Who and What Is the Word of Elohim?

John 1:1, The Word was Elohim. Is Yeshua or the Father the God (Elohim) of the Old Testament (Tanakh)? For many believers in Yeshua, there is confusion as to who it was in the Godhead who interacted with the Israelites in the Tankah. Was it the Father or the Son? In the minds of the apostolic writers, there was no confusion about this. Yeshua, in his preincarnate state, was the One that YHVH Elohim the Father used to both create (John 1:3; Col 1:16; Heb 11:3), and then to interact with mankind. He was the Word of YHVH Elohim, the Father, who become flesh and dwelt among men (verse 14). This truth is easily confirmed in several passages in the Testimony of Yeshua (New Testament).

First, Yeshua himself claims to be YHVH or the I Am of the burning bush (see John 8:58 cp. Exod 3:14). The Jews viewed Yeshua’s claim to be deity as blasphemous, which is why they picked up stones to kill him (John 8:59). Next, Yeshua in declaring to the Jewish religious leaders that “I send you prophets, wise men and scribes: some you will kill…” (Matt 23:34), he is claiming the rights and prerogatives of YHVH — a right and role that solely belonged to YHVH in the Tanakh.

Yeshua also declared that no man has seen the face of Elohim the Father (John 5:37). Yet Continue reading

 

Who originally canonized the NT? Definitely not the Roman Catholic Church!

John 21:24, We know. What now follows is discussion of the “we” passages in the writings of John.

James, the brother of John had been martyred in Jerusalem in the early sixties a.d., Peter in Rome in the mid to late sixties, and now it was left up to John, the remaining apostle, to finalize the New Testament canon. What is the proof of his hand in this task, and did he do it alone or did he have helpers—an editorial staff, if you will?

“John did not create the New Testament on his own. He had helpers. If one will read the writings of John carefully, these assistants can be recognized, and they played a very important part in the overall canonization. References to them are found from time to time cropping up within the contexts of John’s compositions. The elders who helped John were very important. … [M]any of them were eyewitnesses to the teachings of [Yeshua] in Judaea and they also saw him alive after his resurrection from the dead. They were a part of those 500 people still alive in a.d. 55 who Paul said were witnesses to [Messiah’s] resurrected body (1 Cor 15:6). This means that they were certainly Jewish Christians” (Martin, p. 398). At this point, Martin directs our attention to the “we” passages in John’s Gospel and epistles.

The first instance of a “we” passage is at the beginning and at the end of John’s Gospel. Chapter one starts with a “we” passage, and then throughout the 21 chapters of this Gospel John has recorded what Yeshua taught him, but then in John 21:24 there is a remark in the text that interjects what others besides John had to say about the Gospel of John. (ibid.)

John 1:14, And the Word was made 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. (emphasis added)

John 21:24, This is the disciple which testifies of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.

“Notice the abrupt change from the third person singular to the plural. The last part of this verse is introducing further witnesses, other than John (who are identified only by the pronoun “we”). Who were these men? In the Gospel they are not identified, but it can reasonably be assumed that the first readers of John’s Gospel must have been aware of their identities. They must have represented an officially recognized body of men since they boldly gave their witness to John’s written word, “And we know that the witness he [John] gives is true” (ibid., pp. 398–399).

This is just the beginning of the “we” passages. They occur numerous times in John’s short epistle to testify to the veracity of what John is saying pertaining to his recording of the Gospel account. In these writings, we see that in the middle of John’s narrative there will suddenly be an inclusion of a “we” passage as if to lend credibility to what he is saying. Examples of this are:

1 John 1:1–4, 1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us😉 that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Yeshua Messiah. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. (emphasis added)

1 John 4:11, And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. (emphasis added)

3 John 12, … and we also bear record; and ye know that our record is true. (emphasis added)

“It is clear that a body of men, other than John himself, was telling the readers of his [First and] Third Epistle[s] that they too were witnesses to the truth that John was stating. These Continue reading

 

No Broken Bones

John 19:36, Not one of his bones. The bones in the body of Yeshua couldn’t be broken, for the Living Word of Elohim can’t be broken even as the Written Word of Elohim can’t be broken (John 10:35).

James says that if we break one of YHVH’s Torah commands, we have broken them all (Jas 2:10). Sin is the breaking of the Torah (1 John 3:4).

Yeshua, the Living Torah, was perfect and sinless. He never broke a single Torah command, even as not a single bone in his body was broken. He was the perfect, blemish and sin-free sacrificial Lamb of Elohim with no broken bones (Exod 12:46).

 

What is truth? Is there one single Truth?

In this age of moral relativism or situational ethics, it is unpopular to believe in, much less purport, that there is one single truth. Most humans live under the notion that every person can determine their own truth for themselves. The problem with this delusion is that when your truth conflicts with my truth there will inevitably be conflict. Ultimately, the result is theft, murder and wars.

The reality that a single truth is better than multiple truths is reflected in the laws of a nation. Ostensibly there is supposed to be one set of laws (or one truth that determines what is right and wrong) for all the citizens of that country, state or city. Obviously, if every person had a different set of  rules or truths when they got behind the wheel of an automobile, mayhem would occur. So at this level, it’s not difficult to see the need for one set of rules or, literally, one truth.

The difference of opinion as to what constitutes truth, however, occurs when we take this discussion to the moral and spiritual level. Truth at this level is less tangible and quantifiable. That’s why there are so many religions and philosophies extant. There seems to be something out there for everyone. It’s like going to an ice cream store with 1,031 flavors. And if you don’t like one of the existing flavors of “truth” you simply make up your own and call yourself “spiritual.” That’s what new ageism is all about! Each person can make up their own truth. This is, in reality, a self-styled religious system where  each person picks and chooses what they will or will not do. It’s the “have it your own way approach” to life. Or to put it another way, “Do what thou wilt,” which is a mantra of modern day satanists. Or “if out feels good, do it,” which was the hippy mantra of a generation ago. The Bible calls it “every man doing what’s right in his own eyes,” and further tells us that “there is a way that seems right to a man, but the end result is death.”

Ultimately, this is the rejection of the one, single divinely revealed Truth of Elohim. It’s the rejection of Torah—the instructions, teachings and precepts of Elohim. In reality, it’s accepting the lie of the serpent in the Garden of Eden at the tree of knowledge when he  told the first humans, in essence, “You really don’t have to obey Elohim. You can pick and choose which of his commands you want to do and reject the rest.” Well, anyone who knows their history and who has their eyes open to reality around them can see how that approach has worked out from then until now.

Make no mistake, the rejection of Elohim’s one truth is, in reality, a flat out rebellion against the Creator and a rejection of his truth, which the Bible defines as witchcraft or satanism (1 Sam 15:23).

Man lost paradise on earth when he rejected Elohim’s truth. The utopian paradise that everyone secretly longs for in their heart will not be regained until Yeshua the Messiah returns and establishes his kingdom on earth with the Torah as the one truth that everyone must live by. Even then, not everyone will accept Yeshua’s rule and truth. Those who don’t  will be condemned at the white throne judgment and cast into the lake of fire at the end of the age. Those humans who have accepted the Truth of Elohim will be allowed to eat from the tree of life and will experience the utopian paradise of the New Jerusalem on the new earth in the new heavens.

This all starts with an understanding of the definition of truth.

John 17:17, Truth. Yeshua, the One sent to this earth from Elohim in heaven, says here, “Thy [Elohim’s] Word is truth.” In Matthew 4:4, Yeshua said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of Elohim.”

So what is truth? The word in Hebrew for truth is emet (spelled aleph, mem, tav), which is comprised of the first, middle and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Truth embodies everything from the beginning to the very end of YHVH’s Word (literally, his Torah or the first five books of the Bible, and secondarily, the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation).

Interestingly, the Scriptures call Yeshua “the beginning and the end of our faith” (Heb 12:2), and likens him metaphorically to alpha and omega (Rev 1:8, 11; 21:6; 22:13), which are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. These letters corresponds in symbolic meaning to the aleph and tav, which are the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

In Hebrew thought, truth consists of all of the Word of Elohim from the first letter in the Hebrew alphabet to the last letter. This same idea is picked up by the Jewish apostolic writers of the Testimony of Yeshua and applied to Yeshua who was the Word of Elohim sent to humanity in human form. As the human embodiment of the divine Word of Elohim he was referred to as the alpha and omega, or, in Hebraically, the aleph and the tav. We see this idea expressed in John 1:1–5 and 14 where it says of Yeshua,

In the beginning was the Word [Torah], and the Word was with Elohim, and the Word was Elohim. The same was in the beginning with Elohim. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.… And the Word was made 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.

 

John 18:38, What is truth? 

What Is Truth?

Pilate asked Messiah Yeshua, the Son of Elohim, a question many inquiring minds have Continue reading

 

The Real Meaning of “You shall know the truth…it’ll set you free.”

John 8:32, Know the truth. “The truth shall set you free” is an often-quoted axiom, but few understand its deeper biblical implications.

We violate the sanctity of Scripture if we impose on it our own meanings. This is a cavalier and presumptuous approach to understanding the Bible and can hardly be called “rightly dividing the word of Elohim” (1 Tim 2:15).This practice often occurs with this verse. To do so is to twist the meaning of the Scriptures to fit our own human vicissitudes, agendas and biases. This is humanism and insults the mind, will and sovereignty of the Almighty as divinely revealed in his Holy Word.

To properly understand this verse, we must look solely to the Bible for the keys to understanding it. We can start this process by first asking the question, what is truth?

The Bible defines its own terms when it calls the Torah truth (Ps 119:142 and 151). The truth of Torah (i.e. the law of Moses) will set a person free, for when one hears and obeys the Torah, one ceases sinning (i.e. violating YHVH’s Torah-law; 1 John 3:4), and therefore doesn’t come under the penalty of the Torah-law’s judgment for breaking it, which the Bible calls sin and which leads (ultimately) to eternal death (Ezek 18:4; Rom 6:23). When one is not under the judgment of sin, one is free. With freedom comes life.

Yeshua the Messiah himself is also the truth (John 14:6), for he is the Living Torah-Word of Elohim (John 1:1, 14). When we place our trusting faith in Yeshua and follow him, his spiritual life in the form of his Set-Apart Spirit will then flow through us and empower us to walk away from sin and follow the spiritual light of his Torah, which will keep us sin-free. This is the path that leads us toward the ultimate freedom from eternal death resulting in everlasting life (John 8:52). As such, sin will no longer have any legal claim on us, and thus we will not come into condemnation, but will pass from death into everlasting life (John 5:24). This is possible because Yeshua has taken upon himself our past sins (Rom 3:25), paid the legal penalty of them, and wiped our spiritual slate clean and has given us a fresh start in life (Gal 2:20; 1 Cor 5:17) to walk sin-free (in accordance with his standards of righteousness, which is the Torah). This is the result of knowing the truth and experiencing the freedom that comes therefrom.

It’s astounding how so many people have been taught to believe the exact opposite of the truth—that the laws of Elohim will place you under bondage instead of setting you free!

Now that you have been set free from the traditions of men, which make of none effect the word of Elohim, you now have the freedom to understand the fuller, biblical meaning of Yeshua’s statement, “And you shall know the truth and it shall make you free.”

 

To Whom Do the Biblical Feasts Belong: YHVH or the Jews?

John 7:2, The Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles. A casual reading of this verse (and other similar references in the Gospels to the “Jewish festivals”) may lead one to believe that the biblical feasts are of Jewish origination and thus for the Jews only. This is a prevalent notion in the mainstream church. However, understanding the Gospel writer’s comment in the cultural and spiritual context in which it was written will shatter this erroneous concept.

A study of the Bible will first reveal that the biblical feasts were given not only to the Jews, but to all the tribes of Israel by YHVH himself when he gave them the Torah after the children of Israel left Egypt.

Second, in the first century, different religious sects had different calendars so that they observed the biblical feasts at different times. For example, the Samaritans had their own calendar that differed from that of the mainstream Jews. Moreover, the Dead Sea scrolls reveal that the Essenes toyed around with several calendars. Within mainstream Judaism, there was even a difference of opinion (between the Sadducees/Boethusians and Pharisees), for example, as to when to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost.

So when John uses the term, “the Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles” he’s not indicating that the feasts were of Jewish origination and thus belonged exclusively to the Jews, but rather which calendar he’s referring to or on which days certain feasts were to be observed.

 

Mary and Elizabeth: Godly Women Produce Godly Sons!

A brief discussion from the Gospel of Luke about Mary (the mother of Yeshua) and Elizabeth (the mother of John the Baptist) may shed some clues on why their sons attained such high spiritual stature. Behind godly sons are often godly mothers!

Luke 1:6, Righteous…blameless. Zachariah and Elizabeth (Heb. Elishevah) were totally Torah-observant to the point of being blameless in YHVH’s eyes. This confirms Moses’ words in Deut 30:11–14 that Torah-obedience isn’t outside the realm of human possibility as some in the church erroneously teach today.

Luke 1:28, Blessed are you among women. These words of Gabriel were repeated verbatim in Elizabeth’s prophecy concerning Yeshua (verse 42). Doubtless this was a supernatural confirmation to Mary concerning her role as the mother of the Messiah, for how could her cousin have known what the angel had spoken to her previously?

Luke 1:36, Elizabeth your relative. While Mary was of the royal lineage of David through her father, she also was a relative on her mother’s side of Elizabeth, the priest-wife of Zacharias, who was a daughter of Aaron (Luke 1:5).  In Matthew one and Luke three two different genealogies are given for Yeshua, both of which  go back to King David. One is presumed to be that of Joseph and the other is that of Mary. In this way, Yeshua was a direct descendant of David legally through Joseph, his step-father, and genetically through Mary, his mother. Does this mean that Mary was of priestly as well as Davidic lineage. Yes, but not patrilineally, only matrilineally. In the Scriptures, tribal lineage was determined through the father’s family line and not the mother’s.

In the case of Mary and Elizabeth, they would have shared common grandparents making them cousins. Their grandfather would have been a priest. In the case of Elizabeth, her father—the son of her priestly grandfather—would have carried the priestly line making her a daughter of Aaron (Luke 1:5). In the case of Mary, her mother would have been her priestly grandfather’s daughter meaning that she was of priestly lineage but not her children, unless she married a priest.

It seems that Yeshua would have carried some priestly blood in his genes, but he was not legally a priest through patrilineal descent. To be sure, Yeshua was a priest, but not one of Aaronic lineage but after the order of Melchizedek, which was the priesthood of the firstborn son passed on generationally. Yeshua was the first born son of Elohim eternally, which is why he is presently at the right hand of Elohim acting as our Great High Priest (Heb 1:3 cp. 3:1; 4:4; 8:1).

Therefore, Mary laid claim to a Davidic as well as a priestly lineage (Jesus the Messiah, by Edersheim, p. 105). This means that Yeshua was not only of direct Davidic lineage but was of priestly lineage as well.

Luke 1:39, Now Mary arose. Those with similar divine missions or callings naturally want to be with others like them. Such divine encounters are too unbelievable and incomprehensible for those who haven’t encountered something similar that it is hard to relate to those who have. This is probably why, in part, the prophets of old, at times, lived together in a community. Those who see into the spiritual realm and operate by faith are constricted spiritually when they have to be around those who don’t.

Luke 1:41–45, When Elizabeth heard. During this greeting, Elizabeth had a spiritual encounter that helped her to connect the dots to understand what was going in YHVH’s divine plan for John and Yeshua. Zechariah would have revealed to her the angel’s previous message (vv. 13–17). Now when the babe leapt in her womb at Mary’s arrival and she was filled with the Spirit (a visceral experience), and then prophetic words came out of her mouth, this was evidence and confirmation to both of them of YHVH’s plans for their sons. YHVH has supernatural ways of conveying his divine will to his people, so that only people of faith will see and understand. All others, unless confronted with visible signs and empirical evidence (as verified by logic, or observable evidence or experience), will dismiss these spiritual revelations and circumstances as delusion. The unbelievers usually resort mockery and scoffing ridicule. Those who walk by faith and hear the voice of YHVH and know his ways of communication are undeterred, however, as they follow the Elohim wherever he leads them.