Discovering God’s Purpose for Giving Life

3/28/2020 17 Comments

God's Purpose for Giving Life

If only all of us would realize the amount of importance that God gives to human life and the very purpose of our existence, probably, nobody would misuse his life. Instead, everyone will surely try to spend it rightfully.

In MATTHEW 10:29-30 (KJV), the Lord Jesus Christ said,

29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

When Christ said that the Father knows even the number of the strands of hair we have in our head, He is just showing us how important we are to the Father and how much the Father loves us, that even the minutest details of our being, like our hair, are well accounted for and well taken care of.

There was a time when the Apostle Paul was going to Rome, but while sailing, their ship met a tempest. All of the passengers started to panic and became frantic because of the sea turbulence. However, in the midst of their fear and hopelessness, God sent His angel to Paul to allay their fears, and to give him an assurance that they would reach their destination.

ACTS 27:23-24 (KJV) says,

23 For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,
24 Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.

God, through His angel, assured him that there shall be no loss of any man’s life among them, but of the ship. Meaning, even if their ship gets wrecked, no life would be lost and they would be able to reach Rome.

ACTS 27:34 (KJV) says,

Wherefore I pray you to take some meat: for this is for your health: for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you.

The angel even guaranteed Paul that not a single strand of hair shall fall from the head of any of them because they were being protected by God.

For God, the life of a man is very precious. To further illustrate it, Christ made reference to sparrows, that although they are without much worth because they are sold at a very cheap price, not one of them will fall on the ground, or die, without the consent of the Father.

If the sparrows are given that assurance that they would not die unless the Father wills it, then, all the more that we can be sure that we, humans, will not die if the Father does not will it — because we are more important than those sparrows.

On the other hand, it also implies that if we die, it is because the Father has willed it.

Our life comes from God; our existence is dependent on Him. What we need to understand is the rightful way of spending our lives. God gives us life for us to use it in serving Him. He wants us to obey His commandments and to fulfill His will. Biblically speaking, such is our ultimate duty and the end-goal of our existence.

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.

We exist to serve God and to fulfill His commandments. We were created to do good works.

EPHESIANS 2:10 (KJV) says,

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

For God, human life is very important; that is why He commanded us not to kill, and anybody who takes somebody else’s life will be made accountable. He also commanded us to love, even our enemies.

It is apparent that such teachings manifest how much God values human life. Therefore, it is but proper that we spend our lives rightfully. And that is by serving Him and obeying His commandments.


The Pale Horse and the Plagues It Brings

3/21/2020 31 Comments

Meaning of the pale horse in the Bible

The misfortunes and catastrophes that happen on earth today are but a partial fulfillment of John’s vision about the four horsemen and the four horses in the Book of Revelation.

One of the four horses is the pale horse, and he that rides on it had been given the power to bring plagues on earth. In fact, one-fourth of the earth’s population will experience different kinds of plagues that the pale horse brings.

REVELATION 6:8 (KJV) 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.

You will notice that in this particular verse, the English word “death” was used; in the Filipino rendition the word salot, which means plague, was used. We have to understand that, sometimes, translators of the Bible used words interchangeably.

Besides, in reality, plagues indeed result in deaths. But for certain, the occurrence of plagues is really mentioned in the Bible.

In REVELATION 22:18 (KJV) it says,

For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

The corresponding Greek word to the word “plagues” in this verse is plēgē (play-gay), which means, “a stroke; by implication, a wound; figuratively, a calamity: stripe, wound.”

from G4141; a stroke; by implication a wound; figuratively a calamity: stripe, wound (-ed).

Therefore, a plague is something that causes damage to lives, and it can come in the form of calamities, infestations, pestilences or epidemic diseases. Also, it comes very suddenly and unexpectedly.

This dispensation has witnessed and experienced the emergence of many plagues, like Ebola, SARS, Avian flu, Swine flu, etc., and the most recent is the coronavirus disease or COVID-19.

For us not to suffer from these plagues, we are admonished to do something.

REVELATION 18:4 (KJV) says,

And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

It is apparent that plagues are a result of man’s sinfulness. That is why the Bible tells us to “come out of her,” so that we won’t be partakers of her sins, nor recipients of her plagues. We have to depart from our sinful ways and follow God instead.

Actually, as early as the time of Moses, God had already spoken that mankind would suffer from plagues because of his disobedience to God’s will. So, it is not surprising that plagues happen today because so many people now have become very disobedient to God and they have no inclination to do good deeds anymore.

Their preoccupation has been in doing evil things, like taking advantage of their fellowmen, drug-using and drug-selling, and murdering even the helpless and the innocent. This gross wickedness of men and their deliberate refusal to obey God are two of the reasons why people experience plagues.

If the plagues that are experienced globally are represented by the pale horse, the three other horses represent equally formidable events that mankind is bound to experience.

The red horse is symbolic of wars and bloodshed as the one riding this horse has been given the power to take peace from the earth and to let men kill one another.

REVELATION 6:4 (KJV) says,

And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.

The black horse, on the other hand, represents starvation and extreme poverty.

REVELATION 6:5 (KJV) says,

And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.

And lastly, the white horse represents deceitful religions, false Christs, and false prophets.

REVELATION 6:2 (KJV) says,

And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.

(I am sorry I cannot give you in this particular article an extensive and in-depth discussion on the significance of the four horsemen and the four horses; that would be too lengthy. But God willing, I will be able to do it in our future postings.)

What I am trying to point out is that the Bible really speaks of plagues and pestilences that may befall mankind.

For instance, during the early part of the 20th century, in 1918 to be specific, almost 40 million people died of influenza.

Probably, the corona virus that infects the world today is the mutated version of the influenza virus. Both viruses cause cough and colds, and respiratory tract infection. However, unlike COVID-19, the influenza virus is controllable as health experts have already found antibiotics that can combat it. There are even anti-flu vaccines that are already available today.

But the COVID-19, having undergone mutation, is tougher and more dreadful; it spreads very easily and is highly contagious. See what happened to the passengers in a particular cruise ship? Overnight, more than 60 people got infected. What makes it more alarming is the fact that there is still no antidote yet that could quell the potency of the virus; hence, it is fatal.

What we need to realize is, plagues like the COVID-19 that lead to the death of many are all the doings of one of the four horsemen, the one that sat on the pale horse, and are a consequence of man’s disobedience to God.

Undoubtedly, our best defense against all these is our obedience to the will of God.



Coronavirus Pandemic Fears: How Should Christians Prepare?

3/14/2020 83 Comments

Pestilences, natural calamities, wars, and the escalation of human wickedness to a degree never imagined before are some of the signs of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ, Himself, had foretold this to His Apostles when they asked Him, “What shall be the sign of thy coming?”

MATTHEW 24:4-7 (KJV) tells us what the Lord Jesus Christ told them:

4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

The Lord Jesus Christ said that before His coming, there shall be famines, pestilences or plagues, and earthquakes. A proof that the Bible is authentic and that the pronouncements of the Lord Jesus Christ therein are all true is the fact that we are experiencing these things now, including the wars or the uprisings of nations against other nations. And we know that wars and natural calamities can result to more problems, like famine and starvation.

That particular prophetic pronouncement was given by Christ thousands of years ago. During that time, it was unimaginable that people would ever starve because even beggars then had something to eat.

But today, food has become a major problem. There are people now who hardly eat in a day. We also hear of stories about people who die of hunger.

But what is more alarming is that there are pestilences now which are man-made. For instance, in Syria they were using something which seemed to have been meant for biological and chemical warfare, something that could annihilate people instantly. A video on the Internet shows that when a person inhales the substance, he suffers from a convulsion or a seizure attack and after a while, dies.

Undoubtedly, all these catastrophic events that we see around us now are signs of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The question is, how shall we prepare for that day of the Lord?

2 PETER 3:10-11 (KJV) says,

10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness.

The preparation that we should make should not be the kind of preparation that others are doing. They are preparing underground shelters or bunkers, which they believe could offer them refuge and protection.

In Singapore, for example, there are houses with built-in bomb shelters. Of course, such shelters cannot offer us absolute protection for they are all destructible. So, what is the kind of preparation that we have to make?

The Lord Jesus Christ, through the Apostle Paul, said that we have to prepare by leading a holy and godly life. Christ wants us to live a holy life filled with compassion to others, especially to the poor, to the abandoned children, to the widows, and to the orphans. We have to give them a part of ourselves.

Another video uploaded on the Internet showed that there were children in Haiti eating cookies made out of clay. What they did was they put sugar in a mixture of water and clay (similar to the clay used by potters) and shaped it into cookies. Then, they put the clay cookies under the sun to dry. Once dry, they are eaten by children.

When I saw that video I felt a pang in my heart. So I immediately told one of our Church workers in Latin America to go to Haiti, to the very place where those children eating clay cookies were situated.

I told him to look for a place there which could function as a feeding center for the poor. With God’s help, and in coordination with the concerned government agency in Haiti, this feeding center is already operational. And each day, there are lots of people who go there, falling in line to get packs of cooked food for free.

I am also contemplating on having similar feeding centers in the major cities in the Philippines to address the need for food of street children and beggars, and even of malnourished and neglected children.

Sometimes, I cannot help but feel bad about the rich people who feed their dogs with big cuts of meat, and yet they can’t even offer their starving neighbors something to eat.

It is apparent that the dogs of the rich are even in a much, much better position than the street children. Why? The rich owners of those dogs do not mind spending a huge amount of money for their dogs’ sustenance and maintenance — they are brought to veterinarians regularly; they are given vitamins; they are also given periodic grooming; and they even sleep in air-conditioned rooms.

Unlike those dogs, street children have to rummage trash cans in hope of finding something that could fill their empty stomachs. They are dirty; their clothes are tattered; and they sleep on the cold pavement because they are homeless. Indeed, we can say that the lives of the pet dogs of the rich are more enviable.

But which do you think will please God: caring for and feeding a dog sumptuously, or caring for and feeding a beggar or an orphan? Definitely, God will be pleased if you will spend your money on something that could alleviate the hunger and sufferings of your poor fellowmen, instead of spending it in pampering your dogs.

God wants us to live a holy life. In order to attain that, we have to live in accordance with His teachings, like not indulging in vices, in extravagance, and in worldly pleasures. Instead, He wants us to be compassionate to others, especially to the needy.

That is exactly what we, in the Church of God International, are trying to do. We do our very best to comply with what God wants from us. That is why we have put up a free diagnostic center to help those who do not have anything to pay for their laboratory tests and diagnosis.

We also have schools that offer full scholarship to poor but deserving students. And the scholarship grant that we offer is inclusive of free tuition and miscellaneous fees, free uniforms, free lunch, and free use of computers and other instructional materials.

We also conduct regular medical missions in different parts of the world wherein we offer medical, dental, and optical services, even vitamins and medicines. And we also have shelters for orphans, abandoned babies, and the elderly.

All these free services and forms of assistance are extended to all, regardless of their religion or race.

We do not know what tomorrow may bring. We can never tell if tomorrow we will still be alive; we do not know either if, one of these days, we will also become victims of man-made or natural calamities. And because of these uncertainties, it is very important that we are always prepared for what is to come, most especially for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

But apart from doing works of holiness and showing compassion to others, it is best that before the Lord comes, you’ll be able to find the true Church where the true faith is, and where genuine obedience to God is practiced zealously.



Never Enough: How Man's Greed Can Lead to God's Wrath

3/07/2020 16 Comments

Consequences of Greediness

Natural calamities like volcanic eruptions, earthquakes of great magnitude, devastating typhoons and floods, and the emergence of infectious diseases, like the Covid-19 that started in China and has killed and infected thousands of people in different parts of the globe, are but some of the tragic incidents that have happened in our time. And take note, they came in succession, if not simultaneously.

Adding to these are the social and political unrests in many countries, as well as the hostile and volatile relationship between some nations, which could lead to war if not settled diplomatically.

All these events cause fear and panic to many as they all pose threats to life. Many couldn’t help but think if these things are already the fulfillment of certain biblical pronouncements.

For one, everything that happens today had been predicted in the Bible. Dr. Michio Kaku, a Japanese Nobel Prize awardee, was right when he said that, “God is a mathematician.” As a mathematician, God can calculate all the things that are going to happen to humanity.

If you collect all pieces of information about all the events that happened throughout the centuries and analyze all sides of every issue, you will arrive at the conclusion that all those things that happened and are happening now before our eyes are really bound to happen.

There is no way by which we can avoid them, especially so if we consider the fact that there are other circumstances that are not seen by man, but are seen by God. Summing up everything, you will realize that all the gruesome and inhumane things that happen on earth stem from man’s greed.

Wars happen because man has become very greedy. He is never content with what he has. Today, for instance, we witness how China, a powerful nation, expands its territory by grabbing lands, islands, and seas that rightfully belong to the Philippines.

They do this even though their action is not in accordance with the international law that defines territorial boundaries. Instead of honoring the law, they defy it; instead of respecting the sovereign rights of the natives, they disregard them – all because of greed.

What is noticeable is that most of the powerful countries that bully and harass the more inferior ones are dominated by atheists or by people who do not believe in God.

Isn’t it that China is a communist country, and communists do not believe in the Almighty God? I am not saying that all Chinese do not believe in God; in fact, in our Church, we have many Chinese brethren. I also personally know some Chinese who are kindhearted and God-fearing. I am referring to atheists, in general.

I am inclined to believe that an atheist, or a non-believer of God, would not do anything good. That is not just a personal opinion, but that is what the Bible says.

In PSALM 53:1 (KJV), it says,

A fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.

People who do not believe in God or the atheists are doers of evil things; all the evil things that happen to humanity are the doings of atheists. These people can be very destructive because they fear no God. Their god is themselves.

God has calculated the degree of wickedness that man is capable of doing. And if he will not exercise restraint in his actions, more catastrophic events like wars are bound to happen on earth.

One of the reasons why wars break out is territorial invasion. A more powerful nation employs force to acquire the territory it desires even if it would mean violating and trampling upon the rights of the people in that territory. But that should not be the case.

ACTS 17:26 (KJV) says,

And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

There are boundaries that God had set. Aside from that, there are also boundaries that had been defined by international law. All we have to do is to honor what God and the law of men have decreed. But why do others refuse to honor the law? It is because of greed!

It is also because of greed that some people engage in illegal businesses, like the production and selling of prohibited drugs, which destroy lives. Aside from that, because of their greed for power, there are also nations that experiment on chemicals that could annihilate people instantly, even innocent and defenseless children.

Actually, there are speculations that in Wuhan, where this new strain of coronavirus originated, there is a laboratory that was experimenting on biological warfare. I do not really know if it is true, but it is a possibility, especially if you are to consider the rate that this virus spreads.

But whether it is true or not, we can be sure that these things are done by people who do not acknowledge God, by people who do not have any God in their lives.

You see, people who believe in God have love and mercy in their hearts. They care even for their enemies. They give their enemies something to eat and something to drink whenever they hunger and thirst. And they would not dare do anything that could inflict harm on their fellowmen.

Apparently, all the grim things that happen now are the results of man’s greed. Greed angers God, and His anger is manifested in different ways. Sometimes, God uses nature to express His anger; hence, there are volcanic eruptions that happen.

PSALM 104:32 (KJV) says,

He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth: he toucheth the hills, and they smoke.

Even earthquakes are manifestations of God’s anger.

JOB 9:5-6 (KJV) says,

5 Which removeth the mountains, and they know not: which overturned them in his anger.
6 Which shaketh the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble.

Strong typhoons also express God’s anger.

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.

God sends strong typhoons which bring heavy downpours. And because of continuous heavy rains, some areas become flooded. People drown in floods; sometimes, their bodies are carried by the water current to different places. There are instances when their corpses can no longer be retrieved. As a result, they are not given proper burial, and their loved ones a chance to lament or mourn for them.

We can say that all these are consequences of man’s sinfulness. Man has become very distant to God; he hardly prays; and he has no desire anymore to do good deeds. Instead of doing good deeds to his fellowmen, he has devised ways on how he can take advantage of them. He thinks of nothing but wicked things.

GENESIS 6:5 (KJV) says,

And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

This was the reason why during the time of Noah, God brought the people a great flood. Their wickedness angered God.

GENESIS 6:7 (KJV) says,

And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

Therefore, God is angered if what we do are all evil things. Remember, God did not create man to be evildoers.

EPHESIANS 2:10 (KJV) says,

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

We were created to do good works. Unfortunately, many of us do not do good works to others. Many think of what is good and beneficial only to them. All their thoughts and actions are geared toward personal gains only; they hardly care about the welfare of their fellowmen.

That is why I never get tired teaching our brethren in the Church of God to do good deeds to all people, regardless of their religious affiliation. In fact, our organization regularly holds medical missions, feeding programs, and blood donation projects not just in the Philippines but in some parts of the world also like Haiti, Brazil, and many more.

We have also put up institutions and shelters for the abandoned and the homeless. We have an Infant Care center for abandoned babies; we have orphanages for minors; and we have shelters for the elderly who have been neglected by their children. Aside from that, we also hold rescue and relief operations in times of calamities and disasters.

I am very thankful to God because our brethren in the Church of God really put into practice the Christian virtues that they have learned from the Bible. They actively support and participate in all our endeavors that aim to help our fellowmen, most especially in our blood donation projects.

In fact, the Philippine Blood Center has given recognition to our organization for seven consecutive years for being the top blood donor in the country. Our brethren in the Church have learned to give a part of themselves, not just their money to other people, without asking for anything in return. They are not selfish; they are not greedy.

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If only there would be no greedy persons, if only the whole of mankind would practice love and respect for each other, and if only all people would develop faith in and obedience to God, then this world would be a better place to live in. And when that happens, there won’t be war, starvation, exploitation, pestilences and calamities anymore. All men will live in peace and harmony.

But as long as man refuses to acknowledge and obey Him, as long as man continues with his sinful ways, humanity will also continue to experience different forms of sufferings. Remember, man’s sinfulness angers God.

Very clearly, in having faith in God and in obeying His commandments, we have nothing to lose and we have so much to gain. We can even merit eternal life.

But if you choose not to believe in Him, if you choose to take His words for granted, you’ll gain nothing but the wrath of God, and you might also lose your chance of salvation.