Does Zechariah 13:9 speak of the "Iglesia Ni Cristo"?
The "Iglesia Ni Cristo" teaches that they are the third part of Zechariah 13:9 and that the first part is disobedient Jews and second part is disobedient Gentiles. Is this accurate?
When we look at the verse and its surrounding context, we see that this does not refer to the INC. In fact, the context of the verse speaks against the practices of the INC.
The three parts are not three groups.
The INC once again reveals its gross incompetence in understanding basic expressions when they say that the three parts are literally three groups (disobedient Jews, disobedient Gentiles, and the INC). The three parts are not two parts in the sense of discrete units, but in the sense of ratios. Zechariah might as well have said 66 percent and 33 percent, or as many translations have it "two thirds" and "one third".
Zechariah 13:7-8 (ESV) -- 7 "Awake, O sword, against my shepherd,
against the man who stands next to me,"
declares the Lord of hosts.
"Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered;
I will turn my hand against the little ones.
8 In the whole land, declares the Lord,
two thirds shall be cut off and perish,
and one third shall be left alive.
Zechariah is saying that there are two groups in total, not three. The group that perishes will be larger than the group that flourishes.
Zechariah 13:9 is about those who have been forgiven through Christ's death.
So is the INC the one third that survives? It is not.
Zechariah 13:9 (ESV) - 9 And I will put this third into the fire,
and refine them as one refines silver,
and test them as gold is tested.
They will call upon my name,
and I will answer them.
I will say, 'They are my people';
and they will say, 'The Lord is my God.'"
The INC assumes that they are the people of God, but they are not. We read about the true people of God earlier in Zechariah 13.
Zechariah 13:1 (ESV) - 1 "On that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness.
This verse refers to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The true people of God are those who have been cleansed by the fountain that is his blood. The INC does not teach forgiveness through the work of Christ, but forgiveness through our own works. Therefore, they are not this people.
The INC is one of the false prophets in Zechariah 13.
During Zechariah's time, Judah was plagued with false prophets who claimed that God spoke through them.
Zechariah 13:2b-3 (ESV) 2b And also I will remove from the land the prophets and the spirit of uncleanness. 3 And if anyone again prophesies, his father and mother who bore him will say to him, 'You shall not live, for you speak lies in the name of the Lord.' And his father and mother who bore him shall pierce him through when he prophesies.
What is the INC, but an organization claiming to have an authorative understanding of the Bible and unique message from God? As we have seen previously, this organization has trouble even understanding that "two thirds" is a single measurement rather than two discrete groups. They do not infallibly understand the words of God as they claim, and therefore they are false prophets. As Zechariah says, they will one day be shamed for their lies.
The INC is not the remnant of Zechariah 13:9. They are the false prophets of Zechariah 13:2. INC members should repent of their sins and affirm the true gospel.