Monday, September 14, 2015

Is Jesus Sitting or Standing in Heaven? Pt. 3

By Sam Shamoun

We arrive at the final part of our rebuttal.

In this section we are going to briefly look at some of the other NT writings to see what they have to say about Christ being seated alongside God on the same divine throne.

According to what is typically referred to as the longer ending of Mark, after ascending into heaven and sitting at God’s right hand, the risen Lord began working miraculous signs through the disciples in order provide divine confirmation for the truth of their message:

So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.” Mark 16:19-20

Jesus himself had informed his disciples that once he returns to the Father in heaven he would personally answer all their prayers and start performing mighty works through and for them:

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask IN MY NAME, that will I DO, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing IN MY NAME, I WILL DO IT.” John 14:12-14

The fact that Christ can personally answers all the prayers directed to him, and is able to perform miracles through and for all his followers no matter where they happen to be, shows that he is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent.

In fact, the inspired writer to the Hebrews proclaims that it is Christ who is currently sustaining all things by his powerful word from his exalted position in heaven: 

“Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, SAT DOWN on the right hand of the Majesty ON HIGH (en hypselois)… But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?” Hebrews 1:3, 13

Here, the author not only describes Jesus similarly to the way specific Jewish writers spoke of God’s very own eternal Wisdom,

“For wisdom is more moving than any motion: she passeth and goeth through all things by reason of her pureness. For she is the breath of the power of God, and a pure influence flowing from the glory of the Almighty: therefore can no defiled thing fall into her. For she is the brightness of the everlasting light, the unspotted mirror of the power of God, and the image of his goodness. And being but one, she can do all things: and remaining in herself, she maketh all things new: and in all ages entering into holy souls, she maketh them friends of God, and prophets.” Wisdom 7:24-27

He further attributes to the risen Lord the very work which Jewish tradition ascribes to God alone, namely, sustaining all things by God’s own word:

“By him the end of them hath prosperous success, and by his word all things consist.” Sirach 43:26

Hebrews even employs the very same language that the Psalter does in referring to Jehovah’s unique status over all creation as the One who sits enthroned on high:

The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens. Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth ON HIGH,” Psalm 113:4-5

Note how the Greek version (commonly referred to as the Septuagint [LXX]) of the Psalter renders this particular text:

“Who is as the Lord our God who dwells in the high places (en hypselois),” Psalm 112:5

This shows that the inspired author believed that the risen Jesus has been exalted to the very same status which differentiates and separates God from all created reality!

Now this isn’t the only place where Hebrews mentions Christ reigning from the very right hand of God:

“But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, SAT DOWN on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.” Hebrews 10:12-13 – cf. 8:1-2; 12:2

Nor is this the only inspired writing which confirms that Jesus’ enthronement at God’s right hand places him far above every creature in existence:

“And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, FAR ABOVE ALL principality, and power, and might, and dominion, AND EVERY NAME THAT IS NAMED, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put ALL THINGS under his feet, and gave him to be THE HEAD OVER ALL THINGS to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” Ephesians 1:19-23

“The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.” 1 Peter 3:21-22

Now the only way that Christ could be positioned as Head over the entire creation, and possess the name that is above every name which exists, is if he is Jehovah God in the flesh (yet not the Father or the Holy Spirit), since the Hebrew Bible is emphatically clear that Jehovah and his name alone are exalted above all created reality: 

“That they may that thou ALONE, whose name is Jehovah, Art the most High over all the earth.” Psalm 83:18 American Standard Version (ASV)

“Let them praise the name of Jehovah; For his name ALONE is exalted; His glory is above the earth and the heavens.” Psalm 148:13 ASV

Not how this works out logically:

A.    Jehovah alone reigns as the Most High over all the earth, and his name alone is exalted above all else.
B.      Jesus has been exalted over all creation as its sovereign Head, and possesses the name that is above ever name in existence both now and forever.
C.    Jesus must, therefore, be Jehovah God Almighty in the flesh (even though he is not the Father or the Holy Spirit).

Hence, not only do the God-breathed Scriptures emphatically testify that Jesus is actually sitting on the very throne of God, they also ascribe to him the very status, functions and characteristics which the sacred writings attribute to Jehovah God alone. 

Unless noted otherwise, all Scriptural citations taken from the Authorized King James Version (AV) of the Holy Bible.

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