Who founded the Iglesia ni Cristo in 1914, was it Jesus Christ
or Felix Manalo?

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Christ is the founder

Letter to the Editor:
PASUGO, August 1995, p.2

I AM CONFUSED about some of the doctrines of your religion, I have several questions which I believe many of your readers also have in mind.  These are my questions;
1.  Who founded the Iglesia ni Cristo in 1914, was it Jesus Christ or Felix Manalo?
2.  If it was our Lord Jesus Christ, did he come to Manila in 1914 for the purpose of establishing His church?
3.  Or, was Iglesia ni Cristo founded  by Felix Manalo who stated in his application to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that said applicant is the FOUNDER and present head of the Iglesia ni Cristo and desires to convert said entity into a unipersonal corporation as published several years ago in PASUGO?
4.  If the Iglesia ni Cristo was founded only in 1914, where was it from 33 A.D. to 1913?

Gertrudes Beltran
Las Pinas, Philippines


Editor's reply:

      1.  Our Lord Jesus Christ founded a Church as He Himself mentioned to Apostles Peter:

      “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” (Mt. 16:18, NIV)

     The Church, which is His body and of which He is the head, is none other than the Church of Christ (or, Iglesia ni Cristo in Filipino) for which He shed His blood (cf. Col. 1:18; Acts 20:28, Lamsa).

      2. Our Lord Jesus Christ didn’t descend from heaven to establish His Church in Manila in 1914. (Note that the first century Church apostatized after the apostolic period.) The Church of Christ in the Philippines is the reestablished Church. It was reestablished by virtue of the fulfillment of biblical prophecy – John 10:16. Here, Christ mentions about His other sheep that were not yet in the fold during His ministry but which He must also bring into the fold. They will be brought into the fold or the reestablished Church by heeding His voice.

      By that time (1914), Christ was in heaven but His voice would be heard when God’s chosen messenger would preach His words (cf. Lk. 10:16; Jn. 13:20). It was not Christ Himself who would do the preaching but someone whom God would send to echo His words. We believe that Brother Felix Y. Manalo – God’s messenger in these last days – was sent to fulfill this function. Through his instrumentality, Christ was able to reestablish the Church of Christ (or, Iglesia ni Cristo) in the Philippines.

      3. In the application for registration submitted by Brother Felix Y. Manalo to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), it is stated that he is the founder. Brother Felix Y. Manalo, instead of our Lord Jesus Christ, was registered as the founder not because he is recognized by the Church as the founder but because the registration of any organization with the SEC requires the name of the founder with his domicile furnished and his signature affixed.

      So, for the purpose of registration and for the enjoyment of protection before the law, someone must represent the Church to be registered. Would it not sound ridiculous had Brother Felix Y. Manalo insisted to write down the name of Jesus Christ on those papers? Brother Felix Y. Manalo’s name then had to be placed as founder just to comply with the requirements of the Articles of Incorporation and not to reflect or declare the religious beliefs of the Church then to be registered.

     The Iglesia ni Cristo stands firm in its teaching that Christ (not Brother Felix Y. Manalo) is the founder of the Church.

     Brother Felix Y. Manalo registered the Iglesia ni Cristo as a corporation sole (unipersonal corporation). This does not mean that he is the owner of the properties of the Church (as the unschooled would claim). Of course, not! Rather, he is to act only as the administrator (and NOT the owner) of the temporalities located in the territory comprised by said corporation sole (Martin, Commentaries and Jurisprudence on the Philippine Commercial Laws, 245-246, rev. ed., 1971).

     This is substantiated by the Articles of Incorporation of the Iglesia ni Cristo which states: “That as Pastor of this organization he is overseer and administrator of all the temporalities of the organization.” Thus, Brother Felix Y. Manalo is the administrator, not the owner, of the properties of the Iglesia ni Cristo.

     4.  The first – century Church of Christ apostatized when the bishops took over the administration of the Church from the apostles. When doctrinal changes creped into the true Church, it was transformed into the Catholic religion. Eventually, the members of the Church were led away from the truth and were made to follow teachings of the devil (cf. I Tim. 4:1, 3).

        Hence, in 1914, by virtue of the prophecies of God and of Christ, the true Church (Iglesia ni Cristo) reemerged.



Bible Study Suggestion: If you have further questions, please feel free to visit the Iglesia ni Cristo congregation nearest you. A minister or an evangelical worker would be happy to answer any biblical question you have in mind. For the latest Worship Service Directory of Iglesia ni Cristo Locales and Congregations outside the Philippines, please visit www.iglesianicristoworshipservice.com

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