Tag Archives: Messiah

Jesus in the Old Testament?

Does the following passage give us a glimpse of Jesus in the Old Testament?

What do you think?

Judges 13

21 But the angel of the Lord did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was an angel of the Lord.

22 And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God.

23 But his wife said unto him, If the Lord were pleased to kill us, he would not have received a burnt offering and a meat offering at our hands, neither would he have shewed us all these things, nor would as at this time have told us such things as these.

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A Jewish Quote that Accidentally Proved Jesus as Messiah

Let me take a moment and be completely, painfully honest with you. I grew up in church and was saved at a very young age, so I didn’t have the advantage of the proof of a changed life. I spent 15-20 years  doubting my salvation. I cried myself to sleep many a night because I knew this is the one thing I had to get right. I am not alone in this. All over the internet, all over my hometown, I am surrounded by others who are doubting or who have doubted.

This is not something we discuss openly because there is an “Emperor’s New Clothes” mindset going on here. If we admit to our doubt, we fear that others will suspect we’ve never actually encountered the real God. However, God knows how human we are. How often we forget or doubt Him. He is well acquainted with the nature of His people. Read Exodus if you want to observe a nation who constantly doubted and forgot God in spite of having witnessed the 10 plagues and having walked through the Red Sea.

Most of my studies are motivated by one thing: proving to myself that the Word of God is true, and that Jesus is who He claimed to be. Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s wrong to look into these things, to use your brain instead of your heart: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9

How many Jews and Muslims would come to Christ if they would investigate instead of believing what mommy and daddy taught them? Instead of believing the rabbis and the imams? It may seem to you that I am kicking against tradition here. Let me clarify that for you: I am kicking AND screaming. I will not be guilty of believing what I’ve been told merely out of respect for a religious denomination or leader. That is not placing your faith in Jesus Christ. That is placing your faith in religion.

There is only one standard for my faith, and that is the revealed Word of the Living God. This Word has proven its faithfulness to me, over and over again, and Jesus is the Word made flesh. I’m not just being sappy here or placing my belief in something I cannot prove. The Word is historically, scientifically, and prophetically accurate. I challenge you to look into it. See if it’s true.

In case you’re one of those who feels guilty for having occasional doubts, let me encourage you. There’s nothing wrong with seeking proof: “Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.” Luke 1:1-4

Here is the wonderful thing about being human: doubting leads to seeking, and seeking will lead you to the proof you are looking for. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” Matthew 7:7 “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” Matthew 5:6

The articles that I’ve been posting recently are an effort to share with you some of the things I have learned about the Word. I want you to know beyond the shadow of a doubt that Jesus is the Messiah, the Savior of all mankind. Here’s the irony: some of the greatest proofs lie in what the Jews reject about their Messiah and what Christianity has forgotten about Him.

Point Four glances backwards at previous posts, especially point Three. Here is point Four: Messiah is not a contrivance of the Jews any more than Jesus is an invention of the Christians. This is more proof that He is, in fact, Messiah. The Jews don’t understand Christianity, and Christians don’t understand Jewishness, but if either party would look into what the other believes and why, they would find a perfect fulfillment of Scriptures, a perfect harmony between the Testaments that only God could be responsible for, especially since Jews and Christians don’t understand each other.

Now, take a look at this quote:

When the members of the Sanhedrin found themselves deprived of their right over life and death, a general consternation took possession of them; they covered their heads with ashes, and their bodies with sackcloth, exclaiming: “Woe unto us, for the scepter has departed from Judah, and the Messiah has not come!” ( LeMann’s Jesus Before the Sanhedrin, page 30.)

LeMann also tells us that in AD 11, the Sanhedrin lost the judicial power to issue capital punishment. The Roman Empire took it upon themselves to try capital offenders. This event is a fulfillment of Genesis 49:10: “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.”

If you want more proof that the loss of the scepter refers to this event, or that Shiloh refers to the Messiah, or even more details surrounding the quote, I recommend Josh McDowell’s book The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict. It is more than 700 pages long and filled with scholarly evidence that Jesus is the Christ. If you have it already, you can find this topic on pages 195-197.

Here’s my point: Jesus was alive and walking among the Jewish people when this event occurred. God had kept His promise to Judah and had sent the promised Redeemer at the appointed time. If Messiah had not showed up on time, then God would have been guilty of lying to them. If He could lie about one thing, who is to say that He couldn’t lie about everything? Why even believe in a Messiah at all if He did not arrive when prophesied?

If Jesus were not the Messiah, then it is too late. There will not be another one. I find it strange that the Jewish nation would more easily believe that God had failed in keeping His promise to them, rather than accept Yeshua as Messiah.

Let me just remind you that Jewish rejection of the Messiah is also a fulfillment of prophecy. It’s a prophecy they do not want to fulfill, but they are doing it in spite of themselves. More proof for the accuracy of the Scriptures? Assuredly so.

Here’s what Jews have failed to understand: Messiah had to have shown up before the scepter departed from Judah. That means He has been here already. If the Jewish nation would look into this more deeply, they would realize that Jesus fulfilled all of the prophecies concerning Messiah ben Joseph. (Prophecies concerning Messiah ben David will be fulfilled at the return of Christ.)

Here’s what the Christians have failed to understand: The significance of Genesis 49:10 is absolute proof and should be very helpful for winning Jews, agnostics, and atheists. For instance, if Jesus as Messiah was a set-up, how could the conspirators have controlled what Rome was doing to the Jewish nation in AD 11, or even what the Sanhedrin would say concerning the Messiah? Jesus just happened to be alive already when that event took place and when those words were uttered? How much “coincidence” is needed before it begins to be a body of evidence?

sackcloth-and-ashes

Jewish Belief and the Sonship of the Messiah

ancient-hebrew-nameA couple of weeks ago, someone asked me why I am so interested in studying Jewish beliefs. I am pretty terrible at organizing my thoughts into words unless I have had time to think and write, so after some consideration, this is my reply.

This is a pretty important question, considering the fact that I almost always bring up some aspect of Jewish belief or understanding during our Sunday School lessons. The ladies in the class always respectfully listen to me ramble on, even if they are not interested or do not know how it applies to them.

I have come up with six reasons that I pursue this kind of knowledge. This post contains the first one:

The Christian faith is an extension of the Jewish faith. It is what the Jewish faith would have become if they had believed on Jesus as their Messiah. That is, if they had believed the report that the Father gave of the Son. “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.” I John 5:10. This verse is not saying anything new. It is saying that God testified of His Son already, and that some people reject Him.

The Jews say they believe their own writings, that of the Old Testament. However, they do not believe it when it speaks of the Son. I spoke before about Isaiah 53, and how the Jewish rabbis knew this passage referred to the Messiah, that is, until Jesus came and fulfilled it. Then they changed their minds. Look into it, and you will be amazed by what you discover. This is why I love studying what they believed then, and what they believe now. It is so revealing!

“Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” Isaiah 53

I have so many things to say about this passage. I will try to be brief.

First of all, I believe John is thinking about Isaiah 53:1 specifically when talks about those who do not believe the record of the Son. Do you see how similar the passages are? He explains that when you deny the Son, you are calling God a liar. You have not believed His report. To see specific references to the Father/Son relationship, see Psalm 2:7, Proverbs 30:4, Isaiah 9:6 (Remember the verse in Genesis 1 about seed bearing fruit after its kind? You can’t be God without having come from God. If the son mentioned in Isaiah is also the everlasting Father, he must be the seed of the everlasting Father – that is, His son.) Isaiah 7:14 (Born of a virgin. Who then, is His Father, if not God? Immanuel means “God with us.” A virgin gives birth to God. Messiah has to be the son of God.)

I Chronicles 17:13-14: “I will be his father, and he shall be my son: and I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before thee: But I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom for ever: and his throne shall be established for evermore.” – The record God gave of His Son.

New favorite chapter, Psalm 89. Here are verses 26-29, but this whole chapter is full of Messianic prophecy:

“He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation. Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth. My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him. His seed also will I make to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven.” – The record God gave of His Son.

Second, the arm of Yahweh is a person. That is evident from reading Isaiah 53. It is also an extension of Yahweh Himself, naturally. Also, if you look at the photo I have used in this post, you will see the Ancient and modern Hebrew spellings of God’s name (read right to left). Arm, which, as a function of the Hebrew alphabet, often denotes work being done, spirit or worshiping man, which can also mean behold, or look, tent peg, which often denotes hooking something together (it is also the Hebrew symbol for “and”), and spirit or worshiping man. Do you see how the arm of Yahweh hooks us to Himself, and that there is nothing we can do to save ourselves – nothing we have to do to earn salvation, aside from standing back in amazement as He completes the plan of salvation? Also, you can easily see in the written Hebrew language the foreshadowing of the way Christ wrought salvation – hand, nail, worshiping men. “And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.” Exodus 14:13. See also 2 Chronicles 20:17. (Look into the ancient Hebrew letters and their meanings. Every word has meaning and is written using letters that reveal that meaning.) Also, do you know that Yeshua (Jesus’ Hebrew name) is the same as the word salvation? Yeshua is literally the salvation of Yahweh. Now that you know, read Jonah 2 all the way through. Do you see it? I almost fell out of my chair the first time I read Jonah after learning the meaning of Jesus’ name and the meaning of the word LORD (in all caps) in the King James Version – Yahweh. These are things I never knew before looking into the Hebrew language. Is my excitement showing?

Third, it is foretold in Isaiah 53 that the Messiah would be rejected. Psalm 118:22 says “The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.” This is interesting, because Psalm 118 is part of the Hallel. Wikipedia says “Hallel (Hebrew: הלל‎‎, “Praise”) is a Jewish prayer, a verbatim recitation from Psalms 113-118, which is used for praise and thanksgiving that is recited by observant Jews on Jewish holidays.” They may already have been singing the hallel as they traveled to Jerusalem, bringing their lambs into the city in preparation of the Passover feast. It’s where we get our word “hallelujah,” “jah” being short for Yahweh or Jehovah. Here’s where it gets really interesting: just 4 verses later, in 118:26 we read “Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD.” This is the passage the Jewish people cried out when they hailed Jesus as their king, the Messiah, choosing as a nation the lamb that would be rejected and slain only 4 days later.

Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.” Exodus 12:3-7

During those 4 days, He was daily examined by the scribes and Pharisees, and the high priest. The entire Passover feast and everything surrounding it, including lamb selection day, foreshadowed the last week of Jesus life. By the way, Hosanna means “save now” (Matthew 21:9). Jesus rose from the grave on the Feast of Firstfruits (Leviticus 23), becoming the firstfruits of the resurrection (I Corinthians 15). He was first, and we will follow. Do you see why I love studying this stuff? How it sheds so much light on Jesus our Messiah? I am trying to give you the references for everything, but please look these things up for yourselves! Why would we not want to know everything He has revealed to us about Himself? He is amazing! On top of that, there is zero probability that all of this could have happened by chance. God gave a record of His son. We should be able to give that record to men seeking Him. Sharing personal testimony is fantastic, but this stuff is irrefutable proof.

Fourth, the Jewish idea of being “cut off” is to die relatively young and without children (according to the forums that I read). Isaiah 53 tells us that the Messiah would be cut off (also see Daniel 9:26), yet “he shall see his seed…” That’s us. We are the seed. This proves that he would be resurrected from the grave after having died. The Jewish concept of being cut off is everywhere in the scriptures. Now aware of the idea, I am seeing some very interesting things as I read back through the Bible, shedding light on even more verses that I could not fully comprehend until I understood this concept.

Earlier, I said, “The Christian faith is an extension of the Jewish faith. It is what the Jewish faith would have become if they had believed on Jesus as their Messiah.”

Hopefully, they would also have listened to Him as He preached against the Talmud, or oral law – the doctrine of the Pharisees. (I couldn’t figure out how many individual regulations the Talmud contains, but according to Wikipedia, “The entire Talmud consists of 63 tractates, and in standard print is over 6,200 pages long.”) To give you an idea at how out-of-hand these rules have become, look here. You can easily see that they stretch the scriptures to say something they do not mean, and then invent extra regulations, and regulations for those regulations, etc. I also found some strange rules last year when I was researching how they prepare for the days of unleavened bread. Here is what Yeshua Messiah has to say about this issue:

He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.” Mark 7:6-9

“For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.” Matthew 23:4