Sunday, June 29, 2008

Humanity in Sin Part 55: Jacob Went to Egypt

This is my personal summary of the preaching of Rev. Dr. Stephen Tong on 1st June 2008 in Newton Life. It was preached in Chinese with English translation.

Passage: Genesis 46

This passage told how Jacob brought his whole family into Egypt. God commanded Abraham to leave his hometown and his father’s household but he did not know where the future would be. This is the principle of faith. We trust in God for our unknown future.

Now God commanded Jacob to go to Egypt. But Egypt was not the promised land. God promised Canaan to them. Jacob went to pray to the God of his father Isaac. God called him that evening, “Jacob, Jacob.” instead of calling him “Israel”.

This is parallel to the New Testament. Jesus gave Simon a new name, Peter. But Jesus still called him Simon. After Jesus gave Simon a new name, there was only once Jesus addressed him as Peter. On the one occasion when Jesus called him Peter, it was through another person, not directly. After his resurrection, he said, “Tell Peter.” But Jesus still called him Simon even in the last chapter of John.

Very often, we already have a new status, but we still behave based on old status. Based on status, we are saints. But based on our own spirituality, we are not like saints at all. Israel means the crown prince of God (Esra El), but in many ways Jacob did not live out his name.

There were 66 people who went to Egypt but God considered Joseph’s family as well, so altogether there were 70 people in the house of Israel. Joseph’s wife was not a Hebrew but by God’s grace, was still included in Israel’s family. Before his death, Joseph commanded Israelites to bring his bones out of Egypt when God brought them out of Egypt because he did not belong there. We should always remember that this world is not our home. We have an eternal destiny so we should prepare ourselves for Home.

Because of Joseph, Pharaoh honored all his family who came from Canaan. The Egyptians detested the shepherds so would not live with them. So Jacob’s family lived in the land of Goshen, where the shepherds were. It is the way the world detests Christians.

After the Pharaoh who knew Joseph died, the people forgot Joseph and started persecuting the Israelites. But God never forget His people. When His time comes, He would deliver His people. Genesis told us the promises of God and Exodus showed how the people of God were delivered.


At 4:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quoted from blog:
The Egyptians detested the shepherds so would not live with them. So Jacob’s family lived in the land of Goshen, where the shepherds were. It is the way the world detests Christians.

“You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.”
~Winston Churchill

Matthew 28:19-21 (New International Version)
19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

How could we learn 'everything' that Jesus had commanded his disciples?
Two approaches:
(1) Jesus taught the apostles, the apostles taught their disciples and so on. (just like Paul entrusted Timothy)
This is called apostolic successions.
(2) All that Jesus taught were recorded in Gospel (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John). Those of this approach would interpolate those things not recorded in Gospel and twisted into their needs. (i.e. What would Jesus do....? )
That's how we got gay bishops, women bishop, artificial contraception, abortions, homosexual, etc.
This is the 'soli scriptura' approach. But 'soli scriptura' has no basis in bible, no where in bible it mentioned about 'soli scriptura' (not even: 2 Timothy 3:16 because bible as we knew today didn't exist that time, it was the old testaments that Paul refered to.)

When we stand up for the truth, the world (including other unfaithful Christians) will hate us.
Observe, which Church the world (and unfaithful Christians) hated most?
Which Church in particular that 'The Da Vinci Code' attacked?


At 3:39 PM, Blogger Mejlina Tjoa said...

Thanks for visiting again, Hans. I think no matter which camp we stands on, there will always be people who hate us and people who love us.

After some 500 years, looks like the pendulum is swinging towards ecumenism again since the 16th century cry for a break from centralized church system that ruled the world over 1000 years. Humanity is really strange and complex. It would be interesting to see how history unfolds.

At 8:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"There are not more than 100 people in the world who truly hate the Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they perceive to be the Catholic Church."
~ Fulton J. Sheen

The issue is that people not able to see the truth. Thus the saying: "I was blind but now I see" become very relevant.

One example is about the Crusade. Most Christians and Westerners were ashame of it because they didn't know about The Real History of the Crusades


At 11:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ever though of how church of all nations looks like? Take a glimpse of it on the news (in couple days from now): WYD 2008

On the importance of ecumenism:
[ Matthew 12:25; Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.]

At 8:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pope Benedict XVI clarify the Doctrine of Justification in one of the catechesis on St. Paul
Saint Paul: The Doctrine of Justification - From Works to Faith

For other links in series:
The Year of Saint Paul -- Pope Benedict XVI's catechesis on St. Paul

At 1:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Richard John Neuhaus (1936-2009)

his lengthy and thoughfull article explaining his conversion from Lutheran to Catholic is worth reading:
How I Became the Catholic I Was


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