The following Scripture passages are offered to aid beginning fellowships. The readings and commentary for this week are more in line with what has become usual; for the following will most likely be familiar observations. The concept behind this Sabbath’s selection is Whose Son Is He?
For the Sabbath of September 9, 2006
The person conducting the Sabbath service should open services with two or three hymns, or psalms, followed by an opening prayer acknowledging that two or three (or more) are gathered together in Christ Jesus’ name, and inviting the Lord to be with them.
The person conducting the service should read or assign to be read Matthew chapter 22, verses 41 through 45; Mark chapter 12, verses 35 through 37; Luke chapter 20, verses 41 through 44, and Psalms chapter 110.
Commentary: Before proceeding, the citation Jesus quotes should also be read in Hebrew and from the Septuagint, then the passage from the Gospel of Matthew:
Psalm 110:1 — (Hebrew)
לְדָוִד מִזְמֹור נְאֻם יְהוָה ׀ לַֽאדֹנִי שֵׁב לִֽימִינִי עַד־אָשִׁית אֹיְבֶיךָ הֲדֹם לְרַגְלֶֽיךָ׃
(Septuagint) allhlouia exomologhsomai soi kurie en olh kardia mou en boulh euqeiwn kai sunagwgh
(Matt 22:44) ειπεν κυριος τω κυριω μου καθου εκ δεξιων μου εως αν θω τους εχθρους σου υποκατω των ποδων σου
The above passages from the Synoptic Gospels have been used for a millennia and a half to prove that Jesus the Christ was part of a triune deity God from the beginning although better passages were available to prove that the Logos was God. Observant Jews in the 20th and 21st Centuries derided Christians for using Jesus quoting Psalm 110:1 to show any equality between YHWH and Adoni, both usually translated into English as /Lord/. In fact, Jews say that the recorded confrontation could not have happened, but has to be a fiction because Pharisees would have known the difference between Adonai [how an Observant Jew would have prayed or sung the Psalm] and Adoni, the second use of Lord and a usage reserved for human kings and lords.
It is easy for those who deny and those who doubt that Jesus was God prior to His human birth to pounce on the original language [Hebrew] of the citation and say, See, Jesus did not know what He was talking about, but the citation must be kept within its context: Jesus asked the Pharisees who had gathered around Him what they thought about the Christ, whose son was he? And pausing right here, let us examine Psalm 110—
Second verse: YHWH sends forth from Zion whose mighty scepter? His, correct? He will rule in the midst of His enemies.
Third verse: YHWH’s people, Israel, will, in holy garb [what is holy garb?] offer themselves freely on the day of His power. But how will they offer themselves?
Fourth verse: YHWH has sworn and will not change His mind, “You [who] is a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”
Fifth verse: Adoni is at your [whose] right hand; he [Adoni] will shatter kings on the day of his wrath. (So Adoni has a particular day of wrath—is this a day other than the day of the Lord?)
Sixth verse: He [Adoni] will execute judgment on nations, filling them with corpses, shattering the heads of these nations.
Seventh verse: He [Adoni] will drink from the brook; therefore he will lift up his head.
Because Jews long ago made an idol of their monotheism—a feat only duplicated by the Reformed Church, which made an idol of the Bible—neither Pharisees in the 1st-Century nor Observant Jews in the 21st-Century can answer the question that Jesus asked; thus, these latter day Pharisees deny that Jesus ever asked the question. But the proper question is, did 1st-Century Pharisees teach that the Messiah would be David’s son? And from all evidence that survives, this question must be answered in the affirmative. Thus, it was not Jesus who introduced the concept of the Messiah being David’s son—Jesus brought an easily understood [in the Hebrew] passage to bear on this common teaching or assumption, a passage that should have revealed to the Pharisees their idolatry, and might well have since none of them again asked Jesus a question.
Every Observant Jew today will tell a person that 1st-Century Pharisees well understood Scripture—and from a physical perspective, they did. Give credit where credit is due. They understood the law, but none of them kept the law (John 7:19), which required an act of faith (Deu 30:1-2) equivalent to Abraham’s faith while still uncircumcised (Rom 4:11-12). Without this act of faith (and belief), no circumcised Israelite cleansed his or her heart; none were spiritually circumcised (Deu 30:6). All remained in a taxonomical spiritual hierarchy as beasts, the livestock daily offered in sacrifice to God. And it is here where secular arguments are made—at the level of bleating goats and bellowing bulls. A human being can sort of understand the baas of sheep, knowing that this baa means the animal is hungry and that baa means that the animal is lost and seeks others. Likewise, a born of Spirit disciple can listen to the arguments of Observant Jews and can assign a carnal level of meaning to the bleating of beasts penned in Judea on the 10th of Abib when their ancestors crossed the Jordan (Josh 4:19). Yes, the nation of Israel was penned in God’s rest to be sacrificed as Passover lambs, not something any Observant Jew wants to hear but nonetheless the reality of the forthcoming seven endtime years of tribulation.
It isn’t to either Observant Jews or to Jews for Jesus, an organization without spiritual understanding, that endtime disciples go to place Jesus’ unanswerable question into context—and Muslim apologists who have weighed in on the subject [some have] are as Arian Christians are on a spiritual hierarchy: both use the passage to show that Jesus was a man, not God.
So, using generalities with their associated limitations to rank in ascending order the spiritual livestock, we find on the bottom the Observant Jew who denies that the conversational exchange between Jesus and the Pharisees could have taken place. Next comes the Muslim apologist who almost believes the exchange happened, but asserts that the Psalmist proved that the second Lord [Adoni] was only a man and not God. Next is the Arian Christian who believes that the exchange took place, but like the Muslin apologist, believes that the Psalmist showed that the Messiah was born as a man and would become God through being glorified. Then, still clearly within the taxonomical ranking of livestock comes the Trinitarian Christian who uses the mistranslation of what the Psalmist wrote to “prove” that Jesus was God. And who has been left out, the non-believer who could care less about the passage let alone the question? This non-believer still swims in the sea of humanity, awaiting spiritual birth half way through the seven endtime years. He has not yet been washed ashore.
Any taxonomical spiritual ranking conveys a sense of spiritual arrogance that needs to be immediately tempered with humility coming from understanding that to whom much has been given, much is expected … the person who understands that Jesus was fully a human being when born of Mary, a man composed of flesh [soma] and shallow breath [psuche], without life in the heavenly realm until born from above through receipt of the divine Breath [Pneuma] of the Most High, knows God and is of God, for only God can reveal this to the person. A person cannot on his or her own grasp what occurred when the Logos as Theos entered into the creation He caused to happen as His Son, His only, a one time event that could not be repeated. He literally divested Himself of His divinity and made Himself into flesh and shallow breath—from a spiritual perspective, Theos died when He entered His creation, for He no longer had any life in the heavenly realm. And this has not been well appreciated in Christological debates that began with the premise that God cannot die.
The premise that a deity cannot die negates the significance of Christ Jesus’ sacrifice. Likewise, belief that human beings are born with immortal souls negates this significance. And everyone who teaches either that Theos did not die or that human beings have immortal souls has not been sent forth by God as a teacher of holy Israel, but has come on his or her own as an imposter, a false prophet or false teacher whom the world eagerly hears, for this person is from the world and speaks as part of this world (1 John 4:5). That is correct! Every person, no exception, who teaches that Theos did not die when He left heaven and entered this world is an antichrist (v. 2), and many are these antichrists who believe that they are of God and teach as if they have been sent when they have only come on their own, seeking a reward in heaven for their good works here in earth. They will be denied when their judgments are revealed, for they have denied Christ when they teach that the man Jesus was fully God. The man Jesus had no life in the heavenly realm until the Most High breathed on Him, the Most High’s Breath descending as a dove to light and remain in Jesus. And again, all who say otherwise are antichrists.
With pedagogical redundancy, the Logos was with Theon, the Most High, from the beginning. This Logos was Theos, and the two of them [Theos & Theon], as if man and wife [there is no gender in heaven], functioned as one. These two, as one, formed YHWH and are the reality of the plural Elohim, which isn’t plural in form for emphasis as is taught by Observant Jews but because the unit is plural. The profundity of marriage is in the concept of two becoming one, a profundity lost in this age of easy divorces and shack-ups. Thus, Theos functioned as the helpmate of Theon as the two of them decided to create humankind in their image, male and female (Gen 1:27) — and for the Helpmate to finish the creation of humankind in the image of Elohim, He entered the creation He had just made, divesting Himself of all life in the heavenly realm. The relationship between Theos and Theon (again, this relationship being of these two being one as in marriage) ended with the death of the Helpmate; i.e., with the death of Theos not on the cross at Calvary, but when He entered His creation for Theos came as His Son, His only (John 3:16). Theos died through divesting Himself of His divinity and becoming a servant. Yes, Yah of the Old Testament died! And the person who today claims to serve Yah is either exceedingly ignorant or a false teacher. No exceptions. And the even greater error is to identify Yah as the Father, or YHWH as the Father. The would-be teacher of Israel who makes this errant identification reveals that the person has not been sent by God to be a teacher of His holy nation, but is a false prophet.
Because of almost two millennia of false teaching, of holy Israel being exiled in spiritual Babylon for its errant ways, the false teachers who are of this world are far better heard than is the voice of Christ Jesus, but this is as it should be. The spiritual livestock about to be sacrificed would not willingly go to the altar otherwise. They would not come to Christ if they knew they were not going to heaven but into the lake of fire for their lawlessness. They would remain part of a skeptical world that will be born from above when the Holy Spirit is poured out on all flesh. Therefore, with the Body of Christ error must persist until the question of whether Jesus will find faith/belief on the earth when He returns ceases being rhetorical and is shown to be a real concern … the small, soft voice of Jesus seems hardly a match to the megaphones used by 24/7 televangelists. In this world, that soft voice rides piggyback on the satellites used as megaphones, but Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world and those who hear His voice don’t hear it in this world.
When the man Jesus of Nazareth asked His disciples who did they say that He was (Matt 16:15), and Simon Peter answered, ‘“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God’” (v. 16), Jesus told Peter that ‘“flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven’” (v. 17). Then Jesus strictly charged His disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ. Why? Why not tell everyone? Why did Jesus forbid His disciples to tell the Pharisees that He was the Christ? Would the Pharisees have then killed Jesus, before He could be sacrificed as the Passover Lamb of God? They couldn’t have. They would not have been permitted to do so. So what’s seen is how Jesus’ disciples were the lively shadows of endtime disciples just as the scribes and Pharisees were the lively shadows of the divided endtime Body [divided as in Arian and Trinitarian, with the Sadducees who denied the resurrection being the shadow of Arians who deny that Theos came as the man Jesus]. And as Jesus, the last Adam, could find no helpmate among the scribes and Pharisees in the same way that the first Adam could find no helpmate among the beasts of the fields, the glorified Christ Jesus will not be able to find any Helpmate among Arians and Trinitarians.
Jesus charged His disciples not to tell anyone that He was the Christ—today, the few disciples dwelling in heavenly Jerusalem can tell whomever they want, but their voices will not be heard for holy Israel has always been the people described by the prophet Isaiah (6:8-13). But the stump, the holy offspring remain. And these are those few of the many called (Matt 22:14) who hear the voice of the True Shepherd.
Because it is impossible for those who have not been born of Spirit to discern spiritual matters, all of the arguments of rabbis, of Muslim apologists, even of Jews for Jesus are as the bleating of livestock awaiting their time to be sacrificed, a reality that cannot be overemphasized. A disciple might reason with one of them, but until the Father draws that person from the world, the time spent reasoning will not produce near-term fruit. All the disciple can do is assert what the Father has revealed to the disciple, then without [if possible] causing offense, go on the disciple’s way, proclaiming the good news that all who endure to the end shall be saved, the gospel that must be proclaimed to the world as a witness to every nation before the end will come (Matt 24:13-14).
It is difficult to resist becoming involved in disputes such as whether Adoni can ever reference a deity whereas Adonai always references the Most High. There really is nothing to be gained through entering into this dispute. Nevertheless, so that disciples will not be misled by the bleating and bellowing livestock, Psalm 110 should be placed in a New Testament context:
Through both Joseph and Mary, Jesus was born as a descendant of King David (cf. Matt 1:6; Luke 3:31), so He was lawfully the Son of David, the man who either wrote Psalm 110 or the man for whom the Psalm was written … Psalm 110 begins, as some rabbis read it, "Le David Mizmor"; i.e., a song to David as opposed to by David. However, those who would have David composing the psalm will contend that David composed it for the Levites to sing years after his death. Either way, Judaism will make King David the subject represented by the linguistic icon Adoni, the second Lord in English translations, a disputed representation. But where there really is no disagreement—the point Jesus was making—is that the first Lord is YHWH.
Israel has been an idolatrous nation from its beginning, with Rachael hiding her father’s idols under her skirts. The nation brought its idols out from Egypt (Ezek chap 20), and the holy nation of Israel will still be worshiping demons and idols halfway through the seven endtime years (Rev 9:20-21). The ancient nation of Israel didn’t suddenly stop worshiping idols when that nation quit pronouncing the sacred Tetragrammaton; rather, it made the Tetragrammaton into an idol.
It takes a degree of cultural sophistication to turn an intangible deity into an idol like Molech or Marduk, but Israel accomplished this feat by assigning singleness to both the linguistic icon YHWH and to the linguistic icon Elohim the regular plural of Eloah, singleness that was not inherent in either. Without this assignment of singleness, though, Israel could not have functioned as the lively shadow of the spiritually circumcised nation. So the monotheism of ancient Israel, of Islam, of Arian Christians serves God’s purpose of concealing in plain sight the mysteries of God—and while Trinitarian Christianity claims to be a monotheistic belief paradigm, it is not as Arians, Muslims, and Judaism recognize. Trinitarians delude themselves into believing that three are one, with too many of them also trying to stick Mary into the same package of deities, making whom they worship being really the four-headed demonic king of the south (cf. Dan 7:6, 17; 8:21-22; 10:13, 20; 11:4-5).
To assist in the assignment of singleness to plural icons that usually took a singular verb and pronoun [for the two functioned as one] both the scribes and the Pharisees practiced substitution, pronouncing the oral icon Adonai in place of giving voice to YHWH, however they would have chosen to pronounce the Tetragrammaton. Thus, Adonai conceals what the Psalmist revealed!
The writer of Hebrews tells disciples that Jesus is a high priest in the likeness of Melchizedek (7:15-17), citing Psalm 110:4 to make his point. Also, the writer of Hebrews says that Christ Jesus, after offering a single sacrifice for sin, sat down at the right hand of the Father to wait until his enemies should be made a footstool under His feet (10:12-13). Thus, armed with this epistle to the Hebrews, an epistle that endtime Observant Jews reject, disciples will read Psalm 110 differently than will bleating goats and bellowing bulls. Theos and Theon together, speaking with one voice, that of Yah, say to David’s Lord, who is Yah but who will be born of Mary as a man descended from David [as a man after God’s heart, David disclosed that he knew how Yah differed from YHWH by how he addressed both in his late Psalms], “Sit at My right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.” By using Adoni to refer to his Lord, David reveals that he knows the plan of God, knowledge that is even today extremely privileged; David reveals that he knows that Yah will be born as a man, for Adoni is not [as every Observant Jew will tell you] used for deities.
Just as Jesus tells Peter that the Father had revealed to Peter Jesus’ identity, Yah revealed to David His identity; for this is not knowledge that human beings can derive on their own. To those human beings who are greatly loved, the Father or the Son reveals knowledge that is not otherwise available to human beings.
Most of the above had been lost to Christianity because in the Greek inscription of what Jesus said, with both YHWH and Adoni being rendered as kurios. Therefore, a person working from Matthew’s Greek gospel and with the Septuagint to check Psalm 110:1 will miss how much David understood, and why the Pharisees could not answer the question once they said that the Messiah would be David’s son. Likewise, the Observant Jew who doesn’t grasp the trap into which the Pharisees had placed themselves when they said that the Messiah would be David’s son will never comprehend how masterfully Jesus sprung that trap using the certain place where the Messiah doesn’t appear as a deity, but as a man. It isn’t that this conversation or confrontation didn’t or couldn’t take place—it’s that it did take place, with Jesus using the Psalmist to show that the Messiah will come as a man.
One last time, knowledge of who Christ is remains a privilege accorded to only a few—and remains knowledge directly revealed by the Father to the disciple. This knowledge is publicly available, but is so obscure that in actuality it might as well not publicly exist. It is, however, available to those whom the Father chooses to give it, by whatever means He chooses to use.
The two [Theos & Theon], from the beginning, functioned as one until Theos entered the creation to finish creating the Way to everlasting life. Theos surrendered His divinity when he was born to Mary, and the man Jesus, with no life other than that which came from physical breath, again received life in the heavenly realm when the Breath of the Father descended on Him as a dove—and it is through receiving the Father’s Breath that Jesus fulfilled all righteousness to become the last Adam, just as through receiving the breath of Yah the first Adam became a breathing creature, a nephesh, and the ancestor of every human being. The glorified Jesus is the ancestor of every son of God.
The person conducting the Sabbath service should close services with two hymns, or psalms, followed by a prayer asking God’s dismissal.
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"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."