Intro to INC
The last messenger of God.
A true messenger of God has biblical testimony or prophecy to prove their commission or divine authority.
Take the case of John the Baptist. It was foretold by Prophet Isaiah that he was "the voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord...." (Is. 40:3, NKJV). Take note that the Prophet did not mention the name who would fulfill the mission. However, the prophecy was fulfilled when John the Baptist was questioned about his authority. "He said,'I am "The voice of one crying in the wilderness:'Make straight the way of the Lord"'". (Jn. 1:19, 23, ibid.)
John the Baptist proved his authenticity as God's messenger by citing the Bible prophecy and by fulfilling the work as prophesied.
Another example is the case of Apostle Paul. Prophet Isaiah foretold of a man who would bring salvation to the Gentiles (Is. 49:6) Likewise, this prophecy does not specify the name of the one who would fulfill it. It was only after the fulfillment of the prophecy did his name revealed. "But Paul and Barnabas spoke out even more boldly: 'For this is the commandment that the Lord has given us: 'I have made you a light for the Gentiles, so that all the world may be saved'." (Acts 13:46-47, TEV).
Apostle Paul dedicated his life to preaching to the different Gentil nations of his time. He had both the law and the testimony to prove that he waas a true messenger of God.
God's greatest messenger, Jesus Christ, also proved His authority to preach by citing the biblical testimony concerning His commissioning. He had both the law and the testimony to prove that he was truly sent by God:
"So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.
"And He was handed the book of prophet Isaiah. And when he had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:
"The Spirit of the LOrd is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To preach deliverance to the captives And recovery of the sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord." "And He began to say to them, 'Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing'." (Lk. 4:16-19,21, NKJV)
What is common among these men of God is that they not only preached the pure Holy Scriptures, but they had a prophecy attesting to their commissioning. They proved they were true messengers by speaking according to the law and to the testimony. Only after the fulfillment of their particular prophecy were their identities revealed.
Prophet Isaiah also recorded yet another prophecy:
" 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." (Is.46:11. Ibid.)
The bird of prey from the East in this prophecy is not a literal bird of prey but is the same as the man from a far country. The counsel of God is His word (ps. 107:11). Thus, the man who would come from a far country in the East or Far East will be a preacher of God's word.
The ancient Hebrew language from which we have our translation confirms that the word east in Isaiah 46:11 is more properly translated as Far East. The Hebrew term used for the east in Isaiah 46:11 was "mizrach" and, according to a Bible dictionary, is more accurately translatted as Far East:
"East. The Hebrew term kedem properly means that which is before or in front of a person, and was applied to the east some from the customer of turning in that direction when describing the points......... The term as generally used refers to the lands lying immediately eastward of Palestine,..........
;on the other hand mizrach is used of the far east with a less definite signification. Isa. 42:2, 25; 43:5; 46:11" (Smith's Bible Dictionary, p. 154)
In the same way, Isaiah 43:5 was more accurately translated by James Moffat as Far East: " From the far east will I bring your offspring."
The reason the prophesied preacher from the Far East was figuratively compared to the bird of prey was because God's children would be held captive:
"Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your descendants from the east, And gather you from the west; I will say to the north, "Give them up!' And to the south, 'Do not keep then back!' Bring My sons from afar, And my daughthers from the ends of the earth." (Is. 43:5-6, NKJV)
What are being referred to by the prophecy as the "north" and the "south" which restrained the people to whom the messenger was sent? Historian Henry W. Wilson, in his book, Modern Times and the Living Past, wrote:
"It will be noted that it was the Teutonic north, which had resisted the Roman Empire, that broke away from the Catholic Church, while southern Europe retained the old faith." (p. 346)
The "north" and "south" refer to Protestantism and Catholicism respectively as another scholar named Owen Chadwick, in his book The Reformation, affirmed:
"....In the north the Protestants were in control- Lutheran churches in Sweden, Denmark...... In the south the Catholics were in control- Spain, Italy, Austria....." (p.366)
Where exactly in the vast Far East would the messenger begin preaching God's words so that people from Catholicism and Protestantism would be set free? There may be many other countries like Japan, Burma, Indonesia, and Korea which also lie in the area known as the Far East, but the bible gives a further prophecy which dramatically narrows the range of places in which this prophecy occured:
"Therefore in the east give glory to the Lord; exalt the name of the Lord, the God of Israel, in the islands of the sea. From the ends of the earth we hear singing." ( Is. 24:15-16, NIV)
So, the fulfillment of the prophecy of the preacher from the far east and the children of God would be in a nation composed of islands that recognize the God of the Bible.
The Iglesia Ni Cristo upholds that the fulfillment of the prophesied messenger is Brother Felix Y. Manalo, the man who began preaching the Iglesia Ni Cristo in the Philippines. Is the Philippines-where the Iglesia Ni Cristo was preached by Brother Felix Manalo- a country in the Far East composed of islands? According to World History, "The Philippines were Spain's share of the first colonizing movement in the Far East; the name means the 'islands of Philip" (vol.2, p.445)
According to Isaiah's prophecy, the time when the children of God would be "snatched" from Catholicism and Protestantism is the time "ends of the earth" (Is. 43:5, KJV). When did this period begin? The expression "ends of the earth" is different from the "end of the earth". The latter is the Second Coming of Christ on Judgment day (Mt. 24:3). 'Ends of the earth" on the other hand, is the period when the end of the world is near, "at the very doors" (Mt. 24:33, NKJV). This period would be heralded by a war unlike all wars of the past because of the way the news about this war would spread (Mt. 24:6-8). The news about this war would spread quickly because, about this time, knowledge has greatly increased, allowing both people and news to travel at a faster rate and speed (Dan. 12:4)
This war would also be unique because it would involve the whole world adn its armies (Is 34:1-2), and for the first time, tanks and planes would be used (Jer. 4:13,19; World History, pp.478-479). The fulfillment of this war is the First World War that erupted on July 27, 1914. This is also the exact date the Iglesia Ni Cristo was registered with the Philippine government.
Brother Felix Y. Manalo, who began preaching the Iglesia Ni Cristo, proved to be the fulfillment of the bird of prey. As John was the "voice of one crying in the wilderness" and Apostle Paul "the light unto the Gentiles" this man would later be known as the messenger of God who was instrumental in the reemergence of the true Church of Christ in our time.
As Apostle Paul clearly taught that only those sent have the right to preach God's word:
"And how can the message be proclaimed if the messengers are not sent out? As the scriptures says, 'How wonderful is the coming of messengers who bring good news?"" (Rom. 10:15, TEV).
Praise be to God that all the people who read this be enlightened and called to His church thru the preaching functions of the late messenger of God - Brother Felix Y. Manalo.
Your brother in Christ,