One Torah For All

One Torah shall be to him that is home-born, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.
Exodus 12:49

Some thoughts on its meaning and application

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 6:4
“Hear, Yisrael, YHWH our Elohim, YHWH echad”

Recently I was asked some questions concerning the word “echad” and how this describes the relationship between YHWH the Father and Yeshua the Son. One of the questions specifically dealt with exactly to whom Yeshua prayed during His earthly incarnation if He is YHWH in the flesh.

My approach to Scripture, particularly those passages revealing something about our Creator, is to simply know that what is written is true. While many people believe this, they don’t actually make a conscious decision to act upon this. The way I choose to act upon it is to simply know and believe that what is written is true. This does not mean I understand it; usually the understanding comes later. First, I must accept it for what it says. It is good and right that I investigate what I do not understand, but in the end, what I find in that investigation must submit to the whole revelation of YHWH about Himself; it cannot be contrary to that which is plain. Now, I am confident that your approach is somewhat similar, but what I desire to point out is the need to be deliberate in these particular actions.

Shemot (Exodus) 26:11
“And you shall make fifty clasps of brass, and put the clasps into the loops, and couple the tent together, that it may be one.”

Now, concerning the concept of “echad” and how that applies to YHWH and Yeshua, I would direct your attention to the tent of meeting, which was made of ten curtains to go around the outer perimeter of the tent of meeting. Clips of brass were made to join the curtains together into one unit; this one unit according to Scripture was considered “echad,” which is the word used to describe this joining action in the above passage. Now, we are not suggesting that YHWH and Yeshua are separate units in any way; but rather, are simply manifestations of the Supreme Being. In this we mean that both YHWH and Yeshua are manifestations of this Supreme Being. The manifestation of the Son (which we know by the name of Yeshua) is a very complex manifestation. By this we mean that within this one human body were multiple manifestations of the Supreme Being, namely, the Father incarnate, the seven manifold Spirit of YHWH, the Blood, and the Voice, in particular. There were other manifestations included in the body of Mashiach Yeshua, but this should be sufficient for you to see the very complex nature of Mashiach.

Here is one more example from Scripture on the usage of the word “echad.”

Shemot (Exodus) 25:36-37
36 “Their knops and their branches shall be of one piece with it; the whole of it one beaten work of pure gold.
37 And you shall make the lamps thereof, seven: and they shall light the lamps thereof, to give light over against it.”

Please note that YHWH states the menorah is “one” piece, made from a single piece of gold, that is, it is echad. However, there are seven branches and seven lamps upon those branches. This piece of furniture in the holy place represents the seven manifest Spirits of YHWH.

Yeshayah (Isaiah) 11:2
And the Spirit of YHWH shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of YHWH.

Names in Scripture have much more weight to them than they are given in the West. As such, when a name is revealed in Scripture, it is telling us something about that being, whether that being is earthly or heavenly in nature. Thus, I came to the understanding long ago that each one of the revealed names of the Supreme Being is, in truth, a different manifestation of that Supreme Being. Thus, it is not simply the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, but there are many more manifestations. Each one of these manifestations teaches something very important about the Supreme Being that He wants us to know about Himself. We use masculine pronouns only in the sense of old correct English grammatical usage and not suggesting that the Supreme Being is masculine or that the Supreme Being has any gender at all. Rather the Supreme Being reveals Himself as both masculine and feminine according to the need of mankind at any given time.

Each one of these manifestations of Elohim the Supreme Being is Echad. That is, each manifestation is an exact representation of some particular aspect or characteristic of the Supreme Being. It is not possible for man to comprehend the totality of the Supreme Being, thus, the Supreme Being manifests Himself in small doses which man can grasp; that is, man can grasp understanding with the help of His indwelling Spirit!

In our finiteness, it is difficult for us to comprehend the vastness of this Supreme Being. It is always helpful to start at the beginning and work forward! Starting in the middle or at the end and working backwards is a sure way to get off of the true path to enlightenment. Those who have been raised in the westernized church are taught many things about the Creator. So, in essence, one in such a situation as this is starting in the middle and then trying to make sense out of things which don’t fit in with what they have been taught in the past. I know it is not completely possible to read Scripture from the beginning as though one knew nothing about it at all, but this is what one practically needs to do to understand the revelation of the Supreme Being to mankind.

B’reshit (Genesis) 1:26
And Elohim said, “Let Us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”

One of the first things we learn about Elohim is that He chose to make man in His own image and likeness. Now the pashat level of understanding concerning this is simple: we look like Him!!! This has been reasoned away in the church and it is taught that this is not what this means, but I submit to you that this is exactly the primary meaning of what this says. We look like our Creator!!! This truth cannot be stressed enough.

Now, we are taught that the first human was Adam. I submit to you this is a false understanding!!! The first true and absolutely complete human was our Creator! We are patterned after Him! This may sound over simplistic or even fantastic, but it is exactly the logical meaning of those words from Scripture.

If I have an item, let’s say a desk, and I desire to make another desk just like the one I already have, which is the first one? The original which I used as a pattern? Or, the copy, the one which is made in the image and likeness of the first one? It is the original, of course! Yet, as simple as this truth is, almost no one applies it to our Creator, when He has stated this exact truth to us in very clear language.

B’reshit (Genesis) 5:3
And Adam lived a hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Shet.

When Adam’s son Shet was born, this son was in the image and likeness of his father Adam. The Hebrew from which the words “likeness” and “image” are translated are the same two words as found in B’reshit 1:26. Scripture teaches us that Adam was the son of Elohim.

Luqa (Luke) 3:38
the son of Enosh, the son of Shet, the son of Adam, the son of Elohim.

In the same way that Adam’s son was in the image and likeness of his father (he looked like him), so too, was Adam in the image and likeness of his Father!

Therefore, when one begins to consider the manifestation of Mashiach in light of these revealed truths, one begins to see something very exciting. Mashiach is the exact representation of the “Father.” If you look into a mirror, you see an exact representation of yourself. It is not yourself, but it is like you in every way (except it has no life of its own). Yeshua is the exact representation of the “Father” in every way, including having life, but especially in that He is Human. He is actually more human than we are, for when Adam sinned; he lost part of himself and that loss we inherited from him for all generations.

Qorintyah Aleph (1st Corinthians) 15:45
So also it is written, the first man Adam became a living soul, the last Adam a life-giving spirit.

This is not true of Mashiach; that is, He did not inherit that same loss from Adam, because He was fashioned in the same manner as the first Adam, becoming the last Adam, only He was fashioned in the womb of a woman, a woman in the line of David, through whom the promised Mashiach would come.

I know that a lot of people become distressed about who Yeshua prayed to when He prayed to the Father, and I do not make light of this distress, for it is real and deserves an answer. Because Mashiach is in the image of Father YHWH, that is, a manifestation of Him, He is not the Father, but rather He is the Father revealed in the flesh. Some may take exception to this as splitting hairs, but we think it is not. For we know Yeshua prayed to the Father in heaven. We also know that YHWH clearly reveals to us that it would be He who saves His people. We also know from Scripture that it is the Son who is the Creator of all things.

Colossians 1:15-17
15 who is the image of the invisible Elohim, the firstborn of all creation;
16 for in Him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through Him, and unto Him;
17 and He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.

Basically, one must accept each and every revelation of YHWH about Himself as being important and true. One may not understand how those pieces fit together, but he must accept them nonetheless. One of the characteristics of the Supreme Being is that He is infinite. He can have any number of Manifestations, and this simultaneously if He so needs to. Thus, the Supreme Being can manifest Himself both as the Father in heaven as well as Mashiach on earth at the same time. So we can see how Yeshua prayed to the Father as an example for us to follow as well as this being all right and good. Mashiach as a manifestation is giving honor to whom honor is due.

Within the many manifestations of Elohim, there is order. That is, there is a hierarchy. The manifestation always submits to that from which it is manifested. Thus, we see this submission in the life of Yeshua when He prayed to the Father in heaven. Since Mashiach is a direct manifestation of the Father, the authority and power which are inherit in the Son showed submission to the power and authority of the Father.

It has also been taught that while Yeshua was in His earthly body, He was not omnipresent, that is, He only had the ability to be in one place at a time. However, I submit to you that this is false. Please consider the following passage.

Yochanan (John) 3:13
“And no one has ascended into heaven, but He that descended out of heaven, even the Son of man, who is in heaven.”

Yeshua was speaking to Nicodemus when He said these words. Please take note of the last phrase in this verse, “who is in heaven.” Not only was Yeshua on earth speaking to Nicodemus, but He also says that He was in heaven at the same time. Yeshua was omnipresent because He is Elohim, or more precisely, a manifestation of Elohim. Regardless of which manifestation Elohim chooses to exist in, it is all part of Elohim.

On a side note, many get hung up on the first part of this passage, in that, “no one ascended into heaven” seems to contradict Scripture, particularly concerning Eliyahu when he was taken up in a whirlwind into heaven. The context of this passage in the use of the terms ascended and descended suggests willful action upon Yeshua“s part, that is, He chooses to ascend and descend, whereas, no one else has the authority or power to ascend or descend from or into heaven. Yeshua does have the power and the authority to ascend and descend at will. Eliyahu clearly did not have that authority or power; rather, he was “taken” into heaven by the will of YHWH, not his own will.

I rather doubt that man can understand the total complexity and makeup of Elohim. However, He has revealed enough about Himself to mankind that we can know a great deal about Him. Besides what He has revealed about Himself directly, nature itself also testifies to His glory and power.

Please consider this one last passage in the matter of Elohim being echad.

Shemot (Exodus) 3:14
And Elohim said unto Moshe, “I AM THAT I AM,” and He said, “Thus you shall say unto the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me unto you.’”

There has been much written about the phrase “I AM THAT I AM” and what it means. There is even quite a variation of translations. Part of this is due to its exact meaning. This phrase simply means that Elohim will be whatever you need for Him to be to take care of you and your needs. It is informative to note that it was Elohim who said this; this points right to the verse with which we began this short study, “Shema Yisrael, YHWH our Elohim, YHWH echad.”

The basic idea of echad as applied to Elohim is this: He is who He is regardless of what manner or form He takes. Each manifestation (form) Elohim takes is consistent with His own nature, that is, He has only one nature and each and every form (manifestation) He reveals Himself in has that one and only nature. He is echad!

Shabbat Shalom
Zerubbabel ben Emunah