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Saturday, November 22, 2014


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NEXT: What Moses Taught Concerning The Christ


The Subject Itself


PAGES 75-78

At this point of the inquiry, the true believer meets the Jew face to face in the approving presence of Moses and Jesus. They all agree on this point, and say in the words of the sh'ma, "there is One Yahweh." Compare Deut. 6:3 with Mark 12:29-32. By doing so, the reader will see that Jesus was as emphatic and precise in his teaching concerning God as Moses: and that those who heard him teach understood him in the Mosaic sense; for a Scribe (and all the Scribes were students of the law, and zealous for their interpretation of Moses) said to him: "Well, teacher, thou hast said the truth : for there is one God; and there is none other but He": upon which Jesus remarked: "Thou art not far from the kingdom of God."

But here the agreement ceases at the threshold; for not content with one Eternal Spirit named Yahweh, the rejector of Jesus contends for only one eloahh. But Moses nowhere teaches that there is but one eloahh; nor does he use the phrase One Elohim -- a singular numeral with a plural noun. On the contrary, he teaches the existence of a plurality of Elohim. The Sh'ma does not say "Yahweh our Eloahh is one Yahweh, or one Eloahh"; but "Yahweh our Elohim is one Yahweh." Moses and Jesus are agreed in this also; for if either of them had taught that there was but one eloahh, they would have been in opposition, or of both of them had so taught, they would have left no room for a Messiah who should be called Yahweh-Tsidkainu, as in Jer. 23:6; 33:16, He shall be our righteousness; and Elohai kol-haretz, "Elohim (plural) of the whole earth," as in Isaiah 54:5. To have taught the doctrine of only one Eloahh, as well as only one Yahweh, would have been to set aside the doctrine of a Messiah altogether, so that there would be neither a personal Christ, nor a multitudinous Christ, the latter being constituted of all in him, the personal.


Well, then, Moses and Jesus both taught a plurality of Eloahhs. Jesus said: I am Eloahh, and my Father is Eloahh, and the children of God by resurrection, each one is Eloahh; and all together we are thy Elohim, O Israel, and yet but one Yahweh. But the Jews repudiate such a God-Name as this. It is incomprehensible to them; and in their opinion, nothing short of blasphemy. It was so repugnant to their notions of things that when Jesus taught it "they took up stones to stone him"; and declared that they did so because that he, being a man, made himself Eloahh in saying: I am the Son of All (John 10:33-36). Like Dr. de Lara, they objected to the idea of Yahweh having a son; and that son being a man; and that man consequently EIoahh or God. Hence, when Jesus asked them: "What think ye of Christ? Whose son is he?" They did not answer: "He is the Son of God" -- to have done so would have been to admit that he would be equal to God, which they considered blasphemy. They, therefore, adhered to the fleshly view of the matter, and replied: "He is the Son of David." This was equivalent to saying that he was equal with David only; and consequently, not equal with Deity. But this position was pregnable, and easily turned. Jesus saw their weakness, and immediately exposed it by inquiring: "How then doth David in spirit call him Adon (lord, superior, ruler, &c.,) saying: Yahweh said unto my Adon, Sit thou at my right hand till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then call him Adon, how is he his son?" They could not answer this; "no man," says Matthew, "was able to answer him a word" (Chapter 22:41-46).

The point in this argument is a question of equality; and therefore of Deity, or of mere humanity. If Messiah were to have been simply son of David, then he would be equal in natural descent, and inferior in rank. If equal in natural descent he would have been no more than a son of Jesse; and if simply David's son, he would have been socially inferior, inasmuch as in society, and especially in Hebrew society, fathers take precedence of sons. This being admitted as contained in their premiss, upon what known principle could David speak of such a Messiah as his Adon or Sovereign Lord? Here is a notably weak point in the Jewish understanding of the doctrine concerning the Messiah. As in the days of their fathers, so to the present time, "They judge after the flesh." They can only see in Christ a son of David, having no higher origin than blood, or the impulse of the flesh, or the will of man. They have no conception of a Christ, who should be formed by the Eternal Spirit from the substance descended from David, as Adam was formed by the same Spirit from the dust; and therefore generated by the will and power of Ail, still less did they see that such a Son of Power should become a son of a spirit-generation from among the dead. The


Jewish mind cannot penetrate "the veil of the covering"; so that all his reasonings begin and end in flesh, "which profits nothing." It is not to be wondered at, then, that the Jews, as Dr. de Lara says, "reject with scorn and ridicule the idea of God having a son; of coming down from heaven and enacting with the Virgin Mary the scene related by Luke." Their minds are so sensual and earthly that they cannot ascend to the contemplation of "heavenly things." What they know naturally, as brute beasts, of these things they can speak; but higher than flesh they cannot rise until the Lord shall come and take away the veil.

But, as we are taught in the Old and New Scriptures that a remnant of Israel shall be saved, we would, in the hope of our writings meeting the eyes of one or more of that remnant, reason with them concerning the Christ. We would invite them again to the question Jesus put to their fathers, saying, "What think ye of the Christ? Whose son is he?"

But no one, Jew or Gentile, can give a reasonable answer to this question who is ignorant of Moses and the prophets. And the reason of this will be obvious to every intelligent person from the consideration of the facts that "Christ," as the subject matter of a system of knowledge, is peculiar to their writings. Moses' writings may be said to have started the subject. It is true that the Christ-idea was in the world before Moses lived. Adam and Eve received the first promise of his appearing in listening to the sentence upon the serpent in Gen. 3:15. Enoch, the seventh from Adam, predicted his coming with his ten thousand saints; and Abraham saw his day, and was glad. Still the convictions and hopes of these ancients would have been lost but for Moses, who was caused by Yahweh to put them on record, and to commit the writings to the custody of the Hebrew nation. It is, therefore, exact enough to say, that, as far as we are concerned, the Christ-idea and the Christ-doctrine, originated with Moses. He treats of it at large in his five books. After him the Christ-idea was dramatized, not related, but represented by Joshua at the head of Yahweh's hosts in the conquest of the Holy Land from the Gentiles. It was also dramatized in the history of David and Solomon, and the Mosaic doctrine concerning Christ, amplified by Samuel, David, Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and all the prophets. The idea and teaching, then, concerning Christ being a special system of inspired knowledge peculiar, exclusively peculiar, to the prophetic writings, how can a man rationally answer the question: "What is the truth concerning the Christ? Whose son is he?" in ignorance of what they testify? It is impossible. We must study Moses and the prophets, or we can know nothing as we ought to know it concerning the "Wonderful One," through whom the knowledge of the "Eternal Spirit Name," or God, is


revealed. It is impossible to know God apart from the Christ-doctrine of Moses and the prophets; for the knowledge of Christ is the knowledge of God-manifestation to man. Let us put it in another form, thus: blot out from the oracles of God the instruction concerning Messiah, and there would remain no revelation of God behind. The Christ-doctrine is the key to the Sh'ma; to the Memorial Name for a generation of the race; to "the glorious and Fearful Name," and to all the remarkable combinations of words, grouped together without regard to grammatical rules, and so thickly distributed upon the sacred page. Let us then, hear Moses and the prophets: "for they wrote of me," says Jesus: and "if ye believe not their writings, how can ye believe my words?" (John 5:47). Jesus had no hope of a man, in a scriptural sense, believing his doctrine, who did not believe Moses, and if he and Moses were not credited, the ignorance of the unbeliever alienated him from the life and blessedness of God; for, he says, "this is Aion-life, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent" (John 17:3).