DID YESHUA THE MESSIAH

Have a Pre-Carnal Existence? - Chapter 11

 

Part II – The Enhanced Public Debate Presentation

 

By Larry Acheson

 

A Response to Chuck Henry’s book

Trinity, Oneness, Duality, and Pre-Existence

 


XI.  "Character Witness"

  

A

s I previously mentioned, there are many verses in the Bible besides Micah 5:2 that, in my opinion, validate believing Yeshua had a pre-carnal existence.  I can only touch on a few.  For example, in John 6:46, Yeshua tells the Jews that He alone has seen the Father.  According to Biblical Unitarian Chuck Henry, what He meant was, He had seen the Father’s character.  Let’s take a look at this pivotal verse; for context, we’ll start with verse 44:

44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of Yahweh.  Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of Elohim, he hath seen the Father.

47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

48 I am that bread of life. 

      It shouldn’t take much in the way of exegesis to determine that when Yeshua said, “Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of Elohim,” He was referring to Himself.  He told the Jews that He had seen the Father and if we go a step beyond this understanding, we should be able to grasp that this means He was saying He had a pre-carnal existence.  Otherwise, when did He see the Father? 

         John 6:46 is not the only place in which Yeshua claimed to have seen the Father.  Displayed below is John 5:19: 

19 Then answered Yeshua and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do:  for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. 

      You might wonder how Yeshua “saw” Father do anything.  Did He literally “see” the Father doing things?  Or was Yeshua speaking metaphorically?  I think it should be fairly obvious that this is not one of those places where Yeshua was speaking metaphorically.  Just how exactly do you “metaphorically” see someone do things? 

      Nevertheless, that’s how Biblical Unitarian Chuck Henry believes we should regard those verses wherein Yeshua says He has seen the Father.  Displayed on the following page is a screen capture from page 401 of Chuck’s book.  I should mention that I couldn’t resist inserting a brief commentary in red onto the screen capture.  You’ll notice that Chuck makes the odd claim that if we believe Yeshua is Elohim, then why didn’t all those who “saw” Him die, since no can see the Father and live (Ex. 33:20).  Perhaps this comment was directed at Trinitarians.  Either way, I have maintained all along that the Angel with whom Jacob wrestled was Elohim, so was the Angel who appeared to Moses in the Burning Bush, etc.  The Angel was Elohim – the physical manifestation of the Most High Supreme Elohim, with whom mankind can visit face to face without suffering death.  Was Yeshua that Angel?  I believe He was and when He later came as a flesh and blood human, He was likewise the physical manifestation of the Most High Supreme Elohim – a form with whom mankind can visit face to face.  Such being the way I believe, Chuck’s following comment is nonsensical: “The Messiah was clearly seen by many who continued to live.  Since the Messiah’s face was clearly seen, He clearly is not deity.”   The reason He came as a flesh and blood human was for the express purpose of coming in a form that we can see, touch and with whom we can visit face to face.  I think Chuck may be missing the purpose of Yeshua’s flesh and blood, carnal existence. 

      As nonsensical as Chuck’s comment about people not dying when they saw Yeshua is, it pales in comparison to what comes next.  Here’s the screen capture: [1]

      As a general rule, I do not like interrupting others, but it’s difficult to not want to interrupt the above commentary.  As for Yeshua’s face having been “clearly seen,” which in turn serves as Chuck’s evidence that He is not Elohim, Chuck ignores the fact that Yeshua “emptied Himself” of His pre-incarnate form in order to come in the form of a man (Philippians 2:5-8).  We covered this in chapter six.  Of course, Chuck disagrees with our interpretation of Philippians 2:5-8, yet his book doesn’t answer our nagging question:  “If Yeshua didn’t ‘empty Himself’ of the form He shared with His Father, then exactly what did He empty Himself of?  And if being ‘in the form of Elohim’ truly means being in His image, just like all men, then why would He need to empty Himself of that form to be born in human likeness?”  Coming in human likeness as a flesh and blood human not only made Yeshua susceptible to death, but it also meant He was in a form that we can look upon without suffering the pain of death. 

      As troubling as Chuck’s expressed criterion for regarding Yeshua as Elohim is, that particular concern quickly faded into oblivion when I read his interpretation of what Yeshua “really meant” when He said He had seen the Father. 

Yeshua saw the Father in the sense that He saw His character.[2] 

      For his proof text validating the above interpretation, Chuck cites Yeshua’s comment in John 14:9 that if you’ve seen Him (Yeshua), then you’ve seen the Father.  Were the Jews supposed to “just know” that’s what Yeshua meant or should we regard this as a metaphorical riddle?  Chuck’s argument might work for those who physically saw Yeshua, but who or what did Yeshua see?  And is He the only human who could lay claim to having seen the Father’s character?

      I would think that Chuck understands that Yahweh’s character is no mystery; it’s not hidden from anyone Yahweh reveals His character to ALL in His TORAH, the first five books of the Bible.  That’s what Torah is all about:  Revealing Yahweh’s character to His children – for all to see – and emulate! 

      Chuck Henry posits that when Yeshua stated He alone had seen the Father, what He meant was He alone had seen the Father's character.  In doing this, Chuck presents his readers with what is known as a “Logical Fallacy.”  According to Chuck Henry’s understanding of John 6:46, only Yeshua and no one else, including the great men of old listed below, ever saw Yahweh’s “character.”  Does this really make sense?  Or could the greater possibility be that Yeshua actually meant what He said, i.e., He literally saw the Father After all, He had just told the Jews that He had come down from heaven (John 6:38)!  Who were they supposed to think He may have seen up there?

      If no one but Yeshua had seen the Father’s character, please consider who we are eliminating as possible “character witnesses”:  Adam, Enoch, Methuselah, Noah, Seth, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Deborah, Samuel, David, Nathan, Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Ezra, Malachi, Elizabeth & Zechariah, Simeon, Anna and John the Baptist.  I could supply additional names of some Scriptural “heavyweights” in terms of dedication and service to Yahweh, but hopefully you get the idea:  None of these men (or women), according to Chuck Henry, saw Yahweh’s character.  Only Yeshua did.

      King David does a superb job of describing Yahweh’s character in Psalms 103.  In verse 8, he included the following: 

8 Yahweh is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. 

      The above is only a partial description of Yahweh’s character.  If you read the entire chapter, you’ll read even more about it with words such as “lovingkindness” and “righteousness.”  I think King David had a pretty decent handle on Yahweh’s character, but if we can believe Chuck, he would argue that King David never saw it because only Yeshua has seen Yahweh’s character.

      This Sums it up …

        Here are some extra slides that form a part of some late additions I’m making after having inadvertently left them out of my first edition.  The following slides are taken from my March 2019 presentation:

 

[1] Chuck Henry, Trinity, Oneness, Duality and Pre-Existence, H.V. Chapman & Sons Bookbinders, Abilene, TX, 2018, p. 401.

[2] Ibid.

 

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First Publication, June 28, 2020

Edited July 19, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

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This is the name of our Creator, Yahweh, sometimes called the Tetragrammaton.  It is given here in (A) the Phoenician script, (B) the Ivrit Kadum (Paleo-Hebrew) script, and (C) the Modern Hebrew script (a stylization of Aramaic).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

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