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WORKING FOR THE KINGDOM 2

Toward
Lasting Change

A Study of the Ten


Commandments
Toward an
Abundant, Free and Holy Life
Table of Contents
Preface..............................................................i
Chapter 1 - Be Different!.....................................1
Chapter 2 - Do Not Murder!.................................5
Chapter 3 - Flee Youthful Lusts!.........................17
Chapter 4 - Be Authentic! (Part 1)......................31
Chapter 5 - Survive The Verdict..........................40
Chapter 6 - Be Authentic! (Part 2)......................46
Chapter 7 - Do Not Have Other Love!..................52
Chapter 8 - Be Persuaded!.................................66
Chapter 9 - Do Not Steal!..................................76
Chapter 10 - Revere God’s Name!.......................82
Chapter 11 - Work Hard 6 Days a Week!.............87
Appendix I: A Guide to Beginning and Leading Small
Groups.........................................................89
Appendix II: Grounds for Divorce or Annulment...92

P.S. The following translations of the Bible have been used in this book:
• NIV = New International Version (which was used unless otherwise stated)
• NAS = New American Standard Version
• KJV = King James Version; other translations have been indicated with their
full names.
Preface
On December 2, 1996, I became convinced more than ever that God, the
One who created us, wanted me to help others live abundant lives. Four
months later, I fasted and was persuaded that God also wanted me to help
prepare some to share the Good News to Filipinos in a way I had not done
before.

In the years that followed, I attended seminars. I combined what I had


been learning from those seminars with my personal studies. I tried different
methods to fulfill my visions—sharing the Good News and teaching others how
to get close to God.

As a result, lives were changed. Live-in partners decided to get married.


Many forgave those who sinned against them. Others learned, through simple
ways, how to share the Good News and how to help those who desire to get
closer to God. Among them are housemothers, professionals, and students,
even those as young as 9 years old.

Each time I teach, I continually seek to add new things to what I am


learning, or to present the content more effectively. This is why, for quite a
while, I did not consider finalizing what I was writing … until the year 2003.
By then, I learned the importance of using the Ten Commandments to help
others live meaningful lives.

For more than twenty-seven years of preaching in public utility vehicles, I


have emphasized the grace of God - that man is not saved by good works.
However, during those years, I had not given enough time to explain the moral
laws of God which man has violated and the reason why grace is needed. I
had assumed that my countrymen knew already that they were sinners. The
result? Only a few contacted me to say that their lives were changed as a
result of hearing me preach.

When I was in another country in the year 2003, I bought the book Golden
Key of Revival written by Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron. In that book, I was
reminded of the importance of the Ten Commandments. Immediately, I used
it in sharing the Good News and two men from different faiths received the
eternal life.

Like Ray and Kirk, I have a feeling that this lack of knowledge of God’s Law
is one of the reasons why many among those who professed to have known
God are not experiencing the abundant life. God said,

“My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Because you have
rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have
ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.” (Hosea
4:6)

I returned to the Philippines. Few days later, I had a meaningful


conversation about the Ten Commandments with Fred Merejilla, founder of the
Ten Commandments Awareness Movement.
These two experiences motivated me to revise what I had written about
spiritual freedom. I gathered some of God’s servants to edit what I was
writing. What you now read is the result of those long hours of study and
editing.

In writing this book, I have used what I learned from ministries that aim to
deliver people from sin and Satan. Nevertheless, in most of the chapters,
there are teachings I have not seen in other writings nor heard in the seminars
I had attended.

I am glad that even in the editing of this book, I have seen lives changed.
Together with others who have helped me edit this book, I have discovered
that some of the commandments, such as that which says, “You shall not
misuse the name of the LORD your God…” (Exodus 20:7), were not given
emphasis in the seminars I had attended. While editing the portion of the
book about this topic, somehow we stopped and prayed. We confessed our
sins. One of us even expressed, “How amazing! Though we do not deserve it,
God allowed us to carry His holy name— indeed, the name He is protecting!
Yet we used it in vain!”

It changed, not only our lives, but also of those whom we taught and some
who have read this book. Here are some testimonies and comments:

1. “I used to get irritated especially whenever I was being scolded. Now that
feeling is gone! … I have forgiven even those in the shop, including my
boss!… I hope they can forgive me too!”
2. “I want to hug my parents and ask them why they left me in the
orphanage!”
3. “I would have joined a hold-up gang if I did not hear this!”
4. “I no longer want to be a rebel!”
5. “I thought that it was okay, now I know it was a sin!”
6. “I realized I have robbed God!”
7. “I have seen God’s abounding favor for us. I have learned to live in
gratitude to Him who is the Source of abundant life. The book searched my
life. Now I am more conscious about obeying God.”
8. “This is the first book I have ever read from cover to cover! I have even
read it twice!”
9. “In our group, we now constantly check each other’s obedience to God!”

Since God’s hand was ‘seen’ even in the process of writing this book and in
the lives of those who read it or heard some of its contents being taught, we
have come to believe that God will use this book to accomplish one of God’s
purposes for you − that in your life, you will undergo godly transformation and
experience abundance, freedom and holiness.

Ready to help you accomplish some of God’s purposes for your life,

Brother Jun
1 TOWARD TRANSFORMATION

Chapter 1 - Be Different!
“But just as he who called you is holy,
so be holy in all you do.”
(1 Peter 1:15)

A few weeks after I started to


systematically study the Bible—with the
intention of finding something in it to
obey, my sister told me “You are
changing!”

That is my objective in writing this


book—that you continue to be changed,
to be holy, to be different! I am using
the Ten Commandments of God and
other portions of the Holy Scriptures so
that the following will happen:

1. You will recognize which among those you have done are sins (violations of
God’s law) and are utterly sinful.

... through the law we become conscious of sin.


…. Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law.
For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not
said, “Do not covet.” Did that which is good, then, become death to me?
By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it
produced death in me through what was good, so that through the
commandment sin might become utterly sinful. (Romans 3:20; 7:7,13)

According to one who attended the seminar where this book was taught: “I
have not obeyed even one of the Ten Commandments. I wanted to cry.”
Indeed, the Ten Commandments have pointed to him which among those he
had done were violations of God’s will. Each of those transgressions is called
sin.

Whenever you see a box like this, meditate on what is in it—whether it is a


question, an application to your life, or a prayer. This way, you will know
which of the things you have done are indeed sinful and what to do in
response to that knowledge.

2. You will be justified (declared righteous before God):

“So the law was put in charge … that we might be justified ….”
(Galatians 3:24)

Before 1979, I had read parts of the Holy Scriptures. However, I could not
obey them. For example:

You have heard that the law of Moses says, ‘Do not murder. If you
commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are angry
2
with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot,
you are in danger of being brought before the high council. And if you
curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.”
(Matthew 5:21-22 New Living Translation)

Each time my sister reported me to my mother for something she claimed I


had done and my mother scolded me for it, I used to curse my sister. I was a
murderer in my heart because I hated her (1John 3:15). The above passage
made me realize that I was in danger of going to the fires of hell. That
realization made me later to trust God to save me from hell.

Friend, do you know now that you are already saved from hell? … If you do
not understand what I am writing about, continue to read until you grasp how
to be saved from that fire.

If you already know you are saved from hell, I pray that this book will help
you better understand the greatness of God’s grace.

“The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin
increased, grace increased all the more.” (Romans 5:20)

Here’s what one who helped edit this book told me, “My life was changed
when I understood that my transgression could exceed the mercy and
compassion of God. Much more now I desire to live a holy life. I prayed to
God, ‘Lord, here I am, ready to serve You who first loved me.’”

Do you also want to live a life that is holy, different? … If so, continue
reading this book. ...

3. You will trust the Holy Spirit to enable you to obey the Law.

“So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the
sinful nature. … But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such
things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:16,22,23)

After I fully understood that I had been saved from hell and I had received
the power of the Holy Spirit, curses disappeared from my mouth. Moreover,
having understood how much God loves me, I learned to love my sister whom
I used to consider my enemy. This book will help you respond in the same
way.

Is there a sinful habit you have not overcome yet? … Just continue reading
this book and you can be freed from that sin!

4. You will obey the commands of God and teach others to do the same.

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I
have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until
heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of
a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is
accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments
and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of
3 TOWARD TRANSFORMATION
heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be
called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your
righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law,
you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:17-20)

Do you want to become great in God’s kingdom? Then obey and teach the
commands of God. This book can help you towards this end.

5. You will also know for sure that you have come to know God and are living
forever in Him.

“3 We know that we have come to know him if we obey His


commands. … 5 But if anyone obeys His word, God’s love is truly made
complete in him. This is how we know we are in Him. …. 17 The world and
its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives for
ever.” (1John 2:3-5,17)

Are you obeying God’s commands as written in His word? … If not, you do
not have the right to be assured of your salvation!

6. Your prayers will be answered.

21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence


before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey
His commands and do what pleases him.” (3:21-22

Are you seeing daily answers to your prayers? … Are you obeying His
commands? … Are you doing what pleases God? …

7. You will experience more of God’s love and Jesus making Himself more
known to you. Jesus said,

“Whoever has My commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves
Me. He who loves me will be loved by My Father, and I too will love
him and show Myself to him.” (John 14:21 NIV)

Are you experiencing God’s love daily? … Are getting to know Jesus more
deeply each day? … If not, is it because you are not seeking to know His
commands better? … Or is it because you are not obeying what you know? …

8. You will make yourself holy and ready to see the Lord doing works of
wonder.

“5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all
nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is
mine, 6 you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These
are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”” (Exodus 19:5-6 NIV)

“Make yourselves holy, for tomorrow the Lord will do works of


wonder among you.” (Joshua 3:5 Bible in Basic English)

9. You will live a healthy, prosperous and long life.


4
“So be careful to do what the LORD your God has commanded you; do
not turn aside to the right or to the left. Walk in all the way that the LORD
your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and
prolong your days in the land that you will possess.” (Deuteronomy 5:32-
33)

Indeed, when you obey God’s law by the power of the His Spirit and teach
others to do the same, you will live a holy life, a different kind of life, an
abundant life (John 10:10), having known that you are a sinner but now have
been knowing God and declared righteous by Him, being loved by Him, living
forever in Him, seeing answers to prayers, even those with works of wonder.

“.... And his commands are not burdensome …” (1 John 5:3)


5 TOWARD TRANSFORMATION

Chapter 2 - Do Not Murder!


“You shall not murder.” (Exodus 20:13)

You may say, “I am not a bad person—I have not murdered anyone!”
It is true that it is bad to murder someone. In fact, God considers it an affront
to Him to murder someone who bears His image. He said:

“Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in
the image of God has God made man.” (Genesis 9:6)

However, you may be one of those who do not recognize that they have
helped towards the death of some. Consider the following:

ABORTION

REASONS WHY WOMEN ABORT THEIR CHILDREN:

1. Shame: Some get pregnant not through their husbands. Others get
pregnant out of wedlock.
2. Avoidance of responsibility: Some say they are not yet ready to have
children. Still others say they have too many children already. But the
real issue is that they don’t want responsibility!
3. Pressure: Some resort to abortion because of fear that their parents will
know their situation. Others are convinced or forced by their boyfriends or
other influential persons in their lives.

Some of them rationalize, “It is not yet a child! It’s just a fetus!” In doing
this, they are deceived or they deceive themselves. Let’s look at David’s
statement concerning this:

“My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret
place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,” (Psalms
139:15)

Notice the pronouns “I” and “my”. David was already a person when he
was newly conceived in his mother’s womb!

“If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth
prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined
whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. But if
there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth
for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound,
bruise for bruise.” (Exodus 21:22-25)

The Full Life Study Bible remarks, “…. If death resulted to the mother or the
child, then the offending party was found guilty of murder and had to pay with
his life. In other words, the unborn child is viewed here as a human being: the
fetus death is considered murder. Note that this is the only instance in the law
6
where accidental manslaughter called for the death penalty (cf. Deuteronomy
19:4-10). The principle is clear—God seeks to protect those who are least
able to protect themselves (i.e., the unborn).”

Therefore, abortion is murder!

Have you participated in such crime? … Have you taken some pills or done
something else to abort a child? … Have you beaten a pregnant woman that
the child she carried died? …

If so, you are like a witch:

“Let no-one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in
the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in
witchcraft,” (Deuteronomy 18:10)

Now confess that sin to God.

Suggested Prayer: “Father, I now understand that my participation in


abortion is murder and is an abomination to You. … Forgive me. Cleanse and
heal me from all effects it produced on my mind, emotion and will. Enable me
to accept myself and to relate better with others. If possible, I shall ask
forgiveness from the parents of the child.”

SUICIDE

Have you attempted to commit suicide? Have you done something to cause
yourself to die as Job could have done if listened to his wife who told him to
curse God and die (Job 2:9)? If so, you are like Judas into whom Satan
entered.

As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. … (John
13:27)

Because of this, Judas became like Satan—the murderer.

“…the devil…. He was a murderer from the beginning….” (John 8:44)

The only difference is that Judas killed himself.

“So Judas ... hanged himself.” (Matthew 27:5)

If you have attempted suicide, confess it to God and have him cleanse you.

Suggested Prayer: “God, I have identified myself with Satan by attempting


suicide. Free me from any spirit who may have instigated me to commit that
type of murder.”

HATRED AND CURSING

According to the Apostle John:

“Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no
7 TOWARD TRANSFORMATION
murderer has eternal life in him.” (1 John 3:15)

Jesus said:

“But, I, say unto you, that, every one who is angry with his brother,
shall be, liable, to judgment,—and, whosoever shall say to his brother,
Worthless one!, shall be, liable, to the high council; and, whosoever shall
say, Rebel!, shall be, liable, unto the fiery gehenna.” (Matthew 5:22
Rotherham)

“….But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.”
(Matthew 5:22)

Have you hated another? … Have you insulted others’ intellectual capacity,
calling him, “Stupid!”, “Empty-head!”, “Worthless!”, “Senseless!” or “Crazy!”
… Have you said something like, “That is common sense, don’t you
understand?” …

Have you been involved in character assassination, calling him,


“Fool/Rebel!” or declaring, “You are so wicked!”

Have you cursed a ruler of your people (Exodus 22:28)? …

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will
eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 18:21)

“Anyone who will tell the authorities will have his head fly from him.” This
is what a drug pusher, user and robber gave as a warning to his neighbors
while he was illegally installing electricity in broad daylight. A few days later, a
train rolled over him and his head flew to about ten meters from his body.
Indeed, he ate the fruit of his lips!

Do you now remember how you have spoken evil against a person?

Suggested Prayer: “God, I agree that when I hated and cursed


__________________ (mention their names), I became a murderer. Forgive
me. I pray that you turn those curses into blessings. Enable me from now on
to speak only blessings upon others.”

UNHEALTHY INTAKE

DRINKING WINE

Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery.


(Ephesians 5:18)

Have you gotten drunk with wine?

Some would say, “I don’t get drunk for getting drunk is forbidden … I just
drink moderately!”

One time, one offered me a reddish drink from a bottle. Thinking that it
was juice, I freely drank about a quarter of a glass. But I felt warmth when it
8
passed my throat. I looked at it and exclaimed, “This is wine!” He smiled and
told me, “Drinking wine is not forbidden, right?” So I quoted to him:

“Do not gaze at wine when it is red …” (Proverbs 23:31)

“Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints?
Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? Those who linger over
wine, who go to sample bowls of mixed wine. Do not gaze at wine when it
is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly! In the
end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper. Your eyes will see strange
sights and your mind imagine confusing things. You will be like one sleeping
on the high seas, lying on top of the rigging. "They hit me," you will say,
"but I’m not hurt! They beat me, but I don’t feel it! When will I wake up so
I can find another drink?"” (Proverbs 23:29-35 NIV)

Here we see that even gazing at wine is already forbidden since it


eventually leads to drunkenness!

The next time I was in his house, I no longer saw red wine in his
refrigerator. Instead, I saw “sparkling wine”! I remembered the next phrase
in the same verse:

“… when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly!” (Proverbs


23:31)

But you might complain, “But Timothy was encouraged to drink wine!”

Let us see that verse in context:

“Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach
and your frequent illnesses.” (1 Timothy 5:23)

Notice that it was Paul’s purpose to heal Timothy of his frequent illnesses.

How about you? Did the doctor advise you to drink wine? …

Others would say, “But why did Jesus make water into wine?”

In the Bible, the juice from grapes is already called “wine” even before it is
fermented, even if it is still in the cluster.

“Thus says the LORD, “As the new wine is found in the cluster…. (Isaiah
65:8 NAS)

Thus, when Jesus turned the water into wine, it is not necessary to assume
that it was fermented. In fact, His full obedience to the Scriptures would imply
that the wine He made was not fermented. This we shall see later.

“Am I then forbidden from drinking fermented wine?” To answer that


question, consider the following:

The priests in the Old Testament were forbidden to meet God and teach the
people His word after drinking fermented drink
9 TOWARD TRANSFORMATION
“Then the LORD said to Aaron, ‘You and your sons are not to drink
wine or other fermented drink whenever you go into the Tent of
Meeting, or you will die. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to
come. You must distinguish between the holy and the common, between
the unclean and the clean, and you must teach the Israelites all the
decrees the LORD has given them through Moses.’” (Leviticus 10:8-11)

Kings are also forbidden from drinking wine:

“It is … not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer, lest they
drink and forget what the law decrees, and deprive all the oppressed of
their rights.” (Proverbs 31:4-5)

Research has shown that drinking affects the mind. According to page 21
of War Against Drug published by the Philippine Publishing House, drinking
wine reduces alertness and the ability to judge right from wrong. The book
7,700 Illustrations quotes that even social drinking burns thousands of brain
cells.

Believers of the true God now “are regarded as kings and priests” who rule
God’s spiritual kingdom (1Peter 2:9). Therefore, God’s standard for kings and
priests with respect to intoxicating beverages applies equally to us” not just to
church leaders:

“…. it behooves the overseer to be … not a drinker …”


(1 Timothy 3:1-3 MKJV)

Notice that it did not just say, “not a drunkard”, but “not a drinker”.
Literally it can be translated, “not by, near or with wine” (The Full Life Study
Bible, notes at Proverbs 31:4-5 and 1Timothy 3:3).

Do you want to become a wise leader, using more of your mental capacity?
… Then, don’t drink wine!

Have you allowed yourself to be tempted by drinking wine? … Why? …


Because you like it? … If so, your belly has become your god! …

“ whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose


glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things.” (Philippians
3:19 NAS)

But you might complain, “I do not drink or eat too much! I just accompany
my friends!” If so, beware:

“Do not be with heavy drinkers of wine, Or with gluttonous eaters of


meat;” (Proverbs 23:20 NAS)

What is your motive in drinking? Do you want to reach them for God? … I
too had that motive at one time in trying to reach a friend of my officemate.
That night, I felt heat on my back. The following day, another officemate
kidded me, “Jun got drank!”

Your objective may be good in drinking or eating with others! But have you
gotten drunk at one time in trying to reach them? … Did you eat too much? …
10
I am not saying that you will certainly get drunk if you join them. Jesus
was accused as a glutton and a drunkard (Matthew 11:19). We know that it
was not true. The following are testimonies about Him:

“He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth (1Peter
2:22).”

“Such a high priest meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure,
set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens (Hebrews 7:26).”

If you want to reach others, don’t let them encourage you to be drunk or
filled with wine. Instead, encourage them to be filled with the Spirit. We will
study more about this in a later chapter.

If you still are open to drinking wine, consider this:

“Behold the proud, his soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live
by his faith. Indeed, because he transgresses by wine, he is a proud
man….” (Hab 2:4-5 NKJV)

Now ask yourself, ‘Why do I still want to drink wine? … Do you want to
prove to others that YOU are not bound by their ‘legalism’? … Is that not
because you are proud? …

POOR EATING HABITS

One time I asked a church planter who was drinking lots


of sweetened powdered juice, “Don’t you have diabetes
in your family line?” He smiled and said “No!” He was also
selling and eating chicharon, a Filipino delicacy made from
inflated fat of pig. Later, he had a stroke early in the
morning and died two days afterwards. Was his poor
eating habit the reason why he died? I do not know. I
know he is now in heaven. But his church planting ministry stopped. He can
no longer help others be saved through that ministry.

In a tribe, the older ones used to reach the age of 120 years old before
they die. When they started patronizing synthetic foods like carbonated
drinks, their life span was greatly reduced to about 60 years.

A woman ate lots of roasted pig early one night. Then she ate lots of
oyster later on the same night. That night, she died of heart stroke. Her
sister thinks she died because she ate too much of unhealthy food.

Why did these things take place? I believe that part of the reason is poor
eating habits. Even good food can become bad, when taken excessively. An
example is honey:

“It is not good to eat too much honey….” (Proverbs 25:27)

When you eat and drink too many sweets, you may get diabetes. When
you eat too much fat, you may get high blood pressure (cf. Leviticus 7:22-27;
11 TOWARD TRANSFORMATION
3:17). Eating too much entrails may cause arthritis. If you take in
chemically polluted food, you may become sick with cancer. I pray that
you will not have any of these (3John 1:2).

Does God have any counsel on what not to eat? Yes:


“1 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 2 “Say to the Israelites… ‘3 You
may eat any animal that has a split hoof completely divided and that
chews the cud.” (Leviticus 11:1-3)
“4 … the ox, the sheep, the goat, 5 the deer, the gazelle, the roe deer, the
wild goat, the ibex, the antelope and the mountain sheep.” (Deuteronomy
14:4-5)

By having four chambers in their stomachs, these animals “are able to


eliminate bacteria, toxins, parasites, and other vermin that might otherwise
end up as part of the animal’s flesh.” (Don Colvert, M.D., What Would Jesus
Eat, p.13). Thus, you may eat them slaughtered for consumption except their
fat (which may lead to high cholesterol and heart disease) and blood:
“This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever
you live: You must not eat any fat or any blood.” (Leviticus 3:17;
Deuteronomy 7:23-25; 12:16,21-24; Leviticus 3:16) nor “…anything you
find already dead. …” (Deuteronomy 14:21).

The fact that eating too much fat can have an effect on your strength is
seen in an instance when God’s strength was given that the Jews were allowed
to eat the fat.
… "Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet … for the joy of the LORD is
your strength." (Nehemiah 8:10 NAS)

Here are some other animals that are not to be eaten:


4 “‘There are some that only chew the cud or only have a split hoof, but
you must not eat them. The camel …. 5 The coney…. 7 And the pig…. 8
You must not eat their meat or touch their carcasses; they are unclean for
you.” (Leviticus 11:1-8)
A pig eat enormous amounts of food and even garbage, feces, and even
decaying flesh, thereby allows toxins, viruses, parasites (such as the pork
tapeworm) and bacteria to be absorbed into its flesh. When cooked under 160
degrees Fahrenheit, pork can cause muscle aches and pains, swelling of
infected muscles, headaches, fever, and gastro-intestinal upset.
A horse also do not chew the cud and her “meat often contains parasites,
viruses and bacteria. Disease is commonly associated with the consumption of
horse meat…” (ibid., p.49,50,13)

“9 Of all the creatures living in the water of the seas and the streams,
you may eat any that have fins and scales. 10 But all creatures in the
seas or streams that do not have fins and scales …you are to detest.”
(Leviticus 11:9)
These include clams, mussels, oysters, and scallops… crabs, lobsters,
shrimps, prawns crayfish and catfish. They are initially created by God to
act as cleansing agents for natural water sources, as waste collectors for
viruses, bacteria, parasites, and industrial or toxic waste products. They have
great ability to absorb pollutants but not become sick by them. They can and
do, however, pass on those pollutants to humans who eat their flesh and
suffer from food poisoning, salmonella, Hepatitis A, cholera, paralysis,
blood poisoning and death. (Taken from Dr. Colbert’s book, p.38-39)
12
These are the birds you are … not eat … the eagle, the vulture, the
black vulture, the red kite, any kind of black kite, any kind of raven, the
horned owl, the screech owl, the gull, any kind of hawk, the little owl, the
cormorant, the great owl, the white owl, the desert owl, the osprey, the
stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe and the bat.
“…. Of these you may eat any kind of locust, katydid, cricket or
grasshopper. But all other winged creatures that have four legs you
are to detest. … Of all the animals that walk on all fours, those that walk
on their paws are unclean for you; … these are unclean for you: the
weasel, the rat, any kind of great lizard, the gecko, the monitor lizard,
the wall lizard, the skink and the chameleon. ….
… You are not to eat any creature that moves about on the ground,
whether it moves on its belly or walks on all fours or on many feet; it
is detestable.”
When one of them dies and falls on something, that article …
will be unclean, whether it is made of wood, cloth, hide or sackcloth. Put
it in water; it will be unclean till evening, and then it will be clean. If one of
them falls into a clay pot, everything in it will be unclean, and you must
break the pot. Any food that could be eaten but has water on it from such a
pot is unclean, and any liquid that could be drunk from it is unclean.
Anything that one of their carcasses falls on becomes unclean; an oven or
cooking pot must be broken up. ….. A spring, however, or a cistern for
collecting water remains clean, but anyone who touches one of these
carcasses is unclean. If a carcass falls on any seeds that are to be planted,
they remain clean. But if water has been put on the seed and a carcass falls
on it, it is unclean for you. If an animal that you are allowed to eat
dies, anyone who touches the carcass will be unclean till evening. Anyone
who eats some of the carcass must wash his clothes, and he will be unclean
till evening. Anyone who picks up the carcass must wash his clothes, and
he will be unclean till evening. (Leviticus 11:1-47)

One of God’s workers I know got a terrible sickness from unknowingly


drinking from water where he later discovered a cockroach died..

Indeed, dietary laws are part of God’s decrees where He assigned portions
which can be eaten (Proverbs 30:8 NAS). Together with His commands, they
have been given by God so that the Jews can be physically healthy:

He said, “If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and
do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep
all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought
on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you.” (Exodus 15:26)

If you want to be healthy, God has the same counsel:

“The counsel of the LORD stands forever … from generation to


generation.” (Ps 33:11 NAS).

You might complain, “But Jun, when you do this, you are teaching a
doctrine of demons!
13 TOWARD TRANSFORMATION
“1 … some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things
taught by demons. 3 They … order them to abstain from certain
foods….” (1 Timothy 4:1-5)

But the passage in full context is this:

“1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith
and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings
come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as
with a hot iron. 3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain
from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving
by those who believe and who know the truth. 4 For everything God created
is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,
5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.” (1 Timothy
4:1-5).

Notice that what Paul calls as foods are those which God created to be
received (or eaten), consecrated [or set apart like a clean vessel
(2Timothy 2:19-21)] by the word of God and prayer for that purpose. We
have seen what creatures are not set apart as food. Note also that prayer in
the form of thanksgiving alone does not set apart what God has not created to
be eaten as can now be eaten. The word of God needs to say it can now be
eaten.

But you might react, “But in Peter’s vision. God has cleansed unclean
animals already!” Let us look at that passage:

‘11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let
down to earth by its four corners. 12 It contained all kinds of four-footed
animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air. 13 Then a voice
told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.” 14 “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I
have never eaten anything impure or unclean.” 15 The voice spoke to him a
second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”’
(Acts 10:11-15)

Peter gave the interpretation for the vision—what Peter has called impure:

…”… God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or
unclean.” (Acts 10:28)

There is one situation where Jesus promises that He will cleanse an unclean
drink. It is when preaching the gospel, believers are forced to drink or
unknowingly drank unclean drink, it shall not harm them.
15 … He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to
every creature. 17 “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My
name … 18 “… if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt
them ….” (Mark 16:15-18 NKJV)

Such was Rebecca Brown’s testimony when people who intentionally


poisoned her later confessed of seeing God’s power in her when she did not
die. (Cf. Acts 26:3-10)

Again, in seeking to reach out to unbelievers, believers are commanded to


eat anything sold in the meat market that is set before them by unbelievers
14
provided they do not cause Jews, Greeks or believers to stumble.
23 “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is beneficial.
“Everything is permissible”—but not everything is constructive. 24 Nobody
should seek his own good, but the good of others. 25 Eat anything sold
in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, 26 for, “The
earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.” 27 If some unbeliever invites you
to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without
raising questions of conscience. 28 But if anyone says to you, “This has been
offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, both for the sake of the man who
told you and for conscience’ sake— 29 the other man’s conscience, I mean,
not yours. For why should my freedom be judged by another’s conscience?
30 If I take part in the meal with thankfulness, why am I denounced because
of something I thank God for? 31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever
you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Do not cause anyone to stumble,
whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— 33 even as I try to please
everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good
of many, so that they may be saved.” (1 Corinthians 10:23-33; Luke
10:8)

In eating and drinking what they set before you, you become like them, as
Paul did:

“19 Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to


everyone, to win as many as possible. …. 21 To those not having the law I
became like one not having the law (though I am not free from
God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having
the law. …. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible
means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I
may share in its blessings.” (1 Corinthians 9:19-23)

You may decline eating unhealthy foods by saying “I’m on diet from certain
kinds of food for my health.”. However, if you do not know if the food offered
to you is unclean or the person will be offended if you don’t eat what he offers,
you may pray something like this, “Father, your word says that as I preach the
gospel, I am to eat what is set before me. I am also not to offend anyone. I
therefore ask that you cleanse what I am about to eat and drink that they may
not harm me, in Jesus name.”

Furthermore, since “…the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and


drinking….” (Romans 14:17), you should not judge others as going to hell
simply by the food they eat and by what they drink.

“16 Let no one, then, judge you in eating or in drinking … 17 which


are a shadow of the coming things, and the body [is] of the Christ;”
(Colossians 2:16-17 YLT)

Jesus did this when He did not allow the Pharisees and the scribes to judge
His disciples for eating food with unclean or unwashed hands. (Incidentally,
the food that they ate were according to dietary laws. Otherwise, the
Pharisees and the scribes would have noticed them.) (Mark 7:1-5). He then
declared that all foods clean (v.18-22)—nothing enters the mouth with
unwashed hands can defile the man but sins of the heart do (Matthew 15:17-
20).
15 TOWARD TRANSFORMATION
In your eating and drinking, you can give God more glory by remembering
that dietary laws are a shadow of coming things: Just as the Jews cannot
fellowship with those who are physically defiled by what they eat, you cannot
fellowship with those who are not walking in the light (1John 1:3-9
2Corinthians 6:14 Ephesians 5:8 1Thessalonians 5:5), whose hearts are
defiled by sin (Mark 7:15-23). But once they believe in Jesus, God cleanses
their hearts by faith (Acts 15:9).

Have you eaten any of the creatures forbidden for the Jews? … How is your
intake of sweets, fat, entrails, chemically polluted food? … Eat good food now
and not wait for your doctor to stop you from eating food dangerous to your
health …

SMOKING

In page 68 of “Important Questions and Answers” of Jun Ballesteros who


quoted from the Philippine Star’s issue last May 28, 1993, at least 15 diseases
comes from smoking. Every 12 minutes, a Filipino dies because of it.
According to the World Health Organization, each piece of cigarette removes 8
minutes from one’s life span. Why is this so? When a person has smoked a
packet of cigarette for 25 years, it is possible that his lungs have spot… and
that can lead to cancer.

In a magazine entitled How to Stop Smoking distributed by the Philippine


Publishing House, it was written (on page 6 in a statistics of comparative death
causes) that 63.7% died because of smoking while 36.3% died because of
wine, heroin, and cocaine abuse. In 1993, 450,000 were documented to have
died in the United States because of smoking; more than 2,000,000 in the
world.

Be warned: when you smoke, you help contribute to shortening your life
span.

USE OF FORBIDDEN DRUGS

According to the Department of Justice, of all the crimes in the Philippines,


60-70% are related to drugs. Before the year 2004, the common news I
heard from taxi drivers is that some of them were killed by drug addicts!

The word translated “magic arts” in Revelation 9:21 comes from the root
word that means “the use or the administering of drugs” or even “poisoning”
(Thayer). Those drugs can deceive (Revelations 18:23).

Did you get addicted with a drug that gave you a ‘high’ or a deceiving
euphoria? If so, ask God to free you from it.

If needed, ask the Spirit of God and other believers to help you obey the
following commands …
“Flee the evil desires of youth … along with those who call on the Lord
out of a pure heart.” (2 Timothy 2:22)
“ So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of
the sinful nature.” (Galatians 5:16)
16
Check þ the sins you have committed:
I ADMIT THAT I HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO MURDER (Exodus 20:13)
WHEN I PARTICIPATED IN:
¨ Taking the life of one who is not an enemy in my military service (Genesis
9:6).
¨ Abortion (Exodus 21:22-25; Deuteronomy 18:10
“God, cleanse my mind, heart and will from all effects of participation in
abortion. Teach me to accept myself and relate well with others.”
¨ Suicide (John 13:27; 8:44; Matthew 27:5)
“Please free me from that spirit that incited me to attempt suicide.”
¨ Hatred (1John 3:15)
¨ Insulting others mental capacity or character (Matthew 5:22).
¨ Cursing, slander and gossip (Ephesian 4:29; Proverbs 18:21)
God, replace the evil words I spoke with life-giving ones. From now on,
help me to speak only blessings.”
¨ Slow murder of myself through:
¨ Drinking or getting drunk with fermented wine (Pr 23:31; 1Timothy 3:1-
3)
¨ Eating food not good for my health (Leviticus 11)
¨ Eating too much sweets (especially carbonated drinks), fats, entrails,
chemically polluted food (Proverbs 23:20; 25:27).
¨ Smoking
¨ Use of forbidden drugs (Revelation 9:21).

“ The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;


I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10) .

Questions for Discussion (If you intend to use this book in leading group
discussions, please follow the guide in Appendix II and the following
questions):
1. Read John 10:10. How did you knowingly or unknowingly become like
Satan in your participation in murder?
2. How has Jesus indicated that He wants you to life to the full?
3. Based on what you have read, what eating or drinking habits would you
like to change?
17 TOWARD TRANSFORMATION

Chapter 3 - Flee Youthful Lusts!


“You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14).
l
An apology to the reader: In this chapter, there are some
words which may be too frank for you. However, I found it
necessary to be specific so that you may be transformed
and God will be glorified. “I pray that the eyes of your
heart may be enlightened” (Ephesians 1:18) that you may
understand how you have committed adultery (Proverbs
6:32; Hosea 4:14) and avoid it.

The media teaches its own morality. In TV programs, movies and


magazines, it is very common to see those who ‘love each other’ kissing and
going to bed. Homosexuality and lesbianism, which used to be shameful, are
now bandied as acceptable alternative lifestyle. Actors, singers, directors and
others in the movie industry are no longer ashamed of it. What makes it
worse, many are following their examples.

WHY FORBIDDEN SEX IS NOT BEST FOR YOU

1. FORBIDDEN SEX CAN DESTROY YOUR OWN BODY.

Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside
his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. (1 Corinthians
6:18)

According to the Barnes New Testament:

‘The sense is, “It wastes the bodily energies; produces feebleness,
weakness, and disease; it impairs the strength, enervates the man, and
shortens life.” Were it proper, this might be proved to the satisfaction of
every man by an examination of the effects of licentious indulgence. Those
who wish to see the effects stated may find them in Dr. Rush ‘On the
Diseases of the Mind’. Perhaps no single sin has done so much to produce
the most painful and dreadful diseases, to weaken the constitution, and to
shorten life, as this. Other vices, as gluttony and drunkenness, do this also;
and all sin has some effect in destroying the body; but it is true of this sin
in an eminent degree.”

This may mean death to you:

“If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife— with the wife
of his neighbor—both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to
death” (Leviticus 20:10).

You may complain, ‘But that is for the Jews in those days! Jesus did not
condemn an adulterer caught in the act! (John 8:3-11).

Even if your government will not give you such punishment for adultery, the
spouse may give it:
18
“But a man who commits adultery lacks judgment; whoever does so
destroys himself … for jealousy arouses a husband’s fury, and he will
show no mercy when he takes revenge. He will not accept any
compensation; he will refuse the bribe, however great it is” (Proverbs 6:32-
35).

Indeed, when you commit adultery with someone’s spouse, if the spouse
takes revenge, he/she will show no mercy.

2. FORBIDDEN SEX CAN GIVE YOU PERMANENT SHAME AND DISGRACE AS LONG AS YOU LIVE.

“But a man who commits adultery lacks judgment; whoever does so


destroys himself. Blows and disgrace are his lot, and his shame will
never be wiped away” (Proverbs 6:32-33).

3. FORBIDDEN SEX AFFECTS YOUR SOUL.

“ Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to


abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul” (1 Peter 2:11).

Worst of all, if you continue and die in that sin, you will not go to heaven:

“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God?
Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor
adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders” (1
Corinthians 6:9).

Are you being tempted to commit adultery? … Remember that it can have
evil effects on your body, name and eternal destiny!

Having seen the negative results of forbidden sex, you might now ask:

WHAT KINDS OF SEXUAL ACTS ARE FORBIDDEN?

“And you shall not give your semen to your neighbor’s wife [by]
lying [with her]” (Leviticus 18:20 Green’s Literal Translation).

1. SEXUAL INTERCOURSE WITH OR COVETING ANOTHER’S SPOUSE

Now you may say, ‘I have not had sexual intercourse with another’s wife!’
That is good! However, sexual intercourse with another’s spouse is not the
only thing forbidden:

“…. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife…”


(Exodus 20:17).

Yes, the following is also a sin:

2. DESIRING ANOTHER’S SPOUSE

Someone complained, “We are not sinning—both of us are not married!”


That is a faulty reasoning! It is common knowledge that a prostitute may not
19 TOWARD TRANSFORMATION
be married. However, she may commit adultery:

“…He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by
her adulteries” (Revelation 19:2).

One way by which she commits adultery is by becoming one flesh with a
man:

“…. Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one
with her in body? For it is said, ‘The two will become one flesh’” (1
Corinthians 6:15-16).

We can see here that if you have had sexual intercourse with a prostitute
(whether she is paid for it [Luke 15:30] or not [Ezekiel 16:33-34]), you have
already sinned. Thus, the following is also a sin:

3. SEXUAL INTERCOURSE WITH AN UNMARRIED PERSON

You need to avoid not only sexual intercourse with someone not your
spouse but you are also to avoid …

4. BURNING LUSTS TOWARD AND INDECENT ACTS WITH THE SAME SEX

“You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an
abomination.” (Leviticus 18:22 NAS)

“Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity,
that their bodies might be dishonored among them… For this reason God
gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the
natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the
men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their
desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts
and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error” (Romans
1:24-27 NAS).

If you have committed these homosexual or lesbian sins, pray this way:
“God, I agree with what my sex organ tells me. I am a man/woman! I am
not a homosexual/lesbian! It is an abomination and a sin to have sexual
motives and activities with the same sex. Remove the burning desire in me
for the same sex.”

5. SEXUAL INTERCOURSE WITH AN ANIMAL

Also you shall not have intercourse with any animal to be defiled with
it, nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it; it is a
perversion” (Leviticus 18:23; Exodus 22:19 NAS).

Suggested Prayer: “Lord, I agree that I have sinned against you in


having sexual intercourse with another other than my spouse. I shall now fill
my thoughts with your Word that I may be freed from continuing in that sin.”

6. UNCOVERING THE NAKEDNESS OF A BLOOD RELATIVE:


20
“None of you shall approach any blood relative of his to uncover
nakedness; I am the LORD. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your
father, that is, the nakedness of your mother. She is your mother; you are
not to uncover her nakedness. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your
father’s wife; it is your father’s nakedness. The nakedness of your sister,
[either] your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter, whether born at
home or born outside, their nakedness you shall not uncover. The
nakedness of your son’s daughter or your daughter’s daughter, their
nakedness you shall not uncover; for their nakedness is yours. The
nakedness of your father’s wife’s daughter, born to your father, she is
your sister, you shall not uncover her nakedness. You shall not uncover the
nakedness of your father’s sister; she is your father’s blood relative. You
shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother’s sister, for she is your
mother’s blood relative. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your
father’s brother; you shall not approach his wife, she is your aunt. You
shall not uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law; she is your
son’s wife, you shall not uncover her nakedness. You shall not uncover the
nakedness of your brother’s wife; it is your brother’s nakedness. You
shall not uncover the nakedness of a woman and of her daughter, nor
shall you take her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter, to
uncover her nakedness; they are blood relatives. It is lewdness. And you
shall not marry a woman in addition to her sister as a rival while she is
alive, to uncover her nakedness (Leviticus 18:6-18 NAS).

“Thus, any kind of sexual activity involving the uncovering of the nakedness
of another person who is not a lawful wife or husband [including acts that fall
short of sexual intercourse] oversteps God’s boundaries of purity and is serious
sin against Him and His law.” (Full Life Study Bible)

For male reader: Have you uncovered the nakedness of your mother or
father’s wife (Leviticus 18:7-8; 1Corinthians 5:1)? … aunt (v.12-13)? …
father’s brother’s wife (v.14)? … sister from one or both parents (v.9,11)? …
wife’s sister, daughter/daughter-in-law or granddaughter (v.10,17,18)? …
wife of your brother or son (v.15,16)? … If so, confess it to God.

For female reader: Have you uncovered the nakedness of your son or
your husband’s (Leviticus 18:7-8)? … your nephew or your husband’s (v.12-
14) … your brother from one or both parents (v.9,11)? … the husband of
your sister, mother or grandmother (v.10,17,18)? … brother/father-in-law
(v.15,16)? … If so, confess it to God.

Note that marriage of cousins is not forbidden in Leviticus 18 though you


may chose to not allow it because of the law of the land where you live. But if
cousins are married, do not judge them. Caleb, who followed God fully
(Joshua 14:8) gave his daughter as wife to her cousin (Joshua 15:17).

You may be saying, “I have not done any of the sins you have mentioned!”
Good for you, but notice that there are …

ACTS THAT LEAD TO SEXUAL ACTIONS


WHICH DOES NOT PLEASE GOD

1. LOOKING WITH A LUSTFUL PURPOSE.


21 TOWARD TRANSFORMATION
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; but I
say to you, that everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has
committed adultery with her already in his heart. And if your right eye
makes you stumble, tear it out, and throw it from you; for it is better for
you that one of the parts of your body perish, than for your whole body to
be thrown into hell.”

This is what Jesus said in Matthew 5:27-29 (NASB). Thus, looking with a
lustful purpose is already adultery!

You do not only sin by looking lustfully. Just by your motive, you can
already sin! The question is ‘Why did you look?’ If you already know that
there is something lustful there, why did you still look? Even if you do not feel
any lust at that time, if your motives are evil, you already sin!

Have you watched a lustful movie? ...gazed at a lustful picture? ... Have
you read a lustful magazine? ... Have you peeped? ... If you will not stop in
your sin, according to Matthew 5:29, your whole body will go to hell.

If you are saying, ‘I’m not affected by the evil things I see!’ That is good!
However, beware that you do not cause others to sin by the way you dress.

“Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to sin are bound
to come, but woe to that person through whom they come” (Luke 17:1).

“And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,
it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone
tied around his neck.” (Mark 9:42)

“ I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not
with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes” (1 Timothy 2:9).

The Full Life Study Bible comments, “The word decency… implies a certain
shame in exposing the body. It involves a refusal to dress in such a way as to
draw attention to the body and to pass the boundaries of proper reserve.”

Did you feel shame the first time you wore a seductive dress? … Then do
not wear it again!

In the way you dressed, acted or spoke, have you caused one who is not
your spouse to look lustfully at you? … Woe to you! This is especially true
when you cause believers in Jesus to sin—your punishment will be terrifying
unless you receive forgiveness for that sin!

2. SINS OF THE HAND

MASTURBATION

I’d like to ask the male reader of this book: Suppose you see a naked
woman and no one sees you, what is the next part of your body that would
most likely sin? …
22
In your sincere answer to that question, you may now understand why
Jesus said after the eye sinned:

“ And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away.
It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body
to go into hell” (Matthew 5:30).

Should you say, “But I don’t use my right hand!”, remember that Jesus also
said:

“If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter
life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes
out” (Mark 9:43).

How can your hand sin? Paul says:

“What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now
ashamed of? Those things result in death!” (Romans 6:21)

One of the sins a person may be ashamed of is masturbation. It may make


his clothes unclean:

“When a man has an emission of semen, he must bathe his whole


body with water, and he will be unclean till evening. Any clothing or leather
that has semen on it must be washed with water, and it will be unclean till
evening” (Leviticus 15:16-17).

A man may have seminal emission naturally when his semen increases.
That is not sin. However, if he causes it to come out through masturbation, he
sins. If he did it with his garments on, he makes them unclean and stained by
flesh (his evil desires):

“save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy
with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh” (Jude 1:23
NAS).

You may sin with your hand by going beyond the boundaries of your
physical intimacy:

“For this is the will of God, your sanctification; [that is], that you abstain
from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own
vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles
who do not know God; [and] that no man transgress and defraud his
brother in the matter because the Lord is [the] avenger in all these things,
just as we also told you before and solemnly warned [you]. For God has not
called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification” (1 Thessalonians
4:3-7 NAS).

You can see from this verse that you are not to imitate those who do not
know God. You are not to follow what you see on TV, in the movies or in any
reading material made by those who are not close to God. You are also not to
transgress or defraud another believer.

To transgress is to go beyond the boundaries. In Job 24:2 of the


23 TOWARD TRANSFORMATION
Septuagint (a translation of the Hebrew Old Testament into Greek), the same
Greek word is used. It means to move boundaries

“Boundaries, men move back, flocks, they seize and consume…” (Job
24:2 Rotherham).

You should set limits to your physical intimacy with your girlfriend and
neither of you should cross the boundaries. Here’s one thing you should not
do:

CARESSING THAT ARE FOR MARRIED COUPLES ONLY

… Abimelech king of the Philistines looked down from a window and saw
Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah. So Abimelech summoned Isaac and
said, “She is really your wife! Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’?”….
(Genesis 26:8-9).

When others see your physical intimacy, would they not think you are
married? If so, you have crossed the boundary!

To defraud is to take advantage--a work of Satan. We should live in a way


“that Satan might not outwit us” (2 Corinthians 2:11)

When you defraud or wrong a person, you also corrupt and exploit him.
Paul says:

“…. We have wronged no-one, we have corrupted no-one, we have


exploited no-one” (2 Corinthians 7:2).

TOUCHING THE BREASTS & KISSING

In describing Israel’s sin, God talked about what happened with prostitutes.
He said:

“They became prostitutes in Egypt, engaging in prostitution from their


youth. In that land their breasts were fondled and their virgin bosoms
caressed. …. She did not give up the prostitution she began in Egypt,
when during her youth men slept with her, caressed her virgin bosom and
poured out their lust upon her. …. So you longed for the lewdness of your
youth, when in Egypt your bosom was caressed and your young breasts
fondled” (Ezekiel 23:3,8,21).

It is clear from these verses that one of the things done to prostitutes is
that their breasts were fondled and caressed.

In describing the actions of an adulterous wife who was dressed like a


harlot and was seducing a man, Solomon said:

“…. So she seizes him and kisses him… “ (Proverbs 7:6-27 NAS).

To the female reader: Would you like to be treated like a prostitute or an


adulteress by your boyfriend? … If not, then, don’t let him touch your breast
or any other sensitive part of your body nor kiss you as adulterers would in
preparation for sexual intercourse!
24

To the male reader: Do you want to be married to a prostitute or an


adulteress? … If not, don’t treat your girlfriend like one! Respect her!

“.... Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and


younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.” (1 Timothy 5:1-2)

Would you have touched or kissed your girlfriend or boyfriend in the way
you have done it if she or he were your mother, brother or sister? If you
would, you have crossed the boundary! Don’t do it again!

3. SEDUCTIVE SPEECH, ATTIRE AND LOOKS

Because you know your boy/girlfriend’s weakness, did you do something to


cause him/her to fall? … How did you do it? Did you use the same speech and
body language that an immoral woman uses?

“keeping you from the immoral woman, from the smooth tongue of
the wayward wife. Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her
captivate you with her eyes”
(Proverbs 6:24-25).

Did your attire seduce a person? … Have you talked to him/her in a way
that he/she could not resist? … Did you use seductive words?…

Have you done something that “turned others on” to have immoral actions
or thoughts? Did you sing songs about sexual intercourse? … Did you dance
the way prostitutes dance on stage, moving as they would in sexual
intercourse with humans or animals? …

4. INTIMATE FRIENDSHIP OF A MARRIED PERSON TO ANOTHER OF THE OPPOSITE SEX.

A husband had a problem with his wife. He shared it with his female office-
mate. She gave him ‘favor’ by listening to him. He returned the favor by
helping her do the shopping … Later, they had sexual intercourse.
Yes, their friendship ended up in fornication. Does this mean if you are
married, you are not to have friends of the opposite sex?
To answer this question, let us first consider the following verse:

“Ye adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is


enmity with God? Whosoever therefore would be a friend of the world
maketh himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4 ASV) … Whoever, then,
purposes to be a friend of the world is shown to be an enemy of God.”
(LIT). “…. an enemy of God he is set.” (YLT)

The word for friend here does not imply sexual relationship. A person is a
friend of another if he does what the other tells him (John 15:14), like the
friend of the bridegroom rendering him “various services in closing the
marriage and celebrating the nuptials (3:29) or the friend of the centurion
relaying his message to Jesus (Luke 7:6). He does favor for his friend
(23:12), even at an inconvenient time (11:5,6,8).

A friend also reveals intimate things about his family and activities (John
25 TOWARD TRANSFORMATION
15:15). He believes in him (James 2:23). He does not speak evil against his
friend (John 19:12). He invites or is invited by the other to eat or drink with
him (Luke 14:10,12; 7:34; Matthew 11:19), sometimes in his dwelling (Luke
16:9). They have fun times together (15:6,9,29). He refreshes him (Acts
27:3).

He associates himself with the other even if that would mean being
degraded in the eyes of others (Matthew 11:19; Luke 7:34). When the
friendship becomes so deep, he may even be willing to die for him (John
15:13).

Having understood what the word ‘friend’ means, let us consider when such
friendship becomes adulterous:

The church is the bride of the Son of God (John 3:29; Revelation 19:7).
The friendship that the world offers is enmity with God—He hates it.
Therefore, the church member who desires and purposes to be a friend of the
world—to reciprocate the friendship that the world offers—sets himself to
become a spiritual adulterer and thus and enemy of God.

Such is a picture of how adultery can be committed. In the case mentioned


earlier, the woman offered friendship by listening to the husband. He then
reciprocated by helping her with her shopping. If I were the wife’s father, I
would have become angry when the woman listened to the husband. The
husband would become my enemy if he purposes to do favor for her. I would
be outrageous when they later commit physical fornication.

What do you do when you have marital problems? Do you seek comfort
from another of the opposite sex? … Do you trust him/her? … Do you tell
him/her about your problems? … even intimate things about your life and
family background? … Do you ask favors from him? … Can you do these to
him even in inconvenient times? …Do you feel refreshed with him/her? …

What if a married person of the opposite sex has a problem with his
spouse? Do you spend time listening to him/her alone? … Do you eat food
together? … Do you comfort him/her? … Do you listen to him sharing intimate
things about his/her family? … Do you avoid speaking evil against him/her? …
Do you seek to protect him/her from harm? … Do you make merry with
him/her? … Do you give favors for him/her? … even when others speak evil of
you? …

The degree to which you answer these questions in the affirmative shows
how deep your friendship with him/her. That shows the degree of danger of
you are toward committing physical adultery!

Do you have this thought sometimes, “I wish my spouse were like


him/her!” Be honest with yourself. Are you not already committing adultery
with him/her in your heart? …

If your spouse, knowing this relationship, would be jealous or someone


close to him/her would be jealous for her, that is a protection for you from the
Lord. If you say, “He/she is just a friend!” That shows that you have crossed
the dangerous boundary! I urge you, flee!
26
If you have transgressed or defrauded a person, whether a male or female,
stop it now! Otherwise, God will punish you!

“and that in this matter no-one should wrong his brother or take
advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have
already told you and warned you.” (1 Thessalonians 4:6)

Our sexuality is a good and perfect gift of God. It is like a beautiful river.
It is beautiful when it flows in its natural course. However, it is destructive
when it goes beyond its natural boundaries. In the same way, those who have
gone beyond the sexual boundaries of the Bible end up in grief, anxiety,
regrets, tears and trouble.

If you have transgressed or defrauded someone, confess it to God:

Sample Prayer: “Lord, forgive me for transgressing or defrauding some by


gazing, speaking and acting with a lustful purpose. I have kissed a person
torridly or touched sensitive parts of his/her body.”

TO PREPARE YOURSELF FOR A MOST PLEASING


SEXUAL INTERCOURSE WITH YOUR SPOUSE:

1. Resolve not to gaze at a person (a man or woman) to lust for him/her.


Follow David’s and Job’s resolution:

“I will set before my eyes no vile thing. The deeds of faithless men I hate;
they shall not cling to me (Psalms 101:3).”

“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl (Job 31:1).”

2. Avoid shows, movies, reading articles or even radio programs or music


which stimulate you sexually. We are being warned:

“Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned?”
(Proverbs 6:27)

“but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away
and enticed” (James 1:14).

Instead, read something that will draw you closer to God.

3. Set clear boundaries between you and your boyfriend/girlfriend. Avoid


touching or kissing sensitive parts of his/her body. Avoid places that are
dark or isolated (such as movie houses, motels and even alone in one’s
house). That way, neither of you will be tempted to transgress nor defraud
the other. Instead join others in their ministries—like witnessing, leading
Bible studies, etc.

4. If you are married, it is not advisable to develop an intimate friendship with


the opposite sex. It’s not only that it is improper but it is also very
dangerous for a married person to completely confide in someone belonging
to the opposite sex. Many who claimed to be spiritually related to God, even
27 TOWARD TRANSFORMATION
spiritual leaders, eventually fell into sexual sin due to closeness and over-
bonding with a person whom they consider only from the beginning as
their friends.

5. Regularly meet with a mature Christian or a Christian group of your gender.

“See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that
turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as
long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s
deceitfulness” (Hebrews 3:12-13).

It is shameful and inappropriate to confess sexual sins like masturbation to


a person belonging to the opposite sex other than your spouse. So chose
from the members of that group one that is ready to come alongside you—
understand, pray for, remind, strengthen and advise you. If you cannot
find someone to help, if you are married, you may ask your spouse to help.

If ever you share how you have been defeated by sin, be careful that you
do not give Satan the glory nor encourage others to dwell on things that are
not pure, lovely and of good repute (Philippians 4:8). Avoid talking in
details about sexual sins. It would be enough to go through what is written
in this book.

In your group, do not laugh at any sin that will be shared—like engaging in
homosexual activities. Do not even joke with someone related to his being
a homosexual or lesbian. Be sure that you do not act judgmentally about
the sins that will be confessed. Doing so would add pain and difficulty to
someone who may be ashamed already of the sin (Romans 6:21)!

6. If the testimony of your group or church has been affected by a sin you
have committed, tell it to a group leader of the same gender. Ask him to
help you and do whatever is necessary to clean whatever stains you have
produced that the name of God and that of your group may no longer be
criticized (2 Samuel 12:14).

7. If God has given you the ability to control yourself, you may choose to
remain unmarried and pursue devotion to the Lord not distracted by the
troubles in this life (1Corinthians 7:25-38). If you choose to marry, be
married to a believer after getting godly and scriptural advice (vv.1-2, 7-9,
39-40) as a confirmation that you heard from God (John 10:27).

8. If you are married, have sexual intercourse with your spouse whenever you
or your spouse wants it (1Corinthians 7:3-6).

9. If you have lived-in with another, ask God for strength. Make restitution
before judgment comes upon you and you go to hell with your live-in
partner (Luke 3:7-14). Stop sexual intercourse with him/her and ask
forgiveness from him/her. Read this chapter to him/her. If he/she
becomes guilty of his/her sin too, and he/she is not married, ask him/her to
look with you for a marriage counselor who knows God and who can help
you get closer to God and be married in a ceremony which need not be
expensive (Exodus 22:16-17; 1Corinthians 7:13-16). You may try to
28
contact 700 Club at 1800-1-888-8700 for toll-free counseling. You may
also try to contact me at +639178481928 or Equippers@msn.com.

If he/she does not want to be married or if one of you is married to another


and the two of you have kids as a result of your fornication, discuss with
him/her how you can contribute to the children’s needs and explain to them
what you will do. Ask forgiveness from them too. Leave your live-in
partner as soon as you have arranged for these things.

If you are married, after leaving your live-in partner, be reconciled to your
spouse (1Corinthians 7:11). Bring to your spouse some flowers or
whatever pleases him/her. Ask forgiveness from him/her. If he/she
rejects you, pursue him/her as what a man does in courting a single
woman. Since he/she remains as your spouse, seek to please him/her
(v.33). Keep on doing good to him/her. Persevere. Give him/her time to
heal of his/her emotions. If you have children by him/her, do these same
things with them. Perhaps, if you get reconciled with them, they may help
you reconcile with your spouse.

10. You are commanded by the Lord not to separate from your spouse
(1Corinthians 7:10; Matthew 19:6), especially when your hard heart leads
you to seek divorce (Matthew 19:8; 1Corinthians 7:27). Divorce breaks
faith with the marriage covenant partner (Malachi 2:14). God wants you to
remain as one because He is seeking godly offspring (v.15). But with
divorce, your children becomes unclean (1Corinthians 7:12-14) like demons
(Matthew 12:43). That is why God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16).

If your spouse is an unbeliever and is willing to live with you, stop leaving
him/her or sending him/her away (1Corinthians 7:12-13). Staying with
him/her may save him/her (v.14). But if your spouse leaves, let him/her
do so. In such a case, you are not under bondage to hinder him/her from
leaving you (v.13) even if you are financially in bondage to (dependent
upon) him/her. Continue to seek God’s kingdom and righteousness and
expect Him to supply your food and clothing (Matthew 6:25-34;
Deuteronomy 28:1-14).

Appendix III shows that a man can divorce his wife only if: she is related
to him according to Leviticus 18:6-18; ‘she’ is of the same sex or an
‘animal’ (18:22-23); her first husband is still alive (Romans 7:2-3); after
being married and before coming together, she commits sexual intercourse
with another (Matthew 1:29). The wife can divorce her husband for the
same grounds.

If your spouse committed adultery, instead of divorce or annulment, follow


the way of love (1Corinthians 14:1). Love him/her as Christ loves the
church (Ephesians 5:25), as God loves the Israelites and as Hosea loved
her adulterous wife (Hosea 3:1). Like Christ who does not divorce us or
replace us for being adulterous (James 4:4), do not divorce him/her nor
replace her. Seek to be reconciled to him/her (1Corinthians 7:11).
Convince him/her to live with you for the sake of your children. If he/she
agrees, it may make his/her and your children sanctified (1Peter 3:1-2) and
not remain unclean. Pursue your spouse and snatch him/her out of the fire
(Jude 1:23) as in item #8 above. Don’t give up hope unless God takes
your spouse’s life and bring him/her to hell (Revelations 21:8).
29 TOWARD TRANSFORMATION

11. If he/she physically or verbally abuses you and/or your children or he/she
hinders you from obeying God that staying with him would be participating
in his deeds of darkness (Ephesians 5:11), you may separate from your
spouse. However, remain unmarried or else be reconciled to your spouse
(1Corinthians 7:10-11).

12. If you and your spouse get divorced, and at least one gets remarried to
another, you should no longer return to each other (Deuteronomy 24:1-4).

For now, in your mind, check (þ) any sin you may have done:

I HAVE COMMITTED ADULTERY BY:


¨ Having sexual intercourse with someone who is
¨ not my spouse (Leviticus 18:20; 20:10; Exodus 20:17; Rev. 19:2)
¨ of the same sex as mine (Leviticus 18:22; Romans 1:24-27)
¨ an animal (Leviticus 18:23)
¨ my parent/ sibling/(grand)child/nephew/niece/aunt/uncle (or in-law)
(Leviticus 18:6-18)
¨ Marrying though my spouse is still alive (Romans 7:2-3; 1Corinthians
7:39).
¨ Transgressing or defrauding another (1Thessalonians 4:3-7) by:
¨ looking to lust (Matthew 5:27-29; Exodus 20:17), peeping, reading,
hearing or watching pornographic newspapers, magazines, books,
stories, movies, etc.
¨ seductive attire, words and actions (Proverbs 6:12,13,24,25).
¨ uncovering his/her nakedness (Leviticus 18:6-18)
¨ lustful embracing, kissing, or touching of sensitive parts of his/her body
(Proverbs 5:20; 7:13; Ezekiel 23:3,8,21).
¨ Masturbation (Matthew 5:30).
¨ Making myself a friend of the opposite sex when at least one of us is
engaged or married (James 4:4) by revealing family secrets to him/her,
obeying and defending him/her (John 15:13-15).
Suggested prayer: God, I no longer want to give Satan an opportunity by
following the sinful desires of my body. Instead, I will now use it in
righteousness for your glory alone.

As you pray this prayer and follow these suggestions, if you are married or
should God want you to be married, be prepared for maximum satisfaction in
your sex life with your spouse.

That you may be protected from sexual sins, meditate again on this
passage:
“ Do you not know that the wicked
will not inherit the kingdom of God?
Do not be deceived:
Neither the sexually immoral
nor idolaters, nor adulterers
nor male prostitutes , nor homosexual offenders…
will inherit the kingdom of God”
(1 Corinthians 6:9).

Questions for Discussion:


30
(Suggest a partnership among the members of the group with the same
gender, one being able to be the brother keeper later. Once each accept a
partner, ask each one to share his answer to the following.)
1. Are you committing not to gossip what you will hear from your partner?
2. After reading this chapter, what would you want to avoid?
31 TOWARD TRANSFORMATION

Chapter 4 - Be Authentic! (Part 1)


“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.” (Exodus 20:16)
“There are times when it is necessary to lie!” some say. Let us see what
the Scriptures have to say about this statement:

REASONS WHY PEOPLE LIE


1. TO HIDE EVIL INTENTIONS

“Behold, he travails with wickedness, And he conceives mischief, and


brings forth falsehood.” (Psalms 7:14 NASB)
Notice that those who conceive mischief and wickedness bring forth
falsehood.
A woman had sexual intercourse with her boyfriend. When she got
pregnant, she asked the guy to marry her. He replied, “I love you but I cannot
marry you. I’m already married!”
The man lied that he was still single so he could sleep with her.
Did the same thing happen to you? Were you the one deceived … or the
deceiver? …
Did you plan an evil thing? … Did you lie? …
2. TO HIDE HATRED

“He who conceals his hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads
slander is a fool.” (Proverbs 10:18)
You were angry with somebody, but when he asked you “Are you angry?”
did you respond, “No!”? But when you were with others, did you speak
behind his back, saying nasty things about him. Isn’t that lying? …
You may probably ask, “How can I avoid lying?” It may help if you
understand the following:
WHAT LYING CAN DO TO YOU

1. YOU WILL BECOME WORSE

‘“They make ready their tongue like a bow, to shoot lies; it is not by
truth that they triumph in the land. They go from one sin to another;
they do not acknowledge me,” declares the LORD.’ (Jeremiah 9:3)

Are you a two-timer, having an affair with another? When your girlfriend
or wife asked you why you were late, what did you say? “I had an overtime?”
… When you spent your money for your mistress, and your wife asked where
the money went, how did you respond? … You were held-up? … Do you notice
how your lying has increased? … and you are becoming worse? …
2. YOU WILL ALSO LISTEN TO UNTRUSTWORTHY PEOPLE

“A wicked man listens to evil lips; a liar pays attention to a malicious


tongue.” (Proverbs 17:4)
Do you like to spread rumors? … You also like to listen to rumors, right? …
32
3. YOU WILL HATE THOSE WHOM YOU HAVE HURT.

“A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin.”
(Proverbs 26:28)
One guy got jealous of his wife. He invented a story and asked another
lady to send a text message saying she loves him. When the wife saw the
text message and she got angry with him, he even beat her.
Is there someone who wronged you? … Did you harm him in return? … Did
you hate him, planning to exact revenge? … But when he asked you if you
were angry, how did you respond? “Oh, it’s nothing!” Isn’t that lying? …
4. LEADERSHIP IS NOT THE RIGHT PLACE FOR YOU

“Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool—how much worse lying lips to a


ruler!” (Proverbs 17:7)
“the elders and prominent men are the head, the prophets who teach
lies are the tail.” (Isaiah 9:15)
The prophets here who were leaders in Israel became the tail, no longer fit
for leadership.
As you lead in some ways, have you been using lies to gain favor from
your constituents? … If so, you are not fit to remain in that position!
Do you know a leader who is a liar, who does not do what he promises? …
Do you want to emulate such kind of a leader? … Then, do not be like him!
5. LYING BRINGS ONLY TEMPORARY PLEASURE.

“Food gained by fraud tastes sweet to a man, but he ends up with a


mouth full of gravel.” (Proverbs 20:17)
Were you able to deceive others and as a result, you caused them to act in
a certain way according to your desires? … What do you think will happen
when they discover your deception? … Will you still experience the sweetness
of your lying? …
In fact, not only will you lose the sweet taste, but you will also experience
terrifying things. Indeed …
6. FEARFUL THINGS CAN HAPPEN TO YOU.

“You boast, ‘We have entered into a covenant with death, with the grave
we have made an agreement. When an overwhelming scourge sweeps by,
it cannot touch us, for we have made a lie our refuge and falsehood our
hiding-place. … As often as it comes it will carry you away; morning after
morning, by day and by night, it will sweep through.’ The understanding of
this message will bring sheer terror.”
(Isaiah 28:15,19)
Indeed, the leaders in Jerusalem experienced sheer terror. How about
you? Do you want to experience the same? …
WHAT YOUR LYING CAN DO TO OTHERS

1. YOU CAN DESTROY THEIR REPUTATION THOUGH THEY ARE FAR FROM YOU.

You are like a club that can smash, a sword that can wound and a sharp
arrow that can pierce even from a distance.
“Like a club or a sword or a sharp arrow is the man who gives false
33 TOWARD TRANSFORMATION
testimony against his neighbor.” (Proverbs 25:18)
A leader was seen entering a hotel with someone who was not his wife.
The news spread among the members of a group he is leading. It was good
that one of the members had the courage to talk with him, and clear things up.
The leader said, “That woman is my sister. I accompanied her because she’s
applying for a job in that hotel!” Yes, his reputation was almost destroyed
because of partial knowledge of the situation!
How about you? Have you destroyed someone’s reputation because of
what you shared about him? … Have you asked for forgiveness for what you
have done against him? …
2. SOME, ESPECIALLY THE POOR, CAN EXPERIENCE PAIN, DESTRUCTION OR DEATH.

“Like a madman shooting firebrands or deadly arrows is a man who


deceives his neighbor and says, “I was only joking!”” (Proverbs 26:18-19)
“The scoundrel’s methods are wicked, he makes up evil schemes to
destroy the poor with lies, even when the plea of the needy is just.”
(Isaiah 32:7)
In the Philippines, I have observed that the poor are the ones who are
spending time and little money to run after the so-called ‘hidden wealth’ of
former Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos. As a result, the poor became
poorer, living a more difficult life. What makes it worse is that those who
should have been spending full-time in the Word and in prayer have joined
them!
How about you? Do you believe you can get easy money? … Did you
cause others to also expect it? …
3. EVEN PEOPLE CLOSE TO GOD CAN BE LED TO WRONGDOING.

“Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” declares the


LORD. “They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless
lies, yet I did not send or appoint them. They do not benefit these people
in the least,” declares the LORD.” (Jeremiah 23:32)
Have you joined a group which claims to have visions from God but whose
leader has a questionable character? … If so, you have received a lie! Stop
being with that group, unless the leader is replaced by someone close to God.
4. YOU WILL DISHEARTEN THE RIGHTEOUS AND ENCOURAGE THE WICKED.

“Because you disheartened the righteous with your lies, when I had
brought them no grief, and because you encouraged the wicked not to
turn from their evil ways and so save their lives,” (Ezekiel 13:22)
A neighbor boasted before our friends how he had sexual intercourse with a
homosexual. I suddenly walked out … After a few days, he confessed to me he
felt ashamed when I walked out. God moved in my life at that time that I
would not encourage him to remain in the evil way of sodomy.
How about you? Have you encouraged one by just laughing at his evil
way? … You have lied—you said it was just okay when you knew it was not! …
As you mingle with the righteous, are they getting disheartened because
you hid the information they need? … If so, you have lied to them!
5. THOSE WHO REMAIN AS SERVANTS OF THE LEADER WHO CONTINUES TO LISTEN TO YOUR LIES WILL
ALSO BE LYING TO PLEASE HIM .
34
If a leader leads based on incorrect information, he is a blind person leading
other blind people. The result will not be good for those who are under his
leadership (Matthew 15:14). If he continues to listen only to what he wants to
hear, even if they are lies, those who remain as his servants will eventually
become wicked, lying also to please him.
“If a ruler listens to lies, all his officials become wicked.” (Proverbs
29:12)
Did this happen to those who followed the leader you deceived?…
Now that you have seen the evil results of lying, you probably would want
to avoid lying. For such to happen, it would be good for you to know the ways
you may have lied.
WAYS YOU MAY HAVE LIED
1. SPREADING NEWS ABOUT OTHERS WHICH YOU HAVE NOT PERSONALLY VERIFIED

In 1984, I received a photocopy of a story aired in a certain Donahue


program where a top executive of Procter & Gamble admitted that his
company was supporting Satanism. The unknown writer rallied the readers
not to buy products by Procter & Gamble. He says that the logo even had the
mark of 666—the number of the antichrist.
Since I did not agree with the interpretation of the antichrist and the
grammar of that ‘news’ article was poor, I corrected it and removed the
comment about the ‘666’. Then, I had our secretary type my corrected
version. I had it reproduced and gave the copies to others.
The following day, I asked our fellowship leader if he had read about that
‘news’. He showed me Procter & Gamble’s response. There, I saw the sheets
of paper where the Association of Broadcasters in the United States said they
had not had such kind of program. A Roman Catholic Bishop also denied the
accuracy of the rumor. Dr. Billy Graham said that the owner of the Procter &
Gamble had been supporting many who were spreading the Good News around
the world!
Having seen my contribution to the spread of a lie, I had Procter &
Gamble’s response photocopied and gave to each one to whom I spread the
rumor.
What was wrong with what I did? I spread news about others which I did
not verify myself.
“There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to
him. … a false witness who pours out lies ….”
(Proverbs 6:16,19)
How about you? Have you passed information which you are not sure of?
Then, you have lied!
In contrast to this, consider the following:
2. NOT TESTIFYING FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS

“If a person sins because he does not speak up when he hears a public
charge to testify regarding something he has seen or learned about, he will
be held responsible.” (Leviticus 5:1)
Have you witnessed something which could pave the way for righteous
35 TOWARD TRANSFORMATION
court decision but you did not? …
Have you experienced assurance of eternal life? Have you shrank from
testifying? … Is it because you were afraid? …
3. LYING TO STEAL OTHERS’ PROPERTIES

“If anyone sins and is unfaithful to the LORD by deceiving his neighbor
about something entrusted to him or left in his care or stolen, or if he
cheats him, or if he finds lost property and lies about it, or if he swears
falsely, or if he commits any such sin that people may do—when he thus
sins and becomes guilty, he must return what he has stolen or taken by
extortion, or what was entrusted to him, or the lost property he found, or
whatever it was he swore falsely about. He must make restitution in full,
add a fifth of the value to it and give it all to the owner….” (Leviticus 6:2-5)
“Do not use dishonest standards when measuring length, weight or
quantity. Use honest scales and honest weights…” (Leviticus 19:35-36)
Have you made known to the owner or the lost-and-found section that you
have found a lost property (Exodus 23:4-5)? …
Have you returned excess change? …
Have you borrowed something the owner was unaware of or has forgotten
that you borrowed it and failed to return it? …
Have you cheated on someone by hiding or misrepresenting some
information? What was the result? Did he pay more for the goods or service
you offered? … Did he sell less for the good or service you bought? …
4. GIVING ADVICE CONCERNING THINGS YOU ARE NOT CERTAIN OF

As a reaction to the advice of his friends, Job said:


“You, however, smear me with lies; you are worthless physicians, all of
you!” (Job 13:4)
Have you given an advice concerning things you are not sure of? …. Have
you given counsels in life which you are not sure to be consistent with God’s
Word? … Then you also have lied.
5. NOT FULFILLING YOUR PROMISE

“Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’, and your ‘No’, ‘No’; anything beyond this
comes from the evil one.” (Matthew 5:37)
“LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy
hill? …. who keeps his oath even when it hurts,” (Psalms 15:4)
Have you broken a promise? … Have you promised to come to an
appointment at a certain time and did not come? … or, if you came, did you
appear late? … If so, you have lied! You cannot remain in God’s presence in
that condition!
“Like clouds and wind without rain is a man who boasts of gifts he does
not give.” (Proverbs 25:14)
Have you promised to give something but did not give it? … If so, you have
lied!
6. SAYING THAT SOMETHING COMES FROM THE LORD WHEN YOU ARE NOT SURE

Let us imitate the Apostle Paul:


36
“… we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use
deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting
forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in
the sight of God.”
(2 Corinthians 4:2)
Concerning Pashhur’s false prophecy, Jeremiah said:
“And you, Pashhur, and all who live in your house will go into exile to
Babylon. There you will die and be buried, you and all your friends to
whom you have prophesied lies.”
(Jeremiah 20:6)
Have you quoted a verse and said, “that Book in such a chapter and verse
says …” when you were not sure of the reference? … Did you claim, “Thus
says the Lord …” or “She is God’s will for me!” when you were not sure of it?
… Ask now for forgiveness before you will be judged as Pashhur was judged …
and those who believed in you be affected too!
7. SAYING YOU ARE SURRENDERING YOURSELF TO GOD WHEN IT IS NOT REALLY TRUE.

“In spite of all this, her unfaithful sister Judah did not return to me with
all her heart, but only in pretense,” declares the LORD.” (Jeremiah 3:10)
If you have promised to return to God, when will you fulfill your promise?
If you don’t have intentions to do it, you have lied!
8. USING LIES IN JOKES

“Like a madman shooting firebrands or deadly arrows is a man who


deceives his neighbor and says, “I was only joking!”” (Proverbs 26:18-19)
A popular song says, “I started a joke which started the whole world
crying.” Like the author of this song, being a joker myself, I have experienced
that indeed, joking can hurt others.
How about you? In your joking, have you used lying? Have you
manipulated others to think in a certain way so they would act in the manner
you want them to? … Have you played with others’ emotions? … Have you
hidden things that are desperately needed? … Only when the person you’re
fooling becomes agitated will you say, “I was only joking!” … If so, stop using
lies when you joke! …
9. CALLING A SIN WITH A DIFFERENT NAME

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for
light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”
(Isaiah 5:20)
On November 5, 2005, I received this email:
When Minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the Kansas
Senate, everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but this is what they
heard:
“Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to
seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, ‘Woe to those
who call evil good,’ but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our
spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.
We confess that we have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and call
it Pluralism.
37 TOWARD TRANSFORMATION
We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery. We have rewarded
laziness and called it welfare.
We have killed our unborn and called it choice. We have shot abortionists
and called it justifiable.
We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-
esteem.
We have abused power and called it politics.
We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition.
We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it
freedom of expression.
We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it
enlightenment.
Search us, Oh, God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin
and set us free.
Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent to direct us to
the center of Your will and to openly ask these things in the name of Your Son,
the living Savior, Jesus Christ.
Amen!”
The response was immediate. A number of legislators walked out during the
prayer in protest.
In 6 short weeks, Central Christian Church, where Rev. Wright is pastor,
logged more than 5,000 phone calls with only 47 of those calls responding
negatively.
The church is now receiving international requests for copies of this prayer!
from India, Africa and Korea.
Commentator Paul Harvey aired this prayer on his radio program, “The Rest
of the Story”, and received a larger response to this program than any other
he has ever aired.
Have you committed any of the sins confessed by Rev. Wright? … Have
you called sin a weakness of your personality? … Have you been lazy and
called yourself phlegmatic? … Have you been impatient and called yourself
choleric or goal-oriented? … Have you been worrying and called yourself
melancholic? … Have you been tactless with your words and called yourself
sanguine? …
10. EXAGGERATIONS

In order to make your story more acceptable to your listeners, did you add
details which are not true? … In reporting statistics, did you relay information
you were not really sure of, but you gave it anyway because they are
favorable for you or for your group or cause? …
11. ALIBIS AND EXCUSES

When you come late for an appointment, do you give the excuse, “Heavy
traffic!” when actually, you have not given enough time for yourself to come
at the right time? …
12. ‘WHITE LIES’

In a hospital, a father with severe cancer asked one of his children, “What
38
is my sickness?” “Father, it is just a minor one! We can now go home and
rest there!” That month did not pass and the father died without repenting
from his sins because his children did not tell his true condition and lied!
How about you? Do you use ‘white lies’? Did you say to yourself, “It is
okay to lie if it will benefit others!” You are wrong!
Did you say, “He’s not here!” when he was with you? … Did you instruct
another, “Tell him, I am not here!”…
If others are asking you to tell a lie: “If someone looks for me, tell him that
I am not here!”, then tell the one looking for him, “I’m sorry but he is not
available at this time! Bye!” That way, you will not be lying nor will you be
revealing that he is there.
When a person asked the whereabouts of another he intended to harm, did
you lie? … You do not have to! You can trust God to make you wise and
prudent as a serpent but innocent as a dove (Matthew 10:16). Respond in a
way that you would not lie nor reveal where the person is. For example, you
may not just give him complete information. You can divert the issue by
asking why he was looking for him. You may decide not to answer at all.
You might ask, “What about the lies of Rahab, Abraham, Isaac and David?”
Rahab was declared righteous not because of her lying but because she
received the spies and sent them away (Hebrews 11:31; James 2:25).
Abraham’s lying was rebuked by a king and God Himself (Genesis 12:10-20);
Isaac’s by Abimelech (26:6-11). David said that it is part of the war to see
some die. That way, he tried to cover his murder of Uriah. But he did not
escape the prophet Nathan’s reproof (2Samuel 11:15-16,24-25; 12:9).
Indeed, God did not favor lying anywhere in the Bible! If you want to
receive favor from him, repent from your lying.
Check the box for the sins you have committed:
I LIED AND GAVE SATAN AN OPPORTUNITY (Ephesians 4:25-27) WHEN:
¨ I spread news about others which I did not personally witness (Proverbs
6:16,19)
¨ I did not testify about something which I have seen which could have
helped someone to whom wrong was done (Leviticus 5:1).
¨ I did not testify about my assurance of salvation when an opportunity
arose.
¨ I found something lost and did not make it known to the owner (Exodus
23:4-5) nor surrendered it to the lost-and-found section.
¨ I did not return excess change.
¨ I cheated on a person by hiding some information. As a result, he paid
more for what I sold or I paid less for what he sold.
¨ I gave an advise concerning things I was not certain of (Job 13:14)
¨ I did not fulfill my promise (Psalm 15:1,4b). Examples: I did not come to
our appointment; I came late; I did not give the promised gift.
¨ I said something comes from the Lord when I am not sure (Jeremiah 20:6).
¨ I said I was surrendering myself to God when it was not really true
(Jeremiah 3:10).
¨ I used lies in my jokes (Proverbs 26:18-19).
¨ I called sin a different name (Isaiah 5:20).
¨ I exaggerated, adding details which are not true.
¨ I had alibis and excuses. Example: I blamed the traffic for being late.
¨ I used white lies. For example, I said, “He is not here!” when he was there
39 TOWARD TRANSFORMATION
or I instructed another, “Tell him, I am not here!”
¨ I said, “Come back tomorrow!” when I had it with me (Proverbs 3:28)
Suggested Prayer: God, I shall allow your word to richly dwell in me
(Colossians 3:16) that I will be able to speak the truth alone. Help me.
“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined!
For I am a man of unclean lips,
and I live among a people of unclean lips,
and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.”
With it he touched my mouth and said,
“See, this has touched your lips;
your guilt is taken away
and your sin atoned for.”
(Isaiah 6:7)

Questions for Discussion:


1. Who among you here have had negative experiences because of lying? …
What happened? ...
2. Read John 8:31-36. What do you see from these verses can help you
avoid lying?
40

Chapter 5 - Survive The Verdict


THE VERDICT FOR YOUR SIN IS DEATH!

In reading this book, have you seen clearly that you have disobeyed the
laws of God?

If you still think too highly of yourself and claim that you have violated only
one commandment (say, you lied only once in your life), then here is what the
Bible says about you:

“For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is
guilty of breaking all of it.” (James 2:10)

Do you now see that you have broken the whole law? …

As a result, you were separated from God:

“1 Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too
dull to hear. 2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God;
your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” (Isaiah
59:1-2)

That state of being separated from God is called death:

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins (Ephesians
2:1).

Included among those who died spiritually are those who did not believe
among the Jews and those who committed fornication in the time of Sodom
and Gomorra.

“Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord
delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not
believe. And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but
abandoned their own home—these he has kept in darkness, bound with
everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day. In a similar way, Sodom
and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual
immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer
the punishment of eternal fire” (Jude 1:5-7).

Notice that the tense of the word “suffer” is in the present tense. Hence,
we can be sure that even until now, unbelieving Jews and immoral
Sodomites are suffering in hell! So is the case of a rich man:

In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far


away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have
pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool
my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ But Abraham replied, ‘….
between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want
to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to
us” (Luke 16:19-31).
41 TOWARD TRANSFORMATION
We can see here that when a sinner dies, he will go to hell or Hades. There
he will be recognized, as the rich man was. He will have a body—a head that
enables him to look up, eyes that can see, tongue that can be cooled by water.
He is suffering in fire. He cannot transfer to a place of rest!

Because of your sin, you have been separated from God and are in danger
of suffering in the fires of Hades. If you get there, you will be placed under
punishment until your body and soul will be judged:

“… the Lord knows how … to hold the unrighteous for the day of
judgment, while continuing their punishment”
(2 Peter 2:9).

“Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. … And I
saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were
opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were
judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The
sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the
dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he
had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake
of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the
book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:11-15).

“But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the
sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all
liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the
second death” (Revelation 21:8).

Indeed, when judgment day comes, the souls of the dead who are now
continuing in their punishment in Hades will be judged based on their
works. They cannot be saved. If they think their names are written in the
Book of Life, they will be disappointed! They will be cast into the lake of fire!
That is the HELL where their bodies and souls will be destroyed (Matthew
10:28).

Are you afraid to die, as the disciples were in Mark 4:38-40? … Then you
belong to those who are cowardly!
Have you participated in incest, abortion, homosexual or lesbian acts, sex
with animals (Lev 18:22-30)? … Then you are vile!
Have you hated someone? … Have you cursed him/her? … Have you
allowed a day to pass without forgiving one who offended you? … Then you
are a murderer!
Have looked at a woman not your spouse to lust for her? … Has anything
you have done caused another to look to lust for you? … Then you are
sexually immoral!
Have you received acceptance, knowledge or power from a spirit other
than from the true God?… Then you have practiced magic arts!
Have you allowed anyone or anything to have a higher priority in your life?
… Then you are an idolater.
Have you lied? … Then you are a liar!

If your name is not written in the Book of Life, after you face judgment, you
will be thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.
42
A geologist friend of mine told me, “When molten lava flows you may say
that it is a river of fire. It is also lake of fire if it is confined or not moving....”

The temperature of molten lava is about 1,000 degrees Celsius as


compared to 100 degrees for boiling water. Thus, the temperature of hell may
reasonably be assumed as about 10 times hotter than boiling water.

If you go to hell, you will cry out in pain! You will not even have water to
quench your thirst (Luke 16:24; Zechariah 9:11)! You will waste in hunger
and have no strength (Psalm 88:4) against the fullness of violence (Psalm
74:19-20) which include the teeth of wild beasts and venom of vipers
(Deuteronomy 32:22-24) and worms that cover (Isaiah 14:11). There will be
fire there but it will be dark (Job 10:21-22; Jude 1:13; Psalm 88:6). There
will also be no peace there (Isaiah 57:21).

If you go there, you will want to leave the place but you can not (Luke
16:26)! Your spirit there will be imprisoned (1Peter 3:19; Isaiah 24:22) just
like the “angels who sinned” and “cast ... into hell and committed ... to pits of
darkness” (2Peter 2:4 NAS). In hell, there are “gloomy dungeons” (2Peter
2:4), chambers (Proverbs 7:27) or rooms, gates (Matthew 16:18), bars (Job
17:16; Jonah 2:6 KJV) and keys (Revelation 1:18).

There you will gnash your teeth for not receiving the truth that was made
known to you (Luke 16: 29-31).

There will be degrees of punishment there. The worse sinner will suffer
more. It will be more bearable for some:

“But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of
judgment than for you” (Matthew 11:24).

What makes it worst is that the punishment of destruction there is


everlasting ... away from the presence of the Lord! (2Thessalonians 1:9)!

However, you can escape that wrath! Jesus is “the Lamb of God who takes
away the sin of the world” (John 1:39). In His flesh, God condemned sin:

“[There is] therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ


Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the
law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak
through the flesh, God [did] by sending His own Son in the likeness of
sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the
righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk
according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:1-4 NKJV).

Yes, God judged the sins when he sent his own Son that you can be freed
from sin to obey the righteous requirements of the Law. You just need to walk
by the Spirit.

You might ask, “How did God judge sin?”

“For the wages of sin is death ….” (Romans 6:23)


43 TOWARD TRANSFORMATION
“For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the
unrighteous, to bring you to God. …. “ (1 Peter 3:18; Romans 5:8; 1
Corinthians 15:3-4).

Indeed, it was Jesus who received the death penalty.

IN WHAT WAY DID HE DIE?

FIRST, PHYSICALLY WHEN HE GAVE UP HIS SPIRIT.

“… Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave
up his spirit” (John 19:30).

“… body without the spirit is dead…” (James 2:26).

“For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to
bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the
Spirit” (1 Peter 3:18; Romans 5:8).

Yes, when Jesus was crucified, he took our sins. As a result, he died
physically (in the body) or his spirit got separated from his body (James 2:26).

SECOND, HE DIED SPIRITUALLY WHEN HE WAS SEPARATED FROM GOD.

And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, … “My God, my
God, why have you forsaken me” (Mark 15:34; Matthew 27:46)?

Jesus quoted with a loud voice a portion of the Old Testament:

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? …. Yet you are
enthroned as the Holy One” (Psalms 22:1,3).

Jesus made known that He was forsaken by God because God is holy that
He could not have fellowship with Jesus who at that time took our sins:

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree so that we might dies
to sin and live to righteousness.”
(1 Peter 2:24).

But before you can live righteousness, you must believe that He did not just
take the judgment upon Himself. You need to receive the following truth
about Jesus:

THE ONE WHO RECEIVED THE JUDGMENT


WAS GOD WHO TOOK THE FORM OF A MAN.

I suggest that you read the Bible and begin with the Gospel according to
John. Here’s John’s purpose:

“Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples,
which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may
believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing
44
you may have life in his name” (John 20:30-31).

Son of God means equal with God.

So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jews
persecuted him. Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this
very day, and I, too, am working.” For this reason the Jews tried all the
harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even
calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do
nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because
whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the
Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him
even greater things than these. For just as the Father raises the dead and
gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.
Moreover, the Father judges no-one, but has entrusted all judgment to the
Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He
who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him
(John 5:16-23).

You can see from this passage that Jesus claimed equality with the Father:

1. In power: He can do what the Father does. He raises whoever He wishes


to raise from the dead.

2. In honor: Whoever does not honor Jesus as He honors the Father does not
honor the Father. The Father wants people to honor Jesus as they honor the
Father for the Father has entrusted all judgment to Him.

Jesus continues:

“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who
sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over
from death to life” (John 5:24).

To receive eternal life and not be condemned to hell, you need to listen to
the word of Jesus. You also need to trust in the Father who sent him and who
by raising Him from the dead testified that Jesus is His Son (Romans 1:4).

YOU NEED TO RECEIVE CHRIST!

You can begin hearing Jesus’ word and believing in the Father by asking
Jesus to come into your life. He says:

“Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest,


and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If
anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and
eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will
give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame
and sat down with my Father on his throne” (Revelation 3:19-
21).

Jesus will not eat or have fellowship with you unless He first forgives your
45 TOWARD TRANSFORMATION
sins. He will also not allow you to eat with Him—to join Him in doing God’s will
(John 4:34)—if you do not repent, if you do not want to forsake your sins.

Do you want to be forgiven of your sins? Are you willing to forsake them to
be able to do God’s will—to overcome sin and sit with Jesus at his throne? If
so, open now the door of your heart. Tell Jesus the following suggested
prayer:

Lord Jesus, I agree that I am a sinner in danger of suffering torments in


hell. I believe that You are the Son of God whom He sent in the form of a
man to judge my sins in Your flesh. I believe in my heart that God raised You
from the dead (Romans 10:17). I now open the door of my heart and receive
You as my Savior and God. Thank You that You have forgiven my sins. Let
me eat with You—strengthen me that I may be victorious over sin and Satan.
I want to sit with You on Your throne.

Have you prayed this prayer? If so, read again Jesus’ promise:

“…. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in…”
(Revelation 3:20).

Based on this promise, if you have opened the door of your life to Christ,
what did He do? … Yes, he came in! You also have the Spirit of Christ and of
God.
“You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature
but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you.
And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ,
he does not belong to Christ”
(Romans 8:9).
“[There is] therefore now no condemnation
to those who are in Christ Jesus,
who do not walk according to the flesh,
but according to the Spirit”
(Romans 8:1 NKJV).

Questions for Discussion:


1. Read Romans 7:14-25. Have you experienced something similar to what
Paul experienced—you wanted to do what is right but could not?
2. Are you sure that you will not be judged? … How do you know?
46

Chapter 6 - Be Authentic! (Part 2)


“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.”
(Exodus 20:16)

One of those who faithfully supported me in my work as a missionary told


me of a story about his cousin who convinced many that he had finished
college. He got a job in an office. However, time came when he was required
by his office to take the board exam. Since he could not present a transcript
of records that was needed before taking that exam, he became afraid that his
lie might be discovered, so he stopped reporting for work. He locked himself
in his room and talked to a statue of stone in his room. He received the ability
to ‘heal the sick’. Later, it became evident that an evil spirit had possessed
him, and he became violent.

Indeed, because of his pride, he lied and would not admit he had not
finished his studies. As a result, he lost his job, his girlfriend, and even his
mind.

You might ask, “Can that happen because of pride?” Let us see what the
Bible says:

“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”


(1 Peter 5:5)

“…. Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee
from you. …. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
(James 4:6-10)

“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”


(Proverbs 16:18)

A proud person does not trust God in the area he is confident (Habakkuk
2:4) nor does he submit himself to God nor resist the devil who is proud
(Isaiah 14:12-14). As a result, God opposes him. He falls and his life is
destroyed. That is what happened to the man in our story. So…

DO NOT BE PROUD!

To stir yourself away from pride, here are some suggestions:

DO NOT COMPARE YOURSELF WITH OTHERS.

In comparing themselves with Apostle Paul, the false teachers in Corinth


claimed to be better speakers (2 Corinthians 10:10). In response, Paul said:

“We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who


commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and
compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.” (2
Corinthians 10:12)
47 TOWARD TRANSFORMATION
Yes, it is foolish for you to compare yourself with others. See for example
the following result of such actions:

John and Michael lived in the same apartment. Each time John shared
something good that happened in his work, Michael had a better story. One
time, John was so enthusiastic about a job development. But fearing that
Michael would try to surpass his story again, John decided to keep his story for
himself.

Indeed, unhealthy comparison hinders good relationship with the one to


whom you are comparing yourself.

Are you like Michael? … How often do you speak and brag about
yourself? ... What is your motive? ... Do you want to inspire others and glorify
God? ... Or, do you just want to be recognized? …

In order to be recognized and looked up to, do you brag about your


credentials − abilities, status, talents, educational attainment,
accomplishments (2 Corinthians 11:15-30)? Are you doing that to shame
others? ... to insult them? ... to cause them to be envious? ... Do you crave
the adulation in being the center of attention? ...

If you want to boast, boast of your weakness. Be like the Apostle Paul who
said:

“If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness….” (2
Corinthians 11:30-31)

Have you told someone, “You are just a novice! And you are the one who
is supposed to teach me? I am the one with more experience!” Is it obvious
that you so believe in yourself that you can no longer listen and learn from
others?

If you are tempted to compare yourself with others, just compare yourself
with what Christ would do if He were in your situation. Paul said:

“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”


(1Corinthians 11:1)

He also told the Philippians:

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility


consider others better than yourselves….”
(Philippians 2:3-11)

Did you consider yourself better and more important (NAS) than others? ...
Were there instances where you insisted on having your own way? ... If so,
you had been proud!

You might ask, “What if my ways are really better than others. What
should I do?”
It is good if you pray for people whom you think are less qualified than
yourself. Do something also to help them in their weakness, instead of
48
belittling them.

HONOR OTHERS

Paul wrote to the Roman believers:

“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above
yourselves.” (Romans 12:10)

If you were in a group that succeeded in a project, whose work did you
first give the credit to—that of others or yourself? ... Did you value the
contribution of others in the group? … or, you did not even notice it? …

LOVE ONE WHO REBUKES YOU

“Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he
will love you.” (Proverbs 9:8)

When you are rebuked, criticized or counseled, do you get angry? ... Do
you say, “I don’t see anything wrong with what I did!… You don’t understand
me! Why is it that I get the blame?” ...Instead of reacting at once, why don’t
you first really listen?… Could it be pride?…

Do you think you are so important that you act as if God’s purposes would
not be accomplished without your help? ...

“If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives


himself.” (Galatians 6:3)

DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN A DEBATE WHICH DOES NOT HELP IN HOLINESS

Are you so confident of your doctrine that you are ready to argue and
defend it? ... When you argued, were some saved from sin and hell in the
process? Were they strengthened in their faith? ... If not, it was vain for you
to argue! (1 Timothy 1:3-7) ...

What is the outcome of your debates? Did it


result in “envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction”? If
so, you are conceited:

“If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound
instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited
and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and
quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil
suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who
have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to
financial gain.” (1 Timothy 6:3-5)

Does this mean you are not to answer any question when others have
different points of view? No. The Apostle Peter gives us a clear command:

“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give
an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that
49 TOWARD TRANSFORMATION
you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,” (1 Peter 3:15)

Such readiness is seen in the lives of Apostle Paul and Apollos:

As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath
days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving
that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. (Acts 17:2-3)

Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews


and Greeks. (Acts 18:4)

For he vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate, proving from


the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.
(Acts 18:28)

Indeed, not all debates are evil and expose pride. Some may be used for
the good of others.

DO NOT PRETEND TO BE WISE!

Pride can also be seen in the conceit that you know everything about the
topic of conversation:

Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the


standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become
wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is
written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”; and again, “The Lord
knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” So then, no more boasting
about men! ... (1Corinthians 3:18-21)

Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool
than for him. (Proverbs 26:12)

It is not wrong to be wise. The Lord commands that we be wise (Matthew


10:16). Wisdom is needed in life (Hosea 4:6).
However, we are not to be “wise by the standards of this age”. Such
wisdom does not lead us to know God better:

“For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not
know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached
to save those who believe.” (1 Corinthians 1:21)

This means that all the principles, beliefs and convictions which are contrary
to the knowledge of God are part of worldly wisdom.

Do you trust in your own intelligence? … your wisdom? ... Do you feel as if
you know everything there is to be known about doctrines, methods and
other things about the Bible or God? ...

Remember:

“The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he
ought to know.” (1 Corinthians 8:2)
50
When someone talks about a topic you already know, do you listen? ... If
not, you do not yet know what you need to know!

DO NOT TRUST ON YOUR OWN ABILITIES

If there was someone who pleased God by his own ability (his flesh), it
would be the Apostle Paul. However, in his service to God, he said:

“If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I
have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the
tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee;
as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness,
faultless.” (Philippians 3:4-6)

“and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”


(Romans 8:8 NAS)

How about you my friend? In pleasing God, whom do you trust? ... In
what you are doing, do you trust in your strength and abilities? ... in your
financial capability? ... in those whom you know? ... in those who know
you? ...

Do not be like the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar! He trusted in his own


ability ... and he became mentally sick (Daniel 4:28-37). Like that of
Nebuchadnezzar, your pride can cause you to be deceived:

“For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives


himself.” (Galatians 6:3 NAS)

Be truthful to yourself. Admit any sin God may reveal to you now:

“If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the
truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8 NAS)

Check () the sins you have committed.

MY PRIDE (1Peter 5:5; Proverbs 18:18) IS SEEN WHEN:


¨ I compared myself to others (2Corinthians 10:12).
¨ I considered myself better than others (Philippians 2:3-11) that I asserted
that they do things my way or according to my standard or was not
gracious with their mistakes.
¨ I valued/honored myself more than I valued others (Romans 12:10)
¨ I envied others’ possessions, victory or fame (James 3:16).
¨ I spoke as if I know everything that can be known about a topic
(1Corinthians 8:2). As a result, there were times that I dominated the
conversation.
¨ I acted as if God’s work would not be accomplished without me.
¨ I trusted my own intelligence, money or connections to accomplish God’s
work (Philippians 3:4-6; Romans 8:8).
¨ I got mad at the one who rebuked me (Proverbs 9:8).
¨ I thought I cannot deviate from our family’s tradition.
¨ I participated in a debate which did not help either toward the salvation of
51 TOWARD TRANSFORMATION
others or their edification. Instead, it resulted in “envy, strife, malicious
talk, evil suspicions and constant friction.” (1Timothy 6:3-5)
Suggested Prayer: “God, I no longer want to boast of my abilities. I shall
now seek to honor others. I shall follow your humility. When I want to boast,
I will boast of You in my weaknesses.”

“But let him who boasts boast in the Lord.


For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved,
but the one whom the Lord commends.”
(2 Corinthians 10:17-18)

Questions for Discussion:


1. How did you see your pride when you read this chapter?
2. Read Philippians 2:3-11. How did Jesus demonstrate the opposite of pride?
… If you imitate Jesus, what will you do now?
52

Chapter 7 - Do Not Have Other


Love!
“You shall not make for yourself an idol,
or any likeness of what is in heaven above
or on the earth beneath
or in the water under the earth.
You shall not worship them or serve them;
for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God,
visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children,
on the third and the fourth generations
of those who hate Me,
but showing lovingkindness to thousands,
to those who love Me and keep My commandments”
(Exodus 20:4-6 NAS).

A monkey was clinging on doll. Unaware of the monkey, a girl also clang
on to the doll. Seeing the monkey, she became afraid and cried but
continued to cling on to the doll.

Pitying her, her father tried to pull her. But since she was clinging on
the doll, when he lifted her up, he was carrying her, the doll and the
monkey. Then she cried more.

So he tried to pull her hands off the doll. But she continued to cling on
it. Then, the monkey clang on her that she cried more.

Do you understand this parable? The girl is you. Her father is God. The
monkey is Satan. The doll is an idol. If you make, worship or serve an idol, you
will not like it: Satan will be with you. If you continue clinging on to that idol,
Satan will cling on you too:

“18 Consider the people of Israel: Do not those who eat the sacrifices
participate in the altar? 19 Do I mean then that a sacrifice offered to an
idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, but the sacrifices of
pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be
participants with demons.” (1Corinthians 10:18-20)

So I am writing this to you that you may know if you have given ground for
Satan to be with you through an idol.

--o0o--

One of the things I noticed in the medical history I have filled up is that it
asks for history of diseases in my family. Somehow, the medical field knows
that the sicknesses in a person’s family may have effects on him. Why is this
so?

In Exodus 20:4-6 quoted above, we can see that God visits—notices,


observes, looks for—the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and
53 TOWARD TRANSFORMATION
fourth generation of those who hate Him (Exodus 20:5; 34:7; Numbers 14:18;
Deuteronomy 5:9; 2Chronicles 29:6-10; Lamentations 5:7).

WHY IS GOD’S REACTION TO THE POSSESSION, MAKING AND


WORSHIP OF IDOLS SO INTENSE?

First, because God is jealous when we love things above Him. It is like a
man being jealous for his wife (Proverbs 6:34). God is jealous when another
shares our worship and love for Him.

Second, Satan and his demons want to steal our worship of God.

“All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and
worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written:
‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only’” (Matthew 4:9-10).

HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE HAD OTHER GODS?

If you have given more importance to something created (human or spirit


being, an animal or any other thing) than to the Creator, that thing has
become your idol. For example, if you are adulterous or impure, the lust of
your flesh has become your idol. If you are greedy, money or material object
has become your idol.

“For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—


such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ
and of God” (Ephesians 5:5).

“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature:


sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry”
(Colossians 3:5).

Are you immoral?… adulterous?… Has your life been impure? ... Have you
become greedy? ... If so, you are also idolatrous, worshiping gods of
pleasure!

If your mind is focused, centered and revolving around the things of this
world, you have demonstrated hatred towards God.

“You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is
hatred towards God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world
becomes an enemy of God.” (James 4:4)

Specifically, if your mind is focused on food and drink, your stomach has
become your god:

“Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory
is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things” (Philippians 3:19).

In so doing, you have served the god of this age—Satan himself:

“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they
cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of
God.” (2 Corinthians 4:4)
54
If you have obeyed a command from any spirit (other than God) in order
to receive knowledge, guidance, power, acceptance and pleasure, you have
served that spirit. That spirit has become your god.

WHAT SERVICE DO PEOPLE GIVE TO DEMONS TO EXPERIENCE


KNOWLEDGE, GUIDANCE, POWER, ACCEPTANCE AND PLEASURE?

MAKING OF IDOLS

“You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in
heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below” (Exodus
20:4).

Idols can be made of wood, silver or gold.

“Do not make any gods to be alongside me; do not make


for yourselves gods of silver or gods of gold.” (Exodus 20:23)
“Half of the wood he burns … From the rest he makes a
god, his idol …” (Isaiah 44:16-17).

Consider God’s warning concerning idols:

“But their idols are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. They
have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see; they have
ears, but cannot hear, noses, but they cannot smell; they have hands,
but cannot feel, feet, but they cannot walk; nor can they utter a sound
with their throats. Those who make them will be like them, and so will
all who trust in them” (Psalms 115:4-8).

Are you still making an idol? … If so, stop it! It can make you like them—
unable to hear, see, feel, move and speak spiritually!

WORSHIP OF IDOLS

You may have worshipped an idol through the following:

BOWING DOWN

“You shall not bow down to them or worship them…”


(Exodus 20:5).

“Half of the wood he burns … From the rest he makes a


god, his idol; he bows down to it and worships…” (Isaiah 44:16-17).

“.... they were bowing down to the sun in the east.” (Ezekiel 8:16)

KNEELING AND KISSING

“Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not


bowed down to Baal and all whose mouths have not kissed him” (1 Kings
19:18).
55 TOWARD TRANSFORMATION
BURNING INCENSE

“I will pronounce my judgments on my people because of their


wickedness in forsaking me, in burning incense to other gods and in
worshiping what their hands have made” (Jeremiah 1:16).

DEDICATION OF LIVES, PRAYING TO AND


TRUSTING IN OTHER GODS FOR SALVATION

“… he … worships. He prays to it and says, ‘Save me; you are my god’ “


(Isaiah 44:17).

You may be saying, “We are not worshiping idols; we are just reminding
ourselves of God and His saints!” If so, your intentions are good. You are like
the Apostle Thomas:

Now Thomas…. one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus
came. So, the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he
said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger
where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.”

A week later, his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was
with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among
them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your
finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side.
Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed;
blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John
20:24-29).

Do you want to be blessed before the eyes of Jesus? … Then, worship him
not because you see an image of what is supposed to look like God or His
saints! You are blessed if you worship Him without an image!

“They lift it to their shoulders and carry it; they set it up in its place, and
there it stands. From that spot it cannot move. Though one cries out to it,
it does not answer; it cannot save him from his troubles” (Isaiah 46:7).

For a need, have you trusted an image? … Have you cried to it but it did
not answer? … Instead of trusting God, have you relied upon a dead saint to
be pregnant? … to find a job? … to find a wife? …

SACRIFICE TO DEMONS

“No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God,
and I do not want you to be participants with demons” (1 Corinthians
10:20; Exodus 22:20).

Some offer human beings to demons or Satan himself:

“Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in
the fire …” (Deuteronomy 18:10; 2 Chronicles 33:6; 2 Kings 17:17).
56
Others offer animals.

KEEPING THINGS RELATED TO IDOLS

“The images of their gods you are to burn in the fire. Do not covet the
silver and gold on them, and do not take it for yourselves, or you will be
ensnared by it, for it is detestable to the LORD your God. Do not bring a
detestable thing into your house or you, like it, will be set apart for
destruction. Utterly abhor and detest it, for it is set apart for destruction”
(Deuteronomy 7:25-26).

Do not be like Achan, who kept things related to idols and suffered for it,
with his family and some of his countrymen (Joshua 7). In fact, you are not to
even make mention of the names of idols (Exodus 23:13), marking them so as
to be recognized (Strong)

Have you told another, “So-and-so prayed to <idol’s name> and it rained!”
without qualifying it as sin? If so, you have given opportunity for a demon to
encourage one to consider worshiping it.

Do you live with your parents? Then, you are to respect them. That may
mean that you should not just throw away the idols of your parents. However,
in Jesus’ name, you can forbid demons from working through those images.

HOW DO PEOPLE EXPERIENCE


DEMONIC KNOWLEDGE, GUIDANCE, POWER, ACCEPTANCE AND
PLEASURE?

“Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in
the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages
in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who
consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the
LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will
drive out those nations before you” (Deuteronomy 18:10-12).

TO GET DEMONIC KNOWLEDGE AND GUIDANCE,


PEOPLE USE DIVINATION

This involves the use of different means to arrive at a decision.

EXAMINING LIVER AND


CASTING LOTS WITH ARROW

I have talked with a tribal native in the Philippines about one of their
customs. Whenever one gets sick in their tribe, he brings a chicken to the
quack doctor. The quack would then kill it and examine the liver to determine
what the sickness was. When I was in Papua New Guinea, I heard they do the
same thing.

Do you know that such was also practiced in Bible times? Here’s an
example where the liver was consulted to decide how to set up for war:

“For the king of Babylon will stop at the fork in the road, at the junction
57 TOWARD TRANSFORMATION
of the two roads, to seek an omen: He will cast lots with arrows, he will
consult his idols, he will examine the liver. Into his right hand will come
the lot for Jerusalem, where he is to set up battering-rams, to give the
command to slaughter, to sound the battle cry, to set battering-rams
against the gates, to build a ramp and to erect siege works”
(Ezekiel 21:21-22).

By divination, some are able to get information. This was common


knowledge in Joseph’s time that as part of testing his brothers, he
communicated through his servant:

“Isn’t this the cup my master drinks from and also uses for
divination? This is a wicked thing you have done”
(Genesis 44:5).

Furthermore…

Joseph said to them, “What is this you have done? Don’t you know that
a man like me can find things out by divination” (Genesis 44:15)?

Have you consulted a spirit or a person in finding things out? …

INTERPRETING OMENS

From what is observed, those who interpret omens believe in good or bad
luck:

“The men took this as a good sign and were quick to pick up his word.
“Yes, your brother Ben-Hadad!” they said. “Go and get him,” the king said.
When Ben-Hadad came out, Ahab had him come up into his chariot” (1
Kings 20:33).

Laban who was far from God said:

“But Laban said to him, ‘If I have found favor in your eyes, please stay. I
have learned by divination that the LORD has blessed me because of you’”
(Genesis 30:27).

When you see a black cat, or a black butterfly, are you afraid that
something evil might happen?

Why did you consult a fortune-teller? Do you want to be rich? Like Laban,
do you believe in luck?

READING OR LISTENING TO THE HOROSCOPE

“Keep on, then, with your magic spells and with your many sorceries,
which you have labored at since childhood. Perhaps you will succeed;
perhaps you will cause terror. All the counsel you have received has only
worn you out! Let your astrologers come forward, those stargazers who
make predictions month by month, let them save you from what is
coming upon you” (Isaiah 47:12-13).
58
One person told me, “Jane has stomach pain.” When I asked her, “Have
you read horoscopes?” she replied, “One day, I got the newspaper and opened
it on the horoscope page. I read that those with my zodiac sign normally get
sick with stomach pain. Since then, I have had stomach pains. I’ve been to
several hospitals and they told me that I have no medical problem with my
stomach!” I told her, “You believed a lie! Ask God for forgiveness for reading
the horoscope.” She did, and from then on, she did not have any more
trouble with her stomach.

How about you? Have you read horoscopes? Did you believe predictions
based on the stars or of the moon?

CONSULTING MEDIUMS OR ‘SPIRITS OF DEAD PEOPLE’

“When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper
and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the
dead on behalf of the living” (Isaiah 8:19-20)?

A woman brought her child to a quack doctor. She was given a scapular to
be worn on her child’s neck. The child became well physically. One time, she
opened the scapular. Inside it, she found this inscription, “Satan, keep this
body well, until his soul gets to hell!”

Have you been brought to a quack doctor for healing? … or to a medium,


who contacts the dead? …

Demons pretend to be the spirits of dead people with whom you cannot
talk. The medium’s mumbling and whispering may sound ghostlike, as coming
from the earth.

“Brought low, you will speak from the ground; your speech will
mumble out of the dust. Your voice will come ghostlike from the earth;
out of the dust your speech will whisper” (Isaiah 29:4).

The medium may use prayers (which he does not understand), crystal ball
or automatic writing through the guidance of an evil spirit.

FOLLOWING FENGSHUI

According to the teachings of fengshui, there are correct positions where to


build windows, doors, etc., to attract blessings. There is also the right number
for the steps of the stairs so that luck will come in. This is not right because
blessings come to those who obey God (Deuteronomy 28), not in the right
position of things.

Do you believe in fengshui?

BEING INVOLVED IN PALM READING

Have you been involved in palm reading? … in crystal ball reading


59 TOWARD TRANSFORMATION
HOLDING ON TO SUPERSTITIOUS BELIEFS

What superstitious beliefs you have held?…

TO EXERCISE DEMONIC POWER, PEOPLE USE WITCHCRAFT

CASTING OF SPELLS

Some are able to control others and lead them astray through their magic
spells or encantations:

“…. By your magic spell all the nations were led astray” (Revelation
18:23).

“Their venom is like the venom of a snake, like that of a cobra that has
stopped its ears, that will not heed the tune of the charmer, however
skillful the enchanter may be”
(Psalms 58:4-5).

I heard an audio tape of a former Satanist who used a spell in talking with a
girl. Though it was the first time they had met, she fell for him immediately.

Have you encountered one who uttered something and you just followed
him? If so, you came under his spell. In common terms, he hypnotized
you.

Have you used love potions? … Have you done something to control
others and made them do whatever you wish? …

Before, a radio personality convinced many listeners that if


they would just place water in front of the radio while he does
his rituals (“toning”) at midnight, the water could be used as
medicine.

Have you believed such false teaching? …

RELIANCE ON DEMONIC POWER IN MARTIAL ARTS

There are martial arts used by different cultures which seek to use demonic
power to overcome opponents. Just watching animation or some Chinese
movies would enable you to see this.

When you practice martial arts, do you trust in a spiritual power other than
that from God? …

ACTIVELY SEEKING TO DO ASTRAL PROJECTION

When I first read the book He Came to Set the Captives Free by Rebecca
Brown, I could not believe her story that a soul can leave its body without
dying. I said to myself, “… the body without the spirit is dead” (James 2:26).
So if the soul leaves, the person would die!
60
In page 256 of her second book, Prepare for War, Rebecca narrated that
Shirley McLaine saw her spirit going out of her body but was connected to it by
a silver cord.

When I asked a former Satanist who had a similar out-of-body experience


(“astral projection”), he said he also saw a silver cord.

The author of Ecclesiastes, who had great knowledge, wrote about out-of-
body experience. He said:

“Remember him—before the silver cord is severed, or the golden


bowl is broken; before the pitcher is shattered at the spring, or the wheel
broken at the well, and the dust returns to the ground it came from,
and the spirit returns to God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:6-7).

Here we see that when the silver cord is broken, the person dies—the dust
returns to the ground and the spirit returns to God.

Out-of-body experience is very dangerous. Whenever a man’s spirit does


not occupy his body, wicked demonic spirits may take control:

“When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places
seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I
left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put
in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked
than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that
man is worse than the first” (Matthew 12:43-45).

Have you actively participated in a ceremony where your soul left your
body? …

A girl from a tribe in Palawan told us there used to be two souls who would
visit her at night and bring her soul to his father’s rituals. In one of those
instances, she saw her father sacrificing her sibling.

Again, the word of God can be the source of explanation of such experience
of souls being hunted and flying:

“…. Woe to the [women] that sew pillows to all armholes, and make
kerchiefs upon the head of every stature to hunt souls! …. “Wherefore
thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I [am] against your pillows, wherewith ye
there hunt the souls to make [them] fly, and I will tear them from your
arms, and will let the souls go, [even] the souls that ye hunt to make
[them] fly” (Ezekiel 13:18, 20 KJV).

How about you? Have you done something wicked to influence the soul of
another? … Have you placed his picture in your pillow so that he will think
about you? … How can he think about you unless there is a spirit who will
cause him to think about you? … Do you think that spirit is from God? … If
you are not sure, why don’t you just pray to God? …
61 TOWARD TRANSFORMATION
BEING TRANSPORTED WITH ONE’S BODY

Men of God were transported to heaven with their bodies. This include
Enoch (Genesis 5:24), Elijah (2Kings 2:11) and possibly, a man whom Paul
knew (2Corinthians 12:2-4). Philip too was transported to another place (Acts
8:39-40).

A former Satanist testified to me of seeing himself being transported from


one place to another. Whether such experience was true or part of Satan’s
deception I cannot verify. However, prayerfully watching Harry Potter’s video,
I saw that power to fly is an attraction in the Satanic world.

When we were children, we were taught to believe that


Santa Claus comes flying with his reindeer during Christmas
evening to give us gifts. A song claims that he is everywhere
present and knows all things—like God: “He sees you when
you are sleeping. / He knows when you ‘re awake. / He knows
if you’ve been bad or good …” For me, as a child, during
Christmas season, he had occupied my thoughts more than
Christ! Satan would want to receive the credit he receives.
Or perhaps, he is Satan himself, masquerading “himself as an angel of light”
(2Corinthians 11:14). After all, have you ever wondered why Santa Claus is
the only Saint which uses the feminine form “Santa” instead of the masculine
“Santo”? It is a common thing in Satanism to jumble the letters of a name—
Satan can easily be jumbled into Santa!

Have you believed in Santa Claus? … Have you lied to your children by
causing them to believe in him? …

BLANKING OF THE MIND

This is contrary to the instruction in the word of God:

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” (Colossians


3:2).

Have you joined a meeting where you were conditioned to blank your
minds? …

“And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition, as the
Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words”
(Matthew 6:7 NAS).

Fast repetition helps in the blanking of the mind which paves


the way for demonic entry. An example is the repetition of
words or prayers in different kinds of beads used in different
religions and in some rock music.

Have you repeated a prayer or chant quickly over and over?


… Have you been a listener or singer of rock music which uses
lyrics which you cannot understand? …
62
TO GET DEMONIC ACCEPTANCE,
PEOPLE FOLLOW DEMONIC FAD


You shall not follow a multitude in doing evil” (Exodus
23:2 NAS)… “Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is
good. … the one who does evil has not seen God” (3 John 1:11
NAS).

CUTTING, PIERCING OR PUTTING TATTOO MARKS


ON THE BODY

“So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and
spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed” (1 Kings 18:28).

“Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on
yourselves. I am the LORD” (Leviticus 19:28).

Other than donating blood, have you made an agreement with someone
and in the process had yourself slashed or pierced? …

SECRET INITIATION, CEREMONY OR COVENANT

“For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden
thing, whether it is good or evil”
(Ecclesiastes 12:14).

If some of your group activities were done in secret, why were they
hidden? Were they good or evil? …

TO GET DEMONIC PLEASURE,


PEOPLE SUCCUMB TO THE FOLLOWING:

SOME COMPUTER OR CARD GAMES

Examples of these are “Dungeons and Dragons” and “Magic Card” which are
occultic, orienting the player in witchcraft or how to have spiritual power other
that from God.

VIOLENT AND OCCULTIC


ANIMATION (ANIME) OR CARTOONS

Some do not know that the dragon which appears in


animation is a representation of “… the dragon, the serpent
of old, who is the devil and Satan” (Revelation 20:2 NAS).

FANTASY GAMES

In my elementary school days, we used to play a game called ‘FLAMES’


(match-making using the letters of names to determine if two persons will be
Friends, Lovers, Angry with each other, for Marriage, Enemies or Sweet to
each other). Some said, “It is just a game!” If so, how come some were very
63 TOWARD TRANSFORMATION
happy when it turned out to be Lovers or Marriage. They would not be very
happy if they were not thinking about it, right? … How was that thought
produced! Who do you think placed that thought? … Do you think it is from
God? … Of course not!

Do you notice that SOLITAIRE is very much like this? …

Instead of dwelling on fantasy, “… whatever is true … think about such


things” (Php 4:8).

INTERCOURSE WITH TRESPASSING SPIRITS

“… when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men,


and they bore [children] to them. Those were the mighty men
who [were] of old, men of renown” (Genesis 6:4 NAS).

“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present
themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them” (Job 1:6
NAS).

Having considered the different interpretations of Genesis 6:4, I believe


that those who were called sons of God were the spirits who “shouted for joy”
(Job 38:7) when God “laid the foundation of the earth” (v.4). Satan is just
one of them. Some of those spirits had sexual intercourse with women. They
went beyond the boundary God allotted for them. That is why Jude said about
them:

“…. angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their
proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the
judgment of the great day…” (Jude 1:4-7 NAS)

Have you seen, smelled, heard, felt a demon, ghost, fairy, spirit guide, a
dwarf, or a spirit? Have you talked with them? … Have you had sexual
intercourse with them?…

Check (þ) the sin you may have committed:


I HAVE MADE THE FOLLOWING MY GOD by giving them priority over
the true God:
o Satan (2Corinthians 4:4)
o the Queen of Heaven (Jeremiah 7:18; 44:17-19,25) or a human being,
alive (such as a movie/sports idol) or dead (such as that of saint, Buddha or
Confucius, etc.)
o money & other material possessions (Colossians 3:5); Ephesians 5:5) like
cellular (mobile) phones, computer, etc.
o my loved one (Exodus 20:4)
o my belly (Philippians 3:19).
o the sun (Ezekiel 9:16), moon, stars or other creation of God or man.
I served other gods when I got inolved in:
o making of idols (Exodus 20:4), even if it were said to be only for visual aid
in worship (John 20:24-29).
o worship (bowing down [Isaiah 44:16-17], kneeling [1 Kings 19:18], kissing,
offering incense [Jeremiah 1:16] or praise or honorable mention [Exodus
64
23:13 with Strong]) to other gods
o dedication of myself or my children to a spirit (1Corinthians 10:20) who I
thought was Virgin Mary, a saint or a god
o trusting a spirit to save me (Isaiah 44:17; 46:7) or make me rich (Jeremiah
44:17-18; Hosea 2:5).
To get knowledge and guidance, I used divination (Deuteronomy 18:10-
12; Genesis 44:5) by:
o examining liver of a sacrifice and casting lots with arrow (Ezekiel 21:21-22;
Genesis 44:5,15)
o interpreting omens (1 Kings 20:33; Genesis 30:27)
o consulting mediums or spirits of ‘dead people’ (Isaiah 8:19-20; 29:4) such
as in ‘spirit of the glass/coin’
o reading, listening or following fengshui or horoscope (Isaiah 47:12-13)
instead just obeying God (Deuteronomy 28).
o holding on to superstitious beliefs
o being involved in palm/crystal ball reading
o automatic writing
To exercise or benefit from a power, I used witchcraft:
o casting of spells (Revelation 18:23; Psalms 58:4-5), hypnotism, use of love
potions
o reliance on demonic power in martial arts.
o actively seeking to do astral projection (Ecclesiastes 12:6-7; Ezekiel 13:18,
20 AV)
o yoga, transcendental meditation.
o sacrificing human beings (Deuteronomy 18:10; 2 Chronicles 33:6; 2 Kings
17:17) or animals in rituals
o prayer to dead human beings such as to saints
o consulting for healing a quack doctor who uses utterances or prayers which
I do not understand.
o blanking of the mind (Colossians 3:2) partly by fast, repeated prayer
(Matthew 6:7) or chant
o placing of pictures under my head so that my loved one will remember me
To get acceptance:
o I followed demonic fads (Exodus 23:2; 3 John 1:11 NAS) such as cutting,
piecing or putting tattoo marks on the body (1 Kings 18:28; Leviticus
19:28)
o I joined a secret initiation, ceremony or covenant (Ecclesiastes 12:14).
o I brought or would not remove in my house idols which are made of
precious material (Deuteronomy 7:25-26)
To get pleasure, I sought entertainment through
o demonic computer or card games
o violent and occultic animation (anime) or cartoons (Revelation 20:2 NAS)
o fastasy (Philippians 4:8)
o interaction (conversation, play, intercourse) with dwarfs, ghosts, fairies or
any other spirit (Genesis 6:4; Job 1:6; Jude 1:4-7 NAS)

WHAT AM I TO DO WITH IDOLS?

FINALLY GUARD YOURSELF FROM THEM.


“Little children, guard yourselves from idols” (1Jo 5:21 NAS).

The tense in the word “guard” is such that we are to finally guard ourselves
from idols. Here is a good way to start:
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DESTROY ALL IDOLS AND IDOLATROUS MATERIALS YOU MAY HAVE,
NO MATTER HOW MUCH THEY COST.

If you have the right or authority (as the owner of the idol do), destroy any
statue, book, picture, materials, souvenirs, music, or other property that are
related to that which you are forsaking.

“This is what you are to do to them: Break down their altars, smash
their sacred stones, cut down their Asherah poles and burn their idols in
the fire” (Deuteronomy 7:5).

“…. A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together
and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls,
the total came to fifty thousand drachmas. In this way the word of the
Lord spread widely and grew in power” (Acts 19:18-20).

Remember, you need not make known to your unbelieving relatives or


neighbors that you plan to burn or have burned them, unless you will be
forced to lie.

Suggested Prayer: God, I shall no longer look for spiritual knowledge,


direction, power, acceptance and comfort except from you. Cleanse me of all
defilement I got from demonic territories. Help me destroy all my properties
related to the worship of demons (Deuteronomy 7:5; 1John 5:21).

Look again at what you checked. See the related verses in this chapter that
your conviction will increase concerning the need to forsake those sins.

“Hear, O Israel:
The LORD our God, the LORD is one.
Love the LORD your God with all your heart
and with all your soul and with all your strength”
(Deuteronomy 6:4-5).

Questions for Discussion:


1. Who or what have become your gods? … To whom have you given more
importance than to God? …
2. What practices have you now realized as related to the worship of idols? …
What do you plan to do in obedience to God? …
66

Chapter 8 - Be Persuaded!
“Honor your father and your mother,
so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
(Exodus 20:12)

Have you asked yourself, “Why are there people who interfere with what I
want to do? Would it not be better if they just give me the freedom to do what
I think is good?”

To answer that question, it is important for you to understand that if you


love God, everything that happens in your life (whether good or bad) is
permitted by God that your character may become like that of Christ. This
includes your interaction with those in authority—your parents, the leaders of
your government, religious group, school and office. (Romans 8:28-29)

Though they are far from being perfect, they are carefully being used by
the great Potter to make us his ‘greatest masterpiece’. Our lives are carefully
being molded by God through all things that happen in our lives. These include
all who ‘interfere’ in our lives.

However, we have rebelled against God and our other leaders.

When my father was still alive, he once reprimanded me. When I tried to
reason out, he got mad and told me, “You don’t respect me! ... During our
time, we would be silenced just by a look from our parents!”

Rebellion is more visible among children today. My sister told me, “In
school, we have discovered that children are now more difficult to manage!”
Perhaps this is partly a result of the mass media trumpeting many to fight for
their rights while forgetting to understand others’ rights.

What Paul said is being fulfilled in our generation:

People will be … disobedient to their parents … (2Timothy 3:2)

Why is this happening? One of the reasons is the wrong way we are raised.
Discipline is either withheld or abused to the detriment of many of us. This is
contrary to God’s statement:

Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will
drive it far from him. (Proverbs 22:5)

Just think about what will happen when a child does not learn to obey and
submit to the older ones—to his parents, teachers, and other leaders. What
kind of person do you think he will become?

THE EVILS OF REBELLION

There was a woman who hoped to escape the authority of her parents. She
married early and hoped that no one would control her life. Little did she know
that her husband was a controlling man. Later, she rebelled against her
67 TOWARD TRANSFORMATION
husband. Because her hope was not fulfilled, she then even blamed God...

It was good that she accepted the Savior. She joined a group who truly
trusts Him. However, after some time, one in that group rebuked her for the
wrong way she has treated her husband. She also noticed that there were
factions in that group. She said to herself, “If it is like this, why should I
submit to people like them!” So she moved from one group to another.

Later, she found a group she really liked. She was able to attend seminars
and teachings about “How to Be a Leader” (instead of “How to Follow Your
Leader”). The result—she found it hard to follow the leaders who did not have
better plans than what she thought she had.

Are your experiences like hers? …

If so, you have not experienced yet the great blessings brought about by
obedience to God’s instruments for your good.

It is not yet too late! You can still avoid being conformed to this world
(Romans 12:2) of rebels (Ephesians 2:1-3). Start meditating on what Samuel
told King Saul

For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of
idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected
you as king.” (1Sa 15:23)

Let us understand this fully...

THE MEANING OF REBELLION

1. LIKE WITCHCRAFT

Like a witch who does not consult God who has authority over spiritual
things, so is a rebel—he does not consult his leader.

2. LIKE IDOLATRY

Unless his descendants come to God, God visits a man’s idolatry and
rebellion on his descendants up to the fourth generation. (Exodus 20:2-6;
34:6-7)

3. A REJECTION OF THE WORD OF GOD

“"Woe to the rebellious children," declares the LORD, "Who execute a


plan, but not Mine, and make an alliance, but not of My Spirit, in order to add
sin to sin;” (Isa 30:1 NAS)

As you can see: rebellion is a great sin! Furthermore, rebellion can lead to
a worsening condition:

Many times he delivered them, but they were bent on rebellion and they
wasted away in their sin. (Psalm 106:43)

Rebellion insists “I will do what I want to do whenever and wherever I want


68
to do it!’”

Do you have such attitude? Have you planned something without


consulting God first? ... When you want to do something, can no one stop
you? … Beware! You may experience something similar to that of King Saul!

THERE ARE TWO INSTANCES OF DISOBEDIENCE IN THE LIFE OF KING SAUL

First, when they were fighting the Philistines, instead of waiting for Samuel,
he offered a peace offering (1Samuel 10:8). This was a forbidden thing for
non-priests (Deuteronomy 12:5-14). Whatever his motives were, his way was
not God’s way. That was rebellion.

Secondly, he rebelled in rejecting the word of God. He did not follow God’s
instruction to kill all Amalekites and their livestock. (1Samuel 15:18-22)

EFFECTS OF REBELLION ON SAUL’S LIFE:

1. None among his descendants would become a king (1Samuel 13:13-15).


2. He ceased becoming a king (1Samuel 15:28).
3. An evil spirit tormented him (1Samuel 16:14).
4. His life on earth was shortened (1Samuel 28:19).

If you would not learn to submit to your leaders, especially to God, you may
experience what King Saul had experienced! Moreover,

“A rebellious man seeks only evil, So a cruel messenger will be sent against
him.” (Proverbs 17:11 NAS)

Have you also rejected the word of the LORD? Were you bothered by an
evil spirit? ... To be free from all effects of your rebellion against God, confess
it to him. (Daniel 9:4-5)

If God has placed persons in authority in your life, you might ask, “How
shall I deal with them?”

BE PERSUADED AND SUBMIT TO YOUR LEADERS

Obey your leaders and submit to their authority … (Hebrews 13:17)

The word “obey” is translated “persuade” in the following:

Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you
can persuade me to be a Christian?” (Acts 26:28)

The word “obey” in Hebrews 13:17 is identified as having a “passive voice”


in the Logos Bible and is so translated as “Be obedient” in Young’s Literal
Translation. So if we combine these observations, this verse can be
translated:

“Be persuaded by your leaders…”

This means you talk with them with the goal of persuading or being
69 TOWARD TRANSFORMATION
persuaded by them. You are not to murmur at their backs. Moses told his
followers:
s
“…. You are not grumbling against us, but against the LORD.” (Exodus
16:8)

Paul said:

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may


become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and
depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe
(Philippians 2:14,15)

If you do not agree with your leader, explain to him why you don’t in such
a way that he can understand you. Also, listen attentively because your
disagreement may just be a failure to understand him fully.

“Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you.


Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.”
(Hebrews 13:7)

It is clear from this passage that you do not have to follow your leader if he
commands you to do something contrary to God’s word.

Be persuaded by your leaders and submit to their authority …


(Hebrews 13:17)

After you have reasoned it out with your leader and you still have not
agreed, and the word of God is not being violated, you are to submit to him!
Moreover, if he works hard in admonishing you, give him the highest respect:

Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you,
who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the
highest regard in love because of their work. …. (1Thessalonians
5:12,13)

The following explain why it is very important to treat our leaders well:

Be persuaded by your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep


watch over you as men who must give an account. …. (Hebrews 13:17)

If the result will not be good because you submitted to him, who will be
accountable? Your leader!

… Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden … (Hebrews
13:17)

Notice that as you submit to God in this way, you will let them experience
joy!

If you gave them grief by your insubordination, you will not profit from it:

…. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that
would be of no advantage to you. (Hebrews 13:17)
70
The above principles are relevant to your relationship …

1. WITH YOUR SPIRITUAL LEADERS

If you do not agree with your leader, what would you do? Do you reason
out with him? ... After you have heard him, and nothing about what he said is
contrary to God’s word, would you submit to him? … Do you look for someone
to be on your side? ... If what he said is contrary to God’s word, why don’t
you talk with other spiritual leaders? …

The principles mentioned above is applicable also to other relationships:

2. WITH ONE’S SPOUSE

“Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if


any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words
by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of
your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as
braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it
should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet
spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” (1Peter 3:1-4)

It is clear from this passage that the husband should lead the wife!

Wives: Do you submit to your husband? … If you don’t, why not? … Are
you not convinced? ... Do you reason out with him? ... Do you pray that you
will understand each other’s opinion? … Do you talk with him until both of you
understand each other’s thoughts? ... When you have heard his side and he
has understood yours, and still you have not agreed, and no Scripture is
violated, do you submit to him? ... Or, do you nag him? ... Or, not sleep with
him? ...

Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives,
and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you
of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. (1Peter
3:7)

Husbands: Do you seek to understand your wife? ... Are you considerate
in your dealing with her? … Do you treat her with respect? … Or, do you
maltreat her? … beat her? … abandon her? … Is your bitterness against her
(Colossians 3:19) seen in the way you speak evil against her (James 3:10-
11)? …

3. WITH PARENTS

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your
father and mother” —which is the first commandment with a promise—”that
it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
(Ephesians 6:1-3)

Yes, you are to obey and honor them.


71 TOWARD TRANSFORMATION
How about you? If your father or mother asks you to do something, what
do you do? Obey? Or, do people see your tantrums? Do you say, “What
about my brother?” Or, “I always receive the blame!”

You might ask, “How can I demonstrate my respect for my parents?”

One way is by listening to their advice:

Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your


mother’s teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain
to adorn your neck. (Proverbs 1:8-9)

From the year 2000 until the death of my father in September 2003, I had
taken care of him. One way by which I expressed my respect is by listening
(Job 12:12) to his advice on courtship. Though it was not very effective (I’m
still single!), I can still remember his gladness while I was listening.

How about you? Do you spend time listening to your parents?

Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother
when she is old. (Proverbs 23:22)

At another time, inside a hospital, my father told me, “I’ll urinate.” I


replied, “Father, the catheter has been attached to you already!” He asserted,
“I said, I’ll urinate!” Again I replied, “Father, the catheter has been attached
to you already! Look! It is with you!” He insisted, “I want to urinate!!” That
was the content of our conversation from 2:00 to 4:00 in the morning! One
man who was also taking care of his relative told me that my father is already
in his second childhood. He added, “My father was more demanding before he
died!”

Indeed, some of those who get old have a tendency to become demanding!

Even when your parents are demanding, do you still respect them?…

Of course, your obedience has its limit—”in the Lord”.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right


(Ephesians 6:1)

You have to obey them if you can do it “in the Lord”—as unto the Lord, not
contrary to His will. When my mother was still alive, she noticed that I read my
Bible daily. She said, “Choose now: your Bible or me?” When she said ‘Bible’,
she was referring to my whole relationship with God. I thought that I could
give her more honor if in heaven I would receive a reward from God because I
disobeyed her at that time. So I answered, “My Bible!” She cried. … But
before she died, she also ‘chose the Bible’!

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your
father and mother” —which is the first commandment with a promise—”that
it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
(Ephesians 6:1-3)
72
As you obey and respect them, what can you expect? It will be well with
you (you will be healthier and richer) and you will live longer.

After I took care of my father, after some time, I experienced a better kind
of life!

In your dealings with your parents, were there times you disobeyed them?
… Why? … Is it because they commanded something contrary to God’s word?
… Were you not convinced? … Or you were just lazy or not in the mood? …
Were you holding grudges in your heart? …

The religious leaders during the time of Jesus taught that if a man had
given his property to God, he no longer needed to support his parents. Jesus
objected to this. He told the scribes and the Pharisees:

Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake
of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone
who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’ But you say that if a
man says to his father or mother, ‘Whatever help you might otherwise have
received from me is a gift devoted to God,’ he is not to ‘honor his father’
with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You
hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: “‘These people
honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me
in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’” (Matthew 15:3-9)

Have you heard yourself speaking something like these?

“Is it my fault that I was born as their child? They are the ones who are
supposed to raise me up! I am not obligated to help them! I will just do it
when I am old already!”

“I give to the work of the Lord. I am not obligated to give to them. He


who loves father or mother more than Christ is not worthy of Christ!”

In your busyness, have you forgotten to visit your parents? … Are you
sending money to help them? … Do you help them in their needs? … Do you
serve them in the household chores (Philippians 2:22)? …

4. IN YOUR WORKPLACE

The word of God tells us:

“Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all


respect, not only to those who are good and
considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For
it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain
of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God.
But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for
doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing
good and you endure it, this is commendable before
God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you
an example, that you should follow in his steps. “He committed no sin, and
no deceit was found in his mouth.” When they hurled their insults at him,
73 TOWARD TRANSFORMATION
he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he
entrusted himself to him who judges justly.” (1Peter 2:18-23)

We are to respect our employers whether they are good or bad. In doing
this, God’s name and what we believe in will not be spoken against:

“All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters
worthy of full respect, so that God’s name and our teaching may not be
slandered.” (1 Timothy 6:1)

Are there times when you get discouraged in your work? Do you feel that
they have not been fair in the way they treat you? … Do you feel unmotivated
to work? … Did they say about you, “He thinks too much about his religion
that I cannot entrust the business to him!”? …

Why don’t you try following Paul’s advice to the Corinthians?

Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only
when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart
and reverence for the Lord.
(Colossians 3:22)

If your boss were the Lord himself, would there be a great difference in the
way you would work? … Would you be more enthusiastic? … If your answer is
“Yes!” I encourage you to do the same with your boss! Do it for the Lord!

Even if they seem unfair in your work, the Lord has a promise for you:

When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD, he makes even his
enemies live at peace with him. (Proverbs 16:7)

Yes, seek to obey him and please Him (Hebrews 11:6). Then, even your
boss who is at odds with you will be at peace with you!

The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a


watercourse wherever he pleases. (Proverbs 21:1)

God can work so that even your boss who dislikes you will promote you.

5. RELATIONSHIP WITH THE GOVERNMENT

We should submit not only to the authorities in our homes and work places
but also to those in our country. To do so, let us consider the kind of help
they provide:

Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is


no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that
exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against
the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do
so will bring judgment on themselves. … Do you want to be free from fear
of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you.
For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for
he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of
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wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to
submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also
because of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities
are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone
what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue;
if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
(Romans 13:1-7)

All authority comes from God. This is the reason why if you break
governmental laws that do not hinder you from obeying God, it is God Himself
you are fighting and you can only expect to be punished for it.

You might complain, “But the leaders have bad character. Should I submit
under their authority?” Yes, for here’s the command given in those times when
the emperors had bad character:

“Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted


among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to
governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to
commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you
should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. Live as free men, but do not
use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. Show
proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God,
honor the king.” (1 Peter 2:13-17)

“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and


thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority,
that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This
is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to
come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1Timothy 2:1-4)

Do you obey the government? … Do you pay your taxes according to the
requirements of the law of the land? … Do you follow the traffic signs? … Do
you throw garbage at the wrong place? … Do you cross the streets where you
are not expected to do so? … Do you pray for your government … or do you
just air complaints? …

Check the sins you have done:

BECAME A REBEL THAT CAN BE SEEN IN


AGAINST ¨ Not allowing myself to be persuaded by listening
¨ God (Is 301) (Proverbs 1:8,9)
¨ My spiritual leaders ¨ Not submitting after we understood each other’s side
(Hebrews 13:17) (Hebrews 13:17)
¨ My parents ¨ Not praying for my leaders (1Timothy 2:1-8).
(Ephesians 6:1-3)3) ¨ Lack of respect/love (1Thessalonians 5:12,13;
¨ My husband Proverbs 23:22)
(Ephesians 5:22; ¨ Not following the desires of my leaders which are not
1Peter 3:1,7) contrary to God’s word (Hebrews 13:7).
¨ Our government ¨ Avoiding responsibilities
(Romans 13:1- ¨ Judging them
7).7). ¨ Complaining/murmuring/backbiting (Exodus 16:8)
¨ My employer, work ¨ Vandalism
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supervisors (1Peter ¨ Not being honest in paying my taxes
2:18-23). ¨ Not obeying traffic rules
¨ Throwing my garbage in the wrong places

Suggested Prayer: “Father, from now on, I will stop rebelling. Instead, I
will seek to be persuaded and submit to my leaders unless doing so would be
disobeying Your commands.. That way, no spirit can continue tormenting me
for my past rebellion (1Samuel 15:23; 16:14).

“Not so with you.


Instead, whoever wants to become great among you
must be your servant,
and whoever wants to be first must be your slave
— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served,
but to serve,
and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
(Matthew 20:26-28)

Questions for Discussion:


1. Do you seek to be persuaded by your leader? … Why or why not?
2. Read Ephesians 5:21-6:9. What did you learn from this chapter about how
to relate better with others?
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Chapter 9 - Do Not Steal!


“You shall not steal.” (Exodus 20:15)

“Thief!” cried one lady! The neighbors woke up and they caught him. In
extreme anger, they beat him so badly that he almost died.

How about you? Do you also hate thieves? But before you do so, see first
if you have the right to be angry. Examine yourself first if you have not done
any of the following:

KINDS OF STEALING

1. STEALING OTHERS’ PROPERTY

Its evil can be seen in the penalty for stealing:

“If a man steals an ox or a sheep and slaughters it or sells it, he must


pay back five head of cattle for the ox and four sheep for the sheep”
(Exodus 22:1).

Have you been involved in robbery? Have you pressured others to give you
money by threatening their lives (hold-up) or by withholding the fast service
you are supposed to give? …

Have you been involved in graft and corruption? … Have you over-priced
projects, goods and/or services? …

Have you been involved in swindling, estafa or scam?…

Have you been involved in pick-pocketing or shop-lifting? …

Have you withheld the salary of your employees? ... “Do not defraud your
neighbor or rob him. Do not hold back the wages of a hired man overnight.”
(Leviticus 19:13)

Have you eaten food that is not for you? ... Have you robbed your parents
and said, ‘There’s nothing wrong with that. They’re my parents!’? Remember,
“He who robs his father or mother and says, ‘It’s not wrong’—he is partner to
him who destroys.” (Proverbs 28:24) ...

Have you brought home things from your workplace? ... Have you
indicated in your time card that you are working when you were not? ...

Have you borrowed something that you have not returned? ... That you do
not intend to return? ... If so, you are also a thief!

2. STEALING THROUGH BRIBERY

“Do not pervert justice or show partiality. Do not accept a bribe, for a
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bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous”
(Deuteronomy 16:19; Exodus 23:8).

Have you given or accepted a bribe? … Did you start to rationalize that you
were not able to see what is wise thing to do? … Did you notice that some
resources and even justice (Exodus 23:6) were taken from those to whom
they were due? … That is also stealing!

3. KIDNAPPING

Some women had been recruited as helpers, singers or waitresses but


ended up being deceived and raped and sold as prostitutes. Some have been
kidnapped for ransom. Here is God’s sentence for those kidnappers:

“If a man is caught kidnapping one of his brother Israelites and treats
him as a slave or sells him, the kidnapper must die. You must purge the
evil from among you.”
(Deuteronomy 24:7)

Have you participated in kidnapping? … white slavery? … If so, make


restitution immediately, before judgment comes upon you!

The Bible tells us that a heart can be stolen. In the following two points,
you may see how you may have stolen a heart:

4. WITHHOLDING INFORMATION THAT HE SHOULD KNOW

When you withhold information from a person which he should know


because it is very important in his life, as his heart is, you have stolen the
person's heart. When Jacob left with his wives and children without
informing his father-in-law, the Scripture declares:

“And Jacob stole away the heart of Laban the Syrian, in that he told
him not that he fled. ” (Ge 31:20 KJ with note replacing some 'unawares')

The effect is that it is as if you have stolen him—he is removed from his
normal life. That is why, it is also stealing the person himself. Laban later
complained to Jacob:

“Wherefore didst thou flee away secretly, and hast stolen me; and
didst not tell me … ” (Ge 31:27 KJ with note replacing some 'steal away
from me').

Have you withheld from a person information which is very important in his
life? … If so, you have stolen him and his heart from his better life!

Do you have a wedding ring? … Are you wearing it? … If not, you are
stealing heart of those who should not even consider you as potential boy/girl
friend or spouse!

Do you know that you are going to heaven and that others who have not
believed the gospel are not? … Are you sharing it with others? … If not, you
are stealing from them information which is most important in their lives! You
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should also be like Paul (Romans 1:14-16 KJ)

5. STEALING OTHERS’ AFFECTION

Have you courted someone who was engaged to be married? … Did you
steal her heart from the one she was engaged to? …

If so, you are like Absalom—one of King David’s son:

“Absalom behaved in this way towards all the Israelites who came to the
king asking for justice, and so he stole the hearts of the men of Israel.”
(2 Samuel 15:6)

You may argue, “But her boyfriend is not close to God! I want to snatch
her from the fire (Jude 1:23)!”

Since many are already in danger of hell fire, why does she get the priority?

6. STEALING OTHERS’ TIME

Time can be bought. Rotherham translates Ephesians 5:16 as:

“Buying out for yourselves the opportunity because the days are
evil.”

Time can also be stolen.

Are you always present at an appointment? … If you come to your


appointment, are you late? … If you do not come or are late in your
appointment, you are stealing and wasting others’ time!

Have you indicated in your time card that you were working when you
were not? ... Were you acting as if you were working when you were not? …
Then you stole company’s time!

7. STEALING ANOTHER’S SPOUSE

A prostitute refers to extramarital sex in this way:

“Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious (Proverbs


9:17)!”

Have you had sexual intercourse with one who is not your spouse?
Remember, that pleasure is temporary (Hebrews 11:35 Darby)… and is a gate
to hell (Proverbs 7:17 NKJV)!

8. STEALING THE WORD OF THE LORD

“Therefore,” declares the LORD, “I am against the prophets who steal


from one another words supposedly from me. Yes, … I am against the
prophets who wag their own tongues and yet declare, ‘The LORD declares.’
Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” declares the
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LORD. “They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies,
yet I did not send or appoint them. They do not benefit these people in the
least,” declares the LORD (Jeremiah 23:30-32).”

Have you heard of a teaching or prophecy that came from one person and
you claimed that it came from you? …

Such stealing can be extended to the original works of other people:

9. INTELLECTUAL PIRACY

If you write your own book or article and you quote another’s writing, do
you give the appropriate acknowledgment? …

Have you used a software that is licensed only for one computer? … Do you
buy pirated CDs? … Do you copy audio-video materials without the copyright
holder’s permission? …

Have you discovered another’s invention not patented or an article not


copyrighted and claimed it as your own? …
Have you photocopied a book that is not public domain nor with the
author’s permission? … Have you rationalized, “Anyway, I am giving the
photocopied materials for free to others!”? Robin Hood is a fictitious
character who stole from the rich to be able to give to the poor. Do you feel
you are like him? …

10. STEALING FROM THE LORD

“Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’
In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—
because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse,
that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD
Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and
pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. I will
prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will
not cast their fruit,” says the LORD Almighty. Then all the nations will call
you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the LORD Almighty
(Malachi 3:8-12).

Do you give a tenth of your income to God? … If not, you are stealing from
God! … How are your expenses? … Does it feel like you always have holes in
the purse where you put your wages? … (Haggai 1:6). Do you know why?
You are under a curse!

It would be good to remember that before stealing has taken place, we


coveted first.

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house ... wife, or his manservant or
maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor”
(Exodus 20:17).

“... You shall not set your desire on your neighbor’s ... land “
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(Deuteronomy 5:21).

Check the box corresponding to your neighbor’s possession which you


coveted:
o His house.
o His spouse. We have studied this already in the chapter “Flee Youthful
Lusts”.
o His employees. This is the equivalent of the man and maid servants in
Bible times.
o His means of livelihood. In Bible times, they use their ox and donkey for
their livelihood.
o His land.
o His other properties.

Check (þ) the sins you have done: I STOLE (Exodus 20:15):
¨ in graft and corruption ¨ the affection that was originally
¨ in swindling offered to others (2Samuel 15:6)
¨ in bribery (Deuteronomy ¨ through copyright/patent infringement
16:19) —whether the source is claimed to be
¨ in robbery, hold-up from God (Jeremiah 23:30-32) or not:
¨ in pick pocketing, shop lifting ¨ photocopying reading materials
¨ money or food ¨ copying programs intended only to be
¨ the office supplies (pens, paper, used in one computer.
etc.) from my work place ¨ buying pirated ones CD, DVD or other
¨ company’s money and time by media or copying them without
claiming to be working when I permission from the copyright owner
was not ¨ claiming ownership to materials not
¨ by borrowing with no intention copyrighted or patented
of returning/paying back ¨ in not giving:
(Romans 13:8) ¨ the tenth of my income to full-time
¨ by kidnapping (Deuteronomy Christian workers (1Corinthians 9:7-
24:7) / white slavery / selling 14; Numbers 18:21-24)
women, men or children for ¨ the other things He asks me to give
prostitution (Mal 3:8-12) for charity (De 14:28-
¨ by withholding information 29; 26:12-13) or my spiritual growth
others should know (Ge 31:20) (14:22-23)

Now, have you realized that you are also a thief? … Be thankful that you
have not been beaten by people who hate thieves!

Suggested Prayer: God, forgive me for stealing. Give me my daily bread.


I will choose to fast rather than steal.

“Keep falsehood and lies far from me;


give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God.”
(Proverbs 30:8-9)

Questions for Discussion:


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1. Read Exodus 22:7, Proverbs 6:30-31 & Leviticus 27:30-31. Based on these
passages, what do you think God wants you to do?
2. Pray for each other based on Proverbs 30:8-9.
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Chapter 10 - Revere God’s


Name!
“You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God,
for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless
who misuses His name”
(Exodus 20:7).

In 1980, I lived in my brother’s house while it was being built. One of his
carpenters had this habit of saying, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!” for almost anything.
But I did not have the boldness at that time to rebuke him. … That man soon
died!

Could it be that misusing God’s name is one of the reasons why he died
early? I do not know, but I am sure he used the Lord’s name in vain!

How is the Lord’s name used in vain?

IN CURSING

If you remember yourself at times cursing and you blasphemed God’s


name, here’s a story that shows the gravity of using God’s name in cursing:

“Now the son of an Israelite mother and an Egyptian father went out
among the Israelites, and a fight broke out in the camp between him and
an Israelite. The son of the Israelite woman blasphemed the Name with
a curse; so they brought him to Moses. …. Then the LORD said to Moses:
“Take the blasphemer outside the camp. All those who heard him are to lay
their hands on his head, and the entire assembly is to stone him. Say to the
Israelites: ‘If anyone curses his God, he will be held responsible; anyone
who blasphemes the name of the LORD must be put to death. The entire
assembly must stone him. Whether an alien or native-born, when he
blasphemes the Name, he must be put to death” (Leviticus 24:10-16).

Did you curse, “… Even if I have to die!” or “… my head were cut off!” “...
even if that would mean my kids will die if I am lying!”… Cross my heart!” If
so, you have disobeyed the command not to swear!

When something evil happened to you (or your loved one), did you say in
the presence of others, “God is unfair!” or, “Why did God do this?”(Exodus
22:28).

In cursing, a person may even sin by using God’s name to support his lies.

“Do not swear falsely by my name and so profane the name of your
God. I am the LORD” (Leviticus 19:12).

Did you tell the one you were courting, “God tells me, you will be my wife!”
when you were not sure that it was really God who said that? If so, you have
lied ... and used God’s name in vain!
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Instead of using God’s name in vain, it is better to just follow Jesus’
command:

“Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not
break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.’ But I tell
you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the
earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great
King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair
white or black. Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’, and your ‘No’, ‘No’; anything
beyond this comes from the evil one” (Matthew 5:33-
37).

Did you make a promise and said, “By faith!” but you had
no intention of keeping it or had intention but later broke it?
. .. When you said, “By faith!” you were implying, “By faith in
God!” right? Hence, you have used God’s name in vain! As
a result, you will not dwell on God’s presence:

“O LORD, who may abide in Thy tent? Who may dwell on Thy holy
hill? … He swears to his own hurt, and does not change” (Psalms 15:1,4
NAS).

If you are unwilling to do it even when it hurts, it is best if you do not make
any oath at all!

IN EXPRESSIONS

How about you? Have you used any of these expressions? “My God!”;
“God damn it!”, “Jesus Christ!” “Jesus!” At that time you used God’s name,
were you asking God’s intervention? … Were you blessing others? … If not,
you have used God’s name in vain!

IN DEFENDING YOURSELF
In defending yourself, you may be tempted to sin by the unnecessary use
of God’s name to support your argument.

Have you been accused? How did you react? Did you say, “God knows I
did not do it!” … If he no longer believes in you, do you think he will believe if
you use God’s name? … If he will not believe, you have used God’s name in
vain!

FALSE PROPHECY

In a seminar where I attended, a leader prophesied to a prophet this way,


“Although no prophet is acceptable in his own country, the LORD is saying, you
will be an exception. You will be accepted in your own country!”

When I heard this ‘prophecy’, I was not comfortable because it was not
consistent with Scripture (John 4:44)!

In another gathering where I attended, the same leader said he would


prophesy over people. From the back seat, in a whispered voice, I declared,
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“In the name of Jesus, whatever spirit who is not of God, you cannot move
now!” Then, he could not prophesy!

Later, I heard that he ceased working with that ‘prophetic’ school.

I believe he is one of those to whom God said:

“Their visions are false and their divinations a lie. They say, “The LORD
declares”, when the LORD has not sent them; yet they expect their words
to be fulfilled. Have you not seen false visions and uttered lying divinations
when you say, “The LORD declares”, though I have not spoken? “‘Therefore
this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Because of your false words and
lying visions, I am against you, declares the Sovereign LORD. My hand will
be against the prophets who see false visions and utter lying divinations.
They will not belong to the council of my people or be listed in the records
of the house of Israel, nor will they enter the land of Israel. Then you will
know that I am the Sovereign LORD” (Ezekiel 13:6-9).

Yes, the ‘prophecy’ given by the person I used in the negative illustration is
a lie. So, unless he repents, he will not enter heaven either.

How about you? In prophesying, did you say, “Thus says the LORD,…” when
you were not sure that what you said were really of God? If so, you have used
His name in vain!

Suggested Prayer: “Lord, forgive me for saying, ‘Thus says the LORD ...’
when I was not really sure that is exactly what you said.”

BAD TESTIMONY

When David was rebuked by the prophet Nathan for lying with Bathsheba
and killing her husband, Nathan said,

“But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the LORD
show utter contempt, the son born to you will die” (2 Samuel 12:14).

David disobeyed God’s command, “Do not carry God’s name in vain”
(Exodus 20:7 my translation). By his defiant sins, David carried God’s name in
vain. “But anyone who sins defiantly ... blasphemes the LORD ....” (Numbers
15:30).

When I slapped the face of one of my sisters for her lack of respect for my
mother, she said, “I will no longer trust you!” By striking her (1Timothy 3:3),
I hindered her good reception of my teachings in Jesus’ name.

How about you? Did anyone tell you: “Someone with your character should
not be a leader!”; “My daughter became worse when she joined your group!”;
“If that is being born again, I don’t want to have anything to do with it!”? … If
so, by your bad testimony, you have carried God’s name in vain!
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WRONG USE OF JESUS’ NAME

One time, two professing Christians had a disagreement. They rebuked


each other, saying, “In Jesus name!” There was no evidence that a demon
came out of any one of them! The sad thing is that an unbelieving policeman
was there! Yes, they used the name of Jesus in vain!

Check (þ) the sin you may have done:


I HAVE USED GOD’S NAME IN VAIN (Exodus 20:7):
¨ as an expression
¨ to defend myself against others
¨ in cursing (Leviticus 24:10-16)
¨ in false prophesy (Ezekiel 13:6-9)
¨ in my bad testimony (2Samuel 12:14)
¨ in my use of Jesus’ name in vain

Suggested Prayer: “LORD, I agree that I carried your name in vain.


Forgive me. Please remind me always that I carry your holy name at all
times. I shall take care of your name by having a good testimony.”

“I had concern for my holy name,


which the house of Israel profaned
among the nations where they had gone.
Therefore say to the house of Israel,
‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says:
It is not for your sake, O house of Israel,
that I am going to do these things,
but for the sake of my holy name,
which you have profaned among the nations
where you have gone.
I will show the holiness of my great name, which
has been profaned among the nations,
the name you have profaned among them.
Then the nations will know that I am the LORD,
declares the Sovereign LORD,
when I show myself holy through you before their eyes.
‘For I will take you out of the nations;
I will gather you from all the countries
and bring you back into your own land.”

“I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean;


I will cleanse you from all your impurities
and from all your idols.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you;
I will remove from you your heart of stone
and give you a heart of flesh.
And I will put my Spirit in you
and move you to follow my decrees
and be careful to keep my laws.
You will live in the land I gave your forefathers;
you will be my people,
and I will be your God.
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I will save you from all your uncleanness.
I will call for the corn and make it plentiful
and will not bring famine upon you.
I will increase the fruit of the trees and the crops of the field,
so that you will no longer suffer disgrace
among the nations because of famine.
Then you will remember your evil ways and wicked deeds,
and you will loathe yourselves
for your sins and detestable practices.
I want you to know that I am not doing this for your sake,
declares the Sovereign LORD.
Be ashamed and disgraced for your conduct,
O house of Israel!”
(Ezekiel 36:21-32)

Questions for Discussion:


1. Some would say, “It is only a sin when one uses the name “Yahweh” in
vain. But if your expressions are like ‘Oh my God!” it is not a sin.” Do
you agree? … Why or why not? …
2. In what way have you carried God’s name in vain? … Read Ezekiel 36:21-
32. What is God telling you in this passage?
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Chapter 11 - Work Hard 6 Days


a Week!
Six days you shall labor and do all your work.
(Exodus 20:9).

You might ask, “The birds of the air… do not sow or reap or store away in
barns…” (Matthew 6:26). Doesn’t this mean that it is okay not to work?”

No, the birds neither sow nor reap but they look for their food. In the same
way, you need to exert effort to labor and toil as the Apostle Paul says:

“… keep away from every brother who is idle …. you ought to follow our
example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat
anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and
day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you.
We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order
to make ourselves a model for you to follow. For even when we were with
you, we gave you this rule: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.”
We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are
busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to
settle down and earn the bread they eat. And as for you, brothers, never
tire of doing what is right. If anyone does not obey our instruction in this
letter, take special note of him. Do not associate with him, in order that he
may feel ashamed. Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a
brother” (2 Thessalonians 3:6-15).

It is good for you to follow Paul’s example in working so as not be a burden


to anyone. If you do not work and are lazy, you deserve the following
treatment:
1. Believers turn away from you.
2. They will not let you eat so that you will not be a burden to them.

But of course, believers will not consider you as an enemy. Instead, they
will encourage you to work and look for a good source of livelihood.

Do you have job? ... If not, why? ... Are you very choosy in taking a job?
Do you want to be the boss or have a high salary immediately? ... Are you
afraid to be interviewed? ... Are you afraid of new things and don’t want
difficult work? ... Do you want work to come to you? ... Does your answer to
any of these questions show why you still do not have a job? …I encourage
you, my friend, look for a job and work diligently once you find it.

But you might ask, “What kind of job shall I look for?”

Some want a job that gains wealth quickly. As a result, some sell illegal
drugs. Others steal or rob. Others get money from ransom of those they
kidnapped. Some gamble—in homes, work places, streets or casinos. Some
try their so called “luck” in sweepstakes, lotto and even text messaging
88
‘games’. Some went to prostitution—being prostitutes or their managers.
These groups of people may not have known God’s warning and exhortation:

“Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by


little makes it grow” (Proverbs 13:11).

We can see here that a good job is not that where you earn quickly.
Rather, wealth is to be accumulated through work and diligent saving. One
example are the ants:

“Four things on earth are small, yet they are extremely wise: Ants are
creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer”
(Pr 30:24-25).
Are you a one day millionaire, spending a lot when you have money? … Are
you saving for your needs when you cannot work? … Do you have a
retirement plan? …

“…. children should not have to save up for their parents, but parents
for their children” (2Co 12:14).
Are you saving money for your children? … Have you considered a plan
which is best for their education? …

Check (þ) the sins you may have committed. CONCERNING THE
COMMAND TO WORK (Exodus 20:8-11), there were times when:
¨ I became lazy (2Thessalonians 3:6-15), not working 6 days a week (Exodus
20:9)
¨ Concerning studying the Bible, I said, “I have no time for that!”
¨ My desire to be rich quickly made me take certain dishonest jobs and/or
gamble (Proverbs 13:11)—buy lottery ticket, sweepstakes, etc.
¨ I did not save for the time when I can no longer work (Pr 30:24-25)
especially for my children (2Corinthians 12:14)
Suggested Prayer: “God, thank You for the work You have given or will
give me
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls”
(Matthew 11:28-29).

Question for Discussion:


What can you say about John Wesley’s advice, “Earn as much as you can; save
as much as you can; give as much as you can”?
(Continued in Toward Transformation Part 2)
(available as download through www.equipppers.spaces.live.com).
89 TOWARD TRANSFORMATION

Appendix I: A
Guide to Beginning
and Leading Small Groups
I want to call the small group, which others call a cell group, A House of
Prayer for All Nations (Mark 11:17). It is a spiritual house. The members
of this house prays to God according to His word. They do not only gather for
themselves but also to help reach their own nation and others as well. The
nations being referred to here are those who live together with some leaders
(Matthew 20:25; Mark 10:42) and speak the same language (Acts 2:5,9,10).
For example, in the Philippines, the Chinese in China Town is a nation; so are
the Muslims in Quiapo.
If you want to use this book to start a small group, you may do the
following:
I. Pray that the kingdom of God comes (Matthew 6:10; Luke 11:2).
A. In your prayer, remember that Jesus who has been given all authority is
with you always (Matthew 28:18,20).
B. Pray that you will have a partner in helping usher the kingdom in target
nation (Luke 10:1; Ecclesiastes 4:9-11).
C. Plead God to send laborers to the harvest field (Lucas 10:2).
D. Pray for all men—beginning with the ones you will meet (Luke 10:29-
37), especially the leaders among them—those who excel others in
position or influence (1Timothy 2:1-8), political or religious (Acts 9:15)
and the poor (Galatians 2:10), the sick and the demonized (Luke 10:9).
II. Go (Mark 16:15).
A. From now on, in greeting people, say, “Peace be with you!” Those who
receive your peace are called sons of peace (Luke 10:6), who will
become laborers.
B. Befriend the man of peace and those around him.
1. Eat what the man of peace and those who are with him will set before
you (Luke 10:7-8).
2. Help them in their needs, especially in regard to their healing (Luke
10:9).
III.Teach them (Matthew 28:19).
A. When they experience peace, love or healing, explain that it is a result of
your membership in the kingdom of God which is coming upon them
(Luke 10:9).
B. Invite them to a discussion. If you want to use this book, tell them it is
about “living with abundance, freedom and holiness.” Ask them to read
pages 5-14 of this book. If they can, ask them to buy the book.
Otherwise look for some to sponsor them or give them a photocopy of
pages 5-14.
C. Prepare well (Proverbs 21:5):
1. Pray that the maximum number of people come to glorify our God and
king (Proverbs 14:28).
2. Read the chapter you are to discuss the next meeting. Answer the
questions at the end of this Appendix II corresponding to that chapter.
Think how they might respond to the questions.
3. If your group can sing in your gathering place, prepare guides—song
sheets, a guitar (or another instrument) or an audio-tape player. You
may not be able to do this if you are in a country closed or restricted
to the gospel proclamation.
90
D. When you gather:
1. Pray before the discussion (Luke 9:18).
2. Spend time eating (if food is available, Acts 2:46), singing and
listening to what each one has learned from God (1Corinthians
14:26).
3. Ask those who attend to answer the questions for the lesson or the
other questions they may have (Mark 9:33-37). At the end of
Appendix are the suggested questions for each lesson.
4. That all may participate and the talkative shut up, direct the question
to the silent member.
5. Clarify or improve on the wrong answer or unclear question,
instead of ridiculing or ignoring them.
6. Use illustrations in explaining spiritual truths (Luke 10:28-35; Matthew
18:1-3; 24:1-4).
7. If someone asks a question:
a. and it is not related to the topic, smile and say, “I think we are
already in another topic. Because of lack of time, can we just
discuss our topic for now?”
b. If the question seem to be important to the one asking, (Luke
18:18; 10:36-37; Matthew 19:17) or is related to the topic you are
discussing, and he seem to have the answer already, do one of the
following:
1) Relay back to him his question (Luke 10:25-27), “That is a good
question. What do you think?”
2) Ask the group, “What do you think is the answer to ______’s
question?”
3) After one has given his opinion, say, “Do you agree?” (John
11:25-26) or, “What do the rest of you say?” (Matthew 16:13-
15; 17:24-26).
IV. Summarize the result of the discussion (Matthew 16:17-19). End the
discussion on how to apply the lesson (Luke 10:20; James 1:22-25). As
much as possible, let them think of appropriate action points (Matthew
6:26-27). You may ask, “Which among the things we studied can you apply
in your life?”
A. Ask the group if they want to pray for anything. Afterwards, pray or ask
someone to pray.
B. Discuss when you will meet again.
C. If there is one who is talkative or too silent, talk with him after the
meeting. Listen well to him (Proverbs 18:13).
The objective of the discussion in House of Prayer is to glorify God
through the salvation of some and the edification of others.
For this objective to be reached, at the end of the discussion:
1. If there is someone who has not yet received Christ and recognizes that
he has sinned, explain the gospel to Him.
2. Allot a time to pray for each other. (James 5:16).
To stimulate discussion, choose from the following:
1. While reading this book, what did you discover about yourself?
2. Did you realize you have committed a sin? ... Which of the sins listed at the
end of the chapter have you committed most frequently? ...
3. What verse in the Bible has been helpful to you?
4. What do you want to do now?
5. What do you want us to pray for?
91 TOWARD TRANSFORMATION
You may also use the Questions for Discussion at the end of most of the
chapters
92

Appendix II: Grounds for Divorce or


Annulment
In situations where a spouse commits adultery, the aggrieved party have
considered divorcing the spouse. In countries like the Philippines, some think
of having their marriage annulled. But what does Jesus say?

“But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual
immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who
is divorced commits adultery.” (Mattthew 5:32 NKJV) “And I say to you,
whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another,
commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits
adultery.” (19:9 NKJV)

It is evident from this passage that the ground for divorce was only “sexual
immorality” or “fornication” (KJV). Now the question is what kind of
fornication is included here? Does it mean if she commits adultery? even
adultery in heart (Matthew 5:28)? To answer this question, it is important to
note that the Greek word for fornication was used in describing incest
(1Corinthians 5:1). Thus:

1. A man can divorce his wife if she is related to him according to


Leviticus 18:6-18.

Fornication was also used to describe homosexual and lesbian acts (Romans
1:29, 26-27). Thus, those in same-sex marriages are also fornicators. If
through man’s wickedness, the wife was redefined so that ‘she’ is actually
another ‘man’, a man can divorce his ‘wife’. In the same way, if in the future,
it becomes worse that an animal can become a wife, the man should divorce
his ‘wife’ and should have the animal killed (Leviticus 18:22-23; 20:15-16).
The man need not be killed (John 8:1-11). Hence:

2. A man can divorce his wife if ‘she’ is of the same sex or an ‘animal’

Fornication was also used of adultery (Hosea 3:1,3 LXX). The question is
which kind of adultery is a ground for divorce.
“2 For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long
as he is alive, but if her hu
sband dies, she is released from the law of marriage. 3 So then, if she
marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an
adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not
an adulteress, even though she marries another man.” (Romans 7:2-3)

An example of an adulteress for two reasons was Herodias. First, she married
while her husband was still alive. Secondly, she married brothers (Mark 6:18;
Leviticus 18:16).

Have you discovered that your spouse was previously married to another who
is still alive? Then you marriage is null and void. If your government
considers it valid, you can work for an annulment of your marriage. You can
93 TOWARD TRANSFORMATION
marry because you were deceived and hence was never truly married! Thus …

3. A man can divorce his wife if her first husband is still alive.

What about the husband whose wife committed adultery? Can he divorce him?
In answering this question, we should remember that God’s counsel is for all
generations (Psalm 33:10).

God asked Hosea to marry a prostitute (Hosea 1:2). Thus, fornication before
marriage is not a ground for not being one as husband and wife. and thus is
also not a ground for divorce.

Only actual sexual intercourse with a third person will now be examined as a
ground for divorce; adultery in the heart cannot. Otherwise, anyone can
divorce his spouse. Joseph thought Mary committed sexual intercourse before
they came together (Matthew 1:19). Notice that Matthew also says that
contemplating divorce is an evidence that Joseph was righteous. Hence:

4. A man can divorce his wife if after being married and before coming
together, she commits sexual intercourse with another.

After Hosea married Gomer, she committed fornication again. God’s counsel
for Hosea was not to divorce Gomer for such sin (Hosea 3:1,3). Thus, if your
situation is like that of Hosea, God tells you the same thing. You are to love
your wife as Christ loves the church and gave himself for her (Ephesians
5:25). If you are willing to die for your wife, can you not suffer for her while
she is still sinning?

For any question concerning these study guides, send email or chat with
equippers@msn.com or contact +63917 8481928.
94
Help in establishing a healthy relationship with the true God,
your family, community and nation!

Be amazed with the exceeding favor of God to you but


fearfully respect the boundaries—the Ten Commandments—
which is given for your best.

The caterpillar becomes a strong and beautiful butterfly if


man will not help it get out of the cocoon. You too will
experience a very pleasant change if you will use not the ways
of man, but that of God—the Ten Commandments.

What Other Christian Leaders


Have to Say About Toward Transformation 1 & 2

Biblically sound—principles and teachings are heavily


grounded in the Scriptures … Very candid and down to earth
illustrations from the bible and from Jun’s experience and
those of others. … Readers are challenged not only to reflect
but also to do something about each lesson…

“Inside this book are Jun’s teachings that helped some of


the members of our church to be rooted deeply in the Word of
God. I endorse this book to every believer in Christ””

“Even while we were still helping edit this book, I


determined in my heart to recommend this book to others,
especially to the youth.”

“I am confident that this book will help spread awareness of


the Ten Commandments. May you be illumined, be blessed,
and be transformed as you read this book.”

“ ‘You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.’
(John 8:32). This book teaches the truths that one has to
learn in order to be free from sin, false teaching and the devil.”

If you want to teach the topics in this booklet (through its study guide, Obey God), to
have a clear copy of the materials or to ask any question, contact His Equippers
for Life Purposes through:

website to download free materials: www.equippers.spaces.live.com


email to write to and messenger to chat with: equippers@msn.com
mobile phone: +63917 848-1928

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