YAH'SHUA IS ELOHIM -
JESUS IS GOD
The Deity of Yah'shua the Messiah
A Buddhist Experience
"And Elohim (God) said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and He said, Thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you" (Ex.3:14, KJV)
One of the most important discoveries any person can make in this life is, in my opinion, that Elohim (God) appeared on the earth as a man. When I was investigating Buddhism as a university student I made this discovery and it fairly shocked me out of my boots. I wasn't asking this particular question and, indeed, I was not too sympathetically disposed towards Christianity at the time.
One evening I was sitting in the home of a Buddhist acquaintance where a class on the life and teachings of the Buddha had been organised. The purpose of the lesson, as I now recall, was to demonstrate that Buddha, unlike all other religious leaders, had reached the highest pinnacle of spiritual achievement, having mastered the various spiritual steps that lead to enlightenment. The teacher had sketched out a diagram showing the Buddhist heavens with Buddhahood at the top and the vegetable or mineral state at the bottom. In-between were various states of progression through the animal state, the penultimate state of Boddhisatva, and finally, Buddahood, or Nirvana, at which point the aspirant along the spiritual path is supposedly swallowed up into a "Cosmic All", losing all personhood in the process as a result of years of progressive detachment from the surrounding physical world.
I was very taken with this evolutionary concept of spiritual development, immersed as I was in Darwinian ideas of states of progression, being at that time a student of Biochemistry. It all seemed to make good sense. I listened to the lesson, therefore, as one who was already on the teacher's side, merely having confirmed what I already believed.
"Sakyamuni Buddha reached the highest state -- Buddhahood," the teacher said, "unlike Jesus Christ (Yah'shua the Messiah) who only reached the penultimate, Boddhisatva." I wouldn't ordinarily have thought twice about such a statement since I had no special feelings about Jesus Christ (before I knew His true Name, Yah'shua the Messiah) whom I associated with rather dreary Divinity (Religious Studies) lessons I had had at school and with a particularly obnoxious Anglican priest who took great pleasure in striking his students across the knuckles with the sharp edge of his ruler if we weren't paying attention or were otherwise misbehaving. That statement could well have passed into by subconscious and into forgetfulness were it not for the fact that the Almighty Elohim (God) decided at that moment to spectacularly intervene in my life.
No sooner had the teacher said the word "Boddhisatva" than a mighty force, apparently out of nowhere, suddenly welled up in my body, filling me from head to toe as one might fill a glass up with water, and a voice, booming like a mighty canon, powerful and awesome, and yet paradoxically soothing and gentle, said in my head, "NO!" At the very instant the voice spoke within I knew, as though a sudden injection of truth had been admitted into my body -- as through a giant hypodermic needle had administered a life-saving antibiotic -- that YAH'SHUA (JESUS) WAS ELOHIM (GOD). It came so suddenly, so unexpectedly, and so powerfully, that the expression "he leaped out his socks" almost became fulfilled in practice, for I was on my feet like a suddenly released spring -- like a rocket launched into outer space. Without any consciousness of my surroundings -- the room full of people -- I walked out of that room and never returned to a Buddhist meeting. I knew, contrary to all my intellectual disbelief and emotional doubtings, that Yah'shua the Messiah - Jesus Christ as I then knew Him - was in some way Elohim (God), though I had no knowledge of Christian theology, or the Trinity, or any other teaching of the Elohimhead (Godhead). I could, without any deceit from that point onwards, say that Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) was Divine.
The intellectual me was stupefied for a long time afterwards, yet there, within me, was a knowledge of Messiah (Christ) that had been arrived at without any rational process or intellectual brainstorming, without any Scripture study or knowledge of ancient Greek. I had been to no Seminary, felt no particular attraction to Christianity, and had, indeed, disdained it as an inferior religion. I can still remember, to my shame, how at school I would join the scoffers in pouring contempt on the Bible. I can still remember giving approval as one atheistic boy ripped up a Bible whilst at the same time being disgusted that he could treat property so vandalously. I can still remember with shame mocking the Trinity only a little while before in the company of university friends in order to gain popularity. Now that was all gone -- in an instant. I know that this Person, who previously had been little more than an irrelevant historical curiosity, was the Creator of the Universe, the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving Elohim (God).
Baptism of the Holy Spirit
It was to be a while later before I received the baptism of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) and the New Birth which Yah'shua (Jesus) said was absolutely required of one seeking entry into the Kingdom of Heaven. Again, I was not searching for a "spiritual baptism" because I had no idea what it was. All I wanted to know was where to be -- which Group or Church to join -- and I devoted much time in prayer and fasting to find out. My answer came in the New Birth which was even more wonderful than the experience I had had in the Buddhist meeting -- it was without any voice but the feeling was one of utter and complete exultation, causing me to worship Elohim (God) for the first time in my life -- not as a matter of religious observance or a duty to be fulfilled, but as a genuine expression of thanks. Nothing artificial, nothing natural or carnal about it.
You see, I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that Yah'shua (Jesus) is Elohim (God), and so when I hear people denying or minimising His deity, as I did today in reading an E-mail from a fundamentalist Mormon, or as I have heard from so many Jehovah's Witnesses and liberal Christians, I become very distressed in my soul. And I become distressed because I know such people are missing a very, very precious emet (truth) which would bring them untold happiness and a place in heaven.
But did Yah'shua (Jesus) ever claim to be Elohim (God)? What do the Scriptures actually record about this man from Nazareth who appeared so terribly human and like us and who yet demonstrated supernatural abilities such a healing the sick, raising the dead, controlling the elements, and confounding all the greatest religious teachers of His day?
In the passage quoted in the beginning of this article the Elohim (God) of Israel, who is known as Yahweh (though more commonly know by a corrupt rendition, "Jehovah"), declared that Moses was to tell the Israelites that I AM THAT I AM or, as the NIV puts it, I AM WHO I AM. He told Moses to say: "I AM hath sent me unto you."
Who is Yahweh?
Yahweh (God)'s Name is therefore I AM. Not, "I am God" or "I am Yahweh", but "I am". This is not, you will admit, a very usual way to use a verb except in reply to such a question as, "Are you a man?" in which case "I am" simply means "Yes". But this is not the meaning here. Elohim (God) is telling us, through Moses, something of His eternal nature.
When Yah'shua (Jesus) used this Name in reference to Himself they were astounded -- shocked. They knew that this reference was only ever to be used of Elohim (God) Himself. So sacred and revered was this designation that they dared not even speak it themselves, preferring to substitute another Name for Elohim (God) (Adonai = 'Lord') in its place.
We should not therefore be surprised, if Yah'shua (Jesus) is fully Elohim (God), to find Him using this reference to Himself:
Now the [He] in square brackets is not present in the original Greek text and is italicised in the King James Version. The NIV drops the He, saying: "...if you do not believe that I am, you will indeed die in your sins."
"I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am [He], ye shall die in your sins" (Jn.8:24)
Yah'shua (Jesus) stated emphatically that if a person did not believe in His deity (I AM) that he would die in his sins. Isn't that a sobering thought?
Elohim (God) became flesh -- became a man -- died for our sins, and desires to be our Saviour. Is it any wonder, then, that Yah'shua (Jesus) said, "I am the WAY (DERECH), the TRUTH (EMET), and the LIFE" (CHAYIM) (Jn.14:6, emphasis added), for who else but Elohim (God) Almighty could claim to be these things? If Yah'shua (Jesus) were a lesser god or just a man, how could He be the way, the truth, and the life? Only Elohim (God) is these things.
"When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then ye shall know that I AM [He]" (Jn.8:28).
Are you not by now convinced that Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) is Yahweh-Elohim, the "Lord God"? Do you not know that Isaiah said that the Messiah was the "Everlasting Father" (Is.9:6)? If the Messiah, Yah'shua (Jesus Christ), is the Everlasting Father, who is there who is greater than Him?
"Yah'shua (Jesus) said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM" (Jn.8:58). Before Abraham, the father of the Hebrew nation, existed, Yah'shua (Jesus) was there. He pre-existed all mortal men. He was, John tells us, Elohim (God) (Jn.1:1). "Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I AM [He]" (Jn.13:19). Yah'shua (Jesus) here predicted the betrayal of Judas to give evidence that He possessed Elohim's (God's) attribute of omniscience -- that He was all-knowing.
The deity of Yahshua the Messiah -- Jesus Christ -- is one of the cardinal doctrines of the emunah (faith). The full revelation of Elohim (God) is in Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). The I AM of the Tanakh (Old Testament) is the Yah'shua (Jesus) of the New. Anyone who does not believe that Yah'shua (Jesus) is Elohim (God) will die in his sins. In other words, he will not be saved.
True Belief in Messiah
There are many people who believe in Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) but not all of them believe He is Elohim (God). The Mormons believe He is a secondary god, one of three. The Jehovah's Witnesses also believe He is a secondary god, that He is not Yahweh, the eternal I AM. The adherents of the New Age religion and Hindus believe that He is just one of many 'christs', an ascended 'Avatar', and that everyone is a 'christ', and therefore 'God', because all we have to do, they claim, is realise the christ which is already in us. And the Moslems believe that He was just a mortal prophet, and second rate to Mohammed at that. All these people will DIE IN THEIR SINS. These aren't my words. They are Yah'shua's (Jesus's).
Have you, perhaps, never realised that Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) is Elohim (God)? If you have never made this discovery then I urge you, like Peter at Caesarea Phillipi, and Martha when she asked the Saviour to restore her dead brother to life, to ask the Father if this is not true, and then to believe with all your heart.
Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) is Master (Lord, commander), Saviour (deliverer from sin), and Elohim (God) (the great I AM). In Him we may safely put our trust. Amen.
This page was created on 7 April 1998
Last updated on 7 April 1998
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