Tag Archives: church of Christ

SPEAKING AND WRITING FOR THE MASTER SEMINAR

CALASIAO, PANGASINAN – The Aro Ministries which is based in Francisco, California and chaired by Bill Jimenez sponsored the May 5-7, 2011 seminar-workshop entitled “Speaking and Writing for the Master.” The seminar-workshop’s objective is to help develop speakers and writers who will promote the proclamation of Christ’s saving gospel.

Daniel Oliva took charge of the Speaking aspect while Eusebio Tanicala took care of the writing part. There were thirty one who were listed during the first day and a few more joined the group in the succeeding days. Most of the participants came from Calasiao, San Carlos City and Lingayen in the province of Pangasinan.

On the last day of the affair, a public speaking demonstration was participated in by four attendees. Adjudged “excellent” in the professional category was Analyn Ramos of Lingayen town. A “special recognition” certificate was awarded to Greg Manuel who is also from Lingayen , Pangasinan.

In the workshop on writing, adjudged “excellent” in the college level was Rufalyn Garcia while Hazelleth C. Gabrillo was also rated “excellent” in the high school category.

In the morning of May 7th, there were three young ladies (Celina Velasco, Karla Joanna A. Calaguio, and Joyce Ann A. Calaguio) were baptized by brother Michael Perrera into Christ’s death. These three have been previously taught the gospel by the Calasiao brethren.

Church leaders who planned and supervised the holding of this seminar-workshop are Erben Gonzales, Rolly Traje, Dionisio Jimenez, Michael Perreras and Jovencio Ilumin, Jr.

Of course the women folks of the Calasiao congregation took care of the food/snack service.

Pictures of the seminar-workshop have been posted in Annabelle Solis’s Facebook Album since the early evening of May 7th. #

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POPE JOHN PAUL II AND BIBLE AUTHORITY

By ART GABOT MADLAING*

The top story today is the beatification of Pope John Paul II, one of the steps necessary for his canonization as a Roman Catholic saint.

Pope John Paul II is very popular among the millions of Filipino Roman Catholics. He visited the Philippines in 1981 and in 1995 which coincided with the 10th World Youth Day celebration in the Philippines. He was described as the “Pope of the People” and the “most traveled pope” who visited more than 100 nations.

Pope John Paul II died on April 2, 2005 after years of suffering from Parkinson’s disease. During the beatification process at the Vatican in Rome, Italy last Saturday, April 30, 2011, Sister Marie Simone-Pierre, a Roman Catholic nun, narrated that she was cured from Parkinson’s disease after praying to the late Pope John Paul II.

Do you know that Pope John Paul II is the only pope who affirmed the complete and full authority of the Bible? This is one fact that was never mentioned in the radio, print media and the television coverage on the beatification of Pope John Paul II.

Zechariah Mbewe credits Pope John Paul II with pointing him toward the complete and full authority of the Bible (II Timothy 3:16-17) and to the churches of Christ(Romans 16:16 NKJV). Mbewe, a native of Zambia, was a devout Roman Catholic, training for the priesthood at the Vatican in Rome a few years after Pope John Paul II began his pontificate.

“Personally, John Paul was my teacher,” Mbewe said. Looking back on his years of training in Rome, Mbewe remembers one statement made by Pope John Paul II : “Something is not right because the church says it, or the pope says it. Something is right because the Bible says it.” (THE CHRISTIAN CHRONICLE, May, 2005 p. 14)

That statement caused Mbewe to reexamine his faith, and later met evangelist who preach the Gospel (Roman 1:16, I Corinthians 15:1-4), and was baptized for the forgiveness of his sins (Acts 2:38). He has since planted churches of Christ in Botswana and today teaches at Southern Africa Bible College in Benoni, South Africa.

With the complete and full authority of the Bible as affirmed by the late Pope John Paul II, do you know that a saint is alive, not a dead person? Check and read what the Bible says:

“To all who are in Rome, who are loved by God called to be saints.” . . (Romans 1:7, NKJV, NIV, RSV); “To the church of God which is in Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus called to be saints.” (I Corinthians 1:2 KJV, NKJV, RSV);

… “with all the saints who are all in Achaia” (II Corinthians 1:1 KJV, NKJV, NIV, RSV); … “to the saints who are in Ephesus.” (Ephesians 1:1 KJV, NKJV, NIV, RSV); “To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi.” (Philippians 1:1 KJV, NKJV, NIV, RSV) “To all the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colosse.” (Colossians 1;2 KJV, NKJV, RSV) …”hearts of the saints.” (Philemon 1:1 KJV, NKJV, NIV, RSV)

With the complete and full authority of the Bible as affirmed by the late John Paul II, we need to pray directly to God in the name of Jesus (Matthew 6:5-15 NKJV). This is contrary to what Sister Marie Simone-Pierre did in praying to the late Pope John Paul II. All the early disciples, Christians or saints prayed directly to God in the name of Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Paul had this warning on so called “miracles” today : “The coming of the lawless one according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” (II Thessalonians 2: 9-10)

The Bible teaches the danger of vain worship by following the commandments of men and the doctrines of men and demons. “In vain they worship me. Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matthew 15:7-9, Mark 7:7, NKJV). “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons . . .forbidding to marry and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.” (I Timothy 4: 1,3 NKJV)

*ART GABOT MADLAING is a commissioned Notary Public and DRE licensed Real Estate Broker (I.D. #00635976) in California since 1981. He is the Chief Operating Officer of JCC Alliance Network.

Who went preaching and when and where did he preach?

WHO WENT PREACHING AND WHEN & WHERE DID HE PREACH?

(Article #2)

In this article, we shall ask questions about the following items: (a) Who went preaching? (b) When did he go preaching? (c) Where did he go preaching? (d) In what state of being did Christ go preaching? and (e)What is the meaning of the term “preach”?

A. Different Translations

1. King James Version, “19-By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 20a- Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of  Noah, while the ark was a preparing, …”

2. New King James Version, “19-by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, 20a- who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared…”

3. American Standard Version, “19-in which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison, 20a– that aforetime were disobedient, when the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing,…”

4. Revised Standard Version, “19-in which he went and preached to the spirits in prison, 20a-who formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark,…”

5. New Living Translation, “19-So he went and preached to the spirits in prison – 20a-those who disobeyed God long ago when God waited patiently while Noah was building his boat.”

6. Harold Littrell (1994), “19-In which also he went and preached to the spirits in prison, 20a-Who once were disobedient when the longsuffering of God waited in the days when Noah was preparing the ark,…”

7. Mabuting Balita Biblia (1980), “19-Sa kalagayang ito, pinuntahan niya at inaralan ang mga espiritung nakabilanggo. 20a-Iyan ang mga espiritung ayaw sumunod nang sila’y matiyagang hinihintay ng Diyos noong panahon ni Noe, samantalang ginagawa nito ang daong.”

8. Baro Naimbag a Damag Biblia (1996), “19-ket iti daytoy a kasasaadna napan nangasaba kadagiti naibalud nga espiritu. 20a-Dagitoy ti espiritu dagiti saan a nagtulnog idi tiempo ni Noe idinto a siaanus ti Dios a nangur-uray kadakuada bayat ti pannakaaramid ti daong.

B. Who Went Preaching?

It is important that we determine who went to preach. Is it the Holy Spirit in person or Christ in person? The KJV and NKJV employ the preposition “by” which some would like to connect with the capitalized Spirit (the Holy Spirit) so the conclusion is that the Holy Spirit went to preach. But is there any reason that it should be the Holy Spirit and not Christ?

But if the preposition employed is “in” so that the prepositional phrase is “made alive in the spirit” then it becomes clear that the subject is the one who died in the flesh and was made alive in the spirit and that refers to our Lord Jesus. And notice that in v. 19 it is clear that in that state of being in the spirit the subject person went to preach. This undoubtedly refers to the Lord Jesus and not the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit was never made alive in the spirit.

C. When Did He Go Preaching?

It is also important that we determine the time frame of the preaching activity. Was it in ancient time during the 120 years period when the giant ark was being constructed by Noah and his sons or was it between the time that Christ was buried and the time of his resurrection (6pm of Friday and 6am of Sunday, Roman time)? Please note the state of being and the time frame from verse 18 to verse 19. In relation to the time of preaching, please note the expressions in v.20:  “sometime were disobedient” “formerly were disobedient” “aforetime were disobedient” “formerly did not obey””disobeyed God long ago” “once were disobedient” “sa kalagayang ito” “iti dayta a kasasaadna” should give you the time frame.

D. Where Did He Go Preaching?

Determine also the place of preaching: was it in the plains of Mesopotamia in the general area of Iran and Iraq today or was it in Hades, the abode of the disembodied spirits? If you notice the flow of the events you can determine the place of preaching. Note there is the state of being in the flesh, in that state of flesh he was put to death, but he was made alive in the spirit, in that state of being as alive in the spirit, he went to preach to those in prison. Those in prison are described as “formerly” “aforetime” “once were disobedient”. Is it correct grammar to use the terms formerly, aforetime, once were disobedient with its past tense if the preaching was in the time frame of Noah’s days? If the preaching was in the place of the ark construction in the days of Noah should not the description of the spirits in prison be in the present tense and not past tense? On the other hand, if the preaching was done by Christ in Hades while he was in Hades for a few days, is the description that the spirits in prison are “formerly disobedient” “once were disobedient”  “aforetime disobedient” correct?

E. In What State of Being Did He Go Preaching?

The Tagalog Bible is clear in saying, “Sa kalagayang ito” pointing to the “made alive in the spirit state of being,” he went to preach. That is also true in the Iloco, “iti dayta a kasasaadna” of being made alive in the spirit he went to preach. Is it right to use the expression “being made alive in the spirit” to refer to Christ’s state of being when Noah was building the ark? Was Christ made alive in the spirit in the days of Noah? I don’t think so. At the time of Noah, Christ was existing in the state of being as pure spirit. The RSV, ASV, NLT, Littrell’s, Tagalog, Iloco clearly refer to the state of being of Christ after Christ was “made alive in the spirit.” Not before he was made alive in the spirit.

F. Meaning of the verb “to preach”

We should also determine the meaning of “keruz” the herald, proclaimer, announcer, preacher. Also the verb “kerusso” which means to cry out, to proclaim, to announce, to preach. Does “preach” always mean orally proclaiming the gospel of Christ’s death, burial, resurrection with a view to persuasion and expectation of conversion? Does it get also the general meaning of simply making a proclamation since there is an absence of a direct object or what kind of message was given in 1 Peter 3:18-20? Could it mean a visual parade of a victorious king or military general concretely displaying his triumph now viewed by the innumerable host on the gallery or highway side? Just like victorious King Saul parading King Agag and the fatted animals?

What we find in our passage is poreutheis ekeruzen ( literally it reads, “having gone he preached”). The simple verb is kerusso which means “to preach.” Note that there is no direct object or there is no description of the kind of message delivered in 1 Peter 3:18-20. Kerusso does not always mean to evangelize with a purpose to convert. An announcement of the birth of a royal child was a good spell or a good news. The announcer of a decree to worship in Daniel 3:4 is called a keruz. Also in Daniel 5:29 we read, “and made a proclamation concerning him.” Daniel being made third ruler of the Kingdom is referred to with the term keraz but the message in Daniel is not the gospel of Christ or something with a view to conversion. King Solomon is also a preacher (Eccle. 1:1 & 12) but he didn’t preacher the gospel of Christ.

F. Suggestion

After having answered the suggested questions posed in series 1 and 2, you should now be able to make a good conclusion on 1 Peter 18-20. The questions are:

  1. What is the translation of pneumati? Is it Spirit or spirit?
  2. What is the translation of the phrase de tu pneumati or de pneumati? Is it by the Spirit, in the Spirit, or in the spirit?
  3. Who went to preach? Was it Christ in person or Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit or the Holy Spirit in person?
  4. When was the preaching done? Was it during the days of Noah or between Christ’s burial and before resurrection in 33 A.D. or between Christ’s burial and before ascension?
  5. Where was the preaching done? Was it in the plains of Mesopotamia in the general area of Iran and Iraq? Or in Hades, the abode of the disembodied spirits?
  6. What is the meaning of the verb kerusso “to preach” and keruz “the herald, announcer, proclaimer, preacher”? Is it to teach the death, burial and resurrection of Christ with a view to persuasion and conversion? Or does the preaching refer to Christ’s declaration of triumph among those doubting spirits, and could it be that the most stubborn doubters were those of Noah’s time? Since Christ went to Hades according to Acts 2:27, was it not automatic that Christ was seen in a triumphant parade like what happened with Christ on the Palm Sunday in Jerusalem when he was hailed as “King of the Jews”? Could it be that Patriarch Noah organized and served as marshal of the victory parade along the main avenue of Paradise? And the parade was viewed by the telescopic eyes of those in the place of the tortured Rich Man who saw Poor Lazarus in the company of Abraham in Luke 16?  If Abraham made a discourse in Luke 16 addressed to the Rich Man, is it not possible that Christ personally made a discourse addressed especially to the formerly stubbornly disobedient people of Noah’s generation who insulted the old man Noah even considering him crazy?
  7. Was there an expectation of giving a second chance to the audience for conversion in the meaning of “preach” in our current study passage?
  8. Was there actual conversion to Christ in this preaching of 1 Peter 3:18-20?

I am hopeful that our analysis has contributed to a deeper understanding of the passage. If the questions I have framed for our guidelines are faulty and flawed, please tell me.

Comments and observations are most welcomed. Well researched and well documented articles are appreciated. © Eusebio Tanicala (8.11.10)

WHAT IS THE PNEUMATI IN 1PETER 3:18b

August 11

This big question below keeps on popping in many places I visit. We have to give attention to this so that our brethren would enjoy reading this section of Apostle Peter’s epistle.

WHAT IS THE  PNEUMATI IN 1PETER 3:18b

(Article #1)

This question is based on the context of 1 Peter 3:18-20. In an earlier article I suggested that there are questions to settle first before the issues about when and where and who went to preach to the spirits in prison should be discussed.  The following are the steps to be clarified:

A. The Greek Text

Please notice that there are two readings in the Greek and therefore there are various translations that we find in the English language. This should be discussed because if one argues based on one Greek reading  which is rendered in English a certain way, and another sees it but his English version is another based on the second Greek reading, then the two don’t join the issues.

1.1Peter 3:18b reads, “thanatotheis men sarki, zoopoietheis de tu pneumati” (Textus Receptus, Greek to English Interlinear with a Greek-English Lexicon by Rick Berry, 1981, Baker Book House Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan)

1Peter 3:18b, “having been put to death in flesh but made alive by the Spirit” (Revised Version)

2.1Peter 3:18b, “thanatotheis men sarki, zoopoietheis de pneumati (The Greek New Testament Edited by Kurt Aland, Matthew Black, Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. Metzger, and Allen Wikgren. 3rd Edition, United Bible Societies, 1983, Biblia-Druck GmbH Stuttgart) This is called the Nestle-United Bible Societies (NU) in the preface and footnotes of the New King James Version.

3. My Observation: At the end of the above section, Textus Receptus reads “de tu pneumati” while the NU reads “de pneumati.” This might give various reasons why there are different ideas on how the pneumati is translated. Some translate it as Spirit with capital S or spirit with small s; or pneumati may refer to the spirit of Christ or the spirit nature of the incorruptible Christ. Observe also the preposition: KJV and NKJV have “by the Spirit” while RSV and ASV have “in the spirit” but NLT has “in the Spirit.” Sa Tagalog ginamit ang katagang “ayon sa Espiritu” but the Iloco Bible has “iti espiritu.” There is variance. Tagalogs think of the Holy Spirit working while Ilocanos think of the spirit of Christ or alive in the spiritual state.

4.  Note: If anyone would like to comment, please tell me if you are using the Textus Receptus or the Nestle-United Bible Societies Text and please tell me the reason why you prefer which one. Please document your reason. Cite authorities to back up your opinion.

B. Various Translations of 1 Peter 3:18b

1. King James Version – “… being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:”

2. New King James Version – “… being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,”

3. Revised Standard Version – “…being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit;”

4. American Standard Version – “…being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;”

5. New Living Translation – “…He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit.”*

6. English Study Bible (New Testament by Harold Littrell, 1994) – “…being put to death in the flesh but made alive in spirit;”

7. Mabuting Balita Biblia (1980) – “…Siya’y namatay ayon sa laman, at muling binuhay ayon sa Espiritu.”

8. Baro Naimbag a Damag Biblia (1996) – “…napapatay iti bagi ngem napagungar iti espiritu.”

C. Questions on the Variance of Translation

1. Why are translators divided on how to translate pneumati in this passage? There at least three ideas:

(a) On one side it is capital S so the idea is referring to the Holy Spirit, the third person in the Godhead, as acting; (b) On the other side the idea has lower case s or spirit which seems to suggest that Christ was resurrected and now he exists in the spirit realm; and (c) A third party seems to say that Christ is completely governed or led by spiritual principles.

2. Which of the three above seems to you is the correct rendition in light of the context?

3. Please observe the balance of what was put to death and what was alive in the first part of  v.18 and ask: Does the KJV and NKJV maintain the obvious balance between the flesh and the spirit? Is the balance found if one side is “in the flesh” while the other side is “by the Spirit”?

As suggested, no answer should be forthcoming unless the above questions are answered. In the next article in this series we shall analyze verses 19-20 to determine the following: (a) Who went preaching? (b) When did he go preaching? (c) Where did he go preaching? (d) What is the meaning of the term “preach”? (e) Was there an expectation of conversion in this preaching? and (f) Were there actual conversions in this preaching? These things should be settled before any final answers or conclusion be made about this text.   © (Eusebio Tanicala 8.11.10)

Mysteries In Our Religion (Mga Hiwaga Sa Ating Pananampalataya)

There is a tendency for us to reject any idea unless our logic or common sense accepts as reasonable a certain proposition. But we should recognize that if an idea is expressed or declared in the Bible, it should be accepted by faith even if our mind could not reduce it into logic or could not grasp it. It is possible that our young mind could not comprehend it now but would comprehend it in later years. Or we could not grasp it in a lifetime but will understand it when we get to heaven. This is taught in 1 Cor 13:11-12.

Here are some mysteries or difficult doctrines (Mga mahiwagang doktrina):

1.God is – without beginning, without ending;  self existing.

The human brain is oriented to a beginning and ending. God has been existing in the past and that past extends backward without end. Our mind could not fathom an endless past although it is at ease thinking of an endless future.

2. Three persons in One God: Father, Son, Holy Spirit.

Again the human brain is oriented to particulars and these particulars are solid or concrete. These particulars are thought of as distinct and separate and are not congruent. But the more matured mind that is able to consider particularities in the psycho-mental-emotional level might be able to appreciate harmony, unity, oneness, complete congruence in the spiritual level. In this spiritual level where only God exists with congruent omnipresence, omnipotence, omniscience there’s no way except to say the three are one.

3. God became flesh and tabernacled with man – John 1:14; Isaiah 9:6.

This is a new event in history so it is difficult to grasp. But Yahweh the true God had appeared as man to Abraham and Sarah. God in the form of man ate with Abraham and Sarah and spent at least one night in Abraham’s  tent. Read Genesis 18 & 19. In the wilderness wandering which was led by Moses, Christ the spirit persona took the form of a rock and provided water to Israel 40 years. Read 1 Cor. 10:4; Exodus 17:1-7; Numbers 20:10-11. If it is acceptable that Christ could take the form of a Rock for a period of 40 years, why is it incredible for the same Christ to take the form a man for 33 years? What is lower a human being or a rock?

4. Christ who is God became flesh is one person.

Again our human mathematics is at a loss here. Christ is one person in the God head.  He is one person in the Trinity. Christ during his tabernacling on earth was human. You bring together the two natures of deity and humanity that were in Christ and there you have one person, one Christ. Read 1 Tim. 3:16.

Some Bible students use the mathematical operations of multiplication or division to arrive at the number “ONE” but that is not an acceptable procedure. One person in the Godhead with a divine nature  took upon himself human nature: these are brought together and the unity is one person. That is our theology. That is the declaration we understand from the Bible. But it is difficult to explain and demonstrate with earthly illustrations. However, this could be explained when your mind is brought into the higher level of understanding.

Multiplication or division is not possible as an explanation because it would be “1 person with divine nature multiplied or divided by one person with human nature” is unacceptable because the rule says that the nature of the multiplicand or the nature of the dividend should be the nature of the answer.

One person divided by one God (1 person X 1 God) is not a good mathematical sentence. One person times one person times one person equals one person (1 person X 1 person X 1 person = 1 person) is not what we believe. One God times one God times one God (1 God X 1 God X 1 God) is not our belief. This shows that multiplying or dividing the number of persons or the number of God is a wrong concept.

Your comment or observation is welcomed.  (Eusebio A. Tanicala, Ph.D. – 7.15.10)

Two Natures Co-Existing In One Person?

By Eusebio Tanicala

A group of brethren in the Metro Manila area takes the position that from the time of conception and birth to the time of death at the cross (1 AD to 33 AD) our Lord Jesus Christ did not have deity in Himself. This group says that Jesus was one hundred percent human. No more no less. He had no deity in Himself, no Godhood in Him, no divine nature. This belief, the group says, is based on the Logos becoming flesh (Jn 1:14) and His emptying himself (Phil. 2:7) and his taking the nature of humanity so that he could be the ideal human which man could emulate (Heb. 2:14-17). Further, the belief is strengthened by the statement that the Father gave to the Lord Jesus Christ power and that God raised him from the dead.

Yes, Christ Jesus was human. But for a Bible teacher to close one’s eyes and heart and understanding to the many references and inferences that Christ had deity or was divine while on earth is to commit the fallacy of partial view. Only one aspect is being considered. It’s like the blind man who touched the leg of an elephant and he turned around and declared that an “elephant is like a Meralco electric post.”  Another blind man touched the dambuhalang elefante sa tagiliran and this blind man went forth and declared with authority that an “elephant is like concrete flat wall.”  A third blind man ventured into the circus area and touched the giant animal on the wagging right ear and with a smile he said, “ang elefante ay kagaya ng isang malaking abaniko.” Of course we know that one view is not the totality of the whole.  A taxonomist-zoologist would list down all the sections and sectional parts of an elephant and then declare the totality of the animal that comprise the big mammal. We should be the taxonomist and not one of the blind men.

I believe that Christ had both deity and humanity co-existing from his birth and continues on to the future. We shall prove this in the following discussion.

PRESUMPTIONS

I would like to encourage the reader to be careful in our presumptions about Deity, about Yahweh God. Firstly, we should not think that Deity or Yahweh God has to always display full glory, full majesty, full authority, full power and full dignity in His existence and manifestations.  Secondly, we have to be conscious about Yahweh God’s name which is “I AM WHO I AM” (NKJV) which suggests that God could become or could appear in varied forms as His name implies.  Thirdly, there are instances in the OT wherein spirit beings became or took physical appearances and they were not declared as laying aside or emptying of their essential nature. We have for example the angels being made into fire but didn’t stop being angels (Heb. 1:14) or the spirit Devil becoming a physical snake of flesh and bones seen by the naked eye of mother Eve inside the Garden of Eden but didn’t lay aside or empty himself of his devilness. And, fourthly, God’s glory-majesty-authority-power could be manifested in various degrees or different measures as much as we accept the four measures of the Holy Spirit’s presence-influence in the Christian life.

LUCIFER/SATAN ANALYZED

To get deeper into our reflection in this study, let’s analyze the different characteristics and manifestations of the archangel Lucifer.

First, define the essence of Lucifer as belonging to the angelic host. Angels exist with a certain substance or essence, a heavenly one, but lower than the substance of Yahweh God. Lucifer was an angel.

Second, Lucifer was created a cherub (Eze 28:14-15) and he used to abode in the presence of the good angels (Job 1:6-12; 2:1-7) in the heavenly realm where with the Most High God’s permission Satan could sometimes make a visit.

Third, Lucifer was a seal of perfection, full of wisdom, perfect in beauty (Eze 27:3; 28:12).

Fourth, Lucifer was given free will as all angels are, but his heart grew ambitious and envious and thought of equality with Yahweh God (Eze 28:2) and wanted to sit in equality with God (Isa 14:13-14).

Fifth, Lucifer’s envy and ambition to be equal with Yahweh God made him leave his habitation and so he was expelled from his abode together with his followers (Jude 6) and he became Satan, the Devil.

Sixth, when Lucifer became Satan the Devil, he didn’t stop being what he essentially was, an angel. He was created with the essence of an angel, he remains within that level or substance.  What he emptied himself of was his free will. After that rebellion and hardening of his envious, ambitious heart, he has become an irreversible liar and accuser and fault finder and evil doer. Also he was defrocked of the mantle of glorious light like what good angels possess when needed (Please read Matt. 28:3; Mark 16:5).

Seventh, Satan can also fake himself and appear as an angel of light (2Cor 11:14; Gal. 1:8). Satan or any of his rebel angels could enter and possess a person and control the faculties of a person like what happened in Mark 5:1-20. Even in the time that evil spirits dwell in the bodies of humans, these evil spirits retain their original likas na kalagayan.

In our folklore, evil spirits could turn into a dog or cat or horse or bird. Evil spirits could turn into kapre or dwende.  Evil spirits could turn into jumping balls of fire. Evil spirits could appear as white lady or a good looking young man. But essentially these spirits retain their essential being even when directly turning into a physical item or possessing a person.

LUCIFER AND CHRIST COMPARED

First, Lucifer was a created archangel, included among those created by Christ (see Col. 1:15-16). On the other hand, Christ is uncreated but the creator of all things visible and invisible, of powers and authorities and dominions and thrones.

Second, Lucifer possesses from the time of his creation the essence of the angelic host. On the other hand, Christ possesses the essence of Godhood or divine nature.

Third, Lucifer who was created lower than Yahweh God, envied and exerted effort to attain equality with Yahweh God. On the other hand, Christ is Yahweh God, but did not cling to his rightful equality with Yahweh God.

Fourth, the spirit Lucifer who turned Satan the Devil took the form of a physical snake entered and entered into the world, seduced Eve and Adam to disobey God, not to love God, and not to fear God. On the other hand, the divine spirit Christ took the form of a physical human being  entered into the world, induced the children of Eve and Adam to obey God, to love God and to fear-worship God.

Fifth, the spirit Devil, the Destroyer, when he became a snake of flesh and bones, this Devil Destroyer did not lose his essential nature of spirit Satanhood/devilhood. Similarly, the spirit Christ, the Savior, when he became flesh, this Savior did not lose his essential nature of spirit Godhood.

Sixth, in the Garden of Eden, in that form of a snake there co-existed in Satan two natures: (1) snakehood or animalhood and (2) spirit devilhood. Similarly, from birth (1 AD) to the cross (33 AD), there co-existed in that one persona  of Christ the two natures: (1) manhood, and (2) Godhood or Divinity.

Seventh, the spirit Devil who took the form of a physical snake of flesh and bones worked hard in the Garden of Eden in seducing  Eve and Adam  to spurn God which resulted to the destruction of mankind. In a parallel move, the spirit Christ who is God, took the form of a physical flesh and bones worked hard in persuading the children of Adam and Eve to return to God which now results to the regeneration and sanctification of mankind.

Eighth, the spirit Devil in the form of a snake aimed at elevating himself and thus became the God  of this world (2Cor. 4:4). On the other hand, the spirit Christ in the form of man made Himself of no reputation and thus became a slave and even allowed Himself to be killed to save the world. (See John 3:16-18; Philippians 2:5-11; Heb. 2:14-18).

Any comments or observation are welcomed.   (6.20.10)

THE PERSON, MISSION and MEDIUM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT VIEWED IN VARIOUS BIBLICAL PERIODS (Series ‘09—01)

Eusebio Tanicala, Ph.D.

Before some people would declare me a “false teacher” for not agreeing with them on their view on how the Holy Spirit works, I would like to make known my position based on my understanding of the Bible. If my views in this series of articles will be questionable to anyone, I would appreciate receiving any scriptural explanation to the contrary. Or better still we could arrange for a personal conference.

One time I was asked what my position is about the “indwelling of the Holy Spirit.” I told the brother that it would help clarify the issues if we begin from the very basic ideas and from the very ancient epochs and not merely dwell on the syntax and grammar of some scriptures.

VIEWS FROM SECTORS OF THE RESTORATION MOVEMENT

From the Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement (403ff, 2004) there are four positions that have crystallized. We list them down.

A. “Verbal-restrictive (or verbal-intensive) position which holds that the work of the Holy Spirit is wholly immanent in the Word of Scripture – that is, that the Holy Spirit operates on the human heart mediately through fact and arguments drawn from the Bible.”

B. “Verbal-augmentative position, according to which the Holy Spirit invests the written and spoken Word with special powers beyond the text itself, a power especially suited to teach the human soul.”

C. “Verbal-coefficient position. In this view the Holy Spirit accompanies the preaching of the written Word, the Spirit and the Word, working independently of each other but in harmony. This view both saves the real presence of the Holy Spirit as a Person distinct from any fallible verbal presentation of the truth and prevents a conception of the written Word from being some kind of fourth presentation of the Godhead, a divine power-in-itself.”

D. “Verbal-transcendent (or Spirit-intensive) view … the general notion is that the Holy Spirit can and sometimes does act apart from the Word and immediately on the heart of the unbeliever who, while he or she believes the gospel, cannot will to change his or her life without a special spiritual impulsion.”

FOY E. WALLACE, JR’S VIEW

In their efforts to check “Pentecostalism movement” in the 1960s, some brethren took the position that the Holy Spirit indwells or influences people through the truth contained in the written/oral word only, the Bible. I believe that the late brother Foy E. Wallace, Jr. fairly represented the position of this group in his booklet “The Mission & Medium of the Holy Spirit.” This group takes “Verbal-restrictive” position as described above. And this is the view of some quarters that would like to declare me and those who are like me as “false teachers.”

Here is one paragraph from Foy Wallace’ treatise on page 7:

“That the Spirit of God enlightens and converts sinners; comforts and strengthens saints; that love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, fidelity, self-control, are all the fruit of the Spirit, we learn not from inner consciousness, but from the Word of God. The modus operandi – the mode, the medium, the how – is the Word of God. ‘The Spirit of God is ever present with his truth, operating in it, and through it, and by it,’ said Alexander Campbell in the debate with Rice. This statement is incontrovertible and unassailable and covers the whole issue. Independent of the Word we could never know ‘whether there by any Holy Spirit.’ All the knowledge of God, Christ, salvation and spiritual influence comes only from the Word of God. Apart from the inspiration of the apostles and prophets it is impossible for spirit to communicate with spirit except through words. God and Christ never personally occupied anyone; and for the same reason the Holy Spirit does not personally occupy anyone.”

The above paragraph could be presented in proposition forms for easier understanding:

  1. The Spirit of God enlightens and converts the sinner; comforts and strengthens saints … the how is the Word of God.
  2. The Spirit of God is ever present with his truth, operating in it, and through it, and by it.
  3. All knowledge of God, Christ, salvation and spiritual influences comes only from the Word of God.
  4. Apart from the inspiration of the apostles and prophets it is impossible for spirit to communicate with spirit except through words.
  5. God and Christ never personally occupied anyone; and for the same reason the Holy Spirit does not personally occupy anyone.

The above views have some weaknesses. I submit my observations and ideas so that the Filipino preachers will have a more biblical stand than the above and make their argument cogent.

To help us understand better the presence and influence of the Holy Spirit, I would like to submit the first biblical period, “Epoch A – When Nothing Existed Except the Godhead” And here are some questions to reflect on to answer the inquiries about the presence and influence of the Holy Spirit.

  1. When the Godhead was the only personality that ever existed, was the Godhead with the Holy Spirit as a member present in all of cosmic space? My answer is “Yes.”
  2. During this Epoch A, was the Holy Spirit personally present in all of cosmic space? My answer is “Yes.”
  3. Dogmatic Theology says that God is omnipresent; during this Epoch A, was the Holy Spirit personally present in all of cosmic space? My answer is “Yes.”
  4. During this Epoch A period, was the presence of God the same in dimension as His dwelling? My answer is “Yes.”
  5. During this Epoch A, was there a place where God was present where the Holy Spirit was not present? My answer to this question is “None.” Where you think of God’s presence, the Holy Spirit’s presence was co-extensive.
  6. During this Epoch A when there was no Torah or Bible, did the three distinct spirit persons of the Trinity communicate with each other? My answer is “Yes, they did communicate.”
  7. During this Epoch A, did the three distinct persons of the Trinity communicate through the truth found in the words of the Bible? My answer is “No.” There was no Bible then and the mind of the three persons of the Trinity need not digest truths from written or oral words because truth inherently resides in the Godhead.

Our second issue will be “Epoch B – From the Creation of the Invisible Principalities and Powers.” This covers the period from the time the invisible powers were created until the rebellion of the Devil. Ephesians 1:21; 6:12; Romans 8:38; Colossians 2:15 speak about this period.