..........Myspace Codes An Extraordinary Life: February 2010

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Revelation 1:1-8 ~ Knowing THE Future

Today's church passage focused on "Knowing THE Future" in Revelation 1:1-8. We are so often faced with so many uncertainties about the future that we sometimes lament, "If only I knew for sure...". But what about the revelation to John? Do we see a hint of the future in it and is it certain?

The prologue of Revelation presents to us that this book is an account of John's prophecy with God as the revealer and the message being that of Jesus Christ. While we shall dive deeper into understanding this "prophecy" in the coming weeks' sermons, let us first examine some of the interesting points that verses 1 to 8 of Chapter 1 introduce to us.

"who is and who was and who is to come"
"Who is" refers to the present, "who was" the past, and "who is to come" the future. This phrase is in reference to God (the idea appears twice in v4 and 8) - it describes an ever present God who was there right from the beginning, is still with us here in the present, and will still be there in the future. After all, "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God (v8). This is the one same God who revealed to John (through an angel) the things that must soon take place (v1) concerning that of Jesus - the very reason why we can be assured of the certainty of this particular "future" as the revealer has been present since time immemorial and will still be there when the things that must soon take place (v1) eventually do take place.

"the firstborn of the dead"
The irony of this phrase lends it a twist of curious interest - how is someone who is dead a firstborn? And what does "firstborn" refer to? The first child of the family? No - in fact, "firstborn" is a term commonly used to refer to that of the heir; one who is destined to receive an inheritance in the future. How then is Jesus the firstborn of the dead (v5)? Being one who has resurrected from the dead, He is the ruler of kings on earth (v5) who inherits from God, His Father, authority over all creation as well as the glory and dominion forever and ever (v6) that He deserves.

"coming with the clouds"
Read alone, this phrase may seem insignificant, but several other Bible passages do help shed some light here on what this phrase actually means. and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man (Daniel 7:13) started us off with the whole "cloud" imagery but more importantly, it continues to tell us that this son of man (Daniel 7:13) who came to the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:13) has an everlasting dominion (Daniel 7:14) and that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him (Daniel 7:14). This reaffirms the same concept of Jesus being the firstborn of the dead (v5) that we looked at in Revelation! Jesus also foretold of himself, speaking in a third person language, that they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory (Luke 21:27). But what exactly is this "cloud"? Jesus presented Himself to His apostles after His resurrection and at one point of time as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him our of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold two men stood by them in white robes, and said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven." (Acts 1:9-11). This "cloud" is none other than "heaven" itself and it signifies the second coming of Christ in the future! This leads us to our next phrase, one that we have glanced at earlier on...

"the things that must soon take place"
As we read God's Word in its bigger picture, we can appreciate that these "things" refer to that of Christ's second coming. The word "must" indicates a certainty and this notion is confirmed by our earlier discussion on the revealer of the prophecy being that of God who is and who was and who is to come (Revelation 1:4, 8). But "soon"? How soon is "soon"?! More than two millenia have passed since the first coming of Christ - a seemingly long time to many of us. But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day (2 Peter 3:8). So while we may not be able to pinpoint exactly how "soon" Christ will return, we can all appreciate that it is a certainty in the future and the Christians amongst us have a responsibility to share the gospel with others that they too may be warned that judgment day is not too far ahead but still be reassured that Jesus loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood (v5) and that He is the one whom they should give all glory to as Lord and Saviour. For blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near (v3)...

Next week, we will be looking at "The View From Heaven" as we explore Revelation 1:9-20. Feel free to join us (FOCUS PM Church) for the live sermon every Sunday 4.30PM at Keith Burrows Theatre @ UNSW! ^_^

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Saturday, February 27, 2010


FOCUS PM Church @ UNSW will be kick-starting an exciting series on the book of Revelation this coming Sunday. So make sure you join us as we unravel the mysteries behind one of the most challenging reads of the New Testament!

FOCUS PM Church (Fellowship of Overseas Christian University Students)
Every Sunday
Keith Burrows Theatre, UNSW

As for weekly Bible Studies, IBF @ UNSW will be exploring the gospel of Jesus according to Luke, starting this coming Friday. Come learn to read God's Word for yourself and appreciate the story of Christ our Saviour!

IBF (International Bible Fellowship)
Every Friday
Squarehouse Level 2, UNSW

See you there! ^_^

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Australia Day 2010 with Stan Walker

Hehe, this post is long overdue but nonetheless one that deserves its own blog post... Thanks to the awesome slogan competition organized by Darling Harbour, I won the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring along 3 other friends to share dessert with last year's Australian Idol winner, Stan Walker, on Australia Day itself! What a great way to celebrate my very first OZ Day seeing this is the first time I stayed back for summer hols...

In case you're curious, I was supposed to tell in 25 words or less why I love Lindt chocolate (the dessert with Stan was of course held at none other than the world-famous Lindt Cafe itself! ) . My entry was:

Fine chocolate of royal gold,
Like Stan's music, Lindt's food for my soul,
Smooth perfection that melts worries away,
Truly ataahua in every way!

"Ataahua" means "beautiful" in Maori language and is also the word tattooed on Stan's neck, in case you didn't already know... Anyway, here are a few shots from the night:

Stan and I posing in front of the golden engraved sign inside Lindt Cafe

Stan drizzling hot liquid chocolate over my white choc ice cream waffle - Lindt Cafe manager was kind enough to let me keep the choc pot that Stan used as a personal momento! *grin*

Stan and I with our reverse peace signs and juju lips... To the lady in pink behind: Yes, your boyfriend's right, it's Stan Walker in the house! (Lol, couldn't help overhearing her boyfriend's not-so-soft whispers!)

A group shot with Stan and my 3 new awesome friends from Stan's State Fan Forum (SSFF) - L-R: Linda, yours truly, Stan, Renee, Simo

A shot with sweet Mikey (Stan's brother + guitarist) - he came too (as well as Stan's backup singer, Ashley, and manager/agent)...

No doubt this was one Australia Day that I'll forever cherish - what more can one ask for when there's such great company and good food? All of us had a good time chatting that night (way too many details to list them all here) and if not for the manager/agent who kept pushing Stan, Mikey and Ashley to leave (thanks to the growing number of restless fans who spotted Stan), we would have had more time to spend with these wonderful down-to-earth artistes (neither of them wanted to leave either!)...

For a video of Stan serenading us with Smash Into You (ignore the fireworks going on in the background), check out this video:

You've gotta love Stan... ;)

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UNSW Medicine Integrated Clinical Examination (ICE)

So here's my return after a long hiatus from the blogosphere. To the Phase 2 coursework students who will soon be sitting for ICE, all the best! I have previously distributed my notes (consisting of my answers to popular past year questions) to some of you and hope that these notes will be of some help. If you have missed out on being on the receiving end (whether directly from me or from being forwarded the document by a friend) or only stumble on this blog post later in the future and want a copy, just drop me a comment here with your email address and I'll send a copy along... ^_^

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