Why Yeshua Had To Die
Deity of Yeshua
It is such an important matter to establish the Deity of our Messiah, Yeshua. False teaching often attacks His deity. If you know the Bible well, it should not be too difficult to establish it and battle the deceptions, but it requires diligent study to maintain the well-rounded knowledge of the Bible to word off the false teaching to plant a doubt in your mind. Complacency is an open door to a lie. Ironically, the Messianic Jewish community has been attacked by the false teaching, using a twisted interpretation of “The Shema,” Deuteronomy 6:4, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!” They assert YHVH, which is the Father as Christians call, is the only God, denying the oneness of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (1 Jn 5:7). Similarly, Islam teaches that their god (Allah) cannot have a son, because he is not human and was not begotten, therefore never begot a son, nor had a wife (Qu’ran: Surah Al-Ikhlas 112th Chapter), therefore denying the existence of the Messiah, the Son of God.
1 John 2:22 (NKJV*)
(22) Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.
(* All biblical references in this series are from New King James Version of the Bible, unless otherwise noted.)
Through out the Bible, it is indicated that the Father, YHVH, and the Son, the Messiah are one and almost interchangeable in the Scripture. There are places where they are separate, such as in Psalm 2 (Ps 2:1-12), which records a conversation among the Three, and Psalm 110 (Ps 110:1-7), where the Father’s declaration of the Kingship and the High Priesthood of His Son recorded by David, and in Isaiah 42:1-9, where the Father is speaking to His Son, the Messiah, commissioning Him to be the Light to the Gentiles (Is 42:6). But, there are numerable verses where the the Father and the Son are interchangeably mentioned. They are One; the Right Arm (Authority) of the Father, His Son, who is part of Himself, was sent to redeem His people and create His Holy People. I imagine there must be many books published on the topic of the Trinity, but from the books I have read, I recommend a 89-page book, God Crucified by Richard Bauckham, for your further reading on the deity of Yeshua.
Now, to grapple with this vast task of establishing Yeshua’s deity in the Scripture, I chose a method that would be relatively short, but more than adequate to be unequivocal, and also sufficient to lay down as the foundation for this series.
In order to understand who Yeshua is and His purpose for coming to the earth, we must first understand His deity. But, yes, it is a huge theme that is worth a few books. I did not know where to start . . . so I went to Genesis 1:1, which is always a good place to start. Let us first look at “In the beginning . . . “ in order to understand who Yeshua is . . .
(1) In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
God “spoke” everything into existence, as we can see by the repeated phrase in Genesis Chapter 1, the Creation account: The phrase, “God said . . . , “ is repeated many times (Ge 1: 3, 6, 9, 14, 20, 24, 26, and 29), as many as the events of His Creation. He spoke “His Word” and Created all things. Then, I went to another “In the beginning . . .” in the New Testament. And, here is what Apostle John testifies regarding Yeshua in his Gospel:
(1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (2) He was in the beginning with God. (3) All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
According to Aramaic English New Testament (AENT), the Aramaic word that was originally used for “Word” is “Miltha” (מֶלתָא), and “It can mean, ‘Word,’ ‘Manifestation,’ ‘Instance,’ or ‘Substance’ among other things” (Page 232, Footnote 1). Perhaps, according to this word study, we could say that Yeshua was and is the “substance” of the Creation, which is the power of God, which was “manifested” through His “Word” at the time of Creation, and He Himself is God.
Apostle Paul also testifies:
(15) He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. (16) For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.
So does King David:
(6) By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.
There are many more, but we already have more than three witnesses, which is biblically adequate to establish a matter (Dt 19:15; Mt 18:16). YHVH is very faithful to His word; He indeed always establishes matters by more than two witnesses in the Scripture.
Therefore, we can safely conclude the following:
- Yeshua is one of Elohim (אֱלוֹהִים) <H430>, “God,” the plural form of Elo’ah (אֱלוֹהּ)<H433>, which means “God.”
- Yeshua is the Word of God.
- Yeshua is the Creator of the heaven and earth; all things, that are visible and invisible.
- And, they were created by Him, through Him, and for Him.
He is God, and was in the beginning, and created all things as the Word of God Himself: He is God and the Creator. Pre-incarnate Yeshua Himself declared it through His Prophet Isaiah:
(12) “Listen to Me, O Jacob,
And Israel, My called:
I am He, I am the First,
I am also the Last.
(13) Indeed My hand has laid the foundation of the earth,
And My right hand has stretched out the heavens;
When I call to them,
They stand up together.
“I am He, I am the First, I am also the Last.” . . . . Sounds familiar?
Yes, this is one of Yeshua’s identifier phrases, or His Names or Titles, we could say. There are many. So, what does this mean . . ? Again, first, we will look at the beginning, and this time, also the end later. (For those who are not yet familiar with Hebrew reading: Hebrew is read from right to left)
Genesis 1:1 (from the Tanakh Stone Edition):
(Excuse me for the bad image quality. I am still learning . . .)
To repeat the meaning, from the right, each word means, 1. “in the beginning” 2. “created” 3. “God” 4. ? 5. “the heaven” 6. “and ?” 7. “the earth.”
The fourth word of the first sentence of Torah, אֵת, cannot be translated into another language, so the Hebrew scholars say; we do not know what it really means . . , but that is “if” you do not have the help of the Holy Spirit. This word appears frequently in the Hebrew Scripture, Tanakh (תַּנַ”ךְ) (Torah + Prophets + Writings = the Hebrew Scripture = Old Testament), but the rabbis could not figure it out either. YHVH, however, has revealed the probable meaning to many through the Holy Spirit, and there are many Web sites that discuss it. I refer you to a google search for further details of this mysterious word, as there is a multitude of Web sites that would be listed if you put “aleph tav in the Bible.” As a starter, here is a long list of YouTube videos on this topic. But, for now, I will focus on biblical interpretation of את, pronounced “et,” and the issues related to His identity.
To explain what this word may mean, I would like to show you a structural design I have found somewhere else in the Bible that shows a tremendous truth behind this word, את. It will further explain what Isaiah 48:12-13 (above) means. It is so true that the Bible interprets itself . . .
We have so far examined “In the beginning . . . ,” and now, we are going to the “End” of it: the Book of Revelation. And, as a preparation, please note that א “aleph” is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and ת “tav” is the last, also that, corresponding letters in Greek, as you know, are Α “alpha” and Ω “omega.” Therefore, when it says “alpha and omega” in the Greek translation, it actually is “aleph and tav” in the original Hebrew language. Now, with this knowledge under the belt, let us look at the following facts.
I have picked these phrases out of the Scripture and lined them all up, so we can see the interesting “intertwining” and “overlapping” of the words and the identities of Yeshua and the Father:
(1) Rev 1:8
—-I am the Alpha and the Omegaa the Beginning and the Endc (Son)
(2) Rev 2:8—- him who is the First and the Lastb (Son)
(3) Rev 21:6—I am the Alpha and the Omegaa, the Beginning and the Endc (Father)
(4) Rev 22:13– I am the Alpha and the Omegaa, the First and the Lastb, the Beginning and the Endc (Son)
Do you see the clear “design” here, building up the intensifying effect as it progresses? First, please look at a (Alpha & Omega) + c (Beginning & End) in line (1), which is spoken by the Son, and b (First & Last) in line (2), the same as Isaiah 48:12-13 above, spoken by the Son. Then, in the third line the same phrase as line (1) is spoken by the Father: a + c, then finally, all three patterns are combined: a + b + c by the Son. And, most interestingly, the first two lines were spoken by the Son, and the third, same as the first, by the Father, then it is finished and completed by the Son at the end. Do you see the precise design to show us how the Father and the Son worked in unison, and they both are surely YHVH, and are One (Dt 6:4, Jn 10:30, 1 Jn 5:7).
Therefore, we can conclude that the word, את, aleph and tav, which means “the Beginning and the End” and “the First and the Last,” represents Yeshua HaMashiach, who is also YHVH.
We will now look at the word from the pictographic meanings. Each Hebrew letter has multiple pictographic meanings. And, א is a picture of the head of an ox, and it means “God” and “strong”; and ת is a picture of “two sticks” put together in a form of a cross, and means “cross” and “mark.” Therefore, two letters put together את can mean “God on a Cross.” Here is a good reference for Hebrew letters and their meanings: Hebrew for Christians
On the side note: Notice the word, את, is the 4th word in this 7-word Hebrew sentence in Genesis 1:1? This seems to be a prophetic allusion that during the 7,000 years of his plan for man. If you assume one word represents 1,000 years, the whole sentence is 7,000 years, which is consisted of 6,000 years of the time of man and the Sabbath on the 7th thousand year (the Millennium). So, it seems to be saying that the Messiah, which is represented by the word, את, will come in the 4th thousand year and die on a Cross (this also is a meaning of את “God on the Cross”). It was fulfilled at the end of 4,000 years from Adam, when He came for the first time. And after 6,000 years (please see the 6th word from right), He will come again, as there is another את. The letter ו, “vav,” that is attached to the word את is actually a connective preposition meaning “and,” and it is a picture of a nail. In the Hebrew language, prepositions are attached to the word that comes after. So, it also seems to be saying that the Second Coming will be at or after the end of the 6th thousand year, and He will “connect” with ו, “vav,” the Heaven (הַשָּׁמַיִם) and the Earth (הָאָרֶץ), and will reign on the Earth in the 7th thousand year. Amazingly, the whole plan is hidden in the very first sentence of the Torah! It is just one example of the supernatural nature of the Hebrew Scripture, and it begins with a prophecy of the whole plan. There are many more prophetic allusions hidden in these words and the sentence. But, I will have to postpone the fun until the next opportunity.
Returning to the main theme, in the Old Testament, I have so far found only one place where you can see a clear allusion to the third phrase, “the Beginning and the Endc”:
Isaiah 46: 9-10
(9) Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, (10) Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’
It is Him: YHVH and the Messiah is saying this because it was both the Son (Rev 1:8; 22:13, Line 1 and 4) AND the Father (Rev 21:6, Line 3) who said “the Beginning and the Endc.” So, the Son is also “God,” the only God of the universe, which is YHVH. And, He will surely do “all His pleasure.”
In relation to this scripture reference, I would like to mention an important tip on studying the prophecies here. I am aware of a few different schools of thoughts in terms of the methods or orientation of interpreting the Bible prophecies: preterism, histricism, futurism, and allegorical or literal approach, etc. But, I believe there is only one way of understanding the Biblical prophecies, and that is: His way. This Scripture above, Isaiah 46:9-10, takes care of all the apologetics of it: What is He declaring from the beginning in Genesis 1:1? — “THE END.” And, Yeshua is the Beginning and the End. He is the Prophecy. The prophecies are ALL about “THE END,” which is future, the Last Days, not the past; How it is going to end, and Who is going to complete His work and purpose. As of today, May 2013, this Age has not been concluded; therefore, the prophecies regarding the Last Days are all in the future, they are not found in history.
There may be allegorical expressions of prophecies, but the intended meanings and the fulfillment are all literal. The reason some expressions appear to be allegorical is that the “code words,” I call and will touch on in later Parts, are used as parables in order to hide His plans from those who do not belong to Him.
He only taught in parables:
(34) But without a parable He did not speak to them. And when they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples.*
* “He explained all things to His disciples”: This is what He does in our prayers and study now.
And, He explains the reason:
(11) And He said to them, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, (12) “so that ‘Seeing they may see and not perceive, And hearing they may hear and not understand; Lest they should turn, And their sins be forgiven them.’ “ (Is 6:9-10)
Studying the biblical prophecies, which make up practically the entire Bible, is about decoding the truth which is hidden in historical accounts, words of the prophets, hymns, and other forms of literary styles, and find out How and When things will happen, Who are involved, and for What purpose? And, the answers can be found in and will lead to only one Person: Yeshua HaMashiach.
(10) And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
By studying “Him,” Who He is, Why He came, and What He did, for What purpose, we will find the answers.
So, can we conclude that Yeshua’s deity is clearly evident throughout the Bible? What I have presented here is more than adequate to show that He is God, but also, the Scripture is full of evidence, and it is unassailable. There is a great detailed work done by Hebrew for Christians, listing Scriptures extensively. I strongly recommend that you find some time to review it.
So, Yeshua is God, the Creator, and the Messiah. The Old Testament and the New Testament testify to that in unison, from the beginning to the end, as I have shown above. And, I believe that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are separate Persons, but are One Elohim according to the Scriptures and my own experience in interacting with them.
Then . . , He, who is the God of the universe, the Creator of all things, the Son of God, and the Messiah came in the “flesh”; He came in a mortal body in “the image of the invisible God” (Col 1:15)!
Here is a scholarly and sanctified expression of amazement: Wow!
(14) And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
Yes! He did, indeed . . . . . but Why? Is it just so that people can believe in Him will be forgiven of their sin and able to go to heaven? Going to heaven is the ultimate purpose of His followers? Then, why did He command us to “take up your cross and follow me,” and it is recorded in three Gospels (Mt 16:24; Mk 8:34; Lk 9:23)? Did He decide to “save” everyone, “one day,” just out of nowhere? Some people think so. But, if you have studied the Bible even a little bit, you know YHVH does not do things for no reason or just for the heck of it. He does everything for a reason, and usually for multiple reasons, according to His meticulous plans from before the foundation of the earth, knowing the end from the beginning. And, He has written all the plans in the Bible, on the surface of the Word in plain sight and hidden, if you look for it with much prayer, you will eventually find an answer to practically every question you may ask in His Word.
And, it was in the plain sight, I have found the answer: Yeshua said something very interesting about the reason He came, and it is recorded in Matthew’s Gospel:
(24) But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.“
I am sure you know this verse. But, have you realized what it really means? He is clearly saying, if I may paraphrase it, “I was sent ONLY to the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel,” and to no one else. But, how do you reconcile this with the New Age Gospel we have been fed for all these years? Is it politically correct, or religiously proper? Oh, No! What happened to John 3:16? We thought that God so loved the “whole” world, which meant every human being. How could you say such thing, is this a reverse replacement theory? . . . . . . All these questions, and more, may be flashing in your mind.
Please take a few minutes for settling your thoughts here, if you would like . . . . . . . . . . . .
Let us resume.
Also, who was He talking about when He said “the Lost sheep of the House of Israel” . . . . ??? . . . . . Who are they? You might be still thinking, “I thought He came to save the world.” If you are, you are partially correct. But, Yeshua indeed came for the Lost Sheep of Israel “first,” just as He said. It is His word. But, I will show you step by step that it is truly the story of the Bible in an essence. You may need to go through a bit of struggle, but when you understand the true reason for which He came and how He accomplished the ultimate purpose, all things will make sense to you. And, at the end, the world will be also saved. I promise.
So, it seems necessary, first, to find out who exactly are “the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel.” We will examine and expound on this theme in the next part, Part 2: The Lost Sheep of Israel – Identity.
Copyright © 2017 Olivet JournalFootnotes:
- The name, Tanakh (תַּנַ”ךְ), comes from the combination of the section names of the Hebrew Scripture: 1) Torah (תּוֹרָה): the five books of Moses; 2) Nevi’im (נְבִיאִים): the Prophets; and 3) Ketuvim (כְּתוּבִים): the Writings containing the rest of the Old Testament Books. Order of the books in the Hebrew Bible is different from the English Old Testament. You can see the order of them and the entire Tanakh (in both English and Hebrew) at the following Web site: Tanakh by Chabad.org, Tanakh by Mechon-Mamre.org (with audio). <↩>