While there are Billions who believe that Jesus is God, there are also Billions of people who don’t believe the Godhood of Jesus, mainly because they are not familiar with Holy Bible. Some of them know the Holy Bible but they don’t spend time and effort to study it, that’s why some Catholic Christians are easily convinced by other Faiths. Others simply cannot understand though they have read the Scriptures and have known the evidence. They stick to their principle and refuse to be converted, this is to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah which says;
He has blinded their eyes, and hardened their hearts; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, and be converted, and I should heal them. [Isaiah 6:9]
In them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled: ‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. [Matthew 13:14]
It is not easy and fast to learn the contents of the Bible, but as you dig it deeper with an open heart, you will get amazed and start feeling the existence and glory of God. For those who have not yet touched the Bible, I will give you a brief background about this greatest Book so that you may become acquainted with the Godhood of Jesus Christ.
To know the Abrahamic Faith, first, we should study Tanakh (also called the Hebrew Bible). Tanakh is the earliest Scriptures about God written by Moses, prophets, and other writers; and is carefully preserved by Jews and handed down from generation to generation. This book includes 39 books and categorized into three; the Torah (Teachings/Five books of Moses), Nevi’im (Prophets), and K’tuvin (Writings/Scriptures). This book records the creation of the universe, animals, humans, and plants. The writers are acclaimed to be inspired by God. This God though claims He is the God of all creations, He is mostly known as the God of Abraham, because according to Tanakh, only Abraham was ready to sacrifice his only child with him to please God. Because of that, the covenant was made by God with him. God promised to give him numerous descendants, and through Abraham, all inhabitants of the Earth shall be blessed [Genesis 12:1-3].
Since Islam also claims that they believe the God of Abraham, Muslims should trace back what the earliest Scriptures say about Abrahamic Faith. Studying Tanakh (also called Hebrew Bible/Old Testament) is important for Abrahamic Faith believers, so that they can know the origin of the Faith that they are into, and so that this Abrahamic knowledge will become their guide to draw a wise judgment on examining their present Faith. A religion that discourages their believers to study on divine Scriptures is afraid of the truth, therefore it is false. Without the knowledge of Tanakh, we believers are like flotsams which float on the sea of uncertainty, not knowing where we come from and where will we end up.
The Books in Tanakh (Hebrew Bible)
*KNOWING THE HOLY BIBLE*
Tanakh is also the main source of the Old Testament in the Holy Bible (Catholic Bible). The Holy Bible includes 73 books and is categorized into two parts; the Old Testament and the New Testament. From Malachi (the last book in the Old Testament), it took more than 400 years before the writing of the Gospel. The New Testament includes 27 books, it records the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, the fulfillment of the promised Messiah in the Old Testament, the works of apostles, and God’s second coming on Judgment Day (also called the Last Day, or Resurrection Day).
The Books in the New Testament
*THE INHERITED SIN AND DEATH PENALTY*
A lot of us do not believe the fact about original or inherited sin taught by the Catholicism, because we thought that it is a normal process for human to die. We thought that we are just born on this Earth to beget children, be worn out, and then rest in peace. Many of us do not know that this dying process is caused by the sin of our first parents (Adam and Eve). It is ironic that we reject the said teaching, while each day, we suffer from body aging and deterioration. For God commanded Adam;
“You are free to eat from any tree in the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die” [Genesis 2:16-17].
But Adam and Eve violated this commandment, they succumbed to the temptation of Satan [Genesis 3:1]. They wanted to become like God as lured by the Serpent [Genesis 3:5]. And this is the beginning of sin which spread upon the world, the beginning of man’s sufferings. Man was ejected from the paradise and lost his immortality [Genesis 3:23]. Man expired spiritually and physically, death entered into the world since the penalty for sin is death [Proverbs 10:16 & Romans 6:23]. And this is what we inherited as heirs of Adam and Eve, the death, for we are born sinners [Psalm 51:5 & 58:3].
*SALVATION OF THE WORLD BY GOD*
As early as in Genesis, God already announced the coming of a Savior. Right after the first parents sinned, God already had set up a plan to destroy the work of Satan, He said to the Serpent Satan;
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” [Genesis 3:15].
COMMENT: This seed of a woman is fulfilled in Jesus who’s born to Mary. The reason why Jesus was sent by God is to destroy the devil’s work through His death. So that in His death, He might deliver us from the power of death inflicted by Satan. Kindly read;
[1 John 3:8] He that commits sin is of the devil; for the devil sins from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil
[Hebrews 2:14-15] Since then the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
God just like a loving and righteous father who after disciplining and ejecting his rebellious child, he can’t help but to express his love, mercy, and righteousness to him. God says;
[Isaiah 54:8] “In an outburst of anger I hid My face from you for a moment, But with everlasting loving kindness I will have compassion on you,” Says the LORD your Redeemer.
[Isaiah 44:22] “I have wiped out your transgressions like a thick cloud And your sins like a heavy mist. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.”
God redeemed the world because of His great love and mercy [Psalm 103:2-4, Isaiah 51:5, & Ephesians 2:4], and not because of the righteousness of the people [Philippians 3:9]. For there’s no righteous man, all people are enslaved by the power of sin [Isaiah 64:7 & Romans 3:9]. If we won’t believe the original sin, which is the cause of man’s separation from God, then why there is a need for God to save mankind? The Old Testament keeps telling that God will save His people. The fact is, the Lord saved mankind since they fell from His glory due to sin [Romans 3:23]. And only in the renewed communion of God, man can regain his eternal life, and in order to achieve that, he needs to be sinless or pure again [Leviticus 11:44, Deuteronomy 23:14, & Revelation 21:27]. But who can bring the pure from impure? It is only God who can purify a sinner [Job 14:4]. God is holy, His abode is holy so no sinful being can enter there. And this is the main reason why God, in the person of Jesus, came to the world and brought salvation personally to the descendants of Adam [Luke 22:20]. This salvation brought by Jesus is the new and everlasting covenant which is sealed with His blood. This is the fulfillment of God’s promise long time ago in [Jeremiah 31:31-32] which says;
“The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD [Jeremiah 31:31-32].
He assumed the likeness of a perfect man and lived with men so that they might believe Him convincingly. He showed a lot of miracles to the people as proofs of His Godhood. He had demonstrated his holy power before the eyes of all nations, and all the ends of the Earth had seen His salvation [Isaiah 52:10]. He let Himself be killed on the cross and raised from the dead to show His power over death [Acts 2:24]. Before the eyes of men, He demonstrated the reality of resurrection that we will experience on the Last Day [John 6:40]. By presenting Himself as an atoning sacrifice, God demonstrated His great love and righteousness through Jesus, so that those who have faith in Him would become righteous and justified [Isaiah 53:11 & Romans 3:25-26]. For there is no salvation or purification if we are not justified by faith aside from obeying the law [James 2:24]. Without faith in the salvation through Christ, we will all perish [Isaiah 51:6 & Luke 13:3].
*BIBLICAL VERSES ABOUT SALVATION*
*THE PROMISED COMING OF GOD TO EARTH*
*THE ONENESS OF GOD OF ABRAHAM AND JESUS*
*THE TRINITY OF GOD*
*THE SON IS MENTIONED OR PROPHESIED IN TANAKH*
*PROPHESIES ABOUT THE MESSIAH FULFILLED BY JESUS*
*BIBLICAL VERSES TELLING JESUS IS GOD*
*ALL AUTHORITIES ARE GIVEN TO JESUS BY THE FATHER*
*MIRACLES OF JESUS*
*JESUS WAS WORSHIPED BY HIS BELIEVERS*
*APOSTOLIC EVIDENCE OF THE EXISTENCE AND GODHOOD OF JESUS*
1. JESUS DISCIPLES HAD WITNESSED THE VOICE OF THE FATHER DECLARING THAT JESUS IS HIS SON
[2 Peter 1:16-19] For we did not follow cleverly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.
2. MORE THAN 500 BELIEVERS HAD WITNESSED THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS
[Acts 1:2-3] until the day He was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles He had chosen. After His suffering, He presented Himself to them with many convincing proofs that He was alive. He appeared to them over a span of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God..
[1 Corinthians 15:3-9] I passed on to you the most important points of doctrine that I had received: Christ died to take away our sins as the Scriptures predicted. He was placed in a tomb. He was brought back to life on the third day as the Scriptures predicted. He appeared to Cephas. Next he appeared to the twelve apostles. Then he appeared to more than 500 believers at one time. (Most of these people are still living, but some have died.) Next he appeared to James. Then he appeared to all the apostles. Last of all, he also appeared to me. I’m like an aborted fetus [who was given life]. I’m the least of the apostles. I’m not even fit to be called an apostle because I persecuted God’s church.
3. THE DISCIPLES HAD WITNESSED THE ASCENSION OF JESUS TO HEAVEN
[Luke 24:50-52] When He had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up His hands and blessed them, while He was blessing them, He left them and was taken up into Heaven, then they worshiped Him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.
[Acts 1:9-11] After He had said this, they watched as He was taken up, and a cloud hid Him from their sight. They were looking intently into the sky as He was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven.”.
4. SAUL (THE FORMER CHRISTIANS PERSECUTOR) HAD SEEN JESUS IN THE FORM OF LIGHT
[Acts 22:3-10] “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but raised in this city. I was educated at the feet of Gamaliel in strict conformity to the law of our fathers. I am just as zealous for God as any of you here today. I persecuted this Way even to the death, detaining both men and women and throwing them into prison, as the high priest and the whole Council can testify about me. I even obtained letters from them to their brothers in Damascus, and I was on my way to apprehend these people and bring them to Jerusalem to be punished. About noon as I was approaching Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?’ ‘Who are You, Lord?’ I asked. ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting,’ He replied. My companions saw the light, but they could not understand the voice of the One speaking to me. Then I asked, ‘What should I do, Lord?’‘Get up and go into Damascus,’ He told me. ‘There you will be told all that you have been appointed to do.’
*EVIDENCE OF THE EXISTENCE OF JESUS OUTSIDE THE BIBLE*
1. EXCERPT FROM THE WRITING OF TACITUS [A.D. 54-119]
Nero fastened the guilt … on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of … Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome…
COMMENT: Though this knowledge of Tacitus about Christ is affected, nevertheless it confirms the existence of Jesus and his execution by Pontius Pilate, as well as the spread of Christian religion from Judea to Rome.
2. EXCERPT FROM THE WRITING OF PLINY THE YOUNGER [A.D. 61-115]
They were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound themselves by a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up; after which it was their custom to separate, and then reassemble to partake of food – but food of an ordinary and innocent kind.
COMMENT: This writing of Pliny describes accurately that the early Christians performed the Holy Eucharist or Mass regularly. This writing also confirms that Christianity is not evil as mentioned by Tacitus above, on the contrary, Christians bowed not to do any type of wicked deeds. And also early Christians were not afraid to stand up for their religion.
3. EXCERPT FROM ‘ANTIQUITIES’ BY FLAVIUS JOSEPHUS [A.D. 37-94]
Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.
COMMENT: This testimony of Flavius hints that Jesus Christ was a supernatural man. This also agrees with the Gospel that Jesus was crucified under the order of Pontius Pilate and restored to life on the third day. This writing also confirms that Jesus’ believers loved Him so much and their religion continued to exist.
4. EXCERPT FROM BABYLONIAN TALMUD [A.D. 70-200]
On the eve of the Passover Yeshu was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald … cried, “He is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy.
COMMENT: “Yeshu” is an acronym for Hebrew word “Yeshua” which means “salvation”. This was the name given to Yeshua by the people who did not believe Him. “Yeshua” was translated as “Iesous” in Greek, and “Iesous” became “Jesus” in Latin. The testimony above although affected, also agrees with the Gospel that Jesus was hanged on the cross on the eve of Passover. And also He led the Jews from Judaism (the Old Covenant) to Christianity (the New Covenant), in which the Jews regarded this act as an apostasy. In addition, this writing also bears the trace of the existence of Jesus.