26 March 2013

Brother Felix Y. Manalo Did Not Established the Iglesia Ni Cristo


Brother Felix Y. Manalo Did Not Established, But the One Who Preached The Iglesia Ni Cristo In The Philippines





The prophecy of the Lord Jesus Christ in John 10:16 refers to the re-establishment of His Church. He promised the re-emergence of the Church of Christ because the first century Church of Christ was apostatized. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself forewarned that many will fall away because many false prophets will rise and lead many astray:

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation, and put you to death; and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake. And then many will fall away, and betray one another, and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. Matthew 24:9-11 RSV

Although apostasy take place in the first century Church of Christ, however, the Lord Jesus also prophesied that He has “other sheep” not of the fold or the first century Church of Christ, but He will bring them also and they will hear their voice and He will form them as “one flock” (referring to the re-emergence of the Church of Christ). However, the Lord Jesus Christ also said that there will be “one shepherd.”



How Christ Established the
Church of Christ in the
Philippines in 1914

The “other sheep” is the third group of the Church established by Christ, the one referred to by Apostle Peter in Acts 2:39 as those from “afar off.” In a related prophecy, Prophet Isaiah prophesied that the children of God from the “ends of the earth” will came from the Far East (Isaiah 43:5-6 and Moffatt). The time “ends of the earth” is the time when the “end of the world” or the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is near (Matthew 24:3 and 33). The first of the signs that indicate that the second coming of the Lord Jesus is near (or the time “ends of the earth”) was the First World War that begun in July 27, 1914 (cf. Mt. 24:3 and 6-8; The Story of the Great War, p. 923).

The fulfillment of the biblical prophecies referring to the re-emergence of the Church of Christ was the emergence of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church of Christ) in the Philippines (the “Far east”) in July 27, 1914 (the “ends of the earth”).

How did the Lord Jesus Christ re-established the Church of Christ in the Philippines? Christ said, “they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock…” Christ’s voice was heard in the Philippines in 1914 that cause the re-emergence of the Church of Christ through God’s messenger in these last days. In Luke 10:16 the Lord Jesus said:

"He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me." (Luke 10:16 RSV)

It was not the Lord Jesus Christ Himself that will preach the Gospel so that His voice will be heard in the Philippines in 1914. He said, “He who hears you hears me…” The Lord is referring to His messenger (Jn. 13:21 NEB). Thus, trough His messenger, the “other sheep” heard His voice and the Lord made them “one flock with one shepherd”:

“There are other sheep which belong to me that are not in this sheep pen. I must bring them, too; they will listen to my voice, and they will become one flock with one shepherd.” (John 10:16 TEV)

We believe that the fulfillment of this prophecy is Brother Felix Y. Manalo. Through the preaching of Brother Felix Y. Manalo, Christ’s “other sheep” heard His voice and they became one flock with one shepherd. Thus, brother Felix Y. Manalo did not established the Church of Christ in the Philippines in 1914, but the messenger used by the Lord Jesus Christ to preach the Church of Christ in these last days and the “shepherd” of Christ’s “other sheep.”


Comparing the Preaching Work
of Brother Felix Y. Manalo
with Other Churches

Other preachers preached first their “gospel,” and after gaining folloers came the development of their group until the formal “establishment” of their group into a “church” as in the case of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Others started as a movement within another church, then they separated and organized as an independent church as in the case of the Methodist Church. Others came a long way until they arrived at their present “name” as in the case of the Roman Catholic Church.

However, the beginning and emergence of the Iglesia Ni Cristo in the P{hilippines differs from the others. From the very beginning of his work, the main theme of Brother Felix Y. Manalo’s preaching was that the “Iglesia Ni Cristo” (Church of Christ) is the one true Church taught by the Bible and that all men must enter in order to be saved.


How the Seventh-Day Adventist was Established

The Seventh-Day Adventist Church can trace it’s beginnings back to 1840s:

“By far the largest single Adventist body in point of numbers, both in the United States and particularly throughout the world, is the Seventh-day Adventist Church traces its beginnings back to the 1840’s.” [Frank S. Mead, Handbook of Denominations in the United States. Nashville, New York: Abingdon Press, 1975, p. 19]

The small group of adventists that eventually evolved into the Seventh-Fay Adventist Church was then a part of the Adventist Movement of William Miller in 1840s. Miller made a failed prediction of the second coming of the Lord Jesus two times. After the second failed prediction of the second coming of Jesus Christ Miller’s movement broke up:

“The first major point of disagreement between Seventh-day Adventists and the other Adventist groups was not over the Sabbath question, but the question of the ‘sanctuary’ in Dan. 8:14 and the interpretation of that passage. A small group of Adventists became convinced that the sanctuary was in heaven and not on earth and that there would be work of ‘investigative judgment’ in the heavenly sanctuary prior to the second advent. Other Adventist bodies of the period still held that the sanctuary was on earth.” (Ibid.)

The small group that eventually evolved into the SDA Church separated not because of the issue regarding Sabbath, but regarding the interpretation of Daniel 8:14. The books says “The first major point of disagreement between Seventh-Day Adventists and the other adventist groups was not over the Sabbath question, but the question of the santuary in Dan. 8:14.” This small group that includes Joseph Bates, Frederick Wheeler, Ellen G. White, and his husband James White banded together and as early as 1844 begun obeserving the Sabbath:

“As early as 1844, a small group of these Adventists near Washington, New Hamshire, had begun observing the Sabbath on the seventh day. A pamphlet written by Joseph Bates in 1846 gave the question wide publicity and created interest. Shortly after this, Bates, together with James White, Ellen Harmon (later Mrs. James White, whose writings Seventh-Day Adventists hold ‘in highest esteem…(they) accept them as inspired counsels from the Lord’), Hiram Edson, Frederick Wheeler, and S.W. Rhodes, set out with the aid of regular publications to champion the seventh-day Sabbath, along with imminence of the advent. Hence their name – Seventh-Day Adventists…” (Ibid.)

History tells us that this small group since 1844 “champion the Seventh-Day Sabbath.” This group preached that the keeping of Sabbath continues up to the Christian era. After two decades and a half of preaching their “gospel” that the keeping of Sabbath continues up to the Christian era and winning converts, they decided to organized themselves into a ‘church” naming it the “Seventh-Day Adventist Church”:

“In 1869, they officially adopted the name Seventh-day Adventists, and in 1903 they moved their headquarters to its present location in Washington, D.C.” (Ibid.)

In 1844 to 1869, the main theme of their preaching was the keeping of Sabbath. In 1869, they organized themselves into a “church” and they offcially adopted the name “Seventh-Day Adventist Church.” This is how the SDA Church was founded.


How the Methodist Church Was Established

Other churches started as a movement within a church or denomination, and then separated and organized themselves as an independent denomination or sect like the Methodist Church. John Wesley is the founder of the Methodist Church:

“…Nevertheless, the Christian Methodist Church remains loyal to the principles of church organization, structure, and beliefs as developed and passed down by John Wesley, the founder of world Methodism.” (An Encyclopedia of Religions in the United State, pp. 221-222, on entry entitled “Christian Methodist Episcopal Church,” prepared by the editor from materials supplied by the CME Church)

Wesley was an ordained Amglical priest that served as missionary in Georgia (America). However, he went back to England after his unsuccessful mission in America. During his return in America, he learned the doctrines of the Moravian church. In 1738, he begun preaching his “newfound gospel”:

“The turning point in his life came when, at a prayer meeting in Aldersgate Street, London, on May 34, 1738, he learned what Paul had discovered, that it is not by rules and laws, nor by our own efforts at self-perfection, but by faith in God’s mercy as it comes to us in Christ, that man may enter upon his life and peace…
“The gospel which Wesley thus found for himself he began to proclaim to others, first to companions who sought his counsel, including his brother Charles, then in widening circles that took him throughout the British Isles.” (The Book of Discipline, p. 8)

Wesley did not plan to establish a church. For him, his work was a religious revival within the Church of England and to preach his “newfound gospel”:

“Wesley did not plan to found a new church. In his work he simply followed, like Paul, the clear call of God, first to preach the gospel to the needy who were not being reached by the Established Church and its clergy, second to take care of those who were won to the Christian life. Step by step he was led on until Methodism became a great and transforming movement in the life of England, He gathered his people in groups, in classes and societies. He appointed leaders. He found men who were ready to carry the gospel to the masses, speaking on the streets, in the open fields, and in private homes. These men were not ordained ministers but lay preachers, or ‘local preachers,’ as they were called. He appointed these men, assigned them to various fields of labor, and supervised their work. Once a year he called them together for a conference, just as Methodist preachers meet in their Annual Conference sessions today.” (The Book of Discipline, p. 8)

Although he did not plan to establish a church, but due to certain circumstances he allowed his followers in America to organized themselves into a church in 1784:

“Methodism originated as a renewal movement within the Church of England in the mid-eighteenth century. It sought to bring genuine evangelical fervor and social reform to England. The movement later spread to Ireland, the American colonies, and other parts of the world. Methodists began to organize into churches in 1784 with the formation of the Methodist Episcopal Church in America.” (An Encyclopedia of Religions in the United States, p. 212)

From 1738 to 1784, Wesley was preaching his “message.” During this period, his work remained a religious revival movement within the Church of England. In 1784, his followers in American organized themselves, separated from the Church of England, and called their church “Methodist Episcopal Church”:

“It adopted a name, The Methodist Episcopal Church. Thus indicated that the church should be Methodist in its doctrine and discipline; and Episcopal, that is, organized under bishops, in its form of church government.” (Understanding the Methodist Church, p. 20)


How the Philippine Independent
Church Was Established

Other churches started as a break-away group like the the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (Philippine Independent Church). This church was a separatist group that breaks from the Roman Catholic Church:

“On August 3, 1902, with anti-friar feeling swelling on dagerous proportions…That same night, however, Isabelo delos Reyes called meeting of his Democratic Labor Unionat the Centro de Bellas Artes and deilivered a severely anti-friar speech. He proposed the establishment of a Filipino Church independent of Rome with Aglipay as the Supreme Bishop. The proposal was enthusaistically approved. The new Church was called Iglesia Filipina Independiente (Philippine Independent Church). With its founding, the schism with Rome commenced .” (Agoncillo, p. 237)


How They Arrived at Being “Roman
Catholic Apostolic Church”

Unknown to many, the current official name of the Catholic Church is “the Holy Roman Catholic Apostolic Church” and it undergone a long process until it was called by this name in the late 19th century. It was first called “Catholic Church,” a name inventd only by Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, in 110 AD:

“The name Catholic as a name is not applied to the Catholic Church in the Bible…St. Ignatius of Antioch, writing to the Christians of Smyrna about the year 110, is the first to use the name ‘The Catholic Church’…” (Conway, Bertrand L. The Question Box. Permissau Superiorum: John B. Harney, C.S.P., Sperior General. Nihil Obstat: Arthur J. Scanlan, S.T.D. Censor Librorum. Imprimatur: Patrick Cardinal Hayes, Archbishop of New York. New York: The Paulist Press, 1929, p. 132.)

According to this Catholic book, the name “Catholic Church” was not applied to the Church of the first century or the Church of the Bible. However, another Catholic book testifies that the Church stablished by Christ in the first century was called by the name “Church of Christ”:

“5. Did Jesu Christ established a Church?
   “Yes, from all history, both secular and profane, as well as from the Bible considered as a human document, we learn that Jesus Christ established a Church, which from the earliest times has been called after Him the Christian Church or the Church of Christ.”” Cassily, Francis B., S.J. Religion: Doctrine and Practice for use in Catholic High Schools. 12th and revised edition. Imprimi Potest: Charles H. Cloud, S.J. Provincial of the Chicago Province. Imprimatur: George Cardinal Mundelein, Archbishop of Chicago. Chicago: Loyola university Press, 1934, p. 442-443.)

The name “Catholic Church” was invented by Ignatius. He was the first to used that name in 110 AD.

“The name Catholic was soon commonly used. In the Martyrdom of St. Polycarp, written about A.D. 155, it occurs three times. It became the normal name for the Church in literature and popular usage, although it was not included in the Creed until the sixth century.” (Taylor, Edward K. Roman Catholic. England: Incorporated Catholic Truth Society, London, 1961, p. 4)

After Ignatius invented the name “Catholic Church,” this name was soon commonly used. Thus, the name “Catholic Church” was only from the second century AD. However, this name was not exclusive for the Roman church, nor the “Catholic Church” of that period refers only to the Roman Catholic Chrch. The “Catholic Church” of the early centuries was not Roman Catholic, but the Roman church was only a part of that “Catholic Church.” During that time, the name “Caholic Church” referred to the whole including the Roman Catholic, the Eastern Orthodox, the Syriac church, the Coptic church and others. The Western church and the Eastern church formally and officially separated in 1054 AD. The eastern church was named “Eastern Orthodox Church.” The western church was named  the Roman Catholic Church, but only in the 16th century:

“The Council of Trent made ‘Roman’ part of the official title of the Church…” (Ibid., p.7.)

The name “Roman Catholic Church” was made by the Council of Trent in 1546 AD. However, their current official name, “The Holy Roman Catholic Apostolic Church” was made by the First Council of Vatican in 1870:

“In 1870, at the Vatican Council, the name ‘Roman Catholic Church’ was proposed but it was rejected. The bishops assembled unanimously decided upon this official name: ‘The Holy Catholic Apostolic Roman Church’...” (Crock, p. 191)


THE PREACHING OF BROTHER FELIX Y. MANALO

Brother Felix Y. Manalo started his intense study of the Bible since 1899. After seeing that the Roman Catholic Church teaches not what are written in the Bible, he decided to leave this church. From then on, he decided to seek the truth taught not by men but by the Bible. When he witness a religious debate between a Roman Catholic priest and a Protestant pastor, this arose his interest regarding the Protestant churches. He decided to undergo a comprehensive study of different churches, comparing their teachings with teachings written in the Bible. From 1904 to 1913, he made an intensive study of different religions.

In June, 1913, when he was still a Adventist pastor, he told his wife, Honorata de Guzman-Manalo, that he is going to preach the “Iglesia Ni Cristo” (Church of Christ) because this is the Church taught and written in the Bible, and he is going to convince his fellow Adventist pastors and the pastors of other denominations that they unite to preach the Church of Christ.

Brother Felix Y. Manalo did made an attempt to convince his fellow Adventist pastors and pastors of other sects, but they rejected this plan, and mocked him and called him names. After an intense debate with fellow pastors in a conference held in Malolos, Bulacan, he decided to leave the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. He went back to Manila with his wife.

He temporarily stayed at his counsins house in Singalong, Manila. Then, his friend Eusebio Sunga asked him to manage again the hat store he left in 1904. He went to Paranaque and manage again the hat store he established in 1903. Then, he transferred the hat store from Paranaque to Pasay. Take note that Brother Felix Y. Manalo did not immediately fulfilled his plan to preach the Iglesia Ni Cristo, instead, he went back to his job that he left nine years ago (1904). He had hesitation because his fellow pastors rejected him, he has no wealth, and no higher educational attainment. In addition to this, the people who learned his plan that he is going to preach the Iglesia Ni Cristo said to him that this will only be in vain.

However, God has a higher plan for him. One night in November, 1913, he told his wife that he is going to enter his room and once more will immersed himself in an intense study of the Bible. During this “Two Days and Three Nights” experience, God made known to him his mission to preach the Iglesia Ni Cristo and God’s promises that:

“I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, 'You are my servant'; I have chosen you and have not rejected you.  So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:9-10, NIV)

When he went out of his room, he told his wife that he is going to preach the Church of Christ, and he is going to leave every thing. Immediately, Brother Felix Y. Manalo and his wife went to Punta, Sta. Ana, Manila, where his friends and former brethren in the Disciples of Christ lived. In a small worker’s quarter owned by the Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Company, he started his work of preaching the Church of Christ to the people. He taught that the Church of Christ is the one true Church written in the Bible that all men must enter in order to be save come judgment day.

Many were convinced that this is the truth written in the Bible. They profess faith and decided to enter the Iglesia Ni Cristo. They received baptism and the locale congregation of Punta was established.

Because many of those that entered the Church of Christ during that time came from the Disciples of Christ, an American missionary of the said sect was sent to Brother Felix Y. Manalo in Punta, Sta. Ana. He made an attempt to convince brother Felix Y. Manalo to return to their sect and offered Brother Manlo a large amount of money. However, brother Felix Y. Manalo answered him that he will return if they will preach that the Church of Christ is the true Church and teach the pristine gospel written in the Bible. The American replied, “I cannot do that, I was only sent here to convince you to return to our fold.” Then, Brother Felix Y. Manalo replied, “I cannot also go back to your sect because I cannot go against my consciense.” The American told him, “Your work will only be in vain. You don’t have anything. You will only suffer hardships.” Brother Manalo replied, “I entrust my fate to the Lord God.”

After the establishment of the locale congregation of Punta, Brother Felix Y. Manalo went to his hometown, in Tipas, to preach the Iglesia Ni Cristo in his hometown. His work in Tipas resulted in the establishment of the Tipas Locale.

After the first baptism in Tipas, a Protestant pastors, aiming to stop the work of Brother Felix Y. Manalo, threatened the latter and the members of the Church that they will sue them in court because of preaching a “colorum” (illegal) church because it is not registered. During that time there was a law that any organization must be registered in the government because during that time there were religious groups (the American authorites called them “colorums”) staging rebellion against the government. Thus, in July 27, 1914, the Iglesia Ni Cristo was registered in the Philippine government.


Conclusion

Thus, Brother Felix Y. Manalo did not established the Iglesia Ni Cristo, but preached the Iglesia Ni Cristo in the Philippines. The preaching of Brother Felix Y. Manalo of the Iglesia Ni Cristo in the Philippines is the fulfillment of what the Lord Jesus Christ said, “them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.”

1 comment:

  1. I was delighted to read how our Church of Christ started. Many Thanks to the Pristine Truth from Brother Richard M. Tongate

    ReplyDelete

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