We all have a unique belief system developed from books we have read, sermons we have heard, education and our experiences. It all plays a role in our personal theology. Even a person that has never darkened a door of a church has a theology. It may be that there is no God and everyone goes back to dust for eternity. How do we know if our theology is true? What if we stripped away everything we have heard about what is in the Bible, church tradition and our own understandings? If a person never was told what to think about God or the Bible, what would the scriptures speak on their own?
Genesis 1:1 (LEB)
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth—
If one was unfamiliar with scripture, the first question might be “Who or what is this ‘God’ that the author is claiming created everything?” The online etymological dictionary has this to say about the origins of the word “God”:
also God; Old English god “supreme being, deity; the Christian God; image of a god; godlike person,” from Proto-Germanic *guthan (source also of Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Dutch god, Old High German got, German Gott, Old Norse guð, Gothic guþ), which is of uncertain origin; perhaps from PIE *ghut- “that which is invoked” (source also of Old Church Slavonic zovo “to call,” Sanskrit huta- “invoked,” an epithet of Indra), from root *gheu(e)- “to call, invoke.” The notion could be “divine entity summoned to a sacrifice.”
As a person reads on in the Bible “God” defines himself, and as it turns out His name is not “God”; that is a title given to many deities. The Creator of heaven and Earth is unique.
Exodus 3:11–16 (LEB)
11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and that I should bring the Israelites out from Egypt?” 12 And he said, “Because I am with you, and this will be the sign for you that I myself have sent you: When you bring the people out from Egypt, you will serve God on this mountain.” 13 But Moses said to God, “Look, if I go to the Israelites and I say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is his name?’ then what shall I say to them?” 14 And God said to Moses, “I am that I am.” And he said, “So you must say to the Israelites, ‘I am sent me to you.’ ”
15 And God said again to Moses, “So you must say to the Israelites, ‘Yahweh, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is my name forever, and this is my remembrance from generation to generation.’ 16 Go and gather the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘Yahweh, the God of your ancestors, appeared to me, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, “I have carefully attended to you and what has been done to you in Egypt.”
The Israelites were a family that the Creator pulled out of the Earth’s population to be set apart and unique from the other tribes and nations of the world. He gave their fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob special promises for their future generations. One might say the Israelites are “the family of God”. However, this “God” tells us His name is Yahweh. Except “Yahweh” really is not His name because that is an English representation of four Hebrew letters: yod-hay-vav-hay; יהוה. Josephus, a first century historian, tells us the name is pronounced as four vowel sounds. The meaning of those four letters is “he will cause it to exist, or make it happen”. That is a little different than, “I am that I am”, ah h’yah asher ah h’yah: אהיה אשׁר אהיה. Yahweh is third person where h’yah is first person. If we change what He identifies Himself to simply “God”, then it changes everything and may not even be the same deity.
Moses was a prophet and leader, Yah, short for Yahweh or Yahuah, appointed to lead Israel out of Egypt. They found themselves as slaves there through a series of events. This is where the Creator pulls His people together and gives them the secrets to the universe. Fifteen hundred years later, one of the descendants of the Israelites, Stephen, confirms this idea.
Acts 7:37–39 (LEB)
37 “This is the Moses who said to the sons of Israel, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your brothers.’ 38 This is the one who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and who with our fathers received living oracles to give to us, 39 to whom our fathers were not willing to become obedient, but rejected him and turned back in their hearts to Egypt
Yah’s family had an advantage over the rest of the people of the world. They knew how to live in such a way to be in harmony with nature, the Creator and each other. From a mountain in modern day Saudi Arabia, Yah shared the most important instructions to the family of Israel. The ten words, which are called commandments by theologians now.
Exodus 20:1–21 (LEB)
20 And God spoke all these words, saying, 2 “I am Yahweh, your God, who brought you out from the land of Egypt, from the house of slaves. 3 “There shall be for you no other gods before me. 4 “You shall not make for yourself a divine image with any form that is in the heavens above or that is in the earth below or that is in the water below the earth. 5 You will not bow down to them, and you will not serve them, because I am Yahweh your God, a jealous God, punishing the guilt of the parents on the children on the third and on the fourth generations of those hating me, 6 and showing loyal love to thousands of generations of those loving me and of those keeping my commandments. 7 “You shall not misuse the name of Yahweh your God, because Yahweh will not leave unpunished anyone who misuses his name. 8 “Remember the day of the Sabbath, to consecrate it. 9 Six days you will work, and you will do all your work. 10 But the seventh day is a Sabbath for Yahweh your God; you will not do any work—you or your son or your daughter, your male slave or your female slave, or your animal, or your alien who is in your gates—11 because in six days Yahweh made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and on the seventh day he rested. Therefore Yahweh blessed the seventh day and consecrated it. 12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that your days can be long on the land that Yahweh your God is giving you. 13 “You shall not murder. 14 “You shall not commit adultery. 15 “You shall not steal. 16 “You shall not testify against your neighbor with a false witness. 17 “You shall not covet the house of your neighbor; you will not covet the wife of your neighbor or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that is your neighbor’s.” 18 And all the people were seeing the thunder and the lightning and the sound of the ram’s horn and the mountain smoking, and the people saw, and they trembled, and they stood at a distance. 19 And they said to Moses, “You speak with us, and we will listen, but let not God speak with us, lest we die.” 20 And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you so that his fear will be before you so that you do not sin.” 21 And the people stood at a distance, and Moses approached the very thick cloud where God was.
As we saw Stephen in the book of Acts speaking earlier, Acts 7:38-39 (LEB), “38 This is the one who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and who with our fathers received living oracles to give to us, 39 to whom our fathers were not willing to become obedient, but rejected him and turned back in their hearts to Egypt“. They heard these ten great sayings from the Creator Himself, yet still did not do them. Imagine the advantage they would have had if they had of listened. Yah was still faithful to this family and told them He would send someone to explain things that was not as scary as the All Mighty, Creator of the Universe.
Deuteronomy 18:15–19 (LEB)
15 “Yahweh your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your midst, from your countrymen, and to him you shall listen. 16 This is according to all that you asked from Yahweh your God at Horeb, on the day of the assembly, saying, ‘I do not want again to hear⌋ the voice of Yahweh my God, and I do not want to see again this great fire, so that I may not die!’ 17 And Yahweh said to me, ‘They are right in what they have said. 18 I will raise up a prophet for them from among their countrymen like you, and I will place my words into his mouth, and he shall speak to them everything that I command him. 19 And then the man that will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I will hold accountable.
We see this “prophet” spoken about all through the Bible going forward. He is the anointed messenger, the redeemer of the family of Israel, and by extension the whole world. One of the promises Yah gave to Abraham was that through him the whole world would be blessed.
Genesis 18:17–19 (LEB)
17 Then Yahweh said, “Shall I conceal from Abraham what I am going to do? 18 Abraham will surely become a great and strong nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed on account of him. 19 For I have chosen him, that he will command his children and his household after him that they will keep the way of Yahweh, to do righteousness and justice, so that Yahweh may bring upon Abraham that which he said to him.”
The world will be blessed through Abraham because his descendant, the anointed one, will repair the damage caused by people continually not doing the instructions of the Creator.
Malachi 4:4–6 (LEB)
4 “Remember the instruction of my servant Moses, which I commanded him at Horeb to all Israel, the rules and regulations. 5 Look! I am going to send to you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and awesome day of Yahweh! 6 And he will bring back the hearts of the fathers to the sons, and the hearts of the sons to their fathers, so that I will not come and strike the land with a ban.”
The “prophet like Moses”, Anointed one, or Messiah, came approximately 1500 years after Moses brought the family out of Egypt.
Luke 2:8–14 (LEB)
8 And there were shepherds in the same region, living out of doors and keeping watch, guarding over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord stood near them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terribly frightened. 10 And the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring good news to you of great joy which will be for all the people: 11 that today a Savior, who is Christ the Lord, was born for you in the city of David. 12 And this will be the sign for you: you will find the baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among people with whom he is pleased!”
This Messiah, or “Christ” will bring “on earth peace among people with whom he is pleased“. I recently saw someone on Twitter say that they do not have a Messiah, the Jews have a Messiah. In this person’s world, Jesus Christ stands on his own, separate from all we discussed in this blog post thus far. This person obviously does not know that Christ comes from the Greek, Christos, which means anointed one, the same as Messiah. As we are reading through the Bible we have come to the “big reveal”. The “prophet like Moses” has arrived. What does he do and say?
Luke 4:16 (LEB)
16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and according to his custom he entered into the synagogue on the day of the Sabbath and stood up to read.
The Complete Jewish Bible translates it this way:
Luke 4:16 (CJB)
16 Now when he went to Natzeret, where he had been brought up, on Shabbat he went to the synagogue as usual. He stood up to read
We see the Christ going to the synagogue on the Sabbath day as usual. This makes sense in light of one of the instructions of the Creator: Exodus 20:8 (CJB), “Remember the day, Shabbat, to set it apart for God.”
Jesus, Joshua in English and Yeshua in Hebrew, became a Jewish rabbi and taught his disciples the things of Yah, the Creator. They soon understood that they were not following just any rabbi.
Matthew 16:13–17 (LEB)
13 Now when Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he began asking his disciples, saying, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!” 17 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.
Let’s briefly analyze the word “Christ”
Χριστός G5986 (Christos), Christ; χρίω G5987 (chriō), spread, (in biblical Gk.) anoint; Μεσσίας G3549 (Messias), Messiah. Christ is derived via the Lat. Christus from the Gk. Christos, which in the LXX and the NT is the Gk. equivalent of the Aram. mešîḥā’. This in turn corresponds to the Heb. māšîaḥ and denotes someone who has been ceremonially anointed for an office K. H. Rengstorf, “Χριστός,” ed. Lothar Coenen, Erich Beyreuther, and Hans Bietenhard, New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1986), 334.
This Messiah that the Creator promised to send to His family echoed everything that was taught to them by Moses. By this time in history, the family had been through so much due to disobedience that the majority of the family had lost its identity and were scattered into the nations. There where only a few tribes of Israel represented during the time Yeshua walked the Earth. Even they had distorted the words of Yah.
John 12:44–50 (LEB)
44 But Jesus cried out and said, “The one who believes in me does not believe in me, but in the one who sent me, 45 and the one who sees me sees the one who sent me. 46 I have come as a light into the world, in order that everyone who believes in me will not remain in the darkness. 47 And if anyone hears my words and does not observe them, I will not judge him. For I have not come to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 The one who rejects me and does not accept my words has one who judges him; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. 49 For I have not spoken from myself, but the Father himself who sent me has commanded me what I should say and what I should speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. So the things that I say, just as the Father said to me, thus I say.”
These few verses sum up everything we need to know about what the Messiah taught.
- The one who believes in me does not believe in me, but in the one who sent me
- the one who sees me sees the one who sent me
- I have not come to judge the world, but to save the world.
- The one who rejects me and does not accept my words has one who judges him; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.
- For I have not spoken from myself, but the Father himself who sent me has commanded me what I should say and what I should speak.
- I know that his commandment is eternal life
- So the things that I say, just as the Father said to me, thus I say.
It doesn’t look like the Messiah has any different message than the family received through Moses. Yeshua says “his commandment is eternal life” and he didn’t come to judge because that will be done by his word on the last day. Messiah’s current mission was to save the world, then judge at a later date.
Acts 1:6–11 (LEB)
6 So when they had come together, they began asking him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time you are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” 7 But he said to them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the farthest part of the earth.” 9 And after he had said these things, while they were watching, he was taken up, and a cloud received him from their sight. 10 And as they were staring into the sky while he was departing, behold, two men in white clothing stood by them 11 who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand there looking into the sky? This Jesus who was taken up from you into heaven like this will come back in the same way you saw him departing into heaven!”
How does all of this relate to the average person living in the twenty first century? Yeshua told us all how to have eternal life. Remember, “I know that his commandment is eternal life“?
John 3:16–21 (CJB)
16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only and unique Son, so that everyone who trusts in him may have eternal life, instead of being utterly destroyed. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but rather so that through him, the world might be saved. 18 Those who trust in him are not judged; those who do not trust have been judged already, in that they have not trusted in the one who is God’s only and unique Son.
19 “Now this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, but people loved the darkness rather than the light. Why? Because their actions were wicked. 20 For everyone who does evil things hates the light and avoids it, so that his actions won’t be exposed. 21 But everyone who does what is true comes to the light, so that all may see that his actions are accomplished through God.”
One of the huge misconceptions that Christians have is that Yeshua simply replaced the sacrificial system with his one sacrifice. This is only partly true. Paul gets really excited talking about the inadequacy of the law and people completely miss his excitement. The sacrificial offering system only reconciled unintentional sin! There were no offerings for sacrifice to get forgiveness for intentional, high handed sin. Once someone broke the “Ten Commandments” they were cut off forever according to the law. Yeshua’s sacrifice took care of this problem. Anyone that knew the law understood this. The gospel is cheapened today through ignorance where people think they can keep deliberately sinning and simply ask for forgiveness continually. Some simply ignore the commandments thinking they no longer apply. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Sin is still defined as breaking the commandments of God. Thankfully, there is forgiveness for every sin through Yeshua. However, heed the warning given in Hebrews against blasphemy of the Spirit of grace, that is the holy Spirit:
Hebrews 10:26–29 (LEB)
26 For if we keep on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment and a fury of fire that is about to consume the adversaries. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment do you think the person will be considered worthy of who treats with disdain the Son of God and who considers ordinary the blood of the covenant by which he was made holy and who insults the Spirit of grace?
We are told not to do what is evil, but to do what is true. What is true then? Remember, “I know that his commandment is eternal life“. It is not a mystery. Yeshua told us the Creator’s words are truth. Once one knows the truth and does the truth, they are trusting in Yeshua because that is what he said to do.
Featured photo by Joel Muniz on Unsplash.
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One thought on “What if it is True?”
Some interesting thoughts you have made , when going to school we where taught about the universe or solar systems, and we have ours the planets revolves around the sun , and countless other solar systems, etc . And who knows if there is life out there some where ?
Well if we believe Genesis account of creation , everything we where taught in school is one massive error .
The earth was created before the sun and stars , that makes the earth more central in creation, sun goes around the earth . A completely different solar system. Yes I always though it looks like the sun is in motion not us . So the truth of scriptures is accurate to reality.
Also God knows all the stars by name , so there is a limited number of them perhaps .
Also it says God created the earth to be inhabited, no where else is mentioned. So I believe God does not lie . There is no possible life apart from the earth for man or animals. Going out into space proves this too , not enough air to breath and no gravity etc , inhabitable .
So also forget about aliens on another planet . Although the spirit world is real but without bodies , Jesus said a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see me have after his resurrection.
A few things I learned from the Bible , that school did not teach . I have peace about this and no concerns, thank God for the scriptures.
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