The Biblical Truth About Christ's Date of Birth

12/25/2020 23 Comments

The unheard truth about the birth date of Christ

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

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

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

According to 1 Corinthians 4:6 (KJV),

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


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

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

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

Luke 2:7-8 (KJV) says,

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


23 Comments:

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

12/18/2020 15 Comments

Is the old path for the wicked

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Job 42:7 (KJV) says, 

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


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

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

Jeremiah 6:16 (KJV) says,  

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

To God be the glory.

15 Comments:

The One Sure Way That God Will Listen When We Call

12/12/2020 18 Comments


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

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

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

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

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

Ecclesiastes 12:13 (KJV) says, 

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

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

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

Acts 17:29 (KJV) says, 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Romans 1:25 (KJV) says, 

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

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

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

18 Comments:

Is Religion Necessary to Be Saved?

12/05/2020 20 Comments

Can faith or grace alone save you

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

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

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

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

James 1:26 (KJV) says,

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

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

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

James 1:27 (KJV) says,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May God bless us all!

20 Comments: