Marks of the Seer

Preaching despite sufferings untold


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You think the Devil got me? Then Fetch me from Here!

Now, here I am. You are saying that this one here is of the demon, come now and fetch me from here! If you are really shepherds – Shepherds of God. I give you up to the end of the month. If you do not fight….

By Cesar Adamos, Xman

I went home from work and it was already 11 0’clock. When I opened the TV, there was not much signal. And what I saw in RJTV29 baffled me. What they were showing was Bro. Eli. They were calling him tarantado (foolish), walang hiya (shameless), and then the gun shots. The TV was sounding with gun shots. I don’t know who that was, but they were firing at the face of Bro. Eli.

“Who was that?” I asked

“That’s Soriano. He really is like that. He cusses.”

“Is that so? If he is foolish, then he is foolish.” I went back to sleep. The following night, when I went home and opened the TV, it was Bro. Eli I saw.

“Isn’t this the guy I saw yesterday night cussing? Why is he now reading the Bible? He sounds like he knows what he is saying. There is not even five minutes and he calls for another verse. I will have to check on this.” My mind was quite disturbed.

The following night, I tried to open the TV again but I found no channel reception. RJTV29 did not anymore appear. At that time, both the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) program and Bro. Eli’s Ang Dating Daan were being aired there.

I imagined that a bamboo would provide me for antennae and so I climbed for the thinnest part. But nothing came out, no matter what I did. Come on, please appear just even once! After many tries, nothing came out. I was wondering why. The bamboo antennae did not work, so I went home to Peṅafrancia. Of course, I knew the channel there. When I opened it, there he was!

At that time, I was already wavering in my faith with the Iglesia ni Cristo – but I had not surfaced yet. I asked my mistress if she knew where Strata Building was, because I wanted to check about this Eli Soriano. We went there December 18, 2000. Once inside, I told her to stay at a distance as we might be seen by people. If you check the attendance sheet, you can see my name there – together with that of my mistress. She, too, was an engineer and she knew the places we went to.

The first time I went to Bro. Eli’s Bible Exposition, I was able to get a Bible – autographed by Bro. Eli, but I was not able to ask questions. Only 15 were called and then it was closing time. He said to watch for DZRH but upon going home, I found there was nothing there. My mistress said, “That’s all planted – everything about Soriano is scripted. It is like this, blah, blah, blah.”

“Let’s see. They do those things to me, and we will see.” That was January 30, 2001; I remember that. It was the birthday of my real wife. I went home to her. I asked her to go with me to a Bible Exposition but she refused. She became a Born-Again and so she despised Bro. Eli as cussing. I went alone.

This time I was Number 8 in the line-up of those to ask questions. I was not again called. I was thinking that my wife was telling the truth – that there’s no discipline with them. I tried again the telephone; I could not contact them. There were three numbers. I determined to find out if this group was true or not. I focused on only one number. As soon as a question was answered, I dialed. If I cannot enter, then this is really foolishness, I swore to myself. But there, I was able to contact them.

I asked Bro. Eli about holy kiss because I had researched on that. Every Bible verse on holy kiss, I looked for it. I was able to contact, I think, three times. I remembered that one of the prominent questions I had asked was about the holy kiss, because Bro. Eli was not answering that. If possible, I will answer that; can I? Bro. Eli said, go ahead answer it off the air; I will answer you on the air. Then he said, Bro. Cesar, it is not like that. Not entirely like that.

Then I called Maximo Bularan of the Iglesia ni Cristo as I was able to get his number. I called on a Saturday. I told him I am researching. I did this a lot of times, giving a new name each time. “Why don’t you have a program? This guy has a program. Put up a program and answer Soriano! You are at a loss. Look at that! He is attacking you but you have no means of answering him!”

The program of Bularan was merely giving texto. They had no Ang Tamang Daan yet. So it was like that. Every Saturday, January. February. March, April, I did that. I was challenging them.

Meanwhile, there was a Bible Exposition of Bro. Eli in Rodriguez but I found out Bro. Eli was not there – only Bro. Jocel Mallari. Next, I went to SBN21 to ask for tapes on debates because the INC were saying Bro. Eli did not appear on a debate agreed upon.  Bro. Mel Magdaraog said they were having a running debate with Ka Ramos for a year already. Who of them will I believe now? The Iglesia ni Cristo? Bro. Eli? There is no tape, no evidence. This cannot be!

I had to know which of them is true: my faith – the Iglesia ni Cristo – or that of Bro. Eli. The ministers said, “Our word against their word.”

“No! I have to know. That is why I was saying every Saturday, you should have a program”

Saturday came and I talked with one INC minister. I said, “So we will be having a program to answer Soriano!”

“The truth is, after his program, then us also,” he said.

“That’s good then,” I replied.

“Because many are calling,” he said.

He didn’t know I was that “many” calling. The truth is, I was the one who fired it all up. That Ang Taman Daan.

When Saturday came, I was calling again with different names. I was referred again. The system was to pass through the operator. I introduced myself to her. She spoke in English. When she learned I was an engineer, she had given me some respect.

The ministers said it cannot be. They wanted me to go to the chapel. But I said no. I will be by the TV. They gave me time, but I did not go. When Saturday came, I called again and they passed me over to a minister.

“So how is your program now? They say there’s a program now to answer Soriano.”

“What program is that?” the minister asked.

“There was someone I talked to last Saturday. He said, there will be a program, Ang Tamang Daan, that will answer Soriano.”

“No, there’s none such!” he said.

“Oh, you are that foolish! Are you all liars there? The one I talked to said there is. Now, you say, there is none? Do not be staying there if you do not know anything! Do not answer phones! You are shameless!” Then I banged the phone.

After a time, my wife came home from church and said there is now a program of the Iglesia ni Cristo. “Which? Ang Tamang Daan?”

There was a circular released. I did not know that because I did not go to church. Ang Tamang Daan – the program that would answer Soriano -  will open.

“How did you know?” She asked me.

“Because last week yet, there was someone answering me.” I was happy. So now, this is for real. I was looking forward to that.

It was my biological birthday – in May.  I was happy, but by then I was fully convinced about Bro. Eli. I already had three notebooks full of his discussions. That was everyday I was listening to him. My wife left me to myself in the room at night.

Then came June. Here, they will begin answering back. Came July; it was one month already. But why were they not exchanging  discourse? They were not fighting! No attacks came from Bro. Eli! August, my back was already tired from viewing.

I needed to go there, I said. This is my ultimatum. I will call from Bro. Eli’s studio. I will reach out to the INC. Now, if they do not call me yet, this is really foolishness.

I went there, August 10, 2001- to SBN 21 at one o’clock high noon. The guard asked me who I was looking for. I told him I wanted to ask questions and to please give me the list.

“So, I am Number 1. I do not want any change there, okay? You are the witness. I will come back as I am going to see a movie. I am sure I will be Number 1.”

I went to Megamall to watch two shows. It was night time already when I came out. By the time I came back to SBN21, there were many people. The receptionist asked me where I was going.

“No, just show me the list.” I was exasperated already and my plan was that I was going to snatch the microphone if not given my chance. If this is not true, I am going to cause trouble. Why would you fool people? This was my third time already to come and in the earlier two times, I was not called.

I had placed on the list that I am ex-INC because by then I did not like my faith anymore. I noticed that the people there were not quite receptive to me. I was at the center when Bro. Eli entered. The Questioning Portion came and Bro. Eli said, “I was told that the Number 1 had registered as early as 1 0’clock.” That was me! I was happy.

But really, I was ready for trouble. This is a live program. I had intended to snatch the microphone and say, this is not true; you are just fooling people. But now, there was nothing seen from me that was untoward. The one I challenged was the Iglesia ni Cristo. I addressed them.

What was taught by the Old Man was never to run away from debates. (We called Felix Manalo as Old Man – an endearing term). That was what was planted in my mind. I remembered this – never to run away from debates. It is said that the one chosen by God is innocent. Not foolish. The innocent, the simple, is chosen to confound the wise.

Felix Manalo only reached Grade 2. I believed in him. I became strong without teachings. No one could win over him in debates. Now, here, you ministers have gone to school; this Soriano had no schooling like you had. His schooling is nothing compared to yours.  So now, why don’t you like to fight in debates?

It might be that this is the one true. This is the one mentioned in the Bible…  it is the one I believe in. Now, if you are really Shepherds of God, of the lambs – it is also being taught there – that if one sheep is lost, leave the 99. Now, here I am. You are saying that this one here is of the demon. Come now and fetch me from here! If you are really shepherds – Shepherds of God. I give you up to the end of the month. If you do not fight….

“Are you going to get baptized now?” asked Bro. Eli. His voice came through the microphone.

I did not know that the impact of what I did was so strong.  Many people were calling me. My friends, my relatives who were Catholics and of the Born-Again were asking, “Dude, you were on TV, right?”

“Where?” I asked.

I did not know that, that episode was being replayed noontime and in the afternoon. I was surprised why even in Makati, people were simply asking me directions, and then asked if I belonged to the group of Bro. Eli.

“Why?” I asked.

So I learned that, that episode was being played every day. The INC were afraid to confront me – only Sis Judy.  But she and I were fighting.

I returned end of the month to SBN21- because that was my deadline for the INC ministers. I arrived 4 o’clock in the afternoon. I might not be called as I was considering Bro. Eli is so patient in answering – question for question.

So the end of the month came. I had a sense of what would happen to me. I asked Bro. Eli before I left, “Bro. Eli, in my situation that I am not yet affiliated – I am still researching – if I come out from this studio and I will be shot or I will be killed, I will be run over or someone runs over me, do I have hope in being saved?”

“You know, Brother Cesar, it is God who knows the intentions of the heart. He is the one to judge you. But if your intention is clean and good, you have hope.”

That was the answer I was waiting for. I was in high school yet and I had that question in my mind – if I would be saved. Will Jose Rizal be saved?  With us in the Iglesia ni Cristo, all Catholic priests are of the devil. Rizal was a heretic and a Filibuster; will he be saved? Because, you see, if you fight the Catholic priests and they are of the devil, God is pleased. It could not be that there are other demons. There is only one – and all of them are of the devil.

The minister of the INC answered me, “If Rizal were alive now, he would be an Iglesia ni Cristo.” That’s all. I did not ask anymore after that.

But Bro. Eli was able to answer my question. That is justice. In truth, the more I got courage from what I heard from him. I got double courage.

The moment I got out of the studio, there it is! A car without a plate number! It followed me up to the Marcos Highway. He was alone. I noticed that when I went out; he followed me. When I slowed down, he overtook me, and then slowed down. So, that’s how I knew he was after me.

When we approached Marcos Highway, there appeared two vehicles: one FX and an AUV as its support. When I turned, the car turned left – as if turning by Dela Paz. The AUV positioned left while the FX positioned itself on the right. They are now three and I was alone. When I advanced, the AUV bumped my car. I did not come out because I know what they will do to me. They will snatch me, for sure, and let me talk. I know their style.

I looked long at the plate number and then the face, then I scooted off. I did not care to go down even with my car bumped. My brake was set on Number 1 though I was looking at the guy. I was trying to sense if anyone of the two got out of their vehicles. I knew that one had stopped, and if that happened, he would take advantage.

In my mind, I was ready with whatever they did to me. I scooted off and then I stopped at Sta. Lucia at the right, then by the Supermarket for 30 minutes. I let them go ahead. After that was Sumulong Highway where the 3 separated: one was at the left; another was at the right; and the other one was direct. But one was burned. Only the FX and the other one were my remaining foes.

When I tried to advance, I was asking myself where to go. I went direct since by the left, there was a pit where they threw the dead. My house was also towards that way. If one passed by the gasoline station, at the left is my house. That is where I would go. When I arrived by the gasoline station, I saw the car – hiding inside Shell. I did not turn left but went direct by the Cemetery at Heaven’s Gate. I hid my car there. Since it was colored red, it was not very visible at night.

I was thinking that one of the two would arrive. But it was my car that had the advantage. It was at the center. It did not take long that the FX came along and it was beeping loud. When it came rolling down, I went out and then direct to Shell. I saw the first car still there. Coming from Shell, there was a church there that had no door, I turned left and hid my car. I came out and stood by a post. I had in my mind that the FX would return. It did and it was beeping loud! So there, you have to turn three times! You will have trouble turning there!

When I looked at my time, it was 1 o’clock past midnight! I left Ortigas at 11 0’clock. That means I was there for 2 hours! I got incensed. These fools are really too much. I went out. I was thinking: I have my car; you are a fool; let us fight if fight it is!

By the time I went out, the car already left but was at the other side of the highway. It was inside the gasoline station earlier. Now, it is waiting. I went to face it. Then with my cellphone, I was pointing to him, cursing him. He could see me but I could not see him because his windows were tinted. I could not even see a shadow!

I pretended to be talking to someone. Later on, I set my engine to sound – Iiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnngggggg, Iiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnngggggg. Then on our street, when he advanced, I lunged forward so he could not move right away. My plan was that if he followed, I would abruptly brake. My mind was set on that. I would go ahead of them. I would not allow them to take advantage of me.

They did not know I have had experience on these things. So now is the time. There was a Trailer parked there. I turned and went behind the Trailer; they did not see me. Then now came the iiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnngggggg and it was very fast. Adios! Adios! I went home and it was 1:30 already!

Imagine, that was August 10, 2001. I was only challenging the INC to prove that if they are the true church, they should answer Soriano’s allegations of their doctrinal flaws, but there was none. I asked them to fetch me if I was a lost sheep in the fold of the Church of God, but there was none. I was simply hunted like a criminal.

I got baptized on September 14, 2001 with the Church of God – after knowing the truth. With those who were involved in mauling the MCGI brothers near a restaurant in 2003, one of the cars following me before was there. But that’s a different story.


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In the midst of drowning in a dark pit, mercy was bestowed upon me

I was exposed to many vices and bad things of the world: cigarettes, liquors, barkadas, and even marijuana. The path I was walking on was a road of confusion. There weren’t any clear signs but only detours and lost ways.

by Leonard Grape

Imagine a universe without planets, a sky without constellations, an Earth without air, a sea without its ebbing and flowing, a song without melody, a heaven without the moon and the sun; can you see how gloomy and dark life is? That is how my life was seven years ago.

Early in my life, I was exposed to many vices and bad things of the world: cigarettes, liquors, barkadas, and even marijuana. The path I was walking on was a road of confusion. There weren’t any clear signs but only detours and lost ways. Young as I was, I felt how blinded my soul was and how I was on the verge of totally ruining my life. It was almost a stale mate. It was almost reaching a point of no return.

Then in the midst of drowning in a dark pit, mercy was bestowed upon. There was light beyond the horizon. I never thought it will be a guiding force that will change my life forever. That was when I met Bro. Eli Soriano.

It was first my father, Alejandro Grape, who heard Bro. Eli on his tv program Ang Dating Daan when it was still in SBN 21. I didn’t have any idea that he had changed his faith and religion. But it was obvious that something drastically changed in my father’s heart. He stopped all his vices.

I wasn’t hearing him curse anymore. He was more hopeful despite all the hardships we were facing in life at that time. Next thing I knew, my mom was already with him attending the Church and every evening, I would see my father watching this man preaching the word of God, with all courage and passion. I learned his name was Bro. Eli Soriano.

In the beginning, I was annoyed by the fact that we couldn’t watch any tv shows while my father was still watching him. I never was interested in religious matters. I was a Catholic but I only went to Catholic Church when it is my birthday, not even consistent at that.  But every time I get the chance to join my parents in the Church, every time I hear Bro. Eli read and teach the words of God, there is always in an inexplicable feeling deep down my heart, something I couldn’t easily fathom, something joyous, something that brings out tears from the windows of my soul, something that gives me clarity, a sense of purpose, a sense of direction, the clear sign I knew I needed this. I was being called to the Church of God, the true Church in the Bible.

It was November 17, 2006 at the peak of the sun – 12:01 PM, a day I will never forget in my life - I received the Holy Baptism and was renewed in Christ. Ever since, with God’s help, everything changed, from the way I think, to the dreams I wish to chase, to the way I mingle with my friends, to the kind of leadership I was applying in my academic career, and in all other things in my life. It became so beautiful, like sitting at a hilltop while watching a never-ending show of shooting stars. But most importantly, it was like having the Bright Morning Star in my darkened life, receiving the love and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ and God the Father.

The Lord died for us. God gave us the brightest star. It is only but fitting that we do our best in living a life for God’s glory. Thanks be to God!


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Bro. Eli not an INC? Someone had fooled me for a very long time!

I was disturbed of what I learned. Someone had fooled me for a very long time, or maybe my brother was just uninformed, and the questions lingered for as long as I remember.

By Mark Anthony Serrano

As I recollect the past, a longing feeling saddens my heart. I was young and naive when my mother left me. She left because she was in pain, and she never returned because God took her. When my mother was still alive, she was my teacher and taught me about God. Before she passed, she left me a bible. I read it every day and every night–looking for reasons, but the questions just lingered for as long as I remember.

My father was a drunkard. I remember one day he was beaten up in front of my own eyes because he disrespected someone. He received death threats, and it led him to move to the province. After three years he returned as a changed man. He was no longer a drunkard but a bible reader. He attributed his change to the INCM (Iglesia ni Cristo ni Manalo), but it was all a fleeting change. After a couple of months, he returned to his old ways. His transformation was all but an illusion, but regrettably I also became an INCM member.

When I was baptized in INCM, a female church worker advised our group to watch for a certain preacher. The name is Brother Eli Soriano. In her own words, she said “Manood kayo sa Channel 13, kay Eli Soriano. Sa atin iyon!” (Watch Channel 13, the program of Eli Soriano. That is ours!) From that moment on, it was stuck in my mind that Bro. Eli Soriano was an INCM. I wondered what was special about him, but the questions lingered for as long as I remember.

Years passed, and I had this dream. In my dream I saw a man sitting on a giant rock. His face was hidden from me. He spoke with authority and said, “All your questions are already answered in the Bible,” and a metaphor was given to me to be wary against people with evil intentions. I was puzzled and asked myself, “What does this dream mean? Who has all the answers? Is the Bible really that complete?” And the questions lingered for as long as I remember.

In 1996, I migrated to the United States and lived with my uncle, a Catholic devotee. He forced me to participate in the Catholic mass, although back then I still considered myself a member of the INCM. At the same time, I was also a fan of religious debates. Often I spent my time in chatrooms–debating and proving that Jesus Christ was just a man and nothing more. This was my belief then.

In 2000 I parted ways from my uncle and moved back to the Philippines. I have a younger brother who at that time had been watching the “Ang Dating Daan” program. By chance I saw Bro. Eli Soriano speaking on the television. I boldly told my brother “Hindi mo ba alam na Iglesia ni Cristo iyan,” (Didn’t you know that, that man is a member of the Iglesia ni Cristo?).  My brother vehemently corrected me stating that Bro. Eli Soriano was never an INCM. I was disturbed of what I learned. Someone had fooled me for a very long time, or maybe my brother was just uninformed, and the questions lingered for as long as I remember.

I have an uncle who was a former drug addict who had lived with vices all of his life, but he was an avid fan of the “Ang Dating Daan” radio program. He had some insecurity that prevented him from leaving his faith. But he wished to become a member of Bro. Eli’s group. I helped him overcome his insecurities by going with him to Apalit. However, it was the day I started disliking the Ang Dating Daan doctrines. It started when I heard the teaching that it’s better to remain unmarried. At that time I just had a break-up, so it was painful to hear such advice. I had decided not to listen to the Ang Dating Daan program anymore.

However, I still could not avoid listening to Bro. Eli because my uncle kept tuning in to the Ang Dating Daan program. This was the time when the discussion between Ang Dating Daan and INCM started to gain traction. In my heart I was still pro-INCM then, but I was also a man of logic. Whenever Bro. Eli would respond back against the accusations of the INCMs, my heart refuses to accept, but my mind kept telling me he was right, and there was an inner battle, and it all began from here.

One year had passed when I decided to return back to the US to continue my studies. At that time I was still not fully convinced of the Ang Dating Daan. One day I was participating in a religious debate against a Baptist regarding the true nature of Christ. As former INCM member, I firmly defended that Christ was just a man and nothing else, but I also believed that God cannot be tempted. The Baptist asked me, “Did Christ fall to temptation?” I replied, “No”. He followed through, “If God cannot be tempted and Christ cannot be tempted, then Christ is God?” For some reason this debate had led to a spark of thinking, and in my mind a seed of doubt had sprouted. I said to myself, “Christ cannot be tempted, and so is God. Therefore there are two Gods?” However, being a proud INCM, I did not accept defeat. I had to make excuses, but deep in my mind the questions lingered for as long as I remember.

The following day I’ve started reassessing myself and my belief. Maybe the doctrine of Trinity is true? But that couldn’t be. Maybe there is the doctrine of duality–there are two Gods? So I thought maybe the Ang Dating Daan was right after all. So I thought I would debate again and pretend I am a member of the Ang Dating Daan to see how their doctrines will fare against other teachings. To my surprise, from atheists to Baptists, no one was able to refute the teachings. But I wanted more like someone gravely thirsty for water, and this led me to seek for more. I want to be indoctrinated.

Back then we still had an IRC-based chatroom named #angdatingdaan. I visited our chatroom and told the Admins I was an INCM member and would like to participate in the indoctrination, but no one would entertain me seriously. Maybe it was because they are accustomed to chatting in Tagalog and here comes a stranger who keeps chatting in English. Or maybe because I was an INCM and they were afraid of me being an insider, but I did not cease asking. On the third day, I had managed to convince them, and finally we scheduled the indoctrination sessions. With God’s help I was baptized in the Church of God in Los Angeles in 2003.

As a member of the true church, my eyes were opened and I learned numerous things. My knowledge grew. I was no longer the man who believed that Christ is just a man. In the church all my questions were answered fully, and it dawned to me the meaning of my dream. The answers are already written, and I have kept them in my heart. Thanks be to God!

 


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Life was very difficult, but why did God keep saving me from dying?

 My mind was speaking to me. Life for me was very bitter, was very difficult, but why did God keep saving me from dying? It was more of a complain about life than a question.

By Jay Esconde

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This is the moment that I’ve waited for the longest in my life

I listened to Bro. Eli using my walkman, to his radio program at DZRH then at 1 o’clock am, to his program at RMN, so that no one would hear. I didn’t even let my dorm roommate know what I was listening to. He was very curios because at the middle of the night, I would just start laughing and giggling

by Roi Cruz

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But one thing I wanted them to know: they are living in their pride, in their vices

We cannot really tell how people react when we scout for truth and follow it. There were those who persecuted me before – and that included my relatives – for being a member. The same with my school teacher who gave me 5 as a grade after she learned I come from Ang Dating Daan (ADD).

By Ishie Lee

I was a Member of the Manapla Fellowship Baptist Church. I came to know Eli Soriano after my father told me about this man. I was thirteen – a freshman in high school. At first, I didn’t know how to tune in to SBN21 where Bro. Eli preached.

I got linked with the preacher when my father told me that there is RMN 558 that I could listen to. As far as I can remember, Bro. Eli’s Ang Dating Daan played on week nights 9PM to 12PM. I miss those days that after Bro. Eli delivers, I would listen to his closing song, Dala kong Nakalimbag (I bear in my body). That song added to my faith that this man was the one I was looking for. I can feel the message of the song in him. I cry a lot every time I hear it. I don’t know why. Deep in my heart, I knew this preacher is true, godly, and not deceiving people. These were my feelings to him. I remember that there were times that I had already fallen asleep and still the radio was still tuned in to RMN 558.

I regretted the times that I missed some of his Q&A’s because of exhaustion after school. Bro. Eli has a portion called, Itanong mo kay Soriano, Biblia ang sasagot (Ask Soriano, the Bible shall answer). I enjoyed this part very much. I lived alone that time and no one could disturb me while I’ll listen to this man every night. My weeknight’s routine was already scheduled to tune in to RMN 558.

Back at the province, even at daytime, I was so eager to look for available TV stations if this man had any broadcast. Fortunately, one day, I was so happy since I got tuned in to RPN 9. I saw this man debating with a Pentecostal. I was at my first year high school when I got information from my father that this man has never lost in a debate. My curiosity was all the more aroused.

And I proved it. This man has sense when asking questions and answering questions unlike his opponent in debate. Bro. Eli’s style can really catch the attention of people, even in his preaching.

My life before was just like that of the others. I used to gamble a lot. I played long hours in our town just to earn money by gambling. I was a prodigal person. I spent the money my parents’ gave me, seeking my own happiness. I didn’t care about my future, I didn’t care about life that much. I was the happy-go-lucky fellow. As long as I could be happy, I’m set. I watched movies a lot in cinemas. I hung out a lot with my peers.

But I was able to listen to Bro. Eli. There was joy inside of me that I couldn’t describe. It was like, this is it! This is the one I was looking for! I remember Kuya Daniel who said, you can feel the feeling the first time you hear the words of God being preached by the preacher He sent. It’s a feeling that I knew these teachings, that I knew this preacher. I can’t describe those feelings, when I first heard Bro. Eli.

My father told me about him – a great preacher he came to know when he was working at Camp Crame. He first listened to Bro. Eli then he told me to listen to this man too since he can answer all religious questions. The sad part was that I couldn’t find any church locale near me that time.

My encounter with Bro. Eli changed my whole vision in life. I waited until after my graduation day in High School to fly to Manila to be with my parents. Once in Manila, I looked for the nearest Church coordinating center, and I found the locale of Sto. Niῆo Marikina. There I was eager to have indoctrination sessions because I waited for so long a time to become a member of the Church of God International.

I was baptized on March 12, 2004 1:10 pm at Apalit, Pampanga by Bro. Mauricio Bernardo. It was the happiest moment of my life. I felt very light that day. I felt I was a new person. I can’t explain the happiness inside of me after waiting for more than 4 years to be with this Church.

The Baptists taught trinity which I learned now is not biblical. They taught tithing (10% of salary or income) to their members. Even to poor members! They baptized innocent babies – babies who cannot understand the ritual they are undergoing. Their so-called Holy-Supper drink is made of Tang or Eight O’clock as long as it is grape-flavored.

I thank God a lot that I’m here now. While in the true Church, I have with me the preacher who doesn’t fool people. All my problems were swept away. There were times that I was inactive because of financial difficulties but faith in God is the simple answer…just pray and He is there listening.

One of the happiest moments that I felt being a member was when I heard the topic about the millennium or 1000 years. All my burdens and wearies eased off. It did give me hope about my relatives and parents. Everyday is a blessing to me. I used to fear death but now I’m not afraid anymore. I used to be afraid with spirits and those they called witches and dark places. After being baptized, I changed.

Even before my graduation day in High School came, my gambling habit began to ebb down. More so, my vision on education changed. I used to be a school person but that was changed too. As to priorities, school is not Number 1 anymore. I paired work and school to fulfill my oath those times I was new in Church.

I continued being a working student until my 3rd year in the Church but I stopped schooling due to financial difficulties. I used to be a house boy as well, and I missed my parents a lot but that was changed eventually. I learned to be on my own. My circle of friends changed as well. I didn’t go with friends to drink or simply to hang out. Time became very important to me. I would waste a lot of time before, but now I do watch my step if I’m losing my grip. These were part of the changes in me after baptism.

Until now, I could still make comparison as I remember that I was very aggressive to the pastors of the Baptist church. I follow what Bro. Eli read in 1 John 4:1 to test the spirits. Our pastors in the Baptist churches weren’t able to answer and defend their Trinity doctrines. I just asked one regarding “Trinity” and he answered me, Where do you get this question? I said it was taught by Bro. Eli that there’s no Trinity in the Bible. Then the pastor tried to explain Trinity.

After the pastor’s short explanation of their belief that was not in the Bible, my faith in Bro. Eli became all the more stronger. I got proof that our pastors then were so dumb of the scriptures. They didn’t know their topics, unlike Bro. Eli. Though Tagalog is not my natural language, I grew more attached to Bro. Eli.

I used to debate pastors and their trainees to prove that Bro. Eli is the true preacher of God. I am fond of the topic of Trinity way back then. Those pastors were not able to answer me properly when I asked them John 14:28 about the Father being greater than Jesus. The only thing that they said was “Soriano is of the devil.” I left their group.

I didn’t attend their Baptist assemblies anymore as early as my 2nd year in high school. My relatives called me an unbeliever. But one thing I wanted them to know: they are living in their pride, in their vices.

In my High School days, I already heard my relatives saying that Bro. Eli’s group is a cult. They said Bro. Eli is singing videoke songs like those of drunkards. I was dedicated to the Baptist Church when I was born, and that’s why they regretted that I ever listened to Bro. Eli. However, that is not the end of it. There was one relative of mine that has joy in his heart whenever I invite him to attend our gatherings in Negros. When he heard Bro. Eli, he was so happy.

We cannot really tell how people react when we scout for truth and follow it. There were those who persecuted me before – and that included my relatives – for being a member. The same with my school teacher who gave me 5 as a grade after she learned I come from Ang Dating Daan (ADD).

In my previous company, some of my friends have already heard what our Church group is doing. One of my friends is telling good things that he knows about our Church. He once said, “The Transient Home offers passers- by a temporary home if you’re out of town.” After he said that, he called my attention to verify if indeed we welcome non-members in Transient Homes. I told him, it is open for all.

Even while I was very new in the church, I was enjoying the pride I felt whenever I hear complements about the organization. In my first job, I heard one of our dishwashers say that when Bro. Eli speaks, he speaks of wisdom. Magagaling magpaliwanag mga taga dating daan (Those from Ang Dating Daan really can explain well.)

No religion in this world has the same teachings or doctrines that we have. It is Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel who have made me pursue being a member. Despite hardships in life, despite difficulties, despite evil people who malign them, harass them, they still continue to serve the God they are preaching.


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From Bro. Eli I found out these images are not gods but just idols, are fake, completely unbiblical!

I also found out that there is no specific date of Jesus’ birth, so why then is Christmas being celebrated? The so-called “holy week” where the death of Jesus Christ is every year is ridiculous! There were so many things yet that Bro. Eli revealed.

By Allan Ramos

I was in high school when I first heard Eli Soriano and it was my first time to hear a preacher with a different style of preaching. What surprised me was that he was answering a lot of questions that popped up in my head. I continued listening to him until I realized I was hooked up with the wisdom within him.

Time came that I wanted to join the church where he was preaching. However, my Mom slapped me in the face when my grandmother informed her about my decision. Although I wasn’t able to at my younger age, the lessons I learned from Eliseo Soriano based on the bible became a great part of my life.

The Ang Dating Daan program at IBC 13 that he hosted was off the air, but still the words I heard from Bro. Eli were always there to think about. However, as years went by and I started working, I began to be drowned with many bad habits, and liked the flesh and material pleasures in life.

And yet there was emptiness inside my heart. I was out of control and the only thing that I wished for was to change. I talked in silence to God to hear my wish that should he grant, I vowed to return to him. Later, I got a new job and a girlfriend. In the course of enjoying my happy days, I heard a voice that seemed to say, I granted your wish, now where is your vow?

I felt guilty and ashamed and asked the voice that if He wanted me to be with Him to please give or show me a sign. As I looked out the window of the jeepney where I was riding on, I saw Bro. Eli’s poster of the Bible Expositions that he usually gives to the public. I finally concluded that I was being called.

I was Catholic as well all of our family members. There are a lot of things I found out beginning when I started watching Eli Soriano on Television. I found out that those images in the Catholic Church are not gods; these are just idols, are fake, completely unbiblical! I also found out that there is no specific date of Jesus’ birth, so why then is Christmas being celebrated? The so-called “holy week” where the death of Jesus Christ is every year is ridiculous! There were so many things yet that Bro. Eli revealed.

I was baptized on April 14, 2009 by Bro. Ato Tobias. I remember the weird feelings and scenario that happened during our baptism day. I didn’t understand why I was crying all the time as the day was approaching. The pain from my head aches was really throbbing and I felt hot as if I was having a fever. The weirdest part that I remember was that I saw myself running towards the Baptistery and I jumped into the water. Then I told myself “Goodbye, you devil! This is the end of the line for you! I will be no longer yours and I will fulfill my vow to God.”

There were changes in me, of course. Before, I was a greedy person, and a playboy. I welcomed every temptation that came on my way. I didn’t easily forgive those who did me wrong. I got this great lust on my sight with girls – which probably I learned from my circle of friends before. Now, I don’t mix with them anymore.

From these changes, I have learned to be charitable and share what I have for others. I can resist temptation and forgive other people. Now also, I am able to avoid and talk myself out from girls who wear short skirts and suggestive attire. There are many out there who do not dress the way Bro. Eli teaches the women in the Church.

Since I became a member of the Church of God International, I love everything what we are doing. Beginning with the way we should properly dress, we got a preacher, a “God-send,” a messenger from God, and undeniably full of God’s wisdom. Bro. Eli is intelligent, a good leader, is caring to people, and has dedicated his life to serve God’s commandments to preachers around the world. He is very charitable. What I remember that he said that caught my attention is in Jer. 10:23.

O lord, I know that way of man [is] not in himself: [it is] not in man that walketh to direct his step

It was not easy changing my religion. There was great impact. After I was nearly a month being a member, my older brother (my closest brother even) went to our house (mom’s house) and started destroying anything he can punch on and confronted me and my wife and my in-laws, picking a fight. According to him, we were back-stabbing him, which charge was quite unlikely, unbelievable and absurd! My wife heard my second older brother’s wife say softly, “Yan nagpalit pa kasi ng relihiyon” (There it goes; why did you have to change religion anyway?). I was not expecting that from my closest brother since he was young. That was the time we finally decided to go our separate ways and get ourselves a new place to live in.

I thank God for bringing us to Bro. Eli, who in turn, brought us closer to God. I may say God moves in mysterious ways because I think the reason why I was able to be baptized earlier was so I could also bring in my wife and my sister- in-law to the Church.

But that was not the end of our trials. At work there’s an INC member who is trying to persuade me to attend their church gatherings. I always say no and he would start to debate. But he would walk-out for every debate we had.

In the beginning about 1990′s I haven’t heard from anybody saying bad things about Bro. Eli. It was only my brother who first saw Bro. Eli at IBC 13. He said, “Magaling ang preacher na ito at may sense ang sinasabi dahil sa biblia nya kinukuha ang sagot, kaya lang medyo tinitira nya yung ibang religion” (This preacher is intelligent and he is sensible because he gets all his answers from the Bible. The problem is that he attacks other religions.” My other brother and I felt odd because we were enjoying watching the Ang Dating Daan program, not realizing the hours we spend sometimes.

In the years 2000-2005, there were a lot of disinformation about Bro. Eli from people including my aunt and my mom. However, I remain steadfast believing that God’s messenger could not be that evil. If Bro. Eli is able to teach us to reform and change our lives, then we are in the right place. And to heck with all those attempts to discredit him.


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Why can my sins be forgiven by just kissing those wooden idols?

On a particular Good Friday, I made a confession to the parish priest. In order for my sins to be forgiven, he gave me an instruction to kiss the wooden idol in front of the altar. I was shocked and my mind started to challenge the Catholic doctrines.


By Anthony Lopos

I grew up in a family of Catholics. Since my childhood days, I regularly attended masses every Sunday, especially the Simbang Gabi, the nine consecutive dawn masses before Christmas celebration.

When I reached high school, my family joined the group of Mike Velarde’s El Shaddai, which made me more active in Catholic Church activities. I spent many nights in the PICC grounds in heavy rains and flood with umbrella turned upside down. We had considered the words of Mike Velarde prophetic, that we would receive more blessings from heaven by collecting rain water. Numerous times I raised three fresh eggs when Velarde performs his “pray over” ceremonies. I never questioned anything that this man told us to do; jumping three times, writing prayer request (with money of course) and attaching it to balloons so that it would reach heaven faster.

I was also an active youth participant during Word Youth Day in 1995 when John Paul II visited Manila. I remember when I was tirelessly waiting for the bullet-proof Pope Mobile to pass-by just to take picture of that man whom the Catholics consider the representative of Christ on earth.

During Lenten seasons, I regularly participated in visita iglesia and processions especially on Good Friday, the overnight walk to Grotto in San Jose Del Monte Bulacan.
Despite all these, there was an incident that triggered my mind into questioning the veracity of catholic doctrines. On a particular Good Friday, I made a confession to the parish priest. In order for my sins to be forgiven, he gave me an instruction to kiss the wooden idol in front of the altar. I was shocked and my mind started to challenge the catholic doctrine of worshipping idols: Why my sins can be forgiven by just kissing those wooden idols!

I started then looking for a new belief, a new religion. I tried to listen to Jehovah’s Witnesses when they regularly visited me in our house. I listened to doctrines of Iglesia Ni Cristo of Manalo; I attended several “Pamamahayag” through my uncle and aunt who were loyal deacon and deaconess of Iglesia Ni Cristo of Manalo. I attended several gatherings of Born Again Groups, MMCC, and the Pentecostal Church. I asked some of my friends who were members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church about their doctrines. I read articles of Islam.

I did all of these because of one thing: I was looking for the true religion after my disappointment to catholic doctrines. Since I was never convinced by any of these religious groups, in despair I decided to convince myself that maybe there is no God.

So I became an atheist at one point of my life. I studied science, the theory of evolution and other stuff the atheist people believe in order to convince myself that maybe there is really no God.

But deep inside, I knew there is a supernatural being that created all things. I read the Bible but I couldn’t find any group that would perfectly match what I read in the verses of the Holy Scriptures.

One day, a classmate of mine in engineering asked me a question that triggered my dying curiosity in religion. “Napapagod ba ang Dios”? was the question. (Does God get weary?) I answered “No.” He took the Bible in the library and read Isaiah 1:14 where God says he gets weary. He asked me again the same question and I answered back, “Of course, yes!” and cited the verse he read. But then he read Isaiah 40:28 where the Bible says God does not get weary.

He kept on asking question after question and giving answers directly from the verses of the Bible. Suddenly I felt my classmate (a member of Church of God International) knew something about religion. He knew something that I never heard from other religions.

I asked him, “From whom did you learn all these things”? He told me to watch on that night on SBN 21 the program “Ang Dating Daan”. There I saw the man who was teaching things I have never heard before.

That night was the first time I heard Bro. Eli Soriano on TV. There was something inside of me that I could not explain… a feeling of joy, the first time I felt in my life. I can still remember the moment when I finally told myself, “This is it, I found it!”

I finally found the true religion, the true Church of God in the Bible in 2001, so I immediately decided to join. There I learned that in order to be a member, I needed to fully understand and accept the doctrines of Christ in the Bible being taught to every aspiring members of the Church. I was enthusiastic then that I immediately joined the indoctrination sessions. I felt so much joy when I started learning one by one the fundamentals of Christian doctrines: to whom we should listen as our teacher when it comes to religion, how we should pray so that we can be assured that God our Father will listen to our prayers, and other topics that I never heard from any priests nor preachers of different religious groups.

But since I grew up in a religion that is very lax in following the commandments of our Lord Jesus, I was totally stunned when I started listening to the do’s and don’ts for a true Christian; discovering that this congregation truly and faithfully follows the teachings of Christ written in the Holy Scriptures.

That time I discovered that the first hindrance on my desire to follow our Lord Jesus Christ is my own self. Self-preservation and the idea that I might not be able to obey the doctrines of Christ prompted me to discontinue listening to the indoctrination.

Because of what I have learned previously from Bro. Eli’s preaching, I did not like listening to other religious preachers anymore. I could now easily determine the errors in their teachings. Although I was truly convinced that this is the true Church of God written in the Bible, I was being discouraged by my own self to serve God and follow His commandments. And so, for one year, I wandered spiritually.

Then the idea that one day Christ will judge all men on Judgment Day really scared me. I already committed many sins in the past. I realized that I was not ready that time to face my Creator if the Lord Jesus Christ would arrive on that very moment. I realized then that the divine fear that I felt was the driving force that brought me back to ADD Coordinating Center in order to listen, once again, to the most sensible preacher in our times, Bro. Eli Soriano, and learn the doctrines of Christ.

Barely a month after, I finished the indoctrination sessions on a cool Wednesday inside ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga. At 1:04 in the afternoon, December 18, 2002, Bro. Pablo Angue immersed me in the water of baptism. I cried for repentance of my sins, as I promised to God our Father that I will faithfully serve Him as a Christian for the rest of my life in the true Church of God. Thanks be to God, my entire being was totally changed thereafter.


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How can he be that evil when Bro. Eli’s teachings are so pure and unblemished?

I haven’t heard the saying, “Look into the teachings and not in the person” but only from him. So I craved for the teachings Bro. Eli taught from the Bible. I felt that I was a slave of a certain unseen force that I needed to escape and be freed.

By Crister Leal

I hadn’t known anything about Ang Dating Daan until my high-school days about 2001 or 2002 through a segment in a certain TV program of Bubble Gang titled, “Ang Dating Doon.” I didn’t know who those funny guys impersonated or spoofed back then till the music enthusiast in me craved for a music television channel.

I accidentally tuned in to SBN 21 where there were music videos back then, and found a program that showed a debate between religions. There I first saw Bro. Eliseo “Eli” Soriano of Ang Dating Daan. He was the host then of the long-running TV program, Ang Dating Daan. So, he was the guy they spoofed, the one that knew the Bible by heart.

In his program, I found the settings just like what I’ve seen in “Ang Dating Doon,” where there was a long table, a backdrop with trees and a pathway. I marveled at how Bro. Eli answered questions, all from the Bible. Even on debates, I saw how Bro. Eli triumphed against the other religions including my former one, the Roman Catholic. From there, I found myself addicted to that program; I found the truth.

But I was only a weakling high school teen back then, I knew my parents would get mad at me if I would join too early. So I waited. I was a choir guitarist in a catholic chapel way back then, but the teachings I heard from Bro. Eli were in my heart.

Whenever I was in the chapel I wouldn’t stand-up whenever the priest said so. I wouldn’t kneel down if the ‘Eucharist’ is held. I wouldn’t eat the ‘Host’ and most of all, I started not doing what they called the ‘sign of the cross.’ And with that the deacons and deaconess told me that I should behave well, but none of them did I obey. I had understood then from Bro. Eli about idol worship, about these signs and symbols that had no meaning for a real Christian.

Rumors came to me, from newspapers, from TV and from the internet that Bro Eli has too many law-cases and too many flaws. They said he is a rapist; they said he had libel cases and some said he is gay. When I heard all of those, I asked myself, how can that be? How, when all the teachings I heard from Bro. Eli are so pure and unblemished? I haven’t heard the saying, “Look into the teachings and not in the person” but only from him. So I craved for the teachings Bro. Eli taught from the Bible. I felt that I was a slave of a certain unseen force that I needed to escape and be freed.

Finally I graduated. No one can stop me now, not even the lies they throw at Bro. Eli. I’ve been listening for about 7 or 8 years. With the help of God I got baptized in 2010.

For the day of my baptism, I didn’t tell my mom about it days ahead. I only told her that dawn when I had to leave for Apalit. I didn’t wait for her lips to say something. I simply slipped past the door and went my way ahead.

My mother acted normal the first time but when I got active into various church’s activities especially in KKTK. Later on, she acted strange – not just like when I was a catholic that I came late at night from gatherings with friends drinking alcohol, barhopping and dating girls. Today she is madder when I went home late from church activities.

My father has reacted violently in text messages (because he is in Saudi Arabia) since that day I baptized, he’s texting that my church, the Members Church of God International, is a cult and was saying various things against Bro. Eli. There was a time when they almost dragged me out of the house when I got home from a trainees’ activity.

I haven’t had talks long enough with my friends from the choir group in the Catholic Church. My co-guitarist often borrowed my guitar and amplifier during Sundays way back then, but now he didn’t.

I had batch-mates in TUP-Manila that belonged to a Born-Again group named Lakas Angkan Youth Fellowship. Visiting their gatherings many times before, I found myself comparing that Born-Again group with MCGI. Bro. Eli’s teachings were in my heart way back then.

When my TUPian batchmates learned that I was baptized in MCGI some of them removed me from their friends’ list in Facebook. I had added their pastor-leader to my Facebook friends but he didn’t confirm my friend’s request. Meanwhile, my ex-girlfriend didn’t talk with me anymore after baptism.

Comparing my life before with my life now, for the flesh it was easier before. I got hired immediately. I was more relaxed at home resting at ease for I would not worry about mom and dad scolding me and blaming my 7 years in college. I could hang out with my friends and I can be dragged anywhere they go.

BUT I PREFER MY LIFE NOW. Indeed it is much easier before, and I can’t believe I am living this life now. Maybe it’s not me living anymore because without God I can’t do all these.

I haven’t seen Bro. Eli personally because when I got baptized he was not in the Philippines anymore. But what do I care if I haven’t seen him? I thank God for giving us a Brother Eli, because he introduced us the real teachings of Jesus Christ and taught us to endlessly thank and praise the true Almighty God. And all I can say is that Bro. Eli is innocent from all the lies which the enemies fabricated.

To this day, I thank the Almighty I’m still serving Him. To God be the glory!


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It was like the last song syndrome that it kept repeating in my head

As Bro. Eli speaks, I also sniff the shabu’s smoke from the filter. My two senses were taking different drugs at the same time: My nose was inhaling the shabu smoke, while my ears were tuned to the words of God in the Bible.

By Conrado Pagulayan

My life before I was called in the Church of God is what is called a “non-sense” life.

I was a drunkard. I was also addicted to drugs, particularly marijuana. Marijuana is usually smoked as a cigarette. One experiences some high when smoking marijuana. There is pleasure in it, but it can distort perceptions.

I also came to the point that I could not perform any task without taking any shabu. Shabu is a prohibited drug that is addictive and destructive. These are some of the following effects for an occasional user: i) Insomnia which can last for as long as three days; ii) You feel energized and alert; iii) It enhances activity , iv) There is increased sexuality, and v) It makes you lose your appetite. Some take shabu in order to lose weight. I was taking it for all the pleasure I derive from it. Just like Marijuana, there is pleasure in taking shabu.

To support my vices, I became a driver of a friend who was an extensive user of shabu. Aside from salary, I also received my personal shabu supply from them. That is also the reason I became more addicted to drugs, but this paved the way for my calling in the Church.

It was during one of those sleepless nights. This is one of shabu’s effects to me. Perhaps I was already experiencing long-term effects which can include among others, anxiety, confusion, and insomnia.

I was high at that time. To entertain myself, I turned on the radio. There, at that moment, was my first time to hear Bro. Eliseo Soriano’s voice.

While I was listening to Bro. Eli’s program, the Ang Dating Daan, I was also taking shabu. I was doing it simultaneously. As Bro. Eli speaks, I also sniff the shabu’s smoke from the filter. My two senses were taking different drugs at the same time: My nose was inhaling the shabu smoke, while my ears were tuned to the words of God in the Bible.

I continued on listening to Bro. Eli for quite a time. I kept tuning in to his program in the radio as I always longed for his voice. One day, I found myself more addicted to what Bro. Eli was saying. Because of Bro. Eli, I was more addicted now to the teachings in the Bible.

Listening to this preacher made me realize that I should change. Even before, I was dreaming of change. It just couldn’t be! I can’t remain with my vices.

But then I loved my vices. On the other hand, I also loved listening to Bro. Eli, which is why I decided to continue with both.

I think God has His own ways. I think God touched my heart. Suddenly, there were some questions in my mind that were answered upon listening to Bro. Eli. It is also the answers that made me come to my senses.

It was when someone inquired to Bro. Eli. That someone was asking, “How will someone know if he is being called by God?” Bro. Eli replied, “It is when you get to be interested with the words of God, if you are always searching for it”.

And then, it was followed with the question, “Would someone change by himself alone?” Bro. Eli answered, “No, if it’s only for man alone. He cannot change himself. He needs God to lead him in righteousness. If it is his will, God will help him.”

After that second question, another question didn’t leave my mind; the same question that became the basis of my affiliation. The question was “What if you are already faithful, yet you are not following the will of God, what will happen to you?”

Bro. Eliseo Soriano read Proverbs 1:24-31 which said something about hard-headedness, disregarding God’s counsel and God would not anymore listen but laugh at one’s calamity.

Proverbs 1:25-31 (New International Version)

25 since you disregard all my advice
and do not accept my rebuke,
26 I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you;
I will mock when calamity overtakes you—
27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm,
when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind,
when distress and trouble overwhelm you.
28 “Then they will call to me but I will not answer;
they will look for me but will not find me,
29 since they hated knowledge
and did not choose to fear the LORD.
30 Since they would not accept my advice
and spurned my rebuke,
31 they will eat the fruit of their ways
and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.

I was astonished! From that time on, I kept hearing these words of God in my mind. It was like the “last song syndrome” that it kept repeating in my head. I have never heard of it before.

Now, it rings in my head. This happens mostly at a time I do something evil. The echo is there to remind me! It keeps me balanced, and I am now free of my vices.

Thanks be to God! I am now affiliated with this church, the Members Church of God International (MCGI). This is the church where I experienced fear of God and his laws. Now, I am a changed man. To God be the glory!

[ Conrad Pagulayan is a Group Servant, of the Locale of Cubao].

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