Welcome to Church of God Sharing Village!
- Category: News
- Created on 28 March 2014
- Last Updated on 29 March 2014
- Written by Administrator
We have moved! Announcing our new Sabbath assembly place…
We are pleased to share with you our new Sabbath assembly place located at Unit 205, Cityland Dela Rosa Condominium, 7648 Dela Rosa Street, Makati City. Starting January 2014, brethren from Metro Manila and nearby cities/municipalities are invited to join us in our weekly Sabbath worship services starting at 1:00pm every Saturdays.
We are also scheduling a Bible Study for beginners during mornings of each Sabbath and conducting the following services formats in the afternoon:
· Traditional Format (with Sermonette/Scripture Reading and Sermon)
· Song Service (Hymns Singing and Scriptural Readings)
· Q&A Bible Questions
· Interactive Bible Study (Everybody participates)
Come join us in our new and easily accessible location as we openly study God’s word, worship and sing songs of praise, and offers our thanksgiving to the our Great Creator God, the Father of All Mankind by and through His Son Jesus Christ who has given us Life!
- Category: Scripture Studies
- Created on 10 November 2013
- Last Updated on 10 November 2013
- Written by Raul Hipe
This week, my family remembered a very fragile and innocent life that was taken away from our midst. We remembered the life of our baby we named Mattea. If not for her delicate birth, a brain injury that she suffered, she would have been three years old by now, probably walking around, trying to find her place in this life.
Her memory comes to us in a bittersweet way. It was sweet because we were able to hold her, see her, glance at her face for the four months that she was with us (she was born June 1, 2010). It was ‘bitter’ because of the pain of losing her.
From then on, I realize how pain can be such a unifying force of emotion. If music, they say, is the universal language and our feeling of happiness or joy maybe unique or subjective to each of us, pain is the most common of all emotions.
Someone has said,” Man enters the world with a cry and leaves it with a moan”.
Such is the universality of pain and at various times in our lives we felt pain – may it be severe, physical pain or emotional pain. Sickness brings pain. Accident brings pain, cut or wounds, even a broken tooth can be painful, etc. Of course, there is also the issue of mental and spiritual agony, which are often more difficult to bear than physical pain.
Is there some purpose for our pain? Does it serve some good reason?
How can one explain pain or suffering?
One of the most common answers we get from the theologians of today is that “God suffers with us.” However, no matter how valid such reasoning, the idea is inadequate in providing comfort to some real pain. It is like going to a doctor and after saying, “Doc, I am in pain…” and the doctor replies, “Oh, I have many pains, too.”
Still, one of the most puzzling of all man’s troubles is human pain and suffering. It seems very unreasonable. For example, why must the innocent people –even children –suffer in such horrible ways. Why the need to go through pain? And even death?
One of the news headlines this week in the aftermath of the earthquake in Bohol – parents are still looking for their four children in the town near the area of Maribojoc, Bohol. Apparently, those children were just swimming and playing in a creek when the earthquake struck and they were in an instant covered with boulders and mud. They have not been found until now. They are still missing – the rescuers have given up their search.
C.S. Lewis, a British born writer, spiritual thinker and theologian, famous for his children’s books such as Chronicles of Narnia, also wrote a fine book entitled The Problem with Pain. In his book, he cited a common question about pain: “If God were good, He would wish to make His creatures perfectly happy, and if God were almighty, He would be able to do what He wished. But the creatures are not happy, therefore God lacks either goodness, or power, or both.”
Is there an answer to this question?
As a general understanding, pain and suffering is often a result of man’s own sin. We can find that from the beginning of man’s history. When sin entered, what came along with it was pain and sorrow.
"To the woman He said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception;
In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband,
And he shall rule over you.” Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it, All the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you,
And you shall eat the herb of the field." Genesis 3:16-18 (NKJV, all throughout)
The context here is that when Adam and Eve sinned, pain ensued such as childbearing, and the “sorrows and toil” in life –these are the resulting effects or consequences of man’s wrong choices.
There are other physical evidences of pain as a result of man’s own sin. For instance, when a person abuses his/her body, by drinking alcohol, smoking, taking in drugs and other addictive substances, these will inevitably cause sickness to his/her body – bringing upon himself/herself pain and suffering that will even lead to death. Because of wrong choices and sinful behavior, a person suffers – these include the murderers, the corrupt, the liars and the cheats. In the long run, they will suffer the consequences of their actions.
This is what we call the freedom of man’s choice and will. God determined in His infinite wisdom that man must live according to his own choices. The decisions that man makes for this freedom also included the possibility of choosing evil, as well as good. Thus when man chooses “good and life”, it has real significance.
On the other hand, when we say that the consequence of our sin is suffering, this explanation is incomplete. While it explains much suffering, it does not explain ALL sufferings. How can we answer those pain inflicted on the innocent, for example? Pain and death caused by accidents or natural disasters such as earthquakes and typhoons?
In the 13th chapter of Luke, Jesus faced this question:
"There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”Luke 13:1-5
In other words, Jesus was saying that catastrophes sometimes happened to some people not because they were more sinners than the rest. But accidents may it natural or man-made “terror” can happen anytime and in any place, therefore the necessity to consider oneself. Consider our life and the choices we are making and ultimately our standing before God because in the end, this is what matters before God.
In the gospel of John, this same subject is raised by Jesus for a lesson:
Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. John 9:1-4
So instead of just sulking in a corner, so to speak, we turn to God for His works of reparation, redemption, healings and restoration. These are the continuing works of God and messianic works of Jesus Christ until all is completed in His Kingdom.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”Luke 4:18-19
That's the gospel of the Kingdom—receiving healing and deliverance from every pain is one of its focal message.
- Category: Feasts and Holy Days
- Created on 30 October 2013
- Last Updated on 10 November 2013
- Written by Raul Hipe
Feast 2013 Message
The Feast of Tabernacles has been very dear to us for the past years. It has been uniquely dear to us in fact, in the Church of God tradition. Somehow we have a different way of looking at it, even unique from the Jewish’ “way of thinking”, from which the Feast has developed. The Jews or Israel see this Feast from their national and historical perspective but we look at the Feast of Tabernacles in its future or prophetic significance.
The Feast can evoke different memories and stories. Some good and maybe a few not so good. Somehow our unique experiences during the Feast help us view it in a very special and transforming way. We, in the Church of God, are a testament to its spiritual usefulness or benefits. How the feast moved us, how the Feast shaped us – our families and friends.
Personally speaking, while my family always enjoys the Feast in full rejoicing for the past sixteen years, and longer than that when my wife and I were still singles, you will agree with me that the Feast is not just a “vacation” to enjoy. Looking back, I came to realize that it is really hard work. Notice how everyone of us here is involved not just in the preparation stage, but in every activity and program.
Most of us, I think, are already knowledgeable and have become “experts” in a special way in almost all aspects of the Feast. In planning, preparation, packing, travel –we have our unique responsibilities –hall set-up, flowers, tables, food preparation, the technical crew, the music ensemble, the program and activities to share. That ‘s how our very life has revolved around the Feast! Our yearlong journey in life is shaped by the Feast.
It is a way of coming up to the Feast “not empty handed”. It is an opportunity for all of us to share the fruits of our physical and spiritual harvest. Hence, we grow from the physical to the spiritual aspect of the Feast. Everyone from our children to adults –has his/her own offerings to share and contribute.
But going back to the basics of it, what really is the Feast all about? What does the Feast of Tabernacles have to do with us individually?
This is the theme that I would like to share with you in this Feast message.
Fortunately, no nation or denomination or church, or individual throughout history can claim that they “own” the Feast, that they have the sole right to the Feast. This is not the Feast of Jews/Israel only – we say it is the “Lord’s Feast”!
Very early in the morning yesterday, I was asked by Teacher’s Camp’s personnel-“Sir, were you with the same people in the… (pointing his finger to a place or venue), I answered, “Yes, we are brethren, we are at one with them in proclaiming God’s Feast”.
So what will you say? What does the Feast of Tabernacles have to do with you?
The apostle Paul in his letter to the Romans has this personal admonition to all of us to think for the Feast:
“I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable will of God.” Romans 12:1-2
We are God’s living sacrifice, we have our own way of proclaiming God’s will – as God transforms us, and as we conform to His will.
That is why our service, our little sacrifices here, has its way of molding us into His way of life.
Whatever talent God has given you, your skill, your service, it is yours alone to offer and to share. It is your “reasonable service” as the apostle Paul puts it.
And the Feast is that occasion where we can put these things to work! But not only that, Paul says, it should be ”holy and acceptable to God”, Can we think of any other place, occasion, celebration where God “accepts” us or receives us?
Not on man’s holidays as they saw fit – it must have to be on God’s holy days – His feast days or holy days-
“You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles seven days, when you have gathered from your threshing floor and from your winepress. And you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant and the Levite, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow, who are within your gates. Seven days you shall keep a sacred feast to the Lord your God in the place which the Lord chooses, because the Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you surely rejoice.” Deuteronomy 16:13-15
So God accepts us or receives us on His ordained Feast and in places where His name abides.
Here the Lord accepts us and here His blessings are bestowed. That’s why it is sad that I can still hear of somebody’s plan of “not attending”(?).
The Feast of Tabernacles is a reminder for us all – that our life here is a pilgrimage. Just as the tabernacle or “booth” reminded us of life’s transitory nature, we are not to set our minds on the physical.
That’s why the idea of “holiness” or setting apart – from the cares of this world is paramount in keeping the Feast. Apostle Paul has this reminder about our life’s pilgrimage:
Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.
12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Colossians 3:2-4,7,12-17
This is the holiness that we must be putting on- the need for patience, the need to exercise our being humble, meek, and kind to the brethren in the presence of the most awesome God.
The Feast of Tabernacles reminds us that we are not “of this world” – that we are preparing and looking for God’s kingdom where righteousness and peace dwells. With this knowledge, the materialistic in us must be changed. Always thinking for the material things has a way of dissuading us to focus on the spiritual truths. It turns our minds back to the worries and cares of this world. That’s why if our life’s focus is on the material things, we won’t be able to experience the true meaning and benefits of rejoicing . Hence, this is a paradox of our rejoicing – if we are attached to the material, we won’t be experiencing joy! (“you shall have nothing but joy” -Deut. 16:15)
- Category: Scriptures With Songs
- Created on 04 August 2013
- Last Updated on 04 August 2013
- Written by Vivian Hipe
Scriptures with Songs: Lessons God's Creatures –THE ANIMALS
HYMN 1: Praise You the Lord, p.40
HYMN 2: Great God Who Made the Universe, p. 13
HYMN 3: We Sing the Mighty Power of God p. 3
The Bible shows a vital interest in every aspect of God’s creation. It looks upon the creatures in terms of how mankind relates to it rather than in terms of its physical structure or nature. For example, in Genesis 1:14, it states that God created the heavenly lights for signs and seasons and for days and years. It does not state how God was able to combine all chemical/material components to create what we now call stars. Also, in Genesis 1:29, it states that God created the herbs and fruit bearing trees for food of both man and beast.
In Genesis 1:25, it was stated that His creation was “good”, translated from the Hebrew word “tov” which means that vital and important lessons can drawn from them. God is the Creator of all things and He is also concerned with His creation. Not even a lowly sparrow falls to the ground without God’s eyes on it (Matt 10:29).
So, in today’s Hymn Singing and Scriptural Reading Service, we will focus on God’s creatures that populate the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation. The animals. Scientists form theories about animals based on their physical characteristics and draw conclusion to justify yet a popular theory, the evolution. On the other hand, the Bible reveals the unique role of animals in relation to man.
Our first set of Bible readers will elucidate certain facts about these creatures-
BIBLE READER No. 1 will read the creation account and the privilege and responsibility God gave to man concerning the animals
BIBLE READER No. 2 will read the account about Noah and the directive given by God in anticipation of the flood that will kill both wicked man and beast. Notice that in this account, God is not only mindful about Noah’s family but also His creatures.
BIBLE READER NO. 3 will read the account of how God used some of the animals to plague and strip off the pride of Egypt.
FACILITATOR: Thank you to our first set of bible readers. Let us now rise brethren and sing responsive thanksgiving hymns.
HYMN 4: Some Trust in Chariots,
HYMN 5: When Israel Out of Egypt Went, p 92
FACILITATOR : Thank you brethren, Please be seated. As mentioned in God’s command to Adam, man should subdue and have dominion over animals. God also determined right from the very start how to utilize animals. Our next 3 bible readers will read Scriptures that show the fundamental use of animals
BIBLE READER NO. 4 will read the accounts of Abel, Noah and Abraham as they sent sweet smelling aroma to God through the sacrifice of animals. He will also read God’s statutes through Moses regarding offerings.
BIBLE READER NO. 5 will read the statutes of God about animals as food for man.
BIBLE READER NO. 6 will read other uses of animals – for clothing, as beasts of burden and as a means of transportation, etc.
FACILITATOR : Thank you bible readers. Please all rise brethren as we sing the following hymns as we praise God:
HYMN 6: Like the Deer, p. 184
HYMN 7: On Eagle’s Wings, p 84
Thank you brethren. Please be seated. And now, let us direct our attention to specific animals that God used in order for man to learn some spiritual lessons. These animals have certain characteristics that God would like His people to have. The Bible is generous in giving us the details on how these animals paraded their enviable character.
The first animal we will study is the Eagle. Eagles are included among the birds mentioned in the Bible (Lev. 11:13),not suitable for food, but they were admired as majestic birds. The golden eagle, which was common in the land of Israel, is really dark brown with sprinkles of gold, has a 26-meter (8-feet) wingspread. It nests in high places that are inaccessible (Jer. 49:16). There, in a nest which the eagle makes larger each year, the eagle hatches two eggs. Usually only one eaglet survives to adulthood. An eagle has KEEN EYESIGHT. He can spot his prey while soaring hundreds of feet in the air. Like a lightning bolt, he drops to seize it, killing it quickly with his powerful claws. Then he swoops back to his nest to rip the meat apart and share it with his young. BIBLE READER NO. 7 will read a passage about the eagle having a very keen eyesight or vision. She/He will also be reading verses about the importance of having a vision of God’s plan.
- Category: Scriptures With Songs
- Created on 14 May 2013
- Last Updated on 14 May 2013
- Written by Vivian Hipe
Mga Hiwaga sa Biblia
SONG SERVICE SCRIPT – MARCH 9, 2013
Magandang umaga ng Sabbath mga kapatid. Maraming salamat sa ating Sharing Village ensemble sa kanilang prelude na nagbukas sa atin sa presensya ng ating Panginoong Diyos. Tayo’y magsitayo at sa ating pagsisimula ng gawain at pagpupuri sa Panginoong Diyos, ating tawagin si Ginoong ____________ para tayo ay pamunuan sa ating panimulang panalangin.
Maraming salamat G.________, manatili tayong nakatayo at buksan ang ating hymnal sa
HYMN 1 – pahina 32 –ALL CREATURES OF OUR GOD AND KING
HYMN 2 – pahina 165 – GOD OF THE AGES
HYMN 3 –pahina 71 - GATHER US IN
Maraming salamat mga kapatid, kayo’y mangagsiupo.
MYSTERY, MISTERYO, HIWAGA, LIHIM O SIKRETO – mga kataga o salita na kapag ginagamit sa ating pangkasalukuyan pananalita ay nangangahulugan ng mga natatagong mga bagay o kaalaman.
Marami sa atin ay nakahiligan nang magbasa ng mga tinatawag na mystery books na kung saan ang may-akda ay pilit na itinatago ang tunay na pangyayari sa buong aklat at sa dulo lamang inihahayag ang tunay na pakahulugan.
Subalit ang Bibliya, ang ating banal na aklat ay hindi isang “mystery book”.
Sa tuwing mababanggit sa Banal na Kasulatang ang salitang “mystery”, misteryo o hiwaga, kaakibat nito ang mga salitang, “inilalahad, “ibinubunyag”, “ipinapaintindi”, o sa wikang Ingles, “revealed”, “manifested”, “comprehend”, “understand”.
Sa katunayan, ang salitang Griyego, musterion, na pinagmulan ng salitang mystery ay may kahulugang – “upang ipaalam ang kahulugan ng mga espesyal na sikreto”.
Ang mga tao, dahil sa kanilang mga kasalanan at sariling limitasyong pisikal ay nananatiling mangmang sa kung ano ang plano ng Diyos kapag sila ay hinayaan sa kanilang mga sariling interpretasyon at kaparaanan.
Ang Panginoong Diyos na mahabagin ay sinasagot ang kakulangang ito sa pamamagitan ng paglalahad ng kanyang plano.
Kaya naman, ang plano ng Diyos ay inilalahad, ang tawag sa Bibliya ng mga ito ay “mystery”, “misteryo” o “hiwaga”.
Sa araw na ito ng Sabbath, ating pag aaralan ang mga misteryo na inilahad ng Panginoong Diyos sa kanyang Banal na Kasulatan.
Ang ating unang grupo o batch ng mga tagabasa ay maglalahad ng unang tatlong misteryo ng Diyos.
1.UNANG TAGABASA (Reader 1) – ay magbabasa ng mga piling talata tungkol sa MISTERYO NG BANAL NA KASULATAN
2.PANGALAWANG TAGABASA (Reader 2) –ay magbabasa naman ng tungkol sa MISTERYO NG PANANAMPALATAYA
3. PANGATLONG TAGABASA (Reader 3) – ay magbabasa ng mga talatang tungkol sa MISTERYO NG MABUTING BALITA
Salamat sa unang grupo ng mga tagabasa.
Sa pamamagitan ng ating pananampalataya,dito natin mauunawaan na sa halip na itinatago,binubuksan sa atin ng ating Panginoong Diyos ang katotohanan ng kanyang ebanghelyo at kautusan.
Tayo’s magsitayo at ating pagtibayin ang pagpapasalamat at pagpupuri sa Kanya sa pamamagitan ng pag awit. Buksan natin ang ating hymnal sa
HYMN 4- pahina 86 – FEAR NOT REJOICE AND BE GLAD
HYMN 5- pahina 186 – THE LAW OF GOD
Salamat mga kapatid. Kayo’y magsiupo at pagtuunan natin ng pansin ang misteryo ng Diyos. Ano nga ba ang gustong ipahiwatig ng Panginoong Diyos tungkol sa Kanya? Ano ang papel na ginagampanan ng Diyos Ama at ni Jesu-Cristo? Ang lahat ng ito ay inihahayag sa mga piling talata na babasahin ng ating mga sumusunod na tagabasa:
4. PANG-APAT NA TAGABASA (Reader 4) –ay magbabasa naman ng mga talatang nagpapahayag ng MISTERYO NG PAGKAMAKADIYOS. Paano napapakita ang kahulugan ng karakter na ito ng Diyos
5. IKALIMANG TAGABASA (Reader 5) – ay magbabasa ng mga piling talata na naghahayag ng MISTERYO NI CRISTO
6. IKA-ANIM NA TAGABASA (Reader 6) – ay magbabasa ng mga talata tungkol sa MISTERYO NG PAGKADIYOS NI CRISTO
- Category: Scriptures With Songs
- Created on 09 December 2012
- Last Updated on 18 January 2013
- Written by Vivian Hipe
Garden Lessons in the Bible (Scriptures With Songs)
OPENING PRAYER :
OPENING HYMNS :
Hymn 1: The Creator of Life (p. 202)
Hymn 2: All Praise Him (p.223)
Hymn 3: All His Children (p.147)
In John 15:1-2, Jesus Christ said,” “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”
In these verses we find a very revealing description Jesus used to describe the work of His Father, God as a “vinedresser”
In other translations, vinedresser was translated as “gardener”(NIV, NLT) God as the Gardener.
From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible is replete with flora and fauna, trees, shrubs, rivers or ponds, flowers and fruits. Indeed, God uses these imageries to make known His plan. Jesus Christ compares God’s Kingdom to a vineyard, to a farm, to a piece of land with trees, plants and animals. In other words, to a garden.
In today’s Song Service, we will visit five gardens in the Bible that are very significant in the fulfillment of God’s plan for mankind. We will look into each one’s symbolism to better appreciate God’s role as a vinedresser – as a gardener.
The first Garden that we will visit is the Garden of Eden – the so-called Garden of Birth or beginnings.
Bible Reader 1: Will read how detailed God was in making things ready for man by “planting” the first garden.
Bible Reader 2 : will read verses that introduced another being in the Garden of Eden that “destroys” the idyllic setting of Eden. In Ezekiel 28, he was represented by the King of Tyre and in Ezekiel 31, he was represented by Pharaoh.
Ezekiel 28: 12-19
Ezekiel 31:2-14, 18
Bible Reader 3: Will read verses that usher in the birth of man’s sin. Man had been given a choice – to obey God or not, and in this instance, no matter how beautiful and perfect the surroundings were, man chose the wrong path that resulted in his banishment from the Garden.
Hymn 4: Great God Who Made the Universe (p.13)
Hymn 5: God Leads Us Along (p.83)
FACILITATOR: After the Fall of Man,God guarded the Garden of Eden so that man will not eat the fruit of the tree of life and live miserable lives forever. End of story? No! The Bible introduces us to another Garden, the Garden of En Gedi that explains to us God’s quality in action – LOVE. In 1 John 4:7-9, it says,
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.”
Bible Reader 4: Will read verses in the Song of Songs that describe the love between a man and a woman exemplified by the rich visualization of the Garden of En Gedi.
Song of Songs 1:1-8, 12-17
Song of Songs 2:1-3,10-14
Song of Songs 4:12-15
Song of Songs: 6:2-3
Bible Reader 5: Will read verses that showed God’s love for Israel. Please note the imageries used by God to describe His love for Israel
Hosea 2:14-17, 19-23
- Category: Good News of The Kingdom of God
- Created on 10 November 2012
- Last Updated on 18 January 2013
- Written by Raul Hipe
During the thirteenth century Europe, a young Italian mother bore a son and named him “Mark” after the gospel writer in the hope that one day, he would grow up to tell truths just like his namesake.
It is however ironic that later, when Mark wrote his bestselling book on world travels, many skeptics labeled it “Il Milione” - “The Book of a Million Lies”. Instead of becoming a truth bearer, Mark was called Marco Milione or “Marco the Man with a Million Lies.”
Many Europeans found it impossible to believe Mark’s story of a faraway land. His claim was considered preposterous and even heretical in a 13th century Europe that believed the world was flat, that they were the center of the universe. But as Mark claimed, he was seventeen when he started an epic journey of his life that took him across the plains of Russia, the rough and rugged mountains of Afghanistan, the deserts of Persia (Iran), the desolate land of Mongolia and had seen the top of the world through the Himalayas mountains.
Mark was the first person to travel the world by foot from West to East. He was the first European man to enter (or discover) a city in the east called Cathay. Through an amazing set of circumstances, he became a favorite envoy of the most powerful ruler named Kublai Khan whose vast empire eclipsed that of the ancient Roman Empire. Mark saw cities that made European capitals look like roadside villages. The ‘great’ Khan palaces dwarfed the largest castles and cathedrals in Europe. His court was so massive that its banquet room alone could seat 6,000 diners at one time, each eating on a plate of gold. Mark became the first Italian to taste that Chinese culinary innovation called “pasta”. As an officer of the court, he was able to travel and catalogue places no European would see for another 500 years.
After serving for 17 years in Khan’s court, Mark began his journey back home to Venice. Khan had sent with him gold, silk, and spices along with his recipe for making pasta! Mark was also guarded with 1,000 soldiers. But by the time he reached the Indian ocean, 600 of his men had drowned or died of disease. After a harrowing two-year journey, a ragged Mark barely limped home, most of his riches were lost along the way.
When Mark began to tell his story, many people dismissed it as mythical. Coming from a family of priests did not help him, he was even rebuked for spinning lies. When further troubles landed Mark on prison, he dictated his chronicles to another prisoner who happened to be a writer. His book became famous and was known in English as The Travels of Marco Polo. But the cynical public dismissed it as Il Milione: The Book of a Million Lies. He would never shake his nickname: Marco, the man of a million lies. At his deathbed, his family, friends, and parish priest begged him to recant his tales of China lest he rot in hell for his lies. Setting his jaw and gasping for breath, Mark breathed out his final words: “I have not even told you half of what I saw.”
Though 13th century Europeans dismissed his stories as the tall tales of an unrepentant liar or lunatic, history has proven the truthfulness of “The Travels of Marco Polo”. Today no one will ever deny the existence of China, and the reign of its famous emperor Kublai Khan, whose empire reached from the the Black Sea to the Pacific, from Russia, Mongolia, Korea, to modern day Afghanistan and India—one fifth of the world’s inhabited land area.
“Write the things which you have seen”
But do you know that thirteen-hundred years before Marco Polo, another journey—a vision was revealed to a man—but this time, this man’s journey took him to another realm or kingdom? He saw and penned it in a book we can call the “travels of John” in the book of Revelation. Apostle John opened the book of Revelation with his direct testimony as follows:
"I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea..
19 Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this. Revelation 1:9-11,19
“Write the things which you have seen...” the angel told John and this he did and so we have today an amazing vision—a journey to a great and “holy city”—the new Jerusalem in God’s kingdom! Will you believe what John wrote?
- Category: Feasts and Holy Days
- Created on 24 October 2012
- Last Updated on 22 January 2013
- Written by Administrator
The First Holy Day: Feast of Tabernacles 2012 (video)-
Features messages and music:
Offertory: Thanksgiving to the LORD God Almighty for His marvelous continuing work; giving thanks is giving what's really important to us (-Juan Gabriel Cardona)
Main: In the 13th century, people dismissed Marco Polo's adventures as mere lies, yet far surpassing is the Revelation of Jesus Christ about the Kingdom of God, as revealed to apostle John, weaving a thread which goes back to the beginning of time, not hidden, but revealed by the Creator to men and women throughout history, however incredulous it always seems to the human majority (-Raul de Asis Hipe)
Played on instruments or sung:
This Is The Day, by John Rutter
Come Follow Me, by Don Besig & Nancy Price
Creation Sings The Father’s Song, by Keith & Kristyn Getty
In The Kingdom, by Steven Rudolph