You are on page 1of 11

All New - Updated Commentary

Godhead

Spirit Realm

Prophecy

Holy Days

THENEWTESTAMENTIDENTIFICATION OF THE MESSIAH


he first part of this study (Who Is Jesus Christ?) examined the historical context for understanding the true identity of God's Messiah,YeshuatheNazarene.Wewillbeginthesecondpartbylookingattheinformationregardingtheidentityofthe Messiah which begins the scriptural letter to the Messianic Jews:

HEBREWS 1:1 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 [etheken] heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; (NKJV)

ThisletterwasprimarilywrittentoMessianicJewstoexplainWHOJesusChristwas,includinghisroleinGod'splan.Theauthor of Hebrews (generally thought to be the apostle Paul) starts with the declaration that Yeshua was the Son of God.ThisMessianic identification for Yeshua is used throughout the New Testament, appearing 45 times (e.g., Matt. 8:29; 14:33; 26:63-64; 27:43; Mark 1:1; 3:11; Luke 1:35; 4:41; 22:70; John 1:34, 49; 3:18; 5:25; 9:35-37; 10:36; 11:4, 27; 19:7; 20:31; Acts 8:37; 9:20; Rom. 1:4; II Cor. 1:19Heb.414IJohn4:155:5Rev.2:18).AsthespokesmanforGodhisFather,YeshuawasthesuccessortotheOld Testament prophets. The author also tells us in verse 2 that the Son was the one through whom God had created the world, and that the Father "appointed"himtheheirofallthings.Thewordtranslated"appointed"isaformoftheGreektithemi, which literally means "to place,""tolay,"or"toset."ThelanguageusedhereindicatesthattheSon'splacewasdeterminedbythewillofGod,not by his nature.

HEBREWS 1:3 He is the radiance [apaugasma] of the glory of God and the exact imprint [charakter] of His nature [hupostaseos], and he upholds the universe by the word ofHispower.Aftermakingpurificationforsins,hesatdownattherighthandofthe Majesty on high, (ESV)

Theauthorgoesoninverse3todescribeYeshuaasthe"radiance"ofGod'sglory.TheGreekwordtranslated"radiance"here (apaugasma)isprobablybetterrenderedas"reflection."ThisGreekwordisnotfoundanywhereelseintheNewTestamentor the Greek translation of the Old Testament (Septuagint). However, it is found once in the Apocrypha, in the Wisdom of Solomon.Inthisbook(thoughttohavebeenwrittenbetween100 BCE and 40 CE), "wisdom" is similar to the logosconceptfoundinthewritingsofPhiloandtheGospelofJohn.Hebrews1:3is veryreminiscentofthesectionfromthisapocryphalbookwherethiswordisfound.Thispassagedescribes"wisdom"interms much like those found in Hebrews 1:

WISDOM 7:24 For wisdom is more mobile than any motion; because of her pureness she pervadesandpenetratesallthings.25ForsheisabreathofthepowerofGod,anda pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty; therefore nothing defiled gains entranceintoher.26Forsheisareflection [apaugasma] of eternal light, a spotless mirror of the working of God, and an image of His goodness. (RSV)

It's possible that the author of Hebrews was paraphrasing his statement in Hebrews 1:3 regarding the nature of Yeshua from this passageofintertestamentalJewishliterature.TheMessiahwasthereflection of God's glory ("eternal light") in the form of a human being. This verse also states that Yeshua was the "exact imprint" (charakter) of God's "nature" (hupostaseos).AccordingtoStrong's Concordance, the Greek word charakterhasthefollowingmeanings:"1) the instrument used for engraving or carving; 2) the mark stamped upon that instrument or wrought out on it, 2a) a mark or figure burned in (Lev. 13:28) or stamped on, an impression, 2b) the exact expression (the image) of any person or thing, marked likeness, precise reproduction in every respect, i.e., facsimile."Heretheauthor'suseofthiswordtellsusthatYeshuawasa"precise reproduction" or "likeness" of God's "nature." According to Friberg's Analytical Lexicon to the Greek New Testament (ALGNT), the Greek word hupostaseos ("nature") means:"...theobjectiveaspectandunderlyingrealitybehindanything,w[ith]specif[ic]m[eani]ngderivedfr[om] context; (1) as an undertaking plan, project (2C 9.4); (2) as God's substantial nature real being, essence (HE 1.3); (3) as the objective reality which gives a firm guarantee and basis for confidence or assurance substance, ground of hope, foundation (HE 3.14; 11.1)." In simple terms, Hebrews 1:3 tells us that Yeshua reflected the glory of God because he was an exact reproduction of God's natureoressence.ClearlyadifferentiationbetweenYeshuaandGodtheFatherisdepictedhere,withYeshuashowntobemade in the image of the Father.

HEBREWS 1:4 Having become [genomenos] so much better than the angels, as he has by inheritance obtained [kekleronomeken] a more excellent name than they. (NKJV)

The Greek verb genomenos("havingbecome")indicatesachangeinstatus.Verse4makesitclearthatYeshua'sobedientdeath onthecrosscausedanelevationofhisposition.ThisversealsotellsusthatYeshuareceivedanamegreaterthantheangels throughinheritance.YeshuaspeaksofthenamehereceivedintheGospelofJohn:

JOHN 17:12 "While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled. (NASU)

This name Yeshua inherited was the very name of his Father, YHVH.ItwasbyhisFather'snamethatYeshuawasknowntothe ancient Israelites, as the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah shows:

GENESIS 19:24 Then the LORD [YHVH] rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the LORD [YHVH] out of the heavens. (NKJV)

The Targums, ancient Aramaic translations of the Hebrew Tanakh (also known as the "Old Testament"), contain a wealth of informationconcerningthewaytheJewishinterpretersoflateantiquityunderstoodtheScriptures.Therenderingofthisversein the Jerusalem Targum incorporates additional commentary on the events that took place and more fully explains what happened:

GENESIS 19:24 And the Word of the Lord himself had made to descend upon the people of Sedom and Amorah showers of favour, that they might work repentance from their wickedworks.Butwhentheysawtheshowersoffavour,theysaid,So,ourwickedworks arenotmanifestbeforehim.Heturned(then),andcausedtodescenduponthem bitumen and fire from before the Lord from the heavens. (Jerusalem Targum, translated by J.W. Etheridge)

The Jerusalem Targum clearly shows that the common Jewish understanding around the time of Christ was that the first YHVH mentioned in Genesis 19:24 was the "Word of the Lord" (the preincarnate Messiah-John 1:14), who was acting on behalf of his heavenly Father YHVH.ForadditionalinformationontheactivitiesoftheMessiahbeforehishumanincarnation,seemyarticle

entitled Christ in the Old Testament. The author knew that many Jews would identify Yeshua with the Old Testament "Angel of the LORD," the primary messenger of God'swordinancienttimes.InordertodemonstratethesuperiorityoftheMessiah,hebeginsinverse4todifferentiateYeshua from the other angels ("messengers") that serve God the Father.

HEBREWS1:5FortowhichoftheangelsdidHeeversay:"YouareMySon,todayIhave begotten you"?1 Andagain:"IwillbetohimaFather,andheshallbetoMeaSon"?2 (NKJV)

In verse 5 we have the first two of several citations from the Tanakh within this passage: 1Psalm 2:7 and 2II Samuel 7:14. Psalm2isamessianicprophecythatdetailsGod'spromisetoHis"Anointed"(Heb.Mashiach, "Messiah") that He will establish himinZionaskingovertheentireearth.IISamuel7recordsGod'spromisetoKingDavid.Specifically,IISamuel7:16states that King David's throne would be established forever. Withthesetwocitations,theauthorlaysoutscripturalsupportforYeshua'spositionanddestiny.Heisnomereangel,butinstead he is the promised Messiah, the seed of David, the one who will reign in Jerusalem on David's throne during the millennial Kingdom of God.

HEBREWS1:6ButwhenHeagainbringsthefirstbornintotheworld,Hesays:"Letall the angels of God worship him."3 (NKJV)

The author now cites a portion of 3Deuteronomy 32:43 from the Septuagint Greek version of the Tanakh (translated in the 3rd centuryBCE).HerelatesthisScripturetothereturnofYeshua,thefirstbornSonofGod,intotheworld.Indoingso,hebuilds on the theme of messianic rulership initiated in verse 5.

DEUTERONOMY 32:43 Rejoice, ye heavens, with him, and let all the angels of God worship him; rejoice ye Gentiles, with his people, and let all the sons of God strengthen themselves in him; for he will avenge the blood of his sons, and he will render vengeance, and recompense justice to his enemies, and will reward them that hate him; and the Lord shall purge the land of his people. (Brenton's LXX)

From the context of the quoted passage, we know that the author is referring to the second coming of Yeshua at the end of the age.Deuteronomy32:43isthelastverseinalongpassageofprophecythatMosesspoketotheIsraelitesjustbeforehisdeath.In this prophecy, Moses describes their fate and speaks of God's eventual judgment upon His enemies, those who have sought to destroyHischosenpeople.AsmanyotherScripturesshow,theonewhowillbringthispunishmentisnoneotherthanthe Messiah returned to earth from heaven (cf. Rev. 19:11-21).ThisreferenceisintendedtoshowtheMessiah'spositionoverthe holy angels, who will serve as his army in the end-time destruction of God's enemies (Matt. 13:41-42).

HEBREWS1:7AndoftheangelsHesays:"WhomakesHisangelsspiritsandHis ministers a flame of fire."4 (NKJV)

The next quote comes from 4Psalm 104:4.Thiscitationisthefirstpartofacomparison(completedinverses8-9) designed to establishthequalitativedifferencebetweentheholyangelswhoserveGodandHisfirstbornSon,Yeshua.Thenexttwoverses point out the greater responsibility and glory of the Son:

HEBREWS1:8ButtotheSonHesays:"Yourthrone,OGod [theos; Heb.'elohim], is forever andeverascepterofrighteousnessisthescepterofyourKingdom.9Youhaveloved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore God, your God [ho theos ho theos; Heb. 'elohim 'eloheykha], has anointed you with the oil of gladness more than your companions

[metochous; Heb. chavereykha]."5 (NKJV)

There is a lot of meaning in these two verses, which are a citation from 5Psalm 45:6-7.Thefirstthingweshouldnoticeisthatthe authorappliesthetitle"God"specificallytoYeshua(cf.John20:28).AthoroughunderstandingofthemeaningoftheHebrew word 'elohim is necessary to grasp why he did this. As Psalm 82 clearly shows, the term 'elohim can refer to the angelic sons of God (Psa. 82:6) who make up the heavenly divine council.Therefore,theauthor'suseofthistitleismeanttodescribethepowerandpositionofthefirstbornSon.Ashehas alreadyshown,theSonwasnoregularangel,nosimplemessenger.Instead,theAnointedwasoneoftheexalted'elohim, one of thedivinecouncilGodhadappointedtorulethenationsoftheearth.Specifically,GodassignedtheMessiahtoruleoverHis portion, the nation of Israel (Deu. 32:9). Thenextverseofthequotationconfirmsthisidentification.WhereastheScripturesshowthattheother'elohim have acted unjustly in the administration of their duties over the nations (Psa. 82:2-7), Psalm 45:7 tells us that the firstborn Son "loved righteousnessandhatedlawlessness."BecausehewalkedinhisheavenlyFather'swaysinsteadofhisown,hewaselevatedfar abovehis"companions,"theothermembersofthedivinecouncil.HewillbegivenathroneabovethemallbyGodtheFather, who is his God (cf. John 20:17; Rev. 1:6).

HEBREWS 1:10 And, "You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of Your hands; 11 they will perish, but You remain; they will all wear out like a garment, 12 like a robe You will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed.ButYouarethesame,andYouryearswillhavenoend."6 (ESV)

The next quotation is from 6Psalm 102:25-27, again from the Septuaginttranslation.Afterrepeatingthewordsoftheheavenly FathertoHisSoninverses8and9,theauthorhereshowsthatGodtheFatheristhesourceofallcreationandeternal.Thisquote exalting Almighty God sets the stage for the next statement from God to His glorified Son:

HEBREWS1:13ButtowhichoftheangelshasHeeversaid:"SitatMyrighthand,tillI make your enemies your footstool"?7 14Aretheynotallministeringspiritssentforthto minister for those who will inherit salvation? (NKJV)

The author of Hebrews finishes out his exaltation of the Messiah by quoting from 7Psalm 110:1.Unliketheangelsthatserve under him, Yeshua is shown to be seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven, waiting for the time when God will give him victoryoverhisenemies(allthosewhoresistGod'swill).Asafinalcounterpointtohisargument,theauthor'srhetoricalquestion in verse 14 again points out the superiority of Yeshua to the angelic host. The first chapter of Hebrews is used by the author to demonstrate that the Messiah, who appeared as the Angel of the LORD beforetakingtheformofahuman,wasmuchmorethananOldTestamentspiritualmessengerfromtheFather.Hewasthe workmanthroughwhichGodcreatedallthings.HewasthepromisedseedofDavid,theAnointedonewhowillruletheearth fromJerusalemforathousandyearsasGod'srepresentative.HewasamemberofthedivinecouncilwhoruledoverIsrael,and because of his faithfulness, will rule over all nations. Now let's skip down to Hebrews 2:9, where the author continues his explanation of the Messiah's identity:

HEBREWS 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that he, by the grace of God, might tastedeathforeveryone.10ForitwasfittingforHim,forwhomareallthingsandby whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect [teleiosai] through sufferings. (NKJV)

HeretheauthorbeginstoexplainwhythedivinefirstbornSonofGodhadtobecomeamortalman.Inverse9,heshowsthat Yeshua allowed himself to be made "a little lower than the (same) angels" the author had proclaimed him to be above in chapter 1. Thepurposeforthisisnottotallyunderstoodbymostbelievers,eventhoughitisclearlystated:Yeshuasuffereddeath that he

might "taste death for everyone." Verse10containsanamazingpieceofinformationaboutthenatureoftheMessiah.WearetoldthattheFather,inordertobring manysonstoglory,had"tomakethecaptainoftheirsalvation(Yeshua)PERFECTthroughsufferings."Inthecontextofthis passage, the Greek verb teleiosaiwouldbebettertranslated"complete."InLuke13:32,aformofthissamewordisused:

LUKE 13:31 On that very day some Pharisees came, saying to him, "Get out and depart fromhere,forHerodwantstokillyou."32Andhesaidtothem,"Go,tellthatfox, 'Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected [teleioumai].'"(NKJV)

TheprimarysufferingoftheMessiahwashisfinalagonyonthecross.However,histotalexperienceasahumanbeingalso qualifiedassuffering.Itwasthephysicalandmentaldistress,aswellasthecorrespondingtemptationsthatheendured,that "perfected" Yeshua. As the divine spirit being called the "Angel of the LORD," Yeshua led the Israelites out of Egypt during the Exodus and guided themthroughtheir40yearsofwildernesswanderings(Jdg.2:1).Duringthattime,hesawGod'schosenpeopleattheirworst.In order to truly comprehend how people could behave the way that the Israelites did, he had to be subjected to the same temptations andsufferingsthathumanshadtoendure.Onlythisexperiencewouldallowhimtobe"completed"andbecomeanempathetic High Priest to God's people (Heb. 2:17; 4:15).

HEBREWS 2:11 For both he who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one [ex henos pantes], for which reason he is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 Saying:"IwilldeclareYournametomybrethreninthemidstoftheassemblyIwill sing praise to You."813Andagain:"IwillputmytrustinHim."9 Andagain:"Heream I and the children whom God has given me."1014Inasmuchthenasthechildrenhave partaken of flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared in the same, that through death he might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. (NKJV)

In verse 11, the author tells us that Yeshua and those he is in the process of sanctifying ("setting apart for a holy purpose") are "allofone."BytheconcludingstatementthatYeshua"isnotashamedtocallthemBRETHREN,"weknowthatthefirstpartof theverseisreferringtoYeshuaandthoseheissanctifyingbeing"allofone"FAMILY,withYHVH being the Father of both (cf. Eph. 3:14-15). Verse 12 begins another series of quotations from the Tanakh with a citation of 8Psalm 22:22.Psalm22isamessianicpsalm that prophetically records some of the actual words later spoken by Yeshua (cf. Psa. 22:1). The next two quotes come from the last part of 9Isaiah 8:17 and first part of 10Isaiah 8:18.Thistooisamessianicprophecy immediately preceding this passage is the declaration that the Messiah would be "a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel" (Isa. 8:14; cf. Rom. 9:32-33; I Pet. 2:7-8).

HEBREWS 2:16 For indeed he does not give aid to angels, but he does give aid to the seedofAbraham.17Therefore,in all things he had to be made like his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiationforthesinsofthepeople.18Forinthathe himself has suffered, being tempted, he is able to aid those who are tempted. (NKJV)

Continuing on, the author states in verse 16 that the Messiah became human in order to provide help to the descendants of Abraham.Verse17statesthatYeshua'sdeathwasameansofprovidingforgivenessforthesinsofthepeople,thattheymightbe reconciledtoGod.ThisversereiteratesthatYeshuahadtobemadelikehishumanbrethreninordertobeamercifulandfaithful HighPriestforGod'speople.Inverse18,wearetoldthatYeshuahadtosufferandenduretemptationasamanthathemight(as our High Priest) be able to assist those who are suffering and being tempted.

Verse18isalsoaclearindicationofthedistinctionbetweenGodtheFatherandYeshua.Yeshuawastemptedwhileintheflesh sothathemightunderstandhowtemptationaffectshumans.However,weareclearlytoldthatGodtheFatherCANNOTbe tempted:

JAMES 1:13 Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. (NKJV)

Further on in the book of Hebrews, the author again stresses the fact that Yeshua was tempted by evil in the same way all mankind is, but that he was without sin:

HEBREWS 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God,letusholdfastourconfession.15Forwedonothave a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. (NIV)

Yeshua's status as the Son of God and his human temptation is confirmed numerous times in the Gospel accounts:

MARK 1:13 And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to him. (NKJV)

MATTHEW 4:2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward he was hungry.3Nowwhenthetemptercametohim,hesaid,"If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread." (NKJV)

MATTHEW 4:5 Then the devil took him up into the holy city, set him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to him, "If you are the Son of God,throwyourselfdown.Forit iswritten:'HeshallgiveHisangelschargeoveryou,'and,'Intheirhandstheyshallbear youup,lestyoudashyourfootagainstastone.'"7Jesussaidtohim,"Itiswritten again,'YoushallnottempttheLORDyourGod.'"(NKJV)

Notice that the devil's entire focus of temptation consisted of attempting to goad Yeshua into proving he was "the Son of God." SatanwasveryfamiliarwiththeSoninhisroleastheAngeloftheLORD,astheScripturesshow(Zec.3:1-10).Thedevilwas,in effect, asking Yeshua to prove that he was the divine Son of God (Pro. 30:4) come down to earth in human form. GoingbacktoHebrews3,weseeastatementinverse2thatisabsolutelyastoundingwhenproperlyunderstood.Asyoureadthe following statements about the Messiah, keep in mind that the context of this letter is an explanation of WHO the Messiah truly is:

HEBREWS 3:1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly vocation consider the apostleandhighpriestofourconfession,Jesus:2WhoisfaithfultoHimthat made [poiesanti]him,aswasalsoMosesinallHishouse.3Forthismanwascountedworthy of greater glory than Moses, by so much as he that hath built the house hath greater honourthanthehouse.4Foreveryhouseisbuiltbysomeman:butHe that created all things is God. (DRA)

The Greek word translated "made" in verse 2 is poiesanti.ThisverbparticipleisaformoftheGreekwordpoieo, which according to Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words means "to do" or "to make.' It "is used in the latter sense (a) of constructing or producing anything, of the creative acts of God"(p.386). A Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (BAGD) states that this word is used

"of God's creative activity" to mean "make, manufacture, produce someth[ing]."RegardingHebrews3:2,BAGD goes on to say that poiesanti is used "of the relation of Jesus to God"(p.680). Most English translations render poiesantiinHebrews3:2as"appointed."Butthewordliterallymeans"made,"referringinthis instancetothecreativeactofGodintheoriginoftheMessiah.Let'slookatRevelation14:7toseehowpoiesanti is used elsewhere in the Scriptures:

REVELATION 14:7 Saying with a loud voice, "Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made [poiesanti] heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water." (NKJV)

Based on the definition of this word, as well as its biblical usage elsewhere, it's obvious that poiesanti should be translated "who made" in Hebrews 3:2 (as it is in the 1899 Douay-Rheims American translation), not "who appointed" (as it is in most other Englishtranslations).BothMosesandYeshuawerefaithfultoGodtheFather,who"made"allthings(v.4).

HEBREWS 3:5 Moses was faithful as a servant in all God's house, testifying to what would besaidinthefuture.6ButChristisfaithfulasasonoverGod'shouse.Andwearehis house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast. (NIV)

The author goes on in verses 4 and 5 to illustrate the pre-eminence of Messiah over Moses (which he first mentioned in v. 3). MosesservedinGod'shouse,butYeshuathefirstbornSonhasbeengivenrulershipoverGod'shouse. Now let's move on to the 5th chapter of Hebrews, where the author begins explaining the priesthood of Messiah:

HEBREWS 5:1 For every high priest taken from among men is appointed for men in things pertainingtoGod,thathemayofferbothgiftsandsacrificesforsins.2Hecanhave compassion on those who are ignorant and going astray, since he himself is also subject toweakness.3Becauseofthisheisrequiredasforthepeople,soalsoforhimself,to offersacrificesforsins.4Andnomantakesthishonortohimself,buthewhoiscalled byGod,justasAaronwas.5SoalsoChrist did not glorify himself to become High Priest,butitwasHewhosaidtohim:"YouareMySon,todayIhavebegottenyou."1 1 (NKJV)

ThispassagestressestheFather'sroleindeterminingthedutiesassignedtotheMessiah.YeshuadidnotmakehimselftheHigh Priestrather,theFatherdesignatedhimassuch.InHebrews5:5wehavearepeatofthecitationfrom11Psalm 2:7 that the author usedearlier(Heb.1:5).HeretheemphasisisonthesonshipoftheMessiahasthereasonforhiselevationtoHighPriest.

HEBREWS5:6AsHealsosaysinanotherplace:"Youareapriestforeveraccordingto the order of Melchizedek";12 7 who, in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save him from death, and was heard because of his godly fear, 8 though he was a Son, yet he learned [emathen] obedience by the things which he suffered.9Andhaving been perfected [teleiotheis], he became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey him, 10 called by God as High Priest "according to the order of Melchizedek,"12 (NKJV)

12Psalm 110:4, quoted twice in this passage (vv. 6, 10), serves as an introduction to the exalted position of the Messiah.

ContrarytothecommonlyacceptedteachingthatJesuswas"fullyman"and"fullyGod"whilehereonearth,theauthortellsus that during "the days of his flesh" (v. 7), it was ONLY through the Father that Yeshua obtained the ability to accomplish his mission.YHVH was the one who provided Yeshua the strength to overcome this world, and He did so because of Yeshua's "godlyfear"(whichmanifesteditselfastotalobedience).Thepointisveryclear:EventhoughYeshuawastheSonofGod,he learned obedience by the things he suffered as a human.

According to ALGNT, the Greek verb emathen, translated "learned" in verse 8, has "a basic m[eani]ng of directing one's mind to someth[ing] and producing an external effect learn; (1) as learning through instruction be taught, learn from someone (JN 7.15); (2) as learning through inquiry ascertain, discover, find out (AC 23.27); (3) as learning through practice or experience come to know, come to realize (PH 4.11; HE 5.8); (4) as achieving comprehension understand, learn (RV 14.3)".IfYeshuahadalreadybeenaperfectdivinebeingbefore(andduring)hisincarnation,hecould not have learnedobedienceasaresultoftheadversityhefaced."Havingbeenperfected"asadirectresultofhisexperiencesas a human, we are told that Yeshua became the "author of eternal salvation to all who obey him" (v. 9) and now serves as our heavenly High Priest (v. 10). Now let's examine one more related passage from the 7th chapter of Hebrews:

HEBREWS 7:26 For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for his own sins and then for the people's,forthishedidonceforallwhenheoffereduphimself.28Forthelawappoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected [teteleiomenon] forever. (NKJV)

The 7th chapter of Hebrews uses the example of Melchizedek to show how Yeshua (from the tribe of Judah) could serve as High PriestwhentheLawspecifiesthatthesonsofAaron(fromthetribeofLevi)wouldholdthatposition.Onceagain,theauthorof Hebrews proclaims that we have a high priest in Yeshua who has been "perfected."Intheprocessoflivingatotallyobedientlife whileenduringhumantemptation,Yeshua'sunderstandingofmankind'splightwas"completed."Bythisexperience,hequalified to be God's High Priest, just as Melchizedek had been in the days of Abram. Nowlet'sexaminesomeotherstatementsaboutthenatureoftheMessiahfromtheNewTestament.We'llbegininPaul'sletterto the Philippian congregation:

PHILIPPIANS 2:5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although he existed in the form [morphe] of God, did not regard equality with [isa] God a thing to be grasped [harpagmon], 7 but emptied himself, taking the form [morphen] of a bond-servant,andbeingmadeinthelikenessofmen.8Beingfoundin appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, evendeathonacross.9For this reason also [dio kai], God highly exalted him, and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (NASU)

Whenviewedinthepropercontext,thisisanilluminatingpassageofScripture.Paultellsusthatbeforehisincarnation,Yeshua existed in the same form (morphe)asGodtheFather.YeshuahimselfsaidthatGodisspirit (John 4:24); therefore, Paul's statementindicatesthatYeshuainitiallyexistedasaspiritbeingalso.ThetwousesoftheGreekrootwordmorphe in this passage (vv. 6, 7) contrast YHVH's existence as spirit and man's existence as flesh and blood. PaulgoesontoshowthatYeshuawaswillingtogiveuphisspiritualstateofbeing.ManyEnglishtranslationsrendertheGreek noun harpagmon("tobegrasped")as"robbery."However,BAGD states that this translation "...isnexttoimpossiblein Phil2:6..."(p.108).AccordingtoALGNT, harpagmon (found only once in the New Testament) probably means "...not forcefully retaining something for one's own advantage something not to be held onto..." Yeshua did not consider being "equal to" (Gr. isa)Godinformsomethingthatheshouldholdontoselfishly.Rather,hehumbly emptiedhimselfofdivinityandbecamefleshandbloodthathemightfulfilltheFather'swill.Livinganobedientlifeasahuman here on the earth, Yeshua gave himself as our sacrifice on the cross, that our sins might be forgiven through him. The Greek phrase dio kai that begins verse 9 is used to indicate a self-evidentinference.Paultellsusthatbecause of his humble, unselfishact,GodtheFatherhighlyexaltedYeshuaandbestowedonhimanameaboveallnames.Notbecauseofhisnature,but rather due to his obedience, God will cause "every knee to bow" to Yeshua and "every tongue will confess" that he is Lord. Verses 10 and 11 are a paraphrase of Isaiah 45:23:

ISAIAH45:22"LooktoMe,andbesaved,allyouendsoftheearth!ForIamGod,and thereisnoother.23IhaveswornbyMyselfthewordhasgoneoutofMymouthin righteousness, and shall not return, that to Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall take an oath. (NKJV)

Based on the statement in Isaiah 45:22 that "I am God, and there is no other," some try to make the case that Yeshua and God are oneandthesamebeing(ineithera"Trinitarian"or"Oneness"sense).Thisisamisinterpretationofthetext,asacloseexamination ofPaul'sconcludingstatementinverse11plainlyshows.ByeverykneebowingtoYeshuatheMessiahandeverytonguetaking an oath that he is Lord, Paul tells us that God the Fatherwillbeglorified.ThereisonlyonetrueGod,theFather(John17:3),as Isaiah45:22states.However,everykneewillineffectbebowingtoHimwhentheybowtoHisAnointedOne,Yeshuathe Messiah. Nowlet'sexamineanotherpassagefromPaul,thisonefromhisinitiallettertotheCorinthianassembly.Tomakethepassage easier to understand, I've replaced "him" and "his" with the one being spoken of:

I CORINTHIANS 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23Buteachoneinhisownorder:Christthefirstfruits,afterwardthosewhoareChrist's athiscoming.24Thencomestheend,when[Christ] delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when [God]putsanendtoallruleandallauthorityandpower.25For[Christ] must reign till [God] has put all enemies under [Christ's]feet.26Thelastenemythatwill be destroyed is death. (NKJV)

ThisScripturespeaksofthedelegationofGod'sauthoritytotheMessiahasameansofachievingGod'swill.Weseethatthe Messiah'srulewillbecompletedwhenallGod'senemieshavebeendestroyed.Afterthedestructionofthefinalenemy,death, Yeshua will return the reconciled kingdom to his Father, just as a craftsman hands over his finished product to the architect of the work.

I CORINTHIANS 15:27 For "[God] has put all things under [Christ's] feet."13ButwhenHe says "all things are put under [Christ]," it is evident that [God] who put all things under [Christ]isexcepted.28Nowwhenallthingsaremadesubjectto[God], then the Son himself will also be subject to [God] who put all things under [Christ], that God may be all in all. (NKJV)

This passage specifically shows that, contrary to Trinitarian doctrine, Yeshua will always be subordinate to the Father (not coequal).Verse27startswithacitationof13Psalm 8:6.Thisisaninterestingmessianicpsalm,andonethatmostdon'tfullygrasp regardingsignificance.Hereisthepertinentsectionofthispsalm:

PSALM 8:3 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, 4 what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of manthatYouvisithim?5ForYouhavemadehimalittlelowerthantheangels,and Youhavecrownedhimwithgloryandhonor.6Youhavemadehimtohavedominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, (NKJV)

IntheGospels,Yeshuaisreferredtoasthe"SonofMan"83times.Thementionofthe"sonofman"inPsalm8:4,combined with the use of this prophecy by Paul to specifically refer to Yeshua (as well as a similar usage in Hebrews 2), leaves little doubt thatthispassageisamessianicprophecy.The"sonofman"spokenofinPsalm8:4isplainlytheMessiah,whowillhaveallthings put under his feet by God the Father (I Cor. 15:25). I Corinthians 15:27 also specifically states that God the Father has placed all things under Yeshua with the exception of Himself. CleardistinctionismadeherebetweenYHVHtheheavenlyFatherandHisfirstbornSon,YeshuatheMessiah.TheFatherhas currentlydelegatedallthingstoHisSon,thatYeshuamayreconcilethemtoHim(Col.1:20).However,whenthereconciliationis

finally accomplished, we see that the entire creation, including the Son, will be subject to God (v. 28). Thispassageisn'ttheonlyplacewherePaulshowsthesuperiorpositionoftheFatherinrelationtotheSon.EarlierinI Corinthians 11, Paul documented the line of authority from mankind to God:

I CORINTHIANS 11:3 But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. (NKJV)

OnceagainweseethatGodtheFatherisoverYeshuainauthority.ContrarytothedoctrineoftheTrinity,theyarenot co-equal. Additionally, the Scriptures show that only God the Father is omniscient ("all-knowing"):

MARK 13:32 "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.33Takeheed,watchandprayforyoudonotknow when the time is." (NKJV)

This declaration shows that the Messiah himself acknowledged onlytheFatherknewthetimingofhissecondcoming.Yeshua's statement confirms the passages we reviewed from Hebrews earlier which show that Yeshua was "completed" by his human experience.ThisverificationalsosupportsseveralpassagesfromtheTanakh which show that the preincarnate Messiah did not know all things (cf. Gen. 18:21; 22:12; etc.). In the final book of the Bible, Yeshua uses a title for himself that is very enlightening, when placed in the proper context:

REVELATION 22:16 "I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches.IamtheRootandtheOffspringofDavid,andthebrightMorning Star." (NIV)

HereweseethatYeshuatellsusheisthe"MorningStar."PeterconfirmsthisidentificationofMessiahinhissecondepistle:

II PETER 1:17 For he received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice cametohimfromtheExcellentGlory:"ThisisMybelovedSon,inwhomIamwell pleased."18Andweheardthisvoicewhichcamefromheavenwhenwewerewithhim ontheholymountain.19Andsowehavethepropheticwordconfirmed,whichyoudo well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; (NKJV)

ThistitleisnotjustapoeticdescriptionoftheMessiah.Itidentifieshisstatus,asapassagefromJob38shows:

JOB38:4"WherewereyouwhenIlaidthefoundationsoftheearth?TellMe,ifyouhave understanding.5Whodetermineditsmeasurements?Surelyyouknow!Orwho stretchedthelineuponit?6Towhatwereitsfoundationsfastened?Orwholaidits cornerstone, 7 when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? (NKJV)

InthisScripture,"morningstars"areparalleltoandsynonymouswiththeangelic"sonsofGod"(Gen.6:2,4Job1:62:1).By his use of the title "Morning Star," Yeshua establishes that he was one of those sons of God present at the creation of the world. AsotherScripturesshow,hewasthefirstbornSonofGodthroughwhomtheEternalFathercreatedtheworld.

Conclusion

hen viewed with an open mind, the available historical and scriptural evidence strongly suggests that early believers had a muchdifferentunderstandingoftheoriginandnatureofYeshuathanwedotoday.IncontrasttomodernJudaism,1stcentury Jews who accepted Yeshua as the prophesied Messiah had no trouble assigning to him the status of a second divine spirit beingwhowassubordinatetotheMostHighGod.Hewasunderstoodtobethe"AngeloftheLORD"whohadledIsraeloutof Egypt.IncontrasttomodernChristianity,earlybelieversunderstoodthattheMessiahwasthe"firstbornofeverycreature"(Col. 1:15),the"onlybegotten"SonofGod.HewasthewisdomofGod(ICor.1:24),begottenbeforeallthingstobetheworkman who helped the Father create the world (Pro. 8:22-31).HewasthedivineWord(Logos), who was with God the Father in the beginning and was also 'elohim ("God"-John 1:1). Bryan T. Huie July 22, 2002
Revised: June 11, 2011

Back to Top

Contact: Webmaster:

2011Herealittle,therealittle.AllRightsReserved.