| ZAC POONEN|
With regards to the debate about Zac Poonen: I want to refer everybody who is in doubt about what Zac really teaches about Christ's deity and humanity, to WHAT HE HIMSELF HAS WRITTEN! Go and check out CFC's website and in particular this url: http://www.cfcindia.com/web/mainpages/articles.php?display=article26
I'm afraid most of the accusations lodged against him (behind his back) is due to the fact that noboby has actually read HIS OWN confession of faith.
Here is what Zac has written about what he believes:
"The Truth Concerning Christ
The Scriptures teach that Jesus Christ existed as God and was equal with God from all eternity (Jn.1:1) and that when He came to earth as a Man, He voluntarily chose NOT to exercise some of those powers that He had as God. This is what is meant by the expression, "He emptied Himself" (Phil. 2:6,7).
Consider a few examples that prove this: God cannot be tempted by evil (Jas. 1:13). But Jesus allowed Himself to be tempted (Matt. 4:1-10). God knows everything. But Jesus said when He was on earth that He did not know the date of His own second coming (Mt. 24:36). He also had to go near a fig tree in order to see if it had any fruit (Mt.21:19). If He had used His power as God He would have known that the tree had no fruit from afar! God's wisdom is unchanging and eternal. Yet, it is recorded twice about our Lord Jesus that "He grew in wisdom" (Lk.2:40,52).
All these verses indicate that Jesus had "emptied Himself" of many of the powers of God, when He came to earth.
But even though Jesus emptied Himself of these powers when He came to earth, yet in His Person He was still God. Obviously it is impossible for God to ever cease being God, even if He wanted to do so. A king can go and live in a slum giving up his rights as a king. But he would still be the king. So with Jesus.
The clearest proof of Jesus' Deity when He was on earth, is seen in the 7 recorded instances where He accepted worship from others (Matt. 8:2; 9:18; 14:33; 15:25; 20:20; Mk.5:6; Jn.9:38). Angels and God-fearing men do not accept worship (Acts 10:25,26; Rev. 22:8,9). But Jesus accepted it - because He was the Son of God. The Father revealed to Peter that Jesus was the Son of God even while on earth (Matt. 16:16,17).
Concerning Jesus' humanity, Hebrews 2:17 is very exact when it states that Jesus "was made like His brethren in all things". He was NOT made like the children of Adam, for then He would have had an `old man' like the rest of humanity. (`Old man' is the Scriptural phrase for which many unfortunately use the unScriptural expression `sinful nature').
Jesus did NOT have a sinful nature, for He did not have a human father. Jesus was born of the Holy Spirit, and was holy from conception (Lk. 1:35).
Jesus' spiritual brothers are those who do the will of God (Matt. 12:49,50) - who are born of the Spirit (Jn. 3:5) and who have put off the old man and put on the new (Eph. 4:22,24). But we, the brothers of Jesus, do have a will of our own and Jesus was made like us "in all things". He had a will of His own too, which He denied (Jn.6:38).
When we were born, as Adam's children, we were all born with an old man. The old man can be likened to an unfaithful servant who opens the door of our heart to the desires of the flesh (that can be likened to a gang of robbers) that seek to enter it. When we are born again, this old man is killed by God (Rom. 6:6). But we still have the flesh through which we are tempted (Jas. 1:14,15). The old man is now replaced by a new man who resists the desires of the flesh and seeks to keep the door of the heart shut against this `gang of robbers'.
Jesus was tempted in all points as we are, and overcame (Heb. 4:15). However He did not come in "sinful flesh" but only "in the likeness of sinful flesh" (Rom. 8:3). We have lived for many years in sin. The sinful habits that we have acquired through many years of sinning cause us to sin unconsciously even after we are born again.
For example, those who have used many swear words in the past may find such words coming out of their mouths unconsciously when they are under pressure; whereas those who never used swear-words in their unconverted days do not find themselves using such words even unconsciously. Similarly, those who have read much pornography find that they have a greater problem with dirty thoughts and dreams than others who did not indulge themselves to that extent.
Jesus never sinned and He did not have any unconscious sin in His Life either. If He had sinned even once unconsciously, He would have had to offer a sacrifice for that sin (as we read in Lev. 4:27,28). Then He could not have been a perfect sacrifice for our sins.
The doctrine of the Person of Jesus has been the point of controversy throughout church history and many a heresy has been proclaimed concerning it. Some have overemphasised His Deity, to the point where they cannot see Him as a Man who was tempted exactly like us. Others have overemphasised His humanity, to the point where they have cancelled out His Deity.
Our only safeguard to avoid either of these heresies is to stand with the whole revelation of God in the Scriptures and to stop where it stops, lest we "go too far" (2 Jn.7,9).
Jesus coming to earth as a Man is a mystery. It is foolish for us to try and analyze this truth, beyond what we are told in the Bible. To do so would be as foolish and irreverent an action as the Israelites curiously peeping inside the ark of God (a type of Christ) - an action for which God smote them down (1 Sam. 6:19).
Jesus said that He had come to earth in order to deny His own will and do His Father's will (Jn.6:38). This shows that Jesus had a human will that was opposed to His Father's, (Matt.26:39). Otherwise He would not have had to deny that will.
Jesus too was tempted in all points exactly like us (Heb. 4:15). But because He never consented in His mind to any of those temptations, He never sinned (Jas. 1:15). Every temptation that we can ever face, was faced and overcome by our Lord Jesus during His earthly life.
We all know how difficult it is to live without sinning for even a single day! So we could say that the greatest miracle Jesus ever did was to live without sinning for more than 33 years - even though He was tempted exactly like us at every point, daily. He resisted sin unto death, and He received grace from the Father because He sought for it with loud crying and tears (Heb. 5:7 and 12:3,4).
As our Forerunner, He now calls us to follow His example in taking up the cross - in putting our self-will to death (Lk. 9:23).
We fall into sin because we do not resist sin seriously enough, and because we do not ask the Father for grace to overcome. Today, we are not asked to follow Jesus in the external aspects of His life - being a carpenter or a bachelor - nor in His ministry - of walking on the water or raising the dead - but rather in being faithful as he was in overcoming sin.
The Holy Spirit inspires us to make two confessions concerning Jesus Christ - one, that He is Lord, and the other, that He came in the flesh (1 Cor. 12:3; 1 Jn. 4:2,3). Both confessions are equally important, but the latter even more so, because we are told that the identifying mark of the spirit of the Antichrist is that he does not confess that Jesus came in the flesh (2 Jn. 7).
Today, the Man Christ Jesus (1 Tim. 2:5) is the "first born among many brothers" (our Elder Brother), and His Father is our Father too (Rom. 8:29; Jn. 20:17; Eph. 1:3; Heb. 2:11).
Jesus did not cease to be God when He came to earth (Jn.10:33). He did not cease to be Man when He went back to heaven (1 Tim.2:5)."
| 2011/1/16 7:03||Profile|
| Re: ZAC POONEN|
Dear Chris, I'm unaware of any controversy with Zac or debates so forgive my ignorance.
I only found two points that I would question, but not about Jesus' Deity.
Quote #1 - "We have lived for many years in sin. The sinful habits that we have acquired through many years of sinning cause us to sin unconsciously even after we are born again.
For example, those who have used many swear words in the past may find such words coming out of their mouths unconsciously when they are under pressure; whereas those who never used swear-words in their unconverted days do not find themselves using such words even unconsciously. Similarly, those who have read much pornography find that they have a greater problem with dirty thoughts and dreams than others who did not indulge themselves to that extent."
If all sin is alike - what if one was a thief - would he "unconsciously" steal? Tempted yes, but I don't believe in "unconscious" sin. Every sin is preceded by a thought - if even just as quick as a blink of an eye - so that we are without excuse. I'm not talking "sinless perfection", but just that I don't believe in "unconscious" sin.
Also, I know people who never used swear words before, to 'out of no-where' begin to use them, as well as sudden attacks on minds who never indulged in pornography before.
We're made new creations in Christ - I believe that falling into the use of the word "unconsciously" can be used as an excuse. A 'crutch' To continue in or excuse sin. We need to "take Every thought captive to the obedience of Christ" - which leaves no excuse for unconscious thoughts, before Him who is The Judge.
Quote #2 - " He did not cease to be Man when He went back to heaven (1 Tim.2:5)."
This verse must have the next verse to follow it, as it's one sentence.
1Ti 2:5,6 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave [past tense] himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
We see Jesus through The Revelation of John, not returning as a man, but fully GOD, though visible. I believe He regained His Former Glory after the resurrection, as He had prayed to. Yes, He is GOD our Savior and therefore the mediator for all who Trust in Him, based upon what He has done.
If Jesus and Paul said that after our own resurrection, we shall "be as the angels" - neither male nor female and "as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly", 1 Cor 15, then how much more then, is The Logos of Rev 19 more than "still a man"?
Not to split hairs but only my fears of setting up a precedent for "unconscious sin" and not seeing the Risen LORD as being perfectly Glorified presently.
The rest of it, I truly appreciated, because Jesus' did all that he did while in the flesh, that Zac spoke of, to be our 'Example' of how to fulfill a fully dependent on GOD obedient walk, just as He did.
| 2011/1/16 8:40|