Tuesday, December 26, 2017

False Religions Do Not Want Truth of John 3:16

It's December 26, 2017, the day after Christmas (here in the USA). It's a beautiful, semi-sunny Winter day, as I looked up from my computer and out the study window. I was rereading and meditating on John Chapter 3, about Christ and Nicodemus, this morning. I decided to blog my thoughts on what I'd just reread, and as I was about halfway into writing this blog post, the doorbell rang. I discovered the usual pair of Watchtower Society cult followers (so-called "Jehovah's Witnesses") at my door, with more waiting in the car.

As we spoke, they claimed to accept Jesus Christ as some sort of demi-god who did a lot of creating but who wasn't equal with God. In practice what they're really saying that they have at least two levels of gods, since their doctrine and words deny that Jesus is wholly and equally part of the person of God Almighty, our Creator, the everlasting Father. So, are their claims correct, or not? Either the Bible supports that Christ, Immanuel, Jesus is God or it will fail to support that idea. Let's skim through a few things that the Bible says about Jesus and about us.

Anyone who has read much of the Old Testament portion of the Bible knows that the host of heaven is made up of all sorts of creatures. Yet, in Genesis 1:26, God very specifically says, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness...." That statement begs the question of, "With all the differently described creatures throughout the Old Testament, who, then, could God possibly and reasonable been speaking with, who from eternity past and into eternity future, looked like and participated in conversation with God in planning all things, including the creation of humanity, and in deciding to make humanity in God's very own image?

John 1:1-51 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2  The same was in the beginning with God.
3  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4  In him was life; and the life was the light of men.    
5  And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

Notice carefully that there is only one Word and only one God mentioned in this passage. The word "God", in English is always understood (by reasonable people) to mean that there is only one God that that is to whom this refers, the One True and Only God. Notice, also, that the passage says that the Word is the Creator who made all things, and therefore the Word could not have been a created being, for all things made were made by the Word.

Who then is "the Word"? Comparing that passage with the rest of the Bible, even that cult admits that the Word is Christ Jesus. But, they do strange mental antics with the passage as a whole. Yet, any honest reader of that passage will admit that it literally says exactly what it literally says. But, whether one accepts God's literal message is another matter, which is precisely where the cults and non-believers step away from God's message, and they deny that Christ Jesus is God. But, let's continue, and not get bogged down, for we must proceed beyond head knowledge or agreement, alone, and move on to the question of, in what or in whom one places one's faith.

John 3:1-21
There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
2  The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
3  Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4  Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
5  Jesus answered,
Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
8  The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
9  Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
10  Jesus answered and said unto him,
Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
11  Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
12  If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
13  And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
14  And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
15  That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20  For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21  But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

God has challenged us to put all our faith in Him, His Christ, and His plan of salvation. As Jesus points out in John 3, IF we fail to do so on His terms, then, He has informed and forewarned us, simply and honestly, that it is our own love of sin that separates us from repenting and receiving His plan of salvation in His Christ/Messiah.

John 14:1-11
 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
2  In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.    
4  And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
5  Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
7  If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
8  Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
9  Jesus saith unto him,
Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
10  Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
11  Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.

God makes it abundantly clear that there is no other way to get to Him or to receive His salvation, and that this salvation is and always was the same for all people, to "whosoever will" accept and receive what God offers to us.

Isaiah 9:6-7
6  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
7  Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

As my pastor pointed out, recently, the above prophetic passage in Isaiah shows the WHOLE nature of Jesus Christ, from eternity past to eternity future, including Messiah's birth, life, eventual governmental rule over all the world, and His everlasting role as "The mighty God". So, is there more than one god competing for supremacy?... or, is there is only One True God, as the Bible claims? The Bible is very clear that there is only One True God, whose physical embodiment is Jesus Christ, AND that He is from eternity past and to eternity future, always the same Word, Creator, mighty God, and everlasting Father, wholly pure, righteous; the Lamb of God and Creator in One.

Hebrews 13:8
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

I had to ask the visitors at my door what they were 'selling' and to identify their cult. Once they told me their Watchtower/JW purpose for being there, I did not let them in (as we're warned in 2 John 1:10), for their doctrine is anti-Christ, but, I spoke to them outside. They tried to get me to discuss any fears I might have of worldly troubles and play me through what they assumed would be my ignorance of God's Word. They wanted to talk about almost anything other than the Godhood of Jesus Christ, but, I stuck to God's Word and the Deity of Jesus. I kept rehearsing for them what the Bible says in the above passages, until we parted company. See, the real problem of the cults is that they do not and will not accept that Jesus Christ is the One True God, "The Mighty God, the everlasting Father", even as the Bible, literally, says He is.

Instead of accepting the God-hood of Jesus, the cult followers kept sidetracking, allegorizing, and minimizing every Bible reference wherein God's Word equates Jesus Christ with God (such as John 1). Their denials do, however, destroy the fact that the Bible is filled with great and wonderful promises about God's Messiah and God being One God.

Though that cult claims that Jesus Christ is both a created being (which is contrary to John 1) and a savior, yet, throughout the Bible, God clearly condemns any human attempt to establish anything or anyone in any sort of pantheon of gods or as another savior. God is One, just as the compilation of all of an egg's parts are required in order for us to say that we are holding a complete egg.

Another way of looking at the unity and simplicity of God, including His Christ and His Holy Spirit, is to consider who we are as individuals. We are the individuals that occupy the body in which we live. To our parents, we are children. To our children, we are parents. To our employers, we are employees. To our friends, we are friends. To our neighbors, we are neighbors. To those from whom we buy stuff, we are customers. To those to whom we might sell things, we are vendors. To our pets or livestock, we are owners and masters. We known, personally, for having all sorts of attributes and abilities, in a host of roles in our lives. HOWEVER, we are still the same individual person, both because of and despite all of those things about us and no matter what people call us. We are, yet, the same individual person, even if there are secret things about us that no one knows or things about us which no one wishes to admit.

Thinking about the egg and our own individuality, and comparing those things against the way that God describes Himself, we are left to conclude, that, even with the amazing variety of things said about God, He is still, co-equally, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. While different jobs and relationships are performed by His different aspects or personalities, yet, in and through those three equal components, all of His nature and all of His attributes are manifested to give us the whole picture of God.

In a slight aside, that is, yet, related to the deity of Christ, that cult is notorious for saying that God's Holy Spirit is NOT a person of the Godhead, but some ephemeral electricity-like motivating force. However, Jesus called His Holy Spirit "he" and "him" numerous times in John 14:15-17, and elsewhere:

John 14:15-17
15  If ye love me, keep my commandments.
16  And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.    

Most of people neglect to read God's Word, to accept it, or to follow and obey it. Jesus made the following points to illustrate how few people would choose Him and His salvation:

Matthew 7:12-29 (KJV) 12  Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
13  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16  Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20  Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
24  Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26  And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
28  And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:
29  For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

As always, God gave us the options and the free will. Will YOU choose  God's Simple Plan of Salvation

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