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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.

The Son did not preexist from all eternity. The Father did. There is only one God, and He is the Father. Distinct from Him (though one with Him), there is the Son of God, the man Christ Jesus. He who is our High Priest, our Elder Brother, the Captain of our Salvation, had no individual pre-existence. Yet how can you separate him from the pre-existent power constituting him such-the power that produced him, the power that was in him, of which he is the expression, and of which he is the mouth-piece?

He was, if you may say so, a divine phenomenon in flesh-an individual manifestation of the spirit in the flesh; and as the Spirit is one with universal power, and wisdom, having source in the Father, can you not see that there is an inscrutable connection between the man Christ Jesus and the power whose views and purposes he came to accomplish; so that when John the Baptist went out preaching, to pave the way for his introduction to Israel, he was preparing "the way of Yahweh."

When you consider that Jesus was the manifestation of Yahweh by that Spirit which in its immensity is Yahweh, there is no difficulty; but if you exclude the Spirit, then the subject is all in mist. Somebody will say. "Oh, the Spirit came at his baptism." Yes; but it came before then; it came upon Mary; and it cannot be that a high cause is brought to bear to produce no result. The result was to introduce, incipiently, the manifestation styled Emmanuel, and this result appeared in the babe Christ. For he was proclaimed to be "the Lord's Christ" (anointed) from his mother's womb.

The angels that came to the shepherds on the plains of Bethlehem, said: "Unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." And also it is written that to Simeon, who came in when the child Jesus came to be circumcised, it had been revealed that he should not see death till he had seen the Lord's anointed, the Christ; and when he had seen the babe, he said "Lord now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before all people, a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel."

The Spirit descended upon Jesus at his baptism, in token that he was the Christ. This was the testimony of John: "There standeth one among you whom ye know not. He it is who, coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoes' latchet I am not worthy to unloose. . . . And I knew him not, but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come, baptizing with water. . . . He that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he that baptizeth with the Holy Spirit."-(John 1:26-33.)

The visible descent of the Spirit was then a public identification of the Messiah, as well as a bestowal of a higher degree of power than was conferred by his spiritual origin. Let those who think that the presence of the Spirit with him during the first thirty years of his life, unfitted him to be an example, consider this, that the Spirit, as they are obliged to admit, was with him when he was tempted in the wilderness. If then the presence of the Spirit, at that crisis, is no barrier to his being considered an example, why should it be considered so in the case of his earlier years? If it is a barrier in the one case, it is a barrier in the


If you are to say that, at any stage, there was no spirit with him, because of his being an

example, you are bound to deny the presence of the Spirit, at all stages: for, at all stages, he was an example.

And this is indeed what some would go to the length of doing, and say that the things performed by Jesus were not performed by his individual volition, but by the Father in heaven, in answer to Christ's prayer. This is dangerous speculation, which cuts at the root of that unity by Spirit-inhabitation which Jesus affirms to subsist between himself and the Father. Jesus was "God with us."


The Christadelphian, May 1870. p143-151