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


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Prophesy Concerning the Coming Messiah

Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Who has gathered up the wind in the hollow of his hands? Who has wrapped up the waters in his cloak? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and the name of his son? Tell me if you know! -- Proverbs 30:4
   Bible scholars said there were over 400 specific prophesy that Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled. New Testament writers mentioned only few of these fulfilled prophesy because they don't need to elaborate on these things because their intended readers are already aware of the coming Messiah and had been reading or had been listening to oral records from their teachers of the law; and prophesies is obviously being discussed almost daily because they had been waiting for The Christ. Someone that will save them. This coming Messiah is someone that you can overheard being spoken in the market place or told by your parents, if you are living during that time. If Jesus did not fulfill anyone one of this signs, he is surely not he claimed to be because the Apostle are dealing here with Old Testament experts.
   Now it is impossible for me to discuss all the 400 prophesies because I am not a Bible scholar but there are obvious verses that can't be denied as "real" fulfillment of a future event written in the past.   
   First, let me stress the fact that the prophesy concerning the Messiah's arrival were written more than a hundred and even thousands of years before they were fulfilled in the life of Jesus. They were so accurate that Jesus critics claimed it was a conspiracy concocted by Jesus and his followers...or later to be called Christians.
   If Jesus and his followers would do these, being followers of Old Testament religion they are not just simply exposing themselves to the discovery of fraud but also attempting an impossible feat. Why? First, they have to silence the crowd too because what Jesus will attempt is very dangerous....he will plan a suicide (by the hands of their enemies both the Jewish Leaders and the Roman Government) and next, far more extravagant is that he will actually survive the sentence after 3 days. Convincing those people who hate you, to make your dreams come true isn't something a normal sane guy would do.
   Another they must invent was the 400 earlier prophesies being written more than a thousand years ago by different authors. Jesus must qualify to all these prerequisite qualities beyond any shadow of doubt. 
   If Jesus then is a fraudster. He is the only person I know who is willing to suffer death...and expect followers and popularity later. 

How could someone “arrange” to be born in a specific family? How does someone “arrange” in advance to have his parents give birth to him in a specified city, not their own? How does one “arrange” to be virgin born? How does one “arrange” to be considered a prophet “like Moses”? How does someone “arrange” (a) his own death, including being put to death by the strange method of crucifixion, (b) being put to death, not alone, but with company, specifically two criminals and (c) then “arrange” to have his executioners gamble for his clothes during the execution?
   And how does one “arrange” to have God inform and send the proper “messenger” to go before one? How does one “arrange” to be betrayed for a specific amount of money (30 pieces of silver)? How does one “arrange” in advance that his executioners will carry out their regular practice of breaking the legs of the two victims on either side of him, but not his? Finally, how does a pretender to being the Messiah “arrange” to be God? How does he escape from a grave and appear to people after he has been killed?

   I don't know about you, after reading the following verses if this could be concocted by a small group of uneducated Jews. Take note that after Jesus died the Jesus Movement immediately flourish so there is no way for any myth to appear. The Book of Acts clearly records how these former cowardice followers became instantly bold in declaring Jesus resurrection and the face of those who had witnessed the execution of Jesus. We heard no one rejecting of any gossips that Jesus died and even declare in loud voice that Jesus is ALIVE. In fact, history was silent on this issue. What we learn from ancient historian are they do all dirty tactics and try all they can to silence Christians but never dispute their claims of Jesus coming back to life.

The following are written thousands of years before Jesus came into flesh...

Psalm 22:18

King James Version (KJV)
 18They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

Isaiah 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Psalm 22:16

New International Version (NIV)
 16 Dogs surround me,
   a pack of villains encircles me;
   they pierce my hands and my feet.

   I will just point out here that the above verse was written nearly 800 years before the invention of the extreme penalty called crucifixion.

   Also how can someone plan where he is going to be born, especially if you are not a resident of that place? 

Micah 5:2

King James Version (KJV)
 2But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

Matthew 27:3-10

New International Version (NIV)
 3 When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. 4 “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.”   “What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.” 5 So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself. 6 The chief priests picked up the coins and said, “It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money.”7 So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. 8 That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day. 9 Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “They took the thirty pieces of silver, the price set on him by the people of Israel, 10 and they used them to buy the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.”

Zechariah 11:12-13

New International Version (NIV)

 12 I told them, “If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.” So they paid me thirty pieces of silver.
 13 And the LORD said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the handsome price at which they valued me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them to the potter at the house of the LORD.

Isaiah 7:14

New International Version (NIV)
14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

Isaiah 53:9-12

21st Century King James Version (KJ21)

 9And He made His grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death, because He had done no violence, neither was any deceit in His mouth.
 10Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief. When thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.
 11He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied. By His knowledge shall My righteous Servant justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities.
 12Therefore will I divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because He hath poured out His soul unto death. And He was numbered with the transgressors; and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. (Acts 2:32)

The science of probability attempts to determine the chance that a given event will occur. The value and accuracy of the science of probability has been established beyond doubt. For example, probability statistics are the foundation on which all kinds of insurance rates are fixed.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

God Bless The Philippines


WE, all Filipinos and Christians from all groups and denominations, all believers of God Who is Creator of heaven and earth, in common passionate love for our beloved country the Philippines, this 28th day of October, 2011 in the year of our Lord, in public assembled, hereby declare:
THAT we affirm and re-affirm the Preamble of our Constitution, and therefore we hereby invoke the aid of the Almighty God to please, O Lord God Almighty, please help our nation build a just and humane society, establish a Government that shall embody our ideals and aspirations, promote the common good, conserve and develop our patrimony, and secure to ourselves and our posterity the blessings of independence and democracy under the rule of law and a regime of truth, justice, freedom, love, equality and peace!;
THAT in this spirit of the Preamble, and mindful of God’s Holy Word, “Unless the Lord Builds the house, they labor in vain that build it,” “blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,” we hereby consecrate ourselves to the great cause and the daily habit of praying for the blessing of the nation;
THAT accordingly, we hereby commit ourselves, with the aid of the Great Spirit of the Living God, at twelve o’clock of everyday, or at any other time convenient and practical, wherever we may find ourselves anywhere in the world, to verbally utter and say, GOD BLESS THE PHILIPPINES!;
THAT we shall help one another, the members of our families, churches, groups, friends, acquaintances, peers, and fellow citizens to say this verbal prayer at least once a day everyday, that it may form part of our daily habit and lifestyle, so that the Philippines may be covered with this prayer of blessing 24 hours a day, everyday, every year, and for always!;
AND that along with this daily nation-blessing prayer habit, we shall do everything, by word and deed, by our conduct, behavior and utterances, to actually and physically bless our nation and people!;
In Jesus’ name, amen and amen!

Emphasis and highlights are done by this blogger as my pledge of support.

For support and prayers on this cause follow this link:

Monday, November 7, 2011

Bible Interpretation for Average Readers

2 Peter 1:20
King James Version (KJV)
 20Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

When you heard a preacher claims that he or she had been given a vision to interpret the world of God, immediately be suspicious because it is more likely that they have no authority coming from God at all but are impostor. 
  After St. John have finished writing the last book of the Bible, this sealed the entire old and new testament books... 
Revelation 22:18-19
King James Version (KJV)
 18For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
 19And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
   It simply means there is no more added gospel.I can not interpret the Bible on my own way. I can not share what I think it means. I must tell what The Bible said as it is. 
   With the help of the Holy Spirit who will interprets and show things to us...

In 2 Timothy 3:16, the apostle Paul wrote:
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
   If the Bible is profitable for a Christian, why was it that it is confusing and it seems different denominations have it's own interpretations? How can we an average believer comprehend or at least recognize a false teaching?

The Variant Meanings and Interpretations 
   With so many different interpretations available, how is anyone supposed to know which is the correct one?
   From Paul's epistle he assured his readers that he faithfully handle the Word of God...
2 Corinthians 4:2
New International Version (NIV)
2 Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.
2 Corinthians 4:2
King James Version (KJV)
 2But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.
   Above two verses are the same but are rendered comparison of the two, this could lead into different directions. So what do we do? Listen again to Paul how he advise Timothy...

2 Timothy 2:15
King James Version (KJV)
 15Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
The Key
   The key therefore, is that we study the word of God not for the approval of any man, woman, denominations, traditions, self, organizations or personalities...but for whom? God. 
   What most denominations wont tell us is that they share only those things that will sell or uplift their church...Not those things that will expose their fraudulent practices. The Mormons will teach you that the Bible is not complete, the Jehovah Witness will find hundreds of ways to tell you the proper name of God, the Catholic will teach you that bowing down to idols is not a sin, etcetera....
   But that's not the case we are suppose to defend our faith. Our ultimate purpose for reading the Word of God (and of course having understanding and not just for the sake of reading...because we are told to do so) We have genuine love for God. Period. We read because we want to know more of God. Not to discredit other faith and practices...we aim for the approval of God.
   Further, Paul liken Biblical study into a workman that is not ashamed...dividing the word of truth. 
   The Bible alone is sufficient. An average man can understand some part of the Bible without any "Authoritative teachings" the same way early believers when they first heard Jesus preaching during his ministries. 
There are the obvious truth
   Unbelievers even without the Bible as basis  have their idea of what is good and bad. Human beings are pre-programmed to functions as social beings. We need other human to survive and that is a fact. Some species of Monkeys (if not all) after just few minutes from birth  already had some ability to survive even with only little care coming from their parents, the same with most animals. That is to say, we need to learn other abilities from another human being. From other adults we discover and adopt "worldviews" and beliefs. Those beliefs does not necessarily mean they are the ultimate truth. As we grow we discover that some are just fable or old-wives tales. Some to scare us or simply told to prevent us from being hurt even if they are just imaginary things. What I mean to say here is that there are truths that eventually wore out to be non-truth. Truth that we no longer need as we mature. But there are truth that are unchangeable. 
   Most real truth can be determined by the five senses and on this area, we can easily agree. The problem arises on the so called spiritual realm. This is where our realities vary and to some, the spiritual realm does not exist at all. 
   Now, I elaborate on the above illustration to make you focus on Truth that are obvious and need no further discussion. I suggest,you take the same method in reading the inspired word of God. 
   Christians who sincerely seek God will in time discover the truth. As I've said, truth have their level of revelations also. So, if you feel certain area is hard to grasp, wait for the Holy Spirit to reveal them to you. Do not assume and I mean NEVER assume you knew. 
   I also strongly suggest that you make some research. That is why we go to church, to hear other people's knowledge about the Scripture and their personal experience with God. Again, some of the people knowledge may not be the truth nor his experiences may not be applicable to you. So here is where discernment needed. I also advise that you conduct a Comparative Study. 
   Compare one Bible version to other versions.
   Compare one teaching to another sermons. (Avoid Bias Remarks)
   Compare one church to other churches.
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.-- 1 John 4:1
    It is very clear here that Christians need more that just faith. He need more than just One Book. If he is not to be deceived he must work hard. Give extra push because the serpent we are are dealing have some spiritual advantages. That is why we need God more than ever. 
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.-- Ephesians 6:12

Remove Paradigm
   One thing I've learn in my research is that most materials tend to shroud certain beliefs or written to protect its own religion. Although they are not bad at all because we have windows of opportunities to discover more, the tendency of most preacher is to exaggerate the truth that will magnify their order but play soft or ignore those that are in conflict with their principles. 
   Listening to both sides will give you a better picture than just listening to your Local Pastor saying "They are wrong...we are right." How can we know they are wrong if we only take other people's opinion from them? 
   A paradigm is according to A set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality for the community that shares them, especially in an intellectual discipline.
   The first thing we must have in mind is to discover the intentions of the Book. Remember the Bible is a collections of books and letters written by different authors therefore writing styles may vary. For example it's wrong to interpret a parable from a historical note. The same way to make literal reading with prophesy compare to how to behave in a church. 

   Lastly, avoid argument...the word of God is there to clarify not to create divisions. It is hard to remove scars, often times it leaves a permanent mark and it would need some surgery to be totally invisible. That is the same with paradigm or concepts, we can not change a person's mind if he had made up his mind. The least we could do is to pray for that person and let the Holy Spirit reveal the understanding. So, in the same way, as you read this blog, there are some things you may not agree with what I am saying. Therefore, I pray that God will let me see the truth also if I am wrong. 

Other helpful sources:

The Eight Rules of Bible Interpretations by R. Rhodes and R. Anthony
How to Interpret the Bible by Matt Slick
Rightly Interpreting the Bible by Ron Rhodes

   Again above resources are just suggestions, and this mean we need to make a thorough research if we want to grow in our faith.