Get that? Read the title again. In fact, these are rarely asked questions because it causes contemporary Christian and Messianic leadership to either descend into fits of stuttering or condemning to hell.
Here at Torah of Messiah, we see a bridge between two spiritual factions. On one side we have Christians and “Messianics” who have been duped into believing one thing in particular that is very damaging to the faith and the world at large. On the other side, we have the traditional guardians of torah, Judaism, that opposes them – and rightly so. We are between the two factions trying to play mediator while pointing out how and where each side is wrong, particularly the Christian and Messianic side. Judaism also has some errors, but these FAQs (Frequently AVOIDED Questions) apply to the Christian and Messianic side.
First, let’s be honest and just call it as it is. Most Messianic groups ARE Christian groups. There may be some differences with regard to how Messianics allegedly (but not actually since they promote idolatry) claim to revere Torah. However, as stated within the previous parenthetical expression, when it comes to the issue of the idolatrous worship of a false man-God, Christianity and most Messianic groups are identical. Since idolatry is THE most abhorrent sin in the Bible, we may as well just place both faiths where they belong – firmly within the “Christian” sphere of faith. Thus, from this point forward the term “Christian” or “Christianity” should be assumed to mean both Christians and the majority of those who label themselves Messianics.
The issue addressed by these frequently AVOIDED questions is whether or not Yeshua (wrongly named “Jesus”) is God.
Describe it however you wish: member of the Godhead, Father-Son-Holy Spirit, Part 2 of the Trinity, etc., the majority of contemporary Christians (and Messianics) wrongly believe that Yeshua (Jesus) is God.
Our Judaic brothers and sisters take umbrage with this. They seem to get stuck on that 2nd Commandment: “You are to have no other gods before me.” (Deuteronomy 5:7) They have good reason to get stuck. Good for them! It is our hope that they will remain stuck and that all Christians will become stuck as well.
Now sure, if you believe that Yeshua is God, then you can get around this one – because it makes sense that when he says “me”, he actually means “we” and decided not to say that. Or so Christians claim. (Yea right. If you believe that then I have some lovely ocean front property in North Dakota you may want to look at.)
“You are not to make for yourselves a carved image or any kind of representation of anything in heaven above, on the earth beneath…” (Deuteronomy 5:8)
It’s more difficult to get around that one. Especially the “any kind” statement and the “anything in heaven above” – which would technically and definitely include Yeshua (Jesus).
“…you are not to bow down to them or serve them;” (Deuteronomy 5:9)
Alright, okay. Let’s admit that Judaism has a point. I can understand their being upset with the hijacking of their faith and the redefining of the God of the Bible by Christianity’s crowning of a new-and-improved “God in the flesh” equivalent: Yeshua (Jesus).
But, obviously these Christians believe that they’re on the right track, so let’s let them answer for themselves, shall we? After all, if the deity of Yeshua is as clear as the nose on the carved face of a statue of the virgin Mary, then they should be able to answer a few questions the other believers in the One True God of the Bible might have for them.
If you’re here and a contemporary Christian (or Messianic) who believes Yeshua is God, now is your time to shine! Hint: We’ve written articles surrounding each of these questions. If you need to bone up before you answer, read them. In fact, read them anyway since you certainly need to. If you don’t then those who do will simply make you look foolish using what you refuse to read. So, let’s roll into the questions:
In this article, evidence is submitted to The Court of God-given Common Sense that conclusively establishes that contemporary Christianity often does the exact opposite of following Christ, their namesake. How do you respond?
Article: How can Yeshua (Jesus) Forgive Sins?
Contemporary Christians often cite Yeshua’s ability to forgive sins as proof that he is God. After reading the article, you will understand the Jewish Law of Agency (a concept in which Yeshua would have been well-versed) and the role of a shaliach. If you’ve ever authorized someone to act on your behalf (like a lawyer, accountant, or executor of a will) would you say this is a more plausible explanation for how Yeshua could forgive sins, than for Yeshua to actually be God?
Here’s a double-whammy of two discussions. In the first article it’s established that it is okay, and even authorized by Yeshua, to “worship” him. However, since Yeshua didn’t speak English, and the bible wasn’t recorded originally in English, the English word “worship” is a pretty poor interpretation of what was actually meant. The first article draws a line of distinction between “falling down before” someone as an act of total submission, and worshiping God. On to the second article: Since contemporary Christians claim Yeshua is God, and worship him as such, how is that okay commandment-wise since the Torah directly, exactly, clearly, and without deviation states otherwise?
Article: How did God Die?
This one gets confusing without the article, so have a read… In order for someone/something to die, one needs to have a weakness. For humans and other earthlings, it is this pesky carbon-based body that’s the kicker. It has an expiration date, even if we always look both ways before crossing the street. Eventually, the batteries run out or an accident occurs. To suggest that God as Yeshua can die is to suggest that He had a weakness. If He had a weakness, that would suggest He’s not omnipotent: having infinite power – since power is defined as “the ability to do or accomplish something”. And, there’s something dead people/things can’t do … “everything”. A dead person can’t do anything … because they are dead!
If you maintain that God is omnipotent, how can you also suggest that he can also die, without referring to it as a “mystery”?
Article: Yeshua (Jesus) was Tempted – not God
Okay, that title is kind of leading, but read it anyway. For now, let me start with the word “tempt”. You have to think of it like the tango: It takes two.
Here’s the question summary: God is an infinitely perfect Creator who, Himself, is above all creation and its affects. Yet, Yeshua was tempted to sin by Satan who, himself, is was actually created by God. In fact, the record shows that Satan actually asked Yeshua to bow down and worship him! If Yeshua hadn’t actually been tempted by Satan, the record would state something to the effect of, “Yeshua was led into the wilderness. There, Satan talked, but Yeshua didn’t take any notice.” Or, the record would not have been kept at all.
This question has two parts:
- How can a perfect Creator who is immune to sin be tempted to sin?
- How can Satan, an angel who from what we can glean knows a bit about the God who created him and the way He works, actually expect that his request to Yeshua to sin and bow down in worship will succeed? Or if you believe as Christianity teaches, how can Satan expect that his request to God to sin and bow down in worship will succeed?
Article: Did Yeshua (Jesus) Worship God?
Earlier, you read that it’s okay to “worship” Yeshua in an act of submission, but that worshiping (as a God) anything or anyone other than the True God is a no-no. Now, Yeshua worshiped God as his God. But, we’re taught that God the Father and “God the Son” are on an equal playing field. Consider them co-captains of a sporting team. They have the exact same power, experience, knowledge and influence… but one of them bows down and worships the other. Why? How can one “God” bow down to another “God” without their being two “Gods”???
Article: Preexistence of Yeshua (Jesus)
As you’ll read in the article, the Hebraic understanding of preexistence is quite different than our Greek-based understanding. It’s kind of like a man and a woman getting married because they love each other and both want to start a family. The concept of their future family preexisted before they were married. Heck, individually that concept might have preexisted in their respective minds long before they even met each other, and it was only after they began courting that their ideas merged. This is the Hebraic way of interpreting preexistence, and it is the way any hint of preexistence was written about.
This suggests that Yeshua didn’t literally preexist any more than any other soul preexists. Given the article (which you read, right?) why do you think contemporary Christianity intentionally mistranslates the Greek word logos?
Oh! By the way, the wrongly understood (by Christianity) first chapter of John’s gospel is directly addressed within the article.
Once Yeshua had come, died, and was resurrected, it was time to make disciples – “Christians” – of the people. As you would have read in the article, there isn’t actually a single example of a “conversion” to “Christianity” where the convert acknowledges, or was ever asked to acknowledge, that Yeshua was/is God. So, if they didn’t do it, why must we? Furthermore, if they don’t do it, should we do what they never did?
Article: What does “Son of God” mean?
Since you’ve read the above article, you’ll be well aware that there were plenty of people who were referred to as “Son of God” In fact, the entire nation of Israel is called such! Throw into that the fact that my son is my son, but he’s not me. So, why does contemporary Christianity misrepresent “Son of God” to mean “God the Son”?
Article: Who do you say I am?
Now, when Yeshua asked Peter the above question, Peter answered so correctly that Yeshua said he was going to build his church upon him. High praise, indeed. Let’s review:
The question to Peter: What do you say I am?
Peter’s reply: Christ, the Son of the living God.
Yeshua’s response: Yes! Good job! Church-building for you!
Notice, there was no, “Yes, but…” from Yeshua. It was A+. 100%. Spot on. You got it. Couldn’t have said it better myself!
Don’t you think that if, “You’re God,” should have been put in there, Yeshua would have critiqued the answer a little more harshly, instead of breaking out the church-construction kit?
Article: Under the Microscope: Acts 14:11-15
Speaking of leaving supposedly crucial things out, in the above article we read about Paul and Barnabas having a prime opportunity to spread the word of the “Man-God” Messiah to a bunch of pagans who would have eaten it up with a heathen spoon – but they didn’t spread it. Instead, Paul and Barnabas were disgusted with such a concept. If the idea that Yeshua is God is so vital to the Christian experience, why wouldn’t Paul and Barnabas “preach” to this “choir” of pagans that were totally into man-deities?
Article: What is the Mark of the Beast?
In this article, we try to figure out what this “mysterious” Mark of the Best really is. It’s actually pretty simple to figure out. You just need to stop listening to the noise propagated by contemporary Christian leaders and fiction writers. How? You define the Mark of God, and then figure out the opposite. The Mark of God is directly defined in the bible. Now that the “Mark of the Beast” has been defined within the article… have you taken it?
The man-God Messiah seems to be promoted by intentionally misrepresenting indicative verses. What do you make of the myriad of examples in the article showing a clear distinction between God and Yeshua?
Demons seemed to be able to spot Yeshua a mile away. They also seemed to know that he knew who they were and that he was coming to set some captives free. In fact, they seemed to crumble into knee-shaking, bed-wetting hot messes when Yeshua addressed them as they totally submitted to Yeshua’s authority. So, if they knew each other and also knew Yeshua, why did the demons never, ever address Yeshua as God?
Article: Under the Microscope: Psalms 110:1
Okay, this example of bible butchering is just a bit silly. It’s like someone is translating a language for you, and instead of referring to individual people as their rightful names, your interpreter just calls everyone Jerry. The truth is out there, folks, and you can find it on great sites like BibleGateway.com, or the reference books from which it borrows. How do you explain what appears to be the intentional mistranslation of Psalms 110:1?
Article: Is the Bible Hebrew?
Some would say that diving off a cliff into a deep part of the ocean is different to diving in from the side of the pool into the shallow end. What makes the difference? Context. In other words, how deep the water is, and from how high you’re jumping. If I brought a cliff diver that had never seen a pool before to my local concrete swimming hole, he might look for the nearest high rise building and attempt to swan dive into it. This would be bad news for participant and spectators, alike.
When Yeshua and his disciples were kicking around in Israel around 30 of the Common Era surrounded by Jews, Torah scrolls, scholars and the like, you could say he was in a veritable world of Judaism. His mindset was totally Hebrew. He was all about the traditions, customs, holidays, everything. And so, might I add, were all of his contemporaries that authored the New Testament.
Jumping off a cliff into a three-foot deep concrete swimming pool is pretty dangerous business. If you haven’t tried to force your mindset into the same Hebraic, pro-Torah mindset of Yeshua, aren’t you doing something akin to that? Put it in context.
Discussion, not Debate
Folks, these are just a fraction of the many common sense issues raised on this site – this issue in particular regarding the alleged deity of Yeshua. But, let me be clear: I am completely open to legitimate responses. I relish the discussion. However, please refrain from “winning” the argument by falling back on the “mystery” of it all. Let’s take back our brains and let common sense win this argument.
We’re not interested in a debate. What we’re after is discussion. Talking points. Things to consider. From what I and an entire race of people you might know as “God’s Chosen” realize though, is that Christ isn’t God, and we at Torah of Messiah oppose this doctrine, feeling it is at the root of an abhorrent deception committed against sincere seekers of God.
Contemporary Christianity is not actually the lost, tender lamb that it portrays itself to be. It’s a 900lb gorilla bashing up the zookeepers with Scriptural context-shredding, non-Hebraic replacement interpretation, and biased or outright erroneous renderings from Hebrew and Greek texts. And, let me tell you, sticklers for the man-God Messiah detest Scriptural context, because it puts them in a corner they have difficulty finding their way out of without the use of the “mystery” eject button.
On that note, the so-called “Messianics” and “Nazarenes” are just contemporary Trinitarian Christians dressed up in Judaic clothes. They use the same tactics as their forebears, and their “proofs” are all implied – a mystery needing to be taken on faith. And boy-oh-boy, if you don’t have faith in their mysteries, you’ve just signed your name on a one-way ticket to hell (according to them).
Now, we don’t like “verse wars” here. For the most part, verse slinging doesn’t actually do anything to convince either party. It serves to only further entrench the respective sides as stubbornness takes over. But, as you’ve read, I obviously use Scripture to make my case. How can I not? So, you might ask: Why am I unwilling to engage in a verse war if I believe Scripture to be on my side? The answer is because the opposing side uses verses stripped of their true Biblical (Hebraic) context that are divorced from the original Hebraic world view, and more often than not they refuse to acknowledge that, for fear that admitting you’re wrong in one aspect of your faith will somehow make you wrong in all aspects of your faith. I would love to enter a reasonable discussion (a discussion that includes reasoning) with a paintball gun (slinging verses) in the context of a paintball shooting arena (Hebraic-mindset biblical interpretation).
My opponents, however, have brought assault rifles and live ammo (verses divorced from their original Hebraic mindset) – which simply serves to do damage.
Contemporary Christianity, and thus Christians, are so used to condemning to hell anyone that disagrees it makes it virtually impossible to have that discussion. Either they claim it’s a “mystery” or that through my “lack of faith” I’m going to “burn in hell!”
An Open Mind isn’t Evil
I therefore appeal to an open mind. Admit, as I have, that you don’t know everything. This is scary for some, but I’ve found that it’s helpful to first, admit that God is just too darned big for you, or me, to completely understand. This isn’t a bad thing! A God you, his creation, could understand would be pretty weak in my opinion. Personally, I struggle with basic algebra. Do I really want a God that I can fully comprehend if I can’t get a firm grasp on advanced mathematics?
Once you have opened your mind, I appeal to your common sense. If you believe we have not descended from gorillas, monkeys, reptiles, fish or amoebas, and that we have been “fearfully and wonderfully made” – and that our greatest asset, given by God, is our ability to process thought, then surely you must admit that common sense (which would be one of the first stages of thought processing) is a good thing, a God thing, and to be utilized.
Don’t be afraid of it. God gave it to you for a reason! TO reason!
Would you sign an insurance policy, a financial contract, or any other kind of meaningful agreement without at least reading it yourself, first? Would you allow someone that is making money from the deal (your pastor) who has absolutely no accountability that you can see once you’ve signed (your pastor) to interpret it on your behalf?
I know it requires some effort – but for crying out loud, most people give more thought to what they want for lunch than to the subject upon which rests their eternal soul. (There’s a reason there’s no “It’s a Mystery!” panel on the menu at Subway. Folks like to have some idea of what’s going on!)
If you think it’s too hard, and that your pastor is better equipped to take care of this for you, then you’ve been duped by the people to whom you’ve given authority. And Yeshua agrees:
Matthew 11:25 (CJB)
25 It was at that time that Yeshua said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you concealed these things from the sophisticated and educated and revealed them to ordinary folks.
Luke 10:21 (CJB)
21 At that moment he was filled with joy by the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) and said, “Father, Lord of heaven and earth, I thank you because you concealed these things from the sophisticated and educated, yet revealed them to ordinary people. Yes, Father, I thank you that it pleased you to do this.
Tips for Rebuttals
Now, if you’ve made it this far, and you still disagree and you still want to lambaste me with your tirade, then let us first look at the most common ways in which people do it. You maybe could pick up some tips on how to do it best.
- First, it’s important that you not read the article, but repeatedly bring up topics that I address in the article.
- If you’re determined to read the article, only read part of it, ensuring you avoid the important bits that may convince you your beliefs are false whilst you pound out your email.
- Okay, if you’re bound and determined to read the entire article, it’s imperative that you not consider it. Don’t sleep on it. Don’t talk about it with your significant other. Don’t allow any of it to sink in, basically. Keep that mind locked up tighter than the lid on a pickle jar. Then respond, informing me that, “Yes, in fact, I have read it!”
- Fall back heavily on the word “mystery”. If you don’t have an answer you can reference, just let me know that you “assume” there to be one. Then promise you’ll send it to me once you dig it up.
- Another tactic is to admit defeat. Now, hear me out on this, because it’s pretty common: Let me know that you admit that your beliefs are blasphemous, irreverent, and quite damning. But, (and here’s the kicker) let me know that you believe God to be in favor of this kind of humility, and that he’s actually up in heaven applauding you right now. Like a kid who gets confused on the soccer field and accidentally kicks one in the goal for the opposing side. It’s so stupid it’s cute. “Way to go, shooter!”
- Finally, and by far, the most common “response” is kind of a combination of tactics, which I will detail: First, don’t read the article. That’s a given. Try only to read the title of the article, and at most, part of the question posed. Think back to whatever “key verse” given you by your pastor that you are absolutely positive will refute me, and fire it off. (What’s important to remember about these verses is that you cannot assume I’ve already seen them, many, many times. You also wouldn’t know, since you’ve avoided reading the article, that I probably addressed the verse in the article.) Oh, but make sure the verse only kind of addresses the question, but more importantly, make sure it redirects the discussion to something else. If you’re like me, when I was pondering these issues, I got pretty uncomfortable. After all, it’s scary when your faith is shaken up. So, it’s best to redirect discussion away from the topic causing the discomfort. Now, truth be told, I’m probably going to try and rein in your redirection, you wild pony. Back into the corral of common sense we’ll go, and it’s at this point you should fall back on your It’s-a-Mystery eject button, and forget any of this ever happened.
Folks that was my snarky way of trying to convey that I’ve heard it all before. In the 15 odd years (very odd, if you ask me) I’ve been doing this, I’ve had loads of responses. Most of them the same thing, over and over again. I’d like to plant my flag on the hill of victory and shout out that, “I’m still standing!” But, that’s not what we’re about. I want to sit down on the hill with you, open my picnic basket, share some discussion, and decide which side of the hill we’re going to descend.
This isn’t like the Creationism vs Evolution “mystery”, as you atheists out there might be thinking. I found the answer in the Torah. God created it. That’s pretty cut and dried. How did He create it? I don’t know that, and that’s okay.
Is Yeshua God? No. If you read the Tanakh and the New Testament, it’s pretty clear, as long as you’re not looking through “Trinity-colored glasses.” Take a step back. The world used to be flat, you know. And, it used to be the best idea to take pints of blood from someone to make them feel better. The Trinity hasn’t always existed. Before it, in fact, was The Binity. There were only two members of the Godhead. When you write in, I’d like you to explain how, if the Trinity is so self-evident, people believed in a Binity for a good while before the Trinity was even decided upon.
I look forward to hearing from you.