In last week’s blog, Peter pointed out that Yeshua is YHVH. Why is it so important to make this point? Does it change your perspective of Yeshua? There is a tendency in many of us to rank God the Father as superior to Yeshua. It has even been taught in some circles that we are only to address the Father in prayer, and that it is wrong to pray to Yeshua. When Yeshua taught His disciples how to pray, He addressed the Father rather than Himself. And yet, Yeshua also tells us “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it (John 14:13-14). Yeshua glorifies the Father, and the Father glorifies His Son, Yeshua (John 8:54, 17:1; John 17:5).
Over the past two centuries, there have been various creeds and teachings denying that Yeshua is God. This type of heresy continues today. In fact, in some circles Yeshua is considered to be merely a thought or spiritual representation of YHVH. Yeshua is clearly identified as YHVH’s Son in Scripture (1 Cor 15:28; Ps 2:7; Heb 1:5; Matt 3:17; John 1:14; 1 John 4:10; John 5:26; 1 John 5:9). Even we mortals produce children and they are certainly more than just a thought or a representation of us. If the name of YHVH had been known and if Scripture in its entirety had been correctly understood, then these debates would not have surfaced or, if they had, could have been quickly dismissed.
In order to get a more complete picture, it is best to start at the beginning and work from there. John 1:1-2 helps us to get started. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” . This verse takes us back to the first chapter of Genesis. The Word spoke creation into being. Later the Word would speak to Abraham in front of his tent (Gen 18) and to Moses in the burning bush (Ex 3). We learn in John 1:14 that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
The Word not only became flesh, but put Himself in the same position as the rest of us. For a time He set aside His power and entered the world in total dependence on the Father. Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness (Phil 2:5). He showed us what we could do when empowered by the Holy Spirit as He was. “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12-14)
The Jewish leaders understood that to be the Son of YHVH meant equality with YHVH. For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God (John 5:18). Yeshua told them that he saw the Father at work and did the same work as His Father. Yeshua went on to clarify the relationship between His Father and Himself (John 5:19-23).
YHVH tells us that His thoughts are above our thoughts, and His ways above our ways (Is 55:8-9). It is difficult to understand how three separate persons can be so united and act as one. Yet, YHVH has provided an example for us. The three persons of YHVH are echad, just as a husband and wife are echad. The husband and wife can become one flesh, but they can also think and act in unity. Even so, they remain two distinct people. In Hebrew, echad can not only mean “one” as in the number one, but it can mean thinking and acting together as one. The example we have of husband and wife is not perfect, and sometimes far from it. But we can see how the ideal would be when a husband and wife are aligned in their thinking and acting.
The third Person (Holy Spirit) of the Godhead has been sent to us to help us understand YHVH’s thoughts and ways. Yeshua tells us in John 16:12-14:
“I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. “He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.…”.
We see clearly that the Holy Spirit is also a Person, for Yeshua refers to the Spirit repeatedly as He, not it. Yeshua states that the Holy Spirit will not speak on His own initiative. If Father, Son and Holy Spirit were all the same Person, there would be no need to make such a statement. The three persons of YHVH are perfectly aligned at all times and, therefore, may seem to be only one. Each person of the Godhead, YHVH, is wholly divine and wholly deserving of our worship, awe, and devotion.