Thursday, March 03, 2011

Only One Could be the Christ


The Messiah! Who would he be and when would he come? He, as a single person, would have dual functions as king and high priest, and only one person in the universe could fulfill that remarkable role. The first mention of a messiah or savior for the human race goes back to the first book of the Bible, Genesis, at 3:15. And he arrived at just the right time in human history:
“God had maneuvered the nations in preparation for Messiah’s appearance, and the circumstances were ideal for spreading the news of that event far and wide. The fifth world power, Greece, had provided a common language, a universal means of communication among the nations. Rome, the sixth world power, had welded its subject nations into one world empire and had provided roads to make all parts of the empire accessible. Many Jews had been scattered throughout this empire, so that others had learned of the Jews’ expectation of a coming Messiah. And now, more than 4,000 years after the Edenic promise [at Genesis 3:15], the Messiah had appeared! The long-awaited promised Seed had come!”[1]
It is extremely important to realize that “God did not send some angel to rescue mankind. He made the supreme sacrifice of sending his only-begotten Son, “the one he was specially fond of.”—Proverbs 8:30; John 3:16.”[2] This is true because:

“Only Jehovah’s firstborn Son could measure up to the special needs of the situation involving sinful mankind. He is such an image of his heavenly Father in showing affection for members of the divinely produced family that he is without equal among the sons of God. Since all other intelligent creatures were brought into existence by means of him, his affection for them would certainly be abundant.”[3]
And:
“It was on a mission of salvation that Jehovah lovingly sent his only-begotten Son. God did not send his Son here in order to judge the world. If God’s Son had been sent on such a judicial mission, the outlook for all mankind would have been hopeless. The sentence of adverse judgment that would have been pronounced by Jesus Christ upon the human family would have been condemnation to death. (Romans 5:12) Thus, by this unique expression of divine love, God counterbalanced the death sentence that sheer justice would have required.”[4]
By way of contrast, the LDS Church’s study manual, Gospel Principles, in chapter 3 presents Jesus and the pre-rebel Satan as equals who both made offers to be the Christ, or Messiah. Using the Mormon scriptures of the books of Abraham and Moses, it says:

We needed a Savior to pay for our sins and teach us how to return to our Heavenly Father. Our Father said, “Whom shall I send?” (Abraham 3:27). Jesus Christ, who was called Jehovah, said, “Here am I, send me” (Abraham 3:27; see also Moses 4:1–4).
...
Satan, who was called Lucifer, also came, saying, “Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor” (Moses 4:1). Satan wanted to force us all to do his will. Under his plan, we would not be allowed to choose.[5]
Thus, it is clearly seen that Gospel Principles and the Mormon scriptures of Abraham and Moses presents them (Jesus and the person who later became Satan) both as having equal opportunity to become the Messiah. However, the angels were not in the same legal position to offer a ransom for Adam as Jesus was. Adam was God’s first intelligent physical production, his first physical son. And in accords with soteriological mechanics, the Messiah would have to offer what Adam lost. While any spiritual creation could have fulfilled the basic requirements of such, none could have fully corresponded to Adam as a firstborn son. And none would have known Jehovah God better than his firstborn son. Thus, only Jesus as God’s firstborn son could have fully satisfied the role of Messiah![6] (Refer to image below.)


From You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth (1982) page 63.

Think too of Jesus’ return to heaven before God. Then and there it was that “God exalted him to a superior position and kindly gave him the name that is above every other name, so that in the name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in heaven and those on earth and those under the ground, and every tongue should openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11) Immagine if a subordinate angel was the Messiah, he would be exaulted as Jesus is now!

Thus, when all these factors are taken into account, it becomes clear that only one person could have been the Messiah. And he was Jesus.

Additional Reading:
Who Is Jesus Christ?
Footnotes:
[1] “Matthew.” All Scripture Inspired of God and Beneficial.

[2] The Watchtower. 1991 2/15 p. 14 par. 15 “A Corresponding Ransom for All.”

[3] The Watchtower. 1992 1/15 p. 10 par. 6 “Everlasting Happiness Awaits Godly Givers.”

[4] ibid. p. 11 par. 8

[5] http://lds.org/manual/gospel-principles/chapter-3-jesus-christ-our-chosen-leader-and-savior?lang=eng
To learn how Lucifer was not Satan’s original name, and the credibility crisis this creates for Mormonism, please read my blog entry “Is Satan Lucifer?” (http://jimspace3000.blogspot.com/2010/10/is-satan-lucifer-how-can-this-be-since.html) Additionally, Jesus represents Jehovah his father, but is not the same person as Jehovah. In the Hebrew Bible, Jehovah is elohim, thus “Elohim” is not a seperate person from Jehovah contrary to Mormon doctrine. It is also important to realize that God did not create Satan, rather he created the angel who later rebelled and became Satan, which in Hebrew means “Resister.”

[6] See my blog entry “Do You Reject Trinitarianism?,” number 1.
(http://jimspace3000.blogspot.com/2010/11/normal-0-false-false-false.html)


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