A PASTORS’ REVOLUTION

JIL Pastors’ Congress 2013

Every year, the phenomenal has been commonplace in every JIL Pastors’ Congress. To expect for anything less than this when hundreds of pastors gather for the glory of our Lord would be shortchanging the power of the Living God.

But this year, it was different. It was more than phenomenal. It was revolutionary.

A revolutionary message

Had the speakers cried out for peace, the Congress would have been as mind-blowing and dynamic as it has always been. But they did not.

They cried, of all things, for war.

They cried for an all-out war for righteousness to prevail… for GOD to be lifted high. In the Church, in the eight pillars of society, in all the earth –

  • Urging every pastor to consecrate their lives in service to the one true God, Rev. Joey Crisostomo cried for a Revolution of Righteousness in One’s Calling
  • Upholding the faith expressions given by God to this church born from His very heart, Rev. Bobot Bernardo cried for a Revolution of Righteousness in Our Doctrines
  • Acknowledging God’s distinct calling for the JIL Church, Rev. Bong Gonzales cried out for a Revolution of Righteousness in the Ministry
  • Trumpeting the same cry, Dr. Dory Villanueva’s teaching caused a disturbance in the tranquility of each pastor’s heart that they may answer the call for a Revolution of Righteousness in Our Devotion to God.
  • And capping it all off, Bishop Bro. Eddie Villanueva admonished every pastor that a revolution of righteousness starts from within, from a life fully yielded to the Living God.

The revolutionary response

And so the revolution began.

There was no shedding of blood, only tears. There was no breaking of bodies, only hearts.

As the Holy Spirit swept over the place, hands lifted up in abandonment, knees bent in submission and hearts bowed in surrender. Everywhere, pastors were giving their everything to God and pledging their lives in faithful service to Him.

It was a moment to behold.

It was the moment when God’s mighty army was stirred up and built up: an army of pastors who were, are, determined to fight for God’s cause… resolved to endure anything for God’s purposes… and happy to live – even pay the price – for God’s glory.

Their revolutionary power

Unlike every mighty army known to man, this army held no guns; they had no bullets or any form of destructive ammunition. Their forts and citadels hold no arsenals or artilleries. By every worldly standard, they can’t possibly be a mighty army – weaponless and defenseless as they seemed.

But they are mightier than any army this world has ever known for they are not powerless. Because they have the greatest power of all:

The Almighty GOD, who –

created the heavens and the earth by His power (Jeremiah 32:17);
is greater than the one who is in the world (1 John 4:4); and
has actually overcome the world (John 16:33).

And He is sure to bring His army to victory.

A revolutionary result

Clothed with righteousness in their calling, equipped with righteousness in doctrines, briefed with righteousness in the ministry, armed with righteousness in devotion and fortified with these foundational principles in war: that there are no battles worth fighting for more worthy than those fought in the name of the Lord our God and that, there are no strategies of war that can truly bring down the enemies unless they are fought by men and women of God who fight in complete surrender to the Living God.

With this great power backing them, JIL pastors are now, more than ever before, geared up as they fulfill God’s divine calling in their lives – fighting the good fight of faith, trampling the works of the enemy, and bringing peoples closer to Jesus Christ – all for God’s glory!

Sesa: God’s Mighty Princesses

By Michelle Cristina Gamutan

 

It was a perfect night: clear, star-filled sky, and people of all ages happily singing and dancing with the music, lifting their hands to praise the One who made all these possible.  The Jesus Is Lord (JIL) Church Worldwide’s 35th Anniversary thanksgiving was marked with a showcase of God-given talents at the onset of its program. One such performance drew screams from the huge crowd gathered at the Luneta Grandstand when a group of talented musicians who call themselves “Sesa” stepped on stage.  

“Sesa” sang a medley of songs that gave praises to the Lord: Kaharian Mo, Panginoon, and Extreme, among others .

The anniversary theme, “Revolution of Righteousness,” resonates among these girls as we chat with them after their performance:

As a performer, what does it mean for you when you heard about the theme, “Revolution of Righteousness”?

Acel: We are not righteous. Righteousness comes from the Lord and we are made righteous because of Jesus Christ. When I heard about Revolution of Righteousness, na-remember ko si Jesus, He made that revolution 2,000 years ago when He died for us. As believers, we have to stand for that change, we have to appropriate what Jesus did.

Yeng: Sa akin naman, kaya nakakayanan natin mabuhay in righteousness because Jesus is in us. Sabi sa Bible, kung ano ang laman ng puso, ito ang lumalabas (Luke 6:45) so whatever is inside you, let it shine forth! Huwag kang mahiya, huwag kang mag-hold back, huwag kang maghesitate, even if feeling mo magiging mag-isa ka sa path na iyon, magisa kang magsstand for it, you knew that you are pleasing God, yun ang pinakaimportante sa lahat.

What motivates you to remain a catalyst in your industry in this revolution that we speak about?

Acel: Iyon din ang isa sa mga reason kung bakit namin inumpisahan ang movement ng Sesa. We wanted to produce something na may positive na tema, na maglalagay ng idea sa iba kung alin ang tama. 

Of all your numerous performances, what makes this event stand out for you?

Yeng: Lahat naman ng performances, significant naman eh, no matter if it is with a big crowd or mall crowd. Every time that we are given the opportunity to speak, it is significant dahil binigyan ka ng time ni Lord na magsalita.  Ang kaibahan lang, mas marami talaga ang crowd dito and it makes us so happy kasi kahit we all come from different churches, except for Karmi, but we are part of one body, parte tayo ni Jesus Christ. Sobrang nakakatuwa kase kahit magkakaiba tayo ng pangalan ng pinanggalingan, ramdam mo na parte ka pa rin, masaya ang pakiramdam na you still belong. Iisa lang ang Diyos na sinasamba natin at iisa lang ang goal and that is to preach the Gospel and let the whole world know that Jesus is Lord.

Karmi: Gaya ng sabi ni Yeng na kahit saan ka nagpeperform, yung binigay sa iyo ni Lord na talent na ibibigay mo, lalo na kapag feeling mo part ng sarili mo binibigay mo kay Lord sa bawat pagtugtog. Nagwo-worship ka kapag inaalay mo yung sarilimo kahit papano, kahit saang paraan ko nabibigay ang sarili ko. 

What message would you like to leave all the JIL people worldwide who are celebrating tonight?

Karmi: Sa perspective na taga-dito ako sa JIL nakaka-“wow” talaga yung small beginnings na dati walang bubong at nakapayong lang kapag nagppreach tapos ngayon ganito na.  Kaya nag-explode talaga dahil sa mga nakita at naranasan na signs, wonders at miracles, mga healing at answered prayers. Napaka-thankful ko na dito ko nakilala si Lord at buong family ko ay nandito sa JIL. Glory to God!

Acel: Coming naman from a non-JIL church, yung kwento kanina how this church began 35 years ago, it’s nice to remember how it began and to not forget the faithfulness of God. To remember how it grew because God made it grow. We have talents, wisdom, and gifts that came from God but it is the grace of God that made it all happen. It’s nice to celebrate and to remember the faithfulness ni God. Continue having that passion, continue ang sinimulan ninyo, don’t stop what you’re doing hanggang sa mayroon pang hindi nakakakilala sa pangalan ni Hesus. Declare that Jesus is Lord even in how we all live our lives, all the believers should be living as an example. 

Julie: Unang-una, happy 35th anniversary sa JIL. Grabe, 35 years! Tungkol naman sa theme, I think it is a great theme kase Jesus is revolutionary at timely yung Revolution of Righteousness, kakaiba ang naipreach ngayon, it’s time to be bold and to share His word and to live it!

Yeng: Happy anniversary sa JIL! Thank you so much sa pagdala sa amin dito at ma-witness with our own eyes kung gaaano karaming tao ang na bless ni Lord. Wow, sobrang daming harvest! Nakaka-inspire talaga and it’s a great reminder na grabe talaga ang ginagawa ni God and what an honor it is to partner with God sa ginagawa Niya sa JIL. Feeling ko part na rin ako dahil we are one body so parang kasama na rin ako. Sobrang galling ni Lord, because of one man, these young people na nagrespond kay Lord, tapos ganito na karami ang mga tao, and we want to be like this! Just continue to keep the fire burning for God, hayaan nyo lang na maging contagious ang fire na nilagay ni God and I really pray na sobrang dami pang tao na matouch para kay Jesus, makita nila kung gaano ka-glorious si Jesus, kung gaano kasarap maging anak ng Diyos. Hindi ganoon kadali ang mabuhay na iba sa iba, sobrang mahirap pero Masaya dahil worth it. Alam mo na may joy si God kapag nakikitaka, sasabihin Niya na, “anak Ko yan”, there’s this compassion na mararamdaman mo kapag nakakakitaka ng mga tao na hindi pa nakakakilala kay Lord. Thank you sa ginagawa ninyo para sa anak ng Diyos, para sa mga nawawala pa na mga anak ng Diyos at Happy Anniversary!

Revolutionary igniters

By Raquel Reyes

 

Neither by a sword nor by a pen, but by their simple yet penetrating weapon: Gospel music. 

This is how the G3 band, winner of the recent Ignite Gospel Music Festival, will contribute to the Jesus is Lord (JIL) Church Worldwide’s 35th Anniversary call for a “Revolution of Righteousness.” As revolutionaries, G3 members’ way is to help in transforming people’s music, as music is the language of the soul. 

G3’s band name means God Gave Gifts and is composed of Pastor Sydney Herrera on voice, Bro. Kaizer Cabigao as lead guitarist, Bro. Monet Herrera in cello, Bro. Jay Maravilla as bassist, and Bro. PJ Atendido as drummer. Despite their achievements as musicians, they remain humble in their desire to be recognized more as Christ’s witnesses with their winning piece, “Saksi.” 

“Kahit na napakaliit ng gifts na iyon, ‘pag sinimulan mong gamitin… to glorify God, to evangelize, iba… Our winning piece, it’s all about encouraging people to stand up, to be recognized… na sama-sama tayong maging saksi… mangaral ng Ebanghelyo,” said Bro. Monet.

And as righteous revolutionaries, they acknowledge that this will only be possible if Jesus is at the center of the revolution.

 “Righteousness...  that is all because of Jesus Christ because without Him, no one is righteous…  Dahil tinanggap na natin si Kristo, ang nakikita na sa atin ay si Jesus Christ...,” said Pastor Sydney. 

Finally, amidst mixed emotions of nervousness and excitement before over a million JIL crowd in Luneta, G3 considers that their only audience is Jesus and that they are to echo only this message to the people:

“Ako’t ikaw ang siyang simula

Upang ibalita sa mundo 

Dakilang habilin ni Hesus 

Tumayo at humayo. 

Ngayon na ang Panahon…”

 

Now is the time for revolution of righteousness! Happy 35th anniversary JIL Worldwide!

 

Why do JIL people keep coming back to Bagong Bayan?

By Arlene Bulala

 

        “There had been many attempts to attain peace and prosperity. Mind revolution from Rizal, armed revolution from Bonifacio, people power revolution.  But it seems that these are not enough.  Let us involve God this time. When we say REVOLUTION OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, as Christians, we declare our absolute submission to the Lord Jesus Christ.”   

        This is how Rev. Bobot Bernardo, JIL Director for Education and Discipleship explained the role of righteousness in the present situation of our society.  

        REVOLUTION OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, revealed through the intimate communion of Bro. Eddie Villanueva with the Lord Jesus Christ, is the  theme  of  the Jesus  is Lord (JIL) Church’s 35th Anniversary. 

        In this theme, Christians are empowered to be  agents  of  transformation  and righteousness in the  country .  It also emphasizes the urgency to respond to the need for God’s intervention in everything that is happening in our country. 

        A revolution is not  new to Filipinos. It started long ago, in 1896, upon the Spanish authorities’ discovery of the anti-colonial secret organization Katipunan. From then on,  several wars  such as  Spanish- American  Battle  to end the Spanish rule in 1898 and the Filipino – American Battle in 1899 took place.

        Just recently, we declared another war in Luneta, this time against the  controversial pork barrel. Luneta Rizal Park was once called “Bagong Bayan,” the execution place of our national hero, Dr. Joe Rizal. Rizal was an inspiration of the 1896 revolution.

        Have you ever wondered why JIL  people  keep  coming back to Luneta every year?

        “Mas  magandang  kung actual,”  said  Bro. Silvestre Corpuz, 78, a  JIL member   from San Marcelino, Zambales and has been  attending the celebrations in Luneta for  20 years. He also said  that  attending the  anniversary  is  like attending a life group. Thus, inspite his age,  he still  chooses  to go to Luneta to participate in  the event. 

        Miracles and God’s goodness have motivated many of the followers to stay under the heat of the sun or – at times –under the storming rains each  anniversary, just like  Sis. Fe Rama from JIL Biñan and Sis. Nadia Dela Cruz of JIL Carmona. The latter said that she received the  answer to  her longtime  prayer just 10 days  after the anniversary  last year.  This year, she invited her sister who has just received the Lord Jesus as personal Lord and Savior. Both said that they expected blessings. Being physically present at the Luneta celebrations is their way to thank God for the miracles that they received.

         For members of the Gatekeepers Ministry, Sis. Weng Cariño, Sis. Narda Rondolon, Sis. Cristina Lovendino and Sis. Lucy Valleras –  all have been attending  the celebrations in Luneta for more  than a decade – they go to Luneta because of excitement  for  God’s  revelation  and  guidance. 

        There are also families  who attend the event together, like the Remolana family  of JIL Noveleta. The head of the family said that attending the JIL anniversaries has brought them blessings. One remarkable experience was in 2011 when they claimed God’s blessings together with Prophet  Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj’s  declaration of faith.  A new house and stable work are just  some of the blessings they received.  

        Many also  celebrate with their church family. One of them is Bro. Orlando  Cruz of JIL Malolos  who is with his cell group  members and Sis. Pacita Raso and Sis. Norma Acosta from JIL Pangasinan. According to them,  they  are  always excited   not  only to  receive  blessings  but to thank God  for  what He  has  done   for  a year. 

        Pastor Vic Verano from JIL Pililio Rizal,  who   arrived  in Luneta with the  congregation of his  church, emphasized that  their  attendance  each  year  is  first  a commitment to God  and then, a  loyalty to the JIL Church. Rain or shine, they will together declare thanksgiving  to God. 

        Many young people are with their friends, like friends Sis. Cyril Siquijor, Sis. Katherine Mendiola, and Sis. Lady Anne Cañares from JIL Bacolor. In spite the afternoon heat, they enjoyed eating pasta  in the grassland while  waiting for  the program to start. 

        There  are  also  first-timers who, though surprised, are  still excited to celebrate  for the first time, just like Sis. Marilou Moreno from Kaybagal – Central who even  brought her children  to witness the event. 

        In the 35 years of the JIL Church, God’s faithfulness has been  evident  in the lives of JIL people. Their unfailing devotion to God  and to our  country  is  not just in the prayer rooms, churches and houses, but  also at the Quirino Grandstand, the silent  witness  of  their declaration of love for God and Country. More than  a  sanctuary   of  our   national hero or a haven  of  our  past,   Luneta has been a historic place for many years as JIL people celebrate God’s His faithfulness!