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Rebuttal to Sam Shamouns article
A Series of Answers to Common Questions
The Bible says that God cannot be tempted (cf. James 1:13) and yet Jesus is said to have been tempted by the Devil no less (cf. Matthew 4:1). Doesn't this prove that Jesus is not God?
This will be yet another rebuttal to Sam Shamoun. Yet another failed attempt of Shamoun to try and show that Jesus is God.
James is not denying the fact that God can be tempted in some sense. In order to know what James exactly meant we quote the immediate context:
"Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death." James 1:13-15
James is referring to evil inclinations, sinful desires, that causes a person to be tempted and sin. Since God has no evil inclinations, no lustful feelings or sinful desires, it is not possible for God to be tempted to sin. God is completely good and holy. What James is basically saying is that only God has no desire to do anything that is sinful. Yet, this doesn't mean that fallen creatures cannot tempt God, since the Holy Scriptures clearly teach that many have tried to tempt God, and failed miserably:
"Then all the congregation of the children of Israel set out on their journey from the Wilderness of Sin, according to the commandment of the LORD, and camped in Rephidim; but there was no water for the people to drink. Therefore the people contended with Moses, and said, Give us water, that we may drink. So Moses said to them, Why do you contend with me? Why do you tempt the LORD?" Exodus 17:1-2 NKJV
"Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice;" Numbers 14:22 KJV
"On another day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD , and Satan also came with them to present himself before him. And the LORD said to Satan, Where have you come from? Satan answered the LORD, From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it. Then the LORD said to Satan, Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason." Job 2:1-3
"Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years." Hebrews 3:8-9 KJV
Let us first start of with the verses Shamoun posted. James 1:13-15 which states:
"Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death."
I find that verse interesting because the verse makes a claim that God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone.
For God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone
One would be asking what is so interesting about that point, what is special about God claiming he does not tempt anyone. Well here is the interesting part, let us read Genesis 22 verse 1 which states:
Gen 22:1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, [here] I [am].
Now let us look at both verses again, James 1 13:15, and Genesis 22:1 and put them together:
James 1:13-15: "Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death."
Compare with Genesis 22:1
Gen 22:1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, [here] I [am].
I think you have seen it for yourselves, we clearly see God tempting Abraham in Genesis 22:1, yes James 1:13-15 claim that God tempts nobody! Well I must say I am confused, does God tempt or does God not tempt? To tempt or not to tempt that is the question! Moving on
Shamoun then goes on to say that God cannot be tempted with by any sort of evil or any lustful desires because God is good, and that many have tried to tempt God but have failed miserably.
That is all nice, but let us read the verses of Satan tempting Jesus. Let us read from Matthew 4 verse 8 to 10: 8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve
Now very interesting points to read from those verses, for one, Satan tried to tempt Jesus to worship him! Satan tells Jesus he will give him everything, if Jesus bows down and worships him, Jesus of course denies him, and is not tempted and tells Satan it is written that thou shalt worship the lord thy God.
Main points to look over, which I find outrageous and a blasphemy:
1- Satan tries to tempt Jesus by giving him the kingdoms of the world, meaning giving him power and authority.
2- Satan tells Jesus to worship him if he wants to get the kingdoms of heaven.
Now with those 2 points we have, we must say, if Jesus indeed was God, how could Satan even try to command Jesus to worship him! How could Satan even have tried to offer Jesus the kingdoms of the earth! Everything belongs to God, the whole earth belongs to God, and so does every other planet. The whole universe belongs to God! How could Satan even try such an act if Jesus was God? The reason why Satan tried to tempt Jesus to worship him is because Jesus is not God. Because Satan would never ever make such a command, and secondly Satan would never make an offer of giving Jesus all the kingdoms of the world, because he would already know all things belong to God!
Those main 2 points prove without a shadow of a doubt that Jesus is not God, but it shows he is no more than a prophet, because Satan would try to tempt great prophets in that way, to try and promise them the world, if they worship him instead of God. That is the ultimate success for Satan, to make a great prophet such as Jesus to leave God and to worship him. Also the fact that Satan offers Jesus all the kingdoms is further proof that he is not God because a mere man, a prophet, would always be tempted greatly if he could have all the kingdoms of this planet.
What use would it be to offer God all the kingdoms of the earth when he owns them all anyway! It makes no sense.
The Holy Bible also says that even the Holy Spirit can be tempted:
"Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out." Acts 5:9 KJV
Therefore, God cannot be tempted despite people ever so often trying to tempt him. There is nothing within God to which sin could appeal and make him be tempted to do anything unholy or evil. It is in that sense that James says God cannot be tempted (in his innermost being) to do evil even if he is tempted from the outside to do something that he does not want (i.e. people or demonic beings trying to make him do something that is not in agreement with his perfect will). Even if people (seek or try to) tempt him looking at the event from the outside , he is not tempted looking at his inner reaction to the temptation. In a sense, this is a problem of the English language which uses the same word for two very different things.
An illustration may help to clarify the issue better than abstract explanations: Some people revolt at cigarettes. Offering them a cigarette will not be a temptation whatsoever. They do not even have to struggle to refuse. Because of their disgust for it they will immediately reject it. For others, particularly former smokers who just quit, being offered a cigarette is a temptation which they have to actively fight, and force themselves to deny the offer, even though there is a desire in them to take it. Everyone has a certain set of innermost desires (some maybe harmless and others bad or sinful). We can be externally tempted (by others) for everything, but will only be internally tempted by those external temptations which find a corresponding desire inside of us.
In a similar manner, just because Jesus was tempted doesn't mean he isn't God, anymore than Yahweh God being tempted proves that he cannot be God either. Nor does this mean that since Christ was tempted he, therefore, had lustful or evil inclinations which would move him to sin.
That is all nice, but however so, as we all saw from the way Satan tried to tempt Jesus that Jesus could not possibly be God for the way Satan tried to tempt him, and the things he offered him. God is in no need for the things Satan offered him, so it makes no sense to offer him things he already has.
However, Satan did tempt Jesus to climb up the mountain. To read more go to http://www.answering-christianity.com/satanic_verses.htm
Second, James had no problem in affirming the Deity of the Lord Jesus, despite the fact that Christ had been tempted:
"James, a servant of God AND OF the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings." James 1:1
"My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory." James 2:1
James says that he is the slave of God AND OF the Lord Jesus, and calls Jesus the Lord of glory. James wasnt the only one who identified Jesus as the Lord of glory:
"None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." 1 Corinthians 2:8
The title, "Lord of glory", indicates that both James and Paul believed that Jesus is Yahweh since the OT speaks of the glory of Yahweh, that Yahweh is the one who is truly glorious:
Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle! Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory! Selah Psalm 24:7-10
"And I will be to her a wall of fire all around, declares the LORD, and I will be the glory in her midst." Zechariah 2:5
Whether James believes Jesus is God or not, does not matter. Many people believe in pagan idols as being God, does that matter at all? No, it does not matter at all, if James believes Jesus is God, then that is his own mistake, one he has to live with. The fact remains that Satan would in no way tempt Jesus the way he did if Jesus was truly God. The fact that James also called Jesus the lord of glory doesnt mean he meant that Jesus was God, just because Yahweh was called the king of glory or he will be a glory in the midst does not mean that calling Jesus a lord of glory, or a glorious man, makes him God. The bible several times uses the word glory without referring to God.
Gen 45:13 And ye shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that ye have seen; and ye shall haste and bring down my father hither.
1Sa 4:21 And she named the child Ichabod, saying, The glory is departed from Israel: because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father in law and her husband.
Est 5:11 And Haman told them of the glory of his riches, and the multitude of his children, and all [the things] wherein the king had promoted him, and how he had advanced him above the princes and servants of the king.
Job 19:9 He hath stripped me of my glory, and taken the crown [from] my head.
Job 29:20 My glory [was] fresh in me, and my bow was renewed in my hand.
So the fact James calls Jesus lord of glory doesnt mean Jesus is God. It could be a title of honor. However so there are many titles in the bible given to others than Jesus, which were to honor, not to imply they were God.
Jerusalem was called "The LORD our Righteousness". "In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which it will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness (Yahweh tsidkenŻ).' (From the NIV Bible, Jeremiah 33:16)"
Ezekiel means "Strong God". It also means "Yahweh is Strong God".
Elijah. This name is short for EliJehovah or "Eli Yahweh". Eli means my GOD, and Yahweh is the name and title of GOD Almighty in the Bible.
Israel means "Challenge God", "he struggles with God", or "fight with God". It also means "Defeat God".
Gabriel also means "Strong God".
Those are just a few. For more names and titles please visit http://www.answering-christianity.com/godtitle.htm
Yahweh also said that he would not share his glory with another:
"I am the LORD; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols." Isaiah 42:8
"For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another. Listen to me, O Jacob, and Israel, whom I called! I am he; I am the first, and I am the last." Isaiah 48:11-12
Well he sure did share his glory with others, as I showed the word glory is referred to others who arent God. So if we want to take your argument and say if anything is associated with glory that makes them God, then those verses which showed and mentioned glory to others who were not God, makes those men God. However very interesting verses raised by Shamoun, it is obvious that since Yahweh stated that he shares his glory with no one, and for Jesus to be called lord of glory, Shamoun ends up thinking this makes Jesus God, because Yahweh said he shares his glory with no one!
However so, this is a fallacy on the part of Shamoun, him being a believer in the trinity cannot make that argument, because Yahweh according to him is made up of three people, three distinct different people, the Father is not the Son, nor are they both the spirit, they are 3 different persons. So one first has to know, who was speaking when the lord said I share my glory with no one, was it the Father, was it Jesus, or was it the Holy Spirit? It is safe to assume that it was not Jesus, because we already know that the Father has a greater rank and authority than Jesus, and that Jesus is inferior to the Father, for more information click here (*). Now if that is the Father speaking, then using Shamoun's argument, this means the Father lied! Because the Father said he will share his glory WITH NOBODY, Jesus is a totally different person, so if Shamoun believes Jesus has that glory, then this means the Father shared the glory with someone else, and lied. However so, if one were to say that it is not the Father speaking and that it is Jesus saying he will not share his glory with no one, this then makes Jesus the liar! Because when Jesus became the man, he had no glory, no power, he became a servant. The Father was the one who had the glory and power and was the one who was giving it to Jesus, hence if Jesus was the one who said I will not share my glory with anyone, then he lied because he must have given the glory to the Father for the Father to give him all authority and all power.
So either way, there's a problem for a person such as Shamoun who believes in the trinity. The same would go if it was the Holy Spirit who was speaking; we are left with the same conclusion. So if Shamoun believes Jesus had the glory, then someone in that verse about Yahweh not sharing his glory with others was lying. I will leave that for Shamoun to solve.
However so, I will help Shamoun out, Shamoun when Jesus is called lord of glory, it doesnt make him God, and I believe the glory of Yahweh, THE GOD, is a different glory that no man has, which is to be all powerful, all knowing, to have that glory you would have to be God. That is why Yahweh will never share that glory because to do it would mean to make another God, which cannot be. Jesus himself never had that glory.
Hence, the criticism only shows that the questioner doesnt understand the Holy Bible since none of the NT authors had a problem with Jesus being tempted and, at the same time, believing that he was also God.
Well if you believe that, then Yahweh lied, which also means the authors of the NT didnt know what they were talking about!
Finally, the question fails to take into consideration that Jesus wasn't only God but was also fully and truly human. Therefore, as a man, Christ could experience the same general temptations that all men experience, but with one HUGE difference. The Lord Jesus never acted upon these external temptations but remained completely sinless:
"Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God." John 6:68-69
"The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory, but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood." John 7:18
"And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him... Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me?" John 8:29, 46
"I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me," John 14:30
"For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." 2 Corinthians 5:21
"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin." Hebrews 4:15
"For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself." Hebrews 7:26-27
"how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" Hebrews 9:14
"knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot." 1 Peter 1:18-19
"He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth." 1 Peter 2:22
"For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit," 1 Peter 3:18
"My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." 1 John 2:1
"And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure... You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin." 1 John 3:3, 5
To conclude, the divinely-inspired Scriptures teach that all three divine Persons can be tempted without this implying that they cannot be God, or that they have some evil inclination which would cause any of them to sin.
Very nice, even if Jesus was fully man, he was still fully God as you Christians claim, so it would still be useless and senseless for Satan to try and tempt Jesus in this way, because ultimately he was still tempting God. Another point is that even if Jesus was fully man, didnt he not know he was also God? Of course he knew he was God, so that would still play in his mind, I am God, so it still makes no sense for Satan trying to tempt him, even if he is fully man, because he knows he is also God, and Satan knows he knows that he is God, so he still wouldnt have tried to tempt him the way he did. However I agree with Shamoun on one thing, Jesus was fully man, and that is all. That is why Satan tried to tempt him in that way.
So the fact of the matter is that Satan tempted Jesus in that way is because Jesus is not God, Jesus is only a mere man, no more than a prophet. Case closed.
Rebuttals, and exposing the lies of the Answering Islam team section.
Rebuttals to Sam Shamoun's Articles section.
Sami Zaatari's Rebuttals section.
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