The Deity of Messiah
by Brad Scott
As I stated in the introduction to this teaching concerning this two thousand year old debate, the seminal issue is not the nature of the Messiah so much as it is the nature of God, in my opinion. We covered a couple of the major revealed attributes of God, His unsearchableness and the fact that He is, aside from what is revealed, incomprehensible. There is a distinct purpose for reviewing these characteristics of God which I will partially address in this teaching.
God is omnipotent. In every day English, this means that He possesses all power. He is exceedingly above and beyond anything and everything that His creation can collectively conceive.
Mizemor (Psalm) 139:1-12O YHVH, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising; thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O YHVH, thou knowest it altogether. Thou has beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there; if I make my bed in sheol, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee, but the night shineth as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.
Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 40:28Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, YHVH, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary. There is no searching of His understanding.
Yiremeyahu (Jeremiah) 23:23-24Am I a God at hand, saith YHVH, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith YHVH. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith YHVH.
We know from both testaments that God created all things by speaking. God said, "... let there be beasts in the field" and there were beasts in the field. With just His words, He placed all the celestial glories in their place. Not only did He, by just speaking, create our magnificant bodies, but He also created our emotions. The ability for literally billions of people to each laugh at something different. He gave us tears to respond to sadness and trials. He gave such people as myself the ability to express stupid humor and to tell bad jokes, while placing within the capacity of some people to actually laugh at them. All the still unexplained aspects of light, He considered just another product of another day. The very existence of God is also verified by many known scientific laws. One of those laws states that every effect has a cause, and every cause must be equal to or greater than it's effect. Known science in the last century has agreed that all matter that exists is an effect of an initial cause. Many in science choose to call that the big bang but all agree that the initial cause of all that there is, is greater than or equal to all the effects we see. As believers, we all know who that cause is. Can you imagine that God is infinitely greater than all that we collectively see and even don't see? Within the last 10 years, science has also discovered that the universe is actually more than a dozen dimensions. We only operate in three dimensions and possibly four, including time, as a dimension. Can you possibly conceive of at least eight more? Can you then comprehend that God is much more than even that?
It is this humble writers opinion that man, from the beginning, religious or areligious, has made consistent attempts, some with malice and some just by nature, to try to take the incorruptible God and make him unto an image made like unto corruptible man. At first sight, one might think that this refers to the idea of God becoming a man, but this is written by Rav Sha’ul (Paul) who is notorious, in religious circles, for starting Christianity and being the instigator of the "God became a man" doctrine.
Romans 1:22-23Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man, and birds, and four-footed beasts and creeping things.
The context of Sha’ul's comments are made to those who, unable to accept or comprehend a God like I just described, attempt to make God like unto earthly images that they can see, touch, feel, worship and accept. Some cultures do it with the kind of idols and icons we see on PBS or the Discovery Channel. Some, however, try to understand God by affixing His essence to the essence of earthly images, which end up limiting God to those earthly pictures. While it is true that we understand heavenly things by comprehending the earthly ones, God is not those earthly things. For example, we gain insight into His loving presence through the image of a dove. But God is not a dove. We can experience His loving, Fatherly care through the teaching of being under the shadow of His wings, but God is not a duck, swan or a chicken. The Mormon religion teaches that God is Father and Yeshua‘ was His Son. Since a son is produced by sexual relations between a man and a woman, this means that God came down and had physical sex with Mary, because they are Father and Son. Can you see where an improper perspective on titles and terms used to help us understand what God has revealed to us, can lead to bizarre doctrines? I believe that one of the reasons for the controversy over the Messiah stems from misunderstood sound bites by one side of the issue, and an attempt to understand God by restricting Him to comparable earthly images on the other side. I am attempting to first establish the fact that the essence, abilities, and nature of God are infinitely beyond our limits.
In the last month or so, I have received many articles and teachings concerning the deity of Yeshua'. Ninety per cent of the questions posed, that led to many concluding that Yeshua‘ could not be God in the flesh, were all like the ones below.
Mattityahu (Matthew) 26:39... O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.
How can God be talking to himself?
Romans 10:9That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth that Yeshua‘ is Adonai, and shalt believe in thine heart that GOD hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Holy moly! God raised up God from the dead?
Mattityahu 23:46And about the ninth hour Yeshua‘ cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, la'ma sabach'thani? that is to say, My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?
Well, that seals it. Is one part of God crying out while the other two parts are standing there listening?
Mattityahu 26:50Yeshua', when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the spirit.
Oh yeah? How can God die? Huh. Huh. Tell me that!
There are probably, I have not counted, 500 or more verses in the Scriptures in which God seems to exist everwhere at once in one verse and in a specific spot the next. It seems that God only exists between the Cherubim at the same time that He is falling on Moses outside of the tent. He sits on His throne while leading the children of Israel through the wilderness at the same time. Part of the problem, from where I sit, seems to be erroneous conclusions drawn from doctrinal statements that go by unexplained. So let me explain. It seems that many are concluding from statements such as "Yeshua‘ is YHVH" or "God became a man" or "Jesus is God", that when God became a man, God was just the man. In other words, when God was a man, He was not running the universe. God was the Messiah only. I would equally ask if God was in the burning bush when Mosheh approached Him? All would agree that He indeed was. So does that mean that God ceased to still be omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient while He was in the bush? Can this God that I have been describing be capable of taking upon the flesh of a man and still be everywhere at once? STOP and answer that question right now! If one of the purposes of God taking upon flesh was to show unfaithful mankind how to be faithful, would He not then be faithful? If He desired for us to know how to pray to our Father would He not then pray to the Father? If He desparately wanted His people to love, would He not then love? Would He not show His followers how to obey the Father by actually obeying the Father? Is that incomprehensible to you? If it is, then I would suggest that you are trying to understand the incorruptible, infinite, limitless God, from the perspective of corruptible, finite, limited man. Period.
I remember watching a Michael Keaton movie a few years ago called Multiplicity. In this movie Michael was a very busy man. So busy that he rarely had time for his wife and his children. Through a series of plot forming circumstances, he ends up cloning several of himself over time. He was then able to, so he thought, spend the necessary time at his business and still spend time with his wife and also his children. Now this story is not a representation of the nature of God. God is far more than what a movie can represent. But that is my point. Man, in his own imagination, can cinematically portray the idea of someone remaining themselves and also be the same person in many other places all at the same time. If man can imagine such a ludicrous thing, is God not greater than the imagination of men? So I ask a simple question. In the interest of the salvation of man, is God capable of existing as an ever present Father while simultaneously taking upon the flesh of man? If not, then I would ask for someone to explain to me how God spoke the universe into existence. I would like to know why that bit of truth is casually accepted and untouched by controversy, but the idea of God becoming a man, while still remaining God, is so absurd.
I still plan for this teaching to be contained in several parts. I intend to continue to go through many of the applicable Tanakh (Old Testament) teachings on this subject before addressing many so-called prooftexts. I just wanted to begin by giving us all a good dose of the awesomeness of our Creator and only Savior.
Shalom Alecheim! ◊