New Year's Greetings

HAPPY NEW YEAR, everybody! 

May the Lord mightily bless you and all your loved ones by His Spirit and with His grace in the year to come! 


And thank you for the blessing that you have been to us in 2013!

Does Jesus Ever Say in the Bible, Pray to Me?

  If Jesus isn't God, why does He teach us to pray to Him? 

  Wait a minute... 

  Does Jesus ever say in the Bible, you can pray to Me? 

  But the Bible teaches that there is only ONE God! 

  And only that God can hear and answer our prayers! 

  Only God is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent! 

  So does Jesus claim to have GOD POWERS in the Bible, which powers God shares with NO ONE?

  He sure does! 

  How does one gain entrance into Heaven, according to Jesus? 

  He says, call upon Him:

21 “Not everyone who calls out to Me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of My Father in heaven will enter."

  Jesus is saying we need to call out to HIM to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. If Jesus can hear us when we call out to Him... 

  it's because HE IS GOD!

  One other point from that verse above. 

  It is Who JESUS determines who gets into Heaven and who doesn't

  Jesus chooses who gets in and who doesn't...

  because HE IS GOD!  

  Sure, not everyone will be saved except those who do the will of the Father but Who does Jesus say we all have to call on to even get a chance at Heaven? 

  HIM! 

  Now why would He tell people to call on Him if He can't hear them? 

  Jesus is omniscient (knows everything) and omnipresent (He is everywhere at all times) are GOD powers which Jesus has in heaven because...

  He is God! 

  In John 14:13-14, Jesus said this about prayer (italics mine),

13 "You can ask for anything in My name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. 

14 Yes, ask Me for anything in My name, and I will do it!"

  He doesn't say "Ask the Father and maybe He will do it." 

  Jesus says, "ask Me, and I will do it." 

  Why can Jesus say that?

  Because He is God!

  Next, if Jesus isn't God, why do the Apostles and disciples all pray to Him? 

  After Jesus' death, resurrection and ascension into Heaven, the apostles pray to the LORD JESUS to ask Him who will replace Judas:

  "Then they all prayed, “O Lord, you know every heart. Show us which of these men You have chosen as an apostle to replace Judas in this ministry, for he has deserted us and gone where he belongs.” Acts 1:24-25 

  Acts 2 tells us "... everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.’" 

  Whose name is that? 

  Why, the LORD's name, of course... 

  Jesus' name! 

  In Acts 7, Who does Stephen pray to as he is being stoned to death?

  "As they stoned him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” He fell to his knees, shouting, “Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!” And with that, he died." Acts 7:59-60

  In Acts 8:22-23, the Apostle Peter tells Simon to pray to... 

  Who else but JESUS! 

  "Repent of your wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps He will forgive your evil thoughts, for I can see that you are full of bitter jealousy and are held captive by sin.” 

  That is proof again, not just that Jesus can hear your prayers, but He is the God Who also forgives you of your sins!

  In Acts 9, the Lord Jesus speaks to Ananias in a vision.

  (How can He do this if He isn't God?)

  Look at what He says in verse 11:

10 Now there was a believer in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision, calling, “Ananias!”

  “Yes, Lord!” he replied.


11 The Lord said, “Go over to Straight Street, to the house of Judas. When you get there, ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is praying to Me right now." (NLT)

  Not only is the blinded Saul of Tarsus praying to Jesus, but Jesus knows EXACTLY when Saul is praying  

  Jesus is in Heaven, so how does He know what Saul is doing on earth?

  He knows exactly what is going on everywhere because... 

  He is GOD!

  In Acts 13, who are the disciples worshiping? 

  2 "One day as these men were worshiping THE LORD and fasting..."

  In Ephesians 5:19, we are to "sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and make music TO THE LORD in your hearts." 

  Why would we be told to make music to Jesus in our hearts if He isn't God and can't hear us? 

  In 1 John 5, the Apostle John explains why we can have confidence when we pray to Jesus

13 "I have written this to you who believe in the name of THE SON OF GOD, so that you may know you have eternal life. 

14 And we are confident that HE HEARS US WHENEVER WE ASK FOR ANYTHING THAT PLEASES HIM. 

15 And since we know He hears us when we make our requests, we also know that HE WILL GIVE US WHAT WE ASK FOR."

  How can He hear our prayers if He isn't God?

  How can He answer our prayers if He isn't God? 

  How can He give us what we ask for if He isn't God?

  So to the question, 

  Can we pray to Jesus?

  There is only one answer in the Bible: 

  By all means...

  YES!
Because Jesus is GOD!

kid prayer


Did Luke know that Jesus was God?

  I got such a big kick out of this when I first "saw" it

  Scholars acknowledge Luke to be an excellent and reliable historian. Luke wrote most of the New Testament, contributing more in terms of content than even his mentor, the Apostle Paul. Here is what Luke says about why he wrote his Gospel:

  "Many have undertaken to compile a narrative about the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as the original eyewitnesses and servants of the word handed them down to us. It also seemed good to me, since I have carefully investigated everything from the very first, to write to you in an orderly sequence, most honorable Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things about which you have been instructed." Luke 1:1-4

  Did Luke know that Jesus was God? Absolutely! :)

  Here is one example from his Gospel

  Luke 8

  38 The man from whom the demons had departed kept begging Him to be with Him. But He sent him away and said,

  39 “Go back to your home, and tell all that God has done for you.” And off he went, proclaiming throughout the town all that Jesus had done for him.

  Did you see it?

  Jesus gave this order to the man He had just set free from a legion of demons: "Go home... and tell all that GOD has done for you.”

  Luke reports that the man went, "proclaiming throughout the town all that JESUS had done for him."

  Hallelujah!


  (Note: "theophilus" means "friend of God")

Two Old Testament Prophets Who Witnessed to the Coming Crucifixion and Death of Jesus?

  Apart from the many Old Testament prophecies about the Coming Messiah, we have two Old Testament prophets who appeared together with Jesus in what can clearly be described as a "power encounter" witnessed by three of the apostles: Peter, John and James.

  Jesus had taken the three up to the mountain with Him to pray, and as He prayed, two Old Testament prophets suddenly appeared side by side with Jesus, Who was transformed right before the apostles' eyes.

  What issue of vital importance did Jesus, Moses and Elijah discuss during this power encounter? We read the Gospel of Luke to find out (italics mine for emphasis):


  Luke 9

  28 About eight days after these words, He took along Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray. 

  29 As He was praying, the appearance of His face changed, and His clothes became dazzling white.

  30 Suddenly, two men were talking with Him—Moses and Elijah. 

  31 They appeared in glory and were speaking of His death, which He was about to accomplish in Jerusalem.

  This miraculous event on what is now called the Mount of Transfiguration is also recorded in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, and in both of them, Jesus warns His apostles not to speak of it until after His death.

  In Matthew 17, we read:

  9 As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Don’t tell anyone about the vision until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.” 

 and in Mark 9:

  9  As they were coming down from the mountain, He ordered them to tell no one what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 

10 They kept this word to themselves, discussing what “rising from the dead” meant. 

  The two prophets confirmed before the three apostles what Jesus had been telling them all along, but which the apostles still would not understand until after it had all happened. Jesus had taught them, as He teaches us today, that He had come to earth to die a horrifyingly cruel death on a cross to save us from our sins and prove to us His very name, Yeshua: "the Lord saves."


  In all three of these Gospels, the Father speaks from heaven and confirms to them once again that Jesus is His Beloved Son, in Whom He delights.

  By speaking from heaven at that precise moment, the Father confirmed that He had sent the Son on this mission.

  By raising Jesus from the dead, the Father confirmed that the mission had been a roaring success: the veil in the Temple was torn in two, the Perfect Sacrifice had been made, our access to the Father restored by the Son.

  Jesus is Lord! 

  Painting: "The Transfiguration" by Carl Heinrich Bloch

  
  See also:

  Was Jesus Crucified?

  http://apologika.blogspot.com/2014/01/was-jesus-crucified.html 

  EyeWitness Report... The Crucifixion



  Quick Find for Crucifixion, Son of God and Other Verses

  http://apologika.blogspot.com/2014/02/quick-find-verses-for-crucifixion-son.html



Where Does Jesus Say, "I Am YHWH (God)" in the Bible?

  Where does Jesus say I AM GOD in the Bible? Jesus said He was God again and again in the New Testament. We cover a few of those verses here. But first, we need to give The Name of God, YHWH, its context.  

  In Exodus 3, Moses comes face to face with God in the burning bush, and Moses asks Him what name he should give the Israelites for God. And God tells him, "I AM THAT I AM (YHWH); and He said, You shall say this to the sons of Israel, I AM has sent me to you."  


  That same name "I Am" is used elsewhere by YHWH in the Old Testament such as in Deuteronomy 32:39, Isaiah 41:4, 43:10, 13, 46:4, 48:12, and 52:6. 

  So that was YHWH, Moses and Israel around 1600-1500 BC. 


  When Jesus began His ministry in Israel around 27AD, He came bearing the very same name. But wait. He used it for Himself. Here are some examples:


  Matt 14 LITV (Green's Literal Version)

24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. 


25 But in the fourth watch of the night, Jesus went out to them, walking on the sea. 


26 And seeing Him walking on the sea, the disciples were troubled, saying, It is a phantom! And they cried out from the fear. 


27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, Be comforted! I AM! Do not fear.


     ...


32 And coming into the boat, the wind ceased. 


33 And those in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, Truly, You are the Son of God.



  Mark 6 LITV 


48 And He saw them being distressed in the rowing, for the wind was contrary to them. And it was about the fourth watch of the night when He came toward them, walking on the sea. And He willed to go by them. 

49 But seeing Him walking on the sea, they thought it to be a phantom. And they cried out. 

50 For all saw Him, and were troubled. And immediately He spoke to them and said to them, Have courage. I AM! Do not fear.


  Mark 14 LITV


60 And standing in the middle, the high priest questioned Jesus, saying, Do you not answer? Nothing? What do these testify against you? 


61 But He was silent and answered nothing. Again the high priest questioned Him, and said to Him, Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? 


62 And Jesus said, I AM! And you will see the Son of Man sitting off the right hand of power, and coming with the clouds of the heaven. (see Psa. 110:1; Dan. 7:13)


63 And tearing his garments, the high priest said, Why do we still have need of witnesses? 


64 You heard the blasphemy. What does it seem to you? And they all adjudged Him liable, even of death.



  Luke 22 LITV


66 And when day came, the body of elders of the people, the chief priests and scribes, were gathered. And they led Him away into their sanhedrin, saying, 


67 If you are the Christ, tell us. And He said to them, If I tell you, you will in no way believe. 


68 And also if I ask, in no way will you answer Me, or let Me go. 


69 From now on the Son of Man will be sitting at the right of the power of God. (see Psa. 110:1)


70 And they all said, Then are you the Son of God? And He said to them, You say it, because I AM!  


71 And they said, Why do we yet have need of witness? For we ourselves heard it from His mouth.



  John 4 LITV


21 Jesus said to her, Woman, believe Me that an hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem.


22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is of the Jews.


23 But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. For the Father also seeks such, the ones worshiping Him.


24 God is a spirit, and the ones worshiping Him must worship in spirit and truth.


25 The woman said to Him, I know that Messiah is coming, the One called Christ. When that One comes, He will announce to us all things.


26 Jesus said to her, I AM! the One speaking to you.



  John 6 LITV


16 And when it became evening, His disciples went down on the sea.


17 And entering into the boat, they were going across the sea to Capernaum. And darkness had already occurred, and Jesus had not come to them.


18 And the sea was aroused by a great wind blowing.


19 Then having rowed about twenty five or thirty furlongs, they saw Jesus walking on the sea. And He having come near the boat, they were afraid.


20 But He said to them, I AM! Do not fear.



  John 8 LITV


24 "Therefore, I said to you that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins."


...


57 Then the Jews said to Him, You do not yet have fifty years, and have You seen Abraham? 


58 Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Before Abraham came to be, I AM! 


59 Because of this, they took up stones that they might throw them on Him. But Jesus was hidden, and went forth out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by."


  John 13 LITV


19 From this time I tell you before it happens, that when it happens you may believe that I AM.


  John 18 LITV


4 Then knowing all the things coming upon Him, going forth, Jesus said to them, Whom do you seek? 


5 They answered Him, Jesus the Nazarene. Jesus said to them, I AM! And Judas, the one betraying Him, also stood with them. 


6 Then when He said to them, I AM, they departed into the rear and fell to the ground.


  So there it is. Indisputable, unambiguous proof that Jesus is YHWH in Jesus' own words from each one of the 4 Gospel writers 


  Jesus explains further about His perfect unity with the Father (caps mine for emphasis):


28 "I give them eternal life, and they will never perish—ever! NO ONE WILL SNATCH THEM OUT OF MY HAND


29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. NO ONE IS ABLE TO SNATCH THEM OUT OF THE FATHER’S HAND. 


30 The Father and I are ONE.” John 10


  Jesus is the Prophet of Whom all the prophets and the Law spoke. And before Him every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is... 



Cool YHWH


  YHWH!

  For scholarly explanations of the above, read these articles:

  Purpose and Meaning of "Ego Eimi" in the Gospel of John In Reference to the Deity of Christ, by Dr. James White

  http://vintage.aomin.org/EGO.html 

  The Old Testament and Jewish Background for the "I AM" Sayings of the Logos – the Lord Jesus Christ, by Anthony Rogers

  http://answering-islam.org/authors/rogers/i_am_sayings.html



Jesus the Sinless

 

  Where in the New Testament does it say that Jesus was sinless and pure? Italics mine for emphasis, text in brackets mine:

  "The angel replied to [Mary]: 
  'The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
   and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
   Therefore, the Holy One to be born will be called the Son Of God.'" Luke 1:35 

  Jesus said, "Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. Who among you can convict me of sin? If I tell the truth, why don't you believe Me?" John 8:45-46

  "He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." 2 Corinthians 5:21

  "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin." Hebrews 4:15 

  "For this is the kind of high priest we need: holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners,  nd exalted above the heavens. He doesn't need to offer sacrifices every day, as high priests do — first for their own sins, then for those of the people. He did this once for all when He offered Himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak, but the promise of the oath, which came after the law, appoints a Son, who has been perfected forever." Hebrews 7:26-28

  "For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a young cow, sprinkling those who are defiled, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of the Messiah, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to serve the living God?" Hebrews 9:13-14

  "For you were called to this, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in His steps. He did not commit sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth; when He was reviled, He did not revile in return; when He was suffering, He did not threaten but entrusted Himself to the One who judges justly." 1 Peter 2:21-23

  "You know that He was revealed so that He might take away sins, and there is no sin in Him." 1 John 3:5





Jesus Visits Paul in Prison

  If Jesus isn't God, how was He able to stand beside Paul and encourage him at a time when Paul was enduring great persecution for preaching the Gospel? 

  And this, about 28 years after Jesus' crucifixion, death, resurrection and ascension into heaven.


  "The following night, the Lord stood by [Paul] and said, “Have courage! For as you have testified about Me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.” Acts 23:11



  By the way, this is the same Lord Jesus Who had chosen Paul and told Ananias more than two decades earlier, 


11 The Lord said, “Go over to Straight Street, to the house of Judas. When you get there, ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is praying to me right now. 

12 I have shown him a vision of a man named Ananias coming in and laying hands on him so he can see again.”

     ...

15 But the Lord said, “Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel. 

16 And I will show him how much he must suffer for my name’s sake.” Acts 9

  Paul lived another 9 years before his martyrdom for the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. And his life was exactly as Jesus had told him it would be: he suffered much for his Lord. 

2 Corinthians 11

24 "Five times I received 39 lashes from Jews.

25  Three times I was beaten with rods by the Romans.
      Once I was stoned by my enemies.
      Three times I was shipwrecked.
      I have spent a night and a day
      in the open sea.

26  On frequent journeys, I faced
      dangers from rivers,
      dangers from robbers,
      dangers from my own people,
      dangers from the Gentiles,
      dangers in the city,
      dangers in the open country,
      dangers on the sea,
      and dangers among false brothers;

27  labor and hardship,
      many sleepless nights, hunger and thirst,
      often without food, cold, and lacking clothing."   

  So let us ask the question again: if Jesus isn't God, how was He able to appear to Paul as Paul was on the road to Damascus about 2 years after Jesus' crucifixion, death, resurrection and return to heaven? (Acts 9) 

  If Jesus isn't God, how did He know that Paul was praying and to Whom? (Acts 9)

  If Jesus isn't God, how did He reappear to Paul about a quarter of a century later to encourage Paul in his work and tell him where he would  be going next? (Acts 23)
  
  The answer is obvious...




My Sura Like It

  In response to criticism of his Quran, Muhammad issued this challenge:

  "And if you are in doubt as to which We have revealed to Our servant, then produce a sura like it, and call on your helper, besides Allah, if you are truthful." Sura 2:23 

  So I took a few minutes to try my hand at it, and I came up with this:  

  Say, o Muslim! Have I not revealed Myself to thee in multiple Persons, even in the Days of Abraham and Moses and the Prophets? 

  Say, o Muslim! Did I not appear to Abram and Sarai in the form of a man and speak with them outside their tent, and even partake with them of a meal most delicious? 


  Say, o Muslim! Only Hell-fire and punishment await those who doubt what I have shown thee in the Torah and the Prophets, and the Four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and in the epistles written with the pen by those who followed Yeshua. 


  Say, o Muslim! Cease thou from mocking the words of Yeshua, and follow Him, for it is He Who has come to thee, to deliver thee, to save thee from thy sins and to bring thee into Paradise eternal! 


  Say, o Muslim! Take thou thy computer and guide thyself to BibleGateway.com and readest thou for thine own self the Gospel of John from beginning to end! 


  Use thou the mind that I have given thee from the day thou came upon this earth, for that is the purpose for which I have given it thee.


  And hasten to do the bidding of thy Lord Yeshua, and question thou not the People of the Book with unknowing questions from AnsweringChristianity! 


  For AC is the way of the AntiChrist, and hell-fire is its sole reward!


  To be honest, it wasn't very hard. 

  For even more "suras like it," in both Arabic and English, 

  see http://suralikeit.com



Where Does the Bible Say That Jesus is God?

  These are just a few of the verses where the Bible unambiguously and unequivocally states that Jesus is God. Bold print mine: 

  The Apostle John says:

  "In the beginning was the Word,
   and the Word was with God,
   and the Word was God.

   He was with God in the beginning.
   All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created...

   ...

   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." John 1:1-3,14

  "And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding so that we may know the true One. We are in the true One—that is, in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life." 1 John 5:20 

  The Apostle Nathanael says:

  “Rabbi,” Nathanael replied, “You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” John 1:49

  The Apostle Peter says:

  "Simeon Peter, a slave and an apostle of Jesus Christ: To those who have obtained a faith of equal privilege with ours through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ." 2 Peter 1:1


  The Apostle Thomas says:

  "Thomas responded to Him, 'My Lord and my God!'” John 20:28

  The Apostle Paul says:

  "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

  "... while we wait for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ." Titus 2:13

  "Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the Head over every ruler and authority." Colossians 2:8-10

  The writer to the Hebrews says:

  "In these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son. God has appointed Him heir of all things and made the universe through Him. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of His Nature, sustaining all things by His powerful Word. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high." Hebrews 1:2-3

  And Jesus Himself says:

  “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

  "I am the First and the Last, and the Living One. I was dead, but look—I am alive forever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and Hades." Revelation 1:17-18

  So here we see Jesus Christ Himself and 5 of His apostles stating very clearly that Jesus is God.

  If anyone wants to pray to Jesus, they can do so anytime of the day or night no matter where they are. The apostles prayed to Jesus in Acts 1. The first martyr, Stephen, prays to Jesus in Acts 7. Jesus Himself tells them, "If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it." John 14:14

  Why? 


  Because HE is GOD. 

  He is omniscient, He is omnipresent, and He is omnipotent. 

  He knows all things, He is everywhere, and He has all power. 

  And all worship is due to Him for His goodness, grace and mercy.

Jesus Teaches About His Coming Death and Resurrection

  Jesus taught about His own death and resurrection many times, so when Muslims say that He was never crucified, they are actually saying that Jesus lied. But Christians know that Muslims are not talking here about the Sinless Jesus of the Bible Who never lied, but about Isa of the Quran    

  Here is some of the undeniable Scriptural evidence that Jesus knew perfectly well that He was going to die, that He told His disciples about it, and that He promised He would rise again after three days because that was His mission as The Messiah (see Isaiah 52:13 to chapter 53):

  "From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “ God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” Matthew 16:21-23

  "And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. And He was stating the matter plainly. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” Mark 8:31-33 


  "... saying, “ The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day.” Luke 9:22


  "As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “ Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man has risen from the dead.” And His disciples asked Him, “Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” And He answered and said, “Elijah is coming and will restore all things; but I say to you that Elijah already came, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they wished. So also the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples understood that He had spoken to them about John the Baptist." Matthew 17:9-13


  "As they were coming down from the mountain, He gave them orders not to relate to anyone what they had seen, until the Son of Man rose from the dead. They seized upon that statement, discussing with one another what rising from the dead meant. They asked Him, saying, “ Why is it that the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” And He said to them, “Elijah does first come and restore all things. And yet how is it written of the Son of Man that He will suffer many things and be treated with contempt? But I say to you that Elijah has indeed come, and they did to him whatever they wished, just as it is written of him.” Mark 9:9-13


  "And they were all amazed at the greatness of God. But while everyone was marveling at all that He was doing, He said to His disciples, “Let these words sink into your ears; for the Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men.” But they did not understand this statement, and it was concealed from them so that they would not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this statement."  Luke 9:43-45

  
  "And while they were gathering together in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men; and they will kill Him, and He will be raised on the third day.” And they were deeply grieved." Matthew 17:22-23

  "For He was teaching His disciples and telling them, “ The Son of Man is to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill Him; and when He has been killed, He will rise three days later.” But they did not understand this statement, and they were afraid to ask Him." Mark 9:31-32


  "As Jesus was about to go up to Jerusalem, He took the twelve disciples aside by themselves, and on the way He said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, and will hand Him over to the Gentiles to mock and scourge and crucify Him, and on the third day He will be raised up.” Matthew 20:17-19


  "Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things which are written through the prophets about the Son of Man will be accomplished. For He will be handed over to the Gentiles, and will be mocked and mistreated and spit upon, and after they have scourged Him, they will kill Him; and the third day He will rise again.” Mark 10:31-34


  "Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things which are written through the prophets about the Son of Man will be accomplished. For He will be handed over to the Gentiles, and will be mocked and mistreated and spit upon, and after they have scourged Him, they will kill Him; and the third day He will rise again.” Luke 18:31-33


  "When Jesus had finished all these words, He said to His disciples, “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man is to be handed over for crucifixion.”  Matthew 26:1-2


  "Jesus responded, “This voice came, not for Me, but for you. Now is the judgment of this world. Now the ruler of this world will be cast out. As for Me, if I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all people to Myself.” He said this to signify what kind of death He was about to die." John 12:30-33


  With thanks to ccel.org/bible/phillips/CH188FATEFORETOLD.htm

Jesus is God in John 10

  Here is another passage from the Bible in which Jesus says He is God  

  This one is from John 10. Notes in parentheses and italics are mine:

  24 "... the Jews surrounded [Jesus] and asked, “How long are You going to keep us in suspense? If You are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”

  25 “I did tell you (see vv. 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18) and you don’t believe,” Jesus answered them. “The works that I do in My Father’s name testify about Me.

  26 But you don’t believe because you are not My sheep.

  27 My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me.

  28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish—ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand.


  29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.

  Jesus quoted from Scripture frequently. And His citation of Isaiah 43 in John 10:28 and 29 here is pointed. YHWH speaks:

13 “From eternity to eternity I am God. No one can snatch anyone out of my hand. No one can undo what I have done.”

  Jesus uses the very same words YHWH did in Isaiah 43:13, and He follows up the quotation with these words:  

  30 "The Father and I are one.”

  His message was clear. And that is why the Jews reacted violently:

  31 Again the Jews picked up rocks to stone Him.

  32 Jesus replied, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. Which of these works are you stoning Me for?”

  33 “We aren’t stoning You for a good work,” the Jews answered, “but for blasphemy, because You—being a man—make Yourself God.”

  In the above verse, verse 33 is our proof that the Jews understood what Jesus had just said. They knew He was calling Himself God.

  36 "... do you say, ‘You are blaspheming’ to the One the Father set apart and sent into the world, because I said: I AM THE SON OF GOD?" John 10 NLT


  If there was a shred of doubt left what Jesus was saying, He totally erased it with His words in verse 36. He made Himself abundantly clear with the words, "because I said: I am the Son of God." 

  Jesus erased any need to interpret the preceding passage with those words, and that is why the Jews wanted to kill Him. 

39 One more time they tried to arrest him, but He slipped out of their hands.

  But there is one more point that we can make here. Muslims claim that the Bible has been corrupted, so below is proof that there has been no corruption at all.

  Here is John 10, verse 36, photographed directly from the Codex Sinaiticus. It is dated at between 326-360 AD:

  This is the same verse 36 in Greek:

  ὃν ὁ πατὴρ ἡγίασεν καὶ ἀπέστειλεν εἰς τὸν κόσμον ὑμεῖς λέγετε ὅτιΒλασφημεῖς, ὅτι εἶπον, Υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ εἰμι;

  Transliterating from the Greek: "huios tou theou eimi" or "Son of the God I am."


  Sinaiticus is just one manuscript that is 1,600 years old, 300 years older than Muhammad, in which Jesus says over and over again that  He is God.

  We also have the oldest existing fragment of the Gospel of John, known as the Rylands P52, dated to between 90-125AD, or half a century older than Muhammad, which proves to us how similar today's Bibles are to our oldest copies of the texts. You can see the P52 for yourself. Just Google "Rylands P52"

  Here's what we find when we compare the text of Rylands P52 with Young's Literal Translation:

  Rylands P52 John 18:31-33 (dated to 90-125 AD)


  "... the Jews, 'For us it is not permitted to kill anyone,' so that the word of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spoke signifying what kind of death he was going to die. Entered therefore again into the Praetorium Pilate and summoned Jesus and said to him, 'Thou art king of the Jews?'"

  Young's Literal Translation


  31 ... 'the Jews, therefore, said to him, It is not lawful to us to put any one to death;' 32 that the word of Jesus might be fulfilled which he said, signifying by what death he was about to die. 33 Pilate, therefore, entered into the praetorium again, and called Jesus, and said to him, Thou art the King of the Jews?'

   Christians have documentary, archaeological and other proof that our faith in God and His Word is totally and solidly grounded in fact and in truth. Praise God for His unshakeable Word!

Do Muslims Pray Like Jesus?

  Muslims like to point to Jesus' prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane to make the claim that they pray just like He did. But in the pictures below, you can see what a difference there is between rabbinic prostration, Jesus' prayer in the Garden, and Muslim prayer in the mosque. 





  The position Jesus took while praying in Gethsemane is a prayer position called prostration. Muslims, please look it up in the dictionary: prostration.

  The whole body is flat on the ground during prostration. The posterior is not elevated. This position is usually assumed only during the most intense prayer, as Jesus was doing at Gethsemane, such as during intercession. In short, the prostration position that Jesus took and the way Muslims pray are not at all the same.

  Secondly, Jesus would always look to HEAVEN when He spoke to the Father. He never bowed to a physical object in Mecca.

  See for yourself (caps mine for your convenience):

  Matthew 14:19
  Then He commanded the crowds to sit down on the grass. He took the five loaves and the two fish, and LOOKING UP TO HEAVEN, He blessed them. He broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.

  Mark 6:41
  Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and LOOKING UP TO HEAVEN, He blessed and broke the loaves. He kept giving them to His disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all.

  Mark 7:34
  Then, LOOKING UP TO HEAVEN, He sighed deeply and said to him, “Ephphatha!” (that is, “Be opened!”).

  Luke 9:16
  Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and LOOKING UP TO HEAVEN, He blessed and broke them. He kept giving them to the disciples to set before the crowd.

  John 11:41 
  "So they removed the stone. Then Jesus RAISED HIS EYES and said, “Father, I thank You that You heard Me."

  John 17:1
  Jesus spoke these things, LOOKED UP TO HEAVEN, and said: "Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son so that the Son may glorify You"

  The Greek readers among us can correct me if I'm wrong but here is the original Greek of the verse:

  Matthew 26:39 καὶ προελθὼν μικρὸν ἔπεσεν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ προσευχόμενος καὶ λέγων, Πάτερ μου εἰ δυνατόν ἐστιν παρελθέτω ἀπ᾽ ἐμοῦ τὸ ποτήριον τοῦτο πλὴν οὐχ ὡς ἐγὼ θέλω ἀλλ᾽ ὡς σύ

 In the original Greek in which the New Testament was written, the words "fell on His face" mean:

2) to descend from an erect to a prostrate position
a) to fall down
1) to be prostrated, fall prostrate (from Strong's Concordance)

Dictionary definition:

 prostrate
   verb |ˈprɑːstreɪt| [ with obj. ]
   1 (prostrate oneself) lay oneself flat on the ground face downward, esp. in reverence or submission: she prostrated herself on the bare floor of the church.

 From Barnes' Notes on the Bible:

 "He first kneeled, and then, in the fervency of his prayer and the depth of his sorrow, he fell with his face on the ground, denoting the deepest anguish and the most earnest entreaty. This was the usual posture of prayer in times of great earnestness. See Numbers 16:22; 2 Chronicles 20:18; Nehemiah 8:6."

  Job 1
  20 Then Job stood up, tore his robe, and shaved his head. He fell to the ground and worshiped,   

  Numbers 16

  22 But Moses and Aaron fell facedown and said, “God, God of the spirits of all flesh, when one man sins, will You vent Your wrath on the whole community?”

  2 Chr 20

  18 Then Jehoshaphat bowed with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the Lord to worship Him. 

  Nehemiah 8

  6 Ezra praised the Lord, the great God, and with their hands uplifted all the people said, “Amen, Amen!” Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.

  Note as well that prostration "was the usual posture of prayer in times of great earnestness"

  If Muslims did, in fact, use prostration to pray 5 times a day, it would no longer be "in great earnestness." It would become a routine prayer posture which would mean absolutely nothing to God

  As Jesus said in Matt 6,

  5 “Whenever you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites, because they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by people. I assure you: They’ve got their reward! 

 6 But when you pray, go into your private room, shut your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 

 7 When you pray, don’t babble like the idolaters, since they imagine they’ll be heard for their many words. 

 8 Don’t be like them, because your Father knows the things you need before you ask Him."

  The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is not fooled by "many prayers." He looks at what is deep inside our hearts and is fully aware of our deepest and darkest secrets. He's not deceived by who you or I may pretend to be on the outside 

  Btw, anyone who has prayed in intercession "in great earnestness" knows that it cannot be done 5 times a day, nor even 3 times a day. No human being could ever survive that

  So, try as they might to force Islam once again into the Bible, once again, they have failed. :(

  But where did Muslims learn to pray the way they do? Apparently, they have copied their prayer rituals from Orthodox Jewry:

  Jewish Prayer 

  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aHWASyMjwg 



Is Jesus' Return Imminent?

  Here's a word of encouragement for all the hard-working Christian evangelists laboring day in and day out in these debate groups, FaceBook Ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ:

  Do you remember what Jesus said in Matthew 24:14?

  "This good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed in all the world as a testimony to all nations. And then the end will come."

  I spoke to a missions minister about a year ago and he gave me an update on what's happening in the global missions field  

  He told me that there used to be 5,800 unreached people groups all over the world who had not yet had the Gospel proclaimed to them  

  But "As of this time, he said,

  The number of unreached people groups who have not yet heard the Gospel is now down to...

  1,200!"

  So what Christian missions groups are now doing is banding together and working hand in hand to reach the remaining 1,200 groups... 

  they are working together to reach the lost. 

  Hallelujah!!! 

  Next, I heard these stats on a Michael Brown podcast and found the numbers online. 

  "It is estimated that by the end of the 1st century, [there was] 1 follower of Yeshua to 360 non-Christians."

   By the end of the 1st century, only John was still alive of Jesus' 12 apostles as the rest had been killed for preaching His Word. But the Gospel was already going out all over the world. Just as Jesus had promised, there was going to be absolutely no way to stop it 

  By 1430AD, the ratio was 1 Christian to every 99 non-Christians

  By 1794, there was 1 Christian to every 49 non-Christians

  By 1940, the number was 1 Christian to every 32 non-Christians

  By 1960, it was 1 Christian to every 24 non-Christians

  By 1989, the ratio was 1 Christian to every 10 non-Christians

  Just 24 years later, in 2013, it is estimated that there is now 1 Christian to every 6 non-Christians

  If you count professing Christians, then 1 in every 3 people says he/she is a follower of Jesus 

  Where missionaries cannot go, Jesus Himself is showing up

  In all of history, we have never come this close to seeing the Gospel preached in all the world

  We are that close to seeing the fulfillment of yet another of Jesus' prophecies about the Last Days

  Jesus is coming SOON!

  Even more good news that begins to explain how this is all happening:

  Entire villages of Muslims and other non-Christians have THE SAME DREAM on one night in which Jesus appears to them, and they all get saved not long after when a missionary comes along with a Bible or Bibles and confirms what they had dreamt   

  And then there is the story -- and there are many just like it -- of 2 Christians who try to share the Gospel with Muslims all day in a bustling Muslim city, but they fail... fail... FAIL. Then they get into a cab to go home and share the Gospel with the cab driver, and he gives his heart to Jesus as a result. He asks them, "So what do I do now?" And they tell him, "Go and tell your family the Good News." And he does. 

  The next time they hear from him, he's asking, "What do I do now?" 

  He was asking because the salvation of that one cab driver had now led to 8,000 more souls who had come to Jesus 

  God is watching over His Word to fulfill it!

  And finally, mission organizations used to think that about 10% of the total Chinese population of 1.3 billion is Christian. But because they now realize that their figures were far too conservative, they have adjusted that figure upwards to between 25-30% of all mainland Chinese  

  If that figure is correct, then that means that there could now be more Christians in China than there are Americans living in the US  

  So keep preaching that Gospel... 

  "Proclaim the message; persist in it whether convenient or not; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching." 2 Timothy 4:2

  And remember the words of our Savior and Lord, King Jesus...

  "... when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." Luke 21:28

       


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