Brother Bob Pellien: Welcome. How do the true messengers of God feel about the Church? And how is that feeling seen in their work? Members of the Church Of Christ also have that same deep love and respect for the messenger God has sent to deliver His message of truth for the salvation of mankind. The Bible teaches us that this salvation is for those who do not reject His message nor the messenger that He has sent to deliver that message—the message of Christ’s salvation.
We believe inside the Church Of Christ, that God has sent in these last days Brother Felix Y. Manalo as His messenger. But you know, sometimes, there are those who do not understand the kind of love, the kind of respect that we give to the messenger and to the Church Administration. So today, we would like to discuss the biblical basis for this and how closely it aligns with the expectations of our Almighty God.
Stay with us right here, on the special episode of The Message, as we commemorate the 135th birth anniversary of God’s last messenger, Brother Felix Y. Manalo, here on the program, The Message.
Brother Bob: Hello and welcome, everyone, to this program, The Message. It’s a program of the Church Of Christ, Iglesia Ni Cristo. I’m Brother Bob Pellien, and joining us today in this important discussion is Brother Richie Juatco. Brother Richie, welcome and thank you for joining us in the program. Thanks for being with us.
Brother Richie Juatco: I’m glad to be here, Brother Bob, in this program, The Message, especially because of this topic. This topic is so very important because it really is true that the messengers of God, they possess a feeling filled with love and concern for the benefit of the Church.
[On-screen text graphics]
The Message: The Leadership Of A True Messenger Sent By God
[On-screen text graphics]
Brother Richie Juatco
Minister of the Gospel
Brother Richie: The purpose of their deep concern and love is to ensure the salvation of God’s chosen people, or His elect. This is the true meaning of leadership in God’s chosen nation. Therefore, members of the Church would naturally return that feeling. They would reciprocate that feeling, as you mentioned, Brother Bob, in response to the expectation of our Almighty God. That’s why it’s rather surprising that there are some who actually criticize us—
Brother Bob: It is surprising.
Brother Richie: —for believing in the importance, the value of the messenger of God relative to our salvation, and the kind of love and respect that we have for the messenger and for the Church Administration.
[On-screen text graphics]
Brother Bob Pellien
Minister of the Gospel
Brother Bob: And you know, Brother Richie, there are members of the Church Of Christ who have lived a long life, and they were living in the past, and they themselves witnessed how Brother Felix Y. Manalo worked so hard, and he was willing to make so many sacrifices and labored so much to spread God’s teachings in the early days and the early years of the Church Of Christ, the Iglesia Ni Cristo there in the Philippines.
Brother Richie: And not only that, Brother Bob, strengthening the faith of the brethren of the Church. Brother Felix Manalo labored—he worked so hard, and he did it until his work was finished, when he passed away. He was an example of a true leader.
Brother Bob: So, dear friends, let’s take a brief look at some of our senior brethren who were personally eyewitnesses to some of those efforts exerted by Brother [Felix Y.] Manalo. So, well, we can get a closer picture of just a little bit of the history of the early times, and a little bit of how much he demonstrated his deep love for all the members of the Church. Let’s take a look.
Brother Bob Smith: My first impression was how humble Brother Felix Manalo was. Imagine, he was the messenger of God. He was the fulfillment of prophecy. What person other than him could have that humility, that humbleness before God and before the brethren of the Church Of Christ? How the senior ministers love him. How they respected him. How they had total belief that he was the messenger of God. And I also noticed later, when I also attended later as a baptized member, how he loved them, how he respected them, how he dedicated his life to the ministry and to the members of the Church Of Christ.
Brother Bob: It’s such a wonderful clip, isn’t it, Brother Richie? Dear friends, you know, we currently see the same effort, the same deep love and concern as well, by Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, whose administration also does not stop working so hard so that the Church may spread and remain strong, and continue to progress all over the globe. He does not consider the dangers of his journey, the dangers of his travels about, to see the circumstances, the condition if you will, of the Church in so many places around the world.
Leadership and Sacrifice: Examples of true leaders
Brother Bob: And Brother Richie, why is it that the Executive Minister is expressing that kind of love and the willingness to sacrifice and do all of these things that began even as far back, as we just saw on that clip, from the time of the messenger?
Brother Richie: That’s a good question, Brother Bob. Our current Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, his love, his feelings, his concern—which is the same as Brother Felix Y. Manalo when he was still alive—is it aligned with those that led the Church before? So, we can ask that question: What do God’s true messengers feel about the Church? We can read the answer here in II Corinthians, we’ll read from chapter 2 and the verse is 4. It says this:
For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you, with many tears, not that you should be grieved, but that you might know the love which I have so abundantly for you.
[II Corinthians 2:4 New King James Version]
Brother Richie: So our question earlier was, how do the true messengers of God feel towards the Church? Well, Apostle Paul, in what we just read—he was also a messenger of God and also one that administered the Church in the Gentile lands—he revealed in the verse that we just read, that he had such an abundant love for the brethren in the Church. So, it’s not surprising that the messenger and the Church Administration, they are filled with love for the brethren. That’s a good Christian leader.
Brother Bob: This is the feeling of God’s true messengers concerning the Church. You know, Brother Richie, how else does the Bible describe the feeling, let’s call it, the feeling and the love of the messenger and the Church Administration actually does have for all the members of the Church, wherever they may be around the world?
Brother Richie: Brother Bob, we can read that in Philippians chapter 2 and the verse is 20, the strong feelings that the messengers and the Church Administration have for the Church.
Brother Bob: How is it described there? The feelings themselves are what’s described there right?
Brother Richie: The feelings, yes, Brother Bob.
Brother Bob: Okay.
Brother Richie: Here we can read. It says:
He is the only one who shares my feelings and who really cares about you.
[Philippians 2:20 Good News Translation]
Brother Richie: So here we can read that Apostle Paul, he deeply cared for the Church and his love and concern is also with the ministers like the ones that Apostle Paul was mentioning in this verse, that were being sent out to take care of all the local congregations. They had a unified love and care for the Church. Their leadership and their sacrifice, it went hand in hand.
Brother Bob: Did the apostles, like Apostle Paul, did they just talk about their love or their feelings of deep concern for the welfare of the Church, or did it go beyond just their words and their writings and letters that they sent to the local congregations?
Brother Richie: Brother Bob, it wasn’t just talk. It wasn’t just mere words. Apostle Paul actually proved his concern for the Church, and we can also read that here in Philippians, the chapter is 2 and the verse is 17.
Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.
[Philippians 2:17 New King James Version]
Brother Richie: What was Apostle Paul’s, what was he willing to do for the Church, According to what we’ve read, because of his concern for the Church? He was willing to offer even his life if it was necessary for the service that is done for the Church. He agreed, as a sacrifice and a benefit for the Church, Apostle Paul, that’s how he cared about the Church.
Brother Bob: Obviously, he cared so much. By the way, Brother Richie, who was Apostle Paul referring to there when he spoke of the one whose feelings and the concern for the welfare of the Church, the members of the Church Of Christ, that it was the same as his? His deep love and concern for them. Who was he referring to?
Brother Richie: Well, we can clarify that, because we know you’re mentioning what was in verse 20. If we go back to the same Book in Philippians chapter 2, we can read here in 19 and 22, he clarifies. He says:
If it is the Lord’s will, I hope that I will be able to send Timothy to you soon, so that I may be encouraged by news about you. And you yourselves know how he has proved his worth, how he and I, like a son and his father, have worked together for the sake of the gospel.
[Philippians 2:19, 22 Good News Translation]
Brother Richie: So you asked earlier, Brother Bob, who he was referring to? Apostle Paul was referring to Timothy. Timothy was the one who shared his feelings and concern about the welfare of the Church.
Brother Bob: Brother Richie, who was Timothy?
Brother Richie: Well, Timothy was a young minister, who was working with Apostle Paul. They worked hand in hand, especially when it came to preaching the gospel.
Brother Bob: Why was Apostle Paul so confident in sending Timothy—sent him to preach the gospel, considered him a partner in that work, and sent him to visit and strengthen the congregations throughout the Gentile lands? Why is it that Apostle Paul had that kind of confidence in him?
Brother Richie: Well, just as Apostle Paul mentioned about Timothy in verse 20, he said that he really shared the feelings of love and concern and welfare for the Church. Not only that, Apostle Paul served with Timothy, hand in hand in spreading the gospel. He even mentioned that, “…he and I, like a son and his father, have worked together for the sake of the gospel.” So Apostle Paul felt comfortable in sending Timothy.
Brother Bob: And dear friends, Brother Felix Y. Manalo had that same kind love, that same kind of care for the welfare of the Church, and the members of the Church. He had that very Apostle Paul-like care and concern. Well, we’d like to prove that. Here’s one sample that really shows how he reminded the members of the Church about the value and importance of prayer. You can really feel, Brother Richie, in this audio clip—I’ve listened to it many times—you can really feel how he exudes love and concern for the brethren and was teaching them the importance and the value of prayer. Let’s have a listen.
Brother Felix Y. Manalo [in Tagalog]: At the end of the day, when you are going to lie down and go to sleep, what should you do? Pray to God: Lord, I kneel before You, because You helped me to live my life today in this world. My God, I was able to have a peaceful day, so I can’t forget to praise You. This has come from You, Lord, because You hold man’s life in Your hands. I wasn’t harmed. I wasn’t in danger. I didn’t have any troubles. I didn’t have problems with wicked people. I didn’t have any adversaries. Justice prevailed in my life. So, my God, thank You very much because You did not forsake me. I am so grateful to You, Lord. Please help me.
Brother Bob: There it is dear friends. You can really feel how he really so deeply cares and loves the members of the Church and wants God’s blessings to fill their life.
Brother Richie: You know, Brother Bob, to be honest, that’s the first time that I actually heard it, and I can actually feel that love and concern, even though I’ve never met Brother Felix Manalo. I didn’t get a chance to shake his hand, thank him for—
Brother Bob: Most of those joining us, a great majority I think are in the same situation. We didn’t meet him.
Brother Richie: That’s right Brother Bob, we didn’t meet him, but we can feel how much he loved us. Because through him, the message that came out, it reached us.
Brother Bob: Yes.
Brother Richie: And now we are able to also understand that truth regarding salvation.
The importance of Church leadership
Brother Bob: So dear friends, what we’re learning here is how God sends messengers to teach His words to His people, to administer their services to God and to protect, to guard, watch over them. So, what do the watchmen which God has put to lead His fold, His nation, what do they strive so hard to do?
Brother Richie, I’d like to share that with our viewers in an important prophetic statement recorded in the writings of Prophet Isaiah. I’ll read chapter 62, verse 1 and 6:
For Zion’s sake I will not hold My peace, And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, Until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, And her salvation as a lamp that burns. I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; They shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent,
[Isaiah 62:1, 6 New King James Version]
Brother Richie: You know, Brother Bob, the question that you posed, the guards or the watchmen, what do they strive to do? Well, in the verse that you just read, it answers that God placed guards or watchmen because of Zion and they shall never be quiet in the day or by night.
Brother Bob: Which is this Zion being referred to there, Brother Richie?
Brother Richie: You know, Brother Bob, in the prophecies when Zion is mentioned, Zion is actually the Church—the Church Of Christ in the first century. We could read that in Hebrews 12:22. Now the Church Of Christ in these last days, the prophecies mention the daughter of Zion.
Brother Bob: Well, why wouldn’t the watchmen referred to in that verse, why wouldn’t the watchmen that God placed in His fold or His nation to lead His people—why did it say that they would not be silenced?
Brother Richie: Well, because they don’t keep silent regarding her righteousness. So until her righteousness appears as brightness, and her salvation as a lamp that burns, they don’t stop speaking about that.
Brother Bob: And that’s what the Messenger of God has done, that’s what the current Church Administration is also doing. Therefore, dear friends, God puts such guards in order for people to see and know the righteousness of God for their salvation that God wants for all people. But for His people, He has placed such guards and watchmen that they will be led to the true righteousness, the true gospel and salvation.
Many may think, however, that just any religion can just do that. Could any other religion do the same, dear friends? Brother Richie, what does the Bible actually have to say about those who are not truly sent by God? Not His messenger that He has sent? And yet they try to preach, they try to establish, and they try to lead people to follow them. You know, the point is this—they’re establishing their own religion, they’re preaching a message that has not come from God. Is it possible to be considered then a true—or good even—Christian leader in that way? That’s where we’re going to pick up our discussion when we return in just a moment here on this episode of the Message. Stay with us.
Brother Bob: Dear friends, before the break we were discussing about those that, well, that might think that just any religion can do the same—they can show love, they can show care and they can teach people today. But could any other religion, Brother Richie, can they really do the same? What does the Bible actually have to say about those who are not truly messengers of God, yet they try to establish their own leadership of people? They try to establish their own religion—can they also lead people to salvation though? The point is by establishing their own religion and preaching a message that has not come from God, can people still be saved following that?
Brother Richie: You know, Brother Bob, we can’t minimize the true and proper Church leadership that comes from God. So as you are mentioning, one that is not following that, how does the Bible describe those people? We’ll read here in Isaiah, the chapter is 56. We’ll read from verses 10 to 11. It says this:
His watchmen are blind, They are all ignorant; They are all dumb dogs, They cannot bark; Sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yes, they are greedy dogs Which never have enough. And they are shepherds Who cannot understand; They all look to their own way. Every one for his own gain, From his own territory.
[Isaiah 56:10-11 New King James Version]
Brother Richie: So what is it that God says about such preachers? According to what we’ve read, he said that those watchmen are blind. They are all ignorant or without knowledge. They are all dumb dogs. So obviously, they cannot lead people to serve God worthy of salvation.
Brother Bob: Some people might think that’s a harsh thing to say, but it’s not we who are saying it, right Brother Richie? That’s God, that’s the Holy Scriptures. He’s the one who said so directly that they are dumb dogs—
Brother Richie: Correct, Brother Bob. Yes.
Brother Bob: —without understanding, ignorant. That’s God’s words, not ours. Dear friends, who are also guards called dogs who can’t help because, as you read there, Brother Richie, they are called dumb dogs?
Brother Richie: Well also in what we read, it says those are the shepherds that do not understand.
Brother Bob: That’s why they’re dumb. It’s not an IQ level. They are not understanding what they can’t understand, of course—the truth. Well where are these shepherds or so-called self-proclaimed educators?
Brother Richie: Well also according to what we’ve read, it says that they are going their own way. Everyone to his own gain.
Brother Bob: So, what we can notice here, dear friends, is that well, there are different kinds of care that is performed here inside the Church Of Christ, than in other various religions. If the others, they don’t really have that kind of deep care, the kind of willingness to sacrifice, that kind of deep love and it’s not felt, if one still feels they’re in some religion of today, but they don’t feel the love that comes from feeling connected—and this is an important point, dear friends— being connected to the commissioning of God that He has issued to His true messenger, to His true administration. And it’s because they’re not with the true messenger and it’s because they’re not with the true Church Administration for this era of time.
Brother Richie: That’s right, Brother Bob, the watchmen that God actually places in His nation, which is the Church in these last days, they really care to ensure the salvation of God’s people.
Brother Bob: And that’s why we are so reciprocating in our love and our respect and our concern for them, too. It’s mutual, it’s reciprocal. Who are these watchmen, dear friends, that God has placed that will teach God’s true righteousness and make it shine for the salvation of those that embrace it, follow it, live their lives guided by it? Who are they that are watching over and watching out for the nation of God in these last days, the Iglesia Ni Cristo, the Church Of Christ?
Brother Richie: Brother Bob, we can read the answer here in Jeremiah, the chapter is 6 and the verse is 17. These watchmen that God placed, what are they watching out for?
Brother Bob: Yes, that’s it. That’s the question.
Brother Richie: We can read here, it says:
Also, I set watchmen over you, saying, ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’ But they said, ‘We will not listen.’
[Jeremiah 6:17 New King James Version]
Brother Richie: Well according to what we’ve read, the watchmen that God places, what are they watching out for? Because these watchmen, they are there to make sure God’s righteousness shines for salvation. What they are watching out for based on what we read, he said, “I set watchmen over you, saying, ‘listen to the sound of the trumpet!’”
Brother Bob: Brother Richie, what is this sound of the trumpet God has placed watchmen over?
Brother Richie: Again, Brother Bob, we’ll read the answer that comes here from the Holy Scriptures. Now we’ll go to 1 Corinthians, the chapter is 15 and the verse is 52. It says:
in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
[1 Corinthians 15:52 New King James Version]
Brother Richie: So that sound, that trumpet that they’re watching out for, what is that? According to what we’ve read, it’s the last trumpet.
Brother Bob: But what’s going to happen at that last trumpet? What will happen on the day when the final sounding of the trumpet comes?
Brother Richie: Well according to what we’ve read, it says that the dead shall be resurrected, incorruptible and we shall be changed.
Brother Bob: So dear friends, when is that final sounding of a trumpet that’s the same day as the resurrection of the dead, and of whom God has placed watchmen over?
Brother Richie: Brother Bob, let’s read again. Always, every time we pose a question…
Brother Bob: These are very important questions, Brother Richie.
Brother Richie: That’s right—
Brother bob: Our viewers that may not know this yet need to know this because this presents the importance of being connected with those watchmen, those commissioned by God with these important instructions and assignments.
Brother Richie: That’s right, Brother. And we want to give our viewers, the right answer, not just off the top of our heads. So let’s read here in I Thessalonians chapter 4, and the verse is 16 to 17:
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
[1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 New King James Version]
Brother Richie: When the final trumpet sounds, what will happen? Well according to what we’ve read, it says the Lord Himself will descend from heaven, with the trumpet of God and the dead in Christ will rise first.
Brother Bob: So Brother Richie, dear friends, the final sounding of the trumpet then will occur at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, also known as the day of judgment and as we have seen thus far in our study, dear friends, God has appointed watchmen to prepare His people for it. But here’s the thing, Brother Richie, how do these watchmen or messengers of God, how do they fulfill that role to prepare the Church Of Christ members for the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ?
Brother Richie: Brother Bob, we can read the answer here in Acts 20:31. It says this, how they fulfill their role:
Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.
[Acts 20:31 New King James Version]
Brother Richie: So how is it that they fulfill their role? According to what we have just read, Apostle Paul said he did not cease or stop warning everyone night and day even with tears.
Brother Bob: Isn’t it the same thing that we can see that the Church Administration does within the Church today?
Brother Richie: We can see that, Brother Bob.
Brother Bob: Absolutely, they have not stopped giving us reminders and spiritual encouragement through the lessons that they’re preparing to teach in worship services. And it all helps us understand, dear friends, how close we are to the day of our salvation. We’re so thankful to God for placing such kind of watchmen commissioned inside the Church Of Christ today.
Brother Richie, dear friends, why do they do all of that? What’s the purpose of the relentless reminding and teaching that the messenger and even our current Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, continues to do? What’s the importance of that? What’s the reason for that? Why is it always unceasing reminders like that?
Brother Richie: Brother Bob, let’s read here in Colossians 1:28-29. The actual purpose for that:
Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.
[Colossians 1:28-29 New King James Version]
Brother Richie: So that purpose of why they don’t stop, they keep teaching, they keep preaching, it is actually so that they can present every single one in the Church, perfect.
Brother Bob: Perfect and ready for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. Well, Brother Richie, dear friends, why not just “good enough”? Why strive so hard for the state of perfection or the condition of perfection?
Brother Richie: Well perfection is actually the condition that one needs to be in to be saved, Brother Bob. That’s why that is actually the main purpose of the work of the messenger and of the current Church Administration. They really perform this work of God truly with love—love that they have for God’s people and for God Himself.
Brother Bob: And also, dear friends, who then is the principle example of the kind of labor and love and gift that his life has manifested for the Church?
Brother Richie: Brother Bob, the ultimate example for one that loves the Church is recorded here in John 10:11-13. Our Lord Jesus Christ says this:
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep.
[John 10:11-13 New King James Version]
Brother Richie: So who’s the ultimate example, the principle example of one who loves the Church? Well according to what we’ve just read, our Lord Jesus Christ, He’s the one that said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep,” or those inside the flock or the Church Of Christ. So we believe that the death of our Lord Jesus Christ is really for the Church. Just like the death of the Apostles, like Apostle Paul, his life, his labor—it was really for the Church. And no different, it is the same as the messenger of God in these last days, Brother Felix Y. Manalo. He passed away; all of his life was dedicated [to] the Church.
Brother Bob: The whole life of Brother Erano G. Manalo as well was also spent laboring and teaching and reminding all the members of the Church to be obedient to the laws and commandments of God. The administration of Brother Erano G. Manalo after the passing of Brother Felix Y. Manalo, and the current Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, they have all done the same – spent their life sacrificing, laboring, teaching, teaching, teaching, reminding, reminding all of us to follow the will of God and prepare for the upcoming arrival of our Savior and the day of judgment.
Brother Richie: That’s right, Brother Bob, and we can see as you mentioned, it continues, right? As you mentioned, our current Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo—we really can see that same love for the Church.
[On-screen text graphics]
The Message: The Leadership of a True Messenger Sent By God
Brother Bob Pellien: [Yes], we can all see his love for the Church. It’s really genuine.
Dear friends, [why is it important] for us to understand how the messenger, the Executive Minister, and even the ministers and workers for the Church, how we feel about all of the members?
Brother Richie: Brother Bob, you asked, “Why does it matter to us?” Because it matters—
Brother Bob: Why is it important?
Brother Richie: Yes, why is it important? It is important to God. It matters to God.
Brother Bob: That’s it! What’s important to God has to be important to us.
Brother Richie: Right, Brother Bob.
Brother Bob: If people ask that question that we began with in the beginning of our lesson, Brother Richie, and they ask, “Why do members of the Church show such great love, show such great respect, to the messenger, the Executive Minister, the Church Administration, even to their local ministers?” There’s a biblical reason for that. Right, Brother Richie?
Brother Richie: That’s right, Brother Bob. If it’s important to God, we need to show importance. That’s why when we read earlier the prophecies of God, describing the shepherds who do not care, they do not properly care for the welfare of the brethren, He [God] called them “dumb dogs”; He called them ignorant. Remember, those are not our words. Those are the words written in the Bible. The prophets that God used to have that written in the Holy Scriptures, there is a significant difference between those that God has placed as watchmen, as those to watch over His people, and those that are not. And all of our viewers must be able to distinguish between them.
Brother Bob: So then, Brother Richie, how does the true minister feel if a problem will emerge in the Church? How will he distinguish himself in a situation like that?
Brother Richie: We can read the answer of that question, Brother Bob, here in II Corinthians 11, we’ll read from 28-29. It says:
And not to mention other things, every day I am under the pressure of my concern for all the churches. When someone is weak, then I feel weak too; when someone is led into sin, I am filled with distress.
II Corinthians 11:28-29 (Good News Translation)
Brother Richie: So, how do the true ministers feel if a problem emerges in the life of one of the members of the Church? Well, Apostle Paul is the one that said, “When someone is weak, then I feel weak too. When someone is led into sin, then I am filled with distress.”
Brother Bob: So, it’s really difficult then for a true minister to be satisfied or ever be happy when in fact, he sees that any member of the Church that he’s caring for and overseeing are struggling with their life or their circumstances. They will feel that. That’s the genuine nature of their love for the Church. That’s a true leader.
Brother Richie: That’s really true, Brother Bob, because they have a main objective. What is the main objective of the ministers in fulfilling their calling in the Church? We can read that answer [in] II Corinthians 7:8-10 it says:
For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it. For I perceive that the same epistle made you sorry, though only for a while. Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.
II Corinthians 7:8-10 (New King James Version)
Brother Bob: Well, Brother Richie, what then are we to understand by these declarations of the Apostle Paul? That was a very powerful statement that he made there.
Brother Richie: Well, in the reading that we just read in the verse, Apostle Paul, he was giving them a stern correction. Did he do this because he did not love them? No, of course not.
Brother Bob: Because he did love them.
Brother Richie: He did love them so much. So, what [did he] not want to do? He did not want to bring them sorrow but he wanted to lead them to repentance and onwards to salvation—to their part in the kingdom of heaven. So, the true minister, the true Church Administration, the true messenger of God will always teach the will of God. They’ll never stop. They’ll do it unceasingly as their expression of love for the Church and their desire for everyone in the Church to be saved.
Brother Bob: That’s their motive, right? That’s their motive. And dear friends, which is more important to the messenger of God: this life or the calling that he has received from God? Let’s look at the scriptures for that as well, Brother Richie.
Brother Richie: Here in Acts 20:24, we’re able to get that answer. It says:
But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
Acts 20:24 (New King James Version)
Brother Richie: You asked which one was more to them?
Brother Bob: Yes.
Brother Richie: Obviously, it was their calling that God gave to them.
Brother Bob: Much more so than their own personal life or comfort. So, which is more loved then by God’s true minister: his life or his calling, dear friends? Of course, Brother Richie just read there, it’s the calling. Apostle Paul said, “I do not count my life dear to myself.” So, what was the messenger of God—as well as the current Church Administrator—what are they willing to sacrifice because of their deep love, their great love for every member of the Church? And their earnest desire to lead everyone inside the Church Of Christ to their salvation? That’s the end goal, right?
Brother Richie: Right, Brother Bob. And the answer to your question, what are they willing to do, we can stay here in the Book of Acts 21:13:
Then Paul answered, “What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”
Acts 21:13 (New King James Version)
Brother Richie: So, what is a minister prepared to do for the love of his duty? Well, Apostle Paul said, “I am ready to die.” Why? “For the name of the Lord Jesus.”
Brother Bob: Was he also willing to prove that he was willing to die? How did the Apostle Paul prove it, dear friends, that he wasn’t just saying those words? He was willing to prove that his duty was more important even than his life. How did he do that?
Brother Richie: Well, let’s get that understanding here in Philippians 3:7-8:
But all those things that I might count as profit I now reckon as loss for Christ’s sake. Not only those things; I reckon everything as complete loss for the sake of what is so much more valuable, the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have thrown everything away; I consider it all as mere garbage, so that I may gain Christ
Philippians 3:7-8 (Good News Translation)
Brother Richie: How did Apostle Paul prove that his role is more important than his life? Well, Apostle Paul is the one that said, “Everything is complete loss.” Even the wisdom that he gained in his studies, he had a beautiful social status during their time, including his citizenship. But he counted it as mere garbage when he compared it to his knowledge about our Lord Jesus Christ, his duty within the Church.
Brother Bob: And dear friends, what do true messengers of God yearn to see as the condition of the Church, so that all their efforts won’t be in vain?
Brother Richie: Brother Bob, we’ll turn to Philippians 1:27-29 to answer that question. It says:
Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God. For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,
Philippians 1:27-29 (New King James Version)
Brother Richie: The Church Administration, currently, just like Apostle Paul before in the first century, in what we just read, he teaches us to stand fast with one spirit, have one mind, strive together for the faith of the gospel. And do not let anyone in any way terrify us––our adversaries or enemies of our faith––but instead, go onwards towards our salvation; the promise that our God gave us through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Brother Bob: So dear friends, do you want to be part of the work that God is doing in these last days, before the return of our Lord Jesus Christ? Do you want to benefit from the labors and the sacrifices that the messenger, Brother Felix Y. Manalo, that God has sent to bring us the message of salvation, through our Lord Jesus Christ? Do you want to live in the Holy City on the upcoming Day of Judgment? To live in that place where it’s without tears, a place that’s without any pandemic, a place without anxiety and distress and terror? Do you want to be safe from all of these and so much more? Then friends, it’s the invitation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to everyone who’s watching this program today.
In conclusion then, we read that invitation and it’s the words of our Lord Jesus Christ himself. It’s not we––it’s His invitation. So here, in the Book of John 10:9:
I am the door; anyone who comes into the fold through me will be safe.
John 10:9 (Revised English Bible)
Brother Bob: So dear friends, what’s this invitation of our Lord Jesus Christ? It is to come into the fold through Him. What did he say would be the result if we accept His invitation? He said we will be safe. So, join with us in the fold, inside the flock, which the Bible identifies as the Church for which our Lord Jesus shed His blood; the Church that is His body; the Church Of Christ to whom the Lord has sent a messenger to teach this truth and to care [for] and love the Church.
Join us, benefitting from the labors of the messenger and the labors of the current Church Administration, under the leadership of Brother Eduardo V. Manalo. Join with us. Be part of this. You can see in your screen additional information that you may very well need in order to meet with a minister of the gospel here inside the Church Of Christ, wherein you can ask additional questions. We’re here for you to help you in your journey towards the kingdom of heaven on the upcoming Day of Judgment.
So, from all of us here as members of the Church Of Christ, here on the program, The Message, as well––Brother Richie and I as panelists for today––we’re thankful to God that we were able to spend this time with you and we pray that we will be able to spend more time yet to come in the future, with you, sharing the true gospel of righteousness that we have received from the Lord through the messenger that He has sent. Before we go, let’s stand up together and let’s end with a short prayer of thanks to God.
Thank you so much, dear loving Father. You have given us a few moments to share with those who are guests of this program. May You please open their [hearts], that they will be able to understand well the invitation of our savior to join us here inside the Church Of Christ. We have learned the truth and have come out of the false religions of the world around us because you have sent a messenger, Brother Felix Y. Manalo. You have given to him––you have commissioned him to teach your words of truth and to bring the blind out of their state of blindness, that they will see the words of truth and understand them, and use them as an inspiration to serve you properly, O Lord, inside the one true Church.
Lord Jesus, as our one mediator to the Father, please bring us closer to Him. May You ask the Father’s grace upon all our guests, that they will be able to see the importance of continuing their studies with us, learning more of these important truths and also joining with You, giving value and importance to those who administer Your nation and to those who love and take good care of the Church around the world.
Our loving Father, we thank You and pray for Your grace on this program, The Message. We ask for this in the name of our savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.