Be still

Be still

Tough times had hit us in the past week.

Super typhoon Rolly whipped the nation last October 31st leaving blown-off roofs, causing flash floods, power outages, damage to infrastructure, blocked roads, almost 400 thousand evacuees, and even some dead people due to catastrophic winds and rains. Rolly hit the main Luzon Island particularly Catanduanes, Albay and Manila. And while the storm was still wreaking havoc the next day, a fire at night razed the 400 homes in a fisherfolk community in Bacoor, Cavite reclamation zone. It took four hours before the fire was put out.

These ordeals are indeed heartbreaking and we are sending our heartfelt empathy to our affected brothers and sisters. We pray for their immediate recovery from the losses they suffered and wish to offer uplifting words from the One we can trust in times like this.

Psalmist David sang to the Lord, “Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, Until these calamities have passed by.” (Psalm 57:1).

We can always count on the mercy of God. Peter encourages us to “Give all our worries and cares to God, for He cares about us.” (1 Peter 5:7)

We must not think twice in coming to God for He will attend to our cries. As written in Psalm 107:28-30, “Then they cry out to the Lord in their trouble. And He brings them out of their distresses. He calms the storm, so that its waves are still. Then they are glad because they are quiet; so He guides them to their desired haven.”

To all my countrymen, let the current challenges lead us to heed Psalm 46:10, for the Lord is saying, “Be still, and know that I am God!” Deep and true knowledge of the real God will let us pass through different calamities in life and still be able to come out triumphant.

Shalom! Shalom! God bless the Philippines!!!

PRAY FOR DAVAO

PRAY FOR DAVAO

Yesterday night, a blast killed 14 people and left 60 wounded, at the very least.

My fellow Filipinos, that blast was surely heard by God. But I believe that more than the booming sound, His ears are pierced by the cries of the casualties and the wails of the bereaved.

Therefore, I am calling out to every nation-loving, God-fearing Filipino, during these trying times, let us all believe that there is a God who hears, who sees, who feels. Let us come to Him, with our hearts joined in prayer–that there may be justice for the dead, healing for the wounded, comfort for the bereaved, and peace for Davao and the whole nation.

Then, for us who are unharmed by the bomb, after joining our hearts, let us now join our hands and stand for them who were harmed. Once again, as we have done countless of times before, let the spirit of bayanihan arise. Let the Filipinos rise again, together.

Shalom! Shalom!

BRO. EDDIE C. VILLANUEVA

Jesus Is Lord Church Worldwide

President and Spiritual Director

Together, for God and Country

Together, for God and Country

The Jesus Is Lord Church Worldwide (JILCW)’s Statement
on the Recently-concluded Elections

As a church with the dictum GOD and COUNTRY, the Jesus Is Lord Church Worldwide (JILCW) has always been praying for good governance and righteous leadership, and for this election, God specifically answered us by giving us three victories:

  • the come-from-behind win of senator-elect Joel “TESDAMAN” Villanueva who, as a first-timer in the senatorial race, shocked many by landing on the second spot;

  • the miraculous, God-ordained victory of mayor-elect Joni “JJV” Villanueva whose phenomenal win via toss coin showed the divine vote of God Himself; and

  • the consistent success of Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) party-list, which, for the sixth time has secured a seat in the Congress.

But more than the personalities who won, the general success of the past election is reflected in the following:

  • vote counting machine (VCM) glitches became smaller (2.55% versus 6.11% in 2013),

  • vote transmission went faster (already at 74% at 10:50pm on the actual day of elections), and

  • voter turnout soared higher (81.62% versus 73.1% in 2013).

Because these results, in themselves, bring us a sense of the Filipinos’ increasing involvement in nation-building and the government’s relentless perseverance in public service.

Therefore, we, the JILCW, call for a prayer of thanksgiving—foremost, a prayer of thanks to God for a fast, efficient, transparent, and peaceful elections and, secondarily, a prayer of thanks for the 140,000 policemen, 409,392 teachers, and the many government and non-government officials who became instruments in securing each of our votes.

Secondly, we call for a prayer of wisdom for all the winning candidates—starting with the president and vice president, the twelve senators, the 293 party-list and district congressmen, and the 17,736 local government officials. The task ahead of them is humongous and would, therefore, require the support and cooperation of all of us, 102 million Filipinos.

Hence, we call for a prayer of healing. After the bantering and arguing over conflicting viewpoints on issues of political concern, relationships had been broken. Now that election is over, regardless of who we voted for, may we forget our differences and, instead, remember our singular ancestry: we are Filipinos, all of us.

Our plea for prayer, therefore, is our plea for all Filipinos to UNITE. Because we know and we believe that national change and transformation is the duty of every Filipino, not just of the elect. So let us rally together. For our beloved nation.

Finally, to all Christians, let us also keep fighting the good fight of faith. Because we know and we believe that unless Christ Jesus is placed first in every pillar of society—that is, in the church and in the family, in the government, in business and economics, in education, in science and technology, in media and entertainment, in arts, and in the environment—our beloved nation will never truly see change.

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance.”

(Psalm 33:12)

ON MARRIAGE AND EQUALITY:  The Jesus Is Lord Church Worldwide’s (JILCW) Position on Same-Sex Marriage

ON MARRIAGE AND EQUALITY: The Jesus Is Lord Church Worldwide’s (JILCW) Position on Same-Sex Marriage

“To bring all peoples to the kingdom of the Living God regardless of race, status, belief and religious affiliation through the saving, healing, delivering and transforming power of the Lord Jesus Christ” – the JILCW mission statement, emphasis added

With a firm belief that all are created in the very image of God and, also, purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ, the JILCW staunchly believes that equality should never be a privilege of the few, but the right of all.

Hence, any attempt at disrobing anyone—that is, irrespective of age, gender/sexual orientation, nationality/ethnicity, social class, educational attainment, physical ability and religion—of his/her basic rights is an assault against his/her personhood and must, therefore, be objectionable by law and human ethics.

It is for this cause that we, the JILCW, have, for the past thirty-nine years, so cried: NO to the belittlement of the differently-abled, NO to the exploitation of the youth, and NO to the corruption of the money-hungry. That is, we cry NO to all kinds of abuse and discrimination.

Therefore, in light of the recent stir on the rights of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) group, we say NO to any act that will stifle their right to live with freedom and dignity. This includes, but is not limited to, their right to education, right of suffrage, right to freedom of speech and expression, right to fair trial, right to privacy, and right to social security.

In short, we say YES to the promotion of LGBT rights—BUT only insofar as the moral laws and standards of GOD, who is the Supreme Judge, are NOT violated. This brings us to the case in point: In view of God’s precepts, should same-sex marriage be rendered acceptable?

We now turn to His Word—

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it…’” (Genesis 1:27-28)

“‘Haven’t you read,’ he replied, ‘that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?’” (Matthew 19:4-5)

From these verses, we can gather that, although across time and space marriage has taken on various forms (polygamous vs. monogamous) and definitions (economic security vs. romantic commitment) one kernel of truth remains—that marriage is a God-ordained sacrament between opposite sexes for the purpose of union and procreation. Let us elucidate this definition further:

  1. It is a God-ordained sacrament. While marriage is a legal matter, it is, first and foremost, a divine mandate: “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it…’” Hence, marriage must primarily be rooted in God’s decrees, not in any constitution or any human construct. What, then, are God’s decrees about marriage? We move on to the next two points…
  2. It is between a man and a woman. God’s design for the human body is that males are biologically and physiologically sexually compatible with females—and vice versa (“male and female he created them”). Any other coition will be against the divine and natural order of things—hence, God’s firm command: “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.” (Leviticus 18:22)
  3. It is unitive AND procreative. If marriage were but a pledge of commitment to someone, then it would have been no different from friendship. But marriage is more than that. It is the union of two people: “and the two will become one flesh.” The marital mandate, however, does not stop there: “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it…” Hence, couples are also expected to fulfill their civic duty of child-bearing/child-rearing—although marriage is not prohibited to couples who are incapable of child-bearing (as in infertility or old age).
  4. With these, any and all changing formulations on the concept of marriage must NOT deviate from the above definition. Juxtapose same-sex marriage with it and we can gather, plain and simple, that same-sex marriage is a clear distortion of the God-ordained concept of marriage.

    Having thus considered these, we can gather that since same-sex marriage (or even same-sex coitus) is NOT right before God, marriage can NOT be accorded as a right among same-sex couples.

    Hence, we make it plain and clear that while the JILCW respects the LGBT group, we can only do as much as stand with them in fighting for their basic rights, but NEVER stand for same-sex marriage—or any other act that would infringe the highest law of all: the law of God.

    This, we believe, should be the stance of the Church. For we are not only the extension of God’s hands to the poor and marginalized; we are also His salt and light to this tumultuous world (Matthew 5:13-16).

    So let not the dim issues of life extinguish our flames. Instead, let us allow our little lights to so shine—that all humankind would see THE Light of the World, the be-all and end-all of life, JESUS CHRIST.

    We end by saying—

    We stand with the LGBTs in their fight for freedom and equality—that is, in all areas except those where our faith and ultimate commitment to God are to be compromised…

    We stand with the sanctity of marriage, the dignity of the family, and the blessedness of life…

    Because, ultimately, we stand with the supreme GOD and His infallible Word—in whose cause we live and die for.

    With a prayerful heart for the LGBT group and their search for meaning and fulfillment,

    THE JESUS IS LORD CHURCH WORLDWIDE

NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC

The leadership of the JESUS IS LORD CHURCH WORLDWIDE holds steadfast to the following principles:

  • That there must be UNITY IN THE BODY OF CHRIST even amidst differences in minor theological presuppositions and worship expressions;
  • That there must be DUE PROCESS in dealing with all pastors, leaders, workers and members who have issues in the ministry;
  • That there must be FREEDOM FOR EVERYONE TO EXPRESS his/her beliefs in the RIGHT AVENUES with honesty and courtesy.

It is in view of these principles that the JIL leadership refutes all accusations based on information that have been blown out of proportion and are propagated in social media sites. Plain and simple, these are all LIES AND DECEPTIONS spread by people whose aim is to hinder the JILCW from fulfilling its mission to glorify God. Yet, we firmly believe that such pursuits can never uproot that which the Living God Himself has planted and nurtured for the last 35 years. In reality, these are all meaningless efforts inevitably leading to self-destruction, because no malicious undertaking can ever overpower the work of the Almighty God in this precious ministry born from His very Heart.

The deepest prayer of the entire JIL Church Worldwide is that we may end all attempts to hinder the furtherance of the Kingdom of the Living God, especially these insignificant issues which are not even worthy of attention, so that His precious ministry may continue to fulfill its mission to bring all peoples to the love and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Note:

Should there be any valid need to further inform the Body of Christ and other religious organizations regarding this matter, the JIL LEADERSHIP will release official statements containing the truth about the former leaders who left their positions without subjecting themselves to organizational protocols and who are now spreading false accusations and unfounded questions against the church.

JIL Church Launches the Bro. Eddie Ministries – Bible Plan

JIL Church Launches the Bro. Eddie Ministries – Bible Plan

By Joash Bermejo

With the tremendous changes in technology, new media continuously moves in an unprecedented growth. The presence of new media and its wide audience resulted in the convergence of the new media and the three traditional media platforms – the Television, Radio and Print. Who can ever think that they can now watch their favorite TV shows in the internet, listen to their favorite radio station and read newspaper articles via online?

But it doesn’t stop there; the available advancement in technology also helps in the different church works, most importantly in the propagation of God’s words and gives light among the various races in the world.

Bobby Gruenewald, founder of YouVersion believes that with the past generations, access of the people have on the bible continuously becoming limited and fewer people are engaging in reading the scriptures.

This inspired Bobby and his team called “Digerati” to introduce the YouVersion, a technological development that take the available technology, particularly the mobile technology to help the people be engage in the bible and make the bible part of their daily lives.

“The real emphasis that we have is really focus on simply trying to make it very easy to people to read and engage the bible”, Bobby said.

First introduced as merely as a website on 2007, YouVersion.com’s result were good but not that great.  And with the birth of the Smartphones, this inspired Bobby and his team to shift on YouVersion’s mobile version and got into the App Store with app title “The Bible” on 2008.

Three days after it got into the App Store, “The Bible” app have gained almost 83,000 downloads, and now 72 million people installed the app on their smartphones on its four years since it was first introduced.

Bible app users encompass different races and ages. With the large number of people installed the Bible app on their Smartphones, for Bobby this signifies that God is really moving on this “Digital mission”.

The Bible App mainly aims to provide people free access to scriptures that is available in almost 213 languages including our own Filipino language, and in almost 412 bible versions. This further helps people to have on-going and daily engagement with the bible.

Using the mobile device installed with the Bible App people can now use the bible anytime and anywhere they are, something that could help each to read the bible more.

Bible App is just not merely featuring the different books of the scriptures, it also contains features like of reading plans that could help someone keep track on his/her spiritual progress. Also using the Bible App it will be easy for its users to share scriptures and bible passages to other people using the Social Networking Sites like of Twitter and Facebook.

“…it makes easy for your friends to discover scriptures and began to discover the Bible App and make it part of their life as well”, he added.

Bobby Gruenewald and his friends from LifeChurch.tv visited the Philippines last December 2012 to meet with various Christian churches in the country, and one of it is the Jesus Is Lord Church Worldwide, the country’s biggest Christian Church.

 

With their visit in the country, Bobby Gruenewald and his team sealed a partnership with JIL through providing a bible reading plan in 2013 which will be called Bro. Eddie Ministries Bible – Reading Plan.

As we faced the New Year, JIL Church Worldwide offered to you the Bro. Eddie Ministries Bible – Reading Plan, a great way to start our year right. Everyone can now access the Bro. Eddie Ministries Bible – Reading Plan through YouVersion.com’s Bible App.

Having Bro. Eddie Ministries Bible – Reading Plan in your Smartphones was just easy, it only take for a few steps. First, install the application Bible app in your phone, select “Plans”, then on Language select “Filipino”. Then on Categories select “Bago” or “New”, and go to Bro. Eddie Ministries Bible – Reading Plan.

From there, you can now start your daily devotional plans using the Bro. Eddie Ministries Bible – Reading Plan.

JIL Church Worldwide Groundbreaking Ceremony

JIL Church Worldwide Groundbreaking Ceremony

“The earth belongs to the Lord and the fullness thereof!” This was Bro. Eddie’s declaration during the groundbreaking ceremony of the construction of the establishments owned by JIL Church Worldwide. The groundbreaking ceremony held last October 8, 2012 was spearheaded by Bro. Eddie Villanueva and witnessed by hundreds of pastors from Central, National, and International Operations of JIL Church Worldwide.

The JIL Church Cornerstone West

The first groundbreaking ceremony was held at JIL Cornerstone West, a 1,700 sq. m. lot acquired by JIL Church at Ludvico cor. Bilibid Viejo St., Quiapo, Metro Manila. Claimed to be located at the heart of University Belt, this church will focus to evangelize and disciple the young people of this generation. In Bro. Eddie’s prophetic prayer, he declared, “In this place will arise the new generation of leaders and pastors.” The church will be filled with facilities such as the worship hall, commercial spaces, lobby, library and other amenities designed to cater the youth. “Naniniwala ako na gagamitin ng Lord ang lugar na ito para i-transform ang mga kabataan na siyang magta-transform ng ating lugar (I believe that the Lord will use this place to transform the young people who will transform our community),says Ptra. Cora Tabucal, the church pastor of JIL University Belt.

The JIL Church Cornerstone Central

After this, the convoy of pastors headed towards Balintawak to witness the groundbreaking ceremony of JIL Cornerstone Central. The place is a 6,400 sq. m. lot area. Located at the corner of EDSA and start of North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and almost along Edsa/Balintawak road, it is claimed as the most strategic place acquired by JIL Church Worldwide. On this location will rise a 12-storey building with a 5,000 seating capacity worship hall. During the ceremony, Bro. Eddie shared how the JIL Church Worldwide, the church without roof, focused on building the people and the spiritual church for the past 34 years. He emphasized that this is now the moment to build the physical church to bring more glory to God.

The JIL Church Cornerstone North

At Km. 21, Quirino Hiway, Quezon City, the JIL Church Worldwide had miraculously acquired an approximately 15,000 sq. m. lot by the heirs of Former President Elpidio Quirino where the JIL Cornerstone North will rise. During its ground-breaking ceremony, Sis. Joni Tugna, the Executive Director of the JIL Church Worldwide, shared how the church won the bid even though the four other bidders were well-known developers in the country. The JIL Church Executive Management Board sent a letter of intent to the owner, the daughter of Pres. Quirino. “Sabi niya, the moment na binabasa niya yung letter, kinilabutan daw siya. Sabi niya, this is the very first time I’ve read a letter such as this, (“She said, the moment she read the letter, she had goose bumps. She said, ‘This is the first time I’ve read a letter such as this.'”).” said Sis. Joni as she shared how the owner was blessed by the purpose of the JIL church and how it correlated with the advocacies of President Quirino. This triggered the heirs of Pres. Quirino to award the bid to JIL Church Worldwide, even at a lower cost. The place is located where the track of MRT 5 will rise. “We dream that this place will have a hospital, school, anything na magkakasya sa 1.5 hectare lot na ito, (We dream that this place will have a hospital, school, anything that would fit in this 1.5 hectare lot).” says Sis. Joni Tugna

The JIL Church Camp Praise Valley

After this, they travelled towards JIL Praise Valley Camp Site at Norzagaray, Bulacan.

At the place, the JIL pastors were filled with the Holy Spirit as they reminisced the memories at the camp site. “Kung may isa pong lugar na maraming nabago ang buhay, ito po yung Camp Praise Valley (If there is one place where many lives were transformed, it is here in Camp Praise Valley).” says Ptr. Joey Joey Crisostomo. The JIL leadership camps, children’s camps, youth camps, and worship camps at JIL Praise Valley started in the year 1986 and were putted off on year 2004 as plans for renovation are intended for the site. The camp site which was only two hectares last 2004 has already expanded to 19 hectares. On its renovation, a large amphitheatre will rise with 6,000 seating capacity, and three medium-rise condominium buildings wherein the campers will be accommodated.

The groundbreaking ceremonies were concluded by a thanksgiving dinner fellowship at JIL Prayer Garden at Bunlo, Bocaue, Bulacan.

 

View the complete set of the Ground-breaking Ceremony pictures here.