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The Message


Deceit is one of the weapons that the enemies of our faith use, and it mostly starts with lying.  

Though the heart redeems the error of the mind, it is also deceitful. It knows when to play around with our mind and when to be lower than the mind. Our heart is located in the middle of our body with a purpose: to supply the needs of the body. The soul that works with Spirit gives life and inspiration to us. There will be a conflict if my heart says no and my mind says yes. Which one do you think will prevail? 

When our eyes see beautiful things around us, the mind follows. Just like when the nose smells something good, the reason says yes; when our ears hear a smooth and relaxing sound, the defense says yes, it helps. It’s the same when our tongue tastes something delicious, and the mind tells us the same thing: it is delicious, and when we feel the joy of the day, the reason says I feel blessed!

Why does our mind always follow the dictate of our senses? If our senses say no, it is assumed that our minds would say no. When will our minds follow the dictate of our hearts? Our reason obeys our soul, while our heart clings more to spiritual value. The mind works with our Spirit well during our silent hours with God. There are always distractions that cannot be avoided due to the nature of the body, which allows the souls to be shaken (barking of the dogs, neighbors, roommates, etc…)

We have a mind that follows free will, which leads us to continue with what is right or wrong. We must be mindful and stay focused that the presence of the Holy Spirit of God in our body is available; all we need is to ask. The mouth speaks whatever the heart says to speak it out! 

The mind listens, as do the senses. So, for example, when the reason detects that the heart is beating faster, we have to stop, let the mind figure it out, and give the heart a moment to calm down.

The Spirit of God works with wonder if disagreements of opinions on a particular Scripture. The Scriptures themselves remind us that it is not worth talking about. If someone asks who you believe in, the teachings of Jesus or Paul, this question is more about having a doubtful mind. It is alright if that is what it is, but the Bible says to let our faith move us when in doubt.

We must worry about people with a mindset rooted in their beliefs who do not want to open their minds to gain new knowledge. Perhaps they may have heard the matter and just ignored it, or sometimes they become judgmental and accuse the other of being a cult and do not want to be one; of course, who wants to be a cult?

We have to be careful when talking to someone you cannot change because everyone thinks differently; what they already believed for many years is the truth, and that is it! So, if that is the situation, we cannot claim that the Bible is progressive as it is no longer a living organism. Therefore, it becomes irrelevant to this advanced time, and the versions should not be changed as they wish from time to time.

If we remain focused on the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Kingdom at hand, and the Father Almighty, the one true God, many will not get lost in translation. The apostles and disciples of Jesus continued the teachings of Jesus, and some even taught the baptism in the name of Jesus only; some made him God, which Jesus never claimed he was, and some other groups made him God to the extreme as God of all creations.

When Jesus was accused by his accuser of claiming to be God, he humbly said, “Isn’t it the Bible said you can be gods, sons of the highest?” What more knowledge and explanation do we need when we already have enough? Man’s potential to be God is true, but how can we be one?

When we belong to the family of God, it may not be a question anymore as Jesus prayed: John 17:20-21—NIV: “My prayer is not for them alone. I also pray for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. So may they also be in us so the world may believe you have sent me?” We will all be as one. We can say we, the Father and the Son, are one. Isn’t it clear enough that Trinity exists? The completeness of the Trinity has been mentioned in the prayer of our Lord Jesus Christ.

What can you say about this passage? First, to belong to the Trinity, we have to hate someone: “If you love your Father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine. Matthew 10:37.

The parallel: “If you want to be my disciple, you must, by comparison, hate everyone else—your Father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:26

Are these the requirements to join the family of God? Let us take note and carefully read it with an understanding of what Christ said in Luke 14:26: “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.”

Christ commanded us to love one another like loving our neighbors as ourselves and even loving our enemies—Matthew 22:39; Luke 6:27. If hate does not mean hate, the opposite of love, what will be hate? The Bible does not contradict itself (John 10:35); like many great commentators of the past, it gave a different meaning of hate or hatred. Almost all of them said in one voice that hate means less love.

Therefore, Jesus’ sayings in Luke 14:26 cannot mean we need to hate someone. On the contrary, we embrace the truth of the Bible and believe it is a living organism; it progresses as people progress and update themselves. Jesus even said that he does not speak on his authority. Any word from his mouth is not his but from the Father who sent him.

“Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.” (John 14:10)

“I have not spoken on my authority, but the Father who sent me has given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak.” John 12:49.

The Father is a jealous God. He doesn’t care whether you are wealthy or not, smart or dumb, mature or immature. All He wants us to acknowledge is His existence; He alone is the Father to us and no one else. So, loving Him before anyone else could be what it meant, and it should not hurt our relationships with our earthly parents and siblings.

According to Baker’s evangelical dictionary, hate derives from a strong dislike or ill will toward people or things. As an emotional attitude, a person may oppose, detest, or despise contact with an item or a person. Love and hatred often stand opposed. Wisdom says there is “a time to love and a time to hate” (Ecclesiastes 3:8). In the biblical record, every living being may express or experience hate.

Hate is hate, no matter what the great commentators of the past said, and they are not perfect, too, like us.

“If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life… that comes from wisdom.” James 3:13

Bishop Joseph

Bishop Joseph Vitug, Ph.D. - Bishop Emeritus

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