Debates.


 

The "Oneness" debate.

The following is a debate I had with OvadYah Avrahami of Bible Revelations Ministries.   Mr. Avrahami is an expositor of the "Oneness" doctrine which is the belief that there is one, and only one God as opposed to the prevalent Christian concept of a trinity, i.e. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  "Oneness" therefore teaches that Yahshua/Jesus was and is the Father Himself.  Though I do not subscribe to the concept of the trinity as I have outlined in my statement of faith, I am also compelled to disagree with Mr. Avrahami on the notion that Yahshua has no individual identity apart from the Father.

After studying the four lesson Bible Revelation Course on "Oneness" by Mr. Avrahami located at the following links, I wrote the following reply.

Link to Lesson 1
Link to Lesson 2
Link to Lesson 3
Link to Lesson 4 
 

My Letter of reply.

Shalom OvadYah,

I’m sorry about the misunderstanding of your name and thank you for setting me straight.

I have spent much time going over and reviewing ‘Oneness’ in the 4 lesson Bible Revelation Course you recommended. You have made many excellent points that few others have had the courage or insight to make. For example, the fact that no man may look on God’s face in His full glory and live, yet He obviously manifested Himself on many occasions to humans in a ‘toned down’ or ‘(shielded)’ way. There is very little, in fact nothing of significance that I disagree with in the first lesson. The two points on which I do differ are: The use of the word "Judge" in Gen. 19:9 (there is a type-o here. You have 16:9) is in reference to Lot and not the Angelic beings. And the other point is that I have gone over this particular text concerning the three Angelic beings and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorra several times in the Hebrew text and still see only one as YAHVEH and the other two as angels. But this is a moot point in light of the fact that I agree with you that YAHVEH most certainly can manifest Himself in multiple forms at the same time. The two Points that you make in the summary of lesson one I fully agree with. Namely,

1,The Almighty did appear to different men at different times in different manifestation.

And 2, These manifestations at different times were called "The Word" of "The Angel of God (of YAHVEH)", and as such did not indicate the heavenly beings or servants of the Eternal, but were the appearances of the Almighty Himself.

Lesson 2, I also agree with in principle. The only difference is that my best guess as to how the Father’s name is pronounced is something like YAHU-EH. But I respect your ‘best guess’ and I like your tolerant-of-other best guess’ approach to this matter. I also agree with the three points in the summary of lesson two as well.

The nine points you made in lesson 3, I also fully agree with as well as the five points in the summary. There is one very minor piece of constructive criticism I’d like to offer on lesson three. It is the usage of the word "Cherubims". It is a redundant usage of plural forms. The old KJV made the same mistake but newer translations, including the NKJV, have corrected it. ‘Cherub’ is the English word in singular form. Plural versions could be either ‘Cherubs’, or the Hebrew plural form of ‘Cherubim’. But ‘Cherubims’ is overkill on the plural state of the term. Exodus 25:18,19 in the Hebrew text spells the difference out clearly. Again, I consider this very minor. The only reason I bring it up is because I have made similar mistakes in the past that others have used to make me look ignorant and unworthy of consideration. I’d hate to see the same happen to you when I know you have so much to offer. My philosophy is to give the skeptics as little ground for destructive criticism as possible. That is why I am eager to receive it in a constructive form from others like yourself, as when you made mention of my usage of the word "church". The main thought though is that I am in agreement with what you present in lesson three.

In lesson 4, I find my self in a strange predicament. There is a way in which I basically agree with you, yet I know you will probably have a hard time with it. I don’t recall anywhere in the lesson where you come right out and state that Yahshua has no individual identity apart from the Father, yet it is obvious that this is the point you are trying to make.

In the past 15 years I have had to make many (some drastic) changes in what I believe. Some of them you are aware of like the issue of Paul’s authority as an apostle. Another one is the Christian tradition of the Trinity, which I used to fully endorse. I no longer subscribe to the concept of three in one. These changes have left me looking like an idiot/heretic among many of those who I care about. I have nothing more to loose to consider ‘Oneness’ and I promised you I would give it a fair hearing. I sincerely believe I have. On the other hand, when I hear you say that you have been involved in ‘Oneness’ for 30 years, and that you would die for it, I get a feeling of hopelessness that you yourself could be able to consider another possibility. Yet you have made many of the right statements concerning the human tendency to embrace tradition and that which is beneficial for the moment. You have apparently made some significant changes in what I have recently come to understand traditional ‘Oneness Pentecostals’ believe. In this I find hope of flexibility in your understanding should Godly reasoning prevail. So with that hope, I’d like to offer for your consideration the model that works best with all that I have come to know as the truth. It isn’t Christian trinitarian. It isn’t modern Jewish. It isn’t ‘Oneness’. It isn’t anything that I have been able to find elsewhere!

To give a short overview, and I will explain later, let me say that I believe God the Father is the Most High. He is, as you refer to Him, YAHVEH. The Holy Spirit IS the Father, an omnipresent extension of Himself. He (as you would say about Yahshua) does not have an individual identity apart from the Father again, because He IS the Father. This is in stark contrast to trinitarian Theology. The Son Yahshua (or Yahushua as I like to call Him) however, does have an identity of His own, and He existed with the Father from before creation. The overall picture of creation as I see it is that the Father, with the Son alongside, embarked on this risky, romantic, endeavor of creating man for the purpose of bringing into existence a worthy bride for the Son, i.e. the New Jerusalem. See my chapter, What’s at stake.

When I went through your course I couldn’t help but notice that you did little to address the many passages that clearly imply that Messiah is a person in His own right. You briefly mentioned that some of these passages existed and that there were translation problems involved that you didn’t get into. The problem I have with this is that I know I could quote AT LEAST two passages (without quoting Paul) that indicate Yahshua has His own identity to every passage you quote to suggest that the Son is the Father Himself. This fact alone should be of no small significance.

There is only one model that fits all the data, and surprisingly, it includes most of the tenants you are compelled to argue for! For instance, man rejecting the Father, the Creator and His suffering of the pain and rejection.

There is one fundamental assertion to ‘Oneness’ though that I must take issue with and it appears to be the source of most (if not all) of the problem. I found it in one of your other posts. It is this assumption.

"Either He (Yahshua) is separate from God, therefore not God - or He is God - and then He must of necessity be that one Creator God, YHVH of Israel. There is NOTHING in between these two extremes!"

It is the picture of "One" God and absolutely no others as modern Judaism holds. This tradition has its origins in the doctrine’s of the first century Pharisees. Though the Pharisees absorbed some of the Hellenistic concepts of the attributes which constitute deity, they fought valiantly against concepts of many gods. These were prevalent in Greek culture and the Jewish leaders were doing every thing they could to avoid repeating the sins of their fathers which were responsible for the 70 year exile into Babylon. This one they over-killed on! To this day, Judaism, which fondly traces its roots to the Pharisees, clings tenaciously to the premise of one and only one God. Yahshua Himself said to the Pharisees that they did not know God, and He warned everyone to beware of the leaven (errors) of the Pharisees. In John 10:32-36 the question of Yahshua calling Himself God came up and His answer came from the Psalms where God the Father speaks Himself. The passage in John reads:

Yahshua answered them, "Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?" The Jews answered Him, saying, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God." Yahshua answered them, "Is it not written in your law , ‘I said "You are gods"’? "If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), "do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, "I am the Son of God’?

The Psalm reads:

I said, "You are gods (Elohim), and all of you are children of the Most High.

It should be obvious from these that there are many gods. The title of "Most High" itself implies that there are other lesser gods. The passages from the prophets that appear to have God saying the opposite of the above quotes like Isaiah 44:6 are classic examples of how Jewish thought has played a role in translating and interpretation. In Isaiah it says: "Besides Me there is no God." This sounds like God is saying there are no other gods. But the Hebrew word "bal’adey" translated "besides" means "without". It could also mean "not equal with". What God is saying here is not in conflict with the fact that He calls others "gods" as in the Psalms. He is saying that without Him there exists no other god. He is the Highest from whom all other gods have their origin and existence, and none are His equal. There are other passages similar to this that also have had weak translations. The commandment to have ‘no other gods before Me’, implies that there are other gods as well. We are not to put any of them above Him or even as His equal. Again the Hebrew word "al" translated "before" NEVER means "apart from" or "other than"! It literally means "being high" or "being suspended over". God is not saying that man is to believe that there is no other God apart from or besides Him. He is saying to have no other god over, or higher than Him because He IS the "Most High". In the reference "Hear oh Israel, YAHVEH or God is one", the Hebrew word for "one", "echad" also means the "first" carrying the idea of a cardinal like "The Highest". I believe there are many gods above us humans. There are principalities, angels, sons of God, and THE Son of God who is at the right hand of the Most High, the Father. When the angels came to herald the birth of the Messiah they sang, "Glory to God in the Highest". This literally means, "Glory to God the Most High", or "Glory to the Most High God".

There is one other aspect of this discussion that I need to address. I don’t want to be accused of neglecting to address the passages where our Messiah definitely speaks as though He is the Father. There are several ways to look at this. Sometimes it is helpful to study the tactics of the enemy, Satan, and work things backwards to get a better grasp of things. Satan had never created anything but perversion. He can only pervert a design that has already been created by God. The picture I am talking about is the concept of demon possession. The Idea that one being may be inhabited by another being is God’s design. Originally, the idea was to posses man with Himself. Satan comes along and perverts this beautiful concept and attempts to get one of his demonic cronies to inhabit a person instead. We have several examples recorded in the Bible of demons speaking through individuals. When we read that the demoniac said to Yahushua, "What have I to do with You, Yahushua, Son of the Most High God", who are we hearing? It is not the man, but the demons. Are we to conclude then that the man had no Identity of his own? Of course not. After the demons left is says the man was in his right mind. By the same token, when we hear Yahushua say something like, "Have I been so long with you Phillip, and still you don’t know Me?" we are hearing the voice of the Spirit of The Father inhabiting Yahushua. And it is both the Father and the Son who were rejected by men. We also have this curious statement of Yahushua in John 3 where He is conversing with Nicodemus. After referring to Himself in the singular personal pronoun of "I", Yahushua then says, "We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness". I hear Two individual beings speaking in agreement together!

This is the long and the short of it for me. I have by no means addressed all the passages that you have quoted but I believe that they all can be understood in light of these two premises. If you would like to question me on some specific passages please do. I don’t want this to be the last word, or the end of our discussion.

If we should remain at odds over ‘Oneness’ I hope that we can still continue to have a mutual respect for each other. I noticed that you have the Netzarim on your links page and I know they do not except the Deity of Yahushua. I am closer to you than they are. In this I find hope for continued mutual acceptance. I must close for now. Shalom in Him, Scott

Mr. Avrahami's reply:

Note,
To help in following the debate, I have rendered my original letter in black, Mr. Avrahami's  reply in dark blue with the left column inset once, and my reply to his reply in light blue and inset twice.

Subject: Reply to "Oneness" from Scott
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 1999 00:06:49 -0500
To: bibrev@pix.co.za

Thanks so much for your reply.
My answers are interpolated in your letter

S Nelson wrote

I'm sorry about the misunderstanding of your name and thank you for
setting me straight.

No problem.  It is interesting how particular we all are about the correct forms of our names - yet believers will so often maintain, re the Scared Names, that "it doesn't really matter - He knows that if I call Him 'Jesus', I am calling on Him!?

I have spent much time going over and reviewing "Oneness" in the
4 lesson Bible Revelation Course you recommended. You have made many
excellent points that few others have had the courage or insight to make.
For example, the fact that no man may look on God's face in His full
glory and live, yet He obviously manifested Himself on many occasions to
humans in a "toned down" or "shielded" way. There is very little, in fact nothing of significance that I disagree with in the first lesson. The two points on which I do differ are: The use of the word "Judge" in Gen. 19:9 (there is a type-o here. You have 16:9) is in reference to Lot and not the Angelic beings.

How come this Scripture speaks of "Judge of all the earth"?  Is Lot Judge of all the earth?  Why is this so important a difference to you?  Please explain your view.
Thanks - I have corrected the error.

This Scripture (Gen.19:9) does not speak of "Judge of all the earth". That phrase is used earlier by Abraham (18:16) when he was speaking to the only person left with him after "the men", "the two angels" (18:22 and 19:1 respectively) had left for Sodom. The reason this is important is because in your Bible course you try to make the point that the two angels were also manifestations of YHVH because the men of Sodom supposedly called them "Judge". Quoting from your work...

"Note also from ch. 19, how at Sodom, the actions and words of the 2 Angels are recorded as applying to one person. Also, how the crowd refers to these (or the) man/men as the "Judge" (19:9)."

The point is that the men of Sodom were not referring to the angels as "Judge", but were obviously (without question) referring to Lot as "acting as a judge". This is spoken in a totally different scene by totally different players than the earlier scene of Abraham with YHVH so there is no context connection either. You can not legitimately use this as proof that the angels were manifestations of YHVH Himself.

If someone comes to me and try's to tell me that two plus two equals five, and I can take a quick look at my fingers and know it's really four, it is going to be impossible for me to trust and following such a person on into more difficult equations when that person continues to hold out for such a blatant error!  It should be important to both of us. To me as a seeker of the truth, and it should be to you because it is your credibility that is at stake. Your exegetical abilities are fast coming into question my brother! 

And the other point is that I have gone over this particular text concerning the three Angelic beings and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorra several times in the Hebrew text and still see only one as YAHVEH and the other two as angels. But this is a moot point in light of the fact that I agree with you that YAHVEH most certainly can manifest Himself in multiple forms at the same time.

I have also now checked the Hebrew and it still is clear to me the way I understand it.   Although, yes, Lot addressed them as 'Adoney' (most probably not realising that 'they' were YHVH), the context is quite clear from Gen 18:1,2 where YHVH appears as 3 'men' or 'angels' - and later proceed to Lot.  Note also 19:23 where the Hebrew is clear: "YHVH 9who is speaking to Lot on earth - as 2 men) makes fir come down from YHVH (the Spirit Being) in Heaven". I dont think I am reading anythhing into it - but, as you say, you agree anyway about His ability to do such.

How it is that you figure the text of 18:1,2 demands the interpretation that YHVH appeared as three men is a hard one for me to comprehend. If the text demands (or even hints) this, I would have expected trinitarian Christianity to have jumped all over this a long time ago as proof of the trinity!   Nowhere have I even heard of such a possible interpretation among Christian theologians!
Your reference to 19:23 must be a typo. I think you meant 19:13 and probably14 as well. In 13, the Angels say they were sent by God to destroy Sodom, then in 14 Lot says that God will destroy Sodom.  Is it too hard to comprehend that YHVH, as commander and chief of all the angelic beings (Lord of Hosts), is responsible for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah because He gave the orders to His angels to carry it out?  He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah through His angels much the way Lincoln destroyed slavery through allied forces in the civil war. Many such examples could be cited. There is no more need to conclude from this passage that the angels were YHVH Himself than there is to conclude that the pilot of the plane that dropped the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were really President Harry Truman himself! God speaks of Himself many times as Israel's deliver from Egypt. In Exodus 3 God tells Moses at the burning bush that He has come down to deliver Israel and then sends Moses to do the Job. If that weren't enough, God even said He would make Moses "Elohim" to his brother Aaron and to
pharaoh... Exodus 4:16 and 7:1 respectively. According to your logic then, Moses must certainly have been another manifestation of the Father Himself. 

The two Points that you make in the summary of lesson one I fully agree with. Namely, 1,The Almighty did appear to different men at different times in different manifestation. And 2, These manifestations at different times were called "The Word" of "The Angel of God (of YAHVEH)", and as such did not indicate the heavenly beings of servants of the Eternal, but were the appearances of the Almighty Himself.

Lesson 2, I also agree with in principle. The only difference is that my best guess as to how the Father's name is pronounced is something like YAHU-EH.

I see a lot of support for that form on the Net.  I agree with the YAHU part, but there is no other occurence in Hebrew where the final 'Hey' becomes 'eh'.  Is it not rather a Silent Final Hey, making it YAHU ?  That, I could agree with. Your comments please.

I beg to differ on the final 'Hey' ascertain. One example of several would be 'baleh' (Strongs 1087) meaning 'old'. 'Balah' (Strongs 1088) on the other hand, is the feminine version of the same and the name of a city in Israel. It appears that the final 'Hey' as 'ah' is not a hard rule. The difference seams to be in the gender value of the word. Therefore I tend to think that Elohim's name would not have the familiar Hebrew feminine ring of 'ah' to it. But again, this is only an educated best-guess.

But I respect your "best guess" and I like your tolerant-of-other best guesses approach to this matter.

Thanks

I also agree with the three points in the summary of lesson two as well.

Well - let's see later-on?

The nine points that you made in lesson 3, I also fully agree with as well as the five points in the summary. There is one very minor piece of constructive criticism I'd like to offer on lesson three. It is the usage of the word "Cherubims".

Point taken - Thanks!  It's simply stupid traditional mimicking! - Oi!   There's so much to get rid of!

I hear you brother.

The only reason I bring it up is because I have made similar mistakes in the past that others have used to make me look ignorant and unworthy of consideration. I'd hate to see the same happen to you when I know you have so much to offer. My philosophy is to give the skeptics as little ground for destructive criticism as possible. That is why I am eager to receive it in a constructive form from others like yourself, as when you made mention of my usage of the word "church".

They will find SOMETHING to condemn you for!

The main thought though is that I am in agreement with what you present in lesson three.

Wow!  We're nearly there!

In lesson 4, I find my self in a strange predicament. There is a way in which I basically agree with you, yet I know you will probably have a hard time with it. I don't recall anywhere in the lesson where you come right out and state that Yahshua has no individual identity apart from the Father, yet it is obvious that this is the point you are trying to make.

I dont follow this?   Are you not reading something into it on my behalf?

Depending on how we define 'Identity'.  If Messiah had an ID book in Heaven, I maintain it would read "YHVH _ Creator and God of Israel"  He obviously "left this ID Book in Heaven" when He manifested Himself, else they would never have Crucified Him (1 Cor 2:8 "It is a wisdom that none of the masters of this age have ever known, or they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory.")

Remember, you can't prove anything to me by quoting Paul anymore!

What I am trying to show, is that Messiah is the Manifestation of YHVH.  As Messiah He HAD an Individual separate Identity from the Father - for 30 years.  He was Man - Flesh - though God, the Father's Manifestation - a Human Body with Human feelings, capabilities and limitations - though indwelt by the All-Powerful Spirit of YHVH = Man-God ... God-Man.  As such NOT a separate Being from YHVH) Who supposedly co-existed with the Father.  He was the Manifestation of the Father.  But as Man, yes, He had 'another' Identity - a Human Identity.  Coming to think of it - Just as YHVH has multiplicity of Identity - if we take 'Identity' to mean'Designation' (YHVH Creator, Spirit, Judge, Saviour), in the same way, Messiah had multiplicity of Identity - the human Saviour (Lamb) while the Heavenly Spirit God YHVH.  Of couse, God is omniscient, omnipresent, thus Messiah, Who by my understanding is the Same Being just in another Form,  must also have omniscience and omnipresence - though for 30 years, in the flesh, that Fleshly Manifestation was limited as to mobility, desire, power, human feeling of hunger, pain, etc.

Why should this be? Is this not rather a clue that He is not the Father?

Now - that is a mouth full!  Giberish to you?  Not to me.  Not once we have some understanding of Omnipresence and Manifestability.  Something that cleared my understanding is the following extended thinking on the 3 Men at Sodom.  If YHVH can manifest as 3 men, then He could also as 4, 5, 10, 100 - an army of men - all talking differently, busy with different actions, some sleeping, etc - but ALL manifestations of YHVH - the ONE YHVH! As Messiah, He can manifest in a flash and appear out of nowhere -as a tangible human body. bodies,  As Messiah, he simply manifested as Flesh from Flesh, to protect the proper Geneaology according to the Prophetic promise.

Gibberish? Well, inside-out and stood on its head anyway.

In the past 15 years I have had to make many (some drastic) changes in what I believe. Some of them you are aware of like the issue of Paul's authority as an apostle. Another one is the Christian tradition of the Trinity, which I used to fully endorse. I no longer subscribe to the concept of three in one.

Then we are on track!  Problem is which way do you go from there with regard to His identity - up, or down?  Refer my reasoning in attached letter to a Forum just today.

Since I think you have logic stood on its head, what is 'up' to me is naturally going to appear 'down' to you.

These changes have left me looking like an idiot/heretic among many of those who I care about. I have nothing more to loose to consider "Oneness" and I promised you I would give it a fair hearing. I sincerely believe I have.

I like your attitude - it can only lead to Truth acceptance.

Do all roads of truth lead your way?

On the other hand, when I hear you say that you have been involved in "Oneness" for 30 years, and that you would die for it, I get a feeling of hopelessness that you yourself could be able to consider another possibility.

Do I notice fear, doubt?  Grant me the benefit of the doubt that just perhaps this 30 years have matured me in a Revelationery Subject.  Please!

No fear at all, but doubt that you may be capable of recognizing in yourself the stubborn pride you have so eloquently described and pointed out in others. As far as the 'just trust me' syndrome, this is one of the quickest ways to get me to just brush you off. Nobody does my thinking for me anymore. If you want me to consider your position you are going to have to talk sense. 30 years is nothing in a world that has been full of non-sense for nearly 6000 years.
In my book, any mysterious doctrine that can only be comprehended through 'special revelation' has 3 strikes against it from the start. 

Yet you have made many of the right statements concerning the human tendency to embrace tradition and that which is beneficial for the moment. You have apparently made some significant changes in what I have recently come to understand traditional "Oneness Pentecostals" believe.

I'm not sure I understand your point, but you admit your short-lived experience with Oneness. 

What I meant by this is that you believe all of the Law remains valid and you have questioned (possibly even rejected) Paul's authority. I don't believe this is typical of traditional 'Oneness Pentecostalism'. This then displays to me that you are at least somewhat willing to make difficult changes if reason calls for it.

I have lived with and thrived on it for 30 years and longer.  I have spent days and years in reasoning with people on the highest levels - and I still get tongue twisted like here above!  But I am a few miles ahead of you, it seems.

The question remains, is 'oneness' the truth? Maybe the difficulty in explaining it is a clue!  If it is not the truth, then you are miles down the wrong road!  I simply cannot afford to let someone else do my thinking for me on the basis of their longevity with a doctrine. The fact is, the longer a person embraces a position, especially one that they have defended so vigorously, the less likely it is that they will ever be able to even consider backtracking.   

In this I find hope of flexibility in your understanding should Godly reasoning prevail. So with that hope, I'd like to offer for your consideration the model that works best with all that I have come to know as the truth. It isn't Christian trinitarian. It isn't modern Jewish. It isn't 'Oneness'. It isn't anything that I have been able to find elsewhere!

To give a short overview, and I will explain later, let me say that I believe God the Father is the Most High. He is, as you refer to Him, YAHVEH. The Holy Spirit IS the Father, an omnipresent extension of Himself. He (as you would say about Yahshua) does not have an individual identity apart from the Father again, because He IS the Father. This is in stark contrast to trinitarian Theology.

We agree thusfar!

The Son Yahshua (or Yahushua as I like to call Him) however, does have an identity of His own, and He existed with the Father from before creation. The overall picture of creation as I see it is that
the Father, with the Son alongside, embarked on this risky, romantic, endeavor of creating man for the purpose of bringing into existence a worthy bride for the Son, the New Jerusalem. See my chapter,  What is at stake.

Here we DIFFER!  There are strong Scriptural supports for the contrary.  God knows no OTHER God, co-existent (non-Scriptural term) Son or whatever - JUST HIM!   YHVH!  If you do not know the exact Scriptures, I shall supply it - it is in my Web Site studies also.

You are right in that we differ, but I contend that there are more than strong Scriptural supports for God recognizing many other lesser gods. Example Psalm 82:6. This is the point I made in my original letter that you ignored as I will show.  You also ignored my addressing the scriptures that appear to imply that God knows no other God. The letter that you attached, which you make reference to does nothing to address these ascertains either, as will also be seen.

When I went through your course I could not help but notice that you did little to address the many passages that clearly imply that Messiah is a person in His own right.

For 30 years, yes and only then!

You briefly mentioned that some of these passages existed and that there were translation problems involved that you didn't get into. The problem I have with this is that I know I could quote AT LEAST two passages (without quoting Paul) that indicate Yahshua has His own identity to every passage you quote to suggest that the Son is the Father Himself. This fact alone should be of no small significance.

I agree with you as regards His 30 years on earth.  Before and after, HE IS YHVH Himself

Oh contraire!  Right from the beginning of the Bible, the Father regularly referred to the Messiah as someone other than Himself. Gen.3:15. The Father speaking to Satan about the Messiah says,

'He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel".

And what about Psalm 110:1 for another example? This one Yahshua quoted Himself.

"YHVH said to Adoni, 'sit at My right hand till I make Your enemies Your footstool".

Here David is quoting the Father's words to Yahshua. Are we to assume that God is talking to Himself, telling Himself to be beside Himself?
After Yahshua's "30 years on earth", these words were written concerning Him,

"...and (He) has made us kings and priests to His God and Father,..." Rev. 1:5.

Then there is this throne room scene at the end of this age pictured in Revelation 4:10 - 5:7.

"...the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever...saying, 'You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.' And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back,... And no one in heaven or on the earth was found worthy to open and read the scroll... But one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep. Behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll... And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures... stood a Lamb as though it had been slain,... Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne."

What more can I say?  How more plain can the picture be? There are plenty of references to Yahshua's distinct identity from the Father both before and after His 30 (actually 33+) years on earth.

 

There is only one model that fits all the data, and surprisingly, it includes most of the tenants you are compelled to argue for! For instance, man rejecting the Father, the Creator and His suffering of the pain and rejection.

There is one fundamental assertion to 'Oneness' though that I must take issue with and it appears to be the source of most (if not all) of the problem. I found it in one of your other posts. It is this assumption.
   
"Either He (Yahshua) is separate from God, therefore not God - or He is God - and then He must of necessity be that one Creator God, YHVH of Israel. There is NOTHING in between these two extremes!"

I expound on this in a logical sequence (and see no other alternatives) in attached letter.

It is the picture of "One" God and absolutely no others as modern Judaism holds. This tradition has its origins in the doctrines of the first century Pharisees. Though the Pharisees absorbed some of the Hellenistic concepts of the attributes which constitute deity, they fought valiantly against concepts of many gods. These were prevalent in Greek culture and the Jewish leaders were doing every thing they could to avoid repeating the sins of their fathers that were responsible for the 70 year exile into Babylon.
This one they over-killed on! To this day, Judaism, which fondly traces its roots to the Pharisees, clings tenaciously to the premise of one and only one God.
Yahshua Himself said to the Pharisees that they did not know God, and He warned everyone to beware of the leaven (errors) of the Pharisees.

This is the starting point of popular anti=Semmitism - the Pharisees. 

I resent being associated in any way with anti-Semitism. When I refer to the Pharisees, I am talking about a small group of Jews who wanted to do all the thinking for the nation, and I am speaking more of their doctrine than I am of the persons. I can take issue with the doctrines of group without hating them personally, let alone hate their entire race!  I consider myself the most pro-Semite Gentile this world has seen in a long time! I envy the birthright of anyone who is a direct descendant of Israel. I love their God and I know that they are favored over me, a Gentile. I know that my only hope of coming in a close second is if I love them and lift them up above me to their rightful place. Please, don't ever associate me with anti-Semitism. 

YAHSHUAH condemned their traditions but underscored their authority Matt 23:2. He NEVER condemned the Jewish System.  The Oneness is as old as Judaism - as old as Adam!  As old as the Bible. 

Wrong. As I show, and you ignore.

It is the foundation of the Jewsih faith since its inception.  It was built on this tenet as a foundational tenet. It did NOT start with the Pharisees!  

Oh but it did. It may have been kicked around by individuals before, but it became official-Jewish-doctrine with them.

The devils know it and they shudder!  JAM 2:19 "You believe in the one God; you do well: the devils have the same belief  and they tremble with fear".

The issue being taken by James in this passage is one's belief, not one-God. The "one God" phrase is incidental to the subject of the verse. Reading into it your interpretation is not the intent of what James is trying to communicate. It would not be out of line to read this as, "You believe in the one Most High?" As far as what the demons believe and fear, listen to their words;

"What have I to do with You, Yahshua, Son of the Most High God? I beg You , do not torment me!"  Luke 8:28


Again, I bring up the term "Most High" and how it implies that there are others of lesser status in my original letter which you ignore.    

 

I shall refrain from at this stage answering Scripture on Scripture - refer attached for this very reason.  My Web Site is brimful with answers on these and other objections.  I do however insert one or more remarks further down

Why bail out here? I'm just getting to the good stuff!

In John 10:32-36 the question of Yahshua calling Himself God came up and His answer came from the Psalms where God the Father speaks Himself. The passage in John reads:

Yahshua answered them, "Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?" The Jews answered Him, saying, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God."Yahshua answered them, "Is it not written in your law , 'I said "You are gods"'? "If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), "do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, "I am the Son of God"?

The Psalm reads:

I said, "You are gods (Elohim), and all of you are children of the  Most High.

It should be obvious from these that there are many gods. The title of "Most High" itself implies that there are other lesser gods. The passages from the prophets that appear to have God saying the opposite of the above quotes like Isaiah 44:6 are classic examples of how Jewish thought has played a role in translating and interpretation. In Isaiah it says: "Besides Me there is no God." This sounds like God is saying there are no other gods. But the Hebrew word "bal'adey" translated "besides" means "without". It could also mean "not equal with". What God is saying here is not in conflict with the fact that He calls others "gods" in the Psalms. He is saying that without Him there exists no other god. He is the Highest from whom all other gods have their origin and existence, and none are His equal. There are other passages similar to this that also have had weak translations. The commandment to have 'no other gods before Me', implies that there are other gods as well. We are not to put any of them above Him or even as His equal.

THAT is the danger if YAHSHUAH is YHVH indeed.  All but the Oneness theory, succeeds in putting Some other Unknown God ABOVE YAHSHUA if indeed He is YHVH!  VER VERY dangerous!  Refer attached

On the contrary, the picture I present is the only one that fits all the pertinent data and puts no one above the Father (YHVH), not even Yahshua. This is the traditional Jewish picture of Messiah. My position is dangerous only "if" you are right about Yahshua. But if you are wrong, you are guilty of the very same thing! You end up putting Yahshua as the Father's equal!  Yahshua did say, "My Father is greater than I." John 14:28  We should take Him at His word and leave it at that.

Again the Hebrew word "al" translated "before" NEVER means "apart from" or "other than"! It literally means "being high" or "being suspended over". God is not saying that man is to believe that there
is no other God apart from or besides Him. He is saying to have no other god over, or higher than Him because He IS the "Most High". In the reference "Hear oh Israel, YAHVEH or God is one", the Hebrew word for "one", "echad" also means the "first" carrying the idea of a cardinal like "The Highest". I
believe there are many gods above us humans. There are principalities, angels, sons of God, and THE Son of God who is at the right hand of the Most High the Father. When the angels came to herald the birth of the Messiah they sang, "Glory to God in the Highest". This literally means, "Glory to
God the Most High", or "Glory to the Most High God".

There is one other aspect of this discussion that I need to address. I don't want to be accused of neglecting to address the passages where our Messiah definitely speaks as though He is the Father.

Refer attached letter

It's to bad your letter does nothing to address my position on this.  Are you brushing me off?

There are several ways to look at this. Sometimes it is helpful to study the tactics of the
enemy, Satan, and work things backwards to better get a grasp of things. Satan has never created anything but perversion. He can only pervert a design that has already been created by God. The picture I am talking about is the concept of demon possession. The Idea that one being can be inhabited
by another being is God's design. Originally God's idea was to posses man with Himself. Satan comes along and perverts this beautiful concept and tries to get one of his demonic cronies to inhabit a person instead. We have several examples recorded in the Bible of demons speaking through individuals. When we read that the demoniac said to Yahushua, "What have I to do with You, Yahushua, Son of the Most High God", who are we hearing? It is not the man, but the demons. Are we to conclude then that the man had no Identity of his own? Of course not. After the demons left is says the man was in his right mind. By the same token, when we hear Yahushua say something like, "Have I been so long with you Phillip, and still you don't know Me?" we are hearing the voice of the Spirit of The Father inhabiting Yahushua. And it is both the Father and the Son who were rejected by men. We also have this curious statement of Yahushua in John 3 where He is conversing with Nicodemus. After referring to Himself in the singular personal pronoun of "I", Yahushua then says, "We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness". I hear Two individual beings speaking in agreement together!

This is the long and the short of it for me. I have by no means addressed all the passages that you have quoted but I believe that they all can be understood in light of these two premises. If you would like to question me on some specific passages please do. I don't want this to be the last word, or the end of our discussion.

Thanks for considering  We shall proceed as you suggest here

If we should remain at odds over 'Oneness' I hope that we can still continue to have a mutual respect for each other. I noticed that you have the Netzarim on your links page and I know they do not except the Deity of Yahushua. I am closer to you than they are. In this I find hope for continued mutual acceptance. I must close for now. Shalom in Him, Scott
 

I differ with them, some after furious anti-Oneness discussions, yet promote their Pages. I have linked yours in Israel already, but due to technical error, it did not record on my Server.  I have now added you to the Links list and to the bottom of my Paul tract at

http://www.revelations.org.za/Passion.htm

Be Blessed

OvadYah

The Attached Letter

The following is the attached letter which was sent with the above response, in answer to my original letter. It is in response to a letter of debate by 'Don' at Qumran Bet discussion forum. A link to the forum is provided at the end of this page.
I insert a few remarks again in this blue format.


Don, in his reply to Ovadyah 17 April, states:

"The Messiah is not and never has been THE ONLY TRUE ELOHIM - YHWH!
(John 17:3) You had better read and understand it"!

Strange how 2 totally opposing views can be attained from one single verse.  Don,
This particular Scripture has been used by me for many years as a 'KeyText' for
my Oneness proclamations!  I used it on my letterheads below the heading. You
however, seem to read and understand exactly the opposite from it.  Reminds
me of the flower - the bee extracts lifegiving honey, the spider extracts deadly poison
from the same flower!

The question remains, who has the honey, and who has the poison?


How shall we ever reach agreement?  It must be very disconcerting for those who
are not yet well founded in the Scriptures - as it also is for us who differ so widely
on the same Source material!
You ask my views on certain other Scriptures.  We can quote Scriptures left   right and center - and we shall get nowhere in the process.  Allow me therefore to suggest the following:


I am going to answer you by way of summarising or concluding the matter for
which we are all well versed in the various 'flower' Scriptures.  For that reason I
am not going to quote Scripture here - which gives my opponents the ideal rocks to
throw at me. I do so also because I am not under estimating the knowledge of those who partake in this forum - I respect their knowledge. My Web Site testifies to the Scriptural support which normally underscores my reasoning.  Passing alternative texts back and forth in this discussion merely results in sidetracking from the issue, by jumping from conclusion to conclusion without committing to anything.  I shall happily supply any specifics which anyone may wish to take me up on.

Including me?


Now then - I conclude from your statements that you believe that Messiah,
at the top end,  is NOT Elohim - i.e. YHVH the Father.  What you believe 'at the
bottom',  is not very clear,  viz. whether you regard Him as Divine at all; whether
merely as a man (as JW's do) - or whether above the angels but below the Father,
etc etc etc.


I do not believe that there are any grounds for any well scholared believer to
maintain that Messiah is NOT God at all.  It seems that our differences (especially
in this specific discussion) pertain to the DEGREE of His Deity - if, for starters,
that is not a rediculous statement to make!  'Degrees of Deity'?  It is like claiming
degrees of pregnancy.  Either she is pregnant or she is not.  The actual pregnancy,
while it may be at various stages or health forms, is still pregnancy.  I think to talk
of 'degrees of Deity' is a contradiction of terms!  Either He is God, or He is not God.  Either He is Divine, or He is not Divine!  Are there degrees of Holiness for the One Supreme Deity?

This is right where the question is at. Yes, there are degrees of Deity as I mentioned earlier. We have the 'Most High' and lesser gods right down to man. The 'Most High' is also the Most Holy because there are degrees of holiness. This is also plain to see in the Temple layout. There is the Holy place, and the Most Holy place. The Spirit of the Father, The Most High, dwelt in the Most Holy place. To abandon Scripture for a metaphor like pregnancy is a bad turn to say the least. There is nothing that can't be supported with a metaphor! Metaphors are handy and useful, Yahshua used them and I do as well. But they should never be used to establish a truth. They are for clarification purposes. It's Scriptural truth first, and clarifying metaphor second. One could easily use a metaphor to describe the Scriptural concept of degrees of Deity as well.  

How then can we classify Messiah as 'a Lesser God" as all these theories intimate - like the Tritniy (the topic of this discussion); a 'Compound Unity' and the latest 'Two YHVH's' theory - where one of the YHVH's is a "lesser" YHVH,  which position obviously is reserved for Messiah! (For my own soul's sake, I shall publically pray "YHVH forgive me for allowing these fingers to even type this sacrilege!")

If some of us then agree that He can not be a 'lesser God', then the next argument
will be, that He is on "Equal ground with YHVH, the Father".  This brings us right
back to the Trinity theory, which I notice most serious Hebraic Roots Restorers
and members of this Forum discard, correctly, as 'pagan'.  It is for THIS obvious
reason that the Trinity was devised, i.e. to make Him 'equal' with the Father,
thereby admitting that He IS God, as Scripture teaches, but yet denying Him full
Deity (if ever there were 'less than 100% Deity'!).  Fact is, as much as Trinty teaches that He IS God (so as not to be totally unscriptural by even modest standards!), as much it rushes in to correct the believer that He is NOT God - refer


http://www.revelations.org.za/WrongTrinity.htm

It is for the very same reason that the 'Compound Unity' theory has been devised,
i.e. to make Him God, but not THE God - as also the 2 YHVH's theory! Messiah
is 'only' that 'other' YHVH - not the YHVH to Whom all Glory and Honour belongs!

This is all moot since I do subscribe to the picture of Yahshua  being a lesser God.

Scripture is emphatic that YHVH "knows NO other God" or Saviour but Himself
and He is emphatic that NO other God or YHVH shall be worshipped but He
Himself - and He guards that Honour with a Divine 'Jealousy'!

As I have mentioned, YHVH does recognize other Elohim (gods). Psalm 82:6. And yes, He is the source of all Salvation. Salvation He has accomplished through His Son, the same way that He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah through the two angels as mentioned above.

It therefore should not require much intelligence or ingenuity to arrive at the
Scriptural Conclusion that if Messiah is Divine; if He has purported 'Equality" with
YHVH the Father; if He is God as Scripture claims - then He must be that  One
True YHVH Himself!

And this is where the subject becomes explosive for 3 reasons:

- Contrary Traditional teaching and understanding
- seeming contradictory Scriptural statements, and, most of all:
- the spirit of rebellion against this Supremacy, as revealed by Lucifer in His
rebellion against YHVH, dragging many heavenly beings into his quarter, and
having fought for millenia, infiltrating the thinking of mankind on the subject in his
endeavours to overthrow John 17:3 - Don's first quoted Scripture and my selected
emblem for the Oneness!  "And THIS is Life Everlasting, that you shall KNOW...
(the Father)  and  (the Son)."- i.e. the ONLY conclusive deduction, as discussed
above,  namely that Messiah IS YHVH.

So to disagree with you is now Satanic? Pretty heady! I agree with Don on the interpretation of this passage. Let me quote the entire passage of John 17:3.

"And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Yahshua the Messiah whom You have sent."


In conclusion -
If you still insist, Don,  that He is not the Supreme One YHVH,  then what do you
do with the following 3 Scriptural tenets:

1) Messiah's verbal claims, as recorded in Scripture, to be God, the Great I AM,
the FATHER? - claims for which He was stoned and eventually crucified!  His
contemporaries did NOT misunderstand Him.

I'll answer this. This I have explained above as the Spirit of the Father speaking through the Son. If your interpretation of this phenomenon is correct then we must conclude that David was also YHVH. In Psalm 91, the Psalmist (assuming it is David) starts out his first 13 verses as a person stating facts when suddenly in verse 14 YHVH begins speaking in the first person;

"Because he has set his love on Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation"

Can you imagine what the religious leaders of then or even now would like to do to a person spoke these words from their own mouth? Should we deduce from this passage that David was really YHVH Himself? The Father is very capable of speaking in the first person by His Spirit through another individual. Many quotes from the prophets could be cited as well. This is the case with the words of Yahshua that sound Like the Father speaking in the first person.

And yes, they did to Him exactly what they did to the prophets. Should we then assume the prophets were YHVH?


2) The cross-reference statements between Old and New Testament which explicitly claim that Messiah IS YHVH of the 'Old' Testament  And here I must quote 1 Cor 10:4 and verse 9 and John 1:1 and others (No erudite scholar will today deny the existence of the "pre-incarnated' YAHSHUAH").

In spite of the fact that you can't prove anything to me by Paul anymore, you are reading way more into his words than even he is saying in Corinthians. And I have no problems with John 1:1

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God."

Yahshua pre-existed with the Father as a lesser (number 2, only begotten son of) God.


3) The fact that Messiah accepted worship from man and angels and that He will be worshipped at His Coming and thereafter.

Absolutely. The Father gave Him the right to be worshiped because He earned it. We are not to have any other gods before YHVH. The only way to put another before Him is to obey another to the disobedience of Him. The Father and the Son are in perfect agreement. To obey Yahshua is to obey the Father. To worship the Son is no threat to the Father. Yahshua said, "all authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth". Matt. 28:18 Question. Who gave Yahshua this authority? Himself?


I put it to you, that either
- He was an Imposter
- or He really IS the Father.


To accept the latter, obviously requires bridging many difficult questions: "Did He
pray to Himself?" etc. The Key to unlocking the answers to these questions lies in
understanding Divine OMNIPRESENCE and the Power of Divine Manifestability.
This Key, in short: As Omnipresent Spirit, the Father manifested Himself as a
human seed in an Israeli woman's womb, to create Himself a human Body to walk
earth at first-hand human experience and to succeed human nature as a human and
to pay the Highest penalty as The Sacrificial Lamb of YHVH.  When YHVH died on the Stake, most brutally mudered by His own Creation, His Spirit was still Omnipresently present throughout the Universe!  Thus He could say: "Break down
this temple, and in 3 days I  (YAHSHUAH) will resurrect it again!" - thru His
omnipresent Eternal Spirit.

Again, this ramble is inside out and on its head. The Father was again speaking through the Son when He said, "Break down this temple and in three days I will raise it up again".


THIS is the Truth that Lucifer hates and opposes with all sorts of reasonings of a
'multiplicity' God, with the sole purpose to deny Messiah His Supreme Throne,
Prophecy tells us that he challenges to exalt his throne above that of YHVH.

Any serious striving Messianic believer should therefore realise the danger of
placing or proclaiming another 'father' above the True Father - YHVH of Israel
Who manifested Himself as YAHUSHUAH the Messiah!

I know of no one who has proclaimed another "father" at all, let alone one equal to, or even "above" the true Father!  Strange accusations!


That is all I have to say here.  The rest of this Proclamation is fully backed by
Scripture and is contained in my Web Site at:


http://www.revelations.org.za

You choose which Father you wish to have ON the Throne - my choice is YAHUSHUAH, the Eternal Creator God of Israel!

OvadYah Avrahami


My Last Reply

As can be seen, You have not addressed the two main points that I have made complete with Scripture references. In short they are;

1.   It is apparent that God recognizes other "Elohim" as in Psalm 82:6 which Yahshua quoted Himself. God is also know as the "Most High", thereby implying other lesser gods.

2.   The passages where Yahshua sounds like He is the Father Himself are those where the Father is speaking through the Son, by His Spirit.

On these two premises I rest my case. Is the reason that you did not address these because you can see a better working model than your own?

I look forward to hearing from you.  In Him,  Scott

 

Input