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Salvation – Is It by Grace Only?

By Eusebio A. Tanicala, PhD

INTRODUCTION

This study is very important because it could spell out one’s eternal destiny: go to heaven or go to hell.  “Saved by grace only” disregards humble obedience to many instructions and the exercise of human free will.

DEFINITION

Grace (Xaris) – “. . but the N.T. writers use Xaris pre-eminently of that kindness by which God bestows favors even upon the ill-deserving, and grants to sinners the pardon of their offences, and bids them accept of eternal salvation through Christ x x x is used of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues” (Thayer’s Lexicon, p.666)

TWO INTERPRETATIONS

Two Interpretations of “Saved by Grace” found in Ephesians 1:1-12 and 2:1-10.

First View: The very strict Calvinistic view is that man is totally depraved, without any ability to desire to do good or total inability to decide to be spiritual and love God. Before creation, God had already decreed that He will create human kind, some to be elected and some to be reprobated (damned), with His permission to allow mankind’s fall when tempted by Satan at the Garden of Eden. When a person is saved, it is ALL God’s action, ALL God’s work. NO human participation; absolutely nothing! So the term “only” takes the meaning of exclusive and absolute.

Second View: Because God made the first step, because God is love, God is merciful, and God is sovereign over all of creation, His will to provide propitiation through Christ who is God who became human to help mankind, God’s work in SALVATION could be assigned 99% while 1% is assigned to human participation which consist of knowing God, loving God, obeying God, all summed up or condensed in the phrase, “in Jesus Christ” because a person obeys the New Testament of Jesus Christ. Our concern now is to explore and identify what are the requirements found in the phrase “in Jesus Christ” because our Lord Jesus says, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15, 23-24; & John 15;14). Luke 6:46 records Christ say this: “Why call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not do the things I say?” The phrase “Saved by Grace” is used emphatically, meaning: the greater part is emphasized but it does not exclude the very small participation of the human free will in obeying other instructions.

A. THREE TENSES OF SALVATION

  1. Past: Sins are forgiven when we undergo the steps to salvation: Hear, Believe, Repent, Confess, be baptized.
  2. Present: When a disciple sins, he needs to repent, pray for forgiveness, blood washes sins (1Jn 1:9; Acts 8:22).
  3. Future: Possibility of apostasy; Christ confirms final salvation at end of time. See Titus 11-14; 1 Peter 1:9.

B. GOD HAS NO PLEASURE IN THE DEATH OF THE SINNER

  • Ezekiel 18:23, “Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord GOD, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?”
  • Ezek. 18:32, “For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the LORD God. “Therefore turn and live!”
  • Ezek. 33:11, “Say to them: ‘As I live, ’says the Lord GOD, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?”

C. FREE WILL & CONSEQUENCES OF ANGELS’ DECISIONS

God is love, God is merciful, God is gracious. Yet the rebellious angels were judged immediately.

Please see Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:12-19; John 8:44; Luke 10:18; 2 Peter 2:4-6; Jude 6.

D. FREE WILL & CONSEQUENCES OF HUMAN DECISIONS

  1.  Adam & Eve were given free will – Genesis 2:16-17, “And the Lord commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
  2. Cain & Abel – Cain did not do what was instructed him while Abel did what he was commanded to do.
  3. Noah – He did what was commanded and he was saved from the deluge.
  4. Abram / Abraham – He believed God’s promises and directives eventually settled in Canaan.
  5. Lot – He chose to dwell in the flat land near the tribes that were worldly in Sodom and Gomorrah.
  6. Ruth – Being a Moabitess, did she exercise her free will and chose to stick to her mother-in-law?
  7. Covenant with Israel – Exodus 19:5-8, “. . Then all the people answered together and said, ‘All that the LORD has spoken we will do.’ So Moses brought back the words of the people to the LORD.”
  8. 500,000 Israelites 20 years old and above who went out of Egypt:
    •  All those who died in the wilderness, including Moses, exercised free will, did they?
    • Joshua – (1:7) “Only be strong and very courageous that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commands you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.” (24:15), “And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

E. GOD HELPS HUMAN KIND NOT ANGELS

Hebrews 2:16: “For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham.”

F. DETERMINE W/C PERIOD OR TENSE

Determine which salvation period/tense you refer about because there are three stages of salvation.

  1. Salvation from past sins.
  2. Salvation from sins after a disciple starts his Christian life.
  3. Salvation in the future, the final confirmation – 1 Peter 1:9.

*Take the following in a spectrum or picture. Don’t isolate one from the others. Brief Quotations from the New King James Version.

  1. Saved by God – Titus 1:3, 4; Titus 2:10 “God our Savior” “God our Savior”
  2. Saved by Jesus Christ – Matt. 1:21; John 3:17; 1 Tim. 1:15; Heb. 7:25. Do you eliminate Love because of grace? No.  “call His name Jesus, . . He will save His people from their sins.” “. . the world thro Him might be saved.”
  3. Saved by mercy through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit – Titus 3:5*(4) Saved by grace – Ephesians 2:5; 2 Tim. 1:9; Acts 15:11; Titus 3:4-5, etc. Do you eliminate God?
  4. Justified by the blood of Christ – Romans 5:9, 10. “justified by His blood, we shall be saved. . .”
  5. Saved by the gospel if we hold fast to it – 1 Cor. 15:2. Do you disregard the gospel because of grace? No.
  6. Saved by faith – Eph. 2:8; Luke 7:50; Luke 8:12; 18:42; John 3:16, 18; Heb. 10:39
  7. Saved by the life of Christ – Romans 5:10. “. . we shall be saved by His life.”
  8. Saved by hope – Romans 8:24 (KJV). Does grace disregard hope? No.
  9. Saved by calling on the Lord – Joel 2:32; Acts 2:21; 9:14.
  10. Saved by the implanted word – James 1:21; Acts 1114. Shall we disregard the Word because of grace? No.
  11. Saved by the teachings of Christ and the apostles – 1 Tim. 4:16. Does grace disregard apostles’ teachings? No.
  12. Saved through hearing the words of Christ and believing in the Father – John 5:24
  13. He who believes and is baptized shall be saved – Mark 16:16. Does grace disregard baptism? No.
  14. Repent and be baptized and receive remission of sins – Psalm 32:5; Acts 2:38. Does grace disregard baptism? No.
  15. Be born again and see the kingdom of heaven – John 3:3. Does grace disregard the New Birth? No.
  16. Be born of water and the Spirit to see the kingdom of God – John 3:5
  17. Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins – Acts 22:16; Gal. 3:27
  18. Confess with mouth Jesus Christ and believe God raised Jesus there is salvation – Roma 10:9, 10
  19. Abiding in the teachings and living righteously and godly until the appearing of Christ – John 6:27;  John 8:31; 12:48-50; Romans 8:1; 1 John 3:24; 1 John 5:2; 2 John 8, 9; 1 John 2:15; Titus 2:11-14;  James 1:27; Rev. 2:10. Does grace righteous and godly living? No.
  20. Saved by preaching the gospel – 1 Cor. 1:21, “. . foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.” Does grace disregard gospel preaching? No.
  21. Saved by repentance – 1 Cor. 7:10; Luke 13:3. Do we disregard repentance? No.
  22. Saved by baptism – 1 Peter 3:21, “There is also an antitype which now saves us, namely baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” Does grace eliminate baptism in water? No.
  23. The Holy Spirit – John 16:8; Titus 3:5-6. Does grace disregard the work of the Holy Spirit? No.
  24. Salvation in His name – Acts 4:12. Does graces disregard the name of Christ? No.
  25. Love – Galatians 5:6. Do we eliminate Love and mention only grace? No.

NOTE: Good hermeneutics tells us that one item does not exclude any other item mentioned in the Bible that is related to salvation. Some items could be emphasized above others in some contexts, but not to the exclusion of any other items. We should take all these items together. Just like what we do in the Chart – Steps to Salvation (Hear, Believe, Repent, Confess, Be Baptized, Live a Holy & Obedient Life). Not all the steps are found in one verse.

G. THE FIRST ADAM & THE SECOND ADAM

  1.  When the First Adam committed sin, was his sin automatically imputed on every human individual with culpability or punishment without any individual human participation? __ Yes; __ No.
  2. When the Second Adam gave himself as offering and atonement for sin on the cross, was His righteousness automatically imputed on every human individual (past and future generations) with justification, sanctification and glorification without any human personal participation? __ Yes; __ No.

H. POSSIBILITY OF APOSTASY

  1.  ucifer – He was perfect until sin was found in him, (See Ezek. 28:14,15; Isa. 14:12; Lk. 10:18)
  2. Angels who became demons – Did they fall from innocence into wickedness? Yes.
  3. Adam and Eve – Were they not innocent until they disobeyed the prohibition? Yes. They did.
  4. Enoch “walked with God” and begot and begot sons and daughters (Gen. 5:19-24).
  5. God made a covenant w/ the nation of Israel (Exo. 19:5-6), “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”  Yahweh gave Moses and 70 Elders the Holy Spirit (Num.11:16-30), and yet out of the more than 1 Million adults, 20 years old and above who left Egypt, only 2 people, Caleb and Joshua entered the land of Canaan because of unbelief and died in the wilderness (See Heb. 2:7-19).
  6. King Saul, chosen by the Lord to rule Israel, did he not become disobedient and fall away?
  7. King David, did he not commit sin, but he was repentant and so forgiven?
  8. King Solomon, was he not called “beloved” but he became idolatrous and fell away? 1 Kgs 11:1-11.
  9. The people of Israel (Read Isaiah chap. 1), did not this nation sin and fall away so it was taken into captivity? Only a small remnant left? Yes, it did. Read also Ezek. 20:33-44).
  10. Was not Israel as a chosen nation, as a branch, cut off according to Romans 11:1-24? Notice the terms: “cast away”-15, “broken off”-v.17, 19, 20, “fell”-22; it means it used to be a branch attached to the trunk. The verbs in the past tense tell us that falling away was real and actual.
  11. John 14:1-11, Unfruitful branches could be cut off.
  12. Matt. 10:22; Mk. 13:13; Rev. 2:10, He who endures to the end shall be saved.
  13. 1 John 4:20, a disciple who is a liar and doesn’t repent will not be in heaven; Rev. 21:8.
  14. Col. 4:14; 2 Tim 4:10 – Demas with Paul then forsook Paul and went to the world.
  15. Galatians 5:4 & Romans 9:30-33, “you have fallen from grace.”
  16. 1 Tim. 1:19-20; 2Tim. 2:17 – Hymaeneus strayed from the truth, overthrow the faith.
  17. 2Peter 2:22, “A dog returns to his own vomit,”and a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”
  18. Hebrews 6:4-8, “it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, have tasted heavenly gift, have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, if they fall away to renew them again to repentance”
  19. Heb. 10:26, “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment…”
  20. Hebrews 12:25-26, “”See that you do not refuse Him who speaks…” Choice or free will is involved.
  21. 2Peter 2:22, “A dog returns to his own vomit, and, a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.” Dogs and pigs do these acts of returning to the dirt, so people also do.
  22. John 8-9, “Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward. Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God…” This section teaches personal choice and free will in the disciple.
  23. 1 John 4:12-13; Rom 5:5; Eph. 4:30; James 4:5, God’s love perfected in the disciple, the Holy Spirit is given, but the Spirit could be grieved and quenched and gets out.
  24. Seven Churches in Revelation given warning which suggests possibility of falling away:
    • Ephesus – “you have left your first love x x x you have fallen; repent and do the first work…”
    • Smyrna – “He who overcomes…”suggests freewill and determination to be faithful to God.
    • Pergamos – “Repent, or else I will come to you. . . to him who overcomes. . .”
    • Thyatira – “Hold fast what you have till I come. . . he who overcomes and keeps My works. . .”
    • Sardis – “You are alive but you are dead. . . repent . . he who overcomes. . .”
    • Philadelphia – “. . . test those who dwell on earth. . . hold fast what you have.”

J. EXPLANATION OF EPHESIANS 1 & 2 IN RELATION TO SALVATION.

Consider the phrases:

(1) “in Christ” 1:3

(2) “He chose us in Him (Christ)” 1:4,

(3) “adoption as sons by Jesus Christ” 1:5

(4) “accepted in the Beloved” 1:6

(5) “In Him we have redemption thro His blood” 1:7

(6) “in whom also we have obtained an inheritance” 1:11

(7) “we who trusted in Christ” 1:12

(8) “we who trusted in Christ” 1:12

(9) “after you heard the word of truth” 1:13

(10) “in whom also, having believed” 1:13

(11) “your faith in the Lord Jesus”1:15

(12) “in the knowledge of Him” 1:17

(13) “He worked in Christ” 1:20

(1) “made us alive together with Christ” 2:5

(2) “sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” 2:6

(3) “His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” 2:7

(4) “workmanship, created in Christ Jesus” 2:10

(5) “good works. . . we should walk in them” 2:10

(6) “now in Christ Jesus. . . by the blood of Christ” 2:13

(7) “He Himself is our peace” 2:14

(8) “having abolished in His flesh” 2:15

(9) “He preached peace to you” 2:17

(10) “through Him” 2:18

(11) “in whom. . . in the Lord” 2:21

(12) “in whom you also are being built. .” 2:22

Conclusion: To be saved by grace through faith, one has to be in Christ, and how does one be in Christ? There is hearing the word of truth, knowledge of Him, faith in Jesus. Add Matt. 28:18-19, there is preaching and discipling and being baptized into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; Romans 6:3-4; Acts 2:38; Mark 16:15-16; Gal. 3:27-28; Acts 10:47: Acts 16:31-33; Acts 22:16 there is baptism. To be baptized for the forgiveness of sin is a humble, obedient act of a disciple that dramatizes an inner impulse which is the conversion of the inner man, the born again, adopted child of God. (Oct. 17-18, 2016)

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Salvation – Is It by Grace Only?

By Eusebio A. Tanicala, PhD

INTRODUCTION
This study is very important because it could spell out one’s eternal destiny: go to heaven or go to hell.  “Saved by grace only” disregards humble obedience to many instructions and the exercise of human free will.

DEFINITION
Grace (Xaris) – “. . but the N.T. writers use Xaris pre-eminently of that kindness by which God bestows favors even upon the ill-deserving, and grants to sinners the pardon of their offences, and bids them accept of eternal salvation through Christ x x x is used of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues” (Thayer’s Lexicon, p.666)

TWO INTERPRETATIONS

Two Interpretations of “Saved by Grace” found in Ephesians 1:1-12 and 2:1-10.

First View: The very strict Calvinistic view is that man is totally depraved, without any ability to desire to do good or total inability to decide to be spiritual and love God. Before creation, God had already decreed that He will create human kind, some to be elected and some to be reprobated (damned), with His permission to allow mankind’s fall when tempted by Satan at the Garden of Eden. When a person is saved, it is ALL God’s action, ALL God’s work. NO human participation; absolutely nothing! So the term “only” takes the meaning of exclusive and absolute.

Second View: Because God made the first step, because God is love, God is merciful, and God is sovereign over all of creation, His will to provide propitiation through Christ who is God who became human to help mankind, God’s work in SALVATION could be assigned 99% while 1% is assigned to human participation which consist of knowing God, loving God, obeying God, all summed up or condensed in the phrase, “in Jesus Christ” because a person obeys the New Testament of Jesus Christ. Our concern now is to explore and identify what are the requirements found in the phrase “in Jesus Christ” because our Lord Jesus says, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15, 23-24; & John 15;14). Luke 6:46 records Christ say this: “Why call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not do the things I say?” The phrase “Saved by Grace” is used emphatically, meaning: the greater part is emphasized but it does not exclude the very small participation of the human free will in obeying other instructions.

A. THREE TENSES OF SALVATION

  1. Past: Sins are forgiven when we undergo the steps to salvation: Hear, Believe, Repent, Confess, be baptized.
  2. Present: When a disciple sins, he needs to repent, pray for forgiveness, blood washes sins (1Jn 1:9; Acts 8:22).
  3. Future: Possibility of apostasy; Christ confirms final salvation at end of time. See Titus 11-14; 1 Peter 1:9.

B. GOD HAS NO PLEASURE IN THE DEATH OF THE SINNER

  • Ezekiel 18:23, “Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord GOD, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?”
  • Ezek. 18:32, “For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the LORD God. “Therefore turn and live!”
  • Ezek. 33:11, “Say to them: ‘As I live, ’says the Lord GOD, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?”

C. FREE WILL & CONSEQUENCES OF ANGELS’ DECISIONS

God is love, God is merciful, God is gracious. Yet the rebellious angels were judged immediately.

Please see Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:12-19; John 8:44; Luke 10:18; 2 Peter 2:4-6; Jude 6.

D. FREE WILL & CONSEQUENCES OF HUMAN DECISIONS

  1.  Adam & Eve were given free will – Genesis 2:16-17, “And the Lord commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
  2. Cain & Abel – Cain did not do what was instructed him while Abel did what he was commanded to do.
  3. Noah – He did what was commanded and he was saved from the deluge.
  4. Abram / Abraham – He believed God’s promises and directives eventually settled in Canaan.
  5. Lot – He chose to dwell in the flat land near the tribes that were worldly in Sodom and Gomorrah.
  6. Ruth – Being a Moabitess, did she exercise her free will and chose to stick to her mother-in-law?
  7. Covenant with Israel – Exodus 19:5-8, “. . Then all the people answered together and said, ‘All that the LORD has spoken we will do.’ So Moses brought back the words of the people to the LORD.”
  8. 500,000 Israelites 20 years old and above who went out of Egypt:
    •  All those who died in the wilderness, including Moses, exercised free will, did they?
    • Joshua – (1:7) “Only be strong and very courageous that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commands you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.” (24:15), “And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

E. GOD HELPS HUMAN KIND NOT ANGELS
Hebrews 2:16: “For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham.”

F. DETERMINE W/C PERIOD OR TENSE
Determine which salvation period/tense you refer about because there are three stages of salvation.

  1. Salvation from past sins.
  2. Salvation from sins after a disciple starts his Christian life.
  3. Salvation in the future, the final confirmation – 1 Peter 1:9.

*Take the following in a spectrum or picture. Don’t isolate one from the others. Brief Quotations from the New King James Version.

  1. Saved by God – Titus 1:3, 4; Titus 2:10 “God our Savior” “God our Savior”
  2. Saved by Jesus Christ – Matt. 1:21; John 3:17; 1 Tim. 1:15; Heb. 7:25. Do you eliminate Love because of grace? No.  “call His name Jesus, . . He will save His people from their sins.” “. . the world thro Him might be saved.”
  3. Saved by mercy through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit – Titus 3:5*(4) Saved by grace – Ephesians 2:5; 2 Tim. 1:9; Acts 15:11; Titus 3:4-5, etc. Do you eliminate God?
  4. Justified by the blood of Christ – Romans 5:9, 10. “justified by His blood, we shall be saved. . .”
  5. Saved by the gospel if we hold fast to it – 1 Cor. 15:2. Do you disregard the gospel because of grace? No.
  6. Saved by faith – Eph. 2:8; Luke 7:50; Luke 8:12; 18:42; John 3:16, 18; Heb. 10:39
  7. Saved by the life of Christ – Romans 5:10. “. . we shall be saved by His life.”
  8. Saved by hope – Romans 8:24 (KJV). Does grace disregard hope? No.
  9. Saved by calling on the Lord – Joel 2:32; Acts 2:21; 9:14.
  10. Saved by the implanted word – James 1:21; Acts 1114. Shall we disregard the Word because of grace? No.
  11. Saved by the teachings of Christ and the apostles – 1 Tim. 4:16. Does grace disregard apostles’ teachings? No.
  12. Saved through hearing the words of Christ and believing in the Father – John 5:24
  13. He who believes and is baptized shall be saved – Mark 16:16. Does grace disregard baptism? No.
  14. Repent and be baptized and receive remission of sins – Psalm 32:5; Acts 2:38. Does grace disregard baptism? No.
  15. Be born again and see the kingdom of heaven – John 3:3. Does grace disregard the New Birth? No.
  16. Be born of water and the Spirit to see the kingdom of God – John 3:5
  17. Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins – Acts 22:16; Gal. 3:27
  18. Confess with mouth Jesus Christ and believe God raised Jesus there is salvation – Roma 10:9, 10
  19. Abiding in the teachings and living righteously and godly until the appearing of Christ – John 6:27;  John 8:31; 12:48-50; Romans 8:1; 1 John 3:24; 1 John 5:2; 2 John 8, 9; 1 John 2:15; Titus 2:11-14;  James 1:27; Rev. 2:10. Does grace righteous and godly living? No.
  20. Saved by preaching the gospel – 1 Cor. 1:21, “. . foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.” Does grace disregard gospel preaching? No.
  21. Saved by repentance – 1 Cor. 7:10; Luke 13:3. Do we disregard repentance? No.
  22. Saved by baptism – 1 Peter 3:21, “There is also an antitype which now saves us, namely baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” Does grace eliminate baptism in water? No.
  23. The Holy Spirit – John 16:8; Titus 3:5-6. Does grace disregard the work of the Holy Spirit? No.
  24. Salvation in His name – Acts 4:12. Does graces disregard the name of Christ? No.
  25. Love – Galatians 5:6. Do we eliminate Love and mention only grace? No.

NOTE: Good hermeneutics tells us that one item does not exclude any other item mentioned in the Bible that is related to salvation. Some items could be emphasized above others in some contexts, but not to the exclusion of any other items. We should take all these items together. Just like what we do in the Chart – Steps to Salvation (Hear, Believe, Repent, Confess, Be Baptized, Live a Holy & Obedient Life). Not all the steps are found in one verse.

G. THE FIRST ADAM & THE SECOND ADAM

  1.  When the First Adam committed sin, was his sin automatically imputed on every human individual with culpability or punishment without any individual human participation? __ Yes; __ No.
  2. When the Second Adam gave himself as offering and atonement for sin on the cross, was His righteousness automatically imputed on every human individual (past and future generations) with justification, sanctification and glorification without any human personal participation? __ Yes; __ No.

H. POSSIBILITY OF APOSTASY

  1.  ucifer – He was perfect until sin was found in him, (See Ezek. 28:14,15; Isa. 14:12; Lk. 10:18)
  2. Angels who became demons – Did they fall from innocence into wickedness? Yes.
  3. Adam and Eve – Were they not innocent until they disobeyed the prohibition? Yes. They did.
  4. Enoch “walked with God” and begot and begot sons and daughters (Gen. 5:19-24).
  5. God made a covenant w/ the nation of Israel (Exo. 19:5-6), “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”  Yahweh gave Moses and 70 Elders the Holy Spirit (Num.11:16-30), and yet out of the more than 1 Million adults, 20 years old and above who left Egypt, only 2 people, Caleb and Joshua entered the land of Canaan because of unbelief and died in the wilderness (See Heb. 2:7-19).
  6. King Saul, chosen by the Lord to rule Israel, did he not become disobedient and fall away?
  7. King David, did he not commit sin, but he was repentant and so forgiven?
  8. King Solomon, was he not called “beloved” but he became idolatrous and fell away? 1 Kgs 11:1-11.
  9. The people of Israel (Read Isaiah chap. 1), did not this nation sin and fall away so it was taken into captivity? Only a small remnant left? Yes, it did. Read also Ezek. 20:33-44).
  10. Was not Israel as a chosen nation, as a branch, cut off according to Romans 11:1-24? Notice the terms: “cast away”-15, “broken off”-v.17, 19, 20, “fell”-22; it means it used to be a branch attached to the trunk. The verbs in the past tense tell us that falling away was real and actual.
  11. John 14:1-11, Unfruitful branches could be cut off.
  12. Matt. 10:22; Mk. 13:13; Rev. 2:10, He who endures to the end shall be saved.
  13. 1 John 4:20, a disciple who is a liar and doesn’t repent will not be in heaven; Rev. 21:8.
  14. Col. 4:14; 2 Tim 4:10 – Demas with Paul then forsook Paul and went to the world.
  15. Galatians 5:4 & Romans 9:30-33, “you have fallen from grace.”
  16. 1 Tim. 1:19-20; 2Tim. 2:17 – Hymaeneus strayed from the truth, overthrow the faith.
  17. 2Peter 2:22, “A dog returns to his own vomit,”and a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”
  18. Hebrews 6:4-8, “it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, have tasted heavenly gift, have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, if they fall away to renew them again to repentance”
  19. Heb. 10:26, “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment…”
  20. Hebrews 12:25-26, “”See that you do not refuse Him who speaks…” Choice or free will is involved.
  21. 2Peter 2:22, “A dog returns to his own vomit, and, a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.” Dogs and pigs do these acts of returning to the dirt, so people also do.
  22. John 8-9, “Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward. Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God…” This section teaches personal choice and free will in the disciple.
  23. 1 John 4:12-13; Rom 5:5; Eph. 4:30; James 4:5, God’s love perfected in the disciple, the Holy Spirit is given, but the Spirit could be grieved and quenched and gets out.
  24. Seven Churches in Revelation given warning which suggests possibility of falling away:
    • Ephesus – “you have left your first love x x x you have fallen; repent and do the first work…”
    • Smyrna – “He who overcomes…”suggests freewill and determination to be faithful to God.
    • Pergamos – “Repent, or else I will come to you. . . to him who overcomes. . .”
    • Thyatira – “Hold fast what you have till I come. . . he who overcomes and keeps My works. . .”
    • Sardis – “You are alive but you are dead. . . repent . . he who overcomes. . .”
    • Philadelphia – “. . . test those who dwell on earth. . . hold fast what you have.”

J. EXPLANATION OF EPHESIANS 1 & 2 IN RELATION TO SALVATION.

Consider the phrases:
(1) “in Christ” 1:3
(2) “He chose us in Him (Christ)” 1:4,
(3) “adoption as sons by Jesus Christ” 1:5
(4) “accepted in the Beloved” 1:6
(5) “In Him we have redemption thro His blood” 1:7
(6) “in whom also we have obtained an inheritance” 1:11
(7) “we who trusted in Christ” 1:12
(8) “we who trusted in Christ” 1:12
(9) “after you heard the word of truth” 1:13
(10) “in whom also, having believed” 1:13
(11) “your faith in the Lord Jesus”1:15
(12) “in the knowledge of Him” 1:17
(13) “He worked in Christ” 1:20

(1) “made us alive together with Christ” 2:5
(2) “sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” 2:6
(3) “His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” 2:7
(4) “workmanship, created in Christ Jesus” 2:10
(5) “good works. . . we should walk in them” 2:10
(6) “now in Christ Jesus. . . by the blood of Christ” 2:13
(7) “He Himself is our peace” 2:14
(8) “having abolished in His flesh” 2:15
(9) “He preached peace to you” 2:17
(10) “through Him” 2:18
(11) “in whom. . . in the Lord” 2:21
(12) “in whom you also are being built. .” 2:22

Conclusion: To be saved by grace through faith, one has to be in Christ, and how does one be in Christ? There is hearing the word of truth, knowledge of Him, faith in Jesus. Add Matt. 28:18-19, there is preaching and discipling and being baptized into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; Romans 6:3-4; Acts 2:38; Mark 16:15-16; Gal. 3:27-28; Acts 10:47: Acts 16:31-33; Acts 22:16 there is baptism. To be baptized for the forgiveness of sin is a humble, obedient act of a disciple that dramatizes an inner impulse which is the conversion of the inner man, the born again, adopted child of God. (Oct. 17-18, 2016)

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) ###

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

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)

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

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