‘”SECRETS” OF JIL’S SUCCESS

The phenomenal work of God through Bro. Eddie continues with more colorful chapters being added. Despite the remarkable fruitfulness of his ministry, it seems that God has something even greater for his chosen servant to fulfill. But the question is invariably asked: "What is the secret of this man?" He never had the opportunity to attend a formal Bible school but "why is he effective and why is God blessing his ministry tremendously?"

Bro. Eddie's standard reply reveals the heart of a real man of God: "it's all because of God's amazing grace." When one takes a hard look at how God has prospered this man and his ministry, indeed, the only conclusion is: "it is only by His sovereign grace."

For the last 25 years, Bro. Eddie and JIL stand as classic examples of the practical outworking of such grace. If I can distill into some key thoughts ("secrets" if you will) why God has blessed the man and his ministry so enormously (yet in reality it is such that one can't even begin to grasp) the following immediately grab the mind:

Almond Branch of Hope by Bishop Bro. Eddie Villanueva

"Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Jeremiah, what do you see? And I said, I see a branch of an almond tree. Then said the LORD unto me, You have seen well: for I am ready to perform My word" Jeremiah 1:11-12

Resurrection always brings a message of hope. There is nothing more hope-boosting than knowing that the dead, yes the DEAD, may rise again!

The resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is the single redemptive event that perfected mankind's salvation and deliverance from sin, at the same time proving that faith in Him that holds the indisputable power over death is not useless.

Jesus, the Son of God, had to taste death to give His sinless life as a sacrifice for all the transgressions of mankind (Isaiah 53: 3-6; Hebrews 2:9). When He cried out on the cross: "It is finished!" (John 19:30) every requirement for the forgiveness of the sin of every man, under the Law and the Commandments, was satisfied! Every work needed to be done to set man free from the dominion of the evil one was indeed finished!
The Lord Jesus was the Lamb of God who, by His sacrifice on the Cross, had taken away the sins of the world. The Heavenly Father proved to all that Jesus' sacrifice on the Cross was accepted as payment for man's debt when He raised Him from the dead after three days of being in the grave. Because of the resurrection, those who have received Jesus as their Savior and Lord are now assured of eternal life, and just like Him, will also experience their own bodily resurrection (I Corinthians 15:12-22)!

The resurrection was also the message of God to Israel in the time of the prophets. Every time the Israelites were chastised by God because of their collective sin and backsliding from their covenant with God, the Lord raised up prophets to bring His message of restoration to their nation. One such prophet was Jeremiah.

In the beginning of God's call to Jeremiah, the young prophet, the Lord showed him a vision. It was the vision of an almond branch (Jeremiah1:10-12). The almond tree in Israel is the very first tree that awakens to life after the long winter season. It is the very first tree that would burst forth with beautiful white flowers in the early spring while the rest of the trees are still barren and sleeping. It is a symbol of the powerful phenomenon: The Resurrection!

God was saying to the prophet Jeremiah: "Even if Israel, My very own nation, dies because of My discipline and judgment, I can raise her back to life again and restore her glory among the nations!" The Lord told Jeremiah that the vision of the almond branch spoke of His willingness to fulfill all His promises to Israel if they would return to Him with all their hearts and walk in obedience to His will and purposes (Jeremiah 3:12-22), and that it was for the sake of the glory of His name that He was going to do this (Ezekiel 36:21-23). Israel was a nation covenanted with God bearing the name of Jehovah, the eternal, self-existent God of covenants.

The Philippines today needs to experience the power of the Resurrection! Like the nation of Israel, we are also a nation that bears the glory of the name of Christ! Being the first and only Christian nation in the Far East, we are today dying in shame and reproach being known today as the most corrupt country in Asia. From being one of the most prosperous countries in the region in the 1940'2 up to 1960's, we have sunk to our destitute state today. Many of our people are going out of the country just to find jobs. In the time of relative global prosperity, we are among the hungriest in the world. Unprecedented moral and spiritual degradation, especially in places of authority, has brought our people closer and closer to the grave. Systemic corruption is all over the land.

Is there hope? Because of the Resurrection, I dare say, yes there is hope! Like Jeremiah, we must receive a vision of the almond branch!

The Philippines in fact was first named "Archipelago of Saint Lazarus" before it was named the Philippines. This could be a prophetic pronouncement; that this nation would be resurrected in due time, because Lazarus, the closest friend of Jesus for whom He wept when he died, was raised from the dead by Jesus Himself. Jesus prayed to the Father that life would return to the body of Lazarus which had been dead for four days. Everybody was mourning for Lazarus and had given up hope until the voice of the Lord Jesus broke the silence of the grave with the loud shout of command: "Lazarus come forth!" (John 11:43).

Lazarus rose back to life! He was released from the burial clothes (representing murderous, hindering works of the Enemy like poverty, chaos, rampant sinfulness, among others) that bound him hand and foot by a simple command the Lord gave: "Loosen him!" (John 11:44).

As we celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, let us fill our hearts with the message of hope for ourselves, our people, and nation! Let us look unto the Lord Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, the One who holds the keys of death and hell (Revelation 1:18). Because Jesus has risen, the Philippines, the Archipelago of Saint Lazarus will also rise! Let us not lose sight of the vision of the almond branch, the vision of hope in the worst of situations!

Let every God-fearing and nation-loving Filipino believe God for our nation's resurrection! Let it be said, the Philippines will RISE and be great again!

BABANGON NA ANG BAGONG PILIPINAS!

Why Hoping in God makes sense by Bishop Bro. Eddie C. Villanueva

"...even if he killed me, I'd keep on hoping" (Job 13:15, The Message).

In our day and age when threats are so easily pronounced and promises are just as easily broken, there are those who will probably turn their noses up at the words of Job. They may even say, "Yeah right, big words!"

But the words spoken by Job were not just empty words. They actually echoed the choicest oath of a man who was dealt by life with the hardest blows, yet remained faithful to his God no matter what.

In the Old Testament, God introduced to Satan His servant Job as a righteous man. True to his evil form, however, Satan chided God and claimed Job was only good because God was good to him. Knowing Job like no other, God allowed Satan to put this servant to test ~ even do anything to him except take his life.

And so Job was immediately battered by one tragedy after another! In a day, he lost all his children and all his earthly possessions – and was left only with a nagging wife who later on deserted him too when his entire body got covered with ghastly boils. Job's friends came, but they only weighed him down further by their accusing words.

Then in the midst of Job's external pains and internal turmoil, God met him. By asking him questions too wonderful for him to respond to, Job finally began to see his nothingness before the Sovereign and Almighty God.

"Job answered GOD: "I'm convinced: You can do anything and everything. Nothing and no one can upset your plans. You asked, 'Who is this muddying the water, ignorantly confusing the issue, second-guessing my purposes?' I admit it. I was the one. I babbled on about things far beyond me, made small talk about wonders way over my head. You told me, 'Listen, and let me do the talking. Let me ask the questions. You give the answers.' I admit I once lived by rumors of you; now I have it all firsthand—from my own eyes and ears! I'm sorry—forgive me. I'll never do that again, I promise! I'll never again live on crusts of hearsay, crumbs of rumor" (Job 42:1-6,
The Message).

The story of Job points us to three compelling truths on why hoping in God always makes sense:

God intimately knows us. He knows us through-and-through. He knows our strengths and weaknesses; He knows our potentials and limitations. He knows all about us, even the number of our hair (Luke 12:7). He even knows us more than we know ourselves. Yet He still loves us for who we are. There is no use putting our best foot forward around Him. Pretense is something we cannot cloak ourselves with when we come to Him in praise and prayer. Surely, the only thing that we can do in His presence is to be truly honest with Him. For apart from Him, we are nothing (John 15:5). Separate from Him, nothing good will come out of us (John 15:6).

God is in sovereign control. When it comes to anything that concerns us, God will not let anything happen to us that are beyond His will or past our ability to bear. Like a master goldsmith, He knows exactly when the refiner's fire ultimately has served its purpose and has made us ready to be taken out of the fiery furnace. As we go through life, doing His will and serving His purpose, we must remember that our God is a just God; He is not a capricious God. He does not act on whim, rather He makes all things work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

God works things out for our good. If we truly trust God, we know for certain that everything that happens in our lives is for a good purpose. God promised us in Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." In fact, God is so mighty in His redemptive grace that, if we will only truly turn to Him in repentance and humility, He can turn around even the destructive results of our own disobedience around. Yes. Even that which the devil has meant for evil, He can turn around for our good and blessedness (Genesis 50:20).

This 2009, we are faced with a new year of uncertainty that is exacerbated by the worsening worldwide economic meltdown. While we may easily cower in fear and doubt, we may also choose to hope, even if it is against hope, like the patriarch Job did.

Surely, we need not go through life beaten and defeated; we only have to cast all our cares unto Jesus for He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). He cares so much for us that came in the flesh and lived amongst men (John 1:1,14) so that in His life, death, and resurrection, He may give us abundant life ~ a life unto overflow (John 10:10, Amplified).

Welcome the New Year 2009 with renewed faith the Almighty! We are blessed in Christ!

 

Mission

To bring all peoples to the kingdom of the living God regardless of race, status, belief and religious affiliations through the saving, healing, delivering, and transforming power of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Vision

A glorious church evangelizing and discipling Filipinos and all the peoples of the world through teaching, preaching and living-out the full-Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Core Values

P- Passionate Love for GOD
L- Love and Compassion for Others
I- Integrity
F- Faithfulness
E- Excellence