March 18, 2006 ©Homer Kizer
Commentary — From the Margins
Yah + Father = YHWH
Periodically, the hypercorrection of Yahweh and/or Yah for the linguistic icon /God/ enters theological conversations of Sabbatarian Christians. The person using the hypercorrection intends to avoid transgressing the law through taking the name of the Lord in vain, but as with all hypercorrections, the attempt to correct a faulty linguistic construction produces an even greater language error—and in using Yahweh or Yah in lieu of “Father” or “Christ,” the disciple reveals his or her lack of spiritual knowledge and discernment.
Sabbatarian Christians are often criticized by the greater Christian Church for their legalism, an ugly word, a pejorative term used by many teachers of iniquity (Matt 7:21-23) to excuse the lawlessness of dispensationalist dogmas. The Apostle John wrote that disciples know Christ if they keep His commandments (1 John 2:3), that the disciple who says that he or she knows Christ but doesn’t keep His commandments is a liar, without truth in the person (v. 4), that disciples should walk as Jesus walked (v. 6). And Jesus kept the commandments He uttered from atop Mount Sinai.
The problem faced by Sabbatarian Christians is their rebellious natures that have resulted in them observing the 7th-day Sabbath and keeping the commandments of God in a world consigned to disobedience (Rom 11:32), and oriented towards “resting,” or attempting to enter God’s rest on the 8th-day. A Sabbatarian is out of sync with the world, and a Sabbatarian Christian is additionally out of sync with Christianity. Sabbatarians have taken being in the world, but ‘“not of the world’” (John 17:16) to its logical conclusion. Therefore, unfortunately, as a called-out people Sabbatarian Christians form an ideologically rebellious nation that, today, cannot even be ruled by Christ Jesus. They are as the natural nation of Israel was described at the conclusion of the Book of Judges: “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (21:25). Within Sabbatarian Christianity, everyone does what is right in the person’s eyes.
But if a person will not be ruled by Christ Jesus, the person will not enter the kingdom of heaven, for the person has ceased hearing the words of the man Jesus.
Satan began a concealed rebellion within the angelic sons of God by using the same technique the serpent used with the first Eve: you won’t die if you decide for yourself what is good and what is evil, what is right and what is wrong—you are like God, able to determine for yourself good and evil. And as long as there was no disagreement with the Most High Lord God about what was right and what was wrong, this rebellion remained cloaked in obedience to God. However, when disagreement manifested itself, iniquity was found in the anointed cherub (Ezek 28:14-15). The rebellion was revealed, and the rebelling angels were confined in outer darkness, where with few exceptions they await judgment. And this is the model or pattern for why human beings were created in the image of, and after the likeness of God.
Satan is the prince of this world, the prince of the power of the air, reigning over living creatures through ruling their mental topography—he broadcasts disobedience, or lawlessness, and all of humanity has been consigned to disobedience so that God can have mercy on all (Rom 11:32). Satan doesn’t rule the world through one human organization, or even through confederations of human organizations. He doesn’t rule the world except for the United States, or Israel, or Iran. He rules by causing human beings to decide for themselves what is right and what is wrong, choosing for themselves whether to obey God, choosing which of the commandments to obey, which commandment is least and unworthy of obedience. Satan doesn’t rule the world except for the Christian Church, or except for Islam. He rules through the law of sin and death, sin being lawlessness (1 John 3:4). And this law still resides in the flesh of disciples of Christ Jesus (Rom 7:25), even though minds and hearts were liberated (Rom 8:2) through birth from above.
But natural law resides within each person, placed there by the prince of this world who appears as an angel of light (2 Cor 11:14); for without any law, Satan as the spiritual king of Babylon (Isa 14:4-21) would not reign at all, for anarchy would long ago have resulted in the annihilation of all life. The animal natures of prey and predator species come from natural law, from Satan reigning as the prince of the air, and not from God, for when the Holy Spirit [Pneuma ’Agion] is poured out upon all flesh, the lion shall lie down with the lamb (Isa 11:6-9). The predatory natures of the lions, wolves, bears will change—and so, too, will the “human nature” of human beings be changed, as evidenced by God changing King Nebuchadnezzar’s nature for seven years (Dan chap 4); only when the divine Breath of God is poured out upon humankind, men and women will be empowered or filled with the Holy Spirit and will not desire to be lawless.
The Lord God started a rebellion within spiritual Babylon when the Logos was born as the man Jesus of Nazareth; then received the Lord God’s Breath in the form of a dove—a concealed rebellion cloaked in the righteousness or obedience of Christ Jesus. Because disobedience [in the form of the law of sin and death] remains dwelling in the flesh of disciples, and because the invisible sons of God born of Spirit remain cloaked by the garment of Christ, Satan is no more able to detect or determine the size and strength of the rebellion the Lord God started within the realm over which Satan is allowed to reign than the Lord God could detect the rebellion that anointed guardian cherub started in the angelic sons of God. But as the rebellion in the heavenly realm was “revealed,” so too will the rebellion the Lord God started be revealed (Luke 17:30) at the end of the age. And as the majority of the angelic sons of God await judgment, the sons of God dwelling in tents of flesh also await their judgments, or in the case of the firstfruits, the revealing of their judgments (1 Cor 4:5). Thus, the model [pattern or shadow] for the plan of God reaches back to the foundation of the universe, created suddenly as the spiritually lifeless place of outer darkness where rebelling sons of God are confined, and where unrepentant rebels will, of necessity, die.
Human beings, created from the elemental elements of the earth, cannot enter the supra-dimensional heavenly realm to make observations, or to take measurements. They are confined within space-time, and they will die unless they escape these dimensions into which lawlessness has been contained. They will die the second death if they do not act upon that initial internal compulsion to become legalists. But the choice of whether to respond is theirs, for life & good and death & evil have been placed before every Israelite, natural and spiritual (Deu 30:15), with “evil” being nothing more than choosing for oneself what is good and what is evil, which of the commandments will the person obey, or if the person will obey all of them. Obedience to the laws of God is the expectation, not an option; for if obedience is an option, then so too is rebellion. Therefore, obedience by faith—obeying because of faith in God—as would occur when Israel, in a far land, returns to God (vv. 1-6), or when a non-Israelite begins to live as a Judean is pleasing to God. So the choice isn’t whether to keep the commandments as a legalist, but rather, whether to hear the words of Jesus and believe the One who raise Him from the dead (John 5:24). If the person truly hears the words of Jesus and believes in the Father, the person will obey the commandments not as a matter of choice, but as a matter of compulsion. And obedience through compulsion or by choice outwardly appears the same; hence, the revealing of the Son of Man [disciples form the cloaked body] becomes necessary, as is delivering the saints into the hand of the lawless one, the man of perdition, for a time, times and half a time (Dan 7:25). If obeying God by choice, a person, when his or her life is at risk, will mostly likely rebel against God. If the person doesn’t rebel, then choice has become compulsion.
(The modern definitive example of obedience to God by choice or by compulsion occurred when the former Worldwide Church of God [WCG] changed theological directions, leaving perceived legalism and entering the dispensation of lawlessness: of a global fellowship of approximately 150,000 baptized members in 1986 when Herbert Armstrong died, about 25,000 remained as commandment-keepers fifteen years later. When the succeeding administration announced to its membership that the old WCG’s “clean meats” doctrine was abolished, many members literally stampeded from Sabbath services in their haste to buy lobster and crab, shrimp and ham. And a disciple has to wonder why those who so quickly left Armstrong’s version of legalism had been warming folding chairs in that fellowship’s services. The reason certainly wasn’t from a compulsion to obey God.)
The mature king David, a man after God’s own heart, reached a level of spiritual understanding that exceeds that of the greater Christian Church, and of most Sabbatarian Christians. Exactly how much he knew will become apparent when he is resurrected to rule over both houses of Israel, but until then, the reader as the necessary third party to Scripture must assign meaning to the words of David, whose reality consisted of both the things of the external world, and of his perception of that external world. Therefore, it is the texture of Scripture that the key of David unlocks.
Sabbatarian disciples who have succumbed to using Yahweh as the name of the Father move unchanged the Tetragrammaton /YHWH/ from the Old Covenant (i.e., the Sinai Covenant) made with physically circumcised Israelites at Horeb into the New Covenant made with spiritually circumcised Israelites. They fail to realize that with the exception of Joshua and Caleb, the nation that pledged at Sinai to keep the words of “YHWH, your [physically circumcised Israel’s] Elohim” (Exod 20:2) rebelled against God in the wilderness of Paran and died for its unbelief without crossing into God’s rest (Ps 95:10-11). This natural nation of Israel and its rebellion form the spiritually lifeless shadow of the Christian Church’s great falling away that is certain to occur during the first year of the seven endtime years of tribulation. Thus, those disciples who have bit into the poisoned apple of the various sacred name assemblies do not, and cannot recognize the majority of those individuals who have been born of water and of Spirit as Christians. Therefore, they cannot see themselves as God sees them, or see their errant dogmas as God sees their doctrines. They do not realize that in their eagerness not to profane the name of the Father and the Son they actually commit blasphemy against both.
A disciple’s application of the spiritual understanding King David possessed—this understanding representing the key of David—opens the typological concept of biblical shadowing: the relationship of /Yah/ to /YHWH/ (Ps 146:1 et al — Strong’s word #3050 to #3068) illuminates the relationship between the first Adam and the last Adam, Christ Jesus; between the first Eve and the last Eve, the Christian Church; and between spiritually-lifeless natural Israel and spiritually-circumcised Israel, the Son of Man that has grown from one kernel planted at Calvary. However, before proceeding further, the basics of endtime Christology should be repeated:
· The Hebrew word translated in English as /God/ in most of the Old Covenant is Elohim, the regular plural (constructed from adding the square /m/) of Eloah.
· Allah is the direct translation of Eloah into Arabic, then into English. And it must be emphasized that in both its Hebraic and its Arabic construction, Eloah is singular.
· However, Eloah deconstructs into the radical/El/ plus the radical /ah/. The radical /El/ is the Semitic signifier [or word] for God, as in El Shaddai, or God Almighty (Gen 17:1). The radical /ah/ signifies aspirated breath, or vocalized breath (as opposed to silent, or shallow breath).
· Thus, Eloah [or Allah] is God + Breath, and this breath would be divine or holy, hence, in Greek, Pneuma ’Agion, or the Holy Spirit.
· Therefore, with Elohim being the regular plural of /God + Breath/, only the number of /Eloah/s composing the plural remains unknown. The signifier /Elohim/ does not, within its construction, reveal this multiple, especially since it is used in a singular sense in all but four passages.
From atop Mount Sinai, God spoke to Moses so that all of natural Israel could hear His voice. And He said that He was YHWH, Israel’s Elohim. Thus, it is in /YHWH/ that Israelites find the multiple for the plural, Elohim:
· The Tetragrammaton /YHWH/ deconstructs into two radicals: /YH/ plus /WH/. Each radical contains the linguistic icon /H/ representing aspirated or vocalized breath.
· The Apostle Paul wrote, “Anyone who does not have the Spirit [or Breath, Pneuma] of Christ does not belong to him” (Rom 8:9).
· The Apostle also wrote in the same context, “If the Spirit [or Breath, Pneuma] of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit [Pneuma] [that] dwells in you” (Rom 8:11).
· Two divine Breaths: the Pneuma of Christ + the Pneuma of the one who raised Christ from the dead—and here are two linguistic icons representing aspirated or vocalized breath.
The Apostle John, writing late in the 1st-Century CE, now clarifies what should never have been confused or as poorly mistaught as it has been: John writes that in the beginning, the Logos [Word] was with Theon [God], and was Theos [God]. Greek uses linguistic gender. The /os/ suffix is used for masculine singular nouns in the nominative case. The /on/ suffix is used for neuter singular nouns. Thus, both Logos and Theos are masculine singular nouns—they agree in number and in gender. But Theon does not agree in gender. Linguistically, Theon is a different deity than is Theos. But they are both God, and they, together, are God. However, one of them (Theos) created flesh (John 1:3) and became flesh (v. 14), being born as His son, His only (John 3:16).
· Thus, /Theos + Pneuma/ plus /Theon + Pneuma/ equals /YH/ + /WH/, or /YHWH/.
· /Theos/ is the Logos, who interacted with humankind, and who married Israel at Sinai, and who died at Calvary (thereby ending the marriage — Rom 7:1-4), and who is now the glorified high priest for the Christian Church, and who will marry glorified saints upon His return to earth.
· Therefore, /Theos + Pneuma/ equals /Y + H/, or Yah, to whom David sang praises (Ps 146-150).
· The Holy Spirit that King David had (Ps 51:11) was the divine Breath of Theos or Yah.
· The divine Breath that Abram received when his name was changed to Abraham was the Spirit of Theos or Yah.
· For no human being would be born of Theon’s Breath until the man Jesus of Nazareth, the last Adam (1 Cor 15:45), received that Breath and birth to fulfill all righteousness (Matt 3:15-17).
Hebraic poetry is formed from thought couplets in which the same thought is expressed in the same or similar sentences that move from physical to spiritual, from darkness to light, from hand to heart, from society to individual—and King David was a master poet.The arrangement of these couplets always has the natural presentation of the thought preceding the spiritual (1 Cor 15:46), and the visible image revealing the invisible (Rom 1:20). Thus, within Hebraic poetry lies the theological argument for typological exegesis. And within the mature poetry of King David lies the key that opens the mysteries of God. It is from the long stilled pen of the man after God’s own heart that understanding materializes before eyes that see and ears that hear.
Praise the Lord [Yahh]!
Praise the Lord [YHWH], O my soul! (Ps 146:1).
And he wrote,
Praise the Lord [Yahh]!
Praise the Lord [YHWH] from the heavens (Ps 148:1).
Praise the Lord [Yahh]!
Sing to the Lord [YHWH] a new song, his praise in the assembly of the godly!
The first presentation of the thought in the couplet is from a natural perspective as analysis of the psalms will reveal; the first presentation uses /Yah/, which is less a contraction for /YHWH/ than it is the naming of the only deity known to the natural nation of Israel. The second presentation is spiritual, in that the continuation of the statement of praise addresses the inner self [soul], the heavens [plural], and the assembly of the godly. Thus, the juxtaposition is that the One who did the creating of the physical universe and everything in it (John 1:3) forms the shadow of the co-joined deity that functions as one entity, and becomes—with the human birth of the Logos as the man Jesus of Nazareth—the Father and the Son when all righteousness is fulfilled.
The natural nation of Israel saw the God the nation married at Sinai: following the giving of the Law, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy elders of the physically circumcised nation saw the God of Israel (Exod 24:9-11).
But the Apostle John wrote, “No one has ever seen God” (John 1:18).
Israel saw Yah, but never knew that the Father existed. Yet it is the Father—Jesus’ God and Father (John 20:17)—who creates spiritually by bringing to birth many sons. Jesus came to reveal the Father’s existence to His disciples (John 17:25-26), but not to the majority of natural Israel, or to the world. And the spiritual nation of Israel, born of water and of Spirit (John 3:5), is as the natural nation was when Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables. The greater Christian Church does not know the Father, but has divided itself between being either Trinitarians [of the 3rd-Century school of Alexandria], or being Arians [of the 3rd-Century school of Ephesus]. Thus, the Christian Church rejects the Father in the same way that the natural nation of Israel rejected Jesus. The Church doesn’t recognize its God, because it, like the Pharisees (John 7:19), has never walked uprightly by faith before its God.
The natural nation of Israel was the firstborn son of Yah (Exod 4:22) in the same way that the spiritually-circumcised nation of Israel is the firstfruits of the Father and the Son, with Jesus being the first of the firstfruits. Natural Israel was the holy nation of Yah (Exod 19:5-6) as the Church is the holy nation of the Father and the Son (1 Pet 2:9). Natural Israel was liberated from physical bondage to the physical Pharaoh of Egypt; the Church will be liberated from spiritual bondage to the law of sin and death that still dwells in the flesh of every disciple (again, Rom 7:25 — the mind was liberated [Rom 8:2] when the disciple was born of Spirit). Jesus liberates from sin; the Father liberates from death, which is why the disciple needs the Breath [Spirit, or Pneuma] of both within the disciple’s tent of flesh, why the disciple needs life from both the Father and the Son.
The world is subject to death and decay; all of humanity is consigned to disobedience (Rom 11:32). The world has no life but that received from the breath of Elohim [singular in usage], the breath of Yah given to all breathing creatures [nephesh]. With very few exceptions [just as Joshua and Caleb were exceptions], there was no other life in either man or beast (Eccl 3:18-20) until the last Adam received the Spirit or divine Breath [Pneuma ’Agion] of the Father to fulfill all righteousness. Human beings do not have immortal souls, but must be born anew, or born from above, or born of Spirit before they have life in the heavenly realm—and again, Jesus as the last Adam was first to have such life.
Elohim [singular in usage] did not create two human beings from the dust of the earth, but created one (Adam) who became two after He caused a deep sleep to come over the man of mud. From Adam came Eve, just as from Jesus, the last Adam and the single kernel of grain planted at Calvary (John 12:24), came the Church, the last Eve. The two—Adam and Eve—were of one flesh, and become one through marriage (Gen 2:24). Likewise, the two—the last Adam and the Church—are of one Breath [Pneuma ’Agion], the Breath of the Father, and will become one through marriage (the relationship is now analogous to Mary’s relationship to Joseph prior to Jesus’ birth). The Apostle Paul identifies the man Jesus as a life-giving spirit (1 Cor 15:45). Thus, the Church receives spiritual life from being drawn by the Father, and glorified bodies from the Son (John 5:21-22), for the Son presently bears the sins of disciples, who are cloaked in the garment of His righteousness. All judgment has been given to the Son. Therefore, of all human beings whom the Father has made alive in the supra-dimensional heavenly realm through birth by Spirit, the Son determines which ones will put on immortality, and which ones will be resurrected to condemnation (vv. 28-29), which ones He knows and which ones He doesn’t recognize (Matt 7:21-23).
Returning now to Genesis 1:27, humanity [adam — not the proper name] is created in the image of Elohim, and is created physically male and female. Therefore, Theon and Theos, both /El/, together, form the plural /El/that functions as one deity but is two just as the man and the woman were two. Both Theon and Theos are God, just as the man and the woman were human beings. Thus, it is Theos as the man Jesus that gives to all who receive Him, who believe in His name, the right to become children of God (John 1:12). He fulfilled and continues to fulfill the role of life-giver, the role of bringing forth sons of God.
Jesus as the Logos was the spokesperson (i.e., the one who spoke) for Elohim both before His physical birth and after. Again, He did not speak His words, but the words of the Father. He did not do His will, but the will of the Father. He was the ultimate help-mate for the Father, for He, too, was God in the same way that a woman is also a human being. And in this modeling, the woman speaks her husband's words when she is one with her husband. His will and work is also her will and work. Likewise, the Bride speaks the words of the Bridegroom, as the Son speaks the words of the Father. A son of God can speak the words of his Father—there are no spiritual daughters of God. There are only daughters of men, or mankind, for sexual gender is of the flesh and not of Spirit.
If a baptized disciple is a son of God who is neither male nor female, then a baptized disciple as a son of God can speak the words of the Father just as Christ Jesus spoke the words of the Father. But no disciple will speak as a man or as a woman. The Church is not allowed to speak any words but those of the Father, for the woman was and the Church is deceived.
And now, what are the words of Jesus, and how did that anointed guardian cherub rebel against God? The words of Jesus are:
Do not think I have come to abolish the Law and the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches others them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matt 5:17-20)
The scribes and the Pharisees had the laws of God and were not keeping them (John 7:19). The rich young ruler said he had kept the commandments since his youth, but he had no faith (Luke 18:18-25). The lawyer knew that the law was about loving God and neighbor, but he had no love for his neighbor (Luke 10:25-29). The natural nation of Israel was not filled with Israelites who were ultimate law-keepers that loved God and neighbor, but rather, this nation was of its spiritual father, Satan the devil, who judged the Most High through deciding whether he agreed with the Lord God’s determination of good and evil. The scribes and the Pharisees judged God, and determined that additional commandments were needed to keep lawless Israel from sinning. They found the law wanting, found that it needed bolstered by additional regulations. They were as the woman was: deceived by the serpent, and determining for themselves good and evil. And the greater Christian Church has also judged the laws of God and found them overly restrictive, found them legalistic. Yes, keeping them does make a disciple legalistic—and keeping them causes the disciple to walk as Jesus walked, being counted among the great in the kingdom of heaven. Thus, the rebellious natural nation of Israel was to the man Jesus of Nazareth what the rebellious spiritual nation is to the Father and the Son.
In foolishness and ignorance, spiritual Israelites who call the Father Yah or Yahweh commit blasphemy against the Father and the Son. But this blasphemy will be forgiven them, for their intention is to do what is right. However, when disciples born of Spirit (a number equaling perhaps half of the greater self-identified Christian Church) are liberated from the law of sin and death presently dwelling in their flesh—when these disciples, as the Body of Christ, are revealed—they will have no covering for sin but their obedience. To then transgress the laws of God will be committing blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, and this blasphemy will not be forgiven, for the intention of these rebelling disciples is to spurn the commandments.
Again, when a son of God is initially born from above, this son’s desire is to keep the commandments. Someone has to teach this infant son to erase the laws of God from the fleshy tablets of the heart and mind, or this son will become legalistic.
Therefore, Woe to you teachers of iniquity, doing mighty works in the name of Jesus. Woe to you disguised ministers of righteousness. It would have been better if you had never been born; such is the damage you have done to infant sons of God. For you have taught them how to commit spiritual suicide; then convinced them that they will not die, that they have immortal souls. Truly, you are of your father, an anointed guardian cherub in whom iniquity was found.
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"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."