The Gospel record shows a trend of encounters where the Pharisees and Scribes were willing to debate with Jesus! In our day it would take a considerable force to enable a debate between a madman espousing a contrary position and his Christian Minister. But we saw from the beginning, when John and Andrew followed Jesus at the moment of Jesus's Baptism, that they addressed him as Rabbi, meaning teacher or master. We commented on this earlier that Jesus must have been teaching prior to that event sufficiently to justify one addressing him as Rabbi. Either one received the designation of Rabbi through one's inheritance, as in the case of some modern Rabbis, or through special schooling. Jesus was unread, according to the Gospel of John, though the Synoptic Gospels suggest he was read. How Jesus could achieve the status of Rabbi at his Baptism without being literate, or read, is a mystery. The fact that the Pharisees and Scribes debated with Jesus is a marvel. We should think that somewhere in the course of those debates Jesus would have had to open the Scriptures to demonstrate the correctness of his position. After all, we did see in Isaiah the requirement that the Messiah must argue precept upon precept, line upon line until they fall and are taken. Verbal exchanges without the demonstration of the written word would seem to be without much substance. The only instance where Jesus is recorded as opening the scriptures is in the case where He read the opening part of Isaiah 61.
Not being satisfied that Jesus was a prophet, the Pharisees and Scribes asked him for a sign from God that he was a prophet. He answered that he would give them no sign except the sign of the prophet Jonas. The prophet Jonas was a sign that the city to whom he was sent would be destroyed by the Wrath of God (as in the case of Sodom and Gomorrah). For one who believes that the End is Come and the earth is about to be destroyed (as in the Wrath of the Last Days) such a comparison is expected.
Matthew has this conversation appearing before Jesus had ordained his twelve apostles. Luke has the conversation appearing after Jesus ordained the twelve and also the seventy disciples. No doubt the conversation occured on many occasions. For Jesus was constantly testing the Sabbath and had to justify himself. In one case, in responding to those who questioned his violation of the Sabbath, he said that He was [the Son of Man was] the Lord of the Sabbath! He had the right to do whatever he desired on the Sabbath. This ought to have caused the Pharisees to stone him for blasphemy. In any event, there had to be many cases of the Pharisees asking Him to prove himself through a sign from God. Viewing him as a possible Elijah resurrected, the sign they would require of Jesus would be the act of bringing fire down from heaven. Jesus ought to have been able to build an altar and stoke it with wood and then, like Elijah, dig a trench around the altar and fill it with water. Then, with the altar (built of stones piled in a certain way on the ground) drenched with water, he ought to have been able to raise his arms up to heaven and call upon God to light the soaked wood in the altar. When Elijah did it the fire came down from heaven and consumed everything around the altar. All the several hundred wicked priests of Baal were consumed by Elijah's sword at the same time.
This is the kind of expectation ordered in the question of the Pharisees and Scribes. Jesus replied that the only sign they would get from him would be the sign of the prophet Jonas. In another place, in Luke, he is recorded as replying that they would be given the sign of Noah. Noah was a more profound sign of God than Jonah. Whereas the city of Nineveh was saved as a result of repenting according to Jona's warning, the world of mankind was not saved when Noah warned of God's forthcoming wrath. The use of Jona in the syllogism implies just a warning with the prospect of repentance. The use of Noah, on the other hand, concludes that the end is come and there is now no time for repentance. Revelation reminds us of this precept in the Seventh Angel who pronounces that there shall be time no longer, proclaiming as well, It is done. Jesus, when describing his forthcoming resurrection and return as the Son of Man in Clouds of Heaven to judge the earth, uses these very terms of Noah and the flood. Just as in the days of Noah, when Noah goes into the ark, be forewarned that all will be destroyed. Two will be on one bed; one will be taken (destroyed).
We recall that in the context of the Pharisees' and Scribes' questions Jesus could have responded with the comment that he would give them the Sign of Elijah! For Elijah, according to Malachi, must first come. And what would Elijah do? He ought to be able to bring fire down from heaven! Thus, the question posed by the pharisees, etc., was a leading question. It continued to come up throughout the gospels. Was Jesus Elijah? The answer, from Jesus's point of view, was that he was not Elijah, that John the Baptist was Elijah. But as we have seen, contradicting His Thesis was the Gospel of John which had John the Baptist denying he is Elijah. His denial could cause those questioning him to think of him as the Messiah. To them Jesus may have been, in fact, Elijah; but through the course of time, after John the Baptist was beheaded, Jesus managed to reverse the roles. We conclude this possibility because of the many comments throughout the gospels which suppose that Jesus was Elijah in the minds of the people.
During Jesus's Ordination of the Apostles certain instructions were given them that reflected Jesus's perception of Himself at that time. We assume he had been ministering for about a year and had sufficiently aroused the priesthood against him to call him a blasphemer and attempt to silence him. Countering them, Jesus gave his apostles certain powers, including powers over unclean spirits. From that moment on they would have his power to rid demons from maddened people. This Ordination crops up again when the disciples returned from being out on the road (having been sent forth two by two (as Noah gathered animals for the Ark two by two). When they returned they complained that they were not succeeding in casting out devils, that the powers Jesus had given them were not working. He retorted that they had little faith.
In His ordination of the Apostles he instructed them not to carry any purse, scrip, nor extra clothing and they were not to minister unto the Gentile. His mission at that time was still with the Lost Sheep of Israel. In Matthew 10.34 (line 501) he focuses upon the apostleÕs relationship to him. They must give up everything to follow him; if they do not love him more than their own father and mother they are not worthy of him. He, in fact, expected them to hate their mother and father and expected that a man's foes, because of him, would be his own household. While he began his instructions of ordination with the thought that he is come to send a sword on mankind, not peace, the message is built around that theme. He had not come to gather, but to divide. This unusual perspective of himself and his mission does not identify with the Deliverer Messiah Mission. The precept flows back into the theme of Salvation for Heaven, separating people from the desires of this world unto him. The world he now began to represent was a nonmaterial Kingdom. Thus, in his final comments to Pilate, perhaps a year later than the Ordination, Jesus affirms, His Kingdom is not of this world; were it so his disciples would have tried to save him.
This message of salvation, then, came into focus at the earliest part of his ministry, at the ordination of his apostles and at the time the Pharisees had resolved to try to kill him. In his ordination speech there are curses against those who resist him or his gospel. He cursed Bethsaida, which was the home of Peter and Andrew and probably John and James, the sons of Zebedee. He cursed Capernaum, the home of Peter's mother-in-law. By this time the experience Jesus had in those places was sufficient to cause him to curse them. The bouts with the pharisees and scribes in those towns was undoubtedly so vehement that he had a very bitter taste in his mouth from his experience. What is important to note here is that he was just getting started in his ministry there in Syria (Galilee)! No doubt at that time John the Baptist had been arrested (causing Jesus and his disciples to flee to Galilee) and he, from his behavior in Galilee, probably had created enough offence in Judaea to make it dangerous for him to return there.
The next scene, in fact, is Matthew 11.2 (line 526) where John is reported to have sent two disciples from prison to question Jesus whether he is the Messiah John had predicted would come. The question, as noted earlier, from the standpoint of the proposition of the Baptism scene, is incongruous. It only makes sense if John believed Jesus was the Messiah and became disappointed that Jesus had not measured up to the things the Messiah is supposed to be. This kind of acknowledgment is not the same as a voice coming from heaven to proclaim that Jesus is the Messiah, however. We have to remember that John the Baptist, like all prophets before him (Herod feared killing him because the people believed him to be a prophet), believed that God spoke with Him. He believed he was a messenger of God and people like him, who believe they are messengers of God, show no doubt in what they said God told them. False prophets and True prophets — all alike have one thing in common: they believe what they are told to say is by God. This kind of conviction can leave no room for doubt. And the fact that John the Baptist did not have a strong conviction that Jesus is the Messiah indicates that his conviction that Jesus is the Messiah had yet to be reinforced by a Word, or sign, to him from God. We conclude that the voice which came from heaven at the time of JesusÕs Baptism was not heard by John the Baptist. Had he heard that voice, This is my beloved Son, etc., he ought never to have questioned Jesus on his Messiahship.
In reply to John, Jesus told John's disciples to remind him that he saw Jesus performing miracles, giving sight to the blind, etc. The comment causes one to draw attention to the entry of Chapters 42 and 61 of Isaiah, which things call for the Messiah to give sight to the blind, release the prisoners from the prison house, etc.
In such an answer it is implied that Jesus is another Moses. Moses performed miracles in the desert and led the blind by a way they knew not, in the desert for about forty years. What else did Moses do? He released the prisoners from their captivity! He was not dealing with the gathering of some people out of Egypt. He was releasing slaves, captives, from their prison of Egypt. For when Moses performed his duty the Children of Israel were not free to leave Egypt, they were slaves, and they suffered the harshest treatment imaginable.
In the Deliverance Scenario we have the same scene returned. God promised that he would scatter the Children of Israel to all the nations and they would serve other gods and whatsoever they plant another shall reap. They will not be able to enjoy the fruits of their labours. More so, they will be an abomination to the nations and wheresoever they go they will not be accepted and forced to flee to another place. These things all say that they will now be held captive midst the nations, never having a place nor a home, always serving others, until God himself takes measures into his own hands to redeem the remnant and restore them back to the Holy Land. Thus, the Messiah King Deliverer functions in that Restoration, freeing the Captives from their prisons.
While the Pharisees of Jesus's day had a model to draw upon, as the Babylonian Captivity involved the freeing of the captives from their prison of Babylon, they could not appreciate the significance of this act as we today. For the Jews were in fact rounded up and thrown into prisons which were created to fulfill yet another part of that prophesy: I will purify you with the Spirit of Burning.
Jesus initially believed he was in the end of days. He affirmed that John the Baptist was Elijah, ( line 554) for instance. In addition to this he affirmed that John the Baptist was the last prophet before the Kingdom. Before the final day, the day of fire and brimstone, Elijah comes, according to Malachi. Elijah is the Last Prophet. After Him you see the Messiah Deliverer. Thus, Jesus argued, believing He was that Deliverer Messiah at that time, that the head of prophesy was cut off with John the Baptist. Then he argued that all the law and the prophesies were until John. Again, the Deliverer Messiah comes with a New Covenant. The New Covenant is one in which God places his Law in our hearts, so to speak. His Messiah, we have seen above, is also Given as God's New Covenant. Luke clarifies the message even more. In verse 16.16 Jesus said that the law and the prophets were until John; since that time the Kingdom of God is preached. The Kingdom of God of which Jesus ought to have been speaking is that Promise of the Restoration of the Children of Israel back to their land, the rebuilding of their temple and Tabernacle, and the glorification of those people. In addition, it is a time when God would now turn His wrath against all those who had been against His People Israel. Plus, it is a day of Peace! These are fundamental promises in the Covenant from Moses through all the prophets. According to Luke, Jesus had now implied that He is the New Covenant, and this laid question to the Law. After all, Jesus had been violating the Sabbath (tradition) and was quite well known as a Blasphemer of the Law or Covenant. Someone popped the big question, whether he had come to destroy the Law, and he replied that he had not come to destroy it, but to confirm it, and that not one tittle of the law or the prophets will go unfulfilled. Again, in his introduction much later to the pharisees in Jerusalem he argued that he is the one whom Moses had prophesied in his Law. Moses prophesied two things: an angel and a prophet like unto Moses. The Scriptures of the New Testament never seemed to be able to focus on which of these things Jesus said he was.
At this point of time the role of Jesus became manifold and Jesus (line 566) now refers to himself as the Son of Man and ventures to claim that he is Lord of the Sabbath. The only Lord of the Sabbath is God! What a blasphemy, the pharisees and scribes ought to say in reply. This blasphemy alone was sufficient cause to stone him several times over.
A Worm and No Man
We mentioned the confusion in the gospel over the use of the Son of Man, and we compared how it had been used by several prophets, Daniel, Ezekiel, and John (of Revelation), and the Psalms; and how One like the Son of Man is in both Daniel and Revelation. Perhaps the earliest recorded usage of the Son of Man epitaph is in Job 25:
(Bible, Masoretic Text) 25.4 How then can man be just with God? Or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?
25.5 Behold, even the moon hath no brightness, And the stars are not pure in His Sight;
25.6 How much less man, that is a worm! And the son of man, that is a maggot!
This verse is explained in The Fathers According to Rabbi Nathan, one of the minor works of the Talmud. In chapter 19 Rabbi Eliezer ben Jacob - of the generation of the Dispersion and destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D., says:
Man is a worm while he lives. And the Son of Man is a maggot when he is
dead....that is, he breeds worms when he is dead.
It has been reputed by scholars of the Dead Sea Scrolls that the Dead Sea Scriptures pretty well agree with the Masoretic Bible. We may presume, then, that should the quotation from Job be referenced in the Dead Sea Scrolls it would be quoted in the context of the Masoretic text. This differs, on the other hand, with the King James Bible, which closes the verse quoted as follows:
Job 25.6 How much less man, that is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm?
Rabbi Eliezer saw that the birth of man, coming from the darkness of the womb, is as a worm; his death, going to the darkness of the earth, ends consumed by a special worm called a maggot. Whereas man is corrupted, born of woman, we may conclude that the Son of Man is saved by his righteousness or the Son of Man is man's righteousness:
(Masoretic Text)—Job 35.8 Thy wickedness concerneth a man as thou art; and thy righteousness a Son of Man.
Again, in Psalm 8 we have:
Masoretic Text — 8.4 What is man that thou art mindful of him? and the Son of Man that thou thinkest of him?
King James Text — 8.4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the Son of Man that thou visitest him?
8.5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor.
8.6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou has put all things under his feet.
But the wicked are only men:
Psalm 9.20 Put them in fear, O Lord: that the nations (Gentile) may know themselves to be but men. Selah.
Psalm 11.6 Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.
But the Righteous are preserved:
Psalm 17.3 Thou hast proved mine heart; thou hast visited me in the night; thou hast tried me, and shalt find nothing; I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.
16.10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
We acknowledge the Son of Man as the most humble of personages:
Psalm 22.6 But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.
22.7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
22.8 He trusted on the lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.
In the story of Job, the Son of Man is accounted for righteousness, as opposed to Job's four friends who criticized him in the end. In the story Job lost everything he owned. At first he mourned his loss to his friends and then began to curse his misery and the day he was born. His friends justify him but then, in the end, He sees God and realizes that rather than feeling sorry for himself he ought to have begged God's Mercy, accounting to God the righteousness of the fate come upon him. When he realized this, he knew that one day the wicked would be punished, though they seem to be rewarded with riches and that one day, just as the wicked would be punished, so too would those accounted to righteousness be raised up to eternal life. In his lamentations he configures the Messiah (we highlight in bold familiar precepts in the Psalms and prophets):
Job 16.7 But now he that made me weary: thou hast made desolate all my company.
16.9 He teareth me in his wrath, who hateth me: he gnasheth upon me with his teeth; mine enemy sharpeneth his eyes upon me.
16.10 They have gaped upon me with their mouth; they have smitten me upon the cheek reproachfully; they have gathered themselves together against me.
21.29 Have ye not asked them that go by the way? and do ye not know their tokens,
21.30 That the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? They shall be brought forth to the day of wrath.
26.14 If his children be multiplied it is for the sword: and his offspring shall not be satisfied with bread.
30.5 They were driven forth from among men, (they cried after them as after a thief;)
30.6 To dwell in the cliffs of the valleys, in caves of the earth, and in the rocks.
30.7 Among the bushes they brayed; under the nettles they were gathered together.
30.8 They were children of fools, yea, children of base men: they were viler than the earth.
30.9 And now am I their son, yea, I am their byword.
30.10 They abhor me, they flee far from me, and spare not to spit in my face.
30.17 My bones are pierced in me in the night season: and my sinews take no rest [re: my bones are out of joint].
30.22 Thou liftest me up to the wind; thou causest me to ride upon it, and dissolvest my substance.
Re: the Psalms: The Messiah rode upon the wind; upon the wings of a cherub even he did fly. He had the wings of an eagle; He is like an eagle who sees from afar, etc.
Job 16.16 My face is foul with weeping, and on my eyelids is the shadow of death;
16.20 My friends scorn me: but mine eye poureth out tears unto God [ Re: my tears are in a bottle, etc.]
17.6 He hath made me also a byword of the people; and aforetime I was as a tabret.
17.7 Mine eye also is dim by reason of sorrow, and all my members are as a shadow [Re: My members are written in the book].
19.7 Behold, I cry out of wrong, but I am not heard: I cry aloud, but there is no judgment [Re: I cried and no one answered; there was no one to comfort me; my own hand had to save myself; he walked through the winepress of the Lord alone].
19. 11 He hath also kindled his wrath against me, and he counteth me unto him as one of his enemies.
19.19 All my inward friends abhorred me: and they whom I loved are turned against me [Re: my own friend lifted his heal against me].
29.2 Oh that I were as in months past, as in the days when God preserved me;
29.3 When his candle shined upon my head, and when by his light I walked through darkness.
29.4 As I was in the days of my youth, when the secret of God was upon my tabernacle [Re: In the secret of the LordÕs Tabernacle am I hidden];
29.8 The young men saw me, and hid themselves: and the aged arose, and stood up [Re: I am a wonder to many; all that saw me were amazed; the wise put their hands over their mouths, etc.],
29.9 The princes refrained talking and laid their hand on their mouth [Kings kneeled down to me; I made the wisdom of the wise men perish].
29.10 The nobles held their peace, and their tongue cleaved to the roof of their mouth.
29.11 When the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eyes saw me, it gave witness to me [Re: the watchmen shall see eye to eye with the Messiah when he brings again Zion]:
29.12 Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him [Re: Isaiah 61 and 42; also I am a father to the fatherless].
29.13 The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me: and I caused the widowÕs heart to sing for joy.
29.14 I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem [re: I was clothed with Righteousness and Vengeance, etc].
29.15 I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame.
29.16 I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out.
29.17 And I brake the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth.
29.19 My root was spread out by the waters, and the dew lay all night upon my Branch.
29.21 Unto me men gave ear, and waited, and kept silence at my counsel.
29.22 After my words they spake not again; and my speech dropped upon them
29.23 And they waited for me as for the rain; and they opened their mouth wide as for the latter rain.
29.25 I chose out their way, and sat chief, and dwelt as a king in the army, as one that comforteth the mourners.
29.7 When I went out to the gate through the city, when I prepared my seat in the street.
19.25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the Latter Day upon the earth:
19.26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet, in my flesh shall I see God:
These precepts, and many others, from Job appear in the Psalms of David and Isaiah. Many of them came to be applied to both the Messiah(s) and the Chosen People of God, the Children of Israel. Thus, in Psalm 44 we have:
Psalm 44.11 Thou hast given us like sheep appointed for meat; and hast scattered us among the heathen.
44.12 Thou sellest thy people for nought, and dost not increase thy wealth by their price.
44.13 Thou makest us a reproach to our neighbors, a scorn and a derision to them that are round about us.
44.14 Thou makest us a byword among the heathen, a shaking of the head among the people.
This applied to the people and the thesis is extended in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and other prophets to the Messiah as well.
The Humble and Suffering Messiah(s) being configured somewhat on the model of Job and incorporated in the Psalms, being now another like unto David, become paramount themes in the Dead Sea Scrolls Psalms of Zadok:
Dead Sea Scrolls: Thou hast redeemed the soul of the poor one
whom they planned to destroy
By spilling his blood because he served thee.
Because they knew not
That my steps were directed by Thee,
They made me an object of shame and derision
in the mouth of all seekers of falsehood.
4. All their wise men
shall be like sailors of the deeps,
for all their wisdom shall be swallowed up
in the midst of the howling seas..
7... And false prophets have led them astray;
they perish without understanding
for their works are in folly.
For I am despised by them
and they have no esteem for me..
All my friends and brethren are driven far from me
and hold me for a broken vessel.
..For they have no esteem for me
that thou mayest manifest Thy might through me;
Thou hast revealed Thyself to me
in Thy power as perfect light.
..Through me Thou has illumined
the face of the Congregation
and hast shown thine infinite power.
...as for me, shaking and trembling seize me.
My heart dissolves like wax before fire.
And my knees are like water
pouring down a steep place..
8. ...thou hast caused me to dwell with many fishers
who spread a net upon the face of the waters...
9..all who have eaten my bread
have lifted their heel against me
and all those joined to my council
have mocked me with wicked lips.
..Truly I am bound with untearable ropes
and with unbreakable chains.
A thick wall fences me in,
Iron bars and gates of bronze.
10. for in a little while, I know,
Thou wilt raise up survivors among Thy people
and a remnant within Thine inheritance.
..As for me, I am dumb..
My arm is torn from its shoulder
and my foot has sunk into the mire.
My eyes are closed by the spectacle of evil,
and my ears by the crying of blood..[Re: who is as deaf or as blind as the LordÕs Messiah?]
..A whirlwind engulfs me
because of the mischief of their sin...
For thou wilt condemn in judgment
all those who assail me
Distinguishing through me
between the Just and the wicked.
..Thou hast appointed me for Thy Covenant,
And I have clung to Thy truth
And gone forward in Thy ways.
13...and the bud of the shoot of holiness
for the Plant of Truth
was hidden and was not esteemed;
And being unperceived,
its Mystery was sealed.
14.0 ..Behold, I am carried away with the sick;
I am acquainted with scourges.
I am forsaken in my sorrow..
...My arm is torn from its socket
and I can lift my hand no more.
My foot is held by fetters
and my knees slide like water;
...My circumcised lips are dumb
...I will be a stumbling block to those who swallow me up,
and a snare to all those who battle against me..
For thou, O my God..
Thou wilt plead my cause;
For it is according to the mystery of Thy Wisdom
that Thou hast rebuked me.
Thou wilt conceal the truth until its time,
and righteousness until its appointed moment.
Thy rebuke shall become my joy and gladness
and my scourges shall turn to eternal healing
and everlasting peace [ Re: by his stripes we are healed].
...I will sing Thy mercies;
I will declare Thy glory in the midst of the sons of men
and my soul shall delight in Thy great goodness.
...But I praise Thee, O Lord,
that bodies gnawed by worms may be raised from the dust
to the Counsel of Thy Truth;
And that I may stand before Thee
with the Everlasting Host
and Thy Spirits of Holiness,
with the hand of Job
Anyone having any familiarity with the book of Job will see that Job looked forward to standing hand in hand with his Redeemer on the Latter Day. So here the Dead Sea Scrolls have turned the voice of the Messiah to acknowledge that He will one day stand as the Redeemer with the hand of Job in his hand. Another work from the Apocryphal book of the Wisdom of Solomon, picks up on the Deliverer Messiah reflecting great Wisdom:
Wisdom of Solomon: Because of her [wisdom] I will have glory
among the multitude,
and honor with the elders, though I am young;
I will be found keen in judgment,
And I will be admired in the presence of monarches.
When I am silent, they will wait for me to speak,
and when I speak, they will pay attention.
And if I talk at some length,
They will put their hands over their mouths.
...I will govern peoples, and nations will be subject to me.
Dread sovereigns will be frightened when they hear me.
...I was a well formed child,
and a good soul fell to me,
Or, rather, I was good and entered an undefiled body.
...For I am your slave and the son of your maidservant,
a man weak and short-lived,
And inferior in my understanding of judgment;
For even if one among the sons of men is perfect,
if the wisdom that comes from you is lacking,
he will count for nothing.
You have chosen me out to be king of your people,
and to be judge of your sons and daughters;
You told me to build a sanctuary on your holy mountain,
and an altar in the city where you dwell;
A copy of the Holy Tent which you prepared
in the beginning...
As argued sufficiently earlier, the Messiah was viewed by the Dead Sea Scrolls as Two Messiahs, one a Messiah King, of David, and the other a Priest King, of Aaron. In The Fathers According to Rabbi Nathan we have this thesis maintained and voiced through Rabbi Gamaliel:
Rabbi Nathan 34. Similarly, with the verse, These are the Two Anointed Ones that stand by the Lord of the Whole earth [ Zechariah 4.14]. This is a reference to Aaron and the Messiah, but I cannot tell which is the more beloved. However, from the verse, The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent: Thou art a priest for ever after the manner of Melchizedek [Psalm 110.4), one can tell that the Messianic King is more beloved than the righteous priest.
Of course the Humble King Messiah in Job and the Psalms, is viewed as another David. The early Christians, or Nazarenes, picked up on the significance of Psalm 110.4, using it to justify Jesus as the Messiah:
Psalm 110.1 The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
110.4 The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
110.5 The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath.
110.6 He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries.
Psalm 18.7 Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth.
18.8 There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and a fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it.
18.9 He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet.
18.10 And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind.
18.11 He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.
18.12 At the brightness that was before him, his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire.
18.14 Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them.
Odes of Solomon 23 And his thought was like a letter: His will descended from on high, and it was sent like an arrow which is violently shot from the bow: And many hands rushed to the letter to seize it and take it and read it. And it escaped their fingers and they were affrighted at it and at the Seal that was upon it...But a wheel received it and came over it. And there was with it a sign of the Kingdom and of the Government. And everything which tried to move the wheel it mowed and cut down...the letter was one of command, for there were included in it all districts. And there was seen at its head, the head which was revealed even the Son of Truth from the most high Father. And the thought of many was brought to nought. And all the apostates hasted and fled away. And those who persecuted and were enraged became extinct. And the letter was a great volume, that was wholly written by the Finger of God. And the name of the Father was on it, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, to rule for ever and ever.
Isaiah 42.1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: He shall bring forth judgment unto truth;
Psalm 18.16 He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters.
18.17 He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me.
18.22 For all his judgments were before me, and I did not put away his statutes from me.
18.28 For thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.
18.43 Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people; and thou hast made me the head of the heathen: a people whom I have not known shall serve me.
This King of Righteousness, the Judge who comes to judge the secrets of men, as the Apostle Paul and the Dead Sea Scrolls (and The Fathers According to Rabbi Nathan) agree, ultimately becomes not only a suffering Messiah whose blood is shed for Atonement of Sin, a Ransom for men's lives, but also the King of Righteousness, Melkizedek, who rules in Jerusalem in the last days. And since we saw this King's epitaph as the Head of the Heathen, we can now drift back to the thesis that he, being one of the sons of men, is the Son of God:
Psalm 2.1 Why do the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing?
2.2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying,
2.3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.
2.4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.
2.5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore pleasure.
2.6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
2.7 I will declare the decree: [Re: the decree cometh from afar] the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.
2.8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.
2.9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.
2.10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.
2.11 Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
2.12 Kiss the Son lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.
We have seen earlier that the Messiah, Son of God, is also Son of David. And the Messiah, being wiser than the wisest of men, and among the sons of men [which are the sons of heaven] can cleverly refer to Himself as the Son of Man. Those who have ears to hear and eyes to see will note that the son of man mentioned in Job, who is among the sons of men, is God's Righteous Servant. The Dead Sea Scrolls, as briefly recalled in their Psalms above, had no doubts about this relationship of the Righteous Servant, a son of man, to Job's Redeemer and the one who would one day stand with him, resurrected in the flesh, upon the earth.
Just What Did Jesus Think of the Messiah?
Line 1260 — opening with a conversation on the Resurrection with the Sadducees, who did not believe in the afterlife, Jesus is drawn to the point of his entire thesis: just what did he think of Christ? a Pharisee asked. Jesus had just entered Jerusalem with his disciples crying, Hosanna to the Son of David; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. The first response to this (Luke 19.40) was a pharisee chastising Jesus to rebuke his disciples for the blasphemy. So the next question to be posed ought to have concerned the issue of the Messiah: just whom did Jesus think he was. It was a loaded question, because Jesus's disciples had already loudly proclaimed him as the Messiah when they called him The Son of David in the context of the Messianic Epitaph, Blessed is he who cometh in the name of the Lord. What does he bring? The Light of God.
So the Pharisee asked, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him the Son of David. Jesus answered, How then doth David call him Lord, saying,
Matthew 22.44 The Lord said unto my [ David's ] Lord, sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool?
22.45 If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?
22.46 And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.
As one can easily see, these conclusions derived by Jesus were not off handed comments nor easy to come by. They require considerable analysis in the scriptures to be able to trace from the thesis of the Son of Man to the Son of David, to the Son of God, to the question: How come David who is his (the Messiah's) father calls his own son Lord? For David is promised by God that the Messiah shall be flesh of his flesh and bones of his bones. In scripture, perhaps taking off from the shoot mentioned by Job, he comes forth in full bloom as the Branch raised unto David (see Jeremiah, Isaiah, and Zechariah etc.). In them and in the Psalms David is repeatedly assured that there shall never cease from his seed the King upon His Throne. The greatest part of that Promise is the King Messiah who comes from his seed. He is born in Bethlehem, Judah, as was David, he is lowly and riding upon an ass:
Zechariah 9.9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
9.10 And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim [Samaria], and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.
Here two things are going on. The first thing we see is that the chariot and the horse are cut off from those coming against Jerusalem. It is not the chariot of Ephraim or the horse of Jerusalem which are cut off (as in the scattering) but rather those things shall be cut off from Ephraim and Jerusalem. The thought coincides with the Gathering Scenario where God says He will be a fire around Jerusalem to protect the Children of Israel when the enemy (Gentile) come in like a flood in the last days. The other thought we have here is that the Messiah in those days shall carry the same attributes mentioned in Daniel concerning One like unto the Son of Man: i.e., the world ruler.
Zechariah 9.14 And the Lord shall be seen over them, and his arrow [Re: the letter ] shall go forth as the lightening: and the Lord God shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with whirlwinds of the south. [Re: in Daniel the King of the South attacks with the King of the North]
9.15 And the Lord of hosts shall defend them; and they shall devour, and subdue with sling stones; and they shall drink, and make a noise as through wine; and they shall be filled like bowls, and as the corners of the altar.
9.16 And the Lord their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people: for they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land.
9.17 For how great is his goodness, and how great is his beauty!
Isaiah 62.11 Behold, the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.
62.12 And they shall call them, The Holy People, The Redeemed of the Lord: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken.
63.1 Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? This that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.
63.2 Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat?
63.3 I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury: and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.
63.4 For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my Redeemed is come.
63.5 And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me.
63.8 For he said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie: so he was their Saviour.
63.9 In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.
63.17 O Lord, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy ServantÕs sake, the tribes of thine inheritance.
63.18 The people of thy holiness have possessed it but a little while: our adversaries have trodden down thy sanctuary.
63.19 We are thine: thou never barrest rule over them; they were not called by thy name.
The passages quoted from Zechariah and Isaiah, concerning the lead in of a humble Messiah coming to Jerusalem riding on an ass, deal with the Redemption of the Children of Israel to their land. It presupposes that their sanctuary has been trampled down and they have been scattered to the nations. The last comment in Isaiah 63 reminds God that the people who possess the sanctuary and its city are not thine — thou never barest rule over them; they were not called by thy name. It is a prayer for Mercy and fulfillment of the Promise to restore them to their Land and also, as Promised, restore the sanctuary which had been trodden under foot. We can again refer to Luke who made note of this fact, that the city and the sanctuary would be trodden under until the time of the Gentile be fulfilled. But he closes his gospel (Luke 23.53) with the scene of the Nazarene Church still worshiping in the Temple, as the Chosen People of God are expected to do: and were continually in the Temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.
Jesus rode into Jerusalem on an ass with the specific intent of sending the message to the priests and the people that He is the Son of David, Messiah. The problem with these passages, as we have also seen in the verses concerning One Like the Son of Man in Daniel, etc., is that they refer not to the scattering or dispersion of Israel but the Redemption of Israel. It is a time of gathering them from the nations to which they had been scattered. While it is apparent that many in Jesus's day believed that their Redemption draweth nigh (to free them from the yoke of Rome) many problems in eschatology could not be resolved in Jesus. Clearly the time of the Redemption of Israel is when God takes his wrath out against the Heathen and sets His Messiah King up over all the kings of the earth. And that is a time when fire and brimstone are rained down upon the nations and God defends Israel against them (including Gog and Magog, Persia, Ethiopia and Libya with them). When he stands in Jerusalem the people are in mourning. What does He do? He comforts them that mourn. These things, too many to repeat here but we hope now familiar to you, represented a list which Jesus could not fulfill. Nevertheless, he put on a good show in making his presentation of the Messiah. And anyone barely familiar with the prophets ought to have been offended that Jesus thought to blaspheme God and even make Himself equal to God. For this last conclusion is the final step in the thesis: a well learned priest would have known that the next step for Jesus's blasphemy ought to include a claim to be equal to God Himself. So the infuriated priests and scribes sought to catch him erring in his understanding of Scripture and the Messiah.
Line 1250—A Lawyer asked, What is the greatest commandment? In order to catch Jesus in the violation of the Law of Rome — if they could not get him to stumble on the Law of Moses — the scribe asked what the greatest commandment was. Jesus had just been asked whether it was lawful to give tribute to Caesar. Jesus responded with the question as to whose image was on the coin. The reply was Caesar's. He cleverly sidestepped the play and told them to give tribute (money) to Caesar, what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's. He then went on to argue, answering the challenge of His Being King of Israel, that His Kingdom is not of this world. Therefore there is no conflict between His Kingship and Caesar's.
In the next attempt to catch him, by asking him what is the greatest commandment, the same answer came up. In the Law one is first required to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart:
Deuteronomy 6.4 hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord:
6.5 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
6.6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
6.8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
6.9 And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
6.17 Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the Lord your God, and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he hath commanded thee.
It is obvious that a wrong answer to this question could cause Jesus to be caught between a rock and a hard place. For he must affirm that his first commandment is to obey and fear God above all things. To appreciate the fundamental object of this question, one must recognize that then, as they do to this day, the Jews went to worship and prayer with small black boxes, called Phylacteries (frontlets), on their forehead and their arm. This is a common sight in New York City and Jerusalem, etc. today. Those small Phylacteries are required to carry the commandment, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and soul in them. In those days Caesar was considered a god and expected to be honored as a god. Of course the commandment to the Jews is to recognize no other gods than the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. So the question was another obvious attempt, as in the case of the coin, to get Jesus to disclaim loyalty to Caesar. And it may be that the priests asking the question had Phylacteries upon their foreheads and arms, just to drive the point home.
Jesus answered with the proper answer and added the rest of it: that one must love his neighbor, or do unto others, as one loves oneself. These two things, said Jesus, are what all the Law and the prophets hang upon.
In the Gospel of Luke the question is pursued. Someone asks, Who is my neighbor? Because that question is recorded in the early part of Jesus's ministry, as opposed to the latter end before the questioning of the Temple priests and scribes, it is probable that Jesus had run through the conversation many times before. While Matthew and Mark do not record the answer from Jesus, as to a good neighbor being like a good Samaritan, Luke offers that parable. In the Parable we are again reminded that the Samaritans, who lived in the former kingdom of Israel in the north country, were of mixed blood, being Assyrian, Syrian, and Jewish. Most of them had dropped worship at the Temple and adopted their own shrines and religion of the Canaanites. We recall Nathanael who was told by Andrew about the Messiahs, mentioned in the Gospel of John. Jesus confronted Nathanael as an Israelite in whom their is no guile. Calling him an Israelite is another way of calling him a Samaritan. And the Samaritans were full of guile, from the standpoint of the Jews who lived in Judaea. We recall when Zerubbabel attempted to restore the temple under Cyrus the Great the Samaritans harassed Judaea and delayed the finishing of the Temple and the city's walls. The harassment went on for about 15 years. The Samaritans and the Jews were continually at one another's throats. Though carrying Jewish blood in them the Samritans were after the manner of the Gentile who are uncircumcised and defiled by their habits of uncleanliness (they probably ate pork, etc.).
Probably reflecting many pogroms against the scribes and pharisees, Matthew then records Jesus warning his disciples to not follow after the poison of the pharisees and scribes who strain at a gnat and swallow camels, who are like whitened sepulchres who lay in wait for someone to fall in and, referring to the scribes or lawyers, just as in this day they laid men with burdens which they themselves do not touch. Many a lawyer today specializes in stirring up disputes — and often using both hands — to prolong the struggle and cost (the Lawyer's fees) of reconciliation. They haven't changed a bit in thousands of years and feed on the illness of others and rejoice in making them worse. You have heard the phrase of Paul, for Christians to give hilariously? Lawyers take with the same gusto: hilariously
Line 1316— In Jesus's pogrom against the pharisees and scribes, he points out that they stumble over small things and are accepting, without so much as a peep, (to quote Isaiah) the robbery of the important things to them. Think of it. Jesus had done everything possible to deliver the message that He is the Messiah. He did it in Scriptural terms and they ought to have focused on the major issues which would identify him, rather than the minor issues to catch him disclaiming allegiance to Caesar. Among the sons of men, which are the prophets, there was a continuing tradition of Israel rejecting its prophets. Jesus, by entering the city with the intent of stirring up the priests and Pharisees against him, through blasphemy, knew without a doubt that he would soon end up with his blood on the altar or steps of the temple as prophets before him. In Luke he mentions Zacharias specifically, in this context, and is most undoubtedly referring to his own mother's cousin, the priest and father of John the Baptist. Again, Luke has this conversation on allegiance to Caesar taking place early in Jesus's ministry, whereas Matthew and Mark had it taking place at the end of the ministry. It probably was a continuing theme of precepts taught by Jesus from the ordination of the seventy disciples to his end.
Line 1355 — O Jerusalem. Thou that killeth the prophets. How often I would have gathered thee beneath my wings but ye would not.
Throughout the prophets there are analogies in the language of God that he would cover his people with his wings. In Job the Lord is viewed as an eagle who sits atop a high crag and sees from afar; suddenly it descends upon its victim.
After his pogrom against the priests, etc., departing from the Temple, where he was presumably teaching against the priesthood (which ought to have raised some eyebrows), he made yet another blasphemy. But this time he did it only in front of his disciples. For he prophesied not one stone of the temple would be left upon another. This prophesy is not a new introduction by Jesus. It was a commonly held precept that the Messiah, like another Zerubbabel, would restore the Temple and the Tabernacle. Remember, concerning the Branch of Zechariah:
Zechariah 6.13 even he shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon the throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.
We have seen that chapter 8, 9 of The Odes of Solomon continued this point of view and focused on the fact that the Messiah is charged with bringing forth a Copy of the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle had been abandoned by David a thousand years before Jesus rode into Jerusalem on an ass. Though Jesus was charged with restoring the tabernacle, or at least building a copy of it, he didn't do so and fell short of the expectations concerning the Messiah. We note, however, that these expectations concerned a period in which Jesus did not live: The Latter Day Deliverance Epoch. Jesus lived in the Dispersion Epoch (It would not make sense to restore the Tabernacle before the Dispersion, when prophesy stated that not one cord, etc. of it would ever be torn down). Therefore, living in that Epoch, which thing we believe he finally came to comprehend (his early ministry was confused over it: i.e., we cite the example of Elijah), Jesus ought to have concluded that the temple would, in fact, be thrown down. Since the gospels do not seem to reflect upon the actual fact of the destruction of the temple, it is probable that the gospel writers, as was the case with Peter and Paul, had not seen the Temple destroyed. So their perception, not seeing this, would have been disposed to short circuiting prophesy and establishing Jesus as the King Messiah and Deliverer of Israel.
After Jesus prophesied the destruction of the temple he went to the Mount of Olives and prophesied things to come. He made these prophesies in answer to the question, When will the Kingdom of God come?
These questions had been asked many times before. From the moment of Jesus's Transfiguration to his crucifixion, his disciples were not clear what his mission was. His first apostles, Peter, Andrew, John and James, were Zealots from Galilee. Peter was later seen in the Garden of Gethsemane holding a sword and cutting off the (right) ear of Caiaphas's servant. Did Peter, sensing an impending arrest of Jesus and his gang, begin to wear his sword then or had he always been carrying it with him? We make note of the fact that the term zealots continued to be used to describe revolutionary types resisting the Roman government. The last Roman Zealots were destroyed in Bar Cochba's rebellion at Masada. Such designations indicate people armed and quick to raise a sword. John and James were, in fact, nicknamed Boanarges, meaning sons of thunder. Peter had a reputation of being a belligerent. He certainly mellowed, however, and exhibited a greater amount of patience and gentleness than (we don't hesitate to draw the comparison) the Apostle Paul. In Paul we see a condemning man; in Peter we see tolerance and forgiveness.
Line 1224 — Consider the Ravens: This is how God provides for those in his Kingdom. We note here that Luke had recalled the similitudes from Job as they related to the Redeemer. In Job we are reminded that God provides for the Ravens. Matthew and Mark refer to God's Providence in terms of the lilies of the field, etc. Luke injects the comment about the Ravens, drawing our attention to the source and baseline of the voice being used.
Jesus had on many occasions described what the Kingdom is like. He was probably continuingly referring to this because his disciples ought to have pinned him down as to just when it occurs and who will have what position in his Kingdom. Jesus on many occasions replied that the Kingdom does not come by perception; it, like grain falling accidentally upon a road from the backpack of a lady on the way home from the market, suddenly appears. How does it appear? He answers that it is sown in your heart and has always been with you. This, of course, does not answer when the Kingdom comes. So Jesus, under the pressure of an answer, came up with many parables to describe how it comes. Finally it comes when the Son of Man returns to judge the quick and the dead, as per scripture. On that day, which is like the days of Noah, to coin one example already discussed, one man will be taken from a bed and the other left behind or destroyed. He concludes his presentation on the mount of Olives with the statement that He will come again when the Gospel of the Kingdom has been preached to all the world for a witness to all the nations. This conclusion points to the beginning message of Jesus's Ministry, where he adopted John the Baptists's gospel: Repent, for the Kingdom of God is nigh at hand. This Gospel of the Kingdom — now spread to the Gentile — became the cornerstone justifying Paul's Ministry to the Gentile (nations). Paul's Ministry would be dedicated to hastening the day of Jesud's coming; and to do that he would mission only unto the Gentile. This prophesy, we note, contradicted the instructions at the Apostle's ordination. This suggest again another often repeated conversation from early in Jesus's Ministry to the end.
Luke has Jesus saying that the Gospel of the Kingdom preached to all the nations shall turn to you for a Testimony. Here is a more sophisticated way of acknowledging the Legitimacy of the Mission to the Gentile. In the end their work will become a Testimony to them, that they had done what God had ordained; or, to put it another way, they had fulfilled the prophesy Jesus had made.
Again, Jesus could not answer when the Kingdom would come. So he answered in terms of Daniel's prophesy concerning the drawing forth of Michael, the Messiah of the Deliverance. But the prophesy of the Abomination of Desolation, described by Daniel, relates not to the dispersion of Israel but the time of the Gathering of Israel.
In the actual historical dispersion scenario the emperor of Rome did attempt to place his image in the Sanctuary of the temple but was thwarted in the attempt. Finally, at the protest of Vespasian, the Temple was desecrated by Simon the Zealot, who held the Temple Mount (the same Simon the Zealot the Apostle?), and accidentally put it to the torch. Jesus and his disciples were before this event. Nevertheless, Jesus clarified his prophesy of the Kingdom by saying he would appear wheresoever the eagles gather. This finally brings us to somewhat of an understanding that the eagles will feed on all the nations when they are brought against Jerusalem to their death, as prophesied by Daniel, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and Isaiah. At that time (line 1437) the Son of Man shall appear in heaven coming in the clouds with great power and glory. Until that time, he warned, beware of false prophets who will mislead you and, more importantly, false Christs. Anyone coming to claim that he is Jesus until the moment the Son of Man is seen coming in the clouds of glory would be false. Here Jesus finally got to the point: The Deliverer Messiah carries the name of God in him; yet, as reflected in Revelation, he carries a name known only unto himself. The rabbis have taught in the Oral Torah that his name is (quoting the Psalms) as long as the sun. We recognize, in fact, that what Jesus calls the Son of Man must, at the Deliverance, become transformed into the thing Daniel specifically identified as the World Messiah King: One like unto the Son of Man. Revelation follows this conclusion, showing the Reaper, whose robes are stained from the winepress of the Lord, being recognized as One like unto the Son of Man.
If Jesus had described himself all along as One like the Son of Man, we would have a problem of identification in the Deliverance epoch. Since he had established Himself as The Son of Man, however, the similitude of the sons of men becomes just that: A similitude of the Son of Man. That similitude, to measure up, ought to appear as much like Jesus as Daniel, Ezekiel, Job, and John who claimed it through their gifts of prophesy.
Line 1553 — In Simon the Leper's house in Bethany another blasphemy came forth. Once again Luke places this incident early in Jesus's ministry, whereas Matthew and Mark had it just before the crucifixion. Observers of the act, where Aunt Mary anointed Jesus with expensive ointments, exclaimed that Jesus could not be a prophet otherwise he would have known that the woman was a sinner. We know from the Gspel of John that Simon the Leper was a Pharisee, as was Jesus and probably all of his clan.; and it was kprobably this Simon, Jesus's uncle, who criticized his prophetic powers. This story is strange, we must admit, because it seems that Simon was calling his sister-in-law, our Aunt Mary, a sinner and in effect questioned how Jesus did not know that his own Aunt Mary was a sinner. Some prophet he was! In any event, Matthew shows the disciples indignant over the anointing. Jesus replies that her sins are forgiven her. He had earlier done this on many occasions, most significantly on the occasion of saving and forgiving Mary Magdalene and an adulteress. In observing the forgiveness of sins, the Pharisees asked:
Luke 7.49 Who is this who forgiveth sins also?
Sins were forgiven on the Day of Atonement, the feast of Tabernacles, in September, when people raise booths (tents), as in the days in the wilderness, and fast unto God. In that feast-day one is required to forgive all those who trespass against you. The precept of forgiveness was couched in a small sacrifice unto the Lord, fasting, forgiveness of others, and penance. To receive God's Mercy one must show Mercy to others. This is the keystone, as Jesus so aptly pointed out, from which the Law and the Prophets are constructed. And it is obvious that Jesus, forgiving sinners and even eating with sinners, had gone too far. Only God Himself could forgive sins. Of course, the Messiah Deliverer, as Judge of the Quick and the Dead, has this very same power. The issue, then, becomes just another way of Jesus trying to point out that he is the Messiah.
Line 1613 — The betrayal scene. In order for Jesus to fulfill the Sacrificed Messiah prophesies, from Job to the Psalms and Isaiah, one of his own brethren must raise his hand up against him. So the choreography of his Messiahship had to go further than just calling himself the Son of David, the Son of Man, and riding into Jerusalem on an ass. He had to be killed through someone close to him. In all probability Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, was a relative, being either the son of Simon the Zealot (the same Simon who took over the Temple sanctuary before Titus?) or Simon the Leper. If the son of Simon the Leper, then he was definitely Jesus's cousin. He could have been the son of Simon, Jesus's brother, which makes the similitude of raising up his hand against his own brother more obvious. For the prophesies call for one's own brother to raise his hand against him. The problem involving Judas turning against his own brother (or cousin) somewhat disparages the holy blood of the family of David. We recall that James, the brother of Jesus, took the throne of the Kingdom after Jesus's crucifixion. James the Righteous may not have wished to have it published that Jesus's own cousin or nephew raised his hand against him. The story works better as if he were a friend. But one gives his purse in business to his family, whom he can trust, and not a friend if he can help it. Judas carried the family purse. The raising up of one's own family against the Messiah is a prophesy which is carried through to the Antichrist, we might add, who dies by the hand of his own brother. In affecting the Similitude of the Messiah, the Antichrist is given certain members which mirror what is anticipated in the Messiah. The difference between the Messiah and Antimessiah, is Vanity. Most people, we fear, cannot comprehend this.
Jesus was not lacking in vanity. Vanity, in fact, is the thing which condemned him. He was continually challenging the priests and scribes on his Messiahship. The continual use of the appellation, son of man, ought to have been an aggravation with no end. The Gospel of John introduces the Son of Man as an issue in a conversation similar to that concerning the question concerning the Son of David. John says:
John 12.34 The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth forever: and how sayest thou, The Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?
12.35 Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.
The precept of the Messiah is that He is a great light. He shall shine forth as a seven fold light, etc. We again return to that cornerstone of truth: the people of Zebulon and Nathtalim hath seen a great light, etc. The Deliverer Messiah, who is drawn out of many waters, is a light unto the Gentile, etc. What is not recognized so clearly in Matthew, Mark and Luke becomes the focus of John's Gospel: that Jesus was that Great Light. The problem with this was, of course, that Jesus was not a writer of the Word as such, unlike the one who does not go into the streets and who applies the bruised reed to the smoking flax, etc. So getting into the issue of Jesus as the Light of the Gentile (which is necessary because he becomes the Head of the Heathen, etc.) places him in more difficult scenarios conflicting with what he actually did. What did Matthew do to resolve this problem? He had Jesus deny that he had been in the streets so that the prophesy could be fulfilled! Matthew would have been better off not approaching the issue, as Luke prudently sidestepped it after him.
One simply cannot discuss the Light of the Gentile without getting into deep and troubling waters, out of which anyone arguing Jesus's case could not extirpate himself. As the Sacrificed Messiah of Psalm 22 and 69, of Job earlier mentioned, and of Isaiah 53, Jesus is a quick identity. As the son, Immanuel, of the Virgin (Mary) the case cannot be proved but lets face it, His Gospels are the only things that have claimed Messiahship based upon his connections to a Virgin Birth. As for the last noted comment concerning the raising up of the Son of Man, we have a problem. For now Jesus had departed from common scriptural expectation, identifying himself as the Son of Man who must (after three days in a rock) be raised up in resurrection. Whereas the Gospel of John has this issue being argued, the book of Revelation throws us an unexpected curve: For the Character who is One like the Son of Man, who is called The Word of God, whose name is known only to Himself, appears in a time called The First Resurrection. This presupposes that Jesus was not really resurrected! We can conclude from Revelation the premise that His body came up missing, suggesting some kind of resurrection, but the actual resurrection of His Body does not come until His Second Coming, meaning, of course, His First Resurrection. At the time of the First Resurrection what else is supposed to happen? All the dead are raised, first among them being the prophets and patriarches; then the quick and the dead are judged.
The issue really comes into focus when we compare the expectation of the book of Revelation with the expectation of Paul. The book of Revelation, following Jewish expectations, provided for a Kingdom Come on earth as it is in Heaven, headed by the King of Kings who reigns in Jerusalem after the dark and cloudy day (and fire and brimstone upon the heathen and Gentile). What was always a common understanding — certainly voiced in the Dead Sea Scrolls — became distorted under Paul into a denunciation of the Jews' Righteousness and the Kingdom which comes through it.
As relating to the humble worm which is described by Job and the Psalms, Jesus is marginal. He was humble and reminded this disciples, through the incident of washing their feet, that the master is no greater than the servant, etc.
We may wrap this part up with a quick survey of the Gospel of John as it reveals Jesus's blasphemies, as if it were not already clear enough!
Line 1.14 And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us — This is the basic precept of the books of Adam and Eve and Enoch. Further clues that these books were in existence come from the Gospel of Nicodemus's appendix: Christ's Descent into Hell. In this treatise Jesus descends into Hell (to break the gates of Iron and brass with His Word). We are reminded that Jesus came as the Word according to the 5,500 year promise. Whereas we are led to believe that the source of the information came from the book of Enoch and his father, Seth, which speak of a 6,000 year epoch, the actual reference to 5,500 years comes from the book of Adam and Eve outside the garden. Thus, where the 5,500 years is referenced in text we ought to be confident in tracing it to the text of Adam and Eve outside the garden. How so? The story in this book is based upon the fact that a stone fell upon Adam, caused by the devil, only two days into Adam's life. Three days later God rescued him from under the stone and raised him up to life. After three days God resurrected Adam, so the story goes; but it was five days into Adam's life. The story then adds that after five and a half days God will destroy the wicked and restore Adam and his seed to the garden. In the story Adam is afraid, because he believes he now has only a half a day to live. God smiled and then explained that each day is as a thousand years and that after five and a half thousand years he would redeem Adam and his seed. He would do it by sending forth his Word, who is His Word, to suffer in a land called Golgotha.
Since the baseline of this story draws upon the theme of redemption of the Children of Israel (the seed of Adam) after 5,500 years, it follows that it was not created as a myth to justify Jesus as the Suffering Messiah, the Word of the Gospel of John. Early texts went to great difficulty, in fact, to justify the fact that Jesus appeared exactly 5,500 years after the creation of Adam! The Book of Enoch, on the other hand, which deals with God coming to save Adam and His Seed after 6,000 years, reflected in Daniel and, perhaps, Ezekiel, is carried into the book of Revelation. But there have been scribes and priests calculating this date for thousands of years. We recall Eusebius quoting the fact that by the time of Moses 3,000 years had transpired. This would then make Jesus appear circa. 4,500 (a thousand years too early). In the Gospel of Barnabas, we recall, there are arguments again which try to justify the fact that Jesus appeared on the 5,500th year. Revelation ignored these arguments and focused on the 6,000 year scenario and the Second Coming mentioned by the Book of Enoch!
The Book of Enoch has a different thesis from that of the five and a half days scenario. In the 6,000 year epoch there is a straight comparison of the creation being in 6 days to the duration till Redemption being 6,000 years. And God rested on the seventh day. What happens in Revelation, following this scenario? We have a thousand years (the Seventh Day) of peace. What happens after this? The New heavens and the New Earth are created and an eighth day begins. The Eighth day is the day after the feast of Atonement is completed, which is for seven days. Seven is the number of sacrifice.
In any event, we are sure that the Gospel of John was written with the framework of the books of Adam and Eve and Enoch in the background. We anticipate that John was a cousin of Jesus and, along with Peter, was always in his presence, receiving information that peripheral associations, like Luke, would not have been privy to hear. Jesus's continuing assurance after the Transfiguration that he, as the Son of Man, would be raised up after three days echo's the fact that he intended to become that thing offered up as ransom for men's souls, called The Word, which is God's Word.
John 1.17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth by Jesus Christ. Here we have a comparison of Jesus to Moses. This comparison was first mentioned by the synoptic gospels at the Transfiguration. James and John and Peter, witnessing the phenomena of Jesus talking to Moses and Elijah, offered to build a Tabernacle to each one of them. Jesus diverted the discussion to another topic.
The thesis of the Pauline Congregation, as opposed to the Nazarene Congregation of Peter and James, was the thought that Jesus had brought Grace (forgiveness of sin) whereas Moses had brought the Law, but now, since Grace is with us, the Law is but a shadow and of no effect. The argument is furthered by the the statement that the Messiah is charged with bringing a New Covenant. All one need do, then, is point out the New Covenant the Messiah brought with Him in fulfillment of prophesy. Here we can observe a new trend in spreading the gospel. What had been a Gospel of the Kingdom became a New Testament of Jesus. The Prophets, the writings, and the Torah upon which Jesus founded himself became called The Old Testament. And what is old, according to Paul, is now waxed away. When Paul said this, craftsmen with the pen were already renaming the Scriptures of the Lord into a new book called the Old Testament. Now Testament means Witness. The proper English word for the Old Testament ought to have been Old Covenant. But the Paulists, who sought to abrogate the Old Testament using Jesus as their vehicle, could not use the term, Old Covenant. They had to use Old Testament, meaning the Old Witness. Jesus never used the words, New Covenant. He offered during his Last Supper the communion of wine and bread as His New Testament. He brought a New Witness to the world, but we cannot say with confidence, based upon his own words, that he brought a New Covenant.
John 1.21, as noted earlier, showed that John the Baptist, upon whose testimony as being Elijah, Jesus was dependent, denies he was Elijah. This becomes a problem in reconciling the Gospel of John's thesis to the Deliverer Messiah — who brings the New Covenant — because Elijah must first come. According to the Gospel of John Elijah must yet come. Therefore, Jesus is not the Deliverer Messiah and Deliverer of the New Covenant. And this controverts the thesis that Jesus would have anything to do with making the Old Covenant the Old Testament, thereby making it null and void. For Paul asked why there could be a New Testament (or Covenant) if it were not intended that the Old Testament (or Covenant) wax old. The presumption that the Messiah would bring a New Covenant, says Paul, presupposes that the Old Covenant will then be null and void. What Paul did not understand is that whenever a New Covenant was offered it did not abrogate the Old but added to it. Thus the conclusion in the Latter Day prophesies asserts that the Messiah will restore all things, as Jesus claimed of Elijah; and that God would take out His wrath against all those who had been against his people Israel. Thus, Paul overestimated his aim at shooting down the Old Testament by claiming that by Grace ye are healed and that works no longer count in salvation.
The Deliverer Messiah would be contradicting many Promises in Scripture if He were to abrogate the Law as Paul presupposed (We have seen in the Torah and the Psalms that He must endorse the Torah).
In any event the Gospel of John, not being able to reconcile John the Baptist to Elijah, as Jesus appears to have wished in the synoptic gospels, settles for John being the Voice in the Wilderness, another sign before the Deliverer Messiah. But this sign is not as clear cut as Elijah! Witness:
Isaiah 40.1 Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.
40.2 Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins.
This is the time when Israel is about to be Redeemed. It is not the time of the Scattering, as in the case of the Sign of the Virgin. Israel has been scattered and is now going to be pardoned for their iniquity.
Isaiah 40.3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
The Messiah is as God on earth. This is further verification of this thesis.
Isaiah 40.4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:
At the time of the Deliverer Messiah the land was laid waste and the highways unsafe for travel. He makes the crooked ways straight and brings Peace unto the land. He inherits, we might add, the desolate heritages.
Isaiah 40.5 And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
The Deliverer Messiah carries The Wisdom of God with him. All the wisdom of the wise men perish; kings and princes put their hands over their mouths, etc. It is the time when the books: the Sealed Book, or Book of Remembrance are opened.
Isaiah 40.10 Behold, the Lord God will come with a strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.
40.11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.
The Deliverer Messiah appears wheresoever the sheep are scattered. He is like unto Zerubbabel, born in Babylon, and drawn out of many waters.
Isaiah 40.12 Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being his counsellor hath taught him?
40.13 With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding?
The Deliverer Messiah knows the Word of God. He carries that wisdom sufficiently to cause people to marvel at him. For he makes the crooked ways straight.
Isaiah 40.15 Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing.
The Deliverer Messiah is given the Heathen for his inheritance.
Isaiah 40.16 And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering.
In another place Isaiah gives us a better picture of these times involving Lebanon's tribulation:
Isaiah 33.3 At the noise of the tumult the people fled; at the lifting up of thyself the nations were scattered.
33.4 And your spoil shall be gathered like the gathering of the caterpillar: as the running to and fro of locusts shall he run upon them.
33.5 The Lord is exalted; for he dwelleth on high: he hath filled Zion with judgment and righteousness.
33.6 And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the Lord is his treasure.
33.7 Behold, their valiant ones shall cry without: the ambassadors of peace shall weep bitterly.
33.8 The earth mourneth and languisheth: Lebanon is ashamed and hewn down: Sharon is like a wilderness; and Bashan and Carmel shake of their fruits.
33.10 Now will I rise, saith the Lord; now will I be exalted; now will I lift up myself.
33.11 ye shall conceive chaff, ye shall bring forth stubble: your breath, as fire, shall devour you.
33.12 And the people shall be as the burnings of lime: as thorns cut up shall they be burned in the fire.
33.13 Hear, ye that are far off, what I have done; and, ye that are near, acknowledge my might.
The key sign of the times here is Lebanon; and when Lebanon is hewn down and its animals not sufficient for the sacrifice at hand, then the Lord will rise. We can witness Lebanon at this very moment.
Isaiah 41.14 Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the Lord, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
41.15 Behold I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff.
41.16 Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them: and thou shalt rejoice in the Lord, and shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel.
41.27 The first shall say to Zion, Behold, behold them: and I will give to Jerusalem one that bringeth good tidings.
41.28 For I beheld, and there was no man; even among them, and there was no counsellor, that, when I asked of them, could answer a word.
42.1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
42.2 He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.
42.3 A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.
42.4 He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.
Clearly the Voice in the Wilderness is geared towards the time of the Deliverer. Beginning with the words, Comfort ye, comfort ye, of chapter 40, all the way to chapter 42.1 the scenario is that of the Deliverer Messiah, when Lebanon is hewn down, the highways lay waste, and the the Children of Israel are about to be forgiven and restored to their desolate land. It is no wonder that the natural outgrowth in the gospels, concerning the Messiah who does not cause his voice to be heard in the streets, ended back up with Jesus deceiving those around him into believing that he had not caused his voice to be heard in the streets. Thus, we make it clear: the time of the voice in the wilderness is a time of wisdom: the character who personifies that wisdom does not cause his voice to go into the streets; It is a time when the wise are asked not one can answer a word. He is the basis of Judgment and is the Judge. He brings judgment unto Truth. And He brings a New Covenant. The isles shall wait for his law, it says. This time period is not the time of John the Baptist or Jesus.
The Voice in the Wilderness leads to the Deliverer Messiah who does not cause his voice to be heard in the streets. This is just another way of identifying Elijah. For the result of the Deliverer Messiah is the laying of fire and brimstone upon the Gentile, all those who had been against My People Israel.
John 4.0 Jesus baptized more than John — Here we have a rivalry being expressed, with the disciples of John the Baptist complaining to him about Jesus's competition in the River Jordan. If Jesus were baptizing more than John it means that Jesus was gaining more disciples than John; and if this were true, it probably means that many of John's disciples were defecting and going to Jesus. This actually happened in the case of John and Andrew, the first apostles of Jesus.
John 5.1 Jesus healed a man by a pool of Bethesda, on the Sabbath, and the man reports the miracle to the priests. This is yet another instance of Jesus defying the tradition or law of the Sabbath. Therefore, because of this instance the Jews sought to slay Jesus.
In John 5.18 the issue comes to a head: Jesus had healed on the Sabbath. Now he said that God was his father and made himself equal to God! Here is a basic issue which came to a head 600 years later with Mohammed. He concluded that if Jesus is the Son of God He must be equal to God, as the Gospel of John and Paul's epistle claim. If He is equal to God, then we may conclude, as Mohammed had done, that He claims to be another God. And God would not allow another god to compete with Him. The Moslems, in adhering perfectly to this precept, concluded that Jesus is a prophet and sign of God but not another god who could compete with Him. Their strict recognition of Scripture is valid. The Messiah was never intended or implied to be a god which could compete with God. He, in fact, was created as a Servant of God which became a measure, in the flesh, of God: as God, as Moses before Him. The Messiah, as Moses before him, is created as God on earth. He is not necessarily the sum total of God but as God. And as God he has all the authority of God's Word, which thing is clearly intended in Him. Kiss the son, says the Psalm, lest his wrath be stirred.
John 5.19 has Jesus arguing his relationship to God. He is not another God or in competition with God:
John 5.19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
Jesus is the Judge who can raise the dead and judge whom he will:
John 5.22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment to the Son.
We contrast this last comment by Jesus with the comment he made with respect to the Comforter. In that context He said that He had not come to Judge — for there is one [the Comforter] who judges — that he had come to save lives, not take lives.
John 5.23 That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honoreth not the Son honoreth not the Father which hath sent him.
5.24 Verily, Verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My Word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
5.25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.
In these few verses John has Jesus claiming all of the major epitaphs of the Deliverer Messiah, One like unto the Son of Man, mentioned by Daniel and the other prophets. Clearly the gospel writer believed that he was seeing Jesus in the end of time and Jesus represented himself as being at the end of time when he made his visitation. This corroborates our thesis that Jesus believed that he had come to Deliver Israel and John the Baptist ought to therefore be Elijah. He adds:
John 5.28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
5.29 and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
5.39 Searcheth the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
5.46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.
In this commentary Jesus had said things which probably did not get to the priests' and the scribes' ears. But returned to Galilee John has Jesus repeating:
John 6.47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
6.48 I am that bread of life.
6.49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness and are dead.
6.50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.
6.51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
6.54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
These things he said in the synagogue as he taught in Capernaum, says the Gospel of John ! They were probably said. At least something very close to these words was said. For at this time Jesus believed he would be put to death and raised after three days and his death would be an atonement for sin. But mentioning these things directly in public took a lot of gall. And John 6.66 says:
John 6.66 From that time many of his disciples went back and walked no more with him.
6.67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?
6.68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the Living God.
This must have been the Transfiguration scene and the event to which Peter refers in his epistle. The conviction of Peter and the twelve apostles, after hearing these words, is extraordinary! John tells us further, as we ought to expect, that after these things were said Jesus could not walk in Judaea because the Jews sought to kill him. He had said some pretty extraordinary things. Ultimately he closed his ministry by personaly assuring his apostles, at the last supper, that the communion done in remembrance of Him would be a continuing guarantee of eternal life. Ultimately he couched his argument in the thesis that if anyone knows God's doctrine, they would recognize Jesus, for My doctrine is not mine but His that sent me. He must prove it; and for starters we are told (John 7.7) that even his brethren did not believe him. This is corroborated in the synoptic versions which tell of the people of Nazareth attempting to throw him off the cliff of the town.
What is his Proof then?
In trying to find a way in which to Prove that Jesus is who He claimed to be, we become mired down in following the Gospel thesis which Jesus established right after the Transfiguration: He would be put to death and then resurrected after three days. This becomes the main thesis of the Gospel to the nations, since in his resurrection, if one believes in it, one also will be guaranteed a resurrection from the dead. Those who died with Jesus on the Cross are now dead to life (and, adds Paul, the law); those who through baptism are raised with Jesus from death receive eternal life. This thesis would be acceptable — particularly in view of the thesis of the books of Adam and Eve and Enoch — if we had accurate witnesses to his resurrection. And when we examine this, in our matrix, the Witness falls apart. No two gospel accounts of his resurrection tell the same story. This leaves those who have been taken down the trail of His Resurrection to either believe in him blindly or to accept him on a new basis. The church, being bogged down in the presentation of unreconcilable data, has yet to offer a new perspective on why Jesus is the Messiah, The Word, as He claimed. And because they have not looked at Him from the standpoint of His Word, He has a fragile tie to Messiahship. The only thing that now holds him concretely in the line of Messiahship is his Virgin Birth, or, to put it according to the Masoretic text, his birth out of wedlock by a Maiden. There are only two things which can credit him here: The time of the Virgin or Maiden is long since past, about two thousand years ago; and Jesus is the only recognized person who has had a claim to that Messiahship, being thereof Immanuel. The second consideration we must face is the fact that since he arrived at the right time of the Sacrificed Messiah, being of the Virgin, the things He saw in Himself and spoke matched up with a personality which would be expected in the phenomena of the Sacrificed Messiah. He must claim to be the Messiah and must cause the people to deny him, as required in prophesy. He must be put to death for the sins of my people, so saith the Lord.