Modern day Christians believe that Yeshua the Messiah pre-existed in some form or another. Some say he was Melchizedek, some say he was "the captain of the host of Yahweh" (Josh.5:14), some say he was the archangel Michael, others say he was the "angel of Yahweh". Perhaps the most erroneous view is that Yeshua was the "Yahweh" (LORD) of the Old Testament. This study is written in the hopes that all who read it will finally understand that Yahweh is the Almighty Creator of the heavens and the earth, and that Yeshua the Messiah is His Son, as it is written.
For some reason people feel they have to magnify the Savior into the position of the Almighty when, in fact, scripture makes it quite clear that the Father is greatest of all and the "head of Messiah" (1 Cor.11:3). Consider Yeshua's own words in Jn. 14:28, "...for my Father is greater than I."; Jn.10:29, "My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all..."; and Jn. 13:16, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant [Yeshua] is not greater than his lord [Yahweh]; neither he that is sent [Yeshua] greater than he that sent him [Yahweh]." These verses teach us Yeshua's view of his relationship to his Father. Notice he didn't claim to be the Father but instead, made a clear distinction between the two.
Who does scripture say is the Father? Is.63:16 says, "Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: thou, O Yahweh, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting." Yahweh is the Father. Yet, some might claim that this scripture says Yahweh is the Father of Israel, not of Yeshua. In that case we need to note two other verses. The first is Heb.1:5; "For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?" Who said these things? All would agree that Yeshua's Father said them since He is referring to Yeshua as His Son. Heb.1:5 is a direct quote from Ps.2:7; "I will declare the decree: Yahweh hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee." The first "I" here refers to Yeshua speaking through prophecy in which he declares that Yahweh is his Father!
We also previously saw that Yeshua said, "My Father is greater than I." In reality he was also saying, "[Yahweh] is greater than I", thereby teaching us that he is not Yahweh. Anyone who believes Yeshua is Yahweh must also believe Yeshua is the Heavenly Father. That is even more absurd and more difficult to prove in the light of scripture.
Who does scripture say is the Elohim (God) of Israel? Is. 45:3 says, "And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, Yahweh, which call thee by thy name, am the Elohim of Israel." Yahweh is the Elohim of Israel. Since we already learned that Yeshua is not Yahweh, Yeshua cannot be the Elohim of Israel. This is confirmed in Acts 3:13, "The Elohim of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the Elohim of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Yeshua;..." The Elohim of Jacob (Jacob being Israel) glorified His Son.
Since the scriptures reveal the Elohim of Israel and the Father are both called Yahweh, some will go so far as to teach that there are two separate beings called Yahweh in order to support their erroneous belief that Yeshua pre-existed as Yahweh, Elohim of Israel. They use Gen.19:24 as proof of this; "Then Yahweh rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from Yahweh out of heaven;" At first glance there appear to be two Yahwehs, one in heaven and one somewhere near Sodom and Gomorrah. This is merely a figure of speech peculiar to the Hebrew language, an idiom. Similar idioms are seen in Eze.11:24 (two Spirits), Zech.10:12 ( two Yahwehs), Ex.24:1 (Yahweh used as idiom for "me"), Gen.17:23 (two Abrahams), and 1 Kgs.8:1 (two Solomons).
It is impossible to harmonize the two Yahweh doctrine with verses that teach there is only one Yahweh. Consider Nehemiah's prayer;
"Thou, even thou, art Yahweh alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee." Neh 9:6
Ps 83:18 says;
"That men may know that thou, whose name alone is Yahweh, art the most high over all the earth."
Is 45:6 says;
"That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am Yahweh, and there is none else."
Zech 14:9 reads;
"And Yahweh shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Yahweh, and his name one."
A second God cannot be named "Yahweh."
Is.42:1 teaches us that Yeshua is Yahweh's servant. "Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles." And again in Is.49:6, "And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth."
Ps.2:2 reads, "The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against Yahweh, and against his anointed." His "anointed" is Yeshua, making a clear distinction between the two. Peter applied this prophecy to Yeshua in Acts 4:26; "The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against Yahweh, and against His Messiah." Peter never claimed that the Messiah pre-existed as Yahweh.
Ps.110:1 also distinguishes the two; "Yahweh said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool." In Mt.22:41-46, Yeshua reveals this "lord" to be himself, the Messiah. Is Yahweh talking to His Son the Messiah or is He talking to Himself?
Ps.110 makes another intersesting statement in verse 5. This is one of the verses in which the Sopherim removed Yahweh's name and replaced it with "Adonai". The text would have originally read, "Yahweh at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of His wrath." It is then wrongly deduced that since Yeshua was invited to sit on Yahweh's right hand (Heb.1:13), he, Yeshua, must also be called "Yahweh". There is no doubt that Yahweh invited Yeshua to sit at His right hand. But what does verse 5 mean? It must be understood in the same way Ps.16:8 and Ps.109:6 are to be understood. When someone is "at thy right hand" it means their power and strength are derived from that source. David derived his power from Yahweh and so it is said that Yahweh is "at my right hand." A wicked person would derive his power from Satan and so it is said, "Let Satan stand at his right hand." When Yeshua comes to carry out Yahweh's wrath upon the wicked, Yahweh will be his strength. See, also, Mic.5:4.
In Acts 3:22,23 Peter quotes from Deut.18:15,19 proving that Yeshua is the "prophet like unto Moses." Placing the name "Yeshua" in brackets clearly shows him not to be Yahweh. "Yahweh thy Elohim will raise up unto thee a Prophet [Yeshua] from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him [Yeshua] ye shall hearken.. . .I [Yahweh] will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my [Yahweh's] words in his [Yeshua's] mouth; and he [Yeshua] shall speak unto them all that I [Yahweh] shall command him [Yeshua]. . . . And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my [Yahweh's] words which he [Yeshua] shall speak in my [Yahweh's] name, I [Yahweh] will require it of him." Jn.12:49 is a direct fulfillment of Deut.18:18; "For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak."
Let's treat Is.53:6, 10 ,12 similarly; "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and Yahweh hath laid on him [Yeshua] the iniquity of us all. . . Yet it pleased Yahweh to bruise him [Yeshua]; he [Yahweh] hath put him [Yeshua] to grief: when thou [Yahweh] shalt make his [Yeshua's] soul an offering for sin, he [Yeshua] shall see his seed, he [Yeshua] shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of Yahweh shall prosper in his [Yeshua's] hand."
Zech.12:10 is often misunderstood due to an apparent error in the text. It reads, "And I [Yahweh] will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn." The word "me" obviously does not harmonize with the pronouns "him" and "his" that follow. The same verse is quoted in Jn.19:37; "And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced." John gives us the correct understanding of this verse.
Another possible error occurs in Acts 20:28; "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Spirit hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood (KJV)." The great majority of Greek MSS have kurios (Lord) here instead of theos (God). In that case, Lord would refer to Yeshua whose blood was shed. Even if we were to accept the KJV rendering, it would have to be understood in the sense that parents often refer to their children as their "own flesh and blood." In that sense the blood of Yeshua was the "blood of [Yahweh]'s own."
Jer.23:6 is often used to prove Yeshua is Yahweh. "In his [Yeshua's] days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his [ Yeshua's] name whereby he [Yeshua] shall be called, YAHWEH OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS." If this verse teaches that Yeshua is Yahweh because he is called "Yahweh Our Righteousness, then Jer.33:16 teaches that Jerusalem is also Yahweh. It reads, "In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, Yahweh our righteousness." The translators did not use the same capitalization because they undoubtedly feared that it would suggest Jerusalem is Yahweh.
A difficult passage to understand is found in Jn.12:37-41. A superficial reading leads one to believe that the "his" and "him" of verse 41 refers to Yeshua and ties in with verse 37. For the sake of clarity these verses will be printed out with [brackets] designating the speaker. Jn.12:37,38, "But though he [Yeshua] had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him [Yeshua]: That the saying of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he [Isaiah] spake, Lord, 'who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Yahweh been revealed?' (The underlined is a quote from Is.53:1. The "arm of Yahweh" is Isaiah's reference to the Messiah). The passage continues with verses 39-41; "Therefore they could not believe, because that Isaiah said again, 'He [Yahweh] hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I [Yahweh] should heal them.' These things said Isaiah, when he [Isaiah] saw his [Yahweh's] glory, and spake of him [Yahweh]." Verse 40 (underlined) is a quote from Is.6:10. John is quoting a second passage from Isaiah to show why they could not believe on Yeshua; because Yahweh blinded them. Verse 41 therefore, is referring to Is.6:10, not Is.53:1. In Is.6:1-3 Yahweh is seen in all His glory. That is the glory referred to in verse 41. It was not Yeshua's glory.
Since John the Baptist preceeded Yeshua, Is.40:3 and Mt.3:3 are often used to prove Yahweh is Yeshua. Is.40:3 reads, "The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of Yahweh, make straight in the desert a highway for our Elohim." Of all the N.T. verses that quote Isaiah, Lu.3:4-6 aids our understanding because it includes Is.40:4 & 5. It says, "As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of Yahweh, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of Yahweh." "Prepare ye the way of Yahweh" does not mean, "Move out of the way because Yahweh is coming." And so when Yeshua comes they believe he is Yahweh.
How was "the way" to be prepared? By filling valleys, leveling mountains, straightening paths, etc. This work is not to be understood literally, but spiritually through the humbling of those in exalted positions and the restoration of truth. Who was to do that work? Jn.4:34 says, "Yeshua saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish his work." Almighty Yahweh appointed His Son Yeshua to finish His work. Yeshua was Yahweh's instrument in the accomplishment of His great plan. Yeshua is the "Messenger of the Covenant," "the servant of Yahweh," and "the salvation of Yahweh." Jn.14:6 calls Yeshua "the way." He is "the way of Yahweh;" the means through which Yahweh will finish His work.
Gen.1:26 is often used to show Yeshua's hand in Creation. It reads, "And Elohim said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." They say the Father is talking to the Son in this verse based on the pronouns used. Notice, however, that verse 27 says, "So Elohim created man in his own image, . . ." Why isn't the phrase "in their own image" used? Again, in Gen.11:7,8, "us" is used and yet Yahweh alone scattered them abroad. According to Job 38:4-7, "the sons of Elohim shouted for joy" when Yahweh created the earth. This doubtless refers to the angels who were also present at the creation of man. Yahweh could be speaking to them, in Gen.1:26, using the plural of majesty. An example of this is found in Ezr. 4:18; "The letter which ye sent unto us hath been plainly read before me." In this case, a letter was written strictly to King Artaxerxes and no one else (vs. 11). Yet the King speaks as though it was written to others as well. Another example would be the Queen of England saying, "We, the Queen of England, . . ." It can also be understood in the sense of someone saying, "Let us drive to the lake for a picnic," and yet, only the speaker does the driving. To believe Yahweh is talking to Yeshua is an assumption. It is reading into the text something that it does not say.
If we do not try to force the scripture to conform to our own doctrines, they are so simple to understand. Instead men try to support "Holy Trinities", "Incarnations", "Transubstantiations", and the like. The Bible does not use terms like "Father" and "Son" to try and trick us. They are used to express a relationship that we can relate to. If Yeshua is Father Yahweh, the scriptures would state it in plain language. Instead, it says that Yeshua is the Son of Father Yahweh.
An article in "Israel Today" tried to explain this relationship by saying Yahweh manifested himself in the fleshly form of Yeshua. The author calls this the incarnation. This same author rightfully puts down the trinity because the word is not found in the Bible and yet, he exalts another unscriptural term, "incarnation." Perhaps he was misled by the erroneous translation of 1 Tim.3:16 in the KJV. It says, "God was manifest in the flesh." A footnote in the Emphatic Diaglott reads, "Nearly all ancient MSS., and all the versions have "He who," instead of "God," in this passage." Even if the incarnation theory was true, would Yahweh continue to manifest himself as Yeshua even after the Millennium? 1 Cor.15:24-28 and Rev.22:1 show both as separate beings after the Millennium. The truth is, they are not parts of one being but two separate and distinct beings. That is why Yeshua could say what he did in Jn.8:17,18, "It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me." Yahweh and Yeshua are two separate beings, not two manifestations of one being.
When the scriptures are accepted at face value, without reading into the text more than it says, the relationship between the two becomes quite clear. In spite of this, many people are not satisfied with Yeshua's rank in the hierarchy of heaven. They feel a need to exalt him into the number one position, that of Yahweh Almighty, and they will twist scripture in a variety of ways to accomplish this.
Concerning the "Shema" (Deut.6:4) it reads, "Hear, O Israel: Yahweh our Mighty One is one Yahweh:" or "Yahweh is one." It is believed by many that the word "echad," translated "one," means "a united one" or a "compound unity," not singularity. The scriptures prove this belief to be false. Note Nu.7:13-82 where "echad" is translated "one" 84 times and each time it means one as in the number one, singularity. Consider also Gen.2:1 - one rib and Dan.9:27 - one week.
Historic Judaism does not give echad the meaning of unity or plurality as is seen in the Encyclopedia Judaica, Vol. 14, p.1373: "Perhaps from earliest times, but certainly from later, the word echad (one) was understood also to mean unique. God is not only one and not many, but He is totally other than what paganism means by gods." Note also The Jewish Commentary, Soncino Edition, p.770: "He is one because there is no other Elohim than He; but He is also one, because He is wholly unlike anything else in existence. He is therefore not only one, but the Sole and Unique, Elohim."
Perhaps the most conclusive evidence that the word echad has the meaning of alone or unique comes to us from the Messiah himself in Mk.12:28-34. When asked which commandment was the most important, Yeshua responded by quoting the Shema. In response to his answer the teacher replied, "You are right in saying that Yahweh is one and there is no other but Him." Although Yeshua did not specifically say "there is no other but Him" the teacher understood that meaning to be implied in the word echad or one. Yeshua acknowledged that the teacher answered wisely thereby confirming the teacher's correct understanding of the meaning of the Shema.
It is true that echad was used in verses such as Ge.2:24 and Ge.41:25. There we see two people becoming one flesh and two dreams having one meaning. The key here is that two become one. In the Shema, we only see one individual, Yahweh, proclaimed to be one! It doesn't say, "And the two Yahweh's became one." In the two verses in Genesis, we don't see one becoming two. But that is what people are trying to do with the Shema. They say one means two and therefore, there must be two Yahweh's.
Yeshua said, "I and my Father are one." (Jn.10:30). Does that mean they are the same being? Yeshua said something similar in Jn.17:22, "And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:"
Here again, Yeshua says he and the Father are one. But he also prays that his followers will be one in the same sense that he and Yahweh are one. That is a oneness of mind, purpose, and will, not a oneness of being. And it certainly does not mean there are two Yahweh's.
The word "Elohim," translated "God," is often attacked as well. It is believed that it denotes a plurality or a god consisting of more than one being or more than one manifestation of a being. This, too, is a false concept based on the philosophy of men. Elohim is used in the Bible with a plural sense when it refers to several deities and in a singular sense when it refers to a singular deity. Its plural sense can be seen in Ex.12:12, "For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods (elohim) of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am Yahweh." Its singular sense can be seen in 1 Sam.5:7, ". . . and upon Dagon our god (elohim)" and 2 Kgs.1:2, ". . . Go, enquire of Baal-zebub the god (elohim) of Ekron whether I shall recover of this disease." Are we to believe that Dagon and Baal-zebub are also plural beings who can "incarnate" themselves as Yahweh "supposedly" did?
The word "God" (elohim) is properly applied to Yeshua in Heb.1:9 and Jn.20:28. Both words are from the Greek word "theos" which was also used in reference to Satan (2 Cor.4:4) and Herod (Acts 12:22). It has the same meaning as the Hebrew word "elohim" and can be applied to men, angels, and the Almighty. Ps.82:6 applies it to any child of the Most High; "I have said, Ye are gods [elohim]; and all of you are children of the most High." It simply means "a mighty one among his people." It is not wrong to call Yeshua an elohim or a god. The problem lies in believing he is the one true "God," Yahweh Almighty. Yeshua made it clear that he was not, in Jn.17:3; "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee [Yahweh] the only true Elohim, and Yeshua Messiah, whom thou hast sent." The Apostle Paul declared the same thing in 1 Cor.8:6; "But to us there is but one Elohim, the Father [Yahweh], of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Master Yeshua Messiah, by whom are all things, and we by him."
Oneness proponents wrongly interpret 1 Jn.5:20 to mean that Yeshua is the one true "God." It reads, "And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life" (KJV). When it says, "his Son Jesus Christ," it means Yahweh's Son. That being the case, the previous use of the pronoun "him" in the two phrases "him that is true" must also refer to Yahweh. The "his" and "him" refer to the same person. To say that "This is the true God" refers to the Son is grammatically incorrect.
Not only is Yahweh the one true Elohim, but He is also Yeshua's Elohim. If Yeshua is an elohim or god and he himself has a god, then surely his god must be a greater god. This is what scripture teaches in Mt.27:46; Jn.17:3; 20:17; Eph.1:17; Heb. 1:9; and Rev.3:12. Rev.3:12 says, "Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my Elohim, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my Elohim [Yahweh], and the name of the city of my Elohim, New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my Elohim: and I will write upon him my new name." Yeshua is saying this after he ascended to heaven and sat down at the right hand of Yahweh (Heb 8:1). If he was the Yahweh Almighty of the Old Testament, who is his Elohim and who is he sitting next to? Two scriptures answer that question. The first is Ps.110:1; "Yahweh said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool." The second is Mic.5:4; "And he [Yeshua] shall stand and feed in the strength of Yahweh, in the majesty of the name of Yahweh his Elohim; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth."
What about Jn.14:9? "Yeshua saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?" Is Yeshua declaring that he is Father Yahweh? Heb.1:3 and Col.1:15 both state that Yeshua is the "image" of Yahweh. An image is something that resembles something else. Yeshua resembles Yahweh in that their characters are almost identical. "Not that any man has seen the Father" (Jn. 6:46) bodily, but we have seen His character through His Son.
Man (specifically Adam) was made in the "image of Elohim" (Gen 1:26,27; 5:3; 9:6). Messiah Yeshua is also in the "image of Elohim" (2 Co 4:4; Col 1:15). "Elohim" in these verses, when understood in the context of pure monotheism, is a reference to Yahweh the Creator. Adam's inner man resembled Elohim, but he himself is not Elohim. Yeshua's inner man resembles Yahweh, but he himself is not Elohim.
Col 3:10 tells us that after a person's conversion, after he has put on the new man, he is "renewed in knowledge after the image of Him [Yahweh] that created him." Rom 8:29, 30 echoes this in that those that have been justified (through conversion unto Messiah) have been predestined to be "conformed to the image of His [Yahweh's] Son." Since the Son is in the image of Elohim, to be conformed to the image of the Son is to be conformed to the image of Elohim or Yahweh the Creator. 2 Co 3:18 says that we "are changed into the same image" as the Master. This also happens upon conversion.
From this info, I deduce the following;
Adam was made in the image of Yahweh. Upon his fall, that image was lost. It can only be restored through conversion unto the Master Yeshua. Yeshua, being sinless, never lost the image of Yahweh. The image of Yahweh has nothing to do with the physical appearance as far as the above references are concerned. It has to do with the inner man.
Look at Ps 73:20. Yahweh despises the image of the wicked. Why? Because they have put off Yahweh's image through sin and have created their own new image. The same is true of all men for all have sinned. We all have fallen away from the image of Yahweh and need to have that image restored through the indwelling Spirit of Messiah.
When Yahweh looks upon a believer, He sees the righteousness of His Son clothing us. He also sees the image of His Son clothing us. Our physical appearance has not changed, but our inner man has.
What about Mic.5:2; "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." This is undoubtedly a Messianic prophecy. The question is, what does "goings forth" mean? Does it mean Yeshua has existed as long as Yahweh? Some say yes thereby giving more weight to their argument that Yeshua is Yahweh. According to Strong's Concordance, "Goings forth" comes from one Hebrew word, "mowtsaah". It means, "a family descent." Since Yahweh is Yeshua's Father, Yeshua's family descent would go back as far as Yahweh's existence. Since Yahweh has always existed, Yeshua's family descent or goings forth must be from everlasting. The New English Bible, the Phillips translation, and Todays English Bible render it similarly. Yeshua himself is not from everlasting. His family descent, or his family tree, is.
There are those who believe that Yeshua was not only Yahweh, but Melchizedek as well. They site Heb.7:4 to prove this. In Gen.14:18 we read that Melchizedek, king of Salem, "was the priest of the most high God." The "most high God" is shown to be Yahweh three verses later; "...I have lift up mine hand unto Yahweh, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth." Therefore, Melchizedek is the priest of Yahweh, not Yahweh Himself. If Yeshua is Melchizedek, he cannot be Yahweh. If Yeshua is Yahweh, he cannot be Melchizedek. The fact is, Yeshua is neither one of these beings. He is Yahweh's Son and Yahweh made him a priest "after the order of Melchizedek" (Ps.110:4, Heb. 7:21).
Many people believe that only Almighty Yahweh can forgive sins and receive worship. Since Yeshua did both they believe he must be the Almighty. Yeshua indeed is worthy of our worship and honor, but only as Yahweh's representative, not as Yahweh Himself. Yahweh commanded even the angels of heaven to worship Yeshua (Heb.1:6). Rev.5:12 ,13 show both Yahweh and the Lamb [Yeshua] receiving worship. Eventually, those believers comprising the Philadelphia assembly will receive worship as well (Rev. 3:9). The worship they receive however, is not directed at them as though they were Yahweh.
A study of the Hebrew and Greek words that were translated "worship" will show that the Almighty is not always the recipient. Of the 170 occurrences only about half refer to the worship of Yahweh. This is hidden from the reader of scripture because half of those occurrences were translated 'to bow, bow down, do reverence, do obeisance,' as can be seen in the following verses: Gen.18:2; 19:1: 23:7,12; 27:29; 1 Sam.24:8; 25:23,41; 2 Sam.9:6; 14:4,22.
Yeshua said to a man with palsy, "thy sins be forgiven thee" (Mt.9:2). The account continues, "But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. And he arose, and departed to his house. But when the multitudes saw it, they marveled, and glorified Yahweh, which had given such power unto men." Were they correct? Had Yahweh given Yeshua the power to forgive sins? Yeshua said, "I can of my own self do nothing," "I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things," "the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works" (Jn.5:30a; 8:28b; 14:10b). Yahweh gave Yeshua the authority to forgive sins, judge men, heal the sick, raise the dead, etc. He is Yahweh's Representative with the power to act in His name. The word "power" in Mt.9:2 is from the same Greek word that was translated "authority" in Jn.5:27 and throughout the New Testament. This same power was given to the Angel of Yahweh in Ex.23:20-21, "Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him."
While we are on the subject of sin, many believe Yeshua was the one true "God" because "only the death of God could atone for man's sins. The death of a man wouldn't suffice." This is another example of the philosophy of men contrary to scripture. Heb.9:22 says, "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission (of sins)." One requirement was shed blood. The other requirement was that the sacrifice had to be "without blemish" which, regarding Messiah, meant sinless. Yahweh Almighty did not have to die. Only the blood of a sinless man was required. Yeshua was that only sinless man (1 Jn.3:5).
The terms "omniscient" (all knowing), and "omnipotent" (all powerful) are often applied to Yeshua to prove he is the Almighty. In Jn.5:30 Yeshua said, "I can of mine own self do nothing" therefore, he cannot be omnipotent as Yahweh is. Mt. 24:36 proves Yeshua is not omniscient; "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but my Father." In order to explain such verses "Oneness" proponents must turn Yeshua into the "God-Man." This unscriptural idea claims that Yeshua's divine half is omniscient and omnipotent but that he suppressed his powers during his life in the flesh. Nowhere in scripture is the Messiah called a God-Man or shown to have two such natures at the same time. He is repeatedly referred to as a man in such verses as 1 Tim.2:5. When he is called "God" it is in the sense of a mighty one among his people as was shown earlier. This is not to say that Yeshua was a mere man. Scripture is clear that Yeshua's birth was a miracle in that he was not made from the seed or sperm of man. He is Yahweh's only begotten Son; the only being ever to be "Fathered" by Yahweh.
Should we refer to Yeshua as the Almighty, a title only applied to Yahweh? Nowhere in scripture is this ever the case. One scripture that seemingly supports such an application is Rev. 1:8; "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith [the Lord]*, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty." (KJV). *The Greek has "kurios o theos" ("the Lord the God" or "[Yahweh] Elohim"). The phrase "Lord God" is never used of Yeshua in the New Testament. Aside from that, John is giving a greeting starting in verse four and ending in verse seven. Verse four is a greeting from the Father "which is, and which was, and which is to come." Verse five is a greeting from Yeshua the Messiah. Verse eight is spoken by the Father which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty." Scripture makes a clear distinction between the Almighty and Yeshua in Rev.21:22; "And I saw no temple therein: for [Yahweh] Elohim Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it." Yeshua is not Yahweh Almighty.
This misapplication of titles is often the cause of making these two beings into one. For example, Acts 3:14 reads, "But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you;" Here the title "Holy One" is applied to Yeshua the Messiah. In Is.43:3 it says, "For I am Yahweh thy Elohim, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour:. . . " Here the title "Holy One" is applied to Yahweh. Without further study one would conclude these two references are to the same person. However, we are not to study scripture superficially. In what way is Yeshua the Holy One? The answer is found in Mk.1:24; "Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Yeshua of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of Yahweh." Yahweh is the Holy One of Israel and Yeshua is the Holy One of Yahweh, not of Israel. Ps.16:10 confirms this understanding; "For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption." This is a Messianic prophecy. "My soul" refers to Yeshua's soul and "thine Holy One" refers to Yahweh's Holy One. Scripture reveals two Holy ones that are separate beings.
Another shared title is "Savior." Is.43:11 says, "I, even I, am Yahweh; and beside me there is no saviour." That seems quite clear. Since Yahweh is the only Savior and Yeshua is called our Savior, the two must be one and the same being. This is true only in the minds of men who do not study deeply. Is.19:20b reads, "for they shall cry unto Yahweh because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a saviour, and a great one, and he shall deliver them." It was prophesied that Yahweh would send someone other than Himself to be a savior to Egypt. Yahweh is the one true Savior who works through Yeshua the Messiah, His appointed Savior.
A few other shared titles, all basically equal in meaning, are "Alpha and Omega," "the first and the last," and "the beginning and the end." Each of these titles are applied to both Yahweh and Yeshua (Is.41:4;44:6;48:12; Rev.1:8,17;2:8;22:13) and have the meaning of uniqueness. Each is the first and last of his peculiar, unique kind. Yahweh is unique in that He is the only being that was not created and Yeshua is unique in that he is the only being ever to be directly begotten by Yahweh the Father (Jn.1:14). (Adam was created, all others were begotten by men).Titles that Yahweh and Yeshua have in common do not supply a firm foundation for a "Oneness" doctrine. If that were true, Cyrus, the king of Persia, would have been the pre-existent Yeshua since both are called "Messiah." In Is.45:1a it reads, "Thus saith Yahweh to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him;" The Hebrew for "anointed" is the same word that was translated "Messiah" in Dan. 9:25,26 and "anointed" in Ps.2:2.
The scriptures tell us Yeshua would also be called Emmanuel, meaning "God with us," or more correctly, "El with us." As a result, people teach that Yeshua is "God." This name is to be understood in the light of Acts 10:38; "How [Yahweh] anointed Yeshua of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for [Yahweh] (El) was with him." Not that Yeshua was El, but that El was with and in Yeshua. If you choose to use the logic of those in error, then consider the name Jehu. In Hebrew, this name means "He is Yah" or "Yah is He." Does that mean the man Jehu is, in reality, Yahweh?
Is.9:6 reads, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Is this prophecy declaring Yeshua the Messiah to be the Heavenly Father? There are at least 27 names in the Bible with the same Hebrew construction as in this verse. Each one means the "father of (something)." For example, Abishua means "father of plenty." Instead of translating the phrase in Is.9:6 as "Father of eternity," the KJV reversed the sequence making the true meaning harder to discern. Several newer versions correct this mistake such as The Emphasized Bible, The Bible in Basic English, The New American Bible, The Holy Bible; A Translation From the Latin Vulgate in the Light of the Hebrew and Greek Originals, and The New English Bible, just to name a few. Yeshua is the Father of Eternity because eternal life comes to us through him. And so it is written in Heb.5:9, "And being made perfect, he became the author (or father) of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;"
One last title that confuses people is "Rock." 1 Cor.10:4 says, "And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Messiah." Since Yahweh is called a "Rock" in several Old Testament verses, the two beings are made into one. This verse must be understood with Ex.17:6 in mind; "Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel." 1 Cor. 10:4 is figuratively making reference to Ex.17:6 which is a shadow of Messiah. To "smite the rock" is to kill the Messiah. The rock could not yield water until it was smitten. Similarly, the Messiah Yeshua could not give forth "rivers of living water" until he was put to death and then resurrected unto eternal life (glorified). Jn.7:39 shows this "living water" to be the Holy Spirit. Yeshua was not physically present with them in the wilderness. Spiritually speaking he was. That is why the verse says "spiritual drink" and "spiritual Rock." Even if one were to believe Yeshua physically followed Israel, that would not prove he was Yahweh since Yahweh was not personally leading or following Israel in the wilderness. Scriptures reveal that the Angel of Yahweh, Yahweh's representative, followed them (Ex.14:19).
"Before Abraham was, I am." These words, spoken by our Savior in Jn.8:58, have led to much controversy and confusion. Some use this verse to prove the Messiah's pre-existence. Others use it to prove the trinity doctrine. And then there are those who use it to prove Yeshua is the great "I AM" of Ex.3:14.
The phrase "I am" is "ego eimi" in Greek. Since the Greek New Testament records Yeshua using "ego eimi" many times, Christian theologians term these sayings, "The I Am's of Jesus." It is believed that each of these occurrences implies Yeshua's identity as the "I AM" of Ex.3:14. Can this be true? Can our Savior, the Son of Yahweh, actually be the "I AM"?
Ex.3:14-15 reads, "And Elohim said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and He said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. And Elohim said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, Yahweh, Elohim of your fathers, the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac, and the Elohim of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations." Therefore, the "I AM" is identified as "Yahweh."
And what does Yahweh say in Ps.2:7? "I will declare the decree: Yahweh hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee." Yahweh is the Father of Yeshua. Yeshua is the Son of Yahweh. Yeshua is not Yahweh and the Son is not the Father. Therefore, Yeshua (the Son of Yahweh) cannot be the I AM (Yahweh). That alone should be sufficient to discredit the belief that Yeshua was claiming to be the "I AM." But let's look into the matter a little farther.
In the Greek Septuagint (LXX), Ex 3:14 reads,
In Septuagint English it reads, "And God spoke to Moses, saying, I am THE BEING; and he said, Thus shall ye say to the children of Israel, THE BEING has sent me to you."
In KJV English it reads, "And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you."
In John 8:58, "I am" is "" in Greek. As you can see, "" in Ex 3:14 is just the prelude to what the Almighty really wanted the Israelites to know, that is, that He was the "" or "the Being" or "the Existing One".
If Yeshua truly wanted to tell the Jews he was the great "I am" of Ex 3:14, he would have said, "Before Abraham was I am the Being" or "I am the Existing One".
It is believed that Jn.8:59 further supports the position that Yeshua is the "I AM." Why else would the Jews try to stone him? He obviously blasphemed in the eyes of the Jews, a stoneable offense. Or did he? Is the mere utterance of "ego eimi" a blasphemy? Does the use of "ego eimi" automatically identify the speaker as Yahweh, the I AM?
Several individuals aside from Yeshua used "ego eimi" as well. In Lu.1:19, the angel Gabriel said, "Ego eimi Gabriel." In Jn.9:9, the blind man whose sight was restored by Yeshua said, "Ego eimi." In Acts 10:21, Peter said, "Behold, ego eimi (I am) he whom ye seek." Obviously, the mere use of "ego eimi" does not equate one to the "I Am" of Ex.3:14. But perhaps the Saviors use of it was somehow different. After all, he came down from heaven.
If, in fact, Yeshua spoke Greek to the Jews (which I doubt), he used the phrase "ego eimi" at least twenty times and yet, in only one instance did the Jews seek to stone him (Jn.8:58). Yeshua said, "I am the bread of life" to a large crowd, in Jn.6:35 & 48, yet no one opposed him. In verse 41, the Jews murmured because he said, "I am (ego eimi) the bread which came down from heaven." But in verse 42, the Jews questioned only the phrase, "I came down from heaven" and ignored "ego eimi." The same is true of verses 51 & 52.
In Jn.8:12, 18, 24, & 28, Yeshua used "ego eimi" with Pharisees present (vs.13) and yet, no stoning. He, again, used it four times in Jn.10:7, 9, 11, & 14 with no stoning. Yeshua said to his disciples, "...that...ye may believe that I am (ego eimi)" in Jn.13:19 without them batting an eye.
An interesting account occurs in Jn.18 when the Jews came to arrest Yeshua in the Garden of Gethsemane. When the chief priests and Pharisees said they were seeking Yeshua of Nazareth, Yeshua said to them, "Ego eimi." At that they fell backward to the ground. It is not made clear why they fell to the ground, but what followed will make it clear that Yeshua was not claiming to be the "I AM."
After Yeshua's arrest, the Jews took him to Annas first (vs.13). Then they took him to Caiaphas (vs.24) and eventually to Pilate (vss.28,29). A parallel account is found in Mt.26:57-68. Notice, in particular, verse 59. The same men that had fallen backward to the ground were in attendance when the council sought false witnesses against Yeshua to put him to death. Verse 60 says they couldn't find any. Eventually two came forward. Interestingly, they didn't bear false witness about what Yeshua said in Jn.8:58, but about his reference to destroying the temple and building it again in three days. Where were all those witnesses from Jn.8:58?
The point about Mt.26 is, why would false witnesses be sought if they had true witnesses in attendance? The arresting officers heard Yeshua say "Ego eimi." They could have stoned him right there in the garden for blasphemy, but they didn't. They could have reported the supposed blasphemy to the council, but they didn't. Why not? Because it wasn't blasphemy, nor was it a stoneable offense. He was merely identifying himself as Yeshua of Nazareth.
This brings us back to Jn.8:58. Why did the Jews seek to stone him on that occasion? The context of Jn.8 shows that Yeshua;
1) accused the Jews of "judging after the flesh" (vs.15).
2) said they would die in their sins (vss.21,24).
3) implied they were in bondage (vss.32,33).
4) said they were servants of sin (vs.34).
5) said they were out to kill him (vss. 37,40).
6) implied they were spiritually deaf (vs.43,47).
7) said their father was the devil (vs.44).
8) said they were not of Elohim (vs.47).
9) accused them of dishonoring him (vs.49).
10) accused them of not knowing Yahweh (vs.55).
11) accused them of lying (vs.55).
Aside from that, the Jews misunderstood Yeshua's words leading them to believe;
1) that he accused them of being born of fornication (vs.41).
2) Yeshua had a devil (vs.52).
3) that he was exalting himself above Abraham (vs.53).
4) that he saw Abraham (vs.56).
Yeshua's words in verse 58 were the culmination of an encounter that was so offensive to the Jews that they couldn't restrain themselves anymore. They simply couldn't take it anymore so they sought to stone him, not because of two simple words, "ego eimi," but because he was making himself out to be greater than their beloved father Abraham. They sought to stone him illegally.
So what does Jn.8:58 really mean? Although I do not believe we can be certain what Yeshua meant due to a variety of reasons, I offer the following explanation.
Let's look at the context of Yeshua's statement. It begins in verse 51 with the thought of eternal life; "If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death." The Jews thought since Abraham and the prophets were dead, Yeshua must have a devil. The context is eternal life. Then in verse 56 Yeshua says Abraham "rejoiced to see my day." He did not say he saw Abraham as the Jews misunderstood. How did Abraham see Yeshua's day? Heb.11:13 says, "These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth." He saw Yeshua's day by faith.
Yeshua then resumed the context of his initial conversation by saying, "Before Abraham was, I am." "Was" is from the Greek "ginomai" meaning, "to come into being, ... to arise." What Yeshua actually meant was, "Before Abraham comes into being (at his resurrection unto eternal life), I will." Confirmation of this understanding comes to us from Figures of Speech Used in the Bible by E.W. Bullinger, pgs. 521,522. Under the heading "Heterosis (Of Tenses)," subheading "The Present for the Future," he writes, "This is put when the design is to show that some thing will certainly come to pass, and is spoken of as though it were already present." He then lists some examples such as Mt.3:10b, "therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is [shall be] hewn down;" and Mk.9:31a, "For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is [shall be] delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day." Included among this list of examples of Heterosis is Jn.8:58. In other words, although properly written, "Before Abraham comes to be, I am," with "I am" in the simple present tense, the meaning points to the future, "Before Abraham comes to be, I will."
Yeshua was telling them that Abraham will be one of those people who will be granted eternal life, but before that takes place, Yeshua will receive that same eternal life. This statement of fact must be since Yeshua is to have the preeminence in all things. He must be the firstborn from the dead, the first to receive eternal life.
Some people believe this verse should be translated, "Before Abraham existed, I existed." However, neither Greek verb is in the perfect tense (past tense). "Was" is in the aorist tense and "am" is in the present tense. Let's look a little closer at "was." Concerning the aorist tense, A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament by Dana and Mantey says, "It has time relations only in the indicative, where it is past and hence augmented." The verb ginomai (was) is in the infinitive, not the indicative. Therefore it should not be translated in the past tense. This same reference says of the infinitive, "The aorist infinitive denotes that which is eventual or particular, ..." Abraham will eventually resurrect which is why the Greek uses the aorist infinitive. The meaning is, "Before Abraham comes to be" not "Before Abraham was (or existed)."
Yeshua was not declaring that he is the great "I AM" of Ex.3:14. Yeshua was not declaring himself to be Yahweh. And Yeshua was not declaring his pre-existence. He is the Son of Yahweh and the Son of the great "I Am."
In Jn.1:1-3 we read, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made" (KJV). As mentioned previously, it is not wrong to address Yeshua as god or elohim as long as we don't address him as the "one true Elohim." According to the common understanding of verse 1, there are two beings, the Word and God, Yeshua and Yahweh. Therefore, the phrase "the Word was God" would lead one to believe that Yeshua (the Word) was Yahweh (God). However, if we know that Yahweh called Yeshua "God" or "elohim" in Heb.1:9 and Ps.45:7, there is no problem with the phrase "the Word was God." Yeshua is obviously an elohim in Hebrew or a god in English. This, of course, is based on the common understanding of the "Word" being Yeshua. That, however, is not what John intended when he wrote these verses.
Nor did John intend to teach us that the Son preexisted "with" God from the very beginning of creation. De 32:39 says, "See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand." Yahweh the Father is speaking here. He is saying there is no other "elohim" or no other God with Him. John 1:1 says, " . . .and the Word was WITH God, and the Word was God." If the "Word" is the Son and the Son was WITH God and was God, how does that harmonize with the above verse? In De 32:39, since Yahweh was speaking, then there was no other God with Him, not even the Son.
Since Yeshua is called "The Word of God" in Rev.19:13, the translators of the KJV assumed the "Word" of Jn.1:1 was also Yeshua and therefore, capitalized the word "word" and used the pronoun "him" in reference to the "word." The Greek for "Word" is "logos." It appears in the text written with a small letter l. Logos means "the spoken word" or "something said (including the thought)." In that sense the word is an "it," not a person but a thing. The great English translator William Tyndale renders it that way in his 1525 version as does the Matthew's Bible of 1537, the Great Bible of 1539, the Geneva Bible of 1560, and the Bishop's Bible of 1568. (Click here for more info.) Verse 3 should read, "All things were made through it; and without it was not anything made that was made." In other words, Yahweh spoke creation into existence. This understanding agrees perfectly with passages such as Gen.1:3,6,9,11,14, 20, and 24 all of which begin, "And Elohim said." Yahweh spoke and it was done. Ps.33:6,9 says, "By the word of Yahweh were the heavens made; and all the host by the breath of his mouth. . . For He spoke and it was; He commanded, and it stood fast." Not only did Yahweh speak creation into existence, but He also spoke His Son Yeshua into existence; "And the word (Yahweh's spoken word) was made flesh" (Jn.1:14). Yeshua did not become the "Word of [Yahweh]" until his birth as a flesh and blood male child.
How then should we translate verse 1? "In the beginning was the word; and the word was with [Yahweh], and the word was [Yahweh]'s" is one suggestion. The Greek word translated "God" is "theos." The Greek does not have a different word to show possession. Therefore, theos can be translated "Yahweh" or "Yahweh's." The possessive form makes this verse so clear and in harmony with the phrase "the word was with Yahweh."
Getting back to the issue of creation, many believe Yeshua created all things. A thorough study of the Old Testament scriptures shows Yahweh to be the Creator and that He acted alone to accomplish this. Note Is.44:24; "Thus saith Yahweh, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am Yahweh that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;" Where is Yeshua in this verse? It has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that Yeshua is not Yahweh, therefore, Yeshua did not have a hand in creation. This is confirmed in Job 9:8; "Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea." Consider also Prov.30:4; "Who hath ascended up into heaven? who hath gathered the wind in His fists? Who hath bound the waters in a garment? Who hath established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His son's name, if thou canst tell?" This verse teaches us that the Creator, whoever He is, has a Son. Does Yeshua have a son? No. Father Yahweh is the Creator and He has a Son who is not given credit for creation in this verse.
There are several New Testament scriptures used to prove he did create all things. They are Jn 1:3, which we already looked at; Jn.1:10; 1 Cor.8:6; Eph.3:9; Col.1:16; and Heb.1:2. All these verses use the same basic phrase, "by him" or "by Yeshua Messiah." The phrase "by Yeshua Messiah" in Eph.3:9 is not found in many Greek MSS. Here is Adam Clarke's commentary on the phrase "by Jesus Christ": "But the words δια Ιησου Χριστου, by Jesus Christ, are wanting in ABCD*FG, and several others; also in the Syriac, Arabic of Erpen, Coptic, Ethiopic, Vulgate, and Itala; as also in several of the fathers. Griesbach has thrown the words out of the text; and Professor White says, “certissime delenda,” they are indisputably spurious. The text, therefore, should be read: which from the beginning of the world had been hidden in God who created all things." Without the added words this verse teaches us that Yahweh is the Creator. The remaining four verses imply that Yeshua is the Creator. Thus far, it has been conclusively proven that Yeshua is not Yahweh. Since the scriptures emphatically state over 100 times that Yahweh is the Creator (Ex.20:11) and that He acted alone (Is.44:24), should we discard that wealth of evidence and accept Yeshua as the Creator without question? A careful examination of the Greek of those four verses will yield a different picture.
The Greek word for "by" is "di." It can be translated "by," "through," "on account of," "for," etc., based on the context or message of the sentence. These four verses in question will not allow the translation "by" because it does not agree or harmonize with over 100 other verses stating that Yahweh is the Creator. An example of the importance of context is Mk.2:27; "And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath." Both words "for" in this verse are from the Greek word "dia." It would be incorrect to translate "dia" as "by" in this verse: The Sabbath was made by man. If you will notice the Greek of Jn.1:10 you will see it is the exact same construction as Mk.2:27 yet one verse says "for" and the other says "by." Also, in the case of Heb 1:2, it is revealed that Yeshua is the heir of all things that have been created by Yahweh. He is not the Creator Himself.
1 Pe.1:20 says, "Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you." Before creation, Yeshua existed in the foreordained plans of Yahweh. He was "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev.13:8). Even before creation Yahweh knew that Yeshua had to be slain. Even before creation Yahweh knew that He would create all things through and for His Son. And so it is written and correctly translated in Col.1:16, "For in him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created through him, and for him:" Without Yeshua in Yahweh's plan, creation would never have occurred. The remaining three scriptures using "by" should be translated similarly.
One other Scripture often used to prove Yeshua's hand in creation is Heb.1:10-12. These verses are indeed very difficult to understand. It appears as though the writer of Hebrews is including verses 10-12 as additional statements that Yahweh has made to His Son. The use of "And" in verse 10 and "but" in verse 13 suggest this. But if we look a little deeper we will find several discrepancies. Verses 10-12 are direct quotes from Ps.102:25-27. They are not a quote from the Hebrew Text, however, but from the Septuagint (LXX). The Hebrew Text does not have "Lord" in it. Therefore, to say that "Lord" in Heb.1:10 proves that Yeshua is Yahweh is unscriptural. The LXX has "Kurie" in Ps.102:25, but that is an addition since it is not found in the Hebrew Text. The LXX also omits "O my el" in verse 24.
In reading the Hebrew of Ps.102, it is clear the subject is Yahweh. They are the words of an afflicted man as he cries out to Yahweh. They are not the words of Yahweh as He speaks to His Son.
Notice each of the other Old Testament quotes in Hebrew 1;
Ps.2:7 - "...Thou art my Son; this day I (Yahweh) have begotten thee."
2 Sam.7:14 - "I (Yahweh) will be to him a Father..."
Deut.32:43 (LXX) - "And let all the angels of God (Yahweh) worship him."
Ps.45:6,7 - "Thy throne O elohim...therefore elohim, thy Elohim (Yahweh) hath anointed thee."
Ps.110:1 - "Sit on my right hand, until I (Yahweh) make thine enemies thy footstool."
In each of these quotes it can be seen that either Yahweh is talking to His Son or about His Son. Yet, in Ps.102:25-27 it is the Psalmist talking to Yahweh. Therefore, to include Heb.1:10-12 among those things that Yahweh said to or about His Son is incorrect.
The writer of Hebrews had written verses 1-9 to show how Yahweh exalted His Son, even above the angels. It appears as though the writer was then moved to exalt Yahweh as well by including verses 10-12 as a parenthesis. He then resumes by showing Yeshua's exaltation in verse 13 which is a continuation of verse 9. There are an abundance of Scriptures proving that Yeshua is not Yahweh. To make that assumption here is to reject the weightier evidence.
There has been a very sharp attack centered on using Old Testament quotes found in the New Testament that are applied to both Yahweh and Yeshua to prove the two are one and the same. It is important to fully understand these verses correctly.
The first is found in Rom.14:10,11. It reads, "But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God" (KJV). Paul was quoting Is.45:23 in which the speaker is Yahweh. So when verse 23 says, "That unto me," "me" refers to Yahweh. Every knee will bow and every tongue will swear to Yahweh. Therefore, in Rom.14:11, "Lord" must mean Yahweh, as does "me" and "God". There is no mention of Messiah in this verse; not even in verse 10. Concerning the phrase "judgment seat of Christ," the Jamieson, Faussett, Brown Commentary says, "All the most ancient and best MSS. read here, "judgment seat of God."
Paul does, however, apply portions of Isa.45:23 to Yeshua in Ph.2:10,11. That does not mean he is also applying the Name "Yahweh" to him as well. Jn.5:23 helps us to understand this. If you don't honor the Son, by extension, you don't honor the Father. And Jn.15:23; if you hate the Son, by extension, you hate the Father. If you bow your knees to the Son, by extension, you bow your knees to the Father. Notice that what is sworn in Isa.45:23,24 is not what is sworn in Ph.2:11. (every tongue shall confess or swear that Yeshua is "Master" [kurios]). That same word (kurios) was applied to men in several other verses such as Jn.12:21. It is only a reference to Yahweh when it is a direct quote of an Old Testament verse containing the Tetragrammaton which Is.45:23 does not.
The next reference is 1 Pe.2:8, "And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed." Peter is here applying Is.8:14 to Messiah. It is to be understood in the sense that, since Yeshua is Yahweh's representative or agent, whatever Yeshua does is credited to Yahweh or is as though Yahweh did it. Isaiah says Yahweh will be a stumbling stone. Yahweh then causes Israel to stumble over Yeshua which makes them both stumbling stones. "The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is Yahweh's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes" (Ps.118:22,23).
Consider Ex.7:17 when understanding this verse.
"Thus saith Yahweh, In this thou shalt know that I am Yahweh: behold, I will smite with the rod that is in mine hand upon the waters which are in the river, and they shall be turned to blood. And the fish that is in the river shall die, and the river shall stink; and the Egyptians shall lothe to drink of the water of the river. And Yahweh spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood; and that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood, and in vessels of stone. And Moses and Aaron did so, as Yahweh commanded; and he lifted up the rod, and smote the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants; and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood."
Yahweh says He Himself will smite the waters with the rod in His own hand. Yet, it was Aaron that held the rod (Ex.7:19,20). Are we to believe that Aaron is also Yahweh? Neither should we believe that Yeshua is Yahweh in this verse.
Consider Zech 14:4 in this light as well.
"And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south."
Most people believe "his feet" refers to Yahweh's feet. Yet, they realize that it is Yeshua who is returning to set up the Kingdom on earth. So they jump to the erroneous conclusion that Yeshua is Yahweh. As Messiah's feet land on the Mount of Olives, Yahweh the Father will cause it to cleave in two. Yet, as Yahweh's representative, Yeshua's feet are spoken of as Yahweh's feet just as Aaron's hand is spoken of as Yahweh's hand.
Yeshua is not the only one "coming" on judgment day. Yahweh will come as well, but not in the physical sense that Yeshua will.
Isa 40:10 - "Behold, the Sovereign Yahweh will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him."
The phrase "his arm" is a reference to Messiah (Jn 12:38), but "the Sovereign Yahweh" is a reference to the Father.
Isa 66:15 - "For, behold, Yahweh will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire."
This is the language of 2 Peter 3:10-13 when it talks about "the Day of Yahweh." Yahweh the Father will come bringing judgment upon the world. He will do so through His Son Yeshua and the saints which will be riding on the "chariots" of Yahweh the Father. "All the saints" of Zech 14:5 would include Yeshua.
Ex.7:17 is also the key to understanding Zec.11:13 which reads, "And Yahweh said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of Yahweh." Since Yeshua was priced at 30 pieces of silver, and since Yahweh here says, "I was prised at of them," some conclude that Yeshua is also called Yahweh. Using that same logic, who cast the silver down? Mt.27:5 says of Judas, "And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple..." Are we to believe that Judas is also called Yahweh?
The next attack on Scripture comes in 1 Pe.3:14,15, "But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:" (KJV) Several commentaries and Greek manuscripts read "Christ" instead of "God" in these verses. They imply it should read, "But sanctify [Yahweh] who is Christ." According to the Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures, there are 6 Mss. that have "Christos" or "Messiah" in the text and 8 MSS. that do not. Since the Hebrew Text clearly says, "Yahweh of hosts" (Is.8:13), the Greek would say either theos or kurios, not Christos. The Greek text was obviously tampered with by those who tried to prove that Yeshua was the YHWH of the Old Testament.
The last attack comes in 1 Pe.2:3,4, "If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious," (KJV). In verse 3, Peter is quoting Ps.34:8 which is speaking about Yahweh. Some people would have us believe that Peter is applying the Tetragrammaton, YHWH, to the Messiah in verse 4. The words "as unto" in the KJV, however, are added words not found in the Greek that change Peter's meaning. Delete these words and the Greek text reads, "To whom coming toward" or "To whom drawing near, as living stone..." In other words, the living stone (Yeshua) was drawing near or coming toward Yahweh as will all living stones in the future (vs.5). The "whom" in verse 4 refers to the "Lord" YHWH of verse 3; "To [Yahweh] coming, a living stone."
This study would not be complete without addressing the issue concerning the following statements; (Jn.5:37), "And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape."
And again in 1 Jn.4:12, "No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us" (KJV). Since Yahweh (God) was never seen, or heard for that matter, then who was it that men saw in such passages as Deut.4:12, Ex.24:9-11, etc.? It is assumed that the pre-existant Messiah is the one they saw and that he is referred to as Yahweh.
To understand this we need to look at a few other examples. Consider the following;
Gen.22:11-12 - "And the angel of Yahweh called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest Elohim, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me."
Ex.3:2-6 - "And the angel of Yahweh appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush:... And when Yahweh saw that he turned aside to see, Elohim called unto him out of the midst of the bush, ... he said, I am the Elohim of thy father, the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac, and the Elohim of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon Elohim."
In these two passages, and many others involving the Angel of Yahweh, the angel speaks as though he was Yahweh. That is because Yahweh was speaking through the angel. Ex.23:20-22 reads, "Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him. But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries." As Yahweh's chosen representative, the Angel speaks whatever he is told to speak by Yahweh. The same was true of Yeshua (Jn.12:49,50), and the prophets (Heb.1:1).
How does this relate to the giving of the Law at Mt. Sinai? Wasn't it Yahweh's own voice they heard? That is what Deut.4:12 would suggest. Yet, several New Testament Scriptures reveal the speaker to be an angel. Acts 7:38,53 read, "This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sinai, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:...Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it. " Also in Gal.3:19, "...and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator (Moses)."
So what can we conclude about this? It is true that Yahweh's voice has never been heard nor His shape seen. It was an angel that appeared to men. Yet, this angel, as Yahweh's chosen representative, could speak with the authority of Yahweh as though he were Yahweh. The prophets do the same thing quite often. Therefore, Malachi can say, "Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me..." (Mal.3:1), yet, no one would dare say Malachi was Yahweh.
The Jewish understanding of this is important to note here. It is called the law of agency. "The Encyclopedia of the Jewish Religion," Adama Books, New York, 1986, pg.15 reads, "The main point of the Jewish law of agency is expressed in the dictum "A person's agent is regarded as the person himself." Almighty Yahweh appointed both Yeshua the Messiah, His Son, and the Angel of Yahweh, as His agents. As such, anything they did was regarded as though the Almighty Himself did it.
A wealth of scriptural truth has been presented in this study. An honest seeker of truth should now know that Yeshua is not Yahweh, the Mighty One of Israel. He is Yahweh's only begotten Son. That is what we must believe. "Whosoever shall confess that Yeshua is the Son of [Yahweh], [Yahweh] dwelleth in him, and he in [Yahweh]" (1 Jn.4:15). If you believe that Yeshua is Yahweh instead of the Son of Yahweh, the truth is not in you. Peter knew this truth and responded correctly; "Thou art the Messiah, the Son of the living Elohim" (Mt.16:16). How will you now respond?
There are several passages in which Yahweh is spoken of as "God" and yet, they are mistakenly applied to Yeshua. The first is Jude 1:24,25. It reads, "Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen." Who is it that is able to keep us from falling? Jn.10:29 and Rom.16:25-27 teach us that it is the Father (Yahweh) who keeps us. He is "God only wise" or "the only wise God."
The second passage is 1 Tim.1:17. It reads, "Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen." We just saw who the "only wise God" is in Rom.16:25-27.
The third passage is Titus 2:13; "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;" Does this mean Paul is saying Yeshua is the great God? In his opening (Titus 1:4) he greets Titus from "God [Yahweh] the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ [Yeshua]. In Paul's mind there are two individuals, not two manifestations of one being. Some commentators believe the word "and" in Titus 2:13 should be translated "even" since the Greek word "kai" can carry that meaning. Most lexicons will show that kai means "and" in the overwhelming majority of uses and, in comparison, rarely means "even." If we change "and" to "even" anytime we want, then we can say things like Prisca and Aquila are the same person (2 Tim.4:19), etc.