A Lofty Perspective

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Photo credit to http://www.birdingisfun.com

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”  Romans 8:28

This morning I woke up to a dream, only, my dream was more like a scene than what you think of as a dream.  I was standing in the grass.  At first all you could see were my feet and the grass and the dirt I was standing in.  But then it was as though I stood back from myself and looked and I saw not only the grass around my feet, but behind me was a corn field that had been harvested.  And I stepped back further from myself and looked again and now I could see me standing in the grass and dirt, and the cornfield all harvested and beyond, all the way to the mountains and the sky in the distance.  And I knew that today, I would be looking at things through a broader perspective.

So this is the image I woke up to this morning and this verse rang out in my mind, “I will lift up my eyes unto the hills, from where my help comes from.”  (Psalm 121:1)  So, why is it a good thing to lift up my eyes to the hills?  And why does my help come from the hills?  And why does my perspective matter?  And what does that have to do with all things working together for my good?  And why is it true only for those who love God?  And why is it true only for those who have been called by God and answered that call according to His purpose?

The Psalmist in Psalm 25:1 declares, “To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul.”  “To You, God, I “nasa” my soul.”  What does that mean?  Can I lift up my soul separate from who I am?  Or when I lift up my soul to the Lord as the Psalmist, am I giving all of me?  Is this an offering back to the Lord all He has created in me?  Let’s take in a perspective that Skip Moen shares here.  “In Hebrew thought, you are nephesh, the whole homogenized uniqueness that makes you the person you are.  You are who you are because you are animated by divine breath and there is no separating you and this power of vitalization while you live.  Considering this, the psalmist makes a startling declaration.  To lift up one’s nephesh is essentially to offer one’s very life.  But how unusual.  The offer is made to the very One who provides that life.  It is an offer to return something borrowed.  This is sacrificial suicide.”  O.K.  So I am giving back to You, Lord, what You have already given me.  You made me and gave me life and I give it back to You.  I suppose the only actual thing I own is sin.  But when I give You back what I borrowed, You even lift up that sin with it, cancel the debt, and continue my life in Your grace.

Now, I need to take that into perspective with the Psalm about lifting my eyes up unto the hills.  That’s where my help comes from.  Who is my help?  You are, Lord.  And I look unto the hills because I look unto You.  But this is the thing about mountains and hills, sometimes we become distracted by them because of our perspective.  In all truth, You alone are to be the High and Lifted Up One.  But often, we set other things up on the mountain tops and worship them.  But what was lifted up before the Israelites when the snake bites came?  What did Moses lift up?  What were the people to lift their eyes unto?  Wasn’t that serpent on the rod a symbol of You, Jesus?  Weren’t they being called to focus on Your promise, to focus their trust on You?  Is it any different for me today?

I lift up my eyes unto the hills.  That’s where my help comes from.  I lift up my eyes, my eyes which direct where my body and my mind and thoughts go.  I lift up my eyes and my “nephesh,” my whole being and soul and person, and I look to You in expectation and in commitment.  I look to the cross upon which You were lifted up for my sake and the sake of every person ever.  I look on You upon that cross because I’ve been bitten by the lethal bite of Sin.  There is no other remedy for me.  Unless I look up to You, unless I turn to You with all of my being, unless I trust in You with all my philosophy, all my theology, all my lifeology, with every part of me, I will not and I cannot live.

Now, where does my help come from?  Well, sometimes we choose our own hills, with our own philosophies and theologies.  But what if I only let You, Lord, stand on the hill and look to You alone for my help?  What is help?  This is the Hebrew word “ezer.”  And the funny thing here is that it goes back and is used for the woman’s role in the family.  But it paints an even bigger picture.  Skip Moen shares, “Christ serves the Church by providing it with life and the Church serves Christ by enabling His purposes and goals to become a reality in this world and the next. “  Keep listening to hear how this “ezer” idea works.  Oh, and by the way,  isn’t that something how this ties in with Romans 8:28?

Now this may seem to be a jump, but we’re going to go back to Genesis and look at man and woman and their roles.  Just bear with me here.  “Apply that same logic to the Genesis account.  The man is the source of the woman (from ish comes ishshah).  But the man is not the authority over the woman (that doesn’t occur until the man makes it so after the Fall).  The man is mutually submitted to the woman in order that they may both fulfill the purposes of God.  But just like the Church, the woman exists because of the man and her role is to insure that the goals and purposes of the man become reality.  She serves him, not as slave or domestic attendant, but as the one who is committed to do whatever is necessary to bring about God’s will in his life.  And as Hegg says, if this goal is eclipsed by anything else, no matter how important, the real purpose of her existence will be diminished.”  (Skip Moen)  I can’t help but think about that.  My husband’s goal is to help me fulfill the purposes of God.  My goal is to help my husband fulfill the purposes of God.  We are to be mutually committed to do whatever is necessary to bring about God’s will in each other’s lives.  And this is the picture for every believer.  This is the picture for what we call the Church.  Our goal is to lift You, Lord, up over every hill and to do whatever is necessary to bring about Your will in our lives and the lives around us.  This is how the family of God works.  And if this is not our perspective, then it’s not working God’s way.

So, now that I know that, I can jump up to Romans 8:28.  When You, Lord, are lifted up in my life above everything, above every false idea or false theology or selfish desire, then I can know Your purposes and plan for me and those around me.  Then I can know that whether I am standing in the dirt or the flood or the grass or on parched land, that You are still working all things for my good in You.  I can take my eyes off of my situation and look up unto the hill where I have lifted You up to Your proper place.  And when I look at things Your way, through Your perspective, I can take the focus off of me and work towards enabling and building up those around me in You and Your purposes.  I can help lead them to see the bigger picture of You.  But I won’t look up beyond my immediate situation if I don’t really love You, because honest to goodness love requires a response.  It requires action.  You don’t really love if You don’t act upon that love.  Empathy and true compassion are two totally different creatures.  Remember, God SO LOVED the world, that He acted upon it.  He GAVE His ONLY SON.  What about me?  Do I really love You?   Do I really love others?  Am I answering Your call with the actions You require?  Am I fulfilling Your purpose in me and enabling them to fulfill Your purpose in them?

I can fill a shoebox, or give a volleyball, or share the Gospel through balloons, but am I really investing myself in the life of another?  Am I investing myself in You in them?  “We are to be mutually committed to do whatever is necessary to bring about God’s will in each other’s lives.”  How deeply am I committed?  Do I SO LOVE God?  Do I SO LOVE anyone else?  Am I acting upon it?  What would I really give?  How much would I be willing for it to cost me?  And I wonder if what I’ve been calling love, is really love at all.  Because if it doesn’t match up to Your love, it’s not love at all.  I suppose it all boils down to perspective.  But it’s not my perspective that matters.  Unless my perspective lines up fully with Yours, I’m still stuck staring at my feet and I miss the greatest treasure of all– participating in Your purposes in the most beautifully and powerfully committed family ever—the TRUE FAMILY OF GOD.  Lord, give me a right perspective, YOURS!

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10 thoughts on “A Lofty Perspective

  1. Strange, you start writing about God and suddenly you write ” Wasn’t that serpent on the rod a symbol of You, Jesus? ”
    According to God His word, who does not tell lies, Jesus is His only begotten beloved son and he had like we should have only One True God, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah.

    • In John 10:30 Jesus says, “I and the Father are one.” (Complete Jewish Bible) Jesus prays this prayer for believers and believers to be in John 17:21 (read the verses in context, not just this verse) “that they may all be one. Just as you, Father, are united with me and I with you, I pray that they may be united with us, so that the world may believe that you sent me.” Psalm 12 “Kiss the son, lest he be angry, and you perish along the way, when suddenly his anger blazes. How blessed are all who take refuge in him.” Jesus, as God, ate with Abraham in Genesis 18, wrestled with Jacob in Genesis 32, and stood in the fire with Shadrakh, Meishakh and ‘Aved-N’go in Daniel 3. For me to refer to God as God whether He is visible as Jesus or by the Spirit or by the greatness of Himself I can’t even begin to explain, is all just One and it always has been. The oneness of God was there at creation when He spoke and recorded for us to hear and read, “Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, in the likeness of ourselves; and let them rule over the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the animals, and over all the earth, and over every crawling creature that crawls on the earth.” As a human I may think that one means one function, one thing I can grasp and understand with my feeble mind, but God’s Oneness, our One God, He’s more than can be grasped in my feeble mind. Somehow, He is God who I can’t even envision because He is so great, I couldn’t handle it. And at the same time, this One God and same God is able to appear in human flesh and yet still be the same One God. And at the same time He can be this One God who abides in me by the presence of His Holy Spirit. All One, all the same, yet too much for me to understand how He does it. Because He’s One, always and forever, but so much more than I’ve ever understood. Ha Maschiach, the Messiah, is Jesus. His name is Emmanuel which means God with us. Isaiah 7:14 Therefore Adonai himself will give you people a sign: the young woman will become pregnant, bear a son and name him ‘Immanu El [God is with us]. We see it’s fulfillment in Matthew 1. He is Elohim Hashem Jehovah and He Himself has made a way for us to know Him and truly understand what it is to abide in Him and walk in Him and with Him on this earth by becoming man while remaining God at the same time. And He didn’t just do this for one person like He did for Abraham or Jacob, but He did this for all to see so all could know and be drawn to Him in faith and trust and love and surrender and obedience. He’s not just One far away God, He’s THE GOD WHO DRAWS NEAR, so near that He comes within the flesh and lives with us, and then even nearer that allows Himself to be sacrificed for us, for our sin, that He could show Himself God before us, victorious over the flesh and over the grave, over life and death, over man and nature, and still remain close to us and strengthen and equip us and make us holy like Him through the presence and power of His Spirit dwelling in our human flesh. I don’t have to explain it. I don’t have to understand it. I just know that His Word is always true and that this is what He speaks of and this is what He has done and this is what He has done in my life and the life of so many others I could never count them. So for me, it’s not strange to write about God or to call Him Jesus or to call Him Holy Spirit. God has many names doesn’t He? Yet isn’t He still One? Elohim, Jehova Jireh, Hakadosh, Redeemer, Savior, Comforter, El Gibbor,Elohe Mauzi,Elohim Ozer Li, El Roi, and so many more. Well, hope that’s what you were inquiring about and thank you for responding. May the Lord draw us each closer to Him and closer to one another in His unity.

      • When all the members of a church have to be one and have to be in unity with Christ, putting on the armour of God, becoming one in Christ like Christ is one in god, do you sincerely think like your writing indicates that we become Jesus and than like you insinuate Christ is God because he is one with God we too would become God?

        When a teacher is one with his pupils do you consider him to be the same person as the many pupils?

        When in a marriage man and wife are one, do you sincerely belief they have become one or are one and the same person?

        I just read the verses of the Bible in contexts, which you propose me to do, but I am already doing for many years, noticing that too many (trinitarians) do not do such a thing.

        Where do you get it from that “Jesus, as God, ate with Abraham in Genesis 18, wrestled with Jacob in Genesis 32, and stood in the fire with Shadrakh, Meishakh and ‘Aved-N’go in Daniel 3.”

        Do you believe God does not tell lies? What then about Him saying Jesus is his only begotten beloved son, when you say He is Jesus? And what about God telling us that no man can see Him and live? Many people saw Jesus and kept alive, there were even who were death and came to live again when Jesus called them to stand up from the dead.

        Do you believe Jesus always told the truth? According to the Holy Scriptures Jesus who was been tempted more than once (though God’s Word tells us that God cannot be tempted) told people about his heavenly Father without Him he could do nothing. He also knew very well that God is much greater than he.

        “17 but he answered them, “my father has been working until now, and I too am working.” 18 this answer made the Judeans all the more intent on killing him—not only was he breaking \@shabbat;\@ but also, by saying that god was his own father, he was claiming equality with god. 19 therefore, Yeshua said this to them: “yes, indeed! I tell you that the son cannot do anything on his own, but only what he sees the father doing; whatever the father does, the son does too. 20 for the father loves the son and shows him everything he does; and he will show him even greater things than these, so that you will be amazed. 21 just as the father raises the dead and makes them alive, so too the son makes alive anyone he wants. 22 the father does not judge anyone but has entrusted all judgment to the son, 23 so that all may honor the son as they honor the father. whoever fails to honor the son is not honoring the father who sent him. 24 yes, indeed! I tell you that whoever hears what I am saying and trusts the one who sent me has eternal life—that is, he will not come up for judgment but has already crossed over from death to life! 25 yes, indeed! I tell you that there is coming a time—in fact, it’s already here—when the dead will hear the voice of the son of god, and those who listen will come to life. 26 for just as the father has life in himself, so he has given the son life to have in himself. 27 also he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the son of man.” (John 5:17-27 CJB)

        “27 “what I am leaving with you is \@shalom\@ —I am giving you my \@shalom.\@ I don’t give the way the world gives. don’t let yourselves be upset or frightened. 28 you heard me tell you, ‘I am leaving, and I will come back to you.’ if you loved me, you would have been glad that I am going to the father; because the father is greater than I. 29 “also, I have said it to you now, before it happens; so that when it does happen, you will trust. 30 “I won’t be talking with you much longer, because the ruler of this world is coming. he has no claim on me; 31 rather, this is happening so that the world may know that I love the father, and that I do as the father has commanded me. “get up! let’s get going!” (John 14:27-31 CJB)

        Jesus very well knew his position, having first been lower than the angels (though God was is and always shall be the Most High), the master teacher was authorised to do the work of God here on earth and accepted to be the mediator between man and God, this God of Abraham was also the Major and God of Christ. [Between brackets: how can Jesus when he is to be God also be a mediator between himself and man?]

        “but I want you to understand that the head of every man is the Messiah, and the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of the Messiah is god.” (1 Corinthians 11:3 CJB)

        When Jesus is God he can not die, because he is an eternal Spirit not having bones, flesh nor blood (how about Christ? then?) do you not believe Jesus Christ died for all people and do you think like Muslims that he was taken away or gone up to heaven having somebody put on the stake in his place?

        What about Jesus having gone to heaven? In your case when he is God and did not die, there is also no resurrection and no proof for us that a human being can come out of the dead. what is than all this use of that Christ? Why did God wait such a long time before putting up this charade of doing to be someone else? Why did He not solve the problem there and then in the Garden of Eden and did He not let His people suffer so much and still keeps us suffering so much? Remember also that after World War III or Armageddon there will be still a thousand years.

        In case Jesus is God how can he sit next to Himself and how can he hand something over to himself which belongs already to Himself?

        “Yeshua said to him, “the words are your own. but I tell you that one day you will see the son of man sitting at the right hand of \@haG’vurah\@ and coming on the clouds of heaven.”” (Matthew 26:64 CJB)

        ““I AM,” answered Yeshua. “moreover, you will see the son of man sitting at the right hand of \@haG’vurah\@ and coming on the clouds of heaven.”” (Mark 14:62 CJB)

        “so then, after he had spoken to them, the lord Yeshua was taken up into heaven and sat at the right hand of god.” (Mark 16:19 CJB)

        “for David himself says in the book of psalms,” (Luke 20:42 CJB)

        “but from now on, the son of man will be sitting at the right hand of \@haG’vurah\@,”” (Luke 22:69 CJB)

        “25 for David says this about him: ‘I saw \@ADONAI\@ always before me, for he is at my right hand, so that I will not be shaken. 26 for this reason, my heart was glad; and my tongue rejoiced; and now my body too will live on in the certain hope 27 that you will not abandon me to sh’ol or let your holy one see decay. 28 you have made known to me the ways of life; you will fill me with joy by your presence.’ 29 “brothers, I know I can say to you frankly that the patriarch David died and was buried—his tomb is with us to this day. 30 therefore, since he was a prophet and knew that god had sworn an oath to him that one of his descendants would sit on his throne, 31 he was speaking in advance about the resurrection of the Messiah, that it was he who was not abandoned in sh’ol and whose flesh did not see decay. 32 god raised up this Yeshua! and we are all witnesses of it! 33 “moreover, he has been exalted to the right hand of god; has received from the father what he promised, namely, the \@Ruach haKodesh;\@ and has poured out this gift, which you are both seeing and hearing. 34 for David did not ascend into heaven. but he says, 35 \@‘ADONAI\@ said to my lord, “sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.’” 36 therefore, let the whole house of Isra’el know beyond doubt that god has made him both lord and Messiah—this Yeshua, whom you executed on a stake!”” (Acts 2:25-36 CJB)

        “god has exalted this man at his right hand as ruler and savior, in order to enable Isra’el to do \@t’shuvah\@ and have her sins forgiven.” (Acts 5:31 CJB)

        “55 but he, full of the \@Ruach haKodesh,\@ looked up to heaven and saw god’s \@sh’khinah,\@ with Yeshua standing at the right hand of god. 56 “look!” he exclaimed, “I see heaven opened and the son of man standing at the right hand of god!”” (Acts 7:55-56 CJB)

        “who punishes them? certainly not the Messiah Yeshua, who died and – more than that – has been raised, is at the right hand of god and is actually pleading on our behalf!” (Romans 8:34 CJB)

        “when he worked in the Messiah to raise him from the dead and seat him at his right hand in heaven,” (Ephesians 1:20 CJB)

        “so if you were raised along with the Messiah, then seek the things above, where the Messiah is sitting at the right hand of god.” (Colossians 3:1 CJB)

        “this son is the radiance of the \@sh’khinah,\@ the very expression of god’s essence, upholding all that exists by his powerful word; and after he had, through himself, made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of \@haG’dulah baM’romim\@.” (Hebrews 1:3 CJB)

        “moreover, to which of the angels has he ever said, “sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”?” (Hebrews 1:13 CJB)

        “but this one, after he had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, sat down at the right hand of god,” (Hebrews 10:12 CJB)

        “looking away to the initiator and Completer of that trusting, Yeshua – who, in exchange for obtaining the joy set before him, endured execution on a stake as a criminal, scorning the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of god.” (Hebrews 12:2 CJB)

        See how the Word of god, Who doe not tell lies and provided this infallible word to mankind, speaks about the son of man (a human being) who is His son, to come to sit next to Him and not on His throne.

        though Jeus is authorised to handle in the name of God, did miracles and will come to judge the living and the dead, he shall to subject himself also to God and give the Kingdom to his heavenly Father.

        “now when everything has been subjected to the son, then he will subject himself to god, who subjected everything to him; so that god may be everything in everyone.” (1 Corinthians 15:28 CJB)

        “5 let your attitude toward one another be governed by your being in union with the Messiah Yeshua: 6 though he was in the form of god, he did not regard equality with god something to be possessed by force. 7 on the contrary, he emptied himself, in that he took the form of a slave by becoming like human beings are. and when he appeared as a human being, 8 he humbled himself still more by becoming obedient even to death – death on a stake as a criminal!” (Philippians 2:5-8 CJB)

        God can not die but Jesus, the son of God, really died and showed to the others that he is not a Spirit, though God is an eternal Spirit (not having a beginning and not having an end).

        to proof that he is no spirit Jesus showed his wounds.

        “look at my hands and my feet—it is I, myself! touch me and see—a ghost doesn’t have flesh and bones, as you can see I do.”” (Luke 24:39 CJB)

        “god is spirit; and worshippers must worship him spiritually and truly.”” (John 4:24 CJB)

        “and if the spirit of the one who raised Yeshua from the dead is living in you, then the one who raised the Messiah Yeshua from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his spirit living in you.” (Romans 8:11 CJB)

        Christians should follow the teaching of Jesus and should belief what he and his Father say about him and about the Elohim Hashem Jehovah God.

        Those caling themselves Christian should be united, being one with Christ like he was one with his heavenly Father, but for sure that will not make them to become Christ Jesus nor to become God, like Jesus is not the God of gods and the God above all gods.

        We should be happy that God has sent His son to the world and has given us grace by the the accepting of the ransom offer of His only begotten beloved son.

        “30 the angel said to her, “don’t be afraid, Miryam, for you have found favor with god. 31 look! you will become pregnant, you will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Yeshua. 32 he will be great, he will be called son of \@Ha‘elyon.\@ \@ADONAI,\@ god, will give him the throne of his forefather David; 33 and he will rule the house of Ya‘akov forever—there will be no end to his kingdom.” 34 “how can this be,” asked Miryam of the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35 the angel answered her, “the \@Ruach haKodesh\@ will come over you, the power of \@Ha‘elyon\@ will cover you. therefore the holy child born to you will be called the son of god.” (Luke 1:30-35 CJB)

        “3 so it is with us-when we were “children” we were slaves to the elemental spirits of the universe; 4 but when the appointed time arrived, god sent forth his son. he was born from a woman, born into a culture in which legalistic perversion of the \@torah\@ was the norm, 5 so that he might redeem those in subjection to this legalism and thus enable us to be made god’s sons. 6 now because you are sons, god has sent forth into our hearts the spirit of his son, the spirit who cries out, “Abba!” (that is, “dear father!”). 7 so through god you are no longer a slave but a son, and if you are a son you are also an heir.” (Galatians 4:3-7 CJB)

        “21 while all the people were being immersed, Yeshua too was immersed. as he was praying, heaven was opened; 22 the \@Ruach haKodesh\@ came down on him in physical form like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “you are my son, whom I love; I am well pleased with you.” 23 Yeshua was about thirty years old when he began his public ministry. it was supposed that he was a son of Yosef who was of eli,” (Luke 3:21-23 CJB)

        “25 the woman replied, “I know that \@Mashiach\@ is coming” (that is, “the one who has been anointed”). “when he comes, he will tell us everything.” 26 Yeshua said to her, “I, the person speaking to you, am he.”” (John 4:25-26 CJB)

        “but we do see Yeshua – who indeed was made for a little while lower than the angels – now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by god’s grace he might taste death for all humanity.” (Hebrews 2:9 CJB)

        “therefore, since the children share a common physical nature as human beings, he became like them and shared that same human nature; so that by his death he might render ineffective the one who had power over death (that is, the adversary)” (Hebrews 2:14 CJB)

        “this is why he had to become like his brothers in every respect – so that he might become a merciful and faithful \@cohen gadol\@ in the service of god, making a \@kapparah\@ for the sins of the people.” (Hebrews 2:17 CJB)

        “therefore, if anyone is united with the Messiah, he is a new creation – the old has passed; look, what has come is fresh and new!” (2 Corinthians 5:17 CJB)

        Let us not think to be able to become Jesus or to become God, though we must do all effort to become like Christ like Jesus did not want to to his will but always the will of his Father; In case he is God he always did do His own will and had no reason at all to fake his death or to cry unto God why He would have abandoned him.

        “going on a little farther, he fell on his face, praying, “my father, if possible, let this cup pass from me! yet – not what I want, but what you want!”” (Matthew 26:39 CJB)

        “I can’t do a thing on my own. as I hear, I judge; and my judgment is right; because I don’t seek my own desire, but the desire of the one who sent me.” (John 5:30 CJB)

        “for I have come down from heaven to do not my own will but the will of the one who sent me.” (John 6:38 CJB)

        “(40:9) doing your will, my god, is my joy; your\@ torah\@ is in my inmost being.” (Psalms 40:8 CJB)

        ““\@Abba!”\@ (that is, “dear father!”) “all things are possible for you. take this cup away from me! still, not what I want, but what you want.”” (Mark 14:36 CJB)

        “and then, “look, I have come to do your will”; he takes away the first system in order to set up the second.” (Hebrews 10:9 CJB)

        Are this not words from the infallible Word of God Who does not tell lies and about whom Jesus was the son of man who came to show us the Way to God and not to him?

      • Sh’ma Yisrael, YHVH eloheinu YHVH echad.
        ~ D’varim 6:4 ~
        Hear, O Israel, Jehovah our God is one Jehovah.
        ~ Deuteronomy 6:4 ~

        Unity, Tri-unity, and the Deity of Christ- those appear to be the questions raised. Does this fly in the face of the Sh’ma? Can there be three that we know of and are identified in Scripture as God the Father, Yeshua the Son, and Ruach Hakodesh, who are identified by Scripture with the attributes of both divinity and personhood? And if so, can three be one? Maybe we need to look closely at the words of the Sh’ma. Maybe we need to listen and understand as God asks us to listen and understand His way.

        How can this be? God’s amazing! His ways are higher than our ways and he can be what we cannot. I don’t argue against Scripture on this point. Isaiah 48:12-16 states, “Listen to me, O Jacob and Israel, My called; I am He; I am the first, I am also the last…Come near to Me, hear this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning. From the time that it was, I was there; and now the Lord Jehovah, and His Spirit, has sent Me.” Here we see “Me” who is also the “first and the last”, who was there from the beginning, yet who the Lord Jehovah, and the Spirit have sent. In Isaiah 41 and Revelation 1 this “the first and the last” is attested to God the Father, but here in Isaiah 48, it is given to God the Son. It’s not the only time we see the three distinct divine Persons show up. Listen to Luke 3:22, “And the Holy Spirit came down in a bodily shape, like a dove on Him. And a voice came from Heaven, which said, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; I am delighted in You.” I didn’t make this up. It’s right there in God’s Word. It’s right there in who God is. Yes, “Hear, O Israel, Jehovah our God is one Jehovah.” And he is, yet gloriously through three distinct and divine persons.

        How can that be if the Sh’ma declares that Jehovah is echad- one? How is echad used in Scripture? Does it always mean absolute oneness? In Genesis 10:25, it does. “And two sons were born to Eber. The name of ha’echad, the one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided. And his brother’s name was Joktan.” But, elsewhere it’s used as a compound unity like the example of the husband and wife. Genesis 2:24, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife and they shall be ‘basar echad’, one flesh.” We find that concept furthered in 1 Corinthians 6:16, “Or do you not know that he being joined to a harlot is one body? For He says, ‘The two shall be one flesh.’” Let’s continue that idea in Matthew 19:4-6. “And He answered and said to them, ‘Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female’, and said, ‘For this cause a man shall leave father and mother and shall cling to his wife, and the two of them shall be one flesh? Therefore they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” I like how Norman Manzon sums it up. “The essential thing to note is that within the compound unit of a man and a woman in marriage, each never ceases to retain his or her individual body and soul. Husband and wife are echad even though their individual physical and spiritual makeups are wholly retained. Echad, then, can clearly be used to denote a compound unit of a plurality of individuals who simultaneously retain their individuality.”

        So, how is echad used in the Sh’ma? Does the Sh’ma declare that Jehovah is an absolute unit? Or is Jehovah a compound unit? There is a Hebrew word that always means an absolute unit. That word is yachid. We find it’s use in Genesis 2:22 where Isaac is being identified as Abraham’s “only unique son.” But that’s not the word that Moses chose to use. There are also two examples in the Old Testament or Tanach, both in Genesis 19:24 and Zechariah 2:8-9 where “YHVH refers to not just one person, but two.” In Zechariah we see not only the sender being called Jehovah, but the sent one also being called Jehovah. There are two persons named Jehovah and only echad could describe them in a compound oneness. “For so says, Jehovah of Hosts: He has sent me after glory, to the nations who stripped you; for he who touches you touches the pupil of His eye. For behold, I will shake My hand over them, and they shall be a prize for their servants. And you shall know that Jehovah of Hosts has sent me.”

        Jesus himself identifies this Tri-unity in Matthew 28:19, “Therefore go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. “Three persons, one name.”

        Sure, it’s a hard concept. Threeness, yet oneness. How? Ask God, because He does it and He is it. They are three yet they are one essence. Dr. Chafer points out, “No doubt, there is a distinct consciousness which identifies each Person, yet there is a united possession of attributes and nature.” Jesus himself said in John 10:30, “I and the Father are one.” They are one in essence. And that, in this case is the essence of divinity itself. Here are more of Jesus’ words on the matter in John 14:9-10, “Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you such a long time and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in Me? The Words that I speak to you I do not speak of Myself, but the Father who dwells in Me, He does the works.’” The Father and the Son are of one essence.

        But it doesn’t stop there. The Son and the Holy Spirit are one essence. Listen to 2 Corinthians 3:14-17, “But their thoughts were blinded; for until the present the same veil remains on the reading of the old covenant, not taken away. But this veil has been done away in Christ. But until this day, when Moses is read, the veil is on their heart. But whenever it turns to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away. And the Lord is that Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” Let’s ask ourselves the same question that Yeshua asked the assembled P’rushim, in Matthew 22: 41-45. “’Tell me your view concerning the Messiah: whose son is he?’ They said to him, ‘David’s.’ ‘Then how is it,’ he asked them, ‘that David, inspired by the Spirit, calls him ‘Lord’ when he says, ‘ADONAI said to my Lord, ‘Sit here at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet’? [Psalm 110:1] If David thus calls him ‘Lord,’ how is he his son?’”

        Scripture also identifies the Holy Spirit and Father as one essence. How could the Spirit always pray in the will of God unless they were of one perfect mind, of one essence? “And He [the Father] who searches the hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because He [the Spirit] makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God [the Father].” (Romans 8:27)

        And what of Paul’s words in Scripture in Colossians 2:9? “For in him [Jesus] dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” The totality, the essence was fully contained somehow, supernaturally, miraculously in Christ even as he was man and God at the same time. I can’t explain it. But Scripture tells me it is the truth. God tells me, “Listen to my Son.” I listen because God tells me to. He tells me in all of Scripture that this was his plan, that I must listen to all. Three persons, one essence, one God. Father. Son. Holy Spirit.

        You ask, “Where do you get it from that ‘Jesus, as God, ate with Abraham in Genesis 18, wrestled with Jacob in Genesis 32, and stood in the fire with Shadrakh, Meishakh, and Aved-N’go in Daniel 3’?” Even the heathen king attested to the fourth man as being in form like the Son of God. And just looking at Jacob, his own comment of the meeting was “Gen 32:30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved. “ Ah, but there we have an instance of someone seeing God face to face and living, don’t we? And didn’t Moses also see God? Didn’t God hide Moses in the cleft of the rock and let him see himself from the back? And what should I do with these words in Scripture? Exo 24:9-11 “Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness. And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink.” You ask me if I believe that God’s Word is true. Yes. That’s why I believe this. And yes, no man can see God and live, without God preparing him to see him.

        Yes, God is not a liar. God is truth. Jesus is his only begotten and beloved son. And he is everything that God says he is. I am a daughter, a wife, a mother, a friend, and many other things. One does not negate the other. Jesus can be son and more. Jesus is who Jesus is just as God is who God is.

        You state, “Do you believe Jesus always told the truth? According to the Holy Scriptures Jesus who was been tempted more than once (though God’s Word tells us that God cannot be tempted) told people about his heavenly Father without Him he could do nothing. He also knew very well that god is much greater than he.” Maybe we need to really understand what James is trying to explain to those who hear his words in his letter. This is not a quote from the Old Testament. He’s trying to get people to understand how to respond when temptation arises. What is temptation? He’s not talking about the noun of temptation here. He’s talking about the root or heart of being tempted, of lusting, and acting and thinking upon it. It’s seeing or being enticed by evil, by what is not pleasing to God and not of God. Scripture says that temptation will come to all those on the earth. The stuff that tries to lure us is there. But God cannot be tempted by evil. It has no effect on him because he knows what’s going on, and he has no lust and no desire for it, and hates evil. God doesn’t respond to evil, therefore he doesn’t respond to temptation. It has no effect on him. Now look back at Scripture. Neither was Jesus enticed by temptation. It had no effect on him. He was not drawn to it by lust. He was never enticed by it. Scripture said he was tempted but was without sin. How could he not be while in the form of man? Yet because he was physically man, that did not alter who he was spiritually.

        Let me share Hebrews 1 (Messianic Jews) starting at verse 3 from the CJB. “’This Son is the radiance of the Sh’khinah, the very expression of God’s essence, upholding all that exists by his powerful word: and after he had, through himself, made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of HaG’dulah BaM’romim. So he has become much better than angels, and the name God has given him is superior to theirs. For to which of the angels did God ever say, ‘You are my Son; today I have become your Father’? Also, God never said of any angel, ‘I will be his Father, and he will be my Son.’ And again, when God brings his Firstborn into the world, he says, ‘Let all God’s angels worship him.’ Indeed, when speaking of angels, he says, ‘…who makes his angels winds and his servants fiery flames’; but to the Son, he says, ‘Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever; you rule your Kingdom with a scepter of equity; you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore, O God, your God has anointed you with the oil of joy in preference to your companions’; and ‘In the beginning, ADONAI, you laid the foundations of the earth; heaven is the work of your hands. They will vanish, but you will remain: like clothing, they will all grow old; and you will fold them up like a coat. Yes, they will be changed like clothing, but you remain the same, your years will never end.’ Moreover, to which of the angels has he ever said, ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet’? Aren’t they all merely spirits who serve, sent out to help those whom God will deliver?” Now, the author’s intent here was to redirect people from some false teaching they were following. Yet, at the same time, he establishes some truths of Jesus’ deity. And yes, Scripture does not lie. It offers antinomies, or paradoxes, like this one, but it does not lie. And if it says that Jesus is the Son of God, we are to believe it and if it says that Jesus is God we must believe it. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”

        If Jesus is only God’s son, yet not God, then why would God command the angels to worship him? Exodus 20:3-6 “You are to have no other gods before me. You are not to make for yourselves a carved image or any kind of representation of anything in heaven above, on the earth beneath or in the water below the shoreline. You are not to bow down to them or serve them; for I, ADONAI your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sins of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but displaying grace to the thousandth generation of those who love me and obey my mitzvot.” And in the following verse, “You are not to use lightly the name of ADONAI your God, because ADONAI will not leave unpunished someone who uses his name lightly.” And Psalm 81:10(9) reiterates this, “There is not to be with you any foreign god; you are not to worship an alien god.” How can Jesus not be God when God permits all his angels to worship him? Does God create idols? Man creates idols. God represents himself.

        But, if the Son is the radiance of God’s glory, the radiance of the Sh’khinah, the very expression of God’s essence, then Jesus is God and Son at the same time. How could he uphold all that exists by his powerful word? Does not God do that? Unless, Jesus is God. Which we see reiterated in John 1. “In the beginning was the Word, and Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing made had being. In him was life, and the life was the light of mankind…” John goes on to point how a man named John was not that light he was speaking of and then he continues to extol Jesus. “This was the true light, which gives light to everyone entering the world. He was in the world—the world came to be through him—yet the world did not know him. He came to his own homeland yet his own people did not receive him. But to as many as did receive him, to those who put their trust in his person and power, he gave the right to become children of God, not because of bloodline, physical impulse or human intention, but because of God. The Word became a human being and lived with us, and we saw his Sh’khinah, the Sh’khinah of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth…No one has ever seen God; but the only and unique Son, who is identical with God and is at the Father’s side—he has made him known.”

        And while he was in the form of man, was he not veiled? Because you also mention how Scripture says no man may see God and live. Scripture does say that, but then it shows us that no man can see God an live without God making the way for him to do so. How do you explain that Moses saw God and lived? And that multiple times. How do you explain Exodus 24? “To Moshe [ADONAI] said, ‘Come up to ADONAI—you, Aharon, Nadav, Avihu, and seventy of the leaders of Isra’el. Prostrate yourselves at a distance, while Moshe alone approaches ADONAI—the others are not to approach, and the people are not to go up with him,’”…”Moshe, Aharon, Nadav, Avihu and seventy of the leaders went up; and they saw the God of Isra’el. Under his feet was something like a sapphire stone pavement as clear as the sky itself. He did not reach out his hand against these notables of Isra’el; on the contrary, they saw God, even as they were eating and drinking.”

        Revelation 19 reminds us that Jesus is called “THE WORD OF GOD.” It also titles him “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” David H. Stern adds, “It is equivalent to the phrase ‘King of kings of kings’ which the Siddur (prayerbook) applies to YHVH” in a song on Shabbat. It also differentiates him above earthly kings like the king of Persia. In Rev. 20 it is Yeshua who is on the throne even though he shares it with God the Father. Through Yeshua, God does render the final judgment. In Rev. 21 we see Jesus, sitting on the throne and saying “”These words are true and trustworthy!’…’It is done! I am the ‘A’ and the ‘Z’, the Beginning and the End. To anyone who is thirsty I myself will give water free of charge from the Fountain of Life. He who wins the victory will receive these things, and I will be his God, and he will be my son.” Let’s continue to Rev. 22. “Next the angel showed me the river of water of life, sparkling like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb…The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will worship him; they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.” What’s the whole focus of existence here? It’s the worship, yes, the worship of God and the Lamb who share the throne. And just as another reminder from God, Jesus restates in 22:13, “I am the ‘A’ and the ‘Z’, the Beginning and the End” and “The First and the Last” This is from Isaiah 44:6 where ADONAI is saying, “Thus says Adonai, the King of Israel, and its redeemer Adonai of Hosts: I am the first, and I am the last, and beside me there is no God.” Jesus is applying this text to himself, therefore identifiying himself as Adonai. Now, since Adonai himself said, “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased. Listen to him!” I would do well to listen and believe the verity of his words.

        On another note, unity of man with God does not make man into God. Never was that implied. Scripture was stated. What Scripture says is true. Just like man and woman are to become one in essence but not one in person, God’s desire for us is to become on in essence with him. I can’t explain it, obviously, but God brings us into his essence and changes ours. And here’s part of the wonderfulness of who He is. Because

        Jesus was God and human together, he not only knows all that we go through, but he knows how to walk us through victory over it all in our own personal lives because he has already walked it victoriously himself. Can you imagine God humbling himself to become human while at the same time remaining God Magnificent? Who can imagine that? No man could ever do what Jesus did unless he were God and man. All men have sinned. Scripture says so. And if Jesus were only a man, than he would fall in that category and be unable to be offered as the sacrifice for our sin and we would still be lost. But, if Jesus were man and God, then he could be sinless. He could even experience what it was like to be man. He would make the most wonderful and understanding high priest ever because as he stood in for us, he would know what it was to be us, yet he would know what it was to be God at the same time. Therefore, he would know our needs and how to care for them. A man alone? How could he stand in for us? Maybe he could understand our side? But how could he understand the heart of God to its very depths? How could a man alone be the perfect and needed intermediary?

      • Do you sincerley think that because Jesus was called ‘Immanu El [God is with us] that he must be God, so you are insinuating that when a person is called that way, like my brother who has the first name Emmanuel, he must be God? I must tell you than I am not the only one who has God as a brother.

        Throughout history many man have been called Emmanuel or Immanuel, though I can assure you they are not the Divine Creator God .

      • I do sincerely think that because Jesus was called “Immanu El [God is with us]” that he must be God. The fact is that he did not call himself that, nor was it because the other people called him that, but it was because God called him that. Isaiah 7:14 (CJB) states, “Therefore Adonai himself will give you people a sign; the young woman will become pregnant, bear a son and name him ‘Immanu El [God is with us].” When God names someone, it is more than just a name. Matthew 1 takes us into greater detail where we hear the angel’s own words. This child, conceived from the Ruach HaKodesh, would be named Yeshua. What does Yeshua mean? “ADONAI saves.” Why? Because he would save his people from their sins. Whose people? God’s people. Who would save them? God. I mean this is really hard to understand. It defies logic. But who can define or fully describe God? Who can put Him in a box of our understanding. Mary didn’t arbitrarily name Jesus, “Emmanuel.” If your brothers name is Emmanuel, that’s nice. But God did not name Your brother that. God inspired the very words of Isaiah. He told Isaiah what to say. God sent an angel to Joseph to announce his plan. God named Jesus. I didn’t name him. It’s straight from God’s Word. I’m just taking it as it is. This is what God’s Word says. I want to believe it. Yeah, there are things in His Word that I just don’t get yet, and there are things that are hard to put into action now, not because I don’t want to, but just because it’s really hard. I’m not perfect by far. But God is the lifter up of my head. He keeps working with me. He’s my help and refuge. God knows how hard it is for men to understand and get his way of thinking. He knows because He lived intimately with us, yet without sin. He’s One God, the Only God, yet hard to explain. He’s not like us, yet He loves us. Well, I’ll have to touch on the rest of the points You brought up later. I do hope you can refrain from any further responses until I reply to your 10:06 response. Thanks for your questions. I’d rather have someone disagree than not care at all.

      • Dear Tucker

        You wrote ” I do hope you can refrain from any further responses until I reply to your 10:06 response.”

        I do not know if you did that already on Monday 2015 November 9 at 12.09, but I want to ad to this reply:

        True it was not God Who named my brother Emmanuel. But God allowed it him to be named that way.

        You also mention ” It’s straight from God’s Word.” so I may presume you believe what God says. Why do you not accept then that God tells the world that the man in the river Jordan is His only begotten beloved son? Why do you make this son of God unto your god when about this man is also said in the Bible, the infallible Word of God, that he is the son of man, who was lower than the angels and can not do anything without his heavenly Father who is greater than he?

      • When you say that ” I just know that His Word is always true and that this is what He speaks of and this is what He has done and this is what He has done in my life and the life of so many others I could never count them. ” why do you not accept what those words literally are saying and are you keeping to human doctrines instead of the Words like they are written down, handed over by God for our understanding and as guidance for our life?

      • Marcus, you feel I don’t accept God’s Word literally and that I keep to human doctrines. But what I believe, I have searched out in His Word, both “Old Testament” or “Tanakh” and “New Testament” or “B’rit Hadashah”. And I will always be learning. Understanding of God’s Word comes from His revelation. Just like when Jesus asked the disciples, “Who do you say I am?” “Shim’on Kefa answered, ‘You are the Mashiach, the Son of the living God.’ ‘Shim’on Bar-Yochannan,’ Yeshua said to him,’ how blessed you are! For no human being revealed this to you, no, it was my Father in heaven.'” (Mat 16:16,17 CJB) This is not yet an all inclusive explanation but this is a start. I hope you will give me time to respond as you have given me a lot to respond to. And in that response, part of what I will touch on is how Jesus can be Son of God and God at the same time. And yes, I will give you Scriptural references. Please bear with me as I have family responsibilities and other responsibilities besides my blog only.

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