Healing: Fake or Real?

10/17/2020 48 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.

48 Comments:

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

10/10/2020 71 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!

71 Comments:

Free Will Shows God's Unfailing Love to Man

10/03/2020 20 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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