Posts Tagged ‘Monotheism’

Since 2007 I have been releasing videos on youtube regarding why I believe that Judaism was more of an influence on Zoroastrianism than the other way around.  The continuing playlist can be accessed here:

As you can imagine I receive a lot of comments on these videos, but most notably from the first video I released on Sept. 9, 2007.  Today I received an encouraging complement on a comment from youtube user Netanel Yehudah. Netanel stated, “Excellant post!” After reading this it occurred to me that my response just had to be posted on my blog for more coverage.  It was originally a response to youtube user AlisherPainting on Dec. 2, 2014.  Alisher’s comment was as follows:

“As you said, it is sort of a topic where you kind of want to make your own determination of what influenced what. I would say with no doubt Judaism is influenced by the Zoroastrianism. My reasons for that are: First, you have no evidence of Judaism predating Zoroastrianism, but we have sufficient evidence to prove the other way around. Second, most importantly, I have had to work with many different Jewish communities, Bukharian Jews, Ukrainian Jews, American Jews, And Different jews who are coming from a different parts of the world. And the clear fact about all of them is they have huge cultural and spiritual influence of the region that they have lived in. And this is something that you or no jew can disagree. So, what should stop me from believing that Jews who were saved by the persians and let to live freely in a persian paradise would have not been influenced by the powerful culture of that era? I would appreciate your response.”

*My response was as follows:

“Thank you for your well spoken inquiry. First let me start by stating that I have nothing against the religion of Zoroastrianism. In fact, it is my belief that Iran should show the world how tolerant they are and promote and help the existing Zoroastrians who are still there.

I would give four reasons to consider and study:

1. Was or is Zoroastrianism truly a monotheistic religion?  Even if it was some form of monotheism it was or is not like the monotheism of the Hebrews.  While the Hebraic outlook might have acknowledged other foreign “gods” they never considered those “gods” as competing with the Lord of Creation. Furthermore there is nothing in the Hebrew scriptures which elicit the worshiper to offer praise to any other “god” except the Lord, but in the Avestan Scriptures there are plenty of Hymns of praise to many “gods” or if one interprets, “God in another form”.  The problem of course is in understanding the many gods of Zoroastric-Mazdaism as flowing from Ahura Mazda when this idea is very hard to find spelled out in the Avesta.  I think is more alluded to in Zend Commentary.

2. Was Zarathustra a religious reformer?  That is speculated by some scholars because it seems obvious by a reading of the Avesta that there existed another Persian religion which pre-existed the time of Zarathustra.  This may or may not have been the religions of King Cyrus as there is no proof that Cyrus ever mentions the name of Ahura Mazda or Zarathustra.  It could be that Zarathustra is born after the time of Cyrus as some scholars have pointed out various reasons which I mention in this video series.  If indeed Zarathustra was a reformer, the question is does he actually reform this pre-existant Mazdaism which is polytheistic into the Zoroastric-Mazdaism idea?  Or is he not a reformer at all?  Perhaps he simply reinforces the foundational principles of this idea of Ahura-Mazda flowing through all of the other various gods?

3. The issue is not in regard to general influence between cultures and religions because we know that we all influence each other in some way. It is whether the Hebraic idea of monotheism or other key doctrinal ideas which I cover in this video series were originated from Zoroastrianism.

4. Are the Avestan Scriptures dated to the right time periods?  Most scholars date the Gathas portions to a general date of 1000 BC.  Some of the Avestan scriptures are possibly older and attributed to the pre-Zoroastric time period and which probably did not have the same idea of monothesism if indeed there is some sort of monotheism in them.  The “Younger” Yashts are somewhere in the Achaemenid period but most likely about 200 years after King Cyrus. Then there is quite a bit which most likely followed the 4th century BC which was clearly after the Babylonian exile of the Jews.  We really don’t have a lot to support the dating of the texts.  Aside from some fire temples and evidence of burial techniques which can just as easily be attributed to the pre-Zoro period which most likely did not support “monotheistic” ideas until Zarathustra shows up later and possibly reforms this religion.

There is simply in my opinion just not a clear enough picture of Zoroastrianism to make the claim, for instance, that it influenced the Hebrew idea of monotheisim.

Peace be to Zoroastrians and Peace be with you.”

For those interested in understanding my positions on this topic, I would direct you to what is currently a 23 part series on youtube linked above.  Since I feel that after 23 videos I have only touched the surface, there will most likely be future videos added to this playlist. Peace continue to be with you all and keep Ceeking Truth! 🙂

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This is part two of an eight part blog response to a posting by Daniel O. McClellan entitled, “The Angel of Yahweh in Early Hebrew Bible Narrative,” which was dated June 16, 2011 on WordPress.

Daniel counted 36 occurrences of “Malach Adonai” and 6 of “Malach Elohim” from Genesis to Judges. His focus is on the word pairing “Angel of the LORD” and “Angel of God”. At first I was unsure of the reason he chose to not consider those occurrences after the book of Judges, but I believe his point was to only consider the earliest appearances of the ‘Malach’. Keep in mind that “early” for the critical scholar is the late 7th century BCE as this is the dating they assign to the theoretical Deuteronomic school which he is attributing to the creation of ‘Malach Adonai’ and ‘Malach Elohim’.

In researching this matter it was apparent that some critical scholars consider all of the historical books in their analysis. Most would consider Genesis through Kings as a type of Unateuch in which theoretical redactors peppered their theology throughout. Whatever Daniel’s reason for excluding the other instances of the ‘Malach’ in the rest of the historical books, I cannot discern, but in this blog series I will be considering some passages outside of Genesis through Judges so as to examine possible theoretical Post-Deuteronomic motives for hypothetical interpolations.

Daniel starts with the first occurrence of “Malach Adonai”  which is the appearance to Hagar (Gen. 16:7), but a distinction needs to be pointed out. This is the first occurrence of the word pair, “Malach Adonai”. This distinction needs to be emphasized so that we understand that the designation of ‘Malach Adonai’ is a separate matter in itself than interpreting the other appearances of the LORD as His Messenger or even as a theophany. This should be made clear. Daniel’s focus is solely on the word pairs “Malach Adonai” and “Malach Elohim”, and how he explains why there really is no angel of the LORD but only a likely Post-Deuteronomic interpolation. To understand Daniel’s focus we need to review some basics regarding the Documentary Hypothesis.

Most scholars who adhere to the ideas of the Documentary Hypothesis hold to the idea that the theoretical Deuteronomic school was the final school to solidly Israel’s idea of monotheism, and I suspect that this is how Daniel approaches the scriptures as well. The Sacred Name of God, LORD, (“Yahweh”) is a marker for critical scholars to identify scriptures which are possible Deuteronomic interpolations. This is because they see the book of Deuteronomy as reinterpreting the god who should be worshipped as Adonai (“Yahweh”), and why the word pair, “Malach Adonai”, is such a focus in this regard.

Now another point needs to be brought up pertaining  to polytheism and early Hebraic religion.  Daniel’s message is not particularly concerned with polytheism or even monotheism, but instead is built on an idea which states that no one can see the LORD and live. It is this idea which is attributed to the redactor, and to the redactor only, for the sake of reinterpreting the LORD’s appearance’s as not contrary to Deuteronomic theology. In other words a theoretical Post-Deuteronomic redactor is trying to cover up the theoretical theology of a hypothetical Yahwist or Elohist narrative.

Daniel states that just as Hagar asks how does she survive seeing God that, “This would echo sentiments found in our other angel of Yahweh pericopes (Gen 32:30…,” and he goes on to list others, but I need to point out that Genesis 32:30 is not an “Angel of Yahweh” passage! In fact nowhere in chapter 32 is the Hebrew word “Malach” found! Chapter 32 is where Jacob wrestles with a “man”, and yet Daniel has in a round about way admitted that this “man” is really an angel.

This may have been a mistake on Daniel’s part. In studying the different versions I noted that Brenton’s English translation of the Septuagint interprets the English word “angel” in Gen. 32:32 in place of the Greek “he”. Clearly it is noted by brackets  or italics keying the reader in that it is not in the Greek. It would seem in this case that Daniel overlooked the fact that the Greek word for “angel” (aggelos) is not in the text of the Septuagint either!

I’m going to point out the obvious which is that Daniel’s claims are in regard to mainly Hebrew and Greek interpolations so when we see a word which has been interpreted into English we hold to what is in the original languages as a priority and not the opposite. This brings up an important point. Daniel is not just focused on the word “angel”, but also on those passages which state in so many words that someone saw the LORD and yet lived to tell the story.

Is Daniel’s argument consistent?  If a redactor interpolated an ‘angel’ to shield the people from seeing the LORD then why is there no “angel” in Genesis 32? If indeed it was only the LORD wrestling with Jacob in the “original” text then the radical critic must believe that the Name of the LORD was replaced with “man” before or during the theoretical Deuteronomic period, but if this was the case then why would a post-Dueteronomic redactor add a statement at the end about “seeing the LORD” yet living? If indeed the LORD’s Name was removed and replaced with “man” then what point would a Post-Deuteronomist have in stating that Jacob saw the LORD and lived if Jacob only saw a “man”? Furthermore the sacred Name is not even used in this passage, but instead the Name “Elohim”. In this instance regarding Genesis 32, one possible conclusion regarding the text about ‘Seeing God’ is that the text is not actually echoing anything but is original in context and not the handiwork of theoretical Post-Deuteronomic redactors.

The number of occurrences of the ‘Malach’ is quite important to Daniel as he counted 36 of ‘Malach Adonai’ from Genesis through Judges and makes a point to go over those passages which contain the word pair “Malach Adonai”, and ignores any of the other passages which are missing this “formula”. When it comes to identifying ‘Angel of the Lord’ passages however, Daniel breaks this “formula” and lists Gen. 32 as included in his examination.

The claims of interpolations seem to be invalidated in this particular case. If there is no word for ‘angel’ in Genesis 32 then it is not an “Angel of the LORD” passage in the definition which Daniel started with. In fact Genesis 32 is not included in Daniel’s reckoning of 36 occurrences from Genesis through Judges of “Malach Adonai” because the Hebrew word “Malach” does not occur in chapter 32 nor does the Greek word “Aggelos”, and yet he has identified Genesis 32 as an “Angel of the LORD” passage!

Consider the following in Genesis 32:22-32 where Jacob struggles with a “man”:  In this story there are some key points which the reader should ponder:

  1. There is no use of the LORD’s sacred Name.
  2. There is no use of the Hebrew or Greek word for messenger/angel.
  3. There is a reference to ‘seeing God’ ‘face to face’, but the Name “Elohim” is used and not “Adonai”.

Explained in another way, why do passages such as this exist at all if indeed there was such a thing as a Post-Deuteronomist? Well I can only try to surmise from a critical viewpoint to state that a theoretical Post-Deuteronomic editor really botched this one up. If indeed the Post-Deuteronomist represented the latest of redactors then they should have had all the texts at their disposal in order to “correct” these “problems”, but instead we are told to believe that we can see all the “mistakes” which they left behind.

My logic leads me to believe that the radical critics really do not hold the redactors in a very high regard. I could be wrong, but to me it seems that the Post-Deuteronomists are seen to have attempted to cover up perceived problematic passages but have failed miserably due to the passages which should have an interpolated ‘angel’.

If I believed in a Post-Deuteronomic school I certainly could not hold them in such a low esteem. I would think that if these were Hebrew scribes that their standards of textual analysis would be exceptional. Would they not study the Torah day and night and meditate on every word and phrase? If their idea of the LORD and centralization of worship was so clear then why do we find passages which are contrary to those ideas? If these politically motivated redactors really existed then why were they so careless so as to leave a trail of scriptures which contradict their main aims?

Perhaps the radical critic who believes in a Post-Deuteronomic school doesn’t realize the low standard they have assigned to this school? It sounds like the current state of high school education which is flailing in America. In other words this Deuteronomic school is so substandard that it cannot teach its students basic reading skills.

In speaking on the Hagar narrative Daniel is proposing that there never was a Messenger to begin with, so the argument is no longer about the interpretation of the ‘angel’ as a specific Angel of the Lord or a nonspecific angel. Instead the implied situation is that the confusion of the identity of the ‘angel’ is due to theoretical interpolations of the word “Malach”. It seems like an argument in which the Post-Deuteronomist is shown trying to support a specific type of strict monotheism, but it falls apart. This is because even without the mention of a Messenger in other passages, the texts are still interpreted within a framework of what the radical critics would call ‘Deuteronomic monotheism’. In those texts missing an ‘angel’ various religious communities interpret the interlocutor as either the LORD or an angel of the LORD. This is the case with the ‘Jacob wrestling a man’ passage which is later explained by the prophet Hosea in chapter 12 verse 4:

“Yes, he wrestled with the angel and prevailed; He wept and sought His favor. He found Him at Bethel And there He spoke with us,…”

Hosea has revealed a Hebraic understanding of an earlier passage which makes no literal mention of a “Malach”, but it is clear that the “man” in Genesis 32 is understood to be ‘the angel’. One possible conclusion is that there was no need to identify the “man” because the Hebrews understood that this was either an angel or a theophany.

Of course the critical scholar could conveniently attribute this verse in Hosea to Post-Deuteronomic authorship, but in this case it really doesn’t matter who the verse is attributed to (although I would still hold to the idea that the verse is original in context), because it is proof to the fact that the word “Malach” did not need to exist in Genesis chapter 32 in order for it to be understood as a passage about an angel. I believe this is where the Interpolation Theory loses it’s wind. It seems to be focused on the Deuteronomic desire to cover up theoretical passages in which the LORD is appearing as Himself, but if the passage can be interpreted as an angelic appearance then what need is there to interpolate the angel?

In looking at the story of Hagar, consider the contextual interpretation of ‘angel’.  Since the Hebrew word for “angel” is also translated, “messenger”, we need to depend on the details of each story to determine if we are reading about a heavenly messenger or if the passages are in reference to an earthly messenger. The implication is that we could interpret an appearance of the LORD as a nonspecific angel or as a specific Angel which serves to give the LORD’s message. This is even when the passage does not contain the word pair “Malach Adonai”, might only contain the word “Malach”, or not contain the word “Malach” at all.

The point being is that the concept of the ‘Messenger’ is not dependent on the word pair “Malach Adonai”. Even if the word pair never existed in the Biblical texts the concept of it would have existed in commentary in one form or another (I state this only to make a point because I still believe that the texts more likely originally contained the title of ‘Malach Adonai’).

Now in getting back to the appearance to Hagar (Gen. 16:7), Daniel states that, “…This would echo sentiments found in our other angel of Yahweh pericopes (Gen 32:30…”  He is referencing a concept which he believes is proof that shows a pattern of Deuteronomic editorship which is this: Wherever you see in scripture places which describe the LORD appearing then you will also find words regarding seeing God yet living, and the ‘Malach Adonai’ as the mediator. It’s a theory which I believe is built on sinking sands as Daniel himself incorrectly identifies Gen 32:30 as one of those ‘Malach Adonai’ passages.

Daniel notes Hagar’s emphasis in verse 13 of the NRSV which states, “… for she said, “Have I really seen God and remained alive after seeing him?” The critical scholar also thinks that this notion about ‘seeing God’ is an infused idea by a Deuteronomist, for it is thought that this idea is a later development. Daniel offers no support for the late development of this idea other than stating that it is most likely echoing Exodus 33:20, “…you cannot see my face; for no one shall see me and live,” which incidentally is also another verse the critics consider to be a Deuteronomic interpolation and is therefore dated by the critics to the hypothetical Deuteronomical period of the late 7th century B.C. or later. For more on the speculative dating of Deuteronomy and hence the Deuteronomic period I would refer the reader to the works of Gordon Wenham, but for the sake of this article it need only be pointed out that the late dating of Deuteronomy is still not substantiated in a full and complete manner by the Radical Biblical critics.

Daniel’s point seems to be that in Deuteronomic logic an angel can make an appearance but according to Exodus 33:20 the LORD’s appearance is fatal, so the word “Malach” was inserted to “fix” the “incorrect” concepts in the Torah. We know Daniel believes Exodus 33:20 is an interpolation because he wrote,

Exod 33:20, which states that no human will see God and live, is alluded to in each example.”

What evidence do we have to prove that a theoretical Post-Deuteronomist was alluding to a hypothetically interpolated theology? Couldn’t we just as easily assume that Exodus 33:22 is actually the writer of Exodus echoing these ideas from Genesis? Until I can find more convincing correlational evidence to support Deuteronomic allusions of Exodus 33:20, I will have to consider this point unsubstantiated.

And so Daniel states that the whole passage on Hagar makes more sense if we drop the word “Malach” so that as he states she is, “…speaking directly with Yahweh.” The critical line of thought assumes that an explanation is in order for what could appear to be a conflict of ideas. For how could Hagar see the LORD and live? Only the critic sees this as a problem because they have already built up ideas of a supposed  web of Deuteronomic influence. They are therefore confronted with problems which do not fit into their Biblical universe. The Angel of the Lord is one of those problems which Daniel is grappling with. When posed with the problems of identity confusion the critic sees “evidence” of story manipulation. Instead of considering that the Angel is either the LORD or a non-specific messenger, his answer is to do away with the angel altogether.

In regard to Exodus chapter 33 it becomes very clear that the LORD is not only referring to seeing Him, but in fact is responding to Moses inquiry after he asks the LORD in verse 18, “…Now show me your glory.” It seems an odd statement because Moses is assumed to be speaking face to face with the LORD as noted in verse 11, “The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend…” If Moses was speaking with the LORD face to face then would he not have seen His glory? Well, apparently not, hence Moses request, “…Now show me your glory.” What seems even more odd is the response which the LORD gives Moses in verse 19 which states that He would cause all His goodness to pass in front of Moses. It seems at this point that we could very easily interpret these verses as demonstrating that the LORD is fully able to present Himself in a less glorious form.

Finally we come to Exodus 33:20 which seems to be the center of Daniel’s presentation, but in light of the context of chapter 33 it suddenly sounds quite odd if simply taken out of context. The LORD states, “…you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live,” but in light of the preceding verses this statement can be understood as the face of the LORD’s full Glory, as stated in verse 19, “…all His goodness.” The implication is that Moses can speak face to face with the LORD (verse 11), but no one can stand before the face of the LORD when He shows His full glory (verses 18, 19, and 20). Now with the above very likely interpretation of Exodus 33:11-20, there is no need for the Interpolation of a ‘Malach’. Why? Because if the LORD is capable of appearing in less glorious forms such as a “man”, or a “fire”, or a “cloud” then there is no need to explain why people did not die at seeing Him in these less glorious forms.

It is very likely that Daniel is not convinced that Exodus chapter 33 should be read in a synchronic approach,  but in my estimation if a Deuteronomist actually infused their ideas into this chapter then they did the poorest of jobs. For instance why state that no one can see the LORD’s face in verse 20 when in verse 11 Moses speaks with the LORD face to face? If one accepts Exodus chapter 33 as it stands without placing upon it a theoretical diachronic viewpoint then the passage explains itself and does away with supposed “problems” in the other passages.

Regarding diachronic analysis of the Biblical texts, it is the method which Daniel uses in his approach to Scripture.  More simply put, viewing the stories as coming together over a span of time by multiple theoretical authors, rather than seeing them as distinct stories which represent themselves as being recorded in singular units. It is Daniel’s argument which states in so many words that holding a diachronic view of the texts is supported by the Interpolation Theory. Well, it would seem that this is what he is stating, but the Interpolation Theory is actually the result of diachronic analysis! By taking the diachronic viewpoint, Wellhausen, as well as others, laid the foundation to reinterpret the existence of the Biblical stories. This ultimately led to the theory of the Documentary Hypothesis which in turn spawned the Interpolation Theory.

The point is that one must first be persuaded by the hypothetical arguments of the Documentary Hypothesis or some form of it in order to adopt the belief that certain stories or ideas should be viewed with diachronic analysis to begin with. I do not intend to trail off into arguments against the Documentary Hypothesis. All that is necessary for the reader to understand is that these ideas are part of the Interpolation Theory. This is especially in regard to the theoretical Deuteronomic school as Daniel concludes in his article that the ‘angel’ is likely the interpolation of Post-Deuteronomic authorship.

Daniel concludes the section on Hagar by stating, “This particular story makes more sense with the word ‘angel’ removed from vv. 7, 9, 10, and 11, and with Hagar speaking directly with Yahweh.”  It certainly could make sense within a radically critical framework, but does that framework stand under the scrutiny of conservatism?

Does not the possibility that the LORD was actually appearing to Hagar in a less glorious form also remain a likely interpretation?  Does not the ‘Malach’ remain open for debate as to His specific or nonspecific nature?

The conservative is more interested in dealing with the text as it stands and does not see contrary ideas at play. If the LORD appeared to Hagar and she did not perish then explanations are in order, and there remain other very likely explanations besides the Interpolation Theory.

This ends part two of this eight part series.  I look forward to my next post. Peace be with all and Keep Ceeking Truth. 🙂

Part 1 Critically Conflated

Part 2 Interpretations of Interpolations

Part 3 Saying and Seeing

Part 4 Presuming Preemption

Part 5 Appearing to have Appeared

Part 6 Diachronic Deadends

Part 7 Additional or Absent?

Part 8 Conclusions of Conjecture

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If Messiah is not the LORD then we worship a lessor god.  A lessor god he is not, rather, a representation of the Father.  He sits on The Throne of Majesty and as such, “Let all the angels (gods) worship him,” (Psa. 97:7; Heb. 1:6).

Psalm 97:7 clearly is speaking of the LORD receiving worship, so how was this scripture connected with the Messiah?  The key is the resurrection.  It is the resurrection of the Messiah which enthrones Him on the LORD’s throne and reveals Him as King of kings, not from an earthly perspective but from a heavenly one.  As in the past,  the kings of Israel were called the sons of God, so the future Messianic king would be called a son of God, but more so than previous messiahs.  The Messiah who ushers in the world to come is a supernal figure who is both man and divine.  The final Messiah is, in other words, a son of Adam and a Son of God.  He is more than an angel (god), He has received glory and honor above the angels (Psalm 8:6; Heb.2:8, 9):

You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under his feet, ESV

It is before the throne that all ‘gods’ (angels) are commanded to worship Him (Psalm 97:7). This perception of the ‘gods’ as angels is a key to understanding the Sonship of the final Messiah, for to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son…” (Heb.1:5).  Indeed the angels are the sons of God, but to which of them did God ever call “Son”.   The son of the King is the Prince.  He is the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6).

There are indeed gods many and lords many (I Cor. 8:5), but are they gods? Psalm 82:6,7 sheds more light on these ‘gods’:

I said, “You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you; nevertheless, like men you shall die, and fall like any prince.” ESV

Verse 7 is the key. They are not gods because they shall die like men. It is more likely that these sons of the Most High are angels or divine beings. Whatever we call them, they are not gods in the sense that we understand the English word ‘gods’. They are created by the LORD and it is He who said, “Ye are gods…,” furthermore; we should note the Hebrew doublet in verse 7 which equates, ‘gods’ with ‘sons of the Most High’. This is indeed significant because angels are referred to as the sons of God, and speculation is made regarding Gen. 6:2 that angels took the daughters of men as wives.

The LORD created this world and mankind so that His Divinity could be experienced by all.  Currently we should all be striving to heal this world (Tekkun Olam) and look forward to the world to come.  All of creation will eventually be renewed, and this why it groans (Rom. 8:22).

It is not surprising that Messiah is described as, “greater than Abraham, higher than Moses, and loftier than the supernal angels.”  (Yalkut Shimoni after Isaiah 52:13).

Heb. 1:6

And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him

Psalm 97:7

All worshipers of images are put to shame, who make their boast in worthless idols; worship him, all you gods!

To distinguish between the final Messiah and all other messiahs is  important. There is only one King Messiah and He was the Spirit who hovered over the waters in Genesis. In Jewish Midrashic teaching of at least the fourth century CE, we see this idea crystallized in Genesis Rabbah 2:4:

R. Shim’on ben Laqish explained: “and the spirit of God hovered over the face of the water (Gen. 1:2) – this is the spirit of King Messiah, as it is written, And the spirit of the Lord will rest upon him (Isa. 11:2). By what merit will it [the spirit of the Messiah] come?…By the merit of repentance.”

It is clear from other Jewish teachings that the Messiah pre-existed and that is an important point to realize because there is only one Messiah. There have been many messiahs through the ages but the Fathers did not pre-exist as the Spirit who hovered over the waters. No, the Fathers and the prophets were a projection of the Spirit and power of the only Messiah who is divine. This is why all of mankind is but a shadow of the reality to come, the world to come, when the final Messiah appears. This is one reason why Jesus stated, “Before Abraham was, I am,” (Jn 8:58) because Jesus is presenting Himself as the true Messiah from behind the veil of eternity. Abraham was a savior, but Jesus is the very Spirit of Messiah whom Abraham mirrored.

Jesus is in union with the Father, and it is more than a union of purpose and goals. He proceeds from the Father but is more than a creation. He is ‘God from God’ and ‘Light from Light’. The nature of the Messiah is revealed fully in Jesus. It is the Spirit of the LORD which rest’s upon the Messiah. It is the Spirit who hovered over the waters who is the Spirit of King Messiah. It is this King Messiah who projects His Spirit and power throughout the ages in the Fathers and the Prophets and in the world to come will fully manifest Himself to the world.

The Messiah Spirit is the most powerful emanation of the LORD. He is the Son of the Most High but more than a son such as Adam. His Sonship is based not on the LORD’s creative nature. It is based on the LORD’s Messiah nature. The very nature of the LORD is that of Messiah. It is this part of the LORD’s nature which communicates with His creation in many and various ways (Heb. 1:1).  It is certainly true that no man has seen the face of God and yet the LORD communicated with the Fathers face to face. It was through a conduit and many scholars speculate, myself included, that this emanation of the LORD was the Spirit of Messiah.

The Spirit of the Messiah is the Spirit of the LORD. This is the Spirit by which all of the prophets foretold when Messiah would appear and the sufferings which He would endure (1 Pet. 1:10,11).

Sanhedrin 99a:

“All the prophets prophesied not but of the days of the Messiah.”

We see the LORD descending and ascending through creation as such:

As Spirit, As Angelic (Angel of the Lord), As Son of Man, As Son of God, and back to Spirit (Spirit of Christ).

It is how God is in all and experiences all. He created angels then manifested as the Angel of the Lord.  He created mankind then manifested as a son of man.  Death could not hold Him and by resurrection He is manifested as the only Son of God.  He ascends once again to be united with Glory but sends the comforter, the Spirit of Messiah.  He once again sits on the Throne of Majesty.

He is more than the King of Israel; He has had all creation put in subjection to Him.  His Name is, “The LORD, our righteousness.”  (Jer. 23:6).

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