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Whom do you say that I am?    by Rabbi Simon Altaf

The word "Trinity"

Some people, who do not fully understand the Godhead, think that believers in Yahshua are worshipping three gods. This is a misconception and a misunderstanding which has arisen out of the use of the word ‘Trinity’. This word is not actually found anywhere in the original or even modern text, it has been created to try and help people understand the Godhead, but indeed has created more confusion relating to the ‘three gods’ theory. No way are there three gods. The Christian faith is a belief in one God.
Yahshua Himself endorsed the Torah in that He repeated the first commandment, from Deuteronomy 6:4

"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one."

Yeshua repeated this commandment in Matthew 22:37 and in the gospel of Mark it is even clearer: Mark 12:29-30 "Jesus answered him, the first of all the commandments is: Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’
The word ‘ONE’ comes from the Hebrew ‘Echad’ as in ‘ONE’ bunch of grapes. Many grapes, one bunch. Each grape is slightly different in size, shape, than the others, but they are essentially, ONE bunch. This is a compound unity. The Father and Son are two distinct persons, and are ONE. In a marriage, a husband and wife are one, but if the husband cuts his finger, only he feels the pain, not his wife. They both have their distinct and separate identity, but are ONE. Genesis 2:24 says so. Yahshua says Himself, ‘I and the Father are ONE’ and ‘As the Father loves me, so I love you’. They are one, and yet are loved by each other. The Father and the Son, and in fact all three persons of the Godhead share the divine nature. Some who believe that God is only one, as in single, cannot say that He, (God) sent out His son. This is a contradiction of terms.

During the days of the early church, the word ‘Christian’ was used in an insulting manner for those following Yahshua. The name ‘Yahshua’ when translated into Greek, appears as: IESOUS. This has again been translated, into English and the result is the name, Jesus Christ. The word Christian, is translated from this. Yahshua when on earth, came as a Jew, and as a Jew, would be more likely have spoken in Hebrew, and perhaps Aramaic, the common language of the time.
Yahshua said that He came in His Father’s name. The longer version of this name is Yahoshua, meaning ‘Yah, the Saviour’. It is well nigh impossible to see the name of Yahweh (From the original tetragrammaton, YHWH) in the Greek form as in ‘Theos’ or ‘Kurios’, or of course, in the name ‘Jesus.’

Yahshua would not have made it difficult for His people to recognise His name, as this would have made it impossible for them to know that He was the fulfilment of the Messianic prophecies spoken and written about Him in the ancient texts of old. Also, importantly, in the Peshitta, the Aramaic Bible, the sacred names are preserved. They were only removed when the text was translated into other languages, mainly because of a fear that people who were reading the texts from other nationalities, unregenerate and unbelieving before conversion, may misuse the sacred names and unwittingly blaspheme the Almighty. Yahshua Himself spoke Aramaic for the sake of the people around Him. This is proven by His words from the cross Mark 15:34 ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’
Yahshua is both human and deity. He understands our frame, as He has experienced what it is to be human. He therefore is able to intercede on our behalf to the Father, and is able to empathise with our struggles and difficulties. He also shares all the authority of heaven with His Father, given to Him. A scripture which emphasizes His divinity is Hebrew 1:1-3 ‘God, who at various times and in different ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

This scripture is very clear about Him being in the beginning, through whom the Father made the worlds, and also the fact that He is the express image of His person. He also died for our sins, and He now shares the nature of the Father and is the second person in the Godhead, God the Son, a title indicating His position in the Godhead. In Isaiah 9:6 He is called ‘Mighty God’, This actually comes from the Hebrew ‘Gibbor’ the root of which is ‘Bever’ which signifies ‘strength’. Here He is declared as fully human and fully God, this can be applied to no other than Yahshua of Nazareth.

In Luke2:11 “For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Saviour, who is Lord-Yah” Yahshua is described as ‘Christ the Lord’ Here the word Lord is in actual fact, ‘Lord-Yah.’ The name ‘Yah’ being the shortened name of Yahweh, emphasizing Yahshua’s divinity, and this was when He came to make residence in our world, not after He did so.
Also, there are many other references showing this same attention to the fact of Yahshua’s divinity. For example, in Romans 9:5 “ … according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God.” Another, is Colossians 2:9 for in him dwelleth all the fullness of the GODHEAD bodily.

Some unbelievers in the plurality of the Godhead actually say that God Himself came as the Son, suggesting that God is only able to appear as either the Father or the Son at any given time.
Matthew 3:17 emphasizes the presence of God the Father and God the Son simultaneously during Yahshua’s baptism. Matthew 3:17 “And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.” Yahshua was there, plain for all to see, and then came the voice from heaven stating that He, (Yahshua) was His (God the Father’s) beloved Son. This dispels any thought that God the Father was revealing Himself as the Son. This would have meant that heaven had become vacated, a preposterous thought. Yeshua the Messiah is the image of the invisible God, which is to say He is Himself very God (Hebrews1:3).

Now, to briefly turn to the Old Covenant, where Yahshua often appeared before His days of being born a human, He appeared many, many times. He talked to Abraham at the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, “The YHWH rained down fire from YHWH out of heaven”. This can be found in Genesis 19:24 Were there two Lords? Of course, but they were also Echad. They were part of a plurality of divinity.
Then there are the wonderful words found in the book of Proverbs, Chapter 30:4 Proverbs 30:4 ”Who has ascended into heaven, or descended?

Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son’s name, if you know?” God the Father has a name, the Son has a name. Solomon states that He made the earth and the seas, he knew that God was not a singular unity but an Echad (compound) unity.
There are so very many scriptures with which we could back up our argument, but we, like Solomon, have eyes to see and ears to hear and a heart that can understand.
Then there are the famous words of Proverbs 8:27. Sceptics try and tell us that these words are only about the abstract wisdom. How, then, could wisdom ‘rejoice in the habitable parts of the earth?’. How far will man go to try and destroy the important fact of Yahshua’s pre-existance and divinity? When He (Father) prepared the heavens, I (Yeshua the Messiah) was there, then I (Yeshua) was beside Him (beside the Father) as a MASTER CRAFTSMAN He indeed was the One who, uncreated and who was involved in creation. The word ‘Elohim’ is in fact plural. When a Hebrew word ends in ‘im’ it is a plural noun. This shows us that the Godhead is plural in Genesis 1:1

In Exodus 33:20 God states explicitly ‘You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live’ but earlier in the same book God had declared in Exodus 24:10 ‘ and they saw the God of Israel. And there was under His feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone, and it was like the very heavens in its clarity.’ As we can see at one verse God dictates that they cannot see His true form in His heavenly abode but in the other passage it is quite obvious that God has revealed Himself as a man and this theophany is that as Yahshua, the dual nature of Yahshua as a man.

These three personalities, which Yahweh has revealed, have been revealed to Godly men over thousands of years and their record is a testimony to who Yahweh really is and how He reveals Himself to men. Not everything can be reasoned by logic, we cannot reason things like the virgin birth with logic, some things must be accepted by faith. Since man ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil he wants to reason everything. This is not the manner by which we are encouraged to think when it comes to understanding the scriptures. Yahshua Himself said that He would send the Holy Spirit to‘lead us into all truth’.

If we didn’t need such a leader, then His coming would be in vain. The body of Christianity in general is a minefield containing much truth but many misconceptions. How we desperately need the Holy Spirit, a third Person of the Godhead to lead us through in safety.
We are dependent on Him for our understanding. Sometimes He does not explain all we desire to understand, and we are encouraged to‘believe’and ‘have faith’ in the things which are written. One day, we shall all have our eyes completely de-scaled, when we shall understand every mystery, when we see Him face to face. We look forward to the day with great anticipation.

We mere mortals cannot possibly understand the mysteries of the very Creator of the universe and all that is in it. What pride lurks in mankind who wish to put the Creator in a tidy box with a label on it saying “This is what God is”
May we forever look to Him for answers, and for a greater revelation of the wonder of Who our Beloved is. But never let us fabricate where there are gaps in our understanding of Him, or to create answers in our mere human minds about Who He is, the One who created all things from nothing, and by His mighty Spirit keeps all things in balance and harmony in that creation for which He is responsible. One day, we shall know all things, and “…we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”

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