Faith must have a Basis

Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano

IN DEALING WITH PEOPLE that we
meet in the different places that we go, more often than not, there are misunderstandings that arise. And that is inevitable because we have different religious affiliations. I hope that the Lord will help us understand each other by means of His words in the Bible. Sometimes also, it can’t be helped that you feel slighted whenever the faith that your pastor, or your religious leader instilled in you, is being questioned. For example, if you are a believer that Christ is just a man, you will definitely get angry if somebody will insist that Christ is God. Therefore, if we are divided in our beliefs, if there is factionalism among us, it is not really your fault. Instead, it is the fault of our pastors, who fed us with wrong beliefs. This is whatII Peter 2:1says-“But there were false prophets who among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that brought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.” There was somebody who claimed that he had been hit by a truck, yet, he incurred no bruises, while the truck was totally wrecked. Who did he think he was, Incredible Hulk? Can you imagine that? He was not wounded when the truck hit him, while Christ was wounded by nails when He was crucified. But where did this incredible belief come from? St. Peter said, it was taught by false prophets. And each time that I visit the different parts of the country, I make it a point to discuss this matter to our fellowmen, in our desire to open their minds. I try to make them realize that not everything that they hear must be kept, right away, in their hearts and minds and that they must not believe things easily. FAITH must have a basis. We do not know if you will agree with me. But, isn’t it that if we are going to study music, we must be guided by the musical notes? And if you want to learn how to compute, you must be guided by the arithmetical operations? But lately, we found out that, sometimes, even Arithmetic can be wrong. Why did I say that? Isn’t it that in school, we were taught that, in order to determine the circumference of a circle, we have to multiply the diameter with the pi 3.1416? That is what we know, and that is correct from your first to your eleventh computations. But when you do the 12th until the 500th computations, the multiplier should no longer be 3.1416. The 16 will now become 159, to be exact. This was proven when the computers were used in computing the circumference of a circle. What are we trying to say? If things, which already have bases, could still go wrong, what more if there is no basis at all?

Faith must have a Basis
Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano

The same thing is true among doctors. What might be true today may no longer be true the next day; what may be true to one patient may not be effective to another. Sometimes, doctors handle things on a case to case basis. A dosage that is being given to an individual cannot be given to all. A certain dosage could be effective to one patient but not to all. What are we trying to point out? If those who are guided by basis can still go wrong, how much more if there are no basis at all? This is the reason why before we accept a certain belief, or faith, before we keep it in our heart and in our mind, we must try it first. That is a law of God. This is what I Thessalonians 5:21-22 says-“Prove all things, hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.” God said, “Prove all things, hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.” That is very clear. There is evil, and if you will not try things, you might be deceived. You might mistake evil as good and good as evil, if you will not prove all things first. God wants all things to undergo a trial. “Prove all things, hold fast that which is good.” When will you come to realize which is good? After you have tried all things? There is a need to prove all things because evil can disguise as good. In II Corinthians 11:13 it says-“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light” Therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” That is why we have to try things first before we accept that they are correct because there are false apostles, according to the Bible, who pretend to be apostles of Christ. They are in disguise. That is why you cannot discern immediately that they are not of God. “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as ministers of righteousness.” It is on this aspect that I want to stir your consciousness. Before we start believing in something, let us seek for some proofs first. When can a husband say that his wife is faithful, and she’ll remain true even if he works in Saudi Arabia for eight years? He must have a basis in believing that way. Had he tested her fidelity? If he had tested and proven her fidelity, then, he can trust and believe in his wife. But if he had not tested her, there is a possibility that when he returns home, he will end up singing: “Napakasakit, Kuya Eddie.” (It’s very painful.). When you left, the two of you only have one child, but when you returned home, there are already three children. How could she have conceived two more children when you were in another country? It could not have happened via mail! That only proves that your wife is unfaithful. And now, you have a strong basis in believing

Faith must have a Basis
Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano

so. The reason why we are able to give our trust to a person is because we have proven for ourselves that he is trustworthy. That is what we must exercise before we instill something in our heart and in our mind. But if we believe in something, which we have not tested yet, chances are, we will end up believing in something that is wrong, and which is not of God. Today, a lot of people believe in things, which do not have any basis. Where did you get the belief that when you jump three times and shout, “Hallelujah, praise the Lord,” the devil will be driven away? Is it based on a comic book story? Or, did you read it from a tabloid, which was used as a wrapper of smoked fish? Did it have any biblical basis? Did the Bible mention that, after jumping three times, the devil will be driven away? Give me a biblical basis that, in praying, we need to raise our hand and wave, and say, “Dearest Jesus, thank you Lord Jesus, hooo!” You deserve a slap in the face! You are overacting! Do those things have any basis? If your pastor is asking you to beg for money in the streets, in market places, or in buses, ask him what is his basis in letting you do that? If he has any, find out if his basis will pass both the moral and the biblical standards. If his basis does not pass the biblical standards, that means, it should not be accepted. For it to be accepted as a universal truth, it must pass all standards of truth. It is not a universal truth if it is true only to a particular group. For example, it is a generally accepted fact that, to get the circumference of a circle, you must multiply its diameter by 3.1416. However, as the number gets bigger, it is no longer advisable that we still use the multiplier 3.1416. It now requires a more exact number. The last number, which is 6, will be changed to 159, otherwise, there will be a discrepancy in the result. The same problem is possible to arise in religion if we will not be properly guided by a basis. Let me give you an illustration. For the Born Again, smoking is prohibited. It is prohibited, isn’t it? Who among you are members of the Born Again? Isn’t it that smoking is prohibited in your group? If you are going to ask your pastor why smoking is prohibited, he will tell you that it is bad to one’s health. Am I right? Now, if you will ask him, how about drinking coffee? Shouldn’t they also prohibit the drinking of coffee because it is also bad to one’s health? And he will tell you, “no”. But why? If smoking is prohibited because it is hazardous to one’s health, then, drinking coffee must also be prohibited because it can also do harm to the body. In other words, the doctrine that smoking must be prohibited because it damages one’s health is just a part of the truth, because aside from smoking, there are other things, which we intake that is hazardous to our health, but they are not prohibited. Let me illustrate it further. Smoking is bad because, when you smoke, you inhale carbon monoxide, aside from the fact that, cigarette contains nicotine, tar, and

Faith must have a Basis
Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano

other substances. But, is there a difference between smoking a cigarette in Laguna and inhaling the polluted air in Metro Manila? Is there any difference in terms of damage done to the body? The cigarette smoke, which you inhaled in Laguna, contains as much poison as the air that you are going to inhale in Metro Manila. If you are going to apply the premise that was laid earlier that, smoking is bad because it is hazardous to one’s health, then, you must also prohibit people from going to Manila because the air there is also hazardous to health! Did you get my point? Remember, your basis in prohibiting smoking is that it is harmful to one’s health. It follows that going to Manila should also be prohibited because the air that you are going to inhale there is also hazardous to health. Do you know that Metro Manila is the 3rd most polluted city in the world? Apparently, we have become globally competitive, not in terms of productivity, or industrialization, but in terms of pollution. And when it comes to population, we rank number five. In other words, before we entertain something in our mind, we have to find out first if it has any basis. Let us examine if its basis is acceptable. Like in singing, “When you read you begin with ABC When you sing you begin with do-re-mi Do-re-mi … The first three notes just happened to be do-re-mi Do-re-mi-fa-sol-lati ... Do, a deer, a female deer Re, a drop of golden sun Mi, a name I call myself Fa, a long, 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 understand music, especially if you can read musical notes, even if you reverse their order, if you have memorized the notes, you can never go wrong. You have a way of knowing the melody of a song, even if you have not heard it yet if you know how to read notes. By playing the piano, you get to know its melody, and you also get the chance of memorizing the song. Therefore, in music, we depend to the (musical) notes. In Arithmetic, 1+1=2; 2+2=4; 4+4=16; 16+16=32; 32+32=64. If you are going to study Arithmetic, you must know first the numbers 1 to 10. Counting 1 to 10 is a primary knowledge. Let me give you a situation. If you are going to count from 1 to 10,000,000, how many number 7 will you be able to use? Isn’t it that, if you are going to count from 1 to 10 million, what we know is that, we are going to use the numbers 1 to 10 one million times? But that is not really so. If you are going to count 1 to 10 million, and if you are going to jot down the numbers, you will find out that, after counting 1 to 10 million, you were able to use the number 7 more frequently than the other numbers. The number 7 is used one million and twentyseven times in counting 1 to 10 million. But what we know is that, numbers 1 to 10 will be used in one million times in counting 1 to 10 million. (If you are going to write down the numbers, you will find out that, the number 7 will be used one million and twenty-seven times.) Therefore, it is not true that in 10 million, there are one million number 1, one million number 2, one million number 3, and so on. If you are going to count 1 to one million, the numbers 1 to 10 will be used evenly, but it is not true if you will count from 1 to 10 million. In 10 million, the number 7 will be used more frequently than the other numbers. In other words, what was true in the primary level may not be true in the secondary and tertiary

Faith must have a Basis
Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano

levels. Things are bound to become more complicated as you move higher, especially in matters concerning music, computation, or Arithmetic, Medicine, and Law. As you get higher, things become more complicated, but most especially in matters of religion. Spiritual matters have many complications. If you accept something, which you do not understand, and which you have not proven yet, you are already in the wrong path. That is why when I had a debate against one religious leader, I asked him if their reason in prohibiting smoking is that, it is bad to one’s health, isn’t it that the air in Manila is also hazardous? Because in Manila, you will inhale not just cigarette smoke, but there are smokes emitted by buses and factories. Is there any difference between standing in the middle of Quiapo and smoking two packs of cigarettes? Both are hazardous to one’s health. So, we must realize that there are more valid reasons why smoking must be prohibited. Not just because it is harmful to one’s health. It is just like the alibi that others are giving on why they are kneeling before graven images of saints. They claim that, they are kneeling before graven images but that gesture is intended for God. And if, for instance, they are kissing the statue of St. John, that kiss is actually meant for Christ! On the other hand, the others would say that, they are not really worshipping statues and images, but God with which the statue represents. Okay, fine. It sounds good. But, what if I kiss your wife, and then, I tell you, “Don’t get mad, anyway, that kiss is not really meant for your wife.” Will that be alright with you (that your wife be the receiver of a kiss, which is not actually meant for her)? You are a fool if you give your consent to that! And do you think that it is also fine with God that you give a piece of wood, or stone, a kiss, which is meant for Him? Will that be possible? Does it have any basis? Everything in this world must have a basis. One time, I commended Ka Oscar Orbos when he said, everything that we must do must have a basis. For example, you went to the market; you bought some food; when you went home, you cooked, and fed your children. Did you have a reason for doing those things? Yes! You fed them because they are your children. Do you have a basis why you must surrender your salary to your wife? Yes, because she is your wife. But, is it proper that you give your salary to any other woman? No! You do not have any basis in doing that. How about sweeping the streets of Metro Manila? What is your basis in sweeping the streets of Metro Manila? Do you know how busy the streets are of Metro Manila? If you are a pedestrian, you are not supposed to walk, or cross, anywhere you want to. However, if you are a Metro Aide . . . if you had been tasked to sweep the streets of Metro Manila, then, you have a basis in doing so. Do you have now a basis? Yes! The city office has designated you to perform that task. In fact, you even receive compensation for fulfilling that responsibility. But, if your task is to sweep the streets of Manila, and you swept the streets of Calamba instead, do you think your labor will be compensated? You must be out of your mind! Who told you to sweep the streets of Calamba? Do you have any basis? Bear in mind that,

Faith must have a Basis
Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano

in anything that we do, we must always have a basis! For example, what is my basis in coming here? If I do not have a basis, then, you’ll probably heap curses upon my person. But, I have a reason, or a basis, for coming here. The brethren here (Calamba) invited me to speak before you. And for that reason, even if I keep on talking for hours, I wouldn’t be out of place, and you wouldn’t have a reason to get mad at me, because I have a basis for being here. You may get mad, perhaps, if my invitation is to speak here in UP Los Baños, but instead of going here, I went instead to San Pedro, Laguna, and there I gave my talk while you were waiting for me here; or perhaps, if I just grabbed the microphone from somebody who is already speaking. That wouldn’t be right because I didn’t have any basis. The same thing must be true in religion. We must always have a basis. And what should be our basis? Read “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.” If you are teaching Christ’s doctrines, do not derive your teachings from the dictionary. If you are teaching about the “angel ascending from the east,” you must not refer to books on World History. Why will you refer to a book on World History and the Dictionary when you read it from the Bible? Are the Dictionary and the book on World History your basis? There are preachers, who, after reading the word “angel” from the Bible, consult the Webster’s Dictionary to determine its meaning. Why seek for an explanation from the dictionary? If you read if from the Bible, search the Bible for its meaning! What is an angel? The Bible says, an angel is a spirit. How about Webster’s meaning? Is it also a human being? Why are you basing your explanation from the dictionary and World History books? That means that your faith is dependent on Webster and on World History books, when it should be based on the Bible! Am I right, brothers and sisters? When you read that Eve was tempted by a serpent, will you refer to Zoology to understand it? You‘ve read the serpent from the Bible. Therefore, you must search for its meaning from the Bible also. Many of us have been misled. Now, let me ask you, who visited Jesus when he was born in a manger in Bethlehem? We were taught that, he was visited by the 3 kings! That is a big foolishness! It is not true that the 3 kings were the first to visit the newborn Jesus in Bethlehem! Do you know who were the first to receive the tidings that Jesus had been born that evening, and the first to visit him as well? Let us read Luke 2:8-11-“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger. And suddenly there

Faith must have a Basis
Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano

was with the angel of multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from thee into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go over unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.” Who were the first to come? The shepherds! But, what were we made to believe? We were made to believe that the first to be where Jesus was, were the 3 wise kings, namely Melchor, Gaspar, and Balthazar. Actually, those three kings were not really wise. If they were indeed kings, why did they travel without companions? There are no kingdoms, which allow their ruler to travel without any aide or escort because they want to assure the security of their king. The normal practice is that, kings are joined by an entourage wherever they go in order to prevent the occurrence of any untoward incident. The Bible does not give any account that Jesus was visited by 3 (wise) kings in the manger, where he was born. The shepherds, who were told by the angel on the eve of Jesus’ birth, were the first to visit him in the manger. Also, the Bible never mentioned of three kings, but magi, or wise men. But when the wise men came, was Jesus still in the manger? Not anymore! He was already at home. What kind of a mother Mary could have been if, even after 2 years, she still let Jesus stay in the manger? Wasn’t it that King Herod told the wise men that should they find the newborn king, they must let him know so that, he, too, could go there to worship him? However, the wise men were warned in a dream that, they must not return to Herod because he would kill the child. So, they did not return to him anymore. But, later, Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the wise men, so, he ordered that all the young boys in Judea, from age 2 and below, must be slain. Why? He ordered that children, whose ages are 2 years and below, must be killed because, it was already almost 2 years since Jesus was born. Therefore, when the wise men found Jesus, He was no longer in a manger. The truth is that, it is in Joseph and Mary’s house that the wise men saw and worshipped Jesus. This is written in Matthew 2:11-“And when they were come unto the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.” They came to the house, not in a manger. Mary and Joseph had gone home. That is why, the depiction of Bethlehem during Christmas, with the three kings and the shepherds visiting the newborn Jesus in a manger, is wrong! It is as if, the shepherds and the magi see one another in the manger. That is not true! Christ is already two years old when the wise men found him. On the day that Herod ordered the slaughter of young boys, which we reminisce today as Niños Inocentes, our Lord Jesus was almost two years old already. That is the truth. That is a simple truth, which is written in the Bible. But, we had been misled, my countrymen.

Faith must have a Basis
Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano

“. . . In the fields as they lay They lay keeping their sheep On a cold winter night That was so very deep.”

That is a gross stupidity! You know why? Imagine? “In a field where they lay keeping their sheep on a cold winter night that was so deep.” No shepherd in his right mind will bring his sheep in the fields, which is covered with snow! They will all tremble because of the chill. Anyway, they have a barn; they might as well feed their sheep in the barn on a cold December night. It snows in Bethlehem during December. Actually, as early as November, it is already snowing. How much more when December comes? If that is the case, why will the shepherds bring their sheep out, into the field? Have you heard of sheep eating snow? What do sheep eat? Grasses! Are there grasses growing during winter? None! Bethlehem was practically covered with snow, so it was impossible that shepherds would be bringing their sheep out into the fields on December 25! Isn’t it that we were made to believe that Jesus was born on December 25? “. . . On a cold winter night that was so deep.” For a long time, we were made to believe that, myself included. In fact, I had memorized that song when I was in grade 4. I used to sing that song, and I still know the song up to now. Later on, I realized that it was wrong. I found out that, it was not true that Jesus was born in December 25, and that, he was visited by the three kings! The Bible never mentioned of any three kings. Therefore, where did that belief come from? Where did it come from when it did not have even the slightest basis? What is disappointing is that, even the INC believes that there were three kings who visited Jesus. I saw it in their “Pasugo”. That issue of the “Pasugo” put the INC in a very embarrassing situation. And why not? Imagine, they’ve been criticizing the Catholics, but they were enticed by the Catholics in their belief that, Jesus was visited by the three kings! We need to have a basis. Please, don’t get angry with me. I could see some of you are already frowning. I wonder why there are people who would still frown at you for telling the truth! Others do not just frown; they would even leave you if they didn’t like what you are saying. Some of you might say, “Why did you call the three kings “stupid”? Because they were really stupid! Isn’t it stupidity on their part, as kings, to journey without companions? Others would perhaps remark, “Why are you using profane language?” I am not! Are the words “stupid” and “foolish” profane? Where can you see kings traveling all by themselves – without any escorts? In reality, wherever kings go, they are escorted by soldiers. Besides, the Bible never mentioned of three kings. What the Bible mentioned is “wise men.” As to how many they were, the Bible did not tell. They could be 4, or 5, or 10, or 12. But there is no specific number given. It just said, wise men, not three wise men. If you want to confirm, you may read Matthew 2:1-3. You may

Faith must have a Basis
Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano

see for yourselves that I am not cheating you. I hope that, even if we only had a short time together, I was able to teach you something to ponder on. That is my utmost goal. Now, if you want to sneer at me, it is also fine with me. Anyway, we are not really related to each other; you are not my relatives. But, nevertheless, I want to enlighten your minds. That is the kind of love that I know . . . a love that wants to rectify the mistakes of one’s fellows. If you truly love your fellows, you must lead him to what is right when you know that he is in the wrong. I care for my fellow Filipinos. As former President Joseph Estrada once said, nobody will care for the Filipinos but the Filipinos themselves. Many foreigners have come to our country but they only deceived us. We can have no other ally except our fellow Filipino . . . a Filipino, who speaks clearly . . . a Filipino who knows every righteous thing that the Bible says. I am extending you whatever I can offer, my countrymen. That is what I am here for. I believe that I have an obligation to impart to my fellowmen the truths that I know which are all based on the Bible. If I do not have any basis, I will never dare to talk about this with you. What am I going to tell you, if I do not have any basis? You are all educated people. We are not illiterate. Most Filipinos are literate. If I am only going to talk of falsehood, I would rather go home. I am not like the others who claim that they know of a secret, but refuse to divulge it. But if you force them, then, they will speak. That is foolishness. In speaking of the truth, you do not have to be forced. You do not have to force me just to make me speak of the truth. I will speak of the truth even if you get mad at me. Even if you get mad at me, I will still say that there were no three kings who visited Christ when he was born. It is also not true that when they came, they saw Jesus lying in a manger. If that were true, that would make Mary a non-sense mother. Imagine, letting her child stay in the manger for two years! Actually, they had to settle then for a manger because all the lodging places in Bethlehem that time were all occupied. There was not a single vacant room. They had nowhere to stay. Do you know why there were many people in Bethlehem that time? It was because the governor gave an order that all the citizens must register. It was like a census. They were all going to the capitol to register. Those who lived in far places had to seek refuge in lodging places. That was the reason why Joseph and Mary failed to get a room because they were all occupied. So, they had no choice except to settle for a manger. And there, Jesus was born. But it did not mean that Jesus stayed there for two years. That would make Joseph and Mary irresponsible parents. I know you understand what I am saying. It is wrong to believe in something that does not have a basis. Let us believe only when there is a basis. For example, a father was bragging about his son. He was saying that, he was very proud of his son because he never lies. His son is very honest. One time, his

Faith must have a Basis
Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano

son came home from school very happy. He told his father, “Father, all of us were questioned by our teacher, and only I was able to answer her question.” Upon hearing that, the father was delighted, and he expressed pride in his son. But when his excitement had subsided, he asked his son, “I am really intrigued by your story that nobody among your classmates, except you, was able to answer your teacher’s question. Now, tell me, what question did your teacher ask?” The child replied, “Our teacher asked who among us broke the glass on the table. Everybody was quiet, so I answered, I did, ma’am!” That is what most religions today are like. They teach nothing but foolishness. They teach things without any basis. There should be a basis. I hope you won’t mind, but I just want you to see for yourself if we have a basis in doing some things. An example is the sign of the cross. Catechism taught us that, making a sign of the cross means to be delivered from one’s enemies. That was stated in a book on Catechism written by Fr. Hernando Antiporda and Monsignor Abrion. On page 1, it says, “Ang tanda ng Santa Krus – Ipagadya mo kami, Panginoon naming Diyos, sa aming mga Kaaway.” (Lord, deliver us from our enemies.) Therefore, the sign of the cross is being made to be delivered from one’s enemies. That is why whenever you descend the stairs, whenever you travel, especially at night, you make a sign of the cross, because you want to be delivered from your enemies. If it is dark outside, or if the dogs howled, you also make a sign of the cross, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. When lightning strikes, and when thunder roars, you also make a sign of the cross, because you want to be delivered from your enemies. However, why is it that whenever you pass by a church, you also make sign of the cross? What does that imply? Are you going to give a different meaning to the sign of the cross, this time? Is there another meaning to the sign of the cross? If there is, it would mean that there is a double standard. It has no basis! It will no longer be correct. Catechism says, it means to be delivered from enemies. When there was a procession, and the statue of Mary was going to pass, you again make a sign of the cross. What does that mean? You, be the judge. I don’t want you to be angry with me; I just want you to think and reflect my countrymen. Whatever belief we want to keep in our heart and in our mind must have a basis, so that we won’t look disgraceful in the eyes of God and of other people. We must always have a basis.

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