Is Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) the Church from the Far East or Far West?

One of the favorite verses used by the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) to buttress its claim that the Catholic Church apostasized after the death of the apostles and the reemergence of the true Church in the Far East is Isaiah (43:5-6):

“Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back’. Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth.” (New International Version)

Moffatt Translation: “From the far east will I bring your offspring, and from the far west I will gather you.” (emphasis ours)

Today’s English Version: “Do not be afraid—I am with you! From the dis­tant east and the farthest west I will bring your people home.” (emphasis ours)

as quoted by Marlex C. Cantor of INC-Pasugo.

But we must note that Isaiah is a Jew and his prophecies are meant for the Jewish people.  if we look at the Isaiah passage carefully, we see that the text simply says that the Jews, after their diaspora, will be gathered again from all the four corners of the world: East, West, North, and South.  This in fact happenned after their Babylonian captivity in 586 BC and their subsequent return in 538 BC, as recorded in the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah.  This also happenned again after the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 by the Romans and the return of the Jews to form the State of Israel in May 14, 1948.   Thus, the passage in Isaiah speaks of the gathering up of the Jews after their diaspora and not the formation of Iglesia ni Cristo in the Far East.

Why do the INC insist in the Far East?  If we follow the Moffatt translation, the new Church of Christ could also have been in the Far West.  And Far North and Far South, for that matter, for these places must also “give up” the sons of Israel.

In the passage of Isaiah, the center of the world is in Israel: everything else is determined with respect to it–East and West, North and South.  When INC tries to apply that passage to the modern era, the division of the world into East and West is not anymore centered on Jerusalem, but somewhere between Rome (the Western Roman Empire) and Byzantium or Constantinople  (The Eastern Roman Empire)–now in Istanbul, Turkey.  Great Britain, a western civilization, became an worldwide empire in the Modern Age and the terms Near East, Middle East, and Far East was invented, still with respect to the old boundaries of the Old Roman Empires:

The term Far East was popularized in the English language during the period of the British Empire as a blanket term for lands to the east of British India. Prior to World War I, the Near East referred to relatively nearby lands of the Ottoman Empire, Middle East to northwestern South Asia and Central Asia, and Far East for countries along the western Pacific Ocean and countries along the eastern Indian Ocean.(Wikipedia)

The Eastern and Western Roman Empires were two halves of the Roman Empire under Theodosius I, who made Catholicism as the empire’s official religion.  Thus, if INC insists that it rose from the Far East, then INC accepts the division of the world defined by Christians in general and Catholics in particular.  INC is not a Christian church, since it denies the divinity of Christ.  INC is closer to Islam, who claims that “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet.”  For INC, “There is no God but the God of Jesus, Jesus is his prophet, and Manalo is his last prophet.”

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About Quirino M. Sugon Jr
Theoretical Physicist in Manila Observatory

8 Responses to Is Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) the Church from the Far East or Far West?

  1. Truth says:

    ANG CRISTO BA AY DIOS?
    ANG TUNAY NA KALAGAYAN NI CRISTO

    Ang mga Pagpapahayag ng Dios Tungkol Kay Cristo

    At narito, ang isang tinig na mula sa mga langit, na nagsasabi. Ito ang sinisinta kong Anak, na siya kung lubos na kinalulugdan (Mateo 3:17).

    Ang mga Pagpapahayag ng Tunay na Propeta ng Dios na si Cristo ay Hindi Dios Kahit Anak Siya ng Dios

    Na nakita ng mga anak ng Dios, na magaganda ang mga anak na babae ng mga tao; at sila’y nangagsikuha ng kanikaniyang asawa sa lahat ng kanilang pinili (Genesis 6:2).

    Ang mga Pagpapahayag ni Cristo sa Kaniyang Sarili na Siya Taong Isinugo at Hindi Dios

    JUAN 4:34 Sinabi sa kanila ni Jesus, Ang pagkain ko ay ang aking gawin ang kaloban ng sa akin ay nagsugo, at tapusin ang kaniyang gawa.

    JUAN 5:17 Datapuwa’t sinagot sila ni Jesus, Hanggang ngayo’y gumagawa ang aking Ama, at ako’y gumagawa. 30 Hindi ako makagagawa ng anoman sa aking sarili: humahatol ako ayon sa aking naririnig: at ang paghatol ko’y matuwid; sapagka’t hindi ko pinaghahanap ang aking sariling kalooban, kundi ang kalooban niyaong nagsugo sa akin.

    JUAN 6:29 Sumago si Jesus at sa kanila’y sinabi, Ito ang ginawa ng Dios, na inyong sampalatayanan yaong kaniyang sinugo. 44 Walang taong makalalapit sa akin, maliban nang ang Amang nagsugo sa akin ang sa kaniya’y magdala sa akin; at siya’y aking ibabangon sa huling araw.

    JUAN 8:40 Datapuwa’t ngayo’y pinagsisikapan ninyo akong patayin, na taong sa inyo’y nagsaysay ng katotohanan, na aking narinig sa Dios: Ito’y hindi ginawa ni Abraham. 42 Sinabi sa kanila ni Jesus, Kung ang Dios ang inyong ama, ay inyong iibigin ako: sapagka’t ako’y nagmula at nanggaling sa Dios; sapagka’t hindi ako naparito sa aking sarili, kundi sinugo niya ako.

    JUAN 12:44 At si Jesus ay sumigaw at nagsabi, Ang sumasampalataya sa akin, ay hindi sa akin sumasampalataya, kundi doon sa nagsugo sa akin. 49 Sapagka’t ako’y hindi nagsasalita na mula sa aking sarili; kundi ang Ama na sa akin ay nagsugo, ay siyang nagbigay sa akin ng utos, kung ano ang dapat kong sabihin, at kung ano ang dapat kong salitain.

    JUAN 13:16 Katotohanan, katotohanang sinasabi ko sa inyo, Ang alipin ay hindi dakila kay sa kaniyang panginoon; ni ang sinugo man ay hindi dakila kay sa nagsugo sa kaniya. 20 Katotohanan, katotohanang sinasabi ko sa inyo, Ang tumatanggap sa sinoman sinusugo ko ay ako ang tinatanggap, at ang tumatanggap sa akin ay tinatanggap ang nagsugo sa akin.

    JUAN 14:2 Sa bahay ng aking Ama ay maraming tahanan; kung di gayon, ay sinabi ko sana sa inyo; sapagka’t ako’y paroroon upang ipaghanda ko kayo ng dakong kalalagyan.

    JUAN 15:20 Alalahanin ninyon ang salitang sa inyo’y aking sinabi, Ang alipin ay hindi dakila kay sa kaniyang panginoon. Kung ako’y kanilang pinagusig, kayo man ay kanilang paguusigin din; kung tinupad nila ang aking salita, ang inyo man ay tutuparin din.

    JUAN 17:2 Gaya ng ibinigay mo sa kaniya ang kapamahalaan sa lahat ng laman upang bigyan niya ng buhay na walang hanggan ang lahat ng ibinigay mo sa kaniya. 3 At ito ang buhay na walang hanggan, na ikaw ay makilala nila na iisang Dios na tunay, at siyang iyong sinugo sa makatuwid bagay si Jesucristo.

    JUAN 20:17 Sinabi sa kaniya ni Jesus, Huwag mo akong hipuin; sapagka’t hindi pa ako nakakaakyat sa Ama, ngauni’t pumaroon ka sa aking mga kapatid, at sabihin mo sa kanila, Aakyat ako sa aking Ama at inyong Ama, at aking Dios at inyong Dios.

    LUCAS 4:18 Sumasa akin ang Espiritu ng Panginoon, Sapagka’t ako’y pinahiran niya upang ipangaral ang mabubuting balita sa mga dukha: Ako’y sinugo niya upang itanyag sa mga bihag ang pagkaligtas, At sa mga bulag ang pagkakita, Upang bigyan ng kalayaan ang nangaapi.

    LUCAS 10:16 Ang nakikinig sa inyo, ay sa akin nakikinig; at ang nagtatakuwil sa inyo ay ako ang itnatakuwil; at ang nagtatakuwil sa akin ay itinatakuwil ang sa aki’y nagsugo.

    LUCAS 24:39 Tingnan ninyo ang aking mga kamay at ang aking mga paa, ako rin nga: hipuin ninyo ako, at tingnan; sapagkat ang isang espiritu’y walang laman at mga buto, na gaya ng inyong nakikita na nasa akin.

    Ang mga Pagpapahayag ng mga Tunay na Apostol ni Cristo Tungkol kay Cristo ay Taong Isinugo at Hindi Dios Kahit Anak Siya ng Dios

    At sumagot si Simon Pedro at sinabi, Ikaw ang Cristo, Ang anak ng Dios na buhay (Mateo 16:16).

    Nguni’t tungkol sa araw at oras na yaon walang makakaalam, kahit ang mga anghel sa langit, kahit ang Anak, kundi ang Ama lamang (Mateo 24:36).

    Datapuwa’t pagparito ng Anak ng tao na nasa kaniyang kaluwalhatian, na kasama niya nag lahat ng mga anghel, kung magkagayo’y luluklok siya sa luklukan ng kaniyang kaluwalhatian (Mateo 25:31):

    Datapuwa’t ang lahat ng sa kaniya’y nagsitanggap, ay pinagkalooban niya sila ng karapatang maging mga anak ng Dios, sa makatuwid baga’y ang mga nagsisampalataya sa kaniyang pangalan (Juan 1:12).

    Sapagka’t ang sinugo ng Dios ay nagsasalita ng mga salita ng Dios: sapagka’t hindi niya ibnibigay ang Espiritu sa pamamagitan ng sukat. Sinisinta ng Ama ang Anak, at inilagay sa kaniyang kamay ang lahat ng mga bagay (Juan 3:34-35).

    Nguni’t nang magsiparron sila kay Jesus, at makitang siya’y patay na, ay hindi na nila inumog ang kaniyang mga hita (Juan 19:33):

    Siya, na ibinigay sa takdang pasiya at paunang kaalaman ng Dios, kayo sa pamamagitan ng mga kamay ng mga tampalasan ay inyong ipinako sa krus at pintay: Ang Jesus na ito’y binuhay na maguli ng Dios, at tungkol dito’y mga saksi kaming lahat. Pakatalastasin nga ng buong angkan ni Israel, na ginawa ng Dios na Panginoon at Cristo itong si Jesus na inyong ipinako sa krus (Mga Gawa 2:23, 32 & 36).

    Talastasin ninyong lahat, at ng buong bayan ng Israel, na sa pangalan ni Jesucristong taga Nazaret, na inyong ipinako sa krus, na binuhay ng Dios na maguli sa mga patay, dahil sa kaniya ay nakatindig ang taong ito sa inyong harap na walang sakit (Mga Gawa 4:10).

    Siya’y pinadakila ng Dios ng kaniyang kanang kamay upang maging Principe at Tagapagligtas, upang magbigay ng pagsisisi sa Israel, at kapatawaran ng mga kasalanan (Mga Gawa 5:31).

    Na ang buong nilalang naman ay magiging laya mula sa pagkaalipin ng kabulukan sa kalayaang maluwalhati ng mga anak ng Dios (Roma 8:21).

    Ay nagsalita sa atin sa mga huling araw na ito sa pamamagitan, ng kaniyang Anak, na siyang itinalaga na tagapagmana ng lahat ng mga bagay, na sa pamamagitan naman niya’y ginawa ang sanglibutan (Hebreo 1:2);

    Gaano pa kaya ang dugo ni Cristo, na sapamamagitan ng Espiritu na walang hanggan ay inihandog ang kaniyang sarili na walang dungis sa Dios, ay maglilinis ng inyong budhi sa mga gawang patay upang magsipaglingkod sa Dios na buhay? (Hebreo 9:14)

    Ngunit sa ganang atin ay may isang Dios lamang, ang Ama, na buhat sa kaniya ang lahat ng mga bagay, at tayo’y sa kaniya; at isa lamang Panginoon, si Jesucristo, na sa pamamagitan niya ang lahat ng mga bagay, at tayo’y sa pamamagitan niya (I Corinto 8:6).

    Datapwa’t si Cristo nga’y muling binuhay sa mga patay na siya ay naging pangunahing bunga ng nangatutulog. Sapagka’t yamang sa pamamagitan ng tao’y dumating ang kamatayan, sa pamamagitan din naman ng tao’y dumating ang pagkabuhay na maguli sa mga patay (I Mga Taga Corinto 15:20-21).

    Datapuwa’t nang dumating ang kapanahunan ay sinugo ng Dios ang kaniyang Anak, na ipinanganak ng isang babae, na ipinanganak sa ilalim ng kautusan (Galatia 4:4),

    Na kaniyang ginawa kay Cristo, nang ito’y kaniyang buhaying maguli sa mga patay, at pinaupo sa kaniyang kanan sa sangkalangitan (Efeso 1:20),

    Kaya siya naman ay pinakadakila ng Dios, at siya’y binigyan ng pangalang lalo sa lahat ng pangalan (Filipos 2:9);

    Sapagka’t may isang Dios at may isang Tagapamagitan sa Dios at sa mga tao, ang taong si Cristo Jesus (I Timoteo 2:5).

    Na siya’y hindi nagkasala, o kinasumpungan man ng daya ang kaniyang bibig (I Pedro 2:22):

  2. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:

    Truth,

    That was a long comment. Please check if my summary of your arguments is correct:

    1. Christ is not God even if he is the Son of God, because the sons of God intermarry with women.
    2. Christ does not refer to himself as God but the man sent by God. The one who sends (the Father) is greater than whom he sends (the Son).
    3. Christ refers to the Father as his God. Therefore Christ is not God because there is only one God.
    4. There is only one God (the Father) and one Lord (Jesus).
    5. Because Christ is man, therefore he cannot be God.

  3. tasyongtambay says:

    But the problem here is, the INC members worship Jesus as a man.
    They worship a man, not a God!

  4. christian says:

    In short the INC (of Manalo a family corporation) believes that Christ is a man, Manalo is an angel and they are the ones who’ll only be save. What a blasphemy!

  5. Truth says:

    TO QUIRINO M. SUGON JR. & A PROPHESIED CHRISTIAN

    DID CHRIST SAID HE IS GOD? OR A MAN? CHRIST said;
    (John 8:40 Ibid) but now you seek to kill me, A MAN who HAS TOLD YOU THE TRUTH THAT I HEARD FROM GOD

    THE TEACHING CHRIST IS GOD INDICATES THE ANTI CHRIST TEACHING BECAUSE THEY AGAINST THE STATEMENT OF CHRIST OUR SAVIOR. CHRIST HIMSELF SAID me(I) A MAN WHO TOLD YOU THE TRU…TH THAT I HEARD FROM GOD.

    GOD LOVES US AND HE WANTS US ALL TO BE SAVE. DON’T LET YOUR HEART & EYES CLOSED. THESE WAS PRESENTED TO YOU TO KNOW THE TRUTH TO SALVATION. GOD GIVEN US FREE WILL BUT HE SAID CHOOSE LIFE SO YOU MAY LIVE TO ETERNAL LIFE / HEAVEN.. TO KNOW THE TRUE GOD IS THE FATHER ALONE AND THIS IS ETERNAL LIFE.

    THE FACTS THAT CHRIST IS MAN AND NOT GOD does not mean, however, that Jesus Christ is just an ordinary man like us. CHRIST IS FAR GREATER THAN ALL OF US. We do not subscribe to the belief that Christ is God-Man. He is man in nature according to His own testimony.

    WHAT IS THE TRUE NATURE OF CHRIST?

    CHRIST says;

    (John 8:40 Ibid) but now you seek to kill me, A MAN who HAS TOLD YOU THE TRUTH THAT I HEARD FROM GOD
    (John 19:28 Ibid) I AM THIRSTY

    TRUE CHRISTIANS says;

    (1 Timothy 2:5 Ibid) THE MAN Christ Jesus
    (Acts 17:31 Ibid) A MAN (CHRIST) whom he (GOD) has appointed
    (Matthew 4:2 Ibid) After fasting forty days and forty nights, he (CHRIST) WAS HUNGRY
    (John 4:6 Ibid) JESUS, TIRED as he was from the journey
    (Matthew 8:24 Ibid) JESUS WAS SLEEPING
    (Matthew 27:50 Ibid) Once again Jesus shouted, and then he (CHRIST) DIED

    IS CHRIST GOD AND BECAME MAN?

    (Ezekiel 28:2) A MAN IS NOT A GOD

    WHO IS THAT MAN DID GOD PROMISED TO BE A SAVIOR?

    (Acts 13:23 Ibid) JESUS (CHRIST), who is God’s promised Savior of Israel

    WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE CHRIST MAN AND US A MAN?

    (I Peter 2:22) he (CHRIST) NEVER SINNED, nor ever deceived anyone.

    WHAT GOD DID TO CHRIST?

    CHRIST says;

    (Matthew 28:18 Ibid) I HAVE BEEN GIVE ALL AUTHORITY IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH

    TRUE CHRISTIAN says;

    (Philippians 2:9 Ibid) GOD ELEVATED HIM (CHRIST) to the place of highest honor and gave him (Christ) the name above all other names
    (Acts 2:36) So let everyone in Israel know for certain that GOD HAS MADE THIS JESUS, whom you crucified, to be BOTH LORD AND MESSIAH!”

    WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THE MESSIAH? THE ANOINTED ONE – The anointing meant that someone was authorized TO SERVE GOD ONLY. One was given the title of “the Anointed One (CHRIST – JESUS OF NAZARETH).
    (Acts 5:31 Ibid) Then GOD PUT HIM (Christ) in the place of honor at his right hand AS PRINCE AND SAVIOR

    CHRIST IS GOD WHO IS IN THE RIGHT HAND OF THE TRUE GOD?

    GOD says;

    (Isaiah 45:5 Ibid) there is no God beside me

    WHAT GOD PROCLAIMED ABOUT JESUS CHRIST?

    GOD says;

    (Matthew 3:17 Ibid) THIS IS MY DEARLY BELOVED SON (CHRIST), who brings me great joy

    WHAT CHRIST DID THAT HE BRINGS GREAT JOY TO GOD?

    (Philippians 2:8 Ibid) he (CHRIST) humbled himself in obedience to God

    CHRIST IS GOD BECAUSE HE IS THE SON OF GOD?

    (Romans 8:14) For ALL WHO ARE LED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD ARE SONS OF GOD
    (John 1:12) But to ALL WHO DID RECEIVE HIM all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God

    HOW MANY AND WHO IS OUR MEDIATOR TO GOD?

    CHRIST says;

    (John 14:6 Ibid) I am the way, the truth, and the life. NO ONE CAN COME TO THE FATHER EXCEPT THROUGH ME (CHRIST)

    TRUE CHRISTIAN says;

    (1 Timothy 2:5 Ibid) ONE MEDIATOR who can reconcile God and humanity—THE MAN CHRIST JESUS
    (1 Peter 3:18) For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous THAT he (CHRIST) MIGHT BRING US TO GOD

    DID CHRIST KNOWS WHEN HIS SECOND COMING?

    (Mark 13:32) “But concerning that day or that hour, NO ONE KNOWS, not even the angels in heaven, NOR THE SON (CHRIST), BUT ONLY THE FATHER

    DID CHRIST CAN DO EVERYTHING WITHOUT GOD IN HIM?

    (John 5:19 Ibid) the Son (CHRIST) can do nothing of his own accord

    IS CHRIST SUBJECTED TO GOD?

    (1 Corinthians 15:28) When all things are subjected to him, then THE SON (CHRIST) HIMSELF WILL ALSO BE SUBJECTED TO HIM (GOD) who put all things in subjection under him, THAT GOD MAY BE ALL IN ALL

    IS CHRIST EQUAL TO GOD?

    CHRIST says;

    (John 17:24 Ibid) I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.

    VARIOUS QUESTIONS:

    (John 1:1 Ibid) In the beginning was the Word,
    ANSWER: *(Acts 2:23 Ibid) the DEFINITE PLAN and FOREKNOWLEDGE OF GOD
    *(John 17:24 Ibid Christ said) you loved me before the foundation of the world.

    (John 1:1 Ibid) and the Word was with God,
    ANSWER: *(John 1:14 Ibid) And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us

    (John 1:1 Ibid) and the Word was God.
    ANSWER: *(Hebrews 1:2 Ibid) in these last days he (GOD) HAS SPOKEN TO US BY HIS SON, whom he (CHRIST) APPOINTED THE HEIR OF ALL THINGS, through whom also he (GOD) created the world.
    *(Acts 10:42 Ibid) he (CHRIST) is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead.
    *(John 1:3 Ibid) All things were made through him (CHRIST)
    *(Matthew 28:18 Ibid Christ said )All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me

    THE ANTI CHRIST MANIPULATES PEOPLE IN VERSE JOHN 1:1 AND MANY VERSES BY GIVING THEIR OWN PERSONAL CONCLUSION THAT CHRIST IS GOD.
    1. Absolutely we cannot read in the Holy Bible that God said his Son
    Jesus Christ is God and God did not tell I will transform to a Man.
    2. Absolutely we cannot read in the Holy Bible that True Prophets that
    the Christ who will come is our God who became a man.
    3. Absolutely we cannot read in the Holy Bible that Christ said I am
    God.

    Based on God plan men ought to be in union with Christ through the Church where Christ established which is the Church of Christ (Ephesians 1:4-5, Matthew 16:18; Acts 20:28) Christ Himself is the SAVIOR of the Church (Ephesians 5:23) and this is where God added daily those who were being saved (Acts 2:47).

  6. Nito says:

    According to Roman 9: 5 – Romans 9:5 Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen. ” If the INC insist that Christ is not God therefore they are “Anti-Christ”.

  7. Nito says:

    If Jesus Christ is just an ordinary man, Why he entered the room with having closed windows and closed doors where his apostles are gathered. If then, would the INC state the concrete evidence other than Jesus Christ who is an ordinary man can entered as Jesus Christ did? If not, they are neglecting Jesus as God. The real will come out that they are an “Anti-Christ”.

  8. Nito says:

    Titus 2:13 …while we wait for the blessed hope — the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
    The apostle Paul recognized Jesus as “our great God and Savior”! This is a forthright assertion of the deity of Christ.
    2 Peter 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:
    The apostle Peter, too, an earthly companion and disciple of the Son of God, fully understood the identity of “our God and Savior Jesus Christ”.

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