Is There No Such Thing As Messiah?

Over the last few years I’ve heard of people who have come out of traditional Christian churches; sought their Hebraic roots; and zoomed in on Judaism only to deny there ever was a Messiah.  This is so sad.  I believe these are people who discovered they’d been lied to about various things in the Christian church and decided to take matters into their own hands to find the truth.  They managed to learn barely enough Hebrew to use a concordance but didn’t have sufficient Hebrew language, Scripture knowledge, or ordinary reasoning skills to critically analyze everything that fell into their hands.  They’ve rejected one set of lies and swallowed the biggest lie of all—that there never even was a Messiah.  This is a great delusion.

The lie begins with the Hebrew word mashiach (H4899; G5547 christos); it means anointed.  The qal or simplest form of the Hebrew verb mashach (H4886; G5548 chrio) means to rub, anoint with oil, or consecrate.  The niphal form is passive and means to be anointed.  Another related word is the noun mishchah (H4888; G5545 chrismatos); it is an anointing oil or consecrated portion. One kind of anointing oil was referred to as the holy oil (shemen hakodesh).  People, as well as certain things were anointed to consecrate or sanctify them for various purposes.

There were a lot of anointed people (mashiach = sg.) in the Bible; they were usually priests and kings; some of these men were also prophets. Occasionally, a person was specifically anointed as a prophet.[i] Just because there were other anointed people in the Bible doesn’t mean there is no special Mashiach. There has to be one because the Jews were looking for that person in Yeshua’s day and they are still looking for him today. We will soon consider the verses that this prophecy is based on.

The Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) is like the anointing oil. When the Spirit comes upon someone, he may prophesy, or be set apart (consecrated); the Spirit may give that person special skills or authority for a specific purpose.[ii] We see this concept not only in the Tanach but also in the Apostolic Scriptures (New Testament).[iii]

Normally, a prince would not be anointed with oil until he was about to be anointed as king.  David, the 8th son of Jesse was not a prince at the time of his anointing.  In fact, he was anointed years before he began to rule.[iv] He was not only anointed with oil, but he was also anointed at the same time by the Holy Spirit in preparation for his kingship.[v] Before he was anointed, he unknowingly trained to shepherd his people; but not long after being anointed with oil and the Spirit, he began training to be a military leader.  When the time was right, he became king.

There’s not much specifically mentioned in the Tanach about “The Messiah” by using the Hebrew term HaMashiach; but, in Daniel 9:25-27 he is called “Anointed Prince” (mashiach nagiyd).  Kings were anointed with oil before ascending the throne. Since this verse emphasizes this prince was anointed, there must be something unique about this prince. I believe this prince would be anointed, most likely with the Holy Spirit.

Daniel 9:25-27 gives the timing of the Anointed Prince’s arrival and says he will be cut off, but not for himself. His arrival time has long past. Yeshua arrived at the expected time. Wise men from the east were looking for his star at the expected time; and once they found him, they eventually presented gifts to give him the honor due a king.  These wise men must have been aware of Daniel’s prophecy.  Many years later, Yeshua was anointed with the Ruach HaKodesh, and eventually killed for the people before he became king.[vi] Fortunately, Yeshua rose from the dead and he is expected to be King of kings at the appointed time.

Daniel’s Anointed Prince must be the son or descendant of a king. Based on 2 Samuel 7:12-16, he must be a descendant of David; because, David’s throne has been established forever (leolam). Hence, this Messiah Prince is referred to as the Son of David. This specific Messiah is the one that other prophets foretold things about without actually using the term mashiach.

Instead of using the term mashiach, he was given other titles based on Scripture that describe his character or what he will do. Rabbis have even debated his name.  He is known as:

  • The Suffering Servant (son of Joseph) who was to be smitten by God, and afflicted; wounded for our transgressions; bruised for our iniquities; and the chastisement for our peace was upon him. In other words, based on typology, he was destined to be a grain offering, guilt offering, sin offering, and peace offering.[vii]
  • The Branch (YHVH our Righteousness; he’s a king and a priest)[viii]
  • Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.[ix]
  • Immanu El (God with us)[x]

The prophecy in Daniel 9 of the Anointed Prince was made during the Babylonian captivity and long after the death of Hezekiah.  Some people believed the Messiah lived in Hezekiah’s day and could have been his son.  This idea is based on the Messianic prophecy of Isaiah 9:6-8:  “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”  

I don’t think Hezekiah’s son or anyone else has completely fulfilled this prophecy.  Many, including myself are confident that Yeshua was the child who was born, the Son that was given.  This is alluded to in the genealogy found in Luke 3:31 where we see the name Nathan, the son of David.  This genealogy is different from Matthew’s.  Liberties were taken with genealogies by the Jews for different purposes.  This genealogy emphasizes Nathan, the son of David instead of Solomon.  The name Nathan comes from the Hebrew verb natan which means to give; I think this genealogy indicates that Yeshua was “the son that was given.”  For our purposes it gives us the connection we are looking for in “the Prince of Peace” of Isaiah 9:6.  I believe “the Prince of Peace” is “the Anointed Prince” in Daniel 9:25-26.  Based on other Messianic prophecies, I believe the prophecy of Isaiah 9:6-8 will be completely fulfilled by Yeshua at some point in the future.

The Anointed Prince is not just a descendant of David; he also has to be a descendant of Solomon.[xi]  Solomon’s son Rehoboam took the throne after Solomon’s death.  The kingdoms divided during his reign. Rehoboam was king of Judah, and Jeroboam who had been a servant of Solomon was the king of Israel.[xii]  The Davidic dynasty continued in Judah through Rehoboam.  YHVH created this split; He intended to afflict the descendants of David, but not forever.

Tracing the descendants of Rehoboam until the time of the Babylonian captivity leads to Jehoiachin.[xiii]    Jehoiachin became the king of Judah when he was 8 years old.  Three months later, he was carried off to Babylon.  Then the king of Babylon made Zedekiah king of Judah.  Previously, Zedekiah’s name was Mattaniah; he was Jehoichin’s uncle.  His name was changed to Zedekiah by King Nebuchadnezzer. With Jehoiachin gone, his brother Jeconiah (son of Jehoiakim/Eliakim) should have been king instead of Zedekiah.  Perhaps he was not old enough to rule without a co-regent; I don’t know. By the way, Jeconiah had a son named Zedekiah so let’s not get confused by that.

In Jeremiah 22:24-30 there is “the curse of Jeconiah” (also known as Coniah).  Jeremiah 22:30 says, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Write this man down as childless, A man who shall not prosper in his days; For none of his descendants shall prosper, Sitting on the throne of David, And ruling anymore in Judah.”  Woe, this is not good.  How is YHVH going to stop afflicting the descendants of David forever?  How is YHVH going to bypass this curse?  As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, adoption is the logical answer.[xiv]

Suddenly Jeremiah 23 shifts gears and says woe to the evil shepherds who are responsible for the scattering of God’s people.  Not all of the leaders of Judah had been good. Coniah was described as a despised, broken idol; he was a vessel in which there was no pleasure. Now, if YHVH doesn’t intend to afflict the descendants of David forever as mentioned in 1Kings 11:39, He’s got to do something about the curse placed on Coniah. Jeremiah 23 immediately tells us YHVH’s plan to correct the problem of the evil shepherds of Judah. YHVH intends to gather the remnant of his people and raise up a Branch of Righteousness to David. He is going to be an awesome king who will reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness. He can’t do this without being ANOINTED (MASHIACH).  He will be “The Messiah” (HaMashiach), the best of all of God’s anointed ones. He will be known as “YHVH our Righteousness.” In his days, Judah will be saved (niphal form of the verb yasha spelled yod-shin-ayin) and Israel will dwell safely.  The Anointed Prince who had been cut off, yet risen from the dead will be this Anointed King.  His name is Yeshua (means “he will save;” similar root = yod-shin-vav-ayin).

This Anointed King, the Branch of Righteousness (or YHVH Our Righteousness) could not have been any of the kings of the past: David, Solomon, Rehoboam, Abijam, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, Ahaziah, Athaliah (mother of Ahaziah), Joash, Amaziah, Azariah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon, Josiah, Jehoahaz, Eliakim (Jehoiakim), Jehoiachin, Zedekiah (Mattaniah) or rightfully Jeconiah (Coniah). This was to be an anointed king of the FUTURE because this prophecy came AFTER the curse of Jeconiah.

First Chronicles 3:17-24 lists the genealogy of Jeconiah.  Verse 17 is the one we need to be most concerned with because the rest of it follows the descendants of Pedaiah.  We should be careful to note that Pedaiah had a son named Zerubbabel but this is not Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel.  Jeconiah’s son Assir had a son named Shealtiel, who had a son named Zerubbabel.[xv] This Zerubbabel helped build the house of God in Jerusalem.  He became the governor of Judah; he NEVER became a king. Therefore, he was not HaMashiach.  Zerubbabel was later chosen by YHVH of hosts to be like a signet ring.  This is the Zerubbabel mentioned in Matthew 1:12 which is part of the genealogy of Yeshua.

Matthew 1 gives us the genealogy of Yeshua HaMashiach.  He’s taken the liberty to lay it out in 3 sets of 14 generations for his own purposes.  As a result, he leaves out certain names in the genealogy.  This is apparent in Matthew 1:11-16 where it says, “Josiah begot Jeconiah and his brothers about the time they were carried away to Babylon.” He left out Jehoahaz, Eliakim (Jehoiakim), and Jehoiachin between Josiah and Jehoiachin.  The text leaves these names out to show three 14-generation periods related to Israel’s history: Abraham to David (period prior to the kings); David to the Babylonian captivity (period of the kings); and the captivity in Babylon to Yeshua (period after the kings).

Yeshua would have begun his ministry about 6 months after John the Baptist began his. His ministry began with His baptism and ANOINTING by the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit). His powerful ministry was marked by teaching his interpretation of Torah; healing the sick; cleansing metzorim (lepers); casting out demons; feeding thousands with bread; and more. Ultimately, he gave the people the sign of Jonah. He was in the heart of the earth for three full days and nights before his resurrection on the Day of Firstfruits.[xvi] He was seen showing infallible proofs of his resurrection over a period of forty days before his ascension. He was even seen by 500 brethren at once even though only two to three witnesses should have been sufficient. Many people who claim to have seen him after his resurrection were willing to be martyred for telling that truth. Who would die for a lie? The fulfillment of the 7th day (millennial reign of The Messiah) is expected to begin following that; this will be followed by the 8th day (age of the new heaven and earth). On earth he was a prophet, now he is High Priest, and soon he will be King of kings and Lord of lords. All three roles are that of a MASHIACH. No other mashiach has or will be anointed for all three of these roles. Yeshua is the ultimate Mashiach.

[i] See 1 Kings 19:16.

[ii] See Exodus 31:3, Numbers 11:17, 25; 27:18-20, Judges 3:10; 6:34; 14:6; 1 Samuel 10:6; Isaiah 11:2; 61:1-2; and Micah 3:8.

[iii] See Acts 4:27, 10:38; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; and Hebrews 1:9 which quotes Psalm 45:6-7.

[iv] 1 Samuel 15:1; 16:12-13; 1 Kings 1:34; 19:15-16

[v] 1 Samuel 16:13

[vi] John 1:32-34 and John 11:49-52

[vii] Isaiah 52:4-5

[viii] Zechariah 6:12-13

[ix] Isaiah 9:6

[x] Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23

[xi]  2 Samuel 7:13; 1 Kings 8:20

[xii] 1Kings 11:35-39

[xiii] Solomon’s descendants are listed in 1 Chronicles 3:10-24.

[xiv] Joseph, a descendent of David adopts Yeshua as his own son.  I have also confirmed this by Bible code.

[xv]  This Zerubbabel is mentioned in in Ezra 5:2; Nehemiah 12:1; Haggai 1:1, 12, 14; and Haggai 2:2, 23.

[xvi]  Nisan 15-17th; He was buried before the sun went down (as Nisan14th became the 15th) rose on the Day of Firstfruits after the sun went down on Saturday (as Nisan 17th became the 18th).

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Was Yeshua Really Born of a Virgin?

Recently, I talked with two people who were questioning the virgin birth of Yeshua. Of the two who were questioning the virgin birth of Yeshua, one was a Christian searching for truth and the other was someone who had already came out of the traditional/syncretized Christian church; the latter questions everything he previously learned in the past because Jewish sources he has been reading indicate the Jews expect an ordinary human being to be the Messiah, and that this person could appear in any given generation.

If these men are questioning the virgin birth of Yeshua, others must be questioning it as well. So, let’s explore this topic.

Information regarding the account of the virgin birth of Yeshua is found in Luke 1 beginning with verse 26. Zacharias’ wife Elizabeth was already six months pregnant with John when the angel Gabriel came to visit a virgin named Miriam (Mary). The Greek word for virgin that is used in this verse is parthenon; it can also mean maiden or unmarried daughter. Gabriel told Miriam that she had found favor with God and that she would become pregnant with a son who would:

  • Be great;
  • Be called the Son of the Highest;
  • Be given the throne of His father David;
  • Reign over the house of Jacob forever;
  • Have a never ending kingdom.

Wow! What a prophecy! Miriam’s only response to this news was, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” (Luke 1:34) This response is a clue that the word “parthenon” really means “virgin” and not just a young unmarried daughter. Gabriel explained, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35)

Note: If Yeshua was born of the seed (sperm) of man, we would not have called Him the Son of God.

Matthew 1 also contains information regarding Miriam’s virginity. When Joseph found out about Miriam being pregnant, he planned to divorce her because their engagement was legally binding. He knew the child she was carrying was not his, but he didn’t want to make a public example of her. Fortunately, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him that the male child was of the Holy Spirit. In other words, this baby was not the result of another man’s seed (signally immorality), but a result of the Holy Spirit. The angel of the Lord instructed Joseph to name him Yeshua, for He will save His people from their sins; Yeshua means “YHVH saves.” In addition, Matthew 1:25 indicates that Joseph did not know (have sexual relations with) Miriam until after she had given birth to Yeshua. The overall net result was that once Yeshua was born, Joseph adopted Him and raised Him as his own son.

Matthew 1:22-23 says, “So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Here, the writer of Matthew is quoting from the Greek Septuagint which uses parthenon for virgin.

Now that we’ve seen the Greek term for “virgin,” let’s look at the two Hebrew terms that are used for “virgin.” The first one is betulah. We know this term definitely refers to a virgin because it is used in verses such as:

  • Genesis 24:16 which describes Rebekah as a virgin; it specifically says no man had known her.
  • Deuteronomy 22:14 describes a law that deals with the possibility of a man marrying a woman and later claiming she was not a virgin (betulah).

The second term is almah; it can be translated as a virgin, a young woman who is of marriageable age, a maid, or a newly married woman. Since the word almah is used in Isaiah 7:14 instead of betulah, some people are suggesting that “virgin” might not be the appropriate translation here. This makes people doubt what they’ve been taught. In this passage, we can’t focus on a single word and ignore the surrounding context of the text. We have to take everything into account.

Look folks, we have to decide. Are we going to believe the Apostolic Scriptures or not? We need them to know:

  • how the prophecies of Yeshua were fulfilled in the past;
  • how Yeshua and His disciples interpreted the Tanach;
  • how the prophecies of Yeshua will be fulfilled in the future.

We must exercise caution when we test everything. We can’t simply reject various portions of the Apostolic Scriptures because they don’t fit into the beliefs of Judaism; after all, the Jews missed the coming of the Messiah because of their beliefs; lack of knowledge; and/or improper interpretation of the prophecies of Scripture.

Now let’s look at another verse. Isaiah 9:6-7 says, “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”

The problem raised with this verse is that various translations use the present perfect tense, the present tense, or the future tense. The question is raised, “which tense is correct and who is the child mentioned here?” Are translators trying to lead us astray with their translation or is either tense valid? Can this verse apply to someone in the past as well as to Yeshua? Tense is not as cut and dry in Hebrew as it is in English. Various things come into play when translating Hebrew. Personally, based on the Hebrew verb forms, I think it probably should be translated with a present perfect tense; but based on Ecclesiastes 1:9, I think it also refers to Yeshua both in our past and in our future. Other reasons I say this is because of the titles in verse 6; no man in past history was a true Prince of Peace, Mighty God, or Everlasting Father.  Look at verse 7. This leader’s government and peace will increase, it will not end but be established with judgment and justice. That just hasn’t happened yet; it’s got to be for a future time.  We’re probably looking at a kind of prophetic perfect that is completed but the manifestation would be in the future, which is our past.  It was God’s completed intention that hadn’t yet taken place.

The Jews may say this prophecy from Isaiah 9 was already fulfilled but I don’t know exactly who this person was. There is certainly a midrash as it pertains to Yeshua.

If we were to take away the account of Yeshua’s conception and birth from the Apostolic Scriptures, could we prove the virgin birth and prove that Isaiah 9:6-7 is referring to Yeshua? I think we can; but before we attempt that, there is another problem we need to address.

There is a difference between the two genealogies of Yeshua. The first is found in Matthew 1:1-17; the other is found in Luke 3:23-38. Some have suggested that the genealogy in Matthew is Joseph’s biological line and that Luke’s genealogy is of Miriam’s. There is just no way to know if that is true or not; however, from what I understand genealogies were traced through the men and not the women.

Let me offer some information from the Baker Illustrated Bible Commentary. Regarding the genealogy in Matthew, the writer notes a concentric structure. On the outer edges (A, A’), the focus is on the Messiah. On the next inward level (B, B’), the focus is on the Son of David and David. The innermost section (C, C’) focuses on the Son of Abraham and Abraham. The writer says, “In ancient perspective, family line was intimately connected to identity. In addition to the inverted literary framework, Matthew structures Jesus’ genealogy by arranging it in three groups of fourteen (1:17). This shaping coheres with the genre of ancient genealogy, in which the listing of generations could be condensed (i.e., generations skipped) for specific purposes.” [1] In this genealogy, there were several kings omitted from the genealogy. The writer goes on to explain that this genealogy was grouped this way to show how Israel:

  • began with Abraham,
  • gained King David;
  • lost a king and kingdom (was exiled);
  • regained a king in the line of David through Yeshua.

This writer also offered possibilities for the emphasis on the three sets of 14 generations. My personal favorite was that they represent six cycles of seven that lead into the time of the Messiah.[2]

If this genealogy was purposefully shaped, the one in Luke was purposefully written with something else in mind. Matthew’s genealogy shows how Yeshua’s line was traced back to David’s son, Solomon; whereas Luke’s genealogy was traced back to David’s son, Nathan who was never even a king. Perhaps the reason for Luke’s genealogy lies in the meaning of Nathan’s name; it means “to give.” It could have been meant as a way to signal the fulfillment of Isaiah 9:6 — a son was “given.”  In other words, Luke’s genealogy connects Yeshua to His identity as the Son who was given.

As we consider Matthew’s genealogy, we need to know that there was a king in Solomon’s line named Coniah (Jeconiah); he was the last king of Judah. Jeremiah 22:24-30 was a prophecy concerning this man and his descendants; it says Coniah, his mother, and his descendants would be taken to Babylon. None of his descendants (seed) would prosper sitting on the throne of David and ruling anymore in Judah. This would be a big problem if Yeshua was Joseph’s biological son; fortunately, Yeshua was “the seed of a woman;” He was conceived by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit. He was adopted by Joseph and has the legal right to sit on the throne of David.

How do we know adoption was YHVH’s plan?

First, we know YHVH had a plan of some kind. Immediately after the prophecy of Coniah is the prophecy of the Branch of Righteousness. Jeremiah 23:5-6 says, “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. 6 In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”

This is a Messianic prophecy. Only Yeshua will do this. This verse reminds me of two verses.

  • Luke 1:32 – “He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.” – Here we see Him reigning and prospering.
  • Revelation 19:11: “Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.” — Here we see Him executing judgment and righteousness.

The only way to get around the problem with Coniah and to fulfill the prophecy of the Branch of Righteousness is adoption. The idea of a Branch of Righteousness being adopted into the royal line of David parallels Gentiles being grafted into the olive tree of Israel through adoption. What was bad was pruned, and what was good was grafted in. If the Jews will believe, they will be grafted back in too.

Take time to read about adoption in Romans 8:15, 23; Romans 9:4; Galatians 4:5; and Ephesians 1:5.  Think about it.  If we were to be adopted into God’s spiritual family, surely Yeshua was to be adopted into an earthly physical family too.  It fits the pattern!

There is debate that Yeshua wasn’t born of a virgin, that he wasn’t adopted, and that He doesn’t have the legal right to the throne. If what we’ve discussed so far doesn’t help, I’m hoping the Bible codes will put the matter to rest. Bible Codes are not bogus; statistically, they are very real. Some have not only found single terms in matrices but also sentences. Modern day events such as Katrina, the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Yitzak Rabin, 9-11, and much more have been encoded in Scripture. For the full history of Bible codes, read Cracking the Bible Code by Jeffrey Satinover.  Of course, these need to be approached with great caution because they can be easily misinterpreted, especially if they are single terms instead of full sentences.

See the following Bible code matrix and report. The primary search term is “Generations (Genealogy) of Yeshua.” The matrix was found using this term. “Yeconiah” and “Joseph” both cross this primary search term while “Miriam” is very close by and in parallel with “Joseph.” The words “adoption” and “adopt,” as well as the name “Coniah” appear in the matrix.  The statistics and location of the code are found in the report.  Click to enlarge. You will need to click one more time on the matrix when it comes up.

Generations of Yeshua2R

Generations of Yeshua2M

Now let’s look at a Bible code using “betulah” as the primary search term. In this matrix, we also have almah; on Tishrei 1 (Yeshua’s birthday); 2/3 BC (year of His birth); Wonderful; Counselor; Mighty God; Prince of Peace; Immanu-El; and mother of Yeshua. I believe this matrix shows Yeshua was not only born of a virgin but also of an almah.  It also suggests He is the fulfillment of the promised child of Isaiah 9:6. Click these to enlarge. Be sure to click a second time on the matrix.

betulah 20R

betulah 20M

We still have two other codes to consider.  The next one is based on Deuteronomy 18:15 where Moses said that YHVH would raise up a Prophet like him from their midst, from their brethren.  Yeshua is the primary search term.  The matrix indicates He is “the Lamb without blemish” who “was conceived by Miriam.”  What is also very surprising is that it shows us that “a scribe (amanuensis) came into her.”  This might cause our faith to falter; but, wait until you see the next code that shows who this scribe is.

Here is the code for the prophet like Moses.  Be sure to click twice, pausing in between clicks to fully enlarge:

Like Moses ME3

Like Moses R3

The last matrix is for the Holy Spirit, which is the primary search term.  Some of the matching terms include:  discernment, Creator, Teacher, Counselor, God, tongues, to prophesy, etc.  But most important for us, it includes the term for “scribe (amanuensis).”  According to the Webster’s dictionary, amanuensis means one employed to write from dictation or to copy a manuscript.  Why would the Holy Spirit have this term as a thematic characteristic?  I could be wrong; but, I wonder if it’s because when the amanuensis entered Miriam to cause conception, it was writing or creating the proper genetic code for Yeshua.  It’s as if the scribe wrote/created the Word that would become flesh. Be sure to click twice, pausing in between clicks to fully enlarge:

Holy Spirit ME3

Holy Spirit R3

If there was ever a doubt in your mind that the virgin birth actually took place, I hope all of this sets your mind at ease.

[1] The Baker Illustrated Bible Commentary, Gary M. Burge and Andrew E. Hill. Published by Baker Publishing Group. Copyright 2012. P.954-957.

[2] Ibid.

Was Jesus Black or White?

Today, we have an unusual post compared to what I normally write.  I was recently asked to visit a web site directed at black Christians in order to get my response because its contents were causing problems in a racially mixed church.  Basically, this page is using racism as a platform to convince black Christians to believe the Messiah was physically black instead of white and to accuse white Christians of teaching doctrinal errors to black Christians.  I believe this site contains a mixture of truth and error.  Today, I will try to address several things including racial prejudice, the correct name of God and His Son, and Jesus’ skin color so there will be another viewpoint for truth seekers to access.

First, it is improper to use the history of African American slavery in America as a divisive weapon in the church to draw people to a distorted version of their Hebraic roots.  The Messiah would never have encouraged this practice because He always desired unity among His people and for His people to love one another.  This is our first clue something is wrong on this site.

The rightful identity of man is not found in one’s ethnicity, the country of his ancestors, the country where he was born or lives, nor his DNA.  Man’s identity should be dependent on his relationship with Christ.  Every black man is not at the bottom of all societies nor is he the most hated of all men. 

It is true there are some people who are prejudiced against people with certain skin colors but there are many who are not.  To assume everyone hates you or responds to you in a certain way because of your skin color is accepting a lie from Satan himself.  Individuals who are being treated poorly should realize it’s more likely due to some other underlying reason.  Prejudice against an entire group of people doesn’t result only from skin color but also from observing repeated negative behavior from that people group.  Those experiencing prejudice have a choice –lament it, aggressively fight it, reinforce it, or calmly disprove it.  I think it’s best to treat others as you want to be treated and to forgive offenses as necessary. 

If anyone is hated more than anyone in the world just because they exist, it is the Jews who are of various skin tones.  This statement is not racist, it’s a very unfortunate fact that truly breaks my heart.  The hatred of Israel’s enemies for the Jews and a desire for their land will eventually bring about Christ’s return.

The web site in question tries to convince African Americans that white Americans deceived them concerning their true identity, the name of God and His Son, and various other doctrines of the Christian church.  It is foolish and divisive to make a claim that white Christians are purposely deceiving black Christians because every ethnicity of Christian believers throughout the world has been misled by various teachings to some extent. 

Many Christian believers of various ethnicities worldwide have embraced doctrines that came from Constantine, other church leaders, denominational conventions, missionaries, Biblical scholars, and laymen.  There is no doubt that the original Messianic congregation was syncretized with paganism since the time of Constantine.  We should be grateful white Europeans involved in the Reformation attempted to break free from much error.  Unfortunately, they failed to fully reject everything that was false.  If you investigate their writings, you may be surprised to find that anti-Semitism played a role in this.  Do I blame them for an incomplete Reformation?  Certainly not!  What they did accomplish cost them their lives.  Am I disappointed to know how they felt about the Jews?  Definitely!

Although I was disillusioned to find out I had been taught many errors in my early Christian life, I must carefully make sure I don’t embrace something as bad if not worse now and in the future.  Everyone, no matter what their ethnicity is must take the time to read the Word of God, research the culture of the Hebrews, and understand the Scripture’s continuity in order to properly interpret it.  At the same time, everyone who does so must be prepared for intense opposition as they seek to reverse doctrinal error and share truth.  We must accept the fact that sometimes we have to agree to disagree and leave it at that while praying the Holy Spirit reveals truth.

Having said all of this, let’s look at the names of Jesus and Jehovah.

Anyone who looks at a Greek Interlinear Bible will see Jesus Christ is English for Iesous Christos. The Hebrew equivalent is Yeshua HaMashiyach or Yeshua the Messiah.  Every country/language spells and pronounces Jesus Christ or Yeshua HaMashiyach differently but the name is always based on the original Greek or Hebrew & Aramaic text.  People normally use the name of the Father or Son as it is written in their heart language and this is certainly acceptable.

The Hebrew name Joshua (Yod, Hey, Vav, Shin, Ayin) comes from YHVH (Yod, Hey, Vav, Hey) and yasha (Yod, Shin, Ayin) which means “to free or deliver.”  The Aramaic name Yeshua (Yod, Shin, Vav, Ayin) means “he will save.”  Both Joshua and Yeshua are considered to be equivalent names.  Name differences among different languages should be expected.  Note the following equivalent names:

  • Yochanon (Hebrew) and Ivan (Ukrainian) is John (English).
  • Julia is Yulia in Eastern Europe.
  • James is Ya’akov (Hebrew).
  • Paul (Greek) is Shaul in Hebrew. The Greeks called him Paul, the Jews called him Shaul (Acts 13:9), and you probably guessed that Shaul is Saul in English.

Jehovah is really a term used for the Hebrew letters: YHWH or YHVH.  Since the Vav can be either a V or a W, YHVH (Yod, Hey, Vav, Hey) can be written as Yahweh or Yahveh.  This is not unusual considering Germans pronounce w as v.  Normally, YHVH is translated LORD (Name) as opposed to Lord (Title) in the Bible.  Some Bibles even substitute Adonai which means Lord for YHVH to avoid misusing it.

The correct pronunciation of the name of God was lost with the Jews many years ago.  Vowel pointings were not written for YHVH in the Torah because that might make it possible to use the sacred name vainly.  Even though the Greek equivalent term kurios can be applied to Baal, Jesus is still the kurios kurioon (Lord of lords).  The Greek word kurios is seen twice in a row in this phrase.  The difference in spelling the second time is due to it being used in the genitive case.

So what should God’s name be called? 

Exodus 3:14 says, “And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” [“Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh”= I am/will be what I am/will be.]  And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM [Ehyeh = Aleph, Hey, Yod, Hey] has sent me to you.'” 

As verse 15 continues, God explained that He was the LORD God of (YHVH Elohey) Abraham, Isaac, and JacobElohey means “God of” and is a construct of Elohim.  We can also call God by the many other names in the Bible that describe His character.

The writer of the web page directed at black Christians also discussed the use of Yah as God’s real name.  Yah (Yod, Hey) is simply a contracted form of Yahveh (Yod, Hey, Vav, Hey).  It doesn’t matter if your version of the Bible translated it as Jah or Yah.  In European countries, J is pronounced as a Y, hence Yulia for Julia.  Someone is trying to make a big deal out of nothing by saying you must use one spelling over another.  Also, any time the word “God” is used in the New Testament, it is translated from the Greek word theos and should not be translated Yah as this writer suggests.

Yah is specifically used in Exodus 15:2, 17:16; Song of Solomon 8:6, Isaiah 12:2, 26:4, 38:11; and 14 times in the Psalms; it is not used anywhere else in the Old Testament! YHWH is!  We don’t know why Yah is sometimes used and we can’t say that it is specifically God’s real name or a casual nickname.  It could’ve been used as a substitution to avoid misusing the name of God.  If you don’t feel comfortable using the circumlocutions mentioned so far for the name of God, you can always use “Father.”

This writer also says that Christianity is not from the Bible and that it is a false religion.  We are about to get into more semantics on this issue.  What people need to know is whether or not they are “a true son of Abraham.”  Initially, Jewish Christians or Messianic Jews were initially considered to be a Jewish sect and not a new religion.  Disciples of Christ were first called “Christians” in Antioch.  These disciples still obeyed the law of God because both Jesus and Paul taught the law was not abolished and kept it themselves (Matt. 5:17-19; Rom. 3:31; Acts 21:21, 24).  The primary difference between Messianic Jews and other Jews was that Messianic Jews had put their faith in Jesus, the promised Jewish Messiah.  In a way, this was the crowning of their Jewish faith.  In Acts 11:26, we can see they were probably called Christians or disciples of Christ because they were giving or teaching divine messages about Christ to the people.   This was the purest form of Christianity.  Many years after this, Christianity became syncretized with paganism so in this sense, it is no longer pure.  Our goal should be to return to how it was in the book of Acts.     

As Gentiles put their trust in Christ, they were grafted into the olive tree of Israel by grace through faith in Christ (Rom. 11).  In this way, they became “sons of Abraham.”  This should be no surprise because Jesus said another flock would become one flock with Israel (John 10:16).  There is no difference between Jew and Gentile believers.  All those who call on the name of the Lord will be saved (Rom. 10:12).  The writer in question thinks that because the people of the Old Testament did not know or see Jesus personally, they didn’t experience salvation.  That’s not exactly true because the types and shadows of the Old Testament pointed directly to Jesus.  Many saints of that era looked anxiously for Him and put their faith in He who was to come just as we put our faith in Christ today without ever having seen Him.  They also showed their love for God by obeying His commandments.  These Old Testament saints were true sons of Abraham and were similar to Zacchaeus to whom Jesus said, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:9-10)    Paul made it clear in Galatians 3:7 that only those who are of faith are true sons of Abraham whether they are Jew or Gentile.  What we need to understand is that not all people who call themselves Christians today are true sons of Abraham. 

Another false doctrine in the church today is called Replacement Theology.  This belief teaches that the Gentile church replaced Israel as God’s chosen people.  The Old Testament has always taught that Israel was God’s chosen people.  That has not changed.  Paul explained that the Jews have been grafted out of the olive tree of Israel due to unbelief but that they will be grafted back in once the fullness of the Gentiles has been reached.  The name of the tree never changed.  The tree is still Israel.  True sons of Abraham, whether they are Jew or Gentile have been chosen and called into a relationship with Jesus Christ.

As mentioned earlier, this writer is teaching that the ancient Israelites were a black people and that there is no proof that the lighter-skinned European Ashkeknazi Jews are related to the Biblical children of Israel.  This is not true because DNA shows their genetic ancestry.  In fact, Jews can be of a variety of skin tones.

Consider this.  If Abraham was originally a Semite and originally from Iraq, it seems the appearance of the Jews would have been similar to those in the Middle East.  Since Jacob married Syrian women, Leah and Rachel were Middle Eastern.  By the time the mixed multitude came out of Egypt, many of the people were probably still Hebrew while a few may have mixed with the Egyptians.  Looking at Jesus’ genealogy, we can see that Middle Eastern foreigners such as Rahab (from Jericho) and Ruth (Moabitess) were part of His bloodline.  Normally, when foreigners were introduced into the bloodline, they were mentioned.  You’d have to do a full examination of Jesus’ bloodline to determine how mixed He was but in the end, it doesn’t matter how light or dark skinned He was.  He still gave His life so we could have eternal life.

I don’t know why the subject of Jesus’ skin color matters so much to some people but let’s continue our discussion.  For the sake of our readers in Europe, let me say that most African Americans are probably of mixed DNA (African, European, and/or American Indian) — each of which can affect skin color.  Throughout the continent of Africa, the skin tone of each people group varies from tribe to tribe and country to country.  African Americans don’t know which country in Africa or which tribe their descendants were from either.  I find it interesting that American missionaries to Africa who are well traveled return to America and often can tell which African country or tribe African American descendants most likely came from just by looking at their predominating facial features (bone structure and skin color).  Of course, the same can be said of other people groups around the world as well. 

Genetically speaking, it is possible to have dark colored skin and yet have more than 50% of your DNA be of European descent and/or Native American Indian.  It may be better to overlook skin color and say Jews are not defined so much by their obvious history of mixed ethnicity but by religious culture and conversion to their religious faith.   

Those interested in this topic really need to look at the dispersion of the nations which show that dark-skinned people were originally descendants of Ham, white people (Caucasians) and those of Central Asia were originally descended from Japheth, and the Jews and others from the Middle East were descended from Shem.  To think the world is divided into people who are either black and white is narrow-minded because there are thousands of ethnic groups throughout the world that fall somewhere in between. 

A very enlightening web page concerning DNA, the dispersion of Noah’s descendants, and how skin color varies among those of mixed peoples is found at www.soundchristian.com/man.  This site has pictures of families with different colored twins that you simply must see.  This phenomenon is not unusual in mixed peoples.

The writer of the web site in question also pointed out that the history of African Americans shows they experienced the curses of the law as described in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28.  This may be true but other people groups have also suffered the curses of the law too.  This is particularly true of those in Eastern Europe under Communism.  As it is, the curses of the law are currently falling on all Americans.  What is clear is that when God’s people do not show their love for God by obeying His commandments, they experience the curses of the law and non-believers suffer too.  Since Jesus died in our place, the only curse believers don’t experience is spiritual death and eternal separation from God.

Revelation 7:9 says there will be a great multitude standing before the throne and before the Lamb from every nation, tribe, and language.  With that in mind it is hard to believe this web page in question claims Christianity is filled with white supremacy and other statements that are derogatory about white Christians.  Only God knows the hearts and motives of His people.  We must be careful when we judge a person’s fruit so that we don’t make wrong assumptions about the heart. 

This writer also said that there was no one in the Bible who was a Lord and Personal Savior.  This is false because the New Testament refers to Jesus as Lord and Savior several times:

1 Tim 1:1 says, “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope,”

Titus 1:4 addresses Titus, “a true son in our common faith:  Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.”

2 Peter 1:11 tells us, “for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

2 Peter 2:20 states, “For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning.”

2 Peter 3:17-18 says:  “You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  To Him be the glory both now and forever.  Amen.”

This site also mentioned parallels and Hebraisms.  We must understand that even though the history of African Americans parallels that of the Jews and even though Hebraisms exist in Africa, this should be expected among all people.  Ecclesiastes 1:9 says, “That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun.”  Those Americans who study the Bible thematically have seen Biblical patterns in world history especially the history of the U.S. Presidents. 

Hebraisms have not only existed among African Americans.  Missionaries have also noted Hebraisms in other parts of the world such as India.  This is probably because the northern tribes had been dispersed among the nations.  The Jewish Virtual Library has an interesting page with information about the Hebraisms and various colored Jews of India.  See http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/indians.html  

As we close our post today, I encourage everyone no matter what race they are to question new ideas and compare them to Scripture before being led away into something false and divisive.  May God bless those who seek and embrace truth.

A Prophet Like Moses

Deuteronomy 18:18-19 says, “I will raise up for them a Prophet like you [Moses] from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him.” 

As we consider this verse, we should realize that there are so many amazing similarities to see between the life of Moses and that of Jesus.  I’m amazed that many of us have never noticed them before.  This was God’s way of showing His people the fulfillment of God’s promise to Moses. 

In Exodus 1, Pharaoh ordered all male babies to be thrown in the Nile River.  The Talmud teaches that this was a result of his astrologers warning him that a child would be born that would overthrow him.[1]  The Targum Onkelos says it was because Pharaoh had a dream which was interpreted to mean that an Israelite child would be born that would eventually destroy Egypt.[2] 

As we read the New Testament, we notice that King Herod was warned by wise men from the east of Jesus’ birth and His kingship.  Even though Herod asked to be informed of the child’s whereabouts, the wise men did not return to him because they had been warned not to in a dream.  Matthew 2:16-17 gives us Herod’s response:  “Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men.”   This event in Jesus’ short life was to parallel that of Moses’.

There is more to see about Jesus in the life of Moses.  Moses most likely lived with his family in Goshen until he was weaned (~2 years old).  After that, he lived in Egypt with Pharaoh’s daughter.  After Moses grew up, he left Egypt after the death of an Egyptian and eventually dwelt in Midian. 

After Jesus was circumcised and brought to the temple in Jerusalem, Jesus lived in Nazareth until Joseph was warned in a dream to flee to Egypt.  This would have been about the time Jesus was 2 years old (Matt. 2:16).  After Herod’s death, Joseph was notified in a dream that it was safe to return to the land of Israel; therefore, Jesus came out of Egypt and grew up in Nazareth.  We can see another parallel here — the death of someone caused Moses and Jesus to come out of Egypt.

In the latter half of Exodus 2, Moses was in Midian.  He sat down by a well and soon met the seven daughters of Reuel, the priest of Midian.  Moses came to their rescue when other shepherds came and drove them away as the young ladies were trying to water their father’s flock.  Zipporah, one of these daughters eventually became his wife.  Isn’t it unusual that Abraham’s servant chose Rebecca for Isaac when she came to a well and Jacob fell in love with Rachel when he met her a well?  It should be no less surprising to note that Jesus met the woman from Sychar at a well and that she believed in Him and became part of the Bride of Christ.

During Moses time in Midian, I’m sure he had plenty of time to think about his former life in Egypt.  At some point in Egypt, he found out he was Hebrew and he identified with his people who were in slavery.  He sensed the need to help them but he stilled required skills he did not have.  While in Midian, he learned how to be a shepherd in rugged terrain.  This prepared him to lead the mixed multitude that would come out of Egypt and enter into a long period of wandering in the desert.

Even at birth, Jesus was God incarnate.  At some point in His physical development, He had to know who He really was.  The Scriptures tell us that He grew in wisdom, in stature, and in favor with God and man.  He studied the Scripture in order to prepare Himself for ministry throughout Israel and to fulfill the prophecy that had to be finished during His first time on earth.  Meanwhile, He learned carpentry and experienced a life similar to that of most Jews so He could relate to those around him and explain the Kingdom of God in parables they could relate to.  He saw that His people were in slavery to sin and He earnestly desired for them to break free and come back to God.  He knew His ultimate destiny was to be the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world.  He remained focused on that until His task was ultimately accomplished.

As I consider my life, I realize where I’ve come from and have a sense of God’s leading for my future.  I’m sure where I’ve been has prepared me for the present and my ultimate destiny at least to some degree.  As I consider ministry options, sometimes I wait.  Occasionally, I take a step of faith only to find out I still lack the skills for what I think God wants me to do and/or that it is not God’s timing yet.  No matter what I do, each day requires faithfulness to God’s commandments.  God often sets doors before me that I must walk through.  Sometimes there are times of blessing and other times I encounter trials but I know that I’m being shaped for whatever lies ahead.

How about you?  What do you think God wants you to do?  Have you made an attempt at something and feel like a failure?  Perhaps, only your timing is off or maybe you need to develop some more skills first.  Training in knowledge and spiritual warfare, gaining wisdom, walking with discernment, and waiting on the Lord can be frustrating and difficult.  Even the actual tasks that lie ahead of us can be very challenging so don’t always feel like you have to rush.  Ask God for discernment and take one step at a time.  God orchestrates everything around you and will draw you in at the right time.  As you fulfill His plan, you will bring glory to the Lord.  At some point, you might be amazed at how much your life has in common with Moses and Jesus.  After all, one of our goals is to reflect the image of Christ.

The Search for Isaac’s Wife

Today’s post is about the search for Isaac’s wife and is based on Genesis 24, Jasher 24, and John 4:1-42.

After the death and burial of Sarah, Abraham sent Isaac away so he could go to stay with Shem and Eber to learn the way of the Lord and His instructions for 3 years.  After that he returned to Beersheba.

Next, Abimelech [father of the king] died and was replaced by his son Benmalich [son of the king] who was renamed Abimelech.  Lot, the son of Haran – Abraham’s nephew also died in those days when Isaac was 39 years old.  The following year, Nahor, the son of Terah who was also the brother of Abraham died.  With all these people dying, Abraham probably started thinking about the possibility of his own death and the fact that Isaac didn’t have a wife yet.

When Isaac was 40 years old, Abraham sent his servant, Eliezer to Haran to find a wife for Isaac from his brother’s family (Jasher 24:27-30).  Eliezer was concerned that if he found a woman for Isaac, she wouldn’t come home with him and wondered if he should take Isaac back there.  Abraham insisted that Isaac must stay in the land of Canaan and not marry a Canaanite.

Eliezer left with his master’s goods and went toward the city of Nahor in Mesopotamia and stopped at a well outside the city when it was evening.  Meanwhile, Isaac returned to his father’s home in Beersheba.  Since Eliezer wanted to find the right girl [na’arah = a girl from infancy to adolescence] for Isaac, he prayed asking for God to confirm who she was by asking that whoever she was would give him water and also provide some for all his camels.  A young girl named Rebekah came and gave Eliezer water at his request and then she offered to draw water for his camels too.  When her task was complete, he gave her a golden nose ring and two bracelets weighing ten shekels of gold.  Rebekah then went to tell her family what had happened.  I was quite shocked to read in Jasher 24:29 that Rebekah was 10 years old at this time but this certainly fits the definition of a na’arah!   

Rebekah’s brother, Laban came out to greet him and told him a place was prepared for the camels and to come to the house.  Once the camels were unloaded and fed, Eliezer’s feet and those of the men with him were washed.  Rebakah’s family offered Eliezer food but he didn’t want to eat until he:

  • Explained the reason for his visit.
  • Said how he was sure Rebekah was the girl that should be Isaac’s wife.
  • Asked if they would agree to his marriage proposal. 

Since Laban and Bethuel were sure this was of the Lord, they agreed to allow Rebekah to marry Isaac.  Upon hearing their answer, Eliezer gave Rebekah gold and silver jewelry and clothing.  He then bowed his head and worshiped the Lord who led him in the way of truth.  He later gave precious things to her family most likely as a bride price. 

Eliezer wanted to leave with Rebekah the next morning but her family wanted her to stay 10 days longer.  At Eliezer’s insistence, they let Rebekah decide.   When Rebekah agreed to leave that day, they sent her away with a nurse, servants, and a blessing that she may become the mother of thousands of ten thousands and that her descendants would possess the gates of their enemies. 

After traveling almost all the way to her new home, she finally saw Isaac from a distance and covered her face.  After Eliezer told Isaac everything that had happened, Isaac took Rebekah into his mother’s tent and she became his wife.  So after all this time, Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.

As I pondered all of this information, God showed me a few similarities between the account of Eliezer choosing Rebekah to be Isaac’s wife and Jesus meeting the woman who came to the well in Sychar, Samaria.  

Jesus had left Judea and was passing through Samaria on His way to Galilee when He stopped at Jacob’s well and asked a woman to give Him a drink of water.  Instead of responding like Rebekah did to Eliezer, the Samaritan woman expressed surprise at Jesus’ request because He was a Jew and she was a Samaritan.  Normally, the Jews looked down upon Samaritans because they were descendants of the northern kingdom who had intermarried with foreigners and because their religion was an unholy mixture of Judaism and idolatry.  This would be comparable to the numerous people who’ve practiced Christianity synchretised with paganism for centuries.  

Instead of giving the Samaritan woman gifts of gold and silver, Jesus told her that if she knew the gift of God and who He was, He would have given her Living Water.  She couldn’t see how Jesus could physically give her living water and didn’t realize He was offering Himself to her.  This was a little different from Rebekah who could see the physical abundance that Eliezer had brought with him before she knew he had come in search of a wife for Isaac. 

Just as Eliezer told her family the purpose of his journey, Jesus explained to the woman of Sychar that His Living Water would become a fountain of water that would spring up into everlasting life.  Upon hearing this, she desired this Living Water to keep her from thirsting.  Then Jesus told her to bring her earthly husband to Him but she’d already had several and the one living with her wasn’t really her husband.   By this time, she perceived that Jesus was a prophet and started to change the focus of their conversation by stating the difference between her peoples’ belief concerning the proper place of worship and that of the Jews.  Jesus explained that true worshipers would worship the Father in spirit and truth because that is the kind of worshipers (brides) God seeks.  Finally, she said that she knew the Messiah was coming and Jesus revealed to her that He was the Messiah. 

When Eliezer was sure he found the right wife for Isaac, he was so pleased that he blessed the Lord.  Once the woman was pretty sure she had met the Messiah, she was obviously excited when she left to tell the people of the town about Him when His disciples came back and urged Him to eat.  At the same time, they were surprised Jesus had been talking with a Samaritan woman.  This was most likely because of the reasons previously mentioned. 

If you recall, Eliezer didn’t want to eat until he explained to Rebekah’s family the reason for his journey but  Jesus did not want to eat earthly food His disciples had brought Him because He was interested in telling them about the task of reaping the spiritual harvest or inviting people to accept His marriage proposal.  When the people of the city heard the woman’s testimony, they accepted her invitation to come meet Jesus.   Once they met and heard Jesus for themselves, they believed He was the Christ. 

Jesus gave His life as a bride price for whoever’s willing to accept His marriage proposal and returned to His Father’s home in heaven to prepare a place for His bride.  Since that time, Jesus’ servants have been commanded to search for those who might be willing to become the Bride of Christ in all the nations and make disciples of them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). 

People should not be hindered but encouraged to come to Jesus as a little child much like the na’arah, Rebekah who was willing to become Isaac’s wife (Luke 18:17).  For now, the Jews are being hindered by a veil over their closed heart when they read or hear Torah.  All they can see is their sin in the mirror of Torah.  As Jews turn to the Lord, that veil changes so they can see Jesus more clearly in Torah as if they are looking at Him through a window.  By walking in the Spirit, they will conform to the Living Torah or glory of the Lord.  Hopefully as the last days approach, the Jews no longer be hindered but will come to the Messiah in mass numbers. 

When people accept Christ’s proposal, they:

  • Should repent – leave the false spiritual husband they’ve been united with so they can become engaged with their new Bridegroom, Jesus Christ.  Their response should be like Rebekah’s – immediate and not delayed.
  • Are covered by the blood of Jesus who is the veil between the heavenly Father and them. 
  • Become the temple of the Holy Spirit.  This means the question of the proper place of worship by the Samaritan woman is a non-issue until Christ’s return because the Holy Spirit dwells within all believers.   
  • Should be discipled in the way of pure truth so they can be presented to Christ clean and holy instead of adulterated or synchretized with something pagan. 

The sovereign Father who no one has ever seen holds the title: the King of kings (1 Tim. 6:15).  At the appointed time [moed = feast] in the future, the Father will tell Jesus to return to gather His bride.  This will probably take place on the Day of Trumpets in a year of Jubilee.  Jesus, the Son of God who is also known as the Lamb of God will be like Benmalich [son of the king] whose name was changed to Abimelech [father of the king] because in Revelation 17:14 and 19:16, Jesus is also known by His Father’s title:  the King of Kings.  Those who have accepted Jesus’ wedding proposal and were faithful to Him will be clothed in a robe of righteousness and will be ready when the Feast of Tabernacles takes place several days later.  At that time, Jesus will take His bride into His bridal chamber where the wedding will be finalized or consumated and the Wedding Supper of the Lamb will take place.  His people will be comforted and will soon forget the pain and suffering caused by their enemies.      

What to Expect When Jesus Reigns in Jerusalem

Now that we’ve discussed the basics of what’s going to happen when Messiah returns, let’s turn our attention to what we can expect after Christ’s return because people have a lot of false assumptions about that.

Most Christians believe that when Jesus comes back, we’re all going to live “happily ever after” in heaven but that is not exactly the case.  We may find that we will have some adjusting to do.  Let’s begin by exploring some of these things.

First of all, we aren’t going to live in heaven when Jesus returns.  I can already hear you crying, “heresy!”  Sorry to burst your bubble, but that’s not what the Bible really teaches.  People who’ve died may be with Jesus now because “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord” but many people will be dwelling all over the earth during His millennial reign (2 Cor. 5:8).

Right now the average life span of people living all over the world is very short compared to those who lived prior to Noah but during the millennium, people will live long lives.  People will die, marriage will still take place, and children will be born (Ezekiel 44:22 and 25; Isaiah 65:20).  It’s probably safe to say that those who will die during the millennium will be like those who perished during the wilderness wanderings.  Hebrews 9:27 makes it clear that man only dies once so those who die during the millennium will be people who were alive when Jesus returned but eventually rebelled and died according to the Torah.  The second death is the lake of fire.  There will be many like Elijah who never died.  Once there is a new heaven and earth, there will be no marriage and we will be like the angels in heaven (Matt. 22:30).

In Biblical times, plants, herbs, and essential oils/resins were known for their healing properties.  Currently pharmaceutical companies produce tons of medicines that generate tons of money for the companies that produce them.  Today many people are beginning to learn more about natural remedies.  According to Ezekiel 47:1-11, there will be healing waters and trees with different kinds of fruit each month and leaves with healing properties during the millennium.  Revelation 22:1-2 tells us that in the New Jerusalem a pure river of living water will proceed from the throne of God and of the Lamb.  The tree of life which will be between the river and the main street will bear twelve fruits, a different fruit each month.  The leaves of this tree will be for the healing of the nations.

During Christ’s reign, we will obey and live according to the Torah.  Originally, Moses taught Torah to God’s people but it wasn’t and still isn’t always obeyed.  Even when it was, it wasn’t always with the correct attitude.  Unfortunately, many Christians today have the idea that Torah has been abolished despite what Jesus said in Matthew 5:17-19 and despite what Paul said in Romans 3:31.  When Jesus reigns, He will rule the nations of the earth with a rod of iron and the Torah will be the law of the world (Ps. 2:9; Rev. 2:27, 12:5, 19:15).  Why do you think He will have to do that?  Does that sound like someone ruling in blissful love, tough love, or harsh judgment?

Many will be shocked to find out that men will have to be physically circumcised.  Circumcision of both the heart and flesh has been required by God since the time of Abraham but physical circumcision was neglected during the time of the wilderness wanderings.  It was eventually performed on the second generation of the Exodus once the people were ready to enter the Promised Land (Joshua 5:1-7).  This is the pattern for the future.  Most Christians understand that physical circumcision is not necessary in order to be saved but they fail to understand it is still an everlasting requirement for both Jews and Gentiles who are of the household of God (Genesis 17:9-14).  Many Gentiles have not been circumcised because they have misunderstood the cultural and historical issues of Paul’s time and therefore misinterpreted Paul’s writings on the subject.  Ezekiel 44:9 explains that circumcision of the heart and the flesh will be required in order to enter the temple therefore many males will need to undergo circumcision when the millennium begins if they do not do so before then.  Doing so has always been God’s symbol or outward sign of what should have already taken place in the heart.

Another thing we should expect is that the temple will need to be cleansed and rededicated just like the temple built under Ezra’s leadership.  This temple had to be cleansed and rededicated because of the abomination that Antiochus Epiphanes IV had brought into the temple.  That temple was destroyed in 70 C.E. Some day the temple that Ezekiel described will be built.  This temple will also have an abomination of desolation brought into it which will require it to be cleansed and rededicated.

Ezekiel 44:23 says that the Levitical priests, the sons of Zadok will teach people the concepts of clean versus unclean and holy versus common during the millennium.  This is because most are unfamiliar with these concepts.  We need to study and teach Torah now to those who will listen.  We can practice the dietary laws today not only for health reasons but because they’ve not been abolished despite what many people teach.  Peter eventually understood the meaning of the vision he received and we need to accept that interpretation.  We need to obey Torah’s other commands too since they also have hidden spiritual significance.  By the time there is a new heaven and earth, we’ll know what is expected of us, what it all means, and there will be no further need to teach Torah because it will come naturally.

Since we will be learning to obey Torah during Jesus’ millennial reign, sins will still be committed inadvertently.  That is why Ezekiel 45 and 46 tell us offerings will be performed.  Are you shocked or angry to hear this?  Many Christians respond that way because they’ve been told that Jesus fulfilled the types of the sacrifices.  Well, I’m sorry but the Bible teaches that the sacrifices will still be performed during the millennium! Some suspect the reason will be to look back on the atoning work of Christ on the cross whereas prior to Christ, the offerings were unknowingly looking ahead to Jesus death and resurrection.  I agree with this concept but we should also understand that the sacrifices are also a shadow of the time when the wicked will be thrown into the lake of fire and the offerings will be brought as a visual reminder to us of this sober fact.  A final reason for the sacrifices to take place in the millennium is because it fits the pattern:

  • Moses; sacrifices performed in the outer court of the Tabernacle and Solomon’s Temple; sacrifices ceased during Babylonian exile.
  • Ezra; sacrifices performed at the second temple; sacrifices ceased under Antiochus Epiphanes IV.
  • Jesus’ first coming; sacrifices were still performed at the second temple after Jesus death and resurrection; sacrifices ceased when the temple was destroyed in 70 C.E.
  • Jesus’ second coming; sacrifices will be performed at the millennial temple; sacrifices will cease and not be performed on the new heaven and earth because there will be no temple in the New Jerusalem. Instead, God and the Lamb are the Temple on the new heaven and earth (Rev. 21:22).

Ezekiel 45 and 46 also show us that the Feasts of the Lord, Sabbaths, and New Moons will be observed during Christ’s reign in Jerusalem. These can and should be celebrated now because a careful reading of Acts shows they’ve not been abolished. Even Colossians 2:17 encourages us not to let people give us a hard time about celebrating them because they are a shadow of things that are coming. They are God’s plan of:

  • Redemption and salvation.
  • Dwelling with His people.
  • The coming of the new heaven and earth.

We must understand that only the wicked who will die when Christ returns will be those living in Jerusalem on the Feast of Trumpets and those who will not escape the Battle of Armageddon on the Day of Atonement. The rest of the nations will still have people living in them because not everyone will go to the Battle of Armageddon and not everyone will die in the massive earthquake. This is why God’s people will need to be judges (Ezekiel 44:24, Rev. 20:6) and why there will be a countless number of people at the end of the millennium who will be deceived by Satan when he is released from the abyss and will join him for the Battle of Gog (Revelation 20:7-9). Once those people die their first death, the second resurrection (the resurrection of the wicked) will take place followed by the Great White Throne Judgment. After that, the wicked finally be cast into the lake of fire.

In Revelation 21:1-4, John sums things up nicely: “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” (NKJV)

Aren’t you really thrilled with the final outcome of God’s plans for His people?

Does reading some of this information make you angry, shocked, or confused?

It should because we’ve been fed a lie for centuries by pastors and teachers who’ve accepted and passed on incorrect teachings to their congregations and students.

This is not completely their fault. The way the information is scattered throughout the Bible doesn’t help but perhaps that was to keep people from fully understanding God’s plan. Using a Bible software program can speed the process of intensively studying the Bible and help to sort things out. It’s also useful to find and study the patterns found in Scripture.

Did you notice how many patterns we’ve look at today?

Go back and note how much history repeats itself. This should move you to read and study the Bible yourself to find out what else you’ve been taught isn’t completely correct.

Should we stand up and start correcting these false teachings?

If you do, be warned that you will be met with resistance. Not many want to hear the truth. After all, consider what happened to Martin Luther and the rest of the Reformers.

No matter what your response to what you’ve learned today, may your name be written in the Book of Life and may you be blessed as you seek Truth.

Similarities Between Joseph and Jesus

After speaking with a Jewish person you may be surprised to find out the Jews are expecting two Messiah’s but they don’t all realize their Messiahs are really one and the same.

At the end of Jesus’ first time dwelling on the earth, He was the “Suffering Servant.”  Not only was Jesus the adoptive son of Joseph the carpenter, He was also very much like the son of Joseph who was the son of Israel (Jacob).

Let’s see just how much Jesus and Joseph were alike:

Joseph was dearly loved by Isaac (Jacob) and Jesus was dearly loved by His heavenly father.

Joseph was rejected by his brothers and Jesus was rejected by His brothers — both His immediate family and the House of Judah.

Joseph was stripped of his coat prior to being thrown in a pit.  Jesus was stripped of His clothes prior to His crucifixion.

Joseph was thrown into a pit by his brothers but he came out of this pit alive.  Jesus was placed into a grave but came out of the grave three days later.

Joseph’s brothers decided not to kill him themselves.  Instead, they turned him over to the Ishmaelites after Judah suggested they sell him for 20 shekels of silver.  The Jews did not kill Jesus themselves after He had been sold to them by Judas (or Judah in Hebrew) for 30 silver coins because they coerced the Romans to do it for them.

Joseph was falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife while Jesus was falsely accused by the high priests and elders.  Joseph suffered in prison for his supposed crime and Jesus also suffered while in custody.

Joseph was imprisoned (punished) with two men.  One was given back his life and the other was put to death.  Jesus was crucified with two men.  One was told he would be with Jesus in paradise (given back his life) but unfortunately, the other man suffered eternal punishment (eternal death) because he failed to repent.

Joseph’s brothers did not recognize him when they came to him for food in Egypt.  Many of Jesus’ brothers did not recognize Him during His first advent.  They only came to him for what they could get from him.

Joseph’s brothers were afraid when they found out Joseph was their brother.  Jesus’ brothers will mourn when they look on Jesus who they pierced (Zech. 12:10).

Joseph provided grain to all of Egypt and the surrounding areas during the famine.  Jesus fed 5000 people in Mark 6 and 4000 people in Mark 8 when they were in places having a small supply of food.

Joseph provided land for his brothers in Goshen and brought them to Egypt.  Jesus will provide land for Israel when He returns and brings them to Israel from the four corners of the earth.

Joseph had equal power to Pharaoh.  Jesus has full power and authority of the Father.  He is the Word, the living Torah.

Joseph saved Israel’s physical life when they came to him in Egypt.  Jesus will save Israel’s physical life again but will also give them spiritual life (gives them eternal life) when they cry out to Him and turn to Him with all of their hearts.

Joseph experienced a separation from his brothers in Egypt while they were in Canaan.  Jesus is now separated from his people while He is in heaven and they are on earth.  In this sense, both Joseph and Jesus were/are Nazirites.

After his period of separation, Joseph experienced fellowship with his brothers in Egypt and Goshen while he ruled in Egypt.  When Jesus is no longer physically separated from His people, He will rule and dwell with His people in Jerusalem.

Joseph gave his brothers and father possession of land in the best part of the land of Egypt, in the land of Ramses. Jesus will give His brothers possession of Israel, the Promised Land.

The second Messiah is the son of David.  Jesus is often called the son of David in the New Testament because that’s the role the Jews wanted him to perform.  The title was correct but the timing was off.  When Jesus returns, He will carry out two roles:

  • the conquering King (Son of David)
  • the blood avenger (Kinsman Redeemer)

During this time, Israel will experience a salvation similar to the Exodus from Egypt.

These parallels show us how the Torah reveals the Messiah to God’s people.  I find these similarities absolutely amazing. How about you?