Is Yeshua “the only begotten” or “the one of kind, unique” Son of Elohim?

John 1:14, Only begotten [Gr. monogenes]. The Greek word monogenes means “unique, one of a kind” and not “only begotten” as is commonly translated in most of our English Bibles. The NIV and ESV translations more correctly substitutes the phrase “only begotten” found in this verse and in John 3:16 (along with John 1:18 and 1 John 4:9) with the word only.

Why is this latter translation a better though not a perfect one? This is because Greek scholars originally thought that monogenes was derived from two Greek words: mono (only) and genao (to beget, to bear). Greek scholars have now discovered that monogenes actually derives not from genao, but from genos meaning “one of a kind or class” and therefore means “unique, the one and only, the one and only of a family” (The Unseen Realm, pp. 36–37, by Michael S. Heiser; see also The Complete Word Dictionary pp. 995–996, by Spiros Zodhiates).

Clearly the Bible teaches that YHVH has other sons (e.g. the divine sons of Elohim or beney Elohim [e.g. see Gen 6:2, 4; Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7]), so Yeshua is not literally the only begotten son of Elohim according to Scripture. But he is the unique Son of Elohim of which there is no other like him. He is without peer and in a class of his own, and as Elohim (John 1:1), he is above and superior to all the other sons of Elohim.

So give him the praise, glory, honor and worship he is due!

 

What did Yeshua mean when he said, “You are elohim/gods”?

John 10:34, You are gods. Yeshua is here quoting Ps 82:6 where the term elohim in Hebraic thought and as used biblically simply refers to all divine beings whether good (e.g. Elohim, his heavenly council and angels) to evil (e.g. Satan, evil spirits and demons).

Elohim can also refer to human (righteous) judges, who are acting on behalf of Elohim on this earth making righteous judgment between humans (e.g. Exod 21:6; 22:8–9). Yeshua gave this same authority to his apostles (or church leaders) to adjudicate between the saints and to make ecclesiastical decisions as did the Jewish Sanhedrin of old, and he promised that as Elohim’s agents on earth, he would honor their decisions (e.g. Matt 16:19; 18:18–20).

In this passage, Yeshua is clearly stating that the Jews in his audience were divine beings.

What did he mean by this?

The verse here doesn’t indicate that those in his audience were Jewish judges or members of the ruling elite. He was speaking generically to a group of lay people to whom the word of Elohim had been given (v. 35), which is why they were at that time in Jerusalem on the temple mount observing the Feast of Dedication of the temple or Hanukkah (John 10:22–23).

In making this statement, Yeshua is most likely referring to the potential that spiritually enlightened humans, who have received the word of Elohim, have for becoming glorified sons of Elohim some day (i.e. at the resurrection) if they believe in him (John 1:12).

Whatever Yeshua means, he is clearly stating that those humans (to whom the word of Elohim was given, v. 35) possess some divine element, to one degree or another, that qualifies them to be included under the rubric of elohim. Whether he is thinking of the term elohim vis-à-vis humans in present or future prophetic terms is not clear from this passage. He simply states as a fact that “You are elohim” (if you have been given the word of Elohim).

 

Call 9-1-1 in the Bible: An Uplifting Commentary on Psalm 91

Psalm 91:1 (and the rest of Psalm 91) Is the Biblical 9-1-1 to Call in Our Time of Trouble

Psalms 91:1, Secret. Heb. cether means “covering, shelter, hiding place, secrecy,” and is from the root word meaning “to hide, conceal.” When troubles comes our way like a tidal wave, the natural human reaction is to stand and fight or to flee in fear. In psychology this is known as the fight or flight response. There is a time to fight, but at all times we need to be hiding in the secret place of our relationship with our Almighty Father in heaven, to which the latter part of this verse alludes. Out of that place, and from under the shadow of the wings of the Almighty and in his throne room, we will not be cowering in fear from our enemies, but we will find the courage, will and stamina to stand firm in faith, and, if necessary, to come out and to fight the enemy not in our own strength, but in that of Elohim as led and guided by his Spirit.

Abide. Heb. luwn means “to lodge, stop over, pass the night or abide.” A lodge is a place where one temporarily spends the night. When dark times come our way, we need to stop over, spend the night, run to and abide in the throne room of the Almighty! This speaks of prayer, worship, praise and studying his Word.

Psalms 91:1, 4, Under the shadow of the Almighty…under his wings. According to the ancient Jewish sages, Moses composed this psalm for the tribe of Levi who dwelt under the shadow of the wings of cherubim that stood over the ark of the covenant in the Tabernacle of Moses—a physical representation of YHVH’s throne room in heaven. The sages go on to explain that the psalmist describes the devout man of faith who lives with Elohim in his heart, and who never leaves Elohim’s shadow. Such a man is a true biblical hero of faith to whom Elohim pledges (v. 16) he will satisfy with long life and show him his salvation (The ArtScroll Tanach Series Tehillim/Psalms Commentary on Ps 91). This psalm ends with the promise of the blessing of long life to those love and serve YHVH, and beyond that, salvation, which is the Hebrew word Yeshua—the very name of the coming Messiah who would offer his people deliverance from the ultimate enemy, namely sin and its death penalty. The result of this deliverance is the glorious divine gift of eternal life through faith in Yeshua the Messiah—the supreme gift and blessing of all! This psalm is a prophecy pointing to the Messiah.

In Jewish understanding, the Tabernacle of Moses wasn’t complete until the glory of YHVH’s presence took residence in the tabernacle’s inner chamber, the holy of holies. This was evidence that YHVH was making this habitation his own in a most intimate way. How was it possible, they ask, for the Creator of the universe to inhabit a mere tent? They explain that he focused his presence into this tiny spot. This isn’t unlike a magnifying glass that reflects the suns rays into a small but focused point on a piece of wood or paper. Were the earth closer to the sun, it would be burned up. Yet the sun’s light can be brought to the earth in a concentrated form that will not cause harm. This is exactly what Elohim did when he incarnated Yeshua into the womb of Mary. The sages had the understanding that the holy of holies is a picture of man’s heart that the Creator wants to indwell, which is the most sacred sanctuary of all.

The conception and birth of Yeshua was the fulfillment of this prophecy. The fire of the Set-Apart Spirit that came down upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 was a fulfillment of this desire of YHVH of which the fiery glory cloud that dwelt in and over the Tabernacle of Moses was a prophetic portent. Yeshua promised his disciples that through this same divine fire he would dwell in their hearts after his death, resurrection and ascension. The result of this divine encounter of Elohim with those in the upper room resulted in many repenting of their sins and coming to faith in Yeshua the Messiah (Acts 2:38–41), which is the greater message of Psalm 91.

Psalms 91:3, Snare of the fowler. This is literally referring to a bird trap and the trapper. In ancient times, birds were trapped and used for food. This could be a poetic picture of Satan and his demons who fly through the air searching for human prey. A biblical example Continue reading

 

Who are the gods of Psalm 82:1 and how does it relates to you?

Psalms 82:1, Elohim stands…the gods. This is a reference to Elohim acting as the Supreme Judge among his divine, heavenly council that carries out his orders. This is more than the traditional “Godhead,” and includes angelic and spirit beings, and even Satan himself. From time to time, Elohim gathers his council together as we see in Job (Job 1:6; 2:1). Even lying spirits are subject to and do the bidding of Elohim who presides over this council also referred to as the host of heaven (1 Kgs 22:19–23). Some of “Us” passages in the Scriptures, which have typically been attributed to the “Godhead,” likely also refer to this divine counsel (e.g. Gen 11:7; Ezek 44:6). This has been the view of ancient Jewish sages as well.

Modern biblical theologians have traditionally taken a non-supernaturalistic view of this passage by saying that the gods here refer to human rulers. While elohim may by definition and biblical usage refer to human rulers, this passage can’t be limited to this definition alone, since verse seven refers to these gods/elohim as “dying like men” as a result of Elohim’s divine judgment on them because of their wickedness. This threat makes little or no sense if it is referring only to human rulers. For the record, Yeshua quotes verse six in reference to human rulers (John 10:34; 14:30; 16:11), so this passage should not be taken to refer only to Elohim’s divine counsel or just to human rulers, but probably to both. This is because behind human rulers are evil spirits or principalities that govern the nations (Dan 10:20; Eph 6:12; Rev 13:2) all under the aegis of Satan who has his own kingdom (Matt 12:26) and is presently the ruler of this world (John 12:31); however, all of this is under the ultimate authority of YHVH Elohim.

The idea that there were and are unseen evil spirits and demi-gods that behind the scenes rule the nations of the world is revealed in the book of Enoch and is also found in traditional ancient Mesopotamian historical accounts and forms the basis for the ancient Greek mythos.

Additionally, we learn from Genesis chapter ten (the Table of the Nations) that, at that time, there were seventy nations of the world that rebelled against YHVH at the Tower of Babel (Gen 11). Interestingly, Jacob had 70 descendants who went down to Egypt (Exod 1:5) and who become children of Israel. From them, Moses chose 70 elders to rule over Israel (Exod 24:1), which would eventually became the Great Sanhedrin that ruled the Jewish people. YHVH then commissioned Israel to evangelize the apostate nations by being a spiritual light to them (Deut 4:5–8)—a task they utterly failed to perform. Picking up where ancient Israel failed in its mission, Yeshua chose 70 disciples not only to replace the Jewish Sanhedrin in spiritual authority over the people of Elohim, but to go forth and to preach the gospel to the 70 nations (Luke 10:1–12, 17; Acts 1:8 cp. Matt 28:18–20) that had been lost to the kingdom of Satan at the Tower of Babel, thereby to reclaim the world for the kingdom of Elohim at the devil’s expense.

Eventually, the glorified saints will become the sons of Elohim and will be adopted into his divine family as small E elohim (John 1:12; 1 John 3:1; Gal 3:26; Rom 8:14; Eph 1:5) to rule and reign with Elohim (Rev 1:6; 5:10; 20:6) over the new heavens and new earth, all to Satan’s chagrin and the small E elohim rulers in his present-day earthly kingdom, who will be cast into the lake of fire at the end of the age (Rev 20:10).

For those who have put their faith in Yeshua and who daily serve, love and obey him, get ready! Prepare for your spiritual destiny. Now is the time to gird up your spiritual loins and to prepare for the great and final showdown between Yeshua our soon-coming Messiah and Satan, the god of this world, where good will triumph over evil for the final time!

 

From My Bible Commentary on Revelation 20, 21 and 22

Shalom everyone!

In my as yet unpublished commentary on the whole Bible, I have about a thousand pages long commentary on the NT or Testimony of Yeshua alone. Parts and pieces of this I share from time to time on this blog.

For fun and, hopefully, to bless a few readers, I decided to share my commentary notes on Revelation chapters 20 to 22. These notes are unpublished and not formally edited, so if you find any typos, kindly let me know.

I hope this is a blessing to someone and will get you thinking a little! This ought to keep some of you going for awhile! 😉

Natan

Revelation 20

Revelation 20:1, Bottomless pit. (See notes at Deut 32:22; 2 Pet 2:4; Rev 9:1. Also see notes at Isa 14:18–21.)

Revelation 20:4, A thousand years. This is but one of six references in the Bible to the Millennium lasting for one thousand years. The other references are found in the surrounding verses (vv. 2, 3, 5, 6, 7). These are more than enough references to meet the biblical criteria of establishing a truth in the mouth of two or more witnesses. Even then, some biblical students still question the idea of the Millennium and categorize it as a NT concept only and, therefore, feel they can disregard it. This is a shame and shows naive ignorance with regard to the Word of Elohim. An understanding of the prophetic implications of the seventh day Sabbath should settle this discussion once for all. In Hebraic thought, the seven days of creation picture the time man will be on this physical earth. Six days (for six days or six thousand years) man does his own work, while on the seventh day (or one thousand years) he rests and fellowships with Elohim. This is a picture of the millennial rest, which the Jewish sages have long called the Messianic Era, which is to come. The Millennium is not uniquely a Christian or NT concept, but is rooted in Judaism going back before the Christian era. The writer of Hebrews makes reference to this in Heb 7 when he compares Joshua taking the Israelites into the Promised Land with Yeshua taking the saints into the Sabbath, millennial rest of our spiritual inheritance.

Revelation 20:5, The rest of the dead. This phrase is a parenthetical thought. Before and after this phrase, the author is discussing those who will be part of the first resurrection, which occurs at Yeshua’s second coming. Later in the same chapter, John goes on to discuss what happens to the rest of the dead (vv. 12–13).

Revelation 20:7–21:1, Events after the Millennium. The events in these verses appear to be chronological and occur after the Millennium. In Rev 20:2ff John seems to be receiving a f pre-millennial flashback vision. (See my discussion on these verses.)

Revelation 20:8, The four corners. These rebels who will inhabit the millennial earth have removed themselves as far as possible from Jerusalem, which is the seat of King Yeshua’s rule and the at the center of the earth.

Revelation 20:9, Fire came down from heaven. If the New Jerusalem, the seat of Continue reading