Dear Natan: “We are children of YHVH.” (???? Really?)

Are we all sons of Elohim?

Sometimes statement are made on the comments section of this blog that are unscriptural and need to be addressed. The following is one of these:

We all are children of YHVH. Love one another as brothers and sisters. (Pastor A—)

On its surface, this statement seems like one with which no Bible believer could disagree. In reality, however, it doesn’t line up with the Scriptures for several reasons, which we will discuss below.

First, we must ask the question, who is the “we” in this statement? If it is referring to the entire population of the world—both saints and heathens, then it is a patently false statement that is contrary to the Scriptures including the words of Yeshua the Messiah as well as the apostolic writers, as we shall discuss below.

Next, if the “we” is referring to the saints, it is also false and doesn’t line up with the Scriptures. Yes all saints are “brethren” or brothers and sisters, but not all are necessarily the children of Elohim. For example, some of the “saints” are actually tares in the congregation of the righteous, which Yeshua will eventually uproot and toss into the lake of fire, as he taught in the Parable of the Wheat and Tares. The Bible also teaches that some of the saints will not make it to the end, but will become spiritually shipwrecked along the away. They will become spiritually aborted and will not make their calling and election sure; they will become apostate and fall by the wayside as Yeshua taught in his Parable of the Sower and elsewhere.

Even though John refers to the saints generically as “the children of Elohim” in 1 John 3:1, the apostle is speaking in the most positive and affirmative terms here (see also Rom 8:16; Gal 3:26). No human knows which of the saints will persevere and overcome to the end to become the actual resurrected and glorified sons and daughters of Elohim, and who will fail the test along the way and not receive their ultimate salvation—the glorification of their physical bodies and inclusion into the family of Elohim as his immortal spirit-children. Only Elohim knows this. The Bible is clear: some “saints” will fall by the wayside and turn away from Yeshua. Again, only those who overcome to the end will become the actual children of Elohim and receive the spiritual and eternal rewards thereof as Yeshua’s letters to the seven churches in Revelation chapters two and three make clear.

Continue reading
 

The Tabernacle—A Picture of Man’s Spiritual Transformation

The Tabernacle and the Deification or Theosis of Man

The Tabernacle of Moses from its front to back represents one’s progression in their spiritual journey starting with their initial salvation leading to the glorification of the physical body and eternal life in YHVH’s eternal spiritual kingdom. This view is from man’s perspective looking into the tabernacle through the front gate.

From YHVH’s view inside the holy of holies above the ark of the covenant in the glory cloud looking outward, the perspective is different. We’ll discus this in a moment.

In the outer court of the tabernacle, all the rituals and furnishings pointed to death, judgment, to washing or cleansing. These prophetically foreshadowed salvation through Yeshua’s atoning death on the cross, with Yeshua being the door to salvation, acceptance of his death on the cross for one’s sins followed by baptism for the remission of sins. In the set-apart (kadosh or holy) place inside the tabernacle, everything pointed to life, light, food, fragrant incense, the fruits and gifts of the Set-Apart Spirit—or life in a spiritual relationship with Elohim subsequent to one’s taking the beginning steps in the salvation process. The outer court speaks of basic salvation for the redeemed believer in Yeshua, while the holy place speaks of spiritual growth and maturity, of moving from spiritual babyhood and growing into spiritual adulthood or maturity. 

To understand this process of growing in spiritual maturity, it is necessary to comprehend the tripartite composition of man. Paul speaks of man being subdivided into three parts—body, soul and spirit (1 Thess 5:23). The tabernacle’s outer court seems to relate more to the physical or bodily realm of the person, while the holy place speaks more of the soul or intellectual, volitional and emotional aspects of man’s inner or psychological makeup. Finally, the holy of holies portrays man approaching YHVH through the realm of a person’s inner personal spirit. 

As one progresses into the tabernacle, it is as if YHVH is drawing a person into an ever deeper relational walk with him starting at the most basic level progressing upward until one is finally communing with YHVH on a Spirit-to-(human personal)-spirit level (in the most holy place). It is the Father’s desire that his children progressively grow until we are communing with him at the highest spiritual level (see John 4:23–24). 

As noted earlier, this forward progression from the tabernacle’s entrance to its innermost room is but one way to view a person’s spiritual progression into the realm of the Spirit of Elohim. From YHVH’s perspective looking from the inside of the tabernacle outward, the view changes. Although one has to enter the tabernacle through the outer gate and then go through various rites and rituals relating to a cleansing process before being allowed into the tabernacle itself, at the same time, we see YHVH starting to work with the person Continue reading


 

Genesis 6:2–4, “the Sons of Elohim” and “the Giants”

Genesis 6:2, Sons of God. We find here an interesting construction in the Hebrew text. Literally, the Hebrew reads, “sons of the gods” or beney–ha-elohim. Usually, the word elohim, when referring to the Creator, doesn’t have the definite article, but simply Elohim. The word elohim not only can refer to the Godhead, but can also mean “angels, gods, rulers or judges.” The phrase, “the gods/ha-elohim” referring to pagan demon-deities is also found in Exod 18:11, “Now I know that the LORD is greater than all the gods/ha-elohim; for in the very thing in which they behaved proudly, He was above them.” Is it possible then that the phrase, “sons of the gods” in this verse can refer to fallen angels? I believe so.

Genesis 6:3, My Spirit shall not strive [Heb. deen]. The LXX, Targums, Aramaic and Latin Vulgate all say abide instead of strive, which is an alternate translation from the MT. This is the translation that Philo presumes in his commentary on this passage (Allegorical Interpretation, “On the Giants,” chap. V.19). From this verse based on this alternate translation, it appears that the Spirit of Elohim was endeavoring to convict man of sinfulness and bring him back to the paths of righteousness, but that man was so evil and reprobate that Elohim gave up on this endeavor and had no choice but to pronounce divine judgment upon man as the final solution in dealing with the problem. Perhaps this gives us a clue as to what the “restrainer” of 2 Thess 2:7 is that Elohim will take away from the earth before the apotheosis of evil occurs in the last days just prior to Elohim pouring out his divine wrath on mankind as foretold in the Book of Revelation and elsewhere.

Genesis 6:4, Giants. Heb. Nephilim. This Hebrew word is found only one other place in the Bible. This is in Num 13:33 where it is used twice and where the nephilim are called to the descendants of Anak (see also Num 13:28; Deut 9:2; Josh 15:14; Judg 1:20). Scholars most often translate this word either as giants, mighty ones or fallen ones. Scholars disagree as to meaning of the root form of this verb and whether the stem means “those that cause others to fall down” or “fallen ones.” BDB confesses that the basic etymology of the word is questionable. At issue, according to The TWOT, is whether the root of nephilim is nepel meaning “untimely birth or miscarriage” (resulting in the production of superhuman monstrosities), or the more likely from the root napal, which relates to other Hebrew words meaning “be wonderful, strong or mighty.” The LXX (as apparently do the majority of the Targums) translates nephilim as giants, though The TWOT admits this may be misleading. This word is of unknown origins and may even mean “heros” or “fierce warriors.”

Adding to the confusion of this passage is the ambiguity as to whether the nephilim are the sons of Elohim or their offspring.

Whatever the meaning of nephilim and/or sons of Elohim may be, two schools of thought have prevailed in Jewish and Christian circles as to who these people were. One line of reasoning asserts that they were the children of Seth, while another presents the idea that the sons of Elohim were the offspring of sexual unions between fallen angels or demons and the daughters of men (called incubus) resulting in half-breed demon-humans (called Continue reading


 

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).


 

Giants, Demons, Nephilim and the Book of Enoch

toon cyclop barbar

Genesis 6:4, Giants. Heb. Nephilim. This Hebrew word is found only one other place in the Bible. This is in Num 13:33 where it is used twice and where the nephilim are called to the descendants of Anak (see also Num 13:28; Deut 9:2; Josh 15:14; Judg 1:20). Scholars most often translate this word either as giants, mighty ones or fallen ones. Scholars disagree as to meaning of the root form of this verb and whether the stem means “those that cause others to fall down” or “fallen ones.” BDB confesses that the basic etymology of the word is questionable. At issue, according to The TWOT, is whether the root of nephilim is nepel meaning “untimely birth or miscarriage” (resulting in the production of superhuman monstrosities), or the more likely from the root napal, which relates to other Hebrew words meaning “be wonderful, strong or mighty.” The LXX (as apparently do the majority of the Targums) translates nephilim as giants, though The TWOT admits this may be misleading. This word is of unknown origins and may even mean “heros” or “fierce warriors.”

Adding to the confusion of this passage is the ambiguity as to whether the nephilim are the sons of Elohim or their offspring.

Whatever the meaning of nephilim and/or sons of Elohim may be, two schools of thought have prevailed in Jewish and Christian circles as to who these people were. One line of reasoning asserts that they were the children of Seth, while another presents the idea that the sons of Elohim were the offspring of sexual unions between fallen angels or demons and the daughters of men (called incubus) resulting in half-breed demon-humans (called cambion). This idea has its origins in the Dead Sea Scrolls, Enochic literature, the Old Testament pseudepigraphal writings including the Book of Jubilees (Jub 7:21–24). Some early church historians (e.g. Tertullian) shared this belief as do the Aramaic Targum Pseudo-Jonathan (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nephilim). Some Bible commentators view Jude 1:6–7 as substantiating this viewpoint. 

Some scholars have taken the term “sons of Elohim” to mean “angels,” and in this case fallen angels or demons, thus ostensibly substantiating the fallen angel-women union idea. Every other place beside Gen 6:2 where the actual term “sons of Elohim” is found in the Tanakh (OT), it refers to angels. This is the case in Job 1:6, 2:1; and 38:7. On the other hand, there are several passages in the Tanakh that have similar terms such as “sons of Elohim” that refer to men (e.g. “children/sons of the YHVH your Elohim,” Deut 14:1; “sons of the most high”; and Ps 82:6; “sons of the Living El,” Hos 1:10). Beyond that, there are numerous passages where Elohim refers to the nation of Israel or certain Israelites as his son (Exod 4:22–23; 2 Sam 7:14; 1 Chr 17:14; 22:10; 28:6; Jer 31:20, etc. ). In several biblical passages in the Testimony of Yeshua (NT), the term “sons of God/Elohim” refers to humans (John 1:12; Rom 8:14, 19; Phil 2:15; 1 John 3:1, 2). Based on this, some biblical researchers take the term “sons of Elohim” and declare it to be synonymous with other similar, but not exact biblical terms. Whether these terms are equivalent in the minds of the biblical writers or not is a debate that has been raging among biblical scholars for hundreds of years.

On the meaning of the term nephilim, since the biblical linguistic evidence seems unclear in the minds of many Bible students as to the exact meaning of the word nephilim, let us now consider the opinion of the ancients on this subject to see how they understood the meaning of the word. Perhaps this will bring some light onto this confusion.

The idea that nephilim is a result of the union between demons and women is largely promoted in the Ethiopian Book of 1 Enoch, which, though mentioned in the Scriptures (Jude 14), the version that is currently extant is barely 500 years old and is of questionable origins and, in some instances, contradicts the Bible. The biblical Enoch lived more than 5000 years before the oldest extant copy of the modern book that bears his name. Therefore, some modern scholars reason that it is highly unlikely that the current book of 1 Enoch is the same as the one that is mentioned in the Bible, and, therefore, discredit its content. 

On the other hand, modern biblical scholars such as Dr. Michael Heiser in his recent well-researched books, The Unseen Realm—Recovering the Supernatural View of the Bible and Reversing Hermon—Enoch, the Watchers, and the Forgotten Mission of Jesus Christ, gives strong and eye-opening linguistic, historical and biblical evidence to the validity of the book of 1 Enoch.

Moreover, in further substantiation of the ancient origins of the book of 1 Enoch and the veracity of its account pertaining to the sons of Elohim being fallen angels, confirming Heiser’s assertions, the first century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus assumes that the nephilim were evil giants and the offspring of the union of angels and women. He writes,

…for many angels of God accompanied with women, and begat sons that proved unjust, and despisers of all that was good, on account of the confidence they had in their own strength, for the tradition is that these men did what resembled the acts of those whom the Grecians call giants [i.e. the demigod Titans].” (Ant. 1.3.1)

Here Josephus indicates that the idea that the fallen angels were the fathers of the giants is the general opinion of antiquity and thus favors the idea that the word nephilim should carry the meaning of giants. Philo of Alexandria, the first century Jewish philosopher, expresses the same opinion (Allegorical Interpretation, “On the Giants,” chap. IV.16; XIII.32). 

Moreover, the Jewish scholars who translated the Hebrew Tanakh into Greek during the intertestamental period translated the Hebrew word nephilim from Gen 6:4 as giants (Gr. gigantes) and not as “fallen ones.” 


 

New Video: The Book of Enoch—Fact or Fiction?

Is the Book of Enoch a credible source for spiritual truth? How does it compare with the truth of the Bible? Who are the sons of God? Who are the watchers? What about giants or the nephilim? This video answers these questions and much more.


 

A Final Word on the Tabernacle of Moses and Theosis

The process of man going from being a physical and human creature to becoming an immortal and glorified child of the Most High, in theological terms, is called theosis. This is an ancient Christian concept that is still held by the Eastern Orthodox Church referring to the spiritual process that occurs resulting in the deification of man. The goal of theosis is to become like Elohim and to become eventually united with him spiritually. Theosis is the biblical concept of a redeemed or spiritually regenerated individual becoming a partaker YHVH’s divine nature (2 Pet 1:4), and being adopted into the family of Elohim (see verses below). It is about man becoming like Elohim — becoming part of the family of Elohim as a son of Elohim (John 10:34; Ps 82:1; 1 John 3:1–3).

Genesis - Bible - Creation - Old & Young

This is our theosis, that as the Ruach haKodesh (the Holy Spirit) identified Yeshua as the Son of Elohim at his  baptism, so we too become a son of Elohim at our baptism, when we become a new creation through Yeshua and the work of the Holy Spirit (Gal 2:20; 2 Cor 5:17). At that time, one is begotten into the family of Elohim, and when one receives one’s glorified body at the resurrection one will be fully born or adopted into the family of Elohim as a full-fledged son of Elohim, for, as the Scripture says, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is (1 John 3:1–3).

Paul refers to theosis in several places when he uses the term adoption. Continue reading