Knowing More about Christmas (1)

This writer was asked his comment on the article of Guy N. Woods posted on the internet in December of 2020.  For this article, I’ll dwell just on two items: (1) Terminologies and some activities invented by pagans which we currently use without question,  and (2) The etymology of the word “Christmas.” 

Brother Guy N. Woods’s Argument

We quote a part of Wood’s article: 

“The argument, that Christmas (Christ + Mass), is of Catholic origin, and that the use of the term perpetuates the errors of this ecclesiasticism, lacks merit, for two reasons:  (1) the word no longer conveys its exclusive earlier meaning, signifying to many of us no more than a holiday;  (2) it is inconsistent to offer this objection and to refuse the use of the word Christmas, because of its origin, while using, without question, many others of similar objectionable origin, but which have also undergone modification but no longer convey an improper sense.  Sunday derives from the sacred day of the sun; Monday, the sacred day of the moon; Wednesday, ‘Woden’s Day’ (Woden was one of the chief idols of mythology); Thursday designates the day of the war god Thor; and Saturday comes from Saturn, the ancient god of seed sowing.  To us, the days of the week bear no resemblance to earlier usage and we use them in harmony with their meaning to us and not to others.  Similarly, Christmas is not a ‘mass for Christ,’ but a day of joy, gladness, and warmth when friends and loved ones take occasion to meet and mingle, exchange gifts and good wishes, and relax in a season of happiness and wood will.”

(Guy N. Woods, Question and Answers, Open Forum, Freed-Hardeman College Lectures (Henderson, TN: Freed-Hardeman College, 1976) 203-2-4). 

Pagan Days of the Week

Let us expand on the argument of Guy N. Woods.  The pagans who invented the names of our calendar days worshipped their deities and naming the days after the gods were meant to honor them.  Many of us have been ignorant about the background and etymology of these weekdays. (Sunday, Old English- day of the Sun; Monday, Old English- day of the moon, (in Spanish, moon is luna from which Lunes in our dialects is derived); Tuesday, Old English form was Tiwesday or day of Tiw, an ancient Teutonic deity but Latin and Spanish changed it to Martes in our Philippine dialects in honor of Mars, the Greek, and Roman god; Wednesday, OE- mentioned by brother Woods; Thursday, OE, Thunor, short-form is Thor which has been changed into Jueves in our Philippine dialects by the Spaniards in honor of Jove, another name of Jupiter of the Romans who is  Zeus of the Greeks. Friday derives from the Norse mythology goddess Frigg, wife of the chief god Odin. Saturday, OE- derives from Saturn, the second-largest planet, and in Roman mythology, the god of agriculture.  

We don’t have negative reactions on these pagan week days terms because the heathen religious shade of meaning has disappeared as Woods argues above. 

We have a good friend whose family name is Saturno, evidently derived from the pagan deity Saturn. Shall we mark him unworthy as a brother because he has that name?  Shall we urge him to change his name to Cristiano? 

Pagan Names of Months

Names of the months have been invented by the ancient pagans.   January= Janus, Latin god of beginnings or entrances; February= from Februa, a Roman deity whose festival is celebrated on the 15 of February; March= derived from Mars, the god of war of the Romans;  May= from Maia, goddess of growth;  July= named after Julius Caesar of Rome;  August= derived from the Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar (27 B.C.- 14 A.D.) 

Also, the Gregorian Calendar was issued by the Roman Catholic Pope Gregory XIII in A.D. 1582 which replaced the Julian Calendar of Gauis Julius Caesar, the strongman of Rome (100-44 B.C.). 

Conclusion:  Although names of days and months are derived from pagan mythologies and names, worship and honor for those ancient deities no longer reside in those words as was in the beginning, therefore, they don’t offend us and should not affect our religious beliefs. They are now secular in nature so these terms should not intrude into our religious sensibilities.  

Is it possible for church members to secularize some Christmas activities?  We explore this idea. 

Etymology of the Word Christmas

“The word ‘Christmas’ is derived from the proper name ‘Christ,’ and the addition, ‘mass,’ a rite or commemorative ceremony,” writes Guy N. Woods in the above quotation.  He thinks that ‘mass’ which is the suffix of Christmas is derived from the Roman Catholic Church’s sacrament called Eucharist, the consecration by a priest, distribution to and consumption by the Latin church congregants.  This “mass” ritual remembers the offering of Christ’s body and blood at the cross – His death. This view of compounding Christ + mass (the eucharist) is promoted by some Romanists adding that the nine ‘misa de gallo’ (dawn mass) that climaxes on December 25 is the origin of the term Christmas.   This explanation has no relation to the coming and birth of Christ on earth. It has no historical and linguistic basis in relation to the incarnation.  The mass (misa) of the eucharist (hostia and the chalice) remembers the death of Christ at the cross.  While the “mass” of Christmas points to the incarnation, the birth of Christ. 

A second view on this etymology discussion is that the suffix “mas” is from the Latin infinitive “masir” and Latin verb “masse”.  Church history tells us that in the early centuries, catechumens (beginners in Christian instructions, Christian indoctrination), were mixed with faithful congregants.  However, at the later part of the church service, when the bread and wine were consecrated, to be distributed and consumed, the catechumens were sent out of the chapel because during those ancient days, the Eucharist elements were considered very sacred and the command to partake was interpreted to mean for the baptized believers only.  When that part of the ceremony of consecration was about to start, the catechumens were “sent out.” The verb used in Latin was “masse.” That part of the church ceremony of bread and wine consecration eventually was called “Mass” in the Old English tribes in Western Europe.  You may check this etymology of the word Christmas with a large unabridged dictionary that records the derivation of word entries. 

If we take the verb form “masse” as the suffix of the proper noun “Christ” we have in the Latin “Christe+masse” and in the Old English people of Western Europe had it as a compound word “Christ+mas” – literally “Christ+send.” Latin language heavily influenced the growth of the Spanish and English languages.  Therefore this word Christmas refers to the sending of Christ into the world, his incarnation with the purpose of possessing a human body to suffer the penalty of sin as the basis of man’s salvation.  Was Christ sent into our world?  Yes, indeed.  It is explicitly expressed in the New Testament.  Notice the following passages:

John 1:14, “The Word became flesh and lived with us, and we saw his splendor, the splendor as of a unique one from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

John 3:16, “God so loved the world that he gave his unique Son, in order that everyone who believes in him might not perish, but may have eternal life.”

Hebrews 10:5-7, “So, when he came into the world, he said, ‘You did not want sacrifice and offering, but you prepared a body for me. You had no pleasure in whole burnt offerings and sin offerings. Then I said, ‘Behold I have come!  It is written of me, in the roll of the scroll, to do your will, O God.”

Matthew 10:40, “. . . receives Him who sent me. . .”

Matthew 15:24, “. . . sent to the lost sheep of Israel. . .”

Luke 4:43, “. . . I must preach the good news of God’s kingdom. . . I was sent for this purpose.”

Luke 9:48, “. . . whoever receives me receives him who sent me. . .”

Luke 10:16, “. . . and the one who rejects me rejects the one who sent me.” 

John 7:29, “I know him because I am from him and he sent me.”    

John 10:36, “how can you say (of him whom the Father set apart and sent into the world). . . “  

John 11:42, “. . . I have spoken because of the crowd standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.”

John 17:3, 8, 18, 23, 25, “. . . to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent. x x x 8. I came from you, and they believe that you sent me. x x x 18. . . even as you sent me into the world. x x x 23 . . . the world may believe that you sent me. x x x  25. . . and these know that you sent me.”

John 20:21,”. . . As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”  

Colossians 2:9, “In him dwells all the fullness of the deity bodily.”   

The above verses prove that Christ was sent by the Father into the world. And he went back to heaven bringing humanity with him (Acts 1:9-11).  So if one believes in the above tracing of the etymology of Christmas, one should believe that the idea of Christmas is found in the Bible.  Christ was sent by the Father and the Son tabernacled with us on earth.  That is the real meaning of Christmas. It is not pagan in origin. It has a New Testament origin.

Miraculous Powers Do Not Inhere in the Term “Power” (76)

Introduction 

Christ instructed the disciples to stay in Jerusalem after his resurrection as recorded in Acts 1:8, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses of Me in Jerusalem, and in all  Judea and Samaria, and in the end of the earth”. Some brethren insist that everyone who claims he/she is immersed (baptized) in the Holy Spirit, that there should be a manifestation of observable miraculous power to confirm the  claim of Holy Spirit immersion. To me, the view of miraculous power inherent in the term “power” is scripturally unwarranted. Let us discuss the issue. 

A. Power = Dunamis. Analyze the verses and find out that not all are miraculous powers. Mark 9:1 – “. . . not taste death till they see the kingdom of God come with power (dunamis).” Mark 12:24 – “. . . know not the scriptures, neither the power (dunamis) of God.” 

Luke 1:35 – “. . . The Holy Spirit will come upon you . . . the power (dunamis) of the Highest shall overshadow you.” Luke 4:14 – “Then Jesus returned in the power (dunamis) of the Spirit to Galilee. . .” 

Luke 4:36 – “. . . with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits and they came out of him. . .” Luke 5:17 – “. . . power of the Lord was (present) to heal them. 

Luke 9:1 – “power and authority over all devils” 

Lk. 24:49 – “. . . until you be endued with power from on high” Question: How many people were in this group who  heard the Promise which included the 2 disciples from Emmaus? ___ 

Acts 1:8 – “you shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” 

Acts 4:33 – “. . .w/ great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. . .” Question: Was this great power in witnessing enjoyed only by the 11 apostles? __ Yes, __ No. Acts 6:8 – “. . . Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.” Acts 10:38 – “God anointed Jesus with the Holy Ghost and with power who went about doing good. . .” Roma 1:4 – “. . . declared to be the Son of God with power” 

Romans 9:17 – “I might show my power in thee” Question: Did Apostle Paul enjoy this power? __Yes, __ No. Romans 15:13 – “. . . abound in hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” 

Romans 15:19 – “in mighty signs & wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God. . I preached the gospel” 1Cor. 2:4- “demonstration of the Spirit & of power” Question: Did Apostle Paul enjoy these? __ Yes, __ No. 1Corinthians 2:5 – “wisdom of men, but in the power of God”. Question: Did Paul enjoy this power? __Yes, _ No. 1Cor. 4:19, 20 – “not the speech of them…but the power. For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power.” 1Cor. 5:4 – “with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ”. Question: Do we enjoy some of this power? __Yes, _ No. 1Corinthians 6:14 – “and will also raise up us by his own power”. 

2Corinthians 4:7 – “the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us.” 

2Cor. 12:9 – “my strength is made perfect in weakness. .Boast in . . . infirmities . . . power of Christ. . .rest upon me.”

Question: Do we enjoy some of this today? __ Yes, __ No. 

2Corinthians 13:4 – “. . we also are weak in Him, but we shall live w/ Him by the power of God toward you.” Ephesians 1:19- “the exceeding greatness of his power (dunameoos) toward us who believe. . .” Eph. 3:7 – “. . I became a minister according . . . grace of God given to me by the effectual working of His power.”

Question: Do ministers enjoy some of these grace and power? __ Yes, __ No. 

Ephesians 3:20 – “. . do . . abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.”

Question: Did the Ephesian disciples enjoy this power from God? __ Yes, __ No. 

Philippians 4:13 – “. . can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth (endunamoo endum) me.”

Question: Many of us today claim this enabling power, is the strength granted miraculous? __Yes, __ No. Col. 1:11 – “Strengthened (dunamomenoi) with all might, according to His glorious power . . patience . . with joy.”

Question: Do Christians enjoy some of this power today? __ Yes, __ No. 

1Thessalonians 1:5 – “. . did not come to you in word only but also in the power, and in the Holy Spirit. . .” 2Thessalonians 1:11 – “. . fulfill all the good pleasure .. and the work of faith with power.” Do you enjoy this? __ 2Timothy 1:8 – “. . according to the power of God.” 2Tim 4:17- “the Lord stood. . . strengthened me (endunamoo)”.

Question: Do we enjoy this assurance amidst trials of life? __ Yes, __ No.  

Hebrews 6:5 – “have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the world to come.”

Question: Do Christians today taste the powers of the world to come? __ Yes, __ No. 

1Peter 1:5 – “Who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

Question: Do you enjoy this assurance today? __ Yes, __ No. 

2Pe 1:3 – “ . . . his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness . . .” Question: Do Christians enjoy this divine power today? ___Yes, __ No. 

Heb. 11:11 – “Sarah received strength to conceive” cf. Gal .4:29- “Isaac was born according to the Spirit” Question: Was the power given to Sarah the same miraculous power given to the Apostles? __ Yes, __No. 

B. To strengthen, to make strong (krataioo). This is not miraculous power. 

Ephesians 3:16 – “. . . to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man.”

Question: Do disciples enjoy this strengthening power of the Holy Spirit today? ___ Yes, ___ No. 

C. Power = eXousia KJV (Privilege, authority) This is not miraculous power. 

John 1:12 – “gave the power to become sons of God”. Question: Do you have the God-given power to become a child of God today? __ Yes, __ No. 

Roma 8:11-17- Holy Spirit indwells, is mark of adoption.” Question: Do you this today? ___ Yes, __ No. 2Cor. 13:10 – “the power which the Lord has given me.” See also 1 Cor. 4:21 & 2 Cor. 10:8 = authority. 2Thes. 3:9 – “not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an example. .” See also 1Corinthians 9:4-14. 

D. Strength, force = ischus 

E. Strengthen = sthenoo 

2Peter 2:11- “angels which are greater in power and might. .” 

1Peter 5:10- “to make you perfect. . .strengthen. .” Question: Do we have this power today? ___Yes, __ No. 

F. Strength, power = Kratos 

Eph. 1:19 – “. . greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of his mighty power.”

Question: Do Christians enjoy this power today? ___Yes, __ No. 

Ephesians 6:10- “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” Question: Is it true today? __Yes, __No. 

G. Manifestations or Gifts of the Holy Spirit Are Display of Power, Strength, Authority, Force 1 Corinthians 1:7- “not lacking in spiritual gift”. Question: Do you have any spiritual gifts? __ Yes, __No. 1 Cor. 7:7- “each has his own gift from God” & 7:17- “God has distributed. . .” Not all of these gifts are miraculous.

Question: Do you enjoy any of these gifts? __ Yes, __ No. 

1 Cor. 12:7- “each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” 

Question: Do you have any Holy Spirit gift manifestation? __ Yes, __ No. 

Romans 12:6-8 & 1 Cor. 12:1-10; Efeso 4:10-14; 1 Peter 4:10-11 – different gifts, different ministries. Question: Do you have any gift from the Holy Spirit for your ministry? __ Yes, __ No. 

1 Cor. 12:11- Holy Spirit distributes gifts to each one individually as He wills. Question: Do you have any gift from the Holy Spirit? __ Yes, __No. 

1 Cor. 13:8-10 – when the “complete” had come, the miraculous powers ceased. 

Question: What kind of gifts or manifestations have ceased? ____________________________

NOTES: 

1. Having one’s name written in heaven is a greater accomplishment than doing miracles (Lk 10:17-20).

2. Miraculous power does NOT inhere in the term “power.” We have shown this truth in the many citations listed above.

My Understanding about the Views of Richard Rogers & Brian Garnett on Pouring Out of the Holy Spirit (89)

By Eusebio Tanicala 

Brother Rogers has written a book entitled “A Study of the Holy Spirit of God” published by the Sunset Institute Press, Lubbock, Texas, © 2007. 

Brother Brian Garnett of the Nueces Canyon Church of Christ has also authored a book with the title of “Studies About the Holy Spirit”, © 2010. 

 Here are some pertinent points from these books that help clarify the issues we explain in this booklet: 

1. Both believe that all obedient disciples receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit which is the pouring out (shedding forth) of the Holy Spirit. 

Rogers says: “Read carefully Matt. 3:1-12; Mk. 1:1-8; Lk. 3:1-9, 15-17; Jn. 1:32-34; Lk. 24:49; Acts 1:4-5, 8; 2:1-4,14-21, 33, 38-39. x x x based on the preceding verses is that the statement ‘Ye shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit is simply the promise of the outpouring of the Spirit by Jesus on the day of Pentecost one time for all, henceforth, available for all men whom God calls (through the gospel, 2 Thess. 2:14).” (pp. 40-41) Also he says: “[P]eter concludes this promised Spirit, now poured out by Jesus, is not only for the Jews at Pentecost but for their children (all Jews that will ever live) and all that are afar off (the Gentiles, Eph. 2:11-13), even as many as the Lord our God shall call unto Him. (That would be you and me if we are called by the gospel, 2Thes. 2:14).” (p. 44) 

Garnett says: “3. This one-time (Day of Pentecost) has benefits that were only for apostles, benefits for those of the apostolic age and benefits for all who respond to the gospel of Christ.” (p. 73) His other declaration says: “B. Holy Spirit BAPTISM is simply, the outpouring of the Spirit, By Jesus, On Pentecost, One time for all time, For all men (all Flesh), as a promise from the Father.” (p. 73) 

2. Both believe that baptizing in the Holy Spirit and the outpouring of the Spirit are two ways to refer to the same event. 

Rogers says: “The baptizing in the Holy Spirit and the outpouring of the Spirit is just the different ways to refer to the same event.” (Rogers, p. 44) He adds: “Therefore, the ‘baptizing in the Spirit’ was the ‘outpouring of the Spirit.” (page 45) 

Garnett says: “The ‘Out Pouring’ of the Holy Spirit or Holy Spirit Baptism is the process that made the Holy Spirit available to all flesh.” (p. 72) On another page he says: “H. ‘Out pouring’ and ‘Baptizing in the Holy Spirit’ are different ways of saying the same thing. When the Spirit was ‘poured out’ He ‘baptized’ the world.” (p. 74) On page 75, in a summary: he adds: “B. Holy Spirit Baptism simply made the Spirit available to all who obey the gospel after that (Acts 5:32; 2:38)” (see p. 75). 

Question: Do I understand that brethren Rogers and Garnett believe that all believers are immersed or baptized in the Holy Spirit? Yes, I understand that both believe that ALL disciples are immersed in the Holy Spirit. 

3. Pour means abundance. 

Rogers says: “The word ‘pour’ from Joel and from Acts 2:17 has the same idea of super-abundance. Jesus was  indicating to what extent the Holy Spirit would be given when he said ‘Ye shall be baptized. . .’” (pp. 49, 50) 

4. Miraculous power does not define what Holy Spirit baptism is. 

Garnett says: “Receiving the Holy Spirit does not mean one can work miracles nor speak in tongues. It means that you, when properly baptized, become the temple of the Holy Spirit. He lives within you. (Romans 8:9; 1Cor. 3:16;  6:19).” (p. 75) 

 Do you mark and unfriend the two American brethren who wrote the two books mentioned above just because they believe that the pouring out of the Holy Spirit is the same event as the baptizing in the Holy Spirit? Do you mark them because they believe that all obedient disciples participate in that poured out Holy Spirit? As for me, and my coauthors in this booklet, we do not mark nor unfriend them. We love them and want to compare our research with them. # – E.Tanicala

(NOTE: This article is taken from a booklet published in 2019 on the topic of Immersion in the Holy Spirit.

Obedient Disciples Are Immersed in the Holy Spirit (74)

I. There Is Personal Holy Spirit Presence-Influence upon  

 Disciples in Conjunction with the Word.

John 14:16-17Acts 2:38
1Corinthians 3:161Corinthians 6:19
2Coribthians 5:5Romans 8:9
Galatians 4:6Ephesians 2:22
1Thessalonians 4:8Ephesians 5:18

Rejecting personal indwelling insults the Spirit.  

II. Prophecy-Promise of Immersion Is Universal in Scope 

Joel 2:28-32Isaiah 44:3
Matthew 3:1-12Mark 1:1-8
Luke 3:1-17John 1:33
John 3:3-7John 4:10-15
John 7:37-39Luke  24:13,18 & 49
Acts 1:4-8Acts 1:15-26

Not 11 apostles only. 

III. Partial Immersion Fulfillment Record 

Acts 2:1-33Acts 2:38-39
Acts 5:32Acts 8:15-17
Acts 9:17Acts 10:44-48,
Titus 3:5-61John 2:20, 27. 
Acts 11:10-16

Note: Not all cases are recorded in detail, just as all conversions are not recorded in detail with water immersion. 

IV. Biblical & Lexical Actions Called Immersion/Baptism 

1. Being Overwhelmed Is Immersion/Baptism says Christ. 

a) Biblical proof: Mk.10:38-39; Lk. 12:50; Eph. 2:1-5; Rom. 8:13. 

b) Lexical proof: Thayer’s Lexicon, pages 94-95. 

c) Holy Spirit action: Roma 8:11; 2:28-29; Col. 3:5; Gal. 5:16-18, 24-25. 

2. Being Guided and Led Is Immersion/Baptism says Apostle Paul. 

a) Biblical proof: 1Cor. 10:1-2, “immersed unto Moses” 

b) Lexical proof: Thayer’s Lexicon, pages 94-95. 

c) Holy Spirit action: Rom. 8:2; Gal. 5:16, 18; 1John 2:20, 27.  

3. A Birth Is Immersion/Baptism says Christ & Apostle Paul 

a) Biblical proof: John 3:5-7; 2Cor. 3:6; Rom 8:10; Eph. 2:1; Col. 2:13. 

b) Lexical proof: Thayer’s Lexicon, pp. 94-95. 

c) Holy Spirit action: Rom. 8:2,8,11; Jn 6:63; 2Cor.3:6; 5:17; Titus 3:5-6.  

4. Under Jurisdiction of Authority & Fellowship Is Baptism 

a) Biblical proof: Matt. 28:19; Roma 6:3, 4. 

b) Lexical proof: Thayer’s Lexicon, pages 94-95. 

c) Holy Spirit action: Rom. 8:6; Jude 20; 2Cor. 13:14; Eph.3:16 & 6:18. 

5. A Bath, Washing Is Immersion/Baptism say Christ & the Apostles 

a) Biblical proof: Mk.1:5; 7:3-7; Acts 22:16; Eph. 5:26; 1Peter 3:21; Acts 10:47; Heb. 10:22 b) Lexical proof: Thayer’s Lexicon, pages 94-95.  

c) Holy Spirit action: 1Cor. 6:11; John 3:5-7; Titus 3:5-6. 

6. Being Dyed, Colored Is Immersion/Baptism says Paul 

a) Biblical proof: 2Cor. 3:1-11; Rev. 19:13. 

b) Lexical proof: Thayer’s Lexicon, pages 94-95. 

c) Holy Spirit action: Gal. 3:27; 5:22; Rev. 6:11; 7:9; 1Cor. 6:11.  

Conclusion: Since actions that are called immersion or baptism in the Bible like submersion, being overwhelmed, a  birth, and washing, is done by and with the Holy Spirit; and since 

prophecy and promise of pouring and giving the Holy Spirit to obedient disciples is a universal blessing, as much as immersion in hellfire is applied universally to the disobedient, it is safe to conclude that there is immersion  (baptism) in the Holy Spirit throughout the Christian Age.  

Definition of Immersion in the Holy Spirit 

“Immersion in the Holy Spirit is the action by and blessing of God the Father & Christ in abundantly giving the Holy  Spirit to obedient disciples resulting to disciples being overwhelmed, being guided & led, being given new life,  being washed, being dyed-colored with Christian virtues by the Holy Spirit.”  

Note: Objections and/or questions are welcomed. # – ETanicala

How Does It Feel to Have the Holy Spirit in Us? (73)

by Eusebio Tanicala 

Introduction: I believe in the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the disciple. Often I am asked what it feels like to have the  Holy Spirit inside one’s body. Some demand that I demonstrate a miraculous gift because I claim that Christ has  poured the Holy Spirit on every obedient disciple. These questions about my feeling if the Holy Spirit is poured on  me are misguided.

We ask in return the following:  

1. We are washed with the blood of Christ. We all believe this.  

Question: What and how did it feel when you were washed with the blood of Christ?

2. We are forgiven of our sins upon baptism or immersion. We all believe this.  

Question: What physical changes did you feel when your sins were forgiven?

3. Matthew 28:19, you were baptized into (eis) the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. We all believe this.  

Question: What physical change did you feel when you were immersed into the name of the Father, and of the  Son, and of the Holy Spirit?

4. Romans 6:4 says that you were immersed into Christ. 

Question: What physical feeling did you have in being immersed in Christ? 

5. Romans 6:4 says that you were immersed into the death of Christ 

Question: What physical feeling did you have in being immersed in the death of Christ? 

6. Galatians 3:27 says that you were immersed and had put on or have clothed yourself with Christ. 

Question: What is the physical feeling of that event?  

7. Romans 6:4 you were buried.

Question: What was your feeling when you were buried with Christ?  

8. Romans 6:4 you rose from your burial with Christ.  

Question: What did you feel about that change or newness of life when you came out of the water? Please describe it.  

We are talking about the spiritual life. John 3:8 says that we don’t know the direction where the wind comes from or what direction the wind goes or how it curves left and right or up and down. We also don’t consciously know these feelings in being confronted or having fellowship with the Holy Spirit. It is by faith that we believe there is something that happens in the spiritual reality of our existence.  

The external, observable phenomena common in the first century among those given miraculous powers no longer exist because we believe in the cessation of these powers based on 1 Corinthians 13:8-11. We continually cite this passage and yet we are asked that we produce miraculous signs. Are these brethren hard of hearing and slow of understanding?

American Restoration Movement Pioneers on Immersion in the Holy Spirit (72)

 The following quotations will prove to all that what we are talking about in this series is not a new issue. Our purpose is to have a second look at our present arguments. 

(1) Moses E. Lard in Lard’s Quarterly, in the year 1864, said:  

 “They hold that the Spirit now dwells in Christians, also that it helps our infirmities. But, in addition to this, is the human spirit immersed in it? This presents the precise point of difference if they’re still. I frankly confess I strongly incline to the side of the immersion. If my brethren dissent, they  will do it from the love of truth, and we shall still be one in charity.”  

 (“Baptism in One Spirit into One Body,” Lard’s Quarterly, Vol. I, 1864: 280) 

Question: Does Moses E. Lard believe that the human spirit is immersed in the Holy Spirit?__Yes, __No. (2) John W. McGarvey, in the year 1864, wrote:  

 “I have for some years been convinced that the immersion in the Holy Spirit is not fully understood and that it needs investigation and discussion de novo. The same may be said of the entire subject  of the Holy Spirit and His work in human salvation.”  

 (“Immersion in the Holy Spirit,” Lard’s Quarterly, Vol. I, Part 2, 1864: 221) 

Question: Does McGarvey believe there is scanty understanding about the Holy Spirit? __Yes, __No. (3) Thomas Munnell, in 1865, declared: 

 “For several years the conviction has been growing in my mind that this whole subject needed a  thorough re-examination. The confusion of thought manifested in several articles recently published seems to take its rise in a certain error so well sanctified in the minds of our brotherhood for thirty or forty years, that it seems almost sacrilegious to assail it . . . The error is this: That there have never been but two instances of the baptism of the Holy Spirit recorded in the New Testament. So   firmly has this mistake been rooted in the mind, that neither writers nor speakers ever stop to prove it, but take it as granted.”  

 [“Baptism of the Holy Spirit,” Lard Quarterly, Vol. II, p. 155, (1865)] 

Question: Does Munnell complain that the general impression of the majority of his generation is that there are only two instances of the Holy Spirit pouring out in the Bible? __Yes, __No.  

Question: Based on Titus 3:4-6, do you think Paul, Titus, and the Cretans had experienced an abundant pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon themselves? __Yes, __No.  

(4) Robert Milligan, wrote in the year 1875: 

 “We have then under the reign of Christ, as elementary ordinances of the New Economy: (1) a baptism in water, in which all penitent believers who confess Christ are introduced into his body; (2) a  baptism in the Holy Spirit, administered by Christ himself to all who are really begotten by the Spirit  and born of water; and, (3) a baptism in fire; by means of which the wicked will be finally overwhelm-   ed in sufferings.”  

 (“Epistle to the Hebrews” N.T. Commentary, Vol. IX, St. Louis, Ohio; Christian Board of Publications  1875: 173) 

Question: Does Milligan believe that baptism in the Holy Spirit is administered by Christ on those who are born of water? __Yes, __No. 

Question: Does Milligan believe that the wicked will be immersed in fire? __Yes, __No. (5) Robert Richardson in 1875, published this:  

 “The baptism in the Spirit is thus here placed in direct opposition to the baptism in fire (Matt: 3:11-  12) – the former involving the salvation and blessedness of the redeemed as an entire class, and the latter indicating the punishment prepared for the ungodly. . . . This baptism is to be regarded as applicable to the entire class of believers, without exception, since there is nothing whatever in its announcement restricting it to a limited number or to a particular time. On the contrary, the manner of its announcement forbids any such restriction, and leaves it just as universal and as permanent, on the one hand, as the punishment of the wicked remains, upon the other.”  

 (Robert Richardson, A Scriptural View of the Holy Spirit & Office of the Holy Spirit. Cincinnati,

 Ohio: Chase & Hall Publications, 1875: 20-23) 

Question: Does Richardson believe that baptism in the Spirit is involved in salvation? __Yes, __No. Question: Does Richardson believe that baptism in the Holy Spirit is applicable to all class of believers and not restricted to a limited number of believers? __Yes, __No.  

Question: Does Richardson believe that the baptism in the Holy Spirit is as universal and permanent as the baptism in fire? _-Yes, __No.  

Conclusion: We have sufficiently proved that this issue is not new. We have quoted historical references that it is an old issue. Those who know their church history and a dissenting opinion, please present your evidence that this issue has been invented in the 21st century of our era. We would appreciate looking at your documents. Maraming Salamat Po. <> – ETanicala 

(Note: If you have any questions, please direct it to eusebio.tanicala@yahoo.com)

Different Authors on Immersion (Baptism) in the Holy Spirit (71)

Purpose: Para sa karagdagang pagpapahalaga sa gawain ng Banal na Espiritu.

Introduction: 

 We submit several authors here to prove that we are not inventing a new issue: 

1. McClintock & Strong’s Encyclopedia  

 “Spirit (Holy) Baptism of 

The bestowment of the Divine Spirit upon faithful men – which is simply God’s spiritual access to and abiding with his believing and obedient ones – is a promise for all times and dispensations of the Church, of the fulfillment of which promise the Divine Word is the perpetual record. It was the consolation and guide of the patriarchs; the inspiration of the prophets, and the light and the life of the O.T. Church. That which is now given to believers and to the aggregate Church differs from the former in degree and in some of its modes of manifestation rather than in its substance or kind.   Indeed, as the Church has been, and is essentially the same under all its dispensations, having the same precious faith, with the one atoning Sacrifice as its object and end, so the animating Spirit that guided and sustained the faithful ones of the earlier Church is the same with that which we recognize and worship, and in which we rejoice in this our day of the fullness of Gospel grace. It is   evident, however, that, for obviously good reason, a special and peculiar manifestation of the Spirit  was given to the apostles – first on the day of Pentecost, and afterward continuously, though   evidently with steadily decreasing outward manifestations, till it finally entirely ceased with the   apostolic age, But though its signs failed from the Church, as did the power of working miracles, its   substance, and reality, with all its blessed results, continued as Christ’s perpetual legacy to his   disciples all down through the ages, and will do so till the great consummation of his  kingdom.” (Quoted from McClintock and Strong Encyclopedia, Electronic Database. Copyright ©   2000 -2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved) 

2. Second theologian author is Wayne Grudem: 

 “Baptism in and Filling with the Holy Spirit 

 But this has a significant implication for us: it means that, as far as the apostle Paul was concerned, baptism in the Holy Spirit occurred at conversion. He says that all the Corinthians   were baptized in the Holy Spirit and the result was that they became members of the body of  Christ: ‘For we were all baptized in one Spirit into one body.’ (1Cor. 12:1, NIV mg). ‘Baptism in the Holy Spirit,’ therefore, must refer to the activity of the Holy Spirit at the beginning of the   Christian life when he gives us new spiritual life (in regeneration) and cleanses us, and gives a   clear break with the power and love of sin (the initial stage of sanctification). In this way   ‘baptism in the Holy Spirit refers to all that the Holy Spirit does at the beginning of our   Christian lives.” ( Quoted from Baptism in and Filling with the Holy Spirit, Systematic Theology,  Wayne Grudem, page 768) 

3. Richard Rodgers, former instructor at Sunset International Bible Institute, a member of the Church of Christ believes that all obedient disciples receive baptism in the Holy Spirit which is the pouring out (shedding forth) of the Holy Spirit.  

a. Brother Richard Rodgers says:  

 “Read carefully Matt. 3:1-12; Mk. 1:1-8; Lk. 3:1-9, 15-17; Jn. 1:32-34; Lk. 24:49; Acts 1:4-5, 8; 2:1-4,14-   21, 33, 38-39. x x x x based on the preceding verses is that the statement ‘Ye shall be baptized with   the Holy Spirit is simply the promise of the outpouring of the Spirit by Jesus on the day of Pentecost   one time for all, henceforth, available for all men whom God calls (through the gospel, 2 Thess.   2:14).” (A Study of the Holy Spirit of God, pp. 40-41)  

b. Brother Rodgers says further:  

 “[P]eter concludes this promised Spirit, now poured out by Jesus, is not only for the Jews at   Pentecost but for their children (all Jews that will ever live) and all that are afar off (the Gentiles, Eph. 

 2:11-13), even as many as the Lord our God shall call unto Him. (That would be you and me if we are called by the gospel, 2Thes. 2:14).” (A Study of the Holy Spirit of God, p. 44) 

c. Brother Rodgers adds this:  

 “The baptizing in the Holy Spirit and the outpouring of the Spirit is just the different ways to refer to   the same event.” (Rodgers, p. 44)  

d. He makes this conclusion:  

 “Therefore, the ‘baptizing in the Spirit’ was the ‘outpouring of the Spirit.” ( Rodgers, p. 45). 

My Comment: I understand that brother Rodgers says this Pouring Out of the Holy Spirit is Baptizing in the Holy  Spirit. It is for the Jews, for the children of the Jews who will ever live after Day of Pentecost, for all Gentiles, even as many as the Lord God shall call unto him. Since we, today in the 21st century, claim that we are called by God through the gospel, we are included in this pouring out or immersing in the Holy Spirit. I have been wondering why some Filipino brethren consider Richard Rodgers a faithful teacher, yet when Filipinos express this similar thing, they are suspected as false teachers. Do they understand what they read or they are color blind?  (4) Brian Garnett, an instructor at Sunset International Bible Institute, a member of the Church of Christ, a frequent  visiting lecturer in the Philippines have the following declarations:  

Brother Brian Garnett declares the following quotations:  

a. “3. This one-time (Day of Pentecost) has benefits that were only for apostles, benefits for those of the apostolic age and benefits for all who respond to the gospel of Christ.” (Studies about the Holy Spirit, p. 73)  b. “B. Holy Spirit BAPTISM is simply, the outpouring of the Spirit, By Jesus, On Pentecost, One time for all time, For all men (all Flesh), As a promise from the Father.” (Studies about the Holy Spirit, p. 73) c. “The ‘Out Pouring’ of the Holy Spirit or Holy Spirit Baptism is the process that made the Holy Spirit   available to all flesh.” (Studies about the Holy Spirit, p.72) 

d. “H. Outpouring and ‘Baptizing in the Holy Spirit are different ways of saying the same thing. When the Spirit was ‘poured out’ He ‘baptized’. (Studies about the Holy Spirit, p. 75) 

e. “Holy Spirit Baptism simply made the Spirit available to all who obey the gospel after that (Acts 5:32:   2:38).” (Studies about the Holy Spirit, p. 75)  

My Comment on the above: Our brother Brian Garnett says that the Out Pouring of the Holy Spirit is the same as  Holy Spirit Baptism and it is the process that made available to all flesh the Holy Spirit. So that includes those who obeyed the gospel after the Day of Pentecost and will continue up to the end of the world. I also understand that in the view of brother Garnett, we in the 21st century are included in this pouring out of the Holy Spirit which is immersion in the Holy Spirit.  

 The difference we have is that brother Garnett understands that the pouring out of the Holy Spirit happened only once in Jerusalem, Day of Pentecost, Acts 2 in the year 33 A.D. the Holy Spirit’s accessibility for all succeeding obedient disciples in all ages is by faith. Just like the way we access the power of Christ’s blood by faith. Whereas, my understanding is that Christ pours out the Holy Spirit on every obedient disciple separately and individually on the day and year a disciple obeys Christ’s instructions on conversion. Christ allowed it to fall on the Samaritans in Acts 8:  16-17 because the expectation was the falling on them of the Holy Spirit in verse 16. The Spirit did not flow from the  Jews of Pentecost Day. Also, Christ gave the Holy Spirit separately in Acts 9:17 to Saul (Paul) and he was filled with the Holy Spirit while Saul was in Damascus when Ananias placed his hands on him. The Holy Spirit did not pass through the arms and fingers of Ananias. Laying of hands was a sign of fellowship. In Titus 3:4-6, Apostle Paul declares that the Holy Spirit was abundantly poured upon them (Paul, Titus, Cretan disciples). He does not say that the Holy Spirit flowed from Jerusalem of Acts 2, in 33 A.D. to the Cretans on the Island of Crete in 64 A.D.   For me, it is more reasonable to think that Christ pours out the Holy Spirit or makes available the Spirit separately and individually as there are disciples who obey every day, rather than imagining the Holy Spirit flowing from  Jerusalem because there is no known congregation in Jerusalem as of this writing date.  

Question: From your reading of the Bible, do you understand that the Holy Spirit was poured out in   Jerusalem upon the apostles one time for all time and that the Holy Spirit comes to one’s life today in the 21st century through the power of personal faith? __Yes, __No. 

Question: From your reading of the Bible, do you understand that the Holy Spirit is poured out directly from Christ on the obedient individual today, in the 21st century? __Yes, __No. 

Question: After reading Titus 3:4-6, would you say that Paul, Titus, the Cretan Christians received the abundant pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon them separate from the Jerusalem event? __Yes, __No.  (End of Article)

“One” & “Only” – Different Usages (70)

Introduction: 

 This is a study of the usage of the word “one” and “only” to help us understand how they are employed in the  Bible. The two are used in various ways in various contexts. Please be guided accordingly. The enclosed word after the passage is the Hebrew or Greek word taken from Young’s Analytical Concordance of the Bible.   This serious study will help us understand the INC-1914’s use of the word ONE which does not recognize the  “Inclusive One.” Some preachers use the “Yachid-Absolute One / Echad-Unity One Argument” but this argument could be shown to be weak or even wrong.  

A. “One” or “Only” – Sometimes a Collective or Mass Noun 

  • Genesis 11:6 (echad), the people is one. . . 
  • Genesis 32:8 (echad), one company 
  • Exodus 7:7 (echad), one law for them 
  • Deut. 6:4 (echad) LORD our God is one LORD 
  • Judges 20:1 (echad), gathered together as one man 
  • Judges 20:8 (echad), all the people arose as one man 
  • Judges 20:11 (echad), knit together as one man 
  • 1Sam. 13:17 (echad), one company 
  • 2Sam. 2:25 (echad), became one troop 
  • 2Sam. 7:23 (echad), one nation on earth 
  • 1Kings 11:13, 32 (echad), give one tribe to your son 
  • John 10:16, (heis), one fold 
  • 1Cor.10:17; 12:12 (hen), we are one body (locally or universally) 

B. “One ”or “Only”- Applied to Exclusive, Singular Noun, Not 2 or More Items o Persons. Note: It is not true that the  Hebrew word ECHAD is always plural in number.  

  • Exo. 30:10 (echad), one time in a year 
  • 1 Kings 10:22 (echad), one time in a three years 
  • Gen. 2:21 (echad), one of his ribs (one rib of Adam is echad) 
  • Gen. 10:25 (echad), two sons, one was 
  • Gen. 41:5 (echad), upon one stalk 
  • Gen. 42:11 (echad), one man’s sons (one son is echad) 
  • Exodo 29:1 (echad), one young bullock 
  • Exodo 37:8, (echad), one cherub on the end 
  • Deut. 4:39; Josh. 2:11, Yahweh Elohim, none other in heaven & on earth 
  • Ruth 1:4 (echad), name of one is Orpah (one woman is echad) 
  • Eccles. 4:8 (echad), one. . . and. . . not a second 
  • Mark 12:32 (heis), the Lord our God is one 

C. “One” or “Only”- Applied to an Inclusive Noun which Includes Others Mentioned Somewhere Else in the Bible Gen. 22:2, 16 (yachid), Isaac your only son (Ishmael is Abram’s son) 

  • Gen. 41:25 (echad), dream of Pharaoh is one 
  • Deut. 6:4 (echad), The LORD am God is one LORD. 
  • Zech. 14:4 (echad), one LORD. . . his name one 
  • Mtt. 19:17 (heis), none good but one. . . God (other persons are good) 
  • Mtt. 23:8 (heis), one is your master (kathegytas) (see Col. 4:1) 
  • Mtt. 23:9 (heis), one is your Father (pater) (honor your father) 
  • Mk. 10:18 (heis), none good but one, God. . . (other persons are good) 
  • John 10:16 (heis), one Shepherd (Is the Father not a shepherd?)  
  • John 17:3 (monon), know you the only true God 
  • 1Cor. 8:4 (heis) none other God but one 
  • 1Cor. 8:5, (heis), to us there is but one God, the Father
  • 1Cor. 8:6 (heis), and one Lord Jesus (Is the Father not Lord?)  
  • 1Cor. 12:13 (hen), drink into one Spirit (Father is Spirit; Son is Spirit also) Efeso 4:4 (hen), one body (1 congregation is 1 body; 1 body universally) Efeso 4:4 (hen), one Spirit (Father is Spirit, Son is Spirit also) 
  • Efeso 4;5 (heis), one Lord (Father is Lord, Holy Spirit is Lord also) 
  • Efeso 4:5 (heis), one baptism or one immersion (there is baptism in fire) Efeso 4:6 (hen), one God and Father (Christ is also God and Father)

D. “One”or “Only” – Applied to a Unison or Unity, Harmony of Several Items or Persons Gen. 2:24 (echad), they shall be one flesh 

  • Gen. 34:16 (echad), become one 
  • Gen. 34:22 (echad), be one people 
  • Exo. 24:3 (echad), people answered with one voice 
  • Judges 21:6 (echad), one tribe cut off from Israel 
  • ISam. 11:7 (echad), with one consent 
  • 1Chron. 12:38 (echad), were of one heart 
  • 1Chron. 28:11 (echad), of one heart 
  • 2Chron. 5:13 (echad), singers (were) as one. . . over sand 
  • 2Chron. 18:12 (echad), with one assent 
  • 2Chron. 30:12, (echad) singers as one man) 
  • Ezra 3:1 (echad), together as one man 
  • Jer. 32:39 (echad) give them one heart, one way 
  • Ezek. 11:19 (echad), give them one heart 
  • Ezek. 37:17, (echad), two sticks became one stick 
  • Malachi 2:15 (echad), did He not make them one? 
  • John 10:16, 17 (mia, heis), they become one flock, one shepherd 
  • John 10:30 (hen), I and my Father are one 
  • John 17:11:21, 22, 23 (hen), one (the disciples unity, Father-Son unity
  • 1Cor 3:8 (hen) he who plants, he who waters are one 
  • 1Cor 6:4, (heis), none other God but one (not the multiplicity of gods)
  • 1Cor.6:16 (hen), joined to an harlot, one body (unity of emotion, action)
  • 1Cor.6:17 (hen) joined to the Lord is one spirit (singly, collectively)
  • 1Cor.10:17; 12:12 (hen), we are one body (unity of the body politic)
  • 1Cor.10:17 (hen), we being many are one bread (as a lump, it is one group)
  • Galatians 3:28 (heis), we are all one in Christ (unity of believers under Christ
  • Ephesians 2:14 (hen), made both one, (the Jews and Gentiles) 
  • Ephesians 2:15 (hen), of twain one new man (Jews and Gentiles)  
  • Ephesians 2:16 (hen), reconcile both unto God in one  
  • Ephesians 4:4 (hen), one body (unity locally. universally) 
  • Ephesians 4:4 (hen), one spirit (attitude, feeling) 
  • Phil. 1:27 (heis), stand in one spirit (unity of Christian believers) 
  • Phil. 2:2 (heis), one accord, one mind (unity in Christian endeavors) Colossians 3:15 (heis), called in one body (unity in the one church) Hebrews 2:11 (heis), sanctified are all of one (unity under Christ) 
  • 1 John 5:8, (heis), these three agree in one (unity in their testimony) 

E. “One” or “Only”- Applied to a Common Type or Kind 

  • Acts 17:26 (heis), one blood (common to all humans, of one group) 1
  • Cor. 15:40 (heis), glory of the celestial is one (common to one group)

F. “One” or “Only” – Unique or Beloved or Special, not exclusivistic idea.

  • Genesis 22:2, 16 (yachid), Isaac your only son (beloved, unique son) 
  • Prov. 4:3 (yachid), only or beloved in the sight of my mother 
  • Amos 8, 10, (yachid), mourning of an only son, a beloved son 
  • Zech. 12:10, (yachid), as one mourns for his only son, beloved son.

There is One Spirit (69)

Background: We continue to study the word “One.” That in Ephesians 4:1-6, this term is not used to exclude or eliminate others that are in the same or similar level that is found in the Bible. If one God, one Lord, does not exclude others that are mentioned in the Bible, “one baptism or one immersion” should not eliminate immersion in the Holy  Spirit. Now let us look at “one Spirit.” There are several persons that are called Spirit quoting from NKJV. The God as  Spirit, the Holy Spirit, the human spirit, the confusing spirit are all written as pneuma:  

(1) Ephesians 4:4, “There is one body and one Spirit. . .” 

(2) John 4:24, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth.”

(3) 2Cor. 3:16-18, “Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

(4) 1Cor. 14:14, “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. x x x I will pray with the spirit, . . . I will sing with the spirit. . . bless with the spirit. . .” 

(5) Rev. 1:4, “. . . Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven  Spirits who are before His throne.” 

Rev. 1:10, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet.” 

(6) 1 John 4:1-3, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus  Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is  not of God. . .” 

 The epistle warns about spirits that would possess people and reveal some secrets or future events. But to the  Christian the main source of information is the Holy Spirit having been sent by the Father and by the Son. That is why the early Christians were warned to test every spirit whether they are from God or not.  

Conclusion: If “one Spirit” of Ephesians 4:4 does not eliminate or discard the other entities in the Bible that are called Spirit (pneuma), or spirits because they are closely associated with the Holy Spirit, in like manner, do not interpret “one immersion” to mean immersion in water only. “One immersion” does not discard the born of Spirit  because Christ included it in the New Birth and a Kingdom of God entry requirement.

There Is One Lord (68)

Introduction:  

 Many brethren, when they come to Ephesians 4:3-6, they disregard the unity, harmony, inclusivity, oneness,  interrelation, the correlative meaning of one especially when it comes to “one immersion.” In the previous lesson on  “One God – I and the Father Are One” we who believe in the Trinitarian View insist on the unity, harmony, inclusivity meaning of the term “One”. Now we come to “There is one Lord.” Do we mean only one person, Christ Jesus, is the only, sole, singular, exclusive individual who is called Lord? Not one of us will take that position.  

Scriptural proofs of unity, harmony, inclusivity, correlative use of the term “One”: 

  • Deut. 6:4, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.” (NKJV) 
  • Zech. 14:9b, “On that day the LORD will be one and his name one.” (NKJV) 
  • Matt. 11:25, “At that time Jesus answered and said, ‘I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,   because You have hidden these things from the wise. . .” 
  • Luke 10:21, “. . . ‘I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from   the wise. . .”  
  • Matt. 22:44a, “The LORD said to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your   footstool’”?  

Question: If Christ is strictly and absolutely and exclusively the only Lord, will you now jettison the   Father God as Lord of heaven? __Yes, __No.  

Question: Christ called God the Father as Lord, are you going to say that after 61-62 A.D., the   Father God, has been eliminated Lord of heaven? __Yes, __No.

Question: Some five years ago, an American preacher told me to jettison my belief on immersion in the   Holy Spirit, so I told him that if he jettisons the Father as Lord of heaven, then I will be willing to throw overboard my belief in Immersion in the Holy Spirit. If you take the same position as this alien preacher, are you willing to remove God the Father as Lord of heaven? __Yes, __No.  Question: Do you exclude God the Father as Lord of your life? __Yes, __No.  

Question: If you don’t eliminate God the Father as Lord of your life, how do you explain that there is one Lord who is Jesus Christ and yet there is a second Lord we read in the NT? ___________ 

No one is good but One 

 Observe how our Lord Jesus Christ uses the word “one” in Matt. 19:16-17, “Now behold one came and said to  Him, ‘Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?’ So He said to him, ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is God. . .”  

 Are we going to use the word “one” in its exclusive and eliminative meaning? To exclude any person or thing from being called “good”? NO, because in Matt. 25:23, an obedient disciple will be called a “good and faithful servant.” So the usage of the term “one” should be used in its unique and special meaning. Not to eliminate or exclude others that are similarly categorized in the Bible.  

Conclusion: We have demonstrated that as regards “one Lord” it is safe to apply the unity, harmony, inclusivity,  correlative meaning of the word “one”. “One Lord Jesus Christ” does not mean that Lordship belongs singularly,  solely, exclusively to our Lord Jesus Christ. This explanation would save us from inconsistency.

Three Persons in One God – “I and the Father are One” (67)

Introduction: We are going to study the “Seven Ones in Ephesians 4:3-6” In verse 3, there is the word “unity”. It is an important term in this discussion. The “ones” should be viewed in the context of unity, harmony, inclusivity,  oneness, correlation, interrelation. Not viewed in their separability, exclusivity, multiplicity, and differences. This is also true in affirming our belief in the Trinity and in the unity of Christ and the Father.  

The Problem: Muslims and INC-1914 submit Isaiah 43:10; 1 Cor. 8:8:4,6; Eph. 4:6; John 17:3; Jude 25 to shake us from our Trinitarian view. And we stand on the basis of unity, harmony, inclusivity, correlation, and interrelation. I  maintain that in the “one immersion” in Ephesians 4:4, there are two elements: born of water and born of the Spirit.  Just as in the one new birth, there are two elements: born of water and born of the Spirit. For if born of water is immersion in water, it should follow that born of the Spirit is immersion in the Spirit. If not, why not?  (By the way, I reiterate my evaluation that the Elohim-Echad-Yachid Argument is a weak position. It is not based on scholarship and documents. –ET)

But some argue that “one immersion” means immersion in water only after A.D. 61-62 when the Epistle to the  Ephesians was written by Apostle Paul. So some American preachers say that if I maintain there are two immersions,  they say, “You have one immersion too many.”  

Dilemma: If there were two immersions between 33 A.D. and 62 A.D. but became only one after the Book of  Ephesians was written, then it should follow that the three persons in one God, should have become one person in one God after 62 A.D.. If not, why not?  

Question: Do the terms “One” eliminate, exclude, and vanish others? Or we employ the meaning of the word in its unity, harmony, correlation, and inclusivity? In affirming our position that there is One God in the Trinity, we use the second meaning. Why should we change our usage when we interpret “One Immersion?” We don’t agree when  Muslims or INC-1914 will say, “That’s two Gods too many, man.” 

Explanation: Let us show the following are other bases of unity of the Father and the Son. Quotes are from the NKJV:  1. The Father Is in Me and I in Him – Attributes and emotions and plans and works intersect and intertwine, unite  and correlate make them one:  

  • John 10:38, “. . . though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know Me, believe that   the Father is in Me, and I in Him.” 
  • John 14:11, “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of   the works. . .”  
  • John 17:10, “And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them.” 

2. Christ Is Life and Has Life – The Father and Christ are the source of biological and spiritual life.  John 1:4, “In Him was life.”  

John 5:24, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has   everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.” John 17:3, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom   You have sent.” 

  • 1John 5:11, “And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.” 3. Mine is Yours and Yours Is Mine – Their knowledge intersect and intertwine 
  • John 7:29, “But I know Him, for I am from Him, and He sent Me.” 
  • John 10:15, “As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father.” 
  • John 16:15, “All things that the Father has are Mine, Therefore I said, He will take of Mine and declare it   to you.” 
  • John 17:10, “And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them.” 
  • Matt. 11:27, “All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the   Father. . .” 

4. His Teaching is from the Father 

  • John 8:28, “. . . I do nothing of Myself, but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things.” 5. Same Work  
  • John 5:17, 19-20, “. . . My Father has been working until now, and I have been working. x x x the Son can   do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do, for whatever He does, the Son also does in   like manner. . and shows all things that He Himself does, and He will show Him greater works than   these, that you may marvel.” 
  • John 9:4, “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one   can work.” 

6. All Authority Given to Christ but it Does not Mean the Father has no Authority 

  • John 5:27, “and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.”  John 17:2, “as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have  given Him.” 

7. Christ Is the Image of God which Shows Identicality of Attributes  

  • Heb. 1:3, “who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person. . . .”  Col. 1:15, “He is the image of the invisible God. . .”  

8. All Judgment Given to Christ 

  • John 5:22, “For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment in the Son.” 
  • Acts 17:31, “because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the   Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

9. Bonded by Love – God is love.  

  • John 5:20, “For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does. . .” John 17:24, “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they   may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the   world.” 

See John 1:1-3; John 17:5; Col. 1:15-16; Heb. 1:2, 10 to prove Christ’s existence before the earth was created.  

10. The Father Was in Christ Reconciling the World to Himself 

  • John 3:14-17, “. . . even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that   whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son unto   the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” 
  • 2 Corinthians 5:19, “that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their   trespasses to them and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” 
  • Romans 5:5, 8, “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our   hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us x x x but God demonstrates His own love toward us, in   that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” 

11. Shepherding Is only One of the Many Items the Father & the Son are One in – John 10:22-29.  Conclusion: We use the unity, harmony, oneness, inclusivity, correlativity meaning of the word “One” in affirming the Trinity. Therefore, we should be consistent in applying this same line of argument or rule when we come to “one immersion” in Ephesians 4:5.  

 In relation to the issue of “one baptism,” this article should teach us not to separate baptism in water from the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Do not make the two as two separate baptisms. If God the Father is true God and a  distinct person from God the Son who is true God, and we insist that they are one because they are so closely related to each other, they are interconnected, they intersect each other, then good reasoning leads us to insist that baptism in water and baptism in the Holy Spirit can still be called one baptism because they are closely related in  John 3:3-8 in that they are indispensable elements in the one new birth.

(End of Lesson) 

(If you have any questions, please direct it to eusebio.tanicala@yahoo.com) 

What Is the Promise and What Is the Gift of the Holy Spirit? (66)

Purpose: Para sa karagdagang pagpapahalaga sa gawain ng Banal na Espiritu.  

Introduction: One friend reader (his initial is J.L.) made comments in our vlog. Because I wanted to know their views  on some issues on the Holy Spirit, I asked the following questions:  

  1. What is the Fathers’ promise in Luke 24:49? 
  2. What is the gift in Acts 2:38? 
  3. What is the gift in Acts 10:45?  
  4. Are the cases in Acts 2:1-4 & Acts 10:44-48 the complete fulfillment of Joel 2:28-32 “unto all flesh. . ”? 

The following is JL’s answer printed in italics. After each paragraph, I submit my observation. 

(Brother J.L.’s first paragraph):  

“First of all, thank you brother for giving me this opportunity to be a part of the group dealing with the deep study about the Holy Spirit. Here are my answers to your questions as follows:  

“(1). What is the Father’s promise in Luke 24:49? My answer is the sending of the Holy Spirit to the apostles fulfilled in Acts 2:1-4). The purpose is to comfort them, to teach them unto all truth and to put in remembrance to them all what Lord has said unto them ( Jno.14:26), to guide the apostles into all truth (John. 16:13). This promise was prophesied in Joel 2:28-32 for Peter mentioned this when they were baptized with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:17-21).

(ET’s Observation: Our reader, brother JL, including many Bible readers, thinks that Luke 24:49 is limited to the 11  apostles. That is a partial truth. Please review the whole Luke 24:1-49. Note that this is the resurrection Sunday itself.  There were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary mother of James, other women and the 10 apostles (Thomas is absent),  Cleopas & company of Emmaus (v.17). Christ walks with the two disciples going to Emmaus. When the three reached  Emmaus, Christ had a meal with the two and disappeared (vs. 30-32). Cleopas and companion rush back to Jerusalem at evening time and go to the 11 (actually 10 apostles, Thomas being absent). The apostles in the boarding house in Jerusalem, are “others with them.” (v.33). Now, let us make a total of the group: the Women, 2 from  Emmaus, the 10 apostles, and the OTHERS. Christ eats with the group explaining the scriptures (vs.42-47). Then Christ makes the announcement in 24:49 that the Father’s promise, the Holy Spirit, is coming.

Conclusion: Citing Luke  24:49 and say only the eleven apostles are recipients of the Holy Spirit is WRONG. Let us reason together.  

“(2). What is the gift in Acts 2:38? My answer is referred to the parallel passage Act 3:19. The gift here is the times of refreshing coming from the presence of the Lord equated with and referred to as the gift of the Holy Spirit. And the gift here has a reference to the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5: 22, 23); that a Christian will have after obedience to baptism and continuance to be a child of God. 

(ET’s Observation: What is the gift in Acts 2:38? Our brother J.L.’s answer is vague. I understand that Acts 3:19-20 is  “times of refreshing” is the gift of the Holy Spirit or coming from the Holy Spirit. And he identifies this gift as the fruit of the Spirit in Gal. 5:22, 23. Again this is wrong. Many commentators, on the other hand, identify the gift in Acts  2:38 as the person of the Holy Spirit.) 

“(3). What is the gift in Acts 10:45? My answer is in verse 46, speaking in tongues for the reason that speaking in tongue is one of the spiritual and miraculous gifts given by the Holy Spirit as given to the apostles and some members of the church in the first century (Acts 2:1-4; 10:46; 1 Cor.12,13,14). 

(ET’s observation: According to brother J.L, the gift mentioned in Acts 10:45, 46 is the speaking in tongues. Explain dorea and charismata.

Conclusion, our brother J.L. is wrong again. 

“(4). Are the cases in Acts 2:1-4 & Acts 10:44-48, the complete fulfillment of Joel 2:28-32 unto all flesh……….?  Concerning the “all flesh” yes, because all flesh is referred to the Jews and Gentiles. When the apostles were baptized with the Holy Spirit, they represented the Jews. Likewise, when Cornelius and his household were baptized with the Holy Spirit, they represented the Gentiles. Thus, the “all flesh” does not refer to all men but referred to the  Jews and Gentiles as already been said above. Now, the mentioning of the other entities as mentioned in the other verses has been included as the gifts given to the apostles are still existing or binding. Meaning, from the baptism of the Holy Spirit that happened in two instances, the complete fulfillment includes the incidents while the miraculous is still existing at that time. Regarding those who call on the name of the Lord will be continually in effect until these times as the results of the giving of the Holy Spirit’s sword, the inspired word of the gospel that calls all people to salvation ( 2 Thes.2:14)…These are my humble answers to your question brother. Thank you for the opportunity to be in study with you on this matter. God bless!” 

(ET’s observation: Our brother says that the pouring out of the Holy Spirit was completely fulfilled in Acts 2: 1-4 for all the Jews and future children represented by the 12 apostles. And the second fulfillment is in Acts 10:44-48 for all  Gentiles believers, including Filipinos of the 21st century, of all generations who are represented by the Gentile group of Cornelius in the town of Caesarea in the year 41 A.D.. Do you like that only the group of Cornelius represents us  Filipino believers in receiving the Holy Spirit?  

Pouring Out of the Holy Spirit in Two Occasions Only?  

 It is claimed that there are only two occasions when the Holy Spirit was poured out. It is claimed that in Acts 2,  only 12 Apostles received the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. That the 12 Apostles represents the Jews from 33 A.D.  up to the end of the world. Also claimed that the group of Cornelius represents all the Gentiles from 33 A.D. up to the end of the world. 

My Comments 

(1) This “representative argument” has no basis in the scriptures. It is a dangerous interpretation. It can be used to argue that the repentance and baptism of the 3,000 in Acts 2 represent all the repentance and baptism of all believers from 33 A.D. to the end of the world. Some would argue that today we don’t need to be baptized because we are represented in the baptism of Cornelius. If not, why not?  

(2) The Samaritans are another category of people being the descendants of Jews and pagans. Apostle Peter and Apostle John were especially sent to open the door of the gospel to them in Acts chapter 8. So the two representative groups’ argument is wrong. 

(3) If this representative argument is correct, then we can argue that the fellowshipping and prayer life of the disciples in Acts 2 represents our fellowshipping and prayer life today.  

(4) If this representative argument is correct, then we could invoke that the appointment of Deacons in Acts 6  represents all congregations today. 

(5) If this representative argument is correct, then we do not need to preach because the Apostles have preached in Acts 2 and they represent our preaching. So you see the folly of this line of reasoning.  (6) Titus 3:4-6 has the declaration of the Apostle Paul that he and Titus and the Cretans also received the abundant pouring out of the Holy Spirit, would this mean they didn’t actually receive it?  

(7) Joel 2:28-32 and Acts 2:16-21 say “all flesh” and then enumerate different age categories and social strata that do not agree with the composition of Acts 2 and Acts 10. 

(8) The duration of the phrases “in the last days” and “in those days” demand that it should be the whole duration of the Christian dispensation. A continuing action.  

The clause “all who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” means that all those who obey receive the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. Christ does the act of baptizing and the Holy Spirit determines what gift He wants to grant to each disciple.

(If you have any questions, please direct them to eusebio.tanicala@yahoo.com) 

Is There Interference of Evil Forces in the Lives of Christians? (65)

Introduction  

 In the previous comment, we have shown partial proof that there is an interference of evil forces in the lives of people including Christians. The question to wrestle with is this: Do we expect Satan to stop interfering with the life of Christians in the 21st century? My immediate reaction to the question is a big No.  

 Let us consider the following points:  

1. The term “Satan” is a Hebrew word that literally means “Adversary”. Before he became   Satan (Adversary) he was a created perfect cherub with free will and existed initially in the glorious presence of the true God Yahweh. See Isaiah 14:1-20 and Ezekiel 28:12-19.  

2. As a created cherub he ranks higher in power and knowledge above human beings. In exercising his free will, this cherub eventually developed an ambition to be equal with God Yahweh which is illegal, because there is only One True God, the Trinity.  

3. His rebellion which included many of the hosts of heaven is alluded to in The Book of   Revelation 12:7-12. He and his cohort evil spirits have developed an incorrigible attitude and character which is disposed to contradict the good intentions of the true God Yahweh.  4. He entered the Garden of Eden after God had completed the creation of the material world and with his s scheming ways, he deceived Adam and Eve in the period of innocence of our first human parents.   Our parents disobeyed Yahweh God because of the extremely attractive offers of food,  beauty,  and knowledge immediately delightful to the senses. See Genesis 3:1-15.   

5. Because of this evil interference of Satan in human existence, the Garden of Eden prepared for humankind was lost. Man’s existence on earth has been shortened from about 1,000 years to 800   years to 700, to 200, to 120, to 100, to 80, and to an average of 70 years life span at the present time.  

6. Many animals that used to be friendly to Adam became wild, the same also with the invisible or microscopic animal and plant life like bacteria, germs, and viruses. They have become destructive to human life. See Genesis 3:17-24.  

7. The whole material universe is now groaning under the oppression of Satan, the chief devil as described in Romans 8:18-30.  

8. Satan and several the fallen angelic hosts were active in the time of Apostle Paul (Ephesians   6:11-13), in the time of Apostle Peter (1Peter 5:7-8), in the time of Apostle John (Book of Revelation).  

9. Since the Book of Revelation demonstrates the epic struggle of the corporate Church described as the Woman that sought refuge in the wilderness in Revelation 12, individual Christians inevitably participate in that struggle up to the end of the ages.  

10. Satan is described in the following significant attributes and activities:  

  • God of this age – 2Cor. 4:4 i. He ensnares – 1 Tim. 3:7    
  • Adversary – 1 Peter 5:7-8 j. Highest of fallen angels –Rev. 12:7-8   
  • Prince of the power of the air – Eph. 2:2 k. Father of lies – John 8:44   
  • Wicked – Matt. 13:19 l. Tempts man to commit sin – Gen. 3:1-7   
  • Ruler of this world – John 14:30 m. Angel of the bottomless pit – Rev. 9:11   
  • Ruler of darkness – Eph. 6:12 n. Proud – 1Tim. 3:6  
  • Slanderous – Job. 1:9 o. He blinds – 2 Cor. 4:4   
  • Ferocious as a lion – 1Peter 5:8 p. He deceives – Rev. 20:7-8; 2Cor. 11:14  

11. Satan’s power, knowledge, aggressiveness, and ferocity should alarm every Christian to recognize a   dangerous adversary which should make us all alert and well-armed.  

12. Satan had the audacity to even enter the holy heavens in the presence of holy angels and the Holy God and dared God to allow God’s servant to be sifted. See Job chapters 1 & 2.  

13. He even wanted to have control over the dead body of Moses. See Deut. 34:5-8; Jude 9.  

14. Satan caused nature to kill the children of Job, kill the flocks and herds of Job.   

15. He influenced King David, a man after God’s heart, to take a census of Israel which was popularly prohibited that David’s officers even reminded him not to do. – 1 Chron. 21:1.   

16. He accused the High Priest Joshua – Zechariah 3:1; Isaiah – Isaiah 6:1-7.  Satan confronted Christ the Son of God with three big temptations. See Matt. 4:1-11.  

17. He wanted to sift Apostle Peter – Luke 22:31-34.  

18. He continually nudged Judas Iscariot to mishandle the money bag of Christ and the Apostles, and finally entered Judas’ heart to finally make him a traitor against the Teacher – John 13:2, 27-29; Mark 14:10-11; John 12:2-8.  

19. Satan was able to influence Ananias and Sapphira to lie to the Holy Spirit – Acts 5:1-11.   

20. God has placed human free will in man’s heart, and allows sufferings, trials, temptations because   God wants a human being’s voluntary loyalty fully developed while in this life on earth before he can enter the heavenly realm. James 1:12; Matt. 10:22.  

21. If Satan can directly create accident through nature as he did in the death of Job’s children (See Job   1:19) and caused Job to have boils all over his body, it is possible for Satan to intensify an existing psychosomatic sickness of a person. Also possible for Satan to intensify the deterioration of an inherited family DNA.  

Conclusion:  

With the above possibilities considered, demonic interference happens, this writer believes. This is why Apostle Paul strongly encourages every disciple to put on protective garments and be armed. See Ephesians 6:10-17.  

 The greatest achievement for an individual is to come to know God and Christ and be led and empowered by the Holy Spirit in this life’s journey (Romans 8:1-17; Ephesians 3:16) to a heavenly home for eternity.  

Personal Interaction between Spiritual Forces of Evil and Humanity (64)

We all believe that there is a personal interaction between the spiritual forces of evil and such personal interaction started at the Garden of Eden and will be so up to the end of this material universe. The Book of Revelation reveals the ongoing epic struggle of humanity against Satan the chief demon. The Paradise of earth, the Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve lived in disappeared and the earth has been cursed because of Satan the deceiver. Please read Genesis 3:17-19. Romans 8:14-25 tells us that the material universe including the saints who are alive groan under the oppression instigated by Satan who is the God of this present age according to 2 Cor. 4:3-4. And Satan continues lying and deceiving humankind says Christ himself in John 8:44.   In poetic language, Genesis 3:1-5 pictures Satan as a serpent who is more cunning than any beast of the field which Yahweh has made. Satan was originally a cherub who was perfect in all his ways from the moment he was created. Read Ezekiel 28:12-17, but in his free will he chose to oppose the true God. His nature as an adversary against the one true God has become hardened in him from which he cannot anymore change. Satan is a cunning and scheming, evil spirit. He can disguise himself as a friendly, sympathetic angel of light says Apostle Paul in 2 Cor. 11:3-4.  

 Satan personally interacted with Adam and Even. He personally interacted with Archangel Michael and with the Israelites who attended to the corpse of Moses (Jude 9; Deut. 34:5-8). Satan personally interacted with King David in 1 Chron. 21:1-8. Satan personally interacted with Joshua the high priest in Zech. 3:1-5. He interacted with the Lord Christ Jesus in Matt. 4:1-11. Satan entered the body of Judas Iscariot say Luke 22:1-6; and Satan had instilled in the heart of Judas Iscariot the evil plan to sell and turn traitor to the Teacher (John 13: 2, 27). Satan is an aggressive and cruel adversary says Apostle Peter in 1 Peter 5:7-8. 

Is There Satanic Oppression Against God’s People? (63)

Introduction  

Let us talk about Satanic or Demonic oppression. Funk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary defines “oppression” this way: “1. The act of oppressing. 2. Subjection to unjust hardships; tyranny. 3. Mental depression; languor, dullness of spirit. 4. A sense of weight or of constriction. 5. That which oppresses or is hard to bear; privation, hardship; cruelty.”  

 Somebody you have interacted with defines oppression something like this: “when a disciple is unable to tame his fleshly desire/s like one or more of the following: pornography, getting drunk, illicit sex, gambling, and this led him to repetitive or enjoyment of sins.”   

 Are there unjust hardships and tyranny suffered by God’s people? Yes. Is it possible for some of God’s people to have dullness of spirit when they slide back into sin? Yes. Do some who have initially found Jesus Christ as the Savior suffer cruelty or persecution? Yes. Do disciples of Christ bear heavy burdens and undergo struggles in making decisions when confronted between yielding to Satanic temptations on one hand and the call to Spirit-induced holy living? Yes. Do some of God’s people undergo just hardships and tyranny? Yes. Do some God’s people carry burdens that are hard to bear? Yes? 

My conclusion: Many of God’s people suffer much Satanic or demonic oppression. That is why Christ and Christ’s Apostles used the words “free, freedom, liberty” many times during His earthly ministry. Please see Luke 4:18; John 8:32, 33, 36; Roma 3:24; 6: 7, 18, 20, 22; 7:3; 8:2, 21; 2Cor.3:17; 7:21, 22; Gal. 4:26, 31; 5:1; 5:13; James 1:25; 2:12; 1Peter 2:16; 2Peter 2:19.  

Oppression is not always accomplished with the personal presence of the enemy within a disciple. Oppression could be physical, mental, and emotional.  

 Let us notice some biblical proofs that support my conclusion.  

The Origin of Satan and Demons  

 Having a background on the origin of sin and the origin of Satan helps us understand demonic oppression.  

There was a period in the distant past when Satan (Adversary) was not. No demons or evil spirits existed. Then a moment came when Christ, the Second Person in the Trinity, created the invisible, the angelic hosts (John 1:1-3 & Col. 1:15-16) who were perfect and holy. These angelic hosts had free will or the ability to make decisions. Everything was good. A certain moment came in the heavenly realm when one of the chief angels produced in his mind the attitude of envy and wanted to be at the same level as the Eternal God, to be in the council of the Godhead. This instigator is called the “greatest of fallen angels” in Revelation 12:709. But there is an eternal truth that there is only one God, the Trinity. Deut. 6:4 declares this: “Hear, O Israel! The LORD, our God, the LORD is one.” Thus, the envious ambition of this one chief angel was considered illegal and sinful. He was able to convince a host of angels to follow his plan which approximates what today we may call a coup d’état which of course, failed against an omnipotent,  omniscient,  holy, and righteous Divinity. See the story in a historical allusion pointing to the Fall of the angelic host in Isaiah 14:12-17 and Ezekiel 28:11-19. See also 2 Peter 2:4 and Jude 6. Having become ambitious with the idea of becoming a rival of the True God, he became God’s adversary. The Hebrew name Satan means “Adversary.” His nature has hardened as to oppose all and everything good that the true God is and wants to accomplish.  

 Christ Himself confirms this account of the Fall of angels in John 8:44, “You are of your father, the devil, and you will do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and he does not stand in the truth, because the truth is not in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own, for he is a liar and the father of it.” (McCord’s NT)   

Names, Character, Activities of Satan   

a. Names: Serpent – Gen. 3:4; Rev. 20:2; Angel of the bottomless pit – Rev. 9:11; God of this age – 2   Cor. 4:4; Prince of demons – Matt.12:24; Eph. 2:2; Ruler of this world – John 14:30; Eph. 6:12. b. Character/Nature: Father of lies – John 8:44; Clever strategist – Gen. 3:1; 2Cor. 4:4; Powerful – Eph. 2:2; Fierce Enemy – 1 Peter 5:7-8; Luke 8:29; Slanderous accuser – Job 1:9; Zech. 3:1-4; Jude 9; Proud   – 1 Tim. 3:6.  

c. Activities with the unbelievers: Satan causes harm, death, diseases – Job 1 & 2; He deceives – Rev. 20:7,8; Ensnares – 1Tim. 3:7; He afflicts people –  

d. Activities with God’s people: Satan tempts and deceives – Gen. 3:1-19; He tempts and afflict people   – 1 Chron. 21:1-17; He causes people to be spiritually blind – 2Cor. 4:4; He accuses & opposes spiritual leaders- Zech. 3:1-4; He confuses and sift disciples – Luke 22:31-34; Mk. 14:26-41; He promoted greed for money on Judas (John 13:2, 27), also with Ananias and Sapphira- Acts 5:1-11; He deceives disguises as an angel of light – 2Cor. 11:1-15.  

NOTE: Since Satan is the prince of demons, his followers, the evil spirits, do Satan’s biddings and all his desires. Evil spirits are Satan’s agents in opposing the Trinity.  

The Case of Adam and Eve  

 Our first parents, Adam, and Eve were created good and innocent individuals and were placed in the Garden of Eden where they enjoyed a blissful life with available trees bearing edible fruits for their daily sustenance free from laborious work. The land animals were friendly. Bacteria, viruses, plants were eaten well, all attuned to the wellbeing of humankind to living biologically for at least about nine hundred satisfying years. However, the entry of and deception of the rebellious cherub who became Satan into the Garden of Eden changed the state of humankind.  

 Genesis 3 reveals the beginning of oppression, hardship, depression, a privation of humanity caused by the dec deception of Satan. There is the continuous toil and labor of humanity to produce food. There is the continuing pain of childbirth cited by Apostle Paul in 1 Tim. 2:13-15. The curse and groaning of the material world started in Genesis 3 and will continue until the end of time says Romans 8:18-30. A section of this passage reads, “For the creation was subjected to futility, into willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope, because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now” (8:20-22) Are Christians oppressed today because of Satan’s activity? Yes.  

NOTE: Satan and his cohorts of evil spirits use as entry points the following human desires: (a) Adam & Eve: “Good for food, was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she   took of its fruit and ate.” Genesis 3:6.  

(b) Jesus Christ: “stones turn to bread” – hunger for food, Matt. 4:4; “throw yourself down” from the pinnacle of the temple” – doubt about relationship with the Father & pride, Matt. 4:5-7; “showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory”, – social honor and material riches, Matt. 4:8-9 (c) Among Christians: “Lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but   is of the world.”  

*The Case of Job and His Children – physical health, wealth, family. Was there oppression? There was. Analyze the following:   

*The Case of King Saul – military success and political dynasty  

*The Case of King David – military strength, personal pride. Was there oppression? Yes, certainly there was.  

*The Case of King Solomon – sexual desire, political success  

*The Case of the High Priest Joshua – fear of spiritual uncleanness. Satan accused him. *The Case of Christ – food to sustain physical life, doubt, social honor, and wealth *The Case of Apostle Peter – fear of death. Satan sifted him.  

*The Case of Apostle Judas – love of money. Satan entered him.  

*The Case of the Ephesian Christians – darts of the devil directed against disciples (Ephesians 6) *The Colossian Christians – philosophies that create doubts about God poised upon Christians. *Book of Revelation tells the story of the Individual’s struggle and/or the Church’s battle   against the   

 Devil from A.D. 33 to the end of the Ages.  

Ephesians 3:16 & James 4:5 – The Holy Spirit is our Helper, Comforter. Let us accept Him. James 4:7, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” One’s free will should accept the help of the Holy   Spirit so that one can become victorious.  

(March 2021) 

Demonic Oppression and Demon Expulsion -Part 1 (62)

It cannot be successfully denied that the Bible teaches Satanic or demonic oppression. That Satan and evil spirits are present in our world since the time of Adam and Eve up to our 21st century is a fact among Bible believers.  

Yes, secular society especially those in urban areas, tend to assign diseases and sicknesses to improper balance of chemical, electrical and emotional properties in the human body Or perhaps due to disturbance of natural laws. There is less awareness of the spiritual powers in the urban areas compared to rural communities. We should be aware that Satan is “more cunning than any beast of the field  which the LORD God had made.” Satan could adjust his strategies to secure his goals. The Devil knows the contents of the Bible more than we do. He can twist scriptures to his advantage.  

Definition 

 Let us talk about Satanic or Demonic oppression. Funk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary defines  “oppression” this way: “1. The act of oppressing. 2. Subjection to unjust hardships; tyranny. 3. Mental depression; languor, dullness of spirit. 4. A sense of weight or of constriction. 5. That which oppresses  or is hard to bear; privation, hardship; cruelty.”  

 Somebody you may have interacted with defines oppression something like this: “when a disciple is  unable to tame his fleshly desire/s like one or more of the following: pornography, getting drunk, illicit  sex, gambling, and these lead him to repetitive or enjoyment of sins.” That can be true, but the nudging of the Devil could not be discounted.  

Oppression 

 Are there unjust hardship and tyranny suffered by God’s people? Yes. Is it possible for some of God’s people to have dullness of spirit when they slide back into sin? Yes. Do some who have initially found  Jesus Christ as the Savior suffer cruelty or persecution? Yes. Do disciples of Christ bear heavy burdens and undergo struggles in making decisions when confronted between yielding to Satanic temptations on one hand and the call to Spirit-induced holy living? Yes. Do some of God’s people undergo unjust hardships and tyranny? Yes. Do some God’s people carry burdens that are hard to bear? Yes? Does the  NT teach that disciples undergo tribulations and trials? Yes. See Rev. 1:9. My conclusion: Many of  God’s people suffer much Satanic or demonic oppression. That is why Christ and the Apostles employed the words “free, freedom, liberty” many times during His earthly ministry and the Apostles’ preaching period. Please see Luke 4:18; John 8:32, 33, 36; Romans 3:24; 6: 7, 18, 20, 22; 7:3; 8:2, 21; 2Cor.3:17; 7:21,  22; Gal. 4:26, 31; 5:1; 5:13; James 1:25; 2:12; 1Peter 2:16; 2Peter 2:19.  

 We should recognize the actual presence of Satan and his cohorts of evil spirits in our present world.  Since the Fall in Genesis and continuing up to the end of the world, Satan has become the God of the present age says Apostle Paul in 2 Cor. 4:4-6. Our apostle gives the alarm in Ephesians 6:10-18 of the presence of the enemy. 1 Peter 5:7-8 describes the aggressiveness of the enemy: like a roaring lion ready to pounce on the weaklings.  

 Oppression is not always accomplished through the personal presence of the enemy within a  disciple. Oppression could be physical, mental, emotional. Satan is a spirit being and so are evil spirits.  They can affect their influence from a distance without becoming a resident in a human body. Like the case of Balak asking Balaam to curse Israel from a distance. Sometimes we humans talk about mind power. I’ve seen videotaped demonstrations of forks bent from a distance through “mind power”. 

From His abode in the heavens, Yahweh God can effect blessings on earth to His people. Christ says that through the power of a strong faith one could move a mountain (Matt. 17:30).  

 Genesis 3 reveals the beginning of oppression, hardship, depression, deprivation of humanity caused by the deception of Satan right there inside the Garden of Eden. There is the continuous toil and labor of humanity to produce food as a result of that first disobedience. That is demonic oppression. The earth has been cursed because of Satan’s foolishness on earth. There is the continuing pain of childbirth of mothers cited by Apostle Paul in 1 Tim. 2:13-15. The curse and groaning of the material world started in  Genesis 3 and will continue until the end of time says Romans 8:18-30. A section of this passage reads,  

 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. (8:20-22)  

 Are Christians oppressed today because of Satan’s activity? Yes.  

NOTE: Satan and his cohorts of evil spirits use as entry points the following human desires:  

(a) With Adam & Eve: “Good for food, was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise,  she took of its fruit and ate.” Genesis 3:6. 

(b) With Jesus Christ: “stones turn to bread” – hunger for food, Matt. 4:4; “throw yourself down” from the pinnacle of the temple” – doubt about relationship with the Father & pride, Matt. 4:5-7; “showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory”, – social honor and material riches, Matt. 4:8-9 (c) Among Christians: “Lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but  is of the world.” (1John 2:16) 

Can Disciples Neutralize Demonic Oppression? 

 Among Churches of Christ, observed are three schools of thought about disciples and the influence  of evil spirits:  

(1) There is a belief that some sicknesses and diseases today are not caused by evil spirits but that Satan can still cause confusion through worldly philosophies and traditions but not through demon possession. 

(2) Others say that since the cessation of miraculous powers endowed by the Holy Spirit, one among these is to cast out demons taught in 1 Cor. 13:8-11, the personal presence and influence of evil spirits  also have ceased.  

(3) Still others believe that Satan and his evil spirit followers are active and that the Holy Spirit’s personal presence or influence in conjunction with the word in a Christian’s life could assist the disciple to overcome the Devil’s temptations.  

 I favor View #3. Satan and evil spirits are real and are personally aggressive in tempting or confusing the people of God. Satan and evil spirits could cause evil personally or through the agency of humans or through the disturbance of natural laws. Like what happened to Adan and Eve at the Garden of Eden which was personal. Or what happened to Balaam in Numbers 22:1-35 whose mental powers could affect the activities of people at a distance. Or what happened to Job and his family (Job 1 & 2). Or what happened to King David in 2Sam. 24:1-4; 1 Chron. 29:26-30. Or what happened to Judas Iscariot (John  13:2, 27).  

 The Devil could disguise himself as an angel of light (2Cor. 11:13-15). It seems that the thorn in the flesh was given by Satan to Paul but the Lord God provided strength which over-ruled that malady in the apostle (2:Cor. 12:7-10). Apostle Paul asked Christians to pray for him and they did. 

 However, we should recognize that there are burdens that are caused by God for God’s glory to be manifested like what happened to that person born blind in John 9. Some events that appear tragic to us humans may be a God-given blessing. A physical problem may be caused by God as a disciplinary action to save a person’s soul. We are familiar with the saying: When God closes the door, He opens the window. Romans 8:28 says, “We know that to them who love God, the ones called according to his purpose, God works all things together for good.” (McCord’s Translation).  

 Confronted by the sufferings of humans in this present world, The Preacher declares,  

Then I returned and considered all the oppressi0n that is done under the sun: And look!  

 The tears of the oppressed, but they have no comforter – On the side of their oppressors  

 there was power, but they have no comforter. Therefore I praise the dead who were  

 already dead, more than the living who are still alive, yet, better than both is he who has  

 never existed, who has not seen the evil work that is done under the sun. (Eccles. 4:1-3) 

Neutralizing Tool 

The Apostles were given extraordinary power over evil spirits so that by direct oral rebuke, evil spirits could be cast out. It was promised in Matt. 10:1; Mk. 16:17. It was done by the Apostles in Acts  5:16-17. However, there was a failure among the apostles at one time that is recorded in Matthew  17:14-21; Mark 9:14-29; Luke 9:17-42.  

 Prayer is the power the Lord Jesus Christ prescribed in John 14:12-14. “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 14:14). This effective prayer is with the help of the Holy Spirit. This we are told in Romans 8:26-27; Jude 20; Ephesians 3:16. In the year 2021, the power we have may not be as strong as the direct rebuke of the Apostles that expelled evil spirits from oppressed people, but the power of prayer remains. The result of our earnest prayers today in the twenty-first century may not result to observable spectacular, spontaneous phenomena as the effect of apostolic rebuke. Nonetheless, it is still effective if it is God’s will. Of course, there are things that are factored in like repentance, humility,  and God’s plan for His glory. So we still say, “Thy will be done.” Not all our prayers are answered the way we desire.  

To be freed from the confusion that could be sown by the Devil or any oppression poised upon a  disciple, prayer is the tool promised in James 5: 13-15. Healing from physical sickness could be obtained through earnest prayers. Prayer for wisdom from God is taught in James 1:13-18.   Our Lord Jesus Christ declares in Luke 22:31, “And the Lord said, ‘Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail;  and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.’” 

 Can one disciple pray over somebody who has doubts, who is confused, who is sick, who is oppressed by a bad habit, or oppressed by an addiction? Certainly, yes. The above verses teach us this possibility. We often pray for the healing of brethren who are hospitalized for certain diseases. Why should addiction to some hobbies or some sins be not included to be detached from a certain brother through prayer? “Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you,” assures scripture in 1 Peter 5:7.  Apostle Paul admonishes us in 1 Thess. 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.”

Does 1 Peter 3:18-20 Teach a Second Chance? (61)

EKERUKSEN (Proclaimed/Preached) –to Spirits in Prison – 1 Peter 3:18-20

A.  Bible Versions  

1. “in which”  Proper appreciation of the preposition affects your interpretation.

ASV – “(18). . . being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; (19) in which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison, (20) that aforetime were disobedient, when the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.”  

NASB – “(18) . . . having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; (10) in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, (20) who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water.”  

NIV – “(18). . . He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. (19) After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits – (20) to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it, only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water.” 

ESV – “(18). . . being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, (19) in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, (20) because they formerly did not obey, when God ‘s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, . . . “ George Ricker Berry, Greek-English Interlinear N.T. –  v. 19 “in which” 

Douay Rheims Catholic Bible – “(18). . . being put to death indeed in the flesh, but enlivened in the spirit, (19) In which also coming he preached to those spirits that were in prison; (20) Which had been some time incredulous, when they waited for the patience of God in the days of Noe, when the ark was a building. . .” 

2.  “by which”  Proper appreciation of the preposition affects your interpretation.

KJV – “(18). . . being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: (19) by which also he went and preach unto the spirits in prison; (20) which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.” *NKJV – “(18) . . . being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, (19) by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, (20) who formerly were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls were saved through water.” 

3. Tagalog Dating Biblia (taon 1905)

 “(18). . . siyang pinatay sa laman, ngunit binuhay sa espiritu; (19) Na iyan din ang kaniyang iniyaon at nangaral sa mga espiritung nasa bilangguan, (20) Na nang unang panahon ay mga suwail, na ang pagpapahinuhod ng Dios, ay nanatili noong mga araw ni Noe, samantalang, inihahanda ang daong, . . .”  Analyze v. 19 – sa kalagayang espiritu, si Cristo ay yumaon sa mga espiritu sa preso.

B.  Be Careful with KJV-1611 Translation of the Hebrew Word Sheol (O.T. Unseen State, Unseen World)

1.   Even the sinless spirit-soul of the Messiah goes to “Hell” (Sheol) in Psalm 16:10 (Acts 2:27). Also Psalm 86:13; Jonah 2:2. 

2.  General idea of death or destruction is rendered as “going to hell.”  O.T. does not reveal two sections of the unseen state.

3.  So the conclusion of some is that upon death “all souls go to hell, Sheol”  good or bad soul-spirit. Weakness of 1611 KJV here! 

4.  Other OT verses where Sheol is translated Hell: Dt 32:22; 2 Sam. 22:6; Job 11:8; 26:6; Psa. 9:17; 18:5; 55:15; 116:3; 139:8; Prov. 5:5; 7:27; 9:18; 15:11; 15:24; 23:14;27:20; Isa. 5:14; 14:9; 28:15; 57:9; Eze. 31:16, 17; 21; 32:27; Amos 9:2; Hab. 2:5. 

5.  The Old KJV translates the Greek word Tartarusas as “hell” in 2 Peter 2:4. Weak translation here.  

C. New Testament Unseen State Has Two Sections 

1.  Greek idea of the unseen world or unseen state is Hades, the place where the disembodied spirit goes.  

2.  NT passages where Hades is found in the Greek text and translated Hell in the KJV –  Mt. 11:23; 16:18; Lk 10:15; 16:23; Acts 2:27; 2:31; Rev. 1:18; 6:8; 20:13; 20:14. So if one uses the old KJV, all dead people to to hell. BE CAREFUL HERE! ! ! !  !

D.  Identify the Location of Hades and Paradise.

      Know the location of Hades and Paradise as mentioned in Luke 16:19-31; 23:43; 2 Corinthians 12:4. 

E. The Valley of Hinnom, Gehenna (Ge=land or earth; Hinnom, name of a person) 

1. Location is near Jerusalem (Jos. 15:8; Jer. 19:2).

2. Place of idol worship & sacrificing of children  (1Kgs 11:7; 2Chro. 28:3; Valley of slaughter-Jer. 7:31, 32; garbage of Jerusalem thrown there and burning round the clock. This image is used to capture the eternal hell of torment.

3.  Description: everlasting fire & punishment – Mt. 25:41, 46; darkness- Mt. 8:12; everlasting destruction-2Thes. 1:9; Lake of fire-Rev. 19:20.

4. Prepared for the devil and his angels-Mtt. 25:41; wicked-Rev. 21:8; disobedient-Rm 2:8,9; fallen angels-2Pet. 2:4; beast and false prophet-Rev. 19:20; worshippers of the beast-Rev. 14:11; rejectors of the gospel-Mtt. 10:15. 

5. Degrees of punishment- Matt. 23:14

F.  Valley of Hinnom, Gehenna (geenna) Translated “Hell” in the 1611 KJV – Mt. 5:22, 29, 30; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15; 23:32; Mk. 9:43, 45, 47; Lk 12:5; James 3:6. 

G.  Settle the following problems: 

1.   The  prepositional phrase to pneumati, v. 18, in the Greek text, is it the Holy Spirit, 3rd person in the Godhead, or the human spirit of Jesus?  (I favor translating it “spirit” to refer to Jesus’s human spirit that was kept alive, in contrast to Christ’s death in the flesh.)

2.   The prepositional phrase ending (ultima), is the ending of three cases: Dative, Locative and Instrumental so the preposition could be either “by” or “in”.  The context now is to be taken into consideration. (I favor the preposition “in” to agree with “human spirit” kept alive, not put to death. The physical body was put to death. Holy Spirit is not the topic.)

3.   Verse 19, “en ho”  is in the form of the dative case, locative case, instrumental case so the preposition could be translated “in” or “by”. The context then should determine which is preferred. If “in” is the preposition, it means that in the state or kalagayang spirit, he went to do the act of keruksing to the spirits in prison. However, if “by” is the preposition, and the to pneumati is with a capital S (Spirit), the idea would mean that by the power of the Holy Spirit, Christ preached through the person of Noah prior to the flood, during the period of 120 year construction of the ark. The HS and Christ preaching through Noah in olden times is far from the context! 

4.   Christ went to do something and the verb is EKERUKSEN from the verb KERUSSO. The two English verbs popular rendition are “I proclaim, I preach.”  (See Vocabulary, Essentials of N.T. Greek, Ray Summers, p. 178). Greek-English Lexicon of George Ricker Berry’s Greek-English Interlinear, p. 55, KERUSSO, means “to proclaim, to publish, especially to preach the gospel.”  Which of the three English words would best fit the context of 1 Peter 3:18-20? I favor Christ proclaiming not Noah in person proclaiming.  

5.   Who are the spirits in prison?  There are two interpretations: one view says that the spirits were imprisoned in the fleshly desiring bodies of sinful men; while the second view says that the spirits were imprisoned in the confines of Hades, particularly in the Torture Chamber where the rich man in the parable of Jesus that is found in Luke 16:19-31 went.  I favor the second interpretation. 

6.   When was the EKERUKSEN act or work of Jesus Christ?  Was it during the construction of the ark, or while Jesus’s human spirit was detached for 3 days and 3 nights from His human body after the crucifixion?  I favor the second view: Christ went to Hades, in the Paradise chamber, while his human spirit left his human body from Friday afternoon to the early morning of Sunday after the cross and before the resurrection on Sunday morning. His body was left in the tomb. 

7.   In relation to the EKERUKSEN (proclaiming, publishing, heralding, preaching) act of Jesus, what was the time frame assigned to the act of disobedience of the imprisoned spirits?  One view says that the act of disobedience of the spirits in prison was:

    a. at the same time the proclaiming, publishing, heralding, preaching was being done by Christ through the preaching of the old man Noah;   

    b. the act of disobedience of the spirits in prison was during the construction of the ark in the lifetime of Noah, and the act of proclaiming, heralding, preaching was after the crucifixion of Jesus.  (I favor the second view.)

8.   What did Christ proclaim, publish, herald, preach to the spirits in prison? There are several views:

     a.  Christ, by the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of Noah preached repentance to the people so that they would be saved from  the coming calamity.

     b.  Christ, after the cross, His human spirit went to Hell and preached the gospel to the souls providing a second chance to repent and believe in Him for their exit from the on going torture in Hell.

     c.  Christ, after the cross, His human spirit went to Hades, in the Paradise section, and preach the gospel giving a  second chance to the once disobedient spirits to repent and believe in Jesus giving them opportunity to exit Tartarus. 

     d.  Christ, after the cross, while his human spirit was detached from his fleshly body, went to Hades, in the Paradise section and proclaimed, published the fact that His death at the cross which is for the salvation of mankind has been fulfilled and he especially called the attention of the spirits in the torture chamber of Hades who lived during the construction of Noah’s Ark who represented the most skeptical unbelievers in all human history. Not to give a second chance but to inform them that the prophesied mission of the long-awaited Messiah had been fulfilled. (I favor this 4th view on the strength of Hebrews 9:27.) 

9.   The phrase “aforetime were disobedient”  “once were disobedient” “disobedient long ago” “formerly did not obey” “some time incredulous” “formerly were disobedient” “nang unang panahon ay mga suwail” is related to the time of the act of EKERUKSEN (period of proclaiming, publishing, preaching). The time of disobedience was long time ago, long time past at the moment  of Christ’s act of proclaiming His victory. Meaning the disobedience happened thousands of years before the act of Christ’s proclaiming or the act of preaching to the spirits in prison.  The time of disobedience was at the time of Noah while he was building the Ark. 

10.   When did Christ’s EKERUKSEN happen in relation to Christ’s mortal body?  While his fleshly body was put to death, and his human spirit was detached from the human body. This period happened before sun down of Friday, circa 33rd year of Christ’s life on earth before the Passover, until the morning of Sunday, the resurrection Sunday of Matt. 28, Mark 16 and Luke 24. 

11.   How is Ephesian 4:8, which is quoted from Psalm 68:18 related to the EKERUKSEN of Christ to the spirits in prison of our current study of 1 Peter 3:18-20?  I would like to imagine a scene in Paradise about Christ in His human spirit, who organized a victory parade celebrating His triumph over sin and death with the victorious, obedient spirits following Him, similar to a victorious army general parading in the streets or some victorious kings coming home with their victorious army following them and further down the street parade are the bound defeated, captive, enemy soldiers.  The homecoming victorious king or army general distributed gifts taken from the spoils of war, and also receiving gifts from the rich subjects of the kingdom. Christ’s gifts were the appointments of apostles, prophets, evangelists and pastors and teachers (Ephesians 4:11; 1 Peter 4:10). Also the gifts in Romans 12:6-8 including those gifts in 1 Cor. 12:1-13 to build a progressive kingdom.    

Questions to Help Analyze the Context of 1 Peter 3:18-20

1.  What aspect or nature of Jesus Christ that died? (Human body? OR Human spirit)

2.  Did the spirit of Jesus Christ die and was made alive? (Yes OR No)

3.  What is the meaning of “made alive” or “quickened” or “enliven” in reference to the spirit or Spirit? 

4.  Who went to proclaim or preach? (Christ, Holy Spirit, Noah)

5.  Who actually did the proclaiming or preaching? (Christ, Holy Spirit, Noah)

6.  When did the act of proclaiming or preaching happen? (5000 B.C., 33 A.D.)

7. Where was the prison located where Christ went? (Human body of people in Noah’s days, Hades)

8. What did Christ proclaim, preach? (Gospel of repentance & salvation OR Victory)

9. What was the purpose of the proclamation or preaching? (To give second chance for salvation OR Proclaim Victory)

10. Do you think some spirits in prison repent and were baptized for the forgiveness of sins? (Yes OR No)

11. In verse 18, who is the TO PNEUMATI? (Holy Spirit OR human spirit?

12. In v. 18, what preposition do you prefer, “By” OR “In” ??

13. In v. 19, what pronoun do you prefer, “which” OR “whom”? (which – whom)

14. What is the significance of the adverb “formerly” or “aforetime” or “once”?

15. When did the disobedience happen in relation to the act of proclaiming/preaching?

16. Did the disobedience happen at the time of proclamation/preaching? (Yes – No)

17. At the time of preaching/proclaiming, were the spirits in prison currently disobedient? (Yes / No)

18. At the time of preaching/proclaiming, were the spirits in prison formerly disobedient? (Yes / No)

19. Was the time of proclaiming concurrent with the time of disobedience? (Yes . No)

20. Was the time of proclaiming concurrent with the time of God’s longsuffering? (Yes / No)

*Please give your translation of 1 Peter 3:18-20 in Tagalog.

Bible Versions on 1 Peter 3:18- “made alive in spirit”  OR  “made alive by the spirit  OR Spirit;    in v. 19 “by which He went”  OR  “in which He went”

A. The emphasis is in the state of being in the spirit, or the spirit that detaches from the human body; the spirit is the actor in the following versions:

ASV, v. 18, “made alive in the spirit” >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 19, “in which also he went and preached”

NASB, v. 18, “made alive in the spirit” >>>>>>>>>>>>> v. 19, “in which also He went and made proclamation”

ESV, v. 18, “made alive in the spirit” >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> v. 19, “in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits”

Rheims-Douay, v.18, “enlivened in the spirit” >>>>>>>> v. 19, “in which also coming he preached to those spirits”

WEB, v. 18, “made alive in the spirit”>>>>>>>>>>>>>> v. 19, “in which he also went and preached to the spirits”

WMB, v. 18, “made alive in the spirit”  >>>>>>>>>>>>> v. 19, “in whom he also went and preached to the spirits”

H.Littrell, v.18, “made alive in spirit”>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> v. 19, “in which also He went and preached”

BNDB, v. 18, “napagungar iti espiritu”>>>>>>>>>>>>> v. 19, “ket iti daytoy a kasasaadna napan nangasaba”

Tagalog 1905, “pinatay sa laman, binuhay sa espiritu”>> v. 19, “iyan din ang kaniyan iniyaon at nangaral sa mga espiritu”

B.  The emphasis is on the Holy Spirit, the third person in the Godhead as the actor in the following versions: 

KJV, v. 18, “but quickened by the Spirit”

v. 19, “by which also he went and preach unto the spirits”

NKJV, v.18, “made alive by the Spirit”

v. 19, “by whom also He went and preached to the spirits” 

H.McCord, v. 18, “brought to life by the Spirit”

v. 19, “by whom also he went and preached to spirits”

The Meaning of “Faith” and “Justified” in Romans 4:1-6

Originally posted June 2008

Many religious teachers use this passage from the Book of Romans to convince people that sinners are initially forgiven of sins or are saved from past sins apart from any human activity. 

Their definition of the term faith is “mental acknowledgment or a mental recognition that somebody or something exists and/or has the power to do something.”  If faith that justifies or faith that is reckoned for righteousness merely resides in the mind without obeying God’s commandments, then that would mean forgiveness of sins happens without repentance, forgiveness of sins happens without confession of Christ’s name, remission of sins happens without obeying Christ’s command to be baptized in water, one is pleasing without presenting one’s body as a living sacrifice, one does not need to live a holy life and still hopes to enter heaven the holy abode of God.

While these religious teachers deny the essentiality of the above prerequisite actions to salvation, these same religious teachers promote the recitation of the “Sinner’s Prayer” in order to receive Jesus Christ into one’s life. By adding the “Sinner’s Prayer” which is not commanded in the New Testament, these religious teachers necessarily put themselves under our Lord Jesus’ accusatory statement: “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your traditions?” (Matt 15:3b). 

The claim that righteousness is obtained through faith apart from any human activity is not warranted by the context of the passage in question. We are going to show the substance of our claim. Let’s analyze the context of the passage.

Firstly, let’s notice Romans 3:21-31 which lays down the premise of the apostle’s argument in Romans 4:1-6. It is clear that the apostle Paul analyzed the old argument of the Hebrews that the Abrahamic & Mosaical covenants with God were both sealed and marked by circumcision. The Hebrews understood from Genesis 17:1-27 that God told Abraham that circumcision is the seal of the covenant with Abraham which contained God’s promises. And that his circumcision was reconfirmed by and was incorporated into the Law of Moses as evidenced by Exodus 12:44 and Leviticus 12:3. From these premises, the Hebrew Christians argued that circumcision was essential to becoming a Christian. This issue of circumcision was the main problem in the Jerusalem Conference in Acts 15.  

In Romans 4, the Apostle Paul asked the important question which is based on history: Were the promises of Yahweh to Abraham in Genesis 12 when Abraham was about 84 years old and reconfirmed in Genesis 17:1-27 given before or after Abraham’s circumcision? Was it before or after the giving of the Law of Moses? Obviously the answer in both is “before.”

The answer “before circumcision” gives Apostle Paul his strongest argument which states: If the promises made by Yahweh to Abraham were pronounced before circumcision became binding upon Abraham and the same promises were given long before the enactment of the Law at Mt. Sinai, therefore, faith in God is the right attitude NOT circumcision and law keeping. The coming of the Christ, the son of Abraham, is included among the promises. And if the coming and the saving ministry of Christ was promised to Abraham before the circumcision requirement was promulgated, therefore, faith in Christ is the one reckoned for righteousness NOT circumcision. 

Secondly, Romans 4:1-6 does not talk about Abraham’s faith as the basis of Abraham’s forgiveness of his sins. Insist on this point. I repeat: Abraham’s sins are not included in the discussion of Apostle Paul in Romans 4:1-6. The passage does not talk about Abraham’s sins. The passage does not talk about Abraham’s faith as the basis of the forgiveness of his sins. But the religious teachers we have mentioned at the beginning of this article insinuate that faith in Christ today is the basis of remission of sins. Romans 4:3 merely states that the believing and trusting attitude of Abraham was “accounted for righteousness.” It means, it is the right thing to do as compared to an attitude of trusting on the merits of circumcision and merits of observing the Law of Moses.

Thirdly, the term righteousness (dikaiosuneen) reckoned to Abraham in Romans 4:3 (also used in James 2:23 when he believed God and offered Isaac at the altar) comes from the same word which is applied to the righteousness (dikaiosuneen) of Jesus’ submitting Himself to the baptism of John. Matthew 3:15b reads, “ … Suffer it to be so now; for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness (dikaiosuneen).” (KJV) Which means that the trusting attitude of Abraham was a righteous act, a correct act in pleasing God as much as the obeying attitude of Jesus Christ in undergoing water baptism was a righteous act, a correct act in pleasing God. In both cases (Abraham’s and Christ’s), we do not talk about remission of sins. So no one should use Romans 4:1-6 and James 2:23 to insinuate that all that is needed in the remission of sins is faith.

Fourthly, the believing/faith of Abraham which was reckoned for righteousness in 4:3,4 should be viewed as a germinal-lineal attitude, an attitude of continuous trusting in God. In the case of NT disciples, it is also a germinal-lineal attitude, an attitude of trusting in Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection as the basis of pleasing God. This belief/faith should be understood as a germinal-lineal action (line action, continuing action). Having faith or believing is not a point of action. Faith/belief is not a momentary action. Romans 1:17 says that the just, the man with a living faith, always acts out of faith. Everything he does germinates from that faith in God and carries out any action to the very end possessing still that same faith in God. This is the meaning of “faith unto faith” or in other versions, it is “faith upon faith.”  Sa Tagalog, patong-patong na pagtitiwala. Mula sa umpisa ay may pagtitiwala hanggang sa dulo ng walang hanggan tiwala pa rin.

The idea of a lineal action in faith is sufficiently illustrated in the description of the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11. The germinal faith in one’s mind is perfected in an obedient action. All those heroes of faith mentioned demonstrated their faith with an action. 

In the case of Abraham (Heb.11:8-10), one could notice the lineal characteristic of his faith: He was told to get out of Haran, so he and his family walked south to Beer-sheba, a distance of about 800 kilometers; he lived in tents for many years in Canaan until his death; and he was looking forward to arriving in the city built by God.  

That lineal characteristic of Abraham’s faith is further demonstrated when God commanded him to offer his son Isaac as a burnt sacrifice at Mt. Moriah. He believed in God, yes, and he perfected that belief in God with activities to fulfill the commandment. When the word from Yahweh came, Abraham was living in Beer-sheba which is southwest of the Dead Sea. He prepared the firewood then he and Isaac hiked some 70 kilometers. He prepared the altar of heaped stones. All these activities took several days. From start to finish, faith/trust was in Abraham’s mind, heart and actions. 

This lineal action of faith is the meaning of James’ demand that activity is an element of faith in Christian life. Mere knowledge, mere recognition of the being and state of God is faith/belief, that the demons have, says James. But this kind of faith is not the faith that is reckoned for righteousness. 

If faith is lineal; if faith involves activities in obedience to a Master, would it not result in pleasing God by works?

We’ll tackle this line of reasoning in another article.       

What Is the Period Covered by “The Latter Days” or “Last Days”? (60)

Answer:  Verses from NKJV where we find the phrase “in the latter (Heb., acharon, acharith)  days” or “last days”. In Hebrew it is acharon or acharith.  Let us study the following verses to determine the answer to the above question. 

Gen. 49:1, (acharith)  “And Jacob called his sons and said, ‘Gather together, that I may tell you what shall befall you in the last (acharith) days.”

Isaiah 2:2, (acharith) “Now it shall come to pass in the latter (acharith) days that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow to it.”

2Sam. 2:26, (acharon) ”The Abner called to Joab and said, ‘Shall the sword devour forever? Do you not know that I will be bitter in the latter (acharon) end? How long will it be then until you tell the people to return from pursuing their brethren?”

Job 12:25 (acharon) “xxxx 

Hagai 2:29, (acharon)

Jer. 12:4, “How long will the land mourn, and the herbs of every field wither? The beasts and birds are consumed. For the wickedness of those who dwell there, because they said, ‘He will not see our final (acharith) end.”

Joel Joel 2:23, (last or latter rain malqosh) “Be glad then, you children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God; for He has given you the former rain faithfully, and He will cause the rain to come down for you – the former rain, and the latter rain ( in the first month.”

Joel 2:28-32, (circa 835 BC) “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour our My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions; and also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour our My Spirit in those days. And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth; blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.  For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, as the LORD has said, among the remnant whom the LORD calls.” 

Amos 9:1,  “I saw the Lord standing by the alter, and He said: ‘Strike the doorposts that the thresholds may shake, and break them on the heads of them all. I will slay the last (acharith) of them with sword. He who flees from them shall not get away. And he who escapes from them shall not be delivered.” 

Micah 4:1,  “Now it shall come to pass in the latter (acharith) days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills, and peoples shall flow to it.” This seems to point to the establishment of the church in Acts 2, in the year 33 A.D.. 

In Greek, it is eschatos or husteros:  You may check up the texts and see what centuries are covered. 

John 6:39, 40; 7:37; 12:48 (eschatos)

Acts 2:17, (eschatos) “

1Cor. 4:9, (eschatos “God has 

1Cor. 15:26, eschatos)”

1Tim. 4:1, (husteros) “

2Tim. 3:1, (eschatos)  “

Heb. 1:2, (eschatos) “

1Peter 1:5, (eschatos) “

1Peter 1:20 (eschatos)

2Peter 3:3, (eschatos) “

James 5:3 (eschatos) “

1John 2:18, (eschatos)  “

Jude 18 (eschatos ,) “

Verses from NKJV where “latter days” or “last days”.  Check up verses what centuries are covered. 

Numbers 23:10 (acharith)

Numbers 24:14, (acharith)  “

Deut. 4:30, (acharith)  “

Isaiah  41:22, (acharith, last or latter end)

Jer. 23:20 (acharith) “

Jer. 30:24 (Acharith) “

Jer. 48:47 (acharith) “

Jer. 49: 39 (acharith) “

Ezek. 38:8, (acharith) “

Dan. 2:28-45, (acharith) “

Daniel 8:19, (acharith) “

Daniel 10:14 (acharith) “

Hosea 3:5 (acharith) “

Now you have a basis to make your conclusion on the application of the “latter days, last days”.

Salvation – Is It by Grace Only?

INTRODUCTION

This study is very important because it could spell out one’s eternal destiny: go to heaven or go to hell.  

“Saved by grace only” disregards humble obedience to many instructions and the exercise of human free will. 

DEFINITION

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

TWO INTERPRETATIONS

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

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

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

A. THREE TENSES OF SALVATION

Three tenses of salvation:

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

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

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

C.   FREE WILL & CONSEQUENCES OF ANGELS’ DECISIONS

God is love, God is merciful, God is gracious.  Yet the rebellious angels were judged immediately.  Please see Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:12-19; John 8:44; Luke 10:18; 2 Peter 2:4-6; Jude 6. 

D.   FREE WILL & CONSEQUENCES OF HUMAN DECISIONS

  • Adam & Eve were given free will – Genesis 2:16-17, “And the Lord commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
  • Cain & Abel – Cain did not do what was instructed him while Abel did what he was commanded to do.
  • Noah – He did what was commanded and he was saved from the deluge. 
  • Abram / Abraham – He believed God’s promises and directives eventually settled in Canaan.
  • Lot –  He chose to dwell in the flat land near the tribes that were worldly in Sodom and Gomorrah.
  • Ruth – Being a Moabitess, did she exercise her free will and chose to stick to her mother-in-law?  
  • Covenant with Israel – Exodus 19:5-8, “… Then all the people answered together and said, ‘All that the LORD has spoken we will do.’ So Moses brought back the words of the people to the LORD.”
  • 500,000 Israelites 20 years old and above who went out of Egypt.
  • All those who died in the wilderness, including Moses, exercised free will, did they? 

        (b)  Joshua – (1:7) “Only be strong and very courageous that you may observe to do according to all the law which  Moses My servant commands you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.” 

(24:15), “And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

E.   GOD HELPS HUMANKIND NOT ANGELS 

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

F. DETERMINE W/C PERIOD OR TENSE

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

1.  Salvation from past sins. 

2.  Salvation from sins after a disciple starts his Christian life. 

3.  Salvation in the future, the final confirmation – 1 Peter 1:9. 

*Take the following in a spectrum or picture.  Don’t isolate one from the others. 

Brief Quotations from the New King James Version.  

(1) Saved by God – Titus 1:3, 4; Titus 2:10 “God our Savior” “God our Savior”

(2) Saved by Jesus Christ – Matt. 1:21; John 3:17; 1 Tim. 1:15; Heb. 7:25. Do you eliminate Love because of grace? No.

“call His name Jesus, . . He will save His people from their sins.” “. . the world through Him might be saved.”

(3)  Saved by mercy through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit – Titus 3:5*(4)  Saved by   

grace – Ephesians 2:5; 2 Tim. 1:9; Acts 15:11; Titus 3:4-5, etc. Do you eliminate God?

(5)  Justified by the blood of Christ – Romans 5:9, 10. “justified by His blood, we shall be saved. . .”

(6)  Saved by the gospel if we hold fast to it – 1 Cor. 15:2. Do you disregard the gospel because of grace? No.

(7)  Saved by faith – Eph. 2:8; Luke 7:50; Luke 8:12; 18:42; John 3:16, 18; Heb. 10:39

(8)  Saved by the life of Christ – Romans 5:10. “. . we shall be saved by His life.”

(9)  Saved by hope – Romans 8:24 (KJV).  Does grace disregard hope?  No.

(10)  Saved by calling on the Lord – Joel 2:32; Acts 2:21; 9:14. 

(11)  Saved by the implanted word – James 1:21; Acts 1114. Shall we disregard the Word because of grace? No.

(12)  Saved by the teachings of Christ and the apostles – 1 Tim. 4:16. Does grace disregard apostles’ teachings? No.

(13)  Saved through hearing the words of Christ and believing in the Father – John 5:24

(14)  He who believes and is baptized shall be saved – Mark 16:16. Does grace disregard baptism?  No.

(15)  Repent and be baptized and receive remission of sins – Psalm 32:5; Acts 2:38.  Does grace disregard baptism? No.

(16)  Be born again and see the kingdom of heaven – John 3:3. Does grace disregard the New Birth?  No.

(17)  Be born of water and the Spirit to see the kingdom of God – John 3:5

(18)  Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins – Acts 22:16; Gal. 3:27

(19)  Confess with mouth Jesus Christ and believe God raised Jesus there is salvation – Roma 10:9, 10

(20)  Abiding in the teachings and living righteously and godly until the appearing of Christ – John 6:27;    

John 8:31; 12:48-50; Romans 8:1; 1 John 3:24; 1 John 5:2; 2 John 8, 9; 1 John 2:15; Titus 2:11-14; 

James 1:27; Rev. 2:10. Does grace righteous and godly living?  No. 

(21)  Saved by preaching the gospel – 1 Cor. 1:21, “. . foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.”   Does grace disregard gospel preaching?  No.

(22)  Saved by repentance – 1 Cor. 7:10; Luke 13:3.  Do we disregard repentance?  No. 

(23)  Saved by baptism – 1 Peter 3:21, “There is also an antitype which now saves us, namely baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), 

 through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” Does grace eliminate baptism in water?  No.

(24)  The Holy Spirit – John 16:8; Titus 3:5-6.  Does grace disregard the work of the Holy Spirit?  No. 

(25)  Salvation in His name – Acts 4:12.  Does graces disregard the name of Christ?  No. 

(26)  Love – Galatians 5:6.  Do we eliminate Love and mention only grace?  No. 

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

G.  THE FIRST ADAM & THE SECOND ADAM 

1.  When the First Adam committed sin, was his sin automatically imputed on every human individual 

     with culpability or punishment without any individual human participation? __ Yes;  __ No.

2.  When the Second Adam gave himself as offering and atonement for sin on the cross, was His 

     righteousness automatically imputed on every human individual (past and future generations) with 

     justification, sanctification and glorification without any human personal participation? __ Yes; __ No. 

H.  POSSIBILITY OF APOSTASY  

(1)  Lucifer – He was perfect until sin was found in him, (See Ezek. 28:14,15; Isa. 14:12; Lk. 10:18))

(2)  Angels who became demons – Did they fall from innocence into wickedness? Yes. 

(3)  Adam and Eve – Were they not innocent until they disobeyed the prohibition?  Yes. They did. 

(4)  Enoch “walked with God” and begot and begot sons and daughters (Gen. 5:19-24). 

(5)  God made a covenant w/ the nation of Israel (Exo. 19:5-6), “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”

        Yahweh gave Moses and 70 Elders the Holy Spirit (Num.11:16-30), and yet out of the more than

         1 Million adults, 20 years old and above who left Egypt, only 2 people, Caleb and Joshua entered 

         the land of Canaan because of unbelief and died in the wilderness (See Heb. 2:7-19).    

(6)  King Saul, chosen by the Lord to rule Israel, did he not become disobedient and fall away?

(7)  King David, did he not commit sin, but he was repentant and so forgiven?

(8)  King Solomon, was he not called “beloved” but he became idolatrous and fell away? 1 Kgs 11:1-11.

(9)  The people of Israel (Read Isaiah chap. 1), did not this nation sin and fall away so it was taken into 

        captivity?  Only a small remnant left? Yes, it did. Read also Ezek. 20:33-44).  

(10) Was not Israel as a chosen nation, as a branch, cut off according to Romans 11:1-24?  Notice the 

         terms: “cast away”-15, “broken off”-v.17, 19, 20, “fell”-22; it means it used to be a branch attached 

         to the trunk.  The verbs in the past tense tell us that falling away was real and actual.  

(11)  John 14:1-11, Unfruitful branches could be cut off.

(12)  Matt. 10:22; Mk. 13:13; Rev. 2:10, He who endures to the end shall be saved. 

(13)  1 John 4:20, a disciple who is a liar and doesn’t repent will not be in heaven; Rev. 21:8.

(14)  Col. 4:14; 2 Tim 4:10 – Demas with Paul then forsook Paul and went to the world.  

(15)  Galatians 5:4 & Romans 9:30-33, “you have fallen from grace.”

(16)  1 Tim. 1:19-20; 2Tim. 2:17 – Hymaeneus strayed from the truth, overthrow the faith.

(17)  2Peter 2:22, “A dog returns to his own vomit,”and a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”

(18)  Hebrews 6:4-8, “it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, have tasted heavenly gift, have  

            become partakers of the Holy Spirit, if they fall away to renew them again to repentance”

(19)  Heb. 10:26, “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer 

           remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment…”

(20)  Hebrews 12:25-26, “”See that you do not refuse Him who speaks…” Choice or free will is involved. 

(21)  2Peter 2:22, “A dog returns to his own vomit, and, a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the 

           mire.” Dogs and pigs do these acts of returning to the dirt, so people also do.

(22)  John 8-9, “Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may 

          receive a full reward. Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not 

          have God…” This section teaches personal choice and free will in the disciple.

(23)  1 John 4:12-13; Rom 5:5; Eph. 4:30; James 4:5,  God’s love perfected in the disciple, the Holy Spirit is 

           given, but the Spirit could be grieved and quenched and gets out.

(24)  Seven Churches in Revelation given warning which suggests possibility of falling away:  

      a.  Ephesus – “you have left your first love x x x you have fallen; repent and do the first work…”

  b.  Smyrna – “He who overcomes…”suggests freewill and determination to be faithful to God.

  c.  Pergamos – “Repent, or else I will come to you. . . to him who overcomes. . .”

  d.  Thyatira –  “Hold fast what you have till I come. . . he who overcomes and keeps My works. . .”

e.  Sardis  –  “You are alive but you are dead. . . repent . . he who overcomes. . .”

f.  Philadelphia – “. . . test those who dwell on earth. . .  hold fast what you have. . .”

I.  EXPLANATION OF EPHESIANS 1 & 2 IN RELATION TO SALVATION. Consider the phrases:

(1)   “in Christ” 1:3 (8)  “we who trusted in Christ” 1:12

(2)   “He chose us in Him (Christ)” 1:4, (9)  “after you heard the word of truth” 1:13

(3)   “adoption as sons by Jesus Christ” 1:5 (10)   “in whom also, having believed” 1:13

(4)   “accepted in the Beloved” 1:6 (11)  “your faith in the Lord Jesus”1:15

(5)   “In Him we have redemption thro His blood” 1:7 (12)  “in the knowledge of Him” 1:17

(6)   “in whom also we have obtained an inheritance” 1:11 (13)  “He worked in Christ” 1:20

(7)  “we who trusted in Christ” 1:12

(1)   “made us alive together with Christ” 2:5 (7)  “He Himself is our peace” 2:14

(2)   “sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” 2:6 (8)  “having abolished in His flesh” 2:15

(3)   “His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” 2:7 (9)  “He preached peace to you” 2:17

(4)   “workmanship, created in Christ Jesus” 2:10 (10) “through Him” 2:18

(5)  “good works. . . we should walk in them” 2:10 (11)  “in whom. . . in the Lord” 2:21

(6)  “now in Christ Jesus. . . by the blood of Christ” 2:13 (12)  “in whom you also are being built. .” 2:22


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

Who Are the Other Sheep of Christ in John 10:16? (59)

Answer:  The Gentiles are the other sheep of Christ. “Gentiles” are the non-Jews.  In the Old Testament, the nation of Israel was the chosen people to be educated to bring out the Messiah.  And when the Messiah comes, the whole world would be included to be rescued from sin.  That includes all people outside the little nation of Israel in the coverage of Christ’s blood. So in the Great Commission, the disciples were commanded to go into all the world to preach the GOSPEL.

Exodus 19:5, 6, “Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people, for all the earth is Mine.  And you shll be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation..  These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.” 

Psalm 147:19, “He declares His word to Jacob, His statures and His judgments to Israel.  He has not dealt with any nation; and as for His judgments, they have not known them.” 

John 10:16, “I have other sheep that are not this fold; I must also ring them in, and they will hear my voice.  There will be one flock, and one shepherd.” 

At the early stage of Christ’s ministry, after He has called the twelve apostles and had trained them for a period of time, He sent them out in what is called the “Limited Commission” to the nation of Israel.  This is recorded in Matthew 10: 1-42.  

But later in His ministry our Lord revealed that there are other people who are included which He calls His other sheep.  He Himself started in a limited way to touch these outsiders in the northwestern boundaries of two tribes: Zebulun and Neftali which are the areas of Lebanon and Sidon. See Matthew 4:13-17. This inclusion of the Gentiles was prophesied by Isaiah 9:2.  Note that Isaiah 9:6 mentions the Messiah. 

After Christ resurrected from the tomb, He met his disciples and gave them the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20 and Mark 16:15-16.  The whole world is the field of harvest.  Much later just before He ascended back to heaven, Christ told the disciples to be witnesses in Jerusalem, in Judea, in Samaria and to the uttermost part of the world.  

By his birth, Greek education and young days, Saul (who became Apostle Paul), was born in Tarsus of Syria.  He was providentially converted by Christ while he was chasing Christians who ran away from Jerusalem.  Along the highway going to Damascus, he was knocked down with an intense light and was changed from persecutor into a disciple. 

The Law which was given to the Jews at Mount Sinai that pronounced the Jews as a special people was taken out of the way at the cross. See Ephesians 2:11-22.  Christ mediated a New Covenant confirmed by His death (Hebrews 9:16-22).  Apostle Paul was especially assigned to the Gentiles.  See Acts 9:15; Romans 1:16; Romans 9:1-5 and Gal. 2:9. 

Romans 11 mentions the end of the special place of Israel as a chosen nation and ushering in of the Gentiles.

What Are the Areas Where the Father and the Son Are One in the Context of John 10:30? Please explain. (58)

ANSWER: “I and My Father are one” – Not Limited to Shepherding

Introduction:  What Is One?  This question should be explained in detail.  

We often submit John 10:30, “I and My Father are one,” as an evidence of Christ’s deity or His being God.  That both are God and therefore they are one. And the explanation ends there. That incomplete argument is not effective.  My recommendation is:  There should be a deeper and wider explanation on the term “one”.  The INC-1914 counters that Christ’s oneness with the Father is limited to shepherding which they base on 10:24-29.  We should overcome that claim. 

 Following are other bases of unity of the Father and the Son. Quotes are from the NKJV: 

  1. The Father Is in Me and I in Him –  Attributes and emotion and plans and works intersect and intertwine. 
  • John 10:38,  “. . . though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know Me, believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.”
  • John 14:11, “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works. . .” 
  • John 17:10, “And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them.”

2. Christ Is Life and Has Life – The Father and Christ are the source of biological and spiritual life. 

  • John 1:4, “In Him was life.” 
  • John 5:24,  “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.”
  • John 17:3,  “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
  • 1 John 5:11,  “And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.”

3. Mine is Yours and Yours Is Mine – Their knowledge intersect and intertwine

  • John 7:29,  “But I know Him, for I am from Him, and He sent Me.”
  • John 10:15,  “As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father.”
  • John 16:15,  “All things that the Father has are Mine, Therefore I said, He will take of Mine and declare it to you.”
  • John 17:10,  “And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them.”
  • Matt. 11:27,  “All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. . .”

4. His Teaching is from the Father

  • John 8:28,  “. . . I do nothing of Myself, but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things.”

5. Father & Some Have Same Work 

John 5:17, 19-20  “. . . My Father has been working until now, and I have been working. x x x the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do, for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. . . and shows all things that He Himself does, and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel.”

John 9:4,  “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.”

6. All Authority Given to Christ but it Does not Mean the Father has no Authority

  • John 5:27, “and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.” 
  • John 17:2,  “as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him.”

7.  Christ Is the Image of God  which Shows Identicality of Attributes 

  • Heb. 1:3,  “who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person. . . .” 
  • Col. 1:15,  “He is the image of the invisible God. . .”  

8. All Judgment Given to Christ

  • John 5:22,  “For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment in the Son.”
  • Acts 17:31,  “because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

9. Bonded by Love – God is love. 

  • John 5:20, “For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does. . .”
  • John 17:24, “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.”

See John 1:1-3; John 17:5; Col. 1:15-16; Heb. 1:2, 10 to prove Christ’s existence before the earth was created. 

10.  The Father Was in Christ Reconciling the World to Himself

  • John 3:14-17,   “. . . even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son unto the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
  • 2 Corinthians 5:19,  “that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”
  • Romans 5:5, 8,  “Now hope does not disappoint,, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us x x x but God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

11.  Shepherding Is only One of the Many Items the Father the Son are One in – John 10:22-29. 

NOTE:  It is generally accepted that there is the oneness, the harmony, the unity and cohesion of the husband&wife situation. This oneness is not in their physical bodies because their solid bodies are not blended into one mass. Their oneness is more in the psycho-mental realm.  Verses we submit on this oneness are Genesis 2:24; Malachi 2:16; Matt. 19:6; Mark 10:6-9;   1Cor. 6:16; Ephesians 5:31. 

Overall conclusion:  Shepherding is only the eleventh basis of oneness listed in this study, so don’t limit it to shepherding. (Enumerate the other ten taken from the Book of John with support from other books.)  Today, those who refuse to recognize the unity and oneness of the Father and Christ that leads to the conclusion that Christ is God, are like the Jews who took up stones and accused Christ of blasphemy (10:31-33).  Let us tell the disbelievers on the Deity of Christ to please don’t be like the Jews who were hardened doubters who wanted to stone Christ.  

Does the Hebrew word Elohim, translated “God” in the English language prove there are three persons in the Godhead? 57

Answer:  No, it does not necessarily point to a plurality of persons. 

Exodus 32:1-8.  Please read the passage in your own Bible.  

When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.” 

Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons, and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.” 

So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. 

He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.” 

When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, “Tomorrow there will be a festival to the Lord.” 

So the next day the people rose early and sacrificed burnt offerings and presented fellowship offerings. Afterward, they sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry. 

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt. 

They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.’  (NIV) 

NOTE:  The words “gods” in the above verses are Elohim in the Hebrew text.  The words are pluralized to capture the imagined respect the idolaters have for their idol.  In this case, the idol is one image of a calf and yet it is pluralized.  That means that the meaning is “plural of majesty” not a plurality of persons.

Please read also Genesis 1:1-31 and Genesis 2:1-25

(Know that in English: God =Greek: Theos, Theoi=Hebrew: Elohim)

We show part of the Greek text of Exodus 32:1-8 to prove what we are discussing: 

“houtoi einai hoi Theoi (Elohim in Hebrew) sou, Israel” Exo. 32:4;   “houtoi einai hoi Theoi (Elohim) sou, Israel” –v.8.  Quoted from Biblos, 1850). The single golden calf was dedicated to Yahweh, vs 5.  It reads Elohim in the Hebrew text.   

NOTE: In Greek, there is only one way of writing the Theta whether rendered capital or small letter in English.  Also in Hebrew, there is only one way of writing the first Hebrew letter Aleph whether rendered capital or small letter in English.  2 Cor. 4:4 reads Theou (refers to Satan) has the same letter Theta as in v. 2 which is Theos (refers to the true God).   Philippians 3:19 has Theos (refers to the belly). 

“Israel, estos son tus dioses (Elohim)” v. 4;    “Israel, estos son tus dioses (Elohim) ” v. 8”   (Sagradas Escrituras)

“Ang mga ito ang maging iyong mga dios (Elohim), Oh Israel” v. 4;   “mga dios” v. 8. (Old Tagalog, 1905)

“These are your gods (Elohim), Israel”v.4;    “These are your gods, Israel” v. 8. (World Messianic Bible) 

“These are your gods (Elohim), O Israel” v.4;   same reading in v. 8   (Catholic Public Domain Version) 

“These are thy gods (Elohim), O Israel” v. 4; same reading in v. 8.   (Douay-Rheims, 1582/1609) 

“These be thy gods (Elohim), O Israel” v. 4;  same reading in v. 8.  (King James Version, 1611) 

“These are thy gods (Elohim), O Israel” v. 4;  same reading in v. 8.  (American Standard Version, 1901)

“These are you gods (Elohim), O Israel” v. 4;  same reading in v. 8. (Revised Standard Version)

“These are your gods (Elohim), O Israel” v. 4; same reading  in v. 8 (New International Version) 

“These are your gods (Elohim), O Israel” v. 4; same reading in v. 8  (English Standard Version) 

“This is your god (Elohim in Hebrew), O Israel” v. 4;   same reading  in v. 8 (New King James Version) 

“This is your god (Elohim), O Israel” v. 4; same reading in v. 8 (New American Standard Bible) 

In Genesis chapters 1 and 2, the term Elohim is always translated God in English in the singular and the verb is also in the singular number, but Elohim in Exodus 32:1-8, the term Elohim is translated in the plural in English when it refers to the one, singular golden calf.  Why? The one singular golden calf is not plural in person.  

In Genesis chapters 1 and 2, all the pronouns are singular (15 times referring to Elohim, Yahweh Elohim) while there are only three (3 times referring to Elohim) plural pronouns in v. 26.

  • Question:  When singular pronouns have Elohim as an antecedent, how many persons are there?
  • Question:  When plural pronouns have Elohim as the antecedent, how many persons are there?
  • Question:  When Yahweh says He makes Moses Elohim to Pharoah (Exo. 7:1), did Moses become 3 persons?
  • Question:  When the one golden calf is called Elohim in Exodus 32:1-8, were there 3 persons?
  • Question:  Psalm 45:6 & Heb. 1:8 the Elohim refers to Jesus Christ, did Christ become 3 persons?
  • Question:  Psalm 45:7 & Heb. 1:9 the Elohim refers to the Father, did the Father become 3 persons? 
  • Question:  Psalm 82:1, 8 refer to Judges as Elohim, (John 10:34 cites Psalm 82:6 referring to human Judges), did the individual Judges (Elohim) become 3 persons?
    • Question: Judges 8:33, “Ball-berrith their Elohim” for the Canaanites, is Baal 3 persons? ;
    • Judges 11:24, “Chemosh thy Elohim” for the Moabites, is Chemosh 3 persons? ;
    • Judges 16:23, 24, “Dagon their Elohim” for the Philistines, is Dagon 3 persons? ;
    • 1Kings 11:33, “Milcom the Elohim” for the Ammonites, is Milcom 3 persons? ; 
    • 2 Kings 1:2, 16 “Baal-zebub the Elohim of Ekron” for the Philistines, is Baal-zebub 3 persons? ;
    • 2Kings 19:37, “Nisroch his Elohim” for the Assyrians, is Nisroch 3 persons? ;
    • Judges 2:13, Astarte or Ashtaroth, Ashtoreths of the Canaanites, is Astarte 3 persons? ;
    • Judges 3:7, Asherah  (Asherim, plural form) of the Canaanites, is Asherim 3 persons? ;
    • Isaiah 42:17 reads, “say to the molten images, You are our Elohim” are molten images 3 persons?

Conclusion:  So if the tribal deities are Elohim but they don’t possess multiplicity of persons, Elohim, therefore, is not necessarily plural in person?  Right?  But addressed in the plural to show respect. Right?

Thirty-Six Reasons For Rejecting Muhammad – Reasons 4-6 (43)

by Anthony Okoro (Series 2)

He declares: “I left Islam because I studied Muhammad’s life; I accepted the Gospel because I studied Jesus’ life”.   [lifted from FB   (www.facebook com/DoctrineApologetics), March 11, 2020]

(NOTE:  We serialize these36 reasons so that we could make a sound judgment on which teaching is superior: Islam or Christianity.  Mr. Okoro seems to come from an African country and has a good knowledge of and exposure to Islam.)

Reasons of and comparisons made by Okoro:

4.  MOhammad was the taker of life; Christ was the giver of life (John 27-28).

5.  MOhammad and his fellow warriors murdered thousands; Christ murdered none but saved many (cf. John 12:48).

6.   MOhammad’s method was COMPULSION; Christ’s aim was voluntary CONVERSION (Acts 3:19).”

ET’s comment:  This writer submits a quotation from the Qur’an which he has in his possession:

“Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad . . . . .), and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islam) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel subdued.” Qur’an, Surah 9:29

Here is the explanation of Jizyah – “a tax levied upon the people of the Scriptures (Jews and Christians), who are under the protection of a Muslim government.”  (From Qur’an footnote, page 248, on Surah 9:29).

Thirty-Six Reasons For Rejecting Muhammad – Reasons 1-3 (42)

Anthony Okoro (Series 1)

He declares: “I left Islam because I studied Muhammad’s life; I accepted the Gospel because I studied Jesus’ life” 

[lifted from FB (www.facebookcom/DoctrineApologetics), March 11, 2020]

(NOTE:  We serialize these 36 reasons so that we could make a sound judgment on which teaching is superior: Islam or Christianity.  Mr. Okoro repeats the upper case MO, MO, MO in his reasons. We don’t know why. He seems to come from an African country and has good knowledge of and exposure to Islam. We add some Qur’an passages to support some of Mr. Okoro’s reasons.)

Reasons of and comparisons made by Okoro:

  1. MOhammad was the prophet of war; Christ is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6-7).
  2. MOhammad’s disciples killed for the faith; Christ’s disciples were killed for their faith (Acts 1:22; 2 Timothy . 4:7)
  3. MOhammad promoted persecution against the “infidels”; Christ forgave and converted the chief persecutor (1Tim.1:13-15).”

This writer submits to you quotations from the Qur’an which he has in his possession.  Feel the emotion that the Qur’an wants to promote among people.

“O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as Auliya (friends, protectors, helpers), they are but Auliya of each other.  And if any amongst you takes them as Auliya, then surely he is one of them. Verily, Allah guides not those people who are the Zalimin (polytheists and wrong-doers and unjust).

(Surah 5:31 of the Qur’an)

“Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad), and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islam) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” 

(Surah 9:29 of the Qur’an)

Note:  “Jizyah: a tax levied upon the people of the Scriptures (Jews and Christians), who are under the protection of a Muslim government.” This is in the footnote of the Qur’an, p. 248,  which this writer has.

(More reasons to follow.)

Mary the Mother of Jesus in Muhammad’s Time (41)

In the fifth century of our era, the veneration of Mary became an important issue especially among the Latin or western churches which were under the supervision of the Bishop of Rome.  On the other hand, this topic was not popular in the Eastern Church or Greek Orthodox congregations that were influenced by the Bishop of Constantinople.

One favorite title of Mary the mother of Jesus Christ was “Mother of God.”  Nestorius, who became a bishop of Constantinople in the fourth century argued that Mary of Nazareth could not be called “Mother of God” because motherhood means origination and conception of life.  Christ as God, could have not been originated and conceived by a human being.  On the other hand, the bishop of Rome believed that the Deity of Christ lodged into the humanity of Jesus upon conception in the womb of Mary, hence the deity passed through the womb of Mary, and therefore she could be called “the mother of God.” Subsequently, the Roman Catholic Church made another canon law declaring that Mary, mother of Jesus, was bodily lifted up into the heavens and has been pronounced as Mediatrix and also Mother of Perpetual Help.

Muhammad was born in the year 570 A.D., so this hot issue of motherhood of God was a common topic among Christians when Muhammad passed through cities and towns of Arabia, Palestine, and Syria.  In the Qur’an, there are many verses where Mary is mentioned.  It is said that Mary’s name is mentioned about 25 times.  Her virtue is also highly recognized as being the mother of a prophet who is Jesus or Isa.

One mistake spoken of about Mary in the Qur’an is that she is the daughter of Imran, and the sister of Harun (Aaron). Some believe that the original writer of that section of the Qur’an thought that Maryam is the Merriam of Exodus. And that this Imran is identified as the father of Aaron.  It is observed by some that the composer of the Qur’an thought that the Miriam in Exodus is the Mary in the Gospel.  We shall investigate his issue.

The story of the births of John the Baptist and that of Jesus Christ is found in Surah XIX with the title “Surat Maryam (Mary) XIX”.

The mention of Mary in the Qur’an is believed to have been included to attract Christian devotees of Mary in the fifth and sixth centuries when Islam was starting to expand in the Christian countries like Palestine, Egypt, Ethiopia, North Africa, Asia Minor, and Persia.   That since Islam honors Mary, and that the Qur’an was claimed to be a revelation of Allah, and Muhammad is a prophet of Allah, switching to the new religion in the 7th and 8th centuries was made easier.

When you read the Qur’an, remember this information we have shared with you. –

(NOTE:  We continue to provide you with more topics about Islam.)

Is Lord Jesus Christ God? 56

#56 – If our Lord Jesus Christ is indeed God, why did he say that angels nor the Son, but only the Father knew when the second coming of the Son would be as declared in Matt. 24:36?  This is the text from : 

  1. “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” (King James Version)
  2. “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” (NKJV)
  3. “But that day and hour none one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”(Mark 13:32, NKJV) 

There is an asterisk (*) after the word heaven in some versions, a signal for a reader to look at the footnote. In the footnote, it says that NU adds “nor the Son”.  The footnote reads like this:  “NU – the eclectic Greek text in the twenty-sixth edition of the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament (N) and in the third edition of the United Bible Societies Greek New Testament (U).” 

Answer:  

      Because Christ himself states that the Son does not know when he was coming the second time, some Bible students conclude that Christ is not God because God should know all things. And since he did not know the date of his second coming, the conclusion is that he is NOT God.  This kind of conclusion is wrong so we submit our explanation below.

     The problem here is that when the claim is made that Christ is God, other people bring out the truth that Christ is man. As if Christ cannot be God and at the same time exist in the form of Man. That Christ is God who became man is clear in John 1:1-14. Christ is God who became flesh. Therefore, the safer conclusion is that Christ was God who became flesh from year 1 A.D. to 33 A.D.. 

     In 1 Cor. 10:1-2, Christ became Rock during the 40 year wilderness exodus of about 2 million Israelites. 

It is also possible that the Yahweh God who appeared with 2 angels in Genesis 18:1-5 was Christ. That appearance with Abraham is described as “man”.  John 8:56-58 tells us that before Abraham was born, Christ already existed. 

     A cherub, an angelic spiritual being, who rebelled against Yahweh became a snake of flesh and bones and appeared to Adam and Eve at the Garden of Eden.  Read Genesis 3; Isaiah 14: 12-17 and Ezekiel 28:12-17. 

If the spirit being Satan did become flesh and bones snake so that he could deceive Adam and Eve (this we readily accept), we should believe that Christ, the second person in the Godhead, can become flesh and blood so that He could rescue the descendants of Adam and Eve. 

     To overcome the seeming problem of Matt. 24:36, take the following steps:

1.    Know that Christ, the second person in the Godhead, existed before the year 1 A.D. He was with the Father before the world was created – John 17:1-5. He was loved by the Father before the foundation of the world according to John 17:24.

2.     Know that Christ existed as a spiritual being higher than angels and is the Creator of all that are invisible and visible persons like angels and the material universe according to Colossians 1:15-16; John 1:1-3; Hebrews 1:10.

3.    Know that Christ existed before Abraham was born – John 8:56-58.

4.    Know that Christ is possibly the Yahweh who appeared as man to Abraham in Genesis 18.

5.    Know that Christ became the Rock that supplied water in the wilderness exodus – 1Cor. 10:1-2.

6.    Know that Christ has been very active from eternity says Micah 5:2 which is suggested by the verbal “goings forth” that means plural activities.

7.   Know that this spirit being, who is called the Word in John 1:1-3, descended from heaven and indwelt a human body according to Hebrews 10:5; John 1:14 and Colossians 2:9.

8.   Know that there were times he spoke as God or Deity like John 17:5 where He says, he was with God before the world was created.

9.   Know that there were times he spoke as Man like John 8:40. 

10.   Therefore, we should accept that Christ is true God and true Man.  

11.   Granting that Jesus Christ indeed said “the Son” does not know the date of the Second Coming, surely he was referring to His humanity because humanity is limited.  Besides, the context of 24:36 is talking about being alert, being watchful.  After teaching watchfulness, up to the end, to be consistent he had to refrain from revealing when that moment of the end would be.  Kasi makulit ang mga alagad. Sinabi na ngang be watchful pinipilit pa rin na sabihin na kung kailan. 

12.  Know that when Christ spoke as Deity, the disciples recognized that He was God who knows all things like in John 21:17 – “Lord, You know all things.”  

Matt. 9:4 – “But Jesus knowing their thoughts . . .”

Matt.12:25 – “But Jesus knew their thoughts. . .”

Luke 6:8 – “But He know their thoughts. . .” 

Luke 11:17- “But He knowing their thoughts . . .; 

John 7:29 – “But I know Him for I am from Him, and He sent Me.” Christ knows the God the Father.

John 18:4 – “Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward . . .”

John 19:28 – “After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished that the Scriptures might be fulfilled, said, ‘I thirst.’” 

Conclusion:  In the context of Matthew 24, clearly Christ employed His humanity in saying that the Son of Man did not know the day and hour. It was a method of evasion to be consistent with His preaching that disciples must be watchful up to the end. This verse should not be used to deny Christ’s deity.  Isang supalpal sa kakulitan ng mga alagad ang pagsagot Niya sa Mateo 24:36. Ganyan na naman sa Acts 1:6-7, Christ told his disciples to wait in Jerusalem and be ready for the coming of the Holy Spirit. Makulit na naman ang mga alagad by asking, “Lord, will you now restore the Kingdom to Israel?” Sinabi, “And He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.’” –   ET

Monogenetos = “Unique” “One of a Kind”, “Beloved” (40)

Arranged by Eusebio Tanicala, PhD

Question:   Why is Christ called the “only begotten Son” in John 1:14; 18; John 3:16; Acts 13:33; Heb. 1:5; Heb. 11:17-18 in the older English versions of the Bible? What is the meaning of ‘begotten’? Did the early Christian century church apologists fall short of their explanations?

Answer:  It looks like that the so-called “Church Fathers” or early Christian writers failed to explain the New Testament verses where the phrase “begotten Son” as well as the phrase “only son” that is found as in Psalm 2:7; John 1:14, 18; John 3:16; Acts 13:33; Hebrews 1:5; Hebrews 11:17-18; 1 John 4:9.

Early Century Creeds View about Christ

1.  The Nicene Creed of 325, revised at the Constantinople Council in 381 A.D. has this phrase: “the only begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds x x x x x begotten not made being of one substance with the Father. . .”

2.  The Chalcedonian Creed of 451 A.D. says: “. . . begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead. . .”

3.  The Athanasian Creed of the 4th-5th Century, item #22: “The Son is of the Father alone; not made, not created, but begotten.”

Early English Versions

Here are the phrases found in some older English versions/translations of the Bible made before the year 1950 A.D. We insert the Greek word after the term “only begotten”:

  1. Wycliffe Bible (1395 A.D.)
    1. Psalm 2:7 – “The Lord seide to me, thou art my sone, Y haue gendrid (Grk, egenesa) thee to dai.”
    2. John 1:14 – “as the glorie of the ‘oon bigetun (Grk, monogenous) sone of the fadir x
    3. John 1:18 – “. . no but the ‘oone begetun (monogenes) sone, that is in the bosom of the fadir. . ”
  2. Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible (1582/1609 A.D.)
    1. Psalm 2:7 – “I will tell of the decree: Jehovah said unto me, Thou art my son; This day have I begotten (egennesa) thee.”
    2. John 1:14 – “. . . the glory as it were of the only begotten (monogenous) of the Father. . .”
    3. John 1:18 – x x x v. 18, the only begotten (monogenes) Son who is in the bosom of the father. . .”
  3. King James Version (1611 A.D.)
    1. Psalm 2:7 – “. . . I will tell of the decree: The LORD said to me, ‘You are my Son; today I have begotten (egennesa) you.”
    2. John 1:14 – “. . . (. . . the glory as of the only begotten (monogenous) of the Father,). . .”
    3. John 1:18 – “. . . the only begotten (monogenes) Son, which is in the bosom of the Father. . . ”

The Meaning of Begotten

The term “begotten” (genes in Greek) in its literal meaning is to biologically produce a child by a father, and the mother is said to bear a child.  Perhaps this gave Arius of Egypt in the latter part of the 3rd century and early part of the 4th century the idea that God the Father produced or created the Son.  Or that the Son was an emanation from the Father.  So Arius insisted that the Son had a beginning, a creation, and similar but not the same in essence as the Father. Arius was opposed by Athanasius who insisted that Christ was begotten but NOT with the idea of bringing into existence Christ, the Son. The majority of the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D., believed that Christ came forth from the Father. Many older theologians viewed this coming forth as the “eternal generation of the Son from the Father.” But this phraseology would still create some problems as to the eternity (aseity) of the Son.

Also, the Greek term “mono” has the first common meaning “one, single, sole.” So the compound word “monogenes” (mono+genes) has been interpreted as “one begotten” or “only begotten” if taken literally. This created a big controversy about the nature of Christ. Even Muslims who consider Jesus Christ as a prophet are scandalized by the phrase “begotten of the Father” because that would make God having carnal relation with somebody to bring into existence Christ Jesus.

Was he created or brought into being or not?  To prove his point, Arius cited Proverbs 8:24-25, “When there were no depths I was brought forth when there were no fountains abounding with water; before the mountains were settled, before the hills, I was brought forth.”

The weakness of Arius’ stand was that he interpreted the terms in the phrase literally, taking the material and biological meaning as the basis of interpreting the scriptures. He did not consider the figurative shade of the terms.  So let us analyze some background scriptures. Please read 2 Samuel 7:4-17 which was a message from Yahweh God to King David through the Prophet Nathan. Related to our topic, verse 14 says, “I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men.”

Yahweh is the speaker here and Yahweh would become the “Father” of King David’s begotten son who will be his successor.  Yahweh’s fatherhood to King Solomon is NOT to produce a child and bring him into existence.  The fatherhood of Yahweh and the sonhood of King Solomon refer to the close relationship of the two parties.  Yahweh would act as if He were the loving, concerned biological father who considers a natural son giving him provisions, protection, assistance, etc.  As a biological father, King David did that to his son Solomon by anointing him as his successor and giving him all his gold and silver collections so that he could build a Temple dedicated to Yahweh (1Kings 5:1-18; 2Chron. 2:3-12). On the other hand, Yahweh granted special favor to King Solomon. Please read 1Kings 3:5-15; 1Kings 8:1-66. In the early years of King Solomon’s reign, Yahweh became the “Father” and Solomon became the “son.” God made Himself closely related to the King on the condition that God’s commandments were obeyed.  There is the “begetting”.  It is figurative. It is spiritual. It is not producing a child, not bringing into existence. It is a unique, beloved, close relationship.

The Meaning of “ONLY”

How about the term “mono” or “only”?  The literal and first impression in our mind is number: one item or one person. Not two or more in the number of items.  A limiting adjective.

Again, this term should not be taken literally in its first meaning. Not the singularity of item or person. For example in Genesis 22:2, 12, 16, Isaac is said to be the “only son” of Abraham.  The reading is in verse 2: ton huion sou ton monogene; verse 12, ton huion sou ton monogene; in verse 16,  ton huion sou, ton monogene sou.

Genesis 22 points to Isaac as the only son of Abraham is repeated in Hebrews 11:17-18, “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, ‘In Isaac, your seed shall be called.” The phrase “his only begotten son” in English, and in Greek it is “ton monogene autou”  Isaac was Abraham’s only son because Isaac was unique in that he was conceived when Sarah was 89 years old and gave birth at age 90 and Abraham was 100 years old.

Isaac was beloved because he was chosen as the heir of Abraham and Sarah’s wealth.  And Isaac was chosen as Abraham’s seed through which the promised seed would be traced. Not through Ishmael who was driven away with his mother Hagar.  Ishmael’s seed are the Muslims, the Arabs who are opposed to Christianity today.

But we should be aware that Ishmael is the first son of Abraham through Hagar. Genesis 16:15, “So Hagar bore Abram a son: and Abram named his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael.” Genesis 21:9, “And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, scoffing.”  Genesis 21:13, “Yet I will also make a nation of the son of the bondwoman because he is your seed.”

The term “only son” in English in Genesis 22:2, 12, 16 is monogene in Greek text. The term “only” in the Hebrew text of Genesis 12:2, 12, 16 is “YACHID”.  This is proof that “Yachid” is not “absolute one” (meaning: strictly one, single item, or one person, not two or more) as some preachers are insisting.  Isaac is said to be the YACHID son of Abraham.  It is the uniqueness, close relationship, belovedness that is meant. Not the number of items or number of people that are referred to. Not “absolute one.” So please stop this argument about “Yachid as absolute one.” It has no authoritative basis.

Please wake up, brethren.  Do not promote an argument that is not supported by sound scholarship and authoritative documentation. If you have a contrary view, please document your research and send me a copy.

Some Bible Versions after the Year 1950

Some Bible Versions/Translations made after the year 1950, because of modern research on the use of the phrase “only begotten son” (monogenes), wordings have changed.  Here is NIV’s rendition of Psalm 2:7, “I will proclaim the LORD’S decree, He said to me You are my son; today I have become your father.”  The wording is no longer “I have begotten you.”  Observe the following versions made after 1950 on John 1:14 and 18:

  1. New International Version (NIV, year 1973) – John 1:14, “. . . the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father. . . ”, x x x ; v. 18, “. . . but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father. . . “
  2. English Standard Version (ESV, year 2001) – John 1:14, “. . . glory as of the only Son from the Father. . .”, x x x; v. 18, “. . . the only God, who is at the Father’s side.”
  3. Word English Bible (WEB) – John 1:14, “. . . such glory as of the one and only Son of the Father. . .”, x x x ; v. 18, “. . . The one and only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father. . .”
  4. New Living Translation (NLT, year 1996) – v. 14, “. . . Glory of the only Son of the Father. . .” x x x; v. 18, “. . . But his only Son, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. . .”
  5. World Messianic Bible – John 1:14, “. . . such glory as of the one and only Son of the Father. . .”, x x x ; v. 18, “. . . The one and only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father. . .”
  6. Hugo McCord’s Translation (year 1989) – John 1:14, “. . . the splendor as of a unique one from the Father. . .”, x x x; v. 18, “. . . The unique Son, who is in the Father’s bosom. . .”
  7. New Century Version (NCV, year 1988) – John 1:14, “. . . the glory that belongs to the only Son of the Father. . .”, x x x; v. 18, “. . . But God the only Son is very close to the Father. . .”
  8. Baro Naimbag a Damag Biblia (1996) – John 1:14, “. . . Nakitami ti dayagna, ti dayag nga inawatna kas kakaisuna nga Anak ti Ama.” x x x ; v. 18, “. . . Ti laeng Bugbugtong nga Anak, a kadua ti Ama. . .”

The Unity of Being God. 55

#55 – A certain denomination in the Philippines teaches that the unity of the Father and Christ in John 10:30, “I and the Father are one,” is only found in the action of shepherding, not in their unity of being God. How do we counter this claim? 

Answer:  We will submit many passages that the unity or oneness of the Father with Christ is not limited to shepherding. We start with how the word “one” is used in various ways.

1. There is the use of the word “one” to mean a counting number to indicate one individual, separate person, or one individual, separate, exclusive item. Not two, not three or more persons or items.

Examples: 

Gen. 2:21, one (Heb. echad) of his ribs;    

Exo. 30:10, one (echad) time in a year.

Gen. 10:25 one (echad) of two sons;         

Eccles. 4:8, one (echad) . . and . . . not a second.

2. There is also the use of the word “one” to mean the unity, the harmony, the co-mingling of emotion, purpose, attributes, the direction in life of closely knit, closely related two or more individuals or closely related two or more separate but closely related persons or acts because there is unicity and harmony.

Examples: 

Gen. 2:24, ( Heb. echad), “they shall be one flesh”- speaking of husband Adam and wife Eve. This oneness, unicity, harmony is repeated in Mal. 2:15 – husband & wife; 

Mtt. 19:4, 5 – they become one;

Eph. 5:31.  

3. There is a third usage of the word “one” which is called the collective noun or mass noun.

Examples:

Gen. 11:6 – the people is one (Heb. echad);   

Gen. 32:8 – one (echad) company; 

Judges 20:8 – the people arose as one (echad) man;  

John 10:16 – one (Greek-heis) fold.   

4. A fourth usage of the word “one” or “only” is that which is unique or special. Also called Inclusive one.

Example: 

Gen. 22:2, 12, 16 – Isaac your only (yachid) son;    

Zech. 14:4 – one (echad) LORD. . . his name is one. 

Matt. 19:17 & Mk. 10:18 – none good but one (Gk, heis). . . God.  There are good and faithful servants, too.   

The unity and harmony of Christ and the Father is not limited to the act of shepherding the flock or disciples

In the context of John chapter 10.  Notice John 10:25 where Christ says, “The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me.” The term “works” is plural. So it does not limit to the one act of shepherding.  The oneness of the Father and the Son is in all other works especially in those miraculous acts of healing and teaching. See also v. 37, 38 and John 17:7-8.   

In John 17, the Father glorifies the Son, and in return, the Son glorifies the Father. The basis of eternal life is the belief in the Father and the Son (v. 3).  Very revealing is  John 17:10, “And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them”  This means that the attributes of the Father are the attributes of the Son.  # – ET

Christianity’s Doctrinal Issues in Muhammad’s Time (39)

11.  Modalism –  Is the idea that God is one person and He reveals Himself in three different modes: as Father some of the time, as Son in different times, and as Holy Spirit in other times.  It is also called “Unitarianism” or “Oneness.”

10.  Subordinationism –  This teaches that the Second Person (the Son, Christ Jesus) and the Third Person (Holy Spirit) are subordinated to the Father, the First Person. The 2nd and 3rd persons are lower in nature and rank.  The two persons are not of the same essence, not the same in substance.  Only similar substance or similar in essence.

12.  Tritheism –  The belief that the three persons are truly God and that there are three Gods: the Father as first person, the Son who is Christ as a second person, and the Holy Spirit as a third person.  Strict monotheists would call the belief of Trinitarians “tritheism”, three different Gods.  This is how Muslims and the preachers of the INC-Manalo group understand the Church of Christ position when we insist that Christ is God or Christ is a deity.  Of course, we explain the use of the word monogenetos and the use of the word “one” or  “only” as unity or harmonic one. This is fully explained in the following article.

13.  Trinitarian – The belief that there is One Being who is the one true God and in that One true God, there are three distinct persons each is completely God and that the three persons are equal in essence and attributes.

14.  Islam’s View –  Islam teaches that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, a prophet, and will be the Judge on the last day but he is not the Son of God.  Muhammad, in the mind of Muslims, is a greater prophet who is higher in rank than Jesus the Christ. Muslims insist that God has no son and that Allah has no wife. Muslim’s idea of the word “begotten” is physical and biological.  In Islam, Christ is God’s Word.  In the past, Allah said “Be” and the Word was created.

In the Old Testament, the idea of a Trinity in the Godhead was not a clear doctrine among the Hebrews. Yahweh to the Jews was one, singular, solitary spiritual being, the Eternal, Almighty creator God. This is called “strictly one person monotheism.” This doctrine could have been absorbed by Muhammed when he encountered the different views during his caravan days from Mecca to Syria.

The Christian Claim (34)

Question #34 –  Muslims claim that the Prophet promised by Yahweh in Deuteronomy 18:15-18 is Muhammad. In like manner, Christians claim that the fulfillment is with Jesus Christ.  Which has the better and true claim?

Answer:  The following is our presentation of the Christian claim. Analyze the text of Deuteronomy 18:15-18

“Jehovah thy God will raise up unto thee a prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; x x x x I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee; and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.”

(Deuteronomy 18:15-18, ASV)

Please note the following facts: 

  1. Moses was addressing Israel as a nation who descended from Isaac not Ishmael.
  2. From the midst of the brethren that descended from Isaac and Jacob, the 12 tribes of Israel will Jehovah anoint this promised Prophet. 
  3. That Prophet shall be like Moises who personally received words from Jehovah.
  4. That Prophet shall deliver to the people of Israel Jehovah’s commandments.

The question is:  Is Jesus Christ, a Jew, the fulfillment or is it Muhammad the Arab? 

  1. The text says that the Prophet will come from the midst of Israel, a brother of the Hebrews. not from the Arabians.  Muhammad did not come from the midst of Israel. Israel was a nation that descended from Isaac and Jacob, while the Ishmaelites settled in Havilah (Gen. 25:17-18) descended from the Ishmael.  Ishmaelite merchants bought Joseph from his brothers and sold him to Potiphar (Gen. 39:1); became known as Arabians (2Chron. 2:17:11). From this genealogy, it is clear that this Prophet should be an Israelite or a Jew.  Ishmaelites or Arabians are very distant blood brothers of the Israelites. But note that Deut. 18-15-8 says that the Prophet comes from the midst of the Israelite brethren. 
  2. The pronoun “thee” refers to the nation of Israel who was then encamped at the eastern side of the Jordan River.  So the recipient of the promise is the nation of Israel. Not the Arabians.
  3. “Among their brethren” refers to the family of Israel. Not Ishmaelites or Arabians. 
  4. “a Prophet like me” (v. 15), “said to me” (v. 17), “like you”, is Moses talking to a Hebrew audience in v. 18?  Yes.  The coming Prophet will be like Moses, a full brother of the Israelites, a mediator of a covenant as Moses was the mediator between Yahweh and the nation of Israel.  Muhammad is not an Israelite who mediated Israel as one party and Yahweh as second party. Muhammad’s God is named Allah not Yahweh.
  5. The speaker in v. 18 is Yahweh.  Yahweh is the one who puts His words in the mouth of that Prophet who was coming.  The one who put the recitation in the mouth of Muhammad was the Angel Gabriel and/or Allah.  The one who gave the doctrines or instructions to Jesus Christ was the Father, the Yahweh we read in the Bible.  Christ repeatedly mentioned in the Gospel of John that what he heard from the Father was the thing he taught the disciples. Christ declared that his teachings are not His own but were given by the Father.  
  6. Jesus Christ Himself frankly declared that He is that Prophet and the Messiah expected to come by the Samaritans.  The Samarians accepted the Torah as their scripture. “The woman said to Him, ‘I know that Messiah is coming’ (who is called Christ) ‘When He comes, He will tell us all things.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you am He.” (John 4:26)
  7. Muslims accept much the Gospel According to John. And Apostle John tells us that Moses wrote about Jesus Christ. Analyze the following passages:
  • John 1:45-46, “And Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote – Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. . .” Read till the end of the chapter.
  • Luke 5:46-47, “Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father, there is one who accuses you – Moses, in whom you trust. For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”
  • John 3:13-14, “No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”  Read verses 15- 20 and the text tells of judgment which is the punishment Deut. 18:15-18 talks about. 
  • John 1:29-51 has the testimony of John the Baptist who is honored by Muslim friends.  John testifies that Jesus of Nazareth is indeed the expected Messiah, the Prophet of God. 

Conclusion:  It is very clear that Deuteronomy 18:15-18 refers to Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Not referring to Muhammad.  I suggest that you remember this presentation when you share your faith with Muslim friends about Jesus Christ the Messiah. # – ET

Who are the prophets mentioned in the Qurán? And what is Islam’s idea of Monotheism or One God?  (35)

Answer (1):  A copy of the Qurán which I have on my bookshelf makes a list of prophets which is on page 861, Appendix I:  

S.No. Arabic           English      
Adam            Adam            
Alyasa        Elisha         
Ayyub       Job 
Davud David 
Dhul-Kift Dhul-Kift 
Harun Aaron 
Hud Hud 
Ibrahim Abraham 
Idris Enoc 
10 Iliyas Elias 
11 ‘Isa Jesus 
12 Ishaq Isaac 
13 Isma’il Ishmaelv 
14 Lut Lot 
15 Muhammad Muhammad or Ahmad 
16 Musa Moses 
17 Nuh Noah 
18 Salih Salih 
19 Shu’aib Shuaib 
20 Sulaiman Solomon 
21 Ya’qub Jacob 
22 Yahya John 
23 Yunus Jonah 
24 Yusuf Joseph 
25 Zakariyya Zacahriah 

 
Answer #2:  Here is copied verbatim from page 894, Appendix II, so that we can understand better the view of Islam on Monotheism: (Note: Arabic characters cannot be duplicated so we put parenthesis and say “Arabic letters here”.  Quote:  

TAUHID – (ISLAMIC MONOTHEISM) 

Tauhid (Islamic Monotheism)  is to believe in:

  1. Allah, 
  2. His Angels, 
  3. His Messengers, 
  4. His revealed Books, 
  5. Day of Resurrection, 
  6. and  Al-Qadar (Divine Preordainment i.e. whatever Allah ordained must come to pass), and to act on the

Five Principles of Islam, i.e., 

  1. To testify that La illaha illallah wa anna Muhammad-ur Rasul Allah  (None has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, 
  2. To offer the (five compulsory congregational) prayers (Iqamat as-Salat), 
  3. To pay zakat, 
  4. To perform Hajj (i.e. Pilgrimage to Makkah), 
  5. To observe fast during the month of Ramadan. 

To believe in Allah means declaring Allah to be the only God in the heavens and the earth and all that exists.  It has three aspects: 

  1. The Oneness of the Lordship of Allah; Tauhid-ar-Rububiyyah:  To believe that there is only one Lord for all the universe,  Who is its Creator, Organizer, Planner, Sustainer, and the Giver of security, etc., and that is Allah. 
  1. The Oneness of the Worship of Allah; Tauhid-al-Uluhiyyah:  To believe that none has the right to be worshipped (e.i. praying, invoking, asking for help from the unseen, swearing, offering sacrifice, giving charity, fasting, pilgrimage) but Allah. 
  1. The Oneness of the Names and the Qualities of Allah: Tauhid-al-Asma’was-Sifar:  To believe that: 
  • We must not name or qualify Allah except with what He or His Messenger (Arabic letters) has named or qualified Him. 
  • None can be named or qualified with the Names or Qualifications of Allah; e.g. Al-Karim; 
  • We must believe in all the qualities of Allah which Allah has stated in His Book (the Qurán) or mentioned through His Messenger (Muhammad  a r a b i c letters) without changing their meaning or ignoring them completely or twisting the meanings or likening them (giving resemblance) to any of the created things e.g. Allah is present over His Throne as mentioned in the Qurán (V.20:5):  

“The Most Gracious (Allah) rose over (Istawa) the (Mighty) Throne (in a manner that suits His Majesty),” over the seventh heaven; and He comes down over the first (nearest) heaven to us on the day of ‘Arafah (Hajj, i.e. the 9th of Dhul-Hijja)  and also during the last third part of the night is mentioned by the Prophet (a r a b i c  h e r e)  but He is with us by His knowledge, not by His Person-Self (bi-Dhatihi).  

  •  Qurán (V.20:5)
  • It is not as some people think that Allah is present everywhere – – here, there, and even inside the breasts of men. 

         Also, Allah says: 

         “There is nothing like Him and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer” (V.42:11) 

    This holy verse proves the quality of hearing and the quality of sight for Allah without likening them (or giving resemblance) to any of the created things) and likewise, He ( Arabic ) also says: 

         “To one whom I have created with Both My Hands” (V.38.75) 

          and He also says: 

         “The Hand of Allah is over their hands.” (V.48.10) 

    This confirms two Hands for Allah, but there is no similarity for them.  This is the belief of all true believers and was the belief of all the Prophets of Allah from Nuh (Noah), Ibrahim (Abraham), Musa (Moses), and Ísa (Jesus) till the last of the Prophets, Muhammad (Arabic here). 

    These three aspects of Tauhid are included in the meaning of La ilaha illallah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah).   

    It is also essential to follow Allah’s Messenger, Muhammad (Arabic characters here) Wujub al-Ittiba and it is a part of Tauhid-al-Uluhiyyah. 

    This is included in the meaning, “I testify that Muhammad (Arabic letters here) is Allah’s  

    Messenger,” and this means, “None has the right to be followed after Allah’s Book (the Qurán), but Allah’s Messenger (Arabic letters here). 

         Allah says:  

         “And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad  Arabic letters here) gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it).” (V.59.7) 

         Allah says: 

         “Say (O Muhammad Arabic letters here to mankind), ‘If you (really) love Allah then follow me [i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the (Qurán and the Sunnah (legal ways of the Prophet Arabic letters here], Allah will love you and forgive you of yours sins.’” (V.3:31).   

    Note:  The above long quotation is Islam’s view of monotheism.  In Christian Trinitarianism, there are three Persons in One God.  Modalistic Trinitarianism, on the other hand, says there is only one person, but there are three modes of God’s manifestation which are: as Father at one time, as Son in another time, as Holy Spirit in other times. 

    Comparing Christianity with Islam (33)

    Question # 33 –  What are the basic items we could submit to make a comparison between the Christian Faith on one hand and the Islam Religion on the other hand?

    Answer:  Let us make a chart listing the basic elements and we leave to the readers the burden of expanding the ideas.

    BASIC ITEMS IN THE COMPARISON

    CHRISTIANITY
    Established by Christ
    ISLAM
    Established by Muhammad
    1. Founder – Jesus Christ1.  Founder – Muhammad
    2.  Nationality – Jew or Israelite2.  Nationality – Arab or Arabian
    3.  Basis of Teaching:  Bible3.  Basis:  Qurán + Torah + Ingil
    4.  God:  Yahweh God4.  God:  Allah God
    5.  Common Ancestor:  Abraham5.  Common Ancestor:  Abraham
    6.  Seed of Abraham as heir:  Isaac6.  Seed of Abraham: Ishmael not heir
    7.  Final prophet:  Jesus Christ7.  Final prophet:  Muhammad
    8.  Life on earth:  1 A.D. – 33 A.D.8.  Life on earth:  570 A.D. – 632 A.D.
    9.  Teachings from:  God the Father9.  Recitation induced by Angel Gabriel
    10. Miracles demonstrated by Christ10. No miracles were shown by Muhammad
    11. Coming of Christ prophesied in O.T.11. No OT prophecies (Deut. 18:18 claimed)
    12. Christ as God existed before Abram12. Muhammad did not exist before Abram
    13. Christ was God & Man13. Muhammad was Man only
    14. Jesus’ humanity is seed of woman only14. Muhammad is from a father & a mother
    15. Christ was worshipped while on earth15. Muhammad was not worshipped 
    16. Jesus died for the sins of mankind.16. Muhammad did not die for mankind
    17. Jesus died and resurrected after 3 days17. Muhammad died but didn’t resurrect
    18. Jesus ascended to heaven after 40 days18. Muhammad didn’t ascend to heaven
    19. Jesus now seated on a throne in heaven19. Muhammad is dust in his grave
    20. Jesus now a mediator in heaven20. Muhammad is not a mediator in heaven
    21. Jesus is alive in heaven with a glorious body21. Muhammad is dust in his grave
    22. Jesus is God in heaven22. Muhammad is man & dust in his grave
    23. Jesus Christ will come and judge mankind23. Muhammad is not appointed as judge
    BASIC ITEMS IN THE COMPARISON

    The above items clearly show the superiority of Christianity over Islam.  Considering all the above, we should cast our lot with Christianity.  The evidence is overwhelming.

    Let me submit some more thoughts about the claims of our Lord Jesus Christ.  After the immersion of Christ at the River Jordan, God the Father’s voice was heard confirming that Jesus is the Son of the Father well pleasing to Him. The coming down of the Holy Spirit and alighting upon Jesus further strengthened the rightful claims of Jesus Christ.  Muslims agree that John the Baptist is God’s prophet. This John the Baptist confirmed that Jesus is the Messiah and that He is the messenger of God and that Christ existed before John the Baptist was born. 

    Yahweh, the true God worshipped by Abraham confirms that the blessed seed was Isaac and not Ishmael in Genesis 17:17-22; Gen. 21:9-13. When Isaac was born and weaned, Sarah did not like how her son Isaac was laughed at by Ishmael, so Sarah told Abraham to send away Ishmael and his mother Hagar because she did not want others to share in the inheritance from the family. The true God, Yahweh, told Abraham to follow the desire of Sarah to send away Ishmael and Hagar. This shows that the promised seed of woman in Genesis 3:15, and the promised blessing of all families of the earth will be through the seed of Abraham (Genesis 12).  That seed is through Isaac, Jacob, Judah, King David and the Virgin Mary.  That seed which blesses all the families is Jesus Christ. Not Muhammad.  This is confirmed by Apostle Paul in Galatians 3:15-16; Gal. 4:14-21. 

    Abraham recognized and worshipped Yahweh as their God not Allah.  Muslims accept the Torah as a Book from God, and this Torah mentions the name of the true God as Yahweh.  Why don’t Muslims accept what the Torah tells them that the true God is Yahweh?  And Yahweh was the true God of Abraham and then came Muhammad in circa 620 A.D., saying that the true God is Allah. Or did Muhammad teach that the true God of Abraham ceased to exist in the year Muhammad started to preach? Why insist that Allah is the true God?

    We shall show more proof about the superiority of our Christian hope. # – ET  

    Is “Elohim” always Plural? (32)

    Question #32 —  Is the presence of plural pronouns “Us, Our, Our” in Genesis 1:26 a strong proof that the term ELOHIM is always plural a composing three persons in the Godhead?

    Answer:  To me, the presence of the three plural pronouns in Genesis chapter One is a weak argument in proving the presence of three persons in the Godhead because there are more singular pronouns in the same chapter referring to the same antecedent which is Elohim.

    Explanations 

    The word “God” in Genesis chapter one is ELOHIM in the Hebrew Bible. It is employed 30 times in this chapter one. There you have 30 times Elohim as the antecedent of Three (3) plural

    pronouns.  On the other hand, singular pronouns: “I” used 2 times, “His” used 1 time, “He” used 3 times, a total of 6 singular pronouns. 

    If one argues that 3 plural pronouns proves the presence of a plurality of persons involved in the term Elohim, what does 6 singular pronouns prove about the number of persons in the same antecedent noun Elohim?  It means that the term Elohim is not always plural in person.  It means that Elohim is also singular in person. 

    In Genesis chapter 2, Elohim (used 2 times), and LORD God (used 10 times) is the antecedent of the pronouns “His” (3 times), “He” (8 times), and “I” (1 time).  Because only singular pronouns are used in chapter 2, should that not prove that Elohim has one person in that context?  Should it not?  If not, why not?  So Elohim does not always involve plurality of persons in the name.

    In connection with Isaiah 52:12, some Bible teachers think that there are two persons of the Godhead involved:  one person of the Godhead in front (LORD or Yahweh) of the returning Jews  and a second person (God or Elohim) at the rear of the caravan. Note that Elohim is one person at the rear.  So Elohim at the rear is one person not plurality of persons yet He is called Elohim. 

    I believe in the triune Godhead, but using Genesis 1:26 is weak.  

    I urge my fellow students of the Bible not to insist that the term Elohim is always plural in persons.  Let us be consistent.  The plurality could refer to the plural of majesty or plural of respect to Deity. Some suggest that the plural form is suggestive of the plurality of excellent and superior attributes.  Among the Greeks, one Deity is often assigned one superior attribute. Or it could refer to angels as the ones addressed or included in the plural pronouns in Genesis 1. Angels are also called Elohim.  Please see the Hebrew Index of your Young’s Analytical Concordance of the Bible OR  Strong’s Concordance of the Bible.  Both concordances declare that angels are also called Elohim. 

    We shall come out with lessons in the near future on how to present the view on the Trinity – ET        

    Should we put Jesus on the same level as the Father? 54

    #54 – How do we consider the fact that our Lord Jesus Christ when He was on earth was worshipped as recorded in several passages in the New Testament?  It is granted that only the true God is worthy of worship. Since Jesus Christ accepted worship, is it not a settled fact that He should be put on the same level as the Father?  

    Answer:  Yes on the basis of worthiness and acceptance of worship, Christ should be considered as true God with the same attributes as God the Father. We will substantiate our stand. 

    Consider the following arguments. Quotations are from the NKJV: 

    1. Only the true God should be worshiped. 

    Deut. 6:13, “You shall fear the LORD YOUR God and serve Him, and shall take oaths in His name.”

    Deut. 10:20, “You shall fear the LORD your God; you shall serve Him, and to Him you shall hold fast, and take oaths in His name. 

    Matt. 4:10, “Then Jesus said to him, ‘Away with you Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”

    2. Christ should be honored as much as the Father is honored.

    John 5:23, “that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father, He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.”  Worship is the highest honor a human being can give to God. If the Father is worthy of worship, and worship is an honor to the Father, then Christ should be honored as God in our worship.  

    3.  The Wisemen were moved by God to go pay homage to the baby Jesus.  By inference, we can conclude that they were inspired in their knowledge that this newborn baby is the Son of God worthy of worship.  

    Matt. 2:2, 11, 12, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him. x x x  11. And when they have come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. x x x 12  Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.” 

    4. A Leper worshipped Christ. 

    Matt. 8:2-3,  “And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, ‘Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.’ Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, ‘I am willing, be cleansed.’ And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.”

    5. A ruler worshiped Christ.

    Matt. 9:18, “While He spoke these things to them, behold a ruler came and worshiped Him, saying, ‘My daughter has just died, but come and lay Your hand on her and she will live.”

    6. The apostles worshiped Christ.

    Matt. 14:33, “Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him saying, ‘Truly You are the Son of God.”

    7. A woman worshiped Christ. 

    Matt. 15:25, “Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, ‘Lord, help me!’”

    8. The disciples worshiped Christ. 

    Mtt. 28:9, “And as they went to tell His disciples, behold Jesus met them, saying ‘Rejoice!’ And they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him.”

    9.  The apostles worshiped Christ after His resurrection. 

    Luke 24:52, “And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.”

    10. Angels worship Christ.

    Hebrews 1:6, “But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: ‘Let all the angels of God worship Him.’”

         We have amply shown proofs that Christ, while on earth, was actually worshiped by human beings coming from various stations in life. God Himself declared that angels should worship Christ. Christ was worthy of worship even by angels because in the human body of Christ dwelt Deity. Notice the declaration of the Apostle Paul in Colossians 2:9, “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” # – ET

    Christianity’s Doctrinal Issues in Muhammad’s Time (37)

    These lessons numbers 4 to 6 is a continuation of the previous article regarding doctrines affecting the Muslims’  belief on strict monotheism which run counter to the Church’s belief in the Trinity.

    4.  Docetism – from the Greek verb dokeo which means “to seem or to appear.” Some first and second century Christians who were influenced by Greek thought believed that Jesus was real and fully God, but he only seemed to be human.  His humanity, it was said, was an illusion.  They could not accept that God who is spirit could partake of material existence.  Believers of this idea were called Docetists.

    However, those people would not be consistent if they consider Genesis 3 where we find the record of Satan, a spirit being, a created cherub (Ezekiel 28:12-19), who became or appeared in the form of a material snake and curled itself in the tree at the Garden of Eden.  This spirit being that became material tempted Eve and made her pick the forbidden fruit. That made humanity fall into sin and made this world cursed.

    5.  Arianism – Is derived from the chief promoter of this idea who is Arius, a Christian teacher in Alexandria, Egypt in the first half of the 4th century.  This belief says that the only absolute, self-existing, eternal, uncreated being is God and that refers to the Father.  The Father could not share his being, his essence, his nature to any other person.  Christ was the highest of God’s creation, according to Arius. He was created, had a beginning and is not of the same essence as the Father but of similar essence as the Father, hence inferior to the Father.  There are attributes of the Father that are assigned to Christ.  Arius argued that Christ “bears these titles only because he participates in the word and wisdom of the Father.” (See Erickson, Christian Theology, page 696).

    Emperor Constantine the Great convened a general council which was attended by about 318 church bishops that met in the year 325 A.D. in the town of Nicaea in the northern part of what is now the country of Turkey.  This council was co-chaired by Bishop Hosius of Spain. There were only three other bishops that voted against the doctrine that Christ is Divine and has the same essence as the Father.

    6.  Apollinarianism –  Is the idea taught by Apollinarius, bishop of Laodicea, a contemporary and friend of Athanasius.  Apollinarius believed that the Word became flesh (John 1:14), but Jesus was not completely human.  To him, it was illogical that Jesus Christ was completely God and completely human in a unity of one person.  Yes, Jesus became flesh, but he didn’t possess the ordinary human mind, soul, reason that animate humanity, he claimed.  That which animated Jesus’ humanity is the Divine Logos, he said.

    Other general councils and the main issues taken up are the: (a) Council of Constantinople in Asia Minor (now Turkey) in the year 381 A.D. which tackled the person and divinity of the Holy Spirit,  (b) Council of Ephesus, still in Asia Minor in the year 431 A.D. which discussed the Fall of Man with a conclusion that with the Fall of Adam and Eve, man that is born of woman is totally depraved, and (c) Council of Chalcedon in the year 451 A.D. which discussed the co-mingling of humanity and divinity in the one person of Christ.

    These doctrines continued as topics of interest among Christians in the coming centuries. #

    (More to follow.)

    Where in the Bible can we read the word Biblia? 53

    Question #53 –  Mayroong mga nagtatanong ng ganito: “Saan natin mababasa sa Biblia ang katagang Biblia, liban sa cover sapagkat yung cover ay gawa ng printer, hindi kinasihan ng Diyos yun?”  (Some folks in our country, the Philippines, ask in the dialect:  “Where in the Bible can we read the word Biblia, except the cover because the cover is not inspired?”) 

    Answer: In several major Philippine languages, we use the term Biblia for the English term Bible. Biblia is an influence from the Greek text, translated also Biblia in the Latin and Spanish. From Spanish, Philippine languages absorbed the term Biblia. 

         In the Greek language, Biblos (book in English) is the nominative case, singular form; Bibliou in the genitive case, and Biblion in the accusative case.  “Biblia” in the Greek text is in the plural form. There are two verses in the Greek text where we find the word “Biblia” which are 2 Timothy 4:13 translated in English “books” in some versions, while others render it as “parchments.”  “Biblia” (books in English) is also found in Revelation 20:12. 

         Muslims refer to Christians as “people of the books.” This phraseology may refer to the idea that there are several books written independently of each other by separate authors in a period of about 2000 years. Secondly, it may refer to the volume of the collected books which is why at the cover of the scripture collection, the name is “Biblia” (plural: 39 books in the OT and 27 books in the NT).  On the other hand, Muslims consider their Qurán as one book miraculously sent down from heaven as one unit, recited by Muhammad while he was embraced by the angel Gabriel inside a cave, a book which is unchangeable, and eternal. 

          In a future date, we shall tackle these claims about the Qurán. These claims about the Qurán are doubtful given the fact that ancient existing copies of the Qurán are not the same and these ancient Quranic manuscripts are dated about two hundred years after Muhammad died. By comparison, the Gospel records were written by disciples/apostles of Christ before they died like Matthew, Mark, and John. The Epistles of James and Jude were written by the half-brothers of our Lord Jesus. 

         We have provided you the “ammunition” to counter the claim that humans invented the Bible. The word Biblia is literally found in the inspired text. #

    Christianity’s Doctrinal Issues in Muhammad’s Time (37)

    These lessons (4 to 6 ) are a continuation of the previous article regarding doctrines affecting the Muslims’  belief in strict monotheism which runs counter to the Church’s belief in the Trinity.

    4.  Docetism – from the Greek verb dokeo which means “to seem or to appear.” Some first and second-century Christians who were influenced by Greek thought believed that Jesus was real and fully God, but he only seemed to be human.  His humanity, it was said, was an illusion.  They could not accept that God who is spirit could partake of material existence.  Believers of this idea were called Docetists.

    However, those people would not be consistent if they consider Genesis 3 where we find the record of Satan, a spirit being, a created cherub (Ezekiel 28:12-19), who became or appeared in the form of a material snake and curled itself in the tree at the Garden of Eden.  This spirit being that became material tempted Eve and made her pick the forbidden fruit. That made humanity fall into sin and made this world cursed.

    5.  Arianism – This is derived from the chief promoter of this idea who is Arius, a Christian teacher in Alexandria, Egypt in the first half of the 4th century.  This belief says that the only absolute, self-existing, eternal, uncreated being is God and that refers to the Father.  The Father could not share his being, his essence, his nature to any other person.  Christ was the highest of God’s creation, according to Arius. He was created, had a beginning, and is not of the same essence as the Father but of similar essence as the Father, hence inferior to the Father.  There are attributes of the Father that are assigned to Christ.  Arius argued that Christ “bears these titles only because he participates in the word and wisdom of the Father.” (See Erickson, Christian Theology, page 696).

    Emperor Constantine the Great convened a general council which was attended by about 318 church bishops that met in the year 325 A.D. in the town of Nicaea in the northern part of what is now the country of Turkey.  This council was co-chaired by Bishop Hosius of Spain. There were only three other bishops that voted against the doctrine that Christ is Divine and has the same essence as the Father.

    6.  Apollinarianism – This is the idea taught by Apollinarius, bishop of Laodicea, a contemporary and friend of Athanasius.  Apollinarius believed that the Word became flesh (John 1:14), but Jesus was not completely human.  To him, it was illogical that Jesus Christ was completely God and completely human in a unity of one person.  Yes, Jesus became flesh, but he didn’t possess the ordinary human mind, soul, reason that animate humanity, he claimed.  That which animated Jesus’ humanity is the Divine Logos, he said.

    Other general councils and the main issues taken up are the: (a) Council of Constantinople in Asia Minor (now Turkey) in the year 381 A.D. which tackled the person and divinity of the Holy Spirit,  (b) Council of Ephesus, still in Asia Minor in the year 431 A.D. which discussed the Fall of Man with a conclusion that with the Fall of Adam and Eve, man that is born of woman is totally depraved, and (c) Council of Chalcedon in the year 451 A.D. which discussed the co-mingling of humanity and divinity in the one person of Christ.

    These doctrines continued as topics of interest among Christians in the coming centuries. #

    (More to follow.)

    Why does the Qurán not recognize the name Yahweh or Yahuah? 52

    #52 –  Islam recognizes the inspiration of the Torah, the five books of Moses (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) a document from God, why is it that the Qurán does not recognize the name Yahweh or Yahuah but uses Allah? 

    Answer:  Yes, this is one of the weaknesses of Islam. Below are some quotations from the Qurán.  

    Qurán 3:3-4, “He sent down to you the Book with the truth, confirming what comes before it, and He sent down the Torah and the Gospel (v. 4), Aforetime, as a guidance to mankind. And He sent down the criterion [of judgement between right and wrong, (this Qurán)]. Truly, those who disbelieve in the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allah, for them there is a severe torment, and Allah is All-Mighty, All-Able of Retribution.”

    Qurán 5:46, “In their footsteps we sent Jesus son of Mary, fulfilling the Torah that preceded him; and we gave him the Gospel, wherein is guidance and light, and confirming the Torah that preceded him and guidance and counsel for the righteous.”

    Qurán 10:94, “If you are in doubt what We reveal to you, ask those who read the Scriptures before you. The truth has come to you from your Lord, so do not be of those who doubt.” 

    (Explanation by ET:   The writer/s tells a Muslim that if he doubts the narrative of the Qurán, he could confer with those who read the Torah (the five books of Moses, including the Gospel records (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John). 

    The issues we must bring out are: (1) Why is it that the Qurán refuses to recognize and glorify the name Yahweh (YHWH), or its Arabic translation?  And yet this is the name revealed to Moses, and Moses is one prophet that Islam honors. See Exo. 3:15; 6:3; 9:16. 33:19.

    “Allah” is not God’s name. “Allah” is the Arabic term for God. “Allah” is the general Arabic term for God just as Elohim or El in Hebrew are general terms that point to the true God or false Gods.  Theos is the Greek term for God.  Just as Latin says “Deus” or “Dei”.  That term “Dei” is the root of the English word “Deity.” Just as Dios in Ilocano and in Tagalog (1905 Tagalog Version) or Diyos in modern Tagalog refers to the idea of God. These Philippine dialects were derived or introduced by Spanish colonizers that occupied the archipelago for over 400 years.  If one says, “There is no God but Allah,” he is actually saying, “There is no God but God.”

    However, Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 8:5, 6, “Even though there are those that people call gods, either in heaven, or on the earth, as there are many gods and many lords, yet to us there is one God the Father. . .” The lower case god (Theos in the Greek text) is written the same way as God (Theos in the Greek text) the Father is written.” 

    In the Pentateuch or Torah which Muslims accept as part of inspired scriptures, we read the name of the true God which the Qurán refuses to specify. Exodus 6:3 reads, “And I used to appear to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as God Almighty, but with regard to my name Jehovah I did not make myself known to them.” New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures.  The American Standard Version of 1901 also uses the name Jehovah which other versions use Yahweh. # 

    Christianity’s Doctrinal Issues in Muhammad’s Time (36)

    The Deity of Christ was a big doctrinal issue from the first century and continues as a problem among some Bible-believing religious groups today.  Knowledge about this will help us understand why Islam wrestles with the issue of the Deity of Christ because Islam’s belief is “strict monotheism.” Strict monotheism means that the phrase “one God” points to one being or one, single, solitary item. Or one idea, one identity.

    Muhammad was born A.D. 570 and he died in A.D. 632.  Some believe that he died of poisoning.

    Islam accepts the Five Books of Moses as Holy Scriptures given by God.  Islam claims that their Allah is the same identity or same being as Yahweh of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers.  But a more serious meditation on the characteristics of Allah in the Qur’an does not agree with the attributes Christians understand about Yahweh in the Pentateuch. On the surface, the Qur’an also mentions that the Gospel records (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John) are inspired scriptures. However, Muslims make a blanket accusation without hard evidence that both bodies of scriptures have been corrupted and therefore not binding to them.

    Below, we submit a few issues that record differing ideas about the Deity of Christ in early Christian centuries that affected the views registered in the Qur’an regarding strict monotheism:

    1.  The Pharisees & Sadducees’ View –  Found in John 5:18 & 10:33.  They accused Jesus of blasphemy when he made them understand that God is His Father, making himself equal with God.

    2.  Antichrist – During the later days of Apostle John, some who became members of the church denied that Jesus was really human.  This belief made Apostle John strongly react and called them “antichrist”  in 2 John 7.  This party will be called “docetists” in later years.

    3.  Ebionism – From the Hebrew word which means “poor.”  A great majority of the early converts were poor, so early Christians were called “ebionites” but the term was assigned later to a group of disciples who believed that Jesus was normally born to Joseph and Mary.  This group believed that Jesus possessed unusual wisdom and righteousness and upon his baptism became the Messiah when the Holy Spirit descended and dwelt on him with God’s power, but all these left him just before his death.

    (NOTE:  A second series on this issue on the Deity of Christ will follow. – ET)

    Does Islam believe in the Pentateuch and the Gospels? 51

    #51 – Does Islam believe in the Pentateuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers Deuteronomy), and in the Gospel Record (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John)? 

    Answer:  Yes, they believe, based on readings we glean from the Qur’an itself.  Observe closely the following quotes and judge for yourselves. But the Qur’an states that Jews breached their covenant with Allah. The same accusation is leveled against Christians –  that is failure to explain much of the scriptures. Perhaps the Arabs did not understand the preaching of the Christians in the 6th and 7th centuries of the Christian Era. During the 4th to the 6th centuries, there were many theological issues that troubled the Christians like the Trinity, the deity of Christ, the Filioque, the use of images inside the cathedrals, the worship of Mary, among others. 

    Remember these dates: 570 A.D. or Christian Era – birth of Muhammad; about the year 620 A.D., beginning of revelations received by Muhammad (as claimed), 632 A.D. – death of Muhammad. 

    Please read the following portions lifted from the Qur’an and after each section, I point out the issue: 

    *Surat-Al-Baqarah (The Cow) II, verse “4. And who believe in that (the Qur’an and the Sunnah) which has been sent down (revealed) to you (Muhammad arabic letters here) and in that which was sent down before you [the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel), etc.] and they believe with certainty in the Hereafter (Resurrection, recompense of their good and bad deeds, Paradise and Hell). 

    [The Issue: Islam recognizes the 5 books of Moses as part of its belief foundation. The other books of the Old Testament are rejected by Muslims. Also recognized are the 4 gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, but if something in these 4 books goes against Islam belief, that section would be considered as a corruption of the original manuscript. Acts to Revelation are not recognized as sent down by God. – ET]

    *Surat-Al-Baqarah (The Cow) II, verse “285. The Messenger (Muhammad  arabic letters here) believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers. Each one believes in Allah, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers. (They say), ‘We make no distinction between one another of His Messengers’—and they say, ‘We hear, and we obey. (We seek) Your Forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the return (of all).” 

    [The Issue:  Islam enumerates 25 prophets, including Jesus Christ of Nazareth, with Muhammad as the last and the greatest of them all.  Muhammad is considered greater than Christ Jesus. But note that Christ Jesus claims to have come from heaven, from the Father and He became flesh, John 1:15. Christ did many miracles, he died but He resurrected, appeared in a span of 40 days to His disciples, to several women, to the 500 brethren in 1 Cor. 15, they ascended back to heaven. By contrast, Muhammad did not do any miracles. He died and he remains dust in his grave. Christ will judge all men, including Muhammad. Notice the Arabic word ‘Baqarah’ which means cow. In our local dialect, cow is baka. There are many Filipino dialect words that are similar to Arabic words. – ET]

    *Surat Al ‘Imran (The Family of Imran) III, verse “3. It is He Who has sent down the Book (the Qur’an) to you (Muhammad arabic letters here) with truth, confirming what came before it. And He sent down the Taurat (Torah) and the Ingeel (Gospel), 4.  Aforetime, as a guidance to mankind. And He sent down the criterion [of judgment between right and wrong (this Qur’an)]. Truly, those who disbelieve in the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allah, for them there is a severe torment; and Allah is All-Mighty, All-Able of Retribution.”

    [The Issue: This section of the Qur’an testifies that the Torah and the Gospel account are from God, and yet there are many disagreements. The Qur’an points to Ishmael as the heir of Abrahamic blessings, whereas, Isaac is the one pointed to by the Torah. Isaac is the one pointed by the Gospel account as among the fore-parents of Jesus Christ. See Matthew 1 and Luke 3. The above Qur’an claim, therefore, is not true. Meaning, the genealogy, given by Matthew and Luke, does not testify that Ishmael is Abraham’s heir of the promises given in the Book of Genesis.  – ET

    *Surat Al-Ma’idah (The Table Spread With Food) V, verse “12. Indeed, Allah took the covenant from the Children of Israel (Jews), and We appointed twelve leaders among them. And Allah said: ‘I am with you if you perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) and give Zakat and believe in My Messengers; honour and assist them, and lend a good loan to Allah, verily, I will expiate your sins and admit you to Gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise). But if any of you after this, disbelieved, he has indeed gone astray from the Straight Path.  

    13. So because of their breach of their covenant, We cursed them and made their hearts grow hard. They change the words from their (right) places and have abandoned a good part of the Message that was sent to them.  And you will not cease to discover deceit in them, except a few of them. But forgive them and overlook (their misdeeds). Verily, Allah loves Al-Muhsinun (good-doers – See V.2:12).

    14. And from those who call themselves Christians, We took their covenant, but they have abandoned a good part of the Message that was sent to them.  So We planted amongst them enmity and hatred till the Day of Resurrection (when they discard Allah’s Book, disobeyed Allah’s Messengers and His Orders and transgressed beyond bounds in Allah’s disobedience); and Allah will inform them of what they used to do. 

    15. O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)!  Now has come to you Our Messenger (Muhammad Arabic letters here) explaining to you much of that which you used to hide from the Scripture and pass over (i.e. leaving out without explaining) much.  Indeed, there has come to you from Allah a light (Prophet Muhammad  Arabic letters here) and a plain Book (this Qur’an).”

    [The Issue:  In the four above verses we read the name Allah, the God worshipped by Muslims. The term “Allah” can be read in the Old Testament of our Bible. You can find that in item #464, of the Hebrew to English Index-Lexicon & Expository Dictionary. It means “oak”, possibly the oak tree which is known for its strength.    The following is a quote from the Expository Dictionary, page 87:  “elah, ‘god.’ This Aramaic word is the equivalent of the Hebrew éloah’. It is a general term for ‘God’ in the Aramaic  Passages of the Old Testament, and it is a cognate form of the word ‘allah,’ the designation of deity used by the Arabs.”  Please notice that the Qur’an recognizes the Pentateuch and yet the Qurán avoids using the name Yahweh as the revealed name of the Hebrew true God.  In a future article, we shall expand the political and cultural reasons why this deviation of name from Yahweh to Allah. But this deviation reveals the inconsistency of the Qurán from its claim of being sent from heaven.  In like manner, verses 14 and 15 accuse the Christians of abandoning the good part of the Message or the Gospel. In modern terminology, it is the corruption of the Gospel. Of course, we the Christians deny that we have corrupted the teachings of the Gospel taught by Christ.]

    *Surat Al-Ma’idah (The Table Spread With Food) V, verse “46. And in their footsteps, We sent ‘Isa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), confirming the Taurat (Torah) that had come before him, and We gave him the Ingeel (Gospel), in which was guidance and light and confirmation of the Taurat (Torah) that had come before it, a guidance and an admonition for Al-Muttaqun (the pious – See V.2.2).”

    [The Issue:  The above quote from the Qur’an recognizes the historicity of Mary and Jesus. Jesus confirmed the prophecies of the Pentateuch. Likewise, the Gospel is confirmed as guidance and light and confirmation of the Pentateuch. This recognition of the Pentateuch and the Gospel by the Qur’an is very revealing which we shall expand in the future.- ET]

    *Surat Yunus (Jonah) X, verse 94, “So, if you (O Muhammad  arabic letters here) are in doubt concerning that which We have revealed to you, [i.e. that your name is written in the Taurat (Torah) and the Ingeel (Gospel), then ask those who are reading the Book [the Taurat (Torah) and the Ingeel (Gospel)] before you. Verily, the truth has come to you from your Lord. So be not of those who doubt (it).”

    [The Issue:  The immediate passage above reveals that the Pentateuch and the Gospel account are true and should not be doubted.  We Christians should carefully watch out for some specific claims of Islam and check up with the Pentateuch and the Gospel and evaluate the claims of some Muslims.  For example, the instruction that the heir to God’s promises to Abraham was Isaac and NOT to Ishmael.  And the claims of Jesus Christ about his coming from above, and that he has existed before Abraham was born and his presence with God before the creation of the world. – ET ]

    Can God and the angels become material or physical? (50)

    Question #50 –  Can God become material or physical?  Can angels become material or physical?  

    Answer:  Definitely, a big YES. They did become or they did manifest in material or physical form. Hence the claim that Christ being God and that He became flesh is not an impossibility. We are going to present concrete events found in the Bible.  Observe very closely the following passages:

    1. Genesis 18:1-2, 13, “And Jehovah appeared unto him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; and he lifted up his eyes and looked, and lo, three men stood over against him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself to the earth. X x x v.13, And Jehovah said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, who am old?  Is anything too hard for Jehovah?  At the set time I will return unto thee, when the season cometh round, and Sarah shall have a son.” (American Standard Version)   Note that Jehovah appeared in the form of MAN.  The other two are angels which we will see later.  This is so very clear that those who say that God cannot become man, should be ashamed of their ignorance of the Bible. As you continue reading this chapter 18, you find that the other two are angels who proceeded to Sodom and Gomorrah while Jehovah stayed with Abraham in the vicinity of Mamre. 

    Jehovah is the true God in the Bible. When he appeared to Moses in Exodus 3, we read the declaration of Jehovah Himself in the following passage:

    2. Exodus 3:14-15, “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, Jehovah, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name forever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.” (ASV) 

    During this encounter with Moses, the writer calls the true God as Angel of Jehovah. The One who talked with Moses is God, He is also called Angel of Jehovah. Most Bible scholars believe that this is Christ in the Old Testament. 

    3.  Exodus 17:1-7 & Numbers 20:9-13 tell us about the Rock that followed Israel during the wilderness wandering that supplied water to about three million people. This is not an ordinary rock.  Let the following passage testify.

    4.  1 Cor. 10:1-4, “For I would not, brethren, have you ignorant, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and id all eat the same spiritual food; and did all drink of a spiritual rock that followed them; and the rock was Christ.” (ASV)

    It is very clear that Christ became rock or took the form of a Rock in olden times. Rock is material.  We should believe what John the Apostle declares in John 1:14 that the Word became flesh and dwelt among mankind. 

    5. Micah 5:2, “But you Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”  This passage tells us that Christ has been active, had activities in the Old Testament times. That idea is based on the phrase, “whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” Note the plurality of the participle “goings forth” which tells of activities in the past. From everlasting. Only the true God can claim existence and activities from eternity. 

    Conclusion:  We have proved our promise to show you that the true God and even angels could take up the form of matter or physical existence.  If one grants the possibility of Satan becoming a material, physical Snake or Dragon, why can’t we accept that the true God who is most powerful can take the form of an angel or a human being?  Let us be consistent and reasonable.

    Can spirit beings become material or physical for certain purposes? (49)

    #49 –  Can spirit beings become material or physical for certain purposes?  This question arises because of the premise submitted by Muslims and members of  the INC-1914 which states that “God is not man, and man is not God.”  What is your reaction to this?

    Answer:  First notice the difference between the statements:  “God is not man” and “God cannot become man.  Or “a spirit is not material or physical” and “spirit cannot  become material or physical.”  

    Explanation:

    Let us submit the case of Satan the Chief Demon. Please analyze very closely two passages:

    Isaiah 14:12-16, “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!  How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. I will also sit on the mount of the congregation, on the farthest sides of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High. Yes you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit.””

    Ezekiel 28: Satan, the chief demon is by creation a spirit being, a cherub. Genesis 3:1 says that God made the serpent, that is the spirit cherub who became rebellious and subsequently the Satan or Adversary. When he decided to oppose God, that nature of being an opposer has become permanent in him as gleaned from John 8:44.  He was not physical or material.  By his original nature, he is spirit.  His original and created nature is NOT material or physical.  But he can become material or physical when he took the form of a SNAKE.  When he took the form of a snake, he possessed physical or material form, real flesh and bones.  Is flesh and bones the nature and essence of Satan? NO. But he became flesh-and-bones snake.  Yes, indeed.

    Was Satan a spirit being? Yes.  Was he able to become flesh and bones snake? Yes. Is a spirit being flesh and bones?  By nature, a spirit is NOT flesh and bones, but a spirit being can become flesh and bones.

    In the case of Satan, did a spirit being, one from the angelic hosts, become flesh and bones?  Yes. Did he lose his nature as spirit-being when he took the material form of snake at the Garden of Eden? ?  No.  When Satan was in the form of flesh and bones, did he stop being Satan?  No. Did he lose his natural creation nature of spirit? No. Is Satan a spirit being today?  Yes.  Can Satan become a good looking, innocent looking and likable angel and masquerade as angel of light? Yes. Please see 2Cor. 11:14.

    Do you now agree that a spirit being can become material or physical?

    __ Yes;  __ No.

    Did God appear to human beings in the Old Testament? Part 1 (47)

    #47 Did the true God, Yahweh, appear to any human being in the Old Testament period from the time of the Book of Genesis to the Book of Malachi?

    Answer:  It depends on the meaning we attach to the word “appear” and the context of a passage submitted. There were appearances.  Let us note several passages quoted from New King James Version. These appearances could be at various stages or various levels of glory. When a passage says, “no one can see God” it should refer to God’s blinding full glory which could only be enjoyed when the saved shall have put on the resurrection body like that of Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:21), the heavenly or celestial body described by Apostle Paul in 1 Cor. 15:35-50.  

    Passages:

    Please note that the word LORD is the tetragrammaton YHWH in the Hebrew text, and that name belongs only to the true God.  This name YHWH can be proven that the Father wears it, the Son wears it and the Holy Spirit wears it. 

    Exodus 3:2, “And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. . .”

    Please read down to verse 22 and you feel that God Himself personally talks with Moses. Most likely, by logical induction, that should be Christ before His incarnation. Because Christ, the second person in the Triune Godhead is the Sent One, the Sugo.  See Micah 5:2 which says that this person has been active from eternity. It says, “whose going forth has been from of old.” 

    Deut. 5:24, “And you said: ‘Surely the LORD our God has shown us His glory and His greatness, and we have heard His voice from the midst of the fire. We have seen this day that God speaks with man; yet he still lives.” Read down to verse 33, and you feel that it is a personal God who talked with the congregation of Israel.

    Judges 6:22-23, “Now Gideon perceived that He was the Angel of the LORD. So Gideon said, ‘Alas, O Lord GOD!  For I have seen the Angel of the LORD face to face.’ The LORD said to him, Peace be with you; do not fear, you shall not die.”  Please read down to verse 27.  Yahweh Himself was the one talking with Gideon but He was called Angel of Yahweh. You also feel from this section that there is the Trinity. There is the Angel of Jehovah and the Holy Spirit in 6:34. 

    Judges 13:18 & 22, 23, “And the Angel of the LORD said to him, ‘Why do you ask My name, seeing it is wonderful?  x x x x And Manoah said to his wife, ‘We shall surely die because we have seen God!  Then his wife said to him, ‘If the LORD had desired to kill us, He would not have accepted a burnt offering and a grain offering from our hands, nor would He have shown us all these things, nor would He have told us such things as these at this time.”  Note also the presence of the Holy Spirit in verse 25.  There is the Trinity:  the LORD, and the ANGEL OF THE LORD, and the HOLY SPIRIT. Clearly this is the Trinity: Father, Christ, Holy Spirit in reduced glory in the presence of human eyes. 

    1 Kings 8:10-11, “And it came to pass, when the priests came out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the LORD, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD.”

    1 Kings 19:11-12, “Then He said, ‘God out, and stand on the mountain before the LORD.’ And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind, and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake, and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD  was not in the fire, and after the fire a still small voice.”

    2 Chronicles 7:12, “Then the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said to him; ‘I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice.”

    It appears that the Hebrews were conditioned to honor the true God and to fear him because He is a fearful God.  But God Jehovah has appeared to several people.  God, if He wants to, would appear to the naked eye not in His full royal glory.  In His heavenly throne, in His full glory, it seems that man has not yet experienced that view. Only Christ has been in that experience of witnessing God’s full glory in heaven before His incarnation says John 1:18. And also now that Christ has his glorified, celestial human body says Philippians 3:21.

    Did God appear to any humans in the Old Testament? Part 2 (48)

    #48 Did the true God, Yahweh, appear to any human beings in the Old Testament period from the time of the Book of Genesis to the Book of Malachi? (A sequel of the immediately preceding question.)

    Answer:  Let us note several passages and define some terms:

    Passages: 

    Isaiah 6:1-5, “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.  And one cried to another, and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD  of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!’ And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke. Then I said: ‘Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.’”

    Isaiah 46:3, “Listen to Me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been upheld by Me from birth, who have been carried from the womb: even to your old age, I am He.”

    Isaiah 63:1, “Who is this who comes from Edom, with dyed garments from Borzrah, this One who is glorious in His apparel, traveling in the greatness of His strength?”

    Zechariah 2:8, “For thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.’”

    A look at the “Elohim-Echad-Yachid” Argument (31)

    Question #31 – Is the “Elohim-Echad-Yachid Argument” in proving the our stand on the Trinity and the Deity of Christ correct and strong? 

    Answer:  It is not strong.  There are loopholes in the argument. This argument being the first one presented by many of our apologists in the churches of Christ appears to be the strongest proof as felt by some preachers.  The argument could easily be demolished in a public debate. That is why I am much alarmed by the insistence of some preachers who continue using it. It is not a well-researched argument. So let’s show more details.

    Explanation: 

    1.   Elohim Is a Generic Term  

    The word Elohim is the generic term for the English word “God, god, goddess”. It may refer to the true Deity of the Bible. It may refer to the deities and idols worshipped by pagan tribes. In Greek it is Theos. And Apostle Paul says in 1 Cor. 8:5, “For although there may be so-called gods (Theoi) in heaven or on earth – as indeed there are many ‘gods’ (Theoi) and many ‘lords’.”  The first letter Theta in the Greek is the same whether it refers to the true God or to the pagan Deities. In Hebrew, it is the same first letter Aleph. In English translations, it is generally agreed by translators that when Elohim or Theos refers to the true Deity, it is a capital letter, but if it refers to another Deity, it is small letter. So the size of the letter does not give a conclusive verdict.  

    Also it should be remembered that the word Elohim could refer to the following:

    1. The true Deity of the Jews and Christians,
    2. Angels,
    3. pagan gods,
    4. pagan goddesses,
    5. judges,
    6. somebody, something great,
    7. somebody, something that is very great.

    (Young’s Analytical Concordance of the Bible, Hebrew Index, p. 15). 

    2.  Several Ideas about the Plural Form of the Word Elohim

    a.   Its plural form may point to a plural of majesty or plural of respect. Note this authority who says:  “Eloah, god. This Hebrew name for ‘God’ corresponds to the Aramaic elah and the Ugaritic il (or if denoting a goddess, ili) x x x  Certain scholars regard the word as being a singular version of the common plural form Elohim, a plural of majesty.” (Hebrew Expository Dictionary, William White, Jr., p. 97). Native Ilocano or native Tagalog speakers use plural pronouns when conversing or addressing a high ranking government official although that person is much younger than the speaker.  We use plural pronouns when talking with much older people.  

    b.  Some see the plural form Elohim as the plurality of attributes.  Whereas the Greeks assign Gods and Goddesses for every single attribute, all these superior characteristics are present in the Elohim of the Hebrews and Christians.  For example among the Greeks there is one God of the Sea, another one God for the underworld, still another God of Order, God of Wine, God of Healing, God Messenger, God of Fire, etc.. One Goddess of Beauty, another Goddess of Wisdom, and so on. 

    c.  Others see the plural form of a word as referring to the multiplicity or superiority of an attribute of a person.  For example, a person is named Ephraim which ends in “IM”. The person is only one, single individual but the attribute is higher than the ordinary. Ephraim means “doubly fruitful.” Our brother Ephraim is one person, not three persons.  Another brother is Adoraim which name ends in “IM”. The word means “double honor.” He is a single person, not three persons. Some descendants of Abraham & Keturah in Genesis 25:1-4 are named Asshurim, Letushim, and Leummim all ending in “IM.” Asshurim means “mighty ones.” Leummin means “peoples”.  Letushim means “sharpened” which refers to the greatness of the character of sharpness. 

    d.   Still, others point to the angels that surround God in His glorious heavenly abode because God is the God of Hosts and angels are messengers who implement the wishes of God to explain who were addressed by the one speaking. And angels are also called Elohim according to authorities of the Hebrew language.  Please the Hebrew Index at the back part of the Strong’s Concordance and also the Hebrew Index at the back part of Young’s Analytical Concordance.

    What is in man that is created in the image of God?  Is not the image of man created after God similar to the image possessed by angels which are: free will, conscience, sense of beauty, sense of justice, ability to develop a sense of truth?  Job 38:4-7 makes us understand that the sons of God who shouted at the sudden appearance of the cosmos are the sons of God who are angels. See Job 1:6. 

    Conclusion:  The “im” ending, although it generally points to plurality, it does not always mean a plurality of persons. It could also mean a plurality of respect, a plurality of attributes, or greatness of a characteristic of one, singular person.  

    Sample interrogation:  (a) The name Ephraim is plural form, does brother Ephraim possess a plurality of persons? __ Yes, __No. (b)  Each three son of Keturah in Genesis 25:1-4 has plural form ending in IM, does each one possess a plurality of persons? __Yes, __No.  

    3.  Elohim Is the Antecedent of Pronouns 

    a. It is argued that the presence of the plural pronouns “us, our, our” in Genesis 1:26 proves the presence of a plurality of persons in the antecedent noun Elohim. 

    b. If the number (plural or singular number) of the pronoun is the argument, then let us follow that line of argument:  There are eight (8) singular pronouns in Genesis 1 (NKJV) whose noun antecedent is Elohim, does it follow then that Elohim could be singular in person because there are more singular pronouns in the same chapter of Genesis where you base your argument? __Yes, __No.  

    c.  We may add Isaiah 43 for analysis.  Yahweh Elohim (LORD God) is the speaker who is addressing the people of Israel. I could count no less than 54 singular pronouns in the chapter.  Is Elohim then in this chapter one person because all the pronouns are singular? If not, why not if we follow the premise that the number of the pronoun is the number of a sperson in the antecedent noun? 

    d.  Exodus 7:1,  Moses was made Elohim by Yahweh in the presence of the Egyptian Pharaoh.  

    e.  Exodus 32:1-8, One, single golden calf is called Elohi

    1. “These are your gods (Elohim), O Israel” – v. 4. No idea of the plurality of persons or items in it.
    2. “These are you gods (Elohim), O Israel” – v. 8  No idea of the plurality of persons or items in it. 

    f.   Pagan Gods, Idols are called Elohim

    1. Caananite deity – Judges 8:33, “…Baal-berrith their Elohim.”  No idea of the plurality of persons.
    2. Moabites’ deity – Judges 11:24, “…Chemosh thy Elohim.”  No idea of the plurality of persons.
    3. Philistines’ deity – Judges 16:23, 24 – “…Dagon their Elohim … our Elohim … praised their Elohim.” 
    4. Ammonites’ deity – 1Kings 11:33, “… Milcom the Elohim” 
    5. 1 Samuel 5:7, the idol of a prophet is called Elohim. No idea of the plurality of persons. 
    6. Philistines’ deity – 2Kings 1:2, 16, “…inquire of Baalzebub the Elohim of Ekron”
    7. Assyrian deity – 2Kings 19:37, “…house of Nisroch his Elohim”
    8. Canaanite goddess of fertility & war is called Elohim. Ashtaroth-KJV; Ashtoreths-NKJV.
    9. Another Canaanite goddess is Asherah, is pluralized as Asherahs in Judges or Asherim in  Judges 3:7. 
    10. Isaiah 42:17 reads, “…say to the molten images, ‘You are our Elohim…” 

    Conclusion:  Considering the above analyses, to generalize that the number of persons in the word Elohim is governed by the number of the pronouns in the chapter is a weak argument because there are more singular pronouns than plural pronouns pointing to the noun Elohim.  Also, it is wrong to generalize that the word Elohim always contains a plurality of persons because there are many persons or items other than the true God that is called “Elohim” and yet these persons or items are singular. Plural form of the people’s respective deities, therefore, point to the honor, respect, worship, veneration paid to those deities. Not referring to the plurality of those deities.   

         Sample Interrogation:  You affirm that the word Elohim always has a composite or plurality of persons:

    • (Q1) “When Moses was made by Yahweh as Elohim to Pharoah, did he become a plural in person?  Do you know that in the Hebrew text there is no “as or like”? __Yes, __No  
    • (Q2) ´There was one golden calf idol and it was called “Elohim” by the Hebrews in Exodus 32, did they mean there was a plurality of persons in that one, single idol calf? __Yes, __No.
    • (Q3) “The pagan idol Dagon is called Elohim in Judges 16:23-24, do you have any document to show that the people believe there was a plurality of persons in that one idol? __ Yes, __No.
    • (Q4)  “Do you now agree that the word Elohim does not always refer to a plurality of persons or items in things or persons pointed to as Elohim? __Yes, __No. 

    4. Does Echad/Chad Always Refer to Plural Items/Persons?

    It is argued that the word “Echad/Chad” is unity, harmonic, composite “one”, meaning there is a plurality of items or persons within the word.  Is the argument correct? My answer is NO. See Young’s Analytical Concordance, pp. 716-718 (one, once=echad, one=chad), and p. 719 (only=echad).  Analyze the following: 

    Echad Verses with Singular Items/Persons Included          Echad Verses with Collective Noun Found
    a. Gen. 1:9, “one place”a.  Gen. 2:24, “one flesh”
    b. Gen. 2:21, “one of his ribs” b. Gen. 11:6, “people (is) one. . . all one”
    c. Gen. 3:22, “man is become as one of us”c. Gen. 34:16, “become one”
    d. Gen. 4:19, “one (was) Adahd. Gen. 34:22, “be one people”
    e. Gen. 10:25, “name of one”e. Gen. 41:5, 22, “one stalk”
    f. Gen. 11:1, “one languagef. Gen. 41:25, “dreams of Pharoah are one”
    g. Gen. 19:9, “this one came to sojourn”g. Exodus 24:3, “people answered with one voice”
    h. Gen. 42: 11, 13, “one man”h. Num. 31:28, “one soul of five hundred”
    i. Exo. 1:15, “name of one”i. Judges 20:1, “gathered together as one man”
    j. Exo. 9:6, “cattle of Israel . . . not one. ..”j. Judges 20:8, “people arose as one man”
    k. Exo. 11:1, “bring one plague”k. Judges 20:11, “knit together as one man
    l. Exo. 18:3, “name of one was Gershom”l. 1Sam. 11:7, “people came out w/ one consent”
    m. Exo. 25:19, “one cherub”m. 1Chron. 12:38, “were of one heart”
    n. Exo. 25:32, 33, “one side . . . one branch”n. 1Chron. 13:11, “they were in one reckoning”
    o. Exo. 29:1, “one young bullock”o. 2Chron. 5:13, “singers (were) as one”
    p. Exo. 29:15, “one ram”p. 2Chron. 18:12, “to the king with one assent”
    q. Lev. 5:4, 5, “guilty In one of these”q. 2Chron. 30:12, “to give them one heart”
    r. Lev. 8:26, “one cake”r. Ezra 3:1, “gathered together as one man”
    s. Lev. 14:10, “one ewe lamb”s. Neh. 8:1, “gathered together as one man
    t. Lev. 23:9, “sacrifice one kid”t. Jer. 32:39, “give them one heart, one way”
    u. Num. 1:44, “each one”u. Ezek. 11:19, “give them one heart”
    v. Num. 6:14, “one he lamb . . . one ewe lamb”v. Ezek. 37:17, “join them . . . into one stick”
    w.Num. 6:19, “one unleavened cake”w. Ezek. 37:22, “make them one nation in the land”
    x. Num. 7:14, “one spoon”x. Mal. 2:10, “Have we not all one father?. . . one”
    y. Num. 11:26, “name of one . . . Eldad”y. Mal. 2:15, “he make one? . . . wherefore one”
    z. Eccles. 4:8, “There is one . . . and . . not a second”There are a few more collective nouns with Echad.

    Aside from those cited above verses, you can find more than a thousand more verses where the word Echad is used that modify one item or one person.  Whereas, Echad, modifying a collective noun or composite noun is used in only about 30 verses. 

    Conclusion:  We have submitted our document. If you have a contrary view, please show me your document. Do not immediately believe just because a certain writer or preacher has said that “echad” is plural one or composite one. Therefore, to generalize that all Echad verses contain plural items or persons is patently wrong.   

    Sample interrogation: 

    • Q1. “You claim that Echad in the Hebrew Bible is always a composite or a collective noun which means that there are 2 or more items in, is that correct? __Yes, –No. 
    • Q2. In Genesis 2:21, is it not true that God took one rib of Adam to create Eve and the Hebrew word there is Echad? __Yes, __No.
    • Q3. In Eccles. 4:8, it talks about one person, not two persons who toil endlessly, and the term on a person is Echad, is that one person, singular person? __Yes, __No. 
    • Q4. Do you now agree that the Hebrew word Echad also refers to single, singular items or persons? __Yes, __No. 

    5.   Is It True that Yachid Is Absolute One, Singular One?

    It is argued that the Hebrew word Yachid is absolute one, meaning not more than one, not two (2) or more. Can this be proven?  No, this word does not always mean absolute one or exclusive one. It primarily means beloved one or unique one.  

    List of verses where “Yachid” that maybe translated “Singly, lonely, only” are found in Young’s Concordance, p. 719: 

    a.  Genesis 22:2, “your only (yachid) son Isaac”.  But Ishmael is also called son of Abraham.

    b.  Genesis 22:12,  “not withheld your son, your only (yachid) son, from Me.”  But Ishmael is also Abraham’s son.

    c.  Genesis 22:16, “thine only (yachid) son, Isaac, whom thou lovest”

    d.  Prov. 4:3, “. . . Tender and the only one (yachid) in the sight of my mother.”

    e.  Amos 8:10e, “I will make it like mourning for an only (yachid) son.”

    f.  Zech. 12:10, “as one mourneth for his only (yachid) son”

    g.  Jer. 6:26, “make thee mourning, (as for) an only (yachid) son”

    Conclusion:  We have submitted our document.  If you have a contrary view, please show me your document. Do not immediately believe just because a certain writer or preacher has said that “yachid” is absolute one and you generalize that all yachid verses contain absolute, single, singular item or person. 

    Sample interrogation:  You affirm that the word “Yachid” is an absolute one, not two:

    • Q1. In Genesis 22:2, 12, 16, Isaac is called the only (yachid) son of Abraham, do you mean that Isaac is the absolute one son and there was no other son of Abraham? __ Yes, __No. 
    • Q2. Do you know that Ishmael is the first son of Abraham born some 13 years earlier than Isaac? __Yes, __No.
    • Q3. Do you now agree that the word Yachid does not always mean absolute one, does not always mean a singular one but it can mean a beloved one or unique one? __Yes, __No.

    The Conduit of Blessings through Abraham (29)

    Question #29 – Does the conduit of blessings pass through Abraham ➜ to Ishmael ➜ to Muhammad? OR is it through Abraham ➜ Isaac ➜ Jacob ➜ Jesus Christ? 

    Answer –  It is through Isaac ➜ Jacob  ➜ Jesus Christ! Not through Muhammad.

    Explanation:  The Torah (5 books written by Moses = Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers & Deuteronomy)  is accepted by Muslims as a book from God. The Gospel account is also accepted by Muslims. 

    Please observe the following passages that prove our stand. 

    Genesis 16:1-16 – Sarai knew well she was past the age of childbearing and thought that God’s promise to Abraham to have an heir is not through her.  It might be through their Egyptian handmaid, Hagar, she thougth. Semitic culture at that time says that the offspring of a handmaid could be counted as the child of the first wife. So Sarai suggested that Abraham sleep with Hagar so that he would have an heir.  This Abraham did and Hagar became pregnant and bore him a son they named Ishmael. Hagar started to sneer at Sarai for being childless.  

    Genesis 17:15-17 – God tells Abraham that Sarai will change name into Sarah. And God promises to give Sarah a son. God’s promise for Sarah is this: “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.”(v. 16)

    Genesis 17:18-21 – “And Abraham said to God, ‘Oh that Ishmael might live before you!’ God said, ‘No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him. As for Ishmael, I have heard you, behold, I have blessed him and will make him fruitful and multiply him greatly. He shall father twelve princes, and I will make him into a great nation.”  NOTE: Abraham thought that Ishmael would be his heir, but Yahweh said NO. Not Ishmael. God promises that Sarah, Abraham’s wife, will give birth to a son and will be called Isaac. That name means “laughter” because Sarah will be about 90 years old, while Abraham will be 100 years old when the child arrives. When the promise was made, Sarah was about 88 years old. Isaac’s birth happens in Genesis 21.

    Genesis 18:1-15.     In chapter 18, Yahweh with 2 angels appeared as human beings (men or males, v. 1-3) to visit Abraham and Sarah.  Yahweh who is God asks where Sarah is and Abraham says she’s inside the tent. God says that Sarah will have a son the following year which statement she heard and she laughed knowing that she’s past the age of childbearing being 89 years old.   

    Indeed, Sarah became pregnant and gave birth to Isaac. At the time of weaning the young boy Isaac, Abraham prepared a feast. Sarah saw Ishmael scoffing or perhaps making fun at the much younger boy. Isaac was younger by about 14 years.  Sarah did not like the sight of her son being annoyed by Hagar’s son, so she told Abraham to send away Hagar and Ishmael saying that Ishmael would never share any inheritance from the wealth of the family. Abraham objected but God told him to follow Sarah’s desire. 

    Genesis 21:10-14, “Therefore she said to Abraham, ‘Cast out this bondwoman and her son; for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, namely with Isaac.’ And the matter was very displeasing in Abraham’s sight because of his son. But God said to Abraham, ‘Do not let it be displeasing in 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.”  NOTE: Ishmael is also called “seed” of Abraham. Singular in number. Genesis 17:19 is clear that the blessing is through Isaac not Ishmael. Fulfillment of this is confirmed by Apostle Paul in Galatians 3:14-16. Same confirmation is given by Apostle Peter in Acts 3:16-26. And Christ’s genealogy is traced via Isaac says Galatians 4? 26-31. Not through Ishmael!

    Regarding Jacob, the son of Isaac, we have God’s promise in the Torah (Genesis 35) which is accepted as inspired scripture by Islam.

    Genesis 35:9-13, “God appeared to Jacob again, when he came from Paddan-aram, and blessed him. And God said to him, ‘Your name is Jacob, no longer shall your name be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name, So he called his name Israel. And God said to him, ‘I am God Almighty, be fruitful and multiply. A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, and kings shall come from your own body. The land that I gave to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you, and I will give the land to your offspring after you. Then God went up from him in the place where he had spoken with him.”

    Galatians 4:21-31. Please read section of Paul’s Epistle. Apostle Paul and his generation understood that not Ishmael and the Arabians did God’s blessing flow through.  God’s blessings through the Mosaic Covenant ceased at the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. God’s blessings is now through Jesus Christ, son of Abraham, the final seed of Isaac and Jacob.  The recipient is not physical Israel of Canaan, but the new Israel of God, the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ (Gal. 6:16).

    Conclusion:   Gospel is called Injil by Muslim kababayans and the Gospel story is another book the Qurán recognizes coming from God. The genealogy of Jesus and Mary is traced in Matthew 1 and Luke 3.  God’s promises and blessings are through Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Jesus of Nazareth who is the Messiah. Our Lord directly identified himself as the expected prophet and Messiah in John 4:25-26, “The woman said to Him, ‘I know that Messiah is coming’ (who is called Christ), ‘When He comes He will tell us all things.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you am He.’”  (NKJV)

    When we strike a conversation with a Muslim friend, I suggest that you remember these verses and this line of reasoning. Maraming salamat.

    Why the difference in KJV and NIV? A passage comparison (28)

    Question #28 –  Why is it that in the King James Version of the Bible, Matthew 18:11 and Luke  9:56 have more words compared to lesser words in the New International Version? 

    Answer:  Our King James Bible (KJV) was launched in the year 1611 in London, England,  while the New International Version (NIV) was completed and copyrighted in 1973.  Two Bible translations separated by 362 long years. Try to read the original “Banaag at Sikat” of Ka Lope Santos written in the early 1900s and read a currently serialized novel in the Liwayway in this year of 2020.  You will feel the difference of two Philippine eras.     

    The New Oxford Annotated Bible of the Revised Standard Version edited by Herbert G. May and Bruce M. Metzger informs us that the King James version was first launched in 1611 A.D., was revised in A.D. 1881-1885 with an American Committee reading preference brought out in 1901 popularly called the American Standard Version (ASV), revised in 1946-1952 with a second edition of the NT in A.D. 1971. This means that the 1611 KJV has been revised several times. Please don’t insist on the superiority of the 1611 KJV.  It has been revised several times in the following years as revealed above: 1611 > 1881-1885 > 1901> 1946-1952 > second edition of the NT in 1971.  

         Look at the comparison below: 

    • KJV of 1611 (Luke 9:56, KJV) reads, “For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.”
    • RSV of 1952 (Luke 9:55-56, RSV) appears like this, “55 But he turned and rebuked them. 56 And they went on to  another village.”
    • NKJV of 1985 (Luke 9:56, NKJV) reads, “For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them. And  they went to another village.”  

    (Please note the asterisk at the start of the verse in the NKJV which signals a footnote.  The footnote in your larger NKJV edition says, “NU omits, For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save  them.” The capital letter N means the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament, while U means United Bible Societies Greek New Testament. These are updated works on earlier, older, better manuscripts.) 

    • NIV of 1985 (Luke 9:56, NIV) reads, “and they went to another village.”
    • NLT of 1996 (Luke 9:56, NLT) reads, “So they went on to another village.”      
    • McCord’s Translation © (1989) reads, “(Luke 9:56) reads, “and they went to another village.”
    • KJV of 1611 (Matt. 18:11) reads, “For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.”
    • RSV of 1952 (Matt. 8:11), it is omitted. There is a footnote notice at the end of v.10 saying that other mss add it. 
    • NKJV of 1985 (Matt. 18:11) reads, “For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.”

         (Pls note the asterisk at the start of the verse.  The footnote in your larger NKJV edition says, “NU omits v. 11.” See above the meaning of NU. 

    • NIV of 1984 (Matt. 18:11) has it missing in the main text, but appears in the footnote saying, “ v. 10 Some manuscripts heaven 11 The Son of Men came to save what was lost.” 
    • NLT of 1996 (Matt. 18:11) has it missing in the main text, but at the end of v. 10 there is asterisk directing one to the footnote which reads, “Some manuscripts add verse 11, “And I, the Son of Man, have come to save that which was lost.”
    • McCord’s Translation © 1989 (Matt. 18:11) has verse 11 missing because it is believed to have been an insertion by a copyist at a much later date.

     There you have the explanation of why later Bible versions omit some words or a verse because these items are believed to have been introduced by later copyists. There are valid reasons for the omission.

    The validity of The Plural Persons in Elohim (30)

    Question #30 –  Some Bible teachers insist that the term ELOHIM is plural because of the “im” ending is plural, therefore, they conclude that when God said in Genesis 1:26, “Let us make man in our image” there are three persons speaking or involved in there.  Is this argument on the plural persons in the term Elohim consistent and valid? 

    Answer:  No, it is not consistent and valid. The “im ending” in Hebrew may suggest plurality in some words, but it does not mean it always points to a plurality of persons.  Just as the “letter S” or ES” may be a sign of plurality in the English language, but not every word ending in S is plural. Example: NEWS, Reyes, Fuentes, Dolores, Tavares, Santos, delos Santos.  There are single items, single persons who have plural form names. Let us study the case of the term used by Yahweh God in Exodus 7:1 and the One Golden Calf recorded in Exodus 32:1, 4, 8.

    Exodus 7:1:  “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘See, I have mad you like God to Pharoah, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet. . .” (Exo. 7:1, NIV)   

    “And Jehovah said unto Moses, See, I have made thee as God to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.” (Exodus 7:1, ASV) 

    My comment:  The Hebrew form of Elohim in Exodus 7:1 is the same Hebrew form in Genesis 1:1.  Yahweh God addressed Moses in Exodus 7. Yahweh makes Moses an Elohim to Pharaoh. Did Yahweh make three persons out of Moses in the presence of Pharaoh?  No, not three persons. That term “Elohim” has the idea of power and authority and superiority and respect that the sovereign ruler of Egypt will give to Moses. Moses will show Pharaoh powerful events culminating in the death of all firstborns in every household both human and animals. Also the dividing of the Red Sea and the millions of Israelites crossing of the Red Sea on dry land. Finally the drowning of Pharaoh’s army in the depth of the Sea!    

    Exodus 32:1, 4, 8:  “. . . Come make us gods . . . they gathered abound Aaron and said, ‘Come, make us gods who will go before us. . . He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, ‘These are your gods,’ O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.” x x x ‘Tomorrow there will be a festival to the LORD.’ x x x  They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.” (32:1,4,8, NIV)

    “. . . Up, make us gods, . . .  gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us. . . And he received it at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, and made it a molten calf: and they said, These are thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. x x x ‘Tomorrow shall be a feast to Jehovah x x x they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed unto it, and said, These are thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.” (32:1, 4, 8, ASV) 

    “. . . kame eis hemas Theous (v.1) . . . kame eis hemas Theous. . .  Houtoi einai hoi Theoi sou x x x x (v.4) x x x x Houtoi einai hoi Theoi sou, Israel. . .”  (v.8) (Biblos)

    My comment:  In the Biblos (Greek) translation of the Hebrew text of Exodus 32 as shown above, Elohim is translated in English in the plural although the number of the item is singular, sole, one image, one golden or metal calf. The plural forms (Theous & Theoi) in the Greek suggest the idea of respect, majesty in the minds of the worshipper.  Not the plurality of persons in the one, single item, metal calf image. Make a research on the name “Adoraim” which means “double honor.” His person is not double, but the honor of the one person. Also, search the meaning of the name “Ephraim” which means “doubly fruitful.” His fruitfulness is double, not the number of his person. We have a brother named Ephraim.  The ending of his name is plural. Is brother Ephraim composed of at least two persons? I hope that these illustrations are sufficient proof of my stand.

    Suggestion:  Let us not submit the “Elohim-Echad-Yachid” theory as our main argument in presenting our stand on the Trinity or Triune Godhead.   To begin with, I suggest that in the creation, the Three Persons (God the Father, Christ and the Holy Spirit) were present and are described as Creators.  At the time of Prophet Isaiah, there was already a strong intimation of a Trinity in the context of Isaiah 48:1-22. See the Trinity in vs. 16, “Come ye near unto me, hear ye this: from the beginning I have not spoken in secret; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord Jehovah hath sent me, and his Spirit.”  Carefully analyze who the speaker is in the context of the chapter, the “me” who is sent, then his shift to the third person referring to the “Lord Jehovah” as the sender and also the Spirit as another sender/or sent. 

    In another lesson, I shall show that the argument that “Echad” as always plural as a collective noun is also not true.  In still another lesson, I shall show that the argument that “Yachid” as always “absolute one” is also not true. Maraming salamat.

    Who Founded the Roman Catholic Church (606 AD) and Greek Orthodox Church (1054 AD) 27

    Question #27 – Was the Bishop of Rome, Pope Boniface III, the founder of the Roman Catholic Church in the year 606 Anno Domini? Was Patriarch Cerularius the founder of the Greek Orthodox Church in the year 1054?

    Answer:  No! Bishop Boniface III is not the founder of the Roman Catholic Church 606 A.D.!!! Patriarch Cerularious is not the founder of the Greek Orthodox Church!!!  We submit two historians’ quotations to support our view. 

     Victor of Rome, Bishop in the City of Rome

        a) “By 190 Victor of Rome claimed to be ‘universal bishop’ but he was ignored by the other churches.  Cyprian (200-258) worked to give greater prestige to the bishop and after 250 the monarchal bishopric was almost universally established.” (The Eternal Kingdom, F. Mattox, p. 106)       

         My Comment:  This means that Bishop Victor of Rome had made the claim of universal headship of the church as early as the year 190 A.D. which means that Boniface III is not the first to make that claim of universal headship. – ET. 

         b) “The Western church under the leadership of Rome said that Peter and Paul taught them to observe Easter day always on the first day of the week. About the close of the second century, Victor, bishop of Rome, excommunicated the church of Asia because they would not agree with Western custom is always celebrating Easter on Sunday.  At this time it was generally believed that all bishops were of equal authority and Victor was considered out of place by such action. The churches of Asia would not change and Irenaeus got Victor to withdraw his rash declaration. Each continued its own practice until the first general council in 325 decided in favor of the Roman position.  This was another step in the exaltation of the Roman bishop.” (The Eternal Kingdom, F. W. Mattox, p. 117)     

         My Comment:  Roman bishop Victor presumed himself as ruler of the universal church issued the ex-communication against Asia Minor congregations but was prevailed upon by Irenaeus, an influential a so-called church father. — ET

    Patriarch John the Faster of Constantinople Declared Universal Patriarch

         a) “In 527 the Emperor Justinian gave the bishop of Constantinople the title of “Ecumenical Patriarch,” and the succeeding bishops tried to hold on to this title.  John the Faster, as late as 588, claimed he was world bishop and that this honor belonged only to Constantinople. The bishops of Rome denied all these assertions, and circumstances soon favored their positions.” (The Eternal Kingdom, F. W. Mattox, p. 134)     

         My Comment:  Year 527 A.D. the Patriarch of Constantinople was declared “Ecumenical Patriarch” of the church by his backer, the Emperor Justinian.  Ecumenical suggests the idea of universal or worldwide. Why is he not declared as the founder of the Greek Orthodox Church if making a declaration of leadership is the measure of headship? Why wait for the year 1054?– ET

    Leo I, Bishop of Rome Claimed Supremacy

         a) “Leo I, later called ‘the Great’ became bishop of Rome in 440 and served twenty years.  He stressed the theory of Roman supremacy on the basis of apostolic succession. He taught that the Lord held the Roman bishop responsible for the care of all the churches and that other bishops were assistants to the Roman bishop in administration, but could not share his authority.  To the bishop of Constantinople, he said:

    ‘Constantinople has its own glory and by the mercy of God has become the seat of the empire. But secular matters are based on one thing, and ecclesiastical matters on another. Nothing will stand which is not built on the Rock which the Lord laid in the foundation. . . Your city is royal but you cannot make it Apostolic.’

    “Leo thus became the first pope.  His claim did not stand unchallenged but remained steadfast nevertheless. Weaker men who succeeded him were not able to defend these claims successfully, and after a period of ascendency for the bishops of Constantinople, another strong personality became bishop of Rome. Gregory I, who was also given the title ‘The Great’ ruled from 590 to 604.  At the close of his reign, the theory of the primacy of Peter and the Roman bishop as his successor and universal head of the church was definitely established.” (The Eternal Kingdom, F. W. Mattox, pp. 134, 135)

          b) “Constantine called this first general council to meet in Nicaea in Asia Minor, June 19, 325. Its purpose was to settle the controversy over the nature of Christ x x x. The council also created the office of Metropolitan, or Patriarch, by exalting the bishops of Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch.” (The Eternal Kingdom, F. W. Mattox, p. 138)  

         My Comment:  Please note that Leo I, bishop of Rome, was a powerful leader. F. Mattox calls him a believer in the supremacy of the Roman bishop and he is called by our historian as “the first pope.”  There is no strong historical reason by bishop Boniface III should be considered the first Roman Pope and founder of the Roman Catholic Church. Would you think that notable church historians would honor the claim that Boniface III is the first Roman Pope? – ET 

    Council of Chalcedon, 451 A.D.

         a) “. . . Marsian, who became emperor upon the death of Theodosius in 450, called the council of Chalcedon. x x x This council said that ‘Peter has spoken through Leo’ and drew up its decision on the basis of this arguments.  The decree says that Christ is: ‘At once complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly God and truly man, consisting also of a reasonable Soul and body; as of one substance with the Father as regards his Godhead, and at the same time of one substance with us as regards his manhood. . . begotten . . . of Mary the Virgin, the God-bearer; one and the same Christ Son, Lord, Only begotten, recognized in two natures, without confusion, without change, without divisions, without separation. x x x  This council also decreed that the bishop of Constantinople was due all of the rights and powers bestowed upon the bishop of Rome. That as Rome ruled the West, Constantinople would rule the East.” (The Eternal Kingdom, F. Mattox, p. 141)

         b) “Leo I (440-461) was the first to set forth Papal claims on the basis of Scripture as proof.  Matthew 16:16-19 was used as proof that the church was built upon Peter. Luke 22:32 was used to prove that Peter was given responsibility for the other brethren as an overseer, and Leo said John 21:15-19 gave Peter the responsibility to feed the sheep, which meant clergy and feed the lambs, which meant the laity.” (The Eternal Kingdom, F. W. Mattox, p.160-161) 

         c) “Against the canon of the Council of Chalcedon, which declared the patriarch of Constantinople to be of equal dignity with the bishop of Rome, Pope Leo I vainly protested. Leo I, who died in 461, has been called the last of the ancient and the first of the medieval popes.” (The Church in History, B.K. Kuiper, page 84) 

         d) “In chapter six (sec. 9) we learned that the bishops in the large cities came to be called metropolitan bishops, and that the bishops of the five most important cities in the Empire acquired the title of patriarch.  Those five cities were Jerusalem, Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinople, and Rome. The bishop in Rome gradually came to be recognized by all the other bishops in the West as their superior. By the year 461, the year in which Leo I died, the papacy had become fully established.” (The Church in History, B.K. Kuiper, page 127     

     My Comment:   Again, Roman bishop Leo I is called Pope by a noted church historian. Which means that Boniface III is not the first Roman Pope and founder of the Roman Catholic Church. — ET

    Gregory I (590-604)  

         a) “On the basis of his own successes he made peace with the Lombard king and enjoyed a greater position of honor in secular administration. One of his chief conflicts was with the patriarch of Constantinople, John the Faster, who had assumed the title “universal bishop.” Gregory was successful in causing a revocation of this title, but instead of adopting the same title for himself he said that he was a servant of the servants of God. (The Eternal Kingdom, pp. 181-182) 

         b) “The most important pope in the days when the new barbarian kingdoms were being built up on the ruins of the Empire in the West was Gregory the Great.  He was the first monk to become pope, and ruled from 590 to 604. He called himself ‘the servant of the servants of God’, a title used by popes down to the present day. x x x   He strongly upheld the claim of the bishops of Rome to power over the entire Church as successors of the apostle Peter.” (The Church in History, B. K. Kuiper, pp.100-101) 

         My Comment:   Bishop Gregory I is an immediate predecessor of Bishop Boniface III. It was in the year 604 A.D.     when Patriarch John the Faster of Constantinople declared himself as the Universal Patriarch of the Church which act was again rejected by the Roman bishops.  This act of the Greek Orthodox Church leader perhaps excited the succeeding Roman Bishop to insist on his primacy, so Boniface III made his own declaration in the year 606 A.D. that the Roman Pontiff is the overall head of the church.  This latest declaration would not qualify Boniface as the founder of the Roman Catholic Church in the year 606 A.D. because the Roman Catholic Church has been existing for many years prior to the year 606 A.D.. I hope that this explanation is clear. I suggest that my fellow preachers in our fellowship would stop posting or reposting a chart which says that Boniface III is the founder of the RCC in the year 606 A.D..

    Leo IX (1049-1054)

         a) “. . . Henry the Emperor exalted his cousin Bruno to the papal throne as Leo IX. x x x   Leo IX, a strong man in his own right, had a very able assistant in the person of Hildebrand, who became an advisor of popes and later pope himself (Gregory VII).  Leo IX, however, had a very serious problem on his hands. His army was defeated by the Normans in Italy in 1053, and Cerularius Patriarch of Constantinople, began to bring discredit upon the authority of the Roman pope.  He also influenced the Patriarch of Achrida of Bulgaria to write to the bishops of southern Italy and refer to all of the errors propagated by the Roman church. This instigated a very bitter struggle between Rome and Constantinople. Leo sent delegates to Constantinople in an attempt to bring about unity and restore his authority over certain churches and monasteries.  But rather than producing unity the conferences led to a permanent division of the Eastern and Western churches. This final break took place July 16, 1054, and shall be discussed in detail later. (The Eternal Kingdom, p. 183) (NOTE: It is the final break between the two camps, not their founding year because both existed in previous years.) 

         b)   “Leo IX, who was pope from 1049-1054, was a leading supporter of Cluny. x x x   But Leo’s term as pope, which began so gloriously, had also its troublous side. You will remember that, although the eastern and the western parts of the Church had for long time been drifting apart, they were up to this time still united. It was while Leo was pope that the two parts of the Church separated from each other.  Pope Leo IX of Rome became involved in trouble with Michael Cerularius, the patriarch of Constantinople. In 1054 he sent representatives to Constantinople with a letter, which they laid at the high altar of the St. Sophia Church. In that letter Pope Leo IX excommunicated Cerularius. The patriarch in turn excommunicated the people.  That was the schism, or division, of the Church (mentioned in chapter 10), the division of the one Church into two – the Greek Eastern and the Latin Western Church.” (The Church in History, pp. 143-144)

         My Comment:  Many congregations in the eastern side of the Roman Empire used Greek as their language.  It is believed that all the New Testament original manuscripts were written in Greek. Many ancient manuscripts were written in Greek.  Which is why the congregations that continued on into the second and third centuries that did not recognize the Bishop of Rome as their head were called “Greek Orthodox Church” because they used Greek scriptures and made very few changes in belief and practice compared to congregations that bowed to the leadership of the Roman bishop.  The congregations in the western side of Roman Empire eventually employed Latin as their language and the Roman bishop allowed many pagan religious practices and other innovations like infant baptism, December 25 as Christ’s birthday celebration, a distinction of clergy and laity, monastic vows, belief that the bread and wine blessed by a priest would turn into the actual body and blood of Christ, celebration of December 25 as the birthday of Christ, placing images on the altar and inside the church building, celebration of the crucifixion of Christ always on a Friday nearest the full moon about the end of March or early April as opposed to the Jewish computation of 14th of the month of Nisan which was followed by the eastern or Greek churches.  — ET

    Conclusion:  It is of general knowledge that Roman Bishop Boniface III declared himself as the “Universal Father of the Church” in 606 A.D..  Evidently this was a reaction against the Constantinople Patriarch John the Faster’s claim in 604 A.D. that he was the “Universal Patriarch of the Church.”  However, the quotations above prove that there have been several individuals who made similar declarations previous to the year 606 A.D.. It is therefore a very simplistic explanation and it lacks historical basis to say that the Roman Catholic Church was founded by Bishop Boniface III in 606 A.D..  Why not Bishop Victor in 190 A.D.? Or Bishop Leo I who was more active and stronger compared to Boniface III? Was there a Roman Catholic Church and popes in the year 605 A.D. or none? Also the year 1054 A.D. marked the filing of excommunication documents by the Roman Bishop versus Patriarch Cerularius on one hand and Patriarch Cerularius filing his own letter of excommunication against Roman Bishop Leo IX.  Why put 1054 as the founding year of the Greek Orthodox Church simply on the basis of excommunication exchange? 1054 A.D. as founding year of the Greek Catholic Church has no historical basis. Was there a Greek Orthodox Church in 1053 or none?  

            My appeal is for us to take the stand that both congregations in Rome and in Byzantium started in the first century.  Each slowly added traditions and beliefs foreign to the scriptures. The exact year of complete apostasy for both is unknown to man. Only God knows when the exact date was. Just like the Seven Churches in Revelation 2 & 3.  God gave the warning that if they don’t repent and restore their doctrinal purity, their candlestick would be taken away.       

            Documented critical observations are welcome.