BibleTruth.cc

"The God Who is There" Series

How Does God Manifest Himself to Human Beings? Pt 2

Is Messiah the Deity?

By David M Rogers

www.BibleTruth.cc

Published: June 2006

2nd Edition: July 2009

Table of Contents

Who is "the Word of the LORD"?

Dabar - the Word

The Dabar Yahuwah

The Messenger of Yahuwah

The Word Became Flesh

"He Wrote of Me"

The Command to Worship Only Yahuwah Elohim

What Happens When Someone Else is Worshipped?

Is Yahusha to be Worshipped?

Worshipping The Creator of Heaven and Earth

The Testimony of the Prophets

The Rock That Accompanied Them in the Wilderness

The Lawgiver

The Testimony of Yahusha's Own Words

I Am Who I Am

Yahuwah is One

The Good Shepherd

The Testimony of Yahusha's Own Works

Healing of the Man Born Blind

Yahusha Raised Himself from the Dead!

Yahusha as the Image, Form and Manifestation of Elohim

The Image of Elohim

The Exact Representation of the Substance of Elohim

Equality with Elohim

Conclusion


Who is the biblical "Jesus"?  This question has been debated since Jesus walked on the earth with his disciples.  During his lifetime, the Jews were split in disagreement as to his identity.  Since that time, there have been church counsels that have convened over this question.  Denominations and splinter groups have formed because of variances over this basic and yet essential understanding of identity.  So it benefits us to have a Scriptural understanding of who Messiah Jesus really is.  Is he merely just a man, albeit, a very special man?  Did he exist before his human conception and birth in Beytlechem?  Is he a created being?  Or is he Elohim, the Elohim of our fathers, the Elohim which Scriptures tell us to worship?  Just who, then, is Jesus (hereafter designated by his real Hebrew name Yahusha - but also sometimes called Yeshua)?

A primary Jewish objection to the proposition that Yeshua should be identified with Elohim is the argument that Elohim is not a created being and so "by definition" could not be a man.  Elohim is of a higher order than creation and therefore cannot be a part of the created universe.  But I would respond to this objection by noting that Elohim can not be delimited by man.  Mankind likes to put well defined parameters around Elohim as if to put Elohim in a box.  But Elohim, as Elohim, can be who he is; that is to say, if Elohim wanted to manifest himself in human flesh, then he would be able to do that - because he is Elohim.  He can do as he pleases.  Our human definitions about Elohim are inadequate.

It might help someone with such a view to meditate upon the revelation of Scripture that Elohim made man in his image and in his likeness.  The terms "image" and "likeness" speak to what can be seen.  Man was created to look like Elohim (if Elohim could be seen).  Therefore, it seems natural that if Elohim were to make himself known to mankind, that he would appear as a man, because the image of man is Elohim's very own image and likeness.

The Messianic Christian movement has been exploring and re-examining many aspects of scriptural teaching.  Among them has been this question about the identity of Yeshua.  There are many Messianics who have come to the conclusion that Yeshua is not Yahuwah Elohim, but merely Yahuwah's agent to mankind.  Similar to the doctrine adhered to by Jehovah's Witnesses, some Messianics view Yeshua as the premier (first) created being.  Others see him as merely a human being whose life earned him the right to be lifted to "Elohim" status.

Of course, the traditional Christian view of Jesus is that he is one of three beings who make up a "triune" God.  They view God as "one" in purpose only.  But they see God as existing in three persons - the Father (you know, the harsh one), the Son (the gentle and compassionate one, basically compensating for the Father's harshness) and the Holy Spirit (this person of God finds himself indwelling everyone of faith - can we really think of God as just three, or is he really 8 billion or more persons?)

The purpose of this article is to examine pertinent Scriptures to discover who the biblical Yahusha of Nazareth claimed to be and who he is.  Does the Tanach - the Torah, the Prophets and the Writings, teach that he is Elohim or not?  What does the New Testament record really say about Iaysous (the Greek name traditionally translated Jesus)?

When investigating a question as comprehensive as the one before us, our approach to the question must be carefully planned and executed.  If we take the approach that we want to prove one thing or the other, our bias will likely cause us to force our view onto the pertinent biblical record, and our conclusions will be compromised.  Many have been the times when Christian theologians and pastors and teachers have started off to prove from the Scriptures a teaching which they had already made up their minds on.  This always results in one coming to the conclusion he started off with. 

So we must start from a neutral position.  We must be willing to allow the Scriptures to lead us to whatever conclusion it takes us to - whether it agrees with our current thinking or not.  This is the approach we strive to take.  Only then can we have the unbiased, correct interpretation of the Bible.

Who is "the Word of the LORD"?

According to the biblical record, who is Yahuwah Elohim and how did he reveal himself to men?  The manner in which Elohim reveals himself and the names he uses of himself provide the needed information to properly identify Yahusha the Nazarene.  If the New Testament is accurate, then whatever it says about the identity of Elohim must be in agreement with what Moses and the Prophets reveal about Elohim.

Elohim is introduced from page one of the Bible.  We see him creating heaven and earth, forming man from the dirt of the earth, and establishing laws and rules for mankind's stay on earth (and in the garden).  When mankind goes astray from Yahuwah's ways, we see Yahuwah bring a cataclysmic global flood upon the earth to destroy all mankind.  Only eight people are saved from the flood.  Next, we see a sequence of events that brings us into an introduction of a family tree from Noach to Abram.

In these early pages of Scripture, Yahuwah had revealed himself as Elohim, as Yahuwah and as Yahuwah Elohim.  But, in the account of Abram, we are introduced to a new designation for Yahuwah - the Word of the LORD, or the Word of Yahuwah. 

After these things, the word of Yahuwah came to Avram in a vision: "Do not be afraid, Avram. I am your shield, your very great reward." (Bereshith 15:1)

In the Hebrew, the phrase is dabar Yahuwah (this phrase is pronounced d'var Yahuwah).  This is a significant designation for the Creator, for there is much to learn about him through this name for him.  Let's break down this name by first examining the meaning of the word dabar.

Dabar - the Word

Dabar is a very common word in Hebrew, usually rendered word.  The BDB Lexicon lists our word as rb'D': n.m. speech, wordThe Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (TWOT) gives us these renderings: word, speaking, speech, thing, etc.  And the Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament (HALOT) adds matter as another typical translation. 

Dabar is most often translated word, words, thing or matter.  What we in the English language refer to as the Ten Commandments in Hebrew is actually the ten devarim, or ten words, or ten matters.  The book of Deuteronomy has a Hebrew name of Devarim, because it reads, "These are the words which Moses spoke to the sons of Israel...." 

Additionally, the TWOT describes further the usage of this word:

In the KJV dābar (the verb) is translated by about thirty different words and dābār (the noun) by more than eighty. Some of these are synonyms but many are not. All, however, have some sense of thought processes, of communication, or of subjects or means of communication. The noun dābār stretches all the way from anything that can be covered by the word thing or matter to the most sublime and dynamic notion of the word of God.

As with the English language word word, the Hebrew dabar has a generous range of meanings and applications.

The Dabar Yahuwah

In Bereshith 15:1, we are introduced to the phrase d'var Yahuwah.

After these things, the word of Yahuwah came to Avram in a vision: "Do not be afraid, Avram. I am your shield, your very great reward."

This designation is frequently used in the Torah and the Prophets.  The TWOT has this to say about our phrase:

Gerleman notes that the singular construct chain dabar YHWH "the word of the LORD" occurs 242 times and almost always (225 times) the expression appears as a technical form for the prophetic revelation (THAT, I, p.439).

In other words, the word of Yahuwah is a direct communication from Elohim.  Elohim is conferring a message to someone.  Often, we see in the Tanach the expression d'var Yahuwah followed by a directive consisting of a stream of words:

Then the word of Yahuwah came to him: "This man will not be your heir..." (Bereshith 15:4).

That night the word of Yahuwah came to Nathan, saying: "Go and tell my servant David, 'This is what Yahuwah says...' " (2 Samuel 7:4-5).

And the word of Yahuwah came to him: "What are you doing here, Eliyahu?" (1 Kings 19:9).

The word of Yahuwah came to me, saying, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." (Yirmeyahu 1:4-5).

Clearly, the d'var Yahuwah is the term which identifies when the Creator of the universe is meeting, speaking and interacting with mankind.

But a careful examination of the usage of this phrase will bear out that the phrase is more than merely a "technical form for the prophetic revelation."  The d'var Yahuwah is personified in its usage and stands in the place of Yahuwah himself.  The d'var Yahuwah, as a name or title of Yahuwah himself, both appears and speaks.  The d'var Yahuwah is not merely a message from Yahuwah, it is Yahuwah himself appearing and speaking.

In the New Testament, the 4th Gospel makes the point that Elohim is never seen:

No one has ever seen Elohim, but Elohim the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known. (The 4th Gospel 1:18).

Elohim, natively, is not part of creation - he stands outside of the created world.  Thus, Elohim in his native form, cannot be seen because he does not consist of created matter.  But Elohim has made himself visible to human beings, a point which is virtually indisputable if the biblical record is considered.  The Bible tells us many, many times that the d'var Yahuwah appeared to someone or spoke to someone.  If it were merely a verbal communication from heaven, we would not be told that he appeared, or was seen.

It should not be thought a strange thing that Elohim would want to interact with human beings.  After all, he created them in his own image.  And if Elohim wanted to appear before human beings, he would likely appear in human form, because the human form is fashioned after Elohim's own form.

Then Elohim said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."  So Elohim created man in his own image, in the image of Elohim he created him; male and female he created them. (Bereshith 1:26-27).

And this is precisely what we find in the biblical record.  Elohim appears in human form and walks and talks with people.  One example of this is when Yahuwah appeared with two other messengers and walked and talked with Abraham:

Yahuwah appeared to Avraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. Avraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. (Bereshith 18:1-2).

He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree. "Where is your wife Sarah?" they asked him. "There, in the tent," he said. Then Yahuwah said, "I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son." Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. (Bereshith 18:8-10).

When the men got up to leave, they looked down toward Sodom, and Avraham walked along with them to see them on their way.  Then Yahuwah said, "Shall I hide from Avraham what I am about to do? (vss 16-17).

Yahuwah appeared to Avraham as a man, and Avraham recognized and knew that this was Yahuwah.

A second example of d'var Yahuwah appearing to a person is found in 1 Samuel:

Now Samuel did not yet know Yahuwah: The word of Yahuwah had not yet been revealed to him.  Yahuwah called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me." Then Eli realized that Yahuwah was calling the boy. (1 Samuel 3:7-8)

It says that the word of Yahuwah had not yet been revealed to him because Samuel had not yet seen Yahuwah revealing himself to him.

Back in Bereshith 15, the d'var Yahuwah appeared unto Avraham.  The d'var Yahuwah is the physical manifestation of Yahuwah when he appears and communicates with human beings.  This is what the 4th Gospel means when he writes,

No one has ever seen Elohim, but Elohim the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known. (The 4th Gospel 1:18).

The d'var Yahuwah is Yahuwah the Creator manifesting himself as a human being and speaking to people with a human voice so as to interact with humans in a manner which can be understood by humans.

The Messenger of Yahuwah

Another phrase we find frequently in the Tanach when Elohim is communicating with humans is the malack Yahuwah (in Hebrew, hA"ïhy> %a;’l.m;), usually translated angel of Yahuwah or messenger of Yahuwah.  To identify who this malack Yahuwah is, we need only to peruse a few occurrences of this phrase.

In the account of Mosheh when he saw a bush burning in the wilderness, we are told:

There the angel of Yahuwah appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Mosheh saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. (Shemot 3:2).

Just like the d'var Yahuwah is the appearing of Yahuwah to humans, the malack Yahuwah also appears to people.  The account of Mosheh and the flaming bush confirms that the malack Yahuwah is Yahuwah himself:

So Mosheh thought, "I will go over and see this strange sight-- why the bush does not burn up."  When Yahuwah saw that he had gone over to look, Elohim called to him from within the bush, "Mosheh! Mosheh!" And Mosheh said, "Here I am."  "Do not come any closer," Elohim said. "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground."  Then he said, "I am the Elohim of your father, the Elohim of Avraham, the Elohim of Yitzchak and the Elohim of Ya'acov." At this, Mosheh hid his face, because he was afraid to look at Elohim. (Shemot 3:3-6).

We are told that the malack Yahuwah appeared in flames of fire from within the bush, and then that Elohim called to Mosheh from within the bush.  Evidently, the malack Yahuwah is Elohim himself.  This is further demonstrated by Elohim speaking and identifying himself as the Elohim of Avraham, etc.  And Mosheh was afraid to look at Elohim in the flame.

In another place, the malack Yahuwah appears to Gideon:

The angel of Yahuwah came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites.  When the angel of Yahuwah appeared to Gideon, he said, "Yahuwah is with you, mighty warrior."  "But sir," Gideon replied, "if Yahuwah is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, 'Did not Yahuwah bring us up out of Mitzrayim?' But now Yahuwah has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian."  Yahuwah turned to him and said, "Go in the strength you have and save Yisrael out of Midian's hand. Am I not sending you?"  "But Yahuwah," Gideon asked, "how can I save Yisrael? (Shoftim [Judges] 6:11-15).

Here, the malack Yahuwah appeared as a man and sat down under the oak and spoke with Gideon.  The text then indicates that Yahuwah (not the angel of Yahuwah) turned to Gideon and spoke again.  Then Gideon speaks to Yahuwah again.  The malack Yahuwah is clearly just another designation for Yahuwah himself.

Again, the malack Yahuwah is Yahuwah himself as he appears to people.  Like the phrase d'var Yahuwah, the malack Yahuwah is a way of indicating that Yahuwah himself, in the form like a man, appeared and spoke a message to a human being.

The Word Became Flesh

In the New Testament, the writer of the 4th Gospel - the disciple whom Yahusha loved, identifies Yahusha with the d'var Yahuwah.  He places him with Elohim "in the beginning" at creation, as the one who performed all of the creative acts.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Elohim, and Elohim was the WordThe Word was with Elohim in the beginning.  All things were created by him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created.  In him was life, and the life was the light of mankind.  And the light shines on in the darkness, but the darkness has not comprehended it....  The true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.  He was in the world, and the world was created by him, but the world did not recognize him.  He came to what was his own, but his own people did not receive him.  But to all who have received him--those who believe in his name--he has given the right to become Elohim's children  --children not born by human parents or by human desire or a husband's decision, but by Elohim. (The 4th Gospel 1:1-5, 9-14)

According to the 4th Gospel, the d'var Yahuwah was Elohim himself.  He was with Elohim and he was, in fact, Elohim in the beginning.  The d'var Yahuwah is the one who created all things.  He is the source of all life.  He is the source of all light.  The d'var Yahuwah is the Creator of the universe appearing in human form to communicate with mankind.

A simple and straight-forward reading of the above Scripture leads one naturally to see that the 4th Gospel is identifying "the Word" with Yahusha.  He was in the beginning, which means he existed before the creation of all things.  He was "with the Father."  This phrase, which is how nearly all English Bibles render the Greek, comes from the Greek, pro.j to.n qeo,n.  The Greek preposition pro.j (pronounced "pros") is difficult to translate here.  The word "pros" can be a "marker of movement or orientation toward someone/someth(ing)" and "with reference/regard to" someone or something (BDAG).  It is important to understand this phrase in conjunction with the following thought that "Elohim was the Word."

We should understand this statement which is usually translated in English Bibles as "he was with God" not as suggesting that there were two entities or persons together creating the universe.  But the Greek preposition is communicating the idea that "the Word" was "with reference to" Elohim, meaning that he stands in relationship with Elohim (that relationship is one of identity!).  Thus, this statement does not contradict the following statement that "the Word was Elohim," but rather enhances or restates what follows.  With this in mind, we should understand verse one as communicating the following idea:

In the beginning was the Word.  And the Word stands in a position of reference to Elohim.  And Elohim is the Word.

We are not being led to understand the 4th Gospel's writing as inferring that there were two Mighty Ones, hanging out together during the creative acts.  The 4th Gospel presents Elohim as one.  He does not suggest that Elohim and the d'var Yahuwah together created all things.  He sees one Elohim, called "the Word" (davar) creating all things.  The one Elohim, also known as "the Word" (the mind of Elohim), was in the beginning Elohim.  Only Elohim himself can create.  And so, "the Word" is said to have life within himself.  The Word is the life-giver. 

The 4th Gospel goes on to further describe the d'var Yahuwah:

Now the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us. We saw his splendor--the splendor of the one and only, full of grace and truth, who came from the Father....  For the law was given through Mosheh, but favor and truth came about through Yahusha Messiah.  No one has ever seen Elohim. The only one, himself Elohim, who is in bosom of the Father, has made Elohim known (The 4th Gospel 1:17-18).

This same "Word," who created all things, the 4th Gospel explains, became human flesh and tabernacled with us.  Just as in the Tanach (Old Testament Scriptures), the d'var Yahuwah is Yahuwah as he appears to men, here the d'var Yahuwah takes on a permanent human body. 

The one additional piece of information the 4th Gospel offers is that he, the Word, manifest or "made known" the invisible Elohim.  Because Elohim is by nature unseen, no human being has seen him in his native form (spirit being).  But Elohim made himself visible in human form in the person of Yahusha.  So, taken together with "and he tabernacled with us," this manifesting of Elohim should be understood to mean that Elohim has made himself visible and known to mankind by himself permanently indwelling human flesh. 

Thus, Yahusha, who "was Elohim" before anything was created, took on a human body to "make known" Elohim to the human race.  This is how the New Testament writers reveal Yahusha.  He is portrayed as the d'var Yahuwah - Elohim manifesting himself in human skin.

Be careful of those false teachers who would twist or distort the message of Scripture.  There are many of them out there, even among the proponents of the Messianic movement.  Detractors of this understanding about Elohim in human flesh would argue that the Greek word "logos" which is translated "Word" has a different meaning and interpretation here.  They perform fancy gyrations and mental gymnastics to twist this word to mean something very different than its simple, straight-forward meaning.  That teaching that Yahusha was merely an agent of Elohim and not Elohim himself must ignore the clear and plain explanation of the 4th Gospel about the d'var Yahuwah.

"He Wrote of Me"

It is incontrovertible fact that the Torah, the Prophets and the Writings are the recording of what Yahuwah Elohim has done, is doing, and will do in the future.  The Tanach is the revelation of Yahuwah, Creator of heaven and earth.  In it is described the encounters Elohim had with his people.  The will of Elohim is revealed in the Instructions which he gave through Mosheh to Israel.  The Prophets record how Elohim is going to intervene in human history to bring to fulfillment the promises he made to Avraham, Yitzchak and Ya'akov.  Yahuwah is the main character in the Tanach and the Tanach is all about Yahuwah.

Yet, Yahusha made numerous claims throughout his ministry that the Scriptures were written about him.  Yahusha identified himself as the subject matter of the Torah and the Prophets.  He was clearly and unmistakably identifying himself with Yahuwah Elohim.  When discussing with the Pharisees their infatuation with Mosheh, Yahusha asserts:

"If you believed Mosheh, you would believe me, because he wrote about me.  But if you do not believe what Mosheh wrote, how will you believe my words?" (The 4th Gospel 5:46,47).

The writings of Mosheh consist primarily of dictations of the words spoken to him by Elohim.  So, Yahusha implies that the writings of Mosheh are Yahusha's own, because to believe Mosheh's words is the same as believing Yahusha's words.  The Scriptures from Bereshith to 2 Divre haYamim tell us what Yahuwah said and did.  Yet, Yahusha claims all of this as his own.  How do we interpret such a claim?  Certainly Yahusha is claiming divine prerogative.

On another occasion, Yahusha interpreted the Scriptures as being written all about him:

"Then beginning with Mosheh and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them the things written about Himself in all the Scriptures" - of Messiah in Luke 24:27

Now He said to them, "These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Torah of Mosheh and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled."  Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures (Luke 24:44,45).

It is clear that by this statement, Yahusha is asserting that some specific content of the Torah, Prophets and Writings speaks of himself.  Yet, the Tanach delineates the working of Yahuwah.  Without speaking yet as to the veracity of Yahusha's claims, we can conclude with a great deal of certainty that by claiming the writings of the Tanach as speaking specifically about himself, he was claiming to be equal to Yahuwah Elohim.

Let's take a look at some of those truth claims of Yahusha and compare his words and actions with Scripture.  Perhaps we can affirm or refute those audacious claims that he is Elohim Yahuwah come down from heaven.

The Command to Worship Only Yahuwah Elohim

There is a clear teaching in the Torah that we are not to worship any other "mighty ones" except the true, one and only Mighty One - Yahuwah - Creator of heaven and earth:

Be careful not to make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land where you are going, lest it become a snare among you.  But you must destroy their altars, smash their images, and cut down their Asherah poles. For you must not worship any other elohim, for Yahuwah, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous Elohim (Shemot [Exodus] 34:12-14).

Elohim: from the Hebrew ~yhil{a - usually translated as "god" or "gods" or "God."  Means "mighty one."  It is used of Yahuwah who is supremely the Mighty One.  Also used of the pagan objects of worship, who were thought of as "mighty ones."  Also used of men in position of authority.  Its primary and predominant usage in Scriptures is as a title of designation of Yahuwah, creator of the heavens and the earth.

Because of the importance of fidelity to Elohim, the instruction not to worship any other being is repeated and emphasized:

You must not make for yourself an image of anything in heaven above, on earth below, or in the waters beneath.  You must not worship or serve them, for I, Yahuwah your Elohim, am a jealous Elohim. I punish the sons, grandsons, and great-grandsons for the sin of the fathers who reject me, but I show covenant faithfulness to the thousands who choose me and keep my commandments (Devarim [Deuteronomy] 5:8-10).

Make sure you do not turn away to serve and worship other elohim! (Devarim 11:16).

At the very core of relationship with Elohim is fidelity between the Almighty and his people.  The first four of the Ten Words (Commandments) define for us what fidelity to Elohim means.  We are to have "no other elohim in his face" and we are not to "make any images" of mighty ones to bow down before and worship.

Purity and fidelity in worship of the true Living Elohim is paramount to maintaining in good standing with him.  Therefore,

You must by all means destroy all the places where the nations you are about to dispossess worship their elohim--on the high mountains and hills and under every leafy tree.  You must tear down their altars, shatter their sacred pillars, burn up their sacred Asherah poles, and cut down the images of their elohim; you must eliminate their very memory from that place.  You must not worship Yahuwah your Elohim the way they worship.  But you must seek only the place he chooses from all your tribes to establish his name as his place of residence, and you must go there (Devarim 12:2-5).

You must not worship Yahuwah your Elohim the way they do! For everything that is abhorrent to him, everything he hates, they have done when worshiping their elohim. They even burn up their sons and daughters before their elohim! You must be careful to do everything I am commanding you. Do not add to it or subtract from it! (Devarim 12:31-32)

Maintaining fidelity with him is so vital in Elohim's eyes that he commanded the annihilation of those people and cultures who worshipped false elohim.

Instead you must utterly annihilate them--the Hittites, Amori, Canaani, Perizzi, Hivites, and Jebusi--just as Yahuwah your Elohim has commanded you, so that they cannot teach you all the abhorrent ways they worship their elohim, causing you to sin against Yahuwah your Elohim (Devarim 20:17-18)

But you must not turn away from all the commandments I am giving you today, to either the right or left, nor pursue other elohim and worship them (Devarim 28:14).

We know that Elohim doesn't change, so it shouldn't surprise us that even in the New Testament, worship of any other beings was prohibited:

And he said to him, "I will give you all these things if you throw yourself to the ground and worship me." Then Yahusha said to him, "Go away, Satan! For it is written: 'You are to worship Yahuwah your Elohim and serve only him.'" (Mattityahu 4:9-10)

The Torah makes clear that Yahuwah, the Creator, is the only one who is to be worshipped.  All other worship is false and is an affront to the One who alone is worthy of worship.  Even attempts to worship Yahuwah in the way that pagans worship their idols is an offense to Elohim.  Yahuwah is to be worshipped alone, and only in the manner prescribed in the commandments.

What Happens When Someone Else is Worshipped?

All attempts to worship beings who are not Elohim are met with rebuke and resistance.  Even after performing a notable miracle, Shimon Kepha rejects the overtures of Cornelius to bow before him:

So when Peter came in, Cornelius met him, fell at his feet, and worshiped him.  But Peter helped him up, saying, "Stand up. I too am a mere mortal" (Acts 10:25-26).

Even Yochanan was overcome with awe at the presence of a messenger from heaven.  But when he bowed before the messenger to worship, Yochanan was rebuked:

So I threw myself down at his feet to worship him, but he said, "Do not do this! I am only a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony about Yahusha. Worship Elohim, for the testimony about Yahusha is the spirit of prophecy" (Revelation 19:10).

Yochanan was slow to learn that lesson!:

I, Yochanan, am the one who heard and saw these things, and when I heard and saw them, I threw myself down to worship at the feet of the angel who was showing them to me.  But he said to me, "Do not do this! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers the prophets, and with those who obey the words of this book. Worship Elohim!"  Then he said to me, "Do not seal up the words of the prophecy contained in this book, because the time is near (Revelation 22:8-10).

Any bowing down to and worshipping of mere mortal man or even messengers from heaven is spurned in the Scriptures.  Mistakes made to worship such are met with objection such as we see recorded regarding Peter and John.  But legitimate worship of the only true Elohim is encouraged by Scripture and such proper acts of worship are recorded in Scripture (see next).

Is Yahusha to be Worshipped?

When people made overtures to worship Yahusha, these were never turned away or rebuked.  Such worship of Yahusha was encouraged and accepted:

After listening to the king they left, and once again the star they saw when it rose led them until it stopped above the place where the child was.  When they saw the star they shouted joyfully.  As they came into the house and saw the child with Miriam his mother, they bowed down and worshiped him. They opened their treasure boxes and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Mattityahu 2:9-11).

Even as an infant, the Scriptures record that Yahusha was properly worshipped.  This is not cast in a negative light, as though these travelers had done a wrong thing.  Indeed, the ancients understood who this baby was - he was to be worshipped as the Eternal King!

Later, when they saw the magnitude of a great miracle, the disciples of Yahusha worshipped him:

But when he saw the strong wind he became afraid. And starting to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Yahusha reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?"  When they went up into the boat, the wind ceased.  Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of Elohim." (Mattityahu 14:30-33).

Isn't it instructive to us that in Mattityahu 14 and the several passages to follow that when men worship Yahusha he does not rebuke them, but accepts this worship as legitimate.  This should communicate with clarity the truth that worship of Yahusha falls in the category, as noted above, of legitimate worship of the true Elohim.  If he were mere angel or servant of Elohim, Yahusha would have had to correct his talmidim (disciples, or taught ones) regarding bowing down as Shimon Kepha did with Cornelius in Acts 10 and as the angel did with Yochanan in Revelation 19 and 22.

In the account of the healing of a man born blind, the formerly blind man falls down before Yahusha at the moment he realizes who is talking with him:

Yahusha heard that they had thrown him out, so he found the man and said to him, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?"  The man replied, "And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?"  Yahusha told him, "You have seen him; he is the one speaking with you." He said, "Lord, I believe," and he worshiped him.  Yahusha said, "For judgment I have come into this world, so that those who do not see may gain their sight, and the ones who see may become blind." (The 4th Gospel 9:35-39)

In this recording, the man born blind is healed by Yahusha.  When he realizes that Yahusha is "the son of man," a title which was understood to apply to the Messiah, the man born blind worships him.  The response of Yahusha is not to say, "Stand up.  Do not worship me. Worship Elohim."  On the contrary, he affirms the man's worship of himself by stating that the purpose of his "coming into the world" (a subtle reference to his pre-existence) is to be judge of the world.

In several gospel accounts of Yahusha's resurrection and subsequent appearances to his talmidim, the disciples act toward him in a way that is only appropriate behavior before the great Elohim - they fall down at his feet and worship him.

So they left the tomb quickly, with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.  But Yahusha met them, saying, "Greetings!" They came to him, held on to his feet and worshiped him.  Then Yahusha said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galil. They will see me there" (Mattityahu 28:8-10).

So the eleven disciples went to Galil to the mountain Yahusha had designated.  When they saw him, they worshiped him, but some doubted.  Then Yahusha came up and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Set-apart Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age." (Mattityahu 28:16-20).

Then Yahusha led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands, he blessed them.  Now during the blessing he departed and was taken up into heaven.  So they worshiped him and returned to Yerushalayim with great joy, and were continually in the temple courts blessing Elohim (Luke 24:50-53).

If Yahusha were not claiming to be Elohim (as the disciples clearly understood him to be), he would have scolded his disciples.  Such bowing before anyone who is not Elohim was the cause for all the calamities that had befallen Israel.  It was in turning away from their Elohim and bowing down and worshipping false gods that Yahuwah was angry with them and sent them into exile.

The book of Revelation presents Yahusha as being worshipped as Elohim, as well.  Yahusha, in the symbolic figure of the lamb, is worshipped by all the angels and every creature which stands before the heavenly throne of Elohim.

Then I heard every creature--in heaven, on earth, under the earth, in the sea, and all that is in them--singing: "To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb be praise, honor, splendor, and ruling power forever and ever!" And the four living creatures were saying "Amen," and the elders threw themselves to the ground and worshiped (Revelation 5:13-14).

Elohim and ("even") the Lamb are worshipped by all those standing in his presence.  In fact, the elders "throw themselves to the ground" to worship him.  This is not done for mere mortal men.  Elohim is the only being that is to be honored is this kind of dramatic fashion.  The visions of the book of Revelation are clearly portraying Yahusha as the very Elohim of Scriptures, who is to be worshipped.

In a subsequent vision, Yahusha as seen as sitting on the throne of Elohim and receiving worship:

After these things I looked, and here was an enormous crowd that no one could count, made up of persons from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb dressed in long white robes, and with palm branches in their hands.  They were shouting out in a loud voice, "Salvation belongs to our Elohim, to the one seated on the throne, and ('even') to the Lamb!"  And all the angels stood there in a circle around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they threw themselves down with their faces to the ground before the throne and worshiped Elohim, saying, "Amen! Praise and splendor, and wisdom and thanksgiving, and honor and power and strength be to our Elohim for ever and ever. Amen!" (Revelation 7:9-12).

And again, Yahusha is identified as the Messiah and is worshipped as Elohim:

Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven saying: "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever." Then the twenty-four elders who are seated on their thrones before Elohim threw themselves down with their faces to the ground and worshiped Elohim with these words: "We give you thanks, Yahuwah Elohim, the All-Powerful, the one who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and begun to reign (Revelation 11:15-17).

The Messiah is said to have begun his eternal reign, and then the elders are heard addressing Yahuwah Elohim and saying that HE has begun his reign.  Clearly, Yochanan is equating the reigning Messiah with the reigning Yahuwah.

The vision of Revelation 22 further portrays the reigning Yahusha as very Yahuwah Elohim:

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life--water as clear as crystal--pouring out from the throne of Elohim and of the Lamb, flowing down the middle of the city's main street. On each side of the river is the tree of life producing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month of the year. Its leaves are for the healing of the nations.  And there will no longer be any curse, and the throne of Elohim and the Lamb will be in the city. His servants will worship him, and they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads (Revelation 22:1-4).

Again, the throne of Elohim is the throne of the Lamb (Yahusha).  Verse 4 indicates that the one who is to be worshipped is the one whose face they will see.  This can be none other than Yahusha, because the 4th Gospel 1:18 tells us that "no one has ever seen Elohim. The only one, himself Elohim, who is in bosom of the Father, has made Elohim known."

Whose name is on their foreheads?  It is Yahusha's name that is on the foreheads of the servants of Elohim.  Compare this with Revelation 14:1 "Then I looked, and here was the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him were one hundred and forty-four thousand, who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads."  And also, 3:12 "The one who conquers I will make a pillar in the temple of my Elohim, and he will never depart from it. I will write on him the name of my Elohim and the name of the city of my Elohim (the new Yerushalayim that comes down out of heaven from my Elohim), and my new name as well."

Worshipping The Creator of Heaven and Earth

The Scriptures from beginning to end instruct us to worship the creator of heaven and earth.  This makes sense to us because we intuitively understand that Elohim created heaven and earth.  Right?  The following parallel instructions in Revelation 14:7, in typical Hebrew poetic structure, teach us that Elohim, who made heaven and earth is to be worshipped:

He declared in a loud voice: "Fear Elohim and give him splendor, because the hour of his judgment has arrived, and worship the one who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water!"

The parallelism here suggests that it is Elohim who "made heaven and earth" that we are to "fear" and "worship."  But, again, who is Elohim who made the heaven and the earth, the sea and the springs of water?  When we identify this one, he is the one whom we are to worship.  Let's examine the testimony of written Scripture.

For in six days Yahuwah made the heavens and the earth and the sea and all that is in them, and he rested on the seventh day; therefore Yahuwah blessed the Sabbath day and sanctified it (Shemot [Exodus] 20:11 ).

and

In the beginning Elohim created the heavens and the earth. (Bereshith [Genesis] 1:1)

There! We didn't have to dig too deep to get this core identification that Yahuwah is creator of heaven and earth.  But he is identified and described elsewhere as creator as well:

Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought out bread and wine. (Now he was the priest of El Elyon.)  He blessed Avram, saying, "Blessed be Avram by El Elyon, Creator of heaven and earth.  Worthy of praise is the Most High Elohim, who delivered your enemies into your hand." Avram gave Melchizedek a tenth of everything.  Then the king of Sodom said to Avram, "Give me the people and take the possessions for yourself."  But Avram replied to the king of Sodom, "I raise my hand to Yahuwah, El Elyon, Creator of heaven and earth... (Bereshith 14:18-22).

And in another place...

For I will proclaim the name of Yahuwah; you must acknowledge the greatness of our Elohim.  As for the Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are just. He is a reliable Elohim who is never unjust, he is fair and upright.  His people have been unfaithful to him; they have not acted like his children--this is their sin. They are a perverse and deceitful generation.  Is this how you treat Yahuwah, you foolish, unwise people? Is he not your father, your creator? He has made you and established you (Devarim 32:3-6).

The Psalms and Prophets present Yahuwah as Creator also:

For Yahuwah is a great Elohim, a great king who is superior to all elohim.  The depths of the earth are in his hand, and the mountain peaks belong to him.  The sea is his, for he made it. His hands formed the dry land.  Come! Let's bow down and worship! Let's kneel before Yahuwah, our creator!  For he is our Elohim; we are the people of his pasture, the sheep he owns. Today, if only you would obey him! (Mizmor [Psalm] 95: 3-7).

May you be blessed by Yahuwah, the Creator of heaven and earth! (Mizmor 115:15).

My help comes from Yahuwah, the Creator of heaven and earth! (Mizmor 121:2).

Our deliverer is Yahuwah, the Creator of heaven and earth (Mizmor 124:8).

May Yahuwah, the Creator of heaven and earth, bless you from Zion! (Mizmor 134:3).

Do you not know?  Have you not heard?  Yahuwah is an eternal Elohim, the creator of the whole earth.  He does not get tired or weary; there is no limit to his wisdom  (Yeshayahu 40:28 ).

The Tanach is singular in its identification of the maker of heaven and earth.  He is none other than Yahuwah, our Elohim.

But the Messianic Scriptures give us some additional information and identification of the Creator of heaven and earth.  The 4th Gospel presents Yahusha the Messiah as "the Word of Elohim":

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Elohim, and Elohim was the Word.  The Word was with Elohim in the beginning.  All things were created by him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created (The 4th Gospel 1:1-3).

Here, the 4th Gospel reveals that "the Word" who was Elohim and with Elohim "in the beginning" (a reference to Bereshith 1 and the creation account) was the one who created all things.  In verse 10, the 4th Gospel further reveals that this one who created all things revealed himself "in the world":

He was in the world, and the world was created by him, but the world did not recognize him.

And if it is not yet clear what the 4th Gospel is teaching, he explicitly states it in 1:14:

Now the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us.

The 4th Gospel could not get more explicit.  Yahuwah Elohim Creator of heaven and earth has revealed himself to the world by becoming flesh and tabernacling with us.  The one and the same Elohim who is revealed and explained in the Tanach is the one who became a man and walked and talked among men in the person of Yahusha.

Sha'ul (the apostle Paul) teaches that exact same truth in Colossians 1 that was conveyed by the 4th Gospel.  Speaking of Yahusha, he writes,

For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-- all things have been created through Him and for Him (Colossians 1:16).

Verse 16 affirms what we have discovered in the other Messianic Scriptures - that Yahusha is the Creator of heaven and earth.  This identifies him as Yahuwah our Elohim - because all of the Scriptures cited above indicate that Yahuwah and non other is the Creator of heaven and earth.  Sha'ul then repeats this important point, in case you missed it the first time, "all things have been created through him and for him."

The Testimony of the Prophets

The writings of the prophets affirm that Yahuwah Elohim was to manifest himself as a human to bring to fulfillment the promises made to the fathers.  Yahuwah himself is to reign over Israel forever.  We could fill pages and pages with Scripture citations which indicate that Yahuwah Elohim himself was to bring in everlasting righteousness and reign over his people Israel.  But we will offer only one example.

"In that day," says Yahuwah, "I will gather the lame, and assemble the outcasts whom I injured.  I will transform the lame into the nucleus of a new nation, and those far off into a mighty nation. Yahuwah will reign over them on Mount Zion, from that day forward and forevermore" (Micah 4:6-7).

It is Yahuwah himself who is here pictured as bringing in everlasting righteousness and reigning over his people in Jerusalem.  Yet, Yeshayahu [Isaiah] prophesies very plainly that the "Mighty Elohim" and "Everlasting Father" would be born as a son of Israel:

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty Elohim, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Yahuwah of armies will accomplish this (Yeshayahu 9:6-7).

This child who was to be born was to become the king (Messiah) who was to reign on David's throne.  No ordinary human being, however great, could properly be designated "Everlasting Father" and "Mighty Elohim."  This prophecy should strike us as suggesting that Elohim himself would become the King who would establish righteousness forever.  And when interpreted in the light of Micah 4:6-7, it should be obvious to us that Elohim had always intended to fulfill the promises by clothing himself in a human body and ruling in Zion.

The Rock That Accompanied Them in the Wilderness

There are additional testimonies that indicate that Yahusha was the Elohim who accompanied the patriarchs and made himself visible to men.  The prophet Mosheh depicted the Elohim who was with Israel in the desert as a Rock:

As for the Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are just. He is a reliable Elohim who is never unjust, he is fair and upright (Devarim 32:4).

The metaphor is further employed to describe Israel's rejection of Elohim:

But Yeshurun became fat and kicked, you got fat, thick, and stuffed! Then he deserted the Elohim who made him, and treated the Rock who saved him with contempt.  They made him jealous with other elohim, they enraged him with abhorrent idols.  They sacrificed to demons, not Elohim, to elohim they had not known; to new ones who had recently come along, ones your ancestors had not known about.  You have forgotten the Rock who fathered you, and put out of mind the Elohim who gave you birth (Devarim 32:15-18).

Elohim is here portrayed as a "Rock."   This metaphor is used to illustrate the faithfulness and unswerving nature of the Almighty.

In the Messianic Scriptures, Sha'ul recalls the metaphor of the Rock and identifies this Rock who accompanied Israel through the desert as the living Messiah Yahusha:

For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Mosheh in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they were all drinking from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Messiah.  But Elohim was not pleased with most of them (1 Corinthians 10:1-5).

Is Sha'ul really indicating that the Elohim who delivered Israel from Egypt and protected and provided for them in their wilderness journeys as the Messiah Yahusha?  So that this point doesn't get missed, he further indicates that it was against Yahusha that the disobedient ones rebelled:

And let us not put Messiah to the test, as some of them did, and were destroyed by snakes (1 Corinthians 10:9).

Messiah Yahusha was, according to the teaching of Sha'ul, the very Elohim Almighty who orchestrated the great deliverance from Egypt.

The Lawgiver

Messiah Yahusha is the Rock and Elohim who delivered Israel from the bondage of Mitzraim [Egypt].  That being so, then Yahusha the Messiah must also have been the giver of the Law at Sinai!  That very same Elohim appeared to Mosheh on Mt. Sinai and gave his commandments.  Sha'ul's testimony states explicitly that Messiah Yahusha was the personal Elohim who rescued Israel.  So he must have been the one who gave the Ten Commandments to Israel.

Ya'acov confirms the identity of the Lawgiver.  The author of the Mosaic Law is also the judge of Israel, the Savior of Israel and the destroyer of evildoers.

Do not speak against one another, brothers and sisters. He who speaks against a fellow believer or judges a fellow believer speaks against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but its judge.  But there is only one who is lawgiver and judge--the one who is able to save and destroy. On the other hand, who are you to judge your neighbor? (Ya'acov [James] 4:11-12).

Who is it that fits this description?  Are we talking about "God the Father"?  No.  Of course not.  Messiah is our Savior and the judge of all mankind.  Therefore, he must also be the Lawgiver.

If it is not yet clear that Yahusha is the Lawgiver (not "Elohim the Father"), then let's consider the testimony of Scripture on who the judge is.  Yeshayahu identifies the judge as the one who will reign on Mt. Zion:

In the future the mountain of Yahuwah's temple will endure as the most important of mountains, and will be the most prominent of hills. All the nations will stream to it, many peoples will come and say, "Come, let's go up to Yahuwah's mountain, to the temple of the Elohim of Ya'acov, so he can teach us his requirements, and we can follow his standards." For Zion will be the center for moral instruction; Yahuwah will issue edicts from Yerushalayim.  He will judge disputes between nations; he will settle cases for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plow blades, and their spears into vinedressers' knives. Nations will not take up the sword against other nations, and they will no longer train for war (Yeshayahu 2:2-4).

Yeshayahu informs us that Yahuwah himself will reign from Zion and judge the nations.  But we have already seen that Yeshayahu has furthered our understanding of Yahuwah's reign by revealing that it is the "one born" who reigns as Yahuwah on David's throne:

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty Elohim, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Yahuwah of armies will accomplish this (Yeshayahu 9:6-7).

The Messiah Yahusha is the one identified as the ruling, reigning Judge of all the peoples of the earth.  He will sit in Jerusalem as king and judge.

Who is the Savior of Elohim's people?  That one is easy.  Of course, Messiah Yahusha is the Savior.  His name literally means, "Yahu saves."  Yahuwah's salvation is delivered by the person of Yahusha - he is "Yahuwah made flesh."

It makes perfect sense of the scriptural record that Messiah Yahusha is the Lawgiver.  After all, Yahusha is Creator of heaven and earth.  Yahusha appeared to Avraham (see our comments later about Messiah's statement, "Avraham rejoiced to see my day.  He saw it and was glad.")  Yahusha accompanied Israel through the desert - he was the Rock that accompanied them.  So he must have been the very same Elohim who gave Mosheh the Ten Words.

Compare the similarity of content of the command and exhortation to keep the commandments.  Messiah Yahusha taught his disciples that obedience to his commandments is the outward expression of love for him:

If you love me, you will obey my commandments (The 4th Gospel 14:15).

Observe this connection between loving Yahusha and obedience to Yahusha with what the Torah teaches about obedience to Yahuwah as the visible expression of loving Yahuwah:

Now, Yisrael, what does Yahuwah your Elohim require of you except to revere him, to obey all his commandments, to love him, to serve him with all your mind and being, and to keep Yahuwah's commandments and rules that I am commanding you today for your own good? (Devarim 10:12-13).

If we understand that Yahusha is the Creator and Rock that accompanied Israel in the desert, then isn't it obvious that Yahusha is implicitly claiming ownership of the Ten Commandments?

Love for Yahuwah is always demonstrated by obedience to his commands:

What I am commanding you today is to love Yahuwah your Elohim, to walk in his ways, and to obey his commandments, his rules, and his right-rulings. Then you will live and become numerous and Yahuwah your Elohim will bless you in the land which you are about to possess (Devarim 30:16).

And love for Messiah Yahusha is expressed by obedience to his commandments:

Yahusha replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and take up residence with him.  The person who does not love me does not obey my words. And the word you hear is not mine, but the Father's who sent me" (The 4th Gospel 14:23-24).

What are Yahusha Messiah's commandments?  Here, love for Yahusha is demonstrated by obedience to his commands, which he says are not his but "the Father's," meaning of course that Yahusha's commands are one and the same as Elohim's commands!  This explicit statement compels us to understand the commandments given at Sinai to be Yahusha's own commands, which all of his disciples are commanded to keep.

The Testimony of Yahusha's Own Words

By Yahusha's own testimony, the words that he speaks, including the commandments he gives, come from the Father and are not his alone.

"And the word you hear is not mine, but the Father's who sent me" (The 4th Gospel 14:24).

Yahusha himself claims to have been "with the Father" and speaks the words he heard "from the Father":

"I have many things to say and to judge about you, but the Father who sent me is truthful, and the things I have heard from him I speak to the world" (The 4th Gospel 8:26).

"I am telling you the things I have seen while with the Father; as for you, practice the things you have heard from the Father!" (The 4th Gospel 8:38).

This seems to be his personal recommendation to his disciples to obey the commandments of Yahuwah the Father!

"I no longer call you slaves, because the slave does not understand what his Master is doing. But I have called you friends, because I have revealed to you everything I heard from my Father" (The 4th Gospel 15:15).

Here, Yahusha claims to have been with Elohim and to have shared in his splendor even before the creation of the world, before "man" was created.  The words that he teaches are from the Father.  The commands he teaches (his commands) are the Father's commands.  Thus, we conclude, Yahusha's commandments which he compels his disciples to keep are one and the same as Yahuwah's commandments as delivered to Israel at Sinai through Mosheh.

I Am Who I Am

The "I am" statements of Scriptures identify the Creator Yahuwah.  The Almighty revealed himself to Mosheh:

Elohim said, "Do not come near here. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is set-apart ground."  He also said, "I am the Elohim of your father, the Elohim of Avraham, the Elohim of Yitzchak, and the Elohim of Ya'acov." Then Mosheh hid his face, because he was afraid to look at Elohim (Shemot 3:5-6).

Elohim further revealed his own personal name to Mosheh:

Mosheh said to Elohim, "If I go to the sons of Yisrael and say to them, 'The Elohim of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they say to me, 'What is his name?'--what should I say to them?"  Elohim said to Mosheh, "I AM that I AM." And he said, "You must say this to the sons of Yisrael, 'I AM has sent me to you.'"  Elohim also said to Mosheh, "You must say this to the sons of Yisrael, 'Yahuwah--the Elohim of your fathers, the Elohim of Avraham, the Elohim of Yitzchak, and the Elohim of Ya'acov--has sent me to you.' This is my name forever, and this is my memorial from generation to generation" (Shemot 3:13-15).

Elohim called himself "I AM."  This is his own name for himself.  Our name for him is translated, "He who is," which in Hebrew is pronounced "Yahuwah."

In perhaps his most explicit claim to be Elohim in person, Yahusha took the name "I AM" as his own.  As the Pharisees and teachers of the law were questioning Yahusha, they asked him very directly regarding who he was claiming to be:

And so they were saying to Him, "Who are You?" Yahusha said to them, "What have I been saying to you from the beginning? (The 4th Gospel 8:25)).

This is a hint loaded with meaning.  He was not claiming to be the one he had been saying he is merely from "the beginning" of their conversation.  He is calling to their minds the Scriptural meaning of the phrase "the beginning."  He was saying that he has been communicating to them since "the beginning" of creation.  And the Pharisees understood this to be an explicit claim that he is the Creator Yahuwah.

He continued to press the point of his identity:

"I have many things to speak and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and the things which I heard from Him, these I speak to the world."  They did not realize that He had been speaking to them about the Father.  Yahusha therefore said, "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that "I Am", and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me (The 4th Gospel 8:26-28).

Here Yahusha clearly and unmistakably indicates that he is "I AM" - the name which Yahuwah revealed himself as to Mosheh.  Later during that same dialog, Yahusha repeats his claim...

Then the Yehudim responded, "Now we know you're possessed by a demon! Both Avraham and the prophets died, and yet you say, 'If anyone obeys my teaching, he will never experience death.'  You aren't greater than our father Avraham who died, are you? And the prophets died too! Who do you claim to be?"  Yahusha replied, "If I glorify myself, my splendor is worthless. The one who glorifies me is my Father, about whom you people say, 'He is our Elohim.'  Yet you do not know him, but I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you. But I do know him, and I obey his teaching.  Your father Avraham was overjoyed to see my day, and he saw it and was glad."  Then the Yehudim replied, "You are not yet fifty years old! Have you seen Avraham?"  Yahusha said to them, "I tell you the solemn truth, before Avraham was, I AM!"  Then they picked up stones to throw at him, but Yahusha hid himself and went out from the temple area (The 4th Gospel 8:52-59).

Yahusha is claiming to have appeared to Avraham, which Yahuwah himself did.  And Yahusha is claiming to be the "I AM" which is the personal name of Yahuwah for himself.  Yahusha takes this name upon himself in a clear statement of identity:  The response of those listening further indicates that they knew exactly who Yahusha was claiming to be.  They took up stones, because they believed his claim to be "I AM" was blasphemy.

Yahuwah is One

The teaching of Trinitarians seems to fly in the face of all that is basic to Scripture.  They subscribe to the theory that Elohim is three persons making up one Mighty One.  Of course, the source of this repugnant teaching is in the perversion which is Babylonian sun-god worship. Many of the ancient religious systems featured 3 (or more) parts or persons making up the object of worship.  But all such grotesque objects of worship are a twisting, distorting and perversion of the true Elohim.  He is not three.  He is not two.  He is not "many."  He is one.

The Torah expresses in no uncertain terms the teaching that Elohim is singular:

     dx'(a hwhy WnyheÞl{a/ hwhy lae_r"f.yI [m;v.

Hear, Yisrael: Yahuwah is our Elohim.  Yahuwah is one (Devarim [Deuteronomy] 6:4).

Elohim is spirit.  He is not a created being.  He is the Creator.  He alone is Elohim and there is not another.

Yahusha claims to be "one" with the Father:

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand.  I and the Father are one" (The 4th Gospel 10:27-30).

What does he mean by this?  First, how could Yahusha be Elohim?  Elohim is one and Elohim is spirit and not created being.  And next, if he is Elohim, then how can Elohim be one?

If Yahusha could also be Elohim then Yahuwah would be "two" not "one."  Nevertheless, Yahusha makes the claim that he is "one" with the father (Elohim).  Is it possible for Elohim to exist in spirit (as he really is) and simultaneously in human flesh - and still be "one"?  Yes, it is.  And this is how Yahusha is Elohim and at the same moment, Elohim is still one.  Elohim exists natively as spirit being.  But he has entered into the Creation in the person of Yahusha.  When he does this, he does not then fail to exist as spirit being.  He is both "spirit being" and "human being" at the same time.  Yahusha is Yahuwah Elohim manifesting himself to us in human flesh.

The Good Shepherd

There are many metaphors Yahusha uses of himself to express his identity.  We will only look at one here.  Yahusha taught his disciples that he is "the good Shepherd."

"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  The hired hand, who is not a shepherd and does not own sheep, sees the wolf coming and abandons the sheep and runs away. So the wolf attacks the sheep and scatters them.  Because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep, he runs away.  I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me-- just as the Father knows me and I know the Father--and I lay down my life for the sheep" (The 4th Gospel 10:11-15).

Yahusha calls himself "the good Shepherd."  What could he possibly be saying about himself as he utilizes this metaphor about himself?  The Psalms tell us:

Yahuwah is my shepherd, I lack nothing.  He takes me to lush pastures, he leads me to refreshing water.  He restores my strength. He leads me down the right paths for the sake of his reputation.  Even when I must walk through a dark ravine, I fear no danger, for you are with me; your rod and your staff keep me calm (Mizmor [Psalm] 23:1-4).

All of these benefits the shepherd brings to David qualify him as "the good Shepherd."  He takes care of the sheep's every need.

Yahuwah is seen all over the Scriptures as the protecting "Shepherd":

Then he blessed Yoseph and said, "May the Elohim before whom my fathers Avraham and Yitzchak walked-- the Elohim who has been my shepherd all my life long to this day, the Angel who has protected me from all harm-- bless these boys (Bereshith 48:15-16).

And again,

But his bow will remain steady, and his hands will be skillful; because of the hands of the Mighty One of Ya'acov, because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Yisrael, because of the Elohim of your father, who will help you, because of Yahuwah Elohim, who will bless you with blessings from the sky above, blessings from the deep that lies below, and blessings of the breasts and womb (Bereshith 49:24-25).

And again,

Deliver your people! Empower the nation that belongs to you! Care for them like a shepherd and carry them in your arms at all times! (Mizmor 28:9).

By utilizing the metaphor of "the Shepherd of Israel," Yahusha is plainly equating himself with Yahuwah Elohim.

There are many others sayings of Yahusha that could be cited here.  This article would be exhaustingly long if we included them all.  But these examples are given to demonstrate that by the testimony of his words, sayings and teachings, Yahusha was implicitly and explicitly claiming to be Yahuwah Elohim.

The Testimony of Yahusha's Own Works

The works and deeds of Yahusha also speak their testimony regarding the identity of Yahusha.  Yahusha constantly provided words and words to demonstrate who he is.  Those who could receive his testimony realized and worshipped him.  Those who could not receive his testimony turned away from him and eventually condemned him to death.

Yahusha begged his audience to ponder the meaning of his works:

"But I have a testimony greater than that from Yochanan. For the deeds that the Father has assigned me to complete--the deeds I am now doing--testify about me that the Father has sent me" (The 4th Gospel 5:36).

Where his words weren't enough to convince everyone of who he is, he challenged them to consider the testimony of his works:

The Jewish leaders surrounded him and asked, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly."  Yahusha replied, "I told you and you do not believe. The deeds I do in my Father's name testify about me" (The 4th Gospel 10:24-25).

And again, he exhorts those unbelieving to contemplate the meaning of his miracles:

"If I do not perform the deeds of my Father, do not believe me.  But if I do them, even if you do not believe me, believe the deeds, so that you may come to know and understand that I am in the Father and the Father is in me" (The 4th Gospel 10:37-38).

Later, Yahusha is speaking to his disciples.  For those who do not yet understand who he is, he exhorts them to understand the implications of his words and his works:

"Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you, I do not speak on my own initiative, but the Father residing in me performs his miraculous deedsBelieve me that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me, but if you do not believe me, believe because of the miraculous deeds themselves.  I tell you the solemn truth, the person who believes in me will perform the miraculous deeds that I am doing, and will perform greater deeds than these, because I am going to the Father" (The 4th Gospel 14:10-12).

Here Yahusha emphatically claims that the Father (i.e. "Elohim") resides in him and that he resides in the Father.  If this is so, then Yahusha is one and the same as "the Father."  So, the miracles, signs and wonders that Yahusha performed give us confirmation that he is Yahuwah Elohim.

Healing of the Man Born Blind

We could recount numerous healings and wonders which testify of Yahusha's identity.  But, one particular miracle communicates most emphatically who Yahusha is.  The prophet Yeshayahu speaks often of the miracles of healing which would be performed by Yahuwah.

Look, a king will promote fairness; officials will promote justice.  Each of them will be like a shelter from the wind and a refuge from a rainstorm; like streams of water in a dry region and like the shade of a large cliff in a parched land.  Eyes will no longer be blind and ears will be attentive.  The mind that acts rashly will possess discernment and the tongue that stutters will speak with ease and clarity (Yeshayahu 32:1-4).

This prophesy hints at a time when a "king" will rule.  This "king" is understood to be the promised Messiah, who will teach the Torah to the nations and rule and reign in Yerushalayim.  "At that time" the eyes of the blind will see and the deaf will hear.

In another prophesy, Yeshayahu paints the picture of the blessings which Yahuwah himself will bring to his people:

They will see the grandeur of Yahuwah, the splendor of our Elohim.  Strengthen the hands that have gone limp, steady the knees that shake!  Tell those who panic, "Look, your Elohim comes to avenge! With divine retribution he comes to deliver you."  Then blind eyes will open, deaf ears will hear.  Then the lame will leap like a deer, the mute tongue will shout for joy; for water will flow in the desert, streams in the wilderness (35:2-6).

The splendor of Yahuwah (probably again a reference to the Messiah) will be seen!  Yahuwah is going to display his glory at that time, and this will be accompanied by blind eyes being opened and deaf ears hearing.

About the Messiah, Yeshayahu records:

Here is my servant whom I support, my chosen one in whom I take pleasure. I have placed my spirit on him; he will make just decrees for the nations.  He will not cry out or shout; he will not publicize himself in the streets.  A crushed reed he will not break, a dim wick he will not extinguish; he will faithfully make just decrees.  He will not grow dim or be crushed before establishing justice on the earth; the coastlands will wait in anticipation for his decrees.  This is what the true Elohim, Yahuwah, says-- the one who created the sky and stretched it out, the one who fashioned the earth and everything that lives on it, the one who gives breath to the people on it, and life to those who live on it: "I, Yahuwah, officially commission you; I take hold of your hand. I protect you and make you a covenant mediator for people, and a light to the nations, to open blind eyes, to release prisoners from dungeons, those who live in darkness from prisons."  I am Yahuwah! That is my name! I will not share my splendor with anyone else, or the praise due me with idols (42:1-8).

This servant who is the chosen of Yahuwah will make just decrees and establish justice on the earth.  He is commissioned by Yahuwah and will be a "covenant mediator" (the "mediator of the renewed covenant" - see Hebrews 10:16 and 12:24).  He will be identified by being the one who can open the eyes of the blind.

Yahusha opened the eyes of the man born blind. 

Now as Yahusha was passing by, he saw a man who had been blind from birth.  His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who committed the sin that caused him to be born blind, this man or his parents?"  Yahusha answered, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but he was born blind so that the acts of Elohim may be revealed through what happens to him.  We must perform the deeds of the one who sent me as long as it is daytime. Night is coming when no one can work.  As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world."  Having said this, he spat on the ground and made some mud with the saliva. He smeared the mud on the blind man's eyes and said to him, "Go wash in the pool of Siloam" (which is translated "sent"). So the blind man went away and washed, and came back seeing (The 4th Gospel 9:1-7).

The reason this man was born blind was to be a witness to the world of who Yahusha is.  The chosen servant of Yahuwah was to be identified by opening his blind eyes.  Thus, by opening the eyes of the man born blind, Yahusha fulfilled this prophetic signpost and revealed himself as the servant of Yahuwah.

After the man came seeing, the Pharisees questioned him concerning the man who healed his blind eyes.  They would not believe that Yahusha is the Messiah because he healed the man on the Sabbath.  Thus, they tried to incriminate Yahusha by intimidating the man born blind.

Then they summoned the man who used to be blind a second time and said to him, "Promise before Elohim to tell the truth. We know that this man is a sinner."  He replied, "I do not know whether he is a sinner. I do know one thing--that although I was blind, now I can see."  Then they said to him, "What did he do to you? How did he cause you to see?"  He answered, "I told you already and you didn't listen. Why do you want to hear it again? You people don't want to become his disciples too, do you?"  They heaped insults on him, saying, "You are his disciple! We are disciples of Mosheh!  We know that Elohim has spoken to Mosheh! We do not know where this man comes from!"  The man replied, "This is a remarkable thing, that you don't know where he comes from, and yet he caused me to see!  We know that Elohim doesn't listen to sinners, but if anyone is devout and does his will, Elohim listens to him.  Never before has anyone heard of someone causing a man born blind to see.  If this man were not from Elohim, he could do nothing." (9:24-33).

The man born blind's argument is very succinct.  Yahusha could do nothing - he certainly could not open the eyes of a blind man - if he were not "from Elohim."  Elohim's servant is the only one who can perform the act of giving sight to a blind man.  The prophecies speak to this incredible miracle, and Yahusha performed the deed that could only be accomplished by the servant of Yahuwah.  Thus, Yahusha must be the prophesied "servant of Yahuwah."

Yahusha Raised Himself from the Dead!

Yahusha demonstrated his identity by exercising exceptional authority in raising the dead.  This authority he wields speaks of his connection with the living Elohim:

For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.  Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him (The 4th Gospel 5:21-23).

He further teaches the implication of this authority he has over death:

"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.  I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live (The 4th Gospel 5:24-25).

He provided proof of his ability to raise the dead by actually raising dead people!

If it weren't enough that Yahusha raised several people from the dead, including the little girl and Lazarus, he further demonstrates his authority and identity by raising himself from the dead!  As he entered the temple site and cast out the moneychangers, the Pharisees challenged him,

"What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?"  Yahusha answered them, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days."  The Yehudim replied, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?"  But the temple he had spoken of was his body.  After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Yahusha had spoken.

Did you catch that?  He said, "I will raise it again in three days."  He didn't say Elohim would raise him, but that he would raise himself - "I will raise...."

Yahusha taught very plainly about his own authority and ability to raise himself from the dead.  The Father has granted him this authority over death, even his own death:

"For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself" (The 4th Gospel 5:26 ).

"The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life-- only to take it up again.  No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.  This command I received from my Father" (The 4th Gospel 10:17-18).

Yahusha has life in himself.  Mere mortal men obtain their life force from Elohim.  But Yahusha is not merely a man.  He has life in himself.  Since Elohim is the only being existing who has the power over death and life, and who can raise the dead back to life, Yahusha must then be Elohim! 

Yahusha as the Image, Form and Manifestation of Elohim

The writers of the Brit Chadashah (New Testament) offer a uniform message regarding the identity of Yahusha of Nazareth.  Mattityahu portrays him as fulfilling the prophesies of the Tanach about the Messiah.  The 4th Gospel testifies to the image and form of Elohim being seen in Yahusha.  Sha'ul presents him as the Creator and Master of all the universe.  All are in agreement that Yahusha brings the redemption of Yahuwah to mankind.  Each of them suggest that Yahusha is the manifestation of Elohim in human flesh.

The Image of Elohim

Sha'ul, the apostle also known as Paul, describes Yahusha in terms which cannot be misunderstood.  He portrays Yahusha as nothing less than the very likeness and image of the living Elohim:

He is the image of the invisible Elohim, the firstborn of all creation (Colossians 1:15).

Two Greek words utilized in this verse deserve some attention.  The first is

eikwn “eikon” -  likeness, image; form, appearance; statue  - an object shaped to resemble the form or appearance of someth., likeness, portrait; that which has the same form as someth. else; that which represents someth. else in terms of basic form and features, form, appearance.

This word "eikon" is rendered "image" in Sha'ul's letter.  Yahusha is presented as the image, appearance, and representation of form and features of the invisible Elohim.  It sounds very much like Sha'ul is saying that Yahusha is Elohim in a form that can be seen.  We are informed in Bereshith (1:26-27) that Elohim made man in his (Elohim's) image.  The 4th Gospel is flipping that same teaching around and saying that Yahusha the man is the very image of Elohim.

The next Greek word of interest in this verse is

prwtotokoj (pronounced prototokos) from prwtoj, “first” and tiktw ”to bear, bring forth, produce.”  This word is found in the Septuagint as translation for the Hebrew rAkB., “bechor” firstborn, lit. pert. to birth order, firstborn, pert. to having special status associated with a firstborn. 

Prototokos infers not that Messiah was created, but that he is the rightful recipient (owner, inheritor) of all that belongs to the Father.  He is the ruler over creation and master over death.  Prototokos implies that Yahusha was the "first" one to be born into the human family as Elohim.  He also happens to be the ONLY one born into the human family as Elohim! - a fact which is brought to light by the designation only begotten Son.  Thus, the term prototokos is used by Sha'ul to infer Yahusha's identity with Elohim.

Sha'ul goes on to position Yahusha in space and time: 

He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together (Colossians 1:17).

This sentence affirms that Yahusha pre-existed before anything was ever created.  He himself cannot be created because he existed before all created things.

For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His stake; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven (vss 19-20).

Again, Sha'ul explicitly communicates the teaching that Yahusha was "fully Elohim" in the expression "all the fullness to dwell in Him." 

The Exact Representation of the Substance of Elohim

The writer of the book written "to the Hebrews" (who may also be Sha'ul, or may be another), also represents Yahusha as the "image of Elohim":

At many times and in many ways in the past Elohim spoke to the fathers through the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by the Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the ages, who being the brightness of the esteem and the exact representation of His substance, and sustaining all by the word of His power, having made a cleansing of our sins through Himself, sat down at the right hand of the Greatness on high (Ivrit 1:1-3).

First, note that the writer of this epistle also identifies Yahusha, whom he refers to as "the Son", as the creator of all things (note: "He made the ages").  Thus, he teaches, Elohim created the universe "through" or "by" or "in the person of" the Son Yahusha.

Next, consider a few more word studies.  The two underlined words in the text quoted above come from the Greek words, apaugasma (pronounced apaugasma) which means "brightness, radiance, effulgence, flood of resplendent light, outshining" - and carakthr  (pronounced character) which is defined as "exact likeness, full expression ."  Since we are to understand "the Son," which designation is meant to convey "Yahuwah born as a human," is the very brightness of Elohim and the full expression of his substance, it should then be obvious that, just as the author of the 4th Gospel wrote in John 1:18 "No one has ever seen Elohim. The only one, himself Elohim, who is in bosom of the Father, has made Elohim known," Hebrews is now telling us the same; namely that Yahusha as the One who "makes known" Elohim, is also the one who reveals to us Elohim's radiance and his full expression.  In other words, Yahusha is Elohim made visible.  Whenever Elohim's glory is seen, this is Yahusha!

Where it says that he "sat down at the right hand of the Greatness on high" is merely a euphemism or figure of speech communicating the thought that Yahusha is in the very position of authority that belongs to Elohim.  He is not literally sitting next to Elohim, as though there are 2 Elohims.  The expression "at the right hand" suggests the authority of the subject.  Thus, Yahusha sits on the throne of Elohim with all the authority of Elohim (because he is, in fact, Elohim!)

having become so much better than the messengers, as He has inherited a more excellent Name than them.  For to which of the messengers did He ever say, "You are My Son, today I have brought You forth"? And again, "I shall be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son"?  And when He again brings the first born into the world, He says, "Let all the messengers of Elohim do reverence to Him" (Ivrit 1:4-6),

The messengers of Elohim do not worship anyone except Elohim himself.  So here, this one being born into the world must, in fact, be Elohim coming into the world.

Furthermore, the Son, the one who was born into the human race, is addressed as "Elohim":

And of the messengers indeed He says, "... who is making His messengers spirits and His servants a flame of fire."  But to the Son He says, "Your throne, Elohim, is forever and ever, a scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your reign (Ivrit 1:7-8).

The "son" is called "Elohim" - the very Elohim who sits on the throne to reign forever and ever.  This can be none other than Yahuwah's throne.  This cannot just be the throne of a "mighty" man.

Again, about the Son, he attributes the creative acts:

And, "You, Master, did found the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of Your hands.  "They shall perish, but You remain. And they shall all grow old like a garment, and like a mantle You shall fold them up, and they shall be changed. But You are the same, and Your years shall not fail" (vss 10-12).

Yahusha is separated from mankind in this citation.  Because the created things will perish.  But Yahuwah shall remain forever because he supersedes creation

Equality with Elohim

When understood and interpreted in light of Yahusha's own testimony and the testimony of the prophets, including the writing of the 4th Gospel and that of Ivrim (Hebrews)1, the mysterious teaching of Sha'ul in Philippians 2 becomes pretty straightforward.

You should have the same attitude toward one another that Messiah Yahusha had, who though he existed in the form of Elohim did not regard equality with Elohim as something to be grasped, but emptied himself by taking on the form of a slave, by looking like other men, and by sharing in human nature.  He humbled himself, by becoming obedient to the point of death--even death on a stake!  As a result Elohim exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Yahusha every knee will bow--in heaven and on earth and under the earth-- and every tongue confess that Yahusha Messiah is Yahuwah to the splendor of Elohim the Father (Philippians 2:5-11).

The testimony of Yahusha about himself, as recorded in the 4th Gospel 16 and 17 and elsewhere, is confirmed and supported by the teaching of Sha'ul.  Yahusha existed before the creation of the universe "in the form of Elohim" - in other words, his "form" or "nature" was that of Elohim.  He was and is Elohim.  But he stepped inside of his own creation as a man.  He did so because he had created man in his own image.  Thus, taking the form of man was to take on his own image in human flesh.

The phrase, "emptied himself" is a translation of the Greek word, keno,w , "keno-o", which means "1. to make empty, to empty, 2. to cause to be without result or effect, destroy, render void or of no effect."  The meaning of "emptied himself" has been the topic of debate among theologians for centuries.  The testimony is that he existed in the form of Elohim before creation, and that he "emptied himself" and became a man.  The simplest way to understand this is to see that Elohim choose to enter into the creation that he made, as a man.  He did this by "emptying himself", presumably from at least some of the attributes that he has as the invisible spirit-being Elohim.  He "laid aside" some attributes in order to become a man and live like a man within the limitations of the created world that mankind lives in.  Afterwards, he re-assumed those qualities and attributes which he had temporarily laid aside.

The work that he performed as a man proved him to be deserving of having the name that is above every name. And he himself testified that he inherited the name of the Father.  Thus, at his name, as before so now, every knee will bow in worship and praise of Yahuwah Elohim and every tongue confess that Yahusha is very Yahuwah Elohim.

Conclusion 

In every way, the testimony of Scriptures is clear.  Yahusha is one and the same as Elohim, and existed "in the bosom of Elohim" and "was Elohim" before anything was created.  He enjoyed "splendor" with Elohim, as Elohim, before creation.   Yahusha is, in fact, the Creator.  He entered into the world, which he had created, as a man.  He has all the power and attributes of Elohim because he was "with reference to Elohim" and "is Elohim" - not just merely a mighty and special creation of Elohim, but he is Yahuwah Elohim himself manifest in human flesh.

 END