In this article I would like to test the spirit on the teaching of the Church regarding the “ends of the earth” which is according to the doctrines refers to time not a place. The Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) doctrines teaches “ends of the earth” means earth has not end. Since the word “ends” is plural, it refers to the time between the end of the sixth seal and the beginning of the seventh seal. The Church is using Matthew 24:33 as the time when the end of the world is at the doors. Coincidentally made the appearing of the Iglesia Ni Cristo, which was registered in the Philippine government in July 27, 1914.
We will start on Isaiah 43:5-6 using Moffat and New King James Version(NKJV) bible translations. The INC use the following:
- Isaiah 43:5-6 (Moffat) – For the words, “far east, far west” and
- Isaiah 43:5-6 (NKJV) – For the words, “ends of the earth”
Why the Church cannot used only one translation? Let us understand both translations:
Moffat used “end of the earth” and NKJV used “ends of the earth”. What is the difference? Using INC interpretation:
- “end of the earth” <> a time referring to the end of the world or judgement day
- “ends of the earth” <> a time referring near the end or beginning of the end.
Right here, INC cannot use one bible translation because using Moffat alone will contradict the doctrine that the Iglesia Ni Cristo was prophesied to exist before the sixth seal and at the beginning of the seventh seal or near the end. Using NKJV alone, the Church will not be able to support why INC came to exist in 1914 from the Philippines because there is no “far” word before the “east”.
The Church doctrines use other bible verses to justify the interpretation. Romans 6:25, Jeremiah 4:19.13; Matthew 24:6-7 when great men hid in caves as the timeline of the start of World War I of 1914 that started in July 27, 1914. Because the Iglesia ni Cristo was also registered in the Philippine government in July 27, 1914 coinciding with the prophecy, the INC re-establishment was in accord with the prophecy.
The Cornelius Theory of Equivocation
Once again let us test the spirit.
Selective Teaching Technique
The Church purposely use selective teaching technique to connect verses together or use a translation that is more favorable to the doctrine of the Church. This is a very effective way of teaching the Church doctrines.
We know what the INC doctrines on “ends of the earth” being a time started during the first world war in 1914. Let us do a litmus test.
Litmus Test #1: Replace “ends of the earth” with “1914”
This is how NKJV version reads now:
Because of the word “bring” and “from” it appear there are already people of God who He wants to bring from a certain origin but when we use the time, which is 1914, the sentence does not make sense anymore. The INC started only in 1914 and there are only a few members to start with during that time so who will God bring from the 1914? The word “from” indicates a place of origin. Read the grammatical usage of “from” from http://www.eslcafe.com/grammar/prepositions09.html.
Litmus Test #2: Replace “ends of the earth” with “Babylon”
I used “Babylon” because other Christians believe “ends of the earth” and “end of the earth” are place not time. For them Isaiah 43:5-6 is a fulfillment prophesy of the people of Judea (Israel). The bible mentioned King Cyrus as the conqueror of Babylonians 200 years before the prophesy was fulfilled. Identified him as God’s Sheppard and instrument in the liberation of the people of Judea from captivity from Babylon to return to Jerusalem and to rebuild the temple, the temple which was destroyed by the Babylonians under King Nebuchadnezzar. I will cover the topic on King Cyrus in more details in another article. Let us to the litmus test on Isaiah 43:6
In this case “from” is “Babylon” which make sense satisfying the grammatical usage of “from” as explain here http://www.eslcafe.com/grammar/prepositions09.html.
Understanding Biblical Ends Of The Earth
According to this site, the “ends of the earth” appeared 28 times in the bible and “end of the earth” 3 times. Interestingly, all the literature in that site refers “ends of the earth” as place not time. Check “ends of the earth” yourself here.
Although in our time we know the earth is round and have no corners, the ancient Israel and the old testament described the earth with four corners. Let us read it also from Prophet Isaiah.
Isaiah again referring to the Israel who have been dispersed out of Judah and here he used four corners of the earth which is what he refers to in Isaiah 43:5-6 as “east, west, north, south” or “far east, far west, north, south” which are also the places he refers to as “ends of the earth”.
Another Isaiah usage of “ends of the earth”:
Other INC Doctrinal Lessons Using “ends of the earth”
The Church also is using Isaiah 41:9-10.
The INC doctrine refers to “You” as the members of the Church Of Christ in these last days. The theory of equivocation is a stolen prophesy from the Israelite. Let’s read the verses to include verse 8.
There is nothing complicated to say the “You” in verse 9 refers to the “you, Israel” in verse 8.
If the “ends of the earth” refers to these last days, then Proverbs 17:24 is also applicable to Church and its members only that they are called “fool”.
Israel and King Cyrus
History claim these Isaiah verses refers to the fulfillment of the prophesy of Isaiah to the Israelite who exiled in Babylon and became part of the people in and around the entire Babylonian empire. Isaiah prophesied (Isaiah 47:1, Isaiah 44:24-28) King Cyrus 200 years before he was born to liberate the Jews from their Babylonian captivity and allow them to return in Jerusalem to rebuild the temple of God. History confirms that has been fulfilled.