LET US HOLD ON TO WHAT WE HAVE RECEIVED FROM GOD’S MESSENGER FOR US NOT TO BE LED ASTRAY
Today, social media is replete with postings from the OWEs and defenders alike, using verses of the Bible to get across their message and convince as many as they can. At the onset, it seems to be a welcome development because instead of using vulgar and offensive words, some are now using verses of the Bible. However, encouraging as it may seem, and regardless of how good their intention might be, we still need to be extra careful because the Bible tells us of several instances when the devil himself pretending to be an angel of light, used God’s words to deceive his target victims. He tried it on our Lord Jesus Christ, so why wouldn’t he try it on us? Satan has been using various instruments to deceive the elect—from the serpent during the time of Adam and Eve, the evil kings and leaders during the time of God’s ancient people, the false prophets that led the apostasy of the first century Church of Christ, to the self-proclaimed and aspiring teachers of the law in these last days. Because of this danger that Christians would face, our Lord Jesus Christ gave a warning and instruction as written in Mt. 10:16 where He said, “be wise as serpents (but) harmless as doves.” How then, can the true servants of God avoid being deceived?
NOTE: I decided to include the Bible verses in this article for the readers to see what is actually written in the Bible.
WHO ALONE CAN PREACH THE PURE GOSPEL?
“And how shall they preach unless they are sent?” (Rom. 10:15).
Only the one sent or only the messenger of God can and should preach the true and pure gospel.
WHY IS IT THAT ONLY THE MESSENGER OF GOD CAN PREACH THE TRUE GOSPEL OR PURE WORDS OF GOD?
“Now to him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began.”
The gospel or God’s words are a mystery because they were kept secret by God (Rom. 16:25).
WHAT IS THE DANGER IF THOSE WHO WERE NOT SENT ARE TEMPTED TO PREACH THE MYSTERY?
“He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position” (II Peter 3:16-17).
When those who are not sent by God try to teach His words, it would result to “distortion” of what is written to their own destruction and of those who believe in them. So, what advice did Apostle Peter (a messenger of God) give to the Christians? He said “be on your guard so that may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position.” Despite our having been expelled and displaced by the present Church leadership, our “position,” having the right to be saved on Judgment Day, remain “secure,” because we stood firm by God’s words and defended the truth or the doctrines taught to us by the last messenger of God. Thus, we need to heed the warning that there would be lawless men or people who would fall into errors and would lead us away from our “secure position.”
Meanwhile, the OWEs claim that the present Church leadership has the right to preach the words of God and it is our duty to submit ourselves to everything they say and instruct us to do. They even use Heb. 13:17 where Apostle Paul said, “obey those who rule over you and be submissive” to them. They remind everyone that this is a doctrine taught by Brother Felix Y. Manalo himself. Indeed, there is no doubt that the last messenger of God truly emphasized the importance of obeying those who rule over us. But …
WHAT IS THE QUALITY OF THE CHURCH LEADERSHIP TO WHOM WE MUST COMPLETELY SUBMIT OURSELVES?
“that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ” (I John 1:3).
If you have noticed, we should have fellowship or union with the leaders of the Church (like the apostles) who only declared or taught what they “have seen and heard.” Now, let us analyze if what the present leadership of the Church do and teach the members to do are what they have seen and heard from the last messenger of God or not. Did the last messenger teach that he who exposes the works of darkness should be expelled? Did Brother Felix Y. Manalo teach that ministers and members of the Church should oppress, persecute and harm the expelled like what they’ve been doing against the defender-ministers especially against the family of Ka Erdy? Did the last messenger, or his son, Brother Eraño G. Manalo tolerate any corruption or anomaly in the Church? Had we seen them incurred debts or loans and used the properties of the Church as collaterals to support its “needs”?
On the other hand, let us talk about what many so-called defenders now believe and has been disseminating through their meetings and social media. Did the last messenger of God and his son Brother Eraño G. Manalo teach that the INC will be turned away or apostatized? Did any of them use the same verses of the Bible that some defenders are now using and assured the Church that those prophecies refer to the Church Of Christ in these last days? Did the messenger of God teach that the verses of the Bible are free for all or are subject to private interpretations? The best example of a Church leader who strictly adhered to what he heard and seen from God’s messenger is Brother Eraño G. Manalo.
WHAT DID THE MESSENGERS OF GOD, LIKE THE APOSTLES, PROHIBIT THE MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH FOR THEM AND FOR THEIR FELLOW CHRISTIANS NOT TO BE LED ASTRAY AND BE JUDGED BY GOD?
“My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment” (James 3:1).
“desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm” I Tim. 1:7).
As we have stated earlier, today, there are so many who are desiring and trying, knowingly or unknowingly, intentionally or unintentionally, to become teachers of the law without understanding what they say or the things which they “affirm.” Isn’t this true? Many are now using verses of the Bible and claim that they are prophecies that pertain to what is now happening to the Church and some of them are non-members but pretending to be members of the Church taking advantage of the present situation of the Church. But worse, there are so-called defenders who follow their suit also using verses and prophecies of the Bible to prove and to convince others that the Church Of Christ in these last days has already been apostatized. Moreover, others are “affirming” this belief by sharing or liking them in the social media accepting them as gospel truth, thus, forgetting and worse, ignoring what they have learned from God’s messenger. What they are spreading was not taught by God’s last messenger, not even by Brother Eraño G. Manalo, instead, it is against the doctrine upheld by them that the Church Of Christ from the ends of the earth will no longer be turned away from the faith as written in the prophecies (Zech. 13:8-9; Acts 2:39; Rev. 14:12-14). If this is the case, then it is but fitting to no longer call themselves defenders because it is no longer the true doctrines that they defend but only each other’s FB postings. They have forgotten that God is against those who say, “Thus, says the Lord” (although) “He did not send them or command them” “and cause His people to err by their lies and by their recklessness” (Jer. 23:30-32). Are they not reckless spreading hearsay?
SHOULD WE BE SURPRISED IF THERE ARE MANY WHO ARE DRAWN AWAY FROM THE TRUE AND SOUND DOCTRINES TAUGHT BY GOD’S MESSENGER?
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn aside to fables” (II Tim. 4:3-4).
It’s not surprising if there are many who are drawn away from the sound doctrines taught by God’s messenger because it was forewarned by the apostles. They said, “the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine (like the true doctrines taught by God’s messenger), but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up (gather) for themselves teachers” who will teach them what they want to hear, as a result, they will turn aside to fables or fictitious stories or man-made teachings. I remember vividly and sadly what a few “defender-ministers” told me when I asked them why they were doing something that they should not be doing? They said, “It is what the defenders in our group want.”
INSTEAD OF TRYING TO BECOME TEACHERS OF THE LAW OR BELIEVING WHATEVER WE HEAR AND READ, WHAT SHOULD WE ALL DO TO AVOID BEING DECEIVED OR LED ASTRAY?
“So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter” (II Thes. 2:15 NIV).
Like the true leaders of the Church who only “declared the things they have seen and heard,” we too must “stand firm and hold on to the teachings” that the true messenger of God “passed on to us,” so that no one among us will be led astray.
MY FELLOW DEFENDERS, we do understand that the worsening and increasing problems in the church, have made many defenders impatient. Impatience leads to being emotional, being emotional leads to being irrational, and being irrational leads to being misled. The only solution to this present problem is to remember and to hold on tightly to what we have received from God’s last messenger. As Apostle Paul, who is a messenger of God said in Gal. 1:8: “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!” or rejected.
Let us not allow our works and sacrifices to be in vain. We have sacrificed so much. Many or us were removed from our God-given offices, hated and shunned by our brethren even by those who used to be closed to us as if we are afflicted with a contagious disease. We were disowned by our families and loved ones, persecuted, harassed and expelled by the present church leadership. We suffered and allowed all these things to happen because we stood firm in the side of God and defended His truth hoping that our concerted efforts would one day result to the restoration of the Church. Shall we allow our sacrifices to be wasted, especially now that we are almost at the end of our travail? Hang on brethren. Don’t lose hope and be impatient. Hold on to the true doctrines taught by God’s last messenger.
Remember what our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ said: “He who endures until the end will be saved” (Mt. 24:13).