by haRold Smith
a citizen of the Commonwealth
"Ascribe to YHVH the glory due His Name; worship YHVH in the splendor of holiness." Psalm 29:2
After the article, Divinity (click on highlighted words to view content), John wrote, "I don't believe that Christians who worship Jesus are worshipping a god as you put. There is lots of proof that Jesus is being worshipped and receiving worship in scripture such as the disciple Thomas. What do you make of scripture saying in Luke 20:41-44, Matthew 2:11 and 28:9 that they bowed down and worshipped Him. it seems Jesus was happy to accept worship which is only to be offered to God. Even though the Hebrew teaching seems to deny the deity of the Messiah it would seem the passage in Luke 20:41-44 was to challenge that thought. Is this not the stumbling stone the Messiah spoke about - the denial of the Messiah as Lord who is worthy of worship as God is. And what about Hebrews 1:6 - if angels are called upon to worship the Son, does that make them idol worshippers?"
The Greek word translated as the English "worship" in most modern translations is proskyneo, which means, "to kneel or prostrate oneself to do homage (to one) or make obeisance." Kneeling, similar to bowing, is associated with submission and obeisance, particularly if one kneels before a person who is standing or sitting as the kneeling position renders a person defenseless and unable to flee. At the time, this veneration was typically used out of great respect for a king. In spite of Christianity's insistance to the contrary, they were showing respect for their King - not a god. The passage in Luke 20:41-44 is a direct quote from Psalm 110:1 in which the first English translated "lord" is the Hebrew word, YaHoVeH. The second English translation of "lord" is the Hebrew word, 'adown, which means, "lord, master; reference to men, superintendent of household, of affairs, master, king." Again, not a god.
Any focus on the Son as the object of worship would have been immediately rejected by any Hebrew of the day - even Yeshua as we shall see. Except for Thomas' single declaration, we always find the Hebrew Messiah, Yeshua, pointing us to His Hebrew Father for everything - and that single declaration by a disciple does not override all other scripture stating otherwise. In fact, the reason that John 20:28 has caused confusion is because Yeshua never asked his disciples to address Him as "God". Note verse 17 which is just 10 verses earlier where Yeshua tells the disciples that His Father was their Father and His God is their God. So He just stated that His God was also Thomas' God. What Thomas is revealing is that he understood what Yeshua had taught, which is that if you have seen Yeshua you have seen the Father for He and YHVH are echad. He was not calling Yeshua "God" for Yeshua was a Jew and quoted the Shema in Mark 12:29. Thomas realized that Yeshua was the "Door" that would allow him to see YHVH. Yeshua was the Son and manifested the Nature of His Father. Thomas is clearly saying that it is through Yeshua he has seen the Father. The same idea is apparent when Jacob wrestled with the angel of YHVH and said he had seen God face to face for God's name was on him. (Genesis 32:23-32).
Every book in the newer Messianic Writings all contain a distinction between the Father and the Son in their opening salutations. Yeshua never says to worship Him but, rather, to worship the Father, to pray to the Father, to ask the Father in His Name. His statements that the only good One is YHVH, the only One to serve is YHVH and that YHVH is greater than Yeshua resonate with His understanding of Who is Salvation - YaHoVeH. Yeshua is always positioned in scripture in relation to the Father, not the other way around. Yeshua never claims credit for Himself but follows the path of the obedient servant. "If you have seen Me…" presupposes an understanding of the work and love of YHVH. What if, in following the pronoun usage, the all-too-familiar text should actually be translated, "YHVH as the Giver is the One we must believe"? The question put to the Family of YHVH during the Life of Yeshua was not, "do you believe Yeshua is a god?" but, rather, whether they would accept Yeshua as the promised Messiah of Israel sent to restore the Kingdom of YHVH to His family. Even though Christianity has taught that the reason Yeshua was put to death was because He claimed to BE YHVH, scripture clearly indicates the charge brought against Him was that He claimed to be the SON of YHVH - the fulfillment of the "One Becoming".
Unlike Hebrews 1:8, Hebrews 1:6 is not a quote from anywhere in the Tanakh (OT) and it's unclear, prepositionally, whether the one being worshipped is the Son or YHVH Himself. Since there is no other corroborating scripture (the need for two witnesses - Deuteronomy 17:6, Matthew 18:16), it appears the worship is going to the Father for bringing His Son into the world - not the Son as a god.
"...but as He who called you is holy, you also
be holy in all your conduct
since it is written, 'You shall be holy, for I am holy'." 1Peter 1:15-16
So, the question becomes - just what is worship? Most equate worship with music, singing, vocal praising and prayer. But, as we are admonished to do in the Psalm at the opening of this article, we are to worship YHVH in the "beauty of His Holiness." Just what does that mean? The definition of the Hebrew word kodesh translated as the English "holiness" means "set apartness." We are to be set apart from the world for the purposes of YHVH. And, as 1Peter admonishes us, we are to "be holy". Holiness is something we DO. While all of the things mentioned previously have their place, scriptural worship has its root in obedient service. It is interesting to note the first usage of ha-'adamah (the ground) occurs in the passage of the formation of Adam in Genesis 2 - not the first of mankind in general as depicted in Genesis 1. Since the Hebrew word 'erets (earth) has been used since the opening verse of the book of Genesis - why would the focus now shift to 'adamah? The obvious answer is Adam coming from the 'adamah causes him to be someone intimately connected to the ground of the Kingdom of YHVH found in gan edan (the edan garden). The meaning of 'adamah is also embeded in productivity as seen in Genesis 2:5 (there was no one found to "till the ground"). The meaning of the word translated as "till" in that verse comes from the Hebrew word
|...to flash forth Light|
"...by the manifestation of the Truth
we present ourselves|
to every man's conscience in the sight of YHVH." 2Corinthians 4:2
Please feel free to email them to me at email@example.com. While not claiming to have all the answers, it would be an honor to share with you what the Spirit is uncovering.