We often hear about the three “Abrahamic faiths”; that of the Jews, of the Christians, and of the Muslims. Why? Because they all profess to believe in only one God. This has been called “monotheism,” which is said to have begun with Abraham. This is what I learned growing up as a nice Jewish boy in America. But is any of this true?! (Jam 2:19). There is a spiritual battle in the heavenlies, and on the Earth, concerning the identity and true worship of the true God.
The Jews are a people; to be Christian is a faith issue; Muslims, also, are not a people group but a “community” of faith. The religion and way of the Jews today is Rabbinic Judaism; the religion and way of Christians is Christianity; the religion and way of Muslims is Islam. Each speak of their God according to their holy books, and their interpretations and understanding. There are many streams and degrees of observance and identity within each of these faiths and ways of life and world views.
Which of these faiths and religious confessions – based on the holy books they base their religion and life upon – believes in and follows the way of the God of Abraham?
The first man, Adam (which means “man [of the dust of the ground/earth, “adamah” in Hebrew), with his wife, the first woman, Eve (and together God called them “Man/Adam”), believed in one God: Their Creator.
Eve was called a woman (isha in Hebrew) because she was taken out of a man (ish in Hebrew). This distinction denotes the male and female between the combined Man/Adam. It is said that with the birth of Enosh (meaning “mortal man”), the son of Seth, people began to call upon the name of YHVH, the one Creator God (Gen 4:26; 5:1-2; 2:4, 21-24; 1:26-27). The Hebrew word for God used in the Creation account is a plural form (“Elohim”), with a singular verb for create (“bara”). This plural word for God is also used in the Shema (Dt 6:4-5), which states that YHVH is our Elohim, and YHVH is one (a compound unity), just as one day is composed of day, evening, night, morning.
Enoch believed in this one God; Noah did; Job did. Abraham was not the first monotheist! But YHVH chose and “discipled” Abraham and Sarah, and Isaac and Rebecca, and Jacob and Leah and Rachel, and Moses to know and acknowledge HIM as the only (“yachid”) one, true, living God. There is none like Him, nor to be compared to Him! (Is 40:21-31; 45:3-7.) Many times God has said that His people and the nations would know that He is YHVH, the Holy One! (Ezek 38:18-23; 39:1-8; Is 45:14-25).
YHVH spoke through the prophets of the Tanach/Old Testament in various times and ways to reveal Himself and His plan of redemption; and through the gospel and the revelation of the Son of God and Son of Man, Yeshua/Jesus the Messiah/Christ, we received the revelation that YHVH is one, and triune, God: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (e.g., Mt 28:18-20; 2Cor 13:14; Phlp 2:5-11; Is 45:22-23). The Hebrew Elohim, whenever speaking about YHVH, is always considered as one; when used of angels, or of false gods, it is always used with a plural verb and adjectives.
YHVH speaks of Himself as being a Father to Israel. He has a son/Son, and sons and daughters (Ex 4:22-23; Num 16:22; 2Sam 7:8-14; Jer 31:7-11; Prov 30:4; Mt 3:16-17; Lk 1:29-35; Jn 3:16-18; 5:16-23; 14:1-31; Acts 17:22-31; 2Cor 6:18; Heb 12:9). Abraham was told by God to offer his only son, whom He loved, Isaac, on Mt Moriah. (Isaac was not the only son of Abraham: Ishmael was also his son, and born first(and he loved him). But Isaac was the son whom YHVH had promised to Abraham and to Sarah, and in Isaac all of the covenantal promises to Abraham would come, and bless all of the families of the Earth. In this sense, Isaac was the only son, and the one that he loved.) Because of his faith in YHVH and in His promises, with godly fear Abraham believed that God would raise up Isaac from the dead if he actually killed him in obedience to God (Gen 22:5; Heb 11:17-19). Both Abraham and Isaac learned from this life-changing test and experience that YHVH their God was able, and would fulfill His promises even if we die: He would raise us up in the resurrection! Any religion or faith that claims that Abraham sacrificed (or almost did) Ishmael has altered YHVH God’s historical redemptive narrative.
YHVH God promised to the world that a human (albeit a unique Seed of the Woman) Deliverer and Savior would come to crush the serpent/the devil/the dragon by whom evil entered the world, bringing death to all because Eve and Adam heeded the liar and deceiver rather than believe and obey the Word of YHVH God their Creator (Gen 3:15; Rom 16:20; Rev 12:7-17). This promised Messiah would come through the Children of Jacob/Israel, and through the Tribe of Judah in particular; that is, the Messiah Savior would be both a male Jew, and YHVH God in the flesh.
Yeshua is descended from David, Judah, Jacob, Isaac, Abraham, Shem, Noah, Enosh, Seth, Adam, God. This God-Man would give His life as a ransom for our sin, being crucified to death on the cross to atone for the sins of all humanity and to take away the sin of the world; would be buried, and rise again on the third day, and be seen by hundreds proving that He who had died was alive forevermore.
Yeshua/Jesus is the Anointed One/Mashiach/Messiah who is the YHVH God-chosen Prophet, the King [of the Jews, of Israel, of the Nations, of kings, of angels], and the High Priest after the order of Melchizedek, not according to the Law of Moses. If Yeshua is the Prophet (and He is), and someone else comes along claiming to be the Prophet of God, then that prophet and religion is a false prophet of another god. And any other “prophet” that would deny Jesus being the Son of God, can not supplant the intimate knowledge of the Father with His only begotten and beloved Son. Yeshua/Jesus/Yasua has declared that no one knows the Father but the Son, and to those whom He chooses to reveal Him. He says that there is no other way to the Father but through Him! Any religion or faith that claims otherwise is false.
If Jesus is uniquely the Son of God (and He is), and someone, or some religion, claims that He is not, then that religious faith is not true. Any religion and faith community that denies that God is a Father, and therefore has no Son, nor any other children, is a false religion of another god of their own making, and they speak of another Jesus. If any religion or faith community denies that Yeshua/Jesus is the Messiah/Christ of YHVH, it is a false religious faith in another god (Ps 2:2;1Jn 2:20-25). The monotheism of YHVH is not the monotheism of man’s “wisdom!”
If Yeshua died on the cross and rose again (and He did), and some other holy book and religion claims that one or both of those historical facts are not true, then those religions and faiths bear false witness/testimony to the historical Jesus/Yeshua/Yasua of Nazareth, born in Bethlehem in Judea; to the truth of the Word of God; and of the eyewitnesses who saw and recorded it for us in the New Testament, all based on YHVH God’s Word written by Moses and the Prophets in the Tanach. (Jn 17:20; 1Jn 1; 2Pt 1:16-21; Lk 1:1-4; Gal 1:6-12; 1Cor 15:1-19; 2Tim 3:16-17.)
YHVH is the everlasting name of the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob/Israel. A God by any other name, or that erases the name of the true God of Heaven and of Earth, is another god. Yeshua the Messiah/Jesus Christ/Yasua al-Masich (or in whatever other language that honors His Name!) is the only name given under Heaven by which any person can be saved! (Ex 3:13-15; Acts 4:8-12.) The Son of God by any other name is another Jesus/Yeshua/Yasua (2Cor 11:1-4).
We are to flee from idolatry! All of these other faiths and religions are not the faith of Abraham! Jews and Arabs both call Abraham their father. But there is only one Abrahamic faith in the true God and Savior, and he is the father of all who believe in YHVH – the Almighty Everlasting God who is I AM – the eternal living God of the living. Yeshua said that Abraham saw His day, and rejoiced (Gen 17:1-8; 21:33; Jn 8:25-59; Lk 20:34-38; Rom 4:16-25; Heb 11:6; Rev 1:4-8; 4:1-11).
YHVH God – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – is the God of hope, who promises eternal life with Him for all who believe in and love Him through the Lord Jesus Christ/Yeshua the Messiah, our Redeemer and Savior! This is the God of Abraham’s faith. We who are spiritual sons and daughters of Abraham have the mission to make YHVH God known through proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God, that repentance and remission of sins is preached in His Name to whomsoever. The truth sets us free when we hear and believe it!
“Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye shall see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the Earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. ‘I am the Alpha and Omega/the Aleph and the Tav, the Beginning and the End’, says YHVH, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty!’” (Rev 1:7-8; Dan 7:13-14; Zech 12:10-11; Is 44:6).
Howard Bass is the congregation pastor/leader of Nachalat Yeshua (Yeshua's Inheritance) in Beer Sheva, Israel.