This article is from the Catholic Answers website. It is part of a lengthy article about the Iglesia ni Cristo in the Philippines. This article refutes the teaching of the Iglesia ni Cristo about Jesus.
Is Christ God?
The Catholic teaching that most draws Iglesia’s fire is Christ’s divinity. Like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Iglesia claims that Jesus Christ is not God but a created being.
Yet the Bible is clear: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1). We know Jesus is the Word because John 1:14 tells us, "The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us." God the Father was not made flesh; it was Jesus, as even Iglesia admits. Jesus is the Word, the Word is God, therefore Jesus is God. Simple, yet Iglesia won’t accept it.
In Deuteronomy 10:17 and 1 Timothy 6:15, God the Father is called the "Lord of lords," yet in other New Testament passages this divine title is applied directly to Jesus. In Revelation 17:14 we read, "They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings." And in Revelation 19:13–16, John sees Jesus "clad in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. . . . On his thigh he has a name inscribed, King of kings and Lord of lords."
The fact that Jesus is God is indicated in numerous places in the New Testament. John 5:18 states that Jewish leaders sought to kill Jesus "because he not only broke the Sabbath but also called God his Father, making himself equal with God." Paul also states that Jesus was equal with God (Phil. 2:6). But if Jesus is equal with the Father, and the Father is a God, then Jesus is a God. Since there is only one God, Jesus and the Father must both be one God—one God in at least two persons (the Holy Spirit, of course, is the third person of the Trinity).
The same is shown in John 8:56–59, where Jesus directly claims to be Yahweh ("I AM"). "‘Your father Abraham rejoiced that he was to see my day; he saw it and was glad.’ The Jews then said to him, ‘You are not yet fifty years old, and you have seen Abraham?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.’ So they took up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple." Jesus’ audience understood exactly what he was claiming; that is why they picked up rocks to stone him. They considered him to be blaspheming God by claiming to be Yahweh.
The same truth is emphasized elsewhere. Paul stated that we are to live "awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13). And Peter addressed his second epistle to "those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours in the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Pet. 1:1).
Jesus is shown to be God most dramatically when Thomas, finally convinced that Jesus has risen, falls down and exclaims, "My Lord and my God!" (John 20:28)—an event many in Iglesia have difficulty dealing with. When confronted with this passage in a debate with Catholic Answers founder Karl Keating, Iglesia apologist Jose Ventilacion replied with a straight face, "Thomas was wrong."
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