An Extraordinary Effort for an Extraordinary Hope

3/26/2016 392 Comments


An "extra" merits extra. Extra hours of work must justly be compensated with extra payments. As a norm, labors beyond the working hours determined by law are required to be compensated with "overtime pay".

But in God's goodness, it is plausible that work done undertime be paid same as overtime pay!

MATTHEW 20:1-15 
1 For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is a householder, which went out early in the morning to hire laborers into his vineyard. 
2 And when he had agreed with the laborers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 
3 And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 
4 And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. 
5 Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. 
6 And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? 
7 They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. 
8 So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the laborers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. 
9 And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. 
10 But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. 
11 And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, 
12 Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. 
13 But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? 
14 Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. 
15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?

Undertime, the opposite of overtime, is the difference between hours worked and the expected or contracted hours. In the example in Matthew, those who worked undertime called about the eleventh hour, received more than what they deserved. This story shows the goodness of the Creator. The hope is, anybody deserving will be compensated of what he really deserves!

What is hoped for by God is that men within the boundaries of their habitation will seek Him.

THE ACTS 17:26-27 
26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; 
27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

Traversing frontiers just to seek God can be considered something "extraordinary.” But there are people who will brave to crush the barriers and the unseen and unexpected to seek God for blessings!

ZECHARIAH 8:20-21 (RSV) 
20 " Thus says the LORD of hosts: Peoples shall yet come, even the inhabitants of many cities;
21 the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, `Let us go at once to entreat the favor of the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts; I am going.'

These people subject of this prophecy deserve the company of the God they are seeking and His blessings! He said, "I will go also!" And this favor goes with promises.

II CHRONICLES 7:14-16 
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 
15 Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place. 
16 For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there forever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.

To travel distances with the hustle and dazzle that go with it, to be in a place where God promises His presence to be, is worth it; more yet if it can be considered the trip of a lifetime!

A black commonly despised by other races and a eunuch at that (a eunuch is a castrated male) travelled from Ethiopia to Jerusalem and back to worship God and earn His favor.

THE ACTS 8:27-31 
27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, 
28 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Isaiah the prophet. 
29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. 
30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Isaiah, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? 
31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.


Members of the Church of God International will travel thousands of miles to join and represent their countries and places of origin in the International Thanksgiving to be held at Santa Catarina, Brazil soonest. This means they are "going beyond" boundaries of their habitation to seek God's blessings and mercy. Such is something that can be considered "extraordinary" especially for Filipinos who are poor. But they will bravely face the challenges of that extraordinary travel they are not used to in their homeland. It is because of faith and the extraordinary HOPE of receiving extraordinary favors from the Lord who abounds with extraordinary good things in His treasure chest!

I can only wish for your safety and your salvation. May God bless you!

Sincerely yours,

Brother Eli

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The Power that Drives Me

3/25/2016 176 Comments


Conscience is the most intimate of relationships we can know. I am a human person; and I have my conscience. I cannot explain how it came into being, but I believe I have one. I have not just read it from the dictionary or from the Bible, which is the authoritative book of the Lord, and I can feel it. In my person it is a reality that exists within me. One of the reasons why I believe the written word of God is because of my experience with my conscience.

My conscience is my most faithful friend and critic — second to Christ. It always tells me of my shortcomings and my misdeeds; it makes me sense if I am abusing on a certain point or not. It is my unseen guardian that insists or presses me to do what I believe is right.

ROMANS 2:15 
Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one another.

Through this verse, I have discovered that the existence of conscience in a man is an absolute reality. God, by His power, has written His laws in the hearts of men to guide their conscience! But there are those people with evil conscience.

HEBREWS 10:22 
Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

Why? There are hearts defiled by the devices of satan. It is the work of God’s archenemy to make evil what God has naturally made good.

ECCLESIASTES 7:29 
Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.

The uprightness in man was destroyed by the inventions or devices of satan.

2 CORINTHIANS 11:3 
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

2 CORINTHIANS 2:11 
Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

But I believe that even people whose conscience were defiled by satan still know what is good and evil.

ROMANS 1:32 
Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

I want to reveal something inside me, for my readers to know what drives me and presses me to use every possible means within my reach in propagating or spreading the Word of God: My conscience. 

I have seen drug addicts turned to be better and responsible persons after hearing God’s Word; broken families reunited; vicious persons learned how to love and to be compassionate; and the Godless to be God-fearing.

I started this crusade when I was still a teenager. I began preaching at the age of 19; lead local churches at the age of 23; became a minister at 24; and started leading the whole congregation at 27. At the age of 40, I found myself dearly engaged in a work and a vocation I did not in my dreams have dreamt of. Now, I am old, more than half a century, sometimes tired, troubled, caring, and with so many responsibilities. My physique is noticeably declining, but still, I want to continue the work of spreading the Good News — I am driven by my conscience.

2 CORINTHIANS 4:16
For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

ACTS 20:24 
But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

I thank God for this kind of conscience He gave me! I may not be perfectly upright, but the God I serve is perfectly one. His perfection makes me realize how imperfect I am, and pushes me to strive, to attain the perfection He expects me to reach.

PHILIPPIANS 3:13-14 
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

My conscience guided by God’s word taught me how to love; to care for others; to be compassionate to the less-fortunate; and to consider the right of others.

I am writing this piece to invite each and everyone to my newly started “interactive audio podcast”. It has been my delight to serve my God — whatever the cost may be. I hope and pray that my being a ‘nobody’ will be used by the Creator to make people realize how great and merciful He is. Amen!

I will be spending, with God’s help, the last centavo in my pocket — and myself for this God-given vocation.

2 CORINTHIANS 12:15 
And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.

Please help me, Father.

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The Knowledge of Counting Is Wisdom

3/19/2016 , 386 Comments



The Manalos have learned their lessons during the past nine decades the hard way. In the early history of politics in the Philippines, when the Republic was still young; and when politicians needed the support of as many groups as possible; Manalo claiming to have 4 million members, was the object of attention among those who were seeking for elective office, specifically during the elections in 1949.

Then Senate President Jose Avelino, was the choice of Felix Manalo against then incumbent President Elpidio Quirino and former President Jose P. Laurel, whose presidencies did not please Manalo. Apparently, the Iglesia ni Cristo of Manalo was not enjoying the support of the incumbent administration.

In an interview with the Philippine Free Press, Manalo firmly expressed his support for the rival of the former and incumbent presidents respectively, even using censorable language against then President Quirino.

But what was perceived to be a winning choice from an “alleged angel” from the Far East did not become a reality. Jose Avelino lost and Quirino won the presidency! Quirino got 1,803,808 votes while Avelino got only 419,890 votes with the INCM's solid votes from members (according to their claim) numbering to 4 million, when the entire Philippine population was only about 19,674,000. 




Claiming to have 5 million members as early as 1966, (in their Pasugo, July 1966, p. 6, cited above) the choice of Manalo for the presidency lost in the May 11, 1992 elections. President Fidel V. Ramos won with 5,342,521 votes and Cojuangco, whom Manalo had chosen, got only 4,116,000 votes, inclusive of the votes of Catholics, Protestants and Cojuangco’s men in his vast business empire. 


After the 1992 elections they have learned their lessons! Never again did they endorse a candidate months before the election. They would wait for the results of reliable surveys and three or two days before the elections, they would endorse the candidate who appeared to be number one in the survey, to make it appear that, if the candidate wins, it was they who made him win.

Time and again, it was proven by facts and figures, that the claims of the Iglesia ni Cristo of Manalo about the number of their members are lies!

President Noynoy Aquino (whom they endorsed less than a week before the election and was number one in the pre-election survey) won against his closest rival, former President Joseph Estrada, with a margin of 6 million votes, while his running mate for Vice President, Senator Mar Roxas (whom the INC also endorsed), was defeated by Mayor, now Vice President, Jejomar Binay, proving that it was not their votes who made President Noynoy to be the president of the Philippines!

Anybody wants to know the truth? A little arithmetic will help!

REVELATION 13:18 
Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

Knowing how to count is wisdom!

May the eyes of Philippine politicians see the truth.

God Bless the Philippines!

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The Secret in Fighting Depression

3/12/2016 671 Comments


Good day Bro. Eli,

I have a problem stopping my habit of smoking. For the past three years I already stopped my habit of smoking. Due to listening to your doctrines, somehow I managed to stop the habit. But few months ago, I was diagnosed by my psychiatrist that I have Schizophrenic problem related to depression. I had so many problems back then with my wife and taking care of my child and family because I was jobless. I was so frustrated Bro. Eli and very depressed, so I was back to smoking again. I just want to ask, is it sinful to God that I have vices such as smoking? What kind of sin that I committed? Is it a deadly sin? I know deep in my heart that I am committing sin.

Please help me Bro. Eli. Thanks and God bless.

Duke

Dear Duke,

The life, principles, and outlook in life of somebody who is learned of God’s word are very much different from those who are deprived of it.

Life is meant by the Giver for us to use in worthy and profitable good.

Ephesians 2:10
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Even the qualities of our person were given to be beneficial to others, not only for our own interests.

1 Corinthians 4:7
For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?

1 Peter 4:10
As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

Even the fruits of our toils must benefit others.

Ephesians 4:28
Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

Our bodies and faculties must be used by us as instruments of God’s righteousness.

Romans 6:13
Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

There are those who destroy their bodies instead. A Christian is willed by God to be in health so that he can willfully and courageously utilize his body in his service to others.

III John 1:2
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

Smoking is detrimental, not only to the body, but, also to the mind. It will not relieve depression in the long run, but aggravate it. A recent study states that:

“Long-term tobacco use associated with dulled thinking and lower IQ, study finds ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Smokers often say that smoking a cigarette helps them concentrate and feel more alert. But years of tobacco use may have the opposite effect, dimming the speed and accuracy of a person’s thinking ability and bringing down their IQ, according to a new study led by University of Michigan researchers.” (Source: EurekaAlert.org)

A healthy mind needs a healthy body — and vice versa. Depression weakens the immune system, which will make you prone to a number of debilitating diseases. You must discover, within yourself, the cure for your depression. Financial difficulties and other family problems are not enough reasons to be depressed. As I have said earlier, a Christian’s outlook in life is very much different from those who are not knowledgeable of God’s word. The secret in fighting depression is to be content in whatever situation we are in.

Philippians 4:11-13
11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 
12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 
13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

The secret is, if we are content because of our trust in what God can do for us in hard situations in life, we will merit His mercy and His loving-kindness.

I can understand your situation because I was also once a chain-smoker; but having understood in an instance that I am destroying my body which I need to serve my God and my people, I, without hesitation and reservation, threw the last pack of cigarettes and my ‘Zippo’ lighter at the Pasig River as I passed by Quezon bridge in Quiapo, Manila; and promised my Creator that I will never again smoke. That was twenty long years ago.

Galatians 1:16
To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood…

God is always watching and waiting patiently for us to realize our mistakes and misdeeds and He is always ready with open arms to receive us and put us under His loving care and guidance.

Malachi 3:7
Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts…

Renewal cannot be achieved without God’s intervention.

Jeremiah 10:23
O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

God is greater than all your problems and miseries. I ask you to trust Him and try His ways, and you will never regret considering all the words of God you have read in this article.

1 John 4:4
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

May God bless you.

Bro. Eli Soriano

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If I Were The President

3/04/2016 , 204 Comments


Sometime in the past, I have experienced to be a president of the PTA (Parents and Teachers Association), of a business corporation, and of the board of directors of the Church. I know the broad responsibilities of a president, and the burden of dealing with people of different interest and aspirations. The Apostle Paul, being the administrator of the Gentile church, said:

II CORINTHIANS 7:5 
For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears.

II CORINTHIANS 11:28 
Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.

While trying to please everybody….

I CORINTHIANS 10:33 
Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

….he became the enemy of people who were not inclined to believe and receive the truth.

GALATIANS 4:16 
Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?

A leader that insists on the truth cannot please everybody!

JOHN 8:46 
Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?

The truth remains: A leader or a president is a leader to those who like and dislike him.

Philippine President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and the advocates of House Bill 5043 known as the “Reproductive Health Bill” are being threatened to be excommunicated by the Catholic Church.

On Target: Iglesia ni Cristo displeased with P-Noy? 
By Ramon Tulfo / Columnist | Philippine Daily Inquirer | 6 August 2010

PRESIDENT Noy, in his search for people to fill up key positions in his administration, has allegedly displeased a religious sect that supported him in the last election. 

Iglesia ni Cristo’s Executive Minister Eduardo Manalo has allegedly written the President to ignore all his recommendees for some positions in government, according to a source close to Ka Eduardo, as he is known to his flock.

The source claimed that Ka Eduardo had said in his letter that the INC was freeing the President from the pressure of considering people recommended by the church for certain posts in his government.

My source inside the INC said there were positions that Ka Eduardo had asked P-Noy to fill up with persons from the ranks of the INC, but such requests were allegedly ignored.

The source added that the INC head had said that those whom P-Noy has appointed to key positions upon his recommendation can either be removed or they can choose to resign.

One of INC’s recommendees is Director Magtanggol Gatdula of National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

The source said the religious sect’s withdrawal of support from the Aquino administration is expected to have grave political repercussions for the fledgling administration.

If I were the president, I would first consider that I am not a president only of the Catholics nor of the Iglesia of Manalo, but of the entire Philippine populace.

If I were the president, I would be thankful if the Catholic Church excommunicates me!

If I were the president, I would be thankful that the leader of the Iglesia of Manalo recalled for his suggested appointees to high positions in government.

If I were the president, I would rule the country in accordance with the constitution and the dictates of my humane conscience.

May God guide the president!

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