Shalom! My name is Adam Pastor

Welcome to ADONI MESSIAH which means
"My Lord Messiah" -
a fitting epithet to who Jesus (or Yeshua) is!

Here, I attempt to present the Apostolic Truths according to the Scriptures, that there is
One GOD, the Father, namely, YAHWEH,
and One Lord, GOD's only begotten Son,
Yeshua the Messiah.

And that one day YAHWEH will send His Son back to Earth to inaugurate the Everlasting Kingdom of GOD



Enjoy!


Monday, June 04, 2018

Daniel 11 and 12: Final Rebellion and Ultimate Solution

In Daniel, chapters 11 and 12, we find a report of Daniel’s great last vision, which summarizes and amplifies the astonishing prophetic forecasts given him earlier in Daniel 2, 7, 8 and 9. This vision has prompted a host of conflicting interpretations — a surprising fact, since the vision is written in simple narrative style without the symbols of beasts, heads and horns found in the earlier revelations.

The reason for the many differing views of the final vision of Daniel can be traced to the assumptions held by commentators before they arrive at chapters 11 and 12. With a clear idea of what we are looking for, it is all too easy for us to read into the text what we think ought to be there. This is the very opposite of sound method. We must make every effort to ask the question: What does the text actually say, according to the ordinary rules of language? Applying this criterion of simple attention to the grammatical sense of the passage before us, we may be surprised that it has caused expositors so much difficulty.

(It is worth noting that sometimes the “plain” grammatical sense in English does not get you to the truth. There are ways of using language in Hebrew and Greek which are not the same as English. Even among English speakers a complete breakdown of communication can occur. Test yourself. What did I just say if I tell you, as a British English speaker, “I am mad about my flat”? The lesson is that sometimes one needs to understand Hebrew and Greek ways of thinking to make good sense of a passage of Scripture. If one does not have these skills then one should proceed with caution. It is easy to overestimate one’s ability in language and communication and Strong’s Concordance is not the final tool either. God has blessed us with some marvelous resources for Bible study in modern times. A classic example of misunderstanding occurs when English speakers hear Jesus say, “Glorify me with the glory which I had with you before the foundation of the world.” “Having something with someone” is not a normal English way of speaking. But in the Hebrew wisdom tradition it means having a reward promised and stored up with someone (God). It does not mean that you were actually alive at the time the promise was made.)

Back to Daniel: First we should note that in the introduction to the vision of Daniel 11 and 12 the angel declares that the content of the revelation has to do with the “last days” (10:14), an expression which elsewhere in the Bible describes the times just before and just after the establishment of the Kingdom of God worldwide at Jesus’ return to the earth. In Isaiah 2 and Micah 4 the “last days” are those in which the government or Kingdom of God will be established in Jerusalem and the nations “learn war no more” (Isa. 2:4), a state of affairs which evidently has not yet come to pass! In Deuteronomy 4:30 the latter days are the times of a final calamity upon Israel leading to their repentance.

This evidence ought to prevent us from imagining that Daniel 11 ends with a description of Antiochus Epiphanes (2nd century BC) or with events in AD 70. The resurrection of the dead obviously did not occur when Antiochus Epiphanes died, nor did it happen in AD 70! Proof of this fact is that the living Christians were not caught up together with the resurrected believers to meet the descending Jesus in AD 70. Paul taught that, at the resurrection, those alive in Christ “will be caught up to meet him in the air” (1 Thess. 4:17). If one thinks this event is over and finished, one has misunderstood the substance of the Christian Gospel.

The Range of the Vision 

Very clearly, what Daniel saw stretched into the far future. He was writing in the 6th century BC, yet he predicts the resurrection of the dead: “Many of those who are sleeping in the dust of the ground [literally ‘dustland’] shall awake, some to eternal life [literally ‘life in the coming age’]…” (Dan. 12:2).

When they awake, the righteous “shine like the sun in its strength” (12:3) — a prediction which Jesus, as the great interpreter of Daniel, places at the end of the age (see Matt. 13:43). This resurrection, of course, is the resurrection to occur at the second coming of Jesus
(1 Cor. 15:23, 51, 52; 1 Thess. 4:13ff; Luke 14:14; Rev. 11:18; 20:1-4).

Just prior to this resurrection Daniel foresaw a “time of trouble such as never was” (12:1). This period of unparalleled distress features prominently in Jesus’ own prediction of the events leading up to the end of the age: “For then shall be a time of trouble such as never was...” (Matt. 24:21).

Obviously Jesus took this last vision of Daniel with the utmost seriousness, seeing in it an inspired forecast of the calamitous events destined to occur on earth just prior to his return. There is much more to the vision besides the announcement of the great tribulation and the following
resurrection of the faithful. The remaining material is most instructive, because it tells of the difficult times associated with the period of final tribulation immediately prior to the resurrection and the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth.

A Simple Narrative 

For those not familiar with the account of the future given in Daniel 11 and 12, it will be helpful to take a Bible and read straight through the entire revelation, noting particularly 11:21-12:13. It is important to observe that the resurrection (12:1-2) follows immediately upon the death of the tyrant whose career is described in 11:21-45.
[Verse 45: he shall come to his end]

We emphasize again: The wicked ruler in question obviously cannot be Antiochus Epiphanes who died in 164 BC! He did not die just before the resurrection. Nor can it be Nero, whose death, in the first century AD, was also not followed by the resurrection of the dead.

A very basic law of language dictates that a pronoun — “he” in our passage — describes a single individual unless there are very clear reasons in the context to show otherwise. We have no difficulty in discerning that a new personage appears on the prophetic screen in Daniel 11:21. He replaces his predecessor who dies in the previous verse (11:20). Once on the stage, the “vile person” forms the subject of a long passage extending to his death in 11:45. “He comes to his end” in the holy land.

Unfortunately many commentators have disregarded the normal laws of language and proposed that we are dealing in these verses (11:21-45) with a long span of time far beyond the lifetime of a single individual. Fortunately the data we are given allows us to be absolutely sure that the climax of the career of the “vile person” (11:21) occurs just 1290 days before the end of the age (12:11). This limits the events of 11:31 onwards to a period of about 3½ years.

In order to get our bearings we must note carefully the critically important time information supplied by the revealing angel in Daniel 12:7, 11. Remember that chapters 11 and 12 contain a single vision. Daniel 12:5- 13 forms a postscript to the vision. Daniel is allowed to ask some important follow-up questions about the length of time allotted to the activities of the “vile person” presented to him in 11:21-45.

The answer to Daniel’s question about the duration of the awful events of chapter 11 is most enlightening. The information is simple and clear: “From the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away and the Abomination of Desolation is set up there will be 1290 days” (12:11).

In order to grasp the point we naturally look back at the events of the vision to see where in the account the setting up of the Abomination of Desolation took place. We find this crucial event in 11:31 at the height of the career of the “vile person” who came on the scene in verse 21.

1290 days is a little over 3½ years. We can be sure, then, that from the moment the Abomination of Desolation is set up there will be a final time of trouble, at the end of which “all these things” (12:7), including, of course, the resurrection (12:2), will be accomplished. The fixed terminus for this marvelous vision is the future resurrection of the faithful dead (as later clarified in the NT).

The Vile Person 

The single individual described as the “vile person” (11:21) is seen in conflict with another ruler — the King of the South. The “vile person” is designated throughout the vision as the King of the North. These two rulers struggle for power in the area of Israel and even sit at a conference table and lie to each other! (11:27). Ships from the West have recently troubled the northern king and this stirs him into a rage. He then receives cooperation from some who forsake the faith (11:30). This in turn leads to his causing the interruption of sacrifices and the placing of the Abomination of Desolation (11:31). This King of the North then harasses “those who have understanding,” marches southwards, and following a final battle with the King of the South, comes to his end in Israel between the Mediterranean sea and the holy mountain, Jerusalem (11:32-45).
(Again, this is not a description of Nero!)

This relatively simple account of the evil King of the North (11:21-45) has received strange treatment at the hands of expositors. Frequently the invaluable time information given in Daniel 12:7, 11 has simply been ignored. This has allowed commentators the “liberty” of placing centuries of time between what they think was the setting up of the Abomination of Desolation and the end of the age. However, careful attention to the remarks of the angel reveals that from the arrival of the Abomination to the end of “all these things” (12:7) there are 1290 days (12:11). This fact naturally proves that the events described from Daniel 11:31 (where the Abomination appears) still lie in the future.

Breaking the Thread of the Story 

For various reasons expositors have been unhappy with the straightforward narrative presented by Daniel 11 and 12. It may come as a surprise to readers that the pronoun “he” referring to the King of the North (11:21- 45) has been made to apply to a completely new subject, namely a third power in addition to the Kings of the North and South. ...
The Maccabean theory, which applied the Abomination of Desolation (Dan. 11:31) exclusively to the Syrian leader Antiochus Epiphanes (ruled 175-164 BC), ran into the obvious difficulty that Jesus himself spoke of the Abomination of Desolation as future to his own time! This view “virtually challenges the authority of the Master.” [1]  It was a failure to note how Jesus understood the prophecy. Jesus referred this Abomination to a time still in the future (Matt. 24:15). We are here at a crucial point in our discussion. Why, when Jesus says that Daniel prophesied the arrival of the Abomination of Desolation just before the Second Coming, do some commentators insist that Daniel did not see beyond the career of Antiochus Epiphanes? The fundamental question revolves around the acceptance or nonacceptance of the truth of Jesus’ words.

What Does Jesus Say? 

The application of Daniel 11:31 to a Syrian ruler in BC times does indeed challenge the authority of Jesus himself. Commentators have not apparently trembled at the idea of challenging Jesus. Speaking around 30 AD Jesus declared that those living in Judea were to flee “when you see the Abomination of Desolation spoken of by Daniel standing in the holy place” (Matt. 24:15). This authoritative understanding of the prophecy of Daniel is the only one that should have been allowed by expositors. Strangely, this has not been the case. Jesus’ very simple directed link between Matthew 24:15 (the appearance of the Abomination of Desolation) and its appearance in the vision of Daniel (11:31, 12:11) has been almost entirely disregarded.

Furthermore the information supplied by the angel in Daniel 12:7, 11 should have prevented all attempts to stretch the contents of Daniel 11:21ff over centuries of time. The angel expressly says (12:11) that 1290 days will be the length of the persecution inflicted by the wicked tyrant who sets up the Abomination of Desolation in Daniel 11:31. Then “all these things will be accomplished” (12:7). This plain information should have warned expositors against treating the pronoun “he” (11:31-45) as a piece of elastic and stretching it over hundreds of years! The result was dissolving the prophecy and emptying it of its meaning.

Jesus places the Abomination of Desolation of Daniel 11:31 at a time in the future. He connects it with the fall of Jerusalem immediately preceding his return (see Matt. 24:15, 21, 29-31). A final fulfillment in AD 70 is therefore ruled out, because Jesus did not return immediately after the events of that year. The angel places the Abomination 1290 days from the end (Dan. 12:11). Even apart from this data we could have known that the Abomination was a feature of the very close of this age, because the pronoun “he” — the King of the North, 11:21-45 — very obviously refers to a single individual, as a repeated pronoun always does in a narrative passage.

A distinguished professor of the Old Testament wisely said of Daniel 11: “It is contrary to all sound principles of exegesis to suppose that, in a continuous description, with no indication whatever of a change of subject, part should refer to one person and part to another, and ‘the king’ (Dan. 11:36) should be a different king from the one whose doings are described in verses 21-35.” [2]

Henry Cowles, D.D., who taught the book of Daniel for 25 years to young men preparing for ministry, expressed his conviction that Daniel 11:21-45 describes the career of a single King of the North: “The bonds of philological connection are of the strongest kind. It would seem to be simply impossible for one accustomed to study, observe and obey the laws of philology, and to interpret language in view of what it is, to have even the least doubt on this point.” [3]

The professor’s remarks are a pointed and much needed corrective to much exposition of Daniel 11 and remind us that we are first and foremost bound by the normal rules of language when we read the Bible. We are also bound, if we claim to be Christians, to accept the interpretation which Jesus puts on a given passage. Fortunately his express reference (Matt. 24:15) to the Abomination of Desolation found in Daniel 11:31, 12:11 (as well as 9:27) removes all doubt as to how Daniel’s words are to be applied. Certainly they cannot refer to Antiochus Epiphanes (except, perhaps, as a “type” or foreshadowing) when Jesus refers them to the future!

Space does not permit a demonstration of the various other attempts which have been made to insert a third power into the narrative of Daniel 11:21-45. A straightforward reading of the passage leads us to believe that the future will reveal an end-time struggle between the tyrannical King of the North (i.e., from a Middle Eastern area such as Syria or Iraq, the northern division of the ancient Kingdom of Greece; see Dan. 11:4-6 and Note below) and the King of the South (presumably Egypt). Inserting into the narrative powers from other geographical regions breaks the thread of the story which formed Daniel’s crowning vision. Surely this ultimate revelation given to Daniel and the church, as recipients of Holy Scripture, must inspire us to vigorous evangelism before the dark days of the final enemy of God arrive.

Since this article was written in 1988, events in the Middle East have focused attention on the area of ancient Assyria (Iraq). It is precisely from this part of the world (and not the European Common Market, not specifically mentioned in the Bible) that the Bible expects the evil and oppressive tyrant of the latter days to arise.
See my article “The Assyrian in Messianic Prophecy”.
However, nothing in the Bible known to this writer tells us when the end-time events will begin. Hence the need for watchfulness. 

Note: 

It is interesting that the distinguished premillennialist, Theodore Zahn, states (c. 1900) that the final evil ruler in Revelation (much of which is based on Daniel) is “without question” derived from “the Graeco-Macedonian [kingdom] and its ‘typical’ pre-Christian antichrist, Antiochus Epiphanes.” [4]
In Daniel 11 and 12 it seems clear that Antiochus is a “type” of the yet future tyrant. Antiochus was a Syrian king.

... Lactantius (c. 250-330 AD), clearly expected the Beast (Antichrist) to arise in Syria: “Another king shall arise out of Syria, born from an evil spirit...and he will constitute and call himself God, and will order himself to be worshipped as the Son of God, and power will be given him to do signs and wonders. Then he will attempt to destroy the temple of God and persecute the righteous people; and there will be distress and tribulation such as there never has been since the beginning of the world.” [5]  Lactantius speaks of the tyrant arising “from the extreme boundaries of the northern region” (ch. 16). ...Victorinus (c. 280 AD), refers Micah 5:5 to the antichrist: “There shall be peace for our land...and they shall encircle Assur [Assyria], that is antichrist, in the trench of Nimrod.” [6]
Assyria is the approximate equivalent of modern Iraq.
(Victorinus also speaks of Babylon as the Roman state, since that was the enemy of his day.)

It is not always recognized that the seventieth week of Daniel 9:24-27 is taken by Jesus to be a period just before his return. Jesus places the Abomination shortly before his Second Coming (Matt. 24:15ff). Matthew 24:29 says that “immediately after” the tribulation initiated by the Abomination, Jesus will come back in power and glory. This fact is crucial to a fair reading of prophecy. Daniel expects the Abomination to appear in the seventieth “week” (Dan. 9:27). Jesus expects the Abomination (and therefore the seventieth week) just before his return.

That the seventieth “week” was future and close to the end of the age was understood in 243 AD by Hippolytus (De Pascha Computus). This fact is noted in the Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics: “The one ‘week’ is taken off as belonging to the eschatological period in the future” (Vol. 3, p. 606). Irenaeus also expected a 3½-year tribulation and a rebuilt temple: “For three and a half years, during which time, when he [antichrist] comes, he will reign over the earth.” [7]
Irenaeus sees the antichrist, not just Antiochus, in the eighth chapter of Daniel and quotes Daniel 9:27 as a prophecy of the final reign of the antichrist “for three years and six months.”

The seventieth week of Daniel 9 was seen as future and close up to the Second Coming by the earliest church fathers who wrote in detail on prophecy. Montgomery notes that this “apocalyptic” (i.e. futurist) reading of the last period of seven years is the one found in the gospels, and it is adopted by Irenaeus and Hippolytus. [8] ...


[1] Clarence Hewitt, The Seer of Babylon, p. 340.
[2] S.R. Driver, Commentary on Daniel, Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges, p. 193.
[3] Daniel, with Notes Critical, Explanatory and Practical, p. 448.
[4] Introduction to the New Testament, Vol. III, p. 441.
[5] Divine Institutes, Book 7, ch. 17.
[6] Commentary on the Apocalypse, ch. 7.
[7] Against Heresies, Book 5, chs. 25, 26.
[8] International Critical Commentary on Daniel, p. 394.


The above article was taken from Focus on the Kingdom, July 2011.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

The PRE-Tribulation “Any Moment,” “Secret” Coming of Jesus Is a Myth

A very persistent correspondent is unhappy with my reference ... to the Second Coming in 1 Thessalonians 4:13- 18. This is the famous passage where Paul comforts the believers whose brothers and sisters in Christ have fallen asleep and remain asleep in the sleep of death (cp. Ps. 13:3; Dan. 12:2). How will they get into the future Kingdom? It is a good question. Paul calls his discussion in 1 Thessalonians 4 a discussion about the Second Coming (Parousia). In 4:15 he names his topic. It is all about the Parousia (Second Coming). He expects his audience to know what that second coming event (the Greek word Parousia) is like.

Today, however, there is a massive confusion about the Second Coming (Parousia). Many have been lulled into the false idea that there are two second comings, one secret to snatch believers away to heaven and a later one, after seven years, which is public and visible.

That assumption is false. To understand the Parousia correctly, one starts with Jesus. This is precisely what many evangelicals have never learned to do! They have been misled into thinking that perhaps the teaching of Jesus is not for them but for Jews in the future! That is a grand mistake and responsible for all kinds of errors. Start with the teaching of Jesus, the Christian rabbi and lord (John 13:13), and only then proceed to Paul. Salvation is all about obeying Jesus, and Hebrews 5:9 should never be far out of sight. Salvation is for those who obey Jesus. This is a fine summary statement of Christianity. The words of Jesus are the all-important gold standard for all claiming to follow Jesus.

If you begin with Jesus and his instructions to the apostles, and thus, through them, to believers of all the ages, you will find that in Matthew 24 (repeated in Mark 13 and Luke 21) there is a single Parousia event —  definitely not two second comings! Jesus was asked about the sign of his Parousia (Second Coming) and the end of the age (Matt. 24:3). The Second Coming of Jesus will bring this present evil worldwide system to its end.

Being an expert teacher, Jesus replied to this excellent question about the sign of his reappearing by saying, “When you see the Abomination of Desolation spoken of by Daniel standing where he ought not to” (Mark 13:14), then flee at once to the mountains. A moment’s thought will inform us that Jesus knew nothing of a “lift-off” to heaven. On the contrary the Great Tribulation (referencing of course Dan. 12:1), triggered by the appearance of the Abomination, would be the sign for Christians to escape to the mountains. Not a single word about any Parousia of Jesus into the sky to take them to heaven for seven years! It is amazing that the teaching of Jesus has been so terribly disregarded in this important matter of the sequence of events at the end of the age.

Paul customarily taught his recently founded congregations the details of how antichrist would precede the Second Coming (2 Thess. 2:5).
Today many have been mis-taught at a basic level. Believing truth and not falsehood is the essence of true faith (2 Thess. 2:10).

Jesus calls his Parousia a single, splendid, public, visible event, like lightning flashing across the sky (Matt. 24:27). It is as unexpected (for the heedless) as was the flood. But it is visible. 7 million Jehovah’s Witnesses at your door have been told that the Second Coming is invisible and happened in 1914. Such is the capacity of huge masses of Bible readers to be taken in. A future secret coming is no less imaginary and fictional. There is only one Parousia in the New Testament, not two! There is no secret “before-the-Great-Tribulation” Parousia, followed by another one.

The first mistake ... is to ignore the teaching of Jesus in regard to end-time events. Once [one] does this [one] is liable to misunderstand Paul.
In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 Paul’s subject is the Parousia (Second Coming) (v. 15). It will be the event at which the faithful dead will be resurrected to life from the sleep of death. That data is provided by the greatest of all death and resurrection texts, Daniel 12:2. This great event brings the sleeping dead back to life, via resurrection (the only biblical way of coming back to life).

Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 assumes that the Parousia is known to be the single, public and spectacular event by which Jesus returns to the earth (as [Jesus] said in Matt. 24, etc.). In 1 Thessalonians Paul adds to the information previously given by Jesus. The dead and the surviving Christians will be caught up (raptured) to meet the Lord Jesus at his Parousia, which Jesus has defined as his spectacular return to the earth in Matthew 24.

As Jesus appears in the clouds the dead and living believers will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, escort the royal visitor to the earth, and so be with him forever. Jesus is coming back, since the event in 1 Thessalonians 4 is called the Parousia, Second Coming, and it has been clearly defined by Jesus in Matthew 24 (which my friend failed to take note of). The Parousia is the return of Jesus to this planet, not a “drive-by” event at which he never in fact actually comes back!

The same Parousia is given further important details in 2 Thessalonians 1. Paul warns (against the very trap so many have fallen for) that the Parousia cannot happen until certain other events have taken place. First the man of sin (Antichrist) must appear, and then and only then, following the reign of this Man of Sin (the personal Abomination of Desolation of Matt. 24:15, Mark 13:14), will Jesus come back. Once again Paul is discussing the one and only Parousia. He expressly warns, just as Jesus had when he spoke of the sign of the appearing of the Abomination (Mark 13:14), that the Man of Sin must have his time of supremacy before the Second Coming can happen. This is precisely the opposite of the scheme given by Hal Lindsey, Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins in their famous books.

Paul is quite lucidly clear. He warns believers, you and me included, that we cannot expect an end to affliction at the hands of the wicked, until “the revelation of Jesus in flaming fire taking vengeance on his enemies” and killing the Antichrist “with the breath of his lips” (2 Thess. 1:7-9; 2:8). Once again the topic is the single Parousia, and far from being a secret event, it is a mighty public spectacle at which Jesus both raises the dead and raptures them into the air and then kills the Man of Sin. Jesus is headed towards the earth and the point of the “rapture” is to allow the faithful to escort the King as he comes to the earth. There are other biblical examples of a body of people going out to meet and escort a distinguished arriving dignitary (Acts 28:15-16; Matt. 25:6).

A serious deception has been wrought on those who have invented a secret preliminary “Second Coming” 7 years earlier than the one and only biblical Parousia (Second Coming) announced by Jesus and Paul. There is no coming of Jesus 7 years before his one and only future Parousia in glory. Our faith is to be built on biblical fact and not on an imaginary, invented “any moment” arrival of Jesus to remove saints from the earth.

Let us summarize. If you begin with the falsehood that Jesus is coming back twice, which means two Parousias, then you will think you have found a secret Parousia in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. This can only happen if one turns a blind eye to the plain and obvious teaching of Jesus in Matthew 24 — that there is going to be ONE dramatic, visible and public Parousia of Jesus, his return to the earth to rule in the Kingdom to be inaugurated by him at that time, worldwide (Rev. 11:15- 18; Luke 21:31).

Once the all-important teaching of Jesus is accepted in Matthew 24 — and of course obedience to Jesus is the basis of salvation in Hebrews 5:9 — then one will not fall into the trap of inventing a secret Parousia in 1 Thessalonians 4. When one arrives at 1 Thessalonians 4 one is supposed to have learned about the sequence of events from the teaching of Jesus. Many churchgoers however are mesmerized by the idea that the teaching of Jesus is somehow unimportant. They then begin with Paul and misunderstand him, forgetting that Paul did not contradict Jesus.

It is a fatal, systematic error to dismiss the teaching of Jesus as relevant only for Jews. Jesus promises the faithful “meek” of all nations that they will inherit the land (Matt. 5:5). They will rule on the earth with Jesus (Rev. 5:10) over surviving mortal nations
(Rev. 2:26; Isa. 19:21-25; Matt. 19:28; Acts 1:6).

It is a pleasant illusion to believe that Jesus is going to come back seven years before he comes bringing the Kingdom of God. But it is not based on Scripture, but on uncritically accepted, popular literature which has been successful in forming (or misinforming) the minds of millions. But then the extraordinary musings of Harold Camping, announcing a now failed Second Coming for May 2011, also raked in millions of dollars! What does this tell us about the judgment of millions of “sincere” members of churches? The dictum of Hosea about a tragic and destructive “lack of knowledge” could well apply to us today (Hos. 4:6).

The need for intelligent, informed study of the words of the Bible should be obvious in view of our present chaotic church community. Nothing is likely to change until Christians become earnest Bereans and work hard at believing what is true and not what is false. Paul warned against the crippling effects of “believing what is false” as opposed to “loving the truth in order to be saved” (2 Thess. 2:10-11). Paul declared that a person is unrighteous if he believes falsehood or in any way suppresses truth. Paul’s confidence resided in his assurance that he had given his converts “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). And he did not mean “whatever this or that congregation might approve as true.” He meant the truth as Jesus and the New Testament teaches it.

Denominational congregations easily delude their community into thinking that all is well, because “we all believe the same things.” This can lead to dangerous delusion and self-satisfaction. A thorough unbiased review would allow darkness to be dispelled and light to increase — the very light of truth which Paul makes a condition of salvation (2 Thess. 2:10-12).

Jesus taught a single Parousia event and promised to keep the faithful from evil, but not by taking them out of the world: “I am not praying that You should take them out of the world but that You should protect them from the Evil One” (John 17:15).

The above article was taken from Focus on the Kingdom, July 2011.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Why the Lord Jesus the Christ is not God Almighty!


Why the Lord Jesus the Christ is not God Almighty!


Why the Lord Jesus the Christ is not God Almighty?
Because there is only one true God, the Father, and the Lord Jesus the Christ is not the Father but the Son of the One True God.

Jesus Christ himself clearly tells us that 

THE FATHER ALONE IS THE TRUE GOD


John 17:1,3 NKJV
“Jesus spoke these words, lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said: ‘Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You,
3 And this is eternal life, 
that they may know You, the only true God...”

The Apostle Paul said that the Father alone is the true God:

1 Corinthians 8:6 NKJV
yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for him; 
and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.

Thus, the apostles explicitly wrote that the true God is the God and Father of
the Lord Jesus Christ:


2 Corinthians 1:3 NKJV
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,

Ephesians 1:1-3 NKJV
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,

Colossians 1:1-3 NKJV
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colosse: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,

1 Peter 1:3 NKJV
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

This is what the apostles taught and wrote because this is what they heard from the Lord Jesus Christ himself:

John 20:17 NKJV
Jesus said to her, "Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, 
and to My God and your God.'"

Conclusion: the Lord Jesus the Christ is not Almighty God because His Father is the only true God. Rather the Lord Jesus the Christ is not the Father, but the Son of the Father.

2 John 3
Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.


THE MAN CHRIST JESUS


So if the Lord Jesus the Christ is not God Almighty, who is he?

Well, to begin with he is a man!
Jesus informs us that he is a man (John 8:40) and God Almighty said He is not man
(Hosea 11:9, Numbers 23:19, Job 9:32, 33:12)

John 8:40 NKJV
“But now you seek to kill me, a MAN who has told you the truth which I heard from God....”

Hosea 11:9 NKJV
“I will not execute the fierceness of My anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim. For I am God, and not man, The Holy One in your midst; And I will not come with terror.”

Numbers 23:19 NKJV
“God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”

Scripture clearly states that God is not man — In contrast, the Lord Jesus Christ explicitly said that “he is a man,” thus, he is not God!

However Jesus is not simply a “mere” man as opponents to this simple biblical truth, like to say.
Rather he is the supernaturally conceived, virgin born, sinless, human Son of God, whom the one God made both Lord and Christ and set him at His own right hand to be Head of the Church as well as King in God's Kingdom. This glorified, now immortal human being is the mediator between the one God: the Father and humanity.

So what did the Apostles testify concerning the man Christ Jesus?
  
Acts 2:22 NKJV
“Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves also know”

Acts 2:36 NKJV
“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.

Acts 5:30-31, Holman Christian Standard Bible
The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had murdered by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted this man to his right hand as ruler and Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.”

1 Timothy 2:5, NKJV
“For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus”

Jesus is that man seated on the right hand of God prophesied of in the Hebrew Bible (OT) 
e.g. Psalm 110:1 and

Psalm 80:17 NKJV
“Let Your hand be upon the man of Your right hand, Upon the son of man whom You have made strong for yourself.”

So in light of the fulfillment of these verses from psalms, Peter testifies:


Acts 2:32-36 NKJV

32 “This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses.
33 Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.
34 For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself:

‘The LORD said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand,
35 Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” ’
36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”

Therefore the rest of the NT reiterates this fact regarding the resurrected Lord Jesus:

Act 7:55-56
55 But he [Stephen], being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, 56 and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and
the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!

Rom 8:34
Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

Eph 1:17,20
17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory ...
20 which He worked in Christ when He raised him from the dead and seated him at His right hand in the heavenly places,

Col 3:1
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.

Heb 1:3
... sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

Heb 8:1
Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens,

Heb 10:12
But this man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God,

Heb 12:2
looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

1 Peter 3:21-22
... 21 Jesus Christ 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.


Conclusion: 
There are Two in Heaven: 
The Father and Jesus the Christ our Lord.

One is GOD — the other is NOT!

DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN JESUS THE CHRIST AND THE ONE GOD, THE FATHER


Numerous verses of the Bible clearly state that the Father alone is the true God and that
Jesus is the Son of the one God, the Father (2 John 3) and is therefore distinct from God:


John 14:28 NKJV
“You have heard me say to you, 'I am going away and coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would rejoice because I said, 'I am going to the Father,' for my Father is greater than I.”

Matthew 16:16-17 NKJV
“Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.”

1 Thess. 1:9-10 NKJV
“For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.”

The Bible clearly teaches that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of the living and true God.

GOD IS IMMORTAL WHILE JESUS DIED ON  THE CROSS

The Bible explicitly states that God Almighty is immortal:

1 Timothy 1:17 NKJV
“Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”

1 Timothy 6:16 NKJV
who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.”

In contrast, the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross:

John 19:30,33 NIV
“So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And bowing his head, he gave up his spirit.
33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.”

Rev 1:18
“I am he who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen...”


GOD KNOWS EVERYTHING WHILE THERE IS SOMETHING JESUS DOESN'T KNOW!

God knows everything:

1 John 3:20 NKJV
“For if our hearts condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.”

Yet the Son (the Lord Jesus Christ) doesn’t know the day or hour of his second coming:

Mark 13:32 NKJV
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

SO JESUS IS NOT ALMIGHTY GOD BUT RATHER HE IS THE SERVANT OF GOD!

Acts 3:13 NKJV
The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathersglorified His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go.”

Acts 3:26 NKJV
“To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities.”

Acts 4:24-31 NKJV
24 So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: 
Lord (YAHWEH), You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them,
25 “who by the mouth of Your servant (same Greek word used in 3:13,26; 4:27,30) David have said:
‘Why did the nations rage,
And the people plot vain things?

26 The kings of the earth took their stand,
And the rulers were gathered together
Against the LORD 
(YAHWEH) and against His Christ.’ (Psalm 2:1-2)

27 For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done. 29 Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, 30 by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.”
31 And when they had prayed...

Surely these verses which depict prayer to God speak for themselves. The Apostles are clearly praying to God and in this prayer they regarded the resurrected, glorified Jesus as:the One God, YAHWEH's servant!
The one God, YAHWEH, is clearly the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; it is then just as equally clear that Jesus is the Servant of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

SO JESUS IS NOT ALMIGHTY GOD BUT RATHER HE IS THE CHRIST OF GOD

Luke 9:20 NKJV
“He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered and said, ‘The Christ of God.’

Christ is God? No! Clearly here is yet another distinction between God and Christ.

SO JESUS IS NOT ALMIGHTY GOD BUT RATHER HE IS BOTH GOD’S APOSTLE AND GOD'S HIGH PRIEST

Hebrews 3:1 NKJV
“Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus,”

Hebrews 5:1,4-6,10 NKJV
For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins:
4 And no man takes this honor to himself, but he who is called by God, just as Aaron was.
5 So also Christ did not glorify himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him:
“You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.”
 (Psalm 2:7)
6 As He also says in another place:
“You are a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek”; (Psalm 110:4)
10 called by God as High Priest “according to the order of Melchizedek,”


Thus, claiming Jesus is God is like claiming that God’s Apostle (an apostle is one sent by God) is also God; and God’s High Priest is also God. Such propropositions are of course, absurd! 

Conclusion: Jesus was called by the one God from among the human race (i.e. Jesus is just as human as the first man Adam was!) to be both an Apostle and High Priest to God! 


BELIEVING THAT JESUS IS GOD RESULTS IN ABSURDITIES


God cannot be the author of confusion and absurdities. The Bible explicitly said that “God is not the author of confusion” (cf. 1 Cor. 14:33 KJV). What God wants is all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth:

I Timothy 2:3-5 NKJV
“For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”

Here is a list of apparent absurdities if one continues to maintain that Jesus is God :-

  • A “SERVANT GOD”?

Believing Jesus is God will result in accepting that the Almighty God is a “servant” of another God! Absurd! Rather the Bible explicitly states that Jesus is the servant of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob: Acts 3:13 NKJV (also 3:26, 4:27,30)

  • A “SUBJECTED GOD”?

Believing Jesus is Godwill result in accepting that the Almighty God “is subject to another God!!” Because the Bible declares that after all things are put under Jesus, he himself “will also be subject to Him who put all things under him”:

1 Corinthians 15:27-28 NKJV
“For ‘He has put all things under his feet.’ But when He says ‘all things are put under him," it is evident that He who put all things under him is excepted. 28 Now when all things are made subject 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.”

A God subject to another God? A God under another God? This is absurd and unacceptable to true Christians! Rather the one God of the Scriptures is above all and has no equals.

Ephesians 4:6 NKJV
“One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”

Other absurdities appear if one teaches that Jesus is God, such as :-
  • JESUS HEARD THE TRUTH FROM HIMSELF?
Rather Jesus clearly said that he heard the truth from God:
John 8:40 NKJV
“But now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth which I heard from God...”
  • JESUS PRAYED TO HIMSELF?
There are numerous verses of the Bible that show Jesus praying and calling out to his God. This is one of those verses:

Mark 15:34 NKJV
“And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" which is translated, ‘my God, my God, why have You forsaken me?’”

If Jesus is God, then is he praying to himself? When he called “my God, my God” is Jesus referring to himself? Absurd!

Now, if one says that Jesus is God and yet he is not praying to himself but to another; then you have God praying to another God? Yet another absurdity.

Rather, the Lord Jesus Christ prayed to the One True God, the Father. Which is the way, all followers of Christ ought to pray!
  • GOD WAS CRUCIFIED AND DIED ON THE CROSS?
 Jesus died on the cross. This is a fact accepted by all who profess they are Christians.

Thus, insisting that Jesus is God is insisting that God was crucified and died on the cross!! So, then we have a three-day period in the history of the universe when God was dead? Absurd indeed.

What is the truth? The truth is the man Jesus of Nazareth was crucified and died on the cross; and the one God, the Father, resurrected him and raised him from the dead
(Acts 2.22-24,32; 1 Cor 15:15; Gal 1:1).
  • GOD IS SITTING AT HIS OWN RIGHT HAND?
The Bible clearly said that Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God, for example:

Colossians 3:1 NKJV
“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.”

If Christ is God, then God is sitting at his own right hand! Absurd, isn’t?

CONCLUSION: WHAT IS THE TRUTH THEN?


What is the truth about the Lord Jesus Christ, clearly written in the Bible, that must be accepted by those who want to attain salvation?

1 Timothy 2:3-5 NKJV
“For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.

The truth is that there is solely One God; and Jesus the Christ is the 'man' who mediates between us and the One God.

John 17:1,3 NKJV
“Jesus spoke these words, lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said: "Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You,
3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

This is eternal life that we accept the truth written in the Bible as taught by Christ himself that: the Father is the only true God; and Jesus is the Christ that God sent.





The above post is based on various articles taken from the Net.