God, Part 1

In this episode of Heart Of The Matter: Full Circle, host Shawn McCraney explores the subjective nature of faith in God and the importance of seeking personal understanding through the Spirit rather than relying solely on religious traditions. Shawn discusses the need to view the Bible as a whole, shares insights from fellow seeker Grady in Mexico, and challenges conventional views on the nature of God. He emphasizes the plurality of God as described in scripture and introduces the concept of God as “ONE PERFECT PLURAL of TWO,” setting the stage for a deeper discussion in the next episode. Join Shawn for a thought-provoking journey into faith, scripture, and the true nature of God.

Written and presented by Shawn McCraney in Murray, UT.

Introduction

Opening

Live from Salt Lake City, Utah, this is HEART of the Matter – FULL CIRCLE and I’m your host, Shawn McCraney

Prayer

Let’s have a prayer you people of faith–

YAHAVAH, God of all Gods, Lord of all Lords . . .

Del/Mags/ and all the rest who are tuning in
-In Yeshua’s Holy Name we pray.

Faith Declaration

Let me reiterate that we are promoters of faith in the True and Living God through His Son, Yeshua the Messiah, who came to earth as prophesied, accomplished everything necessary to reconcile the world to His Father, and as a result the faith today is entirely subjective in the hands of every individual.

What this means is we do not condemn anyone based on the doctrines, practices or churches they attend – these things are all between every person and God.

This does not, however, mean we think that the way to God is an open highway where anything goes – no, we maintain that because of Christ’s finished work (emphasis) that the way today is subjectively discovered, through the Spirit and that all people are forevermore responsible for what they choose to receive and believe and how they live accordingly.

Too much liberty for you? It’s okay, man, there are ten thousand churches out there that will tell you otherwise.

Bible Understanding

Whole vs. Hole Perspective

Hey we are going to hear from our fellow Yeshuan who lives down in Sonora, Mexico, but I want to share a thought with you before we do.

If people will not or cannot see the Bible as a WHOLE – front to back, Genesis to Revelation – they will most likely understand the Bible from a hole – which is like trying to understand the United States intimately and personally by staring at a definition of the term, United States.

Our advice is before you hold an opinion on something in the Bible and before you use it as your “go to” on how people must believe and see things, make sure you understand its contents from Genesis to Revelation and therefore “as a whole . . . rather from one.”

Insight from Grady

So I have personally learned so much from Grady down Mexico way and one reason we relate so well is Grady is a humble seeker of truth from a Biblical perspective.

Grady, share with the audience the insight you shared with me last week:

Grady creates a lot of great content that can be found at YESHUAN.FAITH. Love you brother!

Call-in Introduction

Hey listen, next week we are going to introduce to you a thing we want to try where you can call-in and talk with me directly on a specific day of the week – like a two-hour window of time.

We want to open this up for you to ask your questions and so look forward to that.

The Search for Truth

Imaginary Scenario

Imagine (just for a moment) that Truth, with a capital T, meaning the Absolute Truth that comes directly from God, unencumbered and untainted by Man, imagine that it has literally been scattered and stashed all over the Himalayan mountain range which is the tallest highest mountain range on earth and includes Everest.

Let’s also imagine that every square foot of that entire range can be trod by the legs of any ambulatory adult person – if they choose to take the time and give the searching the attention that it deserves you know, instead of indulging themselves in whatever takes away from their free time.

But again, just suppose that all the answers to most biblical questions can be found but it takes a lot of effort, time and changes of perspective as new information is gathered.

The Seasoned Seeker

Then I want you to imagine that there are people out there who have, in fact, spent decades, even several decades, climbing, hiking, and searching in these mountains of Truth in search of comprehensive answers to hard-to-understand concepts that are strewn all over the surface of these mountains.

And let’s suppose that one of these seekers after fifty years of seeking leaves her trek and is resting at the base as new travelers arrive to begin their personal search.

Let’s say that a new traveler walks up to the well-seasoned seeker and asks,

“What did you find?”

The question is so vast, so incomprehensible, so intimate and intimately grasped, with so much time and experience behind their every word that any kind of answer will prove itself utterly limited the moment it is proffered.

Perhaps another new traveler might walk up to the resting soul and say, “Tell us all you learned about end-times?” Or perhaps something more specific like, “Who do you think are the two witnesses that will lie dead in Jerusalem?”

Or what have you discovered about hell, heaven, God, Yeshua and the list goes on and on, right?

The Only Reasonable Answer

We suggest that there is really only one answer the seasoned traveler can reasonably offer and it would be something like,

“I can’t explain it all for you. You have to discover these things for yourself.”

This is the reality of the subjectively lived faith. Yes, you can try and hear and see from the point of view of those that have gone before you, but the fact of the matter remains – the only way to really truly know something and to take responsibility for then believing it, comes about only when an individual chooses to either embark on their own journey OR they trust in the witness/teachings and insights of others.

The Role of Religious Traditions

Religious traditions are founded on the latter. They want you to believe that they can answer your every question because they have done the traveling and they have it in their power to share the truth with you.

The fact of the matter is, God sends His Spirit to you for a reason. He calls to you for a reason. And the Bible is available to you in this day and age for a reason.

And we suggest that there is absolutely no comparison between choosing to seek and know for yourself what is True versus embracing the modified, curated, driven by popular opinion of others who claim to have walked in the Mountains of Truth, but have really only driven along the super-highway of religion paved and repaved afresh with certainty.

Go to Him.
Faith without Religion.

Knowing God

Introduction to the Topic

And there is probably no greater illustration to lead us into our topic tonight – which is naturally the first part of four because that is how much terrain must be covered to get it sort-of right.

All I am asking for you to be willing to do is hear me out. Allow yourselves to just consider what you will hear because this is one of the most controversial views I personally hold and it remains so because it is so damn important.

Our guide over the years has always been to take a religious tradition, doctrine or belief and in the face of the evidence from Genesis to Revelation to ask, “Does this view make the best sense?

Not just some sense, the best sense all things considered. Our critics and leaders of organized religions shout things like,

“The thinking has been done!”

OR

“You think you can see things that our scholars and deeply devoted men for nearly 2000 years have overlooked or not understood? Who do you think you are?”

I’ll tell you who we are – we are nobodies, no authority, no worthiness and no desires to build vast material empires off your hard work.

We admit we might be wrong on things and we are willing to gently challenge some things that have rolled forth over several millennia which (?) you got it – don’t make sense.

Seeking Truth

We believe we have the right, perhaps even the obligation, to do this from several personal points of view.

First, we do it because we want to seek God, for the reason Yeshua emphasized in John 17:3, saying,

“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”

How do we Know God and Christ? Yeshua answered this question when speaking to the Samaritan woman at the well, saying,

John 4:23-24 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

How does the “spirit and truth” rightly work on us human beings? Way back in the first chapter of Isaiah we read YAHAVAH say to Him

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isaiah 1:18)

And then of course Yeshua said in
Matthew 22:37

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”

Finally, we know that our searches should be diligent, as we also read in

Hebrew 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Taking all of these insights in hand we submit to you that

Diligently seeking Him (in spirit and truth through our reason, hearts and minds) is vital to Knowing them, which translates to ”life eternal.”

If this is not your aim in life, truly, watch something else. We will never please or reach you with our content.

Motivation for Family

Secondly, we also do this because we love and care about our families – our children, our sons and daughters-in-law, and their children on out into future generations.

We want our families

to learn to trust and walk in His finished work, to embrace faith WITHOUT religion, and to rejoice in the Love the God of heaven and earth has evidenced to the world throughout the ages.

I personally want to leave NOTHING – no teaching, opinion, or insight that has gone unvetted or is misleading or is not supported by the contextual view of scripture to my present and future family because I want them to be free and at liberty to walk with a God in spirit and truth and not according to human traditions.

Motivation for Others

Finally, we do this because we care about YOU – our fellow sisters and brothers both in the family of seekers and as our human siblings of other faiths.

We care about YOUR hearts, minds, and desires to KNOW and SERVE Him – again, freely, unconditionally and in love.

We want to help build and strengthen people of faith and to serve you in your searches so you and your children can learn that it is okay to possess faith without religion – if you wish and are so inclined.

Biblical Interpretation

Overview of God in the Bible

So, what does the Bible really actually SAY about God compared to what churches, people and tradition “say it says?”

Of all the topics relative to scripture that I have worked on, I’ve devoted more thought prayer and heart to knowing God and His only Human Son than any other (though I’ve devoted more paper and ink to explaining eschatology).

My LDS upbringing introduced me to a view or description of God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit in a way similar to the way I was taught as an Evangelical.

This might sound funny but the only difference between the LDS view of God and standard Evangelical, Catholic, Anglican, and Orthodox views is the LDS
put the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in a “Godhead” with the Father and Son both having physical bodies (while the Holy Spirit is waiting to get His) and all the others put God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit into one God, describing them as separate persons but amounting to One Being.

And the LDS have some really unique views of God’s origins too.

Personal Journey

For decades I have prayed, sought, embraced, and walked away from an assortment of variations on the make-up of God.

And . . . along the way we’ve waited.

Of course, I’ve come to reject the LDS view of God established by their founding prophet’s first vision because I choose to place more trust in what Yeshua says in the Bible over what the LDS church claims Joseph Smith said, which was,

“God is spirit.”

I’ve also chosen to believe the Bible where Yeshua also said,

“No man has seen God at any time.”

You don’t have to believe as I have – let the Living God reveal Himself to you as you seek – truly – because everything you decide IS, in fact, between you and Him.

But I trust the vetted ancient text attributed to Yeshua over the words of a man’s experience. That’s my choice. I’ll stand before my Maker in it.

Current Beliefs

That said, I do want to share with you a distillation of what I currently have come to see and believe – and I’m fairly certain it is what I will exit this life believing about the Make-Up of God Almighty.

Let’s start by admitting something I have learned – human beings have a tendency, a profound tendency (I might add) to see, hear, and believe what confirms their prejudices, biases, wants, and needs.

In time, life usually becomes too cumbersome to continually seek so we tend to settle in with some basics as a means to cope with other more pressing and immediate things like marriages, family, jobs, and all the rest so we just don’t make the time to test all things – especially something as complex as the Make-up of God.

Some call the hearing and seeing what we want to see and hear “confirmational bias” but bottom-line almost every belief and opinion that we individually hold “true” either serves to confirm what we already believe and/or need or want OR it will present us with new information that causes us to reconsider what we have always thought and then we are in a position to change our minds.

Almost without exception, if an individual wants to believe certain things about a given race, religion, culture, gender, lifestyle, or the Make-up of God – they will.

I am not here to tell you that you are wrong. Again, I am here to present you with information you might consider IF you are seeking. Why? Because you may discover insights that concur with what the Spirit says which could bring you closer to Him, the Way, truth, and life, which will bring you closer to knowing God which Yeshua said, is Life Eternal.

The Number Three

Because trinity means three and because we hear three in relation to God around every corner – you know, “In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” – at funerals, blessings, water baptisms, prayers, and movies, three is the number always associated with the “Christian view of God.”

Three is also reiterated in our minds surrounding religious topics which tend to reinforce our preset-mindsets and include things like

  • Body, soul, and spirit
  • Mind, will, and emotion
  • Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
  • Inner court, outer court, holy of holies
  • Peter, James, and John
  • Faith, hope, and love
  • Yeshua was three days in the tomb, Jonah three days in the fish.

With our minds prepped to listen and look for three (when it comes to God) we are ripe to see three, for instance, at the Baptism of Yeshua, when the Son was in the water, the Father speaking was from above, and the Holy Spirit was descending like a dove.

Trinity! We say, and we roll-over and watch another episode of Seinfeld.

Re-examining Numbers in Scripture

Out of curiosity and the number three, I started to tear through the scripture to try and counter my natural inclination toward its import and to directly confront my own confirmational biases.

I was under the impression that THREE was a super dominant number in scripture along with the numbers seven, twelve, eight, and forty.

The reality is

One is used 1695 times at least
Two 703 times and
Three about 426 times

This doesn’t really mean anything but it was a start and it opened me up to try and see other numbers and their significance in scripture.

The Plurality of God

When I was teaching through Genesis I was in one of my discussions with Grady about the nature and make-up of God and he gently called me out.

In the end, he politely said, “Brother, there is only one way to really say this, but you’ve gotta get real.”

And this was relative to the very first passage of scripture which says,

Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning God,”

Where was I not being real? I was approaching the fact that the term God used in that passage could be explained away as a plural through a bunch of traditional approaches that I had learned.

The reality he was trying to get me to admit and see was Hebrew term translated to God in that passage is . . . plural and it means just that.

Now, understand, I have come to see that there are root words in Hebrew that describe God which are singular – El and Eloah are two of them, so the first thing I had to do was drop all of the human explanations I learned about this plural name in this first line and just admit, right then and there, that this scripture is speaking of God and that the word used makes Him a plural.

I then searched all the times where this very same God described Himself as One – like in the Great Shema which, citing Deuteronomy 6:4, says

“Hear, O Israel: YAHAVAH our Elohiym (plural) is one YAHAVAH.”

We will get to the name YAHAVAH in the future.

One Perfect Plural

Anyway, I had to, among other evidences, admit that God is One Plural. I just do not see any getting around it.

Having accepted this, I was then moved to find out HOW is God a plural meaning according to what number? Is He two, three, seven, ten billion? What?

I was willing to hear or see anything so long as it was couched in the text so reasonably that it represented the best configuration possible in the face of all other configurations.

So, jumping ahead a bit, I now submit to you my findings – like them, agree with them, or not – but I see the scripture as plainly and directly describing the Living eternal Almighty God as

“ONE PERFECT PLURAL of TWO and not a ONE PLURAL OF THREE (or more).

Conclusion

Preview of Next Week

Next week I will unfold how and why this view is, in my estimation, is fundamentally superior to Creedal Trinitarianism or henotheistic Mormonism’s views on God if you are willing.

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