Saturday, April 03, 2004
Again, we are inviting you to another discussion about faith. What we are doing is an in-depth analysis of the different organizations of faith here in our country, as a fulfillment of God’s commandment that we study His words and that we seek for the truth. Salvation does not happen by accident, and neither is it something that can be attained without exerting any effort. Our salvation is dependent on how we acknowledge the truth, as written in I Tim. 2:4, “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”
In other words, salvation is dependent on how much one has learned the truth. God wants all men to be saved; God wants all men to know the truth for them to be saved. A person cannot be saved if he lacks the effort in finding out the truths. These truths are God’s instruments in saving man, and in making him worthy in the eyes of God.
St. Paul’s teaching was very clear. He said, God wants all men to be saved and to know the truth. But which truth should every man have to know? John 17:17, “Sanctify them through the truth; thy word is truth.”
Therefore, truth that each person must know is the word of God. God’s word is truth. And if man’s salvation is dependent on his knowledge of the truth, it is a must, then, that every man gets to know the word of God, if we want to be worthy in the eyes of God. You see, there are preachers in our time who promise salvation to their members, but they do not teach them the entire truth that the Bible speaks. If you are going to watch religious programs today, you will see that they are practically similar. All of them talk about accepting Jesus … that Jesus is a healer and miracle worker … and then … and then, they will pray in front of a television camera. And then, the members that they have deceived will give their testimonies. They would speak of how Jesus performed miracle in their lives, and how He even helped them in their financial problems. They are all the same. In other words, all of the religious programs today do not have the patience in teaching the people about biblical truths vital to their salvation. But in our humble, little way, this program will try to unravel to each of you all the angles of the truth.
Perhaps, others, especially our foes in faith, will hate us for what we are doing. But is seeking for the truth, you have to study all the angles of how man could be worthy in the eyes of God. That is why we are studying the word of God, and we are going to relate this to the many organizations of faith in our time, inasmuch as all of them claim that they are the truth.
The topic that we are tackling right now is no longer new to you. The Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) was established here in the Philippines by Mr. Felix Manalo. This is what we are studying. Thru this series of discussion, we will study the INC’s fundamental doctrines. And at present, we are trying to confirm if, indeed, Mr. Felix Manalo is a messenger of God, and not to discredit his person. Our primary intent is to expose the word of God in the Bible, and to show you if Mr. Felix Manalo is a messenger that we should believe in order to be saved.
Like what I have shown you in our previous discussion, the INC is claiming that Mr. Felix Manalo is, allegedly, the last messenger of God. Not only that! They are claiming that Mr. Felix Manalo is God’s last messenger in the last day. And we are expressing our strong opposition to this claim. Actually, if there is one person who should oppose this claim, it is no other but Mr. Erano Manalo, Felix’s successor as the administrator of the INC! Why? … because if Felix is already the last messenger, what, then, is the role of Erano? If Felix Manalo is already the last messenger, it would imply that Mr. Erano Manalo, the present administrator, is no longer a messenger of God! I’m sure you know the meaning of the word “last”. When a person is considered “last”, nobody else comes after him. And since Felix Manalo was already the “last” messenger of God, according to them, then, it follows that, today, there is no messenger of God in the entire INC.
As promised, we shall continue studying the alleged “God’s messenger” role of Mr. Felix Manalo, particularly the INC’s claim that he is the angel ascending from the east.
Rev. 7:1-4 says, “And after these things I saw four angels standing in the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea. Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed a hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.”
I want you to pay attention to the verses as we analyze them. And later, we will find out if this particular doctrine of the INC is written in the Bible, or if it has any biblical basis at all. We must not forget that this was a scenario in a vision of St. John. St. John said, “And after these things I saw four angels standing in the four corners of the earth.” St. John made reference to the four angels standing in the four corners of the earth. What were the four angels doing? “ … holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.”
The INC’s explanation to this is that, the four angels standing in the four corners of the earth represent the Big Four. This allegation was published in the July 1964, 50th anniversary edition of the “Pasugo.” According to them, the Big Four were represented by the four angels standing in the four corners of the earth, who were trying to stop the four winds from blowing on the earth. The “Pasugo” said that the Big Four were the four most powerful leaders of the world. They were also called the four ministers of war.
We better refer to p. 33 of the July 1964 issue of the “Pasugo”. It said,
“Ang apat na anghel na pumipigil sa hangin ay mga pinuno ng bansa, na ito’y mga sugo rin o anghel ayon sa I Ped. 2:13-14. Ang hanging pinipigil ay digmaan, gaya ng sinasabi sa Jer. 4:11-13, 19. Ito nga ang digmaang sumiklab noong 1914. Ang apat na pinuno ng bansa na kumakatawan sa pagpigil sa digmaang sumiklab noong 1914 ay sina Lloyd George ng Gran Bretanya, sina Clemenceau ng Pransiya, si Orlando ng Italya at Wilson ng Amerika. Sila ay lalong kilala sa tawag na The Big Four. (World History, p. 494).”
(The four angels holding the winds were leaders of nations, who were also messengers, or angels, as written in I Pet. 2:13-14. The wind that they were controlling refers to war as mentioned in Jer. 4:11-13, 19. This was the war that broke out on 1914. The four leaders of nations who worked on the prevention of the war, which broke out in 1914, were Lloyd George of Great Britain, Clemenceau of France, Orlando of Italy, and Wilson of America. They were better known as the Big Four. (World History, p. 494)
That was the statement of the INC of Manalo, which was published in their official organ, the “Pasugo”. Based on their interpretation, the four angels holding the four winds were the Big Four, and according to them, the wind refers to war. It is in this aspect that I want to give a thorough analysis and scrutiny. If you will notice, it was the four angels, who, according to them were the Big Four that St. John saw first. They were standing in the four corners of the earth. What do you think were they doing there? Were they simply standing by there? Of course not! They were, in fact, fulfilling a task. They were preventing the four winds from blowing. You see, if there was only one wind that needed to be stopped, then, there was no need for the four angels. Only one angel could have done that. But inasmuch as there were four winds that had to be prevented, the four angels were needed there. They were preventing the four winds from blowing on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. The four angels were already there, trying to control the four winds, before the event in verse 2 happened.
I am inviting all the meticulous and intelligent members of the INC, including the lawyers and judges who belong to that group. You will agree with me that the deduction and conclusion given to you by Mr. Manalo and his ministers is biblically wrong! Why? Based on the verses that we have cited, the four angels were already standing in the four corners of the earth. What were they doing? They were preventing the four winds from blowing on the earth. After that, what was the next scenario? Verse 2 begins with a conjunction “and”, which means that it is a continuation of the preceding verse (1). “And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea. Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees till we have sealed the servants of God in their foreheads.”
Very clearly, the four angels were already there before the angel ascending from the east appeared. And as he was ascending, he was shouting at the four angels. He was telling them, “Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees till we have sealed the servants of God in their foreheads.”
Now, let us make a substitution. Let us take for granted that the INC’s deduction, or allegation, is true. If the four angels standing in the four corners of the earth were the Big Four – Clemenceau, Wilson, Lloyd George, and Orlando, and if the angel ascending from the east was Mr. Manalo, it would mean that the Big Four were already positioned in the four respective corners before Mr. Manalo appeared. But that was not what happened. If we are going to look back at history, Mr. Felix Manalo began preaching in the Philippines in 1913. But, granting that he really began in 1914, the question is, where were the Big Four during that time? Their alliance was not formed yet in 1914. Meaning to say, Mr. Manalo was already preaching before their group (the Big Four) was formed. Therefore, the series of events would not fit St. John’s vision because Mr. Manalo appeared ahead of the formation of the Big Four. In fact, the Big Four was organized only in the 80’s or 90’s. As far as historical records are concerned, Mr. Manalo came way, way ahead of the Big Four. Mr. Manalo has long been preaching before the Big Four was organized. But biblically speaking, St. John saw the four angels already positioned in the four corners of the earth, controlling the four winds from blowing, before he saw the angel ascending from the east. In other words, the INC’s explanation is the opposite of what the Bible says.
On that particular aspect alone, the INC”s deduction is already proven wrong, especially so if we are going to consider their explanation to the significance of “ascending from the east”. They said that, this referred to the gradual popularity of the INC. What the Bible said was, St. John saw an angel ascending from the east. But based on the INC’s explanation, it was their church that was ascending because it was already gaining popularity. And this is a very gross mistake.
One more thing, the Bible said, the four angels were preventing the four winds from blowing. According to the INC, the wind symbolizes war. And they based their deduction on Jer. 4:11-13, 19. It says,
“At that time shall it be said to this people and to Jerusalem, A dry wind of the high places in the wilderness toward the daughter of my people, not to fan, nor to cleanse.
Even a full wind from those places shall come unto me: now also will I give sentence against them.
Behold, he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots shall be as a whirlwind: his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe unto us! For we are spoiled.
What is this “wind”? In verse 19, “My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my heart; my heart maketh a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.”
What, according to them, did the wind symbolize? They said that the wind refers to war – the war in 1914. That is wrong! Why? Granting, without accepting, that the wind referred to war, where did this war take place? Is it a war in the Philippines, or a world war? Let us read the verse once again: “At that time shall it be said to his people and to Jerusalem …”
Therefore, it was a war in Jerusalem, and not in the Philippines. And definitely, it is not the 1914 war! Why? “At that time shall it be said to his people and to Jerusalem. A dry wind …” It speaks of a wind – just one wind – while the Book of Revelation mentions four winds! Did you see the discrepancies in the explanation of the INC ministers? There were four winds in the Book of Revelation, but when they read the Book of Jeremiah, where they based their explanation, they only read about one wind. Nonetheless, they still concluded this also refers to the winds in the Book of Revelation. There were four winds in the Book of Revelation. How come, Mr. Manalo gave meaning only to just one wind? Let us go back to the Book of Revelation. “And after these things I saw four angels standing in the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.”
How many winds were the four angels standing in the four corners of the earth trying to control? There were four winds. But granting that they were correct in using Jer. 4:11-13, 19 as a basis to their conclusion that one of the winds referred to war, how about the three other winds? I once told the INC ministers that, if Mr. Manalo is really a messenger of God, then, he should have taught them the symbolism of the three other winds being mentioned in Rev. 7. Do you know what they told me? They said that the three winds are just in my mind. And I even thanked them for that answer because they, in effect, admitted that they couldn’t explain the meaning of the three other winds because they do not know it … because they are all in my mind.
If the winds in the Book of Revelation were the same with the wind in the Book of Jeremiah, which refers to war, definitely it does not refer to the war in 1914! Why? This is what Jer. 4:11 says: “… shall it be said to this people and to Jerusalem, A dry wind of the high places in the wilderness towards the daughter of the people …” Where did it come? It came to the City of God, Israel, and not to the entire world. The whole world is not the City of God. There are many nations on earth which are not of God. According to the prophecy, there is a dry wind, not four but one. However, the Book of Revelation mentioned four. In other words, the prophecy of Jeremiah is short of three winds. But this was not given any explanation by Manalo. But even if such was the case, still, the INC’s interpretation is wrong. Why? This particular prophecy did not happen in the Philippines! It says, “to Jerusalem, a dry wind of the high places in the wilderness towards the daughter of my people, not to fan, nor to cleanse …”
Does it refer to literal wind? No! It says, the wind shall neither fan nor cleanse. However, when the literal wind blows, it fans and cleanses. But this wind is a dry wind; it does not refresh one. It does not cleanse. Instead, it makes one dirty. What is this wind?
(Jer. 4:12) “Even a full wind from those places shall come into me: now also will I give sentence against them.”
In other words, this wind refers to the sentence of God. This wind is a punishment of God to Israel. Which wind is it? Let us continue. (Jer. 4:13) “Behold, he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots shall be as whirlwind.”
So, this is a whirlwind. And this wind has chariots. Do you know that the INC interpreted these chariots as tankers that rotate 360 degrees?
“… and his horses were swifter than eagles.” According to the INC, this refers to the aerial cavalry; those were airplanes whose chariots are swifter than eagles.
“Woe unto us! for we are spoiled.” The INC asserted that this speaks of a recent war, specifically the war in 1914.
“Behold, he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots shall be as a whirlwind: his horses are swifter than eagles: Woe unto us! for we are spoiled.”
Therefore, this wind represented destruction. And from Jeremiah’s prophecy, the Lord said that this destruction will come to the children of His city. What is it?
(Jer. 4:19) “My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart; my heart maketh a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.”
So, this refers to war. Where? It is the war in Jerusalem. It speaks of the destruction of Israel. In fact, verse 20 says, “Destruction upon destruction is cried; for the whole land is spoiled: suddenly are my tents spoiled, and my curtains in a moment.”
It was, indeed, referring to war, and this war will result to massive destruction. Which war was it? It was the war in Jerusalem, not in the Philippines. And was there really a war and destruction that came to Jerusalem? Let us find out from Matthew 24:1 what our Lord Jesus Christ prophesied.
“And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to show him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? Verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”
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 to many 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 ito
Sinugo ng Diyos na mangaral dito
Ang aming kapatid na Felix Manalo
Di siya nagtatag ng iglesiang bago
Itinuloy niya’y Iglesia ni Cristo
Inaral niya’y sadyang ebanghelyo.”
(Thanks that in this century
God sent here to preach
Our bother Felix Manalo
He did not build a new church
But just perpetuated the Church of Christ
He 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 tunay
Si Cristo ang ulo, ito ang katawan;
Narito ang ating tanging kaligtasan,
Narito ang ating walang hanggang buhay
Dito namin kayo inaanyayahan
Magsilapit kayo sa tunay na Ilaw.”
(This church is the true church
Christ is the head, this is the body;
This is where our salvation is
This is where eternal life is
We are inviting you here
Come 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 existing 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, and 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 pag-asawahang 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 mg 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 Cristo Maynila, Disyembre 1918
BUHAY AT KAPAYAPAAN
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 Pang. Ng Lupon
Teodoro Santiago Kalihim ng Lupon