The “I Am” Passages in the Testimony of Yeshua

In these passages in the Gospel of John, the apostle is not only acknowledging the deity of Yeshua, but recording Yeshua’s claim to be YHVH. That the Jews attempted to kill him for making this claim (John 8:59) indicates that they understood that he was applying the deific title of I AM (or YHVH) to himself.

Then said Yeshua unto them, “When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am [he (a supplied word that is not in the Greek)], and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.… Yeshua said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” Then they took up stones to throw at him. (John 8:28, 58–59)

Yeshua saith unto them, “I am [he (a supplied word)].” And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. As soon then as he had said unto them, I am [he (a supplied word)], they went backward, and fell to the ground.… Yeshua answered, I have told you that I am [he (a supplied word)]: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way. (John 18:5, 6, 8)

 

The Importance of Using the Biblical Names of Elohim

The rediscovery and use of the biblical names of deity is a fundamental aspect of returning to the Hebraic roots of the Christian faith. It is an essential element of coming out of pagan Babylonianism, getting back to biblical basics, and the restoration of biblical truths in the end times as the following article explains.

The Scriptures clearly teach us that YHVH wants his people to use his Hebrew names and titles (e.g. YHVH, Yah, El, Elohim, Adonai and Yeshua). If not, than why is “YHVH,” the personal name of the biblical deity, found in the Tanakh (or Old Testament) almost 7000 times?

Despite the proliferation of the name YHVH in the Bible, men are not to use his name carelessly as the third commandments teaches us (Exod 20:7).

The problem is that YHVH’s people have forgotten YHVH’s Hebrew names and worshipped pagan gods instead (Ps 44:20; Jer 23:27). Interesting, it’s a fact that most of our common English substitutes for the Hebrew names of Elohim derive from the names of pagan deities (e.g. God, Lord, Holy, Christ, Jesus). At the same time, the Scriptures prophesy that YHVH’s name will be restored and used again (Jer 23:6; 31:23; Ezek 39:7).

Interestingly, Satan’s name has never been changed down through the millennia from one language to another. The names of significant Hebrew biblical personalities along with Greek and Roman notable historical figures remain essentially unchanged to our day. However, the Hebrew names of Elohim and his Messiah not only have been changed, but often masked under the names of pre-exisiting pagan deities. Doesn’t this sound like a satanic conspiracy to hide the true identity of the Elohim of the Bible? It’s time for the Continue reading

 

Dynamic Power to Heal the Sick!

Luke 5:17, The power [Gr. dumanis] of YHVH was present. Sometimes the power of YHVH is present to heal people, sometimes it is not. There are likely many factors that determine this such as the sovereign will of Elohim, the faith of the individuals performing or receiving the healing, repentance of sin or the lack thereof, whether one is a saint or not and many other factors of which we may or may not be aware in our limited understanding of the spiritual dimension.

Let’s explore the healing activities of Yeshua. The Greek word dunamis means “strength, power, ability” or as often used in the Testimony of Yeshua, “miraculous power.” This is an interesting statement pertaining to the dynamics of Yeshua’s healing activities. Did Yeshua heal all people all the time, or only when the power of Elohim was present for him to do so? This verse, at least in this case, would indicate the latter. Elsewhere, we read that Yeshua “healed many that were sick” (Mark 1:34), but not all that were sick. On other occasions, the Gospels record indicates that Yeshua did in fact heal all the sick who were brought to him (Matt 4:23–25; 9:35; Luke 6:19).

The Gospels reveal some other interesting facts about Yeshua’s healing activities that we often pass over. On at least one occasions, Yeshua prayed to heal someone and they were only partially healed. After he prayed for them the second time, they were completely healed (Mark 8:22–25). Often Yeshua healed people after he was “moved with compassion [love and pity]” for someone who was sick (Matt 14:14; Mark 1:41; Luke 7:13–15). The Greek word for compassion, literally means “to be moved in one’s bowels,” or in the deepest areas of one’s emotions. Some people simply touched Yeshua’s clothing as he was walking by, and the miraculous power (Gr. dunamis) of Elohim flowed from him and healed them (Matt 9:20; Mark 6:56; Luke 8:44 cp. Luke 6:19).

Elsewhere, it appears that Yeshua’s healing activities were hampered by the presence of those who ridiculed him and exhibited doubt and unbelief, which is why, on one occasion, he put the unbelievers out of the room and closed the door behind them when he raised the little girl from the dead (Mark 5:40–42). Similarly, in his hometown of Nazareth, Yeshua “could do no mighty works there” except for healing a few sick people, “because of their [the townspeople’s] unbelief” (Mark 6:5–6; also Matt 13:58). Matthew’s account adds that the people of Nazareth were offended (literally, scandalized) by Yeshua, or that they stumbled over (or judged unfavorably, distrusted) Yeshua. Because of their low esteem for him, they lacked the faith to receive healing, which is why he healed so few people in that town.

When in doubt, always look for an opportunity to pray for a sick person. Before praying, one must discern the situation: whether the person has faith to be healed, whether the anointing or Presence of YHVH is there to heal the person, and how the Spirit of Elohim is directing one to pray. Sometimes we sense the need to pray more authoritative prayers, other times, more pleading or intercessory prayers, and still other times prayers of agreement while asking for the healing.

What’s more, prospective converts and new believers tend to have their prayers for healing answered more quickly, since this is a demonstration of the signs Yeshua promised that would follow the preaching of the gospel. The saint can be healed, but often this will occur after having their faith stretched and refined. Therefore, the healing often takes longer to receive.

 

The Scepter, the Donkey, the Vine, the Bloody Grapes and the Messiah

Sounds like the title of a C.S. Lewis Christian fiction novel, doesn’t it? Well, when unpacked, these three little verses contain a lot prophetically pertaining to the Messiah. They’re like a  riddle. Let’s use the Bible itself to unlock the code. 

Genesis 49:10–12, The scepter. Below is my commentary on these verses.

The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass’s colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes: His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.

This passage is a clear reference to the Messiah and the Messianic Age (the time when Messiah would come to rule the earth) and has been so recognized by the Jewish sages from time immemorial (The ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash, p. 279). “The general consensus (with few exceptions) of Rabbinic interpretation is that this phrase [Until Shiloh arrives] refers to the coming of the Messiah …” (The ArtScroll Bereishis/Genesis Torah commentary, p. 2152). In fact, Onkelos [a second-century scholar who translated the Torah (Pentateuch) into Aramaic] in his Aramaic version of the Torah translates this version as follows: “Until the Messiah comes, to whom the kingdom belongs” (ibid.). Rashi (b. 1040 and recognized by Jewish scholars as probably the preeminent Torah commentator of the modern era) “concurs and similarly comments: Until the King Messiah will come…, to whom the kingdom belongs. According to the Midrash, vkha [shiloh] is a composite of ha and uk, [meaning] “a gift to him”—a reference to King Messiah to whom all peoples will bring gifts. See Isaiah 18:7; Psalms 76:12” (ibid., p. 2153). It should not be difficult to see the fulfillment of this rabbinic understanding in the magis’ giving of gifts to the young child Yeshua (Matt 2:11).

Are there any illusions here to the incarnation or virgin birth of the Messiah? Of the incarnation we read the following in The ArtScroll Bereishis/Genesis Torah commentary:

Midrash Tanchuma preserves an opinion that vkha [shiloh] is derived from vhka [shil-yah] meaning “little child, (lit. the amniotic sac in which the fetus is formed: comp. Deut 28:57).” Thus, the passage means: “Until his scion (i.e. Messiah) comes” (ibid., p. 2153).

Of course the same commentators in the same passage, while readily admitting that Continue reading

 

No Ordinary Sheep!

Luke 2:8, Shepherds living out in the fields. According to the Mishnah (a rabbinic Jewish legal-historical document from the end of the second century AD), these were no ordinary sheep or shepherds, but were shepherds who watched over sheep that were destined to become burnt offerings, peace offerings and the Passover offering for the temple service in Jerusalem (Mishnah Sheq 7:4; The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, by Alfred Edersheim, pp. 132–133).

Such sheep were kept in the environs of Jerusalem including Bethlehem which lies just five miles south of that city. These sheep were apparently kept outdoors all year round. Presumably they were carefully watched over to keep them safe from incurring any blemish that might render them unusable for the temple service.

Imagine the spiritual and prophetic significance of heaven’s angelic messenger revealing to these shepherds the birth in Bethlehem of the spotless and sin-free Lamb of Elohim who was destined to be sacrificed from the beginning of the world (Rev 13:8; John 1:29; 2 Cor 5:21; 1 Pet 2:22; 1 John 3:5).

The angel announced that this newborn child was YHVH the Messiah (Isa 53:1; Christ the Lord)—the Savior (Luke 2:8 cp. Isa 53:6, 10–11). He once and for all would take away the sins of the world (Heb 10:10, 12), thus rendering their jobs as temple shepherds unnecessary.