Iglesia ni Cristo
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The Historical and Geographical Proof Why Iglesia ni Cristo in the Philippines is the fulfillment of the biblical prophecies in Isaiah 43:5

"From the far east will I bring your offspring,
and from the far west I will gather you"

(Isaiah 43:5, James Moffatt Translation)

The following are the historical and geographical proof that the Iglesia ni Cristo that re-emerged in islands of the sea in the Far East now presently known as the Philippines is the fulfillment of the above prophecy.

Ancient maps of the known world during Prophet Isaiah's time 
About 2600 years ago (600 BCE)when Prophet Isaiah wrote the prophecies in Isaiah 43:5; 46:11, the ancient world was not yet fully defined as we know it today.  During the time Prophet Isaiah, the map of the known world (as shown on the right) is very limited. It was circular in form and showed the known lands of the world grouped around the Mediterranean Sea with the Aegean Sea at the center. In fact the prevalent belief at that time is that the earth is flat.

Based on ancient history and geography about 2600 years ago, the Philippines does not  yet exist as a country, though, in reality it existed as islands of the sea in the Far East which came to be known in 1453 as "Las Islas Filipinas" by the Spaniards and in 1898 as Philippine Islands by the Americans.  Thus, logically, one should not expect to find the word Philippines in the Bible or philosophically reason out that the Iglesia ni Cristo is not the fulfillment of the prophecy simply because the word Philippines is not in the Bible..
4-map-ancient1

Babylonian Imago Mundi (c. 600 BCE)

A Babylonian world map, known as the Imago Mundi, is commonly dated to the 6th century BCE. The map as reconstructed by Eckhard Unger shows Babylon on the Euphrates, surrounded by a circular landmass showing Assyria, Urartu and several cities, in turn surrounded by a "bitter river" (Oceanus), with seven islands arranged around it so as to form a seven-pointed star. The accompanying text mentions seven outer regions beyond the encircling ocean.

4-map-ancient2

Anaximander (c. 610 – 546 BCE)

Reconstruction of Anaximander's map
Anaximander (died ca. 546 BCE) is credited with having created one of the first maps of the world, which was circular in form and showed the known lands of the world grouped around the Aegean Sea at the center. This was all surrounded by the ocean.
4-map-ancient3

Hecataeus of Miletus (c. 550 – 476 BCE)

Reconstruction of Hecataeus' map Hecataeus of Miletus (died ca. 476 BCE) Hecataeus described the countries and inhabitants of the known world, the account of Egypt being particularly comprehensive; the descriptive matter was accompanied by a map, based upon Anaximander’s map of the earth, which he corrected and enlarged.
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_world_maps (as of Nov. 8, 2012, 04:19 GMT).

Belief in a flat Earth
In early Egyptian and Mesopotamian thought the world was portrayed as a flat disk floating in the ocean. A similar model is found in the Homeric account of the 8th century BCE in which "Okeanos, the personified body of water surrounding the circular surface of the Earth, is the begetter of all life and possibly of all gods."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flat_Earth
How the direction East and West came to be
From the Phoenicians, a sea-going trading people who lived in what we now call Lebanon on the eastern side of the Mediterranean Sea. They were important and powerful business people from about 1200 BCE to about 200 BCE.

They were mariners and through them, the term "Ereb" toward the setting of the sun, and "Asu" the land of the rising sun came to be known.  In time, other people heard these words and turned them into Europe, which is to the west of Phoenician cities, and into Asia, the land to the east of Phoenicia. And eventually, the Romans called East as Orient and West as Occident.
















Please note that the Hebrew term for East is Kedem. The term as generally used refers to the lands lying immediately eastward of Palestine, viz. Arabia, Mesopotamia and BabyIonia (Please see ancient map of Middle East). >>>

On the other hand
Mizrach is used of the Far East with a less definite signification, Isa. 43:5; 46:11.” (the Dictionary of the Bible by William Smith, p. 154)






Far East is an English term mostly describing East Asia and Southeast Asia. The term "Far East" came into use in European geopolitical discourse in the 19th century, denoting East Asia as the "farthest" of the three "easts", beyond the Near East and the Middle East.

Compass and The Compass Rose:
Before the modern compass came into use, land based traders, sailors and ordinary people had various ways of referring to direction when asked where they came from or where going to. They might say they were going towards a large mountain, or the sea, or the rising sun.

4-map-phoeniciaSome of the earliest directions we have are from the Phoenicians, a sea-going trading people who lived in what we now call Lebanon on the eastern side of the Mediterranean Sea. They were important and powerful business people from about 1200 BCE to about 200 BCE. These mariners, when they were at home in the eastern part of the Mediterranean were asked where they went to trade their cargoes. Wanting to be somewhat accurate, they replied they were going toward the setting sun. In their language, it looked like the word, Ereb. Similarly, when they were in the western Mediterranean and were asked where they came from, the most logical answer was, The land of the rising sun, Asu. In time, other people heard these words and turned them into Europe, which is to the west of Phoenician cities, and into Asia, the land to the east of Phoenicia.

The Phoenician peoples, especially those who had settled in the North African city they named Carthage, were eventually defeated by the Romans for control of trade in the Mediterranean. It was now the turn of the Romans to name directions in Latin instead of the Phoenician language. Even though the Romans were noted for their writing of great stories, plays, histories and biographies, when it came to naming directions, they didn't do much better than the Phoenicians…it just sounded better in Latin. They called the land on the eastern Mediterranean the land of the rising sun, and in Latin that gives us the Orient. The land of the setting sun gave us the Occident; both names are common in English for the Eastern and Western Hemispheres of the earth.
Source:  http://ageofex.marinersmuseum.org/index.php?type=navigationtool&id=2
Map: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Phoenicia&oldid=522370363 (last visited Nov. 10, 2012).

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In the Dictionary of the Bible by William Smith, page 154 this is written:

East". The Hebrew term kedem proper means that which is before or in front of a person,  and was applied to the east from the custom of turning in that direction when describing the points of the compass, before, behind, the right and the left representing respectively east, west, south and north, Job 23:8, 9, The term as generally used refers to the lands lying immediately eastward of Palestine, viz. Arabia, Mesopotamia and BabyIonia. On the other hand mizrach is used of the far east with a less definite signification, Isa. 43:5; 46:11.” 

4-map-ancient middleeastMap of the Ancient Middle East showing Arabia, Mesopotamia and Babylonia

Let us have a look at Isaiah 46:11 in the Hebrew Bible, the original language of the OLD TESTAMENT:

4-Isaiah+46-11

 
Mizrach is used in Isaiah 46:11 denoting Far East, which is the same as in Isaiah 43:5.  Kedem is used for East and generally used refers to the lands lying immediately eastward of Palestine, viz. Arabia, Mesopotamia and Babylonia.

Circumnavigation of the globe and the need of International Date Line

Ferdinand Magellan
served King Charles I of Spain in search of a westward route to the "Spice Islands" (modern Maluku Islands in Indonesia). On his voyage he arrived in Cebu, but he was killed in the battle of Mactan in April 27, 1521. His second in command, the Spaniard Juan Sebastián Elcano, continued the expedition and, on September 6, 1522, arrived at Seville, completing the circumnavigation.

 The full extent of the Earth was realized, since their voyage was 14,460 Spanish leagues (60,440 km or 37,560 mi). Upon returning they found their date was a day behind, even though they had faithfully maintained the ship's log. They lost one day because they traveled west during their circumnavigation of the globe, which is opposite to Earth's daily rotation. This caused great excitement at the time and a special delegation was sent to the Pope to explain the oddity to him.

Please note that Magellan expedition travelled westward all the way around the world. Upon returning to Spain they found out that their date was a day behind.  Thus the need for an International Date Line was realized.

This event will prove to be providential to the Iglesia ni Cristo as the prophecy relating to the Far East and the Far West in Isaiah 43:5 will be further clarified.
The concept of a spherical Earth displaced earlier beliefs in a flat Earth
The concept of  a spherical Earth dates back to ancient Greek philosophy from around the 6th century BC, but remained a matter of philosophical speculation until the 3rd century BC when Hellenistic astronomy established the spherical shape of the earth as a physical given. The Hellenistic paradigm was gradually adopted throughout the Old World during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages.  A practical demonstration of Earth's sphericity was achieved by Ferdinand Magellan and Juan Sebastian Elcano's expedition's circumnavigation (1519-1521).  

Circumnavigation of the globe: 
The first direct demonstration of Earth's sphericity came in the form of the first circumnavigation in history, an expedition captained by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan
. The expedition was financed by the Spanish Crown. On August 10, 1519, the five ships under Magellan's command departed from Seville. They crossed the Atlantic Ocean, passed through the Strait of Magellan, crossed the Pacific, and arrived in Cebu, where Magellan was killed by Philippine natives in a battle of Mactan in April 27, 1521. His second in command, the Spaniard Juan Sebastián Elcano, continued the expedition and, on September 6, 1522, arrived at Seville, completing the circumnavigation. Charles I of Spain, in recognition of his feat, gave Elcano a coat of arms with the motto Primus circumdedisti me (in Latin, "You went around me first"). Wikipedia, Spherical Earth, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spherical_Earth (as of Oct. 15, 2012, 15:00 GMT). 4-map-magellan

Ferdinand Magellan  c. 1480 – 27 April 1521) was a Portuguese explorer. He was born in a still disputed location in northern Portugal, and served King Charles I of Spain in search of a westward route to the "Spice Islands" (modern Maluku Islands in Indonesia). 4-magellan
Magellan's expedition of 1519–1522 became the first expedition to sail from the Atlantic Ocean into the Pacific Ocean (then named "peaceful sea" by Magellan; the passage being made via the Strait of Magellan), and the first to cross the Pacific. It also completed the first circumnavigation of the Earth, although Magellan himself did not complete the entire voyage, being killed during the Battle of Mactan in the Philippines.

The full extent of the Earth was realized, since their voyage was 14,460 Spanish leagues (60,440 km or 37,560 mi). The need for an International Date Line was established. Upon returning they found their date was a day behind, even though they had faithfully maintained the ship's log. They lost one day because they traveled west during their circumnavigation of the globe, opposite to Earth's daily rotation. This caused great excitement at the time and a special delegation was sent to the Pope to explain the oddity to him.
Wikipedia, Ferdinand Magellan, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferdinand_Magellan (as of Nov. 7, 2012, 23:42 GMT).

When the Philippine Islands (Las Islas Filipinas) came to be known 
The arrival of Ferdinand Magellan in Cebu in 1521 marked the beginning of an era of Spanish interest and eventual colonization of the islands.  In 1543, Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos named the archipelago Las Islas Filipinas in honor of Philip II of Spain. American colonial authorities referred to the country as the Philippine Islands, a translation of the Spanish name.

Please take note that the term Las Islas Filipinas came to be known only in 1543 by the Spaniards or Philippine Islands in 1898 by the Americans.

The Philippines, the country from which the Church of Christ reemerged in these last days, is made up of more than 7,100 islands and is situated almost at the geographical center of the Far East (Asia and the Philippines, p. 169).

Las Islas Filipinas or Philippine Islands:

The arrival of Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 marked the beginning of an era of Spanish interest and eventual colonization. In 1543, Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos named the archipelago Las Islas Filipinas in honor of Philip II of Spain. Miguel López de Legazpi arrived in the Philippines in 1565 and consolidated Spanish rule in the islands, which remained a colony of Spain for more than 300 years.

American colonial authorities referred to the country as the Philippine Islands, a translation of the Spanish name. During the American period, the name Philippines began to appear and it has since become the country's common name.[17] Since independence, the official name of the country has been the Republic of the Philippines.  ...  Meanwhile, the islands were ceded by Spain to the United States for US$20 million in the 1898 Treaty of Paris.[46]
Source: Philippines, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Philippines&oldid=522434937 (last visited Nov. 12, 2012).

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Geography of the Philippines:
The Philippines is an archipelago comprising 7,107 islands with a total land area of 300,000 km
2. The 11 largest islands contain 94% of the total land area. The largest of these islands is Luzon at about 105,000 km2. The next largest island is Mindanao at about 95,000 km2. The archipelago is around 800 km from the Asian mainland and is located between Taiwan and Borneo.
 Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Geography_of_the_Philippines&oldid=521305104 (last visited Nov. 12, 2012).

 The Philippines is the only ChrIstian country in the Asia (before 2002) is which Christianity has taken its deepest roots.

Please take note that most of the  Asian countries are either Hindu, Islam, and Buddhist believer. Before 2002  the Philippines was long considered as the only Christian country in Asia as Christianity was first introduced by Ferdinand Magellan in Cebu in 1521 when  Rajah Humabon of Cebu and his queen Hara Amihan were baptized as Christians .  
The Spanish government then dominated the islands for almost 300 years and they became successful in spreading Christianity among the natives.

As a historian and Jesuit Priest Horacio dela Costa wrote in his book Asia and the Philippines:

"It cannot be without significance that the country which stands almost at the geographical center of the FAR EAST, THE PHILIPPINES, should also be that in which Christianity has taken the deepest root." (page.169)

Thus, the re-emergence of the true Church of Christ—the Iglesia ni Cristo in the Philippines is of great significance as it is the largest Christian country in the Asia in which Christianity* has taken its deepest roots.

*Philippines Christian population  is 90,530,000 which is 93.1% of total population. This figure is relatively huge compared to East Timor Christian population of only 1,150,000.
Source:  Wikipedia,
Christianity by country, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_by_country  (as of Nov. 10, 2012, 04:19 GMT).

 

 

 

A short story of the origin of Christianity in the Philippines
Mostof the Asian countries are eitherof the Asian countries are either Hindu, Islam, and Buddhist believer. In this vast continent, only two countries are christian majority; the Philippines and East Timor.


The Philippines was considered as the only christian country in Asia (before East Timor establish self governance in May 20, 2002). It is is located in South East Asia,and surrounded by non-christian countries, but despite of its location, the Philippines is a christian country.

What makes it happen? Long time ago, about 1521 A.D this archipelago was discovered by Ferdinand Magellan and claims it under the name of Spain (a catholic country). Even he died in the local battle against the natives. Spain, knowing of the existence of this archipelago because of the discovery, sent several expeditions to colonize the country. Spain became successful in colonization. The Spanish government then dominated the islands for almost 300 years. In that long span of years the Spanish became successful in spreading Christianity among the natives.

Catholicism is the greatest legacy of Spain in this country. Today, over 90 percent of the people in this country are Catholics, others are protestants, Islams and etc.
Source: http://guides.wikinut.com/Christianity-in-the-Philippines/10mzxy.9/

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On 17 March Magellan reached the island of Homonhon in the Philippines, with 150 crew left. Members of his expedition became the first Spaniards to reach the Philippine archipelago, but they were not the first Europeans. ...   They traded gifts with Rajah Siaiu of Mazaua who guided them to Cebu on 7 April.  Rajah Humabon of Cebu was friendly towards Magellan and the Spaniards; both he and his queen Hara Amihan were baptized as Christians. Afterward, Rajah Humabon and his ally Datu Zula convinced Magellan to kill their enemy, Datu Lapu-Lapu, on Mactan. Magellan had wished to convert Lapu-Lapu to Christianity, as he had Humabon, a proposal of which Lapu-Lapu was dismissive. On the morning of 27 April 1521, Magellan sailed to Mactan with a small attack force. During the resulting battle against Lapu-Lapu's troops, Magellan was hit by a bamboo spear and later surrounded and finished off with other weapons.
Source: Wikipedia, Ferdinand Magellan, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferdinand_Magellan (as of Nov. 10, 2012, 01:43 GMT).

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When the United States took over the Philippines in the first half of the 20th century, the justifications for colonizing were to Christianize and democratize. The feeling was that these goals could be achieved only through mass education (up until then education was reserved for a small elite). Most of the teachers who went to the Philippines were Protestants, many were even Protestant ministers. There was a strong prejudice among some of these teachers against Catholics. Since this Protestant group instituted and controlled the system of public education in the Philippines during the American colonial period, it exerted a strong influence. Subsequently the balance has shifted to reflect much stronger influence by the Catholic majority.

The current challenge to the supremacy of the Catholic church comes from a variety of small sects -- from the fundamentalist Christian groups, such as Jehovah's Witnesses and Seventh Day Adventists, to the lglesia ni Kristo and Rizalists.  At present the largest growing religious sector falls within the province of these smaller, grass roots sects; but only time will tell where the percentages will finally rest.
Source: http://asiasociety.org/countries/religions-philosophies/religion-philippines

The International Meridian Conference in 1884 
In the early 18th century there were several maritime disasters attributable to serious errors in reckoning position at sea.   Unlike latitude, which has the equator as a natural starting position, there is no natural starting position for longitude.  Therefore, a reference meridian had to be chosen.

When  the International Meridian Conference in 1884  adopted the Greenwich meridian as the universal Prime Meridian or zero point of longitude, the  boundaries of the Western and Eastern Hemispheres of the earth was made clear. This development is providential or God-given to the Iglesia ni Cristo as it made the prophecy  in Isaiah 43:5 truthful.

"From the far east will I bring your offspring, and from the far west I will gather you" (Isaiah 43:5, James Moffatt Translation)

Longtitudes and LatitudesThe measurement of longitude is important both to cartography and to provide safe ocean navigation. Mariners and explorers for most of history struggled to determine precise longitude. Finding a method of determining exact longitude took centuries, resulting in the history of longitude recording the effort of some of the greatest scientific minds.  Latitude was calculated by observing with quadrant or astrolabe the inclination of the sun or of charted stars, but longitude presented no such manifest means of study.  In the early 18th century there were several maritime disasters attributable to serious errors in reckoning position at sea, such as the loss of four ships of the fleet of Sir Cloudesley Shovell in the Scilly naval disaster of 1707. Motivated by these disasters, in 1714 the British government established the Board of Longitude: prizes were to be awarded to the first person to demonstrate a practical method for determining the longitude of a ship at sea. These prizes motivated many to search for a solution.

International Meridian Conference
Unlike latitude, which has the equator as a natural starting position, there is no natural starting position for longitude. Therefore, a reference meridian had to be chosen. It was a popular practice to use a nation's capital as the starting point, but other significant locations were also used. While British cartographers had long used the Greenwich meridian in London, other references were used elsewhere, including: El Hierro, Rome, Copenhagen, Jerusalem, Saint Petersburg, Pisa, Paris, Philadelphia, and Washington. In
1884, the International Meridian Conference adopted the Greenwich meridian as the universal Prime Meridian or zero point of longitude.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longtitude

The Western and Eastern Hemispheres of the Earth
After the 1884 International Meridian Conference which adopted the Greenwich meridian as the universal Prime Meridian or zero point of longitude, the location of the 180th Meridian (180° longitude) was also made clear. Thus, clearly defining the boundaries of Western and Eastern Hemispheres of the Earth and also the location of each country. Countries in two different Hemispheres
Hemispheres of the Earth in geography and cartography refer to bipartite division of the globe into a hemisphere.
A great circle divides the Earth into the Eastern and Western Hemispheres. That circle is referenced by two Meridians. In 1884, the International Meridian Conference adopted the Greenwich meridian as the universal Prime Meridian or zero point of longitude. The Royal Observatory, Greenwich (formerly the Royal Greenwich Observatory or RGO, in London played a major role in the history of astronomy and navigation, and is best known as the location of the prime meridian. It is situated on a hill in Greenwich Park, overlooking the River Thames.


The Prime Meridian is the line of longitude at which longitude is defined to be 0°. All countries located to the east of the Prime Meridian (0° longitude) are in the Eastern Hemisphere, while countries west of the Prime Meridian (0° longitude) are in the Western Hemisphere.
4-map-prime meridian
http://www.worldatlas.com/aatlas/infopage/eastwestco.htm


The 180th Meridian, on the opposite side of the planet, is the line of longitude at which longitude is defined to be 180°.
dot
All countries located to the east of the 180th Meridian (180° longitude) are in the Western Hemisphere, while countries west of the 180th Meridian (180° longitude) are in the Eastern Hemisphere.
The Philippines is situated almost at the geographical center of the Far East  
The bipartite division of the globe into the Western and Eastern Hemispheres clearly identified the Far East geographically.

Far East
is an English term mostly describing East Asia and Southeast Asia. The Far East is not just geographically distant, but also culturally exotic. It never refers, for instance, to the culturally Western nations of Australia and New Zealand, which lie even farther to the east of Europe than East Asia itself. ...

The term came into use in European geopolitical discourse in the 19th century, denoting East Asia as the "farthest" of the three "easts", beyond the Near East and the Middle East. ...

Please note, that the Far East is located in the farthest regions of the Eastern Hemisphere  just before the 180th Meridian (180° longitude).   

Thus, when the Jesuit priest and historian Horacio dela Costa said that the "Philippines" is situated almost at the geographical center of the Far East (Asia and the Philippines, p. 169). His observation is correct, as you can clearly see the central location of the Philippines in the Far Eastern Map at right (which include Australia and New Zealand). The Far East is the farthest region of the Eastern Hemisphere just before the 180th Meridian (180° longitude).
The Far East  is an English term mostly describing East Asia (including the Russian Far East) and Southeast Asia, with South Asia sometimes also included for economic and cultural reasons.  The term came into use in European geopolitical discourse in the 19th century, denoting East Asia as the "farthest" of the three "easts", beyond the Near East and the Middle East. ...

Significantly, the term evokes cultural as well as geographic separation; the Far East is not just geographically distant, but also culturally exotic. It never refers, for instance, to the culturally Western nations of Australia and New Zealand, which lie even farther to the east of Europe than East Asia itself. ...

Far East in its usual sense is comparable to terms such as the Orient, which means East; the Eastern world; or simply the East. Southeast Asia and the Russian Far East might now be included in the Far East to some extent.
4-map-fareast wiki

The Far Eastern Countries
Peoples Republic of China (PRC); 
Hong Kong; Macau; Japan;  Mongolia; 
North Korea;  South Korea;  Republic
of China (Taiwan);  Brunei; Cambodia; 
 East Timor (Timor Leste);  Indonesia;
Laos;  Malaysia; Myanmar (Burma);
Papua New Guinea;  Philippines; 
Singapore; Thailand;  Vietnam; 
Russian Far East (Russia)

Source: Wikipedia, Far East, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Far_East (as of Oct. 4, 2012, 15:04 GMT).

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As a historian, the Jesuit Priest Horacio dela Costa wrote in his book Asia and the Philippines, page 169:

"It cannot be without significance that the country which stands almost at the geographical center of the Far East, the Philippines, should also be that in which Christianity has taken the deepest root."

The Far East, the International Date Line, and the Far West 
Please note, that based on the foregoing Historical and Geographical facts we have come to know that the islands of the sea which came to be known as "Las Islas Filipinas" in the year 1543 or the "Philippine Islands" is situated almost at the geographical center of the Far East.

The International Date Line can be anywhere on the globe. But it is most convenient to be 180° away from the defining meridian that goes through Greenwich, England. It also is fortunate or is it really providential  that this area is covered, mainly, by empty ocean.
 

To the Iglesia ni Cristo - the true Church of Christ in these last days, the placement of the International Date Line which is roughly following the 180th Meridian (180° longitude) is not only most convenient and fortunate but providential or destined by God as it also clearly defined the location of the Hawaiian Islands to be in the Far West,  where the prophesied gathering of God's Children would take place.

Why was it providential?
If the International Meridian Conference of 1884 adopted a different location, such as Washington or Philadelphia, for the Prime Meridian (0° longitude), then the 180th Meridian (180° longitude) would been located somewhere west of the Philippines, making the location of the Philippines and that of Hawaii the same—both in the Far West rendering the prophecy (Isaiah 43:5) untrue.

Likewise, If the International Meridian Conference of 1884 adopted a different location, such as Jerusalem in Israel or Saint Petersburg in Russia, for the Prime Meridian (0° longitude), then the 180th Meridian (180° longitude) would been located somewhere east of the Hawaii, making the location of the Philippines and that of Hawaii the same—both in the Far East rendering the prophecy (Isaiah 43:5) also untrue.

But divine providence did not make it happen that way as the International Date Line was placed between the Philippines and Hawaii placing the Philippines in the Far East and Hawaii in the Far West. And therefore the prophecy in Isaiah 43:5 was made truthful.

The International Date Line (IDL) is an imaginary line on the surface of the Earth, that runs from the north to the south pole and demarcates one calendar day from the next. It passes through the middle of the Pacific Ocean, roughly following the 180° longitude but it deviates to pass around some territories and island groups.but it deviates to pass around some territories and island groups.

The International Date line is on the opposite side of the Earth to the Prime Meridian. The Prime Meridian helps to define Universal Time and is the meridian from which all other time zones are calculated. ...

A traveler crossing the International Date Line eastbound subtracts one day, or 24 hours, so that the calendar date to the west of the line is repeated. Crossing the IDL westbound results in 24 hours being added, advancing the calendar date by one day. The International Date Line is necessary to have a fixed, albeit arbitrary, boundary on the globe where the calendar date advances in the westbound direction. 

A person who flies (or sails) around the world from east to west (the same direction as Magellan's voyage) would lose one hour for every 15° of longitude crossed, and would lose 24 hours for one circuit of the globe from east to west if they did not compensate by adding 24 hours when they cross the International Date Line. In contrast, a west-to-east circumnavigation of the globe requires subtracting 24 hours when crossing the international date line. The International Date Line must therefore be observed in conjunction with the Earth's time zones: on crossing it in either direction, the calendar date is adjusted by one day.
Source:  http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=International_Date_Line&oldid=520752476 (last visited Nov. 12, 2012).

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The International Date Line is the imaginary line on the Earth that separates two consecutive calendar days. That is the date in the Eastern hemisphere, to the left of the line, is always one day ahead of the date in the Western hemisphere. It has been recognized as a matter of convenience and has no force in international law.

Without the International Date Line travelers going westward would discover that when they returned home, one day more than they thought had passed, even though they had kept careful tally of the days. This first happened to Magellan's crew after the first circumnavigation of the globe. Likewise, a person traveling eastward would find that one fewer days had elapsed than he had recorded, as happened to Phileas Fogg in "Around the World in Eighty Days" by Jules Verne.

The International Date Line can be anywhere on the globe. But it is most convenient to be 180° away from the defining meridian that goes through Greenwich, England. It also is fortunate that this area is covered, mainly, by empty ocean. However, there have always been zigs and zags in it to allow for local circumstances.

4-international dateline2Historical positions of the International Date Line from "Notes on the History of the Date or Calendar Line," in The New Zealand Journal of Science and Technology, Vol. XI, pp. 385 - 388
Source:  http://aa.usno.navy.milaq/docs/international_date.php/ (emphasis ours)
The migration of Filipinos from the Philippine Islands in the Far East to the Hawaiian Islands in the Far West 

The annexation by the United States of two foreign territories -- Hawaii and the Philippines -- would also prove to be providential to the Iglesia ni Cristo.  The annexation of Hawaii opened up additional acreage for sugar cultivation and the annexation of the Philippines on Dec. 10, 1898, through the Treaty of Paris made it a colony of the United States, a godsend to the planters for the badly needed manpower.

Thus from the early1900's Filipinos went to Hawaii to work in the sugar plantations, and then to the pineapple plantations.  By 1909, the Philippines was the dominant recruitment pool. After 1920, HSPA recruitment was largely confined to the Ilocos region in northern Luzon, because Ilocanos are known for their work ethic, industry, frugality and simplicity. Between 1906 and 1930, the HSPA had brought in approximately 120,000 Filipinos to Hawaii. Comprising only 19 percent of the plantation workforce in 1917, the sakadas jumped to 70 percent by 1930. ... And eventually, in 1965, immigration laws were liberalized to admit not only family members but also professionals, including doctors, nurses, engineers, lawyers, accountants, teachers, health technicians and others with college educations and marketable skills.

Many of  the migrant workers from the Philippines who had sought and found greener pastures in Hawaii Islands are members of the Iglesia ni Cristo..

The setting couldn't have been more perfect. Hawaii, America's 50th state is  also among its states in the Far West (The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 1976, p. 88). That it was in this island state where the Church would establish its pioneering mission for its worldwide expansion was not a matter of coincidence, but of divine providence. Biblical prophecy decrees:

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

And so, it came to pass that in this Aloha State in the Pacific, particularly in its capital and economic center,   Honolulu,  the Iglesia ni Cristo—the true Church of Christ that emerged in the Far East made its propitious entry into the a Western hemisphere.
The migration of Filipinos to Hawaii:4-pic-sugarcane harvest
1906 marked the beginning of an aggressive campaign for the recruitment of Filipino farm laborers by the Hawaiian Sugar Planters Association (HSPA) to work on the sugar plantations in Hawaii. Sugar was king in those days, and newly opened plantations were in desperate need of a plentiful labor supply. By the 1930s the sakadas had become the majority of the plantation workforce, replacing the Japanese. This caused some tension between the two competing ethnic groups.  

The annexation by the United States of two foreign territories -- Hawaii and the Philippines -- would have profound implications for the burgeoning sugar industry. The annexation of Hawaii opened up additional acreage for sugar cultivation and producers were given privileges similar to those on the U.S. continent.
art
The annexation of the Philippines on Dec. 10, 1898, through the Treaty of Paris made it a colony of the United States, a godsend to the planters. This meant that as American subjects, Filipinos could be recruited to work on the Hawaii sugar plantations without any immigration restrictions. As early as 1901, when the Philippine-American War was still raging, the HSPA had suggested to Washington that Filipinos, now under American colonial rule, could be recruited to work on the Hawaii plantations....

A new era, which would dramatically alter the demographic future of Hawaii, had begun. As an American colony with a very large rural population, the Philippines promptly became the primary source of cheap labor for the Hawaii plantations. By 1909, the only other source of labor was Puerto Rico, another U.S. colonial possession, but the Philippines was the dominant recruitment pool. Before 1920, the largest group of sakada recruits came from the Visayan islands in central Philippines.

4-pics-sugarcane harvest2After 1920, HSPA recruitment was largely confined to the Ilocos region in northern Luzon, a narrow coastal strip of land where life was hard, the population dense and the land not fertile for agricultural purposes. The vast majority of Hawaii's Filipinos came and continue to come from this region in northern Philippines. They were the prime candidates for plantation labor because Ilocanos (also spelled Ilokanos) are known for their work ethic, industry, frugality and simplicity. 

Between 1906 and 1930, the HSPA had brought in approximately 120,000 Filipinos to Hawaii. Comprising only 19 percent of the plantation workforce in 1917, the sakadas jumped to 70 percent by 1930. ... The last group of 6,000 sakadas from the Ilocos arrived shortly before Philippine independence was regained from the United States in 1946. After that the quota was limited to 50 a year, later increased to 100. It was only toward the late 1950s that immigration laws enabled Filipinos already in Hawaii to get their families beyond the quotas.  And in 1965, immigration laws were liberalized to admit not only family members but also professionals, including doctors, nurses, engineers, lawyers, accountants, teachers, health technicians and others with college educations and marketable skills. The 2000 Census lists the Filipino and part-Filipino community as numbering more than 275,000, or nearly 23 percent of the Hawaii state population. Current immigration from the Philippines at 4,000 a year and a higher birth rate than other groups will accelerate the community's growth, making it very much a part of Hawaii's future.
Source:
Why did Filipinos come to Hawaii? By Belinda A. Aquino  http://archives.starbulletin.com/2005/12/11/editorial/special.htmlskills.

The fulfillment  of  God's prophetic pronouncement about the gathering
of His sons and daughters in the Far West.
And so, it came to pass that in July 27, 1968 God's children from the Philippines in the Far East was gathered (in the first worship service outside the Philippines) in Honolulu, Hawaii in the Far West.
A  PROMISE   FULFILLED: 

As God foretold:
"From the far east will I bring your offspring, and from the far west I will gather you" (Isa. 43:5, James Moffatt Translation)

It was with a whistle of the tune of  "Ako'y Iglesia ni Cristo " (I am a member of the Church of Christ) that pioneering   brethren of Honolulu Congregation first  met and  were  brought  together.   Most of  them were  poor migrant  workers from Philippines who had sought and found greener pastures in Hawaii, in the Far Western region of the United States of America.

Longing to uphold their faith in this foreign soil, the brethren unrelentingly searched one another. Some would look for their fellow Christians even after work hours, during weekends and holidays. Through God's help, their number grew quickly. As early as 1967, the Iglesia ni Cristo migrants to Hawaii started conducting prayer group meetings and also kept a regular correspondence with the Church Administration in the Philippines informing them of the brethren's activities and their thirst for the spiritually  uplifting congregational worship services.

Knowing the great significance of the congregational worship services to their spiritual growth, the group held devotional prayers and wrote to the Church Administration requesting that a minister of the gospel be sent to their place to oversee the brethren and attend to their spiritual needs. They were admonished by the Church Administration to continue praying to God, so that He may grant their request at the opportune time.


On   the 54th year after the Church of Christ's re-emergence in the Far East, Brother Erano Manalo officiated at the  first ever worship service gathering   of the children of God in these last days outside the Philippines which marked   the   fulfillment  of   God's prophetic pronouncement about the gathering of His sons and daughters in the Far West, On a warm afternoon on July 27, 1968, at the residence of Brother Jesus and Sister Marciana Agapay, a small sugar plantation   house  situated   along Bond Street in Ewa Beach; Honolulu, Hawaii, more than 40 brethren gathered to worship the Lord God.

Thus, 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 Honolulu, as the first local congregation of the Church in the Far West and in the Church's expansion in various parts of the world.
2-Old House Hawaii
The old house at 1782 Bond Street, Ewa Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii where the first worship service in the Far West was held.
2-EGM Hawaii Brethren2
Brethren in Honolulu, Hawaii after the Church First Worship Service outside the Philippines and in the Far West.  Photo on the right show Brother Erano G, Manalo while unveiling the scroll declaring the official establishment of the first local congregation of of the Iglesia ni Cristo in Honolulu, Hawaii in the Far West. >>>
2-EGM Hawaii Scroll 
From Honolulu, Hawaii to San Francisco, California, USA, also in the Far West, the Church of Christ - the Iglesia ni Cristo gathered God's childern in the Far West and the Church expanded rapidly all over the globe.
Click to see and have a good idea about the global reach of the Iglesia ni Cristo today.
►►►
  Directory of Iglesia ni Cristo Places of Worship outside the Philippines

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