The Deity of Messiah
by Brad Scott
As I enter part 5 of this look at Messiah's deity, it is everything I can muster to keep going. If it were not for the fact that I feel we can always experience some growth along the way, I would have dropped this issue awhile back. There is so much more to learn and understand about how we are to live and affect this world we live in, that I feel somewhat stalled taking on this task. As you have probably already picked up on, I try not to tackle this issue the same way it has been addressed in the past. One side introduces it's premise followed by a hundred scriptures to back them up. Then the other side tears down the first sides' premise, followed by a hundred scriptures that are supposed to back up their interpretation. Meanwhile, as Rav Sha’ul (Paul) might say, "our culture goes to hades in a handbag!" From the Christian point of view that does not matter because our whole focus is on the Messiah coming back to rescue us all from this temporal existence, anyway. I would like to continue, at least for a while, my own way of approaching this unending debate.
I would like to continue discussing particular revelations from God that were revealed before the New Testament was written, for I believe that the New Testament is perfectly consistent with the disclosures about YHVH in the Tanakh (Old Testament). I believe that the two covenants are like male and female. They are not complete without each other. In the absence of knowledge of the Tanakh, the New Testament is perverted and turned into a new religion. When the New Testament is studied and read in light of the Old, it reveals the fullness of God's message to us. This is also true of our understanding of the message of the Old Testament. It, too, comes to life and purpose when seen in light of the interpretation from the one who wrote it, the Messiah. For example, the restrictions and sanctions of the Sabbath contained in the Tanakh are brought to life when filtered through Yeshua‘’s statement that the sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath. My opinion is that all of the statements made about the essence or nature of God in both testaments are in perfect harmony with a view of God that I have previously proposed. The understanding of God that I have presented does not contradict or violate any of the so-called prooftext scriptures that are presented by both sides of this subject. I am and have been in perfect peace about who the Messiah really is. I am now prepared to receive the proverbial "Well, good for you, but what about this ...?"
Yiremeyahu (Jeremiah) 23:1-6Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith YHVH. Therefore thus saith YHVH ’Elohiym of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith YHVH. And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith YHVH. Behold, the days come, saith YHVH, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, YHVH our righteousness.
This section begins with a warning to shepherds that are not shepherding. We are told that YHVH will scatter them and visit upon them the evil of their doings. We are told that He will also regather the remnant of His flock from all the countries they were scattered. He will bring them again into their folds where they will increase. He will set up shepherds over them and feed them and they shall fear no more. We are then told prophetically that there will come a day when He shall raise a righteous Branch, a King that shall reign and prosper. This Branch and King shall execute judgment and justice. In the days of this Branch, Judah shall be saved and Israel shall dwell safely and the name of this Branch and King shall be called YHVH Tzideqenu. Now if someone seriously studying the Tanakh came upon this verse, what do you think they might conclude? Would it be absurd to surmise that perhaps the YHVH mentioned in this series of verses is "the LORD our righteousness?" Is the infinite and unlimited God of the universe capable of taking upon flesh, dwelling upon the earth as our kinsman redeemer, rescuing His remnant and yet still maintaining His natural essence as spirit? Is that beyond His abilities? If you fully, in advance, intended to send a spotless agent or representive to accomplish all these things for you, and this Branch was not really you in any way, shape or form, would you make a statement such as this? Now I am fully aware that there are many scriptures in which the grammar and substance seems to equally present two differenct entities. But all this proves my point!
Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 48:14-17All ye, assemble yourselves, and hear; which among them hath declared these things? YHVH hath loved him: he will do his pleasure on Babylon, and his arm shall be on the Chaldeans. I, even I, have spoken; yea, I have called him: I have brought him, and he shall make his way prosperous. Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now YHVH ’Elohiym, and his Spirit, hath sent me. Thus saith YHVH, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am YHVH thy ’Elohiym which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.
Let's try to walk through this logically. It is Yesha’yahu's book, so let's assume that he is narrating. Yesha’yahu tells us to assemble ourselves and hear. But then he says, "which among them hath declared these things". Who is them? Is this Yesha’yahu speaking? Then this narrator says that YHVH hath loved him. Who is him? In verse 15 who is it that shall make his way prosperous. Verse 16 seems to clearly be YHVH speaking, but then who or what is His Spirit (3rd person singular), and who is the me that was sent? Is this proof of the doctrine of the trinity? I suppose that depends on your doctrine of the trinity. I believe that it is the teaching of this doctrine that causes part of the problem. If this same person we started with read this passage, would he or she conclude that God was triune? I think not. I think they would conclude what I have been saying all along. They may be saying to themselves, "Man, our God is an infinite, awesome, and multidimensional God, to say the very least."
In attempting to describe God once again in human, finite terms, let me attempt to illustrate using dimensions. Suppose I went to a drawing board and drew a straight line across the board. Suppose I place a little man on that one dimensional line. Because that man is limited to only that dimension, his world is limited to wherever he wants to go on that line. Now suppose I drew another line that went across and up on the board, and placed a little man on those two lines. That man's world would be limited to those two lines. He would possess the ability to go into a dimension that the first man could not conceive of, but yet the second man could also operate in the first man's dimension. Now suppose I drew those same two lines up, down and across, and then extended a string outward from the board, forming a third dimension. Once again, we place the little man on those three lines. That man's world was extended to all three dimensions. His world would contain height and depth that the first man could not even conceive of, and a depth that the second man could not define or exist in. However the third man had perfect access to the existence that the first and second man had. Even though this is just another finite attempt to describe what God can do, I think we all could agree that YHVH exists in other dimensions we do not exist in, yet He can exist in ours. Moses Ben Maimonides pondered this in his commentary on the first chapter of Bere’shiyt (Genesis). From the information that Maimonides gleaned from the very first verse he concluded that God exists in 10 dimensions, four of which we can conceive and six which only He can conceive and exist in.
Yesha’yahu 40:3-5The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of YHVH, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of YHVH shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of YHVH hath spoken it.
Once again I ask, without prior knowledge of anything written in the New Testament, who would you conclude this "voice in the wilderness" is preparing the way for? And if someone presented you following the texts, what would you think?
Mattityahu (Matthew) 3:1-3In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Yesha’yahu, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of YHVH, make his paths straight.
Mark 1:1-3The beginning of the gospel of Yeshua‘ the Messiah, the Son of God; As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of YHVH, make his paths straight.
Luke 3:4-6As it is written in the book of the words of Yesha’yahu the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of YHVH, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.
Yochanan (John) 1:6-8There was a man sent from God, whose name was Yochanan. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
Perhaps you might see that clearly the YHVH these verses refer to is a spirit, and here is a man. So you might reject such a claim. Perhaps the Jewish leaders of Yeshua‘’s time only rejected His claim to Messiahship. Or perhaps they rejected a similar claim made by most of the world's religions and dismissed any claims to be God in the flesh. You must choose. Once again, this person might conclude that this Yeshua‘ is a liar and has delusions of grandeur. Or is it possible that he or she might deduce that the infinite, unlimited God presented in the Old Testament was perfectly capable of becoming a man, and yet remaining as God, thereby presenting no contradictions? There are not two Gods and neither is the one true God's nature or essence being violated or contradicted. The prominant two sides of this issue both present a troubling conclusion. If Yeshua‘ is not God, then any worship, adoration or exalting of Him is idolatry. However, if the prophecies of the Messiah are speaking of God Himself, then to reject God manifested in the flesh is to reject God. Both scenarios scare the peedoodles out of anyone concerned about scriptural truth. Once again, I close with this thought. If you were God, and you intended to take upon flesh and dwell among us to be a living example of righteousness and holiness, would you not do and say all those things that would effectively exemplify that example? In other words, if only an eternal sacrifice can provide eternal life, and spirit cannot die, then would you not have to take upon something that can die? If your intention for mankind was to grow up and wax strong in the spirit, would you not have to come in the flesh, be born of a woman, and grow and wax strong in the spirit? If you intended for man to pray to you in this way, "Our Father, who art in heaven ...", would you not set the example by praying, "Our Father, who art in heaven ...?" What is so hard about this?
In this humble writer's opinion, the issue of the deity of the Messiah is one of the few doctrines that Christians have right and also the first one they violate with the rest of their doctrines. For me, the glue that holds the Hebrew roots movement together is the restoration of the truth that our Creator is the same yesterday, today, and forever. This movement is an updated reminder that Yeshua', as the Word of God, wrote all 613 commandments, and that it is because He IS the manifestation of the one true God, that we His people stay faithful to His sabbaths, feasts and Torah. Period.
Shalom Alecheim! ◊