The following article is a response to the Appendix of Mohd Elfie Nieshaem Juferi's article Is Jesus God? Think About It!.
A complete rebuttal to Menj's article will be appearing soon, Lord Jesus willing.
Menj begins his Appendix with an extract taken from a gentleman named Theophilus Lindsey. The author has presented a list of hypothetical questions that the Lord Jesus will ask regarding those who worship him as God. We provide our answers to these questions.
The following are the questions extracted from Theophilus Lindsey's (1723-1808) A List of False Reading of the Scripture. Lindsey asked those who worshipped Jesus what their reaction would be if Jesus appeared to them and asked the following questions:
Why did you address your devotions to me? Did I ever direct you to do it, or propose myself as an object of religious worship?
Lord, it was you who directed us to do so as the following passages show:
"Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son JUST AS they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him." John 5:22-23
Earlier you had said that we are to honor the Father by worshiping him in spirit and truth:
"Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." John 4:23-24
Since we are to honor you JUST AS we honor the Father, this means that we must also worship you in spirit and truth. In fact, you went on to say that both you and your Father would personally answer all prayers:
"And I WILL DO WHATEVER YOU ASK IN MY NAME, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask ME for anything IN MY NAME, AND I WILL DO IT." John 14:13-14
"You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit - fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask IN MY NAME." John 15:16
"In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask IN MY NAME." John 16:23
"COME TO ME, all you who are weary and burdened, AND I WILL GIVE YOU REST. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30
When you spoke to your servant John in a vision you plainly showed him that all creation worships you and your Father:
"And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down BEFORE THE LAMB. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song: You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth. Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang: Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise! Then I heard EVERY CREATURE in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: To him who sits on the throne AND TO THE LAMB be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever! The four living creatures said, Amen, and the elders fell down and worshiped." Revelation 5:8-14
Furthermore, the Father also directed others to worship you:
"Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:9-11
"And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, Let all God's angels worship him." Hebrews 1:6
Astonishingly Lord, throughout the NT we consistently find all your true followers praying to and worshiping you:
"While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. Then he fell on his knees and cried out, Lord, do not hold this sin against them. When he had said this, he fell asleep." Acts 7:59-60
"Into your hands I commit my spirit; redeem me, O Lord, the God of truth." Psalm 31:5
"Jesus called out with a loud voice, Father, into your hands I commit my spirit. When he had said this, he breathed his last." Luke 23:46
"In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. THE LORD called to him in a vision, Ananias! Yes, LORD, he answered. THE LORD told him, Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight. LORD, Ananias answered, I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done TO YOUR SAINTS in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest ALL WHO CALL ON YOUR NAME. But THE LORD said to Ananias, Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry MY NAME before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer FOR MY NAME. Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, Brother Saul, THE LORDJESUS, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming hereHAS SENT ME so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit ... All those who heard him were astonished and asked, Isn't he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those WHO CALL ON THIS NAME? And hasn't he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?" Acts 9:10-17
"Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. All those who heard him were astonished and asked, Isn't he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those WHO CALL ON THIS NAME? And hasn't he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?" Acts 9:20-21
Lord, this passage shows that while in heaven:
"To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those EVERYWHERE WHO CALL ON THE NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST - their Lord and ours:" 1 Corinthians 1:2
"If anyone does not love the Lord - a curse be on him. Come, O Lord! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love to all of you in Christ Jesus. Amen." 1 Corinthians 16:21-24
"He who testifies to these things says, Yes, I am coming soon. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God's people. Amen." Revelation 22:20-21
"To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for MY POWER (dunamis) is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that CHRIST'S POWER (dunamis tou Christou) may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
"In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will JUDGE the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge... Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the LORD, the righteous JUDGE, will award to me on that day - and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. The LORD will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen." 2 Timothy 4:1, 8, 18
"One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city." Acts 18:9-10
"When I returned to Jerusalem and was praying at the temple, I fell into a trance and saw the Lord speaking. Quick! he said to me. Leave Jerusalem immediately, because they will not accept your testimony about me. Lord, I replied, these men know that I went from one synagogue to another to imprison and beat those who believe in you. And when the blood of your martyr Stephen was shed, I stood there giving my approval and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him. Then the Lord said to me, Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles." Acts 22:17-21
"The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome." Acts 23:11
"But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen." 2 Peter 3:18
"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched - this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ." 1 John 1:1-3
"before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father - to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen." Revelation 1:5-6
In light of these passages Lord, who was I to differ?
Did I not uniformly and to the last set you an example myself of praying to the Father, to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God? (John 20:17)
Yet later on Lord, you went on to acknowledge Thomas' confession of faith, and blessed anyone who would confess the same:
"Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, We have seen THE LORD! But he said to them, Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it. A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, Peace be with you! Then he said to Thomas, Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe. Thomas said TO HIM, My Lord and my God! (ho kurios mou kai ho theos mou) Then Jesus told him, Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, THE SON OF GOD, and that by believing you may have life in his name." John 20:24-31
Lord, the context states that he directly spoke to you. I am aware that some have argued that the word Lord in Greek (Kurios) is in the nominative case, and had it been directed to you it would have appeared in the vocative case (Kurie). Yet Lord, elsewhere in the scriptures the nominative case is used in direct address:
"You are worthy, our Lord and God (ho kurios kai ho theos hemon), to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being." Revelation 4:11
Furthermore, there is an OT text that further strengthens the fact that Thomas was addressing you as his Lord God:
"Awake, O Lord, and attend to my judgment, even to my cause, my God and my Lord (ho theos mou kai ho kurios mou)." Psalm 34:23 LXX
In light of these examples, and the fact that you blessed all who would believe the confession of Thomas, who was I to differ?
What is more amazing Lord, is the fact that you knew exactly what Thomas had said a week prior even though you were not physically present to hear his conversation! Could this be due to the fact that earlier you had claimed to be omnipresent?:
"Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him." John 14:21
"Jesus replied, If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and WE will come to him and make OUR home with him." John 14:23
"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I IN THEM and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me ... I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them AND THAT I MYSELF MAY BE IN THEM." John 17:20-23, 26
"For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." Matthew 18:20
"and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:20
Lord, the only way for you to be IN all believers, and to make your home with all of them is if you are omnipresent. Yet to be omnipresent is to be God. So Lord, it is little wonder that you could know what Thomas had said since, although physically you were not there, your divine spirit was. Therefore, that Thomas realized that you are God is the only logical conclusion any thinking person could come to in light of the facts.
When my disciples requested me to teach them to pray (Luke 11:1-2), did I teach them to pray to myself or to any other person but the Father?
But Lord, you also went on to say that we must pray in your name, and that we can also direct our prayers to you, as the above verses have shown.
Did I ever call myself God, or tell you that I was the maker of the world and to be worshipped?
Yet Lord neither did you deny that you were God or the maker of the world. In fact, you actually affirmed that you were essentially God by claiming the attributes, qualities and titles of God and demanded to be given the same honor given to your Father. Furthermore, just as you glorified the Father, the Father also glorified you as the sovereign Lord of all creation and the Maker of the universe:
"But about the Son he [the Father] says ... In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end." Hebrews 1:8a, 10-12
Interestingly Lord, neither do we find in the NT the Father directly stating that he is God, or the Maker of the world, and should be worshiped. In fact, the one passage where something similar to this is stated, the context is so vague that we weren't sure whether it was you or the Father speaking:
"And I heard a loud voice saying, Now the dwelling of God (tou theou - the God) is with men, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people and God (ho theos - the God) himself will dwell with them and be their God. He who was seated on the throne said, I am making everything new! Then he said, I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be HIS GOD and he will be my son. " Revelation 21:3-7
That it is probably you speaking Lord, becomes evident when reading the following citations:
"All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel- which means, God (ho theos - the God) with us." Matthew 1:22-23
"Jesus answered her, If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living waters ... Jesus answered, Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." John 4:10, 13-14
"On the last day, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, If anyone is thirsty, let him come to ME and drink. Whoever believes in ME, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." John 7:37-38
"For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." Revelation 7:17
"When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades." Revelation 1:17-18
"To the angel of the church in Smyrna write: These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again." Revelation 2:8
"Behold, I AM COMING SOON! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End ... I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star ... He who testifies to these things says, Yes, I am coming soon. Amen. COME, LORD JESUS." Revelation 22:12-13, 16, 20
The similarities between your words with that of Revelation 21 strongly suggest that it is you Lord who is calling yourself God. The biblical witness further solidifies this fact since it is you Lord who is coming in visible glory to rule the nations, not the Father. (Cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:8; 1 Timothy 6:14; 2 Timothy 1:10, 4:1, 8; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 9:28; Revelation 1:7)
The only sense in which the Father can be said to be coming is through the manifestation of his glory through you, Lord. The Scriptures nowhere speak of the Father coming visibly.
A possible objection that might be raised is that the speaker indicates that a believer who overcomes will be his son. This seemingly refers to the Father since believers are pictured as Christ's brethren, not his sons.
Yet it does not logically follow that the statement "he will be my son" means the Father is speaking. If this were so, then the Apostle Paul would also be claiming to be the Father in the following passage:
"I am not writing this to shame you, but to warn you, as my dear children. Even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel." 1 Corinthians 4:14-15
Furthermore, Isaiah 9:6 would prove that Jesus is the Father if this logic were to be sustained:
"For to us a child id born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father (Abi Ad, Father of Eternity), Prince of Peace."
(Interestingly there are Christians who use this verse to try to prove that Jesus is actually the Father, since they believe that there are not three Persons but one Person assuming three different roles. This belief is known as modalism, a teaching adhered to by modern Oneness Pentecostals or "Jesus Only" churches. For a refutation of the claim that Isaiah 9:6 teaches that Jesus is the Father, please read the following article.)
This logic would also prove that Abraham was God the Father as well:
"Therefore, the promise comes by grace, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham's offspring - not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of all. As it is written: I have made you a father of many nations. He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed - the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they are." Romans 4:16-17 (Cf. Acts 7:1-2)
This would also include the Apostle John:
"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." 3 John 1:4
Hence, "son" need not imply that the Father is being addressed since the term can refer to the children that the Father has given you to raise up and glorify:
"All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day." John 6:37-39
"And again he says, Here am I, and the children God has given me." Hebrews 2:13b
Thus, Christians are viewed as your children in the sense that you are our very life and it is your infinite power that grants us immortal glory. (Cf. Philippians 3:20-21; Colossians 3:3-4)
Finally, Revelation clearly teaches that you and the Father are coeternal and coequal in essence and nature. (See this article for proof.)
In light of the preceding factors, you can see why Revelation 21:6-7 left us confused regarding the identity of the speaker. If it is you speaking, then you did claim to be our God.
The Lord then replied to his faithful servant who had answered wisely:
"... Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your masters happiness!" Matthew 25:21, 23
In the service of our risen Lord and eternal Savior, Jesus Christ, our Sovereign God who lives forever. Amen. Come Lord Jesus, so that we can see you face to face and worship you forever and ever.
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