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When: February 1-2

Where: Paracale, Camarines Norte

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Held in the town of Paracale, the festival is highlighted by “pabirik” street dancing, depicting the gold mining industry in the province.

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  1. Jesus the Christ, King, Priest and Prophet

    A key verse in the Bible to understand God is found in John 17:3.

    John 17:3 3 And this is eternal life, that they know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent. (RSV)

    What is your idea about God? And what do you think about Jesus the Christ (=Yahoshua haMashiah)?

    When you ask two, three or more people these questions, you can expect to receive two, three or more different answers. Everybody has his or her own idea about God or Jesus the Christ. This idea is often the result of education, environment, development and character. Therefore each individual has a different perception.

    In many Chinese kitchens for example there is a picture of Tsao Wang, the Chinese kitchen god. He is generally looking, smiling and dreaming above the burning frankincense, lit in his honour. From this place he observes the proper functioning in the kitchen. At the Chinese New Year he will be burnt to go on the journey to heaven to report what he has heard and seen in the last year.

    Shortly before he is set alight the Chinese housewife strikes honey on his lips, in the hope that Tao Wang will only report with sweet words.

    The eastern perception of God is clearly different from the western one. These perceptions have been changed time and again by different influences and syncretised again to a new perception of God. This process of syncretism has already been functioning for almost 6000 years.

    Because of these different perceptions of God and Jesus Christ, many different religious denominations have resulted, each preaching their own version of “The Truth”. The result was that people – when they joined a denomination – were led rather in their desire for confirmation of their own perception, than an honest desire to find the Truth. People look for the faith that suits their own vision best. It is rather similar to buying clothes in a shop.

    Often religion has been and still is, misused for legalising certain desires: The Greek god Bacchus as the god of wine was a cover-up for insobriety and bacchanals. Also Ishtar as the goddess of fertility was a cover for the many illicit sexual excesses.

    From a political viewpoint religion was also a very useful means to usurp power or to stay in power: Mars the war god legalised the desire to conquer, and the Egyptian Pharaohs declared themselves and their offspring divine, to secure their dynasty.

    Through the centuries many wars have been waged in the name of God, as for example the Crusades. Even during the last World War of 1939-1945 church leaders blessed the weapons on both camps in the name of God!

    Weapons have been made for one purpose only: killing people. Blessing the weapons is saying that God has given his approval to the many massacres, which were only intended for saving the political face of a head of state!

    Even today we are feeling the far-reaching consequences of all these different views concerning God in our society.

    A certain Robert Garcet once said:

    People are being misled by religion. Religion is a fog and the churches do nothing else but measure how thick and high the fog is. God becomes a steak, from which every church cut off its part.

    In discussions with many people invariably the following question will be raised: “If there is a God of love, why is there all this misery in the world? He is yet Almighty, why doesn’t He intervene?” These people only know a negligent God, a God to be hated!

    In discussions with many elderly people from the orthodox churches it will become clear that they see God as a being that considers humanity categorically as trespassers. A being, that approaches people as a revengeful God. A God to be scared of!

    In liberal churches the pendulum has reached the other side. With the slogan “God is love” everything is permitted. In their perception “God will not take it seriously”. In their vision you don’t have to take God seriously.

    All these different perceptions about God can be traced back to the wrong perceptions, which people have made of God. People have made God to their idea, as to their wishes!

    Personally I have the idea that all those orthodox, liberal and non-church people don’t know the Bible at all or only just partly. I think that their wrong perceptions about God and Messiah are caused by their ignorance.

    It is interesting to read what God Himself states about this in Psalms:

    Psalms 50:21 21 These things you have done and I have been silent; you thought that I was one like yourself. But now I rebuke you, and lay the charge before you. (RSV)

    This brings me to the question: How do you really get to know someone?

    We know someone by his words and deeds. These words and deeds are an expression to that person’s thoughts. These thoughts are the result of experience and character.

    HOW DO YOU GET TO KNOW GOD?

    WORDS

    Psalms 33:4 4 For the word of the LORD is upright; and all his work is done in faithfulness. (RSV)

    Micah 2:7 7 Should this be said, O house of Jacob? Is the Spirit of the LORD impatient? Are these his doings? Do not my words do good to him who walks uprightly? (RSV)

    +

    DEEDS

    John 3:16-17 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (AV)

    THOUGHTS

    Jeremiah 29:11 11 For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (RSV)

    EXPERIENCES

    John 1:10-11 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not. 11 He came to his own home, and his own people received him not. (RSV)

    Matthew 23:37 37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! (RSV)

    CHARACTER

    1John 4:8 8 He who does not love does not know God; for God is love. (RSV)

    The only way to get to know the God of the Bible is to open the Bible and to study the Bible. The Bible is in fact a love letter from God, in which He reveals Himself to you and me.

    So in the Bible much has been written about God’s words and deeds, about God’s thoughts and about God’s experiences and character.

    Let us open the Bible.

    We find information about God’s words in Psalms 33:4 and Micah 2:7. There it is been written:

    Psalms 33:4 4 For the word of the LORD is upright; and all his work is done in faithfulness. (RSV)

    Micah 2:7 7 Should this be said, O house of Jacob? Is the Spirit of the LORD impatient? Are these his doings? Do not my words do good to him who walks uprightly? (RSV)

    The nature of God’s deeds is best described in John 3:16-17, where we read:

    John 3:16-17 6 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (AV)

    We can read about God’s thoughts in Jeremiah 29:11:

    Jeremiah 29:11 11 For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (RSV)

    All this information, which gives a positive view of God’s mercy and goodness, is expressed even more in the background of God’s experiences. We read about this in Matthew 23:37b

    Matthew 23:37b 37b “How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! (RSV)

    Also we read in John 1:10-11

    John 1:10-11 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not. 11 He came to his own home, and his own people received him not. (RSV)

    From a human viewpoint we can see that God has had very disappointing experiences with mankind. Why didn’t He give up and go on alone? Then we see the magnificent motive from which God acts. The motive, that reveals His character. It is very comprehensive and can be found in 1John 4:8.

    1John 4:8 8 He who does not love does not know God; for God is love. (RSV)

    Here it is not stated God has love, but that God is love! Every form of real love that we know, finds it source in God. God is endlessly creating and giving love Himself.

    What is our view of Jesus (=Yahoshua)? What is the role of Jesus of Nazareth with the God of Love?

    The God of the Bible and the God of Israel called Jesus is: My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased (Mark 1:11). This makes Jesus “The Son of Love”.

    This is also how Jesus is mentioned in Colossians:

    Colossians 1:13 13 who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love; (ASV)

    and

    Colossians 1:15 15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the Firstborn of every creature. (AV)

    As the image of the invisible God, Jesus, as a living human being, literally presented the image of the living God, the God of love.

    The Bible shows a clear relationship between the God of Love and Messiah. In John 17:3 it is written that God sent Jesus for a specific purpose in that knowing the only true God and Jesus Christ, the Messiah, is eternal life.

    John 17:3 3 And this is eternal life, that they know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent. (RSV)

    The God of the Bible, the heavenly Father and Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah of God, are a unity! In John 14:6 Jesus said:

    John 14:6 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me. (RSV)

    So Messiah has been appointed to a key position!

    These days there are many millions of people, who, as we might assume – confess in all sincerity: “I believe in the God of love and His son Jesus, the Messiah.” Yet all these people have a different moral norm in their lives. How is it possible that they all say they believe the same, while having a different norm for Good and Evil, of Justice and Injustice. How is that possible?

    I think that this is also caused by ignorance. Just as one by ignorance, can create a false perception of God’s being, so also can one create by ignorance, a false perception of Jesus the Messiah.

    Just as one can create a perception of God’s being to suit one’s own wishes, then the same thing can occur with the being of Messiah.

    This has resulted in that today many churches call themselves “The church of Jesus Christ”, without knowing who Jesus Christ really is. These churches have been formed by wrong perceptions and thus cause this wrong perception to be furthered and become even more deformed.

    These type of churches can be best considered as to meeting the needs and desires of unconverted people.

    Perhaps you are wondering now, whether you have been on the wrong track. Are you sure, that your perception or view on Jesus the Christ, the Messiah, has been according to the Bible and pure? How can you know that you are not looking through the wrong spectacles?

    You can recognise the true Jesus Christ, the Messiah of the Bible, on three elementary functions, that he has simultaneously: those of King Priest and Prophet.

    Biblical Jesus Christ, the Messiah

    KING

    All power been given, to be respected

    Matthew 28:18

    PRIEST

    Mediates in the forgiving of sins

    John 3:17; Hebrews 5:9; 1Timothy 2:5

    PROPHET

    Teaches the Torah, educates

    Mark 7:6-13; Matthew 5:17-19

    Messiah as a King has been given the highest authority with all power to decide over the life and death of the faithful.

    Matthew 28:18 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. (RSV)

    Matthew 28:18 18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. (AV)

    Messiah as a Priest has been appointed the only mediator between God and man to make atonement

    John 3:17 17 For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. (RSV)

    Hebrews 5:9 9 and being made perfect he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, (RSV)

    1Timothy 2:5 5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, (RSV)

    Messiah as a Prophet has been given to be a teacher of righteousness to call and correct the faithful to obey the Torah.

    Mark 7:6-13 6 And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; 7 in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’ 8 You leave the commandment of God, and hold fast the tradition of men.” 9 And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God, in order to keep your tradition! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honour your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him surely die’; 11 but you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, What you would have gained from me is Corban’ (that is, given to God)– 12 then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, 13 thus making void the word of God through your tradition which you hand on. And many such things you do.” (RSV)

    Matthew 5:17-19 17 “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them. 18 For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. 19 Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (RSV)

    As soon as one negates one of these functions of Messiah or neglects one, then is Messiah not the Messiah of the Bible anymore. His perception or view has become incomplete and distorted.

    Biblical Jesus Christ, the Messiah

    PRIEST

    Mediates in the forgiving of sins

    John 3:17; Hebrews. 5:9;

    1Timothy 2:5

    PROPHET

    Teaches the Torah, educates

    Mark 7:6-13; Matthew 5:17-19

    NO king

    Powerless, you can make a fool of him

    Comp. Matthew 28:18

    When you neglect or negate Messiah as a King, then there remains only a caricature, which is doing atonement as a priest, and teaches the Torah and calls to obedience. If he is not a King, he has no authority or power over the faithful. He is then a figure you can make a fool of and you do not respect him. Then one has a powerless Messiah, who has no resemblance with the Messiah of the Bible, who once said:

    Matthew 28:18 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. (RSV)

    Matthew 28:18 18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. (AV)

    Biblical Jesus Christ, the Messiah

    KING

    All power been given, to be respected

    Matthew 28:18

    PROPHET

    Teaches the Torah, educates

    Mark 7:6-13; Matthew 5:17-19

    NO priest

    No mediation in the forgiving of sins. Everybody lost.

    Comp. John 3:17; Hebrews 5:9; 1Timothy 2:5

    When you neglect or negate Messiah as a Priest, then there remains only a caricature, which has all authority and power over the faithful, and as a Prophet, who teaches the Torah and corrects the faithful. However, when you do not allow him to be a Priest, then he can do no atonement for the faithful. He cannot do anything to save the faithful. He only can point to the Torah, and if the faithful sin, he only can condemn them without any mercy. There is absolutely no resemblance to the Jesus of the Bible about whom has been written:

    John 3:17 17 For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. (RSV)

    Biblical Jesus Christ, the Messiah

    KING

    All power been given, to be respected

    Matthew 28:18

    PRIEST

    Mediates in the forgiving of sins

    John 3:17, Hebrews 5:9, 1Timothy 2:5

    NO prophet

    Doesn’t teach the Torah, does not educates

    Comp. Mark 7:6-13, Matthew 5:17-19

    When you neglect or negate Messiah as a Prophet, then there remains only a caricature, who has as a King, all authority and power over the faithful, and as a Priest is doing all the atonement for the faithful. However, as he is not accepted as a Prophet, as a teacher, he neglects the correction of the faithful, as he is not pointing to the Torah. This Jesus can only be full of love and whitewash everything. He neglects the Torah.

    Such a Messiah is a bargaining Messiah, who has no resemblance to the Messiah of the Bible. The Messiah of the Bible speaks out in clear language and condemns trespasses very clearly. So he states in Mark:

    Mark 7:6-13 6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. 7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. 9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. 10 For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: 11 But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. 12 And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; 13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye. (AV)

    And Jesus stated in Matthew:

    Matthew 5:17-19 17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (AV)

    Perhaps you have had a wrong perception of God the Father and Jesus the Christ, the Messiah, He has sent. Because of that you could not love God. You do know now, that you can love the Father, the God of the Bible and Jesus Christ (Yahoshua haMashiah), and that they are entitled to your love.

    The Eternal God has said in His word:

    Jeremiah 31:3 3 The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. (AV)

    Why should you omit to improve on the quality of your life. A life with the God of the Bible is not bad at all. The God of Israel admonishes you personally:

    Proverbs 23:26 26 My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways. (AV)

    And Messiah invites you also personally:

    Matthew 11:28 28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (AV)

    And the Holy Spirit (Ruah haKodesh) speaks:

    Hebrews 3:7 7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, “Today, when you hear his voice, (RSV)

    Deuteronomy 30:15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; (AV)

    Deuteronomy 30:19 19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: (AV)

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