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Sunday Message – Today Jesus 119

06/05/07
<Mark 11:12-26>
The Fig-Tree Had Immediately Withered
• God is pleased with the temple of us, the Believers
• God doesn’t see how brave we are or the atmosphere we have to fulfill His will
• A life built on prayers is the smartest and the most attractive
• We must have a correct perspective and be a big vessel
• A family built on prayers is hospitable and accommodating
• A Church built on prayers will hold on to God’s covenant first with ministries done with joy. God’s timetable will tell
us what He is doing
• Our faith must be practical. Our problem is we always believe in an abstract God without knowing what He is
doing
• We are already not serving if we serve with a lot of effort
• Nobody will invest with a very fearful heart. Thus, nobody will serve God with a lot of self-effort
• We will naturally enjoy what we are serving when our life has reached a certain level of blessedness
• However, a lot of Believers are always troubled, especially for those who serve (e.g. Preachers, teachers)
• God wants to give us a practical life, prayer and faith to walk with Him

Read <Mark 11:12-26>


• Didn’t Jesus Christ know that it wasn’t the season for the fig tree to bear fruits? Actually, there’s always a spiritual
meaning in the Bible
• We must know what Jesus Christ was really cursing. Jesus Christ was talking about the Pharisees, teachers of
the laws, etc. They will not bear fruits regardless of time
• v23 God is the Way. God is Spirit. What do we believe in? If God wants us to be rich, we will be rich. We will
be healed when God wants to heal us. We are not believing in the things that we wanted
• v26 What is the purpose for praying? The purpose of prayers is for us to love God and men. It is not about
doing our own things immediately after praying

1. A life that cannot bear fruits <12-14>


1) The Lord uses the example of “cursing of the fig tree” to present the fact that “Israel couldn’t bear fruits”, and
hence ending up in destruction
• The Lord cursed the fig tree to describe how Israel would be wiped out
• God’s method is always to destroy and rebuild
• In the wilderness, God didn’t use the older generation, but the new ones
• Even the temple built by Solomon was torn down. The true meaning of having the temple was restored
when the 120 disciples gathered and prayed
• When the Lord cursed the fig tree, He did not mean to curse each individual’s life. We were saved once,
and forever
• God cursed Israel as a whole, and not on the individuals
• Though we are saved, we will still lose out when we chosoe not to follow God’s Word
• <1 Corinthians 5> “hand his man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature of his body may be destroyed…”
• Though believers have eternal life, God will still allow them to commit suicide if they continue to be weak
to an extreme. That’s the meaning of losing out
• Though believers have eternal life, they will not have peace when they chase after the world daily
• Though believers have eternal life, they will not pass their blessings on to their children, if they do not
follow God daily
• We must understand what God is doing whenever we face any hardships or trouble. We cannot lose our
salvation
2) What are the fruits that the Lord asked from Israel (the Saints)?
• There are two types of fruits: external and internal ones
• A repentant heart is an internal fruit. It is not about “fixing” ourselves
• A repentant heart makes us be willing to die. Believers will only receive the 9 spiritual fruits when they are
willing to let go of themselves or die. In fact, there are infinite spiritual fruits, not just nine
• Compassion: Regardless of how we look at a person, man is never adorable. It is because of the fallen
spiritual world. Thus, to have a compassionate heart, we must die to ourselves and view ourselves with
God’s word
• God’s word tells us that we are His beloved children. Therefore, we shouldn’t look at our own weaknesses
• Joy: Nobody will naturally be joyful when they are not doing anything or when they are still
• If we want to have joy, we ought to know what God is doing for us. This is prayer
• Peace: Men can never have peace with others and with themselves. There are always things that will
cause a person to be displeased
• When a person interacts with others, there seem to be conflicts and quarrels. This is especially true for
couples
• A couple will only not quarrel when they view each other’s life using the Word of God
• All these are only some examples of internal fruits. External fruits will be born only when there are internal
ones
• How can we evangelize (i.e. bear external fruits) when we don’t have internal fruits (i.e. internal peace)?

3) What are the reasons for not able to bear fruits in our Belief?
(1) Because, we have yet to establish a “relationship with God”
• Believers cannot bear fruits because they have yet to meet the Lord. Such people will not have
internal fruits in their speech or expression
• They go to the Lord with their own motives or conditions
• God is always with us, regardless of our conditions. God’s love and plan is always with us
• We can only bear fruits after we have met God
• E.g. a couple cannot get married till they have met each other

(2) Because, we have yet to acquire the “mystery to communicate with God”
• Believers who have never met God will not be able to communicate with Him
• A Believer cannot communicate with God when he finds God only for his own desires and purposes
• They did not want to discover God’s plan. Therefore, they have no other things to tell God after they
have told God all their desires
• We cannot communicate with God when we add or subtract anything from God’s word
• God’s complete and perfect will is already revealed in His word
• E.g. How should we communicate with God when we face some setbacks at work?
• First of all, we need to know that our work is there to receive God’s praises and not men’s praises
• Secondly, we are the ambassadors of the Gospel. We come to this company to bless others
• Thirdly, if we are in the wrong, we ought to change for God’s sake. However, if we are correct, we
need not worry for anything. God will be responsible for us. There will be greater blessings awaiting
us
• We might know a lot of God’s words. However, we might not know how to use God’s word
• God’s complete word (logos), through our prayers, will convict us according to our fields and
situations. This is meaning of “the word has became flesh”
• God’s word is active and effective
• God’s mystery: The word becomes the prefect will of God

(3) Because, we have yet to restore a life in tune with God


• If we pray for things that will happen only after 10yrs, it will not be answered until 10yrs later. God’s
concern is now
• E.g. if we are thinking that our children will become a Pastor 20yrs later, we need to start praying to
know how to bless and teach him now.
• We must know how to live our lives now in order for something to occur in the future. This itself, is
prayer
• E.g. If we want to be a Preacher 10 years from now, we must start praying now to know how we must
be equipped and how we need to have a congregation centered life. This is what it mean by practical
prayers
• To walk with God means to receive things now after knowing God’s prefect plan

4) The fruits that result from a contradicting belief


• Carnal: a person will enter the world and follow the world’s method when he is unable to see God
• Mysticism: men will want to use all sort of methods to see and touch God. Thus, they will fall in mysticism
• Legalism: men will use laws to oppress others and themselves when they are not able to see God
• Believers ought to have joy. A person does not have joy when he has no assurance for his salvation
• Humanism: men will always come out with their own solutions when they are not able to see God

2. Rebuild the Holy Temple in Jesus Christ <15-19>


• When men enter into carnal living, mysticism, legalism and humanism, God has no choice but to tear down
and rebuild their lives
• Jesus Christ always rebuilds. God does not what us to change and correct ourselves
• E.g. When God wants us to be joyful, He does not mean to be joyful as a result of good possessions. God
wants to rebuild our lives, such that we are joyful because of Jesus Christ and because we have eternal lives

1) We must understand the “problems we have before knowing Christ” and the reasons for “non-believers having
to die and resurrect with the Lord”
• We must know how to rebuild the temple: we must know our fundamental problems. We are dead
actually
• Our belief isn’t all about having eternal life and having the ability to enter heaven next time. Our belief is
about knowing how to live now by anticipating the future
• Christians should not try to be “holy, holy” for God
• Our biggest problem is that we always want to see the future. E.g. we think that everything will be good
when we have become rich next time. We are blessed only when our children behave and we have good
financial conditions
• In fact, we need to understand God’s leading while waiting for our prayers to God to be answered

2) We need Jesus Christ


• Only those who had understood the fundamental problems will need Jesus Christ
• Fundamental problem means the inability to see and enjoy God. God loves us but we don’t love ourselves
• Therefore, we can only see God through Jesus Christ. We need to know the example and covenant of
Jesus Christ

3) Communication and walking with God


• We can only communicate and walk with God through Jesus Christ
• We are actually worshipping idols if we don’t understand God’s word with a “rebuilt-temple” life
• Idols worship = misinterpreting God
• We do not praise God blindly. E.g. some believers always praise God with their lips, but never understand
the purpose of praising God. This is idols-worshipping
• <Romans 1:20> God’s personality is clearly displayed. Therefore, we cannot hide by saying “we do not
know”
3. Restoring “answered prayers” <20-26> = just believe in what you will receive and you will receive
1) The Lord says “you must believe in God… do not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will
happen, it will be done for him… whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will
be yours”
• God’s Word is absolute. “… believes that he says will happen, it will be done for him”
• We did not receive answered prayers because we do not know what God had said
• E.g. our child is sick and we do not know the reason. Thus, we will keep asking God to heal the child
without first asking God, His purpose for it to happen. God might allow a child to be sick so that the
parents can renew themselves
• Therefore, it is idols-worshipping, when we ask with our own desires / thoughts
• We should ask after hearing God’s voice
• The second problem that we have is; though we know God’s perfect will, we do not accept it
• If we seriously want to cast out the forces of darkness, we really need to hear God’s voice and submit to
Him

2) The misunderstanding of this verse by those followers of mysticism


• A lot of believers after hearing this verse thought that God will answer everything he has asked for as long
as he asks with faith
• Jesus Christ does not answer by looking who has the courage to believe. It is more important to know
what is it we are believing in
• Mysticism is very dangerous
• Mysticism = superstition, believe blind and believe wildly
• Superstition will cause us to face one problem after another
• Believing wildly will cause us to behave strangely over time
• We must know what we are believing in

3) God’s ideology is “faith with foundation, prayer with foundation and life with foundation”
• What do we believe and how do we pray? We must have a prayer with foundation
• God has given us a lot of covenant through His Word. We must pray for our current situation with a truthful
and cleansed heart. After that, the Holy Spirit will reveal God’s perfect will to us timely. Our prayers are
already answered when we have assurance in this
• E.g. God told Abraham that he was the source of blessing. Our interaction with others will be different if
we believe in this covenant with a truthful and cleansed heart. It is because we will remember that we are
today’s Abraham. As such, we will not become angry with others so easily but to bless others more
• Men conquer the world with his life. A preacher will not be able to conquer the world by simply sharing on
the pulpit
• <Phil 4:19> God will provide to us everything we need
• <Matthew> also tells us that we should not worry for tomorrow
• Very often, we become numb to God’s covenant. We will only accept God’s covenant with a cleansed and
truthful heart when we face extreme agony
• God’s word is absolute but our situation is always changing. Moreover, our feelings are always deceiving
us. Thus, we should not hold on to the situation or our feelings

4) Prayers with foundation will result in answers with foundation. Answered prayers will in turn bring about 7
times more new covenant
• God told us that we are His most beloved children. We should not find it hard to believe in this
• When we accept this word with a cleansed and truthful heart, all our thinking and values will be in line this
word. When that happens, our lips will really praise God regardless of whether we are weak or strong.
Even when we are disciplined, we will accept the discipline with our royal lives. This is what will make a
true Christian.
• If we have acquire this absolute belief, our judgement will be the answer
• We must receive the highest gift, which is none other than the gift of prophecy. God’s word will become
our perfect will and strength
• We know about the future, we know how to pray, how to bless others, how to rebuke others, etc from the
Word of God. This is what it means by having acquire the gift of prophecy

Sharing and Prayer Topics


1. What fruits do I have in my life since I’d come to know the Lord? Can I explain how does God’s Kingdom
come upon my life and my interpersonal relationship daily? How can I pass the life, which I am having and
enjoy now, to others and how to use it to affect my family, region and this era?
2. Can I explain: the mystery of Christ living in me? How can I establish a relationship with God, talk to Him
and walk with Him, through Jesus Christ? How is the outlook of the temple in my life? (Is it clean or dirty?
Is it clear or blur? Is it joyful or sorrowful? Is it filled with thanksgiving or grumpiness?
3. Do I truly understand the rationale behind “do not doubt… but believes that what he says will happen, it
will be done for him…”? Apply this verse in my situation and make my life and living enter into “walking
with God”. Do I have the concrete evidences, in which I can share with my congregation, confirm with
them and enter into a life that has “answers with a foundation” with them?