Archive for the ‘Catholicism’ Category

No Valentines for Me

“I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul” (Psalm 31:7).

Years ago I was convicted by the words of a single woman who did not have a ‘sweetheart‘ on Valentine’s  day.   She always felt alone, isolated and unloved as she watched those around her receive flowers and chocolate.  I knew in my heart she wasn’t the only person who felt this way on the day of cupid’s cruel arrow.  I had felt that loneliness for many years until I realized that there is a greater love, an eternal love that is not expressed with a mushy card, roses or heart-shaped boxes filled with chocolate.

God’s character is love.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

God’s love is sacrificial.

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son Yeshua as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10).

God’s love is all-encompassing.

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Messiah Yeshua our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).

God commands love.

“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Messiah loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Eph. 5:1-2).

Our love comes from God.

“For love comes from God.  Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God” (1 John 4:7).

The cherub archer’s bow and arrow does pierce the heart. The Roman-god Cupid fills the unsuspecting heart with transient passions of emotions that do not last. Just like the thrown away cards, the wilted flowers, and the empty candy boxes, the tender human heart easily becomes broken, crushed, and scarred.

God’s love is sacrificial, personal and eternal.  He is the lover of our soul, our husband.   His love takes the lonely, broken and tarnished heart and redeems it, refines it and gives it life – forever.

“For your Maker is your husband— the Lord Almighty is his name— the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth” (Isaiah 54:5).

©2013 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

‘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).

Christianity has a doctrine called the Trinity also known as the ‘Three-in-One Godhead.’ To explain this tenet, an egg is often used.  It is ‘one egg’ having three parts: the shell, the yolk, and the white.  Sometimes water is also used to explain the same idea: solid, liquid , and gas.

The Greek word trinity comes from the Latin word trinitas meaning the ‘number three’ or ‘triad.’  In the second century, Theophilus of Antioch was the first to use trinity in reference to God as Father, the Word, and His Wisdom. In the third century, Tertullian, a monk who lived in the Roman province of Africa, was the first apologist to defend the father, son, and holy spirit trinity.

The New Testament does not use the word trinity, nor did Yeshua or the apostles teach this plurality of God.  Though the followers of Yeshua saw the power of God’s Spirit through the risen Savior,  recognized the voice of God in the flesh as Yeshua,  they did not teach, as Tertullian, three different parts or entities of God that are “distinct, simultaneous, and interactive.” The foundation of the trinity has a long pagan past beginning after the days of Noah with his great-grandson, Nimrod. 

Nimrod – The Father

“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).

Nimrod was from the land of Cush, modern-day Ethiopia. He was known as “a mighty hunter before the LORD.”   The word ‘hunter’ can also mean ‘tyrant.’ “Before the LORD” is a Hebrew phrase for ‘in the face of, against, and anger.’ Nimrod could be described as a man whose face was set against God and hunted after men stealing their lives and souls. This is the epitome of the spirit of rebellion and the first manifestation of the ‘man of lawlessness’ in Scripture. 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 sacrifice of children in fire (Leviticus 20:1-5). Baal worship is mentioned throughout the Scriptures, especially in the days of the prophet  Elijah and the wicked queen Jezebel (1 Kings 18:19).   During the conquest of Alexander the Great, Antiochus Epiphanes forced the worship of pagan gods on the Jewish people. Zeus, the Greek god-idol, was set up in the Temple as an ‘abomination of desolation’ (1 Maccabees, Septuagint).

Tammuz – The Son

“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 his wife, Semiramis.  Tammuz is also known as Dagon, the idol that fell over in front of the Ark of the Covenant (1 Samuel 5). Horus and Osiris, both part of Egypt’s worship of death, and Cupid, the god of the modern Valentine’s Day are also related to Tammuz.

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

Semiramis – The Spirit

“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’s wife was Semiramis and known in different world cultures as Astarte, Ishtar, and Easter.  She was a beautiful woman; and worshiped in Israel as the “Queen of Heaven” (Jeremiah 7:18).  As part of the Father, Son trinity, she was called the ‘holy spirit’ and the ‘mother of god’ because she conceived and gave birth to Nimrod’s reincarnated son, Tammuz.

This family unit of father Nimrod, son Tammuz, and spirit Semiramis became the models for the three-in-one foundation for the trinity. Each of these gods within the trinity was worshiped as an individual as each had a unique purpose within the godhead. Nimrod was the cruel, ‘father,’ Tammuz was the murdered ‘son’ who miraculously came back to life, and Semiramis was the beloved ‘mother of god.’

Tenet of Trinity

Three centuries after Yeshua, his followers did not want to adopt the tenet of the trinity, but Constantine at the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE forced the doctrine on the ‘church’ threatening exile.  The Roman Catholic church merged the pagan trinity with Biblical truth. Lent became the 40-day mourning period of Tammuz and Easter became the day of Tammuz’s resurrection.  The ‘mother of god’ holding her baby became known as the Madonna with a halo.

The Protestant Reformation didn’t go far enough in rejecting Roman Catholic tenets and adopted the trinity. The worship of the three individual god-parts is easily recognized within different denominations today. For example, Methodist, Lutheran, and other ‘high’ religious tradition focuses on God as the ‘father.’ The Evangelical denominations worship the son named Jesus. Pentecostal denominations exalt the gifts of the spirit above everything else, especially speaking in tongues. This triune-god worship is the reason that many Jews, and even Muslims, reject the idea of Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh revealing Himself in the body of Yeshua.

Returning to the concept of the egg, worshiping God as a trinity is like choosing to worship either the shell, the yolk or even the white of the egg.  This would not be worshiping the egg as ‘the egg.’ Nor would worshiping ice or steam be worshiping water in its complexity. 

Echad – ‘One’

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

The verse above is called the Shema, a Hebrew word meaning ‘to hear’ or ‘listen.’ God commanded His people in remember He is ‘One.’ The tenet of the trinity has blinded many to the ‘oneness’ of the God of Israel. This tenet also created a dangerous path for not only multi-god worship, but also deceptive pagan-god worship.

The word for ‘one’ in the Shema is echad and means ‘same, single, undivided oneness, and unique.’ God is telling the Israelites that He is one, undivided, and unique God. This was a new concept to the freed Hebrews as they had been immersed in the multitude of gods of Egypt worshiped as trinities. Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh is a unique God, the only God to be worshiped ‘undivided.’

God delivered His chosen people from Egypt where Ra, Isis, and Osiris comprised the trinity. He delivered the Israelites from that spiritual bondage so they could worship Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh as the ‘One’ Living God.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Hear or Shema – שמע

Shin ש – A Tooth means ‘consume.’

Mem מ – Water means ‘chaos.’

Ayin ע – An Eye means ‘to see and understand.’

In Hebrew word pictures shema: See and understand, chaos consumed.

Hebrew Word Pictures

One or Echad – אחד

Alef א – An Ox means ‘first strength.’

Chet ח – A Fence means ‘protect.’
Dalet ד – A Door means ‘pathway.’

The Hebrew word picture for echad: The first strength protects the pathway.

Though echad has the nuance of ‘diverse,’ this does not support God as a trinity. It means that Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh can, did, and does reveal Himself in diverse ways: a bush that didn’t burn, the man who ate with Abraham, a pillar of fire, a 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 who I am.” As God, Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh can express Himself any way He needs to including in human flesh –– Yeshua.

Eheyh Asher Ehyeh –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).

“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).

We know that God is the Creator, and according to John, so is Yeshua.  This makes Yeshua echad with God because “he was with God and was God” (John 1:1). Through Yeshua all things were made because all things were spoken into existence by Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh.

Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh – The 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).

“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).

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

The ‘voice’ of God, His spoken Word became a human being in the body of Yeshua.  Still, God is not divided and remains echad. His voice is not a separate entity from Himself. Yeshua stated, “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). As God’s ‘voice,’ Yeshua said he and His Father are echad (John 10:30).  The Greek word ‘one’ is heis and used to signify ‘one in contrast to many, and in union with.’

Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh – The Breath

“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).

“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).

The Hebrew word for ‘spirit’ is ruach and means ‘breath.’ In the beginning, the ‘breath’ of God hovered over the surface of the waters. His ‘breath’ was not separate from Him, but part of His ‘being’ as the Living God.

God put his ‘breath’ 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 (Exodus 32:1-3). Joshua was filled with the ‘breath’ of wisdom because Moses had laid hands on him (Deuteronomy 34:9).  King David, when anointed by Samuel to be King over Israel, was filled with the ‘breath’ of God (1 Samuel 16:13). When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting she was filled with the ‘breath’ of God and her baby leaped in her womb (Luke 1:41-42).  The ‘breath’ of God descended like a dove on Yeshua when he was immersed in the Jordan River (Matthew 3:16).   Believers in Messiah are sealed with the ‘breath’ of God manifested in gifts and fruits (2 Peter 1:3). 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 that Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh and Yeshua are echad occurs after the resurrection when Yeshua ‘breathes’ on his disciples.  The holy ‘breath’ of God comes out of Yeshua, from his mouth, enters the disciples, and empowers them to be sent forth to the world as he was –– forgiving sins and being witnesses of the resurrection.

Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh – The Holy 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 knowledge, yeshua is God’s right hand and His holy arm. Yeshua was and has never been a separate entity from God.   He is part of Him just like His breath, His words, His right hand, and His holy arm.

When Mary received God’s ‘breath’ to conceive, she knew it was yeshua for Israel.  When the Jewish people listened the Word in the flesh, 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 Great Commission and the Trinity

“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 argue that Yeshua’s command to go and 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 that convened to 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 the trinity,  but adding the Holy Spirit was not completed until the Council of Constantinople in 360 CE  (wikipedia).

The Great Commission is not proof text for the trinity; it is about Yeshua giving his disciples the authority he had been given by his Father to immerse people for repentance and forgiveness of sin. Yeshua tells his disciples to teach the commandments, sanctifying them to become his royal priesthood. Those who are immersed will also be given the authority to “go and make disciples.” The authority to immerse into the echad is to begin in Jerusalem, and then proclaimed to the nations of the world. A better description of this Hebrew-Jewish ritual 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).

Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh is not a three-part godhead nor three separate persons known as the trinity. He is not an egg or water that can be separated into parts that we choose to use or worship.  Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh is echad.  He is One.  Yeshua said that we must worship Him as echad in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:24). We must honor Him as the Creator whose Spoken Word became flesh, whose Holy Arm worked salvation, and whose Breath empowers us to be witnesses to the world.

©2010 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this article,  please purchase Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive.