- Christogenea Internet Radio
Note, January 28th, 2021: The version of these notes edited after the presentation evidently did not save properly, and have now been corrected. The original document has just been replaced, 12:35 PM EST. - WRF
After many discussions this past week in the Christogenea forums and chats, I thought that perhaps it is an appropriate time to present:
The Day The Word Became Flesh, a review of a paper by Clifton Emahiser
Countless men have attempted to understand the Genesis account of Creation, which begins with a statement that “God created the heaven and the earth”, and then the first actual utterance ascribed to God is “Let there be light”, before it goes on to describe His actual creation of the heaven and preparation of the earth for habitation. Several verses after the proclamation “let there be light”, we see the sun, moon and stars were created, which are the only sources of light perceived by man, other than earthly sources such as fire or man-made light. Therefore, from the Genesis account alone, we cannot know what that light of Genesis 1:3 is, where God had said “let there be light”, and where He first distinguished day and night, even before the sun, moon and stars were created.
But these are certainly not contradictions in the Genesis account, and in spite of the fact that many fundamentalists of the past have insisted that the Creation account is absolutely literal and even “scientific”, it should rather be apparent to Christians that the events of Creation were explained in a manner by which the full meaning and truth of at least some of its statements would not become apparent until the revelation of the Gospel of Christ. Neither is the Creation account complete, as it does not describe the creation of things which are not regularly manifest on the earth, such as wicked spirits or angels, whether they be good or evil. As it is expressed in Matthew chapter 13, since Christ came to reveal things kept secret from the foundation of the world, the entire account of creation was certainly not included in Genesis, or things could not have been kept secret.
Yahweh our God, the God of Creation who is also God the Father in our New Testament, is invisible, but it becomes evident later in history that from the beginning of the world, He also knew that He would have to express and even manifest Himself in the world which He created. A God who is alone may have no need for spoken or written words, but if He is to create man, if He wants man to understand His acts of creation, and if He has already intended to interact with the man of His creation, then the first thing He must create is language, even if the creation of language is not mentioned explicitly in Genesis, like the creation of angels is not mentioned. So ostensibly, the Word of an invisible God had to be created first, so that He could communicate and be understood by both men and angels.
The first words which God is recorded as having uttered in Genesis chapter 1 are “Let there be light”, but that light is not the sun, moon or stars which are created some time and several verses later. However it should be evident, that beyond the bare ground and the empty heaven, before anything else which we now see was created, Yahweh God first created both His Word and that Genesis 1:3 light which could not yet be distinguished, as there was not yet any sun, moon or stars.
Then, thousands of years later, Paul of Tarsus referred to the man Yahshua Christ as the “firstborn of every creature”, and we see nothing of Christ in the account of Creation. This is found in chapter 1 of his epistle to the Colossians where he wrote: “12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” For reason of Paul’s words, men have frequently sought to identify Christ in the Scriptures of the Old Testament as a person other than God the Father, and every attempt to do so is tenuous, or even contentious.
In the opening chapter of the Gospel of John, Christ is described in several ways. First, He is described as the Word made Flesh, and then He is described as the Light come into the world. So we read in John’s opening verses: “1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were through Him, and without Him was not even one thing. That which was done 4 in Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness; yet the darkness comprehends it not.”
Here we see that Yahshua Christ is the expression and the manifestation of God in the world just as we read in Genesis of the Word which said “Let there be…”, describing the creation of all things, was also the expression and manifestation of God in the world. And just as the light which was created in Genesis 1:3 has never been seen or identified by man, here in John chapter 1 it is identified in Christ, once again betraying the fact that the true light is the presence of God in the world. So Christ Himself professed, in John chapter 9: “5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
Recently someone we know has contended that Christ was God only because He was created in the image of God, and that is a failure to understand the nature of Christ, as Adam was also made in the image of God, but Adam clearly was not God. Adam was created first among men, yet Christ, a man, is called the “firstborn of every creature”, which is better translated as “first born of all the creation”, and in other places He is also identified as the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the World”. This once again shows us that even before man was created, Yahweh God knew that He would manifest Himself as a man within His own creation.
Paul had written in Hebrews chapter 1 another description of Christ in relation to God, and he said: “3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; 4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. 5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?” So Christ is not a person separate from God. Rather, Christ is the image of God’s person, as the invisible God is not a person but He has chosen to manifest Himself in the world in the person of Christ. The Greek word for person in that passage is actually ὑπόστασις, which is substance or what in the eyes of man is real, physical being. Therefore Christ is not the substance of Himself, but of God. One cannot see God except for seeing Christ, and if one has seen Christ then he has seen God.
So the apostles John and Paul each credited Christ with having created all things, and once again, Christ must also be a manifestation of the God of Creation. The truth of this conclusion is in turn corroborated in the fact that it was God who created the world in Genesis, and later in Scripture we read in Genesis chapter 6 “And Yahweh [the Lord, KJV] said, I will destroy man whom I have created…” and then much later in Isaiah chapter 45 we read: “18 For thus saith Yahweh [the LORD, KJV] that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Yahweh [the LORD, KJV]; and there is none else.”
If all of these Scriptures are true, and there are many others like them, then this is the only valid conclusion, that the Word in Genesis chapter 1 which said “Let there be...” is a manifestation of God in the world, and Christ being that same Word made flesh is also a manifestation of God in the world. The light of Genesis 1:3, which could not be seen or identified by man, was never revealed in Scripture until the coming of Christ, who was the light come into the world. Yahweh God having created all things, there is only one Creator, and His Word says that there is no other. So if Christ is later credited with having made all things, then that is an explicit assertion on the part of the apostles, both John and Paul that Christ is the earthly manifestation of that same Creator. We do not need Roman Catholic sophistry, eighteen-letter words, or pagan Greek philosophy to define what is God, as the Scripture perfectly defines God for us. We only have to believe the Scripture.
Yahweh our God is One God, He is One with Christ, who is the image of His person, He is One with the Word, He is One with the true Light, He is One with the rock in the desert, the pillar of fire, the burning in the bush, and He is one with the Holy Spirit which also emanates from Him. In Genesis chapter 1, it is the Spirit of God which moved upon the waters when God said “Let there be light…” So with this understanding, we will now present and review a paper by Clifton Emahiser, which according to his records was first completed in March of 2000, so it was probably among the first papers that I had proofread for him, a role which he had offered and I accepted in very late 1999. This is:
The Day The Word Became Flesh by Clifton Emahiser
So Clifton begins by saying that:
Probably one of the most difficult subjects to understand in all Scripture is the Incarnation. When we speak of the “Word” [with a capital ‘w’], naturally we are speaking of Yahweh. Many are somehow under the delusion, that in some way, Yahweh the Father had a son similar to the way a natural fleshly father would have a son. This is not at all what happened when the Word became flesh. John 1:14 says the following concerning all of this:
“And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us ... full of grace (favor) and truth.”
Clifton has the word favor in parentheses following the word grace. The translation of χάρις as grace is not always appropriate, as it suggests physical beauty rather than the kindness or good will bestowed upon man by God. Now Clifton discusses glory, even though he at first omitted the parenthetical remark which he is now about to explain:
If you will notice very carefully, the words, “(and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father)” are enclosed in parentheses. Immediately this should sound a warning signal, as the writer is referring to Isaiah 40:5 and quoting it out of context. Actually, someone only succeeded in causing confusion on the matter by adding these words in parentheses, for Yahshua was not the “only begotten of the Father”, at least, if what Luke 3:38 says is true, “Adam, which was the son of Yahweh.”
Here I must be critical, but in March of 2000 I did not have the knowledge with which to help Clifton which I had acquired through my studies over the subsequent years. There is nothing wrong with the parenthetical remark which Clifton suspects here, they were not added to the text, and there are no indications in any of the ancient manuscripts of any variations at all in John 1:14. But looking at my books, I had acquired my copy of Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon in May of 1999, and the Liddell & Scott Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon in October of that same year. I acquired my copies of the Septuagint and Hatch & Redpath’s Concordance to the Greek Septuagint in December. So I was not even a year into my early studies of Greek. Much later, in January of 2003, I acquired my first Novum Testamentum Graece, and began to translate the epistles of Paul for a second time that same year.
So where Clifton contended with the meaning of the term μονογενής where it is translated as “only begotten” here, I certainly may have agreed but probably could not help him at the time even if I was aware that he needed it, which I probably was not. Maybe one day if I can ever unpack the copies of correspondence which I have in my prison papers I will know more about how we interacted, but now it is not so important.
In my recent commentary on John chapter 3, titled The Only-Begotten is Not the Only, I explained that μονογενής is an idiom for beloved one or most-loved, presenting evidence from the Greek Septuagint and from the meaning of the Hebrew word from which it was translated into Greek. In some Old Testament passages, the translators of the King James Version understood the idiom, but in the New Testament they ignored it entirely. If Clifton had this information in March of 2000, or in the months prior to that as he was writing this paper, I am certain this paragraph would have read quite differently.
Continuing with Clifton, he is still disputing the errant King James translation of the term μονογενής in reference to Christ:
As a matter of fact, Yahshua is rightly referred to as “the second Adam”, (Romans 5:14). While Yahshua is referred to as a second Adam, and both Adam and Yahshua were sons of Yahweh, with Yahshua it was in a different sense, for Yahshua was actually Yahweh Himself in the flesh and Adam wasn’t. It is important to see this difference between Yahshua and Adam, for Adam was not Yahweh in the flesh. It is very necessary we understand these important basic truths.
The Jews reject Yahshua Christ as Messiah, but they also reject the very concept of the Messiah, the Anointed One or the Redeemer of Israel. Christ Himself addressed that in Matthew chapter 22 where we read: “41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David. 43 He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, 44 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? 45 If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? 46 And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.” Saying those things, Christ was citing the 110th Psalm, where the first word for Lord is Yahweh and the second is adon, a generic word for a lord or master.
So we read also, in Isaiah chapter 44: “6 Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.” Then, in chapter 45: “21 Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. 22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” And once again, further on in Isaiah chapter 54: “5 For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.” That is Yahweh, God the Father, God the Creator, attesting that He is Redeemer, Saviour, Creator, God and Lord, and there is no other. Yahshua Christ, being King of Kings and Lord of Lords, must therefore be Yahweh God incarnate, and not some separate-but-equal person on some artificially contrived godhead, which is a fictitious construct of man. Knowing that Yahshua Christ is a manifestation of the One and only God, there is no god left for those who reject Him, or for those for whom He did not come.
This leads me to discuss this artificial word “godhead”. There are two Greek words in Scripture translated as godhead. The first is θεῖος (Strong’s # 2304) which describes what comes from God. Yahweh being God, then godhead describes what is of or from Him, and the Holy Spirit is a part of Him, and Yahshua Christ is the image of His substance. The second is θειότης (Strong’s # 2305) which describes divinity or the state of being God, a state which of course only belongs to Yahweh our God. So the Catholic apparatus of a “godhead” is an artificial construct of men, and we do not need this novel word to describe what is or what comes from Yahweh our God.
Continuing with Clifton:
Up until the time of the Incarnation, Yahweh existed in His realm and Adam-man resided in his realm, for they were two entirely different entities up until that time. But with the Advent of Yahshua, Yahweh and Adam-man were united into one individual. The implications of this are so far-reaching in nature that all the resulting ramifications cannot be covered in this short article. The important principal we must take special effort to remember is: while Yahshua was the very Yahweh singular-Elohim, at the same time He was very Adam-man, and once this union with Yahweh and man had taken place, it has never since been separated, nor shall it ever be.
Throughout the course of his ministry, Clifton sought ways by which he could continually express disagreement with certain heresies that had been introduced into Christian Identity. One of those heresies is the idea that because the Hebrew form of the word for God, which is el, is usually plural, or elohim, where it refers to Yahweh, that there must be more than one God. But that is not true. For that reason, for many years Clifton wrote “Yahweh singular-elohim” rather than “Yahweh God” in his papers. The word elohim in reference to Yahweh is a “plural of majesty” which is also sometimes called a “royal we”, and it was also employed by neighboring peoples in reference to their own gods, as ancient inscriptions attest. Where elohim is used of Yahweh, the accompanying verbs or adjectives are singular, proving that while the grammatical form of elohim is plural, it is being used to describe a singular entity. Where the apostles quoted passages from the Old Testament, in the Masoretic Text the term for God, elohim, is plural in form but it is singular in both the writings of the apostles and the corresponding translations of those same passages in the Septuagint, indicating that the apostles as well as the ancient translators understood this use of the plural form to refer to a singular God.
Now Clifton continues under a subtitle:
THE KEY IN JOHN 1:14 IS THE WORD, “DWELT”
The Believer’s Bible Commentary by William MacDonald, page 1468 comments as follows: “… He dwelt among us. It was not just a short appearance, about which there might be some mistake or misunderstanding. God actually came to this earth and lived here as Man among men. The word ‘dwelt’ means ‘tabernacled’ or ‘pitched His tent.’ His body was the tent in which He lived among men for thirty-three years.”
This tabernacling among men was promised in Ezekiel chapter 37, in relation to the establishment of a new covenant, where we read: “26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. 27 My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 28 And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.” This is the meaning of Immanuel, or Emanuel, a name which we see in Isaiah chapters 7 and 8, and in Matthew where we read concerning the birth of Christ: “22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23 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.” So as Clifton had said, Yahshua Christ is the earthly tabernacle of Yahweh Himself. Now he continues with other citations discussing this same thing:
The Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible, abridged By Ralph Earle, page 898 says of the word, “dwelt”: “... And dwelt among us. ‘And tabernacled among us’, the human nature which He took of the Virgin being as the shrine, house, or temple in which His immaculate deity condescended to dwell ...”
The body of Christ is the earthly tabernacle of Yahweh God, for which reason Paul had said in Colossians chapter 2 that “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Now Clifton has one more citation:
Jamieson, Fausset & Brown Commentary On The Whole Bible, page 1027 has this observation: “... and dwelt — tabernacled or pitched his tent; a word peculiar to John, who uses it four times, all in the sense of a permanent stay (Rev. 7:15; 12:12; 13:6; 21:3). Forever wedded to our ‘flesh’, He has entered this tabernacle to ‘go no more out’.”
This commentary is not quite honest concerning the verb σκηνόω, which is dwelt in John 1:14. While the verb form only appears in John, here and in the Revelation, there is a noun form which has the same implications and which regards Christ, where Paul used the word σκηνή in Hebrews chapter 8 and wrote: “1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; 2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.” Paul used the same term again in the same manner in Hebrews chapter 9: “11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building…” and Paul was referring to His body, which is the tabernacle of God promised in Ezekiel. Peter, in chapter 1 of his second epistle, used a similar form of the same noun to describe his own body, as Paul had also in Hebrews chapter 13 of the bodies of men. Christ is not a separate person from Yahweh God. Rather, Christ is the tabernacle of Yahweh God among men, as well as the express image of His person, or substance. So Clifton continues under another subtitle:
TABERNACLE DESTROYED & REBUILT IN THREE DAYS
By the way, the Strong’s number for the word “dwelt”, in Greek, is 4637 and it means tent.
Actually it means to pitch a tent, and in the passages we have just cited, that noun for tabernacle means tent. Clifton continues:
As you may have noticed, Adam Clarke used the word temple. We will now go to John 2:19-21 for this phase of this narrative:
“19 Yahshua answered and said unto them (the Jews), Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. 20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? 21 But he spake of the temple of his body.”
You will notice here, He didn’t say spirit only, but His temple-body would be raised up in three days. This can be confirmed in Luke 24:39 where He said after His resurrection:
“Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” (Also see John 20:20.)
In John 20:20 we read: “And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.” Continuing with Clifton:
Not only did Yahshua have a body of flesh after His resurrection, but we can be assured we will also have bodies of flesh like His after our resurrection. The point which I am trying to drive home at this juncture is: Yahweh is still dwelling in the flesh body He received as a result of the virgin birth, though He overcame death through it, which we will do also. When the Word became flesh, it was to be forever. Not only did He become flesh, but through that flesh, he became our kinsman. THE KINSMANSHIP IS ENTIRELY ESSENTIAL AND IMPERATIVE TO UNDERSTAND REDEMPTION!
For this reason, Paul had written in Hebrews chapter 2: 11 For both he that sanctifieth [Christ] and they who are sanctified [Israel] are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. 13 And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. 14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same [Yahweh God incarnate]; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. [The verb may have more fully been rendered “took upon Himself] 17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” Christ taking upon Himself the seed of Abraham, He must be God in order to have made that conscious decision.
This is actually one of Clifton’s longer papers, and as he is quite thorough with what he is about to say, I will refrain from all but the most necessary comments, as it is a topic which can go on for many pages, where he continues under the subtitle:
YAHWEH MARRIES ISRAEL
We cannot understand the idea of “redemption” unless we understand that Yahweh married Israel. This wedding took place in Deuteronomy 26:17-18 as when both the people and Yahweh took their wedding vows:
“17 Thou hast avouched Yahweh this day to be thy [God] singular-Elohim, and to walk in his ways, and to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and to hearken unto his voice: 18 And Yahweh hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments.”
While I will refrain from the details, the account in Deuteronomy chapter 26 only reinforces the earlier ceremony of Exodus chapter 19, which is very close in form and substance. Continuing with Clifton, he now explains this passage in his own words:
In other words, Israel was asked: “Do you take Yahweh this day to be your [God] singular-Elohim?” And they answered: “We will.” Yahweh was asked: “Do you take this people Israel to be your peculiar people?” Yahweh answered and said: “I will.” Therefore, Israel became Yahweh’s own possession. With this there came a husband-wife relationship between Yahweh and Israel. We do not have any record where Yahweh ever covenanted or married any other people as He did Israel! There simply is no other! To verify that this was actually a wedding that took place between Him and His people, let’s consider some passages of Scripture which prove this was actually the case:
Jeremiah 3:14, 20: “14 Turn, O backsliding children, saith Yahweh; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion ... 20 Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith Yahweh.”
Jeremiah 31:32: “Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith Yahweh.”
Once we understand this husband-wife relationship between Yahweh and Israel, then we can begin to understand what “Redemption” is all about. This husband-wife relationship went well at first, but, then Israel began to break her marriage vows by incorporating pagan religions and thus adulterating the true tenets of Yahweh. Because of this, it became necessary for Yahweh to divorce Israel for her unfaithfulness.
These pagan gods which Israel had worshipped led to fornication and sodomy and adultery and other sins, as well as mere spiritual apostasy.
Doing this, Clifton is proving the fact that when the Word became flesh, that means that Yahweh God Himself became a man, as He planned to do from the beginning of Creation, knowing that in order to keep His promises to the fathers and to free the children of Israel from the penalties of the law, that He would have to live, and die, as a man, but that He would be resurrected and live forever, so that they could also live forever. To accomplish this, He had to die as a man, and no proxy nor any other so-called god could die in His place. So Clifton continues to describe this and says:
Now let’s see some scriptures which confirm the reason for the divorce, and, that in actuality, Yahweh did divorce Israel:
Jeremiah 3:8 “And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.”
Deuteronomy 24:1 “When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favor in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.”
Isaiah 50:1 “Thus saith Yahweh, Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away.”
Long after he first wrote this paper, in 2006 or earlier, Clifton began reformatting many of his papers so they could be published on the internet at Israelect.com. That website was created in 2002, but I have owned it since 2012, courtesy of our dear friend Jerel Mosley. So as he reformatted this article, Clifton also added some notes in the paragraph which follows, and the notes address another heresy with which we have often contended:
[Note added by author, September 12, 2006: Today in Israel Identity, there are many trying to do away entirely with the tribe of Judah. But you will notice that Yahweh also married Judah, otherwise Jeremiah at 3:8 couldn’t have said, “…yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.” It should be strikingly obvious that it would have been impossible for Judah to have “played the harlot” had not Yahweh married her also, nor could Judah be called Israel’s “sister” by Jeremiah! Those who are attempting to do away with the entire tribe of Judah haven’t yet discerned the difference between the good-figs of Judah and the bag-figs of Judah as explained by Jeremiah. And until they grasp the difference, they should learn to keep silent on the subject rather than to openly display their ignorance!]
Yahweh did marry Judah as well as Israel, or He would not have mentioned Judah in the promise of a New Covenant. There are other heretics who claim Yahweh never divorced Judah, but we read in Jeremiah chapter 33: “24 Considerest thou not what this people have spoken, saying, The two families which the LORD hath chosen, he hath even cast them off? thus they have despised my people, that they should be no more a nation before them.” Then in Ezekiel chapter 23 we read of the divorce of Judah where it says: “ 17 And the Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their whoredom, and she was polluted with them, and her mind was alienated from them. 18 So she discovered her whoredoms, and discovered her nakedness: then my mind was alienated from her, like as my mind was alienated from her sister. 19 Yet she multiplied her whoredoms, in calling to remembrance the days of her youth, wherein she had played the harlot in the land of Egypt. 20 For she doted upon their paramours, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and whose issue is like the issue of horses. 21 Thus thou calledst to remembrance the lewdness of thy youth, in bruising thy teats by the Egyptians for the paps of thy youth.” The entire rest of that chapter continues to describes the divorce of Judah. So continuing with Clifton:
Now that Yahweh had married and divorced Israel, where in this story does it bring us? Being divorced from Yahweh, Israel could no longer call herself by His name, therefore she became known by other names, Gentiles being one of them. At this stage of the game, things look hopeless as neither Yahweh nor Israel can legally marry again.
There is more to it than this, as Israel was also subject to the laws concerning fornication and adultery, and by that, Israel was liable to death. Yet, even in spite of that, Yahweh had promised in Hosea chapter 2: “19 And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. 20 I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD. 21 And it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, saith the LORD, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth; 22 And the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel. 23 And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.”
Yahweh said that He, not His Son, would betroth Himself to Israel forever, at some point after they were divorced by Him and carried off into Assyrian captivity. Furthermore, for that to be possible according to the law, Yahweh, the Husband, and not some Son, would have to die to fulfill that promise. The only way to rectify this is to accept the fact that Yahshua Christ is indeed Yahweh God incarnate, and not some mere proxy or some other person as a god on an imaginary godhead. So Clifton continues:
The only way, by Law, that either [Yahweh or Israel] can remarry is if one or the other’s spouse were to die. To verify this, we shall consider Romans 7:1-4:
This is not quite right. Clifton should have said that the only way by which Yahweh could once again marry Israel was to die. Israel, the divorced wife, can remarry under the law, but it is also true that Israel was under the penalty of death for the sins committed while married the first time, for which she was put away. As we read in Leviticus chapter 20: “10 And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.” So rectifying that, Clifton cites Romans chapter 7:
“1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? 2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. 3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.”
Of course, Israel was an adulteress long before Yahweh had actually issued that bill of divorcement, so either one or the other had to die, but for the promises to the fathers to be kept, which was the very purpose of Christ according to Luke chapter 1, then it was Yahweh who had to die, and not Israel, so that Israel could be released from the law of the husband, as Paul had explained. That is exactly why Paul had made that explanation. Now Clifton speaks of redemption in the same manner in which it was prophesied in Isaiah:
Redemption is a very simple story then. Yahweh came Himself in the flesh to die so he could remarry Israel. By the death of Yahweh, the requirements of the Law were satisfied.
Perhaps Clifton may have said “Only by the death of Yahweh…“ Now he continues under yet another subtitle:
ONLY A KINSMAN CAN REDEEM
Now that we understand the divorce phase of this relationship, let’s go on to the remarriage part of it. It is very important, at this stage, that we understand it is only a near-kinsman in Israel who can lawfully redeem her. This is clearly set forth throughout the entire Bible, especially the New Testament, but let’s consider the law of “kinsman redemption” as found in Leviticus 25:47-49:
“47 And if a sojourner or stranger wax rich by thee, and thy brother that dwelleth by him wax poor, and sell himself unto the stranger or sojourner by thee, or to the stock of the stranger’s family: 48 After that he is sold he may be redeemed again; one of his brethren may redeem him: 49 Either his uncle, or his uncle’s son, may redeem him, or any that is nigh of kin unto him of his family may redeem him; or if he be able, he may redeem himself.”
The children of Israel had to be redeemed because, as Yahweh had told them in Isaiah, they sold themselves into sin. Clifton continues:
At this stage of the story, we know that Yahweh enjoined Himself with Adam-man into one unified entity. We know, also, this was necessary in order to become our kinsman (Hebrews 2:11). We are also now aware of the necessity of this relationship and the sacrifice of His life needed in reconciling Israel as His bride.
Over the years we have all heard the story of His birth portrayed repeatedly, especially at Christmas time. We have heard these renditions reverberated continuously in Christmas carols. We have been thrilled, again and again, at the announcement of the angels to the shepherds in the fields of His birth. We have been mystified and intrigued concerning the wise men following the Star to Bethlehem. Our hearts have been melted by the manger scene coming alive and vivid in our minds. And as many times as we have heard the story, we still desire to hear it all over again. But as majestic as the story of His birth is, It Was Not The Time The Word Became Flesh!
THE CRITICAL TIME
The very instant at which the Word became flesh is when the very first DNA of Yahweh began to intertwine with the very first DNA of Adam-man uniting in the very first living cell to begin the birth process. This process then continued until every single cell in Immanuel’s body was united in this way. The very first cell to unite in this way was the identical time when the Word became flesh, and this all happened at what we would consider conception. This is called the Incarnation. There are some who believe that, in some way, Mary became pregnant by the sperm of Yahweh and He had a son by her. This presents problems. If this were true, Yahshua would not represent the one to whom Israel was previously married. The Scripture says that Yahweh Himself became flesh, therefore the sperm theory cannot be true. Science knows today that each single cell of the human body has two sets of 23 chromosomes, or a total of 46. I will now quote The World Book Encyclopedia, volume 9, page 192d:
“Every human body cell contains two sets of 23 chromosomes. These two sets look very much alike. Each chromosome in one set can be matched with a particular chromosome in the other set. Egg cells and sperm cells have only one set of 23 chromosomes. These cells are formed in a special way, and end up with only half the number of chromosomes found in body cells. As a result, when an egg and a sperm come together, the fertilized egg cell will contain the 46 chromosomes of a normal body cell. Half of the chromosomes come from the mother, and half from the father”.
With this in mind, we know then, that Mary supplied 23 chromosomes from her egg cell and Yahweh supplied the other 23 chromosomes from Himself without having normal sexual intercourse. If the scriptures are true, the same Yahweh who created the entire universe, which is infinite thousands of light-years in all directions, condensed His entire being into 23 chromosomes which then was united with Mary’s egg and its 23 chromosomes. Yahweh’s power, which is called His Holy Spirit, brought all of this into play.
If Yahweh implanted Mary with an entire fertilized egg, or embryo, which would certainly be possible for Him, then the Scriptures may not be accurate where they call Him a Son of David, or the Root and Offspring of Jesse, or where Paul says that He took upon Himself the seed of Abraham.
Furthermore, if, as some charlatans claim, the so-called godhead is three separate persons, consisting of a separate Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and since Mary had conceived by the Holy Spirit, then Christ should not have called God His Father, but only the Holy Spirit, so we see that only a fool should believe the so-called Trinity Doctrine. Now Clifton continues under another subtitle:
FINDING THE TIME OF THE INCARNATION
This is a rather simple thing to figure out if we can once find the correct birth date. The most common method is to count 280 days backward from the birth at which one would determine the onset of the last regular menstrual period of the woman. While this would give a fairly accurate prediction for a birth, it does not take into account the normal period of time for ovulation to take place. Usually ovulation takes place from twelve to sixteen days from the onset of the last menstrual period. Therefore we would normally subtract about 14 days from the 280 days to have an estimate of the time for conception, or 266 days before final birth. Although in the case of the virgin Mary this rule probably would not apply as she did not require the usual fertilizing of the sperm of a male. Yet, Yahweh would not likely alter the natural timing of these events. I believe we can safely figure conception took place 266 days before Yahshua’s birth. Also there are serious laws concerning a woman while she is considered unclean. It is doubtful that even the Holy Spirit would violate such laws.
Perhaps Clifton is belaboring some of this, but he had several heresies which he wanted to confront here, so he continues under a new subtitle:
ESTABLISHING THE TIME OF BIRTH
I will be gathering most of my information from The Companion Bible, appendix 179 and The Birth Of Christ Recalculated by Ernest L. Martin.
I remember Clifton sent me a copy of this book by Ernest martin, which I found many good things in. At the time, I had read a few books on the Hebrew calendar and related subjects, and I vaguely remember that this was one of the better ones. But I would not promote the Companion Bible, as Bullinger had received much of his learning from the Talmud and other writings of the Jews. Returning to Clifton:
To start with, we can be very sure Yahshua’s birth did not happen at the Christmas season as generally believed. Most all who have studied the subject seem to agree generally that Yahshua was born near the feast of Tabernacles about 3 or 4 B.C. There were some very unusual things happening during this period which should serve as markers to help us calculate the proper time. From The Birth Of Christ Recalculated by Ernest L. Martin we get the following on page 90:
“The year 2 B.C. was one of the most important in the career of Augustus. It was the Silver Jubilee of his supreme rule over the Empire and the year in which the Senate awarded him the country’s highest decoration ... There was no year like it for celebration in Rome, and since the significance of the festivities involved the entirety of the Empire, there can be little doubt that similar anniversary ceremonies were ordained by Augustus and the Senate for all the provinces.”
If you will but remember the bicentennial of the United States in 1976, it will give you some idea of what was going on throughout the Roman Empire in 2 B.C. If you will check any encyclopedia or history book, it will tell you Augustus (Octavian) became the very first Roman Emperor in 27 B.C. A footnote on page 90 from this same book says:
“The year in which Augustus was granted the title Pater Patriae was of real significance to all in the Roman Empire. This year was the culminating point in the career of Augustus.” (27 B.C. plus 25 years = 2 B.C.)
With such an important year coming up, we can see why Caesar Augustus would decree a census of registration to find out how many people were subject to him, Luke 2:1. Naturally, the census would take place during the year just prior to the Silver Jubilee celebration, or 3 B.C.
The Companion Bible, appendix 179, places Yahshua’s birth at September 29, 4 B.C. This cannot be correct. The Birth Of Christ Recalculated by Ernest L. Martin, page 33 states:
“However, we know from astronomical calculation that Passover in 4 B.C. was on 11 April.”
This can now be verified by computers. If we take April 11, 4 B.C. as a starting point and subtract 14 days to arrive at Nisan 1, it would be equivalent to March 28, 4 B.C. Then if we add 177 days (six moons) we will arrive at September 21, 4 B.C. or Tishri 1. By adding another 15 days, we arrive at Tishri 15 which would be the Feast of Tabernacles or October 6, 4 B.C. If, as, The Companion Bible claims, Yahshua was born the first day of Tabernacles, the date couldn’t have been September 29, 4 B.C.
The Companion Bible then counts backward 280 days and arrives at December 25th as the date of conception. This would also be in error, as 280 days would bring one to the time of the beginning of Mary’s last menstrual period rather than the conception. If one would count back 266 days from September 29, 4 B.C., that would make the potential conception January 6, 4 B.C., not December 25, 5 B.C.
While I have not checked all the possibilities, and verified all of these details, I would stand by a 3 BC date for the birth of Christ, for reasons I have explained in my commentary on the Gospel of Luke, because that coincides with Christ being thirty years old as he starts His ministry in the 15th year of Tiberius, Luke 3:1, 3:23. The 15th year of Tiberius began in mid-September of 28 AD, shortly before Christ would have turned thirty. As he proceeds, Ernest Martin will agree that 3 BC was the year of the birth of Christ. So with that in mind, Clifton continues:
AUGUSTUS’ SILVER CELEBRATION NOT THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN
Not only was 2 B.C. the Silver Jubilee for Augustus, but it was also Rome’s 750th birthday. I will pick this up from a footnote on pages 90-91:
The Birth Of Christ Recalculated: “And to cap it off, 2 B.C. was also the 750th anniversary of the founding of Rome! Professor E. J. Bickerman calls attention to the fact that the Fasti Capitolini (the list of magistrates of the Republic compiled under Augustus) reckoned the founding of Rome to 752 B.C.” We now see a double reason for Augustus declaring a census. Maybe that is why the word census is used in the plural.”
Now, under yet another subtitle:
THERE IS A DECEMBER 25th CONNECTION
Again, The Birth Of Christ Recalculated, page 159:
“Then on December 25, 2 B.C., when the king planet Jupiter came to its stationary point in mid-Virgo the Virgin, it would have been seen ‘stopped over Bethlehem’ as viewed from Jerusalem. The Magi then went to Bethlehem and gave the child (now a paidion [child], not a brephos [infant, as in Luke] the gifts they brought from the East!”
Martin did well to notice that by the time that the Magi came to Bethlehem, the infant was indeed a child, and Joseph and Mary were renting a house rather than staying in a barn, as we read concerning the Magi in Matthew chapter 2: “11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.” Continuing with Clifton:
This is not to be confused with the pagan Christmas which is celebrated today. It would appear, if we want to commemorate this season, it would be well to limit it to the wise men and the Star over Bethlehem scene without the manger on greeting cards and displays, and delete the term “Christmas.” Should we observe it on today’s calendar or the old Hebrew calendar? At the time of the Incarnation and birth of Yahshua, Judea was under two calendars, Julian and Hebrew.
But as Clifton demonstrated elsewhere, the Judaean Hebrew calendar had itself diverged from the ancient Hebrew calendar, and we may never know when to celebrate the birth of Christ. In any event, true Christians should celebrate his birth every day, by honoring Him and being obedient to Him. Now, under another subtitle:
MOST LIKELY TIME OF BIRTH
The time of the birth of Yahshua is hidden in Scripture at Revelation 12:1-5. It speaks in these verses: “... clothed with the sun ... moon under her feet.” Quoting excerpts from The Birth Of Christ Recalculated, pages 145-149:
“...it could well be that John intended the Woman to represent a constellation that the two primary luminaries transverse. Recall that astronomical signs dominated the thinking of most people in the first century ... she could be in a symbolic way, a constellation located within the normal paths of the Sun and Moon. The only sign of a woman which exists along the ecliptic ... is that of Virgo the Virgin ... In the period of Christ’s birth, the Sun entered the head-position of the Woman about August 13, and exited from her feet about October 2. But the apostle John saw the scene when the Sun ‘clothes’ or ‘adorns’ the Woman ... located somewhere mid-bodied of the Woman ... This ‘clothing’ of the Woman by the Sun occurs for a 20-day period each year ... The position of the Moon in John’s vision could pinpoint the nativity to within a day — perhaps to an hour period or less. This may seem absurd, but it is entirely possible. The key is the Moon. The apostle said it was located ‘under her feet’ ... Since the feet of Virgo the Virgin represent the last 7 degrees of the constellation ... the Moon has to be positioned somewhere under that 7 degree ark. But the Moon also has to be in that exact location when the Sun is mid-bodied to Virgo. In the year 3 B.C., these two factors came to precise agreement for less than two hours, as observed from Palestine or Patmos, on September 11. The relationship began about 6:15 p.m. (sunset), and lasted until around 7:45 p.m. (moonset). This is the only day in the whole year that this could have taken place ... The apostle John said this heavenly relationship occurred at the time of Christ’s birth. And in 3 B.C. this exact combination of celestial factors happened just after sunset only on one day — on September 11th. It could not have occurred at any other time of the year! (Indeed, even one day before — on September 10 — the moon was still located above the feet of the Virgin, while one day beyond — on September 12 — the Moon had moved so far beyond the feet of the Virgin that it was positioned at least 25 diameters of the Moon to the East of her feet. Thus, only one day will do, and that time was just after sunset on September 11.”
This particular day just happened to be Tishri 1, 3 B.C. or “the blowing of the trumpets”, a yearly Sabbath. It is only reasonable that Yahshua was born on such a day. Being born on this day would give 15 days for His cleansing time after birth before being presented openly at His first Feast of Tabernacles with His people. It is doubtful that Yahweh would have used the Feast of Tabernacles for an event of uncleanness. (This is not the only implication of Revelation 12:1-5, but I will not get into that here.)
On the surface this all sounds wonderful, and generally agrees with my own estimation of the time of the birth of Christ from the historical data available in Luke. But I am not certain whether the astrological information is correct, or even by what methods it may be verified. I do not even think that Revelation 12 must be interpreted in that manner. Now continuing with Clifton:
Now that we have found the probable date of Yahshua’s birth (even to within an hour), let us figure just when He would have been conceived. If His birth was September 11, 3 B.C., and we subtract 266 days, this would make the Incarnation December 19, 4 B.C. The onset of Mary’s last menstrual period before the conception would have been 280 days before the birth, or December 5, 4 B.C. If all of this is true, we should celebrate the Incarnation on Tishri 1 which is a yearly Sabbath Israelites should be observing anyway. Tishri 1 would be a fitting day for Yahshua’s birth as the number “one” stands for “beginning”, and that was a new start for us with Yahweh. As it works out from Tishri 1 to the Day of Atonement is ten days (Tishri 10), with an additional 5 days to the Feast of Tabernacles. In Hebrew, the 10th letter is Yod, and the 5th Hebrew letter is Hey which makes up the ineffable Name. The “Jews”, not wanting to use the sacred name, chose to use the numbers 9 + 6 in its place to represent the number 15 which has no significance whatever. (Numbers in Scripture, Bullinger, p. 257)
One caveat is that Bullinger got much of his information from the Talmud and the Kabbalah. Another caveat is the fact that not all gestation periods are 266 days, and sometimes it can last up to a month longer. Now, under another subtitle which addresses another ill-begotten Roman Catholic doctrine:
The following quote is taken from The World Book Encyclopedia, volume 1, page 481:
“Annunciation Day is observed on March 25 in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Eastern Orthodox churches. It honors the occasion when Jesus was conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and should not be confused with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception [doctrine, Mary was without sin]. Annunciation Day was celebrated as early as the 400’s, and was given its date so as to be exactly nine months before December 25, the day chosen to honor Christ’s birth.”
The so-called “Immaculate Conception” is a dogma of the Roman Catholic Church which claims that somehow Mary herself was conceived without “Original Sin”, which is also a Catholic heresy. The Roman Catholic Church has an entire set of heresies and lies which it teaches, one piled atop the other in almost never-ending fashion. Now returning to Clifton:
It is not hard to see from this, someone back in the early centuries A.D. was tampering with the dates, for the Annunciation should have taken place sometime in the month of December 4 B.C. This is a long way from March 25. Not only did they change this date, they changed the dates for the conception and birth of John the Baptist. We know, according to Luke 1:36, that Elisabeth was in her sixth month when Gabriel announced to Mary the conception and birth of Yahshua. If all this is true, John’s approximate birth date would have been somewhere near March 18, 3 B.C., his conception near June 25, 4 B.C., but as Elisabeth was well stricken in years, (i.e., in menopause), she was not having regular menstrual periods as Mary.
THE INCARNATION A MYSTERY
Throughout history, the Incarnation has remained a mystery. Theologians have grappled and argued over this issue since the time of the birth of Yahshua. At the first Ecumenical or General Council of Nicaea, A.D. 325, this became one of the main controversies to be solved, so they thought. From that time on, creed after creed was written to state the exact position of the church fathers. Some of them were very lengthy and in intricate detail. It seemed that no one could adequately put it into words. The Council of Nicaea did give it a valiant try. Quoting now from the History of the Church by G. E. Hageman, page 60 as follows:
“We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, begotten of the Father, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father ... , by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down and was incarnate, and was made man; he suffered, and the third day he rose again, and ascended into heaven; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. — And in the Holy Ghost. — And those who say there was a time when he (the Son) was not; and he was made out of nothing, or out of another substance or thing, or that the Son of God is created, or changeable, or alterable; — they are condemned by the holy catholic and apostolic Church.”
We have already given our opinions here, and while this statement may lead one to believe in a so-called trinity, it is clear from Scripture that Christ is the substance or person of God the Father, and not the substance or person of himself, as Paul of Tarsus explains in Hebrews chapter 1. By His Own words in John chapters 14 and 15, Christ is both God the Father and the Holy Spirit. The trinitarians would make the invisible God a person, which is tantamount to idolatry as it forms God in the image of Man. Yet the Scripture says that Christ is the person and image of God in a man. To the trinitarians, 1+1+1=3, while to Christians 1&1&1=1, as they are all manifestations of the same God. But counting the Word which was God, the Light which is of God, the rock in the desert, and all of the other manifestations of God before Christ, He cannot be limited even to that, or contained by such a man-made definition as “trinity”. According to His Word, the same God is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. They are not separate person, but rather the Son and the Holy Spirit are different manifestations of the Father.
Now Clifton concludes his paper and says:
It is regrettable they didn’t know about chromosomes in their day or they could have made a better “Nicaean Creed.” They did quite well under the circumstances, though, especially where they state, being of one substance with the Father. Had they known more about the chromosomes of the “substance”, they would have understood the process much better. Even though they stated this very important truth, they still leaned toward three separate deities. At the time of this council, there was a controversy about the Arian heresy. The Arian view was that Yahshua was inferior to Yahweh (or Christ was inferior to God). Arianism supposedly believed in one “God”, but yet it taught that “Jesus” was inferior to the “Father”, thus believing in two separate deities. And so the controversy continues to this very day.
As I have said before in my commentaries, although I may not remember where, I am persuaded that the trinity doctrine is actually a compromise, and it leaves open an aspect of God which is void of Christ and which Jews, and later Muslims, could claim to worship. Yet Christ Himself had said that no man could get to the Father except through Him. There is only one Abrahamic religion, and that is Christianity. There is only One God, and Yahshua Christ is the physical manifestation of that God in the world.
The trinitarians can point out the times when Christ spoke of or prayed to the Father, but none of that refutes what we have presented here. They have a simplistic view of the ministry and purpose of Christ. Yahweh God came as a man in order to die as a man, and to do so He had to live as a man, and doing that He lived as an example to men. Once the apostles realized that He was resurrected from among the dead, only then did Thomas exclaim, and John recorded his exclamation, that Christ was “My Lord and my God”. The revelation that Yahshua Christ is God came only after the Resurrection, in spite of His many statements which affirm that He is God which He had made during His ministry. There are many other proofs in Scripture that Yahshua Christ is indeed Yahweh manifest in the flesh, which we may present here at another time. We have already presented most of them in our commentary on the Gospel of John.