Last 3-5 September 2010, the Singapore Locale Coordinating Center was once again jam-packed by some 300 brethren and visitors to celebrate the 3-day International Thanksgiving or PBK 3rd Quarter. The International Thanksgiving happens only 4 times a year and this is the time when Bro. Eli Soriano, our Ingkong, shares his deeper knowledge of the bible. The simultaneous thanksgiving of all chapters and locales scattered around the world was made possible using live web streaming allowing the whole congregation to view and listen to Ingkong at real-time.
It was just the first day and Ingkong did not disappoint the brethren when he revealed insights about Moses’ ministration and the intention of putting a veil over his face. He referred St. Paul ’s letters and discussed about the glory of Moses’ countenance that was not meant to last and not for Israelites to see. On the other hand, it was the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ’s face shining like the sun at a transfiguration on a mountain that was meant to last. Ingkong also mentioned that the commandments received by Moses at Mt. Sinai actually came from an angel. It was proven to be weak according to the letters of St. Paul and therefore cannot clean a person’s conscience. Even St. Stephen, according to Ingkong, knew this earlier and he tried to preach it to the early Jews but they just cannot accept it, and instead stoned him to death.
Having heard these higher-level of analyses of the scriptures, we can only but feel truly lucky to be part of the Members of the Church of God International (MCGI). However, part of us is also saying ‘how about other people who have not heard these and they continue to believe that the commandments of Moses are still valid in this dispensation’. Is feeling pity for these people enough? No, we believe and needless to say that it is our duty to share this to the world fearless and undaunted as Bro. Eli has started it; this was his campaign ever since he started broadcasting in the ‘80s. And now, the once small group that originated from a small town in Pampanga is no longer bound in the Philippine archipelago, we are proud to say it is worldwide!!!
On the second day, the topic focused on the conscience. Ingkong defined conscience as the embassy of God on earth where messages from God were sent in our being. It is the center of our being beyond the perception of our physical senses (sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch). People seem to disregard the little great things within us. They spend so many resources exploring the outer space never realizing that there are great things unexplored on earth starting from our being. Advancements in technology such as X-rays and Magnetic Resonance Imaging allowed doctors to examine a person’s internal part, but physical science failed to examine the deeper part which is the conscience.
As Bro. Eli reads from St. Paul ’s letters, he explained that having a good conscience is one of the most important things that a Christian should have. It is linked to our faith and this is what keeps us in the Church. In explicit examples, good conscience is paying due respect to parents and vice-versa to children, living a faithful married life, paying your debts, etc. There are so many things that the conscience is capable of but some just cannot be put into words. In simple terms, it is what we use to judge and separate good from right.
Before the topic ends on that night (Philippine time), Ingkong revealed another insight on how St. Paul acquired more wisdom and knowledge than any other apostles, being able to write solely about conscience. St. Peter also acknowledges this in his letters citing that there are things hard to understand in Paul’s writings at that time. Fortunately, today we have Ingkong to explain these seemingly complicated concepts in Paul’s letters.
On the third day, Bro. Eli reemphasized the Apostle Paul’s unique teachings. Paul not only teaches about good conscience, he also teaches that God is the saviour of all men including those who had not the chance to hear the gospel and therefore had not faith. Paul writes about “his gospel” which covers the Gentiles or the non-believers and they too can be saved if they have followed their good conscience. All these wisdom of St. Paul was passed on to him by the Lord Jesus Christ himself when he was caught up in the 3rd heaven for three days. Ingkong explains that 3 days in spiritual state is just enough to absorb all these knowledge just as when the spirit of Jesus Christ went down and preached unto the spirits in prison.
As a final sharing of knowledge, Bro. Eli teaches that not all deceits and sins come from external factors but it can also come from within our hearts, just as Satan did when he said to his heart that he will ascend into heaven and be like the most High. This was the first instance when sin came into the cosmos, contrary to the belief that it started with Adam. In conclusion, Ingkong reminds all brethren to be cautious keeping our hearts and conscience clean in order to continue in the church.
These are only some of what I recall and I’m glad to share it to our readers. There are other points from Bro. Eli and Kuya Daniel I may have missed out. All I can say is thanks be to God for another wonderful International Thanksgiving experience. There is nothing like it in the whole world. We cannot wait for the next one!!!