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Testimony by Brother Michael Teoh

Updated: Dec 26, 2019

Testimony on Sunday 8 Sep 2019 by Brother Michael Teoh

I will share in three parts today: (1) recap my past sharing; (2) the Word of God - Jesus is the light of our life; and (3) the second part of my testimony.

Without God's grace and mercy, I would not be here. I was supposed to die in hell and suffer forever. I previously never knew about life and light. I came from a broken family. My parents did not know about Jesus Christ.My father hated Christians. My mother loved the world more than anything. But one strange thing was that they named me Michael. I was born with this Christian name even though my parents did not like Christians. When asked why, my mother replied "I don't know."  My parents divorced. I grew up in a broken home - I never tasted love. I lived in many places around Singapore. I couldn't do well in school. I was retained in school in primary 4, 5, 6, and finally, I was kicked out of secondary school. When I grew older, I joined gangs. I did all kinds of evil things. I joined gangs because my life was full of hate, fear and darkness. I used to go out with a knife inside my boot - ready to fight anytime. 

But God is full of mercy. He let me get caught, because I robbed and murdered someone. Thank God He let me get caught and face my sentence. It was a death sentence. Inside the prison, isolated for four years, inside the dark cell, I started to pray to the gods I knew. None responded. Then one day, I said to God, "God, if you are real, come and save me." The next day, he sent someone to give me a bible. That was interesting. He knew I did not know how to read. But He made me pray, and read. I started to understand. The tears started to flow from my eyes. I said sorry to Him. No one taught me how to confess, but the Holy Spirit taught me to say sorry. At that moment, the heavy weight on my shoulders was lifted off. My tears were of joy. That night, I had peace, and I could sleep. I did not fear death anymore. I did not understand this but later, I came to know that Jesus is true. When we confess, He will come into our hearts. That day, I experienced a miracle. He did not just give me peace, but also joy. I used to curse a lot, but I suddenly stopped. My desire was to read the bible. I prayed for someone to teach me how to read it. I also prayed for God to send someone to tell the other prisoners about Him. I was in a special ward full of criminals sentenced to death. We had no chapel service. But God heard my prayer and sent someone to start chapel service for that special ward. Light came into the darkness. People saw the light. For those who confessed and accepted Him - I saw the joy in them. God sent someone to go through bible study with me every week. For four years, I enjoyed God's light. And I saw God changing the ways of the people inside the prison, even the prison officer. We became friends. God also changed my prosecutor and judge. I was supposed to be hanged or given a life sentence, but God changed everything with grace. My sentence was reduced to eight years of prison and 12 strokes of the cane. Then I was free. I thank God for the opportunity of a new life.

John 1:3-5 - God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. 

John 1:9 - The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.

Many people do not know Jesus. We may believe in Him, becoming Christians, but often we do not know Him. Jesus Himself said that He is the light. He is the truth, the way, and the light. Without light, we can't understand the truth. Without light, we can't walk the way. Without light, our life is in darkness. Darkness is terrible. In darkness, there is also false light. It will blind people. When I was in the gang, I was involved in illegal betting, prostitution, night clubs and streets. The power of the darkness blinds hearts to greed and covers us with fear. That's why people do evil things.

John 8:12 - Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, "I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won't have to walk in the darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life."

We have to dwell in Jesus everyday. That gives us power in life. When we have Jesus in our life, He will reveal to us things that the world cannot understand. If sickness comes upon us, Jesus will reveal Himself to us. He will never let us be confused. Just focus on Him and we will understand the truth and walk the way. Our lives will bear fruit. A plant, without light, cannot grow well. 

John 10:10 - The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

In my life without Jesus, I only thought about stealing and killing. I was six years old when I stole for the first time. These things were deeply rooted in me. But the blood of Jesus Christ cleansed my mind, soul and my spirit. Now, everyday, I kneel down to pray before leaving the house. I pray for His precious blood to wash me clean, to wash my family clean. If you do not allow Jesus' blood to cleanse you, the power of the darkness has a stronghold on you. When you have struggles, come to Jesus. Humble yourselves upon Jesus. Ask His light to come in, His blood to wash you clean. He will satisfy your life and enrich your life. Money cannot buy this. 

John 12:35 - Jesus replied, "My light will shine for you just a little longer. Walk in the light while you can, so the darkness will not overtake you. Those who walk in the darkness cannot see where they are going."

John 12:46 - I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain the the dark.

We must walk with Him. Sometimes, if we are careless, darkness will overtake us. So we have to focus on Jesus. Worship Him. Praise Him. Meditate on His word. I do this everyday, and the darkness cannot disturb you. You will no longer have the urge to do evil things. The devil tempts you. I am a swimming coach and sometimes beautiful women approach me. But I know this is evil. So I flee. Thank God His light shines upon me and make me grow, make me understand the truth. How true is the power of God, triumphing over the power of the darkness. 

Matthew 5:13-14 - "You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavour? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. You are the light of the world - like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden."

For many years, I prayed to God for understanding of these two verses. What is the meaning of salt and light? In light, there is no salt. What is the relationship between salt and light? At God's right timing, He taught me. The salt on earth has very low value, but everyone needs it. Our sweat has salt. When you exercise and have lack of salt, you will cramp. Salt is a humble object. God wants us to be humble. Humble, yet important, like salt. When we are humble, God's light can come into us. We can walk with the power of God, in the kingdom of God. Your light will bring life to others. 

Previously, when people spoke to me, I felt bored. But now, there is no end to me sharing about life and Jesus. We bring life to people. True joy grows in them. I also volunteer in the prison. Every week, I talk to the prisoners, both believers and non-believers. When I share life, they are so happy. Even people of other religions ask me to pray for them. Because we share the truth! The light of Jesus shines naturally and God will be glorified.

When I was released from prison, I still had struggles. Friends of my dark world (from the secret societies) were waiting for me. The prison officer remarked that evil would never let me go. My light was weak and I struggled - I let them take me away. The first place they took me to was a massage parlour and arranged for nightclub activities for the evening. Those friends gave me a few hundred dollars for me to spend. I struggled - should I take the money? I found a room, knelt down and prayed - "Lord, save me." My friend then told me "Michael, we should part ways. You are now a Christian, while I control gambling dens." I thanked God. But the devil had not completely let me go. I was searching for a job without a school certificate. But I had some experience as a cook in a Japanese restaurant. I searched for a small restaurant as my reputation was not good. I knelt down and prayed until the peace of God entered my heart. Alas, the main chef turned out to be my friend and recommended me to the restaurant manager. The manager immediately gave me a uniform and got me to start working. Through God's grace, I got to know someone who later became my wife. I was initially troubled as I could not go to church on Sundays owing to work. But God heard my voice and brought the church to me. A church moved into my building and I could attend service during my break. Eventually, after one year, I left the restaurant. I had quarreled with the manager and even wanted to fight him, but thank God I did not. The manager fired me. If I had no Jesus in me, this incident would have been worse. But Jesus made me pray for the manager. So I often did so. In the end, the manager messed up his life, got fired, and had no place to stay. He called my wife for help. I got him a hotel room, and gave him a Japanese bible. He was very touched. The manager later went to Indonesia, opened a restaurant and was doing well. The manager got married at the age of sixty, had a son, and wrote me a letter. He told me that he named his son Michael, in gratitude of me helping him out when he was down and out. 

When I got married and moved into a new flat, my wife and I did not have much money and could not afford renovation. I got my wife to kneel down pray with me - "Lord, this house is yours. Have it renovated." The Holy Spirit brought me to a contractor. I told the boss I did not have money for renovation. The boss replied that I could pay him back slowly, without interest. In three months, God blessed me with what I needed - renovation, furniture and a wedding banquet. I even had cash leftover. We must rely on Jesus. 

Matthew 6:33 - Seek the kingdom for God above all else and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. 

God has worked many miracles in my life. As I serve, I have the hunger and thirst to serve God. But God kept asking me to wait. After 15 years, Jesus said He had opened the door for me. Since then, I had served for 10 years in the prison. We must depend on Jesus to grow. Do not depend on yourself or others. In Jesus, we bear fruit. All glory to God!

Pastor Justin's closing remarks

When grace meets mercy, you have blessings. Jesus is not only life and light, he is also love. Because of His love in us, Word became flesh, dwelling in us as a tabernacle. You live your life for Christ, for He lived in you. If you want to have Christ, if you want to walk in Him, you only need to do one thing - be obedient. All favour upon you is the outcome of your obedience. How do you obey God? Do His will. Each time you hit a roadblock, pray for Jesus to direct you. That is the only way to live your life, pleasing Him always, bearing fruit that lasts, so that you can always walk in light, in love. It is no longer you who lives but He. We must confess when we do wrong things, and come back to God.

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