In the fifth week of the Arise & Build series, Kong Hee taught City Harvest Church how to fulfill its prophetic role of sharing the Gospel with the whole world and its priestly role of understanding the needs of society.
By Michelle Heng
With an overarching theme of love, the weekend service on Oct. 27-28 kicked off with a most unusual skit put up by the City Harvest Church’s Drama Team on how to reach out to those who are different from oneself.
In an office where cliques are often formed, the new colleague on board often is left out or even bullied. Using a nonsense language and visual graphics, the drama effectively and humorously portrayed how a Christian can make a difference in his office by befriending a new colleague and helping him in times of trouble.
That weekend was the fifth in a seven-week series culminating in CHC’s Arise & Build pledging weekend. Senior pastor Kong Hee opened his sermon by reminding the congregation that just as Jesus is Prophet, Priest and King, Christians also have a prophetic role of sharing the gospel to the whole world, and a priestly role of understanding the needs of society, bringing love and compassion to the needy. The church is the embodiment of the love and compassion of God.
A HOUSE OF LOVE
Reading from Luke 10:25-37, Kong expounded on the familiar parable of the Good Samaritan, reminding the church that the Great Commandment was given to all believers.
“To demonstrate the devotion of Christ, one has to love God; but to express Christ, one has to love people in society,” said the pastor.
He went on to explain the different groups of people represented in the parable: the man who was robbed in the parable represented the needy and marginalized in society, while the priest refers to the expert of the law, someone who would analyze or discuss the situation, but usually without taking action. The Levite is a representative of the typical churchgoer, who would prefer to avoid trouble by not getting involved, and the innkeeper represents people who seek to benefit in any situation.
The Samaritan, however, had love and compassion for the wounded man; he risked having the robbers come after him to help the wounded man, and even went the extra mile to pay for all his expenses.
“The Good Samaritan was also financially empowered, or he wouldn’t have been able to pay for all the expenses of the wounded man,” Kong pointed out. “To demonstrate God’s power, the church needs to be empowered financially in order to bless the society. The church cannot be a poor and weak entity in the city. We’ve got to be blessed in order to bless others.”
The Good Samaritan saw the man as someone worth loving, and demonstrated Jesus’ ministry of redemption: restoring broken lives back to their fullest potential for the glory of God.
“And that’s what Jesus wants us as Christians to do—to restore lives back to their potential; that is what the Great Commandment, the Great Commission and the Cultural Mandate are all about.”
Jesus is the Prophet and the Priest, but when He died on the cross and rose again, He also assumed His kingship. Roman 5:17 says that when Christians receive the gift of grace through salvation, they also receive the gift of righteousness to reign in life through Jesus Christ.
God has destined His children to reign in life right from the beginning; in Genesis 1:26, God said that He made man to have dominion over all the earth. In Genesis 2:7 (MSG), the Bible says that man became a “living soul”. This phrase in the Hebrew Bible is translated a “discoursing spirit”, which also means a speaking spirit. Man was created for dominion, and that dominion is released by his speech.
Luke 10:19 confirms again that Jesus has given His disciples authority and power over the enemy. It is thus important for believers to realize that they have the ability to resist the devil, and this authority of Christ works regardless of how they feel or what their natural circumstances is.
Kong invited his wife Sun up on stage to shared an encounter they had ministering to a severely demon-possessed girl. Throughout the entire two hours of deliverance, they did not feel very victorious. Even so, the demons recognized the authority of Christ, and by the time the girl returned home to Indonesia, she was completely healed and set free.
IMPORTANCE OF THE RHEMA WORD
In Matthew 16:16, Simon Peter said to Jesus that He is the Christ, Son of the living God. The word “said” used in this context is the word “eipon” in Greek, which means to command or to call out boldly. Jesus, in turn, changed Simon’s name to Peter, which means “rock of revelation”.
“Breakthroughs only come when there is a rhema (the Greek word for spoken word of God)! Whatever God has spoken to us, we need to speak it out and command it into existence,” said Kong.
In Mark 11:22, Jesus called his disciples to have faith in God, and He clarified in verse 23 what it means to have faith in God.
The verse reads: “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.” In this verse, the mountain refers to anything that is too big for us to handle. Kong also explained that there were two different Greek translations of the words “says” : “eipon” which means to command or to call out boldly, and “lego“, which means to utter out in speech.
Kong gave another example in Job 22:28, which says “Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways,” the word “decree” here means to command with authority.
In the first chapter of Genesis, before there was any created thing upon the earth, the first thing God did was speak: this suggests that the primary purpose for speaking is not for communication, but for creation!
Kong cited the example of a member from Dr. Yonggi Cho’s church, Yoido Full Gospel Church, who had to go for brain surgery. She was advised by Cho to confess, “By His stripes, I am healed” 10,000 times and she did so while preparing for the operation. A miracle happened on the day of the surgery; when the doctor made the incision, he found no sign of a brain tumor. She had been completely healed by confessing the word of God.
There is no magic in confessing a certain number of times. Kong explained, “We just have to keep confessing God’s Word until it becomes heart knowledge, not just head knowledge.” He then exemplified this by sharing a vision that Phil Pringle, senior pastor of C3 Sydney, Australia, had of angels surrounding the church. They were holding swords but the swords were down, while the church members were being viciously clubbed by demons. But when the people started to praise God, the angels raised their swords and started to slay the demons. “Angels are energized by our praise to work on our behalf!” Kong proclaimed.
Kong closed the service by leading the congregation in declarations of authority and faith.
Kirsten Lau, 24, an administrator at a polytechnic, said, “Knowing that the primary purpose of speaking is to create, I am empowered with boldness to command creatively to my mountains, believing that whatever I confess will surely come to pass!”
Joshua Liew, 24, a student, also felt the main takeaway of the service for him was an increased level of faith and boldness. “I’m learning to speak boldly to every circumstance in my life, believing in God’s will and His miracles!”