Monday, May 30, 2011

Ahamd Deedat Explain who is the Holy Spirit

Deedat, is emphatic in his insistence for just one thing the Holy Spirit which said which Jesus did not say. Well, here's one regarding the deity of the Holy Spirit and the indwelling of this deity in the believer.

The Acts 5 passage records the apostle Peter inspired by the Holy Spirit declaring the Holy Spirit is God.

Then the Romans 5 passage the apostle Paul inspired by the Holy Spirit records we, believers, have received the love of God through the Holy Spirit who has been POURED OUT INTO OUR HEARTS.

Lastly, later in the book of Romans chapter 8 passage the apostle Paul records we, believers, the Spirit of God DWELLS IN YOU, that we are LED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD we are CHILDREN OF GOD and therefore cry out to God as ABBA FATHER!

5:3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back part of the price of the land? 5:4 While you kept it, didn’t it remain your own? After it was sold, wasn’t it in your power? How is it that you have conceived this thing in your heart? You haven’t lied to men, but to God.”

5:5 and hope doesn’t disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. 5:6 For while we were yet weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 5:7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man. Yet perhaps for a righteous person someone would even dare to die. 5:8 But God commends his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

8:8 Those who are in the flesh can’t please God. 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if it is so that the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if any man doesn’t have the Spirit of Christ, he is not his. 8:10 If Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the spirit is alive because of righteousness. 8:11 But if the Spirit of him who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. 8:12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 8:13 For if you live after the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are children of God. 8:15 For you didn’t receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

Additional video reference notes:

Time: 45,46sec Deedat says, "A unique verse for a unique personality. Muhammad."
Deedat strives in vain to belabor the point the Holy Spirit is "He", a masculine pronoun denoting the Holy Spirit is a man. However, he has ignored that the God Deedat acknowledges is invisible yet He refers to himself in the masculine gender. I don't think Deedat would argue God is a man.

Time: 1:01 Deedat says, "Is Muhammad a spirit? Yes."
Deedat is correct the term "spirit" does not always refer to the Holy Spirit. However, he is applying the term Holy Spirit as spoken by Jesus to Muhammad.

Time: 1:56 Deedat says, "A false spirit is a false prophet."
What comes out of the mouth of a false prophet? Let the viewer and reader discern and judge Deedat's gesture at time 1:56.

Time: 8:51 Deedat says, "Spirit of truth is the prophet of truth, Muhammad."

The reason I cite this is because despite this claim by Deedat about Muhammad I have been accused by at least one Muslim of "slur"(?) perhaps meaning "slandering" Muslims.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Is Jesus Both God and Man? - - a comment

This is a comment on the above titled article.

If I cut to the chase and state outright "God died" that would put my statement in the same category as others who make sound bite statements with no less understanding or ability to convey their convictions. The tactic of hitting listeners with a barrage of questions so as to stun and mesmerize them creates the desired impression of knowledge on the part of the questioner. Proof this knowledge must reside, it is assumed, with the questioner is the absence of responses from his listeners. This is hardly understanding by those posing the questions anymore than it is teaching on their part.

Judging from your blog you are quite familiar with the usual assortment of proof texts to your claims concerning Jesus. I won't waste your time restating them. Here are a few, but simple matters overlooked.
  1. The statement that God died is not to say that he remained dead.
  2. The statement that God cannot die is not to say he would not die.
  3. The statement God cannot die is a statement of fear. Allow me to explain.
The writer of Hebrews states as much in Hebrews 2:14 Since then the children have shared in flesh and blood, he also himself in the same way partook of the same, that through death he might bring to nothing him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 2:15 and might deliver all of them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

This view on the permanence of death, and I leave it to you to ponder, can probably be traced back to the garden. The death Satan and Adam and Eve had never witnessed or experienced occurred initially and immediately with the spiritual separation between Adam and Eve and God. All eventually saw natural death overcome the man and the woman.

What does a liar do when he is exposed? He creates another lie. When Satan's lie that Adam and Eve would not die was exposed he did as liars do, and as he is the father of all lies (John 8:44), he created another lie. It is the lie many live and die with believing the permanence of death. Satan's work was not completed so as to allow him to rest when Adam and Eve fell into disobedience of God. Once the reality of death became evident his new lie was and remains that death is final. Furthermore, Satan's message to man has echoed throughout the history of creation: God cannot save you from death. God cannot help you. God will not help you. God cannot understand your situation. God is not a man.

Whether Satan knows it or not it seems the lie with which he deceived Adam and Eve that they would not die has become true about Satan himself: It is he who will not die. His condemnation in the lake of fire is not his death as in the sense of annihilation. Who, other than the author of Life could have the power to give life, but to raise the dead, also? As impressive as raising ten Lazaruses it would have been nothing more than just that: impressive. The claims Jesus made openly to his disciples in the hearing of his enemies concerning his crucifixion and resurrection was to be the ultimate in-your-face demonstration to Satan that the giver of life has power over death too.

This God was willing to demonstrate, not by sending yet another messenger to raise a few dead corpses and to raise up that messenger, but to lay down his own life and take it up again. It was an effective demonstration that death is nothing to God. It has no power over him. It is in the palm of his hand. He can lay down his life and take it up again.

A God as all powerful, omniscient and omnipresent at his weakest, most ignorant and limited capabilities is infinitely more than man whom He created. His willingness to subject Himself is well in keeping with the what he expects from those who profess to trust him. Would God cease to be God by taking on the form of man anymore than he ceased to be God when He appeared in the burning bush to Moses and numerous other manifestations throughout history? God, who is acknowledged as being in the garden of Eden, did not lose his hearing, his mind, his memory or his divine omniscience when he called out to Adam and Eve, "Where are you?" Discerning why God called out for the man and woman would be to discern why Jesus called out, "Who touched me?" Unless, of course, one cannot discern the latter of these two, then we are back to square one: Who was in the garden?

Yes, there remain a deluge of questions and not without understanding and answers, but all these pale with the understanding of the blinding effect death has as much over non-believers and professing believers in God the Creator of heaven and earth. Raising the dead, walking on water and all other miracles are mere impressive displays compared to the resurrection. Even more impressive than the resurrection is that it happened as foretold by Jesus. This, presumably, demands a second look at the man called Jesus.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Trinity Delusion: a response

(See my blog article. God is one: On a Unitarian and Trinitarian Debate)
If God Existed
An Incomplete and Disingenuous Apologetic
Is the Resurrection of Jesus a Falsifiable Prediction
Jesus: The Father is Greater than I
He Has Explained
God is One: On a Unitarian and Trinitarian Debate
This is my brief comment on an extract from the article The Trinity Delusion by Adam Pastor in the Adoni Messiah blog. The article content is the usual rehash on the Shema ("Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one"). The points from both sides of the discussion table about God usually fixate on the same: quantitative values of singular and plural pronouns. Of course, the original Deuteronomy 6 passage can't be beat, not because it was, as some cheer for their side, seemingly championed by Jesus. The quotation of the Shema in Mark 12 by Jesus is seized upon by some as an endorsement by Jesus of their particularly numeric, quantitative take on God. What, you might wonder is the Jewish awareness and response to that plurality? Rabbi Goldmark summons it up this way: "We just ignore it." Amazing. There is a gag reflex which overcomes some at the mere sound of a non-biblical term (which is equally unnecessary and non-useful to my understanding and my contribution to the discussion [for those who may not know it that term is, "trinity"]) which is suggestive of a plurality concerning God. One can hardly blame a man for not thinking clearly when he is gagging.

The default interpretation of the Shema from the Jews adapted by

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Wedding

I was glad to join with my brothers in Christ this morning in our weekly Saturday meeting after missing several weeks. What should be the opening topic: the wedding of William and Kate. I told my wife about it and declared to her I should write a post on the subject. Here goes.

Just my mere reference to the wedding couple does not seem right: William and Kate. It may (and probably does for some) smack of disrespect, but that is precisely where I want to go with this article. The wedding ceremony of Prince William and his bride Kate Middleton appreciably showcases some important matters.

It is not the historical, political or economic impact or the significance of the succession of kings to the throne in England that captured my attention. I had no interest in the wedding. I saw a few clips as my wife and daughter replayed an earlier recorded program. What the wedding, and really not so much the actual wedding itself, brings to mind for me is the public acknowledgment, capture and celebration of the event by the British royal family and the British people in full splendor, pomp, circumstance with the invocation of God and His blessing.

I believe it was Richard Harris, a British subject no less, who made the statement in a western movie about the scourge of crime affecting the American west . He attributed that scourge to the lack of royalty and disdain for reverence in America.

No, I'm not advocating for a throne in America but the point Harris about reverence reverberated in the wedding event. It is the public acknowledgment, capture or celebration of any sense of reverence Americans have cast out perhaps not with disdain and contempt but with equal measure of disregard and indifference. This is not to say the British are a devout people towards God. However, it is not as though Americans have never known formality and reverence. Even a young person will have an awareness of what is casual and what is formal; what conveys some semblance or acknowledgment of reverence and propriety in public. If they have never experienced it personally they see formality in their entertainment idols at awards ceremonies as well as the casualness in their idols' lives captured in reality TV shows.

Certainly, one undeniable truth about the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton was the honor of marriage as the union of a man and a woman in purity to maintained in holiness:

 Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the bed be undefiled:
but God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterers. Hebrews 13:4

This absence or erosion between the formal and the casual in public is evident in graduation ceremonies and other rites of passage and ceremonies. It has become an expected given that crassness will come crashing in at any moment. It may or may not be with the knowledge and consent of those being honored, but that hardly matters because it soon becomes the opportune moment for irreverence. This same crassness-turned-casual is as readily found in the workplace, both in the way people dress and their speech and conduct. (No wonder management is often clueless to handle these promptly and appropriately in the workplace.) The signs of that formal erosion are found in church too, No. Check yourself. Check my words. This is not a call for full button down shirt and tie or leather shoes. The point is everyone of us, as I've stated, has some awareness of what is casual and what is formal as well as what is appropriate and inappropriate in word and in deed. Although we have formal and casual celebrations I wonder how consistent we are in our deliberateness and preparation for those special moments.

I think I hear the cries: What a stuff-shirt! (Yes, that's the G-rated version cry after all the children might be reading this blog :-)

Many are as clueless if not unwilling to acknowledge the celebration of public irreverence in America. What was at one time formal and which received our full respect is now characterized by a brazen irreverence which does not remain behind at those events and ceremonies. A brazened casualness has come home to our marriages, families and homes and workplace driven my the cool gospel message of entertainment. Even church is a gathering of the casual not the holy as evidenced by our interactions and speech with one another. There's biblical principal which may well apply here. The apostle John wrote First John 4:

If a man says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who doesn’t love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 4:21 This commandment we have from him, that he who loves God should also love his brother.

If men and women who can see each other fail to honor each other in different public gatherings to show respect towards each other how will they or why would they show respect to God whom they cannot see? Quizz: Check out the crassness with which people talk with each with words and mannerisms which just a few years ago were the stuff which came just before the fist blows. A quick review of movies or talk shows just fifteen years old will reveal these same changes.

Ironically, the earliest acknowledgment, capture and celebration of reverence was immediately after Adam and Eve disrespected and disobeyed God. Yet, they were no less aware of an innate need to seek and own the reestablishment of their respect towards God. They did not cover their nakedness from themselves as much as from God. Later, when God appeared to Moses in a burning bush Moses was reminded by God that Moses was standing in the presence of the Holy One and told him to remove his sandals. The Levitical priesthood who went before the congregation of the Lord acknowledged, captured and celebrated the Holy God of Israel in appearance and conduct in the tabernacle and later in the temple. Jesus in his very earliest days was readily identifiable by his appearance as a rabbi who acknowledged, captured and celebrated his relationship with His Father through his words and actions.

Lastly, the believers in Christ, also called the royal priesthood in the New Testament have put on, that is, clothed themselves with Christ. It is our clothing in Christ which sets the believer apart from the celebration of the casual in our culture. It makes the believer stand apart. They acknowledge, capture and celebrate the Living God Creator of heaven and earth in all that they say and do in work, worship and play. Each one of us came to be clothed with Christ when we finally confronted our dire, dejected, shameful and sinful condition. We were tired of a living a life filled with the casual without reverence. Jesus came that we might have life and have it abundantly. That's not just as a private faith secret of the heart, but through our public acknowledgment, capture and celebration of life with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the heart of those who openly put their trust and faith in Jesus, the Son of God. Rejoice, and again I say rejoice, said the apostle Paul.