Published by Worldview Publications
Context for the Christ Event: 2006.09


Messianism II: First Temple Models1

For thousands of years (ca. 10,000-1000 BCE) God authorized human behavior through the god-consciousness of the bicameral mind.2, 3 When God began removing this possessive consciousness, the human race developed imperial power structures to take its place. To justify their dominating actions, these “powers” claimed to possess divine authorization and used ritual anointment to confirm their authority. Meanwhile, God himself introduced relational authorization through the ritual anointment (mashiah, maschach, mashiach, mimshach, moshchah, etc. [= Gr. christos; Eng. “messiah”]) of his chosen representatives. However, rather than using oil from the fat of the crocodile, as in Egypt, anointments in Israel were performed using olive oil mixed with aromatic spices or oil from the spikenard plant. These developments took place during the period of the wilderness Tabernacle and of First Temple Judaism. All of these anointments were metaphors for the anticipated appearance of the messianic human God.

1. The prophets of Israel were messianically anointed to represent God to the people. “ . . . Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room” (1 Kings 19:16).

2. The priests of Israel were anointed as messianic representatives who were authorized to represent the people to God. “Then shalt thou take the anointing oil, and pour it upon his [Aaron’s] head, and anoint him” (Exodus 29:7).

3. The kings of Israel were authorized by anointment to represent the people to the people. “Samuel also said unto Saul, The Lord sent me to anoint thee to be king over his people, over Israel . . . ” (1 Samuel 15:1).

4. Foreign rulers such as Hazael of Syria (1 Kings 19:15) and Cyrus of Persia (Isaiah 45:1) were anointed to protect and/or liberate the people from oppression. “Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him . . . ” (Isaiah 45:1).

5. Finally, the Tabernacle/Temple and all its furnishings were anointed to signify God’s promise to become human and thus achieve his own relational human authorization.4 “And thou shalt anoint the tabernacle of the congregation therewith, and the ark of the testimony . . . ” (Exodus 30:26).

In fulfillment of this messianic plurality, God became human as Jesus Christ and thus was inaugurated as —

1. Our Prophet. “And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee” (Matthew 21:10, 11).

2. Our High Priest. “ . . . [C]onsider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus . . . ” (Hebrews 3:1).

3. Our King. “Nathaniel . . . saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel” (John 1:49).

4. Our Ruler. “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; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” (Micah 5:2).

5. Our Temple. “ . . . Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19).

Thus, God himself became the human Messiah (Gr. Christos) — Prophet, Priest, King, Ruler, Temple. He himself constituted the ultimate authorization — the final authority. Thus the Anointed One remains today. Soon the Messiah will return and reveal that he himself “is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever” (Matthew 6:13).


  1. See Encyclopaedia Judaica, CD-ROM ed. (1997), s.v. Harold Louis Ginsberg, “Messiah.” (go back)
  2. Primitive mankind was controlled by an internal “god-consciousness” in which human will and authority were represented by the symbolic appearance and voice of “god,” expressed by the right brain (left brain in left-handed people). See Julian Jaynes Society, “Summary of Evidence,” at; Julian Jaynes, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1990). (go back)
  3. See “Origins,” Outlook (September 2001); “The Dawn of Self-Consciousness,” Outlook (October 2001); “‘Life Is Bound Up,’” Outlook (April/June 2002); “‘By What Authority?’” Outlook (May/June 2003). (go back)
  4. See “The First Temple: United Monarchical Period,” Outlook (November 2001). (go back)

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