The Biblical Truth About Christ's Date of Birth

12/25/2020 23 Comments

The unheard truth about the birth date of Christ

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

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

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

According to 1 Corinthians 4:6 (KJV),

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


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

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

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

Luke 2:7-8 (KJV) says,

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


23 Comments:

The Old Path Is for the Wicked? Look Who’s Talking.

12/18/2020 15 Comments

Is the old path for the wicked

Because of people’s familiarity with our radio and television program Ang Dating Daan or The Old Path — the broadcast arm of the Members Church of God International (MCGI) in heralding the teachings of God and the Lord Jesus Christ written in the Bible — some people in the Philippines also call our congregation by the title of our program. For them, MCGI is Ang Dating Daan, and vice versa.

For being in the airwaves for four decades now, the program Ang Dating Daan has gained much popularity and distinction that many of our brethren were converted through their patronage of the said program. Those who tune in and listen to my preaching inevitably develop biblical understanding and a desire to be part of our congregation. So, without any hesitation, they leave their respective religions and join the Church of God International.

And since other religious organizations consistently experience an exodus of members in favor of our group, their leaders and frontline men have joined efforts in maligning my person and our organization — all in their desire to discourage people from joining MCGI, or Ang Dating Daan, as they call our group.

One of the things that they use against us is the statement of Eliphaz the Temanite, in the Book of Job. It must be remembered that at the height of Job’s sufferings from so much afflictions, Eliphaz came and reproached him instead of giving him some consoling and uplifting words.

In Job 22:15 (KJV), Eliphaz asked Job, 

Hast thou marked the old way which wicked men have trodden? 


Please note that those were the words of Eliphaz and not of God. Eliphaz was asking Job if he would still continue to walk upon the old way, (translated in Filipino as “ang dating daan”) which, according to him, was trodden by wicked men.  

It can be inferred from Eliphaz’s words that Job was treading the old way, or ang dating daan; otherwise, he would not have asked him that question. But bear in mind that Job was not wicked. In fact, God Himself described him as perfect, upright, God-fearing, and not an evil-doer (Job 1:8). 

After a lengthy discussion and exchange of reasoning between Job and Eliphaz, God spoke in anger. 

Job 42:7 (KJV) says, 

And it was so, that after the Lord had spoken these words unto Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.


God was displeased, and His anger was kindled by the things that Eliphaz and his two friends had spoken. Eliphaz, therefore, can be considered as an enemy of God because he spoke of things which were against the will of God.

Actually, Eliphaz’s accusation that the old way is trodden by wicked men — which was why he was urging Job to stop walking in it — is against God’s own pronouncement written in the Book of Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 6:16 (KJV) says,  

Thus saith the LORD, Stand in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls...


Very clearly, for God, treading the old path, (or ang dating daan), is not bad. In fact, He was even instructing His people to walk therein because it is where the good way is, and it is where they shall find respite for their souls. 

It also follows that those who walk in the old path are not wicked because they are the ones who abide by God’s instruction. Unfortunately, our detractors who hardly understand the context of Job 22:15 use it against us. They capitalize on the words of Eliphaz, an enemy of God, to make it appear that those who are part of Ang Dating Daan (referring to our group), are wicked. That is a big lie! 

The members of the Church of God International, or Ang Dating Daan as called by many, are not wicked; in truth, our brethren are known for being meek, compassionate, kind-hearted, and God-fearing, and the people with whom they have dealt can attest to this.  

Even court records can attest that we do not have any member who is a murderer, unlike in other religions whose members brutally kill even for petty reasons, like an altercation during a basketball game. 

This was what some members of a church founded in the Philippines did to their opponents in a basketball game. They inflicted them with beastly forms of torture until they were lifeless, and then threw their dead bodies in the Pasig River. Actually, their church leaders utilized their resources and connections in defending them. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court found them guilty beyond reasonable doubt. 


We do not do such things in the Church of God. Our brethren are well-taught of Christian virtues and they are one with the Church administration in promoting faith, hope, and love to all men through the preaching of the Gospel and through the public services and charity works that we do.

Admittedly, we have a lot of detractors, I, most especially. All of them want to put me down; they all want to silence me because my preaching of the undefiled Gospel wreaks havoc to their respective organizations. The moment that their members begin to listen to my broadcasts, they are unstoppable in finding their way out of their religion.

Presently, their crusade is to discredit me and our group, using different social media platforms. One of them even accused me of simply making up stories in my preaching. That is a blatant lie!

To preach of falsehood is one thing that I never have done and will never do. But instead of defending myself, I would rather let other people (whom I do not personally know) and other prestigious organizations speak on my behalf if my preaching is really without credence.


Whenever I preach, be it on radio, television, or social media, I see to it that everything that I say is always factual, supported by pieces of evidence, and is Bible-based; I never concoct stories. I make sure that the things that I say are sensible, relevant, and enlightening. Otherwise, reputable award-giving groups would not have acknowledged and recognized my undertakings.

Allow me to cite a few of these recognitions. During the 3rd Annual Open Mashable Awards in 2009, my blog site esoriano.wordpress.com was awarded the Most Educational to Follow; during the 4th Annual Gawad Amerika in 2006, our program Ang Dating Daan was awarded as the Most Informative Religious Program; and during the 10th Annual Gawad Amerika in 2011, Ang Dating Daan was awarded as the Best Religious Program.

Indeed, these recognitions give us immense pride and honor, however, we know that we could not have achieved any of them if not for the help and guidance of God. So, unto Him we offer all the honor and glory.

As we in the Church of God International are guided by biblical truths, we are aware that until the end, there would still be people whose major preoccupations are to spread lies, deceive and mislead people, and bring them to perdition.

But with God’s help, we will not allow such people to hinder us in propagating the Gospel and in encouraging our fellowmen to walk in the old path, or the good way, as commanded by God, for this is the path that will lead them to salvation.

To God be the glory.

15 Comments:

The One Sure Way That God Will Listen When We Call

12/12/2020 18 Comments


There are people who have developed the notion that so long as they pray and invoke the name of the Lord, they will already be saved. That is not true; they are just giving themselves false hope. 

The truth is — even if you keep on praying, even if you keep on calling on the name of the Lord, you will not be saved if you are not fulfilling His will. 

As it is written in Matthew 7:21 (KJV), 

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 

To enter into the kingdom of heaven, you have to do the will of the Father; that is, you have to keep His commandments and you have to do what the Father wants you to do. 

Ecclesiastes 12:13 (KJV) says, 

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 

The foremost duty of man is to obey God’s commandments and not the commandments and teachings of different religious groups such as the Catholic Church. If what you will follow are their invented teachings, like praying the rosary for nine consecutive days or the novena, walking on your knees at the aisles of cathedrals from the doorway to the altar, and kneeling before graven images and statues and worshiping them, you will not be saved. All these practices, which the Catholics observe, fall under idolatry and are in direct contrast with the teachings of God in the Bible. And definitely, such practices will not bring you to heaven. 

Remember, for you to be saved and become an heir of heaven, you have to obey God’s commandments — not defy them. Idolatry is an outright defiance of God’s commandment; statues and graven images should not be made objects of worship, even if they happen to be made of gold and silver. 

Acts 17:29 (KJV) says, 

Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. 

Just to think or presume that the Godhead can be represented in graven images and statues made of gold, silver, and stone is very wrong. It becomes much worse if you are going to kneel before them, offer flowers and light candles for them, and pray to them. Unfortunately, those are exactly what Catholic priests are teaching their followers to do — they are advocating the practice of idolatry. 

Idolatry is prohibited by God. However, His prohibition is not limited to worshiping graven images; it includes the carving of statues and graven images. Such is also an act of defiance to God’s commandments. 

As it is written in Deuteronomy 5:8-9 (KJV), 

Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth: 
Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, 

It is God whom you should worship and not false gods. Apparently, worshiping and revering false gods are manifestations of hatred to God. So if you profess that you love God, it is unto Him that you should render your worship, reverence, and devotion — not to graven images. 

Yet, what God prohibits people from doing are what the Catholic priests are zealously promoting. In effect, they are making themselves instruments in changing the truth of God into a lie as they teach people to worship the creature instead of the Creator. 

Romans 1:25 (KJV) says, 

Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 

Thus, instead of redirecting your faith and devotion to your fellow creation of God, like Mary, the apostles, and the angels, it is unto the Creator that you should render them. And instead of addressing your prayers to these individuals, you should address them unto the Creator.  

Bear in mind, however, that not all those who call upon the name of the Lord shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but only those who abide by God’s commandments. In other words, it is your obedience to God’s teachings and commandments that will qualify you to enter the kingdom of heaven.

18 Comments:

Is Religion Necessary to Be Saved?

12/05/2020 20 Comments

Can faith or grace alone save you

Many preachers today have become so reckless and irresponsible that they hardly care if the teachings that they make people believe and accept are no longer in conformity with the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ written in the Bible.

An example of which is their teaching that religion is no longer needed for man to be saved. What is needed, they say, is for man to have faith in Christ, accept Him, and presto, he will be saved.

That is a big lie! It is not true that religion is no longer needed. In fact, the Bible mentions a pure and undefiled religion which the Lord Jesus Christ taught to the apostles. This only means that religion is necessary and important; otherwise, the Lord Jesus Christ would not have taught it.

However, not all religions are pure and undefiled; many of them are filled with impurities, filth, and pretenses. Hence, their followers are not made holy but instead, they are turned into a bunch of hypocrites. Such are the religions that can be considered futile or useless, for they fail in making their members become worthy of salvation. The Bible describes these religions as vain.

James 1:26 (KJV) says,

If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.

If anyone seems to be religious yet does not restrain his or her tongue and even deceives his or her own heart — the religion of that person is considered vain or useless.

But the pure and undefiled religion that the Lord Jesus Christ taught the apostles is definitely not vain and no-nonsense. Therefore, it should not be rejected nor should it be regarded as unimportant or unnecessary.

James 1:27 (KJV) says,

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

One of the hallmarks of a pure religion is that it cares for the widows and orphans — and those who practice this religion keep themselves unspotted from the world. That is, they do not involve themselves in vices like gambling, drinking, drugs, and other earthly matters. They accept the Lord Jesus Christ and they follow His teachings.

Accepting the Lord Jesus Christ should not only be lip service. In accepting Christ, you have to accept His words and teachings, too, because rejecting His teachings is tantamount to also rejecting Him.

As it is written in John 12:48 (KJV),

He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last days.

It follows that if you reject the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ about religion, about the Church, and about worshiping, you are, in effect, rejecting Christ. And if you reject Christ, you will not be saved because He is the Savior.

The pure and undefiled religion taught by Christ to the apostles is being practiced in the Church built by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. So, if you hear pastors and preachers say that the Church is also no longer needed, you can be sure that such preachers speak ignorantly because the Bible tells us that the Lord Jesus Christ built a Church (Matthew 16:18).

Are they implying that the Lord Jesus Christ built something which has no use or relevance to salvation? And what gave them the right to nullify, or declare void, what the Lord Jesus Christ had established? The fact that Christ built a Church only means that it has a vital role in the salvation of man.

Now, to justify their stupid claim that religion and the Church are no longer needed to attain salvation — because according to them faith in Christ is enough — these preachers are citing the story of the thief that was crucified with Christ. They would say that the thief just believed in Christ, he did not practice any religion, and he did not join the Church, yet, he was promised paradise.

However, these pastors did not realize that believing in Christ, specifically in His words, was the only thing that the thief could do because he was already hanging on the cross and was about to die.

Apparently, before his final hour came, the thief got the chance to hear the words uttered by the Lord Jesus Christ while they were on the cross. And because of what he had heard, he believed.

Meaning, the thief’s faith in Christ was prompted by the words that he had heard from Him and not by His physical appearance. Because during that time, there was nothing majestic about the physical appearance of Christ as He was bruised, bleeding, and was naked.

Remember, the Jews played lots on His raiment, and according to Hebrews 6:6 (KJV), they “put him to an open shame,” implying that He was put in a very disgraceful and embarrassing situation. And what else could be more embarrassing and disgraceful than having your naked body exposed to the public? But because of the words that he heard from Christ while they were on the cross, the thief believed in Him, and so he said, “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.” (Luke 23:42, KJV) And unto him, the Lord Jesus Christ replied, “Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43, KJV)

Considering the thief’s condition — he was helplessly hanging on the cross and was dying — and the very short time left for him to live, the thief could no longer afford to join the Church or to practice religion. But had he been freed and given the chance to live longer, without a doubt, the thief would surely have joined the Church built and headed by the Lord Jesus Christ and become His servant.

But it has to be understood that the enviable fortune that came the way of the thief can never be enjoyed or be availed by those who deliberately reject and disregard the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ — even if they claim that they have accepted Him.

May God bless us all!

20 Comments:

Give Your Soul a Rest — Forgive and Forget

11/28/2020 30 Comments

What does the Bible say about forgiving others

One of the things that many people find difficult to do is to forgive, especially, if the person who offended them does not manifest any sign of remorse or does not even bother to go out of his or her way to say “sorry” for the wrongdoing committed. 


For many, forgiveness may only be given to someone who acknowledges one’s sin and apologizes for it. But if that person does not apologize, then, there is no way that that person will be forgiven.

However, this should not be the attitude of a real Christian. A real Christian always grants forgiveness to a person who erred against him or her, even if that person did not say the magic word — “sorry”.

Usually, people get hurt if the offense is committed by their loved ones, or by those whom they highly esteem, like their spouses, children, grandchildren, siblings, relatives, and friends.

Hence, it is all the more very un-Christian if you continue to harbor ill feelings towards them simply because they do not approach you to ask for your forgiveness. If you truly love them, you do not have to wait for the time that they will fall on their knees and say “sorry” to you before you forgive them.

With or without the “sorry,” you should have a ready forgiveness for them because you love them. As a song says, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”

Actually, even if the ones who did you wrong are just your ordinary acquaintances, like a neighbor, a classmate, or an officemate, you should always be ready to forgive. And having this attitude will surely work in your favor.

God commanded us to forgive those who sin against us. So, in forgiving our offenders, we are actually showing God our obedience to Him. All of us commit sins; we all err, wittingly or unwittingly — and we also want to be forgiven by those whom we have offended, or sinned against, including God.

The truth is, each time we ask God to forgive our trespasses, we are also obliged to forgive the trespasses that others committed unto us.

Matthew 6:12 (KJV) says,

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

In forgiving those who erred against you, you will also be forgiven by God from all your shortcomings and transgressions. Apparently, it is a must that you forgive for you to be forgiven.

As it is written in Matthew 6:14 (KJV),

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

If you readily forgive those who offended you, even without an apology coming from them, you will merit God’s forgiveness. This is aside from the emotional relief that you will experience. Because in forgiving others and in forgetting the offense that they have done unto you, you will be freeing your heart of a heavy load and you will have peace deep within you. Let’s face it, you do not feel good when you are at odds with another.

But if you will let your personal pride prevail, if you will refuse to forgive simply because the person who erred against you has not said “sorry” to you yet, you are, in effect, disobeying God’s commandment. And your disobedience to God has its inevitable consequences.

As it is written in Matthew 6:15 (KJV),

But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Plain and simple. The Father will forgive your trespasses if you forgive those who have hurt you or those who have done you wrong. But if you do not want to forgive them, then, the Father will not forgive you either.

I just hope that you realize the significance of meriting and not meriting the Father’s forgiveness. To merit the Father’s forgiveness means to merit eternal bliss in paradise; but to not be forgiven by the Father because you refused to forgive others means to be doomed in eternal punishment in hell. The choice is yours to make. But surely, real Christians will always choose to be forgiving.

May God bless us all!

30 Comments:

Why Others Lose Their Trust in God

11/21/2020 23 Comments

Why People Lose Their Trust in God

If there is one Being in whom all of us should trust, it is no other than God — not our fellow man.

Jeremiah 17:5,7 (KJV) says,

5 Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. 
7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.

The Bible says, blessed is the man whose trust and hope are in the Lord, and cursed be the man whose trust is given to another man. Very clearly, it is more prudent to give our full trust in the Almighty God than in man. For one, you cannot always count on a fellow human being — even if that person happens to be very close to you or if that person happens to be your best friend — because just like you, your fellow man also has certain frailties and vulnerabilities. 

Sometimes, the very people whom you value and consider as trusted friends are also the ones who will betray you. Actually, the Lord Jesus Christ experienced treachery or betrayal from someone whom He considered a friend — Judas Iscariot. 

As it is written in Psalm 41:9 (KJV),

Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.

The Lord Jesus Christ was a loving and selfless friend, such that He even gave the piece of bread that was already meant for Him to Judas Iscariot. Despite that, Judas still betrayed the Lord.

This thing really happens as there is always the possibility that the person to whom you have given your trust will turn against you. But this will not happen with God — He will never betray those who put their trust in Him. That is why the Bible calls those who have trust in God “blessed” because He is trustworthy.

We can say that the people who do not trust God do not really know Him — they do not know His ways; they do not know His will; they do not know what Hewants them to do. If they do, they will surely trust Him and His words, and they will continue to hold onto His pronouncements and promises — for God is true to His words and He fulfills His every promise.

One of the admonitions that carries with it a very reassuring promise from God is written in Hebrews 13:5 (KJV) which says,

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 

Instead of complaining and coveting what others have, God wants us to be content with what we have. And when we obey what God wants us to do, we will experience the fulfillment of His promise: “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” 

When God told us not to be covetous and to be content with what we have, He was, in effect, teaching us not to steal and not to cheat but to instead labor in order to earn honest money. This is exactly what I practice in my life. 

Even before I started in the ministry, I was already working to earn for my personal needs and for the needs of my loved ones. Until now that I am already leading an international religious organization, I am still working hard to earn in an honest and decent manner. Unlike other preachers, I never make the word of God a commodity, and I never make religion a kind of business. I do not covet the riches of other people, and I do not employ deceit in everything that I do. In other words, I live my life in accordance with the will of God. 

Now I am already 74 years old, yet, I do not remember any instance in my life wherein I lacked or hungered — proof that God really does not leave nor forsake those who abide by His teachings. 

The point that I am trying to drive at is this: It is our obedience to God that gives us the chance to experience Him in our lives — that He will not leave us nor forsake us. And as you experience this, the more that you will have trust in God. 

1 John 5:14 (KJV) says, 

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: 

We are confident that God will listen to us if we ask Him of things which are in accordance with His will. And He will listen to us if we are fulfilling His commandments, His counsels, and His teachings. So, if you hear people say that they have lost their trust in God because He does not listen to their prayers, it only means one thing: They are disobedient to God.  

Always remember, God does not forsake those who are obedient to Him, and He will not allow them to lose their trust in Him.

23 Comments:

What Not to Love in the World to Gain the Love of God

11/14/2020 30 Comments

What should we not love in this world

1 John 2:15 (KJV) gives a specific admonition to Christians, one that is often misconstrued by those who take the verse literally. It says, 

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

They ask, “How could they possibly not love the world when they are in the world and all the people dear to them are also in the world?”

Apparently, that is not what the verse is referring to. Indeed, we have to love our parents and the other members of our families, our friends, our fellowmen, and even our enemies. But there are specific things in the world that we are prohibited from loving, and loving them would mean that the love of the Father is not in us. What are those?

1 John 2:16 (KJV) says,

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

John pointed out three things in the world that we should not love because they are not from the Father. They are the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.

In other words, we should not succumb to the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes, like watching pornographic videos, reading pornographic materials, peeping in holes and crevices of someone else’s bedroom and bathroom, indulging in sensuality and lasciviousness, and making sexual advances on someone who isn’t our spouse. These are among the things in the world that we should not love as they are not of the Father.

Like the lust of the flesh and lust of the eyes, the pride of life also did not come from the Father, and therefore, we should not love it either. However, today, we see lots of people who take pride of their lives, of their status in society, of their riches and power, and of their connections with influential people.

They talk of nothing but self-conceit and vainglory. They regard themselves as the best and the most superior of all, that is why, they do not accept suggestions and instructions from others anymore — no matter how good the suggestions are, especially so if they come from their rivals.

This is very common among politicians and government officials. Instead of being supportive of and cooperative with one other, we often see them bickering, if not objecting and questioning certain projects and decisions, not for their demerits, but simply because they come from somebody who belongs to a rival political party. No wonder why there is unrest and divisiveness in many nations nowadays.

If they did not come from the Father, from whom did these things in the world come?

James 3:16, 15 (KJV) says,

16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. 
15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.

They came from the devil. Actually, we can make a sweeping generalization that all the foolish things on earth — like the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, drugs, pornography, prostitution, greed of power — all of them come from the devil. That is why Christians are prohibited from loving them.

But never are we prohibited from loving our parents, siblings, children, friends, and fellowmen, even our enemies. In fact, Christians are commanded to love them. But of course, above all else, we should love God.

30 Comments:

The Sad and Sorry Reason Why Some Believe Christ Isn't God

11/06/2020 31 Comments

Christ is God not human

Is there any truth to the claim of the Iglesia ni Cristo of Manalo (INCM) that the Lord Jesus Christ is no more than just a human being? First, let us consider what the Apostle John said about Him.

1 John 5:20-21 (KJV) says,

20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. 

21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

This particular verse is one of the many verses being muddled by the ministers of the INCM to make their claim appear to be valid: that the Lord Jesus Christ is not a God, but only a man. They are trying to make it appear that the true God being mentioned in verse 20 is the Father.

However, if we are going to analyze it more deeply, the true God and eternal life being referred to is someone who came here on earth, someone who gave them — the apostles — understanding. These would not apply to the Father because He had not come here physically. Undoubtedly, it refers to His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. He is “the true God, and eternal life.”

Why give the admonition “keep yourselves from idols” in verse 21? It is because here on earth, there are many idols or false gods. But the One who came here, the One who had given them understanding, according to the apostles, is the true God and eternal life. And that was the Lord Jesus Christ. Take note that “true God” had been introduced by the definite article “the” — “the true God, and eternal life” — denoting specificity.


To further prove that the “eternal life” was the Lord Jesus Christ, 1 John 1:1-2 (KJV) says,

1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; 

2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)

The “eternal life” was with the Father, and it was manifested unto the apostles because it came here. Very clearly, it refers to the Lord Jesus Christ. This is one biblical truth that the ministers of the INCM cannot erase nor remove from the Bible.

Now, when Christ came here on earth, this is what the Father told Him:

Hebrews 1:8 (KJV) says,

But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.

Again, this verse is also being twisted by the ministers of INCM. In their intention to reduce the Lord Jesus Christ to the status of an ordinary human, they changed “Thy throne, O God,” to “Thy throne, is God,” resulting in an idea that is very demeaning to God. They have brought God to a much, much lower status; they have made Him a throne that can be sat on. Isn’t that preposterous?

In the earlier cited verse, the Father was the one speaking, and He called His Son as God. Are you going to question the Father’s declaration? That is the truth. The Lord Jesus Christ is God because He is the Son of God. He came from the bosom of the Father; the Father begat Him. This truth is something that INCM ministers find hard to accept — that the Father brought forth the only begotten God. But their refusal would not change the truth: that the Lord Jesus Christ is the only begotten God. As inscribed in Greek manuscripts, He is monogenes theos.

Actually, even if there are many evidences that prove the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ, even if the apostles themselves had testified that, “This is the true God, and eternal life,” and even if the Father, “...unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever,” I doubt if those INCM ministers would let go of their over-a-century-old belief that the Lord Jesus Christ is only a human being.

We cannot do anything about it. It is indeed inevitable that there are really people who would not acknowledge Christ’s divinity, not for any valid and biblical reason, but simply out of sheer stubbornness and obstinacy. But where will their stubbornness and obstinacy bring them? Where else but to perdition!

31 Comments:

Dispelling Claims Regarding the Return of Christ With Common Sense and Simple Logic

10/31/2020 21 Comments


The return of Christ

The Iglesia ni Cristo of Manalo is one of the religions that believe that when the Lord Jesus Christ returns, the earth will already be burned. In fact, in one of their television broadcasts, Michael Sandoval, a minister of the INC of Manalo, blabbered that the one thousand-year reign of Christ on earth — which became the topic of many of our congregational gatherings — is highly impossible to happen because according to him, when the Lord Jesus Christ returns, this earth will already be burned and destroyed. And since it will already be destroyed, there will be nowhere for Christ to reign over anymore.


Apparently, he was trying to contest what I was teaching to our brethren in the Church of God International, something which I based on the book of Revelation, which says that when Christ returns, He will resurrect those who died in Him and they, together with His faithful servants, shall reign with Him on earth for one thousand years (Revelation 20:5-6). I wonder why he is opposing something that is clearly written in the Bible.

It is evident that his opposition to what I said was prompted by his ignorance of biblical mysteries and prophetic pronouncements which we in the Church of God International, happen to know and understand despite our lowly status — not through our own efforts but through the divine guidance of the Holy Spirit.

It is not true that the earth will already be destroyed or burned, when the Lord Jesus Christ returns. Although we do not deny the fact that this thing is bound to happen, but it will not take place upon Christ’s return. According to the Bible, when the Lord Jesus Christ returns, He, together with His saints who will be made priests, shall reign over the earth for a millennium. So, the earth remains to be in existence. And given the span of one thousand years, we can expect that the Gospel of salvation can be preached all over the world unhampered because, throughout that period, Satan will be incarcerated. However, after the one thousand-year period, he will be loosed out of his prison.

REVELATION 20:7-8 (KJV) says,

7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 
8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

At the completion of the one thousand years, when Satan has been freed from his prison, knowing that he has very limited time, he would work doubly hard in deceiving nations in the four corners of the world. Just think about it — how can Satan traverse the four corners of the earth if this earth is no more? Aside from that, there will still be an Armageddon that is going to take place. Again, how can this final battle happen if, upon the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, this earth will already be destroyed? Do you see the folly of Michael Sandoval and the absurdity of his statements?

Actually, it only requires simple logic and a little common sense to understand that when the Lord Jesus Christ returns, this earth will not be burned yet because He will still reign over it for one thousand years.

Apparently, the ministers of the INC of Manalo, especially Michael Sandoval, lack both logic and common sense. If they have them, their statements should not have contradicted what the Bible says, and they should not have displayed their ignorance and senselessness on national television. Their line of reasoning only proves that they do not have any idea about the forthcoming millennial reign of the Lord Jesus Christ and His saints here on earth.

But I couldn’t fully blame them because, surely, their mentors did not teach them anything about the book of Revelation — probably because they, too, did not understand this particular book of the Bible. That is very pathetic! The very least that the INCM ministers can do is to be humble enough to admit their ignorance, instead of bragging and pretending to be knowledgeable about biblical truths such as prophetic pronouncements. Actually, the more they brag and pretend, the more obvious it becomes that they are void of understanding. The very words that come out of their mouths are the ones that betray them. And we are truly sorry for them, most especially for their brethren in faith, whom they are leading to perdition. May God have mercy on these people.

21 Comments:

What to Expect During the Millennial Reign of Christ

10/24/2020 35 Comments

Christ’s Return and His Millennial Reign
 
Do not believe any preacher or any religion that would say that the return of the Lord Jesus Christ already marks the day of judgment and the destruction of the earth. There is no truth to that. Yes, the Lord Jesus Christ will return, but not to judge mankind and destroy the earth right away, as there is another appointed time to carry out those things. 

When the Lord Jesus Christ returns, He will resurrect, not all the dead but only those who died in Him. This is called the first resurrection. And then, those whom He resurrected and His faithful servants who are still alive during that time will be caught up in the clouds to meet Him in the air. As it is written in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (KJV), 

16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 

Those who will be included in the first resurrection are considered blessed because the second death has no power over them anymore. They shall be made priests, and together with Christ, they shall reign on earth for one thousand years. 

REVELATION 20:5-6 (KJV) 

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

In other words, there are two resurrections of the dead that are going to happen. The first resurrection is exclusive for those who have died in Christ, and this will happen upon the return of the Lord Jesus Christ; while the second resurrection is inclusive of all the dead that are not included in the first resurrection, and it is going to happen after the one thousand-year period. So, there is a gap of one thousand years between the first and the second resurrection of the dead. 

When all the dead have risen, that will be the time when the Lord Jesus Christ shall judge both the living and the dead. The Bible referred to Christ as the judge of both the living and the dead. 

1 PETER 4:5 (KJV) 

Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. 

Another verse that proves that the Lord Jesus Christ shall judge both the living and the dead is 2 Timothy 4:1 (KJV), which says, 

I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 

There will come a time when the Lord Jesus Christ shall appear and the glory of His kingdom shall be revealed. But it will not be until after the one thousand years, when He shall be passing judgment on both the living and the dead who have risen during the second resurrection. 

Actually, John, to whom these revelations were given, had a glimpse of judgment day; he even saw how the devil was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone. 

REVELATION 20:10 (KJV) 

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. 

After which, John also saw a great white throne, and before the throne of God stood all the dead who have been resurrected to face judgment. 

REVELATION 20:11-12 (KJV) 

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. 

So, it is clear now that the return of the Lord Jesus Christ does not mark the day of judgment nor the destruction of the earth — as these things are going to happen after His reign on earth for a thousand years. It has to be understood that the return of the Lord Jesus Christ only marks the commencement of His millennial reign on earth. 

With the Lord Jesus Christ reigning over all those who are on earth, we can just imagine the kind of justice, righteousness, and holiness that will prevail everywhere. We can also expect that with Christ reigning, more and more people will be converted, which means that more and more people will be given the chance to salvation. 



35 Comments:

Healing: Fake or Real?

10/17/2020 51 Comments

How to attain real healing from God

The Bible mentions diverse spiritual gifts to the Church, and one of them is the gift of healing (1 Corinthians 12:4,9). In fact, the first century Christian Church became a recipient of this gift, which is why there were apostles and members of the Church back then who became instruments in healing people with physical infirmities. And until the present time, God’s gift of healing continues to be enjoyed by His people. 

Sometimes, healing happens not because of any human intervention but because of fervent prayers. For one, God offers healing to those who fervently pray for it. I personally know of some brethren in the Church who had been diagnosed with illnesses which were already in their terminal stages, while others were with contagious diseases. But through our fervent prayers to the Almighty God, these people were able to live beyond the limit that the doctors had set upon them. There were also those who, because of financial constraints, had refused to undergo surgery and they just opted to be discharged from the hospital, but also through sincere prayers and supplications, God added several more years to their lives.

In the Church of God International, whenever we suffer from any ailment or illness, the first measure that we take is to kneel down, pray, and ask for God’s mercy and intervention. We do not perform any ceremony or ritual. We do not recite any incantation. We simply pray fervently. It is our faith that God can do more than what the best medical specialists can do — and that He can do what the best of doctors cannot.

Many preachers today brag that they have the gift of healing — that by simply laying their hands on the sick, those who are ill will surely get well. Of course, that is a preposterous claim. It is so easy to claim that they have the gift of healing, but proving it is something that they have failed to do. 

Actually, I have seen a video of one shameless preacher who was supposedly performing a healing ritual. But instead of laying his hand on the sick woman, he laid his foot on her. It became apparent that delivering an “honest to goodness” healing was not really his paramount concern; he was more interested in taking advantage of the sick woman who was desperate to get healed. He was capitalizing on his position as a preacher and his self-proclaimed gift of healing in doing acts of lasciviousness and lewdness, as shown in the video.


The woman in the video was actually suffering from an ovarian disease. But what did the pastor do? Using his foot, he was touching the woman’s genital; he was practically sexually assaulting her. The Bible did not speak of any healing method similar to what this stupid pastor employed. It was a gross display of lust and sensuality, and without any doubt, that man is not of God, but of Satan.

We, in the Church of God International, neither perform such foolishness nor do we claim that we can heal people of all their illnesses by just laying our hands on them. We pray to God for His healing because we sincerely believe that it is God who heals, and our belief is anchored on what He said in Exodus 15:26 (KJV), “... for I am the LORD that healeth thee.” We are always counting on His pronouncements and on His abundant mercy.

Indeed, there is a gift of healing given to the Church. There are really some members of the Church who have been bestowed with this gift, like, for example, our brothers and sisters who work as doctors, nurses, and medical massage therapists. As massage therapists, they could heal swellings, rehabilitate sports injuries, relieve muscle tension and stiffness, and provide ease and comfort to those in pain — not by laying hands on them — but by applying varying degrees of pressure on the affected part of the body or by rubbing and stroking such areas using their hands. So, in their own small way, they are able to provide healing, too. 

But as to whether a person was healed because of prayers or because of the intervention of a healthcare professional, our belief is that God and the Lord Jesus Christ are the ones who truly heal. Those who have the gift of healing are just being used by the Father and Christ to be their instruments in healing people. In reality, it is the healing power of God and the Lord Jesus Christ that works wonders. The bottom line is, God and the Lord Jesus Christ are our healers.

51 Comments:

To Marry, or Not to Marry: Be Guided by God’s Prescriptions

10/10/2020 74 Comments

God wants man to always choose what is good, abide by His teachings, and observe the dos and don’ts that He had outlined so that man may live a peaceful, safe, and blissful life. However, He is neither coercing man to do what He wants nor is He curtailing man’s freedom of choice. And yet, God reveals the advantages and benefits that man will gain if he chooses to follow His will.   And like a father who wants nothing but the best for his children, God never fails to give man His prescriptions and recommendations which he could use as a guide in making choices and decisions in life, especially when it comes to serious matters such as finding a spouse and getting married, for instance.   Marriage is an option given to every man and woman. Those who want to build a family of their own can always choose to get married — but those who want to pursue a tranquil, unperturbed, and godly life can always opt to stay unmarried. But if they choose to get married, it is important that they first consult the prescriptions of God written in the Bible concerning this matter so that they wouldn’t commit a mistake that they will regret later on.   As far as the woman is concerned, the Bible says that if she wants a life with lesser worries and responsibilities, and if she wants a kind of life that is without distraction in her service to God, it is better for her not to marry. Why? Because being married is a 24/7 career; it will require so much of her time. And once she is married, she can no longer devote as much time as she wants to serving God. She will be torn between her duties to God and her duties to her husband and children.  Unlike an unmarried woman who thinks mostly of things concerning godliness and holiness, a married woman is beleaguered by the cares of this world. So, for her not to be distracted by such things, the Bible recommends that she remains a maiden.  1 CORINTHIANS 7:32-35 (KJV) says,  32 But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:  33 But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.  34 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.  35 And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.   In a typical household, the husband assumes the role of a breadwinner, but it is the wife who gets the heavier share of the burden. She is the one who conceives and carries the baby in her tummy for nine months; after nine months, she gives birth; and in giving birth, her life is put in great danger. And after giving birth, she breastfeeds and watches over her child throughout the day, et cetera, et cetera. Practically, the tasks that a mother has to fulfill never ends. This is yet without mentioning her duties as a wife to her husband and as a keeper of their house.  With her heavy workload every day, she’ll definitely find difficulty in allotting time to spend in serving God. But if she will choose to abide by God’s prescription — if she will choose to remain a maiden — she will be spared from a very taxing life and she will be able to serve God freely.  This particular prescription of God is also recommended to the man. If he also wants to spare himself from the troubles of being the head of the family — such as earning money to pay for his children’s tuition fees, buying milk and diapers for the baby, and paying rent, loans, and other household bills. And if he wants to serve the Lord wholeheartedly, it is best that he remains a bachelor, like the Apostle Paul.  Sometimes, there are special people like the Apostle Paul, who have been appointed by God to perform a special function. In the case of Paul, he allowed the will of God and not his personal choice to prevail in his life. Although apostles were not prohibited from getting married, the Apostle Paul chose to remain unmarried because he wanted to fulfill his function and responsibilities more faithfully and without hindrance. He also wanted to devote his whole life in serving the Lord — which he wouldn’t have been able to do if he had a wife and children to attend to.  GALATIANS 1:13-15 (KJV)  13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:  14 And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.  15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace,   Actually, even while Paul was still in the womb of his mother, God had already preordained him to be an apostle. And when the appointed time for his apostleship came, he gladly submitted himself to the will of God.  Like the Apostle Paul, God had also intended Jeremiah for another special function as early as the time when he was still in the womb of his mother. God had preordained Jeremiah to be a prophet unto the nations.  But other than these few exceptional cases, people are free to choose the kind of life that they want. They are free to get married, if they want; they are also free to remain unmarried if that is their choice. And should they decide to get married, it is best that they consider God’s prescriptions and recommendations first.  First of all, it is important that the man, or the woman, is able to choose the right person who would become his or her lifetime partner. They have to make sure that they fall in love with the right person. Why? Because the devil is also urging people to fall in love, but he is urging them to love the wrong person — even someone who is already married. Do not believe what others say that once Cupid hits you with his arrow that goes straight to your heart, you become blinded by love and that you’ll fall in love even with a married man or woman. That is nonsense. In the first place, Cupid is not real; he only exists in mythology. Making a person fall in love with somebody who is already married is not Cupid’s work but the devil’s. And if you yield to the devil’s provocation, you’ll end up becoming a homewrecker and an immoral.  God also does not want you to marry an ill-tempered person; in fact, God does not even want you to associate with or to befriend somebody who has a bad temper or someone who is always angry or furious. He wants you to stay away from those kinds of people because they could influence you badly.   PROVERBS 22:24-25 (KJV) says,  24 Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go:  25 Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.  Actually, this quality is not only seen among men as there are also women who are hot-tempered and are always contending and arguing with others.   PROVERBS 21:19 (KJV)  It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.  So, if you see that your girlfriend is quarrelsome and is always disputing with you, better back off. Otherwise, you’ll find no peace in life if she becomes your wife. And you cannot just abandon her or drive her away when she becomes very annoying and hard to deal with.  It is against the will of God that husband and wife separate. Marriage should be lasting — it should withstand the test of time and it should endure all difficulties. For these to happen, the husband-wife relationship should be founded on genuine love and on God’s teachings. And the contracting parties in marriage should be made aware that their relationship is lifetime and only death can draw them apart.  If in other churches a marriage can be annulled or can be declared null and void, in the true Church of God, marriage is a lifelong commitment and a marriage contract never loses its efficacy. It only expires when one of them dies.  And since we in the Church of God international do not permit couples to separate, we see to it first that the man and the woman who want to get married truly love each other — that they are ready to adjust to one another considering the fact that they have different family backgrounds and they were brought up differently; that they are ready to face challenges and problems that may come their way; and that they will stand by each other at all times and will remain faithful to one another all the days of their lives. And if ever problems and conflicts arise in the course of their married life, we also help them in preserving their marriage. We help them patch things up and resolve their issues using the word of God because it is God’s will that husbands and wives stay together until the end.   We can say that in everything that we do and in every choice and decision that we make, it is always to our advantage if we will be guided and if we will follow the will of God. We can also say that the wiser way of using our free will or our freedom of choice is by choosing to follow God’s prescription, be it in marriage or in other aspects of life. Always remember, God knows what is best for us — and He wants no less than the best for us.  To God be the glory!

God wants man to always choose what is good, abide by His teachings, and observe the dos and don’ts that He had outlined so that man may live a peaceful, safe, and blissful life. However, He is neither coercing man to do what He wants nor is He curtailing man’s freedom of choice. And yet, God reveals the advantages and benefits that man will gain if he chooses to follow His will. 

And like a father who wants nothing but the best for his children, God never fails to give man His prescriptions and recommendations which he could use as a guide in making choices and decisions in life, especially when it comes to serious matters such as finding a spouse and getting married, for instance. 

Marriage is an option given to every man and woman. Those who want to build a family of their own can always choose to get married — but those who want to pursue a tranquil, unperturbed, and godly life can always opt to stay unmarried. But if they choose to get married, it is important that they first consult the prescriptions of God written in the Bible concerning this matter so that they wouldn’t commit a mistake that they will regret later on. 

As far as the woman is concerned, the Bible says that if she wants a life with lesser worries and responsibilities, and if she wants a kind of life that is without distraction in her service to God, it is better for her not to marry. Why? Because being married is a 24/7 career; it will require so much of her time. And once she is married, she can no longer devote as much time as she wants to serving God. She will be torn between her duties to God and her duties to her husband and children.

Unlike an unmarried woman who thinks mostly of things concerning godliness and holiness, a married woman is beleaguered by the cares of this world. So, for her not to be distracted by such things, the Bible recommends that she remains a maiden.

1 CORINTHIANS 7:32-35 (KJV) says,

32 But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: 
33 But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. 
34 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. 
35 And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction. 

In a typical household, the husband assumes the role of a breadwinner, but it is the wife who gets the heavier share of the burden. She is the one who conceives and carries the baby in her tummy for nine months; after nine months, she gives birth; and in giving birth, her life is put in great danger. And after giving birth, she breastfeeds and watches over her child throughout the day, et cetera, et cetera. Practically, the tasks that a mother has to fulfill never ends. This is yet without mentioning her duties as a wife to her husband and as a keeper of their house.

With her heavy workload every day, she’ll definitely find difficulty in allotting time to spend in serving God. But if she will choose to abide by God’s prescription — if she will choose to remain a maiden — she will be spared from a very taxing life and she will be able to serve God freely.

This particular prescription of God is also recommended to the man. If he also wants to spare himself from the troubles of being the head of the family — such as earning money to pay for his children’s tuition fees, buying milk and diapers for the baby, and paying rent, loans, and other household bills. And if he wants to serve the Lord wholeheartedly, it is best that he remains a bachelor, like the Apostle Paul.

Sometimes, there are special people like the Apostle Paul, who have been appointed by God to perform a special function. In the case of Paul, he allowed the will of God and not his personal choice to prevail in his life. Although apostles were not prohibited from getting married, the Apostle Paul chose to remain unmarried because he wanted to fulfill his function and responsibilities more faithfully and without hindrance. He also wanted to devote his whole life in serving the Lord — which he wouldn’t have been able to do if he had a wife and children to attend to.

GALATIANS 1:13-15 (KJV)

13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: 
14 And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. 
15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, 

Actually, even while Paul was still in the womb of his mother, God had already preordained him to be an apostle. And when the appointed time for his apostleship came, he gladly submitted himself to the will of God.

Like the Apostle Paul, God had also intended Jeremiah for another special function as early as the time when he was still in the womb of his mother. God had preordained Jeremiah to be a prophet unto the nations.

But other than these few exceptional cases, people are free to choose the kind of life that they want. They are free to get married, if they want; they are also free to remain unmarried if that is their choice. And should they decide to get married, it is best that they consider God’s prescriptions and recommendations first.

First of all, it is important that the man, or the woman, is able to choose the right person who would become his or her lifetime partner. They have to make sure that they fall in love with the right person. Why? Because the devil is also urging people to fall in love, but he is urging them to love the wrong person — even someone who is already married. Do not believe what others say that once Cupid hits you with his arrow that goes straight to your heart, you become blinded by love and that you’ll fall in love even with a married man or woman. That is nonsense. In the first place, Cupid is not real; he only exists in mythology. Making a person fall in love with somebody who is already married is not Cupid’s work but the devil’s. And if you yield to the devil’s provocation, you’ll end up becoming a homewrecker and an immoral.

God also does not want you to marry an ill-tempered person; in fact, God does not even want you to associate with or to befriend somebody who has a bad temper or someone who is always angry or furious. He wants you to stay away from those kinds of people because they could influence you badly. 

PROVERBS 22:24-25 (KJV) says,

24 Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: 
25 Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.

Actually, this quality is not only seen among men as there are also women who are hot-tempered and are always contending and arguing with others. 

PROVERBS 21:19 (KJV)

It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.

So, if you see that your girlfriend is quarrelsome and is always disputing with you, better back off. Otherwise, you’ll find no peace in life if she becomes your wife. And you cannot just abandon her or drive her away when she becomes very annoying and hard to deal with.

It is against the will of God that husband and wife separate. Marriage should be lasting — it should withstand the test of time and it should endure all difficulties. For these to happen, the husband-wife relationship should be founded on genuine love and on God’s teachings. And the contracting parties in marriage should be made aware that their relationship is lifetime and only death can draw them apart.

If in other churches a marriage can be annulled or can be declared null and void, in the true Church of God, marriage is a lifelong commitment and a marriage contract never loses its efficacy. It only expires when one of them dies.

And since we in the Church of God international do not permit couples to separate, we see to it first that the man and the woman who want to get married truly love each other — that they are ready to adjust to one another considering the fact that they have different family backgrounds and they were brought up differently; that they are ready to face challenges and problems that may come their way; and that they will stand by each other at all times and will remain faithful to one another all the days of their lives. And if ever problems and conflicts arise in the course of their married life, we also help them in preserving their marriage. We help them patch things up and resolve their issues using the word of God because it is God’s will that husbands and wives stay together until the end. 

We can say that in everything that we do and in every choice and decision that we make, it is always to our advantage if we will be guided and if we will follow the will of God. We can also say that the wiser way of using our free will or our freedom of choice is by choosing to follow God’s prescription, be it in marriage or in other aspects of life. Always remember, God knows what is best for us — and He wants no less than the best for us.

To God be the glory!

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Free Will Shows God's Unfailing Love to Man

10/03/2020 27 Comments

Are All Deaths Willed by God

Our life comes from God, and we exist because He willed it. Being the giver of life, God also has the power to take it away. The question is: Are all deaths willed by God? Is it God’s will, for instance, that infants die while they are still inside the wombs of their mothers? 

We really cannot give a categorical yes or no answer to that question. First, we have to identify the cause of the baby’s death. Why and how did the baby die? If the baby died the natural way, meaning, if there were no human interventions, we can say that his death has been willed by God and his mother would not be held accountable for the child’s death. But if the mother willfully aborted her child, definitely, the baby’s death has not been willed by God because aborting a child is an act that is detestable in the sight of God. And anyone who commits it will be made answerable for the death of the innocent.

PROVERBS 6:16-17 (KJV)

16 These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 
17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,

Shedding innocent blood is one of the acts that is hateful to God. And one way by which innocent blood is shed is through abortion. Abortion is against the will of God.

However, shedding innocent blood is not only limited to aborting a child inside a woman’s womb. Taking the lives of unsuspecting children, for whatever reason, is also considered shedding of innocent blood.

That is why God was deeply sore when the Israelites made their sons and daughters as sacrificial offerings to the idols in Canaan.

PSALM 106:38 (KJV)

And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood.

Imagine, they murdered their own children, burned them, and made them an offering to false gods!

JEREMIAH 7:31 (KJV)

And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart.

Making one’s son or daughter pass through the fire is against God’s commandments; it is an abomination to Him.

DEUTERONOMY 18:10-12 (KJV)

10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch. 
11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.  
12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee. 

Scientifically speaking, during a woman’s third or fourth month of pregnancy, the infant inside her already has an identity. And as early as the second up to the third week of conception, a child already has a cardiovascular system. Actually, the first organ that is formed is the heart; for God, the heart is very important. Before a human being is born, God already knows the heart that is in him.

JEREMIAH 1:5 (KJV)

Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

In the case of the prophet Jeremiah, God had already known him even before he was formed in the womb of his mother — God had sanctified him before he was given birth. And while still in his mother’s womb, God had already ordained Jeremiah to be a prophet unto the nations. Given all these, we can just imagine how grave a sin the mother of Jeremiah could have committed had she decided to abort her child when he was just a few weeks old inside her womb. She could have been a hindrance to the fulfillment of God’s decree to her son.

Women who abort babies and doctors who perform abortion are both guilty of shedding innocent blood. Not unless they do it to preserve the life of the mother. It is a different story if the baby was aborted because the life of the mother has been endangered. In a situation like this, abortion becomes permissible.

But it is a great sin to God if abortion is performed simply because the woman wants to avoid responsibility or she fears being ridiculed because she got pregnant out of wedlock; or that pregnancy will ruin her figure; or the baby will be an obstacle in attaining her ambition. In such cases, not only will the woman who submitted herself to abortion be held accountable for shedding innocent blood, but so will the doctor who performed the abortion. Bear this in mind — aborting a baby is not part of God’s will. 

At present, there is an ideology that promotes abortion because according to its proponents, it is a way of limiting the world’s population. As expected, the advocates of this stupidity are shameless atheists. People who do not believe in God are behind every program and concept aimed at shortening the lifespan of people and in reducing the population of the earth. These people are the ones behind the invention of weapons of mass destruction, and perhaps even of the virus that continues to infect millions of people all over the globe today. As this virus is quite strange and extraordinarily strong, I have an inclination to believe that it did not come from nature but that it is man-made.  

From what I learned in my study of alternative medicine, a virus is self-limiting. This means that it dies naturally after a short period of time. Unlike this new coronavirus which is fatal and enduring for it remains alive for more than one and a half months. Surprisingly, it thrives up to forty-nine days — not inside a host but outside of it. This is probably one of what they call genetically modified organisms (GMO). This could be a result of a process wherein the genetic material of living organisms — like plants, animals, and microorganisms including viruses — are altered or tampered with by man. 

Today, GMOs are apparently being promoted by the rich, specifically, the business tycoons, who have interfered with the natural composition of crops and even animals. This they do in order to amass more wealth and eventually, achieve world supremacy. 

These rich people are toying with the idea of having a world government of their own in their minds, which they would lead and allow them the opportunity to monopolize the economy of the world and dictate upon all people. The idea of this kind of world government is actually a concept of the anti-Christ. 

REVELATION 13:16-17 (KJV)

16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

It is inevitable that there would be really rich and powerful people who would aspire for world domination; without a doubt, people who have this desire are minions and cohorts of the devil; they are not of God. That is why they have no fear in altering the genetic makeup of God’s creations.

What I want to emphasize is that it is not the outright will of God for people to die; not all deaths are directly willed by God. When we speak about the will of God, we have to understand that there are such things as the permissive will and directive will of God. The directive will of God occurs when the thing that happens is what God really wants to happen. On the other hand, the permissive will occurs when God allows or permits a certain thing to happen because that is what man wants to happen; it happens because man exercised his free will.

It therefore follows that if death came naturally — let’s say that a person died because of an illness or because of old age and it came at a time when the person was diligently and faithfully fulfilling the teachings of God and the Lord Jesus Christ — we can say that his death has been willed by God. But if a person died in his reckless pursuit of personal gratification, and if he deliberately opted to take for granted the commandments of God despite knowing them well, then we can say that his death was just permitted by God, and it came as a consequence of his failure to make wise choices in his life.

One of the things that I remember until now from my grade school teacher was her citation of the adage, “You are the master of your fate; you are the captain of your soul.” It means that we have a share in shaping the life that we want to live as we are the ones who make our choices and decisions. And it is because of the choices and decisions that we make that we become answerable for the things that we have done wrongfully and for our utter disregard of God’s admonitions.

DEUTERONOMY 30:19 (KJV)

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

In life, man is given two choices: he either chooses what is good or what is evil. Good and evil are realities that exist in the world, and what God wants is for man to choose what is good. 

Sadly though, since the early times, God had seen man’s tendency to choose what is evil despite having been taught everything that is good. It is because of God’s archenemy, Satan, who keeps on urging man to do things that are against the teachings of God. 

But because of the Creator’s great love for man and His deep concern for man’s salvation, He is giving man His prescription to choose life so that man and his seeds may live. Nonetheless, the decision is still for man to make since he has been given free will. We can only hope that man will exercise prudence in his exercise of his free will. And we can only hope that he chooses life, not death!

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