Who does Messiah say He is: Man or God?
While Yeshua "submitted Himself" to the Father (John 17:4), it did not make Him "lesser" in any way, shape, or form. For instance, when we were submitting ourselves to learn from our parents, teachers, bosses - it didn't make us "lesser" human beings. Neither did Yeshua's submission to "God the Father" make Him "less". Let's do an indepth examination of this:
First, we must realize that YHWH (Yahweh), our Creator, is indeed, ONE. He said so! It is futile (not to mention, blasphemy) to attempt to downplay YHWH's power in whatever form He chooses to present it. Whenever we attempt to illustrate the concept of God to the atheists who write to The Refiner's Fire, we like to compare the idea of Him to a fiber optic lamp with its myriad lights emanating from the ends of long, thin tubes. The lights appear ONLY because of the base that is powered by electricity.
Without the base, there would be no light. The Entity of YHWH is the "base" with His light emanating everywhere via whatever "form" He chooses. He didn't divide Himself in half in order to present Himself as Yeshua on earth. He used the "form" of Yeshua to reveal Himself in a personal way that MAN could understand with his limited, human mindset.
On a more scholarly level, the YHWH/Yeshua relationship can be explained via the Aramaic word qnoma. Qnoma is a very important term that has been greatly diluted and misunderstood over the centuries. Through an exceedingly complex linguistic chain of events this word, meaning "an occurrence of a nature" got morphed and perverted into "person" in Greek. As a result, the One Elohim (YHWH) is represented in a pagan manner in the Greek New Testament as a "person" distinct and equal with "Elohim the Son" and "Elohim the Ruach haKodesh." Instead, it is the oneness of YHWH that manifests in Mashiyach, not that Mashiyach's divinity is separate from his Father's.
However, in this case we are talking about humanity and not YHWH, and both of them have "natures" that cannot be seen, and yet are a root part of their being. Or, to put it another way, a "nature" is like a body hidden behind a curtain. For those in the audience, nothing of that nature can be seen. Then, all of a sudden, a hand and part of an arm appears through the veil. While we know there is a body attached to that limb, the limb is all we see. Furthermore, that arm moves with full force, will and agreement of the mind that controls the body. For the viewers, the arm appearing out of the curtain is the qnoma (occurrence) and the hidden mind behind that limb's movement is its kyanna (nature)....
Throughout Scripture we see over and over again that YHWH is a "One-ness" in whatever "form" He presents Himself! Examples:
Deuteronomy 4: 39 ...know today, and establish it in your heart, that ADONAI is God in heaven above and on earth below - there is no other.
Isaiah 45: 5 I am ADONAI; there is no other; besides me there is no God.
The Bible goes on to tell us that Yeshua was the co-equal of ELOHIM (Philippians 2:6-11; John 10:22-39). The Bible does NOT tell us Yeshua was "partially divine" nor does it ever mention "two YHWHs". Teaching that is FALSE DOCTRINE!
Isaiah 9:6 For a child is born to us, a son is given to us; dominion will rest on his shoulders, and he will be given the name Pele-Yo'etz El Gibbor Avi-'Ad Sar-Shalom [Wonder of a Counselor, Mighty God, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace], 7 in order to extend the dominion and perpetuate the peace of the throne and kingdom of David, to secure it and sustain it through justice and righteousness henceforth and forever. The zeal of ADONAI-Tzva'ot will accomplish this. CJB
Micah 5: 2 But you, Beit-Lechem near Efrat, so small among the clans of Y'hudah, out of you will come forth to me the future ruler of Isra'el, whose origins are far in the past, back in ancient times. CJB
Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
Colossians 2: 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. 9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form.
Matthew 16:15-17: 15"But what about you?" he (Yeshua) asked. "Who do you say I am?" 16Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Yeshua replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.
John 10:30: I and the Father are One,
John 14:9: Whoever sees me sees the Father....
John 1 also tells us: 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 All things came to be through him, and without him nothing made had being. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness not has suppressed it.
John 4:26: Then Yeshua declared, "I who speak to you am he."
John 17:1-3: After Yeshua said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: 2"Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Yeshua Christ, whom you have sent. 4I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. 5And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.
Matthew 1: 23...they shall call his name EMMANUEL, which being interpreted is, GOD WITH US.
John 8: 24...if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.
And take a look at this comment by Rav Shaul (Apostle Paul), who said Yeshua was seen by more than 500 people AFTER His death! Considering the discussion Rav Shaul just had about his followers not being spiritual babies, this is a very humbling statement! His point is, of course, that many people saw the risen Y'shua before him and, even more than that, countless others heard him speak face-to-face. By that measure Rav Shaul is a "Yochanan come lately" to say the least, and he knows it, in spite of talking of his rank as a Shaliach.
1 Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered to you from the first, as I had received it; that the Mashiyach died on account of our sins, as it is written: 4. And that he was buried and arose on the third day, as it is written: 5. And that he was seen by Keefa; and after him, by the twelve: 6. And after that, he was seen by more than five hundred Brothers at once; many of whom survive at the present time, and some of them sleep. 7. And subsequently to this, he was seen by Ya'akov; and after him, by all the Shlichim. 8. And last of them all, he was seen by me, as if I were an unborn fetus.
And take a look at this!
Philippians 2:5 And think you so in yourselves, as Y'shua the Mashiyach also thought; 6. who, as he was in the likeness of Elohim, did not regard it sinful to be the coequal of Elohim; 7. yet disinherited himself and assumed the likeness of a servant, and was in the likeness of men and was found in fashion as a man; 8. and he humbled himself and became obedient to death, even the death of the stake. 9. Wherefore, also, Elohim has highly exalted him and given him a name which is more excellent than all names; 10. that at the name of Y'shua every knee should bow, of (beings) in heaven and on earth and under the earth; 11. and that every tongue should confess that Master YHWH is Y'shua Mashiyach, to the glory of Elohim his Father. (AENT)
More than his literal birth name Y'shua (which was and is a common Hebrew name), and more than the perfect reputation that his name represents. Y'shua bears the Name of YHWH, the "name above all names"! Y'shua has the Name and reputation of the Father YHWH in him (John 17:11) and the name means "YHWH is Salvation" (Matthew 1:21). (The angels, for instance, only have YHWH's title of ELOHIM within their names: GabriEL, MichaEL, RaphaEL....)
Colossians 1: 15. who is the likeness of the invisible Elohim and the first-born of all creatures: 16. and by him was created everything that is in heaven and on earth, all that is visible and all that is invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; everything was through him and was created by him:(1) 17. and he was prior to all, and by him every thing exists. 18. And he is the head of the body the Assembly; as he is the head and first-born from among the dead, that he might be the first in all things. 19. For it pleased (the Father) that in him all fullness should dwell; 20. and by him, to reconcile all things to himself; and through him he has pacified, with the blood of his stake, both (those) on earth and those in heaven.(2) (Aramaic English New Testament)
Footnote: The literal Aramaic reading is "by him," whereas Greek and English texts have "for him." Mashiyach is the creative Word through which everything was made (Psalm 33:6, John 1:1-5, Hebrews 1:1-5). The common Aramaic idiom here and in John is "through his hands" meaning as the Word, Mashiyach crafted all things according to YHWH's blueprints. Mashiyach Yeshua emerges as the Word from YHWH's breath and command and, as such, was with Him in the beginning (John 17:1-11).
YHWH sent us an aspect of Himself (or "arm" - Isaiah 53:1) known as Yeshua. Yeshua, the human with a DIVINE NATURE performed all kinds of miracles that included raising the dead and controlling nature. Psalm 90:1 and 1 Timothy 1:17 show that YHWH did NOT have a beginning or an end. The same cannot be said for a "lesser god". YHWH will return in the "form" of Yeshua to defeat the Antichrist and then rule the world for a thousand years. Does this mean we will be following a "lesser God"? No! YHWH is doing this for US, to help us understand Him better before He brings down His "new heaven and new earth" (2 Peter 3:13, Isaiah 65:17, Isaiah 66:22, Revelation 21:1-5, Luke 18:30) where everything will be far more different than our human minds could ever comprehend! We don't know/weren't told in the Bible exactly what "form" we will be looking upon in eternity when we look upon our Creator.
Yeshua was here once and His flesh died, yet HE will be returning! What's "lesser" about that? Can a mere man die and return again to rule the world? Can a mere man walk on water, turn water into wine, control nature, or raise the dead? Jeremiah 32:17 tells us YHWH is all-powerful. Psalm 147:5 and Acts 15:18 say He is "all-knowing". A "lesser" YHWH could not be "all powerful" or "all-knowing", let alone, "eternal".
1 Timothy 3: 16. and truly great, is this mystery of righteousness which was revealed in the flesh and righteous in the spirit, and seen by Messengers, and proclaimed among the Gentiles, and believed on in the world, and received up into glory. (AENT)
Yeshua is never called "our Father" in the "New Testament" although he is called "Everlasting father" in Isaiah 9:6. In the New Covenant, Yeshua always appears beside the Father or with the Father. This does not compromise the dual truth that Yeshua is divine, having the nature, character, mission and capacity of God in every respect, and Yeshua is YHWH manifested in human form. Paul constantly demonstrates this principle (Romans 1:7, 2 Thessalonians 1:1, 2:16, Philemon 1:3).
There is both equality and hierarchy between Yeshua and the Father. (John 10:24, 14:28, 1 Corinthians 11:3). The subordination of a faithful messenger has a major part in the role of the Messiah and his Father...
There are unique characteristics of YHWH which appear in Yeshua and which make Him equal to God and a part of the very nature of God and man (Phillipians 2:6-11, Hebrews 5:8, Colossians 1:19, 2:9).
And yes, YHWH is NOT a "trinity"; He is "echad" (the plural form of one, such as "one dozen eggs" or "one bunch of grapes") as declared in the Sh'ma (Dt. 6:4). He is a compound unity. "Church founders" such as Ignatius(35-107 CE), Marcion (110-160 AD) and Tertullian who coined the word "trinity" (155-230 CE) were instrumental in tweaking the Scriptures and inserting their own opinions - which, of course, were swallowed by "the world" as "true Gospel" which sought to free the Church from "false Jewish doctrines":
- Ignatius was considered to be an "auditor" and "disciple" of John. Ignatius pioneered the Greek-based Christian religion and was instrumental in the assimilation of paganism into early Christianity, packaging Christianity for a Greco-Roman Hellenic culture. Ignatius saw Jewish followers of Y'shua as nothing more than legalists and Judaizers. He despised the observance of Shabbat in favor of a sunrise "Lord's day", Sun-Day, teachings. It is scarcely possible to exaggerate the importance of the Ignatian letters to modern Christian institutions. He was a key player in the development of the modern Christo-Pagan church, promoting the "infallibility of the church" and the "universal church". If there ever was a hierarchy loving "Christian" with a Hellenistic autocratic mindset, it was Ignatius who gave himself the nickname Theophoros (the God-bearer) and taught that deacons, presbyters and bishops were a separate category of people, high and lifted up, and infused with Jesus-like authority to be lords over people. Christians consider Ignatius as one of the all time biggest movers and shakers of the all-Gentile church. He strongly instructed that "without the bishop's supervision, no baptisms or love feasts are permitted". He also believed Mary to be the eternal virgin mother of God.
- Every Christian who uses the term "Old" and "New" testament must take their hats off to Marcion as he was the one who coined these terms which perfectly reflect the Hellenistic mindset of the pagan world which is ignorant of Torah. Marcion taught that the Old and New Testaments could not be reconciled with each other, and this is what you will hear in Christian churches today.
- One of Tertullian's better known "achievements" was to fall into a trance and then prophesy under the influence of the "Holy Spirit", insisting his utterances were the voice of the "Holy Spirit". (The modern day speaking in tongues "born again" Pentecostal or Charismatic Christians must really appreciate someone like Tertullian!) Also, Tertullian, while fumbling in all manner of paganism and spiritism, picked up an "anointing" of the "Holy Ghost" and coined the word "Trinity" which is one of the most beloved doctrines of the pagan Church to this very day. The "persons of the trinity" doctrine flourishes in the hierarchy-based religion which sees itself as a three-sided pyramid structure. Tertullian's works abound with puns, wit, sarcasm and a continual pounding of his opponents with invectives.
To show how YHWH can be everywhere at once, imagine Him as a fiber optic lamp. YHWH is the base, and the million points of lights that emanate from that base are all connected and, consequently, part of God Himself. One of those "points of light" was Yeshua. When Yeshua walked the earth as "the divine Messiah" who as the Son was a part of YHWH Himself, it didn't mean that YHWH wasn't in charge anymore; He was still performing His "Godly duties" from that base mentioned above, while simultaneously, the "tentacle/point of light" called "Yeshua" was performing God's will here on earth. Yeshua, like every other human, had His own mind and His own will, but He knew He was here to "proclaim the Kingdom of YHWH":
Luke 4: 43 "But he (Yeshua/Jesus) said, "I must preach the good news of the Kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent."
Yeshua is foreshadowed throughout the Tanach, especially in Isaiah 53, and also in every one of the Biblical Feasts. We're also told that Yeshua the Messiah is both deity and human; the "seed of a woman" as promised in Genesis 3:15; and His virgin birth was to be a sign to Israel of His Messiahship. Plus, He has fulfilled at least 300 prophecies....
Messiah Yeshua performed many miracles, including turning water into wine, raising the dead, walking on water, etc. He came to earth to represent God the Father, to teach us how to worship Him, to teach us how to treat each other, and to be our final sin sacrifice. He willingly went to the cross, and then He bodily resurrected and ascended, and the Bible tells us He would return in the future to establish His kingdom upon the earth.
Yeshua Himself made some startling predictions concerning His future on earth: Matthew 16:21 says From that time Yeshua began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day.
He again makes a sweeping statement in John 2:19 "Destroy this Temple and in three days I WILL RAISE IT UP!" Verse 21: But he was speaking of the temple of his body.
Let's take a look at some of the other claims Yeshua makes:
- "Follow ME ... " - Matthew 4:19
- "That you may know that the Son of Man HAS POWER ON EARTH TO FORGIVE SINS." - Matt 9:6 (Only God can forgive sins).
- Him that has Power to give out Healing Power and Power over Death to His followers. - Matt 10:8
- "The Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath Day" - Matt 12:8
- "I cast out devils by the Spirit of God" - Matt 12:28
- "A Greater than Solomon is here" - Matt 12:42
- "Many Prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which you see ... and to hear the things which you hear " - Matt 13:17
- "The Son of Man shall send forth HIS ANGELS and they shall gather out of HIS KINGDOM all things that offend ... and shall cast them into a furnace, ... then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in THE KINGDOM OF THEIR FATHER" (There is ONE Kingdom only!) - Matt 13:41-43
- "And I will give unto thee the KEYS OF HEAVEN" - Matt 16:19
- Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven." - Matt 16:16-17
- "For the Son of Man ... shall reward every man according to his works." - Matt 16:27
- "They will see the Son of Man coming in HIS KINGDOM." - Matt 16:28
- "O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I suffer you?" - Matt 17:17
- "For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost" - Matt 18:11
- "For where two or three are gathered IN MY NAME, THERE AM I" - Matt 18:20
- "When the Son of Man shall sit in THE THRONE OF HIS GLORY..." - Matt 19:28
- "...For one is your Master, even Messiah" - Matt 23:10
- "When the Son of Man shall come in HIS GLORY and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit UPON THE THRONE OF HIS GLORY and before Him shall be gathered all nations, and He shall separate them ...." - Matt 25:31
- "For this is MY Blood of the New Covenant... " - Matt 26:28
- "All Power is given unto Me in heaven and earth." - Matt 28:18
- "I am with you even unto the end of the world." - Matt 28:20 (as the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh)
Does this sound as if He regarded Himself as "just a man"?
- "No man has ascended up to Heaven but HE THAT CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN EVEN THE SON OF MAN WHICH IS IN HEAVEN" - John 3:13
- "Whosoever drinks of the Water that I shall give him .. it shall be in him a well of water springing up into Everlasting Life". - John 4:14
- "All men should honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He that does not honor the Son, does not honor the Father." - John 5:23
- "Search the Scriptures (OT) ...for they are they which testify of ME." - John 5:39
- "I am the Bread of Life ...." - John 6:35
- "For I CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN ..." - John 6:38
- "What if you shall see the Son of Man ascend up WHERE HE WAS BEFORE?" - John 6:62
- "I am the Light of the World ..." - John 8:12
- "You are from beneath, I am FROM ABOVE - I am not of this world." - John 8:23
- "Abraham rejoiced to see My day and he saw it and was glad ... Verily, verily I say unto you: Before Abraham was, I AM." - John 8:56-59
- "I am the Door. By Me, if any man enters in, he shall be saved. ..." - John 10:7
- "I am the Good Shepherd." - John 10:11
- "No man takes (My Life) from Me. I lay it down OF MYSELF. I have Power to lay it down AND I HAVE POWER TO TAKE IT UP AGAIN!" - John 10:18
- "I and My Father ARE ONE." - John 10:30
- "I am the Resurrection and the Life." - John 11:25
- "And if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me." - John 12:32
- "You call me Master and Lord, and you say well, for so I am." - John 13:13
- "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life." - John 14:6
- "If you had known Me, You would have known My Father also: and from henceforth you Know Him and HAVE SEEN HIM." - John 14:7
- "Don't you believe that I AM IN THE FATHER and the Father is in Me?" - John 14:10,11
- "And whatsoever you shall ask in My Name, that will I DO." - John 14:13
- "In that Day you shall know that I am in My Father, and you in Me and I IN YOU". - John 14:20 (as the Holy Spirit. Hebrew: Ruach HaKodesh)
- "I came forth from the Father and came into the world; again I leave this world and go to the Father." - John 16:28
- "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End" - Revelation 1:8
- "I am the First and the Last" - Revelation 1:11 & 18 and 22:13
- "And he that overcomes and keeps MY WORKS unto the End, to him will I GIVE POWER over the nations to rule them with a rod of iron ..." - Revelation 2:26
- "To him that overcomes, will I grant to sit with Me in MY THRONE ...." - Revelation 3:21
If Yeshua (as the Son with a divine Nature) is not equal with the Father as some people allege, then why did He, like YHWH in the Old Covenant, call himself the "Alpha and Omega", "the First and the Last"? How can there be TWO "Alphas and Omegas"? Take a look:
Isaiah 44:6 - "Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: 'I am first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me.
Revelation 1:8 - "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."
Revelation 21:6 - Then He said to me, "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.
Revelation 22:12-16: (Stern's Complete Jewish Bible) 12 "Pay attention!" says Yeshua. "I am coming soon, and my rewards are with me to give to each person according to what he has done. 13 I am the 'A' and the 'Z', the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End." 14 How blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they have the right to eat from the Tree of Life and go through the gates into the city! 15 Outside are the homosexuals, those who misues drugs in connection with the occult, the sexually immoral, murderers, idol-worshippers, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. 16 "I, Yeshua, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the Messianic communities. I am the Root and Offspring of David, the bright Morning Star.
What you have read above is part of the reason Yeshua was nailed to the stake: He dared to compare Himself to YHWH! Unlike any other rabbi before or since, He taught with the authority of someone who was on equal footing with the Father! Why did He do this? Because He was an aspect of YHWH Himself - a human with a Divine qnoma, YHWH's SON, sent to earth by the Father in order to allow man to be better able to relate to God, and then to martyr Himself as our Final SIN Sacrifice.
It is imperative to recognize the fact that GOD cannot be born or die; but His Son whose body was human and whose Nature was Divine, could! How merciful that YHWH cared enough about His wayward human creation to send His SON to earth to teach us about Himself and His Kingdom, and then to martyr Himself and become our Final SIN Sacrifice so that we might have eternal life merely because we believe in our hearts that Yeshua was who He said He was!