Huwebes, Marso 15, 2012

Why We Call Him 'The Last Messenger'

Why We Call Him 'The Last Messenger'

BROTHER FELIX Y. MANALO as known and recognized by members of Iglesia ni Cristo is the messenger of God in these last days. his specific mission is to preach about the way to salvation and eventually restore the Church founded by the Lord Jesus Christ, which had apostatized after the death of the apostles.Because his preaching function corresponds with God's last of salvation, the work which extends to the day of Judgment, we call him "The Last messenger of God"

The Story of man's salvation conforms well to the chronological events in the history of God's election of people who will serve Him and to the commissioning of messengers who will fulfill certain tasks in accordance with His will and design. Apostle Paul tells us that God desires all men to be saved and to know the truth(I Tim.2:4).  Such is made possible through the preaching of the truth to people by God's messengers who are to reconcile man with the Creator(II Cor. 5:18-20).  The epistle to the Hebrews tells us that God spoke to people in different dispensations of time, in different ways, and through the messengers who were commissioned to perform specific tasks:
"In the past God spoke to our ancestors many times and in many ways through the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us through his Son. He is the one through whom God created the universe, the one whom God chosen to possess all things at the end."  (Heb. 1:1-2,TEV)
The three dispensations of time are:  

1)the era of the patriarchs (from the Creation to the birth of Moses);

(2) the era of the prophets or of ancient Israel (from the birth of Moses to the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ); and 

(3) the Christian era (from the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ to the day of Judgment).For each of these three periods, God sent messengers to deliver His message and give man the chance to be reconciled to Him.

‘Salvation in the Christian era'

The Book of revelation presents the chronology of God's work of salvation throughout the Christian dispensation. the first work is that led by the lamb 9the Lord Jesus Christ) as Apostle John was given to see in a vision:
"Then I looked, and there was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion! And with him were one hundred forty-four thousand ho had his name and his Father's name written on their is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins;these follow the lamb wherever he goes.They have been redeemed from human kind as firsfruits for God and the Lamb."  (Rev.141,4 NRSV)
The first fruits of his work were the Jeish converts from the 12 tribes of Israel who followed the Lamb--the Lord Jesus(Jn. 1:29). They were the first Christians or those who joined the Church established by the Lord Jesus christ in Jerusalem, in the first century. They were embraced by the redemption through the blood of Christ (Js. 1:18; Acts 20:28, Lamsa)

Following this is the work of the frst angel or messenger in the person of Apostle Paul who was called to the apostlehip of Christ on the former's wat to damascus. The book of revelation records the prophecy fulfilled in Apostle Paul in this manner:
"Then I saw another angel flying in midheaven, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to hosewho live on the earth--to every nation and tribe and anguage and people. He said in a loud voice, 'Fear God and give him glory, for the hour of his judgement has come; and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water."(Rev. 14:6-7, NRSV)
Certainly, Apostle paul was the fulfillment of this prophecy.He was the one who preaced the message stated in the prophecy (Acts 14:6-7, 14-15).according to the commissioning he received from the Lord, it was he who would pioneer the conversion of the gentiles to the Church of christ, by delivering to them the Good News of salvation (Acts 17:22-31; Rom. 15:16).This is the second work of salvation in the Christian era.

The third work of salvation refers to the mission of the second angel or messenger that the book of revelation describes, thus:
"Then another angel, a second,followed, saying, "fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication'."  (Rev.14:8 NRSV)
Babylon is the dwelling place of devils (Rev.18:2).   It is the name of hte "harlot" who sits on many waters or is universally scattered over peoples, multitudes, and nations (REv. 17:5, 1, 15).It is a church that is very much different than the true Church that was described by Apostle Paul as a chaste virgin (II Cor. 11:2).Babylon--the "harlot"--is the Catholic Church, which is not founded on Christ but allegedly on Apostle Peter whom Catholic authorities claim as the first pope. Thus, this Church is "fallen" because it doesn't have Christ, the biblical cornerstone, as its foundation (Eph. 2:20; Mt. 7:24-27; Lk. 6:49).This is what the second angel was prophesied to declare.

As proven from historical documents, Martin Luther denounced the seat of papacy as a devil's nest (World's Great Events, vol. 4,p.31).  He vehemently opposed the catholic Church for its adherence to unscriptural doctrines and was the greatest and most famous proponent of the Reformation. He called on the Catholic Church to reform from apostasy, through his mission was not to restore or reestablish the Church of Christ.  Martin Luther is the prophesied second angel or messenger in Revelation.
After the work of the third angel comes the time of harvest.

‘The third angel: last work of salvation'

The third angel who was prophesied in revelation is brother Felix Y. Manalo. In the prophecy, he is reffered to as the angel or messenger who would come from the east (REv. 7:2-3).He is the third angel following Apostle Paul (first angel) and Martin Luther (second angel) who were also sent by God in the Christian era. About his commissioning, the Book of Revelation says:
"Then another angel, a third, followed them, crying with a loud voice, 'Those who worship the beast and its image, and receive a mark on their foreheads or on their hands, they will also drink the wine of God's wrath, poured unmixed into the cup of his anger, and they will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever.There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image and for anyone who receives the mark of its name'."  (REv. 14:9-11,NRSV)
The prophecy contained in the preceding verse was fulfilled in Brother Felix Y. Manalo whose mission as to warn that those who receive the mark on their foreheads and right hands will suffer God's impending wrath on Judgment Day. "This "mark on their foreheads" is the sign of the cross that Catholics make on their foreheads with their right hands.  Brother Felix Y. Manalo empathically preached against Catholicism and snatched people out of 'Babylon" that they might not be condemned but be saved through Christ's Redemption intended for His Church. As Prophesied, he was instrumental in the reemergence of the Church of Christ in 1914.

‘the harvest: day of Judgment

To summarize, there are three groups of people specified by Apostle Peter to comprise the entire Church of Christ, from the time of its founding by the Lord Jesus Christ in Jerusalem until His Second Coming or the end of the world. In the acts of the Apostles, this is recorded:
"For it was to you that the gift was promised, to you and your children, and to all those in distant times and places whom the Lord our God calls him."  (Acts 2:39.Rieu Translation)
As prophesied, the three groups of people that would comprise the Church of Christ are: 
(1) the Jewish converts to Christianity (the first fruits who followed Jesus)or those who joined the Church in Jerusalem,(2)the Gentile converts who were begotten through the preaching of Apostle Paul; and 
(3)the members of the Church of Christ (Iglesia ni Cristo)that reemerged through the preaching function of Brother Felix Y. Manalo. the bible teaches that after the work of the third angel comes the time of harvest or the end of the world (REv. 14:14-15; Mt. 13:39).  

Therefore, the work of the third angel or messenger is the last work of salvation as it will extend to the second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is in these sense that we call Brother Felix Y. Manalo "The last Messenger."

Though Brother Felix Y. Manalo was laid to rest after almost 50 years of shepherding the Church of Christ, his divine work and election continue through the present Central Administration. His mission lives on to the day our Lord Jesus Christ returns. 

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