“I, even I, am YHVH, and apart from me there is no savior. I have revealed and saved and proclaimed – I, and not some foreign god among you.  You are my witnesses,” declares YHVH, “that I am God.  Yes and from ancient days I am he. …I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.”[1]

 

*   *   *   *   *   *

There is one God, and his eternal Name, YHVH, proclaims perfection.  Its content affirms that He, in the course of his agency within history, is and ever shall be that which He is in his essential being:

“I AM THAT WHICH I AM.”[2]

            “I am [in my existence] that which I am [in my essential being.]”

In this we know that the perfection of his being will find full expression in the perfect fulfillment of his purposes on earth.  Within his Name, YHVH also gives witness to the fact that he exists in the first person singular, that He, the One God, is also a person, the individual after whom man is patterned.  The Person is the atomic unit of spiritual life.

Inseparable from the eternal being of YHVH is the person of Yeshua, the uniquely begotten Son of YHVH,

“[…in whom] all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.”[3]

The mystery of the being of Yeshua is intimately bound into the mystery of his identification with the Logos.  We know from the record of John that the Logos[4] and Yeshua are one:

“In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  In him was life, and that life was the light of men. …The Logos became flesh and made his dwelling among us.  We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who comes from the Father, full of grace and truth.”[5]

The Hebrew and Greek Scriptures reveal to us the perfect union of Yeshua and the Father, and they reveal to us the hand of Yeshua as the agency of the Father in the creation of the world, in the history of the world, in the life of mankind.

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.  He is before all things and in him all things hold together. …For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”[6]

It is the cross upon which the world stumbles.  All who wish to establish their lives as just, as justified apart from the mercy of God, all refuse to recognize the gravity of sin, of rebellion against the sovereignty of YHVH.  They are blinded to the grave tragedy of the fall of mankind from its original communion with YHVH.

At the cross, Yeshua alone has established that he is the one awaited throughout history, the seed of the woman who crushes the head of the serpent.[7]  At the cross Yeshua took upon himself the curse of the sin of mankind, and then in resurrection YHVH established that Yeshua should own all power over death and Hades.  We, the subjects of Yeshua, know his voice and recognize him as eternal king.  Soon Yeshua will return, and he, with the army of heaven, will conquer and take captive Satan and the armies of darkness.  John witnessed this in the prophetic vision which Yeshua gave him on the island of Patmos:

“Then I saw heaven open wide – and there was a white horse!  His rider is faithful and true, yea, just are his judgments and his warfare; his eyes are a flame of fire, on his head are many diadems, he bears a written name which none knows but himself.  He is clad in a robe dipped in blood [his name is called THE LOGOS OF GOD], and the troops of heaven follow him on white horses, arrayed in pure white linen.  A sharp sword issues from his lips, wherewith to smite the nations; he will shepherd them with an iron flail, and trample the winepress of the passion of the wrath of God almighty.  And on his robe, upon his thigh, his name is written, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”[8]

Yeshua is King of kings and his hand is sovereign over the trajectory of history.  We see that his return, from the heavenly throne to the dust of earth, is imminent.  We know that he will return in all strength and power, that he will establish in the visible world the pre-eminence of his kingdom and the welfare of his subjects, even though, at this moment, his transcendent kingdom must undergo persecution and martyrdom at the hand of its enemies.

Sects of all faiths fail in their understanding of the cross.  Christians fail to recognize the cross as the great original victory of Yeshua as king over his people.  They have abandoned the kingdom and the kingship of Yeshua, preferring instead the moral teacher or the private Savior, without any social or teleological imperative.  For this reason they are impotent and without response in the face of the modern advances of Islam throughout the world.

Jews have abandoned the gravity of sin and the hope of a heavenly Messiah.  They have abandoned their belief in a transcendent Israel rooted in the circumcision of the heart.  They have exchanged it for a mundane political entity defined by the circumcision of the flesh.  They hope to establish Greater Israel through the manipulation of their neighbors, through political intrigue and military threat.

Muslims equally, through political maneuvering and through force, are building their world empire.  Muslims reject the true gravity of sin and imagine that the pleas of Allah will redeem them.  They scorn the sacrifice of Yeshua at the cross and lead the world in their contempt for the kingship of Yeshua.  They claim to worship the God of Abraham while rejecting the divinity of Yeshua the Son of God.  Their claim is not valid.  They deserve the response that Yeshua gave to the Pharisees:

“If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do the things Abraham did.  As it is, you are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God.  Abraham did not do such things.  You are doing the things your own father does….If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here.  I have not come on my own; but he sent me.  Why is my language not clear to you?  Because you are unable to hear what I say.  …My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me.  Though you do not know him, I know him.  If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and keep his word.  Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”

“You are not yet fifty years old,” the Jews said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!”

“I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”

At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.[9]

           

 

Lawrence S. Jones

lstewartj@sbcglobal.net

 

 

 

[1] Isaiah 43.11,12,13;44.6

[2]Exodus 3.13-15;  “YHVH” is the third person expression which we speak, “He is and ever shall be[ that which he is.]”  EHYEH ASHER EHYEH is the first person expression which is spoken by God: “I am  and ever shall be that which I am.”

[3] Colossians 2.9

[4] “The Word”  But the word Logos in Greek does not mean merely speech.  It designates a grand and ancient understanding: the fountain of all reason and order in the universe, an understanding which is perhaps most nearly approximated in the Chinese understanding of the Tao.  In fact the Chinese New Testament translates Logos as the Tao.

[5] John 1.1-5,14

[6] Colossians 1.15-17,19

[7][7] Genesis 3.15  “So YHVH said to the serpent, ‘…I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.’”

[8] Revelation 19.11-16

[9] John 8.39,40,42,43,54-59

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