How does Apostle John prove the deity of Christ in his gospel account in relation to the Last Judgment? 26

Question #26 –  How does Apostle John prove the deity of Christ in his gospel account in relation to the Last Judgment? 

Answer:  We resume the study on the deity of Christ Jesus based on the Gospel account of Apostle John.  The Last Judgment is the most awaited event in our history when all nations and all peoples shall gather before the Great Judge at the end of the world. That Great Judge will be Jesus Christ who is both Man and God. 

Important passages: “The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him x x x and  he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man.” (John 5:22-23, 27ESV)

Please also read this:  “since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.” (John 3:17)

It is important to determine what kind of belief we hold about Christ because He is the JUDGE before whom we shall account for our deeds at the Great Day of Judgment.  Let us consider three major periods of existence for Christ: (a) Before Christ became flesh, (b) During His days in the flesh and dwelt among men on earth, and (c) After He resurrected and went back to heaven where He came from and now seated at the right hand of God. How do we consider the nature of Christ in these three periods? 

     1.  Before He became flesh in 1 A.D. –  John 1:1,2.

            Christ was with God and was God. Notice the preposition “with” (pros in Greek, kasama sa Tagalog). He had existence in His spirit nature. Likas na kalagayan Niya ang pagka-Dios sa anyong espiritu noong pasimula bago pa nalalang ang mundo. This existence before the world was created is confirmed in 17:5. He was loved by Father God before the foundation of the world (John 17:24). 

     2.  From birth in the flesh up to the crucifixion. 

             His humanity started with the work of the Holy Spirit forming a fetus in the womb of Virgin Mary (Matt. 1:20). That human body was prepared by God (Heb. 10:5). Joseph, the husband, did not know Mary until she gave birth to Jesus (Matt. 1:25). In that human body dwelt the fullness of the Godhead says Colossians 2:9, “For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily.”  While in the flesh in our world, Hebrews 1:6 reads, “And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, Let all God’s angels worship him.” Kaya, habang nasa mundo, Christ was worthy of worship. And only God is worthy of worship. That means Christ was God while on earth. He was both perfect man and perfect God. Did Christ lose his pagka-Dios when he became human?  Hindi. Kagaya rin ni Diablo, when he became a snake and deceived Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, the Devil did not stop being Diablo. While on earth, Christ also pronounced the forgiveness of sins. And only God can forgive sins. 

     3.  From resurrection, his ascension and now seated on his throne in heaven.

          Eight days after Christ resurrected from the tomb, during his appearance to the 11 apostles recorded in John 20:26-29, Christ was both God and human.  Upon seeing Christ, Apostle Thomas exclaimed: “My Lord and my God” (v. 28). He was man because Christ offered the audience to touch him, even to put fingers on the wounds on his side and on his hands (v. 27).  Christ keep on appearing to his disciples, the 120 according to Acts 1, and the 500 as read in 1 Cor. 15:6. In his appearance in Luke 24:52, the apostles worshipped him. That means Christ is God because he accepted worship. 

      In heaven, Christ is seated on his throne as King and Lord. That is the sermon of Peter in Acts 2:    That is the testimony of Apostle Paul in Philippians 2: 9-11. That is the declaration of Peter in 1 Peter 3.22. Also seen by Stephen in Acts 7:57. 

     Paul in Titus 2:13 declares that Christ is God in heaven and in that exalted position and nature as Deity, he will come down to judge the nations: “waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”  Christ Jesus is God. He has the same essence or nature as the Father. At the same time, Christ is man with a heavenly or glorified body now as read in Phil. 3:21, “who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” When Christ comes to judge, he is also called human in Acts 17:31; Acts 10:42; John 5:27. 

        Do you want to stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ with the belief that he is Man only?  Or it is most virtuous, most respectful to stand there with humility that the Judge is God and Man with glorified body? 

        This ends our series on the Book of John regarding the proof of the Deity of Christ.  If you have any critical comments, please forward them to Maraming salamat.

Deuteronomy 18 Talks about Jesus Christ. (25)

Question #25 –  How do we prove that the promised Prophet similar to Moses in Deuteronomy 18:15-18 is Jesus Christ and not Muhammad?  Muslims claim that Deuteronomy 18:15-18 is fulfilled in Muhammad, is that true? 

The scripture:  DEUTERONOMY 18:15, “The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. . . x x x  18, I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren. . .” 

Answer:  No, the passage does not apply to Muhammad, the Arabian.  It applies to Jesus Christ, an Israelite.

Explanation: There are several steps to take in order to have a good view about the Christian claim:

1.   Observe closely the grammar of the text.  Deut. 1:1 Moses speaks to the people of Israel. Same thing in Deut. 18:1, the people addressed are the Israelites. Not Ishmaelites or Arabs. The wording in verse 15 is “from your midst” and “from among their brethren”.  Deut. 1:1 reads, “These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel on this side of Jordan in the wilderness in the plain opposite Suph between Paran, Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Dizahab.” The text does not talk to Arabians who claim they sprang from Ishmael, the son of the Egyptian handmaid Hagar.  Muhammad did not come from the midst & among the Israelite people.

Ishmael and Hagar were sent away by Abraham through the insistence of Sarah. And Yahweh approved of it. So the Ishmaelites became another tribe, another nation. Ishmaelites were the traders who bought Joseph who in turn sold Joseph in Egypt finally ending as the house helper in the compound of an Egyptian army officer. Is Jesus Christ a full-blooded Israelite?  Yes. He was born of the Virgin Mary, whose genealogy is traced in Matthew 1 and Luke 3:23-38 – full blooded Israelite!!! Conclusion: Muhammad is not the Prophet spoken of as fulfillment.

2.     Muslims also recognize the Torah as their book (5 books of Moses). Genesis 17:19 says, “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.”  Evangelist Luke by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, testifies that Jesus Christ, not Muhammad, fulfills this by submitting a genealogy ending with Jesus Christ in Luke 3:23 and is traced back to Abraham in 3:34, “the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham.”  Conclusion: Is Muhammad a descendant of Isaac? No, he is a descendant of Ishmael. 

3.       Muslims recognize the Torah. Genesis 21:8-18 says that Hagar and Ishmael were sent away. God said,    

“Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice, for in Isaac your seed shall be called.”  So the seed of Abraham, and the inheritance of the promises especially the coming of the Prophet is via Isaac and not thru Ishmael. Apostle Paul in Romans 9:4 testifies this way, “They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises.”  Not thru the Ishmaelites via the Quraish tribe of Arabia from whence Muhammad sprang up. 

4       The Samaritan nation also recognized the Torah as their book and the people knew that the Messiah  would come which idea comes from Deut. 18:15-18. So the woman of Samaria expressed the idea that since Jesus of Nazareth knew all her dark secrets He must be the Messiah. See John 4:19, 25.  And Christ says in John 4:26, “Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you am He.” If Jesus is not the Prophet, he would be a liar.

5.       King David is recognized by Islam as a prophet and he prophesied in Psalms 16:10, “For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.”  Apostle Peter who was a personal witness to the resurrection of Jesus Christ mentions this promise in Acts 2:27 as fulfilled in Jesus not fulfilled in Muhammad. Christ’s resurrection was witnessed by 11 original apostles, by 500 disciples mentioned in 1 Cor. 15; by the 120 disciples in Acts 1. Muhammad has not fulfilled this prophecy of King David.  Muhammad has returned to the dust in his grave up to this day. And David could not be wrong because he spoke by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (1 Sam. 23:1-4).

6.       Jesus Christ is recognized as a prophet by Muslims. In John 5:46 Christ Himself said, “For if you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me.” Numbers 21:9 – about the brazen serpent lifted up in a pole to neutralize snake venom.  Christ said that his crucifixion on a tree is the fulfillment as in John 12:32-34. Muhammad was not lifted up on a tree as the fulfillment of this brazen serpent. So Christ must be that Prophet promised in Deut. 18:15-18. Further, Christ is a prophet or spokesman of God says Hebrews 1:1 2. 

7.       The Father in heaven has testified that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ and should be the one heard or  listened to as regards our relationship with God. This testimony is found in Matt. 3:16 during the baptism of Christ in the Jordan River, and also in Matt. 17:5 during the transfiguration on Mt. Hermon together with Moses and Elijah which was witnessed by John, James and Peter.  This is confirmed in Heb. 1:2, that in these last days, God speaks through His Son, Jesus Christ. Not through Muhammad. 

Conclusion:  Our presentation above amply proves the point that Deut. 18:15-18 points to Jesus Christ as fulfillment.  Attributes assigned to Muhammad do not tally with the text of Deut. 18:15-18 and the testimony of the Gospel accounts.

Demons believe in Jesus as the Holy One of God (18)

Question #18:   Do demons / evil spirits believe in God and believe in Jesus Christ as the Holy One of God? 

Answer:  YES, they do, but there is no faith in them; there is no trust and obedience in their relationship with God and in Christ. 

Explanation – First, we submit to you Bible passages copying (from ESV) only part of verses that express how these spirits consider God and Christ:

  • James 2:19, “You believe (pisteuousi) that God is one, you do well, even demons believe and they shudder.”
  • Ephesians 2:2, “. . . following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience.”
  • Ephesians 6:12,  “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
  • Ephesians 6:16, “. . . take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of  the evil one. . .”
  • 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober-minded, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour.”
  • Matthew 8:29, 31, Two demon-possessed men of Gadara shouted to Jesus, “What have you to do with us, O Son of God?  Have you come here to torment us before the time? x x x If you cast us out, send us away into the herd of pigs.”
  • Matthew 13:19, “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart.”
  • Mark 1:24, An unclean spirit cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us?  I know who you are – the Holy One of God.”
  • Mark 1:34, “And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak because they knew him.”
  • Mark 5:7, An unclean spirit cried with a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” 
  • John 8:44, Christ said, “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth because there is no truth in him.”
  • Luke 4:33, 34, An unclean spirit: “Ha! What have you to do with us Jesus of Nazareth?  Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are – the Holy One of God!”

         The word “believe” in James 2:19 means mental knowledge but without trust, no surrender and no humble obedience to the authority of the Triune Godhead.  

Below are some passages that tell us the true shade of believing and faith that leads to salvation:

Luke 6:46, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like.” And Jesus tells the parable of the Wise Builder who built upon the rock foundation.

John 14:15, 23, “If you love me you keep my commandments x x x If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”

1 John 2:3-5, “And by this, we know that we have come to know him if we keep his commandments. Whoever says ‘I know him but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this, we may  know that we are in him.”

       In the discussion about the verb BELIEVE and FAITH, we should define what kind of BELIEF or FAITH we talk about. Is it BELIEF that recognizes God’s sovereignty or BELIEF with mere knowledge or information about God Almighty without surrendering to God’s authority? Like the demons in James 2:19.  They believe but they do not love and obey God. There is FAITH that is small like Peter’s faith which brought him down in the waters of the Sea of Galilee. Christ told Peter, “O you of little faith.” That small faith might be incomplete like those who discard baptism from the Great Commission. They know the Great Commission.  They know that being baptized is a command but they say the command needs not to be obeyed. That small faith might be there, but like Peter, they sink into the Lake of Fire.  

      People saying “Faith alone saves” are walking on dangerous ground.  Those who disregard many instructions found in the Bible have little faith. They fail in several things like the following: Lord’s Supper every first day of the week, baptism for the forgiveness of sin in the initial Christian journey, belief in the deity of Christ, belief in the Triune Godhead, belief in the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the disciple, the NT church is the same as the Kingdom of God on earth, vocal music in church worship, congregational autonomy with Christ as the head of the universal church, no national church hierarchy, women’s silence in the corporate worship of the church, continuity of the church established by Christ, male-only eldership, and many more doctrines. 

        Some Bible students declare that salvation is all God’s work and nothing is done by one who has been elected to eternal life.  Then that person adds, “we are saved by grace only plus faith only.” So we ask: “Are grace and faith the saviors or the saviors are God the Father and Christ the son?” They surrender their first position by saying that we should also add God and Christ in accomplishing salvation.  So they hasten to say: “Saved by grace only + faith only + Christ only.” Why limited to three items only? Yet the scripture cites many more. 

      We further ask:  “Does a person need to believe? Does he need to repent of his sins?” Quickly, they say that belief and repentance are needed.  So where is the meaning of the term “Only”? The safest interpretation of salvation, therefore, is to sum up all the persons and items that are mentioned in the Bible so that the fallacy of partial view will not be committed.

        Please continue to study with us. Thank you.