‘Echad’ or Trinity

“Hear O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one”  (Deuteronomy 6:4).

“I and the Father are one” (John 10:30).

Within Christian theology, there is a tenet known as the trinity also called the ‘three in one Godhead.’ To explain this principle, an egg is often used.  It is one entity having three parts: the shell, the yolk and the white.  Water is also used to explain this concept: solid, liquid and gas.

The Greek word trinity comes from a Latin word trinitas meaning the ‘number three’ or a ‘triad.’   Theophilus of Antioch first used this word in the second century in reference to God as God, the Word and His Wisdom. Tertullian was the first church father to defend the trinity in the third century. 

The New Testament does not use the word trinity nor did Yeshua or the Apostles teach this concept of God.  Though the followers of Messiah saw the power of God through the risen Savior,  recognized the voice of God in the flesh as Yeshua,  they did not teach three different parts or entities to God.

The Father – Nimrod

“Cush was the father of Nimrod, who became a mighty warrior on the earth.  He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; that is why it is said, ‘Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the LORD” (Genesis 10:8).

The foundation of the trinity has a long historic past beginning after the days of Noah with his great-grandson, Nimrod. Nimrod was from the land of Cush, modern-day Ethiopia. He was called ‘a mighty hunter before the LORD.’   The word ‘hunter’ can also mean ‘tyrant.’  ‘Before the LORD’ is a Hebrew idiom for “in the face of, against, and anger.” Thus, Nimrod was a man whose face was set against the LORD who hunted down men stealing their lives and souls.  This is the ultimate spirit of rebellion and is the first manifestation of the ‘man of lawlessness.’  Nimrod was given authority over many cities; one of them was Babel from which the great rebellion against God took place at the Tower of Babel.   

Nimrod is known in different cultures as Molech, Baal and Zeus.  Molech was the god of death and required the sacrifices of children in fire (Leviticus 20). Baal worship is mentioned throughout the Scriptures, especially in the days of the prophet  Elijah and the wicked queen Jezebel (1 Kings 18:19).    There was also the forced worship of Zeus in Israel by Antiochus Epiphanes.  This was the god-idol put in the Temple in Jerusalem during the days of Judah Maccabee when the Temple was desecrated by the Syrians (1 Maccabees). 

The Spirit – Queen of Heaven

“We will certainly do everything we said we would: We will burn incense to the Queen of Heaven and will pour out drink offerings to her just as we and our ancestors, our kings and our officials did in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem” (Jeremiah 44:17).

Nimrod had a wife named Semiramis.  She is known throughout different cultural eras as Astarte, Ishtar and Easter.  She was famous for being a beautiful woman and was worshipped as ‘the queen of heaven‘ (Jeremiah 7:18).  She was also believed to be a ‘holy spirit’ because she gave birth to a reincarnated son, Tammuz.

The Son – Tammuz

“Then he brought me to the entrance of the north gate of the house of the LORD, and I saw women sitting there, mourning the god Tammuz” (Ezekiel 8:14).

Tammuz was the son of  Nimrod and Semiramis.  Tammuz is also known as Cupid who represents modern Valentine’s Day, Dagon the idol that fell over in front of the Ark of the Covenant (1 Samuel 5), and Horus and Osiris both embraced by Egypt’s worship of death. 

The simple account of Tammuz is that he was killed by a wild boar and taken to the netherworld.  His mother-turned-lover mourns him for 40 days until he is brought back to life at the spring equinox.  He was then worshipped as his brought-back-to-life father, Nimrod.

This family unit of Father (Nimrod), Spirit (Semiramis), and Son (Tammuz) became the model for the three-in-one god foundation of the trinity.  Each of these gods within the trinity was worshipped as an individual as each had a unique purpose within the godhead.  Nimrod was cruel, Semiramis was the beloved mother of god or Tammuz, and Tammuz was the murdered child who miraculously came back to life.

Early followers of Messiah did not want to adopt the trinity, but Constantine forced the doctrine on threat of exile.  The Roman Catholic church then merged this trinitarian story with Biblical accounts.  Lent became the 40 day mourning period of Tammuz and Easter became the day of the child’s resurrection.  The mother with her baby is worshipped as the Madonna, pictured with a halo, and is called the ‘mother of god’ in catholicism.

The Protestant church, though trying to protest many catholic traditions, didn’t go far enough and also adopted the trinity in spite of no reference to such a doctrine in the earliest writings of the Scriptures.   The worship of the three individual gods (parts) is easily recognized within different segments of Christianity.   Churches like the Methodist and Lutheran tradition focus their worship on a father or God.  The Evangelical Christian movement worships the Son.  Pentecostal churches exalt the Spirit above everything else.  This multi-god worship is the reason that many Jews and even Muslims reject the idea of Yahweh revealing Himself  in the body of Messiah. 

Returning to the concept of the egg, accepting the trinity in three-fold god-head is like choosing to worship the shell, the yolk or the white of the egg.  This would not be worshipping the egg in its fullness.  Nor would worshipping ice or steam be loving water in the fullness of how it is created. 

Echad – One

“Hear O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is ONE” (Deuteronomy 6:4).

The doctrine of trinity leads people away from the truth of the uniqueness of the God of Israel and leads them down a dangerous path of multi-god worship. Yahweh delivered His people out of Egypt where Ra, Isis, and Osiris were the trinity so that Israel and those who joined with her could worship Him as the unique Living God.  He commanded His people to know Him as One in what is known as the Shema, a Hebrew word meaning ‘to hear or listen.’

Hebrew Word Pictures

Hear or Shema – שמע

Shin ש – A Tooth means ‘consume’ or Shekinah, ‘the Consuming Presence of God’

Mem מ – Water means ‘come down from, immense’

Ayin ע – An Eye means ‘to see or understand’

In Hebrew word pictures shema: “Understand the immense consuming presence of God.”

The word ‘one’ in Deuteronomy is echad and means ‘one, single.’ God is telling the Israelites that He redeemed from Egypt that He is ONE SINGLE GOD.  This was probably a new concept to these people as they had seen the multitude of gods in Egypt worshipped as trinities and other diverse ways while enslaved.   The Yod Hey Vav Hey is ONE God, the only entity to be worshipped as the Eternal God, the Elohim.

Hebrew Word Pictures

One or Echad – אחד

Aleph א – An Ox means ‘strength, first’

Chet ח – A Fence means ‘inner room’ or ‘protects’

Dalet ד – A Door means ‘pathway’

The Hebrew word picture for echad: “The first protecting pathway.” 

Though echad has the nuance of ‘diversity,’ this doesn’t mean God is a trinity.  It means that God can, did, and does reveal Himself in diverse ways: a bush that didn’t burn, the man who ate with Abraham, the pillar of fire, the cloud of glory, a still small voice, a hand on the wall, and wind blowing where it will.  These are all expressions of the “I Am that I Am; I Will Be what I Will Be.”  As the Creator of the Universe, He can express Himself to His creation in any way He wishes, including the flesh of a human in Yeshua.   

The Creator

“Do you not know? Have you not heard?  The LORD is the everlasting God (Elohim), the Creator of the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 40:28).

We know that Elohim is the Creator and according to John 1, so was Yeshua.  This makes Yeshua echad with Elohim because ‘he was with God and was God.’  Through Yeshua all things were made because all things were spoken into existence by Elohim.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made” (John 1:1-3).

Spoken Word

“This day I call the heavens and earth as witnesses … and that you may love the LORD your God (Elohim), listen to his voice, and hold fast to him” (Deuteronomy 30:20).

Elohim spoke to Noah and told him to build an Ark.  Elohim spoke to Abraham and gave him His promises.  Elohim spoke to Moses from a burning bush and told him to deliver His people.   Elohim spoke to the Israelites in thunder and lightning when He brought them to Mt. Sinai and gave them His Words.  Elohim spoke through the prophets preparing Israel for the  Messiah.

“The Word [of God] became a human being and lived with us, and we saw his glory, the glory of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

That very same voice of Elohim, His spoken words became a human being in the body of Yeshua. Still, Elohim remains echad.  His voice was not separate from Himself; His voice only did the things He told it to do.   As God’s Word in the flesh, Yeshua made it clear that he and His Father were ‘one’ or echad in John 10:30.  The Greek word ‘one’ in in that verse is heis and is used to signify ‘one in contrast to many, and in union with.’ Yeshua, himself, also clarified that he only says and does what he hears his Father tell him to do.

“For I have not spoken on my own initiative, but the Father who sent me has given me a command, namely, what to say and how to say it” (John 12:49).

The Spirit

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was unformed and void, darkness was on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God hovered over the surface of the water” (Genesis 1:1-2).

The Hebrew word for Spirit is ruach and means ‘breath, air, and wind.’  In the beginning the breath of Elohim hovered over the waters.  This breath was not separate from Him, but part of His essence as the Living God.

Elohim breathed into the nostrils of Adam and gave him life (Genesis 2:7).  He put His breath  into Bezalel from the Tribe of Judah and gave him the ability to do artistic works with silver, gold and bronze for the Tabernacle.  Joshua was filled with the breath of wisdom because Moses had laid hands on him.  King David, when anointed by Samuel to be King over Israel, was filled with the breath of God. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting she was filled with the breath of God and her baby leaped in her womb.  The breath of God descended like a dove on Yeshua when he was immersed in the Jordan River.  Believers in Messiah are called the Temple and filled with breath of God manifested in gifts and fruits.  Zechariah prophesied that the rebuilding of the Temple in the Millennial Kingdom will  not be by [human] power but by the power and breath  of God  (Zechariah 4:6).

The most powerful testimony of Elohim and Yeshua being one in Spirit occurs after the resurrection when Yeshua breathes on his disciples.  The very holy breath of Elohim comes out of him, from his mouth, enters the disciples and empowers them to be sent forth to the world as he was sent – forgiving sins and being witnesses of the resurrection.

“Again Yeshua said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’  And with that he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:21-22).

Even though the Scriptures reveal a Creator, His Word and His Spirit, this doesn’t mean that they can be separated like a yolk, white and shell of an egg and called separate persons.   If they are, they lose their uniqueness as being echad and are easily torn apart and used as means to their own end misrepresenting Yod Hey Vav Hey.

“For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground I will pour out my Spirit (breath) on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants” (Isaiah 44:3).

The Trinitarian Church Fathers

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). 

Some may say that Yeshua’s great commission to make disciples involved immersing them in the ‘name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,’ however, those words are not in the original manuscripts.  They were added sometime after the Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325.  This council was convened by Constantine to primarily deal with the issue of Yeshua’s deity and his oneness with God. Earlier church fathers like Origen, Tertullian, Polycarp, Ignatius, and Justin Martyr had come up with the idea of a divine trinity,  but adding the Holy Spirit to the divine ‘three’ was not completed until the Council of Constantinople in 360 A.D.  (wikipedia).

A better explanation of the great commission is found in Luke. “Then he [Yeshua] opened their minds, so that they could understand the Scriptures telling them, “Here is what it says: the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day;  and in his name repentance leading to forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed to people from all nations, starting with Jerusalem” (Luke 24:45).

In ‘his name’ repentance leading to forgiveness of sins was to be proclaimed to the world beginning in Jerusalem.  Disciples were to be made through his teachings and commandments which were the same as His Father’s and not something new or different.   When there was genuine repentance, believers whether Jew or non-Jew, they received forgiveness of sins and were empowered with the breath of God.

Elohim’s Arm

“A psalm.  Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him” (Psalm 98:1).

The word ‘salvation’ in this verse is the Hebrew word yeshua.  Read with that understanding shows that Yeshua is God’s right hand AND His holy arm.  Yeshua was and has never been a separate entity from Elohim.  He was part of Him: His breath, His words, His right hand and His holy arm.

When God put His Spirit into Mary (Miriam) for her to conceive His Son, she knew it was salvation or yeshua for Israel.   When the Jewish people saw the Word in the flesh, though they weren’t able to accept the voice in the body, they knew Yeshua spoke with authority and wisdom.   When God gave His only begotten Son to the world, they saw His holy arm reaching down and His right hand bringing them yeshua.

The God of Israel is not a three-part catholic Godhead nor three gods known as a Latin trinity.  Elohim is not an egg or water that can be separated into  the parts that we choose to use or worship.  Elohim is echad. God is One.  We must worship Him in the fullness of who He is as Yeshua said: in Spirit and in Truth. We must honor Him as the Creator of the Universe whose words and voice became flesh, whose arm worked salvation and whose breath of life empowers us to be witnesses to the world.

© 2008 Tentstake Ministries (from Journey With Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive.)

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