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The INC is the True Church because...

(ewatson) Hi Glenn,

The Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) faith claims to be the "True Church." This then means all others are "false." There’s nothing with such a claim, since most, if not all other faiths considers themselves to be the true faith; making those who believe otherwise false. In order to ascertain the validity of the INC’s claim, there has to be at least one determinant that makes the INC different from all other churches. After all, anyone can make claims. I can claim to be the strongest man on earth. I can claim to fly. Claims, by themselves, mean absolutely nothing, and if possible, even less so, if there are others who make the same claims.

To illustrate, my church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also called the LDS or Mormon Church) also claims to be the “True Church.” WinSurfer’s church, the Roman Catholic Church also claims to be the “True Church.” Protestants and Eastern Orthodox will say the same thing about their respective faiths.

How does one determine which claim has validity?

By identifying something unique to that religion and determining its credibility.

These “Unique Differentials” are vitally important; since they are the only things that make a religion stand out from the rest. There are two kinds, the Authoritative and the Evidential. Authoritative refers to the necessity of inclusion into that particular faith while the Evidential furnishes proof supporting the Authoritative claim. An Authoritative claim can’t stand on its own without providing something tangible. These proofs are found in the Evidential claims.

Roman Catholicism has the Pope. It also has Papal Infallibility, the Assumption of Mary, opposition to all forms of artificial birth control, and several other uniquely Roman Catholic doctrines that aren’t also believed by Protestantism and Eastern Orthodoxy.

Mormonism has the Book of Mormon and the other Latter-day Scriptures, Joseph Smith and other modern prophets, including a current living one, a multiversal cosmology that avoids the two fatal logical flaws of Traditional Theism’s description of God and resolution of the dilemma of theodicy.

Protestantism has Sola Fide and Sola Scriptura.

Eastern Orthodoxy has the equality of patriarchs and absence of Filioque from their Nicene Creed

Jehovah’s Witnesses have Charles Russell and the New World Translation (other religions believe in the separation of Jesus and YHWH).

Seventh-day Adventists have Ellen G. White and her writings (other religions believe in worshiping on the seventh day).

What then makes the INC unique among all religions, since they all claim to be the “True Church”?

The Iglesia ni Cristo’s Unique Differentials are:


  1. Felix Manalo is the only one to receive genuine authority to restore the "True Church"
  2. Felix Manalo is the only one to receive genuine authority to baptize others


  1. Felix Manalo is prophesied in the Bible
  2. The Iglesia ni Cristo is prophesied in the Bible
  3. The Philippines is prophesied (more correctly, mentioned) in the Bible

By their nature, if just one of the Authoritative claims is shown to be false, the INC religion has virtually NO chance of legitimacy. After all, if it can’t be proven Felix Manalo received genuine authority to restore the “True Church”; the INC religion is automatically false. If Felix Manalo did NOT receive genuine baptismal authority, the INC religion is automatically false.

OTOH, the first two Evidential claims are vitally important to the INC because they are the ONLY things that can provide support for its Authoritative claims (i.e., Felix Manalo has genuine authority to restore the “True Church” BECAUSE he was prophesied in the Bible).

However, the INC isn’t the only religion to emerge or exist in the Philippines. Therefore, it is possible for the third Evidential claim to be valid without proving the INC religion is the “True Church.” Consequently, the citation of the third Evidential claim, while helpful, can never PROVE the INC is the “True Church.”

This then brings us to the only things that can prove the authenticity of the INC faith:

  1. Felix Manalo is prophesied in the Bible
  2. The Iglesia ni Cristo is prophesied in the Bible

Neither of the two Authoritative claims of the INC are sufficient to prove its authenticity because both rely on its first two Evidential claims for support (i.e., HOW did Felix Manalo get genuine authority to restore the “True Church”? HOW did Felix Manalo Get genuine authority to baptize? BECAUSE he was prophesied in the Bible. BECAUSE the INC was prophesied in the Bible to emerge from the “Far East”).

It is vital that at least one out of the 25 or so prophetic proof-texts used by the INC religion is proven to be valid and incontrovertible. It has to be incontrovertible because “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidences.” This axiom is appropriate since it’s extraordinarily amazing a biblical prophet 2,700 years ago talked about a person far in the future, whom we know today as Felix Manalo. It is also extraordinarily amazing to find the “True Church” out of the 30,000 different religions or so that currently exist on earth.

Finally, the burden of proof is ALWAYS on the person trying to prove something. If I claim to bench press 400 lbs, all a skeptic has to do is demand I prove it. The burden is on me to prove it. If I claimed the LDS Church is the “True Church” or LDS cosmology solves the dilemma of theodicy; I’d better make sure I could back up these statements. Likewise with the INC. Since it claims Felix Manalo or the INC are prophesied in the Bible, and these prophecies are the JUSTIFICATION for validating their claim to being the “True Church;” the burden is on them to prove these scriptural proof-texts really are in reference to Felix Manalo or the INC, and not in reference to someone else.

Now that proper methodology is defined, we can get down to the business of determining the validity of the INC religion, by examining its two Evidential proof categories:

  1. Felix Manalo is prophesied in the Bible
  2. The Iglesia ni Cristo is prophesied in the Bible

Let’s start with #1.

AFAIK, the only scriptural proof-texts used by the INC for this subject are: Rev 7:1-3; Isa 46:11; 41:1-2; 41:9-15; 42:1,4-7; John 3:34; 6:28-29; Mal 4:5-6; Rev 14:6-9 and Jer 30:20-22 (but this last one was used in reference to Erano). If you know of any others, please provide them. We can examine one passage at a time, or tackle them as a group.

Could you please continue the statement,

"The INC is the 'True Church' because Felix Manalo is prophesied in the Bible. Proof for this can be found in..."

Just provide the passage and an explanation of WHY the passage talks about Felix Manalo. (INC ministers do this all the time – yours can probably help you if you’re ever stumped). I will respond with an analysis of your explanation to determine whether it’s valid. You can then respond with a refutation of my response, and so forth, until we exhaust all arguments and drop the passage; either agreeing to disagree or agreeing on its proper explanation. Feel free to use the works of others, regardless of size to bolster your position.

Is this agreeable?

* * *
(glenn cessor) FIRST STATEMENT: Mr. Watson - Good morning! Thanks for your kind words regarding my retirement, and I wish you the very best, as well.

A note - I will be using the King James version almost exclusively (except for a certain verse in Acts). This version has its flaws, but it is still viable for this purpose.

To begin -

Isaiah 46: (11) 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.

This verse is used to refer to Felix Y. Manalo, as you know. Now I have read elsewhere that this refers to Cyrus, as do some other verses in Isaiah. However, the verses just prior to the one above read as follows:

Isaiah 46 (9) Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, (10) Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

"Declaring the end from the beginning." The end of what? If you say that this is referring to the nation of Israel and not this world as a whole, I could almost see your point. However, verse 10 is preceded by a verse wherein God is reminding us of just Who He is, and what He has done. Therefore, the context clearly shows that He is referring the last days of this world.

God is not referring to Cyrus.

Earlier in Isaiah 41, God speaks of a righteous man from the east - and here he is speaking of Cyrus, because He is speaking in past tense. In the verses in chapter 46, He is speaking in future tense.

Now there is another bit of scripture - one that is not usually quoted in the INC's 28 lessons - that is relevant here: Jeremiah 16: (14) Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be said, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; (15) But, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers.

This has turned out to be a true prophecy beyond all doubt - hence the state of Israel now. In the same chapter - (19) O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit.

(20) Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they are no gods?

(21) Therefore, behold, I will this once cause them to know, I will cause them to know mine hand and my might; and they shall know that my name is The LORD.

Read this! You are well-versed enough to know that the Philippines are sometimes referred to as the ends of the earth (and with good reason). Here is a prophecy that states their disillusionment with the lies, vanity, and graven images that their fathers were taught, and God's promise that he would cause them to know His hand and His might.

Something to consider....

* * *

I will likewise use the AV as the common version but will occasionally cite other versions in conjunction with the AV to give the reader a better feel of what the identified passage is talking about.

Glenn, what does “declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done” mean? God is merely saying he foretells the future and tells what will happen BEFORE they happen. After all, the entire beginning of Isa 46 (vv 1-8) is specifically referring to the false idol gods of Babylon. God’s challenge in Isa 46:5 is an obvious contrast between him and these false deities. He then backs up his challenge by describing one of his attributes in vv 9-10 (i.e., foretelling the future), which means the false gods of Babylon (cf. Isa 46:1-8) cannot foretell the future. Finally, Isaiah employs the well-known Hebrew literary technique of parallelism, whereby a thought is repeated to make it easier for those familiar with oral tradition to remember it.

Consequently, there is NO “end of what” since he was referring to a DIVINE ATTRIBUTE (of knowing the future) instead of an EVENT far into the future of no practical importance to his listeners.

The problem with accepting your understanding this “ravenous bird” refers to Felix Manalo in the “last days of this world,” is you then change the essence of the passage from one of historicity to one of theology. To illustrate these contrasts:

Historicity: (Isa 46:9-13) God is claiming to be uniquely God because he reveals what will happen before it happens whereas other gods can’t know the future. One of the proofs he can really foretell the future is he will call a rapacious bird from the east who will [destroy Babylon (Isa 47) and restore the Jews to their traditional homeland (Isa 43:1-49:23)]. Therefore, those who are stubborn of heart must repent because God’s deliverance is imminent.

Theology: (Isa 46:9-13) God is claiming to be uniquely God because he reveals what will happen before it happens whereas other gods can’t know the future. One of the proofs he can really foretell the future is he will call a rapacious bird from the east who will [preach the Gospel (Rom 1:16-17)]. Therefore, those who are stubborn of heart must repent because God’s deliverance is imminent.

In other words, the two alternatives of Isa 46:9-13's proof that God knows the future is:

  • Someone from the east will destroy Babylon, free the Jews from slavery and restore them to their homeland
  • Someone will preach the gospel from the east

Put yourself in the shoes of the captive Jewish listeners of Isaiah, since he was writing TO them and comparing himself to the false idol gods of Babylon they were being subjected to every single day. Which scenario is more likely to cause the captive Jews to regain faith in their God (Isa 46:12-13)? It is obvious that the former interpretation is correct and it is impossible for the INC claim to have any validity.

The figure in Isa 46:11 is clearly the same figure described in Isa 41:2. Consequently, if one is clearly identified as someone other than Felix Manalo; the entire INC claim collapses.

Glenn, you’re the ONLY INC I’ve ever encountered who’s admitted Isa 41:2 is referring to Cyrus instead of Felix Manalo.

GOOD FOR YOU! The context of Isa 41:2 clearly shows this figure to be a military ruler. He conquered many nations and obliterated his opponents with his sword and scattered them like chaff with his bow. He pursued them and passed through their territory unmolested and with such rapidity, that it seems his feet didn’t even touch the ground. Who has done such a mighty deed and directed the affairs of mankind before they occur? The LORD did. The coastal nations in the west and the distant lands in the east trembled with fear when seeing the accomplishments of this “righteous man from the east” and hastily had idols created to appease his wrath in the hopes he won’t do to them what he did to others.

However, as you most certainly realize, the INC religion repeatedly used Isa 41:2 in reference to Felix Manalo even though you apparently realize it can’t be done. Does this sound like Felix Manalo? Did he conquer many nations and terrorize neighboring states with his rapid military conquests? Did other nations create idols to pacify him?

The “islands/isles” (‘iy) in Isa 41:1, 5 refer to the maritime regions surrounding the Mediterranean (Jer 25:22). I can provide a listing of ‘iy passages showing it is always used in reference to the coastlands surrounding the Mediterranean and places west (never east) of Israel, beginning with its western coast.

Alas, the past tense and future tense argument for two different persons WON’T work because Isa 41:2 and Isa 46:11 are discussing the actions of this “righteous man from the east” during different time periods. Isa 41:2 is in specific reference to Cyrus’s ascendance and military conquests PRIOR TO his restoration of the Jews. Isa 46:11 focuses on specific aid he gave to the Jews, which is still in the future from the time that passage was written. This man performs God’s purpose (‘etsah). Verse 12 shows stubborn listeners (most likely captive Jews) refused to believe the imminent destruction of Babylon and the liberation of the Jews. Verse 13 has God saying his deliverance/victory or triumph is near. He will give his salvation in Zion and his glory to Israel. Finally, Isa 46:11's “counsel” is from the Hebrew ‘etsah and means “counsel, purpose, advice.” The context it’s in shows its proper interpretation is “purpose.” Isa 46:13 has God bringing his own “ts@daqah” (righteousness, justice, deliverance, triumph, victory), not this ravenous bird. This prophecy was fulfilled immediately after it was given when Cyrus ordered their freedom and provided assistance in rebuilding the Temple.

Don’t forget, this righteous man who came from the “east” ALSO came from the NORTH. Did Felix Manalo come from a land north of Palestine? No. Did Cyrus? YES:

Isaiah 41:25 I have raised up one from the north, and he shall come: from the rising of the sun (mizrach) shall he call upon my name: and he shall come upon princes as upon morter, and as the potter treadeth clay.

Isa 41:25 repeats Isa 41:2-3's declaration of the righteous man from the east, who subjugates nations by military conquest. This man from the east also hails from the north. Did Felix Manalo also come from the “north” of Israel? Is Cyrus this man who comes from both north and east?

“Cyrus by his father was a Mede, by his mother a Persian; and his army consisted of Medes, whose country lay north, and Persians, whose country lay east of Babylon.” (Matthew Henry Commentary. p. 1155a.)

“The north and east are now mentioned together (cf. v. 2), defining more precisely Cyrus’s conquests, which overarched the Babylonian Empire from the Persian Gulf to the Caspian and Black Seas.” (The Eerdmans Bible Commentary. p. 612.)

“Cyrus is said to come from the East because Persia is east of Babylon; but in vs. 25, from the north, in reference to Media.”(Jamieson, Fausset and Brown. p. 560.)

“The north points to Media, the east to Persia, both of them under the rule of the great Deliverer. The words find a fulfillment in Cyrus cited in 1 Chron. 36:22, 23; Ezra 1:2-4.” (Ellicott’s Bible Commentary. p. 522.)

“Cyrus did in actuality come from the north and from the east.” (The Interpreter’s Bible. 5:462.)

Cyrus is clearly described in Isa 41:25 and since it teaches the same thing Isa 41:2-3 teaches; it’s obvious Isa 41:2 refers to Cyrus and not Felix Manalo.

Contextual plausibility - Cyrus is the only candidate. Isaiah 41:2 and Isaiah 46:11 are talking about the same person. Is it reasonable to assume Isaiah was talking about Felix Manalo despite he wouldn’t be around for another 2,600 years; or is it more reasonable that these passages from Second Isaiah refer to Cyrus of Persia (Ellicott’s Bible Commentary. pp.522, 525; The Jerome Biblical Commentary 22:13 (2-4b); 22: 29 (11); The Eerdman’s Bible Commentary. p.612; The Interpreter’s Bible 5:448, 450, 542; The International Bible Commentary. pp. 747, 752; Jamieson, Fausset and Brown. pp. 560, 569; Matthew Henry. p. 1153a,b. While the rabbis and early commentators identified Isa 41:2's righteous man from the east as Abraham; virtually all scholars today identify him as Cyrus since the context overwhelmingly points to him). Cyrus lived in the distant east, who conquered many nations and whose standard was a ravenous bird, a golden eagle? (Xenophon. Cyropaedia 7:1,4 “his ensign was a golden eagle with outspread wings mounted upon a long shaft.”)

Passages describing Cyrus as fulfilling God’s will:

(a) 2 Chronicles 36:22-23 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD [spoken] by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and [put it] also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath the LORD God of heaven given me; and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which [is] in Judah. Who [is there] among you of all his people? The LORD his God [be] with him, and let him go up.

(b) Ezra 1:1-2:1 NOW in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and [put it] also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which [is] in Judah. Who [is there] among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which [is] in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he [is] the God,) which [is] in Jerusalem. And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that [is] in Jerusalem. Then rose up the chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests, and the Levites, with all [them] whose spirit God had raised, to go up to build the house of the LORD which [is] in Jerusalem. And all they that [were] about them strengthened their hands with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, and with beasts, and with precious things, beside all [that] was willingly offered. Also Cyrus the king brought forth the vessels of the house of the LORD, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth out of Jerusalem, and had put them in the house of his gods; Even those did Cyrus king of Persia bring forth by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and numbered them unto Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah. And this [is] the number of them: thirty chargers of gold, a thousand chargers of silver, nine and twenty knives, Thirty basons of gold, silver basons of a second [sort] four hundred and ten, [and] other vessels a thousand. All the vessels of gold and of silver [were] five thousand and four hundred. All [these] did Sheshbazzar bring up with [them of] the captivity that were brought up from Babylon unto Jerusalem. NOW these [are] the children of the province that went up out of the captivity, of those which had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away unto Babylon, and came again unto Jerusalem and Judah, every one unto his city;

(c) Ezra 4:3 But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the chief of the fathers of Israel, said unto them, Ye have nothing to do with us to build an house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto the LORD God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia hath commanded us.

(d) Ezra 5:13-15 But in the first year of Cyrus the king of Babylon [the same] king Cyrus made a decree to build this house of God. And the vessels also of gold and silver of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took out of the temple that [was] in Jerusalem, and brought them into the temple of Babylon, those did Cyrus the king take out of the temple of Babylon, and they were delivered unto [one], whose name [was] Sheshbazzar, whom he had made governor; And said unto him, Take these vessels, go, carry them into the temple that [is] in Jerusalem, and let the house of God be builded in his place.

(e) Isaiah 44:28-45:2 That saith of Cyrus, [He is] my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid. THUS saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron:

Cyrus of Persia was the destroyer of the Babylonian empire, the liberator of the Jews, and the rebuilder of the temple at Jerusalem. His aid and kindness to the Israelites resulted in him being praised as a “righteous man.” He never asked the Jews to compensate him for freeing them from slavery and financing the reconstruction of the temple (Isa 45:13; 52:3), but merely asked them to pray for him (as seen by Darius’ statement in Ezra 6:10). His kingdom of Persia existed in a far land east of Israel.

Isaiah chapters 40-48 are focused on a motif called the “Trial of the False Gods” wherein the Babylonian deities are proven to be impotent and inferior to the God of Israel on several levels. One of which was because they couldn’t prevent the destruction of the Babylonian Empire at the hands of God’s servant Cyrus of Persia. In other words, the true God, the God of Israel, used Cyrus to punish the Babylonians for what they did to Israel.

It is obvious an honest examination of Isa 41:2 and 46:11 shows this righteous man from the “East” is Cyrus of Persia and not Felix Manalo. Cyrus was “righteous” because after destroying the Babylonian Empire, he freed the Israelites and allowed them to return to their land. He even financed their return and rebuilding of the temple and returned the temple treasures that were looted by the Babylonians. The only similarity Felix Manalo has is he lived in an area “east” of Palestine but since there are literally billions of people who’ve lived “east” of Palestine, the odds are literally billions to one that these passages refer to Felix Manalo if one were to focus solely on geographical location. If one examines the subject as a whole, the odds against Felix Manalo grow to infinity.

Jer 16:13-16 is just one out of at least 31 OT passages that describe the ingathering and restoration of Israel (e.g., Isa 11:11-16; 27:12-13; 43:1-21; 49:6-23; 51:10-11; 56:8; Jer 12:14-15; 16:13-16; 23:1-8; 29:10-14; 30:3; 10-11; 31:1-17; 32:37-44; 50:1-9, 17-19; etc.). When one examines them as a group, they describe this restoration as coming from all corners of the compass. The Jews have had two ingatherings. The initial one was when they returned to Israel due to the Edict of Cyrus, the second occurred during the 20th century and continues to this day.

Ah, but Glenn, in this regards, claiming the Philippines is specifically referred to in the Bible as the “ends of the earth” (whether qatseh ‘erets, qatseh ‘erets, or another) is precisely the problem. WHERE does the Bible refer to the Philippines specifically, to the exclusion of all other places?

Looking forward to your first counter-response.

* * *

(glenn cessor) A quick response

Mr. Watson -

Looking at that one similarity between FYM and Cyrus - they're both from the east - there's something to remember.

As I said - without a listed reference, for now - that the Philippines have been called the Ends of the Earth. Now, look once more at the verses in Jeremiah that I quoted -

(19) O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit.

(20) Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they are no gods?

(21) Therefore, behold, I will this once cause them to know, I will cause them to know mine hand and my might; and they shall know that my name is The LORD.

The church that comes from the ends of the Earth will not believe in idolatry or graven images. If the ends of the Earth referred to is in the east, then the only two religions I know of that are east of Israel that do not use idols or graven images are Islam...and the Iglesia ni Cristo.

FYM is from the east. You said that the odds were billions to one against that FYM was the one referred to as coming from the east, in favor of Cyrus. However, Cyrus used idols and graven images. So now we're looking at either Mohammed or Felix Y. Manalo. The odds are now a bit better than 'billions to one'.

I'll file more of a response (and hopefully a more organized one) on Thursday.

* * *

(ewatson) Another quickie :-)

Hi Glenn,

It’s also important to remember geographical directions only have limited application on spherical structures, since if one goes far enough, one returns to the originating point, making one’s east actually in one’s west.

I believe the passages you’re referring to are Isa 5:26; 41:9; 42:10; 43:5-6; 24:14-16; 51:5; 60:9; 42:1,4-7 and Zech 8:7. If you know of any other, please feel free to provide them. I’m puzzled at how the INC claims these passages are referring specifically to the Philippines, and during the 20th century in particular. I would eventually like to discuss them but for now, we should just stick to the Felix Manalo proof-texts.

Well, let’s see. There’s also the Baha’i, Sikhs, Moonies, Protestants, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses and probably several dozen smaller faiths all existing “east” of Israel, who don’t have idols. Even if one interprets “end of the earth” to refer to an unspecified location to the east (instead of the more natural meaning of “all of the earth”), this passage sure doesn’t seem to assist your assumption it refers to the INC in the Philippines.

Regardless. I’m puzzled that you can make this giant assumption that these Gentiles coming from the “ends of the earth” refers to the INC in the Philippines 2,600 years after the passage was written.

Can you see the enormous difficulty you face by such a claim? It’s a slippery slope argument. Not only will you need to prove the term “ends of the earth” refers to the Philippines in the 20th century, you will also need to prove these “Gentiles” are the INC. What about the “Israelites” who are also at the “end of the earth”? They’re not the INC also? Not only these, you will also need to prove these people in the “ends of the earth” are a church instead of a disparate group of people without a common faith. Not only this, this church will need to be founded or originate in the “ends of the earth” location instead of EXISTING in that region despite coming from elsewhere. In short, you must ASSUME:

  1. The “ends of the earth” refers to a specific location far from Palestine instead of a generic term meaning “all of the earth” or an unspecified place.
  2. THEN, this “ends of the earth” refers to a specific location EAST of Palestine.
  3. THEN, this “ends of the earth” refers specifically to the Philippines.
  4. THEN, this “ends of the earth” refers to the far and distant future.
  5. THEN, this “ends of the earth” refers to the 20th century of the Christian Era.
  6. THEN, these “gentiles” refer to people in the 20th century Philippines who reject idols.
  7. THEN, these “gentiles” refer to a specific church in the Philippines that rejects idols.
  8. THEN, these “gentiles” refer to a specific church that was created in the Philippines that rejects idols instead of being brought to the Philippines from another land.
  9. THEN, these “gentiles” refer to the INC religion in particular.

There are too many assumptions that need to be made just to provide increasingly unacceptable claims, since the Bible is incapable of validating each point.

You said "FYM is from the east. You said that the odds were billions to one against that FYM was the one referred to as coming from the east, in favor of Cyrus. However, Cyrus used idols and graven images. So now we're looking at either Mohammed or Felix Y. Manalo. The odds are now a bit better than 'billions to one'."

Actually, no, the odds are still the same. Neither did Joseph Smith, Ellen G. White or Charles Russell use idols, but yet, they have followers in the Philippines. Notice that this passage is referring to Gentiles (plural) who will convert to Judaism during a time far into the future whereas Cyrus never did. This shows it isn’t possible to create a link between Isa 41:2 and Isa 46:11 with Jer 16:19-21.

* * *

(glenn cessor) I concede - and an apology to Pilosipo

Mr. Watson -

I must concede our discussion. It was through my own hubris that I thought that I could support the views of the INC through my own knowledge and ability. It is clear that I cannot do so in the face of someone that has had so much more formal education and training than I. My faith is not shaken, but until I have put in at least a few years of serious study, I cannot compete (for lack of a more appropriate word - we don't compete for salvation) with you. I should have known better, and bit off much more than I could chew.

Concerning your posts, they are a credit to your education and you have my sincere compliments on your erudition. Well said and done.

To Pilosipo - brother, you tried to warn me, but I would not listen. My sincere apology to you. As I said, my faith is not shaken, but I was certainly wrong in my decision. From this point on, I must know my limits. Thank you for trying to look out for me, as a true brother would.

Pride goeth before a fall...and it's time I relearned a little humility.

* * *
(side comment from jasbir) Not your fault.

At least you tried and I admire your honesty. The truth is, (please forgive me) INC's position can not be biblically defended by any member, from top to bottom. To stick to INC's unfounded teachings does not make any sense at all.

Please continue posting. Share with us your experiences specially your work on board. Are you still on active duty?

* * *

(ewatson) Not accepted - I'm not seeking glory only the Truth

Hi Glenn,

Please, please, please, don't. Formal education and training have NOTHING to do with being correct. I've NEVER been to college and only had one year post-secondary training (in computer programming). Everything I know is autodidactic. Glenn, I live my life by only one principle, "Whatever is True and whatever is Right." This means IF the INC religion is really the "True Church" and really is the fulfillment of biblical prophesies; the evidence should be there and I will convert to it.

I'm not AFRAID to examine the issues to determine their validity since I’ve sworn to follow Christ wherever he may lead me. After all, he said the Truth shall make us free.

We’ve only just begun discussing the INC evidential claims, and have only partially discussed Isa 41:2 and Isa 46:11. There are still DOZENS of INC proof-texts that we haven’t discussed. Why don’t we move on from these two that clearly aren’t about Felix Manalo, and discuss the other proof-texts used by the INC faith in claiming Felix Manalo, the INC and the Philippines are prophesied in the Bible?

Let’s now leave Isa 41:2 and Isa 46:11 and discuss Rev 7:1-3.

Glenn, as you are most certainly aware, it is absolutely VITAL that at least ONE evidential claim is shown to be a prophecy about Felix Manalo or the INC religion. Otherwise, the INC faith has NO chance of being the “True Church,” regardless of how one fervently believes in it and regardless of how good its ministers are with the Bible. This is due to the peculiarities of INC theology and authoritative claims (as I’ve explained in the first post on this thread).

I know the fear, despair and frustration one feels when one is unable to validate one’s faith. You’ve found peace and satisfaction in the INC religion. You have a woman and children who love you, respect and friendship from your fellow INC and a sense of belonging and being special. No one likes to think he’s been duped and all his sacrifices and contributions were in vain.

Are you willing to give it all up just to follow the Truth and Christ? I remember my reluctance to abandon sincerely held beliefs despite realizing they were wrong and the fear I had of losing everything I valued. During this time of difficulty, a certain biblical passage gave me comfort:

Matthew 10:37-38 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

This passage gave me the courage to face my fears. It made me realize there are things much more important than what we have around us. What am I willing to exchange for Christ and salvation in his kingdom? My cigarettes? Coffee? Respect of my friends? What about my family? Are they more important?

No, there is nothing I’m willing to exchange for Christ and salvation.

Glenn, you are, without doubt, the best INC defender on this forum. If you can’t defend the INC’s credibility, what chance do other INCs have? Years of study won’t change the fact if no biblical passage prophesies of Felix Manalo or the INC, it has absolutely NO CHANCE of being the “True Church.” What can you learn in a few years that haven’t been repeatedly taught by INC leaders, ministers and writers in the past 85? There’s already a well-established trail within the INC religion that explains WHY they use Isa 41:2 and Isa 46:11. If the official INC justification isn’t good enough, why try to find other justifications? After all, if it really is the “True Church,” its explanations should be valid. If they’re not or they only engage in circular reasoning, well, that should tell you something about its legitimacy since the True Church WON’T be built upon lies and deception.

I’m also curious. Did you spend years studying the doctrines of your old faith before converting to the INC?

I’m sure my high school teachers will be pleased, but one’s education isn’t the point. It’s “Truth.” I know it’s a disquieting thought but you really need to ask yourself, “If the INC faith is true, why does it need to invent biblical prophecies that aren’t really there?”

Come on Glenn, you’re just being nice and gracious. You know just as well as I do that Pilosopo’s motivation and attitude for trying to discourage you wasn’t out of concern for your well-being; it was to give the impression I’m not WORTHY to have a discussion with. I’m just lint on the belly-button of a bacteria on the rectum of a fungus growing between the toes of Felix Manalo.

Glenn, this isn’t true at all. All you’re guilty of is believing it is possible to defend the INC claims of prophetic fulfillment, since it repeatedly claims so. You must be given credit for courageously facing these very serious issues and have bitterly learned it’s one thing to claim prophetic fulfillment; it’s another thing to prove it. I don’t doubt you’ve spent an enormous amount of time this past week reading, studying, asking your minister and thinking about how to prove Isa 41:2 and Isa 46:11 are about Felix Manalo but have come to the realization an honest examination shows they are really about Cyrus of Persia. This should tell you something. If two of the most prominent and repeatedly cited passages of the INC claim of prophetic fulfillment aren’t really about Felix Manalo at all; what must one’s view be concerning the other cited passages that are even less capable of assisting the INC? What then are the odds of the INC being the “True Church” if it lacks a single valid prophetic claim? ZERO. Why in the world must one remain in a church that is DEMONSTRABLY FALSE?

Glenn, other churches don’t have the INC’s problem of being painted in a corner. I believe Christ is whacking you on the side of your head, trying to alert you to the dangers you’re in by rejecting his divinity. Continue to courageously discuss these prophetic proof-texts. You CAN’T lose! Either you succeed in proving the validity of the INC religion or you succeed in proving it’s false in order to save you and your family’s souls. Surely, your children deserve a CHANCE at salvation! Don’t condemn them to an eternal separation from God if there’s even a POSSIBILITY the INC religion isn’t what it claims to be. If I wasn’t absolutely certain of the validity of my church, there’s no way I’d refuse to study and discuss vitally important issues affecting its legitimacy.

Finally, there's no joy in my heart with your concession since my interest is in determining Truth and saving souls instead of making myself look good by triumphantly crowing over an opponent. I leave the arrogant crowing to Pilosopo and others like him.

You are much more valuable and important to me than any "victory." The more I get to know you, the more I honor and respect you. This is why I feel this discussion must continue until we exhaust all the evidential claims and come to a firm realization of whom they truly are about. Both of our salvation, as well as our families, depend of it since if the INC religion is the "True Church," I'm screwed; but if it's false, you're in trouble. Neither one of us knows when we're going to die, giving this discussion a sense of urgency.

Let’s continue by discussing Rev 7:1-3. As you know, the INC religion repeatedly claims this "angel from the east" is Felix Manalo. Please provide the reasons for this claim so that we may examine their validity.