Does Revelation 7 Fortell Manalo's Coming?
INC believes that Felix Manalo is the Angel from the East as depicted in these verses:
After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree. Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: 3 "Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God."
One can easily be lead into INC thinking and misdirection by some coincidental historical facts and controversial claims that surround their church and their claim as Felix Manalo being God's "last messenger". For instance:
1. Their Church was officially registered with the American Colonial Government in the Philippines on July 27, 1914.
2. World War One officially started on July 27, 1914.
3. INC state that the last signs of the last days would be wars and rumors of wars (Matt 24:6).
4. The allied leaders of World War One were known as the "Big Four"(Wilson, Orlando, George, Clemenceau)
5. Revelation 7:1-3 is interpreted to have all these historical components present as it relates to them and prophesy.
INC weaves the story of the angel-man, a.k.a Felix Manalo, rising from the East. This is revealed with the official registration of INC at the start of World War One. The four angels given the power to harm the land are identified by INC as the allied leaders, a.k.a the "Big Four". This is all consistent with their message that the last days will be marked with wars and rumors of wars in Matt 24. It is quite an impressive story.
If we test this doctrine, we see the historical inconsistencies that INC does not want us to see. They use the smoke and mirrors to divert one's attention away from the obvious, into their dialog of explaining the substance of an angel and how an angel could also be human. INC also gets into the dialog of the word 'east' in this prophesy. They claim that is actually it is defined as the far east in Hebrew, which the parlay to point to the Philippines. An Angel cannot be a human and 'east' is not 'far east' in this prophesy. These are another papers that will be examined later.
If one doesn't get caught-up in the INC tap-dance of angels and the 'east', one will concentrate at actually looking at the sequence of events of Revelation 7:1-3 and how it does not match-up to what the prophesy demands and what INC claims. Lets take a look:
After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent *ANY* wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree.
Using INC's definitions, Rev 7:1 clearly states that any winds a.k.a ANY WARS are being held back by these four angels a.k.a the "Big Four". That means World War One has yet to commence because of the allied leaders work of holding back the WAR.
INC has, of course, tried to wrangle this prophesy to fit their story, which is completely misleading. In an INC article titled "The Angel From the East and His Message", the writer states that the "Big Four" had the power to stop the war: "They (the Big Four) were 'the greatest political leaders of the world at that time' who had the power to 'hold back the four winds of the earth' or stop the war."(1) Hence, INC says that this proves that the four angels are the "Big Four". Close, but no cigar. Let's look closer.
No doubt the "Big Four" had the power to STOP the war, *BUT* the prophesy demanded the four angels to PREVENT a war, not stop one.
Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: 3 "Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees *UNTIL* we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God."
Rev. 7:2 & 3 clearly says that the four angels are NOT to start a War UNTIL the angel from the east seals the servants of God. No where around these verses or chapters does it imply that a war is in progress for the Angels to stop. INC may attempt to tie-in Matt 24:6 -"..Wars and Rumors of wars..." before the second coming. The error in that premise is that the prophesy clearly demonstrates the angels were given the power and are readying to release a war, but, are commanded to hold off and not to stop one after it starts.
The angels are PREVENTING a WAR from occurring UNTIL the sealing is complete. Prophesy goes on to implicitly state that a war WILL be released by these four angels at the conclusion of sealing.
Furthermore, INC claims that 'we', in verse three, are Manalo's ministers. No where in or around these verses does it imply that the Angel from the east will have human assistants in sealing. 'We" can only refer to the four
angels. If the four angels are indeed the "Big Four" then they would've had a hand in sealing. Of course, they did not.
The prophesy strictly demands that all the servants of God in this prophesy *MUST* be sealed *BEFORE* the start of War.
We know that World War One did come to past. Hence, the four angels obviously released the winds upon the world. Therefore, all these souls converting to the INC after the outbreak of the War have NOT been sealed and/or saved according to this prophesy.
Here is a summary of how it must be to call Revelation 7:1-3 fulfilled:
1. The four angels sustaining PEACE FIRST.
2. Manalo, a.k.a. Angel from the East, Seals the Servants.
3. Then World War One breaks out, as per history.
4. No one after the start of the War is Saved, implicit in prophesy.
1. As history shows, peace is created by the "Big Four" at the CONCLUSION of the WAR. According to prophesy, the four angels are to Hold Peace *BEFORE* the WAR. Furthermore, the Big Four was not complete until the U.S. entered the War in 1917. Hence, it was impossible for these allied leaders to collaborate and sustain peace before the war because the alliance was yet to be formed!
2. As history shows, Manalo and Co. does not officially begin their "sealing" until the official registration of the INC and the start of World War One. According to prophesy, the sealing must be done before *ANY* War was to be loosed. Hence, implicit within the prophesy, anyone sealed after the start of World War One is NOT saved!
3. As history shows, World War One breaks out on July 27, 1914. According to prophesy, the War shall not start *UNTIL* all the servants of God are sealed. INC is registered on July 27, 1914. Hence, that doesn't give much time, if any, for Manalo to seal God's servants except for himself!
4. As history shows, World War One and INC were official on July 27, 1914. According to prophesy, no one is saved after the winds of war are let loose. Logically, INC's claims, as it pertains to prophesy, just don't add up.
Now, if the INC is correct in their interpretation of this prophesy, then they still come out on the short end of the stick. As we know, the INC and World War One coincided in their start dates. The same INC article states "...The messenger of God who would preach the gospel of salvation in these last days would start his work concurrent with the outbreak of the First World War."
So, that means Manalo and Co. began sealing DURING the War. This fact goes contrary to the prophesy which demands that NO WAR will occur *until* the sealing is complete: "Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees *UNTIL* we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God."(Rev. 7:3) The land, sea and trees were certainly being harmed during the WAR. Did the INC preach officially during the days of the War? According to the INC quote, you betcha they did! Do these facts also go contrary to the prophesy? They most certainly do.
As one can see, INC's prophetic assertions pertaining to Rev. 7:1-3 are grossly inconsistent with history. We can conclude that the "Big Four" are not the four angels as INC believes. We can also conclude that Felix Manalo is not the angel from the east. If this hypothesis is true, where does that leave its members?