Dialogue With Trypho

Dialogue with Trypho was written by Justin Martyr. It is likely an artificial dialogue between Justin and a Jew named Trypho. Trypho’s original intent was to see what he could learn from Justin, who originally appeared to be a man dressed in a philosopher’s robe but turned out to be a Christian. In the dialogue, Justin introduced himself as a philosopher with a love for the prophets. Upon hearing this, Trypho suggested Justin be circumcised, observe the Sabbath, feasts, new moons, and obey what’s written in the law, so that he might obtain mercy from God.

This began a long discussion in which Justin took the opportunity to educate Trypho about Yeshua, as well as what he considered to be the errors and shortcomings of the Jews, and to convince Trypho to repent and put his faith in Yeshua.

Justin’s statements caused Trypho to look at the Scriptures in a way that he had never done before. So too, we will look at some Scriptures in a way we haven’t done before. Your beliefs will likely be stretched and you will be left with some things to meditate on and wonder about.

During this discussion, Justin covered various topics. We will mention some of those and then focus on one topic in particular. In Dialogue with Trypho, Justin presents Messiah as the new law and covenant. He says that Messiah has been given to man after which there is no law, no commandment, and no ordinance. Frankly, this statement sounds like lawlessness to me.

From the very start, Justin bursts forth with a ton of information that would cause any Jew to turn and run away, hence, I can’t imagine it being an authentic dialogue because I can’t imagine any Jew today who would willingly and patiently engage in this dialogue and listen to all that Justin has to say.

Some of the things Justin says includes:

  • Jews are blind to the new covenant.
  • They are in need of a second circumcision – circumcision of the heart.
  • The new law requires a perpetual Sabbath, but he doesn’t elaborate on what that exactly is.
  • If one repents, he has kept the sweet and true Sabbaths of God.
  • The laver of repentance and knowledge of God was ordained on account of the transgression of God’s people. Only the water of life, which Isaiah testifies about, is able to purify those who have repented.
  • Circumcision is a sign, so that the Jews may be separated from the nations and from Christians, and that the Jews may suffer all the bad and evil that they suffer.
  • Food laws were given in order that the Jews might keep God before their eyes, since they were prone and ready to depart from YHVH.
  • The Sabbath and other precepts were imposed on the Jews for a sign, on account of their unrighteousness. Justin ignores Scriptures regarding the Sabbath because it was on account of their hardness of hearts and their ingratitude towards YHVH that He continually proclaimed them, in order that they would repent. He does, however, concede that some injunctions were for the worship of God and the practice of righteousness. In addition, some were in reference to the mystery of Messiah.
  • YHVH instructed His people to perform sacrifices, not because of necessity, but because of their sins and idolatries.
  • Since there was no need of circumcision before Abraham, or of the sacrifices, feasts, and Sabbaths before Moses, Justin believes there is no more need of them now after Christ.
  • There is no need for the baptism of the Jews when we have the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
  • Christians would observe the law if they didn’t know why it was instituted – that it was on account of the transgressions and hardness of heart of the Jews, and because of the suffering of Christians at the hands of Jews.

As we consider what Justin had to say, we must remember that God the Father taught His people about Himself, His Son, His people, and His plans for His people through typology. Some of these symbols or types included circumcision, Sabbaths, feasts, food laws, baptism, sacrifices, and other customs. Just because the Messiah came and died to redeem us, it doesn’t mean everything else can now be set aside. There is still much to be fulfilled, knowledge to be gained, and sanctification to be attained. God has called us to holiness, not uncleanness, and these things are defined in the law that YHVH gave to Moses. To reject the law is to reject God who has given us His Ruach HaKodesh (1 Thessalonians 4:4-8).

I just don’t fully agree with every aspect of these things that Justin said in Dialogue with Trypho. There’s just so much to challenge. Some of the items in the list above are completely wrong. Others are only partially truthful. And that last idea on this list – we’d obey the commandments if we didn’t know what they were for – just blew me away. I think that part is based on Galatians 3:22-4:1, which says the law was added because of transgressions, and that the Scripture has confined all under sin, so that the promise by faith in Messiah might be given to those who believe. The law kept people under guard for the faith that would be revealed. It was a tutor to bring people to Messiah. However, just because faith has come doesn’t mean we can abandon the law. It should now be an automatic part of our lives that we know well. It’s comparable to the idea that our parents, who were our tutors, taught us customs, behaviors, and morals to keep us alive in our younger years and to help us know the best way to deal with others, so that we can flourish in our adult years. We don’t abandon the good things that they taught us; we reap the benefits of them if we don’t depart from them. For example, if you don’t remember to look both ways before you cross the street because you’re an adult now, you could be hit by a car and die. Remember, in Romans 3:31, Paul said that we are not to abolish the law because of faith; we are to uphold the law just as he did. In addition, Ezekiel 36:27 says that YHVH would put His Spirit within His people and cause them to walk in His statutes and keep/do His judgments. Not walking this way still leads to death.

Trypho even asks Justin an important question — if people want to live in obedience to the law given by Moses, and yet believe in Yeshua, can they be saved? Justin acknowledges that the offerings can’t be offered anymore because the temple is gone but asks Trypho what can be observed. Trypho suggests keeping the Sabbath; circumcision; observing months; being washed after touching anything prohibited, or after sexual intercourse. In my opinion, this was a great response. Justin justifies not doing those things by saying that some of the patriarchs and their wives did not do all those things prior to those commands being given at Mt. Sinai. I am not sure that this reason alone is enough justification to not do them.

However, Justin also says that the laws can be followed, and they will be saved if they do not strive to persuade Gentiles who have been circumcised from error by Messiah to observe the same things or tell people they will not be saved if they do. Justin admits that, even in his day, not everyone agrees with his position, and they Judaize.

Throughout the dialogue, Justin desires for Trypho to see Messiah in the Scriptures. Here are some of the types that Justin presents:

  • Passover Lamb, which was roasted on a spit.
  • The goats of Yom HaKippurim.
  • Moses for Yeshua’s first advent, and Joshua for Yeshua’s second advent.
  • Jonah being three days and nights in the belly of a fish.
  • Physical circumcision on the eighth day representing true circumcision, by which we’re circumcised from deceit and iniquity through Messiah who rose from the dead on the eight (first) day of the week.
  • Noah became the chief of a new race after the flood; Messiah became chief of another race.
  • There are also a few prophecies concerning Messiah that Justin told Trypho about:
  • Messiah would be the rod that would come forth from Jesse.
  • The virgin birth; if it wasn’t a sign, it would’ve been an ordinary birth.
  • The Spirit of God would rest upon Him – the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge; and the Spirit of fear of the Lord shall fill Him.
  • Messiah would ride on a donkey. Two beasts were brought; the unharnessed colt being a symbol of the Gentiles, and the harnessed donkey a symbol of the Jewish nation.

For Trypho, the death of Yeshua on the cross was offensive because whoever is crucified on a cross is accursed. To counter that, Justin points out that Messiah’s death was depicted in Moses’ arms when the people waged war against Amalek; Hur and Aaron assisted in holding up his arms for the whole day – this being an imitation of the cross. In addition, Messiah’s death was pictured in the brazen serpent that was lifted up in the wilderness to heal those who had been bitten by the serpents in the wilderness if they looked to it in faith. His crucifixion was also prophesied in Psalms 22:12-18.

A major portion of Justin’s dialogue with Trypho is spent trying to convince Trypho that Yeshua is God and that He is the promised Messiah. This is where we will spend the rest of our time exploring Scripture today.

Even at the beginning of their discussion, Trypho knew that philosophers turn every discourse on God, continually ask questions about His unity and providence. Trypho even asked Justin, “Is not this truly the duty of philosophy, to investigate the Deity?”

Before Justin believed in Messiah, he spent time with a variety of philosophers – a Stoic, a Peripatetic, a Pythagorean, and a Platonist. Eventually, he decided that if one wanted to really know God, he had to get to know those who spoke by the Divine Spirit – the prophets of the Tanakh.  He says he found this philosophy to be safe and profitable.

In chapters 56-61, Justin says that God — who appeared to Moses is distinguished from God the Father – that He is another God and Lord subject to the Maker of all things, above whom there is no other God. Justin says this God is also called Angel. I have to say, this description made me a bit uncomfortable. Can you imagine what a Jew would be thinking?

Justin continues his discourse by saying that a Beginning is a certain rational power [proceeding] from Himself (God), who is called by the Holy Spirit, now the Glory of YHVH, now the Son, again Wisdom, again an Angel, then God, and then Lord and Logos, and Captain. Justin told Trypho that He can be called all these things since He ministers to the Father’s will, and since He was begotten of the Father by an act of will. This Beginning, Justin says, is who God talked to during the creation of man – Let US make man after Our image and likeness. Justin says, “But this Offspring, which was truly brought forth from the Father, was with the Father before all creatures, and the Father communed with Him; even as the Scripture by Solomon has made clear, that He whom Solomon calls Wisdom, was begotten as a Beginning before all His creatures and as Offspring by God, who has also declared this same thing in the revelation made by Joshua the son of Nave (Nun).” This is a reference to the Captain of YHVH’s army. In addition, this Beginning, this God submitted to become man by the Virgin, according to the will of His Father, and to be crucified, die, and be resurrected and ascended to heaven.

As we read all of this, we should also bear in mind that the concept of the Trinity, as it is known today, was not fully developed when Justin wrote this dialogue. That came later in 381 at the Council of Constantinople, and it was met with great opposition from what I’ve heard. The Trinity is actually a pagan idea as many people had triads that they worshiped. The creeds that exist today resulted from the disagreements and false teachings in the early centuries over the nature of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Even now, as people are re-examining their doctrinal beliefs, the doctrine of the Trinity has also come into question. Without saying all three are “persons,” I would say the phenomenon we are attempting to understand is somewhat comparable to the triple point in organic chemistry or thermodynamics in which, at a particular temperature and pressure, all three phases (solid, liquid, and gas) of a pure chemical exists at the same time.

Even within the Hebraic Roots movement, strongly held opinions differ:

  • Some still hold to the doctrine of the Trinity – three distinct persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – in one.
  • Some say Yeshua and YHVH (the Father) are completely separate — one who is God and the other is not – without saying exactly what the essence of the Son really is.
  • Others say that Yeshua and YHVH are separate, yet one – which I tend to call a Duality, although that may not be the best term to use. I would not equate this with Modalism.
  • Even as I’m writing in this post, YHVH is taking me through the Scriptures and through the possibilities of these ideas.

It is extremely difficult for people to get to the bottom of the natures of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit due to what appears to be contradictory information in the text. I, myself, have thought about it from time to time when I hear the various positions being discussed. Some things are a given simply because they are in the text. Even when I read Dialogue with Trypho for the first time, I knew that I would have to revisit the subject. This began a long season of repeatedly begging the Father prayer in prayer to reveal the true nature of the Son since this seemed to be the crux of the problem; I even asked and occasionally reminded others to be praying for me, so that God would show me what I needed to see and be able to put it into words.

You have to understand, when I study something out, I never know what the end result is going to be. As I study, I write notes. As I examine and organize my notes, YHVH reveals more to me causing the information to grow into a finished product. Once something is published, and if I read it later, I sometimes wonder how I wrote it, and I’m reminded that it was likely the Spirit writing and not really me. And this particular post has been edited numerous times as more has been revealed.

Spirit:

First, let me say that based on Numbers 11:16-17 and John 15:26, I see the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) as an effluence of the Father, who Yeshua said in John 4:24, is a Spirit (Ruach). So, I wouldn’t say the Spirit is a person per se, but the Ruach HaKodesh is essentially the breath of God — the emanating effluence of God’s Spirit.

  • Numbers 11:16-17 – “So, the Lord said to Moses: ‘Gather to Me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them; bring them to the tabernacle of meeting, that they may stand there with you. 17 Then I will come down and talk with you there. I will take of the Spirit that is upon you and will put the same upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, that you may not bear it yourself alone.’”
  • John 15:26 — “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.”

The giving of the Spirit is to equip each person for their specific ministry in the body. First Corinthians 12:7-11 explains it this way: “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:  8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.”

Verses that mention a group of three – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — are not in all of the manuscripts, so there is a strong possibility those are interpolations. In addition, there is no Trinity mentioned as being in the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21:22; this would have been one of the best places to mention it – there is no temple in the New Jerusalem, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. Perhaps the nature or role of the Spirit will not be necessary at that point in time.

However, when we look at the Tabernacle of the wilderness, we see two chambers in one Tabernacle. To get to the Most Holy Place where the Father is, the High Priest had to go through the Holy Place which represents Yeshua. This is where the daily duties took place. In addition, the jar of manna and the rod that budded that was placed inside the ark in the Most Holy Place represented Yeshua’s position at the right hand of the Father — the manna being the Bread that came down from heaven, and the rod that budded representing Yeshua’s resurrection.

Father and Son:

First Corinthians 8:4-6 says: “… we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one. 5 For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), 6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ (Yeshua Messiah), through whom are all things, and through whom we live.”

I have found that this idea of one God and one Lord does not exactly fit with what Justin has proposed. Before we pounce on one of the remaining two options previously discussed, let’s go through the Scriptures. I think people often take one verse to build a doctrine on to the exclusion of all others, and that can be a big mistake.

Let’s see what Justin and other Scriptures have to say.

Justin says that the Angel of YHVH and/or YHVH is equated with the title God in certain accounts of Abraham, Jacob, and Moses. He says this is another God and Lord subject to the Maker of all things (God the Father), above whom there is no other God. He is specifically referring to the accounts of Abraham (Genesis 17 -18), Jacob (Genesis 32:22-30), and Moses (Exodus 3-4). I would hesitate to use the phrase “another God.”

There are other times in the Tanakh where the Angel of YHVH is equated with God or YHVH – see the accounts of Hagar in Genesis 16:9-13, Gideon in Judges 6:20-23, as well as Manoah and his wife (Samson’s parents) in Judges 13:3, 15-22. Bear in mind that we must exercise caution because sometimes an angel of YHVH is not equated with God or YHVH Himself.

Elijah uses several names in 1 Kings 19:7-18 that we should look at. The Angel of YHVH had brought Elijah food. The Word of YHVH came to Elijah and asked what he was doing there at the cave where he had spent the night. When talking with the Word of YHVH, Elijah says he has been zealous for YHVH of Hosts, but the children of Israel had forsaken Your covenant, broken down Your altars, and killed Your prophets. So, the Word of YHVH has already heard Elijah’s explanation as to why is was where he was at/in a cave. Next, the Word of YHVH told Elijah to go and stand on the mountain before YHVH. So, it’s as if Elijah has been told to stand before the YHVH – the Father. A great and strong wind tore through the mountains, then there was an earthquake, then a fire, and then Elijah heard the still small voice of YHVH asking him the same question that the Word of YHVH had asked him. Again, Elijah speaks about being zealous for YHVH of Hosts, and refers to Your covenant, Your altars, and Your prophets. In case you are wondering, each time Elijah speaks the word “Your,” it’s in the singular. If this voice was God the Father, whom no one has ever seen, then Elijah has used these terms not only with the Word of YHVH, but also with YHVH the Father. Following this, YHVH gave several instructions to Elijah and told him that there is a faithful remnant.

Hosea equates both the Angel (Messenger) of YHVH and YHVH of Hosts (Armies) with the title God in Hosea 12:3-5. And John says the Word was with God, and he equates the Word with God in John 1:1-2.

There are many times that the Scriptures say the Word of YHVH came to speak to someone. We miss the significance of this because we assume that it just means YHVH spoke to someone, and that can be the case in some instances. I think we can tell the difference because this phrase sometimes does not make sense otherwise. But when John says — “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made (He had a role in creation). 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:1-5) — it causes us to say, Oh, I get it now.

So, how do we look at these examples in light of 1 Corinthians 8:4-6? Through discussion with others, much study, and lots of prayer, I think I’ve finally achieved a satisfactory conclusion to the matter for myself – that of a duality – separate but one.

There appears to be a family unit with the family name “YHVH,” that has been applied to both of what I consider to be the Father and the Son, that comes from the participle form of hayah (H1961), which means to exist, be, become, or come to pass. This family name is applied to Yeshua in titles such as the Angel of YHVH, YHVH of Hosts, and YHVH Our Righteousness (Jeremiah 23:5-6).

By the way, Jeremiah 33:14-16 also attributes the name YHVH Our Righteousness to Jerusalem in the Masoretic Text, but Jeremiah 33:14-21 is not found in the Septuagint. I suspect the Jews may have added verses 14-21 to the MT to cause a conflict with Jeremiah 23:5-6. As it is, there is much in Jeremiah that does not match up between the MT and LXX. See http://www.bible.ca/manuscripts/Book-of-Jeremiah-Bible-Manuscript-Textual-Variants-Old-Testament-Tanakh-Septuagint-LXX-Masoretic-Text-MT-scribal-gloss-copying-error.htm for more details.

This family unit achieves the concept of unity or oneness, and it is also called Elohim (God), which is a plural term, and there is also a definite separateness between the Father (God) and the Son (Lord, Divine Image of God). He is, for us, a physical extension of the Father in a similar way that the Spirit is an spiritual effluence of the Father and in a similar way that a human son is an image of his human father. Also, we see that Scripture uses an anthropomorphism — YHVH’s arm — to accomplish many things, which I believe is a reference to Yeshua being part of, one with, and an extension of the Father. The need for Yeshua to pray to the Father makes sense because it parallels the way our own brain communicates back and forth with various parts of our bodies via the central nervous system.

Let’s look at some verses to see this concept of unity or oneness. Let’s look at the following verses, which are grouped by color, and especially at the themes/words in bold:

  • 2 Samuel 7:8“And now thus shall thou say to my servant David, Thus says the Lord (YHVH) Almighty (G3841 — pantokrator), I took thee from the sheep-cote, that thou shouldest be a prince over my people, over Israel. [LXE – Brenton].”
  • Revelation 1:8, 17-18I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End” say the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty (G3841 — pantokrator)… And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last.  I am He who lives, and was dead (Yeshua), and behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.”
  • Deuteronomy 10:17For YHVH your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe.”
  • Revelation 17:14These will make war with the Lamb (Yeshua), and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord (YHVH) of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.”
  • Revelation 19:11-16And He (Yeshua) who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war (so He is YHVH of Hosts). 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD (ADONAI) OF LORDS.
  • Deuteronomy 32:3-4“For I proclaim the name of YHVH: Ascribe greatness to our God. He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He.”
  • Isaiah 44:8“Do not fear, nor be afraid; Have I not told you from that time, and declared it? You are My witnesses. Is there a God besides Me? Indeed there is no other Rock; I know not one.”
  • John 14:6 – “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Don’t forget the image the priests passing through the Holy Place to get to the Most Holy Place.
  • 1 Corinthians 10:4 — “and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ (Messiah).” That makes the identity of the Rock pretty clear.
  • Genesis 1:1“In/With the beginning (B’reshit), God created the heavens and the earth.”
  • Exodus 15:13“You in Your mercy have led forth The people whom You have redeemed; You have guided them in Your strength To Your holy habitation.”
  • Psalms 34:22YHVH redeems the soul of His servants, And none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.”
  • Isaiah 44:6“Thus says YHVH, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, YHVH of hosts: I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God.”
  • Titus 2:14“(Yeshua) who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.”
  • Revelation 5:9-10“And they sang a new song, saying: “You (the Lamb) are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, 10 And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.” The references to God here are likely to God the Father.
  • Revelation 22:13“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”
  • Isaiah 40:3 — “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the YHVH; Make straight in the desert A highway for our God“.
  • John 1:23, 29, 34 — “He (John) said: “I am`The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Make straight the way of the YHVH,”‘ as the prophet Isaiah said.”  29 The next day John saw Yeshua coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 34 “And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.”
  • Psalms 77:15 — You have with Your arm redeemed Your people,
    The sons of Jacob and Joseph.
  • Titus 2:14 — (Yeshua) who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.
  • Isaiah 40:10-11 — Behold, the Lord God shall come with a strong hand,
    And His arm shall rule for Him; Behold, His reward is with Him, And His work before Him. 11 He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, And carry them in His bosom, And gently lead those who are with young.
  • John 10:11 — “I (Yeshua) am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.
  • Revelation 19:15 — Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He (Yeshua) Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
  • Isaiah 52:10 — The Lord has made bare His holy arm In the eyes of all the nations; And all the ends of the earth shall see The salvation of our God.
  • Acts 4:12 — Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name (than Yeshua’s) under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
  • John 12:37-40 — But although He (Yeshua) had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke:  “Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” (quote from Isaiah 53) Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again: “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, Lest they should see with their eyes, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.” (quote from Isaiah 6:10)

These verses make me wonder how much of who we are seeing in the Tanakh as YHVH is really the Son of God (Seen One) instead of the Father (Unseen One). They have me asking:

  • Who was walking in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve?
  • Who was the Lord of Hosts that came down and brought the mixed multitude out of Egypt? Who was in the pillar of cloud/fire? It is Yeshua who has descended and ascended.
  • Who was the marriage covenant on Mt. Sinai with? The priests were spending more time in the Holy Place with the Seen Images that represented Yeshua than the Most Holy Place where the Unseen One was supposed to be; think about it. The High Priest could only go into the Most Holy Place once a year, and that had to be with a cloud of incense to cover the mercy seat, lest he die. Romans 7:1-4 makes so much more sense if the original marriage covenant was with the Son and not the Father.
  • Who did Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and 70 of the elders see when they ate and drank on the mountain in Exodus 24:9-11?
  • Who was the Commander of YHVH’s army that Joshua saw and worshiped?

Many of the types and titles for God that we’ve seen in the Tanakh fit better between the Old and New Testaments when these are a reference to the Son instead of the Father.  This is quite a revelation!

It is easy to see how something like this could be hidden for so long. The concept of unity is one reason this distinction has not been very clear. Let’s take a look at few verses showing the unity and separateness of Yeshua and the Father in Scripture.

More verses showing/speaking of the unity of Yeshua and the Father:

  • Jeremiah 23:5-6“Behold, the days are coming,” says YHVH,”That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness (Yeshua); A King shall reign and prosper, And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.6 In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called: YHVH OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”
  • Matthew 1:20a, 23 — “But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying… 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
  • John 10:30, 33, 36 — “I (Yeshua) and My Father are onebecause You, being a Man, make Yourself God… whom the Father sancitified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, “I am the Son of God?”
  • John 14:9 “… He who has seen Me (Yeshua) has seen the Father.”
  • John 17:20-23 — “I (Yeshua) do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.  22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:  23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”
  • John 20:27-28 — “Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” 28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”
  • Colossians 2:9-10 — “For in Him (Yeshua) dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; 10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.”
  •  John 5:20“And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.”
  • Titus 2:13“looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,” [2]
  • 2 Peter 1:1Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ. [2]

Verses showing/speaking of separateness:

  • Psalm 45:6 — “Your throne, O God (Yeshua), is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. You love righteousness and hate wickedness; Therefore God (the Father), Your God, has anointed You (Yeshua) With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”
  • Daniel 7:13-14 — “I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him.  Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed.”
  • John 5:26-27“For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself,  and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.”
  • John 14:12 “The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.”
  • John 16:28“I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father.”
  • John 17:3“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
  • 1 Corinthians 15:28“Now when all things are made subject to Him (the Father), then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him (YHVH) who put all things under Him, (YHVH) that God may be all in all.”
  • Titus 2:11-14“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our/the  great God and our Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” The way the Greek is written seems to indicate a separation, yet we are expecting only Yeshua to appear instead of the Father and Yeshua.
  • Hebrews 1:1-4 “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 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; 3 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, 4 having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.”

There are plenty of verses showing both the separateness and unity of the Father and the Son. There are likely more than what I’ve shown here. Proper exegesis demands that we should not discard one set of verses in order to support a position of one over the other.

The Father is a Spirit; He is the Unseen One who gives authority, as well as a bride, to His Son who is the image of Himself – just like Pharaoh did to Joseph. The only time the Father is seen in a vision is in order to provide the seer of the vision with a symbol of the Father and Son’s separateness. See Genesis 41:42-45; Exodus 33:20; Daniel 7:13-14; John 1:18, 6:46; 1 John 4:12, 24; Revelation 5.

The Son has the role of Mediator or Advocate between the Spirit-Father and Man. The Spirit of God rested on Yeshua — the Son of God, the Anointed One (Messiah/Mashiach). People honor and bow down to Him just like Pharaoh made the people bow down to Joseph. The Son is the Seen One who came forth from the Father and returned to the Father – the Angel of YHVH/God, YHVH of Hosts, Commander, Yeshua, the Word of YHVH, Logos, Root of Jesse, Rod, Branch, Servant, Cornerstone, Shepherd, Light of the World, the Bread of Life, the Way/Door. See Genesis 41:43; Isaiah 11:2, 10; Psalms 2, 23:1; Matthew 3:16-17, 14:33; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-2, 14-16, 49; 10:11-16, 36; 11:27; 18:28; 19:7; Acts 9:20; Romans 1:4; 1 John 5:20.

Philippians 2:5-11 says, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Messiah Yeshua (Christ Jesus), 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Yeshua Messiah (Jesus Christ) is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Since we are to bow down to Yeshua, He is worthy of our worship. When we worship Yeshua, we are worshiping the divine image of Father, and this is the only image we should worship – the one which God the Father created. We should never worship anything that is created by man, not even an image of Yeshua. We are not to worship God in the same manner that the people in Canaan worshiped their gods (Deuteronomy 12:1-4).

Yeshua, Image of YHVHColossians 1:15-18 says, He (Yeshua) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.”

Do not hesitate to worship Yeshua. Yeshua was worshiped by people in Scripture, and He did not forbid their worship; therefore, it is appropriate for us to do likewise. Consider the following instances:

  • And when they (wise men from the east) had come into the house, they saw the young Child (Yeshua) with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. They also presented gifts to Him — gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (Matthew 2:11)
  • After Peter walked on the water, and returned to the boat with Yeshua, the wind ceased. Matthew 14:33 then says, “Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”
  • A woman of Canaan came to Yeshua in Matthew 15:22-28. She begged Yeshua to have mercy on her because her daughter was severely demon-possessed. Initially, He denied her, but she came and worshiped Him, and asked again. Eventually, because of her faith, Yeshua complied.
  • The man who was possessed by Legion, even before being delivered, ran to Him and worshiped Him (Mark 5:1-12).
  • When the women saw Yeshua after His resurrection, they held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. Yeshua told them to tell the brothers. When the eleven disciples saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted (Matthew 28:5-10, 16).
  • As Yeshua was being carried up into heaven, the disciples worshiped Yeshua, and then they returned to Jerusalem with great joy (Luke 24:50-53).

Certain verses say there can be no other God (Is 45:5, 6, 14), Rock (Is 44:8), Creator (Is 45:18), or Savior (Is 45:21). This means either Yeshua cannot be these things at all, and we must throw out the Apostolic Scriptures — or else YHVH and Yeshua are the same. However, we can’t throw out the Apostolic Scriptures because there are numerous prophecies in the Tanakh that point to Yeshua Messiah.

Thomas indicated Yeshua was his God (John 20:28). Paul and Peter indicated Yeshua/YHVH of Hosts was the Rock (1 Corinthians 10:4; Romans 9:31-33; Isaiah 8:13-14). Colossians 1:16 indicate all things were created through Him and for Him, and numerous verses attest that Yeshua is our Savior (Luke 2:11; John 4:24; 2 Peter 1:1; Titus 3:6) .

The Scriptures reveal that Yeshua is Creator, Redeemer, Savior, YHVH of Hosts, Angel of YHVH, Shepherd, Healer, Deliverer, Rock, First and Last, etc. Based on this and other verses, the only conclusion I can logically make after looking at all of these Scriptures is that YHVH and Yeshua are both separate yet somehow one. The concept of triple point comes to mind to explain the existence of the Father, Son, and Holy spirit as having one source, and the tabernacle itself demonstrates the idea of two in one as previously described.

YHVH – the Father — has arranged a marriage covenant between His image – Yeshua — and those who are willing to enter into a threshold covenant with Him. Remember, the creation was made for Yeshua, not for the Father. This covenant requires people to separate themselves from the uncleanness of the world, which is defined by the terms of the original covenant, and be devoted to Yeshua — the Bridegroom. Those in that covenant offer themselves as living sacrifices to God. Those who do so comprise a holy nation of priests who abide with Yeshua now and in the future.

As you consider my words, I hope I can say the same words of you that John said in John 2:4-6 — “I rejoiced greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, as we received commandment from the Father. 5 And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another. 6 This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.”

Please look at the pdf of the PowerPoint teaching Understanding John 1: 1-2 Is Yeshua God or a god? for more information on John 1:1-2.

1]  Featured Image:  Justin Martyr by Theophanes the Cretan [Public domain]

2]  For Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1, see Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament by Daniel Wallace,  pages 270-277, concerning the Granville Sharp Rule.

3]  Infographic — Yeshua, Image of YHVH  — may be freely shared.

  • Creator — Psalms 148:5; Colossians 1:16
  • Almighty God — 2 Samuel 7:8, 27; 1 Chronicles 11:9; Revelation 1:8, 17-18
  • Shepherd — Psalms 23:1; John 10:11
  • Light — Psalms 27:1; John 8:12
  • Truth — Psalms 31:5; John 14:6
  • Healer — Psalms 103:1-3; Isaiah 53:5; Matthew 8:16; Luke 6:19
  • Redeemer — Isaiah 49:26; Galatians 3:13; 1 Peter 1:18
  • Savior — Isaiah 43:3, 11; Hosea 13:4; Luke 2:11; John 4:42; Ephesians 5:23
  • Deliverer — Psalms 18:2-3; Galatians 1:3-4
  • Angel/Messenger of YHVH — Exodus 3:4-6; Hosea 12:3-5; Matthew 4:17
  • YHVH of Hosts — Zechariah 9:15; Revelation 19:11-16

3 Comments

  1. Beth, I enjoyed your article and found your thoughts to be very interesting. You wrote that “when we worship Yeshua, we are worshiping the divine image of the Father, and this is the only image we should worship – the one God the Father created.” So is Yeshua as the Son, the Word of Yahweh, the Messenger of Yahweh, His Representative Who speaks Yahweh’s Words, has He always existed alongside the Father as His equal or was He created as the image of the Father and given the Father’s fullness to reflect Him in our world? I am most interested in understanding this from a Hebrew perspective. I have read some things about this, but it is a little confusing. Thank you again for your interesting comments.

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    1. There are differences of opinion as far as Hebrew perspectives go. As it is, the Jews do not expect the Messiah to be God in the flesh. However, looking at the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments as our roots, Yeshua was “firstborn,” but the question is — is the corresponding Greek term for that really related to preeminence or superiority as some suggest? John 1:1 seems to suggest that the Word/Logos was already with God in the beginning, but it doesn’t say specifically at what point in the beginning. If we go with Proverbs 8, which talks about wisdom being at creation, that would be the very beginning and not when light was created on the first day. The former and latter portions of your question both seem to be somewhat in play. There are verses speaking of equality — John 5:18, as well as Philippians 2:6 which indicates that despite His position, He humbled himself and did His Father’s will. Right now, the earth, as I understand things, is currently Satan’s domain. There will come a time when his dominion will be taken away from him, and everything will be handed over to Yeshua. Still, Yeshua was also created as the image of the Father to reflect Him in our world, and we are to be conformed to the image of the Son. Another question we should ask is — did God hide Yeshua’s true nature from the Jews, as well as His plan of redemption through Yeshua? Luke 10:21-22 tends to indication selective revelation. I hope this helps.

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