A Failed “Angel”?

Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.

(Matthew 12:33)

Have you ever heard the claim that Felix Manalo, the founder of the most influential and powerful non-Catholic religious organization in the Philippines, was an angel?

Yes! That is a famous belief among the members. Manalo, accordingly, was the angel of the east as prophesied by Revelations chapter 7, the one who will put seal upon the servants of God before the symbolic winds would strike the Earth. But have you ever heard also that once in the history of the Iglesia ni Cristo, Manalo decided to abandon the Church and excommunicate all the members? Well, this fact was documented in a circular letter to the Church dated on July 25, 1938 signed by Teodoro Santiago, one of the 14 students during Manalo’s first batch of ministerial class; one of the three ministers ordained during the first ordination presided by Manalo (the other two being Justino Casanova and Federico Inocencio), and the first Division Minister/Administrator of the Church, assigned in Pampanga division in 1924. According to the letter; (To enlarge image, press Ctrl +.)

TRANSLATION:

(To enlarge image, press Ctrl +.)

“GENERAL OFFICE OF THE IGLESIA NI KRISTO
IN THE PHILIPPINE ARCHIPELAGO

“42 Broadway, New Manila, San Juan, Rizal
“Circular No. 19 – Series 1938

“July 25, 1938

“TO ALL BRETHREN
IN ALL PLACES OF THE IGLESIA NI KRISTO

“WELL-BELOVED BRETHREN:

“I appeal to you in this letter and inform you of the happenings that we did not expect to come. Brother Manalo wants to abandon us and he would like to start anew. More certainly, meaning we shall all be excommunicated, and he shall begin to dedicate a new ministry. The reason for this is the misbehavior of the present Ministers. First, what brother Andres Tucker did, which is truly grave in his heart, is that wherever he was assigned the frauds and deceits and borrowing of money from brethren was extreme, that according to him, the Church is becoming an instrument of a filthy lifestyle.

“What grieves him about the brethren, even though he prohibited the borrowing and lending [of money] it is not being kept, that in this manner they become instruments of the Devil to the blemishing of the Church. Second, the forgiving of the Ministers in duties that must be embraced with complete enthusiasm and dedication and the unrestrained manner of speaking in propaganda and worship [service] that gives offense to and degrades the Church. The lack of Spiritual life and lack of dedication to progress to respond to the requirement of the duty one holds the same which gives him exasperation and disappointment, as though being a minister is an employment or livelihood, the presumption according to form and movement seen in ministers, and the lack of trust and confidence in what God can do.

“Third, the lack of care of the Deacons in handling duty and the lack of respect to duty and to [the] faith, in the way that they get angry with each other that leads their resentment to hatred and the lack of concern in maintaining good relationship in all of the brethren inside the Church.

“Fourth, the frequent ruining of the money collected for the construction of chapels or for buying lands in the hands of the [overseers] in different locations and the lack of faithfulness in collecting money the brethren consecrated unto God, whether during Thursday, for the chapel, or for buying land. There is no evidence of the amount of money contributed and there is no name of the contributor and there is no date of when it was received and there are no certain and clear reports for the brethren regarding the inflow of the money and the expenses, such thing which blemishes the Church. And it brings sin and offense unto the brethren.

“Fifth, it is frequently being taught to all who have duties what ought to be done according to the will of God and with faithfulness. This is not being kept by the Ministers, by many Head Deacons and by Deacons, by the committees on the construction of chapels or buying of lands, by Treasurers, and even by the brethren who do not obey the ordinances of the Circular.

“All this mentioned above are the reasons of Brother Manalo in separating from us. But I and Brother Liloy are stopping him and we promised that we will inform the concerned and will ask them of their decision.

“Brethren-Ministers, Workers, Head Deacons, Deacons, Treasurers, or to all of you in the whole Church, I ask of you to make a letter, promising that you will keep and embrace all of the policies of the Church, to the fulfillment of all the will of God unto the salvation from crooked ways mentioned in this letter. As soon as possible send your letters to our Office, that we may remain in the calling of God given to us. And in the end, read Heb. 13:17, 19-22. After you read this letter, read these verses, and it shall be explained by the Teacher or Minister assigned to you. Obey what it says.

“Your brother in Christ,
(Sgd.) T. Santiago

“TEODORO SANTIAGO”

Though Felix Manalo failed to disband his church due to the rising filthiness among the ministers assigned in different parts of the country, we may still say that the ministry of Mr. Manalo was indeed a failure, not only in the sense that he taught false doctrines, but in the sense that he failed to established a religious community that has a good Christian behavior and disciplined leadership. All that he had was a line of hypocrite ministers that cares not the flock but exploits them according to their own interests. Not surprising, because the Executive Minister himself failed to Christianized (by it real meaning) his own self.

Issue of Bombshell newspaper dated October 21,1954 featuring the so-called “angel”.

The moral problem among the INC’s ministers are not just existing during the time of Mr. Felix Manalo, in fact, the late Erano Manalo, the second overall minister, expressed his wailings before a ministerial meeting concerning the corrupted atmosphere of the ministers under his leadership. This phenomenon explains the meaning of what Christ said to his disciples.

Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. (Matthew 12:33)

The voice of Erano Manalo speaking about the degrade moral state of the HIS Church’s ministers.

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The Secret of Felix Manalo’s Authority

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According to the publication of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church of Christ)  in the Philippines,

(to view the original copy, click HERE )

After being graduated from the Church’s ministerial college (at the New Era University), a minister must receive the laying of hands by the Church Executive Minister as a sign that he was given the authority to lead the congregation in public worship. A common Church member calls it “ordination”. So, if you happen to be a member of the Church choir and you are among those selected to sing during the ordination of the ministers in the Church Central Temple, then you will have a “privilege” to see the Executive Minister officiating the laying of hands. (I say “privilege” because seeing the Executive Minister of the Church is a very rare moment to the life of an ordinary member).

Before his death on August 31, 2009, Mr. Erano Manalo (the then Executive Minister) officiates the Church’s practice of ordination. Eraño was the fifth child of Felix Manalo and Honorata de Guzman. His name came from a reversal and elision of the term “New Era,” which his father used to describe what he felt was “a new Christian era” as the Iglesia ni Cristo was established. On the 10th of May 1947, Erano received the ordination of his father, making him as the new overall minister of his Church. And following Eraño’s passing, his son Eduardo then assumed the role of INC’s Executive Minister by the virtue of the same practice. But the question is, from whom did Felix Manalo, the fist Executive Minister, received his ordination? Actually, the issue about the ordination of the so-called Messenger (that was Felix Manalo), is an unheard thing within the Church. No one knows, except maybe those historians of their Church, the true story of Manalo’s ordination. And this will be the question we will try to answer.

The practice of ordination by laying of hands is a very sacred ceremony of the Church, and it was the reason why the Executive Minister is the only one who perform this duty. According to their publication;

Issue of Pasugo, dated March 1939, page 17

The highlighted part says, ” …only those elected by God by means of prophecy or direct calling can lay hands.” This is the belief of Felix Manalo, published in their official magazine. So if anyone laid hands on Felix Manalo, he must have been elected by God by means of prophecy or direct calling, according to Pasugo. Now, the question is – who performed the laying of hands to Felix Manalo, those ones, which according to the Church publication, are chosen by God to lay hands as Moses did to Joshua. This was the answer…

(unedited copy of “paanyaya”)

This document is an invitation to an event held by the Iglesia ni Kristo which includes the programme. An excerpt of the introductory part on the left page translates in English as: “Gentlemen: We cordially invite your majesty to the celebration concerning the THANKSGIVING due to the FIFTH YEAR LIFE of “IGLESIA NI KRISTO in the Philippines and the LAYING OF HANDS on brother Felix Manalo in the duty of Pastor and Administrator of the Church.” What was to take place in the event? “…the LAYING OF HANDS on brother Felix Manalo in the duty of Pastor and Administrator of the Church.” So someone laid hands on Felix Manalo. It was a secret fact that someone laid hand on the Church’s “Messenger”. Who are they? At the right part of the invitation, it says,

The statement above translated as;

Here’s the translation:

“7. The laying of hands on brother Felix Manalo will be officiated by Bishops and Pastors of different Churches established in the Archipelago, of whom are the Reverend Alejandro Reyes, Victoriano Mariano, Gil Domingo, Guillermo Zarco, Nicolas Fajardo, Emiliano Quijano and Roque Bautista.”

You know what readers? The reason behind the secrecy of Felix Manalo’s ordination is that those people who laid their hands to him to make him as the Executive Minister of the Iglesia Ni Cristo are those leaders of different religions in the Philippines. But this was not the  gravest part of this secret. Because although Felix Manalo received his ordination from the hands of those ministers and bishop of the other religions in the archipelago, the Church had a certain belief regarding those religious groups outside of their denomination, particularly the Catholic Church and the Protestant denominations. According to the issue of Pasugo (INC’s official publication), dated August 1961, p. 39;

The underlined statement at the very right part states;

“At the end of this publication, we now ought to reject the catholic priests and the protestant pastors, for they are ministers of satan. We also ought to reject the Catholic Church and the different protestant churches, for they are not of God, but of satan or the devil. Rejecting them and their erroneous doctrines is your obedience to God, to Christ and to the Apostles.”

See friends? The mystery behind the secrecy of Felix Manalo’s ordination was that those who performed his ordination and gave him the office of being the Head and the Leader of the Iglesia Ni Cristo in the Philippines are, according to their official statement, ministers of devil… of Satan. It was a very famous belief within the common INC members that salvation is only given to them, that except of being a member of their organization, man will never ever attain the favor of God nor he have the right to worship God. That was the reason why they regarded those outsiders as of devil. But they were untold that the one whom they attributed the highest honor of their Church is a devil’s ordained minister himself.

White Sepulcher; A Glimpse to the Professed Preachers of Christianity Today

Before He ascend unto His Father in heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ asked Peter;

“So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.” (John 21:15-17)

To prove his love to his Lord, the apostle Peter was given three same consecutive commands, “Feed my flock”, said the Lord. So, when the Lord ascended into heaven, Peter feed the flock of his Lord.

Feeding the flock is the major work of a shepherd. He guides them through a rich pasture and defends them against any attacks of wild beasts and strangers.  He should shepherd the flock the same way as the Head Pastor directed them.

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.“ (Psalms 23:1-5)

But instead of feeding the flock, what if it is the flock who feeds the shepherd? In the present age of Christianity, thousands of preachers are claiming that they were sent to feed to flock of God. They were called by their members as “reverend”, “eminence”, and sometimes “father”, that it seemed they have lordship over the organization. But looking back to the Scriptures, we will realize  that those early servants of the gospel had never been called by such lofty titles. Christ said to them,

But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. “(Matthew 23:8)

And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven“. (Matthew 23:9)

The word “reverend”, which many preachers proudly attached before their names, was used only once in the entire Holy Scriptures. Among the thousand verses of the Bible, this word was written only one time and that was addressed solely to God. Psalms 111:9 says. “He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.” This sacred honor has been used by almost all professing pastors of our time, whether Catholics or Protestants. More than this, Pastor Apollo Quibloy of the so-called “Kingdom of Jesus Christ” proclaimed himself “king” of his organization. These pastors, instead of serving the flock of Christ, are  being served by their members. Their members become so blinded that they didn’t notice how their leaders used them as merchandise, channel of benefits and wealth. Paul said,

But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,“ (Philippians 3:7,8)

Christ declared, “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)

A shepherd must give his own life for the flock as Christ gave His own to the Church. But look upon today’s pastors. Instead of sacrificing their lives for the sake of the flock, the flock gives everything to them. As compensation to their invented teachings, these pastors formulated several types of offerings to exhaust the pockets of their members. Love offerings, monthly offerings, thanksgiving offerings, miracle offerings, offering during the Lord Supper, storage offering and many other unbiblical forms offerings has been introduced to their members. Moreover, they also sell different kind of stuffs to the people, teaching them that these things will bring blessings, cure to their diseases and charms of good luck – teachings that’s nowhere to be found in the Bible.  But how about their flock? These people have been deprived of reading the Bible to know the truth, but rather advised them that the Bible is so mysterious and that not one of them would comprehend its teachings unless explained to them by the pastors. Thus, the minds of these people are being manipulated that results into fanaticism.

As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich.They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge.” (Jeremiah 5:27,28)

For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” (Romans 16:18)

Behold at the reality of modern Christendom – while members are dying because of poverty and starvation, their pastors lived in luxurious mansions, traveling around the world, riding luxurious vehicles and private jets or helicopters, and yet members are continually giving their money to them. While members are suffering to live at the top of trees or under the bridges and sky-ways, or at the side of the creek, their pastors enjoy a pretty living in their palaces. In their previous life, these preachers lived a hand-to-mouth kind of living, but become great, rich and powerful as they become leaders of religion. One of the best examples is Felix Manalo, the founder and the first of the ruling dynasty of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church of Christ) that based in the Philippines. He told that when they crossed the Pasig River together his wife, he don’t even have a cent to pay the boatman. But now, after several years of leading his Church he established in Manila, the leader of the Iglesia Ni Cristo became a millionaire and his successors billionaire. And how about their flock? They have been discouraged to read the Bible.

His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter. “(Isaiah 56:10,11)

Block voting is one of the most beloved doctrine held by these pastors. By promising a huge number of votes, religious leaders sell their members to gain power, favors, and money from corrupt politicians. Felix Manalo’s church and the Charismatic group led by Mike Velarde are foremost among these religious syndicates in my country. To them, Peter said;

And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” (II Peter 2:3)

When Paul leads the Church, he never even imagined to use his authority to exploit the church. He regards his ministry as a sacrifice, a great responsibility without hoping anything to compensate his service. But rather he suffered the persecutions and unimaginable sufferings in the hands of the wicked just to bring the gospel to the people. In his epistle he said,

Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I. Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. “ (II Corinthians 11:22-28)

Even Christ Himself, though Lord of lords and King of kings, hadn’t lived in such luxury, but let his body lay at night to sleep without even a pillow for His head.

A true shepherd of the flock shall lead the sheep by the same manner as Christ lead them. He will give his life for the flock and serve them with all the blessings and gifts given by God through His Holy Spirit. He will never let his flock to become empty and ignorant about the word of the Lord, but like the Bible said;

“And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.” (Jeremiah 3:15)

People must how to become meticulous when it comes to the subject of salvation. We must not be driven by emotions, fame and fine speeches of professing pastors of religion, but by truth, we must test them according to the standards of the written word of God; compare their doctrines with “Thus saith the Lord”, and God will lead us to the right path.

Rosita and the “Last Day Messenger”

 

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Rosita Trillanes was a single female convert to the INC who was disowned by her parents after having secretly converted to the Iglesia ni Cristo cult and having sought refuge at the INC, was given sanctuary at the central office of INC founder Felix Y. Manalo, whom Rosita reveres as the messenger of God. Her stay however in that residence became the most bitter and painful experience of her life when FYM spurned of his sexual advances punched her into unconsciousness and had raped her afterwards. Her story was related by her personal letter which was published in the Philippine Gazette in July, 1942. Her lettter in the vernacular (tagalog) is reproduced below. An English translation follows.


From the Philippines’ Official Gazette, Vol. 1, July 1942:

Dear Brethren:

Because of my love for the Church for your sake, I am writing you to confess the things that truly hapened to me and the things I have witnessed and have come to know during the two years I have stayed at the Central. I am a young lady who became a member of the Iglesia ni Cristo in Batangas. Because of this, I was despised and disowned by my parents. Thinking it I would find shelter, brother Jacinto Torres convinced me to go with him to the Central Office. During my stay there, what I encountered was a very bitter and painful ordeal like the time when Manalo, whom I considered almost like a father, took advantage of me. At first he tried to court me but when I resisted his sexual advances, he beat me and hit me which made me lose consciousness. It was during this time that I was unconscious that he accomplished his fleshly desires on me. I suffered so much because of the beatings and the threats I have received all the time that I resisted his advances. I have witnessed many more who were raped by Felix Manalo. Some were young women, others were wives of some members, while I know of one who was the wife of a minister. Manalo told me some of the other women he raped he did when he was trying to seduce me. He told me of some thirty women he raped. I cannot reveal their names but they often can be seen at the Central Office. In my presence, he raped a young lady who later became pregnant and it so happened that she went to the central office for the only time it was related to Manalo. The reason why Liloy resigned was probably because Manalo forced Amada. All of those he has raped feared telling anyone because he threatened to kill them like what he did to Basilia Santos of Paco, who claimed to have 2 children from Manalo. These were the talk of the town for some time in Paco.

Before Manalo went to the United States, he brought me to the Protacio family in Pasay. Not one month has passed he came back for me fearing that I told my hosts everything he did to me; when I resisted, he threatened me. After this, he expelled the Protacio’s from the Church and accused themn with false charges. He used up all his monthly salary of P1,300 on women and for his immoral acts, while the average Iglesia worker receives only P5.00, P10.00, P15.00, P20.00 a month. All of the tithes you gave to God goes to him of which he spends for all his immoral deeds. I told everything to brother Doro while Manalo is in America.

In this regard, will you allow Manalo to abuse the church’s members and accept the Church in the name of God? Don’t you love the Church? Your wives and daughters are in grave danger from the impure desires of the people you trust and revere as your teachers of the word of God.

I confess everything to you and I leave to you the decision that you can do if you really love the Church and God. In convincing the girl he desires, be she single or married, he claims that Solomon has many wives and that the messenger of God is to be pleased and that to consent and to agree is very pleasing in the eyes of God.

Can your good hearts accept this unrighteousness? The decision is yours.

From your sister who was disgraced because of trusting too much.

ROSITA

Trillanes' letter in Tagalog

For additional informations about this “messenger”, you may read the letter of Leslie Wolfe of Philippine Mission Churches of Christ, where Manalo formerly a member, and the news of a weekly tabloid. CLICK

The House of God or a slaughterhouse?

Temples and houses of prayer are very important assets of religious groups. Here, they conducting their masses, holy convocations and other religious observance. Some religions regarded their temples with great reverence that it seems they were at the very door of heaven. Wearing the best attires that they have, they will enter the door of the temple in barefoot. From that time, no more noise should be heard from all corners except voices of prayers and praises.

Building of temples or sanctuaries of worship is an old practice in religion, but in the Bible, the first instruction of building a house of worship was given to Moses during the exodus.  As a dwelling place of God’s glory in the midst of His children, Israelites  erected a sanctuary based upon the plan directed by God to Moses. When the Israelites grew into a great kingdom, the sanctuary was  improved into a magnificent  structure with impressive vessels and utensils made from precious stones of the kingdom. This old practice became the basis for the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church of Christ) to build great temples and house of prayers all over the Philippines and abroad. The Iglesia Ni Cristo is one of the most powerful religious organizations in our country along with the Catholic Church and the Charismatic El Shaddai Movement. They believe that the Spirit of God dwells in their houses of worship, like what depicted below.
But what if the temple that they regarded with great reverence become a place for their crimes and fanaticism, can we  still say that these temples are truly where the Spirit of God dwells?

 

(In Video)

 

Its true that edifices are important things for the Church. This is where the children of God gather to worship the Creator of heaven and earth, and give glory to Him who gave His begotten Son for us to be saved. But a structure, no matter how expensive and magnificent it is, the Spirit of God does not dwell in this building.  The Old Covenant was passed and its temple was already destroyed and became nonsense. When Christ died on the cross, the gospel reported;

And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; (Matthew 27:51)

The use of temple as the dwelling place of God had passed. The instruction about the sanctuary that the Israelite should build is only a shadow of a more glorious temple which God pitched, not by the hand of man, for the new and better covenant. This is the temple where the High Priest of the Church minister for the sake of His people.

Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;

A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. (Hebrews 8:1,2)

God has a church. It is not the great cathedral, neither is it the national establishment, neither is it the various denominations; it is the people of love God and keep His commandments. “Where two ore three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matt.18:20) Where Christ is even among the humble few, this is Christ’s church, for the presence of the High and Holy One who inhabiteth eternity can alone constitute a church. Where two or three are present who love and obey the commandments of God, Jesus presides there, let it be in the desolate part of the earth, in the wilderness, or in the city enclosed in by prison walls.