The Chosen People.
January 2nd, 2002
Received by H.
Hello, my dear H___. I would like to use my first message in the New Year to address the subject of the chosen people.
On many occasions we have stated that God has no chosen people, that He loves all mankind equally, and has no preferences. On the other hand the history of the Jewish people, as you can read it in the Old Testament, is the history of the chosen people.
D___ wrote you the following:
“I understand that Padgett made clear that there are no “Chosen People,” in the sense that God was playing favorites. Yet, it seems that the Padgett messages clearly support the basic premise that Jesus’ coming had been prophesized by the Jewish people for centuries prior to his birth. And if we project this back through time, we can conclude that God was making “preparations” for the arrival of Jesus all the way back to King David. From there it is not such a stretch to conclude that the whole purpose of the “first covenant” with Abraham was to prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah. And so, God “chose” the Jews to be hosts to His Messiah. Or so goes my thinking, so far.
In this sense, yes, God could have chosen Indians as the recipients of the Messiah, but He would have needed to start preparing them 2,000 years in advance, too. Or so goes my theory…”
My dear D___, your thoughts are very logical. However, the problem seems to be a problem of definition.
What, then, are the chosen people? If you define this expression by saying that the chosen people are the people out of which the Messiah would be born one day, then you are right. Obviously, God chose the Jews.
However, that cannot be all. As you correctly point out, the Messiah’s coming required a long preparation. It was necessary that the people had knowledge of the Messiah’s existence, because otherwise it would have been impossible to recognize him in his coming. Actually that really happened. In spite of the long preparation, very few recognized Jesus as God’s promised Messiah.
The word “chosen” implies a certain exclusivity, as you well recognize. Therefore, you write that God prepared the Jews, sending them prophets who announced the future existence of this Messiah. You say that this goes back to very old times, a thousand years before Christ, when King David reigned. I want to add that there are messianic prophecies in the Torah, too, in the five books of Moses, which were fixed in written form during the government of David and later, but whose tradition goes back to very ancient times. And so, it is reasonable to say that God took two thousand years for the preparation.
But, in short, what you are saying is that the Messiah necessarily had to be born among the Hebrews, or Jews, because they were the only people who enjoyed this preparation. The Messiah born as an Indian is only a theoretical possibility, because God’s entire preparatory work was directed to the Hebrews.
Very well. Let’s analyze the problem. Is there really a tradition unique in its nature for the Hebrew people, announcing the coming of a Messiah? Is it true that no other people received revelations from God on the coming of a Savior? And is true that the revelations contained in the Old Testament indicate that the Messiah had to be born of the Hebrew people, or more exactly, to be from David’s lineage?
In order to answer the first question, my dear D___, I am astonished at your statement on the exclusivity of the Hebrew people as to the revelations that they received. Logically, the great majority of people who may read this message will agree with you. And the reason is that to evaluate the truthfulness of this statement, it is absolutely necessary to study other religions and only then draw conclusions. And people don’t do this, usually. However you have done it. You have studied oriental religions, and this is why I will choose three of these religions: Hinduism, Buddhism and Zoroastrianism. The question is whether there is also in these religions some knowledge of a future Messiah, and I say future, because Jesus obviously has not been recognized as the Messiah by these religions.
In Hinduism, there is the tradition of the avatars. An avatar is the incarnation of the god Vishnu. It is interesting that the ancient Vedas do not mention avatars, neither do the Upanishads. But when the long epic poetry of the Mahabharata was written, the Hindus already had some knowledge of a savior, of the incarnation of a divine principle bringing peace and salvation to humanity.
Hindus today recognize a series of avatars, for example: Rama, Krishna, Chaitanya and Ramakrishna. Many Hindu scholars recognize that there are avatars outside Hinduism, and they count Buddha and Jesus among them. The wise Sri Aurobindo (considered an avatar by some Hindus) even tried to formulate a synthesis of oriental and western religious principles, recognizing similarities and compatibilities.
Gandhi also recognized Jesus as an avatar, but he denied his exclusivity, indicating that there were Hindu saints who were superior to Jesus in love and even in their sacrifice.
Logically, in the development of the Indian religions many folkloric elements became mixed with God’s revelations. The doctrine of reincarnation led them to think of a cyclic universe, with the appearance of several avatars who would usher in the end of an epoch and the beginning of a new age. But according to their doctrine, a last avatar, Kalki, would appear as the cosmic judge at the end of times.
To me, it seems pretty clear that we also find here the product of a divine revelation, the preparing of the people for the coming of a Messiah, whom they call avatar. Of course, in form he is very different from the Jewish concept, because he is determined by the cultural context, but not in overall principle.
In Buddhism, we can see a very similar principle. Buddhism speaks of the Maitreya, or Metteya, who would be the future Messiah, ushering in a new era of happiness and justice. Here we find also the principle of several “Messiah,” due to the cyclic vision of the universe. But at the end of times, the definitive Messiah would come. Once again, we find the principle of salvation by means of divine intervention, guiding humanity along the paths of justice and love.
And how are things in Zoroastrianism? Here the situation is even more interesting. This religion speaks of humanity’s several eras. In the last era, the earth will be flooded by molten metal, and the living and dead will have to suffer this purification process through fire, in order to be cleansed from their sins. The just ones will pass through the burning fire as through “lukewarm milk,” and the sinners will suffer under a terrible torture. Finally, there will be a last battle between Ormazd [Ahura Mazda or God] and Ahriman [the principle of evil], where the “devil” will be definitively destroyed.
In that epoch, the Saoshyant will be born, and what is very interesting, he will be born of a virgin. The Saoshyant will resuscitate the dead and be the judge in the “Great Day of Judgment,” where all evil will disappear and justice will reign, in a “New Golden Age.”
Zoroastrianism had a lot of influence in the formation of many of the legends contained in the New Testament. In several religious writings the wise men that visited Jesus, in order to pay him homage, came from Iran, an allusion to the priests of the religion of Zarathustra or Zoroaster. The followers of this religion affirm that they were the first ones to receive the divine revelations about the Messiah’s coming, a Messiah called Saoshyant, and that the idea that he would be born of a virgin was stolen from them by the Christians.
I could go on and on, giving examples, how even in the writings of Confucianism you can read of the “Royal Man,” who will establish goodness on earth through his justice, and will banish iniquity, but I believe that you can already grasp how God revealed Himself to all mankind. In fact, He prepared all peoples for the coming of a Messiah. It is true that many peoples lost these revelations, or they deformed them unrecognizably in their popular mythology. However, God revealed Himself, and He revealed His Plan of Salvation by means of a Messiah.
So, I ask you: Was it possible that the Messiah could have been born in India or in Iran? The answer is definitely “yes.” Nevertheless, you could reply that there are so many prophecies indicating that the Messiah would be born of the Jews. And here I want to remind you that these prophecies are not so clear. A good example may be found in the message which Dr. Samuels received on the prophecy contained in the fifth chapter of Micah :
“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel.”
Even without Jesus’ coming, this prophecy would have been fulfilled through Hezekiah. Messianic prophecies, in general, have a double meaning, referring to more than one event, and they are not so clear at all. Otherwise, they would enjoy a universal acceptance, wouldn’t they?
God knew that the Messiah would be born of the Hebrews, of course. He knew that Jesus would accept his mission. But this knowledge doesn’t mean that He forced Jesus to accept his mission. Jesus always enjoyed his free will, and he always had the possibility to decline the mandate. But he did not do so, and God knew this.
Now, if you want to ask me why God sent the Messiah to work among the Jews and not among the Indians or Persians or Chinese, I am sorry to say, I would choose to ignore that question.
Now, in concluding this already very long message, I would like to add that I like very much what G___ has written:
“I am beginning to view these revelations like music. Some are Folk, some are Classical, some are Jazz. But all are the music of our Father.”
Well said. The same theme may even appear in any of these styles. When hearing the song “Can’t Help Falling in Love” in Andy Williams’ interpretation or in UB40’s, you perceive the same motif in form of a romantic ballad or as a fiery reggae. What changes is the cultural context. In the same way as the different mediums leave their personal stamp on the messages they receive, the cultural context also adds its mark.
God is universal, and His revelations are universal. It is difficult at times to see them, due to the defacement they suffer. You read in the Bible that God supposedly had ordered the Hebrews to annihilate the whole population of the conquered cities of Canaan, men and women, babies and old people, and although you reject this as a lie or as human fantasy, you can see the work of God in the Scriptures. And in the same way, you can see it in the Scriptures of other cultures if you are able to distinguish truth from falsehood.
God bless you all,
Your brother and friend in the spirit,
© Copyright is asserted in this message by Geoff Cutler 2013