The sad truth is most Christians can't even defend their faith because they themselves are ignorant of God's word.

Don't let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. -- Colossians 2:8
"My people are being destroyed for lack of knowledge..." Hosea 4:6


Friday, July 29, 2011


How can we know which of God’s promises to claim? Can we just randomly open the Bible, stab our finger into it and then claim that verse/s as God’s promise for us? When do we stop praying and decides it was not really meant for us? How do we know if it’s God’s will?
   My early life during College was filled with questions. I questioned God for bringing me to where I am? He knew I always wanted to take Fine Arts but my parents ordered that I took Education instead because of financial restraint. Daily my mind was filled with questions, and sometimes even frustrations why God brought me here. I prayed for it since childhood, so what happened? Never in my wildest dream to become an Elementary School teacher; I can’t understand what’s on God’s mind why He lead me here…but as I look back now, not to mention allowing me to have a taste of what I wished for when I was sent for a Visual Arts Workshop no other than at CCP and courtesy of the same institution that I nearly despised. I have realized that God’s plan was better that what I’ve desired. PNC had been my training ground and the one place I consider that shape my character.   
   True I had prayed to be an artist and I asked God for it…but instead He shaped me to become an educator and an artist too. In this I saw how The Lord works for the better. Instead of making me just a skilled painter He opted that I be equipped with another skill. Are you now in a situation that you never expected to had happen to you? May be this is exactly where God wants you to be. How can we be sure that it was God’s promise?
   Now what’s the use in praying if we wouldn’t get what we want after all? When do we know if our requests are not meant for us? When do we stop praying for something? We will answer that as we move along to this blog.
   Before we explore on these subject let me encourage you to pray, even if those prayers seems to be unheard. All prayers are answered believe me…but there are three things we must remember regarding God’s promises.
   ONE: Some promises are universal. Universal promises are those that apply to every believer. One example of universal promise is found in Matthew 11:28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”
   TWO: Some promises are personal. This promise is tailor made for a specific individual. It means it does not apply to anyone except to whom God is speaking. An example is when God promise to Joshua that he shall conquer Jericho if he march around the city seven times. Of course if a   Commanding-officer would do that now do you think his troop would follow? And God didn’t intend it as a war strategy either for generations to come.
   THREE: Some promises are conditional. The fulfillment of this promise will happen only if you do your part. An example is the ever popular John 3:16 “For God so love the world that He gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believed in Him should not perished but have eternal life.” You have to believe first before the promise happened.

   Here is where most of us fail to recognized what kind of promise is for us. Our generation now unlike The Old Testament time does not have direct access to God. Unlike the ancient people of Israel we are left with situations where we have to decide for ourselves. That is why God gave us the comforter who is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our voice within, our conscience. But careful on hearing just any voices because there are some voices that aren’t actually from God.
   Distinguishing the voice of “the shepherd” than that of “the deceiver” can be quite tricky. Satan can mislead believers only if you are not in correct fellowship with God.

Sensitivity to the voice of God
   There is one striking scene in the life of Elijah that makes me wonder and here how it goes in 1 King 17:17-24

17 Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing. 18 She said to Elijah, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?”
 19 “Give me your son,” Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed. 20 Then he cried out to the LORD, “LORD my God, have you brought tragedy even on this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?” 21 Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried out to the LORD, “LORD my God, let this boy’s life return to him!”
 22 The LORD heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived. 23 Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!”
 24 Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is the truth.
   How did Elijah know that the child shall live again? The widow would have mocked him even more if God did not grant his prayer. In fact, this kind of miracle was never before performed in the history of Prophets before Elijah. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob didn’t experience this kind of miracle. Remember King David when his son died all he could do was cry and mourn?
   What kind of a man was Elijah to have that confidence that God will answer him in a situation never been witnessed before? Let us look at the life of this wonderful prophet who blaze in the history of Israel as one of the greatest prophet who never experience death and was directly taken to heaven and together with Moses ministered to our Lord Jesus during his transfiguration.
   The very name will call attention to who he is and what is his purpose. Elijah means My God is The Lord. His name gave us the core of his character. While most prophets prophesied and wrote, Elijah prophesied and acted. He never wrote anything and in fact he is the only prophet I know who had very few to say. He is a man of few words but a man of actions. You will also notice obedience and unquestioning faith in him. When God said go to Corinth, he went there without question. When he was told by God to go lived with a widow’s house he follows. When God said he should meet Ahab he quickly obeys. Let us remember that in all this callings and wanderings he was usually placed in a not so comfortable situation.
   Point to ponder here: Elijah’s own life was dedicated to God, he proudly carry the name of God even during the time when the Baal and Asherah worship was the official religion of Israel’s leaders and the people seems to have forgotten their rich history. Notice his statement here in 1 Kings 18:21 “How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people did not answer him a word.
   Clearly he is drawing the people attentions to “compromise faith”. He wants to hear only one opinion. How about you? Do you pray to God for a happy relationship but is also doing some kind of Baal worship like hanging good luck charm on your neck, or taking advice from Feng Shui master? Now do you think God would answer your prayer when you have already asked other gods to solve your situations?
   Let us go back to the scene where Elijah requested or prayed to God that the widow’s son return to life. He pray one time…then twice…and the third time… Elijah had that sensitivity in his heart to know that he should continue praying. He knew because he had seen how God provided for him in the past. I advise you read the life of all the prophets and saints how they were able to know that their prayers are going to be answered.
   How did they ask for rain to come and it came? How did they ask the blind to see and the maimed healed? Here are some of the key prayers that God respond into…
   God answer a fervent prayer. He answers prayer that will glorify Him as God. He answers the prayer of those people with humility and none of those who are proud. He answers faithful prayers contrary to those who are double-minded. Let us also remember that some prayers needed some actions on our part.
   Lastly, God ALWAYS answer the prayer of those people whom He recognized.
Matthew 7:21-23 "“Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will. 

(Additional: I didn’t became a school teacher, followed my own course for sometime. Decided on my own and there where my trouble became…I move away from God’s plan and therefore the devil got hold of me for a time…it had been dark times which I regret. But God is faithful even if I’m not…He carried me and transform a new life for me.)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

God's Last Name is Not Damn

I would like to focus on this blog to one of the most lambasted commandment given to Moises: The 3rd commandment specifically on Exodus 20:7...First, here are some of the translations:
"Thou shall not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that takes his name in vain." - English text from Hebrew TORAH as published in 1977. 
"You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name." - New International Version (NIV) 
"You shall not use the name of Jehovah your God irreverently, nor use it to swear to a falsehood. You will not escape punishment if you do." - The Living Bible 
"You shall not utter the name of Yahweh your God to misuse it, Yahweh will not leave unpunished the man who utters his name to misuse it." - The Jerusalem Bible
   OMG!!! If we are to live during the time of Moises or even up to the time of the Messianic era we shall observed death penalty almost daily on that grounds.If we will notice...One of the accusation and became the basis that eventually lead to Jesus Christ death was Blasphemy. Perhaps even you would stand guiltless on this command. Let us carefully study this so we will avoid   unknown violations.
   Okay you never curse or use terminology such as God damn, God demmit, or  God darn...and you think perhaps you have an excuse for misspelling or changing the pronunciations. 
   People think cursing or using bad language is the only point of God here. Of course using bad language is not tolerated by God even if your intent is to stress the you say "F*** this government for stealing money from its people..." 
   Now is it just the misuse of God's name or what is really the situation when it is "in vain" that we are told never to exercise as faithful Christians
   Vain is something that is useless or futile; as an example "The lady search in vain for her bag." or "They chase the robber in vain" and therefore, this word conjure something that is a failure or waste of energy.
   Is these the same as all Catholic do praying vain repetition "hail Mary full of grace the Lord is with thee..." for how many times? Ten times on each bead? Which was clearly abominable to God which was stressed in: 
    Matthew 6:7  And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words
   Many Christians also fall on this mistakes as it seems automatic for them in blabbing "Praise the Lord!" in every tiny detail of their life and nearly  theatrical even on occasion that is inappropriate. Well, of course we sometimes can't contain genuine praise to come out especially on answered prayers.
   God want real worship in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:24) 
  I have a specific blog regarding vain prayers But that is NOT what Commandment No.3 is all about.    
   Why is that? Let us go further and have an analogy on "name"...why the name of the Lord thy God, when He wouldn't tell it anyway to Moises, and simply presents His name as I AM. Jesus introduce God as "Our Father" if we look at this passage God is not telling us here a literal name...GOD (whatever you preferred to call). Yahweh, Jehovah, or LORD is not the point of this command. "Do not take the name of the Lord..." 
   The stress here should be on "take". To take means to carry, to bring, to have, to get...A very good illustration here is Marriage; when a woman marries she takes the surname of her husband. When that woman get pregnant, that child will soon bare the surname of the father and so on and so forth, generation after generation...they shall "take his name". 
   When I surrender my life to Jesus, and therefore become children of God I then therefore take the Name of God with me. Thus, if I say I am a Child of God and living contrary (falsely) to my claim therefore I will not go unpunished according to the 3rd commandment. 
   This is a warning about how one lives, not about how one talks. 
   Therefore, blasphemy is not about Jesus Christ's statement that angered the Religious leaders of his time: "I and the Father are one". It would have been a blasphemy if Jesus did not live up to what he claims. If Jesus misuse His Fathers name. 
   John 10:38 " but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” 
   Again on John 14:11 "Believe me, I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Otherwise, believe me because of what I've been doing."
   Now if you claim to believe in God...please "do not take the name of God in vain."

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Three Kinds of Death

Waking up each day feeling so alive, vibrant, and full of hope...we walk (or even run) through life with determination and zest for life. We enjoy every moment with our friends, family, and within our self we build our dreams. As years past, perhaps some of us may conclude that we had lived life to the fullest...or did we really live?
   Solomon as King of Israel should have written about a life well spent, he is considered the wisest man that ever lived, no one can compare to the wealth of his kingdom during his reign, even Jesus acknowledge the fact that Solomon had the best garment for Christ's compared these collections to the abundance of the earth's field. BUT in Ecclesiastes as a sort of the king's diaries of observation he concluded that life is "meaningless" or also rendered as vanity.
    The last chapter of Ecclesiastes will tell us why...Solomon noted that life is meaningless without God. The true giver of life....and what is this life? That we shall explore by understanding what are deaths. That is in plural because the Bible speaks of 3 kinds of death. 
1 Thessalonians 5:23-25 (English Standard Version)
 23Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
 25 Brothers, pray for us.

   Reading the verses above lead us to the realization that we are tripartite in nature: Spirit, soul, and body. The physical person is Our Body and this is compose of visible materials, including skin, hair, bones, and blood. Next, Our soul is often considered to be our emotions, intellect and is referred to in the scripture as "the inward man"  (2 Cor. 4:16), or “the hidden man of the heart” (1 Pet. 3:4). On the other hand, The spirit is a person who is made of spiritual material, rather than physical material, just like angels, for example. The spirit has been described by some as the “real you.” Your spirit is eternal.
   Scripture makes reference also to three kinds of death: spiritual death, physical death, and the second death.  Physical death occurs when a person’s spirit departs from his body, and his body then ceases to function.  The second death (or eternal death) is referred to in Revelation 2:22; 20:6,14; 21:8, and is described as the time when unbelievers will be thrown into the lake of fire.   
   With this in mind we can better understand another kind of death of which the Bible speaks—spiritual death.
   For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.-- Romans 6:23

   Also known as inherited death spiritual death occur as a result of Man's disobedience to God. You see when a person disobey God, he commits sin...and sins leads to death...

   But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. — Gen 2:17
   Did God lied when He said they will "surely die" after eating the forbidden fruit? Of course NOT. As we read along the following chapters we have learned that Adam reach 130 years before he died (Gen. 5:5) So if something in them dies what was that? 

Being spiritually dead describes the condition of a human spirit which has not been born again by the Holy Spirit. A spiritually dead person has a spirit that is alienated from God, a spirit that possesses a sinful nature, a spirit that is, to some degree, joined to Satan. Ephesians 2:1-3 paints for us a picture of the spiritually dead person:
   And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
   Paul said the Ephesian Christians were dead in their trespasses and sins. Obviously he was not referring to physical death because he was writing to physically alive people. Therefore, he must have been saying that they were dead, spiritually speaking.
   What killed them, spiritually? It was their “trespasses and sins.” 
   Jesus when speaking to Nicodemus, an expert in Jewish Religion said: “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again." (John 3:3)

   Spiritually dead people, had walked in (or practiced) those trespasses and sins, following the “course of the world” (that is, doing what everyone else was doing) and following “the prince of the power of the air.”
   Who is “the prince of the power of the air”? He is Satan, who rules his dark domain as commander-in-chief over other evil spirits who inhabit the atmosphere. Those evil spirits are listed by various ranks in a later chapter of Ephesians (see Eph. 6:12).
   Paul said that dark prince is a “spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.” The _expression, “sons of disobedience,” is just another description for all unbelievers which emphasizes that their nature is sinful. Paul later said that they “were by nature children of wrath” (Eph. 2:3, emphasis added). Additionally, he said that Satan was working in them.

Made Alive in Christ
   Most people even Christians themselves considers that being born again is just a religious experience. To them it signifies only a renewed life, which is of course true to those who have committed their life to Jesus as it manifest clearly in their lives. But we must never neglect this truth that there is an actual re-birth taking place on the spiritual realm. 

Ephesians 2:1-3

New International Version (NIV)
 1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.

   Now instead of being slave to sin we are now slave to righteousness...

Romans 6:17-22

New American Standard Bible (NASB)
17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness19 I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.
 20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. 22 But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.

   Now ask yourself this question: "Am I really alive?"

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Was The Original Bible Preserved?

I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. -- 2 Timothy 4:1-4
Are the Scriptures that we read today the same as the ones originally written long ago? Has the Bible been changed, or does it constitute the same inspired words written by the prophets and the apostles?
   The Bible wasn't translated into English until the 14th century. But did it change over the many centuries until then?
   These are important questions because if it can be shown that the Bible we have today is different from the one God originally inspired, why should we pay attention to it? If we can't trust that it has been accurately translated and preserved, there is little reason to trust that it is indeed God's Word. So it's very important that we see what the historical record shows. How can we know?
  The Old Testament, is far older than the New Testament—having been written between approximately 1446 and 400 B.C., some 25 to 35 centuries ago. Is the version we have today a faithful and accurate rendition of the original?
   Now how it was preserved?
   The manuscripts of the Bible that we have today were written by hand long ago, well before the invention of the printing press. The Jewish scribes who made the copies of the Old Testament Scriptures from generation to generation were scrupulously cautious about their copying procedures.
   This meticulous care was perpetuated by the Masoretes, a special group of Jewish scribes who were entrusted with making copies of the Hebrew Bible. Their version of the Old Testament, widely considered the most authoritative, came to be known as the Masoretic Text.
   Before and during this time, trained copyists followed various meticulous and stringent requirements for making scrolls of their holy books. The Masoretes required that all manuscripts have various word numbering systems. As an example of one test they used, when a new copy was made, they counted the number of words in it. If the copy didn't have the proper count, the manuscript was unusable and buried.
Such steps ensured that not a single word could be added to or left out of the Holy Scriptures. Through such steps the scrolls that formed the Hebrew Bible were copied meticulously, carefully and accurately, century after century.
   What about the New Testament? At last count, there are nearly 5,700 hand-written Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. In addition, there are more than 9,000 manuscripts in other languages (e.g., Syriac, Coptic, Latin, Arabic). Some of these nearly 15,000 manuscripts are complete Bibles, others are books or pages, and a few are just fragments ...Not only does the New Testament enjoy abundant manuscript support, but it also has manuscripts that were written soon after the originals ... The time gap between the original and the first surviving copy is still vastly shorter than anything else from the ancient world.
"... The early church fathers—men of the second and third centuries such as Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Tertullian, and others—quoted the New Testament so much (36,289 times, to be exact) that all but eleven verses of the New Testament can be reconstructed just from their quotations ... So we not only have thousands of manuscripts but thousands of quotations from those manuscripts" (Norman Geisler and Frank Turek, I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist, 2004, pp. 225-228).
   However, God did choose to record and preserve His Word in the Hebrew and Greek languages. When the Hebrew and Greek are translated into English, no one English translation preserves the complete essence of God's inspired thoughts. Regrettably, in moving from any language to another, something is always lost because not all words and concepts translate precisely.
   Most people have found that they benefit from using several translations rather than relying on only one. And God has seen to it that we have several excellent English translations with which to obtain understanding, each with their own different strengths. 
   Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.               -- John 16:13
    We can be sure that the Word of God has been preserved accurately for us today. We must make sure to read it, study it, treasure it and put it into practice in our lives.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Shias Turning To Christ In Iran and Young Iranian Muslim became a Pastor

  Shia Islam  is the second largest denomination of Islam (approx. %10-20), after Sunni Islam. The followers of Shia Islam are calledShi'ites or Shias. "Shia" is the short form of the historic phrase Shīʻatu ʻAlī (شيعة علي), meaning "followers of Ali", "faction of Ali", or "party of Ali".

  Like other schools of thought in Islam, Shia Islam is based on the teachings of the Islamic holy book, the Qurʻān and the message of the final prophet of IslamMuhammad. In contrast to other schools of thought, Shias believe that only the Almighty has the right to chose his representative to safeguard Islam, Quran and Shariah.