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the shema
What Trinity?
Part One: the Godhead

by haRold Smith
a citizen of the Commonwealth
(Ephesians 2:12)

"For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily..." Colossians 2:9

On my first plane flight to Israel, somewhere over the Atlantic I heard Spirit whisper in my ear as plainly as I had ever heard Him: "When you get to Israel, don't tell anyone you are a Christian". Immediately, I began "rebuking the enemy" (click highlighted words to view content) so assured that what I had heard could not be of God as He would never tell me to deny Him. But, that still, small voice kept nagging at me until I relented and began to ponder the meaning of what I had heard. Arriving in Israel, I discovered that every Israeli carried an invisible barrel around with them labeled "Christian". Anytime someone mentions they are "Christian", they are immediately assigned to that barrel along with the Crusaders, the Catholic Church, the Inquisition, Hitler and modern evangelists all of which have been the major instigators of their persecution over the centuries all under the banner of "Christianity". Once relegated to that "barrel", a person's character is tarnished to the degree that they are never able to climb out from underneath that designation. So, I thought this was what was being attempted to get through to me on the airplane; plus, since it is a criminal offense to proselyte in Israel, I felt it to be a way to "get around" the rules.

One morning shortly after settling in, an Israeli sitting at the table next to me in a local cafe overheard my order to the waitress for a cup of American coffee and a croissant. Politely, he asked if I was, in fact, an American and would I mind if he asked me some questions about the USA. We had a wonderful conversation at the end of which he expressed a desire to be more fluent in English. While English is taught in the public schools in Israel, unless one lived in one of the tourist meccas where English is spoken regularly, it was difficult to maintain a good working vocabulary. Upon returning to the cafe the next morning, I found my new friend there with two others he had brought along to continue our discussion. Thus began my stint as a conversational English teacher meeting regularly several times a week with six to ten Israelis and always with some new faces. While they were they learning conversational English I was also learning conversational Hebrew. Because there were always newcomers, within a few minutes of conversation, someone would lean across the table toward me to ask, "Why are you here? Why would someone leave the prosperity of America that everyone aspires to arrive at to come to this war-torn wasteland of a country?" It was through this opening that I would be able to expound on how this God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that they know had met with me on a dirt road in northern California and told me that one day I would be living in Israel. From there, I was able to share my testimony of all the goodness He had brought to my life in all the various ways He had healed me, restored me and had made Himself known to me. All of this was given without ever mentioning the Son by name or by inference. I found that of the 7+ million Israelis in that country, probably 70% of them don't believe in anything, simply settling in a place free from the persecution they had found in other parts of the world. My biggest challenge became to just point these Israelis back to the God they already knew and to encourage them that He had not abandoned them - in spite of what they saw and heard.

Usually after a session had ended someone would come to me on their own, like Nicodemus with Yeshua, with suspicions that there was something more that I was not revealing. To these few, I would begin to share my relationship with Yeshua. After listening for a bit, however, the question that inevitably arose was, "Do you believe Yeshua is God?" Because of all the Christian teaching that I had acquired up to that time, my response was "yes". But, every time I shared my belief, the same obstacle would be voiced: what about the first commandment that says, "You shill have no other god before Me, YaHoVeH." - and I had no answer beyond my Christian teaching which is tolerated because of the money Christians bring to the Land but is universally rejected from their Hebrew perspective. Searching through the Messianic Writings (NT) did not reveal anything that would set aside that objection. Finally, seeing my despair, the Father asked me, "Where do you think Yeshua acquired His knowledge about the gospel?" I was aware that the only scripture He had from the time He was a boy was the Tanakh (OT) - to which the Father said, "Then why don't you search the Tanakh to find the gospel He spoke of." This was the third time the Father's Words revolutionized my life (see the Power of God and Arrows of Famine) - for it was in simply reading the words for what they say and mean without any preconceived theology of man laid upon them that I discovered there was no Godhead to be found in scripture. Yeshua never said He was YHVH.

If you believe the scriptures to contain the words of Truth, then be prepared for a paradigm shift in your thinking because there is no "Godhead" contained in the original words of scripture - there is only One, YHVH. In Hebrew this concept is known as the Shema - "there is but One Spirit and His Name is One" (Deuteronomy 6:4-5, Mark 12:28-30). Yeshua said in John 4:24 that "YHVH IS Spirit" - so, every time the word "God" is read in scripture, we should be thinking "Spirit". To know the Source of Life Who is an eternal Spirit and the Messiah, the One Whom He Sent as the image of that Spirit displayed among us, IS eternal Life. The English word translated as "Godhead" only appears three times in scripture, but that English word actually comes from three different Greek words. In the verse from Colossians at the start of this article, the Greek word that only appears once in the entire Bible is theotes (derived from theos) whose meaning is "deity". The other two Greek derivatives from theos translated "Godhead" are theios, a general adjective used by the Greeks for "divinities" found in Acts 17:29 that is also attributed to priests, singers, rulers and prophets as well as to YHVH; and theiotes which is only found in Romans 1:20 meaning "divine nature" but is also applied to royal majesty. Words mean things. So, how did the translators arrive at "Godhead" from these definitions unless they are interpreting the word through a theological lens - not linguistically. There is no justification for translating this word as a noun about the Trinity - even capitalizing the word in translation is hardly justified without some theological bias (see My Big Fat Greek Mindset, part one and part two). The Roman Catholic doctrine of the "Trinity" is non-existent in scripture. The word itself can not be found in the original scriptures or in any translations. The doctrine of Trinity was manufactured by men in the centuries after the Resurrection to promote a Greek/Latin ideology elevating "Jesus" as a god equal to or above YHVH and, thus, provide support for replacement theology - a political agenda of men deliberately designed to separate Gentiles from the Hebraic roots of faith in YaHoVeH, the Only One True God of Israel (Isaiah 45:21). If we are to be intellectually honest with the words of scripture, it must be understood that everything Yeshua said can be found in the Tanakh (the Original Books) containing the Words of the Father, YHVH. Yeshua agreed with those words. He did not bring forth a new set of commandments. Every statement Yeshua made in the Beatitudes can be found somewhere in the Tanakh. Yeshua never said or did anything that did not support and uphold this Hebrew perspective of there being only One God. Not once does Yeshua ever refer to Himself as being that One True God. He always refers to Himself and is referred to as the "Son" - a distinction that carries preeminence without detracting from the Preeminent One (1Corinthians 15:27, see In Addition).

This triune theology, the tradition of men that has been handed down to us (Mark 7:13), has been superimposed upon what we have been told these words of scripture mean. For instance, many will point to the verse in Genesis 1:26 that says, "...let US make man in OUR image" as evidence of the existence of Yeshua "from the beginning" and, thus, support the notion of a triune god. There just had to be more than one being present at the time those words were spoken to be able to use those words in this manner - right? Well, not exactly. The way the verse is actually written says something more, "And YHVH said, Let us make man in our image; according to our likeness'. It is important that all of the text be included when searching for the Truth in the words. This is a serious problem we get into when a portion of scripture is pulled out of context and applied to what we have already made up our mind to about its meaning. Words mean things. A closer look at the meaning of these words will supply us with a solid foundation from which to view the rest of the words of scripture (see Who's Word Is It?).
...in our image, after our likeness
"...the shared image of Spirit"
De'mut (the Hebrew word translated "likeness") is a feminine noun. Tselem (the Hebrew word translated "image") is a masculine noun. A quick look through other places of this usage in the Hebrew text supports the idea that the Essence of YHVH incorporates both masculine (image) and feminine (likeness) characteristics. These words are not speaking of two separate entities, they are speaking of one entity, YaHoVeH, Who captures the characteristics of both genders in a single entity. It is only because of the replacement doctrine of the "Christian" religion that a dual Greek god theology is overlaid onto these Hebrew words, thus, changing their meaning. The evidence of a single entity is borne out in the subsequent verse 27 which says, "So YHVH created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them". Notice the personal pronouns in Genesis 1:27 ("His" and "He") are all SINGULAR, whereas in Genesis 1:26 they are all plural ("Us" and "Our"). In Genesis 1:27 only one individual is actually doing the creating - YHVH!.

To explain the variant of plural pronouns in Genesis 1:26 and the singular pronouns in Genesis 1:27, Trinitarians say, "In Genesis 1:27 we only see singular pronouns used because the mystery of the Triune God is being revealed; that is, God is letting us know that even though He is three, He is also three-in-one." To bolster this leap of illogical fallacy, Trinitarian scholars point out the word for "God" in both verses is "Elohim". They assert "Elohim" is a plural word in the Hebrew, indicating more than one person. Therefore when Elohim says, "Let Us make..." it is the evidence of three (plural) persons of the Trinity speaking as one person." While it is true elohim is a plural word in the Hebrew, it is not used to indicate plurality in number when constructed together with singular nouns or pronouns. Elohim is known in Hebrew grammar as A PLURAL OF MAJESTY. It is derived from the Hebrew verb "el" meaning, "strength," and thus elohim amplifies the meaning of strength (el). In Hebrew, the literal rendering of elohim would read, "the strongest strength" or even, "the strongest of the strong." The word itself is plural (the singular is eloah) and it is sometimes translated as "gods" (when referring to a plurality of false gods). When it refers to the One True God of Israel, elohim (plural) is correctly translated as "God" (singular). The proof is found in Deuteronomy 4:35 which says, literally, "Yahoveh IS elohim." And the famous Shema says, "Yahoveh our elohim, Yahoveh is one." Again, we have the singular Yahoveh coupled with the plural elohim, and this time in a verse that is crystal clear that there is only one God. His name's plural form indicates His sovereign supremacy, His matchless might, and His exceeding eminence. To introduce a polytheistic concept of the Trinity into the monotheistic Hebrew scripture by twisting the meaning of elohim is disingenuous to the integrity of the words.

"...for YHVH had not sent rain upon the earth ('e-artz) and there was not a human (u-adam) to serve (l'obd) the ground ('e-adme) .'
Genesis 2:5 from the Hebrew Interlinear Literal Translation

There is much in this verse that is obscured in translation. To begin with, the verse is speaking of a singular person, not people. Secondly, notice there are two separate words used to describe earth ('e-artz or the English counterpart 'erets) and ground ('e-adme or 'adamah); and the word used for "cultivate" (or "till", depending on your translation) is l'obd or 'avad which literally means "to serve". We are taught from YHVH in the Torah that what we serve is what we worship and upheld by Yeshua in Luke 4:8. So, from a Hebrew perspective, this verse is referring to the point that, since YHVH could not find a human to serve Him by serving His creation from the rest of mankind already in existence, He made one like Himself that would serve (or worship) his source of being - the Father Who had formed him from the dust. The reason Adam, the first Hebrew, was formed apart from the rest of created mankind was to have someone that would worship YHVH by doing His Will - to fulfill the Plan and Purpose of YHVH from the beginning of having a family that would be a Light to the Nations. But, hey - what difference does it make? Why not just say, "Man is created in God's image" and leave it at that? The difference is in how Truth is perceived going forward, whether Purely or Perversely, and how the words contained in the rest of the Book are seen - through a filter of idolatrous preconception overlaid upon them by this misinterpretation of our own making, or truthfully. Most people think of idols as having to do with some sort of statue of wood or stone, but idols are not just statuettes. Idols are also concepts we give ourselves to, those things that shape our lives. What we worship is what we live by (Proverbs 4:23, Ezekiel 14:1-5, see a Pre-Determined Destination).
The Trinity Series
Part One, the Godhead
Part Two, Agreement
Part Three, In Addition
Part Four, One Spirit...
Part Five, ...One Name

"Blessed are those who DO His commandments that they may have the right (Greek eksousia meaning "power of choice") to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates (twelve tribes of the family of Israel described in Revelation 21:12 ) into the city." Revelation 22:14

???Questions???
Please feel free to email them to me at harold@hethathasanear.com. While not claiming to have all the answers, it would be an honor to share with you what the Spirit is uncovering.
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