Newsletters

Condition to Conviction 2

(The Forge Newsletter_04 & 05_2018)

 

So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” (Acts 1:21-22)

2018 04_paul_matthia
Often our conditions confine us but conviction releases us
When about 120 people gathered in one place and prayed after Jesus’ ascension, Peter stood, brought Psalm 109:8 and urged people to elect a person who may replace Judas Iscariot’s place. He suggested a condition: someone who had accompanied them from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from them. And they put forward two candidates, Joseph and Matthias according to the condition.

1. Sometimes knowing is harming rather than helping
Peter’s suggestion was based on the Scriptures and people prayed. After that they threw the lot and elected Matthias. The process looks very biblical and flawlessly perfect. But people recommended the two based on the condition that Peter suggested. Peter must have forgotten when he was called by Jesus without his condition, but he put reasonable condition when they elected Judas Iscariot’s replacement.

2. Jesus called the one who failed and persecuted
However, if Jesus had put a condition when he called Peter, it would have been the failure because he worked hard to catch fish the previous whole night and he didn’t catch any fish.
God called Saul as an Apostle who never followed Jesus, instead he persecuted people who followed Jesus and fought against Jesus. Then God used him to preach the Gospel, Jesus is the Christ, not only to the Jews but also to the Gentiles.

3. Matthias disappeared but Saul appeared
We cannot find Matthias’ name in the Bible except the Book of Acts chapter one and there is no story about him. But the Apostle Paul’s name and stories are everywhere in the New Testament except the four Gospels. Also he wrote many letters that we are reading as part of the Bible. I wonder who is sitting on the 12 Apostles’ seat when we get there; whether Matthias or Paul.

4. We are quick to calculate and make plans
2018 04_paulPeter was sensitive to the numbers and quick to calculate and make plans. Peter was hasty and quick tempered, so he couldn’t wait for God’s timing and his ways. He wanted to make up the shape of Twelve Disciples by replacing Judas Iscariot’s place and he made it up with his ingenuity. But he never imagined that Saul would be called to be the Apostle.

5. God works beyond my calculation and plan
If I don’t listen to God and be led by the Holy Spirit, I probably hastily push my plans that I calculate and make with my ingenuity like Peter. Although God has already prepared Saul, I may make mistakes, and someone like Matthias may be damaged, and make scars on the Body of Christ, if I cannot wait for him. It is important to calculate and make plans, but we need to know that God’s calculation and ours;
God’s plans and ours are so so different. Sometimes they are completely opposite. Therefore we need to listen to him and wait before making decisions. Especially we need to be wise not to judge according to the conditions because he may be the chosen one before the creation of the world for the Gospel, although he is persecuting and killing now.

6. They will not last till the end
Those who are chosen for the good conditions only will not last till the end. Because they are recommended by people with no calling or no power from above and try to follow Jesus with their own ability and experiences. So
Jesus often calls those who have not good condition or not suitable so that he shapes according to his will and encourages them to do what he wants. Our conditions confine us but conviction releases us to go where He wants us to be and to do what He wants us to do regardlessly.


 

[ Prayer & Intercession ]

1. Reunification of Korea is at hand?
North Korea and South Korea are apparently hurrying to reach permanent peace on the Korean peninsula after the Pyungchang Winter Olympic Games. I wept while I was watching the summit of South and North Korea on 27thApril. Soon after, North Korea declared it would be giving up the nuclear and ICBM(Inter Continental Ballistic Missile) development and would open the sites for American nuclear experts. Also the Secretary of the United States visited North Korea and met Kim Jung-Eun. They have agreed to hold a summit in June.

While I was praying about it, two contradictory thoughts came to me. One is this; “History repeats!” and another one is the Apostle Paul’s story.

What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastics 1:9)

(1) Christians didn’t believe Paul’s faith in Jesus
The Apostle Paul was a leader to persecute and imprison believers of Jesus.
That’s why people didn’t believe that he was genuine, when he preached “Jesus is the Messiah!” in Jerusalem after he came to the Lord. They thought it was a trap. God transforms people’s hearts so that they may live a completely different life. God does unbelievable things!


Kim Jung-Eun orchestrated to kill his uncle and his half brother in order to keep his power. How can you trust him who now is talking about denuclearisation and peace?
I have a big question mark about him and politicians in South Korea. Anyway, I don’t trust politicians and their ways. However, I want to keep moving in prayer and intercession with trusting in God alone because our God is above all the power and authorities, also I have been praying for Kim Jung-Eun to be changed, and for a peaceful and purposeful reunification for the Kingdom of God.

2018 04_stalin_kim_mao(2) Kim il-Sung visited Russia and China before the Korean War and Kim Jung-Eun visited China
Kim Jung-Eun’s grandfather, Kim il-Sung visited Russia and China before the Korean War began on 25th June 1950. They promised him support for the war and Russia and China supported Kim il-Sung fully politically and with military power before and during the war.** Kim Jung-Eun was invited by the Chinese Communist Party president Xi Jin Ping since he became North Korean leader from 25th to 28th March. Mr Xi confirmed that China and North Korea are everlasting allies. I really wonder what kind of deal was actually made between them. Nowadays China can say “NO!” to US and China is backing North Korea. Then I wonder what kind of things Mr Kim wants to do.

2018 04_putin_kim_xiJust before the Korean War took place in 1950, the North Korean government suggested a combined North & South General Election and family reunion. Most South Koreans believed that it was genuine and the mood was peace in the South. In these days, many people in South Korea are confused by the peaceful atmosphere in the political realm. We have to open our heart towards the North but be aware of the lesson from our history! When North and South are reunited, what kind things China, Russia and US might lose? Would they want to lose it.

(3) God is not on the side of any but his own side
The lessons of Paul’s transformation and the Korean War are controversial but I believe that these two pictures are running together in parallel, in the Korean peninsula now. Therefore we need to listen to God and to respond to God by faith. If we stand on our own side and criticise the other side, we are divided and fighting against each other between the “Korean flag” activists (strongly anti North Korea) and the “Candle” activists (moderates),although we are the Body of Christ.

(4) South Korea needs to get ready for reunification rather than North Korea
I think the most important preparation is our heart attitude. Many South Koreans are not ready for the reunification.
We despise North Korean escapees and foreign workers because of our current standard of living. We were born without anything and we will return to home with nothing. Therefore whatever we have is to be shared to serve and love, so that we may be one in Christ and build His Kingdom in the nations.

** Kim il-sung visited Stalin in March 1949 to get permission to invade South Korea but he didn’t receive it because North Korea’s military power was weaker than the South and the American military presence was still there. However, he supplied a lot of tanks, war planes, cannons, ammunitions, etc. After his visit to Russia, Mr Kim asked Mao Tse Tung in China for help and he released 20,000 well experienced Korean-Chinese soldiers in the summer of 1949.

In January 1950, the Secretary of State for the US, Dean Acheson declared that the US military protection line in the Pacific Ocean would exclude Korean and Taiwan. After this announcement, Stalin sent a secret message to Kim il-Sung that he would help him in the invasion of South Korea. And Mr Kim visited Stalin secretly in March 1950. Stalin introduced several World War Two experienced war strategists and fully supported for the war. Also in May Mr Kim secretly visited Mr Mao in China and got agreement for the war. After getting permission from Russia and agreement from China, Mr Kim invaded South Korea on 25th June 1950.


2018 04_us_embassy2. Why is the American Embassy Move to Jerusalem a big issue:?
Except during the captivity in Babylon and the diaspora era, Jerusalem has been the historical and religious capital of Israel since David conquered it thousands of years before Islam was formed. After nearly 2000 years, Israel was reborn as a nation on 14thMay 1948, but without the city of Jerusalem. This was regained in 1967 during the Six Days War.

It is normal, and common sense, for other countries to establish their embassies in the capital city of a country. However, 86 countries’ embassies have remained in Tel Aviv in Israel, and Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is internationally disputed, although recognised under US law. When the American president declared last year that their embassy would be moved to Jerusalem, many Arab countries raised voices against the American president’s decision.

(1) Arab countries threatened and UN denounced against the Jerusalem Law
On 30th July 1980, the Israeli Parliament (Knesset) passed ‘The Jerusalem Law’: Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel. Because of this, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, currently the two largest producers in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, jointly announced they would break off diplomatic and economic relations with any country recognizing the new Israeli law. Then, the United Nations Security Council Resolution 478,adopted on 20 August 1980 by 14 votes to none, with 1 abstention (United States), declared soon after that the law was "null and void" and "must be rescinded". This resolution called upon member states to withdraw their diplomatic missions from Jerusalem.

(2) US acknowledged Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and passed law to move its embassy
However, the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 is a public law of the United States passed by the 104th Congress on October 23, 1995. The proposed law was adopted by the Senate (93–5), and the House (374–37). The Act became law without a presidential signature on November 8, 1995. The Jerusalem Embassy Act requires the United States to relocate its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by December 31, 1999 and that Jerusalem be recognized as the capital of Israel.

The Embassy remained in Tel Aviv because the Act also allows for the President to "delay the implementation of the law indefinitely if the move presents national security concerns." Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama have regularly invoked the clause, delaying the move of the embassy to Jerusalem. In 2017, President Donald Trump officially declared Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel and ordered the State Department to begin moving the embassy. Arab countries have been opposing this American embassy move, because if the embassy is moved to Jerusalem, Jerusalem is recognised as the capital of Israel and it ruins the ‘Two State Solution’ that was based on UN Security Council Resolution 242; and was adopted unanimously by the UN Security Council on November 22, 1967.

(3) God planted Israel, made his throne in Jerusalem and will reign forever
However, we need to know that there is deeper reason of opposing the move than
the political: the spiritual reason. There is a spirit that opposes Israel in God’s eternal purpose. God chose Abraham and made an everlasting covenant with him. Then he brought the Israelites back to Canaan from Egypt and established Israel as a nation in order to bless and serve the nations as a priest nation. Whatever people are opposing God’s plan, we should remember that God will install his throne on Zion and reign forever.

He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying, “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.” (Psalm 2:4-6)

 

 

[ News Update ]

 

1. Eight days cycling trip in Ireland
2018 04_irelandGod gave me the heart of the shepherd who left 99 sheep behind in order to find one sheep. So I stopped everything and went to Ireland with brother JH for eight days. It sounds fantastic but I stayed in bed for two days after I came back from Ireland because of flu. We cycled about 350 km over seven days. Sometimes we put up our tent by the road or seaside or mountainside. And we cycled in the dark night until 10 o’clock. One day we cycled all day in the rain and another day we cycled by the sea in the sunshine. Sometime we push our bicycles up toward mountains but on the other side we cycled down like car. Although one day at dusk we reached a lakeside where there was no place to put up our tent and I had to knock a farm house door, God provided our needs faithfully. We enjoyed God’s creation and we had humble, uniting, and overcoming experiences, beyond our conditions.


2. The Forge School of Faith - 11
As a core group we decided we should go ahead and restart the Forge Schools, although we did not feel ready to invite people to stay on for a longer time as they had before. This Forge began to take quite a different shape from previous Forge Schools as we decided to open up more of our meetings to people we know from the wider community who might be interested to hear Messianic Rabbi Mathew’s teaching and to know more of the Forge. As it turned out we had only 2 extra residents: Brenda, who has lived with us before, and Katja who was new. Both stayed for just the first week. God knows who should be there, how many and how long. He chose and sent the right people and exact length of time. I was amazed. So on the second week we had more prayerful and worshipful time with some discussions.


Three evenings each week were opened up to local contacts we had invited. Several people came, some from churches we are connected with and some individuals. Many came back again the following week. We also had an open Sabbath Dinner at Brynteg farm where Mathew shared some principles of Sabbath as we celebrated and ate together.


We felt it was a great way to restart the Forge after our reshaping and re-decorating time. The principles of community, sharing, being challenged by God’s word all stayed the same but we were also able to develop relationships with a much wider community and enable more people to be blessed.


2018 04_grace undone3. Mathew published his new book: GRACE UNDONE
Mathew had just published his book (GRACE UNDONE, available in paperback and kindle from Amazon; click here) and was invited to speak at Linden fellowship in Swansea on the first weekend and was well received.


4. Faith Journey to Anglesey in North Wales
God spoke to us about Anglesey and The Pilgrims Way, which runs just below it. 4 of us (Bridget, Sueng Ae, Vivien and Elizabeth) decided to go up there for a long weekend prayer trip.

2018 04_angleseyWe stayed on Holy Island, the western tip of Angelsey and spent 2 days connecting with the Celtic Christian History, visiting ancient churches, wells and important sites to pray. We climbed the highest point over Holyhead and prayed for our generation to be reawakened to the purposes of God. We travelled to the eastern tip of the island to the well and ancient church site of St Seiriol and prayed for new living water to flow. We also went to Llyn Cerrig Bach, a small lake where a huge quantity of Iron Age items have been found. It is believed to be an ancient site of offering sacrifices to the gods over hundreds of years, and the modern day Druids also use that site for their rituals. We broke bread, shared wine and sprinkled salt for cleansing. On the last day we drove down to the end of the Llyn Peninsular and took a boat to Bardsey Island, the final destination of the ancient Pilgrims Way. On top of the hill we sang praises to our God, amazed at the beauty of the landscape there. Finally we prayed in the simple white church at the site of St Bueno’s monastery for a return to a focus wholly on Jesus, His beauty, and His priorities.

Our trip was only four days, but we felt connected with hundreds of years of history of what God is doing in this part of the world, and we were able to play our part, and receive new inspiration and vision from Him.


5. Owen & Seungae’s Visit to Korea
Seungae had been fighting for her spouse visa, so she had no passport and couldn’t travel abroad for two and half years. In the end, she won the battle miraculously and she is traveling again. Please pray for this couple’s journey.


6. Qday & Noah visit to Korea
Qday and Noah will be flying out to Korea on 14thMay for five weeks. Noah will be in a Korean Christian primary school and staying with a lovely Korean family. I will be traveling to see my mum and other family members, and friends.


7. Tae Kyu & Ji Su wedding
TK was with us for seven months in Wales. He is getting married to his fiancee, Ji-Su on 19thMay in Bucheon.

 

3 Days Prayer & Fast for Israel & UK
Dates : 25th - 27th June 2018
Venue : BRUNEL MANOR, Teignmouth Road, Torquay TQ1 4SF
Contacts: 07919 620566 (Dr Anne Rowntree) / Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

[ Intercessor: Rees Howells ] Audio Book
Click Here (Read by John Holme) or copy and paste below link.
http://www.theforgewales.org.uk/cms/index.php/en/9-uncategorised/147-audio-files-qrees-howells-intercessorq
[ Intercessor: Rees Howells ] PDF eBook
http://www.theforgewales.org.uk/cms/tmp/forge/rees-howells-intercessor-ebook.pdf

 


Shalom Shalom!

Qday LEE
on be half of the Forge family

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(+44) 7870 653157

www.theforgewales.org.uk