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Philippine Trip Report, Part 1

Dec 09, 2017

The Open Door Ministry, which was prophesied three decades ago, was launched at our Tabernacles conference, October 15, 2017.

Our first Open Door journey took place when Brad and I flew to the Philippines on October 24, 2017. We arrived in Manila the next day, where we spent the night at a hotel, and then we flew to Davao City on the morning of October 26.

The conference itself, held every two months, was sponsored by Apostle David, whose church I attended from 2009 until he moved to South Korea in 2014. He commutes every two months to the Philippines, where he has been building relationships with many pastors and churches, with the idea of setting up a Bible School in Davao. (He will be spending the entire month of February 2018 in Davao making preparations for that Bible School. The idea is for me to help with the curriculum.)

So the conference this time was held on October 26-28. I had requested not to speak at the regular conference, since I preferred to spend more time in a single location so that I could develop a deeper teaching over a period of a week. So other members of the team preached during that conference: Cathy Gronfield, Pastor Saah, and Apostle David.

Here are some worship dancers at the conference.

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Also, a group of handicapped people blessed us with a few songs of joy and praise.

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Saturday, October 28

My first teaching session came in the evening of October 28, where I addressed a group of pastors and teachers. I talked about our identity in Christ, the old man vs. the new man. Only one pastor seemed to have a problem with this. It sounded to him like “hyper-grace.” I asked him for his definition of the term, but others broke into the discussion, and we never got back to it.

The rest of the pastors, including our host, Pastor Sammy Sanchez, told me later that he was in agreement with me, not because I taught it, but because I backed it up with plenty of Scripture. I was glad to hear that Scripture was the critical issue to him. Here is Pastor Sammy and his wife, Evelyn. Sammy has some experience with the spirit of denominationalism. That helps!

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Sunday, October 29

In the morning, Brad and I split up, each scheduled to speak at a different church. He was able to minister on the emotional problems of not knowing your true identity in Christ, and then was able to counsel a girl who had been contemplating suicide, bringing her back to joy.

I spoke at Pastor Cano’s church, pictured below.

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I taught from Isaiah 52:15 through Isaiah 53 and related it to the story of Philip in Acts 8:26-40. I taught on this, because a couple of nights earlier, the Father had revealed this to me. Isaiah 52:15 was a prophecy that was fulfilled (first) by the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8. He was the one who did not understand Isaiah 53, and so he asked Philip to explain it to him.

The eunuch was also baptized in Acts 8:38, as prophesied in Isaiah 52:15, which says, “Thus He will sprinkle many nations.” The Ethiopian eunuch was fulfilling this, along with all the Samaritans who had been baptized earlier.

My point was that Philip was the first evangelist to begin fulfilling The Great Commission, while the other disciples remained in Jerusalem after Pentecost. Philip was a type of the Philippines. So my purpose was to instill in the people the vision of sending missionaries to other parts of the world, even as Philip went to Samaria. Of course, my own purpose was (and is) to teach them the Scriptures in order to equip them to fulfill their calling.

After the meeting, Pastor Cano was driven to the airport, because he had been scheduled to fly to Alaska as a missionary for the next two years. So after the meeting, people hugged him and cried over him, knowing that he would be gone for a long time.

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Pastor Cano’s son, pictured below, will be taking charge of the ministry in his father’s absence. This picture shows the front of the church.

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It occurred to me that my word to that church was being confirmed by signs, because Pastor Cano was acting out the part of Philip the evangelist. I believe that he was the sign of the first to be sent out, as Philip, to Samaria.

That also suggests that Samaria is the USA. The original Samaria, of course, was the capital of the House of Israel. Interesting. In Philip’s time, Samaria was the land of mixture, not only ethnic mixture, but also religious mixture. When Israel was deported from the land by the Assyrians, the king of Assyria brought immigrants to Samaria to replace them (2 Kings 17:23, 24).

But they ran into a problem when “the Lord sent lions among them which killed some of them” (2 Kings 17:25). So the newcomers concluded that they needed to have some understanding of the local god of that land, and they sent for one of the exiled priests who had gone into captivity with the rest of the Israelites. This priest returned to the land and began teaching at Bethel.

But the new immigrants still retained their old gods and their own ways. We read in 2 Kings 17:28, 29, 41,

28 So one of the priests whom they had carried away into exile from Samaria came and lived at Bethel and taught them how they should fear the Lord. 29 But every nation still made gods of its own and put them in the houses of the high places which the people of Samaria had made, every nation in their cities in which they lived. 41 So while these nations feared the Lord, they also served their idols; their children likewise and their grandchildren, as their fathers did, so they do to this day [i.e., Ezra’s day after the Babylonian captivity].

The result was a mixture that sounds very much like how the church developed after the first few centuries had passed. When Christianity was legalized in the fourth century, many pagans became nominal Christians in order to please the emperors, but they also brought much of their paganism into the church. Many church leaders did not care, and others who did care were powerless to stop it. Pagan temples were turned into churches. Statues of the gods and goddesses were renamed as Christian saints. Pagan holidays were given Christian names and meanings. As long as the pagans submitted to church leadership and subscribed to the latest creeds, they maintained good standing in the church.

This problem is still rampant in the Philippines as well, where the Roman church is strong. It was common knowledge in my early years in the mission school that most of the people who attended the local Catholic church on Sunday worshipped their idols at home during the rest of the week. They saw little difference between the statues in the church and the statues at home.

So Pastor Cano flew to America as a missionary to modern “Samaria.” I believe that he was a sign of things to come, a sign that confirmed the message that I was led to give. Of course, the greater fulfillment is yet to come. Philip’s trip to Samaria occurred after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Today we await the greater outpouring of the Holy Spirit that will facilitate a greater fulfillment of the Great Commission in our time.

Yet meanwhile, we do not sit here doing nothing. The future Filipino evangelists must be taught and trained, so that the Holy Spirit has something to work with in sending them out. Our task is to give them a greater vision and understanding of the Scriptures, so that they can better fulfill their calling and destiny.


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Category: Trip Reports
Blog Author: Dr. Stephen Jones