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Western Civilization Text Book: Jesus is NOT the Son of God

     Western Civilization:  Beyond Boundaries is the textbook for my Western Civilization textbook.  Even though the lead historian is Thomas F. X. Noble from the Roman Catholic University of Notre Dame (French for Our Lady, i.e., Mary), not once does the textbook say that Jesus is the Son of God.  The virgin birth of Jesus is ignored.  In the textbook we read "He often spoke in parables and announced himself through miracles, particularly faith healing.  He welcomed marginalized groups, including prostitutes and lepers."  Not once do we read about the dramatic claims of Christ that He was the Son of God, nor that he performed 35 miracles.  The miracles are second rate:  "faith healing."  He ignores Jesus rising from the dead the widow of Nain's son and Lazarus and His own resurrection.  Notice that He "announced himself."  No mention is made of God the Father announcing to the world that Jesus Christ was God's Son.  (see earlier blog 19 Nov 15:  God the Father:  Jesus is the Son of God)

12 Apostles: Jesus is the Son of God

   As an historian looking for evidence, the more people say that A happened, the more confidence that something is true.  In Matthew 14 the 12 Apostles are in a boat crossing the Sea of Galilee.  Jesus then performs four distinct miracles in what people term as one miracle, the walking on water miracle:
1.  He walks "a considerable distance" (Matthew:  Greek:  "many stadia" a stadia was over 600 feet long; John:  3 or 3 1/2 miles; Greek:  25 to 30 stadia)
2.  He calls to Peter to walk.  Peter does walk to Jesus on the water, then falters, and Jesus grabs hold of Peter and helps him up.  Jesus is not pulled down into the water but hauls Peter up so both are walking on the water.
3.  When Jesus gets in the boat, the wind died down (Matthew 14:32)
4.  Immediately the boat reached the shore (John 6:21).

    The apostles response:  "Then those who were in the boat worshipped Him saying, 'Truly you are the Son of God.' "
     Lord, we ask that You would open the eyes of the unbelievers, just as You did with the apostles.

Are We Thankful or Do We Complain?

     Tomorrow Americans celebrate Thanksgiving as we have done at least since 1621 when the Pilgrims gave thanks, even though forty-five of the one hundred and two pilgrims had died in the first year.  What is our attitude?  Are we thankful?  And if so, are we thankful to God?  Today in the world of political correctness, we say that the Pilgrims gave thanks, but we ignore that they gave thanks to God.  In I Chronicles 16:34 we read "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever."  That is a command - so let us be thankful.

Lord, help us to be thankful even in adverse circumstances.

Demons: Jesus is the Son of God

    As an historian I am always looking for what is the truth, what really happened.  History is full of events that one person says "A" happened, and another person says "B" happened.  Which is true?  I have more confidence when both sources say "A" happened.  They may put a different spin on the importance of "A," but when both say that "A" happened, then I have confidence in my sources.  So far we have seen that God's messenger, Gabriel at the annunciation, and God at the baptism of Christ state that Jesus is the Son of God.  And we have seen where John the Apostle who lived with Jesus the Christ for three years stated emphatically that Jesus the Christ is the Son of God.  Thomas Jefferson, who examined the issue 1800 years after Jesus lived, concluded that Jesus was not the Son of God.
      Interestingly, the demons, who lived at the same time as Jesus and did not like Jesus, cried aloud that Jesus is the Son of God.  [Thomas Jefferson was not a good historian because he believed what he wanted to believe, vice examining the sources.]  Note that it is not one demon, but numerous demons.  In Luke 4:41 we read "More over, demons came out of many people, shouting 'Your are the Son of God!'  But He rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Christ [the Messiah, the anointed one.]"  Even the enemies of Jesus acknowledge that Jesus was the Son of God.

Lord God, thank you for having your enemies testifying about Your Son.  Amen.

John the Apostle: Jesus is the Son of God

     John the Apostle lived with Jesus for three years.  Day in, day out, John was there living with Jesus the Christ.  You can hide something from somebody for a day or a week or two.  But when you live with someone for three years with eleven other apostles, you get to know them very, very well.  John's conclusion after living with Jesus the Christ was that He was the Son of God.  (John 1:36:  I have seen and I testify (swear in a court of law) that this is the Son of God.)  He knew his own foibles, and the sins of the other apostles - all of whom ran away and deserted Jesus.  John never claimed the title of being the Son of God, even though later on he would heal many people and perform miraculous wonders (Acts 4:12).  Church tradition has it that he was forced to drink poison that did not kill  him.  But he knew that the only one Son of God was Jesus the Christ, not himself.

Dear God Almighty, may we listen to the testimony of those who saw Jesus.  Amen.

God the Father: Jesus is the Son of God

Baptism of Jesus Christ

  At the very beginning of Jesus's ministry, God the Father had an investiture of His Son. (Investiture:  a formal ceremony at which someone is placed in an office or given an official rank).  At this installation service, John the Baptizer went with Jesus into the water.  Then God the Father sent the Holy Spirit as a dove upon Jesus and at the same time He spoke "This is MY SON, whom I love, with Him I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17, Mark 1:9-11, Luke 3:22).

If God declares Jesus to be His Son, should we not believe that that is true?

Angel Gabriel: Jesus is the Son of God

  In Luke 1 we read the story of the announcement by the angel Gabriel that Jesus would be the Son of God.  Gabriel states:  that Jesus "will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High..  The Lord God will give him the throne of His father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever. . . So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God."

Our Father who art in heaven, thank you for sending Your Son to this earth.

Buddha - The Savior of the World?

   Shuddhodana Gautama was the king of India and his wife Maya had been barren 20 years.  Then she had "a strange dream in which she saw a white elephant entering into he womb through the right side of her chest, and she became pregnant."  At Siddhartha's birth, Asita the Hermit predicted that "if he forsakes the court life to embrace a religious life, he will become a Buddha, the Savior of the world."  At 35 he became a Buddha and then taught for 45 years.  After his death, he was cremated.
    But this Savior of the world did not perform a single miracle.  How can you be a Savior of the world and not perform a single miracle?  How can you be a Savior of the world and not conquer death?  The Buddhist will answer because the body is bad and only your spirit or soul is what is important.  Thus Buddha was liberated from his evil body.
      The Christian answers that because the body is important, therefore Jesus was raised physically from the dead.

Source:  The Teaching of Buddha, (Tokyo:  Kosaido Printing Co., Ltd, 1966)

Thomas Jefferson: Jesus is NOT the Son of God

     Thomas Jefferson, one of the most brilliant men who ever lived, wrote his own version of the Bible.  He took the 773,000 words and pared it down to 25,000 words - just the words Jesus said.  But Thomas Jefferson also cut out every single miracle that Jesus performed.  There is no virgin birth, no feeding of the 5,000, not a single healing, and worse - no resurrection.  For Thomas Jefferson, Jesus words are "the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man."
       But as C.S. Lewis pointed out, how can it be a sublime code of morals if Jesus lied and pretended to be someone He was not?  You see, Jesus claimed to be the Son of God and His proof was miracles.  Thomas Jefferson refused to believe that Jesus performed a single miracle.  Jesus said He was God.  Thomas Jefferson said he was a moral man, but NOT the Son of God. 

Diocletian: I am the Son of God

    Emperor Diocletian (reigned 284-305) declared himself the son of Jupiter, the chief god of the Romans.  He took on the name Jovianus, had gold sprinkled on  his hair and clothes.  They had to prostrate (lie on their stomachs) themselves before him and kiss the hem of his robe.  He called himself dominus et deus (“Lord and God”). 
    Despite being the son of the chief god, Diocletian did not perform a single miracle.

Herod: A god, not man

  In Acts 12 we read that King Herod Agrippa in 44 A.D. went to the town Caesarea, Judea.  "On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne."  The historian Josephus elaborates on this scene:  "On the second day of the spectacles he put on a garment made wholly of silver, of a truly wonderful texture, and came into the theater early in the morning. There the silver of his garment, being illuminated by the fresh reflection of the sun's rays, shone out in a wonderful manner, and was so resplendent as to spread awe over those that looked intently upon him."  After he spoke, then the fawning (Websters:  to court favor by a cringing or flattering manner) crowd cried out "This is the voice of a god, not of a man." 
     Luke wrote that "Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died."
     The moment King Herod Agrippa is declared a god, he is struck down and five days later dies.  Not much for that god.

Antiochus IV Epiphanes: God Appearing

    How many of you know about Antiochus IV Epiphanes?  Unless you really love history and the Hellenistic (Greek) kingdoms of the 2nd century B.C., I would contend that most of my readers don't know about him.  After Alexander the Great died, his four generals divided his kingdom were divided into four kingdoms.  The the largest kingdom was the Seleucid kingdom and the kings were named Antiochus.
    Antiochus IV Epiphanes, (b. 215 B.C., reigned 175, died 164 BC), called himself "manifest god" (Epiphanes).  (Merriam Webster:  "Epiphany means an appearance or manifestation especially of a divine being.")  He made coins with the inscription "god manifest" on one side.  (For an example, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_11 for a picture of a coin.)
     But this manifest god did not perform any miracles.  He died and his forgotten by most.   Many claim to be the Son of God, but only one has proven Himself to be the Son of God.

Caesar Augustus: I am the Son of God

     In 44 B.C. Julius Caesar was killed by Brutus and the other senators.  In 42 B.C. Gaius Julius Octavius (who would become Caesar Augustus) declared that Julius Caesar, his adopted father, was god.  Thus, he became the son of god and that is what he put on the coins.
    By 6 B.C. his subject had this inscribed on a government building:
   The most divine Caesar . . . we should consider equal to the Beginning of all things . . . for when everything was falling [into disorder] and tending toward dissolution, he restored it once more and gave the whole world a new aura; Caesar . . . the common good Fortune of all . . . The beginning of life and vitality . . . All the cities unanimously adopt the birthday of the divine Caesar as the new beginning of the year . . . Whereas the Providence which has regulated our whole existence . . . has brought our life to the climax of perfection in giving to us (the emperor) Augustus . . .who being sent to us and our descendants as Savior, has put an end to war and has set all things in order;  and [whereas,] having become [god] manifest, Caesar has fulfilled all the hopes of earlier times . . . the birthday of the god [Augustus] has been for the whole world the beginning of good news concerning him."
     But this son of God, Caesar Augustus, never performed (or even claimed to have performed) a single miracle, let alone 35 miracles.

Son of God - Jesus Christ - Not selfish miracles

     Jesus Christ performed numerous, spectacular miracles that were for other people, not to please Himself.  He was truly a servant of God.  For example, he fed the 5,000, and did not make a gourmet meal of steak and lobster, prime rib and bacon wrapped scallops for  Himself and His apostles.  He could have made gold and rode on prancing horses, slept in feather beds.  Rather, we see Jesus walking (except for one time riding on a borrowed donkey - Mark 11:1-7) and not knowing where he was going to lay His head.  In Matthew 8:20 we read "Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head."
    The Son of God was a servant who used His miraculous powers to heal others, help others, not Himself.  He was unselfish.

40th Anniversary Celebration & Installation of Rev. Kornilov

   Today we celebrate our church's 40th anniversary.  The Lord God has been indeed faithful to us and he has blessed us greatly.  The Lord has kept us from wandering from the truth.
   And we also celebrate the Installation of our 4th pastor - Rev Petr Kornilov - a Muscovite.  Since Christ is King of all the world and not just of the USA, we celebrate the installation of Rev. Kornilov today.