September 19, 2011

Who Is the Real Angel Gabriel?

In the two previous articles (Is It from Abraham—to Isaac—to Jesus Christ? OR Is It from Abraham—to Ishmael to Muhammad?) we have submitted the documentary evidence from the Torah (Taurat) that the blessings and instructions is from Abraham – to Isaac – to Jesus Christ. This promise of blessings through Isaac is everlasting. We read this: “Then God said: ‘No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him.” (Gen. 17:19) This conduit of blessings through the lineage of Isaac and through Jesus Christ is clearly confirmed by the Gospel (Injeel) as reflected in the genealogy submitted by the Gospel According to Matthew and the Gospel According to Luke. Both the Torah and the Gospel are accepted by Christians and Muslims as God-inspired, therefore, they are acceptable evidences. See Surah 2. Al-Baqarah, v. 89 for the recognition given by the Qur’an on the inspiration of the Torah and the Gospel.

This present article is concerned with two conflicting claims:

First comes the claim of the Gospel that the Angel Gabriel declared to Virgin Mary “that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.” (Read Luke 1:26-38) This was declared in the first century of the Christian Era. Jesus Christ is the Holy One and the Son of God. Further, This Holy One, the Son of God, Jesus Christ declared the following, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

Second comes the claim of the Qur’an that the Angel Gabriel caused Muhammad to recite. It is said that the Qur’an was the recitation that came out of Muhammad’s lips. In contrast to what is found in the paragraph above is the teaching found in the Qur’an: “La ilaha illallah, Muhammad-ur- Rasul-Allah” (None has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah). This second declaration was made about 600 years after the Gospel record.

Because of the contrasting content of the two declarations and claims shown above, we are forced to wonder whether or not the “Angel Gabriel” mentioned in the Gospel is the one and the same “Angel Gabriel” in the Qur-an. It is not possible that one true Angel Gabriel would issue out conflicting declarations since the true Angel Gabriel is a messenger of the true God. Which is the more likely to issue a doubtful pronouncement: “Angel Gabriel” the first or the second? What is the more original, the first or the second one that comes out? What is more valid the Gospel record that is accepted by Muslims and Christians or the Qur’an that is not accepted by both? You can make your own conclusion. ###

(Eusebio Tanicala, September 20011)

September 10, 2011

ABRAHAM to ISAAC to CHRIST JESUS or ABRAHAM to ISHMAEL to MUHAMMAD?

Jesus Christ declares in John 17:3, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” This was declared by our Lord about the year 33 of the Christian Era. Christians believe this as truth from the true God.

On the other hand Muhammad says, “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet.” This claim and declaration was made by Muhammad in Arabia about six hundred (600) years after Christ’s resurrection and ascension to heaven.

Personally, I see a parallel in the two statements. Firstly, there is a recognition of a true deity and secondly there is the sent one or prophet of the true deity.

The question we want to settle in this article is this: Who between the two (Jesus Christ or Muhammad) makes the RIGHT claim based on the statements found in the Torah and the Gospel? Among our Muslim friends the Torah is called Taurat. Among users of the Greek translation of the Old Testament, these five books of Moses (Genesis to Deuteronomy) is called The Pentateuch. These five books of Moses are recognized by Christians and Muslims alike as authoritative document. Christians and Muslims both recognize the greatness of Abraham and the promises given him by Yahweh.

Let us notice the promises given by Yahweh God in the Book of Genesis. Says Genesis 12:1-3, “. . . I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing . . . and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Abram, when he was 86 years old, got a son through Hagar who was named Ishmael. He thought that Ishmael is the heir that will continue his lineage to produce innumerable descendants, nations, and kings that will bless all families and nations of the earth. “Abraham said to God, ‘Oh that Ishmael might live before You!” (Gen. 17:18). Read the whole chapter 17 for a complete account. An immediate objection was uttered by God, “Then God said, ‘No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him.”  This promise was given even before Isaac was born.

This promise is repeated to Isaac in Genesis 26:1-5, “ . . . And Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines in Gerar. Then the LORD appeared to him and said: ‘Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I shall tell you … I will be with you and bless you; . . . I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father…”  This promise is repeated to Jacob in Genesis 46:1-5, “ . . . Then God spoke to Israel in the visions of the night, and said, ‘Jacob, Jacob . . . So He said, ‘I am God, the God of your father; do not fear to go down to Egypt, for I will make you a great nation there.”

Jacob begat 12 sons and one daughter. Jacob’s descendants continue the story of Genesis. The descendants of Jacob become the nation of Israel in Egypt, made the exodus out of Egypt into the wilderness and possessed the land of Canaan. The descendants of Isaac and Jacob received the Ten Commandments and the Law of God at Mt. Sinai. This nation of Israel produced Moses, the Judges, King Saul, King David, King Solomon and others. The story of the Bible contains the history of Israel until the book of Malachi.

The Book of the Gospels is called by our Muslim friends as Injeel. These gospel records are recognized by Muslims as authoritative. The Gospels of Matthew and Luke trace the genealogy of Jesus Christ back to Jacob, Isaac and Abraham. This Jesus Christ produced a body of teachings which are elaborated in the Book of Acts and Epistles. Christ produced a Covenant which is accepted by Christians. Jesus of Nazareth is recognized as the Messiah by our Muslim friends. Jesus died at the cross for the redemption of humanity. His death is the anti type or reality of the animal sacrifices in the Torah.

Ishmael was promised these: “And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation.” (Gen. 17:20)  And then we have this: “Now this is the genealogy of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s maidservant, bore to Abraham. And these were the names of the sons . . . Nebajoth; then Kedar,  Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadar, Tema, Jetur, Naphish and Kedemah … the years of the life of Ishmael: one hundred and thirty seven years; and he breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his people.”  (Gen. 25:12-17) God didn’t promise anything that will bless all nations to Ishmael as He did to Isaac. God’s promise and oath gifted upon Isaac is called an “everlasting covenant” in Genesis 17:19.

So it is clear that the thread of salvation history is through Isaac and not through Ishmael. Jesus Christ is the seed of the woman in Genesis 3:15  and the seed of Abraham that blesses all the families of the nations. This view is confirmed by Matthew’s genealogy in Matthew 1:1-17. And confirmed by Isaiah in 7:14 and 9:6. And further confirmed by the Apostle Paul in his Epistle to the Galatians in 4:1-7. When you study with a Muslim friend, show him this Taurat-Injeel genealogy. I hope this will be of help. ### EUSEBIO TANICALA

September 8, 2011

ABRAHAM >>>>>>> ISHMAEL? or ABRAHAM >>>>>>> ISAAC?

Where is the thread of blessings to mankind from Yahweh Elohim? Is it through the Abraham >>>>> Ishmael lineage or is it through the Abraham >>>>> Isaac genealogy? On one hand, Islam says it is through the Abraham >>>>>Ishmael family tree; on the other hand Jews and Christians believe it is through the Abraham >>>>>Isaac descent.

Let us see the Taurat (Torah, Pentateuch) record. When we talk with Muslim friends, this should be brought out because it is the very root of our religious history. Jews, Christians and Muslims all glorify the faith of father Abram/Abraham. Jews, Christians and Muslims all recognize the authority of the Taurat (Torah, Pentateuch). Therefore, what we quote from Genesis should be accepted by these three streams of faith. What does the inspired record say? Let us start.

The very day Eve committed the first sin on this planet God made a promise regarding the advent of the Messiah, the Christ, who will conquer the Serpent. Genesis 3:15 says, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head and you shall bruise his heel.” This is the very first mention of the Gospel. This is the epic struggle between good and evil until the end of the ages.

When mankind became the more wicked because of Satan’s continued deceptions, Yahweh found a man of faith. God called him out from his community to settle in a land God has chosen: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and I will curse those who curse you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Gen. 12:1-3) This promise is reinforced in Genesis 15:3,4,18.

At age 86, Abram got a son through Hagar. Genesis 16:15-16 says, “So Hagar bore Abram a son; and Abram named his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael. Abram was eigthy-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.” God again visited Abram when he was 99 years old and Sarai was 90 years old. God reiterated the promises. There were changes of names during this visit: Abram became Abraham and Sarai became Sarah. God said, “And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her , and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her. Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, ‘Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah who is ninety years old, bear a child?’” (Gen. 17:16-17. Abraham doubted and thought that this son, Ishmael would be the heir to his earthly possessions and God’s promises so Abraham said to God: “Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!” (Gen. 17:18). God promptly cut Abraham short and declared, “No. Sarah your wife shall bear you a son and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him. As for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation.” (Gen. 17:19-20).

Note that the promised son, Isaac, was named and the promises of other blessings are to pass through him long before he was born. In Genesis 18:1, Yahweh visited Abraham again and reiterated the promise of a son and that after about a year, Sarah would give birth to a son. Sarah laughed because she was about 99 years old. But lo and behold Sarah conceived! Her womb expanded and she gave birth to a son. Sarah laughed at herself. She felt that everyone who would hear about her giving birth to a child would laugh. Nevertheless she gave birth.

Sarah knew that her son is going to be the sole heir to Abraham’s earthly riches and the promises of God. She asked that Abraham sends away Hagar and her son. Abraham was displeased, but God said to Abraham: “Do not let it be displeasing to your sight because of the lad or because of your bondwoman. Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac your seed shall be called. Yet I will also make a nation of the son of the bondwoman because he is your seed.” (Genesis 21:12-13)

The above considered, it becomes clear that God’s promises is through the Abraham>>>>> Isaac lineage and not through the Abraham>>>>>Ishmael genealogy. Christ Jesus descends from the Abraham>>>>>Isaac line whereas Muhammad descends from the Abraham>>>>>Ishmael line. Therefore, the claims of Jesus Christ should be more believable than the claims of Muhammad about true religion that brings peace and goodwill to mankind.

(Note: A sequel to this lineage is forthcoming. –EUSEBIO TANICALA) ###

August 19, 2011

Our Lord Jesus Christ Didn’t Know the Day and Hour? (Series #8)

The disciples’ asking for a specific day and hour of Jerusalem’s destruction and the Messiah’s coming was too presumptuous so it didn’t merit an answer from the Lord. I say “presumptuous” because (a) revealing the specific day and hour was not a practice of God and the prophets since the time of Adam, (b) Christ had mentioned enough signs to keep disciples ever reminded of the approaching events, and (c) the disciples’ burden which was pounded upon them by the Lord was to be alert all the time. Therefore, to reveal the exact date and exact hour would contradict the three reasons listed above and make Christ inconsistent.

I liken the disciples to students in a class who are told to review seven chapters for the final examination; that the examination will have the following types: True or False, Identification of ideas, Definition of Terms and Essay. If you were the teacher of the class and the class would still ask: “Sir, what is the number 2 item in essay, number 3 item in the definition, number 4 item in the identification, and number 5 item in the true or false?” And if the teacher says, “I don’t know,” would you judge the instructor as incompetent because he says “I don’t know”? Common sense tells us that the “I don’t know” reaction of the teacher is not a revelation of the teacher’s inability but rather a revelation of students’ stupidity. In like manner, the disciples’ demand for an exact date and an exact hour is the height of stupidity.

We’ll now analyze the three reasons given in the first paragraph why Christ didn’t oblige himself to give an answer to the question of a specific day and hour:

*A. REVEALING SPECIFIC DAY AND HOUR NOT A PRACTICE
I haven’t read any passage in the Bible wherein God has made any promise or prophesied a future event where he gave the specific day and hour it would happen. We list down the following great promises and big events which don’t reveal specific days and hours:

Genesis 3:15, The coming of the seed of the woman– no day and hour given.
Genesis 3:15, The bruising of the serpent’s head — no day and hour given.
Genesis 3:15, The bruising of the Seed’s heel– no day and hour given.
Genesis 6:13, Destruction of the evil earth in Noah’s time– no day and hour given.
Genesis 11:5-9, Destruction of the Tower of Babel – no day and hour given.
Genesis 12:1; 13:14ff, Give the land of Canaan to Abraham – no and hour given
Genesis 12:2; 15:11, Abraham to become a great nation – no day and hour given.
Genesis 18:9-15, Sarah to have a son – no day and hour given.
Isaiah 2:2-4, Day of the Lord – no day and hour given
Isaiah 7, Salvation of Jerusalem from Syrian plunder – no day and hour given.
Isaiah 9:6-7, The Messiah’s birth – no day and hour given.
Isaiah 10, Messiah’s kingdom restored – no day and hour given.
Isaiah 13, Destruction of Babylon – no day and hour given.
Isaiah 15, Defeat of Moab—no day and hour given.
Isaiah 19, Defeat of Egypt – no day and hour given.
Isaiah 22, Destruction of Jerusalem—no day and hour given.
Isaiah 24, Judgments and Tribulations – no day and hour given.
Isaiah 45:1-7, Anointing of Cyrus – no day and hour given.
Isaiah 53, Coming of the Messiah – no day and hour given.
Isaiah 61, Advent of the Messiah – no day and hour given.
Jeremiah 31:31-40, Establishment of a new covenant – no day and hour given.
Daniel 2, Establishment of God’s kingdom—no day and hour given.
Daniel 2, Establishment of the fourth kingdom – no day and hour given.
Joel 2, Terrible day coming – no day and hour given.
Micah 5:2, The birth of the Messiah – no day and hour given.
Zechariah 14:9ff, Messiah’s kingdom established – no day and hour given.
Malachi 4:1-3, Coming of the Messiah – no day and hour given.
Malachi 4:4-6, Coming of Elijah – no day and hour given.
Luke 1:11-17, Birth of John the Baptist – no day and hour given.
Luke 1:26-33, Birth of Jesus Christ – no day and hour given.
Matthew 16:16-18, Establishment of the church – no day and hour given.
Matthew 16:21-23, Suffering and death of the Messiah – no day and hour given.
Matthew 16:27-28, Christ’s coming in the glory of the Father – no day and hour given.
John 5:24-30, Christ’s coming and the resurrection – no day and hour given.
Acts 1:4-5, Coming of the Father’s promise – no day and hour given.
Acts 1:6, Restoration of the Kingdom of Israel – no day and hour given.

The above verses amply demonstrate that it is not God’s practice to give exact days and hours in the fulfillment of promises and great events. Therefore, it was out of place for the disciples to ask the Lord Jesus the exact day and hour of the destruction of the city of Jerusalem (Mark 13:1-37; Matthew 24:1-44).
It is also out of place for students to ask exact answers of test items from their teacher.

*B. CHRIST MENTIONED ENOUGH SIGNS TO KEEP DISCIPLES ALERT
I have spent many, many, many years studying under different college instructors. When an instructor gives pointers for the examination, I find it very helpful and I would know what to expect in the test. More important than the pointers is my knowledge of the objective of the course and the coverage of the course. The objective and coverage provide me enough signs to work on and be prepared for the final examination. I knew the hour and day of a final test would come but I don’t worry about the exact date and hour when it would come. My concern was always this: Am I ready to take the examination when the day and hour comes? In like manner, a disciple’s concern today should simply be: Am I ready for the day and hour when “my local Jerusalem” and/or the end of my life come?

Chapters 24 and 25 of the Gospel of Matthew provide sufficient signs pointing to the coming day and hour of Jerusalem’s destruction and the day and hour of Christ’s coming. One important idea to remember is to consider the destruction of Jerusalem/end of the age of Israel as a chosen nation of God as a small replica of the end, the destruction of the cosmos/end of the ages of humanity. These signs are the following: Many would claim Christ’s authority deceiving many people, rumors of wars and wars fought, nation rise against another, famines, pestilences, earthquakes in various places, tribulations, killings, hatred against believers, hatred and betrayals, false prophets deceive people, lawlessness abound, love of many will grow cold and many more as one goes down the verses in Matthew 24. And then in Matthew 26, our Lord added more warnings that the end of Jerusalem and the end of the world would surely come.

*C. DISCIPLES’ BURDEN IS TO BE ALERT ALL THE TIME
In Matthew 24:4-26 list down daily occurrences to warn every disciple to think of the coming local judgment on the Jerusalem ruled by a self-serving priestly family, and the woefully mistaken hermeneutics of the Pharisees-Scribes-Sadducees. Matthew 24:27-31 gives warnings of a local or cosmic arrival of Christ judgment. Matthew 24:32-35 gives the Parable of the Fig Tree was familiar with the Jews – the budding of the fig tree announces the onset of summer. Matthew 24:36-44 submits the story of Noah and the Flood to demonstrate that watchfulness is the disciples’ burden and that the exact date and hour was not revealed and would not be revealed as regards the end of Jerusalem and the end of the world. Christ reiterates the attitude every disciples must have in 24:44, “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not expect Him.”

Matthew 24:45-49 is another illustration of the need for watchfulness and loyalty. Matthew 25:1-13 is the Parable of the Ten Virgins which is another lesson of being alert all the times. Matthew 25:14-30 tells every disciple to be loyal and productive in this life and the inevitability of an accounting in the last day. Finally, Matthew 25:31-46 gives a view of the Final Judgment.

Because there’s a mixture of local and cosmic judgments in the context of Matthew 24, as well as a local and cosmic coming of Christ, a revelation of an exact date and hour is inappropriate. Families and towns and cities have different dates and hours for their respective “judgments” by local floods, arsons, landslides, vehicular accidents, pestilences like dengue or cancers, heart attacks, massacres, kidnappings, robberies, family feuds, earthquakes, famines like that one in Africa, plane crashes, boat sinkings, bombings, food poisonings, deaths due to diseases and viral infections, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc.

Christ’s admonition to towns, cities, families and individuals remains: “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not expect Him.” Knowing the exact date and hour is irrelevant.

This writer would appreciate receiving from readers any comment on this article. This series #8 ends the discussion of this particular topic. I hope that the eight articles have helped clarify the issue. Thank you. @ – Eusebio Tanicala (August 2011)

July 23, 2011

PUT THINGS ON A TIME LINE

There are Bible students who continue to use the Thief on the Cross as the measure of what man should do to be saved by grace and mercy. Yes, we are saved by grace and mercy if we properly define what grace and mercy are. We are saved by grace and mercy if we consider what conditions are laid down by our Gracious and Merciful Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

I think we need to show our Bible reading friends in minute details the approximate dates of the following:

  • The start and termination of the Mosaical Law;
  • Transitional period of John the Baptist’s ministry/baptism;
  • Possibility that the thief on the cross was baptized by John the Baptist’s or Jesus’ disciples;
  • The crucifixion of Christ;
  • The giving of the Great Commission baptism in Galilee which was after resurrection day;
  • The formal inauguration of Christ’s spiritual kingdom and formal effectivity of the New Covenant.

We put here the approximate dates:

1. Law at Sinai given approximately 1500 B.C. through the intermediary of Moses.

2. John the Baptist’s ministry started at about A.D. 29 primarily to identify the presence of the Messiah and to prepare the hearts of the Israelites according to Malachi 4; Matt. 3; Mk 1; Luke 3; Jn 1:19-34. John’s baptism was for the remission of sin says Mark 1:4 but he pointed to the coming of Christ so when Christ’s Great Commission baptism became effective in Acts 2 (A.D. 33), John’s baptism stopped being operative according to Acts 19:1-7 (about A.D. 49).

3. Matthew 3:5-6, “Then ALL Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.” Luke 3: 21 says, “Now when ALL THE PEOPLE WERE BAPTIZED, IT CAME TO PASS THAT Jesus also was baptized…” See also Mk 1:4-5. Note also the declaration of Matthew 4:25, “And great multitudes followed Him- from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan. The year is about A.D. 30. Aside from the preaching of John the Baptist and Christ, the 12 apostles were sent out to the lost sheep of Israel (Matt. 10:6). With this Israel-wide preaching in a span of three years, the wayward thief could have been baptized earlier which explains his soft heart and repenting and believing while hanging at the cross.

4. The crucifixion of Christ was A.D. 33, Nisan 14th.

5. Resurrection Sunday was A.D. 33, Nisan 16th when Christ told Mary Magdalene to tell the disciples to meet him in Galilee according to Matthew 28:7; Christ met the 10 disciples in the same evening of the resurrection day says John 20:19 but Thomas was absent (20:24-25). Eight days later (Nisan 23rd), Jesus met again the 11, this time Thomas was present says John 20:26-29.

(Note: There were many more appearances recorded mentioned in 1 Cor. 15:5-9 and Acts 1:3 but we could not put dates for all of them. It would appear that Christ and the Apostles stayed at least EIGHT days in Jerusalem after resurrection and then they met in Galilee as per Matt. 28:16. Forty days after the resurrection, Christ ascended according to Acts 1 and this is the month of Iyar on the 26th day.)

6. Then the disciples went back to Jerusalem from Galilee and were told to stay in Jerusalem until they be endowed with the power of the Holy Spirit says Acts 1:1-8. Date is not clear. According to Hebrews 9:15-18, a Will/Covenant becomes effective or probative at the death of the Testator. That means that the New Testament of Christ was technically effective on Nisan 14th and the Old Law was abrogated according to Colossians 2:14 and superseded by the New Covenant says Hebrews 8:7-13. The 11 disciples went to Galilee after eight days stay in Jerusalem after resurrection Sunday. It is in Galilee that Christ gives the Great Commission. Which means that the Great Commission baptism was not yet given when Christ had that conversation with the Thief at the Cross. To say that Christ had already given the Great Commission baptism before the cross and that the thief was exempted from obeying it is gross ignorance of the Bible. It’s like a Court of Law judge who would apply the 1987 Constitution provision to a 1985 case.

7. In the sermon of Simon Peter in Acts 2, he declares that Jesus has been enthroned (v. 22-35), and this appears to be the formal inauguration of the spiritual kingdom of Israel; the keys of the kingdom which is gospel preaching are now employed by the preaching apostles resulting to the conversion of 3,000 souls who now become the first citizens of the new kingdom of heaven – Acts 2:36-38; Colossians 1:13; Philippians 3:17-20. Date is the Day of Pentecost which is now about themonth of Sivan on the 8th day. This days, 50 days after the crucifixion day was the formal and first day application of the Great Commission baptism commanded by Christ. This shows that this Great Commission baptism of Christ was not operative 50 days earlier on the day of crucifixion. Therefore, it is wrong to argue that the Great Commission baptism should be applicable to the thief on the cross. By analogy, it’s like arguing that the Cory Constitution of the year 1987 should be applicable in the year 1985. Any student of the Constitution of the Philippines knows that this kind of argument is wrong.

Now it is clear that the Great Commission baptism was not yet operative when Christ was hanging at the cross because it was not yet given. The Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20 and Mark 16:15-16 was not yet uttered. Any careful Bible student should know this.

I hope that the time-line would be helpful in determining what God wants us to do and teach to the lost. We who are expected to know more will be judged more severely says James 3:1. We should be very careful in our knowledge of the Bible lest we become modern Pharisees who substitute Christ’s command with our ignorant ideas. #

-Eusebio Tanicala

July 20, 2011

THE LORD JESUS CHRIST DIDN’T KNOW THE DAY AND HOUR OF HIS COMING? (SERIES #7)

This is our #7 in the series of this lesson on Mark 12:33 on the alleged lack of knowledge of the day and hour of Jerusalem’s destruction and the second coming of Christ. I have submitted passages that tell of super-human or above-human abilities and characteristics of our Lord Jesus.  In considering passages about our Lord in relation to his claim of deity we should ask the following questions and give our very honest answers:

  1. Do the statements referring to the pre-human existence of Christ like being the creator of all things visible and invisible in heaven and on earth (Col. 1:15-16; John 1:3; Hebrews 1:10) prove that Christ was a spirit persona before he became flesh born of the Virgin Mary? ____

If the answer is “Yes” do you demand that during the time of creation, Christ should be man of flesh and blood? If your answer is “No” why “no” if you believe that Christ is both deity and humanity?

  1. Do John 17:5 “having glory with the Father before the world was created,” John 8:56, “before Abraham was I am” and 1 Corinthians 10:4 “being the rock that followed Israel in the wilderness giving water” prove that Christ was a spirit persona before his incarnation through the Virgin Mary? _____

If your answer to the above is “Yes”, do you demand that in the time before Abraham and during the 40 years of wilderness wandering, Christ should be in the nature of flesh and blood since we say that Christ is both man and deity? _____

  1. Since the above passages clearly express the non-human state, existence, and power of Christ, do you demand that his human limitations be automatically expressed alongside his divine infiniteness?

If your answer is “No” would it be logical to demand that the divine prerogatives automatically come out when a human characteristic is mentioned in Mark 12:33?_____

  1. When passages mention a non-human (deity) power or characteristic of Christ’s persona one does not demand that the human limitations be mentioned, is it logical to demand that when a human limitation is mentioned one demands that his divine power or characteristic be mentioned to negate the human aspect? _____
  1. Since there is Christ’s voluntary emptying of himself taught in Philippians 2:5-8 and a the presence of a dual nature mentioned in Colossians 1:19; 2:9 and 1 Tim. 3:16, is it not logical that there is the possibility that Mark 12:33 be assigned to his humanity while Colossians 1:15-16; John 1:3; Hebrews 1:10; John 17:5 be assigned to his deity?

To be consistent in our Bible interpretation, we should recognize the dual nature of Christ. So when a human characteristic is mentioned, we should assign that to his humanity but when a divine characteristic is mentioned, we should assign that to his divinity. # (E.Tanicala)

June 27, 2011

OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST DIDN’T KNOW THE DAY AND HOUR OF HIS COMING? (Series #6)

Because of Matt. 24:36 & Mark 13:32 where our Lord said, “But of that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” some students of the Bible ask this questions: “If Christ is God and God knows everything, why is it that Christ doesn’t know the day and hour of his second coming and the destruction of Jerusalem?”

My opinion on this matter is that since our Lord possessed two natures according to Colossians 2:9 and 1 Timothy 3:16, the divine and the human, the one referred to as not knowing is the human aspect of our Lord. I’ve repeatedly said that when one aspect of his personality comes out or is referred to, the second aspect of his personality doesn’t automatically come out.

This sequel is now the sixth of a series. I’ve submitted many verses wherein Christ’s deity is referred to. When Christ’s attributes or characteristic as deity is referred to, people don’t complain why his human attributes don’t come out. But when his human attribute or characteristic is referred to, people demand that his divine attribute should automatically come out. That is not a logical way of reasoning.

We should ask the objectors or doubters to answer this question: “When Christ’s human attribute or characteristic is referred to in a passage, why do you demand that His divine attribute or characteristic should come out automatically, but when Christ’s divine attribute or characteristic is referred to in a passage, why do you NOT demand that His human attribute or characteristic should come out automatically?

The case of Matt. 24:36 & Mark 13:32 is parallel to the case of Matt. 27:46 & Mark 15:34 where Christ shouted, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” This is the human side of Christ complaining and not His divine side. It is humanity, starting with Eve and continuing to this day, that commits sin, and it should be humanity, the humanity of Jesus, that suffered to answer the demands of divine justice: the punishment of sin.  Humanity has sinned, humanity has to suffer its penalty. The humanity of our Lord Jesus Christ suffered the penalty of sin.

Let’s continue this submission of verses using the NKJV :

  • John 10:15, “As the Father knows Me, I know the Father” Is the humanity of Christ that absolutely knows   the Father? __Yes/No. Should you demand that Jesus doesn’t know the Father?
  • John 10:30, “I and my Father are one.” Is Christ’s humanity that is one with the Father? __
  • Should you  demand that Jesus declares that His humanity is not one with the Father? __
  • John 10:36, “… whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world…” Is this the humanity of Christ? __
  • John 11:38, “…the Father is in Me, and I in Him,” Is the humanity of Christ the one inextricably fused   with the Father? __ Yes/No
  • John 12:41, “These things Isaiah said when he saw His glory and spoke of Him.” Sino itong “His glory”   “Him” that Isaiah saw 800 years before Christ was born in the flesh? Ito ba ang humanity of Christ or Christ’s deity?
  • John 12:49-50, When is this sending by the Father? Was it before or after the first hour of Christ’s  conception in Mary’s womb?  Who is the one sent into the world: His humanity or deity?  _____
  • John 13:3, “… He had come from God and was going to God…” Who is this one who came from God: his  humanity or his deity? ______
  • John 14:1 &, 11, “…I am in the Father, and the Father in Me?…the Father dwells in Him…” Is the humanity or the deity of Christ that is completely congruent with the Father? _____
  •  John 16:5, “… I go away to Him who sent Me…” Who is going away who was sent by the Father? Is this  Christ’s deity or humanity? _____
  • John 16:14-15,“…He will take of what is Mine …all things that the Father are Mine …”
    • Is Christ’s deity the one that possesses what the Father possesses?__Yes/No.
    • What does the Father possess which Christ possesses?_____
    • Can the humanity of Christ possess all what the Father possesses? _____
    • Does the Father possess all wisdom and knowledge? __Yes/No.
    • Does Christ have all that wisdom and knowledge of the Father? __ Yes/No.
    • Is it the humanity or the deity of Christ that possess all wisdom and knowledge? _____
  • John16:27, “… I came forth from God.” Who came forth from God: Christ’s humanity or deity? ___
  • John 16:28, Who came forth from the Father and was sent into the world? There’s the coming forth and   going back to the Father, the two actions done by one , is this Christ’s deity or humanity? ____
  • John16:30, “… You know all things…” Is this Christ’s humanity knowing all things. __Yes/No.
  • John 16:30, “…we believe that You came forth from God…” Who came forth from God, is it the humanity   of Christ that came forth from God? ___
  • John 17:5, “… O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself…” Is it the humanity of Christ that is glorified   with the Father? __Yes/No.
  • John 17:5, “…with the glory that I had with You before the world was.”
    • Did Christ’s deity exist before the world was created? __Yes/No.
    • Did Christ’s humanity exist with glory before the world was created? __ Yes/No.
    • Is it right to ask: “If Christ is man, his humanity should have glory before the world was”? __
  • John 17:8, “,,, I came forth from You…”
    • Did Christ’s humanity come from the Father? __Yes/No.
    • When was the sending by the Father, was it before Christ’s birth or after Christ’s birth? ____
  • John 17:11, “… that they may be one as We are one.”
    • Is the deity aspect of Christ the one that is one with the Father? __Yes/No.
    • Is it the human aspect of Christ that is One with the Father? __Yes/No.
    • Do you demand that both the deity and humanity aspects of Christ be one with the Father at   the same time?  __Yes/No.
  • John 17:23, The Son is one with the Father, is the humanity of Christ one with the Father? __Yes/No.
  • John 17:24, “…My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the     world.”
    • Did Christ possess his humanity before the creation of the world? __Yes/No.
    • Did Christ possess humanity that the Father loved before the foundation of the world? __Yes/No.
  • John 17:25, “… I have known you…” Is it the humanity of Christ that knows the absolutely deity of the   Father? ___Yes/No.  Kailan ang pagkasugong ito ni Cristo, was it before or after Christ’s birth? _____
  • John 19:18,“…they crucified Him, and two others…”
    • Is it the human Jesus that was crucified? __Yes/No.
    • Is it the deity of Jesus that was crucified? __Yes/No.
    • Is it the human flesh of the thieves that were crucified? __Yes/No.
    • Was the spirit/soul of the thieves crucified? __Yes/No.
  • John 20:28, “…my God, my God why have you forsaken me? ” Consider John 1:14 and Hebrews 2:14-18.
    • What did Christ become so that he can become the same with humanity according to John 1:14 and  Heb. 2:14? Humanity or deity? _____
    • What aspect of Jesus suffered, was it his flesh or his deity, based on Heb. 2:10? _____
  • John 21:17, “… Lord, You know all things…”
    • Is the humanity aspect of Christ that knows all things? __ Yes/No.
    • Is it the deity of Christ that knows all things? ___ Yes/No.

Observe closely: If you make Matt. 24:36 & Mark 13:32 as basis to claim that Jesus is completely ignorant  you would CONTRADICT John 2:24 “He knew all men,” 25 “He knew what was in man;” John 16:14 “He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you,” speaking of the Holy Spirit as the one who speaks of the future,  15 – the Father has the prerogative of declaring this date the apostles were interested in; John 16:30 “Now we are sure that You know all things, and have no need that anyone should question you.”  In John 21:17, Peter said, “Lord, You know all things.” Any Bible student who produces contradictions in scriptures is the one who is ignorant, not the Lord Jesus Christ.  But if you make Christ’s human aspect in not knowing all things in order to evade an unnecessary question, and his deity knowing all things, then there is no contradiction.

Note: Our Lord in Matthew 24 and Mark 13 gives the warnings and signs of the end of Jerusalem and of His second coming. He tells them to go on with daily chores and be watchful. The disciples ought not to have asked a specific day and hour, but still they did ask for a specific day and hour. Such is lack of understanding. The disciples acted as simpletons. They should have not asked what they asked in Matt. 24:36 and Mark 13:32. In their simple curiosity and naivette, they still asked the question. Nakalimutan na ng mga alagad na sila mismo ang nagsabi sa John 16:30, “Alam na naming batid ninyo ang lahat ng bagay, at hindi na kailangang tanungin ninuman…”  Di ba ang mga alagad ang mukhang tanga? Bakit ang ating Panginoon Jesus pa ang palalabasing tanga? Di ba tayong nagtatanong ang mga tanga?

What was important with our Lord is for disciples to go on with their daily chores, to be responsible, to be watchful all the time. Lessons from the Fig Tree, lessons from the Days of Noah, lessons of the Two Servants, lessons from the Ten Virgins, lessons from the Parable of the Talents were given. That should have been enough. These were enough revelation. So Christ should not give a specific day and hour. The Fig Tree does not reveal the specific day and hour of picking its ripe fruit; Noah didn’t ask the specific day and hour of the flood, the master didn’t reveal to the servants the specific day and hour of his return, the lender didn’t reveal to the borrower the specific day and hour of his arrival. The burden is upon the disciples and not upon the master. The burden is merely these: go on with your daily work, be faithful, be responsible, be watchful against infidelity and deceivers and all will be well. To reveal exact date and hour was not the practice of that time. Unlike today wherein airplanes and airconditioned buses reveal their Expected Time of Departure (ETD) and Expected Time of Arrival (ETA).

Our Lord employs his evasion in John 2:4: “…  My hour has not yet come.” But still he did something for the sake of his mother.  Mark 3:31-35 contains another evasion or multi-tasking style: Christ evades the physical relationship but he reveals and puts emphasis on the spiritual relationship. Did he reject physical relationship? No. Did he put priority on spiritual relationship? Yes.  Our Lord told Simon Peter to in John 21:15-17 “feed My lambs, to tend My sheep, to feed My sheep.” Peter was curious about the disciple whom Jesus loved (v. 21-22). Jesus was evasive so he said, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.”  It’s the same principle here: do your job and don’t worry. Don’t mind the things that don’t belong to your jurisdiction. The same applies in Acts 1:3-8. Our Lord gave instructions about the apostles’ work but they managed to ask, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” The apostles were curious about “time.” Once more He rebuked them by saying, “It is not for you to now times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.”  Jesus’ response is not a confession of lack of knowledge. It merely tells the apostles to “do the business assigned to you” and God will do things in His own way and in His own time.” ## -Eusebio Tanicala

June 16, 2011

OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST DIDN’T KNOW HIS COMING? (Series 5)

Because of Christ’s statement in Matthew 24:36 and Mark 13:32 that the Son of Man didn’t know the hour and day of the destruction of Jerusalem and his coming back, some pose the question, “If Christ is God, why didn’t he know the hour and day yet we say that God knows everything? Doesn’t this deny the deity of Christ?”

Our belief is that since the incarnation of Jesus Christ in A.D. 1, our Lord Jesus Christ has possessed two natures in one person. Which is why we frequently cite Colossians 2:9, “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” If our human brain couldn’t fathom or accept this statement, it should be accepted by faith. God is so vast like the waters of the oceans and seas but our human brain is as small as a cup of coffee.

There are many passages in the Gospel of John that we submit and then ask the question: “If Christ is not God, why did He do these acts or have the attributes of deity?”  We continue with the Gospel of John using the NKJV.

21. John 6:32, 33, 35 + John 3:13, 16 – Christ is the bread of life from heaven sent by the   Father, is the man Jesus the one that came down from heaven and sent by the Father? Did the humanity of Jesus Christ come down from heaven?  ___ Yes, ___ No. If the answer is “No”, who then came down from heaven? ___

22. John 6:38, 41 – Christ is the bread of life that came down from heaven and was sent by the Father to do His will, did the humanity of Jesus originate from heaven and was sent by the Father down to earth?  ___ Yes, ___ No.

23. John 6:42 – Jesus the son of Joseph and Mary the Jews knew. Is this the humanity of Jesus our Lord? ___ Yes, ___ No. Was it the humanity of Jesus that came down from heaven?

24. John 6:42 – Repeatedly in the verses prior to v. 42, the Jews clearly heard Jesus declare that He came down from heaven, did Christ’s humanity come down from heaven?__Yes,__No. Or is it the deity of Christ that came down from heaven? __ Yes, __ No.

25. John 6:46 + 5:37 + 8:38 – Christ says, “Not that anyone has seen the Father, except he who is from God, He has seen the Father.” Is this the humanity of Christ speaking that has seen the Father? __Yes, __No. If not the humanity, then which one?

26. John 6:48, 50, 51-58 – Christ is the living bread that came down from heaven, the living Father sent Him, is this the humanity of Christ that is referred to? _Yes, __No. Some ministers say that Christ was a “plan in God’s mind” before the incarnation, is a plan a living bread in heaven? ___

27. John 6:60 – The many declarations of Jesus in the whole of John chapter 6 is hard saying – was it difficult because the Jews looked only at His humanity. __Yes, __No.

28. Matthew 24:36 + Mark 13:32 – This statement of Christ is hard saying and difficult to understand because YOU looked only at His humanity? __ Yes, __No. If the humanity of Jesus is the one speaking here, why do we demand that His deity should come out but when His deity is emphasized, why don’t we demand that his humanity also comes out? ___

29. John 6:62 — “What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before?” This was stated in A.D. 31 about two years before the crucifixion, does this refer to Jesus having human nature in heaven previous to His incarnation thro the Virgin Mary? __Yes,__No.

30. John 6:62 – Does this statement of Jesus refer to His deity existing in heaven with the Father before His incarnation thro the Virgin Mary in A.D. 1? __ Yes, __No. What was He before and where was He located before His incarnation where He goes back? ___

31. John 6:62 – Does this passage suggest that our Lord Jesus Christ had an existence in heaven before His incarnation stated in John 1:14? __Yes, __No.  Was Jesus human when He was in heaven before the incarnation and was sent down to earth as human? ___

32. John 7:16-18 + Heb. 10:5-10 – Christ is sent by God, was the humanity of Jesus the one in heaven when the Father sent Him to earth? __Yes, __No.

33. John 7:27, 28, 29 – Jesus says that the Jews know who he is and where he comes from, does this refer to the humanity of Jesus Christ? __Yes, __No.

34. John 7:27, 28, 29 – When the Christ comes, no one knows where He is from, does this refer to the deity of Christ because He is from heaven and the Jews didn’t know heaven? __ Yes, __No.

35. John 7:29 – Christ says, “But I know Him, for I am from Him, and He sent Me.” Is it the humanity of Christ which was conceived by the Virgin Mary that completely knows the Father who sent Him down from heaven? __Yes, __No.

36. John 7:29 – “But I know Him, for I am from Him, and He sent Me.” The Father is in heaven, did the humanity of Jesus originate from the Father in heaven, and did the Father send from heaven a human Jesus? __ Yes, __ No.

37. John 8:14 —  Christ says, “… I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from and where I am going.” Do the Jews know where the humanity of Jesus came from and going to? __Yes, __No. Do the Jews know where the deity of Christ came from and where it was going? __Yes, __No.

38. John 8:18, 19 – Is the humanity of Jesus the one sent by the Father from heaven to the earth? __Yes, __No. Does Jesus refer to His deity as the aspect not known and recognized by the Jews in this passage? __Yes, __No.

39. John 8:21-22 – The unbelieving Jews cannot go to the place where Jesus was going which in previous verses He says it is the same place He came from, is the humanity of Jesus referred to when He says He goes where He previously was? __Yes, __No.

40. John 8:23 – “… I am from above … I am not of this world.” Does this refer to his humanity? __Yes, __ No. Does this refer to His deity? __Yes, __No.

41. John 8:26 + John 3:32 – “… I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him.” Is Jesus’ humanity referred to that has heard the things in heaven? __Yes, __No. Is Jesus’ deity referred to that has seen and heard things in heaven? __Yes, __No.

42. John 8:29 – “And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.” Is this referring to the humanity of Christ? __Yes, __No. Is this referring to the deity of Christ? __Yes, __No.

43. Matthew 27:46 – “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Is the humanity of Christ the one referred to here? __ Yes, __No. Or is it His deity referred to? __Yes, __No.

44. John 8:38 – “I speak what I have seen with My Father…” The one that has seen the Father is the human eyes of Jesus, do you believe that? __Yes, __No. Or is the one that has seen the Father referring to Christ’s deity and His previous association with the Father in heaven? __

45. John 8:40 – Jesus mentions his manhood, is this referring to his humanity? __Yes, __No.

46. John 8:40 – Is Jesus’ humanity His deity? __Yes, __No. When Christ refers to His humanity, does he at the same time refer to His deity? __Yes, __No.

47. Do the deity and humanity of Christ always go together in every action, in every state attributed to Jesus Christ? __Yes, __No.

48. John 8:42 – “… I proceeded from and came from God…”  Did the humanity of Christ our Lord proceed and come from God and was sent from heaven to earth in A.D. 1? __Yes, __No.

49. John 8:42 – Did the deity of Christ our Lord proceed and come from God? __Yes, __No.

50. John 8:58 – “…before Abraham was, I AM.” Does the “I AM” state of Christ refer to His humanity existing before Abraham’s time?

51. John 8:68 – Does the “I AM” state of Christ refer to His deity that existed even before the lifetime of Abraham? __Yes, __No.

52. Is it now possible for you to believe that there are times when Jesus speaks that He refers to his humanity alone and there are times that He refers to His deity alone? __ Yes, __No.

53. If Christ declares or establishes His deity, does that automatically deny His humanity? __

54. Should we demand from Christ and the apostles that when they write something about the Lord Jesus Christ, both His natures of deity and humanity should always come out together all the time? ___

55. When the many references above point to the attributes of Christ’s deity, no one demands that His humanity’s limitations should come out, but when the human attributes of Christ are pointed out, everybody demands that He should bring out the unlimited attributes of deity? Is it consistent when somebody does that? Are you consistent if you do that? ___

(Note: There is another sequel to this article. –Eusebio Tanicala, 15 June 2011)

June 12, 2011

OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST DIDN’T KNOW HIS COMING? (SERIES #4)

Our Lord Jesus Christ was both God and Man when Christ was incarnated through the Virgin Mary. This we can read from the accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in their gospel accounts. Apostle Paul records the presence of two natures in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ in Colossians 2:9. However, some have difficulty explaining the passage where our Lord said that the Son doesn’t know the end of Jerusalem, and the coming of the Son. If he didn’t know the future, it is concluded by some: “He is not God because he doesn’t know everything.”

To understand the NT we should accept the fact that Jesus Christ from A.D. 1 possessed two natures, and there were times that the deity is referred to in certain verses while in other verses his humanity is referred to. To demand that in all utterances of Christ his deity is referred to is an error as much as to demand that all utterances of Christ his humanity is referred.

In the following verses we would like to ask which is referred to: Humanity or Deity?

1. John 1:1 – The Word was God. Does this refer to Christ’s deity or humanity?

2. John 1:2 – He was in the beginning with God. Does this refer to His deity or humanity?

3. John 1:3 – All things were made thro Him. Does this refer to His deity or humanity?

4. John 1:10 – The world was made thro Him. Does this refer to His deity or humanity?

5. John 1:14 – The Word became flesh. Does this refer to His deity or humanity?

6. John 1:30 – “He was before me.” Does this refer to His deity or humanity?

7. John 1:48 – Jesus seeing Nathanael in a secluded place. His deity or humanity?

8. John 2:24,25 – He knew all men. Does this refer to His deity or humanity?

9. John 3:13 – No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven. Is this  referring to Christ’s deity or humanity?

10. John 3:16 + 3:34– God sent His Son into the world. Is this deity or humanity?

11. John 3:31 – He comes from above, is above all; comes from heaven is above all. Is this   referring to His deity or humanity?

12. John 3:32 + John 3:11 + John 15:15- He has seen and heard things in heaven. Does this  act of seeing refer to His deity or humanity in A.D. 31?

13. John 5:17 + 9:4 – He has been working as the Father is working. Is this deity or humanity?

14. John 5:17,18 – His relationship as God’s Son and the Father He calls Father – this meant to the Jews that the Son and the Father are equal. Is the deity or the humanity  of Jesus the one equal with the Father?

15. John 5:19,20 – Jesus sees (present tense in 31 A.D.) the Father doing and He does the same    things. Do the acts of seeing and doing refer to Jesus” deity or his humanity?

16. John 5:19 – Whatever the He (the Father) does, the Son does. Does this refer to Jesus’ deity  or to his humanity?

17. John 5:23 – “That all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not  honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.” Do we honor the Son as human and do we give that same human honor to the Father? Do we honor   the Son as God and do we honor the Father as God.

18. John 5:26 – Life is inherent in the Father and life is inherent in the Son. Does this possession   of eternal life in the past belong to deity or to Jesus’ humanity?

19. John 5:30, 36 – Christ was sent by the Father, and He hears the Father. Was this hearing and  sending before the birth of Jesus to the Virgin Mary or after Jesus’ birth?

20. John 5:37 + John 1:18 – It is understood here that the Son has seen the Father. See again our reference to John 5:19-20. The Christ who saw and heard the Father, is it Christ’s deity or his humanity?

     If the above utterances of Jesus and references to himself refer to his deity and not to his humanity, should not Matthew 24:36; Mark 13:32 be interpreted as referring to his humanity and not to his deity?  To be consistent, it should be.

     Note: In the next series we shall continue to submit passages that will train our understanding about the dual nature of our Lord Jesus Christ. ### – Eusebio Tanicala, June 10, 2011 

 

June 10, 2011

OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST DIDN’T KNOW HIS COMING? (SERIES #3)

Matthew 24:36 and Mark 13:32 are cited by some Bible students to suggest that Christ is not God because the passages say that the Son doesn’t know the day and hour the destruction of Jerusalem, the end of the age, and His coming back will be. In Series # 1-2, I’ve suggested some ideas and illustrations to explain away a seeming difficulty.  We should recognize that God’s power, authority and knowledge don’t automatically come out when confronted.

Please note the following events:

  1. When the Devil entered the Garden of Eden and succeeded in seducing Adam and Eve, God didn’t immediately  come out with His power to overcome the Devil’s control over humanity.   We know that God castigated the Devil and promised the coming of the woman’s seed who will inflict a deadly wound on the Devil’s head. It took thousands of years before the Messiah came. God’s power didn’t immediately come out to destroy the Devil’s work. Our God has allowed the operation of human free will all throughout human history. Is it the lack of God’s omnipotence? No.
  2. God’s sovereignty over Israel was challenged by the Pharaoh, but it took painful years and days before Pharaoh’s control over God’s people loosened.  God’s power didn’t immediately come out to deliver Israel from Pharaoh’s bondage. God waited for the formation of a strong resolve from Israel’s collective psyche to break away from Egyptian bondage and to serve the true God.

If our Lord Jesus Christ said the “Son did not know the day and hour but it is the Father only who knows” this declaration should not demand that God’s knowledge should immediately be revealed. When Christ didn’t bring out His knowledge when confronted, it didn’t mean He didn’t know it. He gave out what we may call a “relative negation.”He wanted the blossoming of the disciples’ complete trust in God and in the Son of God by being ever watchful. Relative negation means that something is negated, but it doesn’t mean a complete lack of it. Amos 5:23 and 1 Cor. 1:17 have negations. But the negated things are not completely eliminated.

Let’s analyze a second position that there are times Christ’s deity is referred to and at other times Christ’s humanity is the one pointed to. Let’s ask where the humanity of Jesus Christ in the following instances was:

  1. Colossians 1:15-16 says that our Lord Jesus Christ created the things invisible and visible, powers, authorities, principalities and thrones; if these invisible creations came into being before Genesis 1:1, was the act of creating done by the humanity of Jesus Christ? No, not His humanity. Christ is  man, but His humanity is not involved here. It was His persona as Deity that created all things. So we could ask: If Christ is man only, was Christ man during the creation of the invisible world?
  2. John 1:1-3 says that all things were created by Jesus Christ and nothing was created without Him. If this creative act took place on or before Genesis 1:1, where was the humanity of Christ then? Christ  is man, but His humanity is not involved here. If Christ is man only, where was Christ’s humanity  when all things were created before Genesis 1:1?
  3. John 1: 29-30 says, “… Look! There is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! He is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Soon a man is coming who is far greater than I am, for he  existed long before I did.’” (NLT) Did the humanity of Christ exist long before John the Baptist was born? No, not His humanity. It was His persona as Deity that existed eternally in the past. So we ask,  “If Christ is man only, where was Christ’s humanity when He existed before John was born?”
  4. John 3:11-13 says, “I assure you, I am telling you what we know and have seen, and yet you won’t  believe us. But if you don’t even believe me when I tell you about things that happen here on earth,  how can you possibly believe if I tell you what is going on in heaven? For only I, the Son of Man, have  come to earth and will return to heaven again.” (NLT) Is it the humanity of Christ that speaks here that  has seen things and happenings in heaven? Is it the humanity of Christ that is referred to that  came down from heaven and will return to heaven at the time our Lord Jesus Christ spoke in John 3?  No, not His humanity. It was His persona as God. We ask, “If Christ is man, was there a humanity of  Jesus when he came down from heaven?”
  5. In John 8:56-58, Christ Himself declared: “’… Your ancestor Abraham rejoiced as he looked forward to   my coming. He saw it and was glad. The people said, ‘You aren’t even fifty years old. How can you say   you have seen Abraham? Jesus answered, ‘The truth is, I existed before Abraham was even born!’” (NLT) What is about our Lord Jesus Christ that existed long before Abraham was born? Was it His  humanity?  No, not His humanity. It was his persona as God. We ask, “If Christ is man only, was Christ  human before Abraham was born?”
  6. In John 17:5, “And now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began.” (NLT) Our Lord Jesus Christ speaks as a person and He claims He shared the Father’s glory before the world was created.  Was it the humanity of Christ that shared the Father’s glory before the world begun? No,  not His humanity. It was His persona as God. We ask, “If Christ is man only, did his humanity possess  glory before the world was created?”
  7. In John 6:38, our Lord Jesus Christ said, “For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God  who sent me, not to do what I want.” (NLT)  This statement was uttered some two years before Christ  ascended to heaven as recorded in Acts 1. Is it the humanity of Jesus Christ that came down from  heaven?  No, not His humanity. It was His persona as God. We ask, “If Christ is man only, is it the  human Christ that came down from heaven before his birth?”

We could cite many more passages where our Lord Jesus Christ spoke and referred to His deity.  It should also be reasonable to argue that Matthew 24:36 and Mark 13:32, when referring to the Son, points to His humanity and not His deity.

Another way of looking at Matthew 24:36 and Mark 13:32 is that the “negation” is not a lack of knowledge but that as the teacher, He should not divulge it. God wants to put the burden on the shoulders of the disciples to watch for the signs of the times and be alert all the time. What was necessary was for the disciples to ever be watchful. It is likened to an examination period, when a student asks the teacher-monitor, “Sir, what’s the answer to number 5?” The teacher-monitor would say, “I don’t know.”  The negation is not a lack of knowledge, but the teacher means, “I should not divulge it.” It’s up to the student to know the answer.  The teacher’s negation is not lack of knowledge and it is not a lie. It is an answer that puts the burden on the student.

Note that in Acts 1:4-8 the disciples wanted to know the exact period when the Kingdom of Israel would be restored. Jesus again didn’t give a clear answer. Not that He didn’t know the day and hour of an event. But that it was not time to divulge it. History unfolds and it’s up to the disciples to flow with time ever watchful and ever loyal to God. ### -E.Tanicala

 

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