Christians Are Not Commanded to Build Chapels, or Temples

8/08/2020 , 0 Comments

Is worshipping from home Biblically approved

If God does not dwell on structures made by the hands of men, like chapels, why did He command the Israelites to build Him a house, as written in Haggai 1:4-9? And if we are not to build chapels and temples, where shall we worship God?

These are questions of people who have a notion that God commanded believers to build a house for Him, and that this house, which could be a chapel or a temple, is the only rightful place to worship God.

It is true that Solomon built a temple or a house for God. Although it was David who originally planned to build it, this plan was realized during the reign of Solomon.

1 KINGS 6:1 (KJV)

And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD.

Very specific details are provided by the verse. Solomon began building the house of the Lord 480 years after the Israelites came out of Egypt; it was in his fourth year of reign as King of Israel; and it was started in the month Zif, which is the second month in the Hebrew calendar.

When its construction was completed, Solomon dedicated it to God, and there were accounts that they felt there the presence of God during that time.

Since then, God had commanded the Israelites through Moses that whenever they would worship Him, pay tithes, or present their burnt offerings and sacrifices, they should go to His house.

DEUTERONOMY 12:5-7 (KJV) says,

5 But unto the place which the LORD your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come: 
6 And thither ye shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and heave offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks: 
7 And there ye shall eat before the LORD your God, and ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households, wherein the LORD thy God hath blessed thee.

That was a law that they had to follow. They had to go all the way to the temple of the Lord, which was built by Solomon in Jerusalem, if they were to fulfill their obligations and vows to God.

However, if it so happened that some of them lived far from Jerusalem and if what they were to offer were the tenth part of their produce, like vegetables and the fruits of their crops and other perishable goods, they did not have to bring those items to the temple. They should convert those into money instead. Meaning, they should sell those items first, and the amount of money that they would raise from selling those goods was what they should bring to Jerusalem.


24 And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from thee, which the LORD thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the LORD thy God hath blessed thee: 
25 Then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose:

Unfortunately, as time passed, the Israelites neglected taking care of the very temple or house of the Lord where they worshipped and prayed and brought their offerings to Him. Because of their negligence, the house of the Lord was laid to waste and became desolate.

The destruction of His house that resulted from the Israelites’ negligence was the surrounding circumstance behind God’s pronouncements in Haggai 1:4-9.

HAGGAI 1:4-9 (KJV)

4 Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your ceiled houses, and this house lie waste? 
5 Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. 
6 Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. 
7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. 
8 Go up to the mo untain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD. 
9 Ye looked for much, and, lo it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the LORD of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house.

The Lord expressed His resentment to the Israelites for taking His house for granted, for not being bothered at all even if they could see that it was practically falling apart; whereas, their respective dwelling places were finely built and well-maintained.

Eventually, this house or temple of God in Israel was destroyed. The Lord Jesus Christ, Himself, prophesied its destruction in Matthew 24:15 (KJV), which says,

When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

The Lord Jesus Christ mentioned about an abominable desolation in the holy place, which had been spoken by the prophet Daniel. This prophetic pronouncement was referring to the impending destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, which was going to be a total destruction, because according to the Lord Jesus Christ, “there shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”

MATTHEW 24:1-2 (KJV)

1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. 
2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

If our line of thinking was that worshipping God could only be done in a temple or chapel, what if it were destroyed like what happened to the temple in Jerusalem?

Do you mean we couldn’t worship God anymore simply because the temple has been annihilated? That should not be the case. The truth is, we can worship God even if we do not go to a temple or chapel.

Let us be guided by what the Lord Jesus Christ told the Samaritan woman when He conversed with her by the well of Jacob.

JOHN 4:20-24 (KJV)

20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. 
21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 
22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 
23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 
24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

The Lord Jesus Christ told the Samaritan woman that the time shall come when they would not have to go to the mountain nor to Jerusalem to worship God; and the time shall also come when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The “time” that the Lord Jesus Christ was talking about actually started that very instance while He was speaking with that Samaritan woman.

In other words, effective that very moment, anybody who wants to worship God is no longer required to go to a designated place like a chapel or temple since he can already worship God even in his own home, because worshipping God means worshipping Him in spirit and in truth.

In worshipping God, you do not have to forcibly gather people together in a big venue like a stadium or coliseum. According to the Lord Jesus Christ, if two or three are gathered in His name, He will be in the midst of them. So, regardless of the place and the number of people gathered in that place, He will be in their midst so long as they are gathered in His name.

MATTHEW 18:20 (KJV) says,

For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

This was fulfilled with the apostles during the time when they were being persecuted by the Jews because of their faith in the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. As the situation did not warrant their safety, instead of going to the temple, they just held their gathering in a house with their doors locked. And, indeed, the Lord Jesus came in their midst.

JOHN 20:19 (KJV)

Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

If the situation would not compromise their and other people’s safety, the early Christians congregated in the temple. But if the situation posed threats to their lives, they just gathered together in the houses of the brethren.

ACTS 20:7-8 (KJV)

7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight. 
8 And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together.

This is an instance when the brethren gathered in a house, not in the temple, to listen to the preaching of the Apostle Paul.

We have to understand that when the Lord Jesus Christ came, He amended many things that were formerly believed and observed by the Israelites. One of them was mentioned by the Apostle Paul in Acts 17:24.

ACTS 17:24 (KJV)

God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;

In the above cited verse, the Apostle Paul said that God does not dwell in temples made by the hands of man as He is the Lord of heaven and earth and the Creator of the world and everything therein. However, the Iglesia ni Cristo of Manalo seems to disagree with what the Apostle Paul declared, because as expressed in their official publication, they believe that the spirit of God dwells in their chapels or houses of worship.

Using the word of God in the Bible as our basis, it is very clear that the INC of Manalo is grossly mistaken to even presume that the spirit of God dwells in their houses of worship, no matter how magnificent such may seem for them.

Indeed, in the past, specifically during the time of the Israelites, the spirit of God dwelled in the house or temple where they held gatherings. But when the Lord Jesus Christ came, gatherings were no longer limited to temples or houses of worship. Let us not forget that when the Lord Jesus Christ came, there was a change in the priesthood. From Moses, it is now the Lord Jesus Christ who holds the priesthood. So, as there had been a change in the priesthood, there followed a change in the law also.


For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

That is the reason why there isn’t any verse in the Bible that mentions that the Lord Jesus Christ instructed the early Christians to build chapels or temples where they should worship God and hold their gatherings.

When the priesthood was changed, the covenant was changed.


7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. 
8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: 
9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.

God made a new covenant, and this new covenant was brought by the Lord Jesus Christ when He came here on earth. But unlike the covenant during the priesthood of Moses, which was purely carnal ordinances, the covenant under the priesthood of the Lord Jesus Christ is more on the spiritual side.

That is why in the Christian dispensation, the place where worship and other gatherings should be held is not an issue anymore. In fact, the Christians during the latter part of the first century gathered even in the houses of the brethren.

ROMANS 16:3, 5 (KJV)

3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: 
5 Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my well-beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.

Priscilla and Aquila were a couple; both of them were servants of God. And their house served as a venue for church gatherings.

The brethren in Laodicea likewise gathered in another brother’s house.


Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.

Christians are not commanded to build temples and chapels because they can hold gatherings even in houses or in any rented place. Actually, nobody among the apostles of Christ built any temple or chapel during their time, and neither did they instruct the brethren to build one. They cleaved to what the Lord Jesus Christ said that true worshippers no longer need to travel and go to a designated place where they should worship God; they should worship the Father in spirit and in truth.

We can say that that particular decree of the Lord Jesus Christ is more applicable at present, especially so that today, the whole of humanity is going through a crisis.

There is a pandemic; people are discouraged from going out of their dwellings to prevent the transmission of the virus, and there are community quarantines and lockdowns in effect in many places.

Given this situation, I believe it is more prudent to worship God in our respective homes instead of going to a chapel or a house of worship.

As far as the members of the Church of God International are concerned, despite the lockdowns, community quarantines, and travel restrictions imposed by the government, we are still able to worship God and perform our other congregational gatherings, not physically though as the brethren are in their respective residences where they are safe. But we are able to congregate through the use of modern communication technology.

This way, we are able to comply with government policies, and at the same time, we are able to fulfill what the Lord Jesus Christ said, “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.” (John 4:23, KJV).



True Worship Is More Than Attending Church Gatherings

8/01/2020 15 Comments

True Worship is More Than Attending Gatherings

To worship God is to worship Him in spirit and in truth. And worshiping Him in spirit and in truth is not limited to attending church gatherings, singing Him hymns, and listening to His teachings inside a chapel or a house of worship.

If these acts do not constitute the full meaning of worshiping and serving God, how then can we rightfully worship and serve Him?

THE ROMANS 12:1 (NIV) says,

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this your spiritual act of worship.

The rightful way of worshiping and serving God is to present to Him our bodies as a living sacrifice, which is also our spiritual act of worship.

Evidently, the kind of worship being taught to Christians is totally different from the kind of worship that was practiced by the Israelites in the Old Testament. During that time, those who worshiped God had to offer cows, sheep, lambs, and goats, which had already been slaughtered. And the blood of those beasts were even sprinkled in the temple.

But in the Christian dispensation, what we Christians should offer God are our very own bodies; our bodies shall serve as our living sacrifice and reasonable or spiritual worship to Him. It is not only monetary contributions that Christians should offer God. There is a more important offering that we should present to God, and that is our own bodies. And in doing so, we are able to worship Him rightfully.

The question is, how can we make our bodies a living sacrifice that is holy and acceptable to God?

ROMANS 6:13 (KJV) says,

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.

We have to see to it that we are using the members of our bodies as instruments of God’s righteousness, and not as instruments of unrighteousness or sins. We have to use our bodies in doing good deeds for our fellowmen, like what Job had done during his time.

JOB 29:15 (KJV) says,

I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame.

Job served as eyes to the blind and feet to the lame. This means that he rendered assistance to the needy and to the helpless.

It follows that if we extend a helping hand to those who are in distress, or if we offer our services to the physically handicapped such as leading or guiding the blind to where he wants to go, we are already able to worship God. In other words, each time that we use our bodies to serve others, we are automatically worshiping God.

However, if you are using your finger, for instance, to pull the trigger of a gun to kill a person, if you are using your tongue to deceive others, or if you are using your hands to punch and slap your wife and children, you are making yourself an instrument of unrighteousness. In effect, you are serving Satan as you are doing things that delight him.

What I want to point out is that we can still worship and serve God even if we are not inside a chapel. We can worship and serve Him even if we are at home, in the office, in school, in the streets, or elsewhere — if we do His righteousness and if we are always ready to serve and help other people.

According to the Apostle Paul, God, being the Creator of Earth and everything therein, is not served with men’s hands.

THE ACTS 17:25 (NIV) says,

And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else.

Nevertheless, we can render Him spiritual service by using, not just our hands but our whole bodies, in doing acts of righteousness for our fellowmen.

As the whole world today goes through a very difficult time, I would say that now is a very good opportunity by which we can be instruments of God’s righteousness. While it is true that a lot of people now are in need of material help, yet many, many more are in need of prayers and comforting and reassuring words that can only come from the words of God in the Bible. I am sure that, with God’s help, that in our own little way, we can be instruments in providing all these to others. Amen.


Often Discriminated, Transgender People Are Accepted by God

7/25/2020 36 Comments

Transgender People Can be Saved

A certain transgender told me that by regularly watching our television program, he was able to develop an understanding of the teachings of God and the Lord Jesus Christ. And then the time came that he felt a fervent desire in his heart to serve God and to be a part of the Church of God because, like most of us, he also wants to be saved.

But because of his gender identity, he had questions; he was asking if a transgender like him would still be accepted by God and if he could have a place in the Church of God.

It turns out that these negative thoughts were brought about by the harsh and disparaging statements that he has heard from other religious leaders and pastors about those who are transgender, and about the members of the LGBTQ community as a whole, such as that they are of the devil and that they can never be saved unless they become “straight” men and women. Hearing such pronouncements directly from the very mouths of preachers who claim to be of God made him think of himself as someone who is unworthy and undeserving of salvation.

But I told him that those were just mere words of preachers who hardly have any understanding of the words of God because if they do, they would not have said such words at all — for such statements are against the will of God.

According to the Bible, what God wants is for all men to be saved.

As it is written in 1 TIMOTHY 2:4 (KJV),

Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

The verse says “all men” therefore, it encompasses the whole of mankind. It is not exclusive to the “straight” men and women but it includes the LGBTQ (lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender, and queer) community and other gender identities.

God is giving all people, including those who are transgender, a chance to salvation — even if a transgender person happens to have undergone surgery or whatever medical procedure in the past. Primarily, this is because he had committed that thing when he had not known the Christian doctrines yet, when he had no knowledge of the truth yet. And people like him have a place in the Church of God.

Actually, one member of the Church had once confessed to me that he is transgender. He was born male but years before he became a member of the Church, he underwent an operation which made his genitalia match his gender identity or the gender that he feels inside. Hence, his male genitalia had been removed and had been replaced by a female’s.

But upon accepting the doctrines of the Lord Jesus Christ and after submitting himself to holy baptism, wherein all his past transgressions had been forgiven, he obtained God’s mercy. And from then on, he started anew. He turned his back from his former way of life and he started spending his life in faithful service to God and the Lord Jesus Christ, without pretending to be a “straight” man, but strictly observing the Christian moral standards that he has understood. And with God’s help, until now, he remains steadfast in faith.

God is considerate, just, and merciful. He will not hold anyone accountable for an act which he did ignorantly. And no less than the Apostle Paul experienced His mercy and consideration.

1 TIMOTHY 1:13 (KJV)

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

The Apostle Paul committed grievous sins in the past. He used to be a blasphemer and a persecutor of the early Christians. Nevertheless, he obtained mercy from God; he was forgiven because he did all those things “ignorantly in unbelief.”

A transgender person who submitted himself to a medical procedure, which offered him the gender identity that corresponds with the gender that he feels inside, can also obtain God’s mercy if it was committed prior to his understanding of the word of God and while he was still outside the jurisdiction of the Church of God. He may still be forgiven the same way that the Apostle Paul was forgiven.

Definitely, if he has undergone an operation, he cannot undo the modifications that doctors have done to his physical body anymore, and neither can he restore what has been removed from it. But that does not outrightly disqualify him from being saved because, like the Apostle Paul, he did them “ignorantly in unbelief.”

We just can’t help that many religious organizations today are full of pretenses and hypocrisies, as though they are all blameless and sinless, and as if all of them have no gender identity issues. A pastor and pretended song, for instance, do not accept gays or homosexuals in their organization because, according to him, people who belong to the third sex were created, not by God but by the devil.

Such a cruel pronouncement only shows his ignorance about the will of God; it is without any biblical basis. Actually, it is even contrary to what the Bible says because according to the verse cited earlier, God wants all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

The Bible tells us that the moment a person submits himself to the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ, regardless of his gender identity, he becomes a new person.

He just has to see to it that after learning and accepting the teachings of God and the Lord Jesus Christ, and upon submitting himself to the jurisdiction of the Church of God, he should no longer do the things that he used to do. Meaning, he should no longer engage in same sex relationships, he should not wear make-up anymore, he should not dress-up gaudily, and he should no longer spend his life in worldly pleasure. Instead, he should start to live a life that is in accordance with the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Anybody who is in Christ is now considered to be a new creature.


Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Formerly they were:


9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

So, if a transgender person is now in Christ, he automatically becomes a new creature. He is considered a new creature in the sense that there are now noticeable positive changes in him, not necessarily in his physical appearance nor in his gender identity, but more on his way of life. He does not smoke and drink alcoholic beverages anymore, he no longer goes to bars and casinos, and he no longer speaks and behaves roughly. His way of life has changed as it is now disciplined by the teachings of Christ, and his whole person is now being molded after the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Only fools would dare say that this “new creature,” although a transgender person, would not be accepted by God.

God is welcoming all of those who would return to Him, including those who are transgender and the rest of the LGBTQ community. That being the case, they are also welcome in the Church of God, where they can be happy and gay Christians.


A Popular Tagalog Proverb Gets a Biblical Makeover

7/18/2020 95 Comments

God shows mercy and works on us

There is a popular Tagalog proverb, “Nasa Dios ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa,” (God grants the mercy. Man does the work.) that implies that man has to work first before he obtains mercy from God.

I’m sorry, but I do not completely conform to that saying because it is not biblical. Instead, we should believe that it is God who works, and it is also God who grants mercy.

First of all, when you work, you do not merit mercy; you merit a reward or compensation. This is precisely the reason why it is called mercy — it is because you did not work for it.

To obtain God’s mercy, a person needs to repent first. Afterward, God shall work in him. It is God who works.

As it is written in 1 Corinthians 12:6 (KJV),

And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

We, humans, are incapable of doing every good work, but it is God who works in us all.

God works in a person in various ways. If he starts to feel a desire in his heart to do good works, it is proof or a manifestation that God is working in him.

Philippians 2:13 (KJV) says,

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

God gives people the desire to do good works. Nowadays, what many people like doing are the things that will only benefit themselves. Doing good works for others does not always spring out of people’s hearts naturally or spontaneously, so God fills their hearts with the desire to do good works for others.

Again, we obtain mercy not because we worked for it, but because God has forgiven and accepted us when we repented. We feel the desire in our hearts to do good deeds because God is working in us. And He will not only urge us to do good works — He will also help us in accomplishing the good works that we desire to do. Because without Him, we cannot do anything.

John 15:5 (KJV) says,

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

That is why it is unbiblical to say that it is man who works. It is God who works, and it is also God who grants mercy. Man cannot do anything all by himself; he needs God’s help. It is God who sustains him with life, strength, resources, and the will to do what is good. Indeed, humans, in general, are dependent on divine providence.

God is merciful. In fact, He is even more merciful than an ordinary father who is also merciful to his subservient son.

Malachi 3:17 (KJV) says,

And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

The only thing that God asks from men is to return to Him and to keep His ordinances.

Malachi 3:7 (KJV) says,

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. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?

We need to repent, return to God, and accept His words. When we have accepted His words, only then will we be able to work on the things that we ought to do in order to merit — not God’s mercy — but God’s reward. Remember, we do not work to merit God’s mercy, but we should work to merit God’s reward.

Another manifestation that God is working in a person is when he feels remorseful and repentant of the sins that he has committed in the past.

Romans 2:4 (KJV) says,

Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

It is God’s goodness and graciousness that lead a person to repentance.

Also, when you feel repentant of a sin that you have committed, it also signifies that you are acknowledging a powerful Being — unto whom you are submitting yourself to be under subjection, knowing that you are helpless without Him.

Our sincere repentance is very important for us to merit God’s mercy. Remember, the people of Nineveh merited God’s mercy because they sincerely repented of their transgressions. He spared them from the destruction that He planned to bring them.

Jonah 3:10 (KJV) says,

And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

The people of Nineveh were misguided during that time. They were engaged in violence and sexual offenses, just like the people of Sodom and Gomorrah.

That was why God sent them the prophet Jonah to warn them of the impending doom that was to befall them. But upon hearing the words of the prophet, the people of Nineveh immediately repented — they turned away from their evildoings, they fasted, and they prayed fervently.

Jonah 3:5 (KJV) says,

So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.

The people of Sodom and Gomorrah continued with their exceedingly sinful lives; hence, brimstone and fire rained upon them.

But unlike them, the people of Nineveh were spared from God’s punishment because they acknowledged God, repented, and turned away from their wickedness.

I just hope that the people of this generation will also do what the people of Nineveh had done, so that we, too, will merit God’s mercy; so that we will also be spared from the pandemic that troubles the world today.

It is God who works; it is God who grants mercy. And by His mercy, we can be saved.


Shining a Light on the Misconceptions About Christ's Return and the Judgment Day

7/11/2020 18 Comments

Truth about Second Coming and Judgment day

If there is one thing that almost all religions today have in common, it is their belief that when the Lord Jesus Christ returns, it is going to be His second coming, and that day would already be judgment day. I am sorry, but I strongly disagree to that!

First of all, there is no such phrase as “second coming” in the Bible. The belief in the “second coming” was a result of Lamsa’s reckless and erroneous translation of the Bible. Actually, of the numerous translations of the Bible available today, only Lamsa’s used the term “second coming” — all the other translations did not. Unfortunately, Lamsa was able to influence and mislead many religions, that is why many people today think that Christ’s would-be return on earth will be His second coming.

While it is true that the Lord Jesus Christ will come yet again, it is not going to be His second coming — and neither is it going to already be judgment day. Christ shall come again. And when He returns, He will resurrect, not all of the dead, but only those who are of Him — those who have died fulfilling His teachings. This is called the first resurrection; however, it is not yet the day of the final judgment because a thousand-year reign of Christ on earth still remains.

REVELATION 20:6 (KJV) says,

Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

The first resurrection of the dead will happen when Christ returns. Those who will be part of the first resurrection shall be made priests of God and of Christ and they shall reign with Him on earth for a thousand years.

1 CORINTHIANS 15:24-25 (KJV) says,

24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.

During the one-thousand-year period, Christ shall put down all rule, all authority, and all power; He shall vanquish all evils.

After the one-thousand-year period comes the final judgment. Christ shall judge.

As written in 2 CORINTHIANS 5:10 (KJV),

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

We have to prepare for His coming. To be among those who will be considered blessed, it is very important that when the Lord comes, He finds us doing His will.

MATTHEW 24:46 (KJV) says,

Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.

Before the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to heaven, He left the apostles with a specific instruction of teaching all nations His commandments.

MATTHEW 28:20 (KJV) says,

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Christ wants us to observe all of His commandments. When He finds us fulfilling His teachings and commandments during His return, we will be considered blessed because we will receive a reward that He prepared for those who abided by His words.

As written in REVELATION 22:12 (KJV),

And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

Yes, Christ will come again. But let me reiterate, it is not going to be His second coming because He had already come to earth more than twice. For instance, during the time that the Israelites were in the wilderness, He was following them and He had shown Himself to them in the form of a rock.

1 CORINTHIANS 10:3-4 (KJV) says,

3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

The Lord Jesus Christ was the Rock that followed the Israelites, the Rock that provided them water to drink while they were in the wilderness. Meaning, before He manifested Himself in the flesh, He had already come to earth (in the form of a rock).

Another instance of His coming here was when Mary gave birth to Him, when He assumed human form, to redeem us from our sins.

And when He comes again, it will not just be His second coming.

Actually, in addition to the instances that I have cited, Christ had already been descending to earth and ascending back to heaven even before.

PROVERBS 30:4 (KJV) says,

Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell?

As we all know, all things were created by God and His Son. And during the creation, Christ had been descending to earth and ascending to heaven. Therefore, it is an impertinence to say that when Christ comes again, it will only be His second coming.

The Lord Jesus Christ shall come again. There is no doubt about that. But as to whether it is going to be His third, or fourth, or fifth “coming,” we do not exactly know. But one thing is for sure, it is not going to be His second coming, and it is not going to be the final judgment day yet. 


To Love Is to Let Others Live Safely

7/04/2020 , 19 Comments

Repentance and Cremation In Time of Covid 19

The whole world today is utterly helpless as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to pose a threat to humanity. Although experts never stop conducting clinical trials and research aimed at finding the right medicine and vaccine for this disease, it seems that the global health crisis is still yet to end, at least, not in the nearest future. 

As there is a limit to what humans can do, there is no question that what we need now is God’s divine intervention. There are things that are beyond the control of man but they can be controlled by God; and there are things that are beyond human capacity but they could easily be handled by the Almighty God.

In numberless occasions, God has proven His might and power to both believers and nonbelievers. For instance, during the time of Moses, many marvelous acts of God were witnessed by the Egyptians, who were then nonbelievers. When the pharaoh refused to set the Israelites free, God sent swarms of flies in the land of Egypt which filled the house of every Egyptian, including the pharaoh’s. The pharaoh called on Moses and requested him to entreat God to drive away the flies. Moses agreed on the condition that the pharaoh would liberate the Israelites at once.

Exodus 8:31 (KJV) says,

And the LORD did according to the word of Moses; and he removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people; there remained not one.

Considering how powerful a nation Egypt was at that time, yet, it was not able to do anything to drive away the swarms of flies. But when Moses prayed to God, all the flies were driven away and not a single fly was left.

Flies are among the creations of God. As the Creator of all living creatures, God has absolute control over all of them. Thus, He drove away not only the flies but even the locusts that went up over all of the lands of Egypt when the pharaoh continued to break his promise of freeing the Israelites.

Exodus 10:19 (KJV) says,

And the LORD turned a mighty strong west wind, which took away the locusts, and cast them into the Red sea; there remained not one locust in all the coasts of Egypt.

With a simple command coming from God, a mighty strong west wind blew and drove away the locusts and cast them into the Red Sea, and not one of them was left.

Undoubtedly, by God’s infinite power, He can also do the same with this new coronavirus that infests the world today; He can also drive it away, and cast it into another planet, perhaps. And why not? All viruses are too minute to resist the power of God.

However, let us first show God our genuine repentance for our transgressions and our willingness to accept and abide by His teachings. And when He sees our sincerity, He will surely grant us mercy and save us from this pestilence.

Plagues and pestilences come as consequences of man’s sinfulness. That is why our sincere repentance can be a factor for God to consider in putting an end to this plague. If we can only emulate what the people of Nineveh did, undoubtedly, we will also merit God’s mercy the way they did.

When they learned from the prophet Jonah that God was going to bring them destruction, the people of Nineveh wasted no time — they repented for their wrongdoings, they fasted, they turned away from their evil ways, and they fervently prayed to God. When God saw what the people of Nineveh did, from the king down to the lowliest of citizens, He withheld the destruction that was supposed to befall them, thus, the whole Nineveh was saved.

This is the reason why I am constantly appealing to everyone to pray unceasingly. Let us invoke God’s mercy as He is the most powerful and the mightiest of all. Only He can save us from this pandemic; only He has the power to drive away and even eradicate the deadly coronavirus.

At present, the number of fatalities still number in the thousands per day, and there are places where those who died of Covid-19 were no longer being given a proper burial.

Actually, this is not really the first time that such a thing has happened. Even the Bible mentions that there are dead people who were no longer buried anymore and their loved ones were not given the chance to lament and mourn for their deaths.

Jeremiah 25:32-33 (KJV) says,

32 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth.
33 And the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground.

Humanity had already experienced this during the previous pestilences, specifically, during the onslaught of the Spanish flu and the bubonic plague, when they buried all the dead in a mass grave without giving them traditional funeral or burial ceremonies. Families were likewise not given the chance to lament and mourn for their loved ones who passed away. And there is a very great possibility that the same thing will happen again in our generation.

As it is written in Ecclesiastes 3:15 (KJV),

That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.

What had happened in the past will happen again — there is a possibility that the good or bad things that had happened in the past will happen again to people. It all depends on our attitude toward our Creator and how we regard Him. If we are hard-hearted and rebellious to God, then bad things will be repeated; but if we return to God and show Him our genuine repentance and our desire to follow Him, then, good things will be repeated.

We can see that the world today is desperate in finding the vaccine that could fight Covid-19. But while there is still none, the best thing that we can do is to pray, aside from religiously observing the health protocols imposed by the government. Let us pray that we’ll be able to overcome this very difficult chapter of our existence, that is, if it is God’s will that we survive this pandemic. But if God wills it otherwise, we wholeheartedly accept it because our lives are in His hands. Besides, the Almighty God knows what is good for His servants.

As it is written in Romans 8:28 (KJV),

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.

God can turn all things for the good of those who love Him; to love God is to obey His commandments, and one of which is to love our fellowmen.

Many nations have made it compulsory for all those who died of Covid-19 be cremated. Probably not everyone wants to have their loved ones who passed away be cremated but, nonetheless, they have to yield to the directive of health experts since it is one way to help stop the contagion. Because if they insist in observing their traditional burial rites, there is a great possibility that the family members and all of the people who would condole with them, will get infected.

Actually, the practice of cremation or the burning of a deceased body dates back to the time of the Old Testament. However, it was done under a different circumstance. If today, the Covid-19 victims are cremated to prevent the virus from infecting more people, during the time of the Israelites, to be burned with fire was God’s punishment to those who committed a vile or a wicked act.

Leviticus 20:14 (KJV) 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.

A man taking both mother and her daughter to become his wives is an abomination to God. Hence, the three of them – the man, the mother and her daughter – are punished with death by being burned with fire.

Giving this kind of punishment was God’s way of deterring the Israelites from committing any abominable act, and for them to develop fear in God.

However, not all dead were burnt; there were also cases wherein the body of the dead was buried, like what they did to King Asa.

2 Chronicles 16:12, 14 (KJV) says,

12 And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians.
14 And they buried him in his own sepulchers, which he had made for himself in the city of David, and laid him in the bed which was filled with sweet odours and divers kinds of spices prepared by the apothecaries’ art: and they made a very great burning for him.

Lazarus, also, whom the Lord Jesus Christ resurrected, was also interred in a tomb.

In our present situation, cremation of people who died because of COVID-19 seems to be both a logical and noble thing to do. If you care about the welfare of other people, if you truly love them, you will sacrifice personal sentiments in favor of the safety of many.

We have a biblical basis in doing that.

1 Corinthians 13:3 (NKJV) says,

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profits me nothing.

If, because of your love to your fellowmen, you give your body to be burned because you do not want to infect others, you are doing something very heroic. It is, in fact, a gesture of love.

There are instances when people were burned because they stood by their faith and principle. Like what happened to the 300,000 people, mostly Christians, who were burned because they refused to embrace the Catholic faith.

In fact, before Pope John Paul II died, he begged forgiveness for the cruelty that the Catholic Church had committed against those people. It was published in the Foreign Post, March 16-20, 2000; Volume 8, No. 370.

“PLEASE FORGIVE US. THE VATICAN — Pope John Paul II, embracing the Crucifix in Saint Peter’s Basilica in penance — in a public confession unprecedented in the history of the Roman Catholic Church — begged forgiveness on Sunday for the sins of the church over the past 2000 years. The pontiff referred specifically to the Crusades and to the 300,000 people who were burned at the stake in the Inquisition.”

Those who were against the Catholic Church, those who did not want to worship false gods and idols were regarded as heretics; thus, they were burned at the stake through what they called Holy Inquisition.

In itself, there is really nothing wrong with cremation, or having one’s body burned, especially so if you are doing it because of your love for others. At least, even in death, you were still able to do something for the good of your fellowmen because you love them; and because you love them, you do not want to infect them.

To further emphasize the importance of love for others, let me cite again 1 Corinthians 13:3 (NKJV), which says,

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profits me nothing.

If you have love, you will let others live safely.


Hypocrisy of Fake Religious Leaders Unlocked by a Pandemic

6/27/2020 , 43 Comments

Fake Religious Leaders Flanking in Pandemic

Staying at home is, indeed, one effective measure against the spread of Covid-19. However, many citizens are compelled to go out despite the risks because they worry about the needs of their respective families, especially their need for daily sustenance.

The truth is that if we will just join hands in helping our underprivileged fellowmen, nobody would starve; nobody would die of hunger.

We, in the Church of God International, are aware of the tough ordeal many people are going through while the lockdowns and community quarantines are in effect. So in our own humble way, we try our best to provide our brothers and sisters in faith and even our fellowmen with their essential needs like food and medicines. We have also put up a 24/7 digital clinic that will address their health-related problems.

In this global health crisis, so much can be done by different religious organizations in easing the burden of the government and in alleviating the hardships of our fellowmen, or at least, even just their respective members and followers. This is the time wherein they can show their members that they really care for their welfare and that they are not only after collecting monetary contributions from them. They can always provide for their day-to-day subsistence and perhaps, even a small amount of money.

But aside from giving material things, this is also the best time for religious leaders who claim to be apostles and Christs, to go out of their fortresses and use their power — which they claim to possess — to stop this plague and heal the people battling for their lives in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Now is their chance to prove that they are real and not simply usurpers.

If they are real apostles and real Christs, healing the sick and eradicating the virus should be very easy for them to do. But how come they are not doing anything? Don’t they care for the people who suffer and die? Why are they playing deaf and blind to the woes of the Covid-19 patients? Their silence and inaction only mean that they are not real Christs and real apostles, but false Christs and fake apostles. It only means that they are really without any power — that they are as helpless like ordinary people, and they themselves are scared of this deadly virus. And in their fear to get infected, they no longer go out of their havens.

Now we can clearly see that these boastful preachers and religious leaders are a bunch of liars. They brag that they are capable of performing wondrous acts, that they can give commands to angels, that they can do this and that—but where are they now? There, in their mansions and palaces! What have they done? Nothing!

For instance, one religious leader, who claims to be an appointed — shall I say self-appointed — boasts of so many things such as stopping earthquakes. But where is he now and what has he done? If he can really stop an earthquake, then he can easily stop this virus from spreading all the more. But why can’t he and why doesn’t he? It is because he is a false Christ! And what he brags about are nothing but delusions.

How about those pastors and priests who claim that they can heal even terminal cases by simply laying hands on the sick? Where are they, too? Why don’t they go to hospitals where there are Covid-19 patients even in hallways and corridors? It is over half a year now since the onset of this health crisis and so many lives have been lost, and yet not one of them has come out and volunteered to lay hands on people. Why? It is because they are all fake healers and not faith healers!

Evidently, even the religious leaders today are shaken and terrified by this pandemic; hence, they cower in their strongholds like women.

As it is written in Jeremiah 51:30 (KJV),

The mighty men of Babylon have forborn to fight, they have remained in their holds: their might hath failed; they became as women: they have burned their dwellingplaces; her bars are broken.

Had this pandemic happened during the time of the Lord Jesus Christ and the apostles, they will surely go out of their way to reach all those who are infected and heal them because they truly have the power to heal the sick.

During the time when the real Christ was still on earth, He cured all kinds of illnesses; He even resurrected the dead. The same was true for the real apostles.

Matthew 10:1 (KJV) says,

And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.

The apostles were likewise given by God the power to heal all illnesses and diseases without exceptions — this means that their power to heal would have included Covid-19. Like the real Christ, they were also able to bring to life a person who had already died, unlike the false Christs and false apostles that proliferate in this dispensation.

But none of us in the Church of God International have made any claims that we are apostles or that we are Christ. We also never claimed that we have the power to heal any illness. Whenever one of us gets sick, we pray to God; we implore His mercy. And when we get well, we acknowledge that it was God who healed us because we believe that our lives are in His hands.

As it is written in Deuteronomy 32:39 (KJV),

See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.

In these perilous times, our only hope is God’s mercy; there’s nobody else that we can turn to but God so let us always pray for His mercy. By His mercy, and if it is not against His will, we will be able to get through this global health crisis.

Right now, even those who do not believe in God can feel His might and power. When God sends a plague, its impact can be felt by the whole world.

With the things happening now, I really couldn’t help but be reminded of one of the revelations given to John.

In Revelation 6:8, it says,

And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. (KJV)

And I saw, and behold, a pale horse, and its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him; and they were given power over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth. (RSV)

The horseman that sat on the pale horse was given the power to kill the fourth part of the earth through different means like sword or war, famine, pestilences or plagues, and the wild beasts of the earth.

The virus that attacks humanity now is said to have come from bats, snakes, and pangolins, which are among the unclean and the abominable wild animals. It is probable that the virus that was in bats merged with the virus that was in snakes, and this hybrid virus that is now in the snakes merged with the virus in pangolins. All of them are wild animals; they are not domesticated. And they are not supposed to be put in the same place. Unfortunately, they were all available in one market in Wuhan, China, where a new coronavirus with extraordinary strength, the Covid-19, developed. And this coronavirus mutates so fast, unlike an ordinary virus whose mutation normally takes years to happen.

I am keenly observing the things that happen in the world today, and afterward, refer to the circumstances mentioned in Revelation 6:8. Aside from this current plague, there are also wars and strife everywhere — they can be seen among nations and within nations. People hunger. There is unrest. If what we are experiencing now is already the plague brought by the horseman on the pale horse, it would mean a great loss in terms of human lives as he had been given power over the fourth part of the earth. Meaning, if the world’s population today is about eight billion, it would mean the death of about two billion people.

We can only hope and pray that this isn’t yet the doing of the horseman on the pale horse. But of course, if it is the will of God, we are not against it. In the first place, we know that all of us are decreed to die.

Our only desire now, while God is giving us the opportunity, is to continue preaching the gospel — to convince people to develop faith and fear in God, teach them to love their fellowmen, inspire them to spend their God-given lives purposefully, and eventually, lead them to serving God so that they will be worthy of salvation.

May God help us and have mercy upon us all! May He heal the sick. May He heal our land.


In Uncertain Times, God’s Name Is Our Refuge

6/20/2020 , 17 Comments

God’s name is our refuge in times of uncertainty

The Covid-19 pandemic caught the whole world by surprise; no nation expected that it would come and nobody was ever prepared for it. So many lives had been lost, and we do not know how many more people would lose theirs due to this illness.

People ask why many have died of this new coronavirus. The answer is simple: It is because the Bible speaks of a time to kill and a time to die.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-3 (KJV) says,

1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3 A time to kill, a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

The season and time under heaven being referred to are the seasons and time here on earth, not in the kingdom of God in heaven because there is only one season there.

The seasons are part of nature’s law, and here on earth, there is a season and a time for everything and for every purpose — such as a time to be born, a time to die, and a time to kill, to name some.

As far as we are concerned, our time to be born had come but our time to die is yet to come. People die but they die in different ways. While many die the natural and peaceful way, there are some who die in an extraordinary manner — either it could be a gory death or the person has to languish in bed for a long time while going through many difficulties and discomfort before succumbing to death, like what happened to some of the victims of Covid-19.

I believe that in this generation, many are destined to die in this pandemic. The global death toll has reached hundreds of thousands and the number of deaths is still growing by the day. This is a fulfillment of what the Bible says: there is a time to die . . . there is a time to kill.

In general, all men want to live long lives. Although it is not for man to decree his lifespan, he can hope for a long life if he develops fear in the Lord.

As it is written in Proverbs 10:27 (KJV),

The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.

Even if there is an appointed time for people to die, there is still a hundred percent possibility that God will prolong their lives if, before their appointed time to die comes, they were able to develop faith and fear in Him. In other words, God may delay or postpone the death of people. And that is very possible since time and seasons are under His administration; and by His mercy, He may prolong the days of those who fear Him.

The Bible also has specific admonitions for children to live long.

Ephesians 6:1-3 (KJV) says,

1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
2 Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;
3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

According to the words of God, children who are obedient and respectful to their parents are promised long lives. We can expect that this promise will be fulfilled because the words of God can never be false — they are always true.

If for children, the key to having long lives is to be respectful and obedient to their parents, for us sinners, it is in our repentance for our sins and in our fear and obedience to God.

So, if you want to be saved from this pandemic that we are facing right now, if you want to live much longer, and if you want to see better days ahead, repent for the sins that you have committed, abide by the words of God, turn away from your wicked ways, and start living a righteous life.

Perhaps, this global health crisis is really bound to happen because so many people now no longer fear God; perhaps this is a wake-up call to all of them.

It is just very disappointing that in crucial times like this, there are still people who take advantage of the plight of their fellowmen. There are those who hoard goods and sell them at higher prices. And worse, there are some officials of local government units who even try to get a cut or a share from the financial assistance provided by the national government to impoverished families—some of these officials were found to just give half of the correct amount meant for the poor families. What gross heartlessness!

It has been more than half a year now since the Covid-19 outbreak. By this time, most people seem to be sick and tired of community quarantines and complain about their restricted mobility. People want an end to this health crisis and want to go back to their regular way of life. However, it will only happen if the virus is contained and prevented from spreading. To achieve this, everybody’s cooperation is required. But as long as some citizens continue to be headstrong, defiant, and uncooperative with the measures employed by the government—like wearing face masks and staying at home instead of gallivanting—then community quarantines are here to stay. So let us just cooperate. It is better to sacrifice and endure a little hardship now while there is no cure for Covid-19 yet, than spend the rest of your lives in fear and misery.

What we need now is a concerted effort geared towards the common good. We need to help each other. We need to help the government. And we also have to do our share, no matter how small it is, in easing the difficulty of our current situation.

On our end, although our primary aim is to share with the people the teachings of God and the Lord Jesus Christ written in the Bible, we know that we have a moral obligation to do good deeds unto all men. That is why we in the Church of God International, with God’s help, are doing our best in augmenting the needs of our fellowmen.

For instance, in cooperation with UNTV News and Rescue, we are able to offer those with health concerns a 24/7 digital consultation with doctors whose services are being given for free.

We also distribute bags of relief goods and other essentials, not only to our brethren in faith but also to other people regardless of their religions. And we deliver them right on their doorsteps so that they wouldn’t need to go out of their dwellings. After all, in going out, there is always a risk of acquiring the virus.

Moreover, our brethren are constantly reminded to exercise extra caution, observe all of the health protocols, and listen to the directives of the government. Above all, we constantly remind our brethren to always pray to God and implore His divine intervention.

Nobody knows until when Covid-19 is going to wreak havoc to humanity. With this uncertainty ahead of us, our only refuge is the name of the Lord. So let us not fail to call upon His name and let us always ask for His mercy. Let us pray that the “time to die” and the “time to kill” come to pass at the soonest possible time, and may the “time to heal” be at hand. The whole world needs the kind of healing that only God and the Lord Jesus Christ can give. AMEN!


God’s Compassion Is Unfailing

6/13/2020 , 18 Comments

Prayers amid the pandemic

If there is one thing that we should not neglect to do every day of our lives, it is to constantly pray and give thanks to God. 

When we wake up each morning, our first utterance should be an expression of gratitude to God; we should be thankful for a brand-new day that He has given us because every new morning signifies His unfailing mercy and compassion toward us. 

Lamentations 3:22-23 (KJV) says, 

22 It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not,
23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

In distressful times like this, when the whole world is beset by a plague, we need God’s mercy and compassion now more than ever. Many people die daily and we just have to be exceedingly thankful that God does not allow us to be one of them. By His unfailing mercy and compassion, we continue to live, be safe, and still enjoy the company of our loved ones. And it is also because of His mercy and help that we are able to overcome the challenges, uncertainties, and problems that we get confronted with each day.  

God’s mercy and compassion are new every morning. That is why, for every new morning that God gives us, we can also expect His compassion and mercy. It is because of His mercy that we are being spared from the annihilation that is caused by this plague. 

There is indeed an annihilation and destruction that will come to the wicked — to the people who are disobedient and rebellious to God. 

But those who acknowledge and fear God can expect His mercy and compassion, which are given afresh to them every new morning. 

People who are under the care of God and the Lord Jesus Christ are assured of protection — and this assurance has been given by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. 

In John 10:28-29 (KJV), it says, 

28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

But those who do not believe in God, those who mock the Bible the way the atheists do, and those whose belief in God is nothing but lip service and is never manifested in deeds, are all destined to perish and to be destroyed.

As it is written in 2 Peter 2:12 (KJV),

But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;

We just pray to God that before it is too late — before destruction comes to ungodly people — that faith in God and in the Lord Jesus Christ would spring in their hearts at the soonest possible time so that they will be saved.

As this plague continues to infest the world today, we are not certain if we will still be alive tomorrow or in the days to come. We are not sure if we will already be among the hundreds of thousands whose lives have been taken by this illness. We know that each of us is appointed to die, and it is just a question of who is going to die first.

King David had full knowledge that all men are bound to die and that our lives are in the hands of God. That was why when he learned that his newborn son by another woman had been decreed to die, he fasted and prayed to God for his son’s life.

But when God’s decree came to pass, when the infant’s death finally came, he ended his fasting and went into the house of the Lord and worshipped Him — a gesture of his submission to the will of God. He knew that he could not bring his child back to life again; he also knew that when the appointed time comes, he, too, would die.

2 Samuel 12:23 (KJV) says,

But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.

The people of God know that one day, they will die; it is a decree unto all men.

As it is written in Hebrews 9:27 (KJV),

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

All men are appointed to die. But we should not pray, nor wish, for the death of our fellowmen even if they happen to be the most bitter of our enemies. We are admonished to pray for the betterment of our enemies — not for their deaths or misfortune. But we cannot help that there are really people whose joy is in destroying the reputation of others and in spreading fake news about them on social media. I, myself, am a victim of such kind of people. They malign my person — they even posted that I was seriously ill and dying on social media.

I am wondering if these people don’t have any better things to do. Instead of preoccupying themselves with nonsensical things like fabricating and spreading fake news, why don’t they try doing something that will benefit our fellowmen — especially now when millions of people are suffering and are in dire need of help?

I am also appealing to some media personalities, politicians, and leaders of government. Instead of faultfinding and mudslinging, why don’t you join hands and work together for the common good? This is not the time to be critical and antagonistic of each other; this is also not the time to think about political ambitions or other personal agendas. This is the time to be united, not only in fighting our battle against this pandemic but also in extending a helping hand to those who have been adversely affected by the lockdowns and community quarantines imposed by the government.

Because of the lockdowns, many people today endure hunger; many rely only on the relief goods being given to them for their daily subsistence. There are senior citizens who need maintenance medications but cannot purchase them. There are babies and infants who need formula milk and diapers but are unable to have any because their parents lack money. And there are also some who already suffer from depression because they are unable to cope with the problems and difficulties that they are experiencing.

This is why instead of wasting time, effort, and financial resources in political propaganda, in criticizing a political foe, or in spreading fake news on social media, it is better that we use our time in alleviating the hardship of these distressed and poverty-stricken citizens. A little help can make a lot of difference to them.

The government needs everybody’s help and cooperation in addressing this contagion and in looking after the welfare of the people. Although the government is exhausting all possible means of providing citizens with their basic necessities, the government can only do so much. The government’s resources are limited, in fact, it is already depleting, The government therefore needs the help of the private sector — most especially the help of the religious sector.

It’s high time that the leaders of different religious organizations, these individuals who claim to be Christians, prove to their members that they truly care for them and that they are not only after their monetary contributions. Religious organizations whose leaders and ministers live in pomp and affluence should provide, at least, the basic needs of their respective members. And since they do not pay taxes to the government, the least that they can do is to take care of the needs of their poor members, whether these needs be material or financial in nature.

One thing that I am truly proud of about our religious organization, the Church of God International, is that though we may be poor and lowly in the eyes of others, we see to it that none of our brethren in faith will starve, beg for food, or die unattended. Our fellow Church workers have been instructed to check on the welfare of our poor brothers and sisters in their respective places of assignment, and provide them with their essential needs like food and medicines.

My point is, in our own little way, we can ease the burden of our underprivileged fellowmen and we can be partners of the government in its relief operations.

Even as ordinary citizens, we can contribute in preventing the spread of this new coronavirus by being responsive and compliant to the directives of government officials and health experts. If they tell us to stay home and to not gallivant, then let us stay home. If they decide to further extend the quarantine period, let us not oppose it. It is for our own good.

Actually, the idea of quarantine or self-isolation has a biblical basis.

Leviticus 13:46 (KJV) says,

All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled; he is unclean: he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his habitation be.

To prevent the plague from spreading, the Israelites were commanded to “dwell alone.”

In another book, they were instructed to go inside their chambers and be in isolation until the plague has passed.

Isaiah 26:20 (KJV) says,

Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.

We can say that the measures being imposed by the government and health authorities today are not really new; they are as old as the Old Testament.

In 2 Chronicles 26:21 (KJV) it says,

And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the LORD: and Jotham his son was over the king’s house, judging the people of the land.

Until the day of his death, King Uzziah lived in isolation because he had leprosy. He distanced himself from the rest of the people so that he would not infect them.

Considering that Covid-19 is more fatal and more easily transmitted than leprosy, then all the more that this generation should practice self-quarantine or self-isolation. Let us strictly observe the health protocols that the people in authority have recommended. Staying at home is the best way of not getting infected. But should you manifest certain symptoms, consult health professionals immediately, even through different platforms of communication which are already being utilized now. UNTV, for instance, has a 24/7 digital clinic wherein you can consult doctors about your health concerns without needing to go out of your home.

Indeed, the imposition of lockdowns and quarantines have their setbacks, especially to ordinary employees and daily wage earners. But it’s just a matter of making the right choices. It is much better that you stay home and experience hunger once in a while, at least, you are safe and are still alive. Do not complain about getting bored at home. Why will you get bored when you are with your loved ones? Make the most of the community quarantine period by bonding with your family. It doesn’t matter if your pockets are empty now; your life is worth more than a pocket-full of money. If you insist on going out and trying to earn a living, you are risking your safety and also the safety of the other members of your family. For all you know, the money that you’ll be earning will just be spent for your hospitalization should you catch this deadly virus. And when you get infected, there is no guarantee that you’ll be able to recover, so why take chances when you can be safe by staying at home?

But aside from taking all the necessary precautionary measures, our most potent weapon is our prayers to the Almighty God. In every opportunity that is given us — morning, noon, afternoon, evening — let us pray for God’s mercy. Remember, God’s mercy and compassion are unfailing for those who fear and believe in Him; they are new every new morning.

So, each morning that we wake up, let us not fail to give thanks to God for giving us another opportunity to receive His mercy. It is because of His mercy that we are still alive until now.

Thanks be to God! 


There Is Nothing to Worry About If We Obey God

6/06/2020 , 13 Comments

Keeping Hope Alive Despite Pandemic

One of the distinguishing hallmarks of real Christians is that they are not easily disheartened by unpleasant things that come their way. In the midst of troubles and worries, real Christians maintain a certain level of composure and serenity in spirit. This is not because they are unaffected by adversities. As people who acknowledge and fear God, in their hearts, they trust that whatever happens, the end result is always for the good of those who love God.

Romans 8:28 (KJV) says,

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

If we genuinely love, fear, revere, and obey God, we should look at everything that happens on the principle that God allowed such things to happen for the good of those who love Him. And who are those who love God?

1 John 5:3 (KJV) says,

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

They who love God are those who obey His commandments. Our obedience to God’s commandments is a manifestation that we love Him because to love God is to keep His commandments. So, if we truly love God — that is, if we obey His commandments and base our faith in the teachings of the Bible — we will not say that bad things happen to us. Bad things happen to those who are disobedient to God.

During the time of the Israelites, God gave them a warning that if they would not observe all of His commandments and statutes, curses, plagues, and pestilences shall come upon them. The intent of the warning was not to inflict them with suffering, but to deter them from doing evil things.

We can say that when unpleasant things like plagues or pestilences happen, God is actually calling the attention of the disobedient and the evildoers so that they could depart from their wicked ways. But if they opt to take His warning for granted, they will surely suffer the consequences of their disobedience. And one of its consequences is the occurrence of plagues.

In Deuteronomy 28:22, God enumerated the curses and plagues that would befall those who are disobedient to Him. “The LORD shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish.” (KJV)

God wants them to be obedient to His commandments so that the above-mentioned curses and plagues would not come upon them.

If we are going to look around us today, we can see that a lot of people have become very disobedient to God. They disregard His words; they do not fear Him. They are indulged, not in spiritual matters but in worldly pleasures — in materialism and in all kinds of vices. Their way of life and preoccupations are practically similar to that of the people during the time of Noah and the people in Sodom and Gomorrah.

During those times, one could hardly find people who are obedient to God; they were very rare. That was why when God sent them destruction, only very few people were saved.

1 Peter 3:20 (KJV) says,

Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

During the time of Noah, only eight souls were saved from the flood; in Sodom and Gomorrah, only three were saved from the fire — Lot and his two daughters.

Even during the time of Elias, only one widow was saved from a great famine.

Luke 4:25-27 (KJV) says,

25 But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;
26 But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.

Like famine, leprosy is also a kind of plague. During the time of the prophet Eliseus, so many people in Israel suffered from leprosy. But among the many lepers, only Naamon was cleansed while all of the others died of the illness.

27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.

Today, the entire world is beleaguered by another plague, a pandemic caused by a novel coronavirus called Covid-19. Each day, the number of Covid-19 positives all over the world keeps growing, and what scares many people is that the vaccine that could fight this virus is yet to be formulated.

In our previous articles, it has been discussed that there are two possible reasons behind the occurrence of plagues. First, they may be sent by God because of man’s rebelliousness and disobedience to Him; or second, they may be caused by the horseman riding the pale horse (Revelation 6:8).

In a revelation given to John two thousand years ago, he saw a horseman riding a pale horse who has been tasked to kill with a sword, with hunger, and with beasts of the earth. The havoc that he will create is of great magnitude as he has been given the power to kill a fourth of the earth.

If this Covid-19 pandemic is caused by the horseman riding the pale horse, Satan is definitely behind him as Satan wants the destruction of all men. However, if this is a result of man’s wickedness and disobedience to God, we can always repent, pray to God, and invoke His forgiveness and mercy.

Actually, if this plague is caused by the horseman riding the pale horse, the more that we should ask for God’s intervention because He has the power to control the deadliest of viruses and the most devastating of plagues. Let us also pray that this is not yet the worst of the plagues that had been prophesied in the Bible.

But whoever and whatever caused this plague, I am definite that this is not going to make all men perish and this is not going to mark the end of this earth yet. It is because the Bible still speaks of a 1,000-year reign of the Lord Jesus Christ on earth, and the start of the 1,000- year reign will commence when He returns.

I look at the 1,000-year reign of Christ on earth as a grace period for people to repent, have faith, and accept the teachings of God and the Lord Jesus Christ. And there is a great possibility that such will happen because, while the Lord Jesus Christ is reigning, Satan will be incarcerated to prevent him from deceiving more people.

Revelation 20:3 (KJV) says,

And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

When the Lord Jesus Christ returns, He shall resurrect His holy servants, and they shall reign with Him for 1,000 years. This is called the first resurrection.

Revelation 20:5 (KJV) says,

But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

In the first resurrection, not all the dead shall be resurrected but only those who died in Christ. It will only be after the 1,000 years that the rest of the dead shall be resurrected. Those who will be part of the first resurrection are considered blessed and holy because the second death no longer has power over them.

Revelation 20:6 (KJV) says,

Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

The Covid-19 is not yet the plague that is brought by the horseman riding the pale horse that will kill a fourth part of humanity. The Lord God will still allow humanity to be ruled by Christ and His holy servants for 1,000 years.

The good news is that in the 1,000-year reign of Christ, there will be no more plagues; children will get to live their lives to the fullest because no child will die without reaching one hundred years old.

As it is written in Isaiah 65:20 (KJV),

There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.

But a sinner, on the other hand, who reaches one hundred years old will be accursed.

The ones who will be included in the first resurrection shall be made kings and priests unto God.

Revelation 1:3-6 (KJV) says,

3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;
5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

And they shall reign with Christ on earth for 1,000 years.

Revelation 20:4 (KJV) says,

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

Let me reiterate that when Christ returns, the earth will not be destroyed yet; it will continue to exist until the 1,000 years are over. The return of the Lord Jesus Christ does not mark the end of the world — what it marks is the first resurrection, or the resurrection of Christ’s faithful servants who will be made kings and priests. And they shall reign here on earth.

Revelation 5:8-10 (KJV) says,

8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

This is contrary to the belief of the INC of Manalo that Christ’s reign shall not take place here on earth but in the clouds, because they believe that when Christ returns, this earth will already be destroyed. In their television program, their minister even had the nerve to object sarcastically to my statement that Christ is going to reign here on earth when He returns.

The INC of Manalo believes that this whole world will be burned upon the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is not true! If that were true, over whom will Christ and His saints reign during the 1,000-year period? And what will happen to those who were not included in the first resurrection? Obviously, they know nothing about the 1,000-year reign of Christ on earth which will begin when He returns.

It is clearly stated in the Bible that when the Lord Jesus Christ returns, He will resurrect those who died fulfilling the will of God, and they shall reign with Him on earth for 1,000 years.

In the 1,000-year period, Christ and His saints shall reign over the people who are still alive on earth during that time. These are people who have not yet heard of Christ’s teachings, people who do not yet believe in God and in the Lord Jesus Christ — and there are a lot of them. What I am trying to point out is that life on earth continues throughout the duration of the 1,000-year reign of Christ.

If you are going to believe the claim of the INC of Manalo that when Christ returns this world will already be burned, it would mean that those who were not included in the first resurrection will no longer be resurrected; they would all be burned. And Christ and His saints will just be floating in the clouds as they reign for a thousand years. That’s ridiculous!

But I cannot completely blame the ministers of the INC of Manalo for thinking that way because they were just verbalizing the teachings that they’ve received from the founder of their church, Felix Manalo.

“Sa dalawang sunod na lathala tungkol sa paksang ito ay maliwanag na ating natiyak, sa pamamagitan ng mga hula sa Banal na Kasulatan, na si Kapatid na Felix Manalo, ay huling sugo ng Diyos sa wakas ng lupa. Kaya huling sugo, gaya nang ating napag-aralan, ay sapagka't pagkatapos ng gawaing kanyang isinasagawa, samakatuwid baga'y ng pangangaral ng mga dalisay na salita ng Diyos, ay wala nang iba pang sugong darating kundi ang kakila-kilabot ng paghuhukom o ang katapusan ng pag-iral ng sanlibutang ito.”

English Translation: “In the next two publications about this topic, we have clearly assured, through the prophecies of the Holy Scriptures, that Brother Felix Manalo is the last messenger of God on earth. He is the last messenger because, as we have studied, after doing the works which he has done, that is the preaching of the pure words of God, there will be no other messenger who will come but instead the fearful judgement or the end of this world.”

They believe that Felix Manalo is the last messenger and that there would be no other messenger that is to come after him. And according to their official publication, once his preaching is completed, the end of this world or judgment day shall also come. That is a very wrong teaching and it is without any biblical basis.

I repeat, according to the Bible, Christ shall reign on earth for a thousand years, which will begin when He returns. He will reign over billions of people who were not included in what many call as “rapture.”

This 1,000-year period is going to be blissful because, as mentioned earlier, there is no Satan who would interfere and deceive mankind as he will be imprisoned; humanity will enjoy a plague-free life; man will live until he is a hundred years old; and all corrupt governments in the world shall be destroyed.

And most of all, that 1,000 years will give more people a chance to salvation as this also serves as a chance for nonbelievers to know Christ and to have faith in Him through the Gospel which will also be preached everywhere — even in places where the Bible and the preaching of Christianity are prohibited today, like in India, the Middle East, and in some other countries where false gods are being worshipped.

And after the 1,000-year grace period, all of the dead people who have not been included in the first resurrection shall be resurrected to face judgment. After which, the devil and all the enemies of God will be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone. And it is only after all these that this earth shall be destroyed.

As it is written in Revelation 20:10-12 (KJV),

10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

The reason why I am patiently and meticulously explaining all these things is because I want to give hope to people; I want to make people realize that the plagues that humanity experiences would not totally annihilate mankind. Not all men will die yet because the Lord Jesus Christ will still return and He will reign on earth for 1,000 years.

I am explaining all these especially for the sake of those who do not yet believe in Christ. By sharing with them the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ, we as Christians are able to extend our love to them, with a hope that one day they would also develop faith in Him.

We have to be instruments in introducing Christ and the Christian faith to them. Or if they get the chance to live much longer, if they would still be alive when the Lord Jesus Christ returns and be amongst the people whom Christ and His saints shall reign over in the coming 1,000 years, we hope that with Christ reigning, they will believe and accept His teachings and be among those who will merit salvation.

While the world’s battle against Covid-19 continues, we should always exercise extra caution; we should always pray for God’s protection because we cannot do anything if God will not protect us. But we also have to do our share in protecting ourselves because in doing so, we are also protecting our loved ones.

But even if this global health crisis persists much longer, let us keep the feeling of hope alive in our hearts. There is hope for us who fear and love God. And no matter what happens, let us hold on to what the Lord said — “All things work together for the good of them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.”

In Spanish, “Y sabemos que todas las cosas cooperan juntas para el bien de los que aman a Dios, los que son llamados segun su proposito.”

In Portuguese, “Sabemos que todas as coisas cooperam para o bem daqueles que amam a Deus, daqueles que sao chamados Segundo o seu proposito.”

Whatever is happening in the world today, it is part of our faith to believe that this is for the good of those who fear and love God. AMEN.