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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas giving and gifts

In this season of Christmas, the world and even many Christians worry and scramble buying each other gifts over the sake of tradition. Buying gifts for one another is not a bad thing in itself. Giving gifts to the poor and needy is not a bad thing in itself. But as usual, we forget the order of how things are to be and we tend to lose the importance of what Christmas really means. For our God is a God of order and we are to learn His order even for this season. With all the commercial secular advertisements of holiday food and special shopping sales, we can lose focus of the real meaning of this season. Christmas is not a season to buy each other gifts per se. It is not a season per se for family to get together just because they have not seen each other for a long time. It is a season to honor the King of Kings and this is the first order.

Matthew 2:10-12 When they saw the star, they were thrilled with ecstatic joy.11 And on going into the house, they saw the Child with Mary His mother, and they fell down and worshiped Him. Then opening their treasure bags, they presented to Him gifts—gold and frankincense and myrrh.12 And [j]receiving an answer to their asking, they were divinely instructed and warned in a dream not to go back to Herod; so they departed to their own country by a different way.

The wise men traveled a great distance to find the new born King of Kings. When they had entered into the house and when they had saw the Child, they fell down and worshiped HIM. Christmas is a season in which we should be preparing to worship HIM. It is a season to reflect HIS birth which brought salvation unto the world. It is a season to honor HIM. It is a season to thank HIM as we fall down and worship HIM. The wise men showed their worship and gratitude by then offering HIM gifts. They were expensive gifts. Where is our offering unto HIM as we worship HIM? The world and many Christians spend so much money on this season for themselves. But where is their offering to HIM? Yes, we can say as we give gifts to each other or to the poor, we are giving gifts to HIM. But unless HE tells you otherwise, you must bring your tithes/offering to the designated place of worship.

Deuteronomy 14:23-25 (AMP)And you shall eat before the Lord your God in the place in which He will cause His Name [and Presence] to dwell the tithe (tenth) of your grain, your new wine, your oil, and the firstlings of your herd and your flock, that you may learn [reverently] to fear the Lord your God always.24 And if the distance is too long for you to carry your tithe, or the place where the Lord your God chooses to set His Name [and Presence] is too far away for you, when the Lord your God has blessed you,25 Then you shall turn it into money, and bind up the money in your hand, and shall go to the place [of worship] which the Lord your God has chosen.

If we are willing to spend and buy a loved one or friend with so much money, is our God not worth that much and/or even more? Should our offering not equal or be greater than what we spend for one particular person? Jesus should always be on the top of the list as we make a list to purchase gifts. Some say we are poor so we cannot make an offering? Jesus said that the old lady with the two coins gave more than the rich. If we have little, HE is testing you to see if you will be faithful even with the little.

Let us not forget the reason for this season. This season is about the birth of our Savior and we must utilize our resource and time to first come and worship HIM and make HIM an offering. Therefore, brethren, wherever you are, make sure you make an offering to your home church or to the place you are being spiritually fed. HE must be first in all your decisions. Then as you can see in verse 12 of Matthew 2, the wise men received their answer to their prayer. Even if you cannot afford to buy people gifts, make sure you first make your gift to God even though it may be small. Our prayers are answered when we always put God first. 

We must return as the people of God who knows how to make a proper offering to HIM. For too long have we sought for our own selfish ways. Lord, we repent of this and may we return to our First Love.

Merry Christmas and Glory to HIM!

Fire of God Church
An International Holy Fire Ministry
Pastor Steve Yong Kim
Fremont, CA USA 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Becoming a people of offering and giving again

Deut 16:16  “Each year every man in Israel must celebrate these three festivals: the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Harvest, and the Festival of Shelters. On each of these occasions, all men must appear before the Lord your God at the place he chooses, but they must not appear before the Lord without a gift for him. 17 All must give as they are able, according to the blessings given to them by the Lord your God.

The secular world and commerce has taught the people of the world to try to always get something for free. If not free, then they are always looking for a discount. The days to just pay a fair amount or give the ability for one to make a decent profit is but disappearing. Discounts are not a bad thing but to demand it when we feel we have been wronged is another matter and the world's way.

In the bible, as Christians, when a Roman soldier asked one of God's people to carry his back pack for one mile, Jesus said to carry it for two miles. If a person sued you for your shirt, Jesus said to give him your coat. The bible says, it you have been wronged, be wronged to keep the peace.

Christians should be known for giving grace and we should be a people of giving and offering rather than taking and sucking life from others. If you feel you have been wronged in a business transaction or a sale, then if you can give grace, give grace. If you demand a discount or if you demand it for free then you may just be like the world. What difference are we? Who's light are we shining?

I know many people who work hard and many business owners who work hard. If they make a mistake and it does not cost me anything, then I give them grace. I have learned as I give them grace and show respect, God will move their hearts to make things right. And even if they do not give me anything or a discount, let us reflect as God's salt and light in us by accepting what God allows. We are called to be peacemakers.

With that said, many Christians treat the House of God the same way. Many of us have become like the world and we are always expecting things for free from God. Many Christians come to HIM empty handed. In the bible, HE says that we must not appear before HIM without a gift (offering). We expect HIM to heal and deliver us but we would make the large offering to the hospitals and doctors instead and we have stopped putting HIM first. And this is why many of our prayers do not get answered as we have not put HIM first.

If we really knew how Grace has saved us, we would have such a joyful heart always willing to offer to God because we love HIM. Many work for themselves because they love themselves so they can buy the iphone or ipad for themselves. But how many work and save for God to make HIS House have something special or to make sure the barn house is full so God's people are taken care of first. Sadly, only a very few.

As verse 17 states, give according to the blessings given to you by the Lord your God. But many do not and so they themselves have stopped their own blessings.

We must return as a people who gives with a joyful heart to make tithes and offering to God and to stop expecting everything for free from HIM. Yes, HE has paid the full price but where is your appreciation and gesture? We need to stop coming to HIM empty handed and expecting HIM to keep blessing us when we have yet to bless HIM.

Fire of God Church
An International Holy Fire Ministry |
Fremont, CA
Pastor Steve Yong Kim

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Temptation of Jesus

What was the purpose for the Holy Spirit to lead Jesus into the Wilderness?

- To be tempted and tested

Matthew 4:1-11 Then Jesus was led (guided) by the [Holy] Spirit into the wilderness (desert) to be tempted (tested and tried) by the devil.2 And He went without food for forty days and forty nights, and later He was hungry.3 And the tempter came and said to Him, If You are God’s Son, command these stones to be made loaves of bread.4 But He replied, It has been written, Man shall not live and be upheld and sustained by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.5 Then the devil took Him into the holy city and placed Him on a turret (pinnacle, gable) of the temple sanctuary.6 And he said to Him, If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, He will give His angels charge over you, and they will bear you up on their hands, lest you strike your foot against a stone.7 Jesus said to him, On the other hand, it is written also, You shall not tempt, test thoroughly, or try exceedingly the Lord your God.8 Again, the devil took Him up on a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory (the splendor, magnificence, preeminence, and excellence) of them.9 And he said to Him, These things, all taken together, I will give You, if You will prostrate Yourself before me and do homage and worship me.10 Then Jesus said to him, Begone, Satan! For it has been written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him alone shall you serve. 11 Then the devil departed from Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.

In the time of our personal wilderness, the devil will come with things we desperately need. In verses 2-4, Jesus was tempted to make the stones into loaves of bread. When our economy and finances are hit, the devil will come with money/material things to draw us to him for he knows we in need of it. He will make us calculate our ability to tithe and offer. Of course, God allowed the devil to test us to determine whether we will continue to trust God depending on His economy or the world's.

When the devil tempted Jesus, He replied, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God’ “.

In the days of poverty, we need to read (spiritual food) the scriptures to fill our spiritual stomachs and by doing so, it will grow our faith and we will be reminded that He is faithful even in difficult days. When our spiritual stomachs are filled, we will not be so hungry for money/material things. We will not worry for what we will eat for tomorrow.

In the time of our wilderness, the devil knows what will draw our attention. In verses 5 to 7 speaks about the devil telling Jesus to jump off the cliff and telling Him that God will send angels to save Him. But Jesus replied him by saying, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.”

When many Christians are in their wilderness, they become so apprehensive and afraid worrying of their situation. How will we pay our bills? How will we buy food? Many Christians make a great mistake by getting ahead of God and thinking, “I did it with faith, so God will protect and save me!” Rather than waiting for God to deliver them from their situation, many make decisions and choices to force God to act. Thus they are simply testing God attempting HIM to be their servants. If you jumped off a cliff intentionally asking God to save you, wouldn't that be testing HIM to see if HE will deliver?

In the time of our wilderness, many Christians tend to seek the help from the world and her ways when things do not go as they desire or had expected. Then Christians begin to compromise. Worldly ways begin to look better and they begin to seek counsel from the worldly people. They resort to humanism. They do not realize that they are now kneeling down and worshiping the devil.

When the devil came to Jesus and told Him to ‘kneel down and worship me’, out of the three situations, this is the only situation Jesus said, “Get out of here, Satan”

As you can see, resorting after worldly things and ways are idolatry and it directly comes against the first commandment of God, ‘you should have no other gods’. Many Christians serve ‘other gods’ in their wilderness by seeking the other ways to get out of it. If the ways are not given by God, they are from devil. Jesus replied and fought the devil by saying, “You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him”

Even with Moses and the wilderness, God's people had carried and sought their idols. Many Christians are doing exactly what they did even today.

Acts 7:42 Then God turned away from them and abandoned them to serve the stars of heaven as their gods! In the book of the prophets it is written,

‘Was it to me you were bringing sacrifices and offerings
during those forty years in the wilderness, Israel?
43 No, you carried your pagan gods—
the shrine of Molech,
the star of your god Rephan,
and the images you made to worship them.
So I will send you into exile
as far away as Babylon.’[h]

Only after Jesus had passed all three types of tests, the devil went away and the angels came and ministered to Jesus. In the bible, the angels always brought answers and messages. When we pass our tests in our wilderness, the answers to our prayers will come. God will open up the doors of the spiritual and physical blessings. He will lead us to do His work/ministry to lead many souls into His kingdom. Only when we pass the tests and trials in our wilderness, God will use us to glorify Him like Jesus glorified the Father.

Fire of God Church
An International Holy Fire Ministry
Pastor Yoojin Kim (Pastor Steve Yong Kim's wife)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Breakthrough comes as you know Him more - Nov 17, 2011

When God gives us a word or promise whether that be for spiritual, financial, or physical breakthrough, many of us may end up focusing too much on the end result of the promise. This is even the case with the rapture. However, many do not realize the significance of "time" which is generally in the middle between that promise. This "time" is used by God to test us. This "time" is used by Him so that we may grow in Him. While we are waiting for our breakthroughs or promise, the definition of our wait is to do His Will and Work in the meantime. As we grow in HIM, we are inching closer to that promise and growing to maturity.

John 4:34 (AMP) Jesus said to them, My food (nourishment) is to do the will (pleasure) of Him Who sent Me and to accomplish and completely finish His work.

Our spiritual, financial, and healing breakthroughs come as we know more of HIM. The promise is given so we may come to know the giver of Life and not necessary the end result of the promise. But people generally focus too much on the end result not realizing that the focus must be on HIM regardless of our situation.

Many wait for their breakthrough first rather than doing His Will and Work regardless of their circumstances. They believe they need the spiritual, financial, or physical breakthrough first. As they wait to do His Will, they do not realize they are prolonging their breakthrough or promise. Please do not misunderstand this message. If God has called one to missions for example, it does not mean one should go have a car wash and start a fund raising to help God give that person the financial breakthrough. The work He has for that person in the meantime are the baby steps within our lives for the greater things. He may also bring other lives into our surrounding to either minister or to learn from. He will even bring the tares around to teach us something. It is a molding and conditioning of our obedience unto Him.

The time between His promise and to the end result of that promise is a test in our lives. The test will even continue after the promise or breakthrough. I have come to realize our whole life is a test. Even after Abraham had his son, God had still tested him again.

Genesis 22:1-2 (AMP) AFTER THESE events, God tested and proved Abraham and said to him, Abraham! And he said, Here I am. 2[God] said, Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah; and offer him there as a burnt offering upon one of the mountains of which I will tell you.

When people generally receive a promise, they usually expect it within a short time. Many of God's people have not learned God's time and because of this many become offended by Him. Even those who have labored for Him for many years become weary. We have to perceive time through God's eyes and not man's. Some of you say you have patience? Some may have waited 10, 15, 20 years for a breakthrough. Does this give one the privilege to say they now have learned patience? Man seem to always define eternal things within the scope of their finite minds and lives. Man will generally receive God's word and attempt to discern it with their finite minds. If we are to look at the average life of say 70 years and if we have waited for something for 10 years, are we able to say we have patience? But what if the bar or measurement is to say we have patience if can wait for something in the context of eternal time? When God speaks, does He not speak eternally?

For example, God told Abraham that He would make Abraham a great nation and will multiple his descendants like the stars of heaven and like the sand on the seashore. In Genesis chapter 18, they were already old and it was then God told them they would have a son.

Genesis 12:2 (AMP) And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you [with abundant increase of favors] and make your name famous and distinguished, and you will be a blessing [dispensing good to others].

Genesis 18:10-11 (AMP)10[The Lord] said, I will surely return to you when the season comes round, and behold, Sarah your wife will have a son. And Sarah was listening and heard it at the tent door which was behind Him. 11Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in years; it had ceased to be with Sarah as with [young] women. [She was past the age of childbearing].

Genesis 22:16-18 (AMP) And said, I have sworn by Myself, says the Lord, that since you have done this and have not withheld [from Me] or begrudged [giving Me] your son, your only son, 17In blessing I will bless you and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore. And your Seed (Heir) will possess the gate of His enemies, 18And in your Seed [[a]Christ] shall all the nations of the earth be blessed and [by Him] bless themselves, because you have heard and obeyed My voice.

If that word was given to some of us today, many of us would begin to calculate how many children we need to have and then how many children they need to have to achieve such a goal within our time frame. Yet, even at his aging year, Abraham did not have a heir until he was 100 years old. Many would have thought God's promise was not coming. Many at the age of 100 years old would have thought at that age it would be impossible to be the forefather of multiple descendants like the sand on the seashore. Many may have lost their faith and quit. So what do many do? Many will do what Abraham and Sarah did. Since they did not know how God was going to fulfill HIS promise, they stepped ahead of God on their own in attempt to help God by having a son through their servant. When Abraham and Sarah went ahead of God, His people even today suffer the consequences of their mistake through the descendants of Ishmael.

Today, many of God's people are always trying to give God a jump start instead of waiting for His appointed time. There is always an appointed time with HIM.

Genesis 18:14 (AMP) Is anything too hard or too wonderful [a]for the Lord? At the appointed time, when the season [for her delivery] comes around, I will return to you and Sarah shall have borne a son.

If we perceive eternal promises earthly, then our faith may not hold. We must change the way we perceive time. We must stop looking at it finitely but eternally. God may give you the breakthrough when you are 100 years old and perhaps even fulfill the promise after you are gone. So do we really have the patience to wait in eternal time?

Colossians 3:2 (AMP) And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth.

God has taught me something very important. The Lord has taught me that I must get to know Him more and as I know Him more, His Glory will cover me as it will bring forth His promises in my life. What is the original purpose of man calling or seeking God for help? Many people call out God for help because of their own personal need and comfort. God will use this opportunity to turn people toward Him. But the question is will we turn to Him or will we continue to look for our personal comfort instead.

When we get into trouble, we may start to call on God for help but many do not realize in such a situation, help and our breakthrough comes when we draw closer to HIM. God allows the trials and tribulation in our lives to draw us closer to HIM. If we only look for the end result, we are only looking for our comfort and not HIM. As a result, your breakthrough will delay and may not even come. His promises and Word are conditional to your CONTINUED obedience and faith.

A few years ago, a sister asked us to pray and deliver her husband from smoking and pornography. We told her we will go ask the Lord. The Lord replied and said, "Not yet." She got offended because she saw God give grace to another in which she thought that person didn't deserve. The message God told us to give her and her family was the following. "What will change if I deliver him of his smoking and pornography? Will he read more of My Word? Will he pray more? Will he worship Me more? Go tell him to do it now then!" For some who are being newly saved, God will give grace to free them immediately but not for those who have been a "Christian" a long time, it will not come so easy.

You see, that person was asking God for help for the sake of his marriage and his personal interest and not for getting to know God more or for His Glory. This is why God will not always answer immediately. He wants you to draw closer to HIM first. He will allow the situation taking such opportunity to train us to pray, read, and worship HIM. How many of us really seek Him when things are going so well? We but get busy with the distractions of life and eventually fade away from HIM giving Him but crumbs on some occassional Sundays or perhaps holidays.

Our spiritual, financial, physical breakthroughs come as you get to know HIM MORE. God at the end is trying to teach us that the end result is not as important as learning to know Him more. As we grow in Grace moving from Glory to Glory, we achieve our breakthroughs so we may do More of His Work and His Will for His Glory and not so we may be comfortable or go back to where we had come from.

May you all persevere and endure in all things for His Glory. May you all find the freedom and Peace in HIM. May you all walk in the authority and power to overcome the gates of hell. May you all be lead to His uncompromised Truth.

God bless
Fire of God!
Steve Yong Kim
November 17, 2011

Monday, December 2, 2013

The harlot

(Pro 7:11) She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house:

"The harlot of Proverb 7 is not able to endure the burden of staying at home. 
It's much easier to wander around rather than been faithfully given to the service of one single house. Many believers do not want to be engaged to the church of Christ. They don't attend church. 

The body of Christ is a place of true self denial, where you learn how to grow beyond offenses and emotions. You bear your brethren and they bear you. You serve them even, especially when they least deserve it. You love them even if they are not the way you would like them to be. So it's of no wonder that so many believers do not want to attend church.

Taking it a little further, I would say that those same people are generally unstable. They look like an untamed cow which won't carry its master's yoke.

Jesus has called us to carry our cross and follow Him. One of the greatest challenges of Christian life is being faithful to the church we belong. Sometimes we are tired, busy, we live too far etc and we choose to not go to church. When this becomes a habit there is a great danger for our soul. Jesus asked his disciples to wait all together in Jerusalem for the infusion of the Holy Spirit, the promise of the Father. He was where they were, the Bible says, assembled together with them.

The church is the body of Christ, where the Holy Spirit will manifest those last days. The danger is that this day many will be found outside THE HOUSE OF GOD as the harlot."