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Iglesia ni Cristo
The Iglesia ni Cristo (IPA: [iːˈglɛ.ʃɑː niː ˈkriːstəʊ]; Filipino for Church of Christ), or INC, is a church which was established in the Philippines by Felix Manalo in 1914. The INC believes to be the church belonging to Jesus Christ. THE EMERGENCE OF the Iglesia Ni Cristo in the Philippines fulfils the prophecies of God written in the Bible concerning His sons and daughters whom He will call from the Far East in these last days (cf. Isaiah 43:5-6 and Moffatt; 41:9-15; 46:11-13; Acts 2:39; John 10:16; Revelation 7:2-3). These biblical prophecies have also pointed to a servant of God whom He will send to lead God’s chosen people from the ends of the earth:
“Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, THOU ART MY SERVANT; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away. Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” (Isaiah 41:9-10 KJV,emphasis mine)
God said to His “servant” whom He “have taken from the ends of the earth have chosen thee, and not cast thee away.” Another biblical prophecy points out that God’s messenger from the ends of the earth will came from “a far country” in the East, or the Far East:
“Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it. Hearken unto me, ye stout-hearted, that are far from righteousness: I bring near my righteousness; it shall not be far off, and my salvation shall not tarry: and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory.” (Isaiah 46:11-13 KJV)
The “ravenous bird from the east” mentioned in Isaiah 46:11 is also the the man that executeth God’s counsel from a far country. Through him, God will bring near His righteousness. Thus, the messenger of God from the ends of the earth, from the Far East, is a preacher of the Gospel for the righteousness of God that He will bring near to the people through this messenger is the the Gospel which is also the power of God to salvation:
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.’” (Romans 1:16-17 NKJV)
Brother Felix Y. Manalo is the messenger of God from the ends of the earth and from the Far East, whom God sent to perform this task. God has given His messenger the assurances that He will help and strengthen him in pursuing such noble task in the face of tremendous odds and difficulties. God said to Him:
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” (Isaih 41:10 KJV)
The growth and development of the Igleia Ni Cristo from its humble beginnings to its present dynamic stature, attest to the fulfilment of these prophecies. The membership of the Church increased at a phenomenal rate from a handful of adherents gathered in its pioneering years to the millions now scattered in many parts of the world.
The houses of worship that the Church has built has effectively changed the Philippine landscape which the Catholic Church used to dominate. The iglesia Ni Cristo houses of worship now can also be seen in different parts of the world where the Church gained a foothold.
The power of the unity of the Church members, their vitality in their practice of religion, their fidelity to the doctrines taught to them, and their unswerving resolve to surmount all difficultiesare indications of a vibrant faith – the result of the preaching functions of the late Brother Felix Y. Manalo.
church does not believe in the religious teachings of the Trinity, including the teaching that Jesus is God.
Felix Manalo joined many religious organizations as a young adult. He said that God gave him a mission to teach the gospel and to bring back the first church made by Jesus. The INC began with a handful of followers on July 27, 1914 in Punta, Santa Ana, Manila, with Manalo as highest minister. It has now spread to many different countries.
Beliefs and teachings
Some of the teachings INC believes in are:
- God is the one who made the Heavens and the Earth, and he is the only god.
- There is no Holy Trinity; God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are not one.
- Jesus is the Son of God.
- The Holy Spirit is the power given to Jesus to teach and for us to help us with our problems.
- Manalo was God's last messenger.
- God chose INC members to serve him.
- INC is the same church as the Christian church in the first century.
- INC is God's true church, and the only way to be saved.
- INC believes in baptism by water.
- Members must follow the Administration and the Administration must follow the words of Christ.
- Members should live a life of good.
- Members must not eat food made with blood or marry a non-member.
- It is everyone's job to worship God by going to worship services two times a week.
- Members should treat each other like brother and sister.
- The church should act as one; this includes voting.
- The dead will come back to life and either be blessed or punished.
- Jesus will come again very soon because the signs that He is coming back (such as war, famine and earthquake) have happened.
- A holy city is being made by Jesus for INC members to live when he comes back.
- Sanders, Albert J., "An Appraisal of the Iglesia ni Cristo," in Studies in Philippine Church History, ed. Anderson, Gerald H. (Cornell University Press, 1969)
- Introducing the Iglesia ni Cristo Booklet, 1989, pp.1-16
- Crisostomo, Isabelo T. 'Felix Y. Manalo and the Iglesia ni Cristo', Pasugo (May-June 1986)
- Suarez, E. T. 'Iglesia ni Cristo turns 91 today' Manila Bulletin (July 27, 2005)