HOSANNA IN THE HIGHEST
by Dr. Wesley A. Swift
Historically, during the present week and next week also, those who make up the Christian Church normally think collectively about the majesty of the events that surrounded the last week of the Messiah’s life before His crucifixion. As we approach this week, we should realize that the pattern of those events covered the most important fulfillment of prophecy in the history of our race.
There are many things that are not recorded in the Gospels which took place at that time, events which transpired that are considered to be inconsequential by many Christians, though they were of great significance, for Palestine in the days of the ministry of Christ was a turbulent land. Palestine was a land that had been filled with expectancy and hope, an it had also been filled with many dreary hours, although tremendous events were about to take place.Still most of the people were unaware of what was about to happen until after the Messiah was actually born. When they heard of the birth of the Messiah, the people were greatly cheered: their spirits were exalted when the word went out that truly the Messiah had been born.
Some unique developments occurred about that time, one of which was that Elizabeth, the cousin of Mary, had given birth to John the Baptist. John the Baptist was born three months before Yahshua, and truly he was an amazing figure, about whom Yahshua later said, “There was never a man born of woman that was greater than John the Baptist. And John the Baptist, as you may remember, had his life spared by the fourth “wise man,” who had enfolded the infant John under his robe and had held him there in his arms, when the Jewish soldiers under the command of Herod the king invaded Bethlehem and killed all the male babies in Bethlehem and all the surrounding country that were two years of age and under, to their insane desire to murder the Yahshua child. That was when the great hue and cry went out from the mothers of the children of Israel, as the Jewish king and his Jewish army murdered their infants. Even after the passing of these events, there still was always the worry that Herod’s soldiers might return and might again seek to destroy the babies of Israel.
So we learn that Zacharias and Elizabeth, the parents of John the Baptist, sent their infant son John away from their home when he was tree years of age.He was sent to a group of people outside the city of Jerusalem that were known as Essenes. Now the Essene Company had a long and distinguished background, and they were the true and rightful Levites, the true students of the Scriptures and the rightful teachers of religion in the ancient kingdom of Israel.In fact, when the city of Jerusalem was rebuilt in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah, these were the people that had control of the Temple, and they were actually the administrators of the government.
Remember that the original government of the nation of Israel was theocracy, a government by El, which was administered by a properly selected prophet and priesthood.Even when the Israelites asked to have a king like the people of the other nations had, and Saul was anointed and crowned as their kin, yet Saul was considered to be only the vice-regent for El, and El was still recognized as the supreme ruler over the king and all the people. So the nation of Israel remained a theocracy even after the people were given the kings, which they requested. And after the nation of Israel was divided into two nations, which wee called Israel and Judah, both of them also, at least theoretically, continued to be the ocracies until they were destroyed and the people were taken into captivity.
The southern kingdom of Judah was destroyed by the Babylonians and most of the Israelites then remaining in Judah were taken to Babylonia as captives, and their captivity lasted 70 years, during which time Daniel was the most famous Israelite in Babylon. But during this period the Medes and Persians defeated the Babylonians, and Artaxerxes the king of Persia gave the Israelites (that wished to do so) the privilege of returning to Jerusalem to rebuild their Temple, in which the undertaking the most famous were Zerubbable, Ezra and Nehemiah.
The rebuilt the Temple and the Levites took possession of it, the children of Aaron once more were their priests, and the people had no administration over them but the priests of the Most High El. The Theocracy of El was restored at that time.
When the Israelites returned from Babylon, there came with them, unfortunately, a mixed multitude.These were mixed-blood Asiatics, some of whose ancestors had certainly come from the Mongol hordes of central Asia. They were an incongruous multitude that were completely alien to the people of Israel, never the less, they attached themselves to the Israelites and accompanied them to Jerusalem. It should be remembered that this so called mixed multitude were also related to the Canaanites, Amalekites, Hittites, and other peoples about whom El and told the Israelites, “Don’t’ mix with them or have anything to do with them. “ These were the people that Yahshua referred to as the Jews of Jerusalem when He said, “ Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.”Of course we can well understand how the Jews took possession of Jerusalem, because they proclaimed themselves to be Pharisees, which they were not- and when with a crooked election hey secured control of the administration and took over the Temple, they became a powerful organization of complete Canaanitish design, and they sought to twist and utilize the entire structure of the government in Jerusalem for their own ends.
By this time of course the Roman Empire also had risen to power. It had conquered the districts and provinces of Palestine, though we must say that the Roman Empire was a rather benevolent conqueror. It permitted the theocracy to continue. It only collected the taxes and sought to maintain order. But this of caused was quite a problem, with Sadducees in the Temple and controlling the city of Jerusalem.
So it was that during the time of the birth of the Messiah, the Temple of Jerusalem was in the hands of pagan people who were proclaiming themselves to be the priests and high priest, but who were not! So at the time of the Messiah’s birth, John the Baptist, who had been born three months before, was later sent out of the city to the Essene Company. The Essenes were meeting in caves. They were copying the records. They were preserving the Scriptures.They were talking about the wisdom and the prophecies of El. They were talking about the wisdom and the prophecies of El. They talked about the battle, in the coming days when the sons of light and the sons of darkness would come to battle, the sons of light would triumph, and the heavens would open and the hosts of heaven would come to earth and provide the victory. These were the prophecies of the Essene Company. Some said they were visionary, but their vision was of the greatness and the majesty of the coming of the King, and they also were very much aware that a Messiah was going to be born.
John the Baptist started to talk at three years of age when he was sent out among the Essenes, who were hiding in the caves and performing there work throughout the land of Palestine, all the way to Syria. John the Baptist told them of the things of heaven from whence he had come. He told them, “Behold, the King has come, the King has been born upon the face of the earth- and He is the Messiah!” They listened to this child as he told them of the things of heaven, of the majesty and the power of the great the mighty El that had come to earth. He told them of all of these mysteries, and he said, “You are going to want to crown Him king as He comes in this first advent, you are going to want to give Him a crown and you are going to want to place it upon His head. But He is not going to take that crown, He is going to take the chalice instead.
The Essenes pondered over these things and wondered at the sayings of this child.They kept John the Baptist, by the way, until it was safe for him to return to his parents, after Herod the king had died and John was over ten years of age. Of course you remember that Joseph and Mary were warned to take the child Yahshua to Egypt, and they remained there until after the death of Herod the king before they brought the Messiah child back to the land of Palestine. So the Essenes were all aware that the Messiah was somewhere on the face of the earth, that He had been born in Palestine, and He was probably Yahshua of Nazareth.
Of course, when John the Baptist became of age and started to preach and proclaim the Kingdom of El, the people of Israel listened to him until he identified the Messiah. When he baptized the Messiah, John declared, “The latchet of His shoes I am not worthy to unloose.”
Joseph of Arimathea, who was the uncle of Mary, and therefore a great uncle of the Messiah, was also an Essene. He was a Pharisees and was high in the councils of the Pharisees, a man of tremendous wealth and influence. He was also one of the Essene Company. Ships owned by him used to sail out in the Mediterranean and up along the west coast of Europe to the British Isles. He owned the tin mines of Cornwall and the land upon which, the abbeys of the earliest Christian Churches were later built in the Isles of Britain.
As Joseph of Arimathea talked with his fellow Essenes, it was decided there was no question about the fact that this young Man was the Messiah. His uncle Joseph of Arimathea had taken Yahshua to Britain where He had astounded the masters in the universities. He had built a wattle church in Glastonbury. He had done many things, in all of them there was invariably a healing power, and there was a tremendous assurance in the voice of this young Man that astounded the masters and the teachers. The Essenes said, “There is no question about the fact that this Man not only bears watching, but we have a prophet (and they referred to John the Baptist) even if we do not have the Messiah.”
When Yahshua started His ministry, He raised the dead, He healed the sick, and He opened the eyes of the blind. The people said, “Surely El will do no greater things than these; these are the prophecies and the promises; these are the things we were even told by John the Baptist that the Messiah would do.” They said, “Now, we must prepare to crown Him King.” So the preparations for the coronation of the King were made.
They had a crown, a crown that had been worn by David, a secret treasure that had been cherished, even through the years of captivity, by the people of Judah and Benjamin. In this crown, jewels were now placed jewels, which had been secured from many. The sapphire, the emerald, the ruby and the diamond were gifts that had been brought by one of the “three wise men,” and Joseph of Arimathea and the Essene company had them skillfully set in this beautiful crown, the crown they were waiting to crown Yahshua with. But still they were bothered by the idea that He might not take this crown, that He might take the chalice. They remembered the ringing words of John the Baptist, when but a boy he had said, “From heaven I heard its councils, that at His first advent He would take the chalice.”
They pondered over what it was that had been spoken to them by this child, John the Baptist. So Joseph of Arimathea, as he communed with the Essenes and as he went about his work, said, “We will prepare a chalice such as there has never been prepared, and I will seek an artisan that can make such a chalice as would befit a King.” So it was that in Greece he found Demetrius the silversmith, and he brought him back with him to the land of Palestine.
In his beautiful home, Joseph of Arimathea was often the host of Yahshua. Yahshua and His disciples would come to the home of Joseph of Arimathea and they would sit, eat, and talk of the things of the Kingdom. Sometimes they would relax around a table and talk for hours about the program and the things of the Kingdom. But Joseph of Arimathea had a small portion of his dining room, as though it were being remodeled, formed into a niche with a screen across it, and behind this screen he placed Demetrius the silversmith, he who it was that was to sculpture and engrave the chalice which would be most suitable for the King. So Demetrius started to engrave the chalice.
We are told much about this chalice, because it is now one of the great treasures of Christendom. It had first been taken to Antioch, during the New Testament era, then to Constantinople during the days when the great church was at Constantinople – the Church of the Eastward. It was then brought back to Antioch, and in the battles and wars that took place, as the Mohammedans and Christians fought and the Church was destroyed, in one of the great destructions at Antioch, the chalice was buried beneath the alter of the Church. It was only discovered a few years ago. They discovered the chalice and they checked it, and they found it was the authentic chalice no question about it. So it was brought out and viewed in many parts of the world. A wealthy financier purchased the chalice and it was placed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It has been taken to many great functions and dedications of churches and cathedrals and it is considered to be one of the most precious treasures in the world.
On this chalice was engraved and sculptured the features of Yahshua. The face of Yahshua, as well as the faces of all His disciples. As they sat around talking with Yahshua, their features were also placed upon the chalice. This chalice was a beautifully wrought outer cup, and inside of it was the inner cup. An inner cup that could hold water or any liquid was set inside the outer chalice. It is interesting to note that the artist Demetrius, as he sculptured and engraved the faces of the disciples, always had one problem: when he would come to Judas, he would have to postpone carving the face of Judas. Twice he tried to engraving and had Judas turning away, so that his face is not seen on the chalice at all.
So the beautifully wrought chalice had been prepared while the disciples knew nothing of its preparation, for Joseph of Arimathea had gone to great lengths to make sure that this would be so. Yahshua of course was not suppose to know anything about the chalice either, but with the omniscience which El alone possesses, Yahshua even knew when Zachaeus had climbed the tree, and of course He knew also that Demetrius was preparing the chalice, the chalice which destiny had decreed that He would take.
Everywhere there was excitement among the Essenes. The Essene Company had members in every branch of every community and every town throughout the length and breadth of Palestine, and they were thinking of many things. They were thinking of the fact that the day had come to crown Yahshua King, that they wanted all the people to be there, and they wanted to be sure that all the people would shout, on the day of coronation, to the greatness of the King.
As Yahshua had traveled many times in and out of Jerusalem, the locality there was getting tense. The Essenes were ready now, everything was prepared, and the true priesthood was ready to crown Yahshua King. The word spread that Yahshua was approaching Bethphage. His disciples, who were also aware of the plan to crown Yahshua King, were greatly enthused. Peter, James, and John were among those who were quite open in saying, “Surely we should crown Yahshua King.” Remember that James and John were the two whose mother had wanted them to be seated by the side of Yahshua in His Kingdom. She was not aware that this was still a secret, and she came before Yahshua and said, “Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on Thy right hand and the other on Thy left, in Thy Kingdom.” And the disciples were amazed that Yahshua was not surprised at this disclosure.
So the word came that Yahshua was coming and was approaching Bethphage. The Essenes were ready. From every village and every town they had gathered together, because they had now determined that they would crown Yahshua King, and they wanted Him to be crowned before the days of the Passover. People of all the tribes of Israel, who could do so, had come to Jerusalem from many far away places, to celebrate the Passover, and they all wanted a new King. They wanted to celebrate the Passover with the new King of Israel over them, and they were very, very aware of the fact that Yahshua was approaching Bethphage.
As Yahshua neared Bethphage, He turned to His disciples and said, “On the other side of that hill there is an ass tied to the tree, a colt, a foal of an ass. I want you to go over the other side of that hill and get that ass, and I want you to bring him back to Me. And if a man comes out and says, where are you going with that? You say that Yahshua hath need of it, and the man will let you have it.”
The disciples were amazed, because they were not even aware that any part of the mystery had even come to the attention of Yahshua. So they went over the hill, everything transpired exactly as had been prophesied, they found there an ass, a colt, the colt of an ass, and they brought it to Yahshua. Some of them threw their cloaks upon the animal and Yahshua sat upon the ass. As He approached Jerusalem He paused and said, “This fulfills the Scripture: “Unto the daughter of Zion: Behold thy King cometh, riding upon an ass, a colt the foal of an ass.”
As they approached the city, a great multitude came out. The people saw Yahshua coming and they cut down palm branches and strewed them along the way and they shouted, “Hosanna in the highest, blessed is He that has come in the name of Yahshua; blessed is the Son of David!” They cried and shouted and the throng of the people continued to pour out of Jerusalem, and Yahshua rode between the crowds of people that lined both sides of the road. As He entered Jerusalem, the loud and tumultuous cry was, “Hosanna in the highest and the Son of David: blessed is He that comes in the name of Yahshua!”
Now the mysteries of the writings of the Book of Isaiah dawned upon them! Now the people remembered that El had commanded Isaiah to write, “I Yahweh, Behold, I Am Thy Yahshua!” Now they remembered the words, “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder; His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty El, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace!” Now they were beholding the hour when Yahshua would be crowned King.
The crowd moved into the streets of Jerusalem and down the narrow lanes to the Temple. The Essene Company had already moved into the city of Jerusalem with the true High Priest who had been properly selected from among the Levites to be the High Priest for that year. How skillfully the Essenes had wrought His breastplate with the twelve precious stones upon it, how beautifully they had made His robes; and He was robed exactly as the High Priest in the Tabernacle would have been robed, back in the days when the Israelites were in their wanderings.
And so the High Priest came forward with the lesser Priests on either side, and they approached the representatives of the Essene Company. Then they brought forth a beautiful pillow upon which was the crown, and also a second pillow upon which was the chalice. But they approached Yahshua with the crown, first, and the cry went up from the people, “Crown Him King! Crown Him King!” The High Priest came before Yahshua and said, “We would crown Thee King of Israel, for truly Thou art Yahshua who comes in the name of Yahweh. Thou art the Son of David and Thou art our King, and we would crown Thee King. Thy miracles have proclaimed that Thou art the Messiah. Thou art the very El.” As he raised the crown, he said, “We would now crown Thee King.” And the people shouted “Hosanna in the highest! Crown Yahshua King!”
From the steps of the Temple the “false” priest looked down, the company of darkness looked down and cursed, and they said, “We don’t dare move down among this mob today, we don’t dare move down among these people. There are too many of them and they are behind Yahshua. What shall we do?”
Yahshua turned and looked at them, and Judas Iscariot was by His side. Judas Iscariot was very, very alert to the developing situation. Now that the multitude apparently were going to crown Yahshua King, he thought about how he had been playing along with the Anti-Defamation League of rascals who were then standing on the Temple steps. He thought about how he had been an agent for them all this time, and he wondered whether, maybe, he might have chosen the wrong side. Then he said to Yahshua, “Take the crown, take the crown.” And he said to himself, “I carry the money bags: it would be well to be the treasurer of the King.”
Yahshua turned to Judas Iscariot with a scathing look and said, “I cannot take the crown; be thou still!” “If I take this crown today, I will rule over a people that will forever be in bondage; for if the race which I have begotten, the household which has become My Kingdom, are not set free, then they will be in bondage forever, for they have sold out to Lucifer and to darkness. Therefore, My first ministry and My first responsibility must be to set them free. I must assume the transgressions of all of My people. I must carry these transgressions, as the High Priest, to the very altar, and I must become the sacrifice upon that altar. Therefore I cannot take the crown today: I must take the chalice.” So He reached for the chalice and they handed it to Him. Yahshua then handed the chalice to John, and John looked at it with amazement.
The people were shouting, “Crown Him King! Crown Him King! Crown Him King!” Yahshua turned to them and said, “I must take this chalice, for there are yet many things that I must do before I become your King.” He said “If this were not so, I would have told you all of these things.” He said, “The hour is not yet come that I should take the crown: then My servants will fight, and the Kingdom will not be given to the Jews.”
Then, turning, He looked upon the steps of the Temple, and He beheld the bazaar that had been established there by its high priest. He saw the moneychangers. He saw these rascals that were importing and carrying the goods of the world to the steps of the Temple, to make it a trading post. He took some cords and knotted them into a scourge, then started up the steps of the Temple, overthrowing the tables as He went, the moneychangers and the goods they were selling, and scattered them to the right and left. He said, “Ye have made My Father’s house a den of thieves and of murderers!” The high priest drew back; they didn’t raise a hand. They were frightened at the crowd, because they saw the mystery of the power that Yahshua was wielding, and they fell back before it, for the throng was ready to follow Yahshua and ready to do any of His bidding.
Then, after having come down from the steps of the Temple, Yahshua proceeded on to Bethany.
But the chalice was to play a tremendous part in the events that were to follow in the week, which was to come. For it was out of this chalice that Yahshua was to drink, with His disciples, of the wine of which He would say, “This is My blood.” It was again this same chalice that Yahshua, when in the garden of Gethsemane, was to fill to its brim with water, and then as He was praying, apart from His disciples, He would say O Yahweh, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me; but not My will, but Thine be done.” His humanity was reeling against assuming all the transgressions of the world, for He was the Lamb of El slain from the foundation of the world.
So He drank that cup to its last drop. Upon His head came forth drops of blood, like beads of perspiration, from the pressure that had descended upon Him. For He was to assume, in that hour, the transgressions of the entire world, that He might buy that treasure that was hidden from the world, which was the household of Israel, the people that were to comprise His church and build His Kingdom, and He was to set them free.
We want to point out that this was one of the tremendous developments that were to take place. John then took the chalice from the garden and departed with it. Much later it was found, as we have said, in Antioch, where the church at Antioch was to have its location. People sometimes, however, are erroneously stirred. Sometimes, I think ministers, with their eloquence, want to point out the fickleness of the people, and they say, “My! Just look at the fickleness of the crowd. Look at the crowd that shouted, “Hosanna in the Highest!” and said, “Behold, the Son of David!” and wanted to crown Him King one week, and then the next week the same crowd said, His blood be upon us and our children.”
No, my friends. The ministers with their eloquence and with their lack of knowledge have been carried away. The crowd that shouted, “Hosanna in the highest behold the Son of David!” came from every part of Palestine. It came from all true Israel. It came from Judah and it came from Benjamin. But the people that gathered together the following week and said, “His blood be upon us and our children,” were the Jews of Jerusalem and the mixed multitudes they had brought in, the traders and the minorities that were there. And these were gathered together by the Jewish high priest who hired people to bear false witness against Yahshua, who gathered the mobs to shout, “His blood be upon us and our children.” For truly, Jewry was to be covered and marked with it, as Yahshua had said: “They have been guilty of the blood of all the righteous slain from Abel to Zacharias, who was slain between the horns of the altar.” And then, over in the Book of Revelation, Yahshua again makes the statement that they are guilty of all the deaths of the prophets and of the believing offspring of El for all time.
The mob that called for His blood was not the great crowd of people that had gathered previously and had cried, “Hosanna in the highest! Behold, the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of Yahshua!”
There is no question about the pageantry of that event, no question about what a tremendous hour it must have been, and how the people were thrilled with the idea that they were going to crown their Messiah! But I want you to know that those same people of Israel, and those that were already in Europe and were already waiting for the news of the Messiah were a perpetual continuity of a people that shall eventually crown Him King. And the day is not as far removed as you might think, when the triumphant entry of Yahshua shall again be upon every lip, when the hosts of Heaven and the great crafts of Heaven shall sweep in, when the King of kings and shall descend upon the earth. And again His people shall cry, “Crown Him King!” and every knee shall bow and every tongue shall proclaim that Yahshua is El, and His own household shall join with Him in the administration of the earth, and shall reign from sea to sea and from pole to pole.
There is no question about the coming victory of Yahshua, when He comes as Messiah, when He comes as King of kings and there shall be a great rejoicing in that day. And we who are the descendents of the house of Israel look forward, today, to the coronation of our King, who is our Father, for to us a child has been born, and He has matured with all the purpose of destiny to be eternal embodied El.
No wonder the Apostle Paul, when looking back upon the mysteries of all these things, said, concerning Yahshua, (as Yahshua had unveiled them to him in the Heavens), “He is the image of the invisible El, He is before all things, and by Him all things consist, and therefore He is the head of Israel, He is the head of the church, He is the head of every power and every principality, because He is Yahweh and He is El. Hosanna in the highest, to the Son of David!”