External to Internal

(The Forge Newsletter_01_2021)


 He entered Jericho and was passing through. And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. (Luke 19:1-3)


2021 01_zacheusWe often look outside for the cause of problems. However, although the cause of the problem is outside, it is often inside. Zacchaeus was short man. And because many people gathered that day, Zacchaeus could not see Jesus. Was this really the problem?

1. The fundamental problem is in the heart and in the relationship
If Zacchaeus had been a person who was friendly with, and respected by, the people who lived in Jericho, people would have opened the way for him as soon as he turned up. In other words, Zacchaeus' problem was not his short stature or that crowds of people were gathered, but that his relationships with people were blocked or broken. Zacchaeus had a lot of money but had no friends. This is because everyone living in Jericho treated Zacchaeus, who cheated his own people, as a filthy sinner.

2. When everything comes into my life, I have to let go everything that I have owned
One day, Jesus, who was called a friend of tax-collectors and sinners, appeared in Jericho. Zacchaeus decided to meet Jesus, whom he had heard only through news, but he would not have thought of the price he had to pay. But when Jesus met him, said that he would go to his house, he came with him to his house and said that he would give half of his wealth to the poor, also he would pay four times the amount of fraud. Hearing this, Jesus(ישוע = Yeshua) says that salvation(ישוע = yeshua) has come to the house.

3. If Jesus does not come, the problem will not be revealed nor solved
If Jesus had not appeared in Jericho, Zacchaeus would have lived as a tax collector as usual without any problems. If Jesus really comes into our lives like this, we cannot continue to live the way we normally live. When Jesus comes into our lives there is always conflict, and we must make a decision whether to follow Jesus, who is everything, or turn away from him. We cannot serve God and other things at the same time.

4. Money cannot solve the fundamental problem
The name Zacchaeus comes from the Hebrew word “zakai (זכּי)” and its meaning is “pure” and “clean”. When he was born, his parents might have given him this beautiful name, but he didn’t grow physically, so he might have been teased and bullied by people around him. Perhaps he started collecting money to make up for his self-esteem. The more he collected the money, the more empty his mind became, also the more people moved away from him. In other words, he expected that money could solve the problem, but the problem became more tangled and could not be solved.

5. The solution does not start with raising money, but sharing money
But when Jesus, who is everything, came to him, there was no room for money anymore. So he gladly distributes his possessions to the poor and pays four times as much for extortion. If I don't give up everything, I can't be fully enlisted onto Jesus, who is everything. When Jesus enters into Zacchaeus’ life, he gives up his money and his identity; “pureness(זכּי )” is restored. He has found true friendship in Jesus and the way is cleared to establish new relationships. Solving the real heart of the problem enables everything else to start again.



[ Prayer & Intercession ]


1. Is COVID-19 really a fundamental problem?
Nowadays, due to COVID-19, the whole world is suffering from loneliness of lockdown, like Zacchaeus, with body and mind. So people talk as if a vaccine is the fundamental solution. Therefore they rushed to make a vaccine and get an injection, but that doesn't solve the root of the problem. It is important to medically deal with the apparent problem, but we have to go inside and diagnose the underlying problem.

2021 01_blackdeathIn fact, the fundamental problem is the sinful nature. Since the fall of man, we have suffered from sickness and death, and sorrow and suffering. Of course sickness and death will continue to disrupt our lives until the Lord comes back. Some people thought that if the coronavirus vaccine came out, all problems would be solved. However, that is an illusion. It is far more important to build our body healthily than taking a vaccine injection. Perhaps it was the sinful nature of humans who created the Wuhan variant virus in the first place.

* The Black Death, which began in Central Asia in the 14th century, swept through Europe until the 18th century, often wiping out whole towns. The Spanish flu, which began in February 1918 until April 1920, infected 500 million people, which is about a third of the world's population. And it is said that about 20 to 50 million people died because of this. (This includes 675,000 Americans.) COVID-19 is not the first pandemic the world has seen, and it may not be the last, because of our sinful nature.


2021 01_usa_electionl2. The US presidential election – was God's will done?
At the end of January last year, God gave me a heart to fast and pray for the US presidential election and President Donald Trump. So, for the last year, I have been fasting and praying in the morning everyday. However, for whatever reason, Trump couldn't be re-elected this time. Was I wrong to hear from God and did I pray wrong? Nevertheless, does God want me to continue fasting and praying for America? Or can I stop fasting and praying now? Today (January 23rd) When I walked on the frosty beach early in the morning, God gave me the heart that now is even more important than before, so he wants me to continue the morning fast.

(1) God's Will & People's Will: When the apostle Paul came to Caesarea and entered the house of Philip, a prophet named Agabus prophesied with Paul's belt that the owner of it would be arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Gentiles. All the saints who heard this cried and urged Paul not to go to Jerusalem. This is because they thought that if he went up to Jerusalem, his amazing gospel preaching ministry would be ended.

2021 01_paulHowever, when Paul said he was prepared not only to be arrested and imprisoned, but also to die, then people sent him so that the will of the Lord would be done (not their own will). Wouldn't they want Paul to preach more of the gospel in the area around Israel? However, God allowed him to be arrested and sent to jail, giving him the opportunity to write letters and to spread the gospel further and more widely through them, even to us. And even though he was a prisoner, he went to Rome to preach the Gospel to the Emperor's relatives.

(2) God's Will & American’s Will: Many people have prayed for this presidential election in the United States, and many (but not all) believers but have spoken out with the same heart to see Trump’s re-election. But instead of what those believers expected, Donald Trump was not re-elected, Joe Biden was elected as the 46th president. And Biden is breaking down what Trump has done one by one from the day first of his presidency. Many people, including myself, are disappointed and discouraged by the results of this election.

Now, should we hold Paul, so that God’s will may not be fulfilled, in order to fulfil our will with our emotions? We know that a lot of corruption has been committed in this election. Then, why did the just and righteous God allow these things happen? Why doesn't he bring down fire or hail to judge even now?

2021 01_job(3) God's Will & Job's Will: Satan was jealous of Job because he served God and lived uprightly. But Job suffered really unfair tragedies. No, his children faced worse unfairness. All of them lost their lives one morning because of their father's faith. Those who do not believe and do not know Jesus seem to be doing well and living well, even if they commit lies and injustice. But surely everything will be revealed and will be judged according to God's standards. When God's time comes, the day will surely come that we will see God with our own eyes, which we have heard only with our own ears, and God will restore a double portion of what we had before.

We must pray that God's will, not our will, be done on this earth, and the Kingdom of God may come, not our country's influence. Although the nations of this world are suffering and under lockdown, God's will is still being fulfilled and the Kingdom of God is being expanded powerfully. Our feelings, plans, and will must be ruined in this case, because sometimes they are deceiving and distracting us from God’s will.


3. Journey to Egypt for my Friend: “Faith without deeds is dead!”
2021 01_egypt_friendAt the consideration of my friend M's doctor, I attained an additional month's portion of medicine and went to Egypt on January 9th with the medicine and a couple of medical products for his kidney dialysis. The airplane I boarded was a large plane with more than 200 seats, but due to the coronavirus lockdown, there were only 10 passengers, including two children. And when I was trying to get a visa at the airport in Egypt, the immigration officer told me that I didn't have to get a visa, and he checked with another staff twice. Then he stamped on my passport. I have been to Egypt many times, but I have never passed through without paying the $35 visa fee.

My friend M lives in a three-story house, and the third floor was only a concrete skeleton. However, since last November, they have been building a bedroom, a kitchen, and a bathroom by building walls. When I visited this time, two plasterers were working, and I helped for three day to bring up to the 3rd floor two truckloads of sand. Also my friend’s son and nephew worked with me. It wasn't easy, but I worked happily and prayed for Mohammad and his family as I climbed the stairs.

And to M's younger brother and M's wife, I was able to share the story of the love of Jesus that changed me. Also I told M that as a Christian, I am helping him as a Moslem because of Jesus' love. And one day, I was able to share again with M about Jesus who changed my heart and life. M's face looks better than last time, but his right leg got worse, so he cannot walk properly. Please pray for his salvation and health.


2021 01_mbb4. Muslims seeking Jesus in Egypt and the Muslim world
On my last visit to Egypt, I had a conversation with two MBB (Moslem Background Believer) over the phone and prayed together. However, the number of MBBs is growing amazingly in the middle of difficulties and persecutions.

For this couple, the husband accepted Jesus first and the wife came to the Lord later. But the wife's love and passion for the Lord is greater than her husband. She shared the gospel message with her close family members and started meetings at her home. As a result of that she began to face tremendous persecution from her father, who later learned of it. And finally, he called her to attend a family elders meeting that he would give her the last chance to repent. When she heard of it, she prayed with other MBBs. They received this scripture from the Lord and believed that; “No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD and their vindication from me, declares the LORD.” (Isaiah 54:17)

She attended the meeting with her husband and father-in-law. When the wife told in front of the elders that she had found the truth and she would not denounce it, her father cursed her daughter. Then the Muslim father-in-law stood up and told her father to stop cursing his daughter because she is also his daughter. Also he said that he would respect and support her decision. Then her husband stood up and told her father clearly that she is married to him, so he didn’t want her father to interfere in her life any more.

She didn't even dream that her Muslim father-in-law would be on her side, but God hid someone to help and protected them and made them overcome according to Isaiah 54:17. Her younger sister also heard the Gospel message and believed in Jesus, but now she is in a difficult situation with her husband's strong persecution and physical violence, and she is banned from going out. We ask for prayers for the MBBs and the workers who serve them in the midst of threats.


5. George Orwell's 1984 realized in the United States in 2021
2021 01_tweetIn the society we live in now, it seems that the truth or facts are not important, but emotions and public opinion. Whether it is true or not, when emotions arise and public opinion is formed, they override truth or fact.

During the US presidential election process, Donald Trump and his supporters' tweet and Facebook accounts were unilaterally and permanently deleted. It was said that this was, in the end, a measure taken according to the company's censorship standards and interpretation of the situation, but they showed a consistent bias to the political left. This is similar to "Big Brother’s” control in George Orwell's book "1984". At such times, we must stand and be awake according to the standards of truth that will never change. Otherwise, we may be swept away by the feelings and public opinion of the left and right.


2021 01_idol6. A deified leader in a communist country that does not recognize God
The early church community in the book of Acts in the Bible looks like an ideal model for socialism: they did not claim ownership of what they had, but shared and served each other in love. They had faith in God, and the love of Jesus who gave his life for them, and they had hope that Jesus would come again soon. Because of that, they didn’t keep things for themselves but gladly shared with others.

However, Communism and Socialism are based upon the non-existence of God. There is no love of God or hope in God. They only regard everything as material including human beings, so all men work equally and share equally. However, if you look at the countries that have practiced Communism or Socialism so far, they are not equal. Rather, the ruling class and the dominated class are so clearly distinguished that the dominant class possesses and enjoys a lot of things, and exploits and oppresses the dominated class. Even those who denied the existence of God idolized and deified themselves as rulers. (* Kim Il-sung, grandfather of Kim Jung Eun, is still revered as their sun and the god of North Korea.)


7. Let's ask the Venezuelan people for directions?
2021 01_chavesIn a Korean magagine, Hankyoreh 21 on March 22, 2007, under the title "Let's ask the Venezuelan people for directions," three progressive commentators carried a talk to diagnose the fever of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez at that time. At the time, Venezuela's President Hugo Chaves was very popular with the people because of his successful populism policy financed through oil sales.

President Hugo Chavez took office on February 2, 1999, and ruled Venezuela for 14 years until his death from colon cancer on March 5, 2013. His “21st century socialism” was labelled as an experiment that would shake human history, but Venezuela went bankrupt, and his experiment ended in dire failure. According to estimates from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the economic growth rate in 2019 is -39%. GDP per capita from over $10,000 10 years ago has plunged to $2547 (2019). The unemployment rate in 2018 was 35%, and the national debt to GDP rose from 25% 10 years ago to 182% in 2018. Inflation rose 200,000% in 2019.

Populism is the secret of Chavez's success in ruling the economy and recreating the government for a long time. He did not have a specific philosophy of governance and relied on the popularity of the people. He also polarized society. Chavez called himself “Pardo,” referring to people of brown-skinned Native American or Black descent, who make up 80% of the Venezuelan population. Through this, hostility and collective anger against the elite ruling whites, foreigners, oligarchy, and neoliberalism were encouraged.

Chavez conducted live TV shows for 4 to 8 hours each week; joking and singing with audiences on the streets or in the presidential palace, and improvising policies. In addition, people's petitions were resolved on the spot. Chavez started using Twitter in 2010 and gave an apartment to a 19-year-old woman who became his 3 millionth follower. The elite ruling class hated him, but the people cheered him.

Chavez poured money from oil revenues into free education, free health care, and subsidies for low-income people, which temporarily worked. However, even during Chavez's reign, the inflation rate, murder rate, unemployment rate, and infant mortality rate were the highest in South America. And the economic growth rate was the slowest in South America, after large-scale nationalisation drove investors overseas. After 2008, when the price of oil plummeted, the economy that relied solely on oil suffered a catastrophe. The country has virtually become a haven for destruction, hunger and crime.


8. We must not follow Venezuela
We don't need to ask the Venezuelan people for directions: Chavez took office in February 1999, until his death in March 2013, and since then, the state of collapse in Venezuela is truly terrifying. We must not follow the path that Venezuela has taken.

2021 01_machiavelli4However, the Moon Jae-in administration of South Korea is currently on the path of populism. It does not have a consistent policy like the Chavez administration and depends on the emotions of the people, increasing national debt with liberal hand-outs to gain support Also injustice and lies are endemic within the leaders of Mr Moon’s administration. For them, justice and truth have disappeared. Whoever does not agree with what they say is branded as evil and wrong and regarded as the enemy They have divided the people right and left.


9. Machiavelli has influenced dictators?
Nicolò Machiavelli (May 3, 1469 - June 21, 1527) is an Italian thinker and political philosopher during the Renaissance. He said in his book, “The Prince” that "(Good) purpose justifies means." Also He said in the book that a monarch must be able to ignore all moral and religious laws in order to expand and maintain power. In other words, the only criterion he asks of the monarch is usefulness. Therefore, a monarch wishing to remain in power must be prepared to lie and act immorally if necessary. Also he said, “It is safer to be the object of fear than to be loved. Popular politics is good, but terrorism is safer to keep the power." However, Jesus came to the earth and lived completely the opposite way and died on the cross powerlessly because of love. Many kingdoms have existed and disappeared since then, but His Kingdom is based on love, never perishes and is forever.




Qday Music Album: “Tomorrow Never Comes!”

2019 09_tmrwnvrcmIt took four years to complete this music album with help from many musicians and artists including prayers and finances. It wasn’t easy for me, but I wasn’t alone, so I was able to complete it. This isn’t perfect but I have obeyed what God had told me to do so as Moses made a bronze serpent.

- You Tube links:

1. Tomorrow Never Comes!
The Only Way
Beginning & End
The Most Beautiful Thing
Set Free
7. Let Your Kingdom Come
Like A Rock


Shalom shalom!

Qday LEE

(+44) 7870 653157

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.