The Three Pillars of the Godhead (Part 3)

The Three Pillars of the Godhead (Part 3)
By
James Scott Trimm

In Part 1 I showed the concept of the Three Pillars of the Godhead with the Middle Pillar as the Son of Yah, the Word the Image of Elohim and the Messiah. In Part 2 I showed the concepts could be found in the writings of Philo of Alexandria in the first Century. In Part 3 I will show that these same ideas can be found in the Ketuvim Netzarim (Writings of the Nazarenes, the so-called “New Testament” such that this concept fits their writings like a glove.

In the Ketuvim Netzarim these Three Pillars are referred to as the Father, Son, and Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit):

Go you therefore, and teach all nations, immersing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Ruach HaKodesh:
(Matthew 28:19)

Despite what you may have read or been told, our best evidence is that this is an original part of Matthew (See my blog Does Matthew 28:19 Really Say “The Father, Son and Holy Spirit”?)

In Yochanan 5:26 the Aramaic text of the Old Syriac and Peshitta gives us an Aramaic term for the three elements of the Godhead:

For as the Father has life in his K’NUMA; so has he given to the Son to have life in his K’NUMAH;
(John 5:26)

The Peshitta appears to be using this word to distinguish the three members of these Three Pillars of the Godhead is much the same way that the Zohar (in Part 1) used the word Gaun)

Each of these three can be seen separately in the Ketuvim Netzarim:

How much more shall the blood of Messiah, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to Elohim, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living Elohim?
(Heb. 9:14)

Here the blood of Messiah (the Son) is offered through the Spirit (Ruach HaKodeh) to some third element also being called Elohim (obviously the Father).

And in Matthew 3:16

16 And Yeshua, when he was immersed, went up straightway out of the water: and, behold, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of Elohim descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
17 And behold a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
(Matthew 3:16)

Here Yeshua is the Son, the Ruach HaKodesh is descending upon him like a dove, and a voice from Heaven is speaking and says “This is my beloved Son”.

There is no need to make the case that the Father is Elohim, this much is obvious.

There can be no doubt that the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) is YHWH, for we read in the Torah:

YHWH alone did lead him,
And there was no strange god with Him.
(Deut. 32:11)

While Isaiah speaks of this same event saying:

…The Spirit of YHWH caused them to rest;
So did You lead Your people…
(Is. 63:14)

And again we read in the Torah:

But when Moshe went in before YHWH that He might speak with him, he took the veil off, until he came out…
(Ex. 34:34)

And Paul elaborates on this writing:

But when any man from them should turn to YHWH, the veil is lifted from him. Now YHWH himself is spirit, and where the Spirit of YHWH is, there is freedom. But all of us, with open faces, behold the magnificence of YHWH as in a mirror, and we are being changed into that likeness from glory to glory as by YHWH the Spirit.
(2Cor. 3:16-18)

And:

3 But Kefa said, Hananyah, why has HaSatan filled your heart to lie to the Ruach HaKodesh, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
4 Whiles it remained, was it not your own? and after it was sold, was it not in your own power? why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men, but to Elohim.
(Acts 5:3-4)

And:

If any man defile the Temple of Elohim, him shall Elohim destroy; for the Temple of Elohim is holy, which Temple you are.
(1Cor. 3:17)

With:

What? know you not that your body is the Temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of Elohim, and you are not your own?
(1Cor. 6:19)

Some teachers have tried to reduce the Ruach HaKodesh to a mere impersonal “force”.  However, it is clear from the Scriptures that that the Ruach has many qualities that are not characteristic of an impersonal force. The Holy Spirit speaks (Acts 8:29; 10:19; Jn. 15:26; 2Pt. 1:21); have emotions (Is. 63:10; Eph. 4:30) can be insulted (Heb. 10:29) intercedes (Rom. 8:26) testifies (Jn. 14:26) leads (Rom. 8:14) commissions (Acts 13:4), commands (Acts 8:29); wills (1Cor. 12:11) and gives understanding (1Cor. 2:10-11).

Just as the two outer pillars are known in Rabbinic Judaism as the “Father” and “Mother” (And the Zohar refers to the “Supernal Mother” at least 34 times), the ancient Nazarenes understood the Ruach HaKodesh to be a sort of Heavenly Mother.

The ancient Nazarenes used an apocryphal Gospel called The Goodnews according to the Hebrews, which taught this very idea. While this apocryphal Gospel is now lost, several quotes from it have survived in the writings on the ancient “Church Fathers.” One of these quotes, found in Jerome’s commentary on Isaiah, tells the story of Yeshua’s immersion (baptism) this way:

And it came to pass when the Lord was come up out of the water, the whole fount of the Holy Spirit descended and rested upon him, and said to him, “My Son, in all the prophets was I waiting for you that you should come, and I might rest in you.
For you are my rest, you are My firstborn son, that reigns forever.”
(Jerome- On Is. 11:2)

Here it is the Ruach HaKodesh, not the Father, who is calling Yeshua “My Son” apparently referring to Psalm 2:7 (see also Acts 13:33; Heb. 1:5; 5:5).

In another passage the Gospel according to the Hebrews is even more clear.  In this passage (cited by both Origen and Jerome) Yeshua is quoted as saying:

“Even so did my Mother, the Holy Spirit, take me by one of my hairs and carry me away to the great mountain Tabor.” (Compare Ezkl. 8:3)
[Origen- On Jn. 2:12; Hom. on Jer. 15:4; Jerome- On Micah 7:6; On. Is. 40:9; On Ezkl. 16:13]

For more on this see my blog My Mother the Ruach HaKodesh

As I have shown in a recent blog The Deity of Messiah in the Scriptures, the Ketuvim regularly cites passages from the Tanak that are clearly speaking about YHWH and applies these to the Messiah.

Just as the Son of Yah as the Middle Pillar, unites the right and left sides, the Ketuvim Netzarim presents the Messiah as the “fullness of the Godhead:

For in him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
(Col. 2:9)

The Image of Elohim

We were created in the image of Elohim (Gen. 1:26-27; 1Cor. 11:7). This Image of Elohim is an invisible image of attributes, which make up the godhead (Col. 1:15; Rom. 1:27).

“What may be known of Elohim is manifest in them [mankind] his invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead…”
(Rom. 1:19)

Then in Rom. 1:26-28 we are told that those who fail to perceive these things may fall into the errors of Homosexuality and Lesbianism. So when in creation were Elohim’s invisible attributes manifested in man and made clearly seen. The answer is in the Torah, in Gen. 1:26, 27 where we read:

26 And Elohim said: Let us make man in our image; after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.
27 And Elohim created man in His own image: in the image of Elohim created He him; male and female created He them.
(Gen. 1:26-27 HRV)

Just as the Son of Yah, as the Middle Pillar of the Godhead in Rabbinic Judaism unites the other two Pillars as the Image of Elohim which served as the model for our creation (as does Philo of Alexandria), so also does the Ketuvim Netzarim present the Messiah as that Image of Elohim:

In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious good news of Messiah, who is the image of Elohim, should shine unto them.
(2Cor. 4:4)

13 Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
15 Who is the image of the invisible Elohim, the firstborn of every creature:
16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
(Col. 1:13-17)

Who being the brightness (Heb: Zohar) of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
(Hebrews 1:3)

Messiah as the Word

Just as did our Rabbinic sources and Philo of Alexandria in parts 1 and 2, the Ketuvim Netzarim identifies the Messiah as the Word:

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Elohim, and the Word was Elohim.
2 The same was in the beginning with Elohim.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
6 There was a man sent from Elohim, whose name was Yochanan.
7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
9 That was the true Light, which lights every man that comes into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of Elohim, even to them that believe on his name:
13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of Elohim.
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
(John 1:1-14)

And he was clothed with a vesture, dipped in blood: and his name is called the Word of Elohim.
(Rev. 19:13)

Just as Philo of Alexandria (in Part 2) saw the Word as a Heavenly High Priest, In Hebrews Chapter 7 the Messiah is pictured as a Hevenly High Priest. And just as Philo (in Part 2) saw the Word as a Paraclete, in 1John 2:1-2 the Messiah is also identified as a Paraclete.

These concepts line up far to well for this to be a mere coincidence. The same things are being taught in all three cases.

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3 thoughts on “The Three Pillars of the Godhead (Part 3)”

  1. R. Trimm,
    Thank you for the 3 part exposition blog which showed that the concept of Three Pillars of the Godhead existed in the early Jewish philosophy (Zohar/Kabalah) & Rabbinic literature, Philo’s writings involving Judaism of the Second Temple Era and among the Nazarene New Testament writings.
    I have two questions:
    1. What exactly would have the term “Son of God” meant, for/in the first century Jewish society?
    2. Where would the concept of partzuf/partzufim come in, in explaining the “Three Pillars of the Godhead”? Could/couldn’t this explain the incarnation of Yeshua the Messiah?
    KC

    1. DrKuruv’la A Cherian Excellent and intelligent questions! So I think they understood the Son as a reconciliation or harmony of the masculine and feminine K’nume/Gaunin. The three Tzachtzachot of the partzufim is yet another way to conceptualize the three. Also a good physics parallel is two quantum states with the Middle Pillar being a Superposition.

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