The Plain and Simple Truth About the 73 Books of the Catholic Bible

The 7 apocryphal books of the Catholic Church

While the Bible has strong words and a stern warning for those who would dare add or deduct from what had been written (Revelation 22:18-19), the Catholic Church still had the nerve to add not only words, paragraphs, and chapters to the Bible, but books. Not one, not two, but seven books. 

As most people know, the more reputable versions of the Bible, such as the King James Version, Revised Standard Version, and the American Standard Version; are comprised of sixty-six (66) books – 39 of which are contained in the Old Testament (from Genesis to Malachi) – while the other 27 books are in the New Testament (from Matthew to Revelation). 

Surprisingly, the Good News Bible of the Catholic Church is made up of seventy-three (73) books. Added to the original 66 books were seven other books namely: Tobit, Judith, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach, and Baruch. 

How did this happen? First, we have to understand that the penmen used by God in writing the Holy Scriptures were Hebrews. So, it is but wise and logical to believe that the original language in which the Bible was written was in Hebrew and it was dedicated to the Hebrew people. 

Historical accounts tell us that in the fourth century, Jerome was commissioned to make a Vulgate translation of the Old Testament. Meaning, from Hebrew, the original language in which the Holy Scriptures was written he translated it to Latin. And while Jerome was working on the Vulgate translation, he separated seven books from the actual compilation of the books of the Old Testament. 

This is what the preface of the Good News Bible of the Catholic Church says: 

According to the Good News Bible preface, in 1546, more than one thousand five hundred (1,500) years after the Bible had been completed or after the books that were written by the apostles and evangelists had been included in the Bible, the Catholic Church came up with a declaration that the seven books that had been separated by Jerome were sacred and canonical, and they deserved to be accepted with equal devotion and reverence.

This gives us the impression that prior to the declaration at the Council of Trent, those books were not accepted and revered by the Catholic Church, and its leaders were not sure if those seven books were authentic and divinely inspired. Otherwise, they should have accepted and revered them even before 1546.

On our end, we are confident that those seven books are not original parts of the Old Testament, are not divinely inspired, and are not canonical. And we have valid and concrete reasons to believe so.

First of all, the books in the Old Testament were frequently cited by apostles and evangelists such as Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Paul, in their writings. When they wrote their respective books in the New Testament, they cited books in the Old Testament.

Actually, even the Lord Jesus Christ Himself cited the books in the Old Testament several times when He preached. In one instance He said, “Have you not read, In the Beginning God created them, male and female?” He was referring to the Book of Genesis. And whenever He was expressing His nonconformity with what the scribes and Pharisees were saying and doing, He would always say, “Have you not read...?” or “It is written...” He was, of course, referring to the writings in the Old Testament.

For example, in Matthew 21:15-16 (KJV), it says,

15 And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the son of David; they were sore displeased,
16 And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?

When the children in the temple were shouting “Hosanna to the son of David!” the scribes and the Pharisees were annoyed because they were noisy. They wanted to prevent them from shouting, but the Lord Jesus Christ told them, “Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise.” He was referring to the scriptures of the Old Testament.

The Lord Jesus Christ made it a point to always cite writings in the Old Testament each time He wanted to teach something to the scribes and Pharisees. Why? During the time of Christ, the scribes and Pharisees had the reputation of being learned men as they had mastery of the law; they were well-taught when it came to the Law of Moses.

The scribes wrote the Law of Moses while the Pharisees were the defenders of the Law of Moses. That was why whenever Christ was answering them, or whenever He would contest or rectify their statements, He would always cite the books of the Old Testament to them. It was like giving them a dose of their own medicine.

But what is very noticeable is that during the whole time that the Lord Jesus Christ was preaching, He never cited — not even once — the Book of Judith or the Book of Maccabees or any of the seven books that the Catholic Church added to the Bible in 1546.

The apostles never made any mention of those books when they preached and when they wrote their respective books and epistles as well. None of them cited the book of Tobit, Sirach, Baruch, or any of the seven books because they were not really part of the Old Testament and they were not canonical. Because if they were, surely Christ, the apostles, and the evangelists must have cited them. On the other hand, they made numerous citations of the legitimate books of the Old Testament like the Book of Psalms, Job, Genesis, and the prophets, among others, because those books were, indeed, integral parts of the Bible and the apostles and evangelists acknowledged them.

Another proof that those books are not canonical is the fact that the Catholic Church does not have any doctrine that used those books as their reference or basis.

Do the priests and the leaders of the Catholic Church cite the Book of Maccabees or the Book of Judith to prove that baptism must be paid? Do they cite those books to defend and justify their practice of praying repetitiously or praying the rosary? Do they cite them to defend their belief in their so-called seven sacraments? Never! They do not use them in defending their faith.

The truth is, they do not even read those books in their masses and other church ceremonies. If those books were authentic and divinely inspired, why don’t they use them? That only proves that they themselves doubt the integrity of those books. Plain and simple.

May God bless us all!

The Bible Warns Against Pastors Who Mislead People

The gift of prophesy

It is a fact that not all preachers are gifted with biblical understanding; many of them just pretend to be of God. Actually, you can easily recognize them because not only is their ignorance of the Bible very obvious, but they also preach things that they themselves do not understand. 

As it is written in 1 Timothy 1:7 (KJV), 

Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. 

They desire to be preachers or teachers of the law despite the fact that they have no understanding of the Bible, just like the ministers of the Iglesia ni Cristo of Manalo (INCM). Allow me to cite a portion of an article published in the Pasugo, the official publication of the INCM, for me to show you that their ministers, including Manalo himself, do not understand the Bible and do not know what they are talking about. 

[In Romans 16:16, it says, “Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.” The name “Iglesia ni Cristo” is the official name because it is the salutation that all are commanded to use in greeting (one another). It is not a name of a race, or a place, nor does it pertain to an individual characteristic, but it refers to all. It also refers to a condition, or a state.] 

This article proves how the INCM had grossly misunderstood and misinterpreted Romans 16:16. 

Very clearly, the verse commands the brethren to salute one another with a holy kiss; it is with the holy kiss that the brethren in the church should greet each other. But in the INCM’s interpretation, it is with the name of their church, Iglesia ni Cristo, that they should salute or greet each other. What stupidity! It doesn’t make any sense. 

If we are going to consider the epistles written by the apostles, brethren in the church, like the brethren in Corinth, were given the admonition to salute one another with a holy kiss. 

1 Corinthians 16:20 (KJV) says, 

All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with an holy kiss. 

Actually, not only the brethren in Rome and in Corinth were commanded to greet one another with a holy kiss. The brethren in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia were also given the same instruction by the Apostle Peter. 

1 Peter 1:1 (KJV) says, 

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 

The brethren in those places were scattered because they experienced severe persecution. So the Apostle Peter sent them a letter wherein he told them to greet one another with a kiss of charity, or a holy kiss. 

1 Peter 5:14 (KJV) says, 

Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen. 

The Thessalonians also received a similar instruction from the Apostle Paul. 

1 Thessalonians 5:26 (KJV) says, 

Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss. 

It’s just weird that only the INCM salute their brethren with the name “Iglesia ni Cristo,” instead of a holy kiss — clear proof that they do not understand the Bible. 

How about the “holy kiss”? What is the INCM’s interpretation of the holy kiss, according to their ministers? 

Instead of coming up with their own interpretation of the “holy kiss” mentioned in Romans 16:16, the ministers of INCM referred to the explanation provided in the Wycliffe Bible Commentary. Obviously, they have no explanation of their own, which is why they used someone else’s explanation. 

[Whatever in modern culture is symbolic of the deep affection which Christians ought to feel toward each other — a kiss on the cheek, a warm handshake, a grasping of both hands, and others — this is the equivalent of the apostolic command.] 

According to them, their stand about the “holy kiss” — which they based on the book of the Protestants — is that it is a manner of greeting a person. And its present-day equivalent is a “beso-beso” or a kiss on the cheek or a handshake. They also admitted that this is what their brothers and sisters in their church practice. 

But following the line of argument that the name “Iglesia ni Cristo” is the salutation by which their brethren ought to greet each other, my question is: When they shake hands, or when they do a beso-beso or kiss each other on the cheek, do they salute one another with the name “Iglesia ni Cristo”? Of course, they don’t! Because they know in their hearts that doing so would make them look ridiculous. 

This only shows that the preachers of the INCM do not understand even their favorite verse, Romans 16:16, and they talk of things which they themselves do not understand. 

I repeat, God gives understanding to a preacher or pastor whose teachings come from God. He is sent by God to preach. 

According to Romans 10:15 (KJV), 

And how shall they preach, except they be sent? . . . 

Preachers who do not understand the Bible are not sent by God. 

Actually, there is another boastful preacher in Mindanao who claims that he is the son of God and that he owns the souls of all men. Like the ministers of the INCM, this man also doesn’t know what he is talking about and the words that come out of his mouth are not in consonance with what the Holy Scriptures say.  

What gave him the guts to say that he owns all the souls of men? Biblically speaking, all the souls of men are owned by God, and not by an ordinary human being like him. 

As it is written in Ezekiel 18:4 (KJV), 

Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. 

My appeal to all is please, do not let yourselves be deceived by this kind of preachers. They are not sent by God; they will only lead you to perdition. 

May God guide and bless us all! 

Be Guided When You Read the Bible

How to understand the Bible

An ordinary reader of the Bible who experiences difficulty in understanding the Holy Book should not feel discouraged because this normally happens, especially if there is no one with a gift of understanding to guide him. It has to be understood that, in reading the Bible, one needs the guidance of somebody who has received the gift of understanding from God.

The Book of Acts gives an account of a certain eunuch from Ethiopia who was able to understand the Scriptures when Philip came to his aid. It can be recounted that the eunuch — who happened to be a man of great authority as he was in charge of all the treasures of Candace, the queen of the Ethiopians, and also a man of faith — had come to Jerusalem to worship God.

As he was journeying back home, he was reading the book of the prophet Isaiah. And while reading, he encountered parts which he did not understand. It was then that the Holy Spirit instructed Philip to join the eunuch in his chariot.

Acts 8:30-31 (KJV) says,

30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, 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.

When Philip came and heard him reading the Book of Isaiah, he asked the Ethiopian if he understood what he was reading. To Philip he replied, “How can I, except some man should guide me?” Eventually, he requested Philip to come up and sit with him in his chariot.

Acts 8:32-35 (KJV) says,

32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:
33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.
34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.

The eunuch asked Philip who the “He” was that the prophet was referring to, whom the latter likened to a lamb which remained meek and uncomplaining as its hair was being sheared before it was slaughtered.

Philip told him that the lamb was symbolic of the Lord Jesus Christ. And as they travelled, he continued to preach unto the eunuch the Lord Jesus Christ. As we know, this incident culminated with the eunuch’s baptism because he understood and wholeheartedly accepted everything Philip preached unto him.

The point that I am trying to drive at is, the eunuch’s understanding of the Scriptures became possible because someone who had wisdom that came from God, and that was Philip, explained to him everything.

In other words, not all men are capable of understanding the Bible because not all received a gift of understanding from God.

Matthew 19:11 (KJV) says,

But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.

Understanding the word of God comes from God; it is given by God. It follows that unless a person is gifted by God with understanding, he will not be able to understand His words written in the Bible.

As mentioned, not all are given this gift – only the preachers of God. So, if you are not a preacher, it is likely that there would be parts of the Bible which you will find difficult to comprehend.

But it is a different story if you are a preacher. A preacher is expected to have full understanding of the words of God in the Bible. Shame on him if he did not receive any gift from God. If that is the case, then, he does not have the right to preach.

Ecclesiastes 12:10-11 (KJV) says,

10 The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth.
11 The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.

The understanding of God’s words is first given to a pastor or preacher of God. And then, this preacher or pastor would, in turn, teach the congregation that he leads for them to also understand the words of God.

This way, those who find difficulty in understanding the Bible will now be able to develop appreciation and understanding of the words of God through the help of the preacher whom God gifted with understanding.

Be sure to listen only to a God-sent preacher, one whom He gifted with understanding, for your salvation not to be compromised.

May God bless you all!

What Does the Bible Say About Dreams?

What the Bible says about dreams

Regardless of age, gender, and social standing, all people experience dreams when they sleep.

The dreams that come to a person may vary. They can be humorous, sad, bizarre, horrifying, or mystical; or they can even be about someone else or perhaps about something incredible.

Inevitably, there are times when a dreamer gets affected, or is bewildered, by the dream that he had. Thus, it is important to find out if the dreams that a person experiences bear any meaning and significance, or not.

Ecclesiastes 5:3,7 (KJV) says,

3 For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool's voice is known by multitude of words.
7 For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God.

Apparently, not all dreams have significance. Sometimes, a dream comes to a person because his mind has been busy thinking about so many problems and worries — not to mention, his aspirations, desires, and other concerns in life — to the point that even until the time he goes to sleep, his mind is still preoccupied with those things. The dreams that come to this person are usually without sense and relevance, and should, therefore, be readily dismissed from his thoughts.

Dreams may come to a sleeping individual very frequently. What science has discovered in relation to this conforms to what the Bible mentioned as “multitude of dreams”. They found out that a person in a deep sleep dreams every 30 minutes; unfortunately, not all of these dreams are remembered when he wakes up.

How many times does a human dream while sleeping?
Everyone dreams while they are sleeping but not everybody remembers it, so if people tell you they don’t have dreams, they are lying, or mistaken. Yes, but not everyone remembers them when they wake up.

Humans dream every ½ hour and seldom remember most of them and that’s because they are in total REM sleep (meaning a deep sleep with eyes moving back and forth under closed eyelids.)

When a person is stressed out they are not in total REM sleep (tossing/turning) and it’s the last few seconds just before waking up that an individual can remember a dream or nightmare. Nightmares are caused from stress. If a human didn’t dream they actually would go crazy. Dreaming releases tension in the body and mind.

While it is true that many of the dreams that people experience are without significance, as they are mostly born out of stress and tension and other preoccupations in life, it is also a biblical truth that there are dreams which are significant and deserve to be paid attention to because they are sent by God.

God sends dreams to His people to give them prophetic declarations. Just like the dream that Jacob’s son, Joseph, had when he was younger. His dream meant that he would have dominion over his brothers someday, and that even his father and mother would also bow down themselves to him (Genesis 37:7-10, KJV).

Indeed, this came to pass because time really came when he reigned and had power over the members of his family.

Another is the dream that visited another Joseph, the husband of Mary, when his mind was troubled upon learning that Mary was already carrying a child in her womb despite the fact that he had not slept with her yet.

Matthew 1:18-20 (KJV) says,

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.
20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

Joseph thought that Mary became unfaithful to him, which was why he was contemplating on parting ways with her. And because he didn’t want to put her to public shame, he was planning to do it secretly.

However, that night, an angel of the Lord visited him in his dreams, and told him not to pursue what he was planning to do. He explained to him that Mary’s conception was of the Holy Spirit, and not by another man. Joseph’s dream served as guidance to him so that he wouldn’t misjudge Mary, and so that he wouldn’t make a wrong decision.

Based on the given situations taken from the Bible, it can be discerned that there are dreams sent by God to His people to warn them about the things that are going to happen in the future, to guide them in their course of action, and also to spare them from an impending tragedy.

We had a brother in the Church, Bro. Nazario S. Regalado, who during the Japanese occupation, was incarcerated in a garrison. But while inside the Japanese concentration camp, he lost his sanity.

And when he started doing crazy things in his prison cell, like writing on the wall using his feces as his writing tool, the Japanese soldiers decided to send him to a mental health institution in Mandaluyong.

Several days after he was brought to a mental health facility, the Americans made an air raid in the area where that particular Japanese garrison was situated. As a result, the whole camp was annihilated and no living creature was left alive.

Although it was a tragic incident for all of those who were there, yet, it meant salvation for our brother in faith.

But before Brother Ariong (his nickname) became a prisoner of war, his mother dreamt that he became a cow. Biblically speaking, a cow is symbolic of a preacher; therefore, her dream meant that her son would one day become a preacher. However, she couldn’t figure out how it would be made possible when her son had been detained in a Japanese garrison and had lost his sanity while in detention.

Eventually, they came to understand that everything that happened to Brother Ariong all led to the realization of the dream that his mother had about him. His temporary madness had to happen and he had to be sent to a mental institution for him not to be included among those who would die during the air raid. His life was spared and the mental health facility where he was brought served as his refuge.

After sometime, he got well and was able to go back to his normal life; in fact, he even became a faculty member in one of the universities in Bulacan. Most of all, he became a Church worker, or a preacher – a realization of the dream that his mother had. And not only that.

When I became the Overall Church Servant, Brother Nazario Regalado became the general secretary and treasurer. Undoubtedly, the dream that Brother Ariong’s mother had was sent to her by God.

Although there are dreams that are sent by God to His people, let me reiterate that not all dreams come from God. Some of them come from the enemy of God and some are but a result of man’s preoccupations and overthinking of problems and other cares of this world.

But to be spared from being visited by disturbing dreams, it is always best to say a short prayer to God before going to sleep.

Qualities of the Bride of Christ

Qualities of Christ’s bride

One thing that many preachers today fail to teach their members, especially those in the Born Again groups, is the fact that there are different kinds and different levels of relationships that a Christian may have with the Lord Jesus Christ.

First, between Christians and the Lord Jesus Christ, there exists a lord-servant relationship. Christ is our lord or master, and we, Christians, are His servants.

John 13:16 (KJV) says,

Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.

A servant is not greater than his lord, or master. That being the case, he is expected to follow his lord’s every command, without any question. As servants of Christ, we must submit ourselves to the authority of our Lord and we should render Him our utmost obedience.

As it is written in Luke 9:23 (KJV),

And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

We also have to be ready to deny ourselves and endure all hardships that go with fulfilling our tasks and obligations. Our primary obligation is not doing what we want but doing what the Lord wants us to do. And once we are found and proven to be faithful and obedient servants, our relationship with Christ could progress to a higher level.

John 15:15 (KJV) says,

Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

He may regard us as His friends, and not servants anymore, like what the apostles and the early Christians experienced. Time came when Christ no longer treated them as servants but as friends. And this could happen to us, too. The lord-servant relationship could eventually turn into friendship, which is a higher and better kind of a relationship.

Aside from being a friend, the Lord Jesus Christ can also be an older brother to Christians.

As it is written in Romans 8:29 (KJV),

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

As the firstborn among many brethren, He can be regarded as the older brother of Christians.

Yet, still, there is another kind of relationship which is much greater and much deeper than the ones we have mentioned — we can be His fiancée.

All of us Christians can consider ourselves as engaged to be married to Christ. We are His fiancée; He is our fiancé. This is a relationship that we need to protect and cherish.

2 Corinthians 11:2 (KJV) says,

For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

At present, the Church is in the process of preparing for the wedding which will take place in the New Jerusalem (Revelation 19:7, KJV). This is going to be a meticulous preparation because as the would-be bride of Christ, Christians must be presented to the groom, the Lord Jesus Christ, like a chaste virgin.

How is that possible?

Ephesians 5:26-27 (KJV) says,

26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

While the wedding day is yet to come, the Church is being cleansed and sanctified. That is, the brethren in the Church are continuously being taught the doctrines of Christ, as well as the rightful way of living and conducting themselves as Christians. And this cleansing and sanctification process begins in baptism. After accepting the holy baptism, we are expected to start leading a new life — a kind of life that is lived in accordance with the laws and teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 6:4 (KJV) says,

Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

We will cease to be what we used to be: If we were former evildoers, we will now stop doing evil things; if we used to be indulged in vices, we ought to get them out of our system abruptly; and if we used to be inconsiderate, selfish, and disrespectful even to the members of our own family, now we need to nurture the virtues of selflessness, compassion, magnanimity, and love.

This cleansing and sanctification process prepares Christians for a closer relationship with Christ. And that is to be in union with Him. We will be of one body with Him.

Ephesians 5:30-32 (KJV) says,

30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

It will reach a point that we will be one with Christ, the same way that Adam and Eve were one when they became husband and wife. But unlike Adam and Eve who had a union of the flesh, the Church and Christ will have a union of the spirit.

As it is written in 1 Corinthians 6:17 (KJV),

But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.

Those who have fellowship with Christ are one with Him in spirit, in the flesh, and in everything.

But while awaiting for that union in heaven, we Christians must continue working on our cleansing and sanctification until we become spotless, wrinkle-free, holy, and without blemish. — These are the qualities of the bride with whom Christ is to be wedded — the Church. 

'Personal Relationship' With Christ? Sorry, That's a Sham!

personal relationship with Christ is sham

What the Apostle Paul had written in Galatians 1:10-11 (KJV) has been the guiding principle that I have followed since I started preaching until now. It says,

10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. 
11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.

As the Gospel that the Apostle Paul preached was not after man, we are to expect that it was not meant to please men. Pleasing people and winning their approval never became Paul’s primary concern whenever he preached. As a servant of Christ, he was more concerned in fulfilling his task of preaching the Gospel as faithfully as he could.

And that is exactly what I am trying to also do, with God’s help. My speech may not be pleasing nor is it sweet-sounding to the ears of others, but you can be sure that what I am saying is all based on the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ written in the Bible.

Indeed, the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ are not aimed at pleasing men. In fact, they are somehow in contrast with the thinking, way of life, and the principles of men.

However, like the Apostle Paul, my commitment is not in pleasing people but in doing things that would please my Lord, like heralding the Gospel and exposing beliefs and practices of other religions that are against or are not part of the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.

An example of which is the teaching of the different Born Again groups about having the so-called personal relationship with Christ. Let me say it straight: This teaching is not a part of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ taught by the apostles. And there is no such thing as a “personal relationship with Christ” in the Bible.

If you understand the meaning of “personal relationship,” you would realize that in our era, it is highly improbable for anyone to establish a personal relationship with Christ as He is not here on Earth anymore; He is in heaven. Gone are the days when people could talk to Him and interact with Him personally.

But though Christ is not physically present anymore, it does not mean that we can no longer have a connection or a relationship with Him. We still can, but only in an indirect manner, and not a personal one.

The Bible cited a particular scenario which proves that even if a person did not get a chance to deal with or associate with Christ personally — thereby making it impossible for that person to have a personal relationship with Him — that person may still be able to develop a connection or a relationship with Christ and may still be saved under certain provisions. This is what Matthew 25:32-49 (KJV) says:

32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

These verses show us that having a personal relationship with Christ is not a requisite to man’s salvation. There are people who will be privileged to inherit the kingdom of God despite the absence of that personal relationship with Christ that the Born Again groups are talking about.

As seen in the verses above, those people were not even aware that they had done Christ any good deed because they had not met nor seen Him personally. But at certain points in their lives, they had given something to eat and something to drink to a hungry and thirsty person who, without their knowledge, is one of Christ’s brethren. And that simple act of kindness is already enough to establish their relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Was there a personal encounter that happened between them and Christ? Was there a personal relationship? There was none. The kindness and compassion that they had shown to His disciples and to the least of His brethren were enough to weld a bond between them and the Lord Jesus Christ. And as a token of gratefulness and appreciation for what they had done, the Lord Jesus Christ will make them heirs of the kingdom of God in heaven come judgment day.

Let me reiterate that in the absence of Christ’s physical presence you cannot have a personal relationship with Him. But it is still possible to develop a relationship with Him, albeit not in a personal way.

Instead, it is via loving, caring for, and being compassionate to a fellow believer in Christ. As it is mentioned in Matthew 25:40, every act of kindness that a person renders unto the brethren of Christ is automatically counted as something done unto Him; He becomes its indirect recipient. And your good deed will not go uncompensated because in the end, you will be rewarded with life everlasting in paradise.

A personal relationship with Christ? Sorry, there is no such thing in the Bible! It is the good works that we do to the brethren of the Lord Jesus Christ that count!

The Biblical Truth About Christ's Date of Birth

The unheard truth about the birth date of Christ

Practically all religions that claim to be Christians make a grand celebration of Christmas. They believe that the 25th of December is the day that the Lord Jesus Christ was born when He manifested Himself in the flesh. 

The question is, does that belief have any biblical basis? And did Christ command Christians to celebrate this date?

To begin with, celebrating December 25 or Christmas, is not mentioned in the Gospel; it is not a commandment of Christ. So, if it is not a commandment of Christ and if it is not written in the Gospel, Christians should not observe it.

According to 1 Corinthians 4:6 (KJV),

And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.

The Bible admonishes us not to go beyond what is written. Meaning, our faith should be anchored on the things that were written in the Holy Scriptures. If they are not written, if they are merely man-made traditions, they should not be imbibed or be assimilated by Christians, no matter how spectacular and lavish they may be. And since the Bible did not even make the slightest reference to December 25 as the birthday of Christ, do not make it a part of your faith. Be not among the billions of people all over the world who make a big fuss out of this date.

We are certain that Christ was not born in December because during this month, Bethlehem, His birthplace, is covered with snow.

Based on the account of Luke the Evangelist, on the eve that Christ was born, there were shepherds in the field watching over their sheep as they grazed.

Luke 2:7-8 (KJV) says,

7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. 

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

The sheep were grazing in the field; meaning, there were grasses which they could be fed on — grasses, not snow. Therefore, it would not have been December then.

In the first place, no shepherd in his right mind would bring out his flock on a snowy evening. Otherwise, they would freeze to death — both the shepherd and his flock.

It is just very frustrating that a lot of people continue to believe and accept this invented teaching of the Catholic Church despite their admission that the actual birth of Christ is really unknown. This was written in the Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 2, page 607, which says: 

Apparently, the original date of their celebration was January 6, until the pope in Rome changed it to December 25 — the same date when pagan Romans celebrated their feast in honor of their sun god, a false god.

Isn’t that a great insult to Christ, calendaring a feast in His honor on a date that coincides with the feast for a false god? What’s worse is that even different Protestant groups as well as so-called Evangelical and Christian organizations, have also joined the Catholics in celebrating Christmas, or Christ’s birth, on December 25.

Actually, even the Iglesia ni Cristo of Manalo (INCM) also believes in the invented story of the Catholic Church about Christmas. This is despite the repudiation their leader had made of the Catholic priests and Protestant pastors, saying that they were not of God, but of Satan or the devil. This harsh statement was published in their official publication, Pasugo, in August 1961. On page 39, it says,

In conclusion, we ought to repudiate the Catholic priests and Protestant pastors because they are ministers of Satan. We should also repudiate the Catholic Church and the different Protestant churches because they are not of God, but of Satan or the devil.

Ironically, despite Manalo’s renunciation of the Catholic and Protestant churches because they are of the devil, they still imitate and adopt the practices and beliefs of Catholics and Protestants relative to the celebration of Christmas.

The photo below depicts the 25th wedding anniversary of one of the INCM ministers. But, please, take note that on their background were Christmas decors and a picture of Santa Claus.

In another issue of Pasugo in 1969, an advertisement promoting the new dresses that their sisters-in-faith were selling was published on page 16. The ad was also enjoining their brethren to shop early as Christmas was fast approaching.

Christmas is near! Shop early now! Sisters Pilar Fernandez, Rosalinda Yadan, and Ester Yadan have new clothes on sale!

No. D-E-F—Market of Obrero — Blumentritt, Manila
Home Address: —2722 Ave. Rizal
Tel. 2-68-33

Not only that, they also believe in the three kings. Below is a photo of their three brothers-in-faith whom they compared with the three kings.

They were not the three Magi who came from different places and followed the light of the star that signified the birth of the Savior on earth, but like the three kings, the three men above also followed the light of the teachings of Christ through His Church.

That is foolishness. There is no truth to the popular belief that the men who brought gifts to the young Jesus were three kings. Very remote is the possibility that they were kings because kings do not travel all by themselves — without any aide and without security escorts.

More importantly, the Bible said that they were wise men, but it did not mention how many they were. The Catholics just speculated that they were three based on the kinds of gifts that were given to the young Jesus: incense, gold, and myrrh.

But why don’t the members of the Church of God International celebrate December 25 or Christmas? Because it is not true that Christ was born on that day. Besides, the December 25 date was just assigned by the pope in Rome to counter, or perhaps to compete, with the feast being held by pagan Romans in honor of their sun god. As Christians, we do not take part in anything tainted and associated with paganism and idolatry.

However, do not get the impression that we do not celebrate any feast for Christ. On the contrary, we have many celebrations honoring not only the Lord Jesus Christ, but also the Father.