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Biblical Monotheism and Gods Heavenly Throne

Responding to a Muslim Dawagandists Objections to the Trinity Pt. 1 Sam Shamoun Muslim apologist Bassam Zawadi has come out of his hibernation in order to reply to some of the articles which I have written to prove that Islam is not a monotheistic religion, but a pagan/polytheistic faith which Muslims have been duped into believing is the strictest form of monotheism there is. The readers can find the material by checking out Zawadis rebuttals since he links to a specific article in each of his responses. As time permits I will be addressing some of the points which Zawadi raised, while ignoring the parts that have already been refuted, since it gives me further opportunities to document that Zawadi has no business doing apologetics. Here I would like to respond to the assertions which Zawadi made against the Trinity and in defense of Muhammads enthronement.

Exposing Zawadis inconsistencies and his gross misunderstanding and misuse of references In his reply Zawadi seeks to undermine the Biblical evidence for the Trinity and the Deity of Christ, and even cites a couple of renowned NT scholars to do so! Richard Bauckham said: In Second Temple Judaism, then, the throne of God in the highest heaven became a key symbol of monotheism. (Richard Bauckham, The Throne of God and the Worship of Jesus, page 53) Marinus de Jong said: God on his heavenly throne remains the center of all worship (Rev 7:11-17), and adoration of the Lamb in no way endangers or diminishes the worship due him. (Marinus de Jong, God's Final Envoy, page 138) Although Zawadi didnt mention it the above quotes, as well his arguments against the Trinity, were taken from the following unitarian article. This isnt the only time that Zawadi quote-mined unitarian writings to refute the Biblical evidence for the Trinity. Most, if not all, of his attacks against the blessed and glorious Trinity are either taken directly from or are dependent upon the arguments and eisegesis of unitarians, just as the following links testify: http://www.call-to-monotheism.com/general_articles_refuting_trinity http://www.call-to-monotheism.com/refuting_trinity_in_the_new_testament http://www.call-to-monotheism.com/refuting_trinity_in_the_old_testament

http://www.call-tomonotheism.com/inc/searchresults?s=unitarian&ss=unitarian&n=79871 What makes this rather ironic is that Zawadi chided me in one of his rebuttals for citing Muslims who reject the hadiths: My Response: Of course it is. There is something wrong with Sam Shamoun's whole section to begin with. That is that he assumes that the Qur'an is the only source of religious authority in Islam. He uses foolish arguments put forth by hadeeth rejecting Muslims (who are refuted here) and completely ignores the Islamic orthodox position. (Rebuttal to Sam Shamoun's Article "What is the day of congregation?") Elsewhere, Zawadi labels such Muslims as deviant (which obviously begs the question): It is indeed very sad and illogical for someone to reject all the hadith of the glorious Prophet (peace be upon him). The movement of the devious sect that began promoting this idea only began around 100 to 200 years ago. These people are coming out and misquoting verses from the Qur'an and giving it a whole new meaning. It is as if every single Muslim from the time of the Prophet until they arose misunderstood Islam. That in itself is an insult because that would indicate that the Prophet was a huge failure in fulfilling his task. The Prophet warned us about people like these who would arise in the future... (Hadeeth Rejecters) It would seem that Zawadi would be consistent and follow his own advice by not simply quoting from unitarians while ignoring the orthodox Christian responses to the distortion of the Holy Scriptures by such deviant sects (to use Zawadis own words).(1) However, as we have said on many occasions consistency is not one of Zawadis strong points.(2) Returning to the issue at hand, since Zawadis source quoted only a part of the statements of both Bauckham and de Jonge we will provide the full context so that the readers can see what these authors were actually saying. We will begin by quoting from Bauckhams latest book since he includes an expanded version of this specific article: 3.4. Conclusion In Second Temple Judaism, then, the throne of God in the highest heaven became a key symbol of monotheism, representative of one of the essential characteristics definitive of the divine identity. While a few traces of other enthroned figures associated with Gods rule can be found, the subordination of such figure to Gods rule is almost always stressed, while the overwhelming trend of the literature is towards emptying heaven of all thrones except Gods. There is no indication that this was controverted issue, as it was later in rabbinic discussions of Daniel 7:9 and of Metatron. The uniqueness of the heavenly throne of God belongs to the logic of the monotheism that dominated common Judaism in the Second Temple period. (Bauckham, Jesus and the God of Israel God Crucified and Other Studies on the New Testaments Christology of Divine Identity [William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, MI/ Cambridge, U.K. 2008], 5. The Throne of God and the Worship of Jesus, 3. The Heavenly Throne of God, p. 164; underline emphasis ours)

Bauckhams point is that the throne of God was one of those key distinguishing features which separated God from all created reality. Gods heavenly throne symbolized monotheism and Gods unique divine identity as the Ruler of all created things. As such to sit on Gods throne implied that the figure in question was fully Divine and shared in Gods own identity. To quote the words of Bauckham: The symbolic function of the unique divine throne is such that, if we find a figure distinguishable from God seated on Gods throne itself, we should see that as one of Judaisms most potent theological means of including such a figure in the unique divine identity 35. So, rightly, Gieschen, Angelomorphic Christology, 93-4: Texts in which a figure shares the divine throne with God, or is its sole occupant, make a profound theological statement in a Jewish context: divinity could be ascribed to the enthroned figure. I would say: divinity must be ascribed to the enthroned figure. (Ibid., p. 165; underline emphasis ours) Here is what Charles A. Gieschen, whom Bauckham cites, says in his book concerning this issue: First, the Divine Position criterion: Is the angelomorphic mediator positioned with or near God or his throne? [Alan F.] Segals research on the Two Powers in heaven controversy has helped to emphasize the interest the exegetes had in a second figure sharing the divine throne in Judaism, Christianity, and Rabbinism. The divine throne belonged to God ALONE. Therefore, divine status is usually accorded to the sole occupant sitting on the divine throne, the one who sits on the divine throne with God, or the one who sits on a similar throne that is alongside the divine throne. (Gieschen, Angelomorphic Christology: Antecedents and Early Evidence [Brill Publishers, 1998], Part 1. Introduction, Chapter Two. Nomenclature and Methodology, C. Divinity Nomenclature, p. 31; capital and italic emphasis ours) It is in light of this key understanding that Bauckham goes on to show that Jesus shares in Gods very own unique Divinity since the NT depicts him as sharing in Gods sovereign rule over all creation: 5. Jesus on the heavenly throne of God When New Testament Christology is read within the context of the understanding of the Second Temple Jewish monotheism we have sketched, it can be readily seen that EARLY Christians applied to Jesus all the well-established and well-recognized characteristics of the unique divine identity in order, quite clearly and precisely, TO INCLUDE JESUS IN THE UNIQUE IDENTITY OF THE ONE GOD OF ISRAEL. Primary among these characteristics was the unique sovereignty over all things. From the EARLIEST post-Easter Christology that we can trace, Jesus exaltation was understood as his sharing the divine rule over the cosmos. Other uniquely divine characteristics followed logically and SWIFTLY, notably Jesus participation in the work of creation. Worship of Jesus, as his inclusion in the monotheistic worship DUE EXCLUSIVELY TO THE ONE GOD, followed as the NECESSARY recognition of his inclusion in the divine identity, again primarily in recognition of his exercise of the unique divine sovereignty from the heavenly throne of God. In the present context, we must restrict our interest to the main features of the New Testaments understanding of Jesus exaltation to the divine throne. (Ibid., p. 172; capital and underline emphasis ours)

And now for the context of the Marinus de Jonge quote: In Revelation, many scholars have drawn attention to the opening vision in 1:12-16. There one like a son of man (Dan. 7:13) appears with a head and hair as white wool, white as snow (cf. the description of the Ancient of Days in Dan. 7:9). As often in the Apocalypse, the imagery is influenced by numerous other Old Testament passages as well. The most intriguing phenomenon is the combination of elements taken from Da. 7:9 and 13 to describe a single figure. In Rev. 1:17-18 this figure reveals himself as Jesus (I was dead, and see, I am alive for ever); again divine epithets are used to describe him (the first and the last Isa. 44:6; 48:12; Rev. 1:8; 2:8; 21:6; 22:13 the living one). Parallels to these portrayals of Jesus are found in descriptions of glorious angelic figures who act as principal agents on behalf of God a notion finally going back to the Old Testament figure of the angel of the Lord, who represents God himself, and who (in practice) was identified with him in contacts with human beings (see, e.g., Exodus 3; Judges 13). Much discussion has been devoted to the question whether in Revelation, and already in Jewish texts, we should speak of a process of bifurcation of God (so Christopher Rowland) or rather of an incipient binitarianism (so Larry Hurtado and James Dunn). Perhaps we should allow for a great deal of flexibility in apocalyptic imagery and terminology, and regard neither term as quite appropriate. God and the exalted Jesus as his one and only eschatological agent HAVE BECOME INSEPARABLE. On the heavenly worship of God on his throne in Revelation 4 (no doubt exemplary for worship on earth) follows the worship of God and the Lamb in chapter 5. They are praised together: To the one seated on the throne and the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might for ever and ever! (5:13; cf. 7:10). God on his heavenly throne remains the center of all worship (7:11-17), and adoration of the Lamb in no way endangers or diminishes the worship due to him. The Lamb is pictured in the immediate presence of God (5:6-7; 7:9), even at the center of the throne (7:17). In the vision of the heavenly Jerusalem, there is only one throne of God and the Lamb (22:1, 3; cf. 3:21). The danger against which the readers are warned is worship of the Dragon and the Beast (chapter 13; 14:9-12; 19:20-21); they should fear God and give him glory (14:7). At the same time, the seer is told not to worship the angel who acts as intermediary for his visions (19:10; 22:8-9). The exalted Jesus Christ is worshiped together with God and is superior to any angel. (De Jonge, Gods Final Envoy: Early Christology and Jesus Own View of His Mission [William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, MI 1998], Chapter 10. The One God and Jesus, pp. 137-138; capital and underline emphasis ours) As the readers can see De Jonges point is that the reason adoration of Jesus doesnt diminish the worship due to God is because the book of Revelation depicts them as being inseparable! If Zawadi had bothered to take the time to actually read these quotations in context, instead of depending on a second hand source, he would have discovered that these particular citations do not support his anti-Trinitarian agenda. However, the fact of matter is that Zawadi is not interested in truth or accuracy, but is only concerned with using any argument or quotation which he erroneously thinks will help him defend his false prophet and false god or attack the truth of Biblical Christianity. Unfortunately for Zawadi, such an approach only causes further embarrassment both for himself and for the credibility of his religion since his responses give us the opportunity to expose his gross lies and distortions. You would think that Zawadi would have learned his

lesson by now, but sadly he has shown an unwillingness to learn from the countless times that he has been caught and exposed.

The Exaltation of the Son of God Zawadi thinks that I am suffering from a severe fever produced by my belief in the blessed and holy Trinity. My Response: Shamoun suffers from a severe case of Trinity fever. Whatever passage he looks at, he immediately states "These passages show that Jesus is God!" The fact is that it is Zawadi who is suffering from some serious illnesses, particularly from Islamiphylis, a common disease among Muslim apologists which causes them to lie and distort scholarly sources as well as the words of their opponents. He also suffers from a bout of Muhammadanitis, which is another common illness that particularly affects Muslim dawagandists. This disease is known to severely debilitate the ability of Muslim propagandists to properly understand what they are reading thereby causing them to write responses which grossly miss the point. This explains why Zawadi is incapable of producing a coherent rebuttal where he actually understands and accurately represents the arguments of his opponents or his own sources. Zawadi also doesnt understand the implication of his own statements! Case in point: Jesus sitting at the right hand of God does not in any way imply that he is God. On the contrary, it serves to show that he is not God. "To sit at the right hand" is a Jewish idiom signifying the custom of a dignitary honoring someone. If we take the case of a king, it would be the place of uppermost honor for any of his subordinates. Therefore, Jesus' session [sic] merely signifies His exaltation to the place OF HIGHEST HONOR IN HEAVEN, but not that He is God. The Father inviting Jesus to come and sit at His right hand illustrates His superiority over Jesus and Jesus' dependence upon Him. (Emphasis ours) Does Zawadi even understand what he has written here? Or is he simply parroting the arguments of a unitarian without properly understanding what such statements imply? (It is clear that these words were taken from Servetus the Evangelical since it is unlikely that Zawadi, a Muslim, would speak of the Father inviting Jesus to come and sit at his right hand seeing that Islam rejects the notion of Divine paternity or fatherhood [cf. Q. 5:18; 9:30; 6:101; 19:88-95; 21:26]). After all, if Jesus is exalted to the place of highest honor then this means that Jesus is exalted to Gods very own status and shall therefore receive the very honor which is due only to God! This is precisely what Jesus himself stated: The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, JUST AS they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. John 5:22-23

Jesus says that the reason he will judge is so that everyone (Muhammad included) will honor him, the Son, in the exact same way that they honor the Father. In light of this how does Zawadis argument refute anything? Doesnt Zawadi see that his words actually prove that Jesus has been exalted to the highest place in heaven so as to receive the highest honor imaginable, an honor which belongs to God alone? Obviously not since Zawadi has consistently shown over the years that he really doesnt understand what he reads (due to that Muhammadanitis disease that we mentioned earlier, which only the blood of the Lord Jesus can cure). Moreover, being seated at Gods right hand isnt simply a Jewish idiom signifying the honor which a king gives to someone. According to the NT this exalted station signifies that Jesus is ruling all creation from Gods very own heavenly throne, a position of authority which properly belongs to God alone. More on this point shortly.

The Fathers Exaltation of the Son Evidence that Jesus is not God? Zawadi repeats the lame argument that the Father exalting the Son proves that the Father is superior to him and that Jesus is dependent upon him. Not only does he fail to explain what he means by superior (e.g., is the Father superior in essence, status and majesty, or in status alone?), Zawadi conveniently overlooks the reason the NT itself gives for the Son being exalted by the Father. According to the inspired Scriptures Jesus assumed the status and position of a servant in order to perfectly fulfill the Fathers will, a major part of which entailed that he die on behalf of Gods people: For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves. You are those who have stayed with me in my trials, and I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Luke 22:27-30 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again . No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father. John 10:17-18 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Mark 10:45 Jesus reference to the Son of man coming hints at his preexistence, i.e., Jesus came from some prior place in order to serve, a point brought out more clearly in the following passage.(3) For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son

and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. At this the Jews began to grumble about him because he said, I am the bread that came down from heaven. They said, Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, I came down from heaven? But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. Jesus said to them, I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever. John 6:38-42, 51, 53-58 In light of Jesus voluntary act of humbling himself to become a servant, the Father responded by exalting him to the highest place, to the status he had before he became flesh. In the words of the blessed and inspired Apostle Paul: Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though existing in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be exploited, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, Philippians 2:5-9 This is further brought out by Jesus prayer: When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. John 17:1-5, 24 Jesus asks that the Father glorify him in fact to give him the very Divine glory he once shared with the Father before the world began in return for having glorified the Father on earth by accomplishing his will.(4) Hence, instead of exalting himself the Son waited for the Father to glorify him for having humbled himself in perfect obedience to his beloved Father. The Lord was simply practicing what he had preached to others: Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Matthew 23:12 cf. Luke 14:11; 18:14

And what his disciples had taught the Churches: Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and he will exalt you. James 4:10 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you 1 Peter 5:6-7

Jesus sits on Gods own heavenly throne Now that we have addressed Zawadis gross misunderstanding and/or distortion of the implication of Jesus being exalted by the Father it is important to keep in mind the NT claims that Jesus ascended to sit on Gods very own throne which is located in the most holy place of the heavenly tabernacle: We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 6:19-20 Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the holy places, in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man. Hebrews 8:1-2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2 The Bible further teaches that the Lord Jesus will sit on a great white throne to judge and determine the eternal destiny of all the nations: Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:11-15 That it is Jesus whom John sees sitting on the great white throne is obvious not only from the consistent NT teaching that Christ is the appointed eschatological Agent of judgment (cf. Matthew 25:31-46; John 5:22-23, 27; Acts 10:42, 17:30-31; 1 Corinthians 1:7-8, 4:4-5; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 5:1-3, 9-10; 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10), but also from what John himself writes: To the angel of the church in Thyatira write: These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze. I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first. Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and

the eating of food sacrificed to idols. I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds. Revelation 2:18-23 Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. He who testifies to these things says, Yes, I am coming soon. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. Revelation 22:12-13, 20 However, the only way that Jesus would be able to reward every single individual for whatever s/he has done is if he is omniscient and omnipotent. The reason he must be omniscient is because he must know everything a person has said or done, otherwise he will not be able to justly repay individuals for what they have earned and therefore deserve. He must be omnipotent since he must have inexhaustible riches at his disposal by which he can reward every individual for all the good deeds s/he has performed. He must also have the power to bring every person into judgment and subjugate them to his rules and decisions. Hence, the Lord Jesus not only sits enthroned as the Judge of all creation, thereby performing the very deeds of God, he also shares in the exclusive attributes of God such as omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence! In fact, the language which Revelation uses to describe Jesus role as Judge is the same exact language which the OT applies to Yahweh! See, the Lord GOD comes with power, and his arm rules for him. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. Isaiah 40:10-11 I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve." Jeremiah 17:10 All of these texts pretty much show that Jesus shares in Gods unique Divine identity which separates him from all creation. As Bauckham explains, 5.3. Divine sovereignty over all things That it is on Gods own heavenly throne itself, the throne of glory, that Jesus sits beside God is explicit in some of the texts (Heb. 8:1; 12:2; Rev. 3:21; 5:6; 7:17; 22:3) and should probably be assumed for all. Partly with the exegetical help of Psalm 8:6, this participation in Gods cosmic rule is frequently expressed by the formulae all things or heaven and earth (or fuller cosmic formulae) or, for emphasis, both. This language, constantly used of Gods relationship with his creation in Second Temple Jewish texts, is significant because IT IS THE WAY THAT JEWISH MONOTHEISM DISTINGUISHES GOD FROM ALL OTHER REALITY (all things), AS CREATOR AND RULER OF ALL. By including Jesus in the full cosmic scope of Gods sovereignty, New Testament terminology places Jesus CLEARLY ON THE DIVINE SIDE OF THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN GOD AND ALL THINGS. While Daniel 7:14 and Psalm 2:8 provided the basis for thinking of a universal rule on earth

of the Messiah (Sib. Or. 5:416; 1 En. 62:6), it is the cosmic scope of Christs sovereignty which places it in that unique category which his enthronement on the divine throne in the highest heaven symbolizes. OF NO PRINCIPAL ANGEL OR EXALTED HUMAN IN SECOND TEMPLE JEWISH TEXTS IS IT SAID THAT HE HAS AUTHORITY OVER ALL THINGS OR OVER HEAVEN AND EARTH. Another way in which the fully cosmic rule of the exalted Christ is stressed is by reference to the subjection of all the heavenly powers to him. The texts portray the submission both of the rebellious angelic powers (1 Cor. 15:24-28; Ascen. Isa. 11:23) and of the obedient ones (Eph. 1:20-21; 1 Pet. 3:22; Ascen. Isa. 11:24-32; cf. Rev. 5:11-14; Ep. Apos. 3). It is noteworthy that specific ranks of angels are those in high authority in the heavens: principalities (archai: 1 Cor. 15:24; Eph. 1:21), authorities (exousiai: 1 Cor. 15:24; Eph. 1:21; 1 Pet. 3:22), powers (dunameis: Eph. 1:21; 1 Peter 3:22) and dominions (kuriotetes: Eph. 1:21). (Ibid., pp. 176-177; capital and underline emphasis ours)

Jesus is exalted above all creation The NT further teaches that Jesus ascended far above the heavens themselves, a position which makes Jesus higher and greater than every creature in terms of honor, power, authority, glory and majesty: and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. Ephesians 1:19-23 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christs gift. Therefore it says, When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men. (In saying, He ascended, what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) Ephesians 4:7-10 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Colossians 2:9-10, 3:1 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we areyet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for

them. Such a high priest meets our needone who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever. Hebrews 7:24-28 This water symbolizes baptism that now saves you alsonot the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God's right hand with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him. 1 Peter 3:21-22 Richard Bauckham claims that such language indicates that Jesus shares in Gods supremacy over all creation: 5.4. In the heights of heaven The imagery of height, which we have seen to be important in depictions of the divine throne, also reinforces the New Testament picture of Jesus participation in the unique divine sovereignty. He ascended far above all the heavens (Eph. 4:10), far above every principality and authority and power and dominion and every name which is named (Eph. 1:21). He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs (Heb. 1:3-4). God highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name (Phil. 2:9). These three passages are linked by the motif of height applied both to the divine throne which is higher than all the heavens and to the name which is higher than all other names. Probably in all three cases, it should be understood that Jesus, seated on the divine throne above every angelic authority, also receives the divine name, which is far superior to all the names by which God alone names all the host of heaven. These various ways of stating Jesus absolute supremacy over all the angels need not be understood as polemical in any way. They simply apply to Jesus the well-recognized ways in which God himself on his heavenly throne was understood as absolutely supreme over all his angelic creatures. (Ibid., pp. 177-178; underline emphasis ours) Hence, in order for him to share in Gods own unique rule, thereby making him vastly superior and absolutely supreme over every created thing, Jesus must be God in essence. Otherwise, it would be idolatrous for Jesus to be given such a status if he were a mere creature like the false prophet Muhammad. This concludes part 1. In part 2 we will discuss the worship given to Jesus and the throne of Gods glorious and eternal Spirit.

Endnotes (1) We are not the only ones to notice just how grossly inconsistent and dishonest Zawadi is. Our dear brother and fellow apologist Nakdimon also noticed it and mentioned just how truly ironic Zawadi's statements concerning Quran only Muslims are in a email that was sent to me:

Hey bro, I'm reading your article "the Deity of Christ in light of His enthronement" and came accross something very interesting. It is well known, of course, that Muslims claim they love Yeshua more than we love Him because we ascribe to Him humiliation and they try to restore His honor. But this is what Bassam wrote about the Qurani Muslims and you quoted from his article: "It is as if every single Muslim from the time of the Prophet until they arose misunderstood Islam. That in itself is an insult because that would indicate that the Prophet was a huge failure in fulfilling his task." Isn't this hard core irony? So to ascribe misunderstanding of the message of Muhammad to the followers of Muhammad is to ascribe failure to Muhammad him self and an insult to Muslims. Yet, this is exactly what they ascribe to Yeshua (Jesus), whom they claim to love more than us. Yeshua was apparently this horrible communicator that couldn't get his followers to stand up for His Injeel and therefore it was completely distorted by this horrible character named Paul, who did manage to be successful in spreading "his version" of the Injeel. So in reality, they love Paul (whom they profess to hate) more than they love Yeshua (whom they profess to love). But in the process, they can't seem to figure out why we are offended and insulted by their stupid line of reasoning. We couldn't have said it any better! (2) Nor is logical argumentation since Zawadi consistently misunderstands and/or misrepresents his opponents arguments, as well as providing responses that are both fallacious and irrelevant to the discussion. Just to give the readers an idea of the quality and level of argumentation that Zawadi produces notice this particular response to my assertion that the Quran nowhere specifies the exact day Muslims are supposed to gather for congregational worship: My Response: Cleary, Shamoun is ignorant of the Arabic language. 'Al Jum'uah', literally means Friday in Arabic. For instance, this online dictionary translates Friday into 'yawm al jum'uah', the day of Friday. Following is the transliteration of the days. Saturday (Al Sabt) Sunday (Ahad) Monday (Ethnayn), could also mean 'two' Tuesday (Talaata), could also mean 'three' Wednesday (Arbi'aa), could also mean 'four' Thursday (Khamees) Friday (Jum'uah), could also mean 'assembly'

Indeed, the Arabic words used for the days can also have multiple meanings linguistically as I have shown above. (Source) Zawadi begs the question here since he assumes that the later definition of jumuah which became attached to it as a result of the Islamic practice of gathering on Friday was part and parcel of the original meaning both before and during the time of Muhammad. However, he has not shown this to be the case since he hasnt provided any pre-Islamic data or sources written during Muhammads time that proves that Friday was called jumuah in Arabic. The root from which jumuah stems simply means to gather, collect, bring together etc., just as the following lexical source shows: Jiim-Miim-Ayn = To collect or gather, bring together, to contract, assemble or congregate, unite or connect or form a connection, bring into a state of union, reconcile or conciliate, put on a thing [such as clothing article], to compose/arrange/settle, to pray in congregation, determine/resolve/decide upon a thing, agree or unite in opinion, prepare or make a thing ready, dry up a thing, conspire or league with another, coexist with one, to be compact/compressed/contracted, exert one's energy, to compromise or comprehend or contain, enter or go into, to meet or be in company with another. (Source) As such there is nothing within the word itself which would definitively point to Friday as the day in which Muslims are supposed to gather. In fact, Zawadis list of Arabic names for the specific days of the week actually proves that jumuah would not have been the original name for Friday. Zawadi has shown that days are listed by their specific order within the week, i.e. Sunday is called Ahad which is the word for one or first since it is the first day. This means that Friday would have initially been called sitta, the Arabic word for six, since it is the sixth day of the week. However, as Muslims of a later period started gathering on this day they decided to call it jumuah as well. Yet this still doesnt tell us what the day of congregation in Q. 62:9 as far as the Quran is concerned since the Islamic scripture nowhere tells us. Zawadi has, therefore, failed to address my challenge which was to prove from the Quran that the day of congregation which is mentioned in Q. 62:9 refers to Friday as opposed to Saturday or some other day. His appeal to traditions which were written centuries after the death of Muhammad does not suffice as evidence for events that occurred during the lifetime of Muhammad. This is what we mean by the quality of Zawadis arguments. It is rather unfortunate that Zawadi is unable to see that his replies are filled with logical fallacies and actually demonstrate that he simply does not comprehend the points and arguments made by his opponents. (3) Unitarians such as Servetus deny that passages such as John 17:5 teach Jesus actual preexistence with the Father in heaven before he became a man. They interpret such texts in terms of predestination or foreordination, e.g., Jesus was speaking of the glory which the Father had ordained for him even before the world was. However, the problem with such an interpretation is that Jesus didnt ask that the Father grant him the glory which was foreordained for him to eventually possess. In fact, the words foreordained, foreknown, predestined etc., do not even appear in the text! The language unambiguously shows that

Jesus actually believed that he personally existed and shared the same Divine glory with the Father even before the world was created. Moreover, unitarians want to have their cake and eat it too since some of the passages which speak of Christs descent from the Father or heaven also speak of his return there: No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. John 3:13 What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before? John 6:62 No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father. John 16:27-28 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says: When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men. (What does he ascended mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill all things [i.e., the whole creation].) Ephesians 4:7-10 Unitarians agree that Jesus actually ascended into heaven and yet they want to deny that he actually came down from there. However, these particular texts will not allow for such an interpretation since Jesus ascent is paralleled with his descent. Hence, if the ascent to the Father or into heaven is a literal, actual event then so too is his descent! In other words, just as Jesus personally and actually ascended into heaven he must have also personally and actually come down from there as well. (4) The Apostle John gives us an idea of the kind of glory Jesus had with the Father: So Jesus said to them, The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light. Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet: Lord, who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere: He has blinded their eyes and deadened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turnand I would heal them. Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus' glory and spoke about him. Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God. And Jesus cried out and said, Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness. John 12:35-46 According to the Evangelist the prophet Isaiah saw the glory of the Lord Jesus and wrote about it in both Isaiah 6:10 and 53:1. However, a closer look at the context of Isaiah 6:9-10 shows that the prophet actually saw Yahwehs glory when he saw him seated on his throne:

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory. At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. Woe to me! I cried. I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for. Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, Whom shall I send? And who will go for us? And I said, Here am I. Send me! He said, Go and tell this people: Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.' Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed. Isaiah 6:1-10 This means that John actually believed that Isaiah saw Jesus when he saw Yahweh sitting on the throne! In other words, if a person were to ask Isaiah whom did he see in Isaiah 6 the prophet would have answered Yahweh God. However, if one were to ask John that same question he would have said that the prophet saw the Lord Jesus in his Divine glory! Hence, by applying Isaiah 6 to the preincarnate Christ John is basically saying that Jesus possessed the Divine glory of Yahweh because he is Yahweh God (yet not the Father or the Holy Spirit)! This further explains Jesus own words later in the same chapter that to see him is to see God since he is the perfect image of God and the exact imprint of Gods very own substance (cf. 2 Cor. 4:4-6; Col. 1:15, 19; 2:9; Hebrews 1:3). This is exactly what happened when the prophet Isaiah saw the Lord Jesus in his preincarnate glory.

Biblical Monotheism and Gods Heavenly Throne


Responding to a Muslim Dawagandists Objections to the Trinity Pt. 2 Sam Shamoun We continue with our rebuttal to Zawadis reply.

Jesus is worshiped as a result of his exaltation to the highest position Now that Jesus has been exalted to Gods heavenly throne God expects and demands that every creature worship him: Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11 Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals? And NO ONE in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. And one of the elders said to me, Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals. And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying, Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth. Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing! And I heard EVERY CREATURE in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, To him who sits on the throne AND TO THE LAMB be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever! And the four living creatures said, Amen! and the elders fell down and worshiped. Revelation 5:1-14 In this last passage Jesus is not only worshiped by every creature in the same way that God the Father is he is actually being worshiped by the very objects which the Hebrew Bible forbids others to worship! And God spoke all these words, saying, I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me. You

shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am) a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. Exodus 20:1-6 Again, to cite NT scholar Richard Bauckham: 5.5. Worshipped by angels and all creation A series of texts concerned with Jesus enthronement in heaven portray the worship given him specifically by all the heavenly beings (Heb. 1:6; Ascen. Isa. 10:15; 11:23-32; Ap. Jas. 14:26-30). That this worship is due to God ALONE is clear from the context of Jesus enthronement on Gods own heavenly throne, the symbol of the unique divine sovereignty over all things. It should be noted that it goes further than the very limited worship accorded the Son of Man in the Parables of Enoch, who is worshiped by neither angels nor by any other part of the non-human creation, but only by the wicked at the day of judgment. The Christian texts draw out the full consequences of Jesus exaltation to the divine throne, AND DELIBERATELY DEPLOY THE STRONGEST JEWISH THEOLOGICAL MEANS OF PLACING JESUS EMPHATICALLY ON THE DIVINE SIDE OF THE LINE BETWEEN THE ONE GOD OF ISRAEL AND THE REST OF REALITY, HIS CREATION. It is worship by the angels that differentiates God absolutely from them; it is worship by the whole creation that differentiates God absolutely from all other reality. However we may evaluate the evidence adduced for some kind of veneration of angels in some parts of Second Temple Judaism, NO ANGEL is worshiped by other angels in Second Temple Jewish literature. In Second Temple Judaism, there was not a continuous spectrum of reality through which a developing Christology could gradually move Jesus until he eventually shared the divine identity. There was a gulf that Christology could cross only by seeing that Jesus surpassing all at once every heavenly creature and, seated on the throne of God, receiving their worship as God does. These texts place Jesus unequivocally within the unique divine identity. (Bauckham, Jesus and the God of Israel God Crucified and Other Studies on the New Testaments Christology of Divine Identity, 5. The Throne of God and the Worship of Jesus, pp. 178-179; capital and underline emphasis ours) And: Examination of the New Testament texts that offer theological rationale for the worship of Jesus thus confirms our argument. Worship is given to Jesus precisely as recognition of characteristics of the divine identity that were regarded in Second Temple Judaism as distinguishing the uniqueness of the one God. The worship of Jesus serves to focus in conceptuality, as well as making most obvious in religious practice, the inclusion of Jesus in the unique identity of the one God of Jewish monotheism. It was not only the natural religious response of Jewish Christians to the status they perceived the exalted Jesus to have and the role he played in their religious experience and life. It was also reflectively understood in the context of Jewish monotheistic understanding of God. (P. 181; underline emphasis ours)

Conservative Bible expositor G. K. Beale agrees that the worship given to Jesus in Revelation indicates that he is on the Divine side of reality: The hymn in these verses underscores the point of the hymn in vv 11 -12 by further interpreting the slain but risen Lambs reception of the book (v 7) to mean that his death and resurrection made him worthy to receive praise and glory. The emphasis on glorifying Christ is enhanced by the fact that God also is to be glorified, no doubt because it was through Gods sovereign arm that redemption was wrought through Christ. But, even more so, God is mentioned as being glorified together with Christ to highlight that Christ is in the same divine position as God and likewise to be glorified. The glory of God and the Lamb, which is grounded in their sovereignty, is the main point of the ch. 5 vision, as well as of the vision in ch. 4. 13 This scene anticipates the universal acclamation to be offered at the consummation of all things. If it represents universal praise in an absolute sense, then it issues not only from Gods willing subjects but also from his opponents, who will be forced into submission (as in Phil 2:10-11; Col. 1:20). Rev. 5:9-12 and 5:13 are good examples of the already and not yet time reference of chs. 4-5 in particular and of the Apocalypse in general. The evil rulers and earth-dwellers will be judged because they do not submit to and praise the sovereignty of Christ while they live on earth (cf. 14:7-11; 16:4-11. 21; 1 En. 46:6). (Beale, The New International Greek Testament Commentary The Book of Revelation [Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. & Paternoster Press, 1999], p. 365; bold emphasis ours) And here is what he says in regards to Jesus sharing Gods throne and receiving priestly service: There are not two thrones but only one, as is clear from 3:21: 'I also overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne (cf. similarly 5:11-13; 7:17; see likewise 1 En. 51:3). All who enter the city have access to the presence of God and the Lamb. They respond to this presence by becoming servants who will serve (latreuo) before the throne. The observation that in 7:15 the saints serve (latreuo) God as priests in his heavenly temple shows that here also they are performing priestly service in the temple of the end-time city. This echoes the prophecy in Isa. 61:6 (you will be called priests of the LORD, ministers of God', which will be fulfilled in the new cosmic temple. That Isa. 61:6 is in mind is evident from the allusions to Isaiah woven in throughout 21:1-22:5 (esp. Isaiah 61:10 in 21:2 and allusions to Isaiah 60 in 21:23-26 and 22:5). That they will serve him likely does not refer only to God or only to the Lamb. The two are conceived so much as a unit that the singular pronoun can refer to both That both are sitting on only one throne and together form one temple (21:22) enhances their perceived unity. Also, this unity is highlighted by both having the titles Alpha and Omega (1:8; 21:6; 22:13). Such statements as these in 21:22 and 22:3 were among those that gave rise to later trinitarian formulas. (Ibid., p. 1113; bold emphasis ours) This explains why the early Church fathers and apologists like Justin Martyr had no problem with worshiping Christ even though they claimed that only God should be worshiped since they knew and believed that Jesus is God: And everywhere we, more readily than all men, endeavour to pay to those appointed by you the taxes both ordinary and extraordinary, as we have been taught by Him; for at that time

some came to Him and asked Him, if one ought to pay tribute to Csar; and He answered, Tell Me, whose image does the coin bear? And they said, Csar's. And again He answered them, Render therefore to Csar the things that are Csar's, and to God the things that are God's. Whence to God ALONE we render worship, but in other things we gladly serve you, acknowledging you as kings and rulers of men, and praying that with your kingly power you be found to possess also sound judgment. But if you pay no regard to our prayers and frank explanations, we shall suffer no loss, since we believe (or rather, indeed, are persuaded) that every man will suffer punishment in eternal fire according to the merit of his deed, and will render account according to the power he has received from God, as Christ intimated when He said, To whom God has given more, of him shall more be required. (The First Apology of St. Justin Martyr, Chapter 17. Christ taught civil obedience; bold, capital and italic emphasis ours) And: Hence are we called atheists. And we confess that we are atheists, so far as gods of this sort are concerned, but not with respect to the most true God, the Father of righteousness and temperance and the other virtues, who is free from all impurity. But both Him, and the Son (who came forth from Him and taught us these things, and the host of the other good angels who follow and are made like to Him), and the prophetic Spirit, we worship and adore, knowing them in reason and truth, and declaring without grudging to every one who wishes to learn, as we have been taught. (Ibid., Chapter 6. Charge of atheism refuted; bold and italic emphasis ours) Again: What sober-minded man, then, will not acknowledge that we are not atheists, worshipping as we do the Maker of this universe, and declaring, as we have been taught, that He has no need of streams of blood and libations and incense; whom we praise to the utmost of our power by the exercise of prayer and thanksgiving for all things wherewith we are supplied, as we have been taught that the only honour that is worthy of Him is not to consume by fire what He has brought into being for our sustenance, but to use it for ourselves and those who need, and with gratitude to Him to offer thanks by invocations and hymns for our creation, and for all the means of health, and for the various qualities of the different kinds of things, and for the changes of the seasons; and to present before Him petitions for our existing again in incorruption through faith in Him. Our teacher of these things is Jesus Christ, who also was born for this purpose, and was crucified under Pontius Pilate, procurator of Juda, in the times of Tiberius Caesar; and that we reasonably worship Him, having learned that He is the Son of the true God Himself, and holding Him in the second place, and the prophetic Spirit in the third, we will prove. For they proclaim our madness to consist in this, that we give to a crucified man a place second to the unchangeable and eternal God, the Creator of all; for they do not discern the mystery that is herein, to which, as we make it plain to you, we pray you to give heed. (Ibid., Chapter 13. Christians serve God rationally; bold and italic emphasis ours) One more time: For I myself, when I discovered the wicked disguise which the evil spirits had thrown around the divine doctrines of the Christians, to turn aside others from joining them, laughed both at those who framed these falsehoods, and at the disguise itself and at popular opinion and I

confess that I both boast and with all my strength strive to be found a Christian; not because the teachings of Plato are different from those of Christ, but because they are not in all respects similar, as neither are those of the others, Stoics, and poets, and historians. For each man spoke well in proportion to the share he had of the spermatic word, seeing what was related to it. But they who contradict themselves on the more important points appear not to have possessed the heavenly wisdom, and the knowledge which cannot be spoken against. Whatever things were rightly said among all men, are the property of us Christians. For next to God, we worship and love the Word who is from the unbegotten and ineffable God, since also He became man for our sakes, that becoming a partaker of our sufferings, He might also bring us healing. For all the writers were able to see realities darkly through the sowing of the implanted word that was in them. For the seed and imitation impacted according to capacity is one thing, and quite another is the thing itself, of which there is the participation and imitation according to the grace which is from Him. (The Second Apology of St. Justin Martyr, Chapter 13. How the Word has been in all men; bold, capital and italic emphasis ours) There's more: "... And speaking in other words, which also have been already quoted, [he says]: 'Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of rectitude is the sceptre of Your kingdom. You have loved righteousness, and have hated iniquity: therefore God, even your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness above Your fellows. [He has anointed You] with myrrh, and oil, and cassia from Your garments, from the ivory palaces, whereby they made You glad. King's daughters are in Your honour. The queen stood at Your right hand, clad in garments embroidered with gold. Hearken, O daughter, and behold, and incline your ear, and forget your people and the house of your father; and the King shall desire your beauty: because he is your Lord, and you shall worship Him.' Therefore these words testify explicitly that He is witnessed to by Him who established these things, as deserving to be worshipped, as God and as Christ." (Dialogue with Trypho the Jew, Chapter 63. It is proved that this God was incarnate; bold and italic emphasis ours) Finally: For when Daniel speaks of 'one like the Son of Man' who received the everlasting kingdom, does he not hint at this very thing? For he declares that, in saying 'like the Son of Man,' He appeared, and was man, but not of human seed. And the same thing he proclaimed in mystery when he speaks of this stone which was cut out without hands. For the expression 'it was cut out without hands' signified that it is not a work of man, but [a work] of the will of the Father and God of all things, who brought Him forth. And when Isaiah says, 'Who shall declare His generation?' he meant that His descent could not be declared. Now no one who is a man of men has a descent that cannot be declared. And when Moses says that He will wash His garments in the blood of the grape, does not this signify what I have now often told you is an obscure prediction, namely, that He had blood, but not from men; just as not man, but God, has begotten the blood of the vine? And when Isaiah calls Him the Angel of mighty counsel, did he not foretell Him to be the Teacher of those truths which He did teach when He came [to earth]? For He alone taught openly those mighty counsels which the Father designed both for all those who have been and shall be well-pleasing to Him, and also for those who have rebelled against His will, whether men or angels, when He said: 'They shall come from the east [and from the west], and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven: but the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness.'

And, 'Many shall say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not eaten, and drunk, and prophesied, and cast out demons in Your name? And I will say to them, Depart from Me.' Again, in other words, by which He shall condemn those who are unworthy of salvation, He said, 'Depart into outer darkness, which the Father has prepared for Satan and his, angels.' And again, in other words, He said, 'I give unto you power to tread on serpents, and on scorpions, and on scolopendras, and on all the might of the enemy.' And now we, who believe in our Lord Jesus, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, when we exorcise all demons and evil spirits, have them subjected to us. For if the prophets declared obscurely that Christ would suffer, and thereafter be Lord of all, yet that [declaration] could not be understood by any man until He Himself persuaded the apostles that such statements were expressly related in the Scriptures. For He exclaimed before His crucifixion: 'The Sonf Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the Scribes and Pharisees, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.' And David predicted that He would be born from the womb before sun and moon, according to the Father's will, and made Him known, being Christ, as God strong and to be worshipped. (Ibid., Chapter 76. From other passages the same majesty and government of Christ are proved; bold and italic emphasis ours) We now turn to Zawadis challenge concerning the throne of Gods Holy Spirit.

The throne of the Holy Spirit Zawadi asks: We would also like to ask Shamoun how come there aren't three thrones in heaven for each of the persons in the Triune Godhead. Zawadi has adapted the arguments of Servetus the Evangelical without realizing how these challenges actually work against him, as we shall see shortly. With that said, we will address the issue of multiple thrones in the second part of our rebuttal. Zawadi then argues that: If the Throne of God became a symbol of monotheism and that the God on the Throne receives all worship and the Trinity is true, then why isn't there a Throne for each person? If Shamoun insists that all three persons were sharing the Throne, then I challenge Shamoun to cite me one verse that says that the Holy Spirit is sitting on the Throne as well. He cannot. We sure do hope that Shamoun doesn't get desperate and states what other Christian's state, which is that the Throne of the Holy Spirit is the body of the believer. If he does, then it becomes pretty obvious that he is avoiding the argument, for the Holy Spirit should be able to occupy a Throne and still be in the believers simultaneously. Notice that Zawadi didnt challenge me to quote a verse proving that Jesus sits on the very same throne of God the Father since he knows that there are plenty of Biblical passages which clearly state that he does. However, what makes this rather unfortunate and sad is that in his haste to refute Trinitarianism Zawadi couldnt see that his challenge actually proves that Jesus is God. Notice what happens when we apply Zawadis (actually Servetus) logic to the NT teaching concerning Christs enthronement:

A. Gods heavenly throne is a symbol of monotheism, i.e., the throne shows that there is only one true God who is separate and distinct from all created reality. B. Jesus sits on Gods throne. C. Jesus therefore shares in the identity of the one true God and is separate from all created reality. D. Moreover, the God who sits on the throne receives all worship. E. Jesus sits on the heavenly throne. F. Therefore, Jesus receives all worship. Hence, Zawadi has actually helped us to at least prove that Jesus is God and is worthy of all worship and honor! We want to thank Zawadi for assisting us in establishing that the NT does teach the absolute Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ while also doing a great job of exposing his false prophet and religion. Now as far as the enthronement of the Holy Spirit is concerned there is every indication that he too sits on Gods throne. For instance, according to Revelation there is a river of living water which springs from the one throne of God and the Lamb: Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. Revelation 22:1-3 This is the water which believers are to drink from for eternal life and which sustains creation: For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Revelation 7:17 And he said to me, It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. Revelation 21:6-7 The Spirit and the Bride say, Come. And let the one who hears say, Come. And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. Revelation 22:17 Jesus answered her, If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, Give me a drink, you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water. Jesus said to her, Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life. John 4:10, 13-14 According to Johns Gospel this water of life is symbolic of the Holy Spirit who gives life to every believer:

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. John 7:37-39 This, therefore, means that the river of the water of life which John saw is actually the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the throne of the Father and the Son so as to give life to the new heavens and earth! This was also the position held by the late Bible expositor Matthew Henry: Verses 1-5 All streams of earthly comfort are muddy; but these are clear, and refreshing. They give life, and preserve life, to those who drink of them, and thus they will flow for evermore. These point to the quickening and sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit, as given to sinners through Christ. The Holy Spirit, proceeding from the Father and the Son, applies this salvation to our souls by his new-creating love and power. The trees of life are fed by the pure waters of the river that comes from the throne of God. The presence of God in heaven, is the health and happiness of the saints. This tree was an emblem of Christ, and of all the blessings of his salvation; and the leaves for the healing of the nations, mean that his favour and presence supply all good to the inhabitants of that blessed world. The devil has no power there; he cannot draw the saints from serving God, nor can he disturb them in the service of God. God and the Lamb are here spoken of as one. Service there shall be not only freedom, but honour and dominion. There will be no night; no affliction or dejection, no pause in service or enjoyment: no diversions or pleasures or man's inventing will there be wanted. How different all this from gross and merely human views of heavenly happiness, even those which refer to pleasures of the mind! (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible) Theres more. According to the Gospel of John the Lord Jesus would send the Holy Spirit from the Father since he proceeds from him out of heaven: But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. John 15:26 We are further told that Jesus poured out the Holy Spirit after his ascension to Gods heavenly throne: When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies

your footstool. Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified. Acts 2:1-4, 30-33 Thus, since the Spirit comes forth from the Father himself who is seated on the throne this shows that the Spirit proceeds forth from the heavenly throne itself and must therefore be present on the throne with the Father and the Son! To put this in the form of a syllogism so that Zawadi can get it: A. God the Father is seated on his Divine throne. B. The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father. C. Therefore, the Holy Spirit dwells with the Father on the throne and is worthy of all worship, honor and praise. Finally, seeing that Zawadi likes to issue challenges perhaps he wouldnt mind answering the following challenges: http://answering-islam.org/Shamoun/challenge_not_god.htm http://answering-islam.org/Shamoun/challenges_for_muslims.htm http://answering-islam.org/Shamoun/challenge_trinity.htm http://answering-islam.org/Shamoun/challenge_messiah_word. htm http://answering-islam.org/authors/shamoun/anonymousquran1.html http://answering-islam.org/authors/shamoun/anonymousquran2.html http://answering-islam.org/authors/shamoun/anonymousquran3.html http://answering-islam.org/authors/shamoun/anonymousquran_e xcursus.html And these specific rebuttals will show him how NOT to answer these challenges: http://answering-islam.org/Responses/Osama/ahmed_challenge.htm http://answering-islam.org/Responses/Menj/homo_pro-pas.htm Our series of challenges will help make sure that Zawadi is being consistent and honest. However, in light of Zawadis track record and the quality of his rebuttals we wont be holding our breath or get our hopes up too high. It is now time to move to the next part of our rebuttal where we will address some of the arguments issued by Servetus the Evangelical seeing that Zawadi is so fond of them.

Biblical Monotheism and Gods Heavenly Throne


Responding to a Muslim Dawagandists Objections to the Trinity Pt. 3 Sam Shamoun In this section we will address some of the objections raised by Servetus the Evangelical in the article which Zawadi derived his ideas from. Servetus writes: The NT declares that Jesus was crucified, died, raised from the dead, and that he ascended into heaven and sat down with God the Father on his throne at his right hand. So, a prominent image Christians have always had is of Jesus sitting alongside God the Father on the Fathers throne in heaven, with angels surrounding them So, the book of Revelation reveals that Jesus Christ does not have his own throne in heaven, that is, one that is separate from the Fathers throne. There is only one throne that God the Father and Jesus Christ sit on in heaven, and they share it together But if God is three co-equal Persons, as Trinitarians assert, shouldnt we expect there to be three thrones in heaven, one for each of these three members of the Trinity? Yet the Bible never states this. Some Trinitarians have expressed disappointment if not dismay due to this silencethat the Bible does not say the Holy Spirit is enthroned in heaven That blessed act of exaltationin which God the Father invited Jesus Christ to sit with him on his thronedoes not suggest that Jesus is essentially equal with the Father and thus possesses deity. Rather, this exaltation magnifies Jesus dependence upon God and manifests his subordination to God. Otherwise, if Jesus is God, co-equal with the Father in essence, we would expect Jesus to have his own separate throne in heaven, perhaps alongside of the Fathers throne and at the same height. The Fathers throne is the highest of all other thrones in heaven. This is why he is often described in the Bible as the Most High (e.g., Daniel 7.9, 25; Luke 1.32, 35). The Fathers throne belonging to him, and it being high and lifted up (Isaiah 6.1; cf. 52.13), symbolizes his exalted rank, thus his superior dignity, over all, including Jesus Christ. The existence of one throne in heaven for God, with Christ at his side, also affirms a strict monotheism, thus nullifying Binitarianism and Trinitarianism To conclude, the most formidable image which refutes the notion of the Trinity is God the Father literally sitting on his heavenly throne with Jesus sitting alongside him. If the Trinity was true, and it is not, one would expect all three of its members to either sit together on one throne or have their own thrones in heaven. Either way, no manner of mental gymnastics could escape the allegation that such an image presents three Gods [sic]. Yet the Bible repeatedly states the concept that there is only one true and living God. (Why Doesn't the Trinity Have Three Thrones in Heaven?; underline emphasis ours) Anyone familiar with the Holy Bible can readily spot the mistakes and problems with Servetus reasoning. In the first place, notice the inconsistency here. Servetus argues that if the Trinity were true then we would expect to see all three Persons sitting together on the throne. However, he

himself acknowledges that Jesus and the Father sit on the same throne and yet he still rejects the Deity of Christ! According to his own logic wouldnt this prove that at the very least the Bible teaches Binitarianism? And yet his denial of the Deity of Christ demonstrates that no amount evidence will ever be sufficient to convince Servetus that the Holy Bible does teach the Trinity since he will simply explain it away in order to cling to his unbiblical unitarian presuppositions. Second, the Holy Bible does speak of more than one Divine throne shared by two Divine Persons. The prophet Daniel had a vision in which he clearly saw two distinct Divine figures: As I looked, thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days took his seat; his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames; its wheels were burning fire. A stream of fire issued and came out from before him; a thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him (yipelachun). His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed. Daniel 7:13-14 Daniel sees thrones being set in place, one of which belonged to the Ancient of Days, i.e., God (the Father). It is obvious from the context that the other throne belonged to the Son of Man since he reigns forever like God and receives the very worship which can only be appropriately given to God: Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship (yipelachun) and obey him. Daniel 7:27 I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel. For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end. Daniel 6:26 cf. 4:2-3, 34-37 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve (pelachin) is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve (pelachin) your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up. Then Nebuchadnezzar said, Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king's command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve (yipelachun) or worship any god except their own God. Daniel 3:16-18, 28 cf. 3:12, 14; 6:16, 20 The Aramaic verb pelach, which is translated in the above texts as serve, refers to the cultic worship which is to be rendered to God alone. Moreover, the Greek translation of Daniel (e.g., the Septuagint [LXX]) uses the word latreuo for pelach. In fact, here is a quotation from the Greek version of Daniel 7:9-28 by second century Christian apologist Justin Martyr:

But if so great a power is shown to have followed and to be still following the dispensation of His suffering, how great shall that be which shall follow His glorious advent! For He shall come on the clouds as the Son of man, so Daniel foretold, and His angels shall come with Him. These are the words: 'I beheld till the thrones were set; and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like the pure wool. His throne was like a fiery flame, His wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him. Thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The books were opened, and the judgment was set. I beheld then the voice of the great words which the horn speaks: and the beast was beat down, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. And the rest of the beasts were taken away from their dominion, and a period of life was given to the beasts until a season and time. I saw in the vision of the night, and, behold, one like the Son of man coming with the clouds of heaven; and He came to the Ancient of days, and stood before Him. And they who stood by brought Him near; and there were given Him power and kingly honour, and all nations of the earth by their families, and all glory, serve Him (latreuousa). And His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not be taken away; and His kingdom shall not be destroyed. And my spirit was chilled within my frame, and the visions of my head troubled me. I came near unto one of them that stood by, and inquired the precise meaning of all these things. In answer he speaks to me, and showed me the judgment of the matters: These great beasts are four kingdoms, which shall perish from the earth, and shall not receive dominion for ever, even for ever and ever. Then I wished to know exactly about the fourth beast, which destroyed all [the others] and was very terrible, its teeth of iron, and its nails of brass; which devoured, made waste, and stamped the residue with its feet: also about the ten horns upon its head, and of the one which came up, by means of which three of the former fell. And that horn had eyes, and a mouth speaking great things; and its countenance excelled the rest. And I beheld that horn waging war against the saints, and prevailing against them, until the Ancient of days came; and He gave judgment for the saints of the Most High. And the time came, and the saints of the Most High possessed the kingdom. And it was told me concerning the fourth beast: There shall be a fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall prevail over all these kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall destroy and make it thoroughly waste. And the ten horns are ten kings that shall arise; and one shall arise after them; and he shall surpass the first in evil deeds, and he shall subdue three kings, and he shall speak words against the Most High, and shall overthrow the rest of the saints of the Most High, and shall expect to change the seasons and the times. And it shall be delivered into his hands for a time, and times, and half a time. And the judgment sat, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. And the kingdom, and the power, and the great places of the kingdoms under the heavens, were given to the holy people of the Most High, to reign in an everlasting kingdom: and all powers shall be subject to Him, and shall obey Him. Hitherto is the end of the matter. I, Daniel, was possessed with a very great astonishment, and my speech was changed in me; yet I kept the matter in my heart.' (Dialogue with Trypho, Chapter 31. If Christ's power be now so great, how much greater at the second advent!; bold and italic emphasis ours) According to the Lord Jesus Christ only God is to receive latreuo: Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. All this I will give you, he said, if you will bow down and worship me. Jesus said to him, Away from me, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only (kai auto mono latreuseis). Matthew 4:8-10 cf. Luke 4:58

In light of this it is therefore apparent that the Son of Man is a fully Divine Person otherwise he could not receive pelach/latreuo since that would be idolatry, e.g., rendering to a creature the worship and service due only to the Creator! As the following Evangelical scholars explain: The book of Daniel contains a vision in which people of all nations, tribes, and languages serve someone who is like a Son of Man (Dan. 7:13 NASB) In the Septuagint version of Daniel the word translated serve is latreuo, which is also used in the Rahlfs edition of the Septuagint and in other critical editions of the Greek Old Testament. In the Greek version of Daniel produced in the late second century A.D. by Theodotion, the word translated serve is douloo, a far more common Greek word that has a broader range of meanings. Whichever Greek translation one chooses to follow, the underlying Aramaic word (Daniel 2:4-7:28 was originally written in Aramaic, not Hebrew) is pelach, a word that is always used to refer to rendering religious service or performing religious rituals in honor of a deity. In other words, latreuo is an excellent Greek translation of pelach. That is why all extant ancient Greek versions of Daniel usually use latreuo elsewhere in Daniel to translate pelach (Dan. 3:12, 14, 18; 6:16, 20 [6:17, 21 in Greek]). In the early chapters of the book, Daniel and his Jewish friends had refused to serve the image of Nebuchadnezzar or to serve Darius, identifying themselves as those who serve only their God, the living God (3:12, 14, 17, 18, 28; 6:16, 20). In this setting, the vision of people from all nations serving the Son of Man presents a startling contrast. The service that Daniel and his friends refused to give to Nebuchadnezzars image or to Darius, Daniel envisions all nations giving to the heavenly Son of Man. Daniels reference to the Son of Man being served implies a divine status for the Son of Man, not merely because of the use of that one word, but because of the context in which it is used. The universal sovereignty attributed to the Son of Man is earlier attributed to Daniels God by the Babylonian and Persian kings This language of a kingdom that will not be destroyed and that will endure forever is then applied to the kingdom of the Son of Man Within this larger context, the reference to all peoples serving the Son of Man is confirmed as an expression of religious devotion. The One whom you regard as Ruler of your entire universe for all time is by definition your God, and it would be the height of folly not to render devotion or service to him. (Robert M. Bowman Jr. & J. Ed Komoszewski, Putting Jesus in His Place: The Case for the Deity of Christ [Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI 2007], Part 1: The Devotion Revolution Jesus Shares the Honors Due to God, Chapter 5. The Ultimate Reverence Package, pp. 67-69; underline emphasis ours) Moreover, Jesus is identified as this very same Son of Man that Daniel saw, Again the high priest asked him, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One? I am, said Jesus. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven. Mark 14:61b-62 cf. 13:26-27; Matthew 25:31-46; Acts 7:55-56 Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. His head and hair

were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. Revelation 1:7, 12-18 I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one like a son of man with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe. So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested. Revelation 14:14-16 This means that Jesus must be God and all creation must therefore worship him as God! To put this logically, A. Only God is to receive latreuo/latreia. B. Jesus, the Son of Man, receives latreuo/latreia. C. Therefore, Jesus is God (yet not the Father or the Holy Spirit). This explains why Apostolic Fathers such as Polycarp, a disciple of the Apostle John, could write that every living creature renders latreuo to Jesus! Therefore prepare for action and serve (douleusate) God in fear and truth, leaving behind the empty and meaningless talk and the error of the crowd, and believing in him who raised our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead and gave him glory and a throne at his right hand; to whom all things in heaven and on earth were subjected, WHOM EVERY BREATHING CREATURE SERVES (latreuei), who is coming as Judge of the living and the dead, for whose blood God will hold responsible those who disobey him. (The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians, Chapter 2, The Apostolic Fathers, Greek Texts And English Translations, edited and revised by Michael W. Holmes [Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI 1999], pp. 207, 209; bold and capital emphasis ours; to read another version of the text go here) They knew both from their direct contact with the Apostles and the inspired Scriptures that this is the honor that Jesus deserves since he is God in the flesh. Hence, Daniels vision of multiple thrones, one for the Ancient of Days (God the Father) and for the Son of Man (Jesus Christ), affirms that there is more than one Divine Person within the Godhead. On the other hand, Johns vision of one throne belonging to both God (the Father) and the Lamb (Jesus Christ) affirms their essential unity, e.g., although they are personally distinct they are still one, specifically in regards to their essence. Thirdly, it is ironic that Servetus would cite Isaiah 52:13 along with Isaiah 6:1 to prove that God is the Most High when that passage actually refers to the exaltation of the Messianic Servant to the very heights of God!

Behold, my Servant shall prosper, he shall be exalted and lifted up (yarum wa nissa), and shall be very high (gabah). As many were astonished at him his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the sons of men so shall he startle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which has not been told them they shall see, and that which they have not heard they shall understand. Isaiah 52:1315 According to Isaiah the Servant will be exalted and highly lifted up, language which he himself uses in reference to Yahwehs throne: In the year that King Uzzi'ah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up (ram wa nissa); and his train filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim; each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: Holy, holy, holy is Yahweh of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory. And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, Yahweh of hosts! Isaiah 6:1-5 Further notice how the following Psalm connects God's throne with God's height or exaltation: Who is like Yahweh our God, who is seated on high (hammagebihi), who looks far down upon the heavens and the earth? Psalm 113:5-6 In fact, all throughout Isaiah it is Yahweh who is exalted and dwells on high, and it is his ways which are said to be higher than ours: Yahweh is exalted, for he dwells on high (marom); he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness. Isaiah 33:5 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says Yahweh. For as the heavens are higher (gabahu) than the earth, so are my ways higher (gabahu) than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9 Yahweh has even an appointed day when he will come in judgement against all who are high and lift themselves up, since he alone is exalted: The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the pride of men shall be humbled; and Yahweh ALONE will be exalted in that day. For Yahweh of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty (ram), against all that is lifted up (nissa) and high; against all the cedars of Lebanon, lofty and lifted up (ha ramim wa ha nissaim) And the haughtiness of man shall be humbled, and the pride of men shall be brought low; and Yahweh ALONE will be exalted in that day. Isaiah 2:11-13, 17 Man is bowed down, and men are brought low, and the eyes of the haughty are humbled. But Yahweh of hosts is exalted (yyigabah) in justice, and the Holy God shows himself holy in righteousness. Isaiah 5:15-16

The fact that Isaiah uses the very same language to describe the exaltation of Yahwehs Servant shows that the Servant shares in the Divine rule of Yahweh, being exalted to sit on Yahwehs own throne, and must therefore be the Most High! Again, notice how this logically works out: A. Yahweh is the Most High who alone is exalted and lifted up. B. The Servant is exalted and lifted up to the heights of God. C. Therefore, the Servant is Yahweh God Most High (and yet distinct from Yahweh as well). We are further told by Isaiah that not only does Yahweh dwell on high he also dwells with those who are crushed in spirit: For thus says the high and lofty One (ram wa-nissa) who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high (marom) and holy place, and also wit h him who is of a contrite/crushed (daka) and humble spirit , to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite. Isaiah 57:15 Interestingly, Isaiah tells us that before the Servant is highly exalted he will first be crushed in the place of the people in order to make atonement for their sins: Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the Arm of the LORD been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or comeliness that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was crushed (maduka) for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush (daka) him; he has put him to grief; when he makes himself an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand; he shall see the fruit of the travail of his soul and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall my righteous Servant, make many to be accounted righteous; and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out his soul to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. Isaiah 53:1-12 Therefore, the Servant is not only like Yahweh in his exaltation he is also like him in his identification with those who are crushed and lowly! Richard Bauckham helps to put this in perspective:

Isaiah 52:13 states, with emphasis, the exaltation of the Servant, presumably following the humiliation and death described in the following passage. There are two points to notice about it: (1) The words exalted and lifted up (my Servant shall be exalted and lifted up) occur also in Isaiah 6:1, introducing Isaiahs vision of God on his throne (where the throne is described as exalted and lifted up), and in Isaiah 57:15, which describes God, dwelling in the heights of heaven, as himself exalted and lifted up. The combination of the two Hebrew roots rum (to be high, to be exalted) and nasa (to lift up) is rare in the Hebrew Bible, and the verbal coincidence between these three verses is striking. Modern Old Testament scholars think the two later passages, Isaiah 52:13 and 57:15, must be dependent on Isaiah 6:1 So, in the light of the connections with Isaiah 6:1 and 57:15, the meaning of Isaiah 52:13 is that the Servant is exalted to the heavenly throne of God. This is why, in John 12:38-41, Isaiah 53 and 6 are brought together, and Isaiah is said to have seen Jesus glory, that is, when he saw the glory of the Lord in his vision in chapter 6 of his prophecy. (2) If Isaiah 52:13 means the Servant was exalted to share the heavenly throne from which God rules the universe, then it is readily connected with Psalm 110:1, which was, as we have seen in section 2, the central Old Testament text for the early Christian inclusion of Jesus in the identity of God. Therefore two New Testament references to the exaltation of Jesus to the right hand of God combine allusion to Psalm 110:1 with allusion to Isaiah 52:13 (Acts 2:33; 5:31) and combines allusion to Psalm 110:1 with allusion to Isaiah 57:15 (Heb. 1:3). The Servant, in both his humiliation and his exaltation, is therefore not merely a human figure distinguished from God, but, in both his humiliation and his exaltation, belongs to the identity of the unique God. This God is not only the high and lofty one who reigns from his throne in the high and holy place; he also abases himself to the condition of the crushed and lowly (Isa 57:15). And when the nations acknowledge his unique deity and turn to him for salvation, it is the Servant, humiliated and now exalted to sovereignty on the divine throne, whom they acknowledge. (Bauckham, Jesus and the God of Israel God Crucified and Other Studies on the New Testaments Christology of Divine Identity [William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, MI/ Cambridge, U.K. 2008], 3.2. Christological monotheism: The early Christian reading of Isaiah 40 - 55, pp. 36-37; underline emphasis ours) Therefore, if Servetus and Zawadi are to be consistent they must accept the fact that Jesus is God according to the Holy Bible, even though he is neither the Father nor the Holy Spirit, since this is the necessary outcome of Servetus own logic: A. To sit on the same throne or to have a separate throne alongside God in heaven implies that the occupant of that throne is God and co-equal with God. B. Jesus sits on the same throne as God the Father. C. Therefore, Jesus is God (in essence) and co-equal with God (the Father). We now move on to the final section of our rebuttal where we will show that Zawadi and his fellow Muslims are actually pagans/polytheists who have deceived both themselves and others into thinking that they really are unitarians who hold to a very strict monotheism.

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