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

What is Torah - Part 3
The Word made Flesh

Yochanan (John) 1:14
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us.

Who is Mashiach; or more importantly in this study, what is Mashiach? Just exactly what does the above Scripture mean when it says that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us? What is the Word?

“The Word” means at least two things. “Word” is the Hebrew word דבר - davar. So then, הדבר - “hadavar” means “the word”; the Hebrew letter ה (hey) being the definite article “the.”

Tehillim (Psalm) 33:6-9
6     By the Word of YHWH were the heavens made,
       And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.
7     He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap;
       He lays up the deeps in storehouses.
8     Let all the earth fear YHWH;
       Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.
9     For He spoke, and it was done;
       He commanded, and it stood fast.

Please note that it was by “the Word” of YHWH that everything was made. YHWH spoke and it was done. It was done by His “spoken Word.” It is important to have firmly established in one’s mind and heart the testimony of YHWH about how He created all things. It is His testimony about Himself and His work in which we are interested for this study. For He states that it was by and through His Word that He created the heavens and the earth.

It is “the Word” which is of particular interest in this study. What is this “Word” and when did it come into existence?

Tehillim (Psalm) 119:89
ל     Forever, YHWH, Your Word is settled in heaven.

Please note the eternal aspect of the Word of YHWH. As one comes to understand the Word of YHWH, it will help to alleviate confusion later on when examining other passages of Scripture in this study.

Tehillim (Psalm) 119:160
     Your Word is true from the beginning;
     And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.

Not only is the Word of YHWH true, but this same Word is from the beginning. Yochanan also points his readers in that same direction.

Yochanan (John) 1:1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Elohim, and Elohim was the Word.

It is at this point that the debate over the Word grows hot. There are those who state that Mashiach Yeshua was just a man. Then of course there are those who say that Mashiach Yeshua was Elohim. So which is it? Was Mashiach a man or was He Elohim? Please note that above passages of Scripture have already been examined that instruct that the Word is eternal. If Mashiach were just only a man, then how could He also be eternal? That just does not fit the picture being put forth in Scripture.

Yochanan (John) 1:2
The same was in the beginning with Elohim.

Since the Word, that is, Mashiach Yeshua was with Elohim from the beginning, it seems rather inconceivable that He was simply just a man.

Yochanan (John) 1:3
All things were made through Him; and without Him was not anything made that has been made.

Furthermore, if Yeshua Mashiach were only just a man, then how could He have been responsible for creating all that we know? He could not! Therefore, He had to be more than just a man. In fact, if He is the Redeemer, then He also had to be more than just a man, as only YHWH Elohim can be the Redeemer.

B’reshit (Genesis) 18:14a
Is anything too hard for YHWH?

This is a rather intriguing passage, and this study is particularly interested in the first phrase of this passage. It is one of those places where the translators attempted to render the meaning rather than just literally translating what it says. While this is part of its meaning from the Hebrew, it certainly fails to convey the whole meaning, let alone literally saying what it says. Here is a literal rendering of this phrase.

Is the Word separate from YHWH?

Scripture instructs the reader that YHWH is all-powerful, all-knowing, and ever-present. He is the Elohim of all creation. And as one has seen above in other passages, when He speaks, it is done by the spoken Word. YHWH had just told Avraham that Sarah was going to have a child. It would come to pass just as He said it would, for He had spoken it. The fact that YHWH had spoken it made it a sure thing, which is His point here to Avraham.

Is the Word YHWH speaks separate from Himself? No, of course not! How could it be? His spoken Word is an extension of Himself. What He speaks is a direct reflection of who and what He is. Since it is impossible for YHWH to lie, then it is impossible for His Word to be a lie. Everything YHWH is, so is His Word!

In the following passages, please note several aspects of the Word as recorded in Scripture.

Tehillim (Psalm) 119:42
     So shall I have an answer for him that reproaches me;
     For I trust in Your Word.

Why can we trust in His Word? It is because His Word is not separate from Him!

Tehillim (Psalm) 119:81
כ     My soul faints for Your salvation;
       But I hope in Your Word.

Why does one put his hope in His Word? Once again it is because His Word is not separate from Him!

Tehillim (Psalm) 56:10
       In Elohim I will praise His Word,
       In YHWH I will praise His Word,

Why is in not wrong to praise and worship His Word? It is because His Word is not separate from Him!

Tehillim (Psalm) 119:105
נ     Your Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

How can His Word be a light? It is because YHWH is the light and His Word is not separate from Him! There are many more passages in Scripture that instructs His people about different aspects concerning His Word. But I think you are getting the picture now. His Word is not separate from Him. It is not possible to separate His Word from Him. If it were possible to separate His Word from Him, then it would no longer be His Word.

Tehillim (Psalm) 119:142
       Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness,
       And Your Torah is the truth.

It has become popular these days to say and teach that Mashiach Yeshua is the “Torah made flesh.” Is saying that Mashiach is the Torah made flesh equivalent to saying that Mashiach is the Word made flesh? Is the Torah equivalent to the Word?

If one’s view of Torah consists only of the five books of Moshe, then this does not include the spoken Word and instructions of YHWH. Even if one’s view of Torah consists of all written Scripture, but not the spoken Word and instructions of YHWH, then this is an incomplete understanding of Torah. However, if one’s view of Torah is that it consists of all of His “instructions,” which is what the word “Torah” means, then the Word of YHWH is Torah; for the Voice of YHWH speaks His Word of instruction to His people. The Word of YHWH consists of all of His instructions in whatever form they come to His people.

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 26:17
“You have declared this day YHWH to be your Elohim, and that you would walk in His ways, and keep His statutes, and His commandments and His ordinances, and hear and obey His Voice.”

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 30:10
“if you shall obey the Voice of YHWH your Elohim, to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this book of the Torah; if you turn to YHWH your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your soul.”

In our first part of this series on “What is Torah,” we examined in detail that Torah consisted of His Voice and that His people are to hear and obey it. One is to “shema” His Voice. So, if a person understands that this is Torah, then yes, Mashiach Yeshua is the Torah made flesh. However, if a person’s understanding of Torah only includes the five written books of Moshe, then this is an incomplete understanding of Mashiach Yeshua being the Word (Torah) made flesh.

Matithyah (Matthew) 4:4
But He answered and said, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of Elohim.”

Some of those words have come in the form of commandments and ordinances and statutes and judgments and were written down so that His people would have no excuse not to know them and to obey them. However, YHWH Elohim also gives instructions through His prophets as well as through His Spirit. He expects His people to obey these instructions just as readily as he does those instructions that have been written down from long ago.

Yeshayah (Isaiah) 2:3
And many peoples shall go and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of YHWH, to the house of the Elohim of Ya’aqov; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths;” for out of Tzion shall go forth the Torah, and the Word of YHWH from Jerusalem.

Please note that there shall be two things going forth from Tzion according to this passage. One is the Torah and the other is the Word of YHWH. The Torah is the written word and the Word of YHWH is the spoken Word. Both of these are embodied in Mashiach Yeshua, Who one day shall be reigning from Jerusalem.

There is one other aspect of the Word made flesh that needs to be discussed. The Word is in the singular form with the definite article indicating that a particular Word is being referenced. So what is this Word being referenced? Furthermore, where does one find this Word? Yochanan makes a direct allusion to it when he draws the reader’s attention to B’reshit 1:1 by using the same terminology as “in beginning” (Yochanan 1:1).

B’reshit (Genesis) 1:1
בְּרֵאשִׁית  בָּרא  אֱלֹהים | אֵת  הַשָּׁמַיִם  וְאֵת  הָאָרֶץ׃

The Word to which Yochanan seems to be alluding is found in the middle of this verse; it is the Word את (et) for which there is no English equivalent. This word consists of the first and last characters of the Hebrew aleph-bet.

Yeshayah (Isaiah) 44:6
Thus says YHWH, the King of Israel, and His Redeemer, YHWH Tzava’ot; “I am the first, and I am the last; and besides Me there is no Elohim.”

Please note in this passage that there are two YHWHs being referenced: YHWH the king of Israel and YHWH Tzava’ot who is YHWH’s Redeemer of Israel. Basically, it is the Father and the Son being referenced here in this passage.

But what has drawn our attention to this passage concerning this study is that YHWH states that He is the first and the last. This idea is symbolized in the Hebrew word את since they are the first and last characters of the Hebrew aleph-bet.

Gilyana (Revelation) 22:13
“I am the Aleph and the Tau, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.

In this passage, one sees even more specificity, in that the aleph and the tau are directly referenced as being related to Mashiach Yeshua.

Keeping in mind these things as they pertain to the Word of YHWH, please reconsider the significance of the following passage.

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 4:2
“You shall not add to the Word which I command you, neither shall you diminish from it, that you may keep the commandments of YHWH your Elohim which I command you.”

We are commanded in the Torah that we are not to add to or take away from the Word. To add to or to take away from the Word of YHWH is actually an attempt to add to or to take away from Mashiach. This is, in effect, anti-Mashiach!

There are many today who desire to teach. This is not a bad desire. However, there are those who teach who have not yet been grounded in the written word and do not yet have a firm enough foundation so as to be able to teach others concerning the Word. The sad thing is that, many of these so-called teachers do not handle the Word with the fear of YHWH with which it deserves to be handled; and therefore, because of their hastiness and lack of proper searching, are actually adding to the Word in some cases, and in other cases are taking away from the Word.

Tehillim (Psalm) 103:20
       Bless YHWH, you His messengers,
       That are mighty in strength, that do His word,
       Hearing and obeying the Voice of His Word.

One of the marks of a true messenger of YHWH is that he hears and obeys His Voice. Look for this in those who teach His word. If one does not see good evidence of this, then question whether such a teacher is one of YHWH’s messengers!

Please note that the Word is to be done, as well as heard. It is this Word Who was made flesh and dwelt among us. It was this Word who came to live among us to show us the way more perfect! It is this Word who can dwell within us in the form of His Spirit.

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 5:5
“I stood between YHWH and you at that time, to show you the Word of YHWH; for you were afraid because of the fire, and went not up into the mount, saying,”

Just exactly what did the people see that day at the foot of Mount Sinai? Moshe says that He showed to them the Word of YHWH. How does one see the Word?

Shemot (Exodus) 20:18
And all the people perceived the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the voice of the shofar, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled, and stood afar off.

Okay, we understand how one can see lightning and even a smoking mountain, but how does one see thunder or even the Voice of the shofar? From the testimony of Moshe in Devarim 5:5, I submit to you that what the people saw that day was the Word of YHWH. What they saw was Mashiach in all His glory!

This caused them to fear greatly, so much so that they stood afar off and were afraid to come near. Why? It is because they did not yet have a personal relationship with Mashiach at that time. Each person there that day knew in his own heart that he did not have any right to come into the presence of the Creator and Redeemer of Israel! They were all filled with fear, and rightly so!

That day, for the first time, Israel witnessed the Word of YHWH in all His glory.

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 32:47
“For it is no empty word for you; because it is your life, and through this word you shall prolong your days in the land, where you go over the Yarden to possess it.

The Word is not empty because the Word is Mashiach and the Word is not separate from YHWH our Elohim. The Word has been made flesh to show the way more perfect that we, too, might know life, and that more abundantly.

Tehillim (Psalm) 119:72
       The Torah of Your mouth is better to me
       Than thousands of gold and silver.

The Torah was spoken before it was written. The Torah is the words of YHWH. The Word of YHWH was made flesh. Mashiach is that Word. Mashiach is better than all the wealth of this world. Mashiach taught that one cannot serve both Elohim (the Word made flesh) and money (the wealth of this world).

Mishle (Proverbs) 13:14
The Torah of the wise is a fountain of life,
To depart from the snares of death.

How is it possible that the Torah can be a fountain of life? It is because the Torah is the Word of YHWH and that Word became flesh and dwelt among us. It is because the Torah of YHWH is Mashiach.

For one to declare that the Torah “has been done away with” is to declare that Mashiach “has been done away with”; and therefore, such a position is anti-Mashiach and pro-death! In order to accept the life that YHWH is offering through the Word made flesh, one must accept it in all of its fullness. If one does not accept it fully and completely, but attempts to add to it or to take away from it, then such a person will end up with something other than life. He will end up with death.

Tehillim (Psalm) 78:1
Maschil of Asaph.
       Give ear, My people, to My Torah;
       Incline your ears to the words of My mouth.

Does one truly understand what it is that YHWH is instructing him to do through this passage?

Luqa (Luke) 9:35
And a Voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My Son, My chosen; you shema Him.”

YHWH has instructed His people many times and in many ways that they are to listen to and to obey the words of His mouth. His people are commanded to shema His Voice. Do we understand that the Word made flesh is the embodiment of His Voice, of His Word? As such, we are to obey His every word! It is our life!

Before the Word became flesh, it existed. The Word existed with Elohim from the beginning. This is true because the Word is not separate from YHWH our Elohim, but is, in fact, an extension of who and what He is.

The Word of YHWH is His instructions to His people. The Word of YHWH is Torah. His people are to hear and obey His Word. They are to hear and obey His Torah. They are to shema His Voice!

ABBA YHWH, thank You for showing us the way to come to You through Your Word made flesh. In His name we pray; in the name of Mashiach Yeshua. Amein.

Shabbat Shalom
Zerubbabel ben Emunah