April 2020…questions

Day 3

And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” Genesis 10:4

What are you doing these days? It’s April 3, 2020. Not much? Watching Netflix, YouTube, Hulu…staying busy on Facebook, Instagram, whatever, posting your home based activity during this time of “quarantine?”

Isn’t it interesting, the use of those Social Media platforms has been driving the world the last 30 years, and these are dependent on people being outdoors, at the Mall, in a restaurant, at a gathering for a party (birthday, wedding, debut, etc…), a wake, and whatever reason we may come up with to gather, and then “post” it in social media. But now, our movement is limited and confined. Nothing to post (announce about ourselves). In less than a month, we have all had to exercise social distancing (an answered prayer for some), all for our good and of others.

In a way, we’ve been “forced” to examine ourselves and how we relate to one another. Whether it is with a person you’re at home with (wife, husband, children, father, mother, etc…) and even with those people we have not seen in the last three weeks.

Like the rest of the world, because of the Novel Corona virus, Covid-19, Wuhan virus, CCP virus and so on, we find ourselves on the precipice of examining our mortality and that of others. Even with that, we are adding to our vocabulary using the latest buzzword phrases like social distancing, self-quarantine, PPE or personal protective equipment, pandemic, flu-like, influenza, WHO, CDC, and many more. Our usage of these tells everyone that “I am still relevant.”

We all are affected by this virus (directly and indirectly), “All means all and that’s all that all means”. The dictionary gives us 4 definitions for virus:

1. an ultramicroscopic metabolically inert, infectious agent that replicates…
2. a viral disease
3. a corrupting influence on morals or the intellect
4. a segment of self-replicating code planted illegally in a computer program, often to damage or shut down a system or network.

Do any of these look familiar? Are you like me asking the question, “What’s all the excitement about? How is this different from H1N1, SARS, MERS and other viruses in the past?” In the Bible, we are warned that in the last days, perilous times will come? We have been in the last days for two millennia, we are in part, experiencing those perilous times.

What is it people are asking? What are you asking? Are these some of them:

What is this virus, this Covid-19?
Where is the vaccine or cure?
How are the people infected by this virus going to be healed? And we don’t want to wait, we want it now;
Who is responsible and whom shall we blame? The World Health Organization? Communist China? Science? The bat, the pangolin? For some, they will dare blame God; the government;
Why should I follow what they say?; why is this happening?
When did they develop the virus and when will this end?

Yes many questions. In time, the answers will be revealed…Hold fast, keep the faith.

In the meantime, allow me to share these observations we can be thankful for since Covid-19 reached the world:

– Less noise, silence in the streets, in our neighborhood
– The skies are blue all the time.
– Less dust.
– Less smog, less cars driving around.
– More clean air.
– Families are staying home, just like 50+ years ago.
– Books on the shelves are being read.
– The wind feels fresh and clean
– earth is given time to heal from man-made pollutants
– There are no crowds.

The bible tells us, “All we like sheep have gone astray…every one to his own way…As I live, says the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live…the thing is…There is none righteous, no, not one…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of GodFor God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting lifethat the world through Him might be savedthat Christ died for our sins according to Scriptures…He was buried…rose again the third day according to Scriptures…For scriptures say, Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame…For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Exekiel 33:11a; Isaiah 53; John 3:16; Romans 3:10, 10:11,13; 1Corinthians 15:3,4

Actually, it all began when man was asked a question, “Did God actually say?” which was followed by, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower…and let us make name for ourselves…” Ever since those days, we have been questioning God and building and making a name for ourselves. We have this need to glorify ourselves, it is what one teacher refers to as the “resident evil.” It has been and is always there. This was the first virus (definition 3)!

When man answered the question, Did God…the consequences have become part of the human psyche (definition 4). But God already put in place the antidote for this virus, the reality of the Gospel!

Fortify Palawan…and beyond!

Draw your water for the siege!

Fortify your strongholds!

Go into the clay and tread the mortar!

Make strong the brick kiln!

Nahum 3:14

A message for God’s workers regardless of the position, from pastors, teachers, deacons, administration, missionaries, musicians, etcetera…this evening as Rod led the 2020 Fortify – Narra, Palawan team in a time of prayer, the Holy Spirit brought me to this verse. My initial thought was that I would speak this singular verse to the team. But I could not muster myself, to get up, and by the time I did, it was too late, P Rod had begun the last minute reminders for the team for the next two days, had I missed my moment?02/25/2020

Yet the Lord allowed this verse to stay with, He wanted me to consider the truth encapsulated in this word in scripture. At first, the word ‘fortify’ stood out as it is the theme of Cross Culture’s missions ministry. I searched and found the word six times (NKJV). In a way, it reminded me of the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25.

Though this part in Nahum was a warning for the Assyrians in Nineveh to ‘prepare’ for the siege expected from the Lord, it may very well be a warning likewise for the body of Jesus Christ, His church against the apostasy that was, is, is to come.

Breaking it down, thus the Lord’s revelation to me:

The siege is the Field God’s workers scatter seeds on; plow in; and reap from. It is a picture of the battle the missionary faces, which is all part of the ‘job description.’ Paul gives Timothy the reminder that he is like a soldier, enlisted by the Lord, there are dangers from without and within the church. Hosea 10:12 spoke of fallow ground as does Christ when He gave us the parable of the sower of the four kinds of soil.

The water we get to draw from is that which is given by the Holy Spirit… ‘out of him will flow rivers of Living Water’ (John 4:14; 7:37,38) The battle begins by drawing water, so we are not weakened/dehydrated/thirsty spiritually, we are called to ask Him to fill us with His water to allow us to stand fast against the onslaught perpetrated by the enemy (Ephesians 6:13-20). Therefore, be filled with His Word, being in prayer in the Word.

Fortify strongholds…the church…the body of Christ…in the ESV, strengthen your forts…the congregation, the assembly of believers. The call is to not neglect coming together so that we get to build each other up in the Word in word and in deed.

The Bible is full of warnings/reminders against apostasy, Paul spoke of it, Jude was passionate warning the church of certain men who creep in; the old testament reminded the nation of Israel through Moses, Joshua, Samuel, Elijah, and the prophets…don’t go far from the Lord!

Go into the clay…(the people that make up the church, teach the Word wholly) strengthen it, tread…clay needs to be molded according to the Potter, mortar is “a mixture of lime with cement, sand, and water, used in building to bond bricks or stones.”

Jeremiah 18:6; Isaiah 64:8, spoke of the clay being in the Potters hand; then in the NT, Paul reminds us that we are God’s workmanship created unto good works…Ephesians 2:10…which is why his call to us in Romans 12:1,2 being able to present ourselves, a living sacrifice, not because of us but because of Him Who called us.

Make strong… as we go through the siege, the Lord Jesus tells us that in this world, we will have tribulation…but we are to strengthen one another because He has overcome the world… we are to encourage one another…1Thess 5:11; Hebrews 12:12; 1Peter 5:10; Revelation 3:2 we are called to fortify each other and ourselves…in the Word, in prayer asking as we ought…2 Timothy 3:16,17

The picture we have is that of man who is made of clay is strengthened by the three-fold elements of water, straw, and baking through heat under the sun.

This is the church of Jesus Christ being built up, Peter uses an Old Testament reference of being living stones; the other is that the Lord is molding us to the image of His Son (Jeremiah 18:4; Romans 8:29, 9:21)that is done by those three elements mentioned in this last paragraph…a picture of the Triune Godhead working on a vessel honoring God, God’s masterpiece(Poiema)… are you surrendered?

Is the Potter having His way in you?

Are you being…?

Tuguegarao 2020 Vision

For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.” Habakkuk 2:3

These are the classes being offered in January to April 2020 in the Cagayan Valley. Review the classes listed below, read the description; pray, commit your heart to the Lord, surrender to Him anything that may present itself a hindrance in your desire to please Him; complete the enrollment form below, follow the instructions and email it. You do your part (obey), put your trust in Him.

Tuguegarao 2020

HERMENEUTICS/INDUCTIVE BIBLE STUDY(2 CREDITS)
Hermeneutics is the study of the system of rules, principles and methods applied during interpretation and explanation. It is considered to be the art of exegesis and translation.

This class is designed to instruct students in the foundational principles and practices of Bible interpretation, providing a framework with which to view all Scripture. The inductive method of Bible study will be taught with attention paid to the various features of a text that contribute to the interpretative process.
Special emphasis will be given to the role of biblical inerrancy, inspiration, objective meaning, problems in Hermeneutics, and the nature of Scripture itself.

ACTS (3 CREDITS)*
The class studies the book of Acts exegetically. Attention is given to biblical principles exercised by the early church and how those same principles apply today. Importantly, emphasis is given to the role the Holy Spirit has in the building up of the Body of Christ. Students are encouraged to use Acts as an example on how to cultivate a Spirit-led and mission-driven relationship in the Lord.

ROMANS (3 CREDITS)*
The class is a verse-by-verse study of the book of Romans, a book regarded as the most systematic presentation of the doctrine of salvation in the Bible. Students will look carefully at how the saving life of Christ, through the work of the Holy Spirit, does transform lives.

EPHESIANS (2 CREDITS)
The objective in this class is to give a student a thorough working knowledge on the book of Ephesians, one of the prison epistles. A student will study the book verse-by-verse, which includes major doctrines presented by Paul. Students will see a glorious picture of Christ, the Head, and His Body, the Church.

COLOSSIANS (2 CREDITS)
This class is an exegetical study on the book of Colossians. Attention is given to the Lord Jesus Christ, the central theme of the book. Students will consider His majesty, pre-eminence, authority, sufficiency, and fullness that we might grow in faith concerning how to walk in His provisions for abundance of life! With the verse-by-verse study, you will have the opportunity to extensively correlate passages from other portions of Scripture.

I CORINTHIANS (2 CREDITS)
In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul demonstrates how the Gospel relates, redeems, and transforms culture. Paul addresses numerous topics such as schism, sexual immorality, marriage, singleness, idolatry, and disorder in public worship to name just a few. 1Corinthians shows that sanctification comes by faith in Christ alone.

II CORINTHIANS (2 CREDITS)
The purpose in this class is to study the history, context, and theology of Paul’s second letter to the Corinthian church. Paul wrote this letter to dispute false teachers and build up his readers. Emphasis is placed on the basic hermeneutical principles of observation, interpretation, correlation, and application. As a student, you can expect to gain an appreciation of Paul’s painful autobiography.

OT372 I & II SAMUEL / LIFE OF DAVID (2 CREDITS)
I & II Samuel is an in-depth look into a time period in the nation of Israel when they moved from being a nation that had God as their king, to a nation that would be ruled by a man. These two historic books of the Bible give us a clear view of three individuals who played a major part in the history of the nation, King Saul, King David and the prophet Samuel.

You will learn much about God and the type of person He chooses to work through from both the triumphs and the tragedies of these three men who helped shape the course of a nation and history.

JOHN (3 CREDITS)*
This course hopes to bring transformation to the student through a verse-by-verse study of John’s gospel; it is designed to impart exegetical understanding leading to a Christ-focused passion through the text, for His glory. The book is recognized as the unique fourth gospel that offers a portrait of Jesus Christ like no other book of the Bible.

CHURCH HISTORY (2 CREDITS)
This course is designed as an overview of the major events, movements, doctrines, and people associated with the growth of the Christian church from the apostolic era until the present. Consideration is given to the Church’s doctrine and practice, and how we can learn from past generations of Christians.

CHRISTIAN LIVING (2 CREDITS)
This is a unique course designed to introduce students to the committed Christian life and all of its practical aspects. Attention is given to understanding and applying the Bible, prayer and fasting, growing in grace, marriage and relationships, and special topics related to the Christian life.

REVELATION (3 CREDITS)*
The Book of Revelation is a prophetic work of great importance. In this class, the Book of Revelation will be taught exegetically in order to help students achieve a clear understanding of its teaching regarding Jesus Christ, the Church, and the future.

New Student, click here.

Returning Student, click here.

Why study the Bible…an invitation

To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven…”
Ecclesiastes 3:1 NKJV

Is the daily grind (life) more than you can handle? Jesus says…

Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28

“And He said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to Me unless it is granted him by the Father.
John 6:65

and promises…

“…If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'”
John 7:37-38

The question is, what “season” are you in? We don’t pick and choose where we are born in, but the same statement given by God to two men in the Bible, we find to be true in our own lives, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you…I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5; and the salutation of Romans 1:1, “Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God…”

Both Jeremiah and Paul were called by God, just as you are called by God. He has revealed Himself to us in His written Word, the Bible; He has revealed Himself in creation; and more importantly, He has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father

Where do you find Jesus Christ? In the pages of the Bible, in Scripture! In a Messianic Psalm, in 40:7, the Lord through David says, “Then I said, “Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of Me“, in the King James it is rendered, “Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me…” A verse later repeated in Hebrews 10:7.

Whatever season you may be in, know that God is involved! He reminds us of this in Ecclesiastes 3. God knows all about us, what He desires is for us to know Him, not in the intellect, but as intimate as possible. That begins by knowing what His Word says, the Bible.

The people around us ought to know the truth of the Word of God not just by what is written, but in the life we live. If we believe God is revealed in Jesus Christ, is He glorified in the life we live? Do they see Christ in us? Do we preach Him not just in words, but actions as well? How? We…you begin by knowing Who it is you worship, know truly what the Bible says. Not a regurgitated response from someone else (priest, pastor, deacon, teacher etc…says), but the truth the Holy Spirit reveals, He is both Author and Revelator of the Bible. It begins with you making the time.

We should not pick and choose where and when we exhibit our Christianity, but as the Lord orchestrates…any time…any place…that is the moment. Paul reminded Timothy, and by extension…us, “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.” How can one “convince, rebuke, exhort, if you do not make the time to study God’s Word to communicate by word and deed God’s truth.

Thanking the Lord daily…

As my wife fervently reminds me about reading and studying the Bible, it’s not just a have to…it is something we get to. “The purpose of the Lord is His will for you.” (or vice versa) Let His life manifest in yours by studying the Word of God. Jesus promises, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

God says in Isaiah 55:11…”So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”

Visit mfhbc.org and contact us at mfhbcinfo@gmail.com, or go straight to…
New Student
Returning Student

Between Us

I was awake at 1:30 am and surprised that He did wake me early to call on Him. I was just crying out to him about the natural uncertainty of things as I got to think about a lot of things, started to wonder how you will get here, the funds for the shipping, the house, the building and all…

It’s the peripheral expenses: fencing and taxes (for the property), registration, and the list went on…parading. Then the forgotten failure, of why and how the plan is now as it is…It is okay…you do not need to reply, it is my way of sounding off….

Reading my dearest’s note left for me on Skype, my heart sank and remembered the failures of my past. The should have’s, could have’s, began to flood my mind instantly. But God, who is faithful, and through His finished work in Christ Jesus, quickly reminded me that He is making a “new thing” in our lives.

How apt is it that through Colossians 3:2-3 where He says, “Set your mind on things above, not on the things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God,” is part of our Bible study this week. Such an encouragement could not come at all from the wisdom of men but from the heart of our Father in heaven.

Throughout the day, the Holy Spirit brings back to remembrance the beauty of His Word. He did through His written word and even through the radio. It would be easy for one such as I to fall into the trap of self pity, the Lord did not want me to take part in such thoughts. (Philippians 4:4-6)

Am I to look at the provision that is to come, or shall I look to Him? “To behold His beauty…(Psalm 27:4)” The answer is clear, He deserves nothing less than complete obedience to Him and Him alone. He knows what we need even before we ask Him (Matthew 6:8). He is growing me and my Nenita for His glory (John 14:13) for the work He has prepared for us.

Late this afternoon, Pastor Chuck Smith was on Acts 23:11, where he reminded me of when Paul was put in the barracks and when all seemed lost for the cause of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Lord stood by him, and said, “Be of good cheer (be of good courage)…”

James reminds us that, “…count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2-4. Praise the Lord.

Thank you Lord, that You are always with us. (Romans 8:28-39)

I love You Lord.

Thank You for the love Nenita and I have in You.

Unreached-Reached

But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.
Matthew 9:36

In Metro-Manila, and in places the Gospel is shared in the Philippines, people receive it readily, but often, they are left without a church family to help them grow. They are left as orphans; they do not grow beyond their salvation. These we refer to as the “unreached-reached” people group.

Many do not get to experience the joy of sanctification and service, making them fair game to the false teachings that surround them.

This is the heart of My Father’s House Bible College, that our Filipino brethren may be duly equipped in the Word of God. That they would experience the joy of fully knowing Him, and making Him known. Just as we have known Him.

That these “unreached-reached” will be brought the whole counsel of God by native missionaries, and no longer be tossed to and fro by the false doctrines that run rampant in their midst. Be in prayer that the Lord will raise faithful Filipino church planters to come alongside His good work.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2Timothy 3:16-17

The Gospel

The Reason

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
John 3:16-18

The Promise

“…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction…for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”
Romans 10:9-13

The Response

“Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
John 3:3

“…Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.
John 3:5-8

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.”
Romans 1:16