Iglesia ni Cristo
Church of Christ - Iglesia de Cristo

Kirche Christi
(German); Igreja de Cristo (Portuguese);  Eglise du Christ (French)
The Iglesia ni Cristo as biblical prophecy attest
Home - Iglesia ni Cristo Today  The Church in its early years in the Far East
The Gathering of God's children in the Far West The Church as biblical prophecies attest
Questions about biblical prophecies Historical and geographical proof of biblical prophecy
Why we firmly believe Bro. Felix Manalo is God's Messenger The Church rapid global expansion
FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions What other people say about the Church
The Iglesia ni Cristo Architecture Purchase, restoration and renovation of old churches
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Iglesia ni Cristo Worship Service Directory Interesting Questions about the Iglesia ni Cristo
Iglesia ni Cristo Convert Stories - Reasons of Conversion Comparing beliefs about God and Jesus Christ

The Iglesia ni Cristo as biblical prophecies attest

Members of the Church of Christ maintain that the testimonies in the Bible attesting that the Church where they belong is truly of God and that they are indeed the ones He has set apart for Himself to serve and worship Him in these last days are firm and strong. As historical accounts in the Bible show, it has been God's policy since the beginning to set apart people whom He gives the exclusive privilege of being His servants. Every time a chosen generation of people would turn away from God, He chooses and sets apart a new group of people in place of the old. Thus, when the first-century Church of Christ fell into apostasy after the death of the apostles, God set apart another group of people to become His chosen servants. They are the members of the Church of Christ in these last days, as biblical prophecies attest.

Bringing the descendants from the Far East

Through the prophet Isaiah, God made known His will bring His people from the Far East, thus:

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 them back!'  Bring My sons from afar. And My daughters from the ends of the earth."  (Isa. 43:5-6, NKJV)

The prophecy speaks of the descendants whom God would bring from the east and gather from the west. This. refers to His election or setting apart of a people whom He calls His sons and daughters.

But although the Bible mentions "east" many times with different significations, yet we can be certain of which "east" is being referred to as the place where the prophesied descendants or sons and daughters of God would emerge. James Moffatt's translation of Isaiah 43:5 renders the verse, thus;

From the far east will I bring your offspring, and from the far west I will gather you.
(James Moffatt, A New Translation of the Bible Containing the Old and New Testaments, New York: Harper Brothers Publishers, © 1954.) 

3-east asia2

Clearly then, the people whom God considers as His own shall come from the Far East. This prophecy was fulfilled when the Church of Christ emerged in the Philippines, a country that according to a Jesuit priest "stands almost at the geographical center of the Far East"   (Horacio dela Costa, SJ. Asia and the Philippines, Manila: Solidaridad Publishing House, ©1967).

The prophecy also revealed the time when God would start calling or electing His children. God said:

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 them back!' Bring My sons from afar. And My daughters from the ends of the earth." 
(Isaiah 43:5-6, NKJV)

God's calling of His sons and daughters from the Far East shall start at the ends of the earth. The "ends of the earth" must be differentiated from the "end of the earth" which is the Second Advent of Christ, thus:

Now as He sot on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, 'Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?" (Matt. 24:3. ibid.)

 The "ends of the earth" is the time when the end of the world is near, even at the doors as taught by our Lord Jesus Christ, thus:

So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors!
(Matt. 24:33, ibid.)

These things that shall be seen indicating the time when the day of Christ's Second Advent is near are what Christ foretold in the Gospel written by Matthew, thus:

And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matt. 24:6-7, ibid.)

One of the signs that the end is near is the outbreak of a war that would be rumored or talked about. Christ's prophecy was fulfilled when the First World War broke out on July 27, 1914—the same date when the Church of Christ was registered with the Philippine government.


The man likened to a bird of prey

Another biblical prophecy reveals the one whom God would use as His instrument in bringing His children to the Church of Christ that would emerge in the Far East The book of the prophet Isaiah states, thus:

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
(Isa. 46:11, ibid)

This prophecy speaks of a messenger who is likened to a bird of prey or to a ravenous bird whom God would call from the Far East He is likened to a ravenous bird because God's sons and daughters are being held back. They need to be taken or pulled out as they are being held out by the north and the south, thus;

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 them back!'  Bring My sons from afar, And My daughters from the ends of the earth. 
(Isaiah 43:5-6, NKJV)

3-Ka Felix

The north and the south mentioned in the prophecy, which are being instructed to give up or to not keep back God's children from the Far East, are not literal directions of the earth as shown in a compass. Rather, they refer two large religions in the world, from which the sons and   daughters of God would be taken so that they can be brought into the Church of Christ through the instrumentality of the prophesied messenger. The two religions representing "north" and "south" respectively are Protestantism and Catholicism. This fact is attested to by a church history book, thus:

... In the north the Protestants were in control — Lutheran churches in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, the northern and central states of Germany; Calvinist or Reformed churches in Scotland, the Netherlands, Hesse, the Palatinate, and a few of the western German states.  In the south the Catholics were in control — Spain, Italy, Austria, Bavaria, and elsewhere in southern Germany. (The Reformation, by Owen Chadwick Harmondsworth. Middlesex, England: Penguin Book,© 1972, p. 366.)

As can be gleaned from the book cited, Protestantism represents the "north" because Protestants dominated the north, particularly northern Europe. The Catholic Church, on the other hand, represents the "south" as it was in control of the southern European states, even southern Germany. As a proof of the fulfillment of the prophecy, majority ol those who become members of the Church of Christ in these last days come from the Catholic Church as well as from Protestant denominations.


The name they would bear

God Himself stated in the prophecy that there is a name  by which the chosen servants of His from the Far East in these last days would be called. He said:

Everyone who is called by My name, Whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him. (Isa. 43:7, NKJV)

As explicitly stated God's servants would be called by His name—the name that He gave to Christ, thus:

I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name—the name you gave me—so that they may be one as we are one. (John 17:11, NIV)

 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” (Acts 2:36, New King James Version) (emphasis ours)

God's servants, His sons and daughters from the Far East, therefore, shall be called by the name Church of Christ, as attested to in the book of Acts of the Apostles, thus:

Take heed therefore to yourselves and to all the flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, to feed the church of Christ which he has purchased with his blood. (Acts 20:28, Holy Bible from the Ancient Eastern Text, George M. Lamsa's Translation from the Aramaic of the Peshitta, the  authorized Bible of the Church of the East by George M. Lamsa. New York: AJ. Holman Co, ©1968.) (emphasis ours)

Hence the prophecy concerning the emergence of the Church of Christ (Iglesia ni Cristo) in the Philippines, concurrent with the outbreak of the First World War or at the beginning of the period known in the Bible as "ends of the earth" as fulfilled.

Concerning Brother Felix Y. Manalo

"Although widely known as the INC founder, Manalo is regarded by his flock as God's last messenger. Well-grounded in biblical prophecies, Manalo himself believed so, too. For him and his followers, the INC is the reemergence of the one and only true Church founded Christ, which the first Apostles called the Church of Christ or Iglesia ni Cristo. Total obedience to God's will is the essence of the INC faith... The INC emerged in the darkening shadows of the first world war: Manalo was a solitary voice preaching to the poor, whence he came. But in no time at all, his Church grew by leaps and bounds, eliciting respect and admiration from the leading lights of other faiths. Indeed, no other religious faith in the country has shown more unity, purposiveness and vitality than the lNC. (Philippines Free Press, "Chosen People"  By Edward R. Kiunisala. Date Published: January 9, 1993.)

This testimony came from non-members of the Church of Christ. They even attest that Brother Felix Manalo first preached about the Church of Christ that was established in the Philippines at the outbreak of the First World War. They further attest that the Church of Christ upholds "total obedience to God's will" and that "no other religious faith in the country has shown more unity, purposiveness and vitality than the [Iglesia ni Cristo]."

"Even before the demise of the Messenger, the Church of Christ had already been recognized as one of the biggest and most vital religious denominations in the Philippines:

Today, one of the most prominent personalities in the country is undoubtedly Felix Y. Manalo...

"In 1914, he succeeded in winning into the Church of Christ a handful of faithful converts. Beginning with a small group of followers of his new religion, he bravely continued his relentless mission despite the innumerable odds and trying difficulties along his way.

 "... As the years went by,  the fruits of his labor showed in the speedy growth of the Iglesia ni Cristo.

"For this reason, the 'lglesia ni Cristo' (Church of Christ) is admittedly one of the biggest and most vital religious denominations in the Philippines today..." (TABLEAU. Encyclopedia of Distinguished Personalities in the Philippines.  Manila, Philippines: National Souvenir Publications with PD. AVEO,Sr. and Sons; ©1957, p.312)

Therefore the first part of the prophecy in Isaiah 43: 5 —"From the far east will I bring your offspring"—was fulfilled through the instrumentality of God's Messenger in these last days, Brother Felix Manalo. He is God's instrument for the re-emergence of the Church of Christ in these last days and its spread throughout the Philippines.

For almost 50 years, Brother Felix Manalo successfully led the Church of Christ. He also labored to strengthen the Church of Christ in the face of hindrances, trials and persecutions. When he died on April 12,1963—a few days short of his 77th birthday—the Church was firmly established in the whole Philippines,

 

On July 27, 2007, coinciding with the 93rd Anniversary of the Iglesia ni Cristo, the National Historical Institute (NHI) of the Philippines unveiled a marker on the birth place of Felix Manalo, declaring the site as a National Historical Landmark. It is where the ancestral home of Manalo once stood. The marker sits on a 744 square meter plaza. The NHI recognizes the significant contributions of Ka Felix to the Philippine society. The church he preached have changed the lives and faith of many Filipinos and because of this, Ka Felix deserves the pride and recognition of the people of Taguig. The official doctrine of the Iglesia ni Cristo is that Felix Y. Manalo is the last messenger of God, sent to reestablish the first church founded by Jesus Christ, which the INC claims to have fallen into apostasy following the death of the Apostles.

3-Ka Felix Tipas Marker
Marker on the birth place of Felix Y. Manalo.
Location: Barangay Calzada, Tipas, Taguig City.

Contrary to the expectations of its detractors, the Church flourished and spread, grew in strength and continued to reap success after success under the dynamic leadership of the Messenger's successor as Executive Minister.


The flourishing of God's Mission

 God's work of salvation was not meant to be confined to Philippine shores. As to how far the work began by the Messenger would go, the prophecy in the book of Isaiah also foretold, thus:

So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west. And His glory from the rising of the sun; When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him. (Isa. 59:19, NKJV)

According to the Prophet Isaiah, when the glory of God from the rising of the sun or the Far East is revealed, so shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west . Citing again the book of Isaiah, we can glean which west is being referred to, thus:

From the far east will I bring your offspring, and from the far west I will gather you.
(Isa. 43:5, Mofatt Translation)

As clearly stated in the prophecy, God would gather His chosen people from the Far West.  The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 1976 shows whatg "Far East" signifies, thus:

"Far West"

"California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Hawaii ..."  
(George L Delury, Ed. New York: Newspaper Enterprise Association, © 1975.)

Hawaii and California are states of the United States of America, which lie in the Far West. The prophecy that there would be chosen people of God in these places was fulfilled, as to who would be God's instrument in starting the gathering of scattered members of the Church of Christ from the Far West, an unsolicited testimony runs, thus:

"As early as 1967, Iglesia ni Cristo migrants to Hawaii began gathering other brethren in Oahu, Hawaii. In 1968, the Iglesia ni Cristo established its first overseas congregation in Honolulu, Hawaii. After a month, Brother Erano G. Manalo proceeded to San Francisco, California, and officially established the first INC congregation in the continental United States (Reed 1990). In less than forty years, it has expanded to twenty-four American states and seventy countries. Some of the largest INC congregations in the United States are found in Bay Area. Offering both Tagalog and English services, the INC has more than fifteen hundred members in the San Francisco and Daly City locales alone. (Joaquin L Gonzales III and Andrea Maison. "We Do Not Bowl Alone: Social and Cultural Capital from Filipinos and Their Churches."  Asian American Religions: The Making and Remaking of Borders and Boundaries. New York: New York University Press, ©2004, p. 349.)

As stated in this study, the Church's overseas mission began when Brother Erano Manalo officiated at the inaugural worship service of the Local Congregation of Honolulu, Hawaii in 1968, which was followed several weeks later by the establishment of the Local Congregation of San Francisco, California. Only forty years after that momentous occasion, the Church has spread throughout the United States and 89 other countries and territories around the world.

The second part of the prophecy in Isaiah 43:5—"from the far west I will gather you"—was fulfilled through the instrumentality of the Executive Minister of the Church, Brother Erano G. Manalo. He is God's instrument in establishing the first. local congregations of the Church in the Far West and in the Church's expansion in various parts of the world.

Certainly, what God declared in the prophecy has all come  to pass. The prophecy said, "From the far east will I bring your your offspring"—this was fulfilled when the Church of Christ re-emerged in the Philippines and spread throughout the archipelago through the instrumentality of the Messenger, Brother Felix Manalo. Likewise, it was prophesied that "from; the far west I will gather you"—this, too was fulfilled through the instrumentality of Brother Erano G. Manalo, who first gathered the brethren in Hawaii, then in San Francisco, and from thereon, the Church of Christ has expanded throughout the world.


The handiwork of the Lord

The astounding fulfillment of the biblical prophecy on the emergence of the Church of Christ in the Philippines and its expansion to the west and through-out the world only goes to prove that this is the handiwork of the Lord, thus:

That they may see and know, And consider and understand together, That the hand of the LORD has done this, And the Holy One of Israel has created it. (Isa. 41:20, NKJV)

Faithful members of the Church of Christ the world over do realize, understand, and firmly believe that all the triumphs and achievements of the Church are the handiwork of God. They know fully well that they could not have accomplished those things by themselves.

As God fulfilled His promise to His Messenger that He would be with him and would uphold, help, and support him (Isa. 41:10-13), so had He and continues to do so with the present Administration He placed in His Church

The realization and understanding that it is the Almighty God who made all these and more possible have cultivated in the Church of Christ members more trust, faith, confidence. love, and hope in Him. No matter what they go through in this life, they stand their ground and would never be shaken in their hope of God's eternal promises.

The faithful always remember that the ancient servants of God did experience hardship and persecution. It is their conviction that if God's early servants were able to endure so can they as God's people in this era, whatever trials they have to bear

They are willing to sacrifice and endure for the sake of their divine calling because they can clearly see how the prophecies of God have been fulfilled to this Church, such as the prophecy written in Isaiah 43:5-6. They have no doubt whatsoever that this Church is where the chosen people of God in these last days belong. As members of this Church, they are the ones whom God considers as His sons and daughters in these last days, the ones whom He will bless and save come the day of Judgment.

___________________

Source: Excerpt from a special report - 27 July 2008
               Church of Christ (Iglesia ni Cristo)
               94 years in the Philippines; 40 years of Overseas Mission


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