Maranatha English Version July 2016

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EDITORIAL

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steemed readers, I greet you in the Name of Christ Jesus our Lord, our God, and our Savior. In this edition, we continue remembering and thanking God for my grandfather, the founder and editor of this publication for almost 50 years, who departed to be in the presence of the Lord thirteen years ago on July 4th. I thank God for all those who have collaborated in the publishing of this “International Christian Periodical Maranatha” during the more than 50 years of its existence. I also thank God that in September we will complete one year of publishing this periodical in English. Glory to God! With the Lord´s help we will continue going forward, even publishing it in other languages if He permits us to do so. Almost two thousand years ago the Lord posed the following question to His disciples: “But whom say ye that I am” (Matt. 16:15). The Lord continues asking His children this question, even to the present. The Lord Himself, through His Word and through the revelation of His Holy Spirit, gives us the answer. The following are some of the declarations concerning who “the Son” is. With God´s help I will later explain each one of these Scriptures in more detail so that we may have a better understanding of the following three purposes: to have a nearer and intimate relationship with the Lord, so that we may love and serve Him better ( Jer. 9:27, Phil. 3:10, 1 Jn. 5:20, Jn. 17:3), to make

the Lord known so that others The Son is “the true God, and might also know, love and serve eternal life” (1 Jn. 5:20). Him (Acts 26:15-18), and “lest The Son is the Only visible Body, any man beguile you” (Col. 2:4). Image, or Form of God (who The Son, Jesus Christ the Lord, is an Infinite, Eternal, Invisible is “the Image of the invisible God” Spirit) ” ( Jn. 1:18). He is the (Col. 1:15), “the Image (the visible revelation of the Father. “who Body) of God” (2 Cor. 4:4). He is manifests Himself in His aspect the “the Form (the visible Body of Glory and in His aspect of in His aspect of Glory) of God” Humanity and vice versa (Phil. 2:6). (Lk. 9:28-32). The Son is the “KING OF KINGS The Son is “both Lord and Christ” AND LORD OF LORDS” (Acts 2:36). (Rev. 19:16). The Son is the Creator (Col. The Son is “the (visible) Glory of 1:16-17, Jn. 1:3, 10, Gen. 1:1, God (who is the Invisible, Eternal Isa. 45:18, Heb. 1:2, Rev. 4:11). Spirit) (2 Cor. 4:6). The Son is “the Savior” (Lk. 2:11). The Son is the “fullness of the The Son is the “Everlasting Godhead bodily. And ye are Father” (Isa. 9:6). He is the complete in Him…” (Col. 2:9). manifestation, the visible The Son is He who the apostle declaration of the Father (the John states that Isaiah saw “sitting Eternal Invisible Spirit), who “no upon a throne, high and lifted man hath seen at any time Phillip up” (Isa. 6:1-3). He reveals to saith unto Him, Lord, shew us the us that Isaiah saw Jesus Christ Father, and it sufficeth us. The Lord the Lord in His aspect of Glory Jesus saith unto him, Have I been ( Jn. 12:36-41). so long time with you, and yet thou hast not known Me” (the Son does The Son is “the Word (who) was not say “yet thou hast not known God” ( Jn. 1:1), and who “dwelt Him”). He answers him in a way among us…” ( Jn. 1:14). that only the Father could respond The Son is “God manifest in flesh by saying: “yet thou hast not known (in His aspect as a man) …” Me, Phillip” ( Jn. 14:8-9). The Son is the Father who declared: “I will (1 Tim. 3:16, 1 Jn. 5:20). not leave you comfortless , I will come The Son is “the Christ” to you” ( Jn. 14:18). (Matt. 16:16), “who is over all, The Son is the “the Comforter” God blessed forever” (Rom. 9:5). (parakleitos in Greek), the “Spirit The Son is the “Almighty” of truth” ( Jn. 14:17, Isa. 9:6 and (Rev. 1:8). 11:2, Jn. 16:13), who is the same The Son is “Emmanuel, God with Holy Spirit ( Jn. 14:26). us” (Matt. 1:23). The Son is the “Advocate The Son is God, about whom Isaiah prophesied stating that a way would be prepared for Him, and that we would see the Glory (2 Cor. 4:6, Jn. 1:14) of God (Isa. 40:3-9, Lk. 3:4-6).

Spirit. Comforter (parakleitos in Greek) is synonymous with the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ as referenced in 1 John 2:1. The Son is “the Lamb (the visible sacrifice) of God” ( Jn. 1:29). The Son is “the High Priest” (Heb. 4:14). The Son is “the Resurrection” ( Jn. 11:25). The Son is “the Way, the Truth and the Life” ( Jn. 14:6). The Son is “the Shepherd” ( Jn. 10:11, Psa. 23:1, Heb. 13:20).

When Saul of Tarsus fell to the ground because he saw a light from heaven, he asked: “Who art thou, Lord?” There he received the revelation so that he might understand that the Lord Jesus is the LORD OF LORDS. The answer he received was: “I am Jesus.” The apostle Paul received revelation about who the Lord God is and he began to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him with all his heart. Once he received this revelation, the Lord told him that he must also share this revelation with others. Having received this revelation and understanding, the apostle Paul could not be deceived by anyone (Acts 9:3-43).

There is much more that we can say about this question asked by our Lord Jesus Christ. However, on this occasion I believe that what I have mentioned here is sufficient for us to chew on and (parakleitos in Greek), Jesus to provoke us to meditate upon Christ the righteous” (1 Jn. 2:1). If the words “Counsellor” and this principal truth. “Advocate” come from the same God bless you, keep you, confirm word in Greek, “parakleitos,” then you and use you for His glory. the Spirit of Christ is the Holy


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"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people (the Jewish people) and upon thy holy city (the old city of Jerusalem)" (Daniel 9:24) Between the time we are presently living in and the end of the year 2017 there will be 120, 100, 70 and 50 years of outstanding prophetic events that will be fulfilled which are related to God’s Prophetic Clock: “thy people and thy holy city” (Dan. 9:24). Which of the prophecies of the final days which have not yet been fulfilled will be fulfilled in the year 2017? Is it possible that this year the war will arise against Israel which will culminate in the siege and capture of Jerusalem (Zech. 12:2-4, 14:2-4), thus provoking the imminent Coming of Christ Jesus our Lord? We do not know. However, we do know that this day is very near!

GOD'S

prophetic clock Pastor Efraim Valverde, III

facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

“The EU recognizes Israel within its pre-1967 boundaries, regardless of the (Israeli) government’s claims on other areas, until a final settlement is reached,” declared Mogherini, before a meeting in Brussels of international donors in support of the Palestinian economy. “This is a shared position reaffirmed by the European Union and its member states,” she added.

3 France. Frances Kalifat, the 63 year old leader, stated that his priority is to fight against antisemitism in all its forms and that antisemitism was the reason for the situation he described. He added: “The fight against anti-Semitism is our main cause because French Jews are in the most difficult situation they have experienced since World War II.”

On June 3rd, the “French Initiative” conference hosted by France in Paris with the objective of restarting the stalled peace process was attended Next year will be the 70th by functionaries from the Middle anniversary of the United Nations East Quartet, the UN, the Arab General Assembly vote in favor League and more than 20 heads of of establishing the Jewish State in Israel captured 1,200 square state. The French chancellor, JeanIsrael through Resolution 181 on kilometers of the Golan Heights Marc Ayrault, warned: “The hope of November 29, 1947. during the Six Day War in 1967, a two-state solution in the conflict and it annexed this territory in between Israel and Palestine is in Next year will be the 50th anniversary 1981. But this measure was never great danger. We should act with of when Israel, defending itself in the recognized by the International urgency.” miraculous Six Day War, recaptured Community. the Old City of Jerusalem on On June 23rd, the Anti-Defamation June 7, 1967. In a special government meeting on In the year 2017, 120 years will League (ADL) reported in a public be fulfilled since the historic first Notable News in Regards to Israel: Sunday Prime Minister Benjamin report that according to the Jewish Netanyahu announced that the Telegraphic Agency ( JTA), the Zionist Congress took place in April - June 2016 Golan “will forever remain in Israel’s Basle, Switzerland on August 29, anti-Semitic incidents on university th 1897, which awakened an ardent On April 14 of this year the United hands,” and urged the international campuses in the United States desire among the Jewish people to Nations Educational, Scientific and community “to recognize finally that have almost double since 2015. establish a Jewish State in the Holy Cultural Organization (UNESCO) the Golan will remain permanently Additionally, the study made by provoked a scandal when it adopted under Israeli sovereignty.” Land. this organization learned that the an Arab nation sponsored resolution th , the World Jewish number of anti-Semitic aggressions On April 25 Next year will be the 100 year in which it established that the most anniversary of the Balfour sacred sites for Judaism (the Temple Congress informed that the results throughout the United States have Declaration issued on November Mount and the Western Wall) to of antisemitism in Austria could not increased by more than 60% during 2, 1917, which initiated the official now be considered “Muslim sites.” be more alarming, because according the past year. return of the Jewish People to the In the resolution the name of the to the Austrian Forum against “And when these things begin to come Holy Land. This declaration was Temple Mount was changed to antisemitism, anti-Semitic incidents to pass, then look up, and lift your issued in form of a letter from “Al Aqsa,” while the name of the have increased by an alarming 80% heads; for your redemption draweth the Secretary of Foreign Affairs Western Wall (the Wailing Wall) during the past year. nigh” (Lk. 21:28). in the United Kingdom, Arthur was changed to “Al Buraq Wall.” On May 22, the Unites States based James Balfour, to Baron Walter daily newspaper, the “Washington In the midst of the present day Rothschild, a leader among the On the 19th of April, the diplomatic Times,” reported that the Islamic worldwide environment and despite Jewish community in Britain to head of the European Union (EU), State has as its objective to destroy our problematic human condition, be transmitted to the Zionist Federica Mogherini, declared that Israel, and to “liberate” Jerusalem. may “nothing separate us from the Federation of Great Britain and the organization that she represents love of Christ” (Rom. 8:35). Press Ireland. The following is a transcript does not recognize the claims of On May 29th, it was reported that forward faithful soldier of Jesus of the content of this letter: “His ownership that Israel has on the French Jews are experiencing the Christ our God! Majesty’s government view with Golan Heights, thereby supporting most difficult situation since the end favour the establishment in Palestine of similar declarations made previously of the Second World War, according Your brother in Christ, a national home for the Jewish people, by the United States, Germany and to the president-elect of the Jewish Pastor Efraim Valverde, III. umbrella organization CRIF in and will use their best endeavours to the Arab League.


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“Follow peace with all men, and holiness without which no man shall see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14).

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he cited text is one of the verses in the Word of God which is extremely specific. I say “specific” because it is a definite declaration which does not lend itself to any type of ambiguous interpretation. Here, the command given by the Holy Spirit through instrumentality of the apostle is emphatic and final. He who does not live according to what is dictated in this command “shall not see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14). Understanding what is explained here, it is to our benefit to carefully consider what the verse says to all of us who want to see the Lord, so that we might partake of His glory. The cited verse points out two indispensable requirements for us to be able to see the Lord: peace and holiness. We will deal with the subject of the “peace” mentioned in the verse on another occasion. However, on this occasion our subject is “Holiness.” Just as God is Light and the origin of “every good gift and every perfect gift” ( James 1:17), He is also Holy (Lev. 11:44-45). He is the “Holy One of Israel” (Isa. 1:4) and the “King of the saints” (Rev. 15:3). He is the One who gave, and continues giving the command to His people, saying: “Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Pet. 1:16). Therefore, this subject is not one that we can choose to deal with if we like the truth or choose to ignore if we do not like the topic. The subject of “Holiness” is one that is a matter of spiritual life or death. The doctrine of holiness is fundamental among the Lord´s people and it has a capital prominence throughout the pages of God´s Book (the Holy Bible). The sacred text on which I am

The Lord chose not to leave the interpretation of this fundamental virtue to the mercy of the variety of human ideas and mentalities among the people of God. The principal reason for this decision Pastor Efraim Valverde, Sr. is that God knew to what degree the minds of His people had been influenced by the erroneous ideas concerning holiness that existed basing this article says it all. In To begin with, it is important to among the pagan nations. The order to be with the Lord in Glory, be aware of the fact that among truth is that among paganism the holiness is one of the indispensable our Christian environment it is idea of holiness has always been requirements for the Christian. very common to hear sermons linked to the abominable sin of For this reason, much has been about holiness which emphasize idolatry, as well as with many other spoken and written throughout the outward appearance only. behaviors that are an abomination the ages about holiness among the This is precisely what the apostle before God. Therefore, the people of the Most High. Even Paul refers to when he speaks Divine instructions given to to the present day it is imperative of those who “have a form of Israel concerning a life of purity for us to preach and teach about godliness, but deny the power and holiness occupy a prominent the doctrine of holiness. Among thereof ” (2 Tim. 3:5). In fact, the place in the Books of Moses the true remnant in Israel and doctrine of holiness is one of the (the Torah) and continue being Christianity, holiness has been and favorite subjects of many different mentioned throughout the entire will always be an integral part of preachers of the gospel. The Old Testament. our fundamental teachings. teaching of holiness, much like the We will not occupy more time teaching of love, peace, humility In fact, among many different discussing holiness among the and all the other virtues and gifts pagan religions, the doctrine of Jewish people. What I have already of the Spirit, enables those who holiness (an appearance of and mentioned should be sufficient live it or teach it to be identified non biblical holiness) has been to those who know the Word of with God. Therefore, it is no secret practiced throughout the ages, and God. We should not need any that there are many who preach a even to the present day. Therefore, further explanation to understand holiness that they do not put into it is of utmost importance that we something basic and clear. practice in their personal lives. It is who profess to know and to serve Furthermore, our primary purpose also very common to hear sermons the Lord Jesus Christ “in spirit on this occasion is to consider the about an outward holiness similar and in truth” ( Jn. 4:24) have an meaning of holiness among us, the to the one which the Lord Jesus in-depth understanding of what Christians among the Gentiles, identified as “whited sepulchres” holiness truly means in accordance and in a specifically direct manner, (Matt. 23:27). Therefore we see to the Word of God. The meaning to those among the people of that the subject of holiness can be of the term “holiness” is usually God who have called upon (Joel applied both for good and for evil interpreted and applied according 2:32) the Name of the Lord Jesus purposes, depending on the spirit to the mindset or understanding Christ (Luke 24:47, Acts 4:12) with which it is being interpreted of the person who is teaching or in baptism for forgiveness of sins or applied. preaching concerning holiness. (Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16, 1 Peter The variety of interpretations and Let us now focus on something 3:21), who profess and claim to applications given to the term that is of utmost importance in have received from the Lord the “holiness” are so vast that it is understanding the subject which gift of the Holy Spirit with the impossible to mention them all we are discussing and that it is the evidence in speaking in other in this writing. But setting aside genuine origin of the doctrine of tongues. In any case, the concrete what both “pure” paganism and holiness among the people of the truth that is of utmost importance “Christian paganism” teach about Eternal One. God Himself gave to emphasize and clarify in our holiness, let us continue with our commandments to His original minds is the undeniable fact that study on what holiness means to us people, Israel, concerning the holiness among us Christians is and among us. way in which they should live. also an imperative commandment

HOLINESS


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of Divine origin because “without peace and without holiness, no man shall see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14).

among the members of the Lord´s Church (Matthew 16:18, Acts 20:28). Now, holiness has been elevated to a higher plane and is no longer solely limited to our physical Let us now consider the life of or human nature according to the holiness reflected in the members Law, but now also to the soul, the of the Church in its beginnings as spirit, and the emotions of those described in the holy writings of who truly serve the Eternal God. the New Testament. First of all Holiness in the time of Grace is to we have the Supreme Example, be lived out both in the “Exterior the manifested life of our Lord and and Interior.” Savior Jesus Christ in His aspect of humanity. We understand I point out the fact here that the through the Holy Scriptures that Lord, during the days of His earthly one of God´s principal purposes ministry, focused on elevating and for “manifesting Himself in flesh” perfecting the teaching of holiness (1 Tim. 3:16) was to set the supreme by instilling in His disciples and and perfect example of the type of in other followers the teaching holiness that He desires that His of this kind of holiness which we children live while here on earth. have called “superior,” which is Without fear of being wrong, we the holiness of spirit, the inner can infer that holiness is one of the man. The Master was so emphatic virtues or fruits of the Holy Spirit concerning the prominence of that were in the mind of the Lord holiness in the spirit that on several Jesus when He declared: “learn occasions He rebuked the attitude from Me” (Matt. 11:29). Therefore, of solely outward holiness which it is in this time of Grace, which focused on the “presentation” of is also the time of the Church, and outward “appearance” and not that we, the children of the Most out of love for God. The Lord High, have a great responsibility to directed His rebukes toward those live in holiness because our God who practiced and taught this type during His “manifestation in flesh” of holiness during that particular (1 Tim. 3:16) marked the way of time. However, the Divine rebuke holiness for us with His example. has remained in effect throughout the ages, even until today. There We will now focus our attention have always been, and presently on the lives of holiness lived by are those who preach and practice the disciples and the apostles of the same kind of holiness lived by the Lord. They, as members of those who lived almost 20 centuries the original people, Israel, were ago, those who the Lord rebuked, well versed concerning the Judaic stating: “Woe to you, scribes and interpretations concerning holiness. Pharisees, hypocrites” (Lk. 11:44). They themselves were taught by the Lord with respect to living a The Lord´s emphasis, especially life of holiness based on what had concerning holiness among His previously been established in Israel people, has always been that when from antiquity. The Lord Himself His children live in holiness, that confirms this when He stated: “I they do so out of love for Him did not come to destroy the Law but with all their heart, in the right to fulfill It” (Matt. 5:17). Therefore, spirit and in truth (for real). God the doctrine of holiness among the is more aware than anyone else Jewish people acquired a higher of the natural human tendency dimension of application through to do things with the intent of the Gospel to now be applied being noticed by other humans or

to obtain approval in the eyes of men so that in turn they convince them. They forget the fact that “the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7). We have proof of what we have explained here in the Sermon on the Mount (Mat. 5, 6 and 7). In this sermon the Lord elevates what is superior, that is the spiritual values operating in human emotions. He elevates the beauty of the holiness of spirit. He describes the essence of perfect holiness, which is God Himself, so that it can be imitated by His true followers. Nothing that is fictitious or that is of appearance fits or can fill the mold of holiness that He established. Described in this sermon is that which is real, and satisfies those who put the Words of the Master into practice. In addition, God is truly satisfied with those who put into practice His Words. It is appropriate to mention the following peculiar narrative. When the Lord Jesus was arrested in the garden, “Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and smote the high priest´s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant´s name was Malchus” ( Jn. 18:10). Let us pay close attention to a detail in this story. Peter did not have to “look for a sword” neither did “borrow” one from someone else. We are told that he “had a sword.” I ask. By this time had not Peter been with the Lord for three and a half years? Since when had he walked with this sword strapped to his thigh and the Lord had not rebuked him for wearing it? The truth is that just as a quality watchmaker does not repair a watch by fixing the hands on the face of the watch first, God does not repair “human watches” by dealing with the outside first. He first deals with the inner man, his mind and heart before dealing with

5 the “hands” of the “human watch.” God´s holiness in His children does not work from the outside to the inside, but it works from the inside to the outside. Anything contrary to this order of operation is hollow, fake and is outward appearance only. Extremism with respect to holiness among professing Christians is something warned against by the apostles in various times and places in Holy Scriptures. On one hand, the apostles direct their words to those people who calling themselves Christians, and even ministers of the Lord, live a life of worldliness and immorality. On the other hand, they reproved the extremism of those who used the appearance of strict holiness to obtain an “appearance of wisdom” (Col. 2:23) and “holiness” (2 Tim. 3:5) Included in this extremism are celibacy (to prohibit marriage) and asceticism (enclosing oneself in a cloister). The situation which is prevalent today has not improved much. In fact, the extremists have refined their behavior with the passing of time and both types of extremism have multiplied like never before. Today, we see an innumerable amount of members and ministers who profess to be Christians, but whose lives are similar in all aspects to the lives of those persons who do not know or do not serve the Lord. There are many preachers and “Christians” for whom nothing is evil or sinful, because in their eyes “everything is acceptable as long as they believe in the Lord.” Many of them profess to have been “born again” ( Jn. 3:3) and many of them justify themselves on their worldly lifestyle because they have “spoken in other tongues.” The baseness of this extremism has sunken to the depths of “Christianizing” the sin for which Sodom and Gomorrah were burned. There is a daily increase


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of the number of “Christians” and “ministers” who having sinned or who currently practice this worldly lifestyle “have not repented of the uncleanness, fornication, and lewdness which they have practiced” (2 Cor. 12:21). Many of them justify their worldliness by the fact that they belong to what each one calls “their church.” On the other hand we have those groups of fanatical radical Christians who using different standards of “sanctification” feel that they have reached a level of glorification to the extent that they lose the notion of what it is to live a “normal” life. For these extremist groups of Christians and ministers all that matters to them are those behaviors, attitudes and outward appearances which to them define what holiness consists of. There are so many different groups and such a diversity in doctrines concerning “holiness” that I have witnessed during all of my years in my walk with the Lord that it would be impossible to mention them all and much less in a few lines of this article. However, all these ministers and groups of extreme conservativeness concerning holiness have one thing in common. Each one of them believes that there is no one holier than they are. These types of “saints” are experts in condemning and sending to hell all those who do not believe in or do not conform to their “mold of holiness.” I have known some of them who teach that we should no longer work, shave nor bathe, all in the name of “holiness.” Others teach that we should wear one type of clothing and not wear another type. Others teach that we must stand in a certain manner and not in another to express “holiness.” Others say we must always be laughing, while others say we should never laugh, etc. It is incredible to see to what

ridiculous extremes Christians reach when they are carried away by the spirit of radical fanaticism. These radical extremists teach that everything is sinful and filthy and this causes many of them to live with a horrible inner torment of judgment and condemnation. For others, everything is fine, although they may be living a hell in their personal life. The reality is that holiness, along with all the other gifts and virtues that come from God, should be centered on the ideological balance of what is righteous and reasonable, according to the Lord and His Word. Extremists have always brought harm upon the people of God both within Israel and in the Church. The devil has always used erroneous doctrines concerning holiness as a special weapon.

thoughts, his ideas and opinions, as well as his judgments. Holiness should be evident in his words, in his actions and in his behavior toward all those who surround him and toward those that he personally deals with. All this and more are fruits of what we have called here “inner holiness.” But let us now examine some of the many aspects of “outward holiness” that should be in the lives of the children of God. We will do this by asking certain questions so that each person can examine his or her personal life and in that way make a just judgment before God of his actions and life in general. But to do this we cite the infallible Word of God.

God of great price” (1 Pet. 3:3-4). The key words in these Scriptures are “shamefacedness and modesty.” Therein resides the balance which we have previously mentioned. Based on this reasoning we ask the following questions.

Why does my sister prepare her hair with those scandalous hairstyles which are the same as women of this world who do not fear or serve God? Does not the Word of God state that “if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her” (1 Cor. 11:15)? If my sister is counted among those who know and understand that “every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head” (1 Cor. 11:5), why then does Concerning the outward she not cover her head when she appearance of those who are God´s prays or when she worships God, daughters, the biblical bases that we so that she might please the Lord? As I have emphasized previously, can use as a guideline of the Spirit I also ask my sister, whether she be the type of holiness that God are the following: “In like manner young or old, if she truly believes desires among His children is one also, that women adorn themselves that it is pleasing before the Lord of inner purity and holiness of the in modest (orderly, in proper for her to use makeup in the way vessel. Yet, we understand that this order according to the Word) the women of the world use it? implies and requires exterior purity apparel with shamefacedness (in Do you not think you would look and holiness as well. The truth is bashfulness towards men and with better by simply adorning your face that it is possible for a vessel to be reverence and awe toward God, with the natural beauty that God clean on the outside but filthy on this is the opposite of having no gave you? Ask yourself, my sister. the inside. But it is never possible shame in showing off their body Do you really need to use all those for a vessel to be truly clean on the to men and with no reverence rings, earrings, bracelets and other inside and at the same time filthy to God) and sobriety (discreet, jewelry in your hair and on your on the outside. The truth is that self-controlled in showing off or wrists and hands? Are you really if a vessel truly has an inner purity putting on display their body as ignorant to the fact that all these and holiness, this will invariably women who do not fear the Lord), things are pure vanity and that this guide and direct the vessel to not with broided hair (extravagant is not what God wants to see in assure that this holiness is evident hairstyles that draw attention to His daughters that claim to love in all aspects of his life. With this oneself ),or gold or pearls or costly Him? (Please read Isa. 3:16-24.) we can establish an immutable rule array, but (the kind of adorning Remember, my dear sister, that without fear of being wrong, that if with modest apparel that is fitting the key word that we have cited is any Christian, be woman or man, for women who profess to be “modesty.” Not radical fanaticism, adult or young person, member or godly/holy), with good works” but MODESTY. minister who truly lives a life of (1 Tim. 2:9-10). “Whose adorning My dear sister, what do you think inner holiness will also live a life of let it not be that outward adorning of about the indecent and shameless exterior holiness. plaiting the hair, and of wearing of clothing used by women who gold, or of putting on of apparel; but This true balanced holiness should do not fear God? Do you envy let it be the hidden man of the heart, affect all aspects of the life of them? Or are you one of those in that which is not corruptible, those who are truly children of who use pants or style of dresses even the ornament of a meek and God. Holiness should govern his worn by women of the street who quiet spirit, which is in the sight of


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shamelessly exhibit their bodies with the intent of provoking men or desiring attention? Remember what the Scriptures declare: “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman´s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God” (Dt. 22:5). Also, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 Jn. 2:15). If you truly love the Lord and truly desire to see His face in glory, you must remember, my sister, that we must “follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14). Is it not true that deep in your heart you understand that holiness in your life is closely related to the way that you dress and adorn yourself ? (Rom. 6:23, 1 Cor. 6:20, Rom. 12: 1-2) That is the voice of your Lord. Listen to it and Obey!

to stand out in this world as men of God who display an outward appearance of modesty. It would be impossible for me to mention in a few lines here all the other questions that we could pose here. Nevertheless, there are a few declarations that it is appropriate to put in the minds of the children of God, whether they be men or women, adults or young people, members or ministers. These are declarations concerning very common behaviors of unholiness that in the opinions of many are not that big of a deal however, the fatal results that have occurred in the past and continue until today having spiritually fatal results in those who have been called and are required by God to live in holiness.

In addition to this there is also an abundance of filthy pornographic material which many children of God are exposing themselves to on the internet, social media, at school, at work, etc. BEWARE! (Ps. 101:3-4).

7 yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well” (Acts 15:28-29). Remember, the Lord did not abolish the moral laws, rather He raised the bar on them.

The Holy Spirit which directed the apostles to determine the brief The children of the Most High conditions cited in this text is the should not partake or get involved same Spirit which now resides in the in the many different corrupt and life of every member of the Church. worldly environments (Ps. 1:1, 2 Now it is not God´s plan to repeat Cor. 6:14-17, 1 Cor. 10:23, 1 Cor. what He did with Israel when He 6:12). The Christian who wants inscribed His laws on stone and to please the Lord should flee on paper. In the time of Grace He from vile conversations and from declares His plans when He states: carnal, filthy jokes. The Scriptures “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the admonish us about “what manner Lord, I will put my laws into their of persons ought ye to be in all hearts, and in their minds will I write holy conversation and godliness” them” (Heb. 10:16). Now, whoever (2 Pet. 3:11). Therefore, gossip claims to having “been born again,” among brethren, malicious of “having received Christ in his It is not correct for the true conversations, backbiting and heart,” or of “having received the gift servants of the Lord Jesus Christ other similar behaviors are an of the Holy Spirit” and who does to voluntarily (1 Cor. 6:23) fill abomination before the King of not manifest in his life the effects of their minds with worldly songs the saints. As I have done many the Divine holiness, both inwardly which speak of human passions times before, I invite my brother, and outwardly, very simply stated: My brother, whether you are and deviations whose rhythms my sister and my companion in “will not see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14). young or old, I also include you in have their origin in the sordid, the ministry to carefully read This is the tremendous truth marked this series of questions. Tell me, depraved and satanic environment Psalm 50 from verse 16 forward. by the Eternal God in His Word doesn´t your conscience bother you of the “artistic world” (Phil. 4:8, and we cannot ignore it nor much when you dress and groom yourself Eph. 5:9, Col. 3:16). It is totally In the message of grace we do not less change it without bringing imitating the customs and fashions out of the will of the Holy One for encounter a specific mold that we judgment and condemnation upon of non-believers? Do you think it His children to dirty their minds, can use as a reference regarding ourselves. is appropriate for you to use those miserably wasting their time and holiness in the Church such as hairstyles that cause men to look ruining their spiritual lives by the one we find in the Law which In conclusion, I repeat something I like women? Is it not true that you worshipping daily before the altar of governs Israel. In the beginnings have previously mentioned, but that understand that the exaggerated is of fundamental importance that Baal. This altar consists of a variety of the Church “we are told that the and indecent clothing worn by we not forget it. It is imperative of vices such as the internet, social “apostles and elders came together those who are popular idols to for the true children of God to live media, filthy television programs for to consider of this matter” multitudes of worldly people are a pure and holy life, both inwardly many watch under the common (Acts 15:6). They came together to not for you? Tell me. Do you not and outwardly. If we use outward pretext of “viewing news” or certain decide if the Christians among the think that it is pure vanity and even holiness to boast, for vainglory, documentaries. Multitudes upon Gentiles should have to observe bothersome to wear rings on each to consider ourselves better than multitudes of believers in the the ceremonial Laws of Moses finger, together with all the other others, or to judge and condemn Lord have fallen and continue as the Jews continued to do so. jewelry that cause men to look others, than this holiness is not to fall into these diabolical vices They made the following decision: only vain, but it is also abominable ridiculous? Is it not true that the from which they can no longer “For it seemed good to the Holy before the presence of the King of Spirit of the Lord bears witness to free themselves. Many who Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no the saints. Divine holiness should your soul, telling you that all these are no longer satisfied with the greater burden than these necessary always be wrapped in the same worldly customs and fashions are regular programming now indulge things, that ye abstain from meats love and compassion that the Lord not for you? The key words of themselves in entertainment and offered to idols, and from blood, and demonstrated throughout His “shamefacedness and modesty” movies of all types of filthiness that from things strangled, and from earthly ministry. God bless you. also apply to us as Christian men. corrupt the mind and ruin the soul. fornication: from which if ye keep It truly is a satisfaction to be able


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“ Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me. Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance” (2 Pet. 1:13-15).

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he apostle Peter made this declaration toward the end of the first century during the last days of his life. His words are no longer those of the strong man who preached the first sermon on the now historic day of Pentecost. They are the words of a tired and elderly minister of God who knew that the days of his ministering to the people of the Lord were coming to their end. From the beginning of his ministry, the apostle Peter, along with his brethren and companions in the apostleship, was confident that he had taught God´s truths to the members of the primitive Church. The Lord Himself had taught and confirmed him so that he might declare with all certainty the marvelous truths of the Gospel (2 Pet. 1:16). The apostle Peter, being aware that his departure was near, tries to use all the possible ways to reconfirm the believers, so that they can continue with the same firmness to “earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered unto the saints” ( Jude 3). Almost two millennia have since passed and the Lord has worked in a way so that the intense desire of the apostle Peter, as well as that of his companions, has become a reality. What these “holy men of God spoke (and wrote) as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet. 1:21) during the beginning of the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ has prevailed unto the present. Their writings have remained intact throughout the centuries in spite of the tremendous opposition from hell. In fact, this opposition has served to emphasize how great a miracle it is to have the Holy Scriptures in our hands.

RECONFIRMING THE SAINTS IN THE TRUTH Pastor Efraim Valverde, Sr. The Author of this miracle is the God of Israel who is also the God of the Church: JESUS CHRIST THE LORD. It is He who, after having formed the Israelite nation as His chosen people, gave them by the hand of Moses, His servant, the Torah (the Law), and commanded that His Words be transmitted from fathers to sons from generation to generation. Almost four millennia have transpired until the present day and faithful Judaism has obeyed this command. The same method that our God applied so that the Old Testament could be preserved is the same one He has used to preserve the New Testament. A BRIEF SUMMARY OF DIVINE TRUTHS What we have mentioned previously about the imperative need for the people of God to be reconfirmed in the eternal truths would not be of much benefit if we don’t specifically declare them. Therefore, I will once again mention (because I have done so previously) the Three Fundamental Truths that it are imperative for us to know as faithful servants of the Lord Jesus. All God´s plan of creation and redemption is based on these truths: Who God is, Who Israel is, and Who the Church is. Each one of these Fundamental Truths consists of a combination of marvelous declarations that God, by way of His Holy Spirit, makes known to us. I will briefly mention some of these declarations. WHO GOD IS God is a Spirit ( Jn. 4:24). He is Eternal and Infinite. He never began and He will never end. For God neither time nor distance exists.

He is in all places, He can do all things and He knows all things. Our limited human capacity can never completely understand the terrible majesty that exists in our Maker ( Job 37:22-23). God is One (Dt. 6:4). There is no God other than Him (Isa. 45:5-7). God can manifest Himself in any way He desires, but this in no way implies that He is divided. He is the Father, He is the Son and He is the Holy Spirit (Isa. 9:6). God is not a “Trinity,” nor is He a “Duality.” JESUS CHRIST THE LORD is the Only God (1 Jn. 5:20). The Son did not begin in Bethlehem. “And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist” (Col. 1:17), “the beginning of the creation of God” (Rev. 3:14). He is not the “second person” in the Godhead. He is the visible Body, “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature” (Col. 1:15). “God was manifest in the flesh” (1 Tim. 3:16). It was not in His Eternal Spirit, but in His visible glorious body, that God manifested Himself in a perfect Humanity (Phil. 2:6-7). Through His death on the cross He delivered His children (Heb. 2:14-15), who, having been begotten for the first time before the foundation of the world, needed to be “born again” ( Jn. 3:3) while here on earth. God has many names, but His Supreme “Name which is above all Names” (Phil. 2:9-11) is Jesus Christ the Lord. God´s Grace operates through this Name and His redeeming Blood cleanses us. God´s salvation and the forgiveness of sins can be obtained only through this Name (Acts 2:38, 4:12). The Holy Spirit is not a person in the Godhead. It is God Himself operating through His Spirit as the transforming force and power in every one of His children.

WHO ISRAEL IS God declared: “Israel is my son, even my firstborn” (Ex. 4:22). Jacob (Israel) is the chosen people of God (Rom. 9:13). The Jewish nation is the “People of the Book,” “to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises” (Rom. 9:4). The Lord Himself declared that “salvation is of the Jews” ( Jn. 4:22). The veil of unbelief which is upon their eyes, even to this day, so that they would not believe that the Lord Jesus is the same God of Israel has been placed there by the Lord Himself because of His love for us (Rom. 11:32). However, this veil will be removed when “the fullness of the Gentiles be come in” (Rom. 11:25-27). The Jews are an indestructible people, because God has determined it to be that way ( Jer. 31:35-37). This is why, despite the hatred of the entire world directed against them for the almost four thousand years of their existence, the Jewish people are alive today. The Jews have been blessed by God and no one can take this blessing from them (Gen. 12:1-3). Israel once again exists as a modern State in fulfillment of the most portentous prophecy of the last days. During these brief years of the existence of the Modern Jewish State, God has worked signs and wonders among Israel which have astonished the world in its entirety. This nation is God´s prophetic clock, therefore the destiny of the nations is linked to what happens to Israel. By the time of this writing (observant) Orthodox Judaism, both in Israel and in the Diaspora (the Scattering), is experiencing great pain. The time has arrived in which the final prophecies concerning the Beloved City of Jerusalem and consequently concerning Israel have begun and are in process of being fulfilled (Zac. 12:2-3, 14:2-3). The Messiah that Orthodox Judaism anxiously, and even desperately, awaits will soon manifest Himself to deliver and redeem His chosen people and fulfill


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His eternal promises that He made to them. This manifestation is the Second Coming in glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the God of Israel and also the God of the Church. As it is stated: “And there shall be one fold” ( Jn. 10:16). WHO THE CHURCH IS From its beginning until the present the Church has been the universal group of those of us who have believed in the LORD JESUS CHRIST the Savior. It is the group of those of us who believe that only through “the Blood of the Lamb” (Rev. 12:11), through His Grace and by calling on the Name of Jesus Christ the Lord (Acts 2:38, 22:16) can we receive forgiveness of our sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit, so that we can bear the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). It is the group comprised of those who, as “new creatures” (2 Cor. 5:17), have served and serve the Lord “in peace and in holiness” (Heb. 12:14), “loving our brethren and doing righteousness” (1 Jn. 3:10). The Church belongs to the Lord (Mat. 16:18). He is the one who purchased it with His Blood (Acts 20:28). There is only One Church and it is worldwide. It does not consist in any particular denomination or religious organization, nor is it the property of any man or group of men. The Lord knows each and every one of the true members of His Church (2 Tim. 2:19). He is the High Priest, the Head, the Chief and Everything else. He is the “Shepherd and Bishop of our souls” (1 Pet. 2:25). The system of government in His Church should be Theocratic in which God truly is control and not any man. There should not exist any “official” categories, nor should there be those who are “superiors,” but only true servants (Mat. 20:25-26, 1 Pet. 5:1-3). It should not be structured in the form of a pyramid as is man´s system of authority, which

is in fact “the image of the beast,” who “marks” with the “number of man, 666” (Rev. 13:16-18), which is equivalent to what the Holy Spirit tells us in James 3:14-16 and in 1 John 3:1015. The mark that God has placed on His children (Ezek. 9:4, Rev. 7:3), the members of His Church, is totally opposite to the negative mark ( Jam. 3:17-18). The marvelous hope of the children of God is the Second Coming of the Lord in glory (Tit. 2:13), which is the day of the resurrection (1 Thess. 4:16, 2 Thess. 1:6­ -9), when Israel and the Church shall be “one fold” ( Jn. 10:16). It will not be in a mysterious rapture, which is a modern invention of the antichrist (1 John 4:3), who is Satan himself (Study history of Council of Trent, Counter Reformation, John Nelson Darby and Dispensationalism). THE BASIC HUMAN ELEMENT Following this brief mention of the fundamental doctrines which comprise “the faith that was once delivered unto the saints” ( Jude 3), I will also mention other doctrines which both the apostle Peter, as well as the other apostles, considered indispensable so that everything we have previously mentioned can benefit us. This is the human element which we, the true members of the Church, are responsible for providing. This element consists of the positive emotions and intentions of the heart which please God. These emotions originate from a deep and absolute acknowledgement of our Almighty God stemming from a true sincerity and humility that He requires of us (Mic. 6:8, Matt. 11:29). This acknowledgement allows God by His Spirit to produce in us the fruit of the (His) Spirit and as a result work in us obedience to be able to fulfill the Divine requirements set forth by God in His Holy Book. And, in our case as believers among the Gentiles, saved only by Grace, these requirements are those which

are mentioned particularly in the New Testament. It is precisely this that the apostle Peter is concerned about when he states: “Moreover I will endeavor that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance” (2 Pet. 1:15). The apostle Paul concretely summarizes these requirements when he exhorts: “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others” (Phil. 2:3-4). (Many years ago the Lord showed me that he who lives in this manner is right before God. However, he who does not live in this manner, no matter what he might say or do to the contrary, is not right before God.) It is also written: “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing” (1 Cor. 13:1-3). The Lord also speaks to those believers who no longer walk with “the mind that is in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:5): “I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience… nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love” (Rev. 2:2-5). I know that “none of the wicked shall understand” what I have cited here nor will they understand the many other Scriptures which deal with this subject, neither will they take them into account; but the wise shall understand (shall accept them and shall live them).” This international publication, “Maranatha,” is still being sent to thousands of readers around the world. I know many of them personally, but others I do not know. I am aware that among

these thousands of readers there are those who love me, as well as those who do not. I am also aware that all of them will read the following declaration. But I must warn you that the declaration is directed in a particular manner to those who love me and who appreciate the ministry that the Lord has commended me to carry out for a lifetime now. AN IMPORTANT DECLARATION At the beginning of this article I cited a declaration made by the apostle Peter. I now personalize these words and make them my own. By doing so I am in no way claiming any certain title. (Those who love me know very well that I have always strongly preached against that ostentatious and ridiculous demon of appropriating titles and seeking fame.) My purpose in doing this is to remind my beloved brethren that the days of my ministry are coming to an end. Just as the apostle Peter and the other apostles felt during their time, and just as all the faithful ministers throughout the ages have felt, I also feel led to tell all of my faithful brethren who I have ministered to for a lifetime now, that I feel an urgency that you may “have these things always in remembrance.” My beloved brothers and sisters in the faith, as well as my beloved children in the Lord, I know that you will understand the intention behind my declaration. You are counted among those of us who have received from God the privilege of understanding the same truths that the apostle Peter and his companions taught. These are truths that even today can be found in the Holy Book. They are truths that by God´s will I also have had the privilege to proclaim for a lifetime now. It is important to me that you have these truths always in remembrance. I know that soon you, the faithful among this last generation, will have the responsibility of carrying these truths during the final part of this journey, and that many of you will be alive until the imminent Coming of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. God bless you.


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OBTAINING A GOOD CONSCIENCE

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t the end of his declaration in Romans 7:15-25, Paul utters a cry of desperation and defeat: “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from this body of death?” However, he then answers himself with a shout of victory: “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord! He then adds: “So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” In other words, the apostle Paul first openly confesses that it is impossible for us to rid ourselves of our sinful condition, but then he declares that the followers of our Lord Jesus Christ have victory over our guilty conscience in HIS NAME. In this marvelous Name resides the saving Grace, the cleansing Blood, the Spirit of power, the forgiveness of sins, the infinite love and the great mercy of God Almighty. He then explains that concerning the filth of the flesh, beginning with the sinful sexual impulses, our only recourse is to subject them to “the law of sin” (Rom. 7:23). This means that through the power of the Holy Spirit we must continually be restraining our flesh with the universal moral laws given in the beginning by God to Israel, but which remain in effect even now for the Church. Just as a bit is used to control a wild horse, the faithful Christian who desires to please his Lord has to daily “mortify therefore (their) members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil

justify themselves by their works.

FILTH OF OUR FLESH part 2

Pastor Efraim Valverde, Sr.

concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Col. 3:5). The Christian has to continually tell his flesh: “Don’t commit adultery, don’t swear in vain, don’t kill your neighbor, don’t commit idolatry, don’t steal, don’t covet your neighbor’s wife nor his possessions, don’t speak this certain way, don’t listen to this, don’t look at that,” and the list continues.

Then the apostle explains something that is extremely important for us to understand: “With my mind, I serve the law of God” (Rom. 7:25). This is the spiritual law, which is not literally a “law” (Gal. 5:23). The son of God within us is not our flesh. It is the “inner man” (Rom. 7:22), which is our mind, our conscience, wherein the baptism for forgiveness of sins operates. It is there that we acquire “the good conscience” and our salvation (1 Pet. 3:21). Therefore, every faithful child of God, in his “inner man” has the victory and “delights in the (spiritual) law” of God (Rom. 7:22). Furthermore, it is in that victory acquired through the Holy Spirit and the Word of the Spirit (Heb. 4:12) that he receives the power he needs to control his most staunch enemy, which is not the old serpent, but his own flesh in which the filth resides.

THE MARVELOUS GRACE OF GOD

According to the ample explanation I have previously given, this type of justification could never be acceptable to God. If this justification were true, then the faithful remnant among the Jewish people who strive to keep the 613 commandments of the Law would already be owners of that same salvation. However, our apostle makes it very clear to us when he states: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8-9).

The Lord used Paul, the apostle to us Gentiles, in a unique way to declare to us the message of salvation by the Grace of God. It is a marvelous, incredible, free salvation that is not dependent on our fulfilling certain works, I have emphasized the value of rituals, or commandments given the marvelous Grace of God for by God to His people, Israel, by the benefit and assistance of the way of Moses on Mount Sinai. sincere, fearful children of God It is a salvation which is who are faithful members of the explained extensively in the Church of the Lord (among them New Covenant, but which can many ministers), but who have be summarized in the following lived tormented, confessing that declaration made by our apostle: they cannot rid themselves of “Therefore being justified by faith, the filth of the flesh. I am aware we have peace with God through that the “accuser of the brethren” our Lord Jesus Christ; by whom (Rev. 12:10) has stolen the joy also we have access by faith into of their salvation from many of this grace wherein we stand, and them. He has made them feel rejoice in hope of the glory of God” guilty, telling them that the filth continues to reside in their flesh (Rom. 5:1-2). because God has departed from Therefore, it is extremely them. important that we, the Gentile believers in our Lord Jesus Throughout the years that I Christ, do not forget, even for a have ministered, even to the moment, that we came and are present, I have seen the enemy now still standing only by the continuously taking advantage Grace of God. This Grace not of the simplicity and lack of only granted us entrance one day knowledge of many children of into the kingdom of God, but it is God concerning this truth. This what has kept us every day in our is what God used to strongly Christian walk. I am personally motivate me to write this urgent aware of many Christians who message to my brethren. at one time appreciated the marvelous Grace of God, but God bless you. with the passing of time, many times unconsciously, began to


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thank the Lord Jesus for allowing my family and I to attend the Camp which took place on June 17-19 near Olympia Washington, which was hosted by Pastor Clemente Perez and the congregation in Elma, Washington. It was a great blessing for those of us who were able to attend to seek the face of the Lord and to be instructed in His Word by way of our Pastor Efraim Valverde III. May the Lord bless the congregation in Elma, who provided excellent service, as well as the other congregations in the area, who contributed so that this camp could take place. The activity began on Friday evening with prayer and worship before the Lord, in which several brothers participated, including bro. Eliseo Avila from Corona, CA. I also had the privilege of sharing a few words with our brothers. After this our pastor, Efraim Valverde III, provoked us to seek the face of the Lord together, asking Him to fill us with more of His presence and power so that we might continue going forward until the end. On Saturday morning, our pastor instructed us concerning the fundamental message in the Bible and of the entire universe: The Oneness of God and the importance of cultivating a closer relationship with our God and to confirm our minds and our lives in this fundamental truth. In the evening, after dining together, we separated into

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thank the Lord Jesus Christ for the privilege He granted us to celebrate an activity which is so special to us. The Lord permitted us to fellowship with the holy children of God, bearing in mind that what unites us is the same passion toward our God and the ability to experience the love which makes us one in our God.

Service in Olympia, WA

four groups. Pastor Efraim Valverde III gathered together with the pastors and ministers, while his wife, Sis. Claudia, met with the adult sisters. Meanwhile, bro. Daniel Perez, a minister from Salinas, CA, counselled the young people, and your servant met with the adult

men. Following this there was a time of fellowship to strengthen bonds among the brethren, which is also something necessary for us to continue walking with the Lord together. Later in the evening our pastor shared with us how we should follow the example of men who have been

Service in Exeter, CA

King David said: “Behold how good, and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!� (Ps. 133:1). This is what motivates us to gain strength, and the ability to be in the same mind. God bless our brethren who He used to minister unto us through His blessed Word, bro. Phillip Nava and bro. Alfredo Tienda.

We know that these men are men who are filled with the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. May the blessing from the Most High God be with them. We beseech you in

the love of God that you keep us in your prayers. May the Lord bless you with brotherly love. Your brother.

used by the Lord Jesus to impact our lives. He particularly mentioned the life of his grandfather, Pastor Efraim Valverde, Sr. of blessed memory. He shared with us how his grandfather loved the Lord with all his heart, always acknowledging what the Lord had done in his life, and always having a great burden of transmitting to his brothers what God had placed in his life. Sunday morning after hearing words of counsel from our pastor, we all went to the nearby lake where my brother, Pastor Alfredo Tienda, and Pastor Clemente Perez, baptized fourteen brethren in the glorious Name of Jesus Christ, our God and Savior. We thank our Lord Jesus for confirming this Camp meeting with His presence and for giving us courage and strength to continue running the race with joy. I close by giving much thanks to the Lord Jesus Christ and to bro. Clemente Perez and the congregation for all their hard work, for their service and because the Lord used them so that my family and I could attend this camp in which various pastors and brothers from different congregations attended from the states of Washington, Oregon and California. May the Lord bless you. Your brother in the Lord, Gilbert Tienda.

Herminio Cruz


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n the past fellowship service which took place on April 29-30, and on May 1st of this year in the beautiful city of La Paz, we were blessed as always with the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ. But it was a double blessing to receive our brethren from various places around the state. Bro. Tereso Bautista arrived from Vizcaino, bro. Jorge Velazco came from Ciudad Constitucion, bro. Chuy Bailon came from Guerrero Negro, bro. Moises Lopez came from Vicente Guerrero in the Valley

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give much thanks to my God for permitting me to share these few lines and to greet all of my brethren whom God may grant that they read the periodical “Maranatha.” I would like to share my experience concerning the fellowship service that took place on March 25-27 in Guadalajara, Jalisco. These were days in which it pleased the Lord to be with us in a special way. Friday afternoon in the plaza during the time of evangelistic messages and of handing out tracts, the Gospel message was also presented through some skits that the youth group in Purepero presented. On Saturday we were ministered to concerning the Oneness in the

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ith much joy and rejoicing we celebrated our annual fellowship service in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, on May 6-8 of this year in the Temple in the Colonia Ferrusquilla, where we rejoiced greatly with songs, dancing in the Lord, and most importantly with the teachings imparted by our beloved brother, Alfredo Tienda, who traveled from Vista, California, to be with us for the first time. May God repay him for his efforts. We were also honored by the presence of our brothers from Hermosillo, Cd. Obregon, Basuchil and El Rodeo, who joined us in making this praise even greater. On Friday, bro. Alfredo Tienda ministered to us, motivating to know God through His Word (1 Cor. 8:3, Gal. 4:9¸Rom. 8:29). On Saturday morning he continued to provoke us to love God and he shared with us how we can be a

Service in La Paz BCS, México of San Quentin, bro. Francisco Rojas arrived from Ciudad Insurgentes, bro. Andres Navarette arrived from San Juan de Los Planes, as well as the local brethren. Our beloved brother Efraim Valverde III from Salinas,

California, was also with us and he shared the Word of God with us those three days. He reminded us that we must affirm ourselves every day and that we must protect ourselves from the filth of the flesh, so that we might

Service in Guadalajara, México Godhead, which is the true Gospel. How tremendously marvelous it is to be able to understand this truth, knowing that it is only the Lord who reveals His mysteries. The Lord also allowed us to be instructed concerning the “Convocation,” and concerning the fact that we are living in the last days. How near we are to the manifestation of the great God and our Savior, Jesus Christ. The following day we were reminded about our responsibilities as men of

God. After this, we partook of the Lord’s Supper, which was a great blessing to us. At the end of the day the Lord chose to seal those days with baptisms. I thank God for my brother, Pastor Efraim Valverde III and for his family and for the brethren who accompanied him from Salinas, CA. They have been a great blessing to us here in Mexico. On behalf of all the brethren who have benefitted from this ministry, we desire that God continue blessing them, so that they can continue to be a blessing wherever

Service in Los Mochis, Sin. blessing to the people of Israel, through the connection that exists between the flag of Israel and us (Rom. 9:4, Dt. 6:4). In the evening he spoke to us about God’s protection. Sunday morning our brother, Jose Estrada, a minister of the Lord in Basuchil, Chihuahua, shared the Word of God with us with the topic “We are different,” which was of great motivation and encouragement. Following this we went to the river to baptize two persons who repented and gave their lives to Christ the Lord. To close out the fellowship service brother Carlos Labandera, pastor in the area of Francisco Villa near Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, preached to us on

Sunday afternoon. Brethren, it really encouraged us that for the first time our brother Alfredo Tienda could be with us. He has been a companion in the ministry that the Lord placed upon our brother, Pastor Efraim Valverde, Sr. We sensed his support and we beseech our Lord Jesus Christ that one day He will permit our beloved Pastor Efraim Valverde III to be with us. To God be the honor and the glory. Shalom! Let us continue praying for one another. Your brother in the ministry, Jose Angel Sanchez Perez.

not be overcome, as the apostle Paul declared: “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts” (Gal. 5:24). We are joyful in the Lord together with the congregation and our pastor Conrado Larrea Luna, your brother who loves you in the Lord Jesus Christ. Your brother who loves you in the Lord Jesus Christ, Lorenzo Antonio Pacheco.

the Lord takes them. We also are grateful to our brethren in Guadalajara for their service. My brother, my sister, who by the Grace of God might read this periodical and who does so with a correct mindset, read it not with the intent of criticizing, but with the purpose of feeding your soul. I desire with all my heart that God bless you. Let us continue praying and supporting this ministry so that the Lord will continue using this periodical, and that it might continue to reach thousands of readers who appreciate this work. May God speak well of you. Your brother in Christ, Pastor Alfredo Corcoles, Purepero, Michoacan, México.


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YOUTH SECTION Francisco Segovia

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ay the Lord bless each one of my brothers and sisters. I would first of all like to thank my God and Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ, for the privilege of knowing Him and for allowing me to complete 15 years of marriage on May 20th, at the side of my wife, who has been a great blessing to me and to our children. Through this publication I would like to encourage all the young people so that we would strive to know the Lord (Hos. 6:3), so that we might understand God’s purpose for our lives. The apostle Peter tells us in one of his letters: “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Pet. 2:9). The Lord has demonstrated His mercy toward every one of us who “even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) (Eph. 2:5). And the apostle Peter also tells us: “Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy” (1 Pet. 2:10), have“…but now obtained mercy” (Rom. 11:30). May the Lord help us to understand His purpose for us who are His children (1 Jn. 3:2). I remember very well, and I still have in my mind, what our pastor, Efraim Valverde III spoke about two years ago in Camp Sugar Pine in California. He told us that we should arrange our daily schedule around God. But in reality, many times we attend to our personal, and carnal needs, and we get caught up in our daily routine, and we attend to things of God last. In other words, we arrange our time with God around our schedule. We want know the Lord more and we

want Him to use us, but we must honor our God. The Lord tells us: “I honor those who honor Me” (1 Sam. 2:30). The Lord is willing and He wants to use us, but the question is: Do we truly want to be used by God? The Lord has placed pastors in each congregation, who for many years have served as an example of the privilege we have in serving our God. For my part, I thank my God for my pastor Efrain Arreola, whom the Lord has called to this ministry and who has served as a faithful example for many years now. The Lord speaks to us through the apostle Paul in his letter to the Philippians, when he declares: “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world” (Phil. 2:12-15). The Lord also tells us through the prophet Jeremiah that He has plans for us, but we must believe and trust in our God and our lives should reflect His presence in us. May the people around us see God through your life and my life. We can learn a lesson from the story of Gideon, who God chose to lead His people. Gideon did not have self-confidence and he doubted himself, but even so, God chose him. Just as in the story of Gideon, we can see each one of the vessels the Lord has used throughout the ages. We can see that God does not always call those who are equipped, but He always equips those who He calls. “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Tim. 4:12). Be encouraged my brothers. Let us press forward having our eyes fixed on God, and may the Lord help us that we may walk worthy of His calling, doing His will. God bless you. Francisco Segovia, Madera, CA

WOMEN OF GOD Sis. Helen Rodríguez

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greet all my beloved sisters in the Lord. I simply want to remind you of the tremendously important responsibility we have as mothers and grandmothers. I thank God that much has been spoken about this topic, but it is not in vain to hear it once again. God has called us to transmit the “unfeigned faith” to our children. We see the example in Lois who transmitted this faith to her daughter, Eunice. Eunice in turn transmitted it to her son, Timothy (2 Tim. 1:5). I had a mother who transmitted to me this faith that she received from her mother. I am now responsible to transmit this faith to my children and my grandchildren. I would like to share with you a poem I wrote in remembrance of the 10th anniversary of the death of my mother.

I REMEMBER YOU It has been 10 years since you left, but for me it is as if you left yesterday. The fragrance of your love has not left me. I always guard in my heart the counsel that you gave me. Your example of what it is to be a godly woman, will always be present in my mind. Your sacrifices, your prayers, my dear Mother, were not in vain. You were able to transmit that unfeigned faith to me, to my children, and I hope that also to my grandchildren. That rose that you always desired to see blossom, did blossom this morning. The birds sang and you bid us farewell! It has been ten years, but it only seems as if it was yesterday. Sis. Helen Rodriguez (Elena) Forest Grove, OR


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BAPTISM IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST

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Many present-day religious leaders teach that baptism is not truly important; thereby contradicting the same Lord they claim to obey and serve. They are following the example of the Pharisees and lawyers who “rejected the counsel of God against themselves” by refusing to be baptized by John (Luke 7:30). Nevertheless, this tract is not directed to those who oppose the Word of God, but to the sincere

Christians, who, having a pure and sincere heart, want to obey the Word of God. These Christians are willing to obey God’s commandments, whether they come directly from the Lord or through His apostles, since the Lord bestowed upon them His authority when He declared: “He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me” (Matthew 10:40). I must clarify here, that I am not discussing the subject of water baptism with the purpose of obtaining members for a certain religious denomination or organization. Rather, my goal is that the obedient Christian, whoever and wherever he is, will receive from God the fullness of His salvation. Now that we are aware of these basic truths, let us now continue in our discussion by considering the following questions. What is the purpose of water baptism? The Lord stated that the “he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16). On the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit, through Peter’s lips, declared: “Repent and be baptized, every one of you…for the remission of your sins…” (Acts 2:38). Paul, referring to the Lord’s sacrifice, declares that the Lord gave Himself for His Church “that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing

What Name should be invoked during baptism?

The Lord commanded His disciples to baptize the Gentiles “in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19), and when the apostles carried out the Master’s commandment, they baptized thousands upon thousands of water (baptism) by the Word” of believers in the Name of the Lord (Eph. 5:26). Peter, referencing the Jesus Christ. They did not disobey fact that Noah was saved by water the Lord, as some have had the in the ark, states: “The like figure audacity to say. On the contrary, whereunto even baptism doth also now they faithfully executed His commandment, because they had save us…” (1 Peter 3:21). understood that the “Name of the . Father, and of the Son, and of the How should water baptism be administered? Holy Spirit” is JESUS the Lord, and that He is ONE. They understood Paul explains to us that baptism is a when the Lord told them: “He that symbol of the burial of one who has hath seen me, hath seen the Father” They understood died. For this reason he poses the ( John 14:9). following question: “Know ye not, that “God was manifest in the flesh” that so many of us as were baptized (1 Tim. 3:16). They understood that into Jesus Christ were baptized into the Lord Jesus was Israel’s Messiah, His death? Therefore we are buried and that He could be none other with Him by baptism into death” than God Himself, because there is (Rom. 6:3). On another occasion he only one God (Deut. 6:4, Isa. 44:6). explains to us that we are “BURIED They understood that only the God, with Him in baptism, wherein also YHWH, can save, and they were ye are risen with Him” (Col. 2:12). given revelation to understand that According to these Scriptures, the Lord Jesus is that same God, baptism is a symbolic burial through because the Name of God given which the believer, now dead to to men that they might be saved is the world (repented) is buried in JESUS the Lord (Acts 4:12). This is the waters of baptism and emerges the Name “which is above every other from them, ready to live a new life name” that Joel mentioned when he in Christ. For this reason, baptism prophesied: “That whosoever shall should be administered through call on the name of the LORD shall immersion, submerging the body be delivered (saved)” (Phil. 2:9, Joel of the penitent completely in water, 2:32). according to the example given by the Lord Himself when He entered The following Scripture verses bear into the Jordan River to be baptized: witness that the original believers “And Jesus, when he was baptized, in the Church were all baptized went up straightway out of the water” Continue on page............................................... 15 (Matt. 3:16). Likewise, when Phillip

Pastor Efraim Valverde, Sr.

he doctrine of baptism is a subject of supreme importance, and has been considered to be so throughout the centuries which have passed since the Church was founded by our Lord Jesus Christ. He himself demonstrated the prominence of this sacrament when he issued the following command: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16). He also commanded His apostles to: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19). He also emphasized the importance of being baptized, when He traveled to the Jordan River where John was baptizing, and asked John to be baptize Him, saying: “Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15).

baptized the Ethiopian eunuch, the Scriptures tell us that “they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water…” (Acts 8:38-39).


w w w. e va lv e r d e . c o m / w w w. e va n g e l i o e t e r n o . o r g Babtism in the name......

calling upon the Name of Jesus Christ, and never with the titles Father, Son and Holy Spirit: Acts 2:38, Acts 8:16, Acts 10:48, Acts 19:5, Acts 22:16, Rom. 6:3, Gal. 3:27, 1 Pet. 3:21. The baptism invoking the titles of Father, Son and Holy Spirit was not utilized in the apostolic era or in the first centuries of the Church. It was an interpretation which came later as part of the package of many other false doctrines, fruit of the apostasy, which were accepted and confirmed by the Council of Nicea in the year 325 A.D. To whom does the baptism by immersion, invoking the Name of the Lord Jesus, apply? You, the reader, can find the answer in the Word of God. It is for the Jews (Acts 2:36-38). It is for the Samaritans (Acts 8:14-16). It is for the Gentiles (Acts 10:45-48). It is for believers who have already been baptized with other baptisms (Acts 19:1-5). “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call” (Acts 2:39). In conclusion: My beloved brethren and friends, if you love the Lord and are one of those who are interested in being sure of the salvation of your soul, we sincerely invite you in the love of Christ to meditate on this important doctrinal subject. The message contained within this tract is not merely a denominational point of view, but is a very specific commandment given by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, who declared: “He who believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” Note: If you were enlightened by reading this brief tract or if it awakened an interest in you to know more about this fundamental doctrine in the process of salvation, we invite you to visit your brethren at the address listed on this tract or write to the editor of Publicaciones “Maranatha.”

What Must I Do To Be SAVED? Pastor Efraim Valverde, Sr.

“Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, and brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (Acts 16:29-31).

in this category, through the love of Christ the Lord, I will explain to you God’s plan of salvation precisely as it is described in the Holy Bible.

FIRST STEP: You must acknowledge and confess your misery and need before God, must inform you that this and you must sincerely repent message is not for everyone. from your sins. Without this It is only for those who are fundamental step, everything else convinced of the fact that none of you do will be in vain (Acts 3:19). the many things that this world has to offer can give the peace that SECOND STEP: You must their soul desires. now accept the Lord Jesus as the Savior of your soul. You must Neither is it written with the believe that by His Grace and His intent of obtaining followers by Blood that He shed on the cross, attempting to convince someone He is able to cleanse all your sins, to leave their religion to accept a no matter how filthy they might different one. On the contrary, be (Isaias 1:18). it is for those who have already experienced the fact that no THIRD STEP: You must religion can change their lives. believe that by doing the previous This message is intended to step, this is proof that you have help those who, because of the become a partaker of the miracle miserable circumstances in which of having been “born again” they presently live, whether it ( John 3:3), which is the same is a sickness, marital or family miracle as having been “born of problems, addictions, traumas, God” or “begotten of God” (1 John prisons or similar situations, have 5:18). arrived at the conclusion that only God can deliver them. FOURTH STEP: It is now imperative for you to be immersed It is for those who have come to in the waters of baptism just as the point in their lives in which the Lord was, making certain that they are compelled to ask the same when you do so, the Name of our question that the jailer at Philippi Lord Jesus Christ is invoked upon asked Paul and Silas: “What must I you (Acts 2:28 and 4:12). do to be saved?” If you find yourself

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15 FIFTH STEP: Being now a “child of God” (1 John 1:12), a “new creature in Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:17), allow the Lord—who now lives within you—to direct you in how you must live, what you must do and what things are not beneficial to you. SIXTH STEP: The Lord has promised to give each of His children the power of His Holy Spirit to help us to overcome and to give forth the “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22). Ask the Lord to give you this gift together with the evidence of “speaking with other tongues” (Acts 2:4). SEVENTH STEP: Exercise yourself in reading the Word of God so that you might grow spiritually and become grounded in your faith. Occupy yourself as much as possible in serving others, thereby doing God’s work. FINAL STEP: now try to live the rest of your life in peace and in holiness, loving everyone, and being in communion with those who love the Lord as you love Him now. Seek out as much as you can the fellowship of those who live “looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13). CONCLUSION: Even though we may not know you, the Lord knows who you are, and our prayer is that He will bless you. We also ask our Lord Jesus that He will work in your life, praying that the plan described in this tract will bring the change in your life that you greatly desire. If the Lord places in your heart the desire to receive help from us in any way that we can, please contact us. We are here to serve you.


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