By: Pastor Manny (Admin Name)
The foundation of INC’s beliefs is dependent on whether Felix Manalo was God’s final messenger or not. If they got that one wrong, everything that they believe will crumble. Just as other sects, they believe that the Philippines has a legitimate place in the story of salvation that this is the place where Felix Manalo would be born. For example, in Isaiah 46:11, they believed that the bird of prey was “Felix Manalo” and that he would be born from the “far east” (even though that’s not what the Bible actually said). So, what we are going to do today is to show the steps for us to avoid twisting Isaiah 46:11.
STEP 1: Cite the verse in question.
11 calling a bird of prey from the east,
the man of my counsel from a far country.
I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass;
I have purposed, and I will do it.
– This should always be the first step. We have to know the verse that is being discussed. We just can’t cite a verse without actually presenting it because when we are reading something in context, we have to prove that from the text itself.
STEP 2: Look for the answers in the same book.
– Some issues that I have with INC is how they jump from one book to another. It’s what I often call as “Verse Hopping”. If we truly wanted to avoid twisting the Bible, we have to see the consistency of that interpretation all throughout the same book, in this case, Isaiah. We just cannot hop from one verse to another where the context does not match.
STEP 3: Look for a bible verse where the man “from the east” is described.
2 “Who has stirred up one from the east,
calling him in righteousness to his service?
He hands nations over to him
and subdues kings before him.
He turns them to dust with his sword,
to windblown chaff with his bow.
– The good thing about Isaiah 46:11 is that there are clues before that chapter. And, based on chapter 46 verse 11, that “bird of prey” would be coming from the east. Now, we can see this in Isaiah 41:2. Based on that verse, the descriptions of the one from the east were being a righteous and an authoritative person.
STEP 4: Look for a bible verse where a man called in righteousness is described.
13 I have aroused him in righteousness,
and I will make straight all his ways;
he shall build my city
and set my exiles free,
not for price or reward,”
says the LORD of hosts.
– Now, because we know that the “bird of prey” is called in righteousness and has a great authority, all we need to do is to look where that person is described. This is what we can see in Isaiah 45:13 above. The next question would be knowing who is him.
STEP 5: See in the same chapter the man whom the Lord was addressing.
45 Thus says the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus,
whose right hand I have grasped,
to subdue nations before him
and ungird the loins of kings,
to open doors before him
that gates may not be closed:
– There are some versions of the Bible that already named Cyrus as the “him” in verse 13 even though the Hebrew word used simply means “him”. Anyway, INC might be arguing that we shouldn’t use a specific translation just to suit our interpretation (even though that’s what they always do), but we can actually see from the same chapter for whom the message was, and it was for Cyrus.
STEP 6: Make your conclusion.
– The bird of prey in Isaiah 46:11 based on the consistency of Isaiah is Cyrus.