Some Fundamental Topics of the Doctrine of the Church of God Ministry of Jesus Christ Internacional

Introduction

The Church of God Ministry of Jesus Christ International (CGMJCI, hereafter) was born in 1972 as a Christian Church, practitioner of the Bible, led by the Holy Spirit, in which spiritual gifts manifest themselves—especially the gift of prophecy.

In the first prophecy given by the Holy Spirit through Sister Maria Luisa Piraquive,—which took place in 1972—to her then-husband Luis Eduardo Moreno, God made, among others, the following promises:

“I will make this small fold into a great nation where I will manifest myself. I will bring prosperity; I will bring souls; I will teach you the doctrine and I will use you, give you all the spiritual gifts and will support you, I will increase my people greatly all over the world; I will raise it up. I, myself will lead and govern the church.”

“Anywhere a sincere soul can be found, I will take them out of those places and bring them to this place. I will give life, peace, joy and happiness in abundance to all those sheep. Some will wish to join you, to establish contact with you and My Church.

“Whoever goes into My Church will be financially and spiritually blessed. Many people will convert and will respect My Church. I will teach you My doctrine, My way of salvation; I will give you revelations and support your words.

“My Spirit will guide you, and teach you all things.”

Since then unto our present day, all these promises are being continuously fulfilled; people have had the opportunity to hear God through the gift of prophecy, along with the beautiful experiences He gives to lead them; in addition to visions, dreams, God’s revelations, and the gift of discernment.

The Bible states in 2 Corinthians 3:17 … where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty, and this verse is fulfilled in Church, because those who attend can confirm that it is God Himself who makes an impact on their lives, rather than men. Therefore, there is no pressure, no one is chased, no one is forced. Instead, with liberty, on a volunteer basis, step by step with reverence, love towards God and fear of God, the Lord Himself starts doing His work in each believer; He teaches each person, writes His commandments on each person’s hearts, which gives way to many blessings, and the person who believes starts living a new life.

Those who attend the CGMJCI enjoy God’s power in their hearts. They change and start leading a new life. They are transformed away from their vices and faults. They have been blessed in the material areas of their lives. Nonetheless, the main blessing is that they are filled with joy, trust, gladness, and peace, which only God can grant.

After over four decades of enjoying this manifestation, it is wonderful to witness the growth of the Church. To date, there are almost 1000 church sites worldwide, in which hundreds of thousands of people enjoy the complete Gospel, the kingdom of heaven, the living God who leads His people.

The Existence of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit

The Church of God Ministry of Jesus Christ International preaches the existence of God; God the Creator; He who made the heavens, the earth and everything in them. The existence of the God who neither had a beginning nor an end; He who is the First and the Last; the Alpha and the Omega; the God referenced in the Bible—the Book of Books that was inspired by God Himself, through His Holy Spirit, which has been compiled from the mouth and hand-writings of God’s servants over time, and has reached our days.

Scripture states in Deuteronomy 6:

4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!”

Our Lord Jesus Christ referred to the same God—being One with Him—in Mark 12:

29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.”

These refer to the same God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—and we believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him, just as Hebrews 11 states:

6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Since the very first few verses in the Bible, God Himself taught man that His plurality and divinity was evident, when Scripture states that the Three of Them were present when all things were created. The book of Genesis so states from its very first chapter:

26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

Or when He set out to break away man’s pretensions in the land of Babel, He manifested Himself to confuse the language of those who had began the work, as stated in Genesis 11:

6 And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. 7 Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.”

Moreover, such wonderful truth is also made evident in the New Testament, when Paul the apostle bears account of the greatness of the Most High God, and refers to Him in chapter 12 in the first letter to the Corinthians, stating that although He is one, He does many things.

4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.

He is only One God, but He is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

When referring to the Father, the Bible—just to quote one of many examples—wonderfully calls Him, through poetry and beautiful words, the Ancient of Days, in Daniel 7:

9 “I watched till thrones were put in place, and the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire; 10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, and the books were opened.

Just as Isaiah’s vision, as recorded in chapter 6, when God made a calling to him. Isaiah did not proclaim himself a prophet of the Lord, but rather, it was the Lord who set him aside; it was God’s decision to place His words in Isaiah.

1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. 2 Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!” 4 And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 So I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts.”

This is God: The Lord is His name; the Lord of hosts; the Lord mighty in battle; the Rock; the sublime God; the only God and there is none other like Him—just as Isaiah states in chapter 44:

8 Do not fear, nor be afraid; have I not told you from that time, and declared it? You are My witnesses. Is there a God besides Me? Indeed there is no other Rock; I know not one.

  • The Son was with God the Father in the beginning, all throughout the creation of everything our eyes today can see. In Genesis 1 this is noticeable, when it refers to the Light in a spiritual sense, which would later become flesh, in the form of our Lord Jesus Christ by stating:

    3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.

    It does not refer to a physical light, which at first comes to us from the sun, as referenced in verse 18 of this same chapter, as follows:

    18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.

    This is corroborated when the Bible also states in John 1:

    1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

    Therefore, this is a plan established by God since before the foundation of the world, when both the Father and the Son agreed on the role each One would play, a covenant to grant us access to salvation, to eternal life—according to the redeeming work of Christ on the cross of Calvary.

    The entire chapter 53 from the book of Isaiah the prophet is dedicated to the redeeming work of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was announced to those who longed for it; it was carried out on those who feared the Lord, saw Him and believed in the mercy of the Most High by way of the Savior.

    11 Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him. 3 He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. 4 Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth. 8 He was taken from prison and from judgment, and who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgressions of My people He was stricken. 9 And they made His grave with the wicked—but with the rich at His death, because He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth. 10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. 11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because He poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

    And also with Psalm 40 the written word of God thus confirms it:

    77 Then I said, “Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me;

    In spite of being the only begotten Son of God, He gave Himself for us to grant us access to this great salvation, just as the Gospel According to John in chapter 3 states:

    16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”

    Nonetheless, salvation can be achieved through Him, as we have said. However, in order to reach such blessing from God, it is necessary to believe in Him, to believe Him—truly doing so, because although it might seem a simple thing to do, it is not. Hence, it cannot be assumed that just anyone will achieve salvation. If it were so, if the Almighty did not reject those who have done evil deeds, or if evil doers received the same reward—eternal life and not eternal condemnation—in spite of being rejected from the glory of God, the Bible would not state what was just quoted.

    There is no doubt that God wants to give salvation to human beings. However, it will only be achieved by those who practice good deeds, those who become true children of God; those who depart from this world and are approved and confirmed as part of the Church of the Sovereign God, and become active partakers of the Weddings of the Lamb.

    This said, the expectation of eternal condemnation cannot be discarded—the Scripture certainly does not do it, though there are people who mistakenly believe this. Eternal condemnation is not only meant for the devil, whose existence is also evident, but also for those who help him, and for all those who practice the fruitless works of darkness, since those who fear and love God must flee from said works.

    Hence, the Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 25 makes a clear distinction between sheep and goats, between those who are on His right hand and on His left hand, between those who will receive eternal punishment and those who will reach eternal life.

    31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ 41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ 44 “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.

Our Lord Jesus Christ promised that the Holy Spirit would come, just as it is referenced in John 15:

26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.

Nonetheless, the Holy Spirit had already been included in God’s plans, meant for the New Covenant which would be fulfilled for the Church in our days, as promised through Joel the prophet in chapter 2:

28 “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. 29 And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

This came to pass during the Pentecost celebration, when the Lord fulfilled His word. Anytime God speaks, He fulfills His word. Therefore, the Holy Spirit came down with power in the midst of the 120 men and women that were gathered in the upper room, according to what the Scripture states in Acts of the Apostles chapter 2:

1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Ergo, the glorious work of the Holy Spirit becomes splendorous and evident. While God had take actions—as God Himself—in various moments throughout the history of mankind and the Church, but from that day on, His work amidst men acquired another connotation.

The Holy Spirit becomes evident in Church, mainly by guiding it because men are not the ones who lead the Church of the Lord, but He Himself with which He proves that it is the true Church of God, the Creator; not the Church of men.

Hence, Romans 8 specifically refers to God’s guidance.

14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 

His presence is in our midst. His presence is in the midst of the Church. He Himself bears witness of the true work of our Lord Jesus Christ; consequently, of the existence of God Himself, because the Holy Spirit is one God along with the Father and the Son, as stated in 1 John 5.

6 This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. 7 For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.

Because the Church is guided, lead and ruled by God through His Holy Spirit, many of the duties that He performs today amongst us, become evident in many places around the world.

For example, the baptism with the Holy Spirit, which is at the same time the irrefutable evidence of the existence and the first coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, as stated by John the Baptist in Matthew 3:

11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

This blessing and reality of receiving the baptism with the Holy Spirit, means that God, through His Holy Spirit, comes to dwell into our hearts. In addition, it means that we value the laying on of hands for this blessing to come to us given that it is a reality that we enjoy in the Church. Therefore, it is important to keep in mind what chapter 8 of Acts stats:

14 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, 15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16 For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Romans, refers to this beautiful reality in chapter 5, while using more poetic terms to highlight the same blessing that has been discussed thus far:

5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

In addition to dwelling within us, He allows us to experience being filled with Him, just as it happened to apostle Peter, once he had received the Holy Spirit—the Scripture states that he was “filled” at the specific moment when he needed it to address the rulers of the people who inquired of them, and to tell them about the wonders of the Lord, His plans and His intent. Thus says the book of Acts of the Apostles in its 4th chapter:

8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: 9 If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, 10 let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole.

The Holy Spirit is also in charge for making sure that the preaching the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in Church becomes evident, not just with words that can be uttered about it, whether from a pulpit or whether through the daily exemplary life of the children of God; but also such preaching is permanently supported by demonstration of Spirit and of power—as stated in 1 Thessalonians 1.

5 For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.

Also, 1 Corinthians 2 states the following:

4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.

Once the baptism with the Holy Spirit comes upon a human being, it is the Holy Spirit Himself who awakens the spiritual gifts and who activates the gifts that He placed in each person. As well as speaking in tongues, which as we have said, it is the unequivocal sign to have received such blessing. Spiritual gifts, such as the gift of prophecy, could become evident at the same time when receiving the baptism with the Holy Spirit—as shown in Acts 19—or this could also happen later on, at different moments in the life of believers.

5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. 7 Now the men were about twelve in all.

While what has been explained thus far regarding the Holy Spirit is a beautiful truth, it is still very little, because in the light of the Bible and the Doctrine, we can find countless examples.

Nonetheless, it is necessary to mention the importance of the glorious work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, who performs miracles to help us change our bad ways and transforms our hearts so that we may please God in everything, so that we may love Him with a sincere heart. Suffice it to mention what the Bible points out in Tituschapter 3.

4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.

The Bible as the Written Word of God

Another essential aspect in Church is to appreciate and value the Bible, both the Old and the New Testament, as the written word of God. We understand that it was inspired by God; that regardless of the people who physically wrote it over time, there is only One author of the Scripture: God Himself.

We embrace the teaching as given by Paul the apostle to Timothy in the 3rd chapter of his second letter.

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

At this point, it is worth pointing out the way in which the glorious work of the Holy Spirit with regards to the Bible was clearly highlighted by our Lord Jesus Christ, who, in the book of John in chapter 16 taught the following:

13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

With this He means that while they had the written word of God, He as its author will interpret it with authority and will clarify concepts from it, as well as the Doctrine to whomever He wishes to give it, through the Holy Spirit who will manifest Himself and guide His people into all truth.

Thus, it is the Holy Spirit who works in each believer, instills God’s commandments, and makes him or her come to life in His people on an individual basis.

Therefore, we find the fulfillment in Church of what the Lord foretold since antiquity in chapter 31 of Jeremiah:

33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

This matter is also evident through a beautiful language, when the God of heavens—in Psalms 119—extols in many verses the value of God’s commandments, and their effect on the life of each believer, when he or she constantly thinks about them and delights him or herself in God’s precepts.

97 Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.
98 You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; For they are ever with me.
99 I have more understanding than all my teachers, For Your testimonies are my meditation.
100 I understand more than the ancients, Because I keep Your precepts.

This serves as evidence to what Paul the apostle taught in 2 Corinthians, when he explained that the Holy Spirit makes the Scripture come to life in us, which transforms it into a reality in our lives, just as we find in other verses from verse 119.

49 Remember the word to Your servant, Upon which You have caused me to hope.
50 This is my comfort in my affliction, For Your word has given me life.
92 Unless Your law had been my delight, I would then have perished in my affliction.
93 I will never forget Your precepts, For by them You have given me life.
94 I am Yours, save me; For I have sought Your precepts.

Existence and Value of the Ministry Called and Chosen by God

Paul the apostle addressed the Church to speak about it and to highlight the importance and value of the foundation established by God through the apostles and prophets, and the way in which the Lord through them edified His Church. This can be see in Ephesians chapter 2.

19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone,

Another verse found later on—in chapter 4—highlights this by using the following terms:

11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.

These verses not only highlight the existence of these ministries, but also how transcendent and important they are for the congregation itself.

There are countless examples that we find in the Old Testament to show the way in which God the Creator—through Abraham, Isaac or Joseph—directed and manifested Himself to the people.

The days that came afterward were no different. Instead, those who came later on were Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Samson, Deborah and many other judges, prophets or kings, who undertook the mission of ruling over, leading or directing the chosen ones by God.

In the New Testament, we also find that things were the same because the Lord our God chose Peter to preside over the Ministry before the Jews, while at the same time, He did exactly just that with Paul, so he would perform the same work before the Gentiles.

With regard to this, Paul the apostle shared to following in 1 Timothy chapter 2:

7 for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle—I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying—a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

And delving into this matter even further, chapter 2 of Galatians teaches:

7 But on the contrary, when they saw that the gospel for the uncircumcised had been committed to me, as the gospel for the circumcised was to Peter 8 (for He who worked effectively in Peter for the apostleship to the circumcised also worked effectively in me toward the Gentiles)

The existence of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers is clear, as in effect there were at that time. So much so that in churches like the one in Corinth, the Scripture states that they didn’t come short in no spiritual gift. Nonetheless, there was a always person who stood out, someone to whom God had called to lead the people.

The same happens in our days. God’s manifestation is complete in Church. The Holy Spirit leads it. We believe and live the same foundation of the apostles, the prophets and other ministries. But among them all—just as He has done since the beginning—God chose someone. He did so Himself. He chose the heart of someone to lead or direct the destination of the Church. This calling was entrusted by the Most High God to Sister Maria Luisa Piraquive, the Servant of the Lord.

There are many examples of God’s calling. For example, when the Lord told Abraham to leave his home, to leave his parent’s land behind, and to walk the path that He would show him. Genesis 12 bears account of this experience and the way in which the patriarch did not doubt Him for a second and obeyed the voice of God.

Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. 2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” 4 So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.

Later on, in 1 Samuel 3, we see the wonderful and persisting way in which God made a calling Samuel the prophet.

That the Lord called Samuel. And he answered, “Here I am!” 5 So he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” And he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” And he went and lay down. 6 Then the Lord called yet again, “Samuel!” So Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” He answered, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” 7 (Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, nor was the word of the Lord yet revealed to him.) 8 And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. So he arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you did call me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord had called the boy. 9 Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and it shall be, if He calls you, that you must say, ‘Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10 Now the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant hears.” 11 Then the Lord said to Samuel: “Behold, I will do something in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle.

Or just as the word of God was revealed to Jeremiah the prophet, according to the book that bears his name, in chapter 1:

Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”

In fact, when Paul the apostle was telling king Agrippa the experience he had during his first encounter with our Lord Jesus Christ, he stated that he was not disobedient to the vision through which he was called, and he paid immediate heed by responding to God, “What do You want me to do?” He rendered an account of these events in Acts 26:

19 Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20 but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.

Therefore, thanks to the existence of that calling of the Most High God; thanks to the fact that the powerful God chooses His Manservant or Maidservant is that God supports that person, and therefore, God’s prosperity, blessings and as well as the growth of the Church become indubitable.

The Role of Women in the Church

It’s worth mentioning how the role of the woman in Church is conceived. The Bible verifies in multiple passages that even since antiquity, women played a role in government and also, later on, women performed very distinct tasks in the Church.

In fact, in the Old Testament women were appointed as judges over the people of Israel and as prophetesses. Deborah and Huldah are cases that the Scripture contains—in Judges 4 or 2 Kings 22, respectively:

4. Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, was judging Israel at that time. 5. And she would sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the mountains of Ephraim. And the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.

14. So Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Achbo,Shaphan, and Asaiah went to Hudalh the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe. (She dwelt in Jerusalem in the second Quarter.) And they spoke with her.

In the Gospel it is clear that the Lord our God does not take this matter lightly and does not care about a person’s social condition, social class or the person’s gender. He only looks at their hearts when deciding who is going to serve Him by performing these kinds of duties. This is why Galatians 3 so states:

26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

In addition, Paul the apostle made a specific request in Romans chapter 16 regarding sister Phoebe, who worked as deaconess in the church in Cenchrea, which allows us to see that she had many spiritual gifts and duties within the Church.

I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea, 2 that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in whatever business she has need of you; for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also.

But he also pointed out that there were other women in the Gospel, when in subsequent verses he mentioned Priscilla or Mary:

3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus,
6 Greet Mary, who labored much for us.
12 Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, who have labored in the Lord. Greet the beloved Persiswho labored much in the Lord.
15 Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them.

If all of these women—Tryphena, Tryphosa, Persis, Julia or Nereus’ sister—wouldn’t have been servants of God who laid hands, gave prophecy, taught the doctrine, worked healings, among many other duties, then Paul the apostle wouldn’t have mentioned them in his letter.

A Universal Church for All

Let us once again remember the passage that was previously quoted in which Paul the apostle addressed the church in Galatia to make it clear that there is no partiality or discrimination when it comes to people gaining access to the complete Gospel of the kingdom of heaven.

26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

In other words, it is not only clear that the gates of the Church are to remain open for both men and women alike, but also that there is no room for partiality based on previous beliefs, the color of their skin, the community they belong to, their nationality or heritage, their financial condition, their physical or cognitive abilities, their ideology, their way of thinking, or their sexual orientation. The possibility to have access to the faith in Christ Jesus, in the Holy Spirit, in the Father, in the one and only God is available to everyone without any exception.

Let us remember that the sacrifice of the Lord on the cross of Calvary managed to eliminate that pre-existing separation, for which humankind also had to be excluded from the possibility of being the people of God—just as Ephesians 2 states:

13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation.

Therefore, whatever our condition, the Church is available for everyone universally in this time, thanks to the work of the Lord Jesus, His only and perfect sacrifice, the direct interaction between God and the believers, which becomes evident thanks to the calling and support from God.

And so, it is up to each of us whether or not to take advantage of this opportunity, to value what God does in our midst, to prepare ourselves for Him and dedicate ourselves to Him, to open the door of our heart for the calling of the Lord, as He so declared it in Revelation 3. Let us then have ears to hear and listen.

20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

Baptism in Water

We believe in the doctrine of the baptism in water because it is one of the commandments that has a very deep spiritual meaning, which the Lord Jesus Himself referenced, as noted in Matthew chapter 28:

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

Each believer must have sufficient abilities and maturity to make a decision to being baptized in water. The Lord, in Mark 16, states that it is necessary to believe, which is why a newborn baby or a child is not subject to this baptism, insofar as they are not able to grasp the size of what they would be undergoing.

16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

Children’s blessings are safeguarded by the Lord, according to 1 Corinthians 7, based on their parent’s dedication to God, while they become responsible before God and achieve the necessary maturity to believe in Christ.

14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy.

With this regard, therefore, what the Church must do is to follow the example of our Lord Jesus who when He was a Child was brought to the temple to be presented. This passage can be found chapter 2 of Luke:

25 And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, 28 he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said

Or even when Jesus Christ Himself presented some children before God in Matthew 19:

13 Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” 15 And He laid His hands on them and departed from there.

Now, through the physical action of the baptism in water, the believer symbolically dies, is buried and resurrects along with our Lord Jesus to a new life. This is what Paul the apostle stated in the letters he wrote to the Romanschapter 6, and to the Colossians in its chapter 2.

Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

Hence, with regards to the baptism in water there are several Bible passages that can be highlighted, but we are only going to quote what took place to the church in Samaria, according to Acts of the Apostles, in its chapter 8—a passage that highlights this baptism by calling it “in the name of Jesus.” In addition, it references the baptism with the Holy Spirit.

14 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, 15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16 For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

Lastly, the Bible teaches that each believer must be baptized in water, but that action by itself does not cleanse the person from sin or the filth of the flesh. However, the person does commit to living a righteous life before God, strive to change and do everything within his or her reach to please Him, so that by doing so, the believer will move toward a new life in perfection before God. Peter the apostle said this in chapter 3 of his first letter.

21 There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Baptism with the Holy Spirit

At the Church of God Ministry of Jesus Christ International we believe and enjoy this experience from God in a rather generous fashion. More than 40 years ago, our church’s founders understood and sought it with sincerity, thanks to understanding the teachings from the books of the Gospels, which record the promise from the Lord Jesus Christ regarding the Helper. They asked the Father to grant them this special blessing, which—as previously stated—the congregation today enjoys copiously.

Chapter 14 of the Gospel According to John clearly states the promise made by the Lord Jesus:

16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.

This wonderful passage could perfectly be connected with what Luke 11 states, when referring to God’s mercy that would grant the blessing of the Holy Spirit to those believers who with a sincere heart.

13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!

When these words first started to come to pass, we find what Acts of the Apostles states in its chapter 2, when the Holy Spirit descended with power and there were visions with tongues as of fire that sat upon each of the 120 people who were congregated at the upper room.

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Speaking in tongues the sign of receiving the baptism with the Holy Spirit that our Lord Jesus Christ grants. However, at that time it was manifested in the form languages known around the region, the Scripture later on points to the fact this experience consists of speaking in angelical tongues that we are unable to understand.

The Bible speaks about this in 1 Corinthians 14:

For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries.

Or as chapter 10 of Acts of the Apostle points out when the Jews saw with their very eyes the way in which that blessing was also poured out on the Gentiles and the way they spoke in tongues and glorified God.

44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. 45 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.

In fact, afterward in chapter 19 of the same book, when Paul preached to the 12 disciples he encountered in Ephesus.

 6 And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.

Furthermore, the Scripture clearly points out that we are in the latter days. God left His promise written in the Bible since ancient times, when Joel the prophet in chapter 2, as previously referenced, said the following as directed to the Church of the Lord:

28 “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. 29 And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

Spiritual Gifts and Laying on of Hands

One of the Church’s core features is, as we have said, the guidance of the Holy Spirit; His manifestation through spiritual gifts, especially among them, the gift of prophecy.

Given that there are many spiritual gifts, and they are listed in multiple Bible passages throughout the New Testament, we reference just a few examples, such as 1 Corinthians 12:

There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord.6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit,9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.

Regarding the ministering or exercise of the spiritual gifts, it is necessary to highlight the laying on of hands, through which other spiritual gifts become evident. Our hands are laid on people for healing, deliverance, to work miracles or to impart the baptism with the Holy Spirit.

Paul the apostle highlighted the value of this feature in laying hands, when in the first letter he wrote to Timothy in its chapter 4 to instruct him, as well as to instruct us today.

14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership..

Our Lord Jesus Christ laid His hands as stated in Matthew 19:

14 But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” 15 And He laid His hands on them and departed from there.

Acts of the Apostles in chapter 19 shows this aspect with regards to Paul the apostle.

6 And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.

Just as Peter and John the apostles did in Acts 8:

17 Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

Scripture therefore shows—both repeatedly and systematically—the existence, the work and the blessings that come through the gift of laying on of hands.

The Gift of Prophecy

Now, among all the spiritual gifts, the Scripture is precise to point one of them out: The gift of prophecy. This is becomes entirely certain upon reading the first few verses from 1 Corinthians 14:

Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. 2 For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. 3 But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. 4 He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. 5 I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.

We feel glad and rejoice in the Lord because we enjoy the presence and, if we may say so, the abundance of the gift of prophecy in the midst of the Church, whose validity becomes permanently evident not only due to the fulfillment of the promises that God makes through this spiritual gift, but also due to the good fruits that believers bear to prove that the Maker is manifesting Himself in their lives.

It is very meaningful to see the way in which the teaching or description from Jesus of Nazareth regarding the work of the Holy Spirit—when He stated that God the Father and God the Son speak and think about it—is shown through the gift of prophecy to the Church.

We specifically refer to the words He uttered in John chapter 16:

13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truthfor He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

Nonetheless, though the glorious work of the Holy Spirit through the spiritual gifts is well registered throughout the New Testament, it is widely unknown by some who deny its existence in our days.

It is therefore necessary to ask as to why the Lord Jesus stated that His followers would perform greater works than He did. If God is the same and His Church remains to be the same, and if we are congregating at the place where He manifests Himself, and if our heart remains sincere and truly love Him, it is only logical that what the Bible states is completely applicable today in His Church.

There are others who quote the Scripture in Matthew 11 to reject the fact that the Holy Spirit can manifest Himself today through the gift of prophecy:

13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.

By interpreting this verse as they do, they do not acknowledge two things: First, this verse refers to the prophecies given regarding the first coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is God but took flesh and walked among us. It means  that there would be no further prophecies about this event with John the Baptist as the last one to prophecy about this matter.

Second, the Bible does in fact bear account in multiple passages about the existence of the gift of prophecy in the church of the first apostles, which came after John the Baptist.

One of them, in 1 Corinthians, as we previously referenced it, but also Acts of the Apostles in its chapter 21.

8 On the next day we who were Paul’s companions departed and came to Caesarea, and entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him. 9 Now this man had four virgin daughters who prophesied.

Or in 1 Timothy 1:

18 This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare,

Or in 1 Thessalonians 5:

20 Do not despise prophecies.

In the light of the Scripture, it is real, valid and clear that the gift of prophecy exists for our present time in the midst of the Church.

Change of Life

Nonetheless, as Paul the apostle taught to the Corinthians, there is a more excellent way, which is the way of love. But the love he was referring to must be understood to its full extent, which means doing God’s will and not sin.

Let us remember that the Lord Jesus told His disciples that they would be called friends of God if they did what He commanded them—in chapter 15 of John:

14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.

Since He had already been teaching them about this by stating in chapter 14, the following:

23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.

When this happens, when the person loves God, in way that He requires us to love Him, each person starts to get away from sin, is born to a new life, corrects his or her faults, and bears fruits worthy of repentance.

The goal of each believer is salvation. Hence, he or she should strive to attain perfection, and live a dedicated life to God, regardless of all other personal responsibilities he or she might have to take care of. If a person does that, he or she will please God.

Hebrews 12 declares this:

14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:

Just as Psalms 24 carried the same message since ancient times, though using other words:

Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully. 5 He shall receive blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. 6 This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him, who seek Your face.

But this ‘change of life,’ this ‘living in perfection,’ these ‘good fruits’—about which the Lord Jesus spoke in the Gospels, as they help identify the status of each person’s heart—are things that are required from each believer by Paul the apostle in Ephesians 4:

13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;

Later verses of the same chapter state:

22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

In addition, chapter 5 also sates:

1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

All of this, just as many other Bible passages, point to the same direction: Each believer must live a righteously, in perfection to please God and thus, reach salvation.

Resurrection, not Reincarnation

Lastly, since we believe in eternal life, in the salvation that the Lord grants us; we, in the light of the Scripture, rule out the existence of reincarnation.

Just as Hebrews 9 clearly points out, there is only one life on this earth, one opportunity, and therefore only one physical death. Once the latter takes place, we will be judged. Some will be sent to eternal life, others for eternal death, condemnation and confusion.

27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,

Likewise, and to conclude on this subject, it is necessary to highlight that it is a very different matter that the Spirit of God manifests Himself through spiritual gifts than arguing that the spirit of a human being, once the person passes away, will ever come back or will have any interaction with those who are still alive in a physical body.

The second hypothesis is not viable in the light of the Scripture, inasmuch as it clearly states that after death, the departed has no chance to come back to the earth for any matter whatsoever. This is why, once we closely read the experience between the rich man and Lazarus—in Luke 16— we are left with no doubts about it.

19 “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day.20 But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, 21 desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 “Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’ 27 “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ 29 Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’

In fact, should there be any shred of doubt, the Bible could not be ignored when Isaiah 8 states with the same transparency, that the dead must not be inquired hoping that they will respond to the living.

19 And when they say to you, “Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,” should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living? 20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

And we, on the contrary, not only want the light to come upon us, but that our light to shine as it does at noon, just as Proverbs 4 states:

18 But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.

The Blessing of Eternal Life

In conclusion, even though we have not done anything different through these lines but to go over some of the more basic aspects, the rudiments, the spiritual milk of which the Church partakes, analyzing neither in the detail nor in the depth that it deserves, we do use this platform as an opportunity to address some fundamental subject matters.

As the Preacher states in Ecclesiastes 1213 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all.

Just like we have said, if each believer puts these things to practice, and especially, if each believer loves God wholeheartedly, and consequently, he or she stays away from any kind of sin—both voluntarily and sincerely—the fields will be plowed and prepared toward salvation and eternal life.

Therefore, let us enjoy the redeeming work of our Lord Jesus Christ in Church; let us note the fulfillment of the promise made by the Son by experiencing the glorious work of the Holy Spirit in our beings; let us witness the complete Gospel; and let us walk on the certain path toward salvation, toward eternal life, toward the believer’s ultimate goal.

Como dice el Predicador en Eclesiastés: El fin de todo el discurso oído es éste, teme a Dios y guarda sus mandamientos; porque esto es el todo del hombre.

Como ya lo hemos dicho, poniendo en práctica estas cosas, y sobre todo, amando a Dios de todo corazón, y como consecuencia, apartándose el creyente, de modo voluntario y consciente, de toda forma de pecado, habrá arado el campo en pos de la Salvación y de la Vida Eterna.

Disfrutemos pues en la Iglesia de la Obra Redentora de Nuestro Señor Jesucristo, contemplemos el cumplimiento de la promesa hecha por el Hijo, viviendo la Obra Gloriosa del Espíritu Santo en nuestro ser, comprobemos el Evangelio Completo, y caminemos por el seguro sendero en pos de la Salvación, de la Vida Eterna, la meta máxima del creyente.

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