It seems that the belief and conviction that Y’shua has come in the flesh is quite an important one. In the first letter of Yahuchanan, chapter 4, verses 2 and 3 the following statement is made: “Every spirit that confesses that Y’shua Messiah has come in the flesh is of Elohim, and every spirit that does not confess that Y’shua Messiah has come in the flesh is not of Elohim.” The importance of this belief is reiterated in 2 Joh 1:7 “Because many who are leading astray went out into the world who do not confess Y’shua Messiah as coming in the flesh. This one is he who is leading astray and the anti-messiah.”
That this was a most essential element of the early, apostolic belief, is confirmed by the fact that the same basic confession (“Y’shua has come in the flesh”) is repeated at least an additional five times in the Messianic Scriptures: Rom 1:3 (Y’shua, his Son, … who came according to the flesh); Rom 8:3 (Elohim sending his own Son in the likeness of flesh); Rom 9:5 (the Messiah according to the flesh); 2 Cor 5:16 (we have known Messiah according to the flesh) and Gal 4:4 (Elohim sent forth His Son, born of a woman).
I would say that these seven Scriptural witnesses are quite clear and unanimous about the conviction that the one who came in the flesh was, in fact, Y’shua, who was subsequently also revealed as the Son of Elohim and the promised Messiah. This should be more than clear already, but just for the sake of absolute clarity, let us put forth a question: If the writers of these verses wanted us to understand that Yahweh came in the flesh, why do they all say that Yahweh sent his Son in the flesh? Language, and the straightforward meaning that language conveys, I believe, is proof in itself that the one who came in the flesh, according to these seven verses, is clearly Y’shua the Son, and not Yahweh the Father. And there is not the slightest hint in any of these seven verses, or their various contexts, that Y’shua was equal to his Father, the same being as his Father, simultaneoulsy man and Elohim, or any of the other mystical and philosophic ideas that are part and parcel of the Trinity doctrine.
Certain scribes and translators have tried, over the centuries, to translate into Scriptures the idea that Yahweh came in the flesh. A perfect example of this is 1Timothy 3:16. The correct translation of the original Greek text is something like this: “He who was revealed in the flesh, declared right in Spirit, was seen by messengers, was proclaimed among nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in esteem”. In the light of what we know about Y’shua and how this knowledge corresponds with what is being described here, and also in the light of what has been revealed in the seven verses mentioned above, it is quite clear that the “He” at the beginning of this verse is referring to Y’shua, and not Yahweh.
Trinity minded scribes, however, have “invented” another reading and have made a few, subtle changes to the original text so that even today (despite the fact that experts have frequently pointed out this blatant “mistake”) one will still find Bibles where this text reads: “God was revealed in the flesh … ” This is not what Shaúl was saying and this is not what the rest of Scriptures are saying! If this verse is translated correctly, it is, in fact, the eighth clear statement that belief in Y’shua as being revealed in the flesh was considered to be most important.
Why all the emphasis on the fact that one has to believe that the Messiah came in the flesh? Behind this question lies one of the least understood beauties of Hebrew wisdom and understanding. It has always been an essential part of Hebrew understanding (an understanding fully supported by Scriptures) that Yahweh had “created” (more correctly: planned, established, ordained) certain essential elements of his involvement with his people, BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD. The Jewish Encyclopaedia mentions the fact that from a Jewish perspective seven persons or things were “created” before the world came into existence: (1) The Torah (2) the Throne of Glory (3) the Sanctuary (4) the Patriarchs (5) Israel (6) the Messiah (7) Repentance.
This view is confirmed by other ancient Hebrew documents: In the Testament of Moses (100 AD) it is said that Moses had been ordained from before the foundation of the world. In the Prayer of Joseph (100 AD) we read that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob have been created before any other work. In Second Enoch (100 AD) it is written that all the souls are prepared for eternity before the composition of the earth. In the Books of Enoch (150 BCE) it is said that Messiah was chosen before the creation of the world. In subsequent Rabbinical literature the same idea is conveyed again and again, especially with regards to the Messiah being “created” before the foundation of the world and “hidden” by the Almighty until the appointed time of his appearance.
That this kind of understanding was shared by the early Messianic believers, is confirmed by verses like these: Matt 13:35 “I shall open My mouth in parables, I shall pour forth what has been hidden from the foundation of the world”; Matt 25:34 “Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the reign prepared for you from the foundation of the world”; Luke 11:50 “so that the blood of all the prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world shall be required of this generation”; Ephes 1:4 “even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world”. This one, in particular, sheds light on the Messiah: 1 Pet 1:20 “(The Messiah) foreknown, indeed, before the foundation of the world, but manifested in these last times for your sakes.”
So now it becomes clear why it was (and still is) so important to believe that the Messiah had come in the flesh. It had nothing to do with being one with Yahweh, or being equal to Yahweh, or being Yahweh, up to a certain point and then becoming flesh for 33 years and then returning to the same status as before. Quite frankly, this is trinity doctrine, not Scriptural teaching. Believing that the Messiah had come in the flesh, is the same as believing that one of the most essential parts of Yahweh’s plan or word (or “logos”) that had existed even before the foundation of the world, had become a reality! It is believing that Y’shua is truly who He claimed to be and who his immediate followers said He was: the promised Messiah and the fulfilment of the numerous prophesies concerning his coming. Before his coming, the Messiah, although being the most important part of Yahweh’s plan since before the foundation of the world, was hidden (in the “bosom” of the Father), but NOW He has come in the flesh! One needs to believe that He had come in the flesh, in order to be clearly identified with Him and those who belong to Him. It is NOT believing that Y’shua is Yahweh in human form! This unheard of idea was clearly very far from the minds of the early followers of Messiah and was only much later incorporated into the trinity way of thinking.