Thoughts and Truth from the Impossible Life

How to Experience Christ’s Peace

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How to Experience Christ’s Peace

John 14:27-31

“My peace I give to you” (John 14:27). Jesus spoke these amazing words just hours before His crucifixion. His peace isn’t dependent upon external circumstances, but rather, it transcends them. Although He gives His peace to every believer as a gift, our experience of it is related to our faith in the following truths:

  • God is in control of everything. Without this assurance, the world is a scary place.
  • He loves me and will see me through every circumstance, no matter how difficult or painful it may be.
  • To have Christ’s peace, I must surrender my life to Him. When I hold onto my ways and plans, I’ll experience turmoil.
  • I have a limited perspective and understanding of my circumstances and God’s purposes for allowing them. His goals for me are greater than my immediate comfort.
  • The Lord promises to work all things out for my good. He is continually working to transform my character into Christ’s image.
  • I must live in sync with God, walking in the Spirit and promptly confessing and repenting of sin.
  • Scripture is my foundation for peace. It increases my trust in the Lord’s goodness, assures me that He keeps His promises, and reminds me of His sovereignty over every situation.

Sadly, many Christians live their whole lives without consistently experiencing this incomprehensible peace. Perhaps faith and submission are the most challenging issues. But only as we surrender control of our lives to Christ and trust in His plans for us will we discover tranquil rest for our souls.

December 31, 2012 Posted by | Christianity / God, Daily Gospel, Mormon Christianity | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Salvation and Works

Does the LDS church have everything 100% correct? Of course not. Does any denomination or church have everything 100% correct? Of course not.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? John 11:26

I believe.

Regarding the idea of works being necessary:

1 John 1:7-10
1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

John is instructing us about the obligation we have due to receiving atonement through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Forgiveness does not remove from us the obligation to keep the commands of God. The law of God is not done away once we are under the blood of Jesus Christ. His death paid for our past sins. Though His death will pay for sins committed after our original forgiveness, we are urged not to break God’s laws. Sinning without serious regard and deep appreciation for Christ’s death brings us into danger of committing the unpardonable sin (Hebrews 10:26, 28-29). A disciplined and robust effort to obey God’s commands witnesses to Him the depth of our appreciation for the grace He gives through Christ.
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Consider the words of Christ in Luke 9:23-24:

23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
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If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.”

–The words of Christ in Matthew 19:17.
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The truth is that we are saved by the grace of Christ which is offered to us through a covenant, a two-way contract: if we accept Christ and do our part, following and obeying him, then Christ does everything else, forgiving us, cleansing us, healing us, and giving us power to return to the presence of the Father – not because we earned it, but because we accepted the terms upon which he offers his infinite grace and mercy. Even in the days of Moses, the Lord proclaimed that God “shows mercy to those that keep his commandments” (Deut. 5:10), a principle that has not changed. The mercy or grace offered through a two-way covenant with Christ is implied in the Third LDS Article of Faith, and in the teaching of the prophet Nephi who wrote in 2 Nephi 25:23:

For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.

The Church’s emphasis on personal responsibility and the need for self-disciplined obedience may seem to de-emphasize the role of Christ’s grace; however, for Latter-day Saints, obedience is but one blade of the scissors. All of LDS theology also reflects the major premise of the Book of Mormon that without grace there is no salvation: “For we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do” (2 Ne. 25:23). The source of this grace is the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ: “Mercy cometh because of the Atonement” (Alma 42:23).

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That Ye Might Believe That Jesus Is the Christ

“That Ye Might Believe That Jesus Is the Christ” by Nancy W. Jensen

Isaiah 61:1-3; JST Luke 3:4-11; John 1:1-14; 20:31

THE MISSION OF JESUS CHRIST

Isaiah 61:1-3 is such a beautiful scripture, it begs to be read aloud over and over! These verses, understood, can change one’s understanding of the Atonement, and are a great passage to read and ponder during the sacrament. Elder Bruce C. Hafen wrote a wonderful treatise on it entitled “Beauty for Ashes” which you can read here.

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our god; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty [to replace] ashes, the oil of joy [to replace] mourning, the garment of praise [to replace] the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”

Christ read this scripture in the synagogue to proclaim himself the Messiah, “but stopped short so that he could say, ‘Today as you heard it read, this passage of [Scripture] (up to but not including the day of vengeance) was fulfilled,’ for at his first coming he healed and brought Good News of the Kingdom and salvation; it was not his time to take vengeance or judge” (Stern). “And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.” (Luke 4:20-21)

Notice each of the things Christ has been anointed to do, each marked by the word “to.” Which of these things do you need in your life?

1. to preach good tidings unto the meek
2. to bind up the broken-hearted
3. to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to them that are bound
4. to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
5. and [to proclaim] the day of vengeance of our God
6. to comfort all they that mourn
7. to give [or exchange] to [those that mourn in Zion] beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.

The next part of the reading assignment is JST Luke 3:4-11, and it also contains a long list of gifts that Christ has brought, each also marked by the word “to:”

1. to take away the sins of the world
2. to bring salvation unto the heathen nations
3. to gather together those who are lost, who are of the sheepfold of Israel
4. to prepare the way, and make possible the preaching of the gospel unto the Gentiles
5. to be a light unto all who sit in darkness, unto the uttermost parts of the earth
6. to bring to pass the resurrection from the dead
7. to ascend up on high, to dwell on the right hand of the Father
8. to administer justice unto all
9. to come down in judgment upon all
10. to convince all the ungodly of their ungodly deeds.

The Atonement is for the washing away of sins, clearly, and for the resurrection of the dead, obviously, but these scriptures show that it is so much more than that, and very applicable and helpful to our everyday problems and challenges.

The third scripture in the reading assignment is John 1:1-14. I always had trouble understanding why Christ was called “The Word” here. The JST makes the meaning of that term clear:

“In the beginning was the gospel preached through the Son. And the gospel was the word, and the word was with the Son, and the Son was with God, and the Son was of God” (v. 1). In him was the gospel, and the gospel was the life, and the life was the light of men” (v. 4).

(When reading the JST in the LDS Bible Appendix, it is helpful to notice that the changes from the King James Version have been italicized.)

OVERVIEW OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

As we look at the Table of Contents of the New Testament we can see that the book can be easily divided up into four sections:

1. The Gospels (testimonies of Christ)
2. Acts (work of the apostles, especially Peter’s work among the Jews and Paul’s work among the Gentiles)
3. Epistles (letters from Church leaders to the saints)
4. Revelation (revelation received by John on the isle of Patmos)

Why are there four gospels, four different tellings of the life of Christ? Sure, there is the reason that all truth is established by God in the mouth of two or three witnesses, and here we have even more than that, but couldn’t they have collaborated and put together one story that would have been a comprehensive, all-inclusive, chronological biography of Christ, with four witnesses to it? Then there wouldn’t have been any contradictions, and everything would have been covered. Right?

Well, the gospels are not just biographies, but testimonies of Christ (Bible Dictionary, p. 683). Each author came from a different walk of life, and was writing to a specific audience. The study of the authorship, audience, and angle of each of the gospels is fascinating and instructive.

OVERVIEW OF THE FOUR GOSPELS

The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke are quite similar in phraseology and content, and for that reason they are called “The Synoptic Gospels” (Bible Dictionary, p. 683). The Gospel of John is quite different, and we will discover the reason for that later.

The Gospel of Mark

Scholars agree that Mark was probably written first, and that the other writers had access to it when writing their gospels. Mark was not one of the apostles. He was younger. He likely was alive when Christ was alive, but he would have been a child. After his conversion, he became the younger missionary companion of Paul, and later of Peter, serving mainly among the Gentiles. Therefore, he wrote his gospel from his missionary perspective: a Jew writing to Gentiles. One can see that hee assumed that the reader would be unfamiliar with Jewish customs and terms and with Palestinian geography, because he explained and described those things. One can also see that he assumed that the reader was familiar with Latin terms and customs.

“[Mark’s] object is to describe our Lord as the incarnate Son of God, living and acting among men. The gospel contains a living picture of a living Man. Energy and humility are the characteristics of his portrait. It is full of descriptive touches that help us to realize the impression made upon the bystanders” (BD, p. 728). It is “fast moving, emphasizing the doings more than the sayings of the Lord” (BD, p. 683). Note how many times Mark uses the words “immediately, “straightway,” “anon”–all translations of the same word. (Fronk) This one word is used eight times in chapter one alone, in verses 10, 12, 18, 20, 21, and 28. Reading Mark leaves one breathless. The intensity of the ministry is emphasized: No time to rest, no time to eat. Mark is full of miracles. An interesting experiment: Camille Fronk recommends reading it all in one sitting, to catch the energy in the telling.

The Gospel of Matthew

Matthew was a Jew. He was a publican, and so he was not popular by profession. He was one of the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ, and he was alive when these things were happening, although he certainly wasn’t eyewitness to all of them. “Matthew was probably a thorough Jew with a wide knowledge of the Old Testament scriptures, and able to see in every detail of the Lord’s life the fulfillment of prophecy” (BD, p. 729). His book was written to convince the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. For this reason, he highlighted the number 14 in Christ’s genealogy and he noted 14 prophecies from the Jewish scriptures that were fulfilled by Christ. (See “The Importance of the Number 14” in a previous lesson.) He knew that the number 14 was significant to his readers, who were Hebrew. He knew that they knew that 14 meant “salvation.”

Matthew picked and chose who to represent in the genealogy, as there were actually more than 14 generations between each important individual (and this was acceptable to the Jews, because the symbolic number was the most important thing, not the literal number), but in that picking and choosing, he referenced five women. Besides Mary (1:16), he listed Thamar or Tamar (1:3), Rachab or Rahab, Ruth (1:5), and Bathsheba (1:6). Every one of these women had questionable pasts, particularly in relation to their conception and child-bearing, but produced great results for the House of Israel, making themselves ancestral heroines.

1) Tamar conceived while masquerading as a prostitute! The father of her child was her own father-in-law. The reason she committed this grossly immoral deception was that, in opposition to Jewish law, Judah and his sons had cheated her out of progeny, sent her back to her father’s house, and consigned her to life as a childless widow (twice widowed, actually), a state that would undoubtedly lead to devastating poverty in her old age. (See “Opposites” in a previous lesson.)

2) Rahab was an idolatrous prostitute in Jericho. With no gospel training, no missionaries, no “members” living nearby, and in the most wicked environment in the world, she gained a testimony of Jehovah. After her conversion, and after saving the spies of Israel, she raised her son, Boaz, to be a great, kind, wise, and faithful man, the man who married Ruth! (See a previous lesson for more on Rahab.)

3) The next woman mentioned, Ruth, was Rahab’s daughter-in-law, a convert from idolatry as well, a Moabitess. She was married to a Hebrew, and then widowed, which dropped her to the bottom of Jewish society. From this low point, she sought her own marriage, contrary to custom, and was most likely not the first wife. (See OT Lesson #20.)

4) Last mentioned was Bathsheba, who conceived as a result of an extra-marital date-rape, or at least an event beyond her control, since the perpetrator happened to be the all-powerful king David. (See a previous lesson for more on this.)

5) By including these particular women, revered by the Jews but with imperfect and even abhorrent family situations, Matthew presented the perfect defense for Mary’s unusual circumstance of conception. (Bokovoy)

A little parable recorded in Matthew is especially applicable to the Jews. “Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old” (Matt. 13:52). The “scribe” would be a man knowledgeable in the Jewish religion. “Things old” would be the Law of Moses, and “things new” the Gospel of Christ. Matthew included a lot of anti-Pharisee comments to show that the Law was not an end in itself, as the Pharisees seemed to think. Chapters 5-7 give the higher law. “The Kingdom of Heaven” would be important to the Jews, and many of the parables in Matthew liken something to the Kingdom of Heaven. The parables describe trees growing or bread rising, showing that the Kingdom of Heaven is a process, not an event. (Fronk)

Matthew’s is the only gospel that includes the story of the wise men. Jews would have been most impressed by wealthy, learned men who had studied the scriptures in far away lands (they might possibly have been displaced Jews) and recognized the signs of the Messiah’s coming.

Matthew included five major discourses given by Jesus Christ. He highlighted these in a way similar to the way he highlighted the 14 prophecies, using a key phrase at the end of each. The phrase is “When Jesus had finished these sayings…” Is there a reason he chose five sermons? Of course! There is a reason for every number used by a Jew in the Bible! In this case, Matthew was adding a sequel to five writings that were very near and dear to every Jew, and were in fact, a foundation of their religion: The five books of Moses, the Torah. By doing this, he was showing the Jews that Christ was the fulfillment of the Law of Moses, and that His counsel superseded or added to that Law. (Bokovoy)

1. 5:1-7:27 The Sermon on the Mount, given to the multitude. The tag is found in 7:28.
2. 10:5-42 The instruction for the ministry of the 12 apostles. The tag is 11:1.
3. 13:1-52 The Sermon from the Ship, given to great multitudes. The tag is 13:53.
4. 18:1-35 “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of God?” spoken to the apostles. The tag is 19:1.
5. 24:3-25:46 The Olivet Discourse, given to the 12 apostles. The tag is 26:1.

The Gospel of Luke

Luke’s gospel is the one with the beautiful Christmas story, told from a woman’s perspective. (Matthew tells it from a man’s.) Luke was a Gentile convert, likely converted through the labors of Paul (see BD, p. 726), writing to Gentiles and to minorities, and to those looked down upon by the Jews: women, lepers, Samaritans, sinners (prostitutes). Luke was a physician, and therefore had close contact with and compassion for all types and both genders of people, a unique position. Most male professions in that day involved dealings with other men only, but a physician dealt with all, even the “unclean.”

As a missionary, Luke ministered to the Gentiles with Paul. Like Matthew, Luke gives a genealogy of Christ, but it differs from Matthew’s. Matthew introduced Christ as “the son of David, the son of Abraham” (Matt. 1:1). This is what was important to the Jews: that Christ was one of the chosen people, and was in the kingly and priestly line. It was the first thing Matthew said in his testimony. Luke, on the other hand, gives a genealogy of Christ that identifies him as “the son of Joseph” (Luke 3:23) (even though Luke testifies of the divinity of Christ) and takes Christ’s ancestry all the way back to Adam (Luke 3:38), making everyone, Jew and Gentile, a relative of Christ. (Fronk)

Luke had a special understanding of women as a result of his medical ministry among them. He wa the only one who wrote of the annunciation of Mary, and of her visit to Elizabeth, John the Baptist’s mother. He knew that “Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19). He knew of Simeon’s personal prophecy to Mary that “a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also” (Luke 2:35). How did he know of these things? Very likely he was a close personal acquaintance of Mary’s in the Church, and he heard these stories from her own mouth. Luke gives what little information we have about the childhood of Christ. He was the one who told of Mary’s terror when she realized her 12-year-old was not with the caravan. (See Luke 2:51).

Where is the parable of the Good Samaritan found? Only in Luke. What about Christ’s visit to Mary and Martha? Only in Luke. Many of the most treasured parables are found only in Luke: The woman with the lost coin, the shepherd with the lost sheep, the Prodigal Son, the rich man and the beggar Lazarus. The cleansing of the ten lepers is recorded only in Luke. Luke wrote to the underdog, to tell him (and her!) that Christ was come for them as well as for anyone.

The Gospel of John

John is the gospel that is not like the others. Like Matthew and Mark, John was a Jew converted to Christianity. Like Matthew he was one of the apostles. But unlike Matthew, he was not writing to convince the Jews that Jesus was the Christ, and unlike Mark, he was not writing to convince the Gentiles that Jesus was the Christ. He was not writing to convince anyone that Jesus was the Christ: he was writing to those who already knew. He was writing to the Christians. This makes his gospel very different. Near the conclusion of his book, we read, “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name” (John 20:31). The Harper-Collins Study Bible translates the intention of that passage to be slightly different: “But these are written, that ye might continue to believe that Jesus is the Christ…” “The Gospel of John,” wrote Bruce R. McConkie, “is the account for the saints” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 336).

John was in the Church from the very beginning. A follower of John the Baptist, he then became one of the first disciples of Christ. John was one of the “inner circle of three who were with the Lord at the raising of Jairus’s daughter, at the Transfiguration, and in Gethsemane” (BD, p. 715). So he was like a member of the First Presidency, one of the “three pillars of the Christian Church”. John wrote not only his gospel, but also three of the epistles, and the amazing book of Revelation. He identified himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved,” the one who wanted to continue to minister upon the earth until the Second Coming. His testament was the last one written, and contains unique contributions, and many more of Christ’s teachings than do the others. He had a deep understanding of the Savior and his gospel by the time he wrote his book. (Ludlow)

Only John tells how Christ raised Lazarus from the dead. Only John records the cleansing of the temple. In John, Christ explains his death to the apostles. Only in John do we read of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet, and his commandment to them to be an example of love for each other. In John, the apostles are warned that the world will hate them and try to kill them. In John the gift of the Comforter is explained. The Intercessory prayer for the disciples is found in John. Only in John is Peter told three times, “Feed my sheep.” More of the resurrected Christ’s visit back to his disciples is recorded in John than in the other gospels. (Fronk)

John records seven miraculous signs of the divinity of Christ, five of which are only found in his gospel. (To see this list, see Victor Ludow’s article, “John: The Once and Future Witness”.)

The Gospel of John is a college text, where the other gospels are elementary school primers. The other three gospels are like sacrament meeting, and the Gospel of John is like a temple. In fact, John is better understood in relation to the temple ceremony. It is deep and rich and symbolic, and it builds upon what the other gospels give us and raises our understanding to a higher level. It is for the increased edification of those who are already saints.

Only John records the descriptions Christ gave of himself, many of which hearken back to the term used in the Old Testament to identify Jehovah: “I AM.” (Ludlow) Seven of them are especially noted, possibly symbolic of the meaning of the number seven: godly perfection. These are marked with a tag, similar to Matthew’s tags; they all begin with some form of the phrase “Jesus said unto them.”

1. When the multitude asked Christ to show them a sign, like the manna in the wilderness, “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst” (6:35).
2. After saving the adulterous woman from stoning, “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (8:12).
3. Later in that same conversation, “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I Am” (8:58), identical with the term used in Exodus 3:14, and after which they tried to stone him, but he spirited himself away.
4. After telling the parable of the sheepfold to the Pharisees, “Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep…by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture” (10:7, 9).
5. To Martha, before raising Lazarus from the dead, “Jesus saith unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die” (11:25-26).
6. When Thomas asked how they would know the way, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me (14:6).
7. When Judas was betraying him, (I’m removing the King James translators’ additions, which are in italics in the scriptures) “Jesus saith unto them, I am. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. As soon then as he had said unto them, I am, they went backward and fell to the ground” (18:5-8) and Jesus repeated the statement.

“John’s witness of the Lord is unique. His Gospel and epistles record some of the Savior’s noblest feelings and doctrines, especially His message of love” (Ludlow).

Sources:
Bible Dictionary entries for Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John
David H. Stern, Jewish New Testament Commentary, p. 114.
Camille Fronk [Olson], “The Four Gospels,” Know Your Religion Lecture, January 1998, Logan, Utah
David Bokovoy, “A Literary Analysis of the Four Gospels,” BYU Education Week Lecture, August 2002
Victor Ludlow, “John: The Once and Future Witness,” Ensign, December 1991, p. 51-52
Thomas Mumford, Horizontal Harmony of the Gospels

Original Article Here

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Proof from the Bible and the Quran that Jesus Christ is God

Jesus Christ is God! Proof from the Bible and the Quran

THE FIRST AND THE LAST

Surah 57:3 of the Qur’an refers to Allah as “the First and the Last, the Most High and the Most Near.” The Old Testament agrees that God is the “First and the Last,” as we read in the Book of the prophet Isaiah:

Isaiah 44:6—Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God besides Me.”

When “LORD” is written in all capitals in the Old Testament, the term refers to Yahweh, the creator of the universe. Since both the Bible and the Qur’an give the title “the First and the Last” to God, it should be quite shocking for Muslims to open the New Testament and read Revelation 1:17-18, where Jesus says:

“Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.”

Would a mere prophet claim to be the “First and the Last”?

WHO FORGIVES SINS?

While one human being may sin against another human being, there is a sense in which all sin is rebellion against God. Similarly, while you and I may forgive one another for the wrongs we commit, only God can offer ultimate forgiveness. Thus, the prophet David could say to God, “Against You, You only, I have sinnedand done what is evil in Your sight” (Psalm 51:4), and the Prophet Daniel could declare, “To the Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against Him” (Daniel 9:9).

The Qur’an agrees that ultimate forgiveness belongs to God, for it asks, “Who can forgive sins except Allah?” (3:135).

It might surprise Muslims to learn that, in the New Testament, Jesus claims the ability to forgive sins. In Mark 2, a paralyzed man is brought to Jesus in order to be healed. Jesus’ response leads the religious leaders to accuse him of blasphemy:

Mark 2:5-7—And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” But some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?”

The scribes correctly recognized that only God can forgive sins. Yet Jesus (who referred to himself as the “Son of Man”), knowing their thoughts, replied that “the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” (Mark 2:10). He then healed the paralytic, proving that his claims were true.

THE LIGHT

In Psalm 27:1, the prophet David proclaims: “The LORD is my light and my salvation.” Similarly, the Qur’an declares that “Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth” (24:35). Yet Jesus tells his listeners that he is “the Light”:

John 8:12—“I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

THE TRUTH

The prophet David refers to Yahweh as the “God of Truth” (Psalm 31:5). According to the Qur’an, “Allah is the Truth” (22:6). Jesus, however, applies this as a title for himself:

John 14:6—Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

How can a mere human being claim to be “The Truth”?

THE FINAL JUDGE

In Chapter 3 of the Book of the prophet Joel, Yahweh declares that the nations will be gathered and that he “will sit to judge all the surrounding nations” (v. 12). According to the prophet David, “the LORD abides forever; He has established His throne for judgment, and He will judge the world in righteousness” (Psalm 9:7-8).

The Qur’an maintains that Allah will judge the world, rewarding believers and punishing unbelievers:

Qur’an 22:56-57—The kingdom on that day shall be Allah’s; He will judge between them; so those who believe and do good will be in gardens of bliss. And (as for) those who disbelieve in and reject Our communications, these it is who shall have a disgraceful chastisement.

So why, we may wonder, would Jesus tell his followers that he will be the final judge of all people?

Matthew 25:31-32—“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.”

Jesus goes on to say that he will admit certain people to heaven and cast others into hell. Isn’t this something only God can do?

THE RESURRECTION

The Bible and the Qur’an agree that God is the one who will raise the dead.

1 Samuel 2:6—The LORD kills and makes alive; He brings down to Sheol and raises up.

Qur’an 22:7—Allah will resurrect those who are in the graves.

Since God will raise the dead at the resurrection, why would a mere prophet tell his followers that he will resurrect the dead?

John 5:25-29—“Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.”

John 11:25—Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies.”

GOD’S GLORY

The Qur’an tells us that “Whatsoever is in the heavens and the earth glorifies Allah” (57:1).

In the Old Testament, we find that Yahweh will not share his glory with anyone.

Isaiah 42:8—“I am the LORD, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another.” (Cf. Isaiah 48:11—“My glory I will not give to another.”)

Yet Jesus claimed, not only that he would be glorified with the Father, but that he had glory with the Father before the world was created!

John 17:5—“Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”

How can anyone see this as anything other than a claim to deity?

FURTHER EVIDENCE

In Mark 2:28, Jesus calls himself the “Lord of the Sabbath.” In Matthew 22:41-45, he proves that he is the Lord of the prophet David. In John 8:39-58, Jesus says that he has seen the prophet Abraham. In Matthew 12:6, Jesus claims to be greater than God’s Temple.

Jesus tells us that he has an absolutely unique relationship with the Father (Matthew 11:27), that he can answer prayers (John 14:13-14), that he is present wherever his followers are gathered (Matthew 18:20), that he has “all authority in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18), and that he is with his followers forever (Matthew 28:20). He even makes the startling declaration that “All things that the Father has are Mine” (John 16:15).

According to Jesus, all people must honor him just as we honor the Father:

John 5:21-23—“For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.”

Since one of the ways we honor the Father is by worshiping him, it should come as no surprise that Jesus’ followers worshiped him on numerous occasions. Indeed, the Gospel tells us that Jesus was worshiped throughout his life: shortly after his birth (Matthew 2:11), during his ministry (Matthew 14:33, John 9:38), after his resurrection (Matthew 28:17), and after his ascension to heaven (Luke 24:52). Jesus’ disciple Thomas even addressed him as “my Lord and my God” (John 20:28).

By David Wood, Acts 17 Ministries

August 1, 2012 Posted by | Christianity / God, Understanding Islam | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

God Says No Same Sex Marriage and God Is Always Correct

It IS our job to judge righteously and to oppose all that is against God’s Laws. And no, not one Christian who truly adheres to the Holy Word of God supports “same sex marriage”. And let me state that I in no way want to insult or degrade those caught in the error sin of homosexuality. My eldest son’s godfather is homosexual as is my nephew and a cousin. But, that doesn’t mean we approve of that which is clearly sin. What next? Shall we approve polygyny, polyandry, group marriage, marriage to children like in Saudi Arabia etc, marriage to animals, how about Nikāḥ al-Mutʿah? Where do we draw the line in abominations? Or why marry at all since divorce can be had for $150 filing fee on demand? Why is sex for cash illegal? Isn’t it a private contract between parties just as same sex marriage is?

This isn’t a human rights issue. It is about right and wrong. About God’s Laws which far out weigh any man made laws.

“Judge not, that you be not judged” is often the wailing cry of false teachers and hardened sinners who misapply the verse to ward off censure for their evil deeds. Do not be intimidated by such people, for Jesus has commanded us to judge with righteous judgment (John 7:24).
“He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD” (Proverbs 17:15). “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them” (Ephesians 5:11).
“Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24). This is reminiscent of Leviticus 19:15. “You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. But in righteousness you shall judge your neighbor.”
There is a place for righteous judgment. When Christians persist in sin, they are to be judged by their fellow Christians, as Paul explained to the Corinthians: “I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner — not even to eat with such a person. For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore ‘put away from yourselves that wicked person'” (1 Corinthians 5:9-13).
When Christians come in conflict, some wise man should be found to judge between his brethren: “Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints? Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life? If then you have judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge? I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren?” (1 Corinthians 6:1-5).
We may not reserve judgment when faced with clear manifestations of evil. Jesus reprimanded the church at Thyatira: “Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and beguile My servants to commit sexual immorality and to eat things sacrificed to idols” (Revelation 2:20). What if false teaching on divorce and remarriage leads God’s people to commit sexual immorality? Will God hold us guiltless if we allow such to be taught, and if we fellowship people Jesus says are committing adultery? (Matthew 5:31,32; 19:9; Mark 10:11,12; Luke 16:18).

 

July 26, 2012 Posted by | Christianity / God, Daily Gospel, Societal / Cultural Issues | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Divinity of Jesus Explained

Mari Kaimo
Where in the Bible does Jesus say, “I am NOT God. DO NOT worship Me?”

In Acts 10, the Apostle Peter comes to the home of the Gentile Cornelius, and this is what happens:

25 When Peter entered, Cornelius met him, fell at his feet, and worshiped him.
26 But Peter helped him up and said, “Stand up! I myself am also a man.”

Peter immediately rejected the man’s worship (προσκυνέω in the Greek, or proskyneō) of him because, as he said, he, too, was just a man

In Rev 22, the Apostle John has just been shown many visions by an angel. He writes:

8 “I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. When I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship (proskyneō) at the feet of the angel who had shown them to me.”
9 But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow slave with you, your brothers the prophets, and those who keep the words of this book. Worship (proskyneō) God.”

But where in the Bible does JESUS say, “DO NOT worship (proskyneō) Me?”

Where in the Bible does Jesus do the same as Peter, the man, and the angel in John’s vision, and reject worship because He is “just a man,” as Muslims and other unbelievers insist He is?

After Christ’s birth, we read in Matthew 2:10-12 that some wise men came looking for Him:

10 When the magi saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.
11 After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and THEY FELL TO THE GROUND AND WORSHIPED (proskyneō) HIM. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
12 And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way

So where do Mary and Joseph say, “DO NOT worship (proskyneō) Jesus?”

In Matthew 14:32-34, Jesus walks on water to His disciples in the midst of a furious storm, and we read:

32 When [Jesus and Peter] got into the boat, the wind stopped.
33 And those who were in the boat WORSHIPED (proskyneō) HIM, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!”
34 When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret.

So where in Matt 14 does Jesus say, “DO NOT worship Me?” I will stop adding the word proskyneō from here on because you should have gotten the point by now

After Jesus healed the blind man outside the Temple in John 9:35-39, we read:

35 Jesus heard that they had put him out, and finding him, He said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
36 He answered, “ Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?”
37 Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him, and He is the one who is talking with you.”
38 And he said, “Lord, I believe.” AND HE WORSHIPED HIM.
39 And Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.”

So where does Jesus say, “DO NOT worship Me?”

When the women found an angel at Jesus’ empty tomb in Matthew 28:8-10,

8 And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples.
9 And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of his feet and WORSHIPED HIM.
10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and take word to My brethren to leave for Galilee, and there they will see Me.”

So where does Jesus say, “DO NOT worship Me?”

After Jesus’ death and resurrection in Matthew 28:16-18, what happens is:

16 … the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated.
17 When they saw Him, THEY WORSHIPED HIM; but some were doubtful.
18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.”

So where does Jesus say, “DO NOT worship Me?”

In Luke 24:51-53, Jesus is about to ascend into Heaven, and we read:

51 While He was blessing them, He parted from them and was carried up into heaven.
52 And THEY, AFTER WORSHIPING HIM, returned to Jerusalem with great joy,
53 and were continually in the temple praising God.

So where does Jesus say, “DO NOT worship Me?”

In just these few verses above, we see that Jesus is worshiped:

– upon His birth
– after He walks on water and calms a storm
– after He heals a man blind from birth
– after He comes back from the dead
– just before He ascends up into Heaven on His own power, and
– after He ascends into Heaven

And that is just in the few verses we’ve quoted above!

But wait, there’s more. In Hebrews 1:6, God the Father COMMANDS worship (proskyneō) of the Son:

6 “When He again brings His firstborn into the world, He says, And all God’s angels must worship (proskyneō) Him.”

So to the question,

“Where does Jesus say, “DO NOT worship Me?”

the answer is…

Never!

Jesus never told a single one of those who worshiped Him, “Do not worship Me…” because Jesus, the Lamb of God Who came to take away the sins of the world, IS God. Always Was, always Will Be!

More proof from Rev 22:

3 “No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and His servants will worship Him.
4 And they will see His face, and His name will be written on their foreheads.
5 And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever.”

Peter's Denial by Rembrandt, 1660

Peter’s Denial by Rembrandt, 1660. Jesus is shown in the upper right hand corner, his hands bound behind him, turning to look at Peter.

July 4, 2012 Posted by | Christianity / God | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Epistle of Ignatius

English: Großgmain ( Salzburg state ). Our Lad...

‎[Editor’s note: Ignatius served as the third bishop and patriarch of Antioch and was a student of the apostle John. He died as a martyr in Rome soon after writing this letter.]

But if, as some that are without God, that is, the unbelieving, say, He became man in appearance [only], that He did not in reality take unto Him a body, that He died in appearance [merely], and did not in very deed suffer, then for what reason am I now in bonds, and long to be exposed to the wild beasts? In such a case, I die in vain, and am guilty of falsehood against the cross of the Lord. Then also does the prophet in vain declare, “They shall look on Him whom they have pierced, and mourn over themselves as over one beloved.” These men, therefore, are not less unbelievers than were those that crucified Him.

But as for me, I do not place my hopes in one who died for me in appearance, but in reality. For that which is false is quite abhorrent to the truth. Mary then did truly conceive a body which had God inhabiting it. And God the Word was truly born of the Virgin, having clothed Himself with a body of like passions with our own. He who forms all men in the womb, was Himself really in the womb, and made for Himself a body of the seed of the Virgin, but without any intercourse of man. He was carried in the womb, even as we are, for the usual period of time; and was really born, as we also are; and was in reality nourished with milk, and partook of common meat and drink, even as we do.

And when He had lived among men for thirty years, He was baptized by John, really and not in appearance; and when He had preached the Gospel three years, and done signs and wonders, He who was Himself the Judge was judged by the Jews, falsely so called, and by Pilate the governor; was scourged, was smitten on the cheek, was spit upon; He wore a crown of thorns and a purple robe; He was condemned: He was crucified in reality, and not in appearance, not in imagination, not in deceit. He really died, and was buried, and rose from the dead ….

Taken from “The Epistle of Ignatius to the Trallians” in Writings of the Early Church Fathers.

June 8, 2012 Posted by | Christianity / God | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

One Religion One God One Holy Word

There is only ONE “right” religion as there is only ONE God and only One Holy Word of God the Holy Bible, thus, Christianity is the ONLY “right” religion. Denial of the Son of God Jesus IS denial of God.

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” – Acts 4:12

“The soul is never satisfied till it has God for its portion, and heaven for its haven” – Thomas Watson

The SON of God Jesus IS calling you!

Matthew 11:28-29 Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.

Isaiah 45:22 Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; For I am God, and there is no other.

John 10:27–28 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.

Revelation 22:17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come ” And let the one who hears say, “Come ” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

John 8:12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

 

Good Shepherd

April 23, 2012 Posted by | Christianity / God, Daily Gospel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Jesus as the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. A Christian Reply to Zakir Naik’s Explanation of John 14:6

by Sam Shamoun on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 4:48am

Most of the readers of our site are already quite familiar with Muslim dawagandist Dr. Zakir Naik. Although hailed by many Muslims as one of the best debaters, in our opinion Naik is one of the worst Muslim apologists out there and his arguments are laden with logical fallacies and egregious errors. Yet seeing that he is quite popular it becomes necessary at times to address his distortions in order to show that he is not the religious expert that he and others make him out to be.

In one of his lectures (*; *) Naik had an exchange with a Christian concerning the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. In this particular clip we get an idea of what transpired between the two of them. From Naik’s reply we see that the Christian tried to use John 14:6 (“I am the Way, and the Truth and the Life, no man comes to the Father except through me”), 9 (“he who has seen me has seen the Father”), and 10:30 (“I and the Father are one”) to prove that Jesus claimed Divinity.

Naik responded by first addressing John 14:6 and 9. He claimed that one should look at the immediate context of John 14:6, beginning at verse 1, where Jesus mentions that there are many mansions in his Father’s house and that he goes to prepare a place for his followers. Jesus tells his followers that they know the way to where he is going which leads Thomas to respond that they do not know where Jesus is going and therefore don’t know the way. We pick it up from there,

“So he says, ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man cometh unto my Father but by me,’ and I agree with that statement! Jesus Christ, peace be upon him (pbuh), was the way, the life, and the truth, no man came unto God Almighty but by Jesus (pbuh), during his time! Every messenger during his time was the way and the truth to Almighty God. At the time of Moses, Moses (pbuh) was the way, the truth and the life. No man came unto God Almighty but through Moses (pbuh). At the time of Jesus (pbuh), he was the way, the truth, and the life. At the time of prophet Muhammad (pbuh), he was the way, the truth, and the life. So every prophet at his time he was the way, the truth; and I agree with that statement! It meant that if you follow me you are following Almighty God. He was the way!”

Before addressing Naik’s assertion it is important that we first look at the passage to see whether Naik has exegeted it correctly:

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In MY Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.’ Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am THE Way, and THE Truth (al-haqq), and THE Life (al-hayat). No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known MY Father also.’” John 14:1-6

Anyone familiar with the basics of Islamic monotheism will immediately spot the problems that these verses raise for Naik’s beliefs and explanation.

For starters, Jesus not only claims to be the exclusive way to the Father he also says that he is THETruth and THE Life. This wasn’t the only time where Jesus called himself the Life:

“Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent to him, saying, ‘Lord, he whom you love is ill.’ But when Jesus heard it he said, ‘This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.’ … ‘Your brother will rise again,’ Jesus told her. Martha said, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I am THE Resurrection (ana huwa al-qiyama) and THE Life (al-hayat). The one who believes in Me, even if he dies, will live. Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die—ever. Do you believe this?’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ she told Him, ‘I believe You are the Messiah,the Son of God, who was to come into the world.’ … So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, ‘Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.’ When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out.’ The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, and let him go.’” John 11:1-4, 25-27, 41-44

The resurrection of Lazarus provided supernatural confirmation that Jesus is indeed the Resurrection and the Life, or the One who raises and gives life to the death both spiritually and physically. In fact, this is precisely what Jesus told the crowds on another occasion:

“Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever he does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all that he himself is doing; and greater works than these will he show him, that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him…Truly, truly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear THE VOICE OF THE SON OF GOD, and those who hear will live… Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear HIS [the Son’s] VOICE and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.’” John 5:19-23, 25, 28-29

According to the above verses Christ can do whatever the Father does, something that no mere God-fearing creature would or could ever say (especially one who is supposed to have been a Muslim) since the Father does the things that only God can do. Christ further informs his audience that he is the judge of all and that everyone must honor him in the same way that they honor the Father, which means that they must worship him as God since this is the kind of honor that the Father receives.

As if this weren’t astonishing enough the Lord further arrogates to himself the exclusive prerogatives of God (the Father), such as raising the dead and giving life. He even goes so far to say that he is able to and actually will raise the dead both spiritually and physically just by his voice!

At a different occasion Jesus tells the crowds that he will be the One to resurrect the dead at the last day, i.e. on the day of resurrection/judgment:

“Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.’ At this the Jews began to grumble about him because he said, ‘I am the bread that came down from heaven.’ They said, ‘Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, “I came down from heaven”?’ ‘Stop grumbling among yourselves,’ Jesus answered. ‘No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day… Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.’” John 6:35-43, 54

Jesus’ statements become all the more significant when we realize that the Quran teaches that Allah is the truth and the living one who gives life and raises the dead from their graves, especially at the last day:

That is because Allah, He is the Truth (al-haqqu), and it is He Who gives life to the dead, and it is He Who is Able to do all things. And surely, the Hour is coming, there is no doubt about it, and certainly, Allah will resurrect those who are in the graves. S. 22:6-7 Hilali-Khan

Wherefore let God be exalted, the King, the Truth (al-haqqu)! There is no god but He! Lord of the stately throne! S. 23:116 Rodwell

And trust thou in the Living One (al-hayyi) Who dieth not, and hymn His praise. He sufficeth as the Knower of His bondmen’s sins, S. 25:58 Pickthall

Look then at the effects (results) of Allah’s Mercy, how He revives the earth after its death. Verily! That (Allah) Who revived the earth after its death shall indeed raise the dead (on the Day of Resurrection), and He is Able to do all things. S. 30:50 Hilali-Khan

He is the Living (One) (huwa al-hayyu): There is no god but He: Call upon Him, giving Him sincere devotion. Praise be to God, Lord of the Worlds! … S. 40:65, 68 Y. Ali

As one Muslim author wrote:

And while He is the Resurrector of the dead after He resurrects them, He merits the same name before their actual resurrection. Likewise, He merits the name the Creator before their actual creation. (The Creed of Imam al-Tahawi (al-Aqidah al-Tahawiyyah), translated, introduced, and annotated by Hamza Yusuf [Zaytuna Institute, first edition 2007], p. 50; underline emphasis ours)

There are other Divine attributes and names which Jesus claims for himself. For instance, Christ is THELight of the world:

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am THE Light (al-nur) of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” John 8:12

“As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the Light (nur) of the world.” John 9:4-5

Whereas the Quran teaches that Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth:

Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth (Allahu nooru al-samawati wa al-ardi). The parable of His Light is as (if there were) a niche and within it a lamp, the lamp is in glass, the glass as it were a brilliant star, lit from a blessed tree, an olive, neither of the east (i.e. neither it gets sun-rays only in the morning) nor of the west (i.e. nor it gets sun-rays only in the afternoon, but it is exposed to the sun all day long), whose oil would almost glow forth (of itself), though no fire touched it. Light upon Light! Allah guides to His Light whom He wills. And Allah sets forth parables for mankind, and Allah is All-Knower of everything. S. 24:35 Hilali-Khan

Moreover, Jesus is the Lord who knows all things:

“The third time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ He said, ‘Lord, you know all things (Ya Rabb! Anta talam kulli shay); you know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Feed my sheep.’” John 21:17

Notice that Christ doesn’t rebuke Peter for his statement.

However, the Quran is clear that Allah is the Lord that has knowledge of everything:

And fear Allah, and know that Allah has knowledge of everything (anna Allaha bi-kulli shay-in aleemun). S. 2:231

Lo! your Lord is Allah (Inna rabbakumu Allahu) Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days, then mounted He the Throne. He covereth the night with the day, which is in haste to follow it, and hath made the sun and the moon and the stars subservient by His command. His verily is all creation and commandment. Blessed be Allah, the Lord of the Worlds! S. 7:54 Pickthall; cf. 10:3

And according to the Quran Allah would never command his followers to take any prophet or angel as their Lords:

He would never order you to take the angels and the Prophets as Lords (arbaban); what, would He order you to disbelieve, after you have surrendered? S. 3:80 Arberry

This is where Naik runs into a bit of a problem since in his definition and understanding of Islamic monotheism one cannot assign the exclusive names and attributes of Allah to any creature:

TAWHEED:

Definition and Categories:

Islam believes in ‘Tawheed’ which is not merely monotheism i.e. belief in one God, but much more. Tawheed literally means ‘unification’ i.e. ‘asserting oneness’ and is derived from the Arabic verb ‘Wahhada’ which means to unite, unify or consolidate.

Tawheed can be divided into three categories.

1. Tawheed ar-Ruboobeeyah

2.

Tawheed al-Asmaa-was-Sifaat

3. Tawheed al-Ibaadah

B. Tawheed al-Asmaa was-Sifaat (maintaining the unity of Allah’s name and attributes):

The second category is ‘Tawheed al Asmaa was Sifaat’ which means maintaining the unity of Allah’s name and attributes. This category is divided into five aspects…

(iv) God’s creation should not be given any of His attributes

To refer to a human with the attribute of God is also against the principle of Tawheed. For example, referring to a person as one who has no beginning or end (eternal).

(v) Allah’s name cannot be given to His creatures

Some Divine names in the indefinite form, like ‘Raoof’ or ‘Raheem’ are permissible names for men as Allah has used them for Prophets; but ‘Ar-Raoof’ (the Most Pious) and Ar-Raheem (the most Merciful) can only be used if prefixed by ‘Abd’ meaning ‘slave of’ or ‘servant of’ i.e. ’Abdur-Raoof’ or ‘Abdur-Raheem’. Similarly ‘Abdur-Rasool’ (slave of the Messenger) or ‘Abdun-Nabee’ (slave of the Prophet) are forbidden. (Naik, Concept of God; underline emphasis ours)

In light of this how can Naik say he agrees with Jesus’ statements in John 14:6 when in that passage the Lord is claiming some of the very exclusive traits and titles of God Almighty? How can he dare say that every prophet in his time was the truth and the life when this violates the Islamic doctrine oftauhid since it attributes the very unique characteristics of God or Allah to mere creatures?

By making such comments Naik is clearly guilty of shirk, or the sin of associating partners with Allah, for ascribing some of Allah’s names and attributes to true prophets like Moses and also to the false prophet Muhammad, thereby elevating them to the level of divinity.

There is another problem that Naik faces by accepting Jesus’ words in John 14. He conveniently overlooked the fact that Jesus repeatedly referred to God as the Father or his Father, which goes against the teaching of the Quran that Allah is not a father and has no children:

And they say, ‘The All-merciful has taken unto Himself a son. You have indeed advanced something hideous! The heavens are wellnigh rent of it and the earth split asunder, and the mountains wellnigh fall down crashing for that they have attributed to the All-merciful a son; and it behoves not the All-merciful to take a son. None is there in the heavens and earth but he comes to the All-merciful as a servant; He has indeed counted them, and He has numbered them exactly. Every one of them shall come to Him upon the Day of Resurrection, all alone. S. 19:88-95

They say: ‘The All-merciful has taken to Him a son.’ Glory be to Him! Nay, but they are honoured servants. S. 21:26

The Muslim scripture actually condemns the Christians for believing that Jesus is God’s Son, saying that Allah will fight against them for believing in such a thing:

The Jews say, ‘Ezra is the Son of Allah’; the Christians say, ‘The Messiah is the Son of Allah.’ That is the utterance of their mouths, conforming with the unbelievers before them. Allah assail them! How they are perverted! S. 9:30

Since Naik kept harping that he agreed with Jesus then this means that he basically disagrees with Muhammad and his concocted scripture. So why is he still a Muslim and why is he promoting the teachings of the Quran when they contradict the plain and explicit statements of the Lord Jesus which he claims to accept?

The final problem that Naik faces is that in the very same context where Jesus says that to see him is to see the Father he went on to tell his disciples that they can pray to him and he will answer all their prayers!

“‘From now on you do know him and have seen him.’ Philip said to him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in MY NAME, this I WILL DO, that the Father may be glorified inthe Son. If you ask ME anything in MY NAME, I WILL DO IT.’” John 14:7-14

Jesus explains to his disciples that the reason why they will be able to do greater works than he himself did while on earth is because he is returning to the Father in heaven. Jesus’ point is that once he is there the disciples will ask him in his name to do such works and Christ will answer them, meaning that he will empower them to perform similar deeds to the ones Christ performed.

Yet in saying this Jesus shows that he is omnipotent and omniscient (as well as omnipresent) since he must know who is praying to him in his name and must have the ability to enable and empower his followers to perform these feats no matter where they are! It also shows that Jesus taught his followers that they could pray directly to him once he returns to heaven!

Does Naik really want us to believe that he has no problems with any of this?

We move to Naik’s explanation of John 10:30. Naik again stated that the context of this particular verse is crucial in properly understanding it, and we wholeheartedly agree.

“Now again I will give you the context. After context you tell me that yet you believe that Jesus (pbuh) is Almighty God or not.”

After quoting the passage Naik contends that,

“In context you come to know in purpose Jesus and Almighty God they were one. My father is a medical doctor, actually I even am a medical doctor. If I say, ‘I and my father are one,’ does it mean that we are one person [sic]? No! When I say I and my father are one it mean my father is a medical doctor, I am a medical doctor, in profession we are medical doctors! It doesn’t mean one as a person [sic]; in purpose! It’s very clear! But still if you say brother, ‘no this one means one as a person [sic],’ I say ok. If you read further in the Gospel of John, chapter number 17, verse 21, it says that, ‘My Father is thou in me, and I in ee [sic],’ he tells the twelve [sic] disciples, the same one is used. ‘We all are one.’ If you read further, Gospel of John, chapter number 17, verse 21 says, ‘My Father art in me and I art in you,’ in the disciples he says, and the same, ‘We all art one.” If you say one in purpose [sic] you have to believe in fourteen gods – Almighty God, Jesus Christ, and twelve [sic] disciples. And if you go the original manuscript, brother, the word used one out here is the same. The one that is used in Gospel of John, chapter 10, verse number 30 which brother quoted, ‘I and my Father are one,’ is the same used in Gospel of John, chapter number 17, verse 21. Same one! ‘My Father is in me, I in you, we all are one.’ Verse 23 says that, ‘I am in you, we are one.’ Again same one, same word! In context means Almighty God, and Jesus Christ, and the apostles, they taught the same truth, the same message, in giving the message they were one. But if you say no, they were actually one then you should change Trinity into another concept meaning fourteen gods – God Almighty, Jesus Christ, and the twelve [sic] disciples.”

Naik’s statements are laden with errors. First, there were not twelve disciples when Jesus prayed in John 17 but eleven since Judas had already left to betray Jesus. Besides, Jesus himself said he wasn’t praying for Judas:

“While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.” John 17:12

Second, Naik’s statement that John 10:30 doesn’t mean that Jesus and the Father are one Person exposes either his ignorance or his willingness to distort what historic Christianity actually teaches concerning the relationship between the Father and the Son. Informed orthodox Christians do not claim that Jesus is the same Person as the Father, or that they are one in Person. Rather, Christians believe that the Father and the Son are one in essence and nature, while being personally distinct from one another. Trinitarians use John 10:30 to prove their assertion that Jesus is personally distinct from the Father while being one with him in essence since it is clear from the context that Jesus is claiming the exclusive and unique prerogatives of God:

“Jesus answered them, ‘I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock.My sheep listen to MY VOICE; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my handMy Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father, we are one (ego kai ho pater hen esmen).’ The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, ‘I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?’ The Jews answered him, ‘It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.’” John 10:25-33

Amazingly, Jesus says that he is one with the Father in the same context where he just got done saying that the Father is greater than all! Jesus is clearly excluding himself from those whom the Father happens to be greater than since he, unlike the rest, is actually one with him.

However, John’s use of both the neuter form of heis along with the plural verb form of eimi (esmen, “we are”) dispels any attempt of trying to turn the Father and the Son into a single Person. John’s use of hen which is in the neuter gender, as opposed to masculine heis, clearly demonstrates that their unity is not in terms of Personhood but in respect to their essence, e.g. they are not the same Person but two distinct Persons that share the same essence fully and equally.

This can be further seen from Christ’s statements that he gives eternal life to his sheep and that he is one with the Father in preserving them since none can pluck his flock from out of their hands. According to the Hebrew Scriptures all of these are exclusively Divine functions since it is Yahweh who gives life and there is none who can deliver out of his hand.

“See now that I myself am He! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand.” Deuteronomy 32:39

“There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God… The LORD brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up.” 1 Samuel 2:2, 6

“Yes, and from ancient days I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?” Isaiah 43:13

Furthermore, the faithful are the sheep of Yahweh’s hand, e.g. his people whom he protects, and are supposed to hear his voice:

“Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker! For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, as on the day at Massah in the wilderness,” Psalm 95:6-8

Hence, Jesus gives life like Yahweh does since Christ is Life itself. None can deliver out of Jesus’ hand just like none can deliver out of Yahweh’s hand since Jesus is Almighty. And like Yahweh the sheep hear Jesus’ voice since they are the flock of his hand, i.e. the people whom he preserves forever by his power, which again shows that he is the Almighty.

What makes this even more amazing is that the OT says that there is no person who can perform works in the same way that Yahweh does:

“Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord; no deeds can compare with yours. All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; they will bring glory to your name. For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God.” Psalm 86:8

“For who in the skies above can compare with the LORD? Who is like the LORD among the heavenly beings? In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared; he is more awesome than all who surround him. O LORD God Almighty, who is like you? You are mighty, O LORD, and your faithfulness surrounds you.” Psalm 89:6-8

And yet Jesus does exactly what Yahweh does! The reason why? Because he is Yahweh God the Son! To put this in a form of syllogism:

  1. No one can do the works that Yahweh God performs, especially in the manner in which Yahweh performs them.
  2. Jesus does whatever work can God do, and performs such works in exactly the same way.
  3. Therefore, Jesus is Yahweh God.

Evangelical NT scholar Murray J. Harris puts this all together quite nicely:

“Similarly, when Jesus declared ‘I and the Father are one’ (John 10:30), he was not claiming that he and the Father were personally identical, for John uses the neuter for ‘one’ (hen), not the masculine (heis). Nor is Jesus simply affirming a unity of will or purpose or action between him and his Father, so what the Father wishes, he also wishes and performs. In the context Jesus has just declared that no person will be able to snatch his sheep out of his hand (10:28) or out of his Father’s hand (10:29). Such equality of divine power points to unity of divine essence: ‘I and the Father are one.’” (Murray J. Harris, 3 Crucial Questions about Jesus [Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI 1994], Chapter 3: Is Jesus God?, fn. 14, p. 119; bold and underline emphasis ours)

Is it any wonder that the Jews thought that Jesus was blaspheming? Being familiar with their inspired Scriptures they could see that Christ was clearly making himself out to be God by claming to be able to do what only Yahweh does and for actually thinking that he was just as powerful as the Father!

Third, even though Jesus does use the same word for “one” in John 17 the context is completely different from John 10. In John 17 it is clear that Christ is praying that his followers experience perfect fellowship and union with one another as well as with the Father and the Son, just as the Father and Son enjoy perfect loving fellowship. However, in his haste to refute the Deity of Christ Naik conveniently overlooked what Jesus said concerning the fellowship and love that the disciples would experience:

“When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him… And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed… I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be IN US, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I IN THEM and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, AND I IN THEM.’” John 17:1-2, 5, 20-26

Here, Jesus claims to be the Son whom the Father will glorify and who actually existed and shared in the same glory with the Father before the world was created. Does Naik really believe this seeing that it contradicts his Islamic beliefs concerning God and Christ?

Moreover, the reason why the disciples can enjoy fellowship with God and experience his love is because Jesus is personally indwelling them, e.g. “I in them”! In other words, the believers are united with the Father because Christ is in union with all of them, thereby allowing them to share in Christ’s own glory and union with the Father. Nor is this the only time where Jesus says this:

“‘In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you IN ME, and I IN YOU. Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.’… Jesus answered him, ‘If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and WE will come to him and make OUR home with him.” John 14:20-21, 23

In the above citation Jesus claims to be present with all the true believers in the same sense and to the same degree that the Father is! And:

Abide in me, and I IN YOU. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I IN HIM, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:4-5

It is Christ’s union with us and our union with him which results in a godly fruitful life since apart from his grace and power we can do nothing beneficial in the eyes of God.

However, the only way for Christ to be able to indwell and have fellowship with all of his followers no matter where they happen to be is if he is omnipresent. Yet the only way for him to be omnipresent is if he is God since only God is omnipresent!

At the end of the video clip when the Christian challenged his interpretation of John 10 and 14 Naik claimed that he is open for correction since he is human and can be mistaken. He then challenged the Christian to prove him wrong with evidence from the Holy Bible. Hopefully, now that we have exposed his blatant distortion of these specific Biblical passages with clear-cut evidence from both the Holy Scriptures and his own religious sources, he will do what he says and acknowledge his errors. Naik needs to publicly rectify his gross perversion of what the Holy Bible actually teaches so as to not mislead or deceive Muslims into thinking that he has correctly exegeted God’s inspired Word and that he is an authority on comparative religions. Naik is neither a scholar nor a serious student of this field of study, and is unqualified to speak on these matters.

If the Lord wills we will have further rebuttals to Naik’s distortion of Biblical truth in the near future.

Corcovado jesus

April 20, 2012 Posted by | Christianity / God, Societal / Cultural Issues, Understanding Islam | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Jesus Is God

There is only One God. Yes, Jesus IS God in the flesh and this is the belief of ALL Christians. Not believing this is not Christianity. God, chose to manifest Himself in the flesh as Jesus Son of God. Jesus is co-equal to God because He is God as is the Holy Spirit which is God’s spirit inside all those who accept Him.

Jesus’ words in John 10:30, “I and the Father are one.” When first encountered, this might not seem to be a claim to be God. However, when we look at the Jews’ reaction to His statement, “For a good work we stone thee not; replied the Jews, but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.” (John 10:33). Now we see an actual claim. The Jews understood Jesus’ statement to be a claim to be God. In the following verses, Jesus never corrects the Jews by saying, “I did not claim to be God.” That indicates Jesus was truly saying He was God by declaring, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30).

John 8:58 is another example. Jesus declared, “I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. ” Again, in response, the Jews take up stones in an attempt to stone Jesus (John 8:59). Why would the Jews want to stone Jesus if He hadn’t said something they believed to be blasphemous, namely, a claim to be God? John repeatedly tells us of the Lord’s connection to “I Am”. See John: 4:26, 8:24, 8:28, 8:58,and 13:19. The Apostle Paul tells us that Jesus “..is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” (Colossians 1:15-17)

John 1:1 says that “the Word was God.” John 1:14 says that “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” This clearly indicates that Jesus is God in the flesh. Acts 20:28 tells us, “…Be shepherds of the church of God, which He bought with His own blood.” Who bought the church with His own blood? Jesus Christ. Acts 20:28 declares that God purchased the church with His own blood. Therefore, Jesus is God!

Latter-day Saints believe in the resurrected J...

April 15, 2012 Posted by | Christianity / God | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God

Gal. 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Now, quick, without looking, how many fruit are there of the Spirit?  Take a guess and then count to see if you got it right.  Did you get it right?  Did you get nine?  If you did, you’re wrong because there is only ONE fruit of the Spirit, that’s right, just one.  In Greek the word for “fruit” is “karpos” and it is in the singular.  So, to translate this a little loosely, it could read like this.  “But the single fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control…” This means that all of these graces listed are one group that go together as a unit.

Now, this little tidbit of information is important.  First of all, notice that the fruit of the Spirit is just that, of the Spirit.  It is not your fruit, but the fruit of the Spirit of God.  This is because God is love (1 John 4:8) and He lives in the believer (John 14:23).  This means that it is the work of God the Holy Spirit in you to bear this fruit.  Of course, you cooperate with God in bearing this fruit and you absolutely need to seek to develop it, but it is God who is “…at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13).  Of course, we know that it is God’s good pleasure that you love and bear the fruit of love.

Second, if it is all one fruit, then all the nine things listed there are already yours in the Spirit of God.  In other words, all nine things are really one thing that you have because the Holy Spirit indwells you — if you are a Christian, that is.  You see, if you are loving, then will you not have joy?  If you are loving, will you not also have peace?  If you are loving, will you not also be patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled?   It could easily be said that love is the tree that bears the fruit of joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.  If you have love, the love of God in your heart because of your belief and faith in Jesus and His sacrifice, then all the other graces listed there are yours too.

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Fruit of the Holy Spirit

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Fruit of the Holy Spirit is a biblical term that sums up the nine visible attributes of a true Christian life, according to Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians, chapter 5. Throughout the Bible, righteous men are likened to trees, and Paul, in Galatians 5, explains what fruit a righteous tree bears. Accordingly, these fruit are grown by those who have truly repented, or are truly followers of Jesus.  It is arguable that if one does not bear these fruit, one is not truly a Christian. In John’s account of the Gospel Jesus said, “These things I command you, that you love one another”[4] referred to as the New Commandment or the second greatest commandment. Paul illustrates with these attributes the kind of love that marks a true Christian life.

HOLY SPIRIT - FOIX

March 13, 2012 Posted by | Christianity / God | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Understanding John Chapter 5 verses 30 through 32

Smith's later theology described Jesus and God...

I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of MY FATHER which hath sent me. If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.  – John 5:30-32

 

And, these verses explained: There is another (That is, God. See John 5:36.) – God the Father, who, by his Spirit in your prophets, described my person, office, and miracles. You read these scriptures, and you cannot help seeing that they testify of me: – no person ever did answer the description there given, but myself; and I answer to that description in the fullest sense of the word. See John 5:39.

And I know – Instead of οιδα, I know, οιδατε, ye know, is the reading of the Codex Bezae, Armenian, and two of the Itala. Ye believe the Scriptures to be of God, and that he cannot lie; and yet ye will not believe in me, though these Scriptures have so clearly foretold and described me! It is not one of the least evils attending unbelief, that it acts not only in opposition to God, but it also acts inconsistently with itself. It receives the Scriptures in bulk, and acknowledges them to have come through Divine inspiration; and yet believes no part separately. With it the whole is true, but no part is true! The very unreasonableness of this conduct shows the principle to have come from beneath, were there no other evidences against it.

 

 

February 25, 2012 Posted by | Christianity / God, Daily Gospel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Begotten Son of God

The phrase “only begotten Son” occurs in John 3:16, which reads in the King James Version as, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The phrase “only begotten” translates the Greek word monogenes. This word is variously translated into English as “only,” “one and only,” and “only begotten.”

It’s this last phrase (“only begotten” used in the KJV, NASB and the NKJV) that causes problems. False teachers have latched onto this phrase to try to prove their false teaching that Jesus Christ isn’t God; i.e., that Jesus isn’t equal in essence to God as the Second Person of the Trinity. They see the word “begotten” and say that Jesus is a created being because only someone who had a beginning in time can be “begotten.” What this fails to note is that “begotten” is an English translation of a Greek word. As such, we have to look at the original meaning of the Greek word, not transfer English meanings into the text.

So what does monogenes mean? According to the Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (BAGD, 3rd Edition), monogenes has two primary definitions. The first definition is “pertaining to being the only one of its kind within a specific relationship.” This is the meaning attached to its use in Hebrews 11:17when the writer refers to Isaac as Abraham’s “only begotten son.” Abraham had more than one son, but Isaac was the only son he had by Sarah and the only son of the covenant.

The second definition is “pertaining to being the only one of its kind or class, unique in kind.” This is the meaning that is implied in John 3:16. In fact, John is the only New Testament writer who uses this word in reference to Jesus (see John 1:14183:16181 John 4:9). John was primarily concerned with demonstrating that Jesus was the Son of God (John 20:31), and he uses this word to highlight Jesus as uniquely God’s Son—sharing the same divine nature as God—as opposed to believers who are God’s sons and daughters through faith.

The bottom line is that terms such as “Father” and “Son,” that are descriptive of God and Jesus, are human terms used to help us understand the relationship between the different Persons of the Trinity. If you can understand the relationship between a human father and a human son, then you can understand, in part, the relationship between the First and Second Persons of the Trinity. The analogy breaks down if you try to take it too far and teach, as some Christian cults (such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses), that Jesus was literally “begotten” as in “produced” or “created” by God the Father.

Latter-day Saints believe in the resurrected J...

February 19, 2012 Posted by | Christianity / God, Daily Gospel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Paul taught exactly that which the Son of God Jesus did

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Image via Wikipedia

THE APOSTLE PAUL TAUGHT WHAT JESUS TAUGHT!!!

Jesus taught and argued with Jews (Matt. 23).
Paul taught and argued with Jews (Acts 17:11-12)

Jesus taught to obey Governing authorities (Matthew 22:21)
Paul taught to obey governing authorities (Romans 13:1)

Salvation is of the Jews (John 4:22)
The Jews are God’s people (Romans 11:1)

Jesus taught you must be born again (John 3:3)
Paul taught you must be a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17).

Jesus said to let your good works (Matthew 5:16)
Paul says that rich in good works (1 Tim 6:17-19)

Jesus taught that he would lay down His life (John 10:17)
Paul taught we are saved by the life of Jesus (Roman 5:10)

Jesus taught that all have sinned (John 3:19)
Paul taught that all have sinned (Romans 3:23)

Jesus taught against false prophets (Matthew 7:15)
Paul taught against false prophets (2 Cor 11:13)

Jesus taught that He is God (John 14:9, John 10:31, John 8:58
Paul taught that Jesus is God, (Romans 9:5)

Jesus taught to love your enemies, (Luke 6:27-28)
Paul taught to love all people including enemies, (2 Cor 10:4)

Jesus taught prayer in secret places (Matthew 6:6)
Paul taught prayer away from public places, (Acts 16:13)

Jesus taught prayer and fasting is powerful (Matthew 17:21)

Paul taught prayer and fasting is powerful, (1 Cor 7:5)

Jesus taught to pray always (Luke 21:36)

Paul taught to pray always (2 Thess 1:11)

Jesus taught to put out the immoral sinner from the church.(Matthew 15)
Paul taught to put out the immoral sinner from the church (2Cor 5:5).

Jesus claimed to be from heaven, (John 6:51)
Paul claimed that Jesus was from heaven (1Cor 15:47)

Jesus the New Covenant (Matthew 26:28; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20)
Paul taught the New Covenant (1Cor 11:25, 2 Cor 3:6)

Jesus taught that the sheep (followers) will not perish (John 10:27-28)

Paul taught that there is no condemnation to those who are in Jesus Christ, (Rom. 8:1-2)

January 23, 2012 Posted by | Christianity / God | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Jesus from Genesis to Revelation

The Bible, from cover to cover, answers the question,
“Who is this Jesus?”

In the Old Testament:

– In Genesis, He is the Creator God.

– In Exodus, He is the Redeemer.

– In Leviticus, He is your sanctification.

– In Numbers, He is your guide.

– In Deuteronomy, He is your teacher.

– In Joshua, He is the mighty conqueror.

– In Judges, He gives victory over enemies.

– In Ruth, He is your kinsman, your lover, your redeemer.

– In I Samuel, He is the root of Jesse.

– In 2 Samuel, He is the Son of David.

– In 1 Kings and 2 Kings, He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

– In 1st and 2nd Chronicles, He is your intercessor and High Priest.

– In Ezra, He is your temple, your house of worship.

– In Nehemiah, He is your mighty wall, protecting you from your enemies.

– In Esther, He stands in the gap to deliver you from your enemies.

– In Job, He is the arbitrator who not only understands your struggles, but has the power to do something about them.

– In Psalms, He is your song–and your reason to sing.

– In Proverbs, He is your wisdom, helping you make sense of life and live it successfully.

– In Ecclesiastes, He is your purpose, delivering you from vanity..

– In the Song of Solomon, He is your lover, your Rose of Sharon.

– In Isaiah, He is the mighty counselor, the prince of peace, the everlasting father, and more. He’s everything you need.

– In Jeremiah, He is your balm of Gilead, the soothing salve for your sin-sick soul.

– In Lamentations, He is the ever-faithful one upon whom you can depend.

– In Ezekiel, He is your wheel in the middle of a wheel–the one who assures that dry, dead bones will come alive again.

– In Daniel, He is the ancient of days, the ever- lasting God who never runs out of time.

– In Hosea, He is your faithful lover, always beckoning you to come back–even when you have abandoned Him.

– In Joel, He is your refuge, keeping you safe in times of trouble.

– In Amos, He is the husbandman, the one you can depend on to stay by your side.

– In Obadiah, He is Lord of the Kingdom.

– In Jonah, He is your salvation, bringing you back within His will.

– In Micah, He is judge of the nation.

– In Nahum, He is the jealous God.

– In Habakkuk, He is the Holy One.

– In Zephaniah, He is the witness.

– In Haggai, He overthrows the enemies.

– In Zechariah, He is Lord of Hosts.

– In Malachi, He is the messenger of the covenant.

In the New Testament:

– In Matthew, He is king of the Jews.

– In Mark, He is the servant.

– In Luke, He is the Son of Man, feeling what you feel.

– In John, He is the Son of God.

– In Acts, He is Savior of the world.

– In Romans, He is the righteousness of God.

– In I Corinthians, He is the rock that followed Israel.

– In II Corinthians, He the triumphant one, giving victory.

– In Galatians, He is your liberty; He sets you free.

– In Ephesians, He is head of the Church.

– In Philippians, He is your joy.

– In Colossians, He is your completeness.

– In I Thessalonians, He is your hope.

– In II Thessalonians, He is your glory.

– In I Timothy, He is your faith.

– In II Timothy, He is your stability.

– In Titus He is your reason for serving.

– In Philemon, He is your benefactor.

– In Hebrews, He is your perfection.

– In James, He is the power behind your faith.

– In I Peter, He is your example.

– In II Peter, He is your purity.

– In I John, He is your life.

– In II John, He is your pattern.

– In III John, He is your motivation.

– In Jude, He is the foundation of your faith.

– In Revelation, He is your coming King.

December 15, 2011 Posted by | Christianity / God | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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