22 May 2013

IS IT BLASPHEMY OR NOT?



John 5:17-30

“I don’t see any God up here” a famous quote that was never said by Yuri but accredited to him. April of 1961, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to travel into space. Peering through the window of his spacecraft, Gagarin was reported to have made the comment, “I don’t see any God up here.” [NOTED] Yuri’s colleague and good friend, later insisted that Yuri never made such a statement, though it came to be attributed to him, but was actually the result of a comment by Russian Premiere Nikita Khrushchev in an anti-religious propaganda speech before the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party: “At that time Nikita gave all the Party organizations the task to promote this propaganda and said: ‘Why should you clutch at God? But sadly many people today like this Russian dictator feel the same way down here on earth as well. “I don’t see any God down here either.” Despite who said it….it’s a blasphemous statement to make! Why do I say that? Blasphemy by definition is “to speak harm.” In the biblical context, blasphemy is an attitude of disrespect that finds expression in an act directed against the character of God. People [religious cults] still today chose to deny Jesus’s claims

Islam in the Koran it says “Jesus was no more than a mortal whom Allah favored and made an example to the Israelites. Sura 43:59

Jehovah Witness claim Jesus is Michael the Arc Angel

Mormonism claim that Jesus is the half-brother of Satan

Rosicrucianism “Nowhere in the teachings and practices of Jesus can we find the least intimation that His great system was intended to bring salvation to the physical body of man. Even the salvation of the soul was not taught by Jesus, and all references in the Christian Bible to the salvation of the soul constitute a misinterpretation, a misunderstanding, of the secret (Rosicrucianism] principle that Jesus taught.

The Unification Church aka the Moonies “It is a great error to think Jesus was God Himself. Jesus is no different from other men.

The Masonic Lodge “Freemasonry carefully excludes' the Lord Jesus Christ from the lodge and chapter, rejects His atonement, denies and disowns His Gospel, frowns upon His religion and His church, ignores the Holy Spirit...”


Even so-called Evangelicals {I use that term loosely} blasphemy the name of Jesus Christ and His claims……

Kenneth Copeland said “Jesus has a beginning and an end.” In a message called [What Happened From the Cross to the Throne, Tape #00-0303]. Kenneth Copeland even went on to say in his own reference Study Bible “Satan conquered Jesus on the Cross and took His spirit to the dark regions of hell”

Paula White & Larry Huch, boldly and blasphemously stated “Jesus is not the only begotten Son of God. He is not. I am a son of God. He's the first fruit, He's the first-born of many. Jesus is not the only begotten Son of God. He is not. I am a son of God.”


All true blasphemy is rooted in false-worship & so-called religious organizations because they all have something in common! They DENY the biblical truth claims of Christ as lies and distortion of the text. It’s genius really! What better way to get people to ignore the Jesus of the bible by making Him out to be false teacher and liar. Throughout the centuries scholars and skeptics have given many different answers to the query “Who is Jesus Christ?” Countless opinions have appeared as unbelievers have attempted to explain away the truth about Him. The Jewish leaders of Jesus’ day motivated by their hatred and bitterness towards Him accused Him of many things
  • A Samaritan…………….. John 8:48
  • A man who was demon possessed………….. John 7:20; 8:52
  • An illegitimate child or birth……….. John 8:41

As one theologian put it so boldly and incorrectly “He [meaning Jesus] was an example of faith, not the object of faith.” So the question remains for us this morning!  Was Jesus telling the truth or was he blaspheming God with his actions and words? We are going to see 4 truth claims that Jesus defends as He speaks to His accusers.


JESUS CLAIMED TO BE EQUAL WITH GOD THE FATHER IN HIS PERSON (17-V18)

"My Father has been working until now, and I have been working." What is Jesus saying here? In my pre-incarnate state and in my incarnate state I’ve always been working and will continue to work throughout my creation because I am God. Throughout the gospel letter’s we see Jesus making claims too many Divine things…For example
  • Jesus called God’s angels, His angels
  • Jesus called God’s elect, His elect
  • Jesus called God’s Kingdom, His Kingdom

When the Samaritan woman said to Him “I know the Messiah is coming [He who is called the Christ which it’s the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word translated “Messiah”]; when that one comes, He will declare all things to us” John 4:25. Jesus responded with these words “I who speak to you an He” John 4:26. As one writer said “What works did his Father work? He had made the world in six days, and had then rested. He had rested from creating, but not from preserving. God preserves man and beast continually. He is working in this manner on every side continually. Were he to cease from this work on the Sabbath-day, or on any other day, all creatures would sink into death; for it is God that preserves even the angels of heaven from death every moment. This is exactly what Jesus is doing and will continue to do throughout eternity. That should bring a sense of rest or peace in our day to day struggles of life. That Jesus never stops [He is relentless] in His pursuit of sanctifying you for His glory and saving lost sinners.

The book of Hebrew is very clear on the personhood and deity of Jesus as it pertains to the God head. “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, (His equality with God , literal translation "in son") whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being  (always being) the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person (His essence) and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high (the work is completely finished” Heb 1:1-3

He has sat down (means) honor, authority, and rest "it is finished" This is where He rules as Sovereign Lord, making Himself equal in every way as the Father. Jesus is so equal with the Father in His person Matthew says "For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath." (Matt 12:8). The Son of Man is a name that Daniel gave the Lord Jesus before His incarnation. In Daniel 7:13-14 it says "….And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed.


JESUS CLAIMED TO BE EQUAL WITH GOD THE FATHER IN HIS ACTIONS (V19-V20)

"Truly, truly, I say to you" (v19) What I’m telling you is the truth so listen up! For a man to claim to be God was, to the Jews, an outrageous act of blasphemy as it would be for us if someone claimed to be Christ today as many have tried and failed. For example:
  • Most recently a charismatic preacher Allan John Miller in Australia claimed to be Jesus.
  • A Russian ex- police officer calls himself Vissarion claims to be the Messiah.
  • A man in the Philippines Apollo Carreon Quiboloy who as over a 6 million follows today.
  • Dr Jose Luis De Jesus Miranda from Miami claims to be Jesus. 

So what was Jesus stating to the blind religious leaders? Whatever my Father is doing, I’m doing also. Jesus is implying that the only One who could do what the Father does must be as great as the Father. In Matt 17:5 “While he (Peter) was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!"
  • Listen to Him
  • Trust Him
  • Obey Him
  • He speaks on My behalf
  • The sad thing is

Moses speaks of the coming Lord Jesus, in Deut 18:19 “And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.” Isn't it a comfort to know that Jesus Christ has been working since the day He created it for His glory. Isn't comforting to know that He came to this earth to complete the work, so that we could attain eternal life. He is equal in His works "I and My Father are One" (John 10:30)


JESUS CLAIMED TO BE EQUAL WITH GOD THE FATHER IN HIS POWER AND SOVEREIGNTY (V21, V24-V26)

Jesus has the power to raise the dead, Jesus couldn't have made it any clearer to these men. “For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel.” (v20). This is speaking of the powerful work of raising the dead. God has the power to raise the dead and Jesus also has that same power. The Bible says that only God has the power to give life to the dead “Now see that I, even I, am He, And there is no God besides Me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; Nor is there any who can deliver from My hand.” Deut 32:39. Nothing is hidden, no sin goes unnoticed and no good deed will go unnoticed either. I build and I tear down because I AM the LORD [the sovereign Creator] where there is nothing to impossible for me to handle. Remember the story of Lazuras……… Mary and Martha's brother was dead for 4 days. Jesus wanted us and them to know that Lazuras was really dead [4 days prove that] For what reason? So that we understand who Jesus truly is. We are going to see what Jesus meant when He was speaking to these Religious blind men (v21) What is Jesus capable of doing? What makes Him equal with God? Jesus has power to raise the physical dead, but he also has the power to give spiritual life to the spiritually dead. Remember what Jesus said to the woman at the well? “but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life." John 4:14


JESUS CLAIMED TO BE EQUAL WITH GOD THE FATHER IN HIS JUDGMENTS (V22, V27-V30)

Jesus has the authority to give spiritual life "Son gives life to whom He wills" He also has the authority to judge all men on the last day according to the scriptures. Its either going to be the Judgment Seat of Christ which is for the believer. Where Paul said we will all appear before Him “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” 2 Cor 5:10. Or the Great White Throne Judgment which is reserved for the unconverted, the rebellious sinner. Why because Jesus says so in (v22). All judgment has been given to the Son, which means the Spiritually Blind will have their eyes opened finally when they see Him at the Great White Throne. But the sad reality is that it will be too late to defend your case or lifestyle choses. Matt 25:41 "Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:” If you are not found in the Lambs book of Life you are lacking one thing! His imputed righteousness found in the gospel upon your life and you will be cast into a Christ less eternity. But for those who are being saved we wait for the glorious return of our Lord Jesus to deliver us from this sin filled world. As Paul so beautifully penned in  2 Tim 4:8 “Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” I think Paul summarizes this glorious truth that Jesus claimed to the religious skeptics of their day and ours. “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him [meaning Jesus] and given Him the name which is above every name,  that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,  and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Phil 2:9-11

I love what John MacArthur says The Father and the Son are to be afforded equal honor forcefully asserts Christ's deity and equality with God, who declared through the prophet Isaiah, "I will not give My glory to another". (Isa 42:8). Yet, the Father has commanded that all will honor the Son. Willingly or unwillingly, everyone will eventually obey the Father's command to honor Jesus Christ". J C Ryle penned these words about our Lord Jesus “Before the mountains were brought forth, or the earth and world were formed, Jesus Christ was like the Father, very God. From the beginning He was foreordained to be the Savior of sinners. He was always the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, without whose blood there could be no remission. The same Jesus, to whom alone we may look for salvation, that same Jesus was the only hope of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham and all the patriarchs; what we are privileged to see distinctly they doubtless saw indistinctly – but the Savior both we and they rest upon is one. It was Christ Jesus who was foretold in all the prophets, and foreshadowed and represented in all the law – the daily sacrifice of the lamb, the cities of refuge, the brazen serpent, all these were so many emblems to Israel of that Redeemer who was yet to come, and without whom no person could be saved. There never was but one road to heaven: Jesus Christ was the way, the truth and the life yesterday as well as today.” "My Father has been working until now, and I have been working."  (v17) So when a skeptic, a religious or a hostile person comes to you and tells you Jesus is a joke and blasphemy’s the name of Jesus……….you can say to them sir or madam no He is not! We serve a God that says "God My Father and I His Son do not stop working on the Sabbath" Unlike my opening quote……I see a God here and He’s found on the pages of scripture! His name is Jesus Christ……the God man! All of God's attributes goes 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. We serve a God who never rests as we have seen He’s claims this morning

"I and My Father, we keep on working" AMEN!

1 comment:

Susan said...

Great post!

That God "put on" flesh is something so incredible, we mortals have trouble understanding and believing it, but just because something is difficult to comprehend does not therefore make it less true. He laid down His glory so that He would be in every way "like us". How is that possible? That God would stoop that low to become something created? Something that unrefined? When what He is goes beyond our understanding of refined and dignified and holy? And yet He did that for us. Wow. Amazing grace.