Yeshua is the Savior; He is YEHOVAH! – 27 Dec 2014

Lk 2:11  There is born to you this day in the City of David a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord!

Our faith in God through Yeshua the Messiah/Jesus Christ is unique and different from all other religions and faiths.  Every other religious faith requires keeping certain commandments and doing certain works in order to maybe earn by our own efforts what can be called “inheriting the world to come”.  That is, earning the right to live, both now and forever.  Faith in Yeshua as the Messiah and the Son of God justifies a person in God’s sight for salvation, and God gives each and all who do believe with their mind and heart the gift of eternal life.

In other religions there is the need to appease an angry God, or capricious gods, in the hope that you might be saved from his/their displeasure.  This can even be said to be true about what Israel made of their religion in professing to believe in Yehovah their God.  Yet He had spoken to them of His desire that they should love Him for being their Savior and Deliverer in bringing them out of slavery in Egypt, and in giving them the Land of Canaan as their everlasting possession.  If they had loved Him, they would have obeyed Him with faith, and be blessed by His presence among them, and by peace and prosperity. (Jer 7:20-26)

The idea of YHVH God being the Savior of Israel was known to Israel and the Jewish people, repeatedly spoken of through the Hebrew Scriptures.  He covenanted with them to protect them, and to deliver His people to preserve them physically from their enemies, and, more so, to save them from their sins, and from their unfaithfulness to Him and His covenant with them. (Dt 20:1-4; Jdg 2:11-22; Is 63; Jer 31:31-34; Ezek 36; Ps 25:5; Ps 51)  The Judges, before there was a [human] king in Israel, were all ‘saviors’, whom God gave to the people to deliver them from the hand of their enemies.

YHVH is holy; He is not like any other so-called gods.  He is a Savior God, full of lovingkindness, mercy, compassion, goodness and truth – desiring that His people should live, and not die. (Ex 34:5-9; Ezek 18:30-32)  His goodness and mercy pertain to the individual (see, for example, Naaman, the gentile Syrian; and Josiah, the King of Judah), as well as to the corporate nation.  Even today, in modern Israel, the nation has survived, thrived, and defeated enemies more numerous and stronger than she, which, for the believer, can only be fully explained by YHVH’s faithfulness to preserve the nation, even as He is also judging her for her continued unrepentant unbelief, with many Israelis dying and being killed without faith in Him.

Whenever we speak with an unbelieving Jewish person about Yeshua/Jesus, if we speak ‘long enough’, the question will always come to us: “Do you really believe that Jesus/Yeshua is God!?” Will you be able to give a clear answer to that very good and crucial question?

Let us look in particular at two Old Testament passages from the prophet Isaiah, where YHVH (Adonai) declares, and is declared, that He is Israel’s Savior:

Isa 43:1-3  But now, thus says Yehovah who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned; nor shall the flame kindle on you.  For I am Yehovah your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for you.

Isa 43:10-13  You are My witnesses, says Yehovah, and My servant whom I have chosen; that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me no God was formed, nor shall there be after Me.  I, I am Yehovah; and there is none to save besides Me.  I have declared, and have saved, and I have shown, when there was no strange god among you; therefore you are My witnesses, says Yehovah, that I am God.  Yea, before the day was, I am He; and no one delivers out of My hand; I will work, and who will reverse it?

We see in these verses from Is 43 that YHVH is proclaiming that He alone is the Savior of the children of Jacob/Israel, and there is no other God or Savior besides Him.  He has chosen Israel to be His servant and witnesses to the nations of the truth that He alone is God, and that He alone is capable of saving.

In Is 33:22, we have this great declaration by the Prophet:  For Yehovah is our Judge; YHVH is our Lawgiver; YHVH is our King; He will save us!

Israel’s God and Judge, the one who gave them His laws to live by, and who also governs and leads them, is YEHOVAH their Savior.

When we come to the New Testament, this belief in the God of Abraham as the Savior of the covenanted children of Abraham is heard in Mary’s song of adulation, after her relative Elizabeth confirmed by the Holy Spirit the special child within Mary as being her Lord:
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior….He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed forever.” (Lk 1:46-47, 54-55)

The old man Simeon, in the Temple when Joseph and Mary brought the baby Yeshua to dedicate Him, was waiting for the Consolation of Israel.  When he saw the child, He blessed God for allowing him to see [His] salvation in the person of this baby, both for the Gentiles, and for His people Israel. (Lk 2:25-35)

Since the last prophet, Malachi, had written at least 400 years earlier, Israel was waiting to hear again a word from the LORD.  The Maccabees, who had led the war against the Greeks to restore the true worship of God in Israel about 160 years earlier, were called saviors; and they are still remembered as such in the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah.  This hope of political and national salvation to be Jewish in our own land did not last very long.  As we ‘hear’ from Mary and from Simeon, the long-awaited anticipation of the true savior messiah was strong in Israel at the time of Yeshua’s birth, a time based on Biblical prophesies. (Dan 9:24-26a; Hag 2:18-22; Jn 1:19-23, 31, 41, 45, 49; see also Acts 5:35-39)

Let us now look at the announcement concerning the conception of Jesus and of Mary’s pregnancy, which an angel of the Lord spoke to Joseph:

Mt 1:20b-23  . . .Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take to you Mary as your wife. For that in her is fathered of the Holy Spirit.  And she shall bear a son, and you shall call His name YESHUA: for He shall save His people from their sins.  Now all this happened so that might be fulfilled that which was spoken of the LORD by the prophet, saying, “Behold, the virgin shall conceive in her womb, and will bear a son. And they will call His name Emmanuel,” which being interpreted is, God with us.

The announcement to Joseph to accept that which God had done also carries with it great implications:  this child Yeshua is the Savior – not first of all physically or nationalistically from external enemies, but rather from their own sins against God and man, preventing Israel and the Jewish people from being all that YHVH had covenanted with them to be.  We are further told that all this was done so that the Word of YHVH spoken close to 800 years before the birth would now be fulfilled through this virgin birth:  this child who was born, this Son who was given, would be called Immanuel, God with us.  This child, Yeshua, is YEHOVAH!

Soon after the birth of Messiah, the Jewish shepherds in the fields around Bethlehem heard an angel of YHVH proclaim:

Lk 2:10-12   Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.  For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord! And this is the sign to you:  You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.

The hope of the ages had come, and the Savior from the devil and from sin was born! (Gen 3:15)  And this miracle and sign from the CREATOR, shaking Heaven and Earth, which still strikes wonder in the heart of the believer, is that the mighty YHVH God had taken on flesh and blood in the weakness of a baby, in order to be the REDEEMER and SAVIOR of both Jews and Gentiles from their sins.

But wait!:  We saw from the Scriptures how only YHVH is the Savior of Israel, and of the nations.  Yeshua’s name was given, saying that HE will save His people [Israel] from their sins:  HE is the Savior!  Only YEHOVAH forgives and justifies sinful people through their repentance and faith in Him, and in His Messiah (Anointed One).  JESUS CHRIST/YESHUA THE MESSIAH, THE SON OF GOD AND SON OF MAN, IS YEHOVAH GOD!  It has been declared, and He showed it to be truth throughout His sinless and miraculous life, death, and resurrection!  Good news indeed, especially to those who believe! (1Tim 4:9-10; Phlp 2:5-11)

We are Yeshua’s witnesses, and serve Him. (Lk 24:44-49)  Let us love the only wise God and Savior for being our Savior and Deliverer in bringing us out of slavery in the world to sin, and in giving us the Kingdom of God as our everlasting possession with Him!  If we love Him, we will tell others this good news, and we will praise and worship the Lord, obeying Him with faith and thanksgiving, and be blessed by His presence within us and among us, having great peace and assurance.  Hallelu-Yah!

The Birth of Yeshua Is A Blessing to Israel and to All Peoples – 19 Dec 2014

The God of Israel is a God who speaks.  He spoke the creation into existence!  He spoke to Adam, to Noah, Job, Abraham, Moses, Samuel, David – to many others.  We see that He spoke to the Prophets of Israel; and Yeshua, after His ascension to the right hand of the Father, spoke to the Apostles Peter, Paul, John in the New Testament.  God speaks, and it is good for those to whom He speaks when they listen to His voice. (Heb 3:12-12 – 4:1)

Psa 85:8-9 (9-10 Heb)   I will hear what God Yehovah will speak; for He will speak  peace to His people, and to His saints; but let them not turn again to folly.  Surely His salvation is near those that fear Him, so that glory may dwell in our land.

What does God speak concerning the birth of His only-begotten Son, Yeshua?  Let’s look at how Yeshua’s birth is meant to be a blessing to Israel and to all peoples.

Let’s begin with what Yehovah God spoke to the serpent (the devil) in the  Garden of Eden in the presence of the first man and woman at the beginning of history, for us who believe that the prophecies which God gave of a Savior and a Deliverer are fulfilled in Jesus.

Gen 3:15  And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He will bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.

God speaks here of the Seed of the woman, implying that a male child – a son — would be born through a woman, and that this ‘good’ male would defeat the ‘evil’ seed of the evil one.

What does YHVH God speak to Abram (Abraham), the man whom He chose to cut a covenant with and to make his name great?:

Gen 12:3  And I will bless those that bless you and curse the one who curses you. And in you all families of the earth shall be blessed.

For us who believe in Yeshua as also the Son of Abraham and Son of Adam, we hear God speak that He will guard the honor and dignity of this Seed of the woman.

What does the Holy Spirit tell us through Paul about this spoken promise to our father, Abraham?:

Gal 3:7-9  Therefore know that those of faith, these are the sons of Abraham.  And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the nations through faith, preached the gospel before to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all nations be blessed.”  So then those of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

God is speaking peace to His people, and to His godly ones (hasidov); He is blessing them in connection with the good news of this child to be born, this son to be given. (Is 9:6-7; Hag 2:19b)

The God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob had promised a New Covenant to His sinful people, by which He would forgive them their sins – blessing them with peace. (Jer 31:31-34)

Now we are ready to read the account of Yeshua’s birth, and to listen to what God is speaking to His people Israel, and to all peoples, concerning this male child who was born not too far from here about 2018 years ago:

Lk 2:1-14   And it happened in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.  (This taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)  And all went to be registered, each to his own city.  And Joseph also went up from Galilee to be taxed (out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David).

And he took Mary his betrothed wife, being with child.  And while they were there, the days for her deliverance were fulfilled.  And she brought forth her son, the first-born, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger– because there was no room for them in the inn.

And in the same country there were shepherds living in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And lo, the angel of the Lord came on them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them. And they were grievously afraid.  And the angel said to them, Do not fear. For behold, I give to you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For to you is born today, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this is a sign to you:  You will find the babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

God is speaking good news of peace to His people Israel until today with the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God; but not to the Jewish people only, but also to all peoples:  “Peace on Earth, goodwill toward men!” (Mt 28:18-20)  This is the blessing which God proclaims from the birth of His Son, King of Israel, to sinful people everywhere.  And for those who do believe in Him – His godly ones — His birth carries with it the promise of His coming again to rule in righteousness, as King of kings and Lord of lords! (Is 9:6-7):

Rev 12:1-5  And there appeared a great sign in the heavens, a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon was under her feet, and a crown of twelve stars on her head,  and having a babe in womb, she cries, being in travail, having been distressed to bear.  And another sign was seen in the heavens. And behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads!  And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and cast them onto the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman being about to bear, so that when she bears he might devour her child.  And she bore a son, a male, who is going to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her child was caught up to God and to His throne.

In these days when darkness is covering the nations, let us, as sons of light, not return to our former way of life, but let us shine brightly with the good news of hope, encouraging one another as we continue on the way, and proclaiming God’s desire that all should believe on His Son, and inherit everlasting life.  Messiah has come, and is coming again quickly!  (It accomplishes no good to answer an inquiring person with the confusing controversy over the timing or sanctity of this great marvel.)  This is our peace and blessed hope which all the saints and godly ones have, who hear what YHVH God speaks to Israel, and to the Church of God, for all peoples.

Yeshua the Messiah, the Son of God, is YEHOVAH – 12 Dec 2014

We are in the season of remembering and celebrating the God who is Light. (Jn 8:12; 1Jn 1:5)   Both Hanukkah (the Feast of Dedication) and Christmas, the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, are coming one after the other in the next two weeks.  It is often claimed that Yeshua never said that He was God, only the Son of God.  Let us look to see if the Holy Spirit did not inspire the writers of the New Testament to write what they did in a way to demonstrate that, in fact, Jesus is YEHOVAH God – Immanuel. (Is 7:14; Mt 1:22-23)

Jn 10: 22-42   “And the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem, and it was winter.  And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s Porch.  Then the Jews encircled Him and said to Him, How long do you make us doubt?  If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.

“Jesus answered them, I told you and you did not believe.  The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me.  But you did not believe because you are not of My sheep.  As I said to you,  My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.  And I give to them eternal life, and they shall never ever perish, and not anyone shall pluck them out of My hand.  My Father who gave them to me is greater than all, and no one is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand. (Is 43:10-13I and the Father are one.

“Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him.  Jesus answered them, I have shown you many good works from My Father; for which of these do you stone Me?

“The Jews answered Him, saying, We do not stone you for a good work, but for blasphemy, and because you, being a man, make yourself God.

“Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your Law, “I said, You are gods?”  If He called those gods with whom the Word of God was, and the Scripture cannot be broken,  do you say of Him whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world, You blaspheme, because I said, I am the Son of God?  If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me.  But if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works so that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.  Then they again sought to seize Him, but He went forth out of their hand.

“And He went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John baptized at the first, and He stayed there.  And many came to Him and said, John indeed did no miracle, but all things that John said concerning this One were true.  And many believed on Him there.”

During Hanukkah, the Jewish leaders and people were again challenging Jesus to declare if He is the Messiah.  Jesus says that He had told them, but that they did not believe.  He had just given a man born blind new eyes, and now he saw the light, and Jesus validated His grace by doing the work of power in His own authority. (Jn 9; Is 35:5-6) He goes on to say that the works that He did are the works of His Father, who is God.  The Jews understood this to mean that He was making Himself God by claiming He was the Son of God, doing what His Father does. (Jn 5:17-23)

What are some works of the Father that Jesus did which prove He is YEHOVAH God?  In the Tanach, YHVH God is normally understood as being God the Father (yet as believers, we know now that YHVH can refer to any of the triune God).

Let’s read Mk 2:1-12, and compare there what is written about God in the Tanach:

“And again He entered into Capernaum after some days.  And it was heard that He was in a house.  And immediately many were gathered, so that none any longer had room, even to the door.  And He proclaimed the Word to them.  Then they came to Him, bringing one who was paralyzed, who was carried by four.  When they could not come near to Him because of the crowd, they unroofed the roof where He was.  And digging through, they let down the cot on which the paralytic was lying.

“And seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, Son, your sins are forgiven to you.

” But some of the scribes were sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,  Why does this one speak such blasphemies?  Who can forgive sins except God only?!

” And instantly knowing in His spirit that they reasoned so within themselves, He said to them, Why do you reason these things in your heart?  Which is easier to say to the paralytic, Your sins are forgiven you; or to say, Arise, and take up your cot and walk?  But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority upon earth to forgive sins, He said to the paralytic, I say to you, Arise, and take up your cot, and go to your house.  And immediately he arose and took up his cot and went out before all.  So that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, We never saw anything like this!

In the Old Testament, we read in Ps 130:3-4 that only YHVH does forgive sins, so that He may be feared, exactly what we see Yeshua doing, and the people responding.

“If You will keep in mind iniquities, O Yehovah, who shall stand, O Lord?  But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared.”

Let’s read Mk 4:35-41:

“And evening having come, He said to them on that day, Let us pass over to the other side.   And when they had sent away the crowd, they took Him with them as He was in the boat.  And there were also other little boats with Him.  And there arose a windstorm, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was now full.  And He was in the stern of the boat, asleep on a headrest.  And they awakened Him and said to Him, Master, do You not care that we perish?!

” And He awakened and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, Peace!  Be still!  And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.  And He said to them, Why are you so fearful?  How is it that you have no faith?  And they feared exceedingly and said to one another, Who is this man, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?!

In verse 39, Mark writes that Yeshua rebuked the wind, and the wind and the sea became calm.  This caused His disciples – who were still learning who it was that called them to follow Him – to be amazed, and to wonder who this Man could be that even the winds and the sea obeyed Him.  Do we find an answer to this in the Old Testament?

Let’s read Ps 106:9:

“And He (YHVH) rebuked the Red Sea, and it was dried up; so He led them through the depths, as through the wilderness.”

And Jonah 1:9-16:

“And he said to them, I am a Hebrew; and I fear Yehovah, the God of heaven, who has made the sea and the dry land.

“Then the men were afraid with a great fear.  And they said to him, What is this you have done?  For the men knew that he was fleeing from before the face of Yehovah, because he had told them.  Then they said to him, What shall we do to you, that the sea may be calm to us?  For the sea was going on and being tempestuous.

“And he said to them, Take me up and throw me out into the sea.  And the sea shall be calm to you; for I know that this great tempest has come on you for my sake.

“But the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not, for the sea was going on and being more tempestuous against them.  And they cried to Yehovah and said, We beg You, O Yehovah, we beg You, let us not perish for this man’s life, and do not lay on us innocent blood.  For You, O Yehovah, have done as it pleased You.  And they lifted Jonah up and threw him out into the sea; and the sea ceased from its raging.  Then the men feared Yehovah exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice to Yehovah, and vowed vows.”

We see in the New Testament and in the Old that both pagans and Israelis were amazed when God rebuked the winds and the seas, and the winds and the seas obeyed Him and became calm.  It elicited a fear of God that they  glorified the Father and the Son as the light became brighter as to who the true God is by His mighty works.  There are many other examples in the Bible of what Jesus did which demonstrate that He and the Father are one. (Jn 21:25)

As the world pays attention to the holidays of Israel and the Church, we want to be confident in our own understanding of the mystery of the faith – God has come to us in the person of Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ is YEHOVAH to the glory of God the Father.  Our response should be fear, honor, worship, and thanksgiving to the great God who does such mighty acts for His people and all the sons and daughters of Adam.  Jesus came into the world as the Light, to bring us back to God the Father, and have calm and peace in our soul and spirit.

Let’s close with Ps 107:21-32:

Let them praise Yehovah for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the sons of man!  And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare His works with rejoicing!

“They who go down to the sea in ships, who do business in great waters; these see the works of Yehovah and His wonders in the deep.

“For He commands and raises the stormy wind, which lifts up its waves.  They mount up to the heavens, they go down again to the depths; their soul is melted because of trouble.

“They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and all their wisdom is swallowed up.  And they cry to Yehovah in their trouble, and He brings them out of their troubles.

He makes the storm a calm, so that its waves are still.  And they are glad because they are quiet; so He brings them to their desired haven.

Let them praise Jehovah for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the sons of man!  And let them exalt Him in the congregation of the people, and praise Him in the gathering of the elders.