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bible study devotion

Devotion: the Word became flesh

by Dr. Andrew C S Koh

a mock-up image of a book shelf
book shlef

John 1:14

Prayer

Heavenly Father, we come before You with reverence and awe. We pray for quiet, soft, receptive, and teachable hearts. Speak to us as we listen to You, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

The Word became flesh

The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth

John 1:14

Commentary

I will dissect this verse into 5 parts.

The Word became flesh

The Word is Jesus Christ. The Word became flesh means incarnation. Incarnate means embodied in flesh. Jesus is the embodiment of God in human flesh. Jesus of Nazareth stepped out from eternity into our time-space continuum and became a man 2000 years ago. This explains why the calendar is divided into BC and AD.

In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God

John 1:1

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched, this we proclaim concerning the Word of life

1 John 1:1

made His dwelling among us

The Greek word for “dwelling” is “tabernacle”. God dwelled among the Israelites in the tabernacle and later, the temple.  The tabernacle or temple was a foreshadow of Jesus Christ. Today, Jesus tabernacled among us. The body of a Christian is the temple of the Holy Spirit. When someone is born again, the Holy Spirit tabernacled in his/her body. During the inauguration of the first temple, Solomon asked whether God would really dwell in the temple that he built, 1 Kings 8:27. God answered this question 1000 years later when Jesus came to earth and dwelled among us!

But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!

1 Kings 8:27

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?

1 Corinthians 6:10

If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make Our dwelling place with him

John 14:23, amplified Bible

we have seen His glory

The Greek word for glory is “doxa” which means splendour. “We” is a plural pronoun. John and the apostles had seen, heard, and touched Jesus. They saw the glory, grace, and truth of the Son of God. John was not only an eyewitness of Jesus but also a reliable one. John was a cousin of Jesus because his mother Salome and Jesus’ mother Mary were cousins. As children, they would have played together as a family. This was how close they were. 

the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father

The Greek word for one and only is “monogenes’’ which means the only unique or the only begotten. Jesus Christ, the unique Son of God, came from the Father as the Second Person of the Holy Trinity.

He was in the beginning with God

John 1:2

No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known

John 1:18

full of Grace and Truth

Grace is to get something that we do not deserve. Truth is something that is authentic. The Hebrew words for grace and truth are “hesed” and “emet”, which means unfailing love and faithfulness. Hesed and emet in the Old Testament correspond to Grace and Truth in the New Testament. Salvation is by the Grace of God through faith in Christ, who is Truth. 

So, the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness

John 1:14 (a), NLT

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God

Ephesians 2:8

I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me

John 14:6

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free

John 8:32

Application

Jesus Christ stepped out from eternity into our time-space domain to become a human being. Jesus Christ is God in a human body. He is not just a good man, wise teacher, or prophet. He is fully God and fully man. He is God whom you can know, see, hear, love, and relate to. He is the message, the Word of God. 

Do you know Jesus? Do you want to know  Him? You can know Him right now, right where you are.

If you want to know Jesus say this prayer with me:

Dear God, I confess that I am a sinner. Please forgive me. I believe You died on the cross to pay the punishment of my sin for me. I surrender my life to You, in Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen

If you prayed this prayer you are born again as a child of God. This is the first step. Find a Bible-believing church near you, inform the church pastor about your decision, and join in the fellowship of believers to grow and mature in the faith.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son Jesus Christ to step out of eternity into our time-space domain to live among us. Thank You for showing us Your Glory, Unfailing Love, Faithfulness, Grace, and Truth. Thank You for the gift of salvation and eternal life by grace through faith in Christ, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

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bible study devotion

Devotion: rapture

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

a photo showing clouds in the sky
clouds

Rapture

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with God’s trumpet. The dead in Christ will rise first, 17 then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. So we will be with the Lord forever (please read the rest of 1 Thessalonians 4 on your own).

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

Commentary

Paul spelled out the end-time prophecy concerning the rapture in this passage. The word rapture is derived from the words caught up in verse 17. The Greek word for caught up is harpazo.  The Latin word for harpazo is raptura. Rapture comes from the Latin word raptura. The Thessalonians Christians were worried because many of them had died but Jesus did not come back. They wondered whether they had missed out on the second coming. Paul reassured them to the contrary.

Rapture is not the same as the second coming of Christ as these are 2 separate and different events. On the day of rapture, Jesus Christ will come down from heaven preceded by an angel’s shout and a loud trumpet blast. The trumpet is a shofar or ram horn. Christians will be caught up to heaven to meet the Lord in the sky. Two groups of Christians will be raptured, The first group will be those who had died before the rapture. The second group will be those who are still alive at the rapture. The rapture is imminent, meaning that it can happen at any time. No one is privy to the exact day or time, except God, the Father, Matthew 24:36, 41-21.

But no one knows of that day and hour, not even the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

Matthew 24:36

Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and one will be left.

Matthew 24:41-42

The rapture will come suddenly, like a thief in the night, 1 Thessalonians 5:2. Those raptured will be transformed into spiritual, imperishable, and immortal bodies to meet the Lord in the sky, 1 Corinthians 15: 52-53. Even those who died a long time ago will be resurrected and raptured. How this is even possible is a mystery and God is revealing this to us. 

For you yourselves know well that the day of the Lord comes like a thief in the night.

1 Thessalonians 5:2

Behold, I tell you a mystery. We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed.For this perishable body must become imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 

1 Corinthians 15:52-53

There are three theological positions on the timing of the rapture i.e. pre-tribulation, before, mid-tribulation, at the middle, and post-tribulation, at the end of the 7-year tribulation. The second coming of Christ will take place at the end of the 7-year tribulation, Revelation 19. Christ will set up His millennial kingdom on earth. for 1000 years, Revelation 20. This theological position is called pre-millennialism.

Application

If you subscribe to pre-tribulation rapture, the rapture is imminent, which means it can occur at any time. However, if you subscribe to mid or post-tribulation, it will not be imminent. Certain events must happen first, for example, the anti-christ appearing onto the world scene, the signing of the peace treaty, building of the the third temple, and so on before the rapture can occur. 

Are you rapture-ready? Are you sure, you will make it to the rapture? Are you sure, you not be left behind?

Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your heart. If you are not a Christian yet, you can become one right now, right where you are. In a simple prayer, confess to Jesus that you are a sinner, acknowledge that you believe He died for you on the cross, and surrender your life to Him. Find a Bible-believing church near you, inform the pastor about your prayer, join in the fellowship of believers, and grow in the faith.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of salvation by grace and justification by faith in Jesus Christ. Thank You that You died on the cross to pay the penalty of our sins for us. Thank You for speaking to us through Your word. Help us to be ready before the rapture by accepting You as our Lord and Saviour. Help us be vigilant of world events even as they unfold and be aware of the times that we are in. We pray for mercy, grace, protection, wisdom, and knowledge, in Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.

a photo of a business card
business card
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article

How to format an Amazon paperback with Word for Mac

by Dr. Andrew C S Koh

a photo showing an open book
opened book

In this article, I will walk you through the process of how to format a word document into an amazon paperback that is ready to be uploaded to the Amazon bookshelf for publication. If you follow these steps closely, you should be able to format the document. Here, I am using an apple mac book. If you are using windows the steps may be slightly different.

First, type out a clean Microsoft word document.

Highlight the whole document by pressing Command + A. On the Word menu table, click Home, and click Normal. This will clean up your whole document.

Create the following sections for your paperback manuscript

Title

Copyright

Foreword

Preface

Table of Content

Chapters

About the author

Other books by the author

Sections 1 to 5 are the Front matter, section 6 is the Core matter, and sections 7 to 8 are the Back matter.

Setting the trim size and Margins:

On the Apple Word menu, (the top most horizontal blue bar), click Format, select Document from the drop-down menu. Select Margins, enter the Margins in cm for Top, Bottom, Inside, Outside, based on your page count which can be found in the article http://www.amazon.com, “Build your Book, format a paperback manuscript” ( Word for Mac or window). In this article, I am using Word for Mac, using a MacBook, but it should be quite similar if you are using Windows. Follow the margins for no bleed, unless your book has bleed.

Gutter margin, enter 0 (zero)

Pages, Multiple Pages- select mirror margins.

Apply to: whole documents

select OK.

Select Page Setup, Format for, Any Printer.

Paper size: for the trim size of 6 x 9 inches, enter 152 mm x 229 mm. For any other trim sizes enter accordingly.

scale, 100%, Click OK

Apply to the whole document, click OK

Setting Normal style for book body:

On the Word menu, (top horizontal menu bar), click Home, right-click Normal, select Modify from the drop-down menu, set font size to 12, select Format, select Paragraph from the drop-down menu, set alignment to justify, Indentation, left and right to 0 cm, Special, First line By, 0.5 cm, Spacing, Before and After, to 0 pt, Line spacing, to single.

Click OK, twice.

Applying Normal Style to book body:

Place cursor before the first word on the text of the Copyright page, then hold down shift + page down to highlight everything below the cursor. Keep everything highlighted. On Word menu, click Home, Click Normal.

Setting Heading 1 Style:

Click Home, right-click Heading 1, select Modify from the drop-down menu, set Font size to 12, set colour to black, Select Format, select Paragraph from the drop-down menu, set alignment to justified, indentation, left and right, to 0 cm, Special, First line, By, 0.5 cm, Spacing, Before and After, to 0 pt, Line spacing, to Single, Click OK, Twice.

Applying Heading 1 Style:

Apply Heading 1 Style to the Headings of Copyright, Foreword, Preface, all the Chapters, About the author, and Other books by the author.

Highlight the heading of Copyright. Click Home, click Heading 1. Repeat the same steps for the heading of Foreword, Preface, Every Chapter, About the Author, and other books by the Author.

Adding section breaks:

Add a section break after every section.

Place the cursor at the end of the last word on the Title Page. On the Word main menu, click  Layout, click Break, select Next Page from the drop-down menu.

Repeat the same steps for Copyright, Foreword, Preface, Every Chapter, About the Author, and Other books by the Author.

Formatting the Title Page:

Type out the Title, Subtitle, and Author’s name on one page. This is the book’s first page.

Highlight Title. On Apple main menu (top horizontal blue menu bar) click Font, set Font Size to 28, set Font set Style to bold, select OK.

On the Apple menu, click Paragraph, set alignment to centre, indentation, left and right to 0 cm, Special, to none, Spacing before to 32 pt, and After to 16 pt. Click OK.

Highlight subtitle. On Apple main menu, click Font, set font size to 24, set style to italic.

On the Apple menu, click paragraph, set alignment to centre, indentation, left and right to 0 cm, Special, to none, Spacing before to 16 pt, After to 16 pt.

Highlight the author’s name. On Apple main menu, Click Font, set the font size to 20, set style to Normal.

On the Apple menu, Click Paragraph, set alignment to centre, indentation left and right, to 0 cm, Special, to none, Spacing before to 16 pt, After to 0 pt.

Formatting the Copyright page:

Highlight the text of the copyright page and set alignment to centre. Add a call to action below the last line of the text by adding your email link and website links.

On Word menu, click insert, click links, select link, select email address, enter your email address into the box, click OK.

Repeat the same steps, select link, select webpage, enter your blog URL address into the box, click Ok.

Repeat the same steps to add your URL address for Amazon author central page, the URL address of the Facebook page, Instagram page, Twitter page, etc. Test the link to make sure there is no error in the URL addresses! The URL address should start with https://www…….

Formatting Other Books by the Author:

On this page, you can add a call to action by adding the URL links to all your books. The link should start with https://www.amazon.com/dp/B………followed by 9 alphanumeric digits.

Make sure there is no error in the URL addresses!

Adding page numbers:

Place the cursor anywhere on the title page. On Word main menu, click insert, click page number, select page number from the drop-down menu, position to Bottom of the page, Alignment to Centre, select, show number on the first page.

Select Format, Number format, to 1,2,3. Page numbering, to start at 1. Click OK twice. Page numbers will be added to the bottom centre of the page.

Creating a formatted Table of Contents:

This is the final step of the book formatting.

First, create a blank page before Chapter 1. Place the cursor before the first word in the heading of chapter 1.

Click Layout, click Break, select the next page on the drop-down menu.

On the top of the blank page type, Table of Contents.

Highlight Table of Contents.

Click References, click the table of contents, select custom Table of Contents, select- show page number, select- align page number to right, deselect- Use links instead of page numbers. Show levels- select 1. Click OK.

Congratulations!

You have successfully formatted an Amazon paperback print book. Convert this into a pdf format and upload it to the bookshelf, book content when you are uploading your paperback print book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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article

How to format a nonfiction Amazon kindle e book on Word for Mac

By Dr. Andrew C S Koh

A photo of an opened book on a coffee table
Opened book on a coffee table

In this article, I will walk you through the process of how to format your word document into an Amazon kindle e-book that is ready to be uploaded to Amazon kindle book shelf for publication. For paperback, please go to our archive and look for the accompanying article for formatting a paperback. For this, you need to subscribe to office 365 so that you can access Microsoft Word.

Type out a clean manuscript

Use the default setting of Microsoft word to type out a clean manuscript. Highlight all the text by pressing CTRL+A. On the top horizontal menu bar of Word, click Home, click Normal and this will clean up your manuscript.

Sections

A nonfiction e-book consists of four sections, front matter, table of content, core matter, and back matter.

The front matter consists of the Title, Copyright, Foreword, Preface, Dedication, Acknowledgment, etc. The core matter consists of the book chapters. The back matter consists of the author’s biography, (about the author), and other books by the author.

Therefore, create the following sections:

Title

Copyright

Foreword: get someone who is prominent, famous, and well-known in your genre to endorse your book by writing a foreword.

Preface: explain why the reader must read your book and why you wrote this book

Table of Contents

Chapters

Biography (about the author)

Other books by the author

Format the front matter

Title Page

On the Title Page, type out your book Title, Subtitle, and author’s name on one page.

Highlight Title, select font size to 28, set alignment to centre, on the drop-down menu, select font style to bold.

Highlight the subtitle, select font size to 24, set alignment to centre, on the drop-down menu, select font style to italic.

Highlight author’s name, select font size to 20, set alignment to centre, on the drop-down menu, select font style to normal.

Setting Normal style

On the horizontal top menu bar of Word, Click Home. Right Click, Click Normal, on the drop-down menu, select modify, select font size to 12, select format, select paragraph, set alignment to justified, set indentation, left and right 0 cm. Special, select First line by 0.5 cm. Spacing before and after to 0 point, Line spacing, single. Select OK, twice.

Apply normal style to the text of copyright, foreword, preface, chapters, biography (about the author), and other books by the author. Do this by highlighting the text, click Home, and click Normal.

Copyright

Apply Copyright to normal style by highlighting the text on the Copyright page. On the top horizontal menu bar of Word, click Home, and click Normal. With the text still highlighted, set alignment to centre.

Below the last sentence in the copyright page, insert the link to your email address, website URL, Amazon author central page URL, Facebook URL, Instagram URL, Twitter URL, etc. This is your call to action. Mark sure that every word is correctly entered. Make sure your URL includes, https://www……make sure that it works by clicking on it!

On the horizontal top menu bar of Word, click Insert and click links. On the drop-down menu, select email address, type in your email address, and select ok. For the website address, select webpage, type in the URL address, and select OK.

Setting Heading 1 style

On the horizontal top menu bar of Word, click Home and right-click Heading 1. Select modify, select font size to 24, select format, on the drop-down menu, select paragraph, set alignment to centre, set indentation, left to 0 cm, right to 0 cm, special, none, spacing before, 60 points, after, 60 points, line spacing, single. Select OK twice.

Applying Heading 1 Style

Apply Heading 1 style to all the headings that you want to be included in the table of contents.

Highlight the Copyright heading. Click Home, click Heading 1. Do the same process for the headings on Foreword, Preface, Every chapter, Biography, and Bibliography.

Other books by the author

Under this, list out all the other books that you have written. As a call to action, insert the URL links to each of your books. Click insert, click links, select link, on the drop-down menu, select a web page, type in the book URL link, select OK. Repent the same process for each of your books. Mark sure that every word is correctly entered. Make sure your URL includes, https://www……make sure that it works by clicking on it!

In the last line of this section, you can also add a line to thank your readers for reading your book, remind them to leave a review, and add a reader magnet as a call to action. A reader magnet is a link where you give away a free e-book when a reader signs up for your mailing list.

Inserting a page break

Insert a page break after every section, viz. title, copyright, foreword, preface, chapter, biography (about the author), and other books by the author.

Place the cursor after the last word of the section. Click Home, click Layout, click Breaks, on the drop-down menu, select Next page.

Format a clickable Table of Content

First, create a blank page before Chapter 1. Place the cursor just before the first word of the chapter 1 heading. Click Layout, select Breaks, select the next page. This will create a blank page before chapter 1.

On the top of this blank page, type in Table of Contents. Highlight Table of Contents.

Click References, click Table of Content, select custom table of content, deselect show page number, deselect Align page numbers to the right, select use links instead of the page number. On Show levels, select 1, click OK. This will create a clickable formatted Table of Content.

Unlike a print book, an e-book format does not require page numbering, trim size, and margins.

Congratulations!

You have successfully formatted an e-book for Amazon Kindle on Word for Mac. Please note that the steps may be slightly different if you are using Word for Windows Upload this formatting e-book into your kindle bookshelf to publish your kindle e-book.

 

 

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article bible study devotion

The 70 weeks of Daniel

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

a photo showing clouds in the sky
clouds

Daniel 9:24-27

In the first year of King Darius’ reign, Daniel studied the prophecy of Jeremiah and came to the conclusion that the seventy years of exile were coming to an end. He prayed, interceded, and fasted in sackcloths and ashes, to seek the Lord’s will. 

While Daniel was still praying, angel Gabriel appeared to him in a vision, saying that the Lord had answered his prayer. In Daniel 9:24-27, angel Gabriel gave a profound end-time prophecy from the Lord.

In this article, I will walk you through the prophecy of the 70 weeks of Daniel. This interpretation is based on a pre-millennial, pre-tribulation rapture position. 

24 Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy Place. V 25 Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench but in times of trouble. V 26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. V 27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple, he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him (Read the rest of Daniel 9 on your own).

Daniel 9: 24-27

Verse 24, seventy sevens

Seventy ‘sevens’ refer to seventy weeks of years i.e. 490 years. Your people refer to Daniel’s people i.e. the Jews. Your holy city refers to Daniel’s holy city i.e. Jerusalem. This prophecy is for the Jews and Jerusalem. The entire duration of the prophecy is 490 years. At the end of 490 years, there will be no more sin, transgression, and wickedness and there will be everlasting righteousness. The vision and prophecy will be sealed, and the Most Holy place of the temple will be anointed. 

Verses 25-26, Part 1

The prophecy has a starting point and an ending point. The starting point is from the time a decree was given to rebuild Jerusalem. The ending point will be the second coming of Christ as will be explained later.

The prophecy has two parts. Verses 25 to 26 spelled out Part 1. It started with the issuing of the decree to rebuild Jerusalem in 445 BC and ended with the first coming of Christ in 33 AD.

From the decree to rebuild Jerusalem to the first coming of Christ will be 7 X 7 plus 62 X 7 years i.e. 49 + 434 i.e. 483 years. The decree to rebuild Jerusalem was given by King Artaxerxes Longimanus to Nehemiah in Nehemiah 2:8-9 in 445 BC. The first coming of Christ as Messiah was on Palm Sunday in 33 AD. Zechariah prophesied this around 500 BC, Zechariah 9:9. 

 445 BC to 33 AD is 478 Gregorian/ Roman/ solar years, based on 365 days per year. However, the Jewish lunar calendar is based on 360 days per year. 478 Gregorian/ Roman/ solar years is equivalent to 483 Jewish/ lunar years. 

Jerusalem was rebuilt in times of trouble amidst opposition from the Samaritans. On Good Friday, 33 AD, Christ was killed (cut off). In 70 AD, Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed by the Romans. Wars and more wars had continued unabated ever since. 

Hence, the first 483 years of Part 1 as spelled out in verses 25 to 26 were fulfilled by the first coming of Christ. 

Verse 27, Part 2

Part 2 is prophesied in verse 27.  The last 7 years of world history remain unfulfilled. The ‘He’ of verse 27 is the antichrist. The starting point of Part 2 will be the signing of a peace treaty between the Jews and the Arabs, brokered by the antichrist. In the middle of this 7-year, the antichrist will set up the abomination of desolation in the future third temple. Part 2 will ends with the second coming of Christ at the culmination of world history. 

Between Part 1 and Part 2 is an interlude called the church age, and we are now living in this interlude for the past 2000 years.

God stopped the prophetic timer at the 483rd year. of the prophecy. The clock will start ticking again after the rapture, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. 

The antichrist will allow the Jews to rebuild the third temple and resume the temple sacrifice. In the middle of the 7 years, he will set up his image in the Most Holy Place and force the Jews to worship him. This image will be called the abomination of desolation, Mathew 24:15. The Jews’ refusal to worship the image will trigger off intense persecution by the antichrist in the last 3 1/2 years of world history. This is called the great tribulation. 

In 174 BC, Antiochus Epiphany IV erected a statue of Zeus in the Most Holy Place, splashed swine blood on the altar, and desecrated the second temple. The future antichrist will desecrate the third temple in the same way during the tribulation. Jesus Christ will come back from heaven on a white horse and defeat the antichrist in the battle of Armageddon., Revelation 9:11 and following. He will set up His millennial kingdom on earth and fulfill the seventy weeks prophecy of Daniel, Rev. 20:4 and following.

Please note that the rapture and the second coming of Christ are two separate events. 

“And may I have a letter to Asaph, keeper of the royal park, so he will give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel by the temple and for the city wall and for the residence I will occupy?” And because the gracious hand of my God was on me, the king granted my requests”.

Nehemiah 2:8-9

Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey

Zechariah 9:9

So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel, let the reader understand

Matthew 24:15

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

I saw the heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it is called Faithful and True. In righteousness, he judges and makes war.

Revelation 9:11

I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and for the word of God, and such as didn’t worship the beast nor his image and didn’t receive the mark on their forehead and on their hand. They lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Revelation 20:4

Application

The Bible has given us sufficient information on how the world will end. The future is not looking optimistic. More troubles will break out as we move closer and closer to the end of world history. The covid 19 pandemic had already taken a toll on every one of us. The dust of the pandemic has not even settled and war broke out in Ukraine! We are truly in uncharted territories. If this war gets out of control and nuclear war breaks out, millions of lives will be wiped out in a matter of seconds! Whether you believe in a pre, mid, or post-tribulation rapture, one thing is for sure. Christ’s second coming is not too far away. Are you ready for His return? Have you accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior? Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your heart. Come to Christ. With a simple prayer, confess your sin, accept Him as your Lord and Savior, and surrender your life to Him. You will be saved and even if anything happened, you will have eternal life.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your word to us today. We know that Your second coming is not that far away. We know that You are in control of world events. We pray that the war in Ukraine will not get out of control but will come to an end soon. We pray that You will protect the people of Ukraine. We pray for the soldiers, the civilians, the refugees, and all others. May Your mercy and grace be upon all the people of Ukraine. Help us to surrender our lives to You because our future is in Your hand, in Jesus’ name we pray, Amen. 

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travel

Do you believe in angels?

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

a photo showing a rainbow over the alps
A rainbow over the Alps

Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for in doing so, some have entertained angels without knowing it.He

Hebrews 13:2

Touched by an angel

 Many years ago, I visited Vienna and joined an early morning coach tour to Salzburg. Our tour guide led us on a walking tour from the Salzburg city center toward the site where the film, the Sound of Music, was shot. Sixty minutes, several turns, and many gardens later, we arrived. The scenery was spectacularly amazing. After guiding us through the movie site’s intricacies and explaining the location’s mysteries, the guide told us we could start our free time to enjoy lunch and explore further on our own. Before he took leave, he told us to make our way back to the city center by 4 pm sharp for our return to Vienna, or risk being stranded in Salzburg.

    After everyone left, I found myself alone since I was a lone traveler. After a sumptuous lunch, I walked around the site until it was time to leave. By then, I lost my orientation and could not find my way back. I had no access to Google Maps, Waze, or GPS because I did not have data for a Wi-Fi connection. I became worried as I was in a deserted place and the clock was ticking mercilessly. I bowed my head and lifted a simple prayer, asking God to guide me back to the city center.

    As I opened my eyes, a beautiful young European lady stood before me and spoke to me in perfect English. This was rare in Salzburg for the locals spoke German and broken English with a strong accent. She asked me politely whether I needed help. I replied, “I’m trying to find my way back to the city center.” She told me to follow her. We walked through the many turns and wonderful gardens. She pointed out the way I should take near the city center and disappeared.

    I reached our tour coach just ten minutes before 4 pm. In my heart, I thanked God for answering my prayer. I believed that I was touched by an angel in Salzburg. God sent a stranger to rescue me from an impending disaster that day. I could not fathom what would have happened if I was stranded in Salzburg. Nowadays, I will not leave home without my data plans and Wi-Fi connection. I also realized that God is just a prayer away, and His loving kindness and faithfulness endure forever.  

Has anyone experienced an angel encounter? Please share your story in the comment section.

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books

How I promoted my books on Story Origin

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

a mock-up image of 5 boxsets on a bookshelf

Marketing

Writing and publishing a book is relatively easy. to do but promoting, marketing, and selling your book is a different ball game altogether. These are the Achilles’ heels of most authors. Selling requires promotion, and marketing skills. Marketing is not just knocking on people’s doors to say buy my books! Marketing is reaching out to the public to find readers who will read your books in your genres. 

Story Origin

I strongly recommend Story Origin for book promotion. Story Origin has tools for you to create reader magnets, review copies, universal book links, and direct download links for all your books. These are handy, essential, and valuable marketing tools. Reader magnets are free e-books that you give away when readers sign up for your newsletter. You will need to integrate Story Origin with an e mail marketing platform like Mailerlite, Mail chimp, etc. You will acquire the skill of e-mail marketing by sending out regular newsletters to your subscribers. As more and more new readers sign up for your reader magnets, your subscriber list will grow organically. Story Origin brings together a huge group of like minded authors to cross-promote books through group promotions and newsletter swaps. These promotions and swaps are for sales, giveaways, or reviews. In these promotions, other authors in your same genre will cross-promote your books for mutual benefit. You will get sales, book reviews, and a following of readers who read books in your genre.

Testimony

I joined Story Origin 12 months ago. As of today, I have given away 2856 reader magnets, received 1707 universal book link clicks, and 88 book reviews. I have 380 active subscribers to my newsletter. These statistics are very encouraging indeed. As expected, book sales also increased in tandem with these statistics.

Take action today. Find out everything you need to know to get started with Story Origin by clicking the button below:

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bible study devotion

Devotion: How big is your God?

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

a photo showing a setting sun over the sea
setting sun

Joshua 10: 12-14

12 Then Joshua spoke to Yahweh in the day when Yahweh delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel. He said in the sight of Israel, “Sun, stand still on Gibeon! You, moon, stop in the valley of Aijalon!” 13 The sun stood still, and the moon stayed until the nation had avenged themselves of their enemies. Isn’t this written in the book of Jashar? The sun stayed in the middle of the sky and didn’t hurry to go down about a whole day. 14 There was no day like that before it or after it, that Yahweh listened to the voice of a man; for Yahweh fought for Israel. (Read the whole chapter of Joshua 10 on your own).

Joshua 10:12-14

Commentary

When Adoni-Zedek, the king of Jerusalem heard about the conquest of Jericho and Ai, and the Gibeonites’ surrender to Joshua, they were afraid. Adoni-Zedek in Hebrews means lord of righteousness. This is the first mention of Jerusalem in the Bible. Gibeon was a great royal city, and its inhabitants were warriors. Adoni-Zedek formed a confederation with four more kings to attack Gibeon. This five city-king confederation and their fighting men surrounded Gibeon and attacked her. The Gibeonites reached out to Joshua at Gilgal and pleaded for his assistance to rescue them. 

Without any hesitation, Joshua obliged and gathered his fighting men. The LORD reassured Joshua to be strong and courageous because He would ensure his victory. Joshua and his fighting men marched the whole night from Gilgal to Gibeon. The LORD confused the fighting men of the five city-king confederation until they could not wage war effectively. Joshua defeated them at Gibeon and chased them all the way to Beth Haran, Azekah, and Makkedah. The LORD rained hail hailstones from the sky which selectively landed on and killed Joshua’s enemies! Even the hailstones have eyes to see and log on to its target!

After defeating the Amorites, Joshua sought counsel from the  LORD. In front of all the Israelites, Joshua commanded the sun to stand still in Gibeon and the moon to stand still in the valley of Ajalon! This was certainly a tall order! Immediately, the sun stood still over Gideon and the moon stood still over the valley of Ajalon until Joshua defeated all his enemies! The LORD gave Joshua one extra day to do battle. Wow, this is mind-blowing! One day became 2 days. God stood outside of the time-space domain and stopped the clock!

Application

Earth stopped rotating

Joshua wanted more time to fight his battle and God stopped the clock for him! Isn’t this amazing? A 24-hour day became a 48-hour day.! The earth rotates around the sun once every 365 days. The earth also rotates on its own axis relative to the sun once every 24 hours. When the sun stood still, time was frozen, and the earth stopped rotating on its axis. God stopped the earth’s rotation for 24 hours. 

How big is your God?

We serve a great and mighty God who created the heavens and the earth in six days. Jesus Christ, who is fully God and fully man, fed thousands with 5 miserable loaves of bread and 2 tiny little fish, calmed the storm, walked on water, changed water into wine, healed the sick, and raised the dead to life. Our Almighty God is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. There is nothing that He cannot do to the universe that He created. He is beyond time, beyond space, and beyond matter. He is the name above all names. All glory, honour, and praise belonged to Him.

How big is your faith?

Do you believe in the God of the Bible? Joshua had faith when he commanded the sun to stand still in front of all the Israelites. Imagine what would have happened if the sun did not stand still after his prayer! Faith is the key to unlocking the power of prayer. If you have faith as small as a tiny mustard seed, you can even move mountains, Matthew 17:20. Without faith, it is impossible to please God, Hebrews 11:6.

.

Matthew 17:20, He said to them, “Because of your unbelief. For most certainly I tell you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you

Matthew 17:20

Without faith it is impossible to be well pleasing to him, for he who comes to God must believe that he exists and that he is a rewarder of those who seek him.

Hebrews 11:6

Prayer

Heavenly Father, we acknowledge that You are a great and mighty God and there is no other God apart from You. We acknowledge that You are the only true and the living God of the Bible. We believe that You created the heavens and the earth in six days. We believe that nothing is impossible for You. We bring all our needs before You for healing, restoration, and a miracle. We bring all our battles before You and seek victory over them. We pray that You will increase our faith, subdue our enemies, and train us up to be prayer warriors, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Categories
bible study devotion

Devotion: Who can separate us from the love of Christ?

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

a photo showing clouds on a blue sky
Clouds

Bible verse

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Could oppression, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Even as it is written, “For your sake we are killed all day long. We were accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”, Psalm 44:22. 37 No, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from God’s love which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8: 36-39

Devotion

Paul formulated and answered his own rhetorical question and for our benefit. He asked his audience and us, can anything separate us from the love of Christ? What things? He went on to name some of the things, oppression, anguish, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, and even martyrdom. These are the trials and sufferings we faced in life as Christians. What about wars, accidents, and natural disasters like landslides, floods, earthquakes, typhoons, hurricanes, cyclones, volcano eruptions, etc? When such things happened to us, does it mean that He did not love us? These are the things that Paul himself went through in his life. He was persecuted mercilessly by the Jewish leaders from day one and eventually faced martyrdom at the hand of Nero, yet he never even once doubted the love of Christ.

Paul went on to name even more things. What about death, life, angels, demons, present things, future things, powerful things, heights, depths, or any other created things? Can these separate us from the love of Christ? Paul’s answer? Nothing! No way! By no means! 

For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life

John 3:16

Go back to the cross whenever you begin to doubt the love of Christ for you. Jesus died for you and me on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins for us. This is how much Christ loved us. He died so that we can live. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s for another. Yet, Jesus died for you and me when we were still sinners and did not love Him. God loved you and me with an everlasting love.

Yahweh appeared of old to me, saying, “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love. Therefore I have drawn you with loving-kindness”

Jeremiah 31:3

Application

Right now, we are witnessing a brutal war in Ukraine, entering into its ninth month. Does this mean that Christ do not love the Ukrainian Christians? By no means! Christ loved the Ukrainians just as much as He loved everyone everywhere in the world. He died on the cross for everyone irrespective of race, religion, custom, creed, geography, or pedigree. God is a God of love.

Be careful of what you hear on the pulpit or read from the internet. Countercheck everything you hear or read with scripture and come to the correct and balanced conclusion.

Do not blindly believe and follow someone’s opinion hook, line, and sinker, without counterchecking with scripture. I was once following a Bible teacher on the internet, but when he kept on saying that God is not a God of love, I stopped following him!  

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for speaking to us today right out of scripture. Thank You for your agape love for us. Thank You that while we were still sinners, You died for us. Thank You for doing something for us that we will never be able to do for ourselves. You paid the debt of sin for us on the cross which we will never be able to pay. Thank You for the truth that nothing can ever separate us from Your love, in Jesus’ name. Amen.  

Categories
bible study devotion

Devotion: if God is for us

If God is for us, who can be against us?

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

a picture showing an opened bible and a spectacle
bible

Romans 8:31-34

A rhetorical question is a question that requires no answer. The question is asked in order to make a point rather than to get an answer. Paul’s favorite way of teaching is by asking and answering his own rhetorical questions. In this passage, Paul asked an imaginary opponent four rhetorical questions and answered all of them.

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

Romans 8:31-34

The first question is found in verse 31, ”what then shall say to these things?”

What things was Paul referring to? All the things preceding Romans 8: 31, for example, the wrath of God, the grace of God, and so on. How do we respond to these things? We must take heed and do what is required.

The second question is found in verse 32, ”If God is for us, who can be against us?” 

God is for us. He does not condemn us. He justified us by grace through faith in Christ. He adopted us into His family as children of God. He sanctified us. 

If God is on our side, then we have nothing to worry about at all. Martin Luther said, ”with God, one is a majority”.

The third question is found in verse 33, ”who shall bring a charge against God’s elect?”

If we ever start to doubt the love of God, we must look back to the cross again. On the cross, God did not even spare his One and Only Son whom He loved. Paul’s argument is this, if God gave us His very best, He cannot give us anything less. If God gave us His Only Son, He can give us anything.

Our hearts can condemn us, but God promised no condemnation for those who are in Christ.

The fourth question is found in verse 34, ”Who is he who condemns?” 

there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus

Romans 8:1

because if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our hearts don’t condemn us, we have boldness toward God

1 John 3:20-21

Satan can condemn us, but God justified us. John Newton said,

I am a great sinner but Jesus is a great Saviour

John Newton

for the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down

Rev 12:10 b

The final answer is found in verse 34 b

Jesus Christ died and rose from the dead so that we can live. He is now seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven to make intercession for us.

Therefore he is also able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, seeing that he lives forever to make intercession for them.

Hebrews 7:25

Application

Do you have trials and temptations? Do you have troubles anywhere? Are you discouraged?

You can carry everything to Jesus in prayer. He gives you peace and bears your sorrows. He knows all your weaknesses. If Jesus is for you, who cares what others think?

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for Jesus, Your final answer to Paul’s rhetorical questions. You gave us Your Son to die for us on the cross to give us eternal life. Thank You for salvation by grace and justification by faith in Christ. We claim the promise of Ephesians 2: 8-9,

for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, that no one would boast

Ephesians 2:8-9

in Jesus’ name we pray, Amen

Categories
bible study devotion

Devotion: the armor of God

Ephesians 6: 11-17

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

a picture showing books on a coffee table
books on a coffee table

The Armor of God

Paul described the armor of God in Ephesians 6. This armor is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul used a Roman soldier’s uniform to illustrate the armor of God because he was chained ta a Roman soldier 24 hours a day under house arrest. The armor of God is a six-piece comprehensive uniform comprising a belt, breastplate, shoes, shield, helmet, and sword. 

Paul exhorts his audience and us to put on the whole armor of God not only to protect but also to attack the enemy of our souls. We are not fighting against human beings with flesh and blood. We are fighting against evil spirits in the spiritual realm of the unseen world. Our enemies are the hierarchy of evil spirits called principalities and powers, rulers and authorities, and spiritual wickedness in the high places, We must win the war through prayer in the spiritual realm first, before we can see a breakthrough in the physical realm. In this war, we do not use physical weapons but spiritual ones to demolish strongholds, 2 Corinthians 10:4.

for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the throwing down of strongholds

2 Corinthians 10:4

Ephesians 6:11-17

11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God

Ephesians 6:11-17

Jesus is the belt of Truth

Jesus sets you free from bondage. He is Grace and Truth.

and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free

John 8:32

I am the way, the truth, and the life 

John 14:7

Sanctify them in your truth. Your word is the truth

John 17:7

Jesus is the breastplate of righteousness

Jesus is the righteousness of God.

For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith”

Romans 1:17

2 Cor 5:21, For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Jesus is the gospel of peace

Jesus is the prince of peace.  We must wear the shoes of Jesus to share the gospel of peace with others.

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.

1 Peter 3:15

preach the word; be urgent in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with all patience and teaching.

1 Timothy 4:2

Jesus is the shield of faith

Faith protects us from the fiery darts of doubt.

Contend, Yahweh, with those who contend with me. Fight against those who fight against me. Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for my help.

Psalm 35:1-2

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, proof of things not seen

Hebrews 11:1

Jesus is the helmet of salvation

The helmet protects the mind from anxious thoughts. Salvation gives us the hope of eternal life. 

But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation

1 Thess 5:8

Jesus is the sword of the Spirit

Jesus is the Word of God, a double-edged sword that cuts in both ways. Jesus quoted the Word of God when He was tempted by satan in the wilderness. The sword of the Spirit is prayer, fasting, intercession, and the Word of God. 

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth

John 1:14

For the word of God is living and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and is able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart

Hebrews 4:12

Application

Put on the full six-piece armor of Jesus before you even go to work. Then, you will be able to stand firm against the demonic spirits. If you kneel down before God in prayer, you will stand firm before men at work. Jesus covers you from head to toe with a helmet, breastplate, belt, shoes, shield, and sword. The helmet protects your mind. The breastplate keeps you righteous before God. The truth sets you free from deception. The shoes enable you to preach the gospel of peace The shield protects you from the flaming doubts of satan. The sword enables you to defend yourself and attack for deliverance, and demolishing of strongholds. 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for Jesus Christ, the armor of God for spiritual protection and spiritual warfare. Teach us how to pray with perseverance, watchfulness, and supplication. Teach us how to cultivate the discipline of intercession. We claim the promise of 2 Chronicles 7:14,

if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land

2 Chronicle 7:14

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil, for Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever and ever, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Categories
bible study devotion

Devotion: the stones will cry out

Palm Sunday

a picture showing an open book
open book

Luke 19: 29-40

Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey. on Palm Sunday, seven days before Easter Sunday. Palm Sunday or the triumphal entry is recorded in all four Gospels. 

29 And it came to pass, when He drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mountain called Olivet, that He sent two of His disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village opposite you, where as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Loose it and bring it here. 31 And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you loosing it?’ thus you shall say to him, ‘Because the Lord has need of it.’ ”32 So those who were sent went their way and found it just as He had said to them. 33 But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, “Why are you loosing the colt?”34 And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” 35 Then they brought it to Jesus. And they threw their own clothes on the colt, and they set Jesus on it. 36 And as He went, many spread their clothes on the road. 37 Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, 38 saying: “ ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39 And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.” 40 But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.

Luke 18:29-40

On Palm Sunday, Jesus descended the Mount of Olives and entered the temple complex on a donkey, fulfilling the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9, spoken 500 centuries before Christ! The Mount of Olives directly faces the temple complex but on a higher level. If you visit the Mount of Olives today, you get a panoramic view of the Temple Mount, the site where the second temple previously stood. You can walk from the Mount of Olives down the Kidron Valley to the Lion Gate passing through the beautiful garden of Gethsemane. You can do this thirty-minute Palm Sunday walk to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. 

The disciples brought to Jesus an unbroken donkey. Meanwhile, a huge multitude was following Jesus to welcome Him. The disciples threw their clothes on the unbroken donkey and Jesus sat on it. An unbroken donkey will never allow anyone to sit on it but Jesus sat and rode on it without any difficulty! The multitude threw palm branches and their clothes on the road to welcome Jesus as Messiah, the King, who came in peace in the Name of Yahveh, Matthew 21:8, Mark 11:8. The multitude spontaneously acted out the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9, and proclaimed Jesus as the Messiah. The multitude rejoiced, praised God, and recited Psalm 118:26, a messianic Psalm.

By this time, some of the Pharisees were offended. They demanded that Jesus rebuke and silence His disciples. Why? Because they could not accept Jesus as the Messiah claiming blasphemy. Jesus replied that if His disciples kept silent, the stones on the roadside would immediately cry out! During my visit to the Mount of Olives many years ago, I walked the Palm Sunday walk. I took many stones and brought them back as stones of remembrance to memorialize my trip.

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey 

Zechariah 9:9

And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road

Matthew 21:8

And many spread their clothes on the road, and others cut down leafy branches from the trees and spread them on the road

Mark 11:8

 

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! We have blessed you from the house of the Lord

Psalm 118: 26

Application

Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday seven days before Easter Sunday. This is recorded in all four Gospels.

He is the Passover Lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world, John 1:29.

The next day, he saw Jesus coming to him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 

John 1:29

He is the Jewish Messiah, the King of Israel, and the Saviour of the world. He died on Good Friday as a substitutionary atonement for your sins. He rose from the dead on Easter Sunday to prove that He is God. He is alive today, interceding for you in the throne room of the Father in heaven. Prophet Zechariah prophesied Palm Sunday 500 years before Jesus was even born! Wow, this is incredible! And this is just one prophecy out of at least 300 prophecies that Jesus fulfilled in His earthly ministry! For this to happen by random chance is a statistical impossibility. 

Do you believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God?

Do you believe that Jesus is the Passover Lamb of God? 

Do you believe that Jesus died to pay for the penalty of your sins? 

Apostle John wrote his gospel so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that by believing you may have life in His name.

but these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.

John 20:31

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for Jesus Christ, the Passover Lamb of God, and the Savior of the world. Thank You Jesus, for coming to earth 2000 years ago, to live a perfect life, and died a cruel death on the cross for our salvation. Thank You for salvation by grace and justification by faith in Christ. Thank You for Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. Help us to understand scripture and develop a love for your Word, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Categories
bible study devotion

Devotion: keep your oil burning

A tale of ten bridesmaids

a picture showing an opened bible
bible

Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.6 “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ 7 Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. 11 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ 12 But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming

Matthew 25: 1-13

The context of this parable is the Jewish wedding. A typical wedding feast in first-century Israel involved the whole community and lasted for 7 days. The bridegroom will lead a procession from the brides’ house to his father’s house accompanied by the bridesmaids to attend the wedding feast. This is a tale of five foolish and five wise bridesmaids who waited for the bridegroom to come and take them into the wedding feast.

The bridesmaids carried olive oil torches and waited for the bridegroom to arrive. The five foolish bridesmaids carried very little olive oil. The five wise bridesmaids carried a lot of olive oil. The bridegroom took a long time to come and all the ten bridesmaids fell asleep. All of a sudden, the bridegroom finally shows up at midnight with a loud cry. The five wise bridesmaids who carried a lot of oil immediately light up their torches, joined the the procession, and attended the wedding feast. The five foolish bridesmaids who runs out of oil pleaded with the wise bridesmaids to lend them oil but they refused. There are shut out from the wedding feast.

The foolish bridesmaids begged the bridegroom to let them into the wedding feast but to no avail. Jesus issues a warning to be vigilant because He will come back at an hour that no one knows. Son of Man is a messianic title of Jesus Christ, signifying His messianic identity.

Interpretation

Every character in a parable represents something. The bridegroom represents Christ. The bride represents the church. The bridegroom showing up suddenly at midnight represents Christ’s second coming at an hour that no one knows except the Father. Olive oil represents relationship with Christ. The foolish bridesmaid represents people who do not have a relationship with Christ. The wise bridesmaid represents people who have a relationship with Christ.

When Christ, the Bridegroom, comes back to earth on His second coming, those who have a relationship with Him will be accepted, but those who do not have a relationship with Him will be shut out.

Application

Are you the wise or the foolish bridesmaid? Are you ready to meet Christ when He returns? Do you carry a lot or very little olive oil?

Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, Hebrews 3:15. Do not put off a decision to accept Christ today. Life is so unpredictable. Yesterday is forever gone, tomorrow may not arrive, but today is here, and this is why it is called today.


while it is said, “Today if you will hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts, as in the rebellion.” Psalm 95:7-8

Hebrews 3:15

Do you have a relationship with Jesus? Have you accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior? Do you read, study, and meditate on His words? Do you pray, worship, fellowship, and obey Him?

Christ, the Bridegroom, promised that He will be coming back soon and we have waited 2000 years. Will you fall asleep when He comes? Do not let your oil runs out. Keep your oil burning until He comes.

You cannot buy or borrow someone else’s olive oil. You cannot buy or borrow someone else’s relationship with Jesus. This is a case of “to each his own”. You cultivate your own relationship with Jesus through spiritual formation. Start cultivating a relationship with Jesus today. Do not wait until the very last moment. It will be too late.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for speaking to us today through Your Living Word of eternal life. Give us the wisdom to know You in grace and truth. Fill us the oil of joy that only You can give. Help us to cultivate a relationship with You. Help us to walk with You in this journey called Life. Give us this day our daily Bread. Give us this day, Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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bible study devotion

Devotion: the last supper

Inauguration of the Holy Communion

The last supper account is recorded in Matthew 26:17-29, Mark 14:12-28, and Luke 22:7-20. This was Jesus’ final meal on earth with the apostles. This event took place on the evening before Good Friday. when the Jews celebrated the Passover meal.

a painting of the last supper
a painting of the last supper

Luke 22:14-20

14 And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. 15 And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. 17 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: 18 For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. 19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. 20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

Luke 22:14-20

Commentary

Jesus converted the last Passover Meal or the Last Supper with the apostles to the Holy Communion. Paul called this the Lord’s supper. The Roman Catholics’ equivalent of Holy Communion is the Eucharist.

At the start of the Passover meal, Jesus took a cup of wine, prayed over it, and gave it to the apostles to drink, saying that this will be His final drink on earth before going to the cross. During the meal, Jesus took an unleavened bread, prayed over it, broke it and gave them the apostles to eat. He explained that the bread was symbolic of His body crucified at the cross on Good Friday for them. After this, He took a second cup of wine, prayed over it, and gave it to the apostles to drink. He explained that the wine was symbolic of His blood of the New Covenant, shed at the cross on Good Friday for them. Jesus commanded the apostles, and us, to celebrate in this manner is often as possible.

The first-century church of Acts celebrated Holy Communion together with a full meal. Christians today celebrate Holy Communion by eating a small piece of bread or wafer with a sip of wine or grape juice during worship, conducted by a pastor, elder, or priest. There is no meal involved.

For Jews, Passover looked backward to commemorate Exodus. To Christians, Holy Communion looked backward to commemorate Good Friday and forward to anticipate Jesus’s second coming.

For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.

1 Corinthians 11:26

Application

This passage of scripture spelled out for us the basis of Holy Communion that Christians around the world celebrate. Jesus Christ is the Passover Lamb of God that took away he sins of the world . Jesus Christ shed His sinless blood at the cross on Good Friday to be a substitutionary atonement for us, 2 Corinthians 5:21.

Substitutionary atonement or vicarious atonement refers to the theology that Christ died on the cross as a substitute for our sins. His death substituted for our death. His death atoned for our sins.

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

2 Cor 5:21

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for Good Friday. Thank You that Jesus died on the cross on Good Friday to be a substitutionary atonement for our sin. Thank You that Jesus rose from dead on Easter to prove that He is God. Thank You for salvation by grace and justification by faith in Christ. Thank You for Your mercy and grace, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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bible study devotion

Devotion: spiritual lessons from Ai

Joshua 7:1-8

1 But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the devoted things; for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of the devoted things. Therefore Yahweh’s anger burned against the children of Israel. Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Beth Aven, on the east side of Bethel, and spoke to them, saying, “Go up and spy out the land.” The men went up and spied out Ai. They returned to Joshua, and said to him, “Don’t let all the people go up but let about two or three thousand men go up and strike Ai. Don’t make all the people to toil there, for there are only a few of them.” So about three thousand men of the people went up there, and they fled before the men of Ai. The men of Ai struck about thirty-six men of them. They chased them from before the gate even to Shebarim, and struck them at the descent. The hearts of the people melted, and became like water. Joshua tore his clothes, and fell to the earth on his face before Yahweh’s ark until the evening, he and the elders of Israel; and they put dust on their heads.

Joshua 7:1-6
(please read the rest of Joshua 7 on your own)
A satellite image of the middle east, showing Egypt, the Sinai Peninsula, and the Red Sea
A satellite image of the middle east, showing Egypt, the Sinai Peninsula, and the Red Sea

Commentary

After the successful military campaign of Jericho, the Israelites came to the city of Ai. Compared to the fortified city of Jericho, Ai was a very small town with no walls. Ai was located to the east of Bethel, and about 2 miles to the west of Jericho. Abraham built an altar to the Lord between Ai and Bethel, Genesis 12:8. The Israelites’ first military campaign to take Ai was a total failure.

He left from there to go to the mountain on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to Yahweh and called on Yahweh’s name.

Genesis 12:8

The Israelites sinned because Achan secretly took some spoils of war from the battle of Jericho and hide them. The Lord forbade the Israelites from taking anything in Jericho. Everything must be destroyed because they were cursed. Only articles of gold, silver, brass, and bronze were to be preserved. Only Rahab, the prostitute, and those family members who stayed in her house would be saved. The LORD’s anger burned against the Israelites.

At that moment, Joshua did not know about this. He sent spies to Ai. Ai in Hebrews means heaps of ruins. Modern-day Ai is Baythin in the West Bank. The spies returned and told Joshua that Ai would be an easy target and that all they needed was a small army. Without enquiring from the LORD, Joshua sent three thousand fighting men to Ai.

They men of Ai defeated the Israelites on the battlefield. Thirty-six Israelites were dead and the rest fled out of Ai terrified with fear. Joshua and the elders of Israel tore their clothes, applied ashes on their heads, and fell prostrate before the ark until evening. The people in biblical times tear off their clothes and apply ashes on their heads during times of grief, mourning, and loss.

The Lord revealed to Joshua that one of his men had taken some spoils of war from the battle of Jericho and hidden them. Joshua assembled the people and drew lots tribe by tribe, clan by clan, family by family, and men by men until the lot fell on Achan.

During the Old Testament time, the Israelites drew lots using the Ummim and the Tummin to seek God’s will, Leviticus 8:8, Proverb 16:33.

He placed the breastplate on him, He put Urim and Tummin in the breast plate.

Leviticus 8:8

The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from Yahweh

Proverbs 16:33

Achan confessed to Joshua that he had taken a Babylonian robe, two hundred shekels of silver, and one piece of gold weighing fifty shekels, and had buried them in his tent. Joshua sent men to Achan’s tent, who went and brought back the stolen items. At the LORD’s command, Joshua and his men stoned Achan and his family members to death and burned their bodies with his animals, belonging, and stolen items in the valley of Achor.

Application

Sin

Joshua and his men were defeated at Ai because of many reasons. After the victory at Jericho, they became overconfident and proud. They did not seek God’s will and direction. They planned and acted on their own agenda and with their own strength.

You cannot hide any sin from God. God is omniscient and knows everything, Luke 8:17, Hebrews 4:13 Unconfessed sin will lead to a defeated spiritual life. If you have sinned, confess, repent and claim the promise of 1 John 1:9. God will forgive and restore you.

For nothing is hidden that will not be revealed, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light

Luke 8:17

There is no creature that is hidden from his sight, but all things are naked and laid open before the eyes of him to whom we must give an account.

Hebrew 4:13

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us the sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness

1 John 1:9

You must not be overconfident and proud because of past victories. Always seek God’s will and wait for His direction first. Do not fight the battle with your own strength. You are fighting a spiritual battle using spiritual weapons such i.e. prayer, fasting, worship, and the word of God, 2 Corinthians 10:4. The battle belongs to God and not to you. You are not fighting against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers, Ephesians 6:12

the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the throwing down of strongholds

2 Corinthians 10:14

For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world’s rulers of the darkness of this age, and against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Ephesians 6:12

Seeking God’s will

Buddhists draw lots to seek god’s will in the Buddhist temple. On the altar, they juggle a bamboo container containing sticks with words on them. If they juggle long enough, one of the sticks will fall out to the ground. The words on the stick will be taken as god’s answer to their prayer.

As a Christian, you do not draw a lot. You seek God’s will through prayer, fasting, worship, meditation, and bible study. God will also speak to you through the Bible, the still small voice and the prompting of the Holy Spirit, and other mysterious ways.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we confessed that we are sinners. Please forgive our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness. We pray that You will speak to us through Your Word, the still small voice, the Holy Spirit and other ways. Help us to discern Your good, pleasing, and perfect will. Help us to put on the full armor of God that You have provided for us. Thank You that the battle belongs to You, and not to us, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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book review books you tube

Book: Memoirs of a Doctor

https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/c0b9k4

Memoirs of a Doctor: an extraordinary journey of faith

A tale of two cities

Dr. Koh tells his amazing story of his spiritual journey and full recovery from a serious accident that paralyzed him from the neck downwards.

Reviews:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What people are saying

“It was a very inspiring read about Dr. Koh’s humble beginnings, reaching great heights in his career, remembering God’s providence and grace”

— J. Sharmani, Amazon, 5 stars

“Koh shared his interesting and colorful memoir with stories that show God’s providence through life’s struggles and challenges”

— J R Wu-Wong, Amazon, Bookbub, Goodreads, 5 stars

What people are saying

“Dr. Koh shares his truthful and insightful journey in an easy, engaging, interesting manner, sharing stories about his childhood, education, a career in different town”

— Pamela Anne Reinert, Amazon, 5 stars

“ This book introduced me to cultural life in countries I had no opportunity to explore. One scene that surprised me that of a woman who was swallowed by a crocodile while doing laundry in a river”

— E O Carroll, Amazon, Goodreads, 5 stars

What people are saying

“An inspirational and heart-warming book about faithfulness to God reminding us to stay strong when the days are hard. Dr. Koh reveals moments of his life in a motivational, educational, and engaging way

— Valentina, Goodreads, 5 stars

“A beautiful life story of Dr.Andrew and his childhood memories, overcoming many hardships to become a cardiac doctor”

— Sharmani Jeyaram, Goodreads, 5 stars

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What people are saying

“Dr. Koh provided glimpses of his life reminiscing about the kind of life he lived in the cities and villages in Malaysia before the arrival of social media. His varied experiences as a government, private, and military physician were a novelty to read”

— Bob, Amazon, 4 stars

“Took me back to the stories my grandmother told me of the days when she was growing up”

— Rowan E. Creech, Goodreads, 4 stars

What people are saying

“A concise memoir of the doctor’s path from freethinker to Christianity, as well as his feeling of God’s hand of provenance at key junctions in his life!”

— Jan Paessler Amazon, 4 stars

“An interesting memoir of a Malaysian medical doctor. His childhood, his education, his family, his travels, and his faith and continued learning” about God and the Bible”

— Texas, Amazon, 4 star

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bible study books devotion you tube

Book: Apocalypse

Understanding the Book of Revelation by Dr. Andrew C S Koh

A Book Cover of the book Apocalypse: understanding the book of Revelation by DR. Andrew C S Koh
book cover
book trailer

Description

Many of us find the Book of Revelation intimidating. There is also confusion over its intended audience, and new interpretations are constantly being presented about the Antichrist, the beasts, the tribulations, and the 144,000 chosen, to name just a few Using everyday language, Dr. Koh explains the writings of Apostle John to his seven churches on how to conduct themselves and prepare for the difficult times ahead. The Apostle also bids them rejoice, for final victory is coming. He encourages them to take heart with the help of the Holy Spirit and be ready ‘in season and out of season.  

Reviews

A great study material on the writings of Apostle John when he was banished to the small island of Greece, off the coast of Asia Minor. A simple explanation of these books makes it a great study and meditation for all ages. Apostle John wrote this book to the seven churches of Asia Minor. Beautiful prayers accompany each chapter. I am on the ARC team and I leave an honest review. I recommend this book to other readers, J Sharmani, Goodreads, and Bookbub, 5 out of 5 stars

Dr. Koh’s book is an enjoyable way to experience the Book of Revelation and understand its intricacies. A very good book, Rowan E Creech, Goodreads, 5 out of 5 stars

A timely book in everyday language that demystifies this daunting book of the Bible! Dr. Koh explains the instructions of St. John the Apostle to his seven churches on how they are to behave generally, and what they need to do to get ready for coming tribulation, Hilary Walker, Amazon, Goodreads, 5 out of 5 stars

A storyline that continues to keep individuals from all faiths and religions captivated. This novel is a story written following the works of John as closely as possible, but one in which the reader must form his/her own opinion of a story written nearly 2,000 years ago and now interpreted yet again. You will follow the story and draw your own storyline. Pamela Anne Reinert, Goodreads, 5 out of 5 stars

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General others

Reflections of a blogger

never a dull moment

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

a photo showing fireworks on a dark sky with a sunset over a mountain
Fireworks over a setting sun, captured on iPhone 11 plus pro

I retired from medical practice almost three years ago due to an accident that paralysed me from below my neck. I thank God for miraculously healing my paralysis. The simultaneous onset of the Covid 19 pandemic back to back with my accident gave me no choice but to retire for good.

Ever since then, I had no regrets and did not look back. I took up blogging, photography, writing, and book publishing to occupy my time. These are the things that I have wanted to do but never had the time to do when I was working.

Retirement was very challenging initially because I have so much time on my hands and don’t have enough things to do. Overnight, my circle of friends was drastically reduced. Suddenly, I do not have to do ward rounds. Suddenly, my phone stopped ringing except for scammers. I felt alienated, isolated, secluded, and cut off from the world. I felt that nobody was interested or wanted to know whether I am existing or not. Fortunately, I had a church family where I could serve full time, teaching, preaching, interceding, counselling, visitation, and so on.

But retirement was not all doom and gloom. There were more positives than negatives. I have freed myself from the tyranny of the urgent. I have freed myself from chains of the Goliath of medical practice that tied me down twenty hours a day, seven days a week, for more than a quarter of a century. I have freed myself from the responsibility of patient care, running a practice and on call.

My stress level was drastically reduced. I have better control over my time. I could do things out of interest in my own time and leisure. I could take a long holiday and be away from home for as long as I want without worrying about patients, clinics, and hospitals.

The burden of running a practice is forever behind me. I have finally earned the rest that I longed for. I became an author, publisher, blogger, and amateur photographer. There was never a dull moment.

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testimony

Testimony

by Dr. Andrew C S Koh

a photo showing a fireworks display on a dark night with a setting sun over a mountain
Fireworks, sunset

Spinal shock

On 26/12/2019, I attended a post-Christmas, pre-New Year celebration dinner with my cardiologist colleagues in a hotel in Ipoh. After dinner, when I was leaving the restaurant, I tripped and fell. I could not remember how I fall. I must have lost consciousness, and when I came to myself, I saw my friends looking at me and calling me.

I could see and hear them but I had a strange feeling. I could not feel my body below the neck and this was frightening! It was as though my head was cut off from the rest of my body from below my neck. I could not move my hands and feet, and there were no feelings below my neck. Then it dawned on me that I was tetraplegic, and the fall had resulted in a neck injury and spinal shock.

Prolapsed intervertebral disc

My colleagues called for an ambulance and transferred me to KPJ Ipoh Specialist Hospital. The paramedics were very careful not to move my neck and protected my neck with a cervical collar. I was immediately taken for an emergency MRI brain and neck scan and subsequently admitted to the ICU. The MRI scan showed no head trauma, but there was a prolapsed intervertebral at the C3/C4 level causing a 90 % compression of the spinal cord, confirming the diagnosis of a prolapsed intervertebral disc with cervical myelopathy at the C3/C4 level. By then, it was already past midnight.

Spastic tetraplegia

The next morning, I was taken for a CT scan of the neck to delineate the prolapse intervertebral disc in more detail. By then, the spinal shock had resolved but I was tetraplegic. The spinal surgeon who attended to me advised urgent spinal cord decompression surgery to remove the prolapsed intervertebral disc and to decompress the spinal cord. He explained that this was a delicate and precise operation, and there was a risk of permanent spastic tetraplegia in the event of complications arising during the operation.

Spinal Surgery

At 8 pm on 27/12/2019, I was wheeled to the operation theatre for the scheduled operation. I heard the anaesthetists in attendance saying that they were giving me pure oxygen, and will be putting me to sleep. The next thing, that I remembered was the doctors calling my name, asking me to wake up, and saying that the operation was over. When I opened my eyes, I saw the doctors, nurses, paramedics, and the clock in the operation theatre, and it was 11 pm. I was wheeled back to the ICU.

Rehabilitation

After 8 days in the hospital, I was well enough to be discharged and was able to walk with great difficulty using a walking frame. After 6 more weeks of outpatient physiotherapy and rehabilitation, I finally recovered and was discharged from physiotherapy. At that time, the COVID-19 pandemic kicked in, and the whole country was under lockdown. It took me another 3 months before I became ambulant. It is now almost 3 years post operation and I am fully ambulant but still requires the assistance of a walking stick.

Thanks for the support

I thank all my cardiologist colleagues for calling the ambulance and protecting my neck during the ambulance transfer.

I thank my wife, sons, daughters-in-law, sister, brother-in-law, nephew, niece, relatives, in-laws, friends, pastors, church members, ex-school, and ex-university classmates, for their prayers, support, care, visitation, encouragement, and reassurance.

I thank the spinal surgeon, neurosurgeon, neurologist, anaesthetists, radiologists, staff nurses, nursing aides, paramedical staff, radiographers, physiotherapists, KPJ ISH hospital directors, and all the hospital staff, who had attended to me during my hospitalization.

Miracle

According to one of my cardiologist friends who was an eyewitness to the accident, I fell head facing downwards hitting the floor, and was lifeless for about 5 minutes. He said that at that moment, he thought I have died and was so worried for me. When I woke up again, it was a miracle. According to one of my sons, who is an anaesthetist in New Zealand, he said that such an injury almost always results in permanent tetraplegia, and my recovery in such a short time was indeed a miracle.

So many people prayed for me, through whats-app messenger and in person. My wife and sister were very supportive throughout my hospital stay and postoperatively. My in-laws were also very supportive throughout my ordeal. They drove me to various places outside Ipoh during the Chinese New Year of 2020 for food and recreation, just to cheer me up.

Thank God

I thank God for saving my life, rescuing me from spinal shock, rescuing me from spastic tetraplegia, successful spinal surgery, and successful rehabilitation

I thank God for preserving my life so that I can serve Him in the church. For the past 3 years, He had enabled me to write and publish 38 books. God is good, He loved me, had compassion, mercy, and grace on me, and His eyes were on me throughout my ordeal. I had experienced such amazing grace.

Testimony

I was once paralysed but now I can walk! I hope this testimony will be an encouragement for you as it had been for me.

a photo of my business card
business card
Categories
ARC Copy book review books

Review needed for a new devotional book

by Dr. Andrew C S Koh

a photo of book cover
book cover

Manna of Life: Daily Devotion

Hey, we need reviews for a new book, Manna of Life. The book contains 20 daily devotions for devotional readings at quiet times. We will be glad to send an ARC copy to anyone to review. Enclose your email address

Description

I have taken 20 Bible passages as a basis for 20 daily devotions. Each devotion begins with a verse-by-verse commentary followed by application and prayer. Although I only quoted a short passage of scripture for each devotion, readers are encouraged to read the whole chapter to get a flavor of the context and background. I pray that these daily devotions will uplift, encourage, and stimulate readers to read and meditate on scriptures on their own

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

2 Timothy 2:15, NIV

Links

Amazon

https://storyoriginapp.com/universalbooklinks/a8ef2e1e-69ef-11ed-8608-dfc631de6464

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/63411918-manna-of-life-daily-devotion

You can only review on amazon.com if you have bought $ 50 worth of products from them in the past 2 years, but you can review on Goodreads without making any purchases. You need to open an account with Goodreads and it is free.

Thank you, God bless,

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business card
Categories
bible study devotion

Devotion: Pentecost

by Dr Andrew C S Koh

a photo showing an open book
open book

Acts 2: 1-4

Prayer

Heavenly Father, we come before You today as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to You, as our spiritual act of worship. We give You our full attention, hearts, and minds. Help us be transformed to the image of Jesus Christ, our Lord, and Saviour, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Pentecost

1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Acts 2:1-4

Commentary

Easter corresponds to the Feast of First Fruits in the Old Testament. The day of Pentecost is celebrated fifty days after Easter (Feast of First Fruits), Leviticus 28:16. Pentecost is also known as the Feast of Weeks, the Feast of Harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering, Numbers 28:26 and Exodus 23:16. The Holy Spirit descended upon the 120 disciples in the upper room on day of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit came with the sound of a strong wind and rested on the head of each disciple as a tongue of fire and they spoke in tongues.

Jesus compared the activity of the Holy Spirit with the blowing of the wind in John 3:8. In Greek, the word for wind and Spirit is the same word, pneuma from which we get our English word pneumatic.

The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit

John 3:8

Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the Lord.

Leviticus 23:16

Also on the day of the first fruits, when you bring a new grain offering to the Lord at your Feast of Weeks, you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work.

Numbers 23:16

and the Feast of Harvest, the first fruits of your labors which you have sown in the field, and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you have gathered in the fruit of your labors from the field.

Exodus 23:16

Application

The New Testament church was born on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended upon the 120 disciples in the upper room of Jerusalem. This was a fulfillment of Jesus’ promise to His disciples in the upper discourse in John 14:26.

 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

John 14:26

Church Age

The time period from the day of Pentecost until now is the church age. The church age will end on the day of rapture when the church will be taken up to heaven to meet the Lord, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17.

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit descended open the disciples as visible tongues of fire resting over their heads and they spoke in the languages of other people’s nations. Like a Chinese person speaking French, a German person speaking Arabic, a Korean person speaking Japanese, and so on.

The power of the Holy Spirit is as strong as the wind. Typhoons and cyclones can blow off rooftops! Once, I was in Hong Kong and I saw the effect of a typhoon damaging houses. Another time, I was in India, and I saw the power of a cyclone.

You cannot see the Holy Spirit but you can feel His presence and you can see the result of His work. You feel His presence as goosebumps all over you and in other ways. Once, when I was in a boat in the Sea of Galilee, I felt goosebumps all over me! You see the result of the Holy Spirit in the millions of lives that are transformed by Him all over the world.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for speaking to us through Your word of truth. Thank You for sending us the Holy Spirit to be our helper, teacher, truth revealer, counselor, and advocate. Thank You for the amazing power of the Holy Spirit to transform lives. Thank You for Your love, mercy, and grace, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Categories
bible study devotion

Devotion: Creation

Genesis 1:1-4

by Dr. Andrew C S Koh

a picture of God creating Adam
Creation of Adam

Creation

God created the world in six days. Whether this is a literal 24 hours day or not is something that is hotly debated. According to God’s reckoning, 1 day is as 1000 years and 1000 years is as 1 day, 2 Peter 3:8. God created, transcends, and is outside of the time, and space continuum. There are two schools of thought regarding the age of the universe. Is the age billions of years old or is the universe 6000 plus years old? There is also the gap theory. Is there an interval of time between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2? These are hotly debated issues among Bible scholars. As far as the Bible is concerned God is the creator of the universe. In the beginning, God created the heavens and earth. The universe is not a product of a massive explosion billions of years ago. The universe is not a product of random chance and mutations. Human beings did not evolve from monkeys or gorillas

“But don’t forget this one thing, beloved, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day.”

2 Peter 3:8,

The Beginning

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was formless and empty. Darkness was on the surface of the deep and God’s Spirit was hovering over the surface of the waters. 3 God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw the light, and saw that it was good. God divided the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day”, and the darkness he called “night”. There was evening and there was morning, the first day.

Genesis 1: 1-4

Commentary

The Bible begins with “in the beginning God created”. We do not know when this beginning was. Is it billions of years or thousands of years? God created the universe in eternity past. The universe did not evolve by random chance over billions of years. It takes a lot more faith to believe in evolution than creation. God has no beginning. He is outside the time-space continuum. He is pre-existent, self-existent, eternal, from everlasting to everlasting, from eternity past to eternity future, from the Alpha, and to the Omega.

The six days of creation have a pre-set template, starting with “let there be…..” and ending with ”there was evening and there was morning………”

On the first day, God created the heavens, the earth, and the light. There are three heavens. The atmosphere from the ground to the clouds is the first heaven. The outer space from the clouds to the galaxies is the second heaven. The abode of God’s throne beyond the galaxies is the third heaven. When God created the earth, it was dark, empty, and structureless. Hebrews word for create is bara, which means to create something out of nothing, or ex-nihilo in latin.

God separated the light and the darkness, calling the darkness, evening, and the light, morning, and this was the first day. God defined a day as one evening and one morning. A Jewish day starts from 6 pm in the evening until 6 pm the next evening.

The Holy Spirit circled around the formless, structureless, dark, empty, and watery earth. God spoke, let there be light and light appeared on site. This was not the light of the sun but the light of God’s glory, Revelation 21:23. Jesus Christ is the word of God’s word, John 1:1.

The Trinitarian God of the Bible, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit created the universe. God saw that the light was good. He separated the light from the darkness and called them day and night. Hebrews for God is Elohim, a plural noun.

In the presence of the Holy Spirit, God, the Father spoke, and it came to be. Jesus Christ is the spoken Word of God, the father.

The city has no need for the sun, neither of the moons, to shine, for the very glory of God illuminated it, and its lamp is the Lamb.

Revelation 21:23,

“in the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.”

John 1:1,

Application

Genesis declared that everything is created by God. If you believe that God created the heavens and the earth in 6 days, you will have no problem believing the rest of the Bible. How big is your God? How big is your faith? It takes more faith to believe in evolution than in creation. Faith is the key to unlocking spiritual truth. Believe and you will see the glory of God. Without faith, it is impossible to please God.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, help us to understand Your word. We pray for the anointing of the Holy Spirit to enlighten us and to give us wisdom and understanding. Open our hearts, minds, eyes, ears, and spirit to receive, understand, see, apply, honour, and hear the truth of Your word, in Jesus’ name, Amen.