Refutation: Jesus said that all authority was given to him, … which means that Jesus cannot be God.


بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

Question:

It is reported in Matthew’s Gospel that Jesus said that all authority was given to him in heaven and earth (cf. Mat. 28:18), which means that someone else gave it to him. That someone else must be greater than Jesus, which means that Jesus cannot be God. After all, how can God be given all authority when he already has it to begin with?

Answer:

Sam’s answer is extremely similar to the others, at this point I’ve decoded the method he’s using:

  1. Claim that the person asking the question does not understand the nature of God.
  2. Claim that God can only exist in a multi-personal form.
  3. Does not prove that God is multi-personal.
  4. Since God is multi-personal, the questioner is wrong.
  5. The answer is that God does have X attribute(s) because questioner is wrong and God is multi-personal.

Therefore, Sam does not necessarily answer the question, as opposed to really denying that there could be a problem while claiming the solution to the question at hand is to repeat as many times as is possible that God is multi-personal. Now, we must understand that if God is multi-personal and for the sake of Sam’s argument I am going to accept this premise, then in order for one ‘person’ to give to another, it would have to mean that one ‘person’ possesses something that the other person does not. Sam does not explain how one person can give another person something he already has, if we are to assume that he already had it.

That is where the problem lies, Shamoun insists that Christ is God, and he claims that God already had authority:

It is true that no one outside of God can give God anything, since God is the One who owns everything and gives his creatures all that they have:

“…the Father, the Son (the Lord Jesus), and the Holy Spirit are all God, even though they are personally distinct from one another.”

“It is true that no one outside of God can give God anything, since God is the One who owns everything and gives his creatures all that they have…”

With the above having been said, if Christ is God, and God already has all possible authority/ dominion over all things, how can one God – person, give another God – person, something they both are already supposed to have. This has several ramifications, namely:

  1. Matthew 28:18 is a lie.
  2. God the Father is a Supreme God and Jesus is a lesser God missing an attribute of Power.
  3. (2) cannot be true since Christ is a full God in the Godhead which means (1) has to be true.
  4. (2) can be true since Sam admits their is a hierarchy and thus gives credence to the possibility of a lesser God.
  5. (1) and (2) can both be true as both the Bible and the Trinity are products of man.

Sam, realising the possibility of his logic being absolutely erroneous, he then tries to reason it out:

But this says absolutely nothing about God’s own inner life and internal communion. For instance, let us assume for the moment that God is a Triune Being, that there are three distinct Persons who exist as one Being. Then passages where Jesus is said to have received something from someone really pose no problem for Trinitarianism since you can have one of the divine Persons granting authority to another, or for one member of the Godhead to be in subjection to another (or to the others). After all, Christ is called God’s Son for a reason, since this relationship implies a subjection of some kind on the part of the Son to the Father. Yet, much like earthly fathers can be greater in authority than their sons without this implying that the sons are inferior beings, the divine Father giving authority to his divine Son in no way implies that the latter is not God or is an inferior Being.

I really wish that Sam would understand the meanings of the words he uses. If each person in the Godhead is co-equal, then one cannot be subject to another, as this implies that they are not co-equal, in other words, that is a contradiction. Therefore either they are co-equal to each other or they are not co-equal and are in a hierarchy. Since Sam accepts that they can be subject to each other, then they are in a hierarchy, with one God being superior to another God person. Since they are not co-equal and one is greater than the other, we can accept that the most superior God has some attribute or numerous attributes to make Him greater than the two lesser gods in the Godhead.

I can prove this, and thus prove that the latter two gods are less superior, as the Bible itself claims that God – the Father, gave another god – Christ, an attribute, the attribute of power. Thus by this verse, Matthew28:18, it subsequently proves that:

  1. Within the Trinity, there is one supreme God – the Father and two lesser gods who lack attributes the Father has.
  2. One attribute which one lesser god – Christ did not have, would have been the authority over heaven and earth which he was then gifted.

Sam then goes on to say:

“Having greater authority doesn’t necessarily mean that the person is greater in essence, or that the one who is in subjection to another is inferior in nature to the other. To assume otherwise is to make a categorical mistake, a category fallacy, treating two distinct categories (nature and authority) as if they were one and same.”

What he does not realise is that God’s nature is to be all powerful, part of being all powerful is also having authority over the heavens and earth. Since it is God’s nature to be all powerful, then it is impossible for God to not have power, also known as authority, over the heavens and earth. Thus if there exists a God which lacks this attribute, this nature, then this God can no longer be considered a God, but a lesser god or if we are monotheists, not a God at all, but subject to the power and authority of an all powerful God. He continues:

“”Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after DESTROYING every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For ‘God has put all things in subjection under his feet.’ But when it says, ‘all things are put in subjection,’ it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.” 1 Corinthians 15:24-28

Here is a classic example of how one member of the Godhead can give to another member something without this implying that one of them isn’t God. Note that the Father subjected all things to the Son, and that the Son gives to the Father the kingdom. Christ’s sovereignty and supremacy is clearly seen in this passage since he has the ability to destroy all other powers and authorities, bringing them into complete subjection to the Father. Thus, the Son receiving authority to rule no more disproves that he is God then the Father receiving the kingdom from his Son disproves that he is God also. Another thing to keep in mind is that, according to the Scriptures, Christ voluntarily came down from heaven in order to assume the role of a slave, a servant.”

Sam is assuming that the kingdom in the aforementioned verse does not belong to the dominion of God. This is not the case, what the verse is simply saying is that in the end, all Kingdoms would be ruled by God’s law and not by pagan, infidel (unChristian) leadership. If Sam’s former logic is what he believes to be true, then he accepts that if a nation is not ruled by a Christian under Christian laws, then that nation is not under the power, authority or dominion of God. This would mean that the King of Saudi Arabia, or Barak Obama, or Emir of the UAE were rivals to his God as they have dominion where his God is powerless, therefore Sam’s God is powerless to man. This however, is inconsistent theology, as Sam’s Bible says that all rulers, rule by God’s power, see Romans 13:1-7.

Secondly, I’m not sure whether to laugh, or cry. Shamoun seems to think, and quite absurdly so, that by the Son being able to rule an earthly Kingdom, he is showing that God has the ability to receive authority. Seeing as the Son is an inferior God (as he received authority over all things from a God with all authority over all things), why is Sam then surprised that the Son will eventually rule over a Kingdom? If he is inferior in authority and will gradually assume authority over things that God already has authority over, this does not make him a God, rather it makes him subject to God’s already established and constant power, refer once more to Romans 13:1-7, or Jesus accepting God’s authority over him in John 5:30-31. Sam then decides to prove my point by demonstrating how the inferior god – the Son, obeys commands from a Supreme authority:

While on earth, the Lord Jesus subjected himself to the authority of the Father, doing nothing of his own initiative, but only doing the very thing that the Father commanded and desired:

“And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.'” Matthew 20:24-28

“For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.” John 6:38

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:5-8

Therefore, in conclusion, Sam has openly conceded to the fact that if there is a Trinity and Christ is a member of this Trinity, he is considered to be a lesser god, thereby lacking the attributes of a Supreme God – the Father. Since this is the case, Sam demonstrates the ways in which the Son subjugated himself to the power and will of an authority greater in nature and respect to him, a subject of God’s majesty. It is my understanding then, that Shamoun has not demonstrated Christ’s divinity, but he has demonstrated, and quite clearly so, explicit reasons for Christ’s human nature and lack of credence for Christ’s alleged divine nature.

wa Allaahu ‘Alam.

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