Is There No Such Thing As Messiah?

Over the last few years I’ve heard of people who have come out of traditional Christian churches; sought their Hebraic roots; and zoomed in on Judaism only to deny there ever was a Messiah.  This is so sad.  I believe these are people who discovered they’d been lied to about various things in the Christian church and decided to take matters into their own hands to find the truth.  They managed to learn barely enough Hebrew to use a concordance but didn’t have sufficient Hebrew language, Scripture knowledge, or ordinary reasoning skills to critically analyze everything that fell into their hands.  They’ve rejected one set of lies and swallowed the biggest lie of all—that there never even was a Messiah.  This is a great delusion.

The lie begins with the Hebrew word mashiach (H4899; G5547 christos); it means anointed.  The qal or simplest form of the Hebrew verb mashach (H4886; G5548 chrio) means to rub, anoint with oil, or consecrate.  The niphal form is passive and means to be anointed.  Another related word is the noun mishchah (H4888; G5545 chrismatos); it is an anointing oil or consecrated portion. One kind of anointing oil was referred to as the holy oil (shemen hakodesh).  People, as well as certain things were anointed to consecrate or sanctify them for various purposes.

There were a lot of anointed people (mashiach = sg.) in the Bible; they were usually priests and kings; some of these men were also prophets. Occasionally, a person was specifically anointed as a prophet.[i] Just because there were other anointed people in the Bible doesn’t mean there is no special Mashiach. There has to be one because the Jews were looking for that person in Yeshua’s day and they are still looking for him today. We will soon consider the verses that this prophecy is based on.

The Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) is like the anointing oil. When the Spirit comes upon someone, he may prophesy, or be set apart (consecrated); the Spirit may give that person special skills or authority for a specific purpose.[ii] We see this concept not only in the Tanach but also in the Apostolic Scriptures (New Testament).[iii]

Normally, a prince would not be anointed with oil until he was about to be anointed as king.  David, the 8th son of Jesse was not a prince at the time of his anointing.  In fact, he was anointed years before he began to rule.[iv] He was not only anointed with oil, but he was also anointed at the same time by the Holy Spirit in preparation for his kingship.[v] Before he was anointed, he unknowingly trained to shepherd his people; but not long after being anointed with oil and the Spirit, he began training to be a military leader.  When the time was right, he became king.

There’s not much specifically mentioned in the Tanach about “The Messiah” by using the Hebrew term HaMashiach; but, in Daniel 9:25-27 he is called “Anointed Prince” (mashiach nagiyd).  Kings were anointed with oil before ascending the throne. Since this verse emphasizes this prince was anointed, there must be something unique about this prince. I believe this prince would be anointed, most likely with the Holy Spirit.

Daniel 9:25-27 gives the timing of the Anointed Prince’s arrival and says he will be cut off, but not for himself. His arrival time has long past. Yeshua arrived at the expected time. Wise men from the east were looking for his star at the expected time; and once they found him, they eventually presented gifts to give him the honor due a king.  These wise men must have been aware of Daniel’s prophecy.  Many years later, Yeshua was anointed with the Ruach HaKodesh, and eventually killed for the people before he became king.[vi] Fortunately, Yeshua rose from the dead and he is expected to be King of kings at the appointed time.

Daniel’s Anointed Prince must be the son or descendant of a king. Based on 2 Samuel 7:12-16, he must be a descendant of David; because, David’s throne has been established forever (leolam). Hence, this Messiah Prince is referred to as the Son of David. This specific Messiah is the one that other prophets foretold things about without actually using the term mashiach.

Instead of using the term mashiach, he was given other titles based on Scripture that describe his character or what he will do. Rabbis have even debated his name.  He is known as:

  • The Suffering Servant (son of Joseph) who was to be smitten by God, and afflicted; wounded for our transgressions; bruised for our iniquities; and the chastisement for our peace was upon him. In other words, based on typology, he was destined to be a grain offering, guilt offering, sin offering, and peace offering.[vii]
  • The Branch (YHVH our Righteousness; he’s a king and a priest)[viii]
  • Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.[ix]
  • Immanu El (God with us)[x]

The prophecy in Daniel 9 of the Anointed Prince was made during the Babylonian captivity and long after the death of Hezekiah.  Some people believed the Messiah lived in Hezekiah’s day and could have been his son.  This idea is based on the Messianic prophecy of Isaiah 9:6-8:  “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”  

I don’t think Hezekiah’s son or anyone else has completely fulfilled this prophecy.  Many, including myself are confident that Yeshua was the child who was born, the Son that was given.  This is alluded to in the genealogy found in Luke 3:31 where we see the name Nathan, the son of David.  This genealogy is different from Matthew’s.  Liberties were taken with genealogies by the Jews for different purposes.  This genealogy emphasizes Nathan, the son of David instead of Solomon.  The name Nathan comes from the Hebrew verb natan which means to give; I think this genealogy indicates that Yeshua was “the son that was given.”  For our purposes it gives us the connection we are looking for in “the Prince of Peace” of Isaiah 9:6.  I believe “the Prince of Peace” is “the Anointed Prince” in Daniel 9:25-26.  Based on other Messianic prophecies, I believe the prophecy of Isaiah 9:6-8 will be completely fulfilled by Yeshua at some point in the future.

The Anointed Prince is not just a descendant of David; he also has to be a descendant of Solomon.[xi]  Solomon’s son Rehoboam took the throne after Solomon’s death.  The kingdoms divided during his reign. Rehoboam was king of Judah, and Jeroboam who had been a servant of Solomon was the king of Israel.[xii]  The Davidic dynasty continued in Judah through Rehoboam.  YHVH created this split; He intended to afflict the descendants of David, but not forever.

Tracing the descendants of Rehoboam until the time of the Babylonian captivity leads to Jehoiachin.[xiii]    Jehoiachin became the king of Judah when he was 8 years old.  Three months later, he was carried off to Babylon.  Then the king of Babylon made Zedekiah king of Judah.  Previously, Zedekiah’s name was Mattaniah; he was Jehoichin’s uncle.  His name was changed to Zedekiah by King Nebuchadnezzer. With Jehoiachin gone, his brother Jeconiah (son of Jehoiakim/Eliakim) should have been king instead of Zedekiah.  Perhaps he was not old enough to rule without a co-regent; I don’t know. By the way, Jeconiah had a son named Zedekiah so let’s not get confused by that.

In Jeremiah 22:24-30 there is “the curse of Jeconiah” (also known as Coniah).  Jeremiah 22:30 says, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Write this man down as childless, A man who shall not prosper in his days; For none of his descendants shall prosper, Sitting on the throne of David, And ruling anymore in Judah.”  Woe, this is not good.  How is YHVH going to stop afflicting the descendants of David forever?  How is YHVH going to bypass this curse?  As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, adoption is the logical answer.[xiv]

Suddenly Jeremiah 23 shifts gears and says woe to the evil shepherds who are responsible for the scattering of God’s people.  Not all of the leaders of Judah had been good. Coniah was described as a despised, broken idol; he was a vessel in which there was no pleasure. Now, if YHVH doesn’t intend to afflict the descendants of David forever as mentioned in 1Kings 11:39, He’s got to do something about the curse placed on Coniah. Jeremiah 23 immediately tells us YHVH’s plan to correct the problem of the evil shepherds of Judah. YHVH intends to gather the remnant of his people and raise up a Branch of Righteousness to David. He is going to be an awesome king who will reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness. He can’t do this without being ANOINTED (MASHIACH).  He will be “The Messiah” (HaMashiach), the best of all of God’s anointed ones. He will be known as “YHVH our Righteousness.” In his days, Judah will be saved (niphal form of the verb yasha spelled yod-shin-ayin) and Israel will dwell safely.  The Anointed Prince who had been cut off, yet risen from the dead will be this Anointed King.  His name is Yeshua (means “he will save;” similar root = yod-shin-vav-ayin).

This Anointed King, the Branch of Righteousness (or YHVH Our Righteousness) could not have been any of the kings of the past: David, Solomon, Rehoboam, Abijam, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, Ahaziah, Athaliah (mother of Ahaziah), Joash, Amaziah, Azariah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon, Josiah, Jehoahaz, Eliakim (Jehoiakim), Jehoiachin, Zedekiah (Mattaniah) or rightfully Jeconiah (Coniah). This was to be an anointed king of the FUTURE because this prophecy came AFTER the curse of Jeconiah.

First Chronicles 3:17-24 lists the genealogy of Jeconiah.  Verse 17 is the one we need to be most concerned with because the rest of it follows the descendants of Pedaiah.  We should be careful to note that Pedaiah had a son named Zerubbabel but this is not Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel.  Jeconiah’s son Assir had a son named Shealtiel, who had a son named Zerubbabel.[xv] This Zerubbabel helped build the house of God in Jerusalem.  He became the governor of Judah; he NEVER became a king. Therefore, he was not HaMashiach.  Zerubbabel was later chosen by YHVH of hosts to be like a signet ring.  This is the Zerubbabel mentioned in Matthew 1:12 which is part of the genealogy of Yeshua.

Matthew 1 gives us the genealogy of Yeshua HaMashiach.  He’s taken the liberty to lay it out in 3 sets of 14 generations for his own purposes.  As a result, he leaves out certain names in the genealogy.  This is apparent in Matthew 1:11-16 where it says, “Josiah begot Jeconiah and his brothers about the time they were carried away to Babylon.” He left out Jehoahaz, Eliakim (Jehoiakim), and Jehoiachin between Josiah and Jehoiachin.  The text leaves these names out to show three 14-generation periods related to Israel’s history: Abraham to David (period prior to the kings); David to the Babylonian captivity (period of the kings); and the captivity in Babylon to Yeshua (period after the kings).

Yeshua would have begun his ministry about 6 months after John the Baptist began his. His ministry began with His baptism and ANOINTING by the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit). His powerful ministry was marked by teaching his interpretation of Torah; healing the sick; cleansing metzorim (lepers); casting out demons; feeding thousands with bread; and more. Ultimately, he gave the people the sign of Jonah. He was in the heart of the earth for three full days and nights before his resurrection on the Day of Firstfruits.[xvi] He was seen showing infallible proofs of his resurrection over a period of forty days before his ascension. He was even seen by 500 brethren at once even though only two to three witnesses should have been sufficient. Many people who claim to have seen him after his resurrection were willing to be martyred for telling that truth. Who would die for a lie? The fulfillment of the 7th day (millennial reign of The Messiah) is expected to begin following that; this will be followed by the 8th day (age of the new heaven and earth). On earth he was a prophet, now he is High Priest, and soon he will be King of kings and Lord of lords. All three roles are that of a MASHIACH. No other mashiach has or will be anointed for all three of these roles. Yeshua is the ultimate Mashiach.

[i] See 1 Kings 19:16.

[ii] See Exodus 31:3, Numbers 11:17, 25; 27:18-20, Judges 3:10; 6:34; 14:6; 1 Samuel 10:6; Isaiah 11:2; 61:1-2; and Micah 3:8.

[iii] See Acts 4:27, 10:38; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; and Hebrews 1:9 which quotes Psalm 45:6-7.

[iv] 1 Samuel 15:1; 16:12-13; 1 Kings 1:34; 19:15-16

[v] 1 Samuel 16:13

[vi] John 1:32-34 and John 11:49-52

[vii] Isaiah 52:4-5

[viii] Zechariah 6:12-13

[ix] Isaiah 9:6

[x] Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23

[xi]  2 Samuel 7:13; 1 Kings 8:20

[xii] 1Kings 11:35-39

[xiii] Solomon’s descendants are listed in 1 Chronicles 3:10-24.

[xiv] Joseph, a descendent of David adopts Yeshua as his own son.  I have also confirmed this by Bible code.

[xv]  This Zerubbabel is mentioned in in Ezra 5:2; Nehemiah 12:1; Haggai 1:1, 12, 14; and Haggai 2:2, 23.

[xvi]  Nisan 15-17th; He was buried before the sun went down (as Nisan14th became the 15th) rose on the Day of Firstfruits after the sun went down on Saturday (as Nisan 17th became the 18th).

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Was Yeshua Really Born of a Virgin?

Recently, I talked with two people who were questioning the virgin birth of Yeshua. Of the two who were questioning the virgin birth of Yeshua, one was a Christian searching for truth and the other was someone who had already came out of the traditional/syncretized Christian church; the latter questions everything he previously learned in the past because Jewish sources he has been reading indicate the Jews expect an ordinary human being to be the Messiah, and that this person could appear in any given generation.

If these men are questioning the virgin birth of Yeshua, others must be questioning it as well. So, let’s explore this topic.

Information regarding the account of the virgin birth of Yeshua is found in Luke 1 beginning with verse 26. Zacharias’ wife Elizabeth was already six months pregnant with John when the angel Gabriel came to visit a virgin named Miriam (Mary). The Greek word for virgin that is used in this verse is parthenon; it can also mean maiden or unmarried daughter. Gabriel told Miriam that she had found favor with God and that she would become pregnant with a son who would:

  • Be great;
  • Be called the Son of the Highest;
  • Be given the throne of His father David;
  • Reign over the house of Jacob forever;
  • Have a never ending kingdom.

Wow! What a prophecy! Miriam’s only response to this news was, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” (Luke 1:34) This response is a clue that the word “parthenon” really means “virgin” and not just a young unmarried daughter. Gabriel explained, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35)

Note: If Yeshua was born of the seed (sperm) of man, we would not have called Him the Son of God.

Matthew 1 also contains information regarding Miriam’s virginity. When Joseph found out about Miriam being pregnant, he planned to divorce her because their engagement was legally binding. He knew the child she was carrying was not his, but he didn’t want to make a public example of her. Fortunately, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him that the male child was of the Holy Spirit. In other words, this baby was not the result of another man’s seed (signally immorality), but a result of the Holy Spirit. The angel of the Lord instructed Joseph to name him Yeshua, for He will save His people from their sins; Yeshua means “YHVH saves.” In addition, Matthew 1:25 indicates that Joseph did not know (have sexual relations with) Miriam until after she had given birth to Yeshua. The overall net result was that once Yeshua was born, Joseph adopted Him and raised Him as his own son.

Matthew 1:22-23 says, “So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Here, the writer of Matthew is quoting from the Greek Septuagint which uses parthenon for virgin.

Now that we’ve seen the Greek term for “virgin,” let’s look at the two Hebrew terms that are used for “virgin.” The first one is betulah. We know this term definitely refers to a virgin because it is used in verses such as:

  • Genesis 24:16 which describes Rebekah as a virgin; it specifically says no man had known her.
  • Deuteronomy 22:14 describes a law that deals with the possibility of a man marrying a woman and later claiming she was not a virgin (betulah).

The second term is almah; it can be translated as a virgin, a young woman who is of marriageable age, a maid, or a newly married woman. Since the word almah is used in Isaiah 7:14 instead of betulah, some people are suggesting that “virgin” might not be the appropriate translation here. This makes people doubt what they’ve been taught. In this passage, we can’t focus on a single word and ignore the surrounding context of the text. We have to take everything into account.

Look folks, we have to decide. Are we going to believe the Apostolic Scriptures or not? We need them to know:

  • how the prophecies of Yeshua were fulfilled in the past;
  • how Yeshua and His disciples interpreted the Tanach;
  • how the prophecies of Yeshua will be fulfilled in the future.

We must exercise caution when we test everything. We can’t simply reject various portions of the Apostolic Scriptures because they don’t fit into the beliefs of Judaism; after all, the Jews missed the coming of the Messiah because of their beliefs; lack of knowledge; and/or improper interpretation of the prophecies of Scripture.

Now let’s look at another verse. Isaiah 9:6-7 says, “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”

The problem raised with this verse is that various translations use the present perfect tense, the present tense, or the future tense. The question is raised, “which tense is correct and who is the child mentioned here?” Are translators trying to lead us astray with their translation or is either tense valid? Can this verse apply to someone in the past as well as to Yeshua? Tense is not as cut and dry in Hebrew as it is in English. Various things come into play when translating Hebrew. Personally, based on the Hebrew verb forms, I think it probably should be translated with a present perfect tense; but based on Ecclesiastes 1:9, I think it also refers to Yeshua both in our past and in our future. Other reasons I say this is because of the titles in verse 6; no man in past history was a true Prince of Peace, Mighty God, or Everlasting Father.  Look at verse 7. This leader’s government and peace will increase, it will not end but be established with judgment and justice. That just hasn’t happened yet; it’s got to be for a future time.  We’re probably looking at a kind of prophetic perfect that is completed but the manifestation would be in the future, which is our past.  It was God’s completed intention that hadn’t yet taken place.

The Jews may say this prophecy from Isaiah 9 was already fulfilled but I don’t know exactly who this person was. There is certainly a midrash as it pertains to Yeshua.

If we were to take away the account of Yeshua’s conception and birth from the Apostolic Scriptures, could we prove the virgin birth and prove that Isaiah 9:6-7 is referring to Yeshua? I think we can; but before we attempt that, there is another problem we need to address.

There is a difference between the two genealogies of Yeshua. The first is found in Matthew 1:1-17; the other is found in Luke 3:23-38. Some have suggested that the genealogy in Matthew is Joseph’s biological line and that Luke’s genealogy is of Miriam’s. There is just no way to know if that is true or not; however, from what I understand genealogies were traced through the men and not the women.

Let me offer some information from the Baker Illustrated Bible Commentary. Regarding the genealogy in Matthew, the writer notes a concentric structure. On the outer edges (A, A’), the focus is on the Messiah. On the next inward level (B, B’), the focus is on the Son of David and David. The innermost section (C, C’) focuses on the Son of Abraham and Abraham. The writer says, “In ancient perspective, family line was intimately connected to identity. In addition to the inverted literary framework, Matthew structures Jesus’ genealogy by arranging it in three groups of fourteen (1:17). This shaping coheres with the genre of ancient genealogy, in which the listing of generations could be condensed (i.e., generations skipped) for specific purposes.” [1] In this genealogy, there were several kings omitted from the genealogy. The writer goes on to explain that this genealogy was grouped this way to show how Israel:

  • began with Abraham,
  • gained King David;
  • lost a king and kingdom (was exiled);
  • regained a king in the line of David through Yeshua.

This writer also offered possibilities for the emphasis on the three sets of 14 generations. My personal favorite was that they represent six cycles of seven that lead into the time of the Messiah.[2]

If this genealogy was purposefully shaped, the one in Luke was purposefully written with something else in mind. Matthew’s genealogy shows how Yeshua’s line was traced back to David’s son, Solomon; whereas Luke’s genealogy was traced back to David’s son, Nathan who was never even a king. Perhaps the reason for Luke’s genealogy lies in the meaning of Nathan’s name; it means “to give.” It could have been meant as a way to signal the fulfillment of Isaiah 9:6 — a son was “given.”  In other words, Luke’s genealogy connects Yeshua to His identity as the Son who was given.

As we consider Matthew’s genealogy, we need to know that there was a king in Solomon’s line named Coniah (Jeconiah); he was the last king of Judah. Jeremiah 22:24-30 was a prophecy concerning this man and his descendants; it says Coniah, his mother, and his descendants would be taken to Babylon. None of his descendants (seed) would prosper sitting on the throne of David and ruling anymore in Judah. This would be a big problem if Yeshua was Joseph’s biological son; fortunately, Yeshua was “the seed of a woman;” He was conceived by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit. He was adopted by Joseph and has the legal right to sit on the throne of David.

How do we know adoption was YHVH’s plan?

First, we know YHVH had a plan of some kind. Immediately after the prophecy of Coniah is the prophecy of the Branch of Righteousness. Jeremiah 23:5-6 says, “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. 6 In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”

This is a Messianic prophecy. Only Yeshua will do this. This verse reminds me of two verses.

  • Luke 1:32 – “He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.” – Here we see Him reigning and prospering.
  • Revelation 19:11: “Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.” — Here we see Him executing judgment and righteousness.

The only way to get around the problem with Coniah and to fulfill the prophecy of the Branch of Righteousness is adoption. The idea of a Branch of Righteousness being adopted into the royal line of David parallels Gentiles being grafted into the olive tree of Israel through adoption. What was bad was pruned, and what was good was grafted in. If the Jews will believe, they will be grafted back in too.

Take time to read about adoption in Romans 8:15, 23; Romans 9:4; Galatians 4:5; and Ephesians 1:5.  Think about it.  If we were to be adopted into God’s spiritual family, surely Yeshua was to be adopted into an earthly physical family too.  It fits the pattern!

There is debate that Yeshua wasn’t born of a virgin, that he wasn’t adopted, and that He doesn’t have the legal right to the throne. If what we’ve discussed so far doesn’t help, I’m hoping the Bible codes will put the matter to rest. Bible Codes are not bogus; statistically, they are very real. Some have not only found single terms in matrices but also sentences. Modern day events such as Katrina, the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Yitzak Rabin, 9-11, and much more have been encoded in Scripture. For the full history of Bible codes, read Cracking the Bible Code by Jeffrey Satinover.  Of course, these need to be approached with great caution because they can be easily misinterpreted, especially if they are single terms instead of full sentences.

See the following Bible code matrix and report. The primary search term is “Generations (Genealogy) of Yeshua.” The matrix was found using this term. “Yeconiah” and “Joseph” both cross this primary search term while “Miriam” is very close by and in parallel with “Joseph.” The words “adoption” and “adopt,” as well as the name “Coniah” appear in the matrix.  The statistics and location of the code are found in the report.  Click to enlarge. You will need to click one more time on the matrix when it comes up.

Generations of Yeshua2R

Generations of Yeshua2M

Now let’s look at a Bible code using “betulah” as the primary search term. In this matrix, we also have almah; on Tishrei 1 (Yeshua’s birthday); 2/3 BC (year of His birth); Wonderful; Counselor; Mighty God; Prince of Peace; Immanu-El; and mother of Yeshua. I believe this matrix shows Yeshua was not only born of a virgin but also of an almah.  It also suggests He is the fulfillment of the promised child of Isaiah 9:6. Click these to enlarge. Be sure to click a second time on the matrix.

betulah 20R

betulah 20M

We still have two other codes to consider.  The next one is based on Deuteronomy 18:15 where Moses said that YHVH would raise up a Prophet like him from their midst, from their brethren.  Yeshua is the primary search term.  The matrix indicates He is “the Lamb without blemish” who “was conceived by Miriam.”  What is also very surprising is that it shows us that “a scribe (amanuensis) came into her.”  This might cause our faith to falter; but, wait until you see the next code that shows who this scribe is.

Here is the code for the prophet like Moses.  Be sure to click twice, pausing in between clicks to fully enlarge:

Like Moses ME3

Like Moses R3

The last matrix is for the Holy Spirit, which is the primary search term.  Some of the matching terms include:  discernment, Creator, Teacher, Counselor, God, tongues, to prophesy, etc.  But most important for us, it includes the term for “scribe (amanuensis).”  According to the Webster’s dictionary, amanuensis means one employed to write from dictation or to copy a manuscript.  Why would the Holy Spirit have this term as a thematic characteristic?  I could be wrong; but, I wonder if it’s because when the amanuensis entered Miriam to cause conception, it was writing or creating the proper genetic code for Yeshua.  It’s as if the scribe wrote/created the Word that would become flesh. Be sure to click twice, pausing in between clicks to fully enlarge:

Holy Spirit ME3

Holy Spirit R3

If there was ever a doubt in your mind that the virgin birth actually took place, I hope all of this sets your mind at ease.

[1] The Baker Illustrated Bible Commentary, Gary M. Burge and Andrew E. Hill. Published by Baker Publishing Group. Copyright 2012. P.954-957.

[2] Ibid.

Who Is Yeshua?

The question has been raised, “Who is Yeshua?”

  1. Is He only a human like Adam and separate from God the Father?
  2. Is He God; is He a physical manifestation of the Father?
  3. Is He deity, but not a god?

For me, these are hard questions.  The reason I say that is because I see support for at least the first two in Scripture.  I can’t conceptualize the third.  The trouble is deciding which option is correct.

Colossians 1:15 says, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.” It sounds like he was the first thing ever created.  This would be a vote for separateness.

The Messiah is the Word of YHVH, the image of YHVH who often came to speak to Moses and others in the past. This same Word was God according to John 1:1. This appears to be a vote for oneness.

The Word was not the only image of God in the Tanach. A image of YHVH appeared to several people on different occasions when He needed to communicate with them and to lead them in the way they should go.  As time went on, He spoke to prophets in dreams and visions.  These prophets became God’s spokesmen to the people.

One of those prophets was Isaiah. In Isaiah 9:6, he prophesied: “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  It is believed that this prophecy was fulfilled by someone in Isaiah’s time; however, the apostolic writers applied it to Yeshua the Messiah, the anointed one.

Many years after this prophecy was given, Yeshua was conceived in a surrogate named Mary when the Holy Spirit came upon her. Yeshua was not made from the dust of the earth like Adam was. He was not half human and half God as some may assume. The Spirit wrote the genetic code for Yeshua who grew in Mary’s womb.  John 1:14 tells us he was the Word that became flesh; based on John 1:1, He was God manifested in human flesh.  This is why Yeshua was called by the titles: the Son of God and the Son of Man.  As I mentioned previously, this seems to be a vote for oneness.

Matthew 1:20-23 says, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”   22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Yeshua’s birth was fulfillment of Scripture because He was God dwelling with His people.  Here’s another vote for oneness.

During the next nine months, Mary and Joseph surely pondered the things they had been told by the angel. They were going to be the parents of the Savior of God’s people! They probably felt the same way Manoah and his wife felt when the Angel of YHVH told them they were going to have a baby. Manoah and his wife got instructions from this manifestation of God (the Angel of YHVH) to raise Samson as a Nazirite from birth. They knew they had seen a manifestation of God and lived (Judges 13:2-22).

We aren’t told if the angel, Gabriel gave Mary any specific instructions on how to raise Yeshua. I’m sure if there were, it would have been in the Scriptural account. Most likely Mary and Joseph decided to raise him the way most Torah observant parents raised their children at that time.  They began by circumcising him and presenting Him to YHVH.

When Yeshua was eight days old, he was blessed by Simeon in the temple. Luke 2:34-35 says, “Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against 35 (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” What did they think of this? It may not have been what they expected; but, at this point, they didn’t know how this prophecy would play out in the future.

From this point on, Yeshua’s earthly parents were vaguely aware of what He would become but they raised Him as if He were any normal child. Perhaps they figured that what they had been told would not take place until Yeshua was an adult. They couldn’t worry about that; they had to focus on the daily task of feeding and caring for him; teaching him their religious beliefs and customs; and teaching him how to do things that were age appropriate.

I’m sure they taught Yeshua to pray. Some people think it’s nonsense for Yeshua to need to pray to the Father if He is God.  I don’t know about you, but I talk to myself [my own spirit] silently quite frequently to process my thoughts.  It just makes sense to me that Yeshua would talk to the Father who dwells inside Himself. So is this a vote for oneness or separateness?

Was Yeshua aware of His identity when He was growing up? Yes. Luke 2:49-50 tells us about the time Yeshua stayed behind in Jerusalem after His family went there for the feast. When His parents found Him, His mother asked why Yeshua had done this. He expressed surprise that they didn’t know that He had to be about His Father’s business.  He was referring to YHVH, the Heavenly Father’s business and not to Joseph’s. In other words, He knew He was the Son of God (the physical image of the Father’s Spirit).  Even Adam was made in YHVH’s image, so how do we view this parallel?  For now, we can say Yeshua was already concerned about His Father’s business.  Even at the age of 12, all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and answers.

Many years later, Yeshua was walking with His disciples to the towns of Caesarea Philippi. By this time, they had heard Yeshua teach; seen Him heal a multitude of people; forgive people; cast out a legion of demons out of a couple of men; raise a couple of people from the dead; and much more. Ordinary humans don’t do these kinds of things.  Certainly, this was accomplished by the power of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit).  At some point, Yeshua asked His disciples who they thought He was. We don’t know what everyone else thought at the time, but Peter said he was the Messiah of God.

Meanwhile, the ruling elite were not pleased with Yeshua; they were plotting his death. They had had several interactions with Yeshua that were not positive. They saw Him as a threat to their positions of power and authority over the people. John 8 describes one such incident when they claimed Abraham was their father; they also claimed God was their father. Yeshua denied that; He also said their father was the devil. I bet that infuriated them. Eventually, their conversation continued to the point that in verse 58, Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” He was saying that He existed before Abraham; we already saw that in Colossians 1:15.  Ordinary humans don’t normally pre-exist their ancestors. So do we view this human as physically one with the Father?

One of the definitions of blasphemy is “the act of claiming the attributes of deity.”[i] In other words, Yeshua seemed to claim to be YHVH. That was the final straw for the men in that confrontation with Yeshua. They intended to stone Yeshua for blasphemy but Yeshua hid Himself and escaped. After more time progressed, Yeshua would be convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to death for it.  Is there another way to interpret this?

On another occasion, Yeshua asked the Pharisees, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?” They said to Him, “The Son of David.” 43 He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying: 44 ‘The Lord [YHVH] said to my Lord [Adoniy], “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool”‘? 45 If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?” 46 And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore.” Here, in Matthew 22:42-46, Yeshua quoted Psalm 110:1. In order for the Son of David to be David’s Lord, this son must pre-exist him. Again, there’s no question that Yeshua pre-existed these people based on Colossians 1:15.  Normally, pre-existence is not humanly possible.  We still have the problem of why He’s seated next to the Father.  This appears to be a vote for separateness.

Yeshua is not just called the “son of God.” The Jews refer to the Messiah as the “son of David” and the “son of Joseph.”  Yeshua also referred to Himself as the “son of Man.”  These are all titles for Yeshua.

The Son of David is a title that conveys David’s character as a man of war.  The Jews called Him the Son of David because that’s what the people expected the Messiah to be.  The Son of Joseph is a title that conveys Joseph, son of Israel’s (Jacob’s) character as the Suffering Servant.  This is what the Messiah was when He came in the flesh almost 2000 years ago.  When He returns, He will be coming as the Son of David.

Later, Yeshua began to prepare His disciples for His death which was to come. He promised he was going to prepare a place for them. Yeshua was renewing the marriage covenant because grooms go to prepare a place for their brides after the marriage agreement is made. I don’t think they understood that until later. Yeshua continued by telling His disciples that they knew where He was going and the way to get there. Thomas piped in and said they didn’t know where He was going; this shows the lack of understanding I previously mentioned. Yeshua said that He was the way, truth, and life. To get to the Father who is Spirit, you have to go through Yeshua whose name means “Yah saves.”

Continuing, Yeshua said, “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” This must have taken Philip by surprise because he said, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” John 14:9 continues, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? John 14:10-11 says, “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me [in My physical body] does the works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.” This appears to be a vote for oneness.

I think we can also see a parallel of separateness and oneness with the creation of woman.  When God created man, they were male and female (Genesis 1:27).  Later, God took a portion of Adam, his rib, and made it into Eve (Genesis 2:21-24).  They were two people, yet when they had sexual relations, they were one again.  When they embraced, their arms brought them into union with each other.  When Eve was pregnant, a portion of Adam was also within her.  I’m not saying this is how it definitely is, but my human mind needs some help here.

Mark 14:61-64 tells us what was discussed after Yeshua was arrested. The high priest asked Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” When Yeshua answered in the affirmative, there was no need for further witnesses; He was convicted of blasphemy. Based on this and our definition for blasphemy, it seems He equated Himself with God.

Yeshua was crucified but none of His bones were broken. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear causing blood and water to pour out (John 19:34). So many people cried out for Yeshua to be crucified; it’s hard to say how many people actually mourned for Him. There is a prophecy of mourning that is still to be fulfilled. Zechariah 12:10 says, “And I (YHVH) will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.” Some English Bibles translate this verse, “on Him who they pierced” but the Hebrew says “on Me [elai], the one (et = definite direct object marker) whom (asher) they pierced (daqaru).” In this verse, YHVH is equating Himself with Yeshua by saying that His people will mourn when they look on Him (YHVH) who they had pierced.  This appears to be a vote for oneness.

At Yeshua’s death, He committed His Spirit to the Father; His Spirit joined with the Father’s omnipresent Spirit once again.  Each time Yeshua manifests Himself in the flesh, He has a portion of the Father’s omnipresent Spirit within Him.  A careful reading of John 14:15-21 shows that a portion of this unified omnipresent Spirit dwells inside believers.  When Yeshua manifests Himself to you, it may not be in physical form.  You may sense His Spirit and on rare occasions may smell the odor of incense. For now, Yeshua is with the Spirit of YHVH until an appointed time in the future.  To say Yeshua is at the Father’s right hand could be a simple anthropomorphism because YHVH is an omnipresent spirit (Matthew 22:44; Psalm 110:1).  In addition, the “right hand” has to do with power.

Much time has passed since Yeshua was crucified. We are waiting for God to return on the Day of YHVH. YHVH tseva’ot (YHVH of armies) will come on a white horse with His armies to wage war on the beast and his armies. Matthew 16:27 says it is the Son of Man (Yeshua) that will come with His angels in the glory of the Father.  This will take place on the great day of God Almighty (El Shaddai). The names Revelation uses for YHVH Tseva’ot is “Faithful and True;”  “The Word;” and the “King of kings and Lord of Lords.” John 1:1 teaches that the “Word” is Yeshua which means “Yah saves.”

According to Revelation 1:8, Yeshua is:

  • the Alpha and the Omega, the First and Last, the Beginning and the End;
  • the One who is, and who was, and who is to come (which is what YHVH means), the Almighty (El Shaddai).

El Shaddai is the name by which Abraham knew God. He is I AM WHO I AM (ehyeh asher ehyeh) who is YHVH. The Alpha and Omega (in Greek) or Aleph and Tav (in Hebrew) is the same manifestation of God that walked in the garden with Adam and Eve so long ago. In the End, YHVH Himself will be the Seed born of a woman, named Yeshua that will crush the serpent’s head. Oh, yeah!

In closing, here are a few of the most common descriptions for God with passages that show that Yeshua was the either the same or the image of the Everlasting Father, YHVH (click on chart for better view):

Please take time to read these verses and see that Yeshua is the image of YHVH in the flesh (2 Corinthians 4:4).  This is the great mystery of godliness.  The question is whether or not Yeshua was the image of YHVH like Adam was, or if Yeshua was the image of YHVH in another way.

Another verse to consider is the prophecy of the Branch of Righteousness.  He is man from the line of David who will be called YHVH Our Righteousness.  This man shares the name of YHVH.  Does that means He’s YHVH?

First Timothy 3:16 says, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.”  When some people see this verse, they point out that the word for God is hos (who) instead of theos.  The rest of the verse clearly points to Yeshua.  Yeshua did not manifest anyone else other than God in the flesh.  God is the only logical conclusion to who “who” is.

Remember, Deuteronomy 6:4-5 commands us: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”

Saying Yeshua is:

  • only a man called the “son of God” allows YHVH to be Elohim and acknowledges the Shema; BUT, that denies John 1:1 and the numerous other Scriptures presented in this post.
  • a god totally independent and separate (in mind, will, spirit, and body) from YHVH denies the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4-5) because beings produce “like kind.”  In other words, gods having sexual union with other gods produce other separate gods; and gods that have sexual union with humans that each contribute to creating a new being, create demi-gods. Two gods that are completely separate and not within each other denies the Shema.
  • the physical manifestation of YHVH or the image of YHVH as I have explained acknowledges Yeshua’s divinity and does not deny the Shema.

For now, do not let two different names bother you.  Accept that all who call upon the name of Yeshua will be saved; but remember Zechariah 14:5-9:

“Thus the Lord my God [YHVH my Elohim] will come, And all the saints with You. 6 It shall come to pass in that day That there will be no light; The lights will diminish. 7 It shall be one day Which is known to the Lord — Neither day nor night. But at evening time it shall happen That it will be light. 8 And in that day it shall be That living waters shall flow from Jerusalem, Half of them toward the eastern sea And half of them toward the western sea; In both summer and winter it shall occur. 9 And the Lord [YHVH] shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be — “The Lord [YHVH] is one,” And His name one.”

[i] http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/blasphemy

 

 

The Sharp Sword and Sharpened Arrow

In Isaiah 49, the prophet addressed the people of the coastlands who were far away; he addressed the Gentiles whereas previously, he addressed the house of Jacob.

swordThe prophet said YHWH called him by his name before he was born.  Note the description of the prophet.  In this couplet, he said that:

  • YHVH made his mouth like a sharp sword while hiding him in the shadow of YHVH’s hand.
  • YHVH made him like a sharpened arrow while concealing him in YHVH’s quiver.

This description is basically the same.  In previous passages, YHVH seemed to be Jesus (Yeshua).  Now, YHVH seems to be the heavenly Father who called His Son, Yeshua from the womb for a specific purpose.  This is obviously a messianic passage.

Recently, we learned from John 1 that the Word of God is Yeshua.  The Word of God is not just the Bible; it is also Yeshua.  Both are “living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

YHVH told him, “You are My Servant, you are Israel, through whom I will be glorified.”  Note the name Israel means, “He will rule as God.”  It seems as if Yeshua, in His humanness, told YHVH He had labored for nothing but it is YHVH who will judge and determine the quality of His work and reward Him for His faithfulness.

Can you imagine how Yeshua must have felt as He ministered to Israel and dealt with the religious leaders of His day?  It must have often felt like He had labored for nothing.  It’s easy to feel this way when people won’t listen to truth.  When we feel this way, we should remember what Yeshua’s Father said when Yeshua arose from the waters of baptism—“this is My Son in whom I am well pleased.” Yeshua was glorious in the eyes of YHVH. This was at the beginning, not the end of Yeshua’s ministry.  The Father said this because He knew what Yeshua was going to do.

YHVH told Yeshua that he was formed in the womb to be His servant.  YHVH wanted Yeshua to bring Jacob back to Him.  The people were referred to as Jacob because they were living according to the flesh.  They needed to repent and return to God and His commandments.  This is still necessary so that Israel can be gathered to Him in the future.

To us this would be a really great or enormous thing to accomplish; but, YHVH said it was “too small a thing.”  This is why YHVH also made Yeshua to be a light to the Gentiles so that YHVH’s salvation (Yeshua) could come to the ends of the earth.  Up to this point, this had not been accomplished.  This was not a new idea; this was YHVH’s plan for a very long time.  YHVH wanted the Gentiles to know this.

YHVH is the Redeemer of Israel; He is their Holy One.  YHVH assured His son that even though men and nations despise and hate Him, “Kings shall see and arise, Princes also shall worship, Because of the Lord who is faithful, The Holy One of Israel; And He has chosen You.” (Isaiah 49:7b)

YHVH makes some incredible promises to His son in Isaiah 49:8:  “Thus says the Lord: “In an acceptable time I have heard You, And in the day of salvation I have helped You; I will preserve You and give You  a covenant to the people, To restore the earth, To cause them to inherit the desolate heritages.”

I believe this is a promise for the future.  The Father will let Yeshua know when it is time to return and deliver His people.  The Father will help Yeshua to accomplish His will.  It was the Father who:

  • preserved Yeshua while He was dead in the grave;
  • gave Yeshua as a covenant to the people (as the groom and bride price of the marriage covenant);
  • intends for Yeshua to restore the earth and inherit the desolate heritages;
  • instructed Yeshua to set the captives free and bring them from darkness into light;
  • intends for Yeshua to gather, comfort, feed, nourish, protect, and lead His people.

Many in Zion believe that the Lord has forsaken and forgotten them.  This is true of the past, present, and future.  YHVH has not forgotten.  God’s people are inscribed on the palms of His hands.  Yeshua bears the scars of crucifixion that provided for the redemption and atonement of His people.

He is allowing wickedness for a time but one day, the destroyers or enemies of God’s people will be forced to go away from them.  Revelation 19:15 describes it this way: “Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations.  And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron.  He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.”  Yeshua, the sharpened arrow in YHVH’s quiver will be unleashed with a sharp sword at some point in the near future.

Israel will be adorned as a bride.  The nations will bring the children of Israel home; there will be so many in Israel that they will say the places they have are too small.  They will ask for a place where they can dwell.  There will be no more fighting over the land.  No one will be trying to divide the land.  The disputes over building in Jerusalem will be a thing of the past.  The land will extend far beyond its current borders; it will extend to those described in Ezekiel.

At that time, all flesh will know that YHVH is Israel’s Savior, Redeemer, and the Mighty One of Jacob.

Was Jesus Black or White?

Today, we have an unusual post compared to what I normally write.  I was recently asked to visit a web site directed at black Christians in order to get my response because its contents were causing problems in a racially mixed church.  Basically, this page is using racism as a platform to convince black Christians to believe the Messiah was physically black instead of white and to accuse white Christians of teaching doctrinal errors to black Christians.  I believe this site contains a mixture of truth and error.  Today, I will try to address several things including racial prejudice, the correct name of God and His Son, and Jesus’ skin color so there will be another viewpoint for truth seekers to access.

First, it is improper to use the history of African American slavery in America as a divisive weapon in the church to draw people to a distorted version of their Hebraic roots.  The Messiah would never have encouraged this practice because He always desired unity among His people and for His people to love one another.  This is our first clue something is wrong on this site.

The rightful identity of man is not found in one’s ethnicity, the country of his ancestors, the country where he was born or lives, nor his DNA.  Man’s identity should be dependent on his relationship with Christ.  Every black man is not at the bottom of all societies nor is he the most hated of all men. 

It is true there are some people who are prejudiced against people with certain skin colors but there are many who are not.  To assume everyone hates you or responds to you in a certain way because of your skin color is accepting a lie from Satan himself.  Individuals who are being treated poorly should realize it’s more likely due to some other underlying reason.  Prejudice against an entire group of people doesn’t result only from skin color but also from observing repeated negative behavior from that people group.  Those experiencing prejudice have a choice –lament it, aggressively fight it, reinforce it, or calmly disprove it.  I think it’s best to treat others as you want to be treated and to forgive offenses as necessary. 

If anyone is hated more than anyone in the world just because they exist, it is the Jews who are of various skin tones.  This statement is not racist, it’s a very unfortunate fact that truly breaks my heart.  The hatred of Israel’s enemies for the Jews and a desire for their land will eventually bring about Christ’s return.

The web site in question tries to convince African Americans that white Americans deceived them concerning their true identity, the name of God and His Son, and various other doctrines of the Christian church.  It is foolish and divisive to make a claim that white Christians are purposely deceiving black Christians because every ethnicity of Christian believers throughout the world has been misled by various teachings to some extent. 

Many Christian believers of various ethnicities worldwide have embraced doctrines that came from Constantine, other church leaders, denominational conventions, missionaries, Biblical scholars, and laymen.  There is no doubt that the original Messianic congregation was syncretized with paganism since the time of Constantine.  We should be grateful white Europeans involved in the Reformation attempted to break free from much error.  Unfortunately, they failed to fully reject everything that was false.  If you investigate their writings, you may be surprised to find that anti-Semitism played a role in this.  Do I blame them for an incomplete Reformation?  Certainly not!  What they did accomplish cost them their lives.  Am I disappointed to know how they felt about the Jews?  Definitely!

Although I was disillusioned to find out I had been taught many errors in my early Christian life, I must carefully make sure I don’t embrace something as bad if not worse now and in the future.  Everyone, no matter what their ethnicity is must take the time to read the Word of God, research the culture of the Hebrews, and understand the Scripture’s continuity in order to properly interpret it.  At the same time, everyone who does so must be prepared for intense opposition as they seek to reverse doctrinal error and share truth.  We must accept the fact that sometimes we have to agree to disagree and leave it at that while praying the Holy Spirit reveals truth.

Having said all of this, let’s look at the names of Jesus and Jehovah.

Anyone who looks at a Greek Interlinear Bible will see Jesus Christ is English for Iesous Christos. The Hebrew equivalent is Yeshua HaMashiyach or Yeshua the Messiah.  Every country/language spells and pronounces Jesus Christ or Yeshua HaMashiyach differently but the name is always based on the original Greek or Hebrew & Aramaic text.  People normally use the name of the Father or Son as it is written in their heart language and this is certainly acceptable.

The Hebrew name Joshua (Yod, Hey, Vav, Shin, Ayin) comes from YHVH (Yod, Hey, Vav, Hey) and yasha (Yod, Shin, Ayin) which means “to free or deliver.”  The Aramaic name Yeshua (Yod, Shin, Vav, Ayin) means “he will save.”  Both Joshua and Yeshua are considered to be equivalent names.  Name differences among different languages should be expected.  Note the following equivalent names:

  • Yochanon (Hebrew) and Ivan (Ukrainian) is John (English).
  • Julia is Yulia in Eastern Europe.
  • James is Ya’akov (Hebrew).
  • Paul (Greek) is Shaul in Hebrew. The Greeks called him Paul, the Jews called him Shaul (Acts 13:9), and you probably guessed that Shaul is Saul in English.

Jehovah is really a term used for the Hebrew letters: YHWH or YHVH.  Since the Vav can be either a V or a W, YHVH (Yod, Hey, Vav, Hey) can be written as Yahweh or Yahveh.  This is not unusual considering Germans pronounce w as v.  Normally, YHVH is translated LORD (Name) as opposed to Lord (Title) in the Bible.  Some Bibles even substitute Adonai which means Lord for YHVH to avoid misusing it.

The correct pronunciation of the name of God was lost with the Jews many years ago.  Vowel pointings were not written for YHVH in the Torah because that might make it possible to use the sacred name vainly.  Even though the Greek equivalent term kurios can be applied to Baal, Jesus is still the kurios kurioon (Lord of lords).  The Greek word kurios is seen twice in a row in this phrase.  The difference in spelling the second time is due to it being used in the genitive case.

So what should God’s name be called? 

Exodus 3:14 says, “And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” [“Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh”= I am/will be what I am/will be.]  And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM [Ehyeh = Aleph, Hey, Yod, Hey] has sent me to you.'” 

As verse 15 continues, God explained that He was the LORD God of (YHVH Elohey) Abraham, Isaac, and JacobElohey means “God of” and is a construct of Elohim.  We can also call God by the many other names in the Bible that describe His character.

The writer of the web page directed at black Christians also discussed the use of Yah as God’s real name.  Yah (Yod, Hey) is simply a contracted form of Yahveh (Yod, Hey, Vav, Hey).  It doesn’t matter if your version of the Bible translated it as Jah or Yah.  In European countries, J is pronounced as a Y, hence Yulia for Julia.  Someone is trying to make a big deal out of nothing by saying you must use one spelling over another.  Also, any time the word “God” is used in the New Testament, it is translated from the Greek word theos and should not be translated Yah as this writer suggests.

Yah is specifically used in Exodus 15:2, 17:16; Song of Solomon 8:6, Isaiah 12:2, 26:4, 38:11; and 14 times in the Psalms; it is not used anywhere else in the Old Testament! YHWH is!  We don’t know why Yah is sometimes used and we can’t say that it is specifically God’s real name or a casual nickname.  It could’ve been used as a substitution to avoid misusing the name of God.  If you don’t feel comfortable using the circumlocutions mentioned so far for the name of God, you can always use “Father.”

This writer also says that Christianity is not from the Bible and that it is a false religion.  We are about to get into more semantics on this issue.  What people need to know is whether or not they are “a true son of Abraham.”  Initially, Jewish Christians or Messianic Jews were initially considered to be a Jewish sect and not a new religion.  Disciples of Christ were first called “Christians” in Antioch.  These disciples still obeyed the law of God because both Jesus and Paul taught the law was not abolished and kept it themselves (Matt. 5:17-19; Rom. 3:31; Acts 21:21, 24).  The primary difference between Messianic Jews and other Jews was that Messianic Jews had put their faith in Jesus, the promised Jewish Messiah.  In a way, this was the crowning of their Jewish faith.  In Acts 11:26, we can see they were probably called Christians or disciples of Christ because they were giving or teaching divine messages about Christ to the people.   This was the purest form of Christianity.  Many years after this, Christianity became syncretized with paganism so in this sense, it is no longer pure.  Our goal should be to return to how it was in the book of Acts.     

As Gentiles put their trust in Christ, they were grafted into the olive tree of Israel by grace through faith in Christ (Rom. 11).  In this way, they became “sons of Abraham.”  This should be no surprise because Jesus said another flock would become one flock with Israel (John 10:16).  There is no difference between Jew and Gentile believers.  All those who call on the name of the Lord will be saved (Rom. 10:12).  The writer in question thinks that because the people of the Old Testament did not know or see Jesus personally, they didn’t experience salvation.  That’s not exactly true because the types and shadows of the Old Testament pointed directly to Jesus.  Many saints of that era looked anxiously for Him and put their faith in He who was to come just as we put our faith in Christ today without ever having seen Him.  They also showed their love for God by obeying His commandments.  These Old Testament saints were true sons of Abraham and were similar to Zacchaeus to whom Jesus said, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:9-10)    Paul made it clear in Galatians 3:7 that only those who are of faith are true sons of Abraham whether they are Jew or Gentile.  What we need to understand is that not all people who call themselves Christians today are true sons of Abraham. 

Another false doctrine in the church today is called Replacement Theology.  This belief teaches that the Gentile church replaced Israel as God’s chosen people.  The Old Testament has always taught that Israel was God’s chosen people.  That has not changed.  Paul explained that the Jews have been grafted out of the olive tree of Israel due to unbelief but that they will be grafted back in once the fullness of the Gentiles has been reached.  The name of the tree never changed.  The tree is still Israel.  True sons of Abraham, whether they are Jew or Gentile have been chosen and called into a relationship with Jesus Christ.

As mentioned earlier, this writer is teaching that the ancient Israelites were a black people and that there is no proof that the lighter-skinned European Ashkeknazi Jews are related to the Biblical children of Israel.  This is not true because DNA shows their genetic ancestry.  In fact, Jews can be of a variety of skin tones.

Consider this.  If Abraham was originally a Semite and originally from Iraq, it seems the appearance of the Jews would have been similar to those in the Middle East.  Since Jacob married Syrian women, Leah and Rachel were Middle Eastern.  By the time the mixed multitude came out of Egypt, many of the people were probably still Hebrew while a few may have mixed with the Egyptians.  Looking at Jesus’ genealogy, we can see that Middle Eastern foreigners such as Rahab (from Jericho) and Ruth (Moabitess) were part of His bloodline.  Normally, when foreigners were introduced into the bloodline, they were mentioned.  You’d have to do a full examination of Jesus’ bloodline to determine how mixed He was but in the end, it doesn’t matter how light or dark skinned He was.  He still gave His life so we could have eternal life.

I don’t know why the subject of Jesus’ skin color matters so much to some people but let’s continue our discussion.  For the sake of our readers in Europe, let me say that most African Americans are probably of mixed DNA (African, European, and/or American Indian) — each of which can affect skin color.  Throughout the continent of Africa, the skin tone of each people group varies from tribe to tribe and country to country.  African Americans don’t know which country in Africa or which tribe their descendants were from either.  I find it interesting that American missionaries to Africa who are well traveled return to America and often can tell which African country or tribe African American descendants most likely came from just by looking at their predominating facial features (bone structure and skin color).  Of course, the same can be said of other people groups around the world as well. 

Genetically speaking, it is possible to have dark colored skin and yet have more than 50% of your DNA be of European descent and/or Native American Indian.  It may be better to overlook skin color and say Jews are not defined so much by their obvious history of mixed ethnicity but by religious culture and conversion to their religious faith.   

Those interested in this topic really need to look at the dispersion of the nations which show that dark-skinned people were originally descendants of Ham, white people (Caucasians) and those of Central Asia were originally descended from Japheth, and the Jews and others from the Middle East were descended from Shem.  To think the world is divided into people who are either black and white is narrow-minded because there are thousands of ethnic groups throughout the world that fall somewhere in between. 

A very enlightening web page concerning DNA, the dispersion of Noah’s descendants, and how skin color varies among those of mixed peoples is found at www.soundchristian.com/man.  This site has pictures of families with different colored twins that you simply must see.  This phenomenon is not unusual in mixed peoples.

The writer of the web site in question also pointed out that the history of African Americans shows they experienced the curses of the law as described in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28.  This may be true but other people groups have also suffered the curses of the law too.  This is particularly true of those in Eastern Europe under Communism.  As it is, the curses of the law are currently falling on all Americans.  What is clear is that when God’s people do not show their love for God by obeying His commandments, they experience the curses of the law and non-believers suffer too.  Since Jesus died in our place, the only curse believers don’t experience is spiritual death and eternal separation from God.

Revelation 7:9 says there will be a great multitude standing before the throne and before the Lamb from every nation, tribe, and language.  With that in mind it is hard to believe this web page in question claims Christianity is filled with white supremacy and other statements that are derogatory about white Christians.  Only God knows the hearts and motives of His people.  We must be careful when we judge a person’s fruit so that we don’t make wrong assumptions about the heart. 

This writer also said that there was no one in the Bible who was a Lord and Personal Savior.  This is false because the New Testament refers to Jesus as Lord and Savior several times:

1 Tim 1:1 says, “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope,”

Titus 1:4 addresses Titus, “a true son in our common faith:  Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.”

2 Peter 1:11 tells us, “for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

2 Peter 2:20 states, “For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning.”

2 Peter 3:17-18 says:  “You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  To Him be the glory both now and forever.  Amen.”

This site also mentioned parallels and Hebraisms.  We must understand that even though the history of African Americans parallels that of the Jews and even though Hebraisms exist in Africa, this should be expected among all people.  Ecclesiastes 1:9 says, “That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun.”  Those Americans who study the Bible thematically have seen Biblical patterns in world history especially the history of the U.S. Presidents. 

Hebraisms have not only existed among African Americans.  Missionaries have also noted Hebraisms in other parts of the world such as India.  This is probably because the northern tribes had been dispersed among the nations.  The Jewish Virtual Library has an interesting page with information about the Hebraisms and various colored Jews of India.  See http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/indians.html  

As we close our post today, I encourage everyone no matter what race they are to question new ideas and compare them to Scripture before being led away into something false and divisive.  May God bless those who seek and embrace truth.