What is the understanding of the Iglesia Ni Cristo of Manalo about the expressions “end of the earth” and “ends of the earth”?
Basically, whether it’s “end of the earth” or “ends of the earth”, the Iglesia Ni Manalo is talking about time, and that time concerns the appearance of their last messenger, Felix Manalo. Without being hypocritical though, a member of the Iglesia Ni Manalo will admit that in their church, these doctrines “end of the earth” and “ends of the earth” are vague.
A book written by Eraño Manalo says that there is a difference between the two expressions; they mean two different things. In “Ang Mga Pangunahing Doktrina ng Biblia” (The Fundamental Doctrines of the Bible), published in 1995, page 64:
178. Are the expressions “end of the earth” and “ends of the earth” synonymous? No. The expressions “ends of the earth” and “end of the earth” are not the same. The end of the earth is the second coming of Christ.
The two expressions are different, Eraño Manalo said; and the meaning of the “end of the earth” is the second coming of Christ. In the Iglesia Ni Manalo, the second coming of Christ means the Judgment Day, which is the end of the world where everything will be consumed by fire. This doctrine stretches one’s curiosity, especially so if you are acquainted with the history and contents of their Pasugo.
In Pasugo (Iglesia Ni Cristo’s official magazine), published on July 1956, on page 7, Pedro Reyes Villanueva wrote the article “Ang Huling Sugo Ng Diyos Sa Wakas Ng Lupa” (The Last Messenger of God at the End of the Earth). Villanueva was a minister during the administration of Felix Manalo. According to Felix Manalo’s teaching to Villanueva, as the latter wrote, “Brother Felix Manalo is the last messenger of God at the end of the earth.” Mind you, he did not write “ends of the earth.”
Eraño Manalo said the expressions “end of the earth” and “ends of the earth” are not the same. What does the expression “end of the earth” mean again according to Eraño? “The end of the earth is the second coming of Christ.”
If we are to consider logic, Felix Manalo and Eraño Manalo’s doctrines would clearly contradict each other. What Felix Manalo taught before would not coincide with what Eraño Manalo teaches today—that is, if we are to consider logic.
Pasugo says, “Brother Felix Manalo is the last messenger of God at the end of the earth.” This is the teaching of Felix Manalo; the time he shall appear is at the “end of the earth.” But the teaching of his son Eraño Manalo says the “end of the earth” is the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, which they believe to be the judgment day or end of the world.
Does this mean that Felix Manalo will only appear at the last day which is the judgment day or the end of the world? If that is the case, to whom is Felix Manalo going to preach then? Isn’t he too late to be a messenger if he is going to be sent at the last day? HELLO! WAKE UP GEORGE! This is the kind of doctrine that doesn’t need sarcasm to be humiliating. It is void of logic at best. Let us confirm.
In the Iglesia Ni Manalo’s doctrinal handbook, Mga Pangunahing Aral Na Sinasampalatayanan Ng Iglesia Ni Kristo (The Fundamental Doctrines the Iglesia Ni Kristo Believes In), published in 1989, on page 35:
LESSON NO. 8
Brother Felix Manalo: Messenger of God in the Last Day
Topic: Brother Felix Manalo is the messenger of God in the last day.
This topic confirms our deduction from Felix Manalo’s doctrine that he “is the last messenger of God at the end of the earth,” and from Eraño Manalo’s doctrine that the “end of the earth” is the second coming of Christ. In this respect, Felix and Eraño are not contradicting each other, and their doctrines are in complete harmony. The only problem is, their doctrines harmonize in stupidity; like father like son.
Imagine, Felix Manalo is the messenger of God in the last day? Note that they used the words “last day”, not “last days”; which means, until now Felix Manalo has not been sent yet to preach since it is not yet the last day. Poor guy; he died before he can even be sent to preach. Good luck at the last day.
You see, if you are in the Iglesia Ni Manalo, you will not notice these things. These things are not taught in details in the Iglesia Ni Cristo of Manalo. Members do not care for nuances in biblical terminologies. They were trained to brush aside their questions and doubts. If the minister says this is the meaning of doctrine-this, the member will just say “amen”; if the minister says this is the meaning of doctrine-that, the member will always just say “amen”, without practicing logic and critical thinking.
Now, it is common knowledge in the Iglesia Ni Manalo that whenever they speak of “end of the earth” or “ends of the earth”, they refer to time, not place. And we have evidence to support this. This doctrine was published in their Pasugo, September 1953, on page 32, authored by Felipe Aguilar.
May mga tumututol sa amin na yaon daw salitang “Mga Wakas Ng Lupa”, ay tumutukoy raw sa dako, samakatuwid isang lugal. Ang gayong pagtutol ay aming igagalang kailanma’t may matibay na pinagsasaligan. Datapuwa’t kung wala, ang gayong pagtutol ay ibibilang naming isang kamangmangan. Bakit kami naniniwalang hindi dako o isang lugal ang tinutukoy ng pariralang “Mga Wakas Ng Lupa?” Sapagka’t ayon sa siyensiya ang mundo ay hindi lapad (flat) kundi bilog.
There are those who contest us saying that the expression “Ends of the Earth” refers to place. We shall respect such objection whenever there is firm basis. But if there isn’t, we shall dismiss it as foolishness. Why do we believe that the phrase “Ends of the Earth” does not refer to place? Because according to science, the earth is not flat but round.
This is the explanation of Pasugo. According to their official publication, they do not believe that the expression “ends of the earth” refers to place, but to time. However, this belief of the Iglesia Ni Manalo was changed later on. In Pasugo published on March 1998, on page 5, authored by Tomas C. Catangay:
The Scriptures specify that the calling of God’s sons and daughters from the Far East would begin at the “ends of the earth.” The expression “ends of the earth” PERTAINS BOTH TO PLACE AND TIME.
After 45 years, the Iglesia Ni Manalo decided to change its doctrine. Just like what they said in their earlier Pasugo, that they shall respect those who contest them—whenever there is firm basis—so they did. Having been attentively listening to and recording Bro. Eli Soriano’s preaching, their condition was satisfied: a firm basis of belief. Thus, they changed their own belief. This is just one of the vague and variable doctrines of the Iglesia Ni Manalo which must be exposed.