Was Jesus "Just a Prophet?"

  In previous articles, we covered some of the Bible texts in which Jesus clearly says that He is God. In other articles, we dealt with Jesus' humanity and how YHWH had said that He would send mankind a Messiah Who would be both God and man, without violating the Complex Unity of His One Being. 

  Now let us focus on the question of whether Jesus the Messiah is, as some claim, "just a prophet."  


  Anyone who has spent enough time studying the Bible can tell you that none of the prophets of the Old Testament had any illusions on Whose behalf they were speaking. They knew they were speaking for God. They were fully aware they had no power to go and reinterpret anything that God had said. Let us look at a few examples (italics mine):


Moses and Aaron


  "And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness." Exodus 5:1

(KJV)

Joshua


  "And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods." Joshua 24:2 (KJV)


Elijah 


  "And there came a writing to him from Elijah the prophet, saying, Thus saith the Lord God of David thy father, Because thou hast not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat thy father, nor in the ways of Asa king of Judah..." 2 Chronicles 21:12 (KJV)



Isaiah

  "Thus saith the Lord God, It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass." Isaiah 7:7 (KJV)


Jeremiah 


  "Thus saith the Lord, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain?" Jeremiah 2:5 (KJV)


Ezekiel 

  "Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, am against thee, and will execute judgments in the midst of thee in the sight of the nations." Ezekiel 5:8 (KJV)

  But where in the New Testament does Jesus say, "Thus Says The Lord?"


  Never.


  The phrase "saith the Lord" is used more than 400 times in the King James Version of the Bible but not a single time does Jesus ever say, "Thus says the Lord."


  Instead, Jesus spoke with an authority no Jew had ever heard before, raising the Law to a standard they had never kept before:


  "Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you..." Matthew 5:21-22 (KJV)  


  And here: 


  "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you..." Matthew 5:27-28 (KJV) 


  And here:


  "It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you..." Matthew 5:31-32 (KJV)


  And here:


  "Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you..." Matthew 5:33-34 (KJV)


  And here:


  "Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you..." Matthew 5:38-39 (KJV)


  And here:


  "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you..." Matthew 5:43-44 (KJV)


  What was the difference? The Gospel writer tells us,


  "... He was teaching them like one who had authority, and not like their scribes. Matthew 7:29 (HCSB)


  And what kind of authority did Jesus wield?


  "The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this?—even the winds and the sea obey Him!” Matthew 8:27


  "Summoning His 12 disciples, [Jesus] gave them authority over unclean spirits, to drive them out and to heal every disease and sickness." Matthew 10:1 (HCSB) 

  Jesus had divine and supernatural power over all creation. The wind and the waves obeyed Him. The demons feared Him and did as He commanded them. 


  Death itself held no power over Him, as not only did He raise people from the dead, but He proved His deity by rising from the grave after three days, just as He had said He would.


  As some men who had been sent to seize Him attested:


  “... No one ever spoke the way this man speaks!” John 7:46 (CJB)

  No one ever spoke as Jesus spoke.

  No one ever lived as Jesus lived.

  No one ever loved as Jesus loved.

  Jesus was no mere prophet.  


  The miracles that accompanied His birth, life and ministry all affirmed this. 


  And His rising from the dead proved it beyond all doubt.


  After His resurrection, Jesus made an unmistakable declaration of Who He was yet again:


  “... 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 (HCSB) 


  All authority over heaven and earth is held by Jesus...

  in the perfect unity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit under the One divine Name.

  All must obey His commands...

  even as He promises us He will always be with us. 

  Omnipotence. 

  Omniscience. 

  Omnipresence.

  Jesus is God!

Thus saith the Lord Jesus...

and thus shall it be done!


Who Does Jesus Think He Is?

  YHWH said,

  "This is what the Lord, the King of Israel and its Redeemer, the Lord of Hosts, says: I am the first and I am the last. There is no God but Me.” Isaiah 44:6


  Jesus said, 


  “Don’t be afraid! 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


  YHWH said, 


  "I, I am Yahweh, and there is no other Savior but Me." Isaiah 43:11


  Jesus said (text in brackets mine), 


  “I assure you: Before Abraham was, I Am [Yahweh].” John 8:58


  YHWH said,


  “From eternity to eternity I am God. No one can snatch anyone out of my hand...” Isaiah 43:13 NLT


  Jesus said, 


  "I give them eternal life, and they will never perish—ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand." John 10:28 NLT


  YHWH said,


  "I, Yahweh, examine the mind,

   I test the heart
   to give to each according to his way, 
   according to what his actions deserve." Jeremiah 17:10

  Jesus said, 


  "I will kill her children with the plague. Then all the churches will know that I am the One who examines minds and hearts, and I will give to each of you according to your works." Revelation 2:23


  YHWH said,


  “'See, I am going to send My messenger,and he will clear the way before Me. Then the Lord you seek will suddenly come to His temple, the Messenger of the covenant you desire—see, He is coming,' says the Lord of Hosts." Malachi 3:1


  In reference to John the Baptist, Jesus said,


  "This is the one it is written about: 

    Look, I am sending My messenger ahead of You; 
    he will prepare Your way before You." Matthew 11:10 

  Isaiah said, 


  "See, the Lord God comes with strength, and His power establishes His rule. His reward is with Him, and His gifts accompany Him." Isaiah 40:10


  Jesus said,


  "Look! I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me to repay each person according to what he has done." Revelation 22:12


  Who on earth does Jesus think He is?

  
Yahweh God, that's Who! 




  See also:

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


  http://apologika.blogspot.com/2013/12/where-does-jesus-say-i-am-yhwh-god.html


  "Jesus Christ in The Bible" by Sam Shamoun

  http://www.answering-islam.org/Shamoun/biblicaljesus.htm



  

Why Did the First Muslims Pray Towards Petra?

  In his excellent and thought-provoking presentation titled "An Historical Critique of Islam's Beginnings," Jay Smith points out an intriguing fact... 

  By 624 AD, all mosques were supposed to be facing Mecca. And yet, it took 200 years for Islam to finally get their "unity of direction of prayer" right and point all their mosques towards Mecca. 


  200 years! 


  Something is obviously wrong here. The historical facts are not tying up with the Islamic sources. That is the reason scholars are now investigating why that is. 


  The Qibla literally means "direction," and in Islam refers to the direction in which a Muslim must pray. 

  Classic Islamic history tells us that Muhammad first taught Muslims to pray towards Jerusalem, but then supposedly received a revelation from Allah changing the direction of prayer to Mecca instead. This change was made in 624 AD.  

  All slides and maps 
in this article are screenshots which were taken from a video of Jay Smith's presentation at Calvary Church Chino Hills in 2013, a link for which video is provided below.

  
  The blue arrows in this map show where Qiblas were pointing in the earliest days of Islam, or around the 620-630s, just before the death of Muhammad. As you can see, they point, not towards either Jerusalem or Mecca, but to Petra.
Here is a satellite view of the Great Mosque of Guangzhou which was built in 630 AD, and whose Qibla points Muslims to pray towards Petra.
The Qibla of the Humeima Mosque in southwestern Jordan points toward Petra. 

The Qibla of the Great Mosque Ba'albek in Lebanon points to Petra. 


The Qibla of the Great Mosque of Sana'a built in Yemen in 705 AD points to Petra. 


The Qibla of the Al Aqsa Mosque built in Jerusalem in 709 AD points to Petra.


The Qibla of the Damascus Mosque built in Syria also in 709 AD points to Petra. 
The Qibla of the Anjar Mosque built in Beirut in 714 AD points to Petra.
The Qibla of the Mosque of Umar built in Syria in 720 AD points to Petra.
 
In 727 AD, a mosque was finally built in Banbhore, Pakistan, the Qibla of which points to Mecca. That is 103 years after Muhammad's supposed revelation changing the direction from Jerusalem to Mecca.
But, about a year later, the al-Sharqi Mosque is built in Syria that still points to Petra.
The Mushatte Mosque in Amman was built in 743 AD, and it was still facing Petra. 
 The Ribat Fortress in Tunisia was built in 770, and it faced neither Petra nor Mecca. 
It was the same with the Cordoba Mosque in Spain, built in 784. Its Qibla pointed towards neither Petra or Mecca.
Ditto for the Great Mosque of Kairouan, built in 817 AD. 
So here is what we know: 
  The conflict between history, archaeology and the classical account of Islam's beginnings is etched in stone, no pun intended. 

  There is no explanation in the Islamic sources for the original Qibla being Petra, nor any explanation as to why there is no valley in Mecca, or a stream, or fields, trees or grass, clay or loam, and no pillar of salt. 


  The question is also raised about why the Quran would speak of grapes and olives and other fruits in Mecca, where none grow except dates. 
On the other hand, Jay notes that...



  While the Bible continues to amaze many with its historical accuracy, attention from scholars, historians and reliable archaeologists is only now being placed on the claims made in the Quran and Islamic sources. And answers are coming, but they are not confirming what Muslims have been telling the world for centuries. We shall soon see if today's Muslims have the intestinal fortitude to realize and accept that, sadly, they have been sold a bill of goods, and to move on from there.   

  Jay only hints at "Why Petra?" and I don't want to spoil your fun, so watch the video instead. It's linked to below. There is much, much more to learn from Jay's presentation so... 

  Enjoy! 


  "In Search of the Missing Mecca - Speaker's Corner Debate Between the Pfander Team & Mansur Ahmed

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mbm2Si3XGXU

  "An Historical Critique of Islam's Beginnings" is here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zd9lIuUjPs0

  Dan Gibson's video and website exploring this issue further are here:


   The Sacred City 
      https://vimeo.com/ondemand/thesacredcity2/167919889

   The Qibla Question:

     http://searchformecca.com/qibla.html

   Jerusalem or Petra?

     http://searchformecca.com/Jerusalem.html

   Why Petra fits all the criteria for Islam's first holy city (it has a Bekaa Valley, too!):


     http://searchformecca.com/PetraProofs.html


   Massive New Monument Found in Petra


    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/06/space-archaeology-satellite-petra-ancient-city-discovery-jordan-monument/


   

Messiah The Lord YHWH!

  About 2,000 years ago, an angel appeared to some shepherds in Bethlehem and announced (italics mine):

  "Today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David." Luke 2:11


  We can tackle the first three words in another article but for now, let's look at the next few words.


  In the original Greek, the word "Lord" in the above verse is the word κύριος, transliterated as "Kyrios." This is the same word used in the Septuagint for God. The Septuagint is the Hebrew Old Testament translated into Greek by 70 Jewish scholars hundreds of years before Jesus came down to earth.


  The word κύριος is used at least 667 times in the New Testament to refer to God (YHWH), but it is also used to refer to "lord" (at least 54 times), "master" (at least 11 times), "sir" (at least 6 times), "Sir" (at least 6 times), and another 4 times for other words. By leaps and bounds, however, it is used most often for YHWH God.


  Since the word can refer to people other than God, we need to examine the context to determine which definition applies.   


  Take a look at what else Luke's Gospel has recorded for us. 


  The angel had said Messiah was "Christos Kyrios" or more literally, "the Anointed One the Lord." 


  Further in the chapter, a man named Simeon is at the Temple when Joseph and Mary bring in the Child Jesus. And here is what the Gospel writer says about him:  


26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he saw the Lord’s Messiah.

  The words "the Lord’s Messiah" in the original Greek are transliterated as "christon kyriou" or "the Lord's Anointed One." 


  The two titles are given to the same Person: Jesus. 


  "The Anointed One the Lord" is also "the Lord's Anointed One."


  If you still aren't getting it, allow me to spell it out for you.


  "The Anointed One YHWH Jesus" is "YHWH's Anointed One." (see also Psalm 2:2)


  Putting it in reverse:


  "YHWH's Anointed One Jesus" is "The Anointed One YHWH." 


  How can that be?


  Well, Jesus said, "The Father and I are one." (John 10:30)


  This says it all:


Headline Messiah


Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

Luke 2:11 ... Christ the Lord—"magnificent appellation!" [Bengel].

"This is the only place where these words come together; and I see no way of understanding this "Lord" but as corresponding to the Hebrew Jehovah" [Alford].

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Luke 2:11... Which is Christ the Lord; the Messiah spoken of by the prophets; the anointed of the Lord, with the Holy Ghost without measure, to be a prophet, priest, and king in his church; 

and who is the true Jehovah, the Lord our righteousness, the Lord of all creatures, the Lord of angels, good and bad, the Lord of all men, as Creator, the Prince of the kings of the earth, the Lord of lords, and King of kings...

Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

Luke 2:11 ... the Lord] In the lower sense the word is used as a mere title of distinction; 

in the higher sense it is (as in the LXX.) the equivalent of the Hebrew ‘Jehovah’—the ineffable name. 

“We preach Christ Jesus the Lord,” 2 Corinthians 4:5 (see Php 2:11; Romans 14:9; 1 Corinthians 8:6; “No one can say that Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy Ghost,” 1 Corinthians 12:3).


Jesus is Lord!




Who Said That God Would Come to Earth As a Man?

  Did Christians make up the teaching that God was going to come to earth as a man? 

  Who ever said that in the Bible?

  The prophet Amos wrote,

  "Indeed, the Lord God does nothing
      without revealing His counsel 
      to His servants the prophets." Amos 3:7

  And reveal His plan He certainly did.

  
YHWH promised it in the very first Book of the Bible. Moses recorded this for us in Genesis 3:15 (italics mine),

  "I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel." 


  The prophet Isaiah said it in Isaiah 9:6,

  "For a Child will be born for us, a Son will be given to us, and the government will be on His shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace."

  The prophet Jeremiah said it in Jeremiah 23:5,

  “The days are coming”—this is the Lord’s declaration— “when I will raise up a Righteous Branch of David. He will reign wisely as king and administer justice and righteousness in the land.”

  Jeremiah said it again in Jeremiah 33:15,

  "In those days and at that time I will cause a Righteous Branch to sprout up for David, and He will administer justice and righteousness in the land."


  The prophet Zechariah said it in Zechariah 2:11,

  “Many nations will join themselves to the Lord on that day and become My people. I will dwell among you, and you will know that the Lord of Hosts has sent Me to you." 

  The prophet Malachi said it in Malachi 3:1,

  “See, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. Then the Lord you seek will suddenly come to His temple, the Messenger of the covenant you desire—see, He is coming,” says the Lord of Hosts.”


  John said it in John 1:

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

    ...

14 The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

  Jesus Himself said it in John 3,

17 For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him

  The Apostle Paul said it in Philippians 2,

  5 ... Christ Jesus,

  6 who, existing in the form of God,
     did not consider equality with God
     as something to be used
     for His own advantage.

  7 Instead He emptied Himself
     by assuming the form of a slave,
     taking on the likeness of men.
     And when He had come as a man
     in His external form,

  8 He humbled Himself by becoming obedient
     to the point of death—
     even to death on a cross.

  John the Beloved tells us that whoever confesses that God has come in the flesh is of God in 1 John 4:

 2 This is how you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit who confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God. 

  
And finally, Jesus wraps it all up for us in Revelation 1:17-18, 

  “Don’t be afraid! 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.”   

  Why did YHWH do it? 

  As Jesus said in John 3:16,

  “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”

  God said it. That settles it. Believe it!




Jesus, God of the Greetings

  •   In ancient times, people began letters to one another with a salutation, or a greeting. The salutation would consist of the names of the authors as well as the intended recipients of the letters, and in the case of the epistles of the Bible, blessings were also pronounced on the readers. When examined more closely, however, we find that the salutations of the apostles and writers also reveal their theology, their understanding of Who God is.

      One blessing which Paul repeated often in his greetings was this: 


      "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."


      We find this phrase in Romans 1:7, 1 Corinthians 1:3, 2 Corinthians 1:2, Galatians 1:3, Ephesians 1:2, Philippians 1:2, 2 Thessalonians 1:2, 1 Timothy 1:2, 2 Timothy 1:2, and Philemon 1:3.


      The apostle offers a slight variation in 1 and 2 Timothy, in which he writes,

      "Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord."

      Note that, where Muslims need to keep praying for peace upon their prophet Muhammad, in this salutation, grace, mercy and peace come from both the Father and the Son. The very same grace, mercy and peace (shalom) that flow from the Father flow from the Son.
      
      The alert Muslim will spot the problem for Islam immediately. This is what Muslims call shirk, or the association of another with Allah. But what is shirk for a Muslim is the complex unity of the God of the Bible which, unfortunately, Muhammad and his Allah failed to grasp. 

      But wait. Didn't God say He would not share His glory with another? He said,

      "I am Yahweh, that is My name;
       I will not give My glory to another
       

       or My praise to idols." Isaiah 42:8

      Yes, He did say it. 

      And when Jesus said, "I Am YHWH" over and over again in the Gospels, He wasn't lying. (see link below for more on this)

      When Jesus said, "If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it," in John 14:14, He wasn't kidding. 

      When Jesus said, "The Father and I are one” in John 10:30, He meant it. 

      The truth of the Scriptures does not change with the passage of millennia. Just as Father, Son and Holy Spirit have been co-equal, co-eternal and co-substantial in eternity, so They will always remain One God, whether Muhammad sought to understand it or not.

      And so when Paul prays blessings of grace, mercy and peace for his readers, Christians are fully aware that those blessings flow from the One God. 

      Not two gods or three, but the One God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (See link below for more) 

      But let us see if Jesus is God in any more of the greetings. 

    Romans 1 

      1 Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle and singled out for God’s good news

      2 which He promised long ago through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures— 


      3 concerning His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who was a descendant of David according to the flesh 


      4 and who has been declared to be the powerful Son of God by the resurrection from the dead according to the Spirit of holiness. 


      We will cover the apostle's declaration in v. 1 later, but in verses 3 and 4 we see him naming Jesus as the Divine Son of God Who was raised from the dead. Jesus is also named as the Son in Colossians 1:3, 1 John 1:3, and 2 John 1:3.


      But we also see the Triune God in vv. 1-4, where the name "God" is a reference to the Father and the Son is raised by the Spirit. So the Trinity is named in what is really just a simple greeting. 


    1 Corinthians 1

      1 Paul, called as an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will, and  Sosthenes our brother:


      2 To God’s church at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus and called as saints, with all those in every place who call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord—both their Lord and ours.

      We see the importance of remembering context in our review of this passage. In verse 1, Paul says he is an apostle "by God's will." Who does context tell us it was who called Paul into His service? (text in brackets mine)


      "But the Lord [Jesus] said to him, “Go! For this man [Paul] is My chosen instrument to take My name to Gentiles, kings, and the Israelites." Acts 9:15


      Yes, it was our God Jesus' will to choose Paul to serve Him. See also 2 Corinthians 1:1, Galatians 1:1, Ephesians 1:1, Philippians 1:1, Colossians 1:1, 1 Timothy 1:1, 2 Timothy 1:1, Titus 1:1 

      Next, both 1 Thessalonians 1:1 and 2 Thessalonians 1:1 refer to "the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."

      Again, this is "shirk" for the Muslim, but in the complex unity of the Father with the Son, the church is in God, both Father and Son. The Bible repeatedly refers to the church being "in God,"  "in Christ," "God's church," "His church," "the church of Jesus Christ," etc., making no distinctions between them.

    Titus 1

      3 In His own time He has revealed His message in the proclamation that I was entrusted with by the command of God our Savior:

      4 To Titus, my true son in our common faith. Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.


      I love this one. In verse 3, Paul says God is our Savior, then in the following verse he says Jesus is our Savior. 

      Could the Bible be any clearer? 

      Jesus and the Father are one!


    Hebrews 1


      1 Long ago God spoke to the fathers by the prophets at different times and in different ways.

      2 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. 

      3 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. 


      The Book of Hebrews is explicit about the deity of Jesus. That is why Muslims will quote only one verse from this entire -- and lengthy -- book. And when they quote that one verse, they twist it to mean something that the rest of the Bible clearly refutes. But I digress.


      Returning to the salutation in Hebrews 1, verse 2 names Jesus as the Divine Son of God and Creator of the universe. I doubt that verse 3 could be any more explicit, as it describes Jesus in terms that would never befit a human being and then says Jesus "sustains all things by His powerful word." 


      As though that was not enough, the final part of the verse tells us that Jesus shares the power, throne and authority of God. The rest of the chapter goes on to erase any doubt whatsoever that Jesus is God. Which is likely why Muslims don't read it. 


      Since parts of the next 4 salutations use similar terms, let us tackle them together:


    James 1 


      1 James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ: To the 12 tribes in the Dispersion. Greetings.


    1 Peter 1 


      1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ:


    2 Peter 1


      1 Simeon Peter, a slave and an apostle of Jesus Christ:


    Jude 1


        Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ and a brother of James: 


      Think about this for a second. Or two. James began his epistle with the words, "James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ." 


      And Jude started his with, "Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ and a brother of James."


      Now, the James who wrote the Book of James is technically Jesus' half-brother. James was a son of Joseph and Mary, and Jude, author of the Book of Jude, identifies himself as the brother of that James. Both men had lived the first parts of their lives with Jesus as an "ordinary" brother. 


      But when Jesus turned 30 and began His ministry, life turned upside down for His brothers and sisters (see Matthew 13:55 and Mark 6:3). At one point, they even sought to keep Him from preaching, teaching and doing miracles. (see Matthew 12:46-47). This shows us that James, Jude and their siblings were not always believers in Jesus.


      But now here is Brother James, who writes that he is "a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ?" 

      "A slave of God... and of my brother?"

      Jude, too, writes that he is a slave of his brother, Jesus!

      If that hasn't registered yet, give it a moment to really sink in. 


      Two members of Jesus' earthly family called themselves "slaves of Jesus Christ."

      
      When they wrote those words and lived them out, these two First Century Jews who worshiped at Herod's Temple were unabashedly calling Jesus God.

      But let's keep analyzing this declaration.

      Can a Muslim call himself a slave of God and of Muhammad?


      The answer would be a very loud NO, because that would be shirk. 

      But James and Jude, brothers of Jesus, are not alone.

      Peter, too, calls himself a slave of Jesus.


      "Simeon Peter, a slave and an apostle of Jesus Christ." 2 Peter 1:1


      It is patently obvious what the men who lived closest to Jesus during His time on earth thought of Him. Why else would they have gone to their deaths to serve Him?  


      But here's the next problem Muslims will have with this greeting. Muslims have been told that Jesus is only "a mere prophet."


      But can a mere prophet send apostles? 


      Muslims say that only God can send messengers, so why do His followers call themselves apostles of Jesus? 


      Remember that we are only examining the greetings here. Imagine what we might find if we actually read everything these men wrote about Jesus. 


      But we aren't done with Peter's salutations yet. 


    1 Peter 1


      1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ:

      To the temporary residents dispersed in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, chosen 


      2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father and set apart by the Spirit for obedience and for sprinkling with the blood of Jesus Christ. 


      Now it is Peter who names the Trinity in vv. 1-2. Once again, we see the Father, the Spirit and the Son, Jesus, all mentioned as separate Persons from one another with distinctions in Their involvement in the salvation of men and their sanctification for service. 
      Muslims need to note as well that, as we see in the last phrase of verse 2, Peter fully understood the Levitical mandate for the shedding of blood for the remission of sins and Jesus' participation in the Perfect Sacrifice. He would not be able to speak of "sprinkling with the blood of Jesus Christ" if there had been no crucifixion. 

      More than anyone else among the Apostles, Peter was painfully aware of the crucifixion and death of Jesus because it was he who had sworn not to allow it, and yet he had been one of those who had quickly deserted the Master. But just like the others, Peter became a new man after Jesus' resurrection and Pentecost, going on to serve mightily and later die a martyr's death in wholehearted service of His God and King... Jesus.


    2 Peter 1


      1 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.

      Oops. There is the Apostle Peter, calling Jesus "our God and Savior." 


      I wonder if this verse needs any further explanation? 


      Jesus is God, people! 

      But we have a few more verses left among our greetings.
       
    1 John 1

      3 What we have seen and heard we also declare to you, so that you may have fellowship along with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.

      Apart from what has already been discussed in this same vein, one would have to ask what powers a mere man would have that would allow him to be able to fellowship with all believers all over the world simultaneously. 


      Most Christians will recognize the Greek word which is translated as "fellowship" there. It's the word "koinonia," and it refers to an intimate and regular relationship. Obviously, only God can have that kind of relationship with His people, and here John is saying that Jesus is that God.   


    2 John 1

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


      This is almost the same phrase as Paul's, but this time from the Apostle John. 

    Jude 1 


      Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ and a brother of James:

      To those who are the called, loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ.

      In the other half of Jude's first verse, we find another theological comment: those who are called and loved by the Father are kept by the Son, Jesus. Jesus taught this in the Gospels, too.  

      And finally, our last salutation:


    Revelation 1

      4 John: To the seven churches in Asia. 


      Grace and peace to you from the One who is, who was, and who is coming; from the seven spirits before His throne; 

      5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

      Once again we have the Pauline and Johannine blessing, after which John adds appellations for both the Father and the Son. Muslims are not likely to be too crazy about two of the titles for the Son since Islam denies that Jesus died and that He is the ruler of the kings of the earth. However, both prove that Jesus is God.    

      Recapping in a few words what we have found while reading through the salutations in the New Testament...



      Jesus is God, even in the salutations!


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