Gnostic Doctrine

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Christ's Equality With God

Christ's Equality With God




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.

Dr. Thomas writes of the equality of Christ with God, quoting from John 10:33-36. The equality of Christ with God or Yahweh is inferred in Phillippians 2:6. But what is meant by it? Not an equality of status (see 1 Cor. 15:28), but of nature; and to that equality all can attain (Rom. 5:2; 2 Pet. 1:4; Rev. 3:12).

This is made clear on p.69 of Phanerosis. The point of the argument which Jesus had with the Jews was whether Messiah was to be of God or only of David; whether he was to be "of Deity, or of mere humanity." If he were to have been simply son of David, "then he would be equal in natural descent, and inferior in rank" inasmuch as "fathers take precedence of sons."

Jesus was begotten from above; so must all those ,who would be sons of God (Jhn. 3:3 mg.); he submitted to his flesh being, crucified, and in doing so denied it to serve His God; and so must all those who would attain unto an equality with Christ by attaining unto Divine nature. They become "heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that they suffer with him; that they may be also glorified together" (Rom. 8:17).

Dr. Thomas is very careful to disclaim any connection with Trinitarian error, when writing of the "equality of Christ with God."

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