The Salvation that is being taught by the Bible

Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano

ARE YOU AWARE THAT from the
enemies may emerge a very good friend? Like what a popular saying says, “The worst enemy is he who was once a friend.” And it could also work the other way around. One’s best friend may later on become his most bitter enemy. Just like what happened to Apostle Paul. His opposition against our Lord Jesus Christ was so strong, to the extent that he wanted to kill the Christians. Let us read a particular verse from the Holy Scriptures. Acts 22:4 says-“And I persecuted this way unto the death …” Paul’s style of persecution is different from today’s kind of persecution. That time, persecution in religion was stiffer. The Christians were being killed. As St. Paul said, “And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.” Just imagine how stiff it was? Even the women were not spared. Normally, in times of dissention, only the men get involved. But in the case of St. Paul, in his effort to persecute the early Church, both the men and the women were bound and delivered to prisons. It only shows the extreme persecution that Jesus experienced in the hands of St. Paul, who, at that time, was a leader of the Pharisees. The extent of persecution that St. Paul did may be read in Acts 22:6-7-“And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me. And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecute thou me?” He heard the voice of our Lord Jesus, who appeared to him at about noon. He asked him, “Saul, Saul, why persecute thou me?” And Saul answered. What did he tell Him? Acts 22:8-“And I answered, who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.” Jesus answered him: “I am Jesus of Nazareth, the one you are persecuting.” Up to what extent did Paul persecute the Christians? Until death! In fact, this is what Galatians 1:13 says-“For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how

The Salvation that is being taught by the Bible
Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano

that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it.” He said, he persecuted them beyond measure, and he worked for the annihilation of the Church of God. But when the time came that Paul was called by God, and was converted, they became the best of friends. There was even an instance that he made this confession that we can read in Galatians 2:20-“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me; and gave himself for me.” I told you, the worst of enemies could be the best of friends; in the same manner that the best of friends can become the worst enemies. That is why I don’t really get offended if some people are against me. I do not prejudice people. In the first place, people are bound to change; they can be transformed. It is possible that an insane becomes sane; an enemy can be transformed into a friend. And only God can do all those wondrous things, thru His words. This is the reason why we are going to talk about the word of God. We did not come here to gossip, or to do some acting here, or wave our hands. No! What we are going to do is, open the Bible, and discuss with you a topic that is frequently requested by many for me to tackle. It is all about SALVATION. That will be the core of the study that we are going to make. We will talk about SALVATION. Not that I am undermining your respective pastors, but I am presuming that all failed to make you realize that SALVATION IS AN EXACT THING What I mean to say is it is not a “trial and error” thing; it is not a question of chance, or luck, like a lotto game. No! That is not God’s style. The God of the Bible, who offers salvation to all people, is a God of love. And He is offering salvation to all. Contrary to the claim of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) of Mr. Felix Manalo that only they who will be saved; and there is no salvation to those who do not join their church. As if they had bought salvation, on wholesale or as if Manalo had purchased it wholly, so that only they have the exclusive right to it. That is not true! To teach that those who do not join their church will not be saved is a cruel and heartless doctrine. Actually, the grandfather of Manalo did not even become a member of the INC. He was already dead at the time that the INC was established in 1913. If they claim that those who did not join their church will not be saved, that would mean that they had sentenced Manalo’s grandfather to be tormented in hell! That is cruel! That is not what the Bible is saying. Let us read II Peter 3:9-“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish …” God does not want anybody to perish, or to be led to destruction. The Lord is not

The Salvation that is being taught by the Bible
Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano

slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering and not willing that any should perish. God does not want any man to perish. What does He want for them? In II Peter 3:9, we could read-“… but that all should come to repentance.” It is necessary that a person be led to repentance for him not to perish. As far as God is concerned, He doesn’t want anyone to be destroyed or to perish. But if you are going to ask the INC, they will tell you that those who would not join their church will be roasted in Hell. Obviously, the INC is opposing what the Bible says. God doesn’t want anyone to be led to destruction, and being so, what must we suppose to do? Let us ask God. “God, we do not want to be punished, so what must we do? How can we be saved?” That is our topic today. And this concerns all of us. It involves all of us, irrespective of our religious affiliation. Even if you have grown old and gray in Catholicism, you still are involved in this study. I will discuss with you the salvation, which is spoken in the Bible. I repeat, salvation is an exact thing. And when I say salvation is exact, it means, it is not based on chance. And since salvation is exact, one can neither add nor deduct anything from it. One need to abide by the Lord’s commandments completely – no more, no less! That is what God wants us to do: Obey His commandments as exactly as He had commanded them – no more, no less. The question is, If He had prohibited us from adding to it and deducting anything from it, will be fine with Him if we will add just a little and deduct just a little also? Will He permit us from doing that? For example, Deuteronomy 22:5 says-“The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.” Nowadays, it is quite hard to abide by that commandment, because, today, women prefer to wear men’s garments. And there are also men who do not simply use women’s garments, they also pluck their brows like women do. Could we possibly discard that commandment? Can we possibly make a bargain to God, and tell Him, “God, can I delete this particular part, although you said, whatsoever you have commanded must be observed without adding or deducting anything from it? Your commandment said that, a man must not put on a woman’s garment, and a woman must not wear a man’s apparel, and whoever does this is an abomination to the Lord, but can I make an appeal that this particular commandment be set aside? If you will notice, it’s a trend today that women wear pants and sport short hair, while it is fashionable among men to wear long hair.” Do you think God will grant your petition? Let us read Revelations 22:18-19-“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book,

The Salvation that is being taught by the Bible
Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano

If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” .” Therefore, God is not approving the petition. If any man shall add (to what had been written), God shall add unto him plagues. If any man takes away, God shall also take away his part in the book of life and out of the holy city, and from the things that had been written in the book. What, for example, if it’s going to be a smaller item like eyebrows, for instance. “God, it’s just an eyebrow. Will you agree if I shave it and draw another? I do not have a beautiful pair of eyebrows; I want them a little higher.” Do you think God will allow you to do that? Let us ask Him. Listen to what Matthew 5:19 says-“Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so …” Please note of Christ’s warning. “Whosoever shall break one of these least commandments …” Does God allows you to disobey even the minutest of the commandments, and teach the others to do the same? In Matthew 5:18 it says-“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.” So, you should not shave your brows. He commanded that neither one jot nor one tittle “shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” God is very specific. We are not in any way wiser than Him, that we should delete, or add, anything to what He wants. Let us learn how to obey, my fellowmen. I am calling your attention. I am challenging you. You may get angry with me if I am not telling the truth! Isn’t it that when the doctor tells us to take one tablet, three times a day, we comply with his orders? Why is it that we are abiding by the doctor’s prescriptions? Why is it that when it comes to religion, we are altering (to our favor) what God wants us to do? God said-“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.” But what did you do? You made a graven image! Don’t get offended but I will read it from a Catholic bible . This was signed by Rufino Cardinal Santos, Archiepus Manilensus, and it has a Nihil Obstat by Mario Baltazar, and with an Imprimatur by Rufino Cardinal Santos. This is what Deuteronomy 5:8 says-“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image in the likeness of anything in the heaven above, or the earth beneath, or the waters beneath the earth. Thou shall not vow down unto them nor shall worship them. For I am the Lord thy God

The Salvation that is being taught by the Bible
Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano

am a jealous God.” This is a prohibition coming from God. But why do we keep on doing still what God has prohibited us from doing? When the doctor prohibited you from eating pork, liver, and other internal organs because you are suffering from high blood pressure and arthritis, you immediately ordered your wife not to cook pork anymore. The doctor ordered you to stop smoking because it could trigger high blood pressure. You agreed right away. In fact, you even thanked the doctor before you left his clinic. But remember that, God is also prohibiting you from smoking, but you ignored his commandment. It seems that you revere and believe your doctor more than God because you followed exactly what he ordered you to do – no more, no less. It would be fatal if you take more than what the doctor prescribed. You religiously obeyed every doctor’s order. For you the doctor is very powerful. How about God? Perhaps, many consider Him as the most powerful of all, but not for you! You do what you want to do, but not what God wants you to do! That is what you are showing. That is why, if we are going to study religion, or about salvation, the foremost thing that we need to understand is the salvation that God teaches is for all. Not for them to delete, or add, anything but for them to observe to the fullest. No more, no less. How does the Bible call those who deduct and add to what God had taught us to attain salvation? In Proverbs 30:6 it says-“Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” Those who add to the words of God are liars. God said, do not add and do not take away. “If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book; And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall also take away his part out of the book of life...” ...” These verses prove how exact salvation is because God is an exact God. Perhaps, some of you might ask, Are we a part of salvation? God doesn’t want any man to perish. He doesn’t want anyone to perish; He wants you to be one of those who would be saved. I Timothy 2:4 says-“Who will have all men to be saved …” Are we included there? “Who will have all men to be saved.” Are you a man? If you are a gorilla, then, you are not included. But if you are a human being, God wants you to be saved. Whether you are a lesbian, a homosexual, a harelip, crosseyed, obese, skinny, rich, poor, or illiterate, God wants you to be saved, but not Manalo! They claim that, if you do not join their church, you will go to hell. That is why having enemies in faith is inevitable. How about you, are you not mad at me yet? You may react if you are already mad at me. The truth should be straight and exact! And if we are going to talk about salvation, let us always remember that God wants all men to be saved. He doesn’t want anyone to be led

The Salvation that is being taught by the Bible
Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano

to destruction. However, God wants us to obey His will completely and wholly. God does not want us to obey only the commandments that we want to obey. He doesn’t want us to get engaged in a religion whose doctrines are mere inventions. There are people who get in shameless religions. There are religions, which believe that God is in heaven, on earth, and in every place. In other words, they believe that God is everywhere. Isn’t it that that is the common belief? That is the common belief of many religions but not I! I have a different belief. If you will follow their line of thinking, that God is everywhere, you will eventually realize that, they, themselves, contradict their belief. Why? Let me give you an example: “Our Father, which art in heaven.” Where is God? That part of their prayer said, God is in heaven, but why are they saying that God is everywhere? Whenever you pray, you say, “Our Father, which art in heaven, Hollowed be thy name.” “Nuestro padre de el cielo”; Ama namin, nasa langit ka.” Where is God? He is in heaven! After a while, another prayer is recited. “Hail Mary, Full of grace/ The Lord is with thee.” Where is God, this time? Which is true now? Is He everywhere? Is He in heaven? Or, is He in Mary? You are fooling yourselves! If you are claiming that God is everywhere, it follows that He is also in cabarets, night clubs, sauna baths, and gambling dens because your God is everywhere. But why is it that when you pray, you say that He is in heaven? But what is worse is that when you say another prayer, you now say that He is in Mary! You are not sure anymore where God really is! Perhaps, it would be better if you say, “Our Father, who is everywhere!” And do not lift your eyes to heaven anymore, and do not recite the other prayer anymore. Do not say, “The Lord is with thee.” You have said it right when you said that, He is in heaven. But it is not true that God is everywhere. I will give you an example. You called on your child, and you told him, “Child, please hang the laundry in the clothesline in our backyard because the sun is there.” Is that right, or wrong? That is wrong! It is not true that the sun is in their backyard. If that is so, then, their house could have been burned and reduced to ashes already. Where is the sun? The sun may be about 92 million miles away from the earth. But despite the distance, the rays of the sun could reach even the farthest part of the world. The same thing is true with God. God is in heaven, but He could go wherever He wants to go. But it is wrong to believe that God is everywhere. This is what Acts 17:24 says-“God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands.” The God who made the world and all the things therein … the Lord of heaven and earth does not dwell in temples made by hands. He does not dwell in temples made by men. Does God dwell in temples? The Bible said, “NO!” However, the Iglesia ni Cristo, in the August 1969 issue of their "Pasugo" said “We are

The Salvation that is being taught by the Bible
Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano

summoned by the Lord God to serve him in the body, or the Church of God,. We have to worship him in the house where his spirit dwells like the modern house of worship pictured above.” They said, we must worship God in the Church of God or in a house of worship, where his spirit dwells. Obviously, the INC is opposing Christ. Through Paul, Christ said that God does not dwell in temples made by men. For the INC, their god dwells in their chapel in Roosevelt. For the Catholics, God dwells in their churches, but in reality only the priests is dwelling there. How can we be saved when the teachings that we received were all contradictory to what the Bible teaches. You may get mad at me for telling you this, but I don’t care! I am ready to endure your anger, just for you to be saved. So, if we really want to study salvation, we must not forget that, salvation is an exact thing. But, where can we find salvation? Where are we going to base our belief, our obedience? Who are we going to obey? What must be our basis, if we want to be saved? Romans 1:16 says-“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.” Are we included there, brothers and sisters? Yes, we are. However, before we can be included, please note of what St. Paul said, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel …” Therefore, if we are going to study about salvation, we need to be guided by the Gospel. If St. Paul said that he is not ashamed of the Gospel, the more we should not be ashamed of it! I am not ashamed of the Gospel. With my head up high, I will shout to all that, salvation is in the Gospel. I don’t care if other people get mad at me. The Gospel is more reliable than hearsays. There are a lot of beliefs out there which you could not be proud. According to the Mormons, God is of flesh and bone, and the reason why God begot many children is because he espoused many women. In “Doctrines and Covenants” section 120, this is what verse 122 says, “The father has a flesh and bone as tangible as man is.” They had made God like a human being that has flesh and bone. And since he is just like a man, he could also marry and beget children. And how many wives are they entitled to have? (132:61-62): “And again as pertaining to the laws of the priesthood – if any man espoused a virgin and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espoused the second, and they are virgins, and have not vowed to another man: then he is justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else. And if he had 10 virgins given unto him by this law he cannot commit adultery; for they belong unto him, and they are given unto him therefore he is justified.” Did you see the lust for women of the leader of the Mormons? They can have as many wives, even 10, provided they are virgins. See how foolish this doctrine is?

The Salvation that is being taught by the Bible
Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano

Who taught this? Joseph Smith! How many wives did Joseph Smith have? Let us read from “Cults and Isms”: “Mormonism seeks to reduce God into a carnal plane and even ascribes unto him human method of reproduction fully in keeping with the immortal and polygamous character of Smith and Young who had forty-eight and twenty-five wives respectively, and the latter, 46 children.” So, Joseph Smith had 48 wives. How about in the Bible, does God permit a minister, or a bishop, to have as much as 48 wives? In I Timothy 3:2, “A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife …” How many wives must a minister, or a bishop, of Christ have? Only ONE ! Joseph Smith had 48. A belief that has no Biblical basis is shameful. Like this one … “Friend, we are going ahead because we still have an appointment somewhere.” Her friend answered, “Couldn’t you leave a little later? We’re still eating.” “But we have an appointment …” “Well, it’s you that I am worried about. If you really like to leave, you may just rotate the plates so that you won’t meet any accident on the road.” Did you get that? The reason why she didn’t want her friend to leave was because she was not through eating yet. Their belief was that, he who leaves in the middle of a meal will meet an accident. And to prevent this from happening, the plates on the table must be rotated. Therefore, their fortune, or misfortune, depends on the plates. Question: Where did that belief come from? What was its basis? SALVATION HAS A DEFINITE AND EXACT BASIS! In Arithmetic: 1+1=2, 2+4=6 and 6x6=36. The answer is always definite. Since I was young, it had always been that way. Nothing changed. 6x6 has always been 36; it never became 48. The answer is fixed. If you want to confirm that 6x6=36, you follow another operation. Count by six: 6, 12, 18, 24, 30, 36. “Let’s start from the very beginning/A very good place to start/ When you read you begin with ABC/ When you sing you begin with DO-RE-MI … Do, a deer, a female deer/ Re, a drop of golden sun/ Mi, a name I call myself/ Fa, along, long way to run/ So, a needle pulling thread/ La, a note to follow sol/ Ti, a drink with jam and bread/ That will bring us back to Do …” If you have mastered the musical notes, no matter what rearrangement they make to the song, you can still follow. Any musical composition is based on the notes; computations are based on mathematical operations. And when it comes to salvation, there should also be a basis. What should be our basis? Take these for example: “Do not sweep the floor at night time; the blessings will go out of the house.” Or, “Put it off for tomorrow when the sun has risen, because God showers His blessings the moment the sun rises.” You mean to say, God does not shower His blessings at night? Many people do their work in the evening. Will that mean that they will not receive any blessings for their labor because it is when the sun rises that God showers His blessings everywhere? Where did you get those beliefs? During interments, young kids are being lifted and are made to

The Salvation that is being taught by the Bible
Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano

cross over the coffin because they believe that in doing this no other member of the family will pass away soon. Can you ever prevent death? Where did you get that belief? Does it have any basis? Is it written in the Bible? Is that a word of God? Or, is it a mere superstitious belief that had been handed down to us, and we did not even bother to check where such a belief came from, and if it has any basis? “Cheers!” “Give me a toast!” What is its basis? Where did you get the idea that when there is a celebration, you need to toast before drinking? You have to find out first where that practice began. Find out why it is bad to take a bath during Good Friday, and why is it prohibited to laugh and to eat meat (during Good Friday). Granting that it is really prohibited to eat meat, what do you take as a substitute? A kilo of beef costs P120. But since one must abstain from eating meat, what did the rich do instead? Instead of meat, they bought blue marlin, which costs P350. (Blue marlin is a good tasting fish.) I thought you are making a sacrifice? It is true that you did not eat meat, which costs P120 a kilo, but what did you buy instead? Crabs and blue marlin, which are more expensive than meat! What kind of a sacrifice is that? And where did you get the belief that, it is also prohibited to take a bath during Good Friday because God is dead at that moment? There is also a belief that, during Good Friday, a person may get the chance to own an amulet, or a charm, if he is able to swallow the crystal-like fluid that comes out of a banana blossom!