- His Name is Yahweh
- His Name is Yahweh—Jim Hutchens
- Philippians 2: 9-11—Jim Hutchens
- “Will you obey Yahweh and call on his name?”—Jim Hutchens
- “Why isn’t Yahweh’s name remembered and exalted?”—Jim Hutchens
- The Name of the Father—Andrew Gabriel Roth
- Torah Life interview with Neil Snyder during Sukkot 2012 in Glen Rose, Texas
- “Can you say Jesus is Yahweh?”—Jim Hutchens
- “Elohim’s orders for his servants” (Psalm 113:1-3)—Jim Hutchens
- “Are you breaking the 3rd Commandment?”
- Romans 11:13-14, “What will create jealousy among the Jews?”—Jim Hutchens
- How to give and receive the blessing of Yahweh
- Jehovah is not the Name of Elohim
- Yahweh is the Name of Elohim Forever
- David’s legacy in the use of the name of Yahweh: Psalm 86:11-12—Jim Hutchens
- Yahweh Said He is Our Only Savior
- Jesus Said He is Yahweh
- “Is Jesus really Yahweh?”—Jim Hutchens
- “Is Jesus or Yahweh our Creator?”—Jim Hutchens
- “What is the real name of Jesus?”—Jim Hutchens
- Isaiah Revisited
- Peter said Jesus is Yahweh
- Paul said Jesus is Yahweh
- Jeremiah said the Messiah is Yahweh
- The Messiah May Return Sooner than You Think
- “Now we can know when Jesus will return.”—Jim Hutchens
- The Name Yahweh Sets the Messiah Apart
- “Are you sure of your salvation?”—Jim Hutchens
- Making the Transition May be Difficult for Some Preachers
- What about people who came to faith in Yahweh through the Name Jesus?
- Obey Yahweh and Let the Name Jesus Go
- Do we all worship the same god?
- Does it matter what we call Elohim?
- Hamas is No Peace Partner for Israel
- Is it legalistic to pay too much attention to Elohim’s Name?
- It’s time to remove the veil and tell the world who Elohim is by Name.
- Peace in the Middle East: The Facts Tell an Interesting Story
- The Messiah’s Name is Yahweh.
- The Palestinian Charter Still Calls for Israel’s Destruction
- Can you say Jesus is Yahweh?—Jim Hutchens
- Whose Name protects you?—Jim Hutchens
- Malachi 1:11, 3:16, “Gentiles are to exalt the name of Yahweh”—Jim Hutchens
- Is Jesus, “I am?”—Jim Hutchens
- “Whose name will save you?”—Jim Hutchens
The Messiah is Yahweh
The information below is available on the website His Name is Yahweh:
Yahweh is called the Divine Name and the Tetragrammaton, or four-letter word, because it has four letters in Hebrew. Most Jewish people won’t even say Yahweh. Instead, they say HASHEM—a Hebrew word that means “The Name”, or they say Adonai—the Hebrew word for Lord. Yahweh is also called the Ineffable Name, or the unspeakable Name, but Elohim’s Name is not unspeakable.
Yahweh’s Name doesn’t appear one time in the text of the three most popular English Bible translations on the market today. The King James Bible, the New American Standard Bible, and the New International Version substitute the titles “LORD” and “GOD” with all the letters capitalized where the Name “Yahweh” actually belongs.
Jewish religious leaders introduced this tradition in the mid-2nd century B.C., and it has continued since that time. This man-made tradition—which achieved near-universal acceptance in 1611 A.D. when the King James Bible editors failed to include the Name “Yahweh” in their inaugural edition—is wrong and dangerous for two reasons. First, it nullifies Yahweh’s explicit command to tell the world that we have only One Elohim—Yahweh. Second, according to the Bible, Yahweh is the only Name in which we have salvation. That’s a startling fact to most Christians because they have never heard a preacher say it from the pulpit, but it is true nonetheless. Studying this website and the manuscript for HIS NAME IS YAHWEH will confirm it.
Bible scholar and author Charles Ryrie said the Name “Yahweh” appears exactly 6,823 times in the Old Testament. Since the New Testament is loaded with direct quotes and paraphrased passages from the Old Testament, the Name “Yahweh” should appear all over the New Testament as well. Unfortunately, most Christians have never seen Yahweh’s Name in print, and as I said before, very few of them have heard a preacher declare Yahweh’s Name from the pulpit. Since we were commanded to declare Yahweh’s Name to the world, this is a serious problem.
“LORD” and “GOD” are titles—not names, and Yahweh never even hinted that we should declare His titles to the world. These two titles can be applied appropriately to wood, rock, or metal, and Yahweh Himself refers to anything fashioned into an idol for worship as either a “god” or a “lord.” Since these two titles don’t distinguish between Yahweh and inanimate objects and false deities, it makes no sense to believe they are appropriate substitutes for His Name. In truth, there is no substitute for the Name “Yahweh.”
Yahweh means “I AM”, and “I AM” is one of His Names. In Exodus 3: 13-15, Elohim told Moses, “I AM WHO I AM; thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” Then He added this command:
“Say to the Israelites, ‘Yahweh, the Elohim of your fathers—the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac, and the Elohim of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ This (Yahweh) is My Name forever, the Name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.” (NIV)
“Forever” means without end so it’s obvious that Yahweh never intended for us to substitute “LORD” and “GOD” for His Name. Since Yahweh instructed Moses to tell the Children of Israel to remember Him by the Name Yahweh “from generation to generation”, it’s perfectly clear that He wants everyone to know His Name, to call on Him by Name, and to tell people about Him by Name.
Jeremiah 23: 5-6 tells us plainly that the Messiah’s Name is Yahweh. This fact can’t be refuted by anyone. It’s so crystal clear in Hebrew that only Christians who know very little or nothing about Hebrew would even dare to deny it. Regrettably, most seminary-trained preachers know almost nothing about Hebrew, so it’s common for them to be ignorant about this fact even though it’s THE CENTRAL MESSAGE in the New Testament and the Old Testament.
In Philippians 2: 9-11, the apostle Paul was referring to the Name “Yahweh” when he said, “Elohim…bestowed on Him (Jesus) the Name which is above every name, so that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth, and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of Elohim the Father.”
Yahweh is the Name Elohim bestowed on Jesus; Yahweh is the Name that is above every name; and Yahweh is the Name to which every knee will bow when He returns.
In Philippians 2: 9-11, Paul was paraphrasing Isaiah 45: 21-24. This is what Yahweh told Isaiah:
“And there is no other Elohim besides Me, a righteous Elohim and a Savior; there is none except Me. Turn to Me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am Elohim, and there is no other. I have sworn by Myself, the Word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness and will not turn back, that to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance, they will say of Me, ‘Only in Yahweh are righteousness and strength.’ Men will come to Him and all who were angry with Him shall be put to shame.”
In Isaiah 43: 11, Yahweh said, “I, even I, am Yahweh, and there is no savior besides Me.” It’s almost impossible to misinterpret that verse because it’s so simple, so clear, and so direct. In John 8: 58 Jesus said, “Before Abraham was born, I AM.” To misunderstand what He meant, you have to be ignorant about the fact that Yahweh told Moses that He is I AM.
The Bible repeats these 4 essential facts again and again and again:
- Yahweh is our only Savior and our only Elohim.
- Jesus is Yahweh.
- Yahweh commanded us to declare His Name to the world.
- Yahweh is the only Name in which we have salvation.
It’s heartbreaking that most Christians don’t know the Name of their Elohim—especially now. We live at a time when people around the world are being told by political and religious leaders that we all worship the same god, but we call him by different names. That’s not true. All of us don’t worship the same god. Satan must be the source of that lie. He has the most to gain from us not knowing Yahweh’s Name and not declaring it to the world, but Satan’s lies can’t change the truth one iota. Satan can deceive us and make it difficult for us to see, but he has no power to alter Yahweh’s Word.
There is only One Elohim; His Name is Yahweh; and the Person most Christians call Jesus is Yahweh. That’s the message of the Scriptures in a nutshell. Yahweh came in Person to redeem, deliver, and save His people, and He is our righteousness.
Joel 2: 32 says, “Everyone who calls on the Name of Yahweh will be delivered (or saved).” In Acts 2: 21, Peter quoted Joel 2: 32, and in Romans 10: 13, Paul delivered Joel’s and Peter’s message precisely. In Acts 4: 12, Peter went even further—“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”
It doesn’t get any clearer than that. We have salvation in only One Name—Yahweh. That’s what the Bible actually says again and again and again. It’s a disturbing fact that most preachers have failed to deliver this message to their congregations.
Yahweh said He is our only Savior. Jesus said He is Yahweh. Joel, Peter, and Paul said that everyone who calls on the Name of Yahweh will be saved. Peter said there is no other name by which we must be saved. These aren’t ordinary witnesses, and their testimony is so clear and it’s repeated so often in the Bible that you need help to be confused. It’s time for preachers to start proclaiming Yahweh’s Name.
Thank you for your help in spreading the word. I pray that you will take advantage of His Name is Yahweh and share it with your friends and family.
Yahweh Declares His Name in the Book of Exodus
Exodus 3: 14-15—“Elohim said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” Elohim, furthermore, said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘Yahweh, the Elohim of your fathers, the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac, and the Elohim of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This (Yahweh) is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations.” (NIV)
Exodus 6: 2-3—“Elohim spoke further to Moses and said to him, ‘I am Yahweh; and I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as Elohim Almighty (El Shaddai), but by My name, Yahweh, I did not make Myself known to them.’”
Exodus 6: 6-8—“Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel, ‘I am Yahweh, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. Then I will take you for My people, and I will be your Elohim; and you shall know that I am Yahweh your Elohim, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. I will bring you to the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I will give it to you for a possession; I am Yahweh.’”
Exodus 7: 4-5—“When Pharaoh does not listen to you, then I will lay My hand on Egypt and bring out My hosts, My people the sons of Israel, from the land of Egypt by great judgments. The Egyptians shall know that I am Yahweh, when I stretch out My hand on Egypt and bring out the sons of Israel from their midst.”
Exodus 7: 17—“Thus says Yahweh, ‘By this you shall know that I am Yahweh: behold, I will strike the water that is in the Nile with the staff that is in my hand, and it will be turned to blood.”
Exodus 8: 20-22—“Now Yahweh said to Moses, ‘Rise early in the morning and present yourself before Pharaoh, as he comes out to the water, and say to him, Thus says the Yahweh, ‘Let My people go, that they may serve Me. For if you do not let My people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies on you and on your servants and on your people and into your houses; and the houses of the Egyptians will be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground on which they dwell. But on that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, where My people are living, so that no swarms of flies will be there, in order that you may know that I, Yahweh, am in the midst of the land.’”
Exodus 10: 1-2—“Then Yahweh said to Moses, ‘Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I may perform these signs of Mine among them, and that you may tell in the hearing of your son, and of your grandson, how I made a mockery of the Egyptians and how I performed My signs among them, that you may know that I am Yahweh.”
Exodus 14: 1-4—“Now Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Tell the sons of Israel to turn back and camp before Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea; you shall camp in front of Baal-zephon, opposite it, by the sea. For Pharaoh will say of the sons of Israel, ‘They are wandering aimlessly in the land; the wilderness has shut them in.’ Thus I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will chase after them; and I will be honored through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am Yahweh.’”
Exodus 14: 18—“Then the Egyptians will know that I am Yahweh, when I am honored through Pharaoh, through his chariots and his horsemen.”
Exodus 15: 26—“And He said, ‘If you will give earnest heed to the voice of Yahweh your Elohim, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, Yahweh, am your healer.”
Exodus 16: 12—“I have heard the grumblings of the sons of Israel; speak to them, saying, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread; and you shall know that I am Yahweh your Elohim.’”
Exodus 20: 1-17—“Then Elohim spoke all these words, saying, ‘I am Yahweh your Elohim, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, Yahweh your Elohim, am a jealous Elohim, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. You shall not take the name of Yahweh your Elohim in vain, for Yahweh will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of Yahweh your Elohim; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days Yahweh made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore Yahweh blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Yahweh your Elohim gives you. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
Exodus 29: 38-46—“Now this is what you shall offer on the altar: two one year old lambs each day, continuously. The one lamb you shall offer in the morning and the other lamb you shall offer at twilight; and there shall be one-tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with one-fourth of a hin of beaten oil, and one-fourth of a hin of wine for a drink offering with one lamb. The other lamb you shall offer at twilight, and shall offer with it the same grain offering and the same drink offering as in the morning, for a soothing aroma, an offering by fire to Yahweh. It shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the doorway of the tent of meeting before Yahweh, where I will meet with you, to speak to you there. I will meet there with the sons of Israel, and it shall be consecrated by My glory. I will consecrate the tent of meeting and the altar; I will also consecrate Aaron and his sons to minister as priests to Me. I will dwell among the sons of Israel and will be their Elohim. They shall know that I am Yahweh their Elohim who brought them out of the land of Egypt, that I might dwell among them; I am Yahweh their Elohim.”
Exodus 34: 6-7—“Yahweh passed by in front of him and proclaimed, ‘Yahweh, Yahweh Elohim, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations’.”
Yahweh Has a Human Form
Yahweh has appeared to men and women in human form many times since the creation to declare His Word and to make certain that all of His promises are fulfilled. The first time we know Yahweh appeared in human form was when He walked in the Garden of Eden with Adam. (Genesis 3: 8) The Bible refers to Yahweh’s human form as the Angel of the LORD. It refers to Him in other ways as well, but the fact that He has appeared in human form is evident from what He did and said and from people’s reactions to Him. Further, since He never changes, Yahweh always has had a human form.
According to the Bible many people throughout history have met with and spoken to Yahweh in Person. Abraham, Moses, and many others even shared meals with Him. If you believe Elohim’s Word, you’ll find this information very compelling and impossible to refute.
Yahweh Appears to Abraham
Before Yahweh gave Abraham circumcision as a sign of the covenant, his name was Abram and his wife’s name was Sarai. Later, He changed their names to Abraham and Sarah. I will refer to them by those names.
Abraham was born in Ur in the land of the Chaldees. Abraham’s father took him, his wife Sarah, and his nephew Lot, and they went to Haran, a city that is located in Turkey. While he was in Haran, Yahweh told Abraham to take Sarah, Lot, and all his possessions and go to a land He would show him. (Genesis 11: 27-32) Abraham obeyed Yahweh, and when he arrived in the land of Canaan in a city called Shechem, Yahweh appeared to him in human form and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” (Genesis 12: 7)
Yahweh was talking about the land we know today as Israel, and that is why we call Israel the Promised Land. Yahweh promised to give Israel to Abraham and his descendants as a permanent possession. Although Abraham did not obey Elohim perfectly, his heart was right before Him, and Elohim used Abraham to bless all the nations of the world.
Yahweh Appears to Hagar
When Yahweh made the covenant with Abraham, Sarah had no children. She was desperate to have a child, and she asked Abraham to have intercourse with her maid, Hagar, so Hagar could give birth to a child for her. Abraham agreed. He had intercourse with Hagar, and she became pregnant.
When Hagar realized she had conceived, she despised Sarah and created a serious problem for Abraham. Evidently, Abraham was giving Hagar special attention because she was about to become the mother of his child (this child’s name would be Ishmael), and Sarah believed Abraham’s behavior was responsible for her attitude. She was furious, and she told Abraham, “May the wrong done me be upon you. I gave my maid into your arms, but when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her sight. May Yahweh judge between you and me.” (Genesis 16: 5)
Not knowing exactly what to say, Abraham simply told Sarah that Hagar was still her maid and that she could do with her as she pleased. Afterwards, Sarah treated Hagar so harshly that she fled to the wilderness. Along the way, Yahweh appeared to her by a spring. In Genesis 16: 8, He said, “Hagar, Sarah’s maid, where have you come from and where are you going?”
She told Him she was running away from Sarah, and He said, “Return to your mistress and submit yourself to her authority (Genesis 16: 9) ….Moreover…I will greatly multiply your descendants so that they shall become too many to count (Genesis 16: 10) ….Then she called the Name of Yahweh who spoke to her, ‘You are a Elohim who sees (El Roi); for have I even remained alive after seeing Him?’” (Genesis 16: 13)
Did Yahweh actually appear to Hagar? Yes. First, He told her that He would greatly multiply her descendants. What angel can do that? Only Yahweh can. Furthermore, Hagar knew she had spoken directly to Elohim. She called Him El Roi, the Strong One who Sees, and she seemed to be surprised that she did not die after having seen Him. Also, Hagar called the well at which He appeared to her “the well of the Living One who Sees me.” (Genesis 16: 14) Yahweh did appear to Hagar, and she talked with Him in Person.
Yahweh Appears to Abraham Again
When Abraham was 99 years old, Yahweh appeared to him (Genesis 17: 1) and said, “I am El Shaddai; walk before Me, and be blameless. I will establish My covenant between Me and you, and I will multiply you exceedingly.” (Genesis 17: 1-2) When Abraham saw Yahweh, he knew immediately that he was in the presence of the Almighty Elohim, and he fell on his face before Him. (Genesis 17: 3)
Yahweh told Abraham that circumcision would be the sign of the covenant between them and that his wife Sarah would have a son through whom the covenant would pass to future generations. Abraham fell on his face and laughed (Genesis 17: 17) when Elohim told him Sarah would have a son because Sarah was about 90 years old at the time—well past childbearing years. Ishmael, Abraham’s son by Hagar, was 13 years old at the time, and Abraham asked Yahweh to fulfill His promise through Ishmael instead. But Elohim said, “No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him….” (Genesis 17: 19)
Yahweh made it clear that His covenant would not pass through Ishmael. He was the product of Sarah’s desire to have a son, Abraham’s willingness to oblige Sarah, and Hagar’s consent to become the mother of Abraham’s child. They simply took it upon themselves to solve Sarah’s problem. It is possible, even probable, that Abraham thought he needed to take matters into his own hands to fulfill Yahweh’s promise to give the Promised Land to his descendants.
Isaac’s birth was a miracle—a gift from Elohim, and Yahweh spoke to Abraham face-to-face to emphasize that everything pertaining to the covenant was, and is, based on His promises and His desires. All Elohim required from Abraham was faith in Him and obedience to His Word.
Although Yahweh made it clear that Isaac was the child of the covenant, He made several promises to Abraham about Ishmael:
“As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I will bless him, and will make him fruitful and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall become the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. But My covenant I will establish with Isaac….When He finished talking with him, Elohim went up from Abraham.” (Genesis 17: 20-22)
Can there be any doubt that Yahweh appeared in Person to make these points? No.
Yahweh Tells Abraham about Isaac’s Birth
Later, Yahweh and two angels appeared (Genesis 18: 1) to Abraham near Hebron, a city in present-day Israel. Abraham invited Yahweh to stay and share a meal with him, and He agreed. While they were eating, (Genesis 18: 8) Yahweh told Abraham that He would return in a year, and by that time Sarah would have a child.
Sarah was inside the tent listening, and she overheard the conversation. When she heard Yahweh say she would have a child, she laughed to herself saying, “After I have become old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?” (Genesis 18: 12)
Yahweh knew Sarah’s thoughts, and He said, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, when I am so old?’ Is anything too difficult for Yahweh? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” (Genesis 18: 13-14)
Once again, Yahweh confirmed that He would fulfill His promises through Isaac—a child who had not been born yet. He concluded His conversation with Abraham by asking a question that every one of us should remember because the question is actually a statement. “Is anything too difficult for Yahweh?” The answer is NO.
Yahweh Appears to Isaac Twice
There was a famine in the land of Canaan, and Isaac was tempted to go down to Egypt where food was in abundant supply. But Yahweh appeared to Isaac in Person to confirm His promise and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; stay in the land of which I shall tell you. Sojourn in this land and I will be with you and bless you, for to you and to your descendants I will give these lands, and I will establish the oath which I swore to your father Abraham. I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven, and will give your descendants all these lands; and by your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; because Abraham obeyed Me and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes and My Laws.” (Genesis 26: 2-5)
Later, Isaac experienced problems with his neighbors who were concerned that his wealth was a threat to their security. They made life difficult enough for him to make him move on, and Isaac kept moving until he found a place where he and his family could live in peace. That place is called Rehoboth, and it means “plenty of room.” (Ryrie, Charles. Ryrie Study Bible Expanded Edition, Moody Press, Chicago, 1995, p. 45)
From there Isaac went to Beersheba, and Yahweh appeared to him in human form and said, “I am the Elohim of your father Abraham; do not fear, for I am with you. I will bless you, and multiply your descendants, for the sake of my servant Abraham.” (Genesis 26: 24)
Elohim told Isaac, “Do not fear.” That statement suggests Isaac was afraid and that he needed reassurance from Yahweh. Thus, Elohim appeared to him and repeated the message He has been giving His children since the beginning: “I am Yahweh, and I will watch over my Word to perform it. You can have faith in Me, and I will bless you if you obey Me.”
Yahweh Appears to Jacob in a Dream
Isaac’s first-born son, Esau, was willing to trade his birthright for a meal. (Genesis 25: 34) Since his birthright included the promise of the coming Messiah, in effect Esau traded the honor and privilege of being in the Messiah’s lineage for a single meal because for a brief moment he was hungry. Self-gratification and sensual pleasure motivated Esau to trade away his part in the greatest gift ever bestowed on mankind, and Elohim hated him for it before he was born. (Malachi 1: 2-3) Furthermore, Elohim would not allow Esau to obtain the birthright of the first-born even though he wept bitterly when the time came for Isaac to bless his sons. (Genesis 27: 38) Obviously, he still wanted the blessing of the first-born, but he had treated it so lightly when he was younger that Elohim would not allow him to have it.
Isaac loved Esau and intended to bestow the blessing of the first-born on him contrary to Yahweh’s desire. (Genesis 25: 28) Rebekah, his wife, and Jacob, his second son, intervened to secure Isaac’s blessing for Jacob. Many people have said that Rebekah and Jacob deceived Isaac and stole Esau’s birthright, and maybe they did. But they did it with the blessing of Elohim, and they kept Isaac from making a tragic mistake.
Before her sons were born, Yahweh told Rebekah that Jacob was the child of the promise (Genesis 25: 23), not Esau. Consequently, Rebekah helped Jacob obtain the blessing of the first-born over Isaac’s objections. When Esau learned what had happened, he was furious and threatened to kill his brother. Thus, Rebekah and Isaac urged Jacob to flee to Haran, to her relatives, and to take a wife from among her relatives. He obeyed his parents, and along the way he stopped to sleep at a place called Bethel. This Bethel is very likely Mount Moriah in Jerusalem, not the town of Bethel in Israel today—a town about 12 miles north of Jerusalem. (For a complete explanation of this interpretation, see Peter Michas’ book The Rod of an Almond Tree in God’s Master Plan, Winepress Publishing, Enumclaw, WA, 2001, p. 113)
While he was sleeping, Yahweh appeared to Jacob in a dream and said, “I am Yahweh, the Elohim of your father Abraham and the Elohim of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants. Your descendants shall also be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread out to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I promised you.” (Genesis 28: 13-15)
Yahweh Appears to Reassure Jacob
Many years later when Jacob returned to Canaan with his wives, his children, and all his belongings, he was afraid that Esau would still hold a grudge against him and kill his entire family. His faith in Yahweh at that time was not strong. He did everything that was humanly possible to protect his family from Esau, but he was still afraid that it would not be enough.
The night before he met Esau, Jacob separated himself from his family, and “a man wrestled with him until daybreak.” (Genesis 32: 24) The Bible tells us that the Man was Yahweh and that He used this occasion to change Jacob’s name to Israel. (Genesis 32: 28) Jacob knew that he had had a personal encounter, a wrestling match, with Yahweh, and he said, “I have seen Elohim face to face, yet my life has been preserved.” (Genesis 32: 30)
Yahweh allowed Jacob to win the wrestling match that night and said, “….you have striven with Elohim and with men and have prevailed.” (Genesis 32: 28)
At that moment Jacob, whose name was now Israel, knew that Elohim was on his side. If Yahweh had wanted to win the wrestling match, He could have with no trouble at all, but He was making a point. He was showing Jacob that he had nothing to fear because Elohim was with him. If Yahweh is involved, we can, and should, be fearless.
Yahweh Appears to Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and 70 Elders of Israel
After Yahweh gave the Ten Commandments, He instructed Moses to bring his brother Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and 70 elders from Israel up to meet with Him on Mount Sinai. They climbed to the top of the mountain, and they looked upon Yahweh (Exodus 24: 10) while they ate a meal in His presence. (Exodus 24: 11) The Tanach describes Yahweh’s appearance this way: “They saw the Elohim of Israel, and under His feet was the likeness of sapphire brickwork, and it was like the essence of the heaven in purity. Against the great men of the Children of Israel, He did not stretch out His hand—they gazed at Elohim, yet they ate and drank.” (Exodus 24: 10-11)
This depiction is almost identical to the description of the Messiah in the book of Revelation. (Revelation 1: 12-16 and 4: 1-6) The significance of this fact will become apparent later when I discuss the Messiah.
Yahweh Appears to Balaam
When Moses led the Children of Israel out of Egypt, they were a very large group. At the very least there were 2 or 3 million people, and there may have been as many as 6 million people, traveling with Moses. The people in the nations through which the Children of Israel walked along with their herds and flocks were terrified. A group that large easily could consume virtually all the vegetation in the land and drink most of the available fresh water. The people in those nations did not know that Yahweh miraculously provided food and water for His children.
As they marched toward the land of Moab, which is in Jordan today, they fought with and defeated the King of Arad, the King of the Amorites, and the King of Bashan. When they reached Moab, the Moabite King, Balak, sent for Balaam because he was known far and wide as a man who possessed the ability to bless or to curse. Balak wanted Balaam to curse Israel and to destroy them. Yahweh appeared to Balaam in Person and said, “You shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.” (Numbers 22: 12)
Balak had offered to pay Balaam a large sum of money if he would curse the Children of Israel so he tried his best to get permission from Yahweh to curse them. Eventually, Yahweh appeared to Balaam with a sword in His hand ready to strike if Balaam did not change his mind. (Numbers 22: 23) Balaam went on to bless the Children of Israel to the disappointment of Balak, but Yahweh never forgave him for his evil intent and for his deceit and lustful desire to destroy Elohim’s chosen people for money. (Jude 11)
Yahweh Appears to Joshua
Before the Children of Israel conquered Jericho, Yahweh appeared to Joshua. (Joshua 5: 13-15) Based on what the Bible says, I am certain that Yahweh is the Person Joshua met and talked with at that time, but if you read the KJV, NAS, NIV, or the Tanach in English, it may not be crystal clear. However, if you understand Hebrew (or if you use a Strong’s Concordance) it is as plain as day. According to the NAS,
“Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man was standing opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand, and Joshua went to Him and said to Him, ‘Are you for us or for our adversaries?’ He said, ‘No; rather I indeed come now as Captain of the host of Yahweh.’ And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to Him, ‘What has my Lord to say to His servant?’ The Captain of Yahweh’s host said to Joshua, ‘Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.’ And Joshua did so.” (Joshua 5: 13-15)
The first clue we have about the true identity of the Person Joshua met that day is the title the Man used: “the Captain of the host of Yahweh.” The KJV also uses this title, but the NIV and the Tanach use another title: “the Commander of the host of Yahweh.” The Hebrew word translated as “captain” or “commander” in this passage from Joshua is “Sar,” but in Isaiah 9: 6, “Sar” is translated as “Prince” and refers to the Messiah as Prince of Peace, or Sar Shalom. Joshua’s reaction when he learned the Man’s identity is the next clue: he “fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down…”
The Man Joshua met gave us the final clue when He told Joshua to take off his shoes because he was standing on holy ground. That is what Yahweh told Moses to do at the burning bush, so there is no doubt that Joshua met and talked with Yahweh in Person.
Yahweh Speaks to the Children of Israel in the Promised Land
Yahweh told the Children of Israel to destroy all the inhabitants when they entered the Promised Land to avoid being perverted by them, and there were many groups of people already there when they arrived. Each group worshiped false gods, and many of them performed ritualistic sacrifices to their gods that included human sacrifices. It would be fair to say that the early inhabitants of the Promised Land had a smorgasbord of gods from which to choose. Some people interpret this fact to mean that all the people living at that time were pagans, including the Israelites, because they performed sacrifices to many gods. But Yahweh is not a god. He is the One true Elohim, and He does not require human sacrifices.
There is another way to interpret this information, though. You can conclude that Yahweh had been speaking to many people all along and that none of them understood His message correctly. All of them seemed to realize that Elohim requires a sacrifice, but the sacrifices Yahweh required the Children of Israel to make were symbolic of the sacrifice He would make on our behalf.
The people living in the Promised Land when the Children of Israel arrived were so deluded that they were beyond hope. Yahweh told them to clear out the inhabitants so they could build a solid foundation for the nation of Israel based on faith in Him alone.
After they had been in the Promised Land for a number of years, Yahweh appeared to the Children of Israel and said, “I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land which I have sworn to your fathers; and I said, ‘I will never break My covenant with you, and as for you, you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of the land; you shall tear down their altars.’ But you have not obeyed Me; what is this you have done? Therefore I also said, ‘I will not drive them out before you; but they shall become as thorns in your sides and their gods shall be a snare to you.’” (Judges 2: 1-3)
Yahweh is telling the Children of Israel what will happen to them because of their lack of faith and their failure to obey Him. It makes no sense for anyone, especially a Christian, to ignore Yahweh’s commands because He expects us to honor Him and His Word. Please keep this fact in mind as you think about the Messiah because He is Yahweh, and He told us to tell the world about Him by Name.
Yahweh Appears to Gideon
Just as Yahweh told them He would do, He removed His protective hedge from around the Children of Israel because of their sins. They had not obeyed Him so they had to defend themselves. During Gideon’s day, Elohim allowed Midian to invade Israel and steal their crops and flocks. Things were so bad in Israel that Gideon was forced to hide his wheat to keep the Midianites from taking it.
Yahweh appeared to Gideon in Ophrah. He sat down under an oak tree and said, “Yahweh is with you, O valiant warrior.” (Judges 6: 12) He meant it literally because He was with Gideon in Person at that moment, but it took Gideon by surprise since he was not a warrior. However, Yahweh saw what Gideon would become and declared that he was, in fact, a warrior.
Gideon did not realize he was talking to Yahweh in Person, and with a skeptical tone in his voice he asked, “O my lord, if Yahweh is with us, why has all this happened? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about…?” (Judges 6: 13)
Yahweh simply looked at him and told him to go and deliver Israel. Then He said, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat Midian as one man.” (Judges 6: 16)
Gideon remained doubtful, but he did not want to offend the Man so he invited Him to stay and share a meal. Yahweh accepted his invitation, and He waited patiently while Gideon prepared meat and bread. When Gideon brought the meal to Yahweh, He told him to place it on a nearby rock. Then Yahweh touched the food with the end of His staff, and fire came up out of the rock and consumed it. Immediately Yahweh vanished.
At that moment, Gideon knew he had been talking with Elohim Himself, and he said, “Alas, O Adonai Yahweh! For now I have seen Yahweh face to face.” (Judges 6: 22) Then Gideon heard Yahweh say these words: “Peace to you, do not fear; you shall not die.” (Judges 6: 23)
It took Gideon a little time to understand what Yahweh wanted him to do, and he needed constant reassurance. However, eventually Gideon delivered Israel from Midian under the miraculous guidance of Yahweh, and he turned the hearts and minds of the Children of Israel back to their Elohim.
Yahweh Appears to Manoah and His Wife (Samson’s Parents)
The Children of Israel reverted to evil ways again and again. During Manoah’s time, Yahweh gave them over to the Philistines for 40 years, and they were so oppressed that they turned back to Him. Yahweh heard their pleas, and He came to Manoah’s wife and told her that she would have a son who would “deliver Israel from the hands of the Philistines.” (Judges 13: 5) Excitedly, she ran to tell her husband, and he prayed for Elohim to return the Man who had spoken to her. Elohim complied with his request and appeared again to Manoah’s wife. Once more, she ran to get her husband.
When Manoah met the Man, he asked Him if He was the same Person who had spoken with his wife earlier, and He said, “I Am.” (Judges 13: 11) Then Elohim repeated the message He had given her the first time He appeared, and Manoah asked Him His Name. (Judges 13: 17) Interestingly, Yahweh had alluded to His Name already because Yahweh means “I Am,” but Manoah did not catch the subtle hint. Thus, Elohim said, “Why do you ask My Name, seeing it is wonderful?” (Judges 13: 18)
Some Bible translations of this verse use the word “hidden” or “secret” instead of “wonderful,” and they read this way: “Why do you ask My Name, seeing it is ‘hidden’?” or “Why do you ask My Name, seeing it is ‘secret’?” But the correct translation is “wonderful.”
The Hebrew word for “wonderful” used in this verse is “piliy,” and it comes from the prime root word “pala”—a Hebrew word that means wonderful beyond description. “Pele,” another derivative of “pala,” appears in Isaiah 9: 6 as a Name for the Messiah:
“For a Child will be born to us, a Son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His Name will be called Wonderful (Pele), Counselor, Mighty Elohim, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over His kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of Yahweh will accomplish this.” (Isaiah 9: 6-7)
Can we be certain that Yahweh was the Man talking with Manoah? Yes.
Manoah invited the Man to share a meal with them, and Yahweh said, “Though you detain Me, I will not eat your food, but if you prepare a burnt offering, then offer it to Yahweh.” (Judges 13: 16)
For some reason, Yahweh would not eat their food, but He would accept it as a sacrifice. Manoah prepared a goat and grain for a burnt offering to Yahweh, but neither he nor his wife knew that Yahweh was with them in Person at that moment. As he prepared the sacrifice, the Man “performed wonders while Manoah and his wife looked on.” (Judges 13: 19) When he placed the offering on the altar, fire burst forth from the rocks, and the Man “ascended in the flame of the altar.” (Judges 13: 20) Instantly Manoah said, “We shall surely die, for we have seen Elohim.” (Judges 13: 22) But his wife said, “If Yahweh had desired to kill us, He would not have accepted a burnt offering and a grain offering from our hands, nor would He have shown us all these things, nor would He have let us hear things like this at this time.” (Judges 13: 23)
Although we do not know what Yahweh told them, since He used the Name “Wonderful” it is reasonable to assume that He told them about the Messiah and about their own son—Samson. In a short while, Samson was born, and Yahweh delivered Israel from the Philistines through him. Even though Samson was a flawed human being, as we all are, Yahweh used him in a mighty way to bless His children.
Yahweh Appears to Samuel
Samuel was the last judge in Israel before Elohim allowed the Jews to have a human king, and his birth was a miracle. His father, Elkanah, had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. Hannah had no children, but Peninnah had many sons and daughters.
Each year Elkanah took his family to Yahweh’s Tabernacle at Shiloh to worship and make sacrifices. The family’s yearly pilgrimage to Shiloh, which should have been a festive occasion, was for Hannah a miserable experience. Year after year, Peninnah taunted and ridiculed (1 Samuel 1: 6) Hannah because she had so many children and Hannah had none. Finally, one year Hannah went into the Tabernacle and poured out her heart to Yahweh. With tears in her eyes (1 Samuel 1: 10), she pleaded with Him to give her a son:
“O Yahweh Sabaoth, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a son, then I will give him to Yahweh all the days of his life, and a razor will never come on his head.” (1 Samuel 1: 11)
Yahweh honored her prayer and gave her a son, and Hannah called him Samuel which means “the Name of Elohim.” When the boy was weaned she took him to the Tabernacle at Shiloh, dedicated him to Yahweh, and turned him over to Eli the priest to live out his years as Elohim’s servant.
Eli’s sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were also priests who served at Shiloh, and they were “worthless men” who “did not know Yahweh.” (1 Samuel 2: 11) Routinely, they stole sacrifices people made to Elohim (1 Samuel 2: 14), threatened to use force against them if they refused to surrender their sacrifices (1 Samuel 2: 16), and had sex with the women who served at the doorway of the Tabernacle. (1 Samuel 2: 22) Eli knew about all of this and instructed his sons to change their ways, but he did not take appropriate steps to make sure they abandoned these repulsive practices.
Hophni and Phinehas ignored their father’s warning, and one day Yahweh appeared to Samuel while he was in the Tabernacle and gave him this message for Eli: “I am going to do something in Israel which will make the ears of all who hear of it ring. I shall carry out that day against Eli everything that I have said about his family, from beginning to end. You are to tell him that I condemn his family for ever, since he is aware that his sons have been cursing Elohim and yet has not corrected them. Therefore—I swear it to the family of Eli—no sacrifice or offering shall ever expiate the guilt of Eli’s family.” (1 Samuel 3: 11-14 from The New Jerusalem Bible)
Yahweh was true to His Word, as He always is. Eli’s sons were killed in a battle with the Philistines, and the Philistines took the Ark of the Covenant from Israel. When Eli learned that his sons had died and that the Ark of the Covenant had been taken, he died immediately, and his lineage was cut off.
Yahweh Appears to King David
David became a very successful king in Israel. He was Yahweh’s anointed one, and Elohim blessed him mightily. The greatest blessing He bestowed on David was the promise that the Messiah would be One of his descendants. In fact, one of the Messiah’s Names is Messiah Son of David. However, David behaved in sinful ways when Israel became prosperous. (The meaning of the word “Messiah” is “Anointed One.” David was a type of the Messiah, and he is referred to in the Bible as Yahweh’s anointed one.)
One day Satan inspired David (1 Chronicles 21: 1) to think about all the wealth and power he had accumulated, and he asked Joab, his military leader, to conduct a census of the people in his kingdom. According to Jewish tradition, David wanted to know how many troops he had, as if it really mattered. (This interpretation is from Radak and others. Radak is an acronym for Rabbi David Kimchi who lived from 1040 to 1105. His commentaries on the Tanach and the Babylonian Talmud are studied today by traditional Jews.) Yahweh had put him on the throne, and everything he possessed was a result of Elohim’s blessings. It was sinful for David to think about those blessings as if they were the fruit of his own labor and to believe they could protect him in times of adversity. Joab knew he was asking for trouble and advised against it, but David insisted on the census anyway so Joab performed the count.
Yahweh instructed His prophet Gad to tell David that he was about to be punished and that he could choose what the punishment would be. He gave David three options: three years of famine, three months of being swept away before his enemies, or three days of the sword of Yahweh. (1 Chronicles 21: 9-12)
The fact that Elohim allowed David to choose the penalty was an indication of His love for him. David picked the third option and said, “I am in distress; please let me fall into the hand of Yahweh, for His mercies are very great. But do not let me fall into the hand of man.” (1 Chronicles 21: 13)
And so it was. For three days, Yahweh inflicted punishment on Israel because of David’s sin. All told, 70,000 men in Israel died because of what David had done. After three days, Yahweh came to Jerusalem to destroy the city, and He changed His mind when He reached “the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.” (1 Chronicles 21: 15) This is the site where Solomon built the Temple of Yahweh several years later. Today, this site is known as Mount Moriah, or the Temple Mount, and it is the epicenter of the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians.
David lifted up his eyes, and he saw Yahweh “standing between earth and heaven, with His drawn sword in His hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, covered in sackcloth, fell on their faces,” (1 Chronicles 21: 16) and David said, “Is it not I who commanded to count the people? Indeed, I am the one who has sinned and done very wickedly, but these sheep, what have they done?” (1 Chronicles 21: 17)
Yahweh instructed Gad to tell David to build an altar on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. (1 Chronicles 21: 18) David built the altar exactly where Elohim told him to build it, and when he offered sacrifices to Yahweh the punishment ceased. This is an important fact. Before he built the altar, David bought Mount Moriah from Ornan the Jebusite. He paid Ornan 600 shekels of gold for the land (1 Chronicles 21: 25), or about 240 ounces of gold (Ryrie, Charles. Ryrie Study Bible Expanded Edition, Moody Press, Chicago, 1995, p. 656), and then he made a sacrifice for his sins.
In other words, David did not “take the land,” or using today’s vernacular he did not “occupy the land.” He purchased it for a sum certain from Ornan the Jebusite, and he had, and has, legal title to the land. Make no mistake. The Temple Mount is a very special place to Yahweh, and anyone who believes Elohim’s Word would be foolish to ignore this fact.
Can we be certain that David saw Yahweh with a sword in His hand ready to destroy Jerusalem? Of course we can. 2 Chronicles 3: 1 talks about David’s son Solomon preparing to build the Temple of Yahweh on Mount Moriah: “Then Solomon began to build the house of Yahweh in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where Yahweh had appeared to his father David, at the place that David had prepared on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.” (2 Chronicles 3: 1)
2 Samuel chapter 24 provides another account of David’s sin in this matter, but in the 2 Samuel version of the incident Yahweh instructs David to purchase the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite (2 Samuel 24: 18) for 50 shekels of silver. (2 Samuel 24: 24) Many Bible scholars believe that 1 Chronicles chapter 21 and 2 Samuel chapter 24 talk about the same purchase of land, but this interpretation is less than satisfactory. It is possible for a person to have more than one name. For example, Solomon is referred to by several names in the Scriptures. Thus, Ornan and Araunah could be the same person. However, it is not logical to conclude that 50 shekels of silver and 600 shekels of gold are the same. Clearly they are not equal, and gold is far more valuable than silver.
Therefore, we must conclude that David acquired two pieces of property and that he paid different amounts of money for them. From Ornan he purchased a threshing floor on Mount Moriah for 600 shekels of gold, and from Araunah he bought another threshing floor for 50 shekels of silver. On both sites, David built altars for making sacrifices to Yahweh.
In The Rod of an Almond Tree in God’s Master Plan, Peter Michas argues that Araunah’s threshing floor was on the Mount of Olives directly across the Kidron Valley from Ornan’s threshing floor on Mount Moriah. Michas says that Ornan’s threshing floor is the site where Solomon eventually built the Temple of Yahweh, a fact about which Yahweh’s Word is very clear, and that Araunah’s threshing floor became the site where the Israelites sacrificed the Red Heifer to produce ashes for purification. I bring this up to emphasize that Elohim’s Word is accurate. We do not need to explain away or to rationalize about what might appear to be discrepancies or inconsistencies in the Bible. Our understanding is flawed—not Elohim’s Word.
Yahweh Appears to Solomon Twice
Solomon became king in Israel after David, and Yahweh blessed him mightily. Solomon’s kingdom was unmatched in the world during his time. His wealth and power were immense, and people traveled from distant lands simply to hear him speak because of his wisdom.
Shortly after Solomon became king, Yahweh appeared to him in a dream and said, “Ask what you wish Me to give you.” (1 Kings 3: 5) Since he was young and inexperienced, Solomon asked Yahweh to give him “an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil.” (1 Kings 3: 9) Obviously, Elohim was pleased with Solomon’s request because He gave him what he asked for, but He also gave him great wealth and power that he could have asked for but did not.
Yahweh appeared to Solomon again when he dedicated the Temple (1 Kings 9: 2) and said, “I have heard your prayer and your supplication, which you have made before Me; I have consecrated this house which you have built by putting My Name there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.” (1 Kings 9: 3)
This verse should cause alarm bells to ring out in the minds of people who believe Yahweh’s Word. Anyone who thinks he can bargain with the Temple Mount is asking for trouble. Mount Moriah is not a bargaining chip. For reasons known only to Him, Yahweh chose Mount Moriah, and He made it perfectly clear that His Name will reside there forever.
Elohim told Solomon He would bless him continually if he would simply obey His Word and follow after Him the way David had done. Wealth, power, and wisdom should have been enough for Solomon, but they were not. He turned his heart and his mind to other things, and it cost him dearly.
Solomon wrote the book of Ecclesiastes, and it describes his journey through life. He sought to discover anything that could be discovered, and Ecclesiastes is a litany of the things Solomon did and the things he learned. There was a great debate about whether to include Ecclesiastes in the Bible, but eventually it was included for only one reason, its conclusion. The last two verses in Ecclesiastes sum up what Solomon learned in his quest to know everything:
“The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear Elohim and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For Elohim will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12: 13-14)
This conclusion is absolutely correct. It is a shame Solomon had to do the things he did to learn it. In 1 Kings 11: 9-11, Yahweh makes clear just how disappointed in Solomon He became:
“Now Yahweh was angry with Solomon because his heart was turned away from Yahweh, the Elohim of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not observe what Yahweh had commanded. So Yahweh said to Solomon, ‘Because you have done this, and you have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear your kingdom from you….’” (1 Kings 11: 9-11)
You may be wondering what Solomon did that made Yahweh so angry. The details are in the Bible: “Now King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonite, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which Yahweh had said to the sons of Israel, ‘You shall not associate with them, neither shall they associate with you, for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods.’ Solomon held fast to these in love. He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned his heart away.” (1 Kings 11: 1-3)
Before he died, Solomon built places of worship for Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Milcom the god of the Ammonites, Chemosh the god of Moab, and Molech the god of the Ammonites. (1 Kings 11: 5-7) He did these things to make his wives happy and to keep peace in his household, but there is no good excuse for what Solomon did. Idolatry was commonplace in Israel, and King Solomon set the example that many people followed to their own detriment.
Yahweh was true to His Word. When Solomon died, Elohim tore Israel into two kingdoms: Israel in the north and Judah in the south. Eventually, the Assyrians took Israel into captivity and scattered the people throughout the world. Today, the Northern Kingdom is known as “the ten lost tribes of Israel.” Most of the descendants of people from the Northern Kingdom are still scattered throughout the world. Later, the Babylonians took the Southern Kingdom into captivity. Most of them were allowed to return to Israel when Cyrus the Great conquered the Babylonian Empire.
Yahweh Appears to Isaiah
In about 740 B.C., Yahweh appeared to Isaiah and commissioned him to deliver His message to the Children of Israel. Isaiah’s description of Yahweh is very interesting, and you can find it in Isaiah 6: 1-4. When he saw Yahweh, all Isaiah could say was this: “Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, Yahweh Sabaoth.” (Isaiah 6: 5 from The New Jerusalem Bible.)
The magnificence of Yahweh’s appearance and His absolute purity were so striking that Isaiah was forced to see himself correctly. He was compelled to admit that he was a sinner and that he lived among sinners. That is exactly what each one of us must understand. Only then can we begin to appreciate who Yahweh is. He is the Holy One of Israel, the One and only Elohim, and He will accept no blemishes.
Consider the Evidence
I said that Yahweh has a human form and that He has appeared to people throughout history. The Bible provides abundant evidence to support this assertion. I also said that Yahweh intervenes in history to perform His Word and to fulfill His promises. Here again, there are many examples of Elohim doing these things in Person, and I have discussed a few of them.
If you believe Elohim’s Word, by now you’re convinced. Go to the Bible and see for yourself if I have misled you in any way. If you don’t believe the Word of Elohim or if you aren’t sure it’s true, then you may not be convinced, but at least I hope I have roused your curiosity.
I also said the human form of Yahweh is the Messiah. Glimpses of that fact were evident in this presentation, but as I said, the Bible provides other compelling proofs to substantiate it. You need to read His Name is Yahweh for those details. You can download it for free at http://www.hisnameisyahweh.org or you can purchase it from Amazon in Kindle format or as a paperback.
Yahweh’s Covenant and its Ratification
Yahweh’s Covenant with His People: Genesis Chapter 15
If I were to make a list of the most important chapters in the Bible, Genesis chapter 15 would be at the top of my list because it presents Yahweh’s covenant with His people. This covenant has never changed, and it points to the New Covenant. Genesis chapter 22 also provides crucial insights into the New Covenant.
Genesis chapter 15 begins with this statement: “The Word of Yahweh came to Abram in a vision….” (Genesis 15: 1) As you will see later, this verse does not mean Abraham only heard the spoken Words of Yahweh. In fact, the “Word of Yahweh” referred to here is the Messiah, and Genesis chapter 15 tells us that the Messiah ratified the covenant on which we all depend for our redemption and salvation.
Yahweh told Abraham, “Do not fear…I am a shield to you; your reward shall be very great.” (Genesis 15: 1) Abraham responded by saying, in essence, “I have no children. How can this be?” (Genesis 15: 2-3)
Then Yahweh took Abraham outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars if you are able to count them…So shall your descendants be.” (Genesis 15: 5) Yahweh was telling Abraham that despite the fact he was childless at that moment, he would have many descendants. Eventually, Abraham learned that he would have a son, the child of the covenant through whom the Messiah would come, and in Genesis chapter 22 he learned that the Messiah would become the sin offering for all mankind.
Genesis 15: 6 tells us that Abraham believed Yahweh and that Yahweh declared him righteous. Clearly, Abraham’s righteousness was based on his faith in Yahweh, and his obedience flowed from his faith. I need to mention this fact here because the covenant Yahweh made with His people is not dependent on our effort in any way. Faith in Yahweh and His sacrifice on our behalf are essential, and our willingness to obey Him simply proves that we have the kind of faith He expects and demands. Literally, nothing else will satisfy Yahweh. As unusual as this may sound, that is exactly what Yahweh said.
Ratification of the Covenant
Most Christians do not have a good understanding of the covenant Yahweh ratified with Abraham and his descendants. Thus, most of us do not fully appreciate what Yahweh did for us or what He expects from us in return. In Genesis 15: 9-10, Elohim told Abraham,
“Bring me a three year old heifer, and a three year old female goat, and a three year old ram, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon. Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, and laid each half opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds.”
In Abraham’s day, people ratified covenants in the following way. First, they would slaughter animals and cut them in two. Next, they would place the parts of the slaughtered animals in two lines on the ground, and the people entering into the covenant would walk between the lines of animal parts together.
Ratification of a covenant signifies that the people walking between the animal parts are committing themselves to fulfill the covenant’s terms—every one of them no matter what happens. For instance, if you and your friend enter into a covenant such as the one Yahweh entered into with Abraham, both of you are agreeing to live up to the covenant’s terms even if the other one fails to keep his word. Ratifying a covenant this way also indicates that you are inviting Yahweh to slaughter you the way the animals were slaughtered if you break your promise.
Read Jeremiah 34: 8-22 to understand how important it is for us to live up to the terms of a covenant. Yahweh expects us to live up to our word, and He also expects us to obey His Word. Failure on our part to honor our word or to obey Yahweh’s Word is inviting disaster. Covenants are binding agreements no matter what happens.
Today, we do not enter into covenants so most of us are unfamiliar with the concept. Instead, we enter into contracts, and covenants and contracts are very different. For instance, if you and your friend enter into a contractual relationship and you fail to discharge your commitments, then the contract’s provisions are no longer binding on your friend. As I said, in a covenant the terms of the agreement never cease to apply. This distinction is key.
Furthermore, the covenant Yahweh ratified with Abraham was not a typical covenant. Take a look at Genesis 15: 12 and Genesis 15: 17-18 and see what I mean:
“Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, terror and great darkness fell upon him (Genesis 15: 12)….It came about when the sun had set, that it was very dark, and behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a flaming torch which passed between these pieces. On that day Yahweh made a covenant with Abram…” (Genesis 15: 17-18)
The “smoking oven” and the “flaming torch” mentioned in these verses were Yahweh’s Shekinah. Yahweh caused Abraham to fall asleep when He made the covenant, and Yahweh the Father and Yahweh the Son walked between the lines of animal parts. Thus, the covenant we refer to as the covenant Yahweh made with Abraham is actually a covenant between the Father and the Son, and Abraham and his descendants are the beneficiaries of Yahweh’s work on our behalf.
Since Abraham was asleep when Yahweh ratified the covenant, Yahweh assumed sole responsibility for fulfilling the covenant’s terms. Stated another way, Yahweh’s covenant with us is not dependent on our doing anything for Him. Please do not miss the significance of this point. The Children of Israel misunderstood it. They lacked faith in Yahweh, and as a result they had to spend 40 years in the wilderness instead of going directly to the Promised Land. (Psalm 78: 22, Psalm 78: 32, and Psalm 78: 59-62)
Steve McVey, President of Grace Walk Ministries, has written several very good books dealing with the importance of grace in the lives of Yahweh’s people. In his book Grace Land, McVey explains the covenant’s ratification this way:
“When the time came for the covenant to be ratified, God [Elohim] caused Abraham to fall asleep….There was no way that Abraham could live up to the promises he would have been making….It was as if God [Elohim] were saying, ‘Abraham, I know you have good intentions, but there is nothing you could ever do for Me. You would only break any promises you make. So for that reason, I want you to lie down and rest while I ratify the covenant. I’ll do the work. You simply trust Me as the recipient of all I do.’” (McVey, Steve. Grace Land, Harvest House, Eugene, Oregon, 2001, p. 82)
Yahweh’s covenant is “a unilateral pact (between Elohim and Abraham and his descendants), a divine initiative, a solemn promise sealed with an imprecatory oath.” (The New Jerusalem Bible, Doubleday, New York, 1985, p. 35) In essence, Yahweh called down curses on Himself if He fails to deliver on every one of His promises. He knew that Abraham could not live up to the terms of the covenant no matter how hard he tried, and neither can we.
The Law requires the death of anyone violating even one of the covenant’s provisions. Thus, every one of us deserves to die because all of us have violated the covenant. However, by ratifying it single-handedly Yahweh agreed to take upon Himself the penalty for our sins and to die in our place. This fact is alluded to in Genesis chapter 22. When they nailed the Messiah to a tree, He paid the price for our sins, redeemed us, fulfilled the Old Covenant, and sealed the New Covenant with His own blood. Now that is true love!
A note: Yahweh cannot die, because then the universe would stop running. The human form of Yahweh did die when He was hung on a tree, but His divine nature INSIDE Yeshua did not and cannot die (see Isaiah 11:1-12, Isaiah chapter 53, Isaiah 63:1-14, and Psalm 51:1-11). In a nutshell, Yeshua, who is Yahweh the Son, laid down his life voluntarily in submission to Yahweh the Father (see John chapter 10) to atone for our sins. Thanks to Andrew Gabriel Roth for suggesting this clarification.
Yahweh is Referred to by Other Names in the Bible
- Elohim—Strong One. It is used when referring to Yahweh or to a pagan god. When it refers to Yahweh, it is translated as “God”, and when it refers to a pagan god it is translated as “god.” Elohim is a plural word that suggests majesty.
- Adonai—Lord or Master of all. It is used when referring to Yahweh or to men. When it refers to Yahweh, it is translated as “Lord,” and when it refers to men it is translated as “lord.” Adonai suggests a master-servant relationship.
- El Gibbor—Mighty Elohim. A powerful Warrior Elohim who protects and defends His people.
- El Elyon—El Most High or strongest Strong One.
- El Roi—the Strong One who sees.
- El Shaddai—Almighty El. It means sufficient or enough and refers to Elohim as the One who sets constraints or limits in the universe. (Scherman, Rabbi Nosson, The Stone Edition Tanach, The ArtScroll Series®, Mesorah Publications, Brooklyn, New York, 1996, p. 145)
- El Olam—Everlasting El.
- Yahweh Yireh—Yahweh will provide.
- Yahweh Nissi—Yahweh our Banner.
- Yahweh Shalom—Yahweh our Peace.
- Yahweh Sabaoth—This Name is translated in most Bibles as “LORD of hosts,” and it refers to Yahweh as the Leader of a great army. The Tanach interprets this Name as “HASHEM Master of Legions.”
- Yahweh Maccaddeshcem—Yahweh our Sanctifier.
- Yahweh Raah—Yahweh our Shepherd.
- Yahweh Tsidkenu—Yahweh our Righteousness.
- Yahweh El Gmolah—Yahweh El of Recompense or Yahweh our Reward.
- Yahweh Shammah—Yahweh who is present.
- Yahweh Raphah—Yahweh our Healer. A literal translation of this Name is Yahweh our doctor.
Yahweh’s Promises Concerning the Promised Land
As you read this material, keep in mind that this is the land about which people are talking right now.
World leaders are doing their best to force Israel to surrender land that Yahweh promised to give the descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob and everyone who calls on the Name of Yahweh.
Yahweh will never go back on His Word, and His promises are certain. Candidly, I would not want to stand in Yahweh’s way as He fulfills His promises.
I want to be on His side. I hope you do too. Before you examine Yahweh’s promises, enjoy the video below:
- Video: Echoes of a Shofar
The Promised Land
When Abraham entered the Promised Land he was traveling with his nephew, Lot. They were men of great wealth, and they had very large herds of animals. Since the land could not support the herds of both men, Abraham suggested that they separate, and he told Lot to take the land he wanted. Lot looked at the valley below the hills on which Jerusalem rests, and he saw that it was well watered and very fertile. Thus, he took the valley for his possession, and Abraham willingly accepted the hilly region that includes Mount Moriah—the hill beside which Jerusalem was built.
After Abraham and Lot parted company, Yahweh made this promise to Abraham:
“Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever. I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth, so that if anyone can number the dust of the earth, then your descendants can also be numbered. Arise, walk about the land through its length and breadth; for I will give it to you.” (Genesis 13: 14-17)
In Genesis 15: 18-21, Yahweh gave Abraham a more precise description of the Promised Land’s boundaries:
“To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt (the Nile River) as far as the great river Euphrates; the land of the Kenite and the Kenizzite and the Kadmonite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Rephaim and the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Girgashite and the Jebusite.”
Later, Yahweh told Abraham that he would become the father of many nations, and He confirmed that the Promised Land would belong to his descendants forever:
“For My part, this is My covenant with you: you will become the father of many nations. And you are no longer to be called Abram; your name is to be Abraham, for I am making you father of many nations, and your issue will be kings. And I shall maintain my covenant between Myself and you, and your descendants after you, generation after generation, as a covenant in perpetuity, to be your Elohim and the Elohim of your descendants after you. And to you and to your descendants after you, I shall give the country where you are now immigrants, the entire land of Canaan, to own in perpetuity. And I will be their Elohim.” (Genesis 17: 4-8)
Then Yahweh explained that even though Abraham would become the father of many nations, His covenant would pass through Isaac’s descendants:
“As regards your wife…Sarah….I shall bless her and moreover give you a son by her. I shall bless her and she will become nations: kings of peoples will issue from her….Yes, your wife Sarah will bear you a son whom you must name Isaac. And I shall maintain My covenant with him, a covenant in perpetuity, to be his Elohim and the Elohim of his descendants after him. For Ishmael too I grant you your request. I hereby bless him and will make him fruitful and exceedingly numerous. He will be the father of twelve princes, and I shall make him into a great nation. But my covenant I shall maintain with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear you….” (Genesis 17: 15-16 and 19-21)
A “covenant in perpetuity” is binding for all eternity. That means the Promised Land belongs to Abraham’s descendants through Isaac forever. In Genesis 26: 2-5, Yahweh confirmed His promise to Isaac:
“Do not go down to Egypt; stay in the land of which I shall tell you. Sojourn in this land and I will be with you and bless you, for to you and to your descendants I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath which I swore to your father Abraham. I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven, and will give your descendants all these lands; and by your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; because Abraham obeyed Me and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes and My Laws.”
In Genesis 28: 13-15, Yahweh said that the Promised Land belongs to Abraham’s descendants through Jacob:
“I am Yahweh, the Elohim of your father Abraham and the Elohim of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give to you and your descendants. Your descendants shall also be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread out to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised.”
Yahweh repeated this promise in Genesis 35: 10-12:
“You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name….I am El Almighty (El Shaddai); be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall come from you, and kings shall come forth from you. The land which I gave to Abraham and Isaac, I will give it to you, and I will give the land to your descendants after you.”
Later, Yahweh told Moses that He would rescue the Jewish people from bondage in Egypt and bring them to the Promised Land, and He tied the promise to His Name:
“I am Yahweh, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. Then I will take you for My people, and I will be your Elohim; and you shall know that I am Yahweh your Elohim, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. I will bring you to the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I will give it to you for a permanent possession; I am Yahweh.” (Exodus 6: 6-8)
As the Children of Israel were preparing to leave Mount Sinai and go to the Promised Land, Yahweh told them He would send His Angel before them. This Angel is the Angel of Yahweh who appeared to Moses in the burning bush, and He established Israel as a nation:
“Behold, I am going to send an Angel before you to guard you along the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. Be on your guard before Him and obey His Voice; do not be rebellious toward Him, for He will not pardon your transgression, since My Name is in Him. But if you will truly obey His Voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries. For My Angel will go before you and bring you in to the land of the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites; and I will completely destroy them. You shall not worship their gods, nor serve them, nor do according to their deeds; but you shall utterly overthrow them and break their sacred pillars in pieces. But you shall serve Yahweh your Elohim, and He will bless your bread and your water; and I will remove sickness from your midst.” (Exodus 23: 20-25)
In Exodus 23: 27-31, Yahweh explained how His Angel would drive out the early inhabitants of the Promised Land, and He gave another description of its boundaries:
“I will send My terror ahead of you, and throw into confusion all the people among whom you come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you. I will send hornets ahead of you that they may drive out the Hivites, the Canaanites, and the Hittites before you. I will not drive them out before you in a single year, that the land may not become desolate and the beasts of the field become too numerous for you. I will drive them out before you little by little, until you become fruitful and take possession of the land. I will fix your boundary from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines (i.e., the Mediterranean Sea), and from the wilderness to the River Euphrates; for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you will drive them out before you.”
Yeshua’s “I AM” Statements
The Bible, the Talmud, and other rabbinic sources tell us that a large and growing number of people in Israel believed in Yeshua as they witnessed His many miracles. According to Raymond Fischer, a Messianic Jew from Israel and author of The Children of Elohim, about one-quarter of the people in Jerusalem at the time of Yeshua’s death believed in Him. To understand exactly what they believed about Him, we need to look at what He said about Himself. Below are Yeshua’s I AM statements. In each one of them Yeshua declares that He is Yahweh:
- “I AM the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst (John 6: 35)….I AM the bread that came down out of heaven (John 6: 41)….I AM the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die (John 6: 48-49)….I AM the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.” (John 6: 51)
In these verses, Yeshua likens Himself to the manna Yahweh provided for the Children of Israel in the wilderness. He said that people who eat His bread will never die the way they did. His “living bread” symbolizes His body, or His flesh, that was sacrificed for us. When we consume His “living bread,” we are uniting with Him and the sacrifice He made to atone for our sins, and since He is eternal we will live with Him forever. The Passover in Egypt and The Last Supper use this same symbolism.
- “I AM the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the Light of life….For unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” (John 8: 12 and 24)
Yeshua said He is the Light of the world that exposes the darkness. Just as light from the sun is the source of physical life, so is Yeshua the source of spiritual life. He likens darkness to death, and in Him there is no darkness.
According to the editors of The New Jerusalem Bible, in John 8: 24 when Yeshua said, “…unless you believe that I am He….,” He was claiming to be Yahweh:
“‘I Am’ or ‘I Am He’ is the Divine Name revealed to Moses (Yahweh)….When Yeshua appropriates this Name, He is claiming to be the One incomparable Saviour, the goal of Israel’s faith and hope.” (The New Jerusalem Bible, Doubleday, New York, 1985, p. 1763)
In John 8: 28, Yeshua said “I am He” again: “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He….” (John 8: 28)
The Bible says that many people who heard Yeshua make these claims “came to believe in Him.” (John 8: 30) Since He had told them that He is Yahweh, that is what they must have believed. Even more, they must have believed that they would die in their sins unless they believed Yeshua is Yahweh because that’s what He said in John 8: 24. Yeshua addressed this remark specifically to the people who believed He is Yahweh:
“If you abide in My Word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8: 31-32)
In John 8: 31, “My Word” must refer to the Old Testament because there was no New Testament at that time. Besides, the people to whom Yeshua was speaking already believed He is Yahweh, so it makes perfect sense that they would have understood that He was referring to the Old Testament. When Yeshua said “you will know the truth,” they would have understood that He was referring to the Scriptures again because Yahweh’s Word is truth. (Psalm 119: 160) Don’t miss the significance of these points. By calling the Old Testament “My Word,” Yeshua was claiming to be Yahweh.
In a nutshell, John 8: 31-32 is a warning to distinguish between Yahweh’s Word, or the Old Testament, and the traditions taught by the priests, many of which contradicted the Scriptures. Every one of Yeshua’s followers would have been familiar with this line of reasoning since He had told them on several occasions that every Word in the Law and the prophets is perfect.
When He finished speaking to His followers, Yeshua addressed these remarks to the priests: “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants; yet you seek to kill Me, because My Word has no place in you. I speak the things which I have seen with My Father; therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father….You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father….” (John 8: 37-38 and 44)
Yeshua made it crystal clear that the source of the priests’ traditions was Satan himself, and His contempt for their traditions defies description. As I said before, eventually He would die for violating their tradition prohibiting saying the Name “Yahweh.”
- “I AM the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I AM the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved…” (John 10: 7-9)
Yeshua said He is “the door” to eternal life. There is no other way to salvation! Any other way to Elohim that may seem right to us is actually wrong no matter what we may think.
- “I AM the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. I have other sheep, which are not from this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My Voice; and they will become one flock with One Shepherd. For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it up again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again.” (John 10: 14-18)
In Ezekiel, Yahweh referred to Himself as the Shepherd of His people, and Yeshua’s claim to be the Good Shepherd is a declaration that He is Yahweh. This passage from Ezekiel explains exactly what Yeshua meant:
“Therefore, you shepherds, hear the Word of Yahweh: ‘As I live,’ declares Adonai Yahweh, ‘surely because My flock has become a prey, My flock has even become food for all the beasts of the field for lack of a shepherd, and My shepherds did not search for My flock, but rather the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock.’ Therefore, you shepherds, hear the Word of Yahweh: Thus says Adonai Yahweh, ‘Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I shall demand My sheep from them and make them cease from feeding my sheep. So the shepherds will not feed themselves anymore, but I will deliver My flock from their mouth, that they may not be food for them.’
For thus says Adonai Yahweh, ‘Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. As a shepherd cares for his herd in the day when he is among his scattered sheep, so I will care for My sheep and will deliver them from all the places to which they were scattered on a cloudy and gloomy day. I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries and bring them to their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the streams, and in all the inhabited places of the land. I will feed them in a good pasture, and their grazing ground will be on the mountain heights of Israel. There they will lie down on good grazing ground and feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I will feed My flock and I will lead them to rest,’ declares Adonai Yahweh. ‘I will seek the lost, bring back the scattered, bind up the broken and strengthen the sick; but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with judgment.’” (Ezekiel 34: 7-16)
Yahweh said that the priests had failed to do their jobs. Instead of feeding the flock, they fed off of them. Yahweh also told the priests that He would assume the role of shepherd Himself and do the job they should have done. In this I AM statement, Yeshua is saying He fulfilled that promise. In Ezekiel 34: 25 Yahweh said He would make a “covenant of peace” with His people when He came to shepherd them. In this I AM statement, Yeshua is saying He is the fulfillment of that promise as well. The “covenant of peace” is the New Covenant that Yeshua ratified with His own blood.
- “I AM the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die.” (John 11: 25-26)
Yeshua offers eternal life to anyone who believes in Him. He protects us no matter what happens to our physical bodies. Thus, we can be bold and confident as we go about doing the work He gives us to do with the full assurance that He is our Rock and our Refuge.
- “I AM the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.” (John 14: 6-7)
In response to this I AM statement, Philip asked Yeshua to show them the Father, and He said, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (John 14: 9)
Without a doubt, Yeshua claimed to be Yahweh. Despite the clarity of this statement, some people cannot believe that a loving Elohim would provide only one way to salvation. In their minds, there must be many ways to come to Him. The only problem with their thinking is that He said there is only one way, and He is sovereign. Yeshua said, “I AM the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14: 6) and that is exactly what He meant.
- “I AM the vine, and My Father is the vine-dresser….I AM the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15: 1 and 5)
The vineyard Yeshua refers to in these verses is the Kingdom of Yahweh. The Father is the vinedresser, and Yeshua is the vine. We are the branches on His vine, and we get all our nutrients from Him. The Father expects us to bear fruit. In John 15: 2-3, Yeshua said the Father removes the branches that bear no fruit and prunes the productive branches so they bear even more fruit. But we are not left alone to do our work. He said, “…apart from Me you can do nothing.” The corollary to this statement is “with Him we can do anything.”
The Message is Clear
In his book Jesus Among Other Gods, Ravi Zacharias summarizes the meaning of Yeshua’s I AM statements perfectly: “He (Yeshua) was identical with His message. ‘In Him,’ say the Scriptures, ‘dwelt the fullness of the Godhead bodily.’ He did not just proclaim the truth. He said, ‘I am the truth.’ He did not just show a way. He said, ‘I amthe Way.’ He did not just open up vistas. He said, ‘I am the door.’ ‘I am the Good Shepherd.’ ‘I am the resurrection and the life.’ ‘I am the I Am.’” (Zacharias, Ravi. Jesus Among Other Gods, Nashville, TN: W Publishing Group, 2000, p. 89)
At this point, there should be no doubt in your mind that Yeshua claimed to be Yahweh. In fact, in John 8: 24 Yeshua said that unless we believe He is Yahweh we will die in our sins. It’s almost impossible to misinterpret that verse, and as far as I am concerned, that’s as serious as it gets. And one more thing, it should be obvious that this is Yeshua’s message—not mine, and it is all over the Scriptures. This is the only relevant question. Do you believe the Bible? If you do, then it’s time to recognize Yeshua for who He is and tell the world about Him by Name—His Divine Name, Yahweh.
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