When is Baptism Invalid and Inauthentic?

Valid and Authentic Christian Baptism

Does somebody who had been baptized in water in his former religion need to undergo water baptism again if he wants to be a member of the Church of God International?

First of all, let us consider the declaration of the Lord Jesus Christ in MARK 7:7 (KJV) which says,

Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

It is very evident, especially in this dispensation, that there are religions that do not teach the commandments of God purely. Instead, they teach the commandments of men. This is despite the stern warning given by the Scriptures that we should not add nor deduct anything from what God has said and what He wants to fulfill.

PROVERBS 30:5-6 (KJV) says,

5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

Anybody who adds anything to the word of God is considered a liar.

The practice of many deceitful pastors today is that, they take something from the Bible, a verse perhaps which is often taken out of context, and then incorporate in it the commandments of men. And these are now what they teach and what they want their followers to believe in.

More than anybody and anything else, it is the Bible that tells us the true teachings of the gospel. And according to the Bible, the teachings of the Lord should be administered free of charge.

2 CORINTHIANS 11:7 (KJV) says,

Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely?

The gospel should be preached for free. And since baptism is a part of the gospel, it should be rendered for free also.

If a person had been baptized after paying a certain amount, then, what he received is not a true baptism. It is not valid because it is against the biblical admonition.

That being the case, are we still to ask if there is a need for a person to be baptized again with the true baptism officiated in the true church of the Bible? Of course, there is! Actually, you do not count anything that is null and without credit.

There are so many baptisms in our time. Practically, each religion has its own manner of baptism. There is a religious group that calls themselves Oneness because they believe that the Father is also the Son and the Son is also the Father and the Father is also the Holy Spirit and vice versa. They do not believe that the Father has a person that is different from that of the Son and the Holy Spirit. Because of that belief, this religion baptizes only in the name of Jesus Christ.

On the other hand, there is another group, the Trinitarians, which baptizes in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. However, although they baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, they have their own man-made doctrines, just like the Baptists and the other evangelical groups. Hence, their baptism, likewise, is null and void.

Remember if you incorporate the teachings and commandments of men with the gospel, your worship to God becomes vain; it is nullified.

Actually, the highest act of sanctity that you can do in religion is worshipping God. But if your worship is in vain, then all the other things you do in religion, like your baptism, your songs, your contributions, etc., would altogether be in vain. And sadly, you end up a victim of false religion that teaches doctrines and commandments of men.

Let me reiterate, not all baptisms are valid. Your adherence to man-made commandments makes your worship in vain, and your baptism invalid.

I hope I was able to enlighten some confused minds. May God bless you all!

True Religion Does Not Breed Discrimination

True Christianity Does Not Discriminate

The world today is teeming with so many religious organizations that boldly call themselves as Christians. Practically anywhere one goes he will surely encounter people who call themselves Christians, and religious organizations that regard their respective groups as a Christian organization.

Because of this, an ordinary person needs to be very prudent to realize that not all religions claiming to be Christians are truly Christians in the strictest sense of the word.

Using the Bible as our basis, these groups do not manifest the hallmarks of a real Christian organization. First of all, real Christians are people who embrace and abide by the teachings only of the Lord Jesus Christ.

These people and these religious groups that unabashedly call themselves Christians are actually anti-Christ primarily because they are not governed and they do not abide by the doctrines of the Lord Jesus Christ. Instead of cleaving to the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ, each of these pseudo-Christian denominations formulated its own set of beliefs and teachings which are not in harmony with actual teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.

A real Christian organization is united, not divided. Real Christians agree to one another; real Christians have the same spirit, the same mind, the same manner of thinking, and they speak only of the same thing.

1 CORINTHIANS 1:10 (KJV) says,

Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

Contrary to this biblical admonition, the so-called Christian groups that proliferate today vary in their beliefs. One group believes in the oneness of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, that is, the Father is also the Son, and the Son is also the Father, and the Son is also the Holy Spirit. On the other hand, there is also another Christian group which subscribes to the doctrine of the Trinity. Hence, they call themselves as Trinitarians.

Furthermore, there is another so-called Christian group, the Mormons, that believes that black people are cursed. This belief is contained in the Book of Mormons, chapter 3, verse 6 of Alma, which says, “And the skins of the Lamanites were dark, according to the mark which was set upon their fathers, which was a curse upon them because of their transgression and their rebellion against their brethren, who consisted of Nephi, Jacob, and Joseph, and Sam, who were just and holy men.”

If you will study the history of the Mormon church you will discover the prejudice and the discrimination of this group towards the blacks. In fact, the blacks were not even made officers in their organization, but only the whites.

In The Brigham Young Journal of Discourses, Volume 5, page 332, there was one leader of the Mormon religion who said, “But let them apostatize and they will be grey-haired, wrinkled and black just like the devil.”


They believe that the devil is black but I believe otherwise.

2 CORINTHIANS 11:13-14 says,

13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

Satan is a pretender transforming himself as an angel of light. When you say “angel of light” that means he is not dark, or black, but white.

Religions or pastors who teach that the black-skinned people are cursed by God are the ones that should be cursed. I really abhor people who insult the black simply because they are black-skinned.

Nobody must be considered a superior race, or an inferior race. Regardless of the color of our skin, regardless of our physical appearance, in the eyes of God we are all equal. And according to science, “Biologically we are all brothers and sisters under the skin.” It is not true that black people are cursed. Be you dark skinned or fair-skinned, you deserve to be treated honorably.


Actually, there were many black people in the Bible who were blessed by God. One of them was the eunuch from Ethiopia that was baptized by Philip, the evangelist. This eunuch was the caretaker of the wealth of the king of Ethiopia who went to Jerusalem to worship God.

Another was the Ethiopian woman who became one of the wives of Moses. She was also black that was why both Aaron and Miriam objected to Moses’ decision to take her as his wife. But God got angry with Miriam and Aaron, and He cursed them. That could be read in NUMBERS 12:1-9.

Apparently, God does not practice discrimination. Discrimination is against the will of God. What do I mean to say? Mormons pretend to be Christians but their doctrines are against Christianity.

Christians are taught to treat people fairly regardless of their social standing.

JAMES 2:1-4 says,

1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.
2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;
3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:
4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?

Real Christians adhere to the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ, and one of these teachings is not to discriminate people. Discrimination is evil; it is from Satan. The Mormonism and other religions denominated as Christians that practice discrimination are not real Christians!

JAMES 2:9-10 says,

9 But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.
10 For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.

Christians Are Told: Beware of False Preachers

Why Christians Must Practice Discernment

Somebody asked me, “Should Christians, like the members of the Church of God International, still attend the gatherings of other religious denominations?”

To answer his question, let me first explain how a person becomes a Christian. A person does not become a Christian overnight. Before becoming a Christian, a person needs to conduct the necessary investigation first just like what the first century Christians did. The Apostle Paul, for instance, was originally an enemy of the Christian faith but, after some period of investigation, from being a member of the Jewish faith, he was converted to Christianity.

To investigate is a requisite to becoming a real Christian. As written in 1 JOHN 4:1,

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

Christians are not really prohibited from attending gatherings of other faiths, neither are they prohibited from communicating with people from different religions. But the thing is, they need to be cautious and they should always consider the word of God, “believe not every spirit.” 

God commanded us to believe in Him, to believe in His words, to believe in His Son, to believe in His prophets. But He also commanded us to “believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God.” To try is to prove, to investigate, to test. Why is there a need to do that? “. . . because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”

If, after investigating spirits, the prophets, the teachings, etc., you discovered that a particular religious group is being led by a false prophet, then, it is no longer wise, nor logical, nor biblical to continue mingling with those people. That is why you shouldn’t expect me to tell our brethren, “mingle with those people; listen to their false prophets; attend their religious gathering” when I know for a fact that their preacher is a false prophet. I would be absurd if I do that.

Let me prove further that the first century Christians became Christians only after a diligent investigation.

ACTS 11:26 says,

And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.

It was after a year of associating with each other and with the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, and after learning the teachings of the Church that the people from Antioch were called Christians. So, it took them awhile, one year to be specific, before they became Christians.

Aside from them, there was also another group which, before embracing the Christian faith, conducted first a meticulous investigation.

ACTS 17:10-11 says,

10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.
11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

The apostles considered the Bereans nobler than the Thessalonians because “. . . they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” This proves that they really made an effort to investigate first.

Do we prohibit our brethren to listen to other preachers? No! But they are reminded to be cautious because there are preachers whom the Bible calls as false prophets.

2 THESSALONIANS 2:2 says,

That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

During the time of the first century Christians, there were people who wrote letters and they made it appear that those letters came from the apostles. Obviously, their intention was to deceive and mislead the brethren. As the Apostle Paul was fully aware of the danger that such may pose, he warned the brethren, “nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.”

On our end, we are likewise taking a precautionary measure to safeguard our brethren by advising them to use their discernment before believing anything because there are lots of false prophets around. And inasmuch as the Scriptures has warned us of the dangers that false prophets may bring, I don’t think it would be wise for a religious leader like me to just allow my brothers and sisters in faith to attend any other religious gatherings.

If you are shepherding a flock of sheep, surely, you would not let them go where the wolves are. That is exactly what I am doing. I see to it that the “sheep” I oversee wouldn’t be victimized by “wolves.”

I repeat, our brethren in faith are not prohibited from listening to other preachers but they are advised to be keen and wise for them not to be deceived and misled. They have to be sure that the doctrines that those preachers are teaching are not contrary to the doctrines of the Lord Jesus Christ.

2 CORINTHIANS 11:3-4 tells us,

3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

This is a warning of the Apostle because subtlety is common in many religions. They are preaching another Jesus and another gospel.

GALATIANS 1:8 says,

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

That being the case, I don’t see any reason why our brethren should be allowed to take part in the gatherings of other religions whose pastors teach another gospel. The Bible did not say, “Join them!” Instead, the word of God said, “Let him be accursed.”

It is not true, biblically and logically, that every religion is of God, and that every religion teaches the same God (as believed by others). We must not believe also that every religion, every pastor, or every preacher is telling the truth. If that were true, the Bible would not have warned us to be wary of false prophets that are gone out into the world preaching another Gospel.

2 CORINTHIANS 11:13-15 says,

13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

Pastors can also pretend to be apostles of Christ. So, I have to teach our brethren the warnings given by the Bible about the pretense and deception of many preachers.

But although our brethren are not outrightly prohibited from attending other religions, they, themselves, opt not to do so because they are fully guided by God’s warning in PROVERBS 19:27 which says,

Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.

That is God’s admonition to His children, and it is to our benefit if we will abide by it, especially so today when many religions were established only to make money, and not to faithfully teach the word of God.

Put A Ring on It or Not: Should Christian Couples Wear Wedding Rings?

Should Married Christians Couples Wear Wedding Band

Different religions observe different wedding traditions and ceremonies. Many of them use different objects to symbolize certain things which are all aimed at giving both husband and wife a strong, lasting, and love-filled relationship. And one of these objects is the wedding ring.

Believed to symbolize a boundless and infinite love, a ring is given by the bride and groom to each other after reciting their vows that no matter what happens they’ll stay together and that only death could draw them apart.

But the question is, just how important is a wedding ring in the union of a man and a woman in marriage? Do we, in the Church of God, adhere to the belief of other religions that a wedding ring is an important element of marriage because it stands for the lifelong commitment and love of the contracting parties for each other?

First of all, let me emphasize that in the Church of God we put spirituality far above everything that is natural and material. That means we value more the things that are not seen rather than the things that are seen.

As we all know, the apostles, like Paul, were direct recipients of the spirit, the teachings, and the principles that came from the Father in heaven through our Lord Jesus Christ. And this is what the Apostle Paul said in 2 CORINTHIANS 4:18,

While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Surely, as far as ordinary humans are concerned, this would sound foolish. They would probably retort, “How can you look at things which are not seen?”

We have to understand that in that particular verse, the Apostle Paul was trying to point out the greater importance of the invisible, or the things that are unseen, over the things that are seen. Because, according to him, the things that are not seen are eternal, while the things that are seen are just temporal.

To say that “Things which are seen are temporal” is both biblical and scientific. We know that the things that are seen are material, or matter. Matter, or anything that is material, undergoes the process of oxidation. Because of oxidation, after a certain period of time, a thing may look different from its former appearance. For instance, gold, strong as it is, will rust in time. Its texture and color will change because of oxidation.

And because material things are just temporary, the first century Christians were admonished to give greater importance to the things that are not seen, instead of the things that are seen, like a wedding ring.

In many countries of the world, the presence of a wedding ring on the finger of a man or a woman is a public admission that he or she is already married. Apparently, the wedding rings serve as tangible proof that a man is already the husband of one particular woman, and a woman is already the wife of one particular man. Not only that, but many even regard it as something sacred.

On the other hand, if we are to go over biblical accounts, we will find out that Sarah and Abraham did not have any wedding rings; they did not wear wedding rings. But despite that, Sarah became a loyal and subservient wife to Abraham all the years of her life.

The same thing is true with Mary and Joseph. They, likewise, did not wear wedding rings because they knew that they were not supposed to set their hearts on things that are seen; and they are not supposed to rely on them.

COLOSSIANS 3:1-2 says,

1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

1 PETER 3:3-6 says,

3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:
6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.

Sarah did not wear gold!

That is the thinking of real Christians. They do not regard earthly things higher than the spiritual because they are aware that the real intention of the Lord Jesus Christ is to detach us from the world and from the things of the world. And He doesn’t want us to think the same way as the world thinks. 

ROMANS 12:2 says,

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

I do not expect that everybody will understand at once what I am trying to say. It is God that opens the heart and understanding of a person. It is not within my power to make a person understand the spiritual importance of the faith in things that are not seen.

HEBREWS 11:1 gives us the definition of faith. It says,

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

In signing documents, contracts, and agreements, it is expected that whatever terms, provisions, or conditions had been agreed upon, which are stated in the papers, must be faithfully observed by the person affixing his signature on it. Meaning the moment a person signs a document, be it a contract or anything else, he is, in effect, entering into an agreement and he is committing himself to everything that is stipulated in that document.

What am I trying to say?

When a couple signs a marriage contract, promising to love and cherish each other, in sickness or in health, and even until death, they are expected to observe to the fullest the contract which they signed. But that hardly happens because after several years, the marriage contract that they signed seemed to have lost its efficacy, and the vows and promises they made to each other before the altar have all been forgotten. The boundless love that their wedding ring was supposed to symbolize had found its limit, and their “until death do us part” vow was found to be a mere empty promise and a simple utterance of the mouth.

But a real Christian is not like that. For a real Christian, what matters most are not the documents, but his words and the sincerity of his heart. There is always the possibility that the documents may say something different from what is in the heart of a person, or the person signing the document is hiding something in his heart. That is why for God, what counts more is what is in the heart and mind of a person, and not what is stated in the document.

Besides, the word of a real Christian can be relied on.

MATTHEW 5:37 says,

But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

We are taught by the Lord Jesus Christ to let our yeses be yeses, and our noes be noes. That is why for God, your sincere, honest and truthful yes is more important than a diamond-studded wedding ring.

Verily, husbands and wives could live happily ever after even without a wedding ring.

What's Wrong with Wearing Makeup?

What The Bible Says About Makeup

The law of men says, “Ignorance of the law excuses no one from compliance therewith.” For me, that is very illogical, very harsh, very cruel, very inhumane, and very much different from the law of God.

The law of God, even if you look at it from different angles, is very sensible, very considerate, and very compassionate.

Biblically speaking, your ignorance of the law does not impute you any obligation or any liability should you happen to violate any. You are not considered sinning if you committed a sinful act out of your ignorance of the law.

1 TIMOTHY 1:13 says,

Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

This was a confession of the Apostle Paul to the first century Christians. He admitted all the sins that he committed before. Nevertheless, he obtained mercy and he was pardoned because he committed them all ignorantly in unbelief.

How grievous were the sins that the Apostle Paul committed?

In the book of ACTS 22:4 he said,

And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.

The Apostle Paul used to be a persecutor of the first century Christians. And later, in GALATIANS 1:13, he confessed:

For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:

He was very cruel with the first century Christians. But because he did that in his ignorance of the law and in unbelief, meaning he was still not under the law, he obtained mercy from God.

The same principle should be applied to all. Before a person is considered to be sinning because he is violating a law, we have to find out first if that person is under the law, or not.

ROMANS 3:19 says,

Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: . . .

We have to accept the truth that there are people who are not under the law. They are ignorant of the law; they are ignorant of the rules. We will be committing a big mistake if we will charge them of committing a sin when they are not under the law.

For example, you cannot accuse a woman who is wearing makeup of transgressing the law when she is not under the law yet. Actually, there is nothing wrong about wearing makeup, and we do not prohibit it in our congregation. What we prohibit is the wearing of excessive makeup, which practically hides the God-given physical features.

It is a fact that there are women who try to hide their natural physical appearance by putting on heavy makeup and by wearing ornaments. This is what the Bible says about those women:

HOSEA 2:13 says,

And I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, and she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers, and forgat me, saith the Lord.

What God wants is simplicity; He prefers the natural. But because of the excessive adornments that those women had worn, it even reached the point that they had forgotten God.

ISAIAH 3:16-25 says,

16 Moreover the Lord saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet:
17 Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the Lord will discover their secret parts.
18 In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon,
19 The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers,
20 The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the earrings,
21 The rings, and nose jewels,
22 The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins,
23 The glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the vails.
24 And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty.
25 Thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty in the war.

God was speaking about the rudeness of the daughters of Zion, or Israel. They did not even think of bowing their heads to God anymore. They walked with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes. It seemed that they were very proud of themselves. Imagine, from head to feet they were overly decorated and ornamented like Christmas trees.

And as a curse, as stated in verse 24, the Lord said, And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; . . . That is why many women now are inflicted with different kinds of diseases, especially sexually transmitted diseases. It is because of the curse of God; He didn’t want the women to be very proud.

But in the time of the first century Christians, this is what 1 TIMOTHY 2:9-10 says,

9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, nor gold, or pearls, or costly array;
10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.

It was not only the Apostle Paul who wrote about how women, Christian women, should adorn themselves, but the Apostle Peter also.

In 1 PETER 3:3, it says,

Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel.

In some translations, it had been specified as, costly apparel.

This admonition may sound hard, and many women might not welcome it, but is a part of the gospel. Unfortunately, many religious leaders do not teach this particular doctrine. Instead, they speak of themselves, seeking their own glory, but not the glory of the Almighty God.

JOHN 7:17-18 says,

17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
18 He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.

Most of the preachers today only speak of themselves. They deliberately dismiss or put aside an entire verse of the Bible, which is an act of defiance to what God said in JEREMIAH 26:2,

Thus saith the Lord; Stand in the court of the Lord’s house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the Lord’s house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word:

We believe that Christians should adhere to the word of God be it easy or difficult, soft or hard, sweet or bitter, light or heavy. And as a preacher of God, it is against my conscience to take away a word, more so, a verse, or verses of the Bible.

But let me reiterate that the law applies only to those who are under the law.

Of Morality and Death Penalty

The death penalty in the Bible

The imposition of death penalty on certain crimes is something that is not really new. In fact, death penalty is one of the original teachings of the Bible; it comes from God.

Let me cite some instances that would prove that death penalty had already been implemented as early as the time of Moses and the Israelites.

During that time, anyone that would despise or would be rebellious against the Law of Moses shall die without mercy under two or three witnesses.

HEBREWS 10:28 says,

He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

Despising the Law of Moses is one offense that was penalized with death, specifically, by stoning.

However, if the sin that one committed was something very grievous, another form of death penalty was applied to that person. He would be burnt with fire as written in LEVITICUS 20:14, which says:

And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you.

So, if a man takes for his wife both the daughter and her mother at the same time, all the three of them shall be burned with fire. All of them shall be killed by burning.

Aside from being burnt with fire, there were those who were hanged on a tree.

DEUTERONOMY 21:22-23 says,

22 And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree:
23 His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.

Based on the verses cited, there were several ways of executing death penalty: by stoning, by burning, and by hanging on a tree.

But it must be understood that, if ever they were enforcing death penalty that time, they were doing it under the guidance of God because Israel was a theocratic nation. In its entirety, it was ruled by God. The government of Israel was led by a king or by the prophets like Moses, or like the judges whom God raised in Israel. That is why Israel was a theocratic nation. And under the theocratic form of government of Israel, wherein the prophets of God were guided by angels to decide, death penalty was imposed.

In our present time, what we have are democratic nations which are being ruled by people. And in a democracy what prevails is the rule of the majority. Hence, from that aspect alone, we can already see that there is a very great difference between democracy and theocracy.

Today, nations are not at all theocratic that is why it is too risky to impose death penalty because it is no longer God, nor the angels, nor the righteous people that are rendering judgment to an accused person but judges who are often influenced by money and power. It is very fearful to even think that a person is to be killed by firing squad, or by a gas chamber, not because he was really guilty of the crime imputed against him but because the judge had been bribed and influenced by the rich and the powerful.

Am I in favor of the imposition of death penalty today? NO, I am not. The judicial system of many countries today is led and influenced by ungodly people, and that being the case, there is a very great possibility that they might arrive at an unjust and erroneous verdict.

Too Depressed? Trust and Have Faith in God

Christians and Depression in the Bible

Unfavorable or unpleasant things that happen in life, like the loss of a loved one, the acquisition of a serious and incurable disease, financial problem, etc., if not managed properly, are believed to be contributory in increasing a person’s vulnerability to depression.

People who succumbed to depression usually manifest pessimism, a feeling of sadness and emptiness, and a very low self-esteem which sometimes lead to hurting themselves, and worst, committing suicide. No wonder we often hear stories of people who, despite their being rich and famous, committed suicide because of depression. They put an end to their lives because they thought that suicide, or death, is their only escape from the deep despair that they experience.

But a CHRISTIAN, who is a faithful servant of GOD, will never suffer from depression. Because of FAITH, a Christian can overcome all kinds of depression and all anxieties in life.

PHILIPPIANS 4:6-7 (Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition) tells us,

6 Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
7 And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Surely, you are familiar with the story of Lazarus, a beggar who experienced all kinds of hardships in his lifetime. Maybe he had lots of worries, too. He had no money; he had nothing to eat; he had no home of his own; he was denied of all the material things in life.

LUKE 16:20-22 (King James Version) says,

20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried.

Death is inevitable. Regardless of whether you are rich or poor, educated or illiterate, you are decreed to die. A person’s honor and prestige would not exempt him from dying. The Bible tells us that death is a part of the will of God to man.

HEBREWS 9:27 (King James Version) says,

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

Our life on earth has an end; we will all die. But the Bible tells us that there is another life that is to come – there is eternal life.

And maybe, Lazarus knew all about it that was why he did not mind all the anxieties in life. Remember, aside from lacking in material things, Lazarus also suffered physical pain because he was full of sores, and the dogs were even licking those sores. All these he endured until his death. There is no record that would tell us that his sufferings were alleviated. He died with sores, he died a beggar, and he died unfortunate.

But Lazarus believed in God; he had faith in God. That was why, when he died, he was carried by the angels into the bosom of Abraham. Meaning, he will have an eternal life in paradise, just like one of the thieves that was crucified together with our Lord Jesus Christ. He, too, was promised by Christ of the comfort in paradise.

LUKE 23:42-43 (King James Version)

42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

Our story does not end here on earth. If you worry about dying, then, depression will creep in to your system. But if you will look at death from a different perspective, you will even prepare for it and you will not find difficulty in accepting it because it is appointed unto men once to die.

Age is not always a factor in death. There are people who died at the prime of their life like John the Baptist who died when he was about 33 or 34 years old; likewise, the Lord Jesus Christ was a little more than 30 years old when He died.

However, there is something about dying that we must understand.

ISAIAH 57:1 (King James Version) says,

The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.

If you are a righteous person God will cause your death. God, who knows everything, is a loving and merciful God. He may take your life earlier than the others in order to spare you of the evil that is to come upon you later on. So, if, for instance, you had been diagnosed of an incurable illness and you had been told that you would not live very long, accept it because it is the will of our Creator. God did not intend us to live on earth forever. He promised us a paradise, a very beautiful place of peace and tranquility, where we could live eternally with Him and with the Lord Jesus Christ.

On the other hand, if you are an earthly person and you think only about the things on earth, death is something that could cause you disgust and anxiety. But let us not forget what God said in the book of Philippians, “Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” 

The peace of God passes the understanding of physicians, surgeons, doctors who told you that your days are numbered. If you trust in God you will be free from anxieties and you will not entertain any suicidal thoughts.

Dying, with the readiness to face your Creator, is like graduating from a university with honors. If you are a believer of God and Christ, dying is just like finishing a course. Therefore, it is something that we should not fear. According to the Bible, To die in Christ is to live forever.

We will all die. I know that it is something that many people would not find easy to accept. But that is in the Bible.

ECCLESIASTES 9:5 (King James Version) says,

For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.

All living men have a foreboding that, one day, they will die. But we should not allow that fear of death to govern and control our whole being. We will die when God wills us to die. The Lord Jesus Christ guaranteed that in MATTHEW 10:29 (KJV) which says,

Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father?

If the sparrows will not die without the will of the Father, how much more are the humans who are more important than those small birds! Human beings, like us, are very important to God. In MARK 8:36 the Lord Jesus Christ said, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (KJV) Meaning, the whole world is not enough for you to save your soul, and your soul is much more important than the whole world.

Not one of us will die without the will or the consent of the Father.

Let us not preoccupy our minds with the thoughts of death. Instead, let us preoccupy ourselves with what is coming after death. It will give us peace of mind and heart if we die in faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Christians and servants of God really experience sufferings but they neither suffer from depression nor think about hurting themselves or committing suicide.

JOB, for instance, suffered tremendously but he never got depressed. He accepted his fate wholeheartedly even when his wife was already ridiculing him for remaining steadfast in his faith in God.

JOB 2:9-10 (King James Version) says,

9 Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die.
10 But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.

In another verse, JOB 1:21 (KJV), this is what Job said:

And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.

Whatever happens to us let us not put the blame on God. Let us always believe that He is a compassionate God. If you believe that you are a child of God, believe also that He truly cares about you. God cares for us more than we care for ourselves.

Related article: The Secret in Fighting Depression