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The Bible, the Spirit of Prophecy, and the Church

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    Christ With His Church in Old Testament Days

    God had declared to Israel that “my name is in him“: it was through Him God spoke to Moses and also to His people in olden times. This is recognized by the New Testament writers, for we read that it was—BSPC 35.2

    “the Spirit of Christ which was in them ... when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” 1 Peter 1:11.BSPC 35.3

    The same thought is seen also in Hebrews 12:25, where reference is made to Him “that speaks from heaven.”BSPC 35.4

    Bloomfield in his Greek Testament tells us that—BSPC 35.5

    “this is by many modern Expositors referred to God; but by the ancient and some modern ones, to Christ; which is far more agreeable to the context.”—S. T. Bloomfield, The Greek New Testament (1844), vol. 2, p. 475.BSPC 35.6

    As to the voice that was heard speaking from Sinai, as is recorded in verse 26, he remarks:BSPC 35.7

    “The best Expositors are in general agreed that the [word] ... refers ... to Christ, notwithstanding that the thing is in Exodus ascribed to God. Nor is there any inconsistency, since the NT. and the Rabbinical writings agree in representing it as the SON OF GOD, who appeared to the patriarchs, who delivered the Law by angels, and who was the ANGEL-JEHOVAH worshipped in the Hebrew church.”—Ibid.BSPC 35.8

    Furthermore, the same blessed Lord is seen in the church in the wilderness. Stephen, in his recitation of God’s dealings with His people through the centuries, recalls that the Angel of the covenant was present at the giving of the law at Sinai. (Acts 7:38.) Moses was the mediator between the Angel of Jehovah and the children of Israel. On this, observe the remarks of Ellen G. White:BSPC 35.9

    “During all the wanderings of Israel, Christ, in the pillar of cloud and of fire, was their leader.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, 311.BSPC 36.1

    “Christ was not only the leader of the Hebrews in the wilderness,—the Angel in whom was the name of Jehovah, and who, vailed in the cloudy pillar, went before the host,—but it was He who gave the law to Israel. Amid the awful glory of Sinai, Christ declared in the hearing of all the people the ten precepts of His Father’s law. It was He who gave to Moses the law engraved upon the tables of stone.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, 366.BSPC 36.2

    This is still further emphasized in the ancient Jewish paraphrases on the books of Moses. Several centuries before the Christian Era, devoted Jewish writers like Onkelos and Jonathan ben Uzziel and others gathered together oral interpretations and paraphrases of parts of the Sacred Scriptures. In the oral form they hark back to the return of the Jews from the Babylonian exile, but in their written form as we have them today they come to us from about the second or third century AD. These were known as Targums, and the dictionary defines this word as:BSPC 36.3

    “a general term for the Aramaic versions—often paraphrases—of the Old Testament, which became necessary when, after and perhaps during the Babylonian exile, Hebrew began to die out as a popular language, and was supplanted by Aramaic.”BSPC 36.4

    It is interesting to observe how the truth of certain quotations from Patriarchs and Prophets is recognized in these Targums. Attention will be called to a few to enable the reader to see that these Jewish teachers certainly recognized that God spoke and worked through the Angel of Jehovah—the Angel of the Lord, whom we know was none other than Christ the Lord.BSPC 36.5

    1. “It was He who revealed Himself to the patriarchs. Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaiah, Jacob, and Moses understood the gospel.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, 366.BSPC 36.6

    To Adam. Genesis 1:27; 2:8; 3:22.BSPC 36.7

    To Noah. Genesis 7:16; 8:1; 9:12, 13, 15, 16.BSPC 36.8

    To Abraham. Genesis 15:1, 6; 17:27; 19:24.BSPC 36.9

    To Jacob. Genesis 28:20, 21; 46:1, 2.BSPC 36.10

    To Joseph. Genesis 39:2, 3, 21, 23.BSPC 36.11

    2. “It was He who gave the law to Israel.... It was He who gave to Moses the law engraved upon the tables of stone.”—Ibid.BSPC 36.12

    In each of the following texts instead of the word “God” or the word “Lord” it will be observed that it was the “Word” who spoke: Exodus 19:3, 5, 9; 20:1, 7; Deuteronomy 4:24, 36; 5:5.BSPC 37.1

    3. “Christ was the angel in whom was the name of Jehovah, and who, vailed in the cloudy pillar, went before the host.”—Ibid.BSPC 37.2

    Here again the Hebrew word Memra is used in the Targums, which is translated in the English version by “word.” Here in place of “and the Lord said,” it would be “and the Word said.” Note the following scriptures: Exodus 14:15, 25, 31; Numbers 14:9, 20, 43.BSPC 37.3

    How true it is that “Christ ... spoke to His people through the prophets.”—Ibid. It was “the Spirit of Christ ... in them” which “testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” 1 Peter 1:11. “In the plan of redemption Christ is the Alpha and the Omega.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, 367. Christ is first, last, and always. He has ever been with His people, He is with them today, and He will be with them forever and ever.BSPC 37.4

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