Miyerkules, Disyembre 17, 2014

Not Good Enough

Not Good Enough

FEAR OF ETERNAL suffering in hell and hope for everlasting bliss in heaven lead many to strive in doing good works.  The belief runs that as long as people perform good works such as acts of charity, being kind and compassionate to one’s fellowman, and lead a righteous way and means of living, they can already please God and hope to be saved regardless of the church or religion they belong to.
     But is it correct to think that doing good works is enough for one to be saved?  To answer this, we must consult the final authority on what is good—the Bible.

Man’s inability to do good
      Can man by himself do what is good?  Apostle Paul enlightens us on this regard:
     “I know that good does not live in me--that is, in my human nature. For even though the desire to do good is in me, I am not able to do it.” (Rom. 7:18, Today’s English Version)
     Speaking not only for himself but for all mankind, apostle Paul said that he could only desire to do good yet wasn’t able to do it.  He explained why:
     “My inner being delights in the law of God. But I see a different law at work in my body--a law that fights against the law which my mind approves of. It makes me a prisoner to the law of sin which is at work in my body.” (Rom. 7:22-23, Ibid.)
     Since Adam, man has rejected the law of God in various ways.  He let the law of sin reign over him.  Man is, by nature, weak and as such, he has easily been enslaved by sin.  Not even those whom society considers as righteous are free from this imprisonment.  The Bible attests:
     “Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins.” (Eccl. 7:20, New International Version)
     No matter how careful a man may be with his thoughts, words, and actions, in one way or the other, he still falls into blunders, temptations, and even neglects to think, say or do what is lawful.
     Hence, he sins (I Jn. 3:4).  A man may be righteous by human standards but not before God.  All men, except our Lord Jesus Christ, have sinned and fallen short of God’s expectation (Rom. 5:12; I Pt. 2:21-22).  Thus, the whole world of sinners cannot avoid God’s justice:
     “Now we know that everything in the Law applies to those who live under the Law, in order to stop all human excuses and bring the whole world under God's judgment.” (Rom. 3:19, TEV)
     God’s decree is to destroy all ungodly men by fire on the day of Judgment (II Pt. 3:7, 10).  Man’s goodness and good works which he has done by himself cannot be used as justification or basis for his salvation.  Otherwise, it would be as though God is indebted to him:
     “Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.” (Rom. 4:4, New King James Version)
     Salvation is by grace and not as payment for debt.  God does not owe any man his salvation just because man has done good works.  Quite the reverse, it is man who owes God because, however upright he may be, man still has sins which he must pay through death (Rom. 6:23).  He will be punished in the lake of fire called the Second Death (Rev. 20:14).

The work pleasing to God
     This must not lead us, however, to think that we had better do away with goodness and instead set our eyes on evil.  The good works that man does by himself have some value, but the Bible mentions of good works that have great value before God:
     “that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” (Col. 1:10, NKJV)
     Apostle Paul tells us that there is a way by which we can be fruitful in every good work, that we “…may have a walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him.”  But how can we do such good work when we are by nature weak and sinful? Apostle Paul shed light on this, too, as he taught the first Christians to be “filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.” (Philip. 1:11, NIV)
     The good works that bring glory to God are the fruits of righteousness which can be done only through our Lord Jesus Christ.  These are not the works conceived according to man’s design, but “good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us” (Eph. 2:10, Amplified Bible; Titus 3:5).
     How can man be fruitful in every good work through our Lord Jesus Christ?  Christ Himself explains:
     “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
     “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (Jn. 15:4-5, NKJV)
     Just as a branch separated from the vine cannot bear fruit, neither can a person apart from Christ do righteousness in God’s sight.  Therefore, one has to be connected to Christ as His branch for his works to be accepted and made worthy.
     “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.” (Jn. 15:16, Ibid.)
     But, merely believing or having faith in Jesus and accepting Him as Lord and personal Savior is not enough for one to belong to Christ.  One has to be chosen or appointed by Christ to become His branch.
     The “branches” of Christ whom He chose or appointed to serve the Father those called into the one body, the Church (II Thes. 2:14; Col. 3:15; 1:18).  As Christ is the vine or in the illustration of Apostle Paul, the head of the body, His chosen ones—the branches—are the members of the Church of Christ (I Cor. 12:27; Acts 20:28, Lamsa Translation)
     To have a true personal relationship with Christ is to join His Church.  The Apostles further illustrate Christ’s inseparable relationship with the true Church:
     “Because we are members (parts) of His body.  For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.  This mystery is very great, but I speak concerning [the relation of] Christ and the church.” (Eph. 5:30-32, Amplified Bible)

Only in the Church of Christ
     Our good works are acceptable to God only when we are in the Church of Christ.  Our good works or obedience to the commandments of God will result in our sanctification (Rom. 7:12; Jn. 17:17).  We will be among those presented to Christ holy and without blemish (Eph. 5:26-27).
     The Lord God greatly values the worship and service offered to Him by the Church of Christ members because they have been redeemed by Christ.  The Bible declares:
     “Even before the world was made, God had already chosen us to be his through our union with Christ, so that we would be holy and without fault before him. Because of his love.  ...For by the sacrificial death of Christ we are set free, that is, our sins are forgiven. How great is the grace of God.” (Eph. 1:4, 7, TEV)
     Those redeemed through the sacrificial death of Christ were forgiven of their sins.  Christ paid the price of their sins and, thus, they are now spared from condemnation.  They were purchased from being slaves of sin to being servants of God.
     That which was redeemed or purchased by Christ is the  Church of Christ:
     “Take heed therefore to yourselves and to all the flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, to feed the church of Christ which he has purchased with his blood.” (Acts 20:28, Lamsa Translation)
     We can only benefit from Christ’s redemptive act if we are in the Church of Christ.  Outside this Church there is no redemption.  Christ cannot answer for the sins of outsiders or nonmembers of His body.  They will have to pay for their own sins with the Second Death as the ultimate punishment.  Any good or service they would offer to God will be rendered worthless.  This is why Apostle Paul said that many man by his own self cannot do good.
     For a person’s good works to be counted worthy, he must first be united with Christ as his branch or as part of His body which is the Church of Christ.  Unless he is redeemed through Christ’s blood, all his noble works and services to God will not be good enough to ensure him of salvation.  As emphasized by the inspired writer of Hebrews, “And according to the law almost all things are purged with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.” (Heb. 9:22, NKJV)

Pamphlets/Pasugo God’s Message/January 2001/Pages 21-22

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Victory Over Death

Victory Over Death

DEATH IS THE great equalizer.  All kinds of people, the rich and the poor, the wise and the fool, the strong and the weak, the healthy and the sick, and the young and the old, succumb to it as it comes in different ways—at times violent and sudden, at other times slow and painful, and at some other times unexpected and mysterious.
     When death comes, nothing in this world—not even all the wealth and all the knowledge one possesses—can prevent it from taking its course.  The Bible shows how helpless man is in the face of death:
     “For man also knows not his time [of death]: as the fishes are taken in an evil net, and as the birds are caught in the snare, so are the sons of men snared in an evil time when [calamity] falls suddenly upon them.” (Eccl. 9:12, Amplified Bible)
     No one knows exactly when death would strike.  It may come and take someone to his grave at any moment.  Apostle Paul vividly illustrates how frequent people face the threat of death:
     “And why should we ourselves be continually risking our lives, facing death hour by hour?  For it is fact that I face death daily; that is as true as my pride in your growth in the Lord” (I Cor. 15:30-31, Living Bible)
     Many things cause death:  sickness, accident, crime, disaster, and old age.  Indeed, death lurks by the wayside every single moment of man’s life.  One moment a person is well and alive; the next, he becomes the object of funeral eulogies and obituaries.  Alas, no man can prevent the onset of death and no one has the power to prevent himself from dying.  This truism is echoed by the Bible thus:
     “As no one has power over the wind to contain it,
    so no one has power over the time of their death.
As no one is discharged in time of war,
    so wickedness will not release those who practice it.” (Eccl. 8:8, New International Version)
     And what more, as if the anticipation of death itself is not enough torment, when man is finally taken to his grave, he cannot take with him anything he has labored for.  As it is written in the Scriptures:
     “We leave this world just as we entered it--with nothing. In spite of all our work there is nothing we can take with us.” (Ecc. 5:15, Today’s English Version)

Appointed by God
     Civilization has gone a long way and knowledge has advanced by leaps and bounds, but up to now, man has not discovered how death can be prevented.  Why do men die?  The Bible enlighten us in this regard:
     “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” (Heb. 9:27, New King James Version)
     It was God who appointed death to man.  But why?  What has man committed?  Apostle Paul said:
     “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.” (Rom. 5:12, Ibid.)
     Man has committed sin and has fallen from God’s grace.  As a consequence, God decreed man to die, “For the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23, Ibid.).  But the cessation of breath is not enough payment.  The Bible speaks of the second death which will be meted out to the sinners on Judgment Day.  In the Book of Revelation, this is written:
     “ But the cowardly, unbelieving,u abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Rev. 21:8, Ibid.)
     There is a greater problem awaiting man on the day of Judgment:  the second death or eternal punishment in the lake of fire.  Just as the first death is inevitable to man inasmuch as it is appointed by God, and so is the day of Judgment—we all have to account for the things we have done.  The Bible says:
     “For all of us must appear before Christ, to be judged by him. Each one will receive what he deserves, according to everything he has done, good or bad, in his bodily life.” (II Cor. 5:10, TEV)
     A new creation
     Death can be conquered only by our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior.  Apostle Paul enlightens us:
     “But it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” (II Tim. 1:10, NIV)
     Christ has destroyed death by bringing life and immortality to man.  Therefore, man needs Christ to be saved from the clutches of death.  But how will He save man from the power of death?  In Paul’s epistle to Titus, this is written:
     “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.(Titus 3:4-7, Ibid.)
     For man to benefit from the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, he must undergo rebirth and renewal as taught by the apostles to be washed or cleansed of his sins and have hope for eternal life.  Apostle Paul explains further which rebirth or renewal is:
     “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (II Cor. 5:17, NKJV)
     To undergo renewal or to be reborn is to become a new creation; to become a new creation, one must be in Christ.  Apostle Paul explains how one can become a new creation in Christ:
     “Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace.” (Eph. 2:15, Ibid.)
     From the two, a new man was created in Christ.  Who are these two that constitute the one new man?  They are the Lord Jesus Christ as head and the Church as the body.  The Bible says:
     “And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.” (Col. 1:18, Ibid.)
     Hence, as Christ and His Church constitute the new man, members of this Church are the ones in Christ.  As testified to by Apostle Paul, this Church, which the Lord purchased with His precious blood, is the Church of Christ:
     “Take heed therefore to yourselves and to all the flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, to feed the church of Christ which he has purchased with his blood.” (Acts 20:28, Lamsa Translation)
     Christ died for the sins of those in His Church; hence, they are not to be held accountable for their sins anymore.  The members of this Church have been cleansed of their “consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!.” (Heb. 9:14, NIV).  They have become a new creation and as such can now rightfully serve God.
     Take note that it is through this new creation or the one new man that enmity is abolished and peace is established.  Sin has alienated man from God and he has become His enemy; but through the precious blood of the Lord with which he purchased the Church, man is reconciled and has attained peace with God.  The Bible records this:
      “And through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.” (Col. 1:20-22, Ibid.)
     Thus, the members of the Church of Christ, having been redeemed by the blood of Jesus, are the ones reconciled to God.  They are no longer considered dead before God and, hence, are saved from the power of death.

Victory over death
     Having attained peace with God, members of the Church of Christ are freed from punishment which is death due to sin.  This is precisely the assurance of our Lord Jesus Christ when He declared the founding of His Church:
     “ And so I tell you, Peter: you are a rock, and on this rock foundation I will build my church, and not even death will ever be able to overcome it.” (Mt. 16:18, TEV)
     Death has no power over the Church built by our Lord Jesus Christ.  Thus, those who want to be saved from death must be in this Church.  If they die they would be resurrected to everlasting life.  Apostle Paul relates in the following passage how death will be finally conquered by the Church of Christ members:
     “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory. ” (I Cor. 15:51-54, NKJV)

Pamphlets/Pasugo God’s Message/Novemver 2001/Pages 21-22

We cordially invite you to attend our worship services in the house of worship nearest your place.

To Be Free

To Be Free

EMANCIPATION FROM THE bondage of poverty, slavery, and oppression is the elusive dream of the poor, the captive, and the oppressed.  Anything that could give them their freedom is good news.  Indeed, there is good news for them and the Bible introduces the bearer of that good news:
     “Then Jesus went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath he went as usual to the synagogue. He stood up to read the Scriptures and was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it is written, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has chosen me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed and announce that the time has come when the Lord will save his people. ” (Lk. 4:16-19, Today’s English Version)
     The Lord Jesus Christ bears the good news to the poor.  While the poor needs food to eat, what kind of food does he offer them?  Jesus tells us:
     “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.” (Jn. 6:27, New International Version)
     The food Christ offers is not the kind of food that spoils but that which endures to eternal life.  He clarifies what this is:
     “… It is written,  ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’.” (Mt. 4:4, New King James Version)
     The word of God is food for the soul.  This food endures to eternal life.  Thus, even if one is poor by human standards, he can still be rich before God.  He can be rich in faith, which is more important than being rich in material things.  Apostle James says:
     “Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?” (Js. 2:5, NIV)
     The Bible also speaks of people who are materially rich yet truly poor:
     “You say, 'I am rich and well off; I have all I need.' But you do not know how miserable and pitiful you are! You are poor, naked, and blind.” (Rev. 3:17, TEV)
     One can be rich materially but poor in the eyes of God.  In what sense could the rich in earthly possessions be poor?  Prophet Jeremiah states:
     “Therefore I said, “Surely these are poor.They are foolish; For they do not know the way of the Lord,
The judgment of their God.” (Jer. 5:4, NKJV)
     Those who are ignorant of the ways of the Lord and His judgment, though may be rich in material possessions, are poor.  They are poor in the knowledge of God’s words.  These people should be freed from the bondage of their “poverty.”

Emancipation from slavery
     Christ said He was sent to liberate the captives and set free the oppressed.  In his letter to the Romans, Apostle Paul explained who these captives are:
     “When you were the slaves of sin, you were free from righteousness.” (Rom. 6:20, TEV)
     Sin has enslaved the people of this world.  According to the bible, all men have sinned (Rom. 5:12) and the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23), the second death in the lake of fire on the day of Judgment (Rev. 20:14).  This is what divine justice requires.  Thus, man should be freed from the consequences of sin.  Failure to be liberated from this captivity would mean eternal punishment, which is the curse of the law.
     But who alone can redeem man from the curse of the law?  Galatians 3:13 gives us this answer:
     “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: 'Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.' ” (NIV)
     Man’s redemption from the bondage of sin is to be found in Christ.  He gave up His life and shed His precious blood to redeem man from the bondage:
     “knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” (I Pt. 1:18-19, NKJV)
     To be saved from the punishment, which is the consequences of sin, one should be redeemed with the precious blood of Christ.  But which was redeemed with the blood of Jesus Christ?  The Church of Christ was redeemed from the bondage of sin:
     “Take heed therefore to yourselves and to all the flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, to feed the church of Christ which he has purchased with his blood.” (Acts 20:28, Lamsa Translation)
     Those in the Church of Christ have been freed from the curse of the law and will be saved from punishment.  Outside the Church of Christ, man will remain a slave of sin and subject to the curse of the law. 

The true liberation
     To be redeemed with the blood of Christ is indeed good news to the poor.  Why?  The Book of Proverbs states:
     “One man pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth. The ransom of a man's life is his wealth, but a poor man has no means of redemption. ” (Prov. 13:7-8, Revised Standard Version)
     The ransom of man’s life or his redemption is his true wealth.
     A rich man whose life has not been ransomed will find everything worthless.  But a poor man who has been redeemed, though deprived of material possessions, is truly rich before God.   He has salvation which material wealth cannot provide.  The Book of Zephaniah records how man’s riches will be rendered futile on the day of Judgment:
     “Neither their silver nor their gold
    will be able to save them
    on the day of the Lord’s wrath.”
In the fire of his jealousy
    the whole earth will be consumed,
for he will make a sudden end
    of all who live on the earth.” (Zeph. 1:18, NIV)
     Man’s riches cannot save him from eternal punishment.  His wealth will perish with him.  The only way for him to be saved is to be redeemed by our Lord Jesus Christ through the Church of Christ.  This is what our Lord Jesus Christ said to those who want to be saved:
     “I am the door; anyone who comes into the fold through me will be saved.” (Jn. 10:9, Revised English Bible)
     The sheepfold or flock is the Church of Christ (Acts, 20:28, Lamsa Translation).
     When will the members of the Church of Christ attain salvation?  When will they be redeemed from all their worries and problems in this life?  The epistle to the Hebrews states:
     “In the same manner Christ also was offered in sacrifice once to take away the sins of many. He will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are waiting for him.” (Heb. 9:28, TEV)
     On His Second Advent, our Lord Jesus Christ will save those for whom He offered and sacrificed His life.  He will save the members of His Church.  This liberation through our Lord Jesus Christ is the Good News for all mankind.

Pamphlets/Pasugo God’s Message/April 2001/Pages 21-22

We cordially invite you to attend our worship services in the house of worship nearest your place.

Attaining Salvation And Eternal Life

 Attaining Salvation And Eternal Life

DEATH COMES TO everyone regardless of his status in life.  It knocks at the door of both the humblest and the poorest man and at the portals of the rich. Aware of this truth, some set out to enjoy life in all its comforts and pleasures, dismissing the thought of facing the consequences of their deeds in the hereafter.  While nothing is wrong in enjoying life to the fullest, all of us should bear in mind that there is a day of reckoning which we should prepare for.  Hence, we should not live a wicked life, but one that leads to the life in the hereafter.
     Why must we seriously consider the way we live in this world?  What is the characteristic of our life?  The Bible answers us, thus:
     “LORD, make me to know my end And what is the extent of my days; Let me know how transient I am.” (Ps. 39:4, Revised English Version)
     Life is impermanent.  It is fleeting.  It doesn’t last forever.  Whether one likes it or not, death will come as an end to his life.  To what is the life of man compared?  Psalm 103:15-16 states:
     “As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.When the wind has passed over it, it is no more, And its place acknowledges it no longer. ” (Ibid.)
     Grasses and flowers wither and dry.  The same thing is true of man.  So, man should not boast of his youth, his strength, his knowledge, or his riches because his life is in peril every moment.  His power to ensure his safety is very limited.  This truth is attested to by Apostle Paul:
     “  “And why should we ourselves be continually risking our lives, facing death hour by hour?  For it is fact that I face death daily; that is as true as my pride in your growth in the Lord” ” (I Cor. 15:30, 31, Ibid.)
     The Book of Job proves further that:
     “One dieth in his full strength, being wholly at ease and quiet.” (Job 21:23, King James Version)
     Death claims both the old and the young.  Though at the height of success and looking forward to a bright future, many young people meet their sudden death.
     Not even longevity of life can guarantee eternal existence.  Every person will finally go to only one place—the grave:
     “Even though he should live a thousand years twice told, yet enjoy no good-do not all go to the one place?” (Ecc. 6:6, RSV)

No way out
     So, even longevity of life does not free on from the worries of death.  Youth and vanity cannot be relied on, either.  Nobody stays young and strong forever despite modern breakthroughs in science and discoveries in the field of medicine.  Besides, the freshness of life is vanity if in the days of one’s youth he walks in the ways of his heart and in the sight of his own eyes:
     “Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth; walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.
     “ Remove vexation from your mind, and put away pain from your body; for youth and the dawn of life are vanity.” (Eccl. 11:9-10, Ibid.)
     Does this problem of man end by the time he dies or does it extend even beyond the grave?

A more grievous problem awaits
     Judgment Day is inevitable because the Bible states that the dead will be resurrected to receive either their due reward or punishment.  Those who died but who had been unrighteous will be resurrected for judgment; however, those who died but had removed vexation from their minds and had been righteous will be resurrected for life everlasting.  This is the testimony of our Lord Jesus Christ:
     “ Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.” (Jn. 5:28-29, Ibid.)
     The dead, great and small, whether in the tombs or in the sea, will be judged according to their deeds on Judgment Day:
     “ And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, by what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead in them, and all were judged by what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. ” (Rev. 20:12-14, Ibid.)

The blessed ones
     The Book of Revelation reassures us that there are those whose death will be a fortune to them.  They are the people who die in the Lord.  They are the blessed ones because they will rest from their labors.  This is recorded in Revelation 14:13:
     “And I heard a voice from heaven saying, "Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord henceforth." "Blessed indeed," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!" ” (Ibid.)
      This assurance for the people who belong to Christ is written in the Bible (a voice heard by Apostle John from heaven).  These words carry with them the same truth and power of God when He pronounced the creation of the world.  So, those who die in the Lord are assured that they will dwell in the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, prepared for them by the Lord.  They will be blessed with blissful life as stated in Revelation 21:1-4:
     “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband; and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them;  he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away. ” (Ibid.)
     But, who are those that belong to the Lord Jesus Christ?  Who are the blessed ones?  Who are certain of a blissful life?  Who are they that will surely dwell in the Holy City prepared by God and by our Lord Jesus Christ?  To which Church do they belong over which death shall not prevail?  The Lord Jesus Himself points out in Matthew 16:18:
     “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.” (Ibid.)
     Those who belong to our Lord Jesus Christ are found in the Church which He calls “My Church.”  They are guaranteed by the Lord that the power of death shall not prevail over them.  The power of death that shall not prevail over those who belong to Christ’s Church is the second death in the lake of fire (Rev. 20:14).  So, the members of the Church owned by Christ will be saved from eternal punishment on Judgment Day.
     Which Church is this that Christ established and owns and which He referred to as “My Church”?  Apostle Paul called the Church established by Christ as the Church of Christ.  This is stated in Acts 20:28:
     “Take heed therefore to yourselves and to all the flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, to feed the church of Christ which he has purchased with his blood.”  (Lamsa Translation)
     Thus, joining the Church of Christ is the way by which we can be saved from death in the lake of fire.  Our services to the Lord in this Church will be rewarded—we will rest from our labors in the new earth with a new heaven.  In the Holy City, where there will be no more death nor tears, we will live with God and the Lord Jesus Christ forevermore.

Pamphlet/Pasugo God’s Message/July 2002/Pages 21-22

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Martes, Disyembre 16, 2014

Before Time Runs Out


TIME IS ONE of our most precious resources, but whose value we often underestimate.  We usually realize its true worth only when we have lost opportunities because of our wanton neglect or indiscriminate use of it.  How many times we have been in a situation when we wished that we had acted more promptly or responded more quickly to a given circumstance?
     Unfortunately, lost time can no longer be retrieved.  Even if we are given the opportunity to make up for it and rectify our past mistakes, our action could still come a little too late.
     Hence, we must learn to make use of our time wisely.  We cannot afford to squander time since our life is so short and fragile.  It is likened to a puff of smoke which appears for a moment and then disappears (Js. 4:14), and to wild flowers that wither and gone (I Pt. 1:24-25).
     One of such instances when we must act quickly is when there is an impending danger or disaster.  After receiving a warning of a coming calamity, for instance, we must respond immediately and do what is necessary to avert the loss of lives, if not the destruction of properties.  A delayed response can be disastrous and fatal, but prompt action can save lives and cherished possessions.
     The history of God’s people recorded in the Bible teaches us how important it is that we promptly heed given warnings specially those coming from the Lord Himself.
     Noah’s deliverance from the Great Flood
     During the time of the patriarch Noah, God decided to put an end to all mankind and destroy them completely because the world at that time had been filled with man’s violent deeds (Gen. 6:13).  God said:
     “ I am going to send a flood on the earth to destroy every living being. Everything on the earth will die.” (Gen. 6:17, Today’s English Version)
     God gave a foreboding and commanded Noah to build an ark for him and his family to be saved from the destructive flood (Gen 6:14-18).
     Did Noah tarry or dillydally after receiving God’s warning and instructions?  No, he did not.  He did according to all that God had commanded him (Gen. 6:22).
     When the ark was finished, what did God command Noah and his family to do?
     “The LORD said to Noah, "Go into the boat with your whole family; I have found that you are the only one in all the world who does what is right.
     “And Noah did everything that the LORD commanded.” (Gen. 7:1, 5, New King James Version)
     Because of their prompt response to God’s instructions, Noah and his household were the only ones saved by God in the ancient world (II P. 2:5, TEV).

The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
     Who else received a stern warning from the  Lord and was asked to act quickly so as to be destroyed?
     “The two men said to Lot, "If you have anyone else here--sons, daughters, sons-in-law, or any other relatives living in the city--get them out of here, because we are going to destroy this place. The LORD has heard the terrible accusations against these people and has sent us to destroy Sodom.” (Gen. 19:12-13, Ibid.)
     Were there people who ignored Lot’s warning when he told them about the terrible things that angels had said would happen?  In Genesis 19:14, this is written:
     “Then Lot went to the men that his daughters were going to marry, and said, "Hurry up and get out of here; the LORD is going to destroy this place." But they thought he was joking.” (Ibid.)
     Lot’s future sons-in-law did not take his warning seriously.  As such, they did not act or prepare for the disaster that the Lord was about to bring on the twin cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.
     The messengers of God then took Lot, his wife, and his two daughters by the hand and led them out of the city (Gen. 19:16).  Here, we can see the great compassion God has for those who heed His warning.  He does everything to save them from a sure disaster.
     Hence, it is very important that we listen to God’s instructions and responds immediately to His call in order to saved from sure disaster.

Man faces death and judgment
  Why must all men respond quickly and obey God’s warning and instructions?  What else must man prepare for because they are likewise inevitable?  In Hebrews 9:27, the following is recorded:
    “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” (NKJV)
     Why should man always be prepared to face his death and the coming Judgment?  In Ecclesiastes 9:12, we could read:
     “For man also does not know his time:
Like fish taken in a cruel net,
Like birds caught in a snare,
So the sons of men are snared in an evil time,
When it falls suddenly upon them.” (Ibid.)
     There are people who meet sudden death.  Some die in their sleep.  Others fall victim to accidents or mishaps.  Still others die because of some lingering illness.  Thus, man should make sure that he has obeyed God’s commands and instructions before he passes away.
     How about the day of Judgment?  Does man know when the end of the world will come?  Apostle Paul testifies, thus:
     “ For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.
     “ For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.” (I Thess. 5:2-3, Ibid.)
     The day of Judgment will come so suddenly and unexpectedly just as death comes to man.  We do not know the time, the day, or the year when either of these will come.
     This sudden destruction that will come on the day of the Lord is the destruction God has ordained on the day of Judgment when the world and all the works therein will be consumed by fire (II Pt. 3:7, 10).
     This is how our Lord Jesus Christ described the day of His Second Advent:
     “As it was in the time of Noah so shall it be in the days of the Son of Man. Everybody kept on eating and drinking, and men and women married, up to the very day Noah went into the boat and the flood came and killed them all.  It will be as it was in the time of Lot. Everybody kept on eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. On the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and killed them all. That is how it will be on the day the Son of Man is revealed.” (Lk. 17:26-30, TEV)

The way to salvation
     We must no longer tarry in obeying God’s command and instructions concerning our salvation on the day of Judgment.  We must act now.
     What does God through our Lord Jesus Christ command us to do to be saved?
     “Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.
      “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved.” (Jn. 10:7, 9, NKJV)
     Where can we find those who have entered in by the door through our Lord Jesus Christ?  In John 10:9 of the Revised English Bible, our Lord Jesus states:
     “I am the door; anyone who comes into the fold through me will be safe.”
     Which is the fold or the flock where we find Christ’s sheep who are assured of salvation on the day of Judgment?  The Bible explains that the flock is the Church of Christ:
     “Take heed therefore to yourselves and to all the flock over which the Holy spirit has appointed you overseers, to feed the church of Christ which he has purchased with his blood.” (Acts 20:28, Lamsa Translation)
    Hence, to join the true Church of Christ is to heed the Savior’s call.  This is the only means for man’s salvation in these last days.  As Noah and Lot heeded the Lord’s warning in their days so should we.  Let not time run out on us for the day of Judgment is near.
     Time is running out.

Pamphlets/Pasugo God’s Message/June 2002/Pages 21-22

Online Bible Gateway

Huwebes, Disyembre 11, 2014

Tungkol Sa Ipinananakot Na Purgatoryo


Ang mga Katoliko ay may pinaniniwalaang purgatoryo.  Ito ang itinuro ng mga pari sa kanila at tinanggap naman nila ng hindi na sinuri kung saan nagmula ang aral na ito—kung mula sa Diyos o kung mula lamang sa mga tao.  Sukat ang ito’y kinagisnan nila, sapat na yaon upang sila’y sumampalataya at lubos na magtiwala, hanggang sa pati ang mga lupa nila at mga kayamanan nila ay ibigay nila sa simbahan (kaya nagkaroon ng asyenda ang mga pari sa Pilipinas), —sapagkat pinapaniwala sila ng mga pari na sa pamamagitan ng kanilang pagpaparasal at pagpapamisa ay mahahango ang mga kaluluwa ng kanilang mga minamahal sa apoy ng (umano’y) purgatoryo.

     Ayon sa pagtuturo ng pari, pagkamatay na pagkamatay raw ng tao, ang kaluluwa raw nito’y haharap agad sa hukom na si Jesucristo upang  magsulit at ayon daw sa kahatulan, ito ay mapaparoon sa langit, sa impiyerno o sa purgatoryo.  Bilang patotoo, sisipiin ko ang sinasabi ng paring si Enrique Demond na nasusulat sa kanyang aklat na pinamagatang SIYA ANG INYONG PAKINGGAN—ANG ARAL NA KATOLIKO dahong 71:

      “Ang tatlong Estasion Pagkamatay ng Katawan ng Tao”

      “Pagkamatay na pagkamatay ng ating katawan ang kaluluwa natin ay haharap agad sa hukom na si Jesucristo upang ipagbigay sulit niya ang kanyang mga gawa at ayon sa kahatulan siya’y mapaparoon sa langit, sa infierno o sa purgatoryo.”

          Ang makasasagot sa tanong na iyan ay ang mga paring kumatha niyan.  Mga pari ang kumatha ng purgatoryo, kaya mga pari rin ang nakakaalam kung ano ito.  Tingnan natin ang paliwanag ng paring si Enrique Demond:

     “Ang purgatoryo ay isang pook na sangagan na kinalalagyan ng mga kaluluwa na nangamatay sa mahal na grasia ng Dios, datapuwa’t hindi pa nakapagbabayad dito sa lupa ng boong pagbabayad sa tapat na katarungan ng Dios dahil sa mga kasalanang munti o dahil sa parusang may hanggan na hindi pa pinatatawad.”  (Siya Ang Inyong Pakinggan — Aral na Katoliko, pp. 71-73)

     Tunghayan naman natin ang paliwanag ng paring si Luis de Amezquita sa kanyang Catecismo, dahong 25:

     T.  Diyata ano ang Purgatoryo?
     S.  Pagsasangagan (kung baga sa ginto) sa mga kaluluwa ng kristianong banal na nakapagsisi man at nakapagkumpisal man datapuwa’t hindi pa nakapagkawas dito sa lupa ng boong kawas sa mga kasalanan nila…

     Kung susuriin nating mabuti ang purgatoryong nilikha ng mga pari, lumalabas, ayon din sa kanilang paliwanag, na ang lahat ng mga katoliko—kasama na ang lahat ng mga papa at mga pari — masusugba sa kanilang sangagang purgatoryo.  Bakit?  Sapagka’t ayon sa kanila, ang sasangagin sa purgatoryo ay ang mga kaluluwa ng mga kristiyanong banal na kahit namatay sa grasya ng Diyos, nakapagsisi at nakapagkumpisal man nguni’t hindi pa nakapagkawas dito sa lupa.  Dahil sa pati ang mga papa at mga pari ay nagkukumpisal at nagsisisi sa kanilang mga kasalanan, at naniniwala sila na sila’y mga kristiyanong banal, kaya silang lahat ay sasangagin sa kanilang sangagang purgatoryo.  Walang katoliko, kung gayon, na makaliligtas sa apoy ng purgatoryo  (kung tunay na mayroon nito).  Lalong mabuti kung tigilan na ng mga katoliko ang pagkukumpisal at pagbabanal ayon sa itinuturo ng mga pari, upang makaligtas sila sa pagkahulog sa ipinananakot nilang purgatoryo.

      Papaano raw matutulungan ang mga kaluluwang sinasangag sa purgatoryo?  Ganito ang sabi ni Cardinal Gibbons:

     “May isang purgatoryo, at ang mga kaluluwang napipigil doon ay matutulungan ng mga panalangin ng mga matapat, lalung-lalo na sa pamamagitan ng karapat-dapat na Sacrificio sa Altar.”  (Ang Pananampalataya ng ating mga Ninuno, dahong 210).

     Ganito naman ang patotoo ni Enrique Demond sa kanyang aklat na Siya Ang Inyong Pakinggan—Ang Aral Na Katoliko, dahong 73:

     “Ang dinadalita ng mga kaawa-awang kaluluwa sa purgatoryo ay ang hindi pagkakita sa Diyos at maraming sarisaring hirap at sakit.  Wala silang magagawa sa sarili nila upang makaalis sa kanilang kapahamakan.  Nguni’t tayong nabubuhay pa dito sa lupa ang makatutulong at makapagbabayad sa kanilang utang sa Diyos.  Tayo ay makatutulong sa kanila sa paraan ng mga panalangin, ng mga indulhensiyang ipinatutungkol sa kanila, ng mga paglilimos at ng ibang gawang kabanalan, lalung-lalo na sa paraan ng sacrifisio ng Santa Misa.”

     Kung totoong may purgatoryo at ang mga kaluluwa ng “Kristiyanong banal,” nagsisi at nagkumpisal mang mga katoliko ay sinasangag doon at ang tanging makatutulong upang sila’y mahango roon ay ang mga buhay na naririto sa lupa, sa pamamagitan ng kanilang mga panalangin at pagmimisa, bakit hindi manalangin nang manalangin at magmisa nang magmisa ang mga paring iyan, — kahit na walang bayad—upang mahango sa sinasabi nilang purgatoryo ang mga kaluluwang umano’y pinarurusahan doon ,  Bakit kung walang bayad ay ayaw magmisa ang mga paring iyan?   Ang ibig pa nila’y adelantado ang bayad, at buhay ka pa’y magbayad ka na raw agad upang kung mamatay ka’y tiyak daw na maipagpapamisa ang kaluluwa mo.  Papaano ang mga walang ibabayad sa pari, di mabubulok sa purgatoryo?  Maliwanag na ang hinahango ng mga pari ay hindi ang kaluluwa sa panakot nilang purgatoryo kundi ang pera sa bulsa ng kanilang mga nadaya at nalinlang.

     Kung ang aral tungkol sa purgatoryo ay aral na mula sa Diyos, dapat itong masumpungan sa Banal na Kasulatan.  Ang mga aral ng Diyos ay nasusulat sa Biblia.  Ang mga itinuro ng ating Panginoong Jesucristo ay nasusulat sa Biblia, gayundin ang ipinangaral ng mga Apostol.   Nguni’t tungkol sa purgatoryo na isang katha ng mga pari ay walang sinasabi ang Biblia.  Ang Biblia ay tahimik tungkol sa purgatoryo!  Si Cristo’y walang binanggit na sangagan ng mga kaluluwa.  Ang mga Apostol ay hindi rin nagturo ng ukol sa bagay na ito.  Ang mga paring Romanista lamang ang nagtuturo niyan.  Hindi natin ito dapat ipagtaka, sapagka’t ang mga pari nama’y hindi sinugo ng Diyos.  Hindi sila inutusan upang mangaral ng Ebanghelyo.  At dahil sa ang aral tungkol sa purgatoryo ay wala sa Biblia, ito ay hindi aral ng Diyos kundi aral ng tao, at kung aral ng tao, ito ay walang kabuluhan sa harap ng Diyos, kaya dapat itakwil sapagka’t ibang ebanghelyo (Mat. 15:9; Gal. 1:6-9).

      Kami ba lamang ang nagsasabing wala sa Biblia o sa Ebanghelyo ang aral tungkol sa purgatoryo?  Tingnan natin ang sinasabi ni Rizal tungkol dito sa purgatoryong ipinananakot ngmga pari:

     “Subali’t ipagpatuloy nating alamin kung papaano napalipat sa Katolisismo ang purgatoryong iyan, na hindi natutunghan sa Biblia ni sa mga banal na ebanghelyo, Si Moises man at si Jesu-Cristo ay di bumanggit bahagya man sa bagay na ito…  Ang mga kristiyano ng mga unang siglo ay hindi naniniwala sa Purgatoryo.  Sila’y nangamamatay na taglay ang masayang pag-asa na madaling makakaharap ang Diyos” (Noli Me Tangere, dahong 52). 

Maliwanag ang sabi ni Rizal.  Ang Purgatoryo ng mga pari ay hindi matutunghan sa Biblia o sa Ebanghelyo.  Si Moises na dakilang lider sa panahon ng Israel at si Jesucristo na pinakadakilang lider sa panahong kristiyano, ay hindi bumanggit bahagya man tungkol sa Purgatoryo.  Nguni’t bakit nagkaroon ng aral na Purgatoryoang Iglesia Katolika?  Sino ang kumatha nito?

     Sino ang nagpasya na magkaroon ng aral na purgatoryo ang Iglesia Katolika?  Sasagutin tayo ng paring Paulista na si Bertrand L. Conway, sa kanyang aklat na The Question Box, dahong 393:

     “The Catholic Church has defined the existence of Purgatory in the Decree of Union drawn up at the Council of Florence in 1439 and again at the Council of Trent (Sess. xxv.) which says:  “The Catholic Church, instructed by the Holy Ghost, has from Sacred Scriptures and the ancient traditions of the Fathers, taught in Sacred Councils, and very recently in the Ecumenical Synod (Sess. vi., can. 30; Sess. xxii., chs. 2, 3), that there is Purgatory, and that the souls therein detained are helped by the suffrages of the faithful, but principally by the acceptable sacrifice of the altar.”

     Sa wikang Pilipino ay ganito:

     “Ang pagkakaroon ng Purgatoryo ay tiniyak ng Iglesia Katolika sa pamamagitan ng utos o pasya sa pagkakaisa (Decree of Union) na niyari sa Konsilyo ng Florencia noong  1439, at inulit sa Konsilyo ng Trento (sess xxv.) na nagsasaad:  ‘Ang Iglesia Katolika na tinuruan ng Espiritu Santo, mula sa mga Banal na Kasulatan at sa matatandang kaugalian ng mga magulang ay nagturo sa mga Banal na Kapulungan  (Sacred Council) at ngayon ay nagtuturo sa Pangkalahatang Kapulungan  (Ecumenical Synod Sess. vi., can 30; Sess. xxii, chs. 2, 3) ito, na mayroong Purgatoryo, at ang mga kaluluwang doon ay napipigil ay natutulungan sa pamamagitan ng mga panalangin ng mga tapat, nguni’t lalung-lalo na ng karapat-dapat na handog sa dambana’.”

Maliwanag sa sagot na ito ng paring si Conway na ang Purgatoryong ipinangangaral nila ay hindi aral na mula sa Diyos kundi sa Pasya ng Konsilyo ng Florencia noong 1439 at inulit sa Konsilyo ng Trento.  Ano ang karapatan ng mga konsilyong ito upang yumari ng mga aral na sasampalatayanan ng tao?  Na tinuruan daw sila ng Espiritu Santo at ang itinuro ay mayroon daw Purgatoryo, at ang mga kaluluwang doo’y napipigil ay matutulungan daw sa pamamagitan ng mga panalangin at lalo na raw ng karapat-dapat na handog sa dambana o misa?  Hindi Espiritu Santo ang nakapagturo sa mga obispong bumuo ng Konsilyong yumari at nagpasyang may Purgatoryo.  Walang kinalaman ang Espiritu Santo sa kathang aral na ito ng mga Pari!  Sinasangkalan lamang nila ang Espiritu Santo upang madaya at malinlang ang mga panatikong Katoliko.

     Totoo ba na ang Purgatoryo’y isang daya?  Na ito’y hindi umiiral?  Na ito’y imbento lamang ng Iglesia Romana?  Tunghayan ninyo ang pagtatapat ng isang naging paring katoliko, si G. Lucien Vinet.  Tumanggap siya ng orden noong 1933, katulong na paroko sa St. Jean at Moris, Manitoba; Pastor ng Lac de Bonnet, Manitoba; kapelyang (Chaplain) katoliko sa Royal Canadian Air Force nang ikalawang Digmaang Pandaigdig, at umalis sa pagkapari noong 1942.  Ganito ang sabi niya sa kanyang aklat na pinamagatang I Was A Priest:

     “Indeed, as Roman priest, we have accepted from them Mass money to relieve the souls in a non-existent Purgatory.  We took advantage of our parishioners religious superstitions and we played on their feelings to extract from them money under pretext of delivering their departed beloved ones from imaginary sufferings of a fictitious purgatory.” (I Was A Priest, p. 7, by Lucien Vinet).

     Sa Wikang Pilipino ay ganito:

     “Sa katotohanan, bilang mga paring Romano, kami ay tumatanggap mula sa kanila ng salaping para sa misa upang hanguin ang mga kaluluwa sa isang hindi umiiral na Purgatoryo.  Aming sinasamantala ang aming mga parokya sa kanilang mga pamahiin ukol sa relihiyon at aming pinaglalaruan ang kanilang makataong damdamin upang katasin mula sa kanila ang salapi sa ilalim ng balatkayong pagliligtas sa kanilang mga yumaong minamahal mula sa hinihinagap na pagdurusa sa kabulaanang Purgatoryo.” (I Was A Priest, Lucien Vinet, dahong 7)

     “The real Judas is the Roman priest who knows the wickedness of Romanism and yet clings to it for material gain.” (Ibid., p. 10)

     Sa Wikang Pilipino ay ganito:

     “Ang tunay na Judas ay ang Paring Romano na nakaaalam ng kabuktutan ng Romanista at gayunman ay nangangapit dito dahil sa pakinabang.”  (Ibid., dahong 10)

     “When will Roman Catholic throughout the world open their eyes and come to the realization that the holiness of their Church and their priests is a pure farce!” (Ibid., p. 28).

     Sa Wikang Pilipino ay ganito:

     “Kailan pa kaya ididilat ang mga mata ng mga Katoliko Romano sa buong daigdig at darating sa pagkatiyak na ang kabanalan ng kanilang Iglesia at ng kanilang mga Pari ay isang tunay na biru-biruan.” (Ibid., dahong 28).

     “Purgatory, like Mass, has no foundation in Holy Scripture.  Christ ang the first Christians never talked about it and never knew of its supposed existence.” (Ibid., p. 41).

     Sa Wikang Pilipino ay ganito:

     “Ang Purgatoryo, gaya ng Misa, ay walang saligan sa Banal na Kasulatan.  Si Cristo at ang unang Kristiyano ay hindi kailan man nag-usap ukol dito at hindi nalaman ang kanyang ipinalalagay na pag-iral.”   (Ibid., dahong 41).

     “We ex-priest, knows very well that Mass and Purgatory are inventions that are exceedingly profitable, but so not ask a priest who is still in bondage to Rome to explain to you what Mass really is and how it has come into being .  He cannot answer you with sincerity.” (Ibid., p. 41).

     Sa Wikang Pilipino ay ganito:

     “Kaming mga naging Pari, ang nakaaalam na mabuti na ang Misa at ang Purgatoryo ay mga imbento na may sukdulang pakinabang, datapuwa’t huwag tatanungin ang isang Pari na natatalian ng Roma na magpaliwanag sa inyo kung ano ang Misa sa katotohanan at kung papaano ito lumitaw, Siya’y hindi makasasagot sa inyo nang buong katapatan” (Ibid., dahong 41).

Narito ang pagtatapat ng naging paring si G. Lucien Vinet.  Hindi totoong may purgatoryo.  Iyan ay hindi umiiral!  Iyan ay kabulaanan!  Iyan ay imbento lamang ng Iglesia Romana!  Ang pagdurusa ng mga kaluluwang umano’y nasa purgatoryo ay sa hinagap lamang.  Nguni’t binabayaran ng mahal ang paring nagmimisa ng mga kaawaawang nadaya, sa pag-asang sa pamamagitan nito’y mahahango ang mga kaluluwang hinihinagap na nagdurusa sa kabulaanang purgatoryo.  Alam ng lahat ng pari ang kabuktutang ito ng Iglesia Romana, nguni’t nangangapit pa rin sila rito dahil sa pakinabang.  Alam din nilang ito’y (ang purgatoryo) walang saligan sa Banal na Kasulatan, at si Cristo at ang unang Kristiayano’y walang kamalayan ukol dito; nguni’t sinasamantala nila ang kamangmangan ng kanilang kaanib upang katasin mula sa kanila ang salapi sa ilalim ng balatkayong pagliligtas sa kanilang mga yumaong mga minamahal mula sa hinihinagap na pagdurusa sa kabulaanang purgatoryo.  Salamat na lamang sa Diyos at nagkaroon ng isang Lucien Vinet na nagkaroon ng lakas ng loob na ibunyag ang karima-rimarim na raket ng mga nagpapanggap pa naming mga kahalili ng Diyos dito sa lupa.

     Isa pa ring paring katoliko ang dahil sa hindi matagalan ang sumbat sa kanya ni Cristo dahil sa kanyang pagnanakaw sa salapi ng mga kaawa-awang tao sa pamamagitan ng kanyang walang kabuluhang pagmimisa, ay iniwan ang pagka-pari.  Siya’y si G. Joseph Zacchello, na nagtamo ng karapatang pagkapari noong ika-22 ng Oktubre, 1939.  Ganito ang kanyang pagtatapat na mababasa sa kanyang sinulat na polyeto na pinamagatang The Priest Who Found Christ:

     “Ang mga maralitang tao ay pinagkakalooban ako ng mula sa $5.00 hanggang $30.00 sa dalawampung minutong seremonyang tinatawag na misa, sapagka’t ipinangangako ko sa kanila na palalayain ang kaluluwa ng kanilang mga kamag-anak sa apoy ng purgatoryo.  Nguni’t sa tuwing pagmamalasin ko ang malaking krusipiho sa dambana ay waring si Cristo ay sinusumbatan ako at sinasabing:  NINANAKAW MO ANG SALAPI NG MGA TAO, ng mga nilikhang nagpapakahirap sa paggawa, sa pamamagitan ng iyong walang katotohanang mga pangako.  Ikaw ay nagtuturo ng mga aral na laban sa Aking mga aral.”

     Maliwanag ang pagtatapat na ito ng naging paring si Joseph Zacchello.  Pagnanakaw ang tawag sa kanilang ginagawang pagsingil sa mga tao ng salapi, dahil sa kanilang pagmimisa na ipinangangakong palalayain ang kaluluwa ng kanilang mga minamahal sa apoy ng purgatoryo.  Sinusumbatan siya ni Cristo, ayon sa kanya, at sinasabing ang kanyang mga pangako ay walang katotohanan, at nagtuturo siya ng mga aral na laban sa Kanyang mga aral.  At dahil hindi niya matagalan ang sumbat sa kanya, iniwan niya ang pagka-pari at ipinagtapat ang mga katotohanang ito.  Ganito sana ang lahat ng mga pari!  Lahat sana ng mga paring katoliko’y katulad nina Lucien Vinet at Joseph Zacchello!

     Bihirang katoliko marahil ang nakakaalam na buhay pa sila ay dapat na silang magbayad (adelantado ang bayad) sa mga pari (P5.00 isang misa; 30 sunud-sunod na araw na magmimisa kaya ang kabuuang halaga ay P150), upang kung sila’y mamatay ay makasiguro (raw) sila na maipagpamisa ang kanilang mga kaluluwa.  Sa ikatitiyak ng mga kababayang katoliko ng mga bagay na ito, tunghayan ninyo ang sinasabi sa The Family Christian Calendar 1950:

“Ang aming Tanging Kasunduan ukol sa Misa (Misa Espesyal) ay magdudulot sa iyo ng kapakinabangan ng mga Misa batay sa halaga sa Kasunduan kapagkaraka pagkatapos ng inyong kamatayan—panahong nangangailangan ang iyong kaluluwa ng tulong ukol sa espiritu.  Walang pagkabalam gaya ng sa mga bagay na ang testamento  ay pinawalang kabuluhan, walang misang gaganapin.  Kung ilalagak mo ang iyong bayad ngayon, pinananagutan namin na magsagawa ng mga Misa, kapagkaraka na maipagbigay alam sa amin ang iyong pagkamatay at kung hihilingin mo, magbabayad kami ng 2% (P.02 sa piso na tubo) sa iyong deposito, kung ito’y P200.00 o higit pa.  May karapatan ka rin, kung ibig mo, na kuning muli ang kuwalta sa panahon ng mahigpit na pangangailangan na kami’y mabigyan ng tatlumpung araw na palugit.

     “Sa ganitong magaan na paraan pinakamabuting magbigay samantalang nabubuhay ka pa niyong binabalak mong ibigay sa panahon ng kamatayan.  Ano mang halaga mula P50.00 pataas ay tinatanggap.

     Ang halaga ng isang Misa ay P5.00.

     “Si San Gregoriong Dakila ay itinagubilin ang paggawa ng 30 Misa sa loob ng 30 sunud-sunod na araw na tanging patungkol sa pagpapahinga ng tanging tinutukoy na patay.  Ito ang banal na paniniwala, pinatutunayan ng maraming multo, na sa katapusan ng ika-30 Misa ang kaluluwa ay mahahango sa apoy ng Purgatoryo.

     “Ang tatlumpung Misang ito ay kailangang isagawa sa loob ng 30 sunud-sunod na araw, walang patlang.  Kung mapatlangan, dapat ulitin mula sa pasimula.

     “Ang mga ito’y maaaring patungkol lamang sa namatay.

     “Ang mga Misa ni Gregorio ay isa sa mga dakilang tulong sa mga kaluluwa sa Purgatoryo.

     “Magkaroon ng mga Misa ni Gregorio patungkol sa iyong mahal na yumao at makipagkayari na ang mga ito’y maisagawa kapagkaraka pagkatapos ng iyong pagkamatay.  Wala nang ibang higit na maaaring makaalaala na maipatungkol sa iyo kundi ikaw na rin.

     “Ipadala ang iyong bayad sa mga Pari ni San Pablo at makipagkayari sa mga mapagkakatiwalaang mga tao na magbabalita sa amin pagkatapos ng iyong pagkamatay.  Ang Misa ay sisimulan agad.

     “Ang mga Pari ni San Pablo ay tumatanggap ng pinakamababang bayad sa halagang P150 sa mga misa ni Gregorio.  Maraming tao ay nagpapadala ng malaking bayad dahil sa pangyayaring ang pananagutan ng mga Misa ni Gregorio ay nagtataglay ng kapansinpansing balakid.”  

     Ito’y maliwang.  Hinihingi ng mga pari na kayo’y (mga Katoliko) magbayad na samantalang nabubuhay, upang kung mamatay ay tiyak daw na maipagpapamisa agad ang inyong kaluluwa, at tiyak din nilang sa katapusan ng ika-30 Misa (30 Misa ang gagawin sa loob ng 30 sunud-sunod na araw), ang kaluluwa raw ninyo’y mahahango sa apoy ng Purgatoryo.  Samakatuwid, talagang ang mga katoliko, ayon sa mga pari, pagkamatay ay sa purgatoryo ang tungo—walang kasala-sala na sa purgatoryo ang tungo!  Kaya ngayon pa’y (buhay ka pa at wala pa sa purgatoryo nila) pinagbabayad ka na upang pagkamatay mo’y masimulan na nila ang paghango sa inyong kaluluwa.  Nguni’t ang nakapagtataka lamang nito’y naipagpamisa mo na’t lahat, nagdaan na ang maraming Todos los Santos, ay hindi pa rin nahahango ang nasabing kaluluwa.  May talaan ba ang mga pari ng mga kaluluwang mga nahango na, ang mga kasalukuyang hinahango at ang mga hahanguin pa?  Natitiyak kong wala!  At talaga namang wala.  Ang unang wala ay ang sinasabi nilang purgatoryo.  Iyan ay hindi umiiral at kabulaanan lamang!  At lalong walang mga kaluluwang sinasangag doon!  Panahon na upang idilat ng mga kababayang Katoliko ang kanilang mga mata sa katotohanan!  Magsuri lamang sila at ang pagbatayan ay ang mga salita ng Diyos na nasusulat sa Biblia, matitiyak nilang sila ay nadaya at nalinlang!  Magbalik loob kayo sa Diyos habang may panahon pa!

Hango mula sa aklat na Isang Pagbubunyag Sa Iglesia Ni Cristo/Copyright 1964 by Iglesia Ni Cristo Church Of Christ/Kabanata XIV/Pahina 112-123