Saturday, January 24, 2009

A reply to B.Nora's comment... Jesus is Man & God, and God is not a God of confusion.

Hi beloveds,

Here is my reply and right at the end is the original comment by B.Nora.


Hi B.Nora,

Excellent quotes from the Bible. Well learned!

ALL your verses are well quoted but I'm afraid they are also misquoted and quoted out of context. : )

In order to interpret verses, you have to quote in CONTEXT. You have to understand the preceding verses plus the proceeding verses and then understand the context of the Chapters also.

Numbers 23:19
Was part of an encounter when Balak a king of Moab, hired Balaam (a man endowed with the gift of prophecy) to curse Israel. So Balak kept asking Balaam to curse Israel but Balaam could not do it and Balaam kept blessing Israel.

So the verse in Numbers 23:19,
"God is not a man that He should lie, neither the son of man that He should repent. Has He said, and shall He not do it? Or has He spoken, and shall He not make it good?"

Is in reference to how God works judicially. Why? Because God found no fault with Jacob or Israel.

Numbers 23:20-21,
20 Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it. 21 He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the LORD his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them.

God was speaking through Balaam to Balak saying that He is not like a natural man when it comes to judging.

Hosea 11:9 you also quoted out of context within the verse itself. Here is the full verse.
"I will not carry out the heat of My anger; I will not return to destroy Ephraim. For I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst; and I will not enter into the city."

Again, here God is talking about His judiciary role as a judge. Though the tribe of Ephraim (2nd son of Joseph, favoured over Manasseh) and also the rest of Israel, angered God because of their idolatry, God is slow to anger and He is always merciful and loves His people. God promises His restoration to His people.

Hosea 14:4-7,
4 I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.
5 I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon.
6 His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon.
7 They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon.
8 Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found.
9 Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein.

The rest of your quotes from the New Testament are also good. But one thing for sure, you also forgot to quote verses that refer to Jesus as the Son of God. Jesus was both Man and God. Let’s discount those verses that refer to Jesus as the Son of God by natural human being characters of the New Testament ok. Let’s look at these few verses here.

Matthew 8:28-29
28 And when He had come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, two demon-possessed ones met Him, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no one might pass by that way.
29 And behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with You, Jesus, Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?

Here even demons recognise Jesus as the Son of God!

How about here?

Mark 3:10-11
10 For He had healed many, so that they pressed on Him in order to touch Him, as many as had plagues.
11 And unclean spirits, when they saw Him, they fell down before Him and cried, saying, You are the Son of God!

How about an angel?

Luke 1:26-27
26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary.

Luke 1:34-35
34 Then Mary said to the angel, How shall this be, since I do not know a man?
35 And the angel answered and said to her, The Holy Spirit shall come on you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you. Therefore also that Holy One which will be born of you shall be called Son of God.

The following verses was the encounter that Jesus had with the Sanhedrin (the great council at Jerusalem, consisting of the seventy one members, viz. scribes, elders, prominent members of the high priestly families and the high priest, the president of the assembly. The most important causes were brought before this tribunal, inasmuch as the Roman rulers of Judaea had left to it the power of trying such cases, and also of pronouncing sentence of death, with the limitation that a capital sentence pronounced by the Sanhedrin was not valid unless it was confirmed by the Roman procurator.)

Luke 22:66-71
66 And when day came, the body of elders of the people, and the chief priests and the scribes, came together. And they led Him to the sanhedrin, saying,
67 Are you the Christ? Tell us. And He said to them, If I tell you, you will not believe.
68 Also if I ask you, you will not answer Me nor let Me go.
69 From now on the Son of Man shall sit at the right hand of the power of God.
70 And they all said, Are you then the Son of God? And He said to them, You say it, because I AM!
71 And they said, What need do we have for any witness? For we ourselves have heard it from his own mouth.

Highlight would be verse 70. And confirmation would be verse 71 because the Sanhedrin heard Him!

Jesus recognised the fact that He is both Man and God. That is the reason why He is the perfect sacrifice, the perfect unblemished Lamb of God. Though He was God, He was also Man. He was on earth to know us, to know our frustrations, to know our needs, to know our temptations. Though He was tempted He never fell into sin. He is God because He demonstrated His Godly powers through healing the sick, raising the dead, conquering the elements, casting demons out of people, freeing people from sin and condemnation.

It is good that you quoted Luke 18:19 and Matthew 19:17. But again, what is the context?
What was the preceding verse to Luke 18:19? Let’s look at both verse 18 and 19.

Luke 18:18-19
18 And a certain ruler asked Him, saying, Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
19 And Jesus said to him, Why do you call Me good? None is good except One, God.

There was a young rich ruler/commander/chief that encountered Jesus and addressed Jesus as “Good” Teacher. Jesus was stressing the fact that He did not want to associate Himself with the spiritual “teachers” of His day. There is none, NO, good teacher, except GOD Himself is good! Jesus did not come to be our teacher but He came to be our SAVIOUR! It’s all in His name! Yeshua(Jesus) means Salvation/Saviour!

I’d like to stress again that Jesus did NOT come to be our teacher. He came to SAVE us. What you will realise that whenever He teaches it is always MAXIMUM God standard. And His life is a fulfilment of ALL of God’s standards. That’s why Jesus is representative of you and me. He completes God’s standards on our behalf so that whenever we fall short, it is His finished work on the cross that saves us.

Matthew 19:17 and Luke 18:19 are of the same account.

In fact, Jesus did not “rebuke” this young ruler. Jesus just spoke to this young ruler. Look to the bible. All it says is: Jesus said to him...

Fact is, the word rebuke is seldom used in the New Testament. Altogether, rebuke and rebuked is mentioned about 32 times but NOT in these verses mentioned.
Jesus did not condemn this young man even though he only took Jesus as a teacher.

Jesus did NOT deny He was God. Jesus took His rightful position as both representative of mankind (you and me) and also representative of God on earth.

It is very interesting that you brought up Ezekiel Chapter 2 with reference to the phrase Son of Man. Though it is generally true in the Hebrew Scriptures that the term son of man is in reference to mankind, meaning also son of Adam, descendants of Adam. But peculiar to Ezekiel, we see Son of Man is in reference to the Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ)!

Again, this is an exercise of quoting in context not just from the verse, not just from the chapter but from the entire book!

So, the book of Ezekiel begins with of course chapter 1. Let’s zoom in here:

Ezekiel 1:26-28
26 And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.
27 And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about.
28 As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.

This likeness of a man in verse 26 as we flow down to verse 28 we see as a man with the glory of the LORD! Then the following chapter, it is immediately followed by an exaltation to prophet Ezekiel by God:

Ezekiel 2:1
And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee.

This Son of man here now is no longer the same son of man that has been used earlier in Job and the Psalms. The previous son of man usage was of a different effect, different emphasis. Here
Ezekiel is now chosen to speak God’s Words!

Ezekiel 2:7 And you shall speak My Words to them, whether they will hear or whether they will forbear, for they are rebellious.

So by this illustration we can see that even the term Son of Man can be a term of exaltation not necessarily relegating humanity to a lowly level. We can see further in Ezekiel 3 that Ezekiel has been given authority by God to do His work.

Ezekiel 3:4 And He said to me, Son of man, go! Go up to the house of Israel and speak to them with My Words.

Now that’s a man with authority!

Ezekiel 3:17 Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.

Only Ezekiel, among all the prophets have been given this special role as the Watchman.
Coming back to where we were. YES, I agree with you. God is NOT a God of confusion. He makes it all very clear IF we read His Word in CONTEXT.


Thank you B.Nora for being an active part of this blog.

I pray that you WILL have a blessed journey to the Truth that you seek and you will have fun doing it too!

Numbers 6:24-26
24 The LORD bless you and keep you.
25 The LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you.
26 The LORD lift up His face to you and give you peace.



B.Nora's Comment:

Read about your blog and read your blogs. How should I address you as – “Malay Christian” or “Christian Malay” for that matter? For me let me introduce myself, I am a Malay, I am truly fascinated by the story of Christianity converts like Anonymous that leave the comment on January 6th 2009.

Read many other articles on how the Bible and teaching of Christianity can convince many Muslim Malays to convert, however still till now very confused and not convinced. Enlighten me about :-1. Why was Jesus addressed as “GOD” in Christianity when:-
A. The Bible says:
1. Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man…”
2. Hosea 11:9 “...For I am God, and not man...”
3. Jesus is called a man many times in the Bible:
4. John 8:40 “…a man who has told you the truth…”
5. Acts 2:22 “Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know.”
6. Acts 17:31 “He will judge the world in righteousness through a man whom He has appointed”
7. 1. Tim. 2:5 “…the man Christ Jesus.”
8. God is not a man, but Jesus, may the blessing and mercy of God be upon him, was a man, therefore, Jesus was not God.
9. Tim. 2:5 “…the man Christ Jesus.”
10. God is not a man, but Jesus, may the blessing and mercy of God be upon him, was a man, therefore, Jesus was not God.

2. The Bible Says that God Is Not a Son of Man
A) Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man...nor a son of man…”
B) The Bible often calls Jesus “a son of man” or “the son of man.”
C) Matthew 12:40 “…so will the son of man be…”
D) Matthew 16:27 “For the son of man is going to come…”
E) Matthew 28 “…until they see the son of man coming in His kingdom.”
F) Mark 2:10 “But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority…”
G) John 5:27 “…because He is the son of man.”
H) In the Hebrew Scriptures, the “son of man” is also used many times speaking of people (Job 25:6; Psalm 80:17; 144:3; Ezekiel 2:1; 2:3; 2:6; 2:8; 3:1; 3:3; 3:4; 3:10; 3:17; 3:25).I) Since God would not contradict Himself by first saying He is not the son of a man, then becoming a human being who was called “the son of man”, he would not have done so. Remember God is not the author of confusion. Also, human beings, including Jesus, are called “son of man” specifically to distinguish them from God, who is not a “son of man” according to the Bible.

3. The Bible Says that Jesus Denied He is God
A) Luke 18:19 Jesus spoke to a man who had called him “good,” asking him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.”
B) Matthew 19:17 And he said to him, “Why are you asking me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
C) Jesus did not teach people that he was God. If Jesus had been telling people that he was God, he would have complimented the man. Instead, Jesus rebuked him, denying he was good, that is, Jesus denied he was God.


Zaharan Razak said...

This is your turf so I have to respectfully admit that I'm taking liberties at giving views which are not in tune with yours. Here goes:

I stand here not defending Islam or even seeing it as a soccer game of Islam vs Christianity but purely on the logical and rational standpoint which I know Emmanuel has a lot rant against too. But he might find common cause with pro Islamists on that point! So me with my logic (read Hitchens, Dawkins, Sam Harris into it)can be seen as the third wrestler barging into the ring between the two main wrestlers, Islamic Rage vs Christian Confusion!

Wow - refering to Em's blow by blow analysis of Nora's points - there's a lot of PhD level stuff here. This is a common fallacy. the fallacy of experts who believe that you have to be an expert first before you can offer a valid opinion on anything. For the rest of mankind who are no experts, go suffer! I say you don't have to be an expert in fisheries or fishiology to know that a puffer fish is poisonous, or the whole clothing industry to appreciate a fine piece of batik.

Equally, if you can quickly identify one or two ludicrous statements from religious giants like Islam or Christianity, you don't have to spend a life time to study other ludicrities which are just repeat versions of the first two in order to see them as the scams and delusions that they are!

Religions are like currencies. They are valid because they are accepted by law and practice as currencies. By themselves they are just papers or a series of ludicrous claims. You can say and believe a piece of rock or frog is an emanation of God. Whether it is literally true or only figuratively does not matter, what matters is that there is a critical mass of believers and a paderi class to dissect its finer points into a body or corpus of dogma to lend it authority, authenticity, history and identity. The belief serves itself. The medium is the message. The rest is moot and impossible to prove one way or the other. At the end of the day, religions are proxies for human ego and stubbornness. If there is no Islam and Christianity people would have invented other means to express their individual and collectives egos. So Emmanuel changing religions is like hopping from a train to get onto a bus. The means of getting there is different. The destination is the same - ego fulfillment.

So all these biblical expertise is missing the woods for the trees.

For more nonsensical stuff like the above, please visit I've invited Emmanuel to do so for more than three years but his ego in sheep's clothing won't let him lower himself to my level.

Emmanuel said...

Hi Zaharan,

I have visited your site before but have not left a comment.

Dude... Just one thing i'd like to get off my chest... Why are you always so angry?

We ALL have an ego. The Zen concept or from the martial arts perspective of reaching the state of ego-less self is impossible. The ego is deep seated and embedded in the flesh of the human being. Man can only strive to do more good works, try to be more humble, try to be less angry, less judgmental etc.

But one thing I know. I look outside of myself whenever i fall into the trap of my own ego. That's when the sheep clothing is so, so important.

I'm glad you mentioned that my ego is in sheep's clothing. That is so true!

My ego has been covered by the ever eternal effectual work of the Lamb of God! Jesus Christ.
He has born ALL my iniquities. I look to Him and no longer inside myself. Though of course we all fall into the trap of self occupation but that's when i know even though i fall into those traps, i have the One who saves me.

Glad you mentioned missing the woods for the trees too. I've gone through the woods of confusion and found the tree. The Tree of Life!

You also mentioned that to have a valid opinion, you have to be an expert is a fallacy. Well, i'm not trying to be an expert or whatever. I have to give the details when required that's all. To know a puffer fish is poisonous is common knowledge. So to say that most religions belief in a God or Gods is common knowledge but when someone ask you about the details, you've got to give the details! It's just due dilligence my friend.

Because B.Nora asked me about questions pertaining to verses in the bible that talk about God not being a man etc etc, i've got to give the details. I'm sure you also understand the importance of reading in context right?

However you feel and think about faith and religion is entirely up to you. You have your own convictions, that's great man. But, hey, less angry dude. Not good for stress hormones.

Relax, enjoy life, chill, yes, like you mentioned, go fishing! : )

God bless you richly Bro!


Victoria Ho said...

Wow, u know u reminded me of my internet friend John who is a ex-muslim. He has the patience like u to explain passage by passage which is no mean feat! In addition, thanks to the links. I like Bible Wheel very much!

God bless you!