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But Who Are the Hebrews? The Hebrews were the descendants of Eber, or Heber, the great grandson of Shem. Noah said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem," and of Shem it is said (Gen. 10:21) that he was the Father of all the children of Heber. Shem was the Father of the Hebrews. Heber was one of the ancestors of Christ, and the way of the Lord was preserved among his posterity, and when Jacob's name was changed to Israel, after that the Lord God of the Hebrews is also called the Lord God of Israel. But he was known as the God of the Hebrews many centuries before he brought the children of Israel out of Egypt by the hand of Moses. The Angel of his presence, the God of Israel, is also called the King of Israel, for David in the Psalms, after speaking of what he did in driving out the heathen before them, says, “ Thou art my King, O God, Command deliverance for Jacob"; and Samuel said to Israel, “ And when ye saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, ye said unto me, Nay, but a king shall reign over us, when the Lord your God was your king” (1 Sam. 12: 12); but he was an invisible king, his throne was in the Holy of Holies, first in the Tabernacle, and afterwards in the Temple. The mercy-seat above the ark of the testimony, between the cherubims of glory, called the chariot of the cherubim, was the throne of the Lord, which plainly appears in the ninety-ninth Psalm, where it is said, "The Lord reigneth, he sitteth between the cherubims, let the earth be moved.” Again in the visions of Ezekiel, the Lord called to him out of the Temple, and said, “Son of man, the place of my throne and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever (Ezek. 43:7). But the Lord, the King of Israel, had another throne outside the temple on Mount Zion, on which he placed his agent, a visible king, one who went out and in before his people like the kings of the nations, and so it is written, " Then Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord, as king, instead of David his Father, and all Israel obeyed him.” When the Israelites were in trouble, they were, as Solomon said in his prayer, to draw near to the throne of the Lord, in the house which he had built for his name, to pray before the Lord for help. Accordingly when Sennacherib, king of Assyria, came up to take Jerusalem, and blasphemed the name of the God of Israel, Hezekiah took his insolent letter and went up and spread it before the Lord in the Temple, and prayed, and said, “O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: Thou hast made heaven and earth” (Isa. 37: 14-17). Here a wise and good king attributes the creation of heaven and earth to the God of Israel, the bearer of God's name, the Angel of his presence, and
also that he is God alone. In the Book of Revelation, fourth chapter, in a vision, the heavens were opened to John, and he saw the Father sitting upon a throne, surrounded by the four beasts and twenty-four elders, whom we are afterwards told are the redeemed out of every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, and when the beasts and elders fall down before the throne to worship him who sat on the throne, they say, "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power, for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are
and were created." Here to the Father is attributed the creation of all things.
Again Paul and the apostles say of Christ that he created all things. John says that he was in the world, and the world was made by him. to the Colossians, “By him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth” (Col. 1: 16). To the Hebrews Paul says that the Psalmist testifies of him saying, “ Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thy hands" (Heb. 1: 10).
Thus to three persons is attributed the creation of the heavens and earth; to the Father, to the Angel of his presence, in whom he has placed his name, and to the Lord Jesus Christ. Now how could the work of creation be done by three different persons ? This when properly understood is not only grand and beautiful, but simple and easy of comprehension. Paul says of God the Father, that he is “the only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords, who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto, whom no man hath seen, nor can see, to whom be honor and power everlasting, amen” (I Tim. 6:15). It is written in the Revelations (4:8) that the redeemed say of him who sits on the throne, "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.” The Father is himself the only Potentate, the great first cause and creator of all things, the fountain of power and might, of wisdom, knowledge, goodness and truth, and as a great king with vast dominions sends forth his agents and messengers, whom he clothes with power and authority in his name to carry out his purposes and execute his will, so the great Creator does not always go in person to execute his purposes in all places of his dominions, but sends his angels, which excel in strength, and which do his commandments, hearkening to the voice of his words, the messengers of his which do his pleasure, to perform his mighty works for him.
In the first of these chief princes, he placed his name, his power, and majesty, and sent him to do his mighty works. He carried on the Father's purposes in the earth, and when the time came to bring the seed of Abraham, the friend of God, out of bondage in Egypt, to plant them in the land that he had sworn to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give it to them, and to their seed after them, he sent his Angel to perform that great undertaking. He called Moses, a man of whom it is testified that he was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words, and in deeds, to him the Angel appeared in the bush, and sent him to bring up Israel out of Egypt. “This Moses,” said Stephen, “whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler, and a judge? the same did God send to be a ruler, and a deliverer, by the hand of the angel, which appeared to him in the bush, he brought them out after he had shown wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red Sea” (Acts 7: 35-37). And in the third month after the children of Israel had gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai.
Did God the Father Descend on Mount Sinai? Now before proceeding further in this important subject, we consider it necessary to the proper understanding of God's manifestations at Mount Sinai, and that we may rightly judge and divide the word of God relating thereto, that we first call special attention to this important fact, namely, that the Scriptures clearly teach and show that, before God's purposes are finished in the earth, and the great work of human redemption completed, the Father himself in person will, on at least two of the most important epochs in human history, have visited this earth in connection with his chosen people Israel, the seed of Abraham, his friend,- of which people he says by the hand of his prophet, “ You only have I known of all the families of the earth."
The first time was when he came down upon Mount Sinai in a cloud of glory to enter into covenant with the children of Israel, by which they became his people and nation by adoption, when he brought them out of their camp, by the hand of Moses to the foot of the mount to meet with God, and to hear his voice; when the Lord came down upon the top of Mount Sinai in a cloud, and when the smoke of the burning mountain ascended up to heaven like the smoke of a furnace. It is said that the sight of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire in the top of the mount, in the eyes of the children of Israel; and out of this devouring fire and thick darkness made still more terrible by thunders and lightnings and the sound of the trumpet, which waxed louder and louder until the people feared and trembled, and so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, “I exceedingly fear and quake,"— out of this fire the Lord spake in a loud voice and uttered his ten commandments in the ears of the great assembly, which were written on two tables of stone, with the finger of God, and delivered to Moses.
This fearful manifestation of the glory of God because of the presence of the King of kings and Lord of lords, Moses refers to in the following language, “ Ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from the one side of heaven to the other, whether there hath been any such thing, as this great thing is, or hath been heard like it. Did ever people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard and live?” (Deut. 4:32-33). Mount Sinai also upon this memorable occasion appears to have been filled with thousands of angels, as appears from the sixty-eighth Psalm, where it is written, “ The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place.”
The second time when the Ancient of days comes, is in the latter days referred to by Paul as the glorious appearing of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ. When he comes to avenge the quarrel of his covenant and to judge his people, then he will no more pass by them as he did when he slew all the first-born of Egypt, but will pass through them, and the “songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the Lord "; as he said also at Mount Sinai when they set up the idolatry of Egypt, while Moses was in the mount, “Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book. Nevertheless, in the day when I visit, I will visit their sin upon them (Exod. 32: 33-34).
Daniel was shown in vision the scenes of the judgment and the wonders of the latter days, and he says (chapter 7), "I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame."
But Daniel was particularly desirous to know the truth about the little horn which had eyes, like the eyes of a man, and a mouth that spake great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows, and who made war upon the saints for three years and a half. And why? Because this horn is an Israelitish character, and so Daniel said, “I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; Until the Ancient of days came and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom" (Dan. 7: 21-22).
In this wonderful vision the Son of man is seen coming in the clouds of heaven, and he comes to the Ancient of days and is brought near before him, and there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations and languages should serve him according to his Father's promise. Thus the Father himself is coming again the second time. He came the first time when the foundations of the old heavens and earth were laid at Mount Sinai. And he comes again when the old Israelitish heavens and earth are to pass away with a great noise, and when the elements are to melt with fervent heat, and the old earth, and the works that are therein, are to be burned up, and the foundations of the new heavens, and the new earth are to be laid, when the morning stars will sing together, and all the sons of God shout for joy.
He came first to give the law by the disposition of angels, with all these righteous statutes, and judgments, and penalties (called curses) for violating and breaking them, and blessings for keeping them. He will come the second time to fulfill them. The curses of the law are fearful to read, but not one jot or tittle of them will fail to be visited upon the evil doers, and they are called in the one hundred and forty-ninth Psalm, “ The judgments written.” And what judgments were written before David's day that the saints are to execute after they are raised from the dead? Why, the righteous judgments written in the law; for says Paul, “They that have sinned in the law, shall be judged by the law”; again, “They that have sinned without law, shall perish without law, in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men, by Jesus Christ, according to my Gospel.” That day is called the “ day of visitation," "the day of recompense," " the day of vengeance," — when the Lord shall judge his people.
And the position that the Father occupies in the judgment is vividly portrayed in the visions of John, as recorded in the fourth and fifth chapters of the Book of the Revelation, where the Father is seated upon his throne, surrounded by thousands of angels, "as in Mount Sinai, in the holy place "; for then he came to give his nation his law, and now he comes to execute the law; and the book that he who sits upon the throne holds in his hand sealed with seven seals, which, when opened, contained the judgments to be exe
cuted, no man in heaven nor in earth, nor under the earth, was able to open and look thereon, but the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David.
With these important facts before us, the interpretation of the Scriptures which relate to God's manifestations at Mount Sinai should be greatly simplified. We will therefore resume our subject. In the twenty-third chapter of Exodus it is written, “Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions; for my name is in him. But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak, then I will be an enemy to thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries. For mine Angel shall go before thee, and shall bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Caananites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, and I will cut them off' (Exod. 23:20-23).
Now in this Scripture there are presented before us two persons, the Greater and the Less, the Master and the Servant, the Lord and his angel. The one sends the other, and says to the Children of Israel, “Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not, for he will not pardon your transgressions, for my name is in him.”
Now whom are these two persons ? Are they both angels? And if they are, then does one angel transfer and place his name in another angel? And what is this name? Is it not Jehovah? and is it indeed possible for the angels to pass that name around among themselves? And is not this the name that Christ inherits? And if it is possible for the angels to transfer this name from one to the other, would it not be just as possible for Christ to do the same? And if that be so, what becomes of Paul's doctrine, that there is but one God the Father, and one Lord Jesus Christ? Therefore Jesus cannot transfer his name which is above every name, and which requires that all men should worship the Son, even as they worship the Father.
The Scriptures speak of only one transfer of the Father's name, creative power, and spirit, which was from the Angel of his presence, who bore it all the days of old, to Christ, and when he came into possession of that name, all angels, authorities, and powers were made subject unto him, and were required to worship him. The Lord says, “Behold my servant whom I uphold, mine Elect, in whom my soul delighteth, I have put my Spirit upon him "; again, it is said in another Scripture, " The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me.” This Jesus read in the Synagogue at Nazareth and applied to himself. Now as the spirit of God by which all things were created has been put upon Jesus Christ, he is therefore declared to be the creator of all things.
Again we read in the thirty-second chapter of Exodus that the Lord said to Moses, " Therefore now go, lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee: Behold, mine angel shall go before thee." And again, in chapter thirty-three, it is written, “And the Lord said unto Moses, Depart and go up hence, thou and the people which thou hast brought up out of the land of Egypt, unto the land which I sware unto Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, Unto thy seed will I give it; and I will send an angel before