Is Jesus only a Man who mediates before the One God? Pt. 1

The following text is often quoted by Anti-Trinitarians, especially those of a Muslim persuasion, to prove that Jesus Christ is not God, but a man who is separate and distinct from God:

“For there is one God (heis gar theos), and there is one mediator (heis kai mesites) between God and man, the man Christ Jesus,” 1 Timothy 2:5

Since this verse happens to be a favorite passage of those who deny the prehuman existence and absolute Deity of Christ, we have decided to provide a somewhat thorough analysis of this particular text by examining it in the immediate and overall contexts of Paul’s writings, as well as the Holy Bible as a whole.

But first I am going to show how the inspired Scriptures, specifically the NT documents, employ the various Greek words for one in order to show that they do not preclude others from sharing in or possessing a particular characteristic, role, and/or function ascribed to a specific individual or thing.

THE NT USE OF ONE

To begin with, even though the Greek word for one that the Apostle used in 1 Timothy 2:5, namely heis, can and often does mean one and only/only one, alone, solitary in the sense that there is no other, and therefore excludes everyone else, it doesn’t always have this specific meaning. The word is also used in reference to the archetype, the original, the source, to that which is first or primary, or to someone or something that has supremacy over the other members of a particular class or group. Note, for instance, how the following passages employ this term.

One Lord

“… and one Lord (heis kyrios), Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.” 1 Corinthians 8:6b

one Lord (heis kyrios), one faith, one baptism,” Ephesians 4:5

Even though Christ is the one Lord, the same Scriptures testify that there are others who are called lords, including the Father:

“At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth (kyrie tou ouranou kai tes ges), that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants.” Matthew 11:25 – cf. Luke 10:21

“The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth (houtos ouranou kai ges hyparchon kyrios), does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things… Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”” Acts 17:24-25, 30-31

“And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ (ton christon kyriou).” Luke 2:25-26

“When they were released they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, ‘Sovereign Lord, who didst make the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, who by the mouth of our father David, thy servant, didst say by the Holy Spirit, “Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples imagine vain things? The kings of the earth set themselves in array, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord (tou kyriou) and against his Anointed”—for truly in this city there were gathered together against thy holy servant Jesus, whom thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever thy hand and thy plan had predestined to take place. And now, Lord, look upon their threats, and grant to thy servants to speak thy word with all boldness, while thou stretchest out thy hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of thy holy servant Jesus.’” Acts 4:23-30 RSV

“Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord (tou kyriou hemon) and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.’” Revelation 11:15

“And as Jesus taught in the temple, he said, “How can the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David? David himself, inspired by the Holy Spirit, declared, ‘The Lord (kyrios) said to my Lord (to kyrio mou), Sit at my right hand, till I put thy enemies under thy feet.’ David himself calls him Lord (kyrion); so how is he his son?’ And the great throng heard him gladly.” Mark 12:35-37

“Now the Lord is the Spirit (kyrios to pneuma estin), 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 from the Lord, the Spirit (kyriou pneumatos).” 2 Corinthians 3:17-18

“These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.” Revelation 17:14

“And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, ‘KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.’” Revelation 19:16

One Father and Teacher

We are told that there is one Father, namely God, and one Teacher, that is Christ:

“But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher (heis gar estin hymon ho didaskalos), and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father (heis gar estin hymon ho pater), He who is in heaven. Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader (kathegetes hymon estin heis), that is, Christ.” Matthew 23:8-10

“You call Me Teacher and Lord (ho didaskalos kai ho kyrios); and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher (ho kyrios kai ho didaskalos), washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.” John 13:13-14

And yet the NT is replete with references to fathers and teachers that God has specifically appointed for believers:

“They answered and said to Him, ‘Abraham is our father (pater hemon Abraam estin).’ Jesus said to them, ‘If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do. You are doing the deeds of your father. They said to Him, ‘We were not born of fornication; we have one Father (hena patera): God.’” John 8:39-41

“Now there were at Antioch, in the church that was there, prophets and teachers (didaskaloi): Barnabas, and Simeon who was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”” Acts 13:1-2

“For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all (Abraam, hos estin pater panton hemon),” Romans 4:16

“And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers (didaskalous), then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues. All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers (didaskaloi), are they? All are not workers of miracles, are they? All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they? But earnestly desire the greater gifts. And I show you a still more excellent way.” 1 Corinthians 12:28-31

“And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors (i.e. shepherds [poimenas]) and teachers (didaskalous),” Ephesians 4:11

“for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher (didaskalos).” 2 Timothy 1:11 

One Shepherd

We are expressly told that believers have one shepherd who is Christ our Lord:

“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd (heis poimen).” John 10:11-16

“For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd (ton poimena) and Guardian of your souls.” 1 Peter 2:21-25

“Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd (ton poimena … ton megan) of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord,” Hebrews 13:20

And yet Christ has appointed spiritual leaders to be shepherds overseeing his flock:

“So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?’ He said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.’ He said to him, ‘Tend My lambs.’ He said to him again a second time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love Me?’ He said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.’ He said to him, ‘Shepherd My sheep.’ He said to him the third time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love Me?’ Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, ‘Do you love Me?’ And he said to Him, ‘Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Tend My sheep.’” John 21:15-17

“Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd (poimainein) the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” Acts 20:28 – cf. Ephesians 4:11

“Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, shepherd (poimanate) the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd (tou archipoimenos) appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.” 1 Peter 5:1-4

One Judge

Christ is also said to be the one judge and lawgiver who shall judge and repay everyone according to what they have done:

There is only one Lawgiver and Judge (heis estin nomothetes kai krites), the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?” James 4:12

“For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him… and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man.” John 5:22-23, 27

“The word which He sent to the sons of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ (He is Lord of all)… And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead.” Acts 10:36, 42

“Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.” Acts 17:30-31 – cf. Matthew 16:27; 25:31-46; Mark 8:38; Romans 2:16; 1 Corinthians 4:4-5; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 2 Timothy 4:1, 8, 18; Revelation 2:18-23; 22:12, 20

At the same time, however, we are told that Christ will judge the world through his spiritual Body, the Church:

“And Jesus said to them, ‘Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.’” Matthew 19:28

“Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life?” 1 Corinthians 6:2-3

Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.” Revelation 20:4-6

The One and Only Rock and Foundation

The Holy Bible tells us that there is only one spiritual Rock whom everyone must trust and believe in, namely, Yahweh God:

“‘I love You, O Lord, my strength.’ The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold… For who is God, but the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God,” Psalm 18:1-2, 31

“My soul waits in silence for God only; From Him is my salvation. He ONLY is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken.” Psalm 62:1-2

The same God-breathed revelation also teaches that the Church is built on Christ, who is its only spiritual foundation:

“By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.” 1 Corinthians 3:10-15

And yet Abraham is said to be the rock from whom Israel sprang,

“Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness, Who seek the Lord: Look to the rock from which you were hewn And to the quarry from which you were dug. Look to Abraham your father And to Sarah who gave birth to you in pain; When he was but one I called him, Then I blessed him and multiplied him.” Isaiah 51:1-2

With the Apostles and prophets of the Lord Jesus being described as the very foundation which the Church is built upon:

“For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” Ephesians 2:18-22

The Only One Who Knows

According to Revelation, Christ has a name that no one knows except him:

“His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself.” Revelation 19:12

Now this cannot possibly mean that the Father and the Holy Spirit do not know the name, since the Father knows all things and perfectly knows the Son,

“All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Luke 10:22

“If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.” 1 John 3:20

With the Spirit knowing everything that God the Father knows:

“However, as it is written: ‘What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived’— the things God has prepared for those who love him—these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.” 1 Corinthians 2:9-12

As such, both the Father and the Spirit know everything that the Son knows, and therefore would also know his name.

We now turn to our final example.

One Mediator

Even though Christ is said to be the one mediator, specifically of the New Covenant,

“But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises.” Hebrews 8:6

“how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.” Hebrews 9:14-15

Who intercedes for and perfectly saves all the members of that covenant,

“The former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing, but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever.” Hebrews 7:23-28

Believers are invited to also pray and intercede with the risen Lord for one another, as well as for the salvation of the world. In fact, we find this plainly stated in the very passage that explicitly says that Christ is the one mediator between God and mankind!

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth… For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying) as a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;” 1 Timothy 2:1-4, 7-8 ESV

The reason why believers are called to intercede for the salvation of all peoples is because they are participating in the one mediation of the Lord Jesus. And the reason why they are permitted to share in Christ’s unique mediatorial work is because they are members of his spiritual Body, called to share in the perfect unity which exists between the Father and the Son:

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father [we] are one (hen esmen).’ The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, ‘I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?’ The Jews answered Him, ‘For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.’” John 10:27-33

“As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth. I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.” John 17:18-23

Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be! Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, ‘The two shall become one flesh.’ But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” 1 Corinthians 6:15-17

“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. Now if the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,’ it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!’ On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 – cf. Ephesians 5:25-33

Christians, therefore, are simply sharing in Christ’s unique mediation, being moved by the Holy Spirit to participate in their risen Lord’s intercession and prayers for the salvation of the lost, as well for each other:

“When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’ And they divided up his clothes by casting lots… Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.’ When he had said this, he breathed his last.” Luke 23:33-34, 46

“While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then he fell on his knees and cried out, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ When he had said this, he fell asleep.” Acts 7:59-60

“You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you… In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” Romans 8:9-11, 26-27, 31-34

“Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” James 5:13-20

“But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.” Jude 1:20-21

The foregoing examples confirm that the Holy Bible often employs language such as “one,” one and only,” “no one” etc., in contexts where it isn’t meant to exclude other individuals from also sharing in that specific attribute, function, role etc., assigned to a given person or thing. Therefore, just because Paul differentiates Christ from the one God in 1 Timothy 2:5, doesn’t mean that Jesus isn’t also God, or that the blessed Apostle denied the essential Deity of the risen Lord.

So the question therefore remains: by distinguishing the Lord Jesus from the one God did this holy Apostle intend to deny that Christ is God as well? Or did Paul believe that Christ himself is God in essence since he fully shares in and possesses the uncreated essence of the one God?

This will be the focus of the next part of our discussion.

 

ERRATA: Iglesia Ni Cristo and the New Living Translation

In a previous post https://answeringislamblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/26/jesus-christ-the-god-who-is-the-all-in-all-a-response-to-iglesia-ni-cristo/, I responded to Iglesia Ni Cristo apologist Joe Ventilacion’s use of the New Living Translation’s (NLT) rendering of 1 Corinthians 15:28 in his debate with Dr. James R. White to disprove Jesus’ essential coequality with the Father. After having reviewed the debate again I realized that I made a mistake, since it wasn’t the NLT that Ventilacion used but the Good News Translation (GNT) of the Holy Bible. Here is how the GNT renders the passage in question:

“For the scripture says, ‘God put all things under his feet.’ It is clear, of course, that the words ‘all things’ do not include God himself, who puts all things under Christ. But when all things have been placed under Christ’s rule, then he himself, the Son, will place himself under God, who placed all things under him; and God will rule completely over all.” 1 Corinthians 15:27-28

Therefore, in order to rectify my error I am now going to use this particular version to show how it too affirms the eternal nature and perfect Deity of Christ.

According to the GNT, Jesus Christ is the eternally reigning God who possesses an indestructible kingdom, being the sovereign Lord whom every creature in existence must worship forever and ever:

“There will be no way for them to escape from this time of trouble. The land of the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali was once disgraced, but the future will bring honor to this region, from the Mediterranean eastward to the land on the other side of the Jordan, and even to Galilee itself, where the foreigners live. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. They lived in a land of shadows, but now light is shining on them… A child is born to us! A son is given to us! And he will be our ruler. He will be called, ‘Wonderful Counselor,’ ‘Mighty God,’ ‘Eternal Father,’ ‘Prince of Peace.’ His royal power will continue to grow; his kingdom will always be at peace. He will rule as King David’s successor, basing his power on right and justice, from now until the end of time. The Lord Almighty is determined to do all this.” Isaiah 9:1-2, 6-7

“During this vision in the night, I saw what looked like a human being. He was approaching me, surrounded by clouds, and he went to the one who had been living forever and was presented to him. He was given authority, honor, and royal power, so that the people of all nations, races, and languages would serve him. His authority would last FOREVER, and his kingdom would NEVER END.” Daniel 7:13-14

“In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy God sent the angel Gabriel to a town in Galilee named Nazareth. He had a message for a young woman promised in marriage to a man named Joseph, who was a descendant of King David. Her name was Mary. The angel came to her and said, ‘Peace be with you! The Lord is with you and has greatly blessed you!’ Mary was deeply troubled by the angel’s message, and she wondered what his words meant. The angel said to her, ‘Don’t be afraid, Mary; God has been gracious to you. You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High God. The Lord God will make him a king, as his ancestor David was, and he will be the king of the descendants of Jacob FOREVER; his kingdom WILL NEVER END!’” Luke 1:26-33

“But when God was about to send his first-born Son into the world, he said, ‘All of God’s angels MUST WORSHIP HIM.’ But about the angels God said, “God makes his angels winds, and his servants flames of fire.’ About the Son, however, God said: ‘Your kingdom, O God, will last FOREVER AND EVER! You rule over your people with justice. You love what is right and hate what is wrong. That is why God, your God, has chosen you and has given you the joy of an honor far greater than he gave to your companions.’” Hebrews 1:6-9

“From Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ— To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ (tou Theou hemon kai Soteros ‘Iesou Christou) have been given a faith as precious as ours… In this way you will be given the full right to enter the ETERNAL Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:1, 11

“As he did so, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before THE LAMB. Each had a harp and gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. They sang a new song: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and to break open its seals. For you were killed, and by your sacrificial death you bought for God people from every tribe, language, nation, and race. You have made them a kingdom of priests to serve our God, and they shall rule on earth.’ Again I looked, and I heard angels, thousands and millions of them! They stood around the throne, the four living creatures, and the elders, and sang in a loud voice: ‘THE LAMB who was killed is worthy to receive power, wealth, wisdom, and strength, honor, glory, and praise!’ And I heard EVERY CREATURE in heaven, on earth, in the world below, and in the sea—ALL LIVING BEINGS IN THE UNIVERSE—and they were singing: ‘To him who sits on the throne AND TO THE LAMB, be praise and honor, glory and might, forever and ever!’ The four living creatures answered, ‘Amen!’ And the elders fell down and worshiped.” Revelation 5:8-14

“Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The power to rule over the world belongs now to our Lord and his Messiah, and he will rule FOREVER AND EVER!’” Revelation 11:15

Christ is also the Agent whom the Father employed to create and sustain the whole entire creation:

“In the beginning the Word already existed; the Word was with God, and the Word was God. From the very beginning the Word was with God. Through him God made all things; not one thing in all creation was made without him. The Word was THE SOURCE OF LIFE, and this life brought light to people… This was the real light—the light that comes into the world and shines on all people. The Word was in the world, and though God made the world through him, yet the world did not recognize him… The Word became a human being and, full of grace and truth, lived among us. We saw his glory, the glory which he received as the Father’s only Son… No one has ever seen God. The only Son, WHO IS THE SAME AS GOD and is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.” John 1:1-4, 10, 14

“Christ is the visible likeness of the invisible God. He is the first-born Son, superior to ALL CREATED THINGS. For THROUGH HIM God CREATED EVERYTHING in heaven and on earth, the seen and the unseen things, including spiritual powers, lords, rulers, and authorities. God created the whole universe through him and FOR HIM. Christ existed BEFORE ALL THINGS, and in union with him all things have their proper place. He is the head of his body, the church; he is the source of the body’s life. He is the first-born Son, who was raised from death, in order that he alone might have the first place in all things.” Colossians 1:15-18

“In the past God spoke to our ancestors many times and in many ways through the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us through his Son. He is the one through whom God created the universe, the one whom God has chosen to possess all things at the end. He reflects the brightness of God’s glory and is the exact likeness of God’s own being, sustaining the universe with his powerful word. After achieving forgiveness for the sins of all human beings, he sat down in heaven at the right side of God, the Supreme Power.” Hebrews 1:1-3

Christ is even identified as the Yahweh God of Psalm 102:25-27,

“About the Son… He also said, “You, Lord, in the beginning created the earth, and with YOUR OWN HANDS you made the heavens. They will disappear, but you will remain; they will all wear out like clothes. You will fold them up like a coat, and they will be changed like clothes. But you are always the same, and your life never ends.” Hebrews 1:8a, 10-12

A passage that describes the true God as the unchanging Creator and Sustainer of all things:

“long ago you created the earth, and with your own hands you made the heavens. They will disappear, but you will remain; they will all wear out like clothes. You will discard them like clothes, and they will vanish. But you are always the same, and your life never ends.”

This means that according to the inspired NT witness, Jesus Christ is Yahweh God Almighty in the flesh (even though he is not the Father or the Holy Spirit).

This explains why Jesus identifies himself as the same I AM,

“Jesus answered, ‘You belong to this world here below, but I come from above. You are from this world, but I am not from this world. That is why I told you that you will die in your sins. And you will die in your sins if you do not believe that ‘I Am Who I Am”.’… So he said to them, ‘When you lift up the Son of Man, you will know that ‘I Am Who I Am’; then you will know that I do nothing on my own authority, but I say only what the Father has instructed me to say… Your father Abraham rejoiced that he was to see the time of my coming; he saw it and was glad.’ They said to him, ‘You are not even fifty years old—and you have seen Abraham?’ ‘I am telling you the truth,’ Jesus replied. ‘Before Abraham was born, “I Am”.’” John 8:23-24, 28, 56-58

“I tell you this now before it happens, so that when it does happen, you will believe that ‘I Am Who I Am.’” John 13:19

Who appeared to Moses,

“But Moses replied, ‘When I go to the Israelites and say to them, “The God of your ancestors sent me to you,” they will ask me, “What is his name?” So what can I tell them?’ God said, ‘I am who I am. You must tell them: “The one who is called I Am has sent me to you.” Tell the Israelites that I, the Lord, the God of their ancestors, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, have sent you to them. This is my name forever; this is what all future generations are to call me.’” Exodus 3:13-15

And why we find Jesus’ disciples worshiping him as their Lord and their God,

“One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (called the Twin), was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’ Thomas said to them, ‘Unless I see the scars of the nails in his hands and put my finger on those scars and my hand in his side, I will not believe.’ A week later the disciples were together again indoors, and Thomas was with them. The doors were locked, but Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.’ Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands; then reach out your hand and put it in my side. Stop your doubting, and believe!’ Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God (ho Kyrios mou kai ho Theos mou)!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Do you believe because you see me? How happy are those who believe without seeing me!’” John 20:24-29

In fact as their great God and Savior who offered up his incarnate life to redeem and purify a people for his glory,

“as we wait for the blessed Day we hope for, when the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ (tou megalou Theou kai Soteros hemon ‘Iesou Christou) will appear. He gave himself for us, to rescue us from all wickedness and to make us a pure people who belong to him alone and are eager to do good.” Titus 2:13-14

Praising him as the One that had always been God in nature who then freely chose to humble himself to become a slave in order to die an accursed death for us:

“The attitude you should have is the one that Christ Jesus had: He always had the nature of God, but he did not think that by force he should try to remain equal with God. Instead of this, of his own free will he gave up all he had, and took the nature of a servant. He became like a human being and appeared in human likeness. He was humble and walked the path of obedience all the way to death— his death on the cross. For this reason God raised him to the highest place above and gave him the name that is greater than any other name. And so, in honor of the name of Jesus ALL BEINGS in heaven, on earth, and in the world below will fall on their knees, and all will openly proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:5-11

So much for Ventilacion’s appeal to the GNT Bible.

 

Jesus – The God Who Knows All Things: Refuting Another Iglesia Ni Cristo Objection

In the opening statements of his debate with Dr. James R. White, Iglesia Ni Cristo apologist Joe Ventilacion pitted 1 John 3:20, where John says that God knows all things against Matthew 24:36, a passage where Jesus says that he as the Son doesn’t know the day or hour, in order to prove that Christ cannot be God Almighty. He then made the following assertion:

“If Christ was a God on earth he should know all things.” (Who Is God? – Trinity Debate https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnElgAnN414)

As Dr. White correctly noted, at the Incarnation the Son veiled some of his divine attributes which accounts for why he did not know the day or hour. After all, for Christ to be truly human he must possess a human mind. By nature human minds are finite, limited etc., and are therefore incapable of possessing all knowledge. This means that Jesus’ human mind could not be omniscient since it wouldn’t be truly human if it were.

Moreover, to have a human mind is to possess multiple layers of consciousness, e.g., subconsciousness, waking consciousness etc. And as we all know, a person may not recall or remember all the information that lay embedded within one’s subconsciousness. It therefore makes sense that in his waking consciousness our Lord would not know or recall all the knowledge that he possessed by virtue of being God, as well as all the information that lay hidden within his subconscious mind.

And yet since Jesus is also God it shouldn’t come as a surprise to discover that the same God-breathed Scriptures testify to his omniscience. For example, here is what the Apostle Peter said after being asked by the risen Lord if he loved him:

“He said to him the third time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love Me?’ Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, ‘Do you love Me?’ And he said to Him, ‘Lord, YOU KNOW ALL THINGS; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, ‘Tend My sheep.’” John 21:17

And lest the INC what to argue that Peter didn’t literally mean that Christ knows everything, note the following verse:

“‘These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; an hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but will tell you plainly of the Father. In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I will request of the Father on your behalf; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from the Father. I came forth from the Father and have come into the world; I am leaving the world again and going to the Father.’ His disciples said, ‘Lo, now You are speaking PLAINLY and are not using a figure of speech. Now we know that YOU KNOW ALL THINGS, and have no need for anyone to question You; by this we believe that You came from God.’ Jesus answered them, ‘Do you now believe?’” John 16:25-31

Here we have Jesus speaking in plain language to the disciples. As a result of speaking plainly, not figuratively, the disciples finally come to the realization that Christ does indeed know all things, and therefore doesn’t need to have anyone test his knowledge by asking him questions to see whether he can answer them. And instead of rebuking them for ascribing omniscience to him, the Lord actually chides them for taking so long to realize that he in fact does know everything!

Hence, both before and after his resurrection Jesus knew everything, which proves that he never ceased being the omniscient divine Son of God even while he was on earth.

Now compare all this with the very passage that Ventilacion cited to disprove the Deity of Christ:

“in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things.” 1 John 3:20

Since we have now established that Christ on earth was omniscient this means that, per Ventilacion’s own objection, Jesus was indeed God Almighty who came into the world to become a flesh and blood human being.

There are other passages which affirm the fact of Christ knowing all things, knowing that which only God knows, during his earthly life:

“Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, observing His signs which He was doing. But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man.” John 2:23-25

And knowing their thoughts Jesus said to them, ‘Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand.’” Matthew 12:25

“An argument started among them as to which of them might be the greatest. But Jesus, knowing what they were thinking IN THEIR HEART, took a child and stood him by His side,” Luke 9:46-47

“Others, to test Him, were demanding of Him a sign from heaven. But He knew their thoughts and said to them, ‘Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and a house divided against itself falls.’” Luke 11:16-17

“When He had come back to Capernaum several days afterward, it was heard that He was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room, not even near the door; and He was speaking the word to them. And they came, bringing to Him a paralytic, carried by four men. Being unable to get to Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying. And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’ But some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, ‘Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?’ IMMEDIATELY Jesus, aware IN HIS SPIRIT that they were reasoning that way WITHIN THEMSELVES, said to them, ‘Why are you reasoning about these things IN YOUR HEARTS? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven”; or to say, “Get up, and pick up your pallet and walk”? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins’—He said to the paralytic, ‘I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home.’ And he got up and immediately picked up the pallet and went out in the sight of everyone, so that they were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, ‘We have never seen anything like this.’” Mark 2:1-12 – cf. Matthew 9:1-8; Luke 5:17-26

Christ is depicted as doing and knowing that which the Hebrew Bible ascribes to Yahweh alone, namely, forgiving sins, healing diseases, and knowing the inner thoughts of the hearts of men:

“Would not God find this out? For He knows the secrets of the heart.” Psalm 44:21

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;” Psalm 103:2-4

“then hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive and act and render to each according to all his ways, whose heart You know, for You ALONE know the hearts of all the sons of men,” 1 Kings 8:39

Therefore, Ventilacion’s very own challenge has been met since Jesus Christ did know all things even while he was on earth, despite the fact that the omniscience he possessed was veiled from his human mind and waking consciousness. As such, Jesus was truly God walking this earth as a man who, from the moment of his bodily resurrection, continues to exist as the glorious and glorified God-Man:

“For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,” Colossians 2:9

All Scriptural citations taken from the New American Standard Version (NASB) of the Holy Bible.

 

 

 

 

Jesus Christ: The God Who is the All in All – A Response to Iglesia ni Cristo

On April 21, 2017, Dr. James White debated cult group Iglesia ni Cristo’s (InC) leading apologist named “Brother” Joe Ventilacion on the topic, “Who Is God? – Trinity Debate” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnElgAnN414.

Dr. White was masterful in his defense of the biblical basis for the doctrine of the Trinity and the essential Deity of Christ, and did a marvelous job of refuting Ventilacion’s arguments.

There is one passage that Ventilacion raised to undermine the risen Lord’s essential coequality with the Father, which we would like to address here (even though White did a fine job of addressing it within the time allotted to him). Ventilacion quoted the following inspired words of the blessed Apostle to prove that Christ is not equal to God the Father (and never has been):

“Then, when all things are under his authority, the Son will put himself under God’s authority, so that God, who gave his Son authority over all things, will be utterly supreme over everything everywhere.” 1 Corinthians 15:28 New Living Translation (NLT)

Mr. Ventilacion employed this text to prove that Jesus cannot be one with the Father in essence since the Son will subject himself to God at the end of the age after having destroyed his last enemy, namely death itself.

In this post I will be mainly employing the NLT to address the misuse of this verse, since this is the version that Mr. Ventilacion cited in order to make his case. I will show how this very translation ends up backfiring against Mr. Ventilacion since it amply testifies that Jesus Christ is the eternal God who became flesh.

To begin with, we note that Paul wasn’t suggesting here that the Lord’s reign would come to a complete end since he affirms elsewhere that in the age to come, Christ will continue to be highly exalted above every power, rule and authority in existence:

“I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also IN THE WORLD TO COME. God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.” Ephesians 1:19-23

As we will shortly see, this means that the risen Lord will continue to reign supreme over all creation even after death has been abolished.

Paul wasn’t the only inspired spokesperson that spoke of Christ ruling forever and ever. Note what the prophet Daniel said concerning the reign of the Messiah:

“As my vision continued that night, I saw someone like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient One and was led into his presence. He was given authority, honor, and sovereignty over all the nations of the world, so that people of every race and nation and language would obey him. His rule is ETERNAL—it will NEVER END. His kingdom will NEVER BE DESTROYED.” Daniel 7:13-14

According to the NT, the Son of Man whom Daniel saw is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ himself:

“But Jesus was silent and made no reply. Then the high priest asked him, ‘Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?’ Jesus said, “I am.[a] And you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand[b] and coming on the clouds of heaven. [c]’”

a. 14:62a Or The ‘I am’ is here; or I am the Lord. See Exod 3:14.

Other witnesses include the following:

“In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, ‘Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you! Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. ‘Don’t be afraid, Mary,’ the angel told her, ‘for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel FOREVER; his Kingdom will NEVER END!’”

“Then God will give you a grand entrance into the ETERNAL KINGDOM of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:11

“Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices shouting in heaven: ‘The world has now become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign FOREVER AND EVER.’” Revelation 11:15

The next set of verses from Revelation depict Jesus ruling with the Father in the new heavens and earth, after having destroyed death by casting it into hell itself:

“And I saw a great white throne and the one sitting on it. The earth and sky fled from his presence, but they found no place to hide. I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books. The sea gave up its dead, and death and the grave gave up their dead. And all were judged according to their deeds. Then death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death. And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:11-15

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, ‘Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be NO MORE DEATH or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever. And the one sitting on the throne said, ‘Look, I am making everything new!’ And then he said to me, ‘Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.’ And he also said, ‘It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.’…  I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord God Almighty AND THE LAMB are its temple. And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light. The nations will walk in its light, and the kings of the world will enter the city in all their glory. Its gates will never be closed at the end of day because there is no night there. And all the nations will bring their glory and honor into the city. Nothing evil will be allowed to enter, nor anyone who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty—but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.” Revelation 21:1-7, 22-27

“Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God AND OF THE LAMB. It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations. No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For THE THRONE of God AND OF THE LAMB will be there, and his servants will worship him. And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever.” Revelation 22:1-5

Now compare this with what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15 again:

“Then comes the end when He will deliver up the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He will reign until He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed IS DEATH. For He ‘has put all things under His feet.’ But when He says, ‘all things are put under Him,’ it is revealed that He, who has put all things under Him, is the exception. When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all (ho Theos [ta] panta en pasin).” 1 Corinthians 15:24-28 Modern English Version (MEV)

The blessed Apostle states that the Lord shall reign until he has abolished death. Yet according to Revelation, Christ continues to rule along with the Father even after death has been destroyed, thereby establishing the fact that the Son’s kingdom is eternal and therefore indestructible.

What all of this shows is that Jesus Christ is included within the identity of the very God whom Paul says will be all in all.

This is further confirmed by the fact that the God-breathed Scriptures apply the term God to Christ in contexts that clearly point to his uncreated, essential Deity.

For instance, the Holy Bible proclaims that the Lord Jesus is the God-Man who rules forever, being the Mighty God that created and gives life to all things:

“Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory. The people who walk in darkness will see a GREAT lightFor a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God (El Gibbor), Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!” Isaiah 9:6-7

“In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone… The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He came into the very world HE CREATED, but the world didn’t recognize him… So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son… No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.” John 1:1-4, 9-10, 14, 18

“Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe. The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven… But to the Son he says, ‘Your throne, O God (HO Theos), endures FOREVER AND EVER. You rule with a scepter of justice. You love justice and hate evil. Therefore, O God, your God has anointed you, pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else.’” Hebrews 1:1-3, 8-9

Jesus is also said to be the God who humbled himself to become a servant in order to die an accursed death,

“You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.” Philippians 2:5-8

The God who shed his own blood to redeem the church,

“So guard yourselves and God’s people. Feed and shepherd God’s flock—his church, purchased with HIS OWN BLOOD—over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as leaders.” Acts 20:28

The God who is above all and is eternally praised,

“Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are their ancestors, and Christ himself was an Israelite as far as his human nature is concerned. AND HE IS GOD, the one who rules over everything and is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.” Romans 9:5

The God who bestows his grace upon believers,

“Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ (TOU Theou hemon kai Kyriou ‘Iesou Christou).” 2 Thessalonians 1:12

The great God and Savior whose glorious appearance all true believers eagerly await,

“while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ (TOU megalou Theou kai Soteros hemon ‘Iesou Christou), will be revealed. He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.” Titus 2:13-14

As well as the God and Savior whose justice and fairness results in salvation being granted to all human beings, irrespective of ethnicity, gender, or status:

“This letter is from Simon Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ. I am writing to you who share the same precious faith we have. This faith was given to you because of the justice and fairness of Jesus Christ, our God and Savior (TOU Theou hemon kai Soteros ‘Iesou Christou).” 2 Peter 1:1

Two important points need to be noted regarding the above passages. First, the Greek of 2 Thessalonians 1:12, Titus 2:13, Hebrews 1:8 and 2 Peter 1:1 all have the definite article before the word God, and therefore describe Jesus as THE God, and not simply a God.

Second, 2 Thessalonians 1:12, Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1 are examples of what is commonly referred to as a Granville Sharp construction. Sharp was a Christian philanthropist and abolitionist who wrote a monograph in 1798 on how the Greek NT employs the definite article, especially as it relates to the Deity of Christ. He discovered six rules concerning the article, the first of which being that whenever one finds two singular personal nouns, which are not proper names, connected by the Greek conjunction kai (“and”), with the definite article appearing only before the first noun, then both nouns are referring to and describing the same individual. This is precisely what we find in the case of the aforementioned verses.

Christ is therefore being described as God, in fact as the great God, who is the Lord and Savior of all believers. And since there is only one Being who can be properly called the great God, namely Yahweh Almighty,

“For the Lord your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords. He is the great God, the mighty and awesome God, who shows no partiality and cannot be bribed.” Deuteronomy 10:17

“And now, our God, the great and mighty and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of unfailing love…” Nehemiah 9:32

“For you are great and perform wonderful deeds. You alone are God.” Psalm 86:10

“You show unfailing love to thousands, but you also bring the consequences of one generation’s sin upon the next. You are the great and powerful God, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.” Jeremiah 32:18

This means that, according to the inspired NT record, Jesus Christ is Yahweh God Almighty in the flesh (even though he is not the Father or the Holy Spirit)!

This explains why the NT authors could say without any reservation that Christ existed before any created thing came into being, and that he is the Agent whom the Father used to create and sustain the entire creation,

“For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins. Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So he is first in everything.” Colossians 1:13-18

And why Hebrews could take the following Psalm, which describes Yahweh God Almighty as the unchanging Creator and Sustainer of all things,

“Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth and made the heavens with your hands. They will perish, but you remain forever; they will wear out like old clothing. You will change them like a garment and discard them. But you are always the same; you will live forever.” Psalm 102:25-27

And apply that to the Son!

“He also says to the Son, ‘In the beginning, Lord, YOU laid the foundation of the earth and made the heavens with YOUR HANDS. They will perish, but you remain forever. They will wear out like old clothing. You will fold them up like a cloak and discard them like old clothing. But you are always the same; you will live forever.’” Hebrews 1:10-12

Therefore, since one of the very translations which the InC apologist utilized in his debate against Dr. White goes out of its way to proclaim that Jesus is Yahweh God Almighty who became flesh, being the eternal divine Son of God whom the Father has always loved, will he and his organization now do the honest thing and repent of their blasphemies and shameless distortion of the Holy Scriptures?

Unless and until the Holy Spirit brings conviction and enables them to see the error of their ways, the sad reality is that they will never do so but will instead choose to continue blaspheming the risen Lord of glory, Jesus Christ, the Father’s eternally beloved Son.

Lord willing, the second part of my rebuttal where I discuss the sense in which he the Son will become subject to God, should be appearing shortly.

Two Yale Scholars Prove that Islam is a False Religion

It never ceases to amaze me how Muslim polemicists will constantly cite liberal biblical scholarship to refute the Christian faith, while rejecting that the implications that same scholarship has on the truth claims of their own religion.

Take, for instance, Paul Bilal Williams’ post titled “Yale: ‘The Synoptic Gospels do not portray Jesus as preexistent’” http://bloggingtheology.net/2017/01/09/28159/, where he cites the work of John J. and Adela Yarbro Collins titled, King and Messiah as Son of God: Divine, Human, and Angelic Messianic Figures in Biblical and Related Literature , for the express purpose of establishing that the Synoptic Gospels, i.e., Mark, Matthew and Luke, deny the divine prehuman existence of Christ. Williams writes,

This will come as a shock to most people to learn that New Testament scholarship is broadly in agreement that the gospels of Matthew and Luke do not portray Jesus as preexistent and have no awareness of the notion of the Incarnation of God. In the light of Christian teaching about the origins of Jesus this is surprising as both gospels have extended birth narratives where such ideas would naturally be mentioned. Here is an extract from a recent academic discussion from Yale University in the USA.

And then posts a picture from p. 209 of Collins’ work:

The Synoptic Gospels do not portray Jesus as preexistent. In Mark ‘son of God’ signifies first and foremost that Jesus is the messiah (1:11 in its allusion to Ps 2:7 and explicitly in 8:29). During his lifetime Jesus has authority and will suffer as the hidden Son of Man (2:10, 28; 8:31; 9:31; 10:33-34). He will exercise his messiahship as the exalted Son of Man (8:38; 13:26-27; 14:62). Matthew emphasizes Jesus’ messiahship in the opening sentence: “the account of the descent of Jesus = messiah, son of David, son of Abraham (BiBlos geneseo ‘Iesou Christous hyiou David hyiou ‘Abraam). Both Matthew (1:20) and Luke (1:35) portray Jesus as begotten by God in the sense that he was conceived by the power of God and had no human father. In neither case, however, is this idea combined with the notion of preexistence and incarnation. As in Mark, ‘son of God’ and ‘Son of Man’ are equivalent in Matthew. Matthew goes beyond Mark in emphasizing that Jesus as Son of Man has a kingdom (13:41; 16:28) and will act as judge (19:28; 25:31-46).

Page 209 from the Conclusion of King and Messiah as Son of God: Divine, Human, and Angelic Messianic Figures in Biblical and Related Literature, by Adela Yarbro Collins and John J. Collins – both professors of biblical criticism and interpretation at Yale University.

In this post I am going to show how the claims made by these two scholars end up proving that William’s religion cannot be true and that Muhammad was false prophet.

Christ as the Divine Son of Man

Collins referenced the following passages where Jesus refers to himself as the Son of Man: 

“Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of HIS Father with the holy angels.” Mark 8:38

“Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory. Then HE will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.” Mark 13:26-27

“Again the high priest asked him, ‘Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?’ Jesus said, ‘I am; and “you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power,” and “coming with the clouds of heaven.”’” Mark 14:61b-62

Notice that according to these verses Jesus is the Son of Man who rides the clouds of heaven, appears in the glory of his Father, which identifies the Son of Man as God’s own unique Son, sends forth the angels, and sits enthroned at the right hand of God.

It is clear that Christ is identifying himself as the Lord of David who is mentioned in Psalm 110:1, a fact confirmed elsewhere in Mark,

“While Jesus was teaching in the temple, he said, ‘How can the scribes say that the Messiah is the son of David? David himself, by the Holy Spirit, declared, “The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet.’” David himself calls him Lord; so how can he be his son?’ And the large crowd was listening to him with delight.” Mark 12:35-37

And as the divine figure whom the prophet Daniel saw coming on the clouds in order to reign forever, and whom all nations must worship:

“I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.” Daniel 7:13-14

Suffice it to say this now raises some serious problems for Williams’ Islamic beliefs since, according to the Quran, it is God Almighty who comes on the clouds of heaven with his angels in order to judge the nations:

What do they look for, but that God shall come to them in the cloud — shadows, and the angels? The matter is determined, and unto God all matters are returned. S. 2:210

No indeed! When the earth is ground to powder, and thy Lord comes, and the angels rank on rank, and Gehenna is brought out, upon that day man will remember; and how shall the Reminder be for him? S. 89:21-23

And it is God alone who reigns supreme over all creation, since he does not permit anyone to share in his sovereign rule, not even a son!

It belongs not to any mortal that God should give him the Book, the Judgment, the Prophethood, then he should say to men, ‘Be you servants to me apart from God.’ Rather, ‘Be you masters in that you know the Book, and in that you study.’ He would never order you to take the angels and the Prophets as Lords; what, would He order you to disbelieve, after you have surrendered? S. 3:79-80 Arberry

And say: ‘Praise belongs to God, who has not taken to Him a son, and who has not any associate in the Kingdom, nor any protector out of humbleness.’ And magnify Him with repeated magnificats. S. 17:111 Arberry

Say: “Allah knows best how long they stayed. With Him is (the knowledge of) the unseen of the heavens and the earth. How clearly He sees, and hears (everything)! They have no Wali (Helper, Disposer of affairs, Protector, etc.) other than Him, and He makes none to share in His Decision and His Rule.” S. 18:26 Hilali-Khan

to whom belongs the Kingdom of the heavens and the earth; and He has not taken to Him a son, and He has no associate in the Kingdom; and He created every thing, then He ordained it very exactly. S. 25:2 Arberry

The foregoing establishes that the only way that the prophets David and Daniel could describe the Messiah as the Lord who rides the clouds of heaven and who rules from God’s own throne, and whom all nations are to worship forever, is if they believed that he is God in the flesh (though not the Father or the Holy Spirit). And since this is the plain, explicit teaching of these inspired emissaries taught concerning the Person of Christ, Muhammad therefore stands condemned as a false prophet for contradicting the message of God’s true spokespersons that came before him.

The literal, unique Son of God

Williams also failed to appreciate that Collins is basically arguing that both Matthew and Luke are affirming that the virginal conception and birth of Jesus literally makes him the Son of God. Lest the readers misunderstand, we do not mean literal in the sense that God sired Jesus through sexual procreation, but through a creative act by the Holy Spirit in which Christ is both human and divine. He is human in that Jesus was conceived in the womb of a woman; he is also divine in that the conception took place by God’s own Spirit, thereby making him the actual Son of God in a unique, divine sense.

After all, being begotten by God makes Jesus divine by nature, just as his being begotten by a human mother makes him human. As critical NT scholar Bart D. Ehrman explains (whom we might add is no friend to conservative Evangelical Christianity):

Luke himself–whoever he was-does not think Jesus was a preexistent Son of God. As it turns out, he does not think Jesus became the Son at the baptism either, as we will see. Then why does he have the voice say this? Again, Luke is fond of incorporating a variety of preliterary traditions that he had heard, even if they differ from his own views. And so in a speech of Acts he can include a tradition that says Jesus became the Son of God at his resurrection (13:33); in his Gospel he can include one that says Jesus became the Son of God at his baptism (3:22); and he incorporates another tradition that says he became the Son of God at his birth (1:35). Maybe Luke simply wanted to stress that Jesus was the Son of God at all the significant points of his existence: birth, baptism, and resurrection.

Jesus as Son of God at His Birth 

In the final form of Luke’s Gospel, it appears that Jesus is to be thought of as becoming the Son of God, for the first time, at the moment of birth. Or, to be more precise, at the moment of his conception. We saw in Chapter 1 that in the pagan world there were a variety of ways that a human could be thought of as having become divine. Some humans were made divine at their deaths, when they were taken up to the heavenly realm to live with the gods (e.g., Romulus). This would be comparable to Christian traditions that Jesus was exalted to God’s right hand as his Son at the resurrection. In other pagan traditions a divine human was born that way, after a god such as the lusty Zeus had sex with a beautiful woman he could not resist. The offspring was literally the son of Zeus (e.g., Heracles [Roman: Hercules]). There are no Christian traditions in which this happens. The God of the Christians was not like the philander Zeus, filled with lust and full of imaginative ways to satisfy it. For the Christians, God was transcendent, remote, “up there”–not one to have sex with beautiful girls. At the same time, something somewhat like the pagan myths appears to lie behind the birth narrative found in the Gospel of Luke.

The Birth of Jesus in Luke

In this Gospel, Jesus was born of Mary, who had never had human sex. She had never had divine sex either, exactly, but it was God, not a human who made her pregnant. In the famous “annunciation” scene, the angel Gabriel comes to Mary, who is betrothed to be married but has not yet gone through the ceremony or had any physical contact with her espoused, Joseph. Gabriel tells her that she is specially favored by God and will conceive and bear a son. She is taken aback-she has never had sex: How can she conceive? The angel tells her in graphic terms: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the Power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the one who is born will be called holy, the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). I call this description “graphic” because there is nothing in it to make the reader think that the angel is speaking in metaphors. In a very physical sense the Holy Spirit is to “come upon” Mary and “therefore”–an important word here–the child she bears will be called the Son of God. He will be called the Son of God because he will in fact be the Son of God. It is God, not Joseph, who will make Mary pregnant, so the child she bears will be God’s offspring. Here, Jesus becomes the Son of God not at his resurrection or baptism, but already at his conception.

It is interesting to observe that the Gospel of Matthew also has an account of Jesus’ birth in which his mother is a virgin. One might infer from this account as well that Jesus is the Son of God because of the circumstances of his unusual birth. But in the case of Matthew, this conclusion would indeed need to be made by inference: Matthew says nothing of the sort. There is no verse in Matthew similar to what Luke says in Luke 1:35. Instead, according to Matthew, the reason Jesus’s mother was a virgin was so that his birth could fulfill what had been said by a spokesperson of God many centuries earlier, when the prophet Isaiah in the Jewish Scriptures wrote, “A virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Immanuel” (Isa. 7:14). Matthew quotes this verse and gives it as the reason for Jesus’s unusual conception–it was to fulfill prophecy (Matt. 1:23)… It does not take too much thought to realize, though, that Matthew may have been giving “scriptural justification” for a tradition he inherited that originally had a different import: like Luke’s tradition, the one that came to Matthew may originally have spoken of Jesus as the unique Son of God because he was born of a virgin, with God as his father.

Whether this is the case or not, I should stress that these virginal conception narratives of Matthew and Luke are by no stretch of the imagination embracing the view that later became the orthodox teaching of Christianity. According to this later view, Christ was a preexistent divine being who “became incarnate [i.e., “human”] through the Virgin Mary.” But not according to Matthew and Luke. If you read their accounts closely, you will see that they have nothing to do with the idea that Christ existed before he was conceived. In these two Gospels, Jesus comes into existence at the moment of his conception. He did not exist before.

Whether or not Matthew’s tradition originally coincided with Luke’s view that Jesus was conceived by a virgin without sexual intercourse so that he was LITERALLY the Son of God, this view, as most pronounced in Luke, is a kind of “exaltation” Christology that has been pushed back just about as far as such a view can go. If an exaltation Christology maintains that a human has been elevated to a divine status, then there is no point for that to happen earlier than the moment of conception itself. Jesus is now the Son of God for his entire life, beginning with … his beginning. One could argue, in fact, that this has pushed the moment of exaltation so far back that here we no longer even have an exaltation Christology, a Christology from “down below.” For here, Jesus is not portrayed in any sense as beginning life as a normal human who because of his great virtue or deep obedience to the will of God is exalted to a divine status. HE STARTS OUT AS DIVINE, FROM THE POINT OF HIS CONCEPTION. (How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee [HarperOne 2014], 6. The Beginning of Christology: Christ as Exalted to Heaven, pp. 240-244; capital emphasis ours)

This, too, is incompatible with Williams’ Islamic beliefs since the Quran outright denies that Jesus is God’s Son,

The Jews say, ‘Ezra is the Son of God’; the Christians say, ‘The Messiah is the Son of God.’ That is the utterance of their mouths, conforming with the unbelievers before them. God assail them! How they are perverted! S. 9:30 Arberry

And further denies that the Muslim god is a father to anyone, since he neither begets nor is begotten, irrespective of whether that begetting is spiritual or sexual in nature:

Say the Jews and Christians, ‘We are the sons of God, and His beloved ones.’ Say: ‘Why then does He chastise you for your sins? No; you are mortals, of His creating; He forgives whom He will, and He chastises whom He will.’ For to God belongs the kingdom of the heavens and of the earth, and all that is between them; to Him is the homecoming. S. 5:18 Arberry

The Creator of the heavens and the earth — how should He have a son, seeing that He has no consort, and He created all things, and He has knowledge of everything? S. 6:101 Arberry

And they say, ‘The All-merciful has taken unto Himself a son. You have indeed advanced something hideous! The heavens are wellnigh rent of it and the earth split asunder, and the mountains wellnigh fall down crashing for that they have attributed to the All-merciful a son; and it behoves not the All-merciful to take a son. None is there in the heavens and earth but he comes to the All-merciful as a servant; S. 19:88-93 Arberry

Had God desired to take to Him a son, He would have chosen whatever He willed of that He has created. Glory be to Him! He is God, the One, the Omnipotent. S. 39:4 Arberry

who has not begotten, and has not been begotten, S. 112:3 Arberry

Ironically, Muhammad said that if God had a Son then he would be the first to worship him,

Say, ‘If the Merciful One has a son then am I the first to worship him. S. 43:81 Palmer

Which is precisely what Christ’s own followers actually did after seeing Jesus’ sovereign power and control over the natural elements!

“Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, ‘It is a ghost!’ And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, ‘Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.’ Peter answered him, ‘Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.’ He said, ‘Come.’ So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, ‘Lord, save me! Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’ When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’” Matthew 14:22-33

This shows that even Muhammad realized that God’s Son would have to be truly divine and therefore worthy of worship.

Now since the very Yale scholars that Williams’ appealed to acknowledge that the Synoptic Gospels identify Jesus as the divine Son of Man and (in the case of Matthew and Luke) the unique Son of God from the very moment of his blessed, miraculous conception, Williams is therefore left with no choice but to reject Muhammad as a fraud, as a false prophet and antichrist for rejecting what our earliest witnesses to the historical Jesus taught concerning him.

So much for Williams’ appeal to Yale’s scholars!

All Scriptural quotations taken from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Holy Bible.

Muhammad Proves that Jesus Claimed to Be God!

It may come as a surprise to some Christians and even Muslims to learn that Muhammad actually plagiarized the words of the Lord Jesus from the Gospel of Matthew (which he may have picked up orally), and by doing so he ended up proving that Christ did in fact claim to be God Almighty in the flesh.

Here is what Muhammad is reported to have said in what is called a hadith qudsi (“holy/divine narration”), a report in which Muhammad narrates the words of his god:

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah, who said that the Messenger of Allah said:

Allah (mighty and sublime be He) will say on the Day of Resurrection: O son of Adam, I fell ill and you visited Me not. He will say: O Lord, and how should I visit You when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: Did you not know that My servant So-and-so had fallen ill and you visited him not? Did you not know that had you visited him you would have found Me with him? O son of Adam, I asked you for food and you fed Me not. He will say: O Lord, and how should I feed You when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: Did you not know that My servant So-and-so asked you for food and you fed him not? Did you not know that had you fed him you would surely have found that (the reward for doing so) with Me? O son of Adam, I asked you to give Me to drink and you gave Me not to drink. He will say: O Lord, how should I give You to drink when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: My servant So-and-so asked you to give him to drink and you gave him not to drink. Had you given him to drink you would have surely found that with Me.

It was related by Muslim. (40 Hadith Qudsi, Hadith 18 https://sunnah.com/qudsi40/18; bold, italicized and underline emphasis ours)

Anyone who is familiar with the Gospels will know where this comes from. Muhammad adapted the following pericope and ascribed it to his deity:

“When the Son of man shall come in HIS GLORY, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon THE THRONE OF HIS GLORY: and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall THE KING say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of MY FATHER, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And THE KING shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it UNTO ME. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, LORD, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not TO ME. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” Matthew 25:31-46

Now by plagiarizing Matthew 25:31-46, Muhammad inadvertently showed that these words can only be uttered by God Almighty, since only God is able to say and do the very things that Jesus says he will do when he returns from heaven to judge the world.

This is further brought out by the following Quranic verses which claim that Allah will come on the clouds of heaven with his angels in order to judge the earth:

What do they look for, but that God shall come to them in the cloud — shadows, and the angels? The matter is determined, and unto God all matters are returned. S. 2:210 Arberry

Lord of the Throne of Glory, S. 85:15 Y. Ali

No indeed! When the earth is ground to powder, and thy Lord comes, and the angels rank on rank, and Gehenna is brought out, upon that day man will remember; and how shall the Reminder be for him? S. 89:21-23 Arberry

Now compare this with the following words of Christ:

Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.  And he shall send HIS angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together HIS elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Matthew 24:29-31

Hence, by claiming to be the Son of Man who returns on the clouds of heaven along with his angels to sit on his glorious throne so as to judge all the nations, Jesus was claiming to be God Almighty in the flesh (even though he is not the Father or the Holy Spirit). This is a fact which Muhammad himself unintentionally confirmed by stealing Jesus’ glorious words and placing them in the mouth of his lord!

All Scriptural references taken from the Authorized King James Version (AV) of the Holy Bible.

Yes! Christianity Does Necessitate Christ’s Vicarious Death as the Ransom for Salvation!

This is going to be a reply to the following post by Muhammadan greenhorn question mark https://bloggingtheology.net/2017/04/15/does-christianity-really-necessitate-ransom-for-salvation/.

I have already thoroughly addressed and rebutted the great bulk of this neophyte’s assertions in the following articles and rebuttals:

Jesus and the Law http://answeringislam.net/Shamoun/q_jesus_and_law.htm

Paul and the Law http://answeringislam.net/Shamoun/q_paul_slanders_law.htm

The Old Testament on Vicarious Sacrifices http://www.answeringislam.net/authors/shamoun/ot_atonement.html

Where is the Blood? http://www.answeringislam.net/Shamoun/bloodatonement.htm

Jesus and Paul on Salvation http://answeringislam.net/Responses/Osama/zawadi_salvation.htm

The Bible and Vicarious Atonement http://answeringislam.net/Responses/Osama/zawadi_salvation2a.htm

Salvation According to the Old Testament http://answeringislam.net/Responses/Menj/salvation_bible.htm

Salvation According to Islam http://answeringislam.net/Responses/Menj/salvation_islam.htm

Jewish and Christian Converts to Islam: Some Questions for Muslims to Ponder http://answeringislam.net/Shamoun/obey_ot.htm

Is there an Islamic Demand for Obedience to the OT Laws? http://answeringislam.net/Responses/Osama/zawadi_obey_law.htm

Therefore, I intend to focus on what the Muhammadan says near the conclusion of his post:

And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there isnone good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandmentsHe saith unto him, Which? Jesus said,Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  (Mat 19:16-19, King James, e-Sword Version)

Observe that according to Jesus, not Paul, salvation can be achieved by (i) not murdering (ii) abstinence from adultery (iii) abstinence from theft (iv) abstinence from false witnessing (v) honoring parents (vi) and loving our neighbor. Al-hamdolillah.

Starkly, Jesus did not enlist belief on his alleged cross to attain salvation which for Shamoun is “both necessary and foundational for salvation”. Seems that for Christ (peace be upon him), cross was neither necessary nor foundational for salvation!

Christians need to choose between Shamoun and Jesus – I will put my money on Jesus.

Since the greenhorn appealed to Matthew’s Gospel to prove his case then this means he cannot reject this same Gospel’s witness which I will now be citing to prove that my contention that there is no salvation apart from the vicarious death of the Lord Jesus. I will then show how Matthew ends up vindicating the blessed Apostle Paul while exposing Muhammad as a false prophet and antichrist.

We begin by showing what the rest of this very same chapter has to say about salvation:

“The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: AND COME AND FOLLOW ME. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit IN THE THRONE OF HIS GLORY, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, FOR MY NAME’S SAKE, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.” Matthew 19:20-30

Now we see why the greenhorn didn’t bother quoting the rest of the chapter since Jesus went on to say that perfection and eternal life do not come from observing the law, but rather from giving up everything in order to follow Christ. Note as well how Jesus refers to himself as the Son of Man who possesses a throne of glory, a point which we shall return to shortly.

This isn’t the only time that Christ spoke of the necessity of loving him more than anything, even more than one’s own life, and of one’s willingness to die for him:

“He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life FOR MY SAKE shall find it.” Matthew 10:37-39

And:

“When Jesus came into the coasts of Cæsarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but MY FATHER which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ. From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, AND BE KILLED, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, AND FOLLOW ME. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life FOR MY SAKE shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of HIS FATHER with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming IN HIS KINGDOM.” Matthew 16:13-28

In this passage Christ not only speaks of the need for a person to be willing to die for his sake, but he also mentions his own death and resurrection, and once again speaks of himself as the Son of Man who reigns and shall come in the glory of his Father along with his angels. The Lord even claims to be the One who shall come to recompense every individual for what s/he has done. On top of all this, Christ blesses Peter’s confession that he is the Son of the living God by affirming that this was a revelation that God Father personally made known to Peter.

And here is what the Father himself said about Christ:

“And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: and lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is MY BELOVED SON, IN WHOM I AM WELL.” Matthew 3:16-17

“And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is MY BELOVED SON, IN WHOM I AM WELL PLEASED; HEAR YE HIM. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only” Matthew 17:1-8

On two separate occasions the Father appeared and spoke from heaven in order to personally bear witness to Jesus being his beloved Son who always delights and pleases him, and whom everyone must listen to. And on the second of these occasions Jesus physically transfigured before his disciples in the presence of Moses and Elijah so as to reveal to them his true inner abiding glory and nature.

Now does the greenhorn seriously want Christians to believe and follow all this, seeing that this would lead to a rejection of Muhammad as a fraud, as a false prophet since he denied and opposed these revealed historical facts about Christ?

The neophyte’s woes are just beginning since this same Gospel has Christ plainly telling his disciples that he will offer his life and shed his blood in order to redeem and procure the forgiveness of sins for everyone who would believe and follow him:

“And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:17-19, 28

“And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is MY BLOOD of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Matthew 26:26-28

This is precisely what the angel told Joseph Jesus would do:

“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

Here is what the renowned Bible expositor Albert Barnes wrote in respect to these passages:

His name Jesus – The name Jesus is the same as Saviour. It is derived from the verb signifying to save, In Hebrew it is the same as Joshua. In two places in the New Testament it is used where it means Joshua, the leader of the Jews into Canaan, and in our translation the name Joshua should have been retained, Acts 7:45; Hebrews 4:8. It was a very common name among the Jews.

He shall save – This expresses the same as the name, and on this account the name was given to him. He saves people by dying to redeem them; by giving the Holy Spirit to renew them John 16:7-8; by His power in enabling them to overcome their spiritual enemies, in defending them from danger, in guiding them in the path of duty, in sustaining them in trials and in death; and He will raise them up at the last day, and exalt them to a world of purity and love.

His people – Those whom the Father has given to him. The Jews were called the people of God because he had chosen them to himself, and regarded them as His special and beloved people, separate from all the nations of the earth. Christians are called the people of Christ because it was the purpose of the Father to give them to him Isaiah 53:11; John 6:37; and because in due time he came to redeem them to himself, Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 1:2.

From their sins – This was the great business of Jesus in coming and dying. It was not to save people in their sins, but from their sins. Sinners could not be happy in heaven. It would be a place of wretchedness to the guilty. The design of Jesus was, therefore, to save them from sin; and from this we may learn:

  1. That Jesus had a design in coming into the world. He came to save his people; and that design will surely be accomplished. It is impossible that in any part of it he should fail.
  2. We have no evidence that we are his people unless we are saved from the power and dominion of sin. A mere profession of being His people will not answer. Unless we give up our sins; unless we renounce the pride, pomp, and pleasure of the world, we have no evidence that we are the children of God. It is impossible that we should be Christians if we indulge in sin and live in the practice of any known iniquity. See 1 John 3:7-8.
  3. That all professing Christians should feel that there is no salvation unless it is from sin, and that they can never be admitted to a holy heaven hereafter unless they are made pure, BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS, here. (Albert Barne’s Notes on the Whole Bible http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/matthew-1.html; capital, italicized and underline emphasis ours)

And:

Even as the Son of man … – See the notes at Matthew 8:20. Jesus points them to his own example. He was in the form of God in heaven, Philemon 2:6. He came to people in the form of a servant, Philemon 2:7. He came not with pomp and glory, but as a man in humble life; and since he came he had not required them to minister to him. “He labored for them.” He strove to do them good. He provided for their needs; fared as poorly as they did; went before them in dangers and sufferings; practiced self-denial on their account, and for them was about to lay down his life. See John 13:4-5.

To give his life a ransom for many – The word “ransom” means literally a price paid for the redemption of captives. In war, when prisoners are taken by an enemy, the money demanded for their release is called a ransom; that is, it is the means by which they are set at liberty. So anything that releases anyone from a state of punishment, or suffering, or sin, is called a ransom. People are by nature captives to sin. They are sold under it. They are under condemnation, Ephesians 2:3; Romans 3:9-20, Romans 3:23; 1 John 5:19. They are under a curse, Galatians 3:10. They are in love with sin They are under its withering dominion, and are exposed to death eternal, Ezekiel 18:4; Psalm 9:17; Psalm 11:6; Psalm 68:2; Psalm 139:19; Matthew 25:46; Romans 2:6-9. They must have perished unless there had been some way by which they could he rescued. This was done by the death of Jesus – by giving his life a ransom. The meaning is, that he died in the place of sinners, and that God was willing to accept the pains of his death in the place of the eternal suffering of the redeemed. The reasons why such a ransom was necessary are:

  1. that God had declared that the sinner shall die; that is, that he would punish, or show his hatred to, all sin.
  2. that all people had sinned, and, if justice was to take its regular course, all must perish.
  3. that man could make no atonement for his own sins. All that he could do, were he holy, would be only to do his duty, and would make no amends for the past. Repentance and future obedience WOULD NOT BLOT AWAY ONE SIN.
  4. No man was pure, and no angel could make atonement. God was pleased, therefore, to appoint his only-begotten Son to make such a ransom. See John 3:16; 1 John 4:10; 1 Peter 1:18-19; Revelation 13:8; John 1:29; Ephesians 5:2; Hebrews 8:2-7; Isaiah 53:1-12; This is commonly called the atonement. See the notes at Romans 5:2.

For many – See also Matthew 26:28; John 10:15; 1 Timothy 2:6; 1 John 2:2; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15;Hebrews 2:9. (Ibid. http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/matthew-20.html; capital, italicized and underline emphasis ours)

Finally:

For this is my blood – This “represents” my blood, as the bread does my body.

Luke and Paul vary the expression, adding what Matthew and Mark have omitted. “This cup is the new testament in my blood.” By this cup he meant the wine in the cup, and not the cup itself. Pointing to it, probably, he said, “This – ‹wine‘ – represents my blood about to be, shed.” The phrase “new testament” should have been rendered “new covenant,” referring to the “covenant or compact” that God was about to make with people through a Redeemer. The “old” covenant was that which was made with the Jews by the sprinkling of the blood of sacrifices. See Exodus 24:8; “And Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant which the Lord hath made with you,” etc. In allusion to that, Jesus says, this cup is the new “covenant” in my blood; that is, which is “ratified, sealed, or sanctioned by my blood.” In ancient times, covenants or contracts were ratified by slaying an animal; by the shedding of its blood, imprecating similar vengeance if either party failed in the compact. See the notes at Hebrews 9:16. So Jesus says the covenant which God is about to form with people the new covenant, or the gospel economy is sealed or ratified with my blood.

Which is shed for many for the remission of sins – In order that sins may be remitted, or forgiven. That is, this is the appointed way by which God will pardon transgressions. That blood is efficacious for the pardon of sin:

  1. Because it is “the life” of Jesus, the “blood” being used by the sacred writers as representing “life itself,” or as containing the elements of life, Genesis 9:4; Leviticus 17:14. It was forbidden, therefore, to eat blood, because it contained the life, or was the life, of the animal. When, therefore, Jesus says that his blood was shed for many, it is the same as saying that His life was given for many. See the notes at Romans 3:25.
  2. His life was given for sinners, or he died in the place of sinners as their substitute. By his death on the cross, the death or punishment due to them in hell may be removed and their souls be saved. He endured so much suffering, bore so much agony, that God was pleased to accept it in the place of the eternal torments of all the redeemed. The interests of justice, the honor and stability of his government, would be as secure in saving them in this manner as if the suffering were inflicted on them personally in hell. God, by giving his Son to die for sinners, has shown his infinite abhorrence of sin; since, according to his view, and therefore according to truth, nothing else would show its evil nature but the awful sufferings of his own Son. That he died “in the stead or place” of sinners is abundantly clear from the following passages of Scripture:John 1:29; Ephesians 5:2; Hebrews 7:27; 1 John 2:2; 1 John 4:10; Isaiah 53:10; Romans 8:32; 2 Corinthians 5:15. (Ibid. http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/matthew-26.html; italicized and underline emphasis ours)

Now let’s see how this compares with the teachings of the blessed Apostle Paul:

“whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;” Romans 3:25

“to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved, in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” Ephesians 1:6-7

“who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:” Colossians 1:13-14

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” 1 Timothy 2:5-6

We thus see how Paul perfectly agrees with Matthew’s inspired proclamation and the instructions of the Lord Jesus himself!

Returning to the issue of Jesus being the Son of Man, here are two additional times where the Lord used this moniker for himself, both of which are quite significant:

“Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in HIS FIELD but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn… Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; the field IS THE WORLD; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; the enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth HIS angels, and they shall gather out of HIS kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

In this pericope, Christ identifies the owner of the field as the Son of Man, with the field being the world itself. As such, Jesus is basically claiming to be the very owner of the world itself, which means that the entire earth and all that is contained therein belongs to Christ. And since Muhammad was part of this world, this means that Jesus is Muhammad’s Lord and Muhammad is Jesus’ property. Again, does the greenhorn really want Christians to believe this?

Christ also speaks of the angels and the kingdom belonging to him, a point he again makes in our next example:

“When the Son of man shall come in HIS GLORY, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon THE THRONE OF HIS GLORY: and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall THE KING say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of MY FATHER, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And THE KING shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it UNTO ME. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, LORD, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not TO ME. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” Matthew 25:31-46

Jesus again speaks of his coming to sit on his throne of glory in order to judge and determine the eternal fate of all the nations. What makes this pericope rather astonishing is that the neophyte’s false prophet had the audacity to actually take Jesus’ words here and attribute them to his own god!

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah, who said that the Messenger of Allah said:

Allah (mighty and sublime be He) will say on the Day of Resurrection: O son of Adam, I fell ill and you visited Me not. He will say: O Lord, and how should I visit You when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: Did you not know that My servant So-and-so had fallen ill and you visited him not? Did you not know that had you visited him you would have found Me with him? O son of Adam, I asked you for food and you fed Me not. He will say: O Lord, and how should I feed You when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: Did you not know that My servant So-and-so asked you for food and you fed him not? Did you not know that had you fed him you would surely have found that (the reward for doing so) with Me? O son of Adam, I asked you to give Me to drink and you gave Me not to drink. He will say: O Lord, how should I give You to drink when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: My servant So-and-so asked you to give him to drink and you gave him not to drink. Had you given him to drink you would have surely found that with Me.

It was related by Muslim. (40 Hadith Qudsi, Hadith 18 https://sunnah.com/qudsi40/18; bold, italicized and underline emphasis ours)

Now in plagiarizing Matthew 25:31-46, Muhammad inadvertently showed that these words can only be uttered by God Almighty, since only God is able to say and do the very things that Jesus says he will do when he returns from heaven to judge the world.

This is further brought out by the fact that the Quran itself testifies that it is Allah who will come on the clouds of heaven with his angels in order to judge the earth:

What do they look for, but that God shall come to them in the cloud — shadows, and the angels? The matter is determined, and unto God all matters are returned. S. 2:210 Arberry

Lord of the Throne of Glory, S. 85:15 Y. Ali

No indeed! When the earth is ground to powder, and thy Lord comes, and the angels rank on rank, and Gehenna is brought out, upon that day man will remember; and how shall the Reminder be for him? S. 89:21-23 Arberry

Hence, by claiming to be the Son of Man who returns from heaven on the clouds along with his angels to sit on his glorious throne so as to judge all the nations, Jesus was claiming to be God Almighty in the flesh (even though he is not the Father or the Holy Spirit). This is fact which even greenhorn’s own false prophet indirectly acknowledged!

Summing up the data

Here is a helpful summary of what we learned from Matthew’s inspired witness:

Christ taught that eternal life and perfection come from following him, not by observing the Law.

Christ also proclaimed that believers are to love him more than anything, even more their own lives, and be willing to die for his name’s sake.

Christ further preached that he had come to offer his life as a ransom for many, and that he would pour out his blood on the cross for the forgiveness of sins.

Christ blessed Peter’s confession that he is the Son of the living God, claiming that the Father himself in heaven gave this revelation to the Apostle.

God the Father personally testified from heaven in a visible and audible manner that Jesus is his beloved Son in whom he delights, and whom everyone must listen to.

Christ claimed to be the divine Son of Man who owns the entire world and the angels, who sits on a throne of glory, and who comes to judge all the nations in order to determine their eternal fate.

With the foregoing in perspective, Muslims must now choose between Muhammad and Jesus – I will put my money on Jesus since Christ rose from the dead proving that he is the eternal Son of God and Lord of all creation, whereas Muhammad died and has remained dead for over 1400 years. As such, Muhammad is under the glorious and beautiful feet of our risen Lord of glory Jesus Christ. Hallelujah!

No matter what God ordained, the false prophet and antichrist Muhammad always managed to contravene Him and yet he is ironically purported to be a divinely appointed “apostle”! However, as the context of the greenhorn’s own citation from Matthew 19:16-19 proves, and as the witness of Matthew as a whole shows, Muhammad was nothing more than an agent of Satan raised up to mislead people away from the glorious Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

For more proof that Muhammad was an antichrist and a false prophet who is now under the feet of the risen Christ, I recommend the following articles and rebuttals:

Is Muhammad a True Prophet? http://answeringislam.net/authors/shamoun/muhammad_not_true_prophet.html

Reexamining the Evidence against Muhammad’s Prophethood Part 1 http://answeringislam.net/authors/shamoun/rebuttals/zaatari/mo-false1.html, Part 2 http://answeringislam.net/authors/shamoun/rebuttals/zaatari/mo-false2.html, Part 3 http://answeringislam.net/authors/shamoun/rebuttals/zaatari/mo-false3.html

Allah and Muhammad: Will the Real Servant Please Stand Up? Pt. 1 https://answeringislamblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/04/allah-and-muhammad-will-the-real-servant-please-stand-up-pt-1/, Pt. 2 https://answeringislamblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/04/allah-and-muhammad-will-the-real-servant-please-stand-up-pt-2/

All Scriptural quotations taken from the Authorized King James Version (AV) of the Holy Bible.