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Conformed to The Image

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Conformed to the Image

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 the Spirit of YHWH.
(2Cor. 3:18) see 1Cor. 13:12; Ex. 33:18-34:8; 1Cor. 11:7

And from the first he knew he knew them and marked them out [to become] in the likeness of the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn of many brothers.
(Rom. 8:29)

And put on the newness that is renewed by knowledge, in the likeness of his Creator.
(Col. 3:10)

And like we have worn the likeness of the one who is from the dust, thus we will wear the likeness of the one who is from heaven.
(1Cor. 15:49)

What is this likeness of YHWH which we see in the mirror and are being changed into?

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

The Torah tells us that G-d is eternal (Dt.33:27).From this we understand that G-d is infinite or boundless. In Jewish mysticism the term Eyn Sof is used to describe G-d as being eternal, infinite and boundless. Eyn is a Hebrew word meaning "there is not" or "without", while Sof is a Hebrew word meaning "end, termination, border or definition." Since G-d is Eyn Sof, G-d is without definition. This creates a basic problem. The minute we attempt to define G-d we have given him borders and are no longer talking about Eyn Sof. There is no way that we can define Eyn Sof, moreover we cannot even comprehend Eyn Sof since we would have to have an infinite number of bytes in our brain to comprehend the infinite. This creates a natural gulf between man and G-d. Being finite we cannot even comprehend Eyn Sof, much less have a personal relationship with Eyn Sof.

Nonetheless the Scriptures do assign attributes to G-d.  In Judaism these attributes are seen as being part of the godhead in the form of emanations called sefirot (shining ones).  These attributes can clearly be seen in the Tanak in the following passages:

The Spirit of YHWH shall rest upon him,
The Spirit of Wisdom (Chochmah) and Understanding (Binah),
The Spirit of Counsel (Atzah) and might (Geburah)
The Spirit of Knowledge (Da'at) and of the fear (yirah) of YHWH
(Is. 11:2)

Yours, O YHWH, is:
the greatness (Gedulah)
the power (Geburah)
and the glory (Teferet)
the victory (Natzach)
and the majesty (Hod)
…Yours is:
the Kingdom (M'lakah)…
(1Chron. 29:11)

…I YHWH lay in Zion for a foundation (yesod), a stone, a tried stone, … a sure foundation (yesod)…
(Is. 28:16)

…his [YHWH's] mercy (chesed) endures forever…
(2Chron. 20:21)

These list out as follows:

  1. The Spirit of YHWH (called Crown (Keter))
  2. Wisdom (Chokmah)
  3. Understanding (Binah)
  4. Mercy (Chesed)  (also Gedulah and Atzah)
  5. Severity (Geburah)
  6. Harmony/Beauty (Teferet)
  7. Victory (Natzach)
  8. Power (Hod)
  9. Foundation (Yesod)
  10. Kingdom/Kingship (Malakut)

Now in Romans 1:19-20 we are told that:

"what may be known of G-d is manifest in them [mankind]  his invisible attributes are clearly seen,  being understood by the things that are made,  even his eternal power and G-dhead [or divine nature]..."

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 G-d's invisible attributes manifested in man and made clearly seen. The answer is in the Torah, in Gen. 1:26, 27 where we read:

Then G-d said, "Let Us make man in Our image,  according to Our likeness...  So G-d created man in His own image;  in the image of G-d He created him;  male and female He created them.

Now following the parallelism of the passage, "Our image"; "Our likeness" and "male and female" appear to be parallel terms.

These feminine and masculine attributes are represented in the Tanak by the Father (Jer. 31:9; Mal. 1:9; Is. 63:16; 64:8 ), the Mother (Is. 66:13 ) and the Son (Prov. 30:4; Ps. 2:2, 7, 12).

If we arrange the attributes under three columns according to their characteristics as Mother (feminine), Father (masculine) and Son (feminine and masculine in perfect balance) they lay out as follows:

Father

Son

Mother

 

1. Keter

 

3. Binah

 

2. Chochmah

5. Gevurah

 

4. Chesed

 

6. Teferet

 

8. Hod

 

7. Natzach

 

9. Yesod

 

 

10. Malkut

 

The middle column expresses the other two columns in perfect harmony. Note that attributes 1, 6, 9 and 10 make up this middle column and 1+6+9+10 = 26 Which is the numerical value of YHWH.  This therefore is the invisible image of YHWH.

This is the Image of YHWH which is the Messiah:

…the Messiah, who is the likeness of G-d.
(2Cor. 4:4)

[his Son] who is the image of the invisible G-d…
(Col. 1:15)

[the Son] who is the radiance of his glory, and the image of his being…
(Heb. 1:3)

That these are emanations is affirmed by Heb. 1:3 which equates "the image of his being" with "the radiance of his glory" and Jn. 1:5 which describes him as "a light shining in the darkness" (Jn. 1:5).

Ok so lets go back to our original passage:

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 the Spirit of YHWH.
(2Cor. 3:18)

The word for "magnificence" here in the Aramaic is "teshbuchta" the same word which appears in the Peshitta Aramaic Tanak for "tefret" in 1Chron. 29:11.  Therefore it may be understood as:

…behold the teferet of YHWH…

Teferet is the focal point of all of the attributes, one of its meanings is "harmony."  

"from glory to glory" the Jewish New testament has "from one degree of glory to the next"

We were made in the image of YHWH but we are out of balance/harmony.   The object is to harmonize the feminine and masculine attributes in ourselves from one degree of glory to the next until we conform to that harmonious image.  This is a process.  The final result is obtaining crown (keter):

Blessed is the man that endures temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown (keter) of life, which YHWH has promised to them that love him.
(Ya'akov (James) 1:2)

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown (keter) of righteousness, which YHWH, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but to all them that love his appearing.
(2Tim. 4:8)


 


 

THE IMAGE OF YHVH
by
Luana Fabry

Some of the earlier Kabbalistic writings reveal much to us about the identity of Yeshua (Jesus), Messiah and Son of G-d. I cannot go into great detail, but what I will relate, I think is convincing enough to show that most NT concepts of Yeshua are simply reiterations of already existing Jewish concepts. The first book I would like to quote from is the BAHIR. It is one of the oldest and most important of all classical (not occultic) Kabbalah texts. It precedes the Zohar and is much quoted in the Zohar. The Bahir was first published as a book in 1176. The concepts, of course, existed long before the time of Yeshua, in the oral tradition.

In the Bahir, we find the Kabbalistic concept which states that G-d has ten attributes (Sefirot) associated with each of His Names. They are as follows:
 

Keter (Crown) - Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh (I will be who I will be)
Chokmah (Wisdom) - Yah
Binah (Understanding) - YHVH Elohim
Chesed (Love) - EL
Gevurah (Strength) - Elohim
Tiferet (Beauty) - YHVH Adonai
Netzach (Victory) - Adonai Tz’vaot (L-rd of Hosts)
Hod (Splendour) - Elohim Tz’vaot (G-d of Hosts)
Yesod (Foundation) - Shaddai / El Chai (Almighty/G-d of Life)
Malkhut (Kingship) - Adonai
 

These ten Sefirot represent the fullness of G-d’s divinity.


1. ADAM KADMON - G-d’S ATTRIBUTES IN HUMAN-LIKE FORM

The Bahir (p95) says, that G-d created man from a “blueprint”. Quote: “...the form (image) of G-d in which He created man is actually G-d’s blueprint form for man. This “form” or “blueprint” consisted of G-d’s first thought in creation, and hence the highest level of creation. This is referred to as “Adam Kadmon” (Primeval Man).” End quote.

“His body (Adam's) is a copy of the Adam Kadmon which represents the Sefirot (attributes of G-d) in their totality and unity.” (Jewish Mysticism: the Kabbalah, Epstein)

“The Sefirot are visualized in arrangement under a human form, Adam Kadmon (Primordial Man)”. (Jewish Mysticism: the Kabbalah, Epstein)

Ok, so G-d’s ten attributes took form, as that of a man. This form is known as Adam Kadmon. It was in this image that Adam was created.
 

2. TORAH AS BLUEPRINT

The Kabbalah says that the Torah is also G-d’s blueprint for creation.

In page 91 we read, quote: “The word Torah refers to the entire spiritual blueprint of creation”.

We can therefore conclude that Adam Kadmon and Torah are the same - the “blueprint of creation”.
 

3. TORAH’S INVOLVEMENT IN CREATION

The Midrash states that “G-d sought advice from the Torah before He created the universe” (Pirkei Rabbi Eliezer).

Also, from the Bahir, p96, quote: “In Proverbs 8, it is Wisdom who speaks... The Torah is Wisdom and is therefore the “head” of creation... The Torah was the blueprint of creation and therefore preceded it.”

So now we see that the image of G-d (Adam Kadmon), Torah and Wisdom are the same.

Have you read Proverbs 8:21? I’ll write v21-23 and 27-31 to save space. It says this:

v 21 “The L-rd brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old;
I was appointed from eternity, before the world began....

v27, I was there when he set the heavens in place, when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep, when he established the clouds above, and fixed securely the fountains of the deep, when he gave the sea its boundary so the waters would not overstep his command, and when he marked out the foundations of the earth. Then I was the craftsman at his side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence, rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind.”

Now we can understand why John says: “In the beginning was the Word (Torah), and the Word was with G-d and the Word was G-d. He was with G-d at the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” John 1:1-3

Another central book to Kabbalah is the TANYA. Here we find identical statements to the Bahir. In the English version of the Tanya, each time the word Yeshu’ah appears, it is italicised. It is used in the following contexts:

Quote: “This is the meaning of salvation upon his head: yeshu’ah. May their horn be exalted by the yeshu’ah of He who causes to sprout the horn of yeshu’ah, the sprout of tzedakah (righteousness) from the helmet of yeshu’ah.” End quote.

This, of course, is what Paul is referring to in Ephesians 6:17 - “Take the helmet of salvation (Yeshua).”

Again in the Tanya, “Darkness converted to light is referred to as yeshu’ah.” Compare to John 1:4 -9.
 

4. UNITY OF G-d AND YESHUA

Many times Yeshua said that “he and the Father are One.” What does the Tanya say?

Quote: “For the Torah and the Holy One, blessed be He, are one.” p289

And again... Quote: “As the holy Zohar states, ‘He and His attributes are a perfect unity.” 297

And again.. Quote: “For He, blessed is He, and His Wisdom are one, in an absolute unity.” p495

And again.. Quote: “The Torah and the Holy One, blessed is He, are entirely one.” p525

The Bahir already established that the “image” or “form” of G-d is His Attributes and blueprint for creation. It then states that Torah is the blueprint. Then it states that all was created through Wisdom and that Wisdom is Torah. Therefore, all of these are Adam Kadmon - the image of G-d - and he and G-d are a perfect unity.

In the Peshita translation of the Tanakh (Aramaic), it says in Genesis 1:27, “G-d created man WITH his image. In the image of G-d he created him.” Who is the image of G-d?

Finally, in a 19th century dictionary by W. Wheeler, under the topic of Adam Kadmon, it says:

Quote: “Adam Kadmon: The first form to emanate from the Infinite One, was the body of Adam Kadmon. He is the first production of divine energy or Son of G-d.”

As far as I can conclude, Yeshua is the earthly manifestation of Adam Kadmon. He is the Torah and Wisdom, the fullness of the attributes of G-d, who came in the flesh. He is divine because, as the Mishna says, the Torah is divine. As the embodiment of G-d’s Divine Attributes, he must therefore be also divine in his spirit. He was there “in the beginning”. All things were created through him. He
and the Holy One, are a perfect unity. He is the visible IMAGE of the invisible G-d.

“He is the visible image of the invisible G-d, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible... for G-d was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him.” Colossians 1:15-20

John & Paul were very kabbalistic in their definition of Yeshua. When you read what they say, it is obvious they are only reiterating the same concepts, almost word for word, that we have just seen in the Kabbalah.

Now we can understand Yeshua’s statements which imply he was there “in the beginning”, such as “before Abraham was, I Am”. It was the Adam Kadmon who came in the person of Yeshua. He came as “salvation” and as the full embodiment of Torah.

I leave this with you for the purpose of reading the NT in the light of Jewish thought rather than Greek thought. It is the Greek mindset behind the words which confuses us. But when we read those same words with the Jewish mind, the confusion goes. As you can see, it had all been said before.

 

Continue to: Kabbalah and Qumran

Back to: Kabbalah - An Overview


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