I am personally pleased that one of my regular commentators in my blog like Mr. Plaridel a member of the Iglesia ni Cristo® has created a blog called ”Arephenos”; I hope with his blog. His blog is quite interesting to read. However since he too is accusing the Universal Church of Christ being "apostatized", we cannot just sit and read his post.
|Did Christ found two Churches?|
To start with, Mr. Plaridel, said [inserted numbers in between brackets are mine]:
" I am a member of the Iglesia ni Cristo (church of Christ). It was established by Jesus in the first century. I acknowledge that the Catholic church [sic] was the one established by Christ  before it was apostatized and they diverted from the teachings of our lord [sic]. we [sic]do not believe in the  Trinity, iconography or idolatry as a factor in the church, or in the  use of other people as mediators to God. the [sic] use of this blog is to teach other people about the faith of  the Iglesia ni Cristo which was re-established in the Philippines in July 27 1914 buy [sic]  Brother Felix Y Manalo. it has come as a fulfillment of multiple biblical prophecy's. If you have any question about the true faith, please comment here or  ask a minister nearest to you. any [sic] comment here of anything posted here in unofficial. a minister will be able to give you a consistent and official statement about the doctrines."
Iglesia ni Cristo (church of Christ) is the Catholic Church.
I agree. The true Church of Christ was established by Christ (not by any mere man.) in the First Century according to the Holy Scriptures and history. Christ established only ONE Church, not two, because there is only One Body, One Spirit, One Hope, One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, One God (Ephesians 4: 4-6 ).
Since Mr. Paliradel admitted that the Catholic Church was Church of Christ, then no one should claim to be a real one. No more than the Iglesia ni Cristo's official magazine called Pasugo confirmed that fact. In its publication April 1966, p. 46
“Ang Iglesia Katolika na sa pasimula ay siyang Iglesia ni Cristo…”
PASUGO published in May 1954, p. 9 again implies the historicity of the Catholic Church as the ONLY true Church of Christ established by Christ himself: “Alin ang tunay na Iglesia? Ang Iglesiang itinayo ni Cristo sa Jerusalem."
As the Bible says, there should be ONLY ONE CHURCH. If the Catholic Church is the True Church then the Iglesia ni Cristo® is fake.
The problem comes when the founder of the Iglesia ni Cristo® insisted that Christ’s true Church which is the Catholic Church TOTALLY apostatized meaning no faithful survived except when Felix Manalo preached his recycled Arianism.
 Total Apostasy
According to their teachings, the Bible alone is the only absolute authority in the Iglesia ni Cristo®. In other words, all their teachings were supposed to be found in the “Bible” (whichever translation they wish to quote).
The teaching on “Total Apostasy” is nowhere to be found in the Bible. That means, it’s not supported by biblical facts therefore it’s a fabricated teachings to suit its teachings (that the Iglesia ni Cristo® was the true church).
When Felix Manalo preached his recycled Arianism, he thought he was preaching a “brand new” version of “Christianity”. Never he knew that Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism came first to claim that. (see similarities between the Mormons and the Iglesia ni Cristo®). Using Felix arguments, he believe that the true Church of Christ which was the Catholic Church apostatize. Catholic doctrines he hardly understood were lambasted and formulated his own argument using the same Scripture. He preferred to formulate his own gospel according to his own understanding.
With his teaching of TOTAL APOSTASY, he is accusing the Lord Jesus Christ of being a LIAR. That’s because nowhere in the Bible they can quote about “total apostasy”. Rather what we see in the Bible is the fact that SOME members who would apostatize, and not THE WHOLE Church. That Biblical description of “some” perfectly points to Felix Manalo who was once a member of the true Church of Christ and apostatized.
In its Pasugo publication, May 1968, p. 5:
“What is the characteristic of being a sheep of Christ? In John 10:28 it says: ‘And I have given them eternal life, and forever they will never be destroyed and no one can snatch them from my hands.’ It’s a privileged to be Christ’s sheep or one of his men because he gave them eternal life and they will never be destroyed ever. ["Ano ang katangian ng maging Tupa ni Cristo? Sa Juan 10:28 ay ganito ang sabi: 'At sila'y binigyan ko ng walang hanggang buhay, at kailanma'y hindi sila malilipol, at hindi aagawin ng sinuman sa aking kamay'. Isang dakilang kapalaran ang maging Tupa o Tauhan ni Cristo sapagkat sila'y binibigyan niya ng walang hanggang buhay at hindi sila malilipol kailan man."]
And in the succeeding Verse 29 , Jesus said “My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father's hand.”
IN other Pasugo publication, its Minister confirms how the early Church of Christ in the first century remained steadfast in their faith. [PASUGO June 1940, p. 27]
"How to take care and safeguard the faith? We have nothing to do rather to stay close to God’s teachings we have learned. This what the first Church did. They remained strong in the teachings of the Apostles. This too, we should do. ["Papaano ang pag-aalaga at pag-iingat sa pananampalataya? Wala tayong dapat gawin kundi manatili sa mga aral ng Dios na ating napag-aralan. Ito ang ginawa ng unang Iglesia. Sila'y nanatiling matibay sa aral ng mga Apostol. Ganito rin ang dapat nating gawin."].
From the two Pasugo quotes, we can conclude that the Iglesia ni Cristo® accepts the fact that the true and only one Church of Christ established in Jerusalem didn’t apostatized. In fact, according to them, this is what the “first Church” (Catholic Church) did. They (Catholics) remained “strong” and steadfast “in the teachings of the Apostles” which members of the Iglesia ni Cristo were advised to do likewise.
Mr. Plaridel’s assertion on the “total apostasy” has no bearing at all. I believe this wasn’t his own understanding. He’s just parroting what his Ministers told him. In its Pasugo publication August 1971, p.22, they stand on the belief that the Catholic Church was established by Christ. However, when Felix Manalo re-established it in the Philippines in July 27, 1914, Christ’s true Church banished. Thus makes the Iglesia ni Cristo® sole inheritor of the salvation promised by Christ for his Church.
"We acknowledge that Christ established only one Church. However when the Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ) was established in the Philippines the Church of Christ in Jerusalem ceased to exist. [Tinitindigan namin na ang Iglesiang itinatag ni Cristo ay talagang iisa lamang. Nang magkaroon ng INK sa Pilipinas ay wala na ang Iglesia ni Cristo sa Jerusalem.]
Which was refuted by another PASUGO, Abril 1966, p. 46:
In fact, to this day, what Satan is doing, he continuously inject false teachings in the Catholic Church which was the Church of Christ from the beginning. The devil is truly wise and cunning. He didn’t cause a sudden apostasy of the Church established by Christ in the first century.” [Ang totoo hanggang sa kasalukuyan ay patuloy na ginagawa ni Satanas ang pagpapasok ng mga maling aral sa Iglesia Katolika na sa pasimula'y siyang Iglesia ni Cristo. Sadyang matalino at tuso ang diablo. Hindi niya ginawang biglaan ang pagtalikod sa Iglesiang itinayo ni Cristo noong unang siglo."]
For 52 years after 1914, the Catholic Church which was the true Church established by Christ hasn’t’ apostatized yet TOTALLY. That's because to this day, Satan is still injecting false teachings in the Catholic Church which Christ had established. If the Catholic Church which was established by Christ wasn't apostatized then the Iglesia ni Cristo® which was established by Felix Manalo is plain and simple-- FAKE.
FACT: There was no TOTAL APOSTASY occurred in history.
 Blessed Trinity, One God
The Bible is full of that truth. God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are all mentioned in the Bible having distinct works for holiness and salvation. In fact, the Iglesia ni Cristo® implicitly acknowledge that truth. Here in my earlier article on the Iglesia ni Cristo confirms the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity, interestingly the Editor-in-Chief of its official magazine implicitly confirms no deny the truth about the similarity of God the Father and Jesus, God the Son.
[For further reading, click your mouse HERE!]
 God uses people for mediation
The Bible is full of EXPLICIT depiction of human beings mediating for God.
Abraham's Prayer for Sodom
Moses Prayer, Interceding For Israel
Moses Prayer, Interceding For Israel Again
Ezra's Prayer, Identifying With The Sins Of His People
Elijah Asks God to Reveal Himself to the People
Daniel's Prayer, Identifying With The Sins Of His People.
Nehemiah's Prayer, Identifying With The Sins Of His People.
Before Going to the Father, Jesus Intercedes for His Followers
Stephen's Prayer, For His Murderers, At The Point Of His Death.
Paul's Prayer For The Ephesians
Paul's Prayer For The Philippians
Paul's Prayer For The Colossians
Saints offer incense together with the prayers of his holy people to God
For more reading, this is our official position about the Intercession of Saints
1. Intercession of Saints from Catholic Answers
2. Saints Intercede by Catholic Apologetics
3. How to Defend the Intercession of the Saints by The Rock Magazine
Here’s a brief explanation from ReligionFacts on the subject.
History of Intercession of Saints
Catholic and Orthodox Christians trace the origins of intercession of saints to the New Testament, when St. Paul asks the Christians in Ephesus, Thessalonica, Colossus and Rome to pray for him (Eph. 6:19, 1 Thes. 5:25; Col. 4:3, and Rom. 15:30-31).
The practice of intercession is also mentioned in several surviving writings from the early church. A letter attributed to St. Basil (329-79 AD), for example, states:
“I acknowledge also the holy apostles, prophets, and martyrs; and I invoke them to supplication to God, that through them, that is, through their mediation, the merciful God may be propitious to me, and that a ransom may be made and given me for my sins.”
In addition, St. John Chrysostom wrote that Christians should seek the intercession and the fervent prayers of the saints, because they have special "boldness" (parresia), before God (Gen. 44:2 and Encomium to Julian, Iuventinus and Maximinus, 3).
Isn't Christ the Only Mediator?
Some Protestants condemn the Catholic and Orthodox practice of intercession, believing that it contradicts the doctrine that Christ is the only mediator between mankind and God. In response, Catholics affirm that Christ is the sole mediator, but explain that "He is our mediator in His quality of our common Redeemer; He is not our sole intercessor nor advocate, nor our sole mediator by way of supplication." (CE) They also point to the long tradition of intercession of saints.
 The Iglesia ni Cristo a re-establishment of the “Church”?
Since there is no biblical verse to support the “total apostasy” therefore, there is no need of having the Universal Church of Christ “re-established”.
Its own Pasugo proved that fact alone. In its Pasugo publication May, 1968, p. 7 it says:
“The true Church of Christ is only one. This is the Church Christ himself established. If there are sprouting new churches claiming to be Church of Christ too, these are not genuine but fakes.” [Ang tunay na INK ay iisa lamang. Ito ang Iglesiyang itinayo ni Cristo. Kung mayroon mang nagsisibangon ngayong mga Iglesia at sasabihing sila man ay Iglesia ni Cristo rin, ang mga ito ay hindi tunay na Iglesia ni Cristo kundi huwad lamang."]
The history of the Catholic Church is traced by the Catholic Church to apostolic times says Wikipedia. No other churches has claimed that too.
 On Felix Manalo as God’s “Last Messenger”
By using its own standards, whatever is not explicitly mentioned in the Bible is not worthy of our belief. Since Felix Manalo’s name was never spelled out in the Bible, therefore he is not from God. His Iglesia ni Cristo is a business as it was stipulated in its registration in the Securities and Exchange Commission in the Philippines.
Rather, the Bible warned us of the coming of apostates, exactly what Felix Manalo had fulfilled.
Mt. 7: 15-18 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit.”
Mt 24:11 "Many false prophets will arise and deceive many; .
Mt 24:24-25 "False messiahs and false prophets will arise, and they will perform signs and wonders so great as to deceive, if that were possible, even the elect. Behold, I have told it to you beforehand.
2 Peter 2:1-3 There were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will introduce destructive heresies and even deny the Master who ransomed them, bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their licentious ways, and because of them the way of truth will be reviled. In their greed they will exploit you with fabrications, but from of old their condemnation has not been idle and their destruction does not sleep.
2 Pet 3: Know this first of all, that in the last days scoffers 2 will come (to) scoff, living according to their own desires.
1 Timothy 4:1-2 Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the last times some will turn away from the faith by paying attention to deceitful spirits and demonic instructions through the hypocrisy of liars with branded consciences.
Indeed Felix Manalo fulfilled Biblical prophesies. Here is more applicable verse for Felix Manalo:
Gal. 1:8 “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach (to you) a gospel other than the one that we preached to you, let that one be accursed!"
 Ask only their Minister
As they have no official website, it is common for any Iglesia ni Cristo® member to invite anyone who has doubts in their doctrines to drop by their temples and speak to a Minister. What's the secrecy that they do not want to expose their teachings to the public? And that only their Ministers have the full understanding of the Bible?
My friend in the Iglesia ni Cristo®, being a member of the Church of Christ is beyond doubt a blessing. No amount of excellent feeling could brilliantly illustrate the abundant joy one could feel which springs forth from its abode of truth. Being a member of the Body of Christ – the Church, it is required from us to put on the shield of purity, modesty and holiness. One has to surrender himself under the entire authority of the Church which is his body, trusting only in the Lord’s assurance that he would be guiding his Church until the ends of times.
I am very glad that there are members of the Iglesia ni Cristo® who realized how awesome it is to be part of the Universal Church of Christ which HE himself founded—not restored, not re-founded, not resurrected, not re-introduced kind of “church”
Believing in the “Total Apostasy” they deny Christ and his authority. They utterly extolled Felix Manalo more than our Jesus Christ. They implicitly believed Christ a hypocrite. (Felix Manalo wasn’t original on this. The Mormons had this teachings first. Read how Felix Manalo copied from the Mormons).
In his answers to Mormons, Catholic Convert turned one of Catholic’s greatest Apologist, Mr. Patrick Madrid asked the Mormons:
"If Smith was wrong about this point, he could not have been a true prophet of God, and Mormonism loses its basis (The Bible has strong words to say about false prophets in Deuteronomy 13:2-6 and 18:20-22.)
If Smith was right about apostasy, then Jesus was a pathetic failure when it came to establishing his Church. After all, what are we to think of his promises? If there really was a complete apostasy, how do we explain our Lord's claim that his Church never would be overcome, "Upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matt 16:19)? What about his promise that he would be with his Church until the end of time (Matt 28:20)? What about his promise to send the Holy Spirit as a guide who would abide with the Church (John 14:16,26)? What about the Holy Spirit guiding the Church into all truth (John 16:13)?
The same quote could be applied to Felix Manalo and the Iglesia ni Cristo.
If Felix Manalo was wrong about this point, he could not have been a true Last Messenger of God, and Iglesia ni Cristo loses its basis (The Bible has strong words to say about false prophets in Deuteronomy 13:2-6 and 18:20-22.)
Felix Y. Manalo, founder of the Iglesia ni Cristo (1914)
If Felix Manalo was right about apostasy, then Jesus was a pathetic failure when it came to establishing his Church. After all, what are we to think of his promises? If there really was a complete apostasy, how do we explain our Lord's claim that his Church never would be overcome, "Upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matt 16:19)? What about his promise that he would be with his Church until the end of time (Matt 28:20)? What about his promise to send the Holy Spirit as a guide who would abide with the Church (John 14:16,26)? What about the Holy Spirit guiding the Church into all truth (John 16:13)?
If one believes in the “Total Apostasy” then Christ didn’t keep his pledge. He is not a man of his words. It would be very illogical to think that due to his laxity and irresponsibility, Christ has to throw away his own founded Church and delegated a man named Felix Manalo to re-establish his church ONLY in 1914? What took Jesus so long before he realized that Satan had overpowered his founded Church?
What a powerless and deceitful, dishonest, false, untruthful, fraudulent, fake Jesus that was!!!
But Christ is not a liar. He is not a deceiver. He is not a son of “Beelzebub”. He is God’s only begotten Son, Mighty, Powerful, Righteous, Holy. No deceit can be found in him. He’s God who humbly took our human form—a man in all his appearance except sin. His words are truth and life. He is the Way, the Truth and the Love and that apart from him, nothing came to be. Apart from him, there’s no life at all.
I am sure there are still righteous and humble Iglesia members would agree on that.
If indeed there was no “Total Apostasy” then the Catholic Church is TRULY the only legitimate Church which Christ built in Jerusalem. And therefore all its teachings on Purgatory, Intercession of Saints, Real Presence, the Trinity, Marian Doctrines are true trusting that they were genuinely guided by the Holy Spirit who promised to keep his Church until the ends of times—that neither the powers of the darkness could quench its light.
We need to trust God. We need to trust Jesus. We need to trust his Church.
That’s what the Apostles did.
That’s what the Early Church Fathers did.
That’s what Catholics did for more than 2,000 years now.
If we wish to live according to the Gospel, we must abandon ourselves simply and completely to the action of God [in the Church]. Jesus Christ is its source. He "is the same today as He was yesterday and as He will be forever" (Heb. 13:8)- by Safely Through the Stomr.
Mr. Patrick Madrid encourages those who believed in the “total apostasy to go through each Biblical text. None mentions a complete apostasy
"On this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matt 16:18); "Behold, I will be with you always, even until the end of the world" (Matt 28:20); "The Father...will give you another Advocate to be with you always" (John 14:16); "The Advocate, the Holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name, he will teach you everything and remind you of all I have told you" (John 14:26); "But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth" (John 16:13).
Read the whole article of Mr. Patrick Madrid at EWTN
Visit his blog PatrickMadrid
However obvious, it is by necessity that the Iglesia ni Cristo® should not abandon this teaching otherwise its very foundation would crush to the ground, a very risky speculation the Manalos would never ever give up.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: All PASUGO quotes were collections of Juliam Pinzon in his booklet called Ang Katotohanan Tungkol sa Iglesia Ni Cristo - 1914. These PASUGO compilation by Julian Pinzon was published by Divine Word Publication, Oroqueta Street in Manila. Please buy your copies at Chrirst the King Mission Seminary, E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue, Quezon City (near Quezon City Sports Club; in front of Maryhill School of Theology).