Posted By Thomas Perez. July 19, 2011 at 1:46am. Copyright 2011.
1. The Incarnation: A Ms-Understood Truth
You may ask, “what does the Propitiational sacrificial offering of Jesus have to do with the Incarnation? Read on…
There are many who would subvert the Truth of the Scripture’s claiming that it (the entire book, the Bible) is only a book that contains certain truth’s. And those who would only uphold, or quote from such a book are using cunningly disguised fables to uphold their particular viewpoint or ideology and faith.
Some folks would rather listen to the history channel, rather than refer to the more reliable sources. Sources which have been at our disposal for centuries – such sources which can, and are, defended in Holy Scripture. Of which, by the way, is not only one book, but a collection of 66 books. Books that confirm unity in thought, doctrine, and truth. Books that confirm what was spoken in the Torah, the Former Prophets, the Latter Prophets, Writings, the Gospels, the Acts, the Epistles, and the Revelation. Is it of any wonder then why other curious writings were considered unreliable?
Even the Islamic faith would agree with this in reference to their citation in Surah 3:81 (Yusuf Ali) Behold, God took the covenant of the PROPHETS, saying: I give you a book and wisdom; then comes to you an apostle, confirming what is with you; do ye believe in him and render him help? (Yusuf Ali) “Do ye agree and take this my covenant as binding on you”? They said: “We agree”. He said: “Then bear witness, and I am with you among the witnesses”.
Surah 3:81 is presupposing that the previous Scriptures, I.e. The Holy Bible, are the criteria for determining whether a person is a true or false prophet. Secondly, Muhammad or anyone else claiming to be a prophet, must confirm that the previous Scriptures remain intact. If these texts were corrupt then he would not be able to confirm them, otherwise he would be guilty of false verification. Thirdly, at least two prophets; a new prophet shall be confirmed by a practicing prophet (I Sam 16:13). But yet, even they, in all this, would refute the idea of Christ dying for the sins of the world.
Many would separate the Christ from the Man who is called Jesus of Nazareth, in order to support their view that Christ (who is the Divine) could not have died at all; it was only Jesus who died. And therefore, by claiming this, they present a gospel of merely a man dying and not the Creator of all things; including death. Can’t God, who made all things through the eternal Logos (including death) die through and in the Christ Himself? Moreover, can’t He thus raise Himself up? Of course this One God can, but only if one is to believe the Omnipotence of God as the Scriptures teach. The Scriptures teaches the absolute Oneness of God. It also teaches that the historical Jesus of Nazareth is the very same Oneness and Father that came to propitiate Himself upon the cross, thus reconciling the world to Himself. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself.
Many would cite, “Christ is not God, but rather God was in Christ & Christ was in or even with Jesus” Do you see the subtle attempt to down play the deity of Jesus Christ? Thus separating Jesus from the Divine. This new argument of denial is always post 325AD. Similar to the Da Vinci Code that claimed it was mainstream Christianity in 325AD that gave Jesus His divinity, but before this He was seen as merely one sent from the divine light, or Father of all. Now, Remember what I just said; “Post 325AD”.
You see, the very concept of the Incarnation is a ms-understood concept. The very concept of the incarnation, as God becoming flesh, is the underlying principle of all truth. And such Truth is found and confirmed in all 66 books of the Bible.
But some would deny this…They deny the Scriptures. Of this denial, I can do nothing. I can quote, and quote, and quote until I’m blue in the face, the familiar spirit of denial would not change, unless it receives the Light of the True Logos.
There are many studies located at my website affirming the validity of the Incarnation, Deity, and the sacrificial offering of Himself, etc…Feel free to visit it.
However, since some would insist on looking outside sacred Scripture, I have no choice but to look outside myself and confirm what many have said before me; the confirmation of the very nature of God, who is Jesus “the” Christ, not “a” Christ, who was, and is Jesus Himself.
Let us examine such outside sources “Pre 325AD” (notice I said the word “Pre” as opposed to “Post”)
2. Extra Biblical Sources (Christian Evidence)
I will only mention 3 men. There are more. For a complete list please visit my website under category ‘My Book’ (still in the making) Vol 1, then click chapter 10, appendix sub-division 2.
a) IGNATIUS, THE BISHOP OF ANTIOCH IN SYRIA. In 110 A.D.
“Jesus Christ who was of the race of David, who was the Son of Mary, who was truly born and ate and drank, was truly persecuted under Pontius Pilate, was truly crucified and died in the sight of those in heaven and on earth and those under the earth. Who moreover was truly raised from the dead, His father having raised Him, who in the like fashion will so raise us also who believe in Him.” Trallians
“He is truly of the race of David according to the flesh but Son of God by the Divine will and powered, truly born of a virgin and baptized by John that all righteousness might be fulfilled by Him, truly nailed up in the flesh for our sakes under Pontius Pilate and Herod the tetrarch… That He might set up an ensign unto all ages through His resurrection.” Smyrneans, 1
“Be ye fully persuaded concerning the birth and the passion and the resurrection, which took place in the time of the governorship of Pontius Pilate. For these things were truly and certainly done by Jesus Christ our hope.” Magnesians XI
b) CLEMENT OF ROME (? – 98 A.D.)
“The Apostles received the Gospel for us from the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was sent forth from God. So then Christ is from God, and the Apostles are from Christ. Both therefore came of the will of God in the appointed order. Having therefore received a charge, and being fully assured through the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and confirmed in the word of God will full assurance of the Holy Ghost, they went forth with the glad tidings that the kingdom of God should come. So preaching everywhere in country and town, they appointed their first fruits, when they had proved them by the Spirit, to be bishops and deacons unto them that should believe.” Corinthians 4:2
Examples of Extra-Biblical Resource Evidence for Clement:
“And giving heed unto His words, ye laid them up diligently in your hearts, and His sufferings were before your eyes” Chapter 2 (correspondence with possible eye-witnesses)
Tertullian and Jerome record the belief Clement was personally ordained by and a disciple of Peter(which implies he was privy to extra-biblical information as he was close to an original apostle).
c) JUSTIN MARTYR
was born in Palestine and was impressed with the ability of Christians to face death heroically. When he heard the Gospel, he converted and became a defender of the faith he loved. He said Christ was “The Son and the Apostle of God, Father and Master of all” (Historical Theology). He was born about 100 A.D. and martyred in 165 A.D. possibly the most well-known early Christian apologist, was an educated pagan philosopher who converted to Christianity around 130 A.D. Though he risked losing his wealth, status, and life, Justin fearlessly spread Christianity throughout Asia Minor and Rome. Refusing to recant his testimony, he was led to his death via scourging and beheading in 165 A.D. Being a thoroughly educated man, Justin weighed the evidence carefully before accepting his new faith and explains to the reader he made his decision only after careful consideration and research.
“There is a village in Judea, thirty-five staid from Jerusalem, where Jesus Christ was born, as you can see from the tax registers under Cyrene’s, your first procurator in Judea…He was born of a virgin as a man, and was named Jesus, and was crucified, and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven…After He was crucified, all His acquaintances denied Him. But once He had risen from the dead and appeared to them and explained the prophecies which foretold all these things and ascended into heaven, the apostles believed. They received the power given to them by Jesus and went into the world preaching the Gospel.” First Apology, 34, 46, 50
“At the time of His birth, Magi from Arabia came and worshiped Him, coming first to Herod, who was then sovereign in your land…When they crucified Him, driving in the nails, they pierced His hands and feet. Those who crucified Him parted His garments among themselves, each casting lots…But you did not repent after you earned that He rose from the dead. Instead, you sent men into to the world to proclaim that a godless heresy had sprung from Jesus, a Galilean deceiver, whom was crucified and that His disciples stole His body from the tomb in order to deceive men by claiming He had risen from the dead and ascended into heaven.” Dialogue with Typhoo, 77 97, 107-8
You will notice that they all had one thing in common; they called Jesus “The Lord Jesus Christ”. You may say “so, what does that prove”?
Have you not read the prophets? Moses, Isaiah, and many others proclaimed that Jehovah was One Lord, and that there would be no other God or god’s formed after Him, nor will there be any other Saviour’s. If He is One, how can Jesus be called the only Lord in reference to His Humanity? Ponder these things before you separate the Christ Lord from the Man (Jesus) or add to His Deity when proclaiming one’s self as a demi-god.
3. Secular Sources (Commentary Evidence)
a) CELSUS (~ 178 A.D.)
On the Virgin Birth: “Jesus had come from a village in Judea, and was the son of a poor Jewess who gained her living by the work of her hands. His mother had been turned out by her husband, who was a carpenter by trade, on being convicted of adultery [with a Roman soldier named Panthera]. Being thus driven away by her husband, and wandering about in disgrace, she gave birth to Jesus, a bastard.”
Celsus acknowledges Jesus’ birth and existence but does not accept the concept of a virgin conception. He tries to dismiss Mary’s premarital pregnancy as the result of an affair she had with a Roman soldier. Strangely enough, there is a very similar passage in the Jewish Talmud which makes the same accusation. This gives us reason to believe Celsus might have referenced Jewish sources for some of his arguments.
On Jesus’ Divinity: “One who was a God could neither flee nor be led away a prisoner…What great deeds did Jesus perform as God? Did he put his enemies to shame or bring to an end what was designed against him? No calamity happened even to him who condemned him…Why does he not give some manifestation of his divinity, and free himself from this reproach, and take vengeance upon those who insult both him and his Father?”
Celsus ridicules Jesus for the exact same reasons the Pharisees of His time ridiculed Him- if Jesus was the Son of God, why didn’t He save Himself from the cross? Neither Celsus nor the Pharisees understood the spiritual implications of Jesus’ death to atone for sin. Celsus also asks why no judgment came upon the Jews but history shows shortly after His death Jerusalem was invaded by the Romans, the Jewish temple was destroyed, and the Jewish people were dispersed for almost 2,000 years!
b) LUCIAN OF SAMOSATA (120 – ~180 A.D.)
Even Lucian, a pagan, validates the 66 Books of Scripture
Lucian was a second century Greek satirist and rhetorician who scornfully describes his views of early Christianity. Though he ridicules the Christians and their Christ, his writings confirm Jesus was executed via crucifixion and that He was the founder of Christianity.” The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day- the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account…It was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers from the moment they are converted and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws…” The Death of Peregrinus 11-13
But even in all this, many would claim that there were many Jesus’es, and that it was the established Church of Constantine (325AD) that established Jesus as the only true Christ. Though they do not make mention as to who these various Jesus’es are, but I’m quite sure that they are referring to the many false saviours that have come and gone. Moreover, it is upon this premise that they argue their case, their possible case that can only lead to a plurality of worship, rather than monotheism. I say this based upon what the prophets reveal in their monotheistic writings. Again all saviors can not be called Lord; for that will entail polytheism. It would have to be one or the other; the Jesus of Nazareth or the many Jesus’es figures of Christ as shown below., such figures as:
1. Shri Khrishna of Hindostan.
2. Buddha Sakia/Gautama of India.
3. Zulis, or Zhule, also Osiris and Orus, of Egypt.
4. Zoroaster of Persia.
9. Shri Ramakrishna
10. Baal and Taut, “the only Begotten of God,” of Phenicia.
11. Adad of Assyria.
12. Thammuz of Syria.
Crite of Chald
Cadmus of Greece.
Salivahana of Bermuda.
Odin of the Scaudinavians.
Indra of Thibet.
Bali of Afghanistan.
Jao of Nepaul.
Wittoba of the Bilingonese.
Atys of Phrygia.
Xaniolxis of Thrace.
Zoar of the Bonzes.
Deva Tat, and Sammonocadam of Siam.
Alcides of Thebes.
Mikado of the Sintoos.
Beddru of Japan.
Hesus or Eros, and Bremrillah, of the Druids.
Thor, son of Odin, of the Gauls.
Hil and Feta of the Mandaites.
Gentaut and Quexalcote of Mexico.
Universal Monarch of the Sibyls.
Ischy of the Island of Formosa.
Divine Teacher of Plato.
Holy One of Xaca.
Fohi and Tien of China
Adonis, son of the virgin of Greece.
Xion and Quirinus of Rome.
Prometheus of Caucasus.
I will dissect the 1st 12 saviours because of their popularity beginning with latter Parts to this study (which will soon be posted). The others were mentioned purely for private research. But before I dissect this little group, I must point out something else. Some would hold to the erroneous teaching that the Church Council of Nicea 325AD, combined three Avatars, The first was a (12th Level Avatar), the Second a (9th Level Avatar) and third was an ordinary person who was programmed to cover for the second one, he (the third) is the one that was killed. In other words, this is where we get the idea of a suffering sacrificial Saviour from.
This is a vain blatant attempt to combine the concept of the sacrificial death of Messiah-Jesus to ancient Hinduism, often associated with Vishnu. Varying lists of avatars of Vishnu appear in Hindu scriptures, including the ten Dashavatara of the Garuda Purana and the twenty-two avatars in the Bhagavata Purana, though the latter adds that the incarnations of Vishnu are innumerable. Bryant, Edwin Francis (2007). Krishna: A Sourcebook. Oxford University Press US. p. 18.
Again, what some folks don’t seem to understand is the “Incarnation”, This is why I’m covering the Incarnation in juxtapose to the Propitiation of One Christ who IS the Father, not a Trinity.
Opponents to the idea of Propitiation often use the pagan Trinitarian doctrine as their source of attack, but when, in all reality, they are really attacking the continued Oneness of Jehovah, who is Jesus Christ – aka – the One Avatar, so to speak; not of many levels, but One.
Allow me to quote from one of my earlier studies:
Christian writers were so occupied with thinking about the Son that they did not give much thought to the exact role of the Spirit, or to the interrelationships between the Father, Son, and Spirit, or if there were such interrelationships to begin with. To be sure, references to the three were common (cf. Matt. 28:10; Did. 7; 1 Clem. 46.6; 58.2; Ignatius, Eph. 9.1; Justin Martyr, 1 Apol. 13,65). Theophilus first used the word “trinity” (or possibly “triad”) when he wrote “of the trinity [triados], of God, and His Word, and His wisdom” (Autol. 2.15). However, the first Apologist to wrestle with the idea of a Trinity (not just a triad) was the uninfluential Athenagoras.
Many Christians during this time, however, were growing concerned about preserving traditional monotheism, the absolute oneness of God. The most prominent post – apostolic fathers were Hermas, Clement of Rome, Polycarp, and Ignatius. Their ministries spanned the time from about 90 AD to 140 AD. In the second and third centuries, these Christians were known as Monarchians because they wanted to defend the divine “monarchy” of the one God. The Oneness belief as demonstrated by the Monarchians was the dominant belief in the 2nd and 3rd centuries. Today they are frequently called “modalistic Monarchians” as distinct from “dynamic Monarchians” (cf. below). The modalistic Monarchians denied any division within God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are but different “modes” of the one God’s operation.
Put differently, God is seen as filling certain roles, just as a man may be an employee, a husband, and a father, all at the same time. God is then one person, indivisible, who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Another term for this is “Sabellianism,” named after the third-century teacher Sabellius. It is also known as “Patripassianism,” a term which implies that the Father suffered on the cross.
Modern-day modalists are found most frequently in Pentecostal groups, like the United Pentecostal Church International and the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World. They rely heavily on Isaiah 9:6, which calls the Messiah not only “Mighty God” but also “Everlasting Father,” and on John 10:30, in which Jesus said “I and the Father are one.” All in all, the Monarchian belief and its school of thought has survived the test of time: From the post – apostolic fathers, during the 4th century, during the rise of the Roman Church, and onto the present, Monarchianism is a doctrine that is not to be ignored. Therefore, for Trinitarians to claim that this belief is heresy is far to dogmatic. Modalists can assert the same name calling of heresy to the Trinitarians when one studies the origins of the trinity as having possible roots to paganism, as revealed in many books and articles, such as the book entitled ’The Two Babylon’s’ by the late Rev. Alexander Hislop. The book expose’s the paganism of the Roman Catholic Church (The book can be found in its entirety at my website: BibleTruthSeekers.yolasite.com)
Similarly: “It was not the heel of a human sacrifice alone that was bruised, because that would simply make Jesus another human being (of which He was/is as stated in Col 2:9). But moreover than that, this Jesus was also God in human incarnation – thereby fulfilling the fullness of time (John 7:42, Acts 13:23, Rom 1:3, Gal 3:19, 4:4-5) This is what the Gospels teach. This is what the book of Acts teaches. This is what the epistles teach, and this is what Revelation teaches. For it is the faith and heart of our very salvation.
There are some who would use the excuse of Institutionalized Religion to justify their belief in a denial of a substitutionary offering. Some would even claim that this is not of God but is of the religion of man. Institutions do not create truth. As mentioned before, Truth is found in the Torah, the Former Prophets, Latter Prophets, the Writings, the Gospels, the Acts, the Epistles, & the Revelation, thus fulfilling the fullness of time…
Some would also subvert Genesis 3:15, indicating that 3:15 is partially fulfilled in each saviour that God sends to lead humankind in the divine way. This is another attempt to undermine the Gospel of I Cor 15:1-4, and to believe another ideology and spirit (but I believe its the latter). Moreover, it should not be the ceremonial aspects, theological ideologies, or philosophic rhetoric that should be criticized here, but rather, the idea of another vain attempt to down play the purpose of the sacrifice and free will offering of Jesus Christ, who proclaimed that He came to lay His life down for His sheep.
When you read between the lines of such citations; the first thing that probably comes to mind is the concept of an all encompassing theistic God, rather than a personal God who became flesh once in human history, in time, thus placing Himself in motion. And thus once placed in motion & time, man can now boldly approach the throne of grace because of the very act of the incarnation – fulfilling its purpose in birth, life, sacrificial death, & resurrection”.