9 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
The 185,000 Assyrians in the reign of Hezekiah felt the vengeance of the destroyer, but they saw him not; so I believe it will be at the battle of Armageddon, the kings and their armies will be overcome with dreadful slaughter, but they will not see the Avenger's person.
The work of the succeeding forty years requires that so signal a revelation be witheld from them. Israel and the saints of the holy city will see Yahweh; but not the nations at large. The divine majesty is not prodigal of its manifestations. Men in the flesh, therefore, will, I apprehend, believe in the presence of Yahweh on earth as its imperial and pontifical ruler, of whom they have heard by the report of others, but whom they have not seen, and perhaps may never behold.
Men profess now to believe that Jesus is at the right hand of Elohim; but hereafter they will believe that he is "reigning in Jerusalem before his Ancients gloriously" (Isaiah 24:23); and their faith if made perfect by works, will, doubtless, as now, be counted to them for righteousness.
Elpis Israel 3.3.
10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.
"He cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him, even those who pierced him; and all the tribes of the land shall mourn in his presence." (Rev. 1:7).
This, however, is affirmed of his appearance in Israel, when he shall make himself known to his brethren after the type of Joseph (Zech. 12:10-14); which will be subsequently to the great battle in the valley of Megiddo.
Elpis Israel 3.3.
I will now resume my line of evidence. In Zech. 12: 10, speaking of the time of coming glory...
To whom does this apply? Does Mr. Stern expect his Messiah to be pierced by the Jews? No, but Jesus of Nazareth was pierced by the Jews. Mr. Stern may say the Romans. No doubt the actual wounding was by them, but at whose instigation was it? When a man takes an implement in his hand and does something with it, you do not say it is the implement that does it; the thing done is the act of the operator, though actually done by the implement. In this way the Queen is said to do things in the government of the country that she in reality does not do, because they are considered to be done by her authority.
On the same principle, the Jews did pierce the Messiah by means of the Romans, The Romans of their own accord would never have done it. Pilate wanted to let him go, but the Jews clamoured for his crucifixion, and so Pilate gave them their way. Here then is a statement that they are to look upon him whom they have pierced. Does not this answer to Jesus of Nazareth?
I refer next to Zech. 9:9, where this same king is introduced:
"Rejoice greatly, 0 daughter of Zion, shout 0 daughter of Jerusalem, behold thy King cometh unto thee; he is just and having salvation; lowly riding upon an ass and upon a colt the foal of an ass".
And it goes on to say at the eleventh verse,
"As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant, I have sent forth thy priests out of the pit wherein is no water"
(a metaphorical description of the grave peculiar to the prophets).
Now here is an intimation that there is to be in connection with the Messiah, a liberation of the people from the grave, as the result of a covenant to which blood has relation. "The blood of thy covenant". Can Mr. Stern explain this connection with his Messiah? Can he deny its applicability to Jesus of Nazareth? The blood of Jesus Christ was shed on Calvary, and in all New Testament representations of the final triumph of Christ's work, his blood is a prominent feature.
"He hath washed us in his own blood" (Rev. 1:5). "Thou hast redeemed us by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation" (Rev. 5:9).
Mr. Stern asks how Jesus justifies anybody? I answer by quoting Paul in Acts 13:38. In the course of a speech addressed to the Jews, Paul says,
"Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins; and by him all that believe are justifed from all things from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses".
My answer then is, that Israel's God is pleased to regard a man as in a righteous position who has faith in this crucified Messiah.
In Isaiah 49:7, you have the same idea distinctly brought to view:--
"Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the Lord that is faithful, and the Holy one of Israel, and he shall choose thee. Thus saith the Lord, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant for the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages".
Now what is a covenant?
According to the Hebrew term, it is a dividing by cutting, because a covenant was established over the divided bodies of slain beasts; so that in saying of this personage that God would give him for a covenant, it was equivalent to saying that he would give him up to be done as was done to Jesus of Nazareth; as the result of which, great blessings would flow to those who believed in him.
Will this apply to Mr. Stern's looked-for Messiah? It applies to Jesus. Carrying out this view, we find in the next chapter (Isaiah 50:5),
"I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair; I hid not my face from shame and spitting",
which is true of Jesus of Nazareth: to him these words most truly apply. Again, in Micah 5:1, you have the same feature:
"Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops; he hath laid siege against us; they shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek".
The judge of Israel is the Messiah. Has the Messiah whom Mr. Stern expects, to be smitten? (Looking at Mr. Stern). He shakes his head; therefore his Messiah is not the Messiah of the prophets, for the Messiah of the prophets was to be smitten to death, and buried with the rich. (Time called.)
Was Jesus of Nazareth The Messiah?
SECOND NIGHT of DEBATE
Mr. Robert Roberts and Mr. Louis Stern, Oct. 1871