To Prevail As God
The story of Israel is the story of humanity. Israel was a microcosm of the human race intended to be an ensign to her brethren. Israel was to exemplify a closeness with God and spiritual progress that would be admired and imitated by other races just as Christ lived an exemplary life that will eventually be duplicated by us all. The life of Christ fulfilled its purpose. Israel did not. The perfect example worthy of emulation is yet waiting to be set. The greatest drawback of Israel through the ages has been her separateness — the chosen people syndrome. The feeling that they are more approved by God because of their birth or race. The feeling that they are special in Gods eyes above others. Those who claim to be modern Israelites (Jews and non-Jews) do not stop to think that if Hitler had not had this “special” feeling about himself and his own people that there would have been no holocaust and no World Was II. This feeling of being special, or better in the eyes of God because of some life’s mission has been the cause of more pain and misery among mankind that any other thing. Equally damaging are unthinking followers who support other men or races in this feeling of specialness. Without support these special beings could not sew their seeds of destruction.
In this writing we will explore the true destiny of Israel showing how she is to be a benefit to mankind and a help to her brothers, and moreover that Israel is lying latent in each member of the human race waiting to be awakened.
The word Israel is first used in the Bible in connection with the patriarch Jacob. In the book of Genesis we are
told that he and a supernatural being had an actual wrestling match and Jacob prevailed to the extent that the entity could not escape his grip. Jacob told him that he would not let him go unless he were given a blessing to which the messenger agreed and said: “Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel.” Gen 32:38 From that time on Jacob was known as Israel and his descendants were (and many still are) called “the children of Israel” or “Israel”.
Whether or not the story of Jacob is true or symbolic is not important here. The needful point here is the meaning behind the whole story of Israel and, more particularly at present, the meaning behind the word itself.
The word “Israel” comes from the Hebrew YISRAEL. The first part of the word is derived from the prime root SARAH which literally means “to prevail” or to “have power”. It is sometimes used to indicate a princely or royal power. The second half of the word is EL. This word is translated as “God” numerous times throughout the Old Testament. When it is not used in this connection it means “mighty” or “strong” and implies superhuman goodness or strength.
If we put these combinations together we have several possible meanings among which are: “To prevail as God”, “to have royal power as God”, or “to prevail through great strength and goodness”. Some say that it should mean “prince of God”, but this is a watered down euphemism designed to conform to orthodoxy.
In examining the first rendition (“to prevail as God”) one may wonder why such a title would have been bestowed upon a man for surely man was not intended to prevail or have power as God. Is not this a bold title to assume?
It may seem bold, but it is also quite fitting, for did not Jacob prevail and have power over an angel of God, or possibly more than an angel? After the entity left it is written: “And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel (Which means the “face or appearance of God): for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” Gen 32:30
Most religionists call this personage an angel, but eh Bible does not. The scriptures call him two things. He is called “a man” (Gen 32:24) and “God (Gen 32:30). The amazing thing is that Jacob being a man prevailed
over another person who was called a “god”. Therefore, he was given a name which meant “to prevail as God” for only a God could overpower another God.
Jacob, however, was not the first Israel for others before him had obtained similar powers to prevail. Among them were Abraham, Melchizedek, Enoch, Seth, and Adam. The Israel power in man became obvious when man first used his free agency to sample good and evil “and the Lord God said, Behold, THE MAN IS TO BECOME AS ONE OF US, to know good and evil.” Gen 3:22
The Creators here recognized that the man was to become eventually like unto them (“One of us”). They realized that man had latent within him the power of Israel, or the power to prevail even as they did. They knew that man was like unto the son of God, or the Creators, and that eventually a son grows to be like unto his father.
Moses himself said: “ye are the children of the Lord your God.” Deut 14:1. Paul wrote: “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ. . .” Rom 8:16-17 Moreover, God is called “the Father of spirits”. Heb 12:9.
In addition Paul said: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” I Cor 13:6. If the Spirit of God dwells in man then obviously a God dwells in man that is waiting to be recognized. This is why Paul told us: “LET THIS MIND BE IN YOU, which was in also Christ Jesus: Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” Phil 2:5-6. Interestingly we are told to actually be of the same mind as Christ and to think it not robbery to be “equal with God”. After all it makes sense. Is not a son eventually equal with his father? Did not Jesus pray concerning his disciples: “That they may be one, AS WE ARE.”? John 17:11,21-23.
David acknowledged this interesting doctrine: “God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.” Psalms 82:1 The word “mighty” is translated from EL or the last part of IsraEL. Remember that this word is usually rendered “God”. The word “gods” is translated from ELOHIYM which is the most common Hebrew word for God. The word “God” in “God created the heaven and the earth” is taken from this word. Thus we see that God stands in the congregation of those with the power of God to judge among these gods. Then David says: “Ye are gods (ELOHIYM); and all of you are children of the most High, but ye shall die like men.” Psalms 82:6.
Many believers who feel that greatest destiny of man is to drift for eternity in some nebulous heaven, or to be some harmless watered down being in another world will be amazed and perhaps alarmed to find this doctrine in the Bible, a doctrine espoused by esoterists for centuries. They, modern orthodoxy, could be no more upset than were the Jews who tried to stone the Christ for claiming to be a god: “for a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, I said ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent unto the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?” John 10:33-36
Jesus himself used this scripture as evidence that he was Emmanuel, or a God among men, but he did not use it to refer exclusively to himself, but to all Israel, or those who received and recognized the word of God. This reasoning drove the Jews to a frenzy and they again sought to kill him right on the spot “but he escaped out of their hand”.
This reasoning also adversely affects an emotionally based individual. The God within must be recognized by the intuition and the feeling man cannot properly sense it, even if his religion teaches it, and he becomes angry at others who teach such doctrines and many of them would relish a return to the days of the inquisitions.
There are many scriptures indicating that there is a god in man for man is often called a god in the Bible. The children of Heth were so impressed with Abraham that they called him a “mighty prince” Gen 23:6 This, however, is a mistranslation. Prince comes from the Hebrew NASIY which literally means “exalted one” and “mighty” comes from ELOHIYM the word for God. A more correct translation would be: “exalted God”. The sons of Heth indeed marveled at the power of Israel in Abraham for he did prevail as a god in their eyes.
The judges in ancient Israel were often called “gods”, but it is usually mistranslated for the sake of orthodoxy:
“If the thief be not found, then the master of the house shall be brought to the judges (ELOHIYM – Gods), to see whether he put his hand unto his neighbor’s goods. For all manner of trespass, whether it be for ox, for ass, for sheep, for raiment, or for any manner of lost thing, which another challengeth to be his, the cause of both parties shall come before the judges (ELOHIYM); and whom the judges (ELOHIYM) shall condemn, he shall pay double unto his neighbor.” Exodus 22:8-9
This word is translated correctly a few verses later: “Thou shall not revile the Gods (ELOHIYM), nor curse the ruler of thy people.” Ex 22:28. King James Version.
Jehovah himself approves of calling one with the power of Israel a god for he said to Moses: “I have made thee a god (ELOHIYM) to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall by thy prophet.” Ex 7:1 He also said: “He (Aaron) will do all the speaking to the people for you, he will be the mouthpiece and you will be the god (ELOHIYM) he speaks for.” Ex 4:16 New English.
Moses was indeed a true Israelite for he prevailed as a god, as did Jacob, did and got the best of another ELOHIYM. God was dismayed at Israel because they disobeyed him and built the golden calf and had decided to destroy them all. The problem God faced in destroying them is that it would interfere with his promise to Abraham and to fulfill this promise he had to keep some of the promised see for breeding so he told Moses: “Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.” Ex 32:10
Moses did not want all of his labors with the people to have been in vain so he reasoned with God and told him how embarrassing it would be before the eyes of the Egyptians. They would think that there is something wrong with a god that would save a people just to destroy them in the wilderness. Then Moses reminded God that he may not be able to completely fulfil his promise to Abraham if he destroyed the whole house of Israel and left Moses alone. Moses still had his free will and if he did not cooperate it would be possible that the promise could not be fulfilled making God a covenant breaker. Thus through the powerful reasoning of Moses God was forced to change his mind. It is written: “And the Lord repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.” Exodus 32:14 (Read the whole chapter.)
It should not be surprising that men like Moses and Jacob can prevail among the gods for when man was created “God said, Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness. . .” Gen 1:26 Man is then a reflection of God and has an unrecognized god within and can eventually have all the power of the creators “for the spirit of God dwelleth in us”.
It is written that man was made “a little lower than the angels . . .” Psalms 8:5, but this is a mistranslation. The Hebrew word from which angels is taken here is ELOHIYM so it should be written than man is “a little lower than the Gods”. He is a little lower, but when he recognizes the god within he can advance to the God Kingdom, or the kingdom of the Gods, and then recognize the higher beings in the universe as his brothers.
We are told that Christ “is the image of God” II Cor 4:4 and in this relation John said: “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM; for we shall see him as he is.” I John 3:2
Those who shall be like him when he shall appear are Israel, the people who can prevail as God, those who submit to the will of the god within.