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When I see Jesus Face to Face

When I see Jesus Face to Face

I often wonder how exciting that day will be when I see Jesus face to face.

The promise of Jesus’ return is a central element of the Gospel proclamation and a vital part of God’s redemptive plan for humanity. As a matter of fact, Jesus spoke more frequently of His return than His death. We don’t know the day and the hour of Jesus’ return (Matthew 24:36) that’s why we are told repeatedly to be watchful and ready because just any day now we will see Him face to face.

When Jesus announced to His disciples that one of them would betray Him, and warned Peter that he was going to deny his Lord three times, it isn’t surprising that they were troubled. Peter who was so over confident that he could not only follow Jesus, but even die with Him and for Him.

John 13:21-22

When Jesus had said these things, He was troubled in spirit, and testified and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.”  Then the disciples looked at one another, perplexed about whom He spoke.

Alas! Peter did not know his own heart, nor do we really know our hearts, except for one thing: Our hearts easily become troubled. So Jesus comforts His disciples by promising them of His return to receive them to Himself so that they would be with Him in the Father’s house, heaven (John 14:1-3).

John 13:37-38

Peter said to Him, “Lord, why can I not follow You now? I will lay down my life for Your sake.” Jesus answered him, “Will you lay down your life for My sake? Most assuredly, I say to you, the rooster shall not crow till you have denied Me three times.”

Jesus would be returning to take His people to be with Him. The Father wants His children to be excited and hopeful about Jesus’ return because that event will be the conclusion of His plan.

Do we know how Jesus actually looked like? No, but we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is (1 John 3:2). Seeing Jesus our Lord for the first time, in His glorified state, will certainly be an awesome and moving experience that is unlike anything else we have or will ever experience.

As far as we know, the last one to see Jesus was the apostle John when he was allegedly banished to the island of Patmos, where he received God’s revelation of the events that are yet to take place. And what was his reaction? Upon seeing Jesus, John fell at His feet as dead (Revelation 1:17). It had such an awe-inspiring effect on John that he fell limply to the ground.

Do not think that your reaction when you see Jesus for the first time, face to face, will be all that much different from John’s. Indeed, what an exciting day that will be!

Here’s the lyrics and chords of the song, “Just any Day Now.” Enjoy singing for the Lord while waiting for His return.

Just Any Day Now (Lyrics and Chords)

We all have an appointment with God. Are you excited to finally see Jesus our Lord and Master? How do you think you would react? And what questions are you going to ask Him?

Tumawag Kay Hesus (Lyrics and Chords)

Tumawag Kay Hesus (Lyrics and Chords)

INTRO:

G – Em – Bm – C – G – Am – D – D7

 

TALATA 1:

                       G                                                       Em                              Bm

IKAW BA AY NABABAGOT SA BUHAY MO NA KAY LUNGKOT

                       C                      G                               Am                         D

MARAMI KANG KATANUNGAN DI MALAMAN ANG SAGOT

                        G                                                              Em                                  Bm

IKAW BA AY NALULUMBAY ANG BUHAY MO’Y WALANG SAYSAY

              C                                          G                           Am                           D

SA BIGAT NG IYONG PROBLEMA TILA WALA NANG PAG-ASA

 

KORO 1:

                        G                    D                         Em                           Bm                

LUMAPIT KA KAY HESUS SIYA SA IYO’Y NAGHIHINTAY

                  C                          G                                     Am              D

ANG BIGATIN MO SA BUHAY SA KANYA MO AY IBIGAY

                        G                   D                                Em             Bm

MANALIG KA SA KANYA ANG BUHAY MO AY IALAY

           C                              G                             Am      D             G

AT IYONG MARARANASAN TUNAY NA KAPAYAPAAN

 

TALATA 2:

                       G                                                Em                            Bm

ANG PAG-IBIG NI HESUS SA ATIN AY SADYANG LUBOS

                        C                     G                                     Am                  D

KAHIT TAYO’Y MAKASALANAN BUHAY NIYA’Y INILAAN

                      G                                                            Em                                    Bm

AT SINO MANG MANANAWAGAN SA BANAL NIYANG PANGALAN

                C                                     G                            Am                                D                  

MAKAKAMIT ANG KALIGTASAN BUHAY NA WALANG HANGGAN

 

KORO 2:

                           G                      D                  Em                            Bm

TUMAWAG KA KAY HESUS AT MANALIG NANG LUBOS

          C                                   G                    Am                             D

AT IYONG MAKAKAMTAN KAPAYAPAAN NA INAASAM

                          G                   D                                   Em                        Bm

SIYA ANG IYONG KAILANGAN ISANG TAPAT NA KAIBIGAN

                 C                    G                                          Am            D                   G

DI KA NIYA PABABAYAAN PAG-IBIG NIYA’Y WALANG HANGGAN

 

{INSTRUMENTAL >>> ULITIN ANG KORO 1 AT KORO 2}

 

PAGTATAPOS:

                      C                    G                                     Am               D                     G    –    Em   

… DI KA NIYA PABABAYAAN PAG-IBIG NIYA’Y WALANG HANGGAN

           C                             G                            Am        D              G

AT IYONG MARARANASAN TUNAY NA KAPAYAPAAN

 

*Please LIKE & SHARE, may God bless you!!! 

What is the Biblical View of Divorce and Remarriage?

What is the Biblical View of Divorce and Remarriage?

Many people, even Christians, have serious questions about divorce and remarriage. What is the biblical view of divorce and remarriage? When may a person divorce a spouse and remarry another? Does God permit a divorced person to remarry while their former spouse is still alive?

We live in a broken world, and everything in this world is broken as well. In the beginning, God created a perfect world and declared it all “very good” (Genesis 1:31). However, when man sinned, all the basic parameters of life set forth in Genesis chapters 1 & 2 – man’s dominion over creation; gender identity and roles; the value and sanctity of human life; love, marriage and child-rearing, have been damaged.

What is the biblical view of divorce and remarriage

But of all God’s ordinances and institutions marred by sin, none bears the mark of damage as much as marriage. You may be surprised to know that the greatest threat to marriages not only in the west but everywhere else in the world is not homosexuality, same-sex marriages or premarital sex, but rather divorce.

Yes, divorce represents one of the major problems facing homes today. So prevalent is divorce today that Christians who regularly go to church divorce at the same rate and percentage as non-churched individuals. This is really alarming and should cause a major concern among church leaders.

God’s design for marriage

Marriage is an earthly institution ordained by God Himself and that is why from the dawn of human history, marriage has held a special place in the heart of God. We find God’s design for marriage in Genesis 2:18-25. This passage describes the original marriage as the basis for almost everything else the Bible says about marriage.

God designed marriage to be a monogamous, lifetime commitment between one man and one woman; it is a lifelong union of flesh and spirit (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5 & Ephesians 5:31). Marriage is a covenant; not a contract.

What is the biblical view of divorce and remarriage

Jesus described the relationship between husband and wife this way in Matthew 19:6: “So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let not man separate.” Jesus reminds us that in the beginning God joined man and woman together.

Marriage, created by God as a “one-flesh” union, is meant to be a sign of God’s unbreakable covenant with us. Throughout Scriptures, God is compared to a husband and God’s people to a wife.

Marriage is used to illustrate the relationship between God and the nation of Israel (Ezekiel 16:8). The union between Christ and the Church (Ephesians 5:22-32) is used to illustrate the relationship between husband and wife in marriage. It is a solemn, binding agreement entered into on the basis of an oath or a pledge.

And although we see that polygamy is sometimes practiced in the Old Testament, the Bible makes is perfectly clear that marriage as God designed it is between one man and one woman for as long as both of them remain alive (Romans 7:2; 1 Corinthians 7:39).

God hates divorce

Malachi 2:16 says that God hates divorce. Why? Going back up to Malachi 2:15, God clearly explains His reasons for esteeming marriage so highly. God says it was He who “made them one.” Marriage was God’s idea. He designed it so He gets to define it. Any deviation from His design is abhorrent to Him.

As mentioned earlier, marriage is a covenant; not a contract. Marriage is meant to be a special covenant between a man, a woman and God. Divorce destroys the whole concept of covenant that is so important to God.

A covenant is an unbreakable commitment so when we divorce someone with whom we made a covenant, it makes a mockery of the God-created concept of covenant relationship.

What is the biblical view of divorce and remarriage

Another reason why God hates divorce is because it tears the very heart of God’s redemptive plan for the world. When the Pharisees asked Jesus in Matthew 19:3-6 if it “is lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason,” it’s interesting how Jesus answers by pointing them to God’s original design for marriage:

And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

Scriptural grounds for divorce

Is there any scriptural ground for divorce? While divorce is always contrary to God’s intentions, it is permitted in certain circumstances. The Bible only explicitly allows divorce for two reasons.

In Matthew 5:32 and again in Matthew 19:9, Jesus proceeded to state one exception in which case divorce is permissible: sexual immorality or infidelity or marital unfaithfulness (termed fornication in another translation) on the part of one’s spouse.

The Greek word translated “marital unfaithfulness” is a word which can mean any form of sexual immorality such as fornication, adultery, prostitution, etc. Since sexual relations are an integral part of the marital bond, any breaking of that bond by sexual relations outside marriage might be a permissible reason for divorce.

The apostle Paul adds a second exception in instances where an unbelieving spouse abandons the marriage. This would typically be the case when one of the couple is converted to Christ at some point after marriage and the other person refuses to continue in the marriage (See 1 Corinthians 7).

In any case, however, divorce is not mandated or even encouraged! Although divorce is permitted in unusual and extreme cases such as where the sinning spouse persists in an adulterous relationship, divorce was not in the original plan.

“Divorce should never be considered as a reason to marry someone else.”

Divorce is expressly denied for the immediate purpose of marrying someone else. Therefore, divorce should never be considered as a reason to marry someone else. If at all possible, forgiveness and reconciliation should be extended and pursued. When faced with challenging marital circumstances, divorce should be the last option.

Christian counselor Leslie Vernick emphasizes that there is a difference between a difficult or disappointing marriage and a destructive marriage. She goes on to point out that we must not seek divorce simply because we are not getting everything we want out of our marriages.

If you have such high expectations, no one can ever live up to that. Vernick believes that a disappointing or difficult marriage is not a ground for divorce but rather a ground for faithfulness.

Why then are there divorces? Jesus explained it this way in Matthew 19:8: “Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way.”

Remarriage after divorce

God recognizes that divorce will occur, even among His children. But did Jesus have remarriage in mind when He permitted divorce? Does the Bible allow remarriage after divorce?

While many Christians still hold to the prevailing Protestant view that remarriage after divorce is Biblically sanctioned in cases where divorce resulted from desertion or persistent adultery, I believe that the New Testament prohibits all remarriage, except where a spouse has died.

Listed below are the biblical texts in support of the view that all remarriage after divorce is prohibited while both spouses are alive.

1) Matthew 5:32 reaffirms that marriage after divorce is adultery, even for those who have been divorced innocently. It does not teach that remarriage is lawful in some cases.

“But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.” – Matthew 5:32

This seems to be a clear statement that remarriage is wrong not merely when a person is guilty in the process of divorce, but also when a person is innocent. Jesus is opposed to remarriage based on the unbreakableness of the marriage bond by anything but death.

2) Matthew 19:3-8 and Mark 10:2-9 teach that Jesus rejected the Pharisees’ justification for divorce from Deuteronomy 24:1. Instead, He asserted the original purpose of God in creation that no human being shall separate what God has joined together.

And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female.”– Matthew 19:4 (See also Genesis 1:27.)

Jesus criticizes the Pharisees’ failure to recognize in the book of Moses God’s deepest and original intention for marriage. He then goes on to quote Genesis 1:27 and Genesis 2:24 to raise the standard of marriage for His disciples to God’s original design for marriage in creation.

“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” – Mark 10:7-8 (See also Genesis 2:24.)

Jesus is saying that none of us should try to undo the “one flesh” relationship which God has united.

*Related Article: What did Jesus Teach about Marriage 

3) Luke 16:18 calls all remarriage after divorce adultery.

“Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced from her husband commits adultery.” – Luke 16:18

There are no exceptions mentioned in this verse. Instead, we see Jesus clearly rejecting the common cultural conception of divorce as including the right of remarriage.

The second half of the verse also shows that it’s not only the divorcing man who is guilty of adultery when he remarries, but also any man who marries a divorced woman.

4) 1 Corinthians 7:10-11 teaches that divorce is wrong but that if it is inevitable, the person who divorces should remain unmarried.

Paul seems to be aware that separation will be inevitable in certain instances. Perhaps he has in mind a situation of desertion, brutality or unrepentant sexual immorality. In such a case, he is saying that a person who feels constrained to separate should not seek remarriage but remain single.

Paul reinforces the authority of this statement by saying he has a word from the Lord (1 Corinthians 7:10). In short, his interpretation of Jesus’ saying is that remarriage should not be pursued.

“Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. 11 But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife.” – 1 Corinthians 7:10-11

These verses look very much like Mark 10:11-12 as it addresses both the wife and the husband. Remarriage also seems to be excluded by verse 11 the same way it is excluded in Mark 10:11-12.

5) Romans 7:1-3 and 1 Corinthians 7:39 teach that remarriage is allowed only after the death of a spouse.

“Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? 2 For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. 3 So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man.” – Romans 7:1-3

“A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.” – 1 Corinthians 7:39

Both of these passages explicitly say that a woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive. There are no exceptions mentioned whatsoever that suggests she could be free from her husband to remarry on any other basis.

6) 1 Corinthians 7:15 (NIV) does not say that a Christian who was deserted by an unbelieving spouse is free to remarry. It simply says that he or she is not under any obligation to fight for their marriage. Separation is allowed if the unbelieving partner insists on it.

“But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.” – 1 Corinthians 7:15 (NIV)

Note: The phrase “is not bound” should not be construed to mean “is free to remarry.”

Conclusion

Although divorce is permissible in extreme and unusual cases, divorce was never God’s will. Jesus emphasizes that marriage is a lifelong commitment between the husband and wife.

If they divorce, then neither he nor she may remarry as long as the former partner is alive, because the first marriage covenant still stands as long as both are alive. From God’s point of view, there is no such thing as divorce.

Since marriage is a “one-flesh” relationship divinely established by God and of extraordinary significance in His eyes, it follows that only God, not man can end it. This is why remarriage is called adultery by Jesus; He assumes that the first marriage is still binding for as long as the spouse remains alive.

What about those who have been divorced and are already remarried? Are they living in sin?

If you are in this situation, you should acknowledge that you’ve sinned, confess it and seek God’s forgiveness. You should not separate and attempt to return to your first partner after entering a second union. While it is not the ideal state, God wills for a couple to stay in their second marriage and they should not feel less loved by God.


Recommended Resource: 

Divorce & Remarriage: 4 views

When it comes to divorce and remarriage, everyone appeals to Scripture but no one agrees on what it says. In this book, four Christian thinkers (J. Carl Laney, William Heth, Thomas Edgar, and Larry Richards) debate the more perplexing points. Each essayist presents his own view and critiques the others. Case studies apply theories to real-life situations. Contributors are J. Carl Laney, William A. Heth, Thomas R. Edgar, and Larry Richards. Paperback.

Publisher’s Description

Divorce. No one likes it, but it doesn’t go away. Even among Christians, the divorce rate continues to climb. How should Christians approach this issue? May Christians ever legitimately divorce? If they divorce legitimately, may they remarry? Not everyone who appeals to Scripture agrees on how we should understand what it says about divorce and remarriage.
In this book, four authors present their distinct perspectives. Carl Laney argues that the Bible indicates that marriages are always intended to be permanent, that there is never a need for divorce and that remarriage is never permissible after divorce. William Heth contends that while there are legitimate biblical grounds for divorce, there are no legitimate grounds for remarriage after divorce. Thomas Edgar defends the position that Scripture allows for divorce and remarriage in cases of adultery or desertion. Larry Richards holds that Scripture, while decrying divorce and the pain it causes, points to a God of grace who will not condemn those who divorce and remarry.
Such a sensitive debate cannot remain abstract, so a case study accompanies each position, followed by critical responses from each essayist. The result is a thoughtful, helpful resource for all who wish to think biblically about a crucial issue confronting the church.
God’s Basic Will In Marriage

God’s Basic Will In Marriage

I believe that all Christians want to know the will of God for their lives, because knowing the will of God enables us to please Him in every aspect of our lives by making wise decisions that are in line with His will. We all want to know the will of God concerning major decisions we need to make, such as the career we should pursue, the place where we should live and the person we should marry.

But how do we know the will of God? Much of God’s will is revealed in His written word, the Bible, including His basic will in marriage. But how do we discern God’s will?

When I first came to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, one of the first biblical principles I learned from our senior pastor was that Christians must be fully submitted to the will of God when it comes to the person they should marry. I later found out that the very reason why he kept talking about God’s basic will in marriage is because many members of the congregation have been marrying unbelievers.

Below is an excerpt of one of the messages our senior minister recently gave about God’s basic will in marriage.

God’s Basic Will in Marriage

By: Rev. Moses R. Chungalao,
President and Senior Minister of FBCFI

When God formed the man from the dust of the ground, He planted the Garden of Eden and put the man there to work and take care of it (Genesis 2:7-8; Genesis 2:15). The man was alone working the garden in full obedience to God, he did not lack anything but was fully contented and happy. He would not think of anything he needed in that paradise garden because his only concern was to work and please God; to love and obey Him with all his heart and mind and soul.

Man’s Need of a Helper

But while the man was alone in the garden, God saw his need of a helper (Genesis 2:18). It’s very important to note that it was not the man who recognize his need and asked. It was God who saw the man’s need of a helper to fulfill the command of God for him to multiply and increase in number, to fill the earth (Gen. 1:28) and build God’s natural kingdom on earth.

“So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep, and while he was sleeping, He took one of the man’s ribs… Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib He had taken out of the man, and He brought her to the man” (Genesis 2:21-22). The reason God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep was for him to have no awareness and have no choice in what God was doing to make a helper for him.

God’s Choice, Not Man’s

Adam had no choice when God took his rib and made it into a woman to be his helper. And when God made the woman out of the man’s rib, even the woman had no choice as to the purpose of God. It is written, “Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib … and He brought her to the man” (Genesis 2:21-22).

God did not give any choice to the woman to go show herself to the man if he would like her, and if she would like him. The man and the woman were not given any choice by God. When God took the woman and brought her to the man, the man simply had no choice but to take her and said, “This s now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh, she shall be called ‘woman’ for she was taken out of man” (Genesis 2:23).

The man accepted that the woman is part of his bones and flesh, his body. And God commanded, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). Becoming one flesh means the man and woman that God has put together as husband and wife become inseparable. Even Jesus said that divorce is not lawful and it is not the will of God (Matthew 19:9; Mark 10:11-12).

Divorce, Not God’s Will

He who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery (Matthew 19:4-10). When God gives a woman to a man to be his wife, their relationship as one flesh supersedes their relationship to their father and mother or parents.

That is how much higher and important the relationship of a husband and wife becomes than to their parents, except to God whom everyone must love foremost with all their heart, with all their soul, with all their mind and with all their strength (Matthew 22:37; Luke 10:27).

When a wife is God’s choice, and vice versa, God will work out their relationship very compatibly and they will live happily because it is God who works all thing for good unto them who love God and who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

Even after Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating the forbidden fruit and man started to suffer the curse of God, the life span of man was only reduced to less than a thousand years. Adam lived 930 yrs and died, Seth lived 912 years, Enosh lived 905 years, Kenan lived 910 years, Mahalalel 895 yrs, Jared 962 years, and Methuselah 969 years (Genesis 5:5-27).

Exercising Self-will

In Genesis 6, it is written that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful “and they married any of them that they chose” (Genesis 6:2). The sons of God began to exercise self-will and made their own choice whom to marry, and the basis of their choice was beauty, no longer the choice of God. So God said,”My Spirit will not contend (or quarrel) with man forever…his days will be a hundred and twenty years” (Genesis 6:3).

As a result, God reduced the life span of man. When God saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, “and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time (about whom to marry and self-will), the Lord was grieved that He had made man on the earth, and His heart was filled with pain. So God said,”I will wipe mankind…from the face of the earth…for I am grieved that I have made them” (Genesis 6:5-7).

So God caused the flood of the whole earth in Noah’s time and destroyed every life except Noah and his sons and their wives, all because of man’s violating the basic divine principle of God in marriage, and that is what preoccupies the thoughts and hearts of men even until now.

Jesus warned that the end time be the same as in the days of Noah. People will be eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage until the flood came and took them all away (Matthew 24:37-39). This will be one of the things that will be judged when Jesus comes not very long from now.

Conclusion

Marriage was ordained by God Himself. It was God’s will that a man and a woman become one in marriage and God intended marriage for life (Romans 7:1-3, 1 Corinthians 7:39). God’s people must never compromise God’s will on marriage. No one has the right to change God’s requirements.


Recommended Resource: Mutual by Design: A Better Model of Christian Marriage
By Elizabeth Beyer

At the beginning of creation, “God made them male and female. Because of this, a man should leave his father and mother and be joined together with his wife, and the two will be one flesh.” So they are no longer two but one flesh. (Mark 10:6-8, CEB)

Marriage. It’s been around for millennia, so what more can be said that hasn’t already been said? Many books on Christian marriage have been written, but most assume that the Bible puts men in a leadership role, while women are to be submissive. But there’s a better way. Not only is it healthier for families, but it’s more faithful to the Bible. The Bible casts a vision of marriage where men and women co-lead and co-serve as equal partners. This book explores that vision.

This book is for those considering marriage, those already engaged, newlyweds, and any couple seeking to improve their relationship. Written for both individual couples or groups, chapters include discussion questions, exercises, and suggestions for further reading.

Bonifacio and the Zealots: What did They have in Common?

Bonifacio and the Zealots: What did They have in Common?

Bonifacio Day is a holiday celebrated in the Philippines annually on November 30 to commemorate the birth of Andres Bonifacio, a Filipino nationalist, patriot and one of the original founders of KKK (Kataas-taasan, Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan) or simply called Katipunan. The Katipunan is a secret movement devoted to fighting the Spanish occupation of the Philippines.

The Katipunan (KKK)

Being a nationalist, Andres Bonifacio was the first to have a clear vision of what a Filipino nation would be. So when Jose Rizal established the La Liga Filipina in 1892 with the purpose of uniting the people under “one compact homogenous ” body (nation) to institute reform, education, and cooperation, Bonifacio became one of its first members.

But just 4 days after the establishment of the Liga on July 7, 1892, Jose Rizal was arrested by the Spaniards and deported him to Mindanao. After Rizal’s arrest, Andres Bonifacio and others decided to revive La Liga to continue pressure on the Spanish government to free the Philippines. Along with his friends Ladislao Diwa and Teodoro Plata, he also founded a group called Katipunan.

The Philippine Uprising

Over the summer of 1896, the Spanish colonial government began to realize that the Philippines was on the verge of revolt. To preempt the uprising, the government began arresting hundreds of people and jailing them on charges of treason. Among those arrested was Jose Rizal who was on a ship in Manila Bay waiting to ship out for service as a military doctor in Cuba.

On the other hand, Bonifacio kicked off the revolt by leading thousands of people to refuse to pay any more taxes to the Spanish Colonial regime. After the revolution, Bonifacio named himself president and declared the nation’s independence from Spain on August 23, 1896.

Bonifacio’s Rivalry with Aguinaldo

As Spain fought hard to defend the capital of Manila, a group of Cavite rebels led by an upper-class politician named Emilio Aguinaldo became successful in driving them out. Aguinaldo later on became one of Bonifacio’s lieutenants, but being a more successful military leader and a member of a much wealthier, more influential family, Aguinaldo formed his own rebel government in opposition to Bonifacio’s.

On March 22, 1897, an election was held at the Rebel’s Tejeros Convention to let the people decide who would be president between Bonifacio and Aguinaldo. But Aguinaldo rigged the election to show that he was the proper president of the revolutionary government. Andres Bonifacio refused to recognize the new rebel government and began forming another group. But Aguinaldo sent a group to arrest him; they tried Bonifacio for treason and sedition, convicted and sentenced him to death. Bonifacio, together with his brother Procopio were shot dead by a firing squad on May 10, 1897.

Andres Bonifacio, a Filipino nationalist (“makabayan” in Tagalog), and revolutionary, is remembered on his death rather than his birth because unlike Dr. Jose Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines, Bonifacio was executed not by the Spanish but by the very same Filipino revolutionary government that he founded.

Although Aguinaldo is officially named the first president of the Philippine Republic, many have argued that Andres Bonifacio should be remembered as the first president as the Katipunan had its own constitution and was in control of the Philippines before the creation of the first government. Andres Bonifacio is also often called “The Father of the Philippine Revolution.”

The Zealots

Do you know that the Bible mentions nationalists like Andres Bonifacio called the Zealots? The Zealots were one of the four Jewish groups that existed during the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry founded by Judas the Galilean and Zadok the Pharisee in 6 AD who sought to overthrow the occupying pagan Roman government.

We read in Acts 5:35-39 how Gamaliel, a well-known and greatly respected Pharisee and member of the Sanhedrin, mentions Judas and his group when he urges the council to treat the apostles carefully. One of the first disciples chosen by Jesus was Simon the Zealot. He must have learned later a worldview that stood in contradiction with his likely desires to overthrow his occupying government.

What did the Zealots believe?

The first-century Jewish historian Josephus wrote that in most respects the Zealots aligned with the Pharisees, but they have an inviolable attachment to liberty and strongly maintained that God should be the leader of the nation rather than the government.

Clearly, the Zealots held strongly to the teachings of the Torah as the foundation of all things, yet they want them enforced through activism and even acts of violence. Looking at the attitude and actions of the Zealots in this period, some have likened them to modern-day terrorists.

However, this label is only partly correct since not all Zealots were violent but all Zealots desired to forcibly remove the Roman government from Judea and were willing to use any kind of violence in order to do it. Add to that the fact that they were just fighting to defend their own homeland.

In 66 AD the Zealots helped lead a military revolt against the Romans after the introduction of imperial cult worship in Israel. Although they succeeded at first, the Romans went on to destroy the temple and the city of Jerusalem in 70 AD.

The End of the Zealots

After Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD and the temple was burned to the ground, 960 zealous Jews took refuge by capturing Masada, which was originally a Roman fortress. Rome sent a legion to recapture Masada but failed to do so even with the invention of new weapons.

It was not until 73 AD when the Romans were able to finish a huge siege ramp made of earth that led to Masada and gave them the ability to use the full power of their newly made siege engines against the walls of Masada. But when the fortress was finally torn down, the Romans found all the Zealots committed suicide.

Conclusion

Andres Bonifacio and the Zealots were alike in the sense that they both fought hard to overthrow those who were ruling their nation and were willing to die for their independence. They both set out a revolt by convincing their own people to stop paying taxes to the ruling government.

There is nothing wrong with zeal; it is biblical and it is absolutely essential for Christianity to succeed. Being zealous in Christ is what God desires for all of us (Romans 12:11 NIV; 1 Peter 3:13 NIV). Jesus Himself was filled with the zeal of the Lord when He cleansed the Temple (John 2:13-17; Matthew 21:12-13).

When Jesus was writing to the churches in the Book of Revelation (Rev. 3:19), He said “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore, be zealous and repent.” Being zealous is like having a great passion for the things of God, including living in obedience to God.

However, zeal for the work of the Lord is totally different from the attitudes and actions of Bonifacio and the Zealots for they were not doing the will of the Lord. In the history of the church, there are many examples of such misguided zeal, most notably, the crusades.

We can be zealous for the Lord but we must be careful for even the Jews were zealous for the Law. When Paul spoke to the church leadership at Jerusalem he related how God had been bringing many of the Gentiles to Christ (Acts 20:20-21). There’s always a risk of being zealous for the wrong things.

 

Declaring the Amazing Grace of God

Declaring the Amazing Grace of God

One of the things I enjoy since becoming a Christian is listening to the personal testimonies of fellow believers in Christ; how they came to know the Lord and how God has dealt and is dealing with them. It always amazes me how God draws people to Himself and uses their own circumstances to showcase His unconditional love and amazing grace.

Today, I would like to share with you the testimony of a fellow believer in Christ named Linda. I’ve never met her in person but I was so blessed by her life story, how she is overcoming her struggles by the grace of God and how God is working mightily in her life.

May we  all welcome her in declaring the amazing grace of God.


Dear readers,Declaring the Amazing Grace of God

Thank you for passing by.

I would like to bless you today with my testimony. Let me start out by introducing myself. My name is Linda and I am 27 years of age here in 2017. Many people question the existence of God because many people feel they need to see Him in order to believe. Well, let me tell you how I came to Christ.

I used to be Catholic. I grew up with the traditions of making your first communion, the confession and taking the bread and wine. However, each Sunday that my mom and I attended church, we left the same way we came in. When I turned ten, I decided to tell my mom I didn’t want to attend church anymore. So, we stopped and I never did the confirmation. We sought for a church for almost ten years. But each Catholic Church was the same and we stopped looking.

When I was 18 and had just graduated from High School, I met my Pastors outside of the congregation. They were neighbors of one of my mom’s friends. Mom and I started attending Bible studies with them at their home. About 6 months later, they rented a large room in a local hotel to start service. They had just moved from Mexico to open up a congregation for their calling.

We all have a purpose in life which is known as our calling. If you ask me; “How is it that you believed in something you did not see?” I’d reply, “I didn’t care about God when I was a Catholic. But later, life’s issues proved to me that God was real.” So due to my calling, I became spiritually thirsty. Everything I learned, I shared. I didn’t care if it was someone at a gas station I didn’t know. It was in me to share what I was learning. I was thirsty for the word of our Lord.

Months later, my pastors decided to make a retreat which is where I had my first personal encounter with God. It wasn’t called a retreat but a “calling.” During the calling in a moment of prayer, my tongue started rolling and I couldn’t make it stop. I was speaking another language or dialect. I began speaking in tongues. Speaking in tongues means “speaking in the spirit.” Speaking in tongues is one of the spiritual gifts given by the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:4; Acts 19:6; 1 Corinthians 14:2)

That is how I knew then and there, that everything in the Scripture was true. It proved to me that everything is real and God does exist. I immediately began to have even more thirst and craving for the Gospel. God had just been proven to me. Maybe I didn’t see Him but I experienced Him. This is only the beginning of my testimony.

Now I ask, do you need to personally experience His presence like I did as well? Or do you need to hear a life struggle to believe? What is it that you need?

With love,

Linda Monserrat


What about you? How did you come to know the Lord? What did it take for you to acknowledge that you are lost and in need of a Savior? How has God been working in your life, your job, ministry and family since surrendering to Him and receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of your life?

Please feel free to share your testimony by posting it on the comment section below.

May the Lord bless and keep you!

 

 

What is the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

What is the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

With all the uncertainty surrounding us and the depressing events that we hear and read about every day, good news would be a breath of fresh air. And what better news could there be than the good news of Jesus’ coming to provide forgiveness and salvation to all who believe? This good news is called the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The term “gospel” is the translation of the Greek noun “evangelion” which occurs 76 times in the Greek New Testament; it means good news! The apostle Paul gives us the basic ingredients of the gospel message in 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 namely: the death, burial, resurrection and the appearances of the risen Christ. These verses are widely recognized by New Testament scholars as an early creed or statement of faith that was systematized long before Paul quoted it.

The Power of the Gospel to Save

In his letter to the Corinthian church, Paul reminds them about the gospel that he has preached to them, which they in turn received and firmly stood for. He tells them further that it is through the gospel that they are saved for as long as they will hold firmly to it, otherwise they have believed in vain (1 Corinthians 15:1-2. See also Romans 1:16).

Paul was concerned that after he was gone, the Corinthian believers might have forgotten everything he taught them about the gospel of Jesus Christ. So he emphasized in his letter the importance of holding firmly to it because their salvation depended on it. Paul described it as “of first importance,” stressing priority and that is why upon receiving it, he immediately wanted to pass it on to the church in Corinth (1 Corinthians 15:3a).

Paul must have received this “good news” from the apostles Peter and James (the brother of Jesus) when he went to Jerusalem 3 years after he came back from Arabia. It should be noted that when Paul encountered the risen Christ on the road to Damascus, he did not meet right away with the apostles in Jerusalem. Instead, he went away to Arabia and then returned to Damascus where he ministered to the Gentiles (Galatians 1:15-18).

The Death of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:3)

The death of Jesus Christ by crucifixion is one of the best attested facts in history that is almost impossible to doubt or deny. It is attested and recorded by several independent, non-Christian sources and historians such as Josephus (Jewish historian), Tacitus (Roman historian), Thallus (Samaritan-born historian), etc.

But why did Christ have to die? Because ever since the first Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden, mankind has been under the condemnation of sin. The punishment for sin is death (Romans 6:23) and spending eternity in a place of torment away from God. Everyone is guilty of sin and deserving of punishment in hell (Matthew 25:46).

But God loved the world so much that He made a way for man to be forgiven of their sins and receive eternal life in heaven (John 3:16). God sent His Son Jesus Christ to take on the penalty upon Himself through death on the cross to satisfy God’s justice and to guarantee the salvation of everyone who believes (John 3:15).

The Burial of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:4a)

Jesus’ burial is an integral part of the gospel because it was an assurance of the reality of His death and resurrection. The fact that He was buried verified His death. How do we know that Jesus actually died? We know it because He was buried. Joseph of Arimathea, a wealthy member of the Jewish Sanhedrin who is said to be a secret follower of Jesus Christ, buried him in his own tomb (Mark 15:43-46; Luke 23:50-53 & John 19:38-42).

The testimony of the actual death of Jesus is so important because if there was any doubt Jesus really died, there would be doubt as to whether the Father actually had meted out His wrath on Christ. Death is the penalty pronounced on sinners (Romans 6:23) and death is required for atonement (Hebrews 9:22).

So if Jesus had not died we would have no assurance that God’s justice was satisfied and no foundation for believing that our broken relationship with the Father was restored.

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:4b)

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the greatest event in human life which led to our great salvation. It gives credence, reality and authenticity to the Christian faith. The resurrection is the core foundation by which the Christianity stands or falls. The apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:17-18 that if Christ has not been raised from the dead then our faith is futile and we are still in our sins. Moreover, those who have died believing in Christ have perished.

The resurrection is victory over sin; it has destroyed sin and the grave and set humanity free from the bondage of sin and disease. This means that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead sets the believer free to live a new life that destroys sin in his life and has gained victory over sin (1 Corinthians 15:55-57).

The Appearances of the Risen Christ (1 Corinthians 15:5-8)

The appearances of the risen Christ to His disciples and to a group of people are as important as His death, burial and resurrection because it not only verified His resurrection but more importantly, it has become the driving force for His disciples and followers to start proclaiming His resurrection. Without the postmortem appearances of Jesus Christ, the disciples would not have believed that He was alive.

You see, the disciples felt devastated and defeated after the crucifixion. But after their encounter with the resurrected Christ, they were transformed from being frightened, discouraged and despondent to being bold, courageous and outspoken.

*** In summary, the gospel of Jesus Christ is the message of the good news of salvation offered to mankind by grace through faith in the finished works of Christ on the cross (Ephesians 2:8-9). It is a message not only of eternal life but one that encompasses the total plan of God to redeem mankind from the ravages of sin and death, from Satan and the curse that is upon all the earth.

Although God does not want anyone to perish but for everyone to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9), in the end not all people will be saved but only those who place their faith in Jesus will go to heaven (Acts 4:12). The gospel of Jesus Christ is the best news anyone will ever hear, but how each person will respond to this news determines where he or she will spend eternity. The gospel is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes, for the Jews first and also for the Gentiles (Romans 1:16).

You’ve heard the gospel, the good news of salvation. What are you going to do about it?


Recommended Resource: The Case for Christ (Pack of six) by Lee Strobel
A seasoned journalist chases down the biggest story on record in The Case for Christ. Retracing his own spiritual journey from atheism to faith, former Chicago Tribune legal editor Lee Strobel cross-examines a dozen experts with tough, point-blank questions in search of credible evidence that Jesus of Nazareth was positively the Son of God. This riveting quest for the truth about history’s most compelling figure reads like a captivating, fast-paced novel, yet it’s anything but fiction!

What is the Will of God in Marriage?

What is the Will of God in Marriage?

Christians differ in their views when it comes to the will of God in selecting a spouse. Many Christians believe that God has selected only one specific person for each of us and it’s up to each of us to find that person. They say that Christians who marry based on desire are not in God’s will and could end up miserable or might get divorced because they have married the wrong person. It is believed that couples get divorced because they have married outside the will of God.

Meanwhile, some Christians believe that the key to finding God’s will and marital happiness is finding the “right one.” But how do we know that person is the “right one” to marry? There are also Christians who hold to the belief that when the right person comes along, they would know because the Holy Spirit will point them to that person.

You may have heard or read the story of a pastor who was attracted to one of his church members but was hesitant to tell her how he feels for fear that the girl might not reciprocate his feelings. So he came up with a plan to tell the girl how the Holy Spirit revealed to him that she’s the one chosen by God to be his wife.

He told the girl that it is God’s will for her to become his wife. The girl was shocked upon hearing what the pastor had to say but she managed to politely say: Pastor, that’s impossible! It’s impossible because I’m already married to someone else.” 

The Will of God in Marriage

What is the will of God in marriageSo what is the will of God in marriage? We read in Genesis 1:31 how God called everything He created “good.” But seeing the man without a suitable mate, God said it is not good for him to be alone (Genesis 2:18) so he let the man fall into a deep sleep and created woman out of the man’s ribs (Genesis 2:21-22).

From this account of Adam and Eve we can establish that it is God’s will for a man to have a partner and helpmate (or help-meet in the old KJV). The will of God in marriage has never changed, it’s still the same today and remains to be the same until He comes to rule and reign on the earth.

However, choosing whom you’ll marry is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make, because it will extensively affect the rest of your life. It’s only natural to want reassurance that you’re doing the right thing, given its magnitude.

But how do you know God’s will for a marriage partner? Does God tell us who we’re supposed to marry? To answer these questions, let us go to what the word of God says, the Bible, because the word of God is the will of God.

Guidelines in Selecting a Wife or Husband

Finding the right kind of spouse is God’s will for every believer. Although the Bible does not teach anywhere that believers need to find a specific person whom the Lord has chosen or tell us directly who we should marry, it does give us clear guidelines on finding the right kind of husband or wife.

When seeking a partner in marriage, it is essential for Christians to seek the mind and will of God, for there can be no better counsel than what is found in the word of God.

1. A Christian must marry a Christian.

How do I know the will of God in marriage2 Corinthians 6:14-15 gives a clear instruction from the apostle Paul that Christians are not to be bound together with non-Christians. When we enter into a covenant relationship with God, we are declared righteous in Christ and are brought into the light of God’s truth.

So we should not have intimate fellowship with those who are still in spiritual darkness. A believer should marry a believer so that they can continually encourage each other in the Lord. It is never the will of God for Christians to be marrying non-Christians.

In the Old Testament, interracial marriages were not acceptable. Genesis 24, the longest chapter in the book of Genesis, contains one of the greatest love stories known to man, that of Isaac and Rebekah. When Abraham was very old, he made his senior servant swear by the Lord not to take a wife for his son Isaac from the Canaanites, but to go to his very own family to get a wife for him (Genesis 24:1-4).

Abraham understood very well the negative implication of having an unbelieving wife and mother. So Abraham insisted that Isaac marries a woman who is a believer.

We also read how Aaron and Miriam talked against their brother Moses because of his Cushite wife (Numbers 12:1) and Esau grieving his parents Isaac and Rebekah for marrying two Canaanite women (Genesis 26:34-35). So when it was time for Jacob to marry, Rebekah insisted that Jacob go back to her own people to find a wife (Genesis 27:46). Isaac agreed with Rebekah and sent Jacob away charging him not to take a wife from the daughters of Canaan (Genesis 28:1).

The Israelites were commanded not to engage in interracial marriages not because of skin color or ethnicity but because they would be led astray from God and will turn to idol worship (Deuteronomy 7:3-4). Just as the people of God, the Israelites, were commanded not to marry idolaters, Christians are commanded not to marry non-Christians (unbelievers).

Does this mean that Christians can’t be friends with non-Christians? No! On the contrary, we should develop friendship with them so that we will have the opportunity to share the gospel to them. Former Muslims who turned to Christ testify that one major factor for their conversion was the love and genuine concern they received from Christians. Friendship unlike marriage is not a bond for life.

2. A Christian must marry a Christian who has a godly character.

How do I know the will of God in marriageBeing a Christian does not guarantee that he or she has the qualities necessary to make the marriage successful. Proverbs 12:4 and Proverbs 31:10 exhort men to find a wife of noble character and to avoid a quarrelsome wife (Proverbs 19:13). Women, likewise, are to find men with these godly characteristics.

Find someone who is a person of character (Psalm 119:1) because men and women of character are trustworthy in all they do and they are sure to keep their words no matter what the cost. Also, look for someone who faithfully obeys God in everything and is growing every day in his faith in Jesus.

3. Don’t worry about finding the right person, become the right person yourself.

Biblical guidelines in selecting a partner in lifeIn finding the right kind of husband or wife, the Christian must first begin with his or her own faith in and relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Instead of asking, Is he or she the right one for me?” a Christian must focus on being the right person.

You’ve got to be the kind of person that you exactly want for the person you want to marry. In other words, if you want a kind, loving and godly person to marry then you’ve got to become a kind, loving and godly person.

To be godly is to have a daily quiet time when you pray, read the Bible, meditate on it and apply it in your life (Joshua 1:8). Attend church regularly, get involved in the ministry and just focus on God and His kingdom as you grow in your spiritual walk with the Lord.

4. Marry someone who loves God more than he or she loves you.

How do I know the will of God in marriageThe first and greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength (Mark 12:30).

You must observe how is your partner’s love for God because in time the way he or she loves and serves Him will be reflected in the way he or she loves and serves you.

The only way he or she can love you is if he or she loves God above anything or anybody else.

5. Marry someone you can pray with.

What is the will of God in marriage

Every Christian needs a prayer partner, one who will lift you up and encourage you when you’re down and in times of trials and difficulties.

The Bible encourages believers to have someone to agree with you in prayer (Matthew 18:19) and the best prayer partner would be your spouse because more than anybody else, he or she knows what you’re going through.

It is also a proven fact that couples who pray together stay together because prayer builds deep intimacy into a marriage.

* These are just five of the guidelines that God gives to us in selecting a future partner in life. No one will ever fit into the “perfect partner” category but finding someone who has the personal qualities that can develop and sustain a lifetime relationship in the Lord could be a sign that you are in the will of God in finding a mate. And as you follow the Lord’s guidelines, you need to trust the Lord for the blessings.

Conclusion

The Lord gives every believer the free choice to marry or not to marry. God has given marriage to be a free choice for every believer. Proverbs 18:22 says that finding a wife is finding what is good and receives a favor from the Lord. So if you choose to get married, that is good.

If you do not have a desire to marry so you can focus on serving God, that is good as well. Jesus said in Matthew 19:12 that some of us have chosen not to marry for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The apostle Paul also encourages Christians to stay single (like himself) in 1 Corinthians 7:7 but continues on to say that each one has his own gift from God.

Should you choose to get married, you may marry whoever you wish as long as he or she has the qualities listed above. God wants to bless your union but it has to be acceptable to God to begin with. And remember, you should marry that person because you love him with all your heart, not only because you think it is good for you. You should marry because you are ready to enter into a lifetime commitment with that person.

Wanting to get married is normal and a natural desire but you need to pray about it and then leave it in God’s hands. You need to trust God with all your heart (Proverbs 3:5-6), especially when it concerns the person whom you will be spending the rest of your life with.

Recommended Resource:

God Is a Matchmaker: Seven Biblical Principles for Finding Your Mate / Revised – eBook 

By Derek & Ruth Prince

In God Is a Matchmaker, Derek and Ruth Prince share seven biblical principles for finding your mate. Sharing their own real life love story and full of inspiring testimonies from others who followed these principles and found their perfect match, this book reveals God’s pattern for marriage. The book also offers special counsel for parents, youth leaders, pastors, and counselors.