by haRold Smith
a citizen of the Commonwealth
"And in that place I saw the fountain of righteousness and around it were many fountains of wisdom which were inexhaustible; and all the thirsty drank of them, and were filled with wisdom, and their dwellings were with the righteous and holy and elect. And at that hour that Son of Man was NAMED in the presence of the Lord of Spirits, and His Name before the Head of Days. Yea, before the sun and the signs were created, before the stars of the heaven were made, His Name was NAMED before the Lord of Spirits. He shall be a staff to the righteous whereon to stay themselves and not fall, and and He shall be the Light of the Gentiles, and the hope of those who are troubled of heart. All who dwell on earth shall fall down and worship before Him, and will praise and bless and celebrate with song the Lord of Spirits. For this reason has He been chosen and HIDDEN before YHVH, before the creation of the world and for evermore."
Many reading these verses will be surprised to find that they do not come from the books of Isaiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, Jeremiah or Revelation - but, rather, from Enoch, Book 2, 48:1-6 (click on the highlighted words to view content). The Book of Enoch, found among the Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran, was written around 200 BC and, while not contained in the "official canon" (Bible) developed by the Roman Catholic Church, is considered a vital part of Hebrew literature. It is even referenced in Jude 1:14-15 and contains various passage quotes from Daniel, Genesis 6 and Zechariah 14. Notice that the words do NOT say that the Son of Man "existed" or was "called into existence", simply that He was purposed - "He SHALL BE". And is it not curious that in the eyewitness accounts that have been preserved, Yeshua only refers to Himself as "the Son of Man"? The last article, Aleph-Tav, brought forward the Hebraic understanding that the Words of YHVH are the foundation from which everything else is built or brought into existence - but, not all at once. Like the Aleph-Tav, the Son of Man was HIDDEN until His appointed hour - just as Levi was "hidden" in the loins of Abraham (Hebrews 7:9-10). Thus, to purpose to create is not the same as the actual manifestation, the fulfillment of that particular creation. This includes the Son of YHVH, Yeshua - validated both by His own words of Matthew 5:17 and also in the first letter of Peter:
|"Yeshua was FOREKNOWN, before the foundation of the world but was made MANIFEST in the last times for the sake of you." 1Peter 1:20|
Undoubtedly, there are many who will read this article through the filter of a traditional belief that YHVH has predestined all the events in each one's life, along with all the events unfolding in the world. They hold to the theory that, since the Father already knows the beginning from the end, He has predestined everything according to how He wants it all to unfold. It might come as a suprise to many to learn that the concept of pre-destination was birthed and only introduced into popular theology in the early sixteenth century by John Calvin (1509-1564). In his book, The Institutes of the Christian Religion, he introduces the thought that all events whatsoever are governed by the secret counsel of God who is in "Absolute Control of Everything". Consequently, his way of thinking molded the teaching of the reformed Protestant churches throughout Europe and the Church of England (and its many daughter churches). However, while highly influential, this concept did not originate in scripture but with the opinion of one man. Words mean things and if we are to grasp the concepts of Truth formed by the words of scripture, not man's opinions about them - then we must look at them simply for what they say and what those words mean without the overlay of any traditional theological template. When we do, we find those words reveal something quite different from what has been popularly embraced and taught as true. There is only one thing Yeshua ever pointed to that would render the Word of YHVH of none effect - that being the tradition of men (Mark 7:13).
To understand Spirit is to first come to an understanding of eternity. Most believe eternity begins when they die; however, as Isaiah 57:15 reveals, YHVH abides in eternity and, as the research in the article Heaven, Hell & the Immortal Soul explains, with YHVH there is no beginning and there is no end. He IS the Alpha and the Omega; He IS the beginning and the end. Without a beginning and without an ending - there is only right now. There is no "time" as we know it with eternity. Time is a system of measurement from one cyclical event to another. If there is no beginning and there is no ending, there can be no cyclical event from which to take a measurement from nor an ending to calculate the measurement between the two events - hence, there is no time in eternity. If YHVH abides in eternity where, with Him, there is no beginning and there is no end - how can anything or anyone pre-exist if there is only right now? The Name YaHoVeH means "the Present Presence". Notice that the verse from Revelation 22:13 says nothing about knowing the beginning from the end, which has become another implication of tradition. There is a difference between knowledge and knowing. Having access to a repository of knowledge does not equate into knowing how that knowledge will be utilized in any given moment by any given individual. Let's look what the words of another apostle say about "foreknowing" to see how the tradition of men has flipped the emphasis of what the words actually say and mean:
|"For those whom YHVH FOREKNEW, He also PREDESTINED to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that He might be the firstborn among many brothers." Romans 8:29|
The English word translated as foreknew is derived from the Greek word proginosko which has as its root ginosko meaning - 1) to learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of a) to become known. The English word translated as predestined is derived from the Greek word proorizo which has as its root horizo which means - 1) to define a) to mark out the boundaries or limits (of any place or thing) b) to determine, to appoint. This same Greek word is used in 1Peter 1:20 above as foreordained or foreknew and in Romans 1:4 as declared (see the Word to understand, scripturally, what is "declared purpose or speech"). So, with an understanding of these definitions, this verse could just as easily be read:
|"For those whom YHVH has COME TO KNOW, He also PREDETERMINED to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that He might be the firstborn among many brothers."|
YHVH "foreknew", pre-determined from the foundation that He would have a family that would be holy, set apart to Him - conformed to the image, the likeness of His Son, Yeshua. In other words, for each individual to become a member of the family of YHVH, those individuals would have to be conformed to the image of Yeshua. Exactly who those individuals are will be determined by those who YHVH has "come to know" through their exhibition of a conformance of behavior coinciding with the example manifested by the Son. (see what it means to be Made Manifest).
There are two very simple questions to ask of this, seemingly, complex doctrinal tradition of man called predestination which has interwoven itself into the fabric of faith. Do I have free will - or not? If the answer to that question is 'yes' - then the next question is: how can it be mine to freely do with as I please if someone other than I has already decided what I do with it - whether that decision be by force, coercion or good intention? And, if YHVH has already decided to whom He will bestow eternal life, then why is it left up to me to decide if I am to be involved or not (John 17:3, Matthew 25:1-12). By the way, of the five virgins who didn't make it - they were still virgins. Meaning that, even though they chose to remain virgin, their subsequent choice of action (or inaction, as it were) caused them to be left outside the door. So, there must be some correlation to action and being invited into YHVH's family - or not (see Who Is The Bride - scripturally).
If eternity is the moment, not the past, not the future, but right now - what does it mean for the Father to inhabit eternity as it says He does in Isaiah 57:15? When YHVH determines a thing to be and declares it so (remember YHVH IS the Word), He does not overwhelm the boundaries He has previously marked and put into place - in this case, the free will and choice of any man. But, instead, He works within the confines of that boundary. He could have just as easily made Adam a robot, but He was after a spirit He could commune with, one who would come to Him in relationship. Thus, He elects to work within the already prescribed boundary of free will and relationship to accomplish His Purposes. (see what it means to live In Perpetuity with Spirit).
People die. YHVH knows it - Yeshua knew it (Luke 13:1-5). What is mostly lacking is an understanding of what this "breath" of a life we have here on earth is intended for and how YHVH views it. YHVH looks upon it as a short span containing an opportunity to learn of Him and make some choices accordingly that will result in our station of occupancy with Him in eternity - that is, how near we are to His Brilliance of Light (which is why Yeshua spoke of a place of "outer darkness" on several occasions). He knows we are all going to die physically. Everyone dies - even all the people Yeshua healed, died. Consequently, YHVH is more concerned with the eternality of our existence than He is with the immediacy of our external circumstance. For the unbeliever the external circumstance of life is to bring them to an end to themselves that they might seek Truth. For the believer who has embraced Truth, however, He uses the external to fashion, shape and to mold us into His image - a process we have been given a choice to participate in - or not (John 3:19-21, Romans 5:1-5, Matthew 5:45, see Perspective).
This phenomenon of YHVH working within the confines of man's will is seen throughout scripture but is illustrated pointedly in 1Samuel 8 where it is clear the idea of a physical king was not in the Plan and Purpose of YHVH. HE wanted to be their king. But, they insisted on having a king they could see like the other nations they did battle with. YHVH gave them what they wanted - in spite of the fact that it was not in the blueprint. Now, if ever there was a monkey wrench thrown into the gears of someone's running engine - this has got to be the monkey wrench of all time because it plainly was not in His Plan. What is astounding about the way the Father works is - that edict was never rescinded. He put His arms around their demand, embraced it INTO His declared Purpose and still landed on the very spot He had determined He would arrive at from the beginning. Today, Yeshua sits on the throne of KING David. He took what could have been a catastrophe and somehow interwove it into the design. Now, the children of Israel still suffered the consequences of a less than perfect plan but, regardless - it stood. How He does it is beyond our intellectual grasp (it is why He is the Elevated One). This is how He operates even today. He takes the choices made by every person who will give themselves to Him and every moment He somehow weaves them all together to arrive at His pre-determined destination. He has pre-determined the destination He will ultimately arrive at - the pathway He takes to get there and the span elapsed before He arrives has not yet shown itself. As humans, we need a fixed road map. The Father's map is defined by the choices we make by our spirit in the moment.
This is why, if we take the entire passage Sha'ul (the apostle Paul) is referencing in Romans 8 in context beginning with verse 18, we see he is encouraging us to not look at the circumstance of our lives, for the Father is utilizing all the circumstances (not originating them, but causing them, shaping them, molding them to work together), weaving them together for our spiritual benefit that we might become the Sons of YHVH He has declared from the beginning He would have alongside Him, manifesting the Essence of His Nature and Character in this earthly realm.
Does that mean He picked me exclusively to be a Son before I was conceived? As much as that idea may stroke my ego to believe, it still remains my choice to become (John 1:12). Today is the day of my salvation IF (big little word) I choose to come into "the Present Presence" today - and, IF I do, He will make sure my commitment to remain in His Hand does not go unheeded for He cannot deny Himself. He is haEl haNeAman (Hebrew for 'the Faithful One') and He is faithful to finish the work He began in me. This is the Promise we cling to. But - it is my choice as to how far I enter into that relationship with Him. " Many are called, but few are chosen." It is my choice to be counted among the chosen just as it was Yeshua's choice to fulfill, to bring into reality the Covenant of His Father - not to replace it (Philippians 2:8).
When He opened His Eyes after His Birth, Yeshua did not know any more about Who He was than you or I did at birth. Granted, He was on a "fast track" given the events surrounding His Birth, and the input from His Parents - but He learned obedience the same way you and I learn - by suffering temptation (Hebrews 5:8). Hebrews 4:15 tells us He was tempted in every way, just like you and I, yet chose not to sin, to be disobedient (sin is anything that separates us from the Present Presence). How can that experience be valid if He was above it all and aloof from the process? So, if His process was to choose to be One with the Father in every circumstance presented to Him and His example is the same as is our choice - what was His Purpose? He was to be, as the verse in Romans 8 we have been exploring declares, the first among many brethren (see the Gospel for a more in-depth explanation).
One of the myths perpetrated by replacement theology is that Yeshua was with the Father in the beginning. Nowhere in scripture is that statement made. The translators of all our modern bibles carried forward the creed established at the Nicaean Council, 325 years after the Resurrection - that of the elevation of another god, "Jesus", to the equality of the Father, YHVH. Thus, their translations were tainted with that creed (see Whose Name Is It? for more explanation). The definition of the Greek word ginomai translated as "fulfilled" in Matthew 5:18, "be" in Matthew 5:45 Matthew 5:18, and as "becomes" in Matthew 13:22 means "to become, i.e. to come into existence" - in other words, a fulfilled destination (see that there is only One Covenant).
|"Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the holding power of death that is the adversary; and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery." Hebrews 2:14-15|