The answer to the “Son of God” question is the key to understanding the conflict that divided the Jewish followers of the Real Yeshua and the mixed group of followers of Paul called “Christians.” The importance of knowing “when” Yeshua became the “Son of God” is not understood by Christians today. But, I have no doubt that it was at the heart of many debates between the followers of Yeshua and those of Paul well into the second century. Why is this still so important?
The validity of Paul’s apostleship, his gospel and many of the salvation messages
taught by Christian institutions today are linked to it.
In order to accurately understand the verses that provide the answer to this important question we must have a quick vocabulary lesson. The first vocabulary word is “gospel.” When we read the word “gospel” in English translations, it isn’t a reference to a book like those we call “Gospels” in the New Testament today. The Jewish audience would have understood it to mean something like “good tidings” or “good news” – “a proclamation that came from Yahweh.” This is clearly seen in the words of Isaiah (61:1a):
“The Spirit of the Master Yahweh is upon me, because Yahweh has anointed me to proclaim good tidings to the poor . . .”
The “gospel” in this verse is described as “good tiding to the poor.” If you want to read more about that “gospel,” read Isaiah 56 through 61.
Yeshua quoted this verse when he stood before the members of his home synagogue in Nazareth and announced that he was the “Anointed One” prophesied by Isaiah. Three very important clues about Yeshua and his movement are revealed in the quote and his Jewish audience would have wanted to know the answers to the following questions:
(1) When did the spirit of Yahweh come upon Yeshua?
(2) When did Yahweh anoint Yeshua?
(3) What good tidings did Yahweh give Yeshua to proclaim?
The next vocabulary terms are “Anointed One” and “Son of God.” Their meanings are found in
Psalm 2 and 2 Samuel 7. In Psalm 2:2 we read:
“The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against Yahweh and against His Anointed One.” (Psalm 2:2)
“Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion.
I will declare the decree:
Yahweh has said to me, `You are My Son, today I have begotten you.’” (Psalm 2:6-7)
The “Anointed One” and “My (Yahweh’s) Son” are titles of the “King of Israel.” The above Psalm was part of the coronation ceremony ancient Israel. In order to fully understand the meaning of “Son of God” we must also be aware of Yahweh’s covenant with King David. It is found in 2 Samuel 7:12-14:
“When your (David) days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I (Yahweh) will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his Father, and he shall be My son.”
Now, let’s put all the pieces and vocabulary terms together so we better understand them and their relationship to each other before we continue:
(1) The “Anointed One” is the “King of Israel.”
(2) The “Anointed One” is the “Son of Yahweh.”
(3) The “Son of Yahweh” is a “descendant of King David” and part of David’s Covenant with Yahweh.
(4) He became the “Anointed One,” “King of Israel” and “Son of Yahweh” at the coronation ceremony.
Now let’s turn to the New Testament Gospels and discover when Yeshua became “Son of God (Yahweh).” I will begin with Matthew 3:16-17 and underline the vocabulary terms discussed above:
“When he had been baptized, Yeshua came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, `This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’”
In Matthew Yeshua became the “Son of God” at his “baptism.” Next, let’s see what Mark (1:9-11) says:
“It came to pass in those days that Yeshua came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And immediately, coming up from the water, he saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove. Then a voice came from heaven, `You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’”
In Mark Yeshua became the “Son of God” at his “baptism.” Next, let’s see what Luke (3:21-22) says:
“When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Yeshua also was baptized; and while he prayed, the heaven was opened. And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven which said, `You are My beloved Son; in you I am well pleased.’”
In Luke Yeshua became the “Son of God” at his “baptism.” Next, let’s see what John (1:32-34) says”
“And John bore witness, saying, `I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained upon him. I did not know him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.’”
In Matthew, Mark, Luke and John Yeshua became the “Son of God” at his “baptism,” which means he also became the “Anointed One” at the same time. You may remember from earlier articles that English translators translated “Anointed One” as “Christ.” So, at his baptism he became the “Christ.” So what would the Jewish audience of Yeshua have thought when he was called “Yeshua the Anointed One?” It would be something like this – Yeshua the Anointed One, Son of David, Son of Yahweh and King of Israel!
Now let’s see what Paul says about when Yeshua became the “Son of God.” We find his view recorded in Romans (1:1-4):
“Paul, a bondservant of Yeshua the Anointed One, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Yeshua the Anointed One our Master, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness by the resurrection from the dead.”
Paul specifically points out that Yeshua was a “descendant of David.” But, for Paul, Yeshua became the “Son of God” “by the resurrection from the dead,” not at his “baptism.” What are the implications of Paul’s view?
(1) Everything Yeshua taught and did before the resurrection was done before he became the “Son of God” and the “Anointed One”(Christ).
(2) Paul is the only apostle called after Yeshua became the “Son of God.”
(3) Paul’s gospel is the only gospel given by Yeshua the “Son of God.”
The differences between the Real Yeshua’s gospel and Paul’s gospel are reflected in how members of their movements understood their roles and taught “the way of salvation.”
Yeshua’s gospel was about creating a kingdom of people who were actively engaged in doing acts of TZEDAQAH (righteousness) and MISHPAT (justice). In Matthew 25, Yeshua’s message reflects this very clearly. Those who did TZEDAQAH (the work of the Creator in making the world whole) – fed the hungry, gave drink to the thirsty, clothed the naked, took strangers into their homes, visited the sick, etc., entered into eternal life.
Paul’s gospel requires people to “BELIEVE” what it says. It does not require people to do anything for anyone else – “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of the `Anointed One,’ for “it (Paul’s gospel) is the power of God to salvation” for everyone who BELIEVES.” (Romans 1:16).
Yeshua’s gospel was about makings lives better, repairing them and making them whole. Paul’s gospel was about “believing an exclusive revelation that God only revealed to him.” Paul said he had been called “from his mother’s womb to proclaim it.” He said that no other apostle, even the existing head of the Yeshua Movement, Yeshua’s brother named Jacob (James), was let in on it.
Here are some final points about Yeshua’s gospel.
(1) It doesn’t require anyone to believe in anyone or about anything.
(2) It doesn’t require anyone to convert to Judaism or Christianity.
(3) It doesn’t restrict the good things being done to Christians only.
I want to leave you with two very important questions in closing:
(1) What would happen if the 70% of the American population that identifies themselves as “Christians” did “Yeshua’s Gospel” instead of believed “Paul’s gospel”?
(2) What if the churches of the over two billion Christians on the earth today became centers committed to doing and teaching “Yeshua’s Gospel” instead of trying to persuade people to believe one of many and differing creeds and official doctrines?
I created a TOV Team called “Christians for TOV.” It is a way for Christians, past Christians, people with Christian or Biblical Heritages to interact with others and create relationships; learn how to use the TOV Values upon which Yeshua built his message and movement; and when you do, your life, the lives of those around you, and many others will be better, happier, healthier, safer and whole.
Why is it so important for Christians to understand that the Real Yeshua taught "actions" not "beliefs"? Remember the face and the statistics below:
Hitler came to power in a democratic nation with a 94% Christian population. If they had understood Yeshua’s TOV gospel, things would have been different. The importance of increasing the number of Christians for TOV in America today must not be overlooked!
Christians for TOV is a new option for Christians that value the teachings of the Real Yeshua more than the doctrines of religions. Make sure you visit our new webpage by clicking here.