Tag Archives: God

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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Two Natures Co-Existing In One Person?

By Eusebio Tanicala

A group of brethren in the Metro Manila area takes the position that from the time of conception and birth to the time of death at the cross (1 AD to 33 AD) our Lord Jesus Christ did not have deity in Himself. This group says that Jesus was one hundred percent human. No more no less. He had no deity in Himself, no Godhood in Him, no divine nature. This belief, the group says, is based on the Logos becoming flesh (Jn 1:14) and His emptying himself (Phil. 2:7) and his taking the nature of humanity so that he could be the ideal human which man could emulate (Heb. 2:14-17). Further, the belief is strengthened by the statement that the Father gave to the Lord Jesus Christ power and that God raised him from the dead.

Yes, Christ Jesus was human. But for a Bible teacher to close one’s eyes and heart and understanding to the many references and inferences that Christ had deity or was divine while on earth is to commit the fallacy of partial view. Only one aspect is being considered. It’s like the blind man who touched the leg of an elephant and he turned around and declared that an “elephant is like a Meralco electric post.”  Another blind man touched the dambuhalang elefante sa tagiliran and this blind man went forth and declared with authority that an “elephant is like concrete flat wall.”  A third blind man ventured into the circus area and touched the giant animal on the wagging right ear and with a smile he said, “ang elefante ay kagaya ng isang malaking abaniko.” Of course we know that one view is not the totality of the whole.  A taxonomist-zoologist would list down all the sections and sectional parts of an elephant and then declare the totality of the animal that comprise the big mammal. We should be the taxonomist and not one of the blind men.

I believe that Christ had both deity and humanity co-existing from his birth and continues on to the future. We shall prove this in the following discussion.

PRESUMPTIONS

I would like to encourage the reader to be careful in our presumptions about Deity, about Yahweh God. Firstly, we should not think that Deity or Yahweh God has to always display full glory, full majesty, full authority, full power and full dignity in His existence and manifestations.  Secondly, we have to be conscious about Yahweh God’s name which is “I AM WHO I AM” (NKJV) which suggests that God could become or could appear in varied forms as His name implies.  Thirdly, there are instances in the OT wherein spirit beings became or took physical appearances and they were not declared as laying aside or emptying of their essential nature. We have for example the angels being made into fire but didn’t stop being angels (Heb. 1:14) or the spirit Devil becoming a physical snake of flesh and bones seen by the naked eye of mother Eve inside the Garden of Eden but didn’t lay aside or empty himself of his devilness. And, fourthly, God’s glory-majesty-authority-power could be manifested in various degrees or different measures as much as we accept the four measures of the Holy Spirit’s presence-influence in the Christian life.

LUCIFER/SATAN ANALYZED

To get deeper into our reflection in this study, let’s analyze the different characteristics and manifestations of the archangel Lucifer.

First, define the essence of Lucifer as belonging to the angelic host. Angels exist with a certain substance or essence, a heavenly one, but lower than the substance of Yahweh God. Lucifer was an angel.

Second, Lucifer was created a cherub (Eze 28:14-15) and he used to abode in the presence of the good angels (Job 1:6-12; 2:1-7) in the heavenly realm where with the Most High God’s permission Satan could sometimes make a visit.

Third, Lucifer was a seal of perfection, full of wisdom, perfect in beauty (Eze 27:3; 28:12).

Fourth, Lucifer was given free will as all angels are, but his heart grew ambitious and envious and thought of equality with Yahweh God (Eze 28:2) and wanted to sit in equality with God (Isa 14:13-14).

Fifth, Lucifer’s envy and ambition to be equal with Yahweh God made him leave his habitation and so he was expelled from his abode together with his followers (Jude 6) and he became Satan, the Devil.

Sixth, when Lucifer became Satan the Devil, he didn’t stop being what he essentially was, an angel. He was created with the essence of an angel, he remains within that level or substance.  What he emptied himself of was his free will. After that rebellion and hardening of his envious, ambitious heart, he has become an irreversible liar and accuser and fault finder and evil doer. Also he was defrocked of the mantle of glorious light like what good angels possess when needed (Please read Matt. 28:3; Mark 16:5).

Seventh, Satan can also fake himself and appear as an angel of light (2Cor 11:14; Gal. 1:8). Satan or any of his rebel angels could enter and possess a person and control the faculties of a person like what happened in Mark 5:1-20. Even in the time that evil spirits dwell in the bodies of humans, these evil spirits retain their original likas na kalagayan.

In our folklore, evil spirits could turn into a dog or cat or horse or bird. Evil spirits could turn into kapre or dwende.  Evil spirits could turn into jumping balls of fire. Evil spirits could appear as white lady or a good looking young man. But essentially these spirits retain their essential being even when directly turning into a physical item or possessing a person.

LUCIFER AND CHRIST COMPARED

First, Lucifer was a created archangel, included among those created by Christ (see Col. 1:15-16). On the other hand, Christ is uncreated but the creator of all things visible and invisible, of powers and authorities and dominions and thrones.

Second, Lucifer possesses from the time of his creation the essence of the angelic host. On the other hand, Christ possesses the essence of Godhood or divine nature.

Third, Lucifer who was created lower than Yahweh God, envied and exerted effort to attain equality with Yahweh God. On the other hand, Christ is Yahweh God, but did not cling to his rightful equality with Yahweh God.

Fourth, the spirit Lucifer who turned Satan the Devil took the form of a physical snake entered and entered into the world, seduced Eve and Adam to disobey God, not to love God, and not to fear God. On the other hand, the divine spirit Christ took the form of a physical human being  entered into the world, induced the children of Eve and Adam to obey God, to love God and to fear-worship God.

Fifth, the spirit Devil, the Destroyer, when he became a snake of flesh and bones, this Devil Destroyer did not lose his essential nature of spirit Satanhood/devilhood. Similarly, the spirit Christ, the Savior, when he became flesh, this Savior did not lose his essential nature of spirit Godhood.

Sixth, in the Garden of Eden, in that form of a snake there co-existed in Satan two natures: (1) snakehood or animalhood and (2) spirit devilhood. Similarly, from birth (1 AD) to the cross (33 AD), there co-existed in that one persona  of Christ the two natures: (1) manhood, and (2) Godhood or Divinity.

Seventh, the spirit Devil who took the form of a physical snake of flesh and bones worked hard in the Garden of Eden in seducing  Eve and Adam  to spurn God which resulted to the destruction of mankind. In a parallel move, the spirit Christ who is God, took the form of a physical flesh and bones worked hard in persuading the children of Adam and Eve to return to God which now results to the regeneration and sanctification of mankind.

Eighth, the spirit Devil in the form of a snake aimed at elevating himself and thus became the God  of this world (2Cor. 4:4). On the other hand, the spirit Christ in the form of man made Himself of no reputation and thus became a slave and even allowed Himself to be killed to save the world. (See John 3:16-18; Philippians 2:5-11; Heb. 2:14-18).

Any comments or observation are welcomed.   (6.20.10)

Lucifer’s Free Will And Predestination

When reflecting on the teaching about Calvinistic Predestination, I suggest that we go step by step.

Notice the following steps:

  1. Start with the axiom that God is holy and He is not the author of sin.
  2. Go back to the era when there was nothing except God.
  3. Bring your mind to the point when Christ who was a divine persona and this spirit persona created the invisible thrones, dominions, powers and authorities including the angelic hosts. See Col. 1:15-16. Among these angelic host was Lucifer who was perfect and beautiful. The angels possessed free will. They were moral agents.
  4. Read Isaiah 14; Ezekiel 28; 2 Peter 2:4 and Jude 6. This is the rebellion of Lucifer wherein he  became Satan, he became the Devil. Lucifer willed to become ambitious, an ambition to become equal with the Almighty God.
  5. We ask this question: Did God will for Lucifer to rebel and become Satan or adversary?  (This question should be answered.)
  6. We ask this question: Was it Lucifer who willed to rebel and become the Devil, the accuser? (This should be answered.)
  7. Who willed and whose responsibility was the rebellion of Satan, the Devil? This should also be answered.
  8. Did God program the will of Lucifer to become rebellious?  (This should be answered.)
  9. Who is the author of the first rebellion which is Lucifer’s sin, God or Lucifer?
  10. Now we ask, “Who determined to commit the first sin, God or Lucifer?”
  11. Did God predetermine and predestine Lucifer to become a sinner?
  12. Did Lucifer’s  rebellion bring glory to God?

If the above are sincerely answered, your answers will help us conclude whether or not there is individual predestination. Our answers will help us conclude whether or not God allows the exercise of free will or not. This will help us determine personal accountability.  (Eusebio A. Tanicala , Ph.D.  7.20.10)

The Mystery Of Our Religion

”And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among nations, believed on the in the world, received in glory.” 1 Timothy 3:16 (NKJV)

Instead of “godliness” one translator renders it “religion.” This means that there are aspects of our religion, aspects of God that are mysterious. Not easily understood and could be misinterpreted. Recognition of this mystery should forewarn us that God should not be limited to the boundary of the human mind. God should not be put inside the boundary of mathematics. One of these difficult aspects in Christianity is the persona and nature or essence of Christ.

Among us in the Churches of Christ, we believe that Christ is deity, is divine, is true God. God of very God from eternity past and will always be true God unto eternity in the future. We also believe that Christ is the second person in the Holy Trinity. He is one spirit persona. But he is prophesied as the seed of the woman who will neutralize the works of the Devil and as a branch of David and so He needs to become human. In His humanity, He is a complete human being. Man of very man. One complete human person with a body of human flesh, a spirit and soul.

Into that one human body of flesh, spirit and soul of Jesus Christ dwell the one divine spirit person of Christ. Colossians 2:9 says, “For in Him wells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” Our orthodox view says “Christ is one person.” Christ is man of very man, one complete person. In addition, Christ is God of very God, one complete person in the Holy Trinity. When the Christ man and the Christ God fused together through the power of the Almighty God the Lord Jesus Christ became one person. Not two persons. Is this not a mystery?

Some Bible students want to explain this mystery by multiplying 1 times 1 equals 1 or (1 x 1= 1). Or by having 1 divided by 1 equals 1 or (1/1 = 1). This is an arbitrary mathematical operation. It is based on ignorance. Mathematics is logic. I would like to come face to face with a Christian professor of mathematics who believes that this mathematical operation is a reasonable explanation of a theological problem. Those who don’t even have a math major in college are not credible people to mouth things they have no knowledge of unless they produce authoritative documents to back up their theories.

To test the theory of some misinformed brethren, we reflect on and test their ideas. One who plants and one who waters are one says the book of
Corinthians. Apollos who planted and Paul who watered are one. See 1 Cor. 3:8.  When we multiply the numerical person of Apollos by the numerical person of Paul, do the two persons actually become one person? No. When we multiply the numerical person of the Father by the numerical person of the Son, do the two persons become one person? No. In view of these questions and illustrations, I appeal to my brethren to stop mouthing ignorant explanations about the mystery of our religion.

The rule in mathematics says that the nature of the multiplicand or the dividend should the nature of the result or the quotient. In the Holy Trinity we talk about three persons not three Gods. So when one talks about multiplying 1 person (the Father) times 1 person (the Son), he should remember that the nature of the multiplicand is “person” and if you put “God” as your result, your operation is wrong. Also we should remember that mathematical operations of division and multiplication talks about counting numbers of individual entities. When we see this 9 x 9, the first number is called the “multiplicand” and when this multiplicand is identified with specific items like mango, cow or persons the answer should be the characteristic of the multiplicand.

When some brethren want to display their bluff to explain the mysterious unity of the Trinity they parrot this mathematical formula: “1 x 1 x 1 = 1.” But we should clarify with this question: “Because we are talking about the Holy Trinity, what is the characteristic of that numerical 1, is it person or God?” It could not be 1God x 1God x 1 God = 1 God because would be a tritheistic sentence. What we really talk about is “person.” There are three persons, which is why there are three number ones in the equation. We are talking about persons. So the operation 1person x 1 person x 1person = 1 God is wrong.  Do you now see the ignorance of those who mouth the 1 x 1 x 1=1 mathematical sentence? It is simply ignorance. So please stop displaying ignorance.

-Eusebio Tanicala (6.15.10)

Study on the Deity of Christ (#2)

King Nebuchadnezzar’s Humiliation Illustrates Christ’s Humiliation

Mayroon tayong pagaaral ukol sa kalagayan ng ating Panginoong Jesus. May isang kaisipan na ang terminong “ekenosen” sa Griegong Biblia (emptied himself sa Authorized Version – Filipos 2:7)ay ibig sabihin na mula sa taong 1 A.D. noong ipinanganak ang Panginoong Jesus sa Bethlehem hanggang 33 A.D. sa kruz, itinabi o inalis raw ni Cristo ang kanyang pagka-Dios.

Sa unang serye, ng pagaaral na ito we quoted Vine’s Expository Dictionar of Old & New Testament Words which says that the word “ekenosen” does not mean that Christ emptied himself of His Godhood. Hindi raw inalis ni Cristo ang kanyang pagka-Dios. This is the witness of a recognized NT Greek language authority who knows the Greek Bible. I would be interested to know if there’s any NT Greek scholar who testifies that the word “ekenosen” means that Christ emptied himself of his Godhood.

We also submitted a historical view for the past 2000 years about the person of Christ. The idea that Christ had no deity, no divinity during his earthly sojourn is not new.

In this second series of the current study and quoting from the NKJV, I would like to submit Daniel 4:1-37. Think of the glory, majesty, wealth, despotic authority of a king in that time of the Babylonian Empire, military authority, how a king was considered a god, the pomposity of the of the royal palace, the king’s authority over people’s lives, how people prostrated bowing themselves down having the forehead touch the ground.

Daniel’s text describes King Nebuchadnezzar as “a strong tree whose height reached the heavens and could be seen from all corners of the earth with lovely leaves and abundant fruits providing food and shade for all beast of the fields, and where birds find build their nests” (4:1-13). Have a picture of the palace where the king dwelt and consider his mighty power and honor and majesty (4:30). The prophet Isaiah adds his description of the Babylonian King in Isaiah 14:3-7 as an “oppressor, mighty, golden, with a scepter or authority, ruler of nations, ambitious thoughts to be in the high heavens, above the stars or above rulers who are appointed by God, and wanting to be like the Most High.”  Isaiah 13:19 describes Babylon as the “glory of kingdoms, beautiful and pride of the Chaldeans.”

The Book of Revelation (18-9-20)pictures Babylon as one who lives luxuriously, great, mighty city, wealthy, a commercial center of dealers of gold, silver, precious stones, pearls, fine linen, human slaves and silk.

Habang nagmumuni-muni si Haring Nebuchadnezzar ukol sa kanyang kapangyarihan, kagandahan, kayamanan, kakayahan, kataastaasan at kayabangan, he was suddenly changed by the power of the Most High God. The picture of the King is now this: tree chopped down, stump and roots bound with iron chains, heart of a beast, driven out from the company of men and dwelt with beasts in the field, wet with dew, ate grass like oxen, hair grown like eagle’s feathers, nails like birds’ claws. (Daniel 4:32-33)

There’s a great change! A glorious, majestic, mighty and authoritative despotic king, living in a pompous royal palace, wealthy, and a god suddenly  BECOMES a taong grasa na mayroong dementia with some body parts displaying beastly growth, even his appetite became that of an ox.  But he was still human. Tao pa rin si Haring Nebuchanezzar. Hindi naalis ang kanyang pagkatao.

One-eared, one-armed, one-eyed, cleft-lips, one-legged, deaf person remains human. Even if that person becomes crazy, he remains human. No one can remove his humanity. Even a demon possessed person remains human. If this is the case of a human person, it should also be the case of angels. Angels may have demeaned themselves by their rebellion against God and became demons, still they remained angels in their kalikasang kalagayan.

This is also true with Christ. He became lower than the angels, he took the form of flesh and lived among humans. His life station was not the level of the wealthy and of the royal family, not the middle class, not the ordinary lower class of society but a BONDSERVANT(Phil.2:7).  His level was that of a merchandised slave. Yaong naibebentang alipin. He was human but society treated him as a work animal. A work animal could be whipped as a hardheaded carabao, could be hacked like a carabao by the owner, could be put to death like a carabao. But the carabao remains by nature a kalabaw. No one could remove his carabaohood.

Christ took the form of flesh on the level of human; he was human, he was a man. But his original essence, original nature, original substance, ang kanyang likas na kalagayan, ang kanyang pagka-Dios ay hindi nawala.

Lucifer and other angels didn’t keep their original habitation but they remained in their original essence or likas na kalagayan. Ang pagka-anghel ay hindi nawala. A pompous human king like Nebuchanezzar became demented but he retained his original essence or likas na kalagayan. Ang pagka-tao ay hindi nawala. Christ who is originally God in substance took the form of a lower level existence but his natural essence remained. He was completely God and also completely human. The presence of two natures in one person may be difficult to grasp. It is as difficult as grasping the reality of the Trinity. It is a mystery (1Tim.3:16) but it is the reality.

Any comment or observation is most welcomed.

By Eusebio Tanicala, PhD

(6.5.10)

1 Divided by 1 Divided by 1 = Ignorance

By Eusebio Tanicala

(Note: This is the second of a series that seeks to increase our knowledge about the Holy Trinity which in turn should give us better understanding what Tritheism and Unitarianism teach. Please don’t teach weak arguments to our young preachers. These young preachers could become discouraged when confronted by those who spot the fallacies in the youngsters’ arguments that they are initially taught to employ. Weak arguments make apologists of the other side heap contempt on their opponents; weak or wrong arguments actually promote others to continue on with their errors. This is series #2).

Trinitarians are monotheistic. Trinitarians believe that there are three distinct persons in the one true God. But many don’t know the explanation how it is possible that there are three distinct persons in the one Godhead.

Systematic dogmatic theology has this axiom: “God is indivisible.” But here come some Trinitarian Bible teachers who brandish their ignorant, bluff formula: “1 divided by 1 divided 1 equals one God.” This statement is not an accepted mathematical or theological formula. It reveals mathematical ignorance. It reveals theological self-contradiction.

Why self-contradictory? It is self-contradictory because it is a settled dogma in systematic theology that “God is indivisible.” Why say that God is indivisible, why say that God should not be thought of in separate parts and then in the next step you offer the mathematical formula of division to explain the triune Godhead? Dogmatic theology warns us not to say “The Father is one God, the Son is one God, the Holy Spirit is one God.” This is a wrong statement. It is tritheistic.

Why is it mathematical ignorance? It is so because the rule in math says that the description of the dividend must be the description of the result. A Trinitarian believes that the three 1’s are the three persons. So the submitted formula should read this way, “1 person divided by 1 person divided 1 person equals 1 person.” But why should anyone divide the number of one person by the number of the other persons? It’s foolishness. Why do these Bible teachers put ‘God” as the description of the result? They don’t follow the rule of mathematics.

We should also recognize the fact that no author or speaker in the whole Bible ever taught that applying the mathematical operation of multiplication or division explains the oneness/unity of the Godhead. None of the church fathers who understood the Greek text of the first century ever employed multiplication or division to explain the trinity of the Godhead. No theologian of note in the past one thousand years ever employed multiplication or division to explain the trinity. No mathematician in our Christian universities and colleges ever came out with multiplication or division to compute the number of the Godhead.

I suspect that some Pinoys who didn‘t have a single subject in systematic dogmatic theology, some Pinoys who didn’t know the New Testament Greek text, some Pinoys who didn’t have a college degree in mathematics invented this horrific formula.

On the basis of the preceding facts, I appeal to our aging preachers and Bible college teachers who use weak arguments to stop passing on to young preachers their lightweight and unvalidated theological opinions.

I continue on writing about this “mathematical bluff” because about the middle of this current year, I heard two Bible college students practicing their arguments about the Trinity. One said, “You teach that the Father is God, and the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, di mo ba alam na 1 plus 1 plus 1 is equal to three? So you have three Gods.” The second student retorted, “Di mo ba alam ang division na 1 divided by 1 divided 1 is equal to 1?” I told these students that such kind of argumentation or presumption they were making was wrong and foolish. I’ve promised them that after they shall have finished their first year subjects, I shall give them my explanation.

(Note: A third article further develops this study on the cardinal numeral one. -ET) ###

Creator of the Universe: A Persona or a Plan? (Part I)

By Eusebio Tanicala, Ph.D.

INTRODUCTION
This is a series of articles to clarify the issue on the status of the “Logos” (Word) of John 1:1, 14. The period we look at is before the incarnation or before the “Logos” became flesh. One side of this issue affirms that the “Logos’was a spirit persona; the other side claims that He was a mere plan, an impersonal idea, or a concept which materialized or concretized with the incarnation of Christ thro the Virgin Mary in A. D. 1

Proposition A is like this: Resolved according to the Bible that the “Logos” of John 1:1, 14 before the incarnation of Christ thro Virgin Mary was a spirit persona.

Proposition B is like this: Resolved according to the Bible that the “Logos” of John 1:1, 14 before the incarnation of Christ thro Virgin Mary was a mere plan or a concept in God’s mind.

PERSONA DEFINED
A persona is a spirit being/entity or human being/entity that has a mind, a self consciousness, is capable of moral choices and has action.

Angels are persona beings or entities. Human beings are persona entities. Satan the Devil is a spirit being or persona. This writer affirms that Christ, before His incarnation thro Virgin Mary, was a spirit persona, a spirit being, the Second Persona in the Godhead or the Holy Trinity.

When Christ became flesh, He was a persona. In that one persona, Christ had deity in Him as well as humanity in Him. Hypostatic union is the term applied to the union of two natures in the one persona of Christ.

IMPORTANCE OF THE STUDY
Determining whether or not Christ was a persona before His incarnation will help clarify the question of Christ’s deity.

OBJECTIVE
After presenting this series #1, one should be able reason out that the Logos in the Book of John is a persona and not an impersonal idea, not a mere plan, not a mere concept in God’s mind.

VERSES TO ANALYZE
For every action, description or attribute mentioned in a passage in this series ask the question: “Does this befit a spirit persona or does it point to an impersonal promised idea?” “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.”(John 1:1-4, NKJV) “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”(John 1:14 NKJV)

Points to consider:
(a) Scholars and translators of the KJV and the NKJV all feel that the “Logos” (in the Greek text) which is translated Word in English are capitalized in John 1:1 &14; 1 John 1:1 and Rev. 19:13 because, as grammarians, they felt it is a proper noun, the name of a Persona as stated in Rev. 19:13.

(b) The preposition “with” (“pros” in the Greek text) points to the location of the Logos in relation to God (Father) which was “beside” or “face to face” with God. Were the “Logos” an impersonal idea or a verbalized concept, the preposition should be “in” according to the rule in grammar.

(c) The personal pronouns “Him” which refer to the “Logos” according to the rule in grammar should refer to a persona in prose literature, and not to an impersonal idea, plan, promise or concept.

(d) The act of creating (bring animate entities and inanimate objects into existence from nothing) is more logically assigned to a persona rather than to an impersonal idea or a plan. This act of creating by and through the “Logos” is sufficiently supported by Colossians 1:16-17 which reads, “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” Hebrew 1:10-12; Psalm 102:25-27 point to Christ as creator of the heavens and the earth.

The above passages clearly prove the existence of the “Logos” as a persona before He became flesh, before he became a human being.

GREEK-ENGLISH LEXICON
Here is a brief summary on the three major usages of the term logos from Thayer’s Greek- English Lexicon of the New Testament, pp. 380-82:

I. As respects to SPEECH: a word, what some one has said, discourse, what is communicated by instruction, anything reported in speech, thing spoken of, and a thing spoken about;
II. Its use as respects to the MIND alone: reason, account, reckoning, in relation to, cause;
III. In several passages in the writings of John how “logos” denotes the essential WORD of God, i.e. the personal (hypostatic) wisdom and power in union with God, his minister in the creation and government of the universe, the cause of all the world’s life both physical and ethical, which for the procurement of man’s salvation put on human nature in the person of Jesus the Messiah and shone forth conspicuously from his words and deeds.