Last Updated on :
Now, when we turn to Genesis 1:1,we do not find Moses saying bara Yahweh, Yahweh created, but bara elohim, ELOHIM created, nevertheless Moses and Isaiah are accordant in their accounts. Moses introduces Yahweh in the second verse, but with-out giving Him that name. His words are ruach Elohim, "the
'Spirit' of Elohim moved upon the face of the waters." What spirit was this? The New Testament says, "there is One Spirit" (Eph. 4:4); and if we ask what is that one? Jesus replies "Spirit is Theos," or "God" (John 4:24). Then it was Theos who moved on the face of the waters. But concerning Theos or Ail, Agur says: "Who hath ascended the heavens, or descended? Who hath gathered the wind in his fist? Who hath bound the waters in a garment? Who hath established all the ends of the earth? What is His name and what is the name of 'His Son' if thou canst tell?" (Prov. 30:4). What is the name of that "one spirit," that moved upon the face of the waters? The answer is Yahweh. This was the "He" of the Elohim "that formed the earth and made it." Hence, the nominative to created, is not a plural of majesty, but a singular noun understood -- thus, "In the beginning (the spirit of) Elohim created the heavens and the earth"; and that spirit named himself Ehyeh, "I shall be," at the bush (Exod. 3:14; 6:3). If then, the question be asked, by what power did they, the Elohim, create and make all mundane things? The answer is, by the spirit, self-named Yahweh or Yah, whose sons, messengers, and servants they are. Spirit radiant from the eternal centre of light and power embodied itself in them; and from them as secondary focal organisations, radiated into the substance of the earth and waters; by which radiation a collateral connection was established with "the free spirit" directly emanating from the Focal Centre of the Universe, permeating and pervading all atoms. Holding such a relation to all things, and energized by such a power, they could move heaven, earth and sea, and elaborated the six days' work of power with all imaginable ease.
The name Yahweh does not occur in all the first chapter of Genesis. All the works it there narrates are affirmed of Elohim. The Spirit is presented there as the power; but in the second chapter the style is changed, and Moses, to whom the Spirit had communicated His name at the bush, instead of saying "the Spirit of Elohim," says "Yahweh Elohim made the earth and the heavens"; "Yahweh Elohim formed man." A saying in Job 33:4, shows that "Yahweh" is synonymous with "Spirit." There Elihu says, "the Spirit of Ail hath made me, and the breath of Shaddai hath given me life." The nishmath Ail Shaddai is the atmosphere or firmament which was elaborated on the second day; and not to be confounded with the Spirit. The Spirit formed the air with its appearances called "heavens," for the support of the vegetables and animal worlds He was about to form. That the nishmath Ail is the air, is clear from Job 37: 10, which says: "By the breath of Ail, frost is given; and the breadth of the waters is straightened," or congealed.
Now from the consideration adduced, it is evident that the phrases, "and God said," and "God made," and "God created," occurrent in the first chapter, are equivalent to "Lord God"; or more properly, Elohim said, created, and made, are equivalent to Yahweh Elohim doing thus, as brought out in the second chapter-- "One Spirit in a plurality of Agents": not a single one in three, but One in hosts: and hence the title so frequently in Scripture, "Yahweh of Hosts" -- the Yahweh-Spirit in multitudinous manifestation.
The plurality of Elohim in the work of creation is manifest from Gen. 1:26 -- "Let Us make man in 'Our' image after our likeness." If the Yahweh-spirit had been solitary in the work, He would rather have said, if He said anything: "I will make man in my image, after my likeness." What was said is recorded to reveal to the reader the true relation of things. The mandate issued from Yahweh that man be made in the Spirit-type, and so constituted, that divine intelligence and power should be displayed through his organism.
That spirit-type was the angel elohim after whom Adam and Eve were made. In form and likeness the same, only in nature of inferior quality. This was Yahweh's pleasure, and it was done by the fingers of His power. In reference to this, we read in Psalm 8:3, "When I consider the heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man that thou art mindful of him? and the Son of Man that Thou visitest him? For Thou hast made him a little lower than the Elohim,"* etc. Quoted in the New Testament by Paul, the word mai-Elohim is rendered by "than angels," (Heb. 2:9); because Elohim are the agents or
(* The Revised Version renders Psalm 8:5 as "little lower than God." This, as Dr. Thomas states above, is quoted by Paul in Hebrews 2:9 as "a little lower than the angels," thus indicating that the word "Elohim" (rendered "God" in our version) is used in relation to the messengers of Deity. This explains the apparent anomaly of Scripture which in one place states that "no man hath seen God at any time" (John 1:18), whilst other places represent God as speaking with Adam or appearing to Moses. The former relates to the Deity who dwells "in unapproachable light" (1 Tim. 6:16), the latter to the "Elohim" or the Angels, "the ministers of Yahweh" (Ps. 103:21).
Confirmation of Brother Thomas' statement is provided by the Revised Version which renders Psalm 8:5 as "little lower than God." Paul, in Hebrews 2:9 renders this as "a little lower than the angels," thus showing by this inspired comment that it is right and proper to identify "Elohim" with the "angels" of heaven. This explains the apparent anomaly of Scripture which, in one place states that "no man hath seen God at any time" (John 1:18), whilst in other places representing God as speaking with Adam, appearing to Moses, talking to Manoah and so forth. The former relates to the Deity who "dwells in unapproachable light" (1 Tim. 6:16); the latter to the "Elohim" or the angels, who are the "ministers of Yahweh" (Ps. 103:21) -- Publishers.
\executive fingers of the Spirit. "The Spirit of God" and "the fingers of God" are synonymous, as appears from Matt. 12:28; Luke 11:20; and Elohim are spirit, being out of Ail. What the fingers of the hand are to the brain, such are the hosts of Elohim to Ail; they are "Unity of Spirit," which is "God."
As we have seen, Moses and the prophets teach "One" self-existent, supreme fountain of Power, AIL who is Spirit, and self-named I SHALL BE, or Yahweh: that is ONE YAHWEH-SPIRIT POWER is "God" in the highest sense, and constitutes the "Godhead," or FATHER IN HEAVEN; and He is the Springhead of many streams, or rivers of spirit, which assume "organic forms," according to the will of the Yahweh-Spirit Power, and that when formed after the model, archetype, or the pattern, presented in HIS OWN HYPOSTASIS, or Substance, they become SPIRIT-ELOHIM, or sons of God; and are Spirit, because "born of the Spirit" -- Emanations of the formative Spirit being out of him. The Spirit-Elohim was also "God"; nevertheless they are created. They are formed and made out of and by that which is uncreated. They are Spirit-Forms, the substance of which (spirit) is eternal; while the forms are from a beginning. Each one is a God in the sense of partaking of THE DIVINE NATURE, and being therefore a Son of God.
Now, if we understand this, we shall be able to discern the force and beauty of the expression Yahweh-Elohim, which occurs so frequently in the Hebrew Scriptures. Yahweh is the name of Uncreated Power, Elohim, the organizations of that Power after its image and likeness, whether they belong to the sun, moon, and stars of the universe, or to Israel. Hence also the beauty and the fulness of the phrase, "I am He the Mighty Ones, that formed the earth and made it -- I Yahweh and none without" -- ani-hu ha-elohim; ani Yahweh.
If we comprehend this multiplication and manifestation of Divine Unity, many obscure passages in the English version of Moses and the prophets are easy to be understood; and the mind is prepared to understand the otherwise abstruse teaching of Jesus and the apostles concerning "God." And I would here remark that in making a new translation of the Scriptures into English, the original words, misrepresented in the common version by the Anglo-Saxon words Lord and God, or in combination Lord God, should be left untranslated, but printed in small capitals and italics; and at the beginning of the book a literal definition of the words be given, without regard to "theology," or "plurals of majesty or excellence." The English reader might then be able to perceive how no man has seen God at any time; and yet that Jacob had a personal encounter and wrestle with God; and that Moses talked with Him face to face.
When then we read "And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness," we find Moses teaching the contemporary existence of a plurality of Gods before the creation of man but we do not therefore find him teaching a plurality of Eternities in One Eternity, or Three Gods in one Godhead. This is the notion, not of Moses and the prophets, who positively declare the contrary, but the crotchet of the Old Man of the Flesh, who, professing to be wise, became a fool, "and changed the truth concerning God into a lie." Paul and Moses agree in this, as we have shown before, saying: "There be that are called Gods, whether in heaven or in earth, as there be Gods many and Lords many." There is, consequently, no room for dispute on this point. Paul affirms the plurality of Gods, and Moses shows that they existed before the creation of man.
But then, both Paul and Moses teach that there is One who is surpreme over them all. This is AIL, who created them, and who is alone to be an object of adoration, not with the blank amazement of superstition but of an adoration in an earnest belief of His promises, and willing and loving obedience to His commands. Of this supreme God it is that Paul and Jesus say: "There is none other God but one." He is the only Head of the universe, who will permit none to take precedence of himself in the affection and adoration of His creatures. He does not, however, manifest Himself to all the intelligences who reside in the sun, moon, stars and earth, through the same medium. To us on earth, He presents Himself, not through Gabriel, but through Jesus as the medium of manifestation -- incipient manifestation, for the manifestation is not yet complete -- "To us there is but one God the Father out of whom are all things and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Anointed, on account of whom are all things, and we through him."
Down to the third verse of the second chapter of Genesis, the creation of all things is affirmed of "God", that is of Elohim or Gods. But from the fourth verse to the end of the third chapter, where the divine power is mentioned, it is not simply "God" but "Lord God", that is Yahweh Elohim. The common version would merely indicate by prefixing Lord to God, that the Lord God was the supreme God. But if this were admitted, we should be unable to reconcile the saying of John, and Jesus, and Paul, who all declare that "no man hath seen God at any time" (John 1:18; 6:46; 1 Tim. 6: 16). Now Adam and Eve saw and conversed with the Lord God; and multitudes saw Jesus. But we remark that "Lord God" is not used by Moses to express POWER IN-CREATE UNVEILED, or Ail; but as a word-combination synonymous with "Spirit of God" of Gen. 1:2, or literally Ruach Elohim, spirit of Gods or mighty ones -- the "One Spirit" veiled
in the mighty ones through whom He made all that was made.
This Spirit was the Father-Spirit, but what was His name? This was not known until 2,463 years after the creation. Adam Enoch, Noah, Shem, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, were all unacquainted with the name of the Spirit." "I was apparent," said the Spirit "to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as Ail-Shaddai; but by name, IEUE* was not known to them." This name consists of the four letters printed in small capitals, and styled in Hebrew yod, hay, wav, hay. It is sometimes styled the quadrilateral name, because it consists of four letters.
The pronunciation of these letters does not affect the meaning of the word. Jehovah is the pronunciation authorised by the Massorites, who from superstitious motives, declined to mention the name according to its true pronunciation.* * It is doubtful whether in Exodus 6:3, the name was originally written, for we find in chapter 3: 14, it is written "AEIA"* which, without the
* "Teue" and "Aeia" are usually transliterated YHWH and EHYH respectively.
** This statement has been used to adversely criticise "Phanerosis." The following may clarify the position. Between the seventh and tenth centuries of the Christian era, Jewish scholars supplied a complete system of vowel points and accents to consonants of the Hebrew text of the Old Testament. The result of their labours became known as the Massoretic text, whilst the scholars themselves are known as the Massorites from "Massorah," meaning tradition. The Massorah was a collection of notes and discussions, critical and explanatory on the text of the O.T., supplied by scholars stretching back, it was claimed, to the time of Moses, who handed down the Law intact to posterity. The object of the Massorites was to preserve the traditional and genuine text of Scripture. Strict laws were established for the observance of the Scribes who, during the ages, transcribed the Scriptures. The letters and words of each book were counted, and by these and other means the custodians of the Law endeavoured to form a "fence" or "hedge" about it.
The consonants of the Hebrew were thus to all intents and purposes preserved. In regard to the Name of Deity, however, the Scribes incorporated the vowel points of the word Adonai in the margin. As Dr. Thomas mentioned, the Jews had a superstitious dread of pronouncing the Memorial Name of Deity based upon a mistaken interpretation of such passages as Lev. 24:15-23, and Exod. 20:7. The vowel points of Adonai were not to authorise the pronunciation of Jehovah, but to warn the Jewish reader to read "Adonai" wherever Yahweh appeared. Where the title, Adonai Yahweh appeared in the text, the vowel points of the word "Elohim" were substituted for Yahweh, and the Jewish reader read Adohai Elohim. Thus in the Authorised Version both Lord (usually rendered for Adonai) and God (usually rendered for Elohim) have been used for Yahweh.
Jehovah, therefore, is not the pronunciation authorised by the Massorites, but is an error of later days. It resulted from combining the consonants of the Memorial Name with the vowels of Adonai. The early translators wrote in Latin, a language which has no such letter as Y, so that J was selected to take its place. The result was Jehovah instead of Yahweh. This name is first found in manuscripts of the 13th century. (Publishers).
points, may be pronounced aya, with the English sound of a in far. The probability is that the Massorites have substituted IEUE all through the Bible for AEIA. Be this as it may, the latter word is the name, three times used in Exodus 3:14, which the Spirit conferred upon himself. In his address to the Sanhedrin, Stephen told them that "there appeared to Moses, in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, an "Angel" of the "Lord" in a flame of fire, in a bush; and that the "Voice" of the "Lord" came to him, saying: "I am the 'God' of thy fathers" (Acts 7:30). This was a Spirit-manifestation. The Messenger was a spirit -- a Son of power --but not the Supreme Power, "whom no man hath seen at any time"; but an organised spirit-body, through whom the Supreme Power, by His Spirit, conversed with Moses; and with whom He was veiled. The words of the messenger were the Voice of the Spirit that came to Moses; so that when we read what was spoken, we do not read the words of the angel, but the declaration of the Spirit by whom he was angelized, or sent with a message.
Moses was commanded to return to Egypt, from which he had fled forty years before, and to go to his oppressed countrymen, and tell them that "the Elohim of their fathers" had sent him to deliver them from the power of the Pharaoh. Though they served the gods of the Egyptians, they had not forgotten their own history. They would remember the three Elohim that visited Abraham and partook of his hospitality (Gen. 18:1-5), and which is termed "Yahweh appearing to him." They would not have forgotten about their departure to Sodom, and how Lot invited two of them to sojourn with him, saying: "My lords, turn in, I pray you"; and how they said: "Yahweh hath sent us to destroy Sodom." The vision of Jacob's Ladder was not forgotten, in which he saw angels of Elohim -- messengers sent of Elohim -- of their number, and above them all, at the top of the ladder, Yahweh; and He said: "I am the Elohim of Abraham, thy father, and the Elohim of Isaac" (Gen. 28:13). They would remember this, and, consequently, not be ignorant of a plurality of Mighty Ones. But these Mighty Ones were not the Mighty One of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; they were only the official spirits who performed service for them as heirs of salvation; for He that stood at the top of the ladder, above all the ascending and descending Elohim, said ani Yahweh Elohai Avrahhahm, "I Yahweh Elohim of Abraham." Moses knew that they were acquainted with the many Mighty Ones of their history; and that, consequently, if he should present himself to them as a messenger of Elohim, they would say to him: "What is his name"? As if they should say: "We have heard of many gods; what is the name of him who sends you"? As Joshua says, they were worshippers of other gods than Yahweh at the time Moses went to them; Moses was aware of that, and, therefore,
felt the importance of being made acquainted with the name of Him who sent him, that he might be able to answer their question should they ask it.
Under these circumstances, the Spirit imposed upon himself a name, and embodied it in a Memorial, by which he was to be known henceforth. Some 430 years before he had said to Abraham, ani Ail Shaddai, "I, the strength of the Mighty Ones" (Gen. 17:1), i.e., "All those Mighty Ones of whom you have heard, who were engaged in forming the heavens and the earth, and who recently confounded the speech of all the earth, and are about soon to overwhelm Sodom and Gomorrah -- I AM THE POWER by whose spirit they did it all; therefore, walk before ME and be thou perfect."
This was a great principle established in the minds of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses -- that it mattered not how many mighty ones they might see, or have interviews with, they were not objects of worship for them, but were, themselves, created powers, whose existence, glory, and might were all of Him -- the "Uncreated and Eternal Spirit." They, then, were not the Elohim of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The Spirit claimed this for His individual self. Not that there were one, two, three, or a multitude of Elohim of Abraham then actually existent in the Godhead: but, it was the pleasure of the Eternal Spirit that there should, at a future period, be a multitude of Abrahamic Elohim, who should constitute "a Divine Family," and not a whit inferior to "the Stars of the Dawn, the Sons of God," who shouted for joy when they beheld the results of the wonders of the creation-week. Hence, the Eternal Spirit, in imposing upon himself a name, selected a word which should point toward this wonderful future manifestation of spirit. There had been previous manifestations of spirit, and the then already-existent Elohim were its fruit. But now a new manifestation was pre-determined -- a manifestation of Elohim, or Sons of God, out of human flesh and spirit.
With reference to this, "Elohim said to Moses," i.e., they who delivered the words of the spirit, the Eternal Spirit sent them to say for Him, "I WILL BE WHO I WILL BE: tell Israel I WILL BE has sent me, Moses, unto you. I WILL BE, the Mighty Ones of your fathers, the Mighty Ones of Abraham, the Mighty Ones of Isaac, and the Mighty Ones of Jacob: that is MY NAME for an Olahm (Aion or Millennium) and this MY MEMORIAL for a generation of the race" (Exod. 3:14, 15).
The memorial, in its simplest form, is ehyeh asher ehyeh, "l will be who I will be." Asher, "who," the relative pronoun in this memorial, is both singular and plural, masculine and feminine.
It will, therefore, stand for "ten thousand times ten thousand," as well as for two or three persons. The other two words of the memorial are the first person singular, future tense of the verb hahyah, "to be." In this memorial the Eternal Spirit is the "I", and the Elohim of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, are the "who," of whom it is memorialized they "shall be." The reader will observe that it is not "I will be who tihyenah, they shall be"; but "who I will be"; for although "who" refers to a plurality, that plurality, when developed, is but the manifestation of the One Eternal Spirit.
When this Spirit-manifestation is developed, it contains the name for an Olahm. The word olahm signifies anything hidden. The name is, for a period, still hidden in the future: and, therefore, without defining the length of the period, termed simply olahm, hidden. The name is multitudinous, embracing "ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands" (Dan. 7:10; Rev. 5:11), at the head of whom is He who is "altogether lovely" (Cant. 5:16); nevertheless, all One Spirit out of whom, and for whom "they are manifested."
This name was not apocalypsed or revealed in the Mosaic Olahm. It was verbally defined, and in that definition we find "Name" and "Glory" used synonymously. Moses said: "I beseech Thee show me Thy Glory"; and the Spirit replied: "I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the Name of Ehyeh before thee; but thou canst not see my face; for there shall no man see me and live" (Exod. 33:18, 19, 20). Glory and Goodness in Spirit-organization constitute the Name of Ehyeh. It was verbally proclaimed in the words "Ehyeh, or Yahweh Ail, merciful and gracious, long-suffering and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and sin, and that will not clear (the disobedient); visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and fourth" (34:6). "Thou shalt worship for Ail no other; for Yahweh whose name is Jealous, a jealous Ail is He" (ver. 14). In passing, we would remark that this Jealous Name was presented in vision to Ezekiel, in whose writings it is styled "the Image of Jealousy": "the Glory of the Elohim. of Israel" (chap. 8:3,4).
In Exod. 24:10, Moses tells us -- at least the Common Version does that he and seventy-three others "saw the God of Israel." We should err, however, if we supposed that he meant they saw Ail, the Uncreated Spirit, "no man can see Him and live." He says they saw "the Elohim of Israel" depositories and embodiments of the Eternal Spirit, who shone out in glory in the presence of the Elders. The appearance under the feet
of the Elohim, whose feet were also the feet of the Spirit, and, therefore, styled "His feet, was, as it were, a paved work of sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven for clearness." The whole was a Spirit-manifestation, and illustrative of what is yet to appear in the midst of Israel, when the Elohim of Abraham, constituting the name of Ehyeh, shall be apocalypsed on Mount Zion.
Let our Jewish readers make a note of this, that the Memorial Name exhibited in Moses' writing, is not simply a word of four letters given to an abstraction for a name, as men give names to their children; but a name memorial of a future manifestation of the Eternal Spirit; which manifestation will not be of One through One Only; but of One in and through ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands: that the name covers them all; and that consequently, the thousands of thousands are but "One Yahweh."
This was precisely the relation of things before the formation of the Adams, first and second. Before Adam the first, there were thousands of Elohim, yet only one Eternal Spirit. The Name of those thousands was not Ehyeh, or Shall be"; but, as implied elsewhere, Howeh we-Hahyah, "He is and He was" --the One Eternal Spirit in plural manifestation, by which, as a whole, the earth was "created and made." And at the birth of the second Adam, "He is and He was," as manifested in the "multitude of the Heavenly Host," was praised in having glory ascribed to Him in the highest heavens (Luke 2:13, 14).
In regard to a name being representative of a multitude, we may refer the reader to the fact that the name of Ehyeh is even now comprehensive of all the saints living and dead; for everyone who believes the promises and the things concerning Jesus; and is immersed into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, is "in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Anointed" (1 Thess. 1:1), and Christ is in Him by faith (Eph. 3:17). He is thus "in the Name" which is named upon him, and of the Elohim elect, "waiting for the adoption or redemption of the body," which results in "the manifestation of the sons of God," at the Olahm, for which they are prepared.
It has been well observed by some one whose name escapes me, that "there exists in the universe only One Generic Spiritual substance, the Sole Primary Cause, efficient, formative, and substantial, of all secondary causes, and of all appearances whatever, but indued in its highest degree with a supreme providential wisdom, and proceeding by ways incomprehensible to the spirits which emanate from it, apart from revelation." This is perfectly Scriptural, and therefore in harmony with the teaching of Moses
and the prophets, among whom are included Jesus and the apostles.
In another place we were treating of the Eternal Spirit in relation to His Name. We continue to remark here, that this name is not a mere tetregrammaton, which superstition forbids or fears to pronounce; nor is it a mere word bestowed by the Spirit upon himself, as a father affixes a word to a son, which we call a name, by which to distinguish him from his other sons; nor is it the name Father, and the name Son, and the name Holy Spirit, three names, into which those "who know not God, the Only True One, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent," are immersed. AIL, the Eternal Spirit, has not "three names." He did not say to Moses: "I will proclaim the names of Yahweh before Thee"; "I send an angel before Thee .... obey His voice, provoke Him not, for He will not pardon your transgressions, for my names are in Him"; nor did he say, "In all places where I record My names I will come unto Thee." The Eternal Spirit did not speak after this fashion, but uniformly in the singular, having only One Name, and not three, as some very erroneously imagine and inculcate.
All Books/Booklets, Editorials, and Articles are FREE and can be downloaded without permission.