Jesus is God

By | 17 Mar 2011

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, you Irish folk!

One of the things theological and political liberals get wrong in the name of “tolerance” and “diversity” is their total misunderstanding of the claims and teachings of Jesus Christ and how those claims and teachings are supposed to affect our everyday lives.

In their intellectual ignorance of world religions, they hold true the fallacy that “all religions are created equal”. In their intellectual dishonesty, they cling to the equally fallacious notion that religion is something people add to their lives to become better people, but none of it is truly a necessity. The operative word is here is “add” — to them, religion is something we append to our existing lives, rather than surrendering to the actual teachings of a religion and ordering our lives accordingly. They consider the religious world as a cafeteria of ideas: as they move down the line, they get to pick whatever concepts — and from what religion those concepts are derived — end up on their trays.

And even those concepts they choose are rarely, if ever, allowed to actually change the course of their lives in any meaningful way — they consider anyone who actually believes that strongly in their particular religion to be “fanatics,” unless that religion presents no threat to their intellectual and physical comfort zones, such as Buddhism and other non-aggressive (in their eyes) belief systems. In other words, it’s all about them and what they want to believe. The idea that a righteous God has reached out them on His terms rather than their own is a scary — if not outright alien — concept to them.

Pastor Tom Mercer of the High Desert Church in California stated in the foreword of his excellent book Oikos that we human beings have been at war with God ever since the Fall of Man and have been trying to make peace with Him from then until now. The sticking point in the negotiations is that He steadfastly refuses to accept our terms for His surrender.

Truer words have never been spoken by any human who isn’t Jesus!

Liar, Lunatic, or Lord of All?

To distance themselves from the claims of Jesus on their lives, theological and political liberals tend to blindly mouth one particularly offensive — and again, intellectually dishonest — concept. That concept is that Jesus was merely a “good teacher” or a “great philosopher” or some other equally demeaning and dismissive term.

Unfortunately for them, as C. S. Lewis once taught on this very topic, Jesus forever eliminated our ability to classify Him as a “good teacher” by declaring Himself to be God Almighty in human form on multiple occasions throughout the Gospels. That leaves us with 3 alternatives:

  1. Jesus said He was God though He wasn’t and He knew He wasn’t — If this was true, that would make Him the biggest and most significant charlatan in history.
  2. Jesus said He was God though He wasn’t and He didn’t know He wasn’t — If true, this would make Him the biggest and most significant lunatic in history.
  3. Jesus said He was and is God and this statement is 100% true — If this so, that makes Him worthy of our total devotion, undivided attention, uninhibited worship, and enthusiastic obedience.

So as Lewis put it, Jesus is either liar, lunatic, or Lord of All. “Good teacher” is not an available option!

Some of you have listened to the Discovery and History Channels’ and especially NatGeo’s pathetic attempts to portray Jesus as the first on this list. Dan Brown does much the same thing his book The Da Vinci Code. The interesting thing is that what these folks all conveniently ignore is that the sources of their so-called “facts” about Jesus come from extra-biblical accounts which were rejected as unscriptural by the early church and fly in the face of hundreds of years of expert analysis debunking them. Again, if liberals can deflect the claims of Jesus by attacking the historical accounts of His life and teachings, they no longer have to deal with His claims on their lives.

The fact of the matter is this: 10 of the original 12 disciples (all of whom were men who had lived with Jesus continuously for just over 3 years) plus the Apostle Paul were executed for their professions that Jesus is indeed God and that He was verifiably raised from the dead. According to biblical accounts, over 500 people witnessed the post-resurrection Christ. Many of them were put to death for their own refusal to recant their testimony of this world-changing historical event.

People do not willingly go to their deaths for something they already know to be a lie.

Some of you might be questioning the very idea that Jesus proclaimed Himself to be God. You wouldn’t be the first person of such a mistaken persuasion I have run across and my last encounter with someone who held that opinion caused me to do some serious Bible research to come up with some definitive answers which are truly unassailable biblically and intellectually. So here they are!

In each case, I have cited the Bible passage, then summarized the event described therein. In the section on fulfilled Old Testament prophesies, I have listed both the prophesy and the record of its fulfillment in the New Testament.

What Does the Word Say?

Jesus Repeatedly Declared He is God Throughout His Ministry:

  • Matthew 16:15-17 — Jesus asks His disciples who they think He is. Peter responds that Jesus is the Messiah, Son of the Living God. Jesus not only praised Peter for His insight, but pronounces that selfsame confession would become the foundation of His Church.

    If Jesus was not God, His responsibility as a rabbi and prophet was to rebuke blasphemous declarations, not praise them. The Jews of that day understood anyone proclaiming himself to be the Son of God would possess the very nature and attributes of God, ergo he would be God in human form.

  • Mark 2:5-12 — A paralytic man is brought to Jesus by his friends for healing. Jesus declares the paralytic man’s sins are forgiven. Those present immediately took offense at Jesus’ words because “who can forgive sins, but God alone?” Jesus responded and said in order to prove He had the authority on earth to forgive sins (ergo He is God), He healed the paralytic man.
  • Luke 4:17-30 — Jesus read the passage found in Isaiah 61:1-2, a passage all His listeners knew was a Messianic prophesy and declared He was the personal fulfillment of it, ergo that He is Messiah. When the listeners questioned this claim because they knew Him as a local resident, He bolstered the claim with barbed comments. The crowd’s response was to try to kill Him for blasphemy.
  • John 8:58-59 — Notice the Jewish listeners’ response to Jesus’ words (a desire to stone Him), the standard response to blasphemy according to the Law of Moses. (cross reference with Exodus 3:14)
  • John 10:30-33 — Note that the Jewish listeners specifically stated that they clearly understood Jesus was declaring Himself to be God and their response was a desire to stone Him as well.
  • John 14:6-10 — In verse 8, Jesus states to His disciples that to have seen Him is to have seen God Himself.
  • John 17:5 — Jesus refers to His godhead glory He gave up when He was incarnated as a man. He knows He is about to die — if He was indeed only a great teacher or prophet and not God, wouldn’t He be humbling Himself before God rather than proclaiming equality with Him?
  • John 18:4-6 — Again, Jesus refers to Himself in verses 5 and 8 by the Old Testament name for God, “I AM.” The word “he” is in italics, which means that that word was not in the original Greek manuscript.

    Note that the members of the temple guard and the mob with them were all thrown to the ground by the power of Jesus’ pronouncement, thus validating His claim He was laying down His life, rather than it being taken from Him.

  • Jesus Declared He is God During His Trial

  • Matthew 26:63-66 — In Matthew’s eyewitness account of the trial, Jesus is commanded by the high priest in the name of the Living God to answer whether He was the Messiah and indeed God.

    Jesus had no choice but to answer and, since He could only speak the Truth, He answered with a Jewish phrase His listeners clearly understood as, “Yes, I am God and Messiah. And I’ll soon be back at My Father’s right hand in heaven and coming back after that to judge you.”

    We know the listeners interpreted Jesus’ response in this very manner by the high priest’s reaction (tearing his clothes) and the subsequent death sentence passed by the court upon Jesus.

  • Mark 14:61-64 — Peter’s eyewitness account of the trial as dictated to Mark confirms the interpretation of Jesus’ response and the Sanhedrin’s reaction found in Matthew.
  • Luke 22:67-71 — Luke’s account of the trial also bears out the same interpretation of Jesus’ response to the high priest’s questioning and the same response by the Sanhedrin.
  • All three eye-witness accounts testify Jesus was sentenced to death by the Sanhedrin for sole reason that He had declared Himself to be God in their presence. No other charges could stick because all were based upon false and conflicting accusations.

    Jesus’ Sent Messengers Declared He is God

  • John 1:1-5; 10-14 — The Apostle John declares Jesus to be the Word Incarnate — in other words, God.
  • John 20:25-29 — John records the words of Thomas as he doubts the resurrection of Jesus. Jesus later appears to the disciples and confronts Thomas with his very own words. Thomas exclaims, “My Lord and my God!” Again, if Jesus is not God, it was Jesus’ clear responsibility as a rabbi to correct Thomas’ confession, but He didn’t — ergo, Thomas was right!
  • Colossians 1:15-19 — Paul declares Jesus to be the image (icon) of the invisible God, that the entire universe was created by Him, and it pleased God to place the very fulness of His own being into Jesus.
  • Colossians 2:9 — Again, Paul states the very fulness of the Godhead dwelt in Jesus in bodily form.
  • Hebrews 1:1-3 — The writer of Hebrews declares Jesus pre-existed His appearance on earth as the Agent of creation (the Word again), the brightness of God’s glory, the express image of God (“express image” comes from the Greek word charakter meaning “the exact expression of any person or thing, marked likeness, precise reproduction in every respect.
  • Jesus’ Deity as Prophesied in the Old Testament & Fulfilled During His Life & Ministry

  • OT PROPHESY: Isaiah 7:14; 9:6-7 — God declares that a Son shall be born of a virgin, that He shall be called — among other titles — “God With Us”, “Mighty God”, and “Everlasting Father.”

    NT FULFILLMENT: Matthew 1:22-23; Luke 1:30-35: — The angel Gabriel tells the Virgin Mary that her Child will be the Son of God. Since every living thing in the earth reproduces after its own kind, that offspring by definition would have to be both 100% God and 100% man. By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Matthew declares His birth to be the fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14.

  • OT PROPHESY: Isaiah 45:23 — God declares that all will bow to Him.

    NT FULFILLMENT: Philippians 2:9-11 — By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Apostle Paul — an OT scholar — cites that passage in Isaiah as applying to Jesus, thus equating Jesus to God.

  • OT PROPHESY: Isaiah 41:4; 44:6; 48:12 — In these three passages, God declares Himself to be “the First and the Last,” and the only God.

    NT FULFILLMENT: Revelation 1:8,11,17; 21:6; 22:13 — In all these verses, Jesus declares Himself to be the “Alpha and Omega” and/or “the First and the Last.” We know this because in Revelation 22:16, the verse starts with the same Person speaking in verse 13 and saying, “I, Jesus…” Also, the same Speaker quoted in Revelation 1:8,11 identifies Himself in verse 18 of the same passage as One Who was once dead and is now alive. When did God ever die and come back to life other than in the Person of Jesus Christ?

  • OT PROPHESY: Isaiah 53:4-5 — This chapter of Isaiah is universally recognized by Christian Bible scholars as a Messianic prophesy. The verses referenced here concern the coming Messiah’s deliverance of people from sickness, disease, and pain.

    NT FULFILLMENT: Matthew 8:14-17 — By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Matthew declares Jesus’ healing of the sick to be a fulfillment of that prophesy.

  • Conclusion

    So as you can see, there is a wealth of evidence of the Bible clearly stating that Jesus was and is “God in sandals” and leaves no room for any other interpretation of the matter. So we are left with 2 choices:

    1. Believe all of it and reap the benefits, -OR-
    2. Believe none of it and reap the consequences!

    There is no middle ground!

    Thanks for reading!

6 thoughts on “Jesus is God

  1. Cristiano M. G. Faranna

    I agree that religions are different, I am a Catholic minister reader, but I do not think that Buddhism is an “easy”way. I am a Christian and I think that God has given a role at all, says the “Nostra Aetate” declaration of Vatican II:
    “Religions, however, that are bound up with an advanced culture have struggled to answer the same questions by means of more refined concepts and a more developed language. Thus in Hinduism, men contemplate the divine mystery and express it through an inexhaustible abundance of myths and through searching philosophical inquiry. They seek freedom from the anguish of our human condition either through ascetical practices or profound meditation or a flight to God with love and trust. Again, Buddhism, in its various forms, realizes the radical insufficiency of this changeable world; it teaches a way by which men, in a devout and confident spirit, may be able either to acquire the state of perfect liberation, or attain, by their own efforts or through higher help, supreme illumination. Likewise, other religions found everywhere try to counter the restlessness of the human heart, each in its own manner, by proposing “ways,” comprising teachings, rules of life, and sacred rites. The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. She regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men. Indeed, she proclaims, and ever must proclaim Christ “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), in whom men may find the fullness of religious life, in whom God has reconciled all things to Himself.(4)
    The Church, therefore, exhorts her sons, that through dialogue and collaboration with the followers of other religions, carried out with prudence and love and in witness to the Christian faith and life, they recognize, preserve and promote the good things, spiritual and moral, as well as the socio-cultural values found among these men.
    3. The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all- powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth,(5) who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting.
    Since in the course of centuries not a few quarrels and hostilities have arisen between Christians and Moslems, this sacred synod urges all to forget the past and to work sincerely for mutual understanding and to preserve as well as to promote together for the benefit of all mankind social justice and moral welfare, as well as peace and freedom.
    4. As the sacred synod searches into the mystery of the Church, it remembers the bond that spiritually ties the people of the New Covenant to Abraham’s stock.
    Thus the Church of Christ acknowledges that, according to God’s saving design, the beginnings of her faith and her election are found already among the Patriarchs, Moses and the prophets. She professes that all who believe in Christ-Abraham’s sons according to faith (6)-are included in the same Patriarch’s call, and likewise that the salvation of the Church is mysteriously foreshadowed by the chosen people’s exodus from the land of bondage. The Church, therefore, cannot forget that she received the revelation of the Old Testament through the people with whom God in His inexpressible mercy concluded the Ancient Covenant. Nor can she forget that she draws sustenance from the root of that well-cultivated olive tree onto which have been grafted the wild shoots, the Gentiles.(7) Indeed, the Church believes that by His cross Christ, Our Peace, reconciled Jews and Gentiles. making both one in Himself”.
    God bless you

    1. Steve Willis Post author

      I appreciate your comments and understand the Vatican’s position.
      Unfortunately, it doesn’t line up with the Holy Scriptures and that, by and of itself, negates any validity to the statements made therein.
      Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by Me.” (John 14:6 NKJV italics mine). He is not “a” way, but “the” Way to the Father. In fact, in the same passage 3 verses later in verse 9, Jesus states categorically that “he who has seen Me has seen the Father.”
      The implication of those statements are:

      1. If this is indeed God speaking, then only what Jesus has to say is true and accurate to reality. All other belief systems are — by definition — lies.
      2. It calls us to evangelize those who believe these lies, not “non-confrontationally coexist” with them.

      And when I disparage the term “non-confrontationally coexist”, I’m not saying that Christians should be harsh, judgmental, or nasty to them. We are called to lovingly, gently, kindly, and with the compassion of Jesus reach out to them with the Truth of His claims on their lives, yet without compromise.
      Anyone who believes that any of the other world religions are not exclusivist is also ignorant of what they teach. Each of their core philosophies is completely incompatible with every other belief system, and some of them, Moslems for example, want to kill you for disagreeing with them.
      It is a shame that the Vatican has taken this position because it is leading millions of people astray who are ignorant of the Word of God and have been brainwashed to believe that everything that comes from the mouth of the pope is equivalent to Scripture. The pope is simply a man and his lofty title does not change the fact that he is a fallible human being, the same as the rest of us and is entirely capable of making mistakes.
      One can simply look at the Vatican’s incredible record of blunders regarding Nazi Germany in the 30’s and 40’s, its persecution of the Jews throughout history, and the worldwide epidemic — and coverup by the Catholic church — of child molestation by the priesthood, just to name a few, to see that the Roman Catholic leadership has always been and still is seriously flawed and unworthy of our respect and heed.
      Thanks for reading. God bless you, too!

  2. Cristiano M. G. Faranna

    Dear Steve,
    thanks for the reply. But I think that your words do not reflect that love to prove knowledge, you have known the Lord. As the pope can not hold the truth, we Christians can not even hold the truth. We believe that Jesus is the truth, we do not own Jesus
    You remember the words of the Gospel of John. When Pilate asks Jesus what is truth has no reply. Humbly, I believe that truth is the man (God) who is disfigured in front of him. Every poor person is the image of Christ, the poor is his truth. Jesus in the Gospels says not to separate the wheat from the weeds, I do not believe that believers of other religions are weeds, as you do not think so.
    The same Jesus scolds the disciples who want to stop the man who exorcised in his name. And in Matthew chapter 25 Jesus says that the court, for all men, will be only about love.
    I believe that we should not convert with words, but only with the testimony of our work. Our churches have clashed for centuries on grace and works. Recently they have realized that we are saved by grace, but if we do work we show that we refused grace. Paul, James and our Lord Jesus Christ, are Jews and our Jewish brothers and sisters do not distinguish between body and soul.
    Paul knows that grace works in the works of our lives.
    I want to say that the encyclical Nostra Aetate was carried out by the synod fathers of the council, not by the pope, this has been the practice of the Church, always. Remember the Acts of the Apostles, the Council of Jerusalem.
    I know that the Vatican has so much wrong, as the son of the Catholic Church as a child of all Christians, I ask forgiveness for the wrongs done by the churches, but I believe the pope has a vocation, the synthesis of charisma.
    I often disagree with the choices of my beloved Church. I love the liberation theology in Latin America because I think he embodied the salvation of Christ in those oppressed peoples. My Church is often fought. I try to explain my reasons in the Gospel, loving everyone, being united.
    I think that God became flesh. The incarnation has shown us that every man, every religion, has a glimmer of God
    God bless you,
    sorry for my bad english

  3. Steve Willis Post author

    Our service for Jesus Christ is one of balance between the 2 concepts of principle (truth) and relationship. The Gospel of John, chapter 1, verse 17 says, “For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
    This means that we walk a line between grace and love and yet holding on to truth. It means that we can and should demonstrate the compassion of Jesus in our daily dealings with others, yet remain anchored to the truth that Jesus Himself and the Apostles spoke in the Scriptures.
    Emphasizing one side to the exclusion of the other is equally wrong on both sides. Standing on truth without grace and love leads to a harsh judgmentalism, and condemnation of others. Standing upon grace without truth is “cheap grace,” that is grace that requires nothing of us. It is paradoxical that while grace cannot be earned, deserved, or purchased, it costs us everything we are and have because it demands complete subservience of our will to that of Jesus Christ.
    So while I can disagree with a theological and social liberal, as you yourself appear to be, and point out what I consider to be your errors in reasoning and theology, I am not allowed to condemn you as evil for holding those opinions, nor will I. Notice that not once have I attacked you personally, called you names, plastered you with stereotyped labels, or otherwise treated you disrespectfully. What I have done and will continue to do is attempt to persuade you to my viewpoint because I believe that the Scriptures are totally clear on these issues.
    So I can and do love you with the love of Christ and indeed love Catholics, Hindus, Moslems, Buddhists, Shintoists, Jews, and so on and still believe that you and all the others are totally wrong in your belief systems. Love does NOT equal agreement.
    As for “liberation theology”, both the Roman Catholic church and I (in an extremely rare case of agreement between the two of us) find it totally incomprehensible how an inherently atheistic belief system such as Marxism can be grafted into an ostensibly theistic belief system such as Catholicism. The merger of the two does violence to both and echos the efforts of the so-called “German Christians” of the 1930’s who vainly tried to merge the Nietscheist philosophies of the Nazis with Protestant Christianity. Ultimately, the ungodly and evil half of the pair wins out in the merger of the two every time.
    Point of fact is that neither “liberation theology” nor any other form of Marxism practiced to this day has liberated one single person. Inevitably, the result of Marxist systems is the suppression of personal liberties and the repression of everyone not in the ruling elite.
    If you want to see an example of TRUE liberation theology, take the example of Almolonga, Guatemala. The populace are Quiché Indians, descendants of the ancient Mayans. Starting in the mid-1970’s and continuing until today, the entire region around this small village has undergone a complete transformation. Here are a series of before and after contrasts:
    Before: Population was nominally Catholic but mainly worshipped a clay idol called Maximon, the patron saint of many of Guatemala’s cities and mountain villages. Maximon is often associated with alcohol, tobacco, and sexual immorality. Those who worship him kiss his image or kneel before him and place bottles of liquor at his feet. A priest typically lights a cigar, then takes a mouth full of liquor and spews it over those who have come to seek blessing.
    After: Over 90% of population is evangelical Christian.
    Before: Many people in the village were demon possessed.
    After: Almost no one is demonized.
    Before: The priest of Maximon led the people in occult ceremonies. He would abandon his family to practice witchcraft for weeks at a time. His family would kneel before Maximon with candles and liquor offerings. They had no money, little food, no decent house, and only clothes discarded by others.
    After: The priest was converted to Christianity and burned all their idols and witchcraft paraphernalia. Now they have a small store, a house, and a calm, hard-working, godly father.
    Before: 20-30 people were arrested each month for drunken and disorderly conduct. The police chief was constantly dealing with domestic violence reports. The town had 4 jails and they had insufficient capacity to hold all of the prisoners.
    After: The last jail was closed in in 1989 for lack of business. It was remodeled into a hall for weddings, receptions, and community events.
    Before: There were 34 cantinas doing a brisk business. Drunkenness and alcoholism was rampant.
    After: There are only 3 remaining. Most citizens consider crime and drunkenness to be a waste of time and money.
    Before: Wives were considered to be servants and neglected.
    After: Wives are loved, respected and treated well.
    Before: Teens loitered around town, getting into trouble.
    After: Teens are now working in the fields beside their fathers.
    Before: Beggars stood on every corner and drunks were passed out in the alleys.
    After: They are working as farmers and businessmen.
    Before: The people were subsistence farmers. The farmers used to sell only locally.
    After: The people are exporters of crops to the entire region and to the world.
    Before: The farmers put in just enough effort to support their drinking habits.
    After: The farmers are investing in topsoil and fertilizers.
    Before: The farmers harvested normal-sized vegetables like everyone else.
    After: The farmers harvest vegetables 2-3 times larger than those in neighboring villages.
    Now THAT is liberation! And I might add this is in a geographic area that has been under Roman Catholic theological domination for over 400 years. No Catholic churches nor priests nor Marxist leaders participated in any form or fashion in these events that have taken place over the last 35+ years. These results were not produced by changes or reforms in the Guatemalan government, by the education of the people by teachers, by outside money or workers coming in, or any other influence that social liberals believe are necessary to bring indigenous peoples into the modern age and rescue them from poverty, sickness, crime, and the like.
    This transformation was the result of the Spirit of the Living God through a wholesale conversion of the populace to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, period. Nada mas!
    Thanks for reading.

    1. bartimeo2000

      Dear Steve,
      I thank God that in the city of Almolonga people have converted to the Lord Jesus Christ and changed lives.
      However I have no evidence to condemn the worship of Maximon, its syncretism, nor tantomento to say that it is the fruit of the devil. I believe that Jesus worked miracles as you said.
      Liberation theology is not Marxism. It uses Marxism to incarnarare theology in the history of that people, oppressed, where he proclaimed the Gospel by force of arms.
      St. Thomas Aquinas used Aristotle to his theology and St. Paul used the Greek categories to give the kerygma to the Gentiles. I think it is a good thing that the Gospel may be proclaimed by the categories closer to the people.
      The priests who have used telogia of Liberation as a tool, not as an idol, helped the people, he announced that Christ frees you from sin. Sin is also the oppression of the rich over the poor, especially. Sin is also making money thinking only of themselves, not just out of charity when your profit is on the blood of the workers.
      “Do not rob the poor and needy, self-employed person, he is one of your brothers or one of the strangers that are in your country, in your towns, give him his wages on the day before the sun goes down, because he is poor and turns you desire, so he will not cry against you to the Lord and you will not be in sin.” (Deuteronomy 24,14-15)
      I think of Oscar Romero, he was not a liberation theologian, but it was a loving pastor with his people, even with the aid of the theology of liberation. Oscar Romero is loved by all the churches.
      I agree that truth and love go hand in hand, Jesus scolds the disciples who want to pray to bring down fire from heaven to burn the city infidels. Love does not judge or you do great, love is life given, love is broken bread, love is to make silence and follow the Lord Jesus to Jerusalem, to the Cross, to raise us with Him
      I am very happy to talk to you about these things,

      1. Steve Willis Post author

        I apologize for the long delay in replying. I wanted to prayerfully consider my answer to you and speak from my heart.
        I’m in total agreement with you that the poor should be dealt with fairly and compassionately. What I was portraying for you in my previous reply is that, when the poor embrace the Gospel of Jesus Christ and allow Him to transform their lives, the financial blessings come because God honors those who: 1) honor Him instead of idols like Maximon and; 2) honor His Word (the Bible) instead of false religions and dead church dogma. The rich weren’t involved in the situation at all.
        Like I said, I’ve been praying what to say next to you and what comes to my heart is this: I challenge you to read aloud to yourself the book of Romans in its entirety.
        While doing so, do not read commentaries by the Catholic church or from any other source nor ask anyone else’s opinion about what it says–just let the Bible stand on its own and speak for itself.
        Before you start reading, please simply pray from your heart and ask Jesus (not a saint, not the Virgin Mary) to reveal Himself to you in a tangible way.
        Reading aloud as opposed to silently is really important (please trust me on this). Do not get in a hurry, but savor the words as you speak them.
        When you are done, read it aloud again. After that, read it a third time.
        If afterwards, you feel like reading other books of the New Testament, go for it, but I suggest you stay out of the Old Testament and the Revelation of John for now.
        When you’re done, write me here, tell me what happened, and we’ll discuss your conclusions.
        I don’t know how this will translate into Italian, but I dare you to do this.
        I’ll be praying for you!

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