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General Service in Malang, March 04, 2012 (Sunday Morning)

Matthew 26:57-68 is about WITNESS AND TESTIMONY.
2012 is the year of testimony, we have to become God's witness. If we do not want to become God's witness, one time we will deny God as Peter.

There are two kinds of witness and testimony as follows:
  1. The false witness in verse 59-63a.
  2. The true witness in verse 63b-66.
ad. 2. TRUE WITNESS
Matthew 26:63-66
26:63 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, "I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!"
26:
64 Jesus said to him, "It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven."
26:
65 Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, "He has spoken blasphemy! What further need do we have of witnesses? Look, now you have heard His blasphemy!
26:
66 What do you think?" They answered and said, "He is deserving of death."

Jesus is the example of being the true witness although He had to face persecution and death.

Jesus testified as the High Priest in glory, King of kings, Heavenly bridegroom who will come for the second time, whatever the risk He had to face. It equals to Jesus testified about Bride Tidings, although He had to face persecution and death.

Likewise, we must also bear witness about Bride Tidings whatever the risk we have to face.

There are two types of preaching of the Word as follows:
  1. Gospel of salvation/ gospel Word/ milk.
    Ephesians 1:13
    1:13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,

    That is the gospel which preaches Jesus' first coming to the world, to die on the cross and save sinful man.

    Gospel Word is also called as good news.

    Proverbs 25:25
    25:25 As cold water to a weary soul, So is good news from a far country.

    Sinful man is as a weary soul on the wilderness. The need is not money, but a sip of water from Heaven, that is the gospel of salvation that saves us.

    The process of receiving salvation is as follows:

    • Believing Jesus, having faith on Jesus.
    • Repenting, that is stopping sinning and to come back to God.
    • Water baptism and Holy Spirit baptism.
      We must be newly born from water and spirit, such that we receive new life from Heaven, that is life in righteousness.

  2. The light of the gospel of the glory of Christ/ the teaching Word that is sharper than any two-edged sword/ solid food.

    2 Corinthians 4:3-4
    4:3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,
    4:
    4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.
    That is the gospel which preaches Jesus' second coming in glory as King of kings and Heavenly bridegroom, to perfect and purify saved life, to grow our spiritual life, until we become perfect as God's bride.

    This is called as Bride Tidings, since it prepares us to become God's bride.
Matthew 25:6
25:6 "And at midnight a cry was heard: 'Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!'

Bride Tidings is the ONLY tidings needed in the last days (midnight), where the world is getting darker. Physically, many crises will happen. Spiritually, sins will increase up to the peak of sins. Darkness in the last days can only be faced by the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, not by another way. This must be testified to life who has not received Bride Tidings yet.

If we do not bear witness although we have received Bride Tidings, it is a guilt of bloodshed that cannot be paid by anything.

One of the forms of testimony is through fellowships.

There are two things that must be watched related to Bride Tidings/ the teaching Word as follows:
  1. Do not become dull of hearing the teaching Word, moreover do not reject the teaching Word.

    Hebrews 5:11-14
    5:11 of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.
    5:12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.
    5:
    13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.
    5:
    14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

    If one becomes dull of receiving solid food, the consequence is his spiritual life remains as children.

    If the spiritual life is as children (being dull receiving the teaching Word, or rejecting teaching Word), the consequences are as follows:

    • Easily being tossed to and fro and carried about with false teaching, such that he is deceived and lost.

      Ephesians 4:14
      4:14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,

    • Entering the spiritual famine for three years and a half in the era of antichrist.

      Proverbs 19:15
      19:15 Laziness casts one into a deep sleep, And an idle person will suffer hunger.

    • Cannot welcome Jesus' second coming to enter the marriage supper of the Lamb of God, being left and perished together with the world.

  2. Do not add or take away the true teaching Word.
    Revelation 22:18-19
    22:18 For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book;
    22:
    19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

    Genesis 2:16
    2:16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;

    Genesis 3:2
    3:2 And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden;

    Since the beginning of the Bible, there was already addition and reduction of the Word.

    Eve took away the word 'freely'.
    'Freely' denotes the anointing of Holy Spirit.
    The Word is preached not in freedom (limited by time, regulations, tradition, etc.). The consequence is the congregation does not experience freedom by the Word, they are still bound.

    Genesis 2:17
    2:17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."

    Genesis 3:3
    3:3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.'"

    Eve also added the word 'touch'.
    The Word is preached by adding jokes, knowledge, history, etc. The consequence is the heart of congregation is never touched by God, but only the emotion is touched by the pastor.

    In the past, Eve has added and taken away the words of the true teaching Word. The consequence is she was outcast from Paradise to the world full of curses.

    In the last days, the church of God also wants to add and take away the words of the true teaching Word. The consequence is they cannot be back to Paradise; moreover they will experience judgments up to perdition forever.
Revelation 1:3
1:3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

Revelation 22:7
22:7 "Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book."

The right attitude is hearing the Word, reading the Word, and obeying the Word until the flesh does not sound anymore. This is the joy.
Sometime there will be no more time to hear and obey the Word. It means that the Word has become our flesh and blood; we have obeyed the Word until the flesh does not sound anymore (the veil is torn apart).

No matter how hard the Word preached by God is, that is the stretching out of God's hands, such that we live in the shadow of God's hands.
From era to era, God always pays attention to life who obeys the Word until the flesh does not sound anymore.
  1. The era of God the Father (from Adam to Abraham) is represented by Abraham.

    Genesis 22:10-14
    22:10 And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.
    22:
    11 But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" So he said, "Here I am."
    22:
    12 And He said, "Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me."
    22:
    13 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son.
    22:
    14 And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, "In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided."

    Abraham was obedient until the flesh did not sound anymore, until he offered Isaac.
    According to human's truth, there is no sense to slay his son, but this must be sacrificed.
    Self-importance must also be sacrificed.

    But Abraham was obedient, and Abraham experienced the power of God's care miraculously.

    • Physically, God provides something from nothing.
    • Spiritually, God prepares us to become His bride who is ready to welcome Jesus' second coming.

      Revelation 19:7
      19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready."

  2. The era of the Son of God (from Abraham to Jesus' first coming) is represented by a woman of Canaan (the Gentiles).
    This woman of Canaan has broken marriage and child. She was really suffered and her life was marked by many tears. Her life was in evil and uncleanness (as dog and sow). This is the condition of the Gentiles outside the true teaching Word.

    Matthew 15:24-28
    15:24 But He answered and said, "I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
    15:
    25 Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, "Lord, help me!"
    15:
    26 But He answered and said, "It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the little dogs."
    15:
    27 And she said, "Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters' table."
    15:
    28 Then Jesus answered and said to her, "O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

    Dog eats the crumbs means we receive the Word, we obey the Word until the flesh does not sound anymore.
    This is the attitude of the Gentiles that is longed by God. We are dogs, we still want to receive the hard true teaching Word, we want to obey the Word.

    To be able to obey the Word, there is sacrifice. This mother threw away her self-truth and prestige (she confessed that she was the wrong one).

    The result of being obedient is all impossible problems will be solved. From dogs, we can become God's sheep. Until sometime the sheep of Gentiles will be united with the sheep of Israelites, and become one perfect body of Christ.

    John 10:16
    10:16 And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.

  3. The era of God the Holy Spirit (from Jesus' first coming to Jesus' second coming) is represented by a youth.

    1 Peter 5:5
    5:5 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble."

    A youth is obedient by sacrificing his own self-truth and self-desire.

    The result is a youth will experience God's lifting power on His time.
    Lifting power means we are lifted up from all failures and downturns, to become beautiful and successful in His time.
    If we obey the Word, we will be purified and renewed continually, until we are lifted up on the glorious clouds on Jesus' second coming.
God blesses us.