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).

Advertisements

No Private Interpretation?

Have you ever had someone tell you that you should not study the Bible in the privacy of your own home because “Peter said the Scriptures were of no private interpretation”? I have.

In my opinion, people often say things like this because they want to be the authority on Scripture interpretation and/or they don’t want others to interpret Scripture by themselves. I guess they expect us to believe everything someone preaches or teaches without question.

The first problem with this scenario is that this quote is often taken out of context. Here is what the Scriptures say:

Second Peter 1:19-21 says, “And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

First, this passage is talking about prophecy of Scripture and not Scripture in general. Second, the word for “interpretation” comes from the Greek word epilusis which can also mean “source” or “origin.” In verse 21, Peter further explains that the source of prophecy is not the will of man but the Ruach HaKodesh. To translate epiluseos as “interpretation” does not make sense when combined with verse 21; translating it as “source” or “origin” does.

Don’t forget, Peter had been with Yeshua, the Messiah; he saw many of the Messianic prophecies fulfilled before his very eyes. These prophecies accurately prophesied Yeshua’s first coming; their fulfillments are found in the gospels. They were accurately fulfilled because the source of the prophecies was the Ruach HaKodesh. The remaining Messianic prophecies will be fulfilled in the future just as accurately because their origin is the Ruach HaKodesh too.

Second Peter 2 continues this discussion by mentioning false prophets and teachers who do not rely on the Ruach HaKodesh; they speak from their own wills. Peter warns us that false prophets and teachers existed in the past and others like them will exist in the future. Peter said they would bring in destructive heresies; these are beliefs or opinions that don’t agree with the official beliefs or teachings of God. This is different from the official beliefs of “the church.”

I think many of us have come to realize that heresies did in deed arise over the centuries, and we find ourselves trying to get back to orthodoxy (true belief/faith). This is the main reason for the Hebraic Roots movement. Unfortunately, in an effort to learn the truth, even more strange beliefs have cropped up among those in Hebraic Roots circles. This is dangerous and can be destructive. We must be aggressively on the lookout for false teachers by examining their fruit. False teachers often have Jezebel spirits that are arrogant, prideful, manipulative, controlling, and verbally abusive; they often demand you believe what they teach without question while appearing to be righteous and holy. They confront and attempt to crush those who question or oppose their teachings.

How do we deal with the possibility of false teaching? Certainly, we have to be very careful as we learn the culture of Biblical times and use that as a backdrop to interpret Scripture. More importantly, we need to follow the example of the Bereans.

Acts 17:10-13 says, “Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. 12 Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men.”

Like the Bereans, we need to study the Scriptures in the original languages as much as we can to see if a teaching is consistent with the majority of Scripture. This is necessary because Bible translators sometimes incorrectly translated the Scriptures into our heart language because they:

  • Were biased by false doctrines that have been held for centuries;
  • Lacked a complete knowledge of Torah or Hebraic cultural background.

If this is not bad enough, they have also kept phrases or portions of the text that were added by other translators to the Greek text centuries ago (i.e. 1 John 5:7). We must ask the Ruach HaKodesh to reveal these additions to us, and to help us verify that they truly are additions. Once we know certain phrases are complete additions to the Greek text, we can’t allow their presence to influence our beliefs.

As you behave like a Berean, you will occasionally discover translation errors or places where translation could be improved so things are consistent with Torah and Hebraic culture. Besides 2 Timothy 1:20, another example of this would be Matthew 28:1 where the word “Sabbath” should have been translated in the plural as it is in the Greek. That would allow people to realize more easily that 3 full days and nights had passed since the death and burial of Yeshua. He most likely died on a Wednesday [on Preparation Day] and was buried just before the beginning of the first High Sabbath of Unleavened Bread. He rose from the dead long before sunrise on Sunday [on the Day of Firstfruits], which began just after the close of the weekly Sabbath. With all the Bible translations available, you’d think one would have the courage to translate the word Sabbath in the plural as it is written in the Greek.

As we study the Scriptures, we need to ask the Ruach HaKodesh to reveal possible translation errors and bias to us. Remember John 16:13: “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” The Ruach will be guiding us according to the Father’s authority which should always match Torah.

We need to make sure we are properly interpreting Torah by checking the Hebrew and/or Greek when we see something elsewhere in Scripture that appears to contradict Torah or when we feel the Spirit is trying to get us to see something. This will require at least a minimum of Hebrew and Greek knowledge and tools to get the job accomplished.

Get together with others who are studying the same Scriptures you are and compare notes and thoughts. If you can share your thoughts and ideas without arguing, you can sharpen one another and it can be very satisfying. Allow the Ruach to guide you all together into truth as you bounce possibilities off each other.

Consider inductive language learning; this is easier to grasp than how you’d learn in a traditional seminary class. I suggest Learn Biblical Hebrew AND Learn Biblical Greek by John Dobson; his books have a CD that goes with them. I have not used Zola’s Introduction to Hebrew by John Parsons, but it has been used by a couple of people I know; this book is recommended by www.Hebrew4Christians.com. This web site is also a good starting place to learn plenty of Hebrew but its grammar section has not yet been completed for several years. I also recommend Animated Hebrew which has lectures based on Allen Ross’s book, Biblical Hebrew. Charles Grebe does a great job teaching Hebrew on this site. See http://www.animatedhebrew.com/lectures/index.html as well as the home page for other resources. In addition, consider Biblical Hebrew: A Compact Guide to Hebrew (by Van Pelt) and the similar book for Greek (by Mounce). These have considerably condensed the grammar of what you’d get in a seminary course.

In my opinion, Biblical languages can be elephants to digest, but don’t be afraid of them. If you have to, learn in layers; digest what you can and get an overall picture of the languages first. In other words, get functional. Keep going back to build vocabulary, add more grammar, and learn verb paradigms. Over time, your knowledge will grow and things will become clearer.

You might want to get one or more Bible Software programs and learn how to use them. If that’s not in your budget, at least have an inter-linear Bible in a font size you can read, a concordance, regular Greek and Hebrew lexicons, and Greek and Hebrew analytical lexicons (to determine parts of speech and verb constructions).  Download various free pdf versions if you need to.  Just learn how to use them and keep them nearby as handy references.

Finally, don’t let anyone tell you not to study the Scriptures! Meditate on them day and night!

Creation

When I attended a secular university many years ago, I took a class on the book of Genesis.  The professor quickly pointed out that there were two very different accounts of creation.  That really shook my faith.  It would not be until twenty years later that I would learn that Genesis 1 and 2 are really part of a chiastic structure.

For those who aren’t familiar with this kind of literary structure, let me say there are tons of them throughout the Bible.  These structures are written so that themes, statements or events lead up to a central point, then they are rewritten in reverse order.  The central point is the most important part of the whole structure.  Sometimes the second portion of the chiasm is the same event written in reverse order or it is comprised of the effects or results of the original event described in the first portion.  Sometimes they are written for emphasis.  Other times they simply show cause and effect.  These structures can be very small such as only one or two verses or as large as several chapters long.  They can even be embedded within larger ones.

The first two chapters of Genesis contain a thematic chiasm that teaches us how God created the heavens and the earth.  Initially, the earth was essentially barren.  For the first three days God separated His creation.  Starting on day four, God began filling His creation with what He saw fit.  Eventually He gave man a place to live and a purpose for his life.  In addition, God gave His creation a source of sustaining life.  After that God rested on the Sabbath which was the peak of the creation account.  Many fail to see that these themes were then presented in reverse order in Genesis chapter 2.  Please understand, Genesis chapter 2 was not intended to be a parallel account of creation.

This process seen in the beginning of Genesis continues throughout our physical lives.

  • People are given the ability to procreate.
  • Initially two people (a man and a woman) are barren.
  • They are separate creations yet they can usually produce life when they come together.
  • Eventually they may begin to “fill their home with children.”
  • Each person develops their gifts and talents and finds purpose in life.
  • They survive on food and drink.
  • Once they’ve lived a good life, they rest until the appointed time of resurrection.

Amazingly, Jesus was planted in a “barren” woman named Mary.  After He was born, He quickly learned to separate Himself from unrighteousness.  When it was time, Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit.  He began to carry out the Father’s purpose for His time on earth.  He explained to those who would listen that He was the source of life.  At the appointed time, He rested (died) and was resurrected so that He could present Himself to the Father as first fruits from the dead.

There is also a spiritual side of this in our lives.  Initially all people are spiritually barren.  They seek to fill the void they sense in their hearts with food, drink, drugs, material possessions, relationships, false religions, and other various experiences.  They need to understand that only Jesus can fill the emptiness in their lives.  Some eventually come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior —as their marriage partner.  When that finally takes place, God’s people are then filled with the Holy Spirit.  They receive various manifestations of the gifts of the Holy Spirit for the common good.  As the Holy Spirit works in their lives, they begin to produce fruit and lead others to know Jesus.  Each person develops the gifts and talents they possess and perform good works as God purposed for them to do.  They mature as they eat and drink the spiritual food found in the Scriptures.  If they have the proper foundation, each week they rest on the Sabbath in celebration and in anticipation of the final rest that awaits them.  When the time comes, they die so they can be in the presence of the Lord.  When the day of resurrection comes, they will finally experience God’s rest that was foreshadowed long ago.

Have you considered your spiritual state?  What are you attempting to fill the void in your heart with?

Do you have the spiritual foundation that God gave to His people on Mt. Sinai?

Are you living in obedience to God’s commands?  In case you didn’t know, these are the first kind of “good works” you should be doing.

Are you anticipating the rest of the Sabbath?

Remember Hebrews 4:9-11 says:   So there remains a Shabbat-keeping for God’s people. For the one who has entered God’s rest has also rested from his own works, as God did from his. Therefore, let us do our best to enter that rest; so that no one will fall short because of the same kind of disobedience.  CJB

This is the central emphasis of the creation chiasm.