On Monday, we had lectures at a venue that I had not previously seen. It was a hotel near the center of the city with two function rooms that were opened to form one room seating about 50-60 people. There were several members from sound congregations in the area present. Others were from an institutional group that left a larger institutional church and has been drawing closer to the truth. There were also four or five denominational preachers and a few other visitors. I noticed only one man that I had seen before at lectures in years past. It was a good opportunity for sowing the seed!
The morning session began about 9am with a lesson on “Salvation and the Seed, God’s Word” from 1 Peter 1:22-25. It was a basic lesson on the need to go to the correct source to learn about salvation (God’s word and not human thoughts or feelings) and then obey the truth learned. It was followed immediately with a lesson on the inspiration of the Bible, “God’s Use of the Prophets.” It showed that God controlled the words of the prophets and apostles to say exactly what He wanted them to say and requires that we not change that message with either additions or subtractions. Jonathan followed with a lesson on “Why People Are Lost” to end the morning lectures.
Though I had been feeling bad since the Thursday before, I really started to go down during the lunch break. I was battling a sore throat and growing laryngitis, but I got very dizzy and weak at lunch. After resting a little and drinking a lot of fluids, I decided to I could finish the day of lectures. I was able to talk with a lady that had been a close friend of Cora Vlk, a dear lady from the Philippines who worshipped with us in Florida. It was good to meet the woman and talk about Cora as she was a beloved sister in Christ who I always remember when I am in Bacolod, the city of her youth.
The afternoon lessons began with “Salvation and Saul.” It is the lesson I use most to challenge the thoughts of denomination people who think Paul (then Saul) was saved by faith only along the road to Damascus. It shows that Paul was not saved on the road to Damascus, but was saved 3 days later at the point of water baptism in the name of Christ for the remission of sins. Jack Jaco gave the next lesson in their Ilongo dialect and I am not sure what it was about as I was busy getting my next lesson ready with a few changes to adjust to the institutional folks present. I followed Jack with a lesson on “The Church” that discussed what the church is and how it is distinguished from denominations. Jack followed that lesson with an invitation. One man responded to be baptized and several expressed a desire for more studies. By the way, as I understand it, the man who was baptized had formerly been a Baptist preacher, though not with any large group.
After the invitation, we had a Question / Answer session that was rather lively. Some of the Baptist preachers tried to find various ways out of the quagmire in which they found themselves, believing that Paul was saved by faith only on the road to Damascus. Their attempts to escape led them to further problems and it was clear that they were very troubled as the session ended a little after 5pm. There were also a few questions from a denominational man would wanted to insist that there are still apostles and prophets present today. He said he thought that I was probably an apostle, but I quickly showed the qualifications of an apostle given in Acts 1 and assured him that I was NOT old enough to see the resurrected Christ.
After the lectures, I was able to eat a meal with Jack, Adel, Jireh, Shalom and Shammah Jaco. We had a good time visiting. Latter that night, I began to feel much worse while packing to leave the next morning and I did not get much sleep. By the next morning, I had begun to run a significant amount of fever as well as being very congested. The flight to Manila was a very painful experience as I could not clear my ears and the pressure caused severe pain in my head and ears. Arrival in Manila brought further problems when my hotel, which was supposed to be pre-paid, had a problem due to the lost credit card issue. I had to call Leslie very early on her Tuesday morning, but she was able to get it all straightened out. The people at the hotel know me from staying here so much and they immediately noticed that I was feeling bad. I have taken every local cure from ginger tea to anything else along with some antibiotics that I brought. Most of my time has been spent in bed and drinking water trying to help the healing process along. I think the fever is breaking now, but I still have my cold symptoms along with feeling very weak and dizzy. Lord willing, I will be flying out of here tomorrow morning about the time my brethren at home begin their Wednesday Bible studies. I am absolutely sure that I will feel much better when I see Leslie!Thank you so much for your support and prayers that make the efforts here possible! God bless.
Added Note: We have received word from some denominational people at the lectures in Cebu that several would like a follow-up opportunity for study as soon as possible. We may even have an opportunity to teach at the services of that denominational group so that all of the members would have a chance to hear. They are already making strides to leave several false doctrines and practices, having left the control of all denominations and establishing an independent congregation. The group has people who are of a great deal of influence in the Cebu area. Since we all agree that this situation deserves a priority of our attention, we are presently making plans to return at the start of my November trip, the Lord willing. Please keep this in your prayers that hearts may continue to be opened and responsive to truth!