Sabbath Message 060536120

Dear Friends.

In its Question and Answer Section, (July-August 2013 | Tomorrow’s World), the Living Church of God has published a Dorothy Dix type question that deals with the issue of Christ in the Old Testament.  It is posed to hide the reality of their theology of Ditheism (see the paper Ditheism (No. 76B)); and their claims that Christ was the God of the Old Testament and that the Father was not revealed in the OT. This claim is utterly false as we will see.

The editors start off with the Question designed to try to refute the issue that if Christ is named in the OT then it has to be Michael as the pre-existent spirit being.  The fact is that the name of the Son of God has to be able to be declared as we see from the question in Proverbs 30:4 which states: Who has ascended up into heaven or descended? Who hath gathered the wind in His fists? Who hath bounded the waters in a garment? Who hath established all the ends of the earth? What is His Name and what is his son’s name If you can tell? 

The name of the One True God is provided in the very next verse 5.  Every word of God is pure... and the word for God in Hebrew is Eloah which is singular and admits of no plurality whatsoever. The name of the son has to be garnered elsewhere. We will now examine their answer to this question. 

Do you know where to find Jesus Christ in the Old Testament?
“Question: My friend’s pastor says the archangel Michael is the same spirit personality as Jesus Christ. What does the Bible actually say about the identities of Michael and Christ?

Some denominations incorrectly assert that Jude 1:9 refers to Jesus Christ with its reference to "the archangel" known as Michael. Their idea is that the term, from the Greek archaggelos for "chief angel," is singular, so must refer to the existence of one supreme archangel. They then connect this verse to 1 Thessalonians 4:16—the only other New Testament use of archaggelos—which states, "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God." The assumption, an incorrect one, is that the returning Christ must thus be the same spirit personality as the archangel Michael.

Of course, to describe an archangel as descending "with the voice of an archangel" makes about as much sense as to describe a human male singing "with the voice of a man." On the other hand, if that singer were far more powerful than any known voice, beyond human comprehension, it would be natural to compare his power to the most powerful voice known. This is how we can best understand Paul’s words in 1 Thessalonians 4:16.

His Angels? Another mistaken argument assumes that since Revelation 12:7 describes Michael and an army of "his angels" battling Satan (the dragon), Michael must be the unique head of that army, and must be the same personality as Jesus Christ, whom Scripture elsewhere describes as the commander of powerful angels.

This, too, is a faulty assumption. Every army has ranks and squadrons, such that a sergeant and a general may both call a group of soldiers "my men." Michael having "his angels" does not preclude Michael from being one of the angels under Jesus Christ! Consider, too, the context of Michael’s war. Scripture describes Michael as fighting against the dragon and his angels! Yes, Satan has "his angels" and is not Jesus Christ! It is the same with Michael! Satan was once a prince of angels—once perfect in his ways (Ezekiel 28:14–16)! His existence as the luminous Lucifer, the Day Star (star being yet another term for angel and messenger in Hebrew), placed him in no less a position than as a mighty archangel or "covering cherub."

Scripture makes it plain that no angel is any more than a servant. Angels are not to be worshiped (Colossians 2:18, Revelation 22:8–9), and are limited in their office. Were Michael and Christ the same being, we would not see the vastly different ways in which they dealt with Satan. Note that Michael refused to rebuke Satan in Jude 1:9—a sharp contrast to Christ’s stinging rebuke offered in Luke 4:8! Note also that Jude mentions Jesus Christ directly in Jude 1:1 and Jude 1:17. In no way does he connect his verse 9 mention of Michael with any reference to Jesus Christ. He treats them as two distinct beings—which indeed they are!

That Rock Was Christ! So, where was Jesus Christ before He came to the earth? Scripture explains that the Word—the Logos—was God, and was with God the Father from eternity (John 1:1). The Word was not a created angel. Indeed, it was the Word—not God the Father—with whom the ancient Israelites interacted (1 Corinthians 10:4). Jesus Christ told the Israelites very directly that they had never known God the Father—only Christ had known Him—and it was Jesus Christ who would reveal the Father to them (John 1:18; 17:25)! No mere angel could be a fit sacrifice for the sins of mankind; only the divine eternal Son of God, made fully flesh, could fill that role. That Son is Jesus Christ. Scripture clearly reveals that Michael the archangel is a created being who serves under Christ.”

This analysis fails to deal with the fact that Christ is specifically referred to as a star that shall come out of Jacob (Num. 24:17) thus of Israel and Judah in the Pentateuch prophecies. However, when has that worried these “scholars.”

The references to John 1:18 fail to deal with the fact that Christ was the monogenes theos which means he was the only born theos or god being in the bosom of the father and he declared or spoke. Thus he was the malak or messenger (see the paper On the Words: Monogenes Theos in Scripture and Tradition (No. B4)). It was not so long ago that these same people were using this text to advance the Trinity doctrine and denying their effect and meaning.

Note that it is correctly identified that Christ was the being that was with them in the wilderness and it was he that was the angel of the presence that gave the law to Moses at Sinai.  They are forced to admit this fact. The pre-existence of Jesus Christ is covered in the paper The Pre-existence of Jesus Christ (No. 243).

Note also that there are many texts left out of this example seemingly to distort the Scriptures and advance the Ditheist heresy and the false assertion that God the Father was not known from the OT.

It has always been taught by the Sabbatarian systems that if Christ was named anywhere in the OT then that name has to be Michael.  That was the doctrine of the SDA system up until they declared Trinitarianism in 1978.  It was standard doctrine for them as well as the other Churches of God (Seventh Day) from where they derived it, that the Archangel of the OT was Michael, and that being was Christ. The WCG, and thus the offshoots (except for a couple) could not advance this doctrine as they had introduced the false theology from the Ditheist “Dual Power Heresy” which in later Christian adoption sought to claim that there were two coeternal and co-equal gods that existed before the creation and one of whom decided to come to the earth and be the son of the other. This is not an authentic Christian doctrine but is derived from the Binitarian theology of the cult of the god Attis from Rome and Adonis and Osiris in the Eastern Mediterranean and from Mithras and Baal in the other sun cults in Asia Minor. The consort was the mother goddess Easter or Ishtar or Cybele or Isis or Ashtaroth consort of Baal. The doctrine is derived from Baal worship condemned by the Bible.

The LCG and the other offshoots conveniently ignore key texts of the Bible that show clearly that the angels are all sons of God and that Satan is also a son of God.  Job 1:6 and 2:1 show that they all had access to the throne of God including Satan and had such access at the time of Job who was a son of Issachar resident in the Middle East (probably in Midian). These sons of God were the elohim who were the angelic host and are recognised as such by the Biblical scholars such as Bullinger and others.  The sons of God were termed elohim which is a plural word recognising God as an extended being. Elohim is referred to in Job 2:1 but the name Eloah is used many times to refer to the One True God throughout Job. Job 1:6 refers to Satan being among the sons of God. He is used then to tempt Job and afflict him. Job 2:1 also has the same scenario when the sons of God came before God and Satan was again among them. It is thus beyond dispute that there were many sons of God in OT times and Satan was among them and they all had access to the throne. These sons of God were divided into ranks and positions and we see from Job 38:4-7 that the One True God created the earth in the beginning and that the sons of God came together before God at the creation and all the Morning Stars sang for joy when they were shown the creation. Now a Morning Star is a planetary ruler and is referred to as a light bearer or “Lucifer” and these heads of the Heavenly Host were the rulers of the Heavenly Council which we were shown at Sinai being founded in the Tabernacle as the Sanhedrin of the Seventy plus Two, and who are divided into the Heavenly Council in Revelation chapters 4 and 5 of the Four Cherubim and the Twenty-four elders and the Lamb of God.  The outer council was the other forty-two elders making up the 72. This was the Sanhedrin also from Sinai and the Seventy-two or Hebdomekonta [Duo] ordained by Christ as the elders of the church (Lk. 10:1,17).

Now many sons of God were sent to mankind as messengers and that word was Malak in Hebrew and the word in Greek was Aggellos. The word simply meant messenger and the elohim were all sons of God as elohim until they were sent to mankind as a malak.  That is the reason why they were all referred to as Yahovah and the human host prostrated before them (Gr. proskuneo).  That same word is used of the elect when those who say they are Jews and are not but lie proskuneo before the elect of the Philadelphian Church in Revelation 3. The Binitarian worshippers of the god Attis in Rome brought their heretical doctrines in to Christianity from 175 CE. To introduce the Binitarianism of Attis they had to elevate Christ to a level above the other sons of God or elohim. They did this by creating a class and called them “Angels” from the word aggellos or messenger which was the translation of the word malak or messenger in the OT. They then made them distinct from Christ and used the term elohim or theos of he and the Father only. Having done this fabrication they then introduced the Holy Spirit as the third element of a Triune God by 381 CE at the Council of  Constantinople and confirmed it from Chalcedon in 451.  The process and theology is examined in the paper Binitarian and Trinitarian Misrepresentation of the Early Theology of the Godhead (No. 127B).

We know that the Heavenly Host was divided into the 72, as the nations were listed among the ancients as being of the seventy-two and they were divided according to the number of the sons of God. This is listed in Deuteronomy 32:8 (see RSV and the DSS and the LXX where elohim is translated as Aggellou Theou), and the text in Chapter 32 identified Eloah as the God in question.  It is this text that shows the elohim that is allocated Israel as his inheritance is also referred to as the Yahovah of Israel. This is the elohim that wrestled with the patriarchs and who spoke to Abraham and Hagar. The text in Deuteronomy 32:8 was altered by the Sopherim to conceal the fact that the Yahovah allocated Israel was the subordinate elohim of Psalm 45:6-7 and he is identified in Hebrews 1:8-9 as Jesus Christ. This alteration was done 134 times in the OT by the Sopherim. The Psalms also identify the council of the elohim and Psalm 82:6 says they are all Gods. Christ identifies himself as one of these elohim in John 10:34-36 and for that reason he was killed and they altered the OT text to conceal that fact. The text in Daniel clearly identifies Michael as the Great Prince that stands for the nation of Israel and thus if Christ as the son of God is named in the OT, which God challenges anyone claiming knowledge of the Bible to declare, his name is Michael as we see from Daniel 12:1ff.  This is the war of the Last Days when he is sent to redeem Israel.  That is also repeated in Zechariah 2:8-13 where Yahovah of Hosts the One True God, the Elyon, sends the Yahovah of Israel to Jerusalem and to the nations that spoiled them for he that touches Jerusalem touches the apple of His [reads My] eye.  The One True God is mentioned in the OT as Eloah, and also the Chaldean form Elahh. He is the object of worship and sacrifice of the Temple and from which the law emanates (Ezra 4:23-7:26). The word Yahovah is the third person form of the verb meaning “he causes to be” derived from Ex. 3:14 ‘eyeh ‘asher ‘eyeh meaning I will be what I will become (see also fn to Annotated Oxford RSV). In this way Eloah became Ha Elohim or The God as head of an extended being.

How do we know for sure that the elohim that was the immediate God of Jacob was the malak or aggellos (LXX) that redeemed him, and the other patriarchs such as Job.  Simply because we are told that was the case by Jacob and also Job, and Moses, who wrote both Job and Genesis. In Genesis 48:15-16 we read Jacob blessing Ephraim and Manasseh and thus Joseph:
[15] And he blessed Joseph, and said, "The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has led me all my life long to this day, [16] the angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and in them let my name be perpetuated, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth." 

It is thus beyond doubt that this elohim was a malak or aggellos (LXX) as it is a request to the one being to bless the lads and not two beings. This malak or messenger was an elohim as one of the sons of God. We see also that he is head of the household of David and Israel at Zechariah 12:8 and all become elohim. Job also says that his redeemer was one of the general council of the elohim that numbered 1000 beings (Job 33:23-24).

The elohim of Israel in Psalm 45 also had an elohim above him who was the One True God and that being elevated him to a position above his comrades who were the council of the elohim of the Psalms. This subordinate elohim was Christ (Heb. 1:1-9).

It is thus quite impossible for the OT texts to be claimed not to mention the One True God and shows that one of the sons of God is the subordinate Yahovah of Israel and who the Bible identifies as Jesus Christ.  It is thus proven that the ministry of the WCG and their offshoots simply do not know what they are talking about.  They preach false doctrine and the doctrines of a false God and for that fact they are also not permitted to keep the Sacred Calendar either. Nor was Herbert Armstrong permitted to do so, who taught this false doctrine to them, but he and they did not fully understand what was true and thus could not teach it properly. 

Names of Christ
In addition to the names of the Elohim of the OT we also have other names applied to Christ in the NT.  The gospels refer to him as Immanuel which means “God with us” yet he was never named this in spite of the direction of the angel. He was named Yahoshuah or Joshua in the English or “Yahovah saves” (or salvation of Yaho[vah]) which was the name of the human that spoke to the captain of the army of the Lord at Jericho, namely Joshua son of Nun meaning “Salvation of Yahovah comes through endurance.” The other prophetic names of the OT are found in the paper Isaiah 9:6 (No. 224). The various names applied to the Messiah both OT and NT show that there is a change in his status as both elohim and malak or aggellos/archaggellos and as the Son of Man and the names themselves carry much meaning.

The text in Jude clearly shows Christ and the faith once delivered as being the object of the text and the text re Michael and Satan shows that it was Michael in the wilderness at Jordan opposite Jericho that fought with Satan over the body of Moses and it was thus Michael that was with Joshua at Gilgal as the captain of the armies of the Lord (see also the paper The Fall of Jericho (No. 142)). This is the great prince that stands for the people of Israel and if Christ is named in the OT texts as proverbs states then that being is Michael. He is the archangel of the Heavenly Host being premier in command and rank of the Host. See also the paper Joshua, the Messiah, the Son of God (No. 134).

The LCG and UCG and other Armstrong worshippers cannot afford to admit that Armstrong was wrong as it really is a battle for a gullible audience for money and not truth. They would also then have to admit the error of the doctrine on the Nature of God and then the Calendar.

They simply don’t know enough. Most of them are still unconverted Protestants; which was the judgment handed down by Armstrong to those Protestants that did not properly understand the Nature of God as expounded in the Bible texts.

Wade Cox

Coordinator General.