24 April 2014

The Re-emergence or Re-establishment of the Church Of Christ



THE RE-EMERGENCE OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST IN THESE LAST DAYS



WE FIRMLY BELIEVE that the establishment of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) in the Philippines is the fulfillment of the biblical prophecies regarding the re-emergence or re-establishment of the Church Of Christ. Which biblical prophecies referring to the re-establishment of the Church Of Christ? Who is the fulfillment of these biblical prophecies? And why a need to re-establish the Church Of Christ?


Christ’s Prophecy Regarding
His “Other Sheep”

The Lord Jesus Christ knew that apostasy will take place in the first century Church Of Christ. He Himself made pronouncement about this. Because of this, the Lord Jesus Christ also prophesied the re-emergence of His Church. He promised to re-establish the Church Of Christ.

In John 10:16, the Lord Jesus Christ prophesied that He has “other sheep” which would be made into “one flock”:

“And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.” (John 10:16 NKJV)

Christ said, “other sheep I have.” Why did He called them His “other sheep”? Christ also said, “which are not of this fold.” What did the Lord Jesus Christ promised to do with His other sheep? He also said, “them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.”

What did Christ meant when He said that His other sheep “are not of this fold” but He will bring them also and He would form them as one flock? There are instances In the Bible that the word “flock” is used to refer to the Church Of Christ:

“Take heed therefore to yourselves and to all the flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as overseers to feed the church of Christ which He purchased with His blood.” (Acts 20:28 Lamsa)

Thus, when the Lord Jesus said “And other sheep I have not of this fold,” He meant He has other sheep “NOT OF THIS CHURCH” or “not of the first century Church of Christ” (the word “fold” also means “flock”1). And when He said that He will bring them also and they will be one flock, Christ meant that His other sheep will also be made “Church of Christ.”


Why need to Re-establish
the Church Of Christ?

Why did the Lord Jesus Christ mentioned that He has “other sheep” that He promised to bring them also and they will be one flock or will also be made “Church Of Christ”? Because the first century Church Of Christ will be apostatized.

Apostasy is a biblical fact. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself made pronouncement that the apostasy will take place in the first century Church Of Christ. This is what He said in Matthew 24:9-11:

“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. AT THAT TIME MANY WILL TURN AWAY FROM THE FAITH and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.” (NIV, emphasis mine)

The Lord Jesus Christ did not only prophesied that the first century Church Of Christ will be persecuted and put to death (“Then YOU will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and YOU will be hated by all nations because of Me…”), but He also prophesied that apostasy will take place (“…At that time MANY WILL TURN AWAY FROM THE FAITH…”).

If the first part of the prophecy proclaimed by the Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 24:9-11 that the first century Church will be persecuted and put to death did take place, then we are definitely sure that the second part of His prophecy stating that many will turn away from the faith (the first century Church will be apostatized) also did take place.

Thus, the Lord Jesus Christ indeed prophesied that “At that time (the persecution of the early Church) MANY WILL TURN AWAY FROM THE FAITH…” When the Lord Jesus Christ said, “many will turn away from the faith,” He meant that “apostasy will take place in the first century Church Of Christ.”

Not only the Lord Jesus Christ attest to this biblical fact, but also His apostles. This is what Apostle Paul wrote in I Timothy 4:1 and 3:

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some SHALL DEPART FROM THE FAITH, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.
“Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.” (KJV, emphasis mine)

Apostle Paul warned us that “some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils…Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats…” The fulfillment of the departing from faith or the apostasy that will take place is the Catholic Church. This church forbids their priest to marry (clerical celibacy):

“Although celibacy is not expressly enforced by our Savior, it is, however, commended so strongly by Himself and His apostles, both by word and example, that the Church felt it her duty to lay it down  as a law.
"The discipline of the Church has been exerted from the beginning in prohibiting Priesrs to marry after their ordination." (Gibbons, James cardinal. The Faith of our Fathers. New York: P.J. Kennedy and Sons, 1917, p. 328)

The Catholic Church also commands her members to abstain from meat in certain days of the year:

"What does the second commandment of the Church order us to do?
"It orders us to.fast and abstain from flesh meat on certain days of the year." (A Seminary Professor. Manual of Christian Doctrine: Comprising Dogma, Moral, and Worship. New York: Lassale Bureau, 1949, p. 317)

When the Church of Christ of the first century departed from the true faith and followed the erroneous teachings (teachings not taught but the Lord Jesus and His apostles, and not written in the Bible) like clerical celibacy and asbtaining from meat, she became the Catholic Church. This is the reason why its the Catholic Church that continued up to this day.

Thus, the Lord Jesus Himself warned His disciples that apostasy will take place. Because the first century Church of Christ will be apostatized, the Lord Jesus Christ said, “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.”

Thus, John 1016 is indeed Christ’s promise of re-establishing the Church of Christ. This is His prophecy that the “Church Of Christ” will re-emerge through His “other sheep.”


Christ’s Other Sheep

The other sheep the Lord Jesus Christ mentioned in His prophecy is the third group of people that consists the Church which Christ established. In Acts 2:39 this is what Apostle Peter mentioned:

 “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call.” (Acts 2:39 KJV)

According to Apostle Peter, the promise is: (1) “unto you”; (2) to your children”; and (3) “to all that are afar off.” These are the three groups of people that compose the Church the Lord Jesus Christ established.

The first and second groups were already been called to the Church in the first century, and the third group will still be called by God. The first group mentioned by Apostle Peter are the Jews:

“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
“For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call.” (Acts 2:36 and 39 KJV)

The second group of people mentioned in Apostle Peter’s prophecy are the Gentiles:

“For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.” (I Corinthians 4:15 NKJV)

Although Apostle Peter mentioned “to your children,” he is not referring to the literal “children” of the Jews, because in verse 36 and 38 of Acts chapter 2 he said, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly…For the promise is unto you…” Apostle Peter is referring to the Gentile members of the Church who were “children” of the Jews “through the gospel.” Apostle Paul said that “I have begotten you (referring to the Gentile members of the Church) through the gospel.

Indeed, the first century Church Of Christ was composed of Jews and Gentiles:

“Even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?” (Roma 9:24 NIV)

Thus, those were called and who composed the first century Church Of Christ referred to by Apostle Peter in Acts 2:39 are the Jews and the Gentles.

However, according to Peter’s prophecy, there are those from “afar off” that will still be called by God. They are the those mentioned by the Lord Jesus Christ in John 10:16 as His other sheep that “are not of this fold.”

Because apostasy will take place at the first century Church Of Christ, the Lord Jesus promised that He has “other sheep” not of the fold already established in the first century (the first century Church Of Christ). He will bring them also and form them as one flock (Church Of Christ). Thus, when the Lord Jesus Christ said that “…other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd” He is referring to His re-establishment of the Church Of Christ.


The Place Where the Church of Christ
Will be Re-established

According to Apostle Peter, the “other sheep” of the Lord Jesus Christ will came from a “far away” place:

“This promise is for you . It is also for your children and for the peple that are far away. It is for every person that the Lord our God calls to himself.” (Acts 2:39 Easy To Read Bible)

Where is this “far away” place mentioned in the prophecy of Apostle Peter which will be the origin of Christ’s “other sheep”? In a related prophecy, this is what we could read:

“From the far east will I bring your offspring, and from the far west I will gather you.” (Isaiah 43:5 Moffatt)

The “far away” place” that Christ’s “other sheep” will came from is the “far east” mentioned in Isaiah’s prophecy. The fulfillment of this biblical prophecy was the emergence of the Church Of Christ (Iglesia Ni Cristo) in the Philippines. The region where the Philippines is located is called “Far East”:

“The Philippines were Spain’s share of the first colonizing movement in the Far East.”  (Boak, Arthur E. R., Slosson, Preston, and Anderson, Howard R. World History. Madison United Dtates Armed ForcesInstitute, 1942, p. 445)

Thus, Christ’s “other sheep” was prophesied by the Bible to emerge in the Far East. The fulfillment of the biblical prophecy is the emergence of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) in the Philippines.


The Time of the Re-mergence
of the Church Of Christ

The time of the emergence of Christ’s “other sheep” in the Far East was also mentioned in the prophecy of Prophet Isaiah:

“Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth.” (Isaiah 43:5-6 KJV)

Christ’s “other sheep” were recognize by the Lord God as His “sons and daughters” from the Far East. The prophecy also mentioned the time of the emergence of Christ’s “other sheep” in the Far East – in the time called “ends of the earth.”

Let us not confused the time called “end of the earth” with “ends of the earth.” The time called “end of the earth” is the end of the world or the Day of Judgment:

 “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matthew 24:3 KJV)

The “end of the earth” is at the “second coming” of the Lord Jesus Christ. However, the “ends of the earth” is the time when the “second coming” of the Lord Jesus Christ is near:

“As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. ‘Tell us,’ they said, ‘when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?’”
“Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.” (Matthew 24:33 NIV)

There will be signs that when we see these things, the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ or the “end of the earth” is very near, “right at the door.” The “signs” are the following:

“You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.  All these are the beginning of birth pains.” (Matthew 24:6-8 NIV)

According to the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, there will be “wars and rumors of wars,” and “nations will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom,” and there will also be famines and earthquakes in various places. Take note that according to Jesus, “when you see all these things, you know that it is near.” Thus, these are the signs that indicate when the time is at the “ends of the earth.”

The “war” mentioned here by the Lord Jesus Christ is the First World War, also called the Great War, because: (1) these “war” is one of the signs when the second coming of the Lord Jesus is near (thus it could not be the wars happened in the first century, second century, third century, and so on); and (2) this “war” was followed by another “war” that described by Jesus as “nation against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.”

The First World War started in July 27, 1914:

“The first great campaign on the southeastern battle grounds of the Great War began on July 27, 1914, when the Austrian troops undertook their first invasion of Serbia.” (Miller, Francis, Ed. The Story of the Great War, History of the European Warfrom Ofgicial Sources, Volume II, p. 923.)

The Iglesia Ni Cristo was registered in the Philippine government on July 27, 1914. This was the official date of the establishment of the Church Of Christ in the Philippines.

Thus, the emergence of the Iglesia Ni Cristo in the Philippines in July 27, 1914 was the fulfillment of the biblical prophecies regarding the emergence of Christ’s “other sheep,” or the re-emergence of the Church Of Christ.


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