Monthly Archives: June 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

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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)

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 

 

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

 

The Lord Jesus Christ Didn’t Know His Coming? (Series #2)

“Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?’” (Matt. 24:3) In answer to the query, the Lord Jesus Christ gave a long discourse and then He says in verses 36, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.”

The parallel passage in Mark 13: 32 says, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

Many Bible students and young preachers are bothered by our Lord Jesus Christ’s declaration that He did not know the day and hour of Jerusalem’s destruction and His own return to earth when connected to the belief that Jesus Christ is true God since a basic assumption about Deity is that God is omniscient or all knowing. Does Christ’s statement quoted above deny Christ’s deity?  If the serious Bible student answers the questions below, he would not use this issue to deny Christ’s deity.

The question posed is “If our Lord Jesus Christ is true God, why didn’t He know the day and hour of Jerusalem’s destruction, the end of the age and His own coming back in the light of our belief that He is God and God knows everything?”

For the serious Bible student, I would like him to first formulate his answers to the following questions for him to appreciate my answer to the above question. In the first series I have  challenged the serious Bible student to answer the questions below. I hope that the reader has formulated his own answer. These are the questions and now I give my own opinion.

     Question #1. If Yahweh God were true Deity, omnipotent and omniscient, why did He not prevent Lucifer from rebelling which made him Satan and eventually made him God’s bitter adversary?

Answer: Yahweh God, being omnipotent and omniscient, knew what Lucifer and some angels would do after creating them. Given the present situation now, we would like to volunteer the explanation that there are several interrelated factors considered to satisfactorily answer the above question and these are: (a) That God, before creation, had decreed that He would create angels, (b) That these angels would be given free will, (c) That in the exercise of free will there would be responsibility for consequences of willed choices, (d) That there would be sufficient instructions and warnings for good as well as wrong choices, and (e) That God wants to fellowship with beings that voluntarily choose to be loyal to God the Creator and  be holy as God Himself is holy. Lucifer’s ambition and greed led to his fall. Read Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28.

     Question #2. If Yahweh God were true Deity, omnipotent and omniscient, why did He not prevent the Devil from entering the Garden of Eden so that the Devil would have not seduced and made Eve and Adam sinners?

     Answer: Yahweh God, being omnipotent and omniscient, knew what Adam and Eve would do after creating them. Given the present situation now, we would like to argue that there are several interrelated variables to consider to satisfactorily answer the above question and these are: (a) That God had, before creation, decreed that He would create humans, (b) That man would be given free will, (c) That in the exercise of free will there is responsibility for consequences of willed choices, (d) That there would be sufficient instructions and warnings for correct as well as wrong decisions, (e) That God wants to fellowship with beings that voluntarily choose to be loyal to God the Creator and be holy as God Himself is holy, and (f) That God does not interfere with human free will.

Bible history tells us that Eve and Adam chose to ignore God and believed the lying Satan.    

     Question #3. If Yahweh God were true Deity, omnipotent and omniscient, why did He not make Noah succeed in persuading his generation within 120 years to turn away from the people’s wicked ways?

Answer: God suffered Satan to continue his work on earth with mankind and God permitted the exercise of free will among mankind but Noah’s generation followed fleshly pleasure rather than choosing the holiness of God. God didn’t interfere with human free will and He showed that there is a consequence of the people’s voluntary choices. The flood destroyed that wicked world.

     Question #4. If Jesus Christ were true Deity, omnipotent and omniscient, why did He become flesh according to John 1:14?

      Answer: The name Yahweh, the true God’s name, means “I AM THAT I AM” in English. Other scholars say it could be “I BECOME WHAT I BECOME.”   Yahweh God appeared in the form of man in Genesis 18:1 and He stayed with Abraham. Should we begrudge Yahweh’s prerogative in taking the form of human? We should not. Yahweh appeared as a burning bush in Exodus 3. According to 1 Cor. 10:4, Christ took the form of a material rock in Exodus 17:1-7 and Numbers 20:1-13. John 1:14’s declaration that Christ became flesh should not be a problem to the reasoning Bible student if he can grant that God could become man in Genesis 18:1 and a rock in Exodus.

     Question #5. If Jesus Christ is the Creator of all that is invisible and visible, of all thrones and dominions and principalities and powers, why was He born of the Virgin Mary? If Jesus Christ is man only, what was He at the time He created the invisible and visible worlds?

     Answer: Nobody complains when we are told in Genesis 18:1 that Yahweh, the true God, became a human being without being born; He ate with Abraham and Sarah, walked and talked with Abraham when Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. What is the problem if God wants to be born of a virgin? Should man limit God’s power to become what He wants to become and appear as He wants to appear to mankind?  As if man wants to say, “God, I refuse to believe that you can become what you want to become if my limited brain power can’t understand it.”   That’s not a good way of interpreting the Bible.

     Question #6. If Jesus Christ already existed before the creation of the universe, and He existed before Abraham was born (John 8:56) and He existed before John the Baptist was born (John 1:30), why was He born as a human baby after the creation of the physical universe, after Abraham had died, and after John the Baptist was born 6 months earlier than Jesus? If Jesus Christ is man only, what was His existence before Abraham and John the Baptist were born?

     Answer:  Jesus Christ’s existence before the creation of the world in Genesis 1:1, His existence before Abraham was born is His spirit nature and person. The question should be asked, “If Christ is man only, what was His nature and person before the creation of the world?”

The only reasonable dogma is this: The spirit nature and person of Jesus Christ is not his humanity, and His humanity is not His spirit nature and person.

When Jesus Christ said, “Before Abraham was, I am” shouldn’t you ask, “If Jesus Christ is man only, how can he be existing before Abraham was born?” If you can answer this question based on John 8:56, then you should be able to answer the question based on Matthew 24:36.

     Question #7. If our Lord Jesus Christ were true Deity, omnipotent and omniscient, why didn’t He allow the sending down of lightning and thunder upon a Samaritan village that rejected Him and his disciples as reported in Luke 9:51-56? Should man demand that God behave as humans ordinarily behave today when insulted?

     Answer: James and John felt insulted by the rejection shown them by the people in the Samaritan village. Ordinary humans want immediate revenge when insulted. God’s power and authority don’t automatically come out to exact revenge on people. Christ didn’t call thunder and lightning that would have melted down the Samaritan village. So we conclude that God’s power doesn’t automatically come out when challenged. We should not demand that God could exist only in one dimension as much as man can only exist in one dimension.

     Question #8. If our Lord Jesus Christ were true deity, omnipotent and omniscient, why didn’t He call down twelve legions of angels to guard Him in the night of His arrest as suggested in Matthew 26:53?  Should man demand that God behave as human sovereigns ordinarily behave today in the exercise of military power?

     Answer:  He could have called down 12 legions of angels if He wanted to but He didn’t. Do we demand that God should bring out automatically His omnipotence when challenged? No. Many sick people came in contact with Christ during his earthly ministry, but He didn’t automatically heal them. Should that be taken as an evidence that He was not God? When Christ didn’t call down 12 legions to guard Him from the arresting authorities, should that be an evidence that He was not a powerful God? No.    

     Question #9. If Yahweh God is omnipresent or present everywhere, why was Yahweh localized into a small human being in Genesis18:1-15?

     Answer: God could appear locally while He is at the same time present everywhere in cosmic space and beyond. This is what we call the transcendence and immanence of God happening at the same time.  Theologians recognize this transcendence and immanence of God. If Christ’s localization within a period of  33 years while incarnated is a problem, why don’t we reject Yahweh’s localization for 24 hours in Genesis 18 and 19? Was God’s appearance of a man in Genesis 18:1 the totality of God’s nature and person? No. Man’s mind is the one limited. God could appear as a man to 1,000 people at the same time and still be God.

     Question #10. If Yahweh God is omnipresent or present everywhere, why was He localized as a small burning bush in Exodus 3:1-22? When Yahweh God is here, is He not there also?

Answer: God is immanent (present in the world) and at the same time He is transcendent (outside of the universe). God could appear to humans in a localized manner so that man could understand and communicate with God. We should not limit God’s power. We should not tell God not to act in a way that our limited brain power could not understand. If God is omnipotent or all powerful, why didn’t His fire appearance burn the bush? It was not the inability of the fire to burn the bush, but it was the temporary suspension of the ability to burn. Was God’s appearance as a burning bush in Exodus 3 the totality of God’s nature and person? No. Can God suspend His glorious appearance when He wants to appear to man? Yes.

It is not lack of power and knowledge but a temporary suspension of them. If God wants to forget our sins, does He really forget them? Is it possible for God to suspend remembrance of our sins? Is it possible for God to remember what He previously forgets?

     Question #11. If Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III were truly the President of the Republic of the Philippines, why is he castigated by so many citizens when he bought a second hand Porsche sports car?

Answer: We should learn how to sometimes separate the Presidency and the personal private life of Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III. Did PNoy purchase the sports car as President of the Republic of the Philippines? No. Did PNoy purchase the sports car as a private person? Yes. Is there a PNoy that is a President of the Republic of the Philippines? Yes, there is. Is there a PNoy that is a personal private person? Yes, there is. Can you make a distinction between the PNoy as a President and a PNoy as a private citizen? Yes, we can. Are you able to apply this kind of splitting ability in the study of the nature and person of Jesus Christ? You should.

My dear reader, after you have given your own answers to the above questions and after reading my opinions, does the question  “Why did Jesus Christ say that He didn’t know the day and hour of the coming destruction of Jerusalem and the day and hour of His coming back in the light of our belief that is God and God knows everything?” still bother you?

Is it possible for you to make a distinction between Jesus Christ as Deity and Jesus Christ as human? Are you able to identify some acts or statements that should refer to His Deity and these should not be applicable to his humanity? Are you able to identify some acts or statements that should refer to His humanity and these should not refer to His Deity?  We should.

Anyone who wants to ask a specific follow-up question he should first submit his answers to the 11 questions expressed above to make sure he has struggled in his own mind how to tie together related passages and ideas.  #E. Tanicala