Returning to Bethel

When he found God, he had been sworn to death by his brother. He was deceitful and a liar, wandering in the desert without direction, family, property or dignity. Utterly useless. Living dead. However, God saw his faith and manifested His power in his life in an extraordinary way.

Years later, now with the blessing of God, a great family, sons and daughters, riches and with the forgiveness of his brother, God makes an unusual request to Jacob.

Then God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there; and make an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you fled from the face of Esau your brother.” And Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves, and change your garments. Then let us arise and go up to Bethel; and I will make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me in the way which I have gone.” Genesis 35.1-3

Why return to the place where God answered him in his day of distress? Couldn’t he raise an Altar right where he was? Couldn’t God be with him everywhere? However, there was a purpose for all of this. God wanted Jacob to remember where he came from and how his life was before meeting Him.

What would have become of Jacob’s life? Who would extend a hand to help out a cheater? Who would give a deceitful man a chance?

God, in His infinite mercy, reached out to Jacob and blessed his life to the point of being known as the God of Jacob until this day.

Today we see many people who, like Jacob, were wandering in the desert, but are rescued by God. People who were delivered from addictions, healed, prospered and had their families restored. But over time, these people have forgotten the miserable life they lived and the place where they found the help they needed.

The Universal Church is Bethel. It is the place where the “Jacobs of life” have always been and will be welcomed and understood. It is the place where there is an Altar, and those who sacrifice their life on it, receive the life of God.

We see some people with a heart full of ingratitude leaving the Universal Church, abandoning the faith and turning their backs on God. When God asked them to return to “Bethel” and raise an Altar to Him, they felt that it was not necessary to sacrifice like before, because they were already “happy” with their achievements in life. They forgot where they came from, and that life with God goes from Altar to Altar, from sacrifice to sacrifice, from faith to faith.

The God of Jacob left a message for these people:

Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided? So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. Luke 12.20-21

God’s dream

If you think that the Almighty does not have dreams, you are wrong.

If He did not have dreams, He would never have sacrificed His Only Son.

And why did He do this? What dream or desire motivated Him to sacrifice?

The dream of rescuing mankind; to save people from hell; to transform them for His own glory. This is, to restore them, through His Spirit, new creations, beings according to His image and likeness – true children of God.

God, through the mouth of His servant Asaph, with poetic language, filled with the deepest feelings, like a dreamer, like a shipwrecked man who longs for help, like a bee that longs for honey, so He, the Lord of lords, tenderly longs to bring back His creation. This is His dream.


How often do we use this word to initiate a desire for a realization of the soul?

Oh! If I won the lottery…

Oh! If I could and had enough money…

Oh! If I could only find someone to make me happy…

Oh! If this, or that.

This is precisely how the Lord expresses His dream.

Oh, that My people would listen to Me, that Israel would walk in My ways! I would soon subdue their enemies, and turn My hand against their adversaries… He would have fed them also with the finest of wheat; and with honey from the rock I would have satisfied you. Psalm 81.13-16

But, instead, He has been affronted because people have rejected His voice.

The hated

Who takes pleasure in being hated? No one, I think. However, the Lord guarantees this feeling will accompany His followers throughout the world. And, if by chance, the disciple does not endure the contempt and hatred of this world, he certainly has nothing to do with Him. Those who wish to avoid being a target of this, only need to deny the faith.

Many have embraced the Christian faith, but, sooner or later, the time comes when they need to define themselves. At this time, unfortunately, most are cowed and prefer to save themselves. For such, here is a warning:

…whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. Matthew 10.33

God allows this situation with all those who were called. However, the chosen are only those who are hated who stand firm to the end.

And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. Matthew 10.22
And you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. Matthew 24.9

And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. Mark 13.13

And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake.
Luke 21.17

Jesus’ handkerchief

Why did Jesus leave the handkerchief folded in the tomb after His resurrection?

The Bible tells us that the handkerchief that was used to cover His head wasn’t left lying next to the linen cloths in the tomb. The Bible dedicates an entire verse explaining how the handkerchief was carefully folded and placed at the head of the stone tomb.

“Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. John 20.1-7

Is this important? Definitely
Is it significant? Yes

To understand the significance behind the folded handkerchief, you must have a certain understanding of the Hebrew traditions of that time. The folding of the handkerchief has to do with the relationship between a master and his servant. Every Jewish boy is taught this tradition.

Whenever a servant sets the dinner table for his master, he made sure it was done exactly how his master wanted. After the table was perfectly set, the servant would step out of the room until the master had finished his meal. The servant wouldn’t dare touch the table before his master had finished eating.

Once the master had finished his meal, he would get up, wipe his hands, his mouth and his beard, roll up his handkerchief and placed it on the table. In those days, a rolled up handkerchief meant: “I’m finished.” If the master got up and left the napkin folded beside his plate, the servant knew better than to touch the table because the folded napkin meant, “I’m not finished; I’ll be back!”


A poor woman phoned a Christian radio program for help. A witchdoctor was listening to the program and decided to play a prank on the woman.

He found out her address, called his secretary and told her to buy some groceries and deliver it to the woman with the following instructions: “When she asks who sent it, say that it was the devil!”

When she arrived at the house, the woman received them with joy and began putting away the food. The witchdoctor’s secretary did as he instructed, and asked the woman, “Don’t you want to know who sent you these things?”

The woman, with a simple faith, replied, “No, that is not necessary. When God commands, even the devil obeys!”


Be patient. It will not happen in your time, but in His time, because you can only see so far, and God goes beyond this limit and sees far beyond what we see.

God x Mammon

Idolatry comes in various forms, but all of them go against God. Idolatry is not only the worship of images made of paper, clay, wood, metal or any material, which is practiced in various religions.

There are those who idolize their children, loved ones, people in general, and even themselves. Some people idolize their career, social position or leisure activities, putting all of this above God in their lives.

Whatever the form of idolatry, it means replacing the Creator with what is being worshiped. But when the idol is material goods or money, idolatry reaches the top limit of aggression to God. In this case, the Eternal is replaced by perishable material goods.

In a very simple and objective way, the Lord teaches:

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. Matthew 6.24

Mammon is the god of material wealth.

Life with abundance is a right of the followers of the Son of God. However, this abundance can never become the master of the servants of God. Money is a great servant, but a bad master.

Money should be seen as a fertilizer. It only serves when used for the common welfare.

The spirit of Mammon imposes greed upon his servants. This causes spiritual blindness, which neutralizes the understanding of faith, making it impossible for those attached to material goods to have access to spiritual goods; this is, to eternal salvation.

To be in full communion with God, on the path of eternal salvation, we must give up the service to Mammon.

Hell in a moment

“Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world “in a moment” of time. And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.” Lucas 4.5-7

What can be done in the blink of an eye?

Nothing, and at the same time, everything!

In just “a moment” you can imagine yourself anywhere in the world.

It is possible to go to the past as well as the future.

In “a moment” the devil showed the Lord Jesus all the kingdoms of the world, those that existed and those that were to exist.

The devil showed the glory, the shine, and the bright colors of this world, which catch the attention of the eye and are nourished by thoughts.

How many men, in just a moment, imagine themselves betraying their wife with another woman?

The Lord Jesus did not let Himself be distracted, He appealed to the Word of God.


The entrance to heaven or hell depends on the decisions we make every moment.

Therefore, we understand that the sacrifice for our salvation is constant, 24 hours a day, sacrificing our flesh and will to do the Will of God.

Therefore this iniquity shall be to you like a breach ready to fall, a bulge in a high wall, whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant. Isaiah 30.13

Remember: Anything can happen in an instant.

The Mark of hell

When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth. And Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear! Surely You have driven me out this day from the face of the ground; I shall be hidden from Your face; I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth, and it will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me.” And the Lord said to him, “Therefore, whoever kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord set a mark on Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him.
Genesis 4.12-15

I was meditating on this passage and kept asking myself: Why didn’t God kill Cain to avenge what he did to Abel? Would that not be an act of justice for what he did?

However, the Holy Spirit gave me a revelation about this: God preferred to put a “mark” on him, so that wherever he went everyone would see it. He would be shamed everywhere, even those who had never heard of him would know that there was something wrong with him, because that “mark” would single him out anywhere. That humiliation was worse than death.

God avenged Abel by marking Cain with this humiliation every day of his life, hoping that he would repent of what he did, which apparently did not happen.

This brings me to the situation of so many people today, including those who are considered servants of God whose offerings have been rejected by God, like Cain, because they have not put all their souls in what they do. There is no blood, no life in their offering! They are indolent, deceitful, feigned, and only show an appearance of holiness, and live the opposite of the Word of God.

In front of everyone and the institution they are one thing, but behind they are another. They try to demonstrate that they serve the Altar, and those who see them even think they are of God, but when we look into their lives they are continuously failing. There is no growth in any area, only failure after another. They end up being a shame to the Gospel, wandering from one place to another, aimlessly, without direction, envious, trying at all costs to kill the “Abels” that grow and develop.

Isn’t this considered the “Mark of Cain”? Even for those who do not know them it is clear that the mark of hell is stamped on them. Hate and envy are part of their life.

God could even wipe these people out of the face of the earth, but He leaves them, like Cain, so that they may be humiliated everywhere they go, running and wandering until the day they repent or die in their deceit and sin!

The power of decision is in our hands. My ministry, my marriage, my life will be the reflection of the offering I have offered on the Altar of God, because what we offer either justifies or condemns us. It solely depends on me. No one else can be held accountable for what I offer.

Ps. Be careful with the “Cains” that go around, spreading their venom of envy and hatred, trying to get you, just like them, to bear the Mark of Hell.

Forgotten Warrior

Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the LORD spoke in that day… Joshua 14.12

When the children of Israel left Egypt, they did it based on the Word of God, which determined they would be given the Promised Land. Each Tribe of Israel would have its part of the inheritance according to each one’s fidelity, performance and importance. Then Moses divided the earth and did everything according to the Promise of God.

But I have said to you, “You shall inherit their land, and I will give it to you to possess, a land flowing with milk and honey.” I am the LORD your God, who has separated you from the peoples. Leviticus 20.24

Time passed, the Tribes of Israel received their share of the inheritance, but only one person was forgotten: Caleb. This warrior played a very important role in the history of the people of Israel, because he was the only person, together with Joshua, who believed and defended the quality of the land.

And now, behold, the LORD has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years, ever since the LORD spoke this word to Moses while Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in. Joshua 14.10-11

Dear reader, you might be facing the same problem. Time is passing, and God’s Promise hasn’t been fulfilled in your life yet. Maybe you feel forgotten by God and despised by men. DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED!!! Do as Caleb. Though he had been forgotten, he did not waver and stood firm in the same faith in which God had called him.

Believe that just as Caleb was honored, despite all the suffering and forgetfulness on behalf of many, God will also honor you. The Word of God will be fulfilled in your life and, by faith, you will also receive your share of this inheritance.

And Joshua blessed him, and gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh as an inheritance. Joshua 14.13

Collaborated by: Bishop Isaniel Oliveira

I stopped being an atheist

Bishop Edir Macedo,

I am very grateful to you for introducing me to a Faith that I had never heard of, an intelligent Faith. It was through this Faith that I stopped being an atheist.  Yes, I was an atheist, and there was no convincing me that I was wrong.

Whenever I heard someone mention your name or the Universal Church, it made me angry. This is when someone gave me a book, the first volume of Nothing to Lose, which I read with great resistance. It’s impressive because I couldn’t put the book down. I have read the three volumes and was baptized in water here in the Cathedral of Fortaleza – CE.

Rational Faith, In the Footsteps of Jesus, The Faith of Abraham and other books that I read confirm how much God is with you and the best thing I did in my life was to walk into a Universal Church.

I am grateful to God for giving me the opportunity to walk with Him, and I thank you because it was through your life that my life changed. Today, I am almost married, thanks to the Love Therapy meetings. My financial life is prospering, and God is shaping my life.

May God continue to bless you more and more, Bishop Odivan, who is here today in Fortaleza and the other bishops and pastors because they are true messengers of God on this earth.


Tiago Jedson