Biyernes, Mayo 15, 2015



FOR MANY PEOPLE, especially in the 21st century, religion is very confusing.  There exist today countless churches that label themselves as Christians, yet with differing doctrines and teachings, despite their claim that their sole basis is the Holy Scriptures.

     In this day and age, many take the position that everyone has the right to his own interpretation when it comes to God’s teachings written in the Holy Bible.  But what does God strictly command concerning His words written in the Bible?  God says in Deuteronomy 12:32:  “Carefully obey all the commands I give you.  Do not add to them or subtract from them” (New Living Translation).

     God revealed His commands by speaking at various times and in various ways (Heb. 1:1-2).  To make His words reach the future generations, He commanded that His words be written (Jer. 30:2; I Cor. 10:11) in a book, the Holy Scriptures (II Tim. 3:15), which today is commonly called the Holy Bible.

     It is of utmost importance to receive God’s words correctly to have the right understanding and to ensure careful obedience to His commandments.

Though God commanded that His words be written, one is gravely mistaken to think that His written words are easy to understand or that they are open to personal interpretation.  In Apostles Peter’s second epistle, he gave a warning, saying:  "This is what he says in all his letters when he writes on the subject.  There are some difficult things in his letters which ignorant and unstable people explain falsely, as they do with other passages of the Scriptures.  So they bring on their own destruction” (II Pet. 3:16, Today’s English Version).

     Apostle Paul tells us that the gospel has been kept secret, hidden in mystery since the world began (Rom. 16:25).  Because of this, it has been God’s policy since ancient times to use and send messengers to proclaim His words so that they may be communicated and received clearly and accurately by those to whom the messengers were sent.  This is why Apostle Paul emphatically declared:  “And how can the message be proclaimed if the messengers are not sent out?  As the scripture says, ‘How wonderful is the coming of messengers who bring good news!” (Rom. 10:15, TEV).

     Wonderful indeed, because the Good News that the messengers of God bring, or the gospel they preach, is His words that lead to the attainment of salvation.  Apostle Paul explains, thus, in I Corinthians 15:1-2:  “Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. (New International Version)

While Christ was still here on earth, He forewarned about the coming of many “FALSE PROPHETS” who would deceive many, even using “GREAT SIGNS AND WONDERS” (Matt. 24:11, 24, New King James Version, emphasis ours).  Such “FALSE TEACHERS,” as Apostle Peter referred to them (II Pet. 2:1, Ibid., emphasis ours), are truly dangerous because they lead people into error through the teachings they invent (Eph. 4:14, TEV).

     Many victims of false preachers don’t even realize that they have been deceived.  Moreover, these false preachers themselves are not aware that they are indeed misleading others, themselves being “BLIND LEADERS OF THE BLIND” (Matt. 15:14, Ibid., emphasis ours).

     In these last days, such false teachers and preachers are more prevalent than ever.  Most people have a difficult time identifying them because they impersonate the true messengers of God.  The apostles referred to these deceivers who would come in “THE LAST DAYS” as “IMPOSTORS” who would have “A FORM OF GODLINESS”.  The advice of Apostle Paul is very clear and emphatic, saying, “… from such people turn away!” (II Tim. 3:1, 13, 5, NKJV, emphasis ours).

     God’s clear message regarding false prophets is this: “I am also against those prophets who speak their own words and claim they came from me.  Listen to what I, the Lord, say! I am against the prophets who tell their dreams that are full of lies. They tell these dreams and lead my people astray with their lies and their boasting. I did not send them or order them to go, and they are of no help at all to the people. I, the Lord, have spoken.” (Jer. 23:31-32, TEV).

The Almighty God Himself speaks of a man whom He called from a far country in the east to execute His counsel (Isa. 46:11).  God clearly foretold His purpose in calling or choosing this man, giving him a divine election saying:  

“Calling a bird of prey from the east,
The man who executes My counsel, from a far country.
Indeed I have spoken it;
I will also bring it to pass.
I have purposed it;
I will also do it.
“Listen to Me, you stubborn-hearted,
Who are far from righteousness:
I bring My righteousness near, it shall not be far off;
My salvation shall not linger.
And I will place salvation in Zion,
For Israel My glory.” (Isa. 46:11-13, NKJV).  

     The man prophesied in the verses would be God’s instrument in bringing near His righteousness, or the gospel (Rom. 1:16-17), to those who were far from it.

     Brother Felix Y. Manalo began preaching the true gospel in the Philippines, a country situated almost at the geographical center of the Far East (Asia and the Philippines, by Horacio de la Costa, p. 169).  Based on the aforementioned prophecy, the man whose work was likened to that of a bird of prey would originate from a country in the Far East.

     The messenger whom God would send in these last days would be instrumental in “SNATCHING” people from the religions propagating these lies and false beliefs, in order to save them from sure destruction in fire (Jude 1:23, emphasis ours) using God’s counsel, which are the words of God, recorded in the Bible (Isa. 46:11; Ps. 107:11; Jer. 30:2; II Tim. 3:15).

God’s sending of messenger in these last days is a manifestation of His compassion to people whom He created, particularly those who have been deceived.  Just like in ancient times, as recorded in the Bible:  "And the Lord God of their fathers sent warnings to them by His messengers, rising up early and sending them, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place." (II Chr. 36:15, NKJV).

     And so even in our time, out of His great compassion, God utilized a true messenger in the person of Brother Felix Manalo to open the eyes of those whose minds have been blinded by the false preachers and false religions of this world (Isa. 43:8; II Cor. 4:3-4).  It has always been God’s desire for people to come to the knowledge of the truth in order for them to be saved:  “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,  who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (I Tim. 2:3-4, NKJV).

     One of the deep secret truths revealed in the Scriptures is the inseparable relationships of Christ and His Church:  “As the scripture says, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and unite with his wife, and the two will become one.’  There is a DEEP SECRET TRUTH revealed in this scripture, which I understand as applying to Christ and the Church” (Eph. 5:31-32, TEV, emphasis ours).  Therefore, the same way that a man and a woman joined together in marriage by God should not be separated (Matt. 19:6), the same is true with Christ and His Church, inasmuch as God is the One who gave or appointed Christ to be head of the Church, His body (Eph. 1:22; Col. 1:24).  It is in this body that one may be reconciled to God in order to have peace with Him, as well as the right to serve him and receive salvation because it was purchased through the blood of Christ (Acts 20:28, Lamsa Translation; Heb. 9:14; Eph. 2:14-16; 5:23; Col. 1:18).

     Brother Felix Y. Manalo, through the preaching of the true gospel, was God’s instrument in bringing people to Christ, Who in turn would make them one flock or members of the true Church Of Christ (John 6:44; Acts 20:28, Lamsa Translation).  Those who were convinced through the preaching of the words of God during the time of Brother Felix Manalo, and even now through the leadership of the present Church Administration, are the ones whom Christ recognizes as His “OTHER SHEEP” which He spoke about in a prophecy saying:  “I have other sheep too.  They are not in this flock here.  I must lead them also.  They will listen to my voice.  In the future there will be one flock and one shepherd” (John 10:16, Easy-to-Read Version).  Those who entered in the fold or flock are the ones promised by the Lord Jesus Christ to receive salvation (John 10:9, Revised English Bible).

     The Church Of Christ that was preached by Brother Felix Manalo is without a doubt the last work of salvation.  When God said in Isaiah 41:4:  “… I, the LORD, am the first; And with the last I am He” (NKJV), of whom was He speaking?  About His Last Messenger, Brother Felix Manalo whom He would uphold with His righteousness or the gospel (Rom. 1:16-17).  *

Written by
MAY 2013
PAGES 20-22