be strong (instead of weak), healthy (instead of sick), and to live long good lives (instead of dying before our time).

However, I believe your attempt to do the same for Matthew 18:20 may be mis-guided. You are trying read the verse in reverse to imply this: "For where only one person is gathered in Jesus name, Jesus will not be there in the midst of them".

Jesus said where two or three (i.e. more than one) are gathered in His name, He will be in their midst. By that, He did not say where only one is present, He would leave the one. I think it is inaccurate and illogical to read that kind of implication into that verse.

Now, let's take a good look at the reverse verse "For where only one person is gathered in Jesus name, Jesus will not be there in the midst of them", and analyse it critically.

First it does not make sense to use the word "gathered" when only one believer is involved. Next, in this case, where only one believer is involved, Jesus would be INSIDE and WITH the believer. But Jesus cannot be IN THE MIDST of the person, because by the definition of the very words, for Jesus to be "in the midst", there will have to be more than one person.

Therefore, for this particular verse, I don't think the "read-it-in-reverse" method is applicable.

Jesus wants us to focus on Him, not on how big (or small) a gathering we have

I believe the verse (read normally) is meant as an encouragement to His people. I believe the key words in the verse are not "two or more", but "in His name", .

Jesus is telling us not to be overly focused on how big our caregroup/ church is. He is affirming us that when people get together in honour of Him, His manifest Presence will be experienced and enjoyed by those in the gathering, regardless of the size of the gathering - be it is two or three, or two or three thousand.

When we gather in His name, in His honour, Jesus will be "in our midst". He will be central. He will be exalted. And when Jesus is lifted up, the Light He shines forth will benefit the people.

Hope you will find my comments helpful in one way or another.

Pardon my long-windedness. I thought the questions you raised deserve more than just a cursory treatment. :-)

Lip Kee

Saturday, May 29, 2010

On conviction, confession and repentance

Tyson Supasatit's comment on 27 May 2010 in the Charisma Magazine's facebook page:

What's up with the cover story on Joseph Prince? His teaching is popular, but wrong. In Destined to Reign, he teaches that the Holy Spirit does not convict Christians of sin (only unbelievers), that only unbelievers need to confess their sin, and that repentance does not involve remorse or sorrow for having sinned. (See pages 107, 108, 187, and 233 in Destined to Reign.) Forget about his views on Law vs. Grace, it's really about his views on conviction, confession, and repentance that should trouble us.

Lip Kee's comment:


Let's hear what Jesus Himself said with regard to the Holy Spirit's conviction, shall we?

"And when He (the Holy Spirit) has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: OF SIN, BECAUSE THEY DO NOT BELIEVE IN ME; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged." (John 16:8-9)

I don't know about the rest of you, but I am convinced that Jesus has made it clear that the present day ministry of the Holy Spirit is to convict:

(1) the unbelievers of the sin of unbelief;

(2) the believers of our righteousness in Christ, even though we do not see Jesus physically with us, and

(3) the devil that he has been judged and is a defeated foe

It does not take the Holy Spirit to convict me of my sin. My own conscience convicts me of sin. It takes the Holy Spirit to convict me that I am still a beloved child of the Most High God, and to convict me that I am still righteous in the eyes of my Father.

It is this conviction that my Heavenly forever loves me and sees me righteous, and will never leave me nor forsake me, regardless of what I have done, what I am doing, and what I will do, that causes me to fall deeply in love with Jesus.

And when I am in love with Jesus, I am then able and willing to stay away from sin. For apart from Christ (and His enabling love), I can do nothing. (John 15:5)


How do I, as a believer, confess my sin(s)? Do I confess the same way an unbeliever confesses?

Do I focus on myself and what I have done, or do I focus on the Lord Jesus Christ and what He has done?

I believe the New Testament way of confession for believers is to put the focus on Jesus and His work on the Cross, and to proclaim our total and perfect forgiveness found in Him. All of Him, none of me.

And this is exactly what Pastor Joseph Prince is teaching: confession that is not self-centered indulgence, but Christ-centered celebration.

So, I honestly don't see why I should be troubled by his teaching on the subject.

Tyson, would you like to elaborate more specifically, what is it about Pastor Joseph Prince's teaching that troubles you?


"Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?" (Romans 2:4)

The Bible says it is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance.

By preaching God's grace, by unveiling Jesus, by expounding on God's goodness, Pastor Joseph Prince is helping us to repent (i.e. change our mind, turn away from ungodliness to God), don't you think so?

Tyson Supasatit's comment on 28 May 2010:

Hi, Lip Kee. Repentance involves more than just a change of mind. It also includes an abhorrance of one's past sins, or a "godly sorrow" that leads us to the cross and then leaves no regret. Where did you learn that repentance does not include remorse or sorrow?

lip kee's response:


Hi Tyson. I have a conscience. I would feel remorse and sorrow when I know that something I did causes pain or grief or loss or damage to another person.

Feeling remorse or sorrow is a normal emotional reaction to pain, grief, loss or damage. The feeling of remorse or sorrow by itself is NOT repentance.

I don't know about you, but I know that I cannot control my feelings. Much as I wish I could, I must be honest and admit that I have absolutely no control over my feelings. I can decide how I act in response to how I feel, but I cannot control how I feel. I simply feel.

Maybe you are different. But for me, when I see and understand the pain, grief, loss or damage caused by my sins, I cannot help but experience strong feelings of remorse and sorrow.

But the important thing is what do I choose to do next. Do I choose to wallow in those feelings of remorse and sorrow, beat myself up, and cry my eyeballs out? Or do I decide to focus on Jesus and His forgiveness, to put my trust in the Cross and its redemptive power, and to renew my mind according to His Word?

I repent (change my mind) because I abhor the destructiveness of sins, and because I am attracted by my loving Savior Who only wants the best for me.

I believe the New Covenant mindset is one that does NOT focus on one's ugly self and the introspective feelings.

The New Covenant mindset is consumed by our beautiful Lord Jesus Christ and the glorious magnificence of His Cross.

Hope you see where I am coming from. Peace.