A Series of Questions for Jehovah’s Witnesses Pt. 13b, a post by Sam Shamoun

A Series of Questions for Jehovah’s Witnesses Pt. 13b

 

We proceed from where we left off previously.

 

Jesus – What kind of God is he?

 

The NWT agrees that Jesus is identified as Theos (“God”), since the translators were aware that the NT applies this Greek word to Christ in at least three places:

 

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god (kai Theos seen ho logos). This one was in the beginning with God. All things came into existence through him, and apart from him not even one thing came into existence. What has come into existence by means of him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light is shining in the darkness, but the darkness has not overpowered it… The TRUE light that gives light to every sort of man was about to come into the world. He was in the world, and the world came into existence through him, but the world did not know him… So the Word became flesh and resided among us, and we had a view of his glory, a glory such as belongs to an only-begotten son from a father; and he was full of divine favor and truth… No man has seen God at any time; the only-begotten god (monogenes Theos) who is at the Father’s side is the one who has explained Him.” John 1:1-5, 9-10, 14, 18

 

Jesus as the preexistent Word is not only identified as Theos, but he is also described in the same way the Hebrew Bible describes Jehovah.

 

For instance, it is Jehovah who is the source of life and the light which provides illumination for mankind:

 

Jehovah is my light and my salvation. Whom should I fear? Jehovah is the stronghold of my life. Whom should I dread?” Psalm 27:1

 

“With you is the source of life; By your light we can see light.” Psalm 36:9

 

Jehovah is also the One who created all things by himself, since he didn’t need or have anyone to assist him:

 

“He spreads out the heavens by himself, And he treads upon the high waves of the sea.” Job 9:8

 

“This is what Jehovah says, your Repurchaser, Who formed you since you were in the womb: “I am Jehovah, who made everything. I stretched out the heavens BY MYSELF, And I spread out the earth. WHO WAS WITH ME?” Isaiah 44:24

 

In fact, all throughout this Gospel Jesus refers to himself as the Light of the world and the Life who grants everlasting life and raises the dead just by the power of his glorious and sovereign voice:

 

“For just as the Father raises the dead up and makes them alive, so the Son also makes alive whomever he wants to… Most truly I say to you, the hour is coming, and it is now, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who have paid attention will live. For just as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted also to the Son to have life in himself… Do not be amazed at this, for the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his [the Son’s] voice and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life, and those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment.” John 5:21, 25-26, 28-29

 

“This is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose none out of all those whom he has given me, but that I should resurrect them on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who recognizes the Son and exercises faith in him should have everlasting life, and I will resurrect him on the last day.” John 6:39-40

 

“Then Jesus spoke again to them, saying: ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will by no means walk in darkness, but will possess the light of life.’” John 8:12

 

“Jesus said to her: ‘Your brother will rise.’ Martha said to him: ‘I know he will rise in the resurrection on the last day.’ Jesus said to her: ‘I am the resurrection and THE LIFE. The one who exercises faith in me, even though he dies, will come to life; and everyone who is living and exercises faith in me will never die at all. Do you believe this?’ She said to him: ‘Yes, Lord, I have believed that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.’” John 11:23-27

 

“However, Jesus called out and said: ‘Whoever puts faith in me puts faith not only in me but also in him who sent me; and whoever sees me sees also the One who sent me. I have come as a light into the world, so that everyone putting faith in me may not remain in the darkness.’” John 12:44-46

 

“Jesus said to him: ‘I am the way and the truth and THE LIFE. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” John 14:6

 

These verses amply testify that Jesus is the same kind of God that the Father is, a point which is brought out more clearly in this next example:

 

“‘My sheep listen to my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them everlasting life, and they will by no means ever be destroyed, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. What my Father has given me is something greater than all other things, and no one can snatch them out of the hand of the Father. I and the Father are one.’ Once again the Jews picked up stones to stone him. Jesus replied to them: ‘I displayed to you many fine works from the Father. For which of those works are you stoning me?’ The Jews answered him: ‘We are stoning you, not for a fine work, but for blasphemy; for you, although being a man, make yourself a god (Theon).’” John 10:27-33

 

The reason why the Jews correctly assumed that Jesus was making himself out to be Theos (“God”) is because he ascribed to himself the very functions and characteristics which the OT writings attribute to Jehovah alone.

 

For instance, Jehovah’s people are said to be the sheep of his hand who are expected to hear his voice:

 

“O come in, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before Jehovah our Maker. For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasturage and the sheep of his hand. Today if YOU people listen to his own voice, Do not harden YOUR heart as at Mer′i·bah, As in the day of Mas′sah in the wilderness,” Psalm 95:6-8 1984 Edition http://www.jw.org/en/publications/bible/bi12/books/psalms/95/

 

Jehovah is also the One who gives life with no one being able to rescue or snatch anything out/from his hand:

 

“See now that I—I am he, And there are no gods apart from me. I put to death, and I make alive. I wound, and I will heal, And no one can rescue from my hand.” Deuteronomy 32:39

 

“‘I—I am Jehovah, and besides me there is no savior. I am the One who declared and saved and made known When there was no foreign god among you. So you are my witnesses,’ declares Jehovah, ‘and I am God. Also, I am always the same One; And no one can snatch anything out of my hand. When I act, who can prevent it?’” Isaiah 43:11-13

 

And yet these are the exact same functions which Jesus applies to himself!

 

Even the Hebrew Scriptures call Jesus God since the book of Isaiah identifies the Messiah as a Child that is born who happens to be the Mighty God:

 

“For a child has been born to us, A son has been given to us; And the rulership will rest on his shoulder. His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God (El Gibbor), Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. To the increase of his rulership And to peace, there will be no end, On the throne of David and on his kingdom In order to establish it firmly and to sustain it Through justice and righteousness, From now on and forever. The zeal of Jehovah of armies will do this.” Isaiah 9:6-7

 

Amazingly, the prophet Isaiah applies this very same title to Jehovah in the very next chapter!

 

“In that day those remaining of Israel And the survivors of the house of Jacob Will no longer support themselves on the one who struck them; But they will support themselves on Jehovah, The Holy One of Israel, with faithfulness. Only a remnant will return, The remnant of Jacob, to the Mighty God (El Gibbor).” Isaiah 10:20-21 – cf. Deuteronomy 10:17- Psalm 24:8; Jeremiah 32:18

 

On top of all this, Jesus receives the same exact honor that the Father himself receives,

 

“For the Father judges no one at all, but he has entrusted all the judging to the Son, so that all may honor the Son JUST AS they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.”

 

Including fear/reverence:

 

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of the Christ, so that each one may be repaid according to the things he has practiced while in the body, whether good or bad. Therefore, since we know the fear of the Lord, we keep persuading men, but we are well-known to God. However, I hope that we are well-known also to your consciences.” 2 Corinthians 5:10-11

 

In fact, every created thing that exists is depicted as giving Christ the exact same honor that the Father receives!

 

“When he took the scroll, the four living creatures and the 24 elders fell down before the Lamb, and each one had a harp and golden bowls that were full of incense. (The incense means the prayers of the holy ones.) And they sing a new song, saying: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and open its seals, for you were slaughtered and with your blood you bought people for God out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and you made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God, and they are to rule as kings over the earth.’ And I saw, and I heard a voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders, and the number of them was myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, and they were saying with a loud voice: “The Lamb who was slaughtered is worthy to receive the power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing.’ And I heard EVERY CREATURE in heaven and on earth and underneath the earth and on the sea, and all the things in them, saying: ‘To the One sitting on the throne AND TO THE LAMB be the blessing and the honor and the glory and the might forever and ever.’ The four living creatures were saying: ‘Amen!’ and the elders fell down and worshipped.” Revelation 5:8-14

 

To top it all off, one of Jesus’ own disciples went as far as to worship the risen Christ as his very Lord and God:

 

“In answer Thomas said to him: ‘My Lord and my God (ho Kyrios mou kai ho Theos mou)!’ Jesus said to him: ‘Because you have seen me, have you believed? Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe.’” John 20:28-29

 

To say that Thomas’ confession is astonishing would be putting it mildly, since the Watchtower itself acknowledges that when a Jew or an Israelite says “my God,” s/he could only be referring to Jehovah!

 

In its articles on Jehovah, The Imperial Bible-Dictionary nicely illustrates the difference between ʼElo·him (God) and Jehovah. Of the name Jehovah, it says: “It is everywhere a proper name, denoting the personal God and him only; whereas Elohim partakes more of the character of a common noun, denoting usually, indeed, but not necessarily nor uniformly, the Supreme. . . . The Hebrew may say the Elohim, the true God, in opposition to all false gods; but he never says the Jehovah, for Jehovah is the name of the true God only. He says again and again my God . . . ; but never my Jehovah, for when he says my God, he means Jehovah. He speaks of the God of Israel, but never of the Jehovah of Israel, for there is no other Jehovah. He speaks of the living God, but never of the living Jehovah, for he cannot conceive of Jehovah as other than living.”—Edited by P. Fairbairn, London, 1874, Vol. I, p. 856. (Insight to the Scriptures, Volume 2: http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200002391; bold emphasis mine)

 

In light of this candid admission, this means that Thomas was worshiping Jesus as Jehovah his God who had become a flesh and blood human being!

 

Here is a quick breakdown of what we have seen thus far:

 

  1. The NWT of the Christian Scriptures identifies Jesus as Theos in several places.
  2. In one passage it even refers to him as the “Mighty God” (El Gibbor), a title that is used elsewhere for Jehovah himself.
  3. The Scriptures attest that there is only one true God that exists in the heavens above and on the earth beneath.
  4. Jesus must therefore be the only true God since this is the only kind of Theos and “Mighty God” he could possibly be.
  5. Yet for Jesus to be the only true God he must be Jehovah Incarnate, since there is no other god besides Jehovah.
  6. At the same time, however, Jesus is personally distinguished from God the Father, since he is referred to as the beloved Son of God.

 

“No, it was not by following artfully contrived false stories that we made known to you the power and presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, but rather, we were eyewitnesses of his magnificence. For he received from God the Father honor and glory when words such as these were conveyed to him by the magnificent glory: ‘This is my Son, my beloved, whom I myself have approved.’ Yes, these words we heard coming from heaven while we were with him in the holy mountain.” 2 Peter 1:16-18

 

“There will be with us undeserved kindness, mercy, and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, with truth and love.” 2 John 1:3

 

  1. This means that both the Father and the Son together exist as the one true God Jehovah.

 

In light of the foregoing, how can the JWs continue to deny that Jesus is Jehovah when their own version of the Holy Bible identifies him as Theos (“God”) and El Gibbor (“Mighty God”), despite the fact that their translation seeks to make him into a lesser, secondary god from Jehovah? After all, since the God-breathed Scriptures proclaim that there is only one true God in heaven above and on the earth below, and since Jehovah is said to be that one true God, the only way that Jesus could be God in any sense of the term is if he was/is Jehovah Incarnate. Otherwise, Jesus would be a false god like the rest of the so-called gods that are wrongly worshiped by others. However, such as position would be utterly blasphemous, as even the JWs would agree.

 

Therefore, the JWs have no other choice but to acknowledge and confess that Jesus is the one and only true God, and therefore Jehovah in the flesh, without this making him the Father or the Holy Spirit.

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A Series of Questions for Jehovah’s Witnesses Pt. 13a, a post by Sam Shamoun

A Series of Questions for Jehovah’s Witnesses Pt. 13a

 

It is time, once again, to ask another specific question for Jehovah’s Witnesses to answer. Unless noted otherwise, all Scriptural quotations taken from the 2013 revised edition of the New World Translation (http://www.jw.org/en/publications/bible/nwt/books/).

 

Jehovah – the one and only true God

 

The inspired Scriptures repeatedly affirm that Jehovah is the one and only true God, and that no other gods exist besides him:

 

“How can you believe, when you are accepting glory from one another and you are not seeking the glory that is from the only God?” John 5:44

 

“See now that I—I am he, And there are no gods apart from me. I put to death, and I make alive. I wound, and I will heal, And no one can rescue from my hand.” Deuteronomy 32:39

 

“That is why you are truly great, O Sovereign Lord Jehovah. There is no one like you, and there is no God except you; everything we have heard with our ears confirms this.” 2 Samuel 7:22

 

“The way of the true God is perfect; The saying of Jehovah is refined. He is a shield to all those taking refuge in him. For who is a God besides Jehovah? And who is a rock except our God?” 2 Samuel 22:31-32

 

“For you are great and do wondrous things; You are God, you alone.” Psalm 86:10

 

No one is like you, O Jehovah. You are great, and your name is great and mighty. Who should not fear you, O King of the nations, for it is fitting; Because among all the wise ones of the nations and among all their kingdoms, There is no one at all like you… But Jehovah is truly God. He is the living God and the eternal King. Because of his indignation the earth will quake, And no nations will endure his denunciation.” Jeremiah 10:6-7, 10

 

The prophetic writings further proclaim that Jehovah is the only God in heaven above and on the earth beneath:

 

“You yourselves have been shown these things so you will know that Jehovah is the true God; there is no other besides him… Know, therefore, on this day, and take it to heart that Jehovah is the true God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath. There is no other.” Deuteronomy 4:35, 39

 

“When we heard about it, we lost heart, and no one has any courage because of you, for Jehovah your God is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath.” Joshua 2:11

 

“Hez·e·ki′ah took the letters out of the hand of the messengers and read them. Hez·e·ki′ah then went up to the house of Jehovah and spread them out before Jehovah. And Hez·e·ki′ah began to pray to Jehovah and say: ‘O Jehovah of armies, the God of Israel, sitting enthroned above the cherubs, you alone are the true God of all the kingdoms of the earth. You made the heavens and the earth. Incline your ear, O Jehovah, and hear! Open your eyes, O Jehovah, and see! Hear all the words that Sen·nach′er·ib has sent to taunt the living God. It is a fact, O Jehovah, that the kings of As·syr′i·a have devastated all the lands, as well as their own land. And they have thrown their gods into the fire, because they were not gods but the work of human hands, wood and stone. That is why they could destroy them. But now, O Jehovah our God, save us out of his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone are God, O Jehovah.’” Isaiah 37:14-20

 

Since Jehovah alone is God the Israelites were commanded to honor and confess Jehovah alone as their God:

 

You must not bow down to another god, for Jehovah is known for requiring exclusive devotion. Yes, he is a God who requires exclusive devotion.” Exodus 34:14

 

“When Jehovah made a covenant with them, he commanded them: ‘You must not fear other gods, and you must not bow down to them or serve them or sacrifice to them. But Jehovah, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt with great power and an outstretched arm, is the One you should fear, and to him you should bow down, and to him you should sacrifice. And the regulations, the judgments, the Law, and the commandment that he wrote for you, you should always follow carefully, and you must not fear other gods. And you must not forget the covenant that I made with you, and you must not fear other gods. But it is Jehovah your God whom you should fear, as he is the one who will rescue you out of the hand of all your enemies.’” 2 Kings 17:35-39

 

“Awake and rise to my defense, My God, Jehovah (Septuagint (LXX) – my God and my Lord [ho Theos mou kai ho Kyrios mou]), defend me in my legal case.  Judge me according to your righteousness, O Jehovah my God; Do not let them gloat over me.” Psalm 35:23-24

 

The Father as the one true God

 

Moreover, the inspired Greek Scriptures refer to the Father as the one and only true God:

 

“I have come in the name of my Father, but you do not receive me. If someone else came in his own name, you would receive that one. How can you believe, when you are accepting glory from one another and you are not seeking the glory that is from the only God?” John 5:43-44

 

“Jesus spoke these things, and raising his eyes to heaven, he said: ‘Father, the hour has come. Glorify your son so that your son may glorify you, just as you have given him authority over all flesh, so that he may give everlasting life to all those whom you have given to him. This means everlasting life, their coming to know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.’” John 17:1-3

 

“there is actually to us one God, the Father, from whom all things are and we for him; and there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things are and we through him.” 1 Corinthians 8:6

 

one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 4:6

 

“For they themselves keep reporting about our first contact with you and how you turned to God from your idols to slave for a living and true God, and to wait for his Son from the heavens, whom he raised up from the dead, namely, Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath that is coming.” 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10

 

“to the only God our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, might, and authority for all past eternity and now and into all eternity. Amen.” Jude 1:25 – cf. Mark 12:29, 32; Romans 3:30; Galatians 3:20; 4:8; 1 Timothy 1:17; 2:5

 

This, therefore, establishes that the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is Jehovah God Almighty. Note the logic behind this argument:

 

  1. Jehovah is the only true God that exists.
  2. The Father is identified as the only true God.
  3. The Father must therefore be Jehovah God.

 

Now the question remains whether Jesus is also identified as Deity, and if so then what kind of God would Jesus be?

 

Now for the answer to these questions please proceed to the second part of our discussion.

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In a society where laws are based on the Royal Law and the Golden Rule slavery can not exist. In a society ruled by Sharia Law it is sanctioned and encouraged as a blessing from Allah.

The Royal Law as defined by the book of James:

James 2 v 8: If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: 9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.

The Golden Rule as defined by Jesus:

Matthew 7 v 12: Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

In a society governed by these laws no man would be able to put another man under his power or possess another man as chattel or his property to do with as he pleased. It would be breaking both the Golden Rule and the Royal law. Under the Judaeo-Christian ethic, as James writes in his epistle, each and every man is obligated to his fellow man to treat him lovingly and has the same right to be treated lovingly as his equal under the law without discrimination.

If we treat someone differently than we would someone who has the same beliefs as ourselves we are committing a grave sin according to James:

James 2 v 9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.

The foundation of Sharia law is to treat non-Muslims differently to fellow Muslims because of their beliefs.

Jesus commands us to love our enemies and gives us the example of the Good Samaritan. What he is saying is that we can not exclude anyone, even our ideological enemies, from being the object of our love on any basis whatsoever. This is the opposite of Sharia law.

So to enslave another human being is a transgression against both the Royal Law and the Golden Rule. In Sharia law slaves are a gift and a blessing from Allah to be used as one pleases:

The Women

  1. [4.3] And if you fear that you cannot act equitably towards orphans, then marry such women as seem good to you, two and three and four; but if you fear that you will not do justice (between them), then (marry) only one or what your right hands possess; this is more proper, that you may not deviate from the right course.
  2. [4.24] And all married women except those whom your right hands possess (this is) Allah’s ordinance to you, and lawful for you are (all women) besides those, provided that you seek (them) with your property, taking (them) in marriage not committing fornication. Then as to those whom you profit by, give them their dowries as appointed; and there is no blame on you about what you mutually agree after what is appointed; surely Allah is Knowing, Wise.
  3. [4.25] And whoever among you has not within his power ampleness of means to marry free believing women, then (he may marry) of those whom your right hands possess from among your believing maidens; and Allah knows best your faith: you are (sprung) the one from the other; so marry them with the permission of their masters, and give them their dowries justly, they being chaste, not fornicating, nor receiving paramours; and when they are taken in marriage, then if they are guilty of indecency, they shall suffer half the punishment which is (inflicted) upon free women. This is for him among you who fears falling into evil; and that you abstain is better for you, and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
  4. [4.36] And serve Allah and do not associate any thing with Him and be good to the parents and to the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the neighbor of (your) kin and the alien neighbor, and the companion in a journey and the wayfarer and those whom your right hands possess; surely Allah does not love him who is proud, boastful;

The Bee

  1. [16.71] And Allah has made some of you excel others in the means of subsistence, so those who are made to excel do not give away their sustenance to those whom their right hands possess so that they should be equal therein; is it then the favor of Allah which they deny?

The Believers

  1. [23.6] Except before their mates or those whom their right hands possess, for they surely are not blameable,

The Light

  1. [24.31] And say to the believing women that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts and do not display their ornaments except what appears thereof, and let them wear their head-coverings over their bosoms, and not display their ornaments except to their husbands or their fathers, or the fathers of their husbands, or their sons, or the sons of their husbands, or their brothers, or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women, or those whom their right hands possess, or the male servants not having need (of women), or the children who have not attained knowledge of what is hidden of women; and let them not strike their feet so that what they hide of their ornaments may be known; and turn to Allah all of you, O believers! so that you may be successful.
  2. [24.33] And let those who do not find the means to marry keep chaste until Allah makes them free from want out of His grace. And (as for) those who ask for a writing from among those whom your right hands possess, give them the writing if you know any good in them, and give them of the wealth of Allah which He has given you; and do not compel your slave girls to prostitution, when they desire to keep chaste, in order to seek the frail good of this world’s life; and whoever compels them, then surely after their compulsion Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
  3. [24.58] O you who believe! let those whom your right hands possess and those of you who have not attained to puberty ask permission of you three times; before the morning prayer, and when you put off your clothes at midday in summer, and after the prayer of the nightfall; these are three times of privacy for you; neither is it a sin for you nor for them besides these, some of you must go round about (waiting) upon others; thus does Allah make clear to you the communications, and Allah is Knowing, Wise.

The Romans

  1. [30.28] He sets forth to you a parable relating to yourselves: Have you among those whom your right hands possess partners in what We have given you for sustenance, so that with respect to it you are alike; you fear them as you fear each other? Thus do We make the communications distinct for a people who understand.

The Clans

  1. [33.50] O Prophet! surely We have made lawful to you your wives whom you have given their dowries, and those whom your right hand possesses out of those whom Allah has given to you as prisoners of war, and the daughters of your paternal uncles and the daughters of your paternal aunts, and the daughters of your maternal uncles and the daughters of your maternal aunts who fled with you; and a believing woman if she gave herself to the Prophet, if the Prophet desired to marry her– specially for you, not for the (rest of) believers; We know what We have ordained for them concerning their wives and those whom their right hands possess in order that no blame may attach to you; and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
  2. [33.52] It is not allowed to you to take women afterwards, nor that you should change them for other wives, though their beauty be pleasing to you, except what your right hand possesses and Allah is Watchful over all things.
  3. [33.55] There is no blame on them in respect of their fathers, nor their brothers, nor their brothers’ sons, nor their sisters’ sons nor their own women, nor of what their right hands possess; and be careful of (your duty to) Allah; surely Allah is a witness of all things.

The Ways of Ascent

  1. [70.30] Except in the case of their wives or those whom their right hands possess– for these surely are not to be blamed,
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Bradistan: Importing a Culture Gap, a post by Peter taken from the Gates of Vienna website

Our expatriate English correspondent Peter returns with a look at the Islamization of the UK over the past three decades. He accompanies it with this brief note:

This piece includes my impressions of Islam in the UK from 1998 when I returned from my travels until 2003, when I gave up. I gave up for several reasons, mainly because the UK publishing industry was so far up itself I would only get into print if I changed my name to Victoria Beckham. They were also into self-preservation and were reluctant to publish Islam-critical material after what happened to Viking over the Satanic Verses.

Bradistan: Importing a Culture Gap
by Peter

I cannot blame anyone in Pakistan for coming to the UK, either as a refugee or as an economic migrant seeking a better life. Indeed, I am surprised that anybody stays there at all, as Pakistan has little to recommend it. What does surprise me, though, is that a number of Pakistani immigrants seem determined to bring Pakistan with them and, having arrived here, resist all inducements to integrate with the host community. This situation should have been addressed and arrested a long time ago but it has been allowed to fester over the years with disastrous consequences.

When I went travelling in 1994, Islam was firmly entrenched in the UK but very few people viewed it as the threat it ultimately became. Dr. Patrick Sookhdeo of the Barnabas Fund put out monthly newsletters giving up-to-date bulletins of murders and other crimes committed internationally by Muslims against Christians and other denominations but for the most part, the main stream media tended to view Islam as a joke. Looking back I can understand why. There were three stock comic characters continually featured in the daily press who were viewed as Falstaffian personalities while preaching bile and hatred against their western hosts, but for the most part they stopped short of outright incitement to violence. They were Omar Bakri Mohammed, Abu Hamza Al Masri and Abu Qatada — none of whom was Pakistani, but the vast majority of their followers were and they believed every word these maniacs uttered.

Syrian-born Omar Bakri Muhammad, real name Omar Bakri Fostock is an Islamic hardliner who was instrumental in developing Hizb ut-Tahrir in the UK before setting up Al Muhajiroun until it became a proscribed organization in 2004. For several years Bakri was one of the best-known Islamic militants in the UK and was frequently quoted and interviewed in the British media. Although he was described as “closely linked to al Qaeda” he was more commonly known as the “Tottenham Ayatollah”, and considered to be a bumbling incompetent more akin to Inspector Clouseau than Osama Bin Laden.

By way of contrast, the fearsome, hook handed Mustafa Kamel Mustafa born in Egypt on 15 April 1958 and more commonly known as Abu Hamza al-Masri was formerly the Imam of the Finsbury Park Mosque in North London, where he preached extremist Islam and Jihadism. He was subsequently imprisoned for incitement to violence and ultimately deported to the USA where he was convicted of terrorism and is currently awaiting sentence when, it is hoped, he will never again see the light of day.

Abu Qatada al-Filistini, born Omar Mahmoud Othman in 1960, is a Jordanian national of Palestinian origin. He had been in and out of prison in the UK and although rumoured to be Al Qaeda’s right hand man in Europe and being involved with Islamic terror in London and elsewhere, he has never been found guilty of any crime. After a long drawn out legal battle, he was deported to Jordan to face terrorism charges and subsequently acquitted. The UK Government has stated that he will not be returning to Britain but expect this to be quietly overturned if Labour win the General Election in 2015.

Apart from Islam, the other characteristic these people had in common was that they all lived on welfare generously provided by the British taxpayer, including free palatial housing for their multitudinous dependents, with both Bakri and Hamza receiving additional payments for disability. There are many, many Muslims in the UK today receiving the same level of benefits for doing absolutely nothing but sitting around and procreating. Is it any wonder why they congregate in Calais from all points of the Islamic compass to jump onto the UK gravy train?

I returned to the UK in 1998 and, as my flat in Hayes was let until December 1999, I took lodgings in a shared house in South London where I became aware of a number of changes. Firstly, there were far more Muslims on the streets than there had been when I went away, and although they were far more assertive in projecting their Islamic identity, newspaper articles were fewer and far less critical of their activities.

In the summer of 2001, the strained relationship that had long existed between Britain’s Muslim population and its Anglo-Saxon hosts finally erupted into violence on the streets of Oldham, Burnley and Bradford. Three different Government enquiries took place after the events and produced a plethora of recommendations. They highlighted as the main causes of the unrest a lack of social cohesion and the fact that both sets of communities had been allowed to develop in tandem, living polarised lives with little attempt at integration. Muslim communities in particular came in for criticism for being inward-looking and reluctant to accept the British way of life. But none of these conclusions was unexpected.

After the destruction of the World Trade Centre on September 11th 2001, Europe was forced to accept the fact that the bitch that bore the Taliban was now in its midst, and she was in heat again.

In the UK, Britons were incensed to discover that a disturbing proportion of their Muslim population not only supported the atrocity, but celebrated it. They were even more indignant when it was revealed that a number of vociferous Islamist organisations were active in their cities urging and recruiting young British Muslims to fight alongside the Taliban against the allied forces in Afghanistan, while increasing numbers of rogue clerics were preaching violence, race-hate and religious intolerance to congregations, a significant number of whom, were anti-British, anti-Western and anti-white. While the outrage of the British public was understandable, the revelation should have come as no surprise. Islamist organisations had been in this country for decades, and successive British Governments had been criticised by many of their European counterparts for their tolerance of the nefarious activities of their Muslim guests. The French Government, in particular, had accused London of operating “a revolving door for Islamic terrorists.”

That racial violence should finally break out on the streets of Oldham, Burnley and Bradford should not have been received as a bolt from the blue as the signs were there for all to see. For decades, there had been exclusively Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Indian, non-English-speaking enclaves in many of our major cities, where the occupants offered no allegiance to the United Kingdom, neither did they feel bound by its laws. Bradford itself has long been known as “Bradistan” — Little Pakistan by its Pakistani community. In the months leading up to the riots, stories had been appearing in the newspapers about “no-go” areas for whites in Oldham, while police figures for Greater Manchester up to April 2001 showed a record level of racial attacks, and that 60% of the victims were white.

Rabble-rousing agitators from the BNP (British National Party) and the ANL (Anti Nazi League), surely two ends of the same pantomime horse, were also operating on the fringes, presumably hoping to make capital out of any unrest they might stir up. Although serious, the violence was the tip of a very large and sinister iceberg that has been allowed to grow by successive British governments who habitually swept racial issues under the carpet in the vain hope that they would go away. The Blair government exacerbated the problem, stifling much-needed debate by smearing anybody who attempted to highlight racial difficulties as ‘racist.’ Similar attitudes have handicapped the police and numerous care agencies in their approach to minority ethnic groups and enabled such things as drug trafficking, extortion, generic domestic violence, gang rape of white minors and forced marriage to continue unabated within those communities.

During the late 1990s the issue of forced marriage abroad gradually gained recognition until the extent of the problem was finally acknowledged. Stories started to appear in the press about the plight of Pakistani-Muslim girls in the UK and of the way those in authority persistently looked the other way while the rights of those girls were being systematically abused. Allegations were being made that thousands of girls, some as young as 13 or 14, were being taken out of school in the UK every year and forced to marry much older men in Pakistan, Bangladesh or India. There were also veiled suggestions that female genital mutilation was being carried out in the UK or that girls were being sent abroad to have this vile thing done to them beyond the reach of UK justice. But the major issue was that of forced marriage and the apparent indifference of the authorities who were reluctant to interfere in case they were deemed to be racist.

In 1999, the UK had what I believed to be its first trial for honour killing. In May of that year, Shakeela Naz and her son Shazad were sentenced to life imprisonment at Nottingham Crown court for the murder of nineteen year old Ruksana Naz, who had been married at 15 by arrangement to an older man and who had hardly seen him since. This did not prevent her from bearing him two children and she was seven months pregnant with the child of her lover when she was murdered. Her mother and brother believed that her actions had insulted the honour of the family and, when Ruksana refused to submit to an abortion, her relatives had no doubt that this gave them the right to commit murder. An appeal that the verdict was unsafe was dismissed by the High Court in March 2000.

It was also in May 1999 that the stark realities surrounding forced marriage within the Pakistani community were officially recognised when Anne Cryer, then MP for Keighley, Yorkshire, introduced her constituent Zena Briggs (not her real name) to the Immigration and Home Office Minister Mike O’Brien. Zena had refused to go through with a marriage arranged by her family to a first cousin in Pakistan. Her family forced her into hiding as they first sent private detectives then bounty hunters and finally hit men after her. Zena had a contract out on her life and she and her English husband Jack had been living in fear for the previous six years. Around this time, one of the UK daily newspapers ran a similar story about a young woman in Bradford they called Yasmin Darr (also not her real name) It is possible that Zena and Yasmin were one and the same person. Whatever the truth might be, there was no doubt that Zena’s family believed that they had the right to murder both her and Jack in order to restore their honour, and that is the root of the multicultural lie. Like so many of their fellow countrymen and women, Zena’s family had been allowed to conduct themselves in Britain as though they were still living in their villages in Pakistan, where tribal, Islamic law prevails, women are no more than commodities and human life has little value. This state of affairs has been made worse by the complete refusal of a section of the Pakistani community to integrate with their hosts who they regard as degenerate, decadent and inferior.

Without question, the incidence of forced marriage abroad increased significantly since the abolition of the “Primary Purpose Rule” in 1998. Under this rule, foreign nationals had to prove they were marrying for the right reasons and not just as a pretext by which to gain entry to the UK. Soon after it was elected, the Blair Government caved in to pressure from various leftist, Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi lobbies who claimed that this rule discriminated against arranged marriages and was therefore “racist”(groan) Since then, immigration officials have been unable to question the validity of a marriage, and the production of a marriage certificate is now enough to guarantee the holder the right to enter the UK.

In 1996, the British High Commission in Islamabad issued 1,960 visas to Pakistani-born potential husbands heading for the UK. In February 1998, after the abolition of the “Primary Purpose Rule” this number had risen to 5,080. A research document produced by Bradford City Council claimed that 57% of all marriages within its Asian community involved a spouse — more often than not, a husband — born and domiciled in Pakistan.

Philip Bamforth, a former Bradford Police officer who was employed in the 1990s by the West Yorkshire Police Race Relations Department, said that he dealt with 300 runaway Asian girls in 1998, most of whom were fleeing from a forced marriage or were trying to escape from a husband who had been forced upon them. He said he had dealt with over a thousand cases in the previous three years and the number was increasing. However, he suspected that he only heard of about 1% of the real number. He also expressed concern at the increase in the number of professional bounty hunters who were being paid a high premium to return fugitive wives or daughters to their Asian families. In other cases, Bamforth had to rescue young Pakistani women who had been imprisoned in their homes. Many of them were illiterate and had never been allowed outside since landing at Manchester airport. In the winter of 1998, he released a woman from a flat in Bradford where she had been kept prisoner by her drug-abusing husband ever since she had been brought to the UK from Pakistan. The woman had no knowledge of English and, said Bamforth, “We had to teach her how to use money, how to use telephones, even how to take the bus.”

In December 2001, “Our Voice,” a women’s group based in Bradford, advocated the reintroduction of the Primary Purpose Rule because of the increase in the incidence of forced marriage since its abolition. Anne Cryer had opposed this view in 1999, as she believed that the Primary Purpose Rule was offensive to those Asians who genuinely participated in arranged marriages abroad. However, she did feel that protective measures were necessary to prevent the Muslim community indulging in what she called “ the cruel practice of making their girls go back to Pakistan to marry first cousins or those to whom their family owe a favour.” Ominously, she warned at the time that civil unrest could occur if this practice were to continue. Her chilling prediction came true two years later, although forced marriage was not officially listed among the causes. The Blair government eventually brought in a mealy-mouthed response to this issue, but failed to criminalise what was clearly a criminal act.

Just before Christmas 2000, I heard the story of Narina Anwar, a British-born teenager of Pakistani origin and her two sisters who had been duped into visiting relatives in Pakistan only to find that all three of them were expected to marry local men, even her youngest sister who was only fourteen years old at the time. Their passports had been taken from them by their relatives, who threatened to kill them if they refused to go through with the marriages or tried to escape. Narina described her intended husband as “unsuitable.” The last time I heard a prospective Pakistani husband described in this manner, he turned out to be a malodorous, hairy-faced illiterate, who spoke no English and had never ventured further than forty miles from his village in any direction for the whole of his life up until then. Faced with being dragooned into marriage to such a man, the three sisters felt that they had no option but to escape, regardless of the death threats they knew to be genuine. They finally reached the British High Commission in Lahore, where flights home were arranged for them and they were taken into local authority care on arrival. The British High Commission had stated that in the year 2000, they had intervened in 70 cases where British-born girls were being forced to marry Pakistani men. Narina Anwar was last heard of working as a volunteer counsellor in a community liaison unit set up jointly by the Home and Foreign Offices to work on behalf of victims of forced marriage abroad.

In 1990s Pakistan, the forced marriage of British Asian girls to Pakistani men was a generally acknowledged route by which the latter could gain unfettered access to the UK. The abolition of the Primary Purpose Rule has removed a formidable obstacle to the success of this deception. Clearly, any action by the British Government to prohibit the practice of forced marriages abroad would go some way towards closing this particular loophole in our immigration laws. Predictably, there are some Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and Indians who resent what they see as the “interference” of the British Government which, they feel, has no right to “stick its nose into” family matters, culture or traditions. They see Government initiatives to counteract forced marriage as unwarranted interference, telling Asians how to live their lives. Such attitudes present a significant barrier to integration and the achievement of a genuine multicultural society, as they demonstrate quite clearly a complete absence of any comprehension of the workings of the liberal democracy by which the UK is governed. There are laws in our country against such denials of human rights and we must all observe them without exception. [I can’t believe I wrote that back then. — P] There is another serious issue here, too. Asian families, particularly those from Pakistan, might claim that their culture and religion entitle them to force their daughters to marry abroad and, in our civilised society that is hard enough for us to accept. But when that marriage brings with it the uncontested right of the husband to enter and remain in Great Britain, then the families concerned are clearly granting a concession that was never theirs to offer.

In 2001 , I came upon a newspaper report that highlighted once again the human casualties of the east-west divide in the UK today. On 15 June 2001, one Munir Hussain, a 51-year-old Muslim from Walthamstow, East London pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of his 23-year-old daughter Shanaz, because she went to the local pub. Mr. Hussain, described as a strictly religious man, wound rope around his daughter’s neck and throttled her to death. He then wrapped her body in plastic bags and put it in the boot of his car before driving to the police station and confessing to her murder. He pleaded guilty to a charge of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility and was ordered to be detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act.

On 20th October, 2003, two men who had murdered a bride on her wedding day were sentenced to life imprisonment in Birmingham. Rafaqat Hussein of Camberley, Surrey, had pleaded guilty to stabbing his cousin Sahjda Bibi 22 times in an honour killing, while his cousin Tafarak Hussain drove the getaway car. Apparently, the pair had decided to murder the young woman because she had decided to marry a divorced man. In sentencing the killers, the Judge, Mr. Justice Wakerley, told them “Those who live here in our multi-cultural and multi-racial, tolerant society must accept our laws.”

Good luck with that.

I started to write these notes in 1998 when people were still talking about bogus asylum seekers rather than serial benefit claimants, jihadis and child molesters. As everyone knows now, things in the UK have become much, much worse with Islamic inspired violence on our streets, Muslim Patrols to enforce Sharia Law in East London, vast numbers of under aged white girls being groomed for sex by Pakistani men while in some areas, there appear to be mosques on every street corner. Things are much the same across Europe.

Everybody knows that the problem is the unholy alliance between Islam and the left. I cannot predict any positive outcome to this, only that it will not end well.

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Do not tempt the Lord Jesus, but worship Him instead! Pt. 4, a post by Sam Shamoun

Do Not Tempt the Lord Jesus –

But Worship Him Instead! Pt. 4

 

We have arrived at the final part of our discussion.

 

Yahweh God Has Come!

 

Here is the final line of evidence which confirms that Jesus himself is the Lord God who should not be tempted, but should be worshiped and served instead:

 

“In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!’ For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight.”’… ‘I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. HIS winnowing fan is in HIS hand, and He will thoroughly clean out HIS threshing floor, and gather HIS wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.’ Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?’ But Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then he allowed Him. When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’” Matthew 3:1-3, 11-17 – cf. Luke 3:1-6, 15-17; Mark 1:1-11; John 1:1-10, 14-15, 19-36; 3:22-36

 

Matthew cites Isaiah 40 (as do the other Gospels) to show that John the Baptist is the messenger or envoy that the inspired prophet stated would be sent ahead of Yahweh to prepare for his coming:

 

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; Make straight in the desert A highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted And every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight And the rough places smooth; The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, And all flesh shall see it together; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’… O Zion, You who bring good tidings, Get up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, You who bring good tidings, Lift up your voice with strength, Lift it up, be not afraid; Say to the cities of Judah, ‘Behold your God!’ Behold, the Lord God shall come with a strong hand, And His arm shall rule for Him; Behold, His reward is with Him, And His work before Him. He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, And carry them in His bosom, And gently lead those who are with young.” Isaiah 40:3-5, 9-11

 

The prophecy clearly states that the Lord God himself is coming to manifest his glory to all flesh, as well as to save and care for his people like a shepherd.

 

And yet, as the context of Matthew 3 itself showed, and as the rest of the Gospels proclaim, John was sent to prepare for the coming of the Lord Jesus!

 

We even find this stated in the book of Acts:

 

“And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples he said to them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?’ So they said to him, ‘We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.’ And he said to them, ‘Into what then were you baptized?’ So they said, ‘Into John’s baptism.’ Then Paul said, ‘John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.’ When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. Now the men were about twelve in all.” Acts 19:1-7

 

What this means is that Jesus is none other than the very Lord God whom Isaiah said would come to save and care for his flock!

 

This explains why John could say that he wasn’t worthy enough to stoop down to loosen and carry Jesus’ sandals, which was a function of slaves during that time, or that Christ baptizes people with the Holy Spirit, a work which the inspired Scriptures ascribes to Yahweh alone (cf. Isaiah 34:16; 44:1-3; 59:19-21; Ezekiel 26:25-27; 37:12-14; 39:29; Joel 2:27-32). In other words, the reason why Jesus is so much greater and mightier than the Baptist, and can grant the Holy Spirit to his followers is because he happens to be Yahweh God Incarnate.

 

Concluding Remarks

 

In this series we examined Jesus’ words to the adversary that one shouldn’t tempt the Lord God, but should worship and serve only him, to see if he was speaking of the Father, or whether he was referring to himself as the Lord God since he was the One being tempted by the enemy.

 

We saw from our examination of Matthew and Luke-Acts how others often tempted Jesus, which was something that they weren’t supposed to do. We also saw how Jesus received the very same worship that God alone is supposed to receive. We then documented how all four Gospels identify Jesus as the Lord God whom the prophet Isaiah said would come to reveal his glory and shepherd his people under his loving care. All of these points strongly suggest that Jesus was referring to himself as the Lord God that Satan was supposed to worship and serve, instead of trying to tempt him.

 

Now even if one were to reject this interpretation, at the very least our analysis has shown that Jesus is identified as Yahweh God Incarnate, which means that what Christ stated concerning the Lord God applies equally to him as well, i.e., instead of tempting the Lord Jesus we should worship and serve him since he is worthy of the same honor and glory that God the Father expects to receive from his creation. As Christ himself stated in John’s Gospel:

 

“For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: that all men should honour the Son, EVEN AS they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.” John 5:22-23

 

Therefore, true believers are those who refuse to tempt the Lord Jesus, but choose to worship and serve him as the divine, unique Son of God and sovereign Lord of all creation to the glory of God the Father:

 

“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11

 

Unless noted otherwise, all Scriptural quotations taken from the Authorized King James Version (AV) of the Holy Bible.

 

 

 

Addendum

Testimony of the Church Fathers and Bible Expositors

 

Here are some references from various church fathers, theologians and commentators who have also understood that Jesus was identifying himself as the Lord God who should not be tempted, but should be worshiped and served instead. These citations help illustrate that our exegesis is not something novel, but has been shared by others in the past, by men whose scholarship and knowledge of the Holy Scriptures are unquestionable. They even used some of the same arguments that we employed to confirm their position, e.g., Jesus received divine worship which clearly indicates that he himself is that very same Lord God who alone is to be worshiped and served.

 

Hilary: Thus beating down the efforts of the Devil, He professes Himself both God and Lord

 

Jerome: When the Devil says to the Saviour, “If thou wilt fall down and worship me,” he is answered by the contrary declaration, that it more becomes him to worship Jesus as his Lord and God. (St. Thomas Aquinas, Catena Aurea (Golden Chain): Gospel of Matthew, translated by John Henry Parker, v. I, J.G.F. and J. Rivington
London, 1842 
Dedication translated by Joseph Kenny, O.P.: http://dhspriory.org/thomas/CAMatthew.htm#4; bold emphasis ours)

 

ye shall not tempt the Lord your God, thereby tacitly showing, that he had produced scripture to a very wrong purpose, since that could never contradict itself; and also, that for a person to neglect the ordinary means of safety, and to expect, that as God can, so he will, preserve without the use of such means, is a tempting him. The Hebrew word תנסו “tempt”, as Manasseh benF6 Israel observes, is always taken in an ill part, and is to be understood of such who would try the power, goodness, or will of God. And which, as it is not fitting it should be done by any man, so not by himself; and perhaps he hereby intimates too, that he himself was God; and therefore as it was not right in him to tempt God the Father, by taking such a step as Satan solicited him to; nor would it be right in any other; so it was iniquitous in the devil to tempt him who was God over all, blessed for ever. (John Gill’s Exposition on the Whole Bible, Matt. 4:7: http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/view.cgi?bk=39&ch=4; bold and underline emphasis ours)

 

Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God: in the text in Deuteronomy the words are, “ye shall not tempt the Lord your God.” The second person plural, is here changed into the second person singular, to accommodate the words to Satan; whom Christ singly addresses, and makes answer to, and who was under this same general law as other rational creatures: and Jehovah may be called the Lord his God, as he is his creator and governor; by whom he is upheld in his being, and to whom he is subject, whether he will or not; though not his covenant God: and even if our Lord Jesus Christ is intended by the Lord God, AS SOME THINK; he is God over all; over all principalities and powers, good and bad, by whom all are created, and in whom all consist; and whose power and authority over Satan and his angels, have abundantly appeared, in dispossessing devils out of men, sending them where he pleased, and in spoiling the powers of darkness, and in destroying him that had the power of death, the devil; and great insolence and wickedness it must be in a creature, to tempt the Lord his God, in any way, or form whatever; See Gill on Matthew 4:7 (Ibid., Luke 4:12: http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/view.cgi?bk=41&ch=4; bold, capital and underline emphasis ours)

 

[2.] With an argument fetched from scripture. Note, In order to the strengthening of our resolutions against sin, it is good to see what a great deal of reason there is for those resolutions. The argument is very suitable, and exactly to the purpose, taken from Deuteronomy 6:13,10:20. Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Christ does not dispute whether he were an angel of light, as he pretended, or not but though he were, yet he must not be worshipped, because that is an honour due to God only. Note, It is good to make our answers to temptation as full and as brief as may be, so as not to leave room for objections. Our Saviour has recourse to the fundamental law in this case, which is indispensable, and universally obligatory. Note, Religious worship is due to God only, and must not be given to any creature it is a flower of the crown which cannot be alienated, a branch of God’s glory which he will not give to another, and which he would not give to his own Son, by obliging all men to honour the Son, even as they honour the Father, if he had not been God, equal to him, and one with him. Christ quotes this law concerning religious worship, and quotes it with application to himself First, To show that in his estate of humiliation he was himself made under this law: though, as God, he was worshipped, yet, as Man, he did worship God, both publicly and privately. He obliges us to no more than what he was first pleased to oblige himself to. Thus it became him to fulfil all righteousness. Secondly, To show that the law of religious worship is of eternal obligation: though he abrogated and altered many institutions of worship, yet this fundamental law of nature–That God only is to be worshipped, he came to ratify, and confirm, and enforce upon us. (Matthew Henry’s Complete Commentary on the Bible, Matt. 4:10: http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/view.cgi?bk=39&ch=4; bold and underline emphasis ours)

 

Luke 4:12 gives Christ’s reply exactly as in Mt. The nature of this reply probably explains the inversion of the order of the second and third temptations in Lk. The evangelist judged it fitting that this should be the last word, construing it as an interdict against tempting Jesus the Lord. Lk.’s version of the temptation is characterised throughout by careful restriction of the devil’s power (vide Luke 4:1; Luke 4:6). The inversion of the last two temptations is due to the same cause. The old idea of Schleiermacher that the way to Jerusalem lay over the mountains is paltry. It is to be noted that Mt.’s connecting particles ( τότε, πάλιν) imply sequence more than Lk.’s ( καὶ, δὲ). On the general import of the temptation vide on Mt. (The Expositor’s Greek New Testament: http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/view.cgi?bk=41&ch=4; bold and underline emphasis ours)

 

Observe, 2. The weapon with which he repels and beats back the fiery dart of Satan’s temptation, and that is, with the shield of scripture: It is written, thou shalt worship the Lord thy God.

 

Learn thence, That God is the sole object of religious worship: it is so peculiarly the Creator’s due, that to give it to any creature is gross idolatry, and repugnant to the scriptures. No creature is to pay divine adoration to any but his Creator; hence it appears that Christ is not a creature, divine worship being given to him. (William Burkitt’s Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament, Matt. 4:10: http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/view.cgi?bk=39&ch=4; bold and underline emphasis ours)

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Do not tempt the Lord Jesus but worship Him instead! Pt. 3c, a post by Sam Shamoun

Do Not Tempt the Lord Jesus –

But Worship Him Instead! Pt. 3c

 

We proceed from where we previously left off.

 

Sixth Case

 

In this next example, the disciples worship Christ in the context of Jesus’ identifying himself as the I AM who is able to walk on water and control the winds and waves:

 

“Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, ‘It is a ghost!’ And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Be of good cheer! It is I (Gr. ego eimi – I AM); do not be afraid.’ And Peter answered Him and said, ‘Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.’ So He said, ‘Come.’ And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, ‘Lord, save me!’ And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’ And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, ‘Truly You are the Son of God.’” Matthew 14:22-33

 

Christ is depicted here as performing the very works that the OT assigns to Yahweh God alone!

 

“Which ALONE spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea.” Job 9:8

 

“And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing. They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; these see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end. Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.” Psalm 107:22-30

 

Seventh Case

 

The following episode highlights Jesus’ omniscience and omnipotence, as well as his sovereignty over both the natural and spiritual realms:

 

“Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.” Matthew 15:21-28

 

Christ casts out an unclean spirit from a young girl without having to be physically present to do so. Such display of divine sovereignty explains why the following early church father and renowned biblical scholar rightly concluded that the woman was doing more than simply honoring Jesus:

 

“… Now, the Canaanitish woman, having come, worshipped Jesus as God, saying, ‘Lord, help me,’…” (Origen, Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, Book XI, 17. Exposition of the Details in the Narrative: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/101611.htm; bold and underline emphasis ours)

 

Eighth Case

 

In this next one, Jesus heals ten lepers simply by his word as they headed off to announce their cleansing to the priests at the temple:

 

“Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’ So when He saw them, He said to them, ‘Go, show yourselves to the priests.’ And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. So Jesus answered and said, ‘Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?’ And He said to him, ‘Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.’” Luke 17:11-19

 

Christ’s reply is truly remarkable since the lepers didn’t need to return to him in order to glorify God. They could have done so in the temple when offering the sacrifices that the Law prescribed in cases where individuals have been cleansed of various infectious skin diseases (cf. Leviticus 13:49; 14:2-57). However, in light of the worship which the one man gave to Christ, it is obvious what the Lord meant here… Jesus is the God whom the other nine were supposed to return to glorify and give thanks to! Their failure to do so meant that they hadn’t recognized the God who was standing right before them as a flesh and blood human being!

 

Ninth Case

 

“Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, ‘Hosanna TO THE SON OF DAVID!’ they were indignant and said to Him, ‘Do You hear what these are saying?’ And Jesus said to them, ‘Yes. Have you never read, “Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise”?’” Matthew 21:14-16

 

The reason why the chief priests and scribes were indignant over the honor which the children were giving to Christ is because they were praising him in the exact same way that the Psalmist praised Yahweh:

 

Save now (hoshi’a nna’), I pray, O Lord; O Lord, I pray, send now prosperity.” Psalm 118:25

 

The Lord then appealed to Psalm 8:2 to justify such praise. What makes this appeal rather astonishing is that this particular Psalm refers to the praise that Yahweh receives from babes and sucklings in order to silence his foes!

 

“[For the end, concerning the wine-presses, a Psalm of David.] O Lord, our Lord, how wonderful is thy name in all the earth! for thy magnificence is exalted above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou perfected praise, because of thine enemies; that thou mightest put down the enemy and avenger.” Psalm 8:1-2 LXX

 

What Jesus was basically telling his enemies is that the children were doing the very thing that the God-breathed Scriptures indicate they would do when Yahweh is present. In other words, Jesus was claiming to be the very Yahweh God whom babes and infants worship!

 

Tenth Case

 

“And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven. And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. Amen.” Luke 24:49-52

 

Since Jesus had already physically left and entered into heaven when the disciples began worshiping him, this means that their action cannot be explained away as some type of honor or obeisance that a person normally gives when in the presence of a king or some important figure. The Apostles were clearly worshiping Jesus in the same way that believers are to worship God, which brings us to our next example.

 

Eleventh Case

 

Here are the last words which the first Christian martyr Stephen uttered right before his death:

 

“But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, and said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, and cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.’” Acts 7:55-60

 

Remarkably, Stephen prayed to the risen Lord in the same exact way that the Psalmist prayed to Yahweh his God:

 

Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.” Psalm 31:5

 

Hence, not only is the risen Christ depicted as forgiving sins, a divine prerogative, he is also seen receiving the righteous dead into his heavenly presence which is another divine function!

 

Stephen wasn’t the only one to worship Jesus this way, as our next case shows.

 

Twelfth Case

 

The first followers of Christ, who were predominately Jewish, were known for their habit of calling on the name of the risen Lord. This was especially the case among the Jewish believers who were still living in Jerusalem. In fact, this was a major reason why Paul started to persecute the early Church:

 

“Then Ananias answered, ‘Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.’ But the Lord said to him, ‘Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.’ And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’… Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God. Then all who heard were amazed, and said, ‘Is this not he who destroyed those who called on this name in Jerusalem, and has come here for that purpose, so that he might bring them bound to the chief priests?’” Acts 9:13-17, 20-21

 

Paul himself attests to this being a practice which characterized the first generation of Christians:

 

“To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:” 1 Corinthians 1:2

 

To say that what these Christians were doing, especially in Jerusalem, was something truly remarkable and unprecedented would be to put it mildly, since the Hebrew Bible is crystal clear that believers are to call upon the name of Yahweh ALONE!

 

Here are just a few examples:

 

“Then Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there called on the name of the Lord, the Everlasting God.” Genesis 21:33 – cf. 4:26; 12:8

 

“Exalt the Lord our God, And worship at His footstool—He is holy. Moses and Aaron were among His priests, And Samuel was among those who called upon His name; They called upon the Lord, and He answered them. He spoke to them in the cloudy pillar; They kept His testimonies and the ordinance He gave them.” Psalm 99:5-7

 

“I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon the name of the Lord; O Lord, I beseech thee, deliver my soul… I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the Lord.” Psalm 116:1-4, 13, 17 – cf. 145:18; Deuteronomy 4:7; Jeremiah 29:13; Joel 2:32

 

All of these examples from Matthew and Luke-Acts, which we have looked at, establish beyond any reasonable doubt that Jesus received the worship that he himself proclaimed was/is to be given to the Lord God only.

 

It is now time to move on to the next part of our discussion.

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The new versions of the Bible do not record the fact that Jesus always called his covenant a NEW covenant in his blood. They do not tell the truth about what Jesus said at the Last Supper

Mark 14:24

New International Version
“This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them.

New Living Translation
And he said to them, “This is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice for many.

English Standard Version
And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.

New American Standard Bible
And He said to them, “This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.

King James Bible
And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
He said to them, “This is My blood that establishes the covenant; it is shed for many.

International Standard Version
He told them, “This is my blood of the covenant that is being poured out for many people.

NET Bible
He said to them, “This is my blood, the blood of the covenant, that is poured out for many.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And he said to them, “This is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed in exchange for the many.”

GOD’S WORD® Translation
He said to them, “This is my blood, the blood of the promise. It is poured out for many people.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.

King James 2000 Bible
And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many.

American King James Version
And he said to them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.

American Standard Version
And he said unto them, This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And he said to them: This is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many.

Darby Bible Translation
And he said to them, This is my blood, that of the [new] covenant, that shed for many.

English Revised Version
And he said unto them, This is my blood of the covenant, which is shed for many.

Webster’s Bible Translation
And he said to them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.

Weymouth New Testament
“This is my blood,” He said, “which is to be poured out on behalf of many–the blood which makes the Covenant sure.

World English Bible
He said to them, “This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many.

Young’s Literal Translation
and he said to them, ‘This is my blood of the new covenant, which for many is being poured out;

Luke 22:20

New International Version
In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.

New Living Translation
After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people–an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.

English Standard Version
And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.

New American Standard Bible
And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.

King James Bible
Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
In the same way He also took the cup after supper and said, “This cup is the new covenant established by My blood; it is shed for you.

International Standard Version
He did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant sealed by my blood, which is being poured out for you.

NET Bible
And in the same way he took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And thus also concerning the cup after they had dined, he said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which shall be shed in your stead.

GOD’S WORD® Translation
When supper was over, he did the same with the cup. He said, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new promise made with my blood.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
Likewise also he took and gave them the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

King James 2000 Bible
Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is shed for you.

American King James Version
Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

American Standard Version
And the cup in like manner after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood, even that which is poured out for you.

Douay-Rheims Bible
In like manner the chalice also, after he had supped, saying: This is the chalice, the new testament in my blood, which shall be shed for you.

Darby Bible Translation
In like manner also the cup, after having supped, saying, This cup [is] the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.

English Revised Version
And the cup in like manner after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood, even that which is poured out for you.

Webster’s Bible Translation
Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

Weymouth New Testament
He gave them the cup in like manner, when the meal was over. “This cup,” He said, “is the new Covenant ratified by my blood which is to be poured out on your behalf.

World English Bible
Likewise, he took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.

Young’s Literal Translation
In like manner, also, the cup after the supping, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, that for you is being poured forth.

Matthew 26:28

New International Version
This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

New Living Translation
for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many.

English Standard Version
for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

New American Standard Bible
for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.

King James Bible
For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For this is My blood that establishes the covenant; it is shed for many for the forgiveness of sins.

International Standard Version
because this is my blood of the new covenant that is being poured out for many people for the forgiveness of sins.

NET Bible
for this is my blood, the blood of the covenant, that is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
This is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed in exchange for the many for the release of sins.

GOD’S WORD® Translation
This is my blood, the blood of the promise. It is poured out for many people so that sins are forgiven.

Jubilee Bible 2000
for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

King James 2000 Bible
For this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

American King James Version
For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

American Standard Version
for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many unto remission of sins.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins.

Darby Bible Translation
For this is my blood, that of the [new] covenant, that shed for many for remission of sins.

English Revised Version
for this is my blood of the covenant, which is shed for many unto remission of sins.

Webster’s Bible Translation
For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sin.

Weymouth New Testament
for this is my blood which is to be poured out for many for the remission of sins–the blood which ratifies the Covenant.

World English Bible
for this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the remission of sins.

Young’s Literal Translation
for this is my blood of the new covenant, that for many is being poured out — to remission of sins;

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