Approximately one-third of humanity claims to believe in and follow Jesus Christ, the founder of Christianity. Even many Jews and Moslems believe He was a prophet. But how many know WHO Jesus Christ really IS, What He DID and what His MESSAGE is for us today?
Many non-Christians claim that Jesus Christ is just a myth or fable and that His existence cannot be proven because, they claim, there are no historic records of His existence other than the Bible. Also, they cite the many non-biblical myths and legends such as Christmas, Santa Clause, Easter with its Easter eggs and bunnies, etc. as examples of the fables of “Christianity” and Jesus Christ. Are these legitimate arguments?
On the other hand, Christians know the truth that Santa Claus is really just a myth, yet many take great joy in perpetuating this myth to their children. But what about Jesus Christ, do we know the truth, or are we just following a myth? Maybe it would be good to consider the story about the 6-year-old who, when he discovered that Santa Claus was just a fake, somewhat dejected, said to his little friend, “I’m going to look into this Jesus Christ business too.”
What do you know about Jesus Christ? What do you believe? Can you prove His existence from secular history as well as the Bible?
This world desperately needs a Saviour to step in and bring peace to our war ravaged planet. Each of us needs a Saviour to deliver us from the mess we make of our lives and from fears, sickness, suffering, hopelessness and death.
Is Jesus Christ that Saviour?
Do you really know who He is? Was He just a myth or is He real?
Is Jesus Christ the Real Messiah? Is He God?
Do you know what the purpose of His mission was here on this earth?
Do you understand the message (good news) He delivered?
Why did God allow Him to be crucified?
Who are His true disciples and how can you be one of them?
What is He doing now?
And when will He return?
The Bible reveals the answers to all these questions – and much more!
Christians are told to, “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Pet 3:18).
“For even hereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: who committed no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth…” (1 Pet 2:21-22).
But for many, Jesus Christ is a mystery or a myth. Did you know the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments, is a biography of Jesus Christ? What does the Bible say about Him?
The purpose of this Bible Study is to help you answer these and other questions about Jesus Christ – from the Old and New Testament Scriptures and other records – and develop your own personal relationship with Him. You’ll be glad you did!
In this series of studies under the above headings, we will examine Scriptures you can look up in your Bible and other evidence that sheds light on these and other questions. Check out the links below or in the index above as they become available.
Chapter 1 – Is Jesus Christ just a Myth?
How Can You Know For Sure? Is Christianity just a big hoax? Was Jesus Christ just a mythical figure contrived by a few zealous Jews seeking to create a Messianic following? And is the New Testament just an elaborate creation of those zealots? Are there any Records from Secular History?
Non-believers often use the argument that there are no historic records of Jesus Christ outside of the Bible. Some also cite the many non-biblical myths, legends and customs of traditional “Christianity” that various denominations teach and observe such as Christmas, Santa Claus and his sleigh and reindeer, the Christmas tree, Easter and the Easter bunnies and coloured eggs, Halloween, ghosts and goblins, witches, etc. to discount the biblical record.
Are these arguments legitimate?
To be sure, the non-biblical myths, legends and customs of traditional “Christianity” only prove the veracity of many statements and warnings in the Scriptures against deceptions of false prophets, false Christs, and false teachers and are not a part of True Christianity (Mat 7:15; 24:5,11; 1 Jn 4:1-6). Jesus Christ Himself warned,
“For false christs and false prophets shall arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to deceive, if possible, even the elect. Behold I have told you beforehand” (Mat 24:24-25).
And the apostle Paul warned, “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His blood. “For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.
“Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.
“Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears” (Acts 20:28-31). (See “Take Heed… Be Not Deceived” in Satan’s Great Deceptions Menu)
Is Jesus Christ Real?
What historic evidence is there? Can the existence of Jesus Christ be proven by secular records as well as the Bible?
Actually many records have existed and the fact that He has been acknowledged by so many in His time to the present is itself proof. And the Old Testament and its prophecies, considered by most as the Book of the Jews, who for the most part reject the New Testament and Jesus as the Christ (Messiah), is itself a major testimony of Jesus Christ and all that He did in His sojourn and ministry on the earth. We will examine some of this here as well as some the secular accounts for proofs of His existence.
The Account of Josephus – Josephus (A.D. 37-100)
In the first century A.D. Flavius Josephus, a Jewish priest, military commander and historian, the son of Mattathias a priest of Jerusalem, wrote 20 books on The Antiquities of the Jews and 7 books of The Wars of the Jews, which also gives his eyewitness account of the Destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 A.D.
Josephus, a Jew and not a Christian, gives an unbiased confirmation of the New Testament account of Jesus, John the Baptist and others around Jesus and confirms the accuracy of the NT record of Roman officials and the priesthood of the Jews. Concerning John the Baptist he writes:
“Now some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod’s army came from God, and that very justly, as a punishment of what he did against John, that was called the Baptist; for Herod slew him, who was a good man, and commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, both to righteousness towards one another, and piety towards God, and so to come to baptism…” (Antiquities of the Jews, Book XVIII, Chapter V,2).
The Scriptures reveal that Herod had John beheaded because he had said to him “It is not lawful for you to have her (his brother’s wife, Herodias).” And when Herodias’ daughter danced for Herod, greatly pleasing him at his birthday celebration, he promised to give her whatever she might ask. Her mother prompted her to ask, “Give me John the Baptist’s head here on a platter.” So he had John beheaded and had his head brought to her on a platter. “And she brought it to her mother” (Mat 14:1-12).
Concerning Jesus Christ, Josephus writes:
“Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was Christ (Messiah). And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.” (Book XVIII, Ch. III,3).
Josephus also tells of the martyrdom of James, a brother of Jesus, by the high priest Ananus in 62 A.D.:
“Ananus, who…took the high priesthood, was a bold man in his temper and very insolent; he was also of the sect of the Sadducees, who are very rigid in judging offenders, above all the rest of the Jews… when, therefore… he thought he had opportunity… so he assembled the sanhedrin of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus who was called Christ (Messiah), whose name was James, and some others; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned: but as for those who seemed the most equitable of the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they disliked what was done; they also sent to the king (Agrippa), desiring him to send to Ananus that he should act so no more, for that what he had already done was not to be justified…on which king Agrippa took the high priesthood from him, when he had ruled but three months…” (Book XX, Ch. IX,1).
More details are given on the martyrdom of James the brother of the Lord by Eusebeus in Book II, Chapter XXIII of his Ecclesiastical History.
“The Jews, after Paul had appealed to Caesar, and had been sent by Festus to Rome… turn themselves against James, the brother of the Lord… Hegesippus… who flourished nearest the days of the apostles, in the fifth book of his Commentary gives the most accurate account of him, thus:”
“But James, the brother of the Lord… surnamed the Just by all… and indeed, on account of his exceeding great piety, he was called the Just… From which, some believed that Jesus is the Christ… As there were many therefore of the rulers that believed, there arose a tumult among the Jews, Scribes, and Pharisees, saying that there was a danger, that the people would now expect Jesus as the Messiah. They came therefore together, and said to James,
“‘We entreat thee, restrain the people, who are led astray after Jesus, as if he were the Christ… For we and all the people bear thee testimony that thou art just, and thou respectest not persons. Persuade therefore the people not to be led astray by Jesus… Stand therefore upon a wing of the temple, that thou mayest be conspicuous on high, and thy words may be easily heard by all the people; for all the tribes (of Israel) have come together on account of the passover, with some of the Gentiles also.’
“The aforesaid Scribes and Pharisees, therefore, placed James upon a wing of the temple, and cried out to him,
“‘O thou just man, whom we ought all to believe, since the people are led astray after Jesus that was crucified, declare to us what is the door to Jesus that was crucified.’
“And he answered… ‘Why do ye ask me respecting Jesus the Son of Man? He is now sitting in the heavens, on the right hand of great power, and is about to come on the clouds of heaven.’
“And as many were confirmed, and gloried in this testimony of James… these same priests and Pharisees said to one another, ‘We have done badly in affording such testimony to Jesus, but let us go up and cast him down, that they may dread to believe in him.’ And they cried out, ‘Oh, oh, Justus himself is deceived,’ and they fulfilled that which is written in Isaiah, “Let us take away the just, because he is offensive to us; wherefore they shall eat the fruit of their doings’ Is. iii…
“Going up therefore, they cast down the just man, saying… ‘Let us stone James the Just.’
“And they began to stone him, as he did not die immediately when cast down; but turning round, he knelt down saying, ‘I entreat thee, O Lord God and Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’
“Thus they were stoning him, when one of the priests… cried out saying, ‘Cease, what are you doing? Justus is praying for you.’ And one of them… beat out the brains of Justus with the club… Thus he suffered martyrdom, and they buried him on the spot where his tombstone is still remaining, by the temple. He became a faithful witness, both to the Jews and Greeks, that Jesus is the Christ.
“Immediately after this, Vespasian invaded and took Judea. So admirable a man indeed was James, and so celebrated among all for his justice, that even the wiser part of the Jews were of opinion that this was the cause of the immediate siege of Jerusalem, which happened to them for no other reason than the crime against him.”
Confirmation from Archaeological Evidence?
Recently a limestone box, an ossuary (container for bones), dating from the first century A.D. was discovered in a private collection in Jerusalem, etched with an Aramaic inscription: “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus.”
According to an articles in Biblical Archaeology Review, Sept. 2002 and U.S.News & World Report, Nov. 4, 2002, p. 50, French and Israeli scientists who examined the box and the inscription on it found no evidence of forgery and dated it to about 63 A.D. But others now, including the director of Israel’s Antiquities Authority call it a hoax. Though most Jews reject Jesus as the Messiah, they along with Protestant Christianity do accept that James was His brother (Mat 13:55-56; Gal 1:18-19), whereas Catholics believe Christ’s mother, Mary, was a virgin all her life and say James was only a cousin.
Genealogy and Birth of Jesus
The genealogies of the parents of Jesus Christ, tracing His linage back to David, Abraham and Adam the son of God are recorded in the Gospel accounts by Matthew (Mat 1:1-17) and Luke (Lk 3:23-38). Matthew reveals the source of his genealogy as from:
“The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham.”
Family genealogies or lineages were faithfully kept by many families and dynasties, especially the royal line of David and of the Levites and priests (Neh 7:5-7,39,43,64,73; 12:1,22-23,44-47). The royal family of Great Britain, for example, have kept their royal linage tracing it back to king David of ancient Israel.
Matthew gives the genealogy of Jesus’ legal father, Joseph, son of Jacob, going back to David and Abraham (Mat 1:1-16), but reveals God as His real Father (vs. 18-23). Luke gives Mary’s genealogy, beginning with Joseph the son (in law) of Heli, Mary’s father, going all the way back to Adam and God and he also reveals God as His real Father (Lk 1:23-38).
Many sceptics who have rejected the historical validity and accuracy of the biblical record have been chagrined over the years as archaeologists and historians have uncovered records of the past verifying the biblical record.
Many of the events surrounding the life and time of Jesus Christ are no exception to this. Many have found the historical accuracy of Luke’s and other Gospel accounts as verification of the events that they recorded.
Luke, for example, mentions that shortly before Jesus’ birth, Caesar Augustus (emperor 27 B.C. – 14 A.D.) made a decree that all the world (Roman Empire) should be registered, and that this first census took place when Quirinius (Cyrenius) governed Syria. Quirinius ruled as proconsul of Asia two times, 4-1 B.C. and 6-10 A.D. as verified by a monument unearthed at Rome, which states:
“Quirinius as proconsul obtained Asia as his province. As legate of the deified Augustus a second time, he governed Syria and Phoenicia.” This first census occurred between 4-1 B.C. Unger’s Bible Dictionary pp. 199-200, 232-233).
“So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city” (Lk 2:1-7).
This first census by Emperor Augustus required Joseph and Mary, living in Nazareth of Galilee, to travel to Bethlehem-Ephratah, “because he was of the house and linage of David…” which was the home of their ancestors Boaz and Ruth and king David who grew up there (Ruth 1:2,22; 2:1-12; 1 Sam 17:12).
“So it was that while they were there…she brought forth her firstborn Son” (Jesus), thus fulfilling the prophesy of Micah (Lk 2:6-7).
“But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel” (Mat 2:1-6; Mic 5:2)
Verification that Jesus Christ and His parents were registered in the census taken by Roman officials at the time that Jesus was born, is affirmed by an emperor who became an enemy of Christianity in the 4th century – Flavius Claudius Iulianus or Julian – a Roman emperor known as “the Apostate.”
Julian was a nephew of emperor Constantine who had established and endorsed the “new Christianity” at the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. When Julian became emperor he tried to topple this new “Christianity” and restore paganism as the official religion of the Roman Empire in 361-63. Though having been brought up a Christian, he repudiated the new religion and called Christians, whom he held responsible for the slaughter of his family, “superstitious atheists” who worshipped “a new-fangled Galilean god.” He said:
“Jesus, whom you celebrate, was one of Caesar’s subjects. If you dispute it, I will prove it by and by; but it may as well be done now. For yourselves allow that he was enrolled with his father and mother in the time of Cyrenius. But Jesus having persuaded a few among you… has now been celebrated about three hundred years, having done nothing in his lifetime worthy of remembrance, unless anyone thinks it a mighty matter to heal lame and blind people, and exorcise demonics in villages of Bethsaida and Bethany” (Unger’s Bible Dictionary, pp. 200, New Testament (Lardner’s Works, vii, 626-627), and After Jesus, 1992, Reader’s Digest, p. 240).
The census of the Jews was likely taken around the time of the Fall Feasts as Luke relates that shepherds in that area were still “living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks by night” and that an angel of the Lord revealed to them good tidings of great joy… that “There is born to you this day in the city of David (Bethlehem) a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger” (Lk 2:8-12).
It is obvious that Jesus’ birth “did not occur in the winter, since shepherds in Palestine customarily do not remain in the open with their flocks, except from spring to autumn” (Unger’s Bible Handbook, p. 516).
Just When was JESUS Born?
Many believe that Jesus was born on or around December 25 and they observe that as Christmas today. But the Catholic Encyclopaedia admits,
“Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the church. Irenaeus (130-200 A.D.) and Tertullian (150-225 A.D.) omit it from their lists of feasts.”
That belief did not become established as part of “Christianity” until the latter part of the 4th century when the Roman Church began observing December 25th to celebrate the birthday of Christ (The Catholic Encyclopaedia, vol. 3, p. 724, art. “Christmas”). It was originally the pagan winter Saturnalia festival of Mithraism, the largest pagan religious cult of the Roman and Greek worlds, celebrating the solar feast of Natalis Invicti – “Nativity of the Unconquered Sun” – on 25 December (p. 727). By the 5th century the church decreed the birth of Christ be forever observed on that date. The halo (Greek “helios,” meaning sun) on paintings of Christ and the saints is a symbol of the sun god adopted from pagan sun worship. The Saturnalia feast, representing the birth of the sun god, was “christianized” by the Roman Catholic church,
“assimilating both his image and his birthday, December 25th. That date (first) came to be celebrated as the birthday of Jesus some time between A.D. 274 and 336” (After Jesus – The Triumph of Christianity, pp. 215, by Reader’s Digest), to facilitate and appease the conversion of pagans to Catholic “Christianity.”
The Holy Scriptures do not reveal the exact date of Jesus Christ’s birth, obviously for the reason that His birthday was not to be worshipped, the reason of which will be made clear in the next chapter. Many pagan God’s are worshipped on their birth dates and many pagan calendars were so ordained for this purpose, which fact (their birth) only proves that they are not Eternal Gods at all.
But Old Testament Prophesies do reveal when the Messiah would come, and the New Testament gives clues as to the approximate time He was born as the Son of Man. Daniels prophecy (Dan 9:25-27) and the Gospel accounts reveal that Jesus ministry lasted 3 1/2 years and that He was crucified in the spring at the time of the Passover (John 18:39). This places the beginning of His ministry in the fall and at that time Jesus was 30 years of age (Lk 3:23), the age required in the OT to enter the ministry (Num 4:3). If He turned 30 in the fall, then His birthday was in the fall 30 years earlier, around the time of the Feast of Trumpets. The Feast of Trumpets is a memorial of the Day of the Lord when the Lord (Jesus “Jehoshua”), the Messiah (Christ) shall come again in power and glory as “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Joel 2:1; Zech 9:14-16; Rev 1:10; 11:15).
Luke reveals some interesting details confirming the time of His birth. Luke also reveals certain details about rulers of the Roman government and the Jewish priests of the time:
“It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus (meaning lover of God – Theophilus was the name of one of the high priests in his time),
“that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were [informed]” (Lk 1:1-4).
He then tells us that this “was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea” (vs. 5) when Jesus was born. King Herod (the great) ruled Judea from 37 B.C. till his death in 4 B.C., meaning Jesus was born in 4 B.C. or before.
After Jesus was born, wise men (it doesn’t say how many) from the East (they were Israelites or Jews from Parthia or Media where they had been deported in the captivities of Israel and Judah centuries before – 2 Kgs 17:5-24; 25:1-12; 2 Chr 36:15-21; Acts 2:9) came to Jerusalem, saying,
“Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.
“When Herod the king heard these things, he was troubled…
He gathered the chief priests and scribes together and inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
“So they said to him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet…” (Mat 2:2-5).
Shortly after Herod heard this he had all the children two years old and under in Bethlehem put to death (Mat 2:1-2,16). Herod died soon after this and was buried at Herodium (see picture). His son Archelaus reigned (4 B.C. – 6 A.D.) over Judea in his stead (Mat 2:19-22).
Luke reveals that Jesus was begotten by God the Father six months after John the Baptist was conceived.
“Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin (Mary) betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David.”
The angel told her, “Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give Him the throne of His father David. And He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His Kingdom there shall be no end.
“Then Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I have not known (had intercourse with) a man?’
“And the angel answered… ‘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 shall be called the Son of God.’ Now, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible” (Lk 1:26-37).
Luke also reveals the approximate time that Elizabeth conceived. Her husband was a “priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah… So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division, according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord…
“Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him…
“The angel said to him…your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name John…
“He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.
“And he shall turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God.
“He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord…
“and so it was, as soon as the days of his service were completed, that he departed to his own house.
“Now after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived…” (Lk 1:5-24).
The clue revealed by Luke is the time Zacharias served in the temple. The division of Abijah was the 8th of 24 orders, each order serving two weeks at a time in the temple and all serving during the Holy Days as established in king David’s time (1 Chron 24:1,7-19; Neh 12:4). The order began in the first month, Abib (Nisan – March or April) of the year (Ex 12:2; 13:4; Est 3:7). (MacArthur Study Bible, note pp. 589, 677). The 8th order would have served after Penetecost (sometime in June or July), so Elizabeth would have conceived soon after this when Zacharias returned home and John the Baptist would have been born nine months later in the spring, March or April, around Passover or soon after. Six months after this would be in the fall, September or October, around the fall Holy Days.
Luke also carefully chronicles the time both John the Baptist and Jesus began their ministries with the rulers of that time. (See chart)
“Then in the fifteenth year (26 A.D.) of the reign of Tiberius Caesar (he reigned from 14-37 A.D. but co-reigned from 11 A.D. [11 + 15 = 26 A.D.] until the death of Augustus on August 19, 14 A.D. – MacArthur Study Bible, pp. 1517), Pontius Pilate being governor (procurator) of Judea (he was governor A.D. 26-36), Herod Antipas… (who killed John the Baptist) being tetrarch of Galilee (4 B.C.-39 A.D.), his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and the region of Trachonitis (4 B.C.-34 A.D.), and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, “Annas and Caiaphas being high priests (Joseph Caiaphas was appointed high priest (18-36 A.D.) by Valerius Gratus, procurator (15-26 A.D.) and was the acting official, while Annas his father-in-law was ex officio high priest and very influential – John 18:13,24), the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.
“And he went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, as it is written in the book of… Isaiah the prophet, saying:
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make His paths straight…” (Lk 3:1-6).
Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled by JESUS!
The Old Testament, considered a Jewish Book by most “Christians” contains many prophecies of the Messiah who was to come to deliver Israel and all mankind from sin and death. Though most Jews do not accept Jesus as their Messiah, the fact that He fulfilled all the prophesies concerning His first coming is an astounding proof of His Messiahship. Some of the prophesies include:
Genesis 22:8,14 – “And Abraham said, ‘My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.’…And Abraham called the name of the place Jehovah-jireh (meaning the Lord Will Provide); as it is said to this day, ‘In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.” The place was the same place Solomon later built the Temple of God. Jesus Christ became the Lamb that God provided as the offering (John 3:16-17; 11:47-53).
Genesis 49:10-11 – “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh (an epithet of the Messiah) comes; and to Him shall be the obedience of the people.” Jesus Christ, the coming King of kings, was born of the tribe of Judah through whom the rulership was promised (Lk 3:33; John 19:19; Heb 7:14; Rev 19:16).
“Binding His donkey to the vine, and His donkey’s colt to the choice vine; He washed His garments in wine (symbol of His blood), and His clothes in the blood of grapes.” Jesus fulfilled this riding into Jerusalem on the donkey and then gave His life (blood) to cleanse the sins of many (Zech 9:9; Mat 21:1-11; 26:28; Rev 7:14).
Exodus 12:5-7,11 – “Your lamb shall be without blemish… Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth of the (first) month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it… And take of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses… It is the Lord’s Passover.” Jesus was the Passover Lamb without blemish (without sin – Heb 4:15; 1 Pet 2:21-24) killed by the whole congregation of Israel though neither Pilate nor Herod found any fault in Him (Lk 23:13-25; 1 Cor 5:7).
Leviticus 23:10-12 – “…you shall bring a sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest. He shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. And you shall offer on that day, when you wave the sheaf, a male lamb of the first year, without blemish, as a burnt offering to the Lord.” Jesus Christ fulfilled the offering of the wave sheaf and the lamb without blemish, becoming the first of the first fruits of God’s spiritual harvest. This was offered after the Passover on the day after the Sabbath, the first day of the week, during the Days of Unleavened Bread. Jesus ascended to heaven on the first day of the week after His crucifixion to appear before the Eternal with His blood to be accepted on our behalf to make atonement for us (John 20:1,11-17; 1 Cor 15:20; Heb 9:11-12,24,28).
Deut 18:15-18 – “The Lord your God shall raise up a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear… And I will put My words in His mouth…” Jesus is that Prophet and spoke only as the Father directed Him (John 5:30; 6:14; 8:28-29; 14:10).
Psalm 22:1,7-8 – “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, and from the words of My groaning? …All those who see Me laugh Me to scorn; …they shake their head saying, ‘He trusted in the Lord, let Him rescue Him; let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!” Jesus experienced the feeling of being mocked and forsaken by everyone when He suffered the shame and agony of the cross for man’s sins (Mk 15:27-37; Lk 23:35-37; Heb 12:2).
Isaiah 7:14-16 – “Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall He eat, that He may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. For before the Child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that You abhor shall be forsaken of both her kings.” Jesus was begotten by God conceived in the virgin Mary hundreds of years after both Israel and Judah were taken into captivity (Lk 1:26-35). God’s Spirit was with Him from birth so that He would know and choose good over evil even when tempted by Satan himself (Mat 4:1-11).
Isaiah 9:6 – “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder. And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Jesus is the Child, both Son of God and Son of man that God gave to be man’s counselor and God to bring salvation and peace to mankind (Mat 16:13,16,27-28; John 3:16-18).
Isaiah 35:4-10 – “Say to those who are fearful-hearted, ‘Be strong, do not fear!’ Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God; He will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing… And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” Jesus preached salvation and healed many at His first coming, but this prophesy relates mostly to His second coming when the Kingdom of God will be established on the earth (Dan 2:44; Mk 1:14-15, 32-34,38-45; Rev 11:15; 20:6; 21:1-7).
Isa 52:13-15 – “Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently, He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high. Just as many were astonished at you, so His visage (appearance) was marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men; so shall He sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths at Him; for what had not been told them they shall see, and what they had not heard they shall consider.” Jesus, when on the earth, was wise and prudent so that “no one was able to answer Him…” (Mat 22:46) Many worshipped Him, but when He allowed Himself to be taken as a sacrifice, He was brutally beaten and marred, and the blood of His sacrifice shall cleanse many nations of peoples of their sins when they come to understand and consider and repent (Mat 27:26-35; Mk 14:65; 15:16-20; Heb 13:12; Rev 1:5-7).
Isaiah 53:2-12 – “For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.” Jesus looked like an ordinary Jew of His day. He was not easily recognized so that Judas had to point Him out to His captors (Mk 14:44-46).
“He is despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.” He came to His own and they rejected Him (John 1:11). The religious leaders despised Him and turned the people against Him (Mk 15:9-15; Lk 23:10-25).
“Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.” They railed against Him saying,
“He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said ‘I am the Son of God” (Mat 27:40-44), but He was suffering all our griefs and sorrows to make intercession for us to God (Heb 2:9-11; 4:14-16; 5:5-9).
“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.” He was afflicted and suffered as we, and as an example for us, thereby learned great compassion to make intercession for our healing (1 Pet 2:21-25; 4:1,13).
“Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had power of death, that is the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage… Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest… to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted” (Heb 2:14-18).
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Jesus, who never sinned, suffered the results of the sins of all mankind,
“the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (1 Pet 3:18).
“He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth.” Jesus we reviled, but He never reviled back (Mk 15:1-5; John 19:7-11).
He “for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame… Therefore consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin” (Heb 12:2-4).
“He was taken [by constraint through judgment]; who will declare His lifetime? For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgressions of My people He was stricken.” Jesus was seized, accused, judged, condemned and put to death on false charges for our transgressions (Mat 26:57-68; Lk 23:1-25,33). Who will stand up and declare the truth of His life?
“And they made His grave with the wicked – but with the rich at His death, because He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth.” Though Jesus only bear witness to the truth, He was condemned with the wicked, but because He did not sin He was placed in the tomb of the rich man Joseph of Arimathea, a member of the Sanhedrin council (Lk 23:32-33,50-53; John 18:37).
“[He pleased the Lord in His affliction; having been put to grief; when He made] His soul an offering for sin. He (God) shall see His Seed (Son), He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.” God was well pleased in Jesus His firstborn Son:
“For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross” (Col 1:19-20; 2 Pet 1:16-18).
“He [can] see [through] the travail of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge (understanding) My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities.” Jesus learned through experience and travail and therefore can understand our suffering and help us in our need to be justified (made right).
“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb 4:14-16)
“Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because He poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and He made intercession for the transgressors.” Because Jesus Christ poured out His soul unto death to make intercession for the transgressors,
“Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow… and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:9-11).
And He is pleased to share the spoil, His glory and inheritance, with those who stand strong with Him in faith,
“For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of One, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren” (Heb 2:10-11).
“In whom also we have obtained an inheritance” (Eph 1:11-14).
Isa 61:1-2 – “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
“To proclaim an acceptable year of the Lord…” Jesus read this Scripture before the synagogue at the beginning of His ministry and said to them, “This day (it was the Day of Atonement beginning the Jubilee Year – Lev 25:8-10) is this Scripture fulfilled in your hearing” (Lk 4:14-21). He came to call many to be freed from captivity to sin.
Jeremiah 23:5-6 – “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. In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel will dwell safely. Now this is the name by which He shall be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” This is the Messiah that the Jews were expecting in Jesus time, but this prophecy refers to His second coming. His own disciples asked Him after His resurrection,
“Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel? And He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has appointed to His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:6-8).
Jeremiah 31:31-34 – “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,
“not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the days that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord.
“But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
“No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” When Jesus fulfilled the Passover sacrifice, He established the new covenant, beginning the forgiveness of sins with his disciples, the New Testament Church – the called out ones (Mat 26:26-28). It will be established with all Israel at His return (Mat 23:37-39; Rom 10:11-13,21; 11:1,,7,25-27; Heb 8:7-13).
Daniel 7:13-14 – “I was watching in the night visions, and Behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days. And they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a Kingdom, that all peoples, nations and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His Kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed.” Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, returned to heaven to receive a Kingdom (Lk 19:12). When He returns to earth He will re-establish the Kingdom of God here on the earth (Rev 11:15; 12:10).
Daniel’s Prophecy of the Messiah
Daniel 9:24-27 – God sent His angel Gabriel to Daniel to reveal an amazing prophecy of when the Messiah was to come:
“Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make and end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy.
“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until the Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times.” The 70 weeks in this prophecy, which is 490 years, each week being 7 years in prophecy (Lev 25:8) summarizes (seals up the vision) the Messiah’s mission to make reconciliation and eliminate sin and establish righteousness on the earth. The prophecy contains two parts, the 69 weeks (7 and 62 weeks), which reveals when the Messiah would come the first time, and the 70th week after the 69 weeks. Jesus Christ, The Messiah, began His ministry 69 weeks (483 years) from the commandment given to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem – given by Artexerses in the 7th year of his reign (458-57 B.C. – Ezra 7:1,7-26). 483 years from 457 brings us to 27 A.D. (457 B.C. – 483 = 26 A.D. + 1 because there was no year 0 = 27 A.D.).
“And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war desolations are determined.
“Then He shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wings of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate.” The 70th week is here divided into two parts, each of 3 1/2 years. Jesus began His ministry after the 69 weeks, in which He confirmed the covenant with many. His ministry lasted 3 1/2 years and He was “cut off” in the “midst of” the 70th (last) prophetic week of 7 years, as well as in the midst (Wednesday, the 4th day) of a literal 7 day week, when He fulfilled the sacrifice for sins required to make reconciliation for iniquity and brought “an end of sacrifice and offering.” After this Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed and a series of beast governments would rule until the final beast and false prophet that bring on 3 1/2 years of great tribulation and make war with the returning Messiah (Rev 13 & 17). The final 3 1/2 years of Jesus’ ministry to confirm the covenant will apparently be fulfilled at the end during the time of great tribulation – possibly as He works through the angelic messenger from heaven, His church and His two witnesses (Rev 10:1-11; 11:1-12).
Malachi 3:1 – “Behold, I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight. Behold, He is coming, says the Lord of hosts.” John the Baptist was the messenger who prepared the way for Jesus’ first coming (Mat 3:10-11; 11:9-10; Lk 3:1-4; John 3:22-36).
John the Baptist began his ministry in 26 A.D., as shown above, preaching repentance, preparing the way for Jesus Christ (Lk 3:1-4,15-18). Jesus was baptized by John shortly before He began His ministry (Lk 3:21-22). “Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil…” (Lk 4:1-13). After Jesus’ temptation by Satan,
“He returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. And He taught in their synagogues… And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place (Isa 61:1-2) where it was written (and read): ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me…’ Then He closed the book… And He began to say to them, ‘Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing'” (Lk 4:14-21).
This was the Day of Atonement beginning the year of Jubilee when Liberty was to be proclaimed (Lev 25:8-11). It was also the beginning of the fulfillment of the 70 weeks (the 7 weeks and 62 weeks and the first 3 1/2 years of the 70th week) prophecy of Daniel 9:24-25 (explained under Daniel 9:24-27).
Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History
Written records giving evidence and eyewitness accounts have been found, which provide proofs of the miraculous works of Christ and His disciples down through the ages. Some early records of their letters and works have been preserved by the fourth century historian Eusebius Pamphilus (264-340 A.D.), a Bishop of Cesarea in Palestine, who became a close friend and advisor to Constantine, emperor of the Roman Empire. He collected and recorded many early letters in his Ecclesiastical History. Two such letters that he records are of correspondence between king Agbarus of Edessa and Jesus the Christ. Eusebius writes:
“Agbarus, who reigned over the nations beyond the Euphrates with great glory, and who had been wasted away with a disease, both dreadful and incurable by human means when he heard the name of Jesus frequently mentioned, and his miracles unanimously attested by all, sent a suppliant message to him, by a letter-carrier, entreating a deliverance from his disease. But though he did not yield to his call at that time, he nevertheless condescended to write him a private letter, and to send one of his disciples to heal his disorder…
“Of this, also we have the evidence, in a written answer, taken from the public records of the city of Edessa, then under the government of the king. For in the public registers there, which embrace the ancient history and the transactions of Agbarus, these circumstances respecting him are found still preserved down to the present day. There is nothing, however, like hearing the epistles themselves, taken by us from the archives, and the style of it as it has been literally translated by us, from the Syriac language.
“Copy of the letter written by King Agbarus, to Jesus, and sent to him, at Jerusalem, by Ananias, the courier:
“Agbarus, prince of Edessa, sends greeting to Jesus the excellent Saviour, who has appeared in the borders of Jerusalem. I have heard the reports respecting thee and thy cures, as performed by thee without medicines and without the use of herbs. For as it is said, thou causes the blind to see again, the lame to walk, and thou cleansest the lepers, and thou castest out impure spirits and demons, and thou healest those that are tormented by long disease, and thou raisest the dead. And hearing these things of thee, I concluded in my mind one of two things: either that thou art God, and having descended from heaven, doest these things, or else doing them, thou art the son of God. Therefore, now I have written and besought thee to visit me, and to heal the disease with which I am afflicted. I have, also, heard that the Jews murmur against thee, and are plotting to injure thee; I have, however, a very small but noble state, which is sufficient for us both.”
“The Answer of Jesus, to King Agbarus, by the courier, Ananias:
“Blessed art thou, O Agbarus, who, without seeing, hast believed in me. For it is written concerning me, that they who have seen me will not believe, that they who have not seen, may believe and live. But in regard to what thou hast written, that I should come to thee, it is necessary that I should fulfill all things here, for which I have been sent. And after this fulfilment, thus to be received again by Him that sent me. And after I have been received up, I will send to thee a certain one of my disciples, that he may heal thy affliction, and give life to thee and to those who are with thee.”
“To these letters there was, also, subjoined in the Syriac language:
“After the ascension of Jesus, Judas, who is also called Thomas, sent him Thaddeus, the apostle, one of the seventy… When the report was circulated concerning his arrival, he became publicly known by the miracles which he performed, it was communicated to Agbarus, that an apostle of Jesus had come thither, as he had written.
“Thaddeus, therefore, began in the power of God to heal every kind of disease and infirmity; so that all were amazed. But when Agbarus heard the great deeds and miracles which he performed, and how he healed men in the name and power of Jesus Christ, he began to suspect that this was the very person concerning whom Jesus had written, saying, ‘after I have been received up again, I will send to thee one of my disciples, who shall heal thy affliction’. Having, therefore, sent for Tobias, with whom he staid… Tobias, then, returning to Thaddeus, said to him, ‘Agbarus the king having sent for me, has told me to conduct thee to him, that thou may heal his disorder…’
“When he came… he then asked Agbarus whether he were truly a disciple of Jesus the Son of God, who had said to him, ‘I will send one of my disciples to thee, who will heal thy sickness, and will give life to thee and to all thy connexions’?
“And Thaddeus answered, ‘Since thou hast had great confidence in the Lord Jesus, who hath sent me, therefore, I am sent to thee. And moreover, if thou believest in him, with increasing faith, the petitions of thy heart shall be granted thee, as thou believest.’
“And Agbarus replied, ‘So much did I believe in him that I had formed the resolution to take forces, in order to destroy those Jews who had crucified him, had I not been deterred from my purpose by a regard for the Roman empire.’
“Thaddeus replied, ‘Our Lord and God, Jesus the Christ, hath fulfilled the will of his Father, and having fulfilled it, was taken up again to his Father.’
“Agbarus said to him, ‘I have believed both in him and in his Father.’
“Then said Thaddeus, ‘Therefore. I place my hand upon thee in the name of the same Lord Jesus.’ And this being done, he was immediately healed of the sickness and sufferings with which he was afflicted. And Agbarus was amazed, that just as he had heard respecting Jesus, so in very deed he received it through his disciple and apostle Thaddeus, who had healed him without any medicine and herbs, and not him only, but Abdas also, the son of Abdas, who was afflicted with the podagra…
“Many of the same city were also healed by the same apostle, who performed wonderful and great deeds, and proclaimed the word of God. After this, said Agbarus, ‘Thaddeus, thou doest these things by the power of God, and we are filled with wonder. But beside these things, I request thee, also, to inform me respecting the coming of Jesus, how he was born, and as to his power, with what power he performed these things which we have heard.’
“Thaddeus answered, ‘…tomorrow assemble all thy citizens, and before them I will proclaim the word of God, and will sow among them the word of life, both respecting the coming of Jesus, as he was, and respecting his mission, and for what purpose he was sent by the Father; also, concerning the power of his works, and the mysteries which he declared in the world; by what power, also, he did these things, concerning his new mode of preaching, his lowly and abject condition, his humiliation in his external appearance, how he humbled himself, and died, and lowered his divinity; what things, also, he suffered from the Jews; how he was crucified, and descended into hell, (hades,) and burst the bars which had never yet been broken, and rose again, and also raised with himself the dead that had slept for ages… And how he sitteth at the right hand of God and the Father, with glory, in the heavens; and how he is about to come again with glory and power, to judge the living and dead.’
“–Agbarus, therefore, commanded his subjects to be called early in the morning, and to hear the annunciation of Thaddeus; and after this, he commanded gold and silver to be given him; but he would not receive it…” (Ecclesiastical History, Chapter XIII).
Expectations of the Messiah
Though most Jews reject both Jesus Christ and the New Testament, many in His time were hoping and expecting the Messiah to come during that time, as had been prophesied by the prophets of the Old Testament, to deliver them from the oppression of the Roman Empire.
Even His closest disciples believed that Jesus was the One who would deliver Israel at that time. Before Jesus’ crucifixion, Peter was ready to fight to protect the Messiah (Mat 26:50-56; John 18:1-14). After His crucifixion and resurrection, they asked Him:
“Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?
He replied, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority,
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:6-8).
John the Baptist, when he was thrown into prison by Herod, began to doubt that Jesus was that Messiah to come. He sent his disciples to ask Jesus,
“Are you the coming One (the Messiah), or do we look for another?” (Mat 11:2-4).
Jesus replied, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind receive their sight and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them” (vs. 4-5).
The apostle John also testified, “And truly Jesus did many other miracles in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name…
And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen” (John 20:30-31; 21:25).
The MESSIAH Will Come Again
Many prophecies reveal that the Jesus Christ will come again to set up the Kingdom of God and rule over this earth as the “King of kings and Lord of lords”. Most of these prophecies will be covered later. But before He returns, God promises that He will send a prophet to again prepare the way and let the world know – even as Noah warned the world before the flood.
Malachi 4:5-6 – “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse (“cherem,” meaning utter destruction).”
This is a prophecy of one who was to come and “restore all things” (the knowledge of the truth) to prepare the way before Christ’s second coming. Jesus disciples asked Him,
“Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first? And Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Elijah truly shall come first and will restore all things. But I say to you that an Elijah has already come, and they knew him not'” (Mat 11:14; 17:11-13).
But Jesus also warned:
“But of that day and hour no one knows, no, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know (understand or really believe) until the flood came and took them all away, so also shall the coming of the Son of Man be” (Mat 24:36-39).
Has God already sent one in the spirit and power of Elijah in our day? Would you recognize and believe if you heard? (See “Elijah Shall Come in Our Day” in Ch 7 of “Mysteries of God – Revealed”). For Jesus also warned,
“False christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so to deceive, if possible, even the very elect (chosen)” (Mat 24:24).
To avoid being deceived, you need to know Jesus Christ, Who He really is, His message and who His true and faithful servants are! Part 2 reveals Who Jesus Christ Is.
Is He the Real Messiah?
Why is the world so confused about Jesus Christ – Who and what He is? Some think He was a prophet, others say he is a myth.
We are fascinated by mysteries, fables and myths. Though we know that Santa Claus is just a myth, many take great joy in perpetuating this myth to their children. But to many, even those who profess to be Christians, Jesus Christ is a mystery.
While atheists reject Jesus as a myth and agnostics don’t know what to believe, and most Jews, Moslems and other religions believe that Jesus was only a great prophet, most Christians accept Jesus as the Messiah, “that Prophet,” who was prophesied in the Old Testament. Indeed, His close disciples, when they saw the miracles He performed, said,
“This is truly that Prophet who is to come into the world” (John 6:14) – speaking of “that Prophet” and Messiah that Moses prophesied of (Deut 18:15).
But many do not know whether the biblical stories about Jesus Christ are myths or if they are literally true.
What do you believe about Jesus Christ? How would you compare yourself to Him? Many look up to and tend to idolize and worship athletes, entertainers, movie stars, and sex symbols just like earlier societies made gods and goddesses of their heroes in the past. How would Mr. Universe today compare to Jesus Christ?
Traditional “Christianity” worships and pictures Jesus as a helpless innocent baby in a manger popularized by myths and commercialized traditions of Christmas, or as a helpless Saviour hanging on a cross. But the Holy Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments reveal He is much much more than these popular conceptions. This is one reason God commanded:
“You shall not make for yourself any carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them” (Ex 20:4-5).
Making any such pictures, statues or images to represent Jesus Christ the Lord only trivializes who and what He truly is. In truth, the validity of the Old and New Testament, Christianity and the salvation of all mankind, including you and me, rests on Who Jesus Christ really is and Whether He is the TRUE MESSIAH or not.
According to the Scriptures, Jesus Himself asked His disciples,
“Who do men say that I, the Son of man, am?”
They said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
So He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?
And Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ (Messiah), the Son of the living God.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar (son of)-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven” (Mat 16:13-15).
Who is JESUS CHRIST?
Jesus Christ said to the religious leaders of His time,
“You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also” (John 8:19).
Most of the Jewish religious leaders rejected Jesus as the Messiah. He asked the Pharisees,
“What do you think of the Christ (Messiah)? Whose son is He?”
They said to Him, “The Son of David.”
He then asked them, “How then does David in Spirit call Him Lord, saying, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool?’ If David then calls Him Lord, how is He his Son?
“And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore” (Mat 22:44-46; Mk 12:36; Lk 20:42; Psa 110:1).
The apostle Paul writes,
“For when they knew God, they did not [honor] Him as God, nor were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools…
“who changed the truth of God into a lie…” (Rom 1:21,25).
“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory,
“which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Cor 2:7-8).
The Bible, both the Old and New Testaments, from beginning to end, contains prophecies and a biography with eye witness accounts of Jesus Christ and His teachings written by close associates, those who knew Him best, as they were inspired by God (2 Tim 3:16). His disciple John wrote,
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life;
“The life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us;
“That which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.
“And these things we write to you that your joy may be full” (1 John 1:1-3).
“This is the disciple who testifies of these things and wrote these things; for we know that His testimony is true.
“And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written” (John 21:24-25).
When you know the full truth about Jesus Christ, you will understand John’s last statement.
Jewish and “Christian” theologians have argued for centuries over the issue of God and Jesus Christ. Both claim to believe in One God. But while Jewish theologians say there is only one true God, the LORD God of the Old Testament, according to their interpretation of Deuteronomy 6:4 and other Scriptures; many Christian theologians, who also say they believe that God is one, believe that Jesus is also God and try to explain this by saying that He is a second person of a trinitarian God, which they admit no one can fully understand and cannot be verified from the Holy Scriptures (New Catholic Encyclopaedia – articles on the Trinity, pp. 291, 295, 299, 304, 306…). In one such disputation in the Middle Ages the Jewish rabbi, Nahmanides, wrote,
“Fra Pablo arose and said that he believed in the unity, which, none the less, included the Trinity, although this was an exceeding deep mystery, which even the angels and princes of heaven could not comprehend.
“I arose and said: ‘It is evident that a person does not believe what he does not know: therefore the angels do not believe in the Trinity'” (The Jewish Encyclopaedia – art. Trinity, p. 261).
What does the Bible Say?
Most biographies begin in the beginning or give a background relating to the events leading to the birth of the individual being written about. Sometimes they are published in serial form before they are completed. And indeed, the Bible, the greatest, most comprehensive and oldest of all books of any kind ever written still in existence today, begins in a beginning and was originally published in serial form to reveal the life and works of one of its most important characters – JESUS The CHRIST.
Is Jesus God?
The prophet Isaiah was inspired by the Lord to prophesy saying:
“‘Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name IMMAMUEL,’ which is translated, ‘God with us'” (Isa 7:14; Mat 1:22-23).
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with Child of the Holy Spirit.
“Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privately.
“But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.
“And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.
“Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet (Isaiah), saying:
‘Behold, a virgin shall be with Child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name IMMANUEL,’ which is translated, God with us.
“Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS (Mat 1:18-25).
Only One True God?
How could the prophet Isaiah prophesy that a virgin should bear a Son who would be God? God (“Elohim”) is Creator of the heavens and the earth. How could God be born of a woman? God the Creator is Eternal, how could He be born or die?
Jewish theologians contended that Jesus can’t be God and He can’t be the Son of God, for there is only one God. Therefore that is blasphemy and for that reason (or so they said) they had Him put to death (Mat 26:63-66; 1 Cor 2:7-8). They base their belief on Scriptures such as Deuteronomy 6:4, which they translate from the Hebrew text to say,
“Here, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:”
But the original Hebrew text in Deuteronomy 6:4 does not say “The LORD our God is one LORD.”
What does it say?
“The LORD (“Jehovah”) our GOD (“Elohim”), one (“echad”) LORD (“Jehovah”).
” The word “is” was added and is not in the original. And the word “one,” from the Hebrew “echad” means one, first, united, alone, alike, only. The verse should more appropriately be translated:
“Hear (“shama” meaning hearken to, listen and obey or proclaim), O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord only.”
Moses was addressing the problem that many Israelites were still worshipping the polytheistic gods of Egypt and other nations or going their own way and not obeying God. He had just admonished them:
“Take you therefore good heed to yourselves… lest you corrupt yourselves and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of any figure: the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any beast…or…of any winged bird… the likeness of anything that creeps…or…of any fish…
“And take heed, lest you lift up your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun, the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, you feel driven to worship them and serve them, which the Lord your God has given to all peoples under the whole heaven as a heritage.
“But the Lord has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be His people, His inheritance, as you are this day…
“Take heed to yourselves, lest you forget the covenant of the Lord your God which He made with you, and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of anything which the Lord your God has forbidden you.
“For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God” (Deut 4:15-20,23-24).
Christian theologians have made the same error in transcribing and translating the New Testament. When a scribe asked Jesus, “Which is the first commandment of all?” He quoted Deuteronomy 6:4 saying,
“The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God (is) one Lord” (Mk 12:28-29).
Again transcribers and translators inserted “is” into the text. And “one” translated from the Greek “heis,” which means one, only, or unity, in this context should have been translated as “only.”
But don’t many Scriptures verify that there is only ONE True God (“Elohim”)? To distinguish their religion from the polytheism (many gods) of the pagans around them, Jews, Christians and Moslems profess a monotheistic (one God) faith. But as Jesus said, they did not understand or really know God (Elohim).
“You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also” (John 8:19).
“For had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Cor 2:8).
Later Christian theologians believing in monotheism had difficulty explaining how Christ could have been God in the flesh while God the Father still existed in heaven. To solve their dilemma, over a period of several centuries they formulated a non-biblical doctrine of the “Trinity.” This doctrine became stamped into the beliefs of modern traditional “Christianity” by Roman emperor Constantine at the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. (A Historical View of The Council of Nice with a Translation of Documents, by Isaac Boyle, D.D., 1879, published in The Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History, 1962).
Jesus warned His disciples that they would be persecuted by religious authorities because of the authorities ignorance of God. He said to them,
“They shall put you out of the synagogues: Yea, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he is doing God service.
“And these things they will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father nor Me” (John 16:2-3).
Who and What is God?
Some scientists say the Universe began with a “Big Bang” creating billions of galaxies, each with billions of stars…
If that’s true – than according to the Bible – God started the “Big Bang.” The Old Testament begins,
“In the beginning God (Hebrew, “Elohim”) created the heavens and the earth” (Gen 1:1). But then “Elohim” said, “Let Us make man in Our image” (vs. 26).
How can God say in the Bible, “Let US make Man in OUR image,” if there is only One True God? This is hard for both Jewish and Christian theologians to explain and come to any agreement. But Jesus Christ said,
“Thy (God’s) Word is truth” John 17:17). And the apostle Paul was inspired to write, “All Scripture (both the Old and New Testament) is given by inspiration of God…” (2 Tim 3:16).
Elohim is the most commonly used word translated God in the Old Testament. But “Elohim” is plural, the plural form of “El,” “Elah” and “Eloah.”
But how can ONE God be plural?
God (‘Elohim’) is a Family
God “Elohim” is a collective plural noun, meaning the mighty or Almighty Ones, used in a singular sense like family, team, church, nation, empire or kingdom, which have many members but being ONE – a single group. The Biblical answer is that “Elohim” is a Family Name. God is a Family with more than one member. There is only ONE true Family of God (“Elohim”)! There is no other God Family. “Elohim” represents the One True God Family! God said “Let Us create man in Our image…” God created man to be a family like the God Family and to become part of the Family of God to rule over God’s creation (Eph 3:14-15; Heb 2:6-8; Rev 21:7).
If this seems confusing to you because you have been taught and believed the opinions and ideas that men teach about God, read and do what the Scriptures say for yourself.
“Prove all things and hold fast to that which is good” (1 Thes 5:21).
Jesus Said, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32).
God’s Word can be understood by those who believe and obey God’s Word.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments” (Psa 111:10).
Jesus said in a prayer to God, “I Thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent (scholars of the world – 1 Cor 1:18-31) and have revealed them to babes” (Mat 11:25).
Few lay members of the various churches or synagogues realize that theologians often don’t agree on many biblical doctrines. The Scriptures say,
“What advantage has the Jew…? “Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God. “But what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? “Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true and every man a liar” (Rom 3:1-4).
One might ask, “But if God is a Family, who are the Family members?”
The OT Scriptures sometimes use the Hebrew “El,” meaning mighty or Almighty One, and derivatives of it to represent a single member of the true God Family and occasionally also to represent mighty men, angels and false gods or idols. “El,” “Elah” and “Eloah” are singular forms of “Elohim.”
What does this have to do with Jesus Christ?
Jesus was called Immanuel – meaning “God with us” (Isa 7:14; Mat 1:23).
“Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel, which being interpreted is, God (Heb. “El,” meaning an Almighty One) with us.
Jesus Christ, the WORD of GOD & Creator!
Jesus Christ is a member of the Creator God (“Elohim”) Family. In the New Testament, John’s Gospel begins:
“In the beginning was the WORD (“LOGOS”), and the WORD was with [the] God (“Theos,” a Greek translation of the OT “El” and “Elohim”), and the WORD was God.
“He (the Word) was in the beginning with [the] God.
“All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:1-3).
King David wrote in the Psalms, “By the WORD (“DAVAR,” meaning word, saying, command, cause – sometimes a personification-as the speaker or spokesman, the same as “Logos”) of the LORD the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth…
“Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him,
“for He spoke, and it was done. He commanded, and it stood fast” (Psa 33:6,8-9).
Jesus Christ is the personification of all the attributes of the written and spoken WORD of GOD, the LORD (“Jehovah,” meaning Eternal) of the Old Testament. He is the SPOKESMAN of the GOD Family to mankind. It was the WORD of the LORD, who is Jesus Christ, who was with God (“El,” the Father) and was God (“Elohim,” of the God Family) who created the Heavens and the earth, and made man (Genesis 1:1,26-27). They together planned and created the billions of galaxies… and formed our solar system and the earth and created the animals and man and woman on the earth. They said,
“Let US make man in OUR image…
“So God (Elohim – the God Family) [“Aleph-Tav” – left out by translators] created man (“adam,” mankind, the human species, man-male or female) in [Their] image, in the image of God created He (“Aleph-Tav”) them … male and female He (“Aleph-Tav”) created them” (Gen 1:26-27; 2:7). (For an explanation of Who Aleph-Tav is, see the section on “The Alpha and The Omega”).
In John 1:1-3 the Greek word for God, “Theos,” is generally used for the OT plural name “Elohim,” though “Theos” is actually singular in Greek. The plural form “Theoi” is never used for God in the NT because it was used by the Greeks for their many pagan gods. In many instances the definite article (“ho” the) occurs before “Theos,” though it is usually left out by translators. When the definite article is present with “Theos” it is often singular referring to God the Father as in John 1:1 and 2. (See “Theos” (2316) in The Complete Word Study New Testament with Parallel Greek, p. 909, Spiros Zodhiates)
Verses 14 through 18 explain that this One called the WORD who was with [the] God and was God is the same One who became Jesus Christ.
“And the WORD became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld [Him, The Glory, a glory] as [only generated from] the Father, full of grace (Gk. “charis,” favor, especially from God) and truth” (Vs. 14).
“For the law was given through Moses, but [the] grace and [the] truth came through Jesus Christ” (vs 17).
The WORD (“LOGOS,” meaning Word, Spokesman, rational, logical or intelligent thought or speaking), who was with God the Father, and who was also God was the One who became Jesus Christ the Son of God (John 1:1-3,14). Jesus, before His human birth, was the WORD or SPOKESMAN (“Logos” in the NT Greek and “Davar” in the OT Hebrew) of the God Family to the patriarchs and Israel in the Old Testament.
“After these things the WORD of the Lord (“Jehovah” Eternal) came to Abram in a vision, saying, ‘Fear not, Abram, I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward” (Gen 15:1).
When Jacob wrestled with God, it was the WORD who said, “Your name shall no more be called Jacob, but Israel…” (Gen 32:28-29)
“Elijah took 12 stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the WORD of the Lord came, saying, Israel shall be your name” (1 Kg 18:31).
When Moses warned the Pharaoh of the plague of hail that God would send if he would not let Israel go, some of the Egyptians feared.
“He that feared [Aleph-Tav] the WORD of the Lord among the servants of Pharaoh, [Aleph-Tav] made his servants and his cattle flee into the buildings.
“But he that regarded not [“El” God – left out by translators], the WORD of the Lord, [Aleph-Tav] left his servants and his cattle in the field” (Ex 9:20-21).
The WORD, who is “Aleph-Tav” who came as Jesus Christ in the flesh, revealed Himself many times in many ways to His servants. He warned Israel in the wilderness,
“The soul that does anything presumptuously, whether he is native born or is a stranger, that one reproaches [Aleph-Tav] the Lord (Eternal); and that soul shall be cut off from among his people.
“Because he has despised the WORD of the Lord, and has broken [Aleph-Tav’s] commandment…” Num 15:30-31).
“The Lord appeared again in Shiloh; for the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel as the WORD of the Lord (Eternal)” (1 Sam 3:21).
“Samuel said to Saul… ‘You stand here awhile, that [you] may hear [Aleph-Tav], the WORD of God (“Elohim,” the God Family)” (1 Sam 9:27).
“Then it came to pass the WORD of the Lord said unto Samuel,
“I regret that I have set up Saul to be king, for he has turned back from following Me [Aleph-Tav], and has not performed (“quwm,” to raise up, establish, perform, enjoin, uphold) My commandments. And it grieved Samuel, and he cried out unto the Lord all that night” (1 Sam 15:10-11).
And Samuel said to Saul, “Because you have rejected [Aleph-Tav], the WORD of the Lord (Eternal), He has also rejected you from being king” (ver. 23).
The WORD of the Lord (the Eternal God Family) came and spoke to prophets and kings (1 Kgs 12:22; 13:1…; 16:1; 17:2; 18:1; 19:9; 21:17). They sometimes called on Aleph-Tav, the WORD of the Lord (Eternal) God. King David wrote,
“Before God I will praise the WORD; before Jehovah (Lord) I will praise the WORD” (Psa 56:10).
“He (the Eternal) sent His Word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions” (Psa 107:20).
“From eternity, O Lord (Eternal), Your WORD is settled (“natsav,” meaning to be set up, stationed, stand, established, waiting, in a position of authority) in the heavens” (Psa 119:89).
“I hope in Your WORD” (ver. 114).
“My eyes fail for Your salvation, for the WORD of Your righteousness” (ver. 123).
“I wait for Your WORD” (ver. 147).
“Your WORD is truth (“emeth,” truth, faithful), the Head (“rosh,” chief, captain, principle, ruler, supreme, first, beginning), and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever” (ver. 160).
“…my heart stands in awe of Your WORD” (ver. 161).
“And it came to pass the same night, that the WORD of God came to Nathan, saying, ‘Go tell David My servant, Thus says the Lord…” (1 Chr 17:3-4).
“And David said to Solomon, ‘My son, as for me it was in my mind to build a house unto the name of the Lord my God;
“But the WORD of the Lord came to me saying…” (1 Chr 22:7-8).
“And the WORD of the Lord came to Solomon, saying, ‘Concerning this temple which you are building, if you will walk in My statutes, fulfill [Aleph-Tav’s] judgments, and keep (“shamar,” to keep, guard, preserve, protect, watch over, retain, observe, regard, attend, revere) all [Aleph-Tav’s] commandments to walk in them, then I [Aleph-Tav] will perform My word to you, which I spoke to your father David…
“So Solomon built [Aleph-Tav] the temple, and finished it” (1 Kgs 6:12-14).
“Jehoshaphat (king of Judah) said to the king of Israel, ‘Inquire, I pray you, with [Aleph-Tav] the WORD of the Lord today” (1 Kg 22:5).
“Jehoshaphat said, ‘Is there no prophet of the Lord (Eternal) here, that we may inquire of [Aleph-Tav] the Eternal by him?’ And one…answered and said, ‘Here is Elisha…
“And Jehoshaphat said, ‘The WORD of the Lord is with him…” (2 Kgs 3:11-12).
“And it came to pass…the WORD of the Lord came to (Isaiah), saying…
“And Isaiah said to Hezekiah, ‘Hear the WORD of the Lord…
“Then said Hezekiah unto Isaiah, ‘Good is the WORD of the Lord who has spoken…” (2 Kgs 20:4,16,19).
“And Micaiah said, ‘As the Lord, even [Aleph-Tav] lives, what my God says, that will I speak…
“…Therefore hear the WORD of the Lord; I saw [Aleph-Tav] the Lord sitting upon His throne…” (2 Chr 18:13,18).
King Josiah commanded, “Go, inquire of [Aleph-Tav] the Lord for me, and for them that are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that is found; for great is the indignation of the Lord that is poured out upon us, because our fathers have not regarded [Aleph-Tav], the WORD of the Lord, to do after all that is written in this book” (2 Chr 34:21).
“He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called the Word (“LOGOS”) of God”(Rev 19:13). “The Word of the Lord
The apostle Paul further explains this mystery with an analogy:
“For as the body is one, and has many members, and all the members of that one body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.
“For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body – Jews or Greeks, slaves or free – and all were made to drink of one spirit.
“For the body is not one member, but many” (1 Cor 12:1-14).
He is speaking here of the church, but the same is true for a family. A family is one, but has more than one member. We call all members of a family by the same last name. Understanding that there is only One True God, which is the Family of God, makes it easier to understand many otherwise confusing and seemingly contradictory Scriptures. For example as we read above:
“In the beginning God “Elohim” created the heavens and the earth” (Gen 1:1). And “Elohim” said, ‘Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness…” (vs. 26).
GOD here clearly includes, as revealed in other Scriptures: the One called the Word (the Spokesman of the God Family to mankind) who became Jesus Christ the Son of God, and the One Jesus called God the Father, as we will see (John 1:1-3,14,18).
“But if anyone loves God, the same is known by Him. Therefore… we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that nothing else is God except one. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), yet for us one God, the Father, from whom are all things, and we by Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live. However, there is not in everyone that knowledge…” (1 Cor 8:3-7).
The apostle Paul explains more of this mystery of God:
“the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God (“Theos” the Greek equivalent of “Elohim”) who created all things through Jesus Christ… “For this reason I bow my knees to the FATHER of our Lord Jesus Christ, “from whom the whole FAMILY in heaven and earth is named” (Eph 3:9,14-15).
And the Scriptures reveal that the Church of God is the body of Christ, spiritually begotten to be children of that God Family,
“Now you are the body of Christ and members individually” (1 Cor 12:27).
“Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is begotten (“gennao”) of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot (“Gennao”) also loves him who is begotten (“Gennao”) of Him” (1 John 5:1).
“Behold what manner of love the FATHER has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1).
“…for which reason He (Jesus) is not ashamed to call them brethren…” (Heb 2:11).
GOD “Elohim” is a Family. Jesus Christ often referred to God the Father “from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named” as His Father and our Father (John 5:19-43; 6:44,65; 8:19,27-29,42,54; 14:8-31; 15:1-16; 17:1-26; 20:17). And as He told the religious leaders of His time,
“You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also” (John 8:19).
From these and other Scriptures we know that the FAMILY of GOD includes God the Father and the Word who became Jesus Christ, the firstborn Son of God, and that we are called to become members of that Family.
“He (Jesus Christ) is the image (“eikon” likeness or representation) of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
“For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers, All things were created through Him and for Him.
“And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist” (Col 1:15-17).
And in Hebrews 1:3, “Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image (“charakter,” meaning engraved character) of His being, and upholding all things by the Word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high…”
Who is the LORD (“JEHOVAH”)?
Elijah the prophet went to king Ahab and the people and false prophets of Israel and said to them,
“How long will you halt between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, then follow him” (1 Kgs 18:19-21).
How many today do not know who the Lord is, both in the Old Testament and the New Testament?
In the Old Testament, God “Elohim” is referred to as the LORD GOD over 2,000 times. LORD in the OT is translated from the Hebrew word “YHVH,” “Jehovah” or “Yehovah,” which means Self Existent or Eternal. Jehovah comes from the Hebrew verb “hayah”, meaning to be, exist – past was, present is and future become – the I AM in Exodus 3:14.
Whenever Jehovah is used in the OT, it is clearly referring to either God the Father or the Word who became Jesus Christ or both – Who only are Eternal. Hence Jesus’ question to the Pharisees.
“What do you think about the Christ (Messiah)? Whose Son is He?”
When they answered. “‘The Son of David.’ He said to them, ‘How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying, ‘The Lord said to my Lord… If David then calls Him Lord, how is He his Son?’ And no one was able to answer Him a word…” (Mat 22:41-46; Psa 110:1,5).
Jesus was proving from the OT Scriptures that the Messiah (He) was not only the Son of David, but also Jehovah along with God the Father – The Eternal Ones – and they could not refute Him. Jesus used “Kurios,” the Greek equivalent to the OT Hebrew “Jehovah” (“YHVH”), for both Lord’s. Present OT Hebrew texts have substituted “Adonai” for the second Lord in place of “YHVH.” Old Testament scribes (Sopherim – keepers and teachers of the holy books; Rom 3:1-2), after Ezra’s time (Ezra 7:6,11; Neh 8:1-8), substituted “Adon,” (“Adonai”) for “Jehovah” in at least 134 passages of the OT Scriptures, apparently to allay their confusion over there being two Lords and/or a misguided reverence considering “YHVH” the ‘unspeakable’ name of God, (See The Companion Bible, Appendixes 4,30 and 32, and The Complete Word Study of the Old Testament, Zodhaites, pp. 2296-97, Lexical Aids – #113. Adhon). This statement by David and Jesus, which has been a puzzle to both Old and New Testament theologians, is repeated 4 times in the NT (Mat 22:44; Mk12:36; Lk 20:42; Acts 2:34) using the word “Kurios” for both Lords revealing the deliberate transcription error of the OT scribes after Ezra.
Who is the I AM?
Jesus Christ’s message in the book of Revelation, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ,” should take away all doubt about Jesus Christ’s true identity in the Old Testament.
When the LORD God called Moses in the wilderness to deliver Israel, He said to him,
“I am the God of your father – the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob…
“Then Moses said to God, ‘Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, the God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?
“And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM.’ And He said, ‘Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM (“Hayah,” to exist, the verb to be – is, was, and become) has sent me to you.’
“Moreover God said to Moses, ‘Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.'” (Ex 3:6,13-15).
In the book of Revelation Jesus Christ, the LORD, said,
“I AM the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End…Who IS and Who WAS and Who IS TO COME (the I AM), The Almighty…
“I AM the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last…
“Do not be afraid; I AM the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.” (Rev 1:8,11,17-18).
And again, “And behold, I AM coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I AM the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and End, the First and the Last.
“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I AM the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star” (Rev 22:12-13,16).
Jesus Christ makes it clear that He was the “I AM…(“Hayah”) meaning, “Who IS and Who WAS and Who IS TO COME.” Who is the Word in the OT?
What Does the Name Jesus Christ Mean?
The meaning of Jesus’ name is a complete mystery to most. A name identifies a person and represents their character, reputation, and authority. In this case it identifies who He Is and who He Was before His human birth.
Just what does the name Jesus Christ actually mean?
As is written on the title of this study, His name is written differently in different languages, but they all represent the same person regardless of what some “sacred names” people might think. After all, it was God who changed the languages at Babel and inspired the Old Testament to be written in Hebrew and the New Testament in Greek. JESUS CHRIST is a translation from the OT Hebrew and NT Greek into English. YES, His name is in the Old Testament! His name in Greek (transliterated) “Iesous” and “Christos” is a translation from the Hebrew (transliterated) “Jehoshua” and “Mashiyach.” So to best understand the original meaning we should go to the original in Hebrew.
What does JESUS, “Jehoshua” in Hebrew, mean?
Jehoshua in the OT is translated directly into the English as “Joshua” as in the Book of Joshua and also in the NT book of Hebrews 4:8. Jehoshua is a contraction of two Hebrew words: “Jehovah” or “Yehovah” (from “hayah” to exist, be or become – the I AM in Ex 3:14 & John 8:58) meaning Self-existent, Eternal or Everlasting, translated into English as Lord – the Lord God of Israel as already discussed; and of “yasha” meaning to be free, safe, defend, deliver, rescue, save, bring salvation, get victory. Hence Jehoshua or Jesus means Jehovah (the Eternal) who makes free, safe, defends, delivers, rescues, saves, brings salvation, gets victory!
David in the OT said:
“The Lord (Jehovah) is my Rock, my fortress and my deliverer; The God of my strength, in Him I will trust, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; my Saviour, You save me from violence. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies” (2 Sam 22:2-4; Psa 18:2-3).
In the NT Jesus is called “that spiritual Rock that followed them (the Israelites during their exodus from Egypt), and that Rock was Christ” (1 Cor 10:4).
Jesus is the Rock on which He said, “on this Rock (“Petros”) I will build My church” (Mat 16:18).
Jesus than, whom John described as the Word, is none other than a Member of the Lord (Eternal) God Family who saves! The apostle Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to the rulers and people of Israel:
“Let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands before you whole. This is the Stone (Rock) which was rejected by you builders, which has become the Chief Cornerstone. Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:8,10-12).
This should have been obvious to theologians from other Scriptures also. Matthew 1:21-23 says concerning the birth of Jesus Christ,
“And she shall bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS (“Iesous” a Greek translation of the Hebrew “Jehoshua”), for He shall SAVE His people from their sins. “Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet (Isaiah), saying, ‘Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel’ (Isa 7:14), which is translated, ‘God (“El” an Almighty One) with us.'”
And in Isaiah 45:15 and 21: “Truly, You are a God (Heb. “El”) that hides Yourself, O God (Elohim) of Israel, a SAVIOR!
“… Who has declared this from ancient time? Have not I, the Lord (Jehovah)? And there is no other God (Elohim) besides Me, a just God (El) and a SAVIOR; there is none besides Me.”
If the singular and plural terms for God (El and Elohim) seem confusing, it is because theologians have been confused and have failed to translate them correctly because they did not understand the true meaning of the singular and plural God.
What does the name or title CHRIST, “Mashiyach” in Hebrew, mean?
Mashiyach in the OT, means simply “anointed” from the verb “mashach,” which means to rub with oil or to anoint. Mashiyach in the OT is translated as “Christos” in the NT Greek and into English in most places as “Christ,” “anointed” and also as “Messiah” (John 1:41; 4:25).
What is significant about anointing?
Anointing is a ritual that God commanded in ordaining kings and priests and others for special purposes (1 Sam 9:15-16; 10:1,6-7; 1 Sam 15:1; 16:3,12-13; 1 Kg 1:34-35; 19:15-16). It represented the sanctifying and giving of spiritual gifts to empower those anointed to be able to perform their God-given duties (1 Sam 10:1,6-7,9-11; Dan 4:24-26,34-37).
“You shall anoint (“mashach”) them, that they may minister to Me as priests” (Ex 28:41; 40:9-15).
Anointing also is used symbolically in healing to represent God’s Spirit, the power by which God does the healing – the same power by which God (“Elohim”) created us and all things.
“Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven” (James 5:14-15).
“And they (the apostles) cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them” (Mk 6:13).
Also, truly converted Christians, those who have repented of sin, believe and are baptized, “have an anointing from the Holy One” to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; 5:32; 1 John 2:20). The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, then is their Helper that guides them into all truth to understand the things of God (John 16:7-13; 1 Cor 2:9-16).
Jesus CHRIST, the MESSIAH, is The Anointed One of whom the prophets foretold. Isaiah prophesied,
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has ANOINTED Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim an acceptable year of the Lord… to comfort all who mourn…” (Isa 61:1-2).
When John the Baptist came, to “prepare the way of the Lord” (Mat 3:3), he said,
“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit…” (ver. 11).
Then when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist,
“the Holy Spirit descended…like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, ‘You are My beloved Son, in You I am well pleased'” (Lk 3:22).
Soon after, at the beginning of His earthly ministry,
Jesus “came to Nazareth… And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. …And He had found the place where it was written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor… Then He closed the book… And He began to say, ‘This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your hearing'” (Lk 4:16-21).
The apostle Peter proclaimed,
“how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him” (Acts 10:38).
Daniel prophesied concerning the first coming and anointing of the Messiah,
“Seventy weeks are determined… to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and TO ANOINT (“mashach”) the Most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until the Messiah (“Mashiyach”) the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks… And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself…” (Dan 9:24-26).
Jesus Christ Anointed to be King of kings
Pilate asked Jesus shortly before His crucifixion,
“Are You a King then? Jesus answered, You say rightly that I am a King. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth” (John 18:37).
But He said, “My Kingdom is not of this world. If My Kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews, but now My Kingdom is not from here” (ver. 36).
The angel told Mary before Jesus was born,
“…you shall conceive in your womb, and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus (“Iesous,” “Jehoshua”). He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give Him the throne of His father David. And He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His Kingdom there shall be no end” (Lk 1:31-33).
The word of the Lord came to Zechariah saying,
“…Take the silver and gold, make an elaborate crown, and set it on the head of Joshua (“Jehoshua”)… Then speak to him, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, saying: ‘Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH! From His place He shall branch out, and He shall build the temple of the Lord; Yes, He shall build the temple of the Lord. He shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule on His throne; So He shall be a Priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace shall be between them both” (Zech 6:11-13).
The Church (“ekklesia” the called out ones) is the temple of God in the NT (1 Cor 3:16-17). Jesus said, “…on this Rock I will build My church” (Mat 16:18).
Jesus Christ will return to this earth as a KING of kings.
“Then 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… He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word (“Logos” Spokesman) of God…And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING of kings and LORD of lords” (Rev 19:11,13,16).
The Mystery of Melchizedek
Many puzzle over who Melchizedek, King of Salem, and Priest of the Most High God is. This Melchizedek,
“to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated ‘King of Righteousness,’ and then also King of Salem, meaning ‘King of Peace,’ without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a Priest continually” (Heb 7:1-3).
God, in the books of Psalms and Hebrews, testifies of the One who became Jesus Christ:
“You are a priest forever according to the order (rank) of Melchesidek” (Psa 110:4; Heb 7:17,21)
Who is Melchisedek?
We find something regarding the beginning of His existence described in Chapter 7 of the book of Hebrews. It speaks of Melchisedek (King of Righteousness – see Note-1), who was King of Salem (Gen 14:18; Heb 7:1-2 – see Note-2), which means literally “King of Peace,” in the days of Abraham. It says that He was the Priest of the Most High God. This Melchisedek had existed from eternity:
“without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually…
“who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life” (Heb. 7:3,16).
This cannot be speaking of a man, a human king. No man could be given the title, King of Righteousness, for as the Scriptures say, “there are none righteous, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10,23). And no man has “neither beginning of days nor end of life.”
Who then was Melchisedek? Jeremiah wrote concerning this King of Righteousness,
“Behold the days come, says the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous BRANCH, and a KING shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD (“Jehovah”) OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jer. 23:5-6).
Isaiah wrote, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The PRINCE of PEACE” (Isa. 9:6).
And in Hebrews 1:8, “But unto the Son He says, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever: a sceptre (rod of royalty) of RIGHTEOUSNESS is the sceptre of Thy kingdom”.
Since Melchisedek was:
“King of Righteousness” and “King of Peace” and “like unto the Son of God,” “who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life,”
and abides as High Priest forever continually – and since Jesus Christ has eternal life, and is now High Priest according to the order (rank or character) of Melchisedek (King of Righteousness) – Melchisedek and Jesus Christ are one and the same Person! He was, then, “like” the Son of God – but He was not yet the Son of God. He also was God, along with God (John 1:1), and
“He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He ever lives to make intercession for them” (Heb 7:1-3,16-17,25).
“But no man takes this honor (as high priest) to himself, but he who is called by God, just as Aaron was.
“So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him”
“You are My Son, today I have begotten You.” (Psa 2:7)
“As He also says in another place:
“You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek,” (Psa 110:4),
“Who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, “though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, “called by God as High Priest ‘according to the order of Melchisedek,’ of whom we have much to say, but hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing” (Heb 5:4-11).
This is another proof that Jesus Christ, who was the Word (Spokesman) of the God Family to man, and who was “without father, without mother, without descent (genealogy), having neither beginning of days, nor end of life” had existed eternally with God before coming in the flesh. Jesus answered the Pharisees:
“Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”
They said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?
“Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM (“eimi,” to be, exist)'”(John 8:53-58; Gen 14:18-20 – It was Melchizedek, who is Jesus Christ that met with Abraham).
Jesus, when He was the “Word” (the Spokesman of God to man), was an immortal being of the God (“Elohim”) Family (Eph 3:9-15) who had ALWAYS existed – there never was a time when He did not exist – without beginning of days. That is why we should not seek to worship Jesus Christ’s birthday (and especially on a pagan holiday), we worship Him as our Lord (The Eternal) our God and Saviour.
The Alpha and The Omega
Now let’s notice what else Jesus said to John in the book of Revelation! “I AM the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End… the First and the Last” (Rev 1:8,11). What did He mean by that?
The “Alpha” (Α) and the “Omega” (Ω) are the First and Last letters in the Greek alphabet. That has no apparent significance in itself, but when taken in context with the Old Testament, it has great significance.
The First and Last letters in the Hebrew alphabet are “Aleph” and “Tav.” When Jesus was saying He is the Alpha and the Omega, He was saying He is the “Aleph and Tav” of the Old Testament, which is very significant. “Aleph-Tav” occurs as a word in many significant scriptures associated with God as the Creator in Genesis 1 as well as in many other places in the OT (rabbis refer to it as the “Word of Creation” – see also John 1:1-3), but in EVERY case IT IS LEFT OUT by the translators, so no wonder few understand its significance. For example in Genesis 1 and 2:
“In a beginning God [Aleph-Tav] (the Alpha and the Omega who is Jesus Christ) created the heavens and the earth” (Gen 1:1).
“And God [Aleph-Tav] made the firmament (space or sky)…
“And God [Aleph-Tav] made (prepared) two great lights…
“And God [Aleph-Tav] set (appointed) them in the firmament (sky) to give light…
“And God [Aleph-Tav] created great whales…
“And God [Aleph-Tav] made the beast…
“So God [Aleph-Tav] created man…
“And God [Aleph-Tav] saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good…” (Gen 1:1,7,16-17,21,25,27,31).
“And God [Aleph-Tav] blessed the seventh day and sanctified it… (Also see Mark 2:27-28)
“And the Lord God [Aleph-Tav] formed man of the dust of the ground…
“And the Lord God [Aleph-Tav] took the man, and put him in the garden of Eden…
“And the Lord God [Aleph-Tav] made a woman from the rib which he had taken from the man…” (Gen 2:3,7,15,22).
In addition, Aleph-Tav is used in association with many OT prophecies about the Messiah, Jesus Christ. For example the Lord (Eternal) said to Moses:
“And the Lord said, I [Aleph-Tav] have surely seen the affliction of My people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry…for I [Aleph-Tav] know their sorrows (See Isa 53:), and am coming down to deliver them…
“When [Aleph-Tav] has brought forth the people of Israel out of Egypt, you shall serve [Aleph-Tav] the God upon this mountain” (Ex 3:7-8,12).
Concerning the Passover, “And they shall eat [Aleph-Tav] the flesh in that night…
“The blood shall be to you for a sign…and when I see [Aleph-Tav] the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you…
“You shall observe [Aleph-Tav] the unleavened bread… therefore shall you observe [Aleph-Tav] this day in your generations as an ordinance forever”
“For the Lord will pass through to smite, [Aleph-Tav] the Egyptians; and when He sees [Aleph-Tav] the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the Lord will pass over the door, (Ex 12:8,13,17). (Also see John 6:35,48-51; 1 Cor. 5:7)
The Lord told Moses, “I will raise up a Prophet for them from among their brethren like unto you, and will put My words in His mouth, and [Aleph-Tav] shall speak to them all that I command Him” (Deut 18:18).
King David wrote, “I will bless [Aleph-Tav] the Lord at all times…
“I sought [Aleph-Tav] the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me…” (Psa 34:1,4).
“[Aleph-Tav] Your statutes I will keep; O forsake me not utterly” (Psa 119:8).
“Let Israel hope in the Lord… He [Aleph-Tav] shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities” (Psa 130:7-8).
“Praise you [Aleph-Tav] the name of the Lord…” (Psa 135:1).
“You open [Aleph-Tav] Your hand, and satisfy the desire of every living thing” (Psa 145:16).
“Praise [Aleph-Tav] the Lord, O my soul” (Psa 146:1).
“Praise [Aleph-Tav] the Lord, O Jerusalem…” (Psa 147:12).
“Praise you [Aleph-Tav] the Lord from the heavens…” (Psa 148:1,5,7,13).
King Solomon also… “My son, fear you [Aleph-Tav] the Lord and the King…” (Prov 24:21).
The Prophet Isaiah referred often to Aleph-Tav (The Alpha and the Omega) in many prophecies, especially those concerning the Messiah:
“Ah sinful nation… they have forsaken [Aleph-Tav] the Lord, they have provoked [Aleph-Tav] the Holy One of Israel…” (Isa 1:4).
Isaiah told king Ahaz to ask for a sign from God to increase his faith to trust Him. “But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt [Aleph-Tav] the Lord.” Isaiah then said, “…but will you weary [Aleph-Tav] my God also?” (Isa 7:12-13). Isaiah then gave him a prophetic sign, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel,” (Mat 1:21-23, Jesus Christ – who is the Aleph-Tav or the Alpha and the Omega).
In a millennial prophecy of the Kingdom of God, Isaiah wrote: “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My Holy Mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of [Aleph-Tav] the Lord, as the waters cover the sea…
“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover [Aleph-Tav] the remnant of His people…” (Isa 11:9,11).
“Who has directed [Aleph-Tav] the Spirit of the Lord, or being His counselor has taught Him?” (Isa 40:13).
“Hearken unto Me, O Jacob and Israel, My called; I am He; I am the first, and I am the last”(Isa 48:12, see Rev 1:11,17).
“The Lord has made bare [Aleph-Tav] His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see [Aleph-Tav] the salvation of our God” (Isa 52:10).
“The Lord has laid on Him [Aleph-Tav] the iniquity of us all…
“He was taken from prison and from judgment: and [Aleph-Tav] who shall declare His generation? for He was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of My people was He stricken” (Isa 53:6,8).
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me; because the Lord has anointed Me [Aleph-Tav] to preach good tidings unto the meek…” (Isa 61:1, see Lk 4:18).
The other prophets also mention “Aleph-Tav” many times:
Hosea prophesied of the second coming of Jesus Christ (Aleph-Tav). “Come let us return to the Lord… After two days He will revive us; in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight. Then shall we know…[Aleph-Tav] the Lord; His going is prepared as the morning; and He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth” (Hos 6:1-3 – “come let us return to the Lord…after two days” – “one day is as 1,000 years” (2 Pet 3:8; Rev 19:6-7,11-16) is referring to His second coming and the “first resurrection” 2,000 years after His first coming; and “in the third day” is after another 1,000 years at the 2nd resurrection, the time of the “judgment” (“krisis,” a tribunal for judgment – John 5:24-29; Rev 20:4-7,11-13) when “He will raise us up” – see God’s Plan and Timetable in “Keys to Understanding the Mysteries of Prophecy,” Key #4).
Joel warns of the coming “Day of the Lord” (Joel 2:1), the time when the Lord says, “…I shall turn back to [Aleph-Tav] the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem. I [Aleph-Tav] will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat (Armageddon), and will plead with them…” (Joel 3:1-2).
He also prophesied that, “It shall come to pass afterward, that I [Aleph-Tav] will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh” (Joel 2:28-29 – also see Acts 2:16-21 – referring to both His first and second coming).
Amos prophesied, “Behold, the days come, says the Lord God, that I will send a famine…of hearing the words of the Lord: and they shall wander from sea to sea…they shall run to and fro to seek [Aleph-Tav] the Word of the Lord, and shall not find it” (Amos 8:11-12).
But after this he prophesies, “But I will turn back to [Aleph-Tav] the captivity of My people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities…” (Amos 9:14).
Zephaniah admonished, “Seek you [Aleph-Tav] the Lord, all you meek of the earth, who have wrought His judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be you shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger” (Zeph 2:3).
Zechariah was inspired to prophesy, “Thus speaks the Lord of hosts, saying, ‘Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH (Jesus Christ); and He shall grow up out of His place, and He [Aleph-Tav] shall build the temple of the Lord…” (Zech 6:12-13). The spiritual temple is the NT Church (Mat 16:18; 1 Cor 3:16-17; 6:19; 2 Cor 6:16).
“Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek [Aleph-Tav] the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and pray to [Aleph-Tav] before the Lord” (Zech 8:22).
“…they weighed for [Aleph-Tav] my price thirty pieces of silver… And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast [Aleph-Tav] them to the potter in the house of the Lord” (Zech 11:12; Mat 27:3-9 – prophesying of Judas who betrayed Jesus).
“And they shall look upon [Aleph-Tav] whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him…” (Zech 12:10 – Also see John 19:34).
“Smite [Aleph-Tav] the Shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered…” (Zech 13:7).
“I [Aleph-Tav] will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle…”
“This shall be the punishment…of all nations that come not up to observe [Aleph-Tav] a feast of tabernacles” (Zech 14:2,19.
Malachi prophesies against the priests “O priests that despise My name. And you say, ‘Wherein have we despised [Aleph-Tav] thy name?
“…you have profaned [Aleph-Tav] in that you say, ‘The table of the Lord is polluted…
“You also say, ‘Oh what a weariness!’ And you sneer at [Aleph-Tav], says the Lord of hosts. And you bring what is stolen, the lame, and the sick; Thus you bring [Aleph-Tav] the offering! Should I [Aleph-Tav] accept this from your hand? says the Lord” (Mal 1:6,12-13).
But who may abide [Aleph-Tav] the day of His coming?
“Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed [Aleph-Tav]… In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse; for you have robbed [Aleph-Tav], even this whole nation. Bring you [Aleph-Tav] all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and prove Me now herewith, says the Lord of hosts, if I [Aleph-Tav] will not open for you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Mal 3:2,8-10).
“Behold, I [Aleph-Tav] will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I [Aleph-Tav] come and smite the earth with a curse” (Mal 4:5-6)
Aleph-Tav is Jesus Christ, the Word of God (John 1:1), the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. The Hebrew Alphabet has 22 letters in it, Aleph is the first, the beginning and Tav is the last, the end. The Old Testament, which is the Word of God as originally inspired by God (2 Tim 3:16), has 22 scrolls organized into three sections, the Law, the Prophets and the Writings. Jesus Christ, the Word of God, the Aleph-Tav, the Alpha and the Omega, endorsed the 22 scrolls of the Old Testament Scriptures, the same number as the Hebrew alphabet from Aleph to Tav, as being complete from the first to the last book, from the beginning to the end, concerning Him.
“These are the Words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me” (Lk 24:44).
Is Jesus the REAL MESSIAH – The SAVIOR?
The True identity of the Messiah (“Mashiyach,” “Christos”) is revealed in the Old and New Testament prophecies and testimonies. No one has fulfilled all of those prophecies yet. But, as we have seen from the prophecies and evidence above, no one but God Himself, or a member of the Eternal (Jehovah) God (Elohim) Family could be the REAL Messiah. Many Old Testament prophecies reveal that the Messiah would be God Himself and that He would come and save His people.
“Say to them that are of a fearful heart, ‘Be strong, fear not: behold, your God (“Elohim,” meaning The Almighty Ones) will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; He will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as a hart (male deer), and the tongue of the dumb sing…” (Isa 35:4-6)
Other prophecies reveal that the coming of the Messiah would be dual – as two separate events and times, the first as the Son of God and Son of Man to give His life to save man from sin; and the second in the full power and glory of God as KING of kings and LORD of lords to restore the Kingdom of God over the earth.
Prophecies of Messiah’s First Coming
Prophecies of the Messiah’s first and second coming are often intermixed. This has caused many Jewish theologians to reject His first coming and the New Testament record. But the prophecies are clear that the Messiah’s first coming would be born as a human from the linage of Abraham through Isaac, Jacob (Israel), Judah and David (Gen 22:18; 26:4-5; 28:13-14; 2 Sam 7:12-13,29; Isa 9:6-7; 11:1-5,10).
God promised Abraham that the Saviour would be his Seed (offspring or descendant) through his wife Sarah. The Lord said to Abraham:
“…in you all the families of the earth will be blessed” (Gen 12:3; Gal 3:8).
Abraham had a son, through Hagar, his wife’s Egyptian handmaid, whom he named Ishmael who became the father of the Arabs. The angel of the Lord prophesied that,
“He shall be a wild man; his hand shall be against every man…” (Gen 16:1-2,11-12).
Mohammed, the prophet of the Islamic religion, was born of the lineage of Ishmael.
“And Abraham said to God, ‘Oh that Ishmael might live before You!’
“But God said: ‘No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him'” (Gen 17:18-19).
Later: “And the Lord said, ‘…all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in [Abraham]. For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which He has spoken to him” (Gen 18:17-19).
Later God tested Abraham and said to him,
“… Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there…”
When Isaac asked his father, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
“Abraham said, ‘My son, God will provide (“raah” to see, appear, show oneself, present, provide) Himself the lamb for a burnt offering… Then they came to the place which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there… and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar… And Abraham…took the knife to slay his son.
“But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said… ‘Do not lay you hand on the lad… for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.
“Then Abraham…looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up… instead of his son… And Abraham called the place, Jehovah-jireh; as it is said to this day, ‘In the Mount the Lord shall [appear].’ (The place is where Solomon built the original temple, where the temple mount is today – 1 Kgs 5 & 6)
“Then the Angel of the Lord…said: ‘By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son, in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven…
“In your SEED all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice” (Gen 22:1-2,7-18).
What does “in your seed” mean? The apostle Paul clarifies the meaning of the promised blessing through Abraham’s SEED:
“Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, ‘And to seeds,’ as of many, but as of ONE, ‘And to your Seed,’ who is Christ (the Messiah)…
“For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, …slave nor free, …male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Gal 3:16,26-29).
The promise to Abraham was that the people of “all the nations”, those who believed as Abraham did, “shall be blessed” through Jesus Christ.
“…just as Abraham ‘believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.’
“Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the nations by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, ‘In you all the nations shall be blessed.’
“So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham” (Gal 3:6-9).
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (Isa 7:14; see also Gen 3:15).
The Gospel of salvation (Eph 1:13) and of the Kingdom of God (Mk 1:1,14-15) is the Good News message of the revelation of the Messiah, the Saviour, who would come first to save man from the curses of sin and death, and second to establish an everlasting Kingdom of God on the earth and rule in righteousness (Dan 2:44). That Saviour would be God (Isa 35:4-6), but He would be born of a woman:
The Messiah, JESUS (“Iesous,” “Jehoshua”), was called “Immanuel” – meaning “God with us” (Isa 7:14; Mat 1:23).
“Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel, which being interpreted is, God (Heb. “El,” meaning an Almighty One) with us.”
CHRIST, “Christos,” “MESSIAH,” “Mashiyach,” meaning “Anointed One.” Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit, the power of God (Lk 3:22).
“God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him…
“To Him all the prophets witness that through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:38,43).
This same Jesus (“Jehoshua,” The Lord who saves), the Christ,
“died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures…” (1 Cor 15:3-4).
He “was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Rom 1:4),
“…the firstborn among many brethren” (Rom 8:29; Heb 2:9-18).
And “He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by (His disciples) during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3).
“So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God” (Mk 16:19).
After Christ had returned to heaven (Acts 1:9-11), and had sent the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, Peter witnessed to the crowd,
“This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.’ Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ (Messiah)” (Acts 2:32-36).
No one, including David, whom God called “a man after My own heart, who will do all My will” (Acts 13:22), has ascended into heaven – other than Jesus Christ (the Messiah). “No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is the Son of Man who is in heaven… that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:13,15).
“Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” (Rom 8:34-35),
“…who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him” (1 Pet 3:22).
“I, John… was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day (the Day of Trumpets when Christ shall return – Joel 2:1-2,11,15-16; Rev 6:17; 11:15; 16:14; 19:11-16), and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,’ and what you see, write… Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw…
One like the Son of Man… His head and His hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like flames of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters… and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.
And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, ‘Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore… And I have the keys of hades (the grave) and death” (Rev 1:9-18).
How GREAT is this JESUS (“Jehoshua,” “Iesous”) the CHRIST (“Mashiyach,” “Christos”), our SAVIOR and the Author and Finisher of our faith (Heb 2:10-11; 5:8-9).
Further proofs that Jesus is the Messiah, and what He the Messiah fulfilled at His first coming, will be covered in the next part detailing Jesus Christ’s mission as the Son of Man and Son of God on this earth.
Now “Therefore… let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb 12:1-2).
(Note-1) Melchisedek is derived from two Hebrew words: Melek-meaning a king, royal, to reign, counsel; and tsedeq-meaning the right or righteousness, equity or prosperity, hence King of Righteousness.] The Messiah, Jesus Christ, was declared by Jehovah:
“The Lord has sworn, and will not repent, ‘You are a Priest forever after (“al” above, over, according to) the order (“dibrah” cause, reason, order, manner, intent, estate) of Melchizedek” (Psa 110:4; Heb 5:6).
“So also Christ glorified not Himself to be made a high priest, but He that said unto Him, ‘You are My Son, today have I begotten You.’ As He said also in another place, ‘You are a Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
“Who in the days of His flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save Him from death, and was heard in that He feared; Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; and being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all that obey Him;
“Called of God High Priest after (according to) the order (“taxis” rank or character) of Melchizedek” (Heb 5:5-10).
(Note-2) Salem The Greek word Salem is from the Heb. “Shalem,” which is from the same root as shalom, meaning peace, hence King of Peace. Some assume Melchisedek was a human king of either Jerusalem or a city called Salem in Abraham’s time or that he was Shem. There is no proof of these assumptions. At Joshua’s time when Israel entered the “promised Land” Jerusalem was controlled by the gentile Jebusites up until it was conquered by David (Jos. 15:8,63; II Sam 5:6-7). Hebrews 7:2 makes it clear that the word Salem “shalom” here should be translated as “peace” rather than a location.
“For this Melchizedek, King of Salem, Priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;
“To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of Righteousness, and after that also King of Salem (“shalom”), which is, King of peace (“eirene,” meaning peace)…” (Heb 7:1-2).