IGLESIA NI CRISTO CHURCH OF CHRIST

Beliefs

One God, the Father

We believe that the one and only true God is the Father, the Creator. We hold this belief because this is the doctrine taught by our Lord Jesus Christ and His Apostles (John 17:3, 1; I Cor. 8:6). God is a spirit (John 4:24), and, therefore, He has no flesh and bones (Luke 24:39).

There is no trinity of persons in God. Though the Bible speaks of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, never does it refer to all of them as gods nor as three persons in one God; rather, it points to the Father alone as the true God. The Son Himself emphasized that only the Father is the true God (John 17:3, 1) and that He Himself is a man telling the truth which He received from God (John 8:40). The prophets also taught that we have only one Father who created us (Mal. 2:10; Isa. 64:8). He alone is God, there is no other God and no one is like Him (Isa. 46:9).

God is from everlasting to everlasting, with no beginning or end (Ps. 90:2), immortal (I Tim. 1:17), and does not tire or become weary (Isa. 40:28).

He alone is the Creator of heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all things therein, and the seas and all that is in them (Neh. 9:6).

The Lord Jesus Christ

The Iglesia Ni Cristo believes that the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God (Matt. 3:17), is the one and only Savior given by God (Acts 13:23). Christ is the sole mediator between God and man (I Tim. 2:5) and the only way to God (John 14:6).

But we do not subscribe to the belief that Christ is a God-Man. He is man in nature according to His own testimony (John 8:40) and the teachings of His Apostles (I Tim. 2:5; Matt. 1:18).

The attributes of a human being are found in Christ. He hungered (Matt. 4:2), thirsted (John 19:28), became weary or tired (John 4:6), slept (Matt. 8:24), and died (Matt. 27:50; I Cor. 15:3). However, Christ as distinct from all men, is the only one Who did not sin (I Pet. 2:21-22; Heb. 4:15).

He has been exalted by God and given a name above all other names, that at the name of Christ every knee should bow, those in heaven, and those on earth (Phil. 2:9-11). He has been placed by God far above all principality, power, might and dominion, and every name that is named, and all things have been put under His feet (Eph. 1:21-22). Christ will eventually subject all His power and authority to the true God (I Cor. 15:27-28). He had in so many instances introduced Himself as the Son of God but never did He appropriate the title “God” nor “God the Son” for Himself because He is not God but a man.

The Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit is the power (Acts 1:8) sent by the Father in the name of Christ, to teach and remind His messengers of all things that Christ said (John 14:26).

Christ also sends the Holy Spirit to help us in our weaknesses and infirmities (John 15:26; Rom. 8:26). The Holy Spirit strengthens, edifies, and comforts the Church Of Christ (Eph. 3:16-17; John 14:26). And although the Holy Spirit is a spirit, never does the Scriptures refer to it as “God the Holy Spirit” because it is not God but one of the spirits being sent by God.

The Holy Scriptures

We believe that the Bible is the sole basis of faith and service to God. The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation to those who believe, for in it the righteousness of God is revealed (Rom. 1:16-17). The Holy Scriptures is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished for all good works (II Tim. 3:15-17).

God has purposely hidden His words in mystery (Rom. 16:25), so that men who strive to understand the Scripture through their own worldly knowledge can never come to know the truth (II Tim. 3:7). The gospel preached by those who are not sent by God is called by the Apostles “another gospel” (Gal. 1:6-7). And the use of the Gospel which deviates from the truth or from its true meaning will ineluctably lead to perdition (II Pet. 3:15-16).

The Messengers of God

The Iglesia Ni Cristo believes that the task of understanding God’s words in the Bible, and teaching them without any alteration, without adding or diminishing, is given exclusively to the messengers of God (Mark 4:11-12; Rom. 10:15; Deut. 12:32).

We believe that the late Brother Felix Y. Manalo is God’s last messenger; he was the fulfillment of the Biblical prophecies concerning the messenger from the Far East (Rev. 7:2-3) who would preach to God’s sons and daughters in these last days (Isa. 43:5-6; 46:11; 41:9-11). God reveals the meaning of His words to His messengers by means of the Holy Spirit (II Pet. 1:20-21), and the proof that the messengers were taught by the Holy Spirit is that their teachings never contradict one another (I Cor. 2:13).

God’s election

The Iglesia Ni Cristo believes that since ancient times, God has set apart His people to serve Him. Outside this election, man cannot render services acceptable to God (Ps. 4:3; Prov. 1:28).

Those whom God had chosen in the patriarchal times were Seth, Noah, and Abraham. Then He set apart the Israelites. But the Israelites did not remain faithful to the covenant of God (Gen. 17; Dan. 9:11).

After the fall of Israel, she was replaced by the Church Of Christ (I Pet. 2:9, 3-5; Matt. 16:18; Rom. 16:16; Acts 20:28, Lamsa Translation). Eventually, after the death of the Apostles, this Church which was established by Christ in the first century departed from the true faith. It was apostatized (Matt. 24:4, 11; Acts 20:29-30; I Tim. 4:1-3).

In these last days, God sent His messenger to administer man’s return to the true teachings of the Church. And it is in the Philippines (in the Far East) where God sent an angel or messenger to preach the true and pure Gospel of Christ to the people in order to bring them back to the true Church (Rev. 7:2-3; Isa. 43:5-7).

The Church and salvation

The Iglesia Ni Cristo believes that membership in the Church Of Christ is the only means to man’s salvation in the Christian era. All men need salvation, for all men have sinned, hence, all of mankind should die in the lake of fire, the wages of sins (Rom. 5:12; 6:23; Rev. 20:14). For man to be saved, he should enter in by Christ, by becoming a member of His body or Church (John 10:9; I Cor. 12:27; Col. 1:18) because it is His Church that Christ will save (Eph. 5:23).

Christ will not save anyone outside the Church Of Christ because it would be against the law of God. His law requires that sinners should pay for their own sin (Deut. 24:16; Rev. 20:14).

On baptism

We believe that the baptism commanded by Christ (Matt. 28:19) and preached by the Apostles is done by means of immersion (Rom. 6:4; John 3:23; Acts 8:36-38).

To qualify for baptism, one should be taught the words of God, believe in them, repent, and renew his life (Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:38). Since an infant cannot do these things, therefore infant baptism is not practiced in the Church Of Christ. Infants or little children should be offered to God for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these (Matt. 19:13-15). Their baptism comes after they shall have qualified for it.

On the Church Administration

The Iglesia Ni Cristo believes that every member is duty-bound to submit himself to the Church Administration because it is God’s commandment (Heb. 13:17). This is so because God entrusted to the Administration the message and the ministry of reconciliation (II Cor. 5:18-20). To submit to the Administration is to be bound by its instructions (Matt. 18:18). To abide by the decisions laid down by the Administration is to abide by the words of Christ (Acts 16:4; Luke 10:16). The Christian way of life

We believe that all those baptized in Christ should put on Christ (Gal. 3:27). It is Christ who should live in them and no longer they themselves (Gal. 2:20).

Those who are truly in Christ should lead a righteous life based on the moral teachings of the Bible (II Cor. 5:17; II Tim. 3:15-17).

Members of the Church Of Christ are prohibited from eating blood under pain of expulsion (Acts 15:28-29; Lev. 17:10).

Mixed marriage is strictly prohibited in the Church Of Christ because since the very beginning, God has been against marriage between those who are His people and those who are not. In the sight of God, mixed marriage is a great evil and an act of treachery (Deut. 7:3-4; Neh. 13:27). It was the major cause of the great deluge that destroyed the ancient world (Gen. 6:1-2, 5, 7).

Worship of God

The Iglesia Ni Cristo believes that it is the whole duty of man to worship God and keep His commandments. Worship of God is man’s inherent obligation, because He created us, hence, we do not belong to ourselves but to God (Ps. 95:6-7; 100:3).

Worship of God should be done in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24). God’s name should be worshipped—this is worship in spirit; and His will should be done in heaven by obeying His words—this is worship in truth (Matt. 6:9-10; John 17:17).

The Church Of Christ in these last days, or the Iglesia Ni Cristo, in Filipino (like the first-century Church Of Christ), observes the worship service which is characterized by psalms and hymn singing, prayers, studying the words of God, and offerings (I Cor. 14:26, 15; 16:2).

The Iglesia Ni Cristo performs offerings and contributions as God’s commandment that should not be forgotten and with which God is well pleased (Heb. 13:16). Every member of the Church Of Christ should give according to the dictates of the heart, for God loves a cheerful giver (II Cor. 9:7). The contributions should be prepared beforehand so that they may be voluntary and not compulsory. The faithful sets aside and keeps a certain sum proportionate to their gain or the blessings that God bestows upon them (I Cor. 16:1-2; Deut. 16:16-17).

Christ Himself highly regards the assembling together of the Church Of Christ in congregational worship services, because every time His Church congregates, He is there in their midst by means of His Spirit (Matt. 18:20; Gal. 4:6).

Congregational worship service is of extreme importance in the Church Of Christ: that is why, members are strictly forbidden to forsake it. To willfully forsake it is a grave sin (Heb. 10:25-27).

The brotherhood

The Iglesia Ni Cristo believes that members of the true Church Of Christ should observe the brotherhood. Christ established a brotherhood inside the Church Of Christ (Matt. 23:8). That is why members of the Church address one another as brother and sister.

Iglesia Ni Cristo members should love one another as commanded by Christ and as taught by the Apostles. This shows that they are the true disciples of Christ (John 13:34-35; I Pet. 2:17).

It is evil to hate any brother in the Church. Whosoever hates his brother in the faith is considered a murderer and shall not attain everlasting life (I John 3:15).

To maintain the love for brotherhood in the Church, members who have misunderstanding or disputes are commanded to reconcile (Matt. 5:23-25; Eph. 4:32).

The Christian unity

The Iglesia Ni Cristo subscribes to sacred unity. This is absolute unity, for in this unity, God, Christ, and the Church are joined together or united (John 17:23, 21).

We observe this unity in the name of Christ, to the glory of God (I Cor. 1:10; 10:31). Division or schism is strictly forbidden because Christ is not divided. Divisions and strife are earthly, sensual, and devilish (I Cor. 1:10, 13; James 3:14-15).

The resurrection of the dead

The Iglesia Ni Cristo believes that the dead will be resurrected. Christ would not have been resurrected if there were no resurrection of the dead (I Cor. 15:12-13).

There are two kinds of resurrection: those who have done good will rise and live, and those who have done evil will rise and be condemned (John 5:28-29; Rev. 20:14).

The dead members of the Church Of Christ will be resurrected at Christ’s second coming (I Cor. 15:23) and those faithful members who are alive when He returns shall without dying, meet Christ in the air to be with Him in the dwelling place that He has prepared for them (I Thess. 4:16-17).

The Second Coming of Christ and Judgment Day

We believe that Christ will come again. Christ Himself promised that He will return (John 14:1-3). This promise was echoed by the Apostles (I Thess. 4:15-16). Members of the Church are commanded to prepare for the second coming of Christ for no one knows the exact day and hour of His coming, except God, the Father (Matt. 24:36, 42, 44).

Christ, however, knew and told us the signs that herald His second coming and these are wars, famines, earthquakes in different places, as well as increasing hardships and wickedness which shall cause the love for God of many to wax cold (Matt. 24:6-8, 12).

The Second Coming of Christ is the day of Judgment and destruction of ungodly men. On this day, the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire and be burned up (II Pet. 3:7, 10). The cry on the day of the Lord is bitter, the mighty man cries aloud there. Neither silver nor gold shall be able to deliver man on the day of the wrath of the Lord (Zeph. 1:14, 18).

The Holy City, New Jerusalem

The Iglesia Ni Cristo believes that there is a Holy City being prepared by Christ and promised to His disciples to which He will bring them on His return (John 14:2-3). The Holy City is glorious, having the glory of God (Rev. 21:10-21). This is the future home of the members of the Church Of Christ who stay faithful up to the end. Life in the Holy City is perfect—no need for sun and moon and no night (Rev. 21:23-25; 22:5), no food and water shortage (Rev. 22:1-2), no more curse (Rev. 22:3), no hunger, thirst, sorrow, pain, death, evil (Rev. 7:15-17; 21:4).

Only those given by the Father to Christ can enter the New Jerusalem (John 17:12). And those given to Christ are called by God into the fellowship with Christ (I Cor. 1:9) and this calling is done by means of the Gospel as preached by God’s messengers (II Thess. 2:14; II Cor. 5:19-20). Those who are called are gathered in one body (Col. 3:15) which is the Church (Col. 1:18) called the Church Of Christ, Iglesia Ni Cristo in Filipino (Rom. 16:16; Acts 20:28, Lamsa Translation).