Category Archives: Views

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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

The Lord Jesus Christ Didn’t Know His Coming? (Series #1)

“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.

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 which shall come out after about one week. These are the questions.

1. If Yahweh God were true Deity, omnipotent and omniscient, why did He not prevent Lucifer from rebelling which eventually made him an adversary of God?

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 a sinner?

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?

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

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?

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, after John the Baptist was born 6 months earlier?

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?

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?

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

10. If Yahweh God is omnipresent or present everywhere, why was He localized as a small burning bush in Exodus 3:1-22?

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?

After a few days, I will give an answer to 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?”

Anyone who wants to ask a specific follow-up question he should first submit his answers to the 11 questions expressed above. #(E. Tanicala)

WHEN AND WHERE AND WHY CHRIST WENT TO PREACH TO SPIRITS IN PRISON (#4))

When and Where and Why Christ Went to Preach to Spirits in Prison (Series #4)

By Eusebio Tanicala

This is the fourth and last installment of a series. In the first of the series we quoted related parts of 1 Peter 3:18-20 derived from 31 Bible Versions. I suggest that one reads the 31 quotations recorded in the first series to get a feel of the overall picture of the events condensed by the Apostle Peter.
The ten questions considered in the series should be inter-related to get a good view of what the Apostle Peter teaches. Apostle Peter combines and inter-relates a good number of events so what is done is like putting together a very complicated puzzle.

Q#1: How should too pneumati be rendered –small s OR capital S, and will the preposition be “by” “in”
“through” or “according to”?
Q#2: Who went to preach to the spirits in prison in our passage?
Q#3: What is the meaning of the term “preach” in the passage?
Q#4: What is the content of the act of preaching in this passage?
Q#5: What is the intention of this act of preaching recorded in our passage?
Q#6: Where did the preacher go preach as recorded in our passage?
Q#7: When did the preacher go preach as recorded in our passage?
Q#8: Who were those in the audience during this preaching as recorded in our passage?
Q#9: How is the preaching period related to the period of disobedience as shown in our passage?
Q#10: How should the flow of events contained in the passage be arranged?

Tackled in this last of the series are Questions #7, #8, #9 and #10.

Question #7: When did the preacher go preach?
There is a great variation of thought here about the time frame of preaching. One school says that the time of preaching was during the period when Noah was building the ark – thousands of years before Christ was incarnated. The second school of thought says that the time of preaching happened any time after Christ gave up the last breath at the cross and before He ascended back to heaven in His resurrection body as recorded in Acts 1. I favor the second idea.
Luke 23:43 says that He would be in Paradise with the repentant thief that same day. Acts 2:25-28 says that His soul would go to Hades and Paradise is the upper part of Hades.
In Luke 16:19-31, the wicked Rich Man went to Hades but stayed in the lower section which is a place of torment. 2 Peter 2:4-5 calls the place tartarussas or tartarus in English. From the lower section, the Rich Man looked up and saw Lazarus with Abraham. The upper section of Hades is called Paradise, a place of comfort.

Question #8: Who were those in the audience during this preaching?
One idea points to the spirits of the wicked unbelievers who insulted Noah while the ark was being constructed. The period of construction was about 120 years. Said generation of Noah was very wicked, so wicked that God repented of creating mankind. Our passage says that these spirits are in a prison. Believers of this first idea say that the spirits of the wicked people during the building of the ark were imprisoned inside their wicked fleshly bodies. This belief would say that Christ through the Holy Spirit went to preach to that generation of Noah. But it was Noah who the Holy Spirit inspired and moved to preach sermons about righteous living.
A second idea says that the audience is composed of spirits of wicked people now imprisoned in the place of torment, the lower part of Hades. Apostle Peter (2Peter 2:4-5) tells us that the spirits, the angelic host, that rebelled against God are being kept in prison. Jude 6 says that those evil spirits have been judged and kept in chains or imprisoned. It seems that the evil angels occupy another section of Hades, in a place of torment. So it is logical to theorize that the prison where Christ’s audience was located mentioned in 1 Peter 3:19 is Hades. In His spirit existence, Christ appeared and/or talked to the spirits of wicked or unbelieving people who were in Hades. Christ’s appearance and/or short oral testimony was delivered to them.
It might be objected that the audience is limited to the spirits who lived in the time of Noah. The spirits of people of Noah’s generation are mentioned and emphasized because these spirits ruled the wickedest generation that ever lived on the face of the earth. Mentioning one person or one group is employed as a literary device. This is called the “Universal Man” or “Universal Group.” The hero is the Universal Man for the good people, or the villain is the Universal Man of the bad ones. The hero (bida) represents the aspirations of all the good people, while the villain (contrabida) represents all the evil people. An example of this is the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus. Does it mean that there was only one favored spirit in the company of Abraham because he is the only one mentioned in the story? No. Lazarus represents you and me, the millions of humble and faithful disciples. Does it mean that the Rich Man is the only one in Tartarussas because he is he only one mentioned in the story? No. He only represents or is an example of all the wicked and selfish people on earth. So Noah’s generation of wicked people is mentioned because they represent the ultimate doubter, the ultimate insulter, the ultimate skeptic in matters of righteous living.
I favor the second idea above as regards the audience composition.

Question #9: How is the preaching period related to the period of disobedience?
The last part of v. 19, “the spirits in prison” and the first part of v. 20 which says, “who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared” are crucial to establishing the period of preaching and the period of disobedience.
If the preaching was done by Christ through the Holy Spirit and through Noah, and if Noah preached to his generation, a knowledgeable write, much more an inspired writer, would not say that those spirits in Noah’s time were “formerly disobedient.” The adverb should not be “formerly” but it should be “presently.” I repeat: if the disobedience happened while Noah was preaching, the adverb should be “presently.” It should be written like this: “the spirits in prison who presently were disobedient, when once the Divine long suffering waited in the days of Noah.”
But if you consider Christ who went to Paradise in A.D. 33 and appeared to the Tartarussas spirits, then it is right to say that the spirits of Noah’s generation are “formerly disobedient” spirits because they lived about 5000 years before Christ went to Hades as taught in Acts 2:25-28 and Luke 23:43.

Question #10: How should the flow of events contained in the passage be arranged?
One school of thought has this chronology:
*(1) Noah built the ark and while building the ark, Christ through the Spirit went to inspire/help Noah
preach righteousness, but in a long period of 120 years everybody insulted Noah and everybody
continued on with their wild and wicked ways, except Noah, his three sons and their wives; the spirits
of these unbelieving people were imprisoned in their wicked bodies;
(2) Christ became incarnated in A.D. 1 and suffered and died in A.D. 33;
(3) After Christ breathed his last at the cross He went to Hades;
(4) Then on the first day of the week following His crucifixion He resurrected from the dead and appeared
many times to various people at different places within a period of 40 days according to Acts 1:3;
(5) He ascended to heaven on the 40th day after resurrection according to Acts 1:9-11.

On the other hand, a second school of thought has this chronology:
(1) Noah built the ark some 5000 years before Christ, and while constructing the ark, he preached the
righteousness of God –Please see II Peter 2:5,
(2) Christ became incarnated in Anno Domini 1,
(3) Christ suffered and died for the sins of the world in the A.D. 33,
(4) After Christ breathed His last, he was buried before sundown of Friday, Nisan 33 A.D.
(5) That very day of Friday, Nisan 33 A.D. his human spirit which is inextricably fused with His deity in
one person, he went to Paradise, the upper section of Hades (Luke 23:43; Acts 1:3),
(5) In that spiritual condition, He joined in Paradise Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Elijah, etc.,
(6) In that glorious spiritual condition in Paradise, the spirits imprisoned in the dungeon of Tartarusas, the
lower part of Hades, beheld Christ just like the Rich Man in Luke 16:19-31 beheld Abraham in
Paradise.
(7) Christ’s mere presence in glorious array in Paradise was enough declaration, preaching, that He is
God’s Son, He is the Victorious Savior of humanity, the embodiment of God’s love,
(8) If Christ uttered any message I imagine He could have said, “Children, while you were on earth it
was a period for you to exercise your free will to choose by faith what is righteous, but you opted
worldly pleasure, but now those who disciplined themselves in righteous living and faith in God and
in the Son, they now enjoy comfort in Paradise but you are now tormented,
(9) After that short visit, Christ came out of Hades, was resurrected, appeared several times to different
people in a period of 40 days after which he ascended to heaven.

I favor the chronology of the second school of thought.

General Conclusion: My personal conclusion of the whole picture is this: the Christ-God took the nature of man so He became God-Man; He suffered and died in his human nature but his human spirit fused with His deity lived on; in that human spirit-deity fused person He went to Paradise (upper part of Hades) and appeared in a glorious way in the company of Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, etc. and the spirits in the prison dungeon of Tartarusas (lower part of Hades) beheld that glorious presence of Christ; the spirits of the rebellious generation of Noah are especially mentioned being the epitome of a most despicable era as described in Genesis 6:5-7 but not necessarily excluding other imprisoned spirits as much as Luke 16:19-31 doesn’t make the Rich Man the only one with the ability to see Abraham in Paradise with Lazarus; in this visit to Hades the Lord Jesus Christ successfully proclaimed His mission of vicariously dying for humanity and as a result could bring back to God those who have faith in the Son. The Human-God Christ gloriously appearing to the imprisoned spirits in Tartarusas could given an impression as deep as a picture viewed a thousand years on earth even without a word spoken. But if words were spoken, Christ could have delivered a short message like this: “Children, especially those who lived in the generation of Noah while the ark was being constructed, you doubted the message of righteousness and the invitation to go back to the Most Holy God. Look at Me the embodiment of God’s love that calls mankind back to Paradise in fellowship with God. Those who are with me are comforted, but you who are down below are tormented.”
It was not a message to secure repentance and a second chance just as the message of Abraham in Luke 16:19-31 was not a message to secure repentance and a second chance. Christ’s message was one of victory, a message showing how the scores of OT prophecies are fulfilled, a message that faith in God results to a life of comfort in the Hadean world.
If you have any comment or observation, please post it or email me at tani1940@yahoo.com
Thank you for participating in this study. ##