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The Truth Shall Make You Free



CHAPTER XIX

FREEDOM'S KING APPEARS

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THE time for the appearance of the Messiah, or Christ, was foretold to Daniel and by him recorded hundreds of years before the appearing of that Anointed One. For Daniel's comfort the angel Gabriel informed him: "Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem, unto the Messiah the Prince, shall be seven weeks and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself." (Daniel 9:25,26) Such commandment concerning Jerusalem's rebuilding was issued to Nehemiah in 454 B.C., and 69 weeks of years (or 483 years) from that date points to A.D. 29 as the year bearing watching. Would Messiah then appear? —Nehemiah 1:1-3; 2:1-8.

Centuries later the same angel Gabriel was sent to the rebuilt Jerusalem to foretell to the faithful priest Zacharias at the temple the birth of a son who should precede and announce the appearing of the Messiah. Six months later "the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin

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espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary." Gabriel said to this descendant of King David of the tribe of Judah: "Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end." Mary asked: "How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" Gabriel replied (A.R.V.): "The holy spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee: wherefore also the holy thing which is begotten shall be called the Son of God. . . . For no word from God shall be void of power." (Luke 1:5-37) In such phrase, though Mary understood it not, God's messenger told that the life of Jehovah's beloved and only begotten Son would be transferred from the heavenly realm and glory to the womb of the Jewish virgin by the wonder-working power of God.

Some time thereafter the Lord's angel advised Joseph, Mary's betrothed, in a dream, saying : "Fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the holy spirit. And she shall bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name JESUS ; for it is he that shall save his people from their sins." (Matthew 1: 20,21, A.R.V.) This event was to be in fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14: "Now

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all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." —Matthew 1: 22, 23.

Joseph and Mary were obliged to move to Bethlehem in the land of Judah before the event occurred, and one night the child was born there and was laid in a manger. It was thirty years before the prophesied date of A.D. 29. It was about six months after the spring passover celebration of B.C. 2, and hence about October 1, when the winter rains had not yet begun and the shepherds were out in the fields near by, watching their flocks by night. The shepherds saw no so-called "star of Bethlehem" or "star of the east" to call their notice to the important event. They were not astrologers like the magi or "wise men from the east", demon-worshipers. These Jewish shepherds feared the God of Abraham and of David.

"And, behold, an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the brightness of God shone round about them; and they feared with a great fear. And the angel said to them: Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, that shall be to all the people: for this day is born to you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David. And this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heav-

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enly army, praising God, and saying: Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good-will." —Luke 2: 9-14, Douay.

Religionists called "trinitarians" say that this was the incarnation of God and that here the so-called "God-man" was born. To such unscriptural teaching is due the religious practice of calling Mary "the mother of God", thereby blaspheming Almighty God, who had no beginning or source and no female parent. Mary was not told she would be the "mother of God", but the angel Gabriel told her: "That holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the SON of God." (Luke 1: 35) Moreover, if a mere incarnation of the Son of God had been intended, then it would not have been necessary for him to have his life transferred to an embryo in the virgin's womb and to be developed there and finally born as a helpless infant. He could still have remained a spirit person and materialized a fully developed fleshly body and clothed himself with it, just as the sons of God did in Noah's day and as the angel Gabriel did when appearing visibly to Mary.

Instead of describing an incarnation the scripture (John 1:14) says: "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." His mission on earth was to be temporary, and that is why it is said he "dwelt" or tabernacled among us, just as the apostle Peter speaks of himself as "in this tabernacle", and Peter was

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no incarnation. (2 Peter 1:13,14) That the Son of God born on earth was no mighty spirit person clothing himself upon with a baby's fleshly form and pretending to be absolutely ignorant like a newborn infant is proved by the scripture (Philippians 2: 5-8), which shows he laid aside completely his spirit existence: "Christ Jesus, who, though being in God's form, yet did not meditate a usurpation to be like God, but divested himself, taking a bondman's form, having been made in the likeness of men; and being in condition as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." —Diaglott.

It is contended that the scripture, "And they shall call his name Emmanuel: which being interpreted is, God with us," proves that this babe was "God incarnate" himself. That, however, is a wresting of the Scriptures and is contrary to all other Bible texts bearing on the subject. The name "Immanuel" merely meant that God's representative and servant was with his covenant people and thus representatively Jehovah God was with them and was for them, on their side, and favoring and helping them, as foretold at Isaiah 8:10. Nor does the fact that the name "Jesus" means "Jehovah saves" signify that Jesus and Jehovah God are one and the same person. "Jesus" is merely the Greek form for the Hebrew "Joshua", and the fact that Moses' successor was named Joshua does not signify that he was Jehovah God. —Numbers 13:16,17; Acts 7:45.

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The oft-quoted prophecy at Jeremiah 23: 5, 6 can not be used as proof that Jesus is Jehovah God himself and one in person with him, namely : "Behold, the days come, saith Jehovah, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is his name whereby he shall be called: Jehovah our righteousness." (A.R.V.) The mere calling of a creature by a cognomen that includes the name Jehovah does not mean the unity in person of that creature with Jehovah. This is proved by the Scripture, at Jeremiah 33:16: "In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely; and this is the name whereby SHE shall be called; Jehovah our righteousness." (A.R.V.) Certainly Jerusalem is not one in person with Jehovah and not equal with him in power and glory and not a member of a supposed "trinity".

The scripture at 1 Timothy 3:16 is likewise cited by religionists in their argument that Jesus was "God incarnate". This claim is upset by the reading of all modern revised versions of the text, as follows: "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness; He who was manifested in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world, received up in glory." (1 Timothy 3:16, A.R.V.; Douay; Diaglott; Rotherham; Weymouth; etc.) In the above passage nearly all the ancient manuscripts and all

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the versions, including the Latin Vulgate, have "He who" instead of "God". Moreover, the religious idea of "God's blood", as based on Paul's words at Acts 20: 28, is punctured by the emphasized rendering of the original Greek text by the Diaglott and Rotherham, as follows: "Take heed to yourselves, therefore, and to all the flock among whom the holy spirit made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he acquired by the blood of his own." It is by the blood of his own Son or Lamb of God that Jehovah God purchased his church.

Joseph and Mary were authorized to call the child "Joshua", or "Jesus", for, said the angel, "it is he that shall save his people from their sins." (Matthew 1: 21, A.R.V.) Only those who become his faithful and obedient people he saves, and not those remaining willful unbelievers and rebels. If Jesus had been Almighty God Jehovah he could not save his people from their sins by his blood, because Jehovah God is immortal, "from everlasting to everlasting." "Who only hath immortality, dwelling in light unapproachable; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power eternal." (1 Timothy 6:16, A.R.V.) Almighty God cannot die, but Jesus could die and did die, as testified by the Scriptures; hence he could not be God his Father, but was God's mortal Son. In due time, after proving his faithfulness to death and providing redemption from sin, the Son was rewarded with immortality; as he said: "As the

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Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself." —John 5: 26.

The divine decree is: "The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23) That Jesus might save his people from their sins it was necessary that the Son of God be born as a human creature and grow to become "the man Christ Jesus". (1 Timothy 2: 5, 6) He thus became the full equal of the perfect Adam in Eden, sinless and possessed of the right to perfect human life in the earthly Paradise. God's law shows the perfect balance to divine justice, saying: "And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot." (Exodus 21: 23, 24) The perfect man Adam sinned, causing mischief to follow, and was sentenced to death. He forfeited his right to life and hence could not bequeath the right to everlasting life to his children.

For the right to life to be recovered for those of Adam's offspring who believe and obey God, it was necessary that another perfect man offer his own human life and his right to such life over to God as a purchase price. Thereby he redeems or recaptures for those believers the life right which Adam forfeited by sin, and the life right can then be bestowed upon those proving worthy according to God's terms. None of Adam's offspring being sinless or having right to life to offer as a redemptive price, it was necessary for the Son of God to lay aside

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his spirit existence and become the needed perfect man. To meet the exactness of God's perfect law, Jesus must be a perfect man, no more, no less. Thus Jesus could die, not as a spirit creature, but as a perfect human creature, for humankind needing redemption. For these and other reasons Jesus was not a "God-man", for that would be more than the required price of redemption. Had he been immortal God or an immortal soul he could not have given his life. According to the Scriptural facts, he was mortal on earth, and in him the prophecy of Isaiah 53:12 was fulfilled: "He hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors." His soul was then "exceeding sorrowful, even unto death". —Matthew 26: 38.

Seeing that Jesus did not receive his life from the sinner Adam through the imperfect man Joseph, he was not the son of Adam. Seeing that he was born of a woman by God's power and became the perfect man without sin and undefiled, the exact equivalent of the perfect man in Eden, Jesus was properly called "the Son of the man". (Literally in Greek) By his ransom sacrifice he redeemed the right to life and all earthly privileges possessed by the perfect man in Eden. With this the Scriptures agree, saying: "When the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of

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sons." "The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." —Galatians 4: 4, 5; Matthew 20:28.

Joseph and Mary were not instructed to call the child Christ, for that is a title meaning Anointed. However, the child was destined to become the Christ or Messiah. That would be when God anointed him to be the kingly Prince. At that anointing would be the time when "Messiah the Prince" would first come and appear.

Jesus' very destiny to be Messiah or Christ proves that his chief or primary purpose in coming to earth was not to ransom and save humankind. Such salvation of human creatures, while important to men seeking eternal life, is only secondary in God's lofty purpose. Jehovah's purpose is to establish a righteous government, a Theocratic government, upon the shoulder of his faithful Son, and by that government to vindicate his name before all living creatures of the universe. This will prove the Devil a slanderer and liar and false god. The title Messiah or Christ designates, not the Redeemer, but the princely King whom Jehovah anoints to be the Ruler in that Theocracy or kingdom of God.

The primary purpose of the Son of God in coming to earth was to meet and decisively answer Satan's false charge that God cannot put on earth a creature who will keep his integrity and abide faithful till death under the test of persecution from the Devil and his demons. (Job 1: 8-12; 2:3-5) The Serpent must be per-

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mitted to bruise the heel of the Seed of God's "woman". By keeping his integrity tinder the most fiery test Christ Jesus would vindicate his Father's name and would prove his worthiness to be the Seed or King of God's capital organization, Zion.

In A.D. 29, on reaching the age of thirty years, Jesus consecrated himself to Jehovah's purpose and he openly symbolized his death to self-will and his aliveness to God's will by being dipped beneath Jordan's waters in baptism and then being raised therefrom. Immediately afterward John the Baptist saw a representation of God's spirit or active force descending upon Jesus. This was in the form of a dove. (Luke 3:21-23) Religionists childishly argue that here is proof of a "trinity", Father, Son and holy spirit. In fact, only two persons were here, each separate and distinct, and a dove as a token to John the Baptist that God's invisible power was being poured out upon the Son of God.

John heard God's voice announcing Jesus as His Son. This proves that God there begot Jesus by his spirit or active force, by virtue of which Jesus now became the spiritual Son of God, possessing the right to spirit life in heaven. God so begot him, because Jesus' right to human life was henceforth to be dedicated to redeeming humankind. His earthly life was to be laid down as a ransom for repentant sinners. This meant that God took Jesus into the "covenant by sacrifice". (Psalm 50: 5) His human life was devoted beyond recall to buy back for be-

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lieving men the right to eternal life that had been lost to them by being born sinners.

On such grounds Jesus could thereafter say to a palsied man who was brought to him for healing: "Man, thy sins are forgiven thee." And concerning a sinner woman who bathed his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head he said: "Her sins, which are many, are forgiven." "And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven." The religious scribes and Pharisees accused Jesus of claiming to be God or equal with God by forgiving sins. (Luke 5:18-24; 7: 37-50) Jesus could thus forgive sins because he was and is The Word of God, and he was then in the covenant with God by sacrifice. By reason of this his perfect, sinless human life was bound by contract to be used to ransom repentant, believing ones and relieve them of the disability of sin. For like reason Jesus could later give the following commission to his faithful apostles: "Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained." (John 20:23) The apostles were his representatives on earth.

God's prophecy, at Psalm 2:7, was directed to Jesus: "Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee." When Jehovah begot the baptized Jesus and made him the spiritual Son of God with right to life in the heavenly spirit realm, Jesus became a "new creature". Then Jehovah took his begotten Son into the covenant for the Kingdom, as pictured by the kingdom

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covenant God made with King David centuries before that. Jesus became heir to the Messianic kingdom and was in truth "the son of David", to destroy whom the Serpent was lying in wait.




In accord with this Jehovah anointed Jesus with the holy spirit or divine force, as symbolized by the descent of the dove upon Jesus' head. He was anointed to be the King, "The Prince of Peace," the Seed of God's "woman" Zion. By virtue of this anointing he became the Messiah, Christ. Henceforth he was Christ Jesus or the Anointed Jesus. —Acts 10: 36-38.

At that event, "Messiah the Prince" came, and the sixty-nine weeks of years, foretold at Daniel 9:25, came to their end. Why had Messiah the Prince come? Christ Jesus himself answered, when Governor Pontius Pilate asked him: "Art thou a king then?" "Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and

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glory of the kingdoms offeredfor this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice." (John 18: 37) Human salvation is subordinate to that work of witness in vindication of God's name.

In faithfulness to the covenant for the Kingdom and to his anointing to preach the Kingdom Jesus resisted the temptations of the Devil during the forty days in the wilderness. He refused to accept from the Devil the kingdoms of this world in return for his worship of the Devil. He was determined to gain the Kingdom and then with Kingdom power crush the head of "that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan", and thereby vindicate God's name. (Matthew 4:1-11) The Messiah is freedom's King, for by his glorious reign he brings in for ever the freedoms desired by man.






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