Welcome to the Mountain View Church!

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Welcome to Mountain View Church of Christ, Babag Uno, Cebu City, Philippines.

This blogsite seeks to inform you about us as well as our reason for being. We are just simple people, seeking to follow the examples of the Man from Galilee, Jesus the Christ. His examples are indeed worthy to emulate; His ways are truly the best. We call ourselves Christians, members of the one body of which He is the Head (Eph. 1:223-23), the kingdom of which He is the King (Col. 1:13; 1 Cor. 15:25-26), the church of which He is the Saviour (Eph. 5:23; Acts 20:28). We are not perfect people, but a people washed, sanctified, and justified by the blood of the Son of God. In a way, we are just like other Christians in many areas of the world, or like other Christians in the past. We seek to duplicate in these modern times the Christian themes, teachings, lifestyles and goals of the early disciples as laid out in the pages of the New Testament.

We offer ourselves firstly to God to serve Him in the church founded by His Son two thousand years ago. We also offer ourselves to serve you in any way we can. In the days ahead we will be posting here the services we offer to be of help to our fellow Christians, fellow sufferers in the faith, and to others as well.

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A Profile of its Workers and their Families

The Mountain View church is a congregation newly established in the mountainous area of Babag Uno, beyond upper Busay, city of Cebu, Philippines. Ed Maquiling, who was then the local minister of Talamban church, began the work here on the latter part of the year 2001 as a follow up ministry to edify the family who were formerly worshipping with Talamban church but who could not always come due to its great distance and because of prohibitive costs of fares.

Much evangelism by Ed Maquiling and other workers has been done in the place and in other sitios nearby since the start of the work. Classes are taught individually or in groups, conducted in homes or in the assembly, as a way to bring the good news of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection and for people to avail of the saving power that only Jesus, the Son of God, could impart. Those who have been taught have also strived to put on Jesus and make him the Master of their lives. In fact a number have obeyed Jesus, ladies and men coming from the humble and the poor, and from prominent families in Babag Uno, Hamtik, and other places nearby. So great was the influence of this new band of disciples that they are now known as “a group of nice people who can do no harm,” in the language of one grand old woman in the place.

At present the church worships in a house which is filled to overcrowding on any good Sunday afternoon.

Two preachers served the church as its ministers: Ed Maquiling and Eduardo Teman. Eduardo Teman, or Edward, was formerly a minister of the Baptist church, having preached and taught and built up Baptist congregations in Makilala, North Cotabato. Trained as a dairy man and livestock breeder, he got his first taste of serving his God while in the employ of  Mindanao Baptist Rural Life Center, in Bansalan, Davao del Sur. His experiences and abilities as a Baptist minister were put to good use when he cast his lot with the Lord’s church and assisted the Lord’s work in Babag Uno. It was Ed Maquiling who baptized Edward.

In later years Ed Maquiling became involved in the work at Leyte Christian College, serving for a while as one of its teachers as well as its assistant director. Edward on the other hand moved to Mindanao. The church in Babag Uno however remains steadfast in the faith. Three of its men take the lead in preaching to their neighbors, teaching Bible classes at church, and leading the brethren during worship. The church is in a sense indigenous, autonomous and independent and has continued to be so till this day. Occasionally Ed Maquiling visits them.

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The Worship Services of the Mountain View Church

Mountain View Church of Christ meets in a private home in Babag Uno, Cebu City. That home is beside the access road going to the transmitter towers of ABS-CBN on Mount Busay. We meet every Sunday afternoon from 2:00 to 4:00 for worship and study of the Word of God.

All the male members of the church serve the Lord in whatever way possible, as prayer leaders, and as counselors to those who come to them for advice, and this they do during the week or when the need for it arises.

Everyone serves Jesus by becoming a light to their fellowmen, and by so doing glorifies the Father and the Son. As salt of the earth, they seek to influence their fellow villagers to try to follow the teachings of Jesus. Oftentimes their lifestyles as Christians come into conflict with the lifestyles of the people around them, but they persevere.

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The Ministries of Mountain View Church

One purpose of the church is to make known the manifold wisdom of God. As a congregation of Christ, Mountain View church desires only to proclaim the gospel of Jesus, because it is the power of God to save mankind today. For this reason, we go about from house to house in Babag and places nearby to evangelize. Our preaching tours have brought us to places like Maraag in Sudlon 2, Cantipla, Taptap, Pung-ol Sibugay, Malubog and Busay. The Word of God being our only creed, it is also the only book that we use. We are not engaged in a war of words with the denominations around us, we teach only the Truth. We believe that that Truth could set every man and woman in the world free from the shackles of sin if he or she will embrace it. We speak where the Bible speaks, and we are silent where the Bible is silent.

Mountain View Church of Christ also engages in the work of benevolence. Much of its collection is used for this purpose. Lately, with the cooperation of the brethren from Mandaue church and other congregations of Jesus in Cebu City, we conducted a medical mission, where we gave free medical check-up and free medicines.

Mountain View Church of Christ also engages in the work of edifying its members. Our Sunday Bible classes are geared toward this end. Lately, we launched our new ministry, the Mountain View Bible School. It is a school without walls. We conduct classes to build up the faith of the Christians in Babag, so that they may be able to stand, and withstand the wiles of the devil.

Mountain View Church of Christ in Babag Uno is served by Ed Maquiling, who, with the support of a generous Christian family in Abilene, Texas, USA, began preaching in the place in the last trimester of the year 2001. Since the first trimester of year 2004, Ed had been assisted in the work by Danilo Mamugay, a former student of his in Cebu Bible College. Danny had been a very great help in the work of the Mountain View church, and was supported by the church in Spokane, Washington, USA.

After Danny left to do full-time ministering in the city of Cebu, Randy, his brother, took over his place, assisting Ed in the teaching, visiting and counseling.

Early this year, 2007, Edward Teman assisted Ed in preaching and ministering in Babag Uno. Edward is a former Baptist preacher whom Ed baptized early in his mountain ministry.

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Turning Trials into Triumphs

“Don’t be bewildered or surprised when you go through the fiery trials ahead, for this is no strange, unusual thing that is going to happen to you…” (1 Peter 4:12).

By Mrs. Diolinda P. Maquiling

INTRODUCTION:
If we open our English hymnbook, we will find a song, entitled “It Is Well With My Soul,” authored by Mr. H. G. Spafford. Do you know how that song came about? The story is told that Mr. Spafford’s wife and four daughters were on board a ship; they were leaving for France, where they were going to have their much-needed vacation. All members of the family were so happy, because they were looking forward to visiting some of the best and most beautiful places in France. Mr. Spafford was busy with his business, but he had given word to his family that he would follow them there.

Then the unexpected happened. The ship which Mrs. Spafford and her children boarded was rammed by another ship, and it sank in the middle of the ocean. There were many casualties, there were many dead, and many who were dying because of the cold waters of the sea.

The news of the accident was cabled to Mr. Spafford. “SHIP MET ACCIDENT. OUR KIDS ARE NO MORE. OF US FIVE, I ALONE SURVIVED.” It was a cablegram from his wife. Mr Spafford read it again and again. Finally, breathing a sigh, he whispered to himself: “I am glad I have trusted the Lord.”

And so he wrote that song, and its first stanza reads like this: “When peace like a river attendeth my way/ When sorrows like sea billows roll/ Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say/ It is well, It is well with my soul.”

The trials this man had faced were unspeakably horrible. He was a bereaved father who had lost all four kids in that accident, but he endured the pain of this great loss. It was difficult to wake every morning calling over and over again the familiar names of the children you loved and realize that they were gone… and that you were alone. These trials were unimaginable, but he did not allow them to defeat him. He triumphed over them. Having done so, he inspired us Christians to walk on our own lonely road, to endure our own pain, to face our own hardships and difficulties, and be triumphant over them.

There were many characters in the Bible too whose faith was tested through trials and sufferings. Let me cite some examples: Daniel, who was thrown into the lions’ den. The three Hebrew young men, who were thrown bodily into the burning furnace. Jeremiah, who was thrown into the slimy pit. Paul, who had been shipwrecked not just one time, not just two times, but three times. Some things I noted about the trials of these men is that God, who could have stopped them from being tried, has allowed them to be tried!

I need not speak about our own trials as a Christian family during our younger days, worshipping with a group whose people we loved so much, whom we still love as a people even to this day, but this is necessary to illustrate the point we are saying. To be with them was a great struggle, not just with problems in doctrines but also problems in attitude. Big men and big women in the congregation, who were in the leadership core of the church, and one could not just argue with them. They had the final say in everything. But we were determined to stick it out. My family believes that the Lord as the Great Builder built only one church. We believe that the Lord saves the obedient ones from their sins, that He sanctifies them and makes them righteous, and adds them to His church. We believe that He has bought only one church, and that this one blood-bought church is going to be with Him in heaven. And so we remain in the Lord’s church. We will never leave it. We believe that God’s plan for the church is good; that His plan for you too is good. As God told Jeremiah, while that great prophet suffered at the hands of his own people, having been reviled, ridiculed, and rejected, as he sat there contemplating over his own fate: “Jeremiah, my plans for you are good. The plans I have for you are the plans to prosper you and not to harm you.”

Ladies, it is my prayer that we meet the following objectives in our lesson for today. We need to put in our heart the concept that trials and sufferings do have a purpose in our lives. We need to point out that one thing that is certain about life is that there is plenty of pain and suffering in all the world. We need to understand that the Bible says Christians have been equipped to face all trials, and hence must be ready to face them, and triumph over them. Having won over our trials, we can be of help so that our neighbors too may win over their own. We can all be triumphant. How then do we turn our trials into triumphs?

DISCUSSION:
Firstly, By adjusting our frame of mind to the idea that trials are there and that no one is spared from it.

None is spared from sufferings and pain. They are there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. Peter says, “Don’t be bewildered or surprised when you go through the fiery trials ahead, for this is no strange, unusual thing that is going to happen to you.” (1 Peter 4:12, Living Bible Translation).

Concerning persecutions, listen to this: Paul says to Timothy: “But you have fully known my teaching, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, patience, persecutions, afflictions, which came to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured; but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yes, and all who will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:10-12).

God did not even spare His own Son from the trials that we in the world are going through. Jesus, our Lord and our example, was the subject of temptations and trials throughout His life. Luke 4:13 says, “And when the devil had ended all the temptations, he departed from Him for a season.” Also Luke 22:28, where he says to His disciples, “Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations.” By having been tried or tempted, and having passed those trials, He becomes our example, and our helper. For this very reason, He can help His disciples in their temptations. This teaching is brought out particularly by the following verses: (a) Hebrews 2:18, “For in that He himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted.” (b) Hebrews 4:15, “For we have not a High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Because Jesus is without sin, the power of Satan is provoked to attack Him in many forms.
Let me repeat: “All who will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” It means that only the godly shall be tested and tried. If you don’t have trials now, you will have them later. And Peter adds: “Don’t be surprised.”

Secondly, By adjusting our frame of mind to the concept that it is God who tries His people or puts them to the test.

The verb PEIRADZO, where we get our word “to tempt,” can also be translated “to test, to try, to make trial of, to investigate, to look into.” The intent of this word is simply to prove whether one is genuine or not. The Hebrew verb NASAH, which is translated PEIRADZO in the Greek, has the primary implication of “testing the partner in the covenant to see whether he is keeping his side of the agreement.”

The noun PEIRASMOS, which is translated “trial,” can also mean “test, or temptation.” When the word is used to mean “trials,” it has God as the one who does the trying or testing of His own people. “It is important to note that Jehovah is not said to test, or try, the heathen people, but only His own, people of His own possession.” Study these verses which speak of how God dealt with His people during the Old Testament times.

Deut. 8:2, “And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep His commandments, or no.”

Exodus 16:4, “Then the Lord said unto Moses, Behold I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather at certain rate everyday, that I may prove (or try) them, whether the will walk in my law or not.”

When the term PEIRASMOS is used of an individual, the subject of the trial is always a pious man, never an ungodly man. Remember that Abraham, who was a man of faith, was tried concerning his son Isaac (cf. Gen. 22). Remember also the godly king Hezekiah (cf. 2 Chronicles 32:31).

Since only the godly are being tried, what about the ungodly who suffer? Are not their sufferings also considered “trials”? My answer: “Trials” for what? God does not need to “try” and prove if the ungodly will walk in Him, for they do not walk in Him anymore! When the ungodly suffer, they suffer because of their sins! Consider this verse: 2 Peter 2:9, “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be
punished.”

To suffer as a Christian is a form of testing, and as such, it can be considered a mark of true discipleship, especially when one knows that it is possible, for instance by looking back to the examples of Abraham and Job, to emerge from the temptation approved and preserved by God.
Thirdly, By adjusting our frame of mind to the idea that trials are meant to carry out God’s purposes in the world.
(1) God uses circumstances in the world to develop our character, to make us grow. If He wants you to be strong, He grants you the opportunity to face what He thinks will make you strong.

(a) James 1:2-4 says: “My brethren, count it all joy when you undergo many trials, knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

(b) Trials, difficulties, problems, pain, sufferings: These do develop and strengthen our character as a people of God’s own possession. They are all essential to our growth process.

(2) God uses circumstances—bad, evil, violent, horrible, the worse circumstance, and even the worst circumstances— to make us see our weaknesses, and so He draws us closer to Him. You will never know that God is the only answer to your problems until you see you have no other
option but Him!

(a) Psalm 34:18 says: “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those who are crushed in spirit.”

(b) We feel closer to Him when we are so downhearted and broken, when we feel abandoned, when we look around and run out of options—we call them our darkest days. It is when we are in pain that we learn to pray our most authentic, genuine, heartfelt, honest-to-God prayers.
In 2 Corinthians 1:9, Paul says: “We felt were doomed to die and saw how powerless we were to help ourselves; but that was good, for then we put everything into the hands of God, who alone could save us.”

The trial of our faith has for its purpose the praise and honor and glory of the Godhead. 1 Peter 1:7, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto the praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.”

The trials we endure in this life are meant to make us partakers of Christ’s sufferings. 1 Peter 4:13 says, “Rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings.” The word “partakers” is a nice theological word, which also means “sharers.” Think about this: Because we are Christians, the Father would also like to become like His Son Jesus. In this world, the Father is molding and remolding us, slowly, gradually, little by little, until we have achieved that image that is Christ-like.

Fourthly, By adjusting our frame of mind to the concept that there are eternal fruits that could result from trials.

(1) JOY. 1 Peter 4:12-13, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you. But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”

(2) THE CROWN OF LIFE. James 1:12, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”

(3) DIVINE DELIVERANCE. 2 Peter 2:9, “The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of trials.”

(4) GODLY STRENGTH. 1 Corinthians 10:13, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above that which you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

CONCLUSION:
To Christians who suffer now, who feel discouraged now, we say: You are not alone in this: We too have been suffering with you. We all suffer together, we are being tried together. But this—and we are talking about trials– is part of God’s scheme for all His people in the world. It takes FAITH to do that. While we contemplate on our own weaknesses, BELIEVE that we have a God who can give us the strength to face our trials and sufferings. While we reflect over our own problems, TRUST that we have a God who is bigger than our problems. While we ponder over our failures, RELY on a God who does not fail, a God who wins and makes His people winners in their own right.

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The Restoration Principle Applied in Mission Work

THE RESTORATION PRINCIPLE A VALID PRINCIPLE

There is no denial that the restoration principle was a valid ecclesiology principle back then. It was valid in the time of the Anabaptists; it was also valid in the time of the Campbells. When I say “valid,” I mean it can be logically applied and proven to be of use; that this principle was the very solution to the religious problem we have in Christendom, the problem of making ourselves right with God.

The restoration principle was the very principle that differentiated Luther and Zwingli from the group of ancient restorers whom historians called “The Anabaptists.” We grant that the Anabaptists were not a perfect people, and their movement was not a perfect movement. Even their name smacks of error: “Anabaptism” roughly speaking means one baptism on top of another baptism. But their being imperfect could not be used as a reason to discredit the movement. Human imperfections abound everywhere.Yes, they had errors aplenty; but could not that same thing be said also about some wings of the Restoration Movement in our time? We have one-cuppers, anti-benevolence, anti-orphan homes, anti-Bible school, premillenialists and other extremists among us.

THE ANABAPTIST MOVEMENT SOUGHT TO CORRECT SOME ERRORS IN RELIGION

This to me is a valid reasoning. If one is content with being in error, then he has no place in the present Restoration Movement, in our Movement.The Anabaptists (Michel Roubli, Felix Manz, and others) sought first to correct their “baptism.” They were “baptized” as infants; and having read their Greek New Testament, they came to the conclusion that”pedo-baptism” has no place in the plan of God. So they “rebaptized” themselves, by pouring water from the head down; and this was in 1525. More truths came to them, little by little. From”adult sprinkling” they came to know that even the”mood” was wrong; and they sought to correct that also–they started immersing themselves. So what did they seek to restore? It was the truth that only adults are the proper subjects of baptism. Then, it was the truth that only immersion is the correct way of doing the baptising. Then it was the truth on the Lord’s Supper, complete with the emblems of both the body and the blood of Jesus. Later, they came to reject even the name Anabaptist, choosing rather to call themselves “Christians,” members of the church of Christ.

ANDREW MUNRO AND THOMAS CAMPBELL: RESTORATIONISM IN AMERICA

The Restoration Movement in America did not start with Thomas Campbell and his “Declaration and Address”; it was exported to the American shores from the British Isles. Thomas Campbell, a Seceder Presbyterian, knew of Greville Ewing, of the Haldane brothers, and others of kindred spirits who sought to restore the spirit, themes and teachings of the early church.

But the Haldanean restorationists were not the originator of this movement to go back to the Bible. Somewhere along the way, someone must admit that he too has a grandfather, and I am talking about the Glassites or the Sandemanians. The Glassite movement came ahead of the Haldanean movement. A member of the movement founded by John Glassite is today known in secular history, not for his religious achievements but for his scientific discoveries. His name is Michael Faraday.

Thomas knew these people: John Glass, and his son-in-law Robert Sandeman; the brothers James Alexander and Robert Haldane, and their associate Greville Ewing. Following in the footsteps of these men, to Campbell, meant the loss of favor with his church.

When the defrocked and unchurched Thomas Campbell, now a migrant in the United States, stood up and spoke on the principle of “speaking where the Bible speaks and being silent where the Bible is silent” to a group of religious men, one objector, Andrew Munro, rose up and said: “If that is so, Mr. Campbell, we can no longer baptize infants!” to which the grand old restorationist answered: “Well, if infant baptism be not found in the Scripture, let us do away with it.”

The baptism question continued to hound the Campbells. When it was Alexander Campbell’s turn to study the question, he plunged headlong to where his conclusion could lead him: He asked Matthias Luce, a Baptist pastor, to baptize him for the remission of sins.

THE RESTORATION PRINCIPLE IS VALID IN OUR TIME

The restoration principle motivates people of kindred spirits to seek what is best for the problem of how make oneself right with God. In my studies in the mountains, I would often hear of disgruntled Catholics, abused Baptists, seeking to be reborn “born-again” people longing for something that refreshes the soul. The Mountain View mission, for example, started with a group of twenty to thirty men and women- drunkards and non-drunkards, smokers and non-smokers, little sinners and great sinners, all of whom were Catholics. They saw that I had something to offer. I was preaching to them the Christ about whom they knew so little. I did not speak about restorationism, but I spoke about going back to God; and to me they mean the same. I spoke about the Catholic Bible, and I read from it to them. Does one long for release? The answer is God. Does one long for a better home? The answer is heaven. Does one long for being made right? Jesus could make you right. Does one long for freedom? Read your Bible.The first step to becoming right is to look at oneself and find out what’s wrong with oneself. Are you contented with what you are now, I would ask, and the common answer was no. Then, Do you want to do what is right to make God happy? Ok.

And so thirty men and women who wanted to do what’s right decided to worship the God who could make them right. Nothing was said about Catholicism being wrong; but something was said about Christianity being always right, and the Bible says so. Our way then of restoring what is right is to restore ourselves back to our Maker, by worshipping Him. Then someone suggested about communion. I asked if they like to to do it; they said yes. I asked if they wanted to do it right. I got an affirmative answer. So the next time we worshipped we had our Lord’s Supper, the complete emblems of the bread and the fruit of the vine. I asked them if they wanted to know their God better, as He spoke of Himself in His Word. They said yes. I asked: If God were with us today, speaking as He does, and reading what He says, would you glorify Him by believing and accepting all that He says? They said yes. So I read Exodus 20, about the ten commandments, and I explained it one by one, beginning with the tenth and ending with the first. I read what Isaiah says about the futility of idolatry. I read what Paul says about the topic in Romans 1. Slowly, little by little, these Catholics were weaned away from their idols. Slowly, they turned to the God they had forgotten, the Lord whose nature they had misunderstood. Their baptism, their putting on of their Lord, may have taken so long, but when it came, they were sure they were now made right.

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What We Teach

We believe the Bible to be the inspired Word of God.

We believe Jesus to be God, that is, of the same essence as God the Father. We also believe the Holy Spirit to be of the same substance as the Father and the Son.

We believe that all men must accept Jesus as the Prophet by whom the Father speaks to us today. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no man can come to the Father except through Him.

We believe that the church that Jesus built in first century AD, that is, at the time mentioned in Acts 2, still exists even until now. There is no truth to the contention of some sects that that church has totally vanished from the face of the earth.

We believe that every man and woman today can become a Christian, in the same manner that the men and women of the early centuries became Christians. We believe the Word to be the Seed; if that Seed is planted in the hearts of the believers, true Christianity can be duplicated and reduplicated anytime, anywhere in the world.

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