Message of the Day: Be still, and know that I am God…!

No matter what troubles we meet, whether from earthquakes, floods or wars, the person who trusts in God is not overcome by them. He has an inner calmness, likened to a cool refreshing stream that flows gently from God. The Almighty is still in full control, and he gives strength to his people. God’s power can smash all opposition. Therefore, opponents should stop fighting against him and realize that he is the supreme God, the supreme ruler of the world (Psalm 46: 1-11).

To those who are brought down and destroyed, let us deeply reflect on the severity and goodness of our God. Let us remember that He is the Fountain of power, wisdom, justice, goodness, and truth. He shall be known among the nations as the God of goodness and salvation!

Sources:

MySword for Android. Riversoft Ministry, 2011-2019.

The NKJV Bible

http://www.biblegateway.com

Message of the Day: Diligence is Needed, All Must Strive!

Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.“ (Matthew 7:13-14, NKJV)

There are two ways of life. One is the easy way of pleasing self which most choose and which leads to destruction. The other is the narrow way of denying self for Jesus’ sake, which leads to life (Matt. 7:13-14).

The path to heaven is narrow. It is not the “great highway” that people tread. Very few people go there. Here and there one may be seen – traveling in solitude. The way to death, on the other hand, is broad. Multitudes are in it. It is the great highway in which people go. They fall into it easily and without effort, and go without thought. If they wish to leave that and go by a narrow gate to the city, it would require effort and thought.

Diligence is needed to enter life. All must strive, to obtain it; and so narrow, unfrequented, and solitary is it, that a few find it.

Sources:

MySword for Android. Riversoft Ministry, 2011-2019.

The NKJV Bible

http://www.biblegateway.com

Message of the Day: The Eternity and Immutability of God and the Brevity of Human Life

Before the mountains were brought forth,
Or ever You had formed the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God
.”

For a thousand years in Your sight
Are like yesterday when it is past,
And like a watch in the night
.” (Psalm 90:2, 4, NKJV)

God alone is permanent and enduring, and therefore the only true security is found in him. Human life, by contrast, is short and uncertain, and is brought to an end as God decides and when he chooses. No matter how long a person lives, even a thousand years, the number of years is insignificant compared with the timelessness (Psalm 90:1-6)

Psalm 90:2 and remind us that first, there is one eternal and unchanging God; second, the brevity of human life.

Sources:

MySword for Android. Riversoft Ministry, 2011-2019.

The NKJV Bible

http://www.biblegateway.com

Message of the Day: As We Understand more of Christ’s Love, We Grow to be more like Him

“…to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:19, NKJV)

Paul believes that only by God’s grace could one as unworthy as he be given the work of taking the gospel to the Gentiles. He believes also that only by God’s power will he be fruitful in that work. God’s plan of uniting all believers in one church in and through Christ displays to people and to angels his great wisdom. This encourages Christians in their everyday lives, for if God is so wise and powerful, they know that they can enter into his presence at all times without fear or doubt. They therefore should not be discouraged, as some in Ephesus were when they heard that their apostle was in prison.

The one to whom Paul prays is the Father of all who believe, whether Jews or Gentiles. This one is the true Father. Everything in the universe has its origin in him. Even earthly fathers and their families exist only because there is a heavenly Father and his family. Let us ask our heavenly Father that we his children might be strengthened inwardly through allowing the Spirit of Christ within us to control us. As we understand more of Christ’s love, we will grow to be more like him in our lives (3:7-19).

Sources:

MySword for Android. Riversoft Ministry, 2011-2019.

The NKJV Bible

http://www.biblegateway.com

Message of the Day: By Christ’s Death Our Sins Are Taken Away

“…so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.” (Hebrews 9:28, NKJV)

Levitical sacrifices were part of a material order and brought symbolic cleansing. Christ’s death is concerned with spiritual order and brings actual cleansing. The Levitical high priest entered the symbolic presence of God with the blood of a sacrificial animal, a ceremony that had to be repeated yearly. Christ entered God’s real presence on account of his own blood, and he did so only once. His death is sufficient to remove completely the sins of the whole world, past, present and future. (9:24-26)

People die once and face judgment. Christ died once and gained eternal salvation for those who trust in him. By his death we are forgiven; our sins are taken away. We will enjoy the fulness of our salvation when Christ reappears, coming out of the heavenly tabernacle to be with us for ever. (9:27-28)

Sources:

MySword for Android. Riversoft Ministry, 2011-2019.

The NKJV Bible

http://www.biblegateway.com

The Battle of Bangkusay, June 3, 1571

On June 3, 1571, Muslim warriors from Macabebe and Hagonoy, ancient communities north of Manila Bay controlling the mouth of Pampanga River (now part of the Provinces of Pampanga and Bulacan), riding in 40 ancient Southeast Asian colossal warboats called caracoas, fought the newly arrived Spanish invaders in Luzon led by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. Rajah Sulayman, Rajah Matanda, and Lakan Dula already sided with the Spaniards but were waiting for the result of the battle. Hundreds of Visayan tattooed warriors aided the Spaniards in this naval battle by the Manila Bay. A fierce battle ensued; unfortunately, the native forces did not withstand the Spanish Army’s might and owing to advanced firearms, the Spaniards emerged victorious. The leader of the combined native warriors was killed and the rest of his men escaped and fled. When the battle ended, the Macabebes and Manilan natives were forced to accept Spanish sovereignty. When peace was established, Legazpi resolved with the agreement of the captains and the religious to establish a city on the site of Manila.

As early as 1570, the Spanish forces headed by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi heard of news about a rich kingdom in the northern part of the Philippines.  Plans to conquer the said kingdom were immediately set and on 30 May 1570, an expedition consisted of 600 natives of the Visayan Islands and 120 Spaniards commanded by Martin de Goiti and Juan de Salcedo left Panay and headed to the northern part of the Philippines.

       Manila during the time was a flourishing Moslem kingdom under Rajah Sulayman.  It was situated in the south side of the mouth of the Pasig River and being defended by a wooden fort.  The area of Tondo, on the other hand was being ruled by Lakandula.

       When the Spaniards arrived in Manila, they were initially accepted by the natives and their leaders, but when Sulayman learned that friendship with the Spaniards meant vassalage, he and his followers became hostile.  An initial battle took place on May 24, 1570 where the natives were defeated and retreated.  On the other hand, the Spanish forces returned to Panay to report to Legazpi what they have discovered in the northern part of the islands.

      After a year, Legazpi headed the Second Conquest of Manila.  He left Panay with 27 vessels, 280 Spaniards and several hundred Visayan auxiliaries. On May 6 1571, Legazpi landed in Manila and took possession of the kingdom.  Three native chiefs, including Laya and Lakandula declared themselves friends of Spain, but Sulayman at first showed hesitation and appeared before Legazpi only in May 18 to make peace with the Spaniards.  The following week after his arrival, Legazpi released an edict in accordance to the king’s command that lands would be given to those who desire to settle in the City of Manila which he was founding in the name of His Majesty.  These events were followed by a short period of peace.  Soon enough, natives from other kingdoms/provinces insulted the Manilans by telling them that if the Spaniards would come to their place they would be received well in a battle.  These natives also tried to influence village leaders, and in a few days, the Manilans tried to wage a war against the Spaniards.  In a few days, thousands of warriors from Agonoy and Macabebe met in Tondo headed by a “brave youth” whose name was not mentioned (though accounts of Gregorio Zaide referred to him as Torik Sulayman, while other authors decided to maintain that it was Rajah Sulayman who headed the uncompromising natives from Bulacan and Pampanga and the other Manilans).  Whether the identified “Brave Youth” was Rajah Sulayman or Torik Sulayman, is not a big deal at all, what matters most was there was a 16th century native from the islands who led  a resistance against a formidable colonizer.  Several warriors from nearby provinces were said to reach Manila through an estuary known as Bankusay Channel.

        When the news about the coming of the warriors reached Legazpi, he ordered Lakandula to convince the uncompromising natives to cooperate with the Spaniards.  Unfortunately, the “brave youth” who headed the group vehemently refused and declared that he and his people would never be friends to the Castilians.

        When Legazpi learned about the incidence, he reckoned that he would not allow the said native warrior to find glory in challenging the Spain.  He ordered his man to prepare for a battle.  On June 3, 1571, the Spanish Forces embarked in search for native warriors in Bankusay.

The Battle of Bankusay remains to be historic and significant event in history, despite of the failure of the natives to expel the colonizers. It was the last or if not one of the last resistance of the natives of Manila against the Spaniards. The battle’s conclusion was deemed one of the major driving forces why Legazpi decided to establish the City of Manila.

Photo Credit: National Quincentennial Committee Facebook Page

The City of Manila leads the commemoration of the 450th anniversary of the Valor at Bangkusay today. The National Historical Commission of the Philippines will unveil a historical marker at Tondo, Manila in memory of the heroes and martyrs of this fateful event on June e, 1571. National Artists Carlos Quirino and Nick Joaquin memorialized the event as a special day in Philippine history as equally significant struggle of our ancestors against colonization. In 2011, the Province of Bulacan declared June 3 of every year as Araw ng mga Bayaning Bulakenyo. In 2016, NHCP recognized the unnamed commander of the armada in Macabebe, Pampanga by way of a historical marker. It, thus, corrected the misconception that Rajah Sulayman was the one martyred in the Battle of Bangkusay. Three years later, the Office of the President of the Philippines declared June 3 as special non-working holiday in Macabebe known as Aldo ning Macabebe (Macabebe Day). In 2021, the National Quincentennial Committee, through Proclamation No. 1128, s. 2021, included the 450th anniversary of the Valor at Bangkusay as one of the activities for the Year of Filipino Pre-Colonial Ancestors.

Sources:

San Agustin, Gaspar de.  “Conquistas delas Islas Filipinas.”  Manila: San Agustin  Museum, 1998.

“Relation of the Conquest of Luzon and other Islands, Manila 20 April 1572” The  Philippine Islands, Vol. VIII.

National Quincentennial Committee Facebook Page

nhcp.gov.ph

Message of the Day : God’s Sovereign Creative Power and Will

And God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind; and God saw that it was good.” (Gen. 1:21, NASB)

Countless years ago, God, by his sovereign power and will, created the universe. At first the earth was featureless and in darkness because of the mass of surrounding water, but as the thick clouds of water vapor began to lose their density, a hazy light came by day from invisible sun. As they lost further density, the surrounding clouds of vapor gradually rose from the earth, producing a clear distinction between the ocean’s surface below and the ceiling of heavy cloud overhead. Meanwhile the earth was drying and land became visible. Simpler forms of life began to appear. Various kinds of soil and climatic conditions produced various kinds of plants, which were so created as to continue producing further plants of their own kind (1:1-13).

The heavy cloud overhead, which had been becoming thinner and thinner, finally broke. The sun, moon, stars, previously hidden, now became clearly visible. Their effect upon the earth helped to produce a variety of weather and a pattern of annual seasons (1:14-19).

As God’s creative activity moved on, animal life began to appear, with creatures in the sea and creatures in the air, all of them suited to their environment (1:20-23). The Hebrew word underlying this phrase was used in Canaanite mythology to name a dreaded sea monster. He is often referred to figuratively in Old Testament poetry as one of God’s most powerful opponents. He is pictured as national (Babylon), or cosmic, and some take it as a reference to Egypt. Generally, it is understood as signifying whales, yet the original must be understood rather as a general than a particular term, comprising all the great aquatic animals, such as the various species of wales, the porpoise, the dolphin, the monoceros or norwal, and the shark.

In Genesis, however, the creatures of the sea are portrayed not as enemies to be feared but as part of God’s good creation to be appreciated. The “winged bird” refer to anything that flies, including insects.

God delights to show himself in little as well as in great things: hence he forms animals so minute that 30,000 can be contained in one drop of water; and others so great that they seem to require almost a whole sea to float in.

Sources:

Bible Gateway

MySword for Android. Riversoft Ministry, 2011-2019.

Zondervan NASB Study Bible. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1999.

http://www.biblegateway.com

Message of the Day: A Restored Relationship between God and Humankind

Then I, John, 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 heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” (Rev. 21:2-4, NKJV)

In describing the state of things as it will be in eternity, John has to use the language of this world, for he has no other. He has to liken what he sees in the vision to things that his readers can see in the present world, for this is the only world they know. He has to use whatever language and illustrations he can find in an attempt to describe the spiritual quality of life in the eternal state.

John’s visions symbolize spiritual realities. They are not pictures of the physical characteristics of the new heaven and the new earth. In fact, he makes it clear that the future state of things is vastly different from the present. The heavenly city is not an improved version of the present earthly city. Life as we know it in the present world is to be completely replaced by a new order.

Usually God is pictured as dwelling in heaven and people as dwelling on earth. In the eternal state no such distinction exists, because God now dwells with his people in an order of life never before experienced. It is an order that is holy and beautiful, where God and his people live together in the closest fellowship. All this is possible because the effects of sin in the previous order have now been removed.

This is a dramatic image of restored unity and harmony between the Creator and what he has created. God himself comes to dwell on the earth with humankind. Sin and all its effects are removed. There is no more death or sickness or pain but only peace and harmony, because the relationship between God and humankind has been healed.

Sources:

Bartholomew, Craig G. And Goheen Michael W. The Drama of Scripture. Finding Our Place in the Biblical Story. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2004.

MySword for Android. Riversoft Ministry, 2011-2019.

The NKJV Bible

http://www.biblegateway.com

Message of the Day: The Rapture: Our Glorious Hope!

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, NKJV)

Among the Thessalonians, some were worried that those in their church who had died would not share in the return of Christ and the final triumph of his kingdom. Paul assures them that they will share in his death and resurrection. Believers who have died, far from being at a disadvantage, will be raised to life first. Believers still alive will join them, and together they will meet Christ and be with him for ever.

This is the only place in the New Testament that a “rapture” (caught up) is clearly referred to. It is designated here as the immortalizing and glorifying of the bodies of the Christians alive on the earth when Jesus returns. Lack of need for the resurrection will necessitate such a change in their still-living but mortal bodies. Some believe that this will be secret, but Paul seems to be describing something open and public with loud voices and trumpet blast.

This is our glorious hope. We who are still alive when Jesus returns will be caught up with Him “in the clouds…and we will be with the Lord” forever!

Sources:

MySword for Android. Riversoft Ministry, 2011-2019.

The NKJV Bible

Gundry, Robert H. A Survey of the New Testament. Third Edition. Manila, Philippines: OMF Literature, Inc., 2002.

Zondervan NASB Study Bible. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1999.

http://www.biblegateway.com

Message of the Day: An Increased Dependence on God

In God (I will praise His word),
In God I have put my trust;
I will not fear.
What can flesh do to me
?” (Psalm 56:4, NKJV)

Psalm 56:1-57:11 belong to the time when David fled to from Saul, first to the city of Gath, then to the cave of Adullam. David is in great distress in Gath, as he learns that certain people in the city are planning to kill him. The increased danger he faces drives him to an increased dependence on God.

We would always find in God that which was ground or basis for praise and dependence on him; and that which called for special praise in meditating on the divine character – He is an infinite Spirit, almighty and eternal.

Sources:

MySword for Android. Riversoft Ministry, 2011-2019.

The NKJV Bible

http://www.biblegateway.com