Monday, 28 January 2019

My Response to a Muslim’s Misuse of Acts 2:22



In this blog post Muslim polemicist Paul Bilal Williams cites the following text to undermine the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ:
“The apostle Peter, who tradition claims was the source for the stories in Mark’s gospel, reportedly told the world the following about Jesus and the actual source of his miraculous power:
‘Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.’
“Not God. Not the Second Person of the Trinity. Not God incarnate. Not God the Son.
A man.
Time to once again refute William’s blatant distortion of Peter’s Spirit-filled proclamation of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus.
In the first place, which Christian denies that Jesus is a man? It is part and parcel of Christian theology to affirm that Jesus is a human being whom God [the Father] worked in and through:
“To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:19
“If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.” John 10:37-38
“If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 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, Show us the Father? 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. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.” John 14:7-11 
So we agree that Jesus is a man, but much more than that as we are about to demonstrate.
Second, this same Peter went on to preach that Jesus was put to death on the cross and then rose again since it was impossible for him to remain dead:
“Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.” Acts 2:22-24
The apostle even claimed that Christ’s death and subsequent resurrection were foreseen and prophesied by the prophet David:
“Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, NEITHER HIS FLESH DID SEE CORRUPTION. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.” Acts 2:29-32
Since Islam denies all these facts this means that Muhammad stands condemned as a false prophet by the inspired message of both David and Peter, emissaries whom the Quran mistakenly claims were Muslims (cf. Q. 3:52; 5:111; 6:83-90).
Third, Peter also taught that Christ ascended to the right hand of God from which he then poured out the Holy Spirit upon his followers. He then went on to exhort the Jews to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ in order to receive forgiveness and the gift of the Holy Spirit:
“‘Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, HE POURED OUT this which you now see and hear… Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?’ Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.’” Acts 2:33, 37-39 New King James Version (NKJV)
What makes this rather remarkable is that earlier in the same chapter the blessed Apostle cited the prophecy in Joel to explain the disciples’ miraculous ability to speak in various tongues by the power of the Holy Spirit whom Jesus had poured out upon them:
“But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I WILL POUR OUT OF MY SPIRIT upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I WILL POUR OUT IN THOSE DAYS OF MY SPIRIT; and they shall prophesy: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call ON THE NAME OF THE LORD shall be saved.” Acts 2:16-21
According to Joel, it is God who pours out his Spirit upon all flesh and it is his name which a person must call on, must confess, in order to be saved. And yet Peter stated it is Jesus who actually poured out the Holy Spirit upon believers, and even went as far as to exhort people to confess and call upon Jesus' name for salvation!
Nor is this the only place where Peter emphasized this point:
“And HIS NAME through faith IN HIS NAME hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.” Acts 3:16
“And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes, And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel,that by THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST OF NAZARETH, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: FOR THERE IS NONE OTHER NAME UNDER HEAVEN given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:5-12
All of this shows that Peter has basically ascribed to the Lord Jesus the very functions which the prophet Joel attributes to Yahweh!
Now the only way that the Apostle could attribute the unique roles and deeds of Yahweh to the Lord Jesus is if Peter believed that Christ was not just a mere man, but was actually God who became man for the salvation of God’s people!
Finally, Peter quotes Psalm 110:1 to show that not only did David foresee the resurrection of the Messiah, he also worshiped Christ as his Lord!
“For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Acts 2:34-36
To sit enthroned at God’s right hand means that Christ is now ruling from God’s heavenly throne as Lord over the entire creation since this is the place from where God reigns:
“The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.” Psalm 103:19
Suffice it to say, this is also in direct conflict with the Quran which expressly denies that Allah would allow anyone to worship prophets as their lords:
It is not (possible) for any human being unto whom Allah had given the Scripture and wisdom and the prophethood that he should afterwards have said unto mankind: Be slaves of me instead of Allah; but (what he said was): Be ye faithful servants of the Lord by virtue of your constant teaching of the Scripture and of your constant study thereof.And he commanded you not that ye should take the angels and the prophets for lords. Would he command you to disbelieve after ye had surrendered (to Allah)? S. 3:79-80 Pickthall
The Quran further denies that Allah shares his rule over creation with anyone:
And say: Praise be to Allah, Who hath not taken unto Himself a son, and Who hath no partner in the Sovereignty, nor hath He any protecting friend through dependence. And magnify Him with all magnificence. S. 17:111 Pickthall
This again ends up condemning Muhammad as a false prophet for contradicting the inspired testimony of David and Peter who both worshiped Jesus as the risen and exalted Lord.
Now I assume that Williams will try to use Acts 2:36 to prove that Jesus can’t be God since the text says he was made both Lord and Christ at his resurrection. Lord Jesus willing, I will therefore respond to this potential objection in my next post.
Unless noted otherwise, all scriptural quotations taken from the Authorized King James Version (AV) of the Holy Bible.

Related Materials


IHS

Do We Need A Mediator According To Jesus?



Muslim polemicist Paul Bilal Williams is at it once again, twisting the God-breathed Scriptures in order to force them to fit in with his Islamic beliefs and presuppositions. In one of his blog articles, he asks Christians a series of questions concerning the Gospel which the Lord preached throughout the canonical Gospels. He then proceeds to answer his own questions by perverting specific texts out of their immediate and over all contexts so as to give the misleading impression that Jesus did not proclaim the same message which Christians preach, but actually taught something similar to Islam.
We have already dealt with the biblical citations which Williams’ quotes, having provided a thorough refutation to his distortion of all of these passages, which can be found in our rebuttal section devoted to him.
In this response we want to address an answer he gave to a specific question in order to show how this will end up backfiring against him by proving that Jesus is in fact God Incarnate.
Williams asks:
iv) do we need a mediator between us and God? 
And then answers:
According to Jesus in Luke, No.
Williams goes on to cite Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son found in Luke 15:11-32 to prove his case:
“There was a man who had two sons.  The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
“Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need.  So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’  So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
“Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing.  So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
“The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
“‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

RESPONSE:
It is rather unfortunate that Williams doesn’t see how his argument ends up proving that Jesus is God. After all, the father in the parable doesn’t represent God the Father, but Jesus Christ the Son!
This becomes evident when we examine the immediate context:
Now all the tax collectors and the sinners were coming near Him to listen to Him. Both the Pharisees and the scribes began to grumble, saying, ‘This man receives sinners and eats with them. So He told them this parable, saying, ‘What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!” I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. ‘Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, “Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!” In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.’” Luke 15:1-10
As the context shows, the purpose of the parables is to explain the reason why Jesus chooses to fellowship and dine with the outcast and the marginalized, those whom the religious elite deemed unfit and unworthy to associate with.
As such, the shepherd who found his lost sheep, the woman who found her lost coin, and the father who ran to embrace his lost son, are all supposed to be Christ since he is the One who has come to seek and save those who are lost, just as the following passages illustrate: 
“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11
“He entered Jericho and was passing through. And there was a man called by the name of Zaccheus; he was a chief tax collector and he was rich. Zaccheus was trying to see who Jesus was, and was unable because of the crowd, for he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way. When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him,‘Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.’ And he hurried and came down and received Him gladly. When they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, ‘He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.’ Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.’” Luke 19:1-10
In this passage Jesus claims to do what the OT says Yahweh does, namely, seek after the lost sheep in order to bring them back to his fold:
“For thus says the Lord God, ‘Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. As a shepherd cares for his herd in the day when he is among his scattered sheep, so I will care for My sheep and will deliver them from all the places to which they were scattered on a cloudy and gloomy day. I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries and bring them to their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the streams, and in all the inhabited places of the land. I will feed them in a good pasture, and their grazing ground will be on the mountain heights of Israel. There they will lie down on good grazing ground and feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I will feed My flock and I will lead them to rest,’ declares the Lord God. I will seek the lost, bring back the scattered, bind up the broken and strengthen the sick; but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with judgment.’” Ezekiel 34:11-16
This brings me to my second point. Luke identifies John the Baptist as the herald whom the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 40:3-5 said would be sent to prepare the people for the coming of Yahweh God:
“Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip was tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene, in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness. And he came into all the district around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins; as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness, “Make ready the way of the Lord, Make His paths straight. Every ravine will be filled, And every mountain and hill will be brought low; The crooked will become straight, And the rough roads smooth;And all flesh will see the salvation of God.”’ So he began saying to the crowds who were going out to be baptized by him, ‘You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits in keeping with repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father,’ for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham. Indeed the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; so every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.’” Luke 3:1-9
John’s father made the same proclamation upon the Baptist’s birth:
“And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying… ‘And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; For you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways; To give to His people the knowledge of salvation By the forgiveness of their sins, Because of the tender mercy of our God, With which the Sunrise from on high will visit us, To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace.” Luke 1:67, 76-79
Jesus himself claimed that the Baptist was the messenger that the prophet Malachi announced would go before the Lord who would then appear in his very own temple:
“When the messengers of John had left, He began to speak to the crowds about John, ‘What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? But what did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Those who are splendidly clothed and live in luxury are found in royal palaces! But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and one who is more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written, “Behold, I send My messenger ahead of You, Who will prepare Your way before You.” I say to you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.’” Luke 7:24-28
Here is that particular prophecy in question:
“‘Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,’ says the Lord of hosts.” Malachi 3:1
To say that this is rather significant would be a wild understatement since Luke clearly affirms that John was sent ahead of Christ in order to prepare for his coming!
“Paul said, ‘John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.’” Acts 19:4
John’s Gospel concurs:
“The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He on behalf of whom I said, “After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.” I did not recognize Him, but so that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water.’ John testified saying, ‘I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, “He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.” I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.’ Again the next day John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as He walked, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God!’” John 1:29-36 – cf. 1:6-10, 14-15, 19-28; Mark 1:1-8; Matthew 3:1-15
Thus, since Jesus is the One whom the Baptist came to pave the way for, this means he is the Yahweh God whose glory all flesh would see according to Isaiah 40:3-5, and the very Lord whom the prophet Malachi said is coming to his temple. 
There’s more to the story. Jesus, according to Luke, possesses the power to forgive sins, heal all diseases, and know what people are thinking within themselves,
“One day He was teaching; and there were some Pharisees and teachers of the law sittingthere, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem; and the power of the Lord was present for Him to perform healing. And some men were carrying on a bed a man who was paralyzed; and they were trying to bring him in and to set him down in front of Him. But not finding any way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down through the tiles with his stretcher, into the middle of the crowd, in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith, He said, ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven you.’ The scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, ‘Who is this man who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone? But Jesus, aware of their reasonings, answered and said to them, ‘Why are you reasoning in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, “Your sins have been forgiven you,” or to say, ‘Get up and walk”? But, so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,’—He said to the paralytic—‘I say to you, get up, and pick up your stretcher and go home.’ Immediately he got up before them, and picked up what he had been lying on, and went home glorifying God. They were all struck with astonishment andbegan glorifying God; and they were filled with fear, saying, ‘We have seen remarkable things today.’” Luke 5:17-26
And:
“And there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume, and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume… Turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, ‘Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet. You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume. For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.’ Then He said to her, ‘Your sins have been forgiven.’ Those who were reclining at the table with Him began to say to themselves, ‘Who is this man who even forgives sins? And He said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’” Luke 7:37-38, 44-50
Notice how in this particular text Jesus forgives a woman who wouldn’t stop kissing his feet, an act which would surely be idolatrous if Christ wasn’t God Incarnate. At the very least if Jesus wasn’t God then we would have expected him to censure her for showing him such adoration, telling her instead to render all such acts of love and devotion to God alone.
Christ further instructed his disciples to go throughout the world proclaiming to all the nations that salvation and forgiveness of sins comes through his name:
“Now He said to them, ‘These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.’ And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. While He was blessing them, He parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they, after worshiping Him, returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple praising God.” Luke 24:44-53
According to Luke’s second inspired writing, this is precisely what the disciples did after Christ’s ascension, namely, went around proclaiming that Jesus is the risen Lord and Savior who grants forgiveness and salvation to all who would turn to him in faith:
“Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Brethren, what shall we do?’ Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” Acts 2:37-39
“But Peter and the apostles replied, ‘We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had murdered by hanging Him on a tree. God exalted this man to His right hand as ruler and Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.’” Acts 5:29-32 Holman Christian Standard Version (HCSB)
“The word which He sent to the sons of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ (He is Lord of all)—you yourselves know the thing which took place throughout all Judea, starting from Galilee, after the baptism which John proclaimed. You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. We are witnesses of all the things He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They also put Him to death by hanging Him on a cross. God raised Him up on the third day and granted that He become visible, not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen beforehand by God, that is, to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead. Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.” Acts 10:36-43
“After He had removed him, He raised up David to be their king, concerning whom He also testified and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My heart, who will do all My will.’ From the descendants of this man, according to promise, God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, after John had proclaimed before His coming a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. And while John was completing his course, he kept saying, ‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not He. But behold, one is coming after me the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to untie.’… And we preach to you the good news of the promise made to the fathers, that God has fulfilled this promiseto our children in that He raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, ‘You are My Son; today i have begotten You.’ As for the fact that He raised Him up from the dead, no longer to return to decay, He has spoken in this way: ‘I will give you the holyand sure blessings of David.’ Therefore He also says in another Psalm, ‘You will not allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.’ For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep, and was laid among his fathers and underwent decay; but He whom God raised did not undergo decay. Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses.” Acts 13:22-25, 32-39
“And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, and after he brought them out, he said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ They said, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.’” Acts 16:29-31
In light of this, does Williams really expect us to believe that all of this is somehow compatible with the teachings of his false prophet Muhammad?

Conclusion
With the foregoing in perspective it should be clear to the readers that the parable of the prodigal son does absolutely nothing to support Williams’ assertion. Rather this story actually backfires against him since if Williams were to employ his interpretation consistently he would then have no other choice but to accept the fact that Jesus is God (which he is, even though he is not the Father or the Holy Spirit). The following syllogism helps explain why:
A) Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son shows that a person doesn’t need a mediator between him and God, since one can approach God directly.
B) In the parable, the father who ran to embrace his lost son is supposed to represent Jesus. This is further confirmed by the fact that according to this same Gospel Jesus is the Savior who came for the express purpose of seeking and saving the lost.
C) Therefore, Jesus is the God that a person can run to and approach directly, requiring no mediator to stand between them.  
We want to therefore personally thank Williams for helping us to once again prove that Jesus Christ is indeed God in the flesh, being the every eternal Son of God who became man in order to seek and save lost sinners.
Lord Jesus willing, we will be publishing more rebuttals to Williams’ blatant distortions of the inspired Word of God, the Holy Bible, in the not so distant future.
Unless stated otherwise, all biblical quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB).


IHS

Authentic Prayer According to the Lord Jesus


Praying Like Christ and not like Muhammad


Muslim taqiyyist Paul Bilal Williams published a short post where he quotes Matthew 26:39 to prove to Christians that Jesus prayed the way Muslims pray.
Yet Williams conveniently doesn’t quote the entire verse but only cites the part where it says that Jesus fell down on his face and prayed. We will quote the entire context to see why Williams decided to chop the verse in mid-sentence:
“And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, ‘MY FATHER, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.’ And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, ‘So, youmen could not keep watch with Me for one hour? Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, ‘MY FATHER, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.’ Again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. And He left them again, and went away and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more.” Matthew 26:39-44
Jesus did more than simply fall to the ground since he also addressed God as his Father. Mark tells us that Jesus actually referred to God as Abba, which is Aramaic for Father:
“And He went a little beyond them, and fell to the ground and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might pass Him by. And He was saying, ‘ABBA! FATHER! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.’” Mark 14:35-36
According to the Apostle Paul, God sent forth his Son to become a man to redeem believers by his vicarious death in order to bring them into the family of God so that they too can start calling out to God as Abba:
“For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit… However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness… For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘ABBA! FATHER! The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified withHim.’" Romans 8:3-4, 9-10, 14-17
And:
“But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, ‘ABBA! FATHER!’ Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.” Galatians 4:4-7
Nor is this merely the teaching of Paul since Matthew testifies that Jesus came for the purpose of saving his people from their sins:
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.’ Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which translated means, ‘God with us.’ And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.” Matthew 1:18-25
Christ himself taught that he would offer up his life as a ransom and shed his blood for the forgiveness of the sins of his followers: 
“just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28 – cf. Mark 10:45
“While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body.’ And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.’” Matthew 26:26-28 – cf. Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19-20
Hence, Paul was merely affirming the message that Christ himself proclaimed while he was on earth. This brings me to my next point.
The Lord Jesus also taught his followers to address God as their Father whenever they prayed to him:
“And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. So do not be like them; forYOUR FATHER knows what you need before you ask Him. ‘Pray, then, in this way: ‘OUR FATHER who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’] For if you forgive others for their transgressions, YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, thenYOUR FATHER will not forgive your transgressions.” Matthew 6:7-15 – cf. Luke 11:1-4
And:
“As they were passing by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered from the rootsup. Being reminded, Peter said to Him, ‘Rabbi, look, the fig tree which You cursed has withered.’ And Jesus answered saying to them, ‘Have faith in God. Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, “Be taken up and cast into the sea,” and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be grantedhim. Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you. Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that YOUR FATHER who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.’” Mark 11:20-25
The Lord even encouraged them to be confident that they would get what they asked for since God was their heavenly Father who is more than delighted to bestow his good gifts upon all his children because he loves and cares for them:
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more willYOUR FATHER who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” Matthew 7:7-11 – cf. Luke 11:9-14
Now as far Jesus is concerned, the garden of Gethsemene wasn’t the only instance where Christ addressed God as Father in his prayers:
“When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. But Jesus was saying, ‘FATHER, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.’ And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves… And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, ‘FATHER,into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ Having said this, He breathed His last.” Luke 23:33-34, 46
In fact, God himself testified that Christ was (is) his beloved Son on two separate occasions:
“Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus was also baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, ‘You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.’” Luke 3:21-22
“Some eight days after these sayings, He took along Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while He was praying, the appearance of His face became different, and His clothing became white and gleaming. And behold, two men were talking with Him; and they were Moses and Elijah, who, appearing in glory, were speaking of His departure which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and his companions had been overcome with sleep; but when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men standing with Him. And as these were leaving Him, Peter said to Jesus, ‘Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three tabernacles: one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah’—not realizing what he was saying. While he was saying this, a cloud formed and began to overshadow them; and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. Then a voice came out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him! And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent, and reported to no one in those days any of the things which they had seen.” Luke 9:28-36
It is interesting that on both of these occasions where the Father testifies concerning his Son, Jesus was actually praying!

Williams has a problem!
Now all of this raises a serious problem for Williams since his prophet not only denied that Jesus is God’s Son, cursing and threatening to kill the Christians for believing that he was(is),  
The Jews say, 'Ezra is the Son of God'; the Christians say, 'The Messiah is the Son of God.' That is the utterance of their mouths, conforming with the unbelievers before them.God assail them! How they are perverted! S. 9:30 Arberry
Muhammad even went as far as to deny that his god was a father to anyone, especially Jews and Christians:
Say the Jews and Christians, 'We are the sons of God, and His beloved ones.' Say: 'Why then does He chastise you for your sins? No; you are mortals, of His creating; He forgives whom He will, and He chastises whom He will.' For to God belongs the kingdom of the heavens and of the earth, and all that is between them; to Him is the homecoming. S. 5:18 Arberry
The Jews and Christians would have obviously explained to Muhammad that they were spiritual children and that God was their spiritual father since they did not believe that God was a physical being who sired them by having sexual intercourse with a consort (cf. Q. 6:101; 72:3). Muhammad, however, wasn’t buying it since his god wasn’t a father in any sense, whether physically, spiritually or metaphorically. Rather, Muhammad insisted that the highest relationship anyone could have with his deity is that of a slave to master relationship, just as the following texts demonstrate:  
And they say, 'The All-merciful has taken unto Himself a son. You have indeed advanced something hideous! The heavens are wellnigh rent of it and the earth split asunder, and the mountains wellnigh fall down crashing for that they have attributed to the All-merciful a son; and it behoves not the All-merciful to take a son. None is there in the heavens and earth but he comes to the All-merciful as a servant; He has indeed counted them, and He has numbered them exactly. Every one of them shall come to Him upon the Day of Resurrection, all alone. S. 19:88-95 Arberry
They say: 'The All-merciful has taken to Him a son.' Glory be to Him! Nay, but they are honoured servants that outstrip Him not in speech, and perform as He commands. He knows what is before them and behind them, and they intercede not save for him with whom He is well-pleased, and they tremble in awe of Him. S. 21:26-28 Arberry
Yet such a view is in direct contradiction to the teachings of the Lord Jesus and his blessed Apostles who expressly stated that a servant or slave doesn’t have a permanent place in God’s household and must therefore be set freed by the Son,
“Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.’” John 8:34-36
In order to become a child of God:
There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, evento those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:9-14
In fact, Christ’s inspired emissaries condemned anyone who would deny the fatherhood of God and the sonship of Jesus, identifying such individuals as antichrists:
“Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.” 1 John 2:22-23
Therefore, Muhammad stands condemned as an antichrist according to the proclamation of the Apostles of the risen Lord since he not only denied that Christ is the Son, but also spoke out against using the word Father for God.
In fact, to show just how much Muhammad detested the idea of addressing his god as Father, notice what he did to the Lord’s Prayer:
Narrated AbudDarda': I heard the Apostle of Allah say: If any of you is suffering from anything or his brother is suffering, he should say: Our Lord is Allah Who is in the heaven, holy is Thy name, Thy command reigns supreme in the heaven and the earth, as Thy mercy in the heaven, make Thy mercy in the earth; forgive us our sins, and our errors; Thou art the Lord of good men; send down mercy from Thy mercy, and remedy, and remedy from Thy remedy on this pain so that it is healed up. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 28, Number 3883)
It is apparent that Muhammad not only plagiarized the prayer which the Lord Jesus personally taught to his followers, he even made a major modification to it. Instead of the expression “Our Father who is in heaven,” Muhammad replaced it with “Our Lord is Allah Who is in the heaven.” This is a clear indication of just how much he despised the idea of God being a father to anyone.
Now all of this puts Williams in a major dilemma since if he truly wants people to pray like Jesus then he has no choice but to reject Muhammad since the latter did not pray the way Christ and his followers did. This perhaps explains why Williams chose to omit that part of the verse where Jesus called God his Father. Williams obviously knows that such language is incompatible with Islamic theology and therefore decided to ignore that portion of the text, thinking that no one would call him out on it. 
In light of such dishonest handling of the Word of God we now issue the following challenge to Williams.

OPEN CHALLENGE TO WILLIAMS
Since Williams quoted the Gospel of Matthew to prove that Muslims pray like Jesus we therefore challenge him to pray in the following manner and post it on his blog for all to see:
“O Allah, you are my father in heaven!”
Or he can even choose to pray the following,
“O Allah, you are our father in heaven!”
We also challenge him to pray this:
“O Allah, I cry out to you with the words ‘Abba! Father,’ since that is what you are!”
By praying in this manner Williams will show that he sincerely believes that he does pray in the same way that Jesus did while he was on earth. However, if he refuses to publish these prayers then this will prove that he is fully aware that Muslims do not pray like Christ did since it is blasphemous for them to address their god as their father, even though this is how Jesus and his followers addressed the true God when they prayed to him.
So much for Williams’ appeal to the words of the Lord Jesus Christ to defend his false religion and false prophet.
Unless noted otherwise, all biblical quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB).


IHS

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Having Eyes He’s Still Unable To See Pt. 3


We have now come to the final part of our response.
Jesus did two other miracles which the OT ascribes to Yahweh alone, such as cleansing people of leprosy and other infectious skin diseases:
“And He was preaching in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and casting out demons. Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, ‘If You are willing, You can make me clean.’ Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, ‘I am willing; be cleansed.’ As soon as He had spoken, IMMEDIATELY the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed. And He strictly warned him and sent him away at once, and said to him, ‘See that you say nothing to anyone; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing those things which Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.’ However, he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the matter, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter the city, but was outside in deserted places; and they came to Him from every direction.” Mark 1:39-45
As well as forgive sinners,
“And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receivethem, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven you.’ And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, ‘Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?’ But immediately, when Jesus perceived IN HIS SPIRIT that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, ‘Why do you reason about these things IN YOUR HEARTS? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven you,” or to say, “Arise, take up your bed and walk”? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins’—He said to the paralytic, ‘I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.’ Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, ‘We never saw anything like this!’” Mark 2:1-12
Hence, like Yahweh Jesus was able to heal all diseases such as touch and cleanse a leper, forgive sins, and know what people were/are thinking within their hearts:
Now Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master, because by him the Lord had given victory to Syria. He was also a mighty man of valor, but a leper. And the Syrians had gone out on raids, and had brought back captive a young girl from the land of Israel. She waited on Naaman’s wife. Then she said to her mistress, ‘If only my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! For he would heal him of his leprosy.’ And Naaman went in and told his master, saying, ‘Thus and thus said the girl who is from the land of Israel.’ Then the king of Syria said, ‘Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel.’ So he departed and took with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten changes of clothing. Then he brought the letter to the king of Israel, which said, Now be advised, when this letter comes to you, that I have sent Naaman my servant to you, that you may heal him of his leprosy. And it happened, when the king of Israel read the letter, that he tore his clothes and said, ‘Am I God, to kill and make alive, that this man sends a man to me to heal him of his leprosy? Therefore please consider, and see how he seeks a quarrel with me.’ So it was, when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, ‘Why have you torn your clothes? Please let him come to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.’ Then Naaman went with his horses and chariot, and he stood at the door of Elisha’s house. And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, ‘Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean.’ But Naaman became furious, and went away and said, ‘Indeed, I said to myself, “He will surely come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leprosy.” Are not the Abanah and the Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?’ So he turned and went away in a rage. And his servants came near and spoke to him, and said, ‘My father, if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, “Wash, and be clean”?’ So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. And he returned to the man of God, he and all his aides, and came and stood before him; and he said, ‘Indeed, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel; now therefore, please take a gift from your servant.’ But he said, ‘As the Lord lives, before whom I stand, I will receive nothing.’ And he urged him to take it, but he refused.” 2 Kings 5:1-16
{Sidenote: Pay close attention to the fact that Elisha never went out to meet Namaan directly, nor did he touch or wave his hand over the leprosy. This shows that the prophet had nothing to do with the healing, except for passing on the instructions that God had given him. This way God got the sole credit for the miracle. Besides, as a Torah-observant Israelite Elisha was expressly forbidden from touching a person with leprosy or any other infectious skin disease since such contact would have left him ceremonially unclean before God [cf. Leviticus 5:1-6; 7:21; 13:45-46; Numbers 12:9-15; 2 Chronicles 26:16-21]. This is in marked contrasted with the Lord Jesus who, instead of becoming defiled by such contact, was able to actually miraculously cleanse such individuals by the power of his touch!} 
“then hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and act, and give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know (for You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men)… When they sin against You (for there is no one who does not sin), and You become angry with them and deliver them to the enemy, and they take them captive to the land of the enemy, far or near; yet when they come to themselves in the land where they were carried captive, and repent, and make supplication to You in the land of those who took them captive, saying, ‘We have sinned and done wrong, we have committed wickedness’; and when they return to You with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their enemies who led them away captive, and pray to You toward their land which You gave to their fathers, the city which You have chosen and the temple which I have built for Your name: then hear in heaven Your dwelling place their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause, and forgive Your people who have sinned against You, and all their transgressions which they have transgressed against You; and grant them compassion before those who took them captive, that they may have compassion on them.” 1 Kings 8:39, 46-50
“Would not God search this out? For He knows the secrets of the heart.” Psalm 44:21
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies…He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities hischildren, So the Lord pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.” Psalm 103:2-4, 10-12 – cf. 139:1-16; 1 Chronicles 28:9; Isaiah 43:25; Daniel 9:9; Micah 7:18-19
Here is what The New Jerome Biblical Commentary says in regard to Jesus possessing the ability to forgive sins:
“… According to several OT passages (Exod 34:6-7; Isa 43:25; 44:22), the one who forgives sins is God. According to the reasoning of the scribes (they do not say it directly; see 2:6, 8), Jesus’ claim to forgive sins would thus qualify as blasphemy. Indeed, it does constitute an implicit claim to divine authority – something perfectly acceptable to early Christians who read Mark’s Gospel…” (Ibid., p. 602; bold emphasis ours)
The following Christian scholar does an excellent job of summing all of this up:
“But it is also in his miracles that Jesus displays a unique sense of deity. We must not view the miracles of Jesus as merely evidence of a Spirit-empowered individual who acts on behalf of God. Rather, all Jesus' miracles are set within the larger context of the inauguration of the ‘age to come’ – something which only God can do. The healing miracles are evidence of the arrival of the messianic age (Luke 7:22-23; cf. Isa. 29:18; 35:5-6; 61:1). They are visible manifestations of the presence of the supernatural rule of God coming in and through Jesus. For example, the nature miracles are displays of the work of God. In Matthew 8:23-27 we are told that Jesus exercises his authority over nature. He speaks a word, and the storm instantly calms. But what would this bring to mind for the Old Testament reader? It would remind them of the Lord himself, who triumphs over the stormy sea (see Ps. 107:23-32); cf. Job 9:8; Pss. 65:7; 77:19; Isa. 43:16; 51:9-10; Hab. 3:15).
“In a similar nature miracle when Jesus walks on the water (Matt. 14:25; Mark 6:48; cf. John 6:19), Old Testament readers would be reminded of the Lord who walks upon the sea (Job 9:8 LXX; cf. Ps. 77:19; Isa. 51:9-10). In fact, as the Gospels present this account each one of them recounts how the disciples were filled with terror. But, as Schreiner points out, ‘Jesus replies with the exact same words: ego eimi, me phobeisthe(‘I am; do not fear’).’ As Schreiner rightly argues, in John's Gospel ego eimi is full of christological import and hearkens back to ‘Exodus 3:14 and to texts in Isaiah that refer to the one and only God (e.g., Isa. 41:10; 43:10; 45:18). Given John's Christology, it is clear that Jesus is considered to be God–theos (John 1:1).’ That is why in the Gospels the proclamation of th gospel of the kingdom is accompanied by many miracles, healings and exorcisms of demons (Matt. 4:23; 9:35; 10:7-8; Luke 9:11; 10:9, 17; 11:20). In fact, Matthew 12:28 makes clear that Jesus' exorcisms of demons by the power of the Spirit is proof-positive that God's saving reign has now come to this world. Jesus' miracles, then, as Schreiner correctly notes, ‘are signs of the kingdom, manifestations of the new creation.’ In light of this, what is Jesus' self-understanding? It is this: he is not only the Messiah but also the unique Son vis-à-vis his Father and thus closely identified in authority and power with him.” (Stephen J. Wellum, The Deity of Christ, eds. Christopher W. Morgan & Robert A. Peterson [Crossway, Wheaton, IL 2011], 3. The Deity of Christ in the Synoptic Gospels, pp. 75-76; bold emphasis ours)
38 See Simon J. Gathercole, The Pre-existent Son: Recovering the Christologies of Matthew, Mark, and Luke (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2006), 64. Gathercole states: ‘The reference to walking on the sea is a ‘theophany’ motif which is taken over from Yahweh to Jesus … For the moment, however, the combination of the two passages showing Jesus' mastery of the sea (Matt. 14:22-23; Mark 6:45-52) points very strongly to a close identification of him with Yahweh in the Old Testament. (Ibid., p. 75; bold emphasis ours)
Even the Quran agrees that these are functions and abilities which only God possesses:
And those who, when they do an evil thing or wrong themselves, remember Allah and implore forgiveness for their sins – Who forgiveth sins save Allah only? – and will not knowingly repeat (the wrong) they did. S. 3:135 Pickthall – cf. Q. 39:53
“… but (all this was) that God might test what is in your breasts and purge what is in your hearts. For God knoweth well the secrets of your hearts.” S. 3:154 Y. Ali
What makes this all the more ironic is that the Quran also bears witness to the fact that Jesus performed all these same miracles that God is supposed to perform when he comes to dwell on the earth!
“to be a Messenger to the Children of Israel saying, ‘I have come to you with a sign from your Lord. I will create for you out of clay as the likeness of a bird; then I will breathe into it, and it will be a bird, by the leave of God. I will also heal the blind and the leper, and bring to life the dead, by the leave of God. I will inform you too of what things you eat, and what you treasure up in your houses. Surely in that is a sign for you, if you are believers.’” S. 3:49 Arberry
“When God said, 'Jesus Son of Mary, remember My blessing upon thee and upon thy mother, when I confirmed thee with the Holy Spirit, to speak to men in the cradle, and of age; and when I taught thee the Book, the Wisdom, the Torah, the Gospel; and when thou createst out of clay, by My leave, as the likeness of a bird, and thou breathest into it, and it is a bird, by My leave; and thou healest the blind and the leper by My leave, and thou bringest the dead forth by My leave; and when restrained from thee the Children of Israel when thou camest unto them with the clear signs, and the unbelievers among them said, “This is nothing but sorcery manifest.”’” S. 5:110 Arberry
As if this weren’t enough to prove that Jesus is God in the flesh, Christ also gave others the power and authority to perform miracles in his glorious and majestic name!
“And He went up on the mountain and called to Him those He Himself wanted. And they came to Him. Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons:” Mark 3:13-15
“And He called the twelve to Himself, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them.” Mark 6:7, 13
“Now John answered Him, saying, ‘Teacher, we saw someone who does not follow uscasting out demons IN YOUR NAME, and we forbade him because he does not follow us.’ But Jesus said, ‘Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle IN MY NAMEcan soon afterward speak evil of Me.’” Mark 9:38-39
Williams will not be able to cite a single example from the Holy Bible – or the Quran for that matter – where an individual performs miracles in the name of a prophet or angel with God’s approval.
In light of the foregoing, can there be any doubt that Mark depicts Jesus as Yahweh God Incarnate? More importantly, how long shall Williams continue to deny the plain and explicit evidence from Mark’s Gospel that the reason Jesus does the works which both the Hebrew Bible and the Quran testify that only God can do, is because Mark presents Jesus the LORD God whom the prophets said was going to come and dwell on the earth?
All scriptural quotations taken from the New King James Version (NKJV) of the Holy Bible.

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