3/29/2010 The Son of Man, exploring the Biblical concept
A Commentary on Immanuel
The Gospel of Truth
by Mel West
Great shall be the day of Jezreel. In Hosea's prophesy Jezreel is not presumed to be God, but rather a vehicle of God. It is by reason of Jezreel's death that God takes His Wrath out on Israel.
In Isaiah, when God addresses Israel as His Widow and then tells Israel that they shall not be put to shame, the thought must come to mind that IsraelÕs Widowhood must have something to do with the Shame. They will be shamed but yet not shamed. It is a strange perception. The only way one could work oneself out of this logic, of being shamed but not shamed, is to be caught making a mistake that could have been avoided, but, under the circumstances, could have been made by anyone. It is like viewing an unguarded cookie jar before a little child. One can bet the child will steal a cookie without asking permission. Stealing a cookie is a mistake any child can make.
The killing of the Suffering Servant is not, of course, the same as stealing a cookie. Whoever kills the Servant is guilty of the greatest offence against God. Even if the Messiah is a mere mortal, crafted in the form of another David (which is how the Latter Day Messiah is characterized), the killing of God's Anointed would be a crime above all other crimes. David certainly appreciated it. In the books of Samuel we are shown how David entered the cave where King Saul was sleeping. David could have slit his (God's Anointed One's) King's throat and assumed the crown that was Promised to Him by the prophet Samuel. But he did not kill Saul under the grounds that it is a great crime to harm the body of God's Anointed. Again, to assure no confusion, the use of the word Anointed is the same as saying Christ. Saul has as much a claim to the Name, Christ, as Jesus. After all, Saul was God's first Christ (or Anointed One).
While the Vehicle of the Messiah, or Anointed One, was crafted out of the models established through Samuel's Anointings, of Saul and David, the role and character of the Messiah took on more God-like attributes among later prophets. In Isaiah the Messiah takes on His full God-man stature. But we must qualify this comment, somewhat, because the Messiah of Isaiah and other prophets, particularly Zechariah 4.14, is really Two Messiahs: Two Anointed Ones.
We recognize it is enough of a problem to reconcile the vehicle of the Messiah, whether He is merely a mortal servant of God, perhaps another Moses, or whether He is God in the flesh; but the addition to the consideration the prospect that He is Two Messiahs can be somewhat overwhelming. We shall deal with this prospect later. But Isaiah is clear about the deity of the Messiah(s). After discussing in chapter 7` the VirginÕs son, Immanuel, whose name means God is with us, Isaiah continues the theme of the desolation of Israel:
Isaiah 9.5 For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.
9.6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
It is clear in this prophesy that the son who is born is God in the Flesh. We recall again that Hosea 1.10 proclaims that Israel will be called by Loammi, saying, Ye are the sons of the Living God. Jesus not only alluded to this comment as above mentioned but addressed it in another comment as well, which has also previously been quoted. In responding to the rabbis questioning Him, as to being the Son of God, Jesus answered, had God not promised Israel that they will be made sons of the Living God? Again, in Isaiah 54.4 we recall, when referring to the Husband of Israel, we are told:
Isaiah 54.5...and the Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.
The condition here is that the Husband of Israel, who is Israel's Redeemer, shall be called the God of the whole earth. It is an appellation the Redeemer has yet to earn! In Isaiah it is clear and there should never have been any doubts among the Rabbis, the son who is given to Israel is going to one day be recognized as God of the whole earth!
Before this proclamation in prophesy was made, in chapter 53 Isaiah asks in his prologue, "Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?" Then he proceeds to describe the Suffering Servant. Now we have the presumption, on the part of God, that His Redeemer will be despised and rejected of men and he was wounded for our transgressions, etc.
In the scenario of Prometheus, the Greek god who brings light to mankind, there is the reality that he promotes jealousy. The gods, in the myth, got jealous of Prometheus, because he had been given the wisdom of God, and they hung him on a steak with his chest opened to expose his beating heart to carrion. This was his punishment for competing (in wisdom) with the gods. The closing comment in chapter 53 recalls a similar scenario:
Isaiah 53.11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
53.12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
As concerning the killing of this Righteous Servant, chapter 54 reminds us that Israel is now God's Widow, but she will not be put to shame. It is added:
Isaiah 54.7 For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.
54.8 In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer.
54.9 For this is as the waters of Noah unto me..
54.10 For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.
54.15 Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake.
5.17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.
These passages conclude the declarations concerning the Suffering Servant and His Widow, Israel. Clearly the Suffering Servant was stricken for the transgressions of Israel. If it were not for their transgressions He would not have been stricken. Thus, he bare their iniquities and Òwhen thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.Ó
On the Feast of Atonement, in the second week of September, or thereabouts, a feast is given for the Atonement of sin. In that feast two goats are offered up to God. One, the Scapegoat, is released in the wilderness, to go on its way. The other goat is sacrificed for the Atonement of sin. Along with the Sacrifice, you are told to forgive those who have trespassed against you. The precept here is that if you seek God's Mercy you must be merciful yourself. Jesus's teaching hung on this precept: to be forgiven your sins you must forgive those who trespass against you. His final words recorded on the cross concluded with this perception: Father forgive them for they know not what they do.
In the scenario of the Sacrificed Servant, God's Righteous Servant, it is clear that he suffers because of IsraelÕs iniquities. Elsewhere in prophesy, in the Psalms, it is said, "And it pleased the Lord to bruise him."
Because Israel is to blame in the scenario, because it is due to their iniquities that he is sacrificed, we have to approach the problem of Blame. Following the killing of the Servant, in chapter 54 we are clearly told that they shall not be blamed for the incident and concerning any tongue which should rise in judgment to blame Israel, Israel is told that one day they shall condemn those tongues. More so, God says that "whosoever shall gather against thee shall fall for thy sake."
We can again recall the prophesy of Ezekiel concerning the sanctification of Gog and Magog in the eyes of God and man. The final precept of Armageddon is based upon this very same precept of God rising against all those who come against Israel. When He Redeems Israel, as we have seen, He does it over the bodies of the heathen scattered from one end of the earth to the other. The precept here is that the Gentile, or Heathen, will resist the Redemption of Israel, even be jealous of it. How so? We read where God, in punishment for their iniquities, turns His face to another who will glorify Him. In the Gospels Jesus picks up on the comment, repeating it, in which case we showed a good basis for the Apostle Paul in arguing the inheritance of the Gentile, now being the Chosen People of God. But in spite of the prophesies of God turning his Face from Israel, there is always the continuing reminder that in the Redemption of Israel, Israel will be glorified. In Isaiah, since the prophesy has already presumed God will turn to another, the Gentile, who will glorify Him, the presumption also requires us to consider the fact that when He turns back His Face towards Israel the Gentile will undoubtedly be drawn to jealousy. Thus, in succeeding chapters Isaiah deals with this jealousy. And in the same chapter, chapter 61, from which Jesus is reported to have read in the Temple, claiming His Messiahship, we have the following verses:
Isaiah 61.6 But ye shall be named the Priests of the Lord: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.
61.7 For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.
61.8 For I the Lord love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.
When we read about this period, which is the Redemption, we find it is the ships of Tarshish and others (all Gentile) who aid in the restoration of the Children of Israel to their lands. They are, in fact, carried in the arms and upon the shoulders of the Gentile to Israel. The vision shows men marching into Jerusalem, or the Holy Land, with the daughters of Israel high upon their shoulder. In the drama we have a takeoff on the precept of the Ark of the Covenant which was carried by means of two staves high upon the shoulders. Anything carried high on the shoulders is Holy. Thus, in the prophesy, we are told, "And your daughters in that day, every one of them, shall be called Holy."
The Gentile here are promised that Everlasting Joy shall be unto them and that the Children of Israel shall bask in the Gentile Glory!
While it is assumed by the ministry that the promise, for your shame ye shall have double, relates to being punished doubly for their sins, the following statement concerning the Gentile having the Double does not relate to such a precept. In fact the Gentile are told that Israel will bask in their Glory, which, in turn, presupposes that the Gentile will possess something that brings them Glory. That thing is The Double, the Redeemer. The scene also envisions Confusion and in the Confusion the Gentile will rejoice in their portion. So here we have the precepts of Israel's shame turning to a shared glory with the Gentile and through the confusion, undoubtedly over the Redeemer Messiah, the Children of Israel are given to boast themselves for their portion. The Gentile glory in their portion; Israel glories in its portion. Everyone is happy in the end. And this is when the New Covenant comes in:
Isaiah 61.8 For I the Lord love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.
Somehow in the scenario there is the view that God has been robbed. Yet He says He will direct their work in truth and make an everlasting covenant with them. In the discussion two people are addressed: the Children of Israel, who are addressed with the pronoun, "your," and the Gentile, addressed with the pronouns, "they, them." It is with them that the Covenant of God is finally made.
The understanding of the Rabbis, in the Oral Torah, does not follow this type of scenario. While they recognize Two Messiahs, including one that is killed, they do not recognize that Israel will have anything to do with the killing of the one Messiah. Rather than Israel killing the Messiah, the dirty job is left to Gog, when he invades Israel with his troops. To account for the "scattering" which takes place when the Lord says, "For this shall be with burning and fuel of fire," the Oral Torah concludes that on the death of the first Messiah, Messiah ben Joseph, Israel is scattered into the wilderness. The exegis concludes they will be in the wilderness forty days until Messiah ben David comes to them to Deliver them and destroy Gog and his troops.
Regardless of these presumptions, however, we have shown that the Messiah is not killed by Gog, but by Jerusalem and even stands before them who pierced him, showing them the wounds in his hands, etc. He was wounded in the house of his friends, he says. This would presuppose, then, to agree with the Oral Torah's conclusions, that Gog (whom the Messiah is wounded by according to the Rabbis ) is the Messiah's friend. This is pure nonsense, making all the precautionary statements in Isaiah, as to the blameworthiness of Israel, useless. For the fact remains that God will show those who wounded His Messiah that they, in effect, made an honest mistake. They, like a child being set in front of an unguarded cookie jar, did what they ought not to have done. But letÕs face the facts, as concerning blame. The prophesy of the Suffering Servant forewarns Israel that they will not recognize Him and will, in fact reject Him.
The prophesy knows that they cannot recognize their Messiah, and to be forthright it could be presumed that the prophesy ought to have taken more care in describing the character of the Messiah, when he is set to arrive, and how he will appear. In Isaiah the signs are clearly demonstrated, however, for the Sign is that a Virgin shall conceive and bare a son right before Israel is scattered. The son is lowly and his beauty and comeliness is such that no one will desire him. He will literally fade right into the crowd. In the scenario thus established we have yet to contrive a means by which that character is brought to judgment and killed. In fulfilling prophesy the Messiah has only one course of action: He must declare Himself as the Messiah. And when He does it it must be seen that he is the least desirable to be given the honor, for we are also told in Jeremiah, "The weakest man in Jerusalem, in that day, shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God."
While the Rabbis agreed in their Oral Torah that the Messiah is as God, even The Mighty God, their expectations really fluctuated from acknowledging a man servant of God to the God-man who claims his throne on earth. These perceptions of the Messiah turned out in fact to be the very things which convicted Jesus. For we have seen without a doubt Jesus, though not claiming to be God and praying to God, the Father, saw both his mission and personage as being One with God. Call it the Son of God or whatever you wish; the fact remains Jesus saw Himself as being One with God. He can only do what the Father bids Him to do. In His Mission He cannot be separated from God. Thus, when He speaks of being greater than the Temple He throws the big one on us, namely: If you had known what I mean I would have shown you mercy. Here the character reflects back from the future, explaining that had the Children of Israel known why He is greater than the Temple, they would not have been scattered but shown Mercy. Prophesy says "I will not show you mercy until" I have come to Redeem you. And in the Redemption there is great Mercy and Glorification.
Jesus thought He was the God-man. Though He never mentioned He was born of a Virgin, nor spoke of His childhood, etc., he claimed certain prophesies as he worked the land of Israel. We shall cover them later. We see, from the facts, that He matched quite well to the Suffering Servant, pretty much meeting all of His characterizations; and He did it at the time specified, before Israel is Scattered.
Now the Scattering which took place after Jesus appeared lasted nearly Two thousand years. If there is any precedent here, or a warning, it suggests that should Israel feel that the Scattering relevant to the Messiah is yet to come, their land, it should appear, could become desolate for more than two thousand years on the next time round. That is, if there must be a Next Time. All prophesy clearly agrees, however, that when Israel is restored, or Redeemed to their land, no further harm can come to them. For then, God clearly says, He will defend Israel against anyone who comes against them; and the Latter Day prophesies describe that Defense. All the Gentile are warned to lay off Israel in speech, judging them not, and in force of arms.
While these prophesies are clearly offered among the prophets, the actual course of Christian history, from the Apostles onward, took another course. From the outset Christianity began Condemning Israel for the killing of their Messiah, even though Jesus had clearly forgiven them Himself upon the cross. And in spite of the correlation that the Christians made, acknowledging Jesus as God, in fact, they did not take note of the fact that in condemning the Jews they would be going against the Forgiveness already given to them by the Christian God upon the cross! To a large degree, Christianity, which we shall now discuss, became totally confused over their Christ and God.
The issue of whether Jesus was God or a Servant of God, like David, seemed to be a well discussed point of debate during the years of Paul's ministry and the Apostolic successors. Here, after two thousand years, the issue continues, even though the Church had resolved in the Council of Nicaea (325 A.D.) that Jesus is God and his mother, Mary, is the Mother of God. Early followers of Jesus were not that convinced, however. In fact, the early church, called the Nazarenes, split into two main factions. One faction retained its Jewish character and continued worshipping in the Temple (until it was burned) and synagogue. This faction was led by Peter and James, the brother of Jesus.
The other faction began with a man who had a revelation on the road to Damascus and believed that Jesus (now in heaven) had told him that he would be the Apostle to the Gentile. Peter and James, he believed, would be the Apostles to the Jews.
Indications are that Peter and James taught that Jesus is the Christ. As to whether they thought the Christ is also God in the flesh, it is debatable. Paul, on the other hand, concluded without a doubt that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, which is God in the Flesh. And based upon this scheme he created a new religion completely separate from the Nazarene church in Jerusalem under Peter and James.
Before we turn to Paul, and the evolution of the Christian church, then we ought to take a moment reflecting upon what has just been discussed. Based upon prophesy, it is reasonable to presume that one ought to conclude the Messiah is the Mighty God, God in the Flesh. According to Psalm 2 He can be regarded as The Son of God. This too would be a normally anticipated presumption. Furthermore, because of the Testimony of Jesus, how He fulfilled prophesy, together with His teachings and perception of Himself, it is not presumptuous for anyone to call Him the Son of God or even God in the Flesh. Nor would it be presumptuous, following the prophesy and Gospel testimony, to call His Mother the Mother of God. All scripture leads to these conclusions.
Paul, however, had a problem; and it was a substantial one. He believed Jesus was God and yet could not prove it. Yet, he had taken on the Job of being the Apostle to the Gentile, requiring Him to Prove that Jesus is God. Lacking proof and a strong understanding of Scripture, or even the events which were then taking place, Paul stumbled into a path of declaring the Righteousness of the Messiah in an unrighteous manner. To sell the Gentile on the Messiah Jesus, Paul concluded he must sell them on condemning the Jews.
Leaving The Outcome to God
For thousands of years man and nature have attempted to reach equilibrium, a symphonic way of living together for the common good, and have yet to reach it. From the days of the Cave paintings of Las Caux, even before then the time of the Neanderthal, man has attempted to reconcile himself to his environment and in that conciliatory effort tried to impose his own will upon it.
At some point, the will of nature became addressed as the will of the gods, the mother goddess, Ishtar, perhaps being the first among them. Ideally, that will, which seemed to have a daily effect upon mankind, could be persuaded to operate favorably towards man. While destiny seemed to be the order of the prevailing view, man always believed from the beginning that he could prevail upon that will to change its view from time to time and send down its benefices upon man, altering a manÕs destiny. Living with the Will of nature involved no longer just a throw of the dice: man could actually influence that Will towards beneficial works. Thus, man began painting oracles in the earth: of animals heÕd be sure to kill and later enemies heÕd be sure to destroy. During the past four thousand years or so millions upon millions of people have had their blood spilled upon the earth in the justification of that Will. And that Will came to be called the Living God. Pagans at first, Jews, Moslems and Christians later, all rode before armies dedicated to the vengeance and sovereignty of their god.
Until now, though the spilled blood is incalculable, the things which survived the spilling of the blood are; for somehow mankind has endured the debacles of history and now stands on the edge of the Universe ready to deal with the Universal, ineffable Will in terms never before conceived. While we can measure man today in both spiritual and material terms, having learned from the lessons of the past, being far the better for it ( we hope) we yet ask the prevailing, nagging question of all men, ÒIs there no God ?Ó And despite the causes over the ages to prove God, despite all the bloodshed to bring Him to the unbelievers, despite all the causes for good or for evil, mankind still cannot answer the question, "Is there no God?" Despite all the theories and all the doctrines man does not seem to be any closer to Proving God today than the day he set out in his quest for Him.
Among the many religions, the Judaic, Christian, and Moslem religions all stemmed from one belief, however, that God would not only prove Himself but in that Proof establish Himself as a Sovereign King over all the nations in a universally acclaimed Kingdom of God. All knees would bow down unto Him and call unto Him with one language and a common consent. One of the earlier prophesies of that King was IsaiahÕs, and, as quite well discussed above, he named the King Immanuel.
Two thousand years ago the Jews were anticipating that the Kingdom would be set up any moment. They had a book which told them this was so: for the book was a collection of prophesies, or oracles, which identified the favorable signs of the Kingdom. One of the signs was the need for a Deliverer, who would deliver the Jews from their oppressors.
The Jews, called the Children of Israel, have always been in need of a Deliverer. Retracing history one can find hardly a moment went by when they were not being invaded and put to sword and fire. Of all the people on earth, the Jews, we can remember, more than any other, have experienced the wrath of God. They never could seem to get on good terms with Him. Yet, they called themselves the Chosen People of God: His Friend. From the days of David, they asked, and since then the world has noticed, "Why hath thou forsaken us, O Lord?" The Prophesies replied, "Because thou alone I have known, therefore I will punish you." What God would apparently tolerate among the gentile, nations (non Jews) , He would not tolerate among his Friends, the Jews. Time after time — He would send an oracle telling them beforehand that they would be punished — He would send the sword and the fire upon them, to scatter them and desolate them. It seems they were saved out of their Slavery in Egypt only to be thrown into the Captivities of Babylon; twice their lovely city of Jerusalem was sacked around the fifth century B.C., only to be followed by yet another sacking in the time of Christ. Within forty years after the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth the third temple of Jerusalem was burned and the people taken into captivity for the last time. We all know the story well, how Rome hunted them from the holes of the rocks and shipped them off to the corners of her empire, to be sold as slaves, to be spectacles in the coliseums, and banned from visiting their homeland again. That ban held for nearly two thousand years, though Rome passed away and her successors also are come and gone. And during all this time, among all the men standing on the edge of the Universe, attempting to control the Will of God, there have been Jews who have believed that their destiny will one day be realized through the Restoration of their people to their Holy Land. Just as the oracles explained why and when they would be scattered from their land, so too did they explain how and when they would be rejoined to their land. And when they are rejoined to the land the oracles also said that then they would be rejoined once again to their God.
This is a simplified version of the Promise we have earlier reviewed in their oracles. The Promise, we might add, represents itself as coming from God, and in the representation it calls itself The Will or The Word of God. From the beginning of this Word to this day, then, the Jews have always tended to leave the Outcome of their situation unto God. Their duty, as they understood it — and it was interpreted variously over time — was to obey His Will and await His Visitation and judgment, where all things taken away from them would be restored; where they were scorned and abused, they would one day be glorified. In that day, called the Latter Days, all those who had been against the Children of Israel will be judged with fire and brimstone. Only the elect would reign with God in His Kingdom, after the Judgment, and among the elect would be the remnant of the Children of Israel.
The Promise made to the Children of Israel involves not only the Redemption of the Jews; it also involves the Proof that God exists. This is a very important point to all those who have speculated over time whether or not God exists. The Biblical attitude, we repeat, is that the Outcome of all things prophesied is in the hands of God. He will Prove Himself that He exists. He need not call upon others to aid Him in the venture, per se; but those who are called, we can expect, would be identified in the oracles. The presumption then is that the prime movers in the Will of God are appropriately noted in its Will.
In the oracles concerning the Gathering or Deliverance of Israel out of Captivity a certain individual is specified. He is called the Anointed One. As noted earlier, in Greek that name is translated as Christ; in Hebrew it is rendered as Messiah. Saul was the first Anointed One of God. This first among messiahs did not follow the Will of God and was fired. It might be worthwhile to mention the reason he was fired. It seems that God had promised Saul that he would win a battle. The battle, to God's reasoning, was a sacrifice of sorts. God had told Saul to kill all the souls in the city but take no booty, no silver, no gold, no captives, and no cattle. Furthermore, after destroying the city Saul was instructed not to raise an altar in Thanksgiving to God for helping him in the battle. As we recall, Saul did not follow God's pleasure. One of his men was caught sneaking gold from the city into the tent and Saul was later caught raising an altar in Thanksgiving to God for winning the battle. This is in essence the nature of Saul's mistake. Seeing it, God told Samuel to tell Saul that God had decided to find Himself another Anointed King of Israel. Then God sent Samuel to Anoint the youngest son of Jesse as King over Israel. That Anointed One's name was David, the Second Messiah of God.
In the oracles the Proof of God is ordained around His Messiah. Inherent in and around the Messiah, then, are certain tangible things which can be measured which will bring all men to conclude without a doubt that God exists. Naturally, since the Messiah plays such a key role in the Proof of God, the Jews await the Messiah. Actually, they await Two Messiahs, but this information is still a bit ahead of ourselves.
From the days of Aristotle to this day, mankind has speculated on the existence of God. Modern Christian scholars still speculate on His Existence and many different theories have been proposed through time to justify (or discredit) his existence. We will not go into them here, because, for starters, in the Biblical framework, the arguments serve little purpose and are more often than not contradictory to the very essence of the thing they intend to represent. We can, for instance, defer to the Aristotelian Prime Mover logic and argue over first causes, justifying the existence of God, but the fact remains we have a more solid argument before us in the form of the Oracles of the Bible. Throughout the Bible's prophesies we are given the admonition, When you see these things come to pass you will then know that God hath sent me. The Bible, through its own oracles, claims it will Prove itself, and knowing this, regardless what we do, we ought to leave the Outcome to God. Argue and worry as we may, the fact remains that the Proof has been prophesied and the Outcome has been identified already by God. This may seem a bit fatalistic, we admit, but as concerning the major themes of the Will of God, which is ultimately God ruling on earth as King Messiah, and His house ruling after Him as the House of God; the consideration is always before us: to affect this Kingdom on earth certain criteria have to be accomplished.
Now the criteria leading up to the Kingdom cannot be altered. Let us take, for instance the sequence of the murdered Messiah and the scattering of Israel. The scattered Israel is a precondition of the Deliverance or Redemption episode. It consequently is dependent upon the previous sign of the Scattering, which is the Virgin and her son. And grouped with that event are the prophesies concerning the Suffering of that son. These criteria are all essential deposits in the foundation of the Final criteria of the Deliverance. For in the Latter Day episode we have the Anointed One standing before a weeping Jerusalem showing them that Pierced Him his wounds. And all Jerusalem weeps as a woman who weeps for her lost son.
These criteria, when broken down, involve two things affecting Israel and, in the Latter Days, the world. They are: Blessings and Curses.
Both serve as Proof, and here is how they work: First there is a Blessing, usually placed against the Children of Israel; in the Latter Days, however, as seen above, there is a Blessing placed on the Gentile as well. Each Blessing is placed with a condition upon it. Usually, as in the case of Israel, the Blessing is conditioned with a covenant on the part of the Children of Israel to obey God's commandments. In the Covenant, if they fail to obey God, then the Curse comes into play.
The Curse is essentially the penalty. A father may tell his son that he may have the keys to the family car provided he completes his chores; in the Blessing the father may add: if you don't complete your chores you'll see the rod. This, then, is the nature of the Curse. It need not come into play unless the Covenant between God and man is violated. Even then, should the Covenant be violated, there is always an overriding Covenant Rule which says, If, at any time you repent and come back to me, I will forgive you and not remember your sins. Thus, the Curse is the only part of prophesy which has the ability to be removed; and in this sense our point of view is not entirely fatalistic. Man can influence the outcome against a Curse by repenting. Again, in the Latter Day scenario, Gog might read this book, for instance (a presumptive thing on our part we admit) and repent of his desire to invade Israel when he sees Israel at Peace. For we heard, "When Israel is at Peace, O Gog, will thou not know it?" Surely Gog will descend upon Israel and Sanctify God through the outcome of his mortal remains, and the remains of the troop with him, spread from one end of the valley of Megiddo (meaning crowded) to another. What, however, would happen if Gog should repent of this desire and himself turn to God? Many lives would be saved, we must answer.
Does Gog's repentance altar the scenario of the Messiah King? Surely the Messiah must come and reign in Jerusalem in the Latter Days.
The Latter Day Messiah, the Redeemer, is, first of all, created on the precondition that Prophesy is fulfilled. That is part of His Power, that it can easily be shown that all the Prophesy leading up to the Redemption has been fulfilled and that He fulfills the remainder.
He is a Persuader of men. The Redeemer, we have seen in Isaiah, is armed with a tongue which is a sharp sword. In the book of Revelation He is called The Word of God and His mouth is a sharp two edged sword, by which He destroys the opposition: Satan and his cronies. The Word is also called Faithful and True, and He carries a name known only to Himself. Again, we can refer back to the prophesies of the Messiah, in David's Psalms, who calls out for comfort and receives none, or to the character who called out to the wise men and no one could answer a word. He calls and no one answers. Yet, He is heard and obeyed.
Blessings and Curses
Because the BibleÕs prophesy is conditioned with Blessings and Curses, we ought to inquire how the Blessings and Curses stack up against each other and how they serve to confirm the overall purpose, or blessing, of the Bible. When we investigate them from this perspective we find that they are laid as in a strata, one upon the other, one supporting another above it. For instance, the Promise of the Kingdom of God is dependent upon many prophesies involving the Scattering of Israel to be fulfilled. First, perhaps, among them is the Prophesy of the Virgin in Isaiah. As noted earlier, she gives birth to a son at the time Israel is scattered and her sonÕs name is Immanuel. She, in a manner of speaking, is a Blessing but her sign is accompanied with Evil: the scattering and desolation of Israel. Israel is asked, "What will you do in the day of Visitation?"
Since Immanuel's name means, God is with us, we ought to pause here to try to understand what kind of Blessing Immanuel really is and how He is important to realization of the final Blessing.
The sign of the Virgin and her son are dependent upon the scattering of the Children of Israel, which itself is dependent upon a justification to scatter Israel. That justification is ultimately a punishment for not heeding the Word of God—to ignore the prophet who mentioned them. Again, we can recall King Saul's failure to heed what He was told.
The Virgin is an unusual sign of God from many points of view. She is mentioned because the Children of Israel apparently were asking the prophet Isaiah to give them a sign that will prove that his sayings were coming directly from God. So Isaiah began the prophesy of the Virgin, saying, "You have asked for a sign; you weary me, will you not weary your God also? Therefore God Himself will give you a sign. Behold, a virgin shall give birth to a son and call his name Immanuel...and in that day where there were a thousand vines on a thousand silverlings the land shall become briars and thorns....for men shall come thither with swords and fire..."
Because the Sign of the Virgin is accompanied by desolation, it requires, in Proof of itself, that mankind look back upon the day when the Children of Israel were scattered to identify the Virgin's Son. The only day they can look back to view that event, confirming that it had to have happened, is the day in which the Children of Israel are Restored back to the land. For following the prophesy of the Virgin were clusters of prophesies promising that the Children of Israel would be restored to their land once again; and they will be restored in Glory, and led by their King Messiah. This event of the Restoration, then, is the final event in Prophesy which enables the Proof of God.
Again, what is in that Proof? It is the physical restoration of the Children of Israel to their Homeland, for starters; it is the appearance of a Messiah who fulfills the oracles attributed to Him in the Restoration, and it involves the Restoration of the Tabernacle of God. These are the three principal criteria the Bible offers in measuring the Proof that God exists; and these are the things the Jews have been waiting for in principal for the last two thousand years. They involve a simple thesis only a few seem to now understand.
Implicit in the Deliverance or Restoration event, is the fact that just as we must look back upon the Scattering of Israel to identify the Sign of the Virgin and her son, Immanuel, so too must the Deliverer Messiah also look back upon them. Prerequisite to the Deliverer Messiah's Nature, or His Times, is the Proof of the Sign of the Virgin. During His Time there must be Proof without a doubt that the Messiah Immanuel had appeared in the Scattering of Israel. Again, stacked in this Proof are other prophesies concerning the nature of a Messiah who appears to the Children of Israel and who is rejected of men. Within Isaiah's prophesy of the Virgin, then, is the condition that her son becomes a Sacrificial lamb for the atonement of sin. In the condition, because the name Immanuel means God is with us, God Himself is sacrificed for the atonement of sin. Because of this condition, we would anticipate, upon presentation of the Proof of the Virgin, at the time the Proof is seen many people will be put to shame. The shame is really overwhelming, when we consider the details, because there is prophesied an event in history when Jerusalem will be seen weeping as a woman weeping over the loss of her son. When man discovers that he refused and killed his own God, there ought to be much weeping.
This condition of weeping is further conditioned upon another thing: not only those who refused the Messiah but also the world will come to realize that God exists! The shame, the weeping, even all the wise men putting their hands over their mouths, recognizing how wrong they had been, all together represent a profound event in history yet to come where all men will at once bow down and acknowledge with a common language and consent that God exists. This is the scene at the inauguration of the Kingdom. And in that scene is the Deliverer, or Redeemer, standing on the mount of Zion, speaking with a mouth which is a fiery sword. He carries Judgment. And though He stands in Glory, someone near Him asks Him how He came to be pierced and where He got the wounds in His Hands. The prophesy suggests that the same soul who was Sacrificed before the Scattering will stand again in the Restoration. He has been Resurrected. Others with Him are also Resurrected, for the condition of the Restoration of the Children of Israel is also contingent upon the display of the Resurrection: that the Spirit lives forever, that not only God but man as well is Blessed with an eternal Spirit. The Wicked are even raised up on that day, along with the Blessed. The Wicked are raised, however, only to be destroyed in the final, apocalyptic Proof of God: a rain of fire from Heaven of hail and brimstone; and this event is called Armageddon.
The last event mentioned is configured as a Promise to the Children of Israel that God will take Vengeance out on all those who were against His People, Israel. And all men are warned that they will be drawn into that battle, called Armageddon, in Israel, near Megiddo. Coupled with that Prophesy is a saying commonly found in the Bible: Vengeance is mine, so saith the Lord. Though we entertained the thought that Gog might repent of his desire to invade Israel, thus sparking the sequence leading towards Armageddon, we have yet to consider God's Promise to take out His Vengeance against all those who were against His People Israel, or all those nations to whom the Children of Israel had been scattered. The prophesies are very clear on this point that God's controversy in the Latter Days is with all the nations.
Like stacks designed in a computer to make it function, so too are the prophesies in the Bible stacked to enable God to function. And when we look at the prophesies fulfilling themselves, like finely tuned wheels in a magnificent machine, we eventually reach a point of marvel: how well they were put together and how well they were contingent upon man — who has a will of his own — to enable the Curses against him to go into effect. For there is a common line of thought to all the prophesies: neither the Children of Israel nor the Gentile will obey the Will of God until all the Curses are emptied. For the Truth of the matter is that the Prophesies recognize that Man, in spite of His representations that he believes in God, really doesn't believe that the God who authored the Prophesies of the Bible exists.
This is what we have come to focus upon in this book. Among the most pious men on earth are the Christians: yet, as pious as they are, from the beginning they have doubted the oracles of God. And in doubting them they have doubted Him or His Word. Their doubts, it will be shown, are no less than that anticipated in the Children of Israel concerning the fate of Messiah Immanuel, whom Jerusalem Pierces.
We are at an odd stage in history. How odd it is that we can be writing about a Messiah, named Immanuel, who now has to have already come and no one has proven that He has already existed! Christians, of course, claim that He existed; so too do the Moslems admit the same. But no one, at this writing, has proven it! Yet, if we cannot now demonstrate that He existed, or see evidence of it, then the entire scheme of God is in jeopardy of being shown as a lie! For truly we are at a watershed in time when we can now look back and say that Israel has been restored and seen neither the Son of the Virgin nor its Deliverer Messiah. But there is hope, however, that at least one of the Messianic signs can be displayed and proven. Since we have the opportunity now of looking back through time, we can ask one simple question leading up to the evidence: Did any man appear, meeting the description of the Suffering Messiah and the Son of a Virgin, at the time Israel was scattered? It is an easy question to ask and confines our view to a specific point in time: 70 A. D., two thousand years ago at the precise moment of the Scattering.
Let's review the candidates! We, in our search, have turned up but one! Nearly Two Thousand years ago a man by the name of Jesus of Nazareth appeared and claimed that he was the Messiah. He was crucified for making a false claim, so it is recorded, and his followers recorded the event and his teachings in the form of the Four Gospels earlier commented upon. As seen, they record His Sayings and His Miracles. All portray Him as the Son of God. In these Gospels He is generally referred to as The Son of Man, an appellation that the prophet Ezekiel used of Himself. Jesus, in using the appellation, Son of Man, for Himself, at least offered that He thought He was on the same par as Ezekiel. Other holy representations can also be implied in it, depending upon one's persuasion; however, Daniel sets the Criteria of the Son of Man. And in his book He first describes the Son of Man:
Daniel 7.13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought him near before him.
7.14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
We have seen that Jesus had no doubt that He represented a Figure which is One with God. Calling Him the Son of God was an acceptable personification of Himself from His point of view, as can be easily gleaned from His sayings. The most frequent name He gave to Himself, however, is The Son of Man. And as the Son of Man we can see His Teachings made a claim on the very things Daniel said would be given to [one like] the Son of Man. Although the Jews may have understood the appellation to have various meanings, even something rather mundane, as being like another prophet Ezekiel, who called Himself the Son of Man, it is clear that Jesus did not imply anything less than that which Daniel ascribed unto The Son of Man. Jesus expected that one day all nations would bow down unto Him. One of his last words was, "I have conquered the world."
The Son of Man, from Jesus's point of view, would be a stronger appellation than the Son of God. For in Daniel, as we have seen, the Son of Man is one whom all the world must bow down unto; the Son of God, on the other Hand, does not have any specific criteria such as this. The appellation, Son of God, then, is a generic term having no specific means of measuring his nature or character; the Son of Man configures something clearly described as a King who will rule over all men. Given the choice, then, the Messiah would be inclined to identify Himself as The Son of Man.
As earlier mentioned, in reviewing the evolution of Christianity it becomes apparent that the followers of Jesus split into two basic camps. We can call the first camp Trinitarians: Those who came to believe Jesus was God in the Flesh and represented one part of the Holy Being of God called the Holy Trinity: God, the father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit. The other camp we will call AntiTrinitarians. They believed that Jesus was the Son of God but not equal to God or a god who could be in competition with God.
The Son of Man Disputed
There was one other sect whom we might mention. We will call them the Judaizers, and they included St. Peter, St. James, the brother of Jesus, and the Elders (the Apostles) in Jerusalem. All were practicing Jews, worshipping in the Temple and the synagogues. They believed that Jesus was the Messiah and, as Clement, one of their disciples, probably viewed Him as a Servant of God who is as God. He was like Moses who was as God on earth. He functioned in GodÕs stead. We condition this with the comment of Peter in his Second Epistle: that, at the Transfiguration, he heard God call Jesus His Son. In any event, their views tended to place Jesus as a man and certainly not in competition with God nor given the power to overrule GodÕs Prophesies. He would come again in His Second Coming to Judge the earth, after which a New Heaven and a New Earth would be formed, ruled by the Son of Man, King Messiah, as prophesied by Daniel and Isaiah. Their views soon got supplanted by the other, Trinitarian, views which depended upon the overruling of the Old Testament prophesies with Paul's new scheme of burning the world and escaping to heaven.
All Christian sects believed that Jesus had come to fulfill the oracles pertaining to Israel's Messiah. Foremost among the followers of Jesus was Paul who believed, since the Messiah had come, that the Judgment of God was imminent. In that Judgment, he believed, only the elect (who follow him) will be saved; and they would be raised up into the clouds, in Rapture, to meet Jesus when he returns to judge the quick and the dead. He believed this would happen in his own time, which was, as mentioned, before the destruction of Jerusalem and her Temple in 70 A.D.
Since Paul's time all Christians, though of many varied persuasions, have concluded that the moment of the Judgment could be at any moment. As each epoch wound through time, these watchers still continued to debate whether God existed. But pending that proof, they all believed, as Paul had told them, that by faith alone in Jesus they will be saved. And Salvation cometh by hearing and by hearing the Word of the Lord.
The Jews also awaited Salvation. It was the Salvation of their People, deliverance from captivity, from persecution, and return from exile to their Homeland. This is the Salvation they awaited.
As concerning the time of the Roman occupation, it is not clear exactly what the Jews thought, since time and the movements of those people have not preserved a good record of their attitudes. One of the best evidences of what they believed is recorded by Josephus the historian who witnessed the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. In that event we recall that he appealed to the Jews to give up and reminded them that at the time Jerusalem would be surrounded their Messiah Deliverer would come to them. He offered that the Emperor Vespasian was in fact that Messiah, since the requirement of the Messiah is that He is a World Emperor, with all the power and judgment identified, for instance, in Daniel's Son of Man. This, of course, could not have been very persuasive to the Jews, since they were also Promised that their Messiah would be a son of David and resurrect the dead. They knew that in the Promise of the Restoration there would be many who, though now dust in the earth, would be raised from the dead to eternal life. Again, this would be part and parcel to the Proof of God, that He exists, when He raises up to bring judgment unto the earth.
Over the eons, since Paul first proposed his unique program for Salvation and the Proof of God, Christians still speculated as to whether God exists and how He exists. But the entire process of the ages became contradictory to the very essence from which it germinated. For the Christian liturgy stemmed from the belief that Jesus was the Messiah and as a general rule believed even that He is God. Yet, day after day, year after year, these very same people, who believed that Jesus is God, continued to offer theories justifying the existence of God. They prayed to Jesus as God and yet debated God's existence on bases controversial to their belief. The fact we now face is that Christianity, for the most part, worshipped a god of her own making which her faith alone was not able to support.
We say the Christian Faith was not able to support its own argument for the existence of God because it failed to persuade the Jews that Jesus is the Christ. The Christian faith, without having solid proof, responded to our argument by claiming that one day Jesus will come in Judgment and prove that He is God. A similar claim is made by the Buddhists who have adopted the belief that Buddha also is the Son of God, or God himself, and will return to prove it.
So the Christian Watchers watch for Jesus to return, to prove God exists, though their movement was based upon the fact that Jesus had already proved He is God and also proved that God exists! And here lies the problem. Christianity is based upon the fact that Jesus is One with God; most Christians believe Him to be the Son in the Holy Trinity. They seem to believe that a prayer to Jesus is the same as a prayer to God. His mother, the Virgin Mary, the Catholic Church has agreed, is called The Mother of God. We make no idle comment when we ask how it is that after two thousand years church scholars still argue on the dialectics of proving the Existence of God when their very formation is based upon the fact that they believe that God has already proved His existence! Calling the Virgin Mary the Mother of God is the same as saying Jesus is God; and this, according to the argument, must be Proof that God exists! Once that conclusion was drawn the discussions as to the Proof of God ought to have ceased. But since Paul's day the controversies did not cease and grew more abundant.
The fact that we now propose is that Jesus, in his day, did not prove God's existence. At most his life serves as a Potential of Proof; using Paul's terms we can say that his Life was but a shadow of the Proof of God's Existence. For the criteria of the Oracles upon which Jesus based His Messiahship required that He answer to the name Immanuel, which means God is with us. Ultimately a man has to answer to the designation in the Oracle and all men have to call with one consent unto Him, recognizing that He is Immanuel. In other terms, more specifically related to Jesus's own identification of Himself, all men must one day realize that the Son of Man of whom He called Himself carried the very same expectations the Son of Man in Daniel is Promised.
Unfortunately, because the oracles all have a time line, and since the time line of the Messiah, Immanuel, is keyed to the scattering of Israel, Immanuel can no longer appear to fulfill prophesy. His time is well past, and the Proof—that God is with us—has eluded the most adroit of scholars, Jews and Christians alike.
What does this leave us? To the Jews who await Immanuel there is an anticipation of misfortune, that they will be scattered from their land again. To the Christians there is only the Hope that Jesus will return to Prove that He is Immanuel. And at this day there is still the nagging doubt that has plagued the scholars of the ages: "Is there no God?". We place it in the negative, because there is, as yet, no tangible proof of God. But we believe there is a way to obtain that Proof and we hope that all those awaiting that Proof are ready and willing to receive it. How it appears and whether it can call itself the Son of Man, becomes a point of our investigation.
Upon this rock I shall build this church, said a man who has become known to us as Jesus the Christ. The thing to which he had referred as his rock (in Matthew 16.18) was a fisherman known as Simon. Simon, the Apostle, was renamed by Jesus and called "Peter," meaning a rock or stone. The Gospel accounts ought to agree that Jesus intended his church to evolve through the guidance of the Apostle Peter, but they don't Consider the differences:
Matthew 16.5 He saith unto them, but whom say ye that I am?
16.16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
16.17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
16.18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
16.19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
16.20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.
Mark, the reputed son of Peter, records a slight variance to this report of Matthew:
Mark 8.29 And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.
8.30 And he charged them that they should tell no man of him.
Luke records these sayings, similarly to that of Mark, as follows:
Luke 9.20 He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God.
9.21 And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing;
The Gospel account of John:
John 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.
6.69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.
The Gospel of John records that it was a common expectation of the Jews that anyone who claimed to be the Christ ought to be censored:
John 9.22 These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.
Two issues are at stake here: The first issue is whether the writers of the Gospels already believed that Jesus was the Son of God as well as the Christ of God. The other issue is whether the church is to follow the guidance of Peter. First, the issue concerning the Son of God:
Two writers, Matthew and John, were convinced from the beginning of their presentation that Jesus was the Christ, which is the Son of God. In addition, the writer of the Gospel of John recognized that the Son of God is believed to be equal to God:
John 5.18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
All scripture seems to consistently reflect the Christ or Messiah as a Servant of God, or even an Angel of God. In Exodus, for instance, we are told:
Exodus 19.18 I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
19.19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.
23.20 Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee, to bring thee in the way and to bring thee into the places which I have prepared.
The Rabbis agreed even that Moses and Aaron were Angels of God:
Genesis Rabbah, LXVIII:XII 4.E. And behold, the angels of God: These are Moses and Aaron...
Jesus claimed to be the Angel (or prophet) of whom Moses wrote:
John 5.46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.
5.47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?
There is no doubt that the Messiah has always been given a special status in the eyes of the Rabbis since the days of the Dispersion. He is not only a King, like unto David, but almost co-existent with God, since His name has been existent since the beginning. So along with being identified as God's Son, He is given even the eternal nature of God, being called Comforter and even by the name of God, El, Himself. It is not unfair for one to conclude, reading the records of the Rabbis these past two thousand years, that they expected to see in the Messiah a man, yet endowed with the eternal spirit of the Holy One of Israel. And there is sufficient evidence in their Oral Torah and holy writs to say that they could not disagree with early Christian thinking that the Messiah is One with God. How He shares that Oneness with God, I think, they would all agree is too difficult to explain. But let us sum up their expectations from the Oral Torah:
Lam. Rab. 1:51, p36, ad Lam. 1:16: What is the name of King Messiah? R. Abba bar Kahana said: "Lord [Adonai] is his name, for it is written, I will raise unto David a Righteous shoot...in his days Judah shall be saved...And this is the name whereby He shall be called: The Lord is our Righteousness (Jer. 23:5-6)." For R. Levi said: "Happy is the country whose name is like the name of its king and the name of whose king is like the name of its God...R. Y'hoshu'a said: "Shoot [Tzemah] is his name, for it is written, Behold a man whose name is Shoot and who shall shoot up out of his place and build the temple of the Lord (Zech. 6:12)." R. Yudan in the name of R. Aybo said "Menahem [comforter] is his name, for it is written, Because the Comforter is far from me (Lam. 1:16)." In the house of R. Shela they said: "Shiloh is the name of the Messiah, for it is written, Until Shiloh will come (Gen. 49.10), and the word is spelled Shela." In the house of R. Hanina they said: "Hanina is his name, for it is written, For I will show you no favor [hanina] (Jer. 15:13)." In the house of R. Yannai they said: "Yinnon is his name, for it is written May his name be continued [yinnon] as long as the sun (Ps. 72:17)." R. Biva of Srungaya said: "Nehira [light] is his name, for it is written, And the light [nehora] dwelleth with him (Dan.2:22), and it is spelled nehira." R Y'huda ben R. Shim'on said in the name of R. Sh'muel ben R. Yitshaq: "This king Messiah, if he is of those who are alive, his name is David, and if he is of those who have died, his name is David." R. Tanhuma said: "I shall tell you the reason: [It is written] He giveth great salvation to His King, and showeth mercy to His Anointed (Ps. 18:51). [Thereafter] it is not written "and to David." but to His Anointed to David and his seed..
Mid. Mishie, ed. Buber: Rav Huna said: "The Messiah is called by seven names and they are: Yinnon, Tzidquenu [Our Justice], Tzeman [shoot] Menahem [Comforter], David, Shiloh, and Elijah."
S. Buber's note : The Messiah is called by eight names: Yinon, Tzemah, Pele [Miracle], Yo'etz [Counselor], Mashiah [Messiah], El [God], Gibbor [hero], and Avi 'Ad Shalom [Eternal Father of Peace].
Pereq Shalom: R. Yoyse the Galilean said: "The name of the Messiah is Peace, for it is said, Everlasting Father, Prince Peace (Isa. 9.5)..." R. Yose the Galilean said: "Great is peace, for in the hour in which King Messiah is revealed to Israel, he begins with peace, for it is said, How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger of good tidings who announceth peace [Isa. 52.7].
B. Sanh 98.b: Rav Y'huda said: 'Rav said that the Holy One, blessed be He, will in the future raise for them [for Israel] another David, for it is said, They shall serve the Lord their God and David their king whom I will raise up unto them (Jer. 30.9). It does not say Ôraised up,' but 'will raise up.' "
Rav Papa said to Abbaye: ÒBut it is written, And David my servant shall be their prince forever (Ezek. 37:25). He answered: "They will be like Caesar and vice-Caesar."
In the Book of Hymns of the Essenes, which was hidden in the Dead Sea Caves for these past two thousand years, we see the eternal spirit-nature of the Messiah come into being. He claims to have existed among the Sons of Zadok (the name of the community of the Essenes) and speaks of His eternal mission, much in the same form as in the Psalms of David:
VII.6 I give thanks unto Thee, O Lord,
for by Thine own strength hast Thou stayed me,
and hast wafted o'er me Thy Holy spirit
that I cannot be moved.
Thou hast braced me for all the battles
that Wickedness wages against me,
and hast let not the havoc dismay me
to break faith with Thee.
Thou hast made me like a strong tower
upon a lofty wall,
founded upon a rock,
reared on eternal foundations,
whose walls are a proven bulwark
that cannot be shaken
- a tower which Thou hast provided, O my God,
for (this) holy community
-these men that rise as on wings.
[Thou has brought me into] Thy covenant.
Words flow free on my tongue,
as it were trained by Thee,
while the Spirit of Havoc stays speechless,
and the reprobate open not their mouth.
Through me Thou hast kept Thy pledge:
"False lips shall be stricken dumb."
All them that challenge me
Thou makest to stand condemned,
distinguishing through me
the right and the wrong.
V.12 Thou hast sheltered me, O my God,
in the face of all mankind,
and hidden Thy teaching [within me],
until it be shown unto me
that the hour of Thy triumph is come.
VII.25 I am lit with a light sevenfold,
with that same [lustre] of glory
which Thou didst create for Thyself.
For Thou art unto me as a light eternal
guiding my feet upon [their way.]
V.28 Through me hast Thou illumined
the faces of full many,
and countless be the times
Thou hast shown Thy power through me.
V.24 Though Thou show Thy power through me,
they regard me not.
Howbeit, Thou in Thy might
hast shed upon me the Perfect Light..
The voice of this Righteous Servant coming out of The Book of Hymns is a voice reminding us of the humble and ÒsufferingÓ nature of the Messiah: that the Messiah is human, yet sharing a quality akin to the Angel of God's Presence. The writer of these Hymns has very accurately picked out most of the epitaphs which describe the nature of this most Holy of God's Servants. They echo the Psalms of David and more.
All the scriptures, the apocryphal writings, the Oral Torah, and even the scriptures buried for two thousand years in the sands of the Dead Sea, agree in general that the Messiah will walk this earth and Rule and Judge as God's Anointed King, "distinguishing through me right and wrong," as The Book of Hymns so accurately describes Him. Most importantly he is characterized as a man, even another man like David. In Jeremiah and Isaiah he is referred to as the Son of David, for the Messiah was prophesied to come out of Judah, of whom David is his seed. But in the King James Bible, in Isaiah 7.14 we have our first identification of the Messiah as God in the flesh:
Isaiah 7.14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a Virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
7.23 And it shall come to pass in that day, that every place shall be, where there were a thousand vines at a thousand silverlings, it shall even be for briers and thorns.
7.24 With arrows and with bows shall men come thither; because all the land shall become briers and thorns.
The name Immanuel means, "God is with us." He is born at the time the land of Israel is laid waste and the children scattered to the nations.
Chapter 9 of Isaiah continues:
Isaiah 9.5 For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.
9.6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
The authorized Jewish (Masoretic) version of the Bible says:
Isaiah 9.5 For a child is born unto us,
A son is given unto us;
And the government is upon his shoulder;
And his name is called
That the government may be increased
And of peace there be no end.
Upon the throne of David,
and upon his kingdom,
To establish it, and to uphold it
Through justice and through righteousness
From henceforth even for ever.
Psalm 2, beginning with "Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?" says:
Psalm 2.6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
2.7 I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.
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.
Anyone familiar with the Psalms of David or the prophesy of Isaiah ought not to be confused as to the Divine nature of the Messiah. All Rabbis since the days of Jesus and the Essenes ought to have suspected the Messiah as God in the flesh or the Son of God. If there were any confusion then Daniel could be the guide, calling on the name of the Son of Man, as Rav said: "If he is of those who live [today], then he is like our Holy Master as [Rabbi Y'huda the Prince], and if he is of those who have died, then he is like Daniel the beloved man," It is, of course, difficult to suggest that the Messiah could have already died without men knowing about it. It does not seem to match up to the Redeemer Messiah so clearly described in prophesy and pin pointed in the Son of Man in Daniel.
At some point — it is difficult to say exactly when — the early Christians arrived at the conclusion that the Messiah (Jesus) is the Son of God and even God Himself. The Gospel of John, more than the other Gospels, recognizes Jesus as the Son of God, and uses the raising up of Martha's brother, Lazarus, to identify his divine nature:
John 11.23 Jesus saith unto her, thy brother shall rise again.
11.24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
11.25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
11.26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
11.27 She saith unto him, yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.
The Gospels of Mark and Luke are not completely persuaded that the Christ is the Son of God. We may, in fact, suggest that these two gospels were written when man had not yet made up his mind that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God. The Gospel of Matthew, on the other hand, as we opened this work, clearly acknowledges Jesus as the Christ, which is considered by Christians as the Son of God. The Jews, as noted above, had identified the Messiah in a divine nature, even carrying the name of God, El, and having His Attributes of being the Eternal Father of Peace, based upon IsaiahÕs prophesy. The Rabbis also concluded that the Messiah is actually Two Messiahs.
Although it is suggested that the concept of Jesus being the same as God or the Son of God seems to be an idea which came later in Christian thinking, it is not unreasonable to conclude that two parallel views of Jesus were being resolved in the formative years of the Christian Ministry. We make this comment with some reservation, however, since it is incredible that an educated Jew would not understand perfectly that Jesus was claiming to be DanielÕs Son of Man, carrying Forgiveness of Sins, Salvation, and the Kingdom of God in his hands. The evidence, as far as the Christians are concerned, suggests that the early Apostles were confused on the issue and opted for the Son of God theme, not recognizing that the Son of Man theme is the most revealing characteristic Jesus could offer. We wonder, even, why the Gospel writers, using the Son of Man appellation for Jesus would not have included a short introductory notice on the meaning of The Son of Man, as Daniel defined it. One view, certainly propagated by Paul, who certainly became associated with the Apostle John in Ephes, concluded that Jesus is God in the flesh. The other view,