Doubling the excitement of last week’s Thanksgiving to God, this week’s celebration of the Members Church of God International (MCGI) brought a new advancement in biblical knowledge and in the Church’s global evangelization efforts.
Before thousands of congregants in the Ang Dating Daan (ADD) Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga, Bro. Eliseo Soriano, MCGI Presiding Minister and host of the religious program Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path), explained a mystery never before heard regarding the Adam and the woman mentioned in 1 Timothy 2:14. The verse says:
And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
In this seemingly simple biblical statement, there is a deep spiritual knowledge embedded, supported by many verses as Bro. Eli proved to the congregation. But unlike in mathematics, wherein experts in different fields can arrive at the same conclusion using various methods, to be able to decipher the mystery in the verse the way Bro. Eli taught the congregation is one that is beyond pure calculations. There must be divine intervention.
“Whenever you read the epistle of Paul,” Bro. Eli said, “put in your mind that there are things he speaks which are hard to understand, especially so when he speaks to Timothy, who is his vice presiding minister.” Bro. Eli cited 2 Peter 3:15-16:
And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
It is fortunate that 2,000 years after the death of the apostles, God sent a preacher who would understand those things hard to be understood in Paul’s epistles. Someone is again asking the right questions and providing the right answers.
To ask if Adam or the woman was deceived or not will not squeeze out the vitamins in 1 Timothy 2:14. The biblical wisdom that shocked the congregation can only be determined by asking the right questions. However, even if one is able to ask the right questions in this particular case, which is already a feat in itself, giving the right answers is not anybody else’s business, but of the preacher sent by God. As Bro. Eli decrypted for the Church of God the wisdom in the verse, the congregation was sent into a wild applause.
“Let us not limit the thinking of Apostle Paul.” Bro. Eli said.
The excitement that spurred from the revelation was equaled only by the unexpected turns during the same event. After the brethren in Papua New Guinea brought tears of joy to the congregation as they, a few months ago, sang the Tagalog praise song “Ito ang Araw” (This is the Day), the Portuguese-speaking brethren in South America followed suit with “Ang Mga Sugo ng Dios” (The Sent Ones of God). In a dramatic expression of triumph and gratitude, they offered the new song of praise to the God of Israel in Tagalog tongue.
The reason: for letting Bro. Eli reach the western part of the world to preach the Gospel.
To be overjoyed when history repeats itself the way God requires it is nothing short of biblical. In the video presentation of the Portuguese-speaking brethren shown simultaneously in monitoring centers across the globe via satellite, once more the evidence of God’s guidance, mercy and power takes the limelight. As they stirred the heart of the Church, their spirit of humility testified of God’s work, which transcends cultures, colors and languages.
In the Thanksgiving Day also, another interesting turn was Bro. Eli’s report on what happened on the debate with a Portuguese national, a minister of the Assembly of God, which took place a week earlier. It was not much as to inform the brethren of who won, but how, since the Church believes and had witnessed in so many occasions that the winner is already decided. Luke 21:13-15 says:
And it shall turn to you for a testimony. Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.
In the video shown, a ten-minute segment taken from the 4-hour formal debate, Bro. Eli is seen speaking beside a translator, who translates English to Portuguese. Upon witnessing firsthand a true preacher of God pull down strongholds and cast down erroneous teachings, the brethren, all Portuguese, gave a standing ovation to claim victory. It was their first time to witness it. The glory is all to God.
Members Church of God International holds Thanksgiving Day every Saturday from 7 am to 5 pm. It is a day when members of the Church, along with guests, travel from different provinces to the ADD Convention Center to fulfill their vows to God of offering the sacrifice of thanksgiving. Chapters abroad monitor the event via live video streaming.