Dr. Einar C. Erickson
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It is clear then that the existence of a testament of Adam was fully integrated in the story of the Magi. This was basically a prophecy intended for a people in the east. They enlarged upon it. The Christian had lost all knowledge of it.

 INTRODUCTION

This is Part 2 of the PRINCE OF THE PRESENCE, Restored Doctrines 15 was part 1. In place of the term ‘Metatron,’ I will continue to use ‘PRINCE,’ or just the word ‘HE.’  “He, the representative of the Most High in his work on earth.” (Odeberg p. 128) In “time Gnostic influence was brought into the circle of the Rabbinic scholars who occupied themselves with the study of the Maerkaba... they suffered from Gnostic Influence.”  (Odeberg p. 130) Just as Christianity did at about the same time. They still concluded that “He is the most excellent of all the heavenly host and the guide …to all the treasures.” (Ibid p. 130) There was a long debate in certain Jewish circles as to a Persian source of Mediator (Mipra),  ”used in the technical sense as an officer who goes in advance of an army, …and being  held as an intermediary or Mediator… The central function in which Schnieder [on one end of the debate] holds Mipra and Metatron …. Is that of Mediator.” (Odeberg p. 132) He is often referred to as “Guide…He is the most excellent of all the heavenly host and the guide… to all of the treasures…of God.” (Odeberg p. 130) “Guardian of the World, the Mediator for the earth…the Prince of the World.” (Odeberg p. 132) “Next to the ruler, i.e. God…[the] Mediator. Who is seated at the right hand of God…next to the Divine Throne. Occupying the next rank of the ‘divine Rule of the Most High.” (Odeberg pp. 134-137) But some of the early writers  had come to a more direct conclusion: Meyer, one of Odeberg’s sources “thinks that the Jewish  conception of Metatron forms an exact counterpart of the Christian conception of the Son of God.” (Rev. 3.21, Odeberg p. 136) That brings us to the doctrine of the  ‘Son of Man.’ This was one of the favorite designations which Christ liked to call himself.  The “designation ‘Son of Man’ applied to Jesus Christ, “occurs some sixty-eight times in the synoptic Gospels [and many more times in the extra-gospels sources].” (Borsch pp. 16-17) “This Son of Man …[referred to in l, 2 and 3rd Enoch ] shall raise up the kings and the mighty from their seats…and shall loosen the reins  of the strong...shall put down kings from their thrones and kingdoms”… (Odeberg p. 47) …  “[and establishes] the pre-existence of the Son of Man.” (Ibid)  Moses gives us the details with great clarity: “…in the language of Adam, Man of Holiness is his name, and the name of his Only Begotten is the Son of Man, even Jesus Christ, a righteous Judge who shall come in the meridian of time.” (Moses 6:57) “Behold, I am God; Man of Holiness is my name Man of Counsel is my name, Endless and Eternal, is my name…” (Moses 7:35) Other ancient sources verify: “… God himself, often called Man …” (Jonas p. 270) ”Some positive attributes …do apply to him… significantly, in some systems one of his secret names is ‘Man.’” (Jonas p. 268)  Son of Man “is the designation of which Jesus spoke, and spoke consistently, as most revelatory of his work.. to point to the death and resurrection of the Son of Man….at the very center of the Gospel record.” (Borsch p. 16)  “Jesus, the Son of Man, was finally  known in [as] Jesus Christ.” (Borsch p. 67) Jesus knew that “the Son of Man must suffer. Jesus speaks of the necessity of the Son of man’s death and resurrection.” (Borsch p. 329.) While the debate has been going on for most of the last two thousand years, and have reached the correct conclusions, the revelations given to the prophet Joseph Smith in the Book of Moses ended the debate 200 years ago. We don’t have to draw attention to the obvious, others already have.  What name or attribute have we given so for, does not fit the Christ, the Son of God? 

TWO POWERS RULE IN HEAVEN

“Next in rank to the divine ruler … the divine being who occupies the Throne next to the Throne of the Glory (the Divine Throne)…the Throne next to the Throne of Glory. …the Angel, who is God’s representative is seated upon a throne of his own.  The Throne is moreover, explicitly stated to be a “reflection of the Throne of Glory.” [placed] to donate its secondary rank.” (Odeberg pp. 137-138) Enthronement of this celestial being, hence implicitly connects the word Metatron with the word ‘throne’.” (Odeberg p. 139)  “Thus Metator …speculating upon… [his] function at the Creation…was interpreted to mean…( the representative of the Holy One).” (Odeberg p. 141) “Under the influence of the Jewish fundamental doctrine of God’s Absolute Sovereignty over Heavens and Earths…The underlying idea being “there is only one real ruler in heaven” the consequence was there is only One Enthroned in heaven, or only one possessor of thrones… 3 ENOCH further actually associates the name ‘Metatron’ with heaven, i.e. With the Throne of Glory and He who is seated on” [it].” (Odeberg pp. 141-144)  “To Rabbinisim, the whole idea must  have presented itself as the worst of all possibilities, that of accepting “two Powers”.” [in Heaven, but there were].”  (Odeberg p. 144) “Metatron became the center of powerful speculation …and was able to penetrate into the Rabbinic Literature.” (Odeberg p. 144) Where it remains today.  It truly has been said “Man on earth is a mortal God; God in heaven is an immortal Man.” (Borsch p. 60) We are confronted with a “story concerning one who was sent from heaven to earth.” (Borsch p.60) And who sent Him?

OUR IMAGE

Everyone was having  difficulties with the reality of ‘two powers in Heaven’ especially the scriptural basis  in “Gen. 1:26 (“Let us make man in our image”) where the possible  interpretation of God having an associate in creation proved difficult to the Rabbis…Justin Martyr  [one of the early Church writers]… used this verse in his Dialogue with Trypho to demonstrate that the God who appeared to  Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, was the Christ and a different figure from the God who had planned the creation.”  (Segal  p. 13) Here, again, the revelations to  Joseph Smith  barely 200 years ago, resolved the discussion.  Where Abraham recounts the efforts of Egyptian priests to sacrifice him in the Book of Abraham: “And as they lifted up their hands upon me, that they might offer me up and take away my life, behold I lifted up  my voice unto the Lord…the Lord hearkened and heard, and he filled me with the vision of the Almighty, and the angel of his presence stood  by me, and immediately unloosed my bands; And his voice was unto me, Abraham, Abraham behold,  my name is, Jehovah, and I have heard thee and  have come down to deliver thee.” (Abraham 1:55-56) ‘The name JEHOVAH is an English version of the Hebrew word  YHWH or YEHWEH, referring to the Great I Am of the Old Testament, who Latter-day Saints believe was the pre-mortal Jesus Christ.” (Brugger p. 158) “I Am the Lord thy God…My name is Jehovah.” (Abraham 2:7-8; Brugger p. 158)

Then in Chapter  (7) of 3 Enoch, there is stunning verification of revelations given to Joseph.  It is about Abraham.  Odeberg says: “The fragment does not fit here.” (Odeberg p.138) “And I saw the spirits of the Patriarchs Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and the rest of the righteous whom they have brought up out of the their graves and who have ascended to the Heaven (Raqia) …The expression ‘have been brought out of their graves and have ascended to (Raqia) …sounds as if we are here confronted with a different conception as to the fate of men after death, according to which the Patriarchs and (some of) the  righteous enjoy the  privilege of bodily resurrection before the final consummation.” (Odeberg pp. 138-139) President Joseph F. Smith had a vision in 1918, where he saw the Patriarchs in the spirit world, (D&C 128:41) They were all resurrected soon after Jesus Christ was, the rest of mankind, and those since Christ are waiting for the consummation.   This fragment, present in the books of Enoch in the first three centuries of the Christian era, bears witness of those who had a greater knowledge of the resurrection and those who were resurrected early, up to the present. Everyone is looking forward to the final consummation. ( D&C 138:29) But some who were early born on the earth and” proved worth have made it to glory.”  (D&C Commentary p. 830)

THE THREE PATRIARCHS ARE EXALTED

The Three Patriarchs  “have already ascended to their glory. When this took place is not stated but it evidently occurred after our Lord ascended in glory, if Abraham is exalted and occupies a throne, others must enjoy a similar privilege.” (Smith p. 830)

  “Abraham received all things whatsoever he received, by commandment, by my word, saith the Lord and hath entered into his exaltation and sitteth upon his throne.” (D&C 132:29) The Patriarchs “have entered into their exaltation according to the promises, and sit upon thrones, and are not angels but are gods.”  (D&C 132:37)   

COUNCILS

There are certain “angels [who] form the Council of the Almighty. “He doeth nothing in his world without first taking council…not limited to that of giving counsel to the Most High, but …exercise definite power over the inhabitants of the world and the empires and kingdoms on earth.” (Odeberg p. 152)

If these two parts on the Prince of His Presence are a little challenging, think of how a Jewish Rabbi must may feel?

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

BORSCH, Frederick Houk, The Son of Man in Myth and History, The Westminster Press, Philadelphia, 1967

BRUGGER, Don L., The Latter-day Saints Family Encyclopedia, Thunder Bay Publishers, San Diego, Ca.  2010

JONAS, Hans, Philosophical Essays, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1974

ODEBERG, Hugo. 3 ENOCH, The Hebrew Book of Enoch, KTAV Publishing House, Inc., New York, 1973

SEGAL, Alan F., Two Powers in Heaven, E. J. Brill, Leiden , 1977

SMITH, Joseph Fielding, Doctrine and Covenants Commentary, Deseret Book Co., Salt Lake City, Utah, 1972

All research and opionions presented on this site are the sole responsibility of Dr. Einar C. Erickson, and should not be interpreted as official statements of the LDS doctrine, beliefs or practice.
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