THE IGLESIA NI CRISTO
A Brief History
Our Primary Purpose
What We Believe And Why
“IGLESIA NI CRISTO” is the Pilipino for “Church Of Christ” (English) and “Iglesia De Cristo” (Spanish). This name (Church Of Christ) is the name of the Church explicitly written in the Bible. In Romans 16:16, thus the Bible says:
“Greet one another with a holy kiss. The churches of Christ greet you.” (Romans 16:16 NKJV)
The victory of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) is already seen all over the globe. Now in over 100 countries and territories around the world and comprising over 100 different nationalities, the Iglesia Ni Cristo is one of the biggest religious organizations today.
When, where and how the Iglesia Ni Cristo started? What is its main purpose of being? What are its beliefs and practices? What is Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ)?
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE
IGLESIA NI CRISTO
(Church Of Christ)
|House of Worship of the Locale of Punta, Sta. Ana, Manila,|
the first locale congregation of the Iglesia Ni Cristo
The Lord Jesus Christ established His Church during His earthly ministry (cf. Matt. 16:18; Luke 12:32; Acts 20:28). This Church that Christ built was called after His name (Acts 4:12), thus, it was called “Church of Christ” (Romans 16:16; Acts 20:28 Lamsa). However, the Church founded by Christ in the first-century was apostatized (I Tim. 4:1 and 3). The Lord Jesus Christ Himself warned His first-century disciples not only that they will be persecuted and put to death, and at the same time, false prophets will appear and deceive many, thus many of His disciples (those not killed through persecution) will turn away from the faith (Matt. 24:9-11 NIV).
Although apostasy will take place in the first-century Church Of Christ, the Lord Jesus Christ prophesied that He has other sheep “not of this fold” (John 10:16). He called them His other sheep because they do not belong to the “fold” or the “Church Of Christ” (Acts 20:28 Lamsa) of the first-century. Christ promised to “bring them also” and they will hear His voice, thus there will be one flock. Thus, this prophecy of the Lord Jesus Christ is His promise of re-establishing His Church of the Church Of Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ is the founder of the Iglesia Ni Cristo through the power of His prophetical words.
We firmly believe that the emergence of the Church Of Christ in the Philippines in 1914 was the fulfillment of Christ’s promise of re-establishing His Church after the first-century Church Of Christ was apostatized.
FROM THE FAR EAST
“From the far east will I bring your offspring...” (Isaiah 43:5 Moffatt)
The emergence of the Church Of Christ in the Philippines was the re-emergence of the one true Church that the Lord Jesus Christ founded. The emergence of the Iglesia Ni Cristo in the Philippines fulfilled another biblical prophecy, “From the far east will I bring your offspring...” (Isaiah 43:5 Moffatt).
Brother Felix Y. Manalo did not establish the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ). He was not the founder of the Iglesia Ni Cristo, but the messenger of God who was instrumental in preaching the Church Of Christ in these last days. Through his preaching work, the Church of Christ re-emerged in these last days, as the fulfillment of Christ’s prophecy.
The Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) was first preached by the late Brother Felix. Y. Manalo in the Philippine capital city of Manila. Its first local congregation was established in Punta, Sta. Ana. On July 27, 1914, the Church was registered with the Philippine government. Brother Felix Manalo was the first Executive Minister of the Iglesia Ni Cristo. He led the Church for almost half a century (1914-1963).
After fifty years from her humble beginning in 1914, the Church Of Christ had already established more than forty (40) ecclesiastical districts (roughly equivalent of Roman Catholic’s diocese) and more than 2,000 congregations all throughout the Philippines.
|Brother Felix Y. Manalo:|
God's Last Messenger
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Ten years before the passing of Brother Felix Manalo, an election was held in 1953 for who will succeed him as Executive Minister to lead the Iglesia Ni Cristo at his demise. During that historic event, Brother Eraño, the son of Brother Felix, was elected unanimously by senior ministers of the Church gathered at the House of Worship of the Iglesia Ni Cristo in Riverside, San Juan, Metro Manila (the central congregation of the Church during that time).
FROM FAR EAST TO FAR WEST
“From the far east will I bring your offspring, and from the far west I will gather you.” (Isaiah 43:5 Moffatt)
|Ewa Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii, 27 July 1968|
After the passing of Brother Felix Manalo in April of 1963, Brother Eraño G. Manalo assumed overall administration and continued the work and legacy of the leader before him. On July 27, 1968, the late Executive Minister, Brother Eraño Manalo, officiated the first worship service of the Church outside the Philippines. This gathering held in Ewa Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii marked the establishment of the Locale Congregation of Honolulu, the first overseas mission of the Church. The following month, the Executive Minister went to California to establish the San Francisco Congregation and lead its inaugural worship service. Both Hawaii and California belong to the region called “Far West” (1976 World Almanac and Book of Facts, p. 88). Thus, these are the official beginnings of the Church Of Christ in the Far West and the fulfillment of the second half of the prophecy written in Isaiah 43:5.
THE CHURCH OF CHRIST SPREAD
THROUGHOUT THE WEST
“From the west, men will fear the name of the LORD, and from the rising of the sun, they will revere his glory. For he will come like a pent-up flood that the breath of the LORD drives along.” (Isaiah 59:19 NIV)
From the establishment of the congregations in Hawaii and California in 1968, the Church of Christ spread like a wildfire in the west, and as the biblical prophecy puts it “like a pent-up flood.”
From 1968, congregations of the Church Of Christ proliferated in the United States and Canada. After three decades, the Church already has eight ecclesiastical districts and more than 500 congregations in the United States and Canada.
In 1972, the first locale congregation of the Church in Europe was established, the Locale of Battersea, London. In 1975, the first worship service in Germany was held. Brother Jose Salazar officiated the first worship service of the Locale of Bonn, Germany. In 1978, there were already two Group Worship Service in Madrid, Spain. In 1979, there was already a Group Worship Service in Rome, Italy.
In 1994, the Church Of Christ was officially established in Italy with special worship service held in Rome officiated by Brother Eraño Manalo. In 1995, the Church Of Christ was officially established in Jerusalem, Israel. The special worship service declaring the official establishment of the Locale of Jerusalem was officiated also by Brother Eraño Manalo. In 1997, the Locale of Athens, Greece, was established. Brother Eraño Manalo also officiated the special worship service in Athens declaring the official establishment of the Church Of Christ in Greece. In 2009, there were already two ecclesiastical districts in Europe.
Brother Eraño led the Church from 1963 to 2009. He died in August 31, 2009. When Brother Felix passed away in 1963, the Iglesia Ni Cristo then had already established more than 40 ecclesiastical districts and more than 2,000 congregations all throughout the Philippines. At the passing of Brother Eraño, the Church has more than 90 ecclesiastical districts and more than 5,000 congregations worldwide. The Church of Christ has congregations established at more than 90 countries and territories. The Church in 2009 was already a global church.
|Brother Eraño G. Manalo|
The Second Executive Minister of the Iglesia Ni Cristo
Brother Eraño G. Manalo (“Ka Erdy”) was born on January 2, 1925, when the Church was only twenty years old. It was Brother Felix Y. Manalo who gave his name, "Eraño," from the words "era" and "nuevo" ("new era") because he was born the day after the New Year. Indeed, Ka Erdy was the first to be called by that name “Eraño.” He was the fifth child of Brother Felix Y. Manalo and Sister Honorata De Guzman-Manalo. His older siblings were Pilar, Avelina, Dominador and Salvador. His youngest sibling was Bienvenido. He was ordained as minister of the Church on May 10, 1947. During the historic election of 1953, the supervising and senior ministers of the Church unanimously elected Brother Eraño as the next Executive Minister. For ten years, Brother Felix Manalo made an intensive training of Brother Eraño. Brother Felix died at April 12, 1963. In April 23, 1963, Brother Eraño took over the Executive Minister of the Church Of Christ. He was the second Executive Minister of the Church Of Christ serving from 1963 to 2009.
Like what Brother Felix did in 1953, Brother Eraño also called a special meeting of supervising and senior ministers in 1994 to held an election for the next Executive minister that will lead the Church after his passing. During that historic election, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, Brother Eraño’s son, was elected unanimously as the Deputy Executive Minister and as the next Executive Minister.
SHEPHERDING THE GLOBAL CHURCH
“As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever.” (Isaiah 59:21 KJV)
Brother Eduardo V. Manalo is the third and the present Executive Minister of the Church Of Christ. For only five years (from 2009 to 2014), Brother Eduardo’s stewardship of the Church is truly God-inspired. Of how God guided and blessed the leadership of Brother Felix Manalo and Brother Eraño Manalo, the Lord God continued to guide and blesses the leadership of Brother Eduardo V. Manalo.
From 2009 to 2014, for just five years, Brother Eduardo Manalo established the ecclesiastical districts of United Kingdom, Eastern Canada, Western Canada, Middle East, UAE, Northern East Asia, Southern East Asia, North Southeast Asia, and South Southeast Asia.
In the Philippines, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo established the ecclesiastical districts of Palawan North, Bulacan South, Tarlac North, Laguna East, and reorganizing Metro Manila into six districts: Metro Manila East, Metro Manila West, Metro Manila South, Metro Manila North, Quezon City and Central.
Also hundreds of new locale congregations were established worldwide as a result of the intensive evangelical missions launched worldwide. The Church Administration also built hundreds of new houses of worship in the Philippines and in different countries worldwide.
At the height of the Centennial celebration of the Iglesia Ni Cristo, the Church Of Christ inaugurated the Ciudad de Victoria complex and the two gigantic structures inside its vicinity (the Philippine Arena and the Philippine Sports Stadium). The Philippine Arena with 55,000-60,000 seating-capacities is said to be the largest indoor arena in he world.
The victories and achievements of the Church Of Christ are not the work of men. The Church that came from small and poor country and without any support from any government and other organizations is now recognized as one of the largest churches in the world. The present status of the Church Of Christ is indeed the work of God, the fulfillment of God’s promise to His messenger in these last days, Brother Felix Y. Manalo. In Isaiah 41:9-10 this is what God said:
“I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, 'You are my servant'; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:9-10 NIV)
The Lord God indeed fulfilled His promise to His last messenger, Brother Felix Y. Manalo, and continued fulfilling this promise to the present Executive Minister of the Church Of Christ, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo. He did all these great deeds to the Church Of Christ in these last days to make known to all that the hand of the Lord has done this:
“I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, 'You are my servant'; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
“So that people may see and know, may consider and understand, that the hand of the LORD has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it.” (Isaiah 41:9-10, 20 NIV)
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BROTHER EDUARDO V. MANALO:
BROTHER EDUARDO V. MANALO:
OUR CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION
|Aerial view of Philippine Arena at Ciudad de Victoria, Bocaue, Bulacan, philippines|
Last July 21, 2014, the Ciudad de Victoria complex and the Philippine Arena (the centerpiece of the Ciudad de Victoria complex) were inaugurated. The unveiling of the Marker was led by the INC Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, and the Philippine President, Benigno S. Aquino III.
On July 27, 2014, the Iglesia Ni Cristo celerated her Centennial Anniversary in Ciudad Victorioa complex, attended by one and half million people from different parts of the globe.
OUR PRIMARY PURPOSE
|Iglesia Ni Cristo Central Temple|
The Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) is a Christian religion whose primary purpose is to serve and worship the Almighty God based on His teachings recorded in the Bible, and to give glory to Him as stated in another biblical prophecy:
“Therefore in the east give glory to the LORD; exalt the name of the LORD, the God of Israel, in the islands of the sea. From the ends of the earth we hear singing: ‘Glory to the Righteous One.’...” (Isaiah 24:15-16 NIV)
OUR WORSHIP SERVICES
“Worship the LORD with joy; come before him with happy songs! Acknowledge that the LORD is God. He made us, and we belong to him; we are his people, we are his flock.” (Psalms 100:2-3 TEV)
This solemn gathering of the faithful is held twice a week (Midweek & Weekend) in the designated place of worship. It consists of hymn-singing, prayers, and study of God’s words for proper applications in daily living. Regarding our congregational worship service, this what Apostle Paul admonished the Christians:
“Let us not neglect our church meetings, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:25 Living Bible)
We diligently attend congregational worship services because this truly glorifies our Lord God.
WE BUILD HOUSES OF WORSHIP
“Go up to the mountains and bring wood and build the temple, that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified,’ says the LORD.” (Haggai 1:8 NKJV)
The Almighty God commanded us to build houses of worship, and this deed truly glorified Him. The house of worship is the main center for the religious activities of each local congregation, especially the worship of God. Today, the Iglesia Ni Cristo houses of worship can be found not only throughout the Philippines, but also in different countries where the Church gain foothold. These houses of worship stand as landmarks in every place they were built. Regarding the importance of the houses of worship especially in time of great needs, this what the Bible teaches:
“If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.” (II Chronicles 20:9 NIV)
We build houses of worship because this deed also glorifies our Almighty God.
OUR MISSIONARY WORKS
“This is good and it pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to come to know the truth.” (I Timothy 2:3-4 TEV)
The members gladly fulfill their duty to share the faith. They invite all people to attend Bible study sessions and worship services. The Church also conducts Evangelical Mission in different parts of the world as what the Bible mandated:
“I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, as you know, O LORD. I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and salvation. I do not conceal your love and your truth from the great assembly. Psalms (40:9-10 NIV)
The Church also uses mass media in spreading its message of hope to a broader audience:
· God’s Message (PASUGO) is the monthly official magazine of the Church Of Christ which carries mainly religious articles and Church news and features.
· DZEM (954 kHz) broadcasts programs that discuss Bible teachings. These programs are aired by about 60 other radio stations all over the Philippines and several more in the US and Australia. Live streaming is available at xxx.
· INCTV-49, as well as major cable stations in the Philippines and some channels in the US Direct TV ch 2068, telecast the Church’s religious programs featuring biblical teachings. Live streaming is available at xxx
· Iglesianicristo.net is the official website of the Church Of Christ where you can find updated directories of locales and worship service schedules worldwide.
· INC Media is the website of the Church Of Christ where the video on demand of Iglesia Ni Cristo Programming are available. To see the site just click www.incmedia.org
OFFERING OF THANSGIVING TO GOD
“Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High...
“He who brings thanksgiving as his sacrifice honors me...” (Psalms 50:14, 23 RSV)
Offering thanksgiving to God honors Him. The reason why the Church Of Christ offers thanksgiving to God every end of the year, every commemoration of the anniversary of the Church, and in every important events in our life. Being thankful to God is a practice taught by the Apostles to all Christians:
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” (Colossians 3:15 NIV)
GLORIFYING GOD THROUGH OUR WAY OF LIVING
“Let me add this, dear brothers: You already know how to please God in your daily living, for you know the commands we gave you from the Lord Jesus himself. Now we beg you-yes, we demand of you in the name of the Lord Jesus-that you live more and more closely to that ideal.” (I Thessalonians 4:1 TLB)
The apostles exhort true Christians to please (glorify) God through our daily living. This is through faithfully obeying everything that God has commanded us:
“If we faithfully obey everything that God has commanded us, he will be pleased with us.” (Deut. 6:25 TEV)
This is the reason why the Church Of Christ exhorts its members toward perfect unity of faith and practice, that each one will be devoted to a life of holiness founded on true Christian teaching.
WHAT WE BELIEVE AND WHY
|Iglesia Ni Cristo congregational worship service at|
Tndo House of Worship
The following are the fundamental beliefs or basic doctrines uphold by the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church If Christ):
· We believe that the Bible is the word of God which are able to give us the wisdom that leads to salvation:
“And you remember that ever since you were a child, you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instruction for right living, so that the person who serves God may be fully qualified and equipped to do every kind of good deed.” (II Timothy 3:15-17 TEV)
· The Bible is the sole basis of our faith. All the doctrines and belief of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) are written in the Bible. We reject unscriptural and unbiblical doctrines because the Bible commanded us that we must “not go beyond what is written”:
“Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, ‘Do not go beyond what is written.’ Then you will not take pride in one man over against another.” (I Corinthians 4:6 NIV)
· We believe in the absolute oneness of God that the Father alone is the one true God. The Church Of Christ believes in the teaching of Christ and the apostles that the Father alone is the true God: (John 17:1, 3; I Cor. 8:6)
“Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: ‘Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You...
“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." (John 17:1, 3 NKJV)
“Yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.” (I Corinthians 8:6 NKJV)
· We believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God (Matt. 16:16), as Lord and Savior (Acts 2:36; 5:31), and the mediator of man to God (I Tim. 2:5). However, the Bible explicitly tells us that the Lord Jesus Christ is man in nature. This is what the Lord Jesus Christ Himself admitted in John 8:40:
“I am a man who has told you the truth which I heard from God, but you are trying to kill me. Abraham did nothing like that.” (John 8:40 NCV)
The Bible clearly teaches that the Lord Jesus Christ is “a very special man”:
“My fellow Israelites, listen to these words: Jesus from Nazareth was A VERY SPECIAL MAN. God clearly showed this to you. He proved it by the miracles, wonders, and miraculous signs he did through Jesus. You all saw these things, so you know this is true. (Acts 2:22 ETRV, emphasis mine)
· We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is not God because He Himself said that His Father alone is the one true God and He is the one whom the one true God has sent (John 17:1, 3). The Bible explicitly tells us that the Lord Jesus Christ is the glorified servant of God:
“The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go.” (Acts 3:13 NKJV)
He was the man God made as Lord:
“So, all the people of Israel should know this for certain: GOD HAS MADE JESUS TO BE LORD and Messiah. HE IS THE MAN you nailed to the cross!” (Acts 2:36 ETRV, emphasis mine)
He was also the man that God also made as Savior:
“The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had murdered by hanging Him on a tree. GOD EXALTED THIS MAN TO HIS RIGHT HAND AS RULER AND SAVIOR, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.” (Acts 5:30-31, Holman Christian Standard Bible, emphasis mine)
· We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ established only one Church (Matt. 16:18), and this Church was called “Church Of Christ” (Romans 16:16). The Church Of Christ that the Lord Jesus Christ established is the true Christian religion:
“But if I delay, this letter will let you know how we should conduct ourselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth. No one can deny how great is the secret of our religion...” (I Timothy 3:15-16 TEV)
· We believe that the Church is one organized Church composed of members. The true Church Of Christ is not a conglomeration of churches or believers of Christ from different denominations, but the Church of Christ is one body with many members and that there should be no schism in the body as what the Bible explicitly teaches:
“For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ...
“But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased...
“That there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
“And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.” (I Corinthians 12:12, 18, 25-27, 28 NKJV)
· We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Savior and that the Church is the one that Christ will save as explicitly stated in Ephesians 5:23. The Lord Jesus Christ commanded those who want to be saved to enter Him (John 10:9). Those who hear this words of Christ will be made one flock (John 10:16). The flock referred to is the Church Of Christ (Acts 20:28 Lamsa). It is clearly written in the Bible that there is no salvation in any other:
“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12 NKJV)
· The Iglesia Ni Cristo observes the biblical way of baptism, which is immersion in water. Receiving baptism in the Church Of Christ is necessary for one to become a disciple of Christ, to be forgiven of sin, and to have hope for salvation (Acts 8:38; John 3:23; Rom. 6:3-5; Matt. 28:19; Acts 2:38; Mark 16:15-16)
· We believe that God appointed a day when He will judge all people through Christ (the Day of Judgment). This is the day of the Second Advent of Christ, which is also the end of the world. (Acts 17:31; Jude 1:14-15; II Pet. 3:7, 10)
· We believe in the resurrection. The resurrection of Christ is the main proof that the dead will rise. Those in Christ will rise first to be with Him forever in the Holy City. Those who are not of Christ will rise a thousand years after the first resurrection to be cast into the lake of fire. (I Cor. 15:12-13; I Thess. 4:16-17; Rev. 20:5-10; 21:1-4)
Learn more about the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ)
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