“Delay is the deadliest form of denial.”
C. Northcote Parkinson
by Mark Karapetyan
It was a hot, sunny August morning. Washington Dulles International Airport was buzzing with travelers coming from and going to all corners of the globe. I checked my luggage and went through the security check points with ease (something unheard of in modern day crowded airports). When I approached the front desk to validate my boarding pass, I was informed that flight 459 was delayed for forty-five minutes. The reason? “Technical issues,” Aebbe, the blonde KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines) employee, explained. At first, looking at her strange blue dress, I thought Aebbe was a nurse. But then, I noticed her hat and figured she was a chef. In today’s world where genders are created, societal roles are reversed; in a world where men wear dresses and women lift weights, my confusion was justified. Alas, Aebbe handed me back my passport and smiled. The light reflection from her whiter than white teeth almost blinded me. “How do you get your teeth so white like this? What do you use to brush them, paint stripper?” I jested.
Aebbe exploded in laughter as she whispered something in Dutch to Marietta, her colleague. What a shocker! Marietta, another woman from the Netherlands who is also a blonde…imagine that!
Although I had no clue what the two were saying or why they were giggling, I knew they were talking about me. I could not help but listen to the rough Dutch words flying out of their mouths like shrapnel. If you have never heard the Dutch language before, here is how I can describe it to you: imagine listening to a person who has swallowed a broken, rusty metal-shredder that is low on oil and spits and spotters all over the place? That is Dutch in a nutshell. Some have argued that Dutch is a softer version of German. I disagree! A metal shredder is not a softer version of a wood-chipper.
I have once heard of an ancient lore that every time a Dutchman spoke, a beautiful kitten died somewhere in the world. I have also read that the reason the mighty English Navy lost the Battle of Leghorn in 1653 was that they heard the Dutch speak. Whether or not these fables are true, I do not know. I do know, however, that Juliet would have never fallen in love with Romeo had he romanced her in Dutch. Can you imagine Juliet’s reaction in the famous balcony scene in Act II, Scene 2, where Romeo expresses his undying love to her by telling her “Ik hou van jou” instead of “I love you”?
If you are wondering what all this has to do with God, apologetics, or Christianity, I do not know either. So, let us go back to our story.
I put my passport in my backpack and waved goodbye to Aebbe and Marietta. I had plenty of time to board my plane, so I visited every gift shop in the main terminal and sprayed every free cologne sample on my wrist. Within minutes, I was dizzy and smelling like Monet’s Garden in Giverny. Across from Gate A32, near the last gift shop I had left, I noticed a small room where all kinds of people were going in and out. My curiosity got the best of me, so I walked in. It was Dulles Airport’s Interfaith Chapel, a prayer room for the different world religions. As I slowly entered, I could not help but notice the various symbols hanging on the front wall. Buddhist, Hindu, Catholic, Protestant Christian, and Islamic signs and ideograms splattered all over the tiny room.
“It is a room for all believers of all faiths from everywhere,” one traveler noted on his way out. I instantly searched the Internet for more information and learned that this chapel’s mission was to “provide pastoral guidance for those who are hurting, intercede in resolving personal conflicts, conduct religious services, provide trauma team in cases of catastrophic loss, provide a quiet place for private prayer, meditation and religious observance.” 
Basically, the chapel was a hub for all faiths and all views and a center for “universalism” and “inclusivism” (a term many churches have unfortunately recently come to adopt). The chapel welcomed everyone regardless of their views or beliefs. In this room, truth did not matter because everyone was free to create his or her own truth and then believe it.
But then I wondered: what if the pilots and co-pilots of Dulles Airport followed the principles of the chapel and flew their planes according to their separate beliefs as well? If every passenger is free to choose his or her own spiritual destination, why can’t the pilots and co-pilots pick their own flight destinations also? In other words, why is there an Interfaith Chapel for everyone, but not an Inter-destination airplane?
With these unanswered questions, I boarded the plane, fastened my useless seatbelt, and waited for takeoff.
Moments later, a woman in her mid-fifties greeted me with a smile and sat next to me. We quickly shook hands, exchanged names (her name was Wendy), and shared some information. Once the captain made the announcement that it was time for refreshments, I pulled out a book while Wendy started watching a movie. Before lunch was served, I was done reading my book. The second I closed the book and rested it on the food tray in front of me, Wendy could not help but ask: “What are you reading?”
“Oh! It’s just a regular book about God and stuff,” I answered.
“God? Huh! I happen to know a lot about God,” she noted.
“How so? Are you a…”
“I’m Jewish,” she interrupted.
“Oh, very nice! I happen to know a lot about Jews,” I replied. And for a good two to three hours, Wendy and I discussed various topics about God, Christianity, and Judaism. She expressed that she did not believe in Jesus as the promised Jewish Messiah for reasons I did not find convincing. In addition, Wendy was under the assumption that Heaven, if it exists, is for everyone because a loving God would never punish his creation by sending them to Hell. When I pressed her on the numerous times God punished people in the Old Testament for being wicked and sinful, “stories…fairy tale stories,” she shot back, faster than I could blink my ever-widening eyes. As a Jewish woman who claimed to believe in the Tanakh (the Hebrew Scriptures), she did a poor job of expressing her beliefs in God’s word. This, however, did not surprise me at all, for I have heard Christians utter the same non-sense regarding the New Testament as well. I once met a young Christian girl who told me that Muslims, Buddhists, atheists, and all others will also be in Heaven because God bestows His love upon everyone regardless of their beliefs. When I asked her what she thought of Jesus’ words in John 14:6 (“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”), “words…just words,” she mumbled.
It is tragic that people base their truths on feelings, preferences, and emotions, not facts and evidence. Laziness and apathy toward truth has crippled the minds of the masses everywhere in the world (that is why people blindly line up like sheep heading to the slaughter, one after another, to obey orders given to them by their evil, corrupt, satanic governments). Sadly, the more Wendy spoke about God and Judaism, the more I realized how misinformed, ignorant, and brain-washed she was. An hour before we landed in Amsterdam, she told me that she did not believe in Christianity because it was a false religion, and that the Christian Bible had been altered and corrupted by the followers of Jesus (as if the Christian Bible were any different from the Jewish Bible, aside from the presence of the New Testament).
“Which part was changed, which book was corrupted?” I asked.
“Oh, that’s easy! Just look what Christians have done to the book of Genesis, for example,” Wendy explained. “In Genesis 1 and 2, the Christian version of the Old Testament changed the creation account from “we”, “us”, “in our image” to “I”, “me”, and “my image.” Without saying a word, I handed Wendy a King James Version Bible I had with me and asked her to show me where the corruption of the text had occurred in Genesis 1 and 2. For a minute or two, she shuffled quickly through the pages looking for those altered passages. Moments later, with a timid voice and a strange look on her face, Wendy confessed: “This is weird! I have always heard from my Jewish teachers that Christians had a different Old Testament than the Hebrew Bible and that Genesis and other books were, in fact, corrupted. But I don’t see it…your Bible reads the same as the Hebrew Bible!”
When I challenged her to check for herself and see if other translations of the Christian Bible also matched her Jewish Bible, she agreed to do so once we landed and she was connected to Wi-Fi.
You see, friends, the tragedy is not that Wendy’s professors deliberately lied to her about Jesus, Christianity, or the Bible. This is something I expect from most teachers and educators in America, and the West in general, who are nothing but radical, leftist Marxists and Communists who brainwash students by manipulating the truth daily. The real tragedy lies in the fact that Wendy, a PhD infectious disease scientist, whose job is to investigate scientific matters of truth, failed to even once open a Bible and simply verify the claims of her devious teachers. It is astonishing that Wendy spent years doing research for her PhD program, but spent zero time researching the matters of God that she claimed she knew so much about! However, Wendy is not solely to be blamed. Intellectual laziness and apathy toward truth are diseases many humans suffer from, Christians included. I have met numerous self-professed Bible-believing Christians who can barely recite a passage from Scripture, but can tell you the name, the history, the salary, and the jersey number of every player in Major League Baseball!
Unfortunately, the search for God’s truth has become a thing of the past. People no longer seek it. Archimedes, the ancient Greek mathematician, was once puzzling over a difficult problem. He was trying to determine whether a pure gold crown contained any amount of silver. Days had passed without a successful solution. Then, one day, while he was at the public bath meditating on this problem, he solved the puzzle. He was so excited that he jumped out of the water and ran naked in the streets screaming, “Eureka! Eureka!” (meaning “I found it”).
Like Archimedes, people need to immerse themselves in God and His word, that alone is truth. And only then, their “I found it” moment shall also arrive.
When the captain announced (first in broken, rusty metal shredder language, then in English) that we were twenty minutes away from landing in Schiphol (try saying it ten times fast and you will sound like you have brain damage), Amsterdam’s major international airport, I looked outside of my window and observed the large wing of the airplane cut through the large clouds effortlessly. Immediately, the clouds shifted my thoughts to the prophecy in Daniel 7 when one day, the Son of Man, Christ Himself, will come in the clouds of Heaven to judge this vile earth.
I turned toward Wendy and asked: “Who is the prophet Daniel talking about in chapter 7 when he references the Son of Man coming in the clouds of Heaven?”
“The long-awaited Jewish Messiah,” she replied.
Wendy was spot on! Ancient Jewish writings also agreed with Wendy’s conclusion. For example: A famous book in first-century Judaism depicted the Son of Man as the promised Messiah (1 Enoch 48:10). Another Hebrew book stated that the Son of Man was, indeed, the Son of God Himself (4 Ezra 13:1-52). What is more baffling is that even the Jewish Rabbis identified the coming Messiah as the Son of Man! (Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 98a; numbers Rabbah 13:1-52).
“But Wendy, what makes you think the Messiah has not come yet?” I questioned.
Wendy was very clever. She knew exactly where I was going with this. She smiled and confidently answered: “Well, we Jews believe that when the Messiah comes, he will restore Israel. We also believe that the Messiah will not die and therefore, because Jesus had already died, he cannot be the Jewish Messiah.”
What Wendy said was partially true, but it was not the whole story. The Jewish prophet, Daniel, was not the only one who often used the expression “the Son of Man” to refer to the coming Messiah. In fact, this phrase was Jesus’ favorite way of referring to Himself.
In Luke 9:58, Jesus referred to Himself as the Son of Man who “has nowhere to lay His head.” In Mark 14:21, He cautioned any man of betraying the Son of Man (“It would have been better for that man if he had not been born”). In the four gospels, Jesus repeatedly used this expression from the Old Testament to speak about Himself in the third person. How odd!
What is worth noting is that whenever Jesus used the phrase “Son of Man” before the Jews, He never followed it up with an explanation. He never said: “oh, by the way, this is what I mean when I refer to myself as the Son of Man.” Jesus already assumed that His audience was familiar with the meaning. So, He just used it.
In the Bible, the expression “Son of Man” can be used to refer to a mere human being. Psalm 8:4 reads “what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?”
In the Hebrew language, son of man (ben adam) is analogous for “man” – a human being. However, when Jesus used the term “Son of Man”, he was referring to “ho huios tou anthropou”, the Son of Man. But who is this Son of Man that Jesus often spoke of?
Interestingly, the answer lies in Wendy’s favorite Jewish book of the Bible, specifically, the spectacular Book of Daniel. And this is where it gets fascinating!
Daniel once had a dream of four beasts, depicted as four kings of four consecutive, pagan empires, followed by the coming of the fifth kingdom of God (Daniel 7:2-7). Four pagan empires plus the fifth kingdom of God, and each kingdom was to rule over the Jews.
What is so stunning about Daniel’s vision is that it does not end with the coming of the fourth beast (king), but with the arrival of the heavenly Son of Man: “I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him” (Daniel 7:13). But before you understand the identity of the Son of Man, you must first learn about the four kings (beasts). In Daniel 7:17, Daniel is told by the angel that “these four great beasts are four kings who shall arise out of the earth.” The first king, a lion, is the king of Babylon. The second king, a bear, is the king of Medo-Persia. The third king, a leopard, is the king of Greece. And the fourth king, a fourth beast that Daniel does not describe, is the king of the Roman Empire. What about the fifth kingdom?
When Daniel was brought before Nebuchadnezzar to interpret the king’s dream, Daniel informed the king that the dream was about an image, a statue, where its head was made from gold, its arms and breast of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, and its feet from iron and clay. Daniel also explained to the king that a stone, cut out by no human hand, smote the feet of the image or the statue, and broke them into pieces (Daniel 2:31-35). Another crucial detail Daniel added was that the stone that hit the feet of the image became a great mountain and filled the entire earth.
Did you catch that?
The stone that Daniel spoke of that hit the feet of the image is the fifth kingdom of God and it will come during the reign of the forth kingdom, the Roman Empire (because it hit the feet, the fourth kingdom, and no other part of the statue).
This means that according to Daniel’s dream, the long-awaited Jewish Messiah would come during the fourth kingdom to establish the fifth and last kingdom of God. Notice that in verse 2:44, it says that “the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed.” In addition, this fifth kingdom of God will start out small and powerless, like a small stone, but it will miraculously overthrow the Roman Empire, the fourth kingdom and the foot of the statue!
Do you now understand why Jesus repeatedly referred to Himself as the Son of Man without explaining its meaning? The Jews of the first century were anxiously expecting the Messiah during the fourth kingdom of Daniel’s dream, the Roman Empire. Daniel’s dream meant that from the foot of the statue (the Roman Empire), the Kingdom of God would spread throughout the world. Notice also that this fifth kingdom of God represented as a stone is not a man-made kingdom, but a supernatural divine one “cut out by no human hand” (Daniel 2:34).
Now you understand Daniel’s dream and the meaning of the four pagan kingdoms plus God’s fifth kingdom of Heaven, represented by the Son of Man (Daniel 7) that would arrive during the fourth kingdom, the Roman Empire. Therefore, you can clearly see that it is Jesus’ kingdom (the stone made by no human hands that overthrew the fourth kingdom, the Roman Empire), that will spread throughout the world and be everlasting. Moreover, notice that the fact that the Son of Man is also a king is obvious, not only by His being compared to the four pagan kings, but also by the fact that he is seated on a heavenly throne (Daniel 7:9-14).
The Jews who knew the Book of Daniel were well aware of Jesus’ references to Himself as the Son of Man. They knew the Son of Man was the Jewish Messiah. They knew that the Messiah would come during the Roman Empire. That is why the experts in the Jewish Scriptures, the Pharisees, Sadducees, and the legalists were dispatched to validate the messianic claims of Jesus. They knew it was during their time that the Messiah would appear, according to Daniel’s dream. When Jesus came to the scene declaring the Kingdom of God (the fifth kingdom) and referring to Himself as the Son of Man from Daniel’s dream, the Jewish authorities were quick to verify Jesus’ claims by comparing Him to Daniel’s Son of Man. Unfortunately, they did not believe in Jesus as the promised Messiah for the same reason that Wendy and others do not: blindness!
What is also startling is that the Son of Man in the Book of Daniel is NOT an earthly Messiah or an earthly king; He is a heavenly king ruling over a heavenly kingdom: “And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.” (Daniel 7:14). Here are some similar quotes from Jesus.
Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” (John 18:36)
And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” (Mark 14:62)
When I was done explaining all this to Wendy, we were already in Amsterdam on the tarmac waiting to deboard the airplane. She grabbed her belongings, wished me good luck, and quickly disappeared into thin air.
I, on the other hand, was not yet done. I still had to catch another plane to Milan on my way to my ultimate destination, Bucharest. I was on my way to spend twelve days in Romania to speak and teach Christian apologetics in various venues.
I looked at my watch and I realized that I had two more hours before my next flight. I was a little tired since I had not slept at all during the eight to nine-hour flight. I was also starving because I had refused to eat the cat food offered to me onboard KLM. After I grabbed something quick to eat, I sat down on a bench to relax. I revisited in my mind the conversation earlier with Wendy about Jesus as the Jewish Messiah. But then, I had this thought: Skeptics, Jews, Muslims, and others often claim that Jesus never claimed to be God. Even Wendy at one point during our flight ridiculed the idea. But is it true?
Contrary to common belief, Jesus repeatedly expressed His divinity, but in a very Jewish way. In first-century Israel, the rabbis used what was known as the “Ramez” method, or the hinting method. Instead of directly explaining something, the rabbi would allude to stories, allegories, and objects to make his case. Jesus was no exception. He told parables, used illustrations, riddles, and questions to simultaneously reveal and conceal His identity. Just because He did not go around Jerusalem screaming “I am God, I am God,” does not mean He did not claim to be divine.
Before I present to you this example, let me ask you this: If Jesus never claimed to be God, why did the Jews and the Romans kill Him? Because He healed the sick and proclaimed love? Of course not!
Remember, in Jesus’ times, claiming to be the Messiah was not considered blasphemy. If the Messiah is the long-awaited king of Israel, how could it be blasphemy to claim to be him? If it were against Jewish law to claim to be the Messiah, then how could anyone ever know who the Messiah was? Clearly, Jesus must have said something else, such as a claim of divinity, that drove the Jews to execute Him on charges of blasphemy.
Although Jesus did directly claim to be God several times (Mark 14:61, Luke 22:70, Matthew 26:64), in many cases, however, he just simply showed it!
You are probably familiar with the story of Jesus stilling the storm. There is a great storm upon the Sea of Galilee that sent the disciples cowering in fear. The disciples are terrified, but Jesus is asleep with His head on a pillow. This ends when the disciples wake Jesus up and ask for help. Jesus commands the storm and the waves, and they immediately calm down (Matthew 8:23-27).
What does this have to do with Jesus’ divinity, you might ask. Afterall, Moses, Elijah, and Joshua performed miracles as well, but no one considers them to be divine. How is Jesus any different?
Well, what you need to understand is that this miracle Jesus performed relates back to the God of the Hebrews, and the disciples knew it. The Jews believed that Yahweh, the God of the Old Testament, controlled two of the most powerful forces in creation: the sea and the wind. In the book of Job, we are told that God had power over the winds, and that He rebuked the waters of the oceans when He created the world (Job 26:11-26, Psalm 104:1-7). In addition, we also read that Yahweh rebuked the sea in the exodus from Egypt (Psalm 106:8-9). However, the most remarkable of all is the description of the Lord in Psalm 107 who stills the storm, calms the waves, and saves His people:
“Some went down to the sea in ships, doing business on the great waters; they saw the deeds of the Lord, his wondrous works in the deep. For he commanded and raised the stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea. They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths; their courage melted away in their evil plight; they reeled and staggered like drunken men and were at their wits’ end. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven.” (Psalm 107:23-30)
Did you catch the similarities between what the God of the Old Testament did and what Jesus did in the stilling of the storm?
In Psalm 107, there were sailors in ships who were afraid of the stormy and windy waves. When they were terrified, they cried out to the Lord (YHWH). The Lord stilled the storm and quieted the waves. By contrast, the gospels tell us that the disciples faced stormy and windy waves while in the boat. Out of their extreme fear, they cried out for help. Jesus stilled the storm, and a “great calm” was upon the sea (Matthew 8:26).
It is remarkable to note that just as YHWH saved His people from a fierce storm, Jesus also performed the same role by quieting the storm and saving His disciples.
Amazingly, Jesus’ actions lead His disciples to question His identity: “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark 4:41)
The disciples knew that what Jesus did was an act attributed to God alone. In its context, the question implies that Jesus displayed a power that the Jewish Scriptures ascribe to YHWH.
Notice also that Jesus did not pray to God to make the storm stop. He did not rely on an outside source for help. Instead, just like the God of the Old Testament, He simply commanded the wind and the sea, and they instantly obeyed Him.
One last thing I would like to note: Notice how the story of Jesus calming the storm clearly points out that He is not just divine, but also human…He fell asleep on the boat!
If for whatever reason you believe this parallel miracle can be regarded as a coincidence, then what do you say about the miracle of Jesus walking on water?
The summary of the story is as follows: After feeding the five-thousand, Jesus sends His disciples ahead of Him in a boat to cross the Sea of Galilee. Several hours later in the night, the disciples encounter a storm. Jesus comes to them, walking on the water. This terrifies the disciples who think they are seeing a ghost (Mark 6:45-51).
When Jesus finally encounters His disciples, He does not tell them “it is I” in the original Greek, Jesus literally says “I am” (ego eimi). As you well know, in the Old Testament, “I am” is used for God’s divine name. In other words, the Jews understood that “I am” was the one, true, eternal, creator of the Universe: YHWH. Just like God revealed His identity to Moses, Jesus also revealed His identity to His disciples using the same phrase God used.
But if you read the account carefully, you will discover something startling!
“And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out.” (Mark 6:48-49)
Notice that Mark says Jesus was about to “pass by them.” If Jesus was going to the boat to see His disciples, why did He pass them by? This is rather odd, you would think!
Where was Jesus going?
This baffling detail can only be explained by searching the Hebrew Scriptures. In the Old Testament, the expression “passing by” is often used to describe God’s theophanies or acts when He appears to humans. For example, when God appeared to Moses and Elijah, this is what the Bible says happened:
And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. (Exodus 33:19)
Moreover, we read: “And while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by.” (Exodus 33:22)
And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by. (1 Kings 19:11)
Finally: The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” (Exodus 34:6)
In the examples above, notice that in the theophany to Moses, God did not only proclaim His divine name (I am), but also passed by! Similarly, Jesus did not only reveal His identity to His disciples when He said, “I am,” He also passed them by, indicating that He is not just a Hebrew prophet performing a supernatural miracle, but the divine God of the Old Testament.
Immediately after the storm calmed down, the disciples fell down and worshiped Jesus. Why? Because they recognized that Jesus had displayed divine power over two powerful forces: sea and wind. How do we know that the disciples recognized Jesus’ divine powers? Because they worshiped Jesus saying, “truly you are the Son of God” (Matthew 14:33).
There are more accounts that show Jesus talked and acted as the God of the universe that I do not have the time to mention here. Suffice it to say that the historical evidence suggests Jesus believed He was God and acted as God. After scrutinizing Jesus and His life for years, I have come to the firm conclusion that Jesus is the divine Son of God who created the universe out of nothing. Not only did He claim His divinity, but also repeatedly demonstrated it so that anyone who believes in Him shall live and live eternally.
If you are an atheist, a skeptic, a doubter, or a mocker, I urge you to investigate Jesus and His claims extensively and diligently with an open mind and a receptive heart. In the end, you will be faced with two choices: Either you will acknowledge, accept, and worship Jesus as the creator of this universe, or, just like Wendy, you will grab your belongings and vanish. The choice is yours. Remember, however, choices have consequences…
As for you “believers”, grow up! Jesus is not your co-pilot as some idiotic Christian bumper stickers state, nor is He the man upstairs. He is the divine Creator, worthy of praise, reverence, and honor. It is tragic that churches today are full of Christians who have not yet grown spiritually.
Have you noticed that we, Christians, view the mentally retarded as abnormal, yet we accept spiritual retardation as normal?
“Jesus is not God because He said it, He is God because He also proved it.”