Pagpapatong ng kamay
We are inviting you to another important discussion on matters which are vital to our salvation. And these are the teachings of God. And as we have promised you, we shall continue tackling about the church which Mr. Felix Manalo established here in the Philippines in 1914 – the Iglesia ni Cristo or INC.The topic that we would like to talk about, this time, concerns Mr. Felix Manalo’s being a messenger of God, according to them. But let us find out from the biblical standards if Mr. Felix Manalo is, indeed, a messenger of God. This is not to malign, or to put him in an embarrassing situation. We know very well that the personal life of a dead person should no longer be talked about, but the matters concerning principles. Actually, today, despite the fact that Darwin had long been dead, he is still talked about. People still talk about the good and the bad things that he did. And the same thing happens tomany of the prominent men who had passed away … and one of them is Mr. Felix Manalo, who became known, not only in this country, but also in some other parts of the world that had been reached by the preaching of the INC. We will try to confirm from the Bible if he was really a messenger of God. You see, Mr. Manalo ascribed so many titles to himself, one of which is that, he was “the angel ascending from the east” being mentioned in Rev. 7:2-3. This claim could be read on p.29 of the July 1964 issue of the Pasugo. And this was written by a certain Joaquin Balmores. In that write up, they were claiming that the angel ascending from the east was nobody else but Mr. Felix Manalo.Actually, the INC has many other claims, which they published in their “Pasugo”. In one of its issues, they claimed that Mr. Manalo was the “one shepherd” in John 10:16. In another issue, they claimed that he was the “worm Jacob” in Isa. 41. They took so many titles from the Bible and ascribed them to Mr. Felix Manalo. But in fairness to him, we shall not explain these matters based on our opinion only. We shall quote parts of their articles in the “Pasugo” for you to see what we are talking about. At least, even if we cannot talk to each other face to face on a debate, thru this, you can weigh both sides – theirs and ours. We will read their publications, and we will refute their claims by referring to what the Bible says. For them, Mr. Felix Manalo is a messenger because he built a church, and this is the INC.Somebody once accused the Ang Dating Daan, in a letter, of maligning Mr. Manalo when we said that he built a church. But our statement was based on a document, which was a certified true copy of their registration to the Securities and Exchange Commission. And this was duly signed by the former Secretary General of the INC, Mr. Atanacio Morte. If you were going to consult Mr. Webster for the meaning of the word “founder”, he would give you, “the one that takes the first step in building.” That is why, if we are going to consider what the poem on p. 26 of the November 1977 issue of the “Pasugo”, they were, in effect, implying that that the INC in the Philippines was really founded by Mr. Felix Manalo. This is what the second stanza said:“Salamat na lamang at sa siglong itoSinugo ng Diyos na mangaral ditoAng aming kapatid na Felix ManaloDi siya nagtatag ng iglesiang bagoItinuloy niya’y Iglesia ni CristoInaral niya’y sadyang ebanghelyo.”(Thanks that in this centuryGod sent here to preachOur brother Felix ManaloHe did not build a new churchBut just perpetuated the Church of ChristHe preached the true Gospel) If you are going to analyze the stanza, it was saying that Mr. Manalo did not build a new church. On the other hand, their registration stated that Mr. Manalo was the founder of their church. Besides, while stanza two denied that Mr. Manalo built a new church, stanza four was contradicting it.“Ang iglesiang ito ay iglesiang tunaySi Cristo ang ulo, ito ang katawan;Narito ang ating tanging kaligtasan,Narito ang ating walang hanggang buhayDito namin kayo inaanyayahanMagsilapit kayo sa tunay na Ilaw.”(This church is the true churchChrist is the head, this is the body;This is where our salvation isThis is where eternal life isWe are inviting you hereCome to the true Light.) In other words, what they were referring to, here, is their own church. That is what they regarded as the true church. “Si Cristo ang ulo, ito ang katawan” (Christ is the head, this is the body). Which “body” are they referring to? They were referring to their church. But that is not right! Let us read what Ephe. 4:4 says. “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling.” If there is only ONE BODY, that body does not have any duplicate. If this church in the Philippines is the “body”, that would mean that the body had become two. Their poem said, “Ang iglesiang ito …” (This church …) which church are they referring to? Of course, to the church, which was preached by Mr. Manalo in the Philippines, and which, according to their registration, was founded by Mr. Felix Manalo.The Bible said, “There is one body.” Which is that “one body”? Rom. 12:4-5 says, “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.” In other words, as early as the first century, there was already a “body”. The “body”, which was built in the first century, was comprised by the Apostles, the prophets, and the early Christians. If we are going to accept that there is another “body” here in the Philippines, that would make the body two. Let us repeat what their poem said. “Ang iglesiang ito ay iglesiang tunay/ Si Cristo ang ulo, ito ang katawan.” (This church is the true church/ Christ is the head, this is the body). If what they said were true, it would appear that there are two bodies. But based on the Bible, God does not want the church to be two. No! There is but “one body”; there is but one church. We, Filipinos, are Gentiles. But, should Gentiles have another “body” here in the Philippines? Let us read Ephe. 3:6,“That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel.” What must we, Gentiles, do? Shall we have another “body”? No! There is but “one head”, and He is Christ. Christ is the head of the “body”, and the “body” is the Church. And that “body” was already existed even during the time that our Lord Jesus was still on earth. If there would be another “body”, which the INC claimed is their church, that would mean that, that “body” is headless. Why? … because Christ is already the head of the church being mentioned in the Bible. And it is possible that another church would be built here in the Philippines. As the Bible said, we cannot have another “body” apart from the one which was mentioned in the Bible. “The Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body.” That is why, what we are supposed to do is to make ourselves a part of that “body”. We must not claim that we are the “body”, instead, we must only be parts of the “body”. We must join the body. The “body” is already formed. Since the first century, it was already existing; there was already a “body of Christ” being mentioned. What must we, who are living in this period, do? We must make ourselves parts of the “same body” by means of our acceptance of the Gospel. (Ephe. 3:6) “That the Gentiles shall be fellow heirs, and of the same body.” We are not the “body”; we are only parts of the “body”. For instance, a house is already existing. So, you do not have to build another house. You only have to get inside the house. We, Gentiles, shall be made parts of that “body”. We are not supposed to have a separate body here in the Philippines, unlike what the poem in their “Pasugo” said: “Ang iglesiang ito ay iglesiang tunay Si Cristo ang ulo, ito ang katawan” (This church is the true church Christ is the head, this is the body). Unfortunately, we cannot agree that the INC here in the Philippines is the “body”. That cannot be! Why? If your church is the “body”, what would happen to the first body? Just try to think about it. God would not permit that another “body” would be built. Remember what Ephe. 6:6 said? We will only have to make ourselves parts of the “body”, which, even during the time of Christ, was already existing, according to the Bible. That is why the poem of Mr. Jose Esperanza Cruz, which was authorized by the Administration of the INC to be published in their “Pasugo”, contradicted what the Bible said. While they claimed that Mr. Manalo did not build a new church, but only perpetuated the church of Christ, their registration stated that their church was founded by Mr. Felix Manalo.Their claim that their church is the true church, and Christ is its head, is wrong! If that is so, it would mean that there are now two bodies. However, God does not permit that the “body” becomes two. Let us read our basis.[Col. 3:15] “And let the peace of God dwell in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body, and be ye thankful.” Therefore, there is but “one body”. The “body” remains one; the church is just one. Whoever builds another church are an anti-Christ, anti-Bible, anti-Apostle, and anti-God. Why? … because according to God … according to the Bible … according to the Apostles, there is but one body. There is no need to build another church. All that we, the Gentiles, have to do is to become a part of the “body” by means of our faith in the Gospel. Now, let us proceed to our main concern. Let us find out if Mr. Felix Manalo is, indeed, a messenger of God. We will not be hasty in our conclusion that he is, or he is not, a messenger of God. Let us give him the benefit of the doubt. Let us presume that he is really a messenger of God.First of all, let me give you a background on how the Bible introduces true messengers of God. Let us find out how their role, as messengers, began. Do you know that these messengers have a special role in God’s historical and religious book – the Bible? This is what St. Paul said about God’s messengers and leaders in Gal. 1:13-16. “For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the Church of God, and wasted it: And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace. To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood.” The great messengers of God were already tasked to perform a specific role even while they are still in the womb of their mothers. Their tasks begin from the womb. In another verse, we will prove that the leaders of God are already being prepared for their task while they are still inside their mothers’ wombs.[Jer. 1:4-7] “Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee, and before thou camest forth out of womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. Then said I, Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak; for I am a child. But the Lord said unto me, Say not, am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall speak.” Therefore, God already has a plan for His messenger while he is still inside the womb of his mother.Our question is when did Mr. Manalo begin as a messenger? Did he begin while he was still in his mother’s womb? I will share with you a little background on the life of Mr. Felix Manalo. This is not my concoction. It was published in their Pasugo Yearbook. It said: “Sa pagitan ng 1911 at 1912, si Felix Manalo ay umanib naman sa mga Adventista del Septimo Dia (Sabadista). Naging mahalaga siyang tagapagpalaganap ng relihiyong ito. Kasalukuyan siyang nagtatagumpay sa kanyang mga gawain sa relihiyon nang ang kanyang asawa ay namatay. Pinangatawanang lalo ng ebanghelista ang kanyang gawain.” (In between 1911 and 1912, Felix Manalo joined the Seventh Day Adventists. He became a vital instrument in the propagation of this religion. While he was succeeding in his religious works, his wife passed away. The better the evangelist assumed his responsibility.) Noong 1913 ay nangibig si Felix at naging karapatdapat siya sa pagtatangi ng kaibig-ibig na dalagang si Honorata de Guzman, na naninirahan noon sa Avenida Rizal, Maynila. At isang hapong uulan-ulan bahagya, isang araw bago sumapit ang ikadalawampu’t pitong taon ng ebanghelista, ang magkatipan ay ikinasal sa Singalong ng pastor na si Emiliano Quijano ng Christian and Missionary Alliance. Mula noon, ang mga bagong kasal ay nagtuloy sa Malolos, Bulakan sapagka’t doon bagong nakadestino ang ebanghelista.” (In 1913, Felix fell in love, and became worthy of the care of a lovable maiden, Honorata de Guzman, who was, then, residing in Rizal Avenue, Manila. And in one drizzling afternoon, a day before the twenty-seventh birthday of the evangelist, the lovers got married in Singalong, and their wedding was officiated by a pastor, Emiliano Quijano, of Christian and Missionary Alliance. From there, the newlyweds proceeded to Malolos, Bulacan because that was where the evangelist was assigned.)Please take note that Mr. Manalo was once a member of the Seventh Day Adventists. But when he got married, the pastor who officiated their wedding was from the Christian and Missionary Alliance. Why are we mentioning these things? To malign the person of Mr. Manalo? No! We are only looking back to history. They were wedded by a pastor from the Christian and Missionary Alliance when he was a member of the Seventh Day Adventist, the church that prohibits the eating of pork. But before he became a member of this church, he was a member of another church. Let us read a part of the narration.“Noong siya’y magbalik sa Maynila, ipinagpatuloy ni Felix Manalo ang kanyang pag-aaral ng Biblia sa Presbyterian Ellinwood Bible Training School. Mayroon silang lalong mabubuting pamamaraan kaysa mga Metodista.” (When he returned to Manila, Felix Manalo continued his study of the Bible in Presbyterian Ellinwood Bible Training School. They had better procedures than that of the Methodists.)In other words, he used to be a member of the Methodists.“Siya’y nangasera sa bahay ng isang mag-asawang Presbyteriano, sina Esteban Aquino at Rita Bagni na naninirahan sa kanto ng mga daang Carolina at Cortabitarte sa Malate. Nagkalapit ang mga kalooban nila at itinuring ng mag-asawang di magkaanak na higit sa isang anak si Felix. Ang mag-asawa ay umanib sa lahat ng mga relihiyong kinabibilangan ni Felix Manalo. Si Esteban Aquino ay namatay sa Metodista ngunit si Rita Bagne ay malaon pang nabuhay at sumapi sa Iglesia ni Cristo. Pagkaraan ng tatlong taon at kalahating pag-aaral sa mga Presbyteriano, natuklasan naman ni Manalo ang Christian and Missionary Alliance, kilala sa pangalang Disciples of Christ sa Amerika, at sa kanilang natatanging paraan ng pagbabautismo sa pamamagitan ng paglulubog sa tubig.” (He boarded in the house of a Presbyterian couple, Esteban Aquino and Rita Bagni, who were living in the corner of Carolina and Cortabirte Streets in Malate. They became close to each other, and this childless couple treated Felix as their own son. This couple joined all the religions that Felix Manalo became a member of. Esteban Aquino died a Methodist, But Rita Bagni, who lived longer, joined the Iglesia Ni Cristo. After three and a half years of studying with the Presbyterians, Felix Manalo came to know the Christian and Missionary Alliance, which was better known in America as the Disciples of Christ. They were also known for their unique baptism, which was immersion in water.)Why am I reading all these? … because will show you an old document, which our organization keeps. If you are the inquisitive type of a person, you might ask, why is it that, despite his being a member of the Seventh Day Adventists, when Felix Manalo got married, his wedding was officiated by a pastor from the Christian and Missionary Alliance. I will read to you an invitation.Iglesia ni CristoMaynila, Disyembre 1918BUHAY AT KAPAYAPAANGinoo:Mapitagan naming inaanyayahan ang inyong kamahalan sa gaganaping pagdiriwang ukol sa PAGPAPASALAMAT, sanhi sa ika LIMANG TAONG BUHAY ng “Iglesia ni Kristo” sa Pilipinas at PAGPAPATONG NG KAMAY sa kapatid na Felix Manalo sa tungkuling pagkapastor at tagapamahala ng Iglesia. Ito’y idaraos sa Sine “Gloria” blg. 1649 daang Sande, Tundo, Maynila sa ika-25 ng Disyembre ng taong ito. Sa ganap na ikawalo ng umaga (8:00 a.m.) ng nasabing araw.Lubos ang aming pag-asa na pararangalan ng inyong pagharap ang nabanggit na pagdiriwang sa araw at oras na nabanggit. Ang mga gumagalang,Gustino Casanova Teodoro Santiago Federico Inocencio Pang. Ng Lupon Kalihim ng Lupon Kagawad ng Lupon(Gentlemen:We are cordially inviting your majesty to the forthcoming celebration of Thanksgiving for the 5th year of existence of the INC in the Philippines and the laying of hands on brother Felix Manalo as pastor and administrator of the church. This will be held at Gloria Theater, 1649 Sande St., Tondo, Manilla on the 25th day of December this year.We are hoping that your presence would bring honor to the occasion on the aforesaid day and time.)This document was dated December 1918, the year they celebrated the 5th year anniversary of the INC in the Philippines.Therefore, in 1918, the INC already existed for five years in the Philippines. If you will count backward, it would mean that the INC first appeared in 1913. And this is contrary to their claim that they began in 1914. Bear in mind that the year of their registration is not the year of their birth because before they registered, their group was already organized. The truth is, their church already existed since 1913.Because of this, I am reminded by another document. You see, this is how we study religions. We examine them. In joining a religion, who wouldn’t want to join the most popular, and with the greatest number of members, and with very magnificent chapels, if they were the true religion? If in our examination we found out that the Catholic Church is the true church, why wouldn’t we submit ourselves to Catholicism? However, the number of members and the magnificence of chapels are not the basis to a true religion.But is there, indeed, a great possibility that the INC really began in 1913? A page of a very old document said:“Nagsimulang mangaral si Manalo sa maliit na silid sa tirahan ng mga manggagawa sa Atlantic Gulf and Pacific Company of Manila, Incorporated. Ang mga unang nakinig ay mga limang tao lamang. Nang dumami na ang mga nakikinig na karamihan ay mga dating kaibigan niya at kasamahan sa Christian and Missionary Alliance, ang mga pagpupulong sa relihiyon ay idinaos na sa labas. Ang mga unang bunga, may may labingdalawa sila at binautismuhan, isang malamig na umaga ng isa sa mga unang buwan ng 1914 …)”(Manalo began preaching in one small room in the residence of the workers of Atlantic Gulf and Pacific Company of Manila, Incorporated. His first listeners were barely five men. When his listeners, who were mostly his former friends and companions in the Christian and Missionary Alliance, grew in number his religious meetings began to be held outside. His first converts totaled to about twelve, and they were baptized in one cold morning during one of the early months of 1914.)In other words, their first baptism was held in one of the early months of 1914. This could be March, or January, or February. Note that in these early months, it is really cold. If Mr. Manalo held public meetings for three months, and they held indoctrination for one month, that would mean that they consumed four months. That would prove that Mr. Manalo really began preaching in 1913, and they had the first converts in the early part of 1914, as mentioned in this account.We should recall this because, earlier, we read that, when Mr. Manalo got married, his wedding was officiated by a pastor from the Christian and Missionary Alliance. And we have also read an invitation to a Thanksgiving for the 5th year anniversary of the INC, and the anointing of Manalo as pastor and administrator of their church. Which means that, when Mr. Manalo was anointed in December 25, 1918, the INC was already five years in existence. But who are the men who laid hands on him? The 7th part of the program said:“Ang pagpapatong ng kamay sa kapatid na Felix Manalo na tutungkulin ng mga Obispo at mga Pastor ng mga iba’t ibang iglesiang natatag sa Kapuluan, na ang mga ito’y ang mga …”(The laying of hands on brother Felix Manalo would be performed by the Bishop and Pastors of the different churches that had been established in the Island, and they are as follows …”)Take note, the ones who lay hands on Mr. Felix Manalo were Bishop and Pastors of the different churches in the archipelago. They were:“Kagalanggalang na Alejandro Reyes, Victoriano Mariano, Gil Domingo, Guillermo Zarco, Nicolas Fajardo, Emiliano Quijano, at Roque Bautista.” If Mr. Manalo was really a messenger of God, like the messengers that we have read from the Bible awhile ago, who were already being prepared by God even while they were still inside the womb of their mothers, why did this particular messenger (Manalo) agree to be wedded by somebody who was not a messenger of God? Why did he agree to be laid hands on by people who came from different churches in the Philippine islands? And among them was Emiliano Quijano, who was a pastor of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, while the rest were Protestant pastors. Do our fellowmen know this? Perhaps, others would accuse me of fabricating this matter. But I have sent this document to Hong Kong to be examined. And nobody could question the authenticity of this document. I did not get this paper from a trashcan. This was given to me by an old man who used to be a member of the INC.The men who anointed Mr. Manalo were pastors and bishop from different churches. But do you know what the INC believes concerning those who are not one of them? In another issue of the “Pasugo”, they alleged that Catholics and the Protestant pastors are not of God but of the devil. I am just wondering. If he was really a messenger of God, why was he anointed by men, whom the say, are of the devil? I am not maligning anyone. I am just saying their allegation. Mr. Manalo said that the Catholics and the Protestants are of the devil. And those who are outside their church are of the devil. How come the ones who anointed him, to become a pastor and administrator of their church, were the people whom they consider as of the devil? P.39 of the August 1961 issue of the Pasugo said:“Dapat din nating itakwil ang Iglesia Katolika at ang iba’t ibang iglesia Protestante sapagka’t sila’y hindi sa Dios kundi sila’y kay satanas o sa demonyo.” (We must reject the Catholic Church and the different Protestant Churches because they are not of God, but are of Satan, or the devil.)If the ones who laid hands on Mr. Felix Manalo were of the devil, can we now consider Mr. Manalo as a messenger of God? You be the judge. I am just trying to show you the gross errors that happened in the life of Mr. Manalo. When he married Honorata, a pastor from the Christian and Missionary Alliance, officiated their wedding, despite the fact that he was, then, a member of the Seventh Day Adventists. And now, they are claiming that those who are outside their church are of the devil! If that were true, why did he allow himself to be anointed by leaders of the different religious organizations in the Philippines?In the Bible, the laying of hands means, the giving of an authority to be a preacher. And the very first to lay hands was the prophet Moses. Num. 27:15-20.“And Moses spake unto the Lord saying Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh; set a man over the congregation.Which may go our before them, and which may lead them out, and which may bring them in; that the congregation of the Lord be not as sheep which have no Shepherd.And the Lord said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay thine hand upon him;And set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation, and give him a change in their spirit.And thou shalt put some of thine honour upon him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient.” What is the biblical significance of the “laying of hands”? It means, “anointing a person to a certain office”; it means, “to give authority, and to assign a certain responsibility to somebody.” Perhaps, this is the first time that you learned who the people were who anointed and gave authority to Mr. Manalo to become a pastor. He was anointed by the pastors of the different Protestant churches, who, according to the INC, were of the devil, as mentioned in the August 1961 issue of the Pasugo. That is why, if we are going to look back, we couldn’t help but doubt Mr. Manalo’s being a messenger of God. Why? … because the ones who gave him authority to be a pastor and administrator of the INC were Protestant pastors, whom they regard as of the devil. This is one fact which they cannot deny. In other words, the authority given to Mr. Manalo did not really come from God. It only came from pastors and leaders of different Protestant churches, which according to them, are not of God.At this particular point of our discussion, we could say that Mr. Felix Manalo is not a messenger of God, first, because the ones who laid hand on him where religious leaders, whom they said were not of God. And second, his wedding was officiated by a Protestant, whom they alleged as not of God. But we will still give them a chance to prove their other claims, like his being “the angel ascending from the east,” which was mentioned in Rev. 7:2-3. And this is what we are going to discuss next time. We will try to analyze the contents of Rev. 7:2-3 for us to determine if Mr. Manalo, was, indeed, “the angel ascending from the east.” We hope that would again join us in our next discussion.