… Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, To The Unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. (Acts 17:22-23)
Would referring to the LORD Jesus Christ, as the Metatron, be the same as Paul preaching to the Greeks, revealing to them the true identity of the “unknown god” that they had made altars to?
When Paul came to Athens, He saw that the city was wholly devoted to numerous Greek gods, whose shrines, images and statues were venerated throughout the city. The Greeks were polytheists, and wanted to appease whichever gods they perceived to exist. Paul also noted a rather curious phenomenon, for throughout the city, were various altars which were dedicated to “the unknown god”.
Evidently there had been a very serious plague in Athens, which had been interpreted to require the appeasement of the gods, and to which the entire city devoted itself to. Which god was responsible for the Plague? Athens would seek to appease all of them.
However the plague was not stayed, in spite of the multitude of devotions.Evidently these pagans didn’t know which god they should offer sacrifice to. This was a humble admission of their ignorance of God, and a desperate attempt to appease him.
A wise man was consulted who instructed the elders of the city to let loose a flock of goats, and wherever those goats would rest, they were to erect an altar to “the unknown god”, and offer sacrifices there.
Centuries later the Apostle came to Athens to preach Christ. Where to start?
Paul would tell them the identity of the unknown God.
There are many who are saying that what Jacob Prasch is doing, by referring to the Kabbalistic “Metatron” as the “One mediator between God and men”, and the “Angel of the LORD” and even as Jesus, is the same thing Paul did.
I don’t think the analogy applies.
Here is why.
The many altars to the “unknown god” amounted to an admission that the Greeks really didn’t know who God is, and to the limitations of their own Pantheon to stay the plague. In their desperation, they cried out to the “Unknown God”. (Incidently, the plague stopped shortly afterwards according to the story).
Paul could respectfully build upon that admission, and let them know that the God who did what none of their own gods could do, (ie stopping the plague), has an identity, is a person, their Creator, and Judge, as well as their Redeemer, the LORD Jesus Christ.
In the case of Jewish evangelism, (The gospel should indeed go to the Jew first), The Metatrone is in no way an admission of ignorance of the Only True God. In fact the Metatrone is the product of a very sophisticated (but errant) theology which developed over the centuries, has a highly developed persona , and springs out of literature that was designed to destroy faith in Jesus Christ deliberately, particularly among the Jews.
Unlike the Greeks, the Rabbis and their disciples do not think that they are ignorant of God, in fact they are gnostics who believe that they alone know who God is. Thus the analogy breaks down. Why bolster their unbelief by trying to label Jesus with the title that they know well, of a figure,”Behind the Throne”?
Metatrone, is not Jesus Christ. Not even close. It was not the Metatrone who wrestled with Jacob, it was God. The Patriarch Jacob saw the face of God and lived. Metatrone is an occult imagination, an idol, a distortion of reality, a terrible, ominous substitute for our Saviour.
When Paul engaged in Jewish evangelism in the synagogues, did he refer to the Metatrone? ** Would he have pointed to the various myths and fables of the Rabbis which he so often warned against? How did Paul go about Jewish Evangelism?
Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews:And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.(Acts 17:1-3)
And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks. And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ.(Acts 18:4-5)
Admittedly I do not speak Hebrew, but I am a Christian, I have the Spirit, and it grieves me to see the LORD Jesus Christ, compared to a mystical figure, and openly referred to as Metatrone. We must be discerning brothers and sisters. Pray for discernment on this, please, we beseech you.
**( It could be that the Metatrone developed later, but the point is the same, for their were plenty of Jewish Myths Paul could have drawn from as analogies.)