I have read (your booklet "The Revealed Identity of the Messiah"), but I must admit to finding it quite disturbing. I have prayed about the matter and asked the guidance of Ruach HaKodesh - I do appreciate the fact that there are Scriptures that seem to indicate, or shall I rather say, seem to lay more emphasis on His humanity than His divinity. I also conclude that there are definitely apparent changes that have been made in the Holy Scriptures by Scribes of different theological persuasions from years past, but YHWH has graciously ensured that there are still enough ancient manuscripts and scrolls in existence to act as litmus tests for the Scripture that we have today … I felt led to approach this matter not on just what Scripture says, but also on what it reveals or hints towards. The question I asked myself was: Does Yeshua attribute, or display any of the characteristics attributed to YHWH to Himself and/or through His actions? To answer this question I dwelt mostly in the Apostolic Writings and present a short summary of my findings:
Math 2 He was worshiped (G4352 - Proscenia)
Math 4:9 Hasatan calls for / wants the same worship attributed and given to Yeshua in Math 2
Math 4:10 Yeshua charges Hasatan to only worship YHWH Elohim (the same form of worship listed in the above verses)
John 4:23 True worship will be in Spirit and Truth
Heb 1:6 Angels to worship Yeshua
Rev 13:8 Worship given to dragon by those not in Book of Life same as worship given to Yeshua.
His Name - Immanuel - Math 1:23 confirmation of Isa 7:14 - (H6005) - with us (is) GOD. Isa :8:8 the commentary in the NIV Study Bible says . Immanuel. All seems lost, but God is with us (vs. 10) and defeats the enemy (see notes of 7:14) - The notes on 7:14 say..... Jesus was the final fulfillment of the prophecy, for he was "God with us" in the fullest sense.
Staying in Isaiah, chapter 9 - we read about Immanuel (Yeshua) in vs. 6 (NIV) for to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulders. And He shall be called, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father..............(vs.7) He will reign on David's throne and over his (David's) kingdom. There is no doubt we are talking about Yeshua here.
Math 9:6 and surrounding verses we have a very strong illusion to His divinity - He forgives the sins of people and accompanies it with healing. See Mark 2:7 (KJV) Why does this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but Elohim alone! He then addresses them and heals the ailing man to give proof of His authority to forgive sin (this portion of Mark is a re-play of Math 9:6).
My final summation is this. We are clearly told in the Holy Scripture Jer 17:5 that the man who trust in flesh (man) and makes it his strength ..is cursed.... Yet our entire salvation is based on faith in Yeshua - if He was just a man, no matter how special He may have been, we would be cursed in making Him our strength.
These are my opinions, and opinions I have arrived at myself - not prompted by any other person, I hope they are a blessing to you … this isuue is central to our relationship to Yeshua and thus YHWH … we must know who our Messiah is - and I believe He is YHWH - Elohim the Son. How He is able to be One and the same yet? I do not know. Is the word Trinity used in the Word? No it is not, but it is my belief that it is alluded to in Scripture and one does not need to deviate to a Greek mindset to arrive at this conclusion - a Hebrew Midrash taking the Apostolic Scriptures into serious consideration, would, I believe, arrive at a conclusion supportive of the Trinity concept.
Every sincere effort to investigate the truth of Scriptures should only be done under "the guidance of Ruach HaKodesh", but at the same time we should all recognize the fact that in the past, in numerous cases of Scriptural interpretation, people with directly opposing viewpoints have ALL vigorously claimed to have been guided by the Spirit of Yahweh. For this reason, as an effort to be as objective as possible, we need to subject ourselves to the guidance of Yah's Spirit AND make sure that our understanding of Scriptures is taking into account the full scope of any particular passage, as well as the rest of Scriptures, disregarding as far as possible the influence coming to us from the traditions and doctrines of man and manmade churches. Not an easy task at all, but nevertheless extremely essential.
The question "Does Yeshua attribute, or display any of the characteristics attributed to YHWH to Himself and/or through His actions?" is very important but certainly not decisive for the question whether Y'shua is to be equated to Yahweh. Being the unique Son of Yahweh, the one who came in his Father's Name, to fulfil the will of the One who had sent him, it is only to be expected that He would display many of the characteristics attributed elsewhere to Yahweh. Throughout Scriptures it is said again and again that even ordinary believers (being created in the image of Yahweh) should display the charactesitics of Yahweh. However, Y'shua Himself said that He is not equal to his Father in every respect (eg. not perfectly good like his Father - Matt 19:17; Does not know the exact time of the end like his Father - Matt 24:36; Does not necessarily have the same will as his Father - Matt 26:39, John 6:38; Does not have the same greatness as his Father - John 14:28; Is not free to act on his own, like his Father - John 5:30; takes orders from his Father - John 14:31; is "sent" by his Father, etc, etc).
The wise men form the East did not worship (Gr. proskuneo) Y'shua because they thought He was Elohim (Matt 2). The passage itself clearly states that they perceived Him to be a king and that they came to honour Him as such. The word "proskuneo" is known to be used very frequently and liberally to refer to the practice of bringing honour or making obeisance to a king, or a person of high standing. According to the Greek-English Lexicon of Liddell and Scott examples of this usage may be found, among others, in the works of Herodotus and Sophocles. From Scriptures we know that Cornelius "worshiped" (Gr. "proskuneo") Kefa (Peter) and we may be quite certain that Cornelius never, for one moment, thought of Kefa to be Elohim (Acts 10:25). In Revelation 3:9 we read that members of the "congregation of Satan" would one day come and worship (Gr. "proskuneo") before the feet of the faithful mebers of the congregation of Philadelphia. Also, when the woman of Canaan (Matt 15:25 - someone who most probably had very little knowledge about Y'shua) came to Y'shua and "worshiped" Him (Gr. "proskuneo"), it is not because she thought he was Elohim but because she heard that He was a son (or descendant) of the great king David (Matt 15:22).
When Matt 4 is read against this background it should become clear that Satan (who knew very well that Y'shua was the Son of Yahweh, not Yahweh-the-Son - a designation never found anywhere in the entire Scriptures) was hoping to tempt Y'shua into a situation where He (Y'shua) would worship him (Satan) the way one is supposed to worship Yahweh alone. The very words of Y'shua in this context ("You shall worship Yahweh your Elohim and Him alone you shall serve" - read together with a verse like Matt 19:17) indicate that not for one moment did He think of Himself to be equal or identical to Yahweh, but that He was referring to a Being other, and greater, than Himself. This, of course, does not mean that Yahsuah is not worthy of our worship, or for that matter, the worship of messengers or wise men from the East - quite the contrary! But worhiping Him as Yahweh is more than what Scriptures allow us to do, and in fact a direct violation of the First Commandment.
The name Immanuel ("El is with us"), that is clearly associated with the Messiah throughout Scriptures, does not indicate that Y'shua is THE Elohim of Israel. If this is indeed the case, then it should also be concluded that king Jehu or Yahu was the earthly manifestation of Yahweh (the name means "Yahweh is he") or that Yahuach (2 Kings 18:18 and literally meaning: "brother of Yahweh") came from the family (?) of Yah, or that Aviél (1 Sam 9:1) was literally the Son of Elohim, as his name seems to suggest. There are literally hundreds of personal names in Scriptures containing the forms "Yah", "Yahu", "el" or "eli" (all of these being refences to Yahweh the Elohim of Israel). The meaning of each one of these names is usually quite significant, in the sense that they reflect the character and the ways of Yahweh (eg. Yahutsadak = "Yahweh is righteous" or Daniel = "Elohim is my Judge"), but one cannot simply draw direct and literal conclusions about the identity (or even the character) of a person bearing a name in which the forms "Yah" or "El" appear. The Name Immanuel that was given as an additional name/title for the Messiah, constantly reminds us of the fact that in the process of sending his Son to this world, Yahweh once again came close to his people and "dwelt" among them - not in the literal sense of the word, but in the same manner as He had done in the times of (and through dinamic leaders like) Isaac ("We have clearly seen that Yahweh is with you" - Gen 26:28); Joshua ("Their defence has turned away from them, and Yahweh is with us" - Num 14:9); Gideon ("Yahweh is with you, you mighty brave one" - Judges 6:13); and many others.
Isaiah 9:6 is not a prophesy about the future birth of a son that was going to be equal and identical to Yahweh. Such a concept is completely unthinkable and unheard of in the Hebrew frame of mind and we can rest assured that this idea was very far from the mind of the prophet, or those who had heard his prophesy. The word "el" or "elohim" literally means "mighty one" (not necessarily the same as The Almighty One) and "mighty el" could refer to Yahweh OR to a person / king / leader worthy of such a description. This can clearly be seen in Ex 7:1 (where Moses is called "elohim"); Ps 45:6-7 (where the future Messiah King is called "elohim", to be anointed by another Elohim, Yahweh THE Elohim of heaven and earth) and Ps 82:6 (where the judges of Israel, who are accused of being partial and unfair, are called "elohim"). The designation "Everlasting Father" is not intended to equate the Messiah with Yahweh the Father, simply because throughout Scriptures Y'shua is always called the Son, and never the Father. Many commentators understand the word "father" in this case as a prophesy to the effect that Y'shua would be a father, or a forerunner, as far as eternal life is concerned. Because He would become the Firstfruit from the dead, many others would follow and would look up to him as their father of eternity.
It was the perception of the Jews of Messiah's time that no ordinary person had the authority to forgive sins. Of course, they did not recognize or accept Y'shua as the promised Messiah. Had they indeed done so, they might have felt differently, for they understood perfectly well the concept of representation where someone (like Avraham or Mosheh or David or a prophet or the High Priest) acted in Yahweh's Name or on Yahweh's behalf, because they had received a mandate from Above to do so. Forgiving people's sin was something that Y'shua did because He acted as an instrument in his Father's hands. He said so Himself, on a number of occassions. The same is true with regards to miraculous healings and the casting out of demons. In all of this Y'shua regularly declared that He only acted within the boundaries set to Him by his heavenly Father.
There is certainly much more to be said on this subject, but for now, this is already too much. I fully agree that it is a topic of extreme importance and sincerely hope and pray that all sincere seekers of the truth of Yahweh's Word will come to greater understanding in this regard.