For many many years being active member of the Church of Christ, much like other members, I do not read the bible. In recent months, the church worship service lessons are noticeably teaching of the same topics: obey the administration, obey the teachings on offerings and mission, if you do not obey your salvation is at risks or you are setting up yourself for your own destruction. For other people this is called mind conditioning and some may call this spiritual corruptions. I noticed two recent church teachings that led me to start reading the bible. This is a [short] story of my conversion that led me to “test the spirit” just like what is mentioned in I John 4:1
I John 4:1, NKJV – 1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
A Minister of the Church is trying to explain to the congregations why the “One With EVM” is being used everywhere in recognizing the leadership of the Executive Ministers. When he said “it is because you cannot be one with Jesus and God if you are not one with EVM” these words stick in my head because I thought it is already adding to the teachings of God.
A Minister of the Church is constantly reminding every officers and members why we should not get offended in offerings. It was then followed by a campaign for a special offering and that every member must give according to the purpose of your heart for it is this way God is so pleased. The instructions is followed by every member of the household must give, including all children, that is if you are 4 in the family, there should be for envelopes – that means infants or children must be also offer according to the purpose of their hearts. These instructions is also followed by saying the child also received allowances right? I am not offended in offerings but when it is going beyond the teaching then I think it is adding again to the teachings of God. How can an infant give offering according to the purpose of their heart?
Testing the Spirit
The Church teaches that the bible is kept in mystery and only the INC Ministers has the gift from God to teach the pristine gospel. The church also teaches that there are those who led to their own destruction for trying to understand the bible. This is my first test, if I read the bible I could be led to false teachings. In order for me to actually read the bible, I need to read it prove reading the bible is not a bad idea – weird reasoning but how else your prove that you can read the bible and not self-destruct yourself? I needed to test myself with the following:
- Is the bible really kept in secret and only INC Ministers can read and interpret it?
- Is the bible teaches that there are those who try to understand the bible and they end up in destruction?
In my mind if I can answer those two questions, then I can proceed reading the bible for my own understanding.
Is the bible really kept in mystery? I have covered this topic in the article “The INC Teachings Regarding The Mystery Of The Bible“. Please read the article and comeback here if you have not read it. Let us understand the two bible verses used in the Church doctrines one more time.
Rom 16:25-26, NKJV – 25Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began.26but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith—
Notice how verse 26 actually explained that the gospel has been revealed to all the nations. This is never taught inside the INC and so my doubt level just go up to continue reading the bible. What about those who tried to understand the bible and are led to self-destruction?
2 Pet. 3:16, NKJV – 16as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.
If you really try to understand 2 Peter 3:16 and not just listen to how the Minister teach it, the verse is actually referring to untaught and unstable people. We are obviously taught and stable people mentally and spiritually, therefore this verse is not applicable to us.
It is with these two bible verses that leading me to believe there is “mind conditioning” inside the INC because there are some things that are “untaught” for fear that the members will go against the teachings or doctrines of the church.
Since I saw the one with EVM sign of the right thumb, the first thing came to my mind is why create an icon for spiritual purposes? Is that not idolatry?
Almost every baptized member of the church heard about the mark on the forehead and on the right hand ni the book of Revelation. The INC doctrines refers to the Catholics having the mark on their forehead on ash Wednesday. What about the right hand? The right thumb mark is part of the right hand so it is enough to think the right thumb mark is a dangerous sign. As I read the bible verse in Revelation 13:16-17
Revelation 13:16-17, NKJV – 16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
It is the word “or” that is mark on their right hand or on their forehead. Followed by “buy or sell”. Is in it we now have the sign of the right thumb which is part of the right hand? Is in it the Iglesia ni Cristo now we sell tickets not only in the chapel but even in Philippine Arena? Scary, though I cannot prove this is correct but it is logical the notice “mark on right hand OR on their forehead”, “buy or sell”.
There are more doubts as I started reading the bible understanding one more time the doctrines of the Church. It is not correct to prevent members from reading the bible like the Jews examined the scriptures everyday to see if Paul is true in his preaching (Acts 17:11).
Acts 17:11, NRSV – 11 These Jews were more receptive than those in Thessalonica, for they welcomed the message very eagerly and examined the scriptures every day to see whether these things were so.
These bible verses are just some of the reasons why I became interested to reading and understanding the Church doctrines once again. I am now confident that it is not true the bible is kept in secret, that only the INC Ministers can preach or interpret them. I have also proven in the bible that even the first century Jews are reading the scriptures to verify if the preacher is teaching the true gospel of God. So I will continue to read and share my thoughts.
Having the Armor of God
Everyone should learn the words of God, not only what you heard from the doctrines of any religion, but everything like it is your armor of God. Everyone must be reading the bible not just the ministers of the Church. Ephesians 6:11-17 speaking of principalities – a state ruler, against powers – those who are leading in power, against the rulers of darkness – those who rule with evil intentions.
Ephesians 6:11-17, NKJV – 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;
I do not claim I am a preacher, nor I became a preacher, nor I claim to be a messenger, nor I am a prophet, nor I have a prophetic dream. I am just one human being, a God’s creation, one who believe in Jesus Christ as the messenger of God, the savior, and Jesus’ God is my God, Abraham and Moses’ God is my God.
Let it be known that my name is Cornelius. What I say here are my own words, no one asked me to say them, no one told me to tell them, no one forced me to write them. All my words came from the wisdom that I received from Him.