Here is another article response to the false prophet known as Maestro Erano M Evangelista and I hope to provide a feasible response and expose him once again.
Jesus' temptation by Satan
Like in the previous article I had responded to, Erano claims that Jesus had given in to the devils demand and submitted to him in the context of Luke 4:2-5. This is what the context ACTUALLY says:
"4 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 where for forty days he was tempted[a] by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.
3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’[b]”
5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.”
8 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’[c]”
9 The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. 10 For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you
to guard you carefully;
11 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’[d]”
12 Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’[e]”
13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time."
Verse 8 refutes Maestro's claim that Jesus gave into the demands of Satan and demonstrates that he stood firm against Satan and also, Satan was not denying that Jesus was the Son of God at all, he said IF you are the Son of God, do this. Jesus refused because he needn't prove himself to the devil and knew the devil was trying to get him to sin against the Father in heaven. Even when the devil offered Jesus the Kingdoms of the earth, Jesus rebuked Satan and rejected his offer, stating that you are to worship the LORD your God and serve only him. The context demonstrates that true Christians are not submitting to the devil but are submitting to the true God and it is Erano who hasn't the biblical evidence to prove his point.
The Father as mentioned in a previous article said to the disciples to LISTEN TO JESUS and even beforehand Peter confesses Jesus as the Son of God to which Jesus blesses the confession. Even the demons confessed Jesus as the Son of God, but that didn't save them, however it does prove that Satan did acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God:
"Matthew 8:23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
28 When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes,[c] two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. 29 “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?”
30 Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding. 31 The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.”
The demons obviously knew Jesus true nature and realised they were in big trouble.
Now Jesus wasn't denying that he could command the stones to turn into bread, the Holy Spirit of YHWH, the third person of the Trinity, allowed Jesus to do miracles when he had "taken the form of a slave" as Philippians 2 states. Jesus, though fully God and Man, veiled his glory and set aside his divine perogatives, not his deity and relied on the Holy Spirit to perform miracles among the people. What Erano conveniently fails to mention to his readers, surprise surprise, that both the Holy Spirit and demons, including Satan are capable of doing miracles, thus Jesus did not use Satan's power when doing miracles, since Satan was aware Jesus was able to turn the stones to turn to bread.
For that matter, the Holy Spirit had rested upon Jesus in the shape of a dove, further dealing a death blow to the claims of Erano.
It is allowed in the scriptures to pray in Jesus name, by virtue of him being YHWH God in the flesh. If he wasn't, then Christians should not be praying to him. I have written a number of articles on the Trinity if one wishes to see the evidence:
There are others but I think that's it for now.
Fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom
Before carrying on, Erano's baseless claim of Jesus sinning, failing his mission and him violating Deuteronomy 24:16 has already been answered here in this article so we needn't go over those details:
Also the other articles I posted show he is MORE than man but is fully God and Man, not to mention the testimony of the NT refutes Erano's claim that Jesus is not the Son of God.
Here is one of Erano's claims:
"There are pastors and preachers who have heard the teachings from Maestro Evangelista. When asked if any of the teachings that they have learned (from their respective religions), are the same with the true teachings regarding God and Jesus, they replied: “we have spent many years in the study of the scriptures, and now we find out that not even one of the religion’s teachings is true”."
Which religions do they conclude are false? Erano doesn't tell us. Now even though in one of my papers to Yisroel Blumenthal, he and I have said this:
""III. 26. Page 186
Brown talks of a “rapidly growing underground movement of Orthodox and Hasidic Jews” who believe in Jesus. Of-course since this imaginary movement is “underground”, Brown will not be able to supply us with names and addresses. He expects his readers to take his word for it."
Why should he? There are conversions to many faiths that happen without our knowledge and right under our noses."
While I acknowledge there maybe conversions to Erano's religion, it would be nice if he provided some testimonies of his followers. The two I have spoken to couldn't defend their religion without dismissing what I say and ignoring them and repeating their objections.
Now, Erano claims on the basis of Ecclesiastes 12 that studying the Word of God too much has wearied us and he also goes on to say that we need to fear God. It's fine and dandy to fear God, that is at least one thing I can agree on, however, Studying the word doesn't weary or shouldn't weary anyone. Many a great theologian have spent many hours trying to understand the Word of Truth and rightly divide it.
While the generational curses of Deuteronomy do not apply to Christians today, there is no doubt that Christians will be subject to punishment if they refuse to obey YHWH.
There is no doubt that the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, but to say "As an example: when a man says that he fears God; and we ask him, how many gods are there, he would answer, there is only one God. When asked again, what is the name of the God whom he fears, he doesn’t know the answer - and could only say, there are many names. This is because he doesn’t truly know Him (God). A fool’s confession!" is a harsh statement. Just because someone may be ignorant of the name YHWH, that doesn't mean they cannot know YHWH, because the New Covenant promises that "they will all know me from the least of them to the greatest". This is hyper-literalism being presented by Erano, though he doesn't mention Jeremiah 31:31. Also, the New Covenant is made with the Jews, not the church, but the church is grafted into that covenant so that they may know the God of Israel, but the subject of who the covenant was made with is another topic neither here nor there.
The point is, regardless of a Christian addressing the God of Israel as YHWH, HaShem or Adonai or God, it doesn't matter, this doesn't prove Christianity false and Erano's unreasonable criteria flies in his face. My question to him or his followers is, to turn the argument around and use it against them, Do YOU and Erano know the name of God? If not, your argument is USELESS, If so, Why are you chastising people for not using his name in prayer or other God glorifying situations?
I agree that wisdom and understanding is important, but the religions that Erano is condemning have not taken those things away. We need true understanding and wisdom from God and his guidance in these matters and not lean on our own understanding, but I could turn the statement "we don’t have understanding. The religions have taken it away from us; our innate sense of understanding." and use it against Erano. In fact I could argue that he has taken wisdom and understanding from his followers, since they are so foolish as to blindly accept the claims of Erano without checking into his claims.
As for the misquotation of Psalm 22, that is already covered here:
Christ is not responsible for causing untold suffering and as God he can choose to bring judgement on a nation or spare it and grant it mercy. We suffer because we live in a fallen world, it is not Jesus' fault, it's ours.
Both Erano and I do acknowledge that obedience to God is important. The subject of being saved by grace or by works however, is not covered in this paper and just to clarify, we are saved by Grace and NOT by Works. The subject of works and grace however is another topic which is not going to be discussed in this paper.
Also, His misuse of Luke 12:50-52 has been addressed in the previous article I have written against Erano, as well as what Deuteronomy 4:2 says, which he has quoted in context this time:
An important question that arises among Christians is how much of the Torah applies to us and what parts are we expected to keep? Well I direct you to the following papers:
These papers tackle what commandments we are obligated to keep, in light of what Jesus had FULFILLED in the Torah, not abolished, but fulfilled.
A quick note here, Both Erano and I will agree loving your parents is important, but our divergent thinking is what Jesus meant by hating and loving parents. Did Jesus violate this? Let's read the context shall we?
"Luke 14:2525 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’
31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples."
What Jesus is calling for is undivided absolute loyalty to him which supersedes loyalty to parents. Love and Hate in the Bible in a given context do not mean what we often mean by these terms. To love someone is to care for them and seek their highest good and to hate someone is NOT to care for them and NOT seek their highest good. Jesus is not saying you are to have bitterness and resentment toward your parents, he is saying that you are to care for him more than them, not neglect them. In fact Jesus even chastised the Pharisees for not looking after their parents. It wasn't for that reason alone, but nevertheless that is one of the points Jesus personally highlights
"Mark 7:6 He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:
“‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
7 They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.’[b]
8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.”
9 And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe[c] your own traditions! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’[d] and, ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’[e] 11 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is Corban (that is, devoted to God)— 12 then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother. 13 Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”"
To say that Jesus told us to hold our parents in utter contempt is indeed a lie that Erano reads into the text.
Eye for an Eye
Now the subject eye for an eye. He appeals to Deuteronomy 19:21 and claims that we must take vengeance on our enemies, rather than pay them back and he quotes "eye for an eye". The text itself is not a licence for settling personal vendettas, but is actually preventing these from happening. He also quotes Matthew 5:39-42 to try and say that Christians are not allowed to pay someone back.
"Matthew 5:38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’[h] 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you."
There is a difference between personal revenge and allowing justice to occur. Jesus is exhorting his followers not to take vengeance. Also, Jesus isn't saying that you cannot stand up for yourself and rebuke someone for their actions.
James M. Arlandson of Answering Islam has written excellent material on this subject and this is what he says about Matthew 5:38-41. Major points of note he makes I shall underline:
"Here is the verse quoted in the famous Sermon on the Mount. Matt. 5:38-39 says:
38 You have heard that it was said, "Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth." 39 But I tell you, "Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right check, turn to him the other also." (Matt. 5:38-39)
So it appears in the context of the law of retaliation between neighbors or in a small dispute, not a national crisis. There are four parts to the historical (legal) interpretation.
First, Jesus ministered in Israel four decades before the destruction of the Temple in AD 70. And at that time the law of retaliation appears in a legal context, in a courtroom, not in a dispute that was settled by private vendettas. The Mishnah, an early source of commentary on the Torah, was finalized in its written form at the end of the second century or beginning of the third century AD, but the traditions were transmitted orally long before that. Though caution should be observed in using the Mishnah for New Testament studies due to the chronological gap (first to third centuries), the Rabbinic rulings may hint at the ethos or general character of the first century, especially when relative unanimity among the Rabbis prevailed. Jesus could not fail to know this ethos.
The following passage from the Mishnah, seen in the context of bodily injuries, says that all disputes of this kind must be heard in a court:
Assessment [of injury] in money or money’s worth must be made before a court of law . . . . (Baba Kamma 1.3)
At this time in Judaism, bodily injuries could be compensated for with money. Also, Matt. 5:40 confirms a legal context: "if someone wants to sue you." Finally, Matt. 5:25 exhorts Jesus’ disciples to be reconciled with an adversary who is taking them to court, again a legal context.
Second, the word "strike" can mean to hit with the palm of the hand, the assailant doing this deliberately, not in a brawl (A. B. Bruce, The Expositor’s Greek Testament, vol. 1, p. 112). Also, if a hand strikes the right cheek, and the assailant is right-handed, then this means that it is the back of the hand that makes contact, further indicating formality and deepening the insult (D. A. Carson, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Matthew, vol. 8, p. 156; Mishnah Baba Kamma 8:6). In addition, the Greek word for "strike" is found in Matt. 26:67, Mark 14:65, John 18:22 and 19:3, all of which speak of a legal context, after the trial of Jesus. This indicates formality and a ritual. So the offended party who follows Jesus should not retaliate when formally opposed or insulted.
Third, the command not to resist "evil" or an "evil or bad one" (person) should be clarified. Evil is an abstraction until it is embodied in people. So in my opinion it is best to see the meaning of the word as an "evil person" in its historical context. The Judaism of Jesus’ time is first concerned with social guidelines, not abstract theology. Matt. 5:25-26 says to settle a dispute peacefully on the way to court, when an opponent has something against the follower of Jesus. But in Matt. 5:38-39, the follower has a grievance against a neighbor. Either way, Jesus is merely saying that it is better either to pursue peace (vv. 25-26) or to let the offense go (vv. 38-39), rather than drag the offender into court and rather than let the opponent drag the Christian into court. Instead of the disciples of Christ taking an adversarial position, he counsels them to see the "evil person" as a future friend and brother outside of a court of law, while they love their enemy and pray for him (vv. 43-48). This is sound advice to his followers who are called to lead in a new and higher way, rather than demand their rights in a court of law.
Fourth, the verse must be interpreted in its literary context, or the verses surrounding the target verse. One commentator paraphrases Christ’s central idea according to the entire context of the key verse in this way: "Though the judge must give redress when demanded, you are not bound to ask it, and if you take My advice you will not" (Bruce, p. 112). In other words, Christ does not deny that anyone has the legal freedom to sue for an offense, because he understood and respected the Torah, which allows for it. For example, 1 Cor. 6:1-8 discusses setting up Christian courts of arbitration. So the Scriptures do not forbid entirely settling disputes in a court of law. Jesus’ main point is the following in a legal context: his disciples should not retaliate, but obey Lev. 19:18 and Matt. 5:42-45, which exhort them not to bear a grudge or seek revenge, but to love their neighbor. He shows us a higher way: forgiveness and reconciliation.
It should be pointed out before leaving this section that some interpreters see Matt. 5:38-39 as legal and also eschatological (Carson, p. 156). Both interpretations may be true at the same time. But it is to this last one that we now turn." (James M. Arlandson, Historical interpretation, Should the State turn the other cheek? http://answering-islam.org/Authors/Arlandson/pacifism5.htm).
This tackles the issue that has been raised by Erano, so again, he is not being fair with the text.
Stay tuned for more refutations of Maestro and see his false ministry crumble to dust more and more.