Hinduism

The Caste System

) • , .. 1 ,. The Counsellor (Dr. A. R. Bhutta) Chapters 14, 15, and 16 of the Gospel of John deal with the prophecy of Jesus Christ about the advent of a “Counsellor” after him. The relevant verses in this connection are reproduced below: ” … And I will pray the Father and He will give you another Counsellor to be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you”. (John 14:16,17). “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you …. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me …. ” (John 14:25, 26, 30). “But when the Counsellor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me”. (John 15:26). “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counsellor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convince the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment: of sin because they do not believe in me; ofrighteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you”. (John 16:7-14). 6 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS The verses, quoted above, give the salient features of the prophecy which happens to be the most explicit prophecy of the New Testament. But it is indeed tragic to note that, in spite of all the details and explanations, the issue still became controversial and most of the followers of Jesus Christ failed to grasp the real import of the prophecy. From the christian point of view, the counsellor promised in the prophecy was the Holy Spirit; and it was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost when the disciples had received an unusual power of speech through the help of the Holy Spirit. We, the Muslims on the other hand contend that this prophecy refers to the advent of a great prophet after Jesus Christ and that it was fulfilled with the appearance of the Holy Prophet of Islam. To find out what Jesus had really promised in this prophecy, and how that promise was actually fulfilled, it is necessary for us to review the incident of Pentecost and to examine the context and the contents of the prophecy. The Incident of Pentecost It is reported in the Acts of the Apostles that on the day of Pentecost the disciples were together in a house when they heard a great noise like the rushing of wind, and then they were suddenly filled with the Holy Spirit and, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, they had started talking in languages other than their own. The Jews of the different nationalities, who were living in that area, had gathered around them and all of them were surprised to hear the disciples speak in their own national tongues, to the Jews they had appeared as if they were drunk. This, briefly, is the incident which is supposed to have fulfilled the prophecy of the Counsellor. But even a casual look on that magnificant prophecy of Jesus Christ is sufficient to convince an impartial observer that it could not be in any way related to this insignificant personal experience of the disciples. The prophecy of the Counsellor is very elaborate, extending over almost three chapters of the Gospel. Its spiritual implications are even more extensive, reaching as far as the ends of the world. It highlights the unique spiritual attributes of the Counsellor and specifies his various achievements. The incident that happened on that day of Pentecost, might have surprised the Jews of the locality and pleased the Christian community of the area but it certainly did not satisfy any of the requirements of the Prophecy. For instance, Jesus is reported to have said: “. . . I have yet many things to say to you but you cannot bear them now. But when the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth” , and that “he will teach you all things” … (John 16:14,26). , ! • r t I f ! I THE COUNSELLOR 7 Now one may ask, which truth was revealed to the disciples on that day of Pentecost and what things were taught to them which Jesus had left untaught? All we are told is that they “began to speak in other tongues, as the spirit gave them utterance”. And this was no part of the prophecy, nor was Jesus sent to teach them any languages. Moreover, there is no record of what they spoke about on that day, nor is there any evidence to show that they understood what they were made to speak at that time. How can we say then, that they had been really taught anything or guided into any truth? The fact of the matter is that they had been taught nothing, not even the languages that they spoke with the help of the Holy Spirit. There is no evidence to show that they were still speaking those languages even after that incident. That experience of the disciples, therefore, can by no stretch of imagination be regarded as if they had been “taught all things” and “guided into all the truth”. And consequently, we shall have to look somewhere else for the real fulfilment of that prophecy. Another point that proves that the incident of Pentecost was not the fulfilment of the prophecy about the Counsellor, is that Saint Peter, while explaining that incident to the Jews, mentioned it to be the fulfilment of “what was spoken by the prophet Joel” (Act. 2:16). He did not mention it to be the fulfilment of the prophecy about the Counsellor made by Jesus; and this he could not have failed to mention if that incident were in any way connected with that prophecy. It may be asked at this point that Saint Peter did mention near the end of his speech that Jesus “having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, has poured out this which you see and hear” (Act. 2:33). It may be noted in this connection, that Saint Peter was not referring to the prophecy about the Counsellor when he mentioned that promise of the Holy Spirit. He was referring to quite another promise which Jesus had made on several other occasions. Jesus is reported to have promised: ” … don’t be anxious beforehand what you are going to say, but say whatever is given to you in that hour, for it is not you who speak but the Holy spirit”. (Mk. 13:11). Again, he is reported to have told the disciples that: ” … what you are going to say will be given to you in that hour; for it is not you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you”. (Mat. 10:20). It is clear from these references that, quite apart from the prophecy of the Counsellor, Jesus had also promised his disciples an unusual power of speech through the help of the Holy Spirit; and that was exactly what had happened on that day of Pentecost. The incident, obviously had nothing to do with the prophecy of the Counsellor. 8 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS The Incident Explained It seems necessary to explain here that the incident of Pentecost was nothing but a case of revelation which the disciples had received in some languages of the Jews of different nationalities who were living in that area; and it had served to impress upon the Jews that, after the advent of Jesus Christ, the gift of the Holy Spirit could only be received through faith in him and that they had to accept and obey him if they wanted to receive it. To say that, however, is not to profess that faith in Jesus alone would have been sufficient to receive the Holy Spirit, if and when a new prophet had appeared after Jesus Christ, nor is it to preach that faith in earlier prophets was not necessary for that purpose. It must be remembered that for any Spiritual achievement, which is possible only through the influence and help ofthe Holy Spirit, it is absolutely essential to have faith in all the prophets of God in general and to accept and obey the prophet of the age in particular. For the Jews of the time of Jesus it was necessary to obey him in spite of their faith in earlier prophets because he was the spiritual ruler and prophet of their age. With the advent of the Holy Prophet of Islam, however, it became imperative to accept and obey him in addition to the faith in earlier prophets including Jesus Christ. And the same holds good in this age after the advent of the Promised Messiah. Context of the Prophecy Before we go on to the contents of the prophecy, it is essential to review its context. It is said that the Bible interprets the Bible. Difficult and controversial parts of the Bible usually become clear and easy to understand if studied in their context. In fact, no passage of the Bible should be lifted out of its Biblical setting and studied in isolation. Any such attempt would simply be misleading. This is particularly true of the prophecies which are usually made in metaphoric language and can prove to be confusing unless studied in their Biblical context. The New Testament in general, is supposed to be the fulfilment of what is recorded in the Old Testament. In fact, there is nothing prophetic in the New Testament particularly the Gospels, which is not supported by, and explained in, the Old Testament. Any prophecy in the Gospels, therefore, should normally offer no problem to anyone who makes a keen and careful study of the Bible. As far as this prophecy of the Counsellor is concerned, we know that it is reported in Chapters 14, 15 and 16 of the Gospel of John. Also from the very opening chapter of this Gospel, we also learn that before the advent of Jesus Christ, the Jews were expecting three different prophets to appear, in the light of the prophecies of the Old Testament. They were expecting (1) Elijah, (2) The Christ, and (3) The Prophet, promised by Moses. (John 1:21, 25). Now, with regard to the appearance of these three prophets, we are told t .. \ J ! 1 , j I THE COUNSELLOR 9 that Elijah appeared in the person of John, the Baptist, and the Christ came in the person of Jesus; but what about the prophet, promised by Moses? Here again, Saint Peter clarifies the situation. While addressing the Men of Israel, he reminded them: “And now, brethren, I know that you acted in ignorance, … But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ should suffer, he thus fulfilled. Repent therefore, and turn again, … that he may send the Christ appointed for you. Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for establishing all that God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from the old. Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet from your brethren as he raised me up. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you … ‘ And all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who came afterwards, also proclaimed these days … ” (Act. 3:17-24). This statement of Saint Peter, given above, fully establishes the facts: (1) That what “God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ should suffer” was fulfilled with the coming and suffering of Jesus. (2) That “the prophet promised by Moses” was still being expected after the departure of Jesus, the Christ. (3) The Christ had to stay in heaven and could not come for the second time until the prophecy of Moses about the advent of a prophet like him was fulfilled. (4) And that all the prophets who had come from Samuel down to the days of the apostles, had been proclaiming the advent of “that prophet”. Now, if it is a fact that “that prophet” was still being expected to appear sometime before the second coming of the Christ and that all the prophets who had come from Samuel down to the days of the apostles, had been proclaiming the advent of that prophet, then it is only logical for us to believe that Jesus could not have possibly forgotten that prophecy and failed to proclaim the advent of that prophet; particularly when Jesus had himself declared that he had come, not to abolish, but to fulfil the Law and the Prophets. In fact, Jesus being a prophet immediately before the fulfilment of that prophecy, had a primary duty to pronounce the forthcoming advent of that prophet – the prophet who had been the focal point of the prediction and preachings of all the Biblical prophets. Since there is no other statement of Jesus about the advent of that prophet, we can safely conclude from the above mentioned context, that the Counsellor or the Comforter, pronounced by Jesus, could be no other person than the prophet promised by Moses, who was still being awaited at that time by Jews and Christians alike. 10 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS Another context of this prophecy of the Counsellor is provided by Isaiah who had also promised a Counsellor. He had foretold: ” … to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulders, and his name will be called ‘wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace’. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David … and kingdom, to establish with justice and righteousness … “. (Is. 9:6, 7). This is one of the most remarkable prophecies of the Old Testament, just as the prophecy of the Counsellor is the most important prophecy of the New Testament. Here we find in the Old Testament a Counsellor promised by Isaiah, and there we find in the New Testament a Counsellor promised by Jesus; and there is no reason to believe that both the prophets were not talking of the same personality. Both the prophecies mention that the Counsellor will be source of peace in the world and that he will remain in the world forever. Both the prophets have given him the divine metaphoric names like “Everlasting Father” and the “Spirit of Truth that proceeds from the Father”. Jesus calls him the “ruler of the world” who will come “to convince the world of sin, righteousness and judgment’; while Isaiah declares him to be the “Prince of peace” who is supposed to inherit “throne and kingdom of David, – to rule with righteousness and with justice” (John 14:27, 30; 15:26; 16:8). All these facts strongly suggest that the Counsellor promised by Jesus could be no other person than the Counsellor promised by Isaiah. Since the Counsellor promised by Isaiah was a son, a man and a prophet, with divine attributes, it naturally follows from this context that the one promised by Jesus too was a man and a prophet, and not just a spirit. Contents of the Prophecy Having studied the context of the prophecy, we can now go on to examine its contents. 1. First of all, let us discuss the names by which the promised one has been called in the Bible. His first name as it appears in the RSV of the Bible, is “Counsellor”. Some other versions of the Bible mention the first name as “Comforter” or “Helper”. The real name used by Jesus is not known because we do not have the original text of the New Testament. The oldest version available is the Greek translation of the New Testament, and the name mentioned there is “Parakletos” which means an advocate, pleader, counsellor, helper or a comforter. There is a strong possibility that even this Greek word “Parakletos” may not be the real translation of the original name used by Jesus; it may well be a changed form of another very similar Greek word “Periklutos” which means the “praised one” or the “renowned one”. Mr. Jack Finegan, a well known Christian theologian, has written in his book • • .. 4 \ l THE COUNSELLOR 11 “The Archeology of World Religions” that” … the Greek word Parakletos (Comforter) is very similar to Periklutos (Renowned); the latter word being the meaning of the name Ahmad or Mohammad”. Another evidence that shows that the original word was indeed “Periklutos” which means Ahmad, is supplied by “The Damascus Document” , a scripture discovered towards the end of the nineteenth century in Ezra Synagogue, Old Cairo. In that document Jesus is reported to have said, ” … and by his Messiah He had made them know His Holy Spirit. For it is he who is Emeth, the truthful one” (Strachan’s Fourth Gospel, Page 141). According to this document, the name used by Jesus was “Emeth” while the Holy Quran claims that Jesus had promised that a prophet called “Ahmad” will come after him (Quran 61:7). The phonetic similarity between the Hebrew word “Emeth” and the Arabic word “Ahmad” is only too obvious. The other names used for the promised one are the “Holy Spirit” and the “Spirit of Truth”. It is mainly on account of these names that the Christians think the promised one to be a “spirit” and not a prophet. But a careful study of the contents and the context of the prophecy would reveal that these names are only metaphoric and attributive in nature. For instance, we find that the words “Holy Spirit” and the “Spirit of Truth” almost always appear as second names to the counsellor, which shows that these are not the real names. If the promised one were really the Holy Spirit as is preached by the Christians (and the Counsellor were only his attributive name), then he would have been called as “Holy Spirit, the Counsellor” and not as “Counsellor, the Holy Spirit” as we now find in the Bible. Moreover, the words “even the Spirit of Truth” used to qualify the Counsellor, further confirm that the Counsellor is not really any spirit and that these words are used only in a symbolic sense. Those who find it surprising that the Counsellor, a human being, should be referred to as the “Holy Spirit”, should note the Counsellor promised by Isaiah who is “a child”, “a son” and thus a human being without doubt, has been called even as “Mighty God”. Evidently, the name “Holy Spirit”, like the name “Mighty God”, is only metaphoric in nature and is given to those divine people who are the recipient of the Holy Spirit. Here is an example from the Bible. Just before he was stoned to death, Saint Stephen addressed the Jews and said: ” … you stiff necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did not your fathers persecute?”. (Act. 7:51, 52). Here in this passage the persecution of the prophets has been called as the resistance to the Holy Spirit. Now the Jews were neither against the Holy Spirit, nor could they resist it. What they had done was the resistance and persecution of the prophets. But their persecution of the prophets has been 12 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS called as the resistance of the Holy Spirit, which clearly shows that the term Holy Spirit can sometimes stand for the prophets who are the recipient of the Holy Spirit. As far as the term “Spirit of truth” is concerned, it should also offer no problem. This term is used for those divine people who preach and practice the truth. Here again is an example to explain the use ofthis term. Saint John in his First Letter writes: “Beloved, do not believe every Spirit, but test the Spirit to see whether they are of God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world … We are of GOD. Whoever knows God listen to us and he who is not of God, does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the Spirit of error” . (I John 4:1-6). The reference, given above, not only proves that the word “Spirit” can be used for Prophets but also confirms that the term “Spirit of truth” stands for those who are of God and who listen to the people of God. 2. Having dealt with the names mentioned in the prophecy, let us now discuss other contents of the prophecy. Jesus is reported to have said: “And I will pray the Father and He will give you another Counsellor to be with you for ever … ” (John 14: 16). In the above mentioned statement of Jesus, the words “another counsellor” are particularly note worthy. These words clearly imply that Jesus himself was a counsellor and that another Counsellor was to come after him. If the Comforter or the Counsellor promised by him were actually the Holy Spirit, as we are supposed to believe from the christian point of view, then the term “another Counsellor” would mean “another Holy Spirit”. And how many Holy Spirits do we have? Since there is one and only one Holy Spirit, another Counsellor can only mean another Prophet like Jesus himself. Of course, the blessings and the teachings of that other Counsellor were to stay forever. That is why Isaiah too, has called him “Everlasting Father”. 3. The prophecy further reads in the words of Jesus: “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority but whatever he hears he will speak … He will glorify me”. (John 16:12, 13). and that: “He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you”. (John 14:26). t THE COUNSELLOR 13 It is evident from these references that the teachings of Jesus Christ and all the other prophets who had come before him, were not complete and did not contain “all the truth” necessary for the spiritual development of the mankind; and that the complete and perfect code of life for the guidance of mankind was to be given through the Counsellor who was to come after Jesus Christ. It is also mentioned in these verses that the divine message given through the Counsellor, would be the pure and perfect word of God, for it is mentioned that “he will not speak on his own authority but whatever he will hear he will speak”. This particular aspect of the Counsellor’s advent is exactly the same as that of “the prophet” promised by Moses. God had promised through Moses that He would raise a prophet like Moses from among the brethren of Israel, and that He would put His words into his mouth and he would speak all that God would command him (Deut. 18:18). From the evidence, given above, we can clearly see that the Counsellor promised by Jesus could be no other person than the prophet promised by Moses. And the only prophet whose advent could have possibly fulfilled this prophecy, is the Holy prophet of Islam who, like Moses, was a law-bearing prophet who was raised among the brethren of Israel, who received and delivered God’s message by mouth in the form of pure and precise words of God, and who brought a perfect and complete Law for the guidance and spiritual advancement of the mankind (Ouran 5:4, 68; 73: 16). It was also mentioned in the prophecy that the Counsellor would glorify Jesus and would bring to our remembrance all that Jesus had said. This job too, has been done in a perfect manner through the Holy prophet of Islam. Anybody going through the pages of the Holy Ouran, would discover to his great surprise that it has glorified not only Jesus but also his mother; and, like a capable Counsellor, it has vindicated them from all the dirty and disgraceful charges, levelled against them by their enemies (Ouran 4: 157-159; 19:30-34). In fact, the Holy Ouran has exalted the honour of Jesus not only in this world but also in the world hereafter (Ouran 3:43–46, 56). The Holy Ouran has also sought to correct the erroneous beliefs about the life and death of Jesus, preached and propagated by his so called followers and has brought to our remembrance his true teachings (Ouran 5: 117-119). An important aspect of the advent of the Counsellor is mentioned in the prophecy as follows: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counsellor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you”. (John 16:7). This statement of Jesus lays down an important condition for the Counsellor to come. We are told that Counsellor could not come as long as 14 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS Jesus was there in the world. For the Counsellor to come, Jesus had to go. This condition makes it impossible for us to believe that “the Counsellor”, destined to come after Jesus, could be the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit had been there in the world before Jesus and it was there among them in his presence. In fact, Jesus had already given the Holy Spirit to his disciples when he had breathed upon them saying, “Receive ye the Holy Spirit” (John 20:23). How, then, could he say that the Holy Spirit would not come to them unless he went away? And why should the coming of the Holy Spirit be incompatible with the presence of Jesus? It is, therefore, obvious that when Jesus mentioned that condition for the coming of “another Counsellor”, he was talking not of any Spirit but of “another prophet” who could not possibly come in his presence. The reason for this too, had been explained by Jesus. Concluding the parable of Vineyard, he had told the Jews that the kingdom of God would be taken away from them and given to another nation. (Mat. 21:43) The “other Counsellor” who was to come from the Gentiles, therefore, had to take away the “kingdom of God” from the nation of Israel and had to establish it on earth on a universal and permanent basis. And Jesus who was a national prophet of Israel and the “King of Jews”, naturally had to be effected by this change of “governments” in the Kingdom of God. Jesus, therefore, had to go winding up the spiritual rule of Israel in this world and clearing the way for the “other spiritual ruler” of this world. This very fact was further emphasised in the prophecy when Jesus declared: “I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me; but I do as my Father has commanded me … “. (John 14:30). This statement of Jesus affirms, once again, that with the advent of the next ‘spiritual ruler of this world’ his own teachings will come to an end. Since Jesus, like most of the Biblical prophets, had come to preach and practice the Law of Moses, this statement also implied that the Law of Moses and the teachings of all the other prophets too, will come to an end with the advent of the other “prophet like Moses”. The Ruler ofthe World It seems necessary at this stage to explain the term “ruler of the world” as it .1 appears in the Bible. The Christian scholars have interpreted it to mean “the ;. Devil”. But this interpretation is absolutely out of context and quite .. irrelevant. It may be noted that the use of this term is peculiar to the Gospel of John where it occurs three times. And on all the three occasions it is reported as the .., statement of Jesus Christ (John 12:31, 14:30 and 16:11). If we study the THE COUNSELLOR 15 context of these verses, we find no evidence to show that when Jesus used the term “ruler of the world” he could be referring to the Devil. On the contrary, there is clear evidence in the context as well as in the contents of these verses, to show that when Jesus used this term, he was either referring to himself or to the Counsellor who was to come after him. 1. In the first verse, for example, Jesus is reported to have said: “Now is the judgment of this world, now shall the ruler of this world be cast out; and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to myself’. (John 12:31). Now we know that Jesus said these words to the crowd which had gathered to welcome him as he entered the city of Jerusalem riding on a donkey. He was hailed by the people as the “King of Israel”. As he talked to the crowd, he told them about his glorification and also about this forthcoming rejection and crucifixion. Even the Christian scholars agree that when Jesus said, “I will be lifted up from the earth”, he was referring to his own crucifixion. But they insist that when he said, “the ruler of this world will be cast out”, he was referring to the Devil. They want us to believe that a part of the verse refers to the Christ while the other part refers to the Devil. It appears that it is the words “cast out” which make the Christian scholars think of Devil in this verse. Since these words are commonly used in connection with the evil spirits, they tend to think that “the ruler of this world” too, must be an evil spirit. But this is simply ridiculous. They should know that in this very Gospel of John it is mentioned that the blind man, cured by Jesus too had been condemned and “cast out” by the Jews (John 9:34, 35). So if Jesus was talking of his own crucifixion in one half of the verse, why can’t we believe that he was talking of his own rejection in the other half? After all Jesus was rejected and treated as an outcast; and it was this rejection which had led to his crucifixion. In this context, therefore, we can easily infer that when Jesus said that the ruler of this world will be cast out, and that he will be lifted up from the earth, he was telling the crowd that this “Son of Man” who has been hailed as the “King of Israel”, will soon be rejected as an outcast and lifted up on the cross, and that eventually he will draw all men to himself who will believe in him and glorify him. 2. The other verse where the term “ruler of the world” is used is John 16:11, where it occurs in connection with the functions of the Counsellor. In this verse and in the three preceding verses, three functions of the Counsellor are mentioned. First, we are told that the Counsellor will come to “convince the world of sin” because they did not believe in Jesus. 16 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS Secondly, that he will come to convince the world of righteousness because Jesus was going to Father. And thirdly, that he will convince the world of judgment because ‘the ruler of this world was judged. Here again from the Christian point of view, the term “ruler of this world” refers to the Devil. But it will be noted that the first two functions of the Counsellor are specified in respect of Jesus while the third one is mentioned to be in respect of the “ruler of the world”. The context of the verse 16: 11 and the nature of the functions of the Counsellor mentioned therein, strongly suggest that if the first two functions of the Counsellor are related to Jesus, the third one must also be related to Jesus. So if the first two assignments of Counsellor are to prove to the world that it was a sin not to believe in Jesus and to doubt his righteousness, the third assignment must also be to prove to the world that the Jews were wrong in their judgment of Jesus. “The ruler of the world” mentioned in the third assignment of the Counsellor, therefore, could be no other person than Jesus himself, who was in fact the spiritual ruler of his time and who was wrongly judged and convicted by this world. These verses specifically mention that the coming Counsellor shall uphold the truthfulness of Jesus and will defend him against the judgment passed by his enemies. It must be noted that throughout the text of the prophecy of the Counsellor, which extends over three chapters of the Gospel, all the functions and duties of the Counsellor are either related to the personality of Jesus or to his ministry. In this part of the verse 16:11, therefore, Jesus could not be talking of any hypothetical judgment passed on the Devil while he knew that he himself had been wrongly judged and an appeal against that judgment was still pending before the coming Counsellor. 3. Finally, we take up the third verse (14:30) where the term “ruler ofthe world” is mentioned. In this verse Jesus is reported to have said: “I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me . . .”. In this statement Jesus has predicted the advent of the “ruler of the world” sometime in the near future; and if this term is to be interpreted to mean the “Devil”, then, evidently Jesus has predicted the coming of the Devil. But this prediction hardly makes any sense because the Devil had been already there in this world, fully active since the creation of mankind. Moreover, the Devil had been already “judged and cast out” as we are supposed to believe from the other two verses discussed above. So, what could Jesus mean by saying that the “Devil was coming”? And how could the Devil come back to rule the world after being judged and cast out? Supposing Jesus was talking of some sort of “second coming” of the Devil, why should he have stopped • t ” J 1 t THE COUNSELLOR 17 talking to his followers? If the Devil was really coming to rule the world, it was all the more reason that he should have talked, and even shouted, about the forthcoming danger, particularly when he knew that the “coming ruler” had no power over him. We learn from the Gospels that Jesus had been predicting the advent of the Counsellor. He had been talking of the coming of the “Holy Spirit and the Spirit of truth”. We also know that he had always preached that the “Kingdom of God” was at hand. But now we are supposed to believe from this verse that Jesus had decided not to talk much with his followers because he had somehow discovered that it was the “kingdom of the Devil” that was at hand. If this sort of interpretation is simply blasphemous and quite irrelevant, then we will have to believe that Jesus could not be talking of any Devil when he said that the “ruler of this world” was coming. We certainly need a more plausible and pertinent explanation of this term. The Verse Explained A careful study of the prophecy would reveal that immediately before this verse, it is mentioned that the Counsellor will come to teach us all things. And in chapters immediately following this statement, it is reported that “the Spirit of truth” will come to guide us into all the truth. It is, therefore, clear that the coming of the “ruler of the world” could not be anything unconnected with the coming of the Counsellor or the Spirit of truth which Jesus had been already preaching about. As a matter of fact, the coming of the “ruler of this world” could only refer to the advent of the same Counsellor, using for him another attributive name. So, when Jesus said to his followers, “I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming”, he was simply trying to impress upon them that with the advent of the next “ruler of the world” a new Law will come into force and, consequently it will be no longer necessary for them to preach and practice his own teachings. In this verse again, I think, what makes the christian scholars think of Devil, is that part of the verse which reads “he has no power over me”. They seem to think that since it is the Devil who had no power over Jesus, the “ruler of the world” must be interpreted to mean the Devil. But this is hardly a cogent reason to justify this blind approach to the problem; and we should be able to offer a rational explanation of this sentence. We know that all the rulers, elected to rule in this world, derive their powers from the constitution which they are supposed to uphold and enforce in their countries. Similarly, all the prophets of God, who are appointed as spiritual rulers in the world, draw their powers from the Divine Laws which they are sent to preach, practice and enforce in the world. Now Jesus, like all the other prophets who followed Moses, was sent to follow, fulfil and establish the Law of Moses (Mat. 5: 17-20). All these Biblical prophets, 18 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS therefore, shared the Law of Moses as their common source of spiritual power; and they were not independent of each other, nor could they do without the Law of Moses. When Jesus announced that the “coming ruler of the world had no power over him”, he was telling the world that the next “ruler of the world” who was coming after him, would be an independent prophet like Moses, who would be given his own new Law; and that Jesus himself would not be covered by that New Law. The constitutional powers of the two “rulers of the world” (Jesus and the Counsellor) had to be quite different from each other, no one having any jurisdiction over the other. In other words, the rule of the “Son of God” was to end where the kingdom of the “everlasting Father” was to begin. Before I end this discourse, I would like to answer one question. It has been said that if the Counsellor promised by Jesus was a prophet and that prophet was the Holy prophet of Islam, why the Holy Ouran does not mention it? The short reply to this question is that the Holy Ouran does mention it and mention it in very clear terms. It specifically mentions the prophecy of Jesus and declares that Jesus had given the good news of a prophet who was to come ., after him and whose name, he said, was Ahmad (61:7). The Holy Ouran not only mentions the prophecy of Jesus but also gives the real name of the Counsellor. We find no evidence in the Bible about the name of the Counsellor and whatever little evidence there is outside the Bible, it supports the Ouranic version. As far as the fulfilment of the Biblical prophecies in the person of The Holy Prophet is concerned, the Holy Ouran has also claimed it in very clear terms. God has categorically declared in the Holy Ouran that those who follow the Messenger, the Prophet, whom they find mentioned in the Torah and in the Gospel … and those who follow the light that has been sent down with him, shall prosper (Holy Ouran 7:158). I end my humble submissions with the prayer that God may grant us the power to follow the light that has been sent down with His Prophet whom we find mentioned in the Torah and the Gospel. Amen. THE WORST MAN The worst man in the eyes of God is the one whose harsh language goes so far as to estrange people from associating with him. (The Holy Prophet) • “