Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog


Trinitarian or Henotheistic in Nature? Pt. 11

Sam Shamoun

This is the final part of our discussion concerning our glorious and risen Lord Jesus.



A doxology is an ascription of praise which believers offer up to God. 



“David praised the LORD in the presence of the whole assembly, saying, ‘Praise be to you, LORD, the God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Yours, LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name. But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.’” 1 Chronicles 29:10-14

“even those who exchanged the truth of God for the lie and venerated and rendered sacred service to the creation rather than the One who created, who is blessed forever. Amen.” Romans 1:25 NWT

"To the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen." Romans 16:27 NIV



“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom… Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing… The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” 2 Timothy 4:1, 8, 18 ESV

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18 NIV 

“and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” Revelation 1:5-6

And EVERY CREATURE (pan ktisma) that is in heaven and on earth and underneath the earth and on the sea, and all the things in them, I heard saying: ‘To the One sitting on the throne AND TO THE LAMB be the blessing and the honor and the glory and the might forever and ever.’ And the four living creatures went saying: ‘Amen!’ and the elders fell down and worshiped.” Revelation 5:13-14 NWT

This last passage clearly disproves any attempt of classifying Jesus as a creature of God. The fact that John includes every living creature in praising God and Christ together, affirms that Jesus is not part of creation. If Jesus had been one of God’s creatures we would expect to find him placed alongside those worshiping God. Instead, we find Christ receiving the same praise and glory that the Father receives from every created thing! This makes him the eternal Creator and not a creature. 

In his attempt to diminish the worship of Jesus to less than that which the Father receives, Stafford reasons that whereas Jesus receives proskyneo, he does not receive latreuo (sacred service). Only the Father receives latreuo:

“Yet, he (Jesus) still showed that only Jehovah was to be given absolute, religious worship when he told Satan, ‘It is Jehovah God you worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service [… latreuo].’- Mt. 4:10

“Bowman asserts that ‘Jesus also receives... sacred service (Rev. 22:3).’ Is this true? Does Revelation 22:3 teach that Jesus receives latreuo? The NIV reads: ‘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 [form of latreuo] him’ (emphasis added). Revelation speaks of two individuals, ‘God’ and the ‘Lamb.’ In referring to the one who would receive latreuo, John uses the third person singular pronoun (‘his,’ ‘him’), showing that it has reference to but one of the two individuals mentioned. If John wanted his readers to know that both God and the Lamb (Jesus Christ) were to receive latreuo, he would have simply used the third person plural pronoun (for example, ‘and their servants will serve them’) instead of the singular. "If it is argued that latreuo here refers to the ‘Lamb,’ then we must indeed wonder why it does not refer to God, the One to whom it is elsewhere restricted. Also, there would be no evidence other than mere opinion to support such a theory that Jesus here receives latreuo and God does not. Thus, we may safely conclude that latreuo is here given to the same individual who receives it in Revelation 7:15, and elsewhere in the Bible.” (Stafford, pp. 85-86)

Stafford’s footnote found on the same page states:

“Revelation 7:15 speaks of the great crowd that comes out of tribulation rendering latreuo to the ‘One seated on the throne,’ referring to Jehovah. Whereas Jesus is clearly distinguished from the One seated on the throne, as he is said to be ‘in the midst of the throne,’ according to verse 17.” (Ibid., fn. 37) 

We gladly respond to these assertions. Stafford fails to inform his readers that Revelation also indicates that Jesus himself sits on the very throne of the Father. For instance, John sees the Messiah in a vision as a child who was caught to God’s throne:  

“And she gave birth to a son, a male, who is to shepherd all the nations with an iron rod. And her child was caught away to God AND TO HIS THRONE… And I heard a loud voice in heaven say: ‘Now have come to pass the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ, because the accuser of our brothers has been hurled down, who accuses them day and night before our God!’” Revelation 12:5, 10 NWT

In Revelation 3:21 Jesus himself says that, 

“To the one who conquers I will grant to sit down with me on my throne, even as I conquered and sat down with my Father ON HIS THRONE.” NWT 

The fact that both Father and Son sit on the same throne is evident from the very passage Stafford cites: 

“And he showed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal, flowing out from the THRONE of God and of the Lamb… But the THRONE (singular) of God and of the Lamb will be in [the city]…” Revelation 22:1, 3 NWT 

John speaks of the throne of God and the Lamb, not thrones, affirming that Jesus is also a co-occupant of God’s throne.

Finally, in Revelation 20:11-15 we are told that the One who sits on the throne will judge the dead. According to John 5:22 and 27, the Father judges no one but has entrusted all judgment to the Son: 

“For the Father judges no one at all, but he has committed all the judging to the Son… And he has given him authority to do judging, because Son of man he is.” NWT

And here is what the Lord Jesus himself says in Matthew:

When the Son of man arrives in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit down on his glorious throne. And all the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will put the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, YOU who have been blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for YOU from the founding of the world.’… Then he will say, in turn, to those on his left, ‘Be on YOUR way from me, YOU who have been cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his angels.’… And these will depart into everlasting cutting-off, but the righteous ones into everlasting life.” Matthew 25:31-34, 41, 46 NWT

The Apostle Paul warned the Corinthians that everyone would go before the judgment seat of Christ to give an account for all they have said and done:

“For we must all be made manifest before the judgment seat of the Christ, that each one may get his award for the things done through the body, according to the things he has practiced, whether it is good or vile. Knowing, therefore, the fear of the Lord, we keep persuading men, but we have been made manifest to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:10-11  

Revelation itself testifies that Christ is coming to recompense everyone for all that they have done: 

“And to the angel of the congregation in Thy·a·ti´ra write: These are the things that the Son of God says, he who has his eyes like a fiery flame, and his feet are like fine copper, ‘I know your deeds, and your love and faith and ministry and endurance, and that your deeds of late are more than those formerly… so that all the congregations will know that I am he who searches the kidneys and hearts, and I will give to YOU individually according to YOUR deed.’” Revelation 2:18-19, 23b NWT

“‘Look! I am coming quickly, and the reward I give is with me, to render to each one as his work is’… He that bears witness of these things says, ‘Yes; I am coming quickly.’ Amen! Come, Lord Jesus.” Revelation 22:12, 20 NWT

This again proves that Jesus is also sitting on the very throne of the Father. 

Stafford erroneously assumes that if John wanted to include Jesus as receiving latreuo he would have used the third person plural. What Stafford again fails to mention is that John proceeds to use the singular in contexts where both the Father and Son are clearly in view. 

For instance, Revelation 22:4 says that believers will have “his name,” singular, on their foreheads. Yet, elsewhere in Revelation, we are explicitly told that believers are to receive the names of both the Father and the Son on their foreheads: 

“The one that conquers—I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God, and he will by no means go out [from it] anymore, and I will write upon him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem which descends out of heaven from my God, and that new name of mine.” Revelation 3:12 NWT

“And I saw, and, look! The Lamb standing upon the Mount Zion, and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand having his name and the name of his Father on their foreheads.” Revelation 14:1 NWT

In light of the above, we find that the Apostle himself invalidates Stafford’s reasoning.

Stafford asserts that no evidence, other than mere opinion, can be given to support the fact that it is Jesus who, in this particular reference, is the one receiving latreuo. Far from opinion, we will present the context of the chapter itself to support the premise that it is Jesus who is receiving “sacred service”:

“And they will see HIS FACE, and his name will be on their foreheads.” Revelation 22:4 NWT 

According to the Bible, it is Jesus whose face believers shall behold at the time of his second coming when they see him face to face:

“Beloved ones, now we are children of God, but as yet it has not been made manifest what we shall be. We do know that whenever he is made manifest we shall be like himbecause we shall see him JUST AS HE IS.” 1 John 3:2 NWT 

The Holy Bible states that at Christ’s our bodies will be glorified like that of Jesus’, not the Father since he never became incarnate:

“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 NIV 

“And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.” 1 Corinthians 15:49 NIV 

The second line of evidence that points to Jesus comes from Revelation 22:6-7:

“The angel said to me, ‘These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent HIS angel to show HIS servants the things that must soon take place. And behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.’” NIV 

Here, it is the Lord God of the spirits of the prophets who sent his angel that will be coming soon. Yet later on in Revelation we are told that it is Jesus who sent his angel and shall be coming soon! 

“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done… I, JESUS, HAVE SENT MY ANGEL TO GIVE YOU THIS TESTIMONY FOR THE CHURCHES… He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’ Amen. COME, LORD JESUS!” Revelation 22:12, 16, 20 NIV 

Since John quotes Jesus as saying that he sent his angel to prepare his servants for the culmination of the age and that he shall be coming soon, this means that the Apostle is identifying Christ as the Lord God of the prophets’ spirits! 

Hence, all of these factors make a very powerful case that according to Revelation 22:3 Jesus shall receive latreuo from his servants just as the Father receives it. 

Stafford further reasons that to say Jesus receives latreuo here is to suggest that God does not. Yet Stafford fails to realize that to render sacred service to Jesus is to also render service to the Father since it is the Father who demands and expects all his creation to honor his Son just as they honor him:

“Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son. That all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.” John 5:22-23 NIV 

It is Arians like the JWs who do not honor the Father. They dishonor the very God whom they claim to serve as they refuse to give Jesus the same honor demanded in inspired Scripture. 

In light of the overwhelming evidence there can be no denying that the New Testament ascribes to Jesus the same type of worship which is given only to God.



In this study we examined the biblical teaching in relation to monotheism. We discovered that whereas the Scripture uses the term “God” in three distinct manners, there is only one true God by nature. The other so-called gods are categorized as false deities whom the nations wrongly viewed as divine beings, or spirit messengers acting in the place of God as his mouthpiece and representatives.

We also examined the biblical teaching in relation to the person of Jesus Christ. We did this to show that the Bible does not view Jesus as a false god who is wrongly worshiped. Nor does the Bible support the fact that he is a lesser god created by Jehovah to be his agent in creation and redemption. Instead, the biblical evidence leads us to embrace Jesus as the true God, Jehovah, who became man for our salvation. The Holy Bible ascribes to Jesus divine names and titles such as Jehovah, God, Lord, King of Kings etc. It also ascribes to him the functions and attributes of Jehovah such as creating, sustaining, redeeming, uncreatedness, immutability, omnipotence, omnipresence (Matthew 18:20, 28:18-20; John 14:20-23; Ephesians 4:10; Colossians 3:11), and omniscience (John 2:23-25; 16:29-31; 21:17; Romans 2:16; 1 Corinthians 4:4-5; Colossians 2:2-3; Rev. 2:18-23–cf. Jer. 17:10). All these factors prove that Jesus is the eternal God and not God’s first exalted creature, the archangel Michael.

The Holy Bible also leads us to affirm that while Jesus is fully God he is not the only person who is the true God. Scripture clearly indicates that both the Father and the Holy Spirit are fully God as well, with all three Persons comprising the unity of the one true God (Cf. Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19; 1 Corinthians 12:3-11; 2 Corinthians 13:14).

The Bible also denies henotheism, the belief that there are a host of gods ontologically, but only one eternal God who is to be worshiped. Scripture clearly teaches that no god has ever been formed nor do angels fully possess God’s uncreated nature. The only Persons who partake of the nature of God fully and perfectly are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the blessed and most holy Trinity.

It is to the Trinity that we bow and worship. It is to the Trinity that we pray. It is for the Trinity that we live and die. All our hope and love and faith must be directed to the one and only true and Tri-personal God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 

After all, we have been, 

Chosen by the Father (Ephesians 1:3-5),

Purchased by the Son (Revelation 5:9), 

Sealed by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30), 

Blessed God, Three in One.

Our heartfelt prayer is that all who read this will come to know and believe in the only true God and eternal Life who eternally exists as Father, Son and Holy Spirit:

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12 NIV 

“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 is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:10-11 NIV

Amen, Come Lord Jesus.