IFRA DA BEKS and Baptists
As I visit and conduct Bible studies with people around the world, these questions continue to be asked: How much time do you think we have in this world? Do you think we are nearing the end? Many are seeing the signs of Jesus’ coming in all the disasters that are occurring at an alarming rate. These disasters are happening so fast that we soon forget about the last one and are thinking about the devastation of the current one. God is speaking to each of us, letting us know that He is coming and that we should be ready. “You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.” Matthew 24:6-8.
“We are living in the time of the end. The fast-fulfilling signs of the times declare that the coming of Christ is near at hand. The days in which we live are solemn and important. The Spirit of God is gradually but surely being withdrawn from the earth. Plagues and judgments are already falling upon the despisers of the grace of God. The calamities by land and sea, the unsettled state of society, the alarms of war, are portentous. They forecast approaching events of the greatest magnitude. The agencies of evil are combining their forces and consolidating. They are strengthening for the last great crisis. Great changes are soon to take place in our world, and the final movements will be rapid ones.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 11.
Revelation predicts that as we approach the end, the devil will be working contrary to God’s purposes because he knows that his time is short. “Therefore rejoice you heavens, and you that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time.” Revelation 12:12. “In accidents and calamities by sea and by land, in great conflagrations, in fierce tornadoes and terrific hailstorms, in tempests, floods, cyclones, tidal waves, and earthquakes, in every place and in a thousand forms, Satan is exercising his power.” Counsels on Health, 461.
As Satan is wreaking havoc and ruin in our earth, God is not standing by in silence; He is preparing men, women and children in
various places around the world to stand before Him without spot or wrinkle. There are many people that we do not know of right now whom God is preparing to use in the final movements in other churches, and He wants us to go out and seek these souls and connect with them. In a recent trip that I took to the Philippines, this was certainly the case.
Early in 2010, I began to receive reports from our workers in the Philippines that there were whole churches accepting the Seventh-day Adventist message. The churches that were coming into the faith were a break-off from the Roman Catholic Church, called the IFRA DA BEKS. (Iglesia Filipia Rizal Apostol sa Dios Amahan sa Balaar Espiritu ni Kristo sa Silangan ). There are approximately sixty-two of these churches in the Philippines, and our workers began conducting evangelistic campaigns within these churches. Not all of the priests would allow our workers to preach in their pulpits, but some were willing. In early 2010, there were two of these churches who had accepted the Three Angels’ Messages and are now keeping the Sabbath from week to week and are growing because of their witness to those in their villages.
In my visit to the Philippines in late 2010, I had the privilege of conducting a prophecy seminar in the third church, who had asked for us to come and preach our message. In the small village of Oregon there was one of these churches who allowed us to come and present the message of truth to their congregation. As a result of the messages that were presented, there were about twelve families who accepted the truth but had to leave the church where they had worshiped for years because the majority of the people opposed the truth. One of the brethren who had accepted the truth donated some of his land in order that they could build a church and conduct Sabbath worship services. The church members have now built a simple structure and are holding church services every Sabbath.
This year, I returned to the Philippines to see how the work among these churches was progressing. In over a year’s time, five more IFRA DA BEKS churches have organized and are worshiping on God’s holy day of rest because of the diligent efforts of the Bible workers.
While I was there, I visited with one of the leaders of these churches. He was the son of an IFRA DA BEKS priest but had listened to the message spoken from the Bible and decided to follow and obey the truth that he was seeing from the Bible. This cost him dearly. Jesus said that following the truth would be a cross. “And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.” Matthew 10:21, 22.
His father turned against him and then persuaded other family members to do the same. The father also influenced many in the small village where he lived to turn against his own son and treat him coldly. This man truly has a cross to bear, but praise the Lord that he decided that following and loving Jesus was more important than even his own father, mother and friends. This is a scenario that has repeated itself among all these churches where our workers are preaching the last warning message.
These are not the only denominational churches who were willing to have our workers preach in their pulpits. On my most recent trip, it was arranged by our workers for me to be able to conduct a prophecy seminar within a Missionary Baptist church in a small village in Davao Oriental, and this is how it happened. Pastor Aque, whom we have been supporting, was appointed by a government official to be the vice president of a task force to combat the drug usage among the youth in his area. He was among more than 100 pastors who were chosen to be a part of this program. Since Pastor Aque was vice president of this program, he had meetings to attend with all of the other pastors.
It was at these meetings that he met Pastor DeCampo, who was the pastor of the Missionary Baptist church about forty-five minutes away from his home village. Pastor Aque started sharing the Three Angels’ Messages with him whenever they met together. Then the pastor started asking him to come to his home and study with his whole family. After Pastor DeCampo was convinced about the Sabbath and other truths, Pastor Aque asked him if he could share the truth with those in his own church. Pastor DeCampo agreed and asked if Pastor Aque would conduct a prophecy seminar in his church specifically for the members of his church.
Shortly after this, the Bible workers started going out and doing house-to-house labor with those in this small village. As the Bible workers were visiting and inviting the people to the meetings, they found many who were open to Bible studies. They found many whom the Lord had already prepared to receive the message. One such man that the workers met had been a backslidden Baptist but was being prompted by the Holy Spirit to start studying his Bible again. This was long before the Bible workers started going from door to door in his village. As he was studying, he was being impressed with the very truths that he would hear being presented in the evangelistic seminar at the Baptist church. He is now a strong believer in the truth and is sharing the message of the Sabbath and Christ’s soon return with his neighbors. The few pastors that are in this small village are attempting to prejudice the people in the community against this man, but God is overthrowing the plans of the enemy. There are many who are showing up on his doorstep and asking questions about things the pastors are using to confuse their minds. He has now started morning and evening Bible studies under the front porch of his house, and many people come to study the Bible before and after they do their work.
Another man they met was out in his fishing boat early one morning with his nets in the water and was laying down in his boat waiting until he would pull his nets back in. Suddenly, he felt as if someone was watching him but knew he was way out at sea and no one was around. Then he looked around the other way and saw what looked like an angel staring at him. This being told him that he would meet someone who would invite him to come back to church and that he should not refuse. The angel then disappeared. The next day one of our Bible workers knocked on his door and invited him to come to our prophesy seminar that we were conducting in the Baptist church. He told him that he had already been invited and that he was for sure going to be there.
There were eight families who took their stand after the meetings were over and who kept their first Sabbath while I was there. Many gave their testimonies that Sabbath and told their stories of how the Lord worked to bring them into the message.
Please pray for these dear souls who are in these other churches. There are many who are searching for truth but have not found it. It is our duty to seek the lost wanderers out on the mountain going astray.
May God keep us faithful!
By Mike Bauler. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Support for the work in the Philippines can be sent to Mission Projects International, PO Box 59656, Renton, WA 98058.