Responding to the arguments of a Muslim Polemicist [Part 2]
We continue responding to Zaataris reply to my arguments concerning Jesus being worshiped as God. (Click here for Part 1.)
Zaatari addresses my points concerning Jesus showdown with the Devil by saying that this raises a lot of questions, all of which have been thoroughly answered and refuted here.
Zaatari now tries to tackle my exegesis of Matthew 28:17-20.
Shamoun has just proven that Jesus is not equal with God. Notice what Jesus says:
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
This conclusively proves that Jesus is both a) not God, b) not equal with God. The fact that power is given to Jesus proves this, God is all powerful, he already owns his power, and someone else doesn't give it to him. The fact that Jesus is acknowledging that God is giving him power is a sign of his inferiority to God.
What this conclusively proves is Zaataris willingness to distort what the Holy Bible teaches as a whole and to completely ignore the responses to his distortions. It seems that we have to constantly repeat ourselves since Zaatari constantly raises the same point which has been refuted over and over again.
The reason why Christ speaks of receiving authority is because he had set aside his status and prerogatives as Divine King in order to assume the role of a servant on earth to fulfill the will of the Father:
"When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. Jesus called them together and said, You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Matthew 20:24-28
"For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves." Luke 22:27
The Fathers response to Christs willingness to humble himself by becoming a servant is to highly exalt his Son to the status and position he enjoyed prior to becoming a man:
"And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I HAD with you before the world began." John 17:5
And seeing that Zaatari appeals to a Unitarian website which quotes Paul, as well as Peter:
As the Ministry of Biblical Unitarian also write:
Carefully reading a verse is the only way to begin to properly interpret it. In this case, it is clear that Christ's authority was given to him. Many other scriptures say the same thing: "God has made Jesus both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36). God "placed" everything under his feet and "appointed" him to be Head of the Church (Eph. 1:22). If Christ were really God, and co-equal and co-eternal with the Father as the Trinitarians teach, then it is illogical to say Christ was given authority. God, by definition, has authority. The authority Jesus now has is delegated and derived, and is not a function of his "divine nature." The wording of these scriptures is, in actuality, a refutation of the Trinity. Jesus is that man to whom God gave "all authority."(http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=76)
Let us see what this blessed and holy Apostle wrote concerning this issue:
"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 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 2:5-11
In humbling himself so that the Father could exalt him Jesus was perfectly practicing what he had preached to his own followers:
"For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted." Matthew 23:12
As far as Peter proclaiming that God had made Jesus both Lord and Christ at his ascension is concerned, the blessed Apostle surely did not mean that Jesus wasnt the Christ or Lord in some sense before his resurrection. After all, we find statements from Luke-Acts which confirm that Jesus was both Lord and Christ long before his death, resurrection and ascension.
For instance, both Peter and the rest of the Apostles readily confessed and addressed Jesus as Lord and the Christ of God before his death:
"So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus' knees and said, Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!" Luke 5:7-8
"The seventy-two returned with joy and said, Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name. He replied, I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven." Luke 10:17-20
"Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, Who do the crowds say I am? They replied, Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life. But what about you? he asked. Who do you say I am? Peter answered, The Christ of God." Luke 9:18-20
They further called him Lord prior to his ascension into heavenly glory:
"In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. So when they met together, they asked him, Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel? He said to them: It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority." Acts 1:1-7
Moreover, Jesus is called Elizabeths Lord at conception, while still in his mothers womb:
"When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy." Luke 1:41-44
He is even called Christ the Lord at his birth by the angels:
"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." Luke 2:8-14
Simeon, a man inspired by the Spirit, saw the Lords Christ enter the temple while still a babe:
"Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel." Luke 2:25-32
Demons themselves knew and confessed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God:
"When the sun was setting, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them. Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, You are the Son of God! But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Christ." Luke 4:40-41
And at his meeting with Pilate Jesus is asked whether he is the Christ, a King, to which he responds affirmatively:
"Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Christ, a king. So Pilate asked Jesus, Are you the king of the Jews? Yes, it is as you say, Jesus replied." Luke 23:1-3
Notice that Jesus is not asked whether he will be Christ, but whether he is the Christ already.
All of these factors conclusively prove that Peter did not mean that Jesus only became Lord or Christ at his ascension, but that it wasnt until he ascended to sit at Gods right hand that Jesus started discharging his functions as both Lord and Christ.
Since Jesus was in the role of a servant while on earth whereby he set aside his authority as the Divine Lord of creation and since the title Christ refers to the One who sits on Davids throne to rule as King forever:
"But the angel said to her, Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end." Luke 1:30-33
Jesus couldnt function in his capacity as the Messianic Ruler until his ascension into heaven since that is the moment in time when he began to reign:
"But he [David] was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that his soul was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his flesh see decay. God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, The Lord said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet." Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." Acts 2:30-36
We thus find nothing unbiblical or irrational in believing that Jesus is God (the Son) who receives authority from God (the Father). All that Zaatari has done by quoting from a "Christian" Unitarian website is to document the willingness of anti-Trinitarians to grossly distort Biblical teaching and blatantly misrepresent Trinitarian theology.
Finally, in their zeal to refute the perfect Deity of Christ both Zaatari and his source failed to note that Peter claims that the Lord Jesus poured out the Spirit upon the believers from the Father. This is a function that God performs according to the Hebrew Bible, as Peter himself well knew since he had just finished quoting Joel 2:28-32:
"No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Acts 2:16-21
Zaatari again proceeds to demonstrate his willingness to pervert what the Scriptures teach or that he is simply not informed concerning the Biblical languages:
Secondly, not ALL the power was literally given to Jesus. The word for all that is used in Greek is PAS; it doesn't always have to literally mean everything:
He then cites the late great Christian preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon who provides Biblical examples where the terms "world" and "all" do not necessarily mean every one or the entire inhabitants of the world. The problem with Zaataris argument is that none of the verses cited by Spurgeon are relevant or analogous to the text of Matthew 28:18.
Moreover, the reason we know that "all" in Matthew means that Christ has complete authority over the entire creation is because of how Jesus uses it in context:
"Then Jesus came to them and said, All authority IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH has been given to me."
Christs authority extends to the entire created realm, to both heaven and earth. Matthew provides further substantiation that this is Jesus intended meaning since elsewhere in this Gospel Christ identifies himself as Davids Lord who sits at Gods right hand and the Son of Man who rides on/with the clouds:
"While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he? The son of David, they replied. He said to them, How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him "Lord"? For he says, "The Lord said to my Lord: Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet." If then David calls him "Lord," how can he be his son? No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions." Matthew 22:41-46
"The high priest said to him, I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God. Yes, it is as you say, Jesus replied. But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven." Matthew 26:63b-64
According to the NT writings to sit at Gods right hand is to rule from the highest position of authority possible, reigning over every part and aspect of creation as the Sovereign Lord God:
"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 realms, 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
"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
"The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, Let all God's angels worship him. In speaking of the angels he says, He makes his angels winds, his servants flames of fire. But about the Son he says, Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy. To which of the angels did God ever say, Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet? Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?" Hebrews 1:3-4, 6-9, 13-14
"and 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
Hence when it says ALL authority is given to Jesus it literally means what it says since the context makes it clear that Christ has total and complete sovereignty over every creature in heaven and on earth.
And we will have more to say concerning Christ claiming to be the Son of Man and the relevance this has on Jesus being worshiped as God a little later.
Zaatari asserts that the Trinitarian baptismal formula of Matthew 28:19 doesnt prove that Jesus is equal with God, and further claims that this Trinitarian formula is similar to the Shahada, the Islamic confession of faith, and to what Jesus said in John 17:3. Zaataris point is that Jesus is doing nothing more than affirm the importance of believing in God and his prophet whom he has sent, since it is futile to acknowledge God while rejecting his messenger.
The problem for Zaatari is that all of his so-called parallels or examples backfire against his case.
In the first place, the Shahada presupposes that there is a coequality that exists between Allah and Muhammad, since faith in Muhammad is just as necessary and crucial for salvation and without him a Muslim cannot be delivered from their sins. Moreover, Muslim scholars themselves have admitted that Allah deliberately conjoined Muhammad to his own person by the use of the Arabic conjunction wa ("and") in order to make his messenger his partner:
Qatada said, "Allah exalted his fame in this world and the Next. There is no speaker, witness nor anyone doing the prayer who fails to say, There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah."
Abu Sa'id al-Khudri related that the Prophet said, "Jibril, peace be upon him, came to me and said, My Lord and your Lord says, Do you know how I have exalted your fame?" I said, Allah and His Messenger know best. He said, When I am mentioned you are mentioned with Me."
Ibn Ata quoted a hadith qudsi saying, "I completed belief with your being mentioned with Me." And another one which says, "I have made your mention part of My mention so whoever mentions Me, mentions you."
Ja'far ibn Muhammad as-Sadiq, "No one mentions you as the Messenger but that he mentions Me as the Lord."
The fact that mention of the Prophet is directly connected to mention of Allah also shows that obedience to the Prophet is connected to obedience to Allah AND HIS NAME TO ALLAHS NAME. Allah says, "Obey Allah and His Messenger" (2:32) and "Believe in Allah and His Messenger." (4:136) Allah joins them together using the conjunction wa which is the conjunction OF PARTNERSHIP. It is NOT PERMITTED to use this conjunction in connection with Allah in the case of anyone EXCEPT the Prophet.
Hudhayfa said that the Prophet said, "None of you should say, What Allah wills and (wa) so-and-so wills. Rather say, What Allah wills. Then stop and say, So-and-so wills."
Al-Khattabi said, "The Prophet has guided you to correct behaviour in putting the will of Allah before the will of others. He chose then (thumma) which implies sequence and deference as opposed to and (wa) WHICH IMPLIES PARTNERSHIP."
Something similar is mentioned in another hadith. Someone was speaking in the presence of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, "Whoever obeys Allah AND His Messenger has been rightly guided, and whoever rebels against them both (joining them together by using the dual form)." The Prophet said to him, "What a bad speaker you are! Get up! [Or he said: Get out!]"
Abu Sulayman said, "He disliked the two names being joined together in that way BECAUSE IT IMPLIES EQUALITY." (Qadi Iyad, Kitab Ash-shifa bi ta'rif huquq al-Mustafa (Healing by the recognition of the Rights of the Chosen One), translated by Aisha Abdarrahman Bewley [Madinah Press, Inverness, Scotland, U.K., third reprint 1991, paperback], pp. 7-8; capital emphasis ours)
He coupled his name with His own name, and his pleasure with His pleasure. He made him one of the two pillars of tawhid. (Ibid., p. 27; underline emphasis ours)
Ibn Abbas said, "Written on the door of the Garden is: I am Allah. There is no god but Me. Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. I will not punish anyone who says that." (Ibid., p. 90)
Hence, the Islamic creedal statement is a blatant violation of absolute monotheism since it is a clear testimony of shirk, or of associating a creature with the Creator. After all, how can a finite creature be an integral and essential part of Tawhid especially when it is supposed to be the very heart of Islamic monotheism without this turning him into a god and a coequal partner with Allah?
For more on this topic and on the deification of Muhammad please consult the following materials (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7).
As far as John 17:3 is concerned this also demonstrates coequality specifically an essential equality between the Father and the Son as the immediate context conclusively shows. For instance, the reason why eternal life is dependent on intimately knowing both the Father and the Son together is because it is the Son who perfectly reveals the Father to man and gives eternal life to all whom the Father gives him. The eternal Lord further says that he existed with the Father in the same Divine glory before the world was created:
"After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, AND Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began. I have revealed your name [i.e., your character, your nature] to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word." John 17:1-6
It is evident that Jesus is claiming to be fully God, and therefore equal with the Father in nature, since a finite creature is incapable of giving eternal life and of perfectly revealing God to humanity. To read more about the Binitarian implications of John 17:3 (i.e. both the Father and the Son are fully God although personally distinct) we recommend the following articles and rebuttals (1, 2, 3, 4, 5).
The final problem with Zaataris claim is that Jesus didnt simply command his followers to instruct people to believe that the Father sent him. Rather, Jesus instructed them to baptize all of his followers into the one, singular name of the Triune God, a major difference:
"Therefore, go make disciples of all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" Matthew 28:19
To speak of Gods name is to speak of Gods nature, character, attributes, authority etc. Hence, for the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit to have the same name implies that they share the same essence and nature, and that all three have the same authority over their subjects.
In light of this we challenge Zaatari to go on record and write that the Trinitarian formula doesnt contradict Islamic teaching since even faithful Muslims could pray or carry out certain functions in the name of Allah, Muhammad and the angel Gabriel. We want Zaatari to explicitly say that Allah, Muhammad and Gabriel all share the same name much like the Father, Son and Holy Spirit do so that all his Muslim cohorts can see that he actually believes that Jesus words are perfectly acceptable and legitimate from an Islamic perspective.
Zaatari denies that Jesus promise to be personally present with his disciples means that he is omnipresent. He argues that Christ simply meant that he is with them figuratively through his teachings and further reasons that even if he did mean this physically that it was God who gave him this ability. This simply provides further substantiation that Zaatari either doesnt understand or will distort basic Christian theology in order to give the impression (more like illusion) that he is refuting a point.
In the first place, Jesus language is identical with the way Yahweh speaks:
"Devise your strategy, but it will be thwarted; propose your plan, but it will not stand, for God is with us (Immanuel)." Isaiah 8:10
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish. Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them. Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all. For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you." Isaiah 41:10-13
"But now, this is what the LORD says he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead. Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west." Isaiah 43:1-5
Thus, if Jesus simply meant that he is with his followers through his teachings than this interpretation (or eisegesis) must be applied to Yahwehs statements as well, which would be nonsensical. Therefore, just as Yahweh is personally present with his people no matter where they are or what they go through we are to assume that this is what Jesus meant since he uses the same exact language that Yahweh does.
There is further evidence to substantiate this point since Matthew has concluded his Gospel in the same way he started it, e.g. by affirming that Jesus is the God who has come to dwell with his people:
"She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for HE WILL SAVE HIS PEOPLE from their sins. All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel (which means, God with us [Meth hemon ho Theos])." Matthew 1:21-23
"and lo, I am with you always (ego meth humon eimi), to the close of the age." Matthew 28:20
The NET Bible translators explain that,
30 sn I am with you. Matthew's Gospel begins with the prophecy that the Savior's name would be "Emmanuel, that is, 'God with us,'" (1:23, in which the author has linked Isa 7:14 and 8:8, 10 together) and it ends with Jesus' promise to be with his disciples forever. The Gospel of Matthew thus forms an inclusio about Jesus in his relationship to his people that suggests his deity. (Source; underline emphasis ours)
Nor is this the only time in Matthews Gospel where Jesus claims to be omnipresent:
"For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." Matthew 18:20
And, since Zaatari references Johns Gospel, here is what it says concerning Jesus omnipresence:
"Jesus replied, ‘If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and WE will come to him and make OUR home with him.’" John 14:23
Hence, not only does Jesus claim to be omnipresent he actually believes that he is present with every true believer in the same sense and to the same degree that his Father is!
Secondly, no informed Christian believes that Jesus is physically present with all the faithful everywhere since Christs physical body is limited to the dimensions of time and space. Rather, Christ is present in a supernatural manner, in a spiritual sense, by virtue of his Divine nature which is spaceless/non-spatial and non-physical (incorporeal/immaterial).
This leads us to the third problem with Zaataris assertion. It is not possible for God to make Jesus (or anyone else for that matter) omnipresent since in order for a person to have this specific attribute s/he must be incorporeal, spaceless/non-spatial, and immaterial by nature, which no creature can be. Zaataris statement makes just as much sense as someone saying that God can create another God when God by nature is eternal, having no beginning or end.
Hence, our point still stands and the evidence shows that Jesus meant that he himself would actually be with all of his followers wherever they go since he is very God by nature and therefore capable of being personally present with all the faithful at the same time.
Zaatari still insists that the disciples in Matthew 28:17 didnt worship Jesus as God and makes the following assertion in response to my statement that Jesus himself said that all worship belongs to God:
Exactly! Jesus said all worship belongs to God, as Jesus says Correct! All worship belongs to God, all worship does not belong to Jesus! Notice Jesus did not say away from me satan! All worship is for me! No, he says all worship is for God, not for me Jesus.
Recall my comment concerning Jesus receiving worship in the context of his receiving authority over all creation and how I said that such worship, according to Jesus himself in Matthew 4:7-10, cannot be given to anyone besides God. Zaatari has said nothing substantive here to refute my point. He merely repeats his argument over and over again without adequately addressing my case.
Moreover, there is additional substantiation that Jesus is being worshiped as God, and not simply receiving honor as a great prophet or king. Christs statement that he is given authority is an echo of what the prophet Daniel wrote concerning the Son of Man:
"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/served him. 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
Nor is this the only time in Matthew where Jesus alludes to or refers to himself as the Danielic Son of Man:
"At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send HIS angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather HIS elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other." Matthew 24:30-31
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and ALL the angels with him, he will sit on HIS throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life." Matthew 25:31-41
Christ, as the Son of Man, rides the clouds, sits on a glorious throne, has angels that he commands, has an elect people, and gathers all the nations before him in order to determine their eternal fate.
There are several indications that this Son of Man figure of Daniel is actually a fully Divine Being, i.e. God (yet not the Father) who appears as a man. First, his rule is identical with what Daniel says concerning the reign of Yahweh, e.g. both the Son of Man and God Most High/the Ancient of Days reign forever. Second, he is given exactly the same worship and service that Yahweh alone is supposed to receive.
For instance the word pelach that Daniel uses concerning the worship given to the Son of Man is used elsewhere specifically in relation to the religious service which is to be given to God alone:
"At this time some astrologers came forward and denounced the Jews. They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live forever! You have issued a decree, O king, that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music must fall down and worship the image of gold, and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace. But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of BabylonShadrach, Meshach and Abednegowho pay no attention to you, O king. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up. Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand? 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 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 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 or worship any god except their own God." Daniel 3:8-18, 28
"So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions' den. The king said to Daniel, May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you! When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?" Daniel 6:16, 20
"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/serve and obey him." Daniel 7:27
Finally, the Son of Man rides the clouds of heaven, which is the mode of transportation or vehicle of Deity:
"He parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds were under his feet. He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind. He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him the dark rain clouds of the sky. Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced, with hailstones and bolts of lightning. The LORD thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded." Psalm 18:9-13
"The LORD is slow to anger and great in power; the LORD will not leave the guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet." Nahum 1:3
Therefore, since the prophet Daniel emphatically stated that the Son of Man shall be given the very worship which God alone receives this further establishes my case that Jesus was being worshiped as God by his disciples in Matthew 28:17-20 since he is that very Divine Son of Man mentioned in the inspired book of Daniel.
To put this logically,
Thus, my points concerning Matthew 28:17-20 being one of the strongest evidences we have from the inspired Word of God that Jesus is both God (the Son) and equal to God (the Father), and that Matthew emphatically taught that Christ receives the exact honors due to God, stand uncontested.
This concludes Part 2. Continue with Part 3.
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