THE HOLY BIBLE DOES NOT CLAIM THAT THERE ARE TWO SEATS IN HEAVEN, WHICH AGAIN DEMONSTRATES THAT MEHERALLY DOES NOT READ HIS SOURCES CAREFULLY.
In other words, being born in human form, Lord (God) Jesus Christ emptied himself and acted as a bond servant of God, upon this Earth.
First, we take exception to Meherally's snide remark on Paul's alleged dubiousness. Jesus, being in the form of God and then taking upon himself human form in order to become a bondservant of God while on earth is not just the "dubious" teachings of Paul. This is the testimony of all the Evangelists as recorded in the Holy Bible. (Cf. Matthew 1:18-23; John 1:1-3, 10-11, 14, 18)
Second, Meherally deceptively inserts his own understanding of the text by claiming that Jesus "acted" as a servant of God. We challenge Meherally to show us where the word "acted" appears in the text cited. The Biblical position is that Jesus actually became a bondservant by becoming man in order to fulfill the Father's will.
Today, Jesus Christ is no more upon this Earth in his human form. The purpose, as well as the period of his acting in the human form was accomplished, finished and over the DAY when he left this Earth.
Let us examine the Bible and see what happened in Heaven, when Jesus was no more in human form and was not acting as a Slave...
Meherally erroneously claims that Jesus no longer exists in human form, i.e. that Christ no longer remains human after his resurrection. This is a patently absurd and false claim, one that is contradicted by the testimony of Scripture. The Holy Bible clearly teaches that although no longer a servant, Christ still retains his humanity. The New Testament teaches that Jesus rose in his own physical body, albeit a glorified body at that:
"Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, 'We have seen the Lord!' But he said to them, 'Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.' A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, 'Peace be with you!' Then he said to Thomas, 'Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.' Thomas said to him, 'My Lord and my God!' Then Jesus told him, 'Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.'" John 20:24-29
"Brethren, I may say to you confidently of 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 upon his throne, he foresaw and spoke of 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." Acts 2:29-32 RSV
"'In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by THE MAN he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.' When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, 'We want to hear you again on this subject." Acts 17:30-32
"But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like HIS GLORIOUS BODY." Philippians 3:20-21
"For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity dwells (Greek- katoikei) in bodily form..." Colossians 2:9
The term for dwell, katoikei, is a present participle denoting continuous action or existence. Paul affirms that Jesus continues to exist as absolute and perfect Deity in bodily form. Dr. Robert A. Morey explains:
Greek grammarians Fritz Rienecker and Cleon Rogers state:
William Hendriksen affirms,
This implies that Jesus' body did not disintegrate when he died, as Meherally erroneously seems to imply. Paul indicates that Jesus continues to remain both fully God and fully man, existing throughout eternity with his glorified body. This is precisely why Greek scholar Kenneth Wuest could translate Colossians 2:9 in the following manner:
God said to Jesus "Sit at my right hand" (Hebrew 1: 13).
And, Jesus obediently sat down on a SEAT that was on God's Right Hand. Since that day he has been obediently sitting on that SEAT...
Ask any knowledgeable Christian; Where is Jesus Christ today? The answer that you will likely get is; He is sitting on the right hand of God.
Meherally is seemingly suggesting that Jesus is literally sitting at God's right hand. Meherally doesn't realize that the expression "right hand" is an anthropomorphic description implying that Jesus has been exalted to the highest position of authority:
"And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy." Colossians 1:18
"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 2:9-11
"... and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also - not 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
The Holy Bible clearly teaches that God the Father is Spirit and as such does not have an actual material form, but is invisible and omnipresent:
"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation." Colossians 1:15
"Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen." 1 Timothy 1:17
"... which He will bring about at the proper time - He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen." 1 Timothy 6:15-16
"Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me. If I say, Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night, Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You." Psalm 139:7-12
"'Am I a God who is near, declares the LORD, 'And not a God far off? Can a man hide himself in hiding places so I do not see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?' declares the LORD." Jeremiah 23:23-24
Using Meherally's wooden literal interpretation of Scripture we would be forced to conclude that Allah also literally sits on a throne implying that he has an actual material body:
The Quran Gives Allah A Face
The Quran Gives Allah A Hand
The Quran Gives Allah An Eye
The Quran Seats Allah On The Throne
Meherally must either accept that Allah has an actual body or assume that the Quran is using metaphors, anthropomorphic descriptions of God. If so, then he has no basis to use such unscholarly criticisms against the Holy Bible. (For more info regarding this issue see this related article.)
I have FIVE QUESTIONS for a believing Christian:
Why "GOD THE FATHER" and "GOD THE SON" are NOT sitting on "ONE SEAT", since the play acting is redundant in the Heaven?
If in reality THEY BOTH are "ONE" ("I and my Father are One" John 10: 30), Why Only ONE GOD and TWO SEPARATE SEATS ??
First, Meherally needs to be more respectful in the manner in which he criticizes the Holy Bible. To say that the Father and Son are "play acting" is blasphemous and seeks to offend the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ who love God and his revealed Word, the Holy Bible.
Second, the simple answer to both these questions is that both the Father and the Son are sitting on the very same seat:
"Therefore, 'they are before THE THRONE OF GOD and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb AT THE CENTER OF THE THRONE will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.'" Revelation 7:15-17
"Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from THE THRONE OF GOD AND OF THE LAMB down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. THE THRONE OF GOD AND OF THE LAMB will be in the city, and his servants will serve him." Revelation 22:1-3
Theses passages clearly affirm that both God the Father and the Lamb share the same divine throne. The references do not speak of the thrones of God and of the Lamb, but rather of their throne (singular).
We must reiterate that the Biblical description of God and Christ sitting on the throne is anthropomorphic. The Holy Bible is clearly using a metaphor to indicate that both the Father and the Son are co-equal and that both rule over all creation as the one eternal Sovereign Lord of glory. Paul beautifully sums this up:
Finally, even if the Holy Bible did mention two distinct seats, one for the Father and the other for the Son, this still would not establish Meherally's case. Trinitarianism teaches that there are three distinct Persons who eternally exist as the one true God. Hence, had there been two seats this would only demonstrate that the Father and the Son are two distinct Persons, establishing the Trinitarian position.
However, we discover that Meherally again misrepresents the Holy Bible and does not read his sources accurately. Meherally ends up attacking a straw man and fails to deal with the real issues.
Why did ONE Command the OTHER, to "Sit" on His right hand??? Are they not BOTH "CO-EQUAL" in GLORY and MAJESTY????
First, Meherally misquotes the Holy Bible since it does not say that the Father commanded the Son to sit. Rather, Scripture is establishing that the Father honored and glorified the Son for having submitted to the Father's will even unto death. This is precisely the entire point of Philippians 2:5-11. Here it is again in its entirety:
This passage affirms that:
Paul did not invent these points since the Lord Jesus himself affirms these essential truths:
"When he was gone, Jesus said, 'Now is the Son of Man glorified and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once.'" John 13:31-32
In fact, it is Jesus that commands the Father to glorify him with the glory Christ had with God before becoming man:
The phrase, "glorify me" is a Greek imperative, with the word "glorify" being in the aorist tense. Noted Greek Grammarian Dr. Daniel B. Wallace comments on the Greek imperative with the aorist tense:
The basic force of the imperative of command involves somewhat different nuances with each tense. With the aorist, the force generally is to command the action as a whole, without focusing on duration, repetition, etc. In keeping with its aspectual force, the aorist puts forth a summary command..." (Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics [Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids MI, 1996], p. 485; bold emphasis)
As Wallace noted, the imperative is a command usually given from a superior to an inferior in rank, but not always. In the case of John 17:5, it is two equals addressing each other. The very reason why Jesus can demand to be glorified by the Father is because Christ is equal to the latter in his Divine nature, being fully God also. John himself states this truth in several places:
"So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jews persecuted him. Jesus said to them, 'My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working.' For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, MAKING HIMSELF EQUAL WITH GOD." John 5:16-18
Finally, Meherally commits a categorical fallacy. He assumes that if the Father were to command the Son this would somehow diminish Jesus' Deity and co-equality. Historic Trinitarianism teaches that the Father and Son are equal in nature, yet not in position. The fact that Jesus is the Son implies that the Father has authority over Christ and is able to command him much like earthly fathers have authority over their earthly sons. Hence, we once again find Meherally attacking a straw man since he is unable to refute what Trinitarians actually believe.
IS IT NOT THE FACT THAT THE SO CALLED "ACTING" WAS NOT A "PLAY-ACTING" BUT A TRUTHFUL REALITY ?????
The only thing that is true is that Meherally has no idea what Trinitarians actually believe, or worse still does know what we believe but deliberately misrepresents our position. Seeing that we have addressed his attacks on the Trinity elsewhere, we are forced to conclude that Meherally is indeed willfully deceiving his readers in order to pollute their minds from knowing what Trinitarians actually believe. Furthermore, his blasphemous ad hominem slurs (i.e. that the Father and Son were "acting" or "play-acting") are an indication of Meherally's lack of scholarship and respect for God and his inspired truth.
The Glorious Qur'an teaches;
Messiah Jesus was a Righteous Messenger of God... (3:46; 6:85)
Since the Quran is neither the word of God nor a historically credible witness about Jesus and his time, it really doesn't matter what it says.
And, Christ Jesus spoke the Truth:
And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. Gospel of John 17: 3 - 4
Christ did in fact speak the truth. Once this passage is read in context we discover the truth that Jesus was trying to convey. Here is the context taken from another one of our articles:
Here we see Jesus co-existing with the Father in heavenly glory from eternity. Far from suggesting that the Father alone is the true God, for Jesus to exist alongside the Father in eternal glory makes him truly God as well:
"For My own sake, for My own sake, I will do it; for how should My name be profaned? And I will not give My glory to another." Isaiah 48:11 NKJV
Secondly, we must bear in mind that the three Persons of the Godhead glorify the other as the following verses demonstrate:
"He (the Spirit of Truth) shall glorify Me; for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you." John 16:14
"Therefore, God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:9-11
It is in this fashion we see that not only does Jesus acknowledge the Father's deity, but that the Father Himself exalts Christ as God:
The author affirms here that God, speaking through the psalmist in Psalm 45:6-7 addresses the Son as the true God. To reiterate, the Father is indeed the only true God without excluding the Son and the Holy Spirit from being God, since Scripture testifies to the deity of all three.
In fact, the Apostle John himself, the very one who records Jesus' words to the Father in John 17:3, addresses Christ as the true God:
The term for "this is", autos, is a Greek pronoun which must refer to the nearest or last person just mentioned - in this case, Jesus. (C.f. John 1:29-30, 1:40-41; 6:46,71; 2 John 9)
That Jesus is the one spoken of here is made even clearer by the fact that earlier in his epistle, John specifically addresses Jesus as the eternal life:
Finally, if the statement that the Father is the only true God means that Jesus cannot be the true God as well, this logic would also prove that the Father is not sovereign since the Bible says that only Jesus is sovereign:
(Quoted from this article)
Therefore, to read Jesus in context is to refute the very point Meherally seeks to demonstrate, namely that Jesus is not God in the flesh.
May Allah Guide all to HIS PATH based upon HIS REVEALED WORDS. Ameen
Indeed, may the only true and eternal God of Father, Son and Holy Spirit guide everyone to his inspired revealed written truth, the Holy Bible.
In the service of our Triune God, Yahweh Elohim forever and ever. Amen. Come Lord Jesus. We love you always.
P.S. Meherally wasn't finished just yet. The following exchange was added on March 5, 2001:
A CHRISTIAN CRITIC WRITES:
Hello Mr.Meherally, I recently read your article on the "two seats in heaven". The term "sitting at a seat next to God" is not to be taken literally. It only meant that Jesus is very close to God not that he is sitting in a recliner next to the almighty. The Qur'an also acknowledges that Jesus is most close to God- Why do you continue to deny the obvious?
I do not deny that Jesus is closer to God. He is closer to God alike other Messengers of God and those chosen by Him. You write in your letter that "Jesus is very close to God" and that by itself is an admission of the fact that Jesus and God are NOT ONE. You have but to admit that the majority of the Christians, continue to deny the obvious, viz. Jesus was a Messenger of God, sent to Glorify the Sender.
Your mail should be addressed to those who are denying the obvious...
Meherally exposes his ignorance of biblical theology and assumes what he has yet to prove. He claims that Jesus being close to God shows that Jesus and God are not one. Yet, Meherally doesn't tell us what he means by the term "one", i.e. one in Person, one in Being etc. If by one, Meherally means that Jesus and God are not one in Person then we are in complete agreement with him. If by one he means that Jesus and God are not one in Being, then we completely disagree with his conclusion. Meherally assumes that God is a uni-personal Being as opposed to being tri-personal. He then proceeds to read this assumption into his exegesis of the biblical text. Hence, anytime Meherally finds a passage where Jesus and God are distinguished, Meherally assumes that this is a distinction of Being and nature as opposed to a distinction of Person.
The Holy Bible uses the term God to mean different things in different contexts, having different referents. God is often, but not always, used of the Father. It is also used to describe the nature of the Son. (Cf. John 1:1, 20:28; Romans 9:5; Hebrews 1:8-9; 1 John 5:20; Titus 2:13; 2 Peter 1:1)
Therefore, to say that Jesus is close to God does not mean that Jesus is not also God in nature, since here the term "God" refers to God the Father. Trinitarianism teaches that Jesus IS NOT God the Father, but rather God the Son.
Meherally then claims that the majority of Christians deny that Jesus was a Messenger sent to glorify the Sender, i.e. the Father. Meherally attacks another straw man since informed Christians do not deny this statement, since it is thoroughly biblical. Yet, Christians also affirm that the Sender glorified the Messenger since the Messenger is fully God in nature, something Meherally refuses to accept. (see above for quotations)
Meherally also commits the fallacy of ad populum, appealing to the beliefs of the majority as a basis to reject a particular doctrine. Yet, this is not how we reject or accept a particular religious truth claim. The right thing to do is to examine the sacred scriptures of a particular religious group in order to know if whether the group's beliefs are derived form that source. Once this is done, it will become obvious to any open-minded individual that the doctrine of the Trinity is thoroughly biblical in nature.
This concludes our rebuttal.
Responses to Akbarally Meherally
Answering Islam Home Page