Category Archives: The true and living God

Who is the God of Israel?

Israel

By David Cook

Is the God explained by the Jewish Rabbis from the Talmud; the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?  What about Chabad-Lubavitch; the Orthodox Hasidic Jews in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, New York.  Do they  have the true wisdom, understanding, and knowledge of the God of Israel?  Is the seventh Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson really the promised Moshiach?  Since the Rebbe passed away on June 12, 1994, does this mean the Moshiach will come twice?  How about Kabbalah Judaism; is this Jewish mysticism revealing the hidden mysteries about the God of Israel through their esoteric method, discipline and school of thought?  What about the Messianic Yeshuanikim; do they have revelation of the divine nature of YHVH Elohim from Yeshua the Moshiach?  Other Jews are non-religious, and consider themselves Secular Jews; and range from humanism, agnosticism to atheism, intertwined with various aspects of rationalism.  Many believe that man and all of creation is the result of random change, plus time; over billions of years of evolution.  For the humanist, agnostic or atheist; their only hope for the redemption of Israel will come from the collective intelligence, work and military strength of the Jewish people.  Such diverse theological positions and non-theological positions.

Who is the God of Israel?

The prophet Moses wrote in the Torah about Abraham’s grandson Jacob, the son of Isaac.  We read in the book of Genesis chapter 28;

28 So Isaac called Jacob and blessed him and charged him, and said to him, “You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan. 2 Arise, go to Paddan-aram, to the house of Bethuel your mother’s father; and from there take to yourself a wife from the daughters of Laban your mother’s brother. 3 May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples. 4 May He also give you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your descendants with you, that you may possess the land of your sojournings, which God gave to Abraham.” 5 Then Isaac sent Jacob away, and he went to Paddan-aram to Laban, son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, the mother of Jacob and Esau.  Genesis 28:1-5 NASB

May El Shaddai bless you and make you fruitful

El Shaddai is the God of Abraham and Isaac.  El Shaddai is the Mighty God who nurtures His people.  El Shaddai is the all-sufficient Mighty God. [1]  El Shaddai was the God of Abraham and Isaac but would Jacob serve the God of His fathers?

Jacob's Dream at Bethel

Jacob’s dream at Bethel, by José de Ribera.

On his journey back to Paddan-aram Jacob had a dream.

“the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac”

10 Then Jacob departed from Beersheba and went toward Haran. 11 He came to a certain place and spent the night there, because the sun had set; and he took one of the stones of the place and put it under his head, and lay down in that place. 12 He had a dream, and behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants. 14 Your descendants will also be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 15 Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” 16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” 17 He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”  Genesis 28:10-17 NASB

“the Elohim of your father Abraham and the Elohim of Isaac”

YHVH (Yĕhovah) said He is the Elohim of Abraham and the Elohim of Isaac.  The Hebrew word “Elohim” is a plural masculine noun for God.  Elohim is the plural of El (or possibly of Eloah) it is the first name for God given by Moses in the Tanakh: “In the beginning, God (Elohim) created the heavens and the earth” Genesis 1:1 [2]

Yĕhovah the Elohim who created the heavens and the earth is the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac.  Yĕhovah the Elohim of Abraham and Isaac appeared to Jacob in a dream and spoke to him and made promises to him about the future of the land he was sleeping on, multiplying his descendants and that through one of his offspring; all the families of the earth would be blessed.  God made promises to Abraham, and these promise were passed on to his grandson Jacob.  [3]

Bethel

18 So Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on its top. 19 He called the name of that place Bethel; however, previously the name of the city had been Luz. 20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me on this journey that I take, and will give me food to eat and garments to wear, 21 and I return to my father’s house in safety, then the Lord will be my God. 22 This stone, which I have set up as a pillar, will be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.”  Genesis 28:18-22 NASB

Bethel means “House of El” or “House of God”.  [4]

“El Shaddai” & “Thy Word” performed by Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith

Moses wrote in Genesis chapter 32 that Jacob wrestled all night with a “man” who later Jacob stated is God (El).  The Person from heaven who looked like a man but turned out to be God changed Jacob’s name to Israel and blessed him.

Who is this “man” who turned out to be “God”?

Jacob Wrestles with God

24 Then Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. 25 When he saw that he had not prevailed against him, he touched the socket of his thigh; so the socket of Jacob’s thigh was dislocated while he wrestled with him. 26 Then he said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking.” But he said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27 So he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28 He said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed.” 29 Then Jacob asked him and said, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And he blessed him there. 30 So Jacob named the place Peniel, for he said, “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been preserved.” 31 Now the sun rose upon him just as he crossed over Penuel, and he was limping on his thigh. 32 Therefore, to this day the sons of Israel do not eat the sinew of the hip which is on the socket of the thigh, because he touched the socket of Jacob’s thigh in the sinew of the hip.

Genesis 32:24-32 NASB

The prophet Moses wrote that Jacob was left alone, “and a man wrestled with him until daybreak”.  Who was this man that wrestled with Jacob?  Why did Jacob think this man had the authority to bless him?

Who is the God of Israel?

Some believe that Jacob wrestled with an angel.  Yet Moses wrote that Jacob said, “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been preserved.”  Was Jacob right?  Did Jacob wrestle with God, and see God face to face?  Jacob was so convinced he had a real encounter with God that he named the place Peniel, which means “face of God”.

Jacob’s new name Israel means to “struggle with God” and man and prevail.  Jacob wrestled all night with God, and persevered in faith; to be blessed by God.  Israel is the new name given to Jacob by God.  Some believe the “man” who later is revealed to be “God“, who blessed Jacob and gave him the new name Israel; is the pre-incarnate Moshiach, the Son of the living God.  The prophet Micah wrote that the Moshiach existed long before His incarnation, long before His birth in Bethlehem;

“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,

Too little to be among the clans of Judah,

From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.

His goings forth are from long ago,

From the days of eternity.”

Micah 5:2 NASB

Jacob asked the “man” he wrestled with, “Please tell me your name.” But the “man” who turns out to be God said, “Why is it that you ask my name?”  The God-man eluded Jacob’s question with another question and left His identity obscure.  Jacob has had a real encounter with the God of Abraham and Isaac, yet he does not know His name.

The God of Israel, is the Lord of hosts

The prophet Isaiah wrote that the Lord of hosts, is the God of Israel;

“O Lord of hosts, the God of Israel,

who is enthroned above the cherubim,

You are the God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth.

You have made heaven and earth.

Isaiah 37:16 NASB

Isaiah had a vision of the Lord of hosts on His throne;

In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. 2 Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called out to another and said,

“Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts,

The whole earth is full of His glory.”

Isaiah 6:1-3 NASB

 

Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying,

“Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?”

Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!”  

Isaiah 6:8 NASB

Isaiah receives his call as a prophet from the Lord of hosts.  Isaiah responded, “Here am I.  Send me!”  Why does the Yĕhovah refer to Himself both in the singular and in the plural?  “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?”  (See Genesis 1:26)  The triune Almighty God — Elohim (plural noun for mighty God) who is revealed in the Torah is a unique unified one, therefore the verbs and adjectives used with Elohim are singular.

Yehovah Elohim exists, He causes all things to come into existence.  Yehovah Elohim is the self-existent One.  Yehovah Elohim is the great “I AM”; who is, who was, who is to come.   He is the first cause; Creator of the universe, all that is seen and unseen, all that is visible and invisible.  Yehovah Elohim, the Lord our God is a unique unified one.

El is a Semitic name for God.  The Hebrew word “Elohim” is a plural masculine noun that means the strong supreme One, Almighty God.  Moses also writes in the Torah of our Almighty God (Elohim) in the plural in Genesis 3:22 and Genesis 11:7.

Then the LORD God said,

“Behold, the man has become like one of Us…”

Genesis 3:22 NASB

The prophet Isaiah tells us that the Lord of hosts created the heavens and the earth.

12 “Listen to Me, O Jacob, even Israel whom I called;

I am He, I am the first, I am also the last.

13 “Surely My hand founded the earth,

And My right hand spread out the heavens;

When I call to them, they stand together.

Isaiah 48:12-13 NASB

Isaiah explains more of who was involved in the creation of the heavens and the earth in Isaiah chapter 48, verses 12-16.  The “Me” mentioned in verse 12 is identified as “I am the first, I am also the last” who is the maker of the heavens.  Who is the “I AM the First, I AM the Last” who made the heavens and the earth?  If we look back in Isaiah 48, verse 2 we see the “Me” is identified as “the God of Israel; the Lord of hosts”.  The Lord of hosts is the Commander of heavens armies.

The Lord of hosts, is the First and the Last; who created the heavens and the earth.  In chapter 48, verse 16 we see that the “Lord of hosts”, who is “the First and the Last” maker of the heavens and the earth was sent by the “Lord GOD” (Adonai Yĕhovah in Hebrew).  What is the significance of the fact that the Lord GOD sent the Lord of hosts?  We see that the theology of the Tanach is consistent with the teaching of Yeshua the Moshiach and the New Testament writers.   The belief that Elohim is a unified one Lord is supported by numerous scriptures throughout the Tanach, one being Isaiah 48:16 which includes a reference to three distinct divine Persons.

“And now the Lord GOD has sent Me, and His Spirit.”

Isaiah 48:16 NASB

1. Lord GOD

2. “Me”

3. His Spirit

So who is this “Me’ in verse 16?  The “Me” in verse 16 is the Lord of hosts, the First and the Last who created the heavens and the earth.  If we turn to the last book of the Bible, the book of Revelation to find a clue who this mystery Person is.  The apostle John writes, “Fear not, ‘I am the first and the last, and the living one.  I died and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.” Revelation 1:17-18 John reveals that the one speaking is Yeshua the risen Savior, the promised Moshiach.  Yeshua is the Lord of host; who said, “I am He, I am the first, I am also the last.”

1. Lord GOD = Adonai Yĕhovah

2. “Me” = the Yĕhovah of hosts, who is Adonai Yeshua

3. His Spirit = His Ruach (Spirit of Adonai Yĕhovah) [5]

 

 “And now the Adonai Yĕhovah has sent Me, and His Spirit.”

Isaiah 48:16

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace

In chapter 9, Isaiah wrote a prophecy concerning the Moshiach;

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;

And the government will rest on His shoulders;

And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

7 There will be no end to the increase of

His government or of peace,

On the throne of David and over his kingdom,

To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness

From then on and forevermore.

The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.

Isaiah 9:6-7 NASB

 

Michael Card and Sara Groves sing El Shaddai

What is this blessing promised to both Abraham and Jacob that would bless all the families of the earth?

Through Jacob’s family line, the Moshiach was born and He will bring redemption for all the families of the earth; those chosen before the foundation of the world, from every tribe and language and people and nation. [6]

Saul of Tarsus, from the region of Cilicia was the son of a Pharisee from the tribe of Benjamin who was schooled under Rabbi Gamaliel in Jerusalem.   Saul in his religious zeal was a persecutor of the early church.  Later, Saul became a believer in Yeshua the Moshiach.  Saul like Jacob was given a new name after his encounter with the Moshiach.  Jacob was given the name Israel, and Saul was given the name Paul when Yeshua appeared to him in a vision on the road to Damascus. [7]

Paul the apostle wrote to Jewish and Gentile believers in Moshiach this commentary on Genesis;

6 Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. 7 Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. 8 The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “All the nations will be blessed in you.” 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.  Galatians 3:6-9 NASB

Yeshua the Moshiach is the blessing promised to Abraham.  So that now, both Jews and Gentiles may receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. [8]  Moshiach is the One who would come and bless all the families of the earth.  The promises were made to Abraham and to his decedent, namely the Moshiach. [9]

Can a Jewish person find eternal redemption by attempting to obey the 613 Laws of Torah?  Can a Gentile person find eternal redemption by attempting to obey the 7 Noahide Laws?  Will both Jew and non-Jew be assured of a place in the World to Come (Olam Haba), the final reward of the righteous; by keeping the Law of God?

Moses wrote in the Torah; that Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness. [10]

The Law given through Moses does not nullify the promise God made to Abraham, of righteousness by faith.  The 613 Mosaic Laws were given 430 years after God made the covenant with Abraham, which included among other things; the promise of the Moshiach and righteousness by faith.  The apostle Paul explains; the law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. 18 For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on the promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise. [11]

Why then, was the law given?

The Law was given because of transgressions until the Moshiach had come. [12]  The Moshiach is the descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who would bless “all the families of the earth”. [13]

13 For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified; 15 for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no violation.  Romans 4:13-15 NASB

The promised Moshiach came at the appointed time, He lived among us and then willingly laid down His life as a sacrificial offering for our many sins.  The sinless Moshiach took all our sins upon Himself, so that we might become God’s righteous people by faith.  The prophet Zechariah wrote about the invasion of Israel and the siege of Jerusalem by many nations just prior to the return of the Moshaich;

2 “Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah. 3 It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.  Zechariah 12:2-3 NASB

5 Then the clans of Judah will say in their hearts, ‘A strong support for us are the inhabitants of Jerusalem through the Lord of hosts, their God.’   Zechariah 12:5 NASB

Then one day, the Lord of hosts will return to Jerusalem; and the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem will look on the Lord of hosts, “whom they have pierced”; and they will mourn.  We read in Zechariah 12:10 “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.”

The God of Israel is the Lord of hosts.  The Lord of hosts is the One who was pierced for our transgression; Yeshua the promised Moshiach. [14]  In Zechariah chapter 14, we read about the millennial reign of the Moshiach King on earth when He will rule from Jerusalem; 16 Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths. 17 And it will be that whichever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, there will be no rain on them.   Zechariah 14:16-17 NASB

Selah.

[1] El Shaddai is the all-sufficient Mighty God.  http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Names_of_G-d/El/el.html

[2] Elohim a Hebrew word for God is the plural of El (or possibly Eloah).  http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Names_of_G-d/Elohim/elohim.html

[3] A continuation of the promise to Abram in Genesis 12:1-3

[4] Bethel means “House of El” or “House of God”.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bethel

[5] His Ruach Adonai Yehovah (see Isaiah 61:1)

[6] If you belong to Moshiach then you are Abram’s descendants, heirs according to promise; Galatians 3:26-29.  People redeemed from every tribe, language, people and nation; Revelation 5:9-10.  The saints (elect believers in the Moshiach) were chosen by God before the foundation of the world, Ephesians 1:4-6 and 1:11-12.

[7] Saul of Tarsus, Acts 21:39.  Saul from the tribe of Benjamin, Romans 11:1.  Saul was schooled by Rabbi Gamaliel in Jerusalem, Acts 22:3. Saul a persecutor of the early church, Acts 8:3.  Yeshua appeared to Saul on the road to Damascus, Acts 9:1-31.

[8] In Moshiach the Gentiles receive the promise of the Spirit through faith, Galatians 3:14.

[9] Moshiach would bless all the families of the earth, Galatians 3:16.

[10] Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.  Genesis 15:6 NIVUK.

[11] The 613 Laws given by Moses, do not nullify the promise God made to Abram of righteousness by faith; Galatians 3:17-19 NIVUK.

[12] Why was the Mosaic Law given? Galatians 3:19.

[13] All the families of the earth will be blessed through Abraham’s descendant the Moshiach, Genesis 12:3 and 28:14 and Galatians 3:16.

[14] “But He was pierced through for our transgressions”, Isaiah 53:5.  “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf”, 2 Corinthians 5:21.

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God’s Prophetic 70 Weeks

By David M. Cook

God gave His people the Tanakh, made up of the Torah, known as “the Law”; the five foundation books written by Moses, and the Neviim and Treisar, known as “the Prophets”; the prophetic writings of the major and minor Hebrew prophets, Ketuvim, “the Writings”; the Psalms of David, the Wisdom of Solomon, the sufferings of Job and the Megilot which includes these five books; Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Esther.  The Tanakh, known as the “Old Testament” in the Christian Bible; is a most unique and amazing collection of literature.  The triune Almighty God — Elohim (a Hebrew plural noun for Almighty God) who is revealed in the Torah, is a unique unified one.  Elohim has been actively involved in the Biblical story line throughout history, from the beginning until now; as well as working in and through each writer.  The Creator of the heavens and earth, the King of the universe, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has given His people light, truth, revelation, and insight to understand His prophetic plan for humanity.  The central character of God’s plan of redemption is the promised Messiah foretold by the prophets.

First and foremost we learn from the scriptures written by Moses in the Torah, to love the LORD your God with all your, heart, soul and strength;

4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.

5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart

and with all your soul and with all your strength.

6 These commandments that I give you today

are to be upon your hearts.

7 Impress them on your children.

Talk about them when you sit at home

and when you walk along the road,

when you lie down and when you get up.

8 Tie them as symbols on your hands

and bind them on your foreheads.

9 Write them on the doorframes

of your houses and on your gates.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 NIV

Our second priority is to love people, loving your neighbor as yourself.  If we love our neighbor we won’t covet what belongs to our neighbor, his house, his car, his fine threads or his wife.  These two priorities, loving God with our all and loving all of our neighbors sums up the writings of the Torah and the Hebrew prophets.

8Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another;

for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.

9For this, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY,

YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL,

YOU SHALL NOT COVET,”

and if there is any other commandment,

it is summed up in this saying,

“YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”

10Love does no wrong to a neighbor;

therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Romans 13:8-10 NASB

If only we could do this each day, to love the Lord our God and to love every person in every instance.  But let’s be honest, not every day nor in every way; have we loved God with our all and loved all of our neighbors as ourselves at all times, at least I know I haven’t.  The prophet Isaiah tells us that I’m not alone.

All of us like sheep have gone astray,

Each of us has turned to his own way;

But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all

To fall on Him.

Isaiah 53:6 NASB

Who is this righteous suffering Servant spoken of by Isaiah?  Who is this sacrificial Lamb who the Lord causes all of our iniquity to fall on?  All of us need a redemption.  We need a Redeemer, a Deliver, all of us need a Savior.  We need someone to redeem us, to deliver us, to save us from our all of our iniquities.  When there is no repentance, when there is no faith in God and His provision for our sin, then judgment comes.  Our sins have consequences, when God’s people refuse to listen, repent of sin and heed His Word, then the consequences are severe.

We read in 2 Chronicles chapter 36;

15 The LORD, the God of their fathers,

sent word to them through his messengers again and again,

because he had pity on his people and on his dwelling place.

16 But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his words

and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the LORD

was aroused against his people and there was no remedy.

17 He brought up against them the king of the Babylonians,

who killed their young men with the sword in the sanctuary,

and spared neither young man nor young woman, old man or aged.

God handed all of them over to Nebuchadnezzar.

18 He carried to Babylon all the articles from the temple of God,

both large and small, and the treasures of the LORD’s temple

and the treasures of the king and his officials.

19 They set fire to God’s temple

and broke down the wall of Jerusalem;

they burned all the palaces and destroyed everything of value there.

20 He carried into exile to Babylon the remnant,

who escaped from the sword,

and they became servants to him and his sons

until the kingdom of Persia came to power.

2 Chronicles 36:15-20 NIV

God’s own people mocked His messengers, despised His word and scoffed at His prophets until the wrath of the LORD was aroused against His people and there was no remedy.  Why do we do this?  Why such contempt of the Almighty, who is both our Father who is in heaven and a righteous Judge executing justice?  Since Adam in the garden after the fall of man, the sin problem has spread from one generation to the next, without remedy until God’s plan of atonement by His righteous suffering Servant was revealed as foretold by Isaiah.  How would God solve the “sin” dilemma, the problem that all people of all time have sinned, (except one) and bring redemption for those He chose and those He loves?  God’s people despaired when they arrived in Babylon, it seemed no hope was to be found, and they were in captivity for many years.  The first temple and much of Jerusalem including the wall were burned and destroyed.  Many men and women, young and old were killed with the sword by the Babylonian army, but a remnant of Israel survived and were carried off to Babylon in exile for seventy years.

The Tanakh is a collection of scriptures inspired by God, when we read it or hear it read your faith may commence and increase.  God gave His people an amazing prophecy in the book of Daniyel chapter 9 about the arrival of an anointed Prince who would atone for our iniquities, His advent is paramount for Israel;

“You are to know and understand

that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem

until one anointed, the Prince,

there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks;

it will be built again, with plaza and moat,

even in times of distress.”

Daniel 9:25 HSV

What important message was Gabriel sent to earth to communicate?  Gabriel was sent to Daniel to let God’s people know when the Messiah the Prince would appear in history.  Gabriel informed Daniel that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince is presented, would be a specific period of time, “seven weeks and sixty-two weeks”.

When was the decree issued to restore and rebuild Jerusalem?

We read in the book of Nehemiah chapter 2,

1 In the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes,

when wine was brought for him,

I took the wine and gave it to the king.

I had not been sad in his presence before; 2 so the king asked me,

“Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill?

This can be nothing but sadness of heart.”

I was very much afraid, 3 but I said to the king,

“May the king live forever!

Why should my face not look sad

when the city where my fathers are buried lies in ruins,

and its gates have been destroyed by fire?”

4 The king said to me, “What is it you want?”

Then I prayed to the God of heaven, 5 and I answered the king,

“If it pleases the king and if your servant

has found favor in his sight,

let him send me to the city in Judah where my fathers are buried

so that I can rebuild it.”

Nehemiah 2:1-4 NIV

We read in this scripture that Nehemiah asks permission of the ruler of the Persian Empire, King Artaxerxes; if he may go and rebuild Jerusalem in the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of the reign King Artaxerxes.  As we read further into the chapter we find out that permission was granted, with protection for safe passage to return to his homeland and building materials were provided as requested by Nehemiah.  So the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem was issued by Artaxerxes Longimanus on March 14, 445 B.C. [1]  Other mandates were issued by Cyrus King of the Persian Empire, we read of one in the book of Ezra chapter 1 verses 1 through 4. Cyrus issued a decree to rebuild the Jewish Temple, but since Gabriel stipulates in Daniel chapter 9 verse 25, “with plaza and moat” to restore and rebuild the city of Jerusalem (not the temple), therefore we can conclude that the decree issued by Artaxerxes Longimanus is the starting point to calculate the 69 weeks.

Israel’s hope and future is intimately intertwined with the advent of the anointed Prince, the promised Messiah.  From the beginning God knew He would redeem His people, so that our sin would not separate us from knowing the true and living YHVH, the self existent God; who is the first cause of all.  Out of God’s great love for His people it was His purpose to send His righteous Servant to atone for all our iniquity.  The Hebrew prophets foretold that God’s promised Messiah, the anointed Prince would die a sacrificial death as a scapegoat for all sin.

Moses gives us a foreshadowing of this concept through the father of faith, our father Abraham.  As you know, Abraham and Sarah were unable to have children but God gave him a promise that he would have a son, whose birth was a miracle.  Our father Abraham, a loving father was tested, he was asked to sacrifice his beloved son on the altar, although God stopped him. [2]  This is known in Hebrew as the Akedah.  Because Abraham obeyed Elohim’s voice, God gave Abraham the promise that one of his “Seed” or offspring would bless all the nations of the earth.

“In your seed

all the nations of the earth shall be blessed,

because you have obeyed My voice.”

Genesis 22:18 NIV

Who is the promised Seed who will bless all the nations of the earth?  This is a promise by God about the Messiah who would come to earth, in the fullness of times.  God gave us the Akedah, the account of Abraham offering Isaac as a sacrifice in the Torah, in order to see what He Himself would be required to do for His people in the future.  The Lord our God would provide a sacrifice for sin, His own beloved Son of promise, whose birth was a miracle, is the innocent Lamb who atoned for all our sin. God did provide for Himself the perfect Lamb, this was His plan for redemption for His people, to deliver us from our sin.

While Israel was in exile in Babylon, in response to Daniels contrite confession of his sin and the sins of his people God sent Gabriel with a special communiqué from the Almighty about the advent of an anointed Prince who would atone for the iniquity of us all – the promised Messiah.

24“Seventy weeks have been decreed

for your people and your holy city,

to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin,

to make atonement for iniquity,

to bring in everlasting righteousness,

to seal up vision and prophecy

and to anoint the most holy place.

Daniel 9:24 NASB

Some say we should look for the anointed Prince after 7 weeks (or 49 years), although when we look 49 years after the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem there is not an anointed Prince in Jerusalem who came to atone for sin.  But when we look in history 69 weeks after the decree we discover who the anointed Prince is.  So let’s go figure.  When we think of a “week” we think of 7 days, but in Daniel 9:25 a “week” refers to seven years instead of seven days.  A “week” of years is similar to a decade. A decade is ten years; but a “week” of years is seven years.  So we have 7 ‘sevens’ and 62 ‘sevens’.  If you add 7 weeks plus 62 weeks there is 69 weeks of years.

69 weeks of years is 69 times 7 years which equals 483 years.

The U.S.A. currently uses the Gregorian calendar that is a 365-day year, based upon the Anno Domini system that counts years from the traditional incarnation of Yeshua the Messiah.  Ancient calendars by the Hebrews, Egyptians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Persians, Greeks, Phoenicians, Chinese, Mayans and other civilizations were based on a 360-day year.  These ancient calendars usually were based on twelve 30-day months. [3]  We see this reflected in Bible prophecies in both the Tanakh (Old Testament) and New Testament with a 30-day month and a 360-day year, referred to by some Biblical scholars and theologians as a “Prophetic Calendar” [4]

So 69 times 7 years equals 483 years,

and 483 years times 360-days equals 173,880 days.

Gabriel gave insight to Daniel that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until an anointed Prince there will be seven seven-year periods plus sixty-two seven-year periods of time; which equals 483 years.  Then when we multiply 483 years times 360-days this equals 173,880 days.  This anointed One, the Mäshiach, who is the anointed “Prince of Peace”, the “Prince of princes”, the King of kings; came to redeem God’s people and atone for our sins; “the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.” [5]

The English word “prince” used here in Hebrew is “nagid” – a leader, ruler, prince, commander-in-chief, or king. [6]  Isaiah tells us that Mäshiach is “Mighty God”, “Prince of Peace”. [7]  He is also the “Commander of the host” of heaven, the “Prince of princes”, [8] He is the anointed “King of kings” and Lord of lords. [9]

When did the anointed One, the Mäshiach, the anointed King come to Jerusalem?  Yeshua the Mäshiach rode into Jerusalem on a colt, the foal of a donkey and was presented as King on April 6, 32 A.D. [10]

The Hebrew prophet Zachariah prophesied under the inspiration of the Spirit of the Lord;

Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion!

Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem!

See, your king comes to you,

righteous and having salvation,

gentle and riding on a donkey,

on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

Zachariah 9:9 NIV

We read in chapter 19 of Luke’s account about an important event of the ministry of Yeshua the Mäshiach;

35They brought it to Jesus,

and they threw their coats on the colt and put Jesus on it.

36As He was going, they were spreading their coats on the road.

37As soon as He was approaching,

near the descent of the Mount of Olives,

the whole crowd of the disciples

began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice

for all the miracles which they had seen,

38shouting:
”BLESSED IS THE KING

WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD;

Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

39Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him,

“Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.”

40But Jesus answered,

“I tell you, if these become silent,

the stones will cry out!”

Luke 19:35-40 NASB

From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem on March 14, 445 B.C. by Artaxerxes Longimanus until Yeshua arrived and was presented in Jerusalem as the Messianic King on April 6, 32 A.D.; we discover that when we calculate 69 weeks of years (or 483 years and correct for leap years) it figures out to be 173,880 days to the day. [11]

How is this possible, to announce the coming of the Anointed One, the Lord’s Mäshiach, the King of Zion; five centuries before the historical event transpires in precise detail?  The Tanakh is an amazing collection of books, our awesome God orchestrated it.  YHVH our Elohim is omniscient, the future is as clear to Him as the present and the past; He knows the beginning from the end.  YHVH our Elohim is the A & Z, the beginning and the end, the Creator and the Judge.  Our Father in heaven wanted His people to know exactly when His Son, the Prince of princes and King of kings; would arrive on earth and step forward as the Messiah.  God is faithful, He keeps His promises, He is not like men, nor is He like the sons of men who do not fulfill their word. [12]

In Daniel 9:24 God’s angelic messenger Gabriel communicated that it had been our heavenly Father’s plan to redeem us by paying the debt of sin, in order to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, and to bring in everlasting righteousness.  The penalty for sin was paid for.  Messiah’s sacrificial death on the cross was not for his own transgressions, but His suffering and excruciating execution on the cross were for our sin; His life was given as an atonement for our transgressions.  His human body was “cut off”, he was crucified.  Yeshua is the perfect sacrificial Lamb who is without sin, the day of His death on the cross was God’s provision for all sin for all time; it was the day of atonement.  He is the one who came to save His people from all of our sins.

The city of Jerusalem and the glorious second temple were destroyed as foretold by Gabriel to Daniel in chapter 9 verse 26;

After the sixty-two weeks the Anointed One will be cut off,

but not for Himself.

The people of the prince that will come;

will destroy the city and the temple,

the end will come with a flood

and desolations are determined until the end of the war.

Daniel 9:26 HSV

YHVH Elohim sent Gabriel to tell His people that an Anointed Prince, who is the promised Messiah must come, atone for sin and be killed before the destruction of Jerusalem and the second temple which occurred in 70 A.D., when the Roman legions fought under Titus Vespasian and the Roman army leveled the city.  Tragically, most of the Jewish people did not recognize the time of their visitation by Yeshua the Mäshiach, God’s promised Messianic King.

because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”

As the anointed King approached Jerusalem, He wept over the city and He gave the reason why the second temple and the city of Jerusalem were destroyed as predicted by Gabriel in Daniel 9:26;

41When He approached Jerusalem,

He saw the city and wept over it,

42saying, “If you had known in this day,

even you, the things which make for peace!

But now they have been hidden from your eyes.

43For the days will come upon you

when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you,

and surround you and hem you in on every side,

44and they will level you to the ground

and your children within you,

and they will not leave in you one stone upon another,

because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”

Luke 19:41-44 NASB

Both God’s messenger the angel Gabriel and Yeshua the Son God, the promised Messiah prophesied the destruction of the second temple and Jerusalem.  In the Bible we see both the severity of God’s judgment and the mercy and love of our Father who is in heaven.  Messiah Yeshua explained God’s plan for our redemption and salvation, and how to receive eternal life.

14“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,

even so must the Son of Man be lifted up;

15so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.

16“For God so loved the world,

that He gave His only begotten Son,

that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

17“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world,

but that the world might be saved through Him.

18“He who believes in Him is not judged;

he who does not believe has been judged already,

because he has not believed

in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

John 3:14-18 NASB

In the fullness of times, Messiah did come and was presented as King in Jerusalem.  In the Gospel of John we read how God blesses all those who believe in and receive His Son, Yeshua the promised Messiah;

11He came to His own,

and those who were His own did not receive Him.

12But as many as received Him,

to them He gave the right to become children of God,

even to those who believe in His name,

13who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh

nor of the will of man, but of God.

John 1:11-13 NASB

The seventieth week is a seven-year period of time that soon will be upon us, known as “the time of Jacob’s trouble”.  This seven-year period of time is revealed to us prophetically by the Lord our God in much detail by the prophets. [13]  At the end of God’s prophetic 70th week, there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. [14]  Yeshua the Messiah, the Son of the living God will come on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.  He will send His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect people from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other. [15]  Then God’s righteous wrath will be poured out on the earth [16] and then Messiah will return as promised and fight the wars of God [17], set up His messianic millennial reign of peace; [18] where He will rule the nations in the strength of His might with a rod of iron from Jerusalem. [19]  Blessed are those who long for His appearing!

Source Notes:

[1] Anderson, Robert, The Coming Prince, Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1894. The classic work on the Seventy Weeks of Daniel.

[2] Genesis 22:1-19

[3] Missler, Chuck, “Hidden Treasures in the Biblical Text”, Koinonia House, 2001, Page 43.

[4] Genesis 7:24; 8:3,4; Revelation 11:2; 12:6; 13:3,4

[5] Isaiah 53:6 NASB

[6] New American Standard, Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible; Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries: Holman, Nashville, TN.

[7] Isaiah 9:6

[8] Daniel 8:11 & 25.

[9] Revelation 19:16

[10] Luke 3:1, Tiberias appointed in A.D. 14; 15th year, A.D. 29; the 4th Passover occurred in A.D. 32.  Also, read the thought provoking book by author: McDowell, Josh, “The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict”, Thomas Nelson, 1999, page 199.

[11] Missler, Chuck, “Daniel’s 70 Weeks”, Koinonia House, 2004.  (Also, the recording of “Expositional Commentary on Daniel”)

[12] Numbers 23:19

[13] Jeremiah 30:1-24, Matthew 24:15-35, Revelation chapters 6 to chapter 19.

[14] Matthew 24:21

[15] Matthew 24:29-31

[16] Revelation 16:1-21

[17] Zechariah 12:8-10, Zechariah 14:2-4, Isaiah 2:12-19, Isaiah 63:1-6, Revelation 19:11-21

[18] Isaiah 2:1-4, Isaiah 11:1-10

[19] Revelation 2:27, Revelation 19:15, Ezekiel 40-48

Copywrite © 2010 David M. Cook, all rights reserved.

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“The LORD our God, the LORD is one.”

By David Cook

Shema

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.”

Deuteronomy 6:4 NIV

What is Moses telling us in this scripture passage in the Torah?  Let’s go back to the book of Genesis to begin our investigation for an accurate Biblical interpretation.

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

Genesis 1:1 KJV

The Hebrew word that Moses uses for God in this verse and 32 times in chapter one of Genesis is “Elohim”, which is a transliteration from Hebrew to English.  Moses uses Elohim for God 207 times in the book of Genesis and numerous times throughout the Torah.  This name for God is an important word to understand.  Elohim is a plural and masculine noun used for God.  Elohim is used over 2300 times in the Hebrew Bible.

Moses gives us a foundational understanding about many things in Genesis – the book of beginnings.  In Genesis the first book of the Torah we find our initial understanding on the essence of God’s nature, the creation of the heavens and earth, the creation of man and woman, the beginning of marriage, and the beginning of the nation of Israel.

In  the Torah we read; “In the beginning Elohim created…”

The name for God that Moses uses in Genesis 1:1 is “Elohim” (plural Almighty God) has a plural intensive syntax.  The Hebrew verb “bara” (created) is singular since Elohim is “echad” (one or a unified one) as Moses reveals later in the Torah in Deuteronomy 6:4.  The triune Almighty God — Elohim (plural noun for mighty God) who is revealed in the Torah is a unique unified one, therefore the verbs and adjectives used with Elohim are singular.

In the Torah Moses writes that a man and his wife, the two become “echad” (one, a unified one) married couple, that the divided nation of Israel made up of the tribes of  Judah and the tribes of Ephraim become “echad” (one, a unified one) nation and the Lord our God, the Lord is “echad” (one, a unified one) God. (See Genesis 2:24, Ezekiel 37:17-22, and Deuteronomy 6:4)

Elohim (plural Almighty God) is the triune God who is the unique unified one true living God, revealed in the Bible who created the heavens and earth;  there is no other living God.

In chapter one, verse one of the book of Genesis Moses explains that God created the heavens and the earth.  In the second verse Moses writes that the Spirit of God moved over the surface of the waters, the Spirit of God; is a distinct person of the triune Godhead.  “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” Genesis 1:2 KJV  The Hebrew word that Moses uses for Spirit is “Ruach” that means breath, wind or Spirit. The Spirit of God is involved in creation in unity and in collaboration with God our Father in heaven. Moses refers to the Spirit (Ruach) 23 times in the Torah and Ruach is referred to over 200 times in Tanakh.

The Lord is One

In Genesis 1:26 Moses quotes Yehovah Elohim who speaks to other Persons of the triune Elohim in the plural.  Why did the Spirit of God illuminate Moses’ mind to choose the word Elohim a plural noun for God and quote the triune God speaking to the triune Elohim in the plural?  Moses specifically writes about the plural nature of Elohim in Genesis,

Then Elohim said,

“Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…”

Genesis 1:26 NASB

1. “Let Us make man”
2. “in Our image”
3. “according to Our likeness”

Moses quotes Elohim who refers to Himself in the plural three times, Elohim is speaking to other persons of the triune Godhead.  One of the persons of the triune Godhead is speaking to the other two.  Our Father who is in heaven, His Son and the Spirit of God are having a conversation about the creation of man being made in their image and their likeness.

The New Testament confirms what Moses  wrote in Genesis that creation was a unified collaboration by Elohim the triune Almighty God who is the Creator of the universe.  We read about creation from Saint Paul where he writes about the role of God’s Son, Jesus our Messiah:

yeshua1

He is the image of the invisible God,

the firstborn over all creation.

For by him all things were created:

things in heaven and on earth,

visible and invisible,

whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities;

all things were created by him and for him.

He is before all things,

and in him all things hold together.”

Colossians 1:15-17 NIV

Elohim a Hebrew word for God that is a plural masculine noun with plural meaning for the Almighty God is used as a “plural intensive” referring to the unified one God of Israel.  The triune God; the Father, His Son and the Holy Spirit of God, these three persons of the Godhead are a unified one.

Yeshua3

In the beginning was the Word,

and the Word was with God,

and the Word was God.

John 1:1 ESV

What is the Spirit of God teaching us through the writing of the apostle John?  The same thing that He taught us through the writings of Moses in the Torah.  Moses wrote in Deuteronomy 6:4, “The LORD our God, the LORD is one.”  The apostle John wrote that the LORD our God, the Father, and the “Word” are divine.   In the Torah and in the New Testament we see that our Father in heaven is God, and His divine Son Yeshua and the Spirit of God; these three are one (echad), a unified one God (Elohim).

So who is the “Word” that the apostle John wrote of?  The word John used for the “Word” is “Logos” a Greek masculine noun.

1 What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life— 2 and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us— 3 what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete. 1 John 1:1-4 NASB

The “Word” that the apostle John wrote about in chapter 1 is the Son of God, Yeshua the promised Moshiach.

1 In the beginning was the Word,

and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2He was in the beginning with God.

3 All things came into being through Him,

and apart from Him nothing came into being

that has come into being.

4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.

5 The Light shines in the darkness,

and the darkness did not comprehend it.

John 1:1-5 NASB

The “Word”, is a title for the Son of God, Yeshua the promised Messiah, He was with God in the beginning, He is the living Word, Yeshua is the Messiah the Son of the living God. Here John tells us that the Word (the Son of God) is a Co-Creator with His Father and the Spirit of God; “All things came into being through Him”.

Saint John gives us this insight concerning creation and that fact that Elohim (plural God) was involved from the  beginning; Our Father in heaven and His Son our Messiah, who is called in this scripture the “Word” (Logos) of God.  The Son of God, Yeshua our Messiah is the the A & the Z, He is the WORD of God the Logos.  Yeshua our Messiah existed before Abraham the  father of  faith, Yeshua is the first and the last, He is the  beginning and  the  end; Creator, Prophet, Redeemer, Savior, High Priest, Prince of  Peace, KING of Kings, LORD of Lords and Judge.

When Jesus the promised Messiah returns He will fullfill the remaining prophesis in the Bible that are before us in the future; Messiah is the hope of Israel.  When Yeshua was born  in Bethlehem hometown of King David as  Micah foretold, the Son of David became the incarnation of the Logos!  God’s Son  lived and dwelt among us, He is Emmanuel – God with us!

Yahweh the Elohim of Israel has not revealed everything about Himself to everyone, He is unique, there is no other god like Him, He is the infinite all-wise, all-powerful, everywhere present God; He is the King of the universe.  Man is finite in understanding and yet God gives illumination through the Holy Scriptures and by His Holy Spirit who gives us more understanding into the nature and essence of Yahweh our Elohim.  Both the Torah and the Tanakh and the New Covenant reveal the conundrum that surrounds the mystery of who God is; line upon line, precept upon precept.

Yehovah Elohim exists, He causes all things to come into existence.  Yehovah Elohim is the self-existent One.  Yehovah Elohim is the great “I AM”; who is, who was, who is to come.   He is the first cause; Creator of the universe, all that is seen and unseen, all that is visible and invisible.  Yehovah Elohim, the Lord our God is a unique unified one.

El is a Semitic name for God.  The Hebrew word “Elohim” is a plural masculine noun that means the strong supreme One, Almighty God.  Moses also writes in the Torah of our Almighty God (Elohim) in the plural in Genesis 3:22 and Genesis 11:7.

Then the LORD God said,

“Behold, the man has become like one of Us…”

Genesis 3:22 NASB

“Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language,

so that they will not understand one another’s speech.”  

Genesis 11:7 NASB

Yehovah our Elohim is a unified one.  As Moses tells us,

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.”

Deuteronomy 6:4 NIV

The Hebrew word Moses uses to describe God is “echad” translated as “one” in English.  In the Tanakh the word echad is used to mean a unified one and also may mean one alone.  The Rabbinic Jews interpreted echad to mean Elohim is one alone, that is God is a singularity.  Although, this interpretation is not congruent with Genesis 1:26 where Moses quotes God speaking to Himself in the plural.  Nor does this Rabbinic interpretation line up with Psalms 110:1 where King David quotes the LORD speaking to his Lord.

The LORD says to my Lord: 

“Sit at My right hand 

Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”  

Psalms 110:1 NASB

Yehovah said to my Adoni:

“Sit at My right hand,

until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”

Our Father in heaven said to His Son our Messiah, “Sit at My right hand Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”  The reason King David calls Him “my Lord” is because Messiah is the KING of Kings and the LORD of Lords.  Yeshua Ha’Mashiach (Jesus Christ) is the Son of the living God and the promised Messiah.  David calls Messiah my “Lord” (Adoni in Psalms 110:1 and Adonai in 110:5), even though Messiah would be a descendant of David who would be born of a virgin in David’s hometown of Bethlehem many years later while the Roman Empire ruled over Israel.  Why would King David call his descendant the Messiah his Lord?  Yeshua the Messiah, the Son of the living God existed before Abraham, and before Genesis 1:1.  Since Messiah Himself came and lived among us He is “Emmanuel” (with us God), Yeshua is divine, He is God incarnate.   Yeshua explained the essence of God in the New Covenant.  Believers in Jesus as the Messiah who are called Christians now see and understand that Elohim (a plural noun for God) is a unified one.

The LORD our God, the LORD is “echad” — a unified one.

The Hebrew name for the Savior of the world is Yeshua translated as Jesus into English, is the Son of God, who is of one essence with the Heavenly Father and the Ruach of Elohim that is the Holy Spirit of God.  Yehovah our Elohim is a unified one: our Father in Heaven who has an only begotten Son named Yeshua and the Spirit of God makes the three persons of the Holy Trinity, the triune God; these three persons of the Godhead are the LORD our God, the LORD is one.  The LORD our God is echad — a unified one.

Some say God who is the Creator and King of the universe is speaking to members of His heavenly court, but God was speaking to members of the triune Godhead.  Yehovah Elohim is speaking to Adonai and the Ruach of God.  Our Father in Heaven is speaking to His Son our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit of God. “Let Us make man in Our likeness and our image.”  Man is created solely in the likeness and image of God not in the likeness and image of both God and members of His heavenly court.

Yahweh the “Elohim” of Israel may enjoy not revealing all about Himself to all, He is the infinite God. Man is finite in understanding and yet God gives illumination through the Holy Scriptures and His Holy Spirit that gives us more understanding into the nature and essence of Yahweh our Elohim.  Both the Torah and the Tanakh and the New Covenant reveal the conundrum that surrounds the mystery of who God is.

In the Tanakh we read of our Father in heaven and His Spirit two distinct Persons of the Holy Triune God.  It seems as though Judaism embraces both Our Father in heaven and the Spirit of God although they view God only as a singular one.  Father God and the Sprit of God are of the same essence yet two distinct Persons of the Trinity who are one, a “unified one”.  Many within Judaism also believe in God’s Messiah but they do not think Messiah can be divine, so they reject Yeshua as the Messiah who was foretold  by the Hebrew prophets.  But the Jewish community needs to reread Isaiah chapter 9:6-7, Messiah is divine!

jesus_is_lord___god__everything___yeshua_is_adonai_by_at_the_cross-d4vmiai

The prophet Isaiah foretold:

“For to us a baby is born, to us a Son is given:

the government shall be upon His shoulders;

His name will be called Wonderful Counselor,

Omnipotent God, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace.

His government and peace will increase and go on for eternity.

He will rule on the throne of David and over his kingdom,

He will establish, sustain and defend it,

with justice and righteousness;

from its origin throughout all eternity.

The zeal of the self-existent One, the cause of all,

the LORD of the armies of heaven will accomplish this.”

Isaiah 9:6-7 HSV

Messiah will rule on David’s throne forever, He is the “Prince of Peace”, the “Almighty God”, the “Eternal Father”!  Elohim is the strong supreme One – the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, Creator and King of the universe, He is the unique unified one “Almighty God”!

Yeshua_talit

How can this Son prophesied by Isaiah who will rule upon the throne of David forever, the promised Messiah; be the “Prince of Peace” and the “Mighty God” and the “Everlasting Father”?  Jesus the promised Messiah, the Son of the living God taught us in the New Covenant; “I and My Father are one.” John 10:30 NASB  The Jews who heard Messiah make this profound statement understood that He was claiming to be one with His Father in heaven, claiming to be a unified one.  Yehovah our Elohim, Yehovah is a unified one.

There is only one triune God, there is no other.  The triune God is a unique unified one God, our Father in heaven, His beloved Son and the Holy Spirit.  Christianity is not a pagan polytheistic religion.  One Hebrew name for God that Moses used in the Torah is “Elohim”, a plural name for God.  The YHWH our Elohim, the YHWH is echad.  The Hebrew word “echad” typically means a unified one and may be used as a numerical one.  The Hebrew word “yachid” that means an absolute numeric one is never used to describe God.  The Jewish Rabbinic community may wonder, “When writing the Torah why didn’t Moses use the word ychid in the “Shema Yisrael” in Deuteronomy 6:4?  The reason is because the Spirit of God directed Moses to use an accurate word to describe The LORD our God, “echad” – a unified one.   “The LORD our God, the LORD is one.”  The LORD our God, is a unique unified one LORD.  The numeric one commandment of the ten is; “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.”  The LORD our Elohim, is the triune God; the unique unified one true and living God, Creator of the heavens and earth.                                                               

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Defining ‘Virgin’ and ‘Sign’

By David M. Cook

10 Then the Lord spoke again to Ahaz, saying, 11 “Ask a sign for yourself from the Lord your God; make it deep as Sheol or high as heaven.” 12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, nor will I test the Lord!” 13 Then he said, “Listen now, O house of David! Is it too slight a thing for you to try the patience of men, that you will try the patience of my God as well? 14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.   Isaiah 7:10-14 NASB

For many years some have attempted to discount the miraculous virgin birth of Jesus.  In the 1950’s and 60’s “liberal” theologians infiltrated Christian seminaries where many of the students later became pastors of churches for Christian mainline denominations.  These “liberal” professors systematically taught their students to doubt the Holy scriptures, especially those that allow us to see that Jesus is the promised Messiah and Son of God.  Some of these “liberal” professors–wolfs in sheep’s clothing, argued that the Hebrew word for virgin–almah also means “young woman” as well as a maiden who has not had sexual intercourse.  So these non-believing professors taught that the prophecy in Isaiah 7:14 is simply stating that a young woman will become pregnant and give birth to a son and that the scripture is not a prediction of a miraculous virgin birth.  It is ironic that unbelieving professors were instructing future pastors in matters of the Christian faith and doctrine.

In Isaiah 7:10 NIV we read; Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz, “Ask the LORD your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.”   A sign is sometimes given to let us know that God’s word or promise will come true, something to strengthen our faith in God.  If the sign God gave us is simply stating that a young woman would become pregnant and would give birth to a son, what is so special about that?  Of course even natural births are amazing, but they are common and happen every day around the world.  You see God gave a sign that was very uncommon, a young woman who had never had sexual relations with a man–a virgin became pregnant and gave birth to a Son!  The Father of the Child was Almighty God, the mother of the Child was a young Hebrew virgin named Mary and the Child’s name is Jesus, Immanuel — ‘God with us’!

Others in more recent years who are self proclaimed experts of the scriptures and supposedly of the historical Jesus have also sown seeds of doubt and unbelief.  Many of these pseudo-intellectuals are simply rationalists.  Rationalists do not believe in the supernatural or miraculous, of course they would attempt to rule out the miraculous virgin birth of Christ and other supernatural aspects of Jesus such as the miracles he performed and His resurrection.  It seems irrational of these rationalists not to expect the supernatural from the supreme supernatural being–the Almighty God.  The true and living God is all knowing, all powerful and everywhere present i.e. omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent.  He created everything both the visible and invisible.  It is very logical and rational to expect the supernatural and miraculous from an infinite all-powerful God.

 

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Birth of a royal and divine Monarch

The prophet Isaiah foretold:

“For to us a baby is born, to us a Son is given:

the government shall be upon His shoulders;

His name will be called Wonderful Counselor,

Omnipotent God, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace.

His government and peace will increase and go on for eternity.

He will rule on the throne of David and over his kingdom,

He will establish, sustain and defend it,

with justice and righteousness;

from its origin throughout all eternity.

The zeal of the self-existent One, the cause of all,

the LORD of the armies of heaven will accomplish this.”

Isaiah 9:6-7 HSV

By David M. Cook

During the Advent season this prophecy of the promised Messiah is a predominant scripture seen on many Christmas cards.  A promise that a child would be born, that a son would be given who will be called Wonderful Counselor, Omnipotent God, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace and that His government and peace will increase and go on for eternity!  This is a Messianic prophecy given by the prophet Isaiah found both in the Tanakh and the Bible.

This anointed King will rule on the throne of David and over his kingdom, He will establish, sustain and defend it, with justice and righteousness; from its origin throughout all eternity.  Many hundred years after this prophecy was given Magi from the east followed a bright star and traveled to Palestine. Following the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem of Judea, and during the reign of Herod the king, something extraordinary came to pass; Magi from the east arrived at Jerusalem and asked; “Where is the One who was born King of the Jews?  Seeing as we saw His star in the East, we have come to adore Him.”

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