Salvation Outside the True Church

Most of the religions established by man teach that outside their religion there is no salvation. Here are some of them with their documented claims:

CATHOLICISM

LA SALVACION DE LOS NO-CATOLICOS

      CARTA DE LA SAGRADA CONGREGACION DEL SANTO OFICIO AL ARZOBISPO DE 

      BOSTON (MASSACHUSETTS, USA), DE FECHA 8 DE AGOSTO DE 1949.

      CONTROVERSIA QUE SURGIO EN EL COLEGIO DE BOSTON SOBRE EL AXIOMA 

      QUE DICE:FUERA DE LA IGLESIA CATOLICA NO HAY SALVACION”.

UNAM SANCTAM 

      Bull of Pope Boniface VIII promulgated 

      November 18, 1302 

MORMONISM

Mormon scriptures claim that the LDS church is “the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth” ( HYPERLINK “http://www.leaderu.com/offices/michaeldavis/docs/mormonism/mormon-books.html” \l “scripture” Doctrine and Covenants, 1:30).

Joseph Smith stated: “This [the LDS] Church…is the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth” ( HYPERLINK “http://www.leaderu.com/offices/michaeldavis/docs/mormonism/mormon-books.html” \l “scripture” Doctrine and Covenants 1:30). 

President Ezra Taft Benson said: “This is not just another Church. This is not just one of a family of Christian churches. This is the Church and kingdom of God, the only true Church upon the face of the earth…” (Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p.164-165). 

Bruce McConkie stated:If it had not been for Joseph Smith and the restoration, there would be no salvation. There is no salvation outside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” ( HYPERLINK “http://www.leaderu.com/offices/michaeldavis/docs/mormonism/mormon-books.html” \l “doctrine” Mormon Doctrine, p.670).

JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES

You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth (p.255): “…there will only be one organization—God’s visible organization—that will survive the fast-approaching “great tribulation.” It is simply not true that all religions lead to the same goal. You must be part of Jehovah’s organization, doing God’s will, in order to receive his blessing of everlasting life.”

IGLESIA NI CRISTO (MANALO)

SEVENTH DAY ADVENTISM

Does the SDA church also teach that there is no salvation outside their church?

Seventh-day Adventist Church “Regardless of the pretext, or how righteous the cause 

may appear, separation from the visible remnant [the SDA church] is 

apostasy from the body of Christ.” (E.R. Bacchus, president of the Ontario 

Conference of SDA, Canada, in Messenger, October, 1994, p 2).

If one of these is right, then, all the others are going to hell! Or, are all of them going to hell because of their presumptuous judgment that they are giving without a bit of hesitation?

JAMES 4:12 (RSV)

There is one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you that you judge your neighbor?

It is not the belief of the only one true church in the Bible to judge those who are outside!

I CORINTHIANS 5:13 (RSV)

God judges those outside. “Drive out the wicked person from among you.”

The judgment that these religious groups are passing on to those outside of their religious caprices will be the judgment for themselves!

MATTHEW 7:2 (RSV)

For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get.

If we have to base our belief on the belief of the true church in the Bible, should we conclude that there is no salvation outside? Primarily considering reasons and logic, salvation starts outside of the true church!

THE ACTS 26:18

To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

The first step to salvation happens outside the true church.

COLOSSIANS 1:12-14

12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

Those that were redeemed or saved from the power of darkness or satan is translated into the kingdom (church) of His dear Son.

Baptism is considered to be the formal act of affiliation or being a member of the church. After baptism, a person is considered inside the church. In the 1st century of our common era, the Gentiles, before baptism, (still outside) received the Holy Spirit.

THE ACTS 10:45-48

45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.

46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,

47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

If the Holy Spirit is one with the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ in the work of salvation, then, it is Biblical to say that the work of salvation starts outside the true church! Which is this salvation? This is salvation from sins and the power of darkness or of satan.

EPHESIANS 2:1-2, 5

1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins

2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, by (grace ye are saved;)

This is called salvation by grace without works because we are buried in sins in the power of darkness! How can we work or boast of any good work if we are dead in sins?

 EPHESIANS 2:8

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Notice the verb that was used in verse 8, “for by grace are ye saved”…. is in the past participle. People in the church are saved people. Saved from sins, from the power of darkness, from the power of satan! To say that there is no salvation outside the church is gross ignorance of the Bible!

After being saved from the power of darkness and translated to the kingdom or to the church, what comes next? We are waiting for the coming of the Savior.

TITUS 2:13

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ;

As Savior, when He comes, He will be bringing salvation, other than that which was experienced by the members of the true church when they were saved from sins. This is yet another salvation, salvation from the wrath that is to come.

I THESSALONIANS 1:10 (RSV)

and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

But if we are to examine the context of the Scriptures, must we believe that only those inside the church be the only ones to be saved from the wrath to come? Let us examine this in a profound Biblical manner.

The Lord Jesus, when He was on earth, said:

JOHN 10:16

And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

The fact is, there are sheep that are not of the fold or the church. They are not among the flock. The flock is the church.

THE ACTS 20:28

Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

“….other sheep I have, which are not of this fold….”

The Lord Jesus Christ is saying that there are sheep outside of the flock or the church, and He will save them also!

The thief in the cross was not baptized in the church, nor was numbered among the 1st century Christians!

THE ACTS 2:47

Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

I CORINTHIANS 15:6

After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

But nobody in his proper senses will deny that the Lord Jesus is going to save the thief come judgment day! Won’t this be sufficient to disprove the malicious claims and caprices of many insane religious leaders?

LUKE 23:39-43

39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.

40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? 

41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. 

42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. 

43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

But will the thief be just a simple exception to the rule? Are there other human beings that will be saved outside of the true church?

Wait for another Biblical revelation in the next blog to follow God willing!

Sincerely,

Bro. Eli

The Church that Awaits the Seventh-Day

Apparently, they are not waiting for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ as they claim. The name of their church means they are waiting for the arrival of the “seventh day”.   Whether in grammar or in logic, the emphasis of the Adventists is on the seventh day or Saturday.  Let us study their  doctrines:

In their book, Seventh Day Adventists Believe, page 224:

The true church was founded by God in Christ. (Hebrews 3:4)

“For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.”


In the first century of our common era, how can a church founded by Ellen G. White be the true church when it was founded on a different date and setting?  A woman like White has no biblical authority whatsoever to establish or even to lead the true chuch.  (1 Tim. 2:11-13)

“Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.  But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.  For Adam was first formed, then Eve.  And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.”

The Christian doctrine is crystal clear on this aspect that a woman cannot be  a leader of  the true church.  A woman must  be under subjection to man who is under Christ: Just as Christ is under the authority of the Father, so is the woman under the authority of man. (1 Cor. 11:3)

“But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.”

The Bible, even in prophecy, have warned God’s people that a woman leader will mislead God’s people. (Isa. 3:12)

“As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.”

There are so many available evidences that will prove of the errents in the teachings of  White.

1. Sunday worship is the mark of the beast.

Obviously, White and her cohorts do not know the biblical meaning of worship.  How can anybody, in his rightful mind, say that sunday worship is the mark of the beast when the apostles assembled themselves to pray and worship God on Sunday?  (John 20:19)

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

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

The apostle Paul, together with other Christians, assembled, broke bread, prayed, and preached on a sunday. (Acts 20:7)

“And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.”

The church in Corinth and in Galatia were commanded to do  the collections on sundays (logically, while they are gathered together).  (1 Cor. 16:3)

“And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem.”

In their vain effort to prove that Christians assembled themselves on saturdays, SDAs has blasphemed the Holy Spirit of God who was present in all Christian gatherings when they claimed that sunday worship is the mark of the beast.

The fact is, we can worship God in any day of the week.  (Acts 2:46-47)

“And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”

Sunday worship was done by Christians.  It was only the malicious mind of  White that can possibly conclude that sunday worship is the mark of the beast.

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The Claim that There is No God is an Escape from All Realities (Part 2)

Although there are hidden and camouflaged evil in every society, it is generally the norm in human society to condemn evil. The teachings of God in the bible are against all evil. To deny the existence of God is to favor evil. The slogan “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life” implies that there is a struggle deep inside the heart of the formulators of such a slogan.  However they are trying to shrug it off, because they want to find a way of escape from feeling guilty in their heart due to all the evil they are doing.

(ROMANS 2:15) Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) (KJV)

The formulators of such slogans are trying to escape all these realities because they are not real people:

1. The reality that there is a Creator of everything that exist;

(ACTS 17:24) God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; (KJV)

2. The reality that everything that exists was planned and created for a purpose. (The harmony in the natural and physical universe cannot logically be the product of an accident or a Big Bang)

(ROMANS 1:19) Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. (KJV)

(ROMANS 1:20) For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: (KJV)

(JOB 34:13) Who has given the earth as a deposit with Him? Or who has set the whole world in order? (MKJV)

(PROVERBS 8:29) when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth, (RSV)

3. The reality that the Bible speaks of scientific truth even before they were discovered by human science because such declaration came from an existing God.

(ISAIAH 40:22) It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in: (KJV)

(JOB 26:7) He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing. (KJV)

4. The reality that present-day happenings were predicted in the bible thousands and hundreds of years ago before by an existing God.

(ISAIAH 46:9) Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, (KJV)

(ISAIAH 46:10) Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: (KJV)

(MATTHEW 24:3) And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? (KJV)

(MATTHEW 24:4) And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. (KJV)

(MATTHEW 24:5) For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. (KJV)

(MATTHEW 24:6) And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. (KJV)

(MATTHEW 24:7) For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. (KJV)

(MATTHEW 24:8) All these are the beginning of sorrows. (KJV)

5. And, the reality of their very existence that the prophecy of the coming of “scoffers” is being fulfilled in their person!

(II PETER 3:3) Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, (KJV)

Throughout the history of man, those who believed and served God with all their hearts were the greatest men that this world had ever seen. They were the best public servants, the best heroes, the best mentors, the best leaders, and the best neighbors — NONE OF THESE BEST MEN IS AN ATHEIST!

The Kind of Witnesses the Jehovah’s Witnesses Are

A witness, in the dictionary, is defined as:

to see, hear, or know by personal presence and perception

This definition jives with the biblical definition of a witness.

(Act 10:38-41)

“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and showed him openly; Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.”

The Bible separates the office of the apostles to other divine gifts such as evangelists, teachers, prophets, etc — as recorded in the book of Ephesians 4:11-12.

“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:”

Although a prophet preaches and a teacher preaches also, they can not be both classified as apostles who also preach the same thing that they are preaching. An apostle must be an eyewitness to the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ.

(Acts 1:21-22)

“Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.”

What the apostle Matthew have written was the same thing that was written by Luke the evangelist; but he was never called in the Bible as an apostle because he was not an eyewitness to the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, but have only heard and known what happened during the Lord’s ministry from the eyewitnesses themselves.

(Luke 1:1-3) “Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,

Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus…”

For Luke to say that he is a witness will be a misnomer — disregarding a vital truth in the bible. This is the case of the Jehovah’s witnesses.

Their claim and their teachings that they are witnesses for Jehovah do not only constitute misnomer, but a deceit, fallacy or hoax. They call themselves witnesses because they believe that they are witnessing for the truth of Jehovah — their ‘god’, apparently, they are using claims and verses that prove that they are ignorant of the thing they are claiming to be witnesses of. This is the verse they are using:

(Isa. 43:10) “Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.”

In the verse, the Lord speaks. That is the Lord God: the Lord God that was ‘formed’.

It is a fundamental knowledge that can be learned from the pages of the entire bible that the Lord God Almighty was not ‘formed’ by anybody.

(Psa. 90:2) “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.”

In this verse, he is the one that forms or causes the existence of everything. The Hebrew word used “yaw-tsar”, meaning “to mold into a form” (especially as a potter). And the Lord God Almighty is the potter.

(Rom. 9:20-21) “Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor?”

He was not formed. He existed from eternity. No human mind can comprehend eternity!

The Lord God, in Isaiah 43:10 was formed. There was no God formed before Him; neither shall there be after Him. He is the One talking to the prophetic witnesses whom he had chosen. Let us requote Isaiah 43:10:

“Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.”

The prophecy speaks of two distinct entities: The speaker, called the Lord or the God that was formed and His witnesses whom He had chosen. This verse can not specifically fit anybody except the person of Jesus Christ and His apostles. Jesus Christ is God (John 1:1-3)

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

The same was in the beginning with God. The same was in the beginning with God.

All things were made through him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”

He was formed or have caused by God to exist in His very bosom.

(John 1:18 ) “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.”

It was God the Father Almighty who brought him forth or has begotten Him.

(Heb 5:5) “So also Christ glorified not himself to be made a high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, today have I begotten thee.”

Jesus Christ is the personification of the Wisdom of God.

(1 Cor. 1:24) “But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.”

It was this Wisdom who has sent the prophets and the apostles.

(Luke 11:49) “Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute:”

This is the same wisdom that speaks in the book of Proverbs 8:22-31 and said:

“The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.

I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:

When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.”

Therefore, the witnesses being mentioned in Isaiah 43:10 are not the Jehovah’s Witnesses, but the Apostles; and the God to whom they are witnesses to is the Lord Jesus Christ — the God that was ‘formed’.

In the book of Acts 10:38-41

“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and showed him openly; Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.”

It is very clear in the preceding verses that the witnesses chosen by God and Jesus Christ are the Apostles, to whom God revealed the person of His Son who ate and drank with them after He was resurrected from the dead; and the witnessing of the Apostles extend to the uttermost part of the earth.

Acts 1:8

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. “

The Apostles are able and true witnesses.

Therefore, what kind of witnesses are the Jehovah’s Witnesses?

Sincerely in Christ,

Brother Eli Soriano

To God Be the Glory Forever and Ever!

This is a reply to a comment made by a certain Mr. Renato Salvador on my article posted last October 24, 2007 entitled “The Origin of Humankind”. His comment is as follows:

In every way normal for a person who is an admirer of a person, it is hard not to share your testimony and sentiments toward someone you believe is worth the praise. And that is me for Bro. Eli Soriano. I don’t know but it may be too much already to speak this way or even dull the readers of my true positive feeling toward you Bro. Eli. Before, I dismiss those comments and praise I was reading here about you because there are marks that I believe are testimonies of members from your organization. Now, I believe, I cannot blame them. If it is really worth the praise then there is no way I should object that. In reading some of your most personal sentiments here like this recent article you’ve written, it was so clearly written, vivid and probing. It gives me a whirlwind of thought how you’ve come up with such amazing simple story about a piece of your life, and turn it into some kind of miracle, that touches inside of me. Yes, while writing this comments, tears are streaming down my face. I could not stop it. And I believe, only a person sincere enough could move me to tears like you do.

Renato Salvador

Dear Brother Renato,

It is never a sin to praise and honor anybody to whom praises and honor is due.

(Romans 13:7) Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

Even the inspired writers of the Holy Scriptures like the evangelist Luke used terms in praise to erring man.

(Luke 1:1-3) Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus…

Certainly, Theophilus, as the name denotes, is a Gentile, to whom, by Hebrew standards, does not merit any praise or honor at all, but the evangelist called him “most excellent”. The “most excellent” here certainly does not mean most excellent of all human being, but, maybe among his peers. Respect and honor is due to all men by Christian standards.

(1 Peter 2:17) Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.

In the Old Testament, respect and honor was commanded by God to be given to parents.

(Deuteronomy 5:16) Honor thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Obviously, this commandment was changed when the apostle Peter wrote to the Hebrews, observer of the Old Testament laws, to “honor all men”, not only parents.

(Hebrew 8:13) In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

(Hebrew 7:12) For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

I can not see any reason why it will be a sin if members of the Church of God International will honor and respect the person of Brother Eli Soriano.

(Hebrews 13:7) Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

(Hebrews 13:17) Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

Now, I am obliged by the situation to teach this part of truth in the Christian doctrine! Never in my forty-three years in the ministry did I teach nor encourage anybody to treat me like somebody; for the fact remains until now, (this is my belief and God is my witness) I am nobody.

(Ephesians 3:8) Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ…

If the great apostle Paul believed that he is less than the least of all saints in his times, I believe that I am less than the least of all saints of all times.

My conscience is guided by the meekness taught by the Lord Jesus.

(Luke 17:10) So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.

If after doing ALL, a servant must confess that he is an unprofitable servant, then after having just started doing what I ought to do, I can say that I am even less than an unprofitable servant. Most of the times, I refused to be called ‘sir’ as other religious leaders love to hear from their members. Sir is an old archaic word which means ‘lord’.

sire [sīr]

transitive verb (past and past participle sired, present participle sir·ing, 3rd person present singular sires)

father offspring: to father young, especially animals

noun (plural sires)

1. male parent of four-legged animal: the male parent of a four-legged animal, especially a domesticated animal such as a stallion or bull

2. Sireaddress to king or lord: a respectful form of address for a king or lord (archaic)

[12th century. Via French < Latin senior]

The whole congregation to whom I speak weekly is the witness to this fact.

When I started writing articles for this blog site, letters with praises keep pouring in, whose writers I do not know personally. I do not even know if they are members (or not) of the Church of God, International. I have always wanted to forbid them to neither thank me nor honor me in any manner. I do not feel comfortable being praised or honored by men who look up to me as their leader; but verses in the Scriptures have held my hands to write anything to stop them. For years, I have been practicing to incline my conscience towards the Scriptures.

(Acts 24:16) And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offense toward God, and toward men.

It is God who said that a Christian must honor all men. I am a man, although ‘nobody’, but the least, still is a man. I do not want (nor ever will want) to have a conscience of offense towards God who permits any man to be honored. God is not a God that grabs all honors. He even knows how to honor and respect man.

(Psalms 138:6) Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.

But after all things have been said and done, it is our duty as erring human who know our own infirmities and shortcomings to give back to God all praises, honor, and glory forever. Amen.

(1 Timothy 6:16) Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen.

To my readers, may I advice you once and for all to always thank and honor God for whatever truth or wisdom you may learn in reading the articles of this blog site, after all, this is the conscience of the great “men of faith” from whom I have learned this virtue of regarding myself as nobody!

(Acts 13:14-15) Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, and saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein…

It is vanity to honor and deify mortal men!

Sincerely in Christ,

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Brother Eli

 

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The Essence of A ‘Fora Biblica’

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This is a comment posted by a reader:

Yeah dude that’s cool keep it up. You’re the most sensible I have read so far — Quite interesting blogs — Very knowledgeable and prudent. Other Christian (?) blogs offers their own way of biblical understandings and explanations but your blog contains the most explained about religious issues and controversies after all, you’ve based all your explanations on the bible — Quite good huh. May I suggest that you create a biblical forum consist of leaders of other religious denominations like your old program in the Philippine radio (This is Manolo and his Genius Family Special ) may I suggest a name FORA BIBLICA. (I just construct it from a health program I used to watch FORA MEDICA) hope to read your future blogs and I would like to commend you for doing a job very well done.

P.S.

Praise your God!!!

From: LetUsReason

Dear LetUsReason,

Your reply to my blog entitled “The Power that Drives Me” caught my attention while I was very busy preparing for a “Bible Exposition” in Northern Luzon, Philippines. I am a very busy person; Sometimes, not physically, but mentally.

(Romans 7:25) I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

If I am not the first person whose mind is very busy, but I can certainly feel I am not the last. The Apostle Paul experienced the same thing.

(Philippians 2:20) For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.

Thinking of what to teach to our congregation and those outside definitely does not tire me. I believe in the promise of the Lord that He will give the teachings in the perfect time it is needed by His people.

(Luke 21:13-15) And it shall turn to you for a testimony. Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.

Irrefutable teachings from the Bible come to my mind very easily. I believe it is God’s working that reveals His truth into my mind even if I am not thinking of it. These are revelations meant by God for His people.

(2 Peter 1:12) To whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto you, did they minister these things, which now have been announced unto you through them that preached the gospel unto you by the Holy Spirit sent forth from heaven; which things angel desire to look into. ASV

I do not just say this, but this was experienced by thousands upon thousands of people who come to our “Bible Expositions” asking all kinds of questions, being answered directly from the verses of the Bible.

Brother Eli Soriano in one of his ‘Bible Exposition’ where he answers people’s questions regarding salvation taking it directly from the Bible.

Although I am presently very busy, I welcome your suggestion with an open mind and heart; if there will be a forum of religious preachers and leaders, who will come together in order to discuss issues regarding faith and religion. Please register my name in that forum at once. If you want to spearhead such a forum, you have all my backing (of course, mine is very little; but the backing of the Bible means everything).

(Isaiah 43:9) Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and show us former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, It is truth.

The gathering of people of all nations may not be physically possible now; but I believe it is very much possible through the internet. We can, by this technology, make up a ‘biblical fora’ in search for anybody with witnesses to present, if what he is declaring are God’s former things and the TRUTH.

I believe the internet is now the most civilized way of arguing with people wherein there is no chance of anybody being harmed by the hotheaded and the hypocrites claiming that they are of God.

(Titus 1:16) They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

Just very recently, a discussion between two groups who both claim that they are the only people of God (but I believe they are both of satan) clashed violently against each other (see reference below). In the internet, this will not happen.

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One of our ministers experienced the same thing with these people; but our group did not go down to their level (see video below).

God wants us to reason out together to see the real and the whole picture of the truth, but without violence.

(Isaiah 1:18) Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

To reason out together in the intent of knowing the truth and finding atonement for sins is something Godly. Discussions that ends up violently harming people, especially the innocent, is satanic.

(John 8:40, 44) But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham…

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

Christ said this when the Jews tried to kill Him during one of His argumentations against them.

To argue and to reason out with people in search for the ‘Divine Truth’ regarding salvation is a Godly intent in the heart of a true preacher of God.

(Acts 9:22, 29) But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ…

And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him.

Even the Supreme Court of the Philippines has upheld in its doctrines and jurisprudence the constitutional right of the people to discuss and argue about pertinent issues of faith (see reference below).

————

IGLESIA NI CRISTO (INC.), petitioner, vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, BOARD OF REVIEW FOR MOTION PICTURES AND TELEVISION and HONORABLE HENRIETTA S. MENDEZ, respondents.

The respondent Board may disagree with the criticisms of other religions by petitioner but that gives it no excuse to interdict such criticisms, however, unclean they may be. Under our constitutional scheme, it is not the task of the State to favor any religion by protecting it against an attack by another religion. Religious dogmas and beliefs are often at war and to preserve peace among their followers, especially the fanatics, the establishment clause of freedom of religion prohibits the State from leaning towards any religion. Vis-a-vis religious differences, the State enjoys no banquet of options. Neutrality alone is its fixed and immovable stance. In fine, respondent board cannot squelch the speech of petitioner Iglesia ni Cristo simply because it attacks other religions, even if said religion happens to be the most numerous church in our country. In a State where there ought to be no difference between the appearance and the reality of freedom of religion, the remedy against bad theology is better theology. The bedrock of freedom of religion is freedom of thought and it is best served by encouraging the marketplace of dueling ideas. When the luxury of time permits, the marketplace of ideas demands that speech should be met by more speech for it is the spark of opposite speech, the heat of colliding ideas that can fan the embers of truth.

————

Sad to say, we do not anymore enjoy this right as a group. The Movie and Television Review and Classifications Board (MTRCB), under the office of the President of the Philippines and the Kapisan na mga Broadcaster sa Pilipinas (KBP) have prohibited us mentioning or criticizing the wrong teachings and abuses of other religious groups while we are being freely maligned by them in almost every medium of communication.

It will be a very fair forum if we can use the internet to discuss matters of faith in biblical fora. To your suggestion, I say Amen! God bless you.


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Sincerely in Christ,

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EFS

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The Power that Drives Me

 

The Power that Drives Me

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Conscience is the most intimate of relationship we can know. I am a human person; and I have my conscience. I can not explain how it came into being, but I believe I have one. I have not just read it from the dictionary or from the Bible, but I can feel it. In my person it is a reality that exists within me. One of the reasons why I believe the written word of God is because of my experience with my conscience.

My conscience is my most faithful friend and critic — second to Christ. It always tells me of my shortcomings and my misdeeds, it makes me sense if I am abusing on a certain point or not. It is my unseen guardian that insists or presses me to do what I believe is right.

(Romans 2:15) Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another…

Through this verse, I have discovered that the existence of conscience in a man is an absolute reality. God, by His power, have written His laws in the hearts of men to guide their conscience! But there are those people with evil conscience.

(Hebrews 10:22) Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

Why? There are hearts defiled by the devices of satan. It is the work of God’s archenemy to make evil what God has naturally made good.

(Ecclesiastes 7:29) Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.

The uprightness in man was destroyed by the inventions or devices of satan.

(2 Corinthians 11:3) But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

(2 Corinthians 2:11) Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

But I believe that even people whose conscience were defiled by satan still know what is good and evil.

(Romans 1:32) Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

I want to reveal something inside me, for my readers to know what drives me and presses me to use every possible means within my reach in propagating or spreading the Word of God: My conscience.

I have seen drug addicts turned to be better and responsible persons after hearing God’s Word; broken families reunited; vicious persons learned how to love and to be compassionate; and the Godless to be God-fearing.

I started this crusade when I was still a teenager. I began preaching at the age of 19; lead local churches at the age of 23; became a minister at 24; and started leading the whole congregation at 27. At the age of 40, I found myself dearly engaged in a work and a vocation I did not in my dreams have dreamt of. Now, I am old more than half a century, sometimes tired, troubled, caring, and with so many responsibilities. My physique is noticeably declining, but still, I want to continue the work of spreading the Good News — I am driven by my conscience.

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(2 Corinthians 4:16) For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

(Acts 20:24) But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

I thank God for this kind of conscience He gave me! I may not be perfectly upright, but the God I serve is perfectly one. His perfection makes me realize how imperfect I am, and pushes me to strive, to attain the perfection He expects me to reach.

(Philippians 3:13-14) Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

My conscience guided by God’s word taught me how to love; to care for others; to be compassionate to the less-fortunate; and to consider the right of others.

I am writing this piece to invite each and everyone to my newly started “interactive audio podcast”. It has been my delight to serve my God — whatever the cost maybe. I hope and pray that my being ‘nobody’ will be used by the Creator to make people realize how great and merciful He is. Amen!

I will be spending, with God’s help, the last centavo in my pocket — and myself for this God-given vocation.

(2 Corinthians 12:15) And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.

Please help me, Father.


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Sincerely in Christ,

bro-eli.jpg

Bro. Eli

 

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