YEHOVAH GOD IS ONE!

21 07 2020

Talit

Today let us drill down a bit for a look at a major blockage for Jews to see Jesus as their Messiah. This teaching is quoted from Chapter 10 of my book: Speak to the Dirt! There is a deep theological problem for the sincerely seeking Jew. For centuries Jews have repeated what is known as the “Shema Israel”, which is a Bible verse calling all Jews to hear God:

Hear, O Israel: Yehovah our God, Yehovah is one! Deuteronomy 6:4

This verse has had a powerful effect on the Jewish people for millennia, but in relatively recent centuries it has taken on meaning that is almost bigger than life. A very famous Hebrew rabbi of the 12th century named Maimonides made a profound contribution to Jewish tradition. As a matter of fact he was quite instrumental in the advance of Kabalism, which is a kind of Jewish mysticism considered by Christians to be occult. His most profound effect on history was over a very simple point regarding the Shema. He noticed that the Hebrew word translated “one” in that verse was troubling to his personal concept of God. Instead of changing his belief, he changed the word. He did not of course try to change it in the Torah, the actual scripture text, because that was strictly forbidden. He did, however, change it in his teaching that is recorded in the Talmud, the rabbinical biblical commentaries. Why all this fuss about a little word? It actually is a critical point. The Hebrew word in the Hebrew Bible text is “echad.” The word he substituted in his teaching was another Hebrew word for “one” – “yachid.” The subtle difference, in this apparently small adjustment of emphasis, has created one of the greatest blockages to Jewish salvation that exists today. “Yachid” means “one,” but in an indivisible singular sense that when used in the Shema, makes God singular and absolutely indivisible. This certainly is the Jewish concept of God that prevails today. However, the word “echad” is the actual word for “one” in the original text and carries a profoundly different meaning. It means “one” also, but in the sense of a plural unity. This point is critical in understanding how Jesus and the Holy Spirit fit into our understanding of God.

We can easily confirm this point by checking how “echad” is used in other Bible texts. In an earlier chapter we studied Ezekiel 37:17 regarding the reuniting of the kingdom of Israel and the kingdom of Judah using two sticks:

Then join them one to another for yourself into one stick, and they will become one in your hand. Ezekiel 37:17

Here two kingdoms of people become one, which indicates a spiritual and political unity, made up of many people. The phrases “one people” or “one nation” are used numerous times in the Hebrew Scriptures. And yet there is an even more convincing text:

Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2:24

This is the same word “echad” that is used in the Shema: “Yehovah is one!” In other words there is one God in a plural sense of unity who has revealed Himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

This discovery meets the test of interpreting scripture by scripture, which is also seen in another better-known example:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1

In the first verse of the Bible, the word translated “God” is the Hebrew word “elohim,” which has a plural ending! This is used throughout Genesis 1 and, in fact, the entire Old Testament. The idea of a plurality within God is further indicated with this verse:

Then God said, Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. Genesis 1:26

Again, plural words are used in reference to God. The reason it is so hard for people to accept this idea of one God who is plural in manifestation, is because of our proven human disunity. We can’t seem to get along with anybody else. Even marriage, which God intended as a prime example of unity, has come under such attack that some people do not know even one couple who are a bona fide model of unity. Yet, our human failure does not invalidate God’s revelation. The “two shall be one” is still God’s purpose and there are still believing couples who are enjoying such unity!

Echad is also the word used in the phrase: The twelve tribes will be ONE nation. This oneness is what Paul referenced as Jews and Gentile becoming “one new man:”

“For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross,” Ephesians 2:14-16

Pray for the peace and the “echad” oneness of Jerusalem!

Les Lawrence, Voice of Christian Zionists                    (Read more)

(Why  do I use God’s literal covenant Name: Yehovah? Here is a link to the explanation  in my book: The Hebrew God Who Has No Name.) and here is a link to a great visual from my friend Keith Johnson.


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24 07 2020
Do Not Lose Heart | Elisha Vision - Commentary

[…] Les Lawrence, Voice of Christian Zionists                    (Read more) […]

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