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What the Bible can Do for You

What the Bible can Do for You

Next to the gift of Christ and the Holy Spirit, the Bible is the third greatest gift. The Bible can do so much for you because it possesses the transforming power that is nowhere found in any other books.

The Bible does not contain the word of God; the Bible is the Word of God. 2,600 times in the Old Testament, the prophets asserted that their words are the Word of God. A similar statement occurs in the New Testament and Jesus quoted the Bible as the genuine word of God to mankind in Matthew 22:31-32.

The Uniqueness of the Bible

The Bible is unlike any other book and has no equal in its uniqueness; it is the oldest book in existence, it was written by more than 40 authors on three different continents, in three different languages over a period of more than 1500 years.

“Many books can inform you but only the Bible can transform you.”

Although there have been a vast of books that were written over the centuries, few of them can truly be regarded as great. The uniqueness of the Bible does not prove that it is divinely inspired, but rather its superiority over any other writing.

Getting the Most out of the Bible

Because the Bible is God’s Word and not just “mere human ideas,” we should appreciate it. We are to read the Bible with reverence and respect, not carelessly, the way we sometimes scan a newspaper or speed-read a book. As you open your Bible and your heart, God will open His mouth and speak to you.

Psalm 19:7-9 gives us some characteristics of God’s inspired Words:

“The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul. The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart. The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever. The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.”

And because Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the “master theme” of the Bible, we should treat the Bible the way we treat Jesus. Jesus is “the Bread of life” (John 6:48) and the Word is bread that nourishes our spirit (Matthew 4:4). The Bible is light ((Psalm 119:105) and Jesus is “the light” (John 8:12). Jesus is “the truth” (John 14:6) and the Word of God is truth (John 17:17).

Merely having the Bible before our eyes is no guarantee that we have its truths in our inner person. We should appreciate the Word of God because it is like bread (Matthew 4:4), solid food (Hebrews 5:11-14) and even honey (Psalm 19:10; Psalm 119:103).

We know that food does us no good unless we eat it and digest it. What digestion is to the body, meditation is to the inner person. If we want to grow spiritually, we need to welcome the Word of God into our hearts.

*Note: Memorizing verses that especially speak to you so you can think about them during the day is a good habit to develop.

Simply reading assigned portions of the Bible each day is not enough. If you want to experience its transforming power, you need to meditate on what you read (Psalm 1:2), study it carefully in light with what other verses have to say and then obey what God tells you to do (Joshua 1:8).

“Reading the Bible but not obeying it is like reading the menu but not eating the meal.”

The Word of God is “alive and powerful” (Hebrews 4:12). It can work in our lives as we exercise faith and obey what God says to us. If we are willing to learn and obey, the Holy Spirit who is the author of the Bible and lives within each Christian believer is our Teacher.

7 Reasons to Preach the Word of God

Jesus faced the multitude in Mark 2:2 and preached the Word of God. In the same way, Christians are to preach Christ as revealed in the Bible. We must insist on preaching the Word because it endures for time and eternity (Isaiah 40:8).

1) Faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17).

2) Comfort comes from the Word of God (1 Thessalonians 4:18)

3) Conviction of sin comes through the preaching of the Word of God (Acts 2:14-37).

4) The New birth comes through the Word of God (1 Peter 1:23).

5) Assurance comes from the Word of God (1 John 5:13).

6) Cleansing comes from the Word of God (2 Corinthians 7:1).

7) Truth comes from the Word of God (Acts 17:11)

Final Thoughts

Make the Bible your constant guide and companion in life. Read it daily. Not just on Sundays but every day. If you want to be a new person, knowing and obeying the will of God and becoming more like Jesus, you must spend time daily yielding yourself to the transforming truths of the Scriptures.


*Recommended Resource:

How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth: Fourth Edition / Special edition – eBook
By Gordon D. Fee & Douglas Stuart

Publisher’s Description

Understanding the Bible isn’t for the few, the gifted, the scholarly. The Bible is accessible. It’s meant to be read and comprehended by everyone from armchair readers to seminary students. A few essential insights into the Bible can clear up a lot of misconceptions and help you grasp the meaning of Scripture and its application to your twenty-first-century life.

Covering everything from translational concerns to different genres of biblical writing, How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth is used all around the world. In clear, simple language, it helps you accurately understand the different parts of the Bible—their meaning for ancient audiences and their implications for you today—so you can uncover the inexhaustible worth that is in God’s Word.

Arguments Against the Deity of Christ

Arguments Against the Deity of Christ

Belief in the deity of Jesus Christ is essential to salvation (Romans 10:9; John 8:24). Yet, this precious doctrine is attacked mercilessly not only in the west but even within the “Christian world.” In this article, I will be presenting the arguments and Scriptures used by these opponents against the deity of Christ.

Jesus Christ is not God …


1.
Because He had flesh and bones, and God being a spirit, has neither flesh nor bones – John 4:24; Luke 24:39

Answer: Jesus Christ as man had both flesh and bones but as God, He was spirit.

This objection arises from the problem of the dual nature of the Savior. In order for the invisible God to become visible, He must become flesh and bones. Jesus assumed flesh and bones merely for the incarnation. As God He is eternal but to be our Redeemer it was necessary that He become a partaker of humanity.

Jesus is fully God and fully man

a) Jesus is a dual personality.

“For there is one God and one Mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus.” – 1 Timothy 2:5

b) God was manifest in the flesh.

“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in
the flesh, 
justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory.” – 1 Timothy 3:16


2.
Because Christ had a beginning and God had no beginning – John 8:42; Psalm 90:2

Answer: Jesus as a man had a beginning when He was conceived of the Holy Spirit but Jesus as God is without beginning and without end.

Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” – John 8:58

The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way, before His works of old. I have been established from everlasting, from beginning, before there was even an earth.” – Proverbs 8:22-23


3.
Because He has been created, and God isn’t; God is the creator – Colossians 1:15; Revelation 3:14

Answer: The correct translation of Revelation 3:14 is something like this, “He was the witness of the beginning of the creation of God.” Jesus is not a creation but a witness of the creation.

We find no evidence in the Bible that the Father created Jesus or that Jesus is a “lesser God” than the Father. The Bible reveals that from eternity Jesus has the same substance, glory, power, and authority as the Father and the Holy Spirit.

“And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” – Colossians 1:17

When Jesus is called the “first born of all creation,” it does not mean that Jesus was created. Rather, it speaks of the preexistence of Christ. He is not a creature but the eternal Creator.

And every creature which is in heaven and on earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I hear saying: “Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever.” – Revelation 5:13

A created being cannot and will not receive worship due only to God.


4.
Because God is not a man (Hosea 11:9) and man is not God (Ezekiel 28:2), but Jesus was called man – John 8:40; 1 Timothy 2:5

Answer: Hosea does not say God could not assume human form of the body and flesh. Nothing is too hard for God (Jeremiah 32:17-18). Since God is all powerful He can be manifest in the flesh.

Here’s a video of Nabeel Qureshi answering a Muslim’s question on the Trinity.

Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which is translated, “God with us.” – Matthew 1:23

Jesus was both true God and true man in one person without an intermingling of the two natures. Emmanuel means “God with us.”


5.
Because He called God His Father – Matthew 27:46; John 20:17

Answer: The relationship between Jesus and God the Father has always been that of a “father and son.” So it’s not surprising that even as the human person, Jesus called God His Father. In Hebrews 1:8, God calls Jesus “God” but that does not lessen the Father’s position of deity.

But to the son He says: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.” – Hebrews 1:8

The relationship between God and Jesus Christ


6.
Because the Father sent Jesus to earth – John 8:42

Answer:  Jesus volunteered to come. But even so, the Father sending the Son to earth does not lessen His position as the Almighty God.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” – John 10:11

The co-equal, co-eternal persons of the Trinity are one in divine nature. However, each divine person has a distinct role in salvation and a voluntary submission of roles in the work of redemption. The Son took on human flesh and submitted to the Father by giving His life on the cross.


7.
Because God is His head – 1 Corinthians 11:3

Answer: God the Father and Jesus have the same exact nature; they’re both divine but their relationship is different. God the Father is the head of Christ because Christ was eternally begotten of the Father. But this does not mean that the Father is greater or higher than the Son.

“And now, O Father, glorify me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.” – John 17:5

In a triumvirate, it is necessary that one be the chairman but that does not mean that he is greater than the other two. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are equal but for administrative purposes, the Father acts as the executive administrator.


8.
Christ is not God, but He is the Son of God, just as we may become sons of God – John 3:16

Answer:  When we call Jesus the Son of God we mean that He is of the same nature as God. Fathers create things unlike themselves, but they beget sons like them.

C.S. Lewis explained it this way:

When you make (or create), you make something of a different kind from yourself. A bird makes a nest, a beaver builds a dam, and man makes a computer. But when you beget, you beget something of the same kind as yourself. A man begets human babies, a bird begets eggs which will turn into little birds, and a beaver begets little beavers.

So when we say, “Jesus is the Son of God,” we simply mean that Jesus is God.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16

By conversion, we become a “son of God” (John 1:12), but Jesus Christ is the “only begotten Son of God” (John 3:16), a unique and special position. God’s Son is equal to the Father (Philippians 2:6), and the saints become an heir with Christ.


9.
Because the Father gave Him power – Matthew 28:18

Answer:  Jesus was, always has been, and always will be God. As God, Jesus has the same power as the Father and the Spirit. When Jesus said that all power and authority has been given to Him, that would include the power that brought the universe into existence.

“For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.” – Colossians 1:16

In Philippians 2:5-8, the Son surrenders this power and God restores or returns it to Him after the resurrection. It was always His but He voluntarily yielded it.


10.
Because He was made Lord by God – Acts 2:36

Answer:  How could Jesus be made Lord if He was already the Lord? Jesus was not made Lord by God in the sense that He was made into something He was not already. He was not made Lord in the sense of a promotion.

“For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” – Colossians 2:9

Acts 2:36 is dealing with Jesus’ status as a man-made under the law and in a lower position. It is in that sense that He was made Lord and Christ by God the Father.


11.
Because He is subject to God and He says that the Father is greater than Him – 1 Corinthians 15:28; John 14:28

Answer:  John 14:28 has often been thought to mean that Jesus is something less than the Father. However, this statement is not referring to Christ’s nature but rather His position. When Jesus came to earth, He came in the form of a servant. He voluntarily chose subjection; it was not imposed on Him against His will.

“And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even death of the cross.” – Philippians 2:8


12.
Because Christ died and God being immortal cannot die – 1 Timothy 1:17

Answer:  People say that Jesus can’t be God because He died and God cannot die. We have to understand that Jesus has two natures: God and man. It was the human nature that died on the cross, not the divine nature.

“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.” – Hebrews 2:9

Jesus as man died but Jesus as God could not and did not die (Hebrews 2:9, 14). In the person of Jesus Christ, who is a man with the divine nature, we see a biological death, not the death of the divine being who is God.


13.
Because He prayed to the Father and addressed Him as the only true God – John 17:3; 1 Corinthians 8:6

Answer:  This objection ignores the fact that the Son co-exists with the Father; they are one. We need to understand that the Father and the Son had an eternal relationship before Jesus took upon Himself the form of a man.

Jesus prays to the Father - John 17:3

Being fully equal with the Father in nature, Jesus’ manner must be seen more as a supplication and conversation rather than a lesser being who is praying to a greater being.

*Related Article: Death Penalty for Sin, Eternal Life in Christ 

Conclusion

Nothing has changed after 2,000 years. The attack against the deity of Jesus Christ persisted up until today. While the Bible clearly teaches that Jesus Christ is God, there are still many groups that deny His deity. From Muslims who teach that Jesus was just a prophet, to the Jehovah Witnesses who reduce Him into a messenger sent by the Father.

The doctrine of Christ’s deity is important to the Christian faith as it not only authenticates the authority and inspiration of Scripture; it also the basis for a believer’s eternal salvation. In other words, if Jesus is not fully God, we have no salvation and ultimately no Christianity.


*Recommended Resource: Forgotten Trinity, The – eBook By James R. White

The Trinity is a basic teaching of the Christian faith. It defines God’s essence and describes how He relates to us. The Forgotten Trinity is a concise, understandable explanation of what the Trinity is and why it matters. It refutes cultic distortions of God. It shows how a grasp of this significant teaching leads to renewed worship and deeper understanding of what it means to be a Christian.

And amid today’s emphasis on the renewing work of the Holy Spirit, The Forgotten Trinity is a balanced look at all three persons of the Trinity.


Reference Materials:

100 Bible Lessons by Alban Douglas
Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem

 

 

 

What Did Jesus Teach About Marriage?

What Did Jesus Teach About Marriage?

What did Jesus teach about marriage? In Matthew 19:3-12 where the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus about marriage, divorce and remarriage, Jesus went all the way back to Genesis instead of beginning with the laws in Deuteronomy. By doing so, Jesus reminded His listeners (and the readers today) of the true characteristics of marriage as described in the original Edenic Law.

From the first marriage that God established, we learn positively what He had in mind for a man and a woman. If a marriage is built after God’s ideal pattern, the couple will not have to worry about divorce laws. Below are the principles that Jesus taught about marriage.

Marriage is a divinely appointed union.

God designed marriage, which means He knows best how it should operate. God alone can control its character and laws. No court of law can change that which God has established.

Since God designed marriage, it takes three to make a good marriage: God, the husband, and the wife. Steve J. Cole puts it this way: “Marriage is described as a triangle with God at the top. The closer each partner moves to God, the closer they move toward each other. And the further each moves from God, the further they move from each other.”

Marriage is divinely appointed by God

This truth is illustrated in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve disobeyed God. They did not only experience alienation from God as a result of their disobedience, they also experienced alienation from each other. When God confronted them, Adam began to blame Eve (Genesis 3:11-12).

*Related Article: What is the Will of God in Marriage? 

Marriage is a physical union.

Jesus says that when a man gets married, he shall leave his father and mother, be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. And as a result, they are no longer two but one flesh (Matthew 19:5). The term “one flesh” means that just as our bodies are one whole entity which is not divisible, God also intended it to be with marriage. Married couples are no longer two entities, but now there is one entity.

The “one flesh” union between the husband and wife is the fruit of more than just companionship or partnership; it is the expression of oneness found when two bodies are fused in perfect union – the deepest expression of intimacy.

And that is why in the marriage relationship, the Bible says that the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise, the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does (1 Corinthians 7:4).

Marriage is a physical union

While husband and wife should be of one mind and heart, the basic union in marriage is physical. Because if a man and woman were just to become “one spirit” in marriage, then death would not dissolve the marriage as it says in 1 Corinthians 7:39, for the spirit, never dies.

So even if the couple disagrees, are “incompatible,” and do not get along, they are still married, for the union is physical.

Marriage is a permanent union.

God’s original design for marriage was for one man and one woman to spend one life together; no man should separate them because they were joined together by God (Matthew 19:6). God says nothing about trial marriages or divorce in His original law. Rather, God’s law requires that the husband and wife enter into marriage without reservations.

Our Lord’s teaching is that Scripture has only one basis for divorce, and that is sexual sin. If two people are divorced on any other basis and marry other mates, they are committing adultery (Matthew 19:9).

What God has joined together, let not man separate

However, it is important to note that the Lord Jesus did not teach that the offended mate had to get a divorce. Certainly, forgiveness, patient healing and a restoration of the broken relationship are possible. This must be the Christian approach to the problem.

Sad to say, because of the hardness of our hearts, oftentimes healing the wounds and saving the marriage becomes impossible (Matthew 19:8). For Christian couples, divorce should be the final option, not the first option.

*Read here: What is the Biblical view of Divorce and Remarriage?

Marriage is a union between one man and one woman.

Genesis 1:26-27 gives us an account of God’s creation of man. It says that God created man in His image and likeness and He created them male and female. The LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7) and made a woman out of one of the man’s ribs (Genesis 2:21-22).

Marriage is between one man and one woman

God did not create two men, two women, two men and one woman or two women and one man. This tells us that gay marriages, group marriages, and other variations are contrary to the will of God, regardless of what some psychologists and jurists may say. God’s original design for marriage is between one man and one woman only.

Marriage makes possible the continuation of the human race.

God’s mandate to the first married couple was, “Be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28). From the beginning, God commanded that sex be practiced in the commitment of marriage. Outside of marriage, sex becomes a destructive force; but within the loving commitment of marriage, sex can be creative and constructive.

Be fruitful and multiply - Genesis 1:28

What about those couples who do not wish to have children? While Scriptures tell us to multiply and fill the earth (Genesis 1:28) and that children are a blessing from God (Psalm 127:3), there is no specific verse in the Bible that says every single Christian couple must have children.

And if it’s a sin for couples to not want to have children, what about those who are unable to have children? God does not expect all of us to have children. Although in general, bearing children in the context of marriage is the biblical norm, nowhere in the Bible did God condemn an infertile couple or those who chose to not have children.

Conclusion

In closing, let me just say that happy marriages are not accidents. They are the result of love, commitment, sacrifice, mutual understanding and hard work. If a married couple is fulfilling their marriage vows, they will surely enjoy a growing relationship that will satisfy them and keep them true to each other.

For those who are seeking a spouse, you are to seek for one who believes from the heart the scriptural truth of marriage and who is committed to live it out in all its implications, especially as regards divorce and remarriage.

If you are already married, you are to pursue your important calling of faithfully showing forth the beautiful mystery of the everlasting union and communion between Christ and His church.


*Recommended Resource: The Meaning of Marriage, eBook
By Timothy Keller

Are you and your spouse struggling to keep your marriage alive? You’ll welcome Pastor Keller’s wise insights about love and commitment. Drawing from his sermons, he frankly discusses difficulties couples experience and shows how God’s Word can provide a blueprint for a healthy, loving, and lifelong relationship.

An e-book that is perfect for couples, those preparing for marriage, pastors, and counselors.

Just Turned 1 Year Today

Just Turned 1 Year Today

One year ago today, I put up this website with the goal of sharing and spreading the love of God to the world, and also to encourage fellow believers in the Lord Jesus to continue running the race of faith to the end, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain (1 Corinthians 9:24; 15:58). It was a great 1st year indeed, praise God!

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” – 1 Corinthians 9:24 (NLT)

Having a platform to share everything I learned (and still learning) from the Bible through personal Bible study and meditation, and listening to respected Bible scholars and theologians, was truly one of the desires of my heart since God started using me in the teaching and preaching ministry.

The Challenges

A few months before this website came into existence; I didn’t know anything about website building, themes, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and the proper use of keywords. To be completely honest, I had zero knowledge. So I prayed and asked God to guide me through the proper channels and sure enough, He did.

But before I will tell you all about this platform that has taught me everything I needed to know about building and maintaining a website, I would like to encourage everyone who also has the desire to put up a Christian website to pray about it and ask God for guidance.

I know that God will honor your heart’s desire. The world needs more Christian bloggers to spread the Word of God with the use of technology. If the devil is working double time to deceive people using technology such as the internet, then by all means, Christians should also be using technology to work double or even triple time, to usher in more souls into the kingdom of God.

“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalm 37:4

We are living in the last days and no matter what our present situation is, we must never forget God’s mandate for us – to go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20). We will not all be able to stand before people to preach, or join mission teams. But we can always share the Gospel using any means such as the internet.

My Number One Recommendation

As I said, I had no idea how to build a website, let alone maintain it. So I asked Mr. Google to show me how. As expected, many articles came up as I typed in: “How to build a website.” I clicked on several articles and also checked out a few YouTube videos. Sure, they were all very informative and useful. There’s just one problem, they won’t tell you everything you need to know without inputting your credit card number.

A week later, I still could not decide what program to avail until I read a review about a platform that allows you to build 2 websites for free. Not only that, they will also host your websites (for free) and will give you 10 free certification lessons that will teach you how to build a profitable business online.Wealthy Affiliate: The Home of Affiliate Marketing I am talking about Wealthy Affiliate, where you will not only learn to build your own website, it will also teach you everything you need to know to start an online business and scale it. To date, this platform has allowed many people to start their online business, quit their full time job and be financially free.

By the way, you may wanna check out my review on Wealthy Affiliate when I was just two months into the program.

Although I did not intend to make money through this website, some of my articles contain affiliate links of my recommended products that you can check out for further research and study on the topics I talked about in the said articles. When you purchase any of the recommended Christian products, you are not only buying them with no extra cost to you; you are also helping maintain this website.

You can read my affiliate disclosure here: Website Affiliate Disclosure

Website Update

As of today, biblical-christianity.com has a total of 58 blog posts, with four of them written by guest author Bro. Jess Cortez. The number of daily visitors has increased since May this year and is now ranging between 80 to 120. I know, this figure is low compared to other Christian sites. But I consider this a huge blessing and a confirmation from God that this website is on the right track.

So on behalf of the authors and contributors of this website, I want to thank everyone who is taking time to read and leave comments. It’s a blessing to read your comments, and if you are gaining additional biblical knowledge from the articles in this website, we too are learning and growing in knowledge on the Word of God as we write these articles.

*Join Wealthy Affiliate today for free, click here!

We are very grateful for your continued love and support and please know that we are always open to sharing and discussing with you about any topic that has something to do with God and the Bible.

Admittedly, there are Christians who hold a view that’s different from us on certain biblical topics and doctrines of the Christian faith. One particular disagreement is in regard to Sabbath keeping and the Lord’s Day. This is also the post that has received the most comments.

While many believe that the Law of Sabbath keeping isn’t binding to Christians today, there are Christian denominations who believe otherwise.

Here’s the article: What is the difference between the Sabbath and the Lord’s Day

Bottom line is, we can agree to disagree. What matters is that we will all continue to work together, united in the Body of Christ, to spread the love of God that has caused Him to sacrifice His only begotten Son for the salvation of everyone who believes (John 3:16).

Looking Forward to the Future

There are at least 15 articles or topics that are due to be written and published, and God-willing, I will publish at least 1 article every week and try to maintain this publishing frequency.

I would also like to take this opportunity to ask you, our dear readers for a favor. If you have a gift in writing (actually, you don’t have to be a writer) and you wish to share your reflections on Bible verses, your personal study and exegesis of Bible passages, you are very much welcome; biblical-christianity.com will publish your articles under your preferred author/user name.

Thank you!

As biblical-christianity.com turns 1 year old, I would like to thank the Lord for His faithfulness; for it is only by His grace and wisdom that we are able to do what we are doing. We hope to continue serving you by writing inspirational messages and articles that will help you in your search for truth about God and to help you grow in your faith in Jesus.

Should you have any topics in mind that you want us to tackle, please let us know through the comment section. You can also reach out to us through email using the contact form available in the “About Me” page. You are also welcome to share your thought and insights on any article that interests you by leaving a comment.

Shalom, may the good Lord bless us all!


*Create your own Christian website for free like I did and share the love of God to the world, His goodness and faithfulness in your life. My recommended training platform will show you how to do that step by step.

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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

 

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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!