Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Response to J. Evans 10 Reasons Why Jesus is not God

I was presented a video by a Muslim friend of a Islamic show, seeking to disprove Christianity and exalt Islam. The video was a 48 min. presentation of the “The Deen Show”, interviewing a former Christian youth pastor, Josh Evans, who has converted to Islam. This former Christian presents 10 reasons why Jesus Christ is not God.

At the outset, I’d like to make a point about Evans presentation. There is one major premise that shifts the burden of proof somewhat in his favor. This premise is that he uses as his basis of authority is the Quran, to disprove the Bible and show the passages in the Quran are right. That is the same argument Christians are accused of, “You assume the Bible is right, and then say it proves itself. That begs the question.” Evans is saying, “The Quran says the Bible is wrong, and so here is how the Bible is wrong, based on the Quran.” That is a fallacious argument, and not good logic. (Neither did Mr. Evans show good logic throughout his entire presentation, but I’m not going to engage in ad hominem arguments.) You can make that same argument about every other religion, using any other religious text you chose. “Today, Mr. Evans is going to give 10 Reasons how Muhammed Cannot be a prophet based on the teachings of the Bhagavad-Gita.”

In order for this to be legitimate, Mr. Evans has to show how the legitimacy of the Qur’an is greater than that of the Bible, which is some parts, were composed 1000’s of years prior to the Qur’an, and at the latest, 600 years. Mr. Evans does not do this, so his presentation from the outset is illegitimate.

Okay, now to his ten reasons and my response:

Ten Reasons Jesus cannot be God:

10. God cannot be born. Mr. Evans states the Biblical truth that God has been self-existent without beginning for all eternity. This is agrees with the Bible, which is in question here, but Islam takes from the teachings of the Bible (and since Islam came later, 600 A.D., all points where they “agree” is taken, or lifted, from the Biblical religion.)

But the issue here is not really Christianity is wrong because Jesus could not be born if he claims to be God. It seems Evans equivocates on his points, stating that “God is Almighty,” but “he cannot be born.” If the LORD, in His power and wisdom, and concern for the erring human race, wanted to enter humanity, as a creature, what is to stop Him from doing this. The Bible says “Nothing is too hard for the Lord” (Gen. 18:14) and "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." (Matt. 19:26).

Mr. Evans misunderstands and misrepresents the character of the Trinity, the Christian God, and so he repeatedly makes erroneous charges against Christianity and Jesus Christ. In His plan, God predetermined all things necessary before the foundation of the earth, for bringing about a “people of his own, eager for good works.”(Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 2:9; Eph. 2:10).

Revelation 13:8 8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast-- all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. {8 Or written from the creation of the world in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain}

So we see from this verse, in the end times book given to the apostle John, that Jesus was chosen according to the will of God the Father, to die for the sins of the elect before earth was created.

God had a plan in His mind for the entire process of salvation, of reconciling a fallen sinful world to Himself. This is a major point on which Judaism and Chrisitianity differ from Islam. The Bible teaches that the first man and his wife disobeyed God in the garden of Eden, when the serpent tempted Eve. She looked at the fruit, saw it was good for food, pleasing to the eye, and good for making one wise she ate the fruit, and her husband also (Genesis 3:1-7). This point of teaching makes Christianity and Judaism different from all other religions on the planet. Islam does not see man as being inherently sinful. But this is precisely what the Bible teaches. Therefore, in Islam, like all other world religions, man can earn or achieve his own salvation, and does not need a Savior. The Bible teaches that because we are all inherently sinful from birth, there is nothing that we can do to earn our own salvation.

Romans 5:12 12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned—

Isaiah 64:6 6 All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

Ecclesiastes 7:20 20 There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins.

Romans 6:23 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

2 Corinthians 5:21 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin {21 Or be a sin offering} for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

The apostle James tells us that if we have broken one commandment, we have broken the entire law (James 2:10). The law was a revelation of God’s righteous character. So because we are all sinful (Rom 3:23), and have broken God’s law, we need a redeemer, a propitiation (atoning sacrifice) to satisfy God’s holy wrath. This is why Jesus became a man and came to earth.

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 3:25 25 God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, {25 or as the one who would turn aside his wrath, taking away sin} through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished--

In Islam, you observe the 5 rituals (charity, fasting, alms, etc.) and say the shahada. In Christianity, there is absolutely nothing you can do to satisfy God’s holy anger against your sins which have offended his holiness (especially killing innocents, which Muslims are fond of). The one thing you may do is seek His mercy through His word and praying that He will save you. The Bible teaches that only the elect, those chosen before the foundation of the world, will be saved.

Ephesians 1:4-7 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace

Leviticus 17:11 11 'For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.'

Only a human could pay for the sins of humans. But only God could pay for all those being saved, since He , as God, is of infinite worth, and He lived a sinless life on earth. For this reason, Jesus (Yeshua/Joshua~“God saves”) had to identify with us by becoming a man.

Hebrews 10:12 12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD, [all caps is a citation from the Old Testament]

9. No verses say that Jesus is God…

“God wasn’t explicit who the Messiah would be”

“We believe John 1:1 – that Jesus was the word of God, we believe that”

To understand the New Testament teaching, this requires a study of the verses, and a knowledge on the use of Jewish titles.

First, we have the demons recognition and proclamation about Jesus:

Luke 8:28 28 Seeing Jesus, he cried out and fell before Him, and said in a loud voice, "What business do we have with each other, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me." (also Mark 5:7)

Mark 1:24-25 24 saying, "What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are-- the Holy One of God!" 25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be quiet, and come out of him!"

Luke 4:34-35 34 "Let us alone! What business do we have with each other, Jesus 2of Nazareth? HaveYou come to destroy us? I know who You are-- the Holy One of God!" 35 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be quiet and come out of him!" And when the demon had thrown him down in the midst of the people, he came out of him without doing him any harm.

Acts 16:16-17 16 It happened that as we were going to the place of prayer, a slave-girl having a spirit of divination met us, who was bringing her masters much profit by fortune-telling. 17 Following after Paul and us, she kept crying out, saying, "These men are bond-servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation."

Acts 19:15-16 15 And the evil spirit answered and said to them, "I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?" 16 And the man, in whom was the evil spirit, leaped on them and subdued all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

Okay, now why would Jesus and the disciples tell the demons to be quiet? Because Jesus didn’t want the people consulting demons or demonic forces to lead them to a right relationship with God. He wants all people to come through Him to the Father. “I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father except through Me.” (Jn 14:6).

Next, we have the proclamation of John the Baptist.

John 1:26-27, 29 26 John answered them saying, "I baptize in water, but among you stands One whom you do not know. 27 "It is He who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie."… 29 The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

Caiaphas, the night before his crucifixion, on Passover weekend, questioned Jesus if He were the Son of the Most High, the expected deliverer of Israel.

Matthew 26:63-65 63 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, "I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God." 64 Jesus said to him, "You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN." 65 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, "He has blasphemed! What further need do we have of witnesses? Behold, you have now heard the blasphemy;

Because the Jews were looking for a Messiah who woiuld deliver them politically from the hands of the oppressive Roman empire, and give them the literal rule of the kingdoms of earth, Jesus did not want to declare himself out and out as the Messiah, knowing that this would draw the wrong types of people, and create a misunderstanding as to the true nature of His first purpose in coming down, to destroy the works of the evil one, Satan, through His work on the cross.

1 John 3:8 8 the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.

This is why Jesus chose to use a different Messianic title, “the Son of Man.” Of course, it was not a title used exclusively of Christ, as Evans points out, but in the Jewish mind, with their background in the Tanach (Old Testament/Covenant), they though primarily of Daniel ch. 7 where the everlasting dominion and power is given to one like a ‘son of man’ (looks like a human) who approaches the ancient of days.

12 As for the rest of the beasts, their authority to rule was removed, but an extension of life was granted to them for a certain period of time. 13 I continued watching in the night visions, and I saw One like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was escorted before Him. 14 He was given authority to rule, and glory, and a kingdom; so that those of every people, nation, and language should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and His kingdom is one that will not be destroyed.   Dan 7:12-14 (HCSB)

THIS was the passage primarily that Jesus referred to in calling himself the Son of Man. It was to THIS Son of Man Jesus referred to. It’s interesting isn’t it, with all the conflict in the Middle East today, from which out of the Lord called Abraham (Genesis 11:31), that the prophet Daniel lived in Iraq when he had these dreams/visions about the end times?

So as to verses in the Bible that say “Jesus Christ is to be the Messiah,” there are none of those. But there are many prophetic scriptures given to recognize the Messiah. I’m leading a group through Genesis right now, and it’s interesting the genealogical line through which the Messiah comes, which continues to narrow down through Biblical history. It starts with Adam and Eve’s children. God makes a promise to Eve, that a “seed” (descendent) of hers will crush the head of the serpent (Satan) Gen. 3:15: “He will strike your head, you will strike his heel.” Cain kills his righteous brother Abel, so the Lord gives Eve another son to replace Abel, named Seth. The line goes through Seth. Noah was a great grandson of Seth, and the earth was greatly wicked, so the Lord judged the earth with the flood and all the families of the earth, except the family of Noah, of the lineage of Seth, were destroyed. After the flood, Noah gets drunk on some wine, and his son Ham mocks him. So Ham is cursed, Shem is blessed with the Messianic/spiritual blessings, and Japeth is blessed to extend through the earth (Gen. 9:24-27). I am descended from Japeth, as are most from Turkey north into Europe and Russia. You might be interested to study that and find out who your great forefather was, which of the three sons of Noah.

But the messianic promises narrow further to Abraham, in Genesis ch. 12, of the line of Shem, father of the Semitic peoples. The promises pass on to Isaac, not Ishamel, who was firstborn, and on which Muslims and Jews and Christians differ. But throughout the Old Testament, the younger is chosen over the older, to show that it is of God and not of man. God will not share His glory. I could go one with Messianic promises, but will give three here, that would be impossible to fulfill within three people.

1. 15 “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him. Deut 18:15 (HCSB)

· I know Muslims claim this as Muhammed. But Muhammed was not of the Jews, and the usage of the term ‘brothers’ does not have the capability to refer to Arabs, though many were descended also from Shem. They were not ‘brothers,’ but cousins. Jesus fulfilled this prophecy, in that He taught and observed the Torah of God in exact concordance as it was given to Moses. Muhammed did not do this. In John 6, John records a time where Jesus miraculously fed five thousand men, with wives and children, so the total number was more probably at least 12,000 people.

· John 6:13-14 13 So they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten. 14 Therefore when the people saw the sign which He had performed, they said, "This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world."

2. Isaiah 7:14 14 "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.

· We know that Jesus was born of Mary, who was a virgin until after Jesus’ birth. Immanuel means “God is with us.” A prophecy of the incarnation of Jesus, God the Son.

3. 2 Bethlehem Ephrathah, you are small among the clans of Judah; One will come from you to be ruler over Israel for Me. His origin is from antiquity, from eternity. Micah 5:2 (HCSB)

· Muhammed was not born in Israel, nor Bethlehem. And certainly Muhammed would not claim to have existed from eternity. Jesus filled this prophecy, as his earthly father, Joseph was of the lineage of King David, and David’s birthplace was Bethlehem. So at the census of the Jews, Joseph and Mary returned to Bethlehem, where the pregnant virgin gave birth to the Messiah, fulfilling the prophecy (Luke 2:1-7). And as the prophet declared that this ‘ruler’s’ origin is from eternity, we see another evidence for the divinity of Jesus. The statistical probabilities of all these prophecies being met in Jesus is so large to be astrological! You’ve got a better chance at winning the lottery every year for the rest of your life!

8. No man has seen God- therefore if Jesus is God, this would be a false statement

This is referring to God the Father, who still exists in His infinite form. And as finite creatures, even the redeemed people in heaven, bought by Christ’s shed blood, will never be able to see all of God, in His infinitude.

Again, here Josh is rejecting the Biblical teaching of the Trinity, and then saying that this teaching is wrong. That is a faulty logical assumption. If Jesus is who He claims to be in the Bible, the second person of the infinite, eternal God-head, who was born as a human baby, then of course He has seen or would be able to have seen God.

Matthew 19:26 26 And looking at them Jesus said to them, "With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

7. This concept was not taught by Jesus nor his disciples.

Mr. Evans stated that the first Christians still considered themselves as part of Judaism. For the first three to five years, the Christian church was all Jews. And they rightly saw Christianity as the fulfillment of Biblical Judaism.

Mr. Evans stated how the Qumran community were not followers of Yeshua/Jesus. These never were. This community was always an apocalyptic type community living atop Qumran, copying the scrolls of the Bible. But they never at any point followed the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. This is no way invalidates the Christian teaching.

Mr.. Evans said that Christian worship and beliefs were concocted in 325 A.D. This flies in the face of tons of historical literature from pre 325 A.D. There are writings from many ancient church fathers, much of which can be read online, that were from the generation or two following the life of Christ and his apostels. Polycarp was a disciple of John, and much is known about his life. http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/martyrdompolycarp.html

Even a simple reading of the book Paul wrote to the Galatian believers (in Turkey) will show this false, and it was written sometime between 40-65 A.D. All of the apostles except John were martyred, and the apostle John died in the city of Ephesus in the mid 90s A.D.

The entire teaching of the divinity of Christ, the Trinity and Christians, etc. is and was in the New Testament, which was completely by 90 A.D. with the book of revelation given to the apostle John, concerning the end-times, and Yahweh’s judgment on evil and the restoration of all things.

Evans said that Jesus never taught the Trinity. This is like the homosexuals who say “Jesus never tuahgt against homosexuality, so he was okay with it.” Both arguments are complete nonsense. There are lots of parts of the Old Testament that it is not recorded as Jesus having spoke to. But Jesus did believe and teach that the Old Testament revelation the Jews had was the truth, and said so. John 17:17 17 "Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.” Jesus completely affirmed all scripture revelation that had been given to the make up the Tanakh, and told the apostles that after he was taken from the earth, he would give more teachings to them through the Holy Spirit who would illuminate their minds and inspire them.

John 16:12-15 12 "I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. 14 "He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. 15 "All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.

The Biblical teaching on the Trinity is difficult for us to understand, but it was believed by most of the early church. What happened in 325 A.D. at the Nicean council was the church was formulating an agreed upon creed for the belief in the God-hood of three persons as One God. This was done in response to cults which were distorting Christian doctrines.

Evans said Bible scholars have removed 1 John 5:7 from the New Testament. I’m not sure where he gets his information. In my bible, it says: 1 John 5:7-8 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. Evans says this in his argument against the Trinity, trying to dismiss the Trinity, but this verse taken in context is not a reference to the Trinity, but rather speaking a three-fold testimony to the witness about Jesus’ Messianic work on the cross.

2 Corinthians 13:14 14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.

Romans 1:4 4 who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,

These are two verses that mention the three persons of the God-head together. For a look on the teachings of the three persons of the God-head, you can look at http://www.sbc.net/bfm/bfm2000.asp which gives a thorough listing of the Biblical passages on each person of the Trinity under the main heading of God.

6. Jesus slept, ate, drank… God is self-sufficient

The remark that God is self-sufficient and does not experience weakness as His divine self is completely true. The fact that Jesus ate, slept and drank is a testimony to his full humanity, which is part of the wonder of the incarnation, that God became human to become the atoning sacrifice for our sins, as the Passover lamb. The miracle of the incarnation is that the infinite God became a human being to completely identify with us as created beings, and be able to take our punishment for sins upon Himself.

Philippians 2:5-8 5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Hebrews 2:17 17 For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for {17 Or and that he might turn aside God's wrath, taking away} the sins of the people.

5. Jesus claimed that God’s knowledge was greater than His.

Again, this is part of the wonder of the Incarnation of Messiah. As we saw, his goings forth were from eternity, as stated by the prophet Micah (5:2) and as Isaiah says, He is the “father of eternal life” (Isah. 9:6).

Isaiah 9:6 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, {6 Or Wonderful, Counselor} Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Though he was prophesied to be a human/divine deliverer by the prophets of old, in his humanity, we see he emptied Himself, temporarily, of some of His divine attributes, while in His human life before the crucifixion. Phil 2:7-8 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Evans cited Mt. 24 where Jesus stated He did not know the day nor hour of the final judgment. This is to his disciples while on earth, before His reascension to glory. Of course He knows the day and hour now, and as the world leaders work on a global currency and imposition of rule predicted long ago by the prophet Daniel, for the last earthly kingdom, Jesus eagerly anticipates His soon coming for His church (where I and my family are going to be taken), but He also knows the near time of His parousia or Second-coming where He will reign for 1000 years as Lord of all (in contradiction to the teachings of Islam).

Evans cited John 14:28, “The Father is greater than I.” Of course, in Christ’s human state, and in the role of “Son”, where Jesus voluntarily submits Himself to the will of God the Father, He submits Himself to God the Father, and confesses that the Father is greater than Himself. Though in His being, Jesus is equal to God the Father and God the Holy Spirit in every way. A study of the verses listed in the Baptist Faith and Message, cited above, will detail this.

Evans says that “the concept of Trinity cannot be understood…” and therefore concludes that it must be wrong. As finite beings, humans will never be able to fully grasp God the Creator, who is infinite in being. But this is no way renders the Biblical teachings wrong, in fact more so proves the truth of the matter. For if humans cannot understand the teaching of the Trinity, how could humans invent a concept like this? Would it not be impossible to invent something you could not understand or conceive of?

4. Jesus explicitly states that He is Not God.

This is precisely what Jesus taught and claimed. But to come right out directly and claim this, would not have served Jesus’ purpose for His first coming (advent) to the earth, as the Jews were looking for an earthly, political deliverer, and God’s plans went so far beyond that, to pay the price for human sins, and reconcile men to Himself once that is done, through grace, evidenced by faith in those who have received the gift of salvation.

The Bible also teaches that those who truly believe, never depart from the faith. 1 John 2:19 19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us. Mr. Evans, though he at one point functioned as a youth pastor, it does not mean he knew Christ as His personal Lord and Savior. The fact that he left the faith for Islam indicates by divine revelation, that he never did know Christ. “This is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” Jn. 17:3. In this verse, Jesus, siginifies that eternal life is a relationship where the person knows God in an intimate way. This is achieved by having the shed blood of Jesus applied to our lives, so that we can have all our sins forgiven, that the righteousness of Chirst might be applied to our lives.

Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.

2 Corinthians 5:21 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin {21 Or be a sin offering} for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

And now for the BIG THREE!

3. “Son of God” not exclusive title to Jesus Christ

This is indeed true, but that a title is applied to other persons in no way invalidates a title of its intended meaning. Son of God was indeed applied to other peoples in the O.T., as was the title ‘gods.’ God was applied to the judges of Israel during the time recorded in the book of Judges, where Israel had no king or prophets, but was presided over by Judges, who were to help keep rule over the tribes of Israel. The Lord told Moses that he was to be as God to the Jews as he went forth to bring them out of slavery in the land of Egypt.

In Satan’s temptation of Jesus, Satan addresses Him: Matthew 4:6-7 6 "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: "'He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'" {6 Psalm 91:11,12} 7 Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'"

- so essentially, Satan, when he tempted Christ, addressing Him as the Son of God, dares Him to throw Himself off a temple to prove it, and have God the Father save him. It seems that Satan has an understanding of the Trinity.

Ali, we have already seen what the demons thought of Jesus, and how they responded to Him. Let’s look at another passage that also shows Jesus’ power over nature.

Matthew 8:24-32 24 Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!" 26 He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. 27 The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!" 28 When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, {28 Some manuscripts Gergesenes; others Gerasenes} two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. 29 "What do you want with us, Son of God?" they shouted. "Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?" 30 Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding. 31 The demons begged Jesus, "If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs." 32 He said to them, "Go!" So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water.

2. Evans cited Malachi 3:6, “I the LORD do not change”

The full verse states Malachi 3:6 6 "I the LORD do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.

Taken in context of what the prophet was stating here, the LORD (Yahweh), tells the people of Israel that He does not destroy them for their disobedience because of His covenantal promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God does not change. It means that Yahweh is faithful and true to His promises. God knows the end from before the beginning of creation. He is eternal, and He knows the outcome of the end before the beginning because He is there.

We have seen that in His Incarnation, Jesus emptied Himself of some of His divine attributes, because “He did not consider equality with God a thing to be grasped. Phil. 2:6.” And of course, identifying with humans in every way, by becoming human, God would naturally and freely subject Himself to hunger, tiredness, sleep, etc. To not have these traits is to not be human. But I also wonder if these are “weaknesses,” in that, these are not results of the curse of sin, but God created humans to function and live in this way. In fact, without hunger, we would not know our bodies needed replenishment. And without eating, we would not enjoy great meals that taste really good, that are made from the beauty and bounty of God’s good creation.

1. God is the Essence of Worship – Had Jesus been God, He Would Have Told People to Worship Him.”

The gospels in the New Testament reveal that this was not Jesus’ purpose, to outright declare His divinity. If this had been done, all people would have fallen and worshipped Jesus. In fact, some of the apostles were worshipped for miraculous healings they were performing. But they tore their clothes and told them not to, but to worship the true God, which was Jesus.

Acts 14:11, 14-15 11 When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they raised their voice, saying in the Lycaonian language, "The gods have become like men and have come down to us." 14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their robes and rushed out into the crowd, crying out 15 and saying, "Men, why are you doing these things? We are also amen of the same nature as you, and preach the gospel to you that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, WHO MADE THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH AND THE SEA AND ALL THAT IS IN THEM.

Jesus wanted people to respond to Him in faith, not because they had to. God wants a heart of faith, that is humble, gentle and kind.

Isaiah 57:15 15 For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, "I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit In order to revive the spirit of the lowly And to revive the heart of the contrite.

But we do see instances where Jesus is given worship by orthodox Jews, and their worship is not refused.

Luke 5:4-9 4 When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, "Put out into the deep water and alet down your nets for a catch." 5 Simon answered and said, "Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but 1I will do as You say and let down the nets." 6 When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break; 7 so they signaled to their partners in the other boat for them to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 But when Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus' feet, saying, "Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!" 9 For amazement had seized him and all his companions because of the catch of fish which they had taken;

Mark 8:27-31 27 Jesus went out, along with His disciples, to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way He questioned His disciples, saying to them, "Who do people say that I am?" 28 They told Him, saying, "John the Baptist; and others say Elijah; but others, one of the prophets." 29 And He continued by questioning them, " But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered and said to Him, "You are the Christ." 30 And He warned them to tell no one about Him. 31 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.

Matthew 21:1-11 When they had approached Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, "Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied there and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to Me. 3 "If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, 'The Lord has need of them,' and immediately he will send them." 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: 5 "SAY TO THE DAUGHTER OF ZION, 'BEHOLD YOUR KING IS COMING TO YOU, GENTLE, AND MOUNTED ON A DONKEY, EVEN ON A COLT, THE FOAL OF A BEAST OF BURDEN.'" 6 The disciples went and did just as Jesus had instructed them, 7 and brought the donkey and the colt, and laid their coats on them; and He sat on the coats. 8 Most of the crowd spread their coats in the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in the road. 9 The crowds going ahead of Him, and those who followed, were shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David; BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Hosanna in the highest!" 10 When He had entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, "Who is this?" 11 And the crowds were saying, "This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee."

· Here, we see Jesus is rightly worshipped as the Messiah, and clearly he thought himself a King, by entering on a donkey, as was the tradition of Jewish kings.

John 20:24-29 24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples were saying to him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe." 26 After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, "Peace be with you." 27 Then He said to Thomas, "Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing." 28 Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!" 29 Jesus said to him, "Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed."

I have countered every point that Mr. Evans gave as to why Jesus is not God. And as I have shown that the Bible does indeed teach that Jesus Christ is God Almighty in human flesh, you are presented with a choice. You must either believe and confess Jesus Christ as the living Son of God, or reject this gospel, this good news that God has made a way for you to be forgiven of your sins through the death and resurrection of His Son, who was prophesied and foretold by the Jewish prophets.

1 John 5:9-12 9 If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater; for the testimony of God is this, that He has testified concerning His Son. 10 The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son. 11 And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.