The Creed of the Messiah is the Place to Start
The key issue in the discussion about who God and the Messiah are is easily solved by the creed Yeshua called the Great Commandment (Mark 12:29). The loss of this creed of the Messiah, defining God, is a gaping hole in the current system. The Messiah is not being heard and obeyed at the most fundamental level.
By strict monotheism I mean the unitary monotheism of the Messiah and of Judahites. Deuteronomy 6:4 (=Mark 12:29) is the unitary monotheism of Israel and of the Messiah. The Messiah agreed entirely with a Judahite, whom Mark does not present as unfriendly, that Deuteronomy 6:4 is the Great Command. This, then, must be the teaching also of those who claim to follow the Messiah. Amazingly many in church seem not to think of the teachings of the Messiah as of vital importance! This ground fallacy must be corrected, if we are to make sense of Biblical Christianity.
Christianity in the New Testament is to be based on the "obedience of faith" (Romans 1:5; 16:26; Hebrews 5:9), and the words and teachings of the Messiah are for us all. Why not return to the Messiah by starting with his Great Command in Mark 12:29? Muslims and Judahites would find this intriguing too! "Strict monotheism" is also known correctly as Judahite monotheism, or unitary or unipersonal monotheism. YEHOVAH God is one single Divine Person. That is the monotheism that the Messiah understood. YEHOVAH God is one Person, the Father.
Mark 12:29 will yet solve denominational chaos. The Messiah followed Mark 12:29 with a brilliant anticipation of what might happen to his own status! The Messiah, asking them the question, cites the massively important Psalm 110:1. He defines his status as the Messiah, Son of YEHOVAH God, as David's lord, adoni (kurios mou), "my lord," which is a non-Deity title all 195 times in the Old Testament. On no account can Psalm 110:1 yield two who are YHVH! God cannot speak to God. The Messiah meant to block this frightful idea! Paul, following Yeshua, repeats the Shema ("Hear, O Israel") in 1 Corinthians 8:4-6, and then puts Yeshua, as the Messiah lord, not LORD God, at the right hand of YHVH.
Luke 2:11 solves all problems. The one born in Bethlehem is the "Messiah lord," NOT the LORD God! All the troubles and confusion arise from not knowing the vast difference between the LORD GOD and the Messiah (anointed lord) of Luke 2:11. Paul referred to the Messiah as the lord Yeshua Messiah some 100 times! None of this is in any way difficult. Yeshua is the MAN Messiah Yeshua (1 Timothy 2:5). To confess Yeshua as lord is to confess him with Peter as the Messiah, NOT God (Matthew 16:16).
It is a simple falsehood to say that echad (Hebrew for "one") somehow implies a plurality in GOD! The fact is that the adjective "one" in Hebrew and English can modify (describe) any noun in the universe! One family, one nose, one finger, one cluster of grapes, etc. "One" means exactly "one" in these examples. YEHOVAH God is one single Person in the Old Testament -- one Father, one YHVH, thousands of times. Israelites were and are always unitarians on the basis of Deuteronomy 6:4. The Messiah was a unitarian, as he said in Mark 12:29. The word GOD in the New Testament means the Father about 1300 times and NEVER means a triune God.
These are startlingly interesting facts. Let your friends know about them at every opportunity. Read about the Shema ("Hear, O Israel") in any encyclopedia. One (echad) means one, and never more than one!
Hope of Israel Ministries
P.O. Box 2186
Temple City, CA 91780, U.S.A.