Is the Holy Spirit Merely an Active Force? The Bible Says Otherwise

8/29/2020 41 Comments


Divinity of the Holy Spirit

While most people have a clear understanding about the divinity of the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, many are still uncertain if the Holy Spirit possesses the same attribute, and whether the Holy Spirit should also be worshipped and revered the way we worship and revere the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Actually, even religious leaders vary in their regard of the Holy Spirit. There are groups who say that the Holy Spirit is the Comforter, while there are also those who believe that it is just an active force.

But before we make any conclusions as to whether the Holy Spirit is a god or not, I am first inviting you to look at this matter from a broader perspective.

Let us begin with the prophetic pronouncements of the prophet Isaiah.

ISAIAH 53:1-5 (KJV) says,

1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? 
2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 
3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 
4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

In the given verses, the Lord Jesus Christ had been referred to as “the arm of the Lord.” Specifically, He was the arm that delivered the Israelites out of the land of Egypt.

As it is written in DEUTERONOMY 5:15 (KJV),

And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm...

The Israelites were brought out from the land of Egypt by a mighty hand and a stretched-out arm. All of us know what an arm is and what a hand is; they are parts of the human body. The arm and the hand are connected to each other such that the hand cannot function without the arm.

In another verse, this is what it says,

LUKE 11:20 (KJV)

But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.

According to the Lord Jesus Christ, He was casting out devils using the finger of God. The “finger of God,” which Christ used in casting out devils, should not be taken literally because it was used to represent something else.

In MATTHEW 12:28 (KJV) it says,

But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come upon you.

The finger of God symbolizes the Spirit of God or the Holy Spirit. In other words, it is the Holy Spirit that the Lord Jesus Christ used in casting out demons or devils.

The point that I am trying to drive at is this: The Lord Jesus Christ is the Word, which in the beginning was with God, and according to the Bible, the Word was God.

REVELATIONS 19:13 (KJV)

And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

JOHN 1:1 (KJV)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Now, if the Lord Jesus Christ, which was called or whose name is the Word and the arm of God, is God, we wouldn’t be wrong if we believe and regard the Holy Spirit as God, too, since it is the finger of God, also a part of God. If the “arm” of God is God, then, the “finger” of God must also be God. (I hope you are able to follow the equation.) In the first place, there could never be a part of God which is not God.

Just like a guava tree, there is no part of a guava tree that is not guava. From its roots, to its branches and leaves, up to its fruits, they are all guava. What I say is not merely a sophist’s point of view because there is biblical wisdom in my argument.

ROMANS 11:16 (KJV)

For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.

Here, the Apostle Paul used the olive tree figuratively; and he also made reference to the parts of an olive tree. Its roots, branches, leaves, and fruits share a common attribute because all of them are components of one particular tree.

God is a vast, enormous, immeasurable and unfathomable power in which the Holy Spirit is a part of, being the finger of God; Christ is also a part of God because He is the arm of God and also the Word. Again, let me reiterate, if the Lord Jesus Christ, which is the Word and the arm of God, is God, it follows that the Holy Spirit, which is the finger of God, is likewise God. All the parts of the One Person whom the Bible calls God, is God; no part of Him is not God.

I don’t think that is difficult to understand. Only feebleminded pastors would say that the Holy Spirit is merely an active force, and not God, just like pastors of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. They are not only undermining the Holy Spirit but they are also insulting it.

The Holy Spirit is part of God’s deity and it has a separate person that is why we are also praying to Him.

JUDE 1:20 (KJV)

But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,


Surely, Jude would not admonish Christians to pray to the Holy Spirit if it has no person and if it does not exist. We do not pray to something that does not exist and has no being. We pray to the Father and to the Lord Jesus Christ because they have their respective beings; we also pray to the Holy Spirit because it also has a being that is distinct from that of the Father and Christ.

That is why the Holy Spirit was sent to the apostles — for them to have another Comforter. When the Lord Jesus Christ was still with the apostles and the early Christians, He was the Comforter. As Christ couldn’t be with them much longer, before He ascended to heaven He told the apostles that He would pray to the Father to send them another Comforter.

JOHN 14:16 (KJV) 

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

Indeed, the Comforter now is the Holy Spirit, also called the Holy Ghost.

JOHN 14:26 (KJV)

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

As the Comforter, the Holy Spirit shall teach the apostles and remind them of all the things that the Lord Jesus Christ has told them.

Practically, there is really no reason for us to doubt the divinity of the Holy Spirit. Remember, both the Holy Spirit and the Lord Jesus Christ are part of the Elohim (in Hebrew), or Theotes (in Greek), which means gods. So, if the Lord Jesus Christ is God, so is the Holy Spirit.

May God bless us all!

41 Comments:

God and the Lord Jesus Christ are Always Busy

8/22/2020 22 Comments

What is God doing right now


As ordinary humans, sometimes we wonder, what must the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be doing in heaven right now? What keeps them busy? 


Do they simply watch what we do down here on Earth? Or, are they too busy attending to so many pressing matters that concern mankind?

By referring to some verses from the Bible, we will have an idea about the things that preoccupy them. Let us start with the Lord Jesus Christ.

HEBREWS 8:1-3 (KJV)

1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; 

2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. 

3 For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer.

Right now, the Lord Jesus Christ is in heaven, seated at the right hand of God’s throne. When we say that He is set or seated on His throne, we should not have the impression that He is simply seated the whole time, literally, and not doing anything.

To be seated on a throne means to be in power. Therefore, the Lord Jesus Christ is on the seat of power. And to be in His post entails so many duties and responsibilities that need to be fulfilled.

One of the duties that the Lord Jesus Christ performs is the duty of a high priest. As He is our high priest, He is tasked to offer gifts and sacrifices at the altar in heaven.

During the time of the Israelites, they offered goats, sheep, and cows for the forgiveness of their sins, and the ones who accepted those offerings were the high priests who, in turn, would offer them to God at the altar.

In the Christian dispensation, the one who performs that task is the Lord Jesus Christ because He is our high priest. In heaven, there is a temple and an altar which God built. And it is in that altar where the Lord Jesus Christ presents to God the offerings of His servants, which are not sheep and cows anymore, but their prayers, praises, hymns, vows, and thanksgivings.

The Lord Jesus Christ serves as our mediator to God; He intercedes for us. We need His intercession because, as sinners, we are not worthy to approach God. But through the mediation of Christ, God accepts our offerings; thus, our sins are being forgiven.

HEBREWS 13:15 (KJV)

By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

The pronoun “him” in that verse refers to the Lord Jesus Christ. By Him and through Him, our praises and thanksgiving are able to reach God, because Christ is the one Mediator between God and men.

As written in 1 TIMOTHY 2:5-6 (KJV),

5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 

6 Who gave himself as a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

All our sacrifices and offerings, including the love that we give to our spouses, the help we extend to our fellowmen, the support and care that we give to our family, and all the good works that we do, are presented to God by the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition to these are the vows, fasting, contributions, charity works, and prayers of the servants of God, which the Bible likewise regards as offerings.

Aside from the duties of a high priest, there are other things that the Lord Jesus Christ is busy with.

HEBREWS 1:13 (KJV)

But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?

We have to understand that when God told the Lord Jesus Christ to “sit on my right,” it means that the Father was letting Him take the seat of honor and power. He was giving Christ the authority to reign and rule as King over heaven and earth.

MATTHEW 28:17-18 (KJV)

17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. 

18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

All power in heaven and in earth have been given to the Lord Jesus Christ. He has power over all flesh.

As it is written in JOHN 17:2 (KJV),

As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

Included in the power that the Father gave Him is the power to give men eternal life. Thus, part of Christ’s function is to save men for them to enjoy eternal life. And until now, Christ is working toward the fulfillment of that intention; in other words, it is a work in progress.

Others might ask, how is He able to carry out the function of saving men when He is in heaven?

Simple. The Lord Jesus Christ sends angels to deliver His servants from harm; He also sends the Holy Spirit to teach and guide the people here on Earth; and His Spirit goes with the preachers of God as they propagate His Gospel to all men.

Let me clarify — Christ only goes with the preachers of God, and not with all preachers. Definitely, you do not expect Him to go with preachers who make money out of the word of God and make a lucrative business out of religion. He will only be with the preachers who faithfully teach the Gospel with the sincere intention of leading people back to God for them to be saved and merit eternal life.

MATTHEW 28:19-20 (KJV)

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 

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

Christ gave the early apostles an assurance that He would be with them until the end as they went forth to preach His teachings. The fulfillment of Christ’s promise was also experienced by later apostles like Paul and Barnabas for they, too, felt the guidance of Christ’s Spirit as they preached the Gospel.

ROMANS 16:25 (KJV)

Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ...

Modesty aside, I can also testify to the guidance of the Spirit of Christ whenever I preach, whenever I answer questions of faith of different people, and whenever I defend the Christian faith.

As I am not young anymore, there are times when I tend to be forgetful. Sometimes I could not easily recall the specific chapter and verse of a particular book of the Bible that I want to cite. But whenever that happens, the spirit of Christ readily comes to my aid, and very swiftly, the verses that I want to cite flash in my mind.

Always, His spirit never fails to supply me with His words that I need to impart to people at a given situation. And without a doubt, I know in my heart that the Spirit of Christ is with me as I fulfill His commandment of making disciples in all nations.

The Lord Jesus Christ is always true to His promise, “I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” And that promise is still in effect until now because the world has not ended yet. We can expect that the preachers who teach the undefiled teachings of God are being accompanied and guided by the Spirit of Christ.

The Lord Jesus Christ wants to draw people closer to Him, so He goes with His preachers as they teach His words to people. It is Christ who finds a way so that people can find the one true faith.

JOHN 12:32 (KJV)

And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

When Christ was still on Earth in the form of a man, He was able to preach only in Israel. He was not able to reach the other parts of the world that were already existing during that time, such as the Philippines, because there was a limitation to what His human body could do; He couldn’t be in several places at the same time.

I said that the Philippines was already existing at the time that He was preaching in Israel because based on documents, the Philippine rice terraces in Ifugao were constructed 3,000 years ago. Since Christ preached on earth 2,000 years ago, it means that at the time that He was preaching, the rice terraces in Ifugao, Philippines had long been in existence.


But before He ascended to heaven, He made a promise that when His physical body has been changed into a glorious spiritual body, He will let all men be drawn to Him. When that happened, He was no longer barred by limitations. He could already approach any man anywhere on Earth, although not really by His own person, but through the instrumentality of the preachers that He sends. And He is the driving force that attracts or draws people to His teachings.

Very clearly, the Lord Jesus Christ is not idling in heaven. He is very busy in taking charge of so many things. As mentioned earlier, the Lord Jesus Christ is ruling over heaven and earth; this means that He is ruling over His servants and even over the angels, cherubs, and seraphs.

The angels in heaven are under His command. In fact, He sends them to Earth to safeguard the would-be heirs of salvation.

HEBREWS 1:14 (KJV)

Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

Angels are ministering spirits, and they are being commissioned to deliver the people of God from mishaps; that is why they are called guardian angels. If you are of God, if you are God-fearing, then you have a guardian angel.

As it is written in PSALM 34:7 (KJV),

The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.

Although we do not exactly know everything that happens in heaven, we can be sure that the Lord Jesus Christ is always very busy.

How about the Father, is He equally busy? For sure, the Father is busier.

ACTS 17:26 (KJV)

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;

The Father made all nations on Earth for men to dwell on. Not only that, He is also the reason why we live.

ACTS 17:28 (KJV)

For in him we live, and move, and have our being...

God is our Creator; we owe Him our lives and our beings. We exist because of Him. He maintains our lives; He provides us with all of our needs in order for us to survive.

ACTS 17:25 (KJV)

Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;

God is the Provider of all our needs in life. He sees to it that we’ll not run short of our sustenance. Thus, He lets the crops grow and yield bountifully; He multiplies the fishes in the ocean to satisfy our hunger.

He makes the complex structure of nature and maintains ecological balance for us to have fresh and clean air and water, and a healthy environment as a whole, which are all vital to our survival. While the Lord Jesus Christ takes charge of the salvation of our souls, the Father is the great Provider of everything that we need.

The Father is also the one who makes the very tough decision as to who will live and who will die. We know that our lives are in His hands.

He also addresses the prayers and supplications of people, even if their requests happen to be self-centered and are in contradiction with other people’s prayers. Indeed, people often ask for two contrasting things.

For example, a farmer may pray for rain so that his crops will grow for him to have an abundant harvest. On the other hand, a salt maker, who also lives in the same village, prays for the rain not to pour because the rainwater will dissolve his salt. As he is a sea salt maker, instead of rain, he prays for the scorching heat of the sun so that his salt brine would dry, crystalize, and be harvested at the soonest possible time. We can just imagine the difficulty that the Father faces in addressing the prayers of men alone.

I repeat, we do not exactly know what really happens in heaven, but the Bible gives us a glimpse of how busy the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ are up there. And we can be very sure that the things that keep them busy are all for the benefit of men.

To God and the Lord Jesus Christ be all the glory!

22 Comments:

In the Midst of Hate, Why Not Do What Pleases God?

8/15/2020 23 Comments


Leading others to serve God through good deeds

Truth seekers who get the chance to listen to my preaching of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ inevitably develop an intense desire to serve God and be a part of the Church of God International. Not only that, because of the overwhelming joy that they feel, they also want their loved ones to learn what they have learned and to also join them in the true Church that they have found and to serve God all together.

Unfortunately though, sometimes things do not always happen in accordance with what they desire. There are instances wherein, not only do their loved ones resist the idea of changing religions, but their loved ones also prevent them from further listening to the Christian doctrines that I preach, more so, from joining the Church of God.

What is more saddening is that their loved ones’ objection and resistance are not really founded on any solid ground such as doctrinal matters, but mostly out of sentimentality. They simply want the truth seekers to stick with the religion that their parents and grandparents introduced to them, which they have been practicing all their lives, regardless of its unbiblical and erroneous beliefs and practices.

With the reactions that their loved ones show, these truth seekers are faced with the predicament of how they could convince their friends and family members to also join the Church of God — because they love them and also want them to be saved.

This is actually a dilemma experienced by many people. But this is not really a big problem because the Bible teaches us how we can lead our loved ones to serving God.

1 PETER 3:1 (KJV)

Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;

According to the verse, a wife can be instrumental in the conversion of her husband; she can lead him to faith without using words, but only by doing good deeds. The wife does not have to use persuasive words to convince her husband because her good deeds are capable of saying more than enough. As an adage says, actions speak louder than words.

Once the husband sees the positive changes that are happening in his wife because of her obedience to the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ being taught in the Church of God, even without saying anything, the husband will readily believe that the Church that his wife joined is really of God. The husband will develop a curiosity at first, and later on, an interest in joining the Church of God.

Although the given example shows how wives can lead their husbands to God, this is also applicable to the other members of the family, and even to friends and workmates.

By putting into practice the teachings that you have learned in the Church, by doing good deeds toward them despite the cold treatment that they may give you, they would know in their hearts that you are not mistaken in joining the Church of God. And before you know it, they will be with you in your service to God. Just never get tired of doing good deeds.

1 PETER 2:12 (KJV)

Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

If you keep on doing good things, if you continue to treat people with kindness despite the negative things they may say about you, time will come that even those who do not acknowledge God will learn to acknowledge Him; they will also glorify God.

One piece of advice to those who experience the same predicament: Do not be afraid of the rejection of other people; do not let their opinions hinder you in your desire to serve God. What you need to have is the kind of conviction that the apostles had — and your foremost concern should be to obey God before anybody else.

ACTS 5:29 (KJV)

Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

Our obedience should be rendered to God first, not to our family and friends, not to the rich and the powerful, and not to anybody else. God is our Creator; He is the owner of our lives. For that alone, it is but proper that we give Him our absolute obedience, full commitment, and love without reservations.

There is nothing wrong with loving your spouse, parents, siblings, and friends; there is nothing wrong about caring for them. But just see to it that your love for God is much, much greater than your love for any of them. Our love for other people only comes second to our love for God. We should love God with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind.

As it is written in MATTHEW 22:37-39 (KJV),

37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 
38 This is the first and great commandment. 
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

So, if you want to serve God, if you want to heed His calling, you have nothing to fear; you should not let anything or anybody get in the way. If you truly love God, then nothing else should matter.

Do not be afraid of what other people will say. In the first place, they will always have something to say whatever you do, as you cannot please them all. So, you might as well do what is pleasing to God.

And it is pleasing to God if you will obey His teachings and if you submit yourself under the jurisdiction of His Church. And once inside the Church of God, you will be constantly taught to do good deeds, which you can apply when dealing with your loved ones.

And with God’s help, when they see how you’ve changed for the better, you will not encounter much difficulty in making them accept the faith that you have embraced.

May God bless you!

23 Comments:

Christians Are Not Commanded to Build Chapels, or Temples

8/08/2020 , 24 Comments

Is worshipping from home Biblically approved

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


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

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

1 KINGS 6:1 (KJV)

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

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

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

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

DEUTERONOMY 12:5-7 (KJV) says,

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

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

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

DEUTERONOMY 14:24-25 (KJV)

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

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

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

HAGGAI 1:4-9 (KJV)

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

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

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

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

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

MATTHEW 24:1-2 (KJV)

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

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

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

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

JOHN 4:20-24 (KJV)

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

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

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

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

MATTHEW 18:20 (KJV) says,

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

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

JOHN 20:19 (KJV)

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

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

ACTS 20:7-8 (KJV)

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

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

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

ACTS 17:24 (KJV)

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


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


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

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

HEBREWS 7:12 (KJV)

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

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

When the priesthood was changed, the covenant was changed.

HEBREWS 8:7-9 (KJV)

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

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

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

ROMANS 16:3, 5 (KJV)

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

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

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

COLOSSIANS 4:15 (KJV)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AMEN!

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True Worship Is More Than Attending Church Gatherings

8/01/2020 16 Comments

True Worship is More Than Attending Gatherings

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

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

THE ROMANS 12:1 (NIV) says,

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

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

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

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

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

ROMANS 6:13 (KJV) says,

Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

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

JOB 29:15 (KJV) says,

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE ACTS 17:25 (NIV) says,

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

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

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

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